Thursday, April 26, 2007

20 Songs

This is the Ninth in my Road is Where You Are series. It's good music. Also "Come as You Are" is better the "Lithium."

"Somebody to Love" - Jefferson Airplane
"Machinehead" - Bush
"Idiotheque" - Radiohead
"Come as You Are" - Nirvana

"Just Another Day" - Oingo Boingo
"Ants Marching " - Dave Matthews Band
"Mr. Tambourine Man" - The Byrds
"Betterman" - Pearl Jam

"Ridiculous Thoughts" - The Cranberries
"Hounds of Winter" - Sting
"For What It's Worth" - Buffalo Springfield
"Moral Kiosk" - REM

"Dam Would Break " - Toad the Wet Sprocket
"California Dreaming" - The Mamas and the Papas
"Sleeps with Angels " - Neil Young
"Less than Zero" - Elvis Costello

"Two Princes" - Spin Doctors
"Action Woman" - The Litter
"The Boy" - Smashing Pumpkins
"Chelsea" - Counting Crows

Lieberman's choice

Hugh Hewitt's latest article is a plea for Lieberman to change his party affiliation and give control of the senate back to the Republicans.
It is increasingly obvious that if the political war in Washington is to be stopped from hurting and possibly fatally crippling the war against the Islamists, Senator Lieberman is going to have to change parties, pulling a reverse Jim Jeffords.

. . . I don’t think any amount of political payoff could tempt Lieberman as it did Jeffords. The switch would not be because of a desire for more special ed funding or some set of perks he just cannot get from the Dems. Of course he’d want seniority and leadership, but the motivation would have to be the obvious: He can stop the war from being lost and he understands the consequences of such a defeat.
I obviously hope Lieberman doesn't do this. The personal consequences and rewards would be large. He'd be seen rightly as a traitor by the Democrats, essentially burning his bridges with that group. And I'm not sure how running as a Republican (even an independent who caucused with Republicans) would play with his home state. On the other hand, the Republicans and the Conservatives would reward him as they did Zell Miller.

I don't think Lieberman will do it; that's just too big a step. But it's impossible to know for sure.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

20 Lines from 20 Songs

And your friends, baby, they treat you like a guest / Deaf dumb and thirty, Starting to deserve this / This is really happening / Take your time. Hurry up. / theres a smile on my face . . . for everyone / These crimes between us grow deeper / Let me forget about today until tomorrow / She dreams in color, she dreams in red / You’re a twister, an animal / I'm as cold as the man in the moon / Paranoia strikes deep / It’s so much more attractive / Did we expect that life was ever fair, my god... / And I pretend to pray / At least he wasn't alone / To teach him he's alive before he wishes he was dead / And if you'd like to tell me maybe / You say you own the world, but you don't own my soul. / I don't need, I don't eat, I don't sleep / The things I do to people I love shouldnt be allowed

Faith Based Politics

For those who don't know, Tom Delay suggested that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are traitors. Salena Zito has written an article on the incident, picked up by Townhall.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "are getting very, very close to treason," DeLay said in a meeting with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

"We have people dying," he said. "Not just our soldiers, but innocent citizens dying in Iraq and Afghanistan at the hands of these evil people, and you have your elected leaders making these kinds of statements that embolden the enemy. It's unbelievable."
This is sad but predictable. For one thing, Delay used to be a big cheese, and now he's, at best, a moderately sized cheese. That has to be frustrating. For another Conservatives are succeptible to making these kinds of wild allegations right now. Because reality has failed to conform to their faith. They can't accept that their faith might have been in the wrong, so they are casting about for why their plans have failed. And well they've always disliked Democrats. But as the evidence becomes more and more clear, they will lash out more and more, the rhetorical equivalent of putting their fingers in their ears and saying "Neener neener I can't hear you!"

The biggest question facing Democrats over the next year is what to do about President Bush. Do you continue to honor the man who brought you to this point? Or do you cut him loose and work on building up your new guy? I suspect a lot of that will depend on who they end up putting up as their person. McCain can't afford to cut Bush loose (as his foreign policy promises to be more of the same) but Guiliani probably could.

For those interested in more reading on Republican Faith Based politics, check out Garrison Kiellor's latest over at Salon.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

New Sketch

There is a new sketch up at my sister site, Seventy Sketches. It's a sketch about soldiers and songs, and it's kind of funny and kind of sad. Go check it out.

Covering the Bases. A Space Lobster Joint

Greetings, Evil Lovers. This is Space Lobster, villainous crustacean from the future (or, more accurately, from a 1950's children's space show). I am here to crush your head. I'm in a particularly evil mood because I have received word of a Captain Starfaller Reunion Special, and I need to get back into character. So prepare yourself for extra lobster-y evil today.

Collective Sigh ponders how safe massive use of handguns can be when White House Security Guards are shooting each other on accident. You think handguns are bad, you should try doomsday devices. I can't think of the number of times I accidentally set off a doomsday device on accident, and then Captain Starfaller had to save the universe by turning it off. It was always very embarrassing and of course Captain Jerkface always had to rub it in.

The Countess has a video of creating the Marfa lights in a controlled environment. For those who don't know the Marfa Lights are either joy riding space hamsters or lights reflected off of glass like soil.

Dohiyi Mir commends Harry Reid for talking tough to President Bush. I don't know, I think people are too hard on President Bush; just like they were or will be hard on me in the future. Conquering the world and robbing it blind is hard work; cut us some slack.

Echidne of the Snakes has some thoughts on how womans attire is seen and occasionally punished. I assure that when I am in charge I will not punish woman for their attire. I will be too busy requiring that they build enormous human pyramids for no good reason.

And that is all I have time for. I need to go practice my scowling, and then I'm going out to dinner. Have a nice evening all.

Rush Limbuagh tries to Envision something that is Actually Happening and is Unable to

Can you imagine if a famous conservative Christian publicly voiced their religious practices, and told every American they had to adopt them, right now, or we're going to destroy the planet because the last days are coming, "It's right there in revelation!" Can you imagine if any Christian minister went out there and talked and talked about particularly the Apocalypse as it is in Revelation on a daily basis with the media hype? Can you imagine? That conservative would be shouted out of the mainstream. Actually, the conservative has been shouted out of the mainstream. But imagine if a Christian talked about Christianity the way these people are talking about their religion, and said, "There's no argument and there's no debate and you're going to hell unless you do what I say!" Can you imagine the outcry?
One wonders if Rush Limbaugh has heard of Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell. I guess not.

From Yesterdays Show.

Why I am always angry

This is from an article by Matt Barber on the Imus situation.
Don Imus, recently unemployed pioneer of the high-dollar “shock-jock” industry, is a truly gifted man. He has the rare but unenviable ability to really tick people off at both ends of the political spectrum and everywhere in between. To the chagrin of the leftist anti-war “you baby killer” crowd, he’s been a staunch defender of our wounded troops at Walter Reed. Yet he’s made a habit of regularly bashing social conservatives and President Bush, having even gone so far as to suggest that government mismanagement of Hurricane Katrina occurred because Bush is a closet racist.
Yeah because Liberals hate the idea of our soldiers getting the medical attention they deserve. We want our soldiers to suffer for all the bad things they've done over in Iraq. That's why liberal publications like Salon has reported on the Walter Reed mess, and Liberal Bloggers have written about it constantly.

The sad fact is that there is a significant part of Conservatism that believes that Liberals want our soldiers to suffer. The evidence is that the movement to fix Walter Reed came from the liberal part of this country. The movement to preserve veterans benefits also comes from the liberal part of this country. And both movements were opposed, to a certain extent, by President Bush who one assumes is a conservative.

The rest of the article is standard boilerplate Imus. Yeah Imus was wrong, but so is Al Sharpton. And they are going to use Imus to crush Conservative voices. Barber gets points for sharing a paranoid fantasy at the end.
. . . those of us found in violation of this dogmatic PC speech code – as I am right now – run the risk of public blacklisting and indefinite unemployment. After we’re sentenced by this McCarthyist tribunal, we can evidently look forward to being shackled, dragged off to a “progressive” re-education “rehab” camp and furiously flogged with a rolled up copy of The New York Times until we’re properly whipped into ideological submission.
Good luck with that Mr. Barber.

Monday, April 23, 2007

President Bush to recieve a Purple Heart

For "emotional wounds and scars." According to the Killeen Daily Herald.

I wish to God I was joking around.

