Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I've had my share of sand kicked in my face

Remember back in '04, when the right-wing bloggers were all worked up about Dan Rather and "60 Minutes"? They used phrases (for the first time) like "fact checking":
Mainstream media anthropologists often attach the adjective "free-wheeling" to the blogger culture -- ignoring the flip side of the brutally quick-fixing and 24/7 fact-checking nature of the medium.

and "multiple sources":
The only solution is for news consumers to get their information through multiple sources, a lesson that bloggers learned long ago. Talk to the prime movers directly when possible, insist on metrics when they exist, and compare and contrast versions of events told from several perspectives.

That's so cute. Reminds me of a friend, now sadly passed away, and his 3ish daughter. He brought the child to the studio, and told her: "Show Uncle Steve what you've got now." She turned around, bent over, pulled her little dress up and said: "I got big girl pants!"

That's what the wingnut-o-sphere seems like, that all of a sudden they got their big girl pants.

But then again, no. Because the latest excitement-du-jour for the wingnut media is:
What is it? This piece of . . . work:
For all of the posturing by Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee during the testimony of former Department of Justice political appointee Monica Goodling, they and their Democrat colleagues in the Clinton administration went to far greater lengths to identify and track the political activities of career and politically appointed lawyers in the Department of Justice and elsewhere.

"We knew the political affiliation of every lawyer and political appointee we hired at the Department of Justice from January 1993 to the end of the Administration," says a former Clinton Department of Justice political appointee. "We kept charts and used them when it came time for new U.S. Attorney nominations, detailee assignments, and other hiring decisions. If you didn't vote Democrat, you weren't going anywhere with us. It was that simple."

Wow. Just, wow. There's your blockbuster, your headline, your . . .wait a minute, bub. A Right-wing advocacy site has a breathtaking exclusive by a Democratic insider? Not very likely.

Think of it: Young Democratic intern gets asked by reporter (and I use the term loosely) for known right-wing rag, about the insider scuttlebutt about Abu Gonzales and the US attorneys. How likely is that to happen? Sure, on West Wing they convinced Donna Moss that there were missile silos under the White House, but c'mon, this is the real world, not teevee.

Oh, and one other 'tell'? No Democratic insider would say: " Democrat".

Like I said before, consider the source.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes

(image from BartCop)

When considering wingnut news, first, consider the source: R. Emmett Tyrell's fine publication The American Wanker has this today:
Sen. Tom Coburn is mulling an entry into the Republican presidential primary, according to sources inside and outside the Senate. Coburn, a senator from Oklahoma, is believed to be receiving encouragement from a small group of wealthy businessmen and philanthropists in the Oklahoma-Kansas-Texas region of the country.

. . . Coburn is believed to have the backing of several low-profile members of the so called "Swift Boaters," men who financed the ads that doomed the presidential aspirations of Sen. John Kerry.

I wonder of some of those supporters include Jerome Corsi, about whom I wrote the other day.

But on to Sen. Coburn (R-Crossword):

WaPo, Sept. 15, 2004:
The case never went to trial, but court documents first reported this week by show that Coburn withheld information about the sterilization in submitting a bill to Medicaid for a related procedure involving a troubled pregnancy because the Medicaid program does not cover the sterilization of anyone younger than 21.

. . .Coburn conceded in his deposition that he sterilized the woman without her written consent, but said on Tuesday and in his deposition that she had previously repeatedly asked him to tie her tubes.

Yep, Sen. Coburn is a doctor. Like Bill Frist is a doctor.

The American Prospect, during Coburn's 2004 senatorial campaign, he quoted a local resident that in the town of Coalgate, Oklahoma, "Lesbianism is so rampant in some of the schools in Southeast Oklahoma that they'll only let one girl go to the bathroom. Now think about it."[10] School officials have denied his statement.[11] Coburn has also been quoted as saying:
"The gay community has infiltrated the very centers of power in every area across this country, and they wield extreme power... That agenda is the greatest threat to our freedom that we face today. Why do you think we see the rationalization for abortion and multiple sexual partners? That's a gay agenda."[12]

And re: Schindler's List:
Coburn protested NBC's plan to air the R-rated Academy Award-winning Holocaust drama Schindler's List during prime time. Coburn stated that, in airing the movie without editing it for television, TV had been taken "to an all-time low, with full-frontal nudity, violence and profanity." He also said the TV broadcast should outrage parents and decent-minded individuals everywhere. Coburn described the airing of Schindler's List on television as "...irresponsible sexual behavior...I cringe when I realize that there were children all across this nation watching this program."

That's right. Like John Ashcroft, he feels that titties are Teh Bad, and outweigh the importance of learning about, you know, genocide.

Um, right. Thing is, he's not completely crazy:
In October 2005, Coburn, a staunch fiscal conservative, made several attempts to combat pork barrel spending in the federal budget. The best-known of these was an amendment to the fiscal 2006 appropriations bill that funds transportation projects [3]. Coburn's amendment would have transferred funding from the infamous Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska to rebuild Louisiana's "Twin Spans" bridge, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The amendment was defeated in the Senate, 82-14, after Ted Stevens, the senior senator from Alaska, threatened to resign his office if the amendment was passed.

Coburn became the first Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee to call for the firing of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales as a result of the controversy concerning the dismissal of eight United States Attorneys.[4][5]

So that part is good, Coburn sees Gonzales as a problem. Of course, we're not sure of the nature of the problem. Is it because he has brought shame to the AG office, or because he's threatening the GWBush administration. Who knows?

Note: All cited footnotes are available at the Wikipedia post. And the image of Coburn from BartCop is from John Robert's Supreme Court confirmation hearing.

Here's another:

Monday, May 28, 2007

You can rely on the old man's money

Anyone remember Jerome Corsi?
. . . an American author and conservative activist. Corsi received national media exposure as credited co-author (with John O'Neill), of Unfit for Command, a book that topped the New York Times bestseller list. The book, written in cooperation with Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, criticized the conduct of John Kerry -- at the time the Democratic candidate for president -- as a naval officer during the Vietnam War and challenged the legitimacy of each of his combat medals. The book also criticized Kerry's later efforts organizing opposition to that war.

There's more, all equally distasteful.

But now he posts at WorldNutDaily that his boy GWBush might have exceeded his reach:
President Bush, without so much as issuing a press statement, on May 9 signed a directive that granted near dictatorial powers to the office of the president in the event of a national emergency declared by the president.

The "National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive," with the dual designation of NSPD-51, as a National Security Presidential Directive, and HSPD-20, as a Homeland Security Presidential Directive, establishes under the office of president a new National Continuity Coordinator.

That job, as the document describes, is to make plans for "National Essential Functions" of all federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal governments, as well as private sector organizations to continue functioning under the president's directives in the event of a national emergency.

