Still Hooked On Hopium

January 12, 2009

 hopium01

Jeralyn Merritt at TalkLeft, a criminal defense attorney and Obama supporter who frequently writes about people who were wrongfully convicted and other abuses of our criminal justice system, casually laid this rotten egg yesterday:

During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama said he would close Guantanamo during his first 100 days in office. This morning, on ABC‘s This Week with Stephanopoulos, he backtracked:

“It is more difficult than I think a lot of people realize,” the President-elect explained. “Part of the challenge that you have is that you have a bunch of folks that have been detained, many of whom who may be very dangerous who have not been put on trial or have not gone through some adjudication. And some of the evidence against them may be tainted even though it’s true.

And so how to balance creating a process that adheres to rule of law, habeas corpus, basic principles of Anglo American legal system, by doing it in a way that doesn’t result in releasing people who are intent on blowing us up.”

Shorter version: It will close at some point, just not as soon as he promised.

She then goes on to ho-hum the news that Obama isn’t interested in prosecuting any Cheney-Bush war crimes either.  Glenn Greenwald gets kinda wordy but he nails it:

What he’s saying is quite clear.  There are detainees who the U.S. may not be able to convict in a court of law.  Why not?  Because the evidence that we believe establishes their guilt was obtained by torture, and it is therefore likely inadmissible in our courts (torture-obtained evidence is inadmissible in all courts in the civilized world; one might say it’s a defining attribute of being civilized).  But Obama wants to detain them anyway — even though we can’t convict them of anything in our courts of law.  So before he can close Guantanamo, he wants a new, special court to be created — presumably by an act of Congress — where evidence obtained by torture (confessions and the like) can be used to justify someone’s detention and where, presumably, other safeguards are abolished.   That’s what he means when he refers to “creating a process.”

It’s not surprising that Jeralyn takes the news that Obama is breaking yet another promise so lightly.  We’re only talking about war crimes, constitutional rights, due process violations, illegal detention and torture.  It’s not anything important like Troopergate.

_________________________________________________

UPDATE:  Jeralyn has a new post with sensible recommendations for closing Gitmo, leaving her 177 posts short of her Troopergate coverage.

(graphic courtesy of New Hampster)

Advertisements

Paging Miss Cleo!

November 15, 2008
I see an empty suit . . .

I see an empty suit . . . taking an oath

So I’m reading this post by a sane Correntian and I follow a link to find this from the NYT:

THE time has come, Senator Barack Obama says, for the baby boomers to get over themselves.

In taking the first steps toward a presidential candidacy last week, Mr. Obama, who was born in 1961 and considers himself a member of the post-boomer generation, said Americans hungered for “a different kind of politics,” one that moved beyond the tired ideological battles of the 1960s.

[…]

While the Obama-Clinton generational dynamic will mostly play out in the primaries, Republican voters will be weighing the candidacy of one of the oldest men ever to seek the presidency, John McCain, 70, the only member of the likely field born before the baby boom’s unofficial start in 1943.

 That Obamafluffer article was published on January 21, 2007 by John M. Broder.  Let’s review:

As of that date, Barack Obama had written two “memoirs, given one nationally televised speech, appeared on Oprah, cake-walked into the Senate when his main competition in both the primary and general election had dropped out, had not chaired any subcommittee meetings or authored any important legislation.  He also had not won a single caucus or primary, been endorsed by any super delegates, nor reported any campaign donations.  There were several Democratic “heavyweights” besides Hillary Clinton that were expected to run, including Al Gore, John Edwards, Chris Dodd and Joe Biden.

Yet somehow Mr. Broder correctly predicted that the primary campaign would be a contest between Obama and Hillary.  Even though the dynamic turned out to be genderational (penis vs. vagina) rather than generational, this guy should be on the Psychic Friends Network.

Either that or he should be indicted for insider trading.

Call 1-800-BIG-FAKE

Call 1-800-BIG-FAKE


Zombie Liars

November 13, 2008
This is your brain on Kool-aid
This is your brain on Kool-aid

(graphic by Joseph Cannon)

Judging by the comments to my previous thread about zombie lies, a few of the things I thought didn’t need to be said needed to be said.  That’s okay, that’s why the blogosphere is superior to the traditional (old) forms of media: immediate feedback and the ability to interact with readers.

