Archive for the ‘Challenger Scandals’ Category

D’JEver Notice? XIII

Friday, October 24th, 2008

So now we have clothes-gate. Which, in my mind, is nothing more than a resurrection of tanning-booth-gate.

Which, by the way, kinda dropped under the surface like a bowling ball plunking into the ocean last month. Haven’t heard much about that ol’ tanning bed lately. That scandal seems to have died kinda like that chap James Bond killed in the men’s bathroom in Yugoslavia…it didn’t die well.

I’m surprised to see it resurrected in another form. It looks like — what’s the word? Ah, yes — desperation.

Well, here’s the thing. Can someone tell me what exactly would happen if Sarah Palin went shopping at Ross Dress For Less, Marshall’s and T.J. Maxx for all her clothes to wear on the campaign trail? Kind of a support-your-local-redneck wardrobe program? What would happen then? Would all the talking heads look upon her with respect, as the icon of a redneck tidal wave not to be taken lightly? As an oasis of venerability in a desert of hypocrisy? As a noble public servant, decent down to the marrow of her bones, living a life of consistency? Truth? Believability?



No, no, no.

What we would hear from our news-cycle talking heads, is a bunch of pious rot about what a lofty office the Vice Presidency is, all the transformation that has been thrust upon it throughout history since it was first occupied by John Adams…how it should be looked-upon with reverence, respect and awe by all of us…especially by those of us who seek it.

And then, with varying degrees of subtlety, we’d be left to ponder the injustice of someone holding herself up as somehow worthy for this high office, while she runs around in moldy old clothes.

YEAH. There’s some hypocrisy going on with regard to this issue. But not the kind people are discussing much.

Maybe there’s even some of that old-fashioned sexism, too. What are the gentlemen wearing? And how much did those duds cost?

Best Sentence XLIV

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

The forty-fourth Best Sentence I’ve Heard Or Read Lately (BSIHORL) award goes to a nameless interviewer in a New Yorker cartoon. The interviewer, conducting a job interview, has a line that is reconciled against the situation involving unrepentant domestic terrorist William Ayers, buddy-n-pal of Senator and Presidential candidate Barack Obama.

I’m trying to find a way to balance your strengths against your felonies.

H/T: Kate at Small Dead Animals.


Monday, October 13th, 2008

I was looking up Jake Tapper’s column and in that very instant, Mr. Tapper pops up on channel 10 as a “political correspondent” or some such.

Maybe he’s balanced and centrist the rest of the time. He isn’t here.

I can’t do a better job of fisking his list of complaints than this fellow did.

Hey Jake, it’s not that simple of a matter. It started out pretty simple…but then Stephen Branchflower put out a report in which his factual conclusions went in one direction, and his opinionated conclusions went in the other direction. For whatever reason. And now we have a mess.

Great report, Mr. Branchflower. You started out with one question, now you’ve generated a whole fistful of ’em.

Tapper did do something fair, though: He included Taylor Griffin’s comments at the end of his own column in an “update” (albeit, while misspelling Griffin’s last name). These comments of Griffin’s do a serviceable job of addressing both sides of the issue fairly, I find:

The investigation set out to determine whether Gov. Palin had acted properly in reassigning Walt Monegan, it concluded that she absolutely did. The Legislative Council’s investigation offers an opinion based on a very tortured reading of the Ethics Act, but, as Legislative Council Chairman Kim Elton pointed out yesterday, it has no force in law.

Unable to find wrongdoing under the original investigation, Mr. Branchflower tried to stretch the Ethics Act to fit facts that are well beyond the scope of the law. To say she is in violation because she did not stop Todd Palin from raising concerns with appropriate authorities about a rogue State Trooper who had threatened their family and abused the public trust really defies commonsense and has no basis in the law. Besides, as Todd pointed out in his interrogatory responses, she did ask him to “drop it.”

Also, the Council made clear that the vote to make the report public was not an endorsement of its findings. In fact, five members of the council spoke up to say they do not agree with the report’s findings. The lengths that were taken to stretch the scope of the investigation to find something damaging to say, when the facts bore out that the Governor acted appropriately, show that our concerns about the politicization of this investigation were entirely justified.

Trooper Wooten has a history of violent and intimidating behavior and threatened the life of Sarah Palin’s father. As anyone would, the Palins raised these serious concerns to the proper authorities. As Todd Palin said in his interrogatory responses, “I make no apologies for wanting to protect my family and wanting to publicize the injustice of a violent trooper keeping his badge and abusing the workers’ compensation system.”

Go on, moonbats. Tell me Taylor Griffin is owned by the Rothschilds and is spreading his lies in Karl Rove fashion…and how…and where he lied. Can’t wait to see it.

Megyn Kelly Interviews Weasel from US Magazine

Friday, September 5th, 2008


What a shyster.

He admits he left out the fact that Todd Palin’s DUI was from 1986; he admits the “LIES” referenced on the cover, are lies told by liberal bloggers about the Palins. So I’m glad I don’t have to pick up his smut-rag to figure out what’s going on. It’s already pretty damn clear.

I see the weasel’s talking point matches perfectly this boilerplate letter being put out by the US Magazine’s spin-office:

We apologize you are upset over our cover featuring Sarah Palin. Every week our editors select what they feel are the most compelling stories, regardless of the controversy it may create. In all fairness, we ask you please take the time to read the story before deciding to cancel. After reading should you still wish to cancel, please let us know and we will honor your request.

Michelle headlines it as US Weekly Begs Readers to Stay. Heck yeah. That’s exactly what I saw in the video clip. Lest anyone think the erosion to US’ subscription base is overblown or exaggerated, blogger friend Rick points to a story in MSNBC that lays it out in graphic detail. Of course Mr. Weasel wants you to read the story before forming any judgments. Needs the money for the weasel coffee fund.

Frickin’ weasels. I thought you guys bit it at the end of Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Don Vito Corleone Weighs In on the Edwards Affair

Monday, August 11th, 2008

Memorable Quotes, from the Internet Movie Database:

Do you spend time with your family? Good. Because a man that doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.

I was watching this last night and I noticed Marlon Brando delivered that line just as James Caan entered the room in the background. Caan had just been bumpin’ uglies with his mistress, and the two men exchanged an awkward glance just after the door closed, before Caan crossed the room to take a seat.

I’m so disgusted with people who defend this guy; specifically, I’m disgusted with the “He lied then but he’s telling the truth now” excuse. Or the “Just because he’s unfaithful in his marriage doesn’t mean we can’t believe him in his public life” excuse. Having an affair on your wife is lying. You have to lie in order to do it. Regularly.

But of course, it isn’t really about arguing the point honestly. It’s about safeguarding that mushbucket o’soldier slandering, baby killing, teacher’s union protecting job killing gun grabbing liberal goodness. Just be honest, I say, and stop pretending you’re trying to do something else. Amanda.

This Thing About John Edwards’ Mistress’ Sister

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

…what is missing from it? Can you spot it? I’ve redacted the portions of the story that do not pertain to her, but included everything that does.

In the first reaction from [acknowledged Edwards mistress Rielle] Hunter’s family, her younger sister Melissa told ABC News that Edwards should immediately follow through on his pledge to take a paternity test.

“I would challenge him to do so,” the sister said.

“Somebody must stand up and defend my sister,” she said. “I wish that those involved would refrain from bad-mouthing my sister.”

Late Saturday evening, The Washington Post reported that Hunter released a statement through her attorney, Robert Gordon, that she would not participate in a genetic test.
Hunter’s sister Melissa said Rielle was being falsely portrayed as a “promiscuous person” and was not involved in “setting up” Edwards at the hotel meeting. “She is a good and honest person, the sweetest and most caring woman one could ever hope to meet,” the sister said.

Did you find it?


I was looking for something anyone on Planet Earth would say in the situation…”I would challenge him to take a paternity test, because somebody must stand up and make sure my niece, Frances Quinn, grows up with all the advantages that go with having a father.”

No points for guessing right, but an armload of minus-points for anyone who drew a blank and then, having read what I had in mind, said “Ooooh, yeeeeeaaahhh…that’s right,” purely as an afterthought.

And a truckload of ’em for anyone who still hasn’t caught my drift, or did, but refused to see the merit of it. We identify the father, to protect the reputation of the mother? That’s the only reason? Begone with you and your sniveling sneers, you condescending misandrists. What are we, humans or cattle? Homo Sapiens, or Salamandra?

Two Americas, indeed.

Calling Bob Herbert of the New York Times

Saturday, June 7th, 2008

Columnist Bob Herbert has made a career — a career! — out of the notion that the Republican party wins elections by agitating redneck racists. This much is not surprising to me. There is racism out there; there are also people out there who like to labor under the delusion that Republicans have a monopoly on it. There may not be enough racists to keep a columnist in business, but there are plenty enough among those who sustain the delusion to do exactly that, and with a hunger to constantly read about it.

No, what’s surprising to me, through the years, is how little evidence he’s used to keep this afloat. It comes down to 1) a speech Ronald Reagan gave in Mississippi, which must be interpreted exactly the way Herbert wants it to be; and 2) an interview Lee Atwater gave a college professor, with no other witnesses present. Just those two things.

