Dada is the sun, Dada is the egg. Dada is the Police of the Police.

8/20/2005

Freedom wears a burqa

Digby, responding to the news that "Islam will be 'the main source' of Iraq's law" which will "sit uneasily with U.S. insistence on the primacy of democracy and human rights in the new Iraq," has harsh words for the hawks:
Well, we're not really talking about human rights now are we? We're talking about women's rights, which are always negotiable.

...Iraqi women's lives have already become demonstrably less free. This will codify it. And tough shit if you're gay or secular or different in any way. Some fucking freedom.

I hope that everyone makes it their business to remind every Republican asshole they know that it wasn't the liberals who turned Iraq into a theocracy. This is happening on their watch, under their auspices. We don't believe in theocracy. They do. They do not believe in freedom. We do.

I am now officially an isolationsist. Not because I don't think that Americans should spend its blood and treasure on foreigners. It's because I don't think the world can take much more of our "freedom and democracy."
More information about the state of women's rights (or lack thereof) in post-invasion Iraq can be found here. The gist of the role of Islam in the new constitution: "Parliament would not be able to pass legislation that contradicted the principles of Islam, several negotiators told Reuters. One Shi'ite official said that a constitutional court would decide whether laws conformed to Islamic faith."


... The Kenosha Kid quotes a 'a secular Kurdish politician': "It's shocking. It doesn't fit American values. They have spent so much blood and money here, only to back the creation of an Islamist state ... I can't believe that's what the Americans really want or what the American people want."

From Body and Soul: "the idea that Americans in Iraq aren't just giving up on women's rights, but actively participating in the elimination of those rights is stunning. The only thing worse than Americans thinking they can control other people is an American ambassador encouraging the abuse of more than half the people in the country."

Billmon: "I predicted a few days ago that the American proconsul in Baghdad would soon find it expedient to throw President Bush's high-flown promises to the women of Iraq off the constitutional train ... that moment now seems to have arrived..."

The irresponsible slurs of a drink-sodden former Trotskyist popinjay

Alexander Cockburn on Christopher Hitchens:
Christopher Hitchens attacked Cindy Sheehan, of course. Called her a LaRouchie! Why? No reason given. He obviously reckons "LaRouchie" is one of those let-her-deny-it slurs, like "anti-Semite". Let's suppose Hitchens was writing in similarly nasty terms about Hitchens. He'd probably remember that in 1999 Edward Jay Epstein publicly recalled a dinner in the Royalton Hotel in New York where Epstein said Hitchens had doubted the Holocaust was quite what it's cracked up to be. In Epstein's memory Hitchens belittled the idea that six million Jews died, said the number was much less.

So, under Hitchens' rules of polemical engagement, was does that make Hitchens? A holocaust denier, a guy who has Faurisson and David Irving's books under his pillow. A Jew hater, or--if you believe his sudden discovery (privately denied by his own brother on at least one occasion) at a mature age that his mother was Jewish--a Jewish self-hater. Of course Hitchens revels in Cindy Sheehan's denial that she said in an email that her son died in a war for Israel. Hitchens writes that this denial makes her "a shifty fantasist". What would Hitchens, who's an on-the-record admirer ("a great historian") of the work of Nazi chronicler David Irving say about Hitchens' shifty denial of Epstein's recollection? What fun he would have with the witnesses the panic-stricken Hitchens, well aware that "holocaust denier" is not part of the resume of a Vanity Fair columnist, hastily mustered for his defense, a woman and a man present at that famous dinner in the Royalton. One his close friend, Anna Wintour, the present editor of Vogue and the other, Brian McNally, a longtime friend and business associate.

What a truly disgusting sack of shit Hitchens is. A guy who called Sid Blumenthal one of his best friends and then tried to have him thrown into prison for perjury; a guy who waited till his friend Edward Said was on his death bed before attacking him in the Atlantic Monthly; a guy who knows perfectly well the role Israel plays in US policy but who does not scruple to flail Cindy Sheehan as a LaRouchie and anti-Semite because, maybe, she dared mention the word Israel.

Malkin was against internment before she was for it

David T. Beito thinks he's caught Michelle Malkin in a blatant flippity-flop:
Here is what the leading defender of the American decision to intern Japanese-Americans during World War II wrote in 2000:

The government has apologized and provided cash compensation to victims who were forced into camps. There is no denying that what happened to Japanese-American internees was abhorrent and wrong.
What Beito fails to realize is that 9/11 CHANGED EVERYTHING!!!!!!!

BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!

(Via Daou.)

Good fucking point

Cindy Sheehan (via The Blue Voice):
I got an email the other day and it said, "Cindy if you didn't use so much profanity ... there's people on the fence that get offended."

And you know what I said? "You know what? You know what, god damn it?

How in the world is anybody still sitting on that fence?"

Silly rabbit

There's really no purpose to this post other than simply making fun of random kooks who post comments on wingnut blogs.

"Umnumzana," commenting on this post by The Political Teen, responds to an anti-Intelligent Design post by another commenter:
I am sorry but your atheist, secular, socialist petticoat is showing! It takes a billion times greater faith to believe in evolution than it does intelligent design. This web site or any post will not allow any resonable debate about this subject, but I will say that many hundreds of respected scientists, while still believing in Darwinian Evolution have made it clear that Intelligent Design far better answers the scientific evidence than does evolution. I find it incredible that any intelligent human being can view the complex design of all things and then say this perfect, intricate design is the result of random mutations over time. And any design, but certainly complex design, requires the preexistence of a designer. Why are scientists and liberals so terrified about any discussion of intelligent design? Because they fear that man will be pulled down from his self constructed throne and be forced to admit the existence of God. If they admit God exists, they will have to bow down to Him and seek His forgiveness for denying his existence. Lastly, any admission of the existence of God will destroy the idea of a liberal, socialist utopia, a man-made paradise and no liberal is willing to admit that fact!

