David Kirkpatrick

October 11, 2010

Congrats to Sully

Filed under: et.al., Media, Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:33 am

Many thanks and congratulations to Andrew Sullivan for reaching ten years blogging at his Daily Dish. It’s simply one of the best, and most honest, political (and, of course, more) blogs out there. He wears his heart on his sleeve most of the time and every once in a while can make a fairly harsh snap judgement on any number of topics, but one thing Sullivan has always done is remain intellectually curious and open. As he himself has put it more than once, you can watch him change his mindset on topics in real-time over weeks and months of blog posts. The Daily Dish has long been a daily read for me, and I doubt that changes anytime soon.

September 2, 2010

On Sarah Palin …

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:48 pm

“This is a person for whom there is no topic too small to lie about. She lies about everything.”

— Michael Joseph Gross, author of a recent Vanity Fair piece on the ex governor of Alaska

And this quote comes from someone who admits to heading into writing the Vanity Fair article, ” … with a prejudice in her favor.” So for Palin, with friends like these, who needs — well, you know the rest.

(Hat tip: the Daily Dish)

June 30, 2010

Sully’s “Quote For The Day II” post today

Filed under: et.al., Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:16 pm

At the Daily Dish Andrew Sullivan posts a quote for the day, and often many quotes for the day.

I sincerely hope this one is either a joke or satire from the linked source. If not, the United States might really be going down the tubes after all.

From the link:

“When my son Hunter asked me why it was okay for Bristol Palin to have a baby before she was married, I told him that God has special rules for special people.  God knew that Bristol could become very rich from having a baby, so He granted her a pregnancy.  Since she is the daughter of Sarah Palin, and the name Bristol Palin can be rearranged to spell “Orbit Plans” she is pretty much an angel, at least by the official bible definition.  And that pretty much makes her son like a Jesus, technically speaking.  This is just more proof that the blessed Palin family has wonderful and holy plans for true Americans.  After explaining this to my son, he told me that he wanted to be sex-educated at a public school so that he could have a Jesus baby too.  I smacked him in the mouth and told him that sex education is only for liberals and atheists. As good Christians, we should be ashamed of sexuality and our bodies, unless you are chosen by God, like Bristol Palin,” – tinfoiler.

April 6, 2010

Tuesday video fun — forbidden film

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:04 pm

Here’s a little context:

Neatorama explains:

In the 1920s and 1930s, censorship of movies was often governed by local boards, and achieved by snipping the scenes from the film reels.  It won’t surprise anyone that those clipped film segments were sometimes saved.  Here a number of them have been assembled into a montage, which was submitted to the 2007 72 Hour Film Festival in Frederick, Maryland.

What I find most interesting about this montage is — as in any censorship — how much what was deemed too racy for the general public reveals about the censor making those decisions.

(Hat tip: the Daily Dish)

February 5, 2010

The recording industry, RIAA and intellectual property

Filed under: Arts, Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:05 pm

In a Daily Dish post titled, “Copyright and Incentives, Ctd.,” which covers a much more broad concept behind copyright, intellectual property, patents and trademark issues, a Dish reader provided a very succinct view of how and why the RIAA and music industry have gone completely wrong in battling their customer base over digital recordings:

The record companies’ problem is that technology — the internet on the distribution side and the laptop and other personal recording technologies on the creation side — has made the record company’s traditional role as financer and distributor of works increasingly irrelevant.  They are using the intellectual property laws to protect a distribution model that is largely outdated.

I’d say you could even argue the RIAA is abusing intellectual property laws and slowly killing itself and the entire existing recording industry in the process.

January 27, 2010

Obama’s State of the Union Address

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:13 pm

Didn’t catch the SOTU (late bit of work), but sounds like a solid, and sober, speech.

Sully and his underbloggers at the Daily Dish put together — as always — a great roundup of opinion from around the blogosphere.

Here’s one from the left:

538:

Obama is making a lot of arguments tonight that the WH should have been making for months now.

One from the neutral sidelines:

Ambinder:

Most remarkable: Secretary of Defense Bob Gates applauded Obama’s words [on DADT]. And Americans saw him applauding, thanks to the director’s cut-aways. Which means that, for the most part, the military is on notice: the policy is ending, and ending very soon. Said Obama: “This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are. Because it’s the right thing to do.” One note: the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the chiefs didn’t applauded. But that’s the protocol. They don’t applaud by tradition.

