Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday Mashup (5/26/10)

1) I give you some truly odious corporate media claptrap from Matt Bai in the New York Times today (here); I’ll save you the trouble of reading it if you choose not to and try to address what passes for Bai’s thought processes here.

There is no supposed equivalency between Dem Richard Blumenthal, running for the U.S. Senate from Connecticut, and Rand Paul, running for that body in Kentucky as a Repug. Blumenthal misspoke about his military service during Vietnam and has apologized twice, even though the Times decided to run the story despite at least four problems with its integrity, the most notable of which being that the paper didn’t even review the entire film clip on Blumenthal’s speech upon which they based their story.

Rand Paul, on the other hand, has, in his remarks to print and broadcast media, indicated that he may be disposed to repeal portions of the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act, and the Fair Housing Act, for starters. And I don’t expect that he will be apologizing any time soon.

Bai also tells us that “war today seems more a question of degrees and limits,” supposedly in comparison to Vietnam I guess, which makes me wonder if he’s read a single headline pertaining to Iraq and Afghanistan. Also, if Bono seems “ubiquitous,” maybe it’s because your paper gives him a forum at every conceivable opportunity (some of Bono’s columns are thought provoking, and some are as incoherent as Bai’s).

And oh yeah, never forget that it’s all Obama’s fault because he hasn’t been as transcendent a politician as Bai had hoped for I suppose, but instead is responsible for “the familiar vortex that keeps pulling us back to things we had hoped to leave behind.”

Actually, that’s the best description of a typical Bai column that I’ve ever read.

2) Also, Repug Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas said here that, after the meeting he and his playmates had with Obama yesterday, that the president needs to be “less serious” and to “take a valium.”

As noted here

As chairman of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Roberts played a key role in investigating intelligence failures leading up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The first half of the Senate Report of Pre-war Intelligence on Iraq was released on July 9, 2004. At that time, Roberts said about the second half of the report, "It is one of my top priorities." However, after the 2004 election, he stated "To go through that exercise, it seems to me, in a post-election environment — we didn't see how we could do that and achieve any possible progress. I think everybody pretty well gets it." Critics have argued that a comparison between pre-war intelligence and the pre-war statements made by senior Bush administration officials may have been damaging to the Bush administration, and that this half of the report was halted to protect those officials.

Roberts also crowed about the firing of Mary McCarthy by the CIA (here), though Roberts disclosed intel himself (and McCarthy claimed innocence). Also, who can forget that Roberts was one of many in his party to spout the claim that “you have no civil liberties if you’re dead” as a supposed justification for illegal surveillance, among other things (here)?

Given all of this, I think Roberts’s comments towards Obama are more revealing that we may suspect, since the former Intel chairman’s truly unserious words and actions could easily be explained by a chemical dependency.

3) Finally, The Weakly Standard chastised PA Dem Senatorial candidate Joe Sestak here for “(doubling) down on trying GITMO enemy combatants in civilian courts.”

Funny, but former Homeland Security head Tom Ridge, he of the color-coded threat warnings (“Damn, it’s an orange day, and I’m wearing my clashing chino slacks!”), says something every similar here in USA Today, particularly the following…

The national security court system should be administered by the Department of Justice to ensure civilian, not military, oversight. To meet President Obama's desire to "never put people into a situation that elevated the risks for surrounding communities," initial detentions and trials would be held on military bases. Presidentially appointed national security judges (panels of three) would handle the habeas appeals, review warrants and applications required under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and oversee all trials. Federal prosecutors and defense counsel would be provided — as would be rules of evidence and right of appeal.

I’m not crazy about judges handling habeas appeals appointed by any president, but I think the proposal put forward here otherwise has merit (though Ridge didnt seem to be too happy with that concept as recently as last December based on this).

And by the way, I have a message for John McCormack, the wingnut who authored this post; though there apparently was some discussion between Sestak and the Obama White House about a job, I have yet to see any evidence of a “bribe.” If you have it, then present it.

Otherwise, STFU.

Update 5/28/10: Good idea here...

Update 5/30/10: Oh, and as we know, The Sainted Ronnie R would never stoop so low as to try and convince a same-party pol to drop out of a race, right?

Update 6/3/10: Forgot about Former President Nutball also offering a job to Ben Nelson of Nebraska so he could step aside in favor of Mike Johanns in '06, as noted here...

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