Archive for April, 2009

Priorities.

Apr 30, 2009 in Women

Nicholas Kristof spots a latent disparity:

“The criminal justice system is still ill equipped to deal with rape and not that good at moving rape cases forward,” notes Sarah Tofte, who just wrote a devastating report for Human Rights Watch about the rape-kit backlog. The report found that in Los Angeles County, there were at last count 12,669 rape kits sitting in police storage facilities. More than 450 of these kits had sat around for more than 10 years, and in many cases, the statute of limitations had expired.

There are no good national figures, and one measure of the indifference is that no one even bothers to count the number of rape kits sitting around untested.

Why don’t police departments treat rape kits with urgency? One reason is probably expense — each kit can cost up to $1,500 to test — but there also seems to be a broad distaste for rape cases as murky, ambiguous and difficult to prosecute, particularly when they involve (as they often do) alcohol or acquaintance rape.

“They talk about the victims’ credibility in a way that they don’t talk about the credibility of victims of other crimes,” Ms. Tofte said.

There are real consequences:

Solomon Moore, a colleague of mine at The Times, last year wrote about a 43-year-old legal secretary who was raped repeatedly in her home in Los Angeles as her son slept in another room. The attacker forced the woman to clean herself in an attempt to destroy the evidence.

Tim Marcia, the detective on the case, thought this meant that the perpetrator was a habitual offender who would strike again. Mr. Marcia rushed the rape kit to the crime lab but was told to expect a delay of more than one year.

So Mr. Marcia personally drove the kit 350 miles to deliver it to the state lab in Sacramento. Even there, the backlog resulted in a four-month delay — but then it produced a “cold hit,” a match in a database of the DNA of previous offenders.

Yet in the months while the rape kit sat on a shelf, the suspect had allegedly struck twice more. Police said he broke into the homes of a pregnant woman and a 17-year-old girl, sexually assaulting each of them.

A conclusion:

Some Americans used to argue that it was impossible to rape an unwilling woman. Few people say that today, or say publicly that a woman “asked for it” if she wore a short skirt. But the refusal to test rape kits seems a throwback to the same antediluvian skepticism about rape as a traumatic crime.

There are lots of cold cases out there, but most get the service of being properly investigated at least once before being shelved. It’s about priorities.

-jb

Not conservative enough.

Apr 30, 2009 in Uncategorized

While the fringe, dead-enders are busy trying to explain why votes in the Senate aren’t all that important, some Republicans are coming to their senses.

Here’s pseudo-Republican Lindsay Graham:

“Do you really believe that we lost 18-to-34-year-olds by 19 percent, or we lost Hispanic voters, because we are not conservative enough?” he said. “No. This is a ridiculous line of thought. The truth is we lost young people because our Republican brand is tainted.” … ““We are not losing blue states and shrinking as a party because we are not conservative enough. If we pursue a party that has no place for someone who agrees with me 70 percent of the time, that is based on an ideological purity test rather than a coalition test, then we are going to keep losing.”

The Limbaugh reaction to Specter’s party switch was predictably a feeling of “good riddance” because he was seen as a liberal despite the fact that the man voted with his party not 70 percent of the time but 85 percent of the time. Seventy percent would be a massive loosening of their criteria at this point.

-mg

Tectonic movement on marijuana.

Apr 30, 2009 in Drugs

Who’s really standing in the way?

Support for legalizing small amounts of marijuana for personal use is nearly twice as high among young adults (57 percent of those under 30) as seniors (30 percent), with middle-aged Americans split about evenly. Nearly six in 10 liberals like the idea; just 36 percent of conservatives agree. Politically, more independents are in favor (53-44 percent), Democrats divide evenly and Republicans broadly are opposed, 28-69 percent. Support’s highest of all among people who express no religious preference, 70 percent; and lowest among evangelical white Protestants, 24 percent.

As the opposition to legalizing marijuana dies off and governments desperately start looking for something new to tax in order to fill the coffers (in order to pay for all the things you keep telling politicians you want, remember), look for a snowball effect.

It’s not insignificant that there are Democrats against it, but let’s remember that there’s still 28% of Republicans who are okay with it. Scaredy cat politicians who don’t want to rock the boat need to see that the boat is where independents lean. Point to the country, and pocket the proceeds. You’re politicians, you do know how to do that, right?

BTW, realpolitik aside, it’s also the right thing to do. Pot criminalization criminalizes ordinary American citizens who choose to relax with a joint in their hand instead of a beer. Illegal trafficking results in thousands dead, while pot kills zero. The few attempting to argue for maintaining criminalization are scratching harder and harder trying to find something that will stick. All they have is inertia.

-jb

It’s all they know.

Apr 30, 2009 in Uncategorized

Check out the new scary video from Minority Leader John Boehner:

Are you terrified? I know I am. Everytime I hear basoons and stocatto strings I piss my pants!

Considering the historical fact that John McCain ran a campaign with this type of tactic as its centerpiece and lost, I really don’t see who this video is supposed to appeal to outside of the wingnut dead-enders that live and breath this type of garbage. What percentage of the population thinks that Hugo Chavez is any sort of a threat to the United States? I’m guessing that it’s roughly the same percentage of people who think that we’ve never incarcerated terrorists within our borders.

-mg

Epic “Hoot Smalley” FAIL.

Apr 29, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives

FOX Radio had a few callers carping about FDR again today. The primary complaint was the federal income tax and how when you receive a refund it basically cheats you out of the money that you could have been collecting interest on. Not surprisingly, the obvious point was never brought up that if you’re receiving a substantial refund at the end of year you’re doing your taxes wrong. Nor was the connection made between the taxes we pay and the fancy wars that are cheer lead by the wingnuts. Long story short, you don’t need any knowledge or background in the subjects of which you speak. Widely held ideological beliefs are all that are required. Start with the assumption and move backwards:

Once again, Michelle Bachmann royally buffoons herself by reciting a piece of widely held wingnut lore; that FDR caused the Great Depression by passing the Smoot-Hawley tariff bill. And it must be true since the Great Depression was bad and occurred while Roosevelt was in office! This is what happens when you believe your own bullshit.

-mg

All hail the purity of the Republican Party!

Apr 28, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives

Today, my friends, you may have heard what initially sounded like bad news: Arlen Specter announced that he is going to become a Democrat.

When you first heard it, you may have thought it a great treachery. You may have felt the presence of yet one more knife in the back from a trusted friend (and beware, for there shall be more). You may have felt the boat of freedom make one last lurch before it tips into the deep waters.

Listen to me, you good people who still vote Republican (and yes, you are good people, no matter what the liberal scribes of history arbitrarily decide to record). You have cause to rejoice this day. All that seems dark is outwards. Turn inwards, and look upon the brightness within!