Why link. Seriously, why bother. It’s what the man does constantly; it’s his business; he has nothing else to offer. You want a link, just watch him and wait awhile. It won’t be long.

Mr. Herbert, call your office. Your finely honed journalistic investigative talents are needed…just not where you expect them to be.

“There have been signals coming out of the Clinton campaign that have racial overtones that indeed disturb me…Frankly, I had a private conversation with a high-ranking person in the campaign … that used a racial line of argument that I found very disconcerting. It was extremely disconcerting given the rank of this person. It was very disturbing.”

The speaker is Congressman Rob Andrews, who challenged Sen. Frank Lautenberg for the democrat primary nomination for Lautenberg’s seat, and lost.

[Andrews] disclosed he received a phone call shortly before the April 22 Pennsylvania primary from a top member of Clinton’s organization and that the caller explicitly discussed a strategy of winning over Jewish voters by exploiting tensions between Jews and African-Americans.

He says he’s speaking up now because “”I didn’t want people to think I was trying to win over Obama supporters in the primary.”

One guy, applying his interpretation to things, saying stuff. Plenty enough for Bob Herbert to discuss, heatedly, for a quarter of a century or more.

When it comes from the right place, anyway. Wonder if he’ll follow up. Heh.

H/T: Ace.

What Would Make Him Unelectable

Monday, May 12th, 2008

Small-Tee tim the godless heathen, is wondering aloud in the comment section

At this point I’m just wondering what exactly would actually make him [Sen. Obama] unelectable to his supporters. Murder, pedophilia, wife beating, drug dealing…?

To his supporters…to his supporters…dang, that’s a tough one. The list of what does not do the trick, at this point, is getting a little on the long side.

So I came up with a “Letterman Top Ten Style” list of what might kill the whole deal. To his supporters, as you say.

10. The customary dead girl.
9. The customary live boy.
8. Obama ‘fesses up to doing it doggie style, with Michelle standing behind him.
7. Obama asserts Israel’s right to exist.
6. Obama finishes a few too many speeches without using the word “hope.”
5. Obama finishes a few too many speeches without using the word “change.”
4. Obama goes on record saying maybe, just maybe, in some cases, we should think about executing people who really deserve it — who aren’t Republicans.
3. Obama answers a question directly and substantively instead of launching into a diatribe about how badly George Bush has handled something.
2. Obama calls on Jimmy Carter to be quiet, and for once earn this “dignified elder statesman” label people keep putting on him.

And the number one thing that would make Barack Obama unelectable…to his supporters…

1. He says some nice things about America.

Another Obama Terrorist Connection

Saturday, May 10th, 2008

Are you starting to lose track of all these Obama buddies who are connected to America-hating scumbags? I’m at the point where I could use a road atlas, or org chart, or something…

One of Barack Obama’s Middle East policy advisers disclosed yesterday that he had held meetings with the militant Palestinian group Hamas – prompting the likely Democratic nominee to sever all links with him.

Robert Malley told The Times that he had been in regular contact with Hamas, which controls Gaza and is listed by the US State Department as a terrorist organisation. Such talks, he stressed, were related to his work for a conflict resolution think-tank and had no connection with his position on Mr Obama’s Middle East advisory council.

“I’ve never hidden the fact that in my job with the International Crisis Group I meet all kinds of people,” he added.

Ben LaBolt, a spokesman for Mr Obama, responded swiftly: “Rob Malley has, like hundreds of other experts, provided informal advice to the campaign in the past. He has no formal role in the campaign and he will not play any role in the future.”

If you love me like democrats love America, stay the hell away from me.

H/T: Ace, via Michelle.

On the Easterlin Paradox

Saturday, April 19th, 2008

I’ll let the New York Times guest-column speak for itself:

Arguably the most important finding from the emerging economics of happiness has been the Easterlin Paradox.

What is this paradox? It is the juxtaposition of three observations:

1) Within a society, rich people tend to be much happier than poor people.
2) But, rich societies tend not to be happier than poor societies (or not by much).
3) As countries get richer, they do not get happier.

Easterlin offered an appealing resolution to his paradox, arguing that only relative income matters to happiness. Other explanations suggest a “hedonic treadmill,” in which we must keep consuming more just to stay at the same level of happiness.

One criticism of the Easterlin report is that the data upon which it is based, comes mostly from survey responses and there is a psychological hobgoblin at work here because we don’t tend to think highly of ourselves when we admit we’re unhappy. So it stands to reason the responses are going to be skewed toward “oh yeah, I’m ecstatically happy.”

But another criticism I would have is that we have a societal taboo against acknowledging one of the possible — and I would label highly probable — outcomes: That money makes you happy. Let’s face it: Overly-simplistic as that may be, missing money when you need some really sucks!

But I think anyone pondering the situation for a minute or two would have to admit there has been, at least since the 1950’s or so, a swelling of pressure on people to presume out loud that wealth is only tangentially related, if it’s related at all, to a state of happiness. The pressure is sufficiently significant that it has an effect on people who have no personal experience at all, with being destitute & happy, or with having wealth in abundance and being dismal. And that’s my definition of significant pressure: When people are missing anecdotes within their personal experiences that would be needed to back something up, and will nevertheless sit there and say “oh yeah…uh huh, that’s right on.”

Well, the author of the column, Justin Wolfers, goes on to drop a bombshell:

Given the stakes in this debate, Betsey Stevenson and I thought it worth reassessing the evidence.
Last Thursday we presented our research at the latest Brookings Panel on Economic Activity, and we have arrived at a rather surprising conclusion:

There is no Easterlin Paradox.

The facts about income and happiness turn out to be much simpler than first realized:

1) Rich people are happier than poor people.
2) Richer countries are happier than poorer countries.
3) As countries get richer, they tend to get happier.

Moreover, each of these facts seems to suggest a roughly similar relationship between income and happiness.

Now, you can see from the reports and the cool graphics, that there is an abundance of data going in to these conclusions. So a disturbing question arises: Assuming this attack on the Easterlin paradox withstands scrutiny better than the paradox itself, are there some negative social ramifications involved in realizing this? Once it settles in that money does indeed make us happy isn’t there a risk that we’re all going to become a bunch of hair-pulling eye-gouging money grubbing zombies?

Well…to answer that we’d have to get into the debate about the “pie people”: Those who insist, like Michelle Obama, that when some among us have bigger pieces of pie then someone else must have smaller pieces, and in order to get more pie to those deprived persons it will be unavoidably necessary to confiscate pie from someone else. All transactions are zero-sum, in other words.

Seems to me, if you buy into that you have to agree there was at least a social benefit to the Easterlin paradox, even if it wasn’t true. And there must be a commensurately deleterious effect involved in repealing it.

I suppose, like the Easterlin paradox, the Pie Paradigm ought to be given a benefit of doubt, of sorts, so it can remain standing on clay feet across the generations without much supporting evidence. There must be a truth to it, and even if there isn’t, there must be a social benefit to believing it, and even if there isn’t, darn it it just feels so good to say it’s true.

Except, like Columbo, I can’t help noticing just one…little…thing.

So many of these Pie People, like Ms. Obama herself — are stinkin’ rich. What does that say about them, if they really do believe in the pies?

What the Wright Mess is All About

Sunday, April 6th, 2008

Comment I left on this blogger guy’s blog, on an older post about the Jeremiah Wright flap that I think sums it all up.

I’m not going to get fancy and re-word things too much, because the wireless connection at this hotel sucks. Maybe re-edit things here if I feel like it.

This whole flap needs a brand new headline.

The real story is that there is an effort underway to tell people they should be horrified when & if, as you point out, “if they came from a Caucasian [the words] would brand him a racist.” And to further tell people that if the colors are reversed they should think nothing of it.

In short, to assess exactly how pliable people are.

Kind of reminds me of what Dilbert’s boss told him: “Once we figured out we could put you guys in cubicles half the size of jail cells, we knew anything was possible.”

People are watching the Wright flap with baited breath because it’s possible there’s a limit to how pliable people are when instructed to show horror at one thing and not at another thing. But it’s only possible. Nobody is really sure how it’s going to turn out, but the ultimate verdict will obviously have a bearing on future attempts to tell us what to think.

That’s the REAL story.

Yeah, I mean it. The hairpin-turn hypocrisy is so sharp and so 180-degree, it almost looks like a test and I think that’s exactly what it is.

Only Hillary Could Make It Up

Friday, April 4th, 2008

Regarding Sniper Fire Gate

Mark Steel, via FARK:

Anyone can make a mistake about what happened on a trip, she said, and she’s right. You might forget the name of the couple you met on the beach, or whether Thursday was the day you came under sustained mortar attack and had to dive behind sandbags and shoot your way out to safety, or was it the day you went to the dolphinarium.

