Raging Right Wing Republican

For those of us who are politically informed, and therefore Republican.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Foley

Nobody just rolls out of bed and starts being an underage-boy-chaser-seducer past the age of 50. This sordid and disgusting story is far from over, and may end up with Foley in jail.

He may avoid jail. Hell is another story.

His seat in Congress was a lock, too... Now it's up in the air.

Women never lie

A woman who falsely cried rape against her former husband was facing jail yesterday after being convicted of perverting the course of justice. . . .

Lifting an order preventing her identification, Recorder David Lane, QC, said: "The public has a right to know the identity of a person who makes such allegations and who seeks to use the system of justice for her own, unscrupulous ends...."
Even worse, think about all the billion million non-rapes that already aren't being reported! The frightening thing about Ms. Hendersoon's arrest is that it could have a chilling effect on the probability that women who've had a "near rape experience" will report those fake rapes, near rapes, hypothetical rapes and unicorn rapes to the police.

The Dems dilemma

Friday, September 29, 2006

New Zawahiri tape

In a change of pace, Zawahiri plagiarizes a Joe Biden speech. Well, not just Joe Biden. Any Democrat, really. Whines about "torture" and calls Bush a miserable failure.

"I'm a bridge enthusiast"

"Common sense:" Australian for "profiling."

UNusual

The UN just found another opportunity to duck responsibility and cave into the demands of international rogues. In the 1990s, Kofi Annan was largely responsible for the decision not to intervene early in Rwanda and prevent the genocide. Cowardice is the rule, not the exception. But at least the Deputy Secretary General didn't miss his opportunity to blame the US for all this.

Senate passes detainee bill

I've yet to get a good look at Bush's detainee bill that just got passed, but given the reactions from the usual suspects, I'm inclined to approve.

Curtains for Ned

Of interest to Republicans, Ned Lamont is getting trounced by Joe Lieberman. It's 49% to 39%.

That Lieberman leads with independents, Connecticut's largest voting bloc, 50% to 36%, and with Republicans 69% to 15% shows just what a turnoff the MoveOn.org, Al Franken, Olbermann message is to those outside its dilapidated halls.

Ned's campaign is not positive or proactive, being run on a static message consisting of, "Abandon all hope," so it's unlikely that he will gain ground throughout the election without something huge happening on his single issue: Iraq. Let's say, something like the European Union entering the war in Iraq, on the side of the insurgents.

That's not going to happen, so Ned's not going to happen.

They behave like animals

You know what the problem with nature is? There's too much of it:
Scientists have run high-tech tests on harmful bacteria in local rivers and streams and found that many of the germs -- and in the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, a majority of them -- come from wildlife dung. The strange proposition that nature is apparently polluting itself has created a serious conundrum for government officials charged with cleaning up the rivers.

Part of the problem lies with the unnaturally high populations of deer, geese and raccoons living in modern suburbs and depositing their waste there. But officials say it would be nearly impossible, and wildly unpopular, to kill or relocate enough animals to make a dent in even that segment of the pollution.

That leaves scientists and environmentalists struggling with a more fundamental question: How clean should we expect nature to be? In certain cases, they say, the water standards themselves might be flawed, if they appear to forbid something as natural as wild animals leaving their dung in the woods.
"Nature is apparently polluting itself." Shame on you, nature.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

"This tells us something about who we are producing this"

Jarvis reports from a PBS panel at Reuters on news and tabloid culture, and records the following soundbite from Carl Bernstein:
Bernstein asks the room who voted for Bush. Not a single person raises a hand. "This tells us something about we who are producing this," he says.
It does tell us something, doesn't it? Although it does not tell us as explicitly as Thomas Edsall or Linda Greenhouse.

Meeting of the minds

According to Ahmadinejad's translator, the Iranian President wanted to meet with Michael Moore. Sadly, effors to contact the filmmaker were unsuccessful. One can pretty much predict how their conversation would've gone.

Damn. Just imagine the propaganda value we could've wrung out of this.

Fisking Slick Willy

From Cliff Kincaid:
In the year before the bombing, some 2,000 people had been killed in a civil war in Kosovo. A conservative estimate is that 6,000 were killed by U.S. and NATO bombs.

It's strange as well that Clinton complained to Wallace about the "neocons" attacking him when many of the same neocons in 1999 supported Clinton's war on Yugoslavia. The war was never approved by the U.N. or the U.S. Congress, and in fact violated the War Powers Act. The main beneficiary of the intervention was a Muslim terrorist group, the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), with links to bin Laden, who had declared war on America in 1996, bombed our embassies in Africa in 1998, and would later, of course, orchestrate 9/11.
That's right -- we went in there and saved them, and in return they rammed two airplanes into our towers.

Some thanks.

When opinion becomes news

From a Sept. 25 McClatchy story on Afghanistan: "By failing to stop Taliban leaders and Osama bin Laden from escaping into Pakistan, then diverting troops and resources to Iraq before finishing the job in Afghanistan, the Bush administration left the door open to a Taliban comeback."

Leftists on the edge

They're even crazy in their sleep:
A dream researcher from John F. Kennedy University in California has discovered fundamental differences between the dream worlds of people on the ideological left and the ideological right.

Among his findings, Kelly Bulkeley discovered that liberals are more restless sleepers and have a higher number of bizarre, surreal dreams--including fantasy settings and a wide variety of sexual encounters. Conservatives' dreams were, on average, far more mundane and focused on realistic people, situations and settings ...

"While some of my colleagues think my research reinforces the stereotype of repressed, uptight conservatives, it also shows that many liberals may he hanging on the edge of mental well-being," Mr. Bulkeley said. "There may be a lot of hidden distress and unpleasantness in the liberal mind."
My dreams tend to be pretty bizarre...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Pope is Catholic, media is liberal

Something odd is afoot in America's elite media -- increasingly, journalists are unabashed about admitting their liberal bias. Another example is Jonathan Alter of Newsweek, who talked to radio host Hugh Hewitt yesterday:
Hewitt: What [the Washington Post's Thomas] Edsall admitted, which was so damning, is that the people who drive the news are the reporters, and the reporters are, by 15-25 to 1 leftists.

Alter: OK. All right. Now I'm not sure that ratio is wrong. I mean, I don't think anybody has a good study of it, but--

Hewitt: But it feels right.

Alter: --it's overwhelmingly, the question, though, the threshold question that you have to look at is how much does that affect their coverage? Now I think some. I think liberals who say well, that doesn't affect their coverage at all are wrong. Obviously, people's worldviews will affect their coverage to a certain extent.

Top Dem: Bush tax cuts to go on chopping block

CQ Today reported this morning that Charles Rangel "vowed to put all of President Bush's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts -- which expire in 2010 -- on the chopping block." Rangel is the top Democrat on the House tax-writing committee who would likely wield the gavel if Democrats win in November. Yesterday, National Journal's Congress Daily PM ($) reported that "Asked whether tax increases across the income spectrum would be considered, he replied, 'No question about it.'"

The smokers were right

Remember how a lot of people scoffed when smokers said that banning their habit was only the beginning? Does it sound so unlikely now?
NEW YORK (AP) -- Three years after the city banned smoking in restaurants, health officials are talking about prohibiting something they say is almost as bad: artificial trans fatty acids.

The city health department unveiled a proposal Tuesday that would bar cooks at any of the city's 24,600 food service establishments from using ingredients that contain the artery-clogging substance, commonly listed on food labels as partially hydrogenated oil.
Well, of course the smokers were right.