It's not as bad as it sounds, though. A vet who served in Vietnam will be giving one of his Purple Hearts to president.
History will be made today when Copperas Cove resident Bill Thomas and his wife, Georgia, present President George W. Bush with a Purple Heart at the Oval Office.

Thomas said he and his wife came up with the unprecedented idea to present the president with the Purple Heart over breakfast one morning a few months ago as they discussed the verbal attacks, both foreign and domestic, the commander in chief has withstood during his time in office.

"We feel like emotional wounds and scars are as hard to carry as physical wounds," Thomas said.

The medal was awarded to Thomas on Dec. 18, 1965, following injuries he sustained while serving in heavy combat with the 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vietnam.
I suppose Thomas can do whatever he likes with said awards. If he feels that the President deserves one for the criticism he has received after invading Iraq, getting thousands of our soldiers dead and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead, well that's his choice. If I was Bush I'd think twice about taking a Purple Heart for the slings and arrows of his critics; but then again, there's really no way for President to do well in this particular situation.

Remember the Purple Band aids? I thought Republicans didn't respect Purple Hearts. Guess they changed their minds.

Interestingly Direct Article About McCain

I'm not sure what to think about Salena Zito's latest article. First of all I don't remember any previous articles by Salena Zito. Secondly it takes a shot at McCain which is not that unusual, but it faults McCain for being too much like Bush which is a bit unusual. He notes that McCain moved to support President Bush, particularly on Iraq, and has surrounded himself with Bush partisans. Obviously this becomes a problem when the War in Iraq proves not to be a roaring success.
. . . instead of seeing -- and stating -- what is so obvious to so many, McCain has chosen to ignore it. He remains Bush's biggest advocate in the war; he has supported the president's call for more troops; he even went to Iraq and said it was safer than most big cities in America.

And it was perhaps at that moment that the transformation was complete: The maverick became a lap dog. The fabled political truth-teller now can’t tell the truth, even when it is obvious to anyone paying even a tiny bit of attention, even when it has become painfully obvious to most Republicans.

The Republican Party is tired of George W. Bush, his stubbornness and his war that cost it control of Congress. Its primary voters are looking for a change; it wants someone who does not remind voters of Bush, someone who does not share his stubbornness and optimism about a war that costs America more lives each week.
I have to say I hope that the Republican party ignores Ms. Zito's column here. Because her analysis seems pretty strong. Her solution, incidentally is Fred Thompson, who presumably will enter the race officially soon (unless he already has and I missed it). The comments indicate that a lot of Conservatives don't like McCain already (because of McCain Fiengold and other unpopular positions he's taken, but that they aren't writing off the Iraq war just yet. The conversation quickly segues into those vowing not to vote for McCain no matter what and those holding up the specter of President Hillary Clinton to whip them back into line. Fun stuff.

Just a Reminder

It is worth remembering that the Swift Boat Liars of 2004 were, well, liars. And Eric Boehlert has an article today doing more or less exactly that. It runs through the claims the Swift Boat Vet Liars made and and debunks it. This was occasioned by the pretty common claim on the right wing that the Swift Boat Liars' claims have never been disputed or debunked (in this case by Powerline Blog.

I wonder what sort of organization the Republican will set up to discredit and smear the Democratic Candidate in 2008.


Dinesh D'Souza's latest article is a discussion of the parallels between the attempt to abolish slavery and the attempt to outlaw abortion.
I am not an expert on the abortion issue, but I have learned a great deal about it, strangely enough, by studying the Lincoln-Douglas debates. These debates were about slavery. But look at how closely the arguments parallel the abortion debate.
To be brief he notes that anti abolitionist and pro choice politicians often claim to be opposed to the practices they are protecting. Also a fetus and a black person are likewise seen as not being human by the bad guys. Not sure about that last argument

I see some parallels as well. For example there's a parallel between the Don Imus firing and the Supreme Court decision. In both cases the event has galvanized the movement. Those who want to see tighter controls on talk radio and reinstating the fairness doctrine see this firing as a sign that they can win. Ditto for the Pro-Life movement and the Supreme Court decision; they are taking this as a watershed event, and there are at least six other pro life articles I could have chosen from this morning.

Unfortunately I see another parallel as well; between the pro-choice and pro-slavery movements. In both cases they were railing against a societal decision that had already been made. In 1860 the handwriting was on the wall for Slavery, and in 2007 the handwriting is on the wall and underlined for abortion; it's going to stay legal.

But of course in the 1860s, the South didn't want to except that they were going to lose slavery. Hopefully, the bulk of the anti-abortion movement won't go that particular route.

Friday, April 20, 2007

An Optomistic Person Comes to Work

Our President spoke to a high school audience today.
"The first lesson about decision-making is, if you're short on a subject, ask for help. So if you're a student listening and you're not very good at math, ask for help. Don't be afraid to admit that you need help when it comes to life. I wasn't afraid to admit I wasn't sure how to design a rug, so I called Laura. I said, 'They've asked me to design a rug in the Oval Office; I don't know anything about rug designing; will you help me?' She said, 'Of course.' But I said, 'I want it to say something' -- the president has got to be a strategic thinker -- and I said to her, 'Make sure the rug says 'optimistic person comes to work.' Because you can't make decisions unless you're optimistic that the decisions you make will lead to a better tomorrow."
Just for the record you don't have to be an optimistic person to go to work; I go to work almost every day and am not what you would call an optimistic person.

The Passion of the Rush

I am reaching the boiling point about all of this "coarsening of the culture" garbage that the left is accusing people like me and Matt Drudge and Sean Hannity and others of committing on talk radio and so forth. Some of the most vile hatred is expressed in this country by the Drive-By Media at our president, at our military, by their blogs and by their talk show hosts. It is they who write books and do movies on assassinating our president. It is they who are constantly trying to undermine this country's cohesiveness. They are doing things to keep us constantly in tumult and chaos. Everything is doom and gloom. They are lying through their teeth about global warming. They are trying to set us up for tax increases to assuage our sin and guilt for "destroying the planet." If there's anybody out there that's coarsening the culture, and is making a mockery of modern day journalism by committing journalistic malpractice, the assaults that have occurred on George W. Bush -- both in books, in movies, in terms of his assassination -- and the never ending verbal drumbeat that has come ever since he was inaugurated, dwarfs anything that is taking place on the right.

By far, it is not even close. These people are Stalinists. They cannot stand an opposing point of view in their midst, and so they come up with policies and programs that are designed to discredit or silence people they don't want to hear. They hate debate because to them there is no debate. There is no alternative to their sick, perverse view of human nature and life, and in way too many cases, their sick, perverse view of this country. If you listen to the left in this country, our military is nothing but a bunch of torturers, rapists and murderers -- and they gleefully report this! If you listen to the left in this country, our president is human debris. He's a liar, he's a murderer, and all he wants is oil for himself and his buddies. Ditto Dick Cheney. Ditto Donald Rumsfeld. Ditto Condoleezza Rice.
Not much to say about this. Rush has divided the world into those with a sick, perverse world view and him and his buddies. Of course people who don't agree with Rush on say, the competency of President Bush or the success of the Iraq war are in fact the majority. So naturally he's upset at how many sick, perverse people there are.

I'm not sure what to make of this

One of the Christian rights most popular themes these days is to mention that there really is evil in the world. Which in part explains the Bush Presidency; hard to argue there isn't evil around with him in the White House.

Obviously, an event like the Virginia Tech shooting makes writing on this theme easy, but I'm still unsure about Chuck Colson's latest article. He talks about visiting a Norwegian hospital where there were a lot of criminals. He asked which ones were mentally ill, and was told they obviously all were or they wouldn't have committed the crimes they did.
While the Norwegian approach would strike most Americans as very naive, the difference between them and us is one of degree not kind. We also blame crime on external factors, like mental illness, culture, dysfunctional childhood, and the like.

We are uncomfortable attributing events like this to human evil, much less to a kind of evil that seeks to undo God's creation—what Christians call the demonic.

Yet without this idea, events like this massacre can never be understood. We might learn that the killer was "mentally unbalanced" or on anti-depressants. But, absent evidence that he was clinically delusional, this knowledge will not explain why he walked onto a college campus, locked people in a lecture hall, and killed them.
So to put it another way, is there a difference between being crazy and being possessed by demons. I'm not exactly sure how we would change our law enforcement procedures if we had to assume people who committed these crimes were possessed or just evil. Have a police department exorcist? Hey maybe that Dresden Files show is more relevant than I thought.