Oh, one more thing, I thought liberals believed in tolerance, isn’t it funny that the Judeo-Christian God is the one thing they simply cannot - ever tolerate in the public square? Allah is okay, Buddha or any other god is perfectly acceptable, but the God of the Christian faith must be rejected as having any role in the affairs of man!
You know, that reminds me: I need to pick up my atheist, secular, socialist petticoat from the cleaners.

Libel?

Ass Missile writes:
Because the Democrats and the national press live in a bubble, they simply don't understand that most Americans don't view the world the way they do. In particular, most people don't react positively to war protesters, candlelight vigils, anti-American and anti-Semitic slurs, etc. Consequently, while the Dems thought they had finally broken through with their exploitation of Cindy Sheehan--granted, no one has ever been exploited more willingly--most Americans were either indifferent to Ms. Sheehan or repelled by her.
Would you interpret this as accusing Ms. Sheehan of anti-Semitism? If so, Ass Missile (and Hitchens, and anybody else making such accusations) better put up or shut up - as in, present some evidence of anti-Semitism on the part of Sheehan - or he could end up getting his ass sued.

(Despite what various wingnuts like to think, calling for Israel to get out of Occupied Palestine is not equivalent to anti-Zionism, and even if it were, anti-Zionism is not equivalent to anti-Semitism.)

By the way, what is the evidence for the alleged indifference and repulsion of the American people to Cindy Sheehan? A poll indicating that Sheehan's 'favorable' rating is 35% and her 'unfavorable' rating is 38%. In other words, opinion is split, with a substantial percentage that doesn't know who the hell Sheehan even is. Big surprise. Somehow this is being spun into a rejection of Sheehan by the American public - ignoring the fact that the same poll says that only 55% of Americans are following the story at all closely.

Why does the Pentagon hate America?

From the Defense Department's "Transition To and From Hostilities" (via the Antiwar.com blog):
The only way to understand the motivations of an opponent is by having a real understanding of the historical and religious framework that has molded his culture. It is clear that Americans who waged the war and who have attempted to mold the aftermath have had no clear idea of the framework that has molded the personalities and attitudes of Iraqis. Finally, it might help if Americans and their leaders were to show less arrogance and more understanding of themselves and their place in history. Perhaps more than any other people, Americans display a consistent amnesia concerning their own past, as well as the history of those around them.

No matter how you slice it, this is unseemly

From AMERICAblog:
According to AP, Pope Benedict is asking the White House to clarify that he has diplomatic immunity and can't be tried for conspiring to cover up the molestation of three boys by a Texas seminarian.

8/19/2005

The stupidest Mark Noonan post EVER?

It's possible that he's written something as moronic, but I'm confident he's never written anything more moronic than this (emphasis added):
Some of our leftwing friends are saying that if this war is worth fighting, President Bush's daughters should volunteer for the military. I can't speak for everyone who writes here at Blogs for Bush, but speaking just for myself, I'd have to say our leftwing friends are barking up the wrong tree.

...women shouldn't really be in the military; certainly not in the combat branches of it. Call me old-fashioned if you like, but I just think that one of the duties of a man is to spare women the horrors of war as far as possible. War is a nasty, grisley business - I'd prefer that women didn't have to endure it. They are, of course; and I stand in awe of the courage and dedication of our female servicemembers...but trying to make this conservative feel bad about President Bush's daughters not serving in combat is akin to trying to make me feel bad because by 10 year old nephew isn't serving.

UPDATE: Mark Steyn nails perfectly the leftwing use of the word "children" to describe the men and women in our armed forces:
Ever since America's all-adult, all-volunteer army went into Iraq, the anti-war crowd have made a sustained effort to characterise them as 'children'. If a 13-year-old wants to have an abortion, that's her decision and her parents shouldn't get a look-in. If a 21-year-old wants to drop to the Oval Office shagpile and chow down on Bill Clinton, she's a grown woman and free to do what she wants. But, if a 22- or 25- or 37-year old is serving his country overseas, he's a wee 'child' who isn't really old enough to know what he's doing.
Our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are men and women, not children; brave men and women, too...braver and more selfless than anything in the muddy dreams of their leftwing critics.
OK, in the very same post, Noonan compares women to 10-year-old children and then condemns leftwingers for calling soldiers 'children'.

What a jackass.

You have got to be kidding me

Okay, this is something you don't see everyday -

Uber-paranoid LaShawn Barber password-protects a blog post.

F'd in the A

Brian Leiter* makes James Taranto his bitch.


* a.k.a. "a one-man two-fisted justice parade on a worldwide hostility tour, cracking Republican heads together like coconuts while kicking a creationist in the face."

Beginning of the end

Steve Gilliard: "If someone asks in future years, when the Conservative movement started to die, well, this would be the moment. When politics trumped human decency."

GOP motto

"Let's you and him fight."

The real Michelle Malkin

Jesus' General writes a letter to Michelle Malkin:
Being a conservative Christian, I'm usually opposed to women leaving the home, but you're different from other women. Like Joan of Arc, you have the spirit of a warrior. You tore into that gold star mother, Cindy Sheehan, like a freeper at an all-you-can-eat Twinky buffet. You're passionately vicious ...

As much as I enjoy seeing you eviscerate grieving mothers, I think your viciousness could be applied more effectively. Your unwavering support for the war and your fierce hatred of brown people combine to make you the perfect candidate for service in Iraq. At 35, you're still eligible for duty...

I can almost see you know, covered in blood, feasting on the livers of your enemies, and I don't even want to think about what you'd do to the insurgents.
This reminded me that I actually have a picture of Malkin in her true form. (Click to enlarge.)

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Election reform

Michael at AMERICAblog wonders why neither party seems to care much about election reform.