That brightness is the purity of the Republican Party! Arlen Specter did not illuminate us. He cast a dire shadow upon our party, threatening constantly to portray us as compromising in our principles. If any Republican in this country had an enemy greater than Barack Obama, it was this log in our eye. Praise the fortunes of Good Man Toomey, that he may rise and shine upon those who dwell in darkness!

When we are One we are strong. Before we were only as strong as our weakest links, people like Specter and Olympia Snowe. Arlen Specter, the impostor, can hinder the Republican Party no longer!

My God in Glorious Heaven, when I see the shining faces around me, the ones who are standing tall and proud in this time of retribution and tribulation, I know our deeper purpose will endure. We are being stripped to the core, returned to seed form, primed to fertilize the land with principles, principles that have always been, and always will be! Stand fast, my dear fellow believers…and history will return to us again!

So look upon your ranks, and ponder, my good friends. Who among you is true to the Republican Party? Who among you voted for Barack Obama? When you see their faces, do you see the purity in their brilliantly white hearts? Will you detect those who would betray us? What will you say when you find them? Will you let them pass without quarrel? Do you hold it within you to do such a disservice?

Or are you a true American? Any upright citizen will consider their principle a levy, to beat back the waves of decadence that lash against us (and I know you have been hurt by them like I have).

This is the time to be strong. Surge forth, and drive out the wicked! Buy yourself the ability to rest well on your deathbed, knowing that when all was on the line, you took a big risk. You, and the Republican Party, will gain eternity.

-jb

p.s. Limbaugh rulez

More crazy, please.

Apr 28, 2009 in Uncategorized

Putting Michelle Bachmann center stage can only mean good things for the Democrats:

As others have pointed out, Gerald Ford was actually the president during the first outbreak of swine flu.

-mg

I fear the swine flu!

Apr 27, 2009 in Uncategorized

I have to admit, when I first heard about the flu outbreak I read about it on Drudge so my brain immediately disposed of the information in the “Things People Who Watch Glenn Beck Obsess Over That Are Imaginary And Will Likely Never Happen” garbage can and didn’t think anything of it. Here we are a week later and news of the swine flu is on McNeil/Lehrer so I guess it’s a bona fide Big Deal. Fox had a picture and a sound bite from a cute, Caucasian co-ed (I know…shocking, isn’t it?) from NY who had contracted it. She didn’t sound bad at all. PBS had some beautiful pictures of Mexico City that made me wonder what it might be like to live there. Regardless of the font sizes used I’m still not worried even though Iowa has more swine than people and at 16.9 million pigs it wears the dubious crown of having the most of any state which I’m guessing would probably put us in the running for most pigs per capita worldwide. I don’t know where we sit in the rankings for Alar apples, millennium preparedness, or Africanized killer bees.

On my commute home I was listening to the FOX talk channel (which is called “Patriot Radio”, of course) on Sirius and in between the riveting debates of whether Obama was a socialist, fascist, or a socio-fascist I realized something was missing. As far as I know, no right-wing media outlet or relay point (cuz that’s what these so-called “conservative” bloggers truly are) has drawn the correlation between the debate on national health care and the recent swine flu coverage. It’s a story that is absolutely screaming to be written; the Obama administration is using the swine flu epidemic to scare people into thinking that socialized medicine is the only option.

Some Limbaugh brainwash out there has to be thinking it so the question is not if they will write it but when!

-mg

Today’s dumbest thing ever.

Apr 27, 2009 in Uncategorized

I can’t quite count all the ways this is wrong:

JERUSALEM — The outbreak of swine flu should be renamed “Mexican” influenza in deference to Muslim and Jewish sensitivities over pork, said an Israeli health official Monday.

Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman said the reference to pigs is offensive to both religions and “we should call this Mexican flu and not swine flu,” he told a news conference at a hospital in central Israel.

Both Judaism and Islam consider pigs unclean and forbid the eating of pork products.

Better to offend Mexicans than suffer the indignity of naming a disease after “unclean” pigs, I guess. I would have preferred a “told you so!” on pork, but apparently I’m a goddamn genius.

-jb

We struggle in vain to title this blog entry.

Apr 27, 2009 in Uncategorized

David Roberts comes strong with a must-read. It’s easy to predict how the very voices it dismisses might respond – there’s a one-from-column-A, one-from-column-B template for it. Li’l dab of “elitist!,” smidge of “media bias,” big ol’ helping of imagined persecution. If you’re trying to keep up with the latest, maybe invoke some really comic comparisons between Democrats in power and totalitarian regimes.

But Roberts is right: it’s a waste of time and energy to keep beating back The Dumb Menace when it’s not really a player any more. Sure: keep your skills up; you’ll need them at election time. Right now, though, arguing with the impotent is standing in the way of progress.
-TT

Gore FTW

Apr 25, 2009 in Global warming

[youtube LMJ3Xow9ZGM]

-jb

The dumbest person in Congress.

Apr 24, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives

I know, that’s saying a lot, but…just watch. Gotta love people who are both incredibly stupid and cocky.

Congrats to Energy Secretary Chu for humoring the man with an answer, instead of walking over and pouring water on his head.

-jb

The intolerable stupidity formed in the vacuum of Republican leadership.

Apr 24, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives

In just this past week, Newt Gingrich has suddenly decided that Obama is like Carter, “pro-dictator,” and Republicans have circulated the up-is-down buzzword “Banana Republic” to describe prosecuting Bush administration officials for breaking the law

Daniel Larison takes down Newt with such surgical skill you may crap your pants in astonishment, and Steve Benen takes on the much easier task of pointing out the outlandish inanity of the Republican noise machine. The fact that Karl Rove started the Big Lie makes it all the more stunning in its stupidity. Apparently, besides not knowing what a “Banana Republic” is, Republicans haven’t yet learned what “Rovian” means.

Or that all the years of constant lying is what cost them much of their power. You had your soundbites, guys, but people stopped trusting what came out of your mouths. Continuing to parrot Rovisms parks the truck of fail in your front yard on cinder blocks.

-jb

Is Pakistan the new Afghanistan?

Apr 24, 2009 in Pakistan

Sorry folks, Ali here, I know I’ve been pretty quiet as of late. There have been quite a few newsworthy things going on in Pakistan, that I haven’t reported on lately.

But it looks like the situation there is deteriorating. With the government continuing to give concessions to the Taleban, and other militants, already 1/4 of the country is in a similar situation as Afghanistan, and now these guys are closing in on Islamabad, which up until now was thought to be an impregnable bastion of safety, educated elite, somewhat democratic, liberal.

