Monthly Archives: May 2012

BREAKING NEWS: The GOP is bothered by … BIAS?

She’s fainted! Thank goodness we have a couch designed for it!

Another day, another case of the vapors.

Jim Vandehei and Mike Allen/Politico:
To GOP, blatant bias in vetting  —  On the front page of its Sunday edition, the New York Times gave a big spread to Ann Romney spending lots of time and tons of money on an exotic genre of horse-riding.  The clear implication: The Romneys are silly rich, move in rarefied and exotic circles, and are perhaps a tad shady.

Only days earlier, news surfaced that author David Maraniss had unearthed new details about Barack Obama’s prolific, college-age dope-smoking for his new book, “Barack Obama: The Story” — and the Times made it a brief on A15….

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Snake Oil and Snake Bit


This post is doubly topical, since the “Mitt the Mormon” meme has inevitably entered the public arena, and this was written long before Romney became the GOP nominee (moving, last night, from “presumptive” to “presumptuous”). Thus, no “anti-Mormon” bias can be read into it, since there’s nothing about Mitt’s religion in this. But, more importantly:

Julia Duin • Washington Post • 29 May, 2012
Serpent-handling pastor profiled earlier in Washington Post dies from rattlesnake bite

Mack Wolford, a flamboyant Pentecostal pastor from West Virginia whose serpent-handling talents were profiled last November in The Washington Post Magazine , hoped the outdoor service he had planned for Sunday at an isolated state park would be a “homecoming like the old days,” full of folks speaking in tongues, handling snakes and having a “great time.” But it was not the sort of homecoming he foresaw.

Instead, Wolford, who turned 44 the previous day, was bitten by a rattlesnake he owned for years. He died late Sunday.

Mark Randall “Mack” Wolford was known all over Appalachia as a daring man of conviction. He believed that the Bible mandates that Christians handle serpents to test their faith in God — and that, if they are bitten, they trust in God alone to heal them.

He and other adherents cited Mark 16:17-18 as the reason for their practice …

Hoo boy.

The problem here is that not ALL questioning of religious precepts is out of bounds. When it gets practitioners killed and unleashes venomous serpents on the public, we DO have not merely a right, but an obligation to examine the Operating Systems by which those would would serve in public office operate.


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Happy Birthday, Mr. President

Today, John F. Kennedy would have been 95 years old.

Speaking at the University of Wyoming fieldhouse

I heard him speak at the University of Wyoming when I was in second grade. Here is that speech, from 1963. He was assassinated fifty-eight days later in Dallas, Texas. I had met Senator Gale McGee on a few occasions, by that time. Here is what I heard: Continue reading


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Honoring the Fallen

Graves branded with Rove’s war marketing terms

Here’s how Gallup (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Time-Warner) decided to honor the nation’s war dead:

Frank Newport/GallupVeterans Give Romney Big Lead Over Obama  —  Veterans responsible for Romney’s advantage among men overall  —  PRINCETON, NJ — U.S. veterans, about 13% of the adult population and consisting mostly of older men, support Mitt Romney over Barack Obama for president by 58% to 34% …

Seriously: THIS had to be planned in advance, so that polling would be “relevant,” and, of course, meaningless May polls (as any political analyst worth their salt) manage to produce an entire cycle of meaningless “news” and bloviation. Continue reading


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Pictures (but not of Lily)

The title refers to a “Who” song written by Pete Townshend.  It has no bearing on this post hereinafter.

April was the cruellest month, at least in terms of artistic output. Issues resolved, muse back from vacation, here’s the new stuff. (Click pix for full size) Continue reading


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The Ghouls of May

Today, something unprecedented is happening. The Righties have banded together to destroy ONE person (a blogger claims he feels “threatened”). The entire front page of Memeorandum is dominated by this coordinated attack and smear. That OUGHT to scare hell out of everybody else, but I see virtually no commentary whatsoever. This is a dangerous precedent, the bloggy equivalent of Kristallnacht, perhaps. Beware.

Here is Patterico, taking a day off from the ongoing coordinated smear and personal destruction of Elizabeth Warren:


In the last radio interview Andrew Breitbart ever gave, on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, Breitbart talked about a new ruthless tactic used by thugs against political opponents:

[O]ne of the things they’ve done to people who have worked with me in the past, including an L.A. prosecutor, is to “SWAT.” That means that they’re spoofing phones, pretending to be somebody else’s phone, calling 911, and saying “I killed somebody” and then the person’s home is met with the guns drawn, the SWAT and the helicopters, in a horrifying act. It’s happened twice: once in New Jersey, once in Los Angeles, with an L.A. County . . . prosecutor who [is] associated with me.”

I am that L.A. County prosecutor. And in this post, you’ll hear the hoax call that sent police to my house, pointing loaded guns at me.


Ah, a coordinated act of personal destruction and blog terrorism claiming the selfsame projected qualities. “I know you are, but what am I?” as the noted pundit P.W. Herman is oft heard to say. And it’s always nice to see the ghoulish hand of Breitbart from beyond the grave … Continue reading


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The Little Blogger Who Cried “Terrorist!” and other Modern Fables

Leo the Thirteenth, the “Cocaine Pope”

I wish to ghod that this WAS a fable. But it’s not:

I know what it’s like to find out that you’ve been targeted for violence — realviolence, as in being targeted for death by an extremist who has picked out his target based on nothing more than writing about politics.  My situation got resolved, fortunately, but my life has not been quite the same since.  I had the good fortune of having friends who quietly made sure that my family had the security we needed for me to continue my work in American politics.