I agree with his suggestion - get rid of the machines, go to purely paper ballots. In fact, don't even use butterfly ballots or punch holes - just have people mark an X next to their preferred candidate, and then count them all by hand, like they do in Canada (if I'm not mistaken). If we have to wait a few days, so be it.

The Democratic Party and the specter of 1968

Pat Buchanan makes a good point (I know, I know):
Cindy Sheehan may be George Bush’s problem today, but she and her movement pose a far greater problem for the Democratic Party tomorrow.

...in a slow news month, Sheehan has helped turn the focus of national debate back to the war at a moment of vulnerability for the President. According to Newsweek, support for Bush’s handling of the war has fallen below 40%, to 34%, with 61% now disapproving of his leadership. Put bluntly, the bottom is falling out of support for Bush as Commander-in-Chief. September could see the coalescing of an antiwar movement on the campuses and in public protests.

Why is this not good news for the Democratic Party?

Here’s why. Cindy Sheehan clearly has the courage of the liberal Democrats’ convictions. In their hearts, many of them never believed in this war in Iraq, though their leaders voted for it.

But now that Cindy Sheehan has put a face on the antiwar movement and given it a voice, liberal activists will demand to know where Hillary, Biden, Edwards, Kerry and Warner are, and why they are standing with Bush in support of the war and not standing beside Cindy Sheehan.

Why is no leader in the Democratic Party giving voice to the antiwar cause with the perseverance and passion of Cindy Sheehan? Why are they all hiding in the tall grass, or making statements about how they support the war and the troops, but just disagree with how Bush has managed it. If polls are to be believed, half the nation now agrees with Cindy Sheehan.

She is temporarily filling a vacuum in American politics that been unfilled since the Iowa caucuses, 18 months ago, when the wheels came off a Dean campaign most pundits thought would take him to the nomination.

The problem for the Democrats is this: All their potential nominees -- Hillary, Biden, Kerry, Edwards, Warner -- supported the war in 2002. All support the war today. One day soon, a national Democrat, a Gene McCarthy, is going to break publicly with the DLC crowd and the party establishment on the Hill, stand up and say, “Enough! It’s time to bring the troops home.”

When that happens, the antiwar movement and its new leader will split the Democratic Party right down the middle between “Stay-the-course!” hawks and “Bring-the-boys-home!” doves, just as it did during Vietnam. And if memory serves, Vietnam eventually did far more damage to the Democratic Party than it ever did to the Party of Nixon, Reagan and Bush.
He's right, of course; a deeply divided party is bad, bad news.

Ezra Klein makes a similar point-
The doves hate the hawks, the repentant hawks are cowed by the doves, the unrepentant ones are flirting with the neocons, the neocons are off in lala land, and this has really become more like a clique dealing with drama than a foreign policy discussion ... doesn't this look a bit too much like the circumstances that gave rise to McGovern (and thus, Nixon?)?
- and calls for the left-of-center blogosphere, punditocracy, intelligentsia, whatever to start hashing out what the Democratic position on Iraq ought to be. Presently, he's soliciting answers from the "stay the course" folks:
I want to hear those who think we should stay articulate what we're staying for, what the expended lives and treasure will gain, what conditions will prove the war a success.
That's a good thing; this is a conversation that needs to be had. However, it should be had with two conditions in mind:

1. Immediate withdrawal should be the default position. That is, if the case for 'staying the course' cannot be convincingly made, then the Democrats should advocate ending the war now. In the absence of a compelling reason to be in Iraq, the US shouldn't be there. In other words, the burden of proof ought to be on those who would keep US troops there, not the other way around.

2. It must, at all times, be kept in mind that George W. Bush will be president for the next three and a half years. So just because someone can think of a plan that might make a 'success' of Iraq, that doesn't mean there's any chance in hell it would actually be implemented. BushCo is in charge of this operation, remember. If there does exist a 'plan for success' that the Bush administration refuses to implement, then the Democratic position ought to be: "Either implement plan X, or withdraw now." But it doesn't simply follow from the fact that there are conceivable scenarios under which Iraq could be turned into a 'success' that the US ought to remain there.


...I thought of another thing that should always be remembered when talking about the Iraq occupation. Namely: the US has no 'right' to be in Iraq at all. The US invasion of Iraq was criminal, and the continued occupation is acceptable only on the condition that the Iraqi people want US troops there, regardless of what we might think would be best for them. It is their country, and it is - or ought to be - their decision.

8/18/2005

Cindy Sheehan leaves Crawford

Cindy Sheehan has to leave Crawford because her mother had a stroke.

(Will the right-wingers blame her for her mother's illness?)

The stupidest thing I've read since the last time I read something by Mark Noonan

WSJ's Best of the Web linked to this post by Scott Randolph (emphasis mine):
I actually felt myself become a republican today. It was around 10am, when I read the latest update of the Cindy Sheehan saga in CNN.com. I then shot over to read some blogs about it, and perused the comments in some of them, which was nothing but a long series of petty (albeit entertaining) partisan bickering.

Then it happend. The good little democrat in me tied the little noose around his neck and jumped off the stool. He just couldn’t take it anymore. [Ed.-Good riddance.]

Take what? The whining. The constant whining by the extreme left about the reasons for war, the incompetence of this administration, and how we’ve all been lied to, and how we should pull out of Iraq immediately, because, *gulp* our soldiers were in danger.

Guess what folks….they signed up to join the Army, not the boy scouts. Anytime your orientation to a new job involves an automatic weapon, you should be smart enough to figure out there’s danger involved ...

Because, long story short, we can’t end this war now. That would send the message that those bastardly little terrorists have won. It doesn’t matter if the adminstration told us the desert sand was made of gold, and we are going over there to collect it in little buckets to bring home, the concrete fact that we are at war doesn’t change. We are there, and we have a job to finish ... I hate the fact that our boys are getting killed over there, and I wish it didn’t have to happen.

