Thursday, November 30, 2006

How to Win in Iraq

Good pair of rants over at Zompist, which Random Goblin pointed me too.

Also there's a new episode of Sketchy Cooking over at Seventy Sketches, and I will be posting a new sketch tomorrow.

Those Stupid Democrats

It appears that the Democrats have made a serious tactical error in winning the recent elections. You see previously this war had been President Bush's fault. But when Democrats take power in the middle of January it becomes all their responsibility. Because people will forget all about President Bush's decision to invade Iraq and his administrations mishandling of the war and start wondering why haven't the Democrats fixed it yet. Or that's the line of thinking in David Keene's latest article.
The lack of any unified Democratic stance on a crucial national security and foreign policy issue — on which the party's candidates ran and won control of Congress — means that my friend is at least partially right.

Iraq is many things, including a tar - baby that congressional Democrats are going to find as difficult to get away from as the Republicans they so gleefully beat up over the last few years.
What's great about this formulation is that the Democrats don't actually have the power to implement any of their solutions. They control neither the State Department nor the Department of Defense. They can't pull our troops back. All they can do is make recommendations or cut funding, and they certainly won't cut funding. So all they can do is make recommendations that the President can helpfully reject.

So the idea that Democrats better fix the war on Iraq or be doomed - well, that's a gift that keeps on giving.

If I were a Bigot

I had intended not to write again till the new year, but I was inspired by Cal Thomas's latest - "If I Were A Terrorist." The article is more or less exactly how it sounds.
Other parts of my plan for destroying America, if I had one, are also coming together. Mosques and Islamic schools, many funded by the extremist Wahaabi sect based in Saudi Arabia, are "exploding." My brilliant idea (if it was mine and if it was for real) encourages Americans to have abortions or small families, while the "peaceful religionists" have large families in order to skew the demographic in Western countries.
I thought it was weird the last time I was down at the old abortion clinic to see an Imam with a sign saying "Hey Christians, get an abortion." Now it's all starting to come together.

But most of this is about the 6 Imams who had the gall to express disagreement with President Bush while flying. And they prayed. And apparently some of them requested seatbelt extenders. Very suspicious. And if I were an anti-Muslim Bigot this would be exactly the kind of thing I'd latch onto to feed my anti Muslim Bigotry. I'd trumpet it to the heavens in hopes of gaining more allies for my anti Muslim Bigotry. Because Bigotry is always ugly, but when surrounded by other people, the ugliness seems more mainstream.

Hmmmm. A lot of conservative authors sure are writing about these 6 Imams aren't they?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

It's the Most Magical Time of the Year

It's that special time of the year when we get to read article after article fighting the War on Christmas. For a generic sample, check out this one by Janet M. LaRue. She doesn't flag up any specific cases; she just brings up generic facts.

Fact! Most people like Christmas. Fact! People should be able to enjoy Christmas without conflicting with the Constitution. LaRue doesn't get down to the part where non Christians should have to fork over their taxes to help pay for her Christmas Fund. Or not specifically, although she does assert that Government can set up Christmas displays and doesn't have to set up Hanukkah or Kwanzaa displays.

At any rate the prospect of another Christmas Fandango makes me sick to my stomach, so I'll be checking out until January. Good-bye!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

More on Taking the Oath of Office While Muslim

Let's start with sanity - apparently there is not constitutional requirement that the Bible be used, although there is a constitutional prohibition of a religious test on our political leaders. Teddy Roosevelt and John Quincy Adams did not swear on the bible when they took their Oath of Office and the Oath of Office is specifically not a religious ceremony. For a more in-depth look at this, check out this website.

And now, to take a break from sanity, let's check in with some reader responses to Dennis Prager's article.
. . . Wow-
It is clear that we are losing are heritage. My forefathers died for the right to have only one Bible sworn on. Jesus was the 1st American. That guy was a patriot. He would surely desire to live in a land where only one book would be worthy of public office. That was His message, right? God Bless America, the greatest nation on God's (the God w/ Jesus attached!) green flat-universe centering earth.
- Seth. Only one bible sworn on? Does that mean his forefathers died not realizing there are multiple copies of the Bible that one can swear on? It's also nice knowing that Jesus was the 1st American.

Bigot alert for this next one.
Congratualtions Minnesota.

You sent a filthy animal to congress, and now look whats going on. Did he state during his campaign that, if elected, he would take his oath on the murdering handbook insyead of the bible? If so, the people who voted this America hating dog in to office, are themselves America hating dogs! If liberals don't like this post...TOUGH! Believe me, thanks to your consistant stupidity, I, and all America Loving Conservatives, will have the chance to say I TOLD YOU SO!
That's from Bill who seems just a little unbalanced.

Finally, a little sanity from another comment there, showing that not all Conservatoids are Bills and Seths.
So let me get this straight...

... an oath to uphold the Constitution isn't recognizing the authority of that same Constitution unless one's hand is on a particular religious text of your choosing? And this is necessary even though it isn't found anywhere in the text of the Constitution itself, nor in the Federalist Papers, nor in the Declaration of Independence, nor in any of the writings of any of our Founding Fathers (at least that I've seen). Interesting.
That's from John Galt, and he's not wrong.

Being Keith Ellison

It has to be a pain. Because he's the first Muslim in Congress, and, to make matters worse, he's a Democrat. Which means he's just got to put up with the right wing assuming he's a terrorist sympathiser. The latest flare up is that he has requested that he take his oath of office on a Koran rather than a Bible. Naturally this has Conservatives all riled up, including Dennis Prager. Frankly it doesn't take all that much to get Dennis Prager riled up at Muslims.
First, it is an act of hubris that perfectly exemplifies multiculturalist activism -- my culture trumps America's culture. What Ellison and his Muslim and leftist supporters are saying is that it is of no consequence what America holds as its holiest book; all that matters is what any individual holds to be his holiest book.

Forgive me, but America should not give a hoot what Keith Ellison's favorite book is. Insofar as a member of Congress taking an oath to serve America and uphold its values is concerned, America is interested in only one book, the Bible. If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don't serve in Congress. In your personal life, we will fight for your right to prefer any other book. We will even fight for your right to publish cartoons mocking our Bible. But, Mr. Ellison, America, not you, decides on what book its public servants take their oath.
What's interesting is that Prager doesn't list any sort of constitutional mandate for taking oaths - I'm assuming there isn't one, but I could be wrong. He also claims that no other member of Congress has ever taken the oath something that's not a Bible. I'm going to check up on these claims but for the moment let me just say once again how much it sucks to be Keith Ellison.

Because the right wing is never going to let up.

Your Weekly Rush - I'm Shocked and Dismayed to find Rush Accurate

Caught Rush's morning update today - in which he read an article by Jonathan Chait from the LA Times (I got it from Common Dreams). The article, based on the quotes Rush read, was an argument in favor of putting Saddam back on the throne.
The disadvantages of reinstalling Hussein are obvious, but consider some of the upside. He would not allow the country to be dominated by Iran, which is the United States' major regional enemy, a sponsor of terrorism and an instigator of warfare between Lebanon and Israel. Hussein was extremely difficult to deal with before the war, in large part because he apparently believed that he could defeat any U.S. invasion if it came to that. Now he knows he can't. And he'd probably be amenable because his alternative is death by hanging.
My first reaction to this was that there was certainly more to the article than Rush was reading. How shocking to determine that there really wasn't. There's no real sarcasm here - Chait appears to be playing it strait. I was shocked - Rush had, more or less, gotten it right.

But then I remembered; Rush had begun his speech by implying that his was a majority view among Democrats. So I guess he doesn't get the honesty award after all. I for one think that putting Saddam back in power is a terrible idea for a number of reasons. The guy really was a brutal dictator. It would be a betrayal of both the Iraqi people and our own principles to place him back on the throne, no matter the short term benefits.

Monday, November 27, 2006

New Sketch

For those interested, just posted a new sketch, "Artichokes," over at Seventy Sketches.


Sometimes it's hard to tell. But I think that's on purpose - sometimes you have an extreme idea that you don't want to actually be held accountable for. So you write in a way so that people who are predisposed to like it can say "Hey, that's a great idea. And people who are predisposed to not like it can say "Well it's just a joke."

Michael S. Adams wants us all to get a gun. And he's encouraging his readers to help in the process.
There's about a 50% chance that a gun-less person will go buy a firearm if you take him out to the range for an afternoon of shooting. But there's about a 100% chance he'll go buy a firearm if you hand him a check for that express purpose. Just make sure you pick someone who is at least slightly to the left of you politically - I prefer moderates and those who "vote for the best person" - and you will soon have a fellow right-wing, gun-toting friend.

