Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Christian Disagreements

Frank Pastore's latest article, "Should Christians Argue Politics?" successful knocks down the straw man he has set up for himself. He and I agree that Christians have a responsibility to discus political issues, in a respectful manner.
Perhaps many Christians think arguing is bad because they can’t distinguish between a person and their ideas. Even for themselves, they can take it personally when someone is arguing against their ideas. But not arguing does make me a nice person. And the fact that I do argue about consequential things does not make me unloving. Nice people can be wrong, and mean people can be right. I can criticize a person’s ideas without criticizing the person. The challenge is to communicate my disagreement—to argue—in such a way that the person understands I disagree with their ideas, not them personally.
So there it is. And I whole heartedly agree with Pastore here.

But what Pastore skips happily over is the fact that many of his colleagues in conservative punditry do not believe that a person could be a believing Christian and a Liberal. They don't believe that someone could be a good person and a Liberal (best they can offer is a wrongheaded and uninformed, if good hearted). And they have said so repeatedly (I was thinking of hunting up some choice quotes by Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh, but I'm depressed enough already). It is difficult to have a discussion of politics with someone who believes that by virtue of your political affiliation or political philosophy you are intrinsically a bad person.

For discussion or debate to be meaningful, both parties have to acknowledge that the other side might be right; otherwise what you are engaged in is either a sales-pitch or a sermon.

The Fallout

Going to point you to a good article by William Grieder over at The Nation on the Bailout Bill that fell apart yesterday and it's importance. Basically he thinks they will take another whack at it but there's not enough political will to make large changes. We are looking at tweaks not serious revisions.

His analysis of Republican motives is pretty chilling.
Republicans, as usual, are playing their own political game--trying to evade the blame, now and later. Their proposal for an insurance program that financial firms must pay for is ludicrous. It's like trying to buy hurricane insurance on your house after the storm has already blown it away. But the GOP already is in ruin, so its members are thinking long-term survival and creating a predicate for revival. Blame the government, blame Wall Street, blame the go-along Democrats--maybe people will start liking Republicans again.
Yeah, that pretty much covers it.

It was unintentionally hilarious listening to Rush Limbaugh basically argue that this bill falling apart proved that Republicans were going to win big in the fall.
This is a monumental day. There is so much to learn in what happened here today. You had the president behind this. You had Democrats pushing this. You had the Treasury Secretary pushing this. You had Obama pushing this. So what this tells me is that out there in the country, all of this bitter clinger stuff that Obama talked about, there are a lot of Democrats who are not happy with this particular bailout, which means they are conservative Democrats, they are not happy with the Obama campaign. This tells me that the Democrats easily holding the House and Senate is not a slam dunk. This tells me that a lot of Democrats in the House really fear not being reelected, and you see how those Democrats voted.
Odd sort of reaction. But I suppose you have to take hope where you can get it.

Sarah Palin and The Vice Presidency

Well we are getting down to the wire, aren't we? The Vice Presidential Debate is Thursday, and people are wondering if Sarah Palin is ready for prime time. A lot of people, both Liberals and Conservatives, are wringing their hands at how poor Sarah Palin got thrust into this role she wasn't ready for and isn't it a pity?

Not so much, according to an article by Rebecca Traister, over at Salon. She points out correctly that Palin chose this path. She decided to accept the nomination.
Shaking our heads and wringing our hands in sympathy with Sarah Palin is a disservice to every woman who has ever been unfairly dismissed based on her gender, because this is an utterly fair dismissal, based on an utter lack of ability and readiness. It's a disservice to minority populations of every stripe whose place in the political spectrum has been unfairly spotlighted as mere tokenism; it is a disservice to women throughout this country who have gone from watching a woman who -- love her or hate her -- was able to show us what female leadership could look like to squirming in front of their televisions as they watch the woman sent to replace her struggle to string a complete sentence together.
Yeah, that makes sense to me.

That said, of course American Conservative have separate filters that permit them to see Palin as wise and good, and perhaps more importantly allows them to see her detractors as evil elitists.

Speaker Pelosi

Apparently before the vote yesterday (on the single most important bill in the history of mankind to bail out the banking industry), Nancy Pelosi gave a partisan speech that, apparently, caused about a dozen Republicans to abandon the most important bill in the history of mankind out of spite.

Now I'm not sure Pelosi showed good judgment; that said, I'm not sure Republicans want to trumpet that as a reason for not supporting the bill. I'm kind of with conservative Matt Lewis on this one.
I applaud conservatives who opposed this bill on ideological grounds. Voting "no" because a congressman philosophically opposed this bill would certainly have been appropriate and reasonable. However, if Republicans think the American people will side with them on voting "no" -- because they were upset with Pelosi's speech -- I think they are terribly mistaken.

Personal slights and "snubs" should not influence ones vote on an important issue such as this. A congressman's decision to vote for -- or against -- the bill should be based solely on whether or not they believe it is best for the country. Pelosi's remarks should be irrelevant.
He also references the incident with Newt Gingrich on Air Force One, and how that turned out for Republicans.

Oh and I'm slightly exaggerating when I call it the most important bill in the history of mankind.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Racism and Obama

There seems to have been and injection of race into the election recently. Specifically some are wondering whether or not Obama is in more trouble because of his race. This has led some, like Austin Hill in his latest article, to hastily say that there are lots of good reasons to vote against Obama that have nothing to do with his race.
But the fact that there is racial tension in America is not “news.” And those who have been sounding the alarm about a possible “racial rejection” of Obama seem to assume that, race aside, there is nothing “unlovable” about Barack.

This is inaccurate. Many of us are appalled at the “moral equivalency” that Obama has expressed in his analysis of the democracy of Israel, and the terrorist state of Iran.
What Hill is conveniently ignoring is that he is talking about people who already wouldn't vote for Obama. He's talking about conservatives like himself. But nobody thinks that for him and hardcore conservatives the only sticking point is that Obama is black. Look at the thrashing your colleagues gave John Kerry. You hate Democrats and you hate Liberals so it's naturally for you not to be to keen on Obama.

The issue isn't whether hard core conservative are turned off by his race. The issue is whether or not life-long democrats, who generally agree with Obama's positions, are going to be turned off by his race.

For the record while this will be an issue I don't think it will be as critical as some take it to be. Obama's performance on Friday was very strong, and I think most moderates and liberals who look at Obama with an open mind are going to be impressed.

