Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday Beats - Lemon Jelly, "Lost Horizons"

Lemon Jelly is a laid back down tempo electronica group, known for their lush beats and attention to packaging detail. They put out three readily available CDs:, Lost Horizons and '64-'95. The first is a collection of their first three EPs, and has some great tracks on it. The third is a halfway successful concept album, that doesn't work as well as it should. They have sense broken up to pursue individual interests so it appears that "Lost Horizons" will stand as the pinnacle of their art.

And what a pinnacle it is. It's 8 fairly longish songs and they are all quite good with several being brilliant. It starts with the languid "Elements" but then moves into the one two tracks of "Space Walk" and "Ramblin' Man." It's cliche to suggest that a piece of music can take you on a voyage but both these tracks accomplish that. Return to Patagonia moves along similarly, although it's a more atmospheric, dark journey.

Then comes the funny but fun track "Nice Weather for Ducks" (which has an awesome video, just not quite as awesome as the one for "Space Walk").

"Experiment No. 6" is a little too clausterphobic for me to enjoy, but it's certainly not a bad track. And "Closer" and "The Curse of Ka'Zar" are both peaceful flowing songs that are just nice.

Here's the video for "Space Walk," it's actually a really good one.

"One of our singular achievements here is that we have made the word 'liberal' a dirty word."

Another great quote from Limbaugh, who I'm not done with yet. Just because I heard this argument yesterday and it struck me as notable, but didn't fit into my earlier rant.
It happened yesterday afternoon, some guy named Ward Sloane. Have you ever heard of Ward Sloane? I haven't, either. "In a way, it's sad that people like Rush Limbaugh... are today's mouthpieces for conservatism. What a far leap they are from the quick witted and smart Buckley. I think it's fair to say that even Buckley's ideological enemies admired him and respected him. That's because Buckley was not a hate monger; he was a serious-minded person who made reasoned and rational arguments for his cause. No apologies to Limbaugh... or [his] listeners and adherents -- they are no substitute for Buckley's class and intellectualism." Okay, I have a question for you, Mr. Sloane. If Mr. Buckley made reasoned and rational arguments for his cause, and he was very smart, why, Mr. Sloane, are you still a liberal? Why, Mr. Sloane, do you not list some of Mr. Buckley's better conservative arguments? If he was so brilliant, and if he was so admired and so respected and so quick-witted and so smart, then how come you are still a liberal, and how come you can't cite the brilliant arguments that Buckley made?

The truth is, all of these people like this clown, Ward Sloane or Richard Corliss, and I'm sure you've read similar entries such as this. The truth is that all of these liberals would love it if all conservatives would just shut up. We would be easier to ignore. That's what they mean when they talk about civilized and mild-mannered. The point is, these people can't win these debates. They can't win these arguments, and so they want us to shut up.
Yep. Rush Limbaugh cannot conceive of someone respecting someone they disagree with. This is because he cannot do it himself. He can profess to respect people he disagrees with, but sooner or later his real feelings come out.

In Limbaugh's mind, people who disagree with him are corrupt, crazy, or ignorant. There's no other explanation for failing to come to the same self evident truths he professes.

They are all Limbaugh Conservatives

There are various types of Conservatives. Not as many as there are types of liberals, but still a few.
  1. Paleo-Conservatives or Northeastern Conservatives - largely focus on economic conservativism, trimming the federal budget, lowering taxes, decorum in public life.
  2. Fiscal Conservatives or Business Conservatives - like Paleo Conservatives but more focused on lowering taxes and eliminating governmental regulation.
  3. Libertarian Conservatives - again similar, largely focused on economic and domestic issues, want to eliminate government regulation entirely, and most taxation as well. Favor a government that doesn't get involved with peoples lives.
  4. Neo-Conservative - uninterested in domestic issues (well to be more precise, they have a variety of views on domestic issues; their point of agreement is foreign policy), but believe in a strong America who is expressing it's military might to tame the middle east and protect Israel.
  5. Christian Conservatives - want to see the Government more respectful towards Christians, want the power to inflict their personal conduct codes on the rest of us, want to protect Israel so we can have a bang up end of the world.
  6. Limbaugh Conservatives - largely defined by hatred of liberals, their number one goal is the defeat and elimination of liberals, usually in warlike imagery.
Here's a quote from the penultimate Limbaugh Conservative, Rush Limbaugh.
Senator McCain should start pretending that liberal Democrats are conservative Republicans, and then he can cuss them out and throw them under his bus. Because if anybody needs to be thrown under his bus, it's liberal Democrats.
We'll just assume that he means that in a rhetorical sense.

Limbaugh is very open and clear in what he wants - the elimination of Liberalism. There was a time when he was ok with saving two for each zoo, but now I'm not sure he even wants that many still around. And out of the Limbaugh Conservatives, Limbaugh himself is fairly moderate (he's not, for example, using the "Barack Hussein Obama" formulation).

Limbaugh Conservatives want to get rid of Liberals, so I'm guessing it's ok for me to be pissed at them? Eh? Or do I have to act like the the media figures in this cartoon, and politely look the other way while Limbaugh and his ilk condemn me and strive to eliminate me and people who think like me from the political discourse?

But wait, you say. There are lots of other Conservatives. Is it really fair to attack all conservatives for the sins of the Limbaugh Conservatives? The surprising answer is yeah. Totally. Why you say?

Fuck 'em. That's why.

Wait, that's probably not a complete answer. Because the other branches of Conservatives more or less agree with the Limbaugh Republicans, with the possible exception of the North Eastern Conservatives and the Libertarian Conservatives. But even those branches are pretty good at keeping their mouth shut. They are benefiting happily from the hatred and bile of the Limbaugh Conservative.

So what I am asked to do is pretend that a lot of people benefiting from hatred towards me and people like me are really innocent. If they are innocent let them condemn the Ann Coulters and Rush Limbaughs of the world. But they won't.

Meanwhile Democrats are practically required to condemn the Michael Moores and Al Frankens of the world; who are light years more moderate than Limbaugh. That's the sort of double standard that pisses me off.

In conclusion those of you who are waiting for me to go easy on Conservatives or be nicer to them probably have a good long wait ahead of you. The best you get is I'll be fair to them, and even that is more than they'd give me.

Can there be peace between McCain and Conservative Talk Show Hosts?

I hope not. But Mike Gallagher is giving it a try with his latest article imploring McCain not to be upset at Conservative Talk Show Hosts for attacking his opponents.
Was it you, sir? You actually felt a need to formally apologize for a speaker to refer to Obama by his full name?

