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Friday, August 21, 2009

Whaaaaat? Something useful from Glenn Beck?
I don't like Rahm Emanuel either

Yesterday I was listening to No Agenda Netcast with John C. Dvorak and Adam Curry (#123). I've always been usefully entertained by Dvorak's tech columns and his skeptical view of just about everything. Adam Curry is the father of podcasting.

They spent a little time admiring a Glenn Beck segment with Democrat swift-boating apostate Pat Caddell called "A Look at Chicago-Style Politics".

Normally I would dismiss something like this as wingnuttia just stroking itself again, but this certainly is interesting:
BECK: America, does the name Whitacre, the guy who helped Rahm Emanuel make $16 million, does the name Whitacre ring a bell? Pat?

CADDELL: Because, when they appointed the new chairman of G.M., who announced the day of his appointment, I know nothing about the car business, his name was Edward Whitacre.
They have a whole web of intrigue that goes along with this, including Emanuel's work with Wasserstein Perella, a Wall Street "deal company", where the $16 million came from a deal involving phone company SBC.

Say what you will about wingnuttia and its bright lights that shine only in one direction. But how these Obama-administration characters with a history of self-enrichment are handling the public interest certainly deserve more scrutiny from credible media. It's sad that these things are left for Glenn Beck.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Colbert does his best


Glenn-Harried Glenn-Lost

No, there probably is no cure for Glenn-Beck-type wingnuttery. Practitioners most likely will be unable to comprehend the asshat's perfidy, even after Stephen Colbert makes it abundantly clear in this piece.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Limbaugh implied syllogism: Obama/Pelosi/Democrats = socialism = Nazism

Follow the drumbeat at Media Matters, HERE.

Today's best gem (of many):
Limbaugh: Which group of people are closer to the National Socialism of Germany on this health care plan? Is it Obama and the Democrats in the plan, or is it people showing up to protest the plan at these town hall meetings? It's no contest.

The people who are closest, and with the most striking resemblance to the socialist policies of Nazis, is today's Democrat Party, with ... this ... health ... care ... plan. Not saying Hitler and Pelosi are the same thing. Not saying that. But Nazi is derived from the German word, national socialism. ...That's where Nazi comes from!

Socialism is socialism wherever it is--be it in the Soviet Union, be it with Hitler in the bunker in the 30s and 40s, be it with Kim Jong Il today, whoever, Hugo Chavez down in Ven.... And I'm telling you, what the Democrat Party is doing today is doing with this health care plan, from the president on down, bears far more resemblance to socialized policy of previous regimes in the world, including the Nazis, than anything the people protesting this are doing. They don't resemble anything at all to do with,... they are protesting to stand up and maintain their liberty, and their freedom. Hitler ... Lenin ... Stalin were all men of the left.
Yeah, and I would never call Rush Limbaugh a big fat fuck paid to incite a legion of swastika-waving lunatics and then accuse the people being attacked of resembling Nazis.

Also, if you get into a discussion about these idiotic equivalencies with dittoheads, ask them to show the history book explaining how the Soviet Union, an ally in WWII that lost 20,000,000 people in unimaginable suffering while valiantly fending off the Nazis, is really one in the same with the Nazis.

Related items:

Friday, August 07, 2009

Swastika waved at Nancy Pelosi
Media Matters provides visual proof refuting Jonah Goldberg claim Speaker Pelosi was "lying" about swastika-wielding mob
Hitler symbolism becomes drumbeat of anti-health-reform wingnuttia

There is so much more today on the health reform = Nazism front (see previous post). Listen carefully to the language Limbaugh uses: "Now does this sound like something any conservative president has done or does it sound like something liberals are doing all over this country."

Limbaugh was making some silly comment about a German law requiring the boiling of lobsters. But don't we have Jonah Goldberg's faux construct of "liberal fascism" going on here? This is really a twisted, Alice-in-Wonderland attempt to replace (often though not always unfair) notions that conservatives are fascists and to insert liberals as a target for angry scorn. Goldberg tried this in his preposterous book.

