The Friday Political Thread: Stuff White Europeans Like

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Quote of the Week
"Obama? C'est mon copain. Contrairement à mes conseillers de la cellule diplomatique, je n'ai jamais cru dans les chances d'Hillary Clinton. J'ai toujours dit qu'Obama serait désigné."
French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Translation: "Obama? He's my pal. Unlike my diplomatic advisors, I never believed in Hillary Clinton's chances. I always said that Obama would be nominated." Especially stinging if you've ever heard McCain gloat that he's "lived long enough to see a pro-America president of France."

The Week in Brief
Ahem.
– Barack Obama was elected president, apparently.
– He talked to his dad—and you got to hear the conversation!
– John McCain made a play for attention by hinting he'd choose a VP. It was quite annoying.
– Wasn't Arnold Schwarzenegger a future president in Demolition Man? That would explain this.
– Ugh. This happened.

Below the Fold
– George Will gets gloomy.
– Susan Davis and Laura Meckler measure the Nader/Barr effect.
– "John" reviews the Batman saga from a national security perspective. I expect many such reviews.
– W. James Antle III welcomes back the fatalist Republicans.
– James Kirchick hangs with the most evil lobbyists on the planet (by osmosis if nothing else).

The Pollster.com averages are painting the most textured picture of this election, so at the end of these posts I'm going to start updating the latest state-by-state poll predictions. As of today, Barack Obama leads John McCain by 284 to 147 in the electoral college.

I actually think the "media loves Obama!" meme is tiresome, given how much these same people used to pant for McCain, but it sets up this video nicely.

NEXT: This Polygamist Thing of Ours

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  1. He talked to his dad-and you got to hear the conversation!

    Nicely done, Weigel.

  2. Hey! This was a top 40 hit! And top 10 in Britain! Genesis just wrote it to get chicks! (well, ok that part’s not really bad).

    Where’s the obscure Marillion? Where’s the pre-Lemmy Hawkwind? What about Alex Lifeson’s side projects? Politics and Prog has sold out!

  3. McCain just blew off speaking with thousands of reporters at the upcoming Unity national convention for journalists all the while complaining he’s not getting nearly enough news coverage. At last count, it looks to be over 10,000 reporters who were snubbed by Mr. McCain. With all those news reporters losing out on a great opportunity to meet with and write about the man, could it be that mainstream media might be looking for something to report, a story to investigate?

    Feel free to forward the following “news tip” to them. We can kill three birds with one stone – take the media to task for not giving us coverage on the full McCain, bring attention to an issue affecting many veterans, and give
    Senator McCain the level of news coverage he craves.

    The media fills us full with stories of cCain’s war ‘hero’ history, writes numerous articles on his status as a POW, informs us each and every time one vet speaks out for him, reminds us endlessly about the torture, even going into great detail about the types of torture and the number of years the man was tortured, yet it never enters the minds of mainstream media to ever ask the obvious question “Could the man running for the highest office in the United States of America, a job with incredible stress, possibly suffer from PTSD”?

    Google the general web with the words ‘mccain ptsd’ and approximately one half million hits will appear. Many of these are articles by veteran groups, most having to do with McCain’s lack of support for veterans and others having
    to do with the very real possibility he suffers from PTSD.

    Now go to Google news section and enter ‘mccain ptsd’. You might pull up one or two related articles, if you are lucky.

    As you can see, there is no real mainstream media resonsibility on this issue. The press is more than willing to talk about the details of McCain’s torture but not the probable result of the torture.

    “Among U.S. servicemen taken captive during the Korean War, as many as nine out of 10 survivors may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental disorders more than 35 years after their release, psychologist Patricia B. Sutker of the New Orleans Veterans Administration Medical Center and her colleagues report in the January AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY.”

    McCain has a nine out of ten chance of having PTSD, displays many of the symptoms, yet no one in the mainstream press will question him, a candidate for Commander in Chief who has a history of an out of control temper and refuses to release his military medical records to the general press.

    Nine out of ten – Anyone willing to take book on the possibility he does not suffer from ptsd? Call me, I need gas money.

    ‘Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, can result from wartime trauma such as suffering wounds or witnessing others being hurt. Symptoms include irritability or outbursts of anger, sleep difficulties, trouble concentrating, extreme vigilance and an exaggerated startle response.’

    http://www.reuters.com/article/featuredCrisis/idUSN17282413

    http://ptsd.about.com/od/symptomsanddiagnosis/a/PTSDsymptoms.htm

    Before the Iraq war many of us begged the media to fully report on the wmd in Iraq, how it got there, who helped to supply Saddam with it and to report on previous administrations’ dealings with Iraq. We were told it was ancient history. The media ‘apologized’ years later for their failure to fully report the war.

    Today, we ask the media to help us answer the question ‘Is John McCain emotionally fit for the most stressful job in

    our country, the President of the United States, our Commander in Chief.”

    Media has a choice. They can continue to tip toe around the elephant in the room, put a poltician before country, violate the spirit of journalism and ignore ethics that bind them, or they can do their job. They can give us the full McCain.

  4. The Sark comment seems to only be anti-Hillary, not necessarily anti-McCain.

    1. Oddly enough, just as Reason completely ignored BHO’s “force”, they’ve also completely ignored the fact that some Democrats want to give the U.N. their own merc force. I’ll bet if I just mentioned that here instead of providing documentation, Reason’s hacks would reflexively dismiss it as a JBS ConspiracyTheory.

    2. This Obama lie is so obvious and so easy to check that I’m completely, absolutely shocked that Reason hasn’t highlighted it and that the MSM has also completely ignored it.

