Greg Prince's Blog

Musings and pontifications from a reality based progressive

Archive for June, 2006

Hiatus

Posted by Greg on June 29, 2006

I’m traveling and otherwise indisposed until after July 4.  Not a lot of time to do much of anything…so I may post something, I may not.  But don’t expect much activity here until after the holiday.

Happy 4th everyone! 

Posted in My Musings | Leave a Comment »

Palestinian WMDs?

Posted by Greg on June 29, 2006

If true, THIS is very, very bad.

Posted in International | Leave a Comment »

Coming home to roost

Posted by Greg on June 29, 2006

The media and even the Supreme Court are taking notice of the Bush Administrations lawlessness.

It’s about bloody time.

And go to scotusblog for a more detailed analysis of the court’s spanking of the Bush Administration.

Hat tip:  Pam’s House Blend.

Posted in Bush Adminisration | Leave a Comment »

Losing his grip on reality

Posted by Greg on June 29, 2006

Interesting that James Dobson and his ilk view the media as this vast conspiracy to supress their views, yet CNN provided Dobson his latest opportunity to demonstrate yet again that he is completely insane.  That’s right folks, it’s the media’s fault that the world doesn’t uniformly share the Religious Wrong’s fetish with other people’s sex lives, and disfavors discriminatory social engineering as a constitutional principle.

Some choice commentary on Dobsonian wingnuttery can be found:

Shakespeare’s Sister

Michael Stickings

David Schaub

Posted in Culture War, Religious Wrong | Leave a Comment »

Being stupid about it

Posted by Greg on June 29, 2006

Senator Barak Obama took his fellow Democrats to the woodshed, criticizing Democrats for being hostile to people of faith.  It seems to be he’s doing a very good job at cutting a straw man off at the knees. There are hard core secularists in both parties, but that doesn’t mean efforts to resist the wingnut theocrats are borne out of atheism, or that there aren’t as many earnest, honest people of faith on the left as on the right.

Fundamentally, Obama seems to have bought into and is reinforcing the Republican talking point – a talking point that isn’t based in fact.

I like Obama.  I think he’s going to be a serious contender for national office.  But if he’s going to try to capture the Religious Wrong from the right, he’s going to lose a lot of votes.  Mine and a lot of others’.

Other voices:

Americablog:

Democrats should do more to court evangelicals and people of faith. But that doesn’t mean they should be stupid about it.

Stupid would mean supporting flag burning [amendment] and displays of the Ten Commandments and backing off of their support for the civil rights of gays and lesbians and women – all to woo supposed people of faith. Stupid would also be worrying about the Pledge and school prayer (sorry Obama, you’re pandering). That’s not how you court THE RIGHT people of faith. The people of faith who make gay-bashing and abortion and the Pledge their number one priority will never support Democrats. Hell, they barely support Republicans.

And in any case, do we need to become as phony as the Republican party, supporting these feel-good-but-do-nothing issues rather than trying to solve real problems in America, in order to convince believers we’re actually okay?

Atrios:

If you think it’s important to court evangelicals, then court them. If, on the other hand, you think it’s important to confirm and embrace the false idea that Democrats are hostile to religion in order to set yourself apart, then continue doing what you’re doing. It won’t help the Democrats, and it probably won’t even help you, but whatever makes you happy.

Chris Bowers:

The only people who matter are the most conservative people in the country. A Congress that is only responsive and responsible to those voters will, no matter who is in charge of Congress, end up producing the most right-wing legislation imaginable. 

David Sirota:

The more high-profile Democrats give credence to right-wing lies/myths, the more the party’s image problem grows. It’s time for Democratic leaders who show the country what they believe in – instead of telling the public the lies they already hear on right-wing radio.

Posted in Religion, The Left | Leave a Comment »

Pots and kettles at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Posted by Greg on June 28, 2006

You just knew it was too good to be true.  It seems the White House itself has told FAR more about its spying programs than the supposedly “treasonous” New York Times revealed.