So? Jerry...may I call you Jerry? Why are you worried. About this, perhaps:
The directive issued May 9 makes no attempt to reconcile the powers created there for the National Continuity Coordinator with the National Emergency Act. As specified by U.S. Code Title 50, Chapter 34, Subchapter II, Section 1621, the National Emergency Act allows that the president may declare a national emergency but requires that such proclamation "shall immediately be transmitted to the Congress and published in the Federal Register."

A Congressional Research Service study notes that under the National Emergency Act, the president "may seize property, organize and control the means of production, seize commodities, assign military forces abroad, institute martial law, seize and control all transportation and communication, regulate the operation of private enterprise, restrict travel, and, in a variety of ways, control the lives of United States citizens."
(highlight mine)

So, Jerry, you're worried about The Means Of Production now? You think GWBush might want to try and take over the country, and nationalize industry?

There are two subtle but important points to the Ownership of the Means of Production. The first being that owning the Means of Production is not the same thing as the owning physical property, nor is it equal to owning money. Rather OMP refers to a cultural practice in which a few individuals within a larger corporation (or company) control and decide what is done with the entire profit created by that corporation. If one were to define the word "Corporation" as a particular kind of "group of people" then to later say that a few select individuals "own the corporation" then, by substitution, one must be saying that those select individuals own the group of people. In any case, this apparent paradox only arises when one confuses the owning of property with the owning of a corporation. When keeping these two kinds of ownership separate, the paradox of "owning people" evaporates.

The conclusion ultimately reached is that while the "owners" of a corporation only contribute a tiny fraction of the total labor and time in creating profit, they have complete control over that profit and how it is used. The practice of OMP in human societies is then a type of game where some people are labeled owners (Marx used the term, Bourgeoisie) and other people are labeled workers (Marx used the term, Proletariat). The bourgeoisie have complete control over both how the proletariat are paid in wages and complete control over how the profit from production is used, thus giving rise to a class division.

Sorry, you sick freak. Too late to worry about your riches now. He's your guy, and you own his policies.

Deal with it.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Uncle Sam needs your help again

60 Minutes did a piece tonight on the Iowa National Guard tonight:
The soldiers of the 1st Battalion of the 133rd Infantry left their loved ones with high hopes. Most had never seen combat before and some would never see Iowa again.

Comprising a large number of relatives: fathers and sons, brothers, and more, the 1st battalion was ready for action in 2005, when on soldier/father said this:
"Well, I believe that I'd rather be in their country keeping them turned down or from coming to America. What they did on 9/11 is a travesty," Mike Ites says.

"You draw a line from 9/11 through Iraq to the present day?" Pelley asks.

"I do," he replies.

For the love of God! What is wrong with people in this country?

What is wrong with a press & media that doesn't tell the truth about this false connection?

What is wrong with politicians, starting with GWBush, who send these folks to die?

Their lives are, and were, being wasted. There, I've said it. Wasted. Sorry people, that your loved ones died. I mean, I'm really sorry. I didn't want them to go over there.

But many of you did. And many, like this deluded man, are still over there now, and here's what he says now:
I believe that we're supposed to be over here. Progress is being made," he says. "If you go back to 9/11 and what the people did there and when the president asked 'Do you want me to after these people?,' the whole United States stood up and said in unison and said 'Yes, we do.' He says, 'This is gonna be long and drawn out. Are you really sure you’re gonna stand with me?' And they said, 'Yes, we will.' Well, now there are some that aren’t because the American people are a 'gimme' people and 'give it to me now.'"

Sad. Even his son, sitting beside him, gets it:
I just feel that we will be here a long time. And it's going to take a lot more time than what people think back home to fix what's going on over here. From what I see, they don't want us here.

The father above is 49 years old. Tell me, please, how an overweight 49 year old man is an acceptable recruit. Never mind that The National Guard is not supposed to be used for this type of fighting:

From Wikipedia:

Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution contains a series of "militia clauses", vesting distinct authority and responsibilities in the federal government and the state governments.

1) Article I, Section 8; Clause 15

The Congress shall have Power ... To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions.

2) Article I, Section 8; Clause 16

The Congress shall have Power ... To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.

3) Article I, Section 8; Clause 12

"The Congress shall have Power ... To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years"

4) Article I, Section 10; Clause 3

"No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay."

5) Article IV, Section 4

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

6) Article II, Section 2

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

But now we have this:
Prior to the attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, the National Guard's general policy regarding mobilization was that Guardsmen would be required to serve no more than one year cumulative on active duty (with no more than six months overseas) for each five years of regular drill. Due to strains placed on active duty units following the attacks, the possible mobilization time was increased to 18 months (with no more than one year overseas). Additional strains placed on military units as a result of the invasion of Iraq further increased the amount of time a Guardsman could be mobilized to 24 months. Current Department of Defense policy is that no Guardsman will be involuntarily activated for more than 24 months (cumulative) in one six year enlistment period (this policy is due to change 1 August 2007, the new policy states that soldiers will be given 24 months between deployments of no more than 24 months (individual states have differing policies).

Swell. We have an undereducated populace. We have a President so hell-bent on conquering whatever demon possesses his tiny mind that he sends dentists, postal workers, grandfathers, off to fight and die with no end in sight. And we still have people who believe in this idiot.

Sorry folks, he's wasting your lives.

I saw the light

People were over today, talk was politics, even conservative Bro-in-law agreed with the usual: Bush and everyone like him sucks, and where are the true conservatives, the Eisenhower/Goldwater 'keep government out of your bedrooms' kinds of folks.

Here is one, thankfully:
The president is right that al Qaeda remains a terrible threat to Americans. He is right to insist on this. But one core reason he is right is because he has been in the White House for the last six years. Al Qaeda surely never had a more helpful man in such a powerful place. After over six years of this presidency, Bin Laden is still at large. Five and a half years after Bin Laden's religious tools murdered 3,000 innocents, this president still cannot find or capture or kill him. Five and a half years after that dreadful day, al Qaeda's reach in the Middle East is more extensive than ever, centered in Iraq, where it was barely existent before the war. Over four years after invading Iraq, the security situation there is as grave as it has ever been. Tens of thousands of innocents have been added to the three thousand murdered on 9/11 - many of them unspeakably tortured and murdered by death squads or Islamist cells empowered by Bush's jaw-dropping negligence. Over three thousand young Americans have died in order to give al Qaeda this victory and this new platform.

Andrew, it would be a pleasure to shake your hand and call you friend.

'Cause I can play this here guitar, Pt. 12

Everyone knows serious electric guitar playing started in the late '60s. Before that, we had some country guys, some lame pop, and . . . who's that guy with the Gibson solid body named after him . . . oh yeah, Les Paul. Whatever, he was cool, I guess, but so totally lame by today's standards.