I spoke to Bill Cunningham right after this entire episode. As you might have heard, he is now positively furious with you. I believe his exact words were, “There is now no way I will vote for Juan Pablo McCain after he threw me under the wheels of the Straight Talk Express Bus.”
There was an article yesterday at Salon about how many Presidents and notable Americans we've celebrated who had Semetic Names. It urged Obama to be proud of his middle name, which is Hussein. Kind of misses the point in my opinion. When Cunningham underlines Obama's middle name it's to paint Obama as foreign and muslim and therefore unworthy of being President. And while you and me are smart enough to see through that ploy, Cunningham and his listeners aren't.

But back to Gallagher, Limbaugh Conservatives want a candidate who will really stick it to liberals. They want a Candidate who will run as dirty a campaign as possible; to the Limbaugh Conservative we are to be defeated and eliminated, not gotten along with. That doesn't seem to be McCain's style, but he's made so many changes over the last few years maybe he'll come around on this one as well.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I just need to get to know Conservatives better

That's my problem. I have this negative attitude about Conservatives; a biased false opinion. Maybe I need to try to connect with them on a subject dear to my heart --> humor! I love a good joke. So let's look at some of these hilarious t-shirts, put out by

Well see that's funny. It counterpoints a song by John Lennon, known liberal, with the idea of eliminating people who think like me. Har har har.

Wait here's one that's even better.

Double Har Har Har. The best thing about me, from a conservative point of view is that someday I'll be dead. Gosh, I can see why I would want to really get in touch with conservatism.

Limbaugh Lays into McCain

I referenced this yesterday, but here's the quote and the link.
You just gotta stop accepting the premises of the left, folks, and I'll tell you this business of going out of your way to please the Drive-By Media, throwing your own supporters under the bus. If McCain was unhappy with what Cunningham said, there's a better way of dealing with this than to go out and throw him under the bus this way. There's a better way of dealing with it. (doing McCain impression) "I didn't hear it, so I can't tell you, but I'm going to find out. I'm going to find what was said, talk to this guy, and I'll get back to you." But no, throw the guy under the bus.
So there you go.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I-Pod 10 - All Edition

1. All Alone - Gorillaz
2. All Along the Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix
3. All Apologies - Nirvana
4. All Day Long - New Order
5. All I Need - Air
6. All I Want is You - U2
7. All Mine - Portishead
8. All Saints Day - Severed Heads
9. All That Money Wants - Psychedelic Furs
10. All You Need is Love - The Beatles

notable runners up - "All Systems a Go Go" by The Januaries, "All in All" by Toad the Wet Sprocket, "All This Time" by Sting, "All She Wants Is" by Duran Duran and "All Neon Like" by Bjork. Probably others too.

McCain Stepped In It Again

For those who don't know, yesterday John McCain was introduced by Bill Cunningham, a conservative talk radio host. Cunningham, who has called Barack Obama "Barack Muhammad Hussein Obama," shortened it down to his actual name, which is Barack Hussein Obama. Of course calling Obama Barack Hussein Obama isn't exactly great either, as the reason for doing it is to plant the idea that Obama is a Muslim, a foreigner or both.

Anyway McCain, having heard of these remarks, chose to speak out against them, calling his two opponents honorable people and all. So good on McCain.

At this point it's probably wise to point out that despite my several positive stories about McCain, the fact is he has whole heartedly supported and promoted the Bush War Madness, and as such we will not be voting for him and we advise you not to vote for him either. But in the spirit of fair play we will pass on positive stories about him.

So Cunningham got out of line, and McCain distanced himself from his comments. Or, as Rush Limbaugh puts it, McCain threw Bill Cunningham under the straight talk express. I don't have a link for this yet, but yeah, Rush was pretty upset at the idea that McCain would attack a fellow Republican rather than a liberal (like Obama). He also personalized the issue (as Rush is wont to do) by saying it was McCain trying to make it up to the media for having courted people like him.

The whole thing is mordantly amusing; McCain can't help angrying up Rush, so he may as well try to pull the wool over liberals and moderates, I guess.

Society is Over

Mike Gallagher is upset that not one American one an award for Acting in the recent Academy Awards. Yes out of four actors selected, not one was American.
I might be overreaching here, but does it make sense that there wasn't a single American actor in 2007 worthy of an Academy Award?

We frequently talk about our vanishing culture. The English language, the customs, the American traditions, all slowly evaporating.

It seems to me that realizing that every single acting award at the Oscars went to foreign actors is a pretty compelling sign of the times...
Personally I think we all out to start learning Mexican just in case. Or maybe Swahili or Mandarin. I mean clearly the victory of a Frenchwoman, a Spaniard, and two Englishpeople portends the death of Western Civilization.

The Defense of John McCain

Well Robert Scheer has come out with a defense of McCain against that skeevy New York Times article last year. And it's a pretty persuasive defense at that.
Vicki Iseman, the lobbyist in question, is praised on her company’s Web site for her “extensive experience in telecommunications, representing corporations before the House and Senate Commerce Committees,” and for “her work on the landmark 1992 and 1996 communications bills.” Now that’s a biggie, because the 1996 legislation, although you would never have learned this from the mainstream media at the time, opened the floodgates for massive media consolidation, thus rewarding media moguls for their many millions in campaign contributions. McCain was a big player on that Commerce Committee at the time, and I expected a Times revelation as to just how Iseman got McCain to help gift the media barons with their dream legislation.

The revelation never came, because the annoying reality is that McCain was one of the rare Senate opponents of the telecom bill that Iseman was pushing-as opposed to The New York Times, which like every other major media outlet pushed for the legislation (in the case of the Times, without ever conceding its own corporation’s financial bias in the matter). McCain was one of five senators (and the sole Republican) who, along with Democrats Russ Feingold, Patrick Leahy, Paul Simon and the great Paul Wellstone, voted against the atrocious legislation, which President Bill Clinton signed into law.
Ooops. You say that McCain failed to support Iseman's signature issue? If you are writing an article about the corruption of John McCain, well, I guess it is best to leave that little tidbit out.

Lest you think I'm getting to pro-McCain, let's look at Scheer's last paragraph.
It’s not easy to maintain an evenhanded appraisal of McCain as he appropriates the Bush mantle. Of course, I wouldn’t vote for him; he is willing to let the Iraq war go on for a hundred years, and at the rate of at least $200 billion a year, that makes a mockery of his efforts to defeat earmarks and other wasteful government spending-beginning with the massive waste in the Pentagon budget that he has done so much to expose. His capitulation on President Bush’s use of torture is even more appalling. But it is absurd to attempt to pigeonhole McCain as a patsy for corporate lobbyists when he has been in the forefront of key efforts to challenge their power.
He's not wrong.

We must Suppot Israel whether they like it or not!

