Archive for the ‘Moonbat Conspiracies’ Category

The Bitter Conservatives

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

I see the “Republicans Throwing Tantrums Because They Lost the Elections” talking point is still out there in full force. I briefly entertained the idea that it was reverberating so strongly because there was an element of truth to it — until I realized, to date, the most impressive tantrums I’ve seen lately came from Perez Hilton and the rest of the No-On-Prop-8 crowd.

But it’s our nation’s leaders telling us this; they’re even putting out official Department of Homeland Security reports about it. So it must be true. In this country, when we have elections, we are voting on what’s true — and those other guys won the elections. So you have to believe everything a left-winger says. So let us entertain no further doubts. The report is out, it is official, it must be true.

Besides, who can doubt the wisdom of the Garofaloracle?

Now, how did it work. Us bitter right-wingers, already clinging to our Bibles and our guns, and driven half-crazy because of the “global climate change” Karl Rove made happen with that giant machine he used to cause Hurricane Katrina, became even more unhinged when a black guy became President. So we formed our extremist groups, recruited some veterans who were just returning from The Iraq and Such As, and because of their youth, lack of experience, the trauma they’d been through, found them to be extremely pliable. We dressed them up as Somali pirates, ordered them to abduct Captain Phillips, but that plan fell through when Barack Obama bravely ordered the head-shots. So we took the gullible veterans we had left, had them spread some swine flu down by the Mexican border to try to force the government to close it down, and then we had them buzz-bomb people in New York City in Air Force One and an escorting F-16 fighter jet.

We’re just so bitter, you know.

It’s got nothing to do with the Treasury being forced to borrow an unprecedented $361 billion just for the second quarter of ’09, or what completely unpredictable things that is going to do to our inflation rate. It’s got nothing to do with leaving post after post unfilled in the executive branch, when dealing with perhaps the most friendly Senate in modern times…just because the executive is so busy with granting interviews and appearing on magazine covers. It’s got nothing to do with approaching tyrants on foreign soil, appeasing them, giving them the photo-ops they want, initiating conversations with them about American culpability — when said tyrants haven’t even asked for apologies yet. It’s got nothing to do with what all this says about dedication, or lack thereof, to forming a coherent and sensible plan, or to a true love of this country. It’s just black skin, that’s it. If it was a white guy signing off on all this stuff we’d be completely cool with it.

And so we’ll continue to slowly poison this country to death…with our toxic suggestions that, if it really is so awful to pass debt on to future generations (refer to State of the Union Speech, 2009)…maybe we should make a better effort to avoid that. And, that when people run companies that earn money, they ought to be able to keep some of it.

Should President Palin Bring the Obama Administration Up on Charges?

Friday, April 24th, 2009

AOL News editor is having some fun…or not.

At the White House, Press Secretary Adam Brickley said that President Sarah Palin stands firmly behind the decision. “It’s not as if we relish the thought of prosecuting members of the previous administration,” Brickley said, “but, at this point, there is a clearly established precedent – set in place by the Obama Administration themselves – which says that government officials must be held accountable if they contributed in any way to major breaches of the law. In this case, the individuals under investigation do appear to have purposefully allowed these terrorists to continue their actions – prioritizing international public opinion over the lives of the American people. So, while this may be a politically charged issue, there is a real need to prosecute.”

Best of the Web, yesterday, spelled this out as nothing less than a constitutional crisis — and, toward that end, made an unexpectedly strong case:

If officials pay for policy mistakes not only by losing elections but by losing their freedom, that would amount to a fundamental change in America’s form of government. As The Wall Street Journal notes in an editorial:

At least until now, the U.S. political system has avoided the spectacle of a new Administration prosecuting its predecessor for policy disagreements. This is what happens in Argentina, Malaysia or Peru, countries where the law is treated merely as an extension of political power.

What Obama is offhandedly contemplating, then, amounts to a step toward authoritarian government. The impulse behind the push to prosecute is an authoritarian one as well. Matthew Yglesias of the left-liberal Center for American Progress writes that “large-scale punishment for the perpetrators of Bush-era war crimes is less important than establishing some form of political consensus that torture is wrong for the future.”

Yglesias blames this lack of “consensus” on “the existence of a large and powerful conservative media apparatus,” including the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, and he quotes approvingly from a blogger called Neil Sinhababu:

I don’t think that we’re going to be able to establish any such consensus anytime soon. It used to be that we were worried about Fox News defeating us in elections, or beating the drums for another Bush Administration war. Winning by big margins is nice, because we don’t have to worry about those particular horrors for at least a little while. But now we have to worry about how Fox and the rest of the right-wing noise machine are going to continually sustain a substantial minority of crazy people, preventing the formation of an anti-torture consensus, an anti-war-of-aggression consensus, and anti-warrantless-spying consensus. Even if there’s majority support for these views, anybody scrapping for power within the Republican Party will find reason to oppose them, just to get a majority of Republicans.

I think the impossibility of consensus on these issues is part of why nobody thinks about consensus and there’s so much left-wing attention to judicial punishments for the perpetrators.

What troubles Yglesias and Sinhababu, then, is the existence of disagreement and debate–the essence of democracy. They seem to imply that prosecution is a method by which to force the consensus they would like to see. But a forced consensus is no consensus at all. If those now in power yield to the temptation to use authoritarian means–however well-intentioned their ends may be–they will set a precedent that their opponents, perhaps equally well-intentioned, may one day use against them.

To be sure, most of what we have written is speculative. Perhaps we will make it through the Obama years without being attacked, so that the dire consequences we imagine will never materialize. Perhaps, too, the current frenzy will blow over and will prove to have been only a distraction. But the president’s noncommittal words have fueled the Angry Left’s demands for recriminations.

It may be that the president can put out this fire only through bold and irreversible action–to wit, by issuing a blanket pardon of former officials and intelligence agents for their actions in the war on terror.

Obama, on this issue, is the perfect illustration of the hazards involved in confusing mediocrity with excellence, especially when investing power in candidates who are ideologically strangers to us. He looks — or at least, looked last year — like a walking triumph of order and reason over weirdness and chaos. But the theory that Obama is the triumph of order over chaos, is based entirely on the premise that a sensible Captain’s hand is upon the tiller of the ship-of-state. Whatever decision He makes about this issue, or that one, is bound to be sensible. This has to be the case. The dude talks kinda like Walter Cronkite, how can it not be true?

But nobody really knows what He’s going to decide. We don’t even know if, behind closed doors, the decision really belongs to Attorney General Eric Holder, as President Obama has said out in the open.

Our walking triumph of over-over-chaos, on this issue if on none other, is a loose cannon. We’re literally waiting to see if we still live in a representative democracy, or a banana republic. And it comes down to the itches one or two guys have between their ears.

Olbermann Summarizes Eight Years of Bush in Eight Minutes

Friday, January 16th, 2009

Six months from now, it’ll be just like a bunch of tapioca pudding haters getting together to launch endless rants about how much they hate tapioca.

On Gwatney

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Parent site Webloggin has as decent a round-up of the events as anyone, it seems at this time:

A man stormed into the State Democratic Party Headquarters and critically shot party chair Bill Gwatney. Gwatney died hours later. According to the the Arkansas Times the man may have been a former employee of Mr. Gwatney’s body shop and was recently let go.
The following description appeared in the Arkansas Times.

Arkansas State Democratic Party Chair Bill Gwatney was shot and critically wounded at State Democratic Party Headquarters on Capitol Avenue about 11:50 a.m. today, witnesses at the scene said.
Police may have picked up the shooter’s trail because he threatened someone with a gun nearby. Reports were that a man with a gun confronted a building manager in the Arkansas Baptist State Convention office building a few blocks east of Democratic headquarters and said he’d lost his job. This apparently was not long before the shooting. He pointed the gun, but didn’t shoot. He fled in a vehicle whose description may have been reported to police.

Gwatney, a former state senator, was an executive in a car dealership group, a business in which employment changes are not uncommon. Rumors immediately arose that the shooter might have been a disgruntled former employee of a Gwatney dealership. There were layoffs at a Gwatney dealership this week, according to employees.

The rumors about the car-dealership association between the two men have now been denied. One Police Lt. Terry Hastings is quoted as saying, “This is one of those things we may never know,” regarding the gunman’s motive.

Regarding the liberal attempts to blame conservatives, you can go anywhere. To the Webloggin link above, to Cassy’s spot, to Michelle Malkin, Democratic Underground, and DailyKos (“Please god, let them find RW stuff in the perp’s house”).

