Sarah Palin Reveals the Real Victim of Tucson : Sarah Palin (bonus: Krauthammer supplies the glue, Brooks the solution)

I hope not to have to spend too much time on this topic.   I’ve already said my piece, the data stands on its own.

I am going to point out some of the inadvertent arguments a few pundits have brought up to disavow any responsibility for this tragedy, and how they make a really strong for argument taking some.

First up, the real victim in all of this: Sarah Palin

After this shocking tragedy, I listened at first puzzled, then with concern, and now with sadness, to the irresponsible statements from people attempting to apportion blame for this terrible event.
“Irresponsible statements”…why does that phrase ring a bell?  Oh yeah.  Getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar does usually lead to concern, and then sadness.  It is also usually accompanied by quick deflection and accusation of others.  To wit…
If you don’t like a person’s vision for the country, you’re free to debate that vision. If you don’t like their ideas, you’re free to propose better ideas. But, especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.

There’s two things that jump out of this statement, both very revealing and hopefully enough people will see how dangerously hypocritical this woman is.

First up…the explicit acknowledgement that “blood libel” serves only to incite hatred and violent, and that it is reprehensible.    Think on this for a moment, in Palin’s dismissal of any responsibility for the violence associated  with her own heated rhetoric, she cites the hatred and violence that might be directed at her by heated rhetoric.

For her point to hold any water here, it would have to have been her, not Giffords who was the actual victim of violence.

Second, and to understand how absurd Sarah Palin’s claim is here, you need to understand a few things.  One, Gabrielle Giffords was Jewish.  Two, Sarah Palin targeted Giffords in the campaign, both with fiery rhetoric and images.  Three, Giffords, and not Sarah Palin, was shot.   That last bit is important.  Sarah doesn’t seem to have quite yet processed that essential piece of information.

The jewish lady being the target of the physical violence after repeated irresponsible statements is not nearly as a big a victim of “blood libel” as the Christian lady who repeatedly directed that heated rhetoric that way (and who now is afraid of attacks inspired by people pointing out her history of vitriolic rhetoric….can you taste it?   The hypocrisy is so thick here I am choking on it).

KRAUTHAMMER’S LINK

How much blame should Palin take?  Charles Krauthammer (noted Republican apologist and general douchebag) makes it very clear here (after you wade though a bunch of half-statements and accusations against liberals).

Furthermore, the available evidence dates Loughner’s fixation on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords to at least 2007, when he attended a town hall of hers and felt slighted by her response. In 2007, no one had heard of Sarah Palin. Glenn Beck was still toiling on Headline News. There was no Tea Party or health-care reform.

I see…so Loughner is fixated on Giffords since 2007, but doesn’t get the gumption to reload and use a second amendment solution until 3 years later in 2010 after Palin takes her bulldog act to the national stage, and the Tea Party storms the Capital (unarmed…this time)…at the urging of Glenn Beck, and the political discourse in this country descends below the sewer, largely driven by the continued irresponsible statements of one Sarah Palin.

Thanks Chuck.  I know you didn’t mean to, but you have layed out the most concise reasoning possible for why Palin should, at the very least, quit attacking others verbally after they’ve been attacked physically.  And for once, just once, admit that maybe, just maybe, she’s a bit over the top and should take it upon herself to try and tone down the volume.

But no.  None of that.  She’s the victim here of the those vicious liberals who, BTW…ect.., etc.., etc..

BROOK’S SOLUTION

David Brooks, on the hand, while still dismissing any sort of responsibility for anyone or anything in this, appears to have completely forgotten recent history when he offers some solutions…

If the evidence continues as it has, the obvious questions are these: 1) How can we more aggressively treat mentally ill people who are becoming increasingly disruptive? 2) How can we prevent them from getting guns? 3) Do we need to make involuntary treatment easier for authorities to invoke?

1) Universal Health Care

2) Sane Gun Control

3) Expand state power and control?  Really?!

This wouldn’t be such a bad list of suggestions (except for that last one), David, if the response to them wasn’t already known and goes thus;

1) DEATH PANELS COMING TO GET YOU!!!

2) OBAMA IS COMING FOR YOUR GUNS!!!!

3) SOCIALISM, SOCIALISM, SOCIALISM!!!

In conclusion, I’m going to re-iterate Krauthammer’s inadvertent point with Palin’s text

There are those who claim political rhetoric is to blame for the despicable act of this deranged, apparently apolitical criminal. And they claim political debate has somehow gotten more heated just recently. But when was it less heated?
Back before you showed up.   There was a time in this country, not so long ago (back before September 2008 to be precise), when one Presidential candidate accusing another of finding common cause with terrorists would have been beyond the pale.  Instead it became your bread and butter, and one of your more tame themes.
If we can be that beacon of light and hope for others who seek freedom and democracy and can live in a country that would allow intolerance in the equal rights that again our military men and women fight for and die for for all of us. Our opponent though, is someone who sees America it seems as being so imperfect that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country?”
The sad thing…I don’t expect Palin to stop, or even slow down.  Her own delusions have her sitting in the Oval Office someday, fightin’ terrorists and keepin’ Putin in his place.    Fortunately that is never going to happen, unless we amend the Constitution again and change the Presdent’s military rank to Victim-in-Chief.
If we do that, I’ll deal with the Palin question again, until then, I’m pretty much done with her.
UPDATE: Fox News, Palin’s only current employer, agrees, she is the real victim here.  BTW, if you read the details on this one…you see how obvious it is that Fox is the one pushing this…

A four-minute video montage of the the “tweets” — apparently sent after Saturday’s massacre in Arizona that left six people dead and 14 wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords — was posted to YouTube on Tuesday.