Glenn Greenwald's latest post takes on the theory that supporting Israel in America means, well, disagreeing with a hell of a lot of Israelis.
How can that view be equated with being "pro-Israel" or "strongly supportive of Israel" if most Israelis think it's destructive to their interests? That's similar to the "reasoning" which has long claimed that we must continue to occupy Iraq for the good of the Iraqi people even though the vast majority of actual Iraqis have long favored a quick end to our occupation of their country. How can withdrawal from Iraq be deemed a betrayal of Iraqis when Iraqis themselves favor that? And how can views with many Israelis hold possibly be deemed "anti-Israel"?
I suppose we wise and noble Americans know what is best for Iraq and Israel.

There are more points of view than mine

In reviewing Medved's piece I thought it was pretty even handed from the perspective of a right wing anti-Islamic guy. But apparently he didn't slam Islam quite enough from the perspective of his audience.

The United States and the West is not at war with Islam. Islam is at war with us.


Islam is not a religion but an evil, political, military ideology.
That's in the reader comments from personalrep1, who certainly sounds like a nincompoop.

There's your Republican base. I guess I'm pretty happy being out of touch with them.

Is Islam Itself the Enemy?

This is the title of Michael Medved's latest article, and in a surprising twist of fate, it is also the subject of said article. His answer? Sort of but we are better off not saying that.
For Christianity, however, the worst excesses of violent fanaticism in the name of faith occurred four hundred years ago while for Islam they took place yesterday – with suicide bombings, riots, mutilations and tyrannical theocracies in every corner of the globe. No fair-minded person can look at the role played by Muslim faith in contemporary politics, economics, culture, or human rights without questioning the frequently dysfunctional nature of Islamic ideas.

Nevertheless, any public proclamation of overall enmity toward Islam would harm America’s cause in the world at large and undermine our security at home.

. . . Recognizing that we simply can’t succeed in “a war against Islam” isn’t to say that the followers of Mohammed have built “a religion of peace,” or even that Islam deserves identical respect to other great religions.
So there you have it. For the record he notes that publically declaring war on Islam would be a bad idea; but he's fine with insulting Islam and declaring it a second rate religion.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Nader - what else can you say?

Bob Herberts latest article over at the Times is about Nader once again throwing his hat in the ring. It's a pretty good one; respectful of the guys accomplishments while pointing out that his continual runs hurt the very issues he cares about.
And while he will deny with every bit of energy he can muster (like a man protesting too much) that he was responsible for tossing the presidential election to George W. Bush in 2000, it’s very difficult to make the case that the end result wouldn’t have been different if Mr. Nader had not run.

It would have been impossible to believe during his heyday that Ralph Nader could be despised by many Democrats and progressives, that he would become a target of their ridicule and vitriol. He is now widely viewed as a hapless perennial candidate with no political upside and the ever-present potential of throwing an election the wrong way.

. . . The conventional wisdom is that Mr. Nader’s candidacy won’t have much of an effect this year. But conventional wisdom has already been turned on its head repeatedly in this campaign.
I have to second all that. Nader has the right to run, of course. But I have the right to disapprove of his run. And I do.

Let's vote for a guy!

Edward McClelland, over at Salon, takes on the sticky issue of gender politics in the current election.
In most cases, the Obama-McCain guys don't prefer the male candidates because they explicitly, or consciously, want to keep the presidency an all-male club. But when they talk about McCain and Obama, they bring up characteristics that guys admire in other guys: independence, plain-spokenness, charisma, a willingness to take a stand, an ability to gain the country's respect. They don't object to a woman in the White House, they say. They just object to Hillary. Even though, in this election, that's the same thing.

. . . Yet Obama also wants the government involved in healthcare. McCain thinks it should stay private. Obama wants to raise the minimum wage every year. McCain voted to abolish it. Obama wants to bring our troops back from Iraq by 2010. McCain says they may stay another 100 years. Obama is a dovish, big-government liberal who takes the kinds of positions that have earned Democrats the "Mommy Party" label. But he's not suffering for it the way Hillary Clinton is. He's not even suffering the way other male Democrats have. Al Gore was mocked for the fashion consultant who put him in "alpha male" outfits, John Kerry for his sugar-mama wife. Obama is especially popular with men under 45, beating McCain by 7 points.
I'm not entirely sure what to make of this. I think there's some validity to the criticism that McCain and Obama really are very different candidates and Obama is, well, a lot more like Hillary Clinton than John McCain. If you like Obama's positions, than why would you move to McCain rather than Hillary?

Monday, February 25, 2008

GOP Poetry

The title of Harry R. Jackson Jr.'s latest article? "The GOP Needs Political Viagra."

Yeah. I can see that.

Anyway his book is about how the GOP should start servicing their evangelical community; the so called religious right.

No not in that way - they should support the kind of programs and ideas that the religious right supports.

But of course they totally don't. Where else is the religious right going to go?

Absurdist Poetry

My arms embraced her in automaticcloser;
latecomers hurried to their places.

From Spam; I didn't write it.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Republican Freakshow

Kind of a nasty term, but perhaps appropriate, it appears in a post at the Politico suggesting that Obama might not realize what he's up against on the Republican side of the fence. The article notes the smears last year referencing Obama being a Muslim (he's not) and the problem this week with Michelle Obama's poorly chosen words.
Kerry and his top aides didn't want to elevate the attacks of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth by forcefully rebutting them. And the Swifties didn't exactly garner much attention when they launched their campaign in the summer of 2004. The elite newspapers and network newscasts initially gave them only the most cursory mention. Plus, Kerry was riding high after his military-bedecked convention. Why dignify a few fringe voices?

But as Kerry learned too late, the politico-media world has changed. Obama may not want to play by the rules of the Drudge-Limbaugh-Fox News axis, but their influence is as real as the voters they reach.

More ominous for Obama is that his general election opponent in waiting appears to appreciate the opportunities afforded by the new media forces.

The right-wing media voices may not have any great affection for John McCain, but the senator and some of his top advisers have been around long enough to know that most of these conservatives loathe liberals even more.
It's undeniable that Limbaugh and Coulter wield a large bat with their followers. But the question is whether or not that influence can spill out into the general populace? It did in 2004 but I don't think the dynamic is the same.


I'm no head shrinker, but I think Rush might be doing a little of that there projecting in this quote.
We're not going to advance our agenda by walking across the aisle, sitting down with them, putting our arms around them, and helping them write their legislation so that they will think we are good people. They want to defeat us. They have no desire for us to be anything more than a little Chihuahua yapping at their heels.
I think Rush is justifying what he wants to do to us (and the image of Chihauhua's is pretty good, I have to admit) but claiming that we want to do it to him. It's a psychological defense against feeling bad when you have to do some thing rotten - just assume that the person or people you are doing it to are planning to do something just as bad or worse to you.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Apparently the Times has been working on the story on McCain below for a while; according to the New Republic they were doing a story on the Times which would cover the back and forth on why they were dragging their feet on publishing this story. Apparently the Times wanted to get the story out there rather than look indecisive?

