Thursday, July 31, 2008

McCain's Celebrity ad with Paris and Britney Racist, Idiotic

So now we find out that the McCain Campaign is out of ideas and is looking to define their opponent with any wacky fiction that sticks. He's apparently just like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton because...he's a "celebrity." Maybe famous, but not a celebrity. Maybe he's more like a politician running for president who just happen to get some media coverage like his opponent. But hey, I'm gonna have to leave it up to the big thinkers. But hasn't McCain been a Vietnam POW celebrity for years and an outright media whore...I mean darling?

Andrea Mitchell interviews McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis. Incredibly, Davis whines about the "vicious" attacks by Obama and the helpless attempt by McCain to take the high road. Obama has never viciously done anything that I can remember, unless criticizing McCain's disastrous policies for America count as negative? These cry babies just hate it when someone else gets better coverage by the press simply because they deserve it. "Petty" and "vacuous" are words that comes to mind.

One more thing, instead of two celebrity blond white women, why not two celebrity male liberals? Is it because the McCain campaign is playing off the cliche portrail of black men dating white blond women?

UPDATE: Aug. 1, 2008: It seems McCain was a bit of a "celebrity" himself, according to the media.

AP: McCain Talks To Letterman About April Candidacy Announcement, March 1, 2007
Republican Sen. John McCain said he will officially enter the presidential race ... with a formal announcement in early April after a trip to Iraq. The 2006 midterm campaign had just ended when McCain took the first formal step toward a presidential run in November. He formed an exploratory committee and gave a speech casting himself as a "common-sense conservative" in the vein of Ronald Reagan who could lead the party back to dominance after a dreadful election season by returning to the GOP's core principles. A political celebrity, McCain is considered a top contender for the nomination.

Ooops! I hope John McCain call for an AP retraction?

McCain Hanging Our the Dirty Ad Laundry on Obama

Dirty politics? Not from John and Cindy McCain. That's why this ad really isn't "dirty," just the plain old truth. I've also included McCain senior strategist Steve Schmidt, and his sound logic and reasoning for including Britney Spears and Paris Hilton in an ad about Sen. Obama. Obama hits back with his own ad.

The Catholic Church Bishops Undermine All Religions With Petty Authoritarian Rules

I have never bought into the Catholic Church’s nonsense of the use of Latin in their services, talking to God through a middleman, strict ceremonial traditions and the infallible human they call the Pope. Most of these devices can be summed up easily with the term, “golden idol worship.”

Before I knew anything about liberals and conservatives, I wondered why intelligent people looked up to or followed these dictatorial authority figures. I later realized many of these “followers” were very conservative. I would later see this same devotion and allegiance to their political “leaders.” How many times have you heard the political debate switch to the simple phrase, “you just hate Bush (idol)?”

Getting back to Catholics, we have a Bishop problem in Madison Wisconsin (my humble opinion). In a revealing article by Bill Wineke, "Bishop talking nonsense on pill, clergy sex abuse,” we get the straight talk about the twisted, sick thinking of the Roman Catholic church. Wineke writes:

Madison's Roman Catholic Bishop Robert Morlino says he understands the underlying cause of the clergy sex-abuse scandal in his church: the birth control pill … Morlino claims is that widespread disobedience to Pope Paul VI's ban of the pill led to all sorts of depravities, including marital infidelity, pornography, a loss of respect for women, and, most interesting to me, at least, sex abuse by priests.

The bishop said, "Once bishops, priests and others decided that they could use conscience to excuse them from obedience to truth, as taught by the church — when bishops and priests started giving conscience the authority to determine moral truth, rather than obey the truth as taught by the church, it's not surprising that (during those years) some priests and some bishops started to follow their own conscience in terms of sexual misconduct."

To ascribe the biggest scandal in church history to the idea that individuals have no right to form their own conscience is just bizarre. Priests do not molest children because they disagree with Humane Vitae. Priests like all other pedophiles, abuse children because they are sick human beings. Bishops cover up the misdeeds of their church because they fear scandal and because they think the welfare of the ordained is more important than the souls of children.

Wineke makes a good point about a completely absurd theory. But this doesn't let the flock off the hook when it comes to defending this sick doctrine. Here are a few responses to Wineke’s story.

Sandy Wedel, Belt, Mont.: Still, think about it. Artificial contraception dissociates sexual intimacy from the possibility of procreating new human life. This makes sexual behavior simply a pleasurable experience open for anyone to engage in -- be they male and female, male and male, female and female, married, unmarried, in love, strangers, both adults or -- and this is being proposed by some -- between men and boys, the most common behavior of sexually abusive priests.

Well, we certainly wouldn’t want to have a “simply pleasurable experience” would we? And oh yea, we'll leave the last choice for those sick, depraved....

Nick and Kay Ringelstetter, Prairie du Sac: Forty years ago, Pope Paul VI prophetically envisioned many of the effects of contraception on our world, including our lowering of moral standards. His love and concern for all women was obvious in Humanae Vitae. He stated, "Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection."

Assuming that independent women don’t have desires, or want sexual satisfaction in their lives, without having a baby. How odd?

Dale Lawinger, Mineral Point: People like Wineke may not understand why they teach certain things in the Catholic faith. They are in the same group of Catholics who think their faith is what the majority want, not the guidance God promised the Pope to keep the church teaching the truth.

God promised the Pope guidance to teach the truth? THE POPE?

Now here are some lucid readers with a few points of their own.

Jack W. Beschta, Oregon, WI: Prior to the introduction of the pill, was sin caused by the invention of the airplane, discovery of electricity, widespread use of the automobile, indoor plumbing, nuclear energy, the advent of TV, the invention of the wheel or the discovery of fire?

Lee Haas, Madison: Pope Paul VI ignored the recommendations of the Vatican II commission convened to study the birth control issue, and upheld the ban. He followed his conscience. God does not speak to our Catholic hierarchy any more or any less than God speaks to us.


Mike Gallagher, Authoritarian, Knows What’s Best for Obama’s Kids

These ruthless bastards complain about everything. Whine, whine, and whine some more. Families, to be considered normal, should do the things only approved and blessed by our authoritarian leaders, someone like Mike Gallagher for instance.

Media Matters caught this video clip on Hannity & Colmes.

Mike Gallagher falsely asserted that Sen. Barack Obama and his wife do not give Christmas and birthday presents to their daughters, saying it's "proof positive that this is a socialist family." Gallagher further claimed that as a result of what he falsely asserted was the Obamas' refusal to give their daughters birthday and Christmas presents, the Obamas' children "are going to have a lifetime of therapy" and are "going to wind up on a bell tower someday if we don't send them presents."

Funny stuff, huh? As a parent of two young children, this sick conservative blowhard obviously fails first as a human being, and second as loving role model for children. Is there any doubt in your mind now, that once these Republicans gain power again, they’ll be right there telling you how and what to say in public, at home and at work? Small government my ass.

Take a look at what Michelle and Barack Obama actually said, and tell me if they aren’t really great thoughtful parents.

People Magazine: Someone told me today that you don't do birthday presents.
Michelle: No, because we spend hundreds of dollars on a birthday party and movie tickets and pizza and popcorn ...
Barack: That sleepover is enough. We want to teach some limits to them. And their friends bring over presents.
Michelle: They get so much stuff that it just becomes numbing. Malia believes there is still a Santa Claus even though she's a little wary because some of her friends are non-believers. But Malia says, "Ma, I know there is a Santa because there's no way you'd buy me all that stuff." [Laughing]

McCain and Party Followers Showcase Obvious: Republicans Fiscally Irresponsible

1. Just how fiscally responsible are Republicans? Let’s look at the candidate and his backers. Speaking of taxes in Colorado, Sen. John McCain said: "I want to look you in the eye: I will not raise taxes or support a tax increase." The AP reports that in last January's Florida primary, McCain finished second among voters who said cutting taxes was a higher priority than reducing the deficit.

