Daily Archives: November 23, 2010

The Two Most Essential, Abhorrent, Intolerable Lies Of George W. Bush’s Memoir

Huffington Post

These days, when we think of George W. Bush, we think mostly of what a horrible mess he made of the economy. But his even more tragic legacy is the loss of our moral authority, and the transformation of the United States of America from global champion of human rights into an outlaw nation.

History is likely to judge Bush most harshly for two things in particular: Launching a war against a country that had not attacked us, and approving the use of cruel and inhumane interrogation techniques.

And that’s why the two most essential lies — among the many — in his new memoir are that he had a legitimate reason to invade Iraq, and that he had a legitimate reason to torture detainees.

Neither is remotely true. But Bush must figure that if he keeps making the case for himself — particularly if it goes largely unrebutted by the traditional media, as it has thus far — then perhaps he can blunt history’s verdict.

It may even be working. Extrapolating from the response to the book, former vice president Dick Cheney on Tuesday told a crowd gathered for Bush’s presidential library groundbreaking in Dallas that “judgments are a little more measured than they were” and that “history is coming around.”

The ‘Decision’ to Go to War

In “Decision Points,” Bush describes the invasion of Iraq as something he came to support only reluctantly and after a long period of reflection. This is a flat-out lie. Anyone who paid any attention to the news at the time knew Bush was dead-set on war long before he sent in the troops in March 2003. And there is now an abundant amount of documentation, in the form of leaks, unclassified memos, witness interviews and other people’s memoirs to prove it.

Continue reading…

 

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Bristol Palin Supporters Justify Actions As Payback For ‘Leftist’ Voter Fraud

One has to ask…what in the hell is going on in our country?  Has Fox News and its pundits succeeded in “dumbing down” this country to this point?  

Washington Post

With just one more night of competition to go before we find out if Bristol Palin wins the hideous-yet-coveted Mirror Ball Trophy, the executive producer of “Dancing with the Stars” insists the show’s security system is catching and expunging all those votes for her that are being cast by people using bogus e-mail addresses to game the voting system.

On the other hand, the executive producer, Conrad Green also insists he’s shocked — shocked — to discover the Palin family could have such a polarizing effect on the American public, over a simple little dance-competition show.

Meanwhile, a conservative blogger who’s taking credit for the e-mail voting shenanigans, says he orchestrated the whole thing to pay back Democrats for years of voter fraud at the polls.

And Bristol’s mom, Sarah, last week tried to capitalize on the size of her daughter’s audience to boost ratings for her own, far less popular reality series, TLC’s “Sarah Palin’s Alaska.”

These are just the latest headlines in our ongoing coverage of “Dancing with the Stars”: Decision 2010: America at a Crossroads: The Final Countdown.

“I had no reasons to believe this would happen,” Green told the TV Column late last week of the kerfuffle that has erupted over Bristol Palin, who is the weakest dancer in the competition according to the scores she’s receiving from the show’s professional ballroom dance judges but who has outlasted far more accomplished performers in this season’s competition.

“It’s been illuminating,” Green said, adding: “A lot of this is timing – it’s a particularly bad time in American politics. I love that people are being passionate but sad so many people are angry. . . . I don’t want to anger our audience.”

“That was never my intention” in casting Bristol on the show, he added, exuding sadness.

Take away Bristol’s family name and her journey on the show is similar to that of underdogs who have been unlikely survivors in seasons past, Green insisted. “But this year “everybody got a bit mad about it.”

“I feel sorry for Bristol — she shouldn’t have to be doing this under this scrutiny,” continued Green — the guy who is, in fact, orchestrating a lot of Bristol’s discomfort.

Just last week, for instance, Green decided Bristol would be one of the last two “stars” to learn whether they had survived to the final round of competition on Tuesday’s results show.

Show host Tom Bergeron or his sidekick Brooke Burke are careful each week to tell viewers that the two final dancers awaiting their fate on stage toward the end of results night are not necessarily the two lowest scoring competitors. The producer decides who will be left standing up on stage with the dancer about to get the hook.   Continue here

 

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Filed under DWTS, The Palin Clan

Study: Cell phones tilt polls

I’ve held a long-standing opinion that pollsters don’t contact people who use cell phones when conducting political polls, thus making the result less accurate. 