I found out from this incident that it has become popular among lefties to use the initials “RW” for right-wing and “LW” for left-wing; that way, you can argue about these two entities as if they were single people. So there is a blizzard of accusations going on now that RW has motivated killings of LW by invoking hate speech against the LW.

I guess this rap music posted by Malkin, which seems to be quite plainly inciting hatred and violence by LW’s against the RW, just doesn’t count.


We gotta get ’em, get ’em.
We gotta chill ’em, chill ’em.
We gotta get ’em, get ’em.
We gotta kill ’em, kill ’em.

Hate dominates like the Celts in the East
Michelle Malkin wants to snitch
Like you tell the police
She ought to be shot
They gotta be stopped

…We gotta shut down Fox News
That’s the way it has to be…

But anyway, as blogger friend Phil found out at Cassy Fiano’s blog, there is a template flying around the “LW” blogosphere helping to detail all the hate speech by the “RW” for whoever might come askin’ for it. It’s the typical LW recruitment job; if you go researching into things like date, location, and most importantly context, you find what’s being called “hate speech” is poor taste at worst — and very often, not even that.

1. Rush Limbaugh: “I tell people don’t kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus – living fossils – so we will never forget what these people stood for.”

2. Senator Phil Gramm: “We’re going to keep building the party until we’re hunting Democrats with dogs.”

3. Rep. James Hansen on Bill Clinton: “Get rid of the guy. Impreach him, censure him, assassinate him.”

4. John Derbyshire intimated in the National Review that because Chelsea Clinton had “the taint,” she should “be killed.”

5. Ann Coulter: “We need to execute people like John Walker in order to physically intimidate liberals, by making them realize that they can be killed, too.”

6. Ann Coulter: “My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building.”

7. Bill O’Reilly: “…those clowns over at the liberal radio network, we could incarcerate them immediately. Will you have that done, please? Send over the FBI and just put them in chains.”

8. Clear Channel radio host Glenn Beck said he was “thinking about killing Michael Moore” and pondered whether “I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it,” before concluding: “No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out — is this wrong?”

My thoughts about it? I think there’s a major miscommunication going on. This antagonism left-wingers have toward the concept of an individual making decisions for himself, has caused a sort of psychosis that results in classical psychological projection. They don’t think any right-winger is capable of expressing any thought, it seems, without some sort of fax or e-mail campaign giving him the idea. And thus, when a right-winger says something irresponsible or dangerous it has to be the result of some widespread conspiracy.

My other thought — if Bill Clinton ever tires of having his name fasted on to the Monica Lewinsky legacy and wants to be known for something else, I think he could make a fair claim to the concept of “hate speech” in the United States. History will record, I’m afraid, that we suffered an enormous erosion of real civil rights through this legal concept and researchers will have to trace the genesis of the landslide to the Clinton administration’s actions in the wake of Matthew Shepherd‘s murder and the Oklahoma City bombing. Our 42nd President, quite plain & simply, did not handle these events as a public steward concerned with protecting our constitutionally protected freedom of speech and expression. And now we have all these lefties on the blogosphere babbling away about hate crimes. And that’s to preserve human life? Don’t be silly. Ask them about abortion. Ask them about executing convicted criminals who are certain to kill again if they’re allowed to live. Ask them about taking down Saddam Hussein as he was oppressing people living in his country during his bloodthirsty, corrupt regime. In all three cases they’ll come up with some kind of rule — an inviolable rule, inviolable while other rules may be violated at leisure — that says, essentially, we have to let innocent people die.

They don’t give two farts about the sanctity of human life. They want to infringe on the liberty of individuals to say things. To say things…without checking with some centralized authority first.

I think all else that needs to be said, can be summed up in the House of Eratosthenes definition of the phrase “hate speech.”

Hate Speech (n.):
Intangible noun descriptive of accidental harm done to other people by means of words. Ironically, it is also a battle cry used just before someone practices deliberate harm to other people by means of words.

On the “I Can Believe It” Argument

Tuesday, December 11th, 2007

Two years ago, Doug Thompson fooled a bunch of fire-breathing lefties into thinking our next big national debate was going to be about whether the Constitution means anything. At all. He did this by peddling a charming chestnut about an outburst supposedly spewed by President Bush in a meeting.

Last month, Republican Congressional leaders filed into the Oval Office to meet with President George W. Bush and talk about renewing the controversial USA Patriot Act.

Several provisions of the act, passed in the shell shocked period immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, caused enough anger that liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union had joined forces with prominent conservatives like Phyllis Schlafly and Bob Barr to oppose renewal.

GOP leaders told Bush that his hardcore push to renew the more onerous provisions of the act could further alienate conservatives still mad at the President from his botched attempt to nominate White House Counsel Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court.

“I don’t give a goddamn,” Bush retorted. “I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way.”

“Mr. President,” one aide in the meeting said. “There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.”

“Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,” Bush screamed back. “It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”

I’ve talked to three people present for the meeting that day and they all confirm that the President of the United States called the Constitution “a goddamned piece of paper.”

Those three people are supposedly public servants, but of course Doug Thompson could never ever reveal his sources. All right, fair enough — I can buy that officials will tell a reporter something “off the record.”

What I can’t buy, is a high ranking official of the executive branch closing his office door, whipping out his palm pilot or his Outlook contact list or his plain ol’ Rolodex or Yellow Pages, skimming past the Washington Post, and dialing up “Capitol Hill Blue” to spill the beans on what the boss just said. Because in the last month of ’05, there was substantial blog-buzz about “did he really say that?” Amid the dizzying hubbub of “well, I don’t need too much proof because that’s just part & parcel of how this administration works” (in which case…wherein lies the necessity of you saying that?), occasionally someone would show a little restraint and point out — hey, we’ve only heard this from one place, and that one place is Doug Thompson.

Sadly, that includes the first handful of commenters over at — of all places — DailyKOS.

Thompson wrote a follow-up piece called “Where There’s Smoke, There’s Ire.” It’s no longer there. But I found a copy of the first paragraph here.

The firestorm over Friday’s column quoting President George W. Bush’s obscene outburst over the Constitution continues to grow with our email box overflowing from outraged readers who think the President should be impeached along with pro-Bushites who want my head on a platter.

Let me see if I can construct the rest of it from memory. Thompson had a story about trying to follow up with his “three people present for the meeting that day.” For some reason, his leads had grown soft. And so he did the only sensible thing — he removed this follow-up piece after posting it, and left the original chestnut where you can find it today.

Are you following what I just described? He got hold of something second hand. He published it and became a legend on the innernets. A bazillion and one people knew the name “Capitol Hill Blue,” who had not heard it before. (If I remember right, I was one of those.) He said, hey, this actually has some legs — if I’ve been snookered on this thing, I’m really going to look like an ass. Better check it out. He documented his attempts to check it out. But he found nothing, or next to nothing. So he took down the chronicling of his attempt to check out the story…in it’s place is the message: This article has been removed from our database because the source could not be verified.

But the original story he could not check out is exactly where it’s always been. From the day it went up, all the way through to the very moment in which I type the sentence you’re reading now. The story that made Capitol Hill Blue famous…which nobody thinks really happened, once it comes time to bet some reputations on it. It is left whole, at it’s original address, undented and unscratched. Hey, no such thing as bad publicity, right?

I explore this story in order to point out something about human nature, and how we handle truth. This is a great example of circular reasoning. The leftist argument about why this story matters is, if I were to make up something about you calling the Constitution nuthin-but-a-g.d.-piece-o-paper, the sole source argument would do some damage because you probably don’t have a track record of disrespecting the Constitution. But when Doug Thompson did that with President Bush, we should all believe it, because that’s “how this administration operates” and “I don’t need much to convince me he said that.”

And President Bush’s disrespect of the Constitution needs no substantiation, of course. It is the stuff of legend. Just do a Google sometime and you’ll see how well-documented this disrespect is. Documented…with little tidbits…just like this one. Which, in turn, rest on Bush’s well-established disrespect of the Constitution.

See, the anecdote relies on the trend for what little credibility it has, and the trend relies on more anecdotes just like this one. A proves B and B proves A. In a universe in which this does anything to elucidate at all, you could sit in a big bucket and lift yourself by the handle.

Now if one is dissatisfied with simply exposing the threadbare composition of this assertion, and really wants to deal it a wallop, it turns out that is pretty easy too. President Bush’s disrespect of the Constitution is supposedly so thoroughly demonstrated, that a careless piece of gossip that would be that and nothing more if it were about anybody else, suddenly becomes believable, and even a piece of what might be called “news”, when it is about him. Alright. If that is the situation as it now exists, then, from where arises the necessity to discuss it at all? There’s really nothing to argue about then, is there? We all just “know” this thing about President Bush. Maybe he said it and maybe he didn’t — the fable that he said it, then, ends up being just butter masquerading as the toast.

