Saturday, May 19, 2007

Ron Paul Wins S. Carolina Debate, Pat Buchannan tells us why.

I doubt there's anyone who'd seriously question Pat's Conservative credentials. Indeed, he's a proud paleoconservative - and he's pointing out that he's right more often than neocons based on his version of "Right."

But what's interesting is that fox vewiers got there first, giving Sen. Ron Paul (Libertarian-republican and anti-war from the beginning) a clear win. Granted, this was probably not Fox's usual demographic, but still...

PJB: But Who Was Right – Rudy or Ron? ::: Patrick J. Buchanan - Official Website: "Ron Paul says Osama bin Laden is delighted we invaded Iraq.

Does the man not have a point? The United States is now tied down in a bloody guerrilla war in the Middle East and increasingly hated in Arab and Islamic countries where we were once hugely admired as the first and greatest of the anti-colonial nations. Does anyone think that Osama is unhappy with what is happening to us in Iraq?

Of the 10 candidates on stage in South Carolina, Dr. Paul alone opposed the war. He alone voted against the war. Have not the last five years vindicated him, when two-thirds of the nation now agrees with him that the war was a mistake, and journalists and politicians left and right are babbling in confession, “If I had only known then what I know now …”

Rudy implied that Ron Paul was unpatriotic to suggest the violence against us out of the Middle East may be in reaction to U.S. policy in the Middle East. Was President Hoover unpatriotic when, the day after Pearl Harbor, he wrote to friends, “You and I know that this continuous putting pins in rattlesnakes finally got this country bitten.”

Pearl Harbor came out of the blue, but it also came out of the troubled history of U.S.-Japanese relations going back 40 years. Hitler’s attack on Poland was naked aggression. But to understand it, we must understand what was done at Versailles – after the Germans laid down their arms based on Wilson’s 14 Points. We do not excuse – but we must understand."
I don't have a great deal in common with Ron Paul OR Pat Buchanan, other than this - the common-sense observation that foreign policy is no different than any other sort of human interaction; if it is inequitable, if bad faith is involved, you create legitimate enemies, and if that sort of behavior is a consistent part of your foreign policy, sooner or later you will have to pay the piper.

This is about ethics, in other words. They apply just as strongly to our government's behavior toward "ferreners" as they do to it's behavior toward us - and my observation is that people and governments are just as willing to play fast and loose with people they know as those they don't - though the chances of being made to pay personally for their errors tends to keep them under control.

Almost by definition, wars occur because of some injustice or blunder, real, perceived or more usually, some mixture of the two. So the first step in ending such wars and foreign adventures is to admit that we are neither smart enough, wise enough or well-informed enough to impose solutions on other people - especially when those other people have every reason to question the purity of our motives.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Holier than Thou Finals, Southern Division, goes into Sudden Death Overtime!


Dick Cheney Sez: Jerry Falwell went to hell shirtI haven't said anything about the passing of Cousin Jerry, as "Good Riddance" seemed rude and dismissive, while anything more seemed a waste of precious photons. But as others have said more, it's not too much effort to quote them.

the adventures of a boy and his computer - Home of the Tyranny of the Minority: "Now I don't hate the old bucket o' lard, and I don't care about christianity or any other religion, though for myself, Marx' view on religion is an apt one. It is the opiate of the people. Like any opiate, it requires a pusher, a distribution system; and unfortunately, like any addictive substance, it tends to suck the user dry while benefitting the pusher. and make no mistake, Jerky benefitted quite nicely. He lived a comfortable life.

Like any pusher, Jerky cut his religion with a variety of agents that would ensure maximum potency and continued addiction. To keep the faithful coming back for more(or to continue exploiting them, if you will, and I don't care if you won't). Jerky blended in a generous amount of hatred and fear. The 'god' he made in his own image thought it was fine for the Botha government to brutally oppress the blacks and coloureds in South Africa, he encouraged his congregation to buy Krugerrands to finance this activity. We all know of his happy tendency to blame the gays and abortionistes and feministes for the WTC/Pentagon incidents, and the drowning of the poor after Katrina, God approved of that line, too. Curiously, god was mute on the possibility of Jerky sharing his wealth to assist the victims of said disasters. Ryland wondered if Fred Phelps would show up to protest."
And that's where this otherwise unremarkable passing of a smug con-artist becomes potentially amusing. From http://www.godhatesamerica.com /, confirmation that Westbourogh Baptist Church will be there.


"WBC will Preach at Jerry Falwell's Funeral!!


WBC will preach at the memorial service of the corpulent false prophet Jerry Falwell, who spent his entire life prophesying lies and false doctrines like "God loves everyone".