But, it is, there’s nothing we can do about it, except for doing everything we can to offer support and hope to the folks fighting over there. Arguing and whining about the reasons we’re there, and the need to come home not only kills morale, but it is a complete waste of time.

...we have to finish the job. HAVE TO. it may take another 1800 soldiers, but it has to be done... whether or not we’re there for the right reason, we’ve done something great for that country

I never was a big fan of Bush. But, one thing I do believe….he honestly wants to make this country, and this world a better place... [Ed.-Ha! God damn, you're a fucking idiot.]

I think it’s just my personality that lead me to this decision. I think the left is too concerned with everyone’s immediate rights and needs, and refuses to sacrifice a bit of comfort and happiness in the present, for something that will make life better for everyone in the future ...

Mostly, I’m just really pissed off. We’re in a crappy situation, and it’s time for all of America to stand together, put on the big boy pants, and get through the next few years.
Yes, we really should stop "whining" about being lied into war. Wouldn't want to send the wrong message, and we wouldn't want terrorists to think we have tiny dicks.

Dude, the Yoosta Bee/Sensible Liberal thing is so 2003.

Fair and balanced


From Media Matters.

I hate America

Mark Noonan:
Well, it has been a week of relentless anti-American demonstrations outside President Bush's Texas ranch with only a relative few pro-American demonstrators showing up - but more and more people are getting outraged that the antics of the so-called "anti-war" demonstrators and are willing to do something about it...

Regardless of how one views how we got into Iraq, no sensible person can advocate anything other than absolute victory in Iraq - it is unpatriotic to desire anything other than victory. Fortunately, the conspiracy-theory-mongering leftists don't represent the majority of Americans...

Blasphemer!

Fallenmonk via Scriptoids reprints an article from the Miami Herald on the "Seven Political Blasphemies of contemporary America." They are -

1. Not every deployment of U.S. troops is, by definition, a noble exercise.

2. It is overly simplistic to dismiss all those who resist the American presence in Iraq as "terrorists."

3. It can be argued that the world is not better off without Saddam Hussein.

4. Not every society is ready for American-style capitalism and democracy.

5. The word of God is what one chooses to believe, not a universal truth that unerringly applies to all people.

6. The American social model may not be every reasonable person's idea of a perfect society.

7. Criticizing the U.S. government is not synonymous with criticizing America.


The full article elaborates further.

I especially like one, two, and three. Seven should be obvious enough. Five smacks of a weird, new agey relativism - the true 'word of God' would pretty much be the epitome of a universal truth. What religious people believe is either true or not; its truth is not dependent upon who believes it.

Four and six would have to be laid out with much more specificity than is contained in the article before I could say anything one way or the other.

Feingold suggests deadline for Iraq withdrawal

12/31/2006.


UPDATE: Brad takes issue with the characterization of Feingold's statement as "setting a deadline," saying that "by his own admission, he is not proposing a hard deadline."

Hmm... I don't know. Feingold does use the word "deadline" ("A deadline will help us a great deal to stabilize the situation in Iraq.") However, he also indicates that the deadline is somewhat flexible, saying "It's a target date ... If we believe we need a little more time we may have to continue [in Iraq]."

So there you have it - probably best characterized as a "timeframe" or "target date" or something like that. Of course, the terminology is of little importance; it's the substance of Feingold's proposal that really matters.

So what of the substance? Well ... I'm punting, for now.

8/17/2005

GOP in '06

From the NY Times via Daou Report:
Bad Iraq War News Worries Some in G.O.P. on '06 Vote

WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 - A stream of bad news out of Iraq - echoed at home by polls that show growing impatience with the war and rising disapproval of President Bush's Iraq policies - is stirring political concern in Republican circles, party officials said Wednesday.

Some said that the perception that the war was faltering was providing a rallying point for dispirited Democrats and could pose problems for Republicans in the Congressional elections next year.

Republicans said a convergence of events - including the protests inspired by the mother of a slain American soldier outside Mr. Bush's ranch in Texas, the missed deadline to draft an Iraqi Constitution and the spike in casualties among reservists - was creating what they said could be a significant and lasting shift in public attitude against the war.

The Republicans described that shift as particularly worrisome, occurring 14 months before the midterm elections. As further evidence, they pointed to a special election in Ohio two weeks ago, where a Democratic marine veteran from Iraq who criticized the invasion decision came close to winning in a district that should have easily produced a Republican victory.

...Republicans said they were losing hope that the United States would be effectively out of Iraq - or at least that casualties would stop filling the evening news programs - by the time the Congressional campaigns begin in earnest.

... Grover Norquist, a conservative activist with close ties to the White House and Mr. Bush's senior adviser, Karl Rove, said: "If Iraq is in the rearview mirror in the '06 election, the Republicans will do fine. But if it's still in the windshield, there are problems."

... Representative Thomas M. Reynolds of New York, chairman of the Republican Congressional campaign committee, said he believed that the war would fade as an issue by next year and that even if it did not the elections would, as typically the case, be decided by local issues.

...Some Republicans suggested that the White House was not handling the issue adroitly, saying its insistence that the war was going well was counterproductive.

"Any effort to explain Iraq as 'We are on track and making progress' is nonsense," Newt Gingrich, a Republican who is a former House speaker, said. "The left has a constant drumbeat that this is Vietnam and a bottomless pit. The daily and weekly casualties leave people feeling that things aren't going well."

...Daniel Yankelovich, a pollster who has been studying attitudes on foreign affairs, said: "I think what's changed over the last year is the assumption that Iraq would make us safer from terrorists to wondering if that actually is the case. And maybe it's the opposite."

...The other changing factor is the continued drop in Mr. Bush's job-approval rating that could make him less welcome on the campaign trail.