JonesAnd therein lies my tie-in to the whole thing about Ms. Jones, former employee of Kellogg Brown Root.

A Houston, Texas woman says she was gang-raped by Halliburton/KBR coworkers in Baghdad, and the company and the U.S. government are covering up the incident.

Jamie Leigh Jones, now 22, says that after she was raped by multiple men at a KBR camp in the Green Zone, the company put her under guard in a shipping container with a bed and warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she’d be out of a job.

“Don’t plan on working back in Iraq. There won’t be a position here, and there won’t be a position in Houston,” Jones says she was told.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court against Halliburton and its then-subsidiary KBR, Jones says she was held in the shipping container for at least 24 hours without food or water by KBR, which posted armed security guards outside her door, who would not let her leave.

“It felt like prison,” says Jones, who told her story to ABC News as part of an upcoming “20/20” investigation. “I was upset; I was curled up in a ball on the bed; I just could not believe what had happened.”

Is she telling the truth? Maybe; maybe not. But it’s the same situation as President Bush calling the Constitution a goddamn piece of paper: There is no reason to show any skepticism toward it, until I start to take it seriously — at that point, there is an abundance of reasons. Let’s continue with the article first…

Finally, Jones says, she convinced a sympathetic guard to loan her a cell phone so she could call her father in Texas.

“I said, ‘Dad, I’ve been raped. I don’t know what to do. I’m in this container, and I’m not able to leave,'” she said. Her father called their congressman, Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas.

“We contacted the State Department first,” Poe told, “and told them of the urgency of rescuing an American citizen” — from her American employer.

Poe says his office contacted the State Department, which quickly dispatched agents from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad to Jones’ camp, where they rescued her from the container.

According to her lawsuit, Jones was raped by “several attackers who first drugged her, then repeatedly raped and injured her, both physically and emotionally.”

Jones told that an examination by Army doctors showed she had been raped “both vaginally and anally,” but that the rape kit disappeared after it was handed over to KBR security officers.

A spokesperson for the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security told he could not comment on the matter.

Over two years later, the Justice Department has brought no criminal charges in the matter. In fact, ABC News could not confirm any federal agency was investigating the case.

Legal experts say Jones’ alleged assailants will likely never face a judge and jury, due to an enormous loophole that has effectively left contractors in Iraq beyond the reach of United States law.

“It’s very troubling,” said Dean John Hutson of the Franklin Pierce Law Center. “The way the law presently stands, I would say that they don’t have, at least in the criminal system, the opportunity for justice.”

Congressman Poe says neither the departments of State nor Justice will give him answers on the status of the Jones investigation.

Asked what reasons the departments gave for the apparent slowness of the probes, Poe sounded frustrated.

“There are several, I think, their excuses, why the perpetrators haven’t been prosecuted,” Poe told ABC News. “But I think it is the responsibility of our government, the Justice Department and the State Department, when crimes occur against American citizens overseas in Iraq, contractors that are paid by the American public, that we pursue the criminal cases as best as we possibly can and that people are prosecuted.”

Since no criminal charges have been filed, the only other option, according to Hutson, is the civil system, which is the approach that Jones is trying now. But Jones’ former employer doesn’t want this case to see the inside of a civil courtroom.

KBR has moved for Jones’ claim to be heard in private arbitration, instead of a public courtroom. It says her employment contract requires it.

In arbitration, there is no public record nor transcript of the proceedings, meaning that Jones’ claims would not be heard before a judge and jury. Rather, a private arbitrator would decide Jones’ case. In recent testimony before Congress, employment lawyer Cathy Ventrell-Monsees said that Halliburton won more than 80 percent of arbitration proceedings brought against it.

In his interview with ABC News, Rep. Poe said he sided with Jones.

“Air things out in a public forum of a courtroom,” said Rep. Poe. “That’s why we have courts in the United States.”

In her lawsuit, Jones’ lawyer, Todd Kelly, says KBR and Halliburton created a “boys will be boys” atmosphere at the company barracks which put her and other female employees at great risk.

“I think that men who are there believe that they live without laws,” said Kelly. “The last thing she should have expected was for her own people to turn on her.”

Halliburton, which has since divested itself of KBR, says it “is improperly named” in the suit.

In a statement, KBR said it was “instructed to cease” its own investigation by U.S. government authorities “because they were assuming sole responsibility for the criminal investigations.”

“The safety and security of all employees remains KBR’s top priority,” it said in a statement. “Our commitment in this regard is unwavering.”

Since the attacks, Jones has started a nonprofit foundation called the Jamie Leigh Foundation, which is dedicated to helping victims who were raped or sexually assaulted overseas while working for government contractors or other corporations.

“I want other women to know that it’s not their fault,” said Jones. “They can go against corporations that have treated them this way.” Jones said that any proceeds from the civil suit will go to her foundation.

“There needs to be a voice out there that really pushed for change,” she said. “I’d like to be that voice.”

If I were inclined to believe this story, and not only that but to persuade others to believe it, as many people as I could possibly contact — and believe me, there are people who look at this story exactly that way — I would be very troubled by the contents. They seem almost carefully designed to back the listener into a corner, in which the only option available is to believe the alleged victim and Congressman Poe. KBR has nothing, because the Government is assuming sole responsibility for criminal investigations. Alrighty, then isn’t someone just getting into a whole bushel of trouble for allowing the sexual assault kit to be handed over to KBR security personnel, who then “lost” it?

That a KBR spokesman is commenting at all, is an indication to me that something took place. But the rest of the story gives indications that bread crumbs should have been dropped here & there. The State Department, in effect, “raided” contractor facilities. Two years later, all we have is the word of the victim, along with the Congressman who got things rolling. Here’s what we get about that: “A spokesperson for the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security told he could not comment on the matter.” Can’t we have some more? Is that just him, or the actual Department? If it is the actual Department, what is the stated reason? National security? A phone was used to call family and let ’em know something was going on. There should be a record of that. It’s been two years.

What does “I want other women to know that it’s not their fault” mean? The situation of an epidemic, in which something between a bare plurality and an overwhelming glut of female contractors are being vaginally and anally raped and then locked up in trailers, is not raised anywhere else in the article — stem to stern, it is treated as an isolated case involving Ms. Jones alone.

But probably the most damning thing of all against the story is that there are NO names. None at all. Even where there clearly should be some. Who’s running that outfit, with the big portable trailer outside the offices with the rape victim locked up in it? Gosh, he should be in a lot of trouble, huh. What, is his name classified? What about the person who threatened her job? Is his name classified too?

Is this the way whistle-blowing works? You bravely step forward against these cowardly, corrupt white males who engineered and covered-up your sexual assault…but, in the name of national security, make sure their names are kept out of the limelight? Well, maybe so. That is not how it worked with Abu Ghraib, in which case, by the time I heard about it the DoD was already conducting it’s own investigation. That didn’t matter. Once the story broke I knew names, dates, who was responsible for what. The public had a right to know, and all that.

In this case, only half the cat seems to have been let out of the bag. A strategically-selected portion of the cat. Just enough to convince me one person said something was a certain way, and I should just…believe it. One person. Not just any person, but the person who was drugged-up on God-knows-what when all the excitement was taking place.

But here’s what I find really unsettling about this — the circular reasoning part of it. The linkage of that name “Halliburton” may be improper; they divested themselves of the KBR subsidiary this last spring. And while at the moment Ms. Jones was supposedly still locked in a trailer, they were still the parent company, nevertheless any four-year-old should be able to see why the H-word is really being tossed around. This has nothing to do with re-encapsulation of facts as they occurred. It has to do with visibility. “Halliburton” is virtually a household name, “KBR” is not. This is a Kellogg Brown Root matter involving KBR personnel and officials, assuming it happened as stated at all.

The anecdote is proven by the trend — the Halliburton trend, not the KBR trend, which would be more relevant but possesses far less name-recognition — and the trend is proven by anecdotes like this one. On whether there is a vast litany of chronicles about sexual assaults and other shenanigans being conducted within the KBR sphere, I’m not in a position to say one way or the other. But if there is such a thing, and this story is to ultimately rely on the circular-reasoning “nature of the beast” argument, then at the very least I would say that is what should be under discussion, not the notoriety achieved by former parent company Halliburton. If KBR does have such a track record, and it’s opened to inspection and provides all the substance I demand here — then, rightfully, there ought not be much urgency in discussing Ms. Jones’ case, ought there? It either sets a new low for KBR or it doesn’t. Can’t have it both ways.

