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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Some Halloween night jams for your listening pleasure.

Ministry - Everyday Is Halloween

The Misfits - Halloween II

The Ramones - Pet Cemetary

And if anyone gives you candy corn, you have every right to toilet paper their house.

Keeping Up Appearances

Michelle Malkin's blogging partner Doug Powers and conservative disinformation center First Things are peddling what appears to be a photo-shopped picture in order to attack those that attended the wildly successful Stewart/Colbert rally.

You be the judge:

This will work for conservatives looking to defend their authentically documented instances of signage that not only displays a complete lack of grammar skills but how they are more than willing to go Full Godwin at the drop of a hat.


Powerful election ad or Most Powerful election ad.

( Blue Girl over at They Gave Us A Republic posted this earlier )

This ad strikes right at the heart of the Tea Bagger movement and their inability to recall even recent history. From the continued complaints about the financial "bailout" ( crafted by the Bush administration ) to insisting that privatizing Social Security is a grand fix-all that a majority of Americans are against ( also ignoring the fact that administrative costs would quadruple and the guarantee of benefits would disappear ) the modern conservative movement either lacks the ability to remember or simply chooses not to.

Context Free Conservativism

The righteous indignation of Sarah Palin was on full display while in the warm confines of the Fox"News" studios and Chris Wallace's program.

Here's the back story:

Sarah Palin is out for blood (again) this time against an Alaska CBS affiliate. She's accusing the station's reporters of conspiring against Joe Miller, calling them "bastards" and suggesting that the initials CBS stand for "Corrupt Bastards Club." The station is strongly defending itself, though, calling her claims entirely unfounded.

Palin, Miller, and their supporters are basing their accusations on a snippet of audio they leaked to Andrew Breitbart's website Big Government. The audio is weak, and it's hard to suss out the context, but what you can hear sounds like KTVA reporters facetiously explaining how to turn a story into a sensation: specifically, jesting about finding a child molester who's voting Republican and tarring Miller by association. The conversation took place after one of the reporters left a message for a Miller spokesperson, but accidentally failed to hang up.

It's a veritable conservative trifecta of outrage.

Let's take a listen to the audio:

Clearly, whomever is involved in this conversation did mention "child molesters", but there is no indication that these people are planning on concocting a story to attack Miller or are just being snarky. Naturally, conservatives are insisting that the former is true, and that "context" has nothing to do with it:

KTVA’s explanation is absurd. What possible context can they put around the suggestion that they start looking for child molesters at a political rally in order to exploit that for their television coverage? That’s a “potential what-if scenario”? Is this a suggestion that came up in strategy sessions when discussing a McAdams campaign rally?

The only absolution KTVA could have possibly had was showing that this conversation didn’t take place among their staff, but was left on the voicemail by some other people or organization. Even if KTVA approached coverage of every political event in this manner, it would be an embarrassment. In this case, it shows a strong bias against Miller and gives a window into the editorial direction at KTVA.

Next up: will CBS management take action against their affiliate?

Considering how the modern conservative movement approaches Democratic candidates, I'm really wondering if this is the argument that Ed Morrissey is wanting to present.

But let's look at the definition of the word "context":

the parts of a written or spoken statement that precede or follow a specific word or passage, usually influencing its meaning or effect: You have misinterpreted my remark because you took it out of context.
the set of circumstances or facts that surround a particular event, situation, etc.

I find it very hard to believe that anyone could divine any sort of context from the garbled audio that Andrew Brietbart's Big Journalism is peddling as the latest narrative puzzle piece designed to distract conservative voters.

In addition to Palin's complete lack of understand of who context works, she also seems to be unable to differentiate between the letters "S" and "C":

Apparently, college graduate Former Half-Gov Illiterata McAirHead thinks the letter C is the same as the letter S. CBS cleverly stands for “Corrupt Bastards Club” in her brain-deficient little unschooled world.

Palin, along with virtually every conservative in America, relies heavily on blaming the messenger rather than tackling the message - whatever it may be at the time. Her claims against CBS tend to fall more than a little flat when one considers the fact that KTVA is owned by the Alaska Broadcasting Co.:

KTVA News is owned by the Alaska Broadcasting Co., not CBS. No CBS staffers were involved and CBS has no knowledge of and no comment on these allegations.

Joe Miller has created enough problems on his own, so I'm not seeing how this trumped up accusation is going to improve his chances of winning against Murkowski. The GOP was already distancing themselves from Miller prior to this latest attempt to slander any media outlet that isn't Fox.

ABC's Jonathan Karl reports: A high-level GOP source tells me that party leaders have essentially given up on Republican Senate candidate Joe Miller and are now banking on a victory by write-in candidate Lisa Murkowski as the best bet for Republicans to keep the Alaska Senate seat.

Murkowski defied party leaders by running a write-in campaign after she lost the Republican primary last month. But with Miller's campaign faltering, the source tells me that Republican leaders are now worried that Democrat Scott McAdams has a shot of winning and that Murkowski may be the only way to stop him.

This will be nothing more than a launching pad from where people like Palin, Breitbart, and Miller can unleash boiler plate rhetoric and continue to portray themselves as perpetual victims and that would never engage in pushing fabricated stories about political candidates.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

And Like Clockwork.....

Take a look at this video and "interview" that Fox"Nation" is obviously peddling as a rebuttal to the blatant physical assault on Lauren Valle by a Rand Paul donor.

First, if this man is being choked, why is he finding it so easy to clearly yell.

Secondly, where's the lead-in to this incident?

Oh, that's right, it's been edited out.

If this was such a shocking display of physical force, one would think that the person operating the camera would stick with this to talk to the person "assaulted".

Third, we're meant to take this man at his word as to how the events unfolded after what we saw on camera. And considering not only who is distributing this as proof of "left wing violence perpetrated by", I'm guessing that there was a little pre-interview coaching going on.

Lastly, where's the proof that this man is a member of Yeah, got to rely on specious testimony again.

Chalk this up to another Brietbart "edit moment".

Friday, October 29, 2010

O'Reilly's Metric

O'Reilly has successfully become a poor caricature of Glenn Beck.

Might as well have said "Did you know that Soros shops at Macy's twice a week? Should that shock America? Is he attempting to manipulate middle class mothers who are about to Christmas shop?"

Not only that, and to echo a point made by Bob Cesca, is O'Reilly really going to go the route of "look at all the mean things these people say" to claim that the modern conservative movement is somehow morally superior?

Then again, conservatives are more incensed when a woman is called a bitch while not taking violent assault against a liberal woman seriously.

Loud Noises!!!

A brief summary of why the recent Gawker "exclusive" about an alleged "one night stand" would-be Senate-hopeful Christine "I dabbled" O'Donnell had with a man works more for the modern conservative movement than anyone else.

