Friday, November 28, 2003

More from Wednesday

Boortz has added some commentary on the Friday's Nuze page. Message?

He wants you to know that he has a huge... err, attraction... for George W. Bush after his secret two hour excursion to Baghdad. He can't seem to get over his ecstacy over the "mission."

And who can blame him? It looks good on Bush. Those of us who judge Bush on his record instead of his photo-ops be damned.

But its not enough that Boortz has an opportunity to break out his best flag and wave it. He wants everyone else to carry water for the President, too. Including unpaid kibitzers who post on the Democratic Underground. Not only that, but Boortz would also like to hold the Democratic party to the standard of the most crass and vocal of our supporters - whether or not we choose to give them their own radio shows.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Unique Idea of the Month: Let's Bash Hillary!

Before I don my hip boots and wade into the untreated sewage which is the Boortz blog, I must consider whether it will soon become expedient to abandon the Boortz shadow in order to document the slander being published by Matt Drudge.

Drudge reveals what the right wing love about the military: the fact that their honor and good names can be put to bad use. Matt's "anonymous soldiers" (who apparently don't know much about military matters), are just fuming about the fact that Charlie Dean's remains are being repatriated to the U.S. after three decades. Apparently, the anonymous soldiers are worried that the customary flag over the coffin is a matter of undeserved "military honors", and that JPAC is under pressure to rush the excavation and repatriation ahead of military dead by Charlie Dean's brother, the former Governor of Vermont and current candidate for President. Matt neglects to mention that Charlie Dean has been classified as MIA and has been sought for repatriation since before brother Howard held any important office.

Lest anyone be deceived, Drudge is the unofficial member of the Republican National Committee responsible for manufacturing fake news to cycle into the main stream -- such as his incorrect contention that Ken Lay slept in the Clinton White House.

Hat tip to Atrios for the Drudge/Dean story.

My apologies to those of you who were eager to bash Hillary Clinton. I've kept you waiting for nothing.
It was never my intention to bash Hillary. In fact, I am actually going to criticize Neal Boortz for unabashedly repeating unsubstantiated gossip in an effort to bash her. Today's* Nuze page suggests that for a prominent senator and first lady to visit the troops serving on behalf of America on the other side of the globe during a Holiday season is -- an insult.

If a Democrat said so, he would be "lynched." ("Lynched" is GeeOhPeez for "denied senate confirmation").

Why an insult? Well according to some gossip, which I can trace back to the hack job of a book "Unlimited Access" by discredited former FBI agent Gary Aldridge, Hillary Clinton used to have uniformed marines serve snacks at her parties. Aldridge was able to report on this, having heard rumors from the likes of David Brock.

Here's what Boortz says:
Until Hitlary set her eyes on the Presidency she wouldn't give the military the time of day. While her husband was in the White House The Hildabeast used Marines in dress blues to circulate around her parties carrying trays of munchies. Hillary's White House staffers would openly insult anyone in uniform, telling them that "we don't talk to people wearing military uniforms.Notice that he doesn't assert that he has heard this from disreputable sources. He states it as fact. Hillary probably won't do it for political reasons, but she should sue the living crap out of him.

Hillary's Itinerary

Neal is going to have Zell on his show. Yippee.

The rest of today's Nuze just goes to show that Neal has a problem with reading comprehension. I'll leave that to the discernment of his readers and listeners.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

What's so wrong with it?
Of necessity, today's entry will be short. Yesterday Neal asked, "Just what is the problem with pre-emptive warfare"?
He eloquently develops his thesis that, when there is an "imminent threat" of an enemy strike, it is reasonable to strike first. This being plausible on the face of it, and requiring no special skills of logic, he develops a second prima facie argument. I cannot summarize the logic in words, so I will quote directly from him:
Or of you think someone will almost certainly do something particularly unpleasant to you at some point in the future, is it so hideously wrong for you to try to neutralize that person's ability to harm you before he acts?Hmm. That's a little tougher. Can we have some specifics? Do I just think they are going to do this unpleasant thing, or do I have some measure of evidence for my belief? Are they currently able to do this unpleasant thing, or must they spend some time preparing to do it? Am I limited to a legal means of neutralizing their capacity to harm, or may I indulge in whatever acts I wish so long as I am preventing an imagined future threat? These are tough questions. And it is hard to take the rest of Neal's argument seriously, since he doesn't take it seriously enough to address these issues, himself.

