Oliver Is Confused Again

Oliver states:

It’s possible that he’s lying. But I think the poor dear just believes the stories Cheney & Co. are telling him:

“First of all, most of Europe supported the decision in Iraq. Really what you’re talking about is France, isn’t it? And they didn’t agree with my decision. They did vote for the U.N. Security Council resolution. … We just had a difference of opinion about whether, when you say something, you mean it.”

Flashback to Feb 2003: Polls find Europeans oppose Iraq war.

Unless Oliver is under the misguided impression that UN Security Council votes are now popular referendums in Europe, he has this ass-backwards. Resolution 1441, the last UN Security Council resolution to pass, passed unanimously. After the inspections were once again stalled, the administration proposed the eighteenth resolution, which would have been Resolution #1442. That was subsequently withdrawn because of Russian, German, Chinese, and French opposition, and would not have passed because of the positions of the permanent members.

In short, Bush was right, Oliver is wrong. Of the European nations, France and Germany were opposed (Germany presided over the council), Russia was ambivalent- against but willing to cooperate under certain circumstances, Bulgaira, Spain, and England were in favor.








Good Question

Big Media Matt asks:

Which brings to mind a good question — why not require the entire country to take an introductory economics course? If everyone had to learn a little basic, non-calculus economics it seems to me that that would be a very worthwhile investment.

I agree- it would be great. Except the NEA would probably never allow it.

1.) No one will be able to agree what to teach in the course. Economics is just as politicized as everything else these days. I am sure Matt remembers the Truman quip:

“GIVE me a one-handed economist. All my economists say, ‘on the one hand…on the other.'”

2.) If there is going to be a national requirement for an introductory economics course, there will be the need to test the results of that course. This alone is enough to make the NEA oppose it, let alone the other issues that will arise. In between the wails that ‘We aren’t teaching the children to learn, but we are teaching to the test,’ claims that the test was racist or Euro-centric would arise, etc.

3.) What would you do if people failed the test?

4.) Can basic economic principles be taught to people in schools dominated with students who can not perform fundamental math or read at a 3rd grade level?

I think one of the problems with people like Matt is that he has had too good of an education- the Dalton School, Harvard. I am certain that if he is not already applying, in a few years he will be applying to and will be accepted to a prestigious graduate school to further his studies. And because he is that intelligent and will be that fortunate, he will never truly fathom what goes on in education departments around the country. He will never truly grasp the institutional inertia i public schools, never truly understand the NEA, never understand the built-in obstacles that impede ANY change in schools.

Having said all that, it still is a worthy goal.








National Headlines

The Democrat hijinks in Mass. that we discussed yesterday is starting to slowly get some national attention. Nut graf from today’s story:

There is also the irony that Senator Kennedy, who urged state legislators to approve the special election bill, was himself once an indirect beneficiary of the state’s appointment system. When John F. Kennedy left his Senate seat to become president in 1960, Gov. Foster Furcolo, a Democrat, appointed Benjamin Smith, a former college roommate of the president’s, to fill the seat until Edward M. Kennedy could run in 1962. That prevented anyone else from making a name as a senator to compete with Mr. Kennedy.

Isn’t it touching that whenever you need a sterling display of hypocrisy, a Kennedy steps forward and handles the job for you?

*** Update ***

Good- Jay has picked this up.








Moderate Democrats

mooreandterry.jpg

“I think anyone who sees this movie will come out en masse to make sure John Kerry is elected president this November,” McAuliffe said after the premiere. “Credit to Michael Moore for taking the time to put this together.”Terry McAullife, DNC Chairman, Moderate Democrat

“Michael Moore did this himself, he didn’t do it with the Democratic Party.” – Terry McAuliffe, DNC Chairman, Moderate Democrat

“This movie raises a lot of the issues that Americans are talking about, that George Bush has been asleep at the switch since he’s been President.”Terry MCAuliffe, DNC Chairman, Moderate Democrat

When asked by National Review Online if he believed Moore’s account of the war in Afghanistan, McAuliffe said, ” I believe it after seeing that.” The DNC chairman added that he had not heard of the idea before seeing the movie, but said he would “check it out myself and look at it, but there are a lot of interesting facts that he [Moore] brought out today that none of us knew about.” – Terry McAuliffe, DNC Chairman, Moderate Democrat

Really though- most Democrat are moderates- it is just the extreme nature of Bushitler and Cheney that make them look extreme.








