Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Political Purity Ball

Creepy old man accompanies surrogate daughter to the Principal's office to defend her bad behavior (in public, anyway... Rest assured there's a woodshed back at the AZ ranch where she will undergo rigorous "retraining" to assure that such a public slip-up never happens again.)

read more | digg story

Gotcha journalism or inquisitive voter? You decide...

Even before this weekend, others had already noticed the space between Old Man & Young Chippie:

Monday, September 29, 2008

The McCain Bailout: Privatizing success, socializing failure.

When it looked like the bailout bill was going to get the votes, who was all too happy to claim the credit?

John McCain.

When the bill didn't get the votes, who deserves the blame?

Practically everyone except that wacky Maverick.

Democrats failed.
Pelosi failed.
Obama failed.

John? Not his fault. He didn't phone it in. (Except that reports say that's exactly what he did, preferring telephone calls to face-to-face meetings during his little jaunt back to Washington last week.)

For the McCain campaign, the buck stops... ...anywhere but with them. Like the failed Wall Street firms, they're only accepting credit for good news. Blame for bad news belongs to someone (anyone, & if possible, everyone) else. Profits to me, loss to everyone else.

And after it failed, who looked more presidential?
Obama spoke to the American people and appealed for calm, assuring them that there will be a solution.
McCain boarded a plane without speaking to reporters or issuing any statement.

That's some kinda leadership there, Johnny... Heck of a job...

Think Progress � After Taking Credit For Bailout Bill, Is McCain Campaign Willing To Share Responsibility For Its Failure?

Marc Ambinder (September 29, 2008) - McCain's Share of The Blame?

Bail Out Fails,McCain Owns It

McCain's Love Affair with Petraeus

"Anyone who watched the presidential debate between John McCain and Barak Obama last Friday night had the opportunity to witness McCain's unabashed infatuation with Army General David Petraeus. The newly-minted head of US Central Command (CENTCOM), who was recently the commanding general of US forces in Iraq, was mentioned by name nine times in Friday's debate, eight of which were made by McCain alone. On one instance, McCain mentions Petraeus three times in answer to just one question. In defense, there were times when the general's name was tossed around rather innocuously, but that was not always the case. There were other points in the debate where McCain was clearly seeking to gain an advantage over Obama by invoking Petraeus. This should raise a few eyebrows for three main reasons."

Very good analysis discussing why General Petraeus should not be used as a prop in McCain's bid for the presidency.

read more | digg story

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Nero reply (Too long for Haloscan, therefore too long for Nero)

Reply to Americaneocon | 09.28.08 - 6:45 pm

"The war in Iraq was tied over and over again to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when that link was nonexistent."

That is a quote from the antiwar left...

Anyone reading the sentence understands this as discussing a link between Saddam and 9/11.

Yes, discussing & dismissing an operational link between 9/11 & Saddam, just as the 9/11 Commission & Bush himself at various points since have done. How this applies to your claim that this quote about operational ties to a specific event is the same as saying absolutely no ties at all, and allows you to treat this one quote as evidence of a common argument claiming no ties at all, I'm not sure...

As I said in my last comment, at best you found one quote that's anywhere near the mark. I even said you might, at 5:16 pm yesterday, saying: "I've no doubt that there are some on the left who make the claim that Saddam Hussein had absolutely no ties to al Qaeda, but just the same, it might help if you quote someone who actually makes that claim, and debate against that person, rather than generalizing that if anyone on the left says it, everyone on the left believes it."

What I said then, is still true.

The next two links do not discuss the anti-war left or whatever claims they are or are not making at all, but buttresses the Hayes conspiracy theorists. I'm pretty sure Dan Nexon addressed that above, saying "...while his intelligence services had some contact with the group (as did many intelligence services... that's what their job is) he had no operational links."

Whether or not Hayes & his merry band of theorists are correct or not, his beliefs say nothing to prove or disprove your claim that "one of the antiwar left's most common attacks on the Iraq war is the claim that Saddam Hussein had absolutely no ties to al Qaeda." Why you keep injecting his theories is beyond me...

You are changing the goalposts. All of the government's investigations, and the work of conservative journalists and bloggers has been to rebut the left's claim that there were absolutely no operational ties... which the left has claimed for years.

Operational ties?

Since when were you speaking about operational ties? Read your claim again: "one of the antiwar left's most common attacks on the Iraq war is the claim that Saddam Hussein had absolutely no ties to al Qaeda..." Nothing about operational ties there, mate. And when various people brought that up earlier in the thread, you called it picking nits, as though there was no difference between "absolutely no ties" & "operational ties," even though that is the very difference that most rightwing bloggers hang their hat on, given the unambiguous statements about no operational ties between Saddam & AQ that anyone can read in the 9/11 report & elsewhere.