For starters, it allows people like Michelle Malkin to shriek and cry about how women are treated - even though this is a tabloid publication we are talking about here - all the while knowing that she exploited a child and his family in an equally disgusting fashion. She even went so far as to highlight who Gawker's advertisers were; apparently in the hopes that a boycott would ensue - you know, just like that one that conservative laugh about when the boycott is pointed at their own Glenn Beck.

While the alleged incident is related through an anonymous source, one has to question the timing of this story. While I won't go full "truther" on this, it isn't outside the realm of possibility - considering our current socio-political climate - to at least postulate that this is a calculated move by conservatives in order to aide the O'Donnell campaign. It's likely, if my hypothesis is correct, not going to be enough to edge O'Donnell's poll numbers up enough to get her elected to the US Senate, but it is enough to ensure more conservative enthusiasm in the days and years to come. In other words, look for this to come up again, and again, and again, in relation to conservative women attempting to make political gains.

Personally, I don't pay attention to what Gawker says specifically because they are a tabloid site that traffics in sensational material just like this. Is this story about O'Donnell true? Who's to say. Regardless of the story's merit, the modern conservative movement has already seized on this opportunity to decry not only Gawker, but anyone that would even pose relevant questions to Christine O'Donnell.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Reality Shifting

Anything to excuse a man from violently assaulting a woman.

At POWIP, video of the girl rushing to Rand Paul's car and, yes, assaulting him, by pushing a placard against his face.

Yes, that's assault and battery. You cannot just reach out and touch whoever you like. Particularly when you're doing so in a menacing manner -- like running up to an open car window while wearing a disguise to hide your appearance.

They allowed her to commit assault once -- how many times should she be permitted to commit? When she rushed him a second time -- her intentions already made clear by the first assault -- should she have been permitted to re-offend?

Let's see this "assault":

This sign never even makes it in the car, so how was he "assaulted". Well, I do suppose that attempting to hand someone a non-lethal piece of cardboard constitutes a terrorist action when it comes to the Tea Baggers.

But more to the point, if Rand truly was assaulted, why didn't he say so in his interview on Fox"News" regarding the incidents of that night?

The more conservatives attempt to deflect from the real crime of the evening, the more that they come off as the unhinged masses they claim the left is.

And where was this "second assault"?

Reading The Tea Leaves

In which the Tea Baggers have their well documented words thrown back at them.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I'm fully ready for conservatives to shout "context" in response to this. Either that, or they will simply ignore the fact that their precious Tea Baggers are more than willing to destroy large segments of American life just so they can prove a point.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Scholastic Re-Do

While this got little traction from the folks at Fox"Nattion", the intent was quite clear - to infer that public schools are devaluing hard work. Too bad that this isn't the case here.

Considering the very real aspect that not all students are alike, that not all students perform well in the realm of written - standardized - tests, I'm not at all surprised that this school is implementing this program.

When I took the ACT in high school, and wasn't pleased with my grade, I took it again. I knew people that took it three times. There was no outrage by students that made 32s or 34s on their first try. The same was true with the SAT. So what makes this story any different?

Randian Responses

Not only does Tim Profitt, the man who stomped's Lauren Valle's head into a curb, think it's perfectly acceptable to attack a woman, but he also thinks that she owes him something:

Lexington Police began an assault investigation identifying Profitt as a suspect. "Well I'll just say it, if the police had done what they were supposed to do, it would have never happened," Profitt said.

The Paul campaign is not alone in its reaction. Another man involved in the altercation, Mike Pezzano, who held down Ms. Valle, tells NEWSFIRST he doesn't condone Profitt's actions. Valle has said she believes Paul supporters planned an attack on her. Pezzano asked not to appear on camera for an interview, but he denies that accusation and says he barely knows Profitt and didn't even know Profitt was there. As for Profitt, he remains defiant. "I don't think it's that big of a deal," Profitt said.

And when asked if he would apologize to Valle. "I would like for her to apologize to me to be honest with you," Profitt said.

The modern conservative movement has just moved from metaphorically attacking women to the quite literal and blatantly vulgar reality of having nothing more than unvarnished contempt for them.


Far-right conservative blog First Things, a site that is often featured on the Fox"News" hate-site Fox"Nation", seems to think they have the smoking gun that shows Valle meant to do Rand Paul harm and that she isn't some innocent victim.

Apparently trying to hand someone a sign is grounds to violent physical assault:

As an interesting aside to this, the defacto leader of the Republican party is putting forth narrative that what is clearly seen in the video isn't what really happened:

It doesn't surprise me in the least that Limbaugh would go to bat for a Tea Bagger that assaults a woman. But apparently he didn't watch the video - or is more than willing to explain the subtle nuances of how to stomp on someone.

But what is readily apparent, and should honestly give all his listeners pause, is that he is claiming that this Lauren Valle got precisely what she deserved.


I'm honestly not surprised by this report from The Hill:

Nowhere are Democrats more clearly threatened with heavy defeat than in the South.

Nov. 2 looks set to reverse a trend of recent elections that suggested the blue party might claw its way back in states dominated for a generation by the GOP.

The Hill’s polling shows senior Democrats in the South, who survived earlier Republican waves, poised to fall in next week’s predicted GOP sweep.

In 42 competitive districts polled in four weeks by The Hill, white Southern Democrats face stronger headwinds than any of their colleagues.

Democrats hold 59 Southern House seats and could lose a dozen of them — helping Republicans toward the net gain of 39 they need for control of the House.

But Sean Miller, who penned this article, is relying more on the hot talking point of the past nearly two years than the reality of what it's like to be a modern Democrat in the South.

Anti-spending sentiment may be stronger in the South than in any other region, Penn suggested, and “this election does seem to be driven more than anything else [by] the desire to curb spending.”

The South is more concerned about "spending"? Please pardon my inability to use a more apropos term and use what is a southern colloquialism - that dog don't hunt.

The "Southern Strategy" implemented by the modern conservative movement has been rather effective since Obama took office, simply because of how racial and ethnic fears play in this region of the US.

From parade floats featuring Obama as an apparent "slave owner" whipping a white male to Tea Party leaders using blatantly racial language in a "satirical" blog on down to some Tea Party leaders being none to afraid to drop the N-Bomb in reference to the American tax payer, it's no wonder that the South is ripe for a Republican take-over.

Here in Western Kentucky, it's no different. While I attended the last two "Tea Parties" held in my home town, the racial animus was as thick and palpable as anything I had experienced in my life. Needless to say, no one wanted to appear on camera, and I'm not really surprised. This isn't to say that all Tea Baggers are racists, but they certainly aren't willing to distance themselves from those that are. To that point, the desire for many within the modern conservative to feel like they are a part of something has greatly overridden their desire to be seen as "compassionate conservatives".

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tea Ads

Let's see what these Tea Party members --- *cough* paid actors *caugh* --- have to say about the upcoming election.

This ad, as well as the continued and laughable narrative from Tea Baggers that their freedoms are being usurped and have been since moments after Obama took the Oath of Office, makes me wonder exactly why they think their "liberty" is being squashed. After all, they are making this ad without fear of retribution, aren't they?

