Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sanctuary City Kills Aniother Innocent Young Man

Democrats are famous for caring more about the "rights" of the criminals than the lives of the innocent. In fact, according to Thomas Sowell, in his brilliant "A Conflict of Visions" notes, the people he calls "unconstrained" in their "thinking" see the criminal as TWICE victimized -- first, by whatever "special circumstances" PROVOKED them to oommit their crime and then by the people who "lust" for their punishment.

But nobody "lusts" for anyone's punishment. Instead we believe that criminals need to be punished and the innoent protected.

The case of high school football star Jamiel Shaw is a perfect example. Caring more about illegal alien gangbangers than the citizens of Los Angeles, the leftist administrations that have successively run this once great city have turned LA into a "sanctuary city," where criminals and thugs are protected and innocents murdered.

While Anita Shaw -- Jamiel's mother -- was serving her country in Iraq, an illegal alien gangbanger RELEASED ONLY THE DAY BEFORE from prison on other charges, walked up to the young man, shot him in the stomach and then put a bullet in his brain. Yes, thanks to the Democrats America gained an illegal alien criminal, but we lost a promising young American -- a role model, a friend and a son.

The leftists in the city -- including the Mayor -- have taken the side of the murderers yet again. Jamiel's parents have spearheaded a new law -- Jamiel's Law -- that would require the deportation of illegal alien gangbangers. Not even just illegal aliens, but illegal alien GANGBANGERS. The left objects. Strenuously. Even violentlhy, with the city violently distrupting efforts by the grieving parents to put Jamiel's Law on the books.

You can help. Go to www.frontpagemag.com -- the webzine for the great Freedom Center run by ex-radical leftist David Horowitz -- and download the petition and get signitures from folks in LA County. Only twenty thousand more are needed to protect the innocent from criminal thugs and the lefts' constant refusal to live up to the law in order to protect and defend thugs.


John said...

What does the Left care about Democratic petitions, Evan?

They only champion democracy and declare "The People Have Spoken!" when the votes go there weay.

Look what happened with Prop 8. The losers of the Democratic process outright reject the winners of it (and attack freedom of religion for good measure).

Why would a signed petition cause them to cease and desist from trying to force through an agenda?

karin said...

The Right Supporting Good:

RNC chair a member of a WHITES ONLY club.

LOL...So how is that news?

The entire Republican Party is a Whites Only bigots club.

karin said...

Boooohoooo! What does the Right care about the scientific process.

They only champion reason when it coincides with their idiotology...which is like nevaaah.

Schiavo was bright and happy when they murdered her.

Climate change is blah blah

albert pierrepoint said...

I signed a petition along with hundreds of thousands of others to investigate and prosecute the greatest mass murderers in our countries history...Bush and Cheney.

Yet, the right cares more about protecting their own killers than they do about the good of our great nation.

While the left sees these pampered sociopaths for the monsters they are, the right seeks only to ratify their crimes and even elevate them to icon status.

Caring more about political mass killers than the finest young men of their own country they have turned the very center of our nation, the Whitehouse itself, into a "sanctuary edifice" where criminals are protected and the murder of innocents is ordered.

Yes, thanks to the Republicans, America gained a reputation for criminal aggression and the vilest callousness throughout the world, and lost thousands of promising young Americans...role models, friends, sons, daughters and brothers...as well as our good name and reputation around the world, and very nearly our souls if we continue to let these crimes go unpunished.

But why would a signed petition cause them to cease and desist from trying to force through an agenda?

Whah? Whah? I axes.

office of failed presidency elect said...

Only 56 Days until the start of the only presidential administration to fail before it could even begin...

paramodis said...

Exhibit A...this dork blog:

Conservatives really really want to emulate our success in the online political world. They'll have as much success as we've had with talk radio -- the occasional success story, but nowhere near the impact. Culturally, the medium favors us.

Riffing off that piece above, Steve Benen mocks the "rightroots":
For more than two years, I was the editor for Salon' "Blog Report," featuring posts from the left and right. It led me to read dozens of conservative blogs every day, and I quickly realized that when it came to depth and seriousness of thought, the two sides weren't close. (James Joyner, who is both thoughtful and knowledgeable, is a noticeable exception.)

Indeed, to help drive the point home, earlier this year, Erick Erickson, RedState's editor, acknowledged that the "netroots" have an advantage over the "rightroots," but attributed it to an asymmetry in free time, since conservatives "have families because we don't abort our kids, and we have jobs because we believe in capitalism."