Conservative voters would rather cut taxes than pay their bills. That says a lot, doesn’t it? They would much rather spend than pay up.

2. The same goes for Social Security. The answer is simple: raise the cap on the payroll tax a little or a lot. This isn’t brain surgery. Republicans won’t have any of it, for the simple reason solving the problem doesn’t do away with the program. A McCain spokesman said, "There is no imaginable circumstance where John McCain would raise payroll taxes. It's absolutely out of the question."

Thus no solution except for the “tough” ones that reduce benefits that are already too low, and to raise the benefit age. These are ugly options meant to anger and frighten the public. And that's what they want. A desperate person will make any kind of deal, even one that leaves them at risk of losing everything.

3. But for the best attack ads, facts are cast aside for a good yarn, like comparing Barack Obama to Britney Spears. I’m not kidding. A McCain ad shows Obama and the massive crowd at his speech in Berlin, where almost 200,000 people showed up to hear him speak. Announcer: "he's the biggest celebrity in the world," while shots of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton appear on the screen. "Just because you're a celebrity doesn't mean you're ready to lead," campaign manager Rick Davis told reporters in a conference call about the ad.

I get it; Democrats love and hang with phony Hollywood types, like Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pres. Ronald Reagan, Sonny Bono, Clint Eastwood, Fred Thompson, Chuck Norris and Charlton Heston. Oops sorry, wrong Hollywood list of celebrities.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The McCain test as Commander And Chief

This is so true, the video speaks for itself.

Democrats Just don't get Dumb-ass Bush and Stupid-ass Republican Plan to Help Big Oil. What’s Their Problem?

God damn those Democrats. We just can't let them get away with killing this country with high mileage cars and "green" energy. If it comes down to livin' or dyin', I'm on the side of life. That kind of puts them in a bad place, doesn't it?

They want us to pay more for gas, and that means forcing everyone into buying those liberal Prius’s. And that means no room for the concealed gun in the car (arsonal?) so you can at least take it work and protect yourself. The time for talk is past.

We kept our guns for a reason, to secure our country and fight for our flag pin freedom.

The commander and chief of our country, President Bush said it perfectly. "The American people are rightly frustrated by the failure of the Democratic leaders in Congress to enact commonsense solutions." Oh sure he “acknowledged that development of oil resources in waters off the coastlines, an area known as the Outer Continental Shelf, would take time. But he said that only creates more urgency for Congress to lift its legislative ban on drilling in these protected waters before lawmakers leave Washington for summer break.

That’s right; they’re going to take a summer break, a staycation, instead of protecting us from paying more at the gas pump. I’m PO’ed and I’m not going to take it anymore.

Let’s face it, “the Democratic-run Congress let the American people down by refusing to allow a vote on the matter.” Right on W.

But wouldn’t ya know it, “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has ignored calls by Republican leaders for a vote on lifting the drilling bans in Atlantic and Pacific waters, arguing that oil companies already have vast areas available for drilling but have chosen not to do so.” Yea right, like they would let all that profit just sit their so they could control the prices at the pump.

Instead, the Democrats want to tinker around the edges with a market speculation bill, taking money out of those hard working speculators pockets too.

What’s their problem with people making a profit trading oil?

This is war, and it’s time to show everyone how serious we are. Ka-ching.

New Boss says “People Thing, Free Beer” Not Part of Anheuser-Busch’s Future

If you ever wanted to see the face of greed, look no further than Carlos Brito, chief executive of brewer InBev SA, who will be leading Anheuser-Busch. He “says he doesn't care for perks — and neither should the people who work for him. I don't want the company to give me free beer; I can buy my own beer."

According to AP:

Brito, admits himself that he did not always get "the people thing," when he started off in sales. "His reputation precedes him as a no-frills, no-thrills severe cost-cutter," says Eric Shepard, editor of beer industry newsletter Beer Marketer's Insights.

But how did Brito the “severe cost cutter” get started and become the face of capitalistic hubris? The following story demonstrates the “getting their due” philosophy of the privileged class.

Brito applied to several U.S. universities for a master's in business administration. He was accepted by several — but could not pay his way. A family friend put him in touch with Brazilian investment banker and billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann, who told Brito he would pay for his graduate studies at Stanford. All he wanted in return were periodic reports and clippings from the United States to keep him up to date with what was going on there. Brito insisted on knowing how he would pay Lemann back and Lemann said, 'I do not want to be paid back. One day you will do for others what I am doing for you.'"

I guess not getting “the people thing” and doing away with a company perk of a case of free beer every month for employees is Carlos Brito’s idea of “doing for others.”

Good-bye America’s Anheuser-Busch. Now, buy your own damn beer.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Oh No, Now the Center is Left and the Left is Center Polls Indicate

In this critique, Americans Move Left, New York Times Misses It by Jeff Cohen on, we’re given a more accurate reading of recent Gallup opinion polls than even the NY Times determined. Cohen wisely point’s out it’s the centrist ideology, the one the media pushes constantly, that’s at fault. An ideological position I never considered really powerful, until I started chronicling the many polls where almost everyone is disavowing their left or right leanings, to take the supposed independent position.

Cohen writes: The headline atop Saturday’s op-ed page was a hallowed standby for the New York Times: “Americans Move to the Middle.” Assembled by Times “visual columnist” Charles Blow, the text of the column was dwarfed by 15 graphs tracking recent movement in American public opinion, based on Gallup polls. There was one problem: the headline totally distorted the data.
An accurate headline would have been “American Opinion Moves Leftward” — but accuracy was apparently trumped by centrist ideology … starting in 2001-2003 and ending in 2006-2008. Of those dozen (issues), the trend in opinion is unmistakenly leftward on virtually every one. On foreign policy

The Iraq war has made the U.S. less safe from terrorism:37% in 2003 and 49% four years later. – “The U.S. should not attack another country unless it has been attacked first.” 51% in Oct. 2002 and 57% in 2006 – The government is spending too much for national defense and military purposes: 19% in Feb. 2001 and 44% in Feb. 2008.– Organized religion should have less influence in this nation: 22% in Jan. 2001 and 34% in Jan. 2008.-Gay relationships: 40% in May 2001 to 48% in May 2008. Divorce: 59% to 70% in same time period. Medical research using stem cells from human embryos: from 52% in May 2002 to 62% in May 2008.

Some might argue that there is one Times graph that trends rightward: The state of moral values in the country as a whole is getting worse: It went from 67% in May 2002 to 81% in May 2008. Yet I’m no conservative and I’m absolutely part of the 81% — given the declining morals that descend from corporate, government and religious elites.

So the Times presents Gallup data showing a clear trend toward the left, and calls it a “Move to the Middle.”

The simplicity of poll talking points, unimportant enough for most people not to check its validity, has unfairly influenced elections for the last 6 years. I’m now checking the poll facts next time my head starts spinning like a top again.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Republican Hate Speech Advances "Kill Liberals" Mentality with Legally Purchased GUNS

It was bound to happen, and to be honest, late in coming considering the amount of material portraying liberals as traitors, America haters and "Liberal Fascists-Jonah Goldberg."

According to the AP story:Knoxville's police chief says the man accused of a shooting that killed two people at a Tennessee church targeted the congregation because of its liberal social stance. The church is known for advocating women's and gay rights and founding an American Civil Liberties Union chapter. Adkisson was apparently frustrated over being out of work and had a "stated hatred of the liberal movement."