There is little doubt that Falwell split Hell wide open the instant he died. The evidence is compelling, overwhelming, and irrefragable. To wit:

1. Falwell was a true Calvinistic Baptist when he was a young preacher in Springfield, Missouri, and sold his soul to Free-Willism (Arminianism) for lucre.

2. Falwell bitterly and viciously attacked WBC because of WBC's faithful Bible preaching -- thereby committing the unpardonable sin -- otherwise known as the sin against the Holy Ghost.

3. Falwell warmly praised Christ-rejecting Jews, pedophile-condoning Catholics, money-grubbing compromisers, practicing fags like Mel White, and backsliders like Billy Graham and Robert Schuler, etc. All for lucre -- making him guilty of their sins.


Falwell is in Hell, Praise God!!



America, Cursed of God
Yep, Falwell is going to Hell for his cursed Liberalism! Me, I don't much care where he is, so long as he ain't here.

My money is on the good ol' boys and gals from Thomas Road Baptist. I hope they respond with all the Christian charity and forbearance we have come to expect of Jerry and his followers.

But as a good Libertarian with an entrepreneurial streak, I want to show up with a push-cart filled with commemorative axe handles.

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Illustration credit:Dick Cheney Sez: Jerry Falwell went to Hell by webcarve Get this custom shirt at Zazzle

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

"The Usual Hiring Practices"

Another phony crony is revealed;

The former head of the federal agency overseeing family planning programs misled the public about his qualifications and background, a RAW STORY investigation has found.

Appointed by President George W. Bush in late 2006 as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Population Affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Eric J. Keroack resigned unexpectedly in March of this year after Massachusetts officials launched a formal investigation into allegations of Medicaid fraud during his tenure in private practice.


The Raw Story | Heckuva job? Bush Administration vaunted bogus credentials for birth control czar, records show

Another HHS spokesperson, Rebecca Ayer, said that HHS had never had an official biography for Dr. Keroack, but provided assurances that he had gone through the “standard hiring process.”

Saying she could not comment further on personnel issues due to the Privacy Act, Ayer suggested this reporter file a Freedom of Information Request.

...

Though he has no formal research credentials, Dr. Keroack has lectured widely from a PowerPoint presentation that uses Loony Tunes characters to illustrate his theory that premarital sex damages the female brain, making non-abstinent women incapable of forming emotional bonds. [emphasis mine]

Keroack’s highly unorthodox medical views had originally cast doubt on his qualifications to serve as the nation’s birth control czar. His appointment did not require confirmation from Congress
So this is what the "usual hiring practice" results in - someone who LOOKS competent on paper (if you squint, and nobody investigate) AND who nonetheless holds views the Bush Administration likes. They probably had difficulty getting even palioconservative OBGYN's to sign off on some of the bizarre ideas they have. This is what happens when politicized Evangelical Christians try to govern in the face of reality.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

We "Liberals" Feel Your Pain, Neil

Cue the tiny violins...

Media Matters - Boortz accuses Media Matters of trying to manipulate "some whimpering old woman executive somewhere": "On the May 14 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, host Neal Boortz accused Media Matters for America -- which he referred to as 'Media Myrmidons' and 'Brocksters,' a reference to Media Matters President and CEO David Brock -- of 'waiting for one little statement that you can take out of its total context and just go on a rampage with, with your Web postings and see if you can pull that Don Imus thing off all over again, see if you can find some whimpering old woman executive somewhere that'll just [say], 'Oh! Oh, my God! We've got to do something now.' ' Boortz also said, 'And it's not just me, you're doing the same thing to [right-wing radio hosts] Michael Savage and Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and the rest of them."


Yeah, that's about right. But then, is there really a context in which "nappy headed ho's" is appropriate? Or for that matter, you saying a congresswoman "Looks like a Ghetto Slut?"
Yep, after years and years and years of hearing wingnut talkers such as yourself take everything any opposing political or social figure says or out of context and "demagogue" it, I understand how you feel. But after all the Purple Heart band-aids, the "Al Gore invented the Internet" jokes and the moronic jeering about climate change and peak oil, you gotta understand, Neal - when we feel for you, the word for what we feel is "Schadenfreude."

You see, Neal - I can call you Neal, right - Neal, you and your ilk have gotten so good at thinking and speaking in sound-bites, and so amazingly, totally fucking indifferent to the sensibilities of decent people that context doesn't much matter. Most of your paragraphs are self-explanatory.

