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Monthly Archives: January 2011

Hold off on that Wilsonian democratic spirit that those NeoCons so famously rebooted. Democracy in the Middle East is rarely good news for the U.S. This from the WSJ:

“We want to see free and fair elections, and we expect that that will be one of the outcomes of what is going on in Egypt right now,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

Still, the emergence of even a moderate new Cairo government, one that could include Nobel laureate Mohamed ElBaradei, could significantly alter Egyptian foreign policy away from Mr. Mubarak’s staunchly pro-American line.

Mr. ElBaradei regularly challenged U.S. foreign policy as the head of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency. A new government is likely to include at least some representation of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist organization committed to ending Egypt’s peace agreement with Israel, said Egyptian analysts.

In a worst case, some U.S. strategists fear any overthrow of Mr. Mubarak could produce parallels to the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, when the ouster of the U.S.-backed shah set off ripples that have bedeviled Washington’s policies in the Middle East for three decades.

What do the five points in Obama’s SOTU speech have to do with the Five Pillars of Islam. Absolutely nothing. So why does Glenn Beck leap to this odd association? Because he thinks Obama is a Islamic Socialist Nazi? Oh, no. Because he thinks that Obama is baiting him. Right, he thinks Obama is “poking” at conservatives. To make his point, he puts down his bunny and picks up a chainsaw. Now, do you see it? Yeeeah, me neither.

Keith Olbermann is history, archives, out of here. Palace intrigue? Daily Beast thinks it may mark an end of an era of over-the-top political hyperbole and silliness:

Keith Olbermann’s abrupt signoff last night just might signify a break in the hyperpartisan media fever that has afflicted America for the past few years.

Because beneath the rumors of palace intrigue and difficult behavior stands a stark fact: Keith Olbermann’s ratings were down over the past 12 months, especially among the coveted, non-shut-in, 25-to-54 demographic. He’s not the only one—Glenn Beck’s ratings have eroded, along with his advertisers. Sarah Palin’s approval ratings have also similarly plummeted during her foray into the murky world where politics meets reality TV.

Two questions. Does Congressman Joe Wilson have tourrets? And does he understand how our legislative system works?

It’s not 666, but hey, what do you want? End times co-prophet William Tapley explains the Tucson shooting. And I thought Jared Loughner was nuts!

Want to be famous? You don’t need talent. You don’t need a degree. You don’t even need connections. All you need is a gun. Now Jared Lee Loughner has a Wikipedia page of his very own. Sweet!

I love all of the right’s whining about Obama’s betrayal of American exceptionalism and all of the left’s lauding of the new book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom which makes Western parenting look exceptionally bad. Never has such hubris met such self-loathing. This from the WSJ:

Chinese parents can order their kids to get straight As. Western parents can only ask their kids to try their best. Chinese parents can say, “You’re lazy. All your classmates are getting ahead of you.” By contrast, Western parents have to struggle with their own conflicted feelings about achievement, and try to persuade themselves that they’re not disappointed about how their kids turned out.

 

How does a homosexual interpret the tragedy in Tucson? Interestingly. I found this posted on Andrew Sullivan’s blog:

“Does anyone else see the irony in this tragedy? In Arizona, the state that has been the de facto “face” of recent political gay bashing (DADT-McCain) and racism (their highly controversial immigration law), a white straight man shoots a female Jewish member of congress who then has her life saved by a gay Hispanic American. It’s poetic,” – “John” on Towleroad.

Not sure why people would make comparisons between Palin’s and Obama’s Wednesday speeches. They are very different in purpose, agenda, and––how do I put this––moral aptitude. But the New York Times chose to compare the two:

But what could not have been more different was the tone. Where Ms. Palin was direct and forceful, Mr. Obama was soft and restrained. Where Ms. Palin was accusatory, Mr. Obama appeared to go out of his way to avoid pointing fingers or assigning blame. Where she stressed the importance of fighting for our different beliefs, he emphasized our need for unity, referring to the “American family — 300 million strong.”

For the president, it was at least the fourth time he has presided as the country’s mourner-in-chief. He delivered the eulogies at Senator Edward Kennedy’s funeral and at the memorial for miners who died in West Virginia. And he spoke to the nation after the shootings at an Army base Texas.

But this time, he appeared more affected by the trauma of the deaths. And none more so than when he was talking about the death of Christina Green, a 9-year-old girl not much older than Mr. Obama’s youngest daughter.

“I want us to live up to her expectations,” he said, his voice rising. “I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it. I want America to be as good as she imagined it. All of us — we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expectations.”

Eyes glistening, the president was forced to take a long pause to compose himself.

He talked about the “process of aligning our actions with our values” and that what really matters in life “is how well we have loved and what small part we have played in making the lives of others better.”

Mr. Obama’s advisers had suggested earlier in the day that the president might avoid all mention of the swirling controversy — made even more intense by Ms. Palin’s video — over the nation’s heated rhetoric.