Tell me again how you're not shifting the goalposts, Donnie. (Or show me & the readers here where I had the goalposts set initially, and where I've moved them, if you really believe I have...)

In fact, Donnie, almost everyone claims no operational ties, from the antiwar left to the 9/11 commission to Bush. It's a pretty common belief here in America, and by no means only found on the left. And, while there are some rightwing bloggers & Con journalists who do try to rebut that belief, the government--your government--has said repeatedly that there were no operational ties, and no Iraqi links to 9/11.

The left has claimed Saddam/al Qaeda ties were non-existent

I think you're getting confused... That isn't a fact. That is the claim I'm asking you to prove, with evidence. At best, you've found one guy who talked about the lack of Iraqi ties to 9/11, and was clearly speaking about operational ties to that event, rather than no ties whatsoever. (Bush did the same, but I'll spot you that one, just the same.)

Kennedy was also talking about Saddam & 9/11, and thus operational ties, rather than absolutely no ties. (And just a few sentences down at the Gallup link, they quote Bush saying the government has no evidence that Saddam had anything to do with 9/11. (Damned nihilist leftie). He too, is discussing the lack of operational ties.)

You can go ahead & claim victory if you like, but perhaps you ought to figure out what it was you were trying to prove... I thought it was your claim that "one of the antiwar left's most common attacks on the Iraq war is the claim that Saddam Hussein had absolutely no ties to al Qaeda... But that cannot be what you thought you were proving, since you only quoted one person on the left who even said that, and the context of his remark indicates pretty clearly that he was referring to operational links, rather than any links at all... ...just like those well known nihilist radicals, Bush & the 9/11 commission.

In case Nero deletes it: Democrats destroying the US?

Nero sez:

Reppy: The "one post" then "one response" rule is still in effect. If you can't be concise, let it go. No double posting. Wait 'till I respond.

Now, here's what I said at the post:

"...one of the antiwar left's most common attacks on the Iraq war is the claim that Saddam Hussein had absolutely no ties to al Qaeda..."

This is true, for example:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/wm...0701- pipa01.htm


Thus, it makes no sense for Farley to argue that an absence of terrorist threat explains declining public support. Dan and D don't dispute that. They pick nits by narrowing the case down to "operational." My argument still stands, and Farley's a hack.

The whole "Bush Lied, People Died" is based on the claim of no WMD in Iraq, and no Qaeda ties to Saddam. Just ask the radical Think Progress:


You're a fraud to deny it.

Other than that, you're dodging the other issues. I'm not changing the subject. I've made my point, and have made a second one: You are psychologically and ideological closed-minded to anything I write.

And you're a hypocrite: "Flippin' the bird at folks with whom I disagree is a bit over the top for my taste..."

You concede these people are Democrats, then you deny that they don't want to destroy the U.S. (which doesn't have to be by force, but by undermining the conservative cultural model of the nation since the founding). As I've shown many times, and at the post, the hardline MoveOn, Palin-demonizing contingent IS the base of the Democratic Party. Brownstein says it at the link.

This debate's done. I'll continue the exchange elsewhere, but I stand by my point: You're a denialist. I mean, what does this even mean:

"If you believe that having Melanie Morgan (&/or others) agree with you means that you're right, you might wish to consider whether there's any merit to the fact that a growing number of your detractors agree as to where your faults lie..."

My posts are routinely picked up by right-wing activists AND folks in the MSM (especially RCP). The fact that I have so many detractors is evidence to me that I'm hitting close to home, and the American Power fan mail is a nice example of that.

To conclude: The Dems are the party of defeat, as Horowitz lays out. I call these folks nihilists; you don't like it, but haven't disproved my case.

I'm moving on...
Americaneocon | Homepage | 09.28.08 - 8:47 am | #

My reply:

In fact, Donnie, nowhere in either link is the argument made by anyone that "...Saddam Hussein had absolutely no ties to al Qaeda..."

GlobalSecurity.org talks about a poll regarding the beliefs of Americans on the subject of "when the US government presented evidence of links between Saddam Hussein's government and al-Qaeda to justify going to war with Iraq," it was either "stretching the truth, but not making false statements" or was "presenting evidence they knew was false" (46% and 10% respectively). Just 39% said they thought the government was "being fully truthful."

Similarly, the Alternet story discusses the words of Bush vs the words of military & foreign policy agencies & think tanks, but never once mentions Saddam Hussain, let alone whether or not he had ties to AQ of any kind.