    3. The sound on this comp doesn’t work, so please confirm that this anti-prog is an effective treatment.

  5. Didn’t you used to have more external links rather than the majority just pointing to stuff on this site?

    No matter, it won’t stop my cocaine monkey-like refresh habits.

    He talked to his dad-and you got to hear the conversation!

    I agree this was even better than the wiretapping quip – which was quite good itself.

  6. This week’s Rush show disappointed me. German, France, Italy, and England all elected pro-American politicians in the past few years. European appeal is no longer equivalent to distain for the US. Rush is running tapes of ineloquent pauses from Obama’s speeches, which reminds me of Libral commentary on Bush.

    I think discussion of media bias toward Obama is valid, but not if it’s coming from McCain’s campaign. As a media consumer, I’m entitled to gripe about less than reliable new reports and tell a company why I don’t like their services. However, when a candidate starts complaining about the content of the news, it makes me wonder if he will extend campaign finance principles to the press. Both McCain’s ads and Obama’s quip about Hanity were too 1984.

  7. MsSwin
    Google the general web with the words ‘mccain ptsd’ and approximately one half million hits will appear

    I note when you Google “Fuzzle Fuzzle” you get 58,000 hits.

  8. I actually think the “media loves Obama!” meme is tiresome, given how much these same people used to pant for McCain,
    ………..
    I happen to be talking to my dad a lot lately, and that “meme;” he’s obsessed by it. He listens to southern talk radio almost 24-7.
    I’m willing to cut him a little slack as he’s pushin’ 95.

    Darwin rules media people too. It’s the survival of the close race. Once it’s down to two, they will make a case for McCain even if his poll numbers were at five percent.

  9. Geez, for a campaign that tries to project the aura of toughness and presidentiality, the McCain folks sure do a lot of whining.

    Waaa! Obama said I’m old!

    Waaa! Clark said crashing a plane doesn’t qualify you for commander in chief!

    Waaa! Bob Barr is stealing my votes!

    Waaa! The media likes Obama more than me!

  10. Google the general web with the words ‘mccain ptsd’ and approximately one half million hits will appear.

    Google the general web with the words ‘mccain big tits’ and you get 495,000 hits. I was never particularly impressed with his rack, but I guess the internet has spoken.

  11. I keep wondering about phil collins twin brother

  12. oh, and the obligatory “Lonewacko please go fuck yourself”

    Seriously man, even if Obama was a HitlerClone,,,
    e.g.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ymfs21xeDc

    … you do nothing here but make him more interesting if for nothing else than your distaste. You’re like the fucking antichrist yourself. The real antichrist is probably far more palatable. Suggestion = reverse psychology! If nothing else, people who you repel so violently might accidentally find themselves part of your ‘movement’ simply because they think it will make you go away sooner or later

  13. It’s all entertainment at this point. Any sentient being who has been paying attention knows all he needs to know about the candidates. We’re long past issues and substance. The election is now a sitcom with a warmed-up audience. Thus the political process in 21st-Century America.
    Commercial break.

  14. I’m not sure what to make of the fuss some people are making over Obama’s press. If the concern is that he is getting so much press I should think the answer is very simple: a black man getting the nomination for one of the two parties for President is HUGE NEWS. The press would be grossly negligent in their duty to not give it a ton of attention. Young black guy nominated for Prez is a much rarer event than old white guy nominated for Prez…

    This factor has some bearing on a second possible fuss, that the press is being easy or favorable to Obama. Many of them don’t want to be seen as pooping on this historical moment. Add to this that the thing that makes this event so newsworthy, namely race, is also potential dynamite in this day and age and so reporters probaby figure the best way to play it safe is to lob softballs and give uncontroversial accounts.

    But the press likes McCain. He’s a war hero and “straight shooter” which is hugely popular, and to the extent that the press leans left they LIKE McCain because he’s been “their kind of Republican” (namely one that breaks ranks at certain times in his career and stands up to his party). And they like a horse race. And a quite vocal though minority faction of the press are practically GOP operatives (Fox news, the Washington Times, the NY Post, etc) who will break their back to interject into the mainstream press memes the RNC wants to see on the radar. So I wouldn’t worry too much if I were a McCainite…

  15. Obama was our last big hope: pulling the troops out of Iraq, negotiations with Iran, first minority president, … what happened? Now he’s cozying up with Sarkosy who is more Bush than … Bush!

    The really disappointing aspect of Obama is that he was supposed to be the peace candidate. But everything that he appeared to stand for- multiculturalism, religious toleration, peace, diplomacy- all are overshadowed by this foolish idea of moving the war to Pakistan.

    Moving the war on terror to Pakistan could have disastrous consequences on both the political stability in the region, and in the broader balance of power. Scholars such as Richard Betts accurately point out that beyond Iran or North Korea, “Pakistan may harbor the greatest potential danger of all.” With the current instability in Pakistan, Betts points to the danger that a pro-Taliban government would pose in a nuclear Pakistan. This is no minor point to be made. While the Shi’a in Iran are highly unlikely to proliferate WMD to their Sunni enemies, the Pakistanis harbor no such enmity toward Sunni terrorist organizations. Should a pro-Taliban or other similar type of government come to power in Pakistan, Al-Qaeda’s chances of gaining access to nuclear weapons would dramatically increase overnight.

    There are, of course, two sides to every argument; and this argument is no exception. On the one hand, some insist that American forces are needed in order to maintain political stability and to prevent such a government from rising to power. On the other hand, there are those who believe that a deliberate attack against Pakistan’s state sovereignty will only further enrage its radical population, and serve to radicalize its moderates. I offer the following in support of this latter argument:

    Pakistan has approximately 160 million people; better than half of the population of the entire Arab world. Pakistan also has some of the deepest underlying ethnic fissures in the region, which could lead to long-term disintegration of the state if exacerbated. Even with an impressive growth in GDP (second only to China in all of Asia), it could be decades before wide-spread poverty is alleviated and a stable middle class is established in Pakistan.