Ahem! Seriously, does anyone remember Oscar Moore?
Oscar Moore (19161981) was an American jazz musician and guitarist. A superb and influential guitarist, Moore was himself influenced by Charlie Christian. Oscar Moore was an integral part of the Nat King Cole Trio during 19371947, appearing on virtually all of Cole's records during the period. Barney Kessel once said that Moore practically created the role of the jazz guitarist in small combos. He also recorded with Lionel Hampton, Art Tatum (1941), the Capitol Jazzmen, and Lester Young. Unfortunately, Moore's post-Cole career was not very successful. He played with his brother Johnny Moore in the Three Blazers from 1947 to the mid-'50s (the group declined in popularity after the departure of pianist/singer Charles Brown). He also recorded three records for the Verve and Tampa labels during 1953 and 1954. After that he was outside of music with the exception of one Cole tribute album in 1965. Eventually he left music altogether and settled in Los Angeles, where he worked as a bricklayer.

Here's what Oscar was doing with Nat "King" Cole on 'Nature Boy' in '51:

And here they are with 'Route 66':

Serious badass electric guitar. Deserving of more appreciation, indeed.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Suddenly here am I, I'm flying

A children's Halloween Superman costume once came with this warning:
Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly.

GWBush's Iraq war came with this warning:
Two months before the invasion of Iraq, U.S. intelligence agencies twice warned the Bush administration that establishing a democracy there would prove difficult and that Al Qaeda would use political instability to increase its operations, according to a Senate report released Friday.

The report, issued by the Senate Intelligence Committee, brought to light once-classified warnings that accurately forecasted many of the military and political problems the Bush administration and Iraqi officials have faced since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003.

I guess no one took that seriously either.
The committee's ranking Republican, Sen. Christopher S. Bond of Missouri, criticized the report, saying that it highlighted only elements that seemed important in retrospect and that it distorted what was presented to policymakers in 2003.
Clearly not related to James Bond, 'Kit' Bond has a legitimate beef. In fact, here's one of the things the report got wrong:
One assessment disclosed in the Senate report missed the mark; it predicted that heightened terrorist threats worldwide stemming from the war would decline, after an initial spike, in three to five years after the invasion. That decline has not occurred, according to State Department officials who monitor such threats.


Star Wars, nothing but Star Wars

Speaking of the Strategic Defense Initiative (Star Wars), otherwise known as Reagan's fantasy umbrella, we have this in today's NYTimes:
A highly anticipated test of a new Pentagon system to defend against long-range ballistic missiles was halted early on Friday because the target rocket fell far short of the designated interceptor range in the Pacific, officials announced.

Since the attacking rocket and dummy warhead never reached the area to be defended, the missile interceptor was never launched from its base at Vandenberg Air Force Base, north of Santa Barbara, Calif., officials said.

The Missile Defense Agency will categorize the aborted mission as a “no test,” because no new information was generated on the overall system, including the interceptor, radar and command systems.

Cool. Not only did it fail, but they get a do-over statistically, as well. Must be the new math. Or something.

I understand the concept, just like I understand how the transporter on Star Trek worked. I also understand that neither one is currently viable, given the state of the art in physics.
After that, another test was delayed until this week while experts perfected a system to relay test information to ground monitors from the interceptor, although that system would not be on board in wartime.

WTF? I can buy a GPS for my car, my phone can email pictures to my computer at home, yet they can't make a missle talk to a computer on the ground?
The Bush administration envisions a limited system of 40 missile interceptors at Fort Greely, Alaska; 4 at Vandenberg; and 10 in Poland. The administration calls the system a counter to a small-scale attack like one that might be initiated by countries like Iran and North Korea.

Democrats in Congress have proposed cutting money to delay the Polish program and tracking radar in the Czech Republic. In Moscow, Kremlin officials have warned that deploying the American missile-defense components to Central Europe would damage relations.

I envision 50 MPG. I envision teleportation and telekinesis. I envision dieting by just thinking about it. I also envision responsible adult diplomacy.

I don't envision an invisible protective dome protecting us from other countries we have tried really hard to piss off. So can these idionts just stop and find another way to waste money?

Dream yourself a dream come true

The Right-wing pundits sure know how to pour gas onto their own funeral pyre:
Of course, the big difference is that the Democrats don’t have a Ronald Reagan to take advantage of the situation. Nobody will ever confuse Hilliary’s (sic) shrill denunciations with the twinkle in the Gipper’s eye when he zinged an opponent. Nor will anyone fail to see the difference between the inspirational yet empty platitudes of Obama with Reagan’s soaring rhetoric that touched something so American in people’s souls.

Hillary is shrill. Dude, how do you react when your wife asks you to take out the garbage, do you call her shrill?

And the twinkle in the . . . dammit! Stop calling Reagan that movie name! He was an actor, a bad one at that. He did absolutely nothing to connect himself with anyone tough or brave, he was a f***ing actor!

The twinkle was acting, reading words written by Peggy Noonan, while he tried to feed school kids ketchup and erect a big umbrella to prevent the awful Ruskies from sending missles to attack us. Stop it, just stop it! Soaring rhetoric my ass.

I don't know about Obama yet, but he has a college education, has written books, and actually has thoughts that are deeper than "tear down this wall".

Look here at Democracy Now for some insight into Reagan's effect on California and working people while he was Governor, but that's not important right now.

Seriously, the Right's pining for another Reagan is just sad; a fantasy about a guy who can bankrupt the country, raise taxes with no benefit to the middle class, and spout slogans written by the woman who wrote this crap about poor Elian Gonzales:
a miracle that when he tired and began to slip, the dolphins who surrounded him like a contingent of angels pushed him upward;

There's Reagan's brain: a science-fiction fantasy that has the Righties yearning for Jack Bauer to take over their world and save them, and take away their Constitutional rights at the same time.

After all, they weren't using them.

And our pundit ends with this:
A Guiliani or Romney candidacy would alter the face of the party at least temporarily and give hope to some of the more moderate elements in the GOP.

From your mouth to God's ears. But not for the reasons you believe.

Friday, May 25, 2007

My girl, talkin' 'bout my girl

One of my Senators gets it, thankfully:
Senator Boxer's Floor Speech
May 24, 2007

In March and in April I voted for emergency spending legislation that would have fully funded our troops in Iraq, but also changed their mission to a sound one. That mission would have taken our troops out of the middle of a civil war, and put them into a support role, training Iraqi soldiers and police, fighting al Qaeda, and protecting our troops.

The President will not agree to that.

As a matter of fact, the President won't agree to any change in strategy in Iraq, and that is more than a shame for the American people; it is a tragedy.

It doesn't seem to matter how many Americans die in Iraq, how many funerals we have here at home, or what the American people think. The President won't budge.

