Every once in a while, a new memo goes out to folks on the right, the new talking points are disseminated, and we start hearing the new talking points about some Major Item of Interest (these days, usually Iraq).

As a public service, I will help folks keep track of the latest talking points in easy, bulleted list format (hey, I’m a tech writer by trade!). As you absorb the news from both the mainstream media and the right wing blovocracy over the next several weeks, refer back to this handy guide for these talking points to remind yourself, no, this baloney isn’t “real news,” it’s just the talking points that went out in the memo all those months ago.

  • The surge “just started.” This is obvious B.S. The surge, which was announced in mid-January, “started” when the first brigade landed on the ground on January 21. The final brigade just arrived two weeks ago. This is just Bush’s way of trying, yet again, to buy more time for his failed war policy so he can run out the clock until he leaves office. Don’t buy it for a minute.
  • Congress is only investigating, not legislating. This is a popular one on the Right, and you’ll hear it a lot as elections heat up next year. Republicans conveniently forget all the legislation they failed to pass last year (and in previous years), and will further suffer memory loss when it comes to the 6 years of Congressional oversight that they neglected to engage in. Yes, it takes time to do 6 years of oversight in just a few months; what a bummer that is. (I could also point out that Republicans are the ones who say they want less government; are you saying you want Congress to be passing more laws? Isn’t that kind of counter-intuitive?)
  • Valerie Plame wasn’t a covert agent. This is used to show that Scooter Libby shouldn’t spend any time in jail (“There wasn’t a crime!”), and is just flat-out untrue. The CIA and Patrick Fitzgerald have stated that she was. End of discussion.
  • We’re fighting al Qaeda in Iraq. This is really popular now, particularly with “military sources.” Bush loves to say things that are not provably false, but that imply things that are complete and utter B.S. (e.g., “Some in America don’t believe we’re at war;” like who, Mr. President?). Any time he can mention “al Qaeda” and “Iraq” in the same sentence, it’s a win for him, because it implies (without stating it explicitly, which would be a lie) that Iraq had something to do with 9/11, when they were in fact completely unconnected. But the truth is, “al Qaeda in Iraq” didn’t exist until 2004, they are a tiny percentage of what’s going on over there, there is no evidence that they are in contact with Osama bin Laden, and there is no proof that they are doing anything nearly as damaging as the other insurgents. But Bush knows support for his war has gone south, so he hopes to goose it by implying (but not stating!) a 9/11-Iraq connection. Again. Don’t fall for it.

This list brought to you as a public service.