It seems we have one of those out of work "whiners" Phil Gramm mentioned recently, only this time he was a conservative, with a legally purchased gun that killed people.

Study on Media Bias Toward Obama Shows Media Bias Toward Media Bias. Another words, Media in tank for Obama a Republican Myth.

The recent article in the Los Angeles Times by JAMES RAINEY entitled “In study, evidence of liberal-bias bias” takes on the Republican talking point and exposes the campaign device as pure fabrication. Read it and weep, conservatives:

Cable talking heads accuse broadcast networks of liberal bias -- but a think tank finds that ABC, NBC and CBS were tougher on Barack Obama than on John McCain in recent weeks.

Haters of the mainstream media reheated a bit of conventional wisdom last week. Barack Obama, they said, was getting a free ride from those insufferable liberals. Such pronouncements, sorry to say, tend to be wrong since they describe a monolithic media that no longer exists.

The Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University, where researchers have tracked network news content for two decades, found that ABC, NBC and CBS were tougher on Obama than on Republican John McCain during the first six weeks of the general-election campaign.

You read it right: tougher on the Democrat.When network news people ventured opinions in recent weeks, 28% of the statements were positive for Obama and 72% negative. Network reporting also tilted against McCain, but far less dramatically, with 43% of the statements positive and 57% negative, according to the Washington-based media center.

Conservatives have been snarling about the grotesque disparity revealed by another study, the online Tyndall Report, which showed Obama getting 166 minutes of coverage in the seven weeks after the end of the primary season, compared with 67 minutes for McCain, according to longtime network-news observer Andrew Tyndall.

I also suggested that much of the attention to Obama was far from glowing. That earned a spasm of e-mails that described me as irrational, unpatriotic and . . . somehow . . . French.

But the center's director, Robert Lichter, who has won conservative hearts with several of his previous studies, told me the facts were the facts. "This information should blow away this silly assumption that more coverage is always better coverage," he said.

The center reviews and "codes" statements on the evening news as positive or negative toward the candidates. For example, when NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell said in June that Obama "has problems" with white men and suburban women, the media center deemed that a negative. The positive and negative remarks about each candidate are then totaled to calculate the percentages that cut for and against them. The media center's data covers nightly newscasts beginning June 8, the day after Hillary Rodham Clinton conceded the Democratic nomination through Monday, as Obama began his overseas trip. The study found, on average, less than two opinion statements per night on the candidates on all three networks combined. But when a point of view did emerge, it tended to tilt against Obama. That was a reversal of the trend during the primaries, when the same researchers found that 64% of statements about Obama -- new to the political spotlight -- were positive, but just 43% of statements about McCain were positive.

It might be tempting to discount the latest findings by Lichter's researchers. But this guy is anything but a liberal toady. In 2006, conservative cable showmen Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly had Lichter, a onetime Fox News contributor, on their programs. They heralded his findings in the congressional midterm election: that the networks were giving far more positive coverage to the Democrats. More proof of the liberal domination of the media, Beck and O'Reilly declared.Now the same researchers have found something less palatable to those conspiracy theorists.

But don't expect cable talking heads to end their trashing of the networks. Repeated assertions that the networks are in the tank for Democrats represent not only an article of faith on Fox, but a crucial piece of branding. On Thursday night, O'Reilly and his trusty lieutenant Bernard Goldberg worked themselves into righteous indignation -- again -- about the liberal bias they knew was lurking. By the way, Lichter's group also surveys the first half-hour of "Special Report With Brit Hume," Fox News' answer to the network evening news. "Special Report" was tougher than the networks on Obama -- with 79% of the statements about the Democrat negative, compared with 61% negative on McCain.

There's plenty of room for questioning the networks' performance and watching closely for symptoms of Obamamania. But could we at least remain focused on what ABC, NBC and CBS actually put on the air, rather than illusions that their critics create to puff themselves up?

Rabbit Hole, Looking Glass Energy Policy Pushed By Republicans

Let’s go down the rabbit hole, through the looking glass, and into the thick of the Republican Party.

My brain hurt at first, and then I couldn’t help but shake my head and sigh. For a political Party that put Vice President Dick Cheney in charge of “the first major domestic energy plan in years,” we went from $1.60 a gallon to $4.25 in eight years, and nearly bankrupt the world. Forget green energy and forget raising CAFÉ standards for cars and trucks, why not let them eat oil. Top mountains, rape the country side and dot the beautiful coast lines with oil rigs all the while we’re polluting the air we breathe.

Instead of hoping people forget their disastrous energy policy (this is where we head down the rabbit hole), Republicans now think high pump prices just might be the way to win the publics confidence. I’m not kidding. Take a look at what the Wall Street Journal wrote on this bizarre turn:
Republicans are upping the ante on their bet that energy issues -- especially increased domestic oil production -- will be key to closing Democrats' imposing advantage with voters on the economy. Democrats' advantage on energy -- the issue voters in the poll said was their No. 1 economic concern -- had shrunk to 20 points in July from 28 points in January.

Wow, they are closing the gap on energy. But have no fear, they still might not be able to sell this snake “oil” either.

The Obama camp is seeking to cast Sen. McCain as the one who has failed to take action. "Sen. McCain put it best when he said that our energy problems are the result of 30 years of inaction in Washington," said Tommy Vietor, an Obama spokesman. "Unfortunately, John McCain was there for 26 of those years and he repeatedly voted against increasing fuel-economy standards and investing in renewable energy."

Note to Republicans: The price of gas has gone down over 12 cents in the last week. Better hurry with your short term solution, that will only take 7 to 20 years to make any kind of difference, if any.

Scary Former Clinton Delegate Votes McCain, Gets More Press from Me. Damn!

After all the years I've spent talking to liberals and Democrats, I have never come across one who could give up their party platform because they were unhappy with the choice of candidates. That's why the included video is so startling.

Now formally stripped of her delegate status in Wisconsin, Debbie Bartoshevich continues to play the victim, talking about how "I dedication a lot of time, a lot of money. I wanted to be a part of her historical candidacy." Of Barack Obama, she claims "Basically he was selected, not elected." She even went as far as disagreeing with his policies. Really, like Clinton and Obama's health care for all and withdrawing the troops from Iraq?

Imagine Bartoshevich, a Democrat, singing the praises of Sen. John McCain with every Republican campaign talking point at her disposal: "I have a lot of admiration and respect for McCain, because of his experience (comparatively, Clinton has very little), because of him being a veteran. I think you have to look at the resumes ... I'm putting my country before my party. I'm finished with the DEMOCRAT Party."

That's the Democratic spirit. Joe Wineke, leader of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, is right to point out the political circus surrounding this "coat tail Clinton supporter," and phony Democrat. Sadly, Wineke admits, "It's the only place in the country where there's a delegate for Hillary or Obama that's supporting McCain."

What I find fascinating is her ego centric outrage, and dumb as a board take on the Democratic candidates political differences. My brain is starting to hurt again...just watch.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Republicans Say: Obama Trip Abroad Total Distaster, Ignores Problems at Home? Anyone Want to Call Him an Enemy Combatant?

Still believe there's a liberal media? Check out this surreal segment from Lou Dobbs.

Who would have guessed: This was Barack Obama's ego trip abroad, too many people turned out to see him; speeches were too general but specific enough to undermine the office of the presidency; along with being too upbeat and positive.

It was perfectly fine for Sen. John McCain to whine incessantly about all the media attention Obama was getting. He even whined about the Iraqi support of Obama's 16 month withdrawal policy. And then McCain couldn't help but whined that Obama should only speak to the world once he's president, and not before. Obama's got no class.