This wasn’t just a politician’s lie, it was the pointless lie of someone who sits on their own in pubs and leans across to grab you and lie compulsively. Her next round of soft-focus adverts will probably feature her soothingly saying, “My fellow Americans, I drank a pint of walrus milk once for a bet. I speak fluent Eskimo. I once ate all the gherkins in Belgium. My brother’s got a yak in his loft. I fell asleep on a night bus once and woke up in Munich, and had to get a lift back on a camel. I used to live on an iceberg. I’ve got a waffle-maker that works underwater.”

Named for Sir Edmund

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

Of course anyone who’s been paying attention already knows about this, but you can’t help letting out a chuckle as you read one more time about how Hillary supposedly got her name.

If memory serves, and I believe this one time it does, this was old hat long before 2004 when the book was published. My guess is if I bothered to go chasing after tidbits of memorabilia, which I’m not going to do, I’d nail down something from 1996. This is almost like a psychological disorder — what’s this need to toss out lies like this so casually, when they’re so easy to nail down and it seems like there’s nothing to be gained from it?

I remember this from my “salesmen working alongside software developers” days. Things look different when you have a different perspective, and as the reality-man who actually worked with the code I’d get flustered listening to the boss telling customers things. I learned to bite my tongue and keep my reservations to myself, reminding the salesmen of them in private…granting them the benefit of the doubt, presuming that perhaps this had to do with arcane details not commonly appreciated. But on occasion, it looked to me like hostility toward truth. Glittering cliches would be tossed out, when it looked like there was no reason for them to be, beyond some need to say things that could later be determined to be inaccurate.

I’ve always thought this had to do more with perception than with reality. It was just my viewpoint on things. But with the Clintons, the psychosis really does appear to be there. You’re going to throw out this chestnut that Hillary was named after a mountain climber…so easily disproved…to do what? To impress people? People who are already impressed — so where’s the gain?

I’m sure there is treatment available for this somewhere.

Sniper Fire Gate

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

Via Boortz, two handy YouTube embeds that explain the whole story…regarding what you’ve already been hearing…here & there.

She is NAILED…

…she tries to explain…

There is a comment in the first clip that this helps Obama, showing that all this experience “is at least partly her imagination.” There’s another point to be made here, it seems to me. It has to do with politicians in general — mostly those who belong to the democrat party — and how they use embellishments. Or rather, how they perceive embellishments, once they are so used.

They can embellish. Others are committing some kind of horrible sin against humanity by doing so.

Just watch how Obama handles things next time he’s caught embellishing. Or, even better yet, ask Hillary or Obama to grant the Bush administration a reprieve for any embellishing they might be guilty of doing, vis a vis weapons of mass destruction and so forth. Nope. Da fangs, dey come out. If you don’t know that, you’ve been living in a cave. Lied to get us into a war, prosecuted as a war criminal, blah blah blah blah blah.

But Her Thighness can lie her fat ass off about sniper fire to her heart’s content…anything to add to that rock star appeal. She has to. She’s been outgunned in the rock-star-appeal category, so…whatever it takes to win.

She’s allowed to do things that others aren’t. Plain & simple.

Maybe He’d Better Stick to Hope Change Hope Change Hope Change

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

This Is Good XLVIII

Friday, February 29th, 2008

This is better than good. It’s probably the funniest thing I’ve read all week, as well as successfully making the most salient and understated point…

My Solution to Iraq Is to Never Have Gone There
An Editorial by Senator Barack Obama

Iraq continues to be a serious problem, and the Bush administration has done nothing but increase the problem and cause unnecessary deaths. It is a mess, but I have a solution: I would never have gone there.

The Iraq War will be a big problem to inherit, but it would not be if we hadn’t have gone there. That’s why that is my solution.
As for Al Qaeda in Iraq, I don’t think they would be a problem if we hadn’t had gone. Maybe they already were there and working with some support from Saddam, but I still think not having gone there is a risk worth taking. You may worry about all the terrorists there and whether they have intentions for attacking America, but you wouldn’t if we hadn’t had gone.
The future. And not just any future; a future where we look forward and say, “We shouldn’t have gone to Iraq.”

January 17, 1982

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

That’s the answer to the question on the minds of so many this week.

That question being…

…when exactly did Michelle Obama become a legal adult?

For the uninitiated, the rest of us began to mull that one over when we heard this.

What a wonderful world in which we’d be living if, right up until election day, every time someone asked Michelle’s husband a question, they’d immiedately follow with “by the way Senator, I’ve been proud of America all my adult life and then some.” Do it until he starts squirming, and then keep right on doing it.

Our nation’s next President issued a statement about this thing his boneheaded wife trotted out to embarrass the bejeezus out of him on Monday…

What she meant was, this is the first time that she’s been proud of the politics of America…Because she’s pretty cynical about the political process, and with good reason, and she’s not alone. But she has seen large numbers of people get involved in the process, and she’s encouraged.

Michelle herself made sure her own explanation was properly synchronized on this point…

What I was clearly talking about was that I’m proud in how Americans are engaging in the political process…For the first time in my lifetime, I’m seeing people rolling up their sleeves in a way that I haven’t seen and really trying to figure this out — and that’s the source of pride that I was talking about.

One problem, though: This is not consistent with Ms. Obama’s remark.

I’ve noticed there is this tendency for the last four years or so on both sides of the fence, although democrats have been specializing in this somewhat because they’ve been forced to. Embarrassing things are qualified, subsequently, as having been taken out of “context” when if you actually take the time and trouble to look up the context, you’ll see that they were not.

And furthermore, when the invevitable “what he/she/I meant to say” statement comes out, you’ll see it isn’t a more careful phrasing of an innocuous statement that was worded a little bit unfortunately. No, you’ll see the backpedaling is something that says a completely different thing, often about a completely different subject.

And then you’ll see this snotty derision directed at anyone who might have taken those original remarks at face value. Not just political opponents. Anybody who took the words seriously.

There’s something else going on, something I first noticed when Monica Lewinsky’s ex-boyfriend’s wife’s so-called husband first began running for President sixteen years ago. Although it had been going on since before that. It’s that name “America,” and it concerns other political figures, people who have good things to say about it. The word itself requires more specificity, it seems to me. Too many people are allowed to shower great-feeling platitudes upon what they call “America,” such as “greatest country in the history of the world” or some such. And if you analyze that all-important “context” you see they’re talking about a vision of something that exists, today, only between their ears. They’re proud of that. They see this opportunity to change the country into something that will make them proud — their pride has nothing to do with anything that presently exists.

But if you listen to their remarks casually, you might be tempted to think they’re talking about pride in the country now. The pride that comes with love. The pride a mother has for a newborn baby. And that’s not what’s being said there…what’s under discussion is the pride a football fan has for his team which he is sure is about to win a game. But if it doesn’t happen, forget it.

A very critical delineation which is not being made. This is a bad thing. A lot of us who are genuinely proud of the country and think at least some of what the country does, should remain unchanged…are being fooled into supporting candidates who want to change exactly that.

But that doesn’t have much to do with Michelle Obama — who is not proud, up until now, and is not afraid to say so. Unless there are some actual consequnces involved, and then she’ll play John Kerry’s patented “you’re such a drooling clueless idiot for hearing what I said and making me actually responsible for it” card.

I’m tempted to say more, but there’s no way I can take our future First Lady down any more pegs than another woman of diverse racial background named Michelle did yesterday.

Finally Proud, Hungry for Change

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

Michelle ObamaI thought it was great when blogger friend Phil highlighted the model American stump speech as retold by Mark Steyn:

My friends, we live in the greatest nation in the history of the world. I hope you’ll join with me as we try to change it.

Barack Obama’s wife Michelle seems to agree with the last part of the model speech:

“Hope is making a comeback and, let me tell you, for the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country. Not just because Barack is doing well, but I think people are hungry for change,” she said during a rally in downtown Milwaukee.

“I have seen people who are hungry to be unified around some basic common issues and it has made me proud,” she told supporters.

Okay, so she’s not talking about 1994 when we put Republicans in charge of Congress and she’s not talking about 1980 when we elected Reagan. Michelle Obama was an adult during those times, so we can pretty well establish she doesn’t mean any ol’ “basic common issues.”

She’s talking about the “issues” embraced by people who are supportive of her husband. You know, that whittles the field down a great big bunch, or not at all, depending on your point of view. What are Barack’s issues? Well, I know he wants to pull out of Iraq. Beyond that all I’ve heard about the guy is that it’s so wonderful he’s serving as a Senator even though he isn’t a big ol’ fat corrupt drunk white guy from a privileged family who thinks himself above the law (and I note with interest it’s one of Obama’s most fervent supporters who is most responsible for starting that stereotype). And that he has a really warm personality and makes people feel good…which aren’t “common issues.”

So for the first time in her life, Michelle Obama feels proud of her country because it’s about to retreat. Surrender fast or we just might win, and all that.

Perhaps she misspoke. Perhaps she meant to say she’s always been proud of her country and is just extra-extra proud now. But that isn’t what she said, and Occam’s Razor does not smile favorably on this — instead, it leans toward the Fifth Column.

