The Friday Political Thread: Keep Your Nuts

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Convincing Quote of the Week
"Libertarians are getting ready for the mainstream, and mainstream America may finally be ready for them."
Time magazine

The Week in Brief
– John McCain's economic team ended the recession. Just in time!
– The Bill of Rights got pared down to a manageable nine.
– Jesse Jackson went nuts.
– Bob Barr started polling in the high single digits… or did he?
– Jesse Ventura pondered a comeback.

Below the Fold
– Chris Hedges frets about the implications of FISA reform on the press.
– Nate Silver notices that Obama has been compared to everyone who's run for president since the 1940s.
The Onion picks Obama's running mate.
– Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild calls Obama an "elitist." Seriously, kids.
Time tries to grok the Libertarians.
– Surprise! Mark Penn's rotten to the core.

I've taken a request for this week's Politics 'n' Prog. Thanks to Jon Rowe for recommending "The Pinnacle."

SATURDAY UPDATE: This is awful news: Tony Snow has died.

Tony Snow, a conservative writer and commentator who cheerfully sparred with reporters in the White House briefing room during a stint as President Bush's press secretary, has died of colon cancer, Fox News reported Saturday. Snow was 53 years old.

Shikha Dalmia's 2007 interview with Snow is here.

SATURDAY UPDATE II: Daniel Larison ruminates on one of my electoral obsessions.

Except for Indiana, which is a natural target for an Illinois candidate, most of the "map-expanding" moves that Obama is making right now make little sense. I know that the Montana, North Dakota and Alaska polls show a very close race, and at least one has shown Obama leading in Montana, but there are structural reasons that these states almost never vote Democratic in the presidential race, just as there are structural reasons why "the Casey belt" states are more likely to vote that way.  Many of the latter would be reverting to previous voting patterns, while the newly targeted states will have to break with long-established patterns.  Put another way, if these states even voted for Bob Dole, odds are they will still end up voting for Dole Mk II

McCain. I just don't think Larison understands these states. Not until 2000 were Montana and North Dakota out of bounds for Democrats. In 1988, Michael Dukakis only lost Montana by 6 points and North Dakota by 13. In the two Clinton races, with Perot pulling independent voters, the Democrats won Montana once and lost North Dakota by smallish margins. Clinton's Kentucky and Tennessee wins (to use two states Larison says Obama should play for) were not overwhelming: In 1996, Clinton beat the pathetic Dole in Kentucky by 13,000 votes out of about 1.4 million. For a number of oddball demographic and cultural reasons, western whites like Obama more than Appalachian whites like him. Those same whites are represented right now, in Montana, by two Democratic senators and a Democratic governor, and in North Dakota by two Democratic senators and a Democratic congressman. I don't think Obama is shadowboxing by playing in the plains and west.

NEXT: The Useful Idiocy of Johann Hari

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  1. Is it just me or has the ENTIRE US Political system gone totally MAD? From Dictator Bush to his sidekick mini-me “McBush” its just goten totally out of control!

    JT
    http://www.Ultimate-Anonymity.com

  2. Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild, people like you are the reason The Daily Show exists.

    That shit was funny.

  3. Mr. Weigel, does the acceptance of the greatness of Kansas mean that a Devin Townsend Politics n’ Prog is forthcoming?

    Also, I liked the Chris Hedges article.

  4. The Bill of Rights got pared down to a manageable nine.

    Laughed out loud at this bad puppy.

  5. Laughed out loud at this bad puppy.

    Yeah, that was pretty badass.

  6. OT: Tony Snow has died.

  7. John McCain’s economic team ended the recession. Just in time!

    Just exactly when did this ‘recession’ start? Is it being measured by mentions of the word “recession” in media or is there some actual economic measurement going on?

  8. godspeed tony.

    *blackberry entry*
    “go to gwu med ctr asap. get the works.”

  9. Has reason done anything on this political chatter about a national speed limit being imposed again?

    Are they going to revive the name Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act or is there a snappier title for this one?

    It is bad enough that the Leftists keep trying to revive bad policies from the Carter administration, now they are borrowing from the worst of Nixon too.

  10. Condolences to Mr. Snow’s family.

    Incidentally, I always liked his style.

  11. Jesse….Jesse…….Jesse. Ponder a comeback only after you utterly disassociate yourself with the Alex Jones truther crowd. Also, the stupid fu-manchu moustache won’t go over well.

  12. Yeah, Ventura actually tends to speak a lot of sense until he gets into the conspiracy shit.

    That Time article wasn’t too bad.

  13. Damn, I do remember Snow saying he’ll live with his cancer for the rest of his life, but he also sounded like his treatment was holding it in check. Really a witty guy, and I’m sure he would’ve been a fun drinking buddy.

    RIP.

  14. Tony Snow was a paid liar. Good riddance.

  15. For a republican fanboy, Tony Snow was an all right guy. I would like to have smoked a joint with him. I think he’d have smoked one with me. In private, on a boat, outside of US waters, shades drawn …

  16. Tony was a “paid liar” but everyone defends (or at least keeps silent) about something he’d probably rather not sometime in his life, and Tony seemed to be fairly decent and witty. He’s got a family and it’s terrible when just about anybody dies* (Hitler excluded of course).

    The news snippet I heard about the national speed limit (which this leftists btw thinks is a horrible idea) had noted “Leftist” John Warner R-VA floating the idea.

