maxomai: dog (Default)
It's Friday, and for most of us the work day is over, either just so or hours ago. Which means that we have time to sit back, relax, visit with friends, and ask ourselves that important question - who lost the week?

For my part, I believe that the Massachusetts Republican Party lost the week. I blogged about this earlier, but the Reader's Digest edition is that Scott Brown dropped out of the special election to take the Senate seat vacated by John Kerry. Before that decision, PPP had him as the front runner. Afterwards, the Republicans basically have nobody that can win that seat. Ed Markey will be the next Senator from Massachusetts if he can get his act together.

Honorable (yes, honorable mention) goes to those of us hoping for universal background checks. I believe the NRA signaled in their Senate testimony that they are going to score the vote for such background checks. If so, I think this is a stupid and pathetic move on the part of the NRA - coming out in support of universal background checks would have done something to salvage their image while contributing favorably to the problem of black market handguns in the inner cities. Unfortunately, they don't seem to agree, and so now the GOP faces a choice. They can buck the NRA and suffer the short term consequences in the next round of primaries, or stick with the NRA and suffer the long term consequences in the next few general elections. I still retain some hope that they'll do the right thing and not score universal background checks, but it's a thin hope right now.

A strong case can be made that everyone - and I mean everyone in the world - lost this week after Al Qaeda torched an ancient library in Timbuktu destroying thousands of priceless books and scrolls going back to the 13th Century. Because, you know, they have to destroy Islam in order to save it.

Dishonorable mention goes to Elect A New Congress SuperPAC, which ate the WRONG browniesposted a bizarre rant calling on people to boycott Beyonce and "this Jay-Z fellow" during their Super Bowl half time show, which said SuperPAC promises will be, and I quote, "in praise and celebration of the modern criminal police state," and, "completely at odds with liberty and in complete odds with me." This is in stark contrast to the previous year's Halftime show, which the SuperPAC founder called the "Satanic/Illuminati Super Bowl Half-Time Show.” I tuned in expecting just that, and was sorely disappointed.

Dishonorable mention also goes to Manti Te'o and Taylor Swift, jointly, for making me wonder whose love life is worse.

Another dishonorable mention goes to the People of New Jersey. As if they didn't suffer enough from Chris Christie, Hurrican Sandy, and the entire cast of the Jersey Shore, now they have to suffer one of the worst indignities of all - Geraldo Rivera running for Senate. If Jersey were a person, their autobiography would be the Book of Job.

But now I leave it to you, dear readers. Who do you think lost the week?
maxomai: dog (Default)
It's Friday, and for most of us the work day is over, either just so or hours ago. Which means that we have time to sit back, relax, visit with friends, and ask ourselves that important question - who lost the week?

For my part, I believe that the Massachusetts Republican Party lost the week. I blogged about this earlier, but the Reader's Digest edition is that Scott Brown dropped out of the special election to take the Senate seat vacated by John Kerry. Before that decision, PPP had him as the front runner. Afterwards, the Republicans basically have nobody that can win that seat. Ed Markey will be the next Senator from Massachusetts if he can get his act together.

Honorable (yes, honorable mention) goes to those of us hoping for universal background checks. I believe the NRA signaled in their Senate testimony that they are going to score the vote for such background checks. If so, I think this is a stupid and pathetic move on the part of the NRA - coming out in support of universal background checks would have done something to salvage their image while contributing favorably to the problem of black market handguns in the inner cities. Unfortunately, they don't seem to agree, and so now the GOP faces a choice. They can buck the NRA and suffer the short term consequences in the next round of primaries, or stick with the NRA and suffer the long term consequences in the next few general elections. I still retain some hope that they'll do the right thing and not score universal background checks, but it's a thin hope right now.

Dishonorable mention goes to Elect A New Congress SuperPAC, which ate the WRONG browniesposted a bizarre rant calling on people to boycott Beyonce and "this Jay-Z fellow" during their Super Bowl half time show, which said SuperPAC promises will be, and I quote, "in praise and celebration of the modern criminal police state," and, "completely at odds with liberty and in complete odds with me." This is in stark contrast to the previous year's Halftime show, which the SuperPAC founder called the "Satanic/Illuminati Super Bowl Half-Time Show.” I tuned in expecting just that, and was sorely disappointed.