    Furthermore, the absence of a deeply embedded democratic system in Pakistan presents perhaps the greatest danger to stability. In this country, upon which the facade of democracy has been thrust by outside forces and the current regime came to power by coup, the army fulfills the role of “referee within the political boxing ring.” However, this referee demonstrates a “strong personal interest in the outcome of many of the fights and a strong tendency to make up the rules as he goes along.” The Pakistani army “also has a long record of either joining in the fight on one side or the other, or clubbing both boxers to the ground and taking the prize himself” (Lieven, 2006:43).

    Pakistan’s army is also unusually large. Thathiah Ravi (2006:119, 121) observes that the army has “outgrown its watchdog role to become the master of this nation state.” Ravi attributes America’s less than dependable alliance with Pakistan to the nature of its army. “Occasionally, it perceives the Pakistan Army as an inescapable ally and at other times as a threat to regional peace and [a] non-proliferation regime.” According to Ravi, India and Afghanistan blame the conflict in Kashmir and the Durand line on the Pakistan Army, accusing it of “inciting, abetting and encouraging terrorism from its soil.” Ravi also blames the “flagrant violations in nuclear proliferation by Pakistan, both as an originator and as a conduit for China and North Korea” on the Pakistan Army, because of its support for terrorists.

    The point to be made is that the stability of Pakistan depends upon maintaining the delicate balance of power both within the state of Pakistan, and in the broader region. Pakistan is not an island, it has alliances and enemies. Moving American troops into Pakistan will no doubt not only serve to radicalize its population and fuel the popular call for Jihad, it could also spark a proxy war with China that could have long-lasting economic repercussions. Focusing on the more immediate impact American troops would have on the Pakistani population; let’s consider a few past encounters:

    On January 13, 2006, the United States launched a missile strike on the village of Damadola, Pakistan. Rather than kill the targeted Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s deputy leader, the strike instead slaughtered 17 locals. This only served to further weaken the Musharraf government and further destabilize the entire area. In a nuclear state like Pakistan, this was not only unfortunate, it was outright stupid.

    On October 30, 2006, the Pakistani military, under pressure from the US, attacked a madrassah in the Northwest Frontier province in Pakistan. Immediately following the attack, local residents, convinced that the US military was behind the attack, burned American flags and effigies of President Bush, and shouted “Death to America!” Outraged over an attack on school children, the local residents viewed the attack as an assault against Islam.

    On November 7, 2006, a suicide bomber retaliated. Further outrage ensued when President Bush extended his condolences to the families of the victims of the suicide attack, and President Musharraf did the same, adding that terrorism will be eliminated “with an iron hand.” The point to be driven home is that the attack on the madrassah was kept as quiet as possible, while the suicide bombing was publicized as a tragedy, and one more reason to maintain the war on terror.

    Last year trouble escalated when the Pakistani government laid siege to the Red Mosque and more than 100 people were killed. “Even before his soldiers had overrun the Lal Masjid … the retaliations began.” Suicide attacks originating from both Afghan Taliban and Pakistani tribal militants targeted military convoys and a police recruiting center. Guerrilla attacks that demonstrated a shocking degree of organization and speed-not to mention strategic cunning revealed that they were orchestrated by none other than al-Qaeda’s number two man, Ayman Al-Zawahiri; a fact confirmed by Pakistani and Taliban officials. One such attack occurred on July 15, 2007, when a suicide bomber killed 24 Pakistani troops and injured some 30 others in the village of Daznaray (20 miles to the north of Miran Shah, in North Waziristan). Musharraf ordered thousands of troops into the region to attempt to restore order. But radical groups swore to retaliate against the government for its siege of the mosque and its cooperation with the United States.

    A July 2007 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) concludes that “al Qaeda is resurgent in Pakistan- and more centrally organized than it has been at any time since 9/11.” The NIE reports that al-Qaeda now enjoys sanctuary in Bajaur and North Waziristan, from which they operate “a complex command, control, training and recruitment base” with an “intact hierarchy of top leadership and operational lieutenants.”

    In September 2006 Musharraf signed a peace deal with Pashtun tribal elders in North Waziristan. The deal gave pro-Taliban militants full control of security in the area. Al Qaeda provides funding, training and ideological inspiration, while Afghan Taliban and Pakistani Tribal leaders supply the manpower. These forces are so strong that last year Musharraf sent well over 100,000 trained Pakistani soldiers against them, but they were not able to prevail against them.

    The question remains, what does America do when Pakistan no longer has a Musharraf to bridge the gap? While Musharraf claims that President Bush has assured him of Pakistan’s sovereignty, Senator Obama obviously has no intention of honoring such an assurance. As it is, the Pakistanis do just enough to avoid jeopardizing U.S. support. Musharraf, who is caught between Pakistan’s dependence on American aid and loyalty to the Pakistani people, denies being George Bush’s hand-puppet. Musharraf insists that he is “200 percent certain” that the United States will not unilaterally decide to attack terrorists on Pakistani soil. What happens when we begin to do just that?

    In 2002 Musharraf was reported to have told a British official that his “great concern is that one day the United States is going to desert me. They always desert their friends.” Musharraf has more reason now to be skeptical of his American allies than ever.

  16. What would it take to get Reason to put up a Keith Emerson video? No I’m not going away. Genesis? I wouldn’t mind the early stuff but this is emasculated material. But then the Reasonoids are girlie men who want to service illegal immigrants.