If we can make a big ol’ election fight out of this, the country stands a good chance to make some lemonade out of these three sour lemons with which we’ve been saddled as we try to put a decent butt in the chair behind the most powerful desk in the world. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if it became impossible to moderate a presidential debate in 2008 without asking “Senator, this next question is for you: Should Americans be proud?” And…a simple yes or no will be just fine. You have one second for this one.

For the same situation to exist in all the elections from here on out, would be even better. Might not change anything. But it couldn’t hurt.

Hillary to Garnish Wages

Monday, February 4th, 2008

Via Rick, we find not only is Hillary out to take money away — earned money, before it even lands in the wallet of the person to whom it rightfully belongs — but she’s criticizing her competition for not doing the same.

Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton said Sunday she might be willing to garnish the wages of workers who refuse to buy health insurance to achieve coverage for all Americans.

The New York senator has criticized presidential rival Barack Obama for pushing a health plan that would not require universal coverage. Clinton has not always specified the enforcement measures she would embrace, but when pressed on ABC’s “This Week,” she said: “I think there are a number of mechanisms” that are possible, including “going after people’s wages, automatic enrollment.”

Clinton said such measures would apply only to workers who can afford health coverage but refuse to buy it, which puts undue pressure on hospitals and emergency rooms. With her proposals for subsidies, she said, “it will be affordable for everyone.”

Ladies — how does it feel, knowing future social scientists and historians, laboring to trace the death throes of America back to a starting point of decline, will land on the day we gave you the right to vote?

Please understand, myself and others are in favor of you keeping it. But toss us some ammunition once in awhile…a reason we should be glad you got it, why it shouldn’t be taken away again. So far all we got is Hillary and her so-called husband…maybe Jackie Kennedy and her pink pillbox hats…and Prohibition. And that’s before the bill is to be paid — looks like it’s going to cost us dearly.

You know what the real tragedy here is? Most folks, among the ones who consider themselves independent and open-minded but need to have it explained to them why this is a bad thing, will launch into a discussion about whether people should have healthcare coverage or not. The idjits — it doesn’t matter how the money will be spent, it matters that whether the state can take control over it, and what trifling gripe the state has against the rightful owner just before they take it.

Ya oughtta be covered…sheesh. The issue might as well be what kind of music you listen to on your car radio. This is exactly what Swift was parodying in Gulliver’s Travels with those kings arguing about how to open an egg.

P-R-I-V-A-T-E – P-R-O-P-E-R-T-Y. That means you decide…and Hillary’s against it. Yes, Hillary, Obama’s not as radical as you are on this issue. Know why? Because he’s a man…men can’t get away with transforming the United States into a communist regime overnight. But you’ve got your gender card, and all sorts of brainless dolts you’ve bamboozled into thinking it’s all about fallopian tubes, and not about issues.

And our current President, I’m told, is a threat to our “civil liberties” because when we catch terrorists, they don’t get frosting on their cinnamon rolls…and the Patriot Act is being used to bust drug dealers. Here’s a major candidate, widely considered to be a front-runner, talking about taking our paychecks away if we don’t live our lives the way she wants us to.

And she expects by her saying this, that her chances will improve. And who’s to doubt her? She probably knows what she’s doing, and imagine the implications of that.

Just amazing.

Update: Boortz is predictably just as incredulous as I am…

So let’s quickly review what would happen to you, the loyal taxpayer, if you choose to purchase your own healthcare, rather than relying on the government to provide it for you.

Scenario #1: The government takes you to court in order to pay. Hillary says that “garnishing wages of people who don’t comply” is an option. That means that there is a court-ordered process to take property from you in order to satisfy your debt to the government. The government takes your property in order to use your money for the service of others (in this case it would be healthcare). Sounds fair, right?

What we have here is a clear indication that Hillary considers you and everything you possess to be the property of the U.S. Government.

Scenario #2: Using the tax system as enforcement. I could think of a really easy way to eliminate this option. Wouldn’t it be great to take away that power from Hillary? If she no longer had the IRS and our convoluted tax system to satisfy her socialist agenda, imagine the power you, the people, would have.

Scenario #3: And the last scenario would not give you any option of whether or not you would like to have government healthcare. It would be mandated. Where did your freedom of choice or individual responsibility go? If Hillary has it her way, you wouldn’t have any, would you? That’s just the way the single women – I’m sorry, unmarried women – want it.

Vote for Hillary, She’s a Lady, Running for President

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Did I mention she’s a woman?

Don’t watch this on a full stomach…

Un-believable. Two minutes in, before anybody says a single word about what the candidate would do. And, don’t wait around for anybody to talk about how it’s funded.

Lots and lots of talk about how “she can do it,” about how “we can do it,” but in my lifetime “it” has always begun with lots of campaigning and lots of talking about what you will do once you get in…and how exactly that would work as a solution to the problems you’re supposed to be trying to solve.

Uh, here’s a question for the Hillary camp. The Constitution says the legislative power is invested in Congress, and the executive powers are conferred upon the President. Congress makes the rules, the President enforces them. If we want this universal healthcare coverage so badly, how come we’re trying to get it by electing a President?

Yes, Presidents badger Congress into sending this or that bill across — well, I still get to say it, don’t I — his desk…at which time he signs it. It does happen. But Congress botches it all the time. Bills die in Congress, that Congress would piss rusty nickels if it meant getting the bills through. That’s just the way large groups of people work. They fail to do things they want to do. It’s really the one hope this nation has for avoiding an even larger healthcare crisis; Congress will try to pass some dreadful universal healthcare regulation, and fail.

Last time we had a plan on the table for universal healthcare coverage, we had a Congress and a President sympathetic to the idea, even enthusiastic about it. Then Hillary stepped in and messed it all up.

Thank God, people like me say. Maybe we’re outnumbered…

…but if that’s the case, I find comfort in these doubts you Hillary-people cast upon your own intelligence, and knowledge of how the government actually works.

Few others have the balls to say this out loud, so I’ll just come out and say it: I hope Bill Clinton’s affairs get a whole lot of attention. And no, I’m not trying to damage the intellectual credibility of the national discourse, as some might think…let’s face it, if that was my motivation, there’s not a whole lot more harm I could do in addition to what’s already been done. No, if we’re going to seriously consider this candidate, her sham “marriage” is quite relevant.

We’re supposed to be all about rejecting racism and sexism. But who on Earth could possibly be more sexist than a Hillary supporter? Think about it. What if we already had a woman President, and she screwed around on her poor husband constantly…cunnilingus from the interns…back room trysts with randomly-selected men during campaign stops…

…and eight years after she’s out, the cuckold wants to run for his shot? They’d tell him where to go & how to get there. That is, if things ever got that far. Personally, I think if a woman President did half the crap to her husband that Bill Clinton did to his wife, Washington would run her out on a rail.

How wonderfully European. The men can cheat, the women can’t.

There’s your feminist movement in 2008 for ya.

Ace on Ron Paul’s Weirdos

Friday, January 11th, 2008

Language AdvisoryAce is pissed off…the subject is a bunch of half-assed apologism in Reason magazine, plus some more half-assed apologism about Ron Paul’s…various issues

…some of which are known to have been a concern to us over here at The Blog That Nobody Reads.

Ace’s frustration, one senses, is not so much with the collection issues themselves, but with the effort to deflect it. He starts out with all his cool, and then in what has become his tradition, loses it a few paragraphs down. Wonderfully.

As I wrote previously, there’s a big difference between a real libertarian who joins the movement due to a belief in the power of freedom and someone using libertarianism as a flag of convenience to add respectability to retrograde and repugnant views. Ron Paul’s positions don’t indicate that he’s terribly interested in freedom so much as he’s interested in keeping the Jews from stealing his gold.

His goldbuggery? He’s trying to keep “international bankers” (wink, wink) from “manipulating” currencies to enrich themselves at the expense of normal, patriotic people. Normal, patriotic people who spin no dreidls and do not control the media. Savvy?

His foreign policy? He just wants to keep “the Jewish lobby” — “the most powerful lobby in America,” he says — from getting the US to fight more wars on behalf of Israel.

Oh, and he wants to stop fighting in the Middle East and stop supporting foreign countries. Let me just postulate, based on Ron Paul’s long record on such issues, that he’s chiefly interested in ceasing animosity with Israel’s enemies and most passionate about ending support of Israel. The other countries are just added for consistency. We can see what’s animating this little anti-semitic cunt.

Wait, it gets much, much better…

The idea that Ron Paul published this screedy, LaRouchian crap for twenty years and never once inquired into precisely what contents may lie therein is so transparently absurd I’m literally angry to read the supposed smarty-pants Poindexters at Reason attempting to spin this as plausible.

This was Ron Paul’s periodic manifesto to his like-minded political brethren.

This was a newsletter that cost money to produce and disseminate, particularly if we are to believe that Lew Rockwell spent so much of his free time writing anti-semitic and racist zingers under the pen name “Ron Paul.”

This most likely was the source of some amount of income for Ron Paul, as he claims he had some 100,000 subscribers at one point.

This was Ron Paul’s attempt to keep in the mind of possible future voters, and donors (Ron Paul loves him some donors!), should he return to Congress (as he ultimately did).