Dishonorable mention also goes to Manti Te'o and Taylor Swift, jointly, for making me wonder whose love life is worse.

Another dishonorable mention goes to the People of New Jersey. As if they didn't suffer enough from Chris Christie, Hurrican Sandy, and the entire cast of the Jersey Shore, now they have to suffer one of the worst indignities of all - Geraldo Rivera running for Senate. If Jersey were a person, their autobiography would be the Book of Job.

But now I leave it to you, dear readers. Who do you think lost the week?
maxomai: dog (Default)
It's Friday, and for most of us the work day is over, either just so or hours ago. Which means that we have time to sit back, relax, visit with friends, and ask ourselves that important question - who lost the week?

For my part, I believe that the Massachusetts Republican Party lost the week. I blogged about this earlier, but the Reader's Digest edition is that Scott Brown dropped out of the special election to take the Senate seat vacated by John Kerry. Before that decision, PPP had him as the front runner. Afterwards, the Republicans basically have nobody that can win that seat. Ed Markey will be the next Senator from Massachusetts if he can get his act together.

Honorable (yes, honorable mention) goes to those of us hoping for universal background checks. I believe the NRA signaled in their Senate testimony that they are going to score the vote for such background checks. If so, I think this is a stupid and pathetic move on the part of the NRA - coming out in support of universal background checks would have done something to salvage their image while contributing favorably to the problem of black market handguns in the inner cities. Unfortunately, they don't seem to agree, and so now the GOP faces a choice. They can buck the NRA and suffer the short term consequences in the next round of primaries, or stick with the NRA and suffer the long term consequences in the next few general elections. I still retain some hope that they'll do the right thing and not score universal background checks, but it's a thin hope right now.

A strong case can be made that everyone - and I mean everyone in the world - lost this week after Al Qaeda torched an ancient library in Timbuktu destroying thousands of priceless books and scrolls going back to the 13th Century. Because, you know, they have to destroy Islam in order to save it.

Dishonorable mention goes to Elect A New Congress SuperPAC, which ate the WRONG browniesposted a bizarre rant calling on people to boycott Beyonce and "this Jay-Z fellow" during their Super Bowl half time show, which said SuperPAC promises will be, and I quote, "in praise and celebration of the modern criminal police state," and, "completely at odds with liberty and in complete odds with me." This is in stark contrast to the previous year's Halftime show, which the SuperPAC founder called the "Satanic/Illuminati Super Bowl Half-Time Show.” I tuned in expecting just that, and was sorely disappointed.

Dishonorable mention also goes to Manti Te'o and Taylor Swift, jointly, for making me wonder whose love life is worse.

Another dishonorable mention goes to the People of New Jersey. As if they didn't suffer enough from Chris Christie, Hurrican Sandy, and the entire cast of the Jersey Shore, now they have to suffer one of the worst indignities of all - Geraldo Rivera running for Senate. If Jersey were a person, their autobiography would be the Book of Job.

But now I leave it to you, dear readers. Who do you think lost the week?
maxomai: dog (Default)
Oh dear.

Say this for Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: He sure is a multi-tasker.

When he's not threatening to cease "liv[ing] out the imperatives of our faith to serve, teach, heal, feed, and care for others" unless all American women are denied access to contraception, using his blog to smear children raped and molested by priests, coordinating massive lawsuits against the Obama administration because women's health care makes him sad, appearing on TV to false witness through his teeth, appreciating "the work done" by the hate group Catholic League, or organizing a national "fortnight" of civil disobedience, he's apparently busy praying that no one will find out about how, before he became the most powerful Catholic figure in America, he secretly bribed pedophile priests to leave the Church quietly.


And then the New York Times found out. Quoting that story now:

Questioned at the time about the news that one particularly notorious pedophile cleric had been given a “payoff” to leave the priesthood, Cardinal Dolan, then the archbishop, responded that such an inference was “false, preposterous and unjust.”


Except that it turned out to be absolutely, positively true.

So, the Roman Catholic Church has no moral authority left. And their spiritual authority only lasts as long as one doesn't take matters into their own hands. That means that the only thing left sustaining the Church ... is cultural inertia. Yeah, that'll last.
maxomai: dog (Default)
Oh dear.