  17. The Time’s article was OK, but it would have been better if the reporter did a bit more research on the party platform. Is the typical Nevada LP member against electricity and Wal-Mart like the example in the article? Where is the anti-WTO progressive wing of the party? I thought the anti-WTO Libertarians objected because WTO takes to long to open up global trade, not out of any anti-trade beliefs. Is the LP bound together by a belief that “modernity just means having our daily lives ruled by mechanisms that have grown so complex that they are beyound comprehension or control”? The reporter obviously has not read any of Bailey’s articles.

  18. Guy Montag | July 12, 2008, 7:07am | #

    John McCain’s economic team ended the recession. Just in time!

    Just exactly when did this ‘recession’ start? Is it being measured by mentions of the word “recession” in media or is there some actual economic measurement going on?

    I think the guys who used to report on the GM food “catastrophe” are now covering the economy.

  19. The NBER does not define a recession in terms of two consecutive quarters of decline in real GDP. Rather, a recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.

    The NBER usually declares a recession has started anywhere from six to 18 months after its start, according to its Web site.

    Would you like to bet whether or not we are now in a recession?

  20. close tags…..

  21. MNG, Either John Warner is a big government lefty, probably, or he is setting up the Democrats for yet another negative issue for the election. I’m not buying the media buzz, ruse? about huge Democratic gains in November. How does a congress with a 9% favorable rating increase the leadership party’s majorities?

  22. Time has pronounced libertarians as respectable and upstanding folks?

    Shit. It’s going to take years to recover from that setback.

  23. Roscoe is an asshole. He has no class. And one shouldn’t speak ill of the dead ala Gore Vidal.

    Nice clip from Kansas. I bet Tony Snow, the musician, would appreciate such talent.

    RIP.

  24. I only marginally understand this “oil speculation” that’s supposedly driving up petro prices but it seems like it’s causing my lefty friends to froth at the mouth. Anyone want to ‘splain this to me and perhaps make an argument as to whether or not* it needs regulation?

    * I’m guessing “not”

    Hobbit

  25. An acquaintance of mine (who apparently relies on that yammering imbecile Glenn Beck for the majority of his “ideas” on anything) has been rambling on about bringing back the fifty-five mph speed limit; “but just for those big trucks.”

    He didn’t really like it much when I told him he wanted the government to force everybody else to change what *they* do, so he won’t have to change what *he* does.

    He whines about the price of gas, but he would rather drive around in circles (in his pickup truck) waiting for a parking space than walk a block.

    ********

    “55mph- It’s not a good idea, it’s just the law.”

    [I have the technology]

  26. How does a congress with a 9% favorable rating increase the leadership party’s majorities?

    By convincing voters that Republicans are the majority party in congress. Republicans could do better if they run a clean sweep campaign. That would remind voters that the Demecrats are the incumbents in most districts and appeal to disgruntled free-market/limited government Republicans. Many Republicans might support a newbie’s challenging a Democrat even though they won’t help a Republican incumbent who sold out. Come to think of it, the Libertarians can have the greatest impact by focusing on districts with Republican incumbents who voted to expand government.

  27. Hobbit- haven’t you heard? Everything should be regulated by the government. It’s the only way to be certain everyone will be equally happy and prosperous.

  28. Nothing on the Newsweek poll? Obama has gone down from a 15 point lead in June to a dead heat. I’d like to think FISA is killing him.

  29. “Obama has gone down from a 15 point lead in June to a dead heat. I’d like to think FISA is killing him.”

    Let’s hope it’s not Jesse Jackson’s comments.

  30. The Dems can make big gains in Congress because the President has been a Republican for so long. It does not matter, both politically (people tend to think of the President as the embodiment of our federal government [shit most don’t know who their congressman or woman is]) and in this case to some degree actually (the Dems don’t have a veto-proof majority in either house and thus can’t change much).

    This worked for the GOP under Clinton.

  31. Let’s hope it’s not Jesse Jackson’s comments.

    Doubt it’s that.

    Incidentally, I just saw Wall-E. Thought it was a tremendous film. I even cried at one point, but only a little bit.

  32. left out “that the Dems are the majority party in Congress” at the end of the 1st paragraph

  33. Regarding FISA:

    What is it in the bill that people don’t like?

    Is it just the telecom immunity?

    The law puts additional restrictions on FISA searches compared to the 1978 law.

    It even has this provision:

    ”(5) shall be conducted in a manner consistent with the fourth amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

    And it makes it explicit that the president can’t use “war powers” as a work-around for the provisions of the law.

    Now, of course, I have a problem with the secret court that the 1978 law set up, but seen in light of the status quo, this amendment seems to strengthen limitations on the executive, not loosen them.

    So sure, a repeal of FISA 1978 would be preferred, but how is this law a move in the wrong direction?

  34. I was sad when I read that Tony Snow had died. Then I read the Reason interview with him & I remembered what an eloquently spoken asshole he was.

    RIP.

  35. Why all the tears here over Bush’s asshole, aka Tony Snow?

    Of course Snow could be personally charming; that’s why he was hired by Bush to lie.

    If I thought Snow had a conscience, I might care to a degree, but there’s not much evidence for that.

  36. The Dems can make big gains in Congress

    Incidentally, this Congress’ approval ratings are pretty low, too.

  37. Obama and FISA

    Lanny Davis:

    But the benefit is that he has reminded voters that as president he would be more committed to the “solutions” business than to yield to the pressure to prove his ideological purity to his party’s base.

    This is an example of “Putting some lipstick on this pig.” As Julian points out, if Obama’s new “position” on this issue was meritorious it would invite a direct to the point defense from the likes of Davis.