I’m left with something pretty disturbing. Something almost certainly happened, probably to Ms. Jones. It seems that she, Congressman Poe, and the reporters contacted have been frustrated trying to figure out where this government investigation is going, and decided to appeal to Vox Populi. Rabble-rousing was the only way to get some satisfaction here. I say, if that is the case then let’s give them what they want. We should, at the very least, have an understanding of who is in charge of such an investigation.

It’s mighty suspicious, in my eyes, that we don’t at least have that. Our government isn’t supposed to be that opaque. But if we’re going to storm the capitol with pitchforks and torches, I think we should keep in mind what it is we don’t know. This is a situation in which an investigation is not simply a formality — we really don’t know what happened, or for that matter if anything did.

Defining “Swift-Boating”

Monday, November 12th, 2007

The month before last, I had given the world a definition to a word in widespread use, that no one took the time to define. It was a phrase. The phrase was “swift boating” and the definition I gave it was…

The act of pointing out something with regard to a matter under immediate discussion, that extremist zealots (particularly those inclined to the left) would just as soon have been left unmentioned. Especially, testimony from knowledgeable individuals that would place a purported certainty into significant doubt.

Well, through the wonderful world of Malkin, we learn that someone has taken the trouble to make a similar contribution that is sure to be put in far more widespread use. It’s not as accurate as mine, but it is very nearly so…and perfectly adequate in all the ways that matter.

H/T: Phil.

The Second Most Important Issue

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

The single most important issue of the presidential elections next year: Who is going to bring me the the biggest pile of dead terrorist carcasses over the next four years?

Among the sensible people who agree with me on that, many will argue there is no close-second; this is a far-and-away thing. I respectfully admonish them to reconsider, because the second-most-important issue is very important indeed, and it is breathing hotly on the neck of the first.

Coming in at a close second, and I do mean a close one, is a big package of interrelated sub-issues all knotted together. They have to do with the people who are actually proud to call themselves “liberals,” not in the classic sense, but in the post-modern sense. Can we be fooled into thinking they are really champions of our freedoms, when they’re forcing us to think that, and coercing us into silence on any other viewpoint? Are we really so dense that we fail to see, or we can be distracted from seeing, the irony in that simple contradiction? Are liberals crazy, or just stupid? Do we really have to let them vote even when they so obviously lack the level of maturity one would be expected to achieve by age eighteen?

Is it really being “centrist” or “moderate” when you let grown-ups run the government half the time, and a bunch of attention-starved spoiled brats run it the rest of the time? Are we really so desperate to put a woman in the White House that we’ll put one in who is barely even a woman, and is such a toxic candidate that she can’t voice a position on any issue, without inserting a villain into it, should one be missing?

Are we going to let our print-media journalists decide for us which scandals end public-service careers and which ones do not — knowing full well they’re in the business of selling bad news, and have no financial stake in seeing things run sensibly so that bad news is a more the occasional happenstance the rest of us wish it to be?

What exactly is this well-funded advocacy group that I continue to call “Move On From Some Things And Dwell Endlessly On Other Things Dot Org”? For whom do they speak? Now that we all understand they’re a bunch of all-but-certified nutcases, when they tell us their nutcase things are they speaking on behalf of Hillary? Obama? Edwards? Kerry? Kennedy? Anybody else who will be invested with the authority to decide important, life-altering things, should we opt to put the kiddies from the kiddie-table in charge again next year?

What about Michael Moore, does he speak for anybody? How cozy is his relationship with the “Inmates Should Run The Asylum” party?

Bad AdAh, if you’re smart, you probably know where this is headed. That ad. That horrible, wonderful, self-disgracing, gloriously-backfiring ad. And more precisely, the vote about the ad.

I have been instructed to believe…by those who endlessly instruct me to believe that they are laboring tirelessly for my right to think whatever I want to think, without so much of a hint of awareness of their irony…that the vote was a waste of time.

With all due respect, kiddies, I think not. The issue that faces us next year, right behind that whole dead-terrorist-bodies thing, is whether the donks benefit from a frayed, fragile, threadbare tethering to reality or whether that tethering has snapped altogether. The donks are pretty emphatic that the real issue is whether or not the current President is a dumbass, which seems to me a peripheral article of history at best. We disagree; should we debate the question, it would be a pretty quick debate but it might get a little messy, gentle as I would try to be. It’s the facts, you see; they are not on their side. Next year, they are running — the “moron” is not. That’s just the way things are. We don’t get to vote on George Bush’s intellect or lack thereof — we are obliged to vote on the sanity of the donks, or lack thereof.

We have a right to know.

We have a duty to know.

And now we know. There is a deep split in the donk party about whether they want to approach the brink of sanity, or go toppling over the edge. The “useless” matter about whether to condemn the ad, or not, is put to a vote. Yea, 72; Nay, 25; Not Voting, 3.

Members of the grown-up party voted unanimously in a grown-up way. You’ll notice, this has been the catalyst of every major disagreement in foreign and domestic issues in modern history, once you cut through the B.S. about whether an election was stolen just because it didn’t turn out the way someone wanted: Should bad behavior get a spanking or not? It all comes down to that. Some of us believe if we’d paddle the rear ends of our own flesh and blood for doing the same thing, there should be consequences for others for doing it. Others think everything comes down to a “civil rights” issue, and civil rights is somehow measured in your ability to get away with things that common sense says demand censure. I see it in illegal immigration, repealing the death penalty, the tasering of whoosee-whatsit, the invasion of you-know-what…it’s in everything about which we choose to argue, or just about.

And you see it in the ad. Everybody either agrees the ad was stupid, or else “feels” that it should be defended but understands this is impossible to do on an intellectual level, so they might as well keep their silence. It’s an indefensible message. The question is whether to point it out. And as usual, the wildest and craziest kiddie-table people have squeezed together some kind of passion on that issue, based on cynical knowledge of the political consequences but on no higher ideal. In short, they understand it was dumb, and they understand why the rest of us think it worthy of comment and inspection. They just don’t want us to do it because it interferes with agendas they have on other things.

Just a girl in short shorts...Into this hot-button issue wades Becky, a.k.a. Just a Girl in Short Shorts Talking About Whatever. Do try to contain yourselves, fellas…the blog title isn’t just about what she is, it also describes what she likes, and she’s not preferentially inclined toward you. But it’s always a visually rewarding experience to give her a hit now and then, since she can be counted on to put up pictures of what she likes. And who doesn’t like that?

She’s a lot like Bacon Eating Atheist Jew. Just a whole lot easier on the eye (no offense intended, Bacon). Strong capital-L Libertarian leanings with a healthy ability to detect crap from miles away…except when it comes to bashing conservatives, and then, from my point of view, she pretty much falls for whatever crap she’s fed. In summary, she’s got great cognitive thinking skills when she agrees with me, and doesn’t when she doesn’t. And when people comment they treat her with kid gloves, even when she’s wrong, because hey — she’s a good looking girl in short shorts. And I freely admit I’m in that crowd too. If it was “Just An Ugly Dude in Shabby Clothes Talking About Stuff” I’d probably haul out all kinds of whoopass I’m keeping bottled up.

But meanwhile, back to the subject at hand. The vote on the stupid ad was a tactical maneuver by Republicans, seeking to highlight the schism in the donk party. Becky has the wisdom and insight to penetrate this, but is sufficiently myopic to settle into the idea that since it’s political, and poised to benefit people who disagree with her on some issues such as gay marriage, there can be nothing good about it.

I personally have no use for MoveOn. They are a left wing socialist cadre of Internet whiners. But, they have become a financial powerhouse in the Democratic Party.

I also think their ad was in poor taste. But no more so than when George Bush made John Mcain’s daughter cry by announcing during the South Carolina primary campaign that she was the bastard daughter of McCain, conceived with some Asian wench. The girl still asks her Mom why the president hates her so much. Of course, Daddy eventually sucked up to Sonny.

But the record is replete with volumes of Republican crap at least as vile as the MoveOn ad.

So the Neo-con Republican Warhawks jumped all over the ad , as is to be expected. It detracts from talking about the war and how to get the fuck out, how stupid the president is and etc. [emphasis mine]

Ah, ugh. Darling…you fail. You fail big. The vote detracted from talking about President Bush being a raging clueless assbag one more time? Congress has some important business before it involving calling him a few more names? What is this, the third grade?