This is largely the kind of thinking that dominates on conservative blogs. They can't quite get to policy disputes or serious analysis, because they're too busy mulling over the implications of liberals joining forces with Islamofascists, the United Nations, and Mexican immigrants to execute some kind of nefarious plot.

rightmarch.com said...

This CONSERVATIVE ALERT is a special message from RightMarch.com

The Federal Reserve Bank CAUSED the Financial Crisis
Tell Congress to ABOLISH THE FED Now:

ALERT: Everyone knows that we're in the middle of a financial crisis, the likes of which we haven't seen in many, many decades.

Very few people, however, know what CAUSED this financial crisis -- OR that we could bring the crisis to an end more quickly, AND not return to it, if we would just abolish the institution that DID cause it:

THE FEDERAL RESERVE, better known as "The FED." It's the FED that has control over our banking system, our money system, and our entire economic system.

But the Federal Reserve is neither "Federal" NOR does it have anything in "Reserve!"

So what does the FED do? More than anything else, it inflates our money supply. Since the creation of the Federal Reserve nearly 100 years ago, middle and working-class Americans have been victimized by a boom-and-bust monetary policy. In addition, most Americans have suffered a steadily eroding purchasing power because of the Federal Reserve's inflationary policies. This represents a real, if hidden, TAX imposed on the American people.

From the Great Depression, to the stagflation of the seventies, to the burst of the dotcom bubble last year, every economic downturn suffered by the country over the last 80 years can be traced to Federal Reserve policy. The Fed has followed a consistent policy of flooding the economy with easy money, leading to a misallocation of resources and an artificial "boom" followed by a recession or depression when the Fed-created bubble bursts.

Thankfully, a bill has been introduced in Congress to restore financial stability to America's economy -- by abolishing the Federal Reserve, and returning America to the only basis for stable money MANDATED by the U.S. Constitution: gold and silver. That bill is H.R. 2755, the "Federal Reserve Board Abolition Act" -- and WE need to contact Congress NOW to pass it, BEFORE the end of their current "lame-duck" session!

With a stable currency, American exporters will no longer be held hostage to an erratic monetary policy. Stabilizing the currency will also give Americans new incentives to save, as they will no longer have to fear inflation eroding their savings. Members of Congress who claim they are concerned about increasing America's exports or the low rate of savings should be enthusiastic supporters of this legislation.

Though the Federal Reserve policy harms the average American, it benefits those in a position to take advantage of the cycles in monetary policy. The main beneficiaries are those who receive access to artificially inflated money and/or credit before the inflationary effects of the policy impact the entire economy. Federal Reserve policies also benefit big spending politicians who use the inflated currency created by the Fed to hide the true costs of the welfare-warfare state. It's time for Congress to put the interests of the American people ahead of the special interests and their own appetite for big government.

It's time to ABOLISH THE FED!

TAKE ACTION: Abolishing the Federal Reserve will allow Congress to reassert its constitutional authority over monetary policy. The United States Constitution grants to CONGRESS the authority to coin money and regulate the value of the currency. The Constitution does NOT give Congress the authority to delegate control over monetary policy to a central bank! Furthermore, the Constitution certainly does not empower the federal government to erode the American standard of living via an inflationary monetary policy.

In fact, Congress' constitutional mandate regarding monetary policy should ONLY permit currency backed by stable commodities such as silver and gold to be used as legal tender. Therefore, abolishing the Federal Reserve and returning to a constitutional system will enable America to return to the type of monetary system envisioned by our nation's founders: one where the value of money is consistent because it is tied to a commodity such as gold. Such a monetary system is the basis of a true free-market economy.

We MUST convince Congress to . Please contact your representative in Congress by clicking below (or call your Representative at 202-224-3121), and ask him or her to STAND UP for working Americans by putting an end to the manipulation of the money supply which erodes Americans' standard of living, enlarges big government, and enriches well-connected elites, by cosponsoring H.R. 2755 to abolish the Federal Reserve:



William Greene, President

A member of The party that's *NOT* going extinct said...

"Look what happened with Prop 8. The losers of the Democratic process outright reject the winners of it (and attack freedom of religion for good measure)."

Do you even understand the concept of "freedom of religion", ya fuckin moron? If you did, you would not have typed that statement.


nookie green said...

GOP Embracing Failure...and lying about it:

Bush Labor Department misled Congress in effort to privatize jobsJohn Byrne
Published: Tuesday November 25, 2008

Print This Email This

President George W. Bush's Labor Department misled Congress in an effort to prove outsourcing jobs to private companies was more efficient than assigning the jobs to government employees, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Monday.