Anyway, I was preparing to write up my current thoughts on the situation when I got this email from Pakistan. It basically sums up the situation from the perspective of a local, someone who grew up there, lives there, but studied here in the US, who is horrified by the recent events.  It’s beautifully written, however, I would like to respond to her last two paragraphs, maybe in a future post.  She seems genuinely shocked.  She seems to have a very innocent, idealistic City on a Hill, type of view of Pakistan.  I’d like to explain to her how it wasn’t created in the purest of circumstances.  All one has to do is ask, how many Hindus/Buddhists were killed during partition.  Also that it’s been a slow and steady decline, from one coup to the next.  One megalomaniacal dictator to the next.  One holocaust to the next (Baluchistan-Bangladesh).  Then fast forward to General Zia-ul-Haq, who basically dumped the fuel out of the plane, set it to a nosedive, and then ejected himself.  He started the slow and steady talibanisation of the country.

So my latest question is, Is Pakistan the new Afghanistan, or does it have Stockholm syndrome? Sympathizing with their hijackers/abusers/kidnappers, and what does India think of it’s neighbor going to hell in a hand-basket? I’m sure they wouldn’t want an Afghanistan right next door.

I asked for her permission to reprint her letter here:

I want my country back
Friday, April 17, 2009
Sehar Tariq

Eight years ago I boarded a plane to the United States to come to college. I was 17. As I left, my father hugged me and told me to never come back because he believed that soon Pakistan would not be a country fit for me to live in. I told him he was trying to save money by not having to buy me tickets to come home. We laughed it off. I hugged him goodbye and that day my father and I began our great debate about the fate of Pakistan. Abba told me to stay away. I defied him every time. I came home twice a year. I only flew PIA. I refused to do an internship in the US I worked every summer in Pakistan. I moved back when college ended. I started work in Pakistan. I worked two jobs because there was so much to do and not enough time to do it in. I was inspired and energised. I was hopeful and optimistic.

Today I am neither. And I have lost the debate with my father about the fate of Pakistan. The Parliament by endorsing the Nizam-e-Adl Regulation (NAR) has heralded the end of Pakistan as I knew and loved it. Today, the elected representatives of the people turned Pakistan into Talibanistan. Today we handed over a part of the country to them. I wonder how much longer before we surrender it all.

Today we legislated that a group of criminals would be in charge of governing and dispensing justice in a part of Pakistan according to their own obscurantist views. They have declared that the rulings of their courts will be supreme and no other court in the land can challenge them. They have also declared that their men that killed and maimed innocent civilians, waged war against the Pakistani army and blew up girls schools will be exempt from punishment under this law. A law that does not apply equally to all men and women is not worthy of being called a law. Hence today we legislated lawlessness.

What was most disturbing was the quiescence of the Parliament to this legislation. The utter lack of debate and questioning of this ridiculous legislation was appalling. The decision was not informed by any independent research or expert testimony, and to my knowledge none of the parliamentarians are authorities on matters of security, rule of law or regional conditions in Swat. This signals disturbing possibilities. Either our politicians are too afraid to stand up to criminals or maybe they don’t possess the foresight to gauge the national impact of this action. There is no hope for a country led by cowards or fools.

How can one be hopeful about the political future of a country where the will and the wisdom of politicians becomes hostage to the threats of barbarians? How can I be optimistic about a country where doyens of the media like Ansar Abbasi hear the collective silence of the parliamentarians as the resounding support of the people of Pakistan, but are deaf to the threats issued by the Taliban to anyone opposing the legislation? How can I feel secure in a country where the army, despite receiving the largest chunk of our resources, cannot defeat a bunch of thugs? How can I expect justice when there are different laws for different citizens, and I as a woman am a second class citizen? How can I be inspired by a country where there is no culture, no music, no art, no poetry and no innovative thought?

How can I be expected to return to a country where women are beaten and flogged publicly, where my daughters will not be allowed to go to school, where my sisters will die of common diseases because male doctors cannot see them? How can I be expected to call that country home that denies me the rights given me by my Constitution and religion? I refuse to live in a country where women like me are forced to rot behind the four walls of their homes and not allowed to use their education to benefit the nation. By endorsing the NAR and giving in to the Taliban, Parliament has sapped my hope and optimism. Parliament has dealt a deathly blow to the aspirations of the millions of young Pakistanis who struggle within and outside the country, fuelled by sheer patriotism, for a peaceful, prosperous and progressive Pakistan.

When there is no hope, no optimism, no security, no justice, no education, no progress, no culture there is no Pakistan. Maybe it is because I am the grandchild of immigrants who was raised on stories of hope, patriotism and sacrifice that even in this misery I cannot forget that Pakistan was created to protect the lives, property, culture and future of the Muslims of the Subcontinent. It was not established to be a safe haven for terrorists. We fought so that we could protect the culture of the Muslims of the Subcontinent, not so that we could import the culture of Saudi Arabia. Our ancestors laid down their lives so that the Muslims of the Subcontinent ? both men and women – could live in a land free of prejudice, not so that they could be subjected to violent discrimination of the basis of sect and gender.

Maybe it’s because I’m competitive and I don’t want to lose the debate to my father, maybe I am afraid to lose the only home I have, or maybe because I love Pakistan too much to ever say goodbye ? I hope we can remember the reasons why we made Pakistan, and I hope we can stand up to fight for them. I hope we can revive the spirit of national unity of 1947 and lock arms to battle the monster of the Taliban that threatens our existence. Talibanistan is an insult to my Pakistan. I want my country back. Pakistan Paaindabad!

The writer is pursuing a master’s at Princeton University. Earlier, she attended Yale University. Email: stariq AT princeton DOT edu

-Ali

*giggle*

Apr 23, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives

Kevin Drum remembers when “rule of law” was all Republicans believed in.

Oh, Kevin…

*titter*

-jb

p.s. Remember that nobody expected President Clinton to go without punishment after leaving office. The question was whether or not to impeach him. Democrats merely argued that his offense didn’t rise to the level of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” He was reprimanded, mildly as was fitting, after leaving office, with no protest.

“Alright, hand me the soap.”

Apr 22, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives

Republican #5 prostrates himself after offending Limbaugh.

Republicans really need to understand that after the blowout of Nov. ’08, they were meant to lay low for awhile, reflect, and collect their thoughts. But, given their complete moral and intellectual corruption, that proved to be just too hard to do. Now the faces of the Republican party are Rush Limbaugh, Dick Cheney, Glenn Beck, and a bunch of sodden teabaggers, and their mouths spew continuous inanity that the nation fails to care about.

