Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Pundits, Newsies, and the Candidates

Crooks and Liars points to some stories pondering WTF is up with the media.

When Pundits Decide

The NY Times caught the same thing that I noticed the night of the Indiana/NC primary and front paged this story about their absolute hubris.

The moment came shortly after midnight Eastern time, captured in a devastatingly declarative statement from Tim Russert of NBC News: “We now know who the Democratic nominee’s going to be, and no one’s going to dispute it,” he said on MSNBC. “Those closest to her will give her a hard-headed analysis, and if they lay it all out, they’ll say: ‘What is the rationale? What do we say to the undeclared super delegates tomorrow? Why do we tell them you’re staying in the race?’ And tonight, there’s no good answer for that.”

It was not exactly Walter Cronkite declaring that the Vietnam War would end in stalemate. But the impact was apparent almost immediately, starting with The Drudge Report, the online news billboard that is the home page to many political reporters in Washington and news producers in New York. It had as its lead story a link to a YouTube clip of Mr. Russert’s comments, accompanied by a photograph of a beaming Mr. Obama with his wife, Michelle, and the headline, “The Nominee.”

We’ve all been talking about how pompous and lousy our punditry class is and how they want to choose our candidates and select the issues (or controversies—phony or not) that should be covered while ignoring policies that have a real impact on all Americans. It’s been pretty sickening all around. Eric Boehlert wrote this great column weeks before Tuesday’s primary called “So now the press tells candidates when to quit?”
History continues to unfold on many levels as the protracted Democratic Party primary race marches on, featuring the first woman and the first African-American with a real shot at winning the White House. Here’s another first: the press’s unique push to get a competitive White House hopeful to drop out of the race. It’s unprecedented.

Looking back through modern U.S. campaigns, there’s simply no media model for so many members of the press to try to drive a competitive candidate from the field while the primary season is still unfolding…read on

The Russerts are not supposed to declare outcomes before it actually happens. That’s the job of opinion pundits, but not for the head of a major news department.


And this is a problem. I can understand Democrats wanting and pushing for an end. It is strategic. They want to get focused on pounding McCain, and stop the internal struggle. But Russert, Wolf, Matthews, are supposed to be the news professionals. You know, the ones covering the race, and giving analysis. But they keep trying to call it. After Iowa, they called it. Then after NH they pulled back and apologized. When things went back towards Obama, they started getting anxious, wanting to call it again. Heck, right now they are suing to be able to be more invasive with exit polling. They seem to hate to learn.


Nice media, good media, abandon your function. My point on this is not about delegates or the popular vote or any one candidate or who has won or lost. It’s about the media’s behavior and the role they are playing during the process. Just think about this. Why is the polling data saying that a greater percentage of Hillary voters will not vote for Obama? Check out this Gallop poll.


The on-line community is solidly behind Obama and I’ve read many posts and comments saying Obama voters would never, ever vote for Hillary so when I first heard these statistics on teevee I was quite surprised. Then I realized what is happening here. The media is fueling their anger. It’s that simple. And there are a lot of rank and file Democratic voters who are very upset. I might add that a few bloggers have had their bodies snatched away too. And on CNN Sunday, this notion was validated by Roger Simon ...


I do believe no matter who wins the nomination, (It looks like Obama) the Democratic party will unite in the end, but this information is very important to me and should be to you I would hope.

I say again, it doesn’t matter what candidate we’re talking about or who you are supporting—the media has never acted like this before. That’s astounding to me, but after the way they covered the Bush administration all these years I guess I shouldn’t be. That’s why I’m highlighting this to you. We always have to hold the media accountable for their behavior. I’ve been focusing on the horrendous Military Analysts story for this reason. Have you seen the networks cover this major story much at all? I haven’t. It’s partially responsible for the disaster known as the Iraq war. Glenn Greenwald had an email conversation with Rumsfeld’s man, Di Rita over his role in the scandal. I realized Di Rita was probably lying to Howard Kurtz over the weekend and asked Glenn to check it out.