Who Are The Thugs Again? Part II

Let's take a look at Beck's continued insistence that conservative Tea Baggers aren't the violent ones - it's those evil liberals and progressives.

Too bad that doesn't square with what happened in this clip:

And while the predictable conservative chant - lead by the mouth agape throngs at Fox"Nation" - is that this is some sort of "plant", a "hoax", one has but to look at what people like Beck and the Fox noise machine are cultivating - an atmosphere of fear, hatred, and conspiracy.

Hot Air and Ed Morrissey take a more interesting approach when discussing this issue: insisting that conservative candidates use the "Joe Miller Approach" and bring your own security force:

This is one of the reasons why it’s incumbent on candidates to provide their own security. While guard firms rely on the same legal principles of citizens’ arrest that apply to everyone else, they get a lot more training in it than rally attendees. Paul has his own security with him, as the video seems to show, and they knew better than to react to an obvious provocation, and especially not to overreact to it.

The person in this video shown stomping on the prone woman should be facing charges of assault and battery today, just as Gladney’s attacker should have to answer for his assault. And in the future, perhaps calmer heads will prevail.

That's right Ed, gloss over the fact that this woman was about to be curb-stomped by a completely unhinged Paul supporter, conflate this with the utterly specious claims surrounding Kennth Gladney, and insist that Rand Paul's security team acted accordingly. Guess what Eddie, they didn't do anything. They didn't stop this from happening and they certainly were within proximity to do so. They were, as many in the video show, nothing more than spectators.

And while Paul supporters are more than willing to push this incident aside as nothing more than socio-political theatre, Rand's campaign - as well as he himself - are looking at this from an entirely different perspective:

Rand seems kind of disconnected from the "issue", don't you think?

Something else that caught my attention - there was only one person, at least from the video footage, that attempting to help this woman. The remainder of those surrounding the violent assault simply watched.

While we are a voyeuristic people by nature - how many times have you slowed down to look at a car wreck, or house fire, or police subduing someone - when you are literally this close to someone being attacked by those you call "fellow patriots", perhaps it's time that you reconsider the fact that Tea Baggers are a peaceful lot.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Freedom To Pledge

As I'm sure that this will gain traction on Fox"News" - likely during Hannity or O'Reilly's hour; perhaps Beck if he isn't too busy insisting that George Soros is offering assassins millions to kill him and his family - I think I should address this in conjunction with conservatives new found interpretation of the First Amendment.

Ed Morrissey over at Hot Air points out that this is a rather old clip ( nearly 10 years old mind you ) so obviously there are conservatives scouring the CSPAN archives in an attempt to dig up "dirt" on Democrats.

Desperation much?

So is this the primary metric by which all politicians are judged by the modern conservative movement - whether they believe in an invisible man living in the sky?

The Fox"News" sister hate site Fox"Nation" highlights this bit of commentary to apparently further the narrative that all Democrats are godless heathens bent on destroying our nation through secular speech, or something.

A sad display of disrespect by a United States Congresswoman from Minnesota, Democrat Betty McCollum. It is a video that Betty does not want her voters to see, but it's too late Betty, you have been exposed.

After watching this video you will see how obvious it is that she she intentionally omitted the words, "Under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance. At the time, her staffers claimed she took a breath, but with the video now out, the lie has been exposed.


One would think that a member of Congress - regardless of who they are and where they are from - would know about the separation of church and state and be standing within the House of Representatives as one that represents ALL of her district, not just the ones that sit in the "amen pew" on Sunday mornings and then go off to Cracker Barrel and berate the server making minimum wage who didn't bring their coffee refill in time while talking trash about the couple sitting in front of them just hours before.

Hate to tell all those reactionary conservatives, but not everyone is a Christian, and Congress doesn't legislate under theocratic terms.

But as a First Amendment issue, isn't it the Congresswoman's right to say the pledge as she did? Granted, many will argue that she is in the "People's House", and that removes her freedom to recite as she sees fit, but considering the drivel that has come from conservatives within those same "hallowed halls", are they really wanting to make this argument right now?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Freedoms, Fears, And Fox

It appears that a new narrative has begun threading itself through the modern conservative movement - a new definition of the freedom of speech.

And it all ties in with Juan Williams and NPR.

First, let's be quite clear - Juan Williams' freedom of speech was not taken away nor infringed upon. What happened was his employer exercised their legal right to end his contract and thereby his employment with them. This is something that conservatives don't seem to understand. Freedom of speech does not include freedom to gainful employment.

As Racheal Maddow sums up quite nicely:

This same sort of rationalization was more recently used when Sarah Palin came to Dr. Laura's defense after her use of racist language on her former radio broadcast:

Dr.Laura:don't retreat...reload! (Steps aside bc her 1st Amend.rights ceased 2exist thx 2activists trying 2silence"isn't American,not fair")

Again, modern conservatives love to wave around The Constitution but either haven't read it or don't understand the parts that are quite clear.

What this all boils down to is that conservatives are unwilling and incapable of understanding the very basic concept they once championed - accountability. To put it another, more blunt way, freedom of speech isn't freedom from consequences.

In what I can only assume is a tactic to help mask this complete misrepresentation of the First Amendment and the rights of employers, conservatives have opted to take two roads: vilify NPR and use the spectre of Islamic jihad to stir the base emotions of reactionary conservatives.

Michelle Malkin takes a two pronged approach in utilizing the fear of "state run media" - not to thinly coded rhetoric of media that is government controlled and designed to decimate disinformation and propaganda tilted towards a specific agenda - as well as language used to create the appearance of Americans sympathetic to the causes of jihad:

Not one more red cent of public money should go to NPR, PBS and CPB. Let the speech-squelching progressives and jihadi-whitewashing apologists pay for their own propaganda. Free the taxpayers!

Malkin's article also includes an anecdote that Megyn Kelly used in her "interview" with CAIR spokes man Ibrahim Hooper - that NPR correspondent Nina Totenburg's comments regarding Jessie Helms were not met with similar force by NPR. However, are we simply to take Malkin and Kelly at their words, that no corrective action was taken? And while Totenberg's comments weren't exactly as Malkin is presenting them, as they are only highlighting an 18 second clip from a more broader discussion surrounding Helms.

While some conservatives will argue that I am claiming "context" while not examining Williams' statements in the same manner, perhaps they should read my previous post in which that is very much taken into account.

A more interesting, if not bizarre, approach that conservatives are taking up is that Fox"News" is somehow more tolerant than NPR.

So says Michael Barone in a must-read analysis of the firing of Juan Williams. But don’t take his word for it, because NPR’s omsbud says essentially the same thing in NPR’s defense.

Despite the fact that ombudsman Alicia Shepard isn't even remotely saying what Ed Morrissey is claiming, this line of defensive action by a conservative is leaving out one important factor - Juan Williams all too often towed the conservative line with his fellow Fox"News" employees - even going so far as to be a repeat guest host on Bill O'Reilly's program - but to being nothing more than a gimmick to help reinforce the "Fair and Balanced" meme.