The report (pdf here) found that the Department used fictional projected numbers to improve "savings reports" -- even when real numbers were already available. And when the government did find private firms to take a government job, that employee generally was either reassigned to another task with the same title or promoted.

The effort was called "competitive sourcing," aimed to increase government efficiency by having federal and private organizations compete for providing services. While part of a federal government approach since 1955, the Bush Administration has made the approach a key element of the President's Management Agenda under the Office of Management and Budget.

An investigation revealed, however, that the Labor Department -- under direction from Bush budget officials -- deliberately withheld information about true costs.

According to the report, the Department of Labor "excluded a number of substantial costs in its reports to Congress -- such as the costs for precompetition planning, certain transition costs and staff time and post competition review activities -- thereby understanding the full costs of this contracting approach."

The report noted that this approach was consistent with "guidance" given by the Administration's Office of Management and Budget.

In addition, the report found the Department's "savings reports" were "not reliable: a sample of three reports contained inaccuracies, and others used projections when actual numbers were available, which sometimes resulted in overstated savings."

Most workers were also demoralized as the government tried to find private firms to take over their jobs, the probe found.

Bush Labor Secretary Elaine Chao began having workers compete for their jobs in 2004. Few employees have lost their jobs. But when the government found a private company to take over their position, 84 percent were reassigned to different positions with the same title or were promoted.

Since implementation, 22 employees were laid off or demoted, all of them African American.

The senator who commissioned the report, Iowa's Tom Harkin, along with the House committee that oversees the Labor Department, David Obey, said in a letter Monday that the report proved "the negative impact the Bush Administration's failed policies have had" on the Department.

"Under the direction of this White House, the Department of Labor has increasingly attempted to move work performed by Federal employees to private contractors" and, in so doing, hurt workers' morale and "grossly overstated savings," they wrote. "We look forward to working with the Obama Administration to strengthen the Department of Labor as it undertakes the critical missions of making sure our workplaces are safe; protecting employee pensions, health benefits and rights; and providing workers with the skills they need to compete successfully in the 21st century economy."

M Colins said...

Apparently none of the wingnut fringe want to address what Evan's post is about which is the idiotic concept of a "sanctuary city" and how disturbingly it would prefer to fight for the "rights" of illegal aliens who choose life in a gang as their version of the American Dream. We used to be able to agree on a few things like crime and criminals are bad and foreign criminals especially have to be deported. But now any mention of a crisis with a Leftist or Democrat signature on it immediately brings out the tinfoil hat crowd who want to ignore obvious problems and instead tilt at demented windmills. Kids, if the law couldnt get Clinton it sure isnt going to get Bush or Cheney.

If one of you loons has something worthwhile or pertinent to say on this tragedy in California, I'll be surprised.

M Colins said...

Evan it's time you started exercising some editorial judgment on these people who post the same thing time after time after your articles, rarely ever having anything to do with the topic at hand. Youre just providing the terminal Bush Derangement sufferers with a soapbox and allowing them to clog up the site with bile discouraging any actual or productive discussion created by your essays. Let them preach to their own choirs on the Lefty nutosphere.

Anonymous said...

"Let them preach to their own choirs on the Lefty nutosphere."

So essentially and consequently you want Evan to preach to his own choir while the left preaches to their own choir...why is anyone preaching then in the first place?

You guys are pretty much all about living in your little box and blocking out any external stimulus, aren't you? Denial ain't gonna get you anywhere, fellas!

eva said...

time after time after your articles, rarely ever having anything to do with the topic at hand.

actually, evan's articles never have anything to do with the topic at hand.

paramodis said...

"A new president will soon take office, facing hard choices not only about two long-running wars and an ever-deepening economic crisis, but about a government that has long been morally adrift. Torture-as-policy, kidnappings, ghost prisons, domestic surveillance, creeping militarism, illegal war-making, and official lies have been the order of the day. Moments like this call for truth-tellers."

And many are eager to come forward after inauguration to reveal the lies and crimes of the GOPs reign of terror and lies.

dersu uzala said...

Here's a thought,Mr. Collins...plug your ears and scream.

M Colins said...

actually, evan's articles never have anything to do with the topic at hand.

Ah yes nothing the Left hates more than an apostate former Lefty who's wandered off the plantation.