To wrap this up, I do hope that everybody keeps an eye on the Villagers. I know C&Lers are because they email me their letters to editors about their blatant disregard for their role every day. Remember, how quick were they to jump on the Rev. Wright saga and how did they handle John McCain’s—Catholic hating Pastor John Hagee? Were their endless loops of Hagee’s rants on teevee? O’Reilly mentioned it, but let him skate easily away like most pundits do on every issue. Did he ask why McCain sought out his endorsement? Nope, he allowed him to spin it that Hagee just happened to endorse him which is a partial truth. Or the fact that his wife will not release her tax information. (The ‘Cindy McCain Watch’ continues) Why not? Who knows, the media doesn’t care so they won’t bother to ask. I’m sure we’ll see much more of this behavior as November roles around. Stay tuned and sound off…

Bob, Bob Barr

He used to be just annoying, perhaps a touch ironic. Now he has become delightfully humorous.

He is running for the Libertarian candidacy for president.

Crooks and Liars:
Bob Barr is very popular with the Ron Paul crowd. Do you think this could make any difference in November?


His campaign could draw support from libertarian-minded or conservative Republicans who are unhappy with the expected nomination of Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
TPM looks at his possible impact.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Using creationist tactics.

Climate change denialist have begun to cling to evolution denialist tactics. Why not, they both oppose and are just upset that science isn't playing fair.

PZ Myers:
Climate change denialists have something in common with evolution denialists: they have a list of "500 Scientists with Documented Doubts of Man-Made Global Warming Scares," just like the Discovery Institute's list of hundreds of 'scientists' who "Dissent from Darwinism". There is a difference, though: the DI got it's list by asking crackpots and specialists in irrelevant disciplines to volunteer to sign on, so it is a real (but silly) list that exposes the existence of a tiny minority of loons within science.


Dozens of scientists have demanded that their names be removed from the list and that they be issued an apology, but the Heartland Institute opted instead to simply change the name of the study from "500 Scientists with Documented Doubts of Man-Made Global Warming Scares" to "500 Scientists Whose Research Contradicts Man-Made Global Warming Scares." In a release accompanying the name change, Heartland Institute's Joseph Bast said the scientists "are embarrassed -- as they should be -- to see their names in a list of scientists whose peer-reviewed published work suggests the modern warming might be due to a natural 1,500-year climate cycle."

"I suppose the list included anyone who had published on past climatic changes as inferred from the dated geologic record, even without reference to human factors," said Wright, who did not seem the slightest bit embarrassed.

Great gall! Even when caught, they shrug and move on with the lie. Do not blink for thy higher truth remains, eh?

Who says McCain is a Bush third term?

Republican House Minority Whip Roy Blunt does.

Crooks and Liars:
Bless his little heart, let’s have House Minority Whip Roy Blunt on every week to talk up John McCain’s candidacy! Talk about living within a bubble, Blunt thinks nothing of touting the McSame presidency as a Bush third term, despite the record disapproval rating for the man and the vast majority of the country believing that the country is going in the wrong direction under his leadership. Apparently, Blunt didn’t get the memo that McCain is trying to distance himself from Bush and as Rep. Chris Van Hollen points out, on the two most important issues to the American people, McCain absolutely equals Bush. And Roy, that’s not such a good thing.


BLITZER: But that’s what President Bush wants to do too.

BLUNT: And there is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with that.

BLITZER: So it would be in effect a third Bush term when it came to pro-growth tax policies?

BLUNT: It would be. I think it would be. And I think that’s a good thing. You can’t go out in the country anywhere and find people who believe that doubling the capital gains rate is a good thing, that raising the highest rate on every small business in America is a good thing, that eliminating those bottom brackets, that mean that people at the lower levels of tax pay less taxes than they would otherwise. In fact, I think one of the reasons that the economy has slowed down the way it has is the fact that there’s great uncertainty about how those tax policies move forward.

Ah. McCain is Bush. And it is a good thing.

McCain and the Lobbyists

Crooks and Liars:

Since Friday, McCain has lost two advisors because of their firm’s work in Myanmar. Well, it turns out that’s just the tip of the iceberg. McCain’s campaign is loaded with people who have worked on behalf of some of the nastiest dictators on Earth.

Reform Watchdog Group, dedicated to campaign reform, is asking McCain to fire those lobbyists. You can sign their petition here.

And the media will get interested...now?

Tax Exempt, no more?

