Sunday, May 3, 2009

Last Call

There are bad ideas. There are horrible ideas. And there are Winger ideas.

History is influenced and even dictated by people who take the initiative, take matters into their own hands, take action. History is made by people who DO, not people who are DONE TO.

To that end, I suggest that Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal be removed as soon as possible. How? I prefer that the United States buys it so the money can be used to bolster the weak Pakistani government. Lacking that, direct, strong, military action should be taken:
1) American forces (however many troops are necessary) should be sent to defend the nuclear facilities.
2) If buying or protecting the nukes is not allowed, then they should be destroyed

Is this harsh? Absolutely, but we’re talking about dozens-perhaps hundreds of nuclear weapons that can be taken in a day or so by either the Taliban or the US (as the Pakistanis are not in control). Imagine 100 nuclear weapons smuggled into the United States, into American ports, on planes to American cities, or to American bases overseas. Does anyone doubt the Taliban would like to blow up Rome, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, or Baghdad? That’s 4 targets with perhaps 100 more to use. The situation is far too dangerous to leave to chance.

Yeah. You see, we can easily take the entire country of Pakistan and take their nukes with 100% certainty now, but should the Taliban get them, there's a 100% chance the US will be powerless to stop them and we'll be nuked. So if Obama doesn't immediately secure Pakistan's nukes through whatever means necessary (including deadly military force) then your grandmother will get nuked. This makes perfect sense if you're a neo-con nutjob.

If your brilliant idea for saving the world from the Af-Pak problem is basically a plot cribbed from a Vince Flynn novel, you need mental help. I would hope any actual soldier, seaman or airman would laugh these idiots out of town, especially any of them who have served in CENTCOM and would see their lives treated so casually.

After all, Russia or China could nuke us too. Both countries could produce a loose nuke scenario. Why not invade THEM and take their nukes too? I'm sure they wouldn't mind.

Or, since the real problem is the billion or so possible Muslim jihadis, why not just nuke the whole lot of them first?

After all, the situation is far too dangerous to leave to chance.

But this is what passes for serious solutions from our friends on the far right.

Getting Zero From Sixty

If you thought putative sixtieth Democratic Senator Arlen Specter was going to actually be any help whatsoever to Obama's agenda, he disabused Washington of that silly notion today.
On "Meet the Press" this morning, David Gregory asked about health care, with this quote in mind. Specter's response was important.

GREGORY: It was reported this week that when you met with the president, you said, "I will be a loyal democrat. I support your agenda." Let me test that on probably one of the most important areas of his agenda, and that's health care. Would you support health care reform that puts up a government run public plan to compete with a private plan issued by a private insurance company?

SPECTER: No. And you misquote me, David. I did not say I would be a loyal Democrat. I did not say that. And last week, after I said I was changing parties, I voted against the budget because the budget has a way to pass health care with 51 votes, which undermines a basic Senate institution to require 60 votes to impose closure on key issues.... I did not say I am a loyal Democrat.

It's quite a start for Specter's career in Democratic politics, isn't it? In the four whole days he's been a Democrat, Specter has voted against the Democratic budget, rejected a Democratic measure to help prevent mortgage foreclosures and preserve home values, announced his opposition to the president's OLC nominee, and this morning rejected a key centerpiece of the Democratic health care plan.

For years, Republicans criticized Specter as a RINO -- Republican In Name Only. As is turns out, at this point, Specter appears intent on literally being nothing more than a DINO -- Democrat In Name Only. Specter doesn't want to do any of the actual work involved in being a valuable member of his new team, preferring to vote exactly as he used to, only now with a different letter after his name in parentheses.

In other words, if the GOP's plan was to give the Dems sixty Senators so that the Dems could no longer claim Party of No obstruction but still not actually pass anything due to Democrats stabbing the President in the back, then it's working perfectly.

Rice Gets Cooked

Condi Rice gets her ass handed to her by a bunch of Stanford law students.

Part of the transcript:

Q: Is waterboarding torture?