    What Obama’s doing here, of course, is political positioning for image. The problem is that in doing so, he’s increasing the political inertia for the Bush administration’s FISA plans.

    I tend to trust that as president, Obama would flip back again on FISA and maybe even gut the thing…. but, btw, not nearly as much as I trust that would use the presidency to lead a head-on attack against economic liberty and thus prosperity.

  38. If I thought Snow had a conscience, I might care to a degree, but there’s not much evidence for that.

    If I thought you were a combination psychological expert/Snow biographer I might believe that you’re not just an asshole.

  39. Art-P.O.G., I await the reading of Tony Snow’s deathbed repudiation of Bush, and his sincere apology for his blood-soaked lies.

  40. I only marginally understand this “oil speculation” that’s supposedly driving up petro prices but it seems like it’s causing my lefty friends to froth at the mouth. Anyone want to ‘splain this to me and perhaps make an argument as to whether or not* it needs regulation?

    Speculators actually smooth out price fluctuations by buying and selling based on their predictions about future prices. It’s like stocking up on canned tomatoes during a sale or relying on cans alreading in your pantry when the price is higher than average. Stocking up during a sale makes the excess inventory run out sooner, which brings the short term price back up to the long term price. Using cans already in your pantry (or even selling them to a friend) during a price jump makes the store inventory stay on the shelf longer, which brings the short term price back down to the long term price.

    People who blame speculators confuse the short term price trends and long term price trends. All speculators do is smooth out short term trends to bring them closer to long term trends. When environmentalists ban off shore drilling, they cut supply, which increases the long term price of oil. Speculators understand this and buy oil when they think the long term price will go up. This makes the price increase start sooner and continue more gradually towards the new long term price. If there was no speculation, a ban on drilling would not affect the oil price much until current wells ran dry, but when that eventually happens the price jump would be so quick no one would have time to adjust with fuel saving measures or extra exploration. It is easy to blame speculators, because they are not as cute as dolphins, but speculators actually do more to encourage sustainable resource planning than any environmental goup out there.

  41. At least Tony Snow knew what the Cuban Missile Crisis was, unlike the current idiot occupying his post.

    Cancer is a tough way to go. Wouldn’t wish it on anybody.

    R.I.P.

  42. “Doubt it’s that.”

    Art-P.O.G. I doubt it’s that to.

    Jesse Jackson won’t go away though the man’s vanity makes him indestructible. He will be descredited for a while then he will go broker some hostage release deal & the media will love him again.

  43. Travis-

    Much like the media dragged out Bill “Book of Virtues” Bennett after a few months despite his $10 million gambling binge.

  44. he will go broker some hostage release deal & the media will love him again.

    I’ve always wondered how Jesse Jackson has been so good at that. Does he go in with Steven Seagal or something?

  45. How does a congress with a 9% favorable rating increase the leadership party’s majorities?

    You mean, why do the Democrats continue to hold a 10-15% point lead in generic Congressional surveys?

    http://www.pollingreport.com/cong2008.htm

    Probably because most people understand what “opposition” and “obstruction” mean.

  46. NNG,

    Now Bill Bennett’s a guy who should be beaten with a sack of angry cats. For multiple reasons.

  47. The 15% lead in the Newsweek poll was an outlier. Nobody else was showing a lead that large.

    This new poll is much closer to the median, maybe a bit low.

  48. “I’ve always wondered how Jesse Jackson has been so good at that. Does he go in with Steven Seagal or something?”

    Vanity makes the bullets bounce off.

  49. Does anyone else remember when Jesse Jackson got Milosevic to “pray” with him? That old communist looked like he was swallowing cod liver oil. Awesome humiliating picture. I swear, the CIA runs the best scams overseas with “dissident” American politicians.

  50. The L.A. Times poll in June showed a 12-point lead, around the same time as Newsweek.

  51. Anyway this election is close and it shouldn’t be.

  52. You mean, why do the Democrats continue to hold a 10-15% point lead in generic Congressional surveys?

    Because Democrats and Republicans both suck, but the Democrats suck less on average?
    Of course, it was a rhetorical question.

  53. jtuf,

    Thanks for the explanation. I sort-of know how commodities speculation works, just didn’t understand how oil was different.

    Mostly I think there is a lot of “oh noes, teh Capitalists are making a profit!” at work.

    Hobbit

  54. The L.A. Times poll in June showed a 12-point lead, around the same time as Newsweek.

    Oh, yeah, the LA Times. The LA Times poll is a joke, which always overestimates the Democrats’ performance. It’s probably still in the double-digits.

    None of the real polls had a lead anywhere near that. Outfits like Rasmussen, Zogby, Gallup, WSJ, NBC etc. never showed a lead like that, and have had Obama increasing his lead very slightly over that time frame.

    Art-POG,

    Why?

    1. The country has been edging slowly towards a Democratic majority since the end of the Reagan/Bush years, with only a hiccup after 9/11.

    2. This is a “change” election, because people are so unhappy with the performance of the government over the past several years, and the Democratic Congress has been so ineffective at pushing back against the administration that they don’t catch any blame for that performance.

  55. “1. The country has been edging slowly towards a Democratic majority since the end of the Reagan/Bush years, with only a hiccup after 9/11.”

    Uh, 1994?

  56. I guess you’re right about those polls.

    Still, the Democrats should be up by double digits given the state of the country and the fact the Republican nominee is prehistoric and a terrible speaker tied to one of the worst Presidents we’ve ever had.