Brace Yourselves

Get ready for the next ‘manufactured scandal’ to bubble up from the barking moonbat left. It has already started in the comments section of this Washington Monthly post. Be warned- Kevin Drum’s comments section is not the same as it was two years ago- now it is a cesspool for DU groupthink.

At any rate, the next manufactured scandal will be that the ‘Bush/Cheney campaign is comparing Democrats to Hitler.’ Where do they get this wild idea- hold on to something, because you are going to laugh out loud.

The Bush Campaign has released a new campaign video titled “The Faces of John Kerry’s Democratic Party: The Coalition of the Wildeyed.” The commercial then splices together the following pieces:

1.) Al Gore at a podium, yelling: “How dare they drag the good name of the United States of America through the mud of Saddam Hussein’s torture prison?”

2.) A small portion of one of the controversial Hitler ads made for the MoveOn.Org contest, in which a picture of Hitler with the words “What were War Crimes in 1945” morphs into President Bush, and the words “Are Foreign Policy in 2003” are shown. That was a clip from the “Lies Fuel Fear” ad which can be found here.

3.) Howard Dean yelling: “I want my country back!”

4.) Michael Moore, at the OScars, stating: “We live in a time, where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons.”

5.) Dick Gephardt stating emphatically: “This President is a Miserable Failure.”

6.) Another small clip from the MoveOn.Org ad contest commercial, with pictures of Hitler speaking and audio a Hitler speech, with these Bush words on the screen: “God told me to strike at Al Qaeda and I struck them.” The picture then changes from Hitler to Bush, with the words “and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did.” All of this is taken directly from the MoveOn contest commercial “Sound Familiar,” which can be found here.

7.) Al Gore yelling: “He betrayed this country! He played on our fears!”

8.) John Kerry at a stump speech: “Today, today, George Bush will lay off your camel, tax your shovel, kick your ass, and tell you there is no Promised Land.”

9.) The commecial fades to black from the picture of Kerry, and these words appear: “This is not a time for pessimism and rage…”

The commercial ends with a picture of Bush, light music, and the following words on screen: “President Bush: It’s time for optimism, steady leadership, and progress. Paid for by Bush/Cheney ’04, Inc.”

And that is the whole commercial. Go watch it.

And that is how the loony left is going to claim that Bush is comparing Kerry and Gore to Hitler. A commercial in which clips of THEIR COMPARISONS of Bush to Hitler are being used to show you how outof control and crazed the Democrats have become will be willfully and intentionally spun to mean the polar opposite of its intent.

Watch this meme spread. I will try to track it from its birth at the Washington Monthly comments section.

*** Update ***

Does Karl Rove read the JunkYardBlog?

*** Update #2 ***

The folks at Democrats.com aim to please:

Remember how the Busheviks screamed about the two Moveon ads from volunteers (out of 1000+) that compared Bush’s dictatorship to Hitler’s? Well, if they hate those ads so much, how come they keep finding ways to promote them? These Moveon ads are featured in Bush’s latest Web ad, sandwiched between clips from Al Gore, Howard Dean, Michael Moore, Dick Gephardt, and John Kerry. What unites these widely-divergent figures? The introduction calls them, “The Faces of John Kerry’s Democratic Party – the Coalition of the Wild-eyed.” Obviously the Busheviks have given up all hope of winning the election, so they are resorting to pure trash.

All eyes on the meme, please








Ouch

Quote of the Day:

The BBC is launching a competitor to Al Jazeera. How will anybody be able to tell them apart?- Jeff Jarvis








Pathetic Nader

I am all in favor of Ralph Nader’s candidacy under the notion that anything that might harm Kerry’s chances at election is good for America. However, this letter from Ralph Nader is the most disgusting display of boot-licking sychophancy I have ever seen:

Hey Dude Where’s My Buddy!!!??? Come Back Home Michael!!!

Ok Michael, you’ve had your realpolitik fling with ex-General Wesley Clark. Your endorsed Presidential candidate in the Democratic Primaries has withdrawn. It is time for you to come home, to join your buddies and resume your only genuine role which is that of defiance and resistance. Compliance and assistance with the Democrats does not accord with your past, your character, your bold writings and, most memorably, your long corrosive assaults on the Party that betrayed the working classes and plunged our country into corporate globalization. Remember, Michael, you’re the flinty man from Flint, Michigan. You’ve never forgotten your roots. The heady Hollywood, Manhattan scene with the celebrities and Academy Awards have never gotten to your head but rather have gotten into your deserving pockets. How we all recall your standing before one billion people in Los Angeles at the televised Academy Awards in 2003 and, breaking the customary cant of the awardees, throwing the gauntlet down to George W. Bush and his “fictitious” war mongering.