Just imagine what America would look like if we all did the same thing this Christmas. Before long there would be no more Democratic Congress, no more Speaker Pelosi, and no more Internal Revenue Service. Individual freedom would win out over collectivism one gun owner at a time.

You may say that I'm a dreamer. But I'm not the only one. I hope some day you'll join me. And the whole Islamic world will know we live with guns.
That last line in particular makes no sense. Once we all have guns we are just going to march over to the middle east and start taking care of business? Or does possessing a gun make you an idiot who cant figure out what just happened in Iraq?

At any rate, it goes without saying that you can own a gun and still be a liberal.

The Fifties

Michael Barone's latest article covers the challenges facing Democrats in their new position of power. He notes that they will have a hard time getting anything done (because their majorities aren't such that they can just run over the Republicans, and because of the veto pen). He then comments on where the Democrats economic aspirations will take the country.
Thoughtful Democrats like Clinton aide Gene Sperling and Yale professor Jacob Hacker have argued that Americans, even amid prosperity, are increasingly insecure in our globalized economy and wary of downside risks if they have to change jobs or learn new skills. They look back with nostalgia sometimes toward the unionized lifetime jobs many held 50 years ago in mid-century America, and argue that government needs to provide more protection against risk.

The problem is how to do it. Congress cannot recreate mid-century America by snapping its fingers, and the seemingly risk-free health benefits and pensions that unionized companies promised are now in peril because the business model of firms like the Big Three auto companies, the old-line steel companies and the legacy airlines has become unsustainable.
Congress didn't snap a finger to take us from the 1950s (when workers had more rights, the wealthy paid very high taxes (over 70$), and blacks couldn't vote in the south), but they got us here. If we decide that needs of the American Middle and Working Class should take priority over the American Corporate sector, than that, at least, gives us a target to aim for. Rome wasn't built in a day. But of course, Barone, being a conservative and thus favoring corporations over people, isn't interested in building this particular Rome.

Barone then engages, Houdini like, in a bit of rhetorical sleight of hand.
One interesting proposal by Sperling is for a "universal 401(k)," which would give all workers tax-sheltered savings accounts, funded by employers and employees. One option is to give low earners tax credits, perhaps even refundable tax credits, for their contributions to the accounts. Over time, this would increase low earners' wealth accumulation -- progressive redistribution. But it would also tend to transfer funds from the federal treasury to individuals, from the public sector to the private sector -- not the direction Democrats usually want to go.

It's a proposal that looks a lot like the Social Security individual investment accounts George W. Bush called for, and Democrats scorned. It would be ironic if this turns out to be the major progressive achievement of this Democratic Congress.
The difference between this idea and the Bush proposal is that this plan is in addition to Social Security, and the Bush plan was instead of Social Security. That's a pretty big difference there. There's also the deceit that Democrats are opposed to all tax cuts. Democrats have, over the years, proposed many tax cuts and breaks for the working class and middle class. It's simply that they think the wealthy can pay a bit more in return for the nice lives they have.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Country Mouse and City Mouse and Aaron Sorkin

Aaron Sorkin's new show, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, for those who don't know, is all about getting revenge on an America and a Network for slights and insults. In particularly he's upset with right wing religious fundamentalists. He sees a war between secular leftists and religious fundamentalists. In essence he and Bill O'Rielly agree on the contours of this particular conflict, they just happen to be on different sides.

I am catching up on Studio 60 and just watched the two parter, entitled Nevada Day. It wasn't bad all in all, but in the middle thereis a line that Matt (played by Matthew Perry) gives to Harriet (played by Sarah Paulson) that drives me absolutely nuts. Here it is.
Well, your side hates my side because you think we think you're stupid. And my side hates your side because we think you're stupid.
That's a really stupid line. There's an element of truth to it, of course. But not much of it. I think Joe R's deconstruction of it at Television Without Pity is pretty much right on.
Wow. No. And once again, Matt, stay off my side! I know this is supposed to read as something of a mea culpa -- "You're right, we are smugly superior jackasses sometimes" -- but it's such an oversimplification that it's insulting to all sides of the debate. How many other ways could you write that sentence and still miss the mark? "Our side thinks you think we're pussies, and your side thinks we're pussies." "Your side thinks we think you're fascists, and our side thinks you're fascists." "Our side thinks you think we're faggots, and your side thinks we're faggots." Is there a grain of truth in all of them? Sure. But they are so much only a small fraction of the truth that they cease to be true at all. Way to boil down a complex argument down to a point where we all look petty and ridiculous, dude. Matt just smiles slightly, because "Hey! It's all in good fun!" And Harriet ponders it like it's this huge fucking kernel of wisdom. Whatever, Matt.
There it is. I'm not a huge fan of Television Without Pity writing on a Sorkin Show, because while it's clear that Sorkin has it in for Religious Fundamentalists, it's also clear that they have it in for Aaron Sorkin (since season 3 of the West Wing). That said, just because they are biased, doesn't mean they aren't right (in this case).

There are real and important divisions in this country. And as we move into the future some people are going to be disappointed. That's the future. The Secular Humanists and the Fundamentalist Christians can't both get what they want. On the other hand, these divisions have existed for hundreds of years in different forms. The city mouse and the country mouse. The both resent and are annoyed and look down on each other. But they also need each other. Sorkin wants to believe if we would all just admit our bullshit we could get past this. But what he fails to realize that what he's assuming is bullshit may not be. There are real reasons for the country mouse to resent the city mouse, and there are real reasons for the city mouse to be fed up with the country mouse. Reasons that can't be brushed under with simplistic (and nonsensical) statements.

New Format, New Quote!!!

Hey all!

Have a great week-end!!!

Friday, November 24, 2006

What is Conservativism?

Doug Wilson's latest article is that old standby, "Democrats better not govern as liberals if they want to succeed."
People want to elect representatives who will keep the budget under control and they don’t think Republicans have done a very good job at it, so it’s time to try something different. The pollster, when asked why she thought the Republicans had taken such a thumpin’, said that voters could not complete the crucial sentence, “I should vote for a Republican because…..” In other words, the Republicans had forfeited what they stood for, particularly since the age of Reagan – limiting the growth of government to crucial services and rejecting big government spending.
That's a very succinct bit of wishful thinking, isn't it? Of course if you ask the American people if they want a better health care system, or if they want better schools, they generally do. And Giles also lifts Iraq completely out of the picture with this particular storyline.

And then, humorously enough, he argues that if Democrats want to do well, they need to pass some longterm Conservative dreams. Democrats need to do what 12 years of Republican rule couldn't. At a certain point it becomes more than just wishful thinking and becomes outright delusion.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Hope you are all having nice thanksgivings. I will note that there is a new feature over at Seventy Sketches - Sketchy Cooking. Go over and check it out if you like.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Round the Horn. An Irwin J. McIckleson Production

Happy Thanksgiving! This is Irwin J. McIckleson, a fictional 1910's plutocrat, and for those wondering, I do not enjoy saying my name over and over again. I do it because you never know who might be looking at this blog for the first time.

Each year on Thanksgiving I give my employees an extra hour for their lunch, and provide them with a feast to enjoy. This year I am providing them pan fried Turkey cooked in special pan Asian spices. I hope they enjoy it.

Now let's turn to the business at hand.

Musing's Musings has
some thoughts on a proposal by a Negro Congressman reinstating a draft army. I must say I find this to be a bad proposal, as a draft goes against liberty, and it requires extra effort for me to keep my employees from being drafted. I don't want them to go to foreign shores and perish, when I could have them perish right here in my factory.

On the other hand, it is certainly nice to see that you elect Negro Congressmen in the future. Genius touches all races. I'm even willing to give the chinaman the benefit of the doubt now that I've tried his cuisine.

Liberty Street has some
further thoughts on Mr. Rangels bill, considering the political implications of it.

Rook's Rant presents a
different opinion on this proposal, a strong and passionate opposition to it.

rubber hose
notes that the Iraqi people wish that the United States Troops would leave Iraq. Perhaps you future Americans should listen to them.

LEFT is RIGHT has some
thanksgiving thoughts about the troops fighting overseas and how new medical technology might be utilized on them. I suppose in war you use whatever is at hand, tested or not.