"If this continues to drag down Bush's approval ratings, Republican candidates will be running with Bush as baggage, not as an asset," Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center, said. "Should his numbers go much lower, he is going to be a problem for Republican candidates in 2006."
I'll still be shocked to see anything even close to a Democratic takeover of Congress in 2006 (Kos et al. are delusional), but the fact that even GOPers are saying this kind of thing is big news indeed.

Lori Klausutis

John Cole analyzes Joe Scarborough's "dirty mind" in response to the possibility that he might challenge Katherine Harris for the Florida Senate seat.

I think Scarborough has bigger issues than that.

And what does the GOP have against Harris? (This isn't the first time they've tried to block a candidacy of hers.) You'd think helping to steal an election would warrant some kind of reward.

GOP in '08

MyDD reports the results of early polling in Iowa for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination:

Condoleeza Rice 30.3%
undecided 20.5%
John McCain 16.0%
Rudy Giuliani 15.3%
Newt Gingrich 7.5%
Bill Frist 3.7%
George Pataki 2.0%
George Allen 0.7%
Chuck Hagel 2.5%
Sam Brownback 1.0%
Mitt Romney 0.5%
Haley Barbour 0.0%

TAPPED speculates that an Allen-Rice ticket would be 'unbeatable':
I was talking with a friend who's also a political journalist over lunch, and we both agreed that the Republicans have an ace up their sleeves when it comes to '08: the potentially killer combo of Virginia Senator and former Governor George Allen (for president) and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (for vice president). With that team they'd cover every Republican base and then some...

...a conservative southern former governor from a football family who can talk Nascar and high tech alike, aligned with a tough-as-nails but charming African-American woman with serious national-security credentials (and I'm talking optics here, not substance). The selection of Rice would act as a capstone to the Karl Rove/Ken Mehlman effort, underway for four years by '08, to draw more African-Americans into the GOP; neutralize any advantage Hillary Clinton might have in reaching out to female voters; and help Allen out with that little problem he has about how he hangs a noose in his office...

...Who's on the Democratic team that beats that duo?
Condi Rice "charming"?

Seriously, though, I wonder if this isn't right. It probably would depend a lot on what happens between now and then (brilliant insight, I know) - that is, it depends on whether Rice's association with the bush administration ends up as an advantage or a disadvantage. Those "serious national-security credentials" could end up being an albatross, considering Bush's approval ratings on Iraq are now in the low thirties. Or, the public's approval of Bush's "war on terror" could carry over to her.

It also remains to be seen how much of an issue foreign policy (known colloquially as 'security') will be, seven years out from the World Trade Center attack. Obviously, a focus on domestic issues would be bad for any Republican candidate, especially one like Rice whose major qualification is her "expertise" (again, mostly a matter of "optics") in foreign affairs.

Rice as VP would be a smart move, though, since her pro-choice views would make it tough for her to get through the primaries. That's assuming the Religious Right wouldn't pitch a fit over her selection, or just stay home in November.

Bad numbers

Max Blumenthal:
As of 8/5, Bush's approval in Ohio was 37%. Funny. I wonder how he won there.
I thought so too, until I saw that Bush's approval in Missouri is only 38%.

Exploitation

Josh Buermann:
Brendan O'Neill harangues some unqualified anti-war movement: "the war's opponents have sought cynically to exploit the families' sorrow for political ends ... grief has become a 'significant political force' - some in the antiwar movement are exploiting it". His case? A few families of fallen soldiers asked "Why did my child die?" and the LA Times claims "leading liberal and antiwar activists [are] parachuting in to try to make [Sheehan] their long-sought voice". Case closed! How dare antiwar groups support another antiwar group! How cynical and exploitational to make an open ended question part of their message! For shame!

Roberts "well qualified"

From the DU:
Roberts Gets 'Well Qualified' From ABA

WASHINGTON - Supreme Court nominee John Roberts on Wednesday received a "well qualified" rating from the American Bar Association, clearing another hurdle in his path to the nation's highest court.

The rating was revealed as the Senate Judiciary Committee announced its plans for Roberts' Sept. 6 confirmation hearings, which include having the nominee questioned by the 18 senators on the panel for almost an hour each.

This is the fourth time the ABA has rated Roberts. He was designated as well qualified in 2001 when nominated to be an appeals court judge in the District of Columbia and again in 2003 when he was re-nominated and confirmed. He had been rated qualified as an appeals court nominee in 1992, but the Senate never took up that nomination....

...For more than 50 years the ABA has evaluated the credentials of people chosen for federal judgeships. Supreme Court nominees get the most intensive scrutiny.

I hate freedom

From The Conservative Voice via Daou:
Liberals Hate Freedom, Not War

"How DARE you imply that we hate freedom?" That's what red-faced Liberals say, even as they protest against the war for freedom in Iraq and call our President a war criminal.

Liberals are such hypocrites, and I for one am sick of it.

Our brave men and women in uniform are fighting and dying on foreign soil, thousands of miles away from their homes, so that these misguided, misanthropic Liberals can exercise their Constitutionally protected rights to whine, moan and protest in public. [Ed.-Actually, that's not why they're fighting and dying.]

It reminds me of a flashback to the radical anti-war protests of the 1960s and '70s. These modern radical Leftists might not be wearing their old-fashioned Birkenstocks and tie-dyed t-shirts, but their cowardly, anti-American mentality is the same as it has always been. They don't want to pay the price for their own freedom, let alone anyone else's. Their last presidential nominee even threw his own Vietnam War medals away. Yet they assume an obnoxious air of moral superiority because they are supposedly "anti-war."

Conservatives, on the other hand, truly love freedom - so much so that when necessary, they are willing to fight to preserve and protect it, as well as to export it around the world and extend it to other peoples less fortunate than we are.

...Bill Clinton was one of the worst Presidents in American history. He disgraced the Oval Office, and he spent more time hiding his numerous girlfriends from Hillary than he did working on foreign policy matters ...

