Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Calls at Dinnertime

This scene is repeated several times a week.

"Mmmmmmm this is good Peking Duck. Being an internet commentator sure has been my ticket to the easy life; I'll have to complement Jules on it later. What's that ringing noise? Is it the doomsday alarm? Oh No! Oh wait it's just the phone. [picks up the receiver] Hello?

"Hello Mister Mangled-Name?"

[realizing that anybody who mangles my name probably isn't my best friend] "Do I owe you any money?"

"Uh, no, we have a very exciting offer for you . . " [Phone Hangs Up]

Still the Supreme Court has apparently said that's ok. Not like it takes a lot of time to hang up, I suppose, and it does employ people. Mona Charen has an article on this today in which she contrasts the SCOTUS's position on this position with their position on Campaign Finance Reform, and finds both positions wanting.

Oh, and being an internet commentator has not made me fabulously wealthy; that part of my story was made up. Unfortunately, I do talk to myself.

Up Against the Wall, Iraq

This is Cal Thomas's new theory, although, naturally, he doesn't put it that way. He puts it this way. "The Bush administration is proposing to spend another $87 billion ($20 billion for Iraq reconstruction) on top of what has already been spent in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead, this country should be calling on Iraq and the rest of the oil-producing states to rebuild those nations. Freedom costs, but it should not just cost the United States. Those who benefit most from freedom should pay part of the bill."

Yep. Except Iraq didn't request us to invade and doesn't get any say in how we are repaid. We took over the country by force and are now going to require them to pay for the benefit of us invading.

Of course I'm aware that Saddam was a monster, and I doubt there are too many in Iraq who are sorry to see him go; but we invaded for our own reasons, because we were told our national security was at stake. Given that, it seems a bit beyond the pale to require them, at the barrel of a gun, to give up their barrels of oil.

Monday, September 29, 2003

Even More Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh read an article today by Clifford May, the totally disinterested observer of the Joseph C. Wilson IV story. Mr. May is totally disinterested, unlike Mr. Wilson who was known to have lots of connections to the Middle East, no experience, and was, in general, a dirty liberal.

Fortunately Clifford May is pretty much totally disinterested. I mean he writes for the National Review, a conservative magazine. And he founded The Foundation for the Defence of Democracies, a non-profit, "non-partisan" foundation that, coincidentally, largely follows President Bush's line (they are a bit more hardline on Saudi Arabia, which is always nice to see).

Clifford May writes about how as a Washington insider he was well aware that Wilson's wife was a CIA operative.

"On July 14, Robert Novak wrote a column in the Post and other newspapers naming Mr. Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, as a CIA operative.

That wasn't news to me. I had been told that — but not by anyone working in the White House. Rather, I learned it from someone who formerly worked in the government and he mentioned it in an offhand manner, leading me to infer it was something that insiders were well aware of.

This is the entire proof that May and Rush bring to the table, suggesting that Novak's outing of May's wife was really no big deal. He heard it in such a way that he concluded that everybody knew, so everybody must have known it. Yep. Makes perfect sense.

More Rush Limbaugh

Listening to Rush Limbaugh while driving home for lunch and heard him give helpful advice to Howard Dean (who Rush playfully calls "Nikita Dean.") His advice; play up your conservatism. I have a feeling that Rush will be very, very helpful to Republicans over the next year. And I suspect his help will consist of suggesting that the Democrats abaondon liberalism and move to conservativism.

I mean, wouldn't it be great if, when Americans step into the voting booth in November of 2004, there were two Coservative Candidates? President George W. Bush, hero to us all, and Howard Dean, who is just about as Conservative but not quite. Then the American people would have a real choice.

Still, if people have the choice between a Republican and a Democrat trying to be a Republican, won't they just vote for the Republican? Particularly since most analysts have concluded that the victor of this election will go to the candidate who mobilizes his base the best. I don't think adopting conservativism is the best way to motivate the Democrat Party Base.

Oh and if anybody wants my advice, just let me quote Harry S. Truman. "Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive. And don't ever apologize for anything."

I'm Behind the Curve

I know that President Bush's big speech to the U.N. was last week, and that this is this week, but I'm still going to point you to a good analysis of the speeh by Fred Kaplan (at MSNBC.COM).

"he [President Bush] cited only three areas in which the role of the United Nations (or any other nations) should be expanded: writing an Iraqi constitution, training a new corps of civil servants, and supervising elections. None of these notions is new.

Otherwise, Bush’s message can be summarized as follows: The U.S.-led occupation authority is doing good work in Iraq; you should come help us; if you don’t, you’re on the side of the terrorists.

President Bush should smarten up a little bit, I'm afraid. And get real.

Robert Novak's Latest Article

Good news for Democrats, according to Mr. Novak. Apparently President Bush's reelection is not as certain as some would like to portray it. Robert Novak looks at recent moves by the administration and finds them wanting.

"While a skillful sales job for aid to Iraq would not guarantee success, it has been anything but skillful. In his Sept. 7 speech to the nation, Bush looked uncomfortable standing in the Cabinet Room instead of seated in the Oval Office. The Sept. 22 U.N. speech convinced soft-liners that the president was defiant and convinced hard-liners that he was cringing.

. . . No wonder the arrogance quotient at the White House is diminishing.

Maybe the Democrats have a chance after all.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

New Quote

New quote up at the top and the Quotes Page is updated as well, with a quote from Ms. Helen Keller.

Saturday, September 27, 2003

The Democratic Circus

Here's a bit from Bongo Comics, makers of fine Simpsons comics (and Futurama).

Your Weekly Rush

First of all, lets get one thing out of the way. There's no possible way President Bush is going to lose in 2004. It's flat impossible. At least that's what the GOP would prefer you to believe.

Second, if anybody were to win, it wouldn't be that hypocrite Wesley Clark. You see back in 2001, Clark said some positive things about President Bush, as well as former President Reagan. And now in 2003 he is running against President Bush. What a hypocrite. How can a person praise President Bush at a Lincoln's Birthday Celebration in 2001 (April 11) and then run again him after September 11th, after he led the United States army into Iraq with no exit strategy and after the economy stayed in the doldrums for his entire presidency.