The video montage, set to the tune of The Beatles‘ “Imagine,” had nearly 400 views of as Thursday afternoon.

Wow, nearly 400 views….that’s huge.   Definitely worthy of national coverage.   Especially when, after getting into the details of who was making the  threats, it gets even dumber.

Attempts to reach some of the Twitter users who posted the messages were unsuccessful, but one claimed she is a “Reagan conservative” whose intent was taken out of context.

BTW, this is going to be used as another one of those examples on how “both sides are bad”, even though only one side keeps getting shot.

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Congrats, Assholes. You won.

Read this comment today.   Figured it was pretty honest about the whole thing, and certainly reflects what I would feel.    So congrats, assholes hoping for a generations long war against most of the world, you are one step closer to that goal.

Nudge [TotalFark] Quote 2010-08-23 07:06:58 AM
I’m a Muslim American, and the nationwide attempt to ban mosques in various locations has made me extremely frustrated, angry, and feeling helpless. I’m by and large considered one of the most passive individuals in our local community, ardently arguing against individual Muslim action in foreign-occupied countries against American Soldiers (I believe Islamically, only one state can declare war on another state).

Keep that in mind when I say that, through gentle persuasion of anti-Muslim actions, I find it harder to defend these points and harder to believe them myself. A brother told me recently that, out of defense, every Muslim in this day ought to have a gun in his home. I’ve never, ever wanted to own a gun in my life, let alone condone the usage of one except under extreme circumstance, but his suggestion in today’s conflict made me consider the thought for quite some time.

My hometown has a mosque being protested. I’m friends with a lot of the young men organizing its construction. Today, thousands of Muslims in the area pray out of office buildings and garages, simply wanting a place to worship that looks beautiful and doesn’t remind them of a tool shop. These men have spent the last several years planning this project and have been excited about every step forward. Now, protesters are essentially shutting them out, declaring in no uncertain terms that they must fight for their rights. Some of the happiest people I’ve ever seen have become angry, bitter, and hateful because of this.

I just wanted to congratulate the protesters. You’ve managed to begin the ruination of the one, and only, fully-integrated Muslim society success story in the Western World. You’ve shut down our charities, protested our religious rights, spat and and disrespected our women, and ended belief in the superiority of American tolerance.

Way to go, fuckjobs.

UPDATE: It should be noted that the “win” doesn’t include stopping the mosque, it will most likely go through anyway.  The “win” is for people like Palin, Gingrich and Bin Laden, who want a no-holds-barred war between peoples.   They made progress toward that goal today.

UPDATE2: For a slightly longer version of this (and a lot more specifics), check Frank Rich’s column for today.   Short-term political gain vs. real world progress in that war we started.

UPDATE3: Here’s a longer story about the wider phenomenon I noticed on a simple message board.  These kinds of changing attitudes are happening, today, at a rate of about 1,000 a second, I’d guess.   Thanks all that is good and holy we have a rational President right now, and not one of the bomb throwers with an even bigger bullhorn.

Like most non-Americans, Muslims across the world barely understand the vagaries of U.S. politics, including the wedge issues and posturing that turn midterm elections into mud fights. Commentators from the Middle East to South Asia to Indonesia to Nigeria praised Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg for coming to the defense of the community center, even as the president hedged his apparent initial support for the project.

Obama has “placed ethics and principles ahead of politics that not only enhances his credibility to the Muslims only but also his stature as a statesman to the rest of the world,” read an opinion piece in the Daily Star of Bangladesh.

[first link]

Is there anything that would make Islamic terrorists like Osama bin Laden happier than to watch the world’s media broadcast footage of angry American protesters, whipped into a frenzy by Fox, saying hateful things about Muslims? Why are Sarah and Newt doing bin Laden’s work for him? Can’t they show just a little patriotism?

[second link]

Sarah Palin Christian Nation Remarks Spark Church and State Separation Debate

http://abcnews.go.com/m/screen?id=10419289&pid=77

Thank all that is good and holy this woman is not, nor ever will be, near the White House.

Without ever mentioning him by name, Palin also took aim at President Obama, repeating an often cited but incorrect claim that Obama said he believed that the U.S was no longer a Christian nation during a 2006 speech.

“And then, hearing any leader declare that America isn’t a Christian nation and

, but politics truly is a topic for another day.”

A written text of the speech posted at BarackObama.com of the June 2006 keynote address at the Call to Renewal Conference indicated that Obama had written that (emphasis added) “We are no longer just a Christian nation, but we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation…”

So much stupid, so little time. The one thing I will address is her Israel comment. If what we did was ‘poke them in the eye’, what they did with settlements was spit in our face, and what they did by ignoring the nuclear summit was lie to our face.