It gets worse.








The Naked Lust for Power

Like I said earlier, if you thought election year 2000was fun, you better just strap yourself in for the nonsense we are going to have to endure this year. The Democrats are willing to do or say anything to regain power in Washington. Exhibit A for the day regarding Democratic hijinks was posted below. Here are Exhibits B and C (and remember- this is just FROM TODAY).

Exhibit B:

One of the real problems for the Democrats is that even in the off-chance that Kerry wins the general election in November, he is going to be hard-pressed to pass any real legislative agenda because the House and Senate, barring an utter catastrophe for the GOP, are going to remain in Republican hands. Should Kerry win, in fact, the Democrats would automatically lose a seat in the Senate, because as the law states, the sitting Governor would choose Kerry’s replacement. This has only been the law for a half-century or so.

The problem, though, is that the Massachussetts governor is Mitt Romney, a Republican, and the replacement Senator would be a Republican. This, for a Massachussetts Democrat, is as close to armageddon as it gets. Thus, a fix must be found:

If John Kerry is elected president, his seat in the Senate would be filled by the winner of a special election rather than a successor picked by Republican Gov. Mitt Romney under a bill approved Wednesday by the Massachusetts Senate.

The Senate voted largely along party lines, 32-8, after a sometimes testy debate pitting the badly outnumbered Republicans, who opposed the change, against Democrats. The measure now goes to the Democratic-controlled House.

The bill requires a special election not more than 160 days and not less than 145 days after a vacancy is created in the Senate. Under the bill, a vacancy is created when a letter of resignation is filed, even if the incumbent senator does not actually resign until a later date. The winner of the special election would serve out the remainder of the unexpired term. Kerry’s term ends in 2008.

Although Romney could veto the measure, the Democrats have the votes to overturn it.

Democrats argue that allowing the governor to appoint a successor is less democratic than a special election, even a quick election.

The governor said he supports having a special election, but he wants to give the candidates enough time — up to nine months — to raise money, hold a primary, debates and then stage a general election. In the meantime, Romney said, he should be allowed to appoint a replacement who could then run in the general election.

Romney has called on Kerry to resign his seat, arguing that he has paid little attention to his Senate duties while campaigning for president.

You have to admire the brazenness, if nothing else.

Exhibit C: Nancy Pelosi’s Minority Party Bill of Rights

House Democrats’ anger at heavy-handed Republican tactics reached a new level yesterday, with the chamber’s top Democrat asking the House speaker to embrace a “Bill of Rights” for the minority, regardless which party it is.

In keeping with the general atmosphere of the House these days, aides to Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) said he will not respond to the two-page proposal from Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

For decades, the party in power has used House parliamentary rules to limit the minority party’s ability to amend bills and shape debates. But Democrats — in the minority for 10 years after four decades of control — say Republicans have gone to unreasonable lengths in recent years. GOP leaders dispute this, but congressional scholars and even some rank-and-file Republicans agree in whole or in part.

Pelosi’s document, which she vows to honor if Democrats regain the majority, says: “Too often, incivility and the heavy hand of the majority” have silenced Democrats and choked off “thoughtful debate.” She called on the majority to let the minority offer meaningful amendments and substitutes to important bills; to limit roll-call votes to the normal 15 minutes rather than keeping them open to round up needed votes; and to let all appointees to House-Senate conference committees participate in meetings and decisions.

Translation- “We don’t have the votes, but we still want to run shit.”

*** Bonus Flashback- Nancy Pelosi on ‘Civility’ ***

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi lashed out at President Bush on Thursday, saying his Iraq policies show incompetence and the only conclusion to draw is that “the emperor has no clothes.”

“I believe that the president’s leadership and the actions taken in Iraq demonstrate an incompetence in terms of knowledge, judgment and experience,” the California Democrat told reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference.

More Civility from Pelosi:

“As far as we know, Senator Kerry got three Purple Hearts for risking his life in Vietnam and President Bush got a dental examination in Alabama,” Pelosi said.