Now a report has come out confirming what many progressive bloggers have felt all along:  polls that had no input from cell phone users tend to favor Republicans…

Politico

This month’s election results lent support to what many pollsters have long suspected: Polls that don’t include cell phones favor Republicans.

And as more Americans come to rely on cell phones, the disparity is widening, according to a study released Monday by the Pew Research Center.

Pew’s surveys that included cell phones were dramatically closer to the actual midterm election results than they would have been without cell phones in the sample, according to the report.

A national Pew poll conducted days before the election found likely voters preferring a Republican to a Democrat for their representative in Congress by a 6-point margin when both land lines and cell phones were surveyed.

That margin closely matches the national vote for House candidates, according to the latest count: Republicans led by a 7-point margin.

But if the Pew pollsters had called only land lines, disregarding their cell phone sample, they would have found the GOP ahead by 12 points.

The new study bolsters the argument that polls that don’t call cell phones will be systematically biased. Calling cell phones poses numerous challenges for pollsters — from the difficulty of determining where respondents live based on their cell phone numbers to the fact that machine-aided dialing of cell phones is illegal.

While previous Pew reports had found a gulf between its overall sample and its land-line-only sample, the election result shows which one was right. The winner, clearly, was the sample that included both.

The election result “is a very good opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of your methods,” Pew’s director of survey research, Scott Keeter, said. “We don’t have that many opportunities to have that kind of validation.”

And while Pew looked for evidence of a gap only in its own polling data, an independent analysis found a similar gulf existed at polling firms using different methods during the 2010 cycle.

The six national polling firms that surveyed both cell phones and land lines in the week before the election put Republicans ahead by an average of 6 points, while the four that called only land lines showed a GOP advantage

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Filed under Political Opinion Polls

North Korea Attacks South Korea’s Populated Yeonpyeong Island

What part of “Ignore North Korea at our own peril” does the previous and current administration not understand?

The Bush administration ignored North Korea because they claimed it was one of the “axis of evil” countries and did not want or need to negotiate anything with them.

The Obama administration has basically ignored North Korea as well, not for ideological reasons, but mainly because of the attack on a South Korea ship earlier this year as well as a greater need to concentrate on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Huge mistake, in my opinion.

Comment from Huffington Post:

Not to mention the Nkoreans actually have a darn formidable military and a decent central authority. Fighting them wont be as easy as it was in Iraq 03. Im talking actual war not the subsequent occupation which went horribly wrong

Huffington Post

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea shot dozens of rounds of artillery onto a populated South Korean island near their disputed western border Tuesday, military officials said, setting buildings on fire and prompting South Korea to return fire and scramble fighter jets.

The skirmish came amid tension over North Korea’s claim that it has a new uranium enrichment facility and just over a month after North Korean leader Kim Jong Il unveiled his youngest son Kim Jong Un as his heir apparent

South Korea’s YTN television said two people were injured, several houses were on fire and shells were still falling on Yeonpyeong island. The station broadcast pictures of thick columns of black smoke rising from the island.

Yonhap news agency, quoting a military official, said four soldiers were wounded. President Lee Myung-bak ordered officials to make sure that the firing wouldn’t escalate, according to Yonhap, quoting a presidential official. YTN said between 1,200 and 1,300 people live on the island, citing an island resident.

A South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff official said dozens of rounds of artillery landed on the island and in the sea. The official says South Korea fired back. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of JCS rules, said South Korea’s military is on alert. He had no other details, and could not confirm the reports of casualties.

The firing comes amid tension over North Korea’s claim that it has a new uranium enrichment facility and just over a month after North Korean leader Kim Jong Il unveiled his youngest son Kim Jong Un as his heir apparent.

Tensions between the two Koreas also remain tense after the sinking in March of a South Korean warship in which 46 sailors died. Seoul has blamed a North Korean torpedo, while Pyongyang has denied any responsibility.

The countries’ western maritime boundary has long been a flash point between the two Koreas. The North does not recognize the border that was unilaterally drawn by the United Nations at the close of the 1950-53 Korean War.

North and South Korea have fought three bloody skirmishes near the maritime border in recent years, most recently in November 2009.

