Monday, March 29, 2010

I see crazy people

Is it possible to be a regular viewer of Faux News and not be a teabagger?
Deep Thought
The most troubling thing about the rash of attacks, threats and vandalism directed toward Democrats is the fact that the Democrats are willing to speak about it publicly.
DougJ: Hutenanny

You probably heard about this:

At least seven people, including some from Michigan, have been arrested in raids by a FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana as part of an investigation into an Adrian-based Christian militia group, a person familiar with the matter said.


Sources have said the FBI was in the second day of raids around the southeastern Michigan city of Adrian that are connected to a militia group, known as the Hutaree, an Adrian-based group whose members describe themselves as Christian soldiers preparing for the arrival and battle with the anti-Christ.

Where’s this headed? These guys were really extremists lefties like that guy who flew his plane into the IRS building or this is Obama’s jack-booted thugs trampling the rights of good Murkins?

John Cole: Alternately, You Could Try to Read What You Are Linking

This is pretty rich:

BRITISH: “Special Relationship” with U.S. Is Dead.

UPDATE: Reader Paul Jackson writes:

    Who could have foreseen that the president who follows Obama will have to hit the reset button…..with Great Britain and Israel And the list may grow longer, he’s only been president for 14 months. India anyone?

Yeah, so far this “smart diplomacy” thing isn’t living up to the promises.

That’s the Instapundit, linking to this story in the British Times Online about alleged changes in the US/British relationship, and then letting a reader make sure we know who is to blame- Obama.

He probably should have read the article:

BRITAIN’S special relationship with the US — forged by Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt in the second world war — no longer exists, says a committee of influential MPs.

Instead, America’s relationship with Britain is no more special than with its other main allies, according to a report by the Commons foreign affairs committee published today.The report also warns that the perception of the UK after the Iraq war as America’s “subservient poodle” has been highly damaging to Britain’s reputation and interests around the world. The MPs conclude that British prime ministers have to learn to be less deferential to US presidents and be “willing to say no” to America.


In an apparent rebuke to Tony Blair and his relationship with President George W Bush, the report says there are “many lessons” to be learnt from Britain’s political approach towards the US over Iraq.

“The perception that the British government was a subservient poodle to the US administration is widespread both among the British public and overseas,” the MPs say. “This perception, whatever its relation to reality, is deeply damaging to the reputation and interests of the UK.”


The report also demands a statement from the government on the implications of the Court of Appeal judgment regarding the alleged collusion of MI5 in the torture of Binyam Mohamed, a British resident.

Last month the court ordered the government to release evidence from American intelligence reports which showed that MI5 was aware of the torture.

Senior US officials subsequently suggested that releasing such evidence might prevent the US from sharing some intelligence with Britain.

So much fail. Obama’s sins are apparently Bush’s war in Iraq and Bush era torture.

I started blogging because of the Instapundit. I remember when it was a big deal to get linked by him. I remember defending him, and I remember when he at least tried to maintain some level of pretense about being a libertarian. It has been really weird watching him rapidly descend into total teabagging madness.

Think Progress: VFW Commander Issues Qualified Apology For Saying Democrats Are ‘Betraying’ Veterans With Health Reform
As recently as March 21, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) put out a statement urging federal lawmakers to vote against health care reform, saying the organization was “furious” with the legislation:

“The president and the Democratic leadership are betraying America’s veterans,” said Thomas J. Tradewell Sr., a combat-wounded Vietnam veteran from Sussex, Wis., who leads the 2.1 million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. and its Auxiliaries.

Tradewell’s assessment was off the mark. The new health care law has an individual responsibility requirement, meaning that every person must have health coverage (or receive an affordability waiver), otherwise he/she will be subjected to a fee. While the Affordable Care Act doesn’t explicitly state that TRICARE — the military’s health program — will meet the individual responsibility requirement, everyone from the chairs of relevant House committees to Veterans Affairs officials to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has asserted that TRICARE would meet the requirement. On March 20, the House — out of an abundance of caution — unanimously passed separate legislation affirming that TRICARE will not be affected, and Jim Webb (D-VA) introduced a companion bill in the Senate.