The first thing I left unsaid was an explanation as to why we should build and maintain a one-stop reference site debunking Obama propaganda and Axelrovian talking points.  The election is over, so why dwell in the past?  Shouldn’t we move on and find new battles to fight?

If one of PUMA’s goals is going to be reforming the primary/caucus system so that what happened this year never happens again, we need people to know the truth.  Now honestly, if Barack Obama ends global warming, cures cancer, brings peace to the entire world and ushers in the greatest period of prosperity in our nation’s history, few people will care a whole lot about how he became President.  But if (when) his popularity drops down to G-Dub/Nixonian levels, they will be asking “How the hell did this empty suit get elected?”

Once upon a time the “progressive blogosphere” was the only place dedicated to telling the truth about Iraq and the Bush (mal)administration.  They called themselves the “reality-based community” because they refused to drink Dick Cheney’s Kool-aid or repeat his zombie lies.  Eventually the American people realized the media was lying to them, due in part to truth-telling bloggers.

But the meltdown of the progressive blogosphere is the reason why WE should build our own anti-propaganda database.  This past year we have seen far too many examples of respected bloggers tossing aside years of hard-earned credibility to worship Teleprompter Jesus.  Some were guilty of sins of commission, others committed sins of omission, but either way we obviously can’t count on anyone else to do the job and do it right.

The last point I neglected to make is that our goal is not to convince Axelrove’s paid bloggers and trolls to put down their sippy-kups and recognize that the clothes have no emperor, our goal is to counteract the lies that those zombies are spreading.  We don’t need to argue with them, when we see one of them squat and pinch-out a zombie lie on the carpet, we can cut & paste a zombie truth over it.  But when we encounter a real person who has been deceived by the lies and propagande spread by Obamanation, we won’t have to search for the antidote.

propaganda


How Obama stole it – Chapter 1 Part 1

November 10, 2008
He loves to smell his

He loves to smell his own farts

Newsweek has published the first chapter of “Barack Obama: How He Did It” which is a multi-part series explaining how an empty-suit got elected to the most powerful job in the world.  The article is long and full of nuggets to mine and blog about.  While I’m only covering part of Chapter 1 here, I recommend you read the entire thing. 

The article begins with:

Barack Obama had a gift, and he knew it. He had a way of making very smart, very accomplished people feel virtuous just by wanting to help Barack Obama.

If that doesn’t describe what happened to the lefty blogosphere I don’t know what does.  Many very smart, accomplished bloggers felt so virtuous about supporting Barack they thought that anything they did was justified; they believed they could do no wrong. 

The article is filled with inconsistencies like this:

On the eve of his speech to the Democratic convention in 2004, the speech that effectively launched him as the party’s hope of the future, he took a walk down a street in Boston with his friend Marty Nesbitt. A growing crowd followed them. “Man, you’re like a rock star,” Nesbitt said to Obama. “He looked at me,” Nesbitt recalled in a story he liked to tell reporters, “and said, ‘Marty, you think it’s bad today, wait until tomorrow.’ And I said, ‘What do you mean?’ And he said, ‘My speech is pretty good’.”

If the speech was Obama’s first big moment in the national spotlight, why were crowds in Boston already following a state senator from Illinois (and little-known author of one memoir) who was still just a candidate for the U.S. Senate?  Are the residents of Beantown extreme political junkies?  Or are they Oprah fans?

Read the rest of this entry »


Too paranoid or not paranoid enough?

November 5, 2008

tin_foil_hat

This past year has seen many strange and unususal events.  Recognizing that something is strange and unusual doesn’t make you paranoid, delusional or a whack-job.  As we progress from infancy to mature adulthood we learn to connect cause and effect, which allows us to both explain and predict events.

We know that what goes up must come down, water runs downhill, alcohol makes you drunk and babies come from having sex.  In fact, if we see the effect we don’t need to observe the cause to know that the cause exists.  A common law school explanation for “circumstantial evidence” is if when you go to bed it is clear and dry outside but when you wake up in the morning everything is covered with snow, you can be reasonably certain that it snowed during the night even though you didn’t see it happen.

But sometimes we see an effect that has no apparent cause, or we see a cause that doesn’t have the expected effect, and when that occurs it’s perfectly normal to consider it strange and unusual.  And when someone gives you an explanation that doesn’t make sense, you don’t have to know what the truth is to conclude that the person is lying to you.