This new bill on Iraq keeps the status quo. With a few frills around the outside, a few reports, a few words about benchmarks. While our troops die.

I understand why this particular legislation is before us today. It's because this President wants to continue his one man show in Iraq. The President doesn't respect this Congress or the American people when it comes to Iraq. He wants to brush us all off like some annoying spot on his jacket.

We have lost 3,427 American soldiers in Iraq. Of those, 731 (21%) have been from California or based in California. There are 25,549 American soldiers wounded.

And today, after several days of worrying and praying, we received the tragic news of the death of Private Joseph J. Anzack JR., 20 years old, of Torrance, California, who was abducted during a deadly ambush south of Baghdad almost two weeks ago.

One member of his platoon, Spc. Daniel Seitz, summed it up this way to the Associated Press: "It just angers me that it's just another friend I've got to lose and deal with, because I've already lost 13 friends since I've been here, and I don't know if I can take any more of this."

And he shouldn't have to. But with this bill, he will.

The first half of this year has already been deadlier than any six-month period since the war began more than four years ago.

In this month alone, 83 U.S. Service members have already been killed in Iraq.

Let me be clear, there are many things in this bill that I strongly support--many provisions that I actually fought for, for our troops, for our veterans, for our farmers, and for the victims of Hurricane Katrina--but I must take a stand against this Iraq war, and therefore I will vote no on this emergency spending bill.

Your circuit's dead, theres something wrong

My local Democratic activist group is holding a Circuit City protest:
Circuit City Protest on Sunday
In front of the Woodland Hills store, 6401 Canoga Avenue at Victory, 10:00 am on Sunday

Please join the San Fernando Valley Young Democrats, California Young Democrats, Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley, Valley Grassroots for Democracy, Valley Dems United, Stonewall Young Democrats, the Jewish Labor Committee, Stonewall Democratic Club, Democratic Women of the San Fernando Valley, and other supporters of workers.

Circuit City recently fired 3400 of its most experienced employees because they were paid an average of $11.59/hour. They are being invited to reapply for their old jobs--at about $8/hour. Meanwhile the CEO made $8.5 million last year.

Please arrive early and BRING A SIGN! (Also water, sunscreen, snacks, etc.) Come show your support for fired workers and encourage consumers to take their business elsewhere! More information about the Circuit City boycott can be found at

Indeed. This is Truth, Justice, and the America Way: unfettered capitalism and trade, no union organization, the result being stocks go up, CEO salaries go up, worker wages go down.

Please, don't ever shop at Circuit City again.

P.S.: anyone who actually reads the fine print in the image will note that at the time it was taken, CC was breaking several laws with that DVD copying service. Nice.

I say you're a holiday

Wes Clark thinks we should stop politicking for Memorial Day. Seems like a good idea, especially considering that Wes understands what the day really is: not barbecue, not frisbees in the back yard, not potato salad:
For one day, WesPAC and our friends at and the National Security Network will put politics completely aside, and stand in solidarity with the rest of our nation to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the United States. Whether you are a Democrat, Republican, or of another party or no party at all, we are all still Americans, and on this day, we should solely be focused on honoring those who died in service. We're also asking that people not protest at Memorial Day events; we have 364 other days to argue policy and politics, but this day belongs to the fallen and their memories.

Today, please consider making a donation to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund (, which is dedicated to helping the families of those who died in service. The Intrepid Fund has already provided $60 million in aid to families, but can only continue to do so with your support.

As compelling as that is, I'm betting right now the Right-wing smear machine will be at full throttle all through the week-end, and I don't think I can keep quiet with those bastards prattling on.

But thanks, Wes, for trying.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Go Johnny go

Not all Senate Dems are going along with the House bill. John Kerry, for one:
"We support the troops by getting the policy right and this bill allows the President to keep getting the policy wrong. We need a deadline to force Iraqis to stand up for Iraq and bring our heroes home, not watered down benchmarks and blank check waivers for this President. We support the troops by funding the right mission, not with a White House that opposes a pay raise for our brave men and women in uniform,” Kerry said. “The original Senate legislation offered a roadmap to change course in Iraq. This new version enables the Administration and Iraqi politicians to deliver more of the same. I am determined to continue pressing this issue until President Bush changes course. We owe our troops nothing less than a strategy that is worthy of their sacrifice.”


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Come on little miss and do the twist

Doug Kmiec does his best Mary Lou Retton impression in the LATimes, trying to twist his brain into position around the whole Abu Gonzales 'human resources' thingy:
There is no basis to remove the attorney general so long as no evidence has been brought forth—and none has— that any U.S. attorney was asked to resign for partisan or corrupt purpose.

Alberto Gonzales is the second of eight children of migrant farm workers, Pablo and Maria Gonzales. A former justice of the Texas Supreme Court and Texas secretary of state, Gonzales has a calm and deliberative manner that listens more than it imposes. I know the man to be a person of integrity.

Sure. And that nice young Dahmer boy seemed a pretty swell fellow. Oh, wait . . ., he's Latino, thus a victim.
Because of this over-delegation, in my judgment, Gonzales under-appreciated the problematic nature of removing selected U.S. attorneys and was overly trusting of the removal recommendations made to him. Gonzales has conceded in public testimony that this over-delegation was a mistake.

Really? Sounds like a manager who's not on top of his gig.
But these are management mistakes that do not overshadow the conscientious manner in which the general work of the Department of Justice has been performed, or by which it should be measured.

Really? He was doing a bad job, but in a conscientious manner? That's a good thing?
In this, I am not overlooking the recent testimony of former Deputy Attorney General James Comey. Comey, too, is a man of great ability who served the Department of Justice well. Apparently—and this is hardly unusual in the law—there was disagreement between then-White House Counsel Gonzales and Mr. Comey over the legality of a program of great salience to meeting the ongoing terrorist threat. Apparently, Mr. Comey had refused (the program is classified so we cannot know for sure and Mr. Comey was careful not to be too explicit) to recertify the terrorist surveillance program.

Ya think? Comey, a serious conservative, had issues with a super secret spying program?
To some legal scholars, this program is a vindication of the President's constitutional authority to undertake military intelligence in a time of war as every other wartime president has done; to other scholars, the program disregards statutory limitations that were created to prevent spying on U.S. citizens engaged in protected speech activity during the Nixon administration.

Well that's it. To John Yoo, Gonzales, and other administration apologists, the ((secret)) program was super cool. To actual, you know, Constitutional experts, the program would be Nixonian in its depth of lawlessness.

But that's not important right now. What is important is what Kmiec's co-debater says:
There is abundant evidence that Iglesias was removed at the prodding of important Republicans in New Mexico who had unsuccessfully pressured him to indict a political corruption case against a Democratic state senator (among others) in advance of the November election.

