Friday, July 29, 2005
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Saturday, July 23, 2005
“In the last session of Congress, the Republican minority invoked an endless string of filibusters to frustrate the will of the majority. This relentless abuse of a time-honored Senate tradition so disgusted Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat from IA, that he is now willing to forgo easy retribution and drastically limit the filibuster. Hooray for him. Once a rarely used tactic reserved for issues on which Senators held passionate views, the filibuster has become the tool of the sore loser, … an archaic rule that frustrates democracy and serves no useful purpose.”
“The Republicans are claiming that 51 votes should be enough to win confirmation of the White House’s judicial nominees. This flies in the face of Senate history, … To block nominees, the Democrats’ weapon of choice has been the filibuster, a time-honored Senate procedure that prevents a bare majority of senators from running roughshod. … The Bush administration likes to call itself “conservative”, but there is nothing conservative about endangering one of the great institutions of American democracy, the United States Senate, for the sake of an ideological crusade.”
“a fraud made up in
to give Republicans a political boost”. (Teddy) Texas
“This is pretty serious stuff-charging that the president of the
went to war to win reelection. And exactly how would that work? Let’s see, President Bush takes a nation to war, an enormously risky political proposition, says the reason that we’re going to war is that Saddam has weapons of mass destruction, even though the president KNOWS the weapons don’t really exist, and that sooner or later, certainly before the election, EVERYONE will know they don’t exist … and he does this to “give Republicans a political boost”? Am I missing something?” United States
Friday, July 22, 2005
CBS News putting a prime time hour long show on during an election year that trashed a sitting President with no counterpoint was a milestone in press bias even if all the “important evidence” had been irrefutable. When the evidence turned out to be bogus, the fact of media bias was made clear enough that even very moderate people realized that the mainline press can’t be believed.
The press working day after day to try to get Karl Rove fired is a sign that they continue their move away from journalism and into extreme partisanship with no remorse. While it isn’t likely that most Americans will care enough to even notice the current adventure in press partisanship since the story is idiotic and it isn’t an election year, nobody should be surprised to see more news outlets of the Fox and further to the right gain success as the future rolls on
The press pushing to see a leaker punished is like Vegas trying to punish gambling. The press LIVES on “off the record sources”. “Deep Throat” was a secret source leaker that broke the law every time he talked to the press. In his position he was sworn to not go to the press or anyone else with inside FBI information, BUT, when he recently was identified the press treated him as a hero, which is exactly what would be expected. If the press wasn’t left biased, they would treat a leak from a Republican the same. Leakers are critical to the press, when they bite the hand that feeds them, one can see their true stripes.
If the DEMOCRATS were working to get Karl Rove out of office … hearings, interviews, talking to the media, etc, then we would have plain old garden variety press bias as the press did all it could do to help them. It is important to contrast however what happens when the Republicans see blood in the water and go after a Democrat, as in the case of
This is different though. Much as in the CBS memo story, the press is driving this thing. It is Joe Wilson that shows up on the news shows, it is the press that finds some memo and tries to make it news even though there is no evidence that Rove even saw it. This is the press telling the Democrats to just get out of the way, THEY can get this job done!
The story itself is completely uninteresting to anyone but the most political partisan on either side. Even if Rove would be fired, it would be a “ho-hum” for all but the most partisan on the Republican side. On the left, it seems hard to imagine that anyone but a rabid Democrat would care about Rove for anything but “revenge”, and everyone knows they care nothing about CIA people, even REAL covert ones. When Phillip Agee, published “Inside the Company”, and covert agents WERE in fact killed, the left and the mainline media loved it. They hate the CIA, they just hate Bush more.
The meta-story here is “how biased can they be”? They have proved they can be biased enough to run a smear job on a sitting President during an election based on fake memos. They can be biased enough to use false information to claim that US soliders are desecrating the Koran, causing riots in which people are killed. Some interest remains, how biased can they be this time?