Perhaps if they would shut up for five seconds and choose their criticisms more carefully, people might actually listen? Maybe, if their ideas made sense and gained traction, they could get hacks like Limbaugh to shift course and ride their coattails. Instead, Republicans treat these opporunistic charlatans like immovable forces of nature.

-jb

Clap harder!

Apr 22, 2009 in War Crimes

I wonder if anybody is left with the capacity to be surprised by the mendacious incompetence of the Bush administration. Bueller? Bueller?

Can anybody say they didn’t see this coming?

“There was constant pressure on the intelligence agencies and the interrogators to do whatever it took to get that information out of the detainees, especially the few high-value ones we had, and when people kept coming up empty, they were told by Cheney’s and Rumsfeld’s people to push harder,” he continued.

“Cheney’s and Rumsfeld’s people were told repeatedly, by CIA . . . and by others, that there wasn’t any reliable intelligence that pointed to operational ties between bin Laden and Saddam, and that no such ties were likely because the two were fundamentally enemies, not allies.”

Senior administration officials, however, “blew that off and kept insisting that we’d overlooked something, that the interrogators weren’t pushing hard enough, that there had to be something more we could do to get that information,” he said.

There’s this thing people invented, they call it “prison.” I’m pretty sure Dick Cheney will still be able to call up Sean Hannity from there, so what are we waiting for?

-jb

Jane Harman can go to hell.

Apr 22, 2009 in Disappointing Dems

Don’t Congressmen always have a way of finding disfavor with laws that get them caught? Harman, AIPAC-stooge and NSA cheerleader, is suddenly against wiretapping. And they even had a warrant on her!

-jb

“We all know what happened on 9/11.”

Apr 22, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives

[youtube TjqR9jjK6Ng]

David Sirota pins down a Republican strategist (i.e. professional liar) over the blindingly obvious fact that George W. Bush was on watch on 9/11/01, and failed to keep America safe. The worst terrorist attack on American soil was allowed because George W. Bush could not be bothered to heed warnings and practice due diligence. Listening to her evade and obfuscate reminded me of my recent experience over at CSPT when I tried pointing out the obvious in a den of rightwingers. The people flopping about with fear because Obama shakes Hugo Chavez’s hand give George W. Bush a get-out-of-jail-free card for allowing thousands of Americans to die horribly.

Here’s how their defense goes:
1. What about Clinton? He didn’t kill bin Laden in the previous eight years! Never mind that Bush couldn’t do it either in 7 years after 9/11. Never mind that we’re talking about preventing the terrorists from carrying out a plot on American soil. Never mind that when Clinton was warned about a Y2K attack, he had every agent in the field he could spare shaking the trees.
2. Nobody told Bush what day the attack would be on! Of course there would be no way to foil an attack unless you know exactly what day it’s on. Never mind that Bush didn’t bother investigating to find out!
3. You’re saying Bush is responsible for 9/11? 9/11 truther crackpot!
4. We didn’t have the tools to fight the terrorists like the Patriot Act before 9/11! Surely any attempt to stop bin Laden would have been met with bureaucratic obstruction. We should be thankful Bush didn’t even try!

It’s actually painfully easy to circumvent every one of these defenses, because there’s simply no way to excuse inaction in light of a serious threat. Every one of them is as thin as tissue paper. Our country simply wasn’t prepared to look plainly at what happened on 9/11 when many argued for the need to get behind the president and go kick some arse, but we’re sufficiently removed from that time, with terrible results to show for our efforts, to write the obituary of the Bush presidency for history’s sake.

Go ahead, try mentioning the obvious around a Republican and watch them melt down. You will gain the vindication of a) being right and b) reminding anybody around you how dearly they still love George W. Bush. He will forever be the special ed president, the idiot pretender who needed accommodations for his disabilities and failures, and rightwingers will provide that remedial assistance until the day they die.

-jb

New Deal revisionism on the right.

Apr 22, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, Economy

Those on the right have been on the wrong side of history for quite a long time. They have a way of trying to get around that though: wait several decades, then convince themselves they were right all along and see if they can prey upon the amnesia of the mainstream. They’ve tried to re-fight Vietnam, redeem Nixon, revitalize McCarthyism, and now they’re trying to pretend it’s common sense that the New Deal failed. Jonathan Chait finally manages to impress me with this immaculate takedown of the revisionist claptrap book that all the wingers are passing around as definitive proof the New Deal didn’t work, The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression by Amity Shlaes:

Shlaes begins every chapter with a date (say, December 1936), an unemployment percentage (15.3) and a Dow Jones Industrial Average. The tick-tick-tick of statistics is meant to show that conditions did not improve throughout the course of Roosevelt’s presidency. Yet her statistics are highly selective. As those of us who get our economic information from sources other than the CNBC ticker know, the stock market is not a broad representative of living standards. Meanwhile, as the historian Eric Rauchway has pointed out, her unemployment figures exclude those employed by the Works Progress Administration and other workrelief agencies. Shlaes has explained in an op-ed piece that she did this because “to count a short-term, make-work project as a real job was to mask the anxiety of one who really didn’t have regular work with long-term prospects.” So, if you worked twelve hours per day in a coal mine hoping not to contract black lung or suffer an injury that would render you useless, you were employed. But if you constructed the Lincoln Tunnel, you had an anxiety-inducing make-work job.

In response to this criticism, Shlaes has retreated to the defense that unemployment was still high anyway. “Even if you add in all the work relief jobs, as some economists do,” she has contended, “Roosevelt-era unemployment averages well above 10 percent. That’s a level Obama has referred to once or twice–as a nightmare.” But Roosevelt inherited unemployment that was over 20 percent! Sure, the level to which it fell was high by absolute standards, but it is certainly pertinent that he cut that level by more than half.

Whenever I see something from the right that halfway sounds like it makes a convincing case, it takes about five minutes of research to discover simple, factual refutations that utterly destroy their argument. Every. Goddamn. Time.

Why? Because they start with what they want to be true, and work backwards. Big surprise, they always think they get their man. In reality, it’s a punctured blow-up doll.

-jb

UPDATE: The author backs away from being used as a political prop, or even saying there was much of an alternative to the New Deal:

Fans of the book’s political applications might also take note that Shlaes herself stops short of asserting that a laissez-faire approach would have been more successful than the one Franklin D. Roosevelt took.

“We don’t know — because we weren’t there — what would have happened if they had left the market alone,” she said. Or, as she puts it in the book, “Of course Hoover and Roosevelt may have had no choice but to pursue the policies they did. They may indeed have spared the country something worse — an American version of Stalin’s communism or Mussolini’s fascism.”

How does she feel about being a darling of the House GOP? “Insofar as certain policymakers are reading the book, on the authorly level, that’s really gratifying,” she said.

