Bits & Pieces (Wednesday Night Open Mic)

The Rev. Manning advised Ron Paul to whip Obama’s behind with the Constitution. Or did, can’t link to it now because his YouTube account has been suspended and he’s under a federal investigation for being a birther. How come this happens to him, but not Donald Trump, eh? Well, here’s a clip from one of Rev. Manning’s interesting rants now set to music. Jammin’!

Also from World Net Daily, John Stossel explains that when politicians talk about “cutting” spending, that word does not mean what they think it means.

Bruce Carlson of My History Can Beat Up Your Politics tackles the long history of negative campaigning. I cannot recommend his podcast enough. He asserts that early newspapers were essentially the blogs of the day, and also tackles the economics of the emancipation of the slaves.

4 Things Star Wars Fans Need to Accept About George Lucas.

Whose a scruffy lookin' Nerf Herder now, your highness?

Media Matters wanted to hire gumshoes to dig up dirt on the employees of Fox News in order to “discredit” them. That such a strategy might backfire, and make their side look like the bad guys while not impacting Fox’s viewership a jot or a tittle apparently never occurred to them.

That’s it for me! — KW

57 Responses

  1. Kevin…..

    Media Matters as seen through the eyes of Tucker Carlson? Really? I did not see any documentation of the purported “email”, nor did I see any sourcing whatsoever. I realize in Fox world that stuff is fine but I thought ATIM had higher standards.

    Now perhaps you have a link where Block or some of the accused have admitted to the veracity of Carlson’s charges

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/11/10/tucker-carlson-impersonates-olbermann-caught/

    Tucker Carlson’s latest antics may have set back his attempt to turn The Daily Caller into a legitimate news outlet.

    Following Keith Olbermann’s temporary suspension from MSNBC, Carlson admitted to pranking a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News by impersonating the MSNBC host.

    Stu Bykofsky attempted to contact Olbermann for a column he was writing for the Daily News but mistakenly sent the email to a fake email address owned by Carlson.

    Carlson admitted to Yahoo‘s Michael Calderone that he had been behind the prank. “Could you resist?” Carlson asked. “It was just too funny. The flesh is weak.”

    When Carlson launched The Daily Caller in January, he stressed that he wanted the website to be taken seriously.

    Just sayin’ Kevin. Next you’ll be trying to pass off Andrew Breitbart as a journalist.

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  2. I’m here and reading,but shoulder surgery has held me back. Happy days for some of you? Smiley face.

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  3. no, i live in austin, texas.

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  4. Right, Mike, what was I thinking?

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  5. I was a bit amused by the claim that the good Reverend was under investigation for being a birther. This appears to be a reference to one of two things. FBI agents may have interviewed him for threatening the President (questioning the birth certificate does not qualify) or there was a complaint to the IRS regarding the tax exempt status of his church.

    While hunting for information on the Youtube suspension, I ran across a rather disturbing site (www.chimpout.com). I won’t bother copying content, but the N-word is alive and well.

    BB

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  6. Looks like the former Speaker who refuses to employ union labor at her vinyard isn’t as enamored of OWS as she used to be. Lesson to the occupiers, you have to read the Bill so you can find out what’s in the bill.

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  7. John, Brent, and Scott [and all] – What would be the downside of Greece defaulting right now and quitting the EU?

    I can think of the obvious:

    1] The New Drachma would be worth almost nothing in foreign commerce;

    2] The lenders might take a 100% haircut on the current debt; and

    3] Those banks in the EU would be screaming for a bail out.

    What would be the upside?

    1] Greece could get out of austerity, partly by being the destination of choice for vacationers with real currency; and

    2] The EU would be rid of a bottomless pit; and

    3] Bailing out the creditor banks once, now, would cost less than repeatedly bailing out Greece.

    I would expect Greece to invite American air bases and missile sites to locate there, and I would expect its ports would be open and inviting to American, British, and French Med fleets. Desperate to attract hard currency, I think they might get more creative then they have been since Pericles.