I wonder what the Vice-President might say to her?








Mr. Cellophane Speaks Again

I see Mr. Cellophane is at it again, delivering another one of his overblown speeches:

If someone stood up in a crowd,

and raised his voice up way out loud,

and waved his arm and shook his leg,

You’d notice him.

“Dan Rather says that post-9/11 patriotism has stifled journalists from asking government officials “the toughest of the tough questions.” Rather went so far as to compare Administration efforts to intimidate the press to “necklacing” in apartheid South Africa, while acknowledging it as “an obscene comparison.” “The fear is that you will be necklaced here (in the U.S.), you will have a flaming tire of lack of patriotism put around your neck,” Rather explained. It was CBS, remember, that withheld the Abu Ghraib photographs from the American people for two weeks at the request of the Bush Administration.”

If someone in the movie show,

Yelled “Fire in the second row,

This whole place is a powder keg!”

You’d notice him.

“The Administration works closely with a network of “rapid response” digital Brown Shirts who work to pressure reporters and their editors for “undermining support for our troops.” Paul Krugman, the New York Times columnist, was one of the first journalists to regularly expose the President’s consistent distortions of the facts. Krugman writes, “Let’s not overlook the role of intimidation. After 9/11, if you were thinking of saying anything negative of the President…you had to expect right-wing pundits and publications to do all they could to ruin your reputation.”

Cellophane,

Mister Cellophane,

Shoulda been my name.

Mister Cellophane,

‘Cause you can look right through me,

Walk right by me,

And never know I’m there…

“If the congress becomes an enfeebled enabler to the executive, and the courts become known for political calculations in their decisions, then the country suffers. The kinds of unnatural, undemocratic activities in which this administration has engaged, in order to aggrandize power, have included censorship of scientific reports, manipulation of budgetary statistics, silencing dissent, and ignoring intelligence. Although there have been other efforts by other presidents to encroach on the legitimate prerogatives of congress and courts, there has never been this kind of systematic abuse of the truth and institutionalization of dishonesty as a routine part of the policy process.”

Extra credit for the Godwinization of the speech, Mr. Gore.

All together now- really the Democrats are moderate, and Michael Moore doesn’t speak for the Democratic Party.

From National Review Online:

Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe says he believes radical filmmaker Michael Moore’s assertion that the United States went to war in Afghanistan not to avenge the terrorist attacks of September 11 but instead to assure that the Unocal Corporation could build a natural gas pipeline across Afghanistan for the financial benefit of Vice President Dick Cheney and former Enron chief Kenneth Lay.

McAuliffe and a number of other prominent Democrats attended a screening of Moore’s new documentary, Fahrenheit 9/11, at the Uptown Theatre in Washington Wednesday night. McAuliffe called the film “very powerful, much more powerful than I thought it would be.” When asked by National Review Online if he believed Moore’s account of the war in Afghanistan, McAuliffe said, ” I believe it after seeing that.” The DNC chairman added that he had not heard of the idea before seeing the movie, but said he would “check it out myself and look at it, but there are a lot of interesting facts that he [Moore] brought out today that none of us knew about.”








Pardon My French

Although it was rude, and impolite, and the Democrats are going to try to make a big deal out of it, if there was anything Dick Cheney could have done to re-affirm my suppoort for the man, it was to tell Pat Leahy to “Go Fuck Yourself.”

I just wish he had time to throw a couple F-bombs at Ted Kennedy, Jay Rockefeller, Robert Byrd, Frank Lautenberg, and Chuckie Schumer.

*** Update ***

I was wrong- he didn’t tell him to fuck off, he told Leahy to ‘Go fuck yourself.’ Having been known to turn that phrase myself, my admiration only deepens.








Lawyering Up

And you thought the 2000 election was fun. Hold on to your hats, folks:

Two Arizona voters on Wednesday filed the first Democratic challenge to independent Ralph Nader’s bid to get on a state’s November presidential ballot.

The Democrats’ lawsuit alleged that more than 70 percent of the 21,500 petition signatures filed on behalf of Nader are invalid. Nader needs 14,694 valid signatures to get on the Arizona ballot.

Democrats Dorothy Schultz and Betty Elizabeth Hughes alleged that some of the people who circulated petitions for Nader didn’t meet residency requirements and other qualifications.