Crooks and Liars:

A far-right group in Arizona, however, has an idea: conservative churches should ignore the law — and in the process, test the law — on purpose.

A conservative legal-advocacy group is enlisting ministers to use their pulpits to preach about election candidates this September, defying a tax law that bars churches from engaging in politics.

Alliance Defense Fund, a Scottsdale, Ariz., nonprofit, is hoping at least one sermon will prompt the Internal Revenue Service to investigate, sparking a court battle that could get the tax provision declared unconstitutional.

Now maybe it is worth it to have them try. I am more than happy to see a question of the whole tax exemption laws. Plenty of churches are highly profitable, and there are moves on all sides to use pulpits to push ideas and candidates. Perhaps it is time to concede church involvement and admit what party strategist have known and acted on for years. Churches are good for selling politics.

Unconstitutional? Why should chruches get an exemption today? Justify it ADF.

Iranian or not Iranian

Crooks and Liars:
The Washington Monthly: (h/t Bill W)

IRAN’S WEAPONS….Tina Susman of the LA Times reports that Iranian involvement in Iraq’s civil war may not be everything it’s been cracked up to be:

There was something interesting missing from Maj. Gen. Kevin Bergner’s introductory remarks to journalists at his regular news briefing in Baghdad on Wednesday: the word “Iran,” or any form of it. It was especially striking as Bergner, the U.S. military spokesman here, announced the extraordinary list of weapons and munitions that have been uncovered in recent weeks since fighting erupted between Iraqi and U.S. security forces and Shiite militiamen.

….A plan to show some alleged Iranian-supplied explosives to journalists last week in Karbala and then destroy them was canceled after the United States realized none of them was from Iran. A U.S. military spokesman attributed the confusion to a misunderstanding that emerged after an Iraqi Army general in Karbala erroneously reported the items were of Iranian origin.

When U.S. explosives experts went to investigate, they discovered they were not Iranian after all.
And as they note:


As Kevin Drum points out, this was a small post on the LA Times Iraq blog. Not the front page of the LA Times, just a small online note. Would any of us have heard about it otherwise? How many times have we heard that Iran is supplying the “enemy” in Iraq? That seems to get through the media loud and clear. Why, it’s almost as if the media is simply relying on the Pentagon and the White House talking points. Hmmm….

Military analyst questions.

Crooks and Liars has an update on the Military Analyst story.

I’ve been posting like crazy about the latest media/military propaganda scam that the NY Times broke a few weeks ago. You know, the one about the paid military generals-turned-analysts that the networks used to deceive the American public with so the Iraq war was such an easy sell. Since then we’ve found out that Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC and NBC failed to respond to a PBS request for comment which has resulted in virtually a complete media blackout, but which caused the the Defense Department to temporarily stop feeding information to retired military officers pending a review of the issue. Col. Allard admitted to CNN that there definitely was a conflict of interest—while Sen. Feingold questions the legality of it in a letter he wrote. Now it looks like we’ll have some action because it seems that Harry Reid (h/t Glenn Greenwald) has been paying attention to the blogosphere’s call for action:
Harry Reid was at the FDL Book Salon today and an FDL reader asked: ” are you planning to hold hearings on the illegality of the Pentagon’s propaganda training program of retired military officers?”

Reid responded: “The answer is yes. I have personally spoken to Chairman Levin and he is tremendously concerned as I. And we are proceeding accordingly.”

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Good news everyone!

Hey! Looks like Jason Rosenhouse, of EvolutionBlog, has finally received tenure. Congrats.

So it is time for some fun.



So there you go. Guess now I can tell you what I really think...

Uh oh!

What I Really Think

It's sweet. It's soooo sweet. All the years of hiding, of playing along, of pretending to be one of them, just to get to this point. How many times did I sit there during afternoon tea, throwing darts at the board with Michael Behe's face on it, laughing at their sick little jokes:

How many Creationists does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Creationists don't use lightbulbs. They prefer the Dark Ages!!

Hahahahahaha! Hey, that's a good one. Tell me that one about William Dumbski again...