I don't think Morrissey, or anyone for that matter, can claim there is a "tolerance" within the confines of Fox"News", as evidenced from this "interview" yesterday on Megyn Kelly's continued prime-time-opinion-program audition when she was "tolerant" of the views of a Muslim civil rights group representative:

What Fox"News" is tolerant of is, from not only my perspective, abject hatred of other's religions and races. Once can easily recall how Sean Hannity devoted a full hour to spin Duane "Dog The Bounty Hunter" Chapman's racist tirades, as well as giving Don Imus his own show on their "business" channel not long after he was fired from MSNBC for racially charged language. Bill O'Reilly even kept his job after his shock that black people behave themselves in a restaurant setting. Tolerance of the opinions and language outside the conservative realm doesn't seem to get the same, by any means.

Juan Williams is not suffering by any means, as his "freedom of speech" has just netted him a newly minted 2 million dollar contract and a wider role at the conservative home for all things "pro-Constitution".

But what of NPR and the ever evolving firestorm of criticism from conservatives? Well, it was inevitable, but Jim DeMint is planning on introducing legislation to the longstanding organization that, apparently, most conservatives have never really listened to.

Conservative Republican Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina today announced plans to introduce legislation stripping federal funding from National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting Service.

The move comes following the firing of NPR contributor Juan Williams for comments about Muslims. Williams said among other things that he gets "nervous" when he sees Muslims on his airplane flights.

The firing prompted calls from Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee and others on the right to strip NPR of funding, and now DeMint, who is beloved in the Tea Party movement despite his Senate perch, has taken up the call.

Much in the way that ACORN lost it's federal funding due to reactionary posturing by Tea Baggers in Congress, I'm not thinking that this is going to proceed much further than the "let's make a bunch of noise to distract from the issue" process. And more to the point, if Williams really is a liberal, would people like DeMint, conservative voters, and Republican Presidential hopefuls to be on his side?

At the end of the day, the freedom of speech is afforded to all of us. What we are not afforded is the freedom from consequences. But if you're in good with the folks at Fox"News", and your rhetoric is filled with enough red meat goodness, there's likely a nice financial windfall coming your way - maybe even your own show.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Why NPR Was Right And Conservatives Are Still Wrong

Yesterday, NPR terminated the contract they had with Juan Williams for comments he made regarding Muslims. And I say they were right in doing so.

But while a publicly funded company has to take into consideration all of those that help them stay in business, conservatives are using this as proof that this is nothing more than PC culture run amok.

The standard conservative defense was implemented from the start: it's all about "context".

Does watching an entire segment and hearing remarks in context also conflict with NPR’s editorial standards and practices? The Right Scoop has the entire six-minute-plus segment, and do what NPR failed to do — watch the whole thing

OK, let's watch.....

It's pretty clear what Williams is doing, which is precisely what he always does when he appears on Fox"News" - play both sides against the middle. He's being quite clear and up front with how he feels and then plays the "balance" roll in saying that people should act completely opposite from how he does in order to resolve a particular situation.

He's done this for years and I've always known that this was bound to happen.

But conservatives didn't stop there. Michelle Malkin George Soros into the "debate" in hopes to further the narrative that this was somehow his doing:

Reminder of George Soros’s NPR cash infusion this week:

NPR has received a $1.8 million grant from the Open Society Foundations to begin a project called Impact of Government that is intended to add at least 100 journalists at NPR member radio stations in all 50 states over the next three years.

Anyone can see that the initiatives that Open Society takes up are indeed contrary to those of the modern conservatives movement. After all, ensuring that the playing field is leveled for people all around the world, that health, wellness, and equal justice are benefits we all can enjoy simply doesn't blend well with the conservative narrative of "I before we". I suppose that "We the people...." only operates in certain instances. But I'm getting off track here.

Malkin also goes on to tie in an incident that had nothing to do with NPR:

Worth noting: NPR affiliate employee Sarah Spitz at public radio station KCRW wishes death on Rush Limbaugh…not a firing offense.

And while Sarah Spitz's comments towards Limbaugh do nothing but make her look like the multitude of conservatives that wish ill of Barack Obama, she was never in the employ of NPR.

....Spitz has never been an NPR employee. For many years, she has worked for KCRW, a public radio station in Santa Monica, California, as a producer and publicist.

KCRW is one of some 900 independently-operated public radio stations across the country that air NPR's news, talk and entertainment programming. Like network TV affiliates, they air national programming but act autonomously.

Not to delve too deeply into the "what if..." realm that conservatives all too often live in, but had this decision been made by a private company, it's likely that this would have been a much smaller story about who did the firing and more about the white-washing of Islamaphobia and the victimhood status of a Fox"News" employee.

The spin has been going full steam since news broke that Williams was terminated.

I'm guessing that Bill O'Reilly doesn't listen to NPR, based on his characterization of the organization. What Bill is really saying is that since NPR isn't like Fox"News" that that is what makes them an evil, liberal, propaganda outfit.

One last "what if...." point of reference that should put this into perspective.

What Williams did is essentially the same as saying that when you go to grocery store and see a black family, you're immediately going to assume that they are going to buy up all the watermelon and chicken and pay for it with food stamps. It's the same thing, and it's just as wrong.

To reiterate, NPR is an organization that is funded by people all over America and the world. They have to take into consideration their entire donor base when presenting news stories and allowing all voices to be heard. If you take just a few hours each week to listen to NPR, you're going to hear more "balance" to their programming than Fox could even pretend to muster over an entire year.

I don't feel sorry for Williams in the least. He is an example of what "accountability" is all about. I'm sure that he will be able to churn out at least one other book and lots of airtime on Fox"News" to milk and contort this story so that the modern conservative movement can further demonize anyone that doesn't follow Fox's narrative about what America is and isn't.

Grammatic Agnosticism

I was pondering this while at work tonight.

Has anyone noticed that conservatives are so bent on defending the ignorance within their own movement that they are willing to distort The Constitution? That most sacred of founding documents that the Tea Baggers continually insist must be followed explicitly and to the letter now has a hot new talking point to go along with it:

If the exact words aren't in it, then it doesn't count. If they don't "see" those words, then they simply don't exist and have no relevance to Constitutionality of an issue.

Case in point - Christine O'Donnell's complete lack of understanding that the First Amendment separates The State and Religion.

Once the right-wing noise machine realized they had some serious damage control to do, they fired back with this narrative. But is that really what they want to be doing?

Think about all the talk of healthcare reform being unconstitutional. Where are they getting that? After all, there's no place in the Constitution that states verbatim that legally elected officials can't reform an industry that financially rapes the people of a nation. What happened to the "those words aren't in there" meme?

Careful how you frame your arguments people.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Historic Position Flexible

Seems that conservatives all over the social media spectrum are leaping to Palin's defense in her "can't party like it's 1773 just yet" gimmick line.