I'd like to pause for a moment and give a circumspect answer to Neal's basic question: "Just what is the problem with pre-emptive warfare"? A direct answer is that, given a certain set of circumstances - that there is a real, documented, imminent threat, and that military action is needed in order to neutralize that threat, then nothing is wrong with pre-emptive warfare. Nothing at all. But short of that, there are problems, and I bet that even Neal Boortz could spot them if we phrased the question well:
  • Syria believes that Israel and Zionists around the world are out to destroy Islam and the Arabic states, including Syria. Syria believes, without evidence, that Israel is planning a strike against it. Syria suspects (rightly in this case) that Israel has nuclear weapons. According to Neal's logic, there should be nothing wrong with Syria striking first to prevent the threat, right? If Neal believed that this would be a bad thing for Syria to do, then Neal would be an "appeaser" or a " 'no pre-emptive war' whacko" lacking the capacity for rational thought, right?
  • Pakistan launches a first strike against India, because Pakistan "believes" that India will do something particularly unpleasant to Pakistan if Pakistan waits. All's fair in pre-emptive war, right Neal?
  • I believe that Joe down the street knows what I did with his wife and that he therefore wants me dead. I also believe that he has an illegal assault weapon. As a matter of fact I know that he has an illegal assault weapon, because I sold it to him about ten years ago, and I never saw him get rid of it. Since I'm fearing for my life & all, I send the police to go look for the assault weapon and confiscate it. They get a warrant and start searching the house, with my help. Fifteen minutes into the search, with no weapon found, I declare that the police are incompetent, order them to leave and plant a bomb in Joe's bedroom. It kills two of his kids and leaves his wife disabled for life, but he was an abusive father anyway so the remaining child is better off now. Since he seems to have ditched the assault weapon at the last moment before I blew up his house, I tell the court that I did it to get rid of an abusive father. Although I wish I had timed the bomb to blow up when Joe was home, and I'm sorry I let him get away, the woman and remaining child are much better off now. I want Neal Boortz on my jury! If there is a move to convict, Neal will just tell her that she must have been happier when Joe was still beating his children.

    The fact is that if a nation that was not a super-power and did not enjoy a surplus of good-will from the world community did what the U.S. just did, they would be considered pariahs around the world, if they were lucky. As it is, the U.S. is a super-power with a surplus of good-will from the world community that has just squandered much of that good will and fueled anti-American sentiment in the volatile Arabic community. The people of Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim nation, have gone from a majority favoring the United States, to a very large majority that believe us to be evil. What was really wrong with so-called "pre-emptive" war this time was that it has made the world less safe for Americans, and squandered much good will that could have been used in a real fight against terror.

    I just remembered, and could not let pass, this snark from yesterday:
    The Republican National Committee is running its first television ad of the election season. This ad highlights the successes of Bush's war on terror. It says that some people are attacking the president for attacking the terrorists.

    The ad is correct. Bush has done a good job .. and certainly a much better job than Clinton ... of taking the fight to the terrorists. And throughout the campaign the Democrats have been slamming and criticizing Bush for his policies. Weasely Clark is is just one of the Democratic candidates calling for Bush to remove those ads immediately.

    Now that the ad is running the Democrats are outraged!

    "How dare the president run an ad citing his accomplishments. He's just exploiting the 9/11 terrorist attacks against Americans! Oh, sure .. it's OK if we run advertisements and make statements in opposition to Bush's war in Iraq, because when we do that we're not exploiting 9/11. But if the Republicans run any ads saying the president is actually doing the right thing then that IS exploiting the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and they should stop it immediately!"

    The truly pathetic thing here is the fact that some government-"educated" Americans will hear the Democrat's protests and actually agree with them! How do these people survive?

    Number one, the ad is wrong. It claims that "some" people are attacking the president for attacking the terrorists. That is incorrect. "Some" people are attacking the president, as Wesley Clark put it in last night's debate, "because he isn't attacking the terrorists," because he wants to attack states, instead.

    Number two, it does politicize 9-11. The ad, by incorrectly portraying the Democrats as opposed to the war on terror, seeks to paint Democrats as opposing the natural reaction to 9-11. It is saying, anyone who criticizes the President's policies isn't strongly for preventing another attack like 9-11. That is politicizing 9-11.