Tradewell was also out-of-step with the heads of other veterans’ organizations. The American Legion, usually one of the most conservative veterans groups, said military members “can rest assured that her TRICARE benefits are secure under the law signed by President Obama.” Even Eric Hilleman, director of VFW’s National Legislative Service, refused to defend his commander’s remarks, testifying to the House Appropriations Committee that there “is clear demonstration that this Congress and the administration has put forward an incredible effort on behalf of America’s veterans.”

This week, Tradewell issued a qualified apology for using “too harsh of a word.” However, he still went on to bash the Affordable Care Act:

“But I did not apologize for our strong advocacy on the issue,” he said.

The new national healthcare bill signed into law by President Obama on Tuesday is flawed, not because of what it provides, but because of what it does not protect — all the healthcare programs provided by the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.”

House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Bob Filner (D-CA) expressed disappointment with Tradewell’s apology, saying that in some ways, “it is worse than the original statement.” “We believe there is nothing in health care reform that harms veterans health care,” he said. “If there is something in there, we will fix it.”

The TRICARE fix still isn’t law because Republicans have held it up in the Senate. On Wednesday, Webb asked unanimous consent to approve his bill. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), however, objected. “Let the American people understand the Republicans objected to a matter that could have been fixed by law tomorrow,” said Webb.

Think Progress:Palin Tells Constitution-Loving Tea Partiers: We Don’t Need A President Who Is A ‘Constitutional Law Professor’

The Tea Party movement loves to express its affection for the Constitution. The Los Angeles Times writes, “Adherence to what supporters deem to be a strict interpretation of constitutional principles is a key tenet of the tea party movement.” Yesterday’s Tea Party rally in Searchlight, NV, for instance, was filled with imagery of the Constitution. Protesters carried signs that read “I honor the Constitution” and “What about the Constitution don’t you understand?” Rally attendee Norman Halfpenny, a 77-year old retired Marine Corps veteran, said, “We need to get our Constitution back.”

In her speech at the rally, Sarah Palin of course paid homage to the Constitution. “Our vision for America is anchored in time-tested truths that the government that governs least governs best, that the Constitution provides the path to a more perfect union — it’s the Constitution,” she exclaimed. And so it’s extremely puzzling that Palin introduced this new attack line against President Obama yesterday:

In these volatile times when we are a nation at war, now more than ever is when we need a commander-in-chief, not a constitutional law professor lecturing us from a lectern.

Ironically, the crowd cheered wildly at Palin’s line. Watch it:

Perhaps the Tea Partiers feel more comfortable with an “MBA President” who leads the country into economic and international crises.

Yglesias: Possible Worlds

Glenn Reynolds says: “Possibly Obama just hates Israel and hates Jews. That’s plausible — certainly nothing in his actions suggests otherwise, really.”

Now to be clear, if you read the rest of Reynolds’ post it’s clear that he’s so far through the looking glass that he regards the fact that he doesn’t think this is the only plausible explanation for Obama’s policies as constituting a pro-Obama post. Which is to say that Reynolds is extremely out of touch with reality.

I’ll say for my part that I think a great many of Obama’s actions throughout the years—most notably his many social and professional relationships with Jewish people—suggest that he is not motivated by hatred of Jews. What’s more, his ability to persuade the overwhelming majority of American Jews to vote him is likewise an indication that the people most likely to be concerned with detecting Jew-hatred do not find this charge to be plausible. I suppose it’s true that the old “some of my best Chiefs of Staff are Jewish” thing can fall flat at certain points. But then there’s Larry Summers, David Axelrod, Peter Orszag, etc. The Obama White House looks more like an anti-semite’s conspiracy theory about Jews running the government than like an actual anti-semitic conspiracy.