From Salon's War Room.

For those who don't know

There's an article out today, at the New York Times, suggesting that McCain may have had an overly friendly relationship with a lobbyist. I'm not sure this is that smoking a gun, but it's worth knowing about.
A female lobbyist had been turning up with him at fund-raisers, visiting his offices and accompanying him on a client’s corporate jet. Convinced the relationship had become romantic, some of his top advisers intervened to protect the candidate from himself — instructing staff members to block the woman’s access, privately warning her away and repeatedly confronting him, several people involved in the campaign said on the condition of anonymity.
The theme of the argument is that McCain is so sure of his ethical integrity that he doesn't stop to think how his actions look. If there is any evidence of wrongdoing, I don't see it, but there is evidence of a certain lack of judgment.

At any rate it doesn't seem like there's all that much there.

Obama and the World

Now that Edwards is out, I support Barack Obama (despite my subconscious desire to jam another "r" into his name). It's hearting to read that Barack Obama might possess some advantages his competitors (Hillary Clinton and John McCain) don't have, when it comes to dealing with the Islamic world. Or so an article by Hooman Majd over at Salon argues.
A crucial question about who should be the next president is whether Obama, Hillary Clinton or John McCain is most likely to be able to heal the rift between the U.S. and much of the rest of the world, a rift not created but dangerously widened by the administration of George W. Bush. What is abundantly clear now -- at least to many foreigners and particularly to Muslims in the Third World -- is that Barack Obama is the candidate by far the best suited to begin healing that rift and restoring America's global reputation, and perhaps even to begin reversing decades of anti-Americanism. Obama would begin a presidency with a huge advantage in terms of world perception.
Of course there are plenty of Americans who don't see any difference between the terrorists who are blowing us up and any other Muslim; they aren't going to cotton to this possibility seeing it as us wanting to negotiated with people who want to kill us.

Still it seems like the middle east is going to be a trouble spot in American Diplomacy for the foreseeable future; so there's nothing wrong with getting a bit of a handle on this area.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

A Bold Accusation

Ben Shapiro, Boy Prognosticator, has made a startling accusation of Senator Barack Obama. Apparently there have been six incidents in which people attending Obama rallies fainted. Well young Ben thinks these incidents might be staged.
I don't mean to suggest that all this is staged. I'm saying it straight out: It's staged. Obama is supposedly Mr. Authentic -- the man who naturally radiates charisma and magnetic charm. His pheromones are so powerful they strike unwitting audience members into a stupor. He's the Beatles. He's Elvis. More than anything, he's the new JFK, a young, vibrant leader who will lead America into a bright new future.

Shapiro doesn't provide any evidence that such events are actually happening, nor does he provide any evidence that this is actually being staged. So I can't verify this story at all.

I will note that such events usually do involve large crowds and are occasionally not as well ventilated as they should be; so it's easy enough for me to think maybe the fainting wasn't caused by Obama's magic magnetism but by simple heat exhaustion.

I also note that Shapiro apparently lost his radio show; as his bio now lists his accomplishments as being a regular guest on radio shows. Guess that's better than nothing.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Mordantly Funny

Caught a few minutes of the Sean Hannity show as I was out and about this afternoon - they had Dick Morris on who was noting that President Bush had taken enormous and far reaching executive powers to himself, which was ok because President Bush could be trusted with those powers. Unfortunately it looks like there is a chance that those powers will drop down to the hated Hillary Clinton, and he's warning America in the strongest possible terms that they must not let this happen.

Had this possibility really never occurred to him before? And if not, doesn't that mean that he's, well, kind of stupid?

I-Pod 10

1. "Do You Believe in Shame" - Duran Duran
2. "These Foolish Things" - Lester Young with the Oscar Peterson Trio
3. "Flying" - The Telescopes
4. "Only You" - Portishead
5. "Paper" - Saint Etienne
6. "Snow" - Severed Heads
7. "You" - Five Thirty
8. "Laugh, Laugh" - The Beau Brummels
9. "Try All You Want" - Electronic
10. "Beloved Wife" - Natalie Merchant

Over 7,000 songs on my I-Pod now.

Paranoid Fantasies

It's interesting. If in 2000 I had heard someone accurately predict what a Bush Presidency would be like, I would have called them a delusional paranoid crackpot. I mean it would have seemed so bizarre.

That said, I feel pretty confident in saying that John Andrews' predictions for an Obama presidency are delusional, paranoid, and crackpot. Apparently there's going to be a second 9/11 which we can't prevent because of all those silly civil liberty's concerns. What is Obama's response to this tragedy?
Tory radio hosts, already demoralized, grew more so after September 11, 2009, when Al Qaeda took down a dozen airliners over the US, Britain, and Canada in a single hour. Aboard one of them, tragically, was Chief Justice John Roberts. Obama appointed arch-liberal Laurence Tribe to replace him, and picked Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison to chair a commission on why they hate us.

McCain, now as lonely a voice in the Senate as Churchill had been in Parliament before 1939, pointed out that the Patriot Act and FISA surveillance could probably have averted the Second 9/11. But few listened, especially after the Super Fairness Doctrine was signed, muzzling conservative voices on cable and the Internet as well as talk radio.
That's pretty crazy. It's hard to tell whether or not Andrew believes this claptrap, but he certainly wants his readers to believe it.

No Hope

Cal Thomas's latest article takes shots at Barack Obama for daring to ask the American people to hope. He says hope is fine in peace, but in these times of constant danger, we can't afford it.
What commander would put a low-ranking officer in charge of all troops during wartime? We are close to making Obama our commander in chief with no hint of how he might perform, other than to withdraw troops from Iraq.

A President Obama might be worth the risk in peacetime, but with crafty enemies seeking to destroy us, can we afford to make what might be a fatal mistake by electing someone upon whom too many of us gave projected, ungrounded hope?
Look to hear this one all year long. Obama will be constantly derided as having no experience compared to McCains age and military service. Both eight years ago and four years ago the same charges could have been leveled at President Bush (they were leveled but not forcefully enough). But this time around, you should take them seriously.

That said, predicting this line of attack isn't exactly rocket science, so presumably as the year rolls along we'll get more of an response to this argument.

Monday, February 18, 2008

So you're worried about the war? Well let's talk about abortion!

This an article by a guy I don't recall, Phil Harris. And yeah, this is his argument. He defends the Iraq war by making such brilliant points as noting that there were wars before President Bush was President. Yep. President Bush didn't invent war, so we should be ok with him.