Mayor Bloomberg is a Republican, but he's also a major control freak with tendencies towards absolutist rule who thinks he knows best how you should lead your life. In other words, he's a liberal.

Yes, fats are bad for you, but they give a lot of food their taste and texture. You know what makes that pie crust or that croissant so flaky? You know why fries have so much flavor? Ingredients with trans fats.

But what concern is it of the government about fats, anyway? This is the kind of fast food fascism that comes from stupid "documentaries" like SuperSize Me, whipping people up into a frenzy over the evil McDonalds across the street putting a gun to their head and forcing them to swallow Big Macs by the dozen.

What does this have to do with state policy? What we'll hear is that there are public policy questions regarding the cost of healthcare and how the fatty foods are contributing to the cost of that care.

First smoking, then fois gras, and now certain kinds of fats. They might as well just ban eating. It may seem harmless, but it's an incremental and disgusting intrusion into our lives -- a needless limitation on our freedom.

When it was said that second-hand smoke was based on junk science, they replied, "it doesn't matter, it's a disgusting habit that should not be forced on me," as if you personally were making them smoke. Now the tables have turned, and the beast is out of the cage, and everybody has their own idea on what to get rid of next.

How much does the consumption of alcohol cost the healthcare system every year? Let's see them ban that.

This is what happens when you let the government be in charge of your health. Once you charge the government with the responsibility for your well being -- socialized medicine -- then the government suddenly has a legitimate interest in what and how much you eat, how much exercise you do, how much you watch TV -- it becomes as if the entire nation has moved back into their parents' basement: "as long as you're living under my roof, you're gonna follow my rules."

"This terrorism isn't our fault"

I'll miss Tony Blair.

Olbermann crazed

Holey moley this guy is... well, see for yourself. From the Coundtown anchor's post-Clinton-meltdown "Special Comment" posted at his MSNBC rubber room (maturely dubbed "a textbook definition of cowardice" -- guess who the coward is?):
It is not important that the current President's portable public chorus has described his predecessor's tone as "crazed." Our tone should be crazed. The nation's freedoms are under assault by an administration whose policies can do us as much damage as al Qaida; the nation's marketplace of ideas is being poisoned by a propaganda company so blatant that Tokyo Rose would've quit."At least I tried," he said of his own efforts to capture or kill Osama bin Laden. "That's the difference in me and some, including all of the right-wingers who are attacking me now. They had eight months to try; they did not try. I tried."

Thus in his supposed emeritus years has Mr. Clinton taken forceful and triumphant action for honesty, and for us; action as vital and as courageous as any of his presidency; action as startling and as liberating, as any, by any one, in these last five long years.

The Bush Administration did not try to get Osama bin Laden before 9/11.

The Bush Administration ignored all the evidence gathered by its predecessors.

The Bush Administration did not understand the Daily Briefing entitled "Bin Laden Determined To Strike in U.S."

The Bush Administration did not try.

Moreover, for the last five years one month and two weeks, the current administration, and in particular the President, has been given the greatest "pass" for incompetence and malfeasance in American history!
Wow! There's a lot more than this. Obviously someone is Cuckoo for Coco Puffs.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Republican counterattack begins

Republicans have launched a blistering multimillion dollar ad offensive, in the making for over a year, against Democrats in key races. Let's hope it works.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Falwell: Hillary more feared than Satan


Falwell definitely owes Satan an apology:
WASHINGTON -- If Hillary Rodham Clinton is the Democrats' presidential nominee in 2008, it will motivate conservative evangelical Christians to oppose her more than if the devil himself were running, the Rev. Jerry Falwell has told pastors at a "values" conference.
At least Satan is honest about where he stands.

The intra-party debate gap

Rich Galen jokes today about the way the media tends to play up Republican spats as major fratricide, and downplay Democratic feuding as harmless and meaningless, un-newsworthy, really:
If a Republican Member of Congress doesn't hold the door for another member of the Republican Conference on their way into the Members' Dining Room it will be immediately reported as a "growing evidence of bad blood and the disintegration of any semblance of unity within the ranks of the GOP." But . . . If two Democrats get into a knife fight on the west lawn of the Capitol, sandwiched between a Burr-Hamilton-like gun duel, and a tomahawk-tossing contest it will be reported - if it is reported at all - as "a frank exchange of views."

The next generation of evil

Apparently things will not get any better for Democrats once the Bush-Rove era ends. Isn't it a shame? I'm sure we'll see a whole slew of articles bemoaning how American politics has degenerated into such partisanship. If only Republicans today would just roll over and accept Democratic leadership.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

"The voice of the opposition"

That's how journalist Michael Massing describes the New York Times.

I object, however, to Massing's answer to a different question put to him:
It's often said that conservatives are out to decertify the press as unrepresentative of the public, while liberals just think that this institution is failing the public and want to see it do a better job. Is that a valid distinction?

I think that if you listen to Rush Limbaugh, if you listen to Bill O'Reilly, if you listen to Sean Hannity, they over and over and over are hammering away at the press, claiming they don't talk for anybody, that they represent a very narrow perspective of left-wing opinion in America, that their news is all slanted. I think it's a very calculated campaign on their behalf to discredit the press.

Now, if you go on the left side of the spectrum, I think you have a division. A lot of liberals get very disgruntled with what they see, especially when the press is not sharp and aggressive enough. They want it to do better. They want it to perform its function of exposing the powerful and comforting the afflicted. Then I think you have people on the left who also see the mainstream media as completely corrupt, completely co-opted by the establishment, and indistinguishable from the government. And they have a demolition-like approach to the media similar to that of the right; they feel it's so thoroughly corrupted that it has to be discredited.
Massing's response is unintentionally revealing.

Massings says that most conservative press critics want to "discredit" the press whereas at least a subset of liberal press critics only want it "to do better." But better at what? "They want it to perform its function of exposing the powerful and comforting the afflicted."

Does that sound to you what the function of a news organization is? To "expose the powerful" and "comfort the afflicted"? Apparently their job isn't simply to do just that -- report news.

This definition of "function" of journalism is fraught with liberal assumptions -- it's an example of what one astute commentator on Jay Rosen's Pressthink called, "the crusading oxymoron of non-political populism."

It's absurd that liberals believe that the mainstream media is not biased to the left when they have an agenda set out for the press, one that's intended to affect the world. This is why journalists are almost always liberal -- they go into the profession for idealistic reasons, to "cast a spotlight" on the problems plaguing society and so on, instead of simply taking the facts and passing them onto the people. No, that's not enough: the facts have to be taken and put into the "proper context" that'll spur people into action on the problems that only those high minded clairvoyants in the press can ascertain.

Yet here is Massing telling us that conservatives want to "discredit" the press because we think it's somewhat disingenuous that the New York Times continues to masquerade as an objective source of news when Massing himself declares that it's beginning to look more like an opposition party leaflet. Then he turns around and tells us that liberals just want the press "to do better," by which he means "advocate populist [liberal] causes more aggressively."

What's wrong with this picture?

Keith Olbermann VS Cold Hard Reality

At virtually the same time ABCNews' Brian Ross was confirming, without question, that coercive techniques work, Keith Olbermann was claiming "torture" never works through his sock-puppet guest.

Olbermann Watch has sliced and spliced the two nearly-contemporaneous segments together to present Keith Olbermann VS Cold Hard Reality.