And one from the right:

Mark Levin:

I have watched many, many State of the Union speeches.  This is the most partisan, least presidential of them all.  His rhetoric, his glances at the GOP side, and his almost mocking tone at times — not to mention his over-the-top dissembling about the deficit, among other things — will not, I predict, improve his position with the public.  Nor should it.

Update 1/28/10 — Here’s a link to the full text of the speech.

November 14, 2009

This “overview” of Palin’s book …

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:09 pm

… really reads like someone — namely Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg — was working hard to meet a word count.

From the link:

In “Going Rogue: An American Life,” Sarah Palin has written six chapters that detail her life’s experiences, from her earliest days in Alaska to last year’s GOP presidential campaign to her eventual decision to resign as the state’s governor.

Palin dedicates the 413-page memoir, which The Wall Street Journal purchased from a bookstore on Friday, to “all Patriots who share my love of the United States of America. And particularly to our women and men in uniform, past and present–God bless the fight for freedom.”

In other news from the crazy world of Sarah Palin, she apparently wanted to sue Andrew Sullivan for libel for his Daily Dish blogging. Too bad she didn’t follow through. As Sullivan blogged yesterday, discovery alone would have been worth the price of that ticket.

November 8, 2009

Sully on K-Lo

Kathryn-Jean Lopez is an editor-at-large for the National Review Online and is no rocket scientist. Sadly, the National Review, a once bastion of intellectual thought on the right, is now pretty much lockstep with what passes for political philosophy on the American right — that is, it doesn’t exist. Plenty of me-tooism and anger at paper tigers, but not so much on the fronts that make any difference.

Andrew Sullivan, blogger of the Daily Dish, and an actual philosophical conservative, totally nails Lopez here:

… this is National Review, a place where intellectual Catholicism once had a home, where Buckley and Muggeridge wrote, where Wills got his start … and now we’re left with a person with the intellectual heft of a college sophomore …

 

September 3, 2009

The health care debate is officially out of hand

Filed under: Politics, Science — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:02 pm

Everyone needs to take this “discussion” down several notches. At least one grumpy old person now really has something to yell about.

From the first link:

California authorities say a clash between opponents and supporters of health care reform ended with one man biting off another man’s finger.

Ventura County Sheriff‘s Capt. Frank O’Hanlon says about 100 people demonstrating in favor of health care reforms rallied Wednesday night on a street corner. One protester walked across the street to confront about 25 counter-demonstrators.

O’Hanlon says the man got into an argument and fist fight, during which he bit off the left pinky of a 65-year-old man who opposed health care reform.

A hospital spokeswoman says the man lost half the finger, but doctors reattached it and he was sent home the same night.

(Hat tip: the Daily Dish)

August 29, 2009

The Bill of Rights, guns and political events

I’m a huge fan of our founding fathers and the greatest gift they handed down to all United States citizens — the Bill of Rights. Coming from autocracy they laid down in explicit detail the best way to counter such, and totally nailed the order of business. The first amendment protects speech (opinion, etc.) and the second the right to bear arms.

I’m a huge fan of both of those amendments, and in that order. I think open carry (or concealed for that matter) shouldn’t be an issue, but I understand someone having an problem with open carry at political events that become somewhat heated. Particularly open carry at events involving secret service agents who put their lives on the line every day. And especially after the previous occupant of the White House had people arrested for wearing t-shirts, much less packing heat.

All in all, I’d say this Daily Dish reader puts it best:

It is an implicit threat that, if health care comes to this country, him and his friends may have to get violent.  Or put another way, he’s hoping that by exercising his second amendment rights, he can scare people out of using their first amendment rights.  Even if this is legal, can’t we all agree that this is somewhat dickish?

July 17, 2009

Does Iran have a new great Satan?

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:31 pm

Amonst the green wave it looks like that might just be the case.