Pen-Elayne on the Web
has pictures of fall foliage in her neighborhood and it looks quite attractive. I don't know what I think about the leaves changing colors in the fall. Part of me thinks that leaves should be the same color all the time - if God wanted red trees he should just have made a bunch of red trees. On the other hand variety is the spice of life.

A Blog Around the Clock
has thoughts on the teaching of evolution in Serbia (the country that gave us all such trouble recently). It is interesting how far things have changed on this front in the future.

Steve Bates, the Yellow Doggerel Democrat, has some
disquieting news about the recent election and the possibility that there was some electoral hanky panky.

Scrutiny Hooligans has
a touching tribute to a filmogrovist who won't be borne for another 5 years or so, named Robert Altman, who, from your perspective, has recently died. I should go visit his birth if I am still around.

Sooner Thought has
the news that a flight attendant (a sort of ariel waiter) has been disciplined for criticizing a woman for breastfeeding. From this I can deduce that future generations of air travel are smoother than current versions. I am afraid if you took a child up in the air right now his brains might well turn to mush.

Speedkill has
thoughts on the Thanksgiving Holiday. Apparently there are very few movies made about thanksgiving. It might not be a very good subject for film. I saw man carving turkey down at the Odium and it was very dull.

has thoughts on preparing the traditional Thanksgiving Meal. Which I suppose I am not doing, personally, but maybe I'll start a new tradition.

And that's it for this weeks edition. Have a nice thanksgiving all, and don't spare the ginsing

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Time Machines and War

Good This Modern World today, over at working for change.

It does bring up an interesting point - the opponents of the Iraq war have been vindicated in nearly every detail, and yet seem to have gained no prestige as a result of their being right.


Good article on Conservatitivism over at Townhall, by Craig Shirley. It follows a familiar route, i.e. explaining why the Republicans, protests aside, aren't really conservatives. But it is a lot more thoughtful than many of those articles, and doesn't waste time accusing them of being liberal. Rather it is about how Conservatives, who are supposed to be in favor of small government, have been seduced by their position.
The conservative movement was successful in that it asked little of the federal government. The social right knew that government was a threat to the family and the community while the economic right wished to operate with minimal government interference and the foreign policy right wanted the U.S. government to only project American power to protect American interests. That was until the current leadership of the GOP, unable or unwilling to make the minimalism government argument cynically and dangerously decided to sign onto the "government is good" agenda which has dominated the Democratic left since the New Deal.

To the economic right would come billions in corporate welfare, and the most transactional Congress in history, rife with corruption yet little commitment to the conscience of conservatism.
While I obviously don't support this form of conservativism (or any form, really), it is nice to see a more rational version that isn't simply "Be Conservative because Liberals are evil."

Go Big, Go Home, Go Long, or Go Brutal

David Limbaugh's latest article shows him bereft of historical perspective. He reviews the Iraq war and pulls out some suspiciously familiar language.
Some commentators agree, but go further, saying that we are not fighting the war to win, but are allowing the Iraqi government to handcuff us in our conduct of the war and pursuit of certain enemy factions.

. . . Are we really forcing our troops to fight with one hand tied behind their backs? If so, why? Is it because the administration believes that unleashing our forces will militate against Iraqi sovereignty? Even if so, isn't it time we reconsider the opportunity cost of such deference: that this war is dragging on longer than the American public is willing to tolerate?
And some people foolishly claim that there are parallels between the Iraq war and Vietnam.

Will going brutal lead to victory in Iraq? I suppose that depends on what we are trying to achieve there. I would think if our goal is to win their hearts and minds, more indiscriminate slaughter and less concern over civilian casualties would hamper that goal. If the goal is to create the illusion of peace so that we can leave and claim victory, such a strategy might succeed. But if that really is our goal at this point, what a paltry and pathetic nation we've become.

Limbaugh claims our goal is to train Iraqi forces so that they can protect the Iraqi government (which we would prefer to be democratic, but we aren't picky about (according to Limbaugh).

On the plus side, when we pull our troops out, Limbaugh already knows who is at fault - wimpy liberals who failed to allow our troops to kill more Iraqis. If only we had been more brutal, if only we had been allowed to be more brutal, we could have won. Yeah that sounds familiar.

Monday, November 20, 2006

New Sketch

There's a new sketch up over at Seventy Sketches, entitled the Lemur Sketch. It is about Lemurs but no Lemurs actually appear in the sketch. This makes Three out of Seventy, or approximately 4.29% of the way through my journey.

A Whiff of Sanity

Wait - the wind changed. That's not sanity. It's something else, from one of the comments to the article mentioned below. A comment made by a person named Southerner.


Obama is no more Evil than ANY so-called Christian who voted for a Democrat - ANY DEMOCRAT!God is never going to let me decide who enters the Pearly Gates, but just in case He does - I'M KEEPING A LIST!

That's a good idea. Let me just get out a piece of paper. People I'm going to keep out of heaven if the opportunity arises. First of all, Howie Mandel. For the standard reasons. Secondly, Adolf Hitler. Finally, Southerner for condemning liberals to hell.

Barak Obama

Barak Obama might run for President in 2008 and it seems likely that he will run for President someday. To make matters worse, he's moderately liberal and a Democrat. And yet some evangelicals don't seem to realize the danger he poses. Rick Warren, author of "The Purpose Driven Life," has even invited this fiend to speak at his church. Luckily the eminently sane and sensible Kevin McCullough is here to set him straight.
Why would Warren marry the moral equivalency of his pulpit - a sacred place of honor in evangelical tradition - to the inhumane, sick, and sinister evil that Obama has worked for as a legislator?

. . . Warren is ready to turn over the spiritual mantle to a man who represents the views of Satan at worst or progressive anti-God liberals at best in most of his public positions on the greatest moral tests of our time.
And here you thought Obama represented the people of Illinois. Turns out he's really representing Satan.

Most of the article is about how Obama supports abortion and gay marriage, which qualify him as a servant of evil. McCullough throws a lot of accusations Obama's way, some of which seem quite outlandish. You wonder if McCullough ever thinks through the implications of these accusations? Probably not.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

New Format, New Quote!!!

Hi all!!!

New logo and new quote!!!

Have a great weekend!!!

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Drama

For those following the Pelosi, Murtha, Hoyer fandango, here's a good article by Joe Conason, written before the final pas a deux (by which I mean written before Hoyer won the vote). He notes both Murtha and Hoyers ethical lapses and suggests, accurately, that running on rejecting a culture of corruption and then empowering one of two men who embraced that culture is, at best, a risky strategy.
As Ms. Pelosi takes up her constitutional responsibilities, she will hear many people say that she is no different from her tainted predecessors, that all politicians are crooked, and that Democrats are just as compromised as Republicans. Her most important responsibility is to prove those clichés untrue, but her attempts to enforce her personal agenda have only made that crucial task more difficult.
It was a gamble, and of course Pelosi failed in this particular gamble. We'll have to see what comes next, but hopefully the factions can make nice once the opening bell for our session actually rings.

Lessons Learned

Here's the lesson Conservative Pundits would like Republicans to take away from this latest election - be more conservative. But that's pretty much the lesson they would like Republicans to take away from any experience. A Republican has some exceptionally good pancakes? The lesson is to be more conservative. A Republican has some crappy pancakes? The lesson is to be more conservative.

At any rate Ed Fuelner's latest article follows this trend, focusing on Government Spending.
"Money can't buy me love," the Beatles famously sang. That should be the lesson conservatives take from the Nov. 7 elections, because the real story of this year's midterm vote is that the supposedly conservative majority spent as if it was a liberal majority.
Interesting. Republicans were trying to bribe their voters, and the voters couldn't be bribed. Apparently.

Of course in this particular diagnosis of Republican Woes there's one name that's conspicuous by it's (near) absence. President Bush. This blind, deaf, and dumb congress abdicated it's responsibility to keep an eye on the Executive Branch, so they got to pay a bit of the bill for President Bush's failed policies in Iraq.

What's interesting is that the idea that our leaders aren't gods and need careful scrutiny and watching is, at heart, a Conservative idea. Trusting our leaders with now powers to surveil and imprison us is supposed to be something they aren't keen on. But this generation of Conservatives doesn't see things the same way as previous ones, apparently.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Has Bush Learned his Lesson?

Nope. Or at least that's the take found in William Pitts latest article over at Truth Out. And I have to say I find that the evidence is on his side.

Smackdown Fever

You might find the comments on this post interesting - I know I did.