And what of my Seed overlords? Don't have blog tenure do I? Well, what about them? Let them fire me. Oh yeah, please, please, please throw me into that briar patch. I figure there'll be a nice little cameo for me in Expelled 2. Just picture it. Me in a suit, waxing philosophical on the horrors I'd seen. Vaguely bemused by the sheer injustice of it all. “All I did was suggest that maybe evolution wasn't the whole story, and they treated me like an intellectual terrorist! They wouldn't let me blog for them anymore, just because I had the audacity to dissent one whisker from their party line! Oh why oh why won't they let me and so many others just think the thoughts we want to think? Woe is me!”

Delicious. Go ahead, oppress me! I dare you!

So get ready for a whole new blog folks. We're really going to have some fun now....

And that is just classic. Brilliant!

Now for another example of this, if you are in the mood. Check out this great April Fools bit from The Two Percent Company. I tell you they had me part way through, but it was really a too perfect example of a fall into a religious quagmire.

A Moment to Reflect
You may have wondered where we were for the past few weeks. It's an interesting story, and one we want to share with you all. As we noted, we have been having numerous problems with our site lately, and that was the original reason for our absence. But as we were struggling with those problems, and becoming increasingly frustrated, a friend of ours stepped in and made a suggestion. It was simply this: rather than spending so much time and energy on fixing this site, why not put our efforts toward more worthwhile goals?

We were willing to try anything to get out from under the weight of our website problems, so we agreed. We ended up helping our friend coordinate a charity event that went very well, and we made a lot of new friends along the way. We're planning to do more charity work with his group in the future, and we're looking forward to it immensely. The surprising thing was that the charity event was coordinated via our friend's church. Now, we've always been clear that it is religion that we have a problem with and not necessarily religious people, but we were a little amazed at how decent and fun these people were.

To make a long story short, we've come to a realization. Although we don't believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible, and although we may not currently believe in the physical existence and divinity of Jesus Christ, we do recognize the good that the Christian religion can do, and we like being a part of that. There's simply no other source for good deeds that can equal the Christian church as far as we can see, and that means something. It's just something that we've been loathe to admit for a long time, apparently. And, whether he was real or fictional, Jesus was a pretty cool guy that we can all learn a lot from.


Nah, we're just fucking with you. Other than our technical problems and the fact that not all religious people suck, everything else above was a crock of shit. In truth, our website problems have sucked up all of our time lately, and we've been banging our heads against these issues for weeks. In addition to the simple fact that troubleshooting has been a severe drain on our free time, there's also the fact that we have been trying to move the Rants to a new home. As such, every time a new post or comment was added, we had to re-backup the files — yet another reason for our relative silence since the beginning of the month.


Fun from the Onion

Here's a vid from the ONN, Onion News Network. McCain's plans for his security as president.

Crooks and Liars:
From The Onion. (Mature language, NSFW)


The Maverick, The Moderate

Crooks and Liars:
Over the years, Sen. John McCain has publicly condemned Republican Party leaders and occasionally voted against the GOP on selected issues.

But an Arizona Republic analysis of his Senate votes on the most divided issues in the past decade shows that McCain almost never thwarted his party’s objectives.

In the article, Keith Poole, a political scientist at the University of California-San Diego, added, “He is a conservative who votes conservative on most issues. By no means is he a liberal or even a moderate.”

Now, as noted, he has gone against his party. But he has stayed consistent in his conservative cred. He is not a moderate, but a conservative with a few deviant positions that he has built into a brand image, especially since he was hip deep during Keating Five. In a list of Rep's that I see as being in any way moderate, McCain is not going to be found. He may be a vote to curry occasionally, but relied on? How many of his own joint bills has he turned on?

Fight fraud, keep those nuns from voting

Quickly following on the court approval of id requirements from voting, a group of nuns, older persons who do not drive and as such have no id were barred from voting. An issue for many in the country who cannot afford a car, or live in places where it is impractical.

Looks like someone is getting ideas...by which I mean they are moving to phase 2, expansion.

Crooks and Liars:
Isn’t that just like the GOP? Others hear about not letting 80 and 90 year old nuns vote and they shake their heads and say, “that’s awful.” But the GOP–in this case the Oklahoma State Senate GOP majority–see it as opportunity.