. . .This is the worst crisis for the Department of Justice in at least a generation, and it is highly unlikely to abate as long as Attorney General Gonzales remains in office. This institutional damage is not uppermost in the calculations of the White House, and perhaps that is to be expected—but how, if at all, do you think it should figure in to the calculations of whether Gonzales should resign? Or is the attorney general's duty in your view confined to considering the political interests of the president at whose pleasure he serves?


Don't want to be an American idiot

(Once again, image from the other-worldly darkblack)

Once again, the Orange Co. Register provides an interesting look inside the asylum that is the Right. Sometimes doctriaire conservative, they publish editorials by folks like empty-suit John Stossel, who thoughtfully comments on Trickle-Down Economics™, the Laffer Curve, and Milton Friedman's "genius":
Yes, the tax cuts stimulated the economy and increased tax revenue. It happens because, as the Laffer Curve illustrates, lower rates mean higher rewards for productive activities. People undertake investments and work that higher tax rates had discouraged. They are also less likely to invest time and energy in using accountants and tax lawyers to find ways to avoid taxes.

Nice, 2 myths in one: trickle-down, and sleazy lawyers. Not bad for a day's corporate whore work, John.

But sometimes the OCRegister shows its Ron Paul-esque Libertarian side with this editorial on, well, the Republican Presidential Debate and Ron Paul:
Then Mr. Goler asked: "Are you suggesting we invited the 9/11 attack, sir?" Mr. Paul's answer: "I'm suggesting that we listen to the people who attacked us and the reason they did it, and they are delighted that we're over there because Osama bin Laden has said, 'I am glad you're over on our sand because we can target you so much easier.'"

Rudy Giuliani piped in: "That's an extraordinary statement, as someone who lived through the attack of Sept. 11, that we invited the attack because we were attacking Iraq." Mr. Giuliani and media reports suggested that Mr. Paul had blamed the United States for 9/11, which is not what he said at all. Nonetheless, some Republican officials are pushing to keep Mr. Paul out of future debates.

If you can't out-argue him, you might as well muzzle him.

One would think that Americans could have a serious conversation about the causes of the 9/11 attacks without being accused of blaming America.

It's unfortunate that the leading GOP candidate – the man who once made the Orwellian argument that "Freedom is about authority" – tried to shut down a legitimate debate through mischaracterizations and insults. And that others are willing to push Mr. Paul off the stage. No wonder his long-shot candidacy continues to gain steam.

Look, Michael Jackson's going to marry a black woman sooner than I will voter for any Conservatarian™, it just not my vision of the country. But it's nice to know someone on the nominal Right is paying attention to reality. The rest are just thumping their collective chests like angry gorillas, ready to chase Osama to the gates of Hell just as soon as they check their Blackberry's, buy bigger flag pins for their lapels, and re-visit the Scopes monkey trial.

Moral and ethical midgets, everyone.

They'll stone ya when you are young and able

(That's Deryk on the left, looking...well, stoned.)

Here's more about Dr. Laura's son, that should make mommy dearest very proud. In 2004, he took Mom's money and opened a Hookah Bar:
The first experience most students probably had with a hookah was watching the caterpillar swarthily blow smoke vowels from one in Disney's Alice in Wonderland.

Former student Deryk Schlessinger will try to make that experience a bit more personal by opening Hillsdale's first hookah bar. The bar is scheduled to open soon after Spring Break in downtown Hillsdale near the old Democratic Party offices.

"We're trying to bring the Middle Eastern culture to Hillsdale," Schlessinger said, from an easy chair beside a 5-foot gold-plated hookah in his Park Place apartment. "Even though that sounds like a big task, we think we can do it through hookahs, a couple tapestries and a fountain."

Dude, are you high? Dave Frank, reporter for the Hilldale Collegian, who wrote the article, was either a Mormon just back from his Mission, or a complete nerd who though "getting high" meant riding a Ferris Wheel.

Come on, please, be serious: "easy chair beside a 5-foot gold-plated hookah in his Park Place apartment" doesn't speak to a reader of classic literature, but a stoner, just like all stoners since the '60s, when Hookahs really became popular.

Seriously, has everyone forgotten all their Cheech & Chong jokes? I'm sure Deryk (by the way, I really detest 'clever' spellings of what should be common words and names) would only offer the finest tobacco at the bar.

But at home? My guess is it was the finest Humboldt grown weed.

Here's the money quote:
"That's one of the easiest ways to pick up chicks-with a hookah," Schlessinger said.

Sad, so sad.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Momma's gonna make all of your nightmares come true.

To everyone coming from Crooks & Liars, thanks! Please, check in at my main page for another update about the lovely & talented Deryk.

Über-scold Dr. Laura seems to have not taken her own advice, unless she intentionally set out to raise the Spawn of Satan. From Progressive Gold we find:
Dr Laura Schlessinger is a rightwing radio ‘therapist’, wannabe tv star and self-help book author, whose fans absolutely lap up her harsh strictures on sexuality, relationships and child-rearing.

Her show’s syndicated on Clear Channel radio US-wide; Clear Channel, part-owned by Mormon presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s private equity firm, Bain Capital (which has all kinds of interesting connections with some decidedly neofascist types) has a history of manufacturing and broadcasting far-right reactionary radio ‘personalities’.

. . . Who knows how many children’s lives she’s affected with her self-interested, twisted ideas? Well, one at least has been severely affected according to this report, and having found out what unpleasant child-rearing ideas his mother has it comes as no surprise - in fact it almost seems inevitable.

Read the whole article above for the back story about Dr. Laura and more links to her hypocrisy and nastiness. Meanwhile, the Salt Lake Tribune article linked above has the full story about her son:
The soldier son of talk radio relationship counselor Laura Schlessinger is under investigation for a graphic personal Web page that one Army official has called "repulsive."

The MySpace page, publicly available until Friday when it disappeared from the Internet, included cartoon depictions of rape, murder, torture and child molestation; photographs of soldiers with guns in their mouths; a photograph of a bound and blindfolded detainee captioned "My Sweet Little Habib"; accounts of illicit drug use; and a blog entry headlined by a series of obscenities and racial epithets.

The site is credited to and includes many photographs of Deryk Schlessinger, the 21-year-old son of the talk radio personality known simply as Dr. Laura. Broadcast locally on 570 KNRS, "Family Values Talk Radio," the former family counselor spends three hours daily taking calls and offering advice on morals, ethics and values. She broadcast a show from Fort Douglas, in Salt Lake City, last week.

So I guess she is her son's mother after all. How many children of Right-Wing faux-moralists fail to live up the strict standards of their parents? In this case, however, he seems to have followed in her bigoted hypocritical footsteps, while taking his hate to a new pinnacle.