In reality the only thing Colson wants is for us to feel no sympathy towards deranged people who do these kinds of things. Fair enough. But purposefully saying "Well they're evil and that's all the explanation we need," deliberately blinds ourselves to understanding and possibly preventing such insanity.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Covering the Bases. An Irwin J. McIckleson Production

Hello all. This is Ms. Pinkgsington, wife to Irwin J. McIckleson, fictional 1920's plutocrat. I'm afraid my husband a a touch of the flu and has not been able to participate here as he would like. He requested I take his place today.

Our first story comes from the Yellow Doggeral Democrat who has a discussion of the current hot water the Attorney General finds himself in; he also provides links to various places you might go to find out more.

Our second piece comes from archy about the skeleton of some kind of elephant monster that was just sold in Paris. Paris is quite lovely but smells strongly.

Our third selection comes from Bark Bark Woof Woof, and it is also about the Attorney General. Apparently he is very very forgetful. I agree with him that saying "I forget" so many times is not impressive.

I will leave further links to tomorrow when I hope my husband will be here to take care of them. Have a delightful evening all.

Trouble with a Capital T

Not because it's a big deal, just because it's the first word of a sentence.

Matt Towery has written an article on the Confederate Flag and South Carolina. Apparently the Confederate flag issue that had been pretty big a couple of years back is now a big issue again. And as he points out this isn't exactly good news to the Republican nominees.
That means another round of hot-seat questions in a year in which race is emerging as an obvious factor in the presidential race, what with Barack Obama being biracial. He has certainly enthused the black community, and his charismatic presence and lack of political baggage has many Americans of all races seriously considering a black man for president.

. . . Look for this perpetual controversy to transfer to South Carolina in time for the primary campaign.
I will note two additional facts. In 2000 George W. Bush kowtowed to the base in South Carolina (i.e. those who wanted the Confederate flag to remain over the capitol), and he won the race. While I admit it might be a landmine for Guiliani and McCain, I don't think that deciding to play to the base there will hurt them in the main campaign, unless Obama is the candidate.

Secondly, the controversy would seem to be a real opportunity for Obama. It's not a layup; rather he has to show that his talk about unity is more than just talk, while reminding the Black community that he really is one of them. It requires a certain amount of finesse, but it seems clear that Obama possesses finesse in spades.

Change in Strategy?

Probably not. But Clifford D. May has written an article that acknowledges that some Democrats (in this case Kenneth Pollack and Daniel Byman, who have put out a report) at least have a plan for Iraq. The normal Conservative position is that Democrats have no plan on Iraq, the President does, so you gotta get behind the President. He does, naturally, say that their plan is ok as a worst case scenario and we have to do everything to make sure the current surge succeeds (thus Democrats have to stop criticizing the President and the war in Iraq). So he gets around to the normal point, even if he gets there by an unusual path.

Of course May's powers of analysis aren't infinite.
What's most useful about this report, in my view, is that it makes a serious attempt to foresee unpleasant outcomes and devise responses that might mitigate the damage. Why the Bush administration failed to do more and better contingency planning for worst-case scenarios remains a tragic mystery.
Poor guy; let me unpack this "tragic mystery" for him. The Bush administration had a weak case for invading Iraq and they were aware they had a weak case. They needed to pretend that the War would be cheap and painless. Planning for a long occupation in which thousands of American Troops and tens of thousands of Iraqis would die would not have gone over well. The American people might well have said, "wait, the war is going to cost this much? Let's look at that WMD evidence one more time." So they purposefully shut down any analysis of what the long term results of our invasion might be.

Still, at least he acknowledged that some Democrats have a plan on Iraq. That's a step in the right direction.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Inappropriate laughter

Apparently the shooter in the VT shootings wrote some plays which have been put up here. They are humorous but you feel guilty laughing at how inept they are when you remember the punchline.

Now hold it right there mister. It was a boating accident. I did everything I could to try to save your father.


Bullshit! Are you always full of shit McBeef? I can see that you are by the extra fat you have packed on! You MURDERED my father and covered it up. You committed a conspiracy. Just like what the government has done to John Lennon and Marilyn Monroe.
Oy. The story, such as it is, is about a kid named John who hates his new step dad and attacks him for 10 pages when the new stepfather, named Richard McBeef, promptly strikes him dead. Along the way there are cereal bars, accusations of molestation, chainsaws and honey-poo.

The Last Best Hope

Bill Bennet posted an article today taken from words he spoke on his radio show (which is a cheap way to get an article I suppose), in which he comments on VT shooting and the greatness of America (and somewhat apologetically flags up his forthcoming book).
We're talking about yesterday in Blacksburg. Some people, it hasn't come up on this show, because this audience wouldn't dare bring it up, but there'll be people saying, "Well, it's a sick society. You know, it's just a crazy, wigged out, sick society." I've got a book coming out today, not the best timing for a book, it's all right. It's a good book, America: The Last Best Hope, Vol. II.
He quote Reagan saying that America is great. I'm curious about that phrase Last Best Hope, though. I gather it goes back to President Lincoln saying "Freedom is the last, best hope of earth." Nothing wrong with that, but there is a sort of fatalism to the idea of a last best hope, isn't there? I mean applied to a concept like Freedom maybe it's not so bad; but applied to a nation? Do we really believe that we are basically it? That Europe is dead and won't be great again, and the rest of the world has no hope for greatness?

I suspect it is tied into the concept of the second coming and the apocolpyse, which implies that the plays about to be over (I'm not sure about that, but it's a popular interpretation. Because Christ is on his way back in the next few years (heck he's probably packing right now), there's no real time for Australia or Brazil or China to supplant the US. So we are it, more or less, by default.

All I can say is don't count your raptures before they hatch.

Presented Without Comment

We are told that the liberals are the most compassionate and the most tolerant and understanding. They have the biggest hearts. You couldn't tell it by this! The emotional, the personal element of this tragedy is not that interesting, no, no, no. "There's gun control out there! We can finally get rid of NRA, and get rid of Wayne LaPierre! We can finally get rid of NRA headquarters. We can finally get gun control," and they can't even tell you why they support it. It's just their agenda. It's just something that they have been longing for, for years, decades, and this has fallen into their laps! I'm sorry if you think this is callous, but I'm telling you what I think based on what I have watched about this, and the agenda and the political prism through which this is being seen and reported is far more interesting to them, far more important to them than the personal characteristics of this tragedy.
- Rush Limbaugh
As NRO's designated chickenhawk, let me be the one to ask: Where was the spirit of self-defense here? Setting aside the ludicrous campus ban on licensed conceals, why didn't anyone rush the guy? It's not like this was Rambo, hosing the place down with automatic weapons. He had two handguns for goodness' sake—one of them reportedly a .22.

At the very least, count the shots and jump him reloading or changing hands. Better yet, just jump him. Handguns aren't very accurate, even at close range. I shoot mine all the time at the range, and I still can't hit squat. I doubt this guy was any better than I am. And even if hit, a .22 needs to find something important to do real damage—your chances aren't bad.

Yes, yes, I know it's easy to say these things: but didn't the heroes of Flight 93 teach us anything? As the cliche goes—and like most cliches. It's true—none of us knows what he'd do in a dire situation like that. I hope, however, that if I thought I was going to die anyway, I'd at least take a run at the guy.
- John Derbyshire

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Tom Delay Explains the Universe

Come along to see Master Delay explain how the political world works, in an article for Townhall.
The Democrats' overstepping of their electoral mandate began on election night, when they misinterpreted the election as a broad affirmation of liberalism instead of a protest against the lack of progress in Iraq. The American people did not suddenly, last November, decide their taxes had become too low, government spending needed a huge boost, that they wanted to pay for the destruction of human life for scientific research or that homosexuals have a right to marriage.

Nor did they sign up for Nancy Pelosi's lose-at-all-costs, cut-and-run agenda on Iraq. The American people, both Republicans and Democrats, were and still are frustrated about the war. But while Democrats are angry the war exists at all, most Americans are angry only that we haven't won it yet, or at least that media reports don't seem to suggest we're in the process of winning. Most Americans want us to win in Iraq; most Democrats want us to quit.
Gosh. It's nice that Tom Delay knows what the American people want. According to a CNN poll taken from April 9 to 12, 2007, 51% of America said that President Bush made a mistake going into Iraq, and 53% said that the United States Not Very Likely or Not at All Likely to succeed in our goals in Iraq (whatever those Goals might be). 57% of Americans say that the United States should set a time table for withdrawal from Iraq.