Rush, in his not so subtle way, tries to make supporting President Bush a sign of a moral core. "The program observer asked how Clark could do this kind of 180 and we worked it out in the audio link below. I don't disagree that Clark doesn't have a core, because if he can switch on a dime like this he can't be that committed." Spinning on a dime, to Rush, apparently means changing your opinion over two and a half fairly eventful years. That's a damn big dime.

But lest you be cocerned, remember, President Bush will win in 2004, and there is nothing we can do about it. Or so the GOP would like you to believe.

Friday, September 26, 2003


You probably all know about this also, but check out this list of Bushisms. I thought that we were done with that after September 11, but thank goodness we aren't.

Most telling --> "I'm also not very analytical. You know I don't spend a lot of time thinking about myself, about why I do things."—Aboard Air Force One, June 4, 2003

Recall Madness

This is your brain. This is your brain on recall. Any Questions?

Well it's been a little while since we checked in with what people are saying about the recall, so lets' do that.

Yet Monday, after donating a breathtaking $1.6 million to the recall effort, Issa announced that if two Republicans -- Arnold Schwarzenegger and state Sen. Tom McClintock -- remain on the replacement ballot, and if it looks as if Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante will win the race, Californians should vote "no" on the recall.

There goes the pretense, uttered more in faux sorrow than anger by recall-istas, that their civic-minded goal was to replace Davis with someone better, and it didn't matter from which party.

Debra Saunders

"The recall, in my opinion, undermines the accountability of voters, telling them in effect that they can have a do-over whenever they mess things up by electing the wrong guy. Well, I'm sorry. As I've said before, the people of California elected Gray Davis and now they must be punished.

That may sound like a joke, but it's actually a central tenet of democracy. Politicians and parties must be held accountable for their past mistakes if they are going to be relied upon to fulfill their promises in the future. Recalling Gray Davis might teach him a lesson, but so what? Gray Davis is destined to be working at a Fotomat anyway.
Jonah Goldberg

"I took a lot of calls on McClintock and Arnold, and people for the most part feel that supporting him [McClintock] is "throwing their vote away," or that they won't vote for him until he closes the gap some. Even e-mailers who think McClintock won the debate say, "But that didn't move his poll numbers, so it didn't move me." I'm not trying to push any candidate here, and I understand the talk of incrementalism. I just don't understand why so many people think McClintock is great yet won't vote for him. And don't give me this business that California isn't a conservative state. Reagan won there, as did George Deukmejian and Pete Wilson - who didn't exactly have star power"
Rush Limbaugh

"So you can’t say there wasn’t serious debate; you just had to ignore the celebs if you wanted to hear it. The Sacramento Bee notes the upshot was that the debate did for Gray Davis what he has trouble doing for himself: made him look like a competent governor. After all, if Schwarzenegger is going to stage an evening of zingers and close with the rallying cry, “I need a lot of help,” maybe we should ask Davis to stick around."
Eric Alterman

I don't know how this happened, but I just don't care anymore. This story used to be so much fun, but now, it's just a death spiral until they reelect Colonel Dumpy again (by failing to recall him).

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Tom The Dancing Bug and Intellectual Property

In honor of my beliefs about not ripping of intellectual property, I'm not going to rip off the latest Tom the Dancing Bug. But I am going to provide a link, and suggest that you check it out. Harvey Richards, Lawyer for Children, takes on this tricky legal area, and I'm sure you'll agree he puts it all in perspective.

You do have to watch some sort of add--but it also provides you access to the whole site which includes an article on Neil Gaiman.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Pretending to See the Future

Well, Ben Shapiro is back to his old game of Prognosticating. Yep, now he is predicting that Hillary Clinton will join the Democratic ticket as Vice President in 2004, and that is why they are pushing Wesley Clark.

Note that young Ben offers no proof whatsoever to support his claim; also note the authorititive tone that young Ben takes. "That's why Hillary and Bill are backing Wesley Clark. They want Clark to win the nomination in a landslide. To that end, they've stacked Clark's campaign with former Clinton cronies. They've made it clear that the general is their man. Here's the quid pro quo: They want Hillary to get the vice presidential slot on Clark's 2004 ticket."

See these aren't the words of a man who is speculating on what might happen. These are the words of a man who knows exactly what is happening now and what will happen in the future. What further proof of Shapiro's mystical awareness do you need?

We'l have to see what the future actually holds; perhaps Wesley Clark won't get the nomination. Perhaps he won't select Hillary as his running mate (a strategy that has as many drawbacks as it does bonuses). We'll have to see.

Free Association

Well, Walter Williams is at it again. Once again making constitutional arguments that bear no resemblance to reality. In his latest piece he once again tangles the sticky issue of Freedom of Association. Basically it's OK for us all to be racist if we want to.

"Or, suppose you want to be in my club, but neither my fellow club members nor I want you. The question is, how much do we Americans value freedom of association?"

You see all we, as a society, have to to do to privitize everything, and then we can get back to Jim Crow. Why not? If no federal money is going to a restaurant, why shouldn't the restaurant be allowed to put up a sign saying "No Blacks?" According to Walter Williams (who, for those of you who don't know, is black), nothing. Remind me again, which of the two parties wants to privitize everything?

It would be nice if Williams at least pretended to understand that racism against Blacks still existed, but perhaps for him it doesn't. He's making plenty of money telling Whites it's ok to discriminate against Blacks, and isn't that the American Dream?

Perhaps I ought to get off my high horse for a moment, and admit that Williams has a valid point about the right not to associate; but you cannot make a statement like that without also looking at all the ramifications of it, unless your point is to ignore those ramifications.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

The New York Times Editorial Page

Three Editorials there today. The first, by David Brooks, argues that the rebuilding of Iraq is to important to be in the hands of "foreign policy types, who are trained to think too abstractly to grapple with the problems that matter."

The second, by Danielle Pletka, argues that those who are calling for more troops in Iraq are wrong. She appears to be a little off of what the Administration is asking for today; but she is where they were three weeks ago.

The third, by Goran Rosenberg, is about how Sweden long seen as a triumph of Socialism (one of the very few), is falling apart.