    Show some balls. Place some Emerson….

  17. Pakistan has approximately 160 million people; better than half of the population of the entire Arab world.

    At most, Pakistan has 1/2 million Arabs in it. It’s primarily Punjabi and Pashtun.

    I didn’t have the time or energy to waste slogging through your cut-and-paste job, Maszka, but wherever this came from, I suggest you vet your sources for a basic understanding of demographics.

  18. Hmm- I’m going to take the media loving bit as intentional irony. You seem to have chosen a candidate, and I think you could be probably be considered a media organ (the obvious question is: which organ?)

    But, beyond the media loving or not loving anyone, Obama is damned telegenic (I saw some footage on the news of a crowd leaving his big speech and there was a very attractive woman in the shot who looked like she was getting ready to have sex- wet lips, dilated eyes, altered facial tonus, the full monty- I suppose she might have been looking forward to getting home to her boyfriend, but…), and McCain is no longer so. He was a really good looking guy in his youth, and was about as alpha a male as you could ask for as recently as his 2000 campaign, but he is looking crotchety these days, and I have a hard time believing that crotchety is an asset for a presidential candidate.

  19. I was pretty sanguine about an Obama presidency when it became clear he’d be the nominee (the day after Iowa). I am less so now. After watching him for a few months I’m convinced that, no matter how narrow his margin of victory, he will act as if he has a mandate to enact broad “change”, and I suspect that the current congress will be willing to go along with him in this regard. Obama is the most dangerous sort of politician- one who gets shit done.

    I think that Bruce Gold had it right when he pointed out that “Every Change is for the Worse”. On the other hand, the Governor was right to point out that you should never “fuck around with the inevitable”. He was also right to point out that I have your pecker in my pocket.

  20. dpsc,

    GIVE IT BACK.

    AND TELL THE Weibskobold I STILL CONSIDER THAT INFIDELITY.

  21. Pakistan has approximately 160 million people; better than half of the population of the entire Arab world.

    Jeezus, does this guy have a grip on what the fuck arab even means? How do people like this to find time to compose 2000 words of tripe anyway? you’d think they’d be drooling at the wall or something. I dont get how depth of ignorance is so often connected with intensity of motivation. Whatever it is, it’s probably what the bible fellers thought of as “evil” = Dumb With A Vengeance

  22. You know, I think he’s trying to say that Pakistan has as many people as half of the Arab world, not that Pakistan contains half of the Arab world.

  23. AND IT REALLY BOTHERS ME THAT YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS GAVE HER THAT NICKNAME, BUT, AS YOU YOURSELF MUST KNOW BY NOW, SHE IS WORTHWHILE TO FUCK AROUND WITH.

    I MUST WARN YOU, HER UPKEEP IS QUITE EXPENSIVE. PLEASE, TELL HER TO COME HOME.

    ODDLY, I HAVEN’T SEEN MR STEVEN CRANE SINCE SHE’S BEEN GONE.

  24. You’ll get your pecker back when I dance. The Starchild has your woman, and I heard she’s never been that satisfied before.

  25. find time to compose 2000 words of tripe anyway?

    Mmmm, tripe!

  26. WHERE DID I PUT THAT DAMN BOP GUN?

  27. GILMORE: it’s probably what the bible fellers thought of as “evil” = Dumb With A Vengeance

    Yeah, but nitpicking about demographics aside, acting like a bull in a china shop with regard to Pakistan is a bit scary. Obama acts as if he is unaware that Pakistan is the sort of world power that we have to treat gently. One might get the impression that he considers it just another third world country we can push around at will.

    This is, unlike most of the squabbly stuff going around these days, actually an important question… under what circumstances should we be willing to violate the Paki borders? It’s a pretty scary question, and Obama has treated it too lightly in the past.

  28. You should really be saying thanks to the Starchild: I hear that he treated your woman to a flake of his lieb (or possibly a really potent speedball- accounts vary). I am afraid that when she comes back she’ll be nobody’s wieb, but that is just the sort of shit that sometimes happens.

  29. Fuck. Yeah. Genesis.

  30. [BLAM!]

    OOPS! THAT’S MY SHOTGUN, NOT MY BOP GUN.

    I WONDER WHY DR FUNKENSTEIN NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT.

  31. Dr Nose and Dr Funkenstein are simply facets of the same godhead. One is wibble, the other wobble, but THEY BOTH MAKE YOUR ASS THROBBLE.

    That’s what Don Maclean meant when he said “The three men I admire the most”… it was Sir Nose, Dr Funkenstein and the Starchild. And all of the clones. You should have seen it when they all kicked off their shoes. It was a SPECTACLE.

    That’s also where George Lucas got the idea for Star Wars. But Lucas DOES NOT HAVE FUNK. I repeat, he DOES NOT HAVE FUNK. This message from the future Dr Funkenstein is over.

  32. And Dr Funkenstein does not need a shotgun, except when he is funneling grain alcohol, to which he is almost immune, except when he really has too much of it. He already has the BOP gun and the LOVE gun and the ASS gun and if all else fails he can pull out the FUNK gun. Your earthly weapons are like mosquito bites compared to the FUNK gun.

    Actually, the last thing Segovia said was: “I see the FUNK gun. Give me my guitar.” But he died before he was able to play some FUNK.

    This message from the afrofuture is over.

  33. We apologise for the fault in Drs Noses and Funkenstein. Those responsible have been sacked.

  34. Can this thread be saved?

  35. BTW, is Reason going to examine the non-coverage of the John Edwards scandal by the MSM? Slate already has (Schafer, Kaus and others), and it’s an interesting story.