But thank goodness Master Delay knows what the American people really want, even if they aren't able to articulate their desires accurately to a pollster.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Nothing to say

For those who don't know, shooting at Virginia Tech, 31 dead. Obviously our hearts go out to that school and community.

I don't know what to say past that; something like this put a lot of other things in perspective.

Woman Vs. Men

According to Kevin McCullough's latest article, Feminists fear Men. I wonder if that holds true for male feminists. Probably best not to consider that.

Anyway he writes about how women are trying to do all the things men should be doing; which he is opposed to. He then notes that medical science may make men unnecessary from a biological standpoint as well. This has been on the table for quite a while, but I guess McCullough just heard about it. Apparently all of this is motivated by a desire to eliminate males from society. Once we render males unnecessary we can get rid of them. Er, us.

It is confusing being a male feminist, when you have to believe the warped things McCullough apparently believes that we believe.

And then there's brilliant sentence.
Surely the feminists can see that while there are some public figures like Barack Obama who are forced to nuance why they appear with hip-hop icons like Ludicrous who prefer to think of women as "hos" and "bitches", that there are others like Dr. James Dobson who have advocated for the deep respect women deserve from the culture and society.
In the wake of the Imus firing one thing we've all learned is that Rap is bad. Apparently. And Obama taking money from rappers or appearing with them is also bad.

Actually some in my audience are probably not able to parse this, so let me explain it for you. Imus proported to run a news show; he did comedy sure, but he had on his show dozens of news professionals and even politicians. Ludicrous is a rapper, a singer and/or story teller. You might find the stories he tells vile or immoral, but he's held to a different standard by the nature of what he is doing.

Also whatever else you say about Ludicrous, he is not advocating that all of America follow his lead on how he treats women. James Dobson, on the other hand, clearly is. And what is he suggesting the nation do, this man who advocates "deep respect [for] women?"
My observation is that women are merely waiting for their husbands to assume leadership. - James Dobson
Wait, that must be the wrong quote. Let me see here.
How about group marriage? Or marriage between daddies and little girls? Or marriage between a man and his donkey?
Wait that's not right either. A man and his donkey? What's up with that. On more attempt.
Given that historical fact and the way it is today, isn't it amazing that there's such a sizable number of people in the media and in the liberal community that despise this country and its freedoms, and they're doing everything they can to undermine it?
Ah - there's the stuff.

To really see what Dobson really thinks about women, let's read a story from his own marriage.
. . . my wife and I decided to install a new gas-barbecue unit in our backyard. When the plumber completed the assignment and departed, Shirley and I both recognized that he had placed the appliance approximately six inches too high. I looked at the device and said, "Hmmm, yessir, he sure made a mistake. That post is a bit too high. By the way, what are we having for dinner tonight?" Shirley's reaction was dramatically different. She said, "The plumber has that thing sticking up in the air, and I don't think I can stand it!"
What does that tell you about women? Or how Dobson looks at women?

Anyway Dobson good, Ludicrous bad. According to Musclehead McCollough

Mormonism Redux

As Mitt Romney's campaign continues we can expect to read two articles over and over again. The first is the expose by a Democrat or a supporter of one of the other Republican Nominees. In this one we will find out about all the goofy things Mormon's believe, along with a reference to the hierarchical nature of the church and the question of whether or not Romney will serve the American people or the Mormon Church.

Frank Pastore has the other kind; the one about how as a good Christian he can still vote for Romney even though Romney and Mormons in general aren't Christians.
. . . many Mormons in recent years have taken to calling themselves Christians, and a grow-ing number of Christians are willing to speak of Mormonism as something akin to another Chris-tian denomination. But, Mormonism is not a Christian denomination, nor is it merely "a non-Christian religion." To be theologically precise, though perhaps politically incorrect, Mormonism is a cult of Christianity ( – a group that claims to Chris-tian while denying one or more central doctrines of the Christian faith.
I don't know why Pastore feels the need to hyphe-nate so many words; perhaps that's another facet of Christianity that I, being Mormon, don't hold to.

At an rate his over all point is that he would vote for Romney over Clinton or Obama; but that doesn't mean he thinks that Mormons are Christians. Or to be more precise, by his narrow definition of Christian (which he labels the historic Christian Faith), Mormons aren't Christians. This definition does seem to boil down to "Belongs to the true Christian faith," however. And using that narrow definition Mormons would be forced to conclude that Pastore is not a real Christian either. Following such a definition to it's logical conclusion, you end up with thousands of "true Christian faith" and nobody is really a Christian.

I prefer a broad definition myself; if a person believes in Christ, he's a Christian.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

All Praise to the Elite

This is from an article by Bill Maher over at Salon.
Now that liberals have taken back the word liberal, they also have to take back the word "elite." By now you've heard the constant right-wing attacks on the "elite," or as it's otherwise known, "hating." They've had it up to their red necks with the "elite media." The "liberal elite." Who may or may not be part of the "Washington elite." A subset of the "East Coast elite." Which is influenced by "the Hollywood elite." So basically, unless you're a shitkicker from Kansas, you're with the terrorists. If you played a drinking game in which you did a shot every time Rush Limbaugh attacked someone for being "elite" you'd almost be as wasted as Rush Limbaugh.

I don't get it: In other fields -- outside of government -- elite is a good thing, like an elite fighting force. Tiger Woods is an elite golfer. If I need brain surgery, I'd like an elite doctor. But in politics, elite is bad -- the elite aren't down-to-earth and accessible like you and me and President Shit-for-Brains. But when the anti-elite crowd demonizes the elite, what they're actually doing is embracing incompetence. Now, I know what you're thinking: That doesn't sound like our president -- ignoring intelligence.
He's not wrong. He takes aim at Pat Robertson's law school; apparently President Bush has hired no less than 150 graduates of it. Not sure that's a winning strategy.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Don Imus

I'm not really keen on writing about this, because it gets us into questions of race and I always feel like I'm on shaky ground writing about race. I'm a middle class white guy who grew up in the suburbs.

But it's the topic of the day, and the subject of numerous articles over at Townhall. So let's look them over.

Mike Gallagher tries to go the even handed route and for that I would like to give him and even hand right across the chopper. Wait, that's a slap isn't it? I don't slap people.
Anatomy of a scandal: Don Imus spends years developing a talk radio career where his cranky, always-irritated demeanor turns into revenue gold for his employers; on one particular morning he makes a stupid, bigoted remark about a bunch of young, talented college athletes; a liberal watchdog-type website blasts the remark all over the internet, prompting the media to turn it into a firestorm; Imus makes a bunch of clumsy, cranky, always-irritated attempts to apologize; and before he can even begin to start serving his self-described “two week suspension with dignity”, he loses it all. First, his cable news employer cans him and then, his bread and butter, the radio network, says good-bye, I-Man.
So there you go. But the real story is that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are just as racist and yet we all look the other way. Apparently.

Patrick J. Buchanan, who you can always depend upon when it comes to racial matters, titles his piece "The Imus Lynch Party."
Imus threw himself on the mercy of the court of elite opinion -- and that court, pandering to the mob, lynched him. Yet, for all his sins, he was a better man than the lot of them rejoicing at the foot of the cottonwood tree.
A little flowery there. But the real story is that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are just as racist and yet we all look the other way. Apparently.

Lorie Byrds article is entitled "How Long will Democrats and the Media continue to enable Sharpton and Jackson." Not much else to be said, but here's a quote anyway.
Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson will continue to exploit race issues as long as there are no "officials" willing to call them on it. In this case, those with the responsibility to do so are the Democrats and the media.
Obviously the real story is that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are just as racist and yet we all look the other way. Apparently.

Rich Lowery goes for the evenhanded route as well, making sure we all know that Imus was a liberal and that we went easy on him compared to how we would go on a Conservative.
So there you have it: Offensiveness now, offensiveness tomorrow, offensiveness forever. No liberal would make that kind of stand on behalf of anyone else. Imus got an exemption because his guests could feel as though they were part of the in-crowd and that they had done something wild and naughty by parleying with him.
Yep; we Liberals are just hypocrites when it comes to race, apparently. But the real story is that Al Sharpton is just as racist and we all look the other way. Apparently. Also Lowry lets Jackson off the hook.