But to respond to Catalina's criticism more completely - I know Rush is joking when he says he expected all Muslim Hatred to stop when we elected a Muslim. The other side to it though, is that he implied that because Muslims around the world wouldn't surrender if we elected a Muslim, that there was no point to electing a Muslim.

In other words, the only thing that Limbaugh (or Glenn Beck for that matter) is that he's a Muslim. Well that's not strictly so. They also see that he's a liberal. Which I suppose is probably the clincher.

New Website!

For those interested I have started a new website, Seventy Sketches. While this one will continue focusing on politics, the other one will concentrate on comic writing.

My Fictitious Interview with Glen Beck

MMAC - Mr. Beck, may we have five minutes here where we're just politically incorrect and I play the cards face up on the table?

Beck - Go there.

MMAC - OK. No offense, and I know Conservatives. I like Conservatives. I really don't believe that Conservativism is a philosophy of idiocy. I -- you know, I think it's being hijacked, quite frankly.

With that being said, you are a Conservative, You are implying to a Muslim Congressmen that he has to defend himself, to prove to America that he's not working with our enemies. And I have to tell you, I have been nervous about this interview with you, because what I feel like saying is, "Sir, prove to me that you are not a bigoted moron."

And I know your not a bigot. I'm not accusing you of being a bigot, but that's the way I feel, and I think a lot of Americans will feel that way.

Inspired by a story at Media Matters for America, which repeats Mr. Beck's own statements.

The Whore of Babylon

Lisa: They should take a good look at themselves, and what their church has become.
[the congregation gasps]
Lovejoy: Lisa, it's still the same basic message -- we've just dressed it up a little.
Lisa: Like the Whore of Babylon?
[the congregation gasps]
Lovejoy: That is a false analogy!
Lisa: No, it's not. It's apt. Apt!
One of the points made in The Godless Constitution is that when believers try to impose their faith throug the government, both the Government and Faith is inevitably corrupted. Well it seems that Cal Thomas is moving towards that point of view as well. He's responding to a post by Jim Wallis on what Christians should learn from our recent election.
One does not have to agree with all of Wallis' agenda - and I don't, especially on Iraq - to consider his arguments. Politics often dulls the senses to morality and "values." That's because of an unholy alliance between people of faith and politicians that often ends in compromise on the part of the faithful and the cynical harvesting of their votes with little offered in return. So, when someone like Rep. Don Sherwood (R-Pa.) is exposed for cheating on his wife and allegedly abusing his mistress, Cynthia Ore, he still gets an 85 percent approval rating from the Focus on the Family Action organization.
He obviously isn't in Wallis's camp (who is substantially more liberal), but he does suggest that, rather than lecturing America and allying with shady politicians, Christians might be better served by serving.
What is God's way? Isn't it helping the poor through transformation and assisting them to do for themselves? Isn't it feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting those in prison and caring for widows and orphans? Would such behavior, rather than partisan politics, recommend their faith more highly to those who do not currently share it, or who do share it, but apply it differently?
It's an intriguing question.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Round the Horn. An Irwin J. McIckleson Production

Greetings all. I have returned to do a round the horn feature on a Wednesday. For those of you who don't know, I am Irwin J. McIckleson, fictional 1910's plutocrat. I am here to provide links to posts you might find interesting.

Natalie Davis' All Facts and Opinion has
a piece on the recent electoral victories by Democrats in the Congress; she seems very pleased about it.

archy also seems happy at this victory, in
this post, and comments on what's next for Democrats.

The Countess is also
very happy about the electoral results, particularly since her home state now has a Democratic Governor.

Blogg has
information on the current head of the Democratic Party. Apparently he has made some quite sharp moves when it comes to this recent electoral season.

a piece on how many of the new members of Congress are woman. Good. Woman tend to be more practical and measured than men, I've found. I wish I could have women managers in my factories, but of course the men would never stand for it.

Men are, on the whole, dunderheads.

Apparently President Bush has fired his Secretary of Defense. Collective Sigh
comments that doing it after the election has greatly upset his base. It does seem like a dunderheaded move.

Speaking of dunderheaded moves, First Draft
has revealed that new memos have surfaced linking President Bush and his administration to the torture of prisoners of war. Something which is presumed to be beneath civilized peoples.

President Bush is, however, changing his tune on how we handle Iraq. Happy Furry Puppy Story Time
wonders how his followers will find this change in direction.

Bark Bark Woof Woof has
the story that the Marines (an infantry division of the Navy, apparently) are turning away Battery Powered Jesus's in a charity operation centered around Christmas.

Every time I think I have you future people figured out I read something like "Battery Powered Jesus" and I'm lost once more.

Dohiyi Mir has
several photographs of cats. Cats are very attractive. I think if I could not be a plutocrat, being a cat would be a fine life.

Iddybud has a new website which looks very nice, and also has
some thoughts on Armistice day, which I am proud that you future people still celebrate.

The Fulcrum has some thoughts on Armistice day as well, and about the sacrifices our soldiers have made. The post also notes that since this election, Our troops might see some relief.

And that's it for another week. I am going to be doing it on Wednesday for a week or so, to accommodate the holidays.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Rush Limbaugh Speaks

Caught a bit of Rush Limbaugh while driving around. He was talking about Keith Ellison, who will be the first Muslim elected to the House of Representatives (ever). Apparently Rush was under the impression that once we elected a Muslim, all the Muslims the world over would change their ways and love America. That hasn't happened. In fact al-Qaida has denounced him, and said that his election changes nothing n their murderous agenda towards the US.

Poor Rush might have been a little unrealistic.

You see the problem that affects Rush, and many people on the right is that they see Muslims as all being essentially the same person. So if we elect one Muslim to the house of representatives, in a sense we've elected them all, and they should all be happy. In fact Muslims, much like Christians and everybody else are all individuals. They react as individuals. I have no doubt that many Muslim Americans are quite pleased to see someone like Ellison in the House of Representatives. And yet other Muslims (who also happen to be crazed killers) look at it a bit differently. This is quite understandable when you accept that Muslims are not a unified block, but are individuals.

Unfortunately Rush can't quite see things that way, and, as mentioned above, many of his colleagues suffer from the same ailment. Which is why you can't trust conservatives to fight the war on terror in an intelligent way.

We are doomed

Oh why didn't we listen to Cal Thomas before foolishly electing a Democratic Congress? Than we would have realized the terrible danger he describes in his latest article.
In an effort to take Iraq off the table as an issue in the 2008 presidential campaign, the Bush administration adopts most of the provisions of the Iraq Study Group. In a modern version of the Paris Peace Talks, which allowed the United States to have "peace with honor" and withdraw from Vietnam (resulting in the deaths, imprisonment and "re-education" of unknown numbers of Vietnamese who wanted to be free), the administration then orders a "redeployment" of forces after "negotiations" with Syria and Iran (recommended by Blair). This allows just enough time for American troops to leave before al-Qaeda murders the elected leadership and takes over Iraq.

Meanwhile in the United States, mosques and Islamic schools paid for by the extremist Wahhabi sect, multiply like fast-food franchises. Terrorists are imported and recruited from prisons. Al-Qaeda announces that weapons of mass destruction have been placed in key American and European cities. They demand that the United States withdraw its protection of Israel. If we refuse, they threaten to detonate their weapons, killing millions of people. What president, or prime minister, will reject that demand? After capitulating on the installment plan, who will have the political or moral capital (or military capacity) to stop Armageddon?
I always find it amazing that people like Thomas believe that at any moment thousands of Americans are ready to convert to Islam, go to Islamic Schools and attend mosques. These are, of course, the same people Cal Thomas feels are too wimpishly weak, watching bad television shows and movies, and generally acting like lazy, indulgent, slobs. And all of a sudden we are going to get up, shut off "Who wants to marry their sister" and march out to join Islam, and not just regular Islam, but the very constricting Wahhabi sect. Seems unlikely in my book.

Of course the rest of this is pretty fantastic as well. But it goes back to Cal Thomas's essential belief on Islam - let's kill 'em until they change their ways. A policy which would naturally lead to a hell of a lot of killing.

Just how bad are Democrats anyway?

Well, according to David Limbaugh's latest article, not bad enough.
While I stand by my contention that the Democratic Party is intellectually and morally bankrupt, I'll concede Republicans are floundering right now. Ideologically, this is a center-right nation, and yet Republicans lost at the polls. Democrats are going to continue being who they are, but Republicans need to come home.