What was that they were saying about Liberal Bias? (To be fair there is an article about President Bush's EPA official facing tough questions).

Republicans Need Women

Dennis Prager has a novel sociological theory he'd like to share. Women who get married vote Republican. Single Women do not. Married Women have husbands to take care of them and so don't need the government to take care of them. Married women are also more mature, and so vote Republican.

And some people think that Republicans are sexist.

But of course, here at Make me a Commentator!!!, we know that Dennis Pragers views are his own and are not necessarily a reflection of all Republicans.

Monday, September 22, 2003

Slow Day

Had the day off, and so didn't post much--sorry about that. But to make up, here's some panels from the great Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean comic, Black Orchid. Gaiman achieved later popularity with Sandman, but this was the first comic of his I read, and I loved it. It wasn't until years later that I found out he wrote it.

The panels are from Black Orchid's visit to Arkham Asylum, a classic Batman locale. Enjoy!


If you pop up the MSNBC news you recieve the tragic news that there's been another Bomb in Baghdad and on the left you see that President "Bush to push ‘faith-based’ programs."

It's a funny old world.

Sunday, September 21, 2003


Hey It's Quotes.

We got Quotes.

Quotes for everybody.

Well, Quote for everybody.


Saturday, September 20, 2003

Your Weekly Rush

Here's what Rush said.

"Bush never said Iraq was an imminent threat. Where did this come from? Was Kosovo an imminent threat? No. Why did we go there? We went there because there was a horrible genocide going on there. I guarantee you that what was going on in Iraq was much worse. If we were justified in going to Kosovo, then we were 10 times as justified going into Iraq on the same basis.." - Rush Limbaugh, September 19, 2004

Here's what the President said.

"With nuclear arms or a full arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, Saddam Hussein could resume his ambitions of conquest in the Middle East and create deadly havoc in that region. And this Congress and the America people must recognize another threat. Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications, and statements by people now in custody reveal that Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of al Qaeda. Secretly, and without fingerprints, he could provide one of his hidden weapons to terrorists, or help them develop their own. . . .

Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late.
" - President George W. Bush, State of the Union, January 28, 2003

Here is what the Los Angeles Times said about what President Bush said.

"Responding to demands from home and abroad, Bush laid out the case for war against Iraq in the most detail to date, arguing that use of force is not only justified but necessary, and that the threat is not only real but imminent." - Maura Reynolds, Los Angeles Times, January 28, 2003, Reporting on the State of the Union.

You can draw your own conclusions.

Star Wars, Episode 3

Yep, big news on the Star Wars Scene. They have finished principle photography (although they still have some locale work) on the next crappy Star Wars movie that continues to betray the legacy of the first set of movies. Or possibly the greatest one of all, the one that redeems George Lucas.

This shot is from the scene where Anikan, showing the smae sort of clear-headedness he showed in the first movie, tries using the old Jedi Mind Trick on himself. "You will lose weight. These aren't the donuts you are looking for."

Thanks to Caleb for the update.

Friday, September 19, 2003

Old Time Radio Fun

As some of you may know or may not, I am a fan of Old Time Radio; particularly the Goon Show from the UK, Gracie and Allen and Broadway is my Beat. But I like a lot of the old shows. Well if, like me, you are fan of Old Time Radio, check out this website.

If you've never tried Old Time Radio, they have samples at the website--if I can I'll post one of my own later on. And If I've mentioned this before, well, I'm cool with that.

We don't need no STINKIN' proof

Jay Bryant writes an interesting article today about the candidency of Wesley Clark. I suspect Townhall was happy to print it because it basically says Wesley Clark is running so that he can lose that the evilist of women, Hillary Clinton, can run in 2008. Yep.

"Wesley Clark is a stalking horse for Hillary Clinton.

That much is clear, but little else is.

Wait a second, you're saying. That's a pretty strong allegation. What proof does Jay Bryant bring to the table to prove this allegation. Well, none. But who cares? It sounds good and it certainly fits with the hatred every decent American has for the Clintons. They would happily scuttle their own parties chances to win this time around, in order to get a chance for Hillary in '08. I mean, we all know who mindblowingly ambitious they are; any insane scheme that gets them more power is totally believable.

Unless you, uh, don't believe it.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Why Don't you All Shut Up!

This is the name of my forth coming book (or maybe I'm pretending I already put it out; can't remember) Anyway Ellen Goodman has a good if meandering article today about political discourse. She comments on the recent books by liberals and conservatives, and says, "Still, I can't help thinking about political rant-lit the way I think about political candidates. The belovedly bellicose James Carville once said "If your opponent is drowning, throw the son of a bitch an anvil." You want a politician who fights back. And you want politics to be more than just a fight.

Politicians and parties who don't answer attack ads are sunk. But if they do get (equally) down and dirty, they turn off more people who think politicians are just kids fighting in the playground.

The problem is that President Bush rarely has to say anything negative about his enemies. He's got Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Cal Thomas, Dennis Prager, David Limbaugh, Ben Shapiro, Sean Hannity and so on to say it for him. So he ends up looking clean; while the Democrats look however Karl Rove wants them to looks. Without a counter apparatus any Democratic candidate might end up being drowned out by the Conservative Press. But who knows? We might have a Clinton who can cut through that and reach the American people.

Cal Thomas equivocates

Cal Thomas writes today about Alabama's recent electoral rejection of raising taxes to meet the states needs. All well and good, but he starts his article with this less then benign words.

"Campaigning for president in 1968, '72 and '76, Alabama Democratic Gov. George Wallace said, "Send 'em a message." Wallace believed that a vote for him would send a message to Washington politicians that the people were tired of Washington's dictatorial ways.

On Tuesday, Sept. 9, Alabama voters sent the country a different kind of message than Wallace's, which was mostly based on race and Southern pride.

Well, George Wallace did run on a platform of promising a return to Segregation. Which makes it interesting that Mr. Thomas would be so comfortable comparing his current praise of Alabama with the glory of George Wallace.

Ann Coulter Names Names

Yes. Ann Coulter's book, accusing liberals of treason, was released on June 24, 2003. Now, 86 days after her book was published (according to Amazon, anyway), she is finally willing to name at least one liberal traitor. And that traitor is Arthur Ochs Sulzberg, publisher of the New York Times.