Looks like that time has come around for some of our friends in the blogosphere. Aaron Walker, Patterico, Liberty Chick, and Stacy McCain have written extensively about a man named Brett Kimberlin and connections to violent political action.

And then this triumphal cry from the terrified blogger (who has removed his family from Cape Fear for their safety):

Robert Stacy McCain / The Other McCain: ‘He Has No F-king Soul’  —  Today there is a massive Memeorandum aggregation about convicted terrorist Brett Kimberlin, including one on an article by my filmmaker buddy Ladd Ehlinger Jr.:  —  What Did Barbara Streisand Know …  And When Did She Know It?


For the past six daze, the Rightie Snarkophere has kicked into massive overdrive. I have never witnessed anything like it in American politics, or, perhaps, in American  history, save once. If an infinite number of angry crazy monkeys at an infinite number of keyboards typed for an infinite number of Saturdays, they could not have come up with a six-day tsunami like this. Continue reading


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A Winning Strategy

This has been bothering me for awhile. You see, the Billionaire’s Club has given Karl Rove a lot of money to run a national campaign. Example is Massachusetts where his Crossroads had been running attack ads against Elizabeth Warren, both candidates got together and asked outside groups to butt out of Massachusetts, and now this typically Rovian media attack on her heritage and parentage as an utter distraction from the issues facing the taxpayers of Massachusetts.

Whether you believe in my ontogeny, the phylogeny is the same: This will be a national race, run from central command and control, using stealth cash. All well and good to debate how wrong this is, and to wonder how the Obama campaign can fare against the hidden Sith Lords of the GOP.

But what about poor Congresswoman Jane Doe, Anytown U.S.A.?

How does SHE compete against the Rovian Hand and near-infinite supplies of cash?

Here is a strategy that will work, and allows Democrats to run a national campaign, while letting local candidates focus on local issues. Continue reading


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Steyn, Steyn, Naught Can Sop Your Whine

Marky Steyn, He of the Fuzzy Wuzzy, hath seen the failed Birther launch of Breitbart, and attempts to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat like any good alcoholic forestalling an intervention.

deranged Yogi Bear clone Mark Steyn

Our Story, so far … Continue reading

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Russian TV on the Radio

I talked to about media and amygdala conditioning (“Don’t Think of an Elephant“). I have not used the term “propaganda,” but since it’s out there: “propaganda.”

Congressmen Seek To Lift Propaganda Ban
Propaganda that was supposed to target foreigners could now be aimed at Americans, reversing a longstanding policy. “Disconcerting and dangerous,” says Shank.
Michael Hastings
BuzzFeed Staff

Posted May 18, 2012 4:27pm EDT

An amendment that would legalize the use of propaganda on American audiences is being inserted into the latest defense authorization bill, BuzzFeed has learned.

The amendment would “strike the current ban on domestic dissemination” of propaganda material produced by the State Department and the Pentagon, according to the summary of the law at the House Rules Committee’s official website.

The tweak to the bill would essentially neutralize two previous acts—the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 and Foreign Relations Authorization Act in 1987—that had been passed to protect U.S. audiences from our own government’s misinformation campaigns.

The bi-partisan amendment is sponsored by Rep. Mac Thornberry from Texas and Rep. Adam Smith from Washington State….

Oh, how darling. How perfectly retro!

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Don’t Think of an Elephant

The media followed the avowedly non-story stories yesterday and today, strung together by their gills as surely as any bunch of rainbow trout. And, dutifully, they bunked and debunked the same old tired stories. Consider what’s come up in the past week, and then consider Albert Einstein’s old definition of insanity: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

So: Are the Republicans crazy? Perhaps. But then again, perhaps not at all. Madness, Day Two:

TPMMuckraker  —  Arizona Goes Birther: Secretary Of State Says It’s ‘Possible’ Obama Won’t Be On Ballot  —  The man in charge of running Arizona’s elections has gone to the birthers.  Secretary of State Ken Bennett now says he’s not convinced Barack Obama was really born in the United States …

They resurrected the old “Obama is a CELEBRITY!” meme last week (Ronald Reagan was a Movie Star, but I guess that’s different). They resurrected the “Birther” controversy yesterday. And the Reverend Wright controversy, but in a particularly telling manner. Continue reading

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What’s on the ol’ Etch-a-Sketch today?

Let’s see.

Well. That’s certainly comforting.

I guess he doesn’t like women unless they’re bred?


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USDA Prime Time

Today, the next-to-next-to last progressive Republican president, a fellow with big ears, signed the documents creating the Department of Agriculture:

On May 15, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln established the independent Department of Agriculture to be headed by a Commissioner without Cabinet status. Lincoln called it the “people’s department.” In the 1880s, varied advocacy groups were lobbying for Cabinet representation. Business interests sought a Department of Commerce and Industry, and farmers tried to raise the Department of Agriculture to Cabinet rank. In 1887, the House of Representatives and Senate passed bills giving Cabinet status to the Department of Agriculture and Labor, but the bill was killed in conference committee after farm interests objected to the addition of labor. Finally, on February 9, 1889, President Grover Cleveland signed a bill into law elevating the Department of Agriculture to Cabinet level. [Wikipedia]

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Now It’s Official: The War Criminals Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld et al

We’re going to have to jam here. So much new information, so little time.

G. Dubya Bush assuring residents of The Big Easy that
nothing bad actually happened in Katrina, and even
if it did, everything would be hunky dory. The square
was lit by emergency generators : virtually the only
electricity IN New Orleans 
that night…

I wrote this to the Eugene Register-Guard in 2003: Continue reading


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