    The Democrats never did that. We kept our mouths firmly shut even when Bush was talking about "crusades" against terrorism and other such malarkey. We didn't scream that Bush was soft on terror when he made the mistake of securing only Kabul, and leaving the rest of Afghanistan's chicken coops to the tender mercies of guarding wolves. In every event, we have criticized Bush's policies - not questioned his patriotism, good will, or his willingness to fight terror. So no, Neal. When we criticize Bush's war in Iraq, that is - at most - politicizing Iraq. It is certainly not politicizing 9-11 the way the RNC ad does.
  • Friday, November 21, 2003

    It's been nearly a week since my first post. It must be time for an update. Beginning with the most recent page: Click here on Friday 11/21 or here anytime afterward.

    Shout it from the rooftops. Every Democrat supports the war on terror. Every Democrat who holds national office. Virtually every Democrat in congress voted for the necessary action we began in Afghanistan, virtually every one signed the Patriot Act, and agreed to fund a new department of Homeland Security. The Democratic presidential candidates have expressed their determination to continue the war on terror. Even if it means not starting a war of choice in Iraq!

    Neal Boortz has this to say:
    So ... at a time when the Democratic Party is doing everything in their power to undermine President Bush's efforts in the war on terror, we have Osama bin Laden reportedly alive and well in Iran trying to make good on Al Qaeda's promise to launch yet another terrorist attack on Americans .. this time in hopes of killing about 100,000 of us.

    Everyone, please e-mail Neal and explain to him that the Democratic Party is doing everything in their power to support the war on terror, and to encourage Bush to try to remain focused on it rather than get distracted by a grudge match with our former allies in Iraq.

    Neal, lying is bad.

    Neal says that Clinton recognized the dangers of bin Laden - but, "Clinton was all talk, little action." Which was utter bull. Of course every time Clinton made an attempt on bin Laden, accusations of "wag the dog" echoed from every infantile talk show in the nation. But Clinton was more actively engaged with fighting terrorism than any President before him. He was more actively engaged in fighting terrorism than Bush II was pre-9/11. Much of the strategy Bush has used since 9/11 was created by Richard Clarke at Clinton's request. Albright & Clinton's outgoing team thoroughly briefed Bush, and decided to hand him detailed plans instead of handing him a war.

    So Neal's a liar.

    Also, Neal shows us how boneheaded he can be, with this statement:
    We have two, and only two choices in Iraq. We either proceed to win the war against the terrorists, or we accept defeat. You know which route the Democrats want to take. What's your choice?

    1) There are more than "two, and only two" choices in Iraq. Bush knows it. I know it. You know it. Neal - well Neal is a little bit dense. An occupying nation always has a range of options available to it, complete with a range of tactics to use toward accomplishing any chosen goal.

    2) Democrats are not of a single mind where it concerns what goal to pursue or how to pursue it in Iraq. There is a smallish minority - I call it the "Kucinich faction" that would like to hand the key to Kofi Annan & let the U.N. sort things out. I call that the "we broke it, you fix it" strategy. Then there are the rest of the Democrats who believe we have an obligation to leave Iraq a better and more stable place than when we found it - and believe that this is now a national security imperative as well. None of them favor "accepting defeat" and leaving Iraq to its own devices, or at the mercy of rogue elements.

    I would like to go on about that subject, but here is not the place.

    Wednesday's page purports to have discovered why "Euro-weenies" hate George Bush. Naturally, its because he is a Hero!

    You're frozen with fear out there on that sidewalk. You know there are children in that house, and you know the mother is in there trying to save them. You know they may all die, but you can't move out of your tracks on that sidewalk. You're afraid. After all, what if you get burned trying to save those people? What if you die? Maybe the flames will die out on their own? You're perfectly willing to stand in the yard with a garden hose trying to contain the flames .. but actually going in there? No way!

    While you're standing there doing nothing, here comes this swaggering American in a cowboy hat. A damned Texan. The Texan sees the fire, hears the screams for help, throws down his hat and runs into the house. Minutes later he emerges with the woman and her children. They're safe.

    What about you? You feel like a coward. That Texan has made you feel small .. he took your manhood.

    Hello, Neal? Just like in Vietnam, George Bush didn't go fight in Iraq!