But he did not, in the end, duck the issue.

Instead, Mr. Obama echoed the calls for greater civility and fresh reflection about the nature of public discourse. But he did so while urging all sides to abandon what he called “the usual plane of politics and point scoring and pettiness that drifts away in the next news cycle.”

He is likely to be disappointed. Even as he spoke, Twitter messages and emails flew across the internet, with one side assailing the other. And Ms. Palin will likely find little hope in the barrage of criticism that greeted her video.

Unless — or until — Ms. Palin runs for president and wins the Republican nomination, there are not likely to be many single days in which the two very different politicians are on display in such dramatic ways.

 

No good deed goes unpunished. When people tried to connect the dots of the Tucson shooting back to over-the-top level of political vitriol, the conservatives yelled foul. When the President takes the high road, conservatives shout “Rockstar/Messiah!” When the Attorney General Holder speaks of separation of church and state, he  called an “infidel.” When he reads Scripture about the resurrected Christ he is called, a “pretender.” Really? Is there no pleasing you folks?  Some of the responses from right wing bloggers:

It’s a freaking campaign pep rally! What a crock! The who’s who of idiots! Nothing somber about this, just a bunch more redirect. God help us, this country is falling apart. Janet & Holder pretending to be Christians. Here comes the great POTUS, let’s see what this moron has to say. Oh the crowd loves him! This is sick. Here it comes….Wait for it. The libs can’t contan themselves in his presence. The pep rally continues. What a joke. Political theater. He going Christian again….Lier! Hurray! Hurray! God has come to speak to us. Plug that university! Ah BS as everything with Obummer!

Those Bible verses seemed more like a political plan than a message of solace.

Good thing there wasnt a cross on stage. Obama and the democrats would have covered it again, like he did when he was first elected. Remember?

If J-Nap and Holder had read those bible verses in a church there would have been a conflagration. They did deliver them well for having only read them once in their lives.

Is it just me or could the Baptist Church benefit from an episcopacy?

Psychos with guns kill people. And we make it easy. This from NPR:

On November 30, Jared Lee Loughner went to a Sportman’s Warehouse in Tuscon, Ariz., and purchased a Glock 19 semiautomatic weapon, after passing an instant background check.

He allegedly used that weapon in the January 8 shooting rampage that killed at least six people and wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and 13 others in Tuscon.

Arizona’s gun laws, among the most lenient in the country, allowed Loughner to conceal and carry his firearm without a permit, explains Washington Post reporter James Grimaldi. Grimaldi, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, wrote a piece on Sunday about Arizona’s gun laws.

“Essentially, there is very little obstacle to purchasing a weapon in the state of Arizona,” Grimaldi tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross. “There are laws that require you, federally, to be at least 21 years old to purchase a handgun. But basically state law permits anyone 21 and older to own a firearm and also, to carry it concealed in the state. That’s different than many other states, many of which have stricter gun laws.”

In January 2010, Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill which repealed an Arizona state law that required gun owners to have permits to carry concealed weapons.

Sarah Palin is an inspiration. She has inspired Tea Partiers to not retreat but reload. Since then they have shot up Arizona Congress woman Gabrielle Gifford’s office in the Spring. Now they have shot the congress woman.

The Democratic congresswoman from Arizona was shot in the head at a public event at a grocery store, according to her spokesman and news reports. Several other people were injured. Their conditions remain unclear.

She was out of her league as a governor, a VP candidate  and now as a outdoorswoman. From USAToday:

The caribou hunt episode provides a centerpiece of the series’ excesses, as well as Palin’s ineptitude. According to script, it’s Palin’s turn to replenish the family’s dwindling freezer with wild meat — from an Alaska point of view, all good. But the logistics of the trip defy common sense. Instead of hunting within reasonable distance of home, her party flies 600-plus miles to a remote camp in multiple chartered aircraft. This isn’t subsistence but the sort of experiential safari popular among high-end, non-resident sport hunters. For all that, Palin ends up with a skinny juvenile cow caribou. Boned out, we’re talking maybe 100 pounds of meat, at a staggering cost per pound.

Faced with that hapless animal, this darling of Second Amendment supporters nervously asks her dad whether the small-caliber rifle kicks. Then, even more astoundingly, her father repeatedly works the bolt and loads for her as she misses shot after shot before scoring a kill on the seventh round — enough bullets for a decent hunter to take down at least five animals. (Given Palin’s infamous tweet “Don’t retreat, reload,” we can infer she plans to keep her dad close by.) Later, Palin blames the scope, but any marksman would recognize the flinching, the unsteady aim and poor shot selection — and the glaring ethical fault of both shooter and gun owner if the rifle wasn’t properly sighted. Instead of some frontier passion play, we’re rendered a dark comedy of errors.