Say this for Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: He sure is a multi-tasker.

When he's not threatening to cease "liv[ing] out the imperatives of our faith to serve, teach, heal, feed, and care for others" unless all American women are denied access to contraception, using his blog to smear children raped and molested by priests, coordinating massive lawsuits against the Obama administration because women's health care makes him sad, appearing on TV to false witness through his teeth, appreciating "the work done" by the hate group Catholic League, or organizing a national "fortnight" of civil disobedience, he's apparently busy praying that no one will find out about how, before he became the most powerful Catholic figure in America, he secretly bribed pedophile priests to leave the Church quietly.


And then the New York Times found out. Quoting that story now:

Questioned at the time about the news that one particularly notorious pedophile cleric had been given a “payoff” to leave the priesthood, Cardinal Dolan, then the archbishop, responded that such an inference was “false, preposterous and unjust.”


Except that it turned out to be absolutely, positively true.

So, the Roman Catholic Church has no moral authority left. And their spiritual authority only lasts as long as one doesn't take matters into their own hands. That means that the only thing left sustaining the Church ... is cultural inertia. Yeah, that'll last.
maxomai: dog (Default)
Mike Coffman tried to reap the wind of the Birther movement and got his sails torn off. Word got out that he said, at a conservative fundraiser, that he didn't know whether the President was born in the US and that Obama is "not an American at heart."

What he wasn't considering at the time, apparently, is that his district was redrawn to include the town of Aurora, and was now more favorable to Democrats than in the last election. So when a tape of his comments got out, Democrats saw it as an opportunity to get out the vote and eke out a win for his opponent, Joe Miklosi. Coffman's strategists must have seen the writing on the wall, so they told him to lay low while they engaged in damage control.

Then the local media cornered Coffman. The result, below (or here), is a train wreck.



Isn't that precious?

Needless to say, Joe Miklosi has seized on this, both with a petition telling Coffman to "stop hiding," and, more importantly, with fundraising pitches.

2012 is shaping up to be a dogfight instead of a blowout, and flipping House seats isn't going to be easy. Colorado's 6th district is, after these gaffes, one of the few places where Democrats have a good chance to flip a district.
maxomai: dog (Default)
Mike Coffman tried to reap the wind of the Birther movement and got his sails torn off. Word got out that he said, at a conservative fundraiser, that he didn't know whether the President was born in the US and that Obama is "not an American at heart."

What he wasn't considering at the time, apparently, is that his district was redrawn to include the town of Aurora, and was now more favorable to Democrats than in the last election. So when a tape of his comments got out, Democrats saw it as an opportunity to get out the vote and eke out a win for his opponent, Joe Miklosi. Coffman's strategists must have seen the writing on the wall, so they told him to lay low while they engaged in damage control.

Then the local media cornered Coffman. The result, below (or here), is a train wreck.



Isn't that precious?

Needless to say, Joe Miklosi has seized on this, both with a petition telling Coffman to "stop hiding," and, more importantly, with fundraising pitches.

2012 is shaping up to be a dogfight instead of a blowout, and flipping House seats isn't going to be easy. Colorado's 6th district is, after these gaffes, one of the few places where Democrats have a good chance to flip a district.
maxomai: dog (Default)
Quoting the man himself:

I will name the time and the place, per your offer, as soon as possible. Looking forward to it, NOMnuts.


On the one hand, Dan Savage knows next to nothing about Christianity. On the other hand, Brian Brown is a homophobic idiot who also, IMO, knows plenty about the fascist, nationalist brand of Christianity, a bare minimum about the Bible, and nothing about much else. The whole fight is bound to be about as enlightening as a professional wrestling match.

However, I do see some potential for good here, if GWAR jumps on stage during the debate and kills both of them. How about it, guys?
maxomai: dog (Default)
Quoting the man himself:

I will name the time and the place, per your offer, as soon as possible. Looking forward to it, NOMnuts.


On the one hand, Dan Savage knows next to nothing about Christianity. On the other hand, Brian Brown is a homophobic idiot who also, IMO, knows plenty about the fascist, nationalist brand of Christianity, a bare minimum about the Bible, and nothing about much else. The whole fight is bound to be about as enlightening as a professional wrestling match.