Taken from an eyewitness report sent to NIAC and posted at the Daily Dish:

… the speaker after Rafi was urging people to shout “death to America” and “death to Israel” people responded in mass by shouting “death to Russia” and “death to the dictator” …

July 13, 2009

Unintentional (?) humor

Filed under: et.al., Media, Science — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:18 pm

From the Daily Dish today:

A reader writes:

I donated a kidney to a fellow animal activist (stranger) in November, and it was absolutely one of the best things I ever did, and I would do it again in a flash.

Er, wouldn’t losing that second kidney end in fairly sudden death?

June 20, 2009

Live green wave coverage from the Daily Dish

Andrew Sullivan is doing an exhaustive (and exhausting even for me just to attempt to keep up with it all) job of live blogging the green wave in Iran and now today’s crackdown from the despotic ruling regime.

He’s continually adding tweets from inside Iran, embedding video and providing fresh images of the protests and state-issued violence against a democracy seeking population.

Hit the Daily Dish link in my blogroll for his latest posts, and this link goes to “Live-Blogging Day 8.”

From the link:

2.58 pm. good source: Hospital close to the scene in Tehran: 30-40 dead thus far as of 11pm and 200 injured. Police taking names of incoming injured.

Voice from Iran: Shame on a country in which foreign embassies are safer than hospitals 😦

Gunfire Is Hearing From Near Resalat SQ. (East Teharan)

Bloody-woman

2.47 pm. New footage of fighting in the streets. And another protester is shot.

2.31 pm. Canadians, call your foreign office. It’s confirmed Canadian Embassy rejects injured protesters

Australian Embassy reportedly accepting injured

My Friend Wounded At Haft Hooz SQ, No Clinic Is Open!

June 13, 2009

Civil war in Iran?

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:16 pm

Looks to be very likely given the stolen election and the enthusiastic level of voting and support for Mousavi.

Andrew Sullivan has done a great job of covering the election and its aftermath including many insights from his myriad of readers.

Looks like even Iran’s monitors are calling the results election fraud.

From the link:

A Farsi speaking military reader confirms the post here, perhaps the most important aspect of which was that Iran’s own election monitors have allegedly declared the election a fraud.

April 13, 2009

Sully pegs the right

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:08 pm

And sadly, he pretty much nails the sorry state of almost all things on the right-wing.

From the link:

And it suggests that the right is returning to its 1950s roots – kooks, cranks, disaffected and paranoid gun-nuts, born-again culture-warriors, Birchers, book-burners, and black helicpoter worriers.

February 28, 2009

Rush Limbaugh, traitor — Act II

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:02 pm

Anyone who hopes a sitting president of the United States of America is a failure is engaging in some level of sedition by definition. Anyone who does this in the first five weeks of the president’s first term is nosing against treason. Doing it with a national audience? Clear and simple, a traitor to the nation of the United States.

Rush is a fool and if he remains the “voice” of the GOP, the party deserves to fail.

“The dirty little secret … is that every Republican in this country wants Obama to fail, but none of them have the guts to say so; I am willing to say it,” – Rush Limbaugh.

(Hat tip — the Daily Dish)

February 13, 2009

Gregg withdrawal postmortem

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:12 pm

I’m not really sure why the GOP is excited about Gregg’s flip-flop on wanting the Commerce Secretary position in Obama’s cabinet. Pretty much every source confirms he lobbied for the job, and it’s very clear he hand was forced by the party apparatus to withdraw. And this is a victory?

I’m thinking a party disliked by a majority of Americans may be well on its way to being reviled and rejected. The base is rallied once again, but the base is tiny and dwindling.

Here’s some analysis of the situation and opinion on where both Obama and the GOP go from here:

From Politico:

Judd Gregg was all but dead to his Republican colleagues just a few days ago, another collaborator drinking the Obama Kool-Aid.

But the New Hampshire senator’s surprise decision to remove himself from consideration as President Barack Obama’s commerce secretary Thursday has provided the GOP with a new rallying cry, and a new hero against a foe who just a few weeks ago seemed almost unassailable.

In a way, it’s all a testament to just how far the Republican Party have fallen; what passes for victory now is an embarrassing flip-flop by an admired GOP senator and the passage of a massive economic recovery bill that most Republicans on the Hill oppose bitterly. When Obama’s stimulus bill clears the House today, Republicans will celebrate by pointing to how much House Democrats did without them – and then hope against hope that voters don’t notice if the economy improves as a result.