I’m sympathetic to the notion that resolutions are wastes of time, or at least, can be. House condemns this, Senate censures that, United Nations deplores some other damn silly thing…what’s the point? And yet, through the lens of history, I see when resolutions are offered with a maximum saturation of partisan political cynicism, this is when they are at the most useful to the public at large. It should not by now be a secret to anyone that when we vote, most of us are taking a calculated gamble on whoever is going to do the least harm. Genuine “confidence” in our leadership, to the extent it actually ever existed at all, is with us no longer. We vote for candidates who are going to bring the messages and priorities to the forefront we want at that forefront, and those of us who think critically always have reservations about it.

So since all the “smart” people are projecting the donks will win next year, I see this vote as in inspection of a new and shiny car that is all-but-bought, with the papers not quite signed yet. Turns out, it is poorly put-together and falls apart quickly. It’s subject to overheating and burnout. That, and nobody is really too sure how it works. Useful information to have just about now, right?

Compare this to some of the “resolutions” passed by cities, unions and colleges against the War in Iraq. Becky speaks for many. I hope everyone who finds fault with the Senate for taking time to condemn the “Move On From What We Tell You To Move On From Dot Org” ad — or more precisely, to figure out who among those seated for the vote, has the stones to condemn it — will find fault with those other resolutions as well. The Senate vote tells us something we, regardless of our ideological prejudices, desperately need to know. Come to think of it, Move On’s insanity itself has been doing that…probably the only useful thing they’ve managed to do in nine years and Lord knows how many millions of dollars.

Those other three examples, and many others like them, achieve no such thing. How do they stand as specimens of wasted time and energy?

Thanks to the vote, now we know who lacks the readiness, willingness, ability, and/or just plain balls to call out stupid crap, falling well beneath, but pretending to be on par with, the national discourse — when they see it. When means whenever they see it. That means we have twenty-five people voting in our legislative chambers upper house, who, by rights, ought to be sent right back to Kindergarten again so they can learn to play nice, right before snack time and nap time. I like that we know this, that we now have a list. We can debate to some extent what it means, but it’s established beyond any disagreement what the list is. The names are:

Akaka, Bingaman, Boxer, Brown, Byrd,
Clinton, Dodd, Durbin, Feingold, Harkin,
Inouye, Kennedy, Kerry, Lautenberg, Levin,
Menendez, Murray, Reed, Reid, Rockefeller,
Sanders, Schumer, Stabenow, Whitehouse, Wyden.

Remember: When we get a new President, over the last several generations it is nearly always either a Governor, or someone from this legislative body. One fourth of those seated therein, as I type this, are virtual children.

So I’m happy — thrilled, actually — that we got some valuable insight this week, on what is the second-most important issue of next year’s elections. When you vote for a donk…what do you get in return? Harmless resistance against a theocracy, in which nobody with any power has seriously proposed we should live, and in which we have never once even come close to living…or a bunch of slobbering childish fools intoxicated with power, who can’t communicate a thought with even a moderate level of complexity to it, without regurgitating gallon after gallon of instructions about what everyone should be doing and thinking?

Besides who’s going to kill the most terrorists, that is what we really need to know. We on the right wing, on the left, everything in between. We desperately need to figure out the answer to this question, and we have less than fourteen months to do it.

She Can’t Fit Here, Period

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

Joan Baez was invited to perform at Walter Reed Army Hospital by John Mellencamp but the Army says no. Must be a conspiracy theory. What did Karl Rove know and when did he know it?

Folk singer and anti-war activist Joan Baez says she doesn’t know why she was not allowed to perform for recovering soldiers recently at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as she planned.

In a letter to The Washington Post published Wednesday, she said rocker John Mellencamp had asked her to perform with him last Friday and that she accepted his invitation.

“I have always been an advocate for non-violence and I have stood as firmly against the Iraq war as I did the Vietnam War 40 years ago,” she wrote. “I realize now that I might have contributed to a better welcome home for those soldiers fresh from Vietnam. Maybe that’s why I didn’t hesitate to accept the invitation to sing for those returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. In the end, four days before the concert, I was not ‘approved’ by the Army to take part. Strange irony.”
Baez’s manager, Mark Spector, told the Post that Mellencamp’s management invited Baez to perform in March and handled all the arrangements. The Post said Mellencamp’s manager, Randy Hoffman, did not return calls requesting comment and that Mellencamp’s publicist said the singer was ill Tuesday and unavailable.

But Mellencamp earlier told “They didn’t give me a reason why she couldn’t come. We asked why and they said, ‘She can’t fit here, period.’ “

Someone call Scully and Mulder to investigate this strange phenomenon. Could little green men from another planet be programming cigarette-smoking men in our government to kick Joan Baez’s wrinkly peacenik ass out of military hospitals?

Well wait, I have Google. I can do some investigating of my own:

I’ve never had a humble opinion in my life. If you’re going to have one, why bother to be humble about it? — Joan Baez

Instead of getting hard ourselves and trying to compete, women should try and give their best qualities to men – bring them softness, teach them how to cry. — Joan Baez

That’s good enough for me.

There are other countries worth being defended by soft men who know how to cry. Not my country. Not America. She’s too good of a country, worthy of an aggressive defense by hard, intelligent, critically-thinking men who know more about killing than crying.

Benevolent and protective when the situation calls for it — cold-blooded killers on occasions when one can be benevolent and protective by no other means.

America deserves no less. Maybe that’s what the military meant when it said she can’t fit here. Period.

Case closed.

Question It Again

Friday, April 6th, 2007

Someone was holding up this “Talking Points Memo” as an example of Bill O’Reilly “questioning the patriotism of anyone who would disagree with Bush’s policies” or some words to that effect. I remember thinking I must be the slope-foreheaded bushbot they say I am, because I scanned it from top to bottom two or three times and couldn’t find where O’Reilly was doing this.

Now patriotic Americans, those who put the good of their country above partisan politics, can disagree all day long about the Iraq conflict. There’s no question the war has not gone well. And those of us who thought the Iraqi people en mass would help America and Britain were wrong.

As “Talking Points” has stated, many Iraqis are far more interested in killing their rivals than they are in having a peaceful Democratic nation, but there’s much on the line in Iraq, including blunting an increasingly belligerent Iran, which seeks to control the oil flow from the Gulf.

So if there is a possibility of stabilizing things in Iraq, and there is, my stated opinion is to support one last attempt to do that.

Therefore, Harry Reid is wrong to force a timetable and try to cut funding at this moment. He and Speaker Pelosi are putting American troops in a very bad position. The soldiers and marines fighting in Iraq know what’s going on in Washington and it affects them.

This is an issue that’s been visited and revisited. But the whole Iraq thing seems to be rounding some sort of corner, so maybe it’s good to examine this one more time.

In all seriousness, I’m alarmed at the explosive expansion of this bulls-eye that is the “questioning of patriotism.” For a number of reasons. First of all, let’s skirt past the issue of whether O’Reilly did the questioning or not — and ponder what great offense has been committed, assuming he did. I must say I’m a little lost on the usefulness involved in pointing it out. It must be some sort of taboo, as in, everybody has agreed it’s something you’re not supposed to be doing.

When did that vote go down?

If it’s wrong to question patriotism, it seems to me it must be wrong because we live in a country where arguments are considered purely on their merits and people shouldn’t be ostracized just for holding unpopular views. Wouldn’t such a rule, ironically, make it quite okay to question patriotism wherever we as thinking individuals find it to be questionable? So this irascible protest has never made much sense to me. In fact, when a little more oomph is positioned behind it, with the optional “How DARE you!” undertone riveted on at the factory like an extra cupholder or moon-roof, it’s always taken on a none-too-subtle “doth protest too much” flavor in my eyes. As in, what’s wrong with questioning your patriotism, Sparky? You might not like the answer that emerges if we ask the question too much?

I just can’t stop myself from thinking that. How am I supposed to, when there’s anger injected in and the “how-dare-you” guy seems to be the one injecting it?

Well if we’re living in the twilight of the era where I’m able to question patriotism, there are a number of places where I’d like to direct that question. So much patriotism to be questioned, so little time to do it — I’d better get started.

First of all, there is the question of what object of affection has aroused the “patriotism” of the so-called patriots who have this unquestionable patriotism. America is, after all, a country built on stolen land. We got a lot of people walking around with all kinds of respect for the land, and with none at all for the country that was built upon it. Some of them say we should get out of Iraq now, come what may, and I’m not allowed to question their patriotism because of course they have all this love for the country. What country is that, anyway? Am I not allowed to ask? If you think all the acreage between Maine and Big Sur is oh so lovable but everything that happened since 1492 is just an enormous mistake, isn’t that something I should know about before I consider your ideas about leaving Iraq?