Final score: Cold Hard Reality 51, Keith Olbermann 0. By quarter:
CHR: 17 10 14 10

KO: 0 0 0 0
And note, Cold Hard Reality was playing with its second string throughout the entirety of the fourth quarter. BOO-YAH!!! Cold Hard Reality's running back, Verified Facts, was en feugo!

Goddamnit, I took Keith Olbermann and the +11.5 points. Why the hell am I always such a sucker for a big point spread?

Britain surrenders to al Qaeda: Authorities to notify "muslim panels" prior to anti-terror raids

Goodbye, England. You were great once.

We'll miss you.
POLICE have agreed to consult a panel of Muslim leaders before mounting counter-terrorist raids or arrests. Members of the panel will offer their assessment of whether information police have on a suspect is too flimsy and will also consider the consequences on community relations of a raid.

Members will be security vetted and will have to promise not to reveal any intelligence they are shown. They will not have to sign the Official Secrets Act.
Why make them sign it? If you can't trust a "moderate Muslim" to be an enthusiastic supporter of the war on terror, who can you trust?

How we treat terrorists II


If anything, we're way too easy on the al Qaeda terrorists we've captured. Take a look at this New York Post column by Richard Minitier -- no friend of Donald Rumsfeld -- who just got back from Gitmo:
"The high-minded critics who complain about torture are wrong. We are far too soft on these guys - and, as a result, aren't getting the valuable intelligence we need to save American lives.

The politically correct regulations are unbelievable. Detainees are entitled to a full eight hours sleep and can't be woken up for interrogations. They enjoy three meals and five prayers per day, without interruption. They are entitled to a minimum of two hours of outdoor recreation per day.

Interrogations are limited to four hours, usually running two - and (of course) are interrupted for prayers. One interrogator actually bakes cookies for detainees, while another serves them Subway or McDonald's sandwiches. Both are available on base. (Filet o' Fish is an al Qaeda favorite.)

ABCNews' Brian Ross Bombshell: Absolutely no doubt coercive interrogation broke prisoners, saved lives

And among his sources were CIA agents who opposed the methods on legal or moral grounds -- but they agreed the techniques worked and saved lives.

Smartest sentence of the day

Megan McArdle: "I am more interested in making the poor and middle class better off than I am in making the income distribution more equal."

Saturday, September 23, 2006

The buck does not stop here

Every once in a while, Bill Clinton reminds decent people what was so off-putting in him occupying the same office that George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Ronald Reagan had once held. Bill Clinton's meltdown at suggestions that he didn't do enough to neutralize Osama bin Laden and his followers displays two problems Clinton has always had. 1. He does not take responsibility for his actions. 2. He blames his political opponents for his failures.

Grim milestone alert: war deaths surpass 9/11's

Yes, they actually use the words "grim" and "milestone," but not together. They're separated by a few paragraphs, presumably because even the AP can't bear the cliche any longer.

I expect the author's had this story ready to go for a while now, and has just been making tally marks in his notebook each day as the KIA reports roll in. "Three more to go, two, one... RUN IT."

The first line is perfect in its moral agnosticism, but the following is good too. Just imagine it being read in Keith Olbermann or George Galloway's voice:
Not for the first time, war that was started to answer death has resulted in at least as much death for the country that was first attacked, quite apart from the higher numbers of enemy and civilians killed, too.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Oxymoron

There's no such thing as "assisted" suicide. If someone has to help you, it's called "murder."
We could see this coming. If suicide is the answer to end-of-life suffering, then why not for other problems as well? Depression, for instance. Financial hardship. Homosexuality! Fear of speaking in public. An inability to digest complex carbohydrates.
"We should accept generally the right of a human being to say, 'Right, I would like to end my life', without any pre-condition, as long as this person has capacity of discernment."
Who needs character building experiences? In fact, who needs this mysterious journey of life, anyway? It's a pain in the ass, especially when guys like Keith Olbermann rate air time.

Let's form an assisted suicide company called "Guaranteed Outcomes" that makes the ultimate product: suicide booths! If the Republicans win in November, we could make a killing in the blue states.

US threatened to bomb Pakistan "into the stone age"

We've always wondered what exactly the US said to Musharraf to make him reverse Pakistan's wholesale support of the Taliban and therefore al Qaeda after 9/11.

We weren't just promising aid. We weren't offering to sell a few F-16's.

We told them that they either sided with us against their lunatic client state or they would be bombed into the "stone age."

I have a whole new respect for Bush.

Improved ratings, but for the wrong reasons?

Watching the news last night, I must have seen at least three stories telling the viewers that Bush's approval ratings have improved largely because of the drop in gas prices. This is probably true, in part.

So, it can now be revealed. The President gave an interview in the Oval Office last week where he took the reporter to a secret room nestled between his office and his private dining room. In the middle of that room there was a table and a single chair.

"This is the first thing I do every morning, right after I walk Beasly and Barney," he said, as he logged onto the computer. He then entered an internet address, his username, and then his password. Four boxes appeared on the screen, labeled "regular," "mid-grade," "premium," and "diesel." The president then entered three digits into each box. These digits would be the prices the consumers would pay for gas across the country until the next time the president logs on.

There you have it! The people were right on this one! The president does set gas prices. No wonder his approval ratings go down when the prices go up, and improve when the prices go down.

Rightwing Rovebots make fun of torture

For God's sakes, people are being slapped in the belly. Slapped. In the belly.

And yet some blackhearted jackals think it's funny.

Like this militant Christianist.

Or this evil neocon personally responsible for selling "the soul of conservatism" to the Devil for 600 pieces of silver. (Inflation.)

CIA interrogation techniques revealed

They were seeking Congressional authorization for seven discrete procedures, each more brutal than the last. The Guardian has a complete list. Be forewarned -- they're extremely graphic. The "attention grab," in particular, is the stuff of which nightmares are made of.
"The techniques sought by the CIA are: induced hypothermia; forcing suspects to stand for prolonged periods; sleep deprivation; a technique called "the attention grab" where a suspect's shirt is forcefully seized; the "attention slap" or open hand slapping that hurts but does not lead to physical damage; the "belly slap"; and sound and light manipulation."
These are the eeeevil "torture" techniques that John McCain, Andrew Sullivan, Ted Kennedy and the rest think is just too cruel to be used on terrorists who saw the heads off Americans and fly planes into our buildings.

McCain's on a moral outrage tour of New Hampshire in which he nobly asserts that belly-slapping Khaled Sheikh Mohammed would make us no better than the terrorists without ever actually explaining how and why. As you can see, the fix is in:
Senator John McCain, who is battling with the White House over the interrogation and trial of terrorism suspects, on Sunday flew to New Hampshire -- and right into a blistering editorial from the conservative Manchester Union-Leader that assailed him for standing up to President Bush on the issue.
No, they assailed him for being a sanctimonious jackass whose cavalier attitude towards the utility of these techniques is apt to get people killed. Read it for yourself.

He can afford to position himself this way since he's more socially conservative than Guiliani is; it's a sop to the party centrists.

Perhaps McCain can tell us what he thinks of this "torture":
"Several of those techniques chime with information gleaned about interrogation methods used against some serious terror suspects. The New York Times recently reported that Abu Zubaydah, the first al-Qaida member captured after the September 11 attacks, was kept in a freezing cell until he went blue, and later assailed with loud Red Hot Chili Peppers music."
The only way this could be better is if he had to watch a giant TV screen with "The Hebrew Hammer," in constant loop.