From Ben Smith at Politico:

But Emanuel said that they recognized they had overdone their initial outreach to Republicans and had offered “a sharp message for the last week.”For now, the hard-charging chief of staff added, “He has an open hand, but he has a very firm handshake.”

Translation: Yes, the president will continue to do obligatory outreach to the GOP, but he’s not going to be burned again by an out-of-power and toothless minority for the sake of appearances.

Still, a key question emerging from this week is whether Obama will be stronger and more popular, or weaker and less popular; and whether the GOP has gained either leverage or a stronger outlook for the midterms. Neither is entirely clear yet, but it strikes me that the White House still has the strong hand, and the GOP — aside from three senators — remains a very weak minority.

Why Gregg should be embarrassed from Michael S. Roth

Reading the announcement of Senator Gregg’s embarrassing withdrawal from consideration for Secretary of Commerce, I began thinking about the temptation to maintain one’s purity by staying away from people one doesn’t always agree with. In the case of the would-be Secretary of Commerce the issue might have simply been Republican pressure to close ranks around unthinking obstructionism (the old fashioned way to avoid responsibility), or perhaps it was just that he discovered a principle “in his heart” that he just didn’t realize he had when he lobbied for the post. The tendency to avoid working with people who might not share your ideas is having catastrophic ramifications that extend far beyond Washington.

In a period of national crisis patriotism means working with people with whom you do not always agree. It means sacrificing ideological purity in order to become more effective at working toward a common purpose. Patriotism or purity? We need leaders who see the common purpose and will pragmatically work to get us out of this ever deepening crisis.

From Andrew Sullivan:

The great tragedy of the Gregg withdrawal is that this was precisely what he had been selected to achieve. The chance of real entitlement reform – the one thing that can indeed put the US back on a path to fiscal sanity – is real in the first year of an Obama presidency. But it will require bipartisanship; and if a decent fiscal conservative like Gregg is simply forced by his own party to have no role in it, then it will not happen. My sense is that this is indeed why he felt it necessary to withdraw.

The GOP is not interested in the long term fiscal health of this country. Their reckless stewardship over the last eight years proves that. They are not interested in helping this new president, who has done everything he can to create a civil atmosphere, to use this moment to prevent the worst in the short term and move to improve matters in the long term. Instead, they spin.

February 12, 2009

GOP sees, shoots, foot

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 9:26 pm

The Grand Old Party is bereft of decent ideas, is morally bankrupt and is transparently hypocritical to an embarrassing extent. The party was soundly trounced at the polls not three and half months ago and this is the response.

Attacking a president who swept into office with a massive portion of the vote doesn’t seem like the path resurgence to me. Maybe the Republican braintrust knows something none of the rest of do, or more likely they just have head-in-the-ass syndrome.

From the Daily Dish link:

This much is now clear. Their clear and open intent is to do all they can, however they can, to sabotage the new administration (and the economy to boot). They want failure. Even now. Even after the last eight years. Even in a recession as steeply dangerous as this one. There are legitimate debates to be had; and then there is the cynicism and surrealism of total political war. We now should have even less doubt about what kind of people they are. And the mountain of partisan vitriol Obama will have to climb every day of the next four or eight years.

January 19, 2009

The Bush 43 legacy

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:39 pm

Here on the final day of his presidency, there’s no way to determine the legacy. One thing that’s becoming clear, he’s pushing the idea that his greatest achievement was preventing another attack on US soil after 9/11.

Andrew Sullivan makes a great point here that sums my thoughts exactly.

From the link:

In the end, the Bush presidency was something of a mixed bag: massive increases in the power of the federal Leviathan was the dark side. But President Bush’s most important legacy is the fact that he kept Americans safe after September 11.

The latter talking point remains as hard to gage as any. We simply do not know yet, from the vantage of history, whether Bush’s record in preventing another 9/11 style attack was luck or design or some mix of the two. We don’t talk of how Clinton “kept us safe” after the 1993 WTC attack – at least, I fail to remember that as a GOP talking point in 2000 – because from the vantage point of 2001, it didn’t look so great.

I have a sinking feeling that we surrendered enormous amounts of freedom and the heart of the Constitution … for the usual meager portions of pseudo-security. But the point is: I don’t actually know. No one does, except those whose direct interest it is to defend their own record.