  36. George Will on the FMs bailout/gaurantee –

    Nevertheless, this looks like semi-socialism-keeping profits private, but socializing losses.

    I’m glad somebody other than me sees how dangerous this shit is.

  37. Today’s conservative corporatism of the Republican administration might “work,” meaning it might minimize the duration of, and damage from, the current crisis. It is, however, complicating McCain’s task of depicting Obama as a reckless enlarger of government. McCain is losing recourse to conservatism’s core message about the rationality of governmental minimalism that allows markets to inflict their rigors.

    conservatism’s core message about the rationality of governmental minimalism, eh?
    Will can be pretty funny, sometimes. At least he managed not to confuse “Republican” with “conservative”.

  38. I’ve decided that the reason the polls are so screwy this year is because no one knows what D-R-I ratio to use. In 2004, it was about even between Ds and Rs. In 2006, the Ds had a double-digit lead.

    It’s obviously not 50/50 anymore, but it’s tough to even know if the Ds lead has grown or shrunk since the midterms.

  39. As of today, Barack Obama leads John McCain by 284 to 147 in the electoral college.

    FWIW, “tossup” does indeed describe the present situation here in Colorado. McCain just popped up to a 2 point lead in a recent poll…The prospect of one of these two becoming president makes me wanna toss my cookies as it were.

    The best strategy for folks who dig liberty, and the general prosperity it brings, is to work for Bob Barr, especially in the tossup states. And also, to work for small government Republican for congress. In the presidential race, this will help to give the election to Obama.

    I tend to trust Obama to end the war. The Dems/left could have stopped it a long time ago but they have embraced a strategy that would rather elect Dems them stop this tragic war. Folks like Move On are really guilty on this count.

    The other thing that I trust Obama, along with the Democrat majorities in congress, to do is to markedly escalate the government’s assault against economic liberty and thus the prosperity it brings.

    If McCain loses cuz of votes that went to Barr, it will teach my party the lesson that it can’t have a candidate who is quite ambivalent about individual liberty, at best, and expect to win. The scenario will push the Republicans in the pro-liberty direction. So that when voters turn to them after the Dems further harm prosperity, they will be offered a more pro-liberty alternative.

    Here’s a strong appearance by Bob Barr. It’s the headliner on my new YouTube channel. Any reader of Hit&Run is more than welcome to subscribe to my channel and/or put comments on it.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/RickeyRamone

  40. I’ve come to the conclusion Obama is an atheist. Here’s the proof: If you truly believed in God, would you write Him notes to ask him for the things that you know he already knows you need? Or maybe he does believe in God, but he isn’t very smart (Obama or God, take your pick).

  41. If you truly believed in God, would you write Him notes to ask him for the things that you know he already knows you need?

    “Your kingdom come, your will be done on Earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

    You know what wrote that, right, bigbigslacker? Asking God for things He knows you need is good for your soul.

  42. I’ve come to the conclusion Obama is an atheist.

    I wish it were so and he’s just pandering/lying to the religious. We’ll never know what a politician really believes about religion because the temptation to lie about something that can never be proven is nigh irresistable to power seeking politicians.

  43. J sub D makes agood point. It would be best if outward signs of piety were treated as inappropriate for politicians, for people all across the religious spectrum.

    For the strongly religious, they wouldn’t have to worry about being accused of false piety, and they wouldn’t have to deal with how to be polite to other religious groups during a visit, without compromising their principles.

    For everyone else, they wouldn’t feel pressured (or tempted) to engage in phony displays.

    Yeah. That would be great. And also, a pony.

  44. I’ve come to the conclusion Obama is an atheist.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that if Obama is talking to an atheist, he’ll sound kinda atheistic, but with plenty of plausible deniability so he can wiggle out when he gets quoted. Around Christians, he’ll act kinda Christiany, depending on the mix of non-Christians in the audience. Around secret Muslims, he’ll …

    In other words, he’ll pander and avoid saying anything of substance if possible, and try to be all things to all people.

    Like virtually any proficient politician from the major parties.

  45. You know what wrote that, right, bigbigslacker? Asking God for things He knows you need is good for your soul.

    Fuckin’ barf. Get on your knees to the FSM, ladies and gents.

  46. I first saw this on MTV closet classics 20+ years ago. Its a great example of either all the best or the worst of prog. Possibly both.

    Comments seeing it again just now:
    Bruford looks really young.
    Muir kicks ass on bird whistle.

  47. joe, OK, I’m gonna come clean. The authorship of the prayer is in that ever-growing category of things I can’t even remember if I’ve forgotten.

    I thought it was all a matter of “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”.

    philestinically yours,

    Slacker

  48. joe,

    My only disagreement would be that that is problematic for those people for who outward signs of piety are a natural part of their character. Then again, we are talking about politicians, so never mind.

    On the topic of the note Obama left in the wall, it seems like the kind of thing a devout christian would write if he didnt expect it to ever be seen/published. So, with my cynical view of Obama, I figure it was designed that way assuming it would be stolen and published. 🙂

  49. joe,

    I’ve decided that the reason the polls are so screwy this year is because no one knows what D-R-I ratio to use.

    If the people you poll are chosen truly randomly, you dont need to adjust for D-R-I ratio.

  50. Slacker,

    That quote is from the Lord’s Prayer, aka the Our Father, and is taken from a quotation from Jesus in one of the gospels.

    I thought it was all a matter of “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”.

    When I was back there in seminary school, we had a professor who told us to petition the Lord with prayer.

    Petition the Lord with prayer.

    Petition the Lord with prayer.

    YOU CANNOT PETITION THE LORD WITH PRAYER!!!!