Reporters are coming forward to document just how much the Bush administration already told journalists about their supposedly super secret spying they do on financial records in order to catch terrorists. We now know that the Bush administration already told reporters FAR MORE about this program than anything the New York Times reported last week. Yet Bush and his surrogates are accusing the NYT of treason.

Well, get in line. It appears the Bush White House is once again at the head of the line when it comes to making classified leaks.

More details here.

Posted in Bush Adminisration, Media | Leave a Comment »

Defending against a mad man

Posted by Greg on June 28, 2006

The incomparable Andy Borowitz offers the following solution:

In an act of retaliation for North Korean president Kim Jong-Il’s plan to test a long-range missile that could reach California, the United States today threatened to launch conservative pundit Ann Coulter in the direction of North Korea.

President George W. Bush announced the plan to weaponize Ms. Coulter in a nationally televised address.

“If North Korea intends to test the most deadly weapon in its arsenal, we will have no alternative but to use the most deadly weapon in ours,” Mr. Bush said. “And that weapon is Ann Coulter.”

Mr. Bush did not indicate how and when Ms. Coulter would be fired towards Pyongyang, but most military experts believe that she has already been loaded onto a nuclear submarine and could be launched at any moment.

At the United Nations, an emergency session of the Security Council was convened to discourage the U.S. from deploying Ms. Coulter, who is seen by many in the international community as the ultimate doomsday weapon.

Fears abound that if Ms. Coulter were fired towards Pyongyang, she would spew noxious fumes that could lay waste to the entire Korean peninsula and might even destroy Japan and parts of China.

A spokesperson for Ms. Coulter today acknowledged that her client had the power to destroy large areas of Asia, but said that she was “stoked” about the mission.

“If destroying Asia will help Ann sell more books, she’s up for it,” the spokesperson said.

Elsewhere, a new study shows that a person using a cell phone during a thunderstorm could be struck by lightning, while a person using a cell phone during a movie should be struck by lightning.

Posted in Humor | 1 Comment »

Cannon survives in UT-3

Posted by Greg on June 28, 2006

CNN reports Cannon, the incumbent, beat his anti immigration challenger by a 12 point margin.

Cannon and Jacob squared off in Utah’s 3rd District, which stretches from the western suburbs of Salt Lake City through Provo to rural counties in the southwestern part of the state. Cannon first won the solidly Republican district in 1996.

But last month, Jacob used anger over the immigration issue to defeat Cannon at the state Republican convention, which forced Cannon into a primary that he conceded he could lose “if there are a lot of people who are really afraid … and they vote against me.”

“(The) disagreement is whether the Republican Party is going to be some kind of new, xenophobic, anti-foreigner party, or whether we’re going to be the party of a country we’re thrilled has grown,” he said.

UPDATE:  Mick talks about the aftermath HERE.  Worth a read.

Posted in Election 2006, Immigration | 1 Comment »

Clearer heads prevail

Posted by Greg on June 27, 2006

But just barely.

Surely the Republicans have SOMETHING better to do with their time than attempted rape of the US Constitution?

Posted in Bush Adminisration, Civil Rights, Congress, The Right | Leave a Comment »

Is it smart to be Smart?

Posted by Greg on June 27, 2006

I’d sure as hell not trade my Jetta diesel for one — and I can seat five comfortably and get only a couple MPG less around town.

Here’s the LINK

Posted in Business | Leave a Comment »

New digs

Posted by Greg on June 27, 2006

Check out Cadillac Tight’s redesign.  Looking good Joe!

Posted in The Blogosphere | 1 Comment »

Sanitizing history

Posted by Greg on June 27, 2006

Congressman Mark Kennedy, R, MN, is giving up his sixth district seat to run for the US Senate, hoping to replace Mark Dayton who is not running for, and probably wouldn’t have won, reelection. 

I’m sure Mr. Kennedy’s a nice enough guy, but he’s also a very reliable party line vote.  It seems that being seen as an administration lapdog isn’t something he favors for the impending campaign season.