December 22, 2008

Dick Cheney, enemy of the people

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 9:22 pm

He’s gone on record admitting to advocating, promoting and authorizing a war crime. And he’s still wiping his ass with the Constitution and gloating about it.

Sullivan does a great job of summing things up here.

From the link:

And Cheney’s colorful explanation of this theory is also extremely revealing:

 

The president of the United States now for 50 years is followed at all times, 24 hours a day, by a military aide carrying a football that contains the nuclear codes that he would use and be authorized to use in the event of a nuclear attack on the United States.

He could launch a kind of devastating attack the world’s never seen. He doesn’t have to check with anybody. He doesn’t have to call the Congress. He doesn’t have to check with the courts. He has that authority because of the nature of the world we live in.

What Cheney is saying is that if the president of the United States has the power to destroy all civilization alone, he has the power to do anything up to and including that. Chris Wallace asks the right questions, but it is very telling that he didn’t ask about torture. I presume that was agreed by Fox and Cheney in advance. I can see no other reason for the lacuna.

But what we know with real clarity is the following: the vice-president long ago became an enemy to the Constitution and to all it represents. He should have been impeached long ago; and the shamelessness of his exit makes prosecution all the more vital. If we let this would-be dictator do what he has done to the constitution and get away with it, the damage to the American idea is deep and permanent.

December 15, 2008

Senate report on torture fingers Bush

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:34 pm

As more information comes to light, these findings aren’t surprising. They are still very disturbing and against every principle of our nation’s history before Bush 43 took office.

From the Daily Dish link:

Last week, we reached some closure on a burning and controversial question that has occupied many for many years now. That is the simple question of who was responsible for the abuse, torture, rape and murder of prisoners in American custody in the war on terror, most indelibly captured by the photographic images of Abu Ghraib. The Senate’s bipartisan report, issued with no dissents, reiterates and adds factual context to what we already know. And there is no equivocation in the report.

The person who authorized all the abuse and torture at Abu Ghraib, the man who gave the green light to the abuses in that prison, is the president of the United States, George W. Bush.

December 3, 2008

Jonah Goldberg is an idiot

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:51 pm

I know the bloggy left has all sort of names for Goldberg, but he really is just that stupid. It’s embarassing for the right punditry of the US that he has any mouthpiece, much less a national one. A scion of the feeble-minded right.

This is just indicitive of his worthless dribbling.

From the link (via the Daily Dish):

After a vote in which a minority of two or three percent were denied civil equality under the law and in which many thousands of couples had their legal marriages voided, Jonah Goldberg thinks the real victims are Mormons:

It’s just that Mormons are the most vulnerable of the culturally conservative religious denominations and therefore the easiest targets for an organized campaign against religious freedom of conscience.

He cites an ad campaign that wasn’t sanctioned by the No On 8 campaign, and summarizes the wave of peaceful protests by tens of thousands across the country by picking a few of the worst incidents of the fringes as a way to discredit the civil rights movement. He cannot in any way substantiate the notion that the marriage movement amounts to “an organized campaign against religious freedom of conscience.”

November 23, 2008

Vaccinations do not cause autism

Filed under: Science — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:04 pm

I welcome any opportunity to debunk this rumor. It’s particularly pernicious because kids who aren’t vaccinated become little time-bomb vectors of disease. This fact points to potential health hazards for many communities.

A health risk created solely by selfish and uninformed parents who are making very serious decisions that can easily bring harm to their children and others based on faulty data. If you believe this blatant untruth and don’t get your kids vaccinated because of it, you really need to do some research from sound scientific sources.

I don’t want to die of some childhood disease becuase you are ignorant and frightened.

From the link:

Theodore Dalrymple reviews Paul Offit’s book on the anti-vaccination crusaders:

Paul Offit’s new book, as readable as a good detective novel, tells the story of how autism, a disorder of psychological development, came falsely to be blamed first on the MMR vaccine and then on thimerosal, a preservative found in several vaccines. It is a tale about bad science, worse journalism, unscrupulous political populism, and profiteering litigation lawyers.

Update 10/9/09 — Here’s the latest in vaccination/autism research.