What? You say the Republicans aren't getting enough attention? You can hear them now...why it sounds like a baby crying!

Hand 'em a Grand Old Pacifier.

Obama provides the answer to these spin meisters in this give and take from CNN:

Suzanne Malveaux: Senator, I want to use a word that you love to use, “audacity.” A lot of people looked at the trip and they saw the palaces, the world leaders, the 200,000 that were gathered in Berlin, and they said, “The audacity of this trip, it looks like he is running for president of the world.” And a lot of people looked and they want to know, what out of this trip did you take away that you feel makes you a stronger candidate to be a leader here?

OBAMA: Well, let me make a couple points. First of all, I basically met with the same folks that John McCain met with after he won the nomination. He met with all these leaders. He also added a trip to Mexico, a trip to Canada, a trip to Colombia, and nobody suggested that that was “audacious. I think people assumed that what he was doing was talk to world leaders who we may have deal with should we become president. That’s part of the job that I’m applying for.

And so — so I was puzzled by this notion that somehow what we were doing was in any way different from what Senator McCain or a lot of presidential candidates have done in the past. Now, I admit we did it really well.

GOP Blocks Bill to Rein In Speculators Effect on Higher Gas Prices, and That’s OK

Disaster capitalism. You’ve got to love it, if you’re a Republican. While the public screams bloody murder over gas prices, the party of crooks feeds off that fear to help their buddies in the oil industry. What will drilling do for us right now?

The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration [EIA] said that .... 'Because oil prices are determined on the international market, however, any impact on average wellhead prices is expected to be insignificant.' "The EIA Annual Energy Outlook 2007 report: "access to the Pacific, Atlantic, and eastern Gulf regions would not have a significant impact on domestic crude oil and natural gas production or prices before 2030. Leasing would begin no sooner than 2012, and production would not be expected to start before 2017."

But this information won’t stop the Republicans from taking as much land as possible and handing it over to the oil companies. How can they get away with it? A fearful compliant public.

According to Dow Jones, “As oil prices continue to trade at economy-damaging levels, U.S. Senate Republicans blocked a vote on legislation to rein in speculation in the energy markets. Instead, the minority is calling for a series of votes that would expand domestic petroleum production and new nuclear power."

"There's clearly nothing more important in the country for Congress to deal with...than the price of gas at the pump," said Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. His party would continue to hold up business on the Senate floor until Democrats allowed them to offer a series of amendments on expanded offshore drilling, oil shale development, nuclear power and other energy solutions."

The GOP isn’t shy about taking as much as they can grab. But why is it they can be so obvious and still not turn the public against them? After everything they have done to destabalize the global markets, along with rising food and gas prices, now people are allowing these criminals to take them for another fleecing.

Maybe we need four years of Sen. John McCain’s economic vision for “a nation of complainers” before we truly understand what Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine is all about. Watch for yourself.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

American Troops in Iraq Tout Success of Take Your Daughter To War Day

I have often times criticized President Bush for his many misteps and bungles executing the Iraq occupation. But one extraordinary program made up for all the inhumanity to date. The Onion files this report:

Who Is Cindy McCain? Why are We Still Asking?

Who is Cindy McCain? Why are we still asking this question after all of the brutal attacks that have been made on Michelle Obama? Michelle even rated a cover caricature on the New Yorker Magazine. How has Cindy McCain rate?

Let me see, she was addicted to drugs in the 1990's, and that addiction progressed to the point where she resorted to stealing drugs from her own charity, the American Voluntary Medical Team. She plead down from a felony to a fine and restitution. But if you talked to anyone today, hell, she's a flawless snow white. Check out this segment from PBS's "To the Contrary."

Iraq War That No One Saw

JAN. 18, 2005 An Iraqi girl after her parents were killed by American gunfire in Tal Afar.

NY Times: 4,000 U.S. Deaths, and Just a Handful of Public Images

If the conflict in Vietnam was notable for open access given to journalists — too much, many critics said, as the war played out nightly in bloody newscasts — the Iraq war may mark an opposite extreme: after five years and more than 4,000 American combat deaths, searches and interviews turned up fewer than a half-dozen graphic photographs of dead American soldiers.

Republicans Happy, Arrogant and Dismissive of Bush Administration Crimes, Join Histories Dark Moment

Let’s look at what was said by the Republicans at the House hearing on executive power, and their cavalier and dismissive attitude toward the alleged crimes of the past eight years by the Bush administration. But first, the opening statement from the Democrat in charge, as reported by CBS News.

"To the regret of many, this is not an impeachment hearing," said committee chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., pointing out the less incendiary title of the event, "Executive Power and its Constitutional Limitations." House rules prohibit "personal abuse, innuendo or ridicule of the president." The House Rules and Manual points out that suggestions of mendacity, or accusations of hypocrisy, demagoguery or deception were out of order. In other words, no one could accuse the president of committing high crimes or misdemeanors, if they weren’t actually voting on whether he committed high crimes or misdemeanors.

So now a review of the arrogant, dismissive comments put forth by the Republicans representatives, with the hope that their words are reflected in the text of future history books documenting this nations darkest moment.

Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., called it "impeachment lite," where people were given free rein to impugn Mr. Bush but not to impeach him.

Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the committee's senior Republican said, "It seems that we are hosting an anger management class. This hearing will not cause us to impeach the president; it will only serve to impeach Congress's credibility."

One witness, George Mason University School of Law professor Jeremy Rabkin commented, "I am really astonished at the mood in this room. The tone of these deliberations is slightly demented. You should all remind yourselves that the rest of the country is not necessarily in this same bubble in which people think it is reasonable to describe the president as if he were Caligula."

Rep. Steve King of Iowa challenged Bush’s critics for saying he lied during his 2003 State of the Union Address, when he spoke the infamous “16 words” claiming that Saddam Hussein had sought weapons-grade uranium from Niger. (That was) despite investigations from weapons experts that determined such reports were false. King pointed to a recent article about a secret effort to remove older uranium yellow cake from Iraq, and alluded that it represented a “significant” amount that supported Mr. Bush’s claim, ignoring the fact that the uranium dated from the 1991 Persian Gulf War and had long been known to U.N. weapons inspectors.

Let it be recorded and a part of the Republican legacy that allowed this abuse of power to happen on their watch in Congress. Let it also be noted that the attack on 9/11took place on their watch, making irrelevant their record that we haven’t been attacked since.

Meanwhile, hundreds of activists spilled out of the committee room and lined the hallways outside. T-shirts reading "Arrest Bush" and "Veterans for Impeachment" illustrated the sentiments of many.

And there apparently was nothing in House rules preventing opinions: as when Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., asserted that Mr. Bush was "the worst president that our nation has ever suffered." Also testifying was former Congressman Bob Barr of Georgia, who helped lead the Republicans' impeachment fight against President Bill Clinton. "The separation of powers, with the checks and balances expected to naturally follow, is the bedrock foundation of American constitutional government. It is a foundation clearly in danger of crumbling."

Man Shoots His Lawn Mower in drunken Rage. So?

The AP story went something like this: A 56-year-old Milwaukee man is accused of shooting his lawn mower because it wouldn't start. Keith Walendowski was charged with felony possession of a short-barreled shotgun or rifle and misdemeanor disorderly conduct while armed. A woman who lives at Walendowski's house reported the incident. She says he was intoxicated.

If you've been to Democurmudgeon before, then you may have seen the multitude of posts here about how idiotic I think gun ownership is and the constant danger it poses to society (just use the search at the top of the page for "gun" on this site). But today I am happy to announce I am in complete agreement with this guys dramatic steps to teach his non-functional lawn mower a lesson. Or at least put it out of its misery.