There are others who aren’t quite so keen on the past, but are endlessly fascinated with the future. Mostly secular humanists, these folks have watched way too many episodes of Star Trek and think of capitalism and religion as ugly things to be destroyed. They are peaceful because they’re convinced time is on their side. We’ll all stop believing in God, and then we’ll achieve a one-world government. We’ll all labor endlessly for the benefit of one another, even though rankings, offices, and economic classes will have been systematically eliminated. These folks think we should leave Iraq. But this is in service of a vision for humanity that has never before been attained, and is logically quite impossible. Isn’t it fair to take that into account?

There are folks who don’t like what we’re doing in Iraq right now simply because it takes attention away from other things. Our Democrats like to run for re-election every two years by promising to “shore up” Social Security. Every election season they promise to fix it, and hope people forget that they promised exactly the same thing twenty-four months previous. And bring down premiums, make sure everybody has health insurance and free college, et cetera et cetera…let’s face it. It’s a little tough to get excited about it when good young people are fighting and dying in a foreign land. It’s understandable they want the fighting to stop, so they can go back to selling us their crap. But they have other things in mind besides the welfare of the troops that are getting hurt and killed. If the fighting stops and their agenda for giving more money to people who already have generous retirement funds, suddenly takes on an air of “gotta get ‘er done” just because we’re no longer thinking about terrorists that want to kill us — is that a renewal of perspective, or a loss of it? The terrorists are still out there; they still want to kill us; thinking about a new triple-retirement plan for geezers who already have huge motorhomes, isn’t going to make the terrorists go away. Can’t I question the patriotism, just enough to consider this as a cynical political ploy? Just to consider it?

And then there are people who genuinely don’t like fighting. They honestly believe this is “George Bush’s war for oil,” and if we stop rattling sabers everybody else will stop too. I’m thinking this is the loudest of the bunch. To them, peace is something that seldom comes with strings, nevermind what history has to say about it. Peace, to them, is something for which you place a wish…just like shooting off an order through cyberspace to Amazon. Allow a few days for shipping and it’ll be here. Some of them are young and male and desperately afraid they’ll be drafted. Or not so desperately…they like to read about the hippies back in the 1960’s, and want to protest in similar fashion. A lot of them fancy themselves as oppressed, and spend vast reserves of energy finding a way to make it happen. They’re isolationists in the purest form. They refuse to support the authority our government may have to enforce resolutions against hostile nations, because in so doing they may bolster the authority our government would have to do other things. Like take away their weed someday. This doesn’t exactly impress me as “patriotism.” Again — I can ask the question, can’t I? Just ask it?

We’re not done yet, because there is the matter of our “allies.” Former presidential contender John Kerry seems to have been on a mission to make sure I never stop hearing that word; and, to make sure he’s never called-upon to list who these allies are. Fun fact: He mentioned this word not less than seven times in the first presidential debate in ’04. Seven times. If you were making his arguments, and not hiding something, wouldn’t you list who these allies are? And more importantly, what exactly it is they want? He asked “What message does [the war] send to our allies?” He said we need “a president who can bring allies to our side.” The prudent voter would have to wonder if there’s a price involved in that; Senator Kerry never said anything to the contrary. And the unpleasant fact of the matter is, when you talk about the intrests of other countries you’re sometimes talking about something against ours. There’s the matter of currency exchange, if nothing else. A year goes by, the dollar sinks by eight to ten cents maybe. That’s a relative thing, you know. The dollar slides against the Yen…or the Euro…or the Pound. This makes our exports cheaper to other countries. Good for them, bad for us. And the things we do politically, have an effect on this. I can’t begrudge other countries for wanting us to do things that will enable them to buy more of our stuff for less money. It’s in their interest. But it goes to show that “bring[ing] allies to our side” is not always a worthy and cost-effective venture. Not unqualifiably so; not axiomatically so. It bears inspection. Can I not inspect it by inspecting the motives of those who want us to do certain things?

Let us not forget the hostility to Israel both at home and abroad. The movement to destroy Israel is as old as that nation itself. The United States gives a lot of aid to Israel and some folks think that’s a bad idea. Some folks are trying to follow George Washington’s caution against foreign entanglements, or think that’s what they’re doing; others are blatant neo-Nazis, or are in bed with the neo-Nazi movement. They don’t want us in Iraq because they want Israel surrounded by enemies. Maybe they think they’ve got a compelling argument to make about this. Maybe some of them are eloquent enough to make it sound like “patriotism.” I just think they should go ahead and make the argument, rather than avoid it by sniping and snarking at anyone who questions their patriotism. Antisemite jackasses should be loud and proud.

Those are six noisy, angry factions of people — each one millions and millions of American citizens strong — who have their reasons for supporting the “Out Of Iraq Now” movement. I could think of more if I tried, and they’re all working hard to recruit. Each of them take the position that they’re “patriots,” and can actually defend that to a certain extent. Well, I disagree with all six of them; I think a lot of other folks disagree with all six of them too. And personally, I don’t think they’re patriotic at all. Not in the way I define it.

I just think a discussion is in order. I think it’s compulsory.

That isn’t to say there are no good reasons for wanting us out of Iraq. But in my book, anyone signing up for the mass exodus because he’s been bullied and coerced from “questioning” somebody’s “patriotism” — or simply wants to go-along to get-along — is a fool. A complete asinine fool. With whom are you sharing that bed? And aren’t you worse than any of the six, if you don’t know who’s on-board with you, and don’t care to find out?

Gonzales Must Go

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

Boortz bookmarked Krauthammer this week, who in turn had the following comments on the phony Fired-Attorney-Gate scandal…

Alberto Gonzales has to go…the president might want to hang on to Gonzales at least through this crisis. That might be tactically wise. But in time, and the sooner the better, Gonzales must resign. It’s not a question of probity but of competence. Gonzales has allowed a scandal to be created where there was none. That is quite an achievement. He had a two-foot putt and he muffed it.

Had this been an argument for political appeasement — “just toss Gonzales overboard, and with full bellies the sharks will swim away and go wherever they go to take their afternoon after-meal naps” — he would have lost me. Such a thing has been tried before, many times. It never works.

But I have to say, if the Bush administration is going to be shaken up and whittled down, the idea of natural-selection toward a greater collective political competence, is appealing to me. The Bush administration has nowhere to go but up in that department. True, he still is the President; his successor has better-than-even odds of coming from his own party. His most recent significant loss, of both houses of Congress, was razor-thin. And if he’s been ineffectual in some areas, then that new Congress has been even moreso.

Politically, however, this White House gives incompetence a new name. The President’s misfortunes do mean something. And I don’t think the country can take much more of this. The lying. The stonewalling. The red herrings.

I’m not talking about what comes directly from the President and his people. I’m talking about the sharks. Every time they get in another feeding frenzy, it seems the first casualty is truth. And the way I see it, here is George W. Bush himself spooning chum into the water. Look at what we have going on now — the President’s defenders say, firing these attorneys is well within his authority. In a sane universe, that should be the end of the so-called “scandal”; those who seek to attack him, would be faced with the option of arguing this point, or else going away.

Well, they figure they don’t have to do either one of those. And who can blame them?

Someone at 1600 Pennsylvania has to be negligent in order to get us to this point. The President is saying he did nothing wrong; our democrats are saying — although I’m sure they’d bristle at the way I’m wording this, in spirit it does not deviate from what I’ve heard them say — they know he didn’t do anything wrong, but if they play their cards right they can create a scandal out of it anyway.

I’m not missing anything in my crude summary, am I?

Well, if that fits, you know what I think…these “vanishing civil liberties” about which we’ve been told so much over the last five years, I think they’re circling the drain right now. Think about it. The opposing party in Congress, and the media…but I repeat myself…can confess that the facts are on the President’s side. Openly. Right there in broad daylight, as the metaphor goes. And make a scandal anyway…outta nothing.

This is where our much-vaunted American “freedoms” go just before they die. In government. In situations where de jeure and de facto sprint away from each other, as fast as their little legs can carry ’em. The President has the right to do X according to law…but according to custom and precedent, being manufactured right here and now in Spring of 2007, he can’t do it.

If he’s a Republican. Get a donk back in the Oval Office, this new precendent is going to go sailing out the window. Nobody who gives the situation even a cursory review, will dare deny it.