Head below the fold for the release: (more…)

November 22, 2008

Sully on torture

Filed under: et.al., Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:49 pm

Yep, he’s still on it and rightly so. The atrocities committed under the Bush 43 regime should never be repeated. We, as citizens of the United States of America, should make certain the rules of law and standards laid down by our founding fathers and our first president, George Washington, are carried out with grace, humility and strength.

Torture, even for the most evil amongst us, is never an option. It is a tool of the weak and frightened. The United States is neither.

From the link:

Even the word “torture” can be too vague and abstract a term. So let us state in plain English how Bush, Cheney, Tenet, et al. actually got information. They did it by subjecting prisoners to repeated drowning, or freezing, or heating, or sadistically long sleeplessness, or shackling or crucifying them until the pain could be borne no longer, or beating them until they pleaded for mercy, or threatening to kill or torture their children or wife or parents. Or all of the above in combination, in isolation, and with no surety of ever seeing the light of day again, with no right to meaningful due process of any kind, sometimes sealed off from light and sound for months at a time, or bombarded with indescribable noise day and night in cells from which there was no escape ever. This is what “under coercive conditions” actually means. It drove many of the victims into become mumbling, shaking, insane shells of human beings; it killed dozens; it drove others still to hunger strikes to try to kill themselves; and it terrified and scarred and “broke” the souls of many, many others. For what? Intelligence that cannot be trusted, and the loss of the sacred integrity of two centuries of American history. Did it save lives? We do not know. We do know that the people who are claiming it did have been unable to bring any serious case to justice based on their original claims, and are the people who are criminally responsible for the torture they have committed. Why would they not say it saved lives? And yet we have no other way to know. And we have the terrifying possibility that false information procured by torture provided a pretext to torture others in a self-perpetuating loop in which any ability to find out the actual truth is lost for ever. That, after all, is how some of the flawed intelligence that took us into Iraq was procured.

November 13, 2008

Iran already worried about Obama’s presidency

Looks like the Iranians fear talks without preconditions. The Bush 43 years of foriegn policy seems more and more like it totally played into the hands of despots.

It’s almost as though the Cheney-influenced DoD wanted to foment conflict instead of making the world safer for the US and other nations. (A bit of snark there, because that’s clearly been the MO, at least in the Middle East.)

From the link:

Since 2006, Iran’s leaders have called for direct, unconditional talks with the United States to resolve international concerns over their nuclear program. But as an American administration open to such negotiations prepares to take power, Iran’s political and military leaders are sounding suddenly wary of President-elect Barack Obama.

“People who put on a mask of friendship, but with the objective of betrayal, and who enter from the angle of negotiations without preconditions, are more dangerous,” Hossein Taeb, deputy commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, said Wednesday, according to the semiofficial Mehr News Agency.

Found this link via the Daily Dish.

October 30, 2008

Reax to Obama’s infomercial

From Culture11. I’ve yet to add the site to my blogroll — but I bet I do. If you are looking for interesting, intelligent and forward-thinking (read: these bloggers understand Sarah Palin is the death of the GOP, not its savior) blogging from the right side of the aisle, you could do worse than visiting Culture11 every day.

Sure it’s fun to read the increasing crazy at the Corner and Ace of Spades and some of the other usual suspects, but in reality I much prefer to read good, conservative arguments and reasoned thought. You can get that at the Daily Dish, but the loony right wing has somehow decided Andrew Sullivan is, what? His gayness is out, but he’s a closet liberal? Hardly, but he is a principled conservative thinker from more a Tory standpoint than the evangelical nutjobs that currently hold the GOP hostage.

Back to Obama’s infomercial — here’s Freddie deBoer’s take from that link way up in the first sentence:

Three thoughts occur to me in response to Obama’s infomercial.

The first is that this production shows again the great folly of the McCain campaign’s decision to bet the election on “otherizing” Obama. I think anyone who watched, and wasn’t already in the tank against Obama, would be very hard pressed indeed to see this man as a radical, or a terrorist, or a socialist out to steal their money. I think that they would be very hard pressed to see him as someone who they couldn’t trust, or who they “just didn’t know about.” I think that they would find him reassuring. I think that they would find him refreshingly normal, refreshingly American. I think that they would see him as a decent, loving family man.