. . . As the elections proved, Republicans cannot rely on the Democrats' bankruptcy to bail them out -- and they shouldn't.
His article covers the various schisms in the Republican party - on immigration, on the war on terror, and on religion, and tries to placate both sides (although he's clearly opposed to immigration and in favor of more religion in Government).

He argues that the Republican party has some disagreements, but they should get their act together (by having one side capitulate to the other) so they can defeat the Democrats. So while he presents both those who are uncomfortable with government policies based on the Bible and those who favor Dominionism as equals, the truth is he wants the anti-Dominionists to shut up for the good of the party. Unlikely to happen, in reality (not that the anti-Dominionists have any kind of meaningful power in the Republican party anyway).

Most articles of this type (i.e. we lost so now we have to be even more conservative) just postulate a real conservativism and argue that Republicans need to get back to it. Usually this "real" conservativism involves keeping taxes low and cutting government programs, particularly entitlements. Limbaugh's approach is a little different, but the end result is the same - he wants a party that all says the same thing.

Because when you are an ideologue the answer is always more ideology.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Speaking uncritically

One of the Republican Arguments right now (referenced below) is that the people of America didn't vote for Liberalism last Tuesday. Rather they elected a bunch of conservative Democrats, because they still love conservatively but have mixed feelings about Republicans right now. And the lesson they hope their leaders learn is to be more Conservative.

Well Salon's War Room, referencing a Media Matters for America Post, has argued persuasively that this narrative might be less than accurate.
Never mind the fact that the Democrats' victory will result in leadership posts for some of the most liberal members of the party; when actually broken down quantitatively, the number of liberal and conservative freshmen Democrats elected on Tuesday puts the lie to this running theme.

Media Matters for America, the liberal press watchdog, has already documented the political proclivities of 27 of the new Democrats in Congress; MMA restricted its analysis to those who defeated incumbent Republicans or took over open seats previously held by Republicans. It found: "All 27 candidates support raising the minimum wage. All 27 candidates advocate changing course in Iraq. All 27 candidates oppose efforts to privatize Social Security. Only two of the 27 candidates do not support embryonic stem cell research. Only five of the 27 candidates describe themselves as 'pro-life.'"
So that's nice to know. But of course Republicans will merely claim that these freshmen Democrats were simply fooling the people when they claimed to be conservatives and hold on to most of their storyline.

Rush Limbaugh is Crabby

Was listening to Rush Limbaugh at lunch a bit today, and he sounded three kinds of crabby. I suppose I would be too if I believed I was the voice of a nation and found out I was just a skilled but morally bankrupt radio talkshow host. Here he thought his brand of Republican Extremism was americas default position. Turns out that default is a little to the left, according to an analysis of the recent election by Jonathan Alter.
Their peril has its origins in Bush's highly divisive effort to intensify the conservative movement instead of governing from the center. After the razor-thin 2000 election, he listened to shortsighted advice from pollster Matthew Dowd that "swing" voters were extinct and success lay in turning out "the base." But more than one third of American voters identify themselves as independents, which is a higher percentage than claim a party ID. Smart politicians have always known that the G spot of the American body politic is in the middle.
Very comforting to know that those of on the left aren't as far afield as we've been portrayed.

Thanks be to Random Goblin who forward this article to me.

Another reason the Republicans lost

Apparently the Democrats played a dirty trick by running strong candidates who had conservative values. Had Democrats put up their normal crop of Liberals, they would never have won. But we tricked everybody by putting up a bunch of Conservative talking candidates.

This is not entirely true (although certainly there are some of our high profile candidates that fit this description). Kevin McCullough, who has a book he'd like to sell you, argues that these Crash Dummys (as he calls conservative Democrats in Congress) are basically screwed. They will have to support the House Leadership which is likely to be the right of them.
A few will attempt independence from the liberal elite that rule the chambers, but none will survive it. Liberals have been out of power for so long now that the only thing pressed upon their minds is to regain the third branch of government in 2008.

. . . A sad thing about the functionally empty-suit Crash Dummies is that they will be pretty much a near immediate disappointment to those who sent them there. Make no mistake America did not lurch left on election night.

The saddest thing of all however is that the Crash Dummy class of 2006, while it was a brilliant strategy . . . is that it removed some of the strongest true believers that social conservatives have ever supported. The likes of George Allan, and Rick Santorum, don't come along often - and their losses are blows to the body that hurt.

And it is those few true believers that our nation will miss most, whether we realize it now or not.
You know McCullough, the people had a choice. They could have kept Santorum in power if they had wanted. The fact that they didn't - well that should show something, even if the guy they replaced him with isn't that far left.

I think it's kind of sad to assume that the people wanted to elect Republicans but were just bamboozled.

Why did the Republicans Lose?

The current Republican wisdom is that Democrats didn't win this election; Republicans lost. A pretty fine distinction, in my mind, but when you have lost I suppose you care about such distinctions.

And why did the Republicans lose? Because they were insufficiently conservative. That's the take in William Rusher's latest article, and he's not alone in pushing it.
In the 12 years since the GOP took control of Congress, they have settled down comfortably to "politics as usual," mimicking the performance of the Democrats during their 40 years in control. They cheerfully abandoned their conservative commitment to reducing government expenditures, racking up deficits that would have appalled Bill Clinton, and, actually, pushed the use of "earmarks" (whereby individual Congressmen can insert pork into legislation invisibly) to limits not even the Democrats had ever dreamed of. Inevitably, in this atmosphere, outright corruption ultimately made its appearance, and several Republican members of the House and their staff members are now in, or on their way to, prison.
So there it is. I'm not going to deny that the way Republicans have governed turned off their base, who certainly would like to see more fiscal responsibility at the top. But I think you also need to look at how Congress has performed in overseeing President Bush's handling of the War on Terror.

Mr. Rusher argue that Congress can't be blamed for the War in Iraq, as well as other problems related to the War on Terror. He couldn't be more wrong. Congress authorized the use of force in Iraq and they have been negligent in providing real oversight on the Executive Branch. It was earlier this year that we were seriously discussing the Unitary Executive. I don't think you can avoid the fact that the people saw a President out of control and a Congress not willing to do perform their duty in controlling him.

So yeah, the fact that Republicans in Congress spent like drunken sailors probably didn't help them any, but it was only a symptom of a deeper problem - i.e. the unwillingness to take their responsibilities to the people seriously when that meant criticizing fellow Republicans.

However erroneous Mr. Rusher's analysis is, however, it's clear that it is one of the main explanations for Republicans recent electoral failures. And what are the implications for 2008? It depends on whether or not President Bush and Karl Rove can make a case that their conservativism and military adventurism is real conservativism or not. It seems like, at this point, that's going to be a hard sell. So look for someone to postulate a "real" conservativism between now and then.

Are you Ready for the Apocalypse?

For example do you have that extra set of underwear? How about some hard candy for fast energy should it become necessary? What about those radiation meds that proved so vital to Helo when he was left behind on Caprica? Do a mental inventory and make sure your apocalypse readiness quotient (ARQ) is high.

In unrelated news, Alan Moore, comic book writer of the Watchmen, the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Top 10 (among many others), will be appearing on an upcoming episode of the Simpsons.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

New Format, New Quote!!!

Hey all!!!

A bit of a complicated website, due to our transition to using the new website - hopefully we can smooth the kinks out and make this easier as time goes forward. Anyway have a nice weekend all ;)

Friday, November 10, 2006

The 51st State

Apparently Jon Stewart is a lot more powerful than I would have thought. According to an article at Townhall, he's the reason the Democrats took the House and the Senate.
Forget left of center bloggers, Jon Stewart is this year’s kingmaker. Without him and The Daily Show, the Democrats would not have made such large inroads in the midterm elections.
His theory is that Stewart normalized liberalism, particularly among college students. He made liberalism cool and acceptable, the way Rush had done a decade or so before. Of course from the authors point of view this is awful, because Jon Stewart doesn't present facts as Conservatives see them. From my point of view, he's certainly more factual than Fox News and Rush Limbaugh put together, so I'm ok with him.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Making the World Safe for Leave it to Beaver

Sidney Blumenthal's latest article for Salon is an analysis of the cultural ramifications of the Bush Defeat, and it's quite good. It explores what kind of America Bush is fighting for, contrasting it with Reagan's vision of the inherent decency of small town America.
Under Ronald Reagan, conservative kitsch was the last nostalgic evocation for a glowing small-town America before the New Deal, with its raucous city dwellers, brain-trusters and an aristocratic president gleefully swatting "economic royalists." Reagan drew his raw material for "morning again in America" from an idealized view of his boyhood in Dixon, Ill., where his father was the town Catholic drunk, rescued at last only by a federal government job. Reagan also had a well of experience acting in movies romanticizing small-town life, produced by the Jewish immigrant moguls of Hollywood for whom these gauzy pictures enabled them to assimilate into a country that had richly rewarded them but in which they remained outsiders.