K
inda like this:

"If you are a grown adult in this country who is not suffering from some hideous physical or mental disability, and you are trying to raise children on the minimum wage, then you are a 100 percent pure unadulterated loser. ... I am so sick and damned tired of all those left-wing bedwetters and sympathy pimps out there ... just moaning over these people who have squandered their American birthright by becoming just the dregs of socie[ty]."

Come to think of it, in your case, context just makes it worse.



Now you might just say that's your opinion, and you have a right to it. I'd agree. But it's a stupid, hateful and untrue opinion. It wouldn't even be terribly difficult to prove the untruth of it - but even if you were factually correct, it's still un-American, un-Neighborly and certainly Unchristian. Aside from that, I recall both David Duke and George Wallace being a little more sophisticated in their verbal attacks on the motives and moral failings of others.

Of course, you welcome such criticism as free publicity. And that's true enough - so long as your advertisers aren't embarrassed by being associated with such crap.

But increasingly, advertisers ARE embarrassed - because there are folks out there making sure they learn what their dollars are supporting. The thing about "free speech," Neil, is that the speech is free, but the studio costs money. When your speech starts costing Cox money, you can bet they'll find someone else to fill your slot.

Maybe even Al Frankin, if he doesn't become Senator Al.

Because, well, he is a lot more entertaining and he doesn't open his yap until he has facts to support his views. I believe you helped illustrate that point, and him handing you your ass on air sure didn't hurt his ratings.

In an appearance on CNN Daybreak to discuss the new liberal talk radio network, Air America Radio, Boortz claimed that the network's star, Al Franken, refused to host his show because he wouldn't get control of the phone lines.

After the network launched, Boortz appeared on Franken's show and Franken asked him about the comment. Boortz said "if you're reading from a transcript, that's wrong." When Franken pointed out "in context it doesn't make sense as anything else," Boortz responded "Hey, Al, don't get fixated on that, it's an error in the transcript or something. I've never asked you to host the show."

Franken later dug up the actual clip from the show, so he invited Boortz back and played that, along with Boortz's previous comments. The clip showed the transcript was accurate, so Boortz responded "Why are you so fixated on this, Al?" Al explained that he takes it seriously when someone lies, especially when they lie about him, and then lie again to cover it up. "Al, get over it," Boortz retorted.

Franken also played another clip from the CNN show. The host repeated a comment by Janeane Garofalo noting that "The American people have been conned into thinking liberal is a dirty word. Because of liberal reforms, we enjoy things like desegregation ..." Boortz responded "Let's see. Desegregation. You know, I thought the Civil Rights Act was passed over the objections of the Democrats in the Congress of the United States. You see? Janeane, pull that line on the air. Go ahead." Franken quoted Newt Gingrich saying "It was the liberal wing of the Democratic party that ended segregation," and pointed out that the Democrats who voted against it were all conservative Dixiecrats who became Republicans.

In response, Boortz sputtered "Be prepared to talk about some issues, not play a stupid, childish, moronic Al Franken game of 'Gotcha!' ... I am tired of playing the little nursery school thing with you, Al," and hung up. WMA audio clip of the above story

Later, even though he had specifically said, "I never asked you to host the show", Boortz responded on his website saying "You know what? Frankly, I can't really remember. After 35 years of talk radio how in the hell can you remember who you did and who you didn't ask to guest host." [6] He went on to attack Franken: "Al Franken approaches his show with a nasty demeanor and mean temperament. ... He's a comedian who has lost his sense of humor. He walks around with clenched fists, which makes it impossible to shake his hand."


Unhunh.
You Lost. Get over it. Move on.
Now the thing is, Neil; left, right or center, there's a big difference between KNOWING what you are talking about and just talking out of your ass. It's easy to get away with the latter if you screen your calls and shout down guests who have something intelligent to say in response. But thing is, Neil; aside from being obviously hate speech, your show is stupid speech and stupidity annoys me. You don't do your homework, you don't know the facts, you have no freakin' clue what the other side has to say, or what holes exist in your opinions until someone like Al sneaks up on you and hands you your head. It's embarrassing and painful to endure shows such as yours and Hannedy's where mere xenophobic resentment of change is substituted for Conservatism. Regan started the rot, replacing substance with style. His Republican successors lacked style - but brought no substance; not principles, not ideals, not even substantive ideas.
Real Conservative thought, which is all about hard questions and solid answers, is the logical anodyne and counterpoint for the excesses of Liberalism.

When "Shit Happens" - as it always does - you want a Conservative respons, based on a conservative, tested plan with a conservative - and pessimistic - view of what's possible and what's needed to achieve it.