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  8. Mark, I would think a downside for the EU would be if the citizens of Spain, Portugal, Ireland and even Italy get tired of paying off their creditors. Also, demographically, there are going to be less and less citizens to pay off the debt, making the remaining citizens responsible for a larger and larger portion. Socialist stares with a negative replacement rate might be neat for the Erlichian suckers, er, followers but it’s not so pleasants for the succeeding (smaller and smaller) generations.

    Luckily we won’t face that problem. Wait… what?

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  9. George, isn’t that a six-of-one half dozen of the other argument, in that if Greece gets bailed out, Ireland etc. will want to be bailed out?

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  10. Mark,

    I think the Germans think it can be isolated to Greece. I don’t think it can be.

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  11. McWing

    Sorry for another drive by but while I agree that there are absurdities in where the money comes from to promote our “public servants” to positions of power, I have to object to “Granny McRictus Botox” as a descriptor. It’s been around a long time and while I don’t agree with everything Nancy Pelosi does or says she still has been a role model for many women in public office and the Speaker of the House. Maybe I’m just being bitchy myself……………..I honestly don’t know…………..but it did sort of rub me the wrong way. I’m tired and grumpy tonight so I apologize if I’ve made too big of a deal about a minor issue.

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  12. Sorry Ims, I retract it. I just loathe her so.

    Serious question for you, do you think she’s a better role model than my ‘Cuda? If so, why?

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  13. Thank you, lms.

    Mr. McTroll, to me your question at 8:49pm only has relevance on this site if you can show that somebody on ATiM has posted an equally offensive piece about Palin. I do not think you can do that.

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  14. McWing

    Sarah Palin is not someone I admire. I’ll just leave it at that for now.

    I wish I had more time and energy to compare and contrast the two women, but really I don’t. I simply couldn’t let that one sneak by…….. 😉

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  15. Okie wrote: “Mr. McTroll, to me your question at 8:49pm only has relevance on this site if you can show that somebody on ATiM has posted an equally offensive piece about Palin. I do not think you can do that.”

    Uh,… hunh?

    Ims, pity, I would love you to compare and contrast their achievements, the heights they climbed (and fell from) and the from what % they started from (as in 1 or 99) to help us further contrast any connections they may have had in the “establishment” that might have helped them in their career trajectories. Maybe another day?

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  16. McTroll:

    I just loathe her so

    That doesn’t justify the name-calling. Just sayin’

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  17. okie:

    Mr. McTroll, to me your question at 8:49pm only has relevance on this site if you can show that somebody on ATiM has posted an equally offensive piece about Palin.

    Why? Since the question came after he retracted the name-calling, it can and should be taken to be entirely independent of his previous post. And it strikes me as a pretty good question, and not one easily answered by feminists who admire Pelosi as a role model for women but not Palin.

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  18. feminists who admire Pelosi as a role model for women but not Palin.

    One huge, big, ginormous reason why?

    –Nancy Pelosi was the first female Speaker of the House of Representatives; Sarah Palin quit halfway through her Governorship of Alaska

    Nobody here, to the best of my knowledge, despises Sarah Palin more than I do. But none of us have ever called her names.

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  19. Mich:

    Sarah Palin quit halfway through her Governorship of Alaska

    So you used to admire Palin as a role model for women until she resigned her governorship?

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  20. What makes a female role model? What are the attributes the individual should have? What achievement should be lauded versus critisized and why? Is the status they were born into relevant and why?

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  21. Both Palin and Pelosi are accomplished women. Palin did upend the Republican establishment in Alaska and from all appearances worked to break up some chumminess in Alaska politics. Heck, if she were a candidate in her own right, there would be those attacking her for her hard negotiations with energy companies in Alaska.

    I don’t think she was prepared for a national campaign and some traits that worked for her in Alaska, worked against her on the campaign trial. Consider that infamous interview about what newspapers she reads. I suspect a response along the lines of “I’ve had so much material thrown at me to read, I hardly have time to pick up a paper anymore” would have worked just fine. She got caught flat footed by the question.