Speaking as someone who was almost a communist at one point believe me when I say ex Leftists know the self delusion it takes to live in the Leftist world. You guys would rather post links from the far edge of sanity theorizing any imbecilic perceived implausibility than actually attempt to engage Evan directly with anything other than "oh yeahs" and "yeahbuts". Lacking the ability to do so, you do the cyber equivalent of a typical liberal tactic which is attempt to shout down your adversaries.

Still notably absent in any of the moronic ripostes from the loons is anything substantial regarding the situation in LA.

Rock on fruitcakes.

former republican said...

Why Authoritarians Now Control the Republican Party: The Rise of Authoritarian Conservatism
By John W. Dean
Created Sep 21 2007 - 9:47am
— from FindLaw (posted with permission) [1]

This is the second in a three-part series of columns in which FindLaw columnist John Dean discusses his most recent book, Conservatives Without Conscience [2]. - Ed.

Today, the Grand Old Republican Party is controlled by authoritarian conservatives. (As I mentioned in my prior column [3], the first in this three-part series, to my knowledge no person in the GOP has ever denied that fact - and they are well-aware of my book.) More specifically, as I broadly outlined in my last column, the research of social scientists such as Bob Altemeyer has revealed the personality traits of both those authoritarians who are followers, and those who are their leaders.

The Followers: Right-Wing Authoritarians

Princeton political scientist Fred I. Greenstein has cautioned about the uses of personality in analyzing political activity; in fact, he directly addressed "the tangled history of studies of authoritarianism." He noted, however, that while the study of authoritarian personalities once seemed to be at a "dead end," that has proven not to be the case. Rather, "in the 1980s an ingenious and rigorous program of inquiry by Altemeyer (1981, 1988) furnished persuasive empirical evidence that the original authoritarian construct was an approximation of an important political-psychological regularity--the existence in some individuals of an inner makeup that disposes them to defer to authority figures."

These, of course, are followers. Altemeyer labeled these people "right-wing authoritarians" not because he was looking to target political conservatives, but rather because he was drawing broadly on the historical terms that identify those who openly submit to established authorities, and whether those authorities are political, economic or religious, those who submit to them are traditionally described as being on the right wing. As Altemeyer developed and refined his testing, however, it became apparent that those who tested as highly submissive to economic or religious authorities also proved to be hard-right political conservatives.

In addition to being especially submissive to established authority, Altemeyer's research revealed that those he calls right-wing authoritarians also show "general aggressiveness" towards others, when such behavior is "perceived to be sanctioned" by established authorities. Finally, these people are always highly compliant with the social conventions endorsed by society and established authorities. These basic traits, submissiveness to authority and conventionality, are the essence of those Altemeyer describes as right-wing authoritarians. If these traits are not present in some significant (albeit varying) degree, he does not consider the subject to be a right-wing authoritarian. However, these people can, and often do, consistently reveal they have many other interesting traits as well.

Based on Altemeyer's study, as well as those of other social psychologists, I prepared a list of the additional traits that these personalities, both men and women who test high as right-wing authoritarians, often evidence: highly religious, moderate to little education, trust untrustworthy authorities, prejudiced (particularly against homosexuals, women, and followers of religions other than their own), mean-spirited, narrow-minded, intolerant, bullying, zealous, dogmatic, uncritical toward their chosen authority, hypocritical, inconsistent and contradictory, prone to panic easily, highly self-righteous, moralistic, strict disciplinarian, severely punitive, demands loyalty and returns it, little self-awareness, usually politically and economically conservative/Republican.

The Leaders: Social Dominators

Much of the work on authoritarianism focused on followers, and only in recent decades have social psychologists developed tests to measure the traits of authoritarian leaders, or as Altemeyer states, "person who wanted to be submitted to." These people, because of their inclination and desire to dominate others and to dominate social situations in which they find themselves, are said to have a "social dominance orientation," given their take-charge natures.

The term "social dominance orientation" may sound like academic jargon, but actually it is highly descriptive of the personalities of many who run social and political situations and organizations--the leaders who insist on running the show. The word "social," of course, refers to the general organization of society; "dominance" relates to control or command over other people; and "orientation," as used here, means their inclination or disposition. These are people who seize every opportunity to lead, who enjoy having power over others, and who will seek it both fairly and not so fairly.