Had there BEEN any actual Conservatives in charge anywhere NEAR the Oval Office, the Iraq war would have been over before it begun - and if it had begun, it would have been slow to start and quick to end. I say this, knowing a little something of Sun Tsu, Patton and Von Clauswitz.

And of course, there's that Katrina thing.

As a Libertarian, I'd like to see someone on talk radio that represented Middle America better than you, or any of the other successful right-wing talkers do. Granted, nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American People. Granted, you have a winning formula for market success within the Angry White Male demographic. But, the empty-headed yapping, whining and finger-pointing serves nobody's interests and is degrading speech in the public square. And since the same niche could be served just as well by someone smarter and better informed... I'm starting to ask, where the hell are they? Gresham's Law fuckin' bites.

I'd like to be able to listen to someone farther right than Ed Schultz without feeling like I need to take a bath afterwards, but so long as fools like you are taking up space and market share, the hope for that - and the return of real Conservatism to the political stage is dim indeed.

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Vote-Fraud in Nevada meant Voting other than Republican

Or so it seems, as the AG scandal unravels. But this isn't about the widespread corruption of the vote, as many might think, including the extremely dubious 2004 election results, results that seem to have been left to independent investigators to question when even quite blatant patterns of fraud benefited Republicans.

So we have a new and specifically Republican definition of "fraudulent votes." Those are votes that are not for Republican candidates. Failure to accept this newspeak redefinition of reality is grounds for dismissal.


Voter-Fraud Complaints by GOP Drove Dismissals - washingtonpost.com:

Last October, just weeks before the midterm elections, Rove's office sent a 26-page packet to Gonzales's office containing precinct-level voting data about Milwaukee. A Justice aide told congressional investigators that he quickly put the package aside, concerned that taking action would violate strict rules against investigations shortly before elections, according to statements disclosed this week.

That aide, senior counselor Matthew Friedrich, turned over notes to Congress that detailed a telephone conversation about voter fraud with another Justice official, Benton Campbell, chief of staff for the Criminal Division. Friedrich had asked Campbell for his assessment of Rove's complaints about problems in New Mexico, Milwaukee and Philadelphia, according to a congressional aide familiar with Friedrich's remarks.

The notes show that Campbell also identified Nevada as a problem district. Daniel G. Bogden of Las Vegas was among the nine U.S. attorneys known to have been removed from their jobs last year.

Rick Hasen, a professor at Loyola Law School who runs an election law blog, said that 'there's no question that Karl Rove and other political operatives' urged Justice officials to apply pressure on U.S. attorneys to pursue voter-fraud allegations in parts of the country that were critical to the GOP.


Obviously - to ordinary ethical beings of all political views - fraud is fraud is fraud, and should be prioritized according to the seriousness of the crime - and not according to who the fraud may benefit.

But in the Republican universe, clearly fraudulent actors - Katherine Harris leaps to mind - are rewarded instead of prosecuted.

The article continues, making the reason for the odd differentials clearer:

Rick Hasen, a professor at Loyola Law School who runs an election law blog, said that "there's no question that Karl Rove and other political operatives" urged Justice officials to apply pressure on U.S. attorneys to pursue voter-fraud allegations in parts of the country that were critical to the GOP.

So we now see the term "prosecutorial discretion" is seen to have an explicitly political dimension. For instance, I've found no evidence that the Sproul & Associates have been seriously investigated or prosecuted despite blatant registration frauds, including Nevada. Oddly, one of the fired prosecutors was from the las Vegas office.

Meanwhile, a Deputy AG has jumped ship, according to Wonkette:
Paul McNulty, who we think was also Philip Marlowe’s incompetent cop friend, is quitting the Justice Department to… wait, we don’t really understand his reason at all.
McNulty announced his plans to leave in a letter to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, citing the financial pressures of having children entering their college years, one official said.
Allow me to explain. As it would compromise future employment to be too direct about his reasons and he did not wish to cite "personal reasons," which is code for "I'm having to enter rehab" these days, he cites a socially inarguable reason that is going to cause twitters of disbelief.

He’s not making enough as a deputy attorney general? How many goddamn kids does he have? Is he married to Michele Bachmann?
Well, rich people might actually consider it plausible. And certainly if he wishes to send his kids to the Sorbonne to study Art History, he might just need the sort of job a man with his connections could get by picking up the phone and opening the bidding wars. However, it does put a crimp in his political - I mean, "public service" - career, and therefore, many will speculate as to the real reason.

And I presume that's his intent - to distance himself from this administration before it sends both private and public careers circling the john, sparing him the awkwardness of apologies, explainations and quite possibly supoenas down the line.

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