    But its close anyway. I don’t get it.

  57. NNG,

    Yup, 1994. 1994 was the lowest-turnout election in American history. Even though Republican turnout rose somewhat, Democratic turnout cratered, as Democrats disappointed by Clinton’s failure to advance a Democratic agenda stayed home. Said Democrats were a large enough cohort to make the election a Republican rout.

    Have you ever heard of the book “The Coming Democratic Majority?” The authors’ thesis is that realignments don’t happen the way they used to, flipping from one party to the other in one or two biannual elections. Modern realignments happen in two stages: a de-alignment in which the ruling party loses its majority (think 1968, or 1992) followed several years later by a realignment in which one of the parties regains a majority (think 1980, or 2006-2008). Remember the “50-50 Nation” stories in 2000-2001? The Republicans thought they were going to be able to foster a realignment after 9/11 to break the tie in the de-aligned electorate, but it didn’t work out that way.

    Also, while McCain is an objectively awful campaigner, and there is mucho dissatisfaction with the Republicans (as the Congressional ballot and Presidential approval ratings show), John McCain has a longstanding, very solid image as someone who is 1) honorable and 2) willing to buck his party. Although they stumbled into it, the GOP managed to pick the one candidate who gives them a chance, at least on paper.

  58. Hobbit,

    You’re welcome.

  59. 1. Are you an embarrassment to your future president? Visit ObamaTest.com to find out whether you’re qualified to be one of his subjects.

    2. Oddly enough, Reason hasn’t discussed Obama’s shocking language comments. Of course, if they had, they would have been as disingenuous as he’s since been so perhaps it’s for the best.

    3. Contemporize, man! Here’s a 2005 version of a classic anti-prog song.

  60. Neu Mejican,

    I think Georgetown Law Professor Marty Lederman does a good job of explaining why the new FISA law is so horrible.

    http://balkin.blogspot.com/2008/07/al-qaeda-on-speed-dial.html

  61. Orange Line Special | July 12, 2008, 1:25pm | #

    “Keep your *nuts*”, indeed.

  62. Does “Orange Line Special” really think taking the Metrorail is the mark of an elitist?

  63. How did McCain vote on the FISA reform? I guess one could argue he consistently had a shitty position and so deserves no flak?

    http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=MGUxZDA1YWJkMjQyZGNjYTI1OWExY2JmNzhmODczY2E=

  64. I think The Corner is one of the most unintentionally funny sites on the web.

  65. Thanks for playing my request. You’ve made my day.

    Jon Rowe

  66. No Name Guy
    It’s like an alternate universe over there. So amazing I always wonder: do they really believe most of the stuff they hold out on, or are they paid hacks? The former possibility is for some reason the most disturbing…It disgusts me, yet often I cannot look away…

  67. Libertarians, celebrate! Reason’s policies would give even more power to people like this.

    Key points:
    1. Watch the videos.
    2. The person with the head is a public official who also is/was collaborating with the MexicanGovernment.
    3. Due to corruption, the local MSM doesn’t accurately describe what’s on the videos.

    Up with “libertarianism”!

  68. How does a congress with a 9% favorable rating increase the leadership party’s majorities?

    One seat at a time.

    BTW, I checked out the Paulaholic gathering on Capitol Hill today (had no idea beforehand they were having one). Might have a couple of pictures up later.

    I appreciate Dr. Paul a lot more than I do his rabid fans.

  69. JA,

    MNG, Either John Warner is a big government lefty, probably, or he is setting up the Democrats for yet another negative issue for the election.

    LOL! One of the Queen Leftoids made a comment upthread that Sen. warner is immune from Leftoididness because he has an R behind his name?

    JFC! The first round of 55 MPH came from Leftoid leaning Richard Nixon in 1973 for crying out loud! Just like I mentioned earlier.

    Partisans are a puzzle.

  70. MNG-

    I think its groupthink combined with a closed system that gives and endless loop of feedback (i.e., notice they don’t have a comments section).

    I really, really hate blogs that don’t have a comments section, or one so closed its rendered useless (LGF comes to mind).

  71. If anyone wants to see a conservative blog thats much more intelligent than The Corner with none if its hackishness, check out Daniel Larison at Eunomia.

  72. The country has been edging slowly towards a Democratic majority since the end of the Reagan/Bush years

    Considering this country was majority democrat for all of 1954-1994 (using the House as a proxy for the nation – it isnt exact, but close enough), how can it start edging towards a democrat majority circa 1988-1992?

    Of course, the US House isnt a perfect measure. Despite being a majority democrat state, KY has had 4/6 or 5/6 GOP house members for the last decade+.

    My point, how can it start edging towards something it never stopped being?

  73. Moreover, how can you have a realigning election without a landslide by the Presidential candidate? The Democratic nominee is far, FAR fro m landslide territory.

  74. One of the 94 congress’s first acts was to abolish the federal speed limet. That alone guaranteed they’d stay on top in the next cycle. The young fools who don’t remember 55 will get what they deserve for their ignorant lust for “change”.

  75. Les,

    Marty Lederman does a good job of explaining why the new FISA law is so horrible.

    Thanks for the link.
    I’ll read up some more.
    I hadn’t gotten through all 114 pages of the bill yet. I may have missed an important detail that Lederman will find. It seems on a quick review that I missed provisions making data mining style searches easier.