The people who think that using a "belly slap" or "sleep deprivation" is too extreme have skewed priorities. We're talking about getting information from terrorists that may prevent the next 9/11 using techniques that aren't any tougher than what our own troops endure in basic training or what a college football team goes through in the course of a season. Frankly, if these are the worst the terrorists are getting, then they're getting off way too light.

Rangel warns Chavez not to attack "my president"

This would have meant a lot more coming from a guy who hadn't referred to Bush in the past as "our Bull Connor" and Iraq to the Holocaust.

His point is actually quite weak. The left went hog wild over George "Hero for our time" Galloway's grandstandning anti-American testimony before Congress last year. They don't have a problem with foreign dignitaries insulting the home team -- except when we're two months from a midterm election and the backlash from those insults is apt to swing a few voters the "wrong" way. Rangel's noisy display of patriotism was just his attempt at damage control.

Still, it's nice to see a leftist put his country before his party.

Even if he really isn't.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Gas prices high or low, it's Bush's fault

A hefty 42% of Americans polled over the weekend said they think fuel prices are being manipulated by the Bush administration to help Republicans in an election year. The USA TODAY/Gallup Poll has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
In the not-so-distant past, I remember stories like this one:
Mr. Bush devoted a portion of his weekly radio address Saturday to responding to the criticism that his administration is not doing enough to curb gasoline prices.
So, high gas prices means Bush isn't doing enough. But when he does do something and we have low gas prices -- which in reality, the President can't really affect anyway -- it's cynical manipulation for political purposes. Yet another testament to the irrational hatred for this President, and the endless and abounding conspiracy theories.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I just didn't look hard enough

"Pope provoked Muslim rage to help Bush and Republicans"

The Pope is obviously funded by oil companies and big tobacco, then...

A few regrets

Gorbachev wishes he had squashed the political reforms that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. He said that "separatists should have been hit" with "criminal responsibility."

"Criminal responsibility"? Ah, yes. That would be the Gulag.

He's no saint. Despite all the popularity he got for presiding over the downfall of the most tyrannical regime the world had ever seen, he wasn't trying to free anybody. He was trying to save the Soviet system from the perils of freedom and capitalism. He was just bad at it; an evildoer who failed to succeed.

Ahmadinejad spread it on very thick

At the UN: "Reform... justice... peace... virtue... dignity... brotherhood... the Prophet Moses... the Prophet Jesus... the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH)."

A softer, gentler Ahmadinejad, in between his calls for Israel's destruction and denials of the Holocaust.

When...

Are we going to hear the Pope's comments were intended to help the GOP in the midterms? It just seems so obvious. White ethnic Catholics are reminded of the war on terror when they hear people calling for suicide attacks against the Vatican. That can only help the GOP. Where's Michael Moore to fill in the details?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Geneva Convention offers troops no protection

There's probably dumber arguments that can be made for coddling terrorists than the one made by Lindsey Graham, but so far it's a mystery. Lindsey Graham, who, as usual, is playing Robin to McCain's Batman, chimes in on the interrogation of terrorists:
"Weakening the Geneva Convention protections is an unnecessary step and will put our military members and others defending our nation at risk by jeopardizing the protections they currently are provided.

"What is being billed as 'clarifying' our treaty obligations will be seen as 'withdrawing' from the treaty obligations. It will set precedent which could come back to haunt us."
Exactly what protections are provided by the Geneva Convention? None. Did the Geneva Convention stop John McCain from getting tortured? No enemy we've ever fought has actually abided by them, of course. If we suddenly withdrew from the Geneva Convention tomorrow, in other words, it would have no impact on how our troops are treated because they're not being treated in accordance with it anyway.

The Convention doesn't even apply to the terrorists. It's meant to apply to uniformed soldiers fighting on the field of battle, not attacking women and children before darting back into the shadows. One of the express purposes of the Geneva Convention is supposed to be preventing exactly the sort of behavior al Qaeda engages in by promising that soldiers will be treated well as long as they behave honorably. It's a two way street. The fulfillment of that promise hinges on the soldiers following through with their obligations to act honorably during war. As such, the treatment of terrorists on the same level as honorable soldiers despite their flouting of the requirements for such treatment effectively does away with the incentives to follow the Convention to begin with.

The argument European and American liberals float up is that we should treat the terrorists we've captured by the rules of the Geneva Convention -- actually, better than what the rules require -- even if they haven't signed onto the treaty. But if that's the case, why shouldn't the same rules apply the other way around? Even if we were throwing their captured soldiers into industrial paper shredders for the hell of it, shouldn't they give our soldiers the benefit the Geneva Convention requires?

Of course not. But that applies equally to al Qaeda. If al Qaeda is torturing and murdering our troops, why should we treat their captured prisoners as well as say, American soldiers that are thrown into the brig? Why should we treat some raving lunatic from Saudi Arabia who wants to massacre Americans by the millions like he's a uniformed soldier who follows the rules of war, or worse yet, like he has the same Constitutional rights as an American citizen?

NATO: Good for nothing

NATO continues its downward spiral into UN-like irrelevance. Apparently the same European nations who say they would've pledged support for the Iraq war if only it had followed certain preconditions like it had in Afghanistan can't even scrape up the troops to support that particular obligation. The generals have been asking for more men, only to be ignored. And Afghanistan is supposed to be the popular war.
Some members of the alliance complain that others are not contributing enough soldiers or equipment, leaving a handful of countries shouldering most of the burden for a high-stakes mission that is becoming increasingly treacherous.
"Some" -- or as I like to call them, the "United States and Britain."

It seems like the Canadians are sending in more troops, but there's no telling how long that'll last given their political environment. Alas, it remains to be seen if they'll actually enter the combat zones -- the Canadians have been good in the past, but the "Spanish flu" has been sweeping through our allies in Afghanistan, with increasing numbers demanding their troops be placed out of harm's way -- which is the only place worth having them during a war.

Conservatives were criticized as embracing "reckless unilateralism," yet the liberal infatuation with multilateralism has proven to bear no fruit. Most of the time, these so-called allies like France and Russia only attempt to undercut the United States and when they nations like them do come on board what little they contribute in support isn't enough to justify the hassle went into getting it.

It's not even that NATO is too weak. As much as the United States military outstrips them, NATO's ranks still tower above the ragtag bands roaming through Afghanistan. Even Denmark or Poland would have no trouble. It's not even about that; it's simply a lack of national will to help.

If your war allies aren't there for you while you're fighting a war, what's the point?

Monday, September 18, 2006

"Reality has bitch-slapped Sweden"

The big story out of Sweden is the victory of an alliance of parties on the right. What counts as conservative is far less than what goes as conservative in America, of course. But still, who would've expected such a victory out of Sweden? This marks a huge loss for the Social Democrats, the engineers of Sweden's massive welfare state. And the feminists. The feminists lost big. They couldn't even scrape up the 4 percent that would've allowed them to enter Parliament.

First Britain, then Australia, Germany and Canada, and now Sweden. The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy rolls on.

Point proven

"Palestinians", protesting the notion that their religion is violent, respond by firebombing a church in Nablus - AP
Bonus: The church in the picture is Anglican.

Not only did they prove the point they were protesting, they also proved that they're a bunch of ignorant morons. As if that needed any further proof.