    Hello, Neal? You neglected to mention that "women and children" died in our invasion of Iraq. You neglected to mention that George Bush campaigned on not wanting to do "nation-building" ("fire rescue" in Neal's gilded metaphor). He doesn't routinely start wars to stop cruel dictators. He was a no-show in Liberia. Europeans do not dislike Bush because he is a war hero who acted while they were all pissing their pants. They despise him because he couldn't be slowed down in his reckless rush to a war of aggression, even long enough to listen to reason. They despise him because he thrust his allies to the side, destroyed the budding world unity and anti-terror resolve in favor of a worthless piece of real estate in the Gulf. They despise him because he is an arrogant, pig-headed, chicken-hawk.

    And you're a punk. Even if you are sane on the topic of gay marriage.

    I'll fill in Tuesday & Thursday in a later installment. Or not.

    Monday, November 17, 2003

    Big Nuze?

    I opened today's Nuze page (here for today, and after today it should be in today's archive), and was rather shocked. It seems that Mr. Boortz has found documentation of evidence that there was one thing GWB wasn't fibbing about before going to war. And this was a big one! Here's part of the story:

    Odd. Late last week there were stories on the Internet about revelations in a leaked Senate Intelligence Committee memo about links between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. The article appeared in The Weekly Standard and was referenced in World Net Daily. Today ... not much.

    As The Weekly Standard says, the evidence is detailed, conclusive and corroborated by multiple sources. There's new information in the report, and some information that has been around for a while. The picture is clear though. There was an ongoing connection between Hussein and bin Laden, the two were cooperating in their mutual goal of bringing devastation to the United States.

    Needless to say: if this is true, it is stunning news. Ok, if Boortz is right and the "liberal media" is stonewalling this story, at least we've got Fox News, right? Well, I looked and looked. Fox News tells us that Rush is back on the air. They tell us that.. well, a picture is worth a thousand words.

    Bush Bytes

    They remind us that Bush's "commitment to Iraq" remains "firm." But no mention of the leaked memo. Consider, the U.S. version of Pravda won't publish this huge breaking news story that would completely vindicate the war in Iraq (if not excuse Bush's bungling unilateralism and botched occupation). Why?

    I will be very relieved if the U.S. has this evidence to show the world that there was a real threat to us in Iraq. I will be even more angry with Bush for botching the war, knowing that he could have used evidence like that to make a clear case to our allies and gain their help in the same way that we gained their help in Afghanistan. I don't think it will come to that, though. I can't help but notice Rupert Murdoch's aroma around this story, and I can't help but think it stinks.

    What else today? Well Neal predictably accuses Democrats of obstructionism on the Medicare reform/drug benefit being worked on by the GOP. Earth to Neal, its called debate. Politics. Maybe you've heard of it.

    Neal harumphs, "The ultimate Democratic goal is socialized medicine. Democrats think that America is great because of government, and that government is the only way to provide essential medical care to Americans."

    It looks like Neal has been listening to too much talk radio. Earth to Neal: In America, the people are the government, and yes America is great because of us.

    Oh yeah - and its true that many people will not be able to afford essential health care without public policy intervention to fund insurance for them. Certain elements within the Libertarian Right believe that Americans don't have a responsibility to take care of each other. Americans, by concensus, disagree.

    More whining about the Democrat filibuster:

    Today someone pretty much got it right in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Vent. They wrote that if the roles were reversed we would be reading headlines about "Crisis in the Senate" and ''Democracy in the Balance."
    What do they mean "if the roles were reversed?" These are they whiny headlines I'm already seeing from the Republican types. Go figure.

    Killin' time
    While I'm waiting on this Monday's Nuze page, a couple more comments from Friday's page.

    Neal thinks Judge Roy Moore "forgot which law he was operating under." I find it more likely, given the circumstances, that Judge Moore forgot which law he was supposed to be enforcing.

    And, unless I'm reading this wrong, Neal believes that Anne Coulter is "such a good writer you need to read it anyway." Zounds! I guess that's why he's in radio.

    Sunday, November 16, 2003

    Hi, Folkz!
    On my other blog, I complained about the baloney I found on Neal Boortz "Nuze" page. I lamented that I would have to check back on Neal's page again and again to keep up with him. What I have found is that to try to respond to even a fraction of his arrant nonsense was going to be a blog's effort in its own right. So, here it is. I'm going to back-track a bit in this post to cover some of the time between my now and then.