Mike S. Adams is Lazy

His latest article consists of pasting a list of professors in UNC Wilmington's Woman's Studies Minor program, and then attaching their party affiliation. Apparently this is to take a potshot at Jose Hernandez who is coming to UNC Wilmington to serve as Association Provost of Institutional Diversity and Inclusiveness.

But he's not content to simply say that the Woman's Studies program should include more Republicans. No, he also takes several pot shots at Hernandez for being a Latino, starting with the articles title, which is "Jose, can you see?"

I should do some research on what other students and faculty at UNC Wilmington think of Adam's crusade to humiliate his employer.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Leadership and Experience

McCain has made a big deal of suspending his campaign to concentrate on our financial woes (well, mostly, his campaign manager went ahead with a fundraising dinner, apparently). But what kind of impact did McCain make?

Largely a negative one, according to a post at the New York Times.
So McCain "suspends" his campaign--he didn't, really--and equivocates about whether to debate because the financial emergency is so crucial--a week after he said the fundamentals of the economy were sound--and he flies to Washington where:

1. The House Republicans blow up a rare, and necessary, moment of true bipartisanship to make it look like McCain, who has no expertise in this area, has come to the rescue.

2. McCain sits mute in the White House summit arranged for his benefit. He doesn't even ask Paulson what he thinks of the House Republican plan.

3. He refuses to take a stand, one way or another, on the Republican plan.
Gosh, thanks, Senator McCain. But maybe you should go ahead and get back on the campaign trail.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Debate Aborted

Apparently McCain may not show up for Friday's debate against Obama, as reported by Walter Shapiro over at Salon.
But whatever McCain's underlying motivations, both campaigns are now locked in a bizarre game of chicken. If McCain actually boycotts the Oxford debate, Obama may score a public-relations coup while his Republican rival looks weak and evasive. Or the Democratic nominee may appear too political while McCain puts on his mantle as statesman.
Seems like more of a gamble for McCain than for Obama.

The United States of France

There's a great article by Bill Saporito over at Time magazine about the bailout.
This is the state of our great republic: We've nationalized the financial system, taking control from Wall Street bankers we no longer trust. We're about to quasi-nationalize the Detroit auto companies via massive loans because they're a source of American pride, and too many jobs — and votes — are at stake. Our Social Security system is going broke as we head for a future in which too many retirees will be supported by too few workers. How long before we have national health care? Put it all together, and the America that emerges is a cartoonish version of the country most despised by red-meat red-state patriots: France. Only with worse food.
I would disagree with the characterization of the Social Security problem, but other than that, yeah, we are getting a little more like France.

Maybe we'll get better chocolate.

Dick Morris's Political Advice

Dick Morris's advice for McCain going into this first debate is that he should make an issue of Obama's tax plans. Great advice. Really solid. Except of course that the first debate is slated to cover "Foreign policy and national security issues." That doesn't seem like a great forum to bring up tax policy in.
Jim Lehrer. - "Senator McCain, what changes would you envision making to better protect American citizens?"

McCain(R) - "Well one change I won't be making is raising anybody's taxes, like my esteemed colleague here. No I'll be keeping taxes low so as to keep our economy strong."

Jim Lehrer - "OK. But for national security?"

McCain(R) - "National security is important, but you know what else is important? Job Security. And Job Security will be threatened if Obama's plans to increase taxes goes through."
I better stop. This is actually starting to feel kind of plausible. Anyway I think it's safe to assume that Friday's debate will be mostly about foreign policy, which won't leave a lot of room for talking about tax policy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Paulson vs. Dodd

As you know, Henry Paulson, Secretary of the Treasury, has called for Congress to give $700 billion to bailout financial institutions that have failed. They are debating it today, and probably for a day or so, I suppose. With $700 billion I think they probably out to debate it for a day or so.

Sen. Chris Dodd, chairman of the Banking Committee, has put together a counter proposal, which is finding a lot of support. Paul Krugman likes it, for example. And so does Ian Welsh at Firedoglake.

Bill Murchison over at Townhall is opposed even to the Paulson plan, and would presumably be horrified by the Dodd plan. He's opposed to government getting involved in economic issues at all.
The human craving to lay hands on a problem and twist it here and there is immutable. The political expression of that craving frequently has malign consequences.
OK, I'm not sure what humans Murchison is talking about here. I think humans like to solve problems not simply twist them here and there. If you see your economy going down in flames, well, you want to fix things so that the economy gets back on an even keel.

Rush Limbaugh had heard of the Dodd plan, and has a simple solution.
What we want is change. Change the chairman of the banking committees in Congress, get rid of Chris Dodd and Barney Frank. They are a disgrace. They are lying about their roles in all of this. They shouldn't be anywhere near addressing this problem now. They should resign from their posts. And the Republicans ought to demand it day in and day out.
Nice. But then in Rush's world pretty much everything is the Democrats fault; presumably he'd like if it all Democratic public officials resigned.

Anyway should be an interesting week, economically speaking.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Why Hiro is kind of a lousy character

Hiro, star of Heroes is a wonderful character in a lot of ways. He's likable. He's loyal to his friends. He's enthusiastic (which provides a great contrast to his much more dour co-stars). He likes being a hero. He wants to be a hero.

And then there's his power.

His power is that he can move himself in time and space, which is great in some ways, and lousy in another. It's hard to imagine that many problems that Hiro can't solve, simply by showing up. Now he does have a few limitations, but most of them seem more writing tics than ground rules for how the character works. So what's the solution?

Hiro gets trapped in irrelevancies while the rest of the characters forward the plot to the point that he can step back on stage and fix things. The second half of the first season he had to go get that sword, and the second season he's trapped in Feudal Japan. Make him a character that doesn't contribute that much.

Hopefully they will have a better solution this time around.

Race and the Presidency

I know, of course, that many, if not most, Republicans or McCain supporters do not have a problem with Obama's Race. I also know that nearly 100% of them would claim not to have any problem with Obama's race.

But some of that figure are not being totally honest.

Brent Staples has written an article on how race is playing out in this election, and it's the sort of article that is going to annoy people. He discusses the various ways race has intersected this campaign, particularly Rep. Lynn Westmoreland's description of Obama as Uppity. He then talks about about what Obama has had to do to deal with this issue.
Mr. Obama seems to understand that he is always an utterance away from a statement — or a phrase — that could transform him in a campaign ad from the affable, rational and racially ambiguous candidate into the archetypical angry black man who scares off the white vote. His caution is evident from the way he sifts and searches the language as he speaks, stepping around words that might push him into the danger zone.