Sensing that perhaps his rhetorical skills aren't going to circle the square on the Iraq War he moves to another technique; changing the subject as quickly and violently as possible.
Are you enamored by the thought of a President Obama, or a President Hillary Clinton? Have you considered that both are committed to unencumbered abortion on demand? Have you been listening to the conversations, regarding the realities of abortion?
This is so clumsy as to be hilarious. "You oppose the Iraq war, eh? Well how do you feel about killing babies?" Kind of sad, but perhaps an argument we will be seeing more of. One of McCain's few strengths, with the Republican base, is his consistent pro-life stance. So maybe this won't be the last time we hear this argument.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Can McCain Win?

Joe Conason, writing at Credo Action, has written an article on McCain's electability in the General Election.
He has quietly walked away from his former allies on campaign finance reform. He has run away from his own immigration-reform legislation. He has sold away the commitment to economic fairness and fiscal discipline that once led him to oppose the skewed Bush tax cuts.

On at least one issue, however, he remains absolutely consistent. As he said not long ago, he favors dispatching generations of American soldiers to Iraq for a hundred years or more, while spending trillions of borrowed dollars not only on that war, but others to come in unspecified countries. "Bomb-bomb-bomb, bomb-bomb Iran" is the mindless motto of the McCain foreign policy.

In an election year when voters say they are demanding change from the failures and follies of the Bush years, this political profile could create serious problems for any candidate.
Conason notes that the one issue he might use to rally the Republican Base, Immigration Reform, is one that he's on the wrong side of. So he's on the wrong side of the Iraq War which hurts him with moderates and liberals, and he's on the wrong side of the Immigration Reform issue, at least from the conservatives point of view. Who is he planning on appealing to?

Is Ann Coulter Still Insane?

You be the judge. Here's some lines from her latest article.
A few more primary wins and B. Hussein Obama will be able to light up a cigarette during a televised speech and still get the nomination. It looks like the only thing that can stop him now is an endorsement from Al Gore.

Gore is always lunging into a movement just as it has passed its prime -- the Internet, Howard Dean, global warming, trying to talk black when he campaigns at a black church. He probably bought a big house a few months ago. Gore is such a supremely unlikable human being, he even subverted the mainstream media's affection for liberalism during the 2000 election.
Yeah, I don't think Ann Coulter is seeing the same world as the rest of us. Certainly Al Gore has become a lot more popular since his character was trashed unfairly and deceptively in 2000. Oh and in case you are wondering she's no fan of McCain.
McCain is hysterical about pouring water down terrorists' noses and campaigns to shut down Guantanamo.
I should not at this point, that the fact that Ann Coulter does not support John McCain does not make McCain some kind of liberal or acceptable presidential candidate; recall that when it comes to occupying Iraq, getting thousands of American troops killed and millions of Iraqis killed, well McCain is as big a fan of that strategy as President Bush. Maybe bigger.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Shut down Guantanemo!

I'm not sure about the wisdom of the Bush Administration in bringing 6 prisoners at Guantanemo this year, and I'm even less sure of the wisdom of assuring us that the prosecutors will be seeking the death penalty. But that is apparently the plan. I hope that whoever gets elected, a year from now Guantanemo will be in the process of being shut down. As Nicholas D. Kristoff points out in his latest editorial, Guantanemo hasn't helped us all that much and has certainly hurt us.
Most Americans, including myself, originally gave President Bush the benefit of the doubt and assumed that the inmates truly were “the worst of the worst.” But evidence has grown that many are simply the unluckiest of the unluckiest.

Some were aid workers who were kidnapped by armed Afghan groups and sold to the C.I.A. as extremists. One longtime Sudanese aid worker employed by an international charity, Adel Hamad, was just released by the U.S. in December after five years in captivity. A U.S. Army major reviewing his case called it “unconscionable.”

. . . All this is inhumane, but also boneheaded. Guantánamo itself does far more damage to American interests than Mr. Hajj could ever do.

To stand against torture and arbitrary detention is not to be squeamish. It is to be civilized.
He's not wrong.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


This is an article from the Guardian in the U.K., reprinted at Common Dreams, so it is written in relation to their Government. But I think it has a point that applies in the United States.
Two things are obvious about the demonstration to “stop the war”. First, the millions on the march were right. Not just right on balance, but right on every single aspect of the question. There were no weapons of mass destruction, Iraq did turn into a bloodbath, the invasion did not help resolve the crisis in the Middle East, and it did damage the cohesion of our own society and imperil our civil liberties while not making us one whit safer from terrorism. So the people were smarter than the politicians.

Second the demonstration did not stop the war. Our hope had been that mass protest could drive the British government out of its aggressive alliance with Bush and that the latter, isolated internationally as a result, would come under intensified domestic pressure. We came very close, as Donald Rumsfeld made clear. In the wake of February 15, Washington told Blair he could stand down our army if he wanted to.

The prime minister ignored that offer and the people he represents alike. However, failing is not the same thing as making no difference. February 15 has cast a long shadow over British politics since, and contributed to Blair’s departure from office under circumstances - in public odium and with an exasperated party - scarcely of his choosing. What war have we stopped? The next one, perhaps.
Let's be blunt. Bush, Cheney, his advisors, and probably McCain would very much like to bring our military might down on Iran. They can't. Because people are aware of what a disaster Iraq has been, and won't countenance further military adventures.

Another Look at McCain

I don't want to make it seem like all conservatives hate McCain. Many do, obviously, but some like him just fine. Case in point; Bill Kristol, conservative columnist at the New York Times.
When the primaries are over, if McCain has won the day, don’t sulk and don’t sit it out. Don’t pretend there’s no difference between a candidate who’s committed to winning in Iraq and a Democratic nominee who embraces defeat. Don’t tell us that it doesn’t matter if the next president voted to confirm John Roberts and Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court, or opposed them. Don’t close your eyes to the difference between pro-life and pro-choice, or between resistance to big government and the embrace of it.
I have to say that Kristol is right here. McCain really is a conservative and is going to govern conservatively. Maybe not conservatively enough for some people, but then Atilla the Hun wouldn't be conservative enough for some people.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I-Pod 10

1. Deepak Ram, "A Night in Lenasia"
2. Miles Davis, "Tutu"
3. Pearl Jam, "Strangest Tribe"
4. The Magic Numbers, "Hymn for Her"
5. DJ Format Ft. Abdominal & D-Sisive, "3ft Deep"
6. The Verve, "Catching the Buttefly"
7. Everything But the Girl, "Night & Day"
8. St. Germaine, "Montego Bay Spleen"
9. The Beatles, "While my Guitar Gently Weeps"
10. Oasis, "Underneath the Sky"

I'll note that the DJ Format track comes from his really excellent contribution to the Fabriclive series, a great funk/jazz mix. And that version of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" comes from the Cirque du Soliel project "Love."