And you are trying to sell me on the idea that Ron Paul had no idea what published in this piece of shit rag, ever?

With all fairness to Congressman Paul, I’m among the undecideds about whether he’s Neo-Nazi down to the marrow of his bones. I don’t think so. I think he started out as a capital-L Libertarian…like me…you know, gummint shouldn’t be doing nuthin’ the Great Charter does not specifically empower the gummint to do. Maybe he tempered that flow of sanity with a kooky isolationist streak, which is where I parted company with him.

And then somewhere along the line, in some sequence of events leading up to this whole run-fer-Prez business, he came to realize an ugly truth. He realized that antisemitists, here as well as overseas, are exceptionally well-funded. And they just can’t get enough of him. It really doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that whole “stop sending money to Israel” thing was the genesis of this unholy alliance.

ApplauseIf we simply sideline the whole deliberation about the good Congressman’s intentions — and this seems, to me, only fair — we’re left wondering about the consequences, which is his problem with unsavory bedfellows. And at that point, what we’re pondering is the obvious. At that point, we’ve yanked the discussion out of the realm in which there can be reasonable disagreement.

He’s got a problem.

He’s had it for awhile.

And I have not seen him do jack-shit about it.

This take-down was overdue. And very well done, Ace.

Rudy Out

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

I’ve defended Rudy Giuliani from slander here and here, but I’ve set him aside as a non-viable candidate, one rendered unacceptable until such time as something enormously huge changes. JohnJ, writing in an offline, wanted to know why. Without quoting from the actual exchange, I thought my reply was worth a broadcast. It includes some points about illegal immigration that are not, to the extent I can see, discussed very much anywhere — and really should be.

Well, I’m plum-pleased to see you’re sticking around and are going to be visible. You’re a sharp guy and have some well-thought out positions on things, although of course you and I don’t agree on everything. Hey, life would be boring if everybody did.

I do agree with the Giuliani platform on many things, and I’ve defended him against some of the slurs against him. And it’s taken me awhile to put him in my purgatory, but I think my reasons are pretty sound.

On immigration, although I do understand his plans have to do with moving the immigrants out of the illegal status, I make an important distinction between sending a violator to the front of the line, and toward the back of the line. I really do think that is only fair to the people who are trying to [follow] the rules as they try to get in. I start with the assumption that we have a certain immigration quota, and when you add up the immigrants have have followed the rules to get here to the violators, you’re left with a total that far exceeds the quota. The result is that when someone jumps the turnstyle and then, once here, embarks on a “pathway to citizenship” — this ends up being amnesty in all the ways that matter. Yes, they’re legal when all’s said & done. But by going this round-about method, they’ve effectively been allowed to bypass the quota.

And here’s something else. When someone is here on a temporary visa and they overstay it, they become an illegal immigrant. Even though they aren’t part of the turnstyle-jumpers. But they, too, are allowed to amble down this pathway-to-citizenship. They, too, can skirt the quota. And by being sent to the front of the line instead of to the back of it, they can take priority over other people who are sending lots of money and waiting a long time, just to follow the rules.

Why do they do this? Well, when you follow the rules, your background gets checked out. When you jump the turnstyle, it doesn’t. Once you go down the pathway to citizenship, your background MAY be checked out…maybe…we’re still arguing about how it works. Nobody really knows yet. Such a background check almost certainly will not be effective.

Do we need to check them out? Maybe not. I continue to be told these illegal aliens “work hard.” I’m sure a lot of them do. But you know, you can be a child molester and still work hard; the two are not mutually exclusive. What if 99 percent of the illegal aliens are not child molesting perverts? Well, this leaves us with 120,000 of them that are.

Giuliani would send them to the front of the line, not to the back of it.

Could it be true that 99% of the illegal immigrants are clean? Perhaps it’s true of the students and other temps that overstay their visas. I have strong doubts such a thing can be true of the turnstyle-hoppers. Why hop a turnstyle if you’re clean? Let’s face if — if I’m a poor Mexican farmer and I have two strong, hard-working sons, one’s a documented kiddy-diddler and one has no crime record…the clean son is staying with me. I’m sending the pervert to the United States. I’m going to get a new record for the hard-working son who can use one.

I’d be foolish to do it any other way.

We need to take the health and welfare of our kids seriously, and take national security seriously. I do believe Giuliani would kill lots and lots of terrorists, as I’ve said. But I think Fred would kill a lot more. And he’d send the turnstyle-hoppers to the BACK of the line…the only way to be fair to law-abiding immigrants, keep our borders under control, and give our kids the safety, protection and opportunities they deserve.

The reason I thought it worth posting for the general audience? It’s the facts, you see. It’s not that I embellished them to make Rudy look bad, or left out some of the ones that might have exonerated him. What I did, if anything, was quite the opposite.

In 1997, Giuliani signed a statement of principles which read, “The new laws recently passed by Congress and signed into law by the President unfairly target immigrants in the United States by severely limiting their access to many federal benefits which citizens are entitled to receive.” and “Since legal immigrants work and pay taxes like American citizens, they should be entitled to temporary assistance when they fall into personal difficulty. Furthermore, the denial of federal assistance to legal immigrants in need is patently unfair and arguably unconstitutional and inhumane.” In 1998, Giuliani argued for expanding Medicare, SSI and foodstamp benefits to legal immigrants and also, “Providing full Medicaid coverage to Prucol aliens with HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses”

In April 2006, Giuliani went on the record as favoring the US Senate’s comprehensive immigration plan which includes a path to citizenship and a guest worker plan. He rejected the US House approach because he does not think House Resolution 4437 could be enforced.

In February 2007, in a meeting with California Republicans, Giuliani was quoted as saying “We need a [border] fence, and a highly technological one.” Giuliani also reiterated his support for some sort of path to citizenship for certain illegal immigrants after a process to be determined, but added that at the end of the process the immigrants should “display the ability to read and write English” and must assimilate into American society. In 2000, Giuliani said, “I wish that we would actually make America more open to immigrants.” He does not believe in deportation of illegal immigrants and advocates a “tamper-proof” national ID card and database for illegal immigrants.

On September 7, 2007, during a CNN interview, he said that illegal immigrants are not criminals.

Send…the violators…to the back…of the line. There is no reason not to. To propose anything else, is to grease the skids for more turnstyles to be hopped.

I do not think that everybody who wants to grease those skids, is bent on smuggling terrorists into the country. I think what they’re doing, is helping to smuggle terrorists into the country without consciously realizing it. I think they’re trying to make it more economically practical for labor-intensive businesses to operate outside of the law…and by accident, they’re leaving the door open for sleeper cells — and child rapists — to come marching in.

Oh yeah, they’ll protest that. They’ll call me a bigot and a racist and a xenophobe. But that’s just a campaign slogan, a cheap, poorly designed rhetorical tactic used to shout down the opposition. The motive is to make it easier for immoral businesses to operate…and they have no idea what kinds of bedfellows they have, in that effort.

And Rudy is their leader. He’s made it very plain he’s dedicated to the bumper-sticker slogans, and the legislation, of the “Make The Border Meaningless” crowd. Fence, schmence. The folks on his side, want to build…an escalator that works only half the time. And they say “Ooh, look, we’re not open-borders advocates, it’s really HARD to get in this country. See? The escalator only runs half the time.”

This country is under attack. From people who want to impose methodical, deliberate harm on American citizens to make political statements…and from people who want to impose non-methodical, haphazard, sexually-motivated harm on our women and children. Can we please act like this is what is going on, and make a priority out of confronting these threats?

I have no reason to look at Giuliani as someone who will do this. Just a lot of Rudy fans who want me to think that. Some of whom I respect very highly, but still, just because they want me to think it is no reason to think it. He’s a “pumice border” advocate, and a rather brazen one at that.

Chickenhawk on the Battlefield of Truth

Saturday, November 24th, 2007

I think I just saw something remarkable on Google. I was up rattling around between 4:30 and 5:30 this morning, and I hit the search engine to find some news about T. Boone Pickens’ million-dollar challenge to disprove anything in the Swift Boat ads from three years ago, and Sen. Kerry’s acceptance of same. Then, now, 7:30 to 8:00, I did it again. I’m seeing in the first two pages of results, not less than six or seven entries are worded exactly the same: “Pickens ‘backtracks’ on SBVT dare” — I don’t think it looked like that two hours ago.

Maybe, earlier, I just went straight to the “News” link with that search term. And maybe it’s just my imagination. But the replication of this one headline is interesting. Clearly, there’s a hierarchy involved in distributing these, and clearly that hierarchy works to the benefit of The Left. It’s not news to anyone who’s been watching this kind of thing for awhile, but strangers to it might find it enlightening. And if those strangers do find it that way, they certainly need to.