These maneuvers are often painful to watch. The troubling part is that they are necessary.
Yeah - that's pretty troubling.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Some Economic Thoughts

I wish they were mine, but rather they are the thoughts of Andrew Leonard over at Salon, who has been great at unpacking the current financial crisis. In this he takes on McCains approach which seems to be extremely regulatory.

Cherry Upbeat Pat Buchannan

I like Buchanan. Yeah he's kind of nuts and I disagree with him on a lot of issues. but he's certainly not one to follow the trend. It is kind of sickening to listen to Hannity and Limbaugh lionize McCain, a person they have dumped on for years. But no so Buchanan - he has a style of conservatism he likes and he sticks with it.

Of course the problem is that by the lights of his conservatism we are pretty much screwed at this point, and he says so in his latest article.
What we are witnessing today is how empires end.

The Last Superpower is unable to defend its borders, protect its currency, win its wars or balance its budget. Medicare and Social Security are headed for the cliff with unfunded liabilities in the tens of trillions of dollars.

What we are witnessing today is nothing less than a Katrina-like failure of government, of our political class, and of democracy itself, casting a cloud over the viability and longevity of the system.
Kind of depressing, but I have more faith in both the American people and the American system of Government. I think that we are in for a few bad years, thanks in large part to Republican mania for deregulation, but we can pull out of this.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Role of Women

There's an interesting article over at USA Today on the contrast between what some conservative Christians think about the role of woman and their adulation they for Sarah Palin.

Wouldn't You Like to be a Fundamental Too?

Gail Collin's latest article is pretty good. She notes that McCain seems to have become a populist in response to the latest Wall Street troubles. Yep. A Populist. And his commentary on how American Economic Fundamentals are strong? He means you.
It was a rather jumbled message, but the new story line was firm. The fundamentals were not things like employment rates or trade statistics. The fundamentals were the workers.

We are the fundamentals!

And, naturally, the humble, hard-working fundamentals are good. Who could doubt it? Was Barack Obama trying to say that he didn’t think the American working man and woman was good?
Yep. There it is. McCain's tap dancing on the economy needs a bit more practice.

You Must Learn!

Well, Cal Thomas has dug deep to come up with the solution to the current woes plaguing our economy, in his latest article. People should be less greedy. Yep.
John McCain wants more regulations. What McCain should be demanding is an investigation, especially of those members of Congress who failed to provide oversight. It also wouldn't hurt to recommend more self-control and an embrace of the Puritan ethic of living within one's means.
No I suppose it wouldn't hurt. And I think it would be nice if people would choose to live in their means more. But I'm not sure this is really a strategy for dealing with the problems in our market.

Let's just say it, we could do away with laws against stealing if everybody agreed to not steal. But we have laws against stealing because some people do steal. And more people are tempted to steal, but are dissuaded by the possibility of jail time. Presumably Thomas wouldn't think the solution to crime is simply to convince criminals to not commit crimes.

But the same mentality doesn't apply to corporate crime. When it comes to corporate crime, our first line of defense is to convince the people running Wall Street to be puritans. The upshot of it? We waste our time scolding them, while allowing them to take the actions that have gotten us into this mess.

I'm also impressed by the contrast with another article at Townhall by Terence Jeffrey. Apparently puritanism or living within ones means isn't the solution to every problem.
Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives sent a message this week to hard-working commuters forced to pay historically high prices for gasoline: Ride a bike.
Yeah I guess if people did ride bikes we'd need less gas, and prices would go down and our supplies would last longer. Seems like the Puritan thing to do. But of course Jeffrey's point is that what Congress should be doing, instead of encouraging us to live within our means, is going out and getting more gas for us so we don't have to.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I think it's hilarious that Senator McCain is trying to portray himself as the candidate of change after 7 years of supporting nearly everything Bush has done (ok, so he wasn't keen on Torture). I think it's even more hilarious that Chuck Norris is calling for a revolution - a voting revolution - in his latest article.

Apparently Mr. Norris would like to see a better crop of people running America. After nearly 8 years of President Bush, I'm inclined to agree with him. But of course he likes Bush. He probably likes most congressional republicans. He seems to agree with their stated goals.
A voter revolution would usher in politicians who make sweeping and radical changes, including disposing of the unconstitutional Internal Revenue Service and replacing it with a "fair tax." These are leaders who genuinely commit to the America established by our Founders, drastically cut government waste, immediately stop pork-barrel spending, reject political perks and lobbyists, quit borrowing from other nations (such as China), cease imperialism and nation building, lessen the flow of so much government aid overseas, and bring back production and pride in American commerce, etc.
Other than ending our occupation of Iraq, most of that is pretty conservative. And if President Bush couldn't make much headway after 9/11 with a Republican Congress, well, I'm not sure Chuck Norris's voter revolution has much of a chance.

Book Banning

Let me say for the record I am opposed to book banning of any book. I hate the ideas that Ann Coulter spews for example, and I hate the way she has poisoned the well of American Politics. But she has a right to spread her poisonous lies as she sees fit.

Michelle Malkin's latest article takes on the Book Banning side of Sarah Palin. She accuses Liberals of projecting their own evil book banning ways on the innocent Palin, and then lists a number of liberals who have wanted books banned. She brings up "Unfit For Command" but fails to note the key complaint about that book, which was that it was libelous. It presented false information about Kerry designed to defame him. The ideas in the book were not the issue. And the book got out. Plenty of people read it.

Also unifying the people she chooses to accuse is that they are not public officials. They are people asking Regency, for example, not to produce libelous books. Or some sort of Border's employee who urged Border's employees to hide the book (this doesn't seem to have worked).

I don't agree with either of these approaches. But they are not the same as what Sarah Palin. Palin was acting as a representative of the people when she tried to remove books she finds offensive from the bookshelves. That was government censorship as opposed to "freelance" censorship. And while some see "freelance" censorship as a gray area, government censorship shouldn't be.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

What is to be Done?

I don't know if you have noticed, but the economic markets are, shall we say, not on the most stable of ground. And it's impacting the election, as it should. Nice to talk about stuff that matters a bit more than lipstick on a pig. And here's what Obama is saying.
So let's be clear: what we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed.
He's not wrong.