Bush assassination film wins festival prize for revealing "larger truth"

The rules of good taste and decency change when the occupant of the White House has an (R) next to his name. Bill Clinton got The American President and other schlock. George W. Bush gets Death of a President.

And what a film, apparently: it got the festival prize by unanimous vote of a five-member jury of the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI), despite having received "largely negative reviews."

FIPRESCI's general secretary insists there was nothing political about their decision, and that in fact the film "irritated us a lot." On what basis, then, did they award it a prize?

"[F]or the audacity with which it distorts reality to reveal a larger truth." The "larger truth" presumably being (a) Arab Muslims are fall guys in the war on terror, (b) Bush needs to be shot in the chest at close range, (c) all of the above.

None of us thought this day would come, but it has, and it would be bad form not to acknowledge it: Hillary has become the voice of reason.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Bush sees "third awakening"

Cue the next frenzied liberal "Christianist theocracy" rants in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...

Apparently President Bush had a little face to face sit down in the Oval Office with a group of conservative journalists and said the following:
""A lot of people in America see this as a confrontation between good and evil, including me," Bush said during a 1 1/2 -hour Oval Office conversation on cultural changes and a battle with terrorists that he sees lasting decades. "There was a stark change between the culture of the '50s and the '60s -- boom -- and I think there's change happening here," he added. "It seems to me that there's a Third Awakening."
A third awakening? What's that, you ask? Luckily for the heathens out there, the article explains what evil we've uncovered:
"The First Great Awakening refers to a wave of Christian fervor in the American colonies from about 1730 to 1760, while the Second Great Awakening is generally believed to have occurred from 1800 to 1830.
Surely, as liberal blogger Andrew Sullivan is probably feverishly writing right now, these theocratic Christianists are imposing Talibanesque restrictions upon the very freedoms that are part of our lives.
"Bush told a group of conservative journalists that he notices more open expressions of faith among people he meets during his travels, and he suggested that might signal a broader revival similar to other religious movements in history. Bush noted that some of Abraham Lincoln's strongest supporters were religious people "who saw life in terms of good and evil" and who believed that slavery was evil. Many of his own supporters, he said, see the current conflict in similar terms."
Good lord! People displaying open expressions of faith? In public? In AMERICA?

The next thing you know they'll want to pray at football games. Or high school graduation ceremonies.

And what's with all this judgementalism about "good" and "evil?" That's not the spirit of the sixties, man.

How can anyone find anything the President said to be objectionable? And yet, it's a big news story in the Washington Post, just waiting to provide fodder for the next fifty Sullivan columns.

Which, come to think of it, is the most objectionable part of this whole non-objectional story.

How we treat terrorists

The Department of Defense has released a ten point list detailing our treatment of terrorist detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
  1. The detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility include bin Laden's bodyguards, bomb makers, terrorist trainers and facilitators, and other suspected terrorists.

  2. More money is spent on meals for detainees than on the U.S. troops stationed there. Detainees are offered up to 4,200 calories a day. The average weight gain per detainee is 20 pounds.

  3. The Muslim call to prayer sounds five times a day. Arrows point detainees toward the holy city of Mecca.

  4. Detainees receive medical, dental, psychiatric, and optometric care at U.S. taxpayers' expense. In 2005, there were 35 teeth cleanings, 91 cavities filled, and 174 pairs of glasses issued.

  5. The International Committee of the Red Cross visits detainees at the facility every few months. More than 20,000 messages between detainees and their families have been exchanged.

  6. Recreation activities include basketball, volleyball, soccer, pingpong, and board games. High-top sneakers are provided.

  7. Departing detainees receive a [Qu'ran], a jean jacket, a white T-shirt, a pair of blue jeans, high-top sneakers, a gym bag of toiletries, and a pillow and blanket for the flight home.

  8. Entertainment includes Arabic language TV shows, including World Cup soccer games. The library has 3,500 volumes available in 13 languages — the most requested book is "Harry Potter."

  9. Guantanamo is the most transparent detention facility in the history of warfare. The Joint Task Force has hosted more than 1,000 journalists from more than 40 countries.

  10. In 2005, Amnesty International stated that "the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has become the gulag of our times."
Clearly, we've recreated a modern day Auschwitz in Cuba.

We still have Kerry to kick around

This is what the once and future loser from Massachusetts said:
"Asked if he dreads the prospect of being "Swift-Boated" all over again, Kerry counters that he would relish such a fight.

"I'm prepared to kick their ass from one end of America to the other," he declares. "I am so confident of my abilities to address that and to demolish it and to even turn it into a positive."
He sure showed them during the election.

No word on whether he threatened to kick their asses like a modern day incarnation of "Jenjhis Caan." That's probably implied.

And I wonder if this unilateral use of force has passed the "global test," of which Senator Ketchup is so fond of. I kinda doubt it. But maybe that's just because my own laughter at the thought of this man:


kicking anybody's ass makes it hard to hear Kerry's answer.

Inequality

Yet more evidence showing short people make less money than tall people.

When will our society take these root causes for inequality seriously? Where are the Democrats demanding we take the saw to tall people's ankles? If they were really serious about equality...

Bush "squandered the world's good will"

From the AP:
"The nations of the world joined Monday in solemn remembrance of Sept. 11 - but for many, resentment of the United States flowed as readily as tears.

Critics say Americans have squandered the goodwill that prompted France's Le Monde newspaper to proclaim "We are all Americans" that somber day after the attacks, and..."
Wow, so what? Since when does one headline in some cheese-eating surrender monkey journal actually represent what the rest of France and Europe really felt? The whole idea that we "squandered" the world's "good will" after 9/11 is flat out dumb. It's just another variation of "why do they hate us?" It's a widespread myth:
Certainly it's true that, five years ago, Tony Blair spoke of standing "shoulder to shoulder" with America, that Iain Duncan Smith (remember him?) echoed him, and that Jacques Chirac was on his way to Washington to say the same.

But it's also true that this initial wave of goodwill hardly outlasted the news cycle. Within a couple of days a Guardian columnist wrote of the "unabashed national egotism and arrogance that drives anti-Americanism among swaths of the world's population". A Daily Mail columnist denounced the "self-sought imperial role" of the United States, which he said had "made it enemies of every sort across the globe".

That week's edition of Question Time featured a sustained attack on Phil Lader, the former US ambassador to Britain – and a man who had lost colleagues in the World Trade Centre – who seemed near to tears as he was asked questions about the "millions and millions of people around the world despising the American nation". At least some Britons, like many other Europeans, were already secretly or openly pleased by the 9/11 attacks.

And all of this was before Afghanistan, before Tony Blair was tainted by his friendship with George Bush, and before anyone knew the word "neo-con", let alone felt the need to claim not to be one.
How can you "squander" good will when there wasn't any real amount in the first place? A few flags and condolensces after 9/11 and all of a sudden we're all "united," which admittedly didn't stem the tide of old European habits for very long.

And all of the ensuing rancor was before the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, before Tony Blair became Bush's "lapdog" or any of that other nonsense. That old excuse that the invasion of Iraq ruined the relationship between America and the world is a non-starter.

As far as Europeans like readers of al-Guardian are concerned, nothing changed on 9/11 except that they took a one day vacation from bashing America. The only reason the myth holds such sway is that it fits so perfectly into the victim mentality of the liberal mindset. A victimized, pacified America that kowtowed to the UN and its European ilk would have continued to get adultations but as soon as we stepped up to defend ourselves the old canards like "imperialism abroad" reared their ugly heads.