A poke in the eye is the least we could do.  Cut off their funding would be a less ingorable gesture.

UPDATE: It was made very clear by the founders of this country (and quickly writ into law via the Treaty of Tripoli) did not believe, nor desire, the government to be considered any particular religion.  The logic that folks like Palin use to reach this (it’s the most checked box next to “religion” in polls), would also lead one to believe this a Female country (they make up the majority).

UPDATE2:  Wow, didn’t notice the curious parsing.  The way this post started was a copy and paste (p1) from the browser on my iphone (with hyper-links), into the email feature on the iphone (p2), sent through gmail’s servers (parsed again, p3),  then posted using WordPress’s post-by-email feature (p4),  which then had to go through WP’s regular posting parser as well ultimately resulting in part of Palin’s quote being replace by a video that contained, well, Palin’s quote (somewhere in that mess.  Anyway, here’s the full quote and a very interesting take on it.

“Hearing any leader declare that America isn’t a Christian nation and poking at allies like Israel in the eye — it is mind-boggling to see some of our nation’s actions recently, but politics truly is a topic for another day,” Palin said.

To which I found I found this response…

In some ways the really noteworthy thing here is that Palin specifically combined her denunciation of religious minority groups with an attack on Barack Obama’s insufficient fealty to Israeli government policies. The two themes were in the very same sentence. It’s an interesting glimpse of a trend I think we’ll see more and more of—a largely post-Jewish brand of pro-Israel politics.

[link]

Anyway, that’s all the Palin I can handle for now.  For as much news monitoring as I do, she pops up WAAAAY too often.  At some point you have to do an update on where the crazy meter is now.

Paging Palin, Petroleum Pundit (Cap’n Trade Dissection)

To catch you up *real* quick, I’ve been away and Sarah Palin quit as Governor of Alaska.

A number of other big things have happened since I last wrote, and we’ll be addressing a number of those in short order, but as I like to talk a bit about policy and big things from time to time, let’s focus on Cap’n Trade and the newly minted petroleum pundit, Sarah Palin.

There was, to be sure, a good bit of discussion on the future of the former Miss Alaska, and it seems she has put those questions to action in the form of this op-ed piece in the Washington Post.   As I’ll be using that for the dissection and discussion, a quick read would be useful.

Her op-ed piece is about this piece of legislation (H.R. 2494) which would be the first legislation to seriously address the issue of global climate change, and set the U.S. on a road to a 21st century energy infrastructure.  As the bill itself bills itself…

To create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution and transition to a clean energy economy.

The bill has passed the House, in a major victory for Obama, and is now on the way to a filibuster-proof Senate (Hahaha!, Al Franken is a Senator).   I, for one, am happy about this, as I see global warming and energy issues in the 21st century (including things like peak oil) as one of the central issues facing our nation and the world.

Global industrialization also poses its own risks, particularly in the environmental arena, as 2,000,000,000 plus people are brought into the present within a couple generations of real time.

Now, just to be clear, this legislation is mainly addressing the issue of climate change.  It is addressing the idea that we can’t continue to pump carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere as if it has no effect.  We know it has an effect, we have been measuring it, and it is something that simply must be addressed.  That’s what this legislation represents, a solution to that problem.

Since talking directly about legislation and the specifics therein is boring and mostly left to legislators, I’m going to go along with Palin’s lead and go for the more emotional aspects of the argument.

Which brings us directly to Palin’s petroleum punditry.   She kicks it off with a bang, which is a great way to start…. (and BTW, I use Palin because she makes a great foil to illustrate the idiocy of certain ideas, and she’s cute, which helps)

There is no shortage of threats to our economy. America’s unemployment rate recently hit its highest mark in more than 25 years and is expected to continue climbing.

Indeed, and we have some particularly bad leadership to thank for that.

Our nation’s debt is unsustainable, and the federal government’s reach into the private sector is unprecedented.

Indeed, the Patriot Act, borrowing money to go to war, and the warrant-less wiretaps championed by the previous administration were assaults on our liberty and future that should not be tolerated.  I, too, am calling on the Obama Administration to begin full investigations and prosecutions, if necessary.

But first things first, let’s settle some personal scores….

Unfortunately, many in the national media would rather focus on the personality-driven political gossip of the day than on the gravity of these challenges.

Indeed.

So, at risk of disappointing the chattering class, let me make clear what is foremost on my mind and where my focus will be:

I am deeply concerned about President Obama’s cap-and-trade energy plan, and I believe it is an enormous threat to our economy.

And this is where we lose her.   See, you’ll note in the rest of the essay, she spends nary a sentence on the reason the legislation exists in the first place, (“reduce global warming pol.   This is fairly similar to writing an essay on why you support the death penalty, when you’ve been given evidence that a particular inmate is innocent and scheduled to be executed at midnight…and you’re the governor.

Ummm, governor?  You have the evidence in front of you, yea, I know you love the death penalty, but this guy is innocent.