Andrew Leonard over at How the World Works has written a post on Obama's speech and what it means for our economy. It's well worth reading. He doesn't white wash the Clinton Years, in which many of these problems were created. But he points out that the fundamental issue is whether or not regulated markets or unregulated markets work better.

And like, Obama says, the verdict is in.

I-Pod 50

1. "I Can't Hide from My Mind" - They Might Be Giants
2. "The Circus (Live)" - Erasure
3. "Sorry or Please" - Kings of Convenience
4. "Departure" - R.E.M.
5. "Twenty Deadly Diseases" - Severed Heads
6. "Torch" - Psychedelic Furs
7. "Power to Create" - Jay West
8. "Hair of the Dog" - Bauhaus
9. "Swim" - Bush
10. "Marvel Hill" - The Cardigans
11. "Blackbird" - The Beatles
12. "Satin Doll" - Duke Ellington and his Orchestra
13. "Praiano" - Kojak
14. "Everybody Get Down" - Mouzon's Electric Band
15. "Crazy Life" - Toad the Wet Sprocket
16. "Inhibitions (Clear Horizons Remix)" - Belizbeha
17. "Street Hassle" - Simple Minds
18. "Heaven (Live)" - Talking Heads
19. "Tea for Two" - Duke Ellington
20. "You Come in Burned" - The Dandy Warhols
21. "Lovesong" - The Cure
22. "Breath of Life (Remix)" - Erasure
23. "Amp" - Fluke
24. "Lucky Lisp" - Morrissey
25. "Shadows and Tall Trees" - U2
26. "Down Lo Ho (Interlude)" - Wyclef Jean
27. "Doublespeak" - Blue States
28. "Waiting" - Smashing Pumpkins
29. "Cabbalaland" - Severed Heads (with MC Newsagent)
30. "Mr. Tambourine Man (Acoustic Demo)" - The Byrds
31. "My Obsession" - The Rolling Stones
32. "High" - The Cure
33. "Unfinished Sympathy" - Massive Attack
34. "Love Hate Revenge" - Episode Six
35. "Sweet Jane (Full Length Version) - The Velvet Underground
36. "Napalm Brain / Scatter Brain" - DJ Shadow
37. "Planet Claire" - B-52s
38. "Roger Milla" - Madox
39. "Curveball" - Elite Force
40. "The Long and Winding Road" - The Beatles
41. "Mint Car (Acoustic)" - The Cure
42. "Dark Star (single version)" - Grateful Dead
43. "Spirit Level" - The Other Two
44. "Saturdays (Reprise)" - Cut Copy
45. "Pheli War" - Bally Jagpal
46. "The Fruity Track" - Lemon Jelly
47. "Liar You Lie" - Yuki Kajiura
48. "Homeward Bound" - Simon and Garfunkel
49. "I'll Sink Manhattan" - They Might Be Giants
50. "In Between Days" - The Cure

That's a lot of songs. Maybe too many for one list.

Some poeple who seem to have heard of the Bush Doctrine

As pundits mull whether America's next target in the war on terrorism should be Iraq or a smaller quarry first – such as the Sudan or Somalia – it's time to consider another petri dish of ferocious anti-American hatred and terrorist activity. The Bush doctrine is: We are at war not only with the terrorists, but also with those who harbor them. We've got to attack France. Having exhausted itself in a spirited fight with the Nazis in the last war, France cannot work up the energy to oppose terrorism. For decades now, France has nurtured, coddled and funded Islamic terrorists.
Ann Coulter, "Attack France!", December 20, 2001.
They (meaning Democrats) deny Iraq is part of the war on terror, never mind that terrorists demonstrably disagree. Never mind that the Bush Doctrine clearly defines the enemy to include terrorist-sponsoring nations, like Saddam's Iraq.
David Limbaugh, "Plain lies, war lies and partisanship," September 1, 2006.
Victory in Iraq --the creation of a stable, functioning representative government protected by a strong Iraqi military capable of and committed to the suppression of terrorism and sectarian violence-- would be a vindication of the Bush Doctrine, and although it would also be in the very best interests of the country as a whole, the left sees a political disaster in such an outcome, and has hence redoubled its efforts to tarnish not just the president who ordered the war, but also the generals who lead it, and the soldiers who fight it.
Hugh Hewitt, "When General Petraus Reports," July 27, 2007
As the war in Iraq ground slowly on, Bush supporters grew more and more timid and pettifogging. What was missing was a full-throated, unequivocal, intellectually sparkling defense of the Bush Doctrine.

It is missing no more.
Mona Charen, "The Podhoretz Cavalry," September 21, 2007.
The Bush democracy crusade was put on the shelf after producing election triumphs for Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. And the Bush Doctrine of preventive war, after Iraq, appears to be headed there, as well.
Patrick J. Buchanan, "Is Bush Becoming Irrelevant?", May 30, 2008
In conversations I've had with past Pentagon colleagues as well as some of the current crop, a recurring worry has been relayed to me. It is this: If Barack Obama wins the White House, what happens to the Bush doctrine of basically killing these terrorists where they stand?
Douglas MacKinnon, "Only YOU Can Stop the Hate-Driven Far-Left and... Save Your Country", September 3, 2008.

Poor Sarah Palin

Dennis Prager feels like Charlie Gibson was mean to Sarah Palin, and says so in his latest article. He asked her if she supported the Bush Doctrine in foreign affairs. And then poor Palin didn't know exactly what it was. I mean it's been the subject of discussion for 7 years, but apparently Palin had never been exposed to it. And neither had Dennis Prager.
When he asked Palin whether she agreed with the Bush Doctrine without defining it, he gave the game away. He lost any pretense of fairness. Asking the same unanswerable question three times had one purpose -- to humiliate the woman. That was not merely partisan. It was mean.

I couldn't answer it -- and I have been steeped in international affairs since I was a Fellow at the Columbia University School of International Affairs in the 1970s. I have since been to 82 countries, and have lectured in Russian in Russia and in Hebrew in Israel. Most Americans would consider a candidate for national office who had such a resume qualified as regards international relations. Yet I had no clue how to answer Gibson's question.
No clue how to answer it, eh? Maybe you should have paid attention when Bush defined it, or when dozens of conservatives spoke on the importance of the Bush Doctrine. A Google search on the conservative website where I read your articles reveals that the phrase "Bush Doctrine" has been used 5,290 times. The phrase has it's own wikipedia entry. But apparently the rule of the day is that the first time the phrase Bush Doctrine was used was when Charlie Gibson sprung it, trap-like, on Sarah Palin. Or that's what you can learn at Conservapedia.