Yet when newly elected President Clinton launched his 1993 "nation-building" experiment in Somalia, by turning U.S. troops over to incompetent United Nations commanders, most Conservatives supported our soldiers - even though they disagreed with Clinton's unconstitutional action and the deadly disaster that it ultimately produced at Mogadishu.

When Clinton later sought NATO military action in the former Yugoslavia, intervening in behalf of the desperate Bosnian Muslims who were being slaughtered in a ruthless campaign of ethnic cleansing by the Serbs, most Conservatives did not protest - despite the fact that no vital U.S. interest was being threatened in the Balkans. [Ed.-This is actually a complete lie. See here.]

...Why? Conservatives love freedom!

But when newly elected President Bush responded to the devastating 9-11 terrorist attacks by deposing, first the Taliban's misogynist mullahs in Afghanistan and later the brutal tyrant Saddam Hussein in Iraq, the clueless Liberals literally screamed bloody murder.

...Liberals don't really hate war. They hate freedom. It is time for these misguided, guilt-ridden, hypocritical Leftists to 'fess up and just be honest with the American people.

...Listen up, Liberals! Why don't you want the women and children of Iraq to have the same freedoms as you do here in America? If you don't love freedom, move to Cuba. Then you won't have the rights you now enjoy, and you won't have to worry about your spoiled, pampered children having to go to war to defend them.
You don't suppose that last line is a reference to Cindy Sheehan, do you?

1100

From Antiwar.com:
Iraq morgue 'receives 1100 dead'

THE number of dead Iraqi civilians counted at the Baghdad morgue hit 1100 in July, the highest toll in recent history, a British newspaper reported today, blaming the daily violence.

The Independent said the figure was just 700 short of the total number of US soldiers killed in Iraq since April 2003, after the US-led invasion.

"The July figures are the largest ever recorded in the history of the Baghdad Medical Institute," an anonymous, senior member of the management at the morgue was quoted as telling the newspaper.

The death toll was up from about 800 in July last year and 700 during the same month in 2003, according to the left-wing daily.

By comparison, equivalent figures for July 1997, 1998 and 1999 - during the leadership of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein - were all below 200, The Independent said.

Many of today's corpses were badly mutilated, meaning that between 10 and 20 per cent of them were never identified, the newspaper said.

Since January, the medical authorities have buried 500 nameless bodies.

"In many cases, the remains have been shattered by explosions - possibly by suicide bombs - or by deliberate disfigurement by their killers," it said.

Most of the victims were aged between 15 and 44. Most of them were male, the article said.

8/16/2005

Sleep with one eye open

Mykeru explains why Michelle Malkin is the "Undisputed Wingnut No-Limits Free Diver," and offers some free advice to husband Jesse.

Fuzzy math

Michelle Malkin has a post called "The Forgotten Victims of Choice" that's stupid even for her. Commenting on the handful of deaths that have resulted from the use of RU-486 (the 'abortion pill'), Malky writes:
Interesting that the usual crowd of pharmaceutical-bashers, who undoubtedly would have lobbied for any other drug with such health outcomes to be pulled, have nothing to say about these deaths.

The silence of women's health advocates is even more damning.
INDC explains what's wrong with Michelle's 'reasoning' - she ignores the fact that the fatality rate of RU-486 is actually extraordinarily low when compared to other common drugs - as well as child birth.
So, while 1 in 92,000 women have died from RU-486 side effects since the drug's US approval, 1 in 3,700 American women have died in childbirth during the same period, making actually giving birth 25 times more deadly than having a chemical abortion.
I'll let you know the second I hear about Malkin issuing a retraction.

Revisionist history

Earlier, Jonah Goldberg made the following statement:
Mass bombings of civilians was not considered absolutely immoral in WW2. It has been considered absolutely immoral at least since the Vietnam war
He then posted the text of an email he received in response "from a very serious military guy friend" (seriously) -
Your point 3 might lead some to think there was mass bombings of civilians in Vietnam. Not so. Very precise. Some have argued that the B-52 raids of the latter part of the war favored civilian-casualty-avoiding precision over the safest tactics for our pilots, who were more vulnerable to SAM fire as a result. Not a popular decision with our pilots. From a USAF article:

“In light of the 20,000 tons of bombs that were dropped on the citizens of Hanoi and Haiphong, there were relatively few casualties. Only 1,318 people were killed in Hanoi and 306 in Haiphong, a truly remarkable number. By comparison, during nine days of bombing on Hamburg, Germany, in 1944, less than 10,000 tons were dropped and 30,000 people died.”
Just to set the record straight, the US military indeed did indeed kill a great number of people with bombings during the Vietnam War. Jonah's "very serious military guy friend" is being disingenuous, limiting his remark only to the nation of Vietnam proper, when we all know that the war spilled over into Cambodia under the guidance of Henry Kissinger, where hundreds of thousands were killed.

Now, it may be true that the bombing campaigns weren't as brutal as some would have liked. But the presence of a modicum of restraint is hardly tantamount to the absence of "mass bombing."

Next question

From The Right Track:
If You Support Abortion and Homosexuality ... La Shawn Barber has a couple of questions you should consider, if you dare.
Ooooh! Do I dare? Well, what does LaShawn want to know?
Got a couple of questions for you. Set-up first. As you may know, technology has advanced to such a degree that parents may choose to kill — pardon me, “sex-select” — their babies if they have sex-related diseases such as hemophilia. The latest topic of discussion in Britain is whether sex selection should be allowed for family planning purposes.

Not mentioned in the article, but an obvious cause of controversy, is that “undesirable” human beings will be killed. My questions to liberal homosexual and non-homosexual abortion supporters are these:

If a significant number of women begin choosing to abort their babies because doctors discovered a “gay gene,” would your stance on the “right to choose” change or shift in any way? Would the number of women killing these “defective” babies make a difference? Is one potentially gay dead baby one too many?
Answer: no, no, and no.