Of course, that’s not sufficient, for a Presidential candidate. It’s not enough to be decent, or a good husband and father. It’s not enough to be normal, or American. It’s not enough to be not a radical. But this is the bed that the McCain campaign has made: when they made the election about Barack Obama’s basic decency, about his normalcy, when they insisted that the reason to oppose him was because he represented some terrifying unknown, they set the bar for the Obama campaign incredibly low. It turns out that proving you’re not some terrorist-sympathizing socialist with a crazy foreign name isn’t that high of a hurdle to clear. And once cleared, the McCain campaign’s own rhetoric damages them. If what’s important is that whether or not Americans can trust him, the answer for most of us is clear: yes, we can. After claiming for six months or so that the appropriate question for a Presidential candidate is whether he is a trustworthy American, America appears poised to accept that question, and in the case of Barack Obama, answer in the affirmative.

October 24, 2008

That Pitt McCain volunteer mugging victim?

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:16 pm

(Note: headline changed to reflect the correct city for the “event.” Sorry Philly, I’ll have a cheesesteak in penance.)

Not so much.

From the Daily Dish link:

McCain Spokesman Implicated In Mugger Hoax

<!– –>And Palin called Todd:

John Verrilli, the news director for KDKA in Pittsburgh, told TPM Election Central that McCain’s Pennsylvania campaign communications director gave one of his reporters a detailed version of the attack that included a claim that the alleged attacker said, “You’re with the McCain campaign? I’m going to teach you a lesson.”

Verrilli also told TPM that the McCain spokesperson had claimed that the “B” stood for Barack.

McCain also called the hoax-merchant. Is this the kind of judgment you want in a president?

Here’s another report on the sick, false hate-crime hoax.

And here’s TPM Election Central’s report:

Report: McCain Volunteer Who Claimed “Carved B” Attack Confesses To Making Up Story

Wow. By now you’ve all heard about Ashley Todd, the 20-year-old McCain volunteer who claimed that she was assaulted in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night by an attacker who scratched a “B” in her cheek after learning that she was for McCain.

The story was flacked madly last night by Drudge, even though few if any details had been established or independently confirmed.

Well, take a look at this banner headline, from Pittsburgh’s KDKA:

A Pittsburgh police commander says a volunteer for the McCain campaign who reported being robbed and attacked near a bank ATM in Bloomfield has confessed to making up the story. Police say charges will be filed. More details to follow.

More soon.

Late Update: KDKA’s full story has now been posted. It’s based on anonymous sources. So it’s still unclear what the story is. Stay tuned.

Late Late Update: It’s worth keeping in mind what Fox News executive vice president John Moody had to say about what this would mean if this story proved a hoax:

“If the incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain’s quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting.”

Worth keeping an eye on Fox’s coverage of the latest turn in the story.

Late Late Late Update: Police are set to hold a press conference to discuss the news, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Latest Update: There are now conflicting reports on whether Todd confessed or police simply concluded the mugging story was a hoax.

Later Than Latest Update: Some extraordinary new details about her confession from the AP:

Ashley Todd, 20-year-old college student from College Station, Texas, admitted Friday that the story was false and was being charged with making a false report to police, said Maurita Bryant, the assistant chief of the police department’s investigations division. Police doubted her story from the start, Bryant said.Todd, who is white, told police she was attacked by a 6-foot-4 black man Wednesday night.

She now can’t explain why she invented the story, Bryant said. Todd also told police she believes she cut the backward “B” onto her own cheek, but did not provide an explanation of how or why, Bryant said.

Update 10/25 — Here’s the latest from TPM Election Central, including a little brushback against Team McCain’s assertion their spokesman in Pennsylvania is not a race baiter. Pretty thin gruel if you ask me.

From the link:

A spokesperson for McCain’s national campaign is pushing back on our story yesterday reporting that McCain’s Pennsylvania communications director was giving reporters an incendiary version of the attack hoax story before the facts were in.

But Keith Olbermann does a nice job of skewering the push-back. From the Countdown transcript:

Tonight, McCain`s spokesman, Brian Rogers, denied the campaign gave out those quotes, telling COUNTDOWN, they came from the police and were attributed to the McCain camp because of sloppy reporting.An account that doesn’t explain why two television stations both quoted the McCain campaign, or the fact that one of them, KDKA Pittsburgh specifically followed the McCain quotes with the line, quote, “Police, however, have not confirmed that.”