Bizarre. Because I'm sure I remember conservatives taking liberals to task for failing to support the Bush Doctrine. I'll have to check my memory banks.

Alaska and Palin

The Nation has an article today on Alaskans who do not support Palin. Obviously she's very popular there, but there are still a number of Alaskans who are not keen on Palin.
Leslie Cornick, a Wasilla resident who teaches marine biology at Alaska Pacific University, drove to Anchorage for the anti-Palin rally, and planned to canvas her neighborhood for Obama the following day. "My husband works with a lot of people who grew up with her," she said. "Interestingly, they support her, but they also acknowledge what a liar and a hypocrite she is. Pit bull is really the appropriate reference for her, and that's not who I want running my foreign policy."
Worth checking out.

In other news Townhall is down so can't read articles there yet. But soon.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I-Pod 25

1. "Mainstream U.S.A." - They Might Be Giants
2. "The Promise" - The Cure
3. "Pork Pie Stride" - Sharpshooters
4. "Kingdom of Lies" - The Folk Implosion
5. "Strange Apparation" - Beck
6. "Slap the Bass (Miguel Migs Petalpiusher Mix)" - Ella Fitzgerald
7. "Crush With Eyeliner" - R.E.M.
8. "A Red Letter Day" - Pet Shop Boys
9. "Oh My My" - Ani DiFranco
10. "Alive" - Karen David
11. "Seventeen" - Love Spit Love
12. "The Hammer of Thor" - Riton
13. "2nd Avenue" - Spacehog
14. "The Joker" - Fatboy Slim feat. Bootsy Collins
15. "Sunny Friend" - Zeebee
16. "Running to Stand Still (Live)" - U2
17. "At My Most Beautiful" - R.E.M.
18. "Spooky" - New Order
19. "My Iron Lung" - Radiohead
20. "Salsita" - Sin Palabras
21. "Nuit Sur Les Champes Elysees (Take 1)" - Miles Davis
22. "Your Song (Tim 'Love' Lee Remix)" - Groove Armada
23. "Time" - Tori Amos
24. "Comment Te Dire Adieu" - Jimmy Sommerville featuring June Miles Kingston
25. "Boys" - M.I.A.

I think Mike S. Adams is trying to get fired

For those who don't know, Adams is a professor at UNC Wilmington who writes article after article about how lousy it is to be a professor and a conservative. But now I'm really starting to wonder if he wants to keep his job at all.

I don't know - being a teacher probably does kind of suck. I'll bet being a commentator who writes about how lousy it is to be a conservative teacher is a lot easier. He could sit around in his underwear all day writing nasty articles that will be only marginally more divorced from reality.

Anyway his latest is on how angry he is that he and his colleagues have to attend mandatory sexual harassment training. I guess Adams already feels that he is sufficiently skilled at harassing his female associates. So he and his clique will be attending and disrupting every sexual harassment training session they can. With really thought provoking questions like this one.
5. Let’s say a black professor complains about racism so often that we just let him fornicate with his white students in order to get him to shut up. Is this an example of sexual harassment against women? Or racial harassment against white professors? Just curious.
Yeah - that's the sort of question that makes you think. Mostly about how Adams's brain must not work properly, but at least it's thought.

At any rate, I look forward to Adams eventually departure from the halls of academia. Seems like he'll be more comfortable at home.

Let's Talk About Art!

When you read as many Conservative articles as I have, certain themes emerge. Certain standard articles that many conservatives take a whack at. Like "The Muslim Menace" article; very popular.

One of the odder ones is the one about lousy music kids are listening to these days. I wonder if they have much awareness of how that article makes them look. And the answer is that Christian Conservatives probably love hearing about the devil's music. And that's who's going to buy their books.

By the same token, articles on Art, particularly modern Art, baffle me as well. I'm not talking about Art that is trying to offend (like that Madonna made of Dung from a few years back). I get why they might object to that (My reaction is more that some art is crap for crap's sake, and it's depressing having to defend juvenile crap).

No I'm talking about art like Paul Greenberg describes in his latest article. Essentially a fountain of water over metal that looks like a wreck from what he describes. Or a pile of debris. At any rate, he doesn't get it. And he doesn't like it. And he felt the urge to express this disdain, while complaining about the price of the art he doesn't like.

First let's deal with the price - the price was set presumably by the committee in charge of doing the grounds - and presumably it's a fair price for what you can get art for. So if they had put up something Mr. Greenburg had really liked, it would still cost around $400,000. That's what an individual outdoor feature goes for, presumably.

So either he thinks they shouldn't bother with art at all - just put up some off the rack fountain and be done with it (which would probably be a bit cheaper), or he has an aesthetic reaction to it. He doesn't like it, and he feels like the world should revolve around what he does and doesn't like.

Greenburg gets away with this because he assumes that most of his readership shares his prejudices. Which is the basis for many a conservative article, come to think of it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

To Tell the Truth

I haven't had any Paul Krugman articles in a while, but today's definitely merits mention, as it brings together the themes of this week in a compelling package.

And what themes are those? McCain and Palin are running a deceptive campaign. A stupidly deceptive campaign. They are the sort of lies their partisan base, weaned on Limbaugh and Coulter, will believe whole heartedly. But for those with the sense to check them out, the truth can come out fairly quickly.

He concludes with these words which are devastatingly accurate.
I’m talking, instead, about the relationship between the character of a campaign and that of the administration that follows. Thus, the deceptive and dishonest 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign provided an all-too-revealing preview of things to come. In fact, my early suspicion that we were being misled about the threat from Iraq came from the way the political tactics being used to sell the war resembled the tactics that had earlier been used to sell the Bush tax cuts.

And now the team that hopes to form the next administration is running a campaign that makes Bush-Cheney 2000 look like something out of a civics class. What does that say about how that team would run the country?

What it says, I’d argue, is that the Obama campaign is wrong to suggest that a McCain-Palin administration would just be a continuation of Bush-Cheney. If the way John McCain and Sarah Palin are campaigning is any indication, it would be much, much worse.
He's not wrong.


For those of you artistic types, check out this website - it's really cool. Got the link from Comics Should Be Good, at Comic Book Resources.