Hmm. That wasn't that scary.

Straw poll

MyDD has a 'straw poll' for the 2008 presidential election up. Currently, they've got Wesley Clark in first place with 30%, followed by Hillary (11%), Feingold (10%), Richardson (9%), and a bunch of others.

What is it with Wesley Clark in these online polls? I hope Democrats aren't still under the illusion that running a military man is either a necessary or a sufficient condition for winning.

You can vote here.

Atrios on blog traffic

Feeling bad because your blog doesn't get the kind of traffic you'd like? Atrios puts things in perspective:
One thing I find interesting is how people regularly claim it's difficult to draw traffic to a new blog. There's some truth to that, I suppose, but only in relative terms. Two years ago ago this "top liberal blog" had...how much traffic? On September 11, 2001 (a record traffic day) Instapundit had... how much traffic? Feel free to guess.

My point is just that even many "minor blogs" have fairly sizeable traffic compared to what most had just a couple of years ago.

I remember being thrilled when 1000 per day read the site. When 20000 did I assumed I'd peaked, and was thrilled that I had the wee chance to influence that many people.
Atrios doesn't say, but a look at Instapundit's archives shows that on 9/11, Instapundit had a grand total of 4200 visitors (and was positively ebullient about it - "I can't believe that many people are interested in what I have to say"). Now, that's about the number of hits you can expect just from a single 'Instalanche'.

So even if you only get a handful of visitors a day - were that many people listening to what you had to say before you started a blog?

8/15/2005

The worst blogger

Right-winger John Cole is fed up with Michelle Malkin -
...this kind of bile coming from Michelle Malkin is fucking out of line, and spare me the ‘like it or not, this is news’ crap. It is goddamned disgraceful. Knock it off, take down that post, and then apologize. Cindy Sheehan’s marital status, her relationship with her husband- none of that is your damned business. Even if you think it ‘proves’ a point. If it proves anything, it proves that losing a son in war fucks up families. Thanks for the deep insight.

No fucking shame. I don’t give a shit what even the nastiest folks on the left say about Malkin anymore. She brings this shit on herself, with vicious bullshit like this.
I don't see why anybody gives a shit what people say about her - she must not be too upset about it, because she posts every nasty email she receives, never hesitating to play the victim. Poor little Michelle Malkin.

... for Christ's sake, people were up in arms because Mithras made a remark about her "tits" ... meanwhile, she's publishing vile, racist propaganda, rewarded with guest spots on Fox News.

Well, I haven't given a shit what anybody says about Malkin for some time. Fuck her and her tits. I welcome Cole to the party (better late than never) - now that Michelle has been fully exposed as the one who is truly "unhinged" (really - can you think of a better word to describe her?) - but let's not pretend that this behavior is exactly surprising.

This is a problem

From the Debate Link via the Moderate Voice:
If it weren't for the release of memos, we'd have never known about this:
On the issue of gender equality on worker wages, Roberts was critical of three Republican congresswomen who supported the concept.

Roberts referred to a 1983 case in which the Washington state supreme court found the state guilty of discrimination for paying women less than men for jobs of "comparable worth."

Roberts said in a February 3, 1984, memo that the ruling smacked of judicial activism. "This is a total reorientation of the law of gender discrimination," he concluded, since "it mandates nothing less than central planning of the economy by judges. Under the theory judges, not the marketplace, decide how much a particular job is worth."

Later that month, Roberts again addressed the issue, noting three GOP lawmakers applauded the ruling. One was then-Rep. Olympia Snowe, now the senior U.S. senator from Maine. The congresswomen complained women at the time earned only 60 cents for every dollar earned by men.

"I honestly find it troubling that three Republican representatives are so quick to embrace such a radical redistribute concept. Their slogan may as well be 'From each according to his ability, to each according to her gender,'" said Roberts.
... Roberts' position on gender equality ... seems absolutely fringe. The "market" should decide what a woman's job is worth? If there was ever a clear cut example of a market failure, it seems like this was it ... And Roberts' comparison of judicial efforts to remedy rather blatant sex discrimination in the work place to "central planning" is just absurd.

Clash of the titans

Malkin v. Malkin.

Bat-shit fucking crazy

That's the only way to describe this post by The Corner's John Derbyshire (emphasis mine, insanity John's):
I can't shake off the feeling that moralizing about total war is pointless.

I have met rather a lot of people who were complicit in the wartime mass killing of civilians. (I recorded one such encounter here, first item.) Some of those people, in fact, were relatives of mine. All were very nice people: kind, good family men, thoughtful and law-abiding. I could never get any of them to admit to, or betray in tone or gesture, the slightest unease about what they had done.

War is coded deep in human nature. Not restrained war, either -- tribal war, in which the object is to exterminate the other tribe, or inflict such damage on them that the few who are left will yield abjectly. Human beings have been conducting themselves like this for hundreds of millennia.

We are of course much better, morally, now than we used to be. Anthropologists ... tell us that rates of death by violence in hunter-gatherer tribes far exceed those for Europeans in WW2. Plains Indians cheerfully conducted campaigns of tribal extermination against each other until a technologically far superior tribe -- us -- showed up and put an end to it all. [Ed.-Note how John assumes that 'we' are all white people...and, of course, implies that the arrival of whites in North America ended the genocide, when of course it actually ratcheted it up by several orders of magnitude. Oh, and you've got to love his condescending characterization of inter-tribal warfare as "cheerful".]

... the USA is full of people who believe that some really major atrocity will be committed against us at some point in the next few years, and that we will respond by shucking off all civilized restraints, as we did in the later stages of WW2, until we have dealt with the issue. Then we shall calmly re-moralize.