RICE: The president instructed us that nothing we would do would be outside of our obligations, legal obligations under the Convention Against Torture. So that’s — And by the way, I didn’t authorize anything. I conveyed the authorization of the administration to the agency, that they had policy authorization, subject to the Justice Department’s clearance. That’s what I did.

Q: Okay. Is waterboarding torture in your opinion?

RICE: I just said, the United States was told, we were told, nothing that violates our obligations under the Convention Against Torture. And so by definition, if it was authorized by the president, it did not violate our obligations under the Convention Against Torture.

So if the President does it, it can't be illegal. Nearly 40 years and we're still using the Nixon Defense. And she gets pissy about it too.
RICE: Let me tell you something: unless you were there in a position of responsibility after September 11 you cannot possibly imagine the dilemmas that we faced in trying to protect Americans.
Ahh, but we did imagine the dilemmas. We also managed to imagine the massive abuses of power and fixing of intelligence to lead us towards a war of aggression against Iraq, too.
RICE: A lot of people are second guessing now, but let me tell you the second guessing that would have hurt me more is if there had been 3,000 more Americans dying because we didn’t do everything we could to protect them.
If by "doing everything to protect them" you mean killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and then torturing folks to get them to confess to whatever you wanted to? Yes, that kept us safe. You keep telling yourself that the end justifies the means so you can sleep at night. But here's my favorite Condi Rice quote from the video:
RICE: If you were in a position of authority and watched Americans jumping out of 80-story buildings, because these murderous tyrants go after innocent people, then you would have...determined to do anything you could that was legal to prevent that happening.
But what your government did was not legal, madam. And for that you will always be considered a soulless monster. And let us not forget Bush failed to stop 9/11 in the first place. Condi, when YOU first warned the President of Al-Qaeda plans to fly airplanes into buildings back in August 2001 when YOU were National Security Adviser, the President ignored YOU. And close to 3,000 Americans died because of the ignorance of the man YOU worked for.

You do not get to play that card when you failed in your duty to protect America. Period.

You know, Condi Rice probably should be allowed in public where law students can completely whip her ass like this. Of course in a just world, she shouldn't be allowed in public because she was in prison for war crimes.

History will not be kind to you, madam. Nor should it ever be.

[UPDATE] As Andrew Sullivan points out, the only way this is legal is if America drops out of the Geneva Conventions based on Chuck Krauthammer's arguments that are almost identical to the defenses Condi Rice employs in the video.
The idea that Krauthammer's is an argument against the use of torture is therefore preposterous. It is an argument for the embrace of torture and abuse whenever the executive branch wants to use it, against anyone it deems likely to cough up information. There is not a scintilla of distrust of executive power in either essay, which reveals the radically unconservative vision that underlies the torture state. And the moral outrage used to make his argument seem less monstrous is mitigated by the rather obvious fact that, by the logic of Krauthammer, nothing that happened at Abu Ghraib was morally or legally awry (except the murder-by-torture of one prisoner). All the other techniques - ordered and authorized by Bush and Rumsfeld and Cheney - were used against possible insurgents with possible real information that could have possibly saved the lives of American soldiers. Given his arguments, how does Krauthammer object to anything that was done there? Or is his response that it was amateurish and the real torturers and abusers don't take photos? Or that only Lynndie England is vulnerable to sadism? He can't possibly object to the cruelty in principle - just the fact that it slipped into the public domain. The screams of the tortured should be reserved for a few elite ears.

And no one can possibly doubt that a policy along the lines Krauthammer wants is a clear, ongoing violation of domestic law, the Geneva Conventions' Article 3, and the UN Convention on Torture. So when will Krauthammer formally argue that the US should withdraw form these international and obligations? If we are to follow his advice in turning the US into a state that routinely abuses prisoners in the war on terror and tortures them at will, then we have no choice.

We're either a nation of laws or we're not. Period.