Down With Tyranny:

All through history, the political left has agitated to expand the franchise. The left worked and fought yo abolish the rules that only allowed white Christian male property holders the right to vote. The political right fought to prevent poor people from voting, to prevent Jews, Blacks, women, young people… And a few weeks ago the rightist Supreme Court gave the thumbs up to a Republican scheme to limit voting in Indiana. We saw the first results of that ruling today.
About 12 Indiana nuns were turned away Tuesday from a polling place by a fellow bride of Christ because they didn’t have state or federal identification bearing a photograph.[..]
Tonight I got a notice from Andrew Rice alerting me that the Oklahoma Senate had prevented the Republicans from doing the same thing in his state. All of the GOP senators voted to restrict voting rights and all the Democrats voted to prevent them from shrinking the franchise.
The vote was 24-23 for the bill, but it takes 25 votes to pass a bill in the 48-member Senate. All 24 Republicans supported the plan, while 23 Democrats voted against it.

Democrats said the proposal was meant to help Republicans and would deter the elderly and other citizens from voting because they may not have identification readily available.

Ford said the bill is needed to guard against voter fraud.
Voter fraud is something the GOP gets hysterical about, like welfare fraud. And like welfare fraud the GOP turns reality on its head. They will wreck hundreds of thousands of families’ lives because a few dozens people or even a few hundred people may have committed fraud to the tune of some thousands of dollars– while corporate welfare goes out to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. I can’t say that there has never been any voter fraud. But I can say the kind of voter fraud the Republicans talk about it nearly nonexistent or, at worst, extremely rare. Republican voter fraud, electronic voter fraud, voter suppression… now we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of voters. Read on…

The charm of being a McCain

"Never", Cindy said, "Never!"

To what? Ever allowing the public to see her tax returns. Not as a senator's wife. Not as First lady of America. And not while sitting on a box atop a hut on the way to Walla Walla Wicki Way.

Imagine Bill Clinton trying to shelter his returns right now. Yeah, I am sure they media would let that pass.

TPM: (with video)
Cindy McCain was asked about releasing her tax returns, this morning on the Today show, and reiterated that she would never release them -- ever -- even if she becomes First Lady:


She's managed to get away with it so far (just like the spouse of any other andidate not named McCain would, right?), but never is an awfully long time.

McCain and the rights of women


Crystal Skull

I see that the SciFi Channel will be having a documentary on this weekend, looking at "the great mystery" of Crystal Skulls. It even has a newsreader on board to help sell the blarney.

Granted it follows on a run of the Indiana Jones movies, which is cool. But the Crystal Skull business is ridiculous.

Check out Skeptoid's podcast of the actual history of the crystal skulls. Interesting story, which I have to doubt will be covered in the doc this weekend.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The eye

It has always bugged me that creationist try and use the eye's wonderful complexity to attack evolutionary theory.

PZ Myers points to a new video from NSCE and Expelled Exposed about the EYE.

Monday, May 05, 2008

First they came for the witches, and then they came for the wizards...

I am sure you have seen the hissy fits that are being thrown over Harry Potter books being allowed in schools. But it doesn't stop there. Last year a school fired a female teacher, for seeming to be a witch...you see, she had black fingernail polish...you know.

Now this year...they go after the wizards hiding in are midst. God, I wish I was kidding. The proof, the sub did a magic trick for a class. A stupid little slight of hand bit.

PZ Myers:

"I get a call the middle of the day from head of supervisor of substitute teachers. He says, 'Jim, we have a huge issue, you can't take any more assignments you need to come in right away,'" he said.

When Piculas went in,he learned his little magic trick cast a spell and went much farther than he'd hoped.

"I said, 'Well Pat, can you explain this to me?' 'You've been accused of wizardry,' [he said]. Wizardry?" he asked.


You guys are so crazy! Seriously, Florida, you have lost it.

And now following on Godwin's Law...

Godwin points to the negative affects of dragging Nazis into an argument. In the case of Darwinism and Social Darwinism, the two topics are unrelated. One is legitimate science and the other is crap based pseudoscience, used to justify all sorts of horror and abuse. But there are lessons to take from history. You just have to know how far to properly take things.