Life is Strange

I usually read Slactivist for their funny and biting review of the Left Behind books. But his other posts during the week are quite good, and there's a post up today that is a scorching attack on McCain for attacking Obama's support of a law to make it more difficult for predators to sexually abuse children. In McCain's world, this apparently qualifies as sex education. Anyway it's a bizarre look into a strange campaign season.

Just Checking

If I wrote an article about the danger posed by Jews and used as one of my key example of the creeping Jewish Menace the existence of Kosher Butchers, Kosher Delis and Kosher Salt, you'd think I was not only a bigot but also kind of insane right?

Cause that is a point in Diana West's latest article, which argues that since 9/11 we've become a more Islamic society.
Meanwhile, the undermining reach of Islamic law stretches across American society, from the hilltop farm in rural Vermont, where goats are now raised to be slaughtered according to Islamic law, to Wall Street, where once-mighty financial institutions, some of them having become trinkets of Islamic potentates, now adapt themselves to Sharia banking practices, to Washington, D.C., where stately government buildings have been ringed in quasi-medieval, high tech anti-jihad defenses.
So out of her three points, one is that goats are killed according to Islamic Law and one is that Washington has set up security systems? Since when are heightened security systems a symbol of Islam? And aren't those systems put in place by the Bush administration?

If security systems are a symbol of accommodating Islam, I shudder to think what Diana West would like to see as far as fighting back.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I'm Down

But not for the reasons Ann Coulter suggests in her latest article.
Morose that there hasn't been another terrorist attack on American soil for seven long years, liberals were ecstatic when Hurricane Gustav was headed toward New Orleans during the Republican National Convention last week.
Honest to god, if you really believed Liberals are disappointed that terrorists haven't managed to kill more Americans in the last 7 years, what are the implications of that belief? Why are you willing to go on TV with liberals? I mean if they are that crazed, that traitorous, why? If you believe that they are waiting for, praying for, more deaths, how do you restrain yourself from socking them?

Unless you don't really believe it and are engaging in some hypothetical exaggeration to make a point about, well, about how crazy and traitorous liberals are.

Anyway the rest of her article illustrates what I was talking about earlier; Republicans think the Bush years have been totally successful and don't get why they have to run against his record now. Most Conservatives live close enough to reality that they accept that they have to. Coulter, blissfully off in la la land, does not.

Words Obama Will Regret

This is the title of Ken Blackwell's latest article. You'd think those words would be the Pig in Lipstick comment. But not so much, as it turns out.
On Monday, Senator Obama uttered one sentence that could haunt him until Election Day. He said of Senator McCain and Governor Palin telling voters they would bring change, “they must think you’re stupid.” Given his stances on the surge, social issues, and his past, Mr. Obama will regret those words.
OK. Well I think the lipstick comment will haunt him more (although perhaps that's what he is referring to), but truthfully the Republicans are adept at spinning anything into a terrible gaffe. So something like that was likely to happen down the road.

Anyway if that's the line Blackwell thinks is so terrible, you'd think the rest of his article would be about how McCain and Palin can actually bring about change. I mean if Obama is saying they are going to be more of the same failed Bush Policies, would Blackwell want to argue that, instead, McCain and Palin are going to be a breath of fresh air?

But instead, Blackwell just transcribes the standard attacks on Obama. He'll take away your guns, he's pro-abortion, he's got some unfortunate friends, and he opposed the Iraq war. Darn that Obama.

I suspect the problem is that the Republicans have worked out that President Bush is not as popular with the American people as he is with them. But they don't like it. In their minds if McCain promised to continue the Bush/Cheney programs, it would be a huge plus in their minds. Instead McCain is running as a maverick who will bring change to the White House. So conservatives are stuck defending something they think is pretty dumb to begin with, and end up writing articles like this.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Work for the Department of the Interior and get Free Paintball

There's a big scandal brewing over at the Department of the Interior. Or, to put it more accurately, the pots been boiling over for some time and a new report is making it clear what kind of stuff is happening over there.

Among other things the New York Times reports that officials of the Interior Department accepted "golf, ski and paintball outings." I find myself wondering if Barney Stinson works over there.

It wasn't all fun and games though; the same paragraph notes that officials were also taken to a Toby Kieth concert.

I also love this bit.
In discussions with investigators, the report said, Mr. Smith acknowledged buying cocaine from his secretary and having a sexual encounter with her at her home, but denied discussing drugs at work. He also denied telling anyone to lie, saying that he only told people that “no one has a right to know what I do on my personal time.”
"Ixnay on the ugs-dray. We can talk about that after work." Yeah and if you are committing a crime, which I'm pretty sure Cocaine use qualifies as, you don't really get to make the personal time argument.

More on Pigs and Vice Presidents

This is from a post over at the Washington Post by Ruth Marcus.
In fact, if you want to get all huffy about “gendered comments,” I’d suggest keeping an eye on the McCain campaign. It has taken to calling Obama “fussy” and describing the campaign as “hysterical.” As in, “I saw Obama’s rather fussy and petulant response today to the tire gauge” (Nicolle Wallace) or, “Senator Obama appears to get fussy when asked tough questions” (Brian Rogers). Or, "the Obama campaign’s hysterical statement questioning John McCain’s honor (Rogers) or “The only explanation for their hysterical attacks...” (Rogers).

Are they trying to suggest that Obama is a girly-man? These are not random, off-the-cuff word choices, but part of a deliberate effort to evoke an image of Obama as effeminate and weak. Or maybe that’s just me, being fussy and hysterical.
Yeah, there it is. But of course should Obama comment on these consistent attempts to paint him as effeminate, Republicans and the Press will come down on him for being a whiner.

Sarah Palin and Book Banning

There is a list going around that purports to be the list of books Sarah Palin wanted to ban when she was the mayor of Wasilla. This list is bogus. For one thing it contains books that were not in print during this incident. For another details on what books Palin wanted to remove from the library are sketchy.

What is factual is that Sarah Palin asked the library the procedures for removing books from the Public Library, and the Librarian in charge refused. Shortly thereafter the librarian was fired. Those are the facts and even Republicans aren't really denying them.

Instead they are changing the terms of the debate - they will bring up the bogus list of books, for example and say imply that because that list is bogus, the whole issue is bogus. Or they will claim that Sarah Palin never actually censored a book. Which may be true; but she clearly intended to. And of course they will claim that Palin's attempt to fire the librarian had nothing to do with this incident. Community residents at the time clearly felt the two events were linked though.