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Filed under North and South Korea Conflicts, The State Department

Racism Will Find You, Even at the Harvard-Yale Game: Club Mistakes Black Harvard Crowd For “Local Gangbangers”

Sigh…

Above The Law

The Harvard-Yale Game was this weekend. I didn’t attend. I’m at that uncomfortable age where I’m too old to go to The Game and get black-out drunk at the keg, but too young to show up in a fur coat handing out glasses of Cristal (rhymes with “Mystal”) while my butler grills porterhouse steaks out of the back of my Range Rover.I look forward to going to The Game in the future, but I’m really glad I didn’t go this year. If I had, I might have been arrested. Seriously, you would have logged on to Above the Law this morning and been entertained by my “Letter From a Boston Jail” or something.

Because if I had gone to The Game, I probably would have gone to the party hosted by the Harvard’s Black Law Student Association (and other affinity groups) at a new Boston club called Cure Lounge. And had I gone to that, when the club owners shut down the party essentially because too many black people were gathering in one place, I would have had major objections and been thrown in jail for “being an angry black person in Boston” (or whatever the hell they are calling it these days).

CORRECTION: According to the Harvard BLSA president, “Harvard BLSA was not involved in organizing or running the party in question…. [T]he event was run by a group that is not affiliated with Harvard BLSA or Harvard Law School. Harvard BLSA did cover the ticket cost of several members who attended the party.”

I wouldn’t have been able to adjust quickly enough to being back in a place like Boston, so I would have gone nuclear when somebody suggested that too many African-American Harvard and Yale students might attract “gang-bangers.”

Was there a lawyer in the line outside the club who could have objected? Actually, it wouldn’t have mattered….

The story first appeared on Jezebel and has been bouncing around my inbox since yesterday. Here’s how multiple sources describe what went down at Cure Lounge in Boston on Friday night:

  • Current Harvard and Yale students, as well as alumni from both schools, pre-purchased tickets to the gathering.
  • There was a line.
  • Concerned about uninvited people coming to the club, the bouncers were told that only people with a Harvard or Yale student I.D. could enter the club.
  • The event organizers protested, stating that (obviously) alumni were probably not clinging to their student IDs.
  • Access was re-granted to all ticket-holding individuals for a time.
  • At 11:15 p.m. the entire event was shut down by the club’s owner.
  • Multiple people claim they were told: “there are black women in line… who attract black men… which looks bad” for a new club like Cure.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Racism Will Find You, Even at the Harvard-Yale Game”

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Filed under Harvard-Yale Game, Race, Racism

88 Years In One Minute

This is amazing to watch…

TPM Editor’s Blog

David B. Sparks, a political science Ph.D candidate at Duke, put together the following animation showing the red-blue divide as it has evolved in presidential elections from 1920-2008:

It’s perfect example of how visual representations of data can be so powerful. As Sparks noted in his blog post about the video: “This animated interpretation accentuates certain phenomena: the breadth and duration of support for Roosevelt, the shift from a Democratic to a Republican South, the move from an ostensibly east-west division to the contemporary coasts-versus-heartland division, and the stability of the latter.”

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Filed under Elections, Political Divide in America

Nice Timing: New York Times Investigation Of Incoming GOP Senator Drops After Elections

Did they really think this whole thing would go unnoticed?   This is par for the course with the GOP.  It’s unfair and unbalanced!

Huffington Post

One week after Rep. Brad Ellsworth went down to defeat in the race against Dan Coats to fill the seat of retiring Senator Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), The New York Times ran an A1 story about the work Coats did to help Cooper Industries, a Texas corporation that moved its headquarters to Bermuda to evade US taxes.

Nice timing.

“He was annoyed the Times chose to wait until after the election to write that story,” Jon Kott, a spokesman for Ellsworth, told The Huffington Post. “This is something he said for eight months and then a week after [Coats] gets elected…”

The article revealed that Coats served as co-chairman of a lobbyist team for Cooper Industries in 2007, working “behind the scenes” to block legislation in the Senate that would have closed a tax loophole worth hundreds of millions of dollars to the company.

It’s surprising more wasn’t made of the issue, since closing offshore loopholes and preventing American jobs from going overseas were central talking points for Democrats this election season.

“We did make this an issue during the campaign and the Indiana media was somewhat receptive but it didn’t seem to gain traction,” Kotts told HuffPost in a follow-up email.

A review of the attack-ad website Lobbyist Dan Coats shows it doesn’t include the words: “U.S. jobs,” “loophole,” “headquarters,” “Bermuda,” or “Cooper.”

Story continues here

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Filed under GOP, GOP Agenda, GOP Greed, GOP Hubris, GOP Hypocrisy