People who test high as social dominators are also economically conservative and have little tolerance for equality. They consistently agree when asked about statements such as the following: "Some people are just more worthy than others"; "This country would be better off if we cared less about how equal all people were"; and "To get ahead in life, it is sometimes necessary to step on others." In addition, they will respond in the negative to the proposition that "All humans should be treated equally." (In fact, they are given many more questions when tested; I am merely providing a very small sample.)

Again, I have prepared a listing of the traits revealed in the testing of these remarkably manipulative and cunning personalities, who are typically men: dominating, opposes equality, desirous of personal power, amoral, intimidating and bullying, faintly hedonistic, vengeful, pitiless, exploitive, manipulative, dishonest, cheats to win, highly prejudiced (racist, sexist, homophobic), mean-spirited, militant, nationalistic, tells others what they want to hear, takes advantage of "suckers," specializes in creating false images to sell self, may or may not be religious, usually politically and economically conservative/Republican.

These lists of traits for both right-wing authoritarian followers, and social dominating authoritarian leaders, should be understood as not necessarily describing every person who falls into the type. While many have all the traits, not all will have all, or even most, of them. Most people who test high as authoritarians, whether followers or leaders, have some of these traits, however.

(I will not deal, here, with another group which I address in Conservatives Without Conscience at some length: the groups of those who uniquely test high for all these traits - both those of a leader and those of a follower. This happens with a small number of social dominators when given both tests. Seeing themselves as running the world, they respond as high as followers do on certain traits, because they want people to follow them. These so-called "double highs" are people I labeled as "conservatives without conscience," but they are beyond this summary. Nonetheless, they too fall under the general description of those leaders and followers who subscribe to authoritarian conservatism.)

Authoritarian Conservatism

No one familiar with the findings of social scientists who study authoritarianism relating to the social-dominating leaders was surprised when they became the leaders in control of the Republican Party, nor when they demanded strict adherence to their conservative political, religious and economic worldview. Nor was there any surprise among social scientists when the right-wing authoritarian followers went along with their leaders, not to mention aggressively pushing the message and turning against those who were not believers.

Needless to say, Republicans have not come anywhere close to pursuing the type of political authoritarianism found in countries like China and Russia, or in any of the many semi-dictatorial or quasi-totalitarian governments. Our constitutional system makes that nearly impossible. Nor is authoritarian conservatism new in our country.

Alexander Hamilton, the monarchist-leaning founding father, can justifiably be considered America's first prominent authoritarian conservative. Political scientists Charles W. Dunn and J. David Woodard reported in their study The Conservative Tradition in America that Hamilton's "brand of conservatism may be properly labeled authoritarian conservatism." Dunn and Woodard trace the ideology of authoritarian conservatism to Joseph de Maistre, a French nobleman and political polemicist who became an outspoken opponent of Enlightenment thinking, and who favored a strong central government. De Maistre was more famously known by later generations for his admiration of hangmen, whom he felt were essential for social order.

Conservative scholar Peter Viereck examined authoritarian conservatism in his work Conservatism: From John Adams to Churchill, in which he reported the "rival brands" of early conservatism, dividing them into two founding schools: that of Edmund Burke, and that of Maistre. Viereck characterized Burkean conservatism as "the moderate brand," while characterizing Maistre's as "reactionary." Burkean conservatism was not authoritarian but constitutionalist, while Maistrean conservatism was "authoritarian in its stress on the authority" being granted to "some traditional elite." Although most conservative scholars choose to ignore Maistre, treating him as an unwelcome member of the family, his work is significant in that it suggests that authoritarianism was an integral component of conservatism at the time of its founding.

As one sifts through the conservative philosophy of the religious right and of the neo-conservatives, the Maistrean philosophy is conspicuously present. Unlike traditional conservatives who embrace varying degrees of libertarianism - drawn from the core beliefs of classic Nineteenth Century liberalism - the authoritarian conservative wants an all-powerful chief executive who runs a mighty military that implements his will.

Authoritarian conservatism was growing in force in Washington for a decade before Bush and Cheney arrived at the White House, but their administration has taken it to its highest and most dangerous level in American history. It is doubtful they could have accomplished this, had authoritarian conservatism not already taken hold in Congress and the federal judiciary. In the final segment of this three-part series of columns, I will highlight a few of the aspects of authoritarian conservatism that are troubling for American government.

About author John W. Dean is a columnist for FindLaw and a former counsel to the President.

Anonymous said...

Ann Coulter's Jaw is Wired Shut

Still, Think About the Things that Ann Coulter Has Said

By Michael Thompson, published Nov 25, 2008

Ann Coulter, among the most loud-mouthed of conservative pundits, broke her jaw in a fall and now she can't talk for a few weeks. This is all supposed to be so funny. But is it?