You can find the predictable voices here, and here for the loudest and most ignorant blatherings.

But there is a problem with conservatives claiming that Palin has somehow "one-up'd" her Democratic rivals. That pseudo-clever one liner completely goes against the very reason the Tea Parties formed.

Even as conservatives shout that liberals don't know that the Boston Tea Party happened in 1773, Sarah Palin herself had to tell the mouth agape throng in Reno that that's when it happened, as an obvious set-up to them responding to what would ultimately be a poorly conceived delivery.


Then here's the key video:

Actually, two points here.....

First, Palin tells the crowd that they are winning and that the left doesn't know what to do, then promptly tells them "well, don't celebrate just yet". And that's where the '1773' line bombs.

Not only did Palin have to inform what would likely be most of the crowd of the date - I would have loved to have seen a poll prior to this of Tea Bagger members that were asked to name the date of the only real Tea Party - but she is saying that a movement designed to emulate that moment in 1773 shouldn't be acting that way, that they don't have enough momentum to align themselves with the original Tea Party.

Talk about conflicting messages.

I'm not sure if Palin's writers thought about this or if this was an "off the palm" delivery moment that Sarah didn't put full thought into. Did she think that making a reference to her easily lead followers newly idolized moment in American history and a classic Prince tune would make her look "cool"?

In the end, Palin's supporters look just as foolish - if not more so - than those that jumped at the chance to attack her.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Taking His Rhetoric And Going Home

Seems that Rand Paul is considering not participating in the final debate with Jack Conway.

Republican U. S. Senate nominee Rand Paul said Monday he is “not sure” if he will participate in an Oct. 25 debate on Kentucky Educational Television with Democratic rival Jack Conway.

Paul, participating in a morning news conference with several veterans in Lexington, said he was disappointed that Conway had ridiculed his religious beliefs in a TV ad over the weekend and he did not know if he wanted to appear in public again with Conway.

Despite that fact that the add is backed-up with verifiable information, Rand is using this as his "get out of being accountable" card it seems.

While Paul has stated that he isn't entirely sure he will appear in public with someone who questions his faith, he most certainly has no issue with directly aligning himself with a group of conservatives that continually question the faith of Barack Obama. It would be nice if someone would ask Paul is position on that.

Becks Time And Tides

Beck is nothing more than the screaming man on the street corner shouting incoherently about how "they are coming to get us". Conservatives can dress up his conspiratorial blathering as intellectual research and reportage all they want, but this is probably one of the most - if not THE most - dangerous men on television today.

Despite the fact that his rants regarding The Tides Foundation - a lunatic fringe extension of Bill O'Reilly's narrative that George Soros is some grand puppet master of liberals - were the admitted catalyst of Byron Williams to travel to San Fransisco to kill members of the organization, Beck continues his hate speech with absolutely no proof.

According to the Tides website, they define "progressive" - you know that evil word that Beck has molested since his premiere on Fox"News" - is thus:

We define "progressive" as creating a positive impact on people's lives in ways that honor and promote human rights, justice, and a healthy, sustainable environment.

Beck's "Christian" message - the one that he claimed was the cornerstone of his Restoring Honor rally was about, neverminding the fact that he is a Mormon - apparently has nothing to do with the basic rights of humans, of justice, and even though the modern conservative movement has nothing but apparent disdain for the environment, I'm guessing that the later is the farthest from Beck's mind at this point.

There is a wealth of information included within the Tides site that certainly doesn't reflect the evil, dark, nature that Beck insists they propagate. Then again, the conservative message late has been one of "I" rather than that of community and "loving they neighbor has thyself". What book was that from anyway? Ah, it probably doesn't matter.

Modern conservatives have completely abandoned one of the cornerstones of their belief system: accountability. In place of it, they have implemented what I have often referred to as The Pee-Wee Herman Defense. That is, rather than examining how their rhetoric and ignorance towards a variety of issues have caused the followers of conservativism to become completely disjointed from reality, they throw their hands up and screech "I know you are but what am I!".

Not only that, but they have become so enraptured with what is and what isn't "Constitutional", that they have forgotten that certain things - although they may be Constitutional - do not come without repercussion or response. Chief of which is Freedom of Speech.

While Beck has an indisputable right to say whatever he wants, he simply does not consider the impact of his words. In an attempt to deflect from what we are taught even as children - that our actions far too often have consequences that we have to deal with personally - Beck resorts to this:

I'm trying to figure out why The Story of Stuff is inherently "evil". But let's not forget that Beck isn't the first to try and demonize this program, as Fox"News" tried to paint the film and Annie Leonard as "anti-capitalist". Again, this is a perfect example of conservatives completely ignoring accountability of actions in favor of pushing a poorly constructed narrative.

Beck, along with his fellow Fox"News" employees, are not going to admit that what they do and say has any sort of impact on America - that is unless it gets Republicans elected. And when that first person gets killed because of what they have been peddling, they are going to either ignore it or blame liberals/progressives.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Does "T" Stand For "Tantrum"?

During the Conway/Paul debate at the University of Louisville, Rand ended his portion of the debate by announcing that he would not shake Jack Conway's hand and why.

Rand just can't seem to come to grips with the fact that his entire life - even what happened 30 years ago - is going to be scrutinized. This was a very open and unblushing tactic that conservatives used ( and still use ) against Obama. Does Rand think he is above being examined? Apparently so, considering how he stormed off the stage like a child that was denied a cookie before bedtime.

Here's the ad he was referencing:

As the Daily Kos points out, Rand injected religion - his in specific - into this campaign to begin with.

From an article in May of this year by Sarah Posner of Religious Dispatches, she highlights how Paul spoke not only of his faith - in an interview on CBN's The Brody File - but that if all of America were Christians then we wouldn't need any laws.

I'm a Christian. We go to the Presbyterian Church. My wife’s a Deacon there and we’ve gone there ever since we came to town. I see that Christianity and values is the basis of our society. . . . 98% of us won’t murder people, won’t steal, won’t break the law and it helps a society to have that religious underpinning. You still need to have the laws but I think it helps to have a people who believe in law and order and who have a moral compass or a moral basis for their day to day life.

Posner goes on to show how Paul's version of Christianity is more like Christian Reconstructionism:

Reconstructionists share the worldview of the John Birch Society, which as Adele Stan reported, has enthusiastically praised Paul's victory over Republican Trey Grayson. (In 1963 -- the year Rand Paul was born and, he claimed on Rachel Maddow's show, he would have marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. -- the John Birch Society insisted that proposed civil rights laws were "in flagrant violation of the 10th amendment," and threatened individual freedom.) On the 40th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, in 2004, the elder Paul stated on the floor of the House, "The Civil Rights Act of 1964 not only violated the Constitution and reduced individual liberty; it also failed to achieve its stated goals of promoting racial harmony and a color-blind society."