    The problem with Data Mining from a mathematical perspective:
    http://bactra.org/weblog/581.html

    Another link on the bill’s problems that I haven’t read in detail yet.
    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2008_06/013956.php

  76. Seems this should have been the video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CfNATuw1DRs

  77. Democratic Congress has been so ineffective at pushing back against the administration that they don’t catch any blame for that performance.

    I would say the Democrats would catch quite a bit of blame for not standing up to Bush like they promised, in particular their shameful lack of performance on Iraq and FISA and other civil liberties, but that is counterbalanced by the fact that statists (whether sporting an R or a D) being ineffective is generally a good thing.

    Had the Democrats actually succeeded at fucking things up as much as promised, and people saw the consequences, control of Congress might be in play.

  78. MNG,

    How did McCain vote on the FISA reform? He didn’t. He skipped the debate and vote. However, he came vocally for the whole packing, and each of its particulars, including telecom immunity.

    robc,

    Congress was majority-Democrat, even through most of the Reagan years, but mainly on the strength of lifers keeping their seats. In presidential elections and in open-seat Congressional elections, the Republicans clearly had an edge from 1980-the mid-90s.

    As for the relatively-small margin by which Obama leads McCain, it would certainly be unusual to have a realignment in which the president underperforms his party in Congress; but there’s no law that says the presidential contest has to lead the way and Congress follow.

  79. I didn’t realize that offering language classes in schools was so controversial, Wacko.

    Perhaps Reason, and the entire rest of the universe, doesn’t care about Obama’s statement that immigrants should learn English and Americans should learn Spanish, because most people think that’s a pretty obvious statement.

    Chill. De nada.

  80. It’s kind of funny seeing a guy who can’t even weld impugn someone else’s manhood.

    Srsly, what kind of pansy-assed upbringing did you have, Guy? Are you from one of those suburbs where the high school has a polo team, or what?

  81. Jesse Jackson won’t go away though the man’s vanity makes him indestructible. He will be descredited for a while then he will go broker some hostage release deal & the media will love him again.

    As, I imagine, will the hostages.

    What is it in the bill that people don’t like?

    Is it just the telecom immunity?

    That’s about 95% of it, for me anyway. Something about extrajudicial absolution really fucking rankles me. If someone allegedly did wrong, there shouldn’t be a blanket pass for them *before* all the facts are revealed in a due process proceeding.

  82. The warrantless interception of calls to and from other countries is a problem, too, but at least that’s a reasonably close call.

    Did you know that the Customs Service randomly opens X number of FedEx packages from overseas?

  83. I’m surprised Hit & Run hasn’t had a thread about this bizarre statement from Obama:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-obama-national-servicejul03,0,5754842.story?track=rss

    “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set,” he said Wednesday. “We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

  84. Time magazine has never grokked libertarianism and never will. I have a yellowed letter from that mag somewhere here in my archives to prove it.
    Besides, libertarians are like wild persimmons before frost. They will pucker potential voters’ lips.
    After frost–my metaphor for the Kierkegaardian Leap to anarchism–they will finally become palatable.
    If you’ve read this far, you will understand why I label Barr a styptic pencil.

    Hi, joe!

    Ruthless

  85. “LOL! One of the Queen Leftoids made a comment upthread that Sen. warner is immune from Leftoididness because he has an R behind his name?

    JFC! The first round of 55 MPH came from Leftoid leaning Richard Nixon in 1973 for crying out loud! ”

    Sigh. Guy, you stupid fuck.

    Nixon was the pre-dominate RIGHTEST for his day. He was to the right of most viable political alternatives of course. John Watner is to the right of the mainstream of today’s elected officials as well. Just because someone is to the “left” of you (that would find Tojo in comfortable company) does not make him or her a “leftist.”

    “I think its groupthink combined with a closed system that gives and endless loop of feedback (i.e., notice they don’t have a comments section).” I’ve always thought that is fishy myself…

  86. joe says: Perhaps Reason, and the entire rest of the universe, doesn’t care about Obama’s statement that immigrants should learn English and Americans should learn French, because most people think that’s a pretty obvious statement.

    Oops! It looks like I changed one word in joe’s comment, and that word helps reveal what BHO was getting at: Americans should AssimilateToImmigrants, not the other way around.

    Now, those who only read Reason have no idea what this is about since – for some wacky reason or other – they haven’t covered his remarks. So, for the background click here.

    However, the top story of the day remains these videos of the loons that Reason would give even more power to. Expect to see those on cable TV next week.

  87. I wonder why credit can’t be given to someone who, I accept has some awful motivations and policy stances, in circumstances in which they do obvious good? I mean Jesse Jackson and his hostage liberations. I oppose him on a lot, but hey, when he does that shit it’s GREAT. Good for him. People think that it is vanity? Man, he could do a lot easier things to stoke that…

  88. Seriously, why does that idiot name himself after a Metroline?

    Does he really think the “globalist elitists” he hates take the fucking metrorail to get to work!?

  89. “orange line special”, are you a virgin?

  90. “We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

    Shall their uniforms have brown shirts or black?

  91. Nixon was the pre-dominate RIGHTEST for his day.

    The guy who slapped price controls on stuff and took us off the gold standard was the most right-wing politician out there?

    More than AuH2O?

    Seriously?

  92. prolefeed,

    Don’t forget all those crazy “social” programs, forced bussing and the all volunteer military (I like that last one).

    But perhaps you were not wanting to pile on whomever you were quoting.

  93. $500 fiat proto-ameros says we’re in a recession.
    Anyone wanna bet against me?
    Lot of cigar kindling there…..