“And if certain politicians find ‘The Forgotten Man’ useful for making arguments, that’s great, but that does not mean that I endorse the individual action of the individual lawmaker,” said Shlaes.

Covering her ass? Perhaps. But the book clearly is not what Republicans want it to be.

I like “pinkos” better than “pinkies”.

Apr 21, 2009 in Uncategorized

“SPEND! SPEND! SPEND!” while Stalin looks on approvingly:

Sound familiar?

“under the guise of recovery – bust the government – blame the capitalists for the failure – junk the constitution and declare a dictatorship”

According to Professor Bainbridge’s accompanying post the cartoon is from the Chicago Tribune in 1934.

-mg

I withhold my handshake, take that you demon!

Apr 21, 2009 in Barack Obama, Clueless Conservatives

Josh Marshall looks at the rightwinger meltdown over Obama’s handshake and notes the massive neuroses on display:

What’s striking to me though is that a lot of it seems like a very genuine, gut-level emotional response. (A related example is what Matt Yglesias pointed out a few days ago — how many right-wingers seem to have convinced themselves that North Korea, a borderline failed state on the possible brink of economic collapse somehow has the US over a barrel.)

In the course of our normal lives, few of us have much difficulty identifying habits of defensiveness or a penchant for histrionic or petulant interactions as signs of weakness, not strength. Really powerful people don’t need stunts and usually signal their power by a certain graciousness and indifference in such interactions. They have nothing to prove. But American power, respect, command of public opinion — however you want to define it — must be in these people’s minds an extremely brittle thing. They really do seem like extremely insecure people.

Rightwingers have a really hard time understanding that most of the antipathy we received around the world in recent years was because people just hated their beloved George W. Bush. While the guys at Powerline and NRO sat around debating how big a genius Dubya was, he proved an easy foil for the rest of the world. Obama doesn’t, and it’s to our strategic advantage.

However, it would help if a third of the country weren’t completely fucking bonkers and riddled with more insecurities than a 5’5″ middle school kid with size 13 feet, explosive acne and no pubes.

-jb

Cheney speaks!

Apr 21, 2009 in Uncategorized

But who cares, except to note and do the precise opposite?

-jb

The Gay Exemption Clause.

Apr 20, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, teh gay

A brilliant point is made (you know it’s brilliant when you slap your head and yell, “Why didn’t I think of that already, it’s so simple!”)

The “victimized” Christian bigots are of course not making a thorough, comprehensive (i.e., truly libertarian) demand for full entrepreneurial freedom of contract — and its reciprocal “right to refuse service to anyone.” All they want to do is discriminate against gays. Not “anyone and everyone.” Just gays.

Which is precisely why they should not be allowed to do so. As I have blogged previously: Whether or not you approve of bans on private discrimination is not the point — we are not debating the creation of Libertopia.

The point is instead whether, given that we already have such laws, are we going to craft and apply those laws consistently, logically and equitably — or are we going to short-circuit the entire raison d’être of such laws by allowing the majoritarian mob to fashion carve-outs for the very same insular minorities who are most in need of such laws?

If the religious bigots really want to invoke libertarian arguments to legitimize their bigotry, then they better be prepared to be judged by real libertarians about the entire spectrum of libertarian issues — including separation of church and state.

Think they’ll go for it?

Of course not. Anti-gay people want a special exemption to discriminate against gays without any blowback in their career. They know they can’t live in Libertopia the libertarian paradise where the market eliminates discrimination, in fact they don’t want to, because it may end up subjecting them to discrimination for their Christian(ist) “lifestyle.”

Customer: “Can I get twenty bucks on pump five?”
Cashier: “I see you have a No on 8 sticker on your car. We don’t serve your kind here!”

Anti-gay folks want to discriminate, plain and simple. They really want to, so as a matter of “principle,” they are content to pretend that they will be the victims if they aren’t allowed to. Cuz Jesus told them not to rent to fags or something, but whatever…

-jb

Just like the Boston Tea Party.

Apr 19, 2009 in Uncategorized

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart M – Th 11p / 10c
Tea Party Tyranny
thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic Crisis Political Humor

100-mpg hybrid Hummer.

Apr 18, 2009 in Energy

The Hummer is the poster child of excess consumption and inefficiency, but a Utah company is converting the much-maligned SUVs into a range-extended electric vehicle good for 100 mpg and a range of 40 miles.

Raser Technologies will unveil the Raser H3 on Monday in Detroit. It promises a 90 mph top speed, off-road capability and a lithium ion-battery you can recharge in as little as three hours. What’s more, the company says the drivetrain can be installed in other trucks and it hopes to have 2,000 converted vehicles on the road by the end of next year.

Make the dream real.

-jb

Mandatory reading.

Apr 18, 2009 in Barack Obama

Glenn Greenwald lays out the most coherent and logical picture of how to look at Obama’s release of the torture memos.

Purely as an analytical matter, releasing the OLC memos and advocating against prosecutions are two separate acts. It’s perfectly coherent to praise one and condemn the other. There is an unhealthy tendency to want to make categorical, absolute judgments about the persona of politicians generally and Obama especially (“I like him”/”I don’t like him”; “I trust him/I don’t trust him”) rather than case-by-case judgments about his specific acts. “Like” and “trust” are sentiments appropriate for one’s friends and loved ones, not political leaders. A politician who does something horrible yesterday can do something praiseworthy tomorrow. Generally bad people can do good things (even if for ignoble reasons) and generally good people can do bad things. That’s why I care little about motives, which I think, in any event, are impossible to know. Regardless of motives, good acts (releasing the torture memos) should be praised, and bad acts (arguing against prosecutions) should be condemned.

Beyond those generalities, I think the significance of Obama’s decision to release those memos — and the political courage it took — shouldn’t be minimized. There is no question that many key factions in the “intelligence community” were vehemently opposed to release of those memos. I have no doubt that reports that they waged a “war” to prevent release of these memos were absolutely true. The disgusting comments of former CIA Director Mike Hayden on MSNBC yesterday — where he made clear that he simply does not believe in the right of citizens to know what their government does and that government crimes should be kept hidden– is clearly what Obama was hearing from many powerful circles. That twisted anti-democratic mentality is the one that predominates in our political class.

In the United States, what Obama did yesterday is simply not done. American Presidents do not disseminate to the world documents which narrate in vivid, elaborate detail the dirty, illegal deeds done by the CIA, especially not when the actions are very recent, were approved and ordered by the President of the United States, and the CIA is aggressively demanding that the documents remain concealed and claiming that their release will harm national security. When is the last time a President did that?