The Other Limbaugh Brother

Rush is still taking potshots at McCain although he has broadened to include the "party elite."
But the truth of the matter is, this isn't about Rush Limbaugh. It isn't about any single person. The same people in Washington and New York who like to write op-eds and editorials to themselves to show how smart they are and how in touch they are, are missing what's going on. I don't control the real disaffection conservatives are feeling for the Republican Party and for Washington generally. This isn't some manufactured view that's turned on and off by me among my audience. This is the result of years of contempt for the grassroots, years of neglect, false promises, pseudoconservatism. McCain became the presumptive winner after Super Tuesday.
What's interesting is the way that Limbaugh has to airbrush out the fact that many in his party apparently like McCain. He's not charging the party with rigging the elections (or if he has I've missed it). If there are changes in his party that make McCain a viable candidate, well, it's not just the party elite that are allowing these changes to occur.

David Limbaugh sues for peace with McCain

Yes, at least one anti McCain Conservative is apparently willing to throw in the towel and make allegiance with McCain. David Limbaugh, in his latest article, does chide McCain for insufficient conservatism, but he also wants an end to hostilities between the Limbaugh conservatives and the followers of McCain.

Of course he's unable or unwilling to admit that his side has thrown most of the invective. Rather he chides the McCainiacs and suggests that they be nicer to him.
McCain has a choice to make -- and so do neo-Rockefellers presuming to do his bidding. They can either engage in a scorched-earth strategy against the conservative base in furtherance of their power play -- in which case, they'll never get to first base (pun intended). Or they can work with the base, most of which, I dare say, will work with them, especially toward the common end of a secure America.
Kind of sad. Limbaugh knows that if McCain is successful (and let's all hope he's not) he's out of it, so he wants to make peace. But he can't help pretending that this bad blood is all on McCains side of the fence. I could repeat the nasty things that his brother, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter et all have said, but you all know them.

He does know what will eventually unite the party though.
Besides, it's much more fun to direct our fire at Democrats. So let's get back to business.
Yep. Slamming Democrats is the one thing all Republicans apparently agree on.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sadly Amusing

Rich Galen's latest article over at Townhall sees him referencing Band of Brothers, and calling for that spirit of "We are all in this together" to return to American Politics.
But, watching the "Band of Brothers" reminded me that there is a higher calling to which we Americans must answer. That there is a greater purpose to which we should rise. That there is a deeper reason for the creation of the United States of America than 30-second ads and 150-word blogs.

I am not suggesting that choosing who will lead our nation over the next four years is not important. It is very important. But our nation will survive no matter what choice the majority makes.

. . . We are political opponents. Not enemies. An enemy is something else altogether.
Kind of funny in a depressing way. I should point out that Galen specifically references Democrats so he's not just talking about the hard feelings caused by the elevation of McCain. But is Galen serious?

He belongs to the movement that supports Rush Limbaugh who describes a proud Democrat as a "liberal extremist" and who thinks we are all mentally ill.

And speaking of mentally ill, the Conservative movement has put up Ann Coulter, who is either crazy like a fox. A description of her pathology, at this late date, is hardly necessary.

Heck one of the Conservative movement's big problems with McCain is that he doesn't hate liberals enough.

So, I'm sorry Mr. Galen. But your vision of an America where we go back to all being buddies isn't very realistic.

Good Criticism and Bad Criticism

Let's start with the Bad Criticism first - specifically Paul Greenburg's latest article defending John McCain against the Conservative Pundits. In this he takes on Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter and others for attacking McCain. Coulter gets quite the treatment, being described as the "certified banshee of the American right." Anyway he says that they don't like McCain because he thinks for himself.
That's the trouble with John McCain; he's always been his own man. He just will not go along with the party line, anybody's party line. He's always given his interrogators a hard time, refusing to break no matter what blandishments, punishments or calumnies are applied.

Sure, the man may get things done - like finding a way to get conservative judges confirmed by the U.S. Senate. He may even prefer fixing a system that's broken - like our immigration "system" - rather than just griping about it. And if he's proving right about the war in Iraq or on terror in general, well, that scarcely makes up for his unmitigated independence.
I don't think this is entirely fair to the Conservative Critics of McCain, Coulter aside. Limbaugh, Hannity and the others have an idea of how conservatives should act, the principles they should espouse, the programs they should enact. McCain has, in a number or cases, acted outside these parameters, or even in opposition to what Limbaugh et al would consider Conservative principles. It's not surprising that they aren't keen on him.

That said, Greenburg certainly has a point when he notes that the Republican base clearly has a different idea about McCain's qualifications. I mean for all the talk about the party elite shoving McCain down the throat of the Republican party, that wouldn't be possible if the voters were voting for another candidate.

All this shouldn't be construed as support for McCain. I think there is clearly some valid criticism of him and his performance, and for a sample, let's check in with Glenn Greenwald.
Conventional media wisdom is already solidifying that John McCain's greatest political asset is national security. This is a completely bizarre proposition given that there is no politician who has been more mindlessly supportive than McCain of endless war in Iraq, one of America's most unpopular wars in its history. Only in Media World could undying support for an extremely unpopular war be considered a political asset.

Beyond Iraq, McCain is as pure a warmonger as it gets in the American political mainstream. He is supported by the most extreme neoconservative ideologues, such as Bill Kristol, John Bolton and Joe Lieberman, precisely because they perceive, correctly, that he would be the candidate most likely to enable their paramount dreams of endless Middle East war. The virtual certainty that McCain will ensure the endless occupation of Iraq and, worse, will inevitably provoke more American wars, ought to be considered his greatest political liability, not his greatest asset.
Greenwald's larger point can be scene here; Democrats should stop being afraid to call McCain's plans for occupying the middle east more or less indefinately what they are, insane. The American people are not fans of the Iraq war and would not be fans of further military adventurism over there. McCain is the candidate most likely to expand our military adventures in the middle east. So tell the American people that.

But that has not been the Democratic Way. Rather we continue to pretend like Republicans are "Strong" on defense and foreign policy, despite the fact that their programs have been moral and practical disasters and proven terribly unpopular with the American people.

So to sum up, the fact that some Right Wing Pundits don't like McCain doesn't change the fact that he'd be an awful and dangerous President.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Chastizing Rush

Well with Romney backing out of the race, it looks like the Republican Nominee is going to be John McCain. And, as you well know, Limbaugh, Hannity, and others have been very critical of McCain, to the point of calling him a liberal and suggesting that voting for him is a wasted vote. Well today these talk show hosts are chastised by Rich Galen over at Townhall.
Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and the others are doing the work of the New York Times and the rest of the popular press by railing against McCain all day, every day.

It appears on the surface that their goal is to make Conservatives stay home next November 4 and hand the White House to Hillary or Barack.

But the reality is they are doing it because it means good ratings. When their listeners get tired of hearing them beat up on McCain, they'll switch to something else.
Certainly I wouldn't mind if Conservatives stayed home on November 4th, but I don't think that is their goal. It is more the latter combined with the theory that if they beat up McCain they can get a pledge from him to be more Conservative.