PZ Myers:

"The National Government will regard it as its first and foremost duty to revive in the nation the spirit of unity and cooperation. It will preserve and defend those basic principles on which our nation has been built. It regards Christianity as the foundation of our national morality, and the family as the basis of national life" ('My New Order', Adolf Hitler, Proclamation of the German Nation at Berlin, February 1, 1933)

Funny…those words could be taken straight from just about any American religious right web site in 2008, and they'd fit right in.
To claim to preserve morality, to protect "family", and to be a Christian nation. It is SO EASY for people to throw these ideas around and refuse to see how easy they can and are used to justify horrible things, yes, but also stupid things. Going beyond war and atrocity, the new German way also meant driving out the likes of Einstein, destroying art and literature, turning on those that didn't fit in and...well it doesn't get better from there.

Just something to consider.

Stein is proud to be a prat.

In chatting with the religious media, Ben Stein was eager to mock those that disagree with his ill considered film, and science in general. Not even a smart or sound attack either, as much as he would like to claim to be a wit.

Bad Astronomer:
Stein: When we just saw that man, I think it was Mr. [PZ] Myers, talking about how great scientists were, I was thinking to myself the last time any of my relatives saw scientists telling them what to do they were telling them to go to the showers to get gassed.
Yes, Ben Stein went there. He equates PZ with Nazis who gassed Jews by the hundreds of thousands.


And then he turns around and talks about "God’s love". What an evil hypocrite.
Crooks and Liars (with some video from Stein's film, Expelled)shows a broader quote, showing how he digs in even deeper.

Stein: When we just saw that man, I think it was Mr. Myers [i.e. biologist P.Z. Myers], talking about how great scientists were, I was thinking to myself the last time any of my relatives saw scientists telling them what to do they were telling them to go to the showers to get gassed … that was horrifying beyond words, and that’s where science — in my opinion, this is just an opinion — that’s where science leads you.

Crouch: That’s right.

Stein: …Love of God and compassion and empathy leads you to a very glorious place, and science leads you to killing people.

Crouch: Good word, good word.
I vaguely recall the point, not too long ago, when Stein was considered something of a mainstream figure at the intersection of politics and entertainment. He’d show up on Fox News, and then make a cameo on “Married with Children.” He seemed quirky, conservative, and harmless.

And now he’s going on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, telling a crazed televangelist that science kills, and that modern biology led to the Nazi Holocaust. It’s breathtaking.
You may know Godwin's Law, dealing with the use of Nazis and Hitler in an argument. Suffice to say it does not speak well, in many cases, as so many try to use it to attack another.

This film of Stein's is a huge old big screen trip up of Godwin's Law. It is enough so that it has peeved off ADL (the Anti-Defamation League).


New York, NY, April 29, 2008 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today issued the following statement regarding the controversial film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.

The film Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed misappropriates the Holocaust and its imagery as a part of its political effort to discredit the scientific community which rejects so-called intelligent design theory.

Hitler did not need Darwin to devise his heinous plan to exterminate the Jewish people and Darwin and evolutionary theory cannot explain Hitler's genocidal madness.


Stein tried to use his Jewish ancestry to protect the creationist attack on evolutionary theory. But it seems to have backfired by drawing out the ADL to react negatively to his little film.

Here is a look at the overuse of Hitler, by The Daily Show.

The Religious aid to candidates

Plenty is made of Rev. Wright. But what about McCain and Clinton?

The Nation:

There's a reason Hillary Clinton has remained relatively silent during the flap over intemperate remarks by Barack Obama's former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. When it comes to unsavory religious affiliations, she's a lot more vulnerable than Obama.

You can find all about it in a widely under-read article in the September 2007 issue of Mother Jones, in which Kathryn Joyce and Jeff Sharlet reported that "through all of her years in Washington, Clinton has been an active participant in conservative Bible study and prayer circles that are part of a secretive Capitol Hill group known as "The "Fellowship," also known as The Family. But it won't be a secret much longer. Jeff Sharlet's shocking exposé The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power will be published in May.

Crooks and Liars:


Of course the media never critiques the Republicans over their relationship (should I call it a marriage?) to the extreme religious right in the same fashion as they do all Democratic politicians. There’s an incredibly tough double standard in play here. We’ve tried to get them to do it, but they even ignore McCain’s new relationship with Pastor Hagee for the most part. Should we produce commercials about that? McCain’s Media is going to be a force to reckon with in the fall. And Rangel is a Clinton supporter if any of you are concerned with that fact.


