If you see anything to be merry over in this flea-bitten cluster of shanties, you got something on me

James Taranto writing in an post over at the Wall Street Journal, like much of right-wing punditry reminds me of a mindless cheese mold. Neither original nor capable of having a conscious (Monday, August 28, 2006 2:56 p.m. EDT),

Go to the link above to see our latest WSJ.com video, in which we discuss that frivolous antiwiretapping decision, the Democrats’ war on Wal-Mart, and Hezbollah’s counterfeiting.

James writes,

The man who “leaked” Plame’s identity and her involvement in her husband’s Niger junket to columnist Bob Novak and other reporters was not Karl Rove, Scooter Libby or anyone else in the White House. It was Richard Armitage, then deputy secretary of state.

then links to David Corn and even posts the part of the facts, yet with the salt shaker at his elbow he still asks where the salt is? Corn sets the record straight and JT refuses to let it sink in, Bush-backers, Armitage and HUBRIS

I have noted from the first that the leak might be evidence of a White House crime. It turns out that Armitage leaked first. But the public record is clear: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby leaked the same classified information prior to the appearance of the Bob Novak column that contained the Armitage leak. And all of these leakers were investigated vigorously by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, who also wondered whether a crime might have been committed. (His inquiry followed a CIA request for a criminal investigation.)

Taranto should change his name to Sgt. Schultz , he sees nothing and knows nothing, and in this case, based on what he refuses to see or know he has an opinion and the WSJ is happy tp print it. For one Libby was not charged with revealing Plame’s identity, he was charged with lying about the revelation, which would, to a normal person indicate concealing some nefarious activity or else why lie. JT adds,

To say the least! As we observed on PBS 10 months ago, this was a “Seinfeld” scandal–an investigation about nothing.

Damn that was a great trick JT, three grand juries were fooled into thinking that revealing a CIA agent’s identity was about something, James gets a kerplunk rather then a kerwaffle or whatever. From the Libby indictment,

d. The responsibilities of certain CIA employees required that their association with the CIA be kept secret; as a result, the fact that these individuals were employed bythe CIA was classified. Disclosure of the fact that such individuals were employed by the CIA had the potential to damage the national security in ways that ranged from preventing the future use of those individuals in a covert capacity,to compromising intelligence-gathering methods and operations, and endangering the safety of CIA employees and those who dealt with them. (Page 2)

f. Joseph Wilson was married to Valerie Plame Wilson (“Valerie Wilson”). At all relevant times from January 1, 2002 through July 2003, Valerie Wilson was employed by the CIA, and her employment status was classified. Prior to July 14, 2003, Valerie Wilson’s affiliation with the CIA was not common knowledge outside the intelligence community. (her status was “classified”. People, like her neighbors knew her name, they did not know of her employment with the CIA or her status there.)

So Mr. T has in very strong terms told a very obvious lie. He has done so in two media outlets, PBS and the WSJ. He has chosen to navigate his way through life without honor or integrity and seems pretty arrogant about his right to do so.

I don’t know why James Cheese Mold Taranto asks Did Hezbollah Win?–III, he’s already made up his mind that we live in a clearly defined black and white world where there is only one truth, his. The problem with that as already demonstrated is that JT is capable of lying without regard to the consequences. Party loyalty first, damn the facts right-winger in full speed bend and twist reality mode. What does the reality based community have to say, Matthew Yglesias writes

Folks would do well to consider the applicability of this observation to the international realm as well. Lee Smith, for example, takes Hassan Nasrallah’s statement of regret that the recent Israel-Lebanon war as evidence that the CW is wrong and Israel did just fine. Noam Scheiber leans a bit in the direction of embracing that interpretation as well. I suspect the truth is more depressing. War is typically a negative sum endeavor that leaves both sides worse off than they would have been had the war not begun. Think of Iraq — the US seriously damaged our interests by invading, but Saddam Hussein didn’t benefit at all from the war.