However, I do see some potential for good here, if GWAR jumps on stage during the debate and kills both of them. How about it, guys?
maxomai: dog (Default)
Via rightwingwatch we learn that the Southern Baptist Convention is (unsurprisingly) voicing objections to renewal and expansion of the Violence Against Women Act. Part of the basis for their objection:

Under the reauthorization, VAWA, as the bill is known, would spend vast sums of taxpayer money—more than $400 million each year—on programs that lack sufficient oversight and fail to address the core issue of protecting vulnerable women from abuse. Many of the programs duplicate efforts already underway. Among other problems, it would expand special protections to include same-sex couples. Men who are victimized by their male sexual partners would receive the benefit of the law above heterosexuals. And with broadened definitions of who qualifies for services, those who are most in need of the bill’s protections would have diminished access to it.


You can read their full objection here.

Let's put aside the homophobic hysteria about destroying families by supporting same-sex couples. Let's also set aside the trope about "insufficient oversight," which is basically boilerplate language for "this spends money on something besides bombs and oil subsidies."

One of the people the SBC brought on board to support this letter is Timothy Johnson. Johnson's a convicted domestic abuser with a felony conviction and a fake Ph. D. What's his motive for supporting this law?

And how seriously does the SBC take domestic violence if they bring this asshole on board?
maxomai: dog (Default)
Via rightwingwatch we learn that the Southern Baptist Convention is (unsurprisingly) voicing objections to renewal and expansion of the Violence Against Women Act. Part of the basis for their objection:

Under the reauthorization, VAWA, as the bill is known, would spend vast sums of taxpayer money—more than $400 million each year—on programs that lack sufficient oversight and fail to address the core issue of protecting vulnerable women from abuse. Many of the programs duplicate efforts already underway. Among other problems, it would expand special protections to include same-sex couples. Men who are victimized by their male sexual partners would receive the benefit of the law above heterosexuals. And with broadened definitions of who qualifies for services, those who are most in need of the bill’s protections would have diminished access to it.


You can read their full objection here.

Let's put aside the homophobic hysteria about destroying families by supporting same-sex couples. Let's also set aside the trope about "insufficient oversight," which is basically boilerplate language for "this spends money on something besides bombs and oil subsidies."

One of the people the SBC brought on board to support this letter is Timothy Johnson. Johnson's a convicted domestic abuser with a felony conviction and a fake Ph. D. What's his motive for supporting this law?

And how seriously does the SBC take domestic violence if they bring this asshole on board?
maxomai: dog (Default)
Orly Taitz and company tried, and failed, to get Barack Obama knocked off the ballot in Indiana. Undeterred from that failure, they then moved on to Georgia. Taitz and three other lawyers showed up; Obama and his lawyer did not. This, naturally, pissed off the judge. Thus Taitz et. al. argued against an empty table in front of a judge that was angry at the other side.

Taitz et. al. still lost, because the facts and the law are simply not on their side.

The ten-page decision is here. Both the judge's anger at Obama's counsel and his utter distain for Taitz's arguments are clear.

Unfortunately, as with any religious cult or screwball movement, defeat for the birthers has the dual effect of scattering some while hardening the resolve of others. So it shall be in this case. And so Taitz will go on wasting her time, and her clients' time and money, arguing that Barack Obama is, somehow, not a citizen of the United States. And she will continue losing.
maxomai: dog (Default)
Orly Taitz and company tried, and failed, to get Barack Obama knocked off the ballot in Indiana. Undeterred from that failure, they then moved on to Georgia. Taitz and three other lawyers showed up; Obama and his lawyer did not. This, naturally, pissed off the judge. Thus Taitz et. al. argued against an empty table in front of a judge that was angry at the other side.

Taitz et. al. still lost, because the facts and the law are simply not on their side.

The ten-page decision is here. Both the judge's anger at Obama's counsel and his utter distain for Taitz's arguments are clear.