Exactly what treason is Mr. Sulzberg accused of? For daring to draw a link between the fall of Chile to Pinochet and the September 11th Attacks on our own country. Now, I'm no expert on Latin American history, but I have to say that Ms. Coulter's description of what happened in Chile doesn't square with many other accounts. One suspects that Pinochet's ruthless control over his country is, somehow, appealing to Ms. Coulter.

Oh, and Mr. Sulzberg's paper is guilty of noting that a lot of people have died since President Bush declared us victorious over Iraq.

You might wonder why Ms. Coulter has waited so long to name a traitor, despite numerous opportunities. She answers that, saying, "During my recent book tour, I resisted the persistent, illiterate request that I name traitors. With a great deal of charity – and suspension of disbelief – I was willing to concede that many liberals were merely fatuous idiots. (In addition, I was loathe to name names for fear that liberals would start jumping out of windows." Did you catch that? Ms. Coulter is kind hearted enough to believe that liberals are morons who would kill themselves if she called them traitors.

I have to say, if Ms. Coulter called me a traitor, I could probably take it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2003

New Blog

The Democratic National Committee has started a new blog with the sweet tempered name, Kicking Ass.

Where do I get my Inspiration From

You might ask yourself what keeps me going.

It does seem like tough times; maybe even the last times. And my weblog isn't getting a ton of hits; and it seems like society is still running the same damn way. President Bush asked for another $87 billion and instead of admitting "Hey, we didn't figure the war costing this much," they've said "Hey why don't we cut food stamps?" Makes sense to me.

But getting back to the main subject; how do I keep going. Well there are a lot of places i can go for inspiration, but one is the Diggers Archive. The way they combined poetry and political protest was brilliant. Inspiring. Here's one of their broadsides that seems particularly relevant today.

Time To Forget

FORGET the war in vietnam. Flowers are lovely.
FORGET America's 3300 military bases. Make music.
FORGET Wichita Vortex Sutra. Words are stronger than flesh.
FORGET planned war with China. Beauty is Carnaby Street.
FORGET the Dominican Republic. Todo Todo Hassan Sabbah.
FORGET police Brutality. The cops are your friends.
FORGET upheaval in negro ghettos. Spades ain't hip.
FORGET the Rumford Act. Show love.
FORGET the National Guard. Positively Fourth Street.
FORGET inmates on deathrow. It's a long time passing.
FORGET hypocracy of business. The merchants are your friends.
FORGET U.S. billion dollar investment in South Africa. Money is.
FORGET HUELGA DiGiorgio. We all live in a yellow submarine.
FORGET organized crime. Eternity is long and, sometimes, wide.
FORGET HUAC. The sun's not yellow, it's chickon.
FORGET concentration camps for subversives. It's a bummer.
FORGET FSM, VDC, SDS, SNCC, MARK COMFORT. Big Brother and the Holding Co.
FORGET Mime Troupe, Lenny Bruce, The Beard. Strobe lights are groovy.

You're free to forget. So forget! Follow the calm business tactics of the Psychedelic Shop, the I and Thou, and all other marketeers of expanded consciousness (Moe's Bookstore is important, really!) and dig yourself. Touch reality only for sex, only to eat, and only to join the Artist's Liberation Front for your own safety.

Afterall, expanded consciousness is a selfish hippy kissing the system's ass for the greater glory of the lonely dropout, isn't that right, Uncle Tim!


Ben Shapiro, Boy Prognosticator?

Some of you may be confused as to why I call Ben Shapiro a Boy Prognosticator. Way back in December 2002, he wrote an article with the humble little title "I was right, I am right, and I will be right." In it he commented on how his predictions had proven true.

One section dealt with Bush's decision to go to congress. "On Sept. 4, I recommended that President Bush forgo congressional approval for a strike on Iraq. I said that he should address the American people, saying: "I did not want the bureaucrats in Washington to sidetrack a course of action that is clear and moral. And I know that congressional officials would do just that."

The president instead went to the Congress for a resolution authorizing force against Iraq. Congress balked. It effectively forced the president to go through the United Nations; the congressional resolution made U.S. action partially dependent on the whims of the patsies at the United Nations.

Well, today, September 17, 2003, Terrance Jeffrey is expressing a different point of view. "The White House counsel's office told the president last August he didn't need a vote in Congress to launch a war. "In disclosing this week that Alberto R. Gonzales, the White House counsel, had told the president that he has the authority he needs to wage a war against Iraq," reported The New York Times, "the White House reopened a debate that has periodically vexed policymakers: Can a president launch a war without explicit congressional approval?"

But Bush brushed aside his lawyers. "At the appropriate time," the president said last Sept. 4, "this administration will go to the Congress to seek approval necessary to deal with the threat."

In October, Congress authorized war. Twenty-nine Democratic senators, including Kerry, voted for the authorization.

Had Bush not sought it, he, not Kerry, might face disaster today. America, not the Democratic Party, would be bitterly divided. Left-wing presidential candidates wouldn't be pointing at their rivals' war votes, they would be pointing with their rivals at the war Bush started without a vote.

So I guess young Ben might have been wrong. Still, as others have pointed out, Kerry's transition does mirror that of many Americans who supported action in Iraq under what they feel are a false set of expectations. When Kerry talks about being deceived by the Bush Administration, some people will be able to relate, sharing those feelings. So it might not turn out to be entirely negative in the long run.

My interview with David Limbaugh

I know what a lot of you are thinking. How could I get an interview with the great David Limbaugh, the brother of Rush Limbaugh? I mean I'm running just a tiny little weblog with hardly any viewers. How do I rate?

Well thanks to a new rhetorical device, invented by David Limbaugh himself in his article today, I don't need to interview him. I just need to imagine what he might say; and even that is iffy. After all check it this selection from his "interview" with the 9 little generals (i.e. the Democratic Presidential hopefuls, not including Wesley Clark).

Me: "But the 16 word non-deception (Britain still stands by its report) had little to do with our decision to invade. And surely you're not going to deny the manifest connection between Muslim terrorists and Saddam, are you? And about those weapons of mass destruction, are you saying they didn't exist and Bush and the entire intelligence community lied about them just because we haven't found them yet?"