But to zero in on this challenge: I was pretty intrigued when I heard about it. To refresh your memory, I’ll just dial up a news website, that polishes over the recent history with the now-customary cliches, at random

Obama’s response accused Clinton of “Swift Boat politics” — a reference to the 2004 attacks on Kerry’s military record by a group calling itself the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Kerry stayed quiet, a decision that some advisers fought at the time and that in retrospect turned out to have devastating consequences for his image in some swing states. [emphasis mine]

The SBVT group is a 527 non-profit. What tends to be lost in the news filter is that the more controversial claims by the SBVT have to do with Sen. Kerry’s war record, and the circumstances under which he won his medals…issues which the Senator brought up in the first place when running for President.

Also lost in the mix is that there very well may be no way to prove one way or the other what actually happened, since the argument deteriorated clear back in 2004 into a he-said-she-said. It could very well be a case of Rashomon syndrome. In fact, it very well may be that among the real veterans who were actually there, everyone is being a hundred percent truthful about their recollections of events even as those various recollections conflict with each other directly.

But the SBVT used their 527 money to get the word out that Sen. Kerry’s recollection of events, was not by any means uncontested. I could be wrong, but to the extent of my knowledge that’s just about the most unkind word they had to say about him…which is a stark contrast to the Senator’s now-infamous 1971 testimony before Congress, the one where he mispronounced the name of Genghis Kahn.

It is impossible to describe to you exactly what did happen in Detroit, the emotions in the room, the feelings of the men who were reliving their experiences in Vietnam, but they did. They relived the absolute horror of what this country, in a sense, made them do.

They told the stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, tape wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the country side of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.

Kerry’s testimony-about-testimony shocked a nation back in 1971, and again, in quite a different way in 2004.

But of course, the real issue isn’t whether or not words can be used to hurt or shock people. The issue is truth. We were reminded of this with the phone-testicle-taping testimony after it was thoroughly discredited…although a lot of people, still just as passionate about that issue as they ever were, have yet to know about that. But back to the subject at hand, and the truth involved in that subject: How did John Kerry win his medals? And what did he personally know about wires from portable telephones taped to prisoners’ nut-sacks? What did he personally verify about blowing up bodies and razing villages in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Kahn? In fact, what does he personally know about Genghis Kahn?

What I found intriguing about Pickens’ challenge was that it dealt in this truth. Enough with the cheerleading; enough with the fanfare and the name-calling and the cherry-picked “eyewitnesses.” Once such an issue has deteriorated to he-said-she-said, cherry-picked witnesses bring very little value to the table. Just prove stuff. I know it’s tempting to read one’s own motives into the players who are more central to the drama one is watching, but I would like to think Mr. Pickens grew just as weary of the group-cheering and the holding-of-court as I did. Just stop appealing to emotions and prove what you’re trying to prove.

Now, that was earlier this month. A week ago Sen. Kerry made some real headlines by accepting the challenge.

No, he didn’t supply the proof Pickens demanded. That would come later. He made a show of accepting the challenge, and then he was heralded with great fanfare as if he already presented the proof.

In other words, he appealed to emotion yet again.

This is not the way I would have handled things. If someone challenges me to prove something, and I accept the challenge, I’m offering the proof. Especially if the proof exonerates me from being a purple-heart showboater and short-timer. If such an accusation was made, and I knew it to be false, that would strike me as a very personal offense — whether I was running for President or not.

I would never have dreamed of “announcing” I was accepting the challenge. I’d swat it down on the spot.

Now, I don’t know what exactly I was expecting when I heard that Pickens issued this challenge. Part of me was wishing that after spending an entire election campaign season AWOL from the battlefield of truth, in which facts actually matter more than grandstanding, and things formerly wondered about are proven — or refuted — Kerry would finally “enlist” and be seen in action on that battlefield.

Perhaps I should have known better. It’s time to prove things, and all we see out of him is more showing-off. More speeches. More aren’t I wonderful and aren’t they rotten.

I would request that your check be made payable to the Paralyzed Veterans of America which is doing incredible work every day to meet the needs of veterans returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan. My hope is that by sending this money to such a dedicated organization – founded for veterans, by veterans – some good can come out of the ugly smears and lies of the orchestrated campaign you bankrolled in 2004 in an attempt to discredit my military record and the record of the men who served alongside me on the Swift Boats of the Mekong Delta.

I would be more than happy to travel to Dallas to meet with you in a mutually agreed upon public forum, or would invite you to join me in Massachusetts for a public dialogue and then together we could visit the Paralyzed Veterans of America in Norwood and see firsthand how we can put your money to good work for our veterans.

I look forward to setting up a visit at the earliest possible, mutually convenient time. I trust that you are a man of your word, having made a very public challenge at a major Washington dinner, and look forward to taking you up on this challenge.

Yes, Kerry was in Vietnam. Yes, a lot of Republicans were not. But if he’s that stoic and fearless about running on to battlefields, I’d sure like to see him storm this one. Whatever the outcome. Just see him step onto it — for a change of pace. So far, he’s proven to be just as talented in staying out of that kind of “combat,” as anyone else, anywhere.

What do the facts actually say, Sen. Kerry? And if this isn’t the time to be answering that question, when is? Do you even have it in you?

I don’t think so. I think on the battlefield of facts and evidence and proof and disproof, Kerry has always been, and always will be, a chickenhawk. He goes through the motions of pretending to use logic and common sense and “nuanced” thinking, but I had an entire year to watch him try to persuade myself and others with his rhetoric, and he stayed on the emotional plane the entire time. Every single minute. And I should have realized this from the get-go — Sen. Kerry will throw a lot of stuff at Pickens’ challenge, but none of it is going to have any more to do with proving or refuting anything, according to reason or logic, than a day-old box of donuts.

He simply doesn’t work that way. He’s AWOL.

The Third Most Important Issue

Friday, November 16th, 2007

I have mentioned more than once that this country has two critically important issues for next year’s elections, that are running neck-and-neck in terms of how much attention we should be paying them. Which one of them claims the booby-prize, is a question that ends up being just a real squeaker. But ultimately they have to be listed in this order:

1. Who is going to bring me the biggest pile of dead crispy terrorist carcasses each year?
2. Is the democrat party represented by people who are ignorant or careless with reality, or full-blown crazy?

The third-most-important issue, I have commented as I reiterate this short list, is not even close. Whatever that third-most-important issue may be. I’ve said that on a few occasions too.

Well you know what. After listening to some rebroadcasting of Sen. Barack Obama’s comments on illegal immigration last night, I am ready to amend that. There is a third most important issue, and it is almost as important as the first two. And like those first two, I can state it with something that ends with a question mark. It is a question. It’s a question we should be asking a LOT. And I’ve not yet heard of anyone asking it…not even once…not anywhere…not yet.

The question is this. It is the third-most-important issue of next year’s election.

How does a candidate for President of the United States, or any other high office for that matter, even begin to form an enlightened opinion about what illegal immigrants might or might not be here to do?

I mean, the last occupant of any office of that stature who was something even hinting at a paycheck-to-paycheck individual, was Newt Gingrich just before he was Speaker of the House. The last one before that, would have been Governor (not President) Bill Clinton. These folks aren’t exactly the first to be exposed to the dark seamy underbelly of society. They have got to be talking out their asses — there is no other explanation — since they aren’t enjoying any kind of access to the information that would be needed to decide such a thing.

Unless they somehow are…which must mean someone’s about to confess to a Linda-Chavez type of nanny situation. You know, when you’re running for President, I think that’s supposed to be bad news. Last I checked, President was above Labor Secretary.

But seriously. Since we don’t have any logical reason to suppose a bazillion and a half illegal aliens are here to “follow the law and work hard” and “do the jobs Americans won’t do,” and we’ve got this enormous wad of politicians telling us exactly that and few-to-none of them are asserting any way they could possibly know such a thing…this is something that needs some inspection. More than it’s been getting. A whole lot more.

The most incriminating thing about the word “illegal,” when you think about it, is that it is indeed synonymous with the euphemism “undocumented.” That’s the worst thing about it. “Illegal” means YOU DON’T KNOW. You could be hiring Pablo to work at the waffle restaurant, or the daycare center, or at the landscaping business…you might have gotten hold of Pablo’s records to make sure he’s got a clean history…and you have no way of knowing if you’re looking at the real Pablo.

We’re talking about twelve million people here. To say they’re “all” out to do anything, or “none” of them are trying to do something else, is as silly as things get.

Thing I Know #35. The individual attribute ascribed to the aggregate entity, manifests a weak argument ripe for re-thinking.

Twenty-Three Six

Friday, November 16th, 2007

Okay donks, here are your big-three choices for next year…

…good stuff, all.

H/T: Jawa Report.

Ron Paul’s Jewish Problem

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

A month ago, after looking in to the word neocon, what exactly it is supposed to have meant and what exactly it has come to mean, I came to the conclusion that this is so important that it defines a modern ideological split that has entirely replaced the traditional Republican/democrat schism. We have Republicans that are numerous and passionate, disagreeing viscerally on some issues on which their opponents are equally Republican, numerous and passionate. Abortion rights, gay marriage, grabbing guns, spending money. And you can say the same about the donk party — withdrawing from Iraq and impeaching the 43rd President.

The Republican/donk split pre-dates the civil war. It hasn’t kept pace with the times.