Rangel: Of course not. Of course he’s a candidate. He doesn’t want to take all of you on and I’m probably over the hill but the truth is that you guys know that his beliefs have nothing to do with someone that went to the church, and if we’ve got to get into the Jerry Falwell’s and into the Robertson’s and to the number of people who have what appears to other religions to be bizarre beliefs we’ll never get to the issues that Americans were concerned about. I know that every American is more concerned with who is going to be a better Presidential candidate and a better President more than they are on anything that happens in the church that Senator Obama went to.
Clinton goes to a conservative prayer service. McCain is trying to align himself with conservative religious leaders he once attacked. And Obama had a pastor who he has become estranged from over the past year, and has finally broken all ties, due to severe disagreements.

Only one of these is remotely worth bothering with. And that is the one with the guy pandering to people he claimed to hold accountable for the faults in his party. And that is the one of these that will no doubt get the least coverage.

Look at Matthews and his cohorts.

Crooks and Liars:

Reality clearly has no place in politics. Because no matter how many times Barack Obama disavows Rev. Wright’s words, the GOP and by extension, their complicit allies in the media (that’s right, Russert, I’m talking about you) will not let it go and will continue to measure Obama by Rev. Wright’s words. The crazy part about it is how for the most part, Wright hasn’t said anything that most Americans–if they ever got to hear the full thing in context–would disagree with. Nor are they any more inflammatory than words spoken by conservative Christians leaders like Hagee, Robertson or Falwell. Yet, despite these facts, as the Meter Question on The Chris Matthews Show prove, the media is not ready to let this one go.


By the way, despite what the media will have you believe, Rev. Wright doesn’t even rate on top issues for voters. But hey, that would mean doing their job and actually not just play mouthpiece for Republicans.
It is not important, outside of campaign ads and things for the media to discuss.

Superstition on the campaign trail

Crooks and Liars on the weirdly superstitious John McCain.

Read it and just imagine if this were Clinton or Obama. Would this be made an issue by the media?

Chris Matthews: Obama was late to a rally this morning. Do you think he lost his lucky feather? [cue annoying self satisified laugh]

Sean Hannity: Can America stand to have a president who employs strange spells to manipulate the country? Will Christian America stand for it?

Rush Limbaugh: Belch. Fart. Drool.

Just imagine.

No more war for oil, so says McCain.

We have to take him at his word right? His is Mr. Straight Talk, saying the hard things no matter the consequences.

Crooks and Liars:


“My friends, I will have an energy policy which will eliminate our dependence on oil from Middle East that will then prevent us from having ever to send our young men and women into conflict again in the Middle East.”
Think about how amazing this is. McCain is essentially saying that our quest to “spread democracy” throughout the Middle East is a sham. It has nothing to do with freeing oppressed people, or protecting Israel, or defending ourselves against future attacks. It’s about gaining control of foreign oil. Stunning. Will this get any significant media play?

A lot of the fun of this is seeing McCain stumble over this now. His campaign has yet to give a clear and consistent answer.

But the media will find something about Obama to be more interesting before long, no doubt. They do hate picking on McCain.

What kind of hack politician is McCain?

The kind that will take tragedy and try to use it as a bow on his policy suggestions. Even if it does clash and is so gauche...

Crooks and Liars:
Joe Klein recently predicted that John McCain would avoid a cheap and pathetic style of campaigning. McCain, Klein said, “sees the tawdry ceremonies of politics — the spin and hucksterism — as unworthy.” If he doesn’t, “McCain will have to live with the knowledge that in the most important business of his life, he chose expediency over honor.”

At this point, if McCain is experiencing any kind of internal dilemma, I’m pretty sure
hucksterism is winning.

Republican John McCain said Wednesday that the bridge collapse in Minnesota that killed 13 people last year would not have happened if Congress had not wasted so much money on pork-barrel spending.

Federal investigators cite undersize steel plates as the “critical factor” in the collapse of the bridge. Heavy loads of construction materials on the bridge also contributed to the disaster that injured 145 people on Aug. 1, according to preliminary findings by the National Transportation Safety Board.