Many Christian Reconstructionists believe certain forms of slavery are biblical. As I wrote in a post last month, the resurgence of the JBS (it was a co-sponsor of this year's Conservative Political Action Conference) alongside Christian Reconstructionism signals a resurgence of the sort of mish-mash of states' rights and individual liberty arguments made by libertarians and tea partiers -- in Paul's case, federal civil rights laws are portrayed as some sort of government invasion of liberty -- in which civil rights protections are flipped on their head and portrayed as antithetical to (white people's) freedom

Paul seems to think that good Christians don't need civil laws (or civil rights laws, for that matter) for them to do the right thing. But it's crucial to acertain what that "right thing" really is.

This proclamation by Paul that his "faith" - and by logical extension his "values" - are strictly off limits. After all, it's perfectly fine for Paul Tea Bagger fan base to question someone's faith if they are a black man with a funny sounding name.

I'm from a very conservative part of Kentucky. I would actually posit that it's one of the reddest counties in the state. Republican voters here have more than just policy in mind when they make their selections on election day. I would actually argue that many of them vote for a particular candidate simply because they say they are "Christian" and support "family values", regardless of that candidates policy agenda.

As an aside, about 90% of the Rand Paul campaign signs I'm seeing around my community are on "public" land. For some reason that seems a little odd to me, if only because Paul just might be a little to "extreme" for even this town. Then again, maybe I'm just reading too much into it.

Who Are The Thugs Again?

Conservatives are willing to go to bat for their own in just about any instance these days, it seems.

From claiming that Sharron Angle can win a debate by saying "man up" to Harry Reid all the way up to Sarah Palin saying is perfectly fine for Limbaugh to call people a "retard", conservatives are letting their own kind get away with that which they once decried not two years ago.

And while that hypocrisy is blinding in and of itself, one can't but marvel at the spin that Tea Bagger candidate Joe Wilson of Alaska is getting after his rented squad of goons temporarily detained a man at a recent rally.

Here's Ed Morrissey doing his best to cast Joe Miller's crew in a positive light:

If a reporter starts shoving security guards in any setting, he should expect to get arrested by the security guards as a consequence. That’s battery, and that charge does result in arrest. Miller has the right — and probably the duty — to provide security for his events, and private security guards have the ability to detain people who violate the peace. Anyone doubting that has never worked in retail and watched private security detain suspected shoplifters, as well as those who become disruptive. They had better be clear on the basis of the detention, however, because if they have no basis for it, they can themselves be charged with false arrest.

That doesn’t seem to be a problem here, though, since Hopfinger himself admits to shoving a security guard. Throwing the first punch doesn’t make one a martyr for the cause. It may, however, make for a lively debate tonight.

Funny how Morrissey left out some key information.

From the ADN website:

One of the guards grabbed Hopfinger's video camera. Later, Hopfinger said that when he got the camera back, the segment covering the span of the arrest was missing. An Anchorage police officer offered to take the camera into custody and have it examined in the crime lab to investigate whether evidence had been destroyed, but Hopfinger declined. He said he needed the camera and the remaining video for his work.

The guard who grabbed the camera said Hopfinger had dropped it in the scuffle and denied erasing anything. The guard wouldn't give his name.

But it's the paragraph immediately following that takes this story to another level.While Hopfinger was still in handcuffs, the guards attempted to prevent other reporters from talking to him and threatened them too with arrest for trespass. A Daily News reporter interviewed Hopfinger anyway. No other reporters were arrested, though a few shoving matches and chest bumps ensued as the guards attempted to cordon off Hopfinger and block photographs and videos from being taken of the bizarre school scene.

Not only does Miller's security team sound more like trigger-happy SS officers, but they certainly don't understand what constitutes trespassing. After all, this is the candidate that had people literally parading for him in the streets with assault rifles.

I'm not completely convinced that Hopfinger assaulted a person at the rally in such a manner that it would require physical restraints. Then again, conservatives too often dive into semantics when it comes to these types of stories. Moreover, what does Miller have to say about this? He did witness it. I'm not expecting much of an answer outside of he was protecting his Constitutional rights.

I'm reminded of people like Michelle Malkin who consistently level specious and false allegations at Democrats, utilizing the "thug" meme in order to paint a picture that anyone that voted for Obama obviously has ties to the mob in some way and are more than willing to overstep authority and use physical force to silence their opposition. Guess Malkin has decided to opt out of this one until she can find away to blame Obama for this happening.


Karoli at Crooks And Liars takes a deeper look into Miller's "security force".

Their Alex Jones fans. 'Nuff said.

Friday, October 15, 2010

And What Of Children's Rights?

In which we see that Beck has little concern for the rights and needs of children.

Click the rather appropriate picture below to play the clip from The Right Scoop.

While the conversation does devolve quickly into the bizarre realm of the dangers of vaccination, I think this is something that needs to be discussed in regards to Beck's influence and his own abilities as a parent.

While Beck immediately walks it back enough to say that if it were cancer then it may be a problem where does he draw the line?

Is an eye at 10 months old going to lead to an arm at 3? Both legs at 10? What about your ability to speak? To hear? And all this predicated under the notion that because the parents have a right to practice their "faith"?

In Beck's eyes, the needs of a child are greatly outweighed by the "rights" of the parent.

Restoring Honor folks, one child's medical condition at a time.

Defense Mechanisms

With the Angle/Reid and O'Donnell/Coons debates complete, isn't it great fun watching the entire modern conservative movement literally falling over themselves to find just one aspect of how these completely off-the-rails amateurs bested their opponents?

Allahpundit at Hot Air references the single line from Gloria Borger that virtually every conservative in the country was repeating the following day regarding Coon's apparent demeanor:

Coons can can barely contain his disdain for his opponent.

And while followers of the overly peddled "body language" metric are taking this completely at face value, I would argue that Coons showed more disinterest in O'Donnell's presentation of her "argument" rather than revealing to the audience his contempt of her as a person.

But that line just isn't going to drive up your audience share on your next program on Fox"News", is it?

Where Coons fell short - actually REALLY short - was his explanation of the "bearded-Marxist" line, which conservatives continue to fall back on like it's actually a credible piece of evidence against his candidacy.

Rather than explaining how this satirical approach to his political leanings was used in his writings, he relied on the "ah, I was only kidding" defense, which really isn't much of one.

That aside, I'm quite certain that O'Donnell - like most within the Tea Bagger movement - don't really know what a Marxist is, only that it sounds scary and creates the illusion that you have more validity to your side of any particular issue. Kind of like conservatives screaming about the "Constitutionality" of just about everything Democrats have doing and will do. Rather reminds me of a Micheal Bay film - all special effects and no plot at all.

And then there was Sharron Angle and Harry Reid.

Quite literally the only aspect of Angle's performance - or lack thereof - that conservatives are using for her defense is nothing more than childish taunting. But then again, that is their stock-in-trade.

