Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Tuesday Mashup (3/8/11)

  • Well, I have to tell you that former Laura Bush employee Andrew Malcolm has, at long last, left me speechless, as it were.

    This post from last Friday (a little late I know) pertains ostensibly to President Obama claiming that tax cuts have helped the economy (we’re on a slippery slope already, I’ll admit), with the response from the designated GOP individual that that’s not enough, of course (anything Obama does is never enough as far as these people are concerned, of course) saying that “spending and regulation must be cut” also (uh huh – suuuure).

    And there is a picture in the post of a burning car that, quite possibly, was lit and overturned by rebels in Libya protesting Moammar Quaddafi.

    And there is absolutely no mention of Quaddafi in the Malcolm post.

    Truly, words fail.

  • Next, I tiptoed into the toxic sludge of J.D. Mullane’s blog, he being the self-righteous know-it-all pundit for the Bucks County Courier Times (maybe a couple of people out there don’t know that) and encountered the following (here, under the headline of “Libya Veers Towards Civil War, Obama Goes Golfing” – yes, I’m serious)…

    Well, what did you expect from Obama? A muscular effort to quell the disturbance? Mediate? It's ironic. He won the Nobel Peace Prize because the Nobel committee believed he could resolve these kinds of troubles. Now he fiddles while the Middle East burns. This president seems out of touch with the seriousness of the situation now engulfing that region. He does almost nothing of importance to address these history changing events, seems confused about how to respond, and then heads to the links.

    And -- he has played seven times as much golf as Bush. Bush quit playing in 2003, you may recall, because he felt it was unseemly for the commander-in-chief to engage in lighthearted sport while young men were dying in war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
    And keep in mind that, while millions of Americans remain jobless, Mullane actually gets paid to concoct this literary fecal matter.

    To begin (in response to this Think Progress post about Baby Newton Leroy Gingrich bellowing that we should bomb Libya early and often in response), I give you the following…

    While Gingrich thinks the U.S. military could clean up the situation in Libya in “minutes,” the reality is that it’s a bit more complicated than that. CentCom commander Gen. James Mattis recently said that implementing a no-fly zone would be “challenging” because it would involve “military operations” other than just telling the Libyans not to fly. And as CAP’s John Norris noted, “We shouldn’t kid ourselves. Blowing up a runway or imposing a no-fly zone are not silver bullets.” Norris urges “thoughtful action designed with an endgame firmly in mind,” such as leaving all options on the table — including military action, building an legitimate international coalition, and explaining the best course of action to the American people.

    And this is exactly what President Obama is doing. Allied AWACS planes are currently flying intelligence missions over Libya and the U.S. has been providing humanitarian assistance in Libya for weeks. As the President said yesterday, “We’ve got NATO, as we speak, consulting in Brussels around a wide range of potential options — including potential military options.” Meanwhile, France and Britain are currently working in the UN to get a resolution authorizing a no-fly zone in Libya. “I think at this point there is a sense that any action should be the result of international sanction,” Defense Secretary Robert Gates said yesterday.
    And in response to the claim about Dubya and golf (yes, I know that this is an “evergreen” zombie lie), I give you the following, telling us that he even broke that pledge, inane as it was (and invoking Dubya and golf at all is particularly moronic given this legendary cringe-inducing moment...and Obama plays golf "seven times as much"? Any sourcing on that, J.D.?).

    (By the way, Former President Highest Disapproval Rating In Gallup Poll History recently made the news, as noted here, for a typical reason.)

    And while we’re on the subject of Libya, I should note that former Bushie Marc Thiessen said the following here…

    Applying the Reagan Doctrine in Libya is not without risks. While most Libyans want to replace Gaddafi's tyranny with democracy, there are also jihadists and al-Qaeda sympathizers in eastern Libya, where the rebellion is based. Look at any list of al-Qaeda leaders killed in drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal regions, and you will see many names ending with "al-Libi" ("the Libyan"). How do we distinguish between the Islamic radicals and those who share our aspirations for a free Libya?