Amato (C&L): Tea Party organizers are out of work

Tea Party Rally in Searchlight, Nevada, hometown of Harry Reid

Read this NY Times article and just take it all in. Here's a sample

With No Jobs, Plenty of Time for Tea Party

Mr. Grimes is one of many Tea Party members jolted into action by economic distress. At rallies, gatherings and training sessions in recent months, activists often tell a similar story in interviews: they had lost their jobs, or perhaps watched their homes plummet in value, and they found common cause in the Tea Party’s fight for lower taxes and smaller government.

The Great Depression, too, mobilized many middle-class people who had fallen on hard times. Though, as Michael Kazin, the author of “The Populist Persuasion,” notes, they tended to push for more government involvement. The Tea Party vehemently wants less — though a number of its members acknowledge that they are relying on government programs for help.

Mr. Grimes, who receives Social Security, has filled the back seat of his Mercury Grand Marquis with the literature of the movement, including Glenn Beck’s “Arguing With Idiots” and Frederic Bastiat’s “The Law,” which denounces public benefits as “false philanthropy.”

“If you quit giving people that stuff, they would figure out how to do it on their own,” Mr. Grimes said.

The fact that many of them joined the Tea Party after losing their jobs raises questions of whether the movement can survive an improvement in the economy, with people trading protest signs for on

It explains a lot. Ignorance is bliss. The right has done masterful job in developing an anti-government message. A bad economy does create anger throughout the country, but it's directed at the government in a way that was alien during the Great Depression. Government intervention saved America and FDR was a real leader who spit in the face of the oligarchy of which he was actually part. They excommunicated him because as we've seen, the rich stick together. It took a strong man to realize that the country and its people needed real help, not just the super rich. Lucky for us, FDR was up to the challenge.

For more on the Searchlight Tea Party Rally, see here.

Think Progress: Gingrich Says Democrats ‘Have To Take Some Moral Responsibility’ For Far-Right Death Threats
Since Congress’s health care debate, lawmakers have recieved countless death threats, had their buildings vandalized, have had white powder mailed to their offices, and have had to get police protection. One tea party blogger has even warned that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) life is in danger and that there may be a “thousand little Waco’s.”

Yesterday, former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA) spoke alongside Gov. Sonny Perdue (R-GA) at a press conference in Atlanta organized to air Republican opposition to the health care bill that just passed. At one point, Gingrich was asked about the death threats and vandalism lawmakers who supported the bill have been recieving. After stressing that “there is no place for this viciousness” and condemning the various threats and violent acts, Gingrich went on to explain that the Democratic leadership “has to take some moral responsibility” for encouraging death threats and terrorism because of the way they conducted the health care debate:

GINGRICH: Just as there was no place for the kind of viciousness against Bush and Cheney, there’s no place for viciousness against Democrats. I would condemn any kind of activity that involves that kind of personal threat. But look, I think there’s something very disingenuous about the Democratic leaders who attacked the tea party movement, who refused to hold town hall meetings, who refused to go back home, who kept the Congress locked up in Washington, and are now shocked that people are angry. I think the Democratic leadership has to take some moral responsibility for having behaved with such arrogance, in such a hostile way, that the American people are deeply upset. So let’s be honest with this. This is a game that they’re playing. People should not engage in personal threats. I’m happy to condemn any effort to engage in personal threats. But I think the Democratic leadership has to take some real responsibility for having run a machine that used corrupt tactics, that bought votes, that bullied people, and as a result has enraged much of the American people. And I think it’d be nice for President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Majority Leader Reid to take some responsibility over what their actions have done to this country.

Listen to it:

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that Gingrich has accused his political opponents of provoking terrorism. After the tragic Virginia Tech shootings, he called on the “liberal elite” to “take responsibility” for creating a world where such tragedies were possible. And on the eve of the 2006 elections, Gingrich appeared on Fox News and said that the the Democrats’ “whole approach is to blame [America] for what, in fact, [terrorists] do. I think it tells you how deep the sickness is in the left wing of the Democratic Party.” It appears now that Gingrich is blaming America in an attempt to rationalize right-wing terrorism.

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