I don't think Rush is likely to change his mind - reading him, you get the idea he sees this as a fight for the soul of the Republican Party.
This to me is the big point. The failure of establishment Republicans -- whether they be members of Congress, Washington, or New York editorial writers, even some talk show hosts who live and work and socialize in that community, the failure of these people -- to uphold the principles of conservatism during the last decade or more has resulted in the mess that they now complain about. George Neumayr, writing today a column -- he used to be the editor of the American Spectator -- makes a great point. He said, "Once the Republican Party decided..." This was largely due to abortion, by the way. "Once the Republican Party decided to be a big-tent party, its days were numbered; its identity forever changed," because the definition of "big tent" was to bring in people who normally would not be in the tent, . . .
So from Rush's perspective, this isn't a fight he can afford to shy away from.

I also note this ominous line later in his comments.
Because I'm going to tell you something, folks: what's happening in our party today is not only do the establishment Republicans want amnesty for illegal immigrants, they want amnesty for Democrats.
Why exactly do Democrats need Amnesty?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

We view liberals as a threat to the founding of this country.

On a secondary note - how exactly does Rush see Liberals as a threat to the founding of this country? I mean it's not like we liberals are working on a secret time machine project to send Harry Reid back to the constitutional convention and have him introduce an amendment . . . well perhaps I've said to much.

The Crux

The big problem with McCain, from the Limbaugh Conservatives point of view, is that he doesn't hate Liberals enough. And Rush confirmed it yesterday on his show.
Mr. McCain, Ronaldus Magnus did reach out to Democrats -- to defeat them! Ronald Reagan created what's known as the Reagan Democrats, Southern Democrats, who joined the Republican Party as conservative voters. They may have stayed Democrats, but they were voting for conservatism. We are reaching out and asking liberals to come join us as liberals. And somehow this is a great masterstroke? If this were a war, what we're saying is, "Enemy, come on in, and come be who you are when you get here." If the Republican Party and the Democrat Party were two nations, Senator McCain is saying, "I'm going to have no border on my nation, the Republican Party. And if those people in that enemy party want to come in, infiltrate our party, that's great. I'm going to show that I'm the guy that can get it done. I'm going to be the guy to not protect the borders." Why is it so hard? I'm serious. This one escapes me. Why is it so hard to understand that what we want is to defeat those people?

We view those people as threats to the American way of life, as we've always known it. We view liberals as a threat to the founding of this country. We view them as a threat to the future. We view them as a threat to the traditions and institutions that have defined this country's greatness. We view them as people who need to be defeated, not worked with.
I will note that Limbaugh has specifically denied hating liberals; whether or not he actually does hate Liberals is left as an exercise for the readers.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Wisdom of Walter Williams

In these days of turmoil and strife among the Republican Party, it's nice that Walter E. Williams isn't scared. He's so uninterested in the current struggle between Huckabee, Romney, and McCain that this weeks article is largely about how much he hates bad grammar.

I could point out, I suppose, that no candidate is likely to be crazy enough to suit Mr. Williams. So maybe he just doesn't care.

How much does a Republican Delegate Cost?

According to Jonathan Wiesman at the Washington Post, each Delegate that is supporting Romney has cost Romney approximately $1.16 million.

That sounds like a lot, but consider there are only 2,380 Republican Party 2008 delegates available. And I certainly understand the desire to collect. Which is why I'm offering a discount. $30,000 gets you an official 2008 Stupid Enough Unexplanation Delegate. Each Delegate comes with a certificate of authenticity, which you receive in lieu of an actual breathing delegate. This works kind of like those name a star after yourself scams . . . i mean opportunities. Just send me $30,000 and I will give you the name of your delegate to the Stupid Enough Unexplanation convention, who may or may not be aware that he or she is a delegate.

Supplies are limited, so act soon.

I know I won't be able to sell any of these to Huckabee unfortunately; he's already a bargain hunter. He gets approximately 20 Republican delegates for $1 million, meaning he's about 20 times as efficient as Romney.

Body Movin'

I am quietly pleased with the Super Tuesday Primaries. Both races are still going on, which seems goofy, but there you go. Obama and Hilllary are still basically tied, which doesn't bother me at all.

As for the Republican side, I like how Mike Madden puts it in his article on the race over at Salon.
One thing was clear as Super Tuesday came to a close: The speechwriters had their work cut out for them. All three leading candidates delivered remarks that were not quite roars of victory, not quite sighs of defeat. John McCain won enough states and enough delegates Tuesday night to claim he had triumphed, yet not enough to get his rivals to agree with him. Mike Huckabee racked up win after win in the South, gleefully declaring his campaign relevant again, but he couldn't put together much support anywhere else. And Mitt Romney continued to mop up contests where he had no competition, while losing in states where he actually had to fight for it.
It's kind of easy to win when there's no competition.

I also like the fact that Romney is going to pretend to run an outsider campaign. There's a special kind of blindness in Republicans that let's them pretend a wealthy white guy who look like Romney is some kind of persecuted outside simply because the voters preferred another guy to him. Bizarre. But it might work.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Fourth Time Around

I feel kind of disconnected today. Because I know that today is the day we select who will represent our two major parties in the Fall Elections - this is Super Duper Tuesday, and by tomorrow morning we will know whether we got McCain or Romney, Hillary or Obama. And yet, in a way, it's already done, and I'm thinking about other things.

I hope Romney loses big tomorrow, for three reasons.

1. Romney is genuinely a phony and a dirty politician. I don't like to see people rewarded for playing dirty.

2. Rush Limbaugh and his ilk will be upset if Romney loses, because it means that their brand of conservatism isn't currently dominant. That won't stand for very long; they'll get back on top eventually. But for this year, they are on the outs.

3. Romney is a Mormon, and I don't want to spend a year explaining to my co-religionists that he's a bit of a bastard even if he is a brother in the faith, and I don't want to spend a year explaining to my fellow liberals that Mormonism isn't a cult or evil or what not.

McCain I don't care much for either. He's not that much cleaner than Romney, and he's even more gung ho about our strategy in Iraq (a strategy that has led to the death of over a million Iraqis at this point).

As for Clinton and Obama, my guy (Edwards) is out, so I don't feel as strongly. I prefer Obama to Clinton, but both of them are pretty middle of the road, so I don't feel that strongly about it. I certainly won't be that upset if Clinton wins.

I guess I will be disappointed because I don't want to spend the year defending Clinton either. And that is what I will have to do, if she wins.

But wait, do I hear some of you saying "You know you don't really have to defend Clinton." Well yes I do. Both McCain and Romney will be disasters for America and Clinton is the only viable option. She'll most likely be a disappointment but she won't be a disaster. And so it falls to me, as it does to every Democrat/Liberal/Lefist, to defend her against the outrageous lies and calumnies of the right wing.