Today Sara, posting at Orcinus, fires a warning shot. With the arrival these swastika-waving mobs--albeit ones angrily trying to reflect their own images onto those of Congressional liberals and President Obama--the guessing game, according to Sara, is over.
America's conservative elites have openly thrown in with the country's legions of discontented far right thugs. They have explicitly deputized them and empowered them to act as their enforcement arm on America's streets, sanctioning the physical harassment and intimidation of workers, liberals, and public officials who won't do their political or economic bidding.
The post warns that these mobs portend a "danger line" beyond which "no country has ever been able to return."

Please read the whole post and comment below what you think of it. I won't speak for Ms. Owl, but I'll tell you that while she agrees with me this is a strong strategy to stop cold health reform, it's just a little hyperbolic to say this means we are on the threshold of fascism.

Maybe. But what if fourteen months from now health reform is dead, the political process is at a standstill, anger is seething from every corner of the electorate, and Obama is scrambling to avoid a replay of 1994 while Republicans pretend to possess the salve with their Contract on America? Where are we then?
Rush Limbaugh: "Adolf Hitler, like Barack Obama, also ruled by dictate"

Back in 2004, our wingnut friends may recall their indignant uproar because uploaded video in a MoveOn.org ad contest included pieces comparing Bush to Hitler. Fox News reported at the time "Ad Comparing Bush to Hitler Gets Heat" and that the Republican National Committee "called on all nine [2004] Democratic [presidential] candidates to condemn the ads."

Wingnuts certainly remember the huge brush they used to paint the Michael Moore /Janeane Garofalo camp as radical purveyors of hate, with this particular incident held up as proof. Except they don't.

Times have changed. Despite a little post on Media Matters and some attention on the Rachel Maddow Show, there is no broad-based reporting of this offensive comparison, made by the host of a national radio program. Obviously, conservatism is equivalent to civility, as everyone knows.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Department of bad forgeries

The latest WND Birther document is from the Republic of Kenya before the Republic of Kenya was a republic. Hmmm, maybe it shows too that Iraq sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.

HERE is a long expose on Orly Taitz from the Orange County News: "Meet Orly Taitz, Queen Bee of People Obsessed With Barack Obama's Birth Certificate."

It's worth reading just for entertainment.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Vince Foster was murdered!

I'm not sure, but I'm sensing that wingnuttia really is feeling its oats this summer. They think they have Obama on the run with sinking job approval ratings that "are even worse than they look" according to THIS guy.

Today Republican pol Vin Weber posited on the Diane Rehm show, paraphrasing, that Obama doesn't have enough chops to strike fear into opponents the way Ronald Reagan did. He's vulnerable.

They smell blood. Now on the attack, many denizens of wingnuttia are working to emphasize Obama is an elitist fraud. For example, here's a comment posted below the U.S. News columnist's item I cited above:

Enough Elitism!! This is still America!
IMPEACH OBAMA FOR FRAUD...FOR LYING TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC SINCE HE WAS INAUGURATED...FOR BEING A RADICAL SOCIALIST WITH HIS OWN PERSONAL AGENDA, USING US AMERICANS AS HIS PERSONAL GUINEA PIGS TO SEE IF HE CAN PERSONALLY, ALONG WITH SAUL ALINSKY AND HIS OTHER FATHER FIGURES AND MENTORS, CHANGE AMERICA FOREVER...ALL TO BENEFIT THE FEW, THE POLITICIANS AND THEIR FAMILIES...ALL SO THERE CAN BE A BIGGER DIVIDING LINE BETWEEN THE HALVES AND THE HALVE NOTS...THROWING OUT THE MIDDLE CLASS AND OBAMA AND HIS FRIENDS BEING PART OF THE ELITIST CROWD, WITH US AS THEIR SERVANTS...LITTLE WORKER BEES BEING FORCED TO GIVE TO THE COMMON BANK ACCOUNT, ALL TO BE RAIDED BY THE ELITISTS FOR THEIR OWN GAIN AND POWER...MONEY BEING DOLED OUT AS FAVORS FOR MORE POWER, WHILE US WORKER BEES KEEP ON TOILING AWAY, HOPING THAT IN 1 YEAR, WE TOO CAN SEE A DOCTOR FOR OUR BACK PAIN, HOPING THAT WE TOO CAN PUT FOOD ON OUR TABLES FOR OUR OWN CHILDREN TO EAT, HOPING THAT SOMEHOW, WE TOO CAN AFFORD TO GET OUR CHILDREN TO COLLEGE...FAST BECOMING THE ELITISTS PLAYGROUNDS AS THEIR OWN CHILDREN GET IN NO MATTER WHAT GRADES THEY GET, BOUGHT AND PAID FOR BY DADDY AND MOMMY OF THE SOCIALIST ELITIST CLASS OF POLITICIANS AND THEIR GREEDY, POWER HUNGRY FRIENDS.
Meanwhile, the airways are full of THIS sort of thing, via the Media Matters YouTube channel, "Time for this bitch to shut up", "Obama makes private medical insurance illegal", blah, blah.

Now for crazy: a "birther" attacks Republican Congressman Mike Castle, via Digby, HERE. That's extreme core lunacy strong enough to send even the deepest 9/11 conspiracist running for cover. Of course, just like Bush/Cheney enjoyed watching 9/11 conspiracy distract opposition, birther madness probably delights the current White House.

I'll say this, however. I'd share the "elitist" critique of Obama in the sense that the Administration has shown itself to be friendly to high executive pay, policies designed to re-inflate the Wall Street bubble, huge Pentagon budgets with massive wars attached, and preservation of the parasitic health insurance finance system. So what's going to happen? Will Republicans figure out how to direct the lunacy to their own advantage? Can they again position themselves as anti-elitist and find themselves a flag bearer for that purpose? Palin?

My opinion is that the Obama White House only will respond to broad public concerns if faced by mass protest with a focused message naming the actual elite shenanigans. We better figure out how to do that. Otherwise wingnuttia and its lunatic faux populism will lead the Republicans back in 2010 and 2012.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Oy.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

These claims chiming from the bells of wingnuttia utterly are without merit.

Monday, June 01, 2009

The most dangerous lunatics in America are those who see domestic terrorism as "pro life."


HERE it is quite illuminating to hear Bill O'Reilly do everything he can to inspire formation of a lynch mob to avenge the babies. (The responses are very good and worth a listen.)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Just when you've thought you'd seen it all ... Wingnuttia, led by the Manatee, comes up with something even more incredibly stupid--Obama's mustard.

I suppose this guy, an Ivy leaguer himself, has a point about the burger trip being pr. And MSNBC sometimes is a cheering section for Obama and the Democrats--though certainly not always. But he appears to be so full of his own mission to root out "nutroots" that he can't be bothered to read closely enough to detect the sarcasm in the stuff he's mocking.

Oh, and I myself am so high and mighty that I'd never stoop to mockery of wingnuttia, NOT!

FYI, I've got a 9-oz container of Plochman's excellent "Premium Dijon" in the fridge, purchased a few weeks ago at Reny's for $1.99, about the same price as all the mustard on the shelf.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sean Hannity, NOT good people


Stanford Coins & Bullion, a business of recently-exposed Madoff-style criminal Allen Stanford, was promoted by most worst Hannity in his own voice on his radio show

I'd like to think this isn't an angry blog, but this kind of predation really irks me. From Huffington Post:
"I couldn't believe it when I heard the advertisement," said Michael Levine, a regular Hannity listener from Westchester County, New York.