    There have been several veeps selected in the past 30 years whom I saw as not prepared for the role. Perhaps not ready yet for a national campaign might be a more accurate assessment. Palin and Quayle come to mind for Republicans; Ferraro for Democrats. All exited the campaign diminished. Quayle appeared to be a promising young senator from Indiana. Another 12 years in the role and he could have impressed. George Bush, Lloyd Bentsen, Jack Kemp, Joe Lieberman, Dick Cheney, and Joe Biden were ready and largely effective in their candidacies. Hillary Clinton would have been a terrific candidate and is an impressive Secretary of State. [FWIW, I thought Rice was a terrific pick; Powell was odd man out.]

    Personally, I don’t see the point of despising politicians of opposing parties. Scott and QB are probably equally as conservative as Gov. Palin; ditto for others here being as liberal as Pelosi. I am reminded of one of my favorite anecdotes is about a freshman House member who refers to a member of the other party as the enemy. A senior colleague corrects him and says that person is a member of the opposition. The Senate is the enemy.

    BB

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  22. ruk:

    Media Matters as seen through the eyes of Tucker Carlson? Really? I did not see any documentation of the purported “email”, nor did I see any sourcing whatsoever. I realize in Fox world that stuff is fine but I thought ATIM had higher standards.

    Its Bits and Pieces. Whoever posts to Bits and Pieces posts things that are interesting to the person. And, not to elevate myself by association, but you know Woodward and Bernstein blew open a little thing called Watergate without documented sourcing. Indeed, we didn’t know Deepthroat was actually Linda Lovelace until that Adult Video Store went out of business and dumped all the old tapes in the dumpster out back.

    If there’s nothing to it, there’s nothing to. It seems unlikely that Tucker is just making things up. I’ve listened to a fair amount of Tucker, and, frankly, he often comes across as a total douche bag, but I’ve yet to encounter anything that makes me suspect he just makes things up. Anyhoo, I report, you decide.

    Just sayin’ Kevin. Next you’ll be trying to pass off Andrew Breitbart as a journalist.

    Breitbart is a muckraker. Carlson pranking may speak to his douche baggery, but has zero correlative relevance to the veracity of the Media Matters story.

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  23. I was a bit amused by the claim that the good Reverend was under investigation for being a birther. This appears to be a reference to one of two things. FBI agents may have interviewed him for threatening the President (questioning the birth certificate does not qualify) or there was a complaint to the IRS regarding the tax exempt status of his church.

    FB wins the prize! He could also be under investigation for being a paranoid schizophrenic. If they investigate that sort of thing. 😉

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  24. So you used to admire Palin as a role model for women until she resigned her governorship?

    I admired her a lot more as a politician before that, myself. As I said in 2008, I voted for Sarah Palin, and that old guy she was running with. 😉

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  25. Kevin:

    I admired her a lot more as a politician before that, myself.

    But I am guessing that Mich did not. Which, if true, makes her explanation of why she doesn’t think Palin is a good role model for women not particularly convincing.

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  26. Scott: Well, generally, most people tend to think role models should agree with them on the important ideological issues, I suspect.

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  27. Scott:

    So you used to admire Palin as a role model for women until she resigned her governorship?

    No. I never did. But that wasn’t your question–you moved the goalpost again.

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  28. Michi,

    Would you want encourage women to follow in Palin’s footsteps? Daughter of school teachers, elected Mayor, governor and then VP? Is that role model worthy?

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  29. I should say VP nominee, alas it was not to be as VP.

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    • You probably recall, George, that I liked her before I didn’t like her. I really bought into the independent, ethical, lean clean government that was projected as hers in AK, and argued with Dave! that I thought she was a great choice for VP. But I actually felt betrayed by her in the Couric interview. As FB said, she was not ready for prime time. And I do not think she comes over as “bright” or “articulate” most of the time.

      I suppose she is a decent role model, except for the self-promotion that goes with politicking, but I really don’t sense that I “know” her.

      I have never liked Nancy Pelosi because I have thought of her in the same terms I always thought of deLay: political operative. I don’t think she is a stateswoman. But she is probably a decent role model; successful, grandma, etc. I really don’t sense that I “know” her. Her CD apparently loves her, or so I have heard from folks I know in SF.