MN Publius does a before and after comparison with Kennedy’s redesigned website.  Interesting how Bush’s photo no longer appears.  Interesting how, despite a 95% record of voting with the administration the only mention of Bush now lists Kennedy in opposition to tarriffs.

Check it out.

Posted in Bush Adminisration, Election 2006, Minnesota, The Right | Leave a Comment »

The problem with winning

Posted by Greg on June 27, 2006

Jason Kuznicki at Positive Liberty explains the paradox of wanting America to win, but recognizing the negative ramification of an American win being a Bush win:

Tim Sandefur proposes, below, that some Iraq war critics are really rooting for the other side to win. I think that’s a very difficult proposition to accept. For one thing, I’m not aware of many radical leftist peacenik Islamic theocrats. I just don’t believe that they exist.

Perhaps they wish to see Bush and his cronies lose, and at times I’m sure this obscures their vision of the situation. But you know, I’d like to see Bush lose, too. He deserves it. If only this didn’t mean that America would also lose — and that its enemies would win. In light of my dilemma, I’ve been keeping a low profile lately, not saying much about the war, and hoping for the best. I’ve done my ranting in the past, and I don’t care to go back to it. Not like it would change anything anyway.

There are plenty of reasons, though, why a Bush win — as opposed to an American win — will be bad for us.

Read it in full.

Sandefur responds here and it’s also worth a read.

Posted in Bush Adminisration, Terrorism, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Immigration 2006

Posted by Greg on June 26, 2006

 Immigration is rapidly shaping up to be the sleeper issue for the 2006 midterm elections.  All eyes were on CA-50 and the Democrats had high hopes, only for an eleventh hour gaffe by Busby on immigration which left her coming out only 1% ahead of John Kerry’s mediocre 2004 totals in the district. 

Now Utah-3 is attracting attention 

Although he’s faced primary opposition over this issue before, Cannon said he believes his tough political position now can be attributed to external forces — the heat of the national immigration debate and its endless discussion on talk radio and cable television. “It is an issue where talk show hosts have gotten people worried, have gotten people really concerned. I think there is in some areas a bit of racism involved and fear about the future,” he said. 

It’s amazing that Representative Cannon is having a primary challenge, let alone from the right.  For the most part he’s a right wing wet dream.  He is, however, friendly to interests that favor cheap labor and loose immigration policy, and it’s coming back to bite him.

 My friend and co blogger at UNCoRRELATED, Mick Stockinger, has interviewed John Jacob, and it’s worth your time to read the transcript.  (Audio also available for download) Statistically, it’s a dead heat. Interesting too that Cannon should mention racism. 

During the last world general conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), Church President Gordon B. Hinckley condemned lingering racism in language unprecedented for a Church leader in terms of its directness.

Now I am told that racial slurs and denigrating remarks are sometimes heard among us. I remind you that no man who makes disparaging remarks concerning those of another race can consider himself a true disciple of Christ. Nor can he consider himself to be in harmony with the teachings of the Church of Christ. How can any man holding the Melchizedek Priesthood arrogantly assume that he is eligible for the priesthood whereas another who lives a righteous life but whose skin is of a different color is ineligible? Throughout my service as a member of the First Presidency, I have recognized and spoken a number of times on the diversity we see in our society. It is all about us, and we must make an effort to accommodate that diversity.

Of course this type of pronouncement leads to the chattering classes looking for motivations and causes.  Speculation included connections between Hinckley’s statements and political rumblings through the west about immigrants and whether the Church should be looking into people’s legal status for admission into temples, etc. (See Sunstone, April 2006) 

Thing is, it’s hard to NOT see racial factors when the issue isn’t immigration, but Mexican immigration.  Yes, people whine about the unsecured border to the south, but as the always brilliant Coyote Blog observes:

I’ve always thought that this was a fabricated argument, since its so easy to prove that fear of terrorism is not their real motive for troops at the border (if it were, then why are all the troops going to the Mexican border – shouldn’t the long stretches of empty land on the Canadian border be just as vulnerable to terrorists?  In fact, it is Canada and not Mexico where Islamic terrorist cells have been found in the last month).