He called the radio station on Tuesday to inform them Stanford had been implicated in what the SEC termed "massive, ongoing" fraud. "They told me they had no idea what I was talking about," Levine told the Huffington Post.
At the very least this shows the carelessly venal nature of the Hannity enterprise. It shows that Hannity is as unreliable in his commercial offerings as he has always been in his political ones. Maybe some other Hannity listeners will begin to catch on to this fraud like Mr. Levine has.

Meanwhile, Stanford, perpetrator of a $9.2 billion financial fraud, was found on the lam by the FBI in Fredericksburg, Va., and served with court papers.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Bangor Daily News today ran follow-up pieces on the late James G. Cummings and his wingnut activities collecting materials evidently to have been used for construction of a radiological "dirty bomb."

The second story featured some comments from my former thesis adviser, Dr. Tom Hess of the University of Maine Department of Physics and Astronomy,
The Bangor Daily News reported this week that authorities seized a number of potentially hazardous materials, including uranium and thorium, from the man's home on Dec. 9, 2008, the night he was killed. He also had literature on how to construct dirty bombs.

"If you have a University of Maine invoice, I suppose it's very easy to get materials," said C. Thomas Hess, a physics professor. "But most materials, particularly anything that is made by some sort of chemical reaction [such as uranium], is strictly regulated."
However, the article ended up being a little unsatisfying because it did not address specifically the availability of the much more powerful dirty bomb materials: cesium-137, strontium-90 and cobalt-60.

When I worked with Dr. Hess in the 80s, we could get small amounts of solutions containing these radionuclides quite easily. The folks who tested the roofs of University buildings for leaks had even stronger solutions containing cesium-137. According to the reports, Cummings did not actually possess these powerfully radioactive fission products (i.e. nuclear waste material), but rather much-less-radioactive samples of the heavy elements uranium and thorium. I guess that's comforting.

My question for Dr. Hess is, is it now harder to obtain samples of fission products that would make a vastly more powerful and "disruptive" dirty bomb?

Update: Something kinda obvious that should have occurred to me is that to make a really strong "dirty bomb" using enough fission product to cause a lot of trouble, the device would have to be heavily shielded prior to detonation. Otherwise it would be a problem for the bomber, and everyone along the line who might handle the material. You need some sort of "cask" to ship that stuff.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

While we're on the subject of wingnuttia and the excellent coverage of it at Orcinus, Sara writes that the extreme nutjob who rampaged with a gun last summer at a Unitarian Universalist church in Tennessee, killing two parishioners, has been sentenced to life.

James Adkisson by all accounts is an extremely angry person, inspired and animated by right-wing talk radio. He managed to put his anger into words in sort of a suicide note/manifesto quoted in the Orcinus piece:
Adkisson: Know this if nothing else: This was a hate crime. I hate the damn left-wing liberals. There is a vast left-wing conspiracy in this country & these liberals are working together to attack every decent & honorable institution in the nation, trying to turn this country into a communist state. Shame on them....

This was a symbolic killing. Who I wanted to kill was every Democrat in the Senate & House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg's book. I'd like to kill everyone in the mainstream media. But I know those people were inaccessible to me. I couldn't get to the generals & high ranking officers of the Marxist movement so I went after the foot soldiers, the chickenshit liberals that vote in these traitorous people. Someone had to get the ball rolling. I volunteered. I hope others do the same. It's the only way we can rid America of this cancerous pestilence."

I thought I'd do something good for this Country Kill Democrats til the cops kill me....Liberals are a pest like termites. Millions of them Each little bite contributes to the downfall of this great nation. The only way we can rid ourselves of this evil is to kill them in the streets. Kill them where they gather. I'd like to encourage other like minded people to do what I've done. If life aint worth living anymore don't just kill yourself. do something for your Country before you go. Go Kill Liberals.
This man seems to be the fruition of the kind of thinking found at Palin rallies last fall.
Posted at Wikileaks: Washington DC Regional Threat and Analysis Center report re Inauguration, 16 Jan 2009: "9 December 2008 Discovery of Radiological Dispersal Device Components, Literature, and Radioactive Material at the Maine Residence of an Identified Deceased US Person"

Quite a front-page story in the Bangor Daily News today:

Report: 'Dirty bomb' parts found in slain man's home
Agency says radioactive materials recovered
in home of man allegedly slain by his wife
By Walter Griffin- BDN Staff
BELFAST, Maine ? James G. Cummings, who police say was shot to death by his wife two months ago, allegedly had a cache of radioactive materials in his home suitable for building a "dirty bomb." ...