T9LG: "We'll say whatever we have to say to make Bush look bad. This is an election cycle, you know."

Me: "OK, but aren't you happy we liberated the Iraqi people from this mass-murdering tyrant?"

T9LG: "Could we reserve comment until we see where the American people stand on that around October 2004?"

Because, you know, that's exactly how they would respond.

Well, here's my interview.

Me: "So, Mr. David Limbaugh, what do you have to say for yourself?"

DL: "Well, first of all, I'd like to thank you for letting me appear on your webpage. This is the most politically relevant weblog in the nation."

Me: "Oh Pshaw"

DL: "No I mean it."

Me: "Well, let's get down to business, who do you like in 2004."

DL: "Well it's tough; I mean all us conservative commentators like to pretend that all the Democratic candidates are a bunch of losers; did you see that article where I called them the Nine Little Generals?"

Me: "Yeah, I think I caught that one."

DL: "Hee hee hee. Nine little generals. Anyway I think that actually there are several strong Democratic candidates. Kerry has a good organization and a war record, which President Bush lacks. Dean is passionate and is really working up the base. Edwards, Gephardt--both are interesting candidates who are certainly smarter than my guy. And if Clark comes in? Oh boy."

Me: "Hey I've noticed that your speaking voice doesn't sound much like your writing voice."

DL: "Well that's because you are too lazy to work up a voice for me."

Me: "Let's not make this personal."

DL: "Why not, you stinkin' liberal? I don't need to take this. I'm out of here."

With that he stood up and slammed out. So there you have it, a Make me a Commentator first!

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Wesley Clark is in!

Despite Lowry's criticisms, Clark has entered the race. Look at this announcement from MSNBC. "Wesley Clark, the retired general with a four-star military resume but no political experience, decided Tuesday to become the 10th Democratic presidential candidate, officials close to him said."

Yep, gotta love that liberal press, always looking out for Democratic candidates.

This Just In; New Democrat Candidate a Dud says Republicans

Yep, I know this will shock you all. But Potential Democratic Presidential Candidate Wesley Clark has been declared unelectable by Republicans. Rich Lowry, in an article at Townhall, has stated, "Clark has other limits. Although his biography is impressive, he has no obvious appeal to any Democratic constituency, not the unions, the minorities, the feminists or the doves (owned by Howard Dean)."

I know it's dissapointing to have another candidate rejected by the Republican Elite; after Kerry and Dean it seems hard to bear. Still don't lose hope. It's kind of like the hunt Sean Hannity went through to find Alan Colmes. I mean, it took Hannity some time, but eventually he selected the right man. Republican commentators just want our candidate to be the same quality of liberal as Alan Colmes. Meek and retiring.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Between us and the Abyss

President Bush stands between us and the abyss, or so says Diane West today.

"The United States' war on barbarism (for what else are terrorists, but barbarians?), which George W. Bush is determined to win, is not only a military and intelligence effort against desperate Ba'athist remnants in Iraq, mad jihadist terror cells the world over, and the hostile nation-states that support them. It is also a great political struggle against international and domestic forces -- from the United Nations, where plans are afloat to expand the Security Council, to the Democratic Party, which finally found in the president's $87 billion budget for Iraq a federal spending program too rich for its blood -- that act to restrain and limit America's execution of and, therefore, victory in that war.

In some ways, this political battle may be trickier than the military campaign. It may even be more costly in terms of loss of life -- if, that is, we are defeated, or if we defeat ourselves.

Yep, defeating the Democrats is the only way to ensure America's victory in the war on terror. After all hasn't George Bush captured Osama bin Ladin (no), Saddam Hussein (no), put an end to terrorism (no), definiatively eliminated Iraq's Weapons of Mass Distruction (well, we can't eliminate what we can't find), brought peace to Iraq (no), and Ended Terrorist attacks on Americans (well, maybe on civilians, but our troops are still receiving them pretty regularly).

Do you feel any safer than you did two years ago at this time? I suppose that's a question we're all going to have to answer in our own way.

Love Means Never Having to Say Your Sorry

I've been in love, and I can tell you this isn't exactly the case. But never mind; let's get on to a fantastic article by Michael Kinsley.

In it he talks about how President Bush's request for additional funds would have been more palatable if he had just admitted error. "This $87 billion request is a minefield of embarrassments, through which a simple “We got it wrong” would have been the safest route. After all, Bush either knew we’d be spending this kind of money for two or more years after declaring victory — and didn’t tell us — or he didn’t realize it himself. Those are the only two options. He deceived us, or he wasn’t clairvoyant in the fog of war. Apparently, Bush would rather be thought omniscient than honest, which is a pity, since appearing honest is a more realistic ambition. Especially for him. "

I personally don't see any other two possibilities. Either he knew this was coming and kept it from the American people and Congress, or he didn't know this was coming. You take your pick.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Increasing Corporate Domination of the Media Increases Free Speech

Also, Black is White. You see, President Bush's FCC recently created rules that make it easier for the largest Media Corporations to control the market even more. Some Liberals and some Conservatives oppose the idea, and have introduced legislation to stop it. How are the corporate hounds going to stop this; well, Congressman Maurice Hinchey (the extrememly powerful congressperson you've never heard of), has suggested they also might bring back the fairness doctrine.

Now there is no legislative connection between Congressperson Hinchey's suggestion of bringing back the fairness doctrine and the movement to limit corporate ownership; but what does that matter? Rush Limbaugh and the Wall Street Editorial Page have lept into action. Rush Limbaugh's piece is very long and hard to follow; always a sign he's hiding something.

The Fairness Doctrine states that you have to balance viewpoints on the radio and TV. One interpretation is that a radio station would have to pay a liberal to do a failing show in order to counterbalance Rush's three hour; and in effect he'd be off the air. So if I were Limbaugh, I'd be fighting this too. But once again, there is no direct connection between the move to overturn the FCC's decision to allow greater Media Domination and concerns over the Fairness Doctrine. So you can safely oppose having more media control in fewer hands, while also opposing the attempt to bring back the fairness doctrine.