Among the things that are strange and unusual about this election campaign is the way the media has been so completely in the tank for Barack Obama almost from the time he first emerged on the national stage back in 2004.  It wasn’t quite so evident during the primary campaign because the media has hated the Clintons for the better part of two decades, but when the primaries ended virtually the entire media moved in lockstep to support Obama, abandoning John McCain who had been their long-time favorite.

This is a strange and unusual occurrance because the media has been favoring GOP candidates and/or hating Democrats for years.  While there have been numerous stories in the blogosphere discussing the media’s enthusiastic support for Obama, most of them assume that the media is made up of individuals acting independently.

I find it difficult to believe that a large and diverse group of people working in the television and print media as well as prominent lefty bloggers would all join in unanimous agreement practically overnight.  I find it much more likely that a smaller and far less diverse group would do so.  That smaller and less diverse group is made up of the people who own and/or control most of our “free” press.

Rupert Murdoch, Jack Welch, Robert Iger, Ted Turner, Leslie Moonves, Craig Dubow, Bill McClatchy and Arthur Sulzberger Jr. control a big chunk of television, print and radio media.  These individuals, along with the other people who pay the salaries of the talking heads and writers with whom we are more familiar all have something in common: they are very wealthy.  And by “very wealthy” I ain’t talking about Joe the Plumber kinda money, I’m talking about “Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless” stuff.

Chris Matthews, Keith Olberman, Maureen Dowd and Bill Kristol are just a few of the bloviating gasbags who make lots of money being inane, puerile and obtuse to reality.  They can’t be ignorant because they are college educated and have far more access to information than most of the general public.  Why would anyone pay them so much money for being so egregiously incompetent unless they were doing exactly what they were hired to do?  It’s obviously not a bug, it’s a feature.

So why do all those wealthy individuals who own and/or control the media want Barack Obama as our President?

I’m guessing it ain’t for the same reason all those African Americans and nutroots progressives supported him.

UPDATE:  The public stoning of Sarah Palin continues:

Uncritically, Carl Cameron and Shep Smith are reporting that some anonymous McCain aides say that Palin didn’t know that Africa was a continent; she thought, allegedly, it was a country.

It does not occur to either man to question these anonymous, and quite absurd, claims.

Or to wonder if perhaps these aides are of the Buckley/Parker sort, or if they perhaps have in mind a candidate they prefer in 2012…

Thus even Fox News begins the campaign to irradiate Palin to toxic levels for 2012.

[…]

Here’s a story these staffers tell: Sent to collect Palin from a hotel, she greeted them, straight from the shower (running late, I guess ) dressed (scandal!) only in a bathrobe (presumably a very thick hotel bathrobe).

These staffers called that “uncommon” — Cameron delighted in the word to give it the sound of “whorish, unprofessional.”

Rupert Murdoch owns FOX News.


Are Obots really deranged?

November 3, 2008

In my MVS post I said that the use of Clinton Derangement Syndrome (CDS) and Palin Derangement Syndrome (PDS) by the Obama campaign was the reason I was going to hold my nose and vote for McPalin.  “Derangement” is the state of being deranged, and “deranged” is a synonym for insane.

After I wrote my original post I was struck by a thought: Are Obama supporters really deranged?  I see two possible answers:

1. The people exhibiting CDS/PDS are conciously lying and are intentionally perpetrating fraud in order to help Obama win

or

2. The people exhibiting CDS/PDS really believe what they say and are not guilty by reason of insanity.

Let’s start with the latter possibility.  The standard for the insanity defense was first set forth in the M’naghten Rules:

The House Of Lords, having deliberated, delivered the following exposition of the Rules:

“the jurors ought to be told in all cases that every man is presumed to be sane, and to possess a sufficient degree of reason to be responsible for his crimes, until the contrary be proved to their satisfaction; and that to establish a defence on the ground of insanity, it must be clearly proved that, at the time of the committing of the act, the party accused was labouring under such a defect of reason, from disease of the mind, as not to know the nature and quality of the act he was doing; or, if he did know it, that he did not know he was doing what was wrong”

As my Criminal Law instructor explained it, if the statue in front of the library tells you to commit murder and you do, you may be crazy but you are legally sane because you still knew what you did was wrong.  But if it was God that told you to commit the murder then you would be legally insane because you couldn’t tell right from wrong.  That is why a true insanity defense (as opposed to “diminished capacity”) is difficult to establish.