Much of the criticism of Obama is ground, fairly, in the tone and spirit of his campaign. Yet, by and far, I think he has delivered in ways that justified the way he ran. People expecting Liberal Superman, who also weren’t listening very carefully during the campaign, have made a lot of noise about their disappointment, but when one looks at the institution of the presidency, it is clear that Obama has gone above and beyond the intuitive limitations of the establishment. We may never see Liberal Superman, or President Jesus Christ, but what we are getting is a president who in short time has smoothly rebelled against decades of stagnant, putrid conventions.

While we must continue to hold him accountable, we do so in collaboration. So I ask again, when have we had that? Obama’s liberalism steeped in canny pragmatism demands we give as much as we demand, and when the public clears the path for him, he will move us forward. The good news is that the public is quite ready to rethink old doctrines (witness the changing winds on the drug war and gay marriage).

And in the very same week, we see a new dawn for U.S.-Cuba relations, overturning 50 years of foolishness. Anybody who doesn’t think they’ve seen change yet risks sabotaging Obama’s momentum, and the chance of ever seeing the kind of president they truly dream of.

Fans of The Wire need only one warning: Don’t turn him into Carcetti, initially idealistic and eventually crippled by the job.

-jb

More right wing victimology. Chritianist Edition.

Apr 18, 2009 in Christian Right, Religion

I was reading Red State and came across a terrific example of how even the most innocuous events can be construed as an “attack” to those looking to portray themselves as an embattled victim. For effect I’m going to quote the post in reverse order by putting the Obama quote first and the commentary second to hightlight the author’s interpretation. The title of the post is “Barack Obama, the Anti-Christian President.”

“Whatever we once were, we’re no longer just a Christian Nation; we are also Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu Nation, and a nation of non-believers.” Barack Obama in an email to CBN News, June 2007

Barack Obama declares the end of Judeo-Christian influence in the United States:

To writer mailloux, mentioning Judaism and Islam as having important roles alongside Christianity is interpreted as declaring the “end of Judeo-Christian influence”. Whether it is either a willful or unintentional misreading of a straight-forward commentary on the uncontroversial religious diversity of the United States, it assumes that President Obama has special authority in matters of religious influence. Just like the right-wings simplistic definition of what makes the media liberal (if you’re not actively promoting the Republican agenda then you’re liberal), it is assumed that since Obama isn’t actively advocating Christianity as the state religion he must be anti-Christian.

“Somehow, somewhere along the way, faith stopped being used to bring us together and started being used to drive us apart. It got hijacked. Part of it’s because of the so-called leaders of the Christian Right, who’ve been all too eager to exploit what divides us.”

Barack Obama identifies the Christian right as THE problem:

“The so-called leaders” that are “eager to exploit what divides us” are now associated with the entire Christian Right itself. The wording and the intended meaning of Obama’s statement couldn’t be easier to discern, even by those with a rudimentary knowledge of the language couldn’t interpret it otherwise. To derive an alternate and more sinister meaning one has to be either consciously doing so or genuinely convinced that President Obama is in fact lying about his faith and has an anti-Christian agenda.

The post culminates in this cut and pasted paragraph from CNS News; a right-wing outlet run by frequent FOX News commentator and liberal media conspiracy buff Brent Bozell.

“Georgetown University says it covered over the monogram “IHS”–symbolizing the name of Jesus Christ—because it was inscribed on a pediment on the stage where President Obama spoke at the university on Tuesday and the White House had asked Georgetown to cover up all signs and symbols there . . . On Wednesday, CNSNews.com inspected the pediment embedded in the wall at the back of the stage in Gaston Hall, where Obama delivered his speech. The letters “IHS” were not to be found. They appeared to be shrouded with a triangle of black-painted plywood.”

If and only if it can gain him votes during an election does Obama condescend to any association with Christ. Otherwise, make way for the real messiah (aka “The One”). Case in point? Obama speaks at Georgetown University (a Catholic School) and specifically requests that the monogram “IHS” (i.e. Jesus) be covered up so as not to appear over him while he’s delivering his gospel.

In what was most certainly a gesture to ensure that it didn’t look like government was promoting one religion over another or simply preparing a backdrop consistent with other policy speeches the president has made, the president chose to make his address sans the IHS above his head.

Despite statements from the White House and Georgetown University that didn’t lend any credence to the CNS assumption that the stage considerations were an assault on Christians, Red State commenters have made up their minds to the contrary.

Some of my favorite comments can be found below the fold.
(more…)

Yeah, there’s some olives left, some punch scum…

Apr 17, 2009 in Politics

Andrew Sullivan, late to the party:

The last seven years have revealed that almost the entire American establishment views itself as immune to the moral and ethical rules it applies to every other country in the world. Now we know, at least.

Andrew Sullivan will die never saying a nice thing about Noam Chomsky, but this is old news for those of us who cut their teeth on Chomsky. This has been standard operating procedure for at least 50 years, arguably longer, and Chomsky was documenting it in works like Manufacturing Dissent decades ago. It’s because of the work of people like Chomsky that social consciousness of government misdeeds has risen in scope and clarity, to the point that when Bush thought he could get away with some of the same old tricks, a new form of media existed on the internet that wasn’t deferential to power or prestige.

-jb

BUSTED!!!!

Apr 16, 2009 in Uncategorized

Ah...the pieces are all coming together...

Ah...the pieces are all coming together...

Scary black man!

Apr 16, 2009 in Uncategorized

Mike Tyson bites the ear off of a transvestite Uncle Sam.

Mike Tyson bites Uncle Sam's ear off.

Sounds like a reasonable comparison to me!

Apr 16, 2009 in Uncategorized

Whaauut??  Hes just Hitler, K?

Whaauut?? He's just Hitler, K?

I wonder who this guy voted for in the last election?

Apr 16, 2009 in Uncategorized

NAILED IT!!!!

NAILED IT!!!!

AIG wants me. What does that say about their operation?

Apr 15, 2009 in Uncategorized

I thought some of you might find this interesting. Broke as a joke AIG is ready to pay me $27 per hour to resolve property casualty claims. Here’s the email:

From:
Date: Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 10:38 AM
Subject: MICHAEL, Volt Services Group has a position available. Job Title: Adjuster
To: michael.ganzeveld@gmail.com

Dear MICHAEL,

A new job opening is now available for your consideration. I have a 2 month contract available with Volt, however you would be working on-site at AIG in Des Moines, IA. The pay rate is $27/hr. Please review the job description and requirements listed below:

Job Description: Investigate evaluate and resolve bodily injury, property damage and/or no-fault claims. Negotiate settlements as authorized.

Requirements: Claims Adjustment experience.