  94. Let everyone know from this weekend forward.
    Roscoe is an asshole.

  95. “We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set,” he said Wednesday. “We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”

    I sure hope he’s talking about growing the intelligence community. But even if he is that’s $ + WTF?

  96. I mean $+WTF?+1984

  97. I sure hope he’s talking about growing the intelligence community.

    I sure hope so, because at this point our intelligence community would do better if they just wondered around like:

    “Hallo, can you tell me ver tha Naval Base is, in A-la-meeda? Ver looking for the nuclear wessels. Nu-cle-ar wessels.”

  98. *says nothing. just stares*

  99. I think they’re across the bay. In Alameda.

  100. prole-compared to Humphrey or LBJ, yes. Left and right are of course relative terms (to the “left” of, etc).

    One way to easily measure this is to take a look at the SCOTUS appointments. Nixon’s were to the left of Reagan or W’s, but to the right of Dems appointments.

  101. Americans should AssimilateToImmigrants, not the other way around.

    What part of “Immigrants should learn English” is eluding you, Wack-job?

    Does anybody have any idea what changing “Spanish” to “French” was supposed to accomplish?

  102. FWIW, when I first saw that scene, I was seven and did not yet understand that the cop was incredulous because Chekov had a Russian accent and it was the *Cold War*. So, I figured he was either an idiot or a jerk, and that was why the scene was funny. This was the first data point in a long line that formed my opinion of police officers generally.

    Star Trek IV: radical anarchist propaganda for little boys.

  103. Elem –

    like when the navy guys were questioning Chekov – “that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard”

    joe –
    actually, the Iraqis broke off talks because they’re tired from throwing so many flowers at their new occupiers…

    and hoarse from cheering. and from playing cheerleader games in prison.

  104. like when the navy guys were questioning Chekov

    “He’s a Ruskie.”

    [pause, glare] “That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard–Of *course* he’s a Ruskie!, but he’s like a retard or somthin’!”

  105. That was a great scene and good flick.

    What I hated from the Star Trek flicks was cloaking devices. Nemesis and the Undiscovered Country could have been good if not for that lame plot device.

    I’m not so much against the idea of a cloaking device but they shouldn’t be able to fire while cloaked. That’s the rules.

  106. It’s probably for the best, VM.

    There have been so many cases of diabetic comas caused by all the candy thrown at our troops, they’ve had to open a new wing at Walter Reed.

  107. SOFA dead.

    Flow my tears.
    Clearly, this was politically necessary for Al-Maliki. And, hey, we want Iraq to be up to speed. One of the most important things we’re doing right now, I think, is training transition teams.

    Full disclosure: I also need to watch the Star Trek movies again. It’s been too long.

  108. … and thus tying this back to HFCS.

    Perchance the old Server Squirrels became Blackwell employees?

  109. I’m not so much against the idea of a cloaking device but they shouldn’t be able to fire while cloaked. That’s the rules.

    That was kind of the point in TUC. They broke the rules; it was a super weapon. In the very obvious allegory, the bird of prey was the equivalent of a perfectly silent nuclear submarine, a la Hunt for Red October (but instead of stupid magnetohydrodynamic drives, it’s stupid cloaking devices). I thought it was a fine breaking of the rules, because it was an essential plot point.

    On the other hand, in Nemesis it was simply gratuitous. “Hey, let’s make the baddest warship ever. And then, let’s make it invisible. And then, let’s make be able to kill shit while invisible.” Fucking A, they should have never had a chance against such a thing; making it invisible just makes it more ridiculously imbalanced and their ensuing victory more ludicrous. Though they did get the assist from the warbirds, which I thought was a cute moment.

  110. joe | July 13, 2008, 9:23am | #
    Americans should AssimilateToImmigrants, not the other way around.

    What part of “Immigrants should learn English” is eluding you, Wack-job?

    Does anybody have any idea what changing “Spanish” to “French” was supposed to accomplish?

    It means that the proposal is that people should learn a second language, any second language, rather than simply have one, which leads to a parochial point of view. I had to learn some French when I was a kid, and some German in college. Among other things, it led me to realize that American culture is a small fraction of world culture, and I shouldn’t limit myself to it.

  111. Flow my tears

    ON second thought, I think I layered this one too much. I was making a reference to a quote in Southland Tales (again, I’m sorry), which was in turn referencing the Philip K. Dick Novel Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said. I was evoking the sarcasm of a character in a movie while incidentally making multiple sci-fi references.

    Lonewacko, as far as I can tell, is not a real person but an entity twice removed from flesh and blood by the anonymity of cyberspace and a personality not at all independent of his home page. In this sense, he is like a character in a movie, and not a particularly well-written one.

  112. More than AuH2O?

    Incidentally, I loved this.

  113. Daniel Larison has been predicting the imminent collapse of Obama for awhile now, of course hes not going to believe he can carry ND or MT.

    Larison really believes this will be a close race with a possible McCain win, and that Obama is a weak candidate. He may be right.

  114. Well, NNG, I went to see the Oracle at Delphi and she said something a little different.

  115. A lefty / left-lib: Nixon was the pre-dominate RIGHTEST for his day.

    Me: The guy who slapped price controls on stuff and took us off the gold standard was the most right-wing politician out there?

    More than AuH2O?

    Seriously?

    Guy Montag | July 13, 2008, 12:01am | #

    prolefeed,

    Don’t forget all those crazy “social” programs, forced bussing and the all volunteer military (I like that last one).