Which is to say, we have ample evidence that a real and abundant threat to our economy already exists in the form of global climate change, and this legislation is meant to begin to deal with it.

American prosperity has always been driven by the steady supply of abundant, affordable energy. Particularly in Alaska, we understand the inherent link between energy and prosperity, energy and opportunity, and energy and security. Consequently, many of us in this huge, energy-rich state recognize that the president’s cap-and-trade energy tax would adversely affect every aspect of the U.S. economy.

This is where, for those not knowing the context of discussion, one might be inclined to agree with the former Mayor of Wasilla (meth capital of Alaska).  After all, who doesn’t like prosperity.   What does this have to do with global warming?  Nothing.  Well, outside the fact that abundant, cheap energy has contributed greatly to the problem.

The entire concept of a cap AND TRADE system is to allow the market to apportion costs more efficiently.  The fact is that by spewing huge amounts of pollutants into the air, the energy-rich are dumping a standard waste product into the air we all breathe (and the one that moderates and regulates our planet).  This cost is the one being addressed through the cap and trade system.

Palin’s argument is that there is no cost here, and the solution is to burn more, faster.

We must move in a new direction. We are ripe for economic growth and energy independence if we responsibly tap the resources that God created right underfoot on American soil. Just as important, we have more desire and ability to protect the environment than any foreign nation from which we purchase energy today.

Of course, Alaska is not the sole source of American energy. Many states have abundant coal, whose technology is continuously making it into a cleaner energy source. Westerners literally sit on mountains of oil and gas, and every state can consider the possibility of nuclear energy.

This is what really gets me about this part of the essay.  She mentions “more desire and ability to protect the environment” but doesn’t mention THAT’S THE WHOLE POINT OF THE LEGISLATION.

She then does it again a moment later.

We have an important choice to make. Do we want to control our energy supply and its environmental impact?

YES, DANGIT!  That’s the whole point of leading the world on this issue.   That’s the whole point of coming up with a compromise, where we set both limits and allow market forces to provide incentives to create innovative solutions.  That’s the “Trade” part of the cap and trade system.

And with what can only be called a rhetorical flourish, Palin finishes with some plagiarism and a bit of find and replace argumentation.

Yes, we can. Just not with Barack Obama’s energy cap-and-tax plan.

Ha!  See, that’s why she doesn’t get it.  She doesn’t understand what “trade” means.  Nor, does she offer any particular insight into the actual problem the legislation is addressing.

Can someone please put that on her tutoring schedule?

Original and real name here

Let’s Clear the Desktop First.

I’ve been a bit lax (ha!) in keeping up the blog lately.  My apologies for withholding from you.

As mentioned previously, the saving the world bit is on the tiring side, and the writing stuff is on the high energy side, and seldom did the ‘twain meet.

When one is pouring all of one’s emotional energy into the real world at large, it leaves scarce little for casting such things into the semi-real state of internet literature.   Fortunate however for you, dear reader, the saving the world (at least in the manner recently mastered) shall be put on hold for a bit as more pressing matters are attended to.

Matters like revolution.

Matters like the health of a nation. (to be explored further, the debate on this one seems to have veered in a strange direction, and I’d like to try and do my nudge thing back another way)

Matter like that crazy former Mayor of the meth capital of Alaska, Wasilla, Sarah Palin. As you can tell from the tags over there on the right, Palin has been a favorite of mine.  Not only in she smokin’ hot, she represents all that is wrong with the country and neo-conservatism.  O.k. not really, but she is a wonderful foil to play against.   The rampant anti-intellectualism is the biggest draw.   It’s like have one’s very own “fool” to play with.

Matters like the new phase of evolution of mankind, which is something of a personal interest of mine, being a RPN.  Lots more on that one, and soon.

I also want to spend a bit of time closing this gap for future generations.

And, of course, there’s plenty of war stuff going on.   So it’s good to find a bit of time to write, and have the loving energy to do so.

Finally, and this is for the internet folks in the audience, Hulu is very solid.  Now there is no real excuse for not having seen most, if not all, of Arrested Development (currently finishing up the first season).   The media convergence of Internet as a direct competitor to cable and satellite is upon us.  Given the rise of pseudo-pirate sites, I’ve also caught up on my True Blood fetish.  If you want to save a few bucks and stop paying Rupert Murdoch for a channel you never watch (yea…everyone who has cable in pitching into the cable coffers), cancel that cable and watch the good stuff online (hooked to your big screen, of course).  Spend the rest of the time reading books, or watching good movies, or outside, etc.

For those that like to complain about the “MSM” and “those crappy cable news channels” there’s really only one way to get rid of them.  Cancel that shit.

Hmmm…that pretty much clears off the desktop.  Time to get to work.

The World This Week, March 22, 2009

[videos forthcoming]

US NEWS

People thieving the electrons.

Obama: Economy hurts.  Duh.

Obama Budget Strategy raises questions.

New home construction gets a lift (month-to-month).

Small business help on the way.

Fed prints money like mad.

A couple economists agree that printing money is a good idea…today.

China wants a new global currency standard.

Palin to preach to choir.

McCain Twitterview a joke, a stilted lagging joke.

