More Crowley Crowing About “Divided Dems”

January 22, 2009

(Sorry this graphic isn’t “gender neutral” for the purposes of this post…)

This CNN bit of pundit wankery disguised as political analysis comes to us courtesy of Candy Crowley; basically, she wasted valuable bandwidth trying to manufacture some supposedly catastrophic differences of opinion between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and President Obama (it really isn’t worth any further commentary besides that; besides, anybody who thinks that Harry Reid would actually stand up to anything or anybody must not be paying attention to the news, since he doesn’t have much of a record on that at the moment – hint; think Blago and a certain Senator named Burris).

And please remember, Crowley is the person who brought us the following (from here)…

Because, look, he has great popularity, as [CNN senior political correspondent] Candy [Crowley] said. But once you drop that “elect” and he’s President Obama, then it’s his economy; it’s his unemployment rate. And he will start getting the baggage that every president does when people get mad.

We’ll see about that, but I’ll take this number for now.

And here’s more:

  • Crowley “reports” by clipping Obama’s quotes here (gosh, looks like fun – can I play too?).
  • Here, she refuses to exercise any kind of media due diligence at all in the matter of who lied more in a presidential debate, John McCain or Obama (though she believes it is her job to “report” on candidates who drink green tea as well as misrepresenting the Dems as not “supporting the troops” and being “weak on national security”).
  • Here, she has no problem reporting on a posh Obama fundraiser, but somehow forgot to report on those of McCain.
  • She also “reported” that Obama “distorted” John McCain’s remark about staying in Iraq “100 years” without reporting what McCain actually said here.
  • There is much more that I could dig up on Crowley had I the time and the stomach for her particularly ingratiating “gift” for propaganda, but I’ll leave it at this for now. Suffice to say that I didn’t know that “Senior Political Correspondent” was a job title for an operative at Republican National Committee headquarters.

    More Taxing Punditry From Greg “Gas N’ Go” Mankiw

    January 21, 2009

    horsesassvu0(Note: The title is a nod to this prior post in which the author joined the chorus of those advocating a “gasoline tax” to punish those wasteful drivers; sorry, but I’m not real big on social engineering at someone else’s expense, and I’m certainly not big on that when it comes to my own – make cheaper, more fuel-efficient cars and give employers greater tax incentives to support telecommuting first, to say nothing of increased mass transit funding, OK?).

    The New York Times today published a list of questions that financial industry experts would like to ask Treasury Secretary Designate Timothy Geithner today (Geithner’s confirmation hearing was today, as noted here).

    And one of the Times’ questioners was a certain N. Gregory Mankiw, who posed the following…

    1. The income tax code favors those with employer-provided health insurance over those who buy their own health insurance or pay medical bills out of pocket. It also favors homeowners over renters, through the mortgage interest deduction. Is this tax treatment efficient or fair? Might you favor a more level playing field?

    Yes and No, people – we’re done with this, OK?

    Don’t screw around with my mortgage interest deduction! Also…

    2. President Obama supports the estate tax. Why should a person who leaves his money to his children pay more in taxes than another person with the same lifetime income who spends all his money on himself?

    Ah yes, a common Mankiw theme returns once more, namely, that of taxation versus his “willingness to work,” or, at least, engage in some other honorable venture such as investing wisely (he also harped on that in this post, where he believes his hypothetical earning of a dollar will yield his kids $4.81 under John McCain, had he won in November, but only $1.95 under Barack Obama; I am hardly an econ expert, but as I read through the comments to Mankiw’s post, I’m starting to wonder if he is either).

    And of course, Mankiw is one of the gaggle of pundits who sat on his hands doing nothing while all econ indicators in this country pointed towards disaster, as noted here (actually, on second thought, that’s not correct; they did do something…and that was to ridicule other industry professionals such as Paul Krugman who turned out to be right all along!).

    Trying To Restore Our Good Name

    January 20, 2009

    This AP story today tells us that…

    Plans to close Guantanamo are not sitting well with the Sept. 11 victims’ relatives who sat stunned while two alleged terrorists declared they were proud of their role in the plot.

    The U.S. military brought relatives of three Sept. 11 victims to Guantanamo to observe pretrial hearings in the case of five men charged in the plot who could get the death penalty if convicted.

    It is a potentially momentous time for the military detention center. President-elect Barack Obama – whose inauguration is Tuesday – has said he will close it, and many observers and some officials here expect him to suspend the war crimes tribunals for accused terrorists and move the trials to the U.S.

    The five invited relatives of 9/11 victims oppose such a move.

    I realize that I don’t have the right to tell the relatives of those who died on September 11th how they should feel and think and what they should believe, but I would like to merely point out the following.

    This story from last month tells us that…

    …Two dozen family members of Sept. 11 victims signed a letter Wednesday saying they don’t believe in the fairness of the military trials of five men charged with orchestrating the terrorist attacks, and some suggested their opinions cost them attendance at the proceedings.