    But perhaps you were not wanting to pile on whomever you were quoting.

    No point kicking a man when he’s down.

    I didn’t consider support for temporary enslavement in the military to be a right-wing position. Maybe it was back then. Sure isn’t now — the Congresspeople making noises about reinstating the draft mainly live in far-left districts that were hotbeds of opposition to the Vietnam War, and are predominantly black — people who you would think would be vehemently opposed to enslavement, no matter how temporary.

    Irony abounds.

  116. There have been so many cases of diabetic comas caused by all the candy thrown at our troops, they’ve had to open a new wing at Walter Reed.

    We have a thread-winner!

  117. joe inquires: Does anybody have any idea what changing “Spanish” to “French” was supposed to accomplish?

    Because if he had singled out French as the language to learn it wouldn’t have made any sense. J’aime la langue francaise, but there’s no reason to single it out. Likewise, if we didn’t have millions of UnassimiliatedSpanishSpeakers in the U.S., singling out Spanish would make no sense. The only reason he singled out Spanish is because of those millions of UnassimiliatedSpanishSpeakers in the U.S. Therefore, BHO wants AmericansToAssimilateToImmigrants.

    Sit down with a pad and paper and try and figure it out if all that eludes you.

    For the background click here.

    However, the top story of the day remains these videos of the loons that Reason would give even more power to. Expect to see those on cable TV next week.

  118. prolefeed
    I’ll say this again and perhaps you’d like to sound out the words slowly so you get it this time.

    The terms “right” and “left” are inherently relative terms (e.g., so and so is to the left of x). Nixon was the right wing candidate of his day. I’d love to see your argument that he was to the “left” of his major opposition (LBJ, Hubert Humphreys).

    Many of the “left wing” programs Nixon supportered were more conservative versions of what the previous administration (LBJ) or his opponents had put forward or wanted (for example his desegregation programs mentioned upthread).

    And this is to ignore much of what Nixon focused on, such as law and order, being tough on communists, putting “strict constructionists” on the bench who would check or roll back the Warren Court’s rulings, sticking it to hippies, etc., all of which are still good right wing positions.

  119. prole-compared to Humphrey or LBJ, yes. Left and right are of course relative terms (to the “left” of, etc).

    One way to easily measure this is to take a look at the SCOTUS appointments. Nixon’s were to the left of Reagan or W’s, but to the right of Dems appointments.

    MNG — granted, Nixon was to the right of LBJ, but to label Nixon the “pre-eminent rightest of his day”, you’d have to compare him to far-right Republican politicians. And Nixon was one of the last of that vanishing breed — a liberal Republican (by which I mean a “modern liberal”, not a “classical liberal”.)

  120. MNG — if you were to rephrase it as “Nixon was somewhat right of center compared to other politicians of both parties of his day”, then we’d be in complete agreement. I was just taking exception to phrasing that implied that Nixon was a far-right politician compared to the politicians of his time, which just ain’t so.

  121. “Don’t forget all those crazy “social” programs, forced bussing and the all volunteer military (I like that last one).”

    Yeah Nixon the champion of forced busing…
    Guy, are you retarded?

    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=3098
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,943391,00.html

  122. Nixon was hardly a liberal Republican. His defining position throughout his various incarnations was strident anti-Communism. A close second would have been law and order. Later opposition to the more strident forms of desegregation were up there too.

    By “pre-eminent” I meant that he was the highest ranking right wing politician of his day.

  123. On the other hand, in Nemesis it was simply gratuitous. “Hey, let’s make the baddest warship ever. And then, let’s make it invisible. And then, let’s make be able to kill shit while invisible.” Fucking A, they should have never had a chance against such a thing; making it invisible just makes it more ridiculously imbalanced and their ensuing victory more ludicrous. Though they did get the assist from the warbirds, which I thought was a cute moment.

    Never mind that the most ridiculous of the many ridiculous plot points in Nemesis is that the death ray doomsday device is clearly directional; it fires in a straight line, not out in all directions. So, what do the idiots on the Enterprise do? They back away slowly, always remaining in the death ray’s line of fire, rather than, oh I don’t know, thrusting either up or down to get out of the line of fire.

    Of course, the entire scene is just a lame remake of the “Genesis countdown” sequence in “Wrath of Khan,” except that the Khan sequence made sense because the Genesis device exploded in all directions, meaning the only way to get away was to put distance between you and it.

  124. people who you would think would be vehemently opposed to enslavement, no matter how temporary.

    The draft ain’t pretty, but it’s not slavery, either. But don’t listen to me, I was dumb determined enough to volunteer.

  125. The draft ain’t pretty, but it’s not slavery, either. But don’t listen to me, I was dumb determined enough to volunteer.

    It all depends on your definitions, I suppose. As far as it being in any way analogous to what we call slavery in America, then obviously no. As far as it being *involuntary servitude* (albeit paid and of a limited duration), it very clearly is.

    It always bothered me that the draft passed 13th Amendment muster. Just on the basis of language (I’m not quite sure how I feel about a draft, though my gut says I’m against it.)

    As far as lefties being for the draft, it was a very obvious (and transparent) attempt to end the Iraq War, as they figured (probably rightly) that if sons of privilege started dropping in droves over there, captains of industry and suchlike would bring pressure to bear to end the thing ASAP. It was *not* meant to be an endorsement of the Draft per se nor a suggestion it be seriously employed for longer than it would take to make the point.

    I’m also not crazy about politicians making points using other peoples’ lives, so there’s that, too.