      I struggle with the notion of public people as role models, however. My dad, my mom’s dad, my mom’s dad’s youngest brother, and my dad’s brother were role models for me. My 8th grade social studies teacher was a role model. My tenth grade Sunday School teacher was. My baseball coach was too. Some of my law school profs were. A couple of mentor lawyers when I began practicing, and three state court trial judges. One Fed Court trial judge and one Fed Court appellate judge. A Methodist Minister who was a close friend. I knew all these people.

      I think a lot of potential harm comes from suggesting that a public person is a “role model”. I’d rather a kid was in the Big Brother/Big Sister program, or scouting, or the Boys and Girls Clubs of America if there were no role models close to home.

      That’s just me the curmudgeon.

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  30. Anybody listen to My History Can Beat Up Your Politics podcast on the long history of negative campaigning? Dates back to George Washington. Good stuff.

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  31. Kevin, we all know history started with our earliest memory. Duh!

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  32. Reason TV did a great spot on the history of attack ads.

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  33. Troll – Would you encourage young conservative women to follow in Nancy Pelosi’s footsteps? Minority leader in the House, followed by leading her party to the majority and becoming Speaker of the House? As written above, there’s a lot to admire about Palin. That is also true of Pelosi. Pelosi is the more historic figure.

    Personally, I think Palin cashed in following the 2008 race. However, politics in Alaska had become toxic for her and a couple years of bitter infighting wasn’t appealing. Just wish she hadn’t cloaked a personal decision in other terms. It wasn’t the slightest bit convincing (admittedly, to someone left of center).

    I left my job at the University of Sheffield, because I was tired of being on my own in England. I left my job at the Draper Lab because I was bored to tears and wanted to get back to meaningful research. In one case, I pursued personal opportunity at some career cost. I did double my earnings and met my wife shortly thereafter, so I’ll call that a good decision. The second decision got me back into my field of research and after a bit of a rough time, has me on my best form. I might leave my current job due to funding reasons and the fact that I want to make an impact, which may no longer be possible. Although I am grateful for the jobs I’ve had in the past, the people of those institutions didn’t figure significantly in my decisions. I suspect the same is true for Palin.

    BB

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  34. Mark,

    I don’t think political pursuit in furtherance of a goal is a bad role model. Is it the only or a superior role model? Obviously not, as living a virtuous life seems to me to be the best role model.

    FB, Madam Minority Leader (better?) is a great role model. Would I want my daughter to pursue a goal like that? Hells yeah!

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  35. As to the Couric interview, I’d love to see the footage not used. How come only Breitbart can’t edit video footage? Is that a legitimate question?

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  36. will do, ash

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  37. As to the Couric interview, I’d love to see the footage not used.

    Context is for me and we, but not for thee. 😉

    I have less problem with the Couric interview (the one where McCain’s bitchy handlers who resented the decision tried to throw her to the wolves) than I do with the double-standard that is applied to internet raconteur, Andrew Brietbart (who freely admits, at every opportunity, his rabid partisanship). But, Brietbart gets a bad rap because he’s effective, when there’s nothing more (possibly less) manipulative about his edited videos (although the “editing” often has to do with how he receives them, but I’ll skip that tangent, for now) than any typical interview with any given Republican or conservative in the mainstream media. IMHO.

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  38. Cheers, Troll. And if I had a daughter (which I won’t unless there’s a wardrobe malfunction) I would say the same for Palin. I would express strong reservations about following the example of Ann Coulter.

    Kevin – I suggest that you contrast a Breitbart ambush with an interview of (pick your least favorite Democrat) by Chris Wallace. There is a difference. Heck, I think Sean Hannity does a good job of presenting a proudly conservative viewpoint, while also being respectful of his subject.

    BB

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  39. BB: Not a fan of the ambush interviews (whether Brietbart or Robert Scoble). Also not a fan of Hannity’s interview style. As a caveat, there’s a great deal of Breitbart stuff (as their is Hannity stuff) that I just haven’t seen, so given more exposure, I might just change my mind.

    I would express strong reservations about following the example of Ann Coulter.