9/11 happens and what do we get from the French? A newspaper headline and a few troops in Afghanistan. Whoop-dee-doo.

We didn't "squander" that good will. There was no true good will to squander. To this date, France and the rest of NATO haven't even kept up on their troop obligations to support Afghanistan, a war they agreed was justified. (Excluding Britain.) If Europe collectively can't even scrape up 2,500 troops for a cause they found necessary, then what good is their "good will" to begin with?

To the contrary, the real problem isn't America, but Europe. The French in particular, and the rest of Europe, are nothing more than a continent of selfish ingrates. The European intelligentsia have long stewed at the prospect living in the shadow of the United States -- that world power, that capitalist giant, home to the swagger of George W. Bush -- benefitting from our alliance yet nipping at our heels at the same time in resentment of that fact. They rely on -- demand -- America's help, but when it comes time to return the favor they're nowhere to be found.

Presenting the new and improved Abu Ghraib

Liberals have gone on and on and on and on and on in their effort about Abu Ghrain their effort to smear the Bush administration and demonize the troops. To name one famous overreaction, do you remember what Ted Kennedy said about Abu Ghraib?
"Shamefully, we now learn that Saddam's torture chambers reopened under new management: U.S. management."
As it happens, a fascinating thing happened about two weeks ago: the American troops returned Abu Ghraib back over to the Iraqis, which must have been a blessing for those poor prisoners. After all, our soldiers were running the place just like Saddam.

Unfortunately, the Iraqi prisoners don't seem to be liking the change in management very much:
The notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad is at the centre of fresh abuse allegations just a week after it was handed over to Iraqi authorities, with claims that inmates are being tortured by their new captors.

...Conditions in the rest of the jail were grim, with an overwhelming stench of excrement, prisoners crammed into cells for all but 20 minutes a day, food rations cut to just rice and water and no air conditioning.

Some of the small number of prisoners who remained in the jail after the Americans left said they had pleaded to go with their departing captors, rather than be left in the hands of Iraqi guards.

"The Americans were better than the Iraqis. They treated us better," said Khalid Alaani, who was held on suspicion of involvement in Sunni terrorism.

...The witness said that even in the thieves' section prisoners were being treated badly. "Someone was shouting 'Please help us, we want the human rights officers, we want the Americans to come back'," he said.
Well, well, well. All these people want Americans back? Really?

Well, too bad, fellas. An unpleasant fact of life: if American troops forget to bring their prisoners their margaritas one night, Dick Durbin and other liberals will be hopping up and down beside themselves screaming about "torture" and how Nazi Germany has come to America. But, on the other hand, if Americans aren't involved, these prisoners could be getting beaten with nail-studded clubs three times a day and those same people really aren't going to care.

Still, it's interesting to note that for all the claims of "torture," the Americans have been gone for only a little over a week and everyone is clamoring for their return. So does it sound like we're systematically "torturing" prisoners or are liberals just seizing on a few isolated incidents to use against the Bush administration?

Ask the Iraqis.

Gun control works!

Found buried at the end of an AP article about the school shooting in Montreal:
Canada's worst mass shooting took place in Montreal when gunman Marc Lepine, 25, killed 14 women at the Ecole Polytechnic on Dec. 6, 1989, before shooting himself.

That shooting spurred efforts for new gun laws achieved mainly as the results of efforts by survivors and relatives of Lepine's victims.
So some guy went nuts and shot 14 people in Canada's worst shooting rampage. In response, Canada passes a bunch of gun control laws. Seventeen years later another guy goes nuts and shoots 20 people with guns he owned legally under Canada's draconian gun regulations.

Those gun laws certainly worked out well, didn't they?

The proper response isn't to enact more gun control, but less. It used to be the case that owning a gun on campus was legal. ROTC organizations had drill rifle teams and schools often had competitive shooting teams. Guns are tools: they can be used for good or evil. It's not the gun itself to worry about but the person behind it.

Now just imagine what would've happened if this incident had happened without the current gun laws:

Crazy nut guy enters building, weapons drawn. He blasts one or two people before the law abiding gun owners promptly blow him away. The end.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Before I head out

Man, you know who sucks? That mainstream media. Because of the bias.

And some of them anti-war Democrats are pretty much rubbish, too, am I right? I mean, Harry Reid? What's the deal with that guy?

On the bright side, Cheney's still pretty freakin' cool. But then, who doesn't expect the sun to be hot or a taco to be fairly spicy?

GO NEOCONS! LET'S GO KILL US SOME BROWN PEOPLE!1

1And by "us," I mean the exploited, slack-jawed "volunteer" soldiers we chickenhawks rely upon to feed our vicarious and cowardly bloodlust

9/11 in pictures

Just an amazing photo-essay.

Popular Mechanics tears apart Loose Change

In a debate -- if I would be so generous to call it that -- that can be found here. Anyone who actually believes that conspiracy garbage should have their head examined.

"Where were you when... ?"


I wonder if everybody still remembers what they were doing when they found out about the planes hitting the two towers. I can remember some of it, but it's starting to fade. While the rest of the world was in turmoil I was trying to catch up on sleep in class and get at my friend Dave who'd taken up the practice of kicking the back of my chair to keep me awake.

We were waiting for our teacher to arrive for class to begin. Just as the lack of supervision was about to descend the class into an anarchic free for all, another teacher came into our class crying along with my teacher and plopped a TV down onto a desk to show our teacher what was going on. We saw the burning building. I shrugged and went back to absentmindedly drawing on my paper. At that point I figured it was just another accident, and kept an eye on the clock to see how much more time we could waste out of this before class would be over.

Then second plane hit. I didn't think anyone else was in danger, but we got shuffled off just in case, though one of my friends that I was sitting next to was worried since his Dad was working near the twin towers that day. About a hour later in study hall we heard over the PA that the first tower had collapsed.

I remember going home after that confused, and the rest is fuzzy. I remember watching the run up to the invasion of Afghanistan as the country prepared for war. I remember the media's constant chattering about Afghanistan being the "graveyard of empires" and how within fifteen minutes of the invasion the first media outlet had proclaimed the invasion a "quagmire," right as the country fell.

Though some still deny its seriousness, America was awakened that day to a war that it had been engaged in all along but had refused to participate in, until that day when it came to our shores.

Canadians need their head examined

A new poll says that most Canadians blame America for 9/11:
A majority of Canadians believe U.S. foreign policy was one of the root causes that led to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, and Quebecers are quicker to criticize the U.S. administration for its international actions than other Canadians, a recent poll suggests.

Those conclusions are found in a newly released poll conducted by Léger Marketing for the Association for Canadian Studies.

The poll suggests that 77 per cent of Quebecers polled primarily blame American foreign policy for the Sept. 11 attacks. The results suggest 57 per cent in Ontario hold a similar view.
And here I thought it was the terrorists that committed the terrorist attack.

According to these Canadians, foreign policy is the terrorists' motivation for coming after us. And who can forget all their preening after 9/11 that they don't "need" to worry about such things because they don't have a foreign policy that would anger anyone? Which makes sense, I suppose, considering how Canada was singled out for a terrorist attack earlier in the year. Apparently the threshold for an "unacceptable" foreign policy is set so low by the terrorists as to be meaningless -- to provide a virtual carte blanche for their attacks -- if even the saintly Canada is a target.