Update: But wait, there's more!

Progressive Gold, where we found this story, add this on the sweet charming Deryk, from our friend BradBlog:

But here's a better video of the incident which includes an interview with the guy who wouldn't identify himself to reporters after they'd told him they had video of him kicking the female protester when she was down. That report "kicked off" an all-out manhunt for the guy in the following days.

Well, the manhunt seems to be over! The fine young Republican seems to have finally been identified, according to Jesus' General! His name: Deryk Schlessinger. And guess who's little bunchkin he turns out to be?!!

Apparently, he is his mom's kid after all!

HUGE creds to the Jesus' General Blog for getting the skinny on this one!

I wonder if she'll even have the decency to be embarrassed.

2nd Update: Some commenters have pointed out that there is dispute about Deryk being "kicking guy", so for now, that's up for debate. That hardly mitigates the other news about his MySpace, and the sickness it would seem to indicate.

Monday, May 21, 2007

I'm sleeping in a fighter plane

Those on the right who blindly trust capitalism and free markets should be thrilled with this LATimes story:
THEY DON'T CALL US the sole superpower for nothing. Paul Wolfowitz might be looking for a new job right now, but the term he used to describe the pervasiveness of U.S. power back when he was a mere deputy secretary of Defense — hyperpower — still fits the bill. Consider some of the areas in which the United States is still No. 1:

Any guesses? Anyone, anyone? In what area are we the leaders:

Certainly not progress, as Reagan used to intone on GE's General Electric Theater, during his salad days as an actor in the '50s: "Progress is our most important product."

Hardly. Today we are world leaders in:
• First in weapons sales: Since 2001, U.S. global military sales have totaled $10 billion to $13 billion. That's a lot of weapons, but in fiscal 2006, the Pentagon broke its own recent record, inking arms sales agreements worth $21 billion.

• First in sales of surface-to-air missiles: From 2001 to 2005, the U.S. delivered 2,099 surface-to-air missiles like the Sparrow and AMRAAM to nations in the developing world, 20% more than Russia, the next largest supplier.

• First in sales of military ships: During that same period, the U.S. sent 10 "major surface combatants," such as aircraft carriers and destroyers, to developing nations. Collectively, the four major European weapons producers shipped 13.

• First in military training: A thoughtful empire knows that it's not enough to send weapons; you have to teach people how to use them. The Pentagon plans on training the militaries of 138 nations in 2008 at a cost of nearly $90 million. No other nation comes close.

Cool! And just to prove that we are Equal Opportunity enablers:
Turkey and the U.S. signed a $1.78-billion deal for Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter planes. As it happens, these planes are already ubiquitous — Israel flies them; so does the United Arab Emirates, Poland, South Korea, Venezuela, Oman and Portugal

Catch that? Israel, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Oman all have the same war planes from the U.S.

The article continues:
Maybe the only way to break through this paralysis of analysis would be to stop talking about weapons sales as a trade and the export of precision-guided missiles as if they were so many widgets. Maybe we need to start thinking about them in another language entirely — the language of drugs.

After all, what does a drug dealer do? He creates a need and then fills it. He encourages an appetite or (even more lucratively) an addiction and then feeds it.

"Just Say No" worked so well in the Drug War, maybe it will work for arms as well.

Nope, not when we can make a buck. Still, I wonder how many American soldiers have been killed by munitions we sold Iraq and Iran?

(Graphic from

Update: From
The LA Times on Sunday reported that the US is 32nd in longevity, 29th in preventing maternal deaths during childbirth and 38th in preventing infant mortality. So, number one at death-dealing, not so great at life-preserving.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I want to fly like an eagle til I'm free

(AP Photo/John Marquette)

John Ashcroft, he of the hidden boobies and "Let The Eagle Soar" fame, must find it all so amusing now that he's being lionized by the left as the last Decent Republican™ by the WaPo:
Testimony last week that a hospitalized Ashcroft rebuffed aides to President Bush intent on gaining Ashcroft's approval of a surveillance program he had deemed illegal provided a rare view of the inner workings of the early Bush presidency and the depth of internal disagreement over how far to go in responding to the threat of terrorism after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

According to former officials, it was not the only time that the former Missouri senator chosen for the Bush Cabinet in part for his ties to the Christian right would challenge the White House in private.

Thankfully, Jeralyn at Talk Left is grounded in reality:
. . . he was just as abominable as an Attorney General, and in my opinion, more so than Alberto Gonzales.

From his push on the Patriot Act, to his initiating warrantless monitoring of attorney-client conversations, to his many failed terrorism cases, his connection to Abu Ghraib, his insistence on prosecuting medical marijuana cases even in states that had legalized it, his attempt to keep tabs on federal judges, his belief that the undocumented could be held indefinitely and most spectacularly, his crusade to increase the use of the death penalty in federal cases, over the objections of his own prosectors and a federal judge, he should not be re-evaluated for his one moment of lucidity.

He was the worst Attorney General ever.

Thanks for that slap of reality.

And here's a medley of his greatest hit: "Let The Eagle Soar":

'Cause I can play this here guitar, Pt. 11

Part 11 in my series of under-appreciated guitarists, spotlights someone . . . well, who seems to already be appreciated. Sadly, I don't think he's appreciated for what he has contributed.

As I've written here before, I was attracted to The Yardbirds as soon as I heard their quirky guitar-driven pop. Thus it should be no surprise that I waited impatiently for the debut album their former lead guitarist Eric Clapton released with his new group: Cream.

Too many know Clapton today as an Armani-clad aging rocker, whose playing, while very nice, doesn't seem to be inspirational, but rather sort-of...well, generic. This is the Clapton of the slow, unplugged version of "Layla", of countless major events like 'The Concert For George".

The reason Clapton sounds generic today is that, simply put, he wrote the book for the modern rock guitarist, and everyone else is copying him. Period. Certainly he studied the black blues masters of the '40s, '50s and '60s, and clearly was influenced by Buddy Guy, but I can remember the '60s very clearly, and no white guy played like that before Clapton.

Before he adopted his famous black Strat, he was a Gibson guitar devotee. Plugging into 100 Watt Marshalls, created the basis for a sound that is still relevant today. Clapton with a fire in his belly, with something to prove, was a force of nature. For a brief time, he was the electric guitar. Of course, quickly on his heels came Jeff Beck, and others, but Clapton was the first of his day.

I offer, as proof, this live "Crossroads" by Cream, 1968:

Here is a clock-stopping "I'm So Glad" from the farewell concert at Royal Albert Hall, '69:

And here is the studio version of Crossroads, from "Wheels of Fire", for comparison:


Here's a brief interview, then "Steppin' Out" from the Farewell Concert. 3 gifted musicians at the peak of their power. Makes many of the "jam bands" of today sound tame:

Saturday, May 19, 2007

No I would not sleep in this bed of lies

NewsFlash!!! Michelle Malkin lies!