My long-time reaction toward Ann Coulter was that most everyone, conservative and liberal alike, realized she was a joke. But then last year she visited my hometown of Saginaw, Mich., and she was taken at face value. The hometown newspaper featured Ann Coulter as a legitimate conservative commentator, the same as they might have covered George Will, let's say, or David Gergen. So did the TV and radio stations.

Apparently Ann Coulter did not say anything super-crazy during her Saginaw visit. Her remarks were the usual stuff about patriotic conservatives. None of the reporters really explored Ann Coulter's background.

This means, all jokes about the broken jaw aside, that the Ann Coulter background should be brought to light.

- During the 1990s, Ann Coulter was working for MSNBC and conducted an interview with Robert Muller, a disabled Vietnam veteran who co-founded the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. Coulter expressed a view that a good soldier would know how to avoid the mines. "No wonder you guys lost," she told Muller. (She later said she did not know Muller was disabled, for what it's worth.)

- Ann Coulter's remark on Timothy McVeigh's 1994 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City: "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building."

- Ann Coulter's writings after 9/11: "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war."

- In her 2003 book, "Treason," Ann Coulter reported that Sen. Joseph McCarthy was accurate in many of his assertions that hundreds of American leaders during the 1950s were Communist agents in the employment of the Soviet Union. Therefore, McCarthy should not have faced disgrace. Her book made The New York Times Best Sellers List.

d. simes said...

Ex leftists?! Hahahaha...you mean people like Buckley, Mesdames Eisenhower, Nixon and Goldwater, Adelman, Bruce Fein, Adelman, etcetcetc ad infinitum who were so appalled by modern "conservatism" that they all came out and endorsed Obama. The psycho's Jamiel thing is one more stale wedge issue, tempest in a teapot gambit of the kind they've been using forever and to which no one pays any more attention. It's a yawn. There are REAL problems in the world. Your studied attempts at diverting from them have made you into a permanent rancid rump party joke.

ds said...

That's a great article by FORMER REPUBLICAN John Dean. I would not have seen it had I not visited this informative blog. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Exactly, Simes...and it drives them insane that no one is listening to their pathetic tantrums anymore.

Anonymous said...

Bush's Last Days: The Lamest Duck

By JOE KLEIN Wednesday, Nov. 26,

We have "only one President at a time," Barack Obama said in his debut press conference as President-elect. Normally, that would be a safe assumption — but we're learning not to assume anything as the charcoal-dreary economic winter approaches. By mid-November, with the financial crisis growing worse by the day, it had become obvious that one President was no longer enough (at least not the President we had). So, in the days before Thanksgiving, Obama began to move — if not to take charge outright, then at least to preview what things will be like when he does take over in January. He became a more public presence, taking questions from the press three days in a row. He named his economic team. He promised an enormous stimulus package that would somehow create 2.5 million new jobs, and began to maneuver the new Congress toward having the bill ready for him to sign — in a dramatic ceremony, no doubt — as soon as he assumes office.

That we have slightly more than one President for the moment is mostly a consequence of the extraordinary economic times. Even if George Washington were the incumbent, the markets would want to know what John Adams was planning to do after his Inauguration. And yet this final humiliation seems particularly appropriate for George W. Bush. At the end of a presidency of stupefying ineptitude, he has become the lamest of all possible ducks. (See TIME's best pictures of Barack Obama.)

It is in the nature of mainstream journalism to attempt to be kind to Presidents when they are coming and going but to be fiercely skeptical in between. I've been feeling sorry for Bush lately, a feeling partly induced by recent fictional depictions of the President as an amiable lunkhead in Oliver Stone's W. and in Curtis Sittenfeld's terrific novel American Wife. There was a photo in the New York Times that seemed to sum up his current circumstance: Bush in Peru, dressed in an alpaca poncho, standing alone just after the photo op at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, with various Asian leaders departing the stage, none of them making eye contact with him. Bush has that forlorn what-the-hell-happened? expression on his face, the one that has marked his presidency at difficult times. You never want to see the President of the United States looking like that.