You might think that I too have had my share of lawn mower starting problems, right? Wrong, I’ve had great luck with the two that I’ve owned. But it was his yard, his beer and his lousy lawn mower. Maybe he shouldn’t have had the saw-off shotgun, and for legal reasons a felony, but come on. The guy never posed a threat to anyone who didn’t have a small gas tank, mulching blade and rear bagger.

"Walendowski said he was angry because his Lawn Boy wouldn't start Wednesday morning. He told police quote, "I can do that, it's my lawn mower and my yard so I can shoot it if I want."

You can’t argue with that kind of logic. Geez, it’s his yard and he does have every right to shoot his lawn mower, leaf blower or stored away lawn ornaments. Just take the gun away and let him get a new mower. After all the trouble he had trying to get his mower to start, now he faces a possible $11,000 fine and six years and three months in prison.

The guy was pissed at his lawn mower and now someone wants to make a federal case out of it?
What’s next, the police breaking into someone’s home after someone brutally hammered a dysfunctional coffee maker?

Obama Elitist, McCain "Exciting?" Colbert Takes a Deeper Look

The preceeding post dealing with the media/Republican created image of Sen. Obama as aloof and elitist goes well with this commentary from Stephen Colbert. In this piece, David Frum tries to advance the idea that because Sen. McCain is the oldest candidate to ever run for president, the press should find the idea "exciting."

Friday, July 25, 2008

Why is Obama Arrogant? Because Republicans and Media say So, Says Rachel Maddow

MSNBC's David Gregory asked his panel why Barack Obama is looked upon as arrogant and aloof?

Republicans like to blame the large crowds and Obama's superstar status as proof he's an egomaniac, as if all of this were in someway created by is campaign.

Air America's Rachel Maddow comes to the rescue again with a simple answer to a phony media created/Republican Party issue.

Confirmed: Fox News Host Get White House Talking Points, McClellan Says

I guess this confirms what we knew all along, even if Chris Matthews didn't seem very interested, that Fox News Talk host received talking points from the White House. Hey, didn't it seem a bit coincidental that both seemed to be on the same page? Now we know why, confirmed by Scott McCellan on Hardball.

Conservative Republican Hate Speech and Blame Liberal Americans First Crowd

You may have heard the term "blame America first" a few times in the past, right? Republicans have used it over and over again to describe liberals and Democrats as unpatriotic, incessant whiners, and unhappy citizens of the greatest country in the world.

I would like to propose a phrase Democrats can use to describe the conservative who complain about the...complainers. "Blame Americans First." It's what they do best. I thought after a few years of this, the irony of their complaints about the complainers, would have dawned on them by now. No such luck. So why not tag them the "blame Americans first" crowd?

Media Matters has done an amazing job of collecting audio and video of their poisonous venom. I've collected a few tid-bits for you here:

On Glenn Beck, Ben Stein, while discussing Sen. Barack Obama's plan to deliver his speech accepting the Democratic presidential nomination at Denver's Invesco Field, stated that he did not "like the idea of Senator Obama giving his acceptance speech in front of 75,000 wildly cheering people." Stein further stated: "Seventy-five-thousand people at an outdoor sports palace, well, that's something the Fuehrer would have done. And I think whoever is advising Senator Obama to do this is bringing up all kinds of very unfortunate images from the past." Host Beck responded that he has "been saying that we're headed towards a Mussolini-style presidency forever. ... I mean it's crazy." Stein then declared, "It's a scary situation. ... But 75,000 people screaming in an outdoor arena, that's just too much. It's just -- it's scarily authoritarian." He continued: "It's like Juan Peron and Evita."

While discussing's "Petition Against Fox's Racist & Hate-Filled Smears" on the July 23 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly said, "[Sen. Barack] Obama must condemn organizations like MoveOn and the Daily Kos if he truly wants to run without a race component. These are the people that are dividing Americans along racial lines. It is not a stretch to say MoveOn is the new Klan."

On the February 22 edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck, National Review Online editor-at-large Jonah Goldberg said: "I think one of the things that is decidedly fascistic, or at least just a bad idea, is looking for silver bullets. You know, when [Sen.] Barack Obama campaigns, he's basically saying, 'I'm a silver bullet. I'm going to solve all your problems just by electing me.' FDR, Hitler, all these guys, they basically said, 'All your problems can be solved.' " Moments later, Goldberg added: "The logic of conservatism says that there are no final -- you know, there are no perfect solutions to anything." book Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning

On the January 25 edition of his CNN Headline News program, Glenn Beck asserted: "[I]f [Sen.] Hillary Clinton [D-NY] wants to be consistent, I believe, affirmative action, she should give [Sen.] Barack Obama [D-IL] an additional 5 percentage points just for the years of oppression."

Brad Blog Breaks Ohio Election Scandel Involving Karl Rove

After reading the details of yet another corruption story involving Karl Rove, I couldn't help but think that this Brad Blog post may end up being THE big story the major media outlets will pick up on. I've posted almost all of the gory details here, but feel free to click on the half dozen or so links if you feel lucky.
BRAD BLOG Featured Stories: Rove Sends Threat to OH's GOP High-Tech Guru; Protection Sought from AG, Says Attorney
Karl Rove has threatened a GOP high-tech guru and his wife, if he does not "'take the fall' for election fraud in Ohio," according to a letter sent this morning to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, by Ohio election attorney Cliff Arnebeck.

Mike Connell of the Republican firm New Media Communications, was described in a recent interview with the plaintiff's attorneys in Ohio as a "high IQ Forrest Gump" for his appearance "at the scene of every [GOP] crime" from Florida 2000 to Ohio 2004 to the RNC email system to the installation of the currently-used Congressional computer network firewall. Connell and his firm are currently employed by the John McCain campaign, as well as the RNC and other Republican and so-called "faith-based" organizations.

In his email to Mukasey today, Arnebeck writes: "We have been confidentially informed by a source we believe to be credible that Karl Rove has threatened Michael Connell, a principal witness we have identified in our King Lincoln case in federal court in Columbus, Ohio, that if he does not agree to 'take the fall' for election fraud in Ohio, his wife Heather will be prosecuted for supposed lobby law violations."

"This appears to be in response to our designation of Rove as the principal perpetrator in the Ohio Corrupt Practices Act/RICO claim with respect to which we issued document hold notices last Thursday to you and to the US Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform," the Ohio attorney writes, before going on to link to The BRAD BLOG's coverage of his press conference last week and requesting "protection for Mr. Connell and his family from this reported attempt to intimidate a witness."

The reports of a threat from Rove, comes on the heels of Arnebeck's announcement last week that he's filed a motion to lift the stay on a long-standing 2004 federal election lawsuit based on the discovery of new information.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Obama "Undermines" the Presidency When He Speaks to Foreign People

Just when you thought the Republicans were out of ideas, they pounced into action with the lamest and most laughable criticism of Barack Obama's appearance in front of hundreds of thousands of Germans anyone could imagine, even me.

You'll see in the video Sen. McCain say "I would rather speak at a rally or gathering anyplace outside the U.S. after I'm president."

That's right, the new Republican talking point and rule of the game is that a candidate for president cannot talk on foreign soil about the U.S. It's breathtaking in it's stupidity, and for the moment, meant to distract more than make any kind of sense. Even I'm writing about this phoney "rule" that suddenly applies to candidates who are wildly popular around the world.

MSNBC political analyst Joe Watkins takes this new "rule" one step further, "Speeches like that are reserved for the commander and chief of the United States. The commander and chief speaks for the American people."