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Having not had many posts from readers to deal with up to now, I’ve not thought much of what I would do relative to responding to such posts. Like a lot of things, it will likely vary depending on workload, the weather, my mood, and a host of other topics, but this entry is my “general thinking”. I think the general policy will be to ignore the fray at the post level, and provide feedback from a blog entry if I think there are things posted that I feel like commenting on.
One poster seems to put a lot more meaning in “Republican vs Democrat” than I think was warranted prior to the 60’s, or maybe even that ‘70s. The election of Ronald Reagan ushered in a new Republican era in which Republicans were that party of less Government, free market capitalism, strong defense, and a set of values that prior to the ‘60s would have been “American” rather than have any chance of being “owned” by one party or another … pro-life, pro-family, pro-religion, pro-sexual morality, pro-individual responsibility, pro-hard work, etc. As Reagan said, he didn’t leave the Democratic Party, it left him. It left a lot of Americans.
Some attempted list of “this is all the good things that Democrats have done” is meaningless to me, especially prior to Reagan. I wasn’t old enough to know anything directly about JFK, but from what I understand … cutting taxes, anti-communist, let’s put a man on the moon, etc, he would have made a good post-Reagan Republican. Reagan himself was an FDR Democrat, and nearly everyone supported the President in wartime in those days. There were a lot more issues that were “American” rather than owned by one party or the other. In the “big picture models”, my sense is there used to be a lot more agreement between Americans because they were Christians, Americans, members of a community, a profession or type of work (farmer, labor, shopkeeper, etc) and loyal to family and friends before they were members of some political party. Perhaps I believe in a time that never was, but those are my impressions … many core values of being an American were pretty much shared by both parties.
From 1865-1930, the “Party of Lincoln” Republican party held general sway. The party of Slavery, the Democrats turned the corner with the Depression and the election of FDR. The question of whether FDRs programs would have ever gotten us out of the depression without WWII can never be answered scientifically without some sort of an alternate universe time machine, but the fact is, he got credit for winning WWII and for the policies that ended the depression. There isn’t anything wrong with that for me.
It took the sixties and the “youth revolution” before one could concive that a US Political Party could be anti-family, anti-military, anti-religious, anti-life, anti-business, and in general “anti” and still have any viability at all. The Democrats, the party of slavery and the party of Jim Crow, with KKK members like Robert Byrd finally allowed the civil rights act of ’64 to pass 73-27, with 21 Democrats, and only 6 Republicans against. Modern Democrats (and thankfully for them, the media) don’t seem to like to point out that one of the great historical uses of the Filibuster was the Democrat party preventing anti-lynching and voting rights legislation).
The conversion of the party of slavery and Jim Crow into the party of Black Americans is one of the great government vote buying stories of history. By maintaining the idea that Blacks could not be successful on their own, breaking their families by having the Government replace their fathers as “the welfare father”, Democrats were able to enslave the same people that they had held in actual slavery, the slavery of Jim Crow, and finally the slavery of welfare. I find it to be one of the most amazing stories in American politics, and one of the saddest.
The idea that Republicans are “the party of the rich” is a pre-60’s idea that the media and many Democrats seem to remain fond of. Take a look at the very liberal book “What’s The Matter with
The term “liberal” used to refer to those that wanted less government of all types, as in “libertarian”, but when the “Union of Soviet SOCIALIST Republics” and the “National SOCIALIST German Workers Party” (Nazi) ended up making the name look less than stellar, the left decided that the term “liberal” sounded better than “Socialist or Communist” and made the switch. The Government staying away from your property … be it your house or your paycheck is one of those “basic liberties” that the modern “liberal” isn’t very interested in protecting. Rather than fight the standard terminology, I go ahead and tend to use “liberal” for the left and “conservative” for the right, since that is what people expect to see.