Considering that such complaints stretch as far back as to the Middle Ages, they have a limitless list of grievances to pick and choose from, thereby making the cry of "foreign policy" meaningless and nothing more than a cover to bring in legitimacy from gullible fools like these.

An alternative poll was conducted among Canadians, asking "are you an idiot?" Surprisingly, the two poll results match up almost perfectly. (Some fervently denounced the poll, outraged by the assumption that they were Canadian.)

Of course, this is the same country where one in five Canadians have no problem with pedophilia and the same Canadians who believe the United States government orchestrated 9/11 to invade Iraq, so what can we expect?

Friday, September 08, 2006

5 Myths About Guantanamo Bay

If you've got two minutes, check this out from the Heritage Foundation:


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Insight

"It is impossible to maintain freedom and order and justice without religious and moral sanctions." -- Barry Goldwater

The only thing we have to fear

Bruce Schneier is a great writer on security issues. But here he's written a load of bunk:
The real point of terrorism is not the act itself, but our reaction to the act.

And we're doing exactly what the terrorists want.

We're all a little jumpy after the recent arrest of 23 terror suspects in Great Britain. . . . Regardless of the threat, from the would-be bombers' perspective, the explosives and planes were merely tactics. Their goal was to cause terror, and in that they've succeeded.
One of the few accurate descriptions he wrote is that we were all a "little jumpy," which seems to be several orders of magnitude lower than "we're in terror." You know what terror is?

It's a successful attack. It's 9/11. It's blood and death. Terror isn't 23 people arrested before they stepped foot on a plane. There's a reason it was described as a "foiled plot." There may have been some overreactions, but you've got to be kidding me if you think the terrorists pegged that as some kind of success. "Ahmed, I just won a match of Halo online. This is a great victory for al Qaeda!"

Let's get it straight: terrorists don't care about your civil liberties. Causing airline passengers inconvenience or more thorough inspections of activities isn't victory for them. They're not members of the ACLU and they're indifferent to our civil liberties.

Here's a handy list of what terrorists might consider victory:
  • explosions
  • death
  • US out of the Middle East
  • destruction of Israel
  • worldwide reign of Islam

"Inconveniencing people trying to take water bottles onto airplanes" doesn't quite compare, does it?

Oh, and one more thing: "What's to stop terriorists now just getting on flights and acting suspiciously on purpose. If no crime was committed (I was just checking my watch, saying my prayers, going to the bathroom etc.) they can cause disruption, create paranoia and terror at will and get off scott free."

Well, they would most likely draw unwanted attention to themselves and possibly be investigated, but besides that, that's essentially defining terrorist victory down to an episode of Punk'd. "Muhammed, let's get our cell together, and all dress up as Best Buy employees and confuse the Zionist Crusaders. We will make it more difficult to find 1GB flash cards and Adam Sandler DVDs, striking terror into their very souls!"

Rush does "freeSpeech" on CBS News


One minute and thirty seconds of pure Rush. He went into enemy territory with both barrels blazing.

The Lone, Brave Voice of Keith Olbermann

When you were a kid, did you have a favorite movie? A movie that you liked so much that you tried to be like one of the characters?

Keith Olbermann has a movie like that. It's called Good Night and Good Luck. But someone who cares about Keith needs to tell him that this is not the 1950s, George W. Bush is not Joe McCarthy, and he's not Edward R. Murrow. Because this is just getting embarrassing.

From his most recent rant:
Whatever the true nature of al Qaeda and other international terrorist threats, to ceaselessly compare them to the Nazi State of Germany serves only to embolden them. . . .

It thus becomes necessary to remind the President that his administration's recent Nazi "kick" is an awful and cynical thing.

And it becomes necessary to reach back into our history, for yet another quote, from yet another time and to ask it of Mr. Bush:

"Have you no sense of decency, sir?"
But wait! What's this?

HAVE YOU NO SENSE OF DECENCY, SIR?!

I wonder if Democrats will use it as a slogan for upcoming elections. "Comparisons of Islamofascists to Nazis are beyond the pale, and yes, we are tough on terror."

Free speech takes another blow

Helpful corruption:
Federal election regulators refused to ease limits on political advertising Tuesday, blocking an effort to let interest groups run radio and television ads mentioning elected officials within weeks of an election.

The Federal Election Commission voted 3-3 on a proposal that would have allowed such ads as long as they addressed public policy issues and did not promote, support, oppose or attack a sitting member of Congress. . . .

The measure failed with the commission's three Democrats voting against the proposal and the three Republicans backing it.
The "easing" of limits would've allowed issue ads only if they "did not promote, support, oppose or attack a sitting member of Congress." This Incumbent Protection Act kicks in today. Now, if you run an issue ad in the sixty days prior to an election, you must make no mention whatsoever of a member Congress.

Think about it again: it is a crime, punishable under the law, to air an advertisement that criticizes a member of Congress during election season.

This is, of course, the product of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance "reform" law. Tell me again why John McCain should be President?

How wonderful that the same Democrats who pushed McCain-Feingold through will now find themselves on its receiving end. This is the same battering of the First Amendment that most Democrats supported; accordingly, if on the morning of November 8 they awake to find that they've sealed their fate, they'll have nobody but themselves to blame.

(Here is a list, by the way, of the so-called Republicans who joined the Democrats in telling America to shut its mouth.)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

"A man of rare substance and conviction"

After disagreeing with him on a whole slew of issues, Pennsylvania radio talk-show host Michael Smerconish makes the case for Santorum's reelection anyway.

Santorum also appeared on Bill Bennet's radio show this morning. It was an excellent interview. Listen to it here.

National Review outlines Casey's "plan" to increase the number of US special forces in Iraq, as if it was a uniquely Democratic proposal, and how we're doing that already. So much for that.

Santorum / Casey Debate on Meet the Press

Sen. Santorum and Bob Casey Jr. had their first senatorial election debate last Sunday on Meet the Press, with Tim Russert as moderator. It pitted the Senate's best debater against an inexperienced challenger in one of this year's most hotly contested elections. Santorum has a lot of enemies who would be glad to see him go.

At some points I thought it was actually Russert v Santorum. Russert would throw a softball to Casey and let him ramble on unchallenged for minutes, then dig up some obscure quote from Santorum's past and start an interrogation.

To call it a "debate" is misleading as it leads one to think that the confrontation was anything other than a slaughter. Casey was outclassed and outgunned. Santorum had complete command of the facts and an acute grasp of policy issues. Casey looked bewildered throughout the debate as if he was drugged and suddenly awoke to find himself in front of the camera on Meet the Press. The fact that Casey was preparing for this for eighteen months and still did so poorly speaks volumes.

When Santorum would unleash a torrent of facts, details and plans to deal with Social Security, Iraq, and the economy, Casey couldn't come up with anything more than vague platitudes and empty slogans like "change" and "supporting fiscal responsibility" without defining what that meant.

Casey couldn't escape the pay raise issue from his past. If you're a government official, and something comes across your desk that you know to be unconstitutional, what would you do? Veto it?

Well, if your name is Bob Casey, the answer is: sign it anyway!

He signed into law illegal pay raises for Congress that he knew and said were unconstitutional. When nobody knew about it, he had no problem with it. When the spotlight shone on his misdeeds, he was suddenly against the payraises, despite being the one who signed the checks. He tried to have it both ways and Santorum nailed him on it.