  51. robc,

    My only disagreement would be that that is problematic for those people for who outward signs of piety are a natural part of their character.

    Cussing and wearing “Pull my finger” tee-shirts are a natural part of a lot of people’s character, too. We impose all sorts of rules of decorum on political candidates.

    If the people you poll are chosen truly randomly, you dont need to adjust for D-R-I ratio.

    True, but a couple points. 1. The methods they use don’t guarantee a random sample. 2. They use a limited sample, so they could still be off. 3. It’s a good way of checking to see if your sample is truly random.

  52. joe,

    My comment was aimed at this:

    1. The methods they use don’t guarantee a random sample.

    It was a nice way of me saying CHANGE YOUR FUCKING METHODS.

    I used to work for (and still do some consulting work for) a market research company. I know all about the pain of balancing demographics. We tried hard to get the right balance up front so we didnt have to do adjustments. I understand what the pollsters are going thru, however the tears Im shedding for them have many amphibian (lizard?, my biology is weak) like qualities.

  53. Religious belief on the part of people who hold government power is a two-edge sword. It might be used as a reason to be restrained in the wielding of force. Or it can serve as a pretext for force-such as the idea that the great realtor in the sky intended that certain lands be the province of certain people.

  54. J sub D makes agood point. It would be best if outward signs of piety were treated as inappropriate for politicians, for people all across the religious spectrum.

    For the strongly religious, they wouldn’t have to worry about being accused of false piety, and they wouldn’t have to deal with how to be polite to other religious groups during a visit, without compromising their principles.

    For everyone else, they wouldn’t feel pressured (or tempted) to engage in phony displays.

    Yeah. That would be great. And also, a pony.

    And joe makes one as well. It’ll never goddam happen. The intelligent/skeptical/cynical* observer would would be best served by ignoring all professions of faith by all politicians. There just playing to the rubes. I’m so cynical** that the more religion a butthole politician wears on the sleeve, the less I trust their moral compass. Swaggert, Robertson, Khomeini, et al all talk or talked shitloads about their unshakable faith. ‘Nuff said.

    * I’m three for three there.
    ** Don’t blame me. It’s society that made me that way. 😉

  55. There just playing —> They’re just playing.

    Fuck homonyms!

  56. Stuff White Europeans Like

    Works as a segue for…

    The Clash – “White Riot”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9eLeZS9OeY

  57. J sub D,

    The intelligent/skeptical/cynical* observer would would be best served by ignoring all professions of faith by all politicians.

    I’m not so sure. It would probably be a good idea to draw no conclusions whatsoever from Bill Clinton getting all churchy with a Bible study group in Virginia.

    On the other hand, have you HEARD some of the stuff Rich Santorum or Orrin Hatch come out with? I don’t think we should ignore THAT.

    robc,

    I gotcha. So, why don’t they? Do you think it’s a matter of getting a large enough sample taking too long? I’m sort of a novice polling geek, and I’d be interested in your take on this.

  58. DPSC

    Obama acts as if he is unaware that Pakistan is the sort of world power that we have to treat gently. One might get the impression that he considers it just another third world country we can push around at will.

    This is, unlike most of the squabbly stuff going around these days, actually an important question… under what circumstances should we be willing to violate the Paki borders?

    Um. Where has our so-far-‘gentle’ treatment gotten us at this point?

    We’ve tossed them billions in military and economic aid and remained neutral to any political events in the country. We’ve let them punt on the tribal areas, and let them get away with nukes while we harass the iranians and N Koreans to disarm.

    Meanwhile, we are still facing the same problems from the same people operating with impunity across the border. See the recent times story on the taliban assault on shiite town in the FATA. I say fuck em, lets encroach in there and make the taliban folks fight on their own turf for once.

    also, ‘paki’ is a derogatory slang term in Britain. 🙂 dont forget the ‘istan’. they freak out.

  59. m not so sure. It would probably be a good idea to draw no conclusions whatsoever from Bill Clinton getting all churchy with a Bible study group in Virginia.

    On the other hand, have you HEARD some of the stuff Rich Santorum or Orrin Hatch come out with? I don’t think we should ignore THAT.

    Biiiig surprise here. We have to be concerned with where Republicans’ religious orientations take them, but not Democrats.

    Is there no limit to your hackery?

  60. joe,

    Its not the size of the sample that matters, its how you wiggle it. Err, or something. Its the randomness of your sample that is important. 600 registered voters chosen truly at random would give us a very accurate representation. The problem is, choosing at random is impossible/expensive. Back in 1999, I was involved in a project to start a large online survey. It is still going to this day, makes that company (and indirectly, mine) a lot of money.

    Online surveying has many advantages over other types. For one thing, it is relatively cheap. Turn around is quick too. However, getting a proper sample is hard. Size isnt, they get over 100k people to take the survey every 3 months. Getting the demographics to be “random” is hard, due to self selection. Older people, poor people, these are understandable that they are tough to get online (although old is easier than it was in 1999). The surprising one is 18-25 year old males. You just cant get them to take an online survey.

    I dont know a lot of the science of it. I worked with people who dealt with design issues, but that wasnt my job. I do know how hypersensitive they are to change, so some stuff I see done in polling looks really wrong to me. Im doing some analysis for them now of changing some question order, they have tested on a smaller version of their big online survey. Asking a set of unrelated questions in random order vs in a fixed order makes a big difference in response rates for certain answers and the effects need to be known in more detail before the change can be made.

  61. Lest we forget that Obama is a religion unto himself:

    “I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal”

    The man’s megalomania knows no bounds.

  62. Full discloser: I’m not a believer, but it seems that among some religious folks there ought to be a teaching/line of thought that eschews taxes, or at least taxes that are used for redistribution, consistent with religious proscriptions against theft.