Oh yes, and on the old “am I better off” question. It is a Henny Youngman world. When asked how his wife was, he would answer “compared to what”. The stock market crashed in March of 2K when Clinton was still the President, the recession hit in 1Q ’01 when there wasn’t a Bush policy to be had, and of course we know about 9-11 (well, I guess conservatives do, most liberals seem to have forgotten it). Bush only needed to do better than the imagination of Al Gore’s potential to pass the “are you better off” question. It seems pretty clear that not even the DEMOCRATS never gave a second thought to putting Al up against Bush again to say “see America, you made a bad decision, you could have had **AL** !!!”. I rest my case.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
- “Clarence Thomas sexually harassed Anita Hill yet …”. Actually no, he made a couple of comments that nearly nobody would define as sexual harassment, even if the comments were made to their wife or daughter. 10 years before the accusation and she moved to two different jobs with him AFTER the supposed “incidents”.
- “Bill Clinton was never guilty of anything but an affair between two consenting adults yet …” No in many and varied ways. The Paula Jones accusation, finally agreed to and apologized for and paid off by Bill was a case of a male governor dropping his trousers in front of a female employee and asking her to “kiss it”. Even many liberals would find THAT to be sexual harassment if it was their wife or daughter. Not to mention perjury about the incident and others, forcibly fondling Kathleen Wille in a hallway at the White House and a host of other stuff. The media keeps repeating though … “meaningless waste of time”.
Soviet Unionis pretty much like the and will be around as long (or longer as we are). We need to work with them rather than have some fantasy that they are an “Evil Empire” or “Are going away” … nuff said. US
- “There has never been any connection between Iraq and Al Quaeda” … “Iraq was never a threat to the US” … They may or may not believe some of these things, but repeating them over and over is no different than Bush using the opposite in a speech. There is certainly ample evidence to believe that there were and are connections, there may also be enough evidence for some to believe that there were and are none.
Monday, July 11, 2005
Thursday, July 07, 2005
We awoke this AM to news of terrorist attacks on the transportation system in
Such thoughts make the naiveté of Neville Chamberlain signing an agreement with Hitler and talking about “peace in our time” seem like the height of sophistication. Hitler may have been a bloodthirsty monster, but he at least had the PR sense to try to hide it. Al Qaeda has been very clear of their objectives, and even if they hadn’t, their actions have been more than clear. We certainly weren’t in
The facts may be 100% against them, but we know the liberal mind, and the facts will yet again be ignored and the cries will go out; “If only we are compliant and do as they say they will leave us alone”.
I often wonder if liberals exist on the same planet. They will wail this cry at the same time as the press discloses the details of a sex offender from MN, captured in
Unfortunately, the universe that liberals live in is not the real one, and so we have to go on in spite of them. Prayers for the victims and the people of
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
The press is highly irate over NYT reporter Judith Miller going to jail for protecting her confidential source relative to the leak that Valerie Plame was a CIA operative. This whole discussion requires a fairly complex program with a lot of gaps and oddness to even come to where we are today. Let me start with the basics, there is no “First Amendment Right to protection of reporter’s confidential sources. The Supreme Court ruled on that in the 1972 case of Branzburg v. Hayes.
The press consistently ignores the obvious here; if reporters have a guarantee of being able to protect their sources, then the ease with which they or sources that have an axe to grind can make up anything they want is frightening. Maybe you trust the NYT and I trust Fox news, but I’d suspect that if we think about it for a minute, there is SOMEONE in the media that we would like to avoid having carte blanche to make up any whopper that they want, print it, and claim “confidential sources”. Even if you look at the press as some kind of saints, there MIGHT be someone at either MoveOn.org or the NRA, or some other organization that could be guilty of leaking false information and might be worth having at least an outside risk of being exposed if it comes to a legal investigation.
So the media is spending time on a story in which the premise is false. They constantly portray “reporter/source privledge” as being fundamental to democracy like lawyer/client, doctor/patient, priest/parishioner. Hogwash. The other privledges are designed to protect the information from being divulged, at all, reporter/source is explicitly designed to allow a source to divulge the information with the hoped for result that they will achieve their ends and bear no consequence. Not all sources nor reporters are honorable, Jason Blair was caught making things up at the NYT, and either some sources or CBS itself saw fit to fake documents relative to the Bush Guard service.