 Arizona Watch takes it even farther:

If every person who wanted into America in order to find work was legally permitted into America, I’ll bet they’d be happy to stop by the front gate, show some i.d., get checked against a terrorist watch-list, etc. Only those with criminal records, or reasons to flee justice, those with contagious diseases, and, well… terrorists would have any reason to “jump the gate” at all.

This would concentrate our resources on those who actually posed a threat to the country. Thousands of border patrol agents would, then, not be going after thousands – ultimately, accumulated millions – of people everyday, but just a few hundred – ultimately, a few thousands. I, personally, prefer those odds when it comes to catching terrorists and mass-murders.

Besides, we wouldn’t be violating anyone’s rights – and that might be a good thing, too.

But would somebody tell these yahoos that it would be a whole lot EASIER for the border patrol to stop a terrorist from oozing in if we LEGALIZED as much immigration – and as many illegals – as possible. And the sooner the better, please.

Amen! Of course, the Cannon/Jacob race has the added feature of religious kookiness.  It seems Jacob, who is new to politics and media exposure, told the Salt Lake Tribune that Satan’s been causing him to lose business deals, affecting the amount of money he has available on hand to devote to the campaign.   

Captain Ed: 

I think Jacobs sounds like the kind of politician who doesn’t want to take responsibility for his own missteps — and we have enough of that species of politicians in office already. Rep. Cannon should have no problem getting to the general election this year.

 You’d think.  But in the third district, home to, among other things, Brigham Young University, that type of rhetoric plays just as well as it would in the Bible Belt.  It’s not going to particularly hurt him among Republican leaning voters. 

Also see: Andrew Sullivan  and The Heretik

As a note: though we currently live “back east” (in Minnesota), my wife and I are Utahns by birth.  In some ways it’s a very nice place.  In others, it’s a textbook example of the dangers of one-party rule.  Outside of Salt Lake City proper, the Democratic party is mostly irrelevant and the GOP, for better or usually worse, has carte blanche.

Posted in Immigration, The Right | 3 Comments »

Monkey see monkey doo doo

Posted by Greg on June 26, 2006

Interesting.  Reports out of Florida say Rush Limbaugh has been caught with more illegal drugs:

Sources have confirmed to CBS4 News that conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh has been detained at Palm Beach International Airport for the possible possession of illegal prescription drugs Monday evening.

Limbaugh was returning on a flight from the Dominican Republic when officials found the drugs, among them Viagra. 

This isn’t something I can take any joy in. 

Despite whining to the contrary, Rush often can be fair in his assessments.  You’ll recall some years ago a young man named William Kennedy Smith was accused of rape (while out partying on the town with his uncle Teddy, but we won’t go there…).    Rush pointed out – correctly – that we were watching the trial by media of a kid named Bill Smith who had the misfortune to have KENNEDY as a middle name, and that until all the stories were in he deserves the benefit of the doubt.

Rush was right. 

The overall content to noise ratio has gone down in recent years on EIB it’s true and Rush has been less the charitable of late in his dealings with other. But let’s get real for a minute.  As a society we have become so prissy and anal retentive about the evils of drugs and addiction that we’ve made it obscenely difficult for many patients to get relief of chronic pain.  When you’ve got chronic back problems, when you have cancer, etc. I have no problems with you taking pain killers – with the assumption that you’re sufficiently responsible to not drive or operate machinery while impaired, etc. 

Just as Bill Smith got screwed for being a KENNEDY, there’s no mistake about it.  Rush is being singled out becuase he’s RUSH LIMBAUGH.  You think he’s a hypocritical asshole?  Fine.  Rush is an egotistical blowhard, but he’s got chronic pain and he’s not a danger to anyone.   But don’t you have any real work to do?   

Posted in Culture War, Media, The Right | Leave a Comment »