  63. it seems that among some religious folks there ought to be a teaching/line of thought that eschews taxes

    Tangetial to this – last weekend in St Louis I received 3 dollar coins in change from MetroRail. They featured President Adams, President JQ Adams and President Saqajawea (spelling guaranteed to be wrong). Following the precept of “render under Caesar that which is Caesar’s” does that mean I should spend 1/3 of my taxes at Indian casinos instead of sending it to the IRS? Im okay with that, if that is the proper ruling.

  64. Rick Barton,

    A more serious answer, as a believer I am under orders to pay taxes as the law requires. However, as this country is one of/by/for the people, that makes me Caesar, and as Caesar, I agree with your statement. I am also ordered not to steal and, even more importantly, to treat others as I wish to be treated, so I oppose taxation.

  65. On a note related to the polygamy thread, President Sacagawea (I looked up the spelling this time) was a 2nd wife. And the 1st was still around.

  66. 3. The sound on this comp doesn’t work, so please confirm that this anti-prog is an effective treatment.

    The sound works fine on mine, but all that I can confirm is that it’s yet another interchangeable 10,000 Maniacs song.

    I’d suggest, instead, this classic Lush song or the Blake Babies covering the Grass Roots.

  67. LoneWacko listens to 10,000 Maniacs? I didn’t think it was possible for you to be more of a douche, Wackjob, but it seems you are.

    Don’t you know that Natalie Merchant is Guatemalan?

  68. I’ve decided that the reason the polls are so screwy this year is because no one knows what D-R-I ratio to use.

    If the people you poll are chosen truly randomly, you dont need to adjust for D-R-I ratio.

    Random people don’t vote.

    That is to say, it is relatively easy to obtain a random selection of the population. It is mighty difficult to accurately predict who in that sample you polled will eventually show up to the polls.

  69. “Don’t you know that Natalie Merchant is Guatemalan?”

    And she’s personally helping to pave the North American Superhighway**.

    **WITH THE BLOOD OF HARD-WORKING AMERICANS!!!!

  70. “However, as this country is one of/by/for the people, that makes me Caesar, and as Caesar, I agree with your statement.”

    The people is the majority of the people, no? So render up to what the majority says (I’m not saying this to indict that principle, btw, what else would it be?).

    “it seems that among some religious folks there ought to be a teaching/line of thought that eschews taxes, or at least taxes that are used for redistribution, consistent with religious proscriptions against theft.”

    The only religion I’m really familiar with is the Christian one, and there all these verses about giving alms to the poor. Many of them can be found in books that were to be “laws” for the faithful…

    “And she’s personally helping to pave the North American Superhighway**.”

    I’d like to pave some of her Superhighway, IF you know what I mean!

  71. I’d like to pave some of her Superhighway, IF you know what I mean!

    Her Hershey Superhighway? Go for it, dude!

  72. Epi
    Any orifice I could enter on Ms. Merchant I would.

    Life is sweet.

    ‘Nuff Said.

  73. I’m proud of you, MNG.

    Dr. Zorders: Jerri, I have some bad news. You have syphilis.
    Jerri: No!
    Dr. Zorders: Not only that, it appears your syphilis is infested with crabs that are carrying gonorrhea. Don’t you use condoms?
    Jerri: Look, doc, I go all natural. That’s why my prices are so high.
    Dr. Zorders: That’s pretty irresponsible. But, thanks to Penicillin, there’s no need to act responsible. Penicillin is nature’s condom!

  74. robc,

    Nicely reasoned! And I didn’t think about the “treat others as I wish to be treated” part.

    And I really do think that this line of thought should be cultivated by and among believers, especially influential ones…What about you? You sound like an influential guy.

  75. Hey Sparky,

    We have a gal who comments here on occasion named Spanky. I wish she was on this thread with us so I could introduce you guys…

    Sparky Spanky-Spanky Sparky.

    (I seen to remember Letterman bombing doing something like that)

  76. …seem to remember.

  77. Reminds me…

    “Cool Places” by Sparks with Jane Wiedlin of the Go Gos.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZF-ym7tHX8

  78. “‘You know what wrote that, right, bigbigslacker? Asking God for things He knows you need is good for your soul.’

    “Fuckin’ barf. Get on your knees to the [Flying Spaghetti Monster], ladies and gents.”

    That’s what makes *Reason* threads so fun – believing in God and praying to Him is defined as religious extremism, or at least as the equivalent of praying to a giant pasta dish.

  79. Whose name does a libertarian atheist scream during sex? The FSM’s? Ayn Rand’s? Adam Smith’s?

  80. That’s what makes *Reason* threads so fun – believing in God and praying to Him is defined as religious extremism, or at least as the equivalent of praying to a giant pasta dish.

    You act like there’s some kind of difference between believing in a omnipresent pasta dish and an omnipresent being. I can define said being however I wish, thanks so much.

  81. Whose name does a libertarian atheist scream during sex?

    His/her own name of course…I mean, who doesn’t….?

  82. Is this really what White Europeans like? Are we absolutely sure about that?

    JT
    http://www.FireMe.To/udi

  83. MNG,

    The people is the majority of the people, no?

    No is, in fact, the correct answer. Since our system was specifically designed to thwart the idiotic will of the majority, it clearly isnt that. Each individual people is Caesar.

    Parliamentary systems, like Britain, went from rule by King to rule by majority. We avoided both those, well, mostly. We attempted to avoid both those. In many ways, we failed on both accounts.

  84. Rick,

    You sound like an influential guy.

    Im a southern baptist homebrewer. My influence requires special equipment even to detect. And Im posting right now when I should be at church.