Feel the outrage….

….oh wait, we did that?

Probe into AIG bonuses launched.

Gassley suggest suicide for AIG execs, then back off to resignation and public flogging.

Laid off worked parades in front of AIG mansion.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Pakistan moves closer to rule of law.

Iraqi government wants heads to roll.

Dead Sea Scrolls authors existence questioned.

Georgia v. stem cells.

Pope v. witchcraft and tribalism.

Everyone of the Book (Christian, Muslim, Jew) vs teh Gays.

Stop-Loss phasing out.

Obama talks to Iran.

Iran wants more than talk.

SCIENCE/TECH

The Frogopalypse.

Veggie garden makes a return to White House lawn.

Obama gets schooled on Special Olympics and bowling.  NOTE: Bowling not a particularly intellectual pursuit.

The Great Unkowns and the Unknowables.

Nude Pics of Michelle Malkin Surface (oh, and John Ziegler is a liar)

Oh, wait, she's got clothes on

Oh, wait, she's in her jammies

Note: title of this post crafted to appeal to Michelle Malkin fans.  I know why you read that nut.

How Obama got elected

By Michelle Malkin  •  November 18, 2008 09:11 AM

Three words: Stupid people voted.

Lots and lots of stupid people.

This is nice.  Pretty funny actually.  Those links go a poll that some nutjub McCain whiner hired “Zogby” to do.  As a polling company, this is what they do.  It should be noted, however, that the questions here are supplied by the client, it’s the methodology and actual polling done by the contractee.

The guy hired Zogby to do the poll so he wouldn’t be outed as a sneaky editor for making his documentary regarding the stupidity of the majority of American voters.  Sadly, looking at the poll results and then the video (which I’ll post at the end) reveals *EXACTLY* how sneaky and underhanded it is.

The poll results are interesting.   What is more interesting is how the guy who commissioned the poll is spinning it, while at the same time whining about the election to everyone that will listen.

Read on for that story….

Continue reading

Bill Ayers Speaks Out (and Palin does to)

I sat on this one for a bit, waiting to see what would develop…turns out not much else.

One of the more crazy-stupid storylines of the 2008 election was the “Bill Ayers is a terrorist and so is Obama” attacks.

I was scrounging around the internet, and I found a video of the “unrepentant terrorist” talking about his passion for teaching…

For some reason…despite being available the entire time…this particular statement of purpose never made it into the national conversation.

As you can see from the video and Ayer’s other interviews, the guy is pretty much nothing but an aging hippie, trying to share what he’s learned with others. He does talk in the video about the passion you need for teaching, and the need to understand the moral value of moral work. When you don’t get paid that much in cash, you need to understand how you *are* getting paid, and appreciate that. If you can’t, then by all means go for the cash or you will be miserable. Seems fairly insightful to me.

There’s also a bit in there about being an out of control young person…you might have heard of that chapter of his life.

Ayers did speak directly to the Obama issue after the election…(also directly after)

The onetime anti-war radical who lives in the same Chicago neighborhood as Obama said in a newspaper interview he has had no contact with the Obama campaign and considers the GOP vice presidential nominee’s accusation absurd.

“Pal around together? What does that mean? Share a milkshake with two straws?” Ayers said in an interview with The Washington Post. “I think my relationship with Obama was probably like thousands of others in Chicago. And, like millions and millions of others, I wish I knew him better.”

“I didn’t do anything,” Ayers said in the interview, which was posted Tuesday on the Post’s Web site. “It’s all guilt by association. They made me into a cartoon character, they threw me up on stage just to pummel me.”

He also blamed the media for not making it clear that the accusation was groundless.

“The dishonest narrative is that guilt by association has some validity,” Ayers said, adding that the media’s performance was “kind of shameful.”

And he’s dead on there. Remember how I mentioned how that video above has been available through the entire election cycle and you never saw it on TV? That’s beyond “kind of shameful”.

Those quotes are from the AP article. Here’s the one from the man himself.

Whew! What was all that mess? I’m still in a daze, sorting it all out, decompressing.

Pass the Vitamin C.

This is an acid reference. Like I said…aging hippie.

In years past, I would now and then—often unpredictably—appear in the newspapers or on TV, sometimes with a reference to Fugitive Days, my 2001 memoir of the exhilarating and difficult years of resistance against the American war in Vietnam. It was a time when the world was in flames, revolution was in the air, and the serial assassinations of black leaders disrupted our utopian dreams.

These media episodes of fleeting notoriety always led to some extravagant and fantastic assertions about what I did, what I might have said and what I probably believe now.

It was always a bit surreal. Then came this political season.

He gives a bit of history and then mentions when the poo-flinging got really started…

Obama’s political rivals and enemies thought they saw an opportunity to deepen a dishonest perception that he is somehow un-American, alien, linked to radical ideas, a closet terrorist who sympathizes with extremism—and they pounced.

Sen. Hillary Clinton’s (D-N.Y.) campaign provided the script, which included guilt by association, demonization of people Obama knew (or might have known), creepy questions about his background and dark hints about hidden secrets yet to be uncovered.