Malkin's Monday morning quarter-backing of Angle's performance is truly something to marvel at:

In style and substance, Lady in Red Sharron Angle trounced the four-term Democrat Senate incumbent and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at tonight’s Las Vegas debate.

And in the quotable quote of the night, Angle pricked Reid’s delusions about the teetering Social Security system with two terse words:

“Man up.”

Angle smiled, channeling Reagan’s warrior optimism, and asked for Nevadans’ votes to restore prosperity and freedom and American exceptionalism. Without notes.

One could almost sense the collective "face-palm" of High School debate coaches shivering at the thought of the back and forth at competitions resorting to nothing more than "you man up!", "no, YOU man up!"

This is what the Tea Baggers have done to the intellectual process of debate - reduced it to nothing more than a "you're ugly and your momma dresses you funny" blabber-fest. Then again, conservatives are embracing the idea that you don't need higher education or experience to make your country a better place.

I will say this of Reid, he was - and is, really - too stiff and didn't really take it to Angle like he should have. Perhaps his confidence that he's going to win is showing just a little too much. But if he had been tougher on her, I'm sure the conservative narrative would have shifted from Angle being more effective in her responses to her being bullied. And I'm sure the sexist meme wouldn't have been too far behind.

Both debates were predictable and just a little more than disappointing to watch at times. I'm sure that both sides of the political aisle can agree on that aspect. But from a realistic standpoint, Coons was the clear winner on his night and Reid seemed to just be treading water. The later, to me at least, didn't have a clear winner and that fault falls directly at Reids feet.

What I will say is this - if Delaware elects O'Donnell and Nevada elects Angle, they are going to be sorely disappointed. Anyone recall the last time you heard a conservative shout from the mountaintops about the incredible, patriotic, pro-American job Scott Brown is doing?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Abstract Distractionism

Conservatives are all over the Chilean Miner Rescue - as are most Americans. I would argue rightfully so, as this story shows that mining, no matter where you are in the world, is dangerous and more stringent safety measures are required. However, conservatives are using this story of joy, hope, and victory, as a tool to - you guessed it - bash Barack Obama and his alleged "anti-capitalist" stand-points.

It needs to be said. The rescue of the Chilean miners is a smashing victory for free-market capitalism.

Amid the boundless human joy of the miners' liberation, it may seem churlish to make such a claim. It is churlish. These are churlish times, and the stakes are high.

In the United States, with 9.6% unemployment, a notably angry electorate will go to the polls shortly and dump one political party in favor of the other, on which no love is lost. The president of the U.S. is campaigning across the country making this statement at nearly every stop:

"The basic idea is that if we put our blind faith in the market and we let corporations do whatever they want and we leave everybody else to fend for themselves, then America somehow automatically is going to grow and prosper."

Uh, yeah. That's a caricature of the basic idea, but basically that's right. Ask the miners.

If those miners had been trapped a half-mile down like this 25 years ago anywhere on earth, they would be dead. What happened over the past 25 years that meant the difference between life and death for those men?

The alleged quote and the context - you know, that word that all conservatives are so steeped in when it comes to having their own words thrown back at them - is not sourced in the article at all. It's simply just a tossed out phrase inside a poorly conceived thesis designed to anger the very people that read Fox"Nation" and somehow feel they are being "informed".

But let's be frank about this - Capitalism is NOT what saved these men.

What saved these men was the kindness of people like Brandon Fisher and the use of his drilling technology. But if we want to put this into abstracts, like Daniel Henninger is doing, we could say that a sense of community, a sense of "yes, I am my brother's keeper" that saved these men.

This isn't about conservative ideology or contortions of a contextually irrelevant quotation from a man you despise being placed against the lives of 33 men, this is about reality and what was used to pull these workers up from the bowels of the earth.

Moreover, I would postulate that this shows that a "small business" - willing to put up it's own money in a time of economic uncertainty in their home country - was willing to sacrifice profit and praise in order to save people that utilize socialized medicine once they were brought to safety. So how does that settle with Henninger and the reactionary conservatives that lap up his narrative?

Using such abstract notions to rationalize situations like this, or even those not nearly as serious as this, shows that conservatives are more than willing to use anyone as an example to besmirch those with whom they disagree.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Glenn Beck: Stigmata Martyr

I think Glenn Beck's megalomania has finally reached a fever pitch.

Check this out.....

So, tests on his hands and feet. Is he experiencing pain in his ribs, like "piercing" pain? Come on Glenn, get off the Cross because some people could really use the wood right about now.

Seems that Glenn is taking a couple of days off for what he claims are "spiritual wounds".

This morning on his radio program, Glenn Beck discussed in more detail some of the physical challenges he’s been facing. Glenn told his audience that he will be taking several days off next week to undergo tests at a hospital “out west.”

On recent broadcasts he’s discussed that he has been having problems with feeling in his hands and feet. Today he explained that “small fiber” issues may be involved but that testing will provide more understanding. “We don’t even know what all of the symptoms are at this point,“ he explained adding that he believes ”physical, mental and spiritual are all tied.“ By ”small fibers,” he was referring to the possibility of a small fiber neuropathy diagnosis. But that is just one possibility among many things that will be considered.

Glenn also said the listeners may have noticed a change in how he sounds on the air. He said he’s been having problems with his vocal cords and that doctors will also be examining this problem.

Glenn talked at length about how the bond he has with his radio audience has been built on a foundation of disclosure and that he felt it was important for him to share as much information as he could, “So that you will understand my mindset."

The shear weight of the hubris this man exhibits would be enough to crush an entire city block in New York. Is this Beck's way of attoning for his idiocy, his exploitative nature, and his blatant falsehoods smearing generations of people? Possibly.

Keep an eye out for conservatives looking to capitalize off of Beck's "medical condition" in relation to healthcare reform and the "compassion" of conservativism. There's easily a weeks worth of Fox"News" programing to be born on the backs of this likely charade.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Jack And Rand : A Kentuckian's Perspective

When I first heard that Jack Conway was fully ready to debate Rand Paul on his "home court" - Fox"News" - I was starting to get the feeling that Rand was going to be taken to the proverbial woodshed. But as we would likely be seated with a moderator/host that was sympathetic to his point of view, I began to rethink how Conway would peform.

From the start, you are given a clear sense of how Chris Wallace wants you to see these two men and what they stand for. But this was to be expected.

With the opening question from Wallace, it was made readily apparent that Paul wasn't going to stray too far from the Tea Bagger mantra of "Obama bad! Conservative good!" without giving any real specifics on why he would be the better choice. And while he did mention Cap And Trade and the coal industry, he was relying more on the perception of proposed legislation to get his point across.

Conway, in stark contrast, responded with several specific examples regarding not only his record as AG, but how Rand Paul is clearly disconnected from the residents of Kentucky.