Friday, September 12, 2003

Pyrrhic Victory

Jay Bryant writes today comparing Howard Dean to Barry Goldwater; it's been done before, but he's writing from the right. Barry Goldwater lost the presidency to Johnson in 64, but the ideals his campaign championed returned in the Reagan Presidency and now in the Bush Presidency 2 (Electric Bugaloo). So, Bryant opines, perhaps a Dean victory would give the Presidency to George Bush, but would bring back the Democratic Party.

Bryant assumes that Dean can't win; which I'm not sure is exactly true. He also assumes Dean will get the nomination; again an assumption. It's too early to tell, and if Clark comes into the race that could change the dynamic significantly. He also has bought into the media's description of Dean as the Liberal of the race, when, in fact, Dean is a Centrist Liberal. (Dean doesn't help this impression by suggesting that all foriegn countries will now be held to American Labor Standards. But his position is a bit more nuanced than reported in the media (big surprise)). Anyway I guess we will have to see what happens down the road; as with most things.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Good Article on September 11th

It's about what we know and what we think we know about that awful day. Check it out.

Two Years Later

This is the first September 11th I've written on for this blog; although it seems like it's been a heap long time since I started this thing, it was really only since late October, 2002.

The day of September 11, 2001, was much like today. I had a ton of stuff I was working on to get ready for a big meeting next week. I stayed in my office focused on the task at hand. I came out at 10:30 or so, and saw that the TV had been moved into the lobby. I couldn't figure out why; and even when told I didn't believe it. Except then I did believe it.

I was angry against the people who did this for weeks; and when I think about it, I still am. But I quickly became angry at Conservatives as well. They were and are doing the same things they are doing now; specifically telling me that as a Democrat I now have a duty to support President Bush and the Republican party no matter what they do. This trope showed up within a few days from Rush Limbaugh and others. It was predictable, but sad.

Anyway don't know I'll post a lot today; looks like most of the other articles out there are retrospectives as well, and it's harder to be funny about this situation.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Your Weekly Rush

Well, it's no surprise that, in Rush's opinion, liberals are scurvy dogs who should be sent to Davy Jones locker as soon as possible. By questioning this war in Iraq, they are showing that they like terror, and don't want to fight it. "It's silly to look at this as a mistake or to make the irrelevant point that we could have avoided dealing with Saddam. Yet a portion of the left believes just that because they do not believe in America or in our greatness. Instead they believe America and its military are the opposite of the last best hope of mankind."

Yep, we have invade Iraq; there's no question about that. And so we must support staying there. Questioning the lies the Bush administration told us to get us in Iraq is not only silly, it's a sign that we hate America. I really don't know what to write about this. Is Rush really so warped that he can't see any disagreement with the President? =

For the record I love my country and I want to see justice brought to those people murdered 3,000 two years ago tomorrow. None of the hi-jackers were Iraqi and there is no proof whatsoever of Iraqi complicity in September 11. So why are we there? Oh, the weapons of mass distruction that we haven't found and may not find. And the chance to remake the Middle East. Now that is a practical plan; but we are already turning tail and running. Can't let President Bush's War interfere with the tax cut.

Here's the pisser. I understand to a certain extent where Rush is coming from in his suggestions for the middle east. I disagree with him; but I understand that he has a right to his opinion; and that opinion may very well be coming from a love of his country. But Rush and a growing segment of the Conservative movement will not return the favor. I think we made a foolish move entering Iraq; what is there about holding that opinion that lets Rush automatically label me an America-hater or unpatriotic? Nothing and everyone knows it. It's just one of those big lies that they are getting away with.

Ben Shapiro, Wise Man

Not content with being a Boy Prognosticator, Ben has taken on the duties of a wise man, by relating the 6 great lessons he learned from September 11th.

His first lesson is that our enemy is Islamic Fundamentalism. We should be ready to search Islamic Men at all times, and they should submit happily to the extra scrutiny.

His second lesson is, stepping away from his colleagues in the right wing, the economy sucks but that's not important. That flies in the face of what many on the right are saying; the economy is roaring back. I have no doubt that few of the professors and students that Shapiro encounters are that worried about the economy; but I wager if he walked through the steel towns of the rust belt he might see a different picture.

His third lesson is that Democrats don't mindlessly support whatever half-baked idea the president comes up with and are thus traitorous dogs. He reminds us all that it was the Democratic party who caused us to lose the Vietnam War by protesting it; he fails to comment on whether we should have engaged in that war at all, nor does he comment on the costs inflicted on our troops and the Vietnamese people.

His fourth lesson is that it's all Bill Clinton's fault. Yep the Republicans are the party of new ideas and the Democrats keep using the old play book. Oh, and it's unreasonable to suggest that maybe, since September 11 happened on President Bush's watch, he should take at least part of the blame.

His fifth lesson is that we are afraid of the Saudis, even thought they clearly had a hand in September 11; he's right on this one, but he neglects to mention President Bush's close ties with the Saudis.

His sixth lesson is a bit chilling; "Americans must be ready to sacrifice certain liberties for a little temporary safety." Great! We must accept the Government spying on us without our knowledge and trust that they will use the information they get correctly.

Yep Ben has certainly earned the title Wise Man. Or at least Wise Guy.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Rush Limbaugh's Audience

Rush Limbaugh commented today that he has a daily audience of 12 million people and a weekly audience of 20 million people. Do you know how many that is? If each of Rush's 20 million people were to kick in $100.00, the president would still be short $85 billion.

How's that for a meaningless comparison?

You Are Either with President Bush or you are with the Terrorists

Watched Hannity and Colmes last night and this morning (Tivo); they had Newt Gingrich on. Fun stuff. Colmes asking reasonable wussy questions and Hannity basically saying that Democrats who don't support their president are traitorous scum. I mean he didn't say that openly, of course; just suggested that our enemies will be watching the polls to see who the American people support.

Cal Thomas suggest the same thing in his column today. "Terrorists know they cannot win a conventional war against a behemoth power like the United States. But they also know the United States might lose heart and cut and run. It has happened before - in Vietnam and Lebanon and Mogadishu. That is what they are counting on. The president's speech gives them no reason to expect retreat. America's enemies will be watching the polls to see if citizen resolve matches that of the president."