Watkins might be surprised to know that the president serves the people, not the other way around. More importantly, they are not, I repeat, NOT commander and chief of the people but of the military.

Funny how the authoritarian qualities of these right wing pundits creeps out when you least expect it. These Bush idol worshippers sacrifice all credibility when they announce, like Joe Watkins, that people like Obama "undermine the institution of the presidency." In fact, "He's speaking like a guy who could be president."

How dare he?

Dan Abrams hits one out when he tells Watkins that "the only problem with the visuals is that there were to many people there."

Will McCain Cover Parody in Vanity Fair Get as much Play as Obama’s?

While you examine the cover art here, remember that Cindy McCain has been given a media pass on her drug addiction and felony theft of those drugs. It kind of calls into question the kind of person Cindy might be. But all’s fair, according to the right wing. Also check out this from Barely Political.

Here’s the story from the CBC online:

Vanity Fair is not to be outdone by The New Yorker in the arena of political parody. After The New Yorker's controversial cartoon satirizing views of Barack Obama and his wife, Vanity Fair has posted a cover online that pokes fun at rival presidential candidate John McCain.

McCain is shown leaning on a walker with his head bandaged, bumping fists with his wife, Cindy. Cindy McCain is carrying an armful of painkillers, a sad portrait of George W. Bush hangs over the mantel and the constitution burns in the fireplace.

Vanity Fair describes the cartoon by Tim Bower, which only appears online, as a "selfless act of solidarity with our downstairs neighbours at The New Yorker."

The New Yorker cover showing Obama in Muslim garb and his wife outfitted as an urban guerrilla unleashed a barrage of criticism, from readers and other media outlets.

But like The New Yorker, Vanity Fair is getting criticism for the move. Some readers claim the cartoon is not satirical enough — that the cartoonist could have gone further to parody Cindy McCain's wealth and business ties. Some criticized the cartoon for poking fun at real personal health problems, like Cindy McCain's admitted addiction to painkillers.

But others appreciated the cartoon as a satire of a satire and thought it hit just the right note of humour.

The Seattle Post Intelligencer said Vanity Fair ripped off its own McCain parody, which ran July 15. The cartoon in the Seattle paper shows McCain in a wheelchair and Cindy with pills, while the constitution burns in the fireplace and a portrait of Dick Cheney hangs over the mantel.

God, does it get any more ridiculous?

Minimum Markup Law: Another Imagined Problem Looking for a Solution?

Let’s take a look at the recent diversion instigated by the now agenda-less Republicans. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel put it this way:

A report by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, a Thiensville think tank generally associated with conservative policies, said that as the wholesale price of gasoline increases, so does the impact of the minimum markup law.

The only reason this is getting any traction is because a “conservative” think tank is making another ridiculous pronouncement. The media continues to buy into the myth that assumes conservatives are responsible penny pinchers. Sorry, someone should take another look at the financial condition of the U.S. again. Their free market, deregulation policies brought us to this “brink of disaster.” I seem to remember, and correct me if I’m wrong, a reference to the Republican Congress spending like drunken sailors.

I love this “sky is falling” statement from Christian Schneider, a senior fellow at the conservative think tank. Wait a minute, senior fellow? Wow, he must know his stuff?

"The fact that minimum markup climbs at the same rate that wholesale gas climbs is a double whammy for consumers. The law means gas here costs 8 cents higher than it otherwise would.”

It doesn’t though, if you compare your local pump price with the rest of the countries prices. In fact, for a few weeks recently, prices were lower than the nation’s average.

You know something wrong when two Republicans jump on board for this imagine problem. “State Reps. Bill Kramer (R-Waukesha) and Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa) introduced a bill this session to repeal the minimum markup law. The pair this week asked Doyle to call a special session of the Legislature to repeal the law.

Gov. Doyle said, "These gas price problems are all over the United States - it's not like Wisconsin is some island."

Rep. Jeff Stone (R-Greendale) suggested lawmakers could replace the law with one that requires larger companies to maintain uniform prices across the state or regions of the state. "Gasoline . . . is not truly a competitive market," he said. "There's not that many players. The potential for large players to dominate is extremely strong."

No kidding?

Note: Here’s one interesting comment from a blogger: “Moreover, when advocates speak of repeal, they mean the whole law; those provisions that prevent prescription drugs, computers, clothing, food, and furniture from being sold below cost.”

My response: The U.S. Supreme Court recentling did away with a 90 plus law prohibiting price fixing. Now auto makers, software companies…etc. are preventing retailers from selling products below cost. This contradicts the free market ideals conservatives wants to put in place when it only applies to government regulations. No such rule applies to the moneyed private interests that lobby our politicians, and now our conservative court systems.

Christian, the lion who lived in my London living room

Daily Mail: He travelled by Bentley, ate in fine London restaurants and spent his days lounging in a furniture shop. The story of Christian the pet lion - and his eventual release into the wild - is as moving as it is incredible. " His story is to be told in a new book, written by the Australian John Rendall who, along with his friend Ace Berg, bought Christian from Harrods in 1969.

I loved this passage in the Daily Mail article: Christian used to lie beside me while I did the accounts at weekends," remembers Jennifer Mary Taylor, who worked there. "And every so often, if I'd ignored him for too long, he'd sock me across the head with one of his great big paws. He liked to stand and put his paws on your shoulders. Does that sound silly?"

Wildlife conservationist George Adamson and his wife Joy, who raised a lion cub called Elsa which was later turned into the film Born Free, were asked to help introduce Christian into the wild in 1974. In that year, George Adamson wrote to say that Christian’s had finally adapted to the wild.

This was a bittersweet moment for all concerned. Nine months later, Rendall and Ace decided to travel to Kora one last time, in the hope of being able to say goodbye, though Adamson warned them that it would almost certainly be a wasted mission. "

Christian stared at us in a very intense way," says Rendall. "I knew his expressions and I could see he was interested. We called him and he stood up and started to walk towards us very slowly. Then, as if he had become convinced it was us, he ran towards us, threw himself on to us, knocked us over, knocked George over and hugged us, like he used to, with his paws on our shoulders." "Everyone was crying. We were crying, George was crying, even the lion was nearly crying. So we each put a hand on Christian's back and he walked with us back to camp."

The reunion party went on all night and into the morning. Leaving his exhausted companions to go to their beds, Christian returned to his pride. "We watched him go back to the two lionesses, who were not at all happy with this man, smelling of nicotine, whisky and humans," says Rendall. "He just walloped the two of them with his paw, then collapsed." And that was the last anyone ever saw of him.

Thanks to John Amato at Crooks and Liars for the heads up on this story. It was a great find.

HEY MEDIA, Obama says Troop Surge Worked Against Violence. Any other Questions?

U.S. News played along with most other media outlets complaining Barack Obama refused to admit the Iraqi surge worked. Here’s how they worded their viewpoint:

ABC World News reports that during a press conference in Israel yesterday, Sen. Barack Obama "was asked repeatedly about comments he made to ABC News Monday in which he stood by his original opposition to the surge, despite its success. Katie Couric asked him, "Do you think the level of security in Iraq would exist today without the surge?" Obama said, "I have no idea what would have happened had we applied my approach, which was to put more pressure on the Iraqis to arrive at a political reconciliation. So this is all hypotheticals.”

So far, it looks like Obama wants to side step the issue. But wait. Let’s finish his answer to Couric.

“What I can say is that there is no doubt that our US troops have
contributed to a reduction in violence in Iraq."

The surge worked by reducing violence. Sorry Republicans and conservative media, that is an admission the surged, against violence, worked!