It sounds sufficiently dippy that I hesitate to express the view, but the simple fact of the matter is that going to war is rarely a good idea. The benefits of international cooperation — or simple lack of active conflict — are sufficiently large that there are almost always alternatives that would have been more conducive to both sides’ interests.

That probably sums it up pretty well. If JT, desperate to grasp for straws to declare some proxy victory for right-wingers everywhere by way of Israel then as they seem to have all the media outlets at their beck and call JT should, for the sake of the Warp Reality Wars go right ahead and create his own little reality inside that little bubble. Still at the end of the day Israel is not any further along then it was, there are lots innocent dead people in Lebanon and Israel, and Hezbollah gets to play sugar daddy with those that survived. Maybe this is what passes for victory in neocon world.

Why is Taranto here? In the USA I mean. Or for that matter why are so many conservatives sitting behind maghony desks firing blanks? Shouldn’t they be taking action, instead of being reactionaries and liars. Those who serve, those who talk shit

The wars in the Middle East grind on. The situation looks grimmer than ever. The United States and Iran appear perilously close to war.

In spite of all this death and destruction, not everyone is unhappy. One young former Humboldt County resident named Anthony Mantova is about to get the war he has publicly wished for, even if he does not intend to personally participate.

Since he is such a fan of aggressive military solutions to solve the world’s problems, he should be eager to enlist. Mantova flatly refused to concede to serving the United States in the military.

The money quote from these conversations came when Mantova berated me for what he said was my “hillbilly, intellectually vacant and morally repugnant belief that ‘those who call for war must serve.’”

A 24-year-old, healthy man, Mantova — hypothetically at least — believes in “personal responsibility” and strongly defending America. He’s an outstanding candidate for military service. He simply lacks the heart to sign up.

These days, Anthony Mantova is a young fellow on the rise in GOP politics. He is the national field director for an organization called The Leadership Institute.

Based in Arlington, Va., The Leadership Institute is a 501c3 advocacy foundation. Created by longtime GOP operative Morton Blackwell, “The Leadership Institutes mission is to identify, recruit, train and place conservatives in politics, government and the media.”

Why bash celebrities. One reason is that simply because they are celebrities. They’re easy public targets. There is something odd in watching someone show up in hundred dollar jeans to help save orphans or stray dogs. What we don’t see, unless one follows the society pages of the larger Texas newspapers is the oil rich millionaires showing up draped in diamonds to raise money for the homeless. Since we’ll probably never get to that place as a society where we are a little bit more honest about what we see in the mirror the odd juxtaposition of very well off helping those that are less so is likely to continue to the delight of comics and AM shock jocks everywhere. But drat it seems that some people just know how to do things right and they happen to be on the left of the dial, The Many Faces of Celebrity Philanthropy

The best model of celebrity philanthropy is perhaps that practiced by Paul Newman and his wife Joanne Woodward. Newman is said to devote half his time to his food company, Newman’s Own, Inc., and charitable giving. Newman and Woodward established the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang Camp for terminally ill children, and the anti-drug Scott Newman Foundation, named in memory of Newman’s only son, who died of an accidental drug overdose in 1978. Through his, Newman’s own line of food products, he has donated more than $100 million to countless charities. What’s more, the food products are good: I speak as a regular purchaser of Newman’s Own Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Paul Newman’s politics, insofar as he has revealed them over the years, are standard liberal, maybe even a bit to the left of that: he has let his name be associated with the Nation magazine, he and his wife are often signatories on petitions for the usual left-wing causes. Some of Newman’s charitable giving may well be politically motivated, but that seems to me his business.

Although he may have done so, I have never seen Newman go on television to tell you how much good he has done through his charitable work.

ROGERS—(mopping the perspiration from his forehead with a bandana handkerchief) Have a heart, Al, have a heart, and kill the canary-bird stuff. If you see anything to be merry over in this flea-bitten cluster of shanties, you got something on me.

from The Movie Man by Eugene O’ Neil