The Right have apparently decided that President Bush's plan to fight terror is the only possible solution; and to fight against it is to fight against protecting America from Terrorists. Now I'll admit that some of the candidates have been more vocal in their criticisms of the President's plan than they have been in putting forward their own. Part of that is the influence of TV. The Democratic Candidates' attacks on the President are better television; you can show a two second clip of Gephardt saying that the President's plan has been a miserable failure and hold peoples interest. Try showing the five minutes when he lays out his plan and all America (or so they believe) reaches for its remote.

To sum up; it is entirely possible to think that the President's plan to fight terrorism is crap without wanting terrorists to come here and invade the United States.

Monday, September 08, 2003

On the Speech

Due to work constraints have to do this piecemail--but the complete text of the speech is readily available.

"For a generation leading up to September the 11th, 2001, terrorists and their radical allies attacked innocent people in the Middle East and beyond, without facing a sustained and serious response. The terrorists became convinced that free nations were decadent and weak. And they grew bolder, believing that history was on their side."

In case your are unclear as to what President Bush meant; he was saying that this mess is all Clinton's fault.

" . . . we are committed to expanding international cooperation in the reconstruction and security of Iraq, just as we are in Afghanistan. Our military commanders in Iraq advise me that the current number of American troops -- nearly 130,000 -- is appropriate to their mission."

Both John McCain and Joseph Biden disagreed yesterday on Face the Nation. Both have been in Iraq since the invasion, and both have a sense that what is needed is more forces one the ground. They made the comment that of coures loyal troops aren't going to gainsay the administration. Makes you wonder which direction the "fact" that more troops are unnecessary is going. Up from Iraqi command or down from Karl Ro . . I mean President Bush.

"I recognize that not all of our friends agreed with our decision to enforce the Security Council resolutions and remove Saddam Hussein from power."

Translation: France and Germany, I'm looking at you.

"Yet we cannot let past differences interfere with present duties. Terrorists in Iraq have attacked representatives of the civilized world, and opposing them must be the cause of the civilized world."

Translation: Are you part of the civilized world or not?

"Members of the United Nations now have an opportunity -- and the responsibility -- to assume a broader role in assuring that Iraq becomes a free and democratic nation. "

Translation: Remember earlier this year when the UN was irrelevent? That's nothing compared to what's going to happen if you don't bail me out of this mess I've created.

"Later this month, Secretary Powell will meet with representatives of many nations to discuss their financial contributions to the reconstruction of Afghanistan. Next month, he will hold a similar funding conference for the reconstruction of Iraq. Europe, Japan and states in the Middle East all will benefit from the success of freedom in these two countries, and they should contribute to that success. "

Translation: You'd damn well better give us the money, or I might have to consider raising taxes.

That guy who runs the McCaughlin group, who is really annoying (and is quite possibly named McCaughlin), says that having to go to the UN at this point, after all we said last year about then, is on the humiliation scale (1 to 10, 10 being the most humiliating) a 10. We are as humiliated as it is possible to be. And by we, I mean President Bush and the Neocon Hawks who dragged us into this mess. But he could be wrong.

President Bush and his address

For those of you interested; President Bush's address, for reading or viewing, can be accessed here. I have some comments on the speech, but they will have to wait till mid morning or so.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Helpful News

For those who don't know, President Bush is scheduled to speak to the nation tonight at 8:30 about the need for American Patience and understanding in the Iraq rebuilding effort. Caught Colin Powell on Face the Nation; they seem to be adopting the "Yeah everything went opposite of what we predicted; but that's just what we wanted" strategy.

I'll post more on Powell later, if I think of it.

New Quote

Updating my quote page, and changed the quote at top. Enjoy. That's an order!

Saturday, September 06, 2003

Iraq Terror Role?

This is the title. Iraq Terror Role

This is the proof. File Not Found.

This evidence is so strong that 70% of the American people believe that Saddam Hussein and Iraq had something to do with September 11th.

Find 10 people, 7 will say Iraq had something to do with the losses we suffered on September 11.

There is no proof, despite two years of investigation.

Some people might claim that one of the September 11th bombers met with an Iraqi officer; but that story has since been debunked by the CIA and FBI. They don't believe that Mr. Atta was able to leave the United States during that period; they can't find any record of a plane ticket and they have a relitively complete record of his credit card use and purchases due to the ongoing investigation.

So remember, as we celebrate September 11th, if it makes you feel good to think of our brave soldiers sticking it to the Iraqis for September 11th go right ahead. We don't mind. And if you want to believe there are magic beans somewhere that will take you to Giantland, that won't bother us either.

Friday, September 05, 2003

Don't Compare Bush to Hitler!

Is that enough of a title for you? It's our new mission statement here at Make me a Commentator!!! All day long you can look for us not to compare President Bush to Hitler. We refuse to do it.

Jonah Goldberg's latest piece over at townhall inspired us in this course of non-Hitler Comparing. In his article today he suggests (correctly) that comparing President Bush to Hitler is a form of holocaust denying. Suggesting that George Bush's horrible mishandling of the economy or his reckless sending of troops into Iraq are the equivalent of Hitler's crimes trivilializes the Holocaust.

Unfortunately Goldberg's larger point about how wrong liberals are to do this falls on to points. First, he can't find much from mainstream liberals (one article in Vanity Fair and an article from the New York Review of Books (which, incidently, seems to be criticizing the trend, although in the harsh language Goldberg would prefer) and has to rely on websites, bulletin boards, and protestors.

Secondly, his use of the most extreme internet sites trivializes the skeletons on Conservatisms closet. Fringe Conservatives have made the wildest accusations against Clinton. But nobody is pretending there is some sort of equivalence between Robert Novak and, say, the author of that famous list of people Clinton is supposed to have rubbed out (for more details, check it out!). And, perhaps, Mr. Goldberg isn't trying to insinuate some equivalence between ihatebush.com and Howard Dean; but if not, his article could have been written a bit more clearly.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

Painful Truth

Great article today at Salon by Gary Kamiya. It's clear that things are not that great in Iraq; and there is no greater sign that the Bush Administrations willingness to go to the UN, hat in hand.