Chuck Norris Doesn't Break Godwin's Law, Logic Tries To Break Norris's Law And Loses Badly

Chuck Norris reminds you that Barack Obama's administration is full of Nazis and stuff.
While the members of President Barack Obama's administration profess to have education as a top priority, they did nothing in March when Congress chose to discontinue the Opportunity Scholarship Program. Why? Because they all are in cahoots to not only choose our medical care for us, own the mortgage insurance and finance businesses, and place caps on corporate earnings but also control our educational choices for our children.

Our Founders' educational philosophy seems to me to be the charter of a true American system of education. But as we know, our nation's public schools, especially our nation's colleges and universities, are the seedbeds of politically correct and leftist indoctrination. It shouldn't be that way, but it is. It's a travesty that we have come to the point that we have to protect our children from the public school systems by looking to alternative methods.

If you have a good public school, congratulations. Stay active in the PTA, and attend school board meetings to keep it that way. For many parents, the only responsible choice is to send their children to private, parochial or Christian schools or to home-school their children. My wife and I home-school our 8-year-old twins.

What I also think is good about private schools is the students' wearing uniforms. Just like in my KICKSTART martial arts program for kids in Texas schools, uniforms in private schools give students a sense of pride and empowerment. They increase the atmosphere of respect. And uniforms make economic class more of a nonissue, making rich and poor students indistinguishable -- not to mention the fact that uniforms do away with young people's style of wearing their jeans down to their knees and showing their butt cracks!

Parents deserve educational choices; choice is what this country was founded upon. Government's controlling and monopolizing education is just another avenue for usurping power and control on the slippery slope to socialism. And it's unbecoming for our republic, whose Founders created a system of freedom, choice and minimal government intervention.

Is it merely coincidental that the private choice of home schooling was outlawed by the Soviet state in 1919, by Hitler and Nazi Germany in 1938, and by Communist China in 1949?

Is America next?

Yes, the Great Baggy Jeans Conspiracy is coming for your children. Don't let them be taught any of that leftist Nazi indoctrination crap like "tolerance" or "logic" or "science". And remember America was founded on choice...the choice white guys have to tell women and minorities exactly how to live!

Remember, fascists breathe oxygen too. Is America next?

GOP's Jack Kemp Passes Away

The legislative mind behind Reagan's tax cuts, former Buffalo Bills QB, Poppy Bush's HUD chief and Bob Dole's running mate in 1996, Jack Kemp has passed away from cancer. He was most certainly fiscal conservative (he helped create Reaganomics), but he was something of a social moderate as well. For a Republican Kemp was actually a pretty good guy:
Mr. Kemp was regarded as an unusual sort of Republican, combining fiscal and social conservatism with support for civil rights, affirmative action and rights for illegal immigrants. He called himself "a bleeding-heart conservative."

After becoming HUD secretary in 1988, he worked to root out discrimination by lenders and insurers. He ended some programs, tightened others and energized the staff.

He was an early advocate of plans to attract business to distressed neighborhoods with tax-free zones.

He would be considered a liberal by today's GOP standards.
Football experiences, including rejections encountered by black players in New Orleans for the 1965 AFL All-Star game, fostered Mr. Kemp's recognition that the GOP needed to become more inclusive.

As a Republican congressman, he defied conservatives by pushing sanctions against South Africa. As HUD chief, he put the interests of poor tenants over housing developers. And as a vice presidential nominee, he campaigned hard for African American votes his ticket had little hope of winning.

In many ways Kemp was the original "compassionate conservative". He recognized that government had a role to play in making lives better in America, not as a bogeyman or an adversary.

But it's important to note that if he had still been politically active today however, Jack Kemp would have long been run out of the party for not hating minorities enough, especially illegal immigrants. He would have been considered an out-of-touch pre-9/11 Poppy Bush moderate at best and a "shamnesty traitor" at worst.

The country lost, as BooMan puts it,"a profoundly decent and profoundly wrong man." The Reganomics that he created ultimately led the to recession of 2002 and the current economic crisis of today. Would that the rest of his party choose to emulate his true "big tent" philosophy as an improvement, and learn from his tragic mistakes in creating an economic collapse nearly 30 years in the making.

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