  126. I’m also not crazy about politicians making points using other peoples’ lives, so there’s that, too.

    Yeah, I’m with you on that.

  127. Nixon was a moderate Republican, but well within the conservative mainstream. Jim Jeffords he wasn’t.

    However, had he not had to resign in disgrace partisan Republicans now screaming about how liberal he is would still idolize him.

  128. If you don’t believe me, consider the conservative apotheosis of Ronald Reagan despite the fact he governed as a moderate–up to and including massive tax hikes.

  129. Seriously, why does that idiot name himself after a Metroline?

    Does he really think the “globalist elitists” he hates take the fucking metrorail to get to work!?

    I grew up 3/4 mile from the Ballston Metro. From it’s inception in the seventies to at least the mid 90’s (and still mostly to this day), the upper middle class (and white) are overrepresented as patrons of the Metrorail, – unlike say, the NYC subway. Yes, it’s not the people running the country (and the world) that take the metrorail. But the people responsible for the day to day operations do. so in his own moronic way, he’s sorta right.

  130. prolefeed,

    I didn’t consider support for temporary enslavement in the military to be a right-wing position. Maybe it was back then. Sure isn’t now — the Congresspeople making noises about reinstating the draft mainly live in far-left districts that were hotbeds of opposition to the Vietnam War, and are predominantly black — people who you would think would be vehemently opposed to enslavement, no matter how temporary.

    That’s because it’s a stunt. On top of everything else, people like Chollie Rangel understand quite well how people like Dick Cheney managed to dodge the draft when it was in place.

    It was a Modest Proposal.

  131. The draft is a left wing idea. “shared sacrifice” for the State. Hits all their buttons,ostensibly egalitarian,compulsory etc.

    Why do you think it is always Dems pushing “Universal National Service” schemes?
    Three tiers, the children of privilege will do their service backpack touring the third world, the urban poor will do theirs as community activists and political organization in the cities. Fundy rednecks go die in Darfur.

    FDR introduced the first peacetime draft.
    We can thank Jimmy Carter and the Dem congress for the existence of draft registration and a selective service system.

    Liberal Democrat Lefty Progressives are the only constituencey for conscription. Even the military doesn’t want it.

  132. Not until 2000 were Montana and North Dakota out of bounds for Democrats.

    Politically, the Peace Garden State is the worst of all possible worlds: socially conservative (it went for George W twice), and fiscally liberal (one of our senators is neo-New Dealer Byron Dorgan). Oh, and the weather sucks big-time…

  133. It was a Modest Proposal.

    Rangel is certainly engaging in some politcal theater, but I believe that he honestly believes that a draft is a good idea. He wants it for two reasons
    1) the notion that a common shared experience creates civic vitue (and the possibility that such an experience is a necessary condition for such virtue to exist)
    2) the notion that the poor and african americans in particular are disportionally impacted by the current war(s) under current recruiting policies.

    (1) is not entirely without merit, although I definitely do not believe in the necessary condition part, and that overall the costs outweigh the bennefits.
    (2) however is entirely incorrect. and is getting more so, as African american recruitment has plumented over the past five years.

  134. Kolohe,

    Demographics do seem pretty proportionate. Also, it seems African-Americans are more likely to join the support branches (for MOS training often enough) than the infantry. Black people are definitely not overrepresented in combat arms.*

    *Full Disclosure: Being black and non-combat arms, I contributed to this condition.

  135. Kolohe,

    Getting people to think about shared sacrifice was certainly Rangel’s point, but not even the “lefty progressives” that SIV likes to think are chomping at the bit for a draft actually voted for it. It never made it out of committee, because it was never a serious proposal.

    Even the military doesn’t want it. Thank goodness, because “the military doesn’t want it” is the only argument you ever hear against the draft from the political right. As opposed to from the center and left, who argue against it on individual rights terms.

  136. Googling around to see who has and has not supported the draft (incidently, it seems Chuck Hagel has proposed bringing back the draft in much the the language as Rangel) three main sites kept on coming up, all editorializing more or less against the draft in their coverage. And with their objection based on individual rights. The sites were:

    Talkleft
    Newsmax
    Worldnetdaily.

    Now, the politcal leaning of the first is pretty obvious. But, inarguably, the latter two are firmly ensconced on the right

    So it is not a left vs right issue. it is a (political hackery/quixotic quest)* vs individual rights issue.

    *like i said, i still maintain both Rangel and Hagel really believe in the draft. But they can indulge in the luxury of voting for their idealism without compromise or consequence because they know it will never pass.

  137. As opposed to from the center and left, who argue against it on individual rights terms.

    Can you type that with a straight face joe?

    Yeah, the center and left are all about individual rights. And libertarians and the Right are collectivists. In fucking bizarro world.

    Can’t wait for you guys to start the “whisper campaign” to try to get young voters out. Every election cycle there is the buzz about a Republican draft and Democrats legalizing MJ and forgiving all student loans.

  138. Yup. Having actually read what such sources have to say, instead of assuming what they’re arguments just gotta be based on my own ideological theory of everything, I can type that in complete confidence.

    Did you see what Kolohe did there, SIV? Looked up what, for example, TalkLeft actually published, rather that assuming what they musta published? Can you grasp how that’s different from pulling positions out of your ass based on “blah blah collectivists blah blah progressives?”

    You should try that some time.

  139. SIV on politics:

    See, liberals drive like this: dee dee dee dee dee dee dee.

    But, see, conservatives drive like this: doo doo doo doo doo doo.

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