Unfortunately, as with any religious cult or screwball movement, defeat for the birthers has the dual effect of scattering some while hardening the resolve of others. So it shall be in this case. And so Taitz will go on wasting her time, and her clients' time and money, arguing that Barack Obama is, somehow, not a citizen of the United States. And she will continue losing.
maxomai: dog (Default)
One thing I learned fast in politics is that if your opponents, particularly Republican opponents, don't have real dirt on you, they will go to great lengths to manufacture fake dirt. This is precisely what I believe is going on with the Anthony Weiner incident.

The incident, we are told, went something like this: Congressman Weiner, a liberal firebrand from New York, friended one Gennette Cordova on Twitter. He then sent Cordova a photo of his penis, which was immediately seen by a right-wing stooge and then forwarded to blogger Andrew Breitbart, who then repeated the story to the national media. It would appear, from this, that Weiner has some explaining to do. Right?

Well, not really. In fact, I think it's Andrew Breitbart who has some explaining to do. Consider the following:

  • Both Weiner and Gennette Cordova flatly deny that Weiner sent her the photo. Weiner is adamant about this; the media are trying to make hay because he can't say for sure whether it's a photo of him, which could be for any number of reasons; but he clearly denies having sent it.

    Cordova, for her part, says:

    The account that these tweets were sent from was familiar to me; this person had harassed me many times after the Congressman followed me on Twitter a month or so ago. Since I had dealt with this person and his cohorts before I assumed that the tweet and the picture were their latest attempts at defaming the Congressman and harassing his supporters. (source)


  • The photo itself, which can be seen here (borderline NSFW; no nudity), doesn't show the face...or the penis...or for that matter, any other clearly distinguishing characteristics. In fact, I challenge you to tell me that this is unmistakably a crotch shot.


  • As for how this might have happened to come from Weiner's account, I and [livejournal.com profile] flavobean both personally witnessed someone build a Twitter account that looked almost exactly identical to Charlie Sheen's account. Notice how the capital I closely resembles the lower case l. This is a common social engineering trick that's been used on me more than once (unsuccessfully). Unsurprisingly, similar fakes are relatively common.


  • Which brings us to Andrew Breitbart (2) himself. Breitbart is not the most honest player ever, and in fact is being sued for defaming former Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod. He did this by selectively editing a video tape of Sherrod to make her sound racist; this cost her her job, and in all likelihood it will cost Breitbart a great deal of money.


Given the questionable evidence supporting Breitbart's story, Weiner's denial, the victim denying being a victim of anything but a media feeding frenzy, and Breitbart's history, I think we have a plausible theory as to what happened here. Put simply, someone created a fake Weiner account and sent Cordova this photo, took a screencap, and sent this to Breitbart in an attempt to smear Weiner. We can fault Weiner for not handling this better, but ultimately, this is Breitbart facilitating a smear job, and I believe, knowingly so. If Cordova is smart, she will lawyer up and go after Breitbart and/or his toadies for pain and suffering.

Now: ask yourself why the media didn't look more closely at this story before reporting it. Why aren't they running Breitbart out on a rail?
maxomai: dog (Default)
One thing I learned fast in politics is that if your opponents, particularly Republican opponents, don't have real dirt on you, they will go to great lengths to manufacture fake dirt. This is precisely what I believe is going on with the Anthony Weiner incident.

The incident, we are told, went something like this: Congressman Weiner, a liberal firebrand from New York, friended one Gennette Cordova on Twitter. He then sent Cordova a photo of his penis, which was immediately seen by a right-wing stooge and then forwarded to blogger Andrew Breitbart, who then repeated the story to the national media. It would appear, from this, that Weiner has some explaining to do. Right?

Well, not really. In fact, I think it's Andrew Breitbart who has some explaining to do. Consider the following:

  • Both Weiner and Gennette Cordova flatly deny that Weiner sent her the photo. Weiner is adamant about this; the media are trying to make hay because he can't say for sure whether it's a photo of him, which could be for any number of reasons; but he clearly denies having sent it.

    Cordova, for her part, says:

    The account that these tweets were sent from was familiar to me; this person had harassed me many times after the Congressman followed me on Twitter a month or so ago. Since I had dealt with this person and his cohorts before I assumed that the tweet and the picture were their latest attempts at defaming the Congressman and harassing his supporters. (source)


  • The photo itself, which can be seen here (borderline NSFW; no nudity), doesn't show the face...or the penis...or for that matter, any other clearly distinguishing characteristics. In fact, I challenge you to tell me that this is unmistakably a crotch shot.