He also gives a good, real-world example of how political attacks evolve and “mature” in the right-wing echo chamber…

On March 13, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), apparently in an attempt to reassure the “base,” sat down for an interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News. McCain was not yet aware of the narrative Hannity had been spinning for months, and so Hannity filled him in: Ayers is an unrepentant “terrorist,” he explained, “On 9/11, of all days, he had an article where he bragged about bombing our Pentagon, bombing the Capitol and bombing New York City police headquarters. … He said, ‘I regret not doing more.’ “

McCain couldn’t believe it.

Neither could I.

On the campaign trail, McCain immediately got on message. I became a prop, a cartoon character created to be pummeled.

When Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin got hold of it, the attack went viral. At a now-famous Oct. 4 rally, she said Obama was “pallin’ around with terrorists.” (I pictured us sharing a milkshake with two straws.)

The crowd began chanting, “Kill him!” “Kill him!” It was downhill from there.

To point out there that “I regret not doing more” is all about the Vietnam War…and the 9/11 timing was just that…is an exercise in futility. While it is a completely rational and logical argument, the 9/11 emotional tide removes any chance of coherent discussion. Which was the point, you see.

He then goes on for a bit, I would highly recommoned reading the article. He is a good writer, with an important point.

That important point, that our shameful media missed completely, is this…

McCain and Palin demanded to “know the full extent” of the Obama-Ayers “relationship” so that they can know if Obama, as Palin put it, “is telling the truth to the American people or not.”

This is just plain stupid.

Obama has continually been asked to defend something that ought to be at democracy’s heart: the importance of talking to as many people as possible in this complicated and wildly diverse society, of listening with the possibility of learning something new, and of speaking with the possibility of persuading or influencing others.

The McCain-Palin attacks not only involved guilt by association, they also assumed that one must apply a political litmus test to begin a conversation.

On Oct. 4, Palin described her supporters as those who “see America as the greatest force for good in this world” and as a “beacon of light and hope for others who seek freedom and democracy.” But Obama, she said, “Is not a man who sees America as you see it and how I see America.” In other words, there are “real” Americans — and then there are the rest of us.

In a robust and sophisticated democracy, political leaders—and all of us—ought to seek ways to talk with many people who hold dissenting, or even radical, ideas. Lacking that simple and yet essential capacity to question authority, we might still be burning witches and enslaving our fellow human beings today.

Spoken like a true terrorist, eh?

Someone thinks so….

But the governor, who had accused Obama during the campaign of “palling around with terrorists,” repeated her criticism of his one-time relationship with William Ayers, a founder of a radical political group in the 1960s.

“I still am concerned about that association with Bill Ayers,” Palin told CNN. “And if anybody still wants to talk about it, I will, because this is an unrepentant domestic terrorist who had campaigned to blow up, to destroy our Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol. That’s an association that still bothers me.”

I’ve seen a bunch of Palin protesting too much over the last few days. I thought it was very funny when the other Republican governors all skirted questions about her.   My guess is a fade into something of obscurity, for her sake.  If she *really* wants to stay on the national stage and be respected as an informed, legitimate candidate, I would recommend going back to school for the next four years.

Maybe get an advanced degree.  Study geography, and U.S. history, and sex education.  There’s lot of room of improvement, so she’s got that going for her.

Heck, maybe she could take a class from Ayer’s on the cultural import of the 1960’s.  That’d be a hoot.

Hindsight 20/20 : Inside the Campaign 2008

Newsweek has a rather fascinating story about some of the inside stories in the 2008 election.  Here’s some excerpts of the full article and my take on ’em.  BTW, I’m ignoring the Palin stuff on this post, I have concentrated that information here.

The computer systems of both the Obama and McCain campaigns were victims of a sophisticated cyberattack by an unknown “foreign entity,” prompting a federal investigation, NEWSWEEK reports today.

But by the next day, both the FBI and the Secret Service came to the campaign with an ominous warning: “You have a problem way bigger than what you understand,” an agent told Obama’s team. “You have been compromised, and a serious amount of files have been loaded off your system.” The following day, Obama campaign chief David Plouffe heard from White House chief of staff Josh Bolten, to the same effect: “You have a real problem … and you have to deal with it.” The Feds told Obama’s aides in late August that the McCain campaign’s computer system had been similarly compromised. A top McCain official confirmed to NEWSWEEK that the campaign’s computer system had been hacked and that the FBI had become involved.

When a federal tech spook tells you this, listen to him.  Listen to him closely and do what he says.  I have a bit of experience in this line of work and most people, particularly community organizers and those that tend to trust others, have no idea, no idea at all, how hard people will work to gain access to certain information.   Super-paranoid doesn’t being to define it when you are defending against..who knows what.

The article mentions that the Obama campaign mentioned maybe “Russian or Chinese” hackers.  It doesn’t matter where the hackers were from.  What matters is who paid them.  Considering that complete access to the campaign computers could probably be had for less than seven figures, and don’t kid yourself, when it reaches this point, THE INTRUDERS HAVE COMPLETE ACCESS,  there are lots of possible suspects.