    America faced a similar challenge in Afghanistan in the 1980s, where we struggled initially to distinguish between moderates in the anti-Soviet resistance like Ahmad Shah Massoud and radicals like Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Today, we have little intelligence to help us determine who the Massouds and Hekmatyars are in eastern Libya - and there is a danger that we could end up arming the wrong people. But our intelligence won't improve unless we get advisers on the ground to start linking up with anti-Gaddafi forces. And if we can figure out who the good guys are, American support could help determine who leads the rebel column that takes Tripoli.
    It’s really hard to surpass the willful blindness of Thiessen’s pinheaded commentary here, particularly when you consider what happened the last time we tried this under The Sainted Ronnie R, as noted here.

    And for true hilarity, Jim Cramer of CNBC’s “Mad Money” said here that “if NATO takes out Gaddafi (just how the #$@! are we supposed to spell this dude’s name anyway?), the stock market will gain 1,000 points.”

    This is from the same guy who said here that the market would fall when health care reform was signed into law (oops) and the market would rise upon the election of Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate (oops again).

  • Returning briefly to Mullane, he gives us the following (here)…

    A liberal federal judge argues that "mental activity" can be controlled by the federal government under the commerce clause, and therefore the feds can force Americans to buy health insurance.
    In response, I give you the following (here)…

    Agree or disagree with (Judge Kessler’s) reasoning, the question is not one of reaching "mental activity." After all, the government is not stopping anyone from thinking they should not have to buy health insurance. What the mandate intends is to make you purchase health insurance. It does not regulate mental activity, but rather the economic decisions on purchasing (or not purchasing) health insurance.

    You make think that the Commerce Clause does not empower the Congress to mandate that you purchase health insurance (I think it does), but no honest and intelligent person can pretend that the Congress is trying to regulate "mental activity."

    (FTR, this entire "activity/inactivity" nonsense is all beside the point. Whether the Commerce Clause empowers Congress to impose a mandate to purchase health insurance or not, the Necessary and Proper Clause empowers the Congress to enact laws necessary to the enactment of a regime to regulate the health insurance market, regulation which no one can argue is not within the Commerce Clause power.)
    At least Mullane was honest enough to link to another writer on the subject of “mental activity,” since that area is clearly not his strong suit (and by the way, J.D., you're about a week and a half behind when it comes to regurgitating your wingnut talking points).

  • In addition, I find that I also have to cover some already-trodden ground on the matter of the federal budget and the possibility of a government shutdown (here – the author of the post, James Lankford, is one of the Repug “frosh” in the U.S. House; he took over for Mary Fallin, who was elected governor)...

    Each week federal workers plan for a government shut down while hoping that they do not face a furlough the next week. Their families and their plans are on hold. Even as many Democrats ran to the microphones to fear monger about Republicans supposedly trying to shut down the government, Republicans were working long hours with Democrats in the House to get a 2011 budget completed.
    Tee hee hee – Lankford makes a funny...“(Repugs) were working long hours”…

    Besides, as noted here, Lankford ought to have a “heart to heart” with his fellow House Repug Mike Coffman, who “wants to cut Congressional salaries by 10 percent and force federal civilian employees to take a two-week furlough in an attempt to cut costs” (the Denver Post story says that would save about $5.5 billion, which is a pittance compared to the impact of those stinking Bush tax cuts).

    I’ll tell you what – read some of what Media Matters has compiled here on this subject and please tell me, between the Dems and the Repugs, who wants to see a government shutdown and who doesn’t.

  • Finally, I give you the following from Pat Sajak over at Fix Noise (here, on the subject of how those baad li-bu-ruuls have take over Hollywood; with everything going on in the world in Wisconsin and the Middle East, Roger Ailes and company continue to peddle more “values” dreck, eagerly consumed by red state America)…

    Personally, I try not to mix my political side with my entertainment side.
    And this from a guy who said here (before the Repugs declared economic warfare and working men and women in this country, officially that is) that it might be OK for public employees to be potentially denied the right to vote in “certain cases (mainly state elections) in which their stake in the matter may be too great.”

    Thanks for playing our game, Pat. Here are some lovely parting gifts.
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