  • As for how this might have happened to come from Weiner's account, I and [livejournal.com profile] flavobean both personally witnessed someone build a Twitter account that looked almost exactly identical to Charlie Sheen's account. Notice how the capital I closely resembles the lower case l. This is a common social engineering trick that's been used on me more than once (unsuccessfully). Unsurprisingly, similar fakes are relatively common.


  • Which brings us to Andrew Breitbart (2) himself. Breitbart is not the most honest player ever, and in fact is being sued for defaming former Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod. He did this by selectively editing a video tape of Sherrod to make her sound racist; this cost her her job, and in all likelihood it will cost Breitbart a great deal of money.


Given the questionable evidence supporting Breitbart's story, Weiner's denial, the victim denying being a victim of anything but a media feeding frenzy, and Breitbart's history, I think we have a plausible theory as to what happened here. Put simply, someone created a fake Weiner account and sent Cordova this photo, took a screencap, and sent this to Breitbart in an attempt to smear Weiner. We can fault Weiner for not handling this better, but ultimately, this is Breitbart facilitating a smear job, and I believe, knowingly so. If Cordova is smart, she will lawyer up and go after Breitbart and/or his toadies for pain and suffering.

Now: ask yourself why the media didn't look more closely at this story before reporting it. Why aren't they running Breitbart out on a rail?
maxomai: dog (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] keith418 posted an interesting link (here) about the neoconservative hypocrisy about democracy in the Middle East. Simply put, the neocons - Bolton, Condi Rice, and the rest of them - were very gung-ho to invade Iraq, depose an anti-American dictator, install a puppet government, and call it democracy. They are less gung-ho to support a peaceful revolt against a staunch American ally in the name of democracy. This, at least, is understandable on their parts - they don't know what would come after Mubarak, and they had fears (IMO somewhat unrealistically elevated) that the Muslim Brotherhood would take power; and no matter what, even a legitimately democratically elected government with guaranteed constitutional protections of liberties would take a hard line against Israel, because that's what the people want.

This goes along with a core principle, not often stated, of the neoconservative ideology: what they really desire is not democracy, but governments who will go along with America. In this mindset, democracy is good as long as they like the results. In Iraq, the results are good because we pick the results. In Palestine, the results (Hamas in control of the Gaza strip) don't favor our policies and are thus bad. In Egypt, it is not clear that the results would be worse in the long run for America, but they would be worse for Israel, and that makes the neocons itchy.

But we now have a much different phenomenon going on: a revolution in Libya against Muhamar Kaddafi, similar in character to the one that overthrew Mubarak, but much more bloody because Kaddafi is that much more ruthless. Here is a movement to overthrow a staunchly anti-American dictator, one who sponsored terrorism against the UK and US, one whose exit and replacement with a democratic government would most likely benefit the West.

And the neoconservatives are absolutely silent about it. No support, no condemnations. Silence.

Why?

I have a hypothesis that I submit for your consideration. That hypothesis is this: the neoconservatives want Kaddafi to stay in power. They hate him, but they have him contained. He's the devil they know. Once he and his sons are gone, we have to roll the dice on free and fair elections and see what we get, and that makes them antsy.

But, they can't admit this. Kaddafi is the enemy. He has been the enemy for as long as I can remember. To admit that they would prefer the enemy they know in Kaddafi to the uncertainty of Libyan democracy would expose them, completely and irretrievably, for what they are: not small-d democratic idealists, but imperialists, through and through. And the one thing they cannot afford is for this to happen. They would lose any legitimacy they have left, even in DC.

Here's the test of my hypothesis. If there is one nation that the neocons would love to bomb right now, it's Iran. John Bolton, molestache and all, has been screaming for this for years. Right now the Tunisian-Egyptian revolution is just getting started in earnest in Iran as the elections approach. I think there's a good chance that it will catch fire and that we will see the same chaos in Iran within six months that we saw last week in Egypt and are seeing now in Libya.