In order for the crazed chihuahuas of Obamanation to be considered not responsible for their words and actions during this campaign, they would have to have believed that everything they said about Hillary and Sarah was absolutely true.  They would also have to believe that every story, rumor and allegation was material and relevant to the qualifications of the two women candidates.

On the other hand, if they knew what they were saying was false, or doubted it was true, or simply did not care whether it was true or not, then they are not insane, they are merely corrupt liars with no principles or decency.  I tend to believe that they are not insane.

Now to be fair, some of them may indeed by completely detached from reality.  Andrew Sullivan comes to mind as someone who no longer seems to know right from wrong.  But I cannot read minds so I don’t know what he (or any other unhinged hater) really believes.  One key indicator is what is known as “conciousness of guilt.”  Any attempt to conceal the crime or lie about it indicates that the person is aware that they have done wrong, and if they know they have done wrong they are not insane.

The same thing would be true of rationalization.  Let’s say that last March someone was piously intoning that a candidate’s religious beliefs, the doctrine of their church and/or the sermons of their pastor were completely irrelevant.  But come September that same person was explaining why those same issues were relevant and material to Sarah Palin’s qualifications and gave specious explanations why the latter was different from the former.  Those rationalizations would tend to indicate that the person was full of shit. 

The same thing would be true if a self-professed feminist decried the sexist treatment of Hillary but approved of or even engaged in sexist attacks on Sarah Palin.  The rationalizations Obama supporters give are intended to justify sacrifcing what they know is right to get what they want right now.  Principles are useless if we discard them whenever they conflict with our desires.  Where there is no temptation there is no virtue.

What’s the point of having principles if we don’t use them?  Why bother fighting for principles if we don’t follow them?  To paraphrase a saying about waging war for peace, lying and cheating in the name of moral principles is like fucking for virginity.

That’s insane.


My Voting Strategy – Just Say No To Derangement

November 2, 2008
A Rabid Obama Supporter

A Rabid Obama Supporter

Riverdaughter asked us to all to come up with a single word to describe why we are voting the way we are on Tuesday.  That’s really a tough assignment because there are lots of words to choose from.  I considered “principles,” “honesty,” “integrity,” “ethics,” “experience” and “shame” because those are all things Barack Obama lacks.

I thought about using “liar,” “fake,” “phony,” or “unscrupulous” because those are all things that Obama is.  I was going to use “hubris” because that is Obama’s favorite sin, but then I saw this and realized that my word had to be “derangement.”

Obama’s strategy in the primary campaign against Hillary was to take advantage of and fan the flames of Clinton Derangement Syndrome.  Unhinged misogyny was the major component of CDS, but it went beyond that into other areas as well.  From the obsession with Hillary’s voice, ankles and cleavage to her alleged tears (or lack thereof) the media and Obama supporters became the He Man Woman Haters Club.

But they also bought into and pimped every noxious rumor and allegation that came along.  Racism, Tuzla, kneecapping and RFK were only the more prominent fables being spread by Obamanation.  They also recycled old right-wing memes from the nineties.  Even worse, they launched unhinged attacks on Hillary’s supporters too.

But the derangement didn’t end with Hillary’s candidacy, it metastisized and mutated into Palin Derangement Syndrome.  While there are reasons to oppose Sarah Palin, the attacks on her have been truly bizarre.  Sadly, many of these attacks have come from alleged feminists.

Now some people might say that it is unfair to blame Obama for what his supporters say and do.  I disagree.  First of all, Obama has never done more than tepidly denounce the attacks on Hillary and Sarah.  Secondly, while publically pretending to oppose or be unaware of the attacks, the Obama campaign has pushed them in the media and through the blogosphere.  Lastly, even if Obama were wholly innocent his supporters scare the bejeezus out of me.

It’s not enough to say I cannot support Obama, I believe he must be defeated.  I cannot in good faith advocate the defeat of Obama and then expect someone else to do the dirty work.  Voting for a third-party or NOT (nothing on top) voting would be a cop-out.  When I was young and dumb and full of shit I voted for Ronald Reagan, but for over two decades I have been a yellow-dog Democrat.  I thought I would never vote for a Republican again.

This year I will just say no to derangement and cast my vote for McCain/Palin.