David Weigel has it over at Hit & Run:
Andrew Sullivan, whose defense of Ron Paul this week put H&R's to shame, catches Fox News accusing the candidate of "9/11 Truthism":

GIBSON: According to a recent Rasmussen Report poll, 35 percent of Democrats think President Bush knew about the 9/11 attacks beforehand. The so-called 9/11 Truth Movement has already infected people like Rosie O'Donnell and one in three Democrats, and many other people, Americans evidently, including Congressman Ron Paul. With me now is FOX News contributor and syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin.

So, Michelle, this stuns me. It wouldn't have stunned me had it come up in the Democratic debate, but it's a jaw-dropper to see it in the Republican debate.

MICHELLE MALKIN: It is and it doesn't belong here. And I'm glad that this moment provided great TV for FOX News — it was a very instructive exchange — but Ron Paul really has no business being on stage as a legitimate representative of Republicans, because the 9/11 truth virus is something that infects only a very small proportion of people that would identify themselves as conservative or Republican. And as you say, John, this is far more prevalent, this strain of 9/11 truth virus, on the left, and in much of the mainstream of the Democratic Party as that Rasmussen poll showed.

Paul never said that or anything like it at the debate. What's Malkin's evidence?

You know, I try not to spend too much time in these cesspools, but it is worth taking a visit to places like, you know, these WTC7 sites and Students and Scholars for Truth, and I note that Ron Paul has basically allied himself with these people. He appears with Students for Truth on campus and he's appeared on radio shows like 9/11 conspiracy nut Alex Jones.

I'm shocked, shocked! that La Malkin would go out on a limb to smear someone who disagrees with Dear Leader. Because it's just not true:
Ron Paul has appeared on Alex Jones' show, but he has never appeared with "Students and Scholars for Truth" or "Students for Truth." Those groups don't actually exist. What Malkin is probably referring to is this incident three months ago, when members of Student Scholars for 9/11 Truth attended a Paul campaign appearence. Group leader Justin Martell buttonholed Paul and got him to admit that he 1) generally doesn't trust government accounts of things and 2) would sign on to a 9/11 investigation if Dennis Kucinich launched one. (He did question the Kennedy assassination: John Gibson, take notes!) Check out the video—it's pretty clear he's not sure what to think of the group.

David continues after Malkin posts a tepid apology:
Malkin is trying too hard, and with too little evidence, to prove that Paul agrees with the Student Scholars. Early in the video they tell a drive-through window attendant that "9/11 was an inside job perpetrated by our own government." When Martell confronts Paul, he's careful not to say that. He says "we've heard that you have questioned the government's official account." He opens the door for Paul to claim a conspiracy behind 9/11. Paul never does.

That's more politeness than she deserves.

I'm crazy for tryin

(AP Photo)

From the Department of Batshit Crazy, we have this from a commenter over at Kevin Drum's place:
Our goal is to establish a functioning democracy in Iraq, and that is what the surge will accomplish. We shouldn't leave before then.

As for putting more resources into Pakistan and Afghanistan - those countries are already democracies, and don't need our help.

Posted by: Al on May 19, 2007 at 10:59 PM | PERMALINK

That's in response to this from the LATimes:
A major CIA effort launched last year to hunt down Osama bin Laden has produced no significant leads on his whereabouts, but has helped track an alarming increase in the movement of Al Qaeda operatives and money into Pakistan's tribal territories, according to senior U.S. intelligence officials familiar with the operation.

. . . The officials were charged with reinvigorating a search that had atrophied when some U.S. intelligence assets and special forces teams were pulled out of Afghanistan in 2002 to prepare for the war with Iraq.

This has been another expample of taking one's eye off the ball, GWBush-style.

Don't tell me your lies, lies, lies...

(David Iglesias on Real Time with Bill Maher)

Several in the bloggersphere have already written about today's LATimes article and interview with David Iglesias, fired U.S. Attorney:
Rogers, Iglesias recalled, had pressed him in 2004 and then again just before the 2006 election to push for voter fraud convictions in the state. Iglesias said he was so concerned about the propriety of the preelection get-together with Rogers that he asked a colleague from the office to join him as a witness.

. . . Unbeknownst to Iglesias, a few months before that lunch, Rogers and another Republican attorney from New Mexico, Mickey Barnett, had complained about Iglesias at the Justice Department in Washington. The session was arranged with the assistance of the department's then-White House liaison, Monica M. Goodling, and an aide to White House political strategist Karl Rove, according to e-mails released recently by congressional investigators.

As Iglesias says, "all roads lead to Rove.

It occurs to me that the current strategy of Support for Gonzales in the administration, and the seeming criticism by a few Repub. Senators might just be strategery.

After all, if they attack the ventriliquist's dummy, they'll likely not attack the ventriliquist himself. And we know who that is. Could it be it's all "shiny objects" meant to distract Dems?

And this quote from LATimes reporter Tom Hamburger rankles:
In fact, both major parties work assiduously to interpret election laws in their favor, particularly in battleground states where elections can be decided by thin margins.

Proof, Tom, proof. Everything reported about Republican's actions in the last 4 major elections indicates a deep-seated antipathy to law, and a desire to minimize Democratic votes by any means possible: Choicepoint/SCOTUS in FL, Blackwell, Diebold in OH, phone jamming in New Hampshire, etc.

Show me the corresponding Democratic shenanigans . . . Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

You're headed right in the wrong direction if you wanna come home

Shaun Mullen over at Kiko's House has this on the 3 American soldiers currently missing in Iraq:
Stiff upper lips are the order of the day, but commanders of the 6,000 troops hunting for three missing U.S. soldiers in the Triangle of Death are clearly worried that nothing has been heard about the men -- no communiques, no videos, nothing -- since the initial Al Qaeda statement that it had the men shortly after they were ambushed and four colleagues and an Iraqi Army interpreter were killed six days ago.

Shaun goes on with bios of the of the soldiers, both the dead
from the attack last week and missing afterward. Here's just one:
Anthony J. Schober, 23, Reno, Nevada (killed): The sergeant joined the Army four and a half years ago to fight the Talaban(sic) after the 9/11 attacks, but went straight to Iraq out of boot camp. He was on his third tour there and was leading the squad that was ambushed.

Schober's platoon leader described him as a "tall, goofy kind of guy" with incredible energy and a powerful sense of humor.

Joined the Army to fight The Taliban, instead sent to die in Iraq. That, in a nutshell, describes the entire Global War On Terror™ as defined by GWBush and the Right today.