    On Neal's Monday page, we find a couple of gems.

    In the tin-foil hat category, we find Neal is worried about a vast left-wing conspiracy to decrease global warming by getting the hot-air from his ilk off the airwaves:
    One thing is sure here. The left is getting fed up with talk radio. You can bet they're looking for a way to shut these blabbering conservatives down. I'm betting they're going to try to use the campaign finance reform act to accomplish this goal around the beginning of next year. They're going to claim that conservative talk radio shows are nothing more than a paid political advertisement for Republicans and, as such, should be subject to the rules of campaign finance reform. The rule the left will seek to enforce will be the regulation which prohibits soft money advertising which names a particular candidate within 60 days of the election.

    The real move to shut down talk radio will take place if the left ever regains control of the congress. Hello "fairness doctrine."

    I sense the need for an addition to the archives in the very near future.

    Also on Monday, Boortz finally finds what he believes to be a chink in General Wesley Clark's Kevlar:

    It seems Wesley Clark made some sort of boneheaded joke about Howard Dean's confederate flag flap - saying something Neal half-quotes as, 'I think all Americans, even if they're from the south and stupid, should be represented.' I say half-quotes since Neal uses opening quotation marks, but not closing ones. Ok, that was a pretty snarky joke, General. Now, Boortz cerebral take on this joke:

    It wasn't a joke, folks. One of the reasons the Democrats are losing the South is because of their snotty, down-the-nose view of the south as being backwards and ignorant. A mere hint of a southern accent brands a person as being ignorant in many parts of the country. I must tell you that there have even been radio station program directors who have declined to carry my show because it originates from Atlanta, Georgia. There's an operative presumption out there that if you are operating out of New York City you must be progressive and intelligent, and if you're operating out of the south you must be an ignorant southern redneck...

    Now I'll grant Mr. Boortz the fact that a "mere hint of a southern accent brands a person as being ignorant in many parts of the country." Sadly it's true. But I have to wonder if Neal has ever taken a moment to consider just how much of that he is directly responsible for.

    Note to Neal Boortz - Wesley Clark is from Little Rock, Arkansas.

    I tell you what. I'm from the south - only ever been out of it once or twice - and I feel dumber already after just reading a paragraph or two from Boortz.

    In other news, Howard Dean has taken hits from more than just Wesley Clark on his confederate-flag/pickup remarks. The Doctor explains that all he ever meant (or said) was that he would like to reach out to working class southerners and try to talk to us about voting in our own economic interests, instead of allowing Republicans to divide us by race. He says he's sorry he phrased it badly, and sorry if he hurt any feelings. But he's right. I was a little bit skeptical. Yeah, I'm familiar with the occasional Republican's nod & wink at southern racists, but I didn't really think this was still part of Nixon's 1968 Southern Strategy. I was wrong. Just look at today's 'nuze'.

    Civil Right's leaders are, in Neal's oh-so-humble estimation, actually better thought of as "Race warlords". How dare they ask Zell Miller (R-in-D'sclothing Georgia) to apologize for his utterly tasteless, race-baiting remarks about the judicial filibuster? Race warlords, Neal? Neal stands by his invention. He says, "Sorry ... the word fits. And I call these people race warlords because they don't deserve to be called civil rights leaders."

    Presumably, they don't deserve to be called civil rights' leaders because they don't believe in the quota system for nominating federal judges.

    Speaking of the judicial filibuster. Today's Nuze has some pretty enlightening views on that, too. Hold your nose, I'm about to give you a sample:
    Many of these Demcorats are saying that they're not doing anything to George Bush's appointments that Republicans didn't do to Clinton's appointments. They're lying. I could not find one instance in our history where either party conducted a filibuster in the Senate to prevent a vote on a judicial confirmation where that judge had already been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and where there were a majority of votes on the Senate floor to confirm.

    Maybe not. I hear there were cases where the filibuster was employed in such a fashion but it was unsuccessful. Be that as it may, what Neal's not telling you is that the Republicans have never hesitated to use other senate rules to block nominees they didn't want. The constitution doesn't make requirements on how the senate does business. I don't think its going to kill anyone for the Republicans to play by the rules as they are already on the books.... just this once.