Despite the fact that the media will continue to badger Obama until he phrases it the way John McCain wants it framed, the surge worked completely and that Barack was completely wrong about it’s possible failure, Republicans will have won this round by creating the media frenzy it desired.

Bush Says Wall Street Drunk, Has Hangover and Not In Recession

I've got two great pieces of contrasting video for you to watch. The first features Federal Reserve Chr. Ben Bernanke, giving a grim economic assessment without admitting to a recession, and Bush claiming to be an "optimist." The spin machine on steroids basically.

This next clip show President Bush at his most arrogant and ignorant, tackling the same economic topic, but this time in a morally bankrupt back alley way.

McCain's "I've Been Tortured, Tortured, Tortured" ad

we saw what Rudy Giuliani did in his shameful "9/11 all the time" ads, now see what I did to John McCain's shameful "I've been tortured" ads.

He so deserves it.

Fmr. Rep. Mickey Edwards on the Constitution, Right to Privacy and Bork

I've noticed lately that my job here at Democurmudgeon has gotten' a bit easier, with many thanks to President Bush, by allowing disenchanted conservatives do my talking for me. They seem to be echoing what a lot of the same themes liberals have been dealing with for years. That isn't to say "I told you so" either, but a realization that maybe we have a few more things in common than we could ever have imagined during this time of extreme "fight to the finish" partisanship. Here's former Republican Rep. and author Mickey Edwards, with a few points about privacy, the bill of rights and the Constitutions natural born enemy Robert Bork. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Co-author Ross Douthat brings it home with his book Grand New Party, with this passage; A party ideologically committed to small government may be ill equiped to run a large one." You'll love his explaination, and again, I'm letting another conservatives say what many of us have been thinking for years. ad About Timelines, McCain and Iraqi Freedom has stepped back into the ring with their latest ad. According to their website, it's describe it as "Our New Ad on Timelines, McCain and Iraqi Freedom:"

Senator McCain once said that if the Iraqis asked us to leave, we would have to leave. Those of us who served agree with that. Senator McCain now either has to back off his refusal to set a plan to leave Iraq, as Prime Minister Maliki requested a number of times in the past week, or tell the American and Iraqi people why he would overrule Iraq's government and turn our troops into an indefinite occupying force. Those are his only two options. Our new ad makes that clear.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Republican Deregulation, Free Marketers Just Lost Their Side of the Argument

I've been known to get a little long in my criticism of my conservative counterparts, so this time, I'm going to let the video piece do all the talking. You'll hear President Bush tell us all to take a deep breath and be assured that the banks are protected by government (short for taxpayer money). You'll also see what happens when Republican politicians take their orders from the finacial industry to do away with regulation. It's not a pretty picture.

Hit & Forget Bob Novak, Didn't See the Guy on His Windshield

Hit and forget Novak. Here’s what happens when a very old partisan hack, Bob Novak, can’t own up to the to the fact that he really doesn’t give a damn about anyone but himself. He “can’t remember” hitting a guy that ended up rolling off his windshield. Republicans seem to have a hard time remembering anything these days.

MSNBC: Syndicated columnist Robert Novak said he has been issued a $50 citation after hitting a pedestrian while driving in downtown Washington. Witnesses said the collision occurred about 10 a.m. Wednesday as the 77-year-old Novak was traveling near K Street in his black Chevrolet Corvette. David Bono, the bicyclist who witnessed the incident, told The Associated Press that the pedestrian was hit in a crosswalk and was splayed across Novak's windshield.

A bit cavalier, don’t you think. He’s so tortured! What happens next couldn't happen to a more deserving goul, pokes a little fun at our grouchy pundit.

Republican War Mongers Attacks on Democrats Could Get Worse, If History is any Guide

The Wisconsin State Journal has a feature called Odd Wisconsin, stories collected at the state historical society. I have always thought the far right wingers zealotry for war and their crazy attacks on Democrats advocating peace was way over the top, but after reading the following “Mob Rule Crushes Conscience” account from 1918, in some ways we might not have it as bad…yet.

On Sept. 14, 1918, 200 people surrounded the Clark Co. home of Mrs. Caroline Krueger and her sons, who refused to serve in the First World War. "They said that if the war was in this country they would be among the first to volunteer," reported a neighbor. "They declared however that it was not right to send American soldiers to France and that they never would go."

The family was known for its religious and pacifist views, but that didn't restrain a mob of patriotic citizens. When the boys refused to respond to their draft notice, deputies tried to arrest them and a shootout followed, in which a local man was killed. The mob assembled, hundreds of bullets were poured into the Krueger home, one of the sons was shot through both legs, and the family barn was burned down to smoke out the others. A week later a posse killed the only son who had escaped in a nearby haystack (later refuted, family claimed he was alive and another victims body was buried in his place).

When officials entered the farmhouse after the violence, they found an American flag mounted above the hearth. Although Wisconsin sentiment was deeply divided at the start of the First World War, and elected officals including Sen. Bob LaFollette opposed American entry (for which he was vilified), popular opinion soon crystallized behind the troops after the U.S. took the side of Britain and France.

Wisconsin residents who maintained their opposition, such as the Kruegers, or who simply had ties to Germany, such as this Northland College professor who was tarred and feathered, found no safety in the so-called rule of law. The beliefs and opinions of a majority -- especially when backed by widespread fear, ignorance, and delusion -- can quickly become a law unto themselves. Mass hysteria that persecutes non-believers and burns books in the street is the frequent outcome.

We like to think that we ourselves would not behave this way, and that our times are more tolerant and civilized. But in every historical era there are thoughts that cannot be uttered, opinions that inflame the majority and individuals who are persecuted and scapegoated. In a democracy, we each have an obligation to try to think clearly and keep our balance.

ALERT: Health Care Reform Phonies, Insurance Groups and AARP, Gaming Real Solutions

My heart sank when I saw the headline, “AARP the magazine today named Madison the third healthiest city in the U.S.”

It seems the city of Madison Wisconsin will be falling all over itself after AARP made an announcement on the "Today" show that it was the third healthiest city in the U.S. AARP's acting editor Nancy Graham called Madison a "very green city and a big city with a small-town feel."

I haven’t had the time to compile a list of new initiatives to provide health care for every American yet, but suffice it to say these declarations and commissions are meant to obscure and water down the drive for true health care reform.

AARP is basically a provider of insurance. AARP’s TV ads asking for health care reform is a smoke screen to include, in some way, the for profit involvement of the insurance middleman. We all know that the 20 to 30 percent administrative costs of these care gatekeepers is wasted money, better used to cover more people and bring the costs down considerably.

You will also see consortiums and new coalitions getting together to come up “real” solutions. They’re scams meant to mislead and delay reform. True reform groups would be talking about what has worked around the world in other industrialized nations, and combining their individual successes for a workable system in the U.S.

Believe it or not, I have liked many of the AARP positions and articles in it's magazines and bulletins, it's just that they are not the Consumer Reports of the baby boom generation. Health care right now is insurance driven, and an obstacle to reform. Other countries have found a way to employ an insurance company model without doing away with the industry completely. It's time for insurance to change with the times and provide humane benefits to society, instead of destroying lives and allowing people to die via denied coverage.

Federal Papers Absent from Georgia Thompson Case Meant to Sway Election to Republicans

It seems we’re not being told everything about the controversial Georgia Thompson case, where she was convicted in June 2006 of “improperly steering a state travel contract to Adelman Travel Group, a company with political ties to Doyle.

According to the Wisconsin State Journal:
“The controversial case … was used by Wisconsin Republicans to paint Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle's administration as corrupt during his 2006 re-election campaign.

State investigators kept open the alleged corruption case for six months last year after a federal appeals court struck down the only prosecution in the high-profile case.