    Take out the politics, and Ann has a lot to recommend her. She is hard-nosed, opinionated, not afraid to say what she thinks, doesn’t play the victim card, thinks outside the box, presents her arguments well, often gets in battles with her “side”, because she doesn’t agree with them, has changed her mind in the past (and can explain it). She knows how to market herself and what she writes, she’s built herself into a profitable brand . . . She can be abrasive, and so might not be the best person to be open or vulnerable around, but other than that, there’s a lot to recommend Ms. Coulter if you redact the politics.

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  40. Coulter casts those who have honest disagreements with her as traitors. She’s the pundit’s version of a shock jock. Let’s take a quote:

    “Liberals have a preternatural gift for always striking a position on the side of treason. Everyone says liberals love America, too. No, they don’t.”

    I am a traitor in Ann’s world who doesn’t love his country. Such statements of opinion are vile. I cannot get past that. I do welcome the counterpoint in which a well-known liberal pundit said conservatives do not love America.

    BB

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  41. Ann Coulter’s schtick is performance art. There is no way she actually believes the vile she spews. Sadly, her followers lap it up uncritically. They are like pro-wrestling fans who will punch you for even suggesting it’s fake.

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  42. McWing:

    Would you want encourage women to follow in Palin’s footsteps? Daughter of school teachers, elected Mayor, governor and then VP? Is that role model worthy?

    There’s nothing wrong with the flight path, and I think (from what I know) she was doing a great job up until she was selected as the VP nominee. After that she has veered away from being a person that I hold in any kind of esteem at all.

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    • she was doing a great job up until she was selected as the VP nominee. After that she has veered away from being a person that I hold in any kind of esteem at all.

      And nobody knew about Palin until she got the VP nomination so I think it’s to be expected that most discussions would focus almost exclusively from that point going forward. For instance, Michi’s statement about Palin abandoning the Governorship and Scott’s reply. I’m sure Michi never thought of Palin at all, much less as a role model, prior to Palin getting the VP nod so of course Michi is going to pick an event post nomination. While I get the lawyeresque point Scott made to Michi, it sort of ignores the context in which many, especially liberals, think about Palin. I’m not saying that’s fair, but I think it’s a pretty understandable perspective.

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  43. “. After that she has veered away from being a person that I hold in any kind of esteem at all.”

    What did she do or say differently after being selected that she didn’t do or say before? And while I’m a happy partisan hack, I knew her because she took down that douchebag Governor Murkowski.

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  44. I think the question is “what role are we modeling”? Every woman listed above, as best as I can tell, is hard working and successful from a business or career perspective. Personally there are so many role models available that I think focusing on Palin or Pelosi is too limiting. My mom and mother-in-law were role models (as was my dad). My brother is a role model to me. Reagan was a role model to me. Jimmy Stewart was one. My current boss is a role model to me. I look at people and see what makes them successful at certain things. Or I look at them for the choices and decisions they have made. I think it comes down to what people think is worth modeling. I can look at someone like Madonna and say that she was hard working, successful and put her talents to use. I would want my child to model that…but not in the same way that she did.

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  45. Ann Coulter’s schtick is performance art. There is no way she actually believes the vile she spews.

    Generally, I think she does. For marketing purposes, it’s probably condensed and amped up for Sunday show appearances, but I’ve heard often enough out of those contexts, and read her material enough, that I think it must be conviction. The energy with which she advances her viewpoint would be almost impossible, sustained after so long a period, otherwise.

    Some of the hyperbole, sure: she doesn’t “believe” the hyperbolic attacks in so much as she’s making a point, I suspect. But I believe she believes her targets are worthy of her withering hyperbole.

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  46. FB: Does Garrison Keillor count?

    Finding a left wing pundit who puts it so bluntly might be difficult. Finding working left wing pundits who put things so starkly is not.

    And I’ve read more than a few left-of-center books where the implication is not stated in such stark terms, but is clearly there, and obvious insinuation versus bluntly saying it doesn’t strike me as that big a gap. David Brock’s Republican Noise Machine is one, Thomas Frank’s What’s the Matter with Kansas is another. Al Franken’s political books. A great deal of Michael Moore’s online oeuvre. Of course, Keillor’s Homegrown Democrat. Al Franken’s “humorous” political books could be blunt at times, as I recall.