I'm already tired of this shtick. But yeah, Limbaugh and Hannity were both making this point yesterday as well. The real bad guys are Sharpton and Jackson and will be forever. Apparently.

I'm already drained from this; maybe I'll try to hit a few more later in the morning. There is a fascinating one about how our young White Males are the most persecuted group in America I know you wall want to read.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

New Sketch

There's a new sketch up over at Seventy Sketches for those interested - this one is quite short.

Covering the Bases. An Irwin J. McIckleson Production

Greetings all, this is Irwin J. McIckleson, fictional 1910's plutocrat. I am having an average day. Actually it's quite forgettable.

Apparently the current occupant of the White House, among his other mental deficiencies, lacks organizational skills. Sooner Thought notes that his failure to retain internal communiques may prove his undoing. It does look suspicious.

Speedkill asks for suggestions for good science fiction novels to read. I find science fiction a bit preposterous, but I like Journey to the Centre of the Earth.

And that's all for this very average day. Hopefully tomorrow will be more exciting.

Don't Be Nice

Ann Coulter's latest article is about Don Imus's unfortunate remarks. It's rather amusing reading Conservatives write about this, because they can't decide whether they are happy to see Imus get smacked down or if they are upset that Political correctness has claimed another victim.

Ann Coulter sets up a straw man and dutifully knocks it out.
Perhaps sensing that such constantly scrolling rules have a whiff of fascism about them, the scowling Miss Grundys of the world think they have hit on the perfect omnibus rule. They instruct us to "be nice."
Apparently being nice would ruin society as we know it by eliminating public discourse. So Coulter is not going to be nice.
I, for one, promise to implement the "be nice" policy just as soon as the other side surrenders.
By the other side, she means Liberals. She then goes on a nice little melange of statements talking about internal political discourse and external foreign policy discourse as if it were the same thing. She reminds us all that Reagan, when governor of California, gave students the finger. Thank you Ann!

Of course if Coulter agreed to "be nice" she'd have to lose about 90% of her output. Of course it could be worse. If she agreed to "be honest" or "make sense" she'd lose 93% and 97% of her output respectively.

I guess I won't hold my breath.

Iraq and 2008

Tom Delay has written an article on how the war in Iraq will play out against the 2008 election. Apparently Iraq is going to be a big problem - for Democrats.

Apparently Republicans are going to continue their policy of claiming that the emperor has clothes, they are beautiful, and anybody who says he doesn't have clothes is a filthy liar. Or to be more specific, they are going to say there is a war on terror against evil enemies and to back down in Iraq is to let them win. Only a traitor would want to pull out of Iraq.

There are a lot of traitors around, apparently.
On the other hand, if Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrat Congress are successful in undermining the commander-in-chief (thereby emboldening the terrorists to kill more Americans in Iraq) and the media continues its relentless drumbeat of bad news, then Republican "win at all costs" rhetoric will be less attractive to voters tired of their sons dying halfway around the world.
Republicans really don't like Pelosi. I'm starting to think that maybe Republicans have a problem with strong women.

Anyway the current strategy seems simple enough; hope the surge pays off and if it does, declare the Democrats losers. Alternatively, say "Yeah our strategy doesn't seem to be working yet, but the Democrats don't have any strategy at all. What's worse a party that has a crappy strategy? Or a party that doesn't even want to face the problem at all?"

Of course for this to work, the American people have to remain in the dark about what Democrats are actually saying about Iraq and about fighting global terrorism. Why just a few days ago MoveOn.Org had an online town hall meeting about Iraq, in which each candidate was asked for his plan on Iraq. And surprisingly, none of them answered "Well Gosh. I don't really have a plan." I can understand Delay disagreeing with these plans; but to claim they don't exist, well, it's kind of a lie, isn't it Senator?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Covering the Bases. An Irwin J. McIckleson Production

Greetings all. This is Irwin J. McIckleson, fictional 1920's plutocrat. I have been busy the last few days and so haven't participated here. On the plus side I crushed one of my rivals, so life is good. Paster Davis will think twice about preaching on the evils of greed in the future.

Speaking of Greed, Rubber Hose has a question on how to handle a gratuity in a restaurant if you have a charge plate. I personally don't have this problem, as I just threaten the waiter that if I am displeased with his service I will purchase and close the restaurant. I always get very good service.

A Blog about the Clock has some new information on the minds of Ravens. I like Ravens; they are very self sufficient. I have not spent a great deal of time considering the mind of a raven, but I suppose they must have one.

Scrutiny Hooligans has the news that in his local precinct, Blacks are being integrated into the party organization. Seems like that should have happened in my day, but I know it's a rarity due to the dunderheaded racial attitudes of this time. Still I suppose all times have their challenges.

And that's it for today. Have a pleasant evening.

Cheney to visit BYU

This is comforting since I went to school there, and found it a hotbed of conservativism. First time I got to answer the question "How can you be a liberal and a Mormon?" was right there in the Wilkenson Center (if memory serves).

But apparently Bush and Cheney have managed through 6 years of bad government to upset some of the students there.
Students and faculty at Brigham Young — a private university sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — are expected to adhere to an honor code, which emphasizes “being honest, living a chaste and virtuous life, abstaining from alcohol and tobacco, using clean language” and following church doctrines. They are also required to follow strict modesty guidelines for grooming and attire.

In the two weeks since the university announced that Mr. Cheney would be the speaker at the commencement on April 26, hundreds of students have attended respectful and quiet campus demonstrations about his presence, and some 3,600 students and alumni had signed petitions by Tuesday afternoon seeking a “more appropriate” replacement speaker.
Makes me proud of my ol' alma mater.

Presented with Comment

This is from Maggie Gallagher's latest article.
Rudy Giuliani has now made it perfectly clear: Electing him for president (given a Democratic Congress) will likely mean taxpayer-funded abortions and Supreme Court justices with some truly odd and unreliable views of our Constitution. No pro-lifer in good conscience can vote for Rudy.
I was initially going to present this without comment, but think it's worth noting that Guiliani is, at the moment, the most formidable Republican nominee. So it's certainly a treat to see our Republican friends determining he's not for them.

More Biblical Conservatism

I don't find this article nearly has hateful as Kevin Mucullough's yesterday, but it's still not good. It's by Michael Medved and it's about how the passover teaches us to be conservative. Apparently.
Leviticus 19:15 declares: "You shall not commit a perversion of justice: you shall not favor the poor and you shall not honor the great, with righteousness shall you judge your fellow."

. . . It should, indeed, come as a revelation and a rebuke to all liberals that Holy Scripture identifies "favoring the poor" as "a perversion of justice."

As I argued in my recent townhall column about the essence of liberalism (posted on March 21st), the outlook of the left insists upon favoring the poor and the unfortunate—and thereby injecting unfairness and discrimination into the very core of politics and government. Favoring the poor, like favoring the rich, brings unequal treatment based on status, not actions. Justice requires rewarding good behavior, no matter its source, and discouraging and punishing bad actions, no matter who performs them.
Neither Medved's interpretation of the scriptures nor his definition of liberalism seem accurate to me. Here's the problem; Medved has a medieval view of how society and particularly government works. Government does two things; judges and protects. Under those limitations, he concludes that higher taxes for the wealthy are a form of judgment that promotes the poor over the wealthy. An unjust judgment.

Of course liberals believe that Government is how we approach issues that are too big for us to tackle individually. Problems like education or poverty. The bible notes repeatedly that we are all one community. The poverty of one is a problem for everybody. So we as a society and as a people have taken steps to see fight poverty, to keep it from hurting us. It's not a matter of justice; it's not saying that the rich deserve to get punished for being wealthy. It's a societal problem, and this is the mechanism we want to employ to fix it.

I also find it hilarious that a conservative would complain that Democrats favor the poor unjustly, when on issue after issue conservatives clearly favor the rich even in matters of justice. Should we for example require companies to clean up the environmental messes they create? Republicans might say yes; but their opposition to the superfund and the EPA make it clear that they don't. Should we require companies to treat their workers justly, and create a safe working environment? Again, Republicans might say yes, but they oppose any serious effort to do so.

It All Makes Sense after the Shrooms and the Purple Haze

I just got an e-mail with this opening. "Arabs are spraying violence on the West. jews, or whatever By the way, it is obvious you, webmaster of this site, must be updating it from somewhere in France!"

Thank you.