In the follow-up to Conway's opposition, Rand showed more than just a sliver of hubris in regards to where he is right now among "likely voters". I will submit that Kentucky is a rather conservative state, and Democrats like Jack Conway aren't the type of Democrats that I normally support. And in that regard, I am more than just a minority voter in Kentucky, I would likely be viewed as a "radical". Then again, anyone these days with an odd sounding last name that can see that this country isn't populated exclusively by white men that listen to Rush Limbaugh is deemed a "radical".

But I think that one factor Rand Paul is banking on is the fact that many people in Kentucky are going to be more receptive to the disinformation regarding "Cap And Trade" legislation than they are the facts surrounding it.

In terms of what Conway has to say about TARP and healthcare reform dovetails slightly with what I think. I would have like to have seen the Bush administration TARP program ( oh, are we not supposed to mention that was his crew's idea? ) be more strict on those that had their hands in the housing market crash. But when it comes to healthcare reform, I would have likely to see a Single Payer system implemented versus the watered-down version we got.

When Rand chimed in for his reply, notice how was all too eager to talk about costs. Healthcare reform pales in comparison to the Bush Tax Cuts and the Iraq occupation. Where did we get that money from, Rand? And I would most certainly challenge his claims on Stimulus dollars per job.

Then there's the point where Jack and Rand really start to get into the "back and forth" aspect of the debate. And it seems like Conway has somewhat of a point to make to Rand's claim regarding bank regulation and Kentucky banks - which Chris Wallace won't allow.

The Cap And Trade issue is the most contentious one in the first segment, as Rand Paul is hell-bent on affixing the "flip-flopper" label on Conway. And while, at first blush, one would get the feeling that Conway has reversed course, his record indicates that he is focused on finding common ground on this issue. This is something that Rand, and all conservatives actually, don't have the ability to do - seek out the commonalities between opposing issues and come to a solution that is beneficial to both parties. That, to me at least, is what a "centrist" does. As far as that happening in Kentucky, it's pretty much a long shot.

But then Jack Conway completely loses me.

Conservatives are so focused on the notion that letting the Bush Tax Cuts expire will lead us into further economic ruin are completely ignoring the fact that they simply didn't work in the first place. They continually push this meme that the top earners are "the job creators", when those people didn't put that money back into the economy, didn't reinvest, and incomes actually decreased by over $1 trillion dollars. But beyond that, the cost of continuing these cuts would completely run counter-intuative to the conservative narrative of controlled or a complete cut in spending.

This is where Jack Conway comes off as more of a conservatives. Is it to gain votes. Possibly.

Rand's response to that was a specious claim that Jack Conway wanted to keep the so-called "Death Tax". Having grown up on a family farm myself, and having to deal with the unfortunate death of my uncle - who was, at the time, the primary name on all documents related to the farm - we never once had any trouble keeping our land, our crops, or even consider selling.

Then comes the point where Chris Wallace does his "I'm being fair and balanced" schtick and then let's Rand Paul dance around the issue of actual cost of renewing the Bush Tax Cuts. And while Wallace does point out the fact that there is no way that $4 trillion in cuts is going to happen, Rand blubbers on up to the claim that he can balance the budget.

Here's where Rand's argument falls flat on it's face, clearly showing that the cuts didn't do at all what they were intended to do. He stated that businesses had been making calculations for the entire time that the cuts were in place. So, why didn't they act accordingly? Why wasn't there more investment? Why wasn't their more growth? Rand is ignoring reality and is trying to sell the audience on a narrative that simply doesn't work.

Part II picks up with the two candidates talking about Medicare and Social Security.

Conway's centrist status comes out in full force when questioned about these two "entitlements" - something that will likely resonate with the "independent" voters in Kentucky.

Alright, let's be clear, there are no "independent" voters in the regard that conservative Republicans like to make people think there is. These are simply people that traditionally vote Republican but don't want to be aligned with a lot of the crazy that has been coming out of the party over the last 18 months. Truth be told, and in accordance with the conservative definition, they should be called "flip-flop" voters, but then that would prevent Republicans from gaining their votes on election day, as reconsidering the issues isn't something that conservatives can do easily.

Rand Paul completely bombed on the issue of Social Security. The current Tea Bagger mantra is for government to get out of "everything", but they simply don't want to give up their Medicare and Social Security. Paul's stance on restructuring and revamping Medicare and Social Security is isolating the "younger generation" that conservatives continually claim they are wanting to protect. In other words, what he's saying is that it's fine to be saddled with more cost, because there's a chance that you might live longer than those already receiving Social Security and Medicare benefits. He's expecting his followers to rely on a "chance", a "possibility", and then pay more for the services. I notice that he didn't once mention privatization - another rallying cry we normally hear from conservatives. Could it be that Rand realizes that his beloved "free market principles" wouldn't work, that they would have destroyed people's accounts had Bush been successful during his last term in office? Perhaps so.

In terms of healthcare legislation, Paul is both misrepresenting those that have difficulty getting care and those that he contends shouldn't receive care. We all, in one form or another, have access to care, but the reality comes when we are faced with the cost. And in-so-much as Paul makes that valid point, he completely ignores it in favor of talking about who should and who shouldn't receive medical care in America. At no point did he offer suggestions. He would rather talk about people either being too lazy or undeserving.

Conway, in his response to the healthcare question - as with other topics in this debate - utilizes examples of people that he knows. Well, he tells us that he knows them, but it's the tactic that is effective. Couple that with specific examples of what he agrees with and doesn't agree with and you begin to get the sense that Conway is, at first blush, concerned with what the people of Kentucky think. Rand's obscure platitudes regarding spending concerns, costs, or impacts to Kentucky far too often fall flat when put through even moderate scrutiny.

I was really hoping that Rand and Conway would get into the drug issue earlier on, but once they did, Rand opted to take the standpoint of Conway being too divorced from the issue rather than explain his own perspective. And while Conway had the chance to explain the fight on meth labs and how they operate, he simply wasn't forceful enough and let Rand get away with connecting him with California - not to subtle coding for "them nasty liberal fags are givin' him money!!".

And then Wallace does exactly what the Rand Paul campaign on his network expect him to do - frame Jack Conway as an "extreme leftists".

That's when Rand sees his opening and uses the Brownism : "The People's Seat". This was the primary focus of some conservatives, despite the fact that Scott Brown was and is a massive disappointment to their modern incarnation and all that they allegedly stand for.

In the end, I can hardly see how Rand Paul clobbered Jack Conway in this debate. If anything, Conway was heavier on substance but let Paul filibuster, deflect, and misinform. Wallace did his duty, in as much as a top personality from Fox"News" is going to do, and let Paul get away with ignoring or distorting the issue and giving Conway just enough time to play the Center-Right role that Fox claims American stands for to begin with.

Paul performed pretty much like I would expect him to, but Conway simply didn't deliver the way that I know he could have and should have. But despite the actual outcome of the two meeting up here and elsewhere to discuss issues, there are conservatives across Kentucky that would vote for a known criminal if they had an "R" next to their name at the ballot box. The only question is whether or not Republicans in Kentucky are willing to see their state become of haven for right-wing extremist views.

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