...If -- which God forbid -- we again face total war, we will massacre our enemy's civilians and erase his cities, and he will do the same to us, until one of us cries Uncle, or ceases to exist. It's fine to argue the morality of this as a theological exercise; but if you believe -- I do -- that that's how things will inevitably go, then the arguments are all just about angels on the heads of pins.
There you have it, folks. Mr. Derbyshire believes it is inevitable that the US will avert its own complete destruction only by completely destroying another civilization.

Is this the mindset of the Right? I though this kind of shit was only for the Left Behind crowd.

I suppose such a view does make the Bush administration's foreign policy more appealing ... the rest of us are stupidly trying to avoid cataclysmic, 'total' warfare (a.k.a. counting the angels on the head of a pin); others, apparently, don't think this is possible, and figure we might as well get a jump on the enemy in the massacre of millions.

Pray for President Bush - Day 1793

From Free Republic (via Daou):
Heavenly Father ... please accept our humble thanks for the good works that You are performing in President Bush. We continue to rejoice in his leadership in helping to free the people of Iraq from their brutal dictator and their lives of enslavement to the terrorist government. Father, as they now finalize their new constitution, we celebrate this victory for humanity and for the love of one nation’s citizenry for another. May Your Holy Name be glorified in all that has taken place and in all that You are waiting to do. Thank You for instilling in our President the desire to do Your will regardless of the political consequences. Help him to continue to commit to You all that he does so that his plans will succeed. May he show that he is wise and understanding by living a good life and by doing all with a humbleness of heart and a spirit inclined to You. Help him always to be obedient to You; to return no one evil for evil; to love and respect his wife; and to seek to advance the cause of freedom. Please give him the mind of Christ, that he may be guided in all decisions that affect this nation and the world.

Leno, you son of a bitch

This is kind of funny. Townhall columnist Doug Giles gives his readers a little history test, in order to demonstrate the necessity of racial profiling. One of his questions asks:
1. 1968 Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by:

a. Superman
b. Jay Leno
c. Harry Potter
d. A Muslim man between the ages of 17 and 40
The answer, surprisingly, is (b), Jay Leno.

This means nothing

Right-wing bloggers are all over the news that David Duke has endorsed Cindy Sheehan's protest in Texas. This is supposed to mean something, though what I'm not sure.

Trust me, GOPers, you do not want to play the guilt by association game.

I'd say Michelle Malkin just about cancels out David Duke.

Cindy Sheehan is an anti-Semite, too

According to Power Line, anyway, who says that the "old brew" of "Anti-Americanism and Anti-Semitism" has been poured into a "new bottle," said bottle being Cindy Sheehan. The evidence? A link to blogger Solomonia, who uncovers the diabolical, racist truth behind the Sheehan juggernaut - namely, that the organization which Sheehan is affiliated with, Crawford Peace House, had an article on their website that (gasp!) criticized Israel! Hell, why doesn't she just slap a swastika on the front of that floppy hat and be done with it!

Sweet Jesus, the GOPers are getting desperate in their attempts to swift-boat Sheehan.

Slublog thinks the left blogosphere is going to be jumping off the Sheehan bandwagon before too long:
Over the next few days, as we learn more about Sheehan's past statements and associations, the media and liberal blogs will slowly start to separate themselves from her.
Maybe. But not unless they've got something better than this.

8/14/2005

Good shit's all around

But mostly it's at the Whiskey Bar -
...what could be more preposterous than the sight of the mighty GOP propaganda war machine -- built up with such effort and at such great cost -- aiming all its guns at one bereaved, 48year-old mother camped by the side of the road in Crawford, Texas?

...There's a kind of comical desperation about it -- like watching cartoon elephants dance in hysterical fear at the sight of a cartoon mouse.

... Cindy Sheehan has touched a raw nerve (both with the media and with the GOP propaganda machine) less because of who she is than because of who she isn't -- Jane Fonda.

The wing nuts have been salivating for weeks over the news that Jane plans to hit the anti-war trail again -- this time in a vegetable-oil powered bus ... For pro-war conservatives, this is roughly the same as hearing that the Democrats have decided to put Zippy the Pinhead and Timothy Leary's corpse on the ticket in 2008 ...

But, instead of feasting on Hanoi Jane, the wing nuts are driving themselves nuts trying to figure out how to take down Vacaville Cindy: a woman who looks and sounds like she spends her free time organizing church socials and helping her husband clean out the garage -- that is, when she isn't busy searing George W. Bush's butt with a white hot poker for dragging the country into an unnecessary and failed war in Iraq, and getting her son killed in the process.

... Without hordes of angry yippies to distract it, the silent majority -- or at least, the non-GOP majority -- has managed to conclude, correctly, that the war cannot be won. Even worse, it seems to have picked up on the fact that the Cheney administration is no longer even trying to win it, but is simply looking frantically for a face-saving way to get out of the swamp. (Or, in Journalish: "lowering its expectations.")
The whole thing.

Cindy Sheehan is a liar and a murderer who deserves to be smacked in the face

How do I know? The right-wing blogosphere told me so.


... the same blogger also made this remark:
On November 13, 1942, the following 5 brothers were all killed in the sinking of the USS Juneau during the Battle of Guadalcanal:

George Thomas Sullivan, 27, Gunner's Mate Second Class
Francis "Frank" Henry Sullivan, 25, Coxswain
Joseph "Red" Eugene Sullivan, 23, Seaman Second Class
Madison "Matt" Abel Sullivan, 22, Seaman Second Class
Albert "Al" Leo Sullivan, 19, Seaman Second Class

Question: Just exactly how hard do you think their mother, Mrs. Alleta Sullivan, would slap Mrs. Sheehan for her actions?
What do you know - looks like Michelle Malkin isn't the only wingnut that can read the minds of dead people!

"None dare call it stolen"

This month's Harper's has a good piece on election fraud in Ohio. There's an excerpt here.

The same issue also has a good piece on why American Christians aren't very, well, Christ-like.

Blogarama - The Blog Directory Sanity is not statistical.