“The bridge in Minneapolis didn’t collapse because there wasn’t enough money,” McCain told reporters while campaigning in Pennsylvania. “The bridge in Minneapolis collapsed because so much money was spent on wasteful, unnecessary pork-barrel projects.”
This is so cheap and crass, I’m almost surprised his remarks didn’t spark some kind of controversy. If McCain is willing to aim this low in the spring, what can we expect from in the fall?

This one was so shameless, even some of his supporters in Minnesota are keeping their distance.
Straight talk, right Mac? Misconstruing a tragic event, a failure of infrastructure and monitoring, and using it as a tool to get your way. How W of you.

Yeah, McCain is above it all. Sure. Even after he declares Obama the Hama candidate, he' still above it.

Ace McCain, what a guy!

CNN trying to cram more Conservative in that C

Looks like CNN is trying to grab as many Bushies as they can to give that quality sterling analysis they gave Bush, and spread it around during the coming campaign.

Crooks and Liars:
The Politico is reporting that Fran Townsend, former Homeland Security Adviser, is joining her buddy Tony Snow as a contributor to CNN. PERRspectives:

Politico is reporting that President Bush’s former homeland security adviser and current intelligence advisory board member Fran Townsend is joining CNN as a contributor. Joining former White House press secretary Tony Snow as the second Bush sycophant to join the network in the last two weeks, Townsend’s addition is apparently designed to help make CNN the “right choice” during its election ‘08 coverage.

While George W. Bush may be most disliked President in modern American history, his one-time mouthpieces are very popular at CNN indeed.

Yes, they certainly are. You know, I’m not afraid of conservative voices on the air, but I’m curious where is CNN’s responsibility to provide thoughtful voices on the left? Especially when they make a point of including someone only too happy to pimp White House talking points like this one, upon her departure from Homeland Security.


The gas tax holiday

From Bob Reich's blog ...

When asked this morning by ABC News' George Stephanopoulos if she could name a single economist who backs her call for a gas tax holiday this summer, HRC said "I'm not going to put my lot in with economists."

I know several of the economists who have been advising Senator Clinton, so I phoned them right after I heard this. I reached two of them. One hadn't heard her remark and said he couldn't believe she'd say it. The other had heard it and shrugged it off as "politics as usual."
Bad idea, is a bad ideas, is a bad idea.

We joke about highway construction. But it is pivotal. And McCain's vague hand wave to grab the money for it out of the mumble mumble mumble, is not really to be taken serious.

Going into the lion's den

Clinton has taken a lot of flak for going onto FOX news. As has Obama, as he has begun giving interviews. I do agree, as far as I don't consider them all that serious news sources, like I feel about Drudge and his rumor mill.

But as much as Clinton took for going onto O'Reilly's show. She deserves credit for taking him on on a issue near and dear to many of us. Health Care.

Crooks and Liars: (with video)

Hillary Clinton doesn’t bite when BillO tries to bully her into admitting that her health care plan would “bankrupt the country.” In fact, she quickly shuts down his straw man argument and schools him on why providing quality health care to all Americans is a moral issue while explaining clearly how she intends to pay for it.


“If we don’t [pass universal health care], we’ll meet here again in five or ten years, we’ll have more uninsured people, the prices will have continued to go up because we will not have put into place the safeguards and the accountability that our health care system needs.”

Credit where credit is due. And denunciation where it is due.

Ending the semester

Eh. I am about a third of the way through wrapping up classes. Can't wait...then I get a whole week before getting into the summer. But I should have added time to get back up to date on blogging...things.

But as I have nothing to say at just this moment, allow me to gripe. What is up with Televison WithOut Pity (TWOP) website? They have a nice new page. But, man, is it a drain on my computer. I open it up since the change and my computer creeps to a zombie-like shuffle. It looks nice, but I am being forced to plan when I really want to have to deal with the site now when I just want a few minutes of good snark. Bad move, as I am less inclined to go now. Plus they have made it harder to get to the genre forums, if I want to check out my scifi shows or other shows I want to talk or lurk about.

Pretty. But not as user friendly. At least, that is my opinion.

And now back to other issues...