The ThinkProgress link has one mention, at least:

APRIL 6, 2007: Pentagon report criticizes Feith’s office, finds no Iraq-al Qaeda link.

Captured Iraqi documents and intelligence interrogations of Saddam Hussein and two former aides “all confirmed” that Hussein’s regime was not directly cooperating with al-Qaeda before the U.S. invasion of Iraq, according to a declassified Defense Department report released yesterday. [Washington Post, 4/6/07]

Seems like the nihilists in that story are in the Pentagon, though... And again, they are not claiming NO ties whatsoever... Just nothing operational.

As for Farley, I've never even mentioned him...

Count me among those "pickin' the nits" (If by nits, you mean debunking your outlandish claim that many on the left believe Saddam Hussein had absolutely no ties to al Qaeda.) While you may (eventually) find one or two on the left saying that, it clearly isn't the widespread belief you say it is... ...and thus, the fruit of that tree is similarly debunked.

Other than that, you're dodging the other issues.

Speak up... If you specify the issue(s) you believe I'm dodging, in this post, I'll gladly reply... And, I invite you to do the same...

I'm not changing the subject.

Don, when you bring up a different post and the fact that I didn't reply to it--which is what you did--you're changing the subject. But believe as you will...

To be clear: Are you really saying that by opposing McCain Palin, those Democrats (& I assume ALL Democrats) ARE IN FACT trying to destroy America by opposing the cultural conservative model on which you believe this country was founded?
Classic. Absolutely classic.

As I'm not sure whether your declaration about being done & moving on means you will remove this comment, I'll stop here. If you really want to know what I meant about the Mel Morgan thing & your detractors, I'll post the explanation on my blog, so as not to take up any more of your precious space here...

repsac3 | Homepage | 09.28.08 - 10:15 am | #


Now, to continue from where I left off...

First off, can anyone tell me why my saying ""Flippin' the bird at folks with whom I disagree is a bit over the top for my taste..." makes me a hypocrite? Is there a video somewhere of me flipping anyone off, or of defending that gesture when used against those with whom one disagrees, politically? I think not... Just more NeoCon NeroCon bluster, devoid of substance...

I've shown many times, and at the post, the hardline MoveOn, Palin-demonizing contingent IS the base of the Democratic Party. Brownstein says it at the link.

Sadly, no. Here's what Brownstein actually says:

National Journal Magazine - Born Fighting, MoveOn Isn't Letting Up: "The purposes to which MoveOn applies these vast resources are more debatable. The group has become a favored target for Republicans and a source of anxiety for some Democratic centrists, who worry that it points the party too far left. On domestic issues, it fits within the Democratic mainstream. But on national security, it defines the party's left flank."

It looks to me like Brownstein is not saying what Nero claims he is... Why am I not surprised?

I mean, what does this even mean:

"If you believe that having Melanie Morgan (&/or others) agree with you means that you're right, you might wish to consider whether there's any merit to the fact that a growing number of your detractors agree as to where your faults lie..."

It means that you should be intellectually honest. If you believe having others of your ilk agree with you is some kinda proof that you are correct (which is a belief I don't happen to subscribe to, but I can easily find five examples of your suggesting that you're correct, because "X" or "Y" posted the same thing), you ought to also at minimum entertain the possibility that when several of your detractors all say the same things about your style of argumentation, they may also be correct. If numbers don't lie on the right, numbers don't lie on the left.

I'm surprised you didn't understand that, the first time...

I call these folks nihilists; you don't like it, but haven't disproved my case.

You haven't even made your case, Donnie.

Define nihilist.
Show how the definition fits some/any/all Democrats.

When you do that (if ever you do--I've been asking for over a year), we'll talk about your case. Until then, it's just you waving your arms in the air & claiming to be flying...

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Nero's AmericanPower(?) again misleads

I routinely get commenters here arguing that today's left-wing of Barack Obama, William Ayers, Markos Moulitsas, Tom Matzzie, Andrew Sullivan, Jeremiah Wright and on and on ... represents a movement of moderate Democrats and "progressive" reformers.

That's a lie.

While my old friend Nero seems to enjoy dragging me into his little delusions (despite the fact that its been months since I've bothered to waste the time commenting on his blog), I have never made the argument he attributes to me, and I once again renew my call for him to quote whichever of my words lead him to think I've done so. (which I predict he will once again ignore, preferring his easy fiction and wingnut "sources" to any shred of documented fact.)