And what the hell does "supporting fiscal responsibility" mean? He went on to rail against the Bush tax cuts and how they were a "giveaway" to the "richest 1%." (How can it be a "giveaway" to give people their own money back?) It was like watching the 2004 election all over again, compressed into one hour. Every old saw John Kerry played out was revived and trotted out here: "tax cuts for the rich," "it's the wrong war but I'll win it," "Clinton surpluses led to Bush deficits," and on and on and on.

When asked what he would do to solve the Social Security crisis, Santorum brought up personal retirement accounts -- but noted that since Casey opposed that, he had only three options: raise taxes, cut benefits, or push the retirement age back. What was Bob Casey's answer to the Social Security crisis?

If you answered "nothing," then you're absolutely right! He said the only "crisis" was the one the Republicans created to campaign on. Even Russert didn't buy it. He threw his hands up into the air in exasperation. "The baby boomers are going to retire and the answer is -- do nothing?" It was great. I bet he was aching to tell him just the "right" way to answer but couldn't because the cameras were on.

In short, Santorum stood firm, going so far as to stick up for President Bush and Rumsfeld even though he knew they've been unpopular as of late. That took guts. And unlike other politicians like Casey that just regurgitate canned lines, you can tell he passionately believed everything he was saying -- it was almost funny watching him get so "into" the debate at some points. He articulated a clear vision, whereas Casey came off as weak and uneducated on the issues. So far all I got from that debate was that Bob Casey has a "plan" for Pennsylvania. (Sound familiar?) What exactly that "plan" contains is still a mystery.

If you want to see the beatdown in its full glory, here's the transcript.

But hey! Casey still has three more rounds in the ring with Santorum to clear up his platform and serve as an excellent punching bag. I never knew what to think of Santorum until this debate. It was one of the best ones I've seen. He's now one of my favorite Republicans, if not the favorite.

Impossible!

"U.S. and Iraqi forces have captured a top al Qaeda in Iraq leader who ordered the bombing in February of a Shiite Muslim shrine in Samarra that started a wave of ferocious sectarian killings, Iraqi officials said Sunday," the Washington Post reports from Baghdad.

Well. What to make of this?

Clearly, it's all a lie. Everybody knows that al Qaeda has nothing to do with Iraq. It's just a distraction. We need to forget about Iraq and focus on the War on Terror, which isn't even a "real" war, anyway.

Even more preposterous is this claim that "an intelligence officer for then-President Saddam Hussein" joined al Qaeda.

Saddam Hussein was a secularist. Al Qaeda is the home of religious fanatics. The two could never work together to thwart a mutual enemy! Everybody knows that, except maybe the lunatics off in the boondocks who watch Fox "News," but what can you expect from those hicks?

The kind of transformation the Post is describing would violate the laws of physics. It's just another example of the Bush administration's War on Science, and it's sad to see the Post drinking this neocon Koolaid.

Explain this to me

1) Democrats say we must exit Iraq -- it's a distraction from the War on Terror -- in order to fight al Qaeda.

2) Al Qaeda is currently most active and murderous in ... surprise! Iraq.

If Democrats are so gung ho about fighting al Qaeda, why do they want to withdraw from the one area that has the most terrorists in the reach of the world's most lethal military?

Where exactly do Democrats want to fight al Qaeda? They don't want to fight them were we have troops -- where they are -- and want to "fight them" where our troops can't go, like Pakistan.

Jack Layton: "I'm insane!" (Now with cartoon!)


Layton emerges from somewhere out of the Twilight Zone to hector us:
"That's the kind of approach we believe needs to be brought forward for the south and the only way to achieve that is to get a comprehensive peace process under way involving the parties," he said.

Reporters asked Mr. Layton whether he is calling for Canada to take part directly in negotiations with the Taliban.

He said "a collective desire to reduce violence and death could become a real motivation on all sides" to join peace talks.
If only we just talked to the Taliban...

No Liberal Bias Here

The only surprise is that it took the media this long to come around to NARAL's point of view:
This clip is from the Associated Press stylebook. It is used by newspapers across the country to provide guidelines in how stories should be written. By and large, many guidelines are neutral and simple are matters of style (i.e. capitalization, punctuation, etc). However, in this one entry, standing unique in comparison to the whole guide, the AP picks sides in the abortion debate and insists that the pro-abortion side be the one supported in news coverage:

Usually when referring to either side, the AP uses that group's favored terminology. Using the terms of another group often skews the debate. For instance, pro-lifers emphasize life thereby pointing the finger at the life that abortion takes, whereas pro-choicers emphasize choice and seek to cast abortion as a "civil liberties" issue.

So what has the Associated Press done? They've done a great framing favor to the pro-choice side by relegating pro-lifers as the "anti-" side in the debate. As any "framing" person will tell you, people will instinctively find the "pro" side more appealing. Being pro-freedom sounds better than being anti-slavery. The Democrats would not have such sour electoral prospects if they realized that being anti-Bush is their weakness; almost nobody will vote for somebody who's main claim to your vote is being against something.

By contrast, the AP manual does the abortion lobby a huge favor, going so far as associating it with "rights," an even greater boon than being the "pro" side. The AP could not have created a greater framing disparity if it tried. How unexpected.

The avoidance of the term "abortionist" is laughable. An abortionist is somebody who performs clandestine abortions? What world is the AP living in? Considering the Supreme Court's legalization of abortion throughout all stages of the pregnancy, this "abortionist" must be a creature that does not exist. These "people who perform abortions" throughout America's abortion clinics seem not to have any name. There are people fighting for "abortion rights" but the abortions themselves occur quite magically, really -- you stroll into the clinic, they hand you a lolipop, and you walk out! If the term is a "pejorative," it's only in the sense that it accurately describes what the abortionist does, much like the term "murderer," not because of any bias in the wording.

Monday, September 04, 2006

"My plan is to die face down on the desk in the middle of a post"

Some bloggers just refuse to take a break.

And we're back

Anything anybody want me to tackle?

Doonesbury Kremlinology

Gary Trudeau was two years behind President Bush at Yale, where he had more than incidental contact with the future White House resident. Folks may not remember this 2004 Rolling Stone interview, but it included the following classic (pay particular attention to the very last sentence):
Did you know Bush as a student?

We both served on the Armour Council, which was the social committee for our residential college. Nobody in my freshman dorm knew what the council was. But I apparently had shown some leadership qualities in the first three or four days of school, so I was elected unanimously. George Bush was chairman. Our duties consisted of ordering beer kegs and choosing from among the most popular bands to be at our mixers. He certainly knew his stuff - he was on top of it [laughs].

Even then he had clearly awesome social skills. Legend has it that he knew the names of all forty-five of his fellow pledges when he rushed Deke. He later became rush chairman of Deke - I do believe he has the soul of a rush chairman. He has that ability to connect with people. Not in the empathetic way that Clinton was so good at, but in the way of making people feel comfortable.

He could also make you feel extremely uncomfortable. He was very good at all the tools for survival that people developed in prep school - sarcasm, and the giving of nicknames. He was extremely skilled at controlling people and outcomes in that way. Little bits of perfectly placed humiliation.
Now that is funny. Bush may not yet have been thinking about preemption doctrine, but he had, at least, already developed a good instinct for anticipatory revenge.

Excellent...

Saturday, September 02, 2006

RRWR will return on Monday, Sept. 4, 2006

I think we have a lot of catching up to do.