Bush's America contains no nostalgic evocation of small-town life. The scion of the political dynasty, raised in the oil-patch outpost of Midland, Texas, where the streets are named for Ivy League universities, and whose family retained its summer home in its New England base of Kennebunkport, Maine, attended all the right schools as a legacy, one of the last of his kind before more meritocratic standards were imposed and religious and racial quotas abolished. George W. Bush's inchoate resentment at the alteration of the world of his fathers impelled the son of privilege to align with the cultural warriors of faux populism.

The pathology of Bush's kitsch is the endless reproduction of vicarious hatred of the "other," who is the threat to the sanctity of what kitsch represents. The "other" lies beyond the image of the lurking terrorist to the lurking Democrat -- "America loses." "You're either with us or with the terrorists," Bush said famously. You either have a "pre-9/11" mind-set or a "post-9/11" one, according to his strategist Karl Rove, who carefully set the terms of demonization. In the great act of kitsch, Bush et al. apotheosized their fiasco in Iraq into a battle against Hitler -- "appeasers" ... "Islamofascism." By impersonating a historical context, they projected themselves into it.

Unlike the kitsch before and during the Reagan era, the Bush warriors' kitsch lies beyond unintentional camp. Their kitsch lacks more than irony or self-consciousness. It is deliberately sarcastic, mean-spirited, fearsome and fearful.
The article is well worth sitting through a brief ad to read, in my opinion.

Are Conservatives Insane? Pt 2

For the answer to this tricky political question, let's check in with Ann Coulter's latest article.

Yes. Yes they are.

They are also deceptive. Check out this section.
During eight years of Clinton -- the man Democrats tell us was the greatest campaigner ever, a political genius, a heartthrob, Elvis! -- Republicans picked up a total of 49 House seats and nine Senate seats in two midterm elections. Also, when Clinton won the presidency in 1992, his party actually lost 10 seats in the House -- only the second time in the 20th century that a party won the White House but lost seats in the House.

Meanwhile, the Democrats' epic victory this week, about which songs will be sung for generations, means that in two midterm elections Democrats were only able to pick up about 30 seats in the House and four seats in the Senate -- and that's assuming they pick up every seat that is currently too close to call. (The Democrats' total gain is less than this week's gain because Bush won six House and two Senate seats in the first midterm election.)

So however you cut it, this midterm proves that the Iraq war is at least more popular than Bill Clinton was.
That's precious My guess is that Clinton actually lost fewer seats than Bush in his second Midterm (during the impeachment scandal), and Ann Coulter is not enthusiastic about pointing that out. So she includes 1994 and 2002 two elections when Republicans did well, to skew the comparison.

On the list of things Ann Coulter is hoping you won't notice, you'd also have to include the fact that we weren't at war with Iraq in 2002. We certainly didn't know in 2002 that there weren't any weapons of mass destruction.

As for crazy, check out her last paragraph.
The Democrats certainly have their work cut out for them. They have only two years to release as many terrorists as possible and lock up as many Republicans as they can. Republicans better get that body armor for the troops the Democrats are always carping about -- and fast. The troops are going to need it for their backs.
I think we might have a bit more than two years, as it turns out.

You wonder how she will sustain that world view during the next few years of relatively moderate actions by our buddies, the Democrats. The answer? Insanity.

Are Conservatives Insane?

Praise Allah, it appears they are. Check out this post at Hyscience (presumably the science of getting high).
You are losing the war on terror - the one that people like Nancy Pelosi don't think exist. Mohammad and even al-Zarqawi are laughing their asses off from their graves - they now know that America is too weak to fight their ideology and that you will surely be defeated.

. . . It was almost too easy for them, they just handed the Democrats propaganda to use in their talking points and to put out through the liberal media and influence the elections - just like they did in Spain.

. . . However, that's all very small consolation for America, because the Islamists believe that the White House is now more likely to become the Muslim House. Unfortunately for you America, you deserve what you are going to get - the fruits of your naiveness are going to be very bitter, and very costly. You have failed to stand up together and are going to live long enough to learn that these words that I have written are prophetic - at least some of you are.
The author of this piece attempted to write it from the point of view of an Islamist Terrorist. But halfway through kind of forgot what he was doing and then remembered again at the end.

But I don't think we will get a "Muslim House." That's just silly. When our Islamic masters take over they will tear down the Washington Monument for it's phallic symbolism, but will leave the rest of DC alone. They are really going to go to town in Hollywood on the other hand - stemming the tide of filth that pours out of our TVs and on our movie screens. And they will enforce strict morality codes, proscribing death to Gays for example.

Actually it sounds like they would be able to make common cause with the Dominionists.

But of course all this is ludicrous in the extreme. The incoming liberals are going to oppose military adventurism on false premises, and hopefully they will require oversight on the executive branch, but other than that they will continue to fight the War on Terror to win.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Who Designes Tissue Boxes?

I'm kind of blah today - ecstatic because of the election - but other than that a little tired and out of it. I went and stocked up on tissue boxes today - and I was struck as I always am, by the wide diversity of designs. I picked up a blue box with snowflacks, a black box with white spirally designs and a peach box with kind of a pastel nothingness to it.

Actually I think I would be good at designing Tissue Boxes - I wonder how you get that job?

Rush Limbaugh Speaks

Catching a bit of the Limbaugh show today - apparently the problem with the Republican Party is that they aren't conservative enough and they aren't proud enough of their Conservativism. Apparently they are too defensive and weak - they should go peddle to the metal.

I think that's more of a reflection of Rush Limbaugh's mentality rather than how Republicans actually performed. I think he is hitting on something though. Republicans ran against Democrats and Democrats ran against Republicans. Since Republican suck a lot more than Democrats, Democrats won. If Republicans had been able to mix in a discussion of the positive things they've done for this country, they'd have had a better chance.

OF course for that theory to work, they'd have to have done some positive things.

Me Am So Miserable Me Could Cry Big Tears

This be Bizarro Bryant, and me am filled with sorry. The Republicans be winning over and over again and that just makes me so sad and unhappy. The Republicans am definitely winning the house and am having good chance of winning Senate. Me am thinking President Bush be overwhelmed with joy. Him not worry about succeeding in his plans now. Me am thinking Karl Rove am wise prognosticator and good political strategist.

Me am so sad me am doing sorrowful dance of sadness.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Automatic Lover

There's a story about a family with a family member on life support who got a call from one of those robo-callers. Apparently it added to their stress because they were unable to assure a connection with the medical professionals they might need. I wish I remembered where I had seen it (I think it was at Democratic Underground, but not sure).

The thing that drives me nuts about that story is that you know that nothing will happen to the people who orchestrated that, and double nothing will happen to the people who allowed it. A few "overzealous staffers" might end up paying a price, but the people who signed their paychecks won't.

If this gambit and others are successful, we might not even get that teaspoon of justice.

Call for Change

Call For Change

Those of you who are able to might enjoy participating in this program where you call people with your cell phones to ask them to vote.

I Voted!

One of the nice things about voting is that they give you a sticker that says "Everybody Knows this is Nowhere" after the Neil Young Song. No wait, it really says "I Voted". This is convienent for going around and lording it over people who didn't vote. If you've voted, just start pushing other people around. It's fun and enjoyable, but get it out of your system today, because the stickers magic ends tomorrow.

Those of you who haven't voted yet, remember you can put the magic power of this sticker to work for you by simply driving to your polling place and voting. Then you will be safe from getting pushed around, and get to work pushing other people around.

If the opportunity to push other people around doesn't appeal to you, I heard that your precinct they are giving away kittys, poppies and king cobras to every person that votes.

Obviously nothing said here is to be taken seriously save the exhortation to go vote!

Go Vote Today

Stop me if you've heard this one before. But voting good. Not voting makes you a punk. I don't care how busy you are and I don't care how much stuff you have going on. You could be a student pursuing a tough degree in Engineering or Law, for example, and you should still take time off and go vote.