I have never spoken of the folks he's listed in one sentence, or suggested that that group represents any movement on the left, be it hard left, progressive, or moderate. In fact, I tend to avoid speaking monolithically about any social or political group. Unlike Nero, I recognize that "the left" (or "the right") doesn't uniformly believe any one particular thing about any particular issue. In fact, I believe that bullshit sweeping generalizations like the ones Nero routinely uses (along with many other bloggers & opinioneers, left and right) not only do not prove what they intend to prove, but actually hurt the political process. To me, any suggestion that Andrew Sullivan & Jeremiah Wright are together on some mythical ideological "team" which all right-thinking people (like Nero & his ilk) must oppose at face value, is just friggin' silly, and causes me to question the level of pure partisanship (if not intelligence) of anyone making that argument.

In the post which includes this little reference to me, Nero argues that the "nihilist, socialist, stalinist" ect. left opposes the bailout, while conveniently ignoring the fact that many rightwing Republican House members have similar concerns about Corporate Socialism, and that up until the one word answer in the debate where he finally took a definitive position, there was some talk about whether McCain was thinking the same, as well. While I cannot say whether those rightwing populists were also out protesting against the bailout, there is little doubt that opposition to corporate welfare and concern for common citizens is in no way purely a "hard-left" issue, whatever Nero's paint-by-partisanship post tries to suggest.

While I ultimately believe some form of bailout is a necessary evil, I support those left AND RIGHT who are arguing for a more free market & better protections for the folks on Main Street, too.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

There's a difference between denying a thing...

and asking for proof of its existence.

Nero has repeatedly claimed widespread infiltration of the Democratic party by radicals, Stalinists, antiestablishment types & other nogoodnicks, but is unable to provide much of anything in the way of proof, aside a few individual connections.

What I said before & will repeat again now, (& let's see if our friend Nero will even try to make his case this time, or once again distort what I say, & ignore what he cannot distort), is that there are very few "radicals" or "Stalinists" supporting Obama or the Democratic Party. William Aires-to the extent that he is anywhere near the radical crazy he once was, anyway--is one guy. Tom Hayden--(same caviat)--is one guy. There is no widespread support among radicals for either (any) status quo politician coming out of either status quo party. That's what makes radicals radical. Rather than supporting the status quo, &/or working within the system trying to make the incremental changes they seek, like McCain, Obama, & pretty much every other politician from either major party, they favor immediate & fundamental change, frequently through unorthodox means (violence, mass movements, revolution, ...)

Yes, there have been, are, & will be a few isolated "radicals" who buck that trend & support major party candidates. But they are few & far between, and usually are not (or do not remain) well respected within their "radical" community. One might say these former radicals grew up & out of their youthful ways, much the same way we Americans politely ignore a some elected folk's youthful drug use & whatnot...

The fact is, there are very few if any Communist, Socialist, or Anti-War groups or organizations supporting or promoting Obama for President or the Democratic party. Name your boogieman... UPFJ isn't. World Can't Wait isn't. ANSWER isn't. CodePink isn't. Commies & socialists have their own parties & likely there own candidates, too.

Yes, there are a few individuals who are work for/with one of those organizations who do support Democrats. Yes, there are people (probably alot of people) who attend rallies & marches organized by these groups who also support Democrats. For the most part, those people are Democrats, who also happen to be anti-war, or anti THIS war. Being anti-war or anti THIS war, and attending a rally is support of their beliefs doesn't make them radicals. It makes them good citizens.

AmericanNeoCon is playing on irrational fears.
AmericanNeoCon preaching to his own personal choir.
AmericanNeoCon is wrong.

American Power: The Democrats and the Antiwar Movement

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Friday, September 5, 2008

Community Organizers Fight Back

Community Organizers Fight Back

Community organizers across America, taken aback by a series of attacks from Republican leaders at the GOP convention in St. Paul, came together today to defend their work organizing Americans who have been left behind by unemployment, lack of health insurance and the national housing crisis. The organizers demanded an apology from Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for her statement that community organizers have no “actual responsibilities” and launched a web site, http://organizersfightback.wordpress.com, to defend themselves against Republican attacks.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Using 9/11 for partisan political gain: Is it 2004?

Disgusting. Takes the pubbie theme of "Be afraid, Be very afraid" to a whole new level, on the backs of those who died that day.

democracyarsenal.org: Is it 2004?

About Sarah Palin: an e-mail from Wasilla

More info about Ms Palin, from one of her constituents.

Crosscut Seattle - About Sarah Palin: an e-mail from Wasilla

Top Ten Most Disturbing Facts and Impressions of Sarah Palin

Good speaker. Attractive. Scary, scary views.

read more | digg story

But wait, there's still more...

8 More Shocking Revelations About Sarah Palin | Election 2008 | AlterNet