Had the U.S. worked with the U.N. to deal with Iraq, as Bush's considerably more world-wise father did in 1991, we would not be facing this problem. The community of nations would have regarded Iraq as its shared responsibility and stepped forward. But by alienating the world -- and squandering the unparalleled goodwill created by 9/11 -- the Bush administration created a powerful disincentive to even those nations that understand the vital necessity of rebuilding Iraq. The unpleasant truth is that for much of the world, helping this shattered nation, even if understood to be a worthy and necessary goal, now equals lending aid and comfort to an American regime that is perceived as blustering, simplistic, addicted to violence, self-righteous, and dangerously out of control.

In a nobler world, France and Turkey and Germany and Russia would forget all those nasty things that Bush officials (and their mouthpieces in the Murdoch media empire) said about them and send tens of thousands of troops to bail us out. But the real world does not work that way. The "axis of weasels" is now enjoying every minute of it while the Bush regime squirms.

Rep. Bill Janklow

I haven't been following this story very well, but Ms. Michelle Malkin wrote very powerfully on it today.

"Politics be damned. Janklow is a repugnant lawbreaker addicted to speed and power. His callous disregard for the rules cost an innocent man his life. The Republican Party should turn its back on Janklow and bear the electoral consequences.

Last year's Trent Lott episode showed that the GOP can hold its leaders to higher standards. Party officials once again have an opportunity to show that personal accountability is more than a catch phrase.

Strong words, indeed. But she's right, Janklow's callous disregard for the law and for the dangers of speeding are a disgrace.

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Remember September 11

September 11th is coming up as, I'm sure you have noticed. Week from tomorrow if I'm not mistaken. So how do we celebrate this day? MSNBC Bloggist Glenn Reynolds has some suggestion for the media.

"At any rate, the coverage so far does seem to be in the “tragedy” mold, rather than the “war” mold, based on what I’ve seen. And that suggests to me that a lot of media folks are still in denial. And that means that they’re not doing their job, which is to present the world as it is, rather than how they would like it to be. Would Pearl Harbor have been played as a “tragedy” in December of 1943?"

Good question. We need to get the American people all worked up again so that they can continue the war on terror, because . . . well, so we can stay in Iraq where none of the hijackers were from.

In good news, by the way, President Bush is going to the United Nations so that's good to hear.

stop me if you think that you've heard this one before

We are entering the election season. Labor day officially starts it, apparently (although many candidates have been running furiously for months). So what are Republicans going to say for the next year? A vote for the Democratic Candidate is a vote for terrorism.

Let's make sure we understand. A vote for Kerry, Dean, Clark, Graham, Gephardt or any of the others is a vote for terrorism.

Of course the President isn't going to be saying this himself; he has people that do that for him. As a happy member of the upper class since birth, he's used to having other people doing his dirty work for him. But not to worry, there are dozens of conservatives who are willing to unfairly trash their opponents.

David Limbuagh happily comments on the unenviable position of the Democrats. You see the only issue that matters is the war on Terror, and Democrats, in order to make that issue work for them, have to attack the President. Speaking as if to Terry McCaulliff, he states, "You have concluded that to win the White House you have to discredit and slander President Bush and undermine his performance in the War on Terror."

I'm not sure we need to slander the President to note that we have just passed an unhappy milestone; more American soldiers have died since President Bush declared peace than died during the war. I'm not sure we have to slander the President to note that he apparently has no exit strategy. I'm also not sure we need to slander the President to note that while the economy might be roaring ahead in some sectors, we still have a large unemployment rate.

At any rate, the message is clear. Democrats are in a position where their lack of patriotism and hatred of America had led them to attack a sitting President in a time of (undeclared) war. If they were loyal Americans, they would spend this campaign cycle praising President Bush as a noble leader who deserves our support. Who needs Democracy?

Bill Murchinson makes the same point from another angle. He begins his comments by discussing radio transcripts from the World Trade Center on September 11, 2003, and comments that the war begun that day is still being fought. And that the war in Iraq is part and parcel of that war. He is optimistic about our chances, at least.

"At some point, things will start to break our way, if only because guerrillas, even the fruit-cakiest of them, cannot sustain themselves indefinitely against what Robert E. Lee, at Appomattox, called "overwhelming numbers and resources." Only an explicit decision by the United States to tuck tail and run could deliver Iraq back to the Baathists and similar riffraff. It is somehow comforting to know that even Howard Dean rejects this expedient."

But don't worry, if Mr. Murchinson is unwilling to describe the Liberals as cowards who will abandon the war on Terror, I'm sure there are dozens of others who will take up the task.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003


There just isn't much in the news today--I'll keep digging. But Paul Krugman does have an excellent article on energy deregulation, and the recent troubles in California. It appears likely that at lease part of the problem was created by energy companies in order to drive prices up. Krugman discuess how tis may apply in the future.

"There is a theoretical case for a deregulated electricity market. But making such a market work, it's now clear, requires at least three preconditions. First, it requires a robust transmission system, yet the recent blackout made it clear that we have now created a system in which nobody has clear responsibility for the transmission network. Second, it needs a watchdog agency with adequate powers to prevent and punish price manipulation; FERC doesn't have those powers. Third, that watchdog must not be an agent of the very companies it's supposed to be policing. Enough said.

I admire the virtues of free markets as much as anyone. But given what we've seen so far, any state government that lets the federal government prod it into deregulation is just plain crazy.

Monday, September 01, 2003

Labor Day

Today is Labor Day, which was created in the United States as a celebration of American Workers, and, in part, to draw a bit of the fire away from May Day. May Day had been created in the U. S. of A., but it had been appropriated by Marxists.

Paul Greenberg, writing at Townhall, accurately describes the difference, "The spirit of Labor Day isn't at all like that of May Day -- a much more European., i.e., class-conscious holiday. One unites people, the other divides them.

E Pluribus Unum is scarcely a European concept. But over here everybody cheers for the rich tycoon and the poor jockey and the old cowboy in "Seabiscuit," and for the same reason everybody celebrates Labor Day: We're all part of the same team in America, or would like to think we are, which is the first step toward becoming one nation indivisible.

Strong words; but hopeful.