And just so you know the paranoid level it takes to keep some of this stuff secure…it’s possible to gain root access by recording the sound of the keystrokes a person uses to log in (record the sounds, test the keyboard, run it through an analysis, repeat the pattern for the password.  Each keystroke has a distinct sound, if you listen close enough).  A good microphone is all you need, nowadays, at least.  And that’s being slightly tricky.  There’s a lot easier ways, when given the motivation.

So that’s kinda funny.  Palin got hacked with simple social engineering, Obama and McCain probably got hit by professionals.

I mentioned this quite a bit….even going to far as to parody the sentiments….

The Obama campaign was provided with reports from the Secret Service showing a sharp and disturbing increase in threats to Obama in September and early October, at the same time that many crowds at Palin rallies became more frenzied. Michelle Obama was shaken by the vituperative crowds and the hot rhetoric from the GOP candidates. “Why would they try to make people hate us?” Michelle asked a top campaign aide.

Yea…that was to be expected.  As I’ve joked quite a bit over the last few days, the Secret Service is hiring.  A lot. 

On the Sunday night before the last debate, McCain’s core group of advisers—Steve Schmidt, Rick Davis, adman Fred Davis, strategist Greg Strimple, pollster Bill McInturff and strategy director Sarah Simmons—met to decide whether to tell McCain that the race was effectively over, that he no longer had a chance to win. The consensus in the room was no, not yet, not while he still had “a pulse.”

This was a few weeks ago.  This was after the economy had gone to shit and everyone had decided on Palin.  Without an event on the scale of an alien invasion, Obama was heading to win, and they all knew it.   I’m pretty sure Obama did too.

The Obama campaign’s New Media experts created a computer program that would allow a “flusher”—the term for a volunteer who rounds up nonvoters on Election Day—to know exactly who had, and had not, voted in real time. They dubbed it Project Houdini, because of the way names disappear off the list instantly once people are identified as they wait in line at their local polling station.

The Obama campaign had some serious techonology working for them.  This was part of why I made fun of McCain for not knowing how to use a computer (and Palin not knowing how to securely use one).

It was an amazing GOTV (get out the vote) effort.  For a quick example…if you signed up for their site (as I did) you would get lists of numbers to call and places to takes notes, all online and “live”.  It didn’t work perfectly, but I think it was impressive enough, and effective enough, to gain some notoriety.

McCain also was reluctant to use Obama’s incendiary pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, as a campaign issue. The Republican had set firm boundaries: no Jeremiah Wright; no attacking Michelle Obama; no attacking Obama for not serving in the military. McCain balked at an ad using images of children that suggested that Obama might not protect them from terrorism.

McCain did try to keep the thing clean.  It wasn’t until the last few days that the real bad poo started flying.  I’ll give this to McCain, he didn’t make this nearly as dirty as it could have gotten.  He could have disgusted everyone, much, much more than he did.   Many of his supporters wanted him to go there, and Palin pushed it, but he had he honor and the power to keep it (mostly) clean.

Obama was never inclined to choose Sen. Hillary Clinton as his running mate, not so much because she had been his sometime bitter rival on the campaign trail, but because of her husband.

Yea, I never thought HIllary was a real choice for VP.  Maybe early on, but even then…the Bill factor would have been huge, and he would have overshadowed Obama in a lot of respects.  Particulary because he would, like Hillary, have a unique place in American history…and one that would continue for another decade or more in the White House.  That’s just too much Clinton for anyone.

McCain was dumbfounded when Congressman John Lewis, a civil-rights hero, issued a press release comparing the GOP nominee with former Alabama governor George Wallace, a segregationist infamous for stirring racial fears. McCain had devoted a chapter to Lewis in one of his books, “Why Courage Matters,” and had so admired Lewis that he had once taken his children to meet him.

This was because McCain wasn’t being told by the Secret Service about all the threats against Obama.  There’s a decent chance that John Lewis might have…   I *really* don’t think McCain understood how much anger and ignorance he was whipping up.  I’m absolutely sure that Palin had *NO* idea what she was messin’ with.  People where I live *ACT* when you tell them there is a threat to their country in the White House.

I did mention I’m from Dallas, right?  This shit ain’t no joke.

On the night she officially lost the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton enjoyed a long and friendly phone conversation with McCain. Clinton was actually on better terms with McCain than she was with Obama. Clinton and McCain had downed shots together on Senate junkets; they regarded each other as grizzled veterans of the political wars and shared a certain disdain for Obama as flashy and callow.

And that disdain came through loud and clear.  It came through in Clinton releasing Obama’s picture in “Muslim Garb” and it came through in McCain refusing to look at Obama in the first debate.

We heard you both, and we rejected it.  You were the uppity ones.

When he was preparing for them during the Democratic primaries, Obama was recorded saying, “I don’t consider this to be a good format for me, which makes me more cautious. I often find myself trapped by the questions and thinking to myself, ‘You know, this is a stupid question, but let me … answer it.’

So when Brian Williams is asking me about what’s a personal thing that you’ve done [that’s green], and I say, you know, ‘Well, I planted a bunch of trees.’ And he says, ‘I’m talking about personal.’