Read the entire post. Sad, so sad.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

It hurts to be in love

Kevin Drum links to this WaPo piece, and starts by saying:
But if I'd tuned in to Tuesday's Republican debate and heard the crowd hooting and hollering as the candidates played "can you top this" over who was most willing to take up the mantle of Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot, I probably would have lost it. It's not just that it's depraved, it's demagogic, and it's depressing, but also that it's dimwitted. Macho talk about torture may be a great applause line on the right-wing rubber chicken circuit, but it does nothing to make us safer.

Indeed. Here's some of what the article says:
But it is the duty of the commander in chief to lead the country away from the grip of fear, not into its grasp. Regrettably, at Tuesday night's presidential debate in South Carolina, several Republican candidates revealed a stunning failure to understand this most basic obligation. Indeed, among the candidates, only John McCain demonstrated that he understands the close connection between our security and our values as a nation.

. . .As has happened with every other nation that has tried to engage in a little bit of torture -- only for the toughest cases, only when nothing else works -- the abuse spread like wildfire, and every captured prisoner became the key to defusing a potential ticking time bomb.

. . . This war will be won or lost not on the battlefield but in the minds of potential supporters who have not yet thrown in their lot with the enemy. If we forfeit our values by signaling that they are negotiable in situations of grave or imminent danger, we drive those undecideds into the arms of the enemy. This way lies defeat, and we are well down the road to it.

Wow. Clearly this was written by some wussy defeatocrat cut-and-runner anxious to appeal to the cheese and chardonnay set for their Democrat votes.

No, actually it was written by these guys:
Charles C. Krulak was commandant of the Marine Corps from 1995 to 1999. Joseph P. Hoar was commander in chief of U.S. Central Command from 1991 to 1994.

Commandant of the Marine Corps? Commander in chief of CentCom? I'm pretty sure those positions are held by actual, you know, soldiers. What could possibly motivate them to speak so softly about what can only be understood as coddling the enemy?

Here perhaps are the money quotes:
We have served in combat; we understand the reality of fear and the havoc it can wreak if left unchecked or fostered. Fear breeds panic, and it can lead people and nations to act in ways inconsistent with their character.

It is time for us to remember who we are and approach this enemy with energy, judgment and confidence that we will prevail. That is the path to security, and back to ourselves.

Note that there is a mention of the enemy-these guys haven't taken their eyes off the ball like virtually every Right-winger out there. These guys don't want to not fight, they want to win, and hopefully, in doing so, not piss of the entire 1st, 2nd, and 3rd worlds. Oh, and not lose sight of what we Americans fantasize about that makes America great.

Kevin add this in his piece:
Even if basic considerations of morality don't sway you, the fact that torture and abuse contribute to eventual defeat on the battlefield should. That's more important than winning a few more votes from the troglodyte crowd.

The troglodyte crowd doesn't really want to win, they want to keep kicking ass until the end of time, in an endless game of "Mine c**k is bigger than yours". And for them, torture, beating some towel-heads, watching Jack Bauer-"24" is pure porn, Viagra for their shallow wretched souls.

But I'll never know by living, only my dying will tell

Comment at HuffPo:
Always speak good of the dead. Jerry Falwell is dead. Good.



From Dave in comments:
The sun didn't come out this morning. Damn those pagans! I lost my car keys. Stupid abortionists! I hit my elbow against the edge of the table. Curse the feminists! I said something really mean to somebody. Don't look at me, it's the gays and lesbians! I forgot to buy milk and bread on the way home from work. Friggin' ACLU!

Aren't we glad that Jerry Falwell helped raise religion up from the old puritan days when folks could only blame everything on devils, witches, evil spirits, succubuses and wicked gnomes?


Tuesday, May 15, 2007

As always you were wrong again

I know I'm late coming to this, but here it is anyway: Jonah Goldberg is a twit. Evidence? This piece in my hometown LATimes (sigh):
IT'S IRONIC. At precisely the moment so many people think that the Republican Party and the conservative movement went off the rails, the people who hate the right the most want to copy it.

That's the upshot of an alternately brilliant and tendentious cover story in the latest New Republic, in which Jonathan Chait argues that the so-called netroots "are the most significant mass movement in U.S. politics since the rise of the Christian right." Chait persuasively argues that the netroots — Democratic activist blogs and other online communities — are transforming the Democratic Party by championing a new emphasis on partisan fervor and political unity.

OK, so? But then Jonah says this:
To this end, Chait writes that a major netroots hero is none other than Grover Norquist, the oddly colorful — or colorfully odd — right-wing activist and president of Americans for Tax Reform who has served as one of the most effective (and profitable) organizers of right-of-center interest groups. Chait quotes from prominent netroots figure Matt Stoller's blog: "To the extent that I have a political hero, it's probably Grover Norquist, not Ralph Nader."

So Stoller admires Norquist, the deeply dishonest and despicable Anti-Tax crusader?

Well, not really. Here's the complete quote
To the extent that I have a political hero, it's probably Grover Norquist, not Ralph Nader, and a lot of the new progressive organizers I know model themselves and what they are doing after the right-wing's collaborative model rather than the left-wing single issue mindset.

So Matt admires Grover's single-minded organizational skills, and says nothing about his repellant ideology. Cute, Jonah. It's a really bad analogy, and Matt should be slapped, but it's not exactly what you are trying to present.

Here's more deep analysis from Goldberg:
The conservative movement was a response to generations of growing statism at home and abroad. From the Progressive era to the Great Society, government seemed to be expanding in tandem with the threat of communism. The conservative project was first and foremost an intellectual one because, as Hoover Institution fellow Thomas Sowell has written, it takes an ideology to beat an ideology.

Huh? The conservative movement was an orchestrated effort by conservative zealots such as Richard Viguerie:
"Pioneered political use of computerized direct mail. That technology was the Internet of its day: it enabled conservatives to get around liberals' dominance of the mass media; it allowed thousands of conservative candidates, organizations and causes to get their messages to grassroots Americans."

This was no grassroots movement, rather it was an ideological effort to appeal to the grassroots.
The conservative infrastructure that arouses so much envy among liberals today was an afterthought. It was created because the far more valuable real estate — universities, foundations, newspapers and TV networks — were held by liberals. Conservatives used their institutions to have serious arguments about what conservatives should believe.
No, they created their institutions to tell conservatives what they should believe. The population of the '70s was distrustful of conservatives (Nixon), and creeped out by the Jesus Freak movement, especially here in Southern California. But Jonah, who was born in '69, has no real idea of American politics of the time.

The issue is that for the first time in many years, the Left has almost solidified in opposition to the Right, as represented by GWBush and virtually the entire Republican Party. And they are adapting their tactics along the line of the concerted effort the Right has made for 30 years now to spin the message.

Sorry, Jonah, we have adopted the tactics of the Right, Sorry if that makes you uncomfortable. Well, not really.