  85. The Angry Optimist,

    Biiiig surprise here. We have to be concerned with where Republicans’ religious orientations take them, but not Democrats.

    I thought I made a fairly obvious point, but I’ll dumb it down for you: Bill Clinton is the sort of politician who panders to audiences to get on their good side, including church groups.

    Rick Santorum and Orrin Hatch are devoted theocrats who push that message regardless of who they’re speaking to.

    I hope that clears up what really shouldn’t have been such a confusing point, asshole.

  86. That’s what makes *Reason* threads so fun – believing in God and praying to Him is defined as religious extremism, or at least as the equivalent of praying to a giant pasta dish.

    As a corollary, whenever one draws a distinction between the extremism of a zealot and, well, pretty much any other religious speech, action, or belief, it zips right over the heads of a pretty large body of the commentariat, and since they can’t see any meaningful distinction, they assume anyone describing such a distinction can’t possible see one, either.

  87. “Rick Santorum and Orrin Hatch are devoted theocrats who push that message regardless of who they’re speaking to.”

    When Rick Santorum lost the election I called up all my friends. Told them Rick Santorum just lost the election lets go to the bar & celebrate.

    Most my friends responded “who the hell is Rick Santorum?” I told them he was the biggest asshole in the Senate.

  88. Mad Max,

    It’s not just “extremism vs moderation.”

    Any commentary drawing any distinction between different religious styles draws the same response: you must be pushing some kind of sneaky agenda, because there can’t possibly be a real difference between any two “theists.”

  89. No differences at all among theists, but there are many fine shades of distinction among atheists. There are good atheists, like *Reason* posters, and then there are Communists-who-by-a-curious-coincidence-just happen-to-be-atheists, etc.

  90. joe,

    Your Clinton/Santorum example would have been more clear if you had picked people from the same party (it wouldnt matter which) for your example. You introduced an additional variable into the mix that caused confusion. I got what you were going for, but wasnt 100% sure and thought you deserved the response you got for failing to pick your examples wisely.

  91. robc,

    If I’d posted as “Fred,” nobody would have had the slightest confusion about my point.

    I’ll try to keep what you say in mind, because I want to be clear; but by nature, I tend to be more inclined to simply roll over people who have a prejudice against me than to change what I say to mollify them.

  92. Whose name does a libertarian atheist scream during sex? The FSM’s? Ayn Rand’s? Adam Smith’s?

    Their partners. You know, somebody who’s actually there. And real.

  93. joe,

    Considering your idiotic misread of Matt Welch the other day (and he was much more clear than you on this thread – I had zero doubt about what he meant), you really should consider the “roll over” approach less often.

    If I’d posted as “Fred,” nobody would have had the slightest confusion about my point.

    If you had posted as Fred, I would have assumed that it was a biased democrat for sure. You are right, there wouldnt have been any confusion, but in the opposite direction from what you meant.

  94. I didn’t misread a thing. He wrote “reinflate the bubble,” and I asked if he meant that the bubble was going to reinflate to its earlier size or beyond.

  95. I thought I made a fairly obvious point, but I’ll dumb it down for you: Bill Clinton is the sort of politician who panders to audiences to get on their good side, including church groups.

    Yes, but you act like this isn’t something to worry about. See, panderers in your little world (if they’re Democrats, of course) are nothing to worry about, even if they are condescending assholes (but birds of a feather, right joe?) I’m more inclined to like a decent but mislead believer than some ironically detached panderer like Clinton.

  96. joe,

    You may have put it in the form of a question, but the tone was obvious sarcasm mocking his “prediction”.

    It was obvious he didnt mean “reinflate the bubble” to mean greater or equal to previous size, so either:

    A. You werent sure of his meaning and asked and are such a poor writer that you accidentally wrote it in a sarcastic manner

    B. You misunderstood him by taking the phrase literally

    C. You understood him and chose to mock him based on the literal meaning

    You are too good of a writer for A and I choose not to assign C to you.

    However, all 3 qualify as idiotic.

  97. I’m more inclined to like a decent but mislead believer than some ironically detached panderer like Clinton.

    I gotta disagree. It’s not the hypocrites that burn people at the stake; it’s not the hypocrites that start crusades; and it’s not the hypocrites that make it tough for a nonbeliever to walk down the street or sit in class.

  98. I gotta disagree. It’s not the hypocrites that burn people at the stake; it’s not the hypocrites that start crusades; and it’s not the hypocrites that make it tough for a nonbeliever to walk down the street or sit in class.

    B.S. See Ted Haggard and Larry Craig, for starters.

  99. It’s not the hypocrites that burn people at the stake; it’s not the hypocrites that start crusades; and it’s not the hypocrites that make it tough for a nonbeliever to walk down the street or sit in class.

    Also, let’s remember that Al Gore, who smoked bales of pot in college, was clear in 2000 that he supported Clinton’s policies of prosecuting medical marijuana suppliers, like Peter McWilliams, who died when Clinton’s feds denied him the use of his marijuana.

  100. … if I could get the script of The Dark Knight and send it back ten years to Skywalker Ranch to show how the story of the battle within a man between the dark side and the light side is supposed to be told.

  101. Here is a nice example of how a free people “cling to their guns and religion”.

    Unfortunately both of our major Party POTUS candidates will move to ban such activity next year unless a federal license holder reports the identity of individuals who contribute to the church fund.

  102. B.S. See Ted Haggard and Larry Craig, for starters.

    Ted Haggard and Larry Craig are true believers. They just happen to be self-hating true believers, who are often the most dangerous of all.

  103. Why would Sarko liking Obama make him less pro-American? Lonewacko was right on that one.

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