If you are interested in this position, please contact me at 1-888-644-8658 EXT 242

Thank you,
Gretchen Kipp

Technical Recruiter
Gkipp@volt.com
888-644-8658 EXT 242

Thanks taxpayers!! Nah. Although the idea of me taking it easy on the taxpayers dime sounds enticing there are a couple of things that stand out to me as red flags. First, they’re contacting a guy that lives in Cedar Rapids. A town that is at least two hours drive from Des Moines. Two, it’s a two month contract. Both of these details mean one thing to me: shitty job.

-mg

Jack-booted-thugs-in-black-helicopters Update

Apr 15, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives

“Obama’s coming to get us!” has been a popular catch-phrase among gentle-minded even-keeled conservatives who possess common sense for some time now, but a new DHS report on rightwing extremists and the threat of 90s style terrorism on the rise has convinced Joe America that Barack Hussein Obama is tracking him down and will strike any second. After all, John Q. Republican warns us, if such a report had been issued about us leftwing unpatriots, we’d be flippin’ mad too!

In fact, the Obama administration in January did issue a warning about left-wing extremists. Both reports were initiated during the administration of former President George W. Bush.

FAIL.

-jb

4 to 8 more years-

Apr 14, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, Iraq

-of crazy:

Of course, whenever Texans or Alaskans or even Vermonters talk about seceding, I always think, “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass!” Also, “Does this mean we can invade?” But seriously, if the Governor of Texas actually believes his citizens will be content to lose their U.S. citizenship, then we are looking at a Republican black hole. No light can escape from it. Wayfarers will divert course to evade the suck. Eventually, the party will become so tightly compressed people will wonder if they even exist.

-jb

The long game?

Apr 14, 2009 in Barack Obama, Glenn Greenwald, Legal, War Crimes

Glenn Greenwald sizes up the liberal consensus against Obama on unlawful imprisonment. It’s brutal. Greenwald should keep up the pressure.

But there are dissenters among liberals and others concerned about habeus corpus. Obama plays the long game, they say, and his critics often speak too soon. Procedural hurdles may be the culprit as the Obama administration takes some time to assess each prisoner on hand. I don’t suggest this as an excuse to be forgotten later: I intend to acknowledge greater blame for Obama as time progresses. Six months from now I’ll have a much harder time believing they’re still working on it. A year? Please, give Obama credit for knowing that line won’t work then.

By no means, however, should we be ambiguous with President Obama about what answer we expect.

-jb

Iowa: The best of the Democrats and the worst of the Republicans.

Apr 14, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, Iowa, teh gay

Via Norm Sterzenbach

Matt Strawn, Chairman, Republican Party of Iowa:

“And then Friday with the ruling with the Supreme Court they see a governor that comes out, everybody in the state had an opinion on that ruling within five seconds of it hitting the newswire except our governor. He puts out a two sentence statement talking about it being a complicated issue that he has to talk to his legal advisors about. That’s not leadership and our people see that and Iowans see that, not just republicans..” [Iowa Press, April 10, 2009]

Chuck Grassley, U.S. Senator:

“You better ask me in a month, after I’ve had a chance to think.” [Des Moines Register, April 9, 2009]

It doesn’t take much to outclass gay-hating bimbos. Even pausing to think gets you booted out of the cool kidz club!

-jb

Norm Coleman, STFU.

Apr 14, 2009 in Uncategorized

The judges couldn’t have made it more plain:

“The overwhelming weight of the evidence indicates that the Nov. 4, 2008, election was conducted fairly, impartially and accurately,” the panel said in its unanimous decision.

The panel concluded that Franken, a DFLer, “received the highest number of votes legally cast” in the election. Franken emerged from the trial with a 312-vote lead, the court ruled, and “is therefore entitled to receive the certificate of election.”

I believe this makes three rulings in Franken’s favor. What does Coleman have to gain here? I know, he’s preventing Franken from being seated, depriving Democrats of a crucial vote in the Senate, etc. etc. But Coleman obviously has no aspirations to seek public office ever again, ever. Who the hell would vote for (much less hire) an obstructionist like him now? I can only hope Kazeminy funneled enough money Norm’s way to keep him and Laurie happy through retirement.

-JJB Mpls

The radiant brilliance of Clarence Thomas.

Apr 13, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives

One of nine Supreme Court justices, although often mistaken for Scalia’s echo:

‘Today there is much focus on our rights,” Justice Thomas said. “Indeed, I think there is a proliferation of rights.”

“I am often surprised by the virtual nobility that seems to be accorded those with grievances,” he said. “Shouldn’t there at least be equal time for our Bill of Obligations and our Bill of Responsibilities?”

Shouldn’t he, as an upholder to the Constitution, remember those things don’t exist? This sounds an awfully lot like judicial activism. What does he mean?

He gave examples: “It seems that many have come to think that each of us is owed prosperity and a certain standard of living. They’re owed air conditioning, cars, telephones, televisions.”

Well, somebody owes me a right rearview mirror, I just don’t know who the little fucker who knocked it off in the middle of the night was. Can he cite any cases he’s heard in the last year involving owed air conditioning?

In his defense, Clarence Thomas may have been raised by wood nymphs.

“I have to admit,” he said, “that I’m one of those people that still thinks the dishwasher is a miracle. What a device! And I have to admit that because I think that way, I like to load it. I like to look in and see how that dishes were magically cleaned.”

-jb

The crime created by marijuana prohibition.

Apr 13, 2009 in Drugs

Mexico can’t afford our money fueling their drug lords much longer:

As the bodies pile up on the Mexican battlefield, where rival drug cartels war against each other and the Mexican military, the government there is increasingly looking for an exit strategy.

Contrary to their public image, a major source of revenue for the cartels comes from the marijuana trade. Precise numbers are obviously hard to come by, but some U.S. government drug policy officials estimate that more than half of drug cartel revenue comes from the pot business — meaning it may be more accurate to refer to them as “marijuana cartels.”

Taking pot revenue away from the cartels could significantly weaken them, leading some leading Mexican officials to suggest legalizing and regulating the trade. The Mexican ambassador to the United States, Arturo Sarukhan, became the latest on Sunday to call for the United States to seriously consider legalizing its appetite for marijuana.

Now, one could theorize that someday we’ll magically figure out how to stop people wanting to do drugs enough to make selling them unprofitable on the black market.

In fact, that’s what we’ve tried with our irrational and destructive Drug War policies. It has been a failure.

With that said, let me offer a caveat: Mexico, if that’s what you want, then take the first damn step. Right now it’s technically illegal to smoke a joint in Mexico, but absolutely nobody takes such a law seriously. I know for a fact that if you walk into the right bar in TJ late at night, there’s a whole lot more on the menu than carne asada.