[An FBI field intelligence report from the Washington Regional Threat and Analysis Center] says that four 1-gallon containers of 35 percent hydrogen peroxide, uranium, thorium, lithium metal, thermite, aluminum powder, beryllium, boron, black iron oxide and magnesium ribbon were found in the home.

Also found was literature on how to build "dirty bombs" and information about cesium-137, strontium-90 and cobalt-60, radioactive materials. The FBI report also stated there was evidence linking James Cummings to white supremacist groups.
Curiously, the report carefully avoids the term "terrorist" when describing the slain man. (His wife has not been charged yet.)

The report fails to distinguish the characteristics of what was found at the site, versus what was in literature there. While beryllium is a deadly chemical poison and uranium and thorium are poisonous and somewhat radioactive, none of those are big radiological dangers.

On the other hand, the stuff mentioned that evidently the guy didn't have--cesium-137, strontium-90 and cobalt-60--are extremely radioactive products of fission (i.e. nuclear waste). Tiny amounts of these substances can kill at moderate distance if concentrated enough. But, the guy was only reading about those. I suppose he could not get them from the same sources the other stuff came from. That's comforting, I guess.

Thanks to the Bangor Daily News for giving this story the weight it deserves with a front-page banner headline. As one can read about constantly at Orcinus, the far more important terror/assassination threat in this country comes from right-wing and neo-nazi pseudo fascists. The deceased man was said to be "very upset" when Barack Obama was elected president, according to the BDN report.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Kathleen Parker--wingnut national columnist carried by the Bangor Daily News--ponders the dumping of Palin, never sees THIS coming.

Note: Parker's website has been sanitized. This quote shows the edit: October 31, 2003:
Here's a note I got recently from a friend and former Delta Force member, who has been observing American politics from the trenches: "These bastards like Clark and Kerry and that incipient ass, Dean, and Gephardt and Kucinich and that absolute mental midget Sharpton, race baiter, should all be lined up and shotslapped.
See, G___, conservatives as a rule are not as nasty and vicious as liberals. Ha!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

O'Reilly says he does NOT "want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama." I'm relieved. I was almost sure he did want to. Not quite safe though, because he still could find "evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels."

Thursday, January 17, 2008

"Liberal", "Fascism" labels run amok


Jonah Goldberg, A Daily Show January 16, 2008

I don't consider myself to be capable of writing about early-20th century history, just don't know enough. I try not to go on here about any subject in which I'm not conversant. Goldberg evidently has none of those reservations. It looks to me like somebody wanted another book linking "liberal" to an inflammatory term in the way previous screeds from wingnuttia have done so with "treason" and "terrorism." The resulting book gets pimped with the author going around like some kind of fucking expert. Thanks to Stewart for throwing a bit of a wrench into the works, as shown above.

I'll depend on David Neiwert to address the particulars in Goldberg's horrendous book. He's posted a series of illuminating reviews here, here, and here.

This is the bottom line:
Neiwert: Goldberg, who has no credentials beyond the right-wing nepotism that has enabled his career as a pundit, has drawn a kind of history in absurdly broad and comically wrongheaded strokes. It is not just history done badly, or mere revisionism. It?s a caricature of reality, like something from a comic-book alternative universe: Bizarro history.
Go ahead and criticize me for not actually having read Goldberg before posting this. I have a stack of more important things to read.