Remember - Not Voting is for Punks. And not cool punks. Punkass punks. Punkass punks don't vote. Cool Punks do vote.

I'm not really good at coming up with slogans.

In other news Republicans are dillholes. Have you heard the one about the robo calling monster? Talking Points Memo has information on this fiendish scheme by our Republican friends.
Most of the call's script is a fairly standard attack robocall, a series of Republican talking points aimed at the Democratic congressional in a particular district. Nothing particularly noteworthy. The key is the introduction. The lead into the call starts with the speaker saying 'I'm calling with information about' Dem candidate X. Then there's a short pause.

At this point, you know it's an annoying robocall, so a lot of people just hang up. If you hang up then, you think it's a call from the Democratic candidate.

Second, the repetition. And this part is the key. If you don't listen through the whole message, the machine keeps calling you back, often well in excess of half a dozen times with the same call. It only stops if you listen all the way through.

As you can imagine, that's driving a lot of people through the roof.
One can only imagine - and of coruse they believe that the Democratic candidate is the one doing all these repetitive phone calls. So it's a sort of heads I win, tails you lose set up for our friends on the right. But I don't think this particular scheme is doing to be popular once it explained to the American people.

Presumably the Republicans have their "overzealous staffer" already picked out to take the fall for this scheme.

Handicapping the Race Part 3

Part two was that Rush Limbaugh Speaks column from yesterday. And today's article from Bruce Bartlett continues the same theme even more starkly. Basically Democrats are doomed even if they win.
. . . anything less than a blowout victory of, say, 40 seats in the House and six in the Senate for the Democrats will be viewed as a de facto victory by Republicans. If Democrats only get the 15 seats they need for control of the House and don't get the Senate, Republicans will portray this as a massive defeat, since they should have done so much better given their advantages.
Yep - if we take 35 seats in the house (taking the House) and don't take the Senate, it's a defeat for Democrats. Anything less than 100% success and the democratic Party should just fold up and go home. That's handicapping it a bit high I'd say.

He goes through how Conservative and Southern Democrats will be courted by the White House, and he covers how President Bush will probably get a bit more familiar with the veto. He then suggests that our victory in '06 might pave the way for defeat in '08.
Remember, too, that Democrats thought their Senate victory in 1986 marked the beginning of the end for Republicans. They quickly moved to investigate Iran-Contra and pass liberal legislation. But the hearings went nowhere and the bills were vetoed. Two years later, voters elected Reagan's vice president, George H.W. Bush, to the White House. I believe that they did so in part to put a check on the Democratic Congress, as they did so often in the postwar era.
I have to admit that it's possible for this history to repeat itself. There are some key differences, namely the War in Iraq (which will still be going on at that point) and the fact that Bush doesn't have a clear successor. On the other hand if someone can present himself as a moderate Republican who's not going to continue the partisan attacks of the Bush White House, who will treat foreign policy a bit more gingerly, and so on and so forth, that person could be really hard to beat in '08. Particularly if they tar Congress as investigation happy. Whoever we put up has to be in a position to defend Congressional oversight.

But that's a problem for tomorrow. Today's problem is getting Congressional oversight, and the only way to do that is to go vote for Democrats. Right now!

Go Vote Today

That's my sermon of the day. And if you need another reason to go vote - here's David Limbaugh, the "smart" Limbaugh brother.
If you believe the polls, there is a frightening disconnect in American politics today. Polls show that while voters believe Iraq and the war on terror are the most important issues, they are leaning toward restoring congressional control to the party that is too arrogant and disorganized to tell us what it would do on those issues if elected.

Many of us have so often stated that Democrats don't have a plan for Iraq that I am concerned voters are either numb to it or think it's just another Republican talking point. But it is undeniably true.
It's undeniably crap. First of all we don't have one candidate. We have hundreds. Each House Candidate and each Senate Candidate is entitled to have their own opinion on the best way to handle Iraq. Secondly running the Iraq war is the province of the President, and he's not taken to asking advice from people who disagree with him.

Finally let's look at our brave leaders bold plan. Sit around in Iraq, letting our troops and Iraqis die, until, somehow, Democracy flourishes. That's a plan? That's something we should support?

So go piss David Limbaugh off. Vote!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Rush LImbaugh Speaks

Caught a little bit of Rush Limbaugh pontificating about tomorrow's election today. I'll italicize the point that interested me.
Kerry happened on day six of this ten-day period. So he might have given it a boost but he's not the reason. They're just covering their rear ends if they do lose, or if they don't win as big as they are predicting. They don't want the blame to be on them and what they stand for and what they've said and what their issues are. They want to be able to throw Kerry overboard, and even though that's a tempting prospect, would love to see it, we're not going to let them get away with hiding the fact that if they don't win as big as they thought, if they lose, that they are the factor. That's going to be the primary reason.
This of course sets up Bush to say on Wednesday that he's still optimistic, that Republicans are still the power in the United States, that real Americans still hate the Democrats, and so on and so forth. The loss of the House proves nothing because, given anything, the Democrats should have done a lot better. And the reason they didn't, was because America still loves and trusts President Bush and the Republicans.

In short this upcoming defeat for Republicans is really a victory. Or at least that's Rush's take on it.

Interestingly Controversial Article over at Townhall

It's about Gay Marriage, one of those issues that is sort of Townhall's bread and Butter, but surprisingly it isn't about how allowing gays to marriage will destroy the nation. Quite the contrary actually. It's by Steve Chapman and it explains how Gay Marriage isn't actually a threat to the American Family.
What same-sex marriage offers, by contrast, is a safe harbor for those who prefer responsible monogamy to free love. It's not a rejection of the values of traditional marriage -- it's an affirmation.

Gallagher and others say conventional marriage serves to reconcile "the erotic, social, sexual and financial needs of men and women with the needs of their partner and their children." Funny -- that's also what gay marriage does. It provides a durable framework in which two people can commit themselves to an exclusive sexual relationship while assuring a stable environment for their children.
Chapman also notes that countries that have allowed Gay Marriage have not seen their marriage rates decline to any great extent.

So score one for sanity, over at Townhall. Of course they dropped it the day before the election so it will be buried beneath other articles. And the reaction hasn't been very positive. One person explained that Gay people want to destroy marriage because people who come from bad marriages often turn out to be Gay and they want a larger dating pool. That's really thinking ahead.

And then there's this comforting comment by the gentle folks at Townhall "Its a shame Chapman doesn't live in a commune where dropping the soap would bring the natural consequence. Ugh." I'd like to believe that last Ugh was a self critique of the comment that directly precedes it, but I doubt it.

Handicapping the Race Pt. 1

Bob Novak, one of the more serious Republican Pundits, seems to have called the election, and assigned blame. Unsurprisingly it turns out to have been President Bush's fault.
At Sellersburg in southern Indiana Oct. 28, George W. Bush began 10 days of non-stop campaigning for his party's congressional candidates. That posed a Republican conundrum. Since GOP policy aimed to prevent Democrats from "nationalizing" scattered congressional elections Tuesday, what was the president doing in the national spotlight crowding out House and Senate candidates? Wasn't he playing into Democratic nationalizing efforts?

The approved answer given to me by high-ranking Republican political operatives is that Bush was really furthering the local campaigns and local issues. Actually, the president was trying to change the subject nationally from Iraq to national security. But experienced Republican political leaders privately grumble that Bush has only underscored Iraq as the pre-eminent issue, adding he would have done better to get lost for the past two weeks.

The hard truth apparent to realists in both parties is that, quite apart from what Bush did or did not do, the election has been nationalized around two standards that could not be more unfavorable to the GOP: an unpopular war and an unpopular president. That has generated a rising sense of panic in Republican ranks, with the fear that Tuesday's returns will be either bad or very bad for them.
President Bush is on his way down, and Novak is smart enough to not want to go down with him.

But I can see why President Bush isn't taking a back seat - while he is ideologically driven, it's a very personalized ideology. He has an agenda and he wants to be in a position to push it forward. If he had walked away from this election, even if the Republicans had won, he would have been the loser. Because it would have been a tacit admission of his weakness, and the balance of power within the party would, presumably, have shifted to the Congressional Leadership. And that's not something Bush's ego would have been happy about.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

New Logo, New Quote!!!

Hey all!!!