What’s missing? The federal investigative side of the story was not included for some reason.

The file released to the Wisconsin State Journal under the state's open records law did not include reports provided to state investigators by federal authorities involved in the case. Some documents released also had portions blacked out to protect information provided by confidential informants or connected with a federal grand jury, among other reasons.

"The delay is surprising and so are the redactions," said Bill Lueders, president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council. "You have to wonder what it is that they're protecting and whether what they're really protecting is themselves."

And so the mystery continues as to the politicization of the Justice Department and it’s prosecutions of Democratic officials in an attempt to influence an election.

Felons Have Homes to Protect too and Zoo Gun Tour Brazen Act of Stupidity

What the activist conservative U.S. Supreme Court set in motion, after their “imagined” right for individuals to bear arms, is a mind numbing barrage of legal challenges to the most common sense safety protections. If you don’t believe me, look at the following two bizarre examples that in some ways are now offered up as perfectly logical legal questions.

AP-Twice convicted of felonies, James Francis Barton Jr. faces charges of violating a federal law barring felons from owning guns after police found seven pistols, three shotguns and five rifles at his home south of Pittsburgh. As a defense, Barton and several other defendants in federal gun cases argue that last month's Supreme Court ruling allows them to keep loaded handguns at home for self-defense. "Felons, such as Barton, have the need and the right to protect themselves and their families by keeping firearms in their home," says David Chontos, Barton's court-appointed lawyer. concludes: You can see it now, a judge stating that felons have rights too, even to own an assault rifle for protection. Many ex-convicts live in "rough" neighborhoods after all.

Now let’s talk about the Zoo gun tour.

KBCI-TV: A group of Treasure Valley residents brought their hand guns to Zoo Boise, wearing their Second Amendment rights on their belt straps for all to see. About a dozen gun owners took advantage of Idaho's open carry laws which allow them to carry guns in public as long as they are in plain view and remain holstered. Gun advocates said they organized this event at Zoo Boise because it is public property and they can't be kicked off.

"I don't know that we're trying to make a statement," says Eric Bauer, who came to the zoo with his wife, three kids, and gun on his belt. "Maybe if anything we're trying to educate the public as to what they're rights are. If you don't exercise your rights, you're gonna loose your rights," says Bauer

Bauer and his wife both were carrying guns. Since Bauer's three kids aren't yet 18 and can't legally carry a handgun, they carried knives on their belt straps instead.

That’s right; the kids are wearing KNIVES on their belts. What clue can you find that might indicate this irresponsible, twisted parental zealot should lose custody of his kids, fast before someone really gets hurt? Some fellow Madisonians were stunned at Zoo Boise’s craziest zoo display, the Bauer family.
Anji Robertson who was visiting from Madison, WI with her husband and three kids said, "To me I think it gives kids the idea that guns are OK and I think that they're going to be desensitized." says.

There is only one way to stopping this arrogant and childish bullying by gun loving wack jobs, and that is to run for your life from any business that allows open carry in public. Can you imagine the impact on businesses, public and private, when a civil disruption occurs every time and suddenly their stores or services are no longer considered safe? I guarantee I will create a scene like no other, and remove my family immediately. Gun goons are already trying to force Disney World to allow guns in their parking lots.

This is only the beginning.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

GM Volt Preparing to hit American Market in 2010, But too Expensive

Here’s an update on the GM Volt, the new hybrid that plugs in overnight to give you 30-40 miles per charge traveling time without ever burning any gas. I’m mentioning it here because of the responsible way GM management has gone about marketing and bnnging this car to the public. Too bad they didn’t do this before they had to put so many people out of work for never having hedged their bets on the big gas guzzlers.

CBC News:

General Motors Corp. has joined with more than 30 utility companies across the U.S. to help work out electricity issues that will crop up when it rolls out new electric vehicles in a little more than two years. The Chevrolet Volt rechargeable car will be in showrooms in late 2010. The consortium will work on everything from policy issues including tax incentives for purchasing what is likely to be an expensive car, from $30,000 to $40,000, to whether the electric generation system can handle the increased power demand.

The cars will have to be designed so recharging them can be timed to low-demand periods for electricity. The speed of the recharging, voltage, amperage and other issues all have to be worked out. The group also will address issues such as how apartment dwellers can charge their cars and where the vehicles will be charged at work or on trips — and who pays for the electricity. It is being designed so it can be recharged from a conventional household electrical outlet.

Automakers and utilities will have to work out ways to decide how to stagger recharging so local substations do not become overloaded. The Volt likely will need about eight kilowatt-hours of energy to recharge. The average U.S. utility charges about 10 cents per kilowatt-hour, so it would cost the consumer about 80 cents to go the 40 miles.

Guns are Safe, Right? Colbert Probes for Answers

Colbert smashes through the pro-gun rhetoric as only a faux conservative could do with a representative from the Brady Campaign.

McCain ad Blaming Obama for High Gas Prices Stupefying

This jaw dropping condescension to the voting public would be laughable if it weren't for it's mean spirited stupidity. Even conservative lap man Brad Blakeman couldn't spin this atrocity.

Iraq Supports Obama, Takes McCain's War Credibility Down

Since the story is the same as my recent post, here's a quick look at the election game changer for Barack Obama, this time as explained by Keith Olberman and the Nations Chris Hayes. This time, they added just the right amount of irony and perspective the media should have given this news in the first place.

What should be the biggest blow yet to the Republican Parties credibility, Iraq wants a timetable and backs Sen. Barack Obama’s withdrawal plan.

According to Reuters: Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told a German magazine he supported prospective U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's proposal that U.S. troops should leave Iraq within 16 months.

In an interview with Der Spiegel, Maliki said he wanted U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq as soon as possible. "U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes."It is the first time he has backed the withdrawal timetable put forward by Obama. "Whoever is thinking about the shorter term is closer to reality. Artificially extending the stay of U.S. troops would cause problems."

Who would want to cause problems?:
"Maliki told Der Spiegel, "The Americans (Bush administration) have
found it difficult to agree on a concrete timetable for the exit because it seems like an admission of defeat to them. But it isn't."

This is proof Bush never had an exit plan, because it would look "like an admission of defeat," instead of a logical military course of action. This is a case of believing your own fabricated lies about “winning” and “victory;” that withdrawing is cutting and running, and only Democrats would bow to the terrorists and hand Iraq over by leaving.

Think Progress came up with this interesting angle:

Leading the charge is neoconservative writer Max Boot, who declared Monday that Maliki “is not really trying to push U.S. troops out by mid-2010.” Rather, Boot dismissively claimed, “he is playing politics — Iraqi politics.” Considering Boot argues that Maliki is “playing politics,” he should recognize that the Iraqi people — along with the govenrment — also favor withdrawal, and have for years:

March 2008: Just four percent of Iraqis said they had “a great deal of confidence” in U.S. occupation forces, compared to 46 percent who said they had no confidence at all. 72 percent strongly or somewhat oppose the presence of Coalition forces in Iraq.

September 2007: Nearly three-quarters of Baghdad residents polled said they would feel safer if U.S. and other foreign forces left Iraq, with 65 percent of those asked favoring an immediate pullout, according to State Department polling. 71 percent wanted the Iraqi government to ask the U.S. to leave within a year.

January 2006: “Asked what they would like the newly elected Iraqi government to ask the US-led forces to do, 70% of Iraqis favor setting a timeline for the withdrawal of US forces.”
Boot’s insistence that neither the Iraqi government nor the Iraqi people really want the U.S. to leave is another example of conservatives
claiming to know more about what Iraqis want than Iraqis do.