Because we know what they are going to say, and it's not going to be pretty and it's not going to fair and it's not going to be honest. We are going to hear lies about whitewater and Vince Foster and the White House Travel office. And someone is going to have to counter those lies.

Anyway I guess we'll know after tomorrow.


OK so Douglas MacKinnon has a problem. He wants to write an article supporting Romney in such a way as to build sympathy for a guy who has, on average, run a very dirty campaign. Romney's biggest challenger is John McCain, who is such a strong challenger he might actually win. And MacKinnon probably doesn't want to offend the person who might be the next President. On the other hand he really wants to attack somebody on behalf of his chosen candidate, Mitt Romney. What's a coward to do?

Attack Mike Huckabee. That's right, there's no chance that Huckabee will be the candidate or the President (at least not this go around). So attacking him costs MacKinnon nothing, and gets the point across. So, in his latest article, that's what he does.
If so, you have until Tuesday evening to make your principled and patriotic voice heard. For after Tuesday, if Mike Huckabee succeeds in his self-serving quest to deny Mitt Romney the nomination, then it will be conservatives who will be placed at the back of the line…for years to come.
I love the language - "deny Mitt Romney the nomination." Is it his birthright? What the hell? Why is Romney owed the Republican nomination? Why isn't McCain? Bizarre.

But cowardly, as well.

Monday, February 04, 2008

I-Pod 10

1. Primitive Radio Gods - "Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth with Money in My Hand"
2. Emmanual Spice - "Meat Ball"
3. Ennio Morricone - "Paranoia Prima"
4. B-52's - "Mesopotamia"
5. Blue States - "The Interceptors"
6. Ella Fitzgerald - "A Night in Tunisia"
7. The Cure - " The Empty World (Live)"
8. The Plimsouls - "Hypnotized"
9. Morrissey, "In the Future When All's Well"
10. The Chemical Brothers, "The Pills Won't Help You Now."

Dinesh D'Souza defends McCain

For those of you who don't recall Dinesh D'Souza, he'd like to see a dual war against both Islamic Terrorists and American Liberals. So he's a lot like a number of other Conservatives, if a bit less discreet in his views.

And he's a defender of John McCain in his latest article.
Now I realize many conservatives have serious reservations about McCain, and I share some of them. His campaign finance ideas are terrible and he seems to pander too much to the liberals. Even so I don’t understand the criticism that says McCain isn’t conservative. If Bush is a conservative, then McCain is a conservative. He’s very strong on defense, he’s fiscally conservative, and he’s pro-life. He may be too old and he may be too conciliatory. If there’s a problem with McCain it’s not that he’s a liberal in disguise.
I have to think that when it comes to ferreting out evil Liberals, D'Souza would be quite skilled. So maybe I will take him at his words.

Is Romney a Phoney?

According to Deroy Murdock, there's evidence that he is. In particular he has recently claimed that he wishes he could have been in the military, that he could have served in Vietnam. But in 1994 he said "I was not planning on signing up for the military. It was not my desire to go off and serve in Vietnam." Interesting. Murdock has some comments on this shift.
It is bad enough to reverse course 180 degrees on public-policy matters such as taxes, gay rights, guns, abortion, immigration, the minimum wage, Ronald Reagan’s legacy, or any of the other topics on which the old and new Romneys clobber each other. At least these are political issues on which, at best, new information and thinking can justify changed views or, at worst, electoral mathematics can explain abandoning one position for another.

But for Romney to somersault on something so personal — his own non-involvement in the Vietnam War — makes one wonder if Romney is any different from an exterior set on a Hollywood back lot: Clean and pretty in the front and all flat, plywood planks in the back.
Murdock does seem pretty correct in this analysis. I suspect what Romney really means, when he wishes he had served in Vietnam, is "I wish I could call on the Vietnam War as a positive the way my opponent, John McCain, can."

He shouldn't worry so much; he's the GOP Golden Boy. It's not like they have had any trouble trashing ex-soldiers in their pursuit of power.

Friday, February 01, 2008

The Other Side of John McCain

Obviously there are some people who like John McCain, and there are others who recognize that his nomination may not be stoppable at this point, and the party had better get used to the idea of supporting him. I'd say John Hawkins is in the latter camp - and his latest article is entitled, "Why You're Going To Vote For John McCain In November And Like It!" He admits that's a bit of hyperbole; most Republicans aren't going to like it. But he says, accurately, that McCain is a lot more conservative than Clinton or Obama.
Does that mean you should, "vote for John McCain in November and like it?" No, but it does mean, that if John McCain is the nominee, you should think very hard about holding your nose and voting for the viable candidate who would do the most good for our country.
Of course the Townhall Readers aren't taking this lying down.
am a conservative first and Republican second. If the Republican party is no longer the party of Conservatives but rather is a liberal party, I will leave it in a heart beat and so would Ronald Reagan.

McCain is a Liberal first and Republican second. He is much more of a threat to our Republic than either of the Democrats this election and I flat out refuse to vote for him. At the very least if we elect Obama then we can blame the Democrats for the next 4 years and not a pretend Republican.
That's a pretty common response from jcdean1978 (oh and the I is missing in the original).

Can Reagen overcome the notable handicap of being dead to leave the Republican Party?

It's interesting how many hurt feelings there seem to be on the Conservative Republicfan side of the fence, more then one noted that McCain "has a history of poking Conservative in the eye on issue after issue." to quote SMILE. But then any disagreement with the party line, no matter how mild, is a poke in the eye, I guess.

McCain Ennui

David Limbaugh, America's other Limbaugh, also doesn't like John McCain, which comes as no surprise. He notes that McCain has slighted conservatives again and again, and seems to take pleasure in doing so. He criticizes McCains positions on global warming, campaign finance reform, and tax cuts. And then he gets to foreign policy, the one area where Conservatives generally like McCain. But even here, McCain comes up short.
When it comes to the most important issue of all -- the war -- McCain is more hawkish and more conservative than anyone. But even that is not entirely true on closer inspection. He's been good mostly on Iraq -- from a conservative perspective -- but very disappointing on opposing tough, life-saving interrogation techniques, in wanting to close down Gitmo, and in favoring constitutional protections for enemy combatants. Only liberals think like that. Only liberal instincts tell us that if we are tough on them, they'll be tougher on us -- as if they need any excuse to be barbaric toward us. They just are.
Life saving interrogation techniques, eh? That's a short step to "life saving torture. " I really hope that Romney makes McCain's unwillingness to torture a major campaign issue leading up to the Super Tuesday Primaries.

McCain isn't a liberal by the way; he's just not as insane as the Limbaugh brothers would like him to be.