For more information on this issue, check out this post at the Nation.

Some other Expressions the Obama Camp may not want to use

When Pigs Fly - as in "With McCain in office, we'll have to wait till when pigs fly before we bring our troops home from Iraq.

Pig in a Poke - as in "The American Voters need to be careful, when looking at a McCain Presidency, that they don't get stuck with a pig in a poke."

Make a Pig's Ear - as in "If McCain and Palin get into office you can be sure they will make a pig's ear out of it."

Pearls before Swine - as in "I don't want to get down in the gutter with McCain; I don't want to throw my pearls before swine."

High on the Hog - as in "If McCain and Palin are elected, expect corporate america to be High on the Hog."

Guinea Pig - as in "We don't need America to be the guinea pig in Sarah Palin's uninformed experiments."

For those who don't know Obama used the phrase put lipstick on a pig in referring to how McCain and Palin, who are pretending to be mavericks but are really the same sort of Republicans who have been running this country for the past 8 years. The sensitive Ms. Palin, the sensitive McCain Campaign, and the ultra-sensitive conservative commentator corps have interpreted that to mean he called Sarah Palin a pig. Nonsensical I know.

Frankly I think the whole thing is ridiculous - if Sarah Palin is shedding any tears over being called a pig, I am sure they are crocodile tears.

Wait, did I just call her a crocodile? Back the dictionary of idioms.

Not the Best Sign

So it's election season. And the guys selling conservative shirts have a campaign shirt they'd like to sell you. It's the one there to the left.

Course you'd think if Conservatives really were so optimistic about their chances they'd be keen on selling shirts from this election cycle. Still, '84 was a very good year for Republicans so I guess I can see why they might prefer living in the past. This year's election cycle isn't likely to be nearly so glorious.

Happy Days are Here Again

This week anyway. Or such is the theme of Tony Blankley's latest article. His theme is that with the selection of Sarah Palin and the Republican Convention, the Republican Party's fortunes have dramatically improved.
Until last week, Sen. McCain was running as the boring candidate of experience and was unable to substantially replace Bush as the image of the party. With Bush having a 70 percent negative image, he not only was dragging down McCain but also constituted a drowning weight on the buoyancy of Republican candidates at the federal, state and local levels.

But with the addition of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to the ticket, suddenly and spontaneously, McCain the reformer, McCain the maverick stopped being a GOP talking point and became incarnate. It is not only that the Alaska governor is a genuine reformer but also that by every aspect of her being, she is fresh, different, recognizably normal, and thus, the un-Washingtonian. The power of her image has supercharged McCain's image.
Palin has certainly proven to be very popular with the Conservative Base, which is doubtless a large part of why she was chosen (the other major reason being her gender, in a cynical attempt to draw Hillary Clinton supporters).

It would be hard to argue that the Republicans didn't have a good week. But there is still plenty of time to go. Plenty of time to remind the American people that McCain the Maverick has followed Bush's lead the bulk of the time, particularly when it comes to the Iraq war. Plenty of time to review Palin's qualifications to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency. Plenty of time for debates, which I hope will make the differences between Republicans and Democrats even more explicit.

Plenty of time.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Bill Hicks

Watched a performance of Bill Hicks over the weekend - thank you Netflix. It was pretty good - it didn't contain this bit but it does seem pretty of the moment to me.
By the way, if anyone here is in advertising or marketing, kill yourself. Thank you, thank you. Just a little thought. I'm just trying to plant seeds. Maybe one day they'll take root. I don't know. You try. You do what you can. Kill yourselves. Seriously though, if you are, do. No really, there's no rationalisation for what you do, and you are Satan's little helpers, OK? Kill yourselves, seriously. You're the ruiner of all things good. Seriously, no, this is not a joke. "There's gonna be a joke coming..." There's no fucking joke coming, you are Satan's spawn, filling the world with bile and garbage, you are fucked and you are fucking us, kill yourselves, it's the only way to save your fucking soul. Kill yourself, kill yourself, kill yourself now. Now, back to the show.

"You know what Bill's doing now, he's going for the righteous indignation dollar, that's a big dollar, a lot of people are feeling that indignation, we've done research, huge market. He's doing a good thing." Godammit, I'm not doing that, you scumbags, quit putting a godamn dollar sign on every fucking thing on this planet!
Yeah, I totally agree with this sentiment - particularly that last bit.

Compare and Contrast

Remember how I said that it was unlikely that the Conservative Base would cotton to David Brooks suggestion that McCain promise to work with Democrats? Well Cal Thomas agrees, in his latest article.
While John McCain promised those gathered at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul that he would "reach across the aisle" and put Democrats and Independents in a McCain administration, Democrats are busy sending out fund-raising letters asking for donations so they can win a "gridlock-proof Senate majority" and won't have to compromise with Republicans.

Where are principles in this? Why aren't conservatives arguing in favor of the superiority of their ideas rather than attempting to win "Miss Congeniality" awards from liberals?
So there you go. I'm right again. But then Thomas who gains points by agreeing with me, loses them by being a dope.
A national telephone survey by Rasmussen Reports, posted Aug. 27, finds that just 9 percent of likely voters give Congress positive ratings, while 51 percent say it's doing a poor job. This is an issue McCain should embrace. Harry Truman made the Republican "do-nothing Congress" an effective campaign issue in 1948 and while lightning rarely strikes twice in politics, McCain might consider a similar tactic.
The problem with this strategy is pretty obvious. The Democratic Congress looks crummy because it isn't doing enough to stop President Bush. They are seen as spineless and weak, because, well, they are spineless and weak.

But since McCain largely agrees with President Bush, well, it's hard for him to make the case that Congress should be fighting President Bush with more fervor. Drilling gives him an opening (because Democratic Congresscritters have not successfully articulated why the Drill Here, Drill Now program is a poor idea), but it's not a big enough opening I should think.

Unless it turns out the American people don't like the "do-nothing" congress but aren't really sure what they want them to do. Which is, regrettably, totally possible.