What I’m thinking in my head is, ‘Well, the truth is, Brian, we can’t solve global warming because I fucking changed light bulbs in my house. It’s because of something collective’.”

Note: I un-censored that bit.  I hate the those fucking “—” when I really want to make a point.

I *really* want to hear this tape.  When I hear Obama talk, I often hear myself thinking.  This has been a rare thing for me in the political realm.  When I hear Obama say somehing like this, and show a bit of that fire and disdain for the bullshit, I like him more.

This also makes the whole “tire gauge” attack even funnier.

How out of touch is Barack Obama? He’s so out of touch that he suggested that if all Americans inflated their tires properly and took their cars for regular tune-ups, they could save as much oil as new offshore drilling would produce. Gleeful Republicans have made this their daily talking point; Rush Limbaugh is having a field day; and the Republican National Committee is sending tire gauges labeled “Barack Obama’s Energy Plan” to Washington reporters.

I’m pretty sure his internal reaction to that non-controversy was something along the lines of “Niggaplease, these people have to be fucking retarded.”

Check out the full article for the bits I left out,  Newsweek isn’t exactly “Just some blog” and they don’t normally print stuff without multiple indepentent sources and thorough fact-checking.

It was a wild election, even more so because we are only now learning how wild it was.

The Official and Undeniable Palin, Part 2

I did the first part of this post back here.  I have toned down the title as it doesn’t matter as much any more.  Palin is Alaska’s problem now.

How big a problem?  Well, luckily there’s aren’t many Africans in Alaska, or they might have a few questions for Sarah…

I’m sure more specific stuff will be coming out, but this kind of stuf…

An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as “Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast,” and said the truth will eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books.

…is a lot more nasty than I could be.   And that was a McCain adie, a senior one.  I saw an interview with the author of the above newsweek article, which I’m featuring in another post, so I give it quite a bit of credibility.  McCain’s staff was really, really, frustrated with Palin.  Not the least of which was because….

On the Sunday night before the last debate, McCain’s core group of advisers—Steve Schmidt, Rick Davis, adman Fred Davis, strategist Greg Strimple, pollster Bill McInturff and strategy director Sarah Simmons—met to decide whether to tell McCain that the race was effectively over, that he no longer had a chance to win. The consensus in the room was no, not yet, not while he still had “a pulse.”

That was three weeks ago…when the race had ended but for something crazy happening (and by crazy I mean terrorist attack/alien invasion-type crazy.)

The race was over because the American people learned that when the question is……is Africa 1)a country or 2)a continent….and you have to think about it, and then get it wrong….it’s over.  It’s just over.

Palin was a joke, and she can blame the economy all she wants, but that’s the kind of stuff good world leaders are supposed to be prepared for.   Very prepared for.  Like, studying-your-whole-life prepared for.  It turns out that Palin wouldn’t even cram for two weeks, and so someone who didn’t know what the “Bush Doctrine” was (not a minor oversight we see know, but evidence of mass ignorance) had no chance of dealing with an economic crisis in a rational way.

The video above is textbook “throwing under the bus” and you’ll see it more and more over the next few weeks.  Then come the books.  And then come the movies.

Does Palin have a future?  I’m not sure.  I really don’t think so.  I think the embarrassment of some of the campaign gaffes (“go buy 3 suits” != “go spend $150K on your family”) are going to linger, and she is going to bear the brunt of the backlash when Republicans stop blaming everyone else and look for someone in their own party to blame.

Sadly Sarah fits the bill.

Did I just forget a comma?   I don’t know, never really learned no grammarin’.

It’s Official and Undeniable, Sarah Palin is a Flippin’ Idiot

Here’s the video and the transcript is below…  I think this is the original website.

Below is the transcript, with the translations and Canadian/French cultural primers (yes, they were mocking her VERY HARD).

If anyone, and I mean anyone, thinks this woman should be anywhere near a button with the word “nukular” on it, you are FUCKING INSANE.  We’re beyond mere PDS here.  And, unlike the nasty, nasty, bullshit attacks coming from the McCain campaign (OMG!!! Obama is the next Hitler!!!  No shit, they are saying that.  Guess to whom?) this is one where we have real, actual evidence of the general theme that Palin is painfully unqualified to be in, or even near, the oval office.

I hereby  officially accept this gift from God as my birthday president (which was on Halloween).  You all know what I asked for, and I think this is going to assure that I get it (knocks on the wood, and says a quiet “thanks”).

Continue reading

Ted Stevens to be put in Series of Cubes

Looks like ole Mr. Dump-Truck is headed to the slammer.

A federal grand jury indicted Stevens, 84, in July on seven counts of making false statements, for allegedly lying on U.S. Senate financial disclosure forms for the years 1999 to 2006.

The jury of eight women and four men deliberated for five hours Monday before returning guilty verdicts on all seven counts.

[full story]

While it’s unlikely that Ted Stevens will end up in prison, a felony conviction should make his upcoming election somewhat more difficult.

UPDATE: Here’s a couple of his greatest hits.

and of course…

Which means you knew this was coming…here’s Palin taking on the Old Boy’s Club President.