    While the family members who attended this week’s proceedings at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba expressed support for the tribunals, they also said “that many of us do not believe these military commissions to be fair, in accordance with American values, or capable of achieving the justice that 9/11 family members and all Americans deserve,” according to the letter released by the American Civil Liberties Union.

    And from here, we learn that…

    In advance of Thursday’s arraignment of alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (pictured) and others at Guantanamo Bay, the relatives of seven victims of the 9/11 attacks are charging that the military tribunals are “tainted by political influence.”

    In a June 3 letter to Susan Crawford, the judge who serves as the convening authority over the commissions, the family members claim that the latest example of the system’s “politicization” was a secret invitation to attend the proceedings that allegedly was extended only to Deborah Burlingame, who lost her brother in 9/11 and has supported the Bush administration’s position on the military tribunals.

    Burlingame was also a featured speaker at the last Republican National Convention.

    Though I don’t know for certain (and, God willing, I never will) I would suspect that, if I were a friend or family member of a victim of a terrorist attack, I would want to see the perpetrators prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law through entirely legal means that respected international treaties, conventions and protocols. To do anything less, in my opinion, would dishonor the memory of the victims (which is how I feel about Dubya’s “kangaroo courts” at GITMO).

    Giving Dubya The Heave-Ho

    January 17, 2009

    This includes a bad word repeated a few times, but I think it’s highly appropriate all the same.

    A Repug “Pigskin Payback”

    January 15, 2009

    Hat tip to The Daily Kos for this (meant to get to this earlier)…

    Harry Reid’s innovative new way to overcome Republican opposition: vote on Sunday. Only three Democrats missed the vote (including Kennedy, presumably for health reasons, and Biden, who’s out of the country) but 17 Republicans did.

    As noted here, this is what happened on the rare Sunday session…

    On a vote of 66-12, the Senate agreed to take up a package of 160 different bills joined under an umbrella measure. The package has been dubbed a Tomnibus since the whole idea is to merge multiple proposals opposed by (Oklahoma Repug Tom) Coburn -– a physician known in the Senate as Dr. No. — and win passage all at once. Fifty-nine votes was the threshold.

    As Carl Hulse of the Times tells us, the bill “sets aside 200 million acres for public wilderness in nine states. It adds more than 1,000 miles to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System and 2,800 miles of new trails to the federal system.”

    And I got a kick out of this editorial comment from Jim Geraghty of NRO (though not in the way he intended, I’m sure)…

    I guess forcing your agenda through the Senate is easier when your caucus doesn’t need to either go to church or watch football.

    I’ll set aside the “church” snark for now (just noting that every Catholic archdiocese in this country offers Saturday services also – the Philadelphia archdiocese was the last to OK it many years ago), and concentrate on the football remark, which is funny given that Repug U.S. Rep Cliff Stearns of FLA, one of the numbskulls who engaged in that stunt last August chiding Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats for the summer recess while gas prices spiked (as if one was related to the other), recently asked Madame Speaker to reschedule House votes so he could attend the BCS College Football Championship game between the University of Florida and the University of Oklahoma (here).

    But returning to the Times story about the “Tomnibus” bill…

    A dozen Republicans did vote for the measure, which irritated Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina, one of Mr. Coburn’s chief allies.

    “If my colleagues on my side continue to accept this, there’s going to be no such thing as a Republican Party,” he said.

    We can only hope (and speaking of football – “GO IGGLES”!!!).

    Because They’re Not Going Away Soon Enough…

    January 14, 2009

    More Bushco scandals (from “Countdown” on Monday)…

    Some Brief Wednesday Wingnuttia

    January 14, 2009

    The New York Times got a bunch of “experts” together here to figure out what questions they would ask Secretary of State Designate Hillary Clinton in her confirmation hearing yesterday (seemed to go well based on this, though, since we are talking about the Clintons, after all, our political-media-industrial complex must be allowed some brief hysterics).

    And one of the writers appearing in the Times was the neocon simpatico Fouad Ajami, who wondered as follows…

    1. In 1913, Woodrow Wilson appointed William Jennings Bryan secretary of state for solely domestic political reasons. He needed but distrusted him, and thus relied on other advisers to conduct diplomacy. Have you read up on Wilson’s relationship with Bryan, and will it be relevant to your own situation?

    Uh…sorry – too much work to try and answer that question, and somehow I don’t think anybody cares.

    3. You speak about the 1990s, President Bill Clinton’s era, as a time of peace and prosperity. Yet the ‘90s witnessed a steady trail of anti-American terrorism that emboldened Al Qaeda’s leaders. In the Clinton era, terrorism was generally viewed as a law enforcement problem. Did we really do so well in handling terrorism in the 1990s?

    Uh…yep, considering this.

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