And in the days where a babe born today is old enough to get his first driver’s license, trust me on this, we may be wondering why U.S. attorneys at the Department of Justice are so overwhelmingly left-wing, as we’ve often wondered this about the U.S. Supreme Court. Trust me on this too: Our donks are going to come out of the woodwork to haughtily and snottily lecture us that you have to be educated and broad-minded to be a U.S. attorney, and that correlates to being more liberal.

Set the freakin’ clock by it.

But if you have a long memory and you remember back to today, you’ll know different. It’s got to do with championing “what can we get away with doing” over-and-above what the truth really is…and that correlates to being more liberal.

Whatever happened to George Bush “killing soldiers in Iraq” and “alienating our allies” and destroying the earth bit-by-bit because he won’t see Al Gore’s movie? What happened to that? Because I have to believe, if the truth was on the side of the donks and our current President was really guilty of all that stuff — this wouldn’t be a very appealing or sincere way to take him down, would it? Something churned up from an action that all sides readily concede is squarely within his purview?

So I’m going to have to agree with Krauthammer here. I think the country depends on it. Our country’s future rises or sinks with our country’s fastening to truth, and even a lame duck President can save it. He can assemble all who report to him, and let them know in no uncertain terms: This administration is the administration that took down Saddam Hussein — but the administration’s job, here at home, is to be political. We can’t achieve anything without that. Our performance here is far below par. I am determined to do something about it. From here on, if you want to get yourself fired in a hurry, do something embarrassing.

I’m your boss. I have tried to champion reality over appearances, and I was sure reality would reward us for it. I must have forgotten what city we are in. From this day forward, we do a bang-up job at both. That’s the job. If you don’t feel you’re up to it, there’s the door.

Steyn Nails the Libby Trial

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

Nails it, I say. Whack-a-mole, right between the eyes.

Perverse Libby trial was revealing
The prosecutor knew from the beginning that (a) leaking Valerie Plame’s name was not a crime and (b) the guy who did it was Richard Armitage. In other words, he was aware that the public and media perception of this ”case” was entirely wrong: There was no conspiracy by Bush ideologues to damage a whistleblower, only an anti-war official making an offhand remark to an anti-war reporter. Even the usual appeals to prosecutorial discretion (Libby was a peripheral figure with only he said/she said evidence in an investigation with no underlying crime) don’t convey the scale of Fitzgerald’s perversity: He knew, in fact, that there was no cloud, that under all the dark scudding about Rove and Cheney there was only sunny Richard Armitage blabbing away accidentally. Yet he chose to let the entirely false impression of his ”case” sit out there month in, month out, year after year, glowering over the White House, doing great damage to the presidency on the critical issue of the day.

So much of the current degraded discourse on the war — ”Bush lied” — comes from the false perceptions of the Joe Wilson Niger story. Britain’s MI-6, the French, the Italians and most other functioning intelligence services believe Saddam was trying to procure uranium from Africa. Lord Butler’s special investigation supports it. So does the Senate Intelligence Committee. So Wilson’s original charge is if not false then at the very least unproven, and the conspiracy arising therefrom entirely nonexistent. But the damage inflicted by the cloud is real and lasting.

As for Scooter Libby, he faces up to 25 years in jail for the crime of failing to remember when he first heard the name of Valerie Plame — whether by accident or intent no one can ever say for sure. But we also know that Joe Wilson failed to remember that his original briefing to the CIA after getting back from Niger was significantly different from the way he characterized it in his op-ed in the New York Times. We do know that the contemptible Armitage failed to come forward and clear the air as his colleagues were smeared for months on end. We do know that his boss Colin Powell sat by as the very character of the administration was corroded. [emphasis mine]

I put those parts in bold because I happen to know a lot of people missed those points. They know something I don’t; or else — assuming the press has a responsibility to “inform the public” — a huge chunk of the mission remains unachieved.

But that’s a big assumption. If the press’ mission, alternatively, is to slime and slander Republican administrations, then such tidbits are off-topic, which would explain why we’ve heard so little about them.

Meanwhile…Toensing and Sanford conducted an analysis two years ago, as to whether a crime was even committed here with regard to the “outing.” So far as I know, none of the salient details have changed since then.

As two people who drafted and negotiated the scope of the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act, we can tell you: The Novak column and the surrounding facts do not support evidence of criminal conduct.

When the act was passed, Congress had no intention of prosecuting a reporter who wanted to expose wrongdoing and, in the process, once or twice published the name of a covert agent. Novak is safe from indictment. But Congress also did not intend for government employees to be vulnerable to prosecution for an unintentional or careless spilling of the beans about an undercover identity. A dauntingly high standard was therefore required for the prosecutor to charge the leaker.

At the threshold, the agent must truly be covert. Her status as undercover must be classified, and she must have been assigned to duty outside the United States currently or in the past five years. This requirement does not mean jetting to Berlin or Taipei for a week’s work. It means permanent assignment in a foreign country. Since Plame had been living in Washington for some time when the July 2003 column was published, and was working at a desk job in Langley (a no-no for a person with a need for cover), there is a serious legal question as to whether she qualifies as “covert.”

Pardon Me?

Sunday, March 11th, 2007

Via Right Coast, we learn about the latest Krauthammer column…in which an interesting point is raised…

Everyone agrees that Fitzgerald’s perjury case against Libby hung on the testimony of NBC’s Tim Russert. Libby said that he heard about Plame from Russert. Russert said he had never discussed it. The jury members who have spoken said they believed Russert.

And why should they not? Russert is a perfectly honest man who would not lie. He was undoubtedly giving his best recollection.

But he is not the pope. Given that so many journalists and administration figures were shown to have extremely fallible memories, is it possible that Russert’s memory could have been faulty?

I have no idea. But we do know that Russert once denied calling up a Buffalo News reporter to complain about a story. Russert later apologized for the error when he was shown the evidence of a call he had genuinely and completely forgotten.

There is a second instance of Russert innocently misremembering. He stated under oath that he did not know that one may not be accompanied by a lawyer to a grand jury hearing. This fact, in and of itself, is irrelevant to the case, except that, as former prosecutor Victoria Toensing points out, the defense had tapes showing Russert saying on television three times that lawyers are barred from grand jury proceedings.

This demonstration of Russert’s fallibility was never shown to the jury. The judge did not allow it. He was upset with the defense because it would not put Libby on the stand — his perfect Fifth Amendment right — after hinting in the opening statement that it might. He therefore denied the defense a straightforward demonstration of the fallibility of the witness whose testimony was most decisive.

The Right Coast entry raises yet another interesting point.

I haven’t followed the Libby trial that closely, but one aspect of the verdict did occur to me: How is it that Scooter Libby is facing jail time and Sandy Berger got off with a slap of the wrist. At least part of the answer is that Libby was investigated by a special prosecutor, while Berger was not. My guess is that there is more to the story of Berger as well (incompetence at Justice?)

Um…come to think of it, I heard an awful lot of pious pontificating and hand-wringing from our liberals, both famous and otherwise, about “national security” with the “outing of a foreign op” and so forth. I wonder what they think about national security when the subject shifts to Sandy Pants. Maybe not much…and perhaps this is due to a combination of factors, dealing with their desire to “win” one for America Liberalism, and just plain ignorance — can’t call it anything else — about the facts of the Berger-Pants scandal.

The more we learn about Sandy Berger’s brilliant career as a document thief, the clearer it becomes that there is plenty we still don’t know and may never learn. On Tuesday, the House Government Reform Committee released its report on Mr. Berger’s pilfering of classified documents from the National Archives.

The committee’s 60-page report makes it clear that Mr. Berger knew exactly what he was doing and knew that what he was doing was wrong. According to interviews with National Archives staff, Mr. Berger repeatedly arranged to be left alone with highly classified documents by feigning the need to make personal phone calls, and he used those moments alone with the files to stuff them in his pockets and briefcase.

One incident is particularly suggestive. By his fourth and final visit to review documents and prepare for testimony before the 9/11 Commission, the Archives staff had grown suspicious of how Mr. Berger was handling the documents, so they numbered each one he was given in pencil on the back of the document. When one of them–No. 217–was apparently removed from the files by Mr. Berger, the staff reprinted a copy and replaced it for his review. According to the report, Mr. Berger then proceeded to slip the second copy “under his portfolio also.” In other words, he stole the same document twice.

National security huh? We’re just really, really super-concerned about it, and nobody’s above the law?

I’m not the first one to group these two incidents together, and swivel my head quizzically toward the liberals with a cocked eyebrow to see how they handle the juxtaposition. In fact, I’ve watched it happen often enough to glean a pattern out of the liberals’ reaction. It’s a bubbling stewpot of subject-changing, theatrical indignation, name-calling and sarcasm. Not much else.