Actually it's an attempt to get me to invest in some security or product; a spamvertisement in other words. I'm not sure about the wisdom of accusing a potential customer of updating his blog from somewhere in France. Maybe it's intended as a compliment.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Final tally

I'll probably revisit this tomorrow; but here's my impressions using the mechanism of the stock ticker.

John Edwards ↑0.05 - Edwards did good but suffers from the fact that I already am impressed by him. Unfair I know. But since I am already impressed by him, it's hard for him to go up too far. And his actual plan for Iraq lacked some of the details other candidates gave.

Joe Biden
↑0.10 - Biden went up a bit for his answer on what we need to do in Iraq; but he lost points for lack of enthusiasm and for laying it on a bit thick at the end.

Dennis Kucinich
↓0.05 - Again Kucinich lost points for laying it on thick. I know it's his big selling point that he's the only guy who was right in Iraq, but you need more than that. And I still find some of his plans a bit difficult to swallow.

Bill Richardson
↑0.20 - I'm going to admit that Richardson benefited from me not having a lot of background information on him. I've read a few profiles, but didn't have a strong feel for the guy; now I do. And my feel is generally positive.

Hillary Clinton
↑0.05 - This is actually a bigger deal for Clinton - I expected a polished performance, but I have a generally negative view of her. So she did good in my opinion. However, that's not to say that she convinced me; just that she made a good, if not convincing, case for her point of view.

Chris Dodd
↓0.05 - Dodd might have benefited from the same bounce Richardson got, but unfortunately he failed to leave an impression. I didn't know much about Dodd before his presentation and i don't have much incentive to learn more.

Barack Obama ↑0.20 - He did very well, and for my money did the best of the lot. He ties with Richardson because, again, I expect a lot out of him. But he delivered.

None of these numbers should be mistaken for my total opinion of these candidates incidentally.

Barack Obama

First question, what is the best and fastest way to get out of Iraq. He, like Kucinich, opposed this war from the start. He makes fun of McCain's walk through Baghdad. Good call in this audience. He is bringing out a lot of facts, and sounds very sharp. He wants to pressure the Sunnis and Shi'ites to work something out. We are going to have to pressure the President to get him to do the right thing.

The Bush's refusal to deal with Iran and Syria is bad, what are you going to do differently? We need to work with Iran and Syria; the whole middle east is affected by what happens in Iraq. He points out that Reagan met with the Soviets while calling them the evil empire; we should do the same. Again, very sharp.

Obama is committed to overriding the veto. He wants to give the president a shorter leash; giving approval for two or three months of war at a time while building pressure. It's not acceptable for us to give the President more carte blanche.

History is not going to judge this war good; but we haven't finished yet. We need to make the history of the end of this war positive. The American people are keeping the pressure on!

Chris Dodd

What is your plan to get our troops out of Iraq. We need to pull our troops out of Iraq and we need to abandon the idea of a military victory over there. We need to move out of taking Iraqi Oil and move towards energy independence. We should move immediately, not later.

Who should own the Iraqi Oil. Seems like a layup given his first answer. Iraqs oil belongs to the Iraqi people. Oil independence in ten years is a doable and brilliant goal. Americans are eager to be asked and to do more. I don't know about that. I think in 2001-2002 that might have been true.

Should the President seek authorization to invade Iran. Unsurprisingly Dodd does think this. If we are invaded the President can repel an invasion though.

He likes the phrase "Surge in Diplomacy Surge in Politics." Good phrase, but would have been better a few weeks ago.

Hillary Clinton

It's funny them doing a background for Hillary Clinton; I suppose you have to, but I doubt there's more than 50 in America who haven't completely made up their minds about her.

First question is what is the best and fastest way to get out of Iraq. Hillary starts by thanking us. What can we do while President Bush is in office, and what will Clinton do when she is in office. She supports the bill passed and discusses what is good about it. She is working to change course in Iraq; the reality is that you have to work with Republicans. When she is president she will end the war to Iraq.

Second question - she supports a continuing presence in Iraq to protect our interests. Pretty good question, best for her to face this head on. She does see soldiers staying there for a limited time. To protect the Kurds, to run counter terrorism missions and so on and so forth. She is opposed to a permanent presence; but they are going to continue needing troops there.

Third question - recently launched a petition to call on President Bush to not veto the bill. Will Clinton pass a bill that has no timetables in it? Apparently she doesn't want to plan on him vetoing the bill. Se wants to put pressure on the presidency. Of course it seems clear that saying that Bush won't get a bill without timetables would put more pressure on him. She also points out that she has a website.

She compliments MoveOn.Org for being so great. Kind of just like Edwards. She knows that she has to compliment the crowd I guess.

I can't answer the questions

Unfortunately. There are poll questions here. But if I could I'd say Edwards did well, but I expected that. Biden and Kucinich both performed as expected as well. Both have good points but both come off as a bit didactic. Richardson did a bit better than I expected.

Incidentally, I could be playing World of Warcraft right now. The sacrifices I make for you people.

Bill Richardson

Has been nominated for the Noble Peace Prize Times. So has Rush Limbaugh (well only once).

First question, what is the best and fastest way to end the war in Iraq. He says that if he were President, he would pull out troops by the end of the year, no residuals. He would make two diplomatic efforts to make the three parts of Iraq get together. Gosh nobody has ever thought of that before.

We also have to talk with the region, along with Iran and Syria. It will be tough to make peace with those nations, but if we pull out it might be doable. I don't know about that, but it has to be better than what we are currently doing.

Second question (from a landlord). Are you for and against funding the war? He would pass a congressional act de-authorizing the war. It's an interesting idea, but of course it's easy to say that when you aren't in Congress. Still I'm surprised nobody is talking about this idea.

Third question is whether or not American companies should keep Oil Contracts. He's not opposed to it, but thinks the decision should be the Iraqis. In other words we should make buddies with Iraq again and then let them decide to continue to work with us.

Final statement he is talking about his experience as both a legislature and an executive. He sounds really solid actually.

Dennis Kucinich

I think they are getting a lot more hits than they expected. What's his name is underlining Kucinich's Department of Peace idea; not one of his best ones.

What is the best and fastest way to end the war is to Iraq. The best plan is to adopt his plan which he put in a law. Once we declare we are going to leave, we can get the rest of the world to work on fixing Iraq. Apparently Kucinich has been opposed, is opposed and will be opposed to the war in Iraq. We should basically turn over reconstruction to the U.N. We need to fund the reconstruction, but let the U.N. run it. He references the Biden plan and calls it partitioning Iraq (which is a common reaction).

He's a bit more long winded than Biden.

He's shown the wisdom and the clarity right from the start. I do get the impression he's barely holding back saying neener neener neener I was right and you all were wrong. That said, he actually was right and everybody else was wrong.

Diplomatically we need to reach out to Syria and Iran to bring a new sense of cooperation to the region. Not sure how that will work.

He is once again mentioning that he is right and always has been.

His third question is on what he will do to get our status back. First of all we should end the war immediately. And then the president should reach out to everybody. We need to participate in international treaties to get rid of weapons and sign a bunch of international treaties.

He is mentioning again that he is the only one in the race who opposed the war and voted against funding the war.

Here's his final statement. He opposed the war in the beginning and urged congress people to oppose the war, and voting against funding the war.

I kind of get the theme he's working on. I agree that it has to be frustrating that as the one guy who was consistently right on this issue and yet seen as unrealistic. But I do think he's underlining it a little too hard.

Joe Biden

Again the first question is what is Joe Biden's plan to get out of Iraq. His question is after we pull out our troops then what? The problem in Iraq today is a cycle of violence, and there is no way to do that without moving to a federal system. To decentralize the government so that each part of Iraq has it's own power to run their own lives. A limited centralized government.

Also you have to make Iraq the worlds problem, not just our problem. That actually makes sense.

I missed a question. I can hear it, but I can't see it.

Anyway he's talking about how we need to not have permanent military bases and we shouldn't take control of Iraq's oil.

Third question is on sectarian violence, and how the Iraqi police participate in it. In effect the US is training Iraqi police. He goes back to the idea of going back to local control over local police. Which makes sense I suppose.

He is repeating his first point - we need to leave Iraq, but we need to have a plan of what to do when we leave. Actually he's making a lot of sense; but he is also underlining how he is the only candidate who has a plan to get out of Iraq. He's laying it on a little thick actually.