Three of the petition circulators are prohibited from gathering signatures because they are convicted felons, the lawsuit said.

“If (Nader) is going to be on the ballot, it has to be in a legitimate way,” said Arizona Democratic Chairman Jim Pederson.

The Arizona Democratic Party, which under state law can’t file the challenge in its name, said it supports the lawsuit.

We’ll file this under “Letting Every Vote Count.”








Police Thugs

I have a confession to make. While I am always openly pleasant and polite to police (for reasons of self-preservation), I hold extremely antagonistic opinions about most police. I understand they have tough jobs, but more often than not, my experiences have been that when you introduce police into a benign situation, their attitudes and behaviors are what makes the situation worse.

If you want an example of the thug-like mentality of many police, I suggest you check out this website and watch this shocking video.

And, as Richard Bennett notes, the Supremes have now made it illegal for Hiibel to refuse to provide identification.








The Presumption of Guilt

If you want it is about the NY Times that drives most right-wingers crazy, you don’t have to look much farther than the opening sentence of this op-ed piece:

It was certainly good to finally see documents indicating that President Bush did not order the torture of prisoners.

The paper of record. Jeebus.








Mandatory Minimums

TalkLeft also has this update on attempts to add more ‘mandatory minimums’ to the Federal Code. TChris notes:

Bad laws often seek cover in “feel good” names. So it is with Defending America’s Most Vulnerable: Safe Access to Drug Treatment and Child Protection Act of 2004 (Bill No. HR 4547). Masquerading as a law that champions drug treatment while protecting children, the bill is just another attempt to shift power from judges and the federal sentencing commission to federal prosecutors while implementing even harsher mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes: this time, for the distribution of drugs (including marijuana) to minors.

Mandatory Minimums, Zero Tolerance, and all similar proposals are attempts to taking the justice out of justice. They replace the ability of people closest to the situation to make informed, reasonable decisions, and instead put in place a mechanistic approach to justice, doing far more damage than whatever little good might come from these ham-handed proposals.

Federal laws that make reasonable people do unreasonable things under the misguided ruse of ‘being tough on crime’ makes us all accomplices in a growing police state. As usual, this is being packaged as election-year fodder, and you will see spineless and misguided members of Congress on both sides of the aisle voting for this bad legislation:

This bill is the brainchild of Jim Sensenbrenner, who controls the House Judiciary Committee. Sensenbrenner worked hard for the passage of the Feeney Amendment, and he’s likely to do everything he can to jam this one down the throats of Representatives with the expectation that they won’t want to seem soft on drugs (or unsympathetic to children) in an election year.

Please tell your Congressman: Just Say No to Mandatory Minimums.

Commenter Chris P. writes:

From an e-mail describing the law:

“For example, it would make the sale of any quantity of any controlled substance (including marijuana) by a person older than 21 to a person younger than 18 subject to a 5-year minimum mandatory sentence. The punishment for a second offense of underage marijuana distribution would be mandatory life imprisonment.”

Amazing. You could sell a joint to a high school senior and go to prison for life. Or you could molest a kindergartener and canvas door-to-door for ACT.








CFR Fall-Out

My ire at those who grand-standed about the need for the god-awful McCain-Feingold CFR bill is well documented- it was and is a bad bill, and any restriction on political speech is hideous. I guess the usual suspects are finally getting to reap what they have sown:

Michael Moore may be prevented from advertising his controversial new movie, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” on television or radio after July 30 if the Federal Election Commission (FEC) today accepts the legal advice of its general counsel.

At the same time, a Republican-allied 527 soft-money group is preparing to file a complaint against Moore’s film with the FEC for violating campaign-finance law.

In a draft advisory opinion placed on the FEC’s agenda for today’s meeting, the agency’s general counsel states that political documentary filmmakers may not air television or radio ads referring to federal candidates within 30 days of a primary election or 60 days of a general election.

The opinion is generated under the new McCain-Feingold campaign-finance law, which prohibits corporate-funded ads that identify a federal candidate before a primary or general election.

The proscription is broadly defined. Section 100.29 of the federal election regulations defines restricted corporate-funded ads as those that identify a candidate by his “name, nickname, photograph or drawing” or make it “otherwise apparent through an unambiguous reference.”

IS this the worst piece of legislation ever passed? And must add how furious I still am at Bush for signing this damned bill, cynically expecting the Supremes to strike it down.

(via TalkLeft)