Certainly no rational explanation as to why Scooter’s looking at years of laundry-folding, and Sandy Pants is as free as you and me.

Best Sentence X

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

…is at A Tangled Web, about which we learn via Maggie’s Farm, about which we learn via Anchoress.

If you want an absolutely first-rate example of the sheer scale of moonbat-twittery, of the depths of illogical non-argument to which the left will happily descend in order to defend at all costs its sacred doctrine of anthropological global warming, then this simply takes the biscuit. No, actually that’s an understatement: It grabs the whole biscuit tin, removes the lid and bats itself over the head with it, while feeding the biscuits into the DVD player.

The subject is global warming. Or rather, Weird Al’s hypocrisy about it…and the notion that said hypocrisy might be a good thing. I’m serial. Go read the whole thing.

Whiskey…Tango…Foxtrot… X

Sunday, December 17th, 2006

Head Up AssWhat do commentators at The Daily Kos do for a living? I mean, these aren’t people making real decisions, are they? Are they? Like, who gets promoted, who has to make photocopies until he quits, how much Nutra-Sweet to pump into a big vat of cola syrup, whether this-or-that pipeline of sewage has already been treated or not.

Not sure what the scientific term is for what we’re seeing here. It’s not idiocy, quite so much as a frighteningly deficient cognitive ability, maybe brewed in with a narcissistic need for attention and perhaps a dash of psychological projection. Thanks to Trip at Webloggin, we come to learn that the results sometimes are…well, take a look.

While some people are rightly concerned for Senator Tim Johnson’s health there are many on the left who are more concerned with maintaining that slim majority – so much so that they have veered down the predictable path of conspiracies behind the “sudden illness”.

well, ok, I will say it – (4+ / 1-)

my, how convenient for the repubs, just like wellstone’s plane crash.

you know what I am hinting at here…

I never take these sorts of things at mere face value; the stakes are just too high.

bush and cheney are criminals; just like desperate cornered mafiosi, bush and cheney will do anything to protect themselves, and I do mean anything.

yeah, I think that wellstone was murdered.

The one entry I cited is just the tip of the donkey’s tail. Go have a look at the rest. I’ll wait.

Now admittedly, I don’t know for a fact that these people somehow got dressed in the morning and started walking around outside. Maybe not. But I know from experience, that DailyKOS does not clean up grammar/punctuation/spelling, so these writers are able to put together sentences that make some sense…even if the ideas hanging from those sentences, do not.

How do you do that, or anything else, while you’re looking at life this way?

Rangel Makes Sure We Don’t Forget

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

At the beginning of this month, I said

It’s one of the few things that remain consistent about our liberals. You can receive their help, or their respect. Never, ever, both at the same time.

It was a wrap-up to my comments about “the Kerry thing.” You know, about how our troops in Iraq are out there because they didn’t make themselves smarter. This blog, which nobody actually reads anyway, makes an effort to form opinions based on facts…which means we try to find out why we’re supposed to think the things we’re supposed to be thinking. We don’t take the words of others for it. Not unless we have to. We try to find source documents. Download clips and see what’s in ’em. Which is awfully inconvenient to some…and John Kerry’s “botched joke” was a perfect example of this.

One of the favorite phrases we use here at The Blog That Nobody Reads, is “instructed to believe.” It is our position that our society, here in North America in 2006, is in big trouble — because that is what people do nowadays when they discuss politics. They instruct each other to believe things. Republicans are corrupt, Saddam Hussein was not a threat, Kerry botched his joke, Clinton did not have sex with that woman, military service is a barrier to being a decent public servant, military service is a prerequisite to being a decent public servant, marital infideility is irrelevant to being a decent public servant, the Founding Fathers were not Christians, etc. etc. etc.

Well, Kerry-botched-joke-gate shows, if nothing else, how incredibly important it is sometimes to “instruct others to believe” things as opposed to laying out a solid argument based on evidence. Because when you watch the film clip from beginning to end, or even from beginning to just a few minutes in, you find something that poses problems for the “Kerry meant something else” crowd. Namely, that the asshole didn’t mean anything else. He meant to make fun of the troops. He really did want to deliver the punchline, exactly the way he delivered it, word for word. And the crowd thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Now, if you’re loyal to the Democrat cause and yet you’ve committed the sin of viewing the video clip, you can still reprogram yourself to be a good Democrat by rationalizing things away. It’s easy if you try. Kerry…alright, he didn’t botch his joke after all. But he meant to botch it, and forgot to. Or maybe he does have this disenchantment with the military, and he does think the troops actively serving are a bunch of stupid dolts. And maybe the crowd in Pasadena just ate this shit up. But if he was pandering to a bunch of liberals who loathe the military, he was doing it by mistake…and if he was doing it on purpose, so what? It was an isolated incident. The Democrat party doesn’t harbor any such misgivings against our military. It reflects on nobody save the guy who was supposed to represent the Democrats the last time they tried to take the White House.

Well…Charlie Rangel created a problem or two for that kind of rationalization when he said…pretty much the same thing Senator Kerry said three weeks earlier. Rangel instructed us to believe that Iraq was a place for people who don’t have options in their career prospects. “If a young fellow has an option of having a decent career, or joining the Army to fight in Iraq, you can bet your life that he would not be in Iraq.” Once again, liberals come out circling the wagons…just the move-on-dot-org types, the Fahrenheit 9/11 watchers, not the elected representatives. Once again…what he said was true, so so what? You can’t prove what he meant by it anyway. And it’s true. Everybody knows it. And he doesn’t. Again, we’re buried under an avalanche of righteous indignation, flinging spittle, and cognitive dissonance. Liberals insult troops — and in retaliation, our liberals get all uppity and angsty, while the troops quietly go back to getting their jobs done.

Well, the American Legion is actually doing something about this. Token stuff, to be sure, but at least they’re doing something.

American Legion: Rangel Apologize Now

The National Commander of The American Legion called on Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., to apologize for suggesting that American troops would not choose to fight in Iraq if they had other employment options.

“Our military is the most skilled, best-trained all-volunteer force on the planet,” said National Commander Paul A. Morin. “Like that recently espoused by Sen. John Kerry, Congressman Rangel’s view of our troops couldn’t be further from the truth and is possibly skewed by his political opposition to the war in Iraq.”
Rangel was responding to a question during an interview yesterday on Fox News Sunday about a recent study by the Heritage Foundation which found that those enlisting in the military tend to be better educated than the general public and that military recruiting seems to be more successful in middle-class and wealthy neighborhoods than in poor ones.

You see how the liberals get into trouble here. It isn’t that they hate the military…although that does figure into it. But the problem is broader than that. It’s this craving for complete dependence on them, from their beneficiaries. People who depend on the liberal movement, must absolutely, utterly, depend on that liberal movement. Said dependants must entertain hope from nowhere else…or if any of them do, it must be kept a deep, dark secret.

I’d feel so much better about the donks if any one among them said something like, “such-and-such class of person might have a shot at success without us, but we’re going to make sure they have a better shot at it with us.” What a positive message that would be. How little effort it would take, so far as I know, to revamp their whole schtick to be compatible, on the plane of reality, with that simple slogan. What a difference it would have made in the last three elections. And yet, they chose not to do that.

There’s something over in that party that is absolutely incompatible with this. They want pure dependency — 99% is simply not good enough. This makes me uneasy. They’re supposed to be riding in on a white horse right about now, to save us from that Republican culture of corruption. Why do they need the austere, consummate, perfect state of dependence from those whose votes they want? Why is this so important to them?

Theory: A mother may have an affair on her husband, nearly burn her house down, forget to pay the power bill, or commit any one of a number of possible infractions or instances of negligence. Her teenager, engaged in a process of becoming independent, and depending on others, will view such things in a wholly different light compared to her infant or toddler, who depends on her completely. Democrats are planning things…things which will place them in a bad light viewed by their constituents, unless said constituents depend on said Democrats without exception, completely, utterly, absolutely, without compromise. Democrats know this and are thinking ahead. They know they will look bad, later on, to anyone except those who view life through the eyes of a child. This is what makes the unmitigated dependency so important to them.

This is a far-fetched theory. There is no reason to entertain it. Unless — you are taking note of the Kerry/Rangel episodes, and insisting on an explanation. Once you do that, the theory makes more sense. At least…nothing else does. Nothing else, that’s come to my attention, adequately explains this bizarre behavior, where they prize so highly this objective of making people, or showing people to be, completely dependent on them. Where they are willing to sacrifice so much for it. No other theory comes close to plausibly explaining this.