Update to the website once again. Hope you are all having a great sunday. :)

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Grown-Ups

We are nearing the end of this election cycle, and Mike Gallagher is tired. He's just so tired, poor guy. And what is he tired of? People like me.
C'mon, it's not even a close call. Face it, the Democrats are a bunch of angry, bitter, cynical people with no direction, no strategy, and certainly not a whole lot of positive things to say about the USA. The Republicans just feel like, well, the grown-ups.
There's nothing more grown up than pissing away our essential freedoms to chase after a little security. Nothing more adult than the "great writ" i.e. Habeus Corpus, because President Bush assures us he would only lock up bad people.

There's nothing more adult than Rush Limbaugh making fun of Michael J. Fox, acting out his illness.

There's nothing more adult that invading a country on false information and refusing to leave even though it's clear that victory is out of reach. Gallagher says it himself. "A war is a very grown-up thing." Yep. Nothing more grown up than invading another country.

He ends by putting his faith in the American people. I wonder how long that faith will last after they vote in a Democratic majority in the House (and hopefully the Senate).

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Who can you Insult?

Slactivist has a very good post about who you are allowed to insult in this brave new world of Republicanism. It covers the Kurrent Kerry Konflict as well as Rush Limbaughs jousting at the windmill of Michael J. Fox. Hey you gotta pick your windmills these days.

He's also returned to his Left Behind review - thank goodness.

Alyssa Peterson

Bloggers been a bit snippy today - so might not be able to get this out right away. This information comes from an article by Greg Mitchell at Classically Liberal.

Alyssa Peterson served in Iraq. She is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and she served a mission in the Netherlands. She went into the military and trained in Arabic.

She was sent to Iraq, apparently volunteering to take another soldiers place. She was assigned to translate during the interrogation of prisoners. According to a response to a FOIA request (by a crusading radio journalist), Publish Post she only participated in two nights of interrogation.
"Peterson objected to the interrogation techniques used on prisoners. She refused to participate after only two nights working in the unit known as the cage. Army spokespersons for her unit have refused to describe the interrogation techniques Alyssa objected to. They say all records of those techniques have now been destroyed."
She was assigned to another area and sent to suicide prevention training. It didn't work; on the night of September 15, 2003 she killed herself, by shooting herself with her rifle.

She left a note; the same crusading radio journalist is attempting to acquire it through a FOIA request.

There's a website called Fallen Heroes that allows for the posting of salutes and tributes to fallen soldiers - her page on the site is here. It paints a picture of a kind and loving person, good with languages, dedicated.

I don't really know what to do with this story other than to pass it along. And curse the men that put our young men and women in places like "the cage."

What John Kerry Meant

This is the title of an article by David Strom today. He continues with the distortion of what John Kerry meant. He also very clearly explains why this mistatement (that Republicans then distorted) is a good thing for Republicans.
To oversimplify a bit, the storyline of this campaign season has been dominated by the general discontent with the way that Republicans have been running the government. Spending has gotten out of control, the war is unpopular and getting more so, and few people are enthusiastic about Bush’s leadership right now. Add in the Foley scandal and mistakes by some candidates, and you have a recipe for a bad election year for Republicans.

John Kerry’s comments—at least for the moment—have served as a stark reminder to many swing voters of why they have tended to pull the lever for Republicans in recent years: the cultural elitism of the Democratic Party.
By cultural elitism, Strom means the way that Kerry looks down on soldiers he chose to serve with back during the Vietnam War. Kerry has constantly praised our troops, but this commant outweighs all of that praise.

More to the point, John Kerry has fought for the troops to have better benefits and he's fought for Veterans. And the Republicans, by and large, have opposed these efforts. Republicans are keen on supporting military contractors, but less interested in supporting the people that actually wear the uniform.

While we are on this subject, I will point you to an article provided by Random Goblin before he got his website, that I published here, on supporting the troops for real.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Statistical Report, Fiscal Year, 2005-2006

As required in our by-laws here is the official statistical report for this blog for the blog year just past.

Number of Page Views or Hits - 46,200 (an average of 3,850 per month and 126.6 per day)
Number of Visitors - 34,906 (an average of 2908.8 per month or 95.6 per day)
Number of Unique Visitors - 32,136 (an average of 2,678 per month or 88.0 per day)
Number of Return Visitors - 2,770 (an average of 230.83 per month or 7.6 per day)

Top Ten Nations visiting this site in BY 2005-2006

1. United States (25,817 or 73.55%)
2. Canada (1,964 or 5.59%)
3. Great Britain (UK) (1,694 or 4.83%)
4. Australia (620 or 1.77%)
5. Germany (462 or 1.32%)
6. France (309 or 0.88%)
7. Netherlands (279 or 0.79%)
8. Spain (211 or 0.60%)
9. Mexico (203 or 0.58%)
10. Brazil (189 or 0.54%)

Top Ten Keywords used in Search Engines to bring them to this Website
1. allen brothers hot dogs
2. bret grebow
3. did the holocaust really happen
4. bill orielly
5. rush limbaugh hot dogs
6. history of political correctness
7. allen brothers hotdogs
8. educational values
9. motorcycles are dangerous
10. glenn beck racist

Also a year ago this blog was worth $0.00. Let's see how much it is worth now!

My blog is worth $23,710.68.
How much is your blog worth?

So that's nice. I've increased my value.

President Bush is appearing on the Rush Limbaugh Program

I would guess that the appearance is over by now; I didn't listen to it, though will read it later on tonight. Rush is known for asking tough questions like "Doesn't it bother you when Democrats lie and distort your record?"

It's hard to know which one needs the other more right now. Bush's stock is pretty low, but Rush's stock took a hit when he slimed Michael J. Fox last week. Media Matters for America's Eric Boehlert's latest article covered the scandal and the Press's kid gloves dealing with Mr. Limbaugh.
And it's not like the facts were complicated. Fox made a heartfelt plea urging voters in Missouri to support Democratic Senate candidate Claire McCaskill, who he stated "shares [his] hope for cures" through stem cell research. Limbaugh promptly belittled the actor, telling listeners the herky-jerky motions Fox was making during the commercial were a con; "purely an act" to elicit an emotional response. Limbaugh even uncorked spastic, in-studio gesticulations to mimic Fox's awkward appearance.

Limbaugh said if he was proven wrong he'd apologized. But the press took that for an apology itself. Days later, as the controversy raged, Limbaugh was even clearer, insisting, "I stand by what I said [about Fox]. I take back none of what I said. I wouldn't rephrase it any differently. It is what I believe. It is what I think. It is what I have found to be true."
So yeah it's hard to see who's benefiting from whom in this little dance. Still it's always good to see Bush or any administration official appearing on the Rush Limbaugh show, if only to put the lie to claims that President Bush doesn't agree with the extreme positions of his base.

Permanent Republican Majority

For a while there you saw a number of Republicans arguing that we were entering a time of permanent Republican majority. They aren't doing that as much these days, probably because the idea doesn't sound as believable as it once did. But there are still some Republicans supporting it, like Horace Cooper in his latest article.

He notes that Republicans do have some structural benefits (i.e. they have more safe districts than Democrats), and trots out the old argument that if Democrats want to be successful they should copy Republicans.
If the party is primarily coastal and urban, the party's activists are disproportionately so. Ceding much of the heartland is a strategic failing for Democrats. The party's insularity makes it unable to fairly evaluate the public's misgivings about gay marriage, aggressive secularism, anti-Americanism, gun control and related social schemes as anything other than uninformed bigotry. Soliciting the votes of people you believe to be ignorant bigots requires a degree of cynicism difficult to mask from the voter. And such a task is impossible if it turns out the voters are neither ignorant nor bigoted.
There are Democrats who fit this parody, but they aren't the majority, or even a significant minority.

But let's look at how this deep thinker characterizes the Democratic view they have a hard time explaining to middle America. Gay Marriage, I get. The Democratic Party and middle America do seem to have different opinions on that issue. Aggressive secularism? Again there is some differences here - but obviously Cooper hasn't heard of the Dominionists if he thinks that Democrats are the only ones being "aggressive" on this issue.

And then we get to Anti-Americanism. One of the policies of America that we have a hard time explaining to our friends in middle America. Not hard to see why that would be a tough sell. If it were true. I mean if we Democrats were really consumed with Anti Americanism, I frankly think that Americans would be right to be suspicious of us. But we aren't. And the cynical Cooper presumably knows this.

Democrats are pro America and pro American - we want our country to be both just and successful. We believe that our country has the potential for greatness, a potential being squandered by a shortsighted Republican Party who sees belligerence as strength.

I think the American people can see what the Republicanoids have brought us, and I think they are smart enough to reject it.