We are now neocons and socialists. And a neocon, used there, is anybody who is not a socialist.

This creates a lot of problems…for certain people. Problems which are ultimately of their own making. And Ron Paul, I’m looking right at you.

Now fed up with the neocon’s wars abroad and the diminishing of civil liberties at home, many conservatives are rallying behind Paul, whom they view as the only Republican candidate who isn’t in the pocket of the Israel lobby. They have helped him become an Internet sensation — the Republican Howard Dean, if you will — who in the last quarter raised over $5 million, outpacing more mainstream candidates like John McCain.

Even with his hardline protectionist stance, Paul has managed to garner the support of Jewish Republicans and Libertarians alike, some of whom have banded together to form an ad hoc coalition called Jews for Ron Paul, which condemned the RJC’s decision to bar the Congressman from their Candidate’s Forum.

Yet, much to his Jewish supporters’ chagrin, Congressman Paul’s willingness to stand up to the neocons has also had the effect of making Paul a popular candidate among those from whom Presidential candidates would typically not desire support: Bona fide antisemites.

Indeed, Ron Paul has become the most popular candidate among right-wing extremists, including white separatists, neo-Nazis, and conspiracy theorists who believe that “the Zionists” were behind 9/11. This group includes Frank Weltner, creator of the antisemitic website, who in a YouTube video, accuses the “Zionist-controlled media” of attacking Paul’s candidacy. Paul has also received favorable coverage from the Vanguard News Network, a White Nationalist news organ, members of Stormfront, an online neo-Nazi community, as well as the National Alliance, the “mainstream” White Nationalist group featured prominently in Marc Levin’s 2005 film Protocols of Zion.

Of course, Congressman Paul cannot be held accountable for the views of his extremist supporters, unless he publicly acquiesces to those views. Yet, when his extremist supporters begin providing a substantial amount of campaign funds, things get a bit dicier. And that’s Paul’s biggest problem.

According to the Lone Star Times, White Nationalists have become a noticeable source of financial contributions to the Paul campaign. Indeed, even Don Black, the founder of Stormfront, and one of the most notorious neo-Nazis in America, has personally contributed $500 to Paul’s campaign.

Though it’s true that Paul’s campaign has no control over who sends them money in advance, once it becomes apparent that a neo-Nazi leader is sending money, any sensible politician who does not wish to be identified with neo-Nazism should send the money back. Not so for Ron Paul, however, whose campaign is still making up its mind as to whether or not to return Black’s money.

Does Ron Paul deserved to be slimed over this?

I think he does. He’s not nearly as crazy as people say he is, and he’s been in Washington a long time. He’s built his career lately out of opposing the “neocon” threat, and it’s not demanding too much to expect he should have as decent an inventory as anybody else as to who is unsympathetic to neocons: It’s a ghastly menagerie of zealots each clinging to an issue that is cosmetically autonomous from all the others — yet, in reality, and Congressman Paul knows this, those issues have a relationship with each other.

Eye Hayt Boosh. U.S. and Israel are bombing and killing Palestinian babies. We have to legalize pot. Abortion on demand. Capital gains. Roll back the tax cuts. Increase the minimum wage. Unions never do anything wrong. There is no god. Glowbubble wormening ManBearPig. Give peace a chance. Kids’ TV shows should have less violence and more sex.

Show men ten people who believe in any one of those things, pick any one of the others, and I’ll show you nine people who believe in that second thing. You know it as well as I do. The cohesion is amazing. It’s a direct consequence of ingrained hostility toward independent thinking.

And antisemitism is woven thoroughly in there. I expect more from Ron Paul than jumping at the chance to return the money (and he’s failing to do even that); I expect him to have anticipated this. Yes, the “neocons” have a lot of enemies, but some of those enemies are good enemies to have. I know I wouldn’t want them as friends.

Ron Paul doesn’t seem to be quite so decisive about this.

H/T: New Republic, by way of Instapundit.

Learn What You Can While You Can

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

Well, here we go again. Sen. Hillary Clinton, considered a frontrunner on the donk side in the race for the White House next year, got caught in some skullduggery. (Fellow Webloggin contributor Big Dog has a decent write-up about it here.) I’d write something about it, but it occurs to me that’s wasteful. Nobody ever wants to know too much about these things for too long, and while it’s still too recent for anyone to avoid it completely there’s no hunger for details at all. Even among her opponents.

Everybody knows we’re going to be pressured to stop talking about this soon, everybody knows that before too long if you even so much as bring it up you’ll be considered a kook. Everybody knows she’s going to get away with it — again.

It’s gotten a little silly to even feign uncertainty about it, for ritual’s sake.

In fact, it occurs to me with a little bit of utility-grade artwork, I could summarize this to the extent anybody cares to find out about it, to the extent anybody’s ever going to tell anyone about it, and keep it in the realm of one hundred percent what we software developers from the early 1990’s used to call “reusable code.”

So I sat down with Microsoft Windows Paint and did exactly that.

Sen. Clinton got caughtNow I have something I fully expect to be able to re-use again and again and again, well into next year. And God knows how many “carbon tons” I’ve saved the planet, over the long haul. There are certain details it doesn’t address…but as has been explained above, it’s really useless to go into those. Nobody cares, nobody ever will care.

Go ahead, borrow it, use it, give it away. The image has it all…every little thing you’re going to be allowed to talk about, and it’s all true, and will continue to be true, scandal after scandal after scandal.

Meanwhile, it looks like the Sacramento Bee got caught behind the news cycle on this one. They chose to reprint, today, this story from the New York Times. I expect this will end up being a little awkward for them.

Late one night last year, while her husband was an Army scout in Iraq, Melissa Storey sat in the quiet of her bedroom to write President Bush a letter. She wanted him to know “we believed in him.” And after Staff Sgt. Clint Storey, 30, was killed by a roadside bomb, his widow put pen to paper again.

“I felt like I needed to let him know I don’t hate him because my husband is dead,” Mrs. Storey said, “that I don’t blame him for Clint dying over there.”

The correspondence did not go unnoticed. In May, Mrs. Storey received a surprise telephone call from the White House inviting her to a Memorial Day reception there. As she mingled at the elegant gathering, too nervous to eat, her 5-year-old daughter clutching her dress, her infant son cradled in her arms, a military aide appeared. The president wanted to see her in the Oval Office.

The Storeys, of Palmer, Mass., joined a growing list of bereaved families granted a private audience with the commander in chief. As Mr. Bush forges ahead with the war in Iraq, these “families of the fallen,” as the White House calls them, are one constituency he can still count on, a powerful reminder to an unpopular president that even in the face of heartbreaking loss, some still believe he is doing the right thing.

Since the war in Afghanistan began six years ago, Mr. Bush has met quietly with more than 450 such families, and is likely to meet more on Sunday, Veterans Day, in Waco, Tex., near his Crawford ranch. Mr. Bush often says he hears their voices — “don’t let my son die in vain,” he quotes them as saying — when making decisions about the war. The White House says families are not asked their political views. Yet war critics wonder just whose voices the president is hearing.

Like Melissa Storey, Bill Adams, who has been leading war protests in Lancaster, Pa., wrote Mr. Bush a letter — not to praise the president, but to question the military’s account of the death of his son, Brent. When Mr. Bush held a town-hall-style meeting in Lancaster last month, Mr. Adams asked a friend with a ticket to deliver his missive to the president. It worked, and a top aide to Mr. Bush later called Mr. Adams.

But when the president met families of the fallen that day in Lancaster, it did not escape Mr. Adams’s notice that he was not among them.

“I can’t help but be left with the suspicion that possibly his advance team screened those families for people who would be sympathetic,” Mr. Adams said. Given the chance, he said, he would have told Mr. Bush “that my son’s life was squandered.”

Mr. Adams’ case is pure conjecture, and it’s a little hollow. He thinks President Bush is doing the same thing Hillary Clinton just got caught doing — pre-screening the audience.


The comparison I’m making here is unworkable for a lot of reasons. Mr. Adams thinks President Bush is filtering his audience. Sen. Clinton, if you click at the first link in this post, you’ll see has been accused of putting plants into hers.

President Bush is meeting with hurting families in a confidential, private forum. Sen. Clinton is putting on a show.

Most importantly, we have a first-hand account of someone who says she was given a question to ask by a Clinton staffer. Bill Adams has a hunch, and not at all an incriminating one at that. I’m awfully sorry this man lost his son, but to be frank about it, if I were the President I wouldn’t invite him either…even if we did not have that episode with the “absolute moral authority” mom…which we did. It’s simply ridiculous to think Bill Adams wouldn’t take over the session in some way, for however brief a time. There are supposed to be other families there, in similar straights. It simply wouldn’t be appropriate.

Now, in reproducing this story on the front page today, the Sacramento Bee jumped onto Page A14 right after the words “near his Crawford ranch.” So they weren’t quite able to work Bill Adams into the front page. But that’s okay, they re-wrote the headline as…

Many ‘families of the fallen’ still back Bush

…and the sub-headline is cobbled together as

But war critics suspect that president’s private meetings are screened.