    A couple of things online, nobody nearly as famous as Ann, but the sentiment has been expressed by folks outside of the DemocraticUnderground and The Daily Kos (who I avoid, although there is an Alternet link in there).

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mitchell-bard/why-do-so-many-republican_b_208343.html

    http://www.alternet.org/newsandviews/article/658168/more_proof_republicans_hate_america%3A_blocking_appointments_and_making_government_run_worse_just_to_spite_obama/

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frank-schaeffer/open-letter-to-the-republ_b_172822.html

    That’s what I’ve got right now. There is more, but outside of an Olbermann or a Michael Moore, there aren’t many on the left to compare (fame wise) to Ann Coulter for hyperbolic invective.

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  47. Anyone who has not heard innumerable examples of equally “vile” statements by liberal pundits, flaks, and officials just hasn’t been paying attention. It isn’t even worth wasting time on yet again. Good grief, Barack Obama said Republican economic policy was unpatriotic, and Al Gore screamed that George Bush betrayed his country. Then you can start with Olberman, Schultz, Dean, Waters, Grayson, and a cast of thousands of slanderers on the left.

    The truth is that left and right do not in general have the same feelings and attitudes about the country. Argue about what the differences are, but they are different. The Obamas campaigned on the need to change our “mean” country. Those were not “just words.”

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  48. QB – Ann Coulter delights in throwing bombs and I simply took a gander at one of her verbal hand grenades. Every politician’s trying to change things. The aims are simply different. That’s the point of politics. Coulter views things as “real” Americans vs “un” Americans. See how well that rhetoric worked out for George Allen.

    Kevin, the alternet bit was a reach, but I’ll give you Frank Schaeffer.

    Truth is that I’m sure Republican operatives had a sinking feeling in their pit of their stomachs with the recent economic news. Doesn’t make ’em unAmerican, just realists. I’m mindful of the quotation from St. Augistine: O Lord, help me to be pure, but not yet.

    BB

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    • No, not every politician is trying to change the country in the same sense.

      That’s at the root of why one side is “conservative” and the other is something else.

      In some regions of the left, patriotism itself is despised.

      That’s a fact.

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  49. Kevin, the alternet bit was a reach

    It is, but I used to read Alternet regularly (I confess, I do not read much “regularly” any more, I depend on you guys to do it for me!) and, spectrum-wise, I see Alternet on the opposite side of the spectrum from Ann Coulter, even if they certainly lack the reach of Fox News, where Ann has been known to punditerize.

    Truth is that I’m sure Republican operatives had a sinking feeling in their pit of their stomachs with the recent economic news.

    The politicrats playing shirts never like it when the politicrats playing skins look to benefit from good news. They might win the game! Frack how the field will look at the end of it.

    In some regions of the left, patriotism itself is despised.

    That has certainly been my experience. While hardly universal, I’ve certainly encountered it. And a heartfelt sentiment it has been. Michael Moore even drew a a new map that got rid of all the areas of America he didn’t like after the 2004 election. 😉

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    • Kev, I started a Thursday night post but ran out of gas and time (hard week). Just one item there, can always use tomorrow.

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  50. McWing:

    What did she do or say differently after being selected that she didn’t do or say before?

    My understanding is that she governed effectively, built coalitions across partisan lines, took on big oil and demanded concessions for her constituents, etc.

    After she got the nomination she became a one-dimensional partisan political hack and abandoned most of the principles her constituents were evidently led to believe she held. I have no problem with the fact that she took on, and defeated, Gov. Murkowski. Abandoning that office halfway through to pursue a personal agenda for personal gain was craven.

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  51. Mich:

    No. I never did. But that wasn’t your question–you moved the goalpost again.

    No, I didn’t. I simply asked a second question. You are not being logical. (The temptation here to follow your lead by adding “again” is almost too much to resist. Almost.)

    Your answer suggests exactly what I suspected, namely that your feelings about Palin pre-date her resigning her governorship and therefore that one act doesn’t really explain your contempt for her relative to Pelosi.

    After she got the nomination she became a one-dimensional partisan political hack…

    It’s worked for Pelosi.

    Like

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