So I've been searching for valedictory encomiums. His position on immigration was admirable and courageous; he was right about the Dubai Ports deal and about free trade in general. He spoke well, in the abstract, about the importance of freedom. He is an impeccable classicist when it comes to baseball. And that just about does it for me. I'd add the bracing moment of Bush with the bullhorn in the ruins of the World Trade Center, but that was neutered in my memory by his ridiculous, preening appearance in a flight suit on the deck of the aircraft carrier beneath the "Mission Accomplished" sign. The flight-suit image is one of the two defining moments of the Bush failure. The other is the photo of Bush staring out the window of Air Force One, helplessly viewing the destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina. This is a presidency that has wobbled between those two poles — overweening arrogance and paralytic incompetence.(President Bush in the Middle East.)

The latter has held sway these past few months as the economy has crumbled. It is too early to rate the performance of Bush's economic team, but we have more than enough evidence to say, definitively, that at a moment when there was a vast national need for reassurance, the President himself was a cipher. Yes, he's a lame duck with an Antarctic approval rating — but can you imagine Bill Clinton going so gently into the night? There are substantive gestures available to a President that do not involve the use of force or photo ops. For example, Bush could have boosted the public spirit — and the auto industry — by announcing that he was scrapping the entire federal automotive fleet, including the presidential limousine, and replacing it with hybrids made in Detroit. He could have jump-started — and he still could — the Obama plan by releasing funds for a green-jobs program to insulate public buildings. He could start funding the transit projects already approved by Congress.

In the end, though, it will not be the creative paralysis that defines Bush. It will be his intellectual laziness, at home and abroad. Bush never understood, or cared about, the delicate balance between freedom and regulation that was necessary to make markets work. He never understood, or cared about, the delicate balance between freedom and equity that was necessary to maintain the strong middle class required for both prosperity and democracy. He never considered the complexities of the cultures he was invading. He never understood that faith, unaccompanied by rigorous skepticism, is a recipe for myopia and foolishness. He is less than President now, and that is appropriate. He was never very much of one.

patric said...

Hero of the Republic:

Judge yelled 'tyrant' before Mukasey collapsedNick Juliano

Before Attorney General Michael Mukasey collapsed last week at a speech to the conservative Federalist Society, one audience member could not contain his disapproval with the speech's subject matter.

Mukasey's defense of President Bush's policies on prisoner treatment and their indefinite detention at Guantanamo Bay was too much for Washington State Supreme Court Judge Richard Sanders.

He shouted, "Tyrant! You are a tyrant!"

Sanders acknowledged his conduct in an interview with The Seattle Times.

"Frankly, everybody in the room was applauding or sometimes laughing, and I thought, 'I've got to stand up and say something.' And I did," he told the paper. "I stood up and said, 'Tyrant,' then I sat down again, then I left."

The outburst came well before Mukasey's collapse and likely did not contribute to it. Sanders left before the end of Mukasey's speech because he wasn't enjoying himself, he told the paper.

While he regrets shouting at the country's top law enforcement officer, Sanders says he still believes the policies Mukasey was advocating -- namely that the US is not obligated to adhere to the Geneva conventions in battling al Qaeda -- could lead to "tyranny." In the speech, Mukasey argued that because the international terrorist group didn't sign the convention, the US shouldn't be bound by them, but Sanders said that wasn't the point.

"I didn't sign the Geneva Conventions, you didn't sign the Geneva Conventions, but the United States did sign the Conventions," he told the Times. "And that's the point, isn't it?"

Anonymous said...

Evans: Center-wrong
On issues, Americans canting to the left

By Clay Evans
Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The modern GOP is masterful, particularly compared to the usually bickering and self-defeating Democrats, at "message control" -- spooling out what it wants the general public to hear, even to think about. And in the wake of the Democrats' resounding election victories, the message of the day seems to be, "America remains a center-right nation."

The implication, of course, is that Barack Obama, the Democrats and their ideals did not really win over the voting public. They merely trampled the woeful legacy of George W. Bush and benefited mightily from current economic woes.

But conservative pundits have been repeating the "center-right" mantra more often than John McCain says "my friends," giving the claim more than a whiff of wishful thinking, even desperation. To wit:

Karl Rove: "Obama understands that this is a center-right country...."

Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review: America "is indeed, as conservatives have been insisting in recent days, a center-right country."

House Republican leader John Boehner: "America is still a center-right country."

But just repeating something, no matter how incessantly, doesn't necessarily make it true. And there's plenty of evidence that the Reagan-era dictum about America's eternal center-right tendencies is in tatters.

Consider what the polls are telling us about:

"Single-payer" health care: A 2007 Associated Press-Yahoo poll confirmed the results of a widely known 2003 survey, finding that 65 percent of Americans support extending a Medicare-type system of health-care insurance to all. It's worth noting that the poll found that supporters are OK with tax increases to achieve that goal.