David Brooks Electoral Advice

David Brooks is an astonishingly banal person, as I may have commented on in the past. His latest article is about the election. His overall point is that the candidates need to be weird. Distinct from their parties. And Obama can best accomplish that by attacking his parties base.
Obama needs to occasionally criticize his own side. If he can’t take on his own party hacks, he’ll never reclaim the mantle of systemic change. Specifically, he needs to attack the snobs who are savaging Sarah Palin’s faith and family. Many liberals claim to love working-class families, but the moment they glimpse a hunter with an uneven college record, they hop on chairs and call for disinfectant.
So basically Obama needs to come to the defense of his opponent, in order to score some points with . . . who exactly?

I'm also curious what Mr. Brooks thinks about comments on her lack of qualifications, the seemingly cynical way she was connected, the lack of a real vetting process when other more qualified candidates were snubbed, the deceptions the McCain bill has practiced regarding her opposition to the Bridge to Nowhere, and so on and so forth. Should Obama defend Palin on those issues as well?

But don't worry, Brooks has some advice for McCain as well. And no it's not that McCain should take on those Conservatives who are telling likes about Barack Obama and his family. Rather he thinks McCain should stress his willingness to work with Congressional Democrats.
If I were McCain, I’d make the divided government argument explicit. The Republicans are intellectually unfit to govern right now, but balancing with Democrats, they might be able to do some good. I’d have McCain tell the country that he looks forward to working with Congressional Democrats, that he is confident they can achieve great things together.
That's not a bad idea when it comes to winning over the independents and disaffected liberals. But it totally runs against the grain of the current McCain Campaign and the state of the Republican party. The convention held last week was clearly more about the evil Democrats and how they are going to ruin things than it was about any kind of positive agenda the Republicans have. To turn around now and say that "Yeah Democrats and Republicans disagree, but we can work together for the good of the country" would have a couple of effects.

1. Independent voters would love it, but probably not enough to completely counter the argument that John McCain agrees with Bush 90% of the time.

2. Conservative Commentators, starting with Limbaugh, would go out of their minds with anger. Liberals are the enemy to this crowd; we aren't to be gotten along with. We are to be defeated.

And honestly I'm not sure the warmth that Independents would receive this announcement with would be enough to counterbalance the hellfire the Conservative Base would rain on it.

One of Them and One of Us

This is the title to Patrick Buchanan's latest article, in which he writes about Barack Obama and Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin is one of us, a poor women unjustly attacked by the mavens of political correctness. Barak Obama is one of them, a liberal, ivy-league, affirmative action guy.

That's why criticisms of Sarah Palin's experience are totally beyond the pale, while criticisms of Obama's are completely useful. She's one of us; he's one of them.

That's why the mild discussion of family values in the wake of her daughters situation is a horrid travesty, while constant harping on Obama's "un-American" wife are totally acceptable. She's one of us; he's one of them.

For the record, I'm pretty sure that despite my lack of an Ivy League education, I'm also one of them.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Fear the Democrats!

Douglas McKinnon has written an article that was very popular 4 years ago and I suspect will be increasingly popular as this election heats up. Basically it's the old saw about how you need to vote for Republicans or we are all going to die. And of course the Terrorists are big Obama supporters.
All who are honest about this subject know that the terrorists would least like to see McCain get elected.
Honestly, though, McKinnons article reeks of desperation. First of all, again and again he reminds us that the American people see through the Democrats propaganda.
Contrary to the smug and biased beliefs of the liberal media, the American electorate is astute and up on its current events. Voters recognize that terrorism is not only the defining issue of our time, but one that will most likely be with them for the rest of their lives.

. . . With John McCain, most of these Pentagon and military officials — and most of the American people — know exactly what they are getting.
Yep, McKinnon's faith in the American people is touching, but perhaps misplaced. Or to put it another way, I have faith in there ability to recognize the failures of the Bush Administration, and their wisdom to note that McCain isn't likely to change much of what President Bush.

He also praises the hell out of Joe Lieberman. Lieberman will be caucusing with the Republicans next year.

Anyway the article is annoying it's predictability, but it's desperation is pleasant to see.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

More on Sarah Palin

This is a letter written by somebody who knew Sarah Palin as a mayor. It's not very flattering.

Conservatives are busy pretending that all of the criticisms of Palin boil down to criticisms of her daughter having a child out of wedlock; but there really are plenty of other things about this candidate that are questionable.

Edited to add: I mucked that up -here is the letter, which is down in the comments section of that previous post.

Making it Explicit

A number of commentators have speculated that McCain's selection of Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate might end the debate over Obama's experience. I expect the campaign might drop it, and some of the mainstream commentators. But Conservatoid Commentators won't. And Cal Thomas explains why in his latest article.
That Obama lacks experience to be president has led some pundits to say that issue is now a wash, harming neither candidate. Not true.

There is good and there is bad experience. More importantly, there is worldview. Obama and his running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, see America as a nation in which government plays a primary role in individual lives. John McCain and Sarah Palin see the individual as primary and government as a protector of freedom that can help the less fortunate become self-sustaining.
There it is. Palin has developed the right political views and so her experience is fine, no matter how scant it is. Obama has the wrong political views and so his experience is suspect, and so is Biden's.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Pretending to See the Future

This is an old OMD song if memory serves, and while I can't remember the song, I do like the title.

Michael Moore, appearing on Kieth Olberman's show, said, "Gustav is proof that there is a God in Heaven." This is unfortunate. He did, later in the broadcast clarify that he hoped that nobody would get hurt in the storm. He has since written a longer letter clarifying the joke, such as it was, and begging God not to hit New Orleans with another Hurricane. It's well worth reading as it does put his comments into perspective.

But of course that isn't going to stop Conservatives from taking the damning quote, repeating it endlessly, and claiming that Liberals want destruction so long as it hurts Republicans. Conservatives like Mike Gallagher.
Rotund filmmaker (propagandist) Michael Moore writes that Gustav is God's wrath upon the dirty, evil Republicans and seems to be wishing for as much death and destruction as possible in order to ruin the impact of the convention.

It isn't in an evildoer like Michael Moore's DNA to understand that for most decent Americans, politics takes a back seat to people's safety. Don't kid yourself: the looney left is hoping for a whopper of a storm, the bigger the better. They figure it will take a hurricane to make people forget about the stunningly brilliant vice-presidential pick.
A few problems with Gallagher's article - Moore didn't write it, he said it. On the Kieth Olberman Show. What he wrote was a plea for God to turn aside the storm.

But on the other hand, this is all entirely predictable. Moore, at this point, has to know how that sort of comment is going to be seen, and if he doesn't he's kind of a moron. Why give them that ammo? What purpose did it serve?