John Edwards

Is also a handsome man. I'm straight (and just a little bit homophobic), by the way, in case anybody is wondering.

What is the best and fastest way to get out of Iraq is the first question. He says that MoveOn has shifted the debate from if we should get out but when should we get out. Congress should use it's funding authority to end the war. He wants to get all combat troops out of Iraq in about a year.

He said we shouldn't be worried about keeping Joe Lieberman happy - interesting line. Particularly because if Joe bolts, the Senate goes back to the Republicans.

Second Question is on war profiteering. Gives Edwards a chance to go off on Haliburton and no bid contracts. Which in fairness, are two awful things.

Third question is on Murtha's proposal to force troops going to Iraq to meet real readiness requirements. John Edwards is in favor of it; which makes sense. It will make it harder to get more troops into Iraq.

His final speech is on how Congress needs to stand firm against this President. Silence is a betrayal; we need to use our voice to argue in favor of immediate action to end this war. He thinks people who participate in MoveOn are great. And I can't speak for anybody else, but I am. When I've bathed.

Eli Parser

Is a handsome man, but he's boring me. Get to the Presidential Candidates.

Eli Parser for those who don't know, is in charge of MoveOn.Org.

Tonights discussion is on Iraq.

Apparently the seven participants will be on one at a time and ask the questions they want to ask these candidates. John Edwards is up first.

The Move On Theme Song

Gets annoying after a while.

Live Blogging

I'm not going to let a little think like Musclehead McCullough get me down. Instead I'm going to participate in this here MoveOn event referenced above where they have the Democratic Candidates participating in a live Town Hall Meeting on Iran. So we'll see how that goes. I'm going to be live blogging the event, which means that my zombie slave, Mr. Chucklebones has to leave the premises. It also means that I will be writing about this event as it occurs. So look forward to that.

Somedays I just want to . . . well I'd better not say.

Here's the opening of Kevin McCulloughs latest article over at Townhall.
Liberals detest the historical fact that Jesus Christ arose from the dead.

In doing so they betray the fact, that while they may attempt to embrace the Son of God as an icon of compassion, they have little actual intellectually honest use for the message or meaning of what He represented while on the earth. This rejection, hate, and rebellion against God neither lessens His reality, nor justifies their actions, attitudes, and behaviors in this life.

The worldview of modern liberalism is dependent upon a central truth- that God is either nonexistent or irrelevant.
What do you do with that? Point out that millions of Liberal Christians believe that they are supporting liberal policies precisely because that is what they believe God expects of them? No point. In McCullough's mind and the mind of his readers virtue is reserved for Conservatives. Liberals are nothing but vice, sin and corruption, forever and ever. Amen.

I'm so tired of being tired.

There's not much more to the article than what I've quoted. McCullough bears his testimony of the risen Lord, interjecting slams at Liberals at every opportunity. It's almost like he's trying to incite hatred against Liberals.

Frankly I'm not sure what McCullough believes more, that Christ rose on the third day or that Liberals are evil.

Conservatives Dissappointed that We Missed the Chance for War

Or at least that's what I'm taking away from this article by Dennis Prager. In it he chastises Great Britain for not being willing to sacrifice the hostages to show Iran that they are still bad-ass. Or at least that's how I read this complaint.
What does seem clear, however, is that the British government did not confront the Iranians in any way reminiscent of a great country, let alone of Britain's great past. If we judge the British government's reaction alone -- without any reference to the behavior of the British sailors and marines -- Iran was the feared power, not Great Britain, which acted like the supplicant.
Prager also criticizes these sailors and marines for being cowardly enough to get caught in the first place and for selling their stories after they were released. It's nice and noble to believe that they shouldn't do that; but come on. Soldiers aren't overpaid anywhere, and the sort of people who become soldiers usually aren't loaded either. So they get a chance at the brass ring? A chance to make a lot of money for themselves and their families? I'm not going to fault them for grabbing ahold of it.

Since a "happy" ending for Prager would have had those marines and sailors dead and the US and Great Britain at war with Iran, I'm not sure they should spend a lot of time worrying about his disappointment in them.

Monday, April 09, 2007

A Mormon in the White House

I find myself approaching the Mitt Romney campaign with mixed feelings. On the one hand, certainly it would be nice to see a Mormon do well (as I am also a Mormon).

On the other hand Romney is a conservative Republican and I am a moderately liberal Democrat. And it seems clear that he is willing to switch his positions willy nilly to get votes. He had an opinion on Abortion which he changed. He claims it was just in response to growth; but it's easy enough to note that he had one opinion when he was trying to get the governorship of a very liberal state, and another when he was running for the Republican primary. Just recently he tried to claim he had been a lifelong hunter on the basis of two hunting trips - one at age 11 and another recently. I certainly don't want him to win the presidency. I'd much rather see Clinton or Edwards or Obama in the white house than that particular Mormon.

Still it's clear that our shared religion is going to play a role in the upcoming campaign. Dr. Charles Dunn has written an article on the parallels between his campaign and President Kennedy's. Specifically how Kennedy won, running as the first Catholic President and how Romney can win running as the first Mormon President.

While there are some interesting parallels, there are some things that aren't the same as well. Specifically Kennedy was bringing something new to America. Now in retrospect it might have largely been rhetorical, but he created an image of change, of hope. Romney, on the other hand, is bringing us the same failed policies of the Bush Administration. If you like how President Bush has run this country, and not many of you do, you'll love what Romney's going to do. It's the same damn thing, more or less.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Event Coming Up

On Tuesday MoveOn.Org will be holding an event at which you can interact with all of the Dem Candidates. Hence the banner up above. I intend to watch it, hope you do too.

Friday, April 06, 2007

For those Curious

There's a picture of me over at my other site, Seventy Sketches. Taken this very afternoon.

My Brain is Tired

I can't concentrate today very well because my brain no longer functions well. I did not sleep well last night; I think I might be feeling guilty about those nuns. But I'll get over it.

Fortunately my brain is working well enough to note David Limbaugh is a filthy liar who sponges off the fame of his brother. Poor bastiche. His latest article is about how awful it was that Nancy Pelosi went to Syria less than a week after three Republican Congresscritters visited Syria. Apparently her visit was extra bad because she's a liberal Democrat. Honesty forces me to note that had she not gone to Syria she would probably still have been a liberal Democrat.

Limbaugh also reveals what he believes the President wants in his foreign policy; constant belligerence; " . . . the president has emphasized he does not want to negotiate with Syria, a nation that is supporting our enemies in Iraq, sponsoring Hamas and Islamic Jihad organizations, provides weapons to Hezbollah, is a proxy of Iran and is dedicated to the destruction of our ally, Israel." I guess that's that. I suppose if he does not want a peaceful resolution to our differences with Syria, he must want some other type of resolution.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Covering the Bases. An Irwin J. McIckleson Production

Greetings this is Irwin J. McIckleson, a fictional 1920s plutocrat. I'd like to remind you that just because I'm fictional it doesn't mean I don't have feelings. I run the whole gamut of emotions from vengeful rage at those who cross me to tender sentiments towards my sweetheart Mrs. Pinksington. Mostly I feel a lot of greed, but I have all the emotions a normal person in my position possesses.

Now on to the Blogs.

Musings Musings has the suggestion that the President might want to decrease his animosity towards Congress and accept the limitations they are asking him to labor under. Under normal circumstances I'd be opposed to this suggestion; being a plutocrat means accepting no limitations. But President Bush is clearly a dunderhead, so I think in this case he should follow Congress's lead.

Pen-Elayne on the Web has a very well written and affecting piece on a friend and the practice of forgetting one's past. I have tried to remember as much as possible, but a liftime of focusing on the bottom line has left me with precious little space for remembering old friends and or puppies.
I think I had a sled once.

Rook's Rant has commentary on the news that Iran and Great Britain have worked out a crisis in which British Navel men were held prisoner by Iran. The crisis was resolved peacefully which seems preferable to the alternative.

And that's it for today - have an enjoyable evening.

The Type of Liberals Fox Hires

Been meaning to point you guys to this article for a few days. It's an article about what kind of liberals appear on Fox.
But if one actually watches a lot of Fox News, the in-house Democrats don't come off as effective evangelists for their party or for liberal politics in general. It sounds harsh, but think of most of the Fox Democrats, at least those who appear on the opinion shows, which take up half the network's airtime, as one of three types. They are either scary liberals, losers or enablers. Representatives of each type may score some points for Democrats when they appear on-air, but ultimately they help further Fox's larger narrative about Democrats and liberals and what they stand for.
Italics are mine. Anyway the article is worth checking out.