For this specific case though, the oddness just goes on and on. Robert Novak, a conservative opinion writer did a column in July of ’03 that “outed” Valerie Plame, the wife of
For some reason though, months after the Novak article, the liberal side of the media started a witch hunt over Novak committing a supposed felony by mentioning her name, with further implications that the column was “retaliation” by the Bush administration for her husband criticizing the WMD data on Iraq. There was a reasonable media and Democrat frenzy, so finally a Special Prosecutor was appointed to look into the matter, and other than for the particularly strident left, the situation was pretty much forgotten.
Now, as the special prosecutor grinds on, Judith Miller, who never wrote an article on the subject by the way, has found herself in jail. The press doesn’t much like this result. Leaks on nearly anything, from national security to criminal investigations are of course the mothers milk of journalism in
The witch-hunt began as an effort to get some top administration official, hopefully Karl Rove, ideally before the election, to damage Bush. Certainly at least one leaker has been found, since Time Magazine’s Matt Cooper was released by his source and has agreed to testify. The very spectacle of the press moving to “root out a leaker” is very much proof of bias. Leaks are what they feed off, they must have leaks, and they must at least be able to give some percentage of their sources the illusion of confidentiality, even if the only way they can protect it is by going to jail.
In this case, their bias got the better of them and they decided to try to take a bite of the hand that feeds their enterprise (leaks). The “just desserts” is that the only way they can protect the promise that they make of “un-named sources” is by going to jail and refusing to talk. They asked for the investigation to close off the very thing that they need to make the news. They got the investigation, and now one of them is in jail. The symmetry is marvelous; the only thing better would be if the sentences for failing to testify were longer.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Our local paper graced it’s Op Ed page with an editorial from Ellen Goodman and one from Paul Krugman this evening. Nothing like having some balance! Neither editorial was really worth the waste of good trees and ink. Ellen was lamenting that Bush has “co-opted symbols”, and her special ire was directed at the yellow ribbons on the backs of vehicles, and of course ESPECAILLY those on the backs of SUVs. I don’t have one at this point, but if they bother Ellen that much, they might we worth sticking on.
She sees “support the troops” as a proxy for “support their commander in chief”. She wants to be clear that she supports the troops, is very patriotic, she just doesn’t support what they are doing … and of course even though we live in a democracy where we have elections and Bush won, she doesn’t support him either. He keeps talking about “War on Terror”, and “911”, and he should just stop, it is awful and disgraceful, and it just bothers Ellen SO much!
I think can understand. It would be like if I had a “Support the NEA” sticker on my vehicle, but my real position was that public schools are a disaster, the only thing they are good at is teaching kids gay sex, rap music, and crime, and any student wasting their time going there was doomed to failure. Oh, and I hate the Democrats saying “it’s all about the children”. BUT, I’m really pro-public school, and VERY pro-teacher. All my criticism is based on “support for teachers and public education”. I support them, I just don’t support what they are doing. Not that many teachers die in the line of duty though, so I guess the analogy isn’t quite exact.
Krugman was in his usual “all is lost mode” relative to
I think holidays bring out the worst in liberals. Thanksgiving and Christmas are always hard on them … things like God and family involved. They don’t believe in the God part, don’t like the fact that some people that celebrate the holiday DO believe. Usually don’t like the family thing … lots of imperfection, probably some idiot relative that watches Fox and listens to talk radio, nobody should have to be exposed to that. People aren’t genuine, how can anyone be happy when Bush is President? Holidays make no sense.
July 4th is a really tough one. Patriotism and liberals is always a touchy subject. They are absolutely sure that they are really the only TRUE patriotic Americans. They just don’t like flags (too showy), or fireworks (pollution and noise), or grilling (pollution, People Eating Tasty Animals (PETA)), marching bands (too military, too regimented, too “
Liberals like MLK day. They can march in the streets and talk about how bad it still is in
The plight of liberals is tragic. All those holidays celebrating God, home and hearth … Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and those celebrating country in a positive light … Memorial Day and July 4th tend to get much more attention than the liberal holidays. Yet another part of an unfair world in which liberals are forced to make their sad way.