If my hypothesis is right, the neocons will keep their mouths shut then, too.
maxomai: dog (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] keith418 posted an interesting link (here) about the neoconservative hypocrisy about democracy in the Middle East. Simply put, the neocons - Bolton, Condi Rice, and the rest of them - were very gung-ho to invade Iraq, depose an anti-American dictator, install a puppet government, and call it democracy. They are less gung-ho to support a peaceful revolt against a staunch American ally in the name of democracy. This, at least, is understandable on their parts - they don't know what would come after Mubarak, and they had fears (IMO somewhat unrealistically elevated) that the Muslim Brotherhood would take power; and no matter what, even a legitimately democratically elected government with guaranteed constitutional protections of liberties would take a hard line against Israel, because that's what the people want.

This goes along with a core principle, not often stated, of the neoconservative ideology: what they really desire is not democracy, but governments who will go along with America. In this mindset, democracy is good as long as they like the results. In Iraq, the results are good because we pick the results. In Palestine, the results (Hamas in control of the Gaza strip) don't favor our policies and are thus bad. In Egypt, it is not clear that the results would be worse in the long run for America, but they would be worse for Israel, and that makes the neocons itchy.

But we now have a much different phenomenon going on: a revolution in Libya against Muhamar Kaddafi, similar in character to the one that overthrew Mubarak, but much more bloody because Kaddafi is that much more ruthless. Here is a movement to overthrow a staunchly anti-American dictator, one who sponsored terrorism against the UK and US, one whose exit and replacement with a democratic government would most likely benefit the West.

And the neoconservatives are absolutely silent about it. No support, no condemnations. Silence.

Why?

I have a hypothesis that I submit for your consideration. That hypothesis is this: the neoconservatives want Kaddafi to stay in power. They hate him, but they have him contained. He's the devil they know. Once he and his sons are gone, we have to roll the dice on free and fair elections and see what we get, and that makes them antsy.

But, they can't admit this. Kaddafi is the enemy. He has been the enemy for as long as I can remember. To admit that they would prefer the enemy they know in Kaddafi to the uncertainty of Libyan democracy would expose them, completely and irretrievably, for what they are: not small-d democratic idealists, but imperialists, through and through. And the one thing they cannot afford is for this to happen. They would lose any legitimacy they have left, even in DC.

Here's the test of my hypothesis. If there is one nation that the neocons would love to bomb right now, it's Iran. John Bolton, molestache and all, has been screaming for this for years. Right now the Tunisian-Egyptian revolution is just getting started in earnest in Iran as the elections approach. I think there's a good chance that it will catch fire and that we will see the same chaos in Iran within six months that we saw last week in Egypt and are seeing now in Libya.

If my hypothesis is right, the neocons will keep their mouths shut then, too.
maxomai: dog (Default)

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) has decided not to run for re-election in 2012. More here.


If she ran, and won her primary, she would be a shoo-in. Unfortunately for her, the Tea Party hates Hutchison, and this is reflected in her approval rating among Republicans. Depending on how the primary goes, this could turn into an interesting pick-up opportunity for Democrats.








maxomai: dog (Default)

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) has decided not to run for re-election in 2012. More here.


If she ran, and won her primary, she would be a shoo-in. Unfortunately for her, the Tea Party hates Hutchison, and this is reflected in her approval rating among Republicans. Depending on how the primary goes, this could turn into an interesting pick-up opportunity for Democrats.








maxomai: dog (Default)

I’m trying to figure out who’s the bigger douchebag here. Is it Peter King?


Rep. Peter King, a Republican from New York, is planning to introduce legislation that would make it illegal to bring a gun within 1,000 feet of a government official, according to a person familiar with the congressman’s intentions.


Or Lou Gohmert?


“It’d be a good thing for members of Congress who want to carry a weapon in the District,” he said. “I know friends that walk home from the Capitol. There’s no security for us,” he said, adding that the measure would deter people from attacking members. “There is some protection in having protection.”


So….on the one hand, we have someone who wants to disarm everyone within 1000 yards of a government official. On the other, we have someone who wants to give Congress members the right to carry that DC residents never have (and apparently don’t want).


Both of these guys are disconnected, privileged idiots. But which one is more so?








Originally published at maxomai.org

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