While you are there you might also read this post by Glenn Greenwald on how dissatisfying it must be for Newt Gingrich and other Conservatoids that the situation in Iran has been resolved without violence (so far anyway).

Ann Coulter's Brain No Longer Functions Effectively

Scientists have concluded that Ann Coulter's Brain, which was not working all that well before, has now completely given up. It's the only explanation for her latest article, which even under the very loose standards of making sense she applied before, completely fails. Consider this line, and wonder at the madness behind it.
Moses had to grab Jews by the scruff of their necks and drag them to the desert for 40 years to get a generation capable of living in freedom -- and even then the Jews were complaining about it being too drafty. The first "stiff-necked" generation didn't even want to leave Egyptian captivity.

Once free, they complained about the food, which apparently compared unfavorably to th
ee food back in Egypt. Kind of reminds you of liberals talking about Saddam's rape rooms.I think the point is that just like the Hebrews missed the food they got back in Egypt, we American Liberals miss getting raped in Saddam's rape rooms.

I for one don't miss getting raped in Saddam's rape room. Actually I found that most unpleasant. Wait, I'm thinking of eating at Arbys. I never was raped in Saddam's Rap Rooms. Why I'll bet most liberals weren't raped in Saddam's Rape Rooms.

Coulter wants to pretend that we Liberals miss Saddam, which is in fact not the case. She compares Americans and specifically American Liberals to the Israelites being led around in the desert. Again, it's a strained metaphor. The stress we liberals undergo is the stress of watching our relatives and countrymen dying in an unjust war, and contemplating the suffering of the Iraqi people that has been caused in our name. It's called compassion.

Ironically compassion is also taught by the Passover, as witnessed by Deuteronomy 10:19. "Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt."

This is not a biblical virtue of much interest to Coulter, who spends the first part of her article mocking the Genocide in Darfur and those who find it appalling.
These people can't even wrap up genocide. We've been hearing about this slaughter in Darfur forever -- and they still haven't finished. The aggressors are moving like termites across that country. It's like genocide by committee. Who's running this holocaust in Darfur, FEMA?
I was a stranger in Egypt (metaphorically not literally) and so I can't stand aside and see the slaughter in Darfur or in Iraq without wanting to help. Ann Coulter has apparently never been to Egypt; I suspect she's been hanging around Babylon.

Oh and she's nuts too, in case I didn't mention that earlier.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Permission to Think it Through Granted

My brother responded to this post down the blog.
I'm a bit torn on this issue. On the one hand, denying funding for the war would potentially put our ground troops in danger, and might not be the wisest choice for the country in the short term. On the other hand, this presidency has made it abundantly clear that it intends to carry out agenda regardless of what the american people and congress think, and consistantly uses the troops as a shield against any action that congress might take.

It's a bit like some friends of mine that live (along with their young children) with their parents/inlaws and refuse to make any substantive effort to move out at any point in the forseeable future. The parents are fed up with it, but they won't put their grandkids at risk by actually booting the freeloaders out to fend for themselves and grow up. You're stuck: Either you do the right thing for the moment and perpetuate/enable the irresponsible behavior, or you take a path that looks horrible up front, but presents hope for the future.

Here's the thing though: Cutting off funds doesn't put the troops at risk, any more than kicking the kids out of the house really puts the grandkids at risk. It means you have to curtail your behavior and spend your money wisely. In the case of the war, it means that (if the President is responsible) the war ends. No money = we leave. Now, the president could decide to continue to field an under-funded force, but that would be his mistake, not Congress'. This really isn't about Congress sending our troops out to fight without bullets. All the whining and complaining coming out of the White House is essentially analogous to your average 4 year old flailing about on the floor and screaming because Mommy said "no".

Frankly, I think it's about time that someone reigned in our spoiled brat of an executive branch.
His comments reminded me off this Doonesbury strip. Can't post it here without it being unreadable, but if you would click that link you could read it.

Also watch that Mint Royale Video. Now!

Politics is Hard

The proof? A group of 30 or so protesters at an anti-war rally in Portland Oregon lit an effigy of an American Soldier on Fire. This is the point of William Rusher's latest article.

First of all some background. A college student (and reporter at her college paper) posted some pictures of an anti rally. According to her, a few protesters (about 30) broke off from the main group and did this soldier effigy burning. She snapped some pictures of it, and put them in her picture book, where they have since burned through the Conservative Blog-O-Sphere.

Let me point out that burning soldiers in effigy is not cool, and those who participated in the act should be ashamed of themselves.

But of course this is the final straw for poor William Rusher.
I have tended to resist the arguments of friends of mine who insist that American politics have recently become uglier than they have ever been before. But an incident in Portland, Ore., on Sunday, March 25, does suggest that we may have passed a fateful turning point in our national dialogue.

On that day, several thousand antiwar protesters marched through Portland, most of them behaving the way protesters do on such occasions. According to the Portland Oregonian, however, "a handful of people set afire a uniformed effigy of a U.S. soldier and an upside-down flag." A Web site provided further details: "Photos taken by Rachel Palinkas, a Linfield College student, showed masked protesters burning an effigy of what appears to be a U.S. soldier. ... The photos showed protesters gathered around a figure wearing U.S. military fatigues and a crude skull for a head as it and an American flag were lit on fire. Other black-clad, masked protesters carried a black banner that read, 'No Gods, no country, no masters,' and a circle 'A' anarchy symbol."

Now, burning an effigy of an American soldier is not, as far as I know, something we have seen before in this country. Together with the slogan on the banner, it seems determined to push defiance of the United States and its values to the furthest imaginable extreme.
Yeah it really is shocking that college anarchists do thinks that are irresponsible, nasty, and rotten. And the fact that such things happen are proof that Liberalism is rotten to the core. And that discourse in our party has gotten too nasty. Because a few garden variety anarchists in Portland are clearly representative of liberalism as a whole.

What's funny about this article is how the dink writing it has to pretend that there is a connection between what these Anarchists did and the mainstream of American political discourse (quick quiz; name one prominent American Anarchist who isn't in a band of one sort or the other).

But he also wants to pretend to be even handed. So he talks about technological innovations that make such protests possible. You see these protesters were masked, so they didn't have to worry about the possibility of being attacked for their inappropriate protests. And the mask having been invented about the same time as the weblog, this sort of protest is a clearly a brand new type of protest that would have been impossible in generations past.

Anyway I do feel sorry for Mr. Rusher having just realized how vicious and polarizing some rhetoric is. On the other hand it is kind of nice that he has been spared having to read Ann Coulter.

Dick Morris enourages President Bush to play games with funding the troops

Dick Morris's analysis of the current showdown between Congress and the President is that the President holds all the cards. Congress won't actually defund the war, so all he has to do is wait it out and remain intractable, and eventually Pelosi will be put in the embarrassing position of begging her coalition to vote for a bill to fund the war and making peace with the Republicans.
But the consequences for Pelosi of a retreat will be serious: She'll leave behind her the party's left - who will never vote for funding without also mandating withdrawal. Pelosi will have to scramble and craft a majority with a combination of Republican votes and support from the center of her own party.

The speaker will probably wind up having to vote against the majority of her Democratic members. That spectacle won't be healthy for her future authority or control.

If the Republicans are smart, they will let Pelosi hang by her own rope and will force her to break her party apart by twisting arms for every last vote to pass a funding bill.
I am not sure I agree with Morris the political whore's political judgment in this case. One thing you always wonder about with Morris the political whore is who is paying for his services. By now though Morris has a sugar daddy in the Republican Party which is why his sharp political senses can be counted on to discover that the Democrats are both immoral and stupid.

In this case I think he discounts institutional rivalry. President Bush has been thumbing his nose at congress for six years and it might well catch up with him. I think he also underestimates the desire of the American people to see this war end; but that's common among Republicans these days.

Morris believes that if the President and his allies in congress refuse to sign a troop funding bill until they've sufficiently humiliated Speaker Pelosi that the American people will interpret that as being Pelosi's fault. Color me doubtful.

What I find amusing about this situation is that Republicans have, for weeks now, been complaining that the constitutional power that Congress has, the one that not even the President questions, is the power of the purse. They can stop funding the war at any time. Now that it looks like we are closer to that option, well, maybe they want to question it after all.