Hey, good going Sacramento Bee. You’ve just accused the President, based on one war activist’s extravagant speculation, of doing exactly the same thing we know Sen. Clinton’s campaign is doing. Even worse, by implying there’s something wrong with screening, you’ve pretty much dis-invited yourselves from any pre-Thanksgiving cocktail parties or emergency strategy sessions with any high-fallutin’ blue-blood Clinton fans, who might want to spin the tale that, y’know what, screening and planting is all just wonderful stuff. You better leave the black-tie wardrobe in mothballs unless you can come up with a good explanation for this.

But it can only get so embarrassing for you. Worst-case scenario is, someone is going to connect the dots, and write a letter to the Editor questioning — how come you’re accusing the President of doing something we don’t really know he’s doing, which would actually be appropriate if he was doing it, and letting Sen. Clinton get off scot-free for doing exactly the same thing only worse?

In which case you’ll just use the standard remedy: Print that letter just above, or below, a letter from someone in Davis or West Sacramento accusing you of being too friendly with the “neocons.” This always works. It isn’t even necessary to write an editorial crying “boo hoo, poor us, no matter what we do someone somewhere is always unhappy.” That isn’t necessary. The message is implied, and comes through loud and clear.

Meanwhile, I await that hard-hitting expose in the Sacramento Bee — and the New York Times — about Sen. Clinton and the plants in her audience. Obviously, I’m not holding my breath.

Imitation is the Sincerest Form XXI

Saturday, November 3rd, 2007

A couple days ago I said, regarding Senator Clinton’s fumble

I don’t know for a fact that a President Hillary Clinton would certainly end the United States as we know it. But let’s face facts: She’d certainly be able to. She could erode “civil liberties” a hundred times more than President Bush has ever dreamed of doing, and afterward, face one-hundredth as much scrutiny and inspection from the media or from anyone else.

A woman of real courage would just leave that “don’t pick on the girl” card unplayed. You’d get answers out of her, which would have real meaning, that you’d be able to understand.

Now, I don’t know if Hillary’s rival and colleague Barrack Obama reads my blog. I have long operated under the premise that hardly anybody does. But how then do you explain this gem, which appeared in the online edition of the L.A. Times earlier this morning?

“I am assuming and I hope that Sen. Clinton wants to be treated like everybody else,” Obama said on the “Today” show.

Referring to debates where he has come under attack, Obama said, “I didn’t come out and say, ‘Look, I’m being hit on because I look different from the rest of the folks on the stage.’ “

I’ve been robbed, but I’m not calling the police. I’m quite flattered.

It’s easily the most sensible thing I’ve heard of Sen. Obama saying, since…well, since a few short months ago when he dished out his first not-really-positive comment about something, whatever that comment was, after some advisor got hold of him and correctly convinced him he couldn’t win the White House on a bunch of empty bromides and platitudes. He was probably reacting to the Clinton campaign’s YouTube clip, which in my opinion is about as clever as any other, but nevertheless amounts to a whole lot of whining.

One of the things that makes America a great country is we get bitchy about whiners…other countries get bitchy about people who gloat, and end up nurturing cultures opposed to success, eventually festering into unabashed jealousy. But we get particularly bitchy about powerful politicians snivelling away about having to answer tough questions when seeking high office.

In the first 150 years or so of this nation’s history, Hillary Clinton’s boo-hoo-hoo don’t pick on me schtick would have gotten her disqualified. Well, of course, being a woman she wouldn’t have been a likely candidate in the first place. Now things are different. A woman can run for President, and in the mind of Hillary Clinton, that apparently means it has become distasteful to inspect what a perceived front-runner would do about even highly-controversial issues. Now that someone with fallopian tubes is running we’re supposed to stop asking questions and just hope for the best.

I don’t think the man’s been born who’s a worse chauvinist pig, than this one candidate who is arguably more likely than any other to be our next President and happens to female herself. I’ve torn up the sheets with some whiny, weepy women in my time, but I doubt I’ve met anyone with a lower tolerance for confrontation or a lower vision for what a woman can handle than Hillary. Obama nailed it: Sen. Clinton’s tactic is useful only to a candidate hiding something. As if we needed a further demonstration of that after her waffling answer.

But of course, I called it out first, and while it’s a stretch to think he was inspired reading the same pages you’re reading now, I have no hard evidence to prove or even to suggest he did not.

Hop the Turnstyle, Punch a Ballot

Friday, November 2nd, 2007

What better way is there for us to apologize for our very existence as a nation, than to hunt down those who would kill themselves in order to take a few of us down with ’em…and give them the right to vote for or against our public officials.

Here’s the thing. An immigration investigation by the federal government found 4,000 probable illegal voters in that race. It was decided by less than 1,000 votes. Eight of the 9-11 hijackers, eight of the 19 hijackers, were registered to vote — because they’d gotten driver’s licenses.

This is a “Why We Have Blogs” moment if ever there was one. The Newsbusters pice excerpted above is a little on the long side, jam-packed with interesting tidbits you’re not going to hear on the alphabet-soup networks on the boob tube. Ever write a letter to your senator or congressman and wonder why they aren’t exactly slobbering with anticipation for your latest clear guidance about how they should be voting? Well, it almost seems sensible…they’re so busy, and you’re just one voter.

Well, in all likelihood you’re not even that. America, The Beautiful — where the voters elect leaders, and then the leaders get together and decide who’s going to vote. And then the voters wonder why it is they don’t have a say anymore, when the answer is right in front of our faces the whole time.

The donk party just barely managed to squeak out a congressional victory for the first time this century last year. They’ve managed to win 3 out of 10 presidential elections since 1968.

Overall, in spite of the enormous amounts of money they spend bullying us around and telling us what to think, we just don’t want them running anything. And so, we see through Hillary’s embarrassing performance in that debate earlier this week, and through that asinine Motor Voter law enacted in the first year of her husband’s presidency, they want to give the right to vote to people who enter the country illegally.

If the donks were forced to spend one twentieth as much time proving the above musings false, as Republicans are forced to prove they aren’t sexists and racists, we might have a chance as a country. Me, I’m braced for a full year of listening to Hillary and Co. endure hard-nosed, scrutinizing questions such as “how does campaigning make you feel?”

Speaking of which, I wanted to be sure and capture this (H/T: Duffy), which I expect to come in handy in the long months ahead…

Drivers Licenses for Illegal Aliens

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Wow, this was a little tough to find. It was kind of easy running into the water cooler hubbub hear-and-there about Hillary Clinton flubbing up an answer, but getting a link to the actual cilp was no mean feat.

“This is where everyone plays gotcha.” What the hell is that supposed to mean?

We need to reform that word “reform.” Ban it from politics altogether. This is a pet peeve of mine and it’s not a Republican/donk thing either; I’m sick to death of some waffling politician using that word, giving not one scintilla of evidence as to his real position on the issue under discussion one way or t’other, and then giving this steely-eyed stare into the camera or just off it, as if s/he’s just gone out on a limb and taken some courageous position on something.

It goes well beyond drivers’ licenses for illegal aliens, and it pre-dates Hillary by a good stretch. “We need blahblahblah reform!!” …it’s become the rallying cry of politicans who try to please everybody. Or have hidden agendas they’re afraid to really talk about.

Hillary thinks guys like me are afraid of her because she’s a strong-willed woman. Damn straight. I’m terrified. This flubbed-up answer was a real occasion for surprise and I have no reason to think it’ll ever happen again. She’s using her female-ness to avoid tough questions, with admirable effect — she could be caught red-handed covering little tiny puppies with gasoline and setting them on fire, and when questioned about it she’ll just say she’s forced to do it because of the incompetence of the Bush administration. And in that circumstance, I would fully expect her to get away with it.

I mean, I don’t know for a fact that a President Hillary Clinton would certainly end the United States as we know it. But let’s face facts: She’d certainly be able to. She could erode “civil liberties” a hundred times more than President Bush has ever dreamed of doing, and afterward, face one-hundredth as much scrutiny and inspection from the media or from anyone else.

A woman of real courage would just leave that “don’t pick on the girl” card unplayed. You’d get answers out of her, which would have real meaning, that you’d be able to understand.

Update: Once again, an unidentifiable, omnipotent cosmic kismet says to itself “Hey that Morgan Freeberg guy is babbling nonsense again, let’s make some stuff happen to prove what he’s saying is true.” Some weepy apologetic male surrounded by feminists, spins like a Turkish dervish to support the canard that Senator Clinton’s position is cohesive as all get-out, just communicated badly. Poor fellow just doesn’t get it. He seeks to measure the achievement of the feminist movement by how many of us have the pardon-my-French BALLS to call women “girls.” Get that number to zero, the movement is success; otherwise, it still has a way to go.

It’s not compatible with a free society. Such a brand of feminism, can only achieve when the spirit of the individual is utterly defeated. Until then, everybody gets to call everything by whatever name they’re compelled to use by the wrinkles in their brains. And that’s just the way things are.

Oh, and Senator Clinton is a duplicitous weasel. It’s no less reprehensible when the girls do it. Sorry if that comes as a shock.