Guns: Despite those scary NRA TV ads, Obama isn't going to spend much time on the issue, except perhaps to restore the sensible assault-weapon ban. However, a 2007 ABC/Washington Post poll found that 61 percent of Americans support restrictions on gun ownership.

Abortion: In annual Gallup polls from 1995 to 2007, either a majority or a plurality of Americans supported abortion rights, with about 60 percent saying the law should either stay the same or that abortion restrictions should be eased.

Iraq: Google this and you'll find a plethora of polls clearly indicating that more than half of Americans now think it was a mistake to wage war on Iraq, while less than 40 percent think it was a smashing good idea, as sold to us by the Bush administration.

And that's just a sampling of the evidence.

Center-right bongo-beaters will point to Americans' self-applied labels as Exhibit A: Just 22 percent identify as "liberal," while 34 percent claim the conservative label, and 44 percent say they're moderates, according to an exit survey of more than 17,000 voters taken on Election Day.

But labels matter less than what voters actually think about the issues. And on everything from the environment to the economy, the nation as a whole is now more obviously center-left -- or at least firmly moderate -- than center-right.

But unlike Rove, we don't think any particular is (or should be) "permanent." Change is, in fact, the only constant.

Wound-licking conservatives might want to hang their hats on that, rather than wasting their breath loudly squawking, against all evidence, that nothing has changed since the days of Reagan.

-- Clay Evans, guest editor for the Camera editorial board

jason patric said...

Yes, the "most liberal member" of the US Senate now holds an over 9 million vote landslide over McCain. The largest number by a non-incumbent in the history of the country.

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Evan!

Gobble gobble til you pass out said...

Yes, Happy Dead and Abused Bird Day to all.

My sentiments are most eloquently expressed by St. William's Thanksgiving Prayer:


fuggit, let's descend into insanity said...

John, what do you think should be the first item on our agenda now that McCain has won the election as predicted?

Anonymous said...

Diebold Vote Company Whistleblower and GOP Cyber Security Expert: 2002 Chambliss Senate Race Was Rigged

WASHINGTON, Dec 01, 2008 PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -
- In an exclusive interview with Velvet Revolution ("VR"), a DC based non-profit dedicated to a clean and accountable government, a former Diebold vote machine contractor who was in charge of preparing the 2002 election between Saxby Chambliss and Max Cleland has stated that the software patches placed on the voting machines in the weeks prior to the election could have rigged the election in favor of Republican Chambliss. The contractor, Chris Hood, was ordered by the President of Diebold, Bob Urosevich, to secretly install uncertified software patches on machines in predominantly Democratic counties, according to Mr. Hood. Saxby Chambliss won a surprising victory after trailing badly in the pre-election polls.
The interview with Mr. Hood, posted by Velvet Revolution ("VR"), can be seen on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKnIghBsU58. Rebecca Abrahams, a former ABC News producer who conducted the interview, states, "Jim Martin should be concerned about the veracity and validity of the runoff election results after anomalies in the last election and the statement by Chris Hood. In fact, voters should demand to know if Chambliss had any knowledge that the 2002 election was rigged and whether he knew that Georgia citizens voted on electronic voting machines that had been patched with uncertified software days before the election in clear violation of Georgia law."
Stephen Spoonamore, a cyber security expert and lifelong Republican, has also stated that he believes that the 2002 Georgia Senate race was rigged in favor of Chambliss. "If you look at the case of Saxby Chambliss, that's ridiculous. The man was not elected. He lost that election by five points. Max Cleland won. They flipped the votes, clear as day." Spoon said in another exclusive interview posted on YouTube by VR at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzKbigGoMoo.
VR has been working with whistleblowers who have stated that the GOP, under the direction of Karl Rove, has been using computers to change election results. In order to protect the runoff election from such manipulations, a federal RICO lawsuit is being pursued in Ohio to take depositions from those who have been implicated in this illegal strategy. Last week, the attorneys in that case sent document holds to Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel asking that she retain all memory cards and hard drives used in the runoff, and all documents related to uncertified patches. Cliff Arnebeck, the lead attorney in that case states, "Karl Rove has made a career out of rigging elections. Electronic voting machines like those being used in Georgia are his favorite tool, so this important race cannot be watched too closely."
Complete coverage of this suit is at www.rovecybergate.com.
VR is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the Saxby Chambliss election rigging.