And tonight, COUNTDOWN asked the reporter from the other station, WPXI to check his notes. He says he got those quotes first, 4:08 p.m. yesterday from McCain`s Pennsylvania communications director.

October 15, 2008

Super fast debate reax

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:22 pm

I haven’t had the chance to watch the debate except in snippets just yet after the show, but at the end McCain seemed to be a candidate who was just pleased the whole thing was over and Obama looked like a president-to-be.

Looks like the instapolls went to Obama again (these results come from the Daily Dish).

Here’s CNN:

Another very clear victory for Obama: 58 to 31 percent.

And CBS:

CBS unsurprisingly gives it to Obama by a big 53 – 22 percent margin. McCain made some headway on taxes, but this is brutal:

Before the debate, 54 percent thought Obama shared their values. That percentage rose to 63 percent after the debate. For McCain, 53 percent thought he shared their values before the debate, and 56 percent thought so afterwards.

And here’s Ambinder’s quick take on McCain’s middle game:

His substance suffered; it didn’t make sense at times. He seemed personally offended  by negative ads; he tried to make a point about Obama’s character, but all the sleight were those Obama allegedly inflicted on Obama: the town halls, campaign finance, negative ads, etc. He allowed himself to get caught up in his own grievances. It was just plain unattractive on television. He moved quickly from William Ayers to taxes without a transition.  From Obama’s opposition to trade agreements to taxes.  No intermediate steps. Blizzards of words without unifying strings.

October 11, 2008

Onging finanacial crisis, global and domestic

Probably the biggest news about this financial crisis toward the end of the week — aside from the Dow Jones Industrials historic drop — is how it is affecting the rest of the world. Iceland is concerned about being bankrupted and has already asked Russia for a bailout.

Globalization in all its greatness and weakness can be blamed for this result.

Here’s Thomas P.M. Barnett on that subject:

Arguably, this is the first great, system-perturbing crisis of globalization, because it truly captures all the main players in a way that previous ones did not.

(Thanks to the Daily Dish for posting that link and quote)

Of course here in the United States we’re grappling with a truly confusing set of conditions because: one, we just haven’t faced something like this since the Depression; and two, banking at the investment level has become unintelligible to even the “experts” who follow, and engage in, the industry.

There’s a lot of uncertainty out there and markets really , really hate uncertainty.

And then there’s stories like this from James Fallows. This really hits home on what is going on during this crisis.

From the link:

Three weeks ago, I mentionedthat DayJet, the pioneering air-taxi company, was shutting down not (it claimed) because of overt business problems but because of the impossibility of getting short-term finance. At the time, the credit squeeze might have seemed an excuse for the inevitable diceyness of the air travel business.

But just in the last few days, I’ve heard separately from three friends who run objectively “viable” businesses that they are on the verge of closing permanently, or laying off much of their staff, because they can’t get short-term working capital. One said he was on the verge of having to close a manufacturing facility in the Midwest that, as he put it, “realistically will never open again.” And this is from a group of friends that is heavy on writers, political people, academics, etc rather than a lot of business owners. I have never heard stories like this before. When I was living in northern California during the tech crash early this decade, the story was about the relatively slow deflation of (mostly) unrealistic plans rather than the widespread destruction of enterprises with a future.

My minor point: mainly because they’re so precise and fast-moving, financial-market measures crowd out attention from what we really need to worry about, the imminent destruction of businesses and jobs that “should” survive.

September 29, 2008

Sully knocks one out of the park on Palin

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:21 pm

He’s been (rightly) hammering the issue of McCain’s veep pick from the get go. Sarah Palin is beyond unprepared to ascend to the presidency if neccesary. That executive decision alone disqualifies McCain in my eyes.

Over at today’s Daily Dish Andrew Sullivan makes the keypoint on Palin.

From the link:

And the real test of this, anyway, would be a real press conference, with follow-ups. But that, incredibly, won’t happen. For the first time in American history, a candidate who could become president will not have a press conference in the campaign! No, you’re not hallucinating. Welcome to Vladimir Putin’s idea of election campaigns in America.

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