So tell every farmer growing pot in Mexico, and everybody with some to sell, that it’s all clear and legal, and storefront businesses can distribute it along with liquor. Then wait and see what we do, while the blood stops flowing in Mexico’s streets.

-jb

Is Global Warming a myth?

Apr 13, 2009 in Global warming

The answer is still no.

-jb

The Military Industrial Complex as socialistic stimulus plan.

Apr 13, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, Economy

Better to kill than build bridges.

One of the major themes of last week was the degree to which Republicans in Congress were deceptively referring to Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ budget proposal as a weak-on-defense spending cut. The corollary to that claim–articulated by many Republicans, but also some Democrats–is that defense spending “cuts” will cost jobs. The problem is, though, that most of the people making that argument voted against the stimulus bill this past winter.

Last week we caught Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) in just such a contradiction. During the debate over the stimulus, Chambliss lashed out at the specter of government recession spending, calling it a “bloated government giveaway.” But then, he called into the NPR program Talk of the Nation and said none of that matters as long as the spending is defense spending.

“[W]hen it comes to stimulating the economy,” Chambliss said, there’s no better way to do it than to spend it in the defense community.”

Chambliss, always a dullard, expresses the distilled programming of a person suckered into thinking he’s principled while he dutifully repeats the necessary truisms of his corporate masters. The military industrial complex has laid out its cash for politicians to feed on for years.

And now, it is accepted basic knowledge that social welfare for the rich is perfectly rational and, actually, very effective. What you aren’t allowed to do, in Republican theology, is reward the filthy poor who haven’t earned it yet. But they didn’t stop there, they argued that the stimulus spending would be ineffective.

As our readers should know by now, Republican lapdogs have subscribed to the master’s ethos that serves free market for the scumbag working class, but spares the uber-class who we can only hope to be like.

-jb

Tea-bagging Parties: Not exactly grass roots.

Apr 13, 2009 in Uncategorized

Astro-turf alert. Think Progress, via Krugman, has the goods. The tea-bagging parties are coordinated and financed by usual winger sugar daddies Richard Mellon Scaife and Dick Armey while Fox News is billing the events as a grass-roots movement organized by regular Joe’s like you and me. In fact, they’re being run by Freedom Works and Americans for Prosperity staffers.

-mg

And what the hell are they protesting, anyway?

All the Real Girls must be recognized as one of the all-time great films.

Apr 13, 2009 in Culture

[youtube OqPnijAAptw]

Mike G. just told me he watched All the Real Girls for the first time. I’ve been telling anybody who will listen that it’s a genuine classic of cinema. Hopefully Danny McBride‘s newfound popularity (watch Eastbound and Down on HBO) will start landing it in a few more DVD queues. Director David Gordon Green is, strangely, making a bigger mark in comedy at the moment, but 2007’s Snow Angels shows that he’s still a serious force as a dramatic director.

Warning to all men: You have never seen a film that portrays real male heartbreak more devastatingly. Also, showing this movie to a girl you are currently dating may mark the point where she starts telling herself it may be time to move on. This is a movie gets inside the DNA of the human heart, and it may change you profoundly without your knowledge or permission.

-jb

Better than W’s codpiece any day of the week.

Apr 12, 2009 in Uncategorized

Three pirates are now at the bottom of the sea looking for Davy Jones’ locker as are the hopes and dreams of the Limbaugh Party members who were praying that President Obama’s reaction would fulfill their tedious, Carter-esque predictions. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not only happy that the Navy Seals saved that poor bastard but am also ecstatic that the resulting good PR for Obama will drive the wingers even more insane with hatred than they already are. I await the imminent crow eating with glee.

-mg

Limbaugh pwned.

Apr 08, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives

Jim Jones, er…I mean, Rush Limbaugh, is in trouble when call screening can’t save him from pissed off Republicans.

In the end, he has to cut the mic and calls this Marine and Army veteran who voted for McCain an idiot for awhile, unable to rebut anything, lying through his teeth claiming he doesn’t support torture. The best he can do is say, “We didn’t kill anybody!” which is a) untrue and b) not the definition of torture.

It seems to me that if citizens understood better the importance among Republicans that their leaders maintain a one-way conversation, with room allowed only for assent (although I give Limbaugh credit for letting the man whallop him for two minutes straight), their parlor games would be much less successful.

-jb

Reader Meet Author.

Apr 07, 2009 in Uncategorized

Nobody could have predicted

Poplawski was a neo-Nazi wannabe who railed against blacks, Jews, “Zionists,” and gun control. And like many members of the far-right fringe, he allegedly visited Jones’ Web sites and posted alarming reports by Jones’ writers on the white supremacist message board, Stormfront. (Poplawski’s posts are here, authored under the handle, “Braced For Fate.”) While Alex Jones generally avoids overt racism, he has found an eager audience on Stormfront by conjuring dark visions of an impending New World Order, claiming FEMA is secretly building a national concentration camp network, and announcing that President Barack Obama has planned mass gun seizures on his way to establishing a leftist dictatorship. “Remember, the first step in establishing a dictatorship is to disarm the citizens,” warned a March 13 commentary on Jones’ website, Prison Planet.

I can never tell if guys like Glenn Beck or Alex Jones stupid enough to believe the stories they tell or if they’re just that cynical. …

“I’ve never seen an awakening this big. I’m seeing Glenn Beck talk about the New World Order on Fox, I’m seeing you talk about it,” Jones told Napolitano. “We’re seeing Lou Dobbs talk about it, we’re seeing mainline hosts—Limbaugh’s even talking about global government. Michael Savage is talking about how Obama may stage crises to bring in martial law. So all the things that I was talking about in the wilderness ten plus years ago are now hitting mainstream, and it is great!”

Where are these people when a Republican is in office?

-mg

Git yer shootin’ irons!

Apr 07, 2009 in Uncategorized

Saddle up boys…it’s the Palins versus the Johnstons!

It must be rough being amongst those who during the campaign made Bristol’s pregnancy out to be some sort of holy blessing. Like clockwork the online devoted did the one thing they know best; portray Bristol as a victim of The Librul Media ™ and Levi as gallant husband/father to be as soon as anyone dared to point out that the decision to push Bristol and Levi out in front of the Klieg lights might have been a little slapdash. Supposedly, it was to slake the thirst of the MSM beast that hungered to know if Trig was actually the daughter of Sarah Palin. I dunno…I guess I missed all that when it was covered intensely on Meet The Press and in the pages of the Wall Street Journal.

-mg

“My generation doesn’t care.”

Apr 07, 2009 in Uncategorized

Hat tip to DL.

-mg