Inspectorgate – More Then Most of Us Want to Know About IG Gerald Walpin

Black and White North Shore and Mountains wallpaper

President Obama’s decision to fire the Inspector General of the AmeriCorps Gerald Walpin is a snooze fest, but the Right seems to think this is the worse abuse of Presidential power since Watergate. They conveniently ignore the HUD scandals of the Reagan administration, Iran-Contra, Bush’s use of the US Department of Justice as a tool of the RNC for vote caging and conservative crony welfare. Proving once again that the new Republican party, like the old Republican party cannot get its priorities straight. First there was an objection to the way Walpin was terminated. President Obama straightened that out by suspending Walpin for thirty days with full pay. Time in which members of Congress like Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa who has shed more tears over poor Gerald then he has over the troops that died in Iraq for Bush’s lies.

As we all know the average rightwing skull is resistant to any reality that does not bend to the “alternate reality” spun by such rags as the Washington Times and Fox News. Walpin was removed after a unanimous request from the AmeriCorps board of directors where the co-chair is a Republican. Norm Eisen, the president’s ethics counsel reported “The Board’s action was precipitated by a May 20, 2009 Board meeting at which Mr. Walpin was confused, disoriented, unable to answer questions and exhibited other behavior that led the Board to question his capacity to serve.” Again, if Walpin or his supporters have evidence compelling enough to get a reversal of the Broad’s and the presidents opinion, they have time to do so. We also know that a Bush appointee Acting US Attorney for the Eastern District of California, Lawrence Brown “had filed a complaint about Mr. Walpin’s conduct with the oversight body  for Inspectors General, including for failing to disclose exculpatory evidence.” – in regards to Walpin’s investigation into St Hope and some federal funds they received. Perhaps most starling about Walpin’s conduct of which little is mentioned is that he wrote two editorials ran by the SacBee in which Walpin played trial by media. He appointed himself judge and jury. He laid out what evidence he thought he had. IGs authority extends to investigating and reporting their findings to the DOJ and Congress, not to carry on what appeared to be a kind of vendetta against Mayor Kevin Johnson ( while Johnson is a Democrat, from what research I’ve done into his governing style and policy positions I can’t say I’m a big fan. Why he wanted to get into politics is beyond me – it doesn’t suit his personality). Anyway imagine a Democratic IG writing editorials about a Republican mayoral candidate just before an election. Creating a situation in which the Republican has no recourse to defend himself in the legal arena of a courtroom where he can face his accusers and charges with appropriate legal counsel. Walpin was not willing to had off his findings to the California branch of the DOJ for them to evaluate and proceed with criminal charges, Walpin decided to side step our legal system and hold his own little court. Walpin did all of this without even conducting a proper audit as claimed by a Republican US attorney,

In August 2008, Walpin referred the matter to the local U.S. attorney’s office, which said the watchdog’s conclusions seemed overstated and did not accurately reflect all the information gathered in the investigation.

“We also highlighted numerous questions and further investigation they needed to conduct, including the fact that they had not done an audit to establish how much AmeriCorps money was actually misspent,” Acting U.S. Attorney Lawrence Brown said in an April 29 letter to the federal counsel of inspectors general.

Walpin’s office made repeated public comments just before the Sacramento mayoral election, prompting the U.S. attorney’s office to inform the media that it did not intend to file any criminal charges.

In settling the case, the government agreed to lift its suspension of any future grants to the academy and Johnson agreed to immediately repay $73,000 in past grants. The academy was given 10 years to repay the remaining $350,000.

Brown said at the time of the settlement that prosecutors determined there was no fraud, but rather a culture of “sloppiness” in St. HOPE’s record-keeping.

Kevin Hiestand, chairman of the board of St. HOPE Academy, said in a statement it was “about time” Walpin was removed. “Mr. Walpin’s allegations were meritless and clearly motivated by matters beyond an honest assessment of our program,” he said.

Its also difficult not to connect the dots between Walpin’s past statements and his zealous fixation on Mayor Johnson and disrespect toward the President,

Romney also took heat yesterday when he did not swiftly disavow the remarks of Federalist Society member Gerald Walpin, who introduced Romney by praising him for fighting against what he called the ”modern-day KKK . . . the Kennedy-Kerry Klan.”

”Today, when most of the country thinks of who controls Massachusetts, I think the modern-day KKK comes to mind, the Kennedy-Kerry Klan,” Walpin, who sits on the society’s board of visitors, said to hearty laughter.

Thus far Walpin wants the Right, the media or anyone that will listen to ignore his sloppy gathering of evidence regarding St Hope – according to the US Attorney’s office lacked any evidence of maliciousness or corrupt intent. Walpin wants everyone to ignore his rabid Right behavior in describing two distinguished US senators, both decorated veterans. Walpin wants everyone to ignore that he thought it was just fine to phone in his work from home. Walpin wants everyone to ignore his erratic behavior, confirmed by a Republican board member. Walpin also wants everyone to believe he is being attacked because he was out to save the tax payers money – if that was his motivation why did someone with such an extensive legal resume do such an alarmingly careless job of fact finding and violating the legal guidelines of his job with his trial by media campaign.

A Top Ten List for Letterman’s Conservative Critics

10) Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, for falsely claiming a hate-crimes bill that adds gay, lesbian, and transgender Americans to the list of protected groups would also protect those who commit incest, necrophilia, pedophilia, bestiality, and a host of other perversions.

9) Fox News’ Sean Hannity, for hosting “Internet journalist” Andy Martin, who once called a judge a “crooked, slimy Jew, who has a history of lying and thieving common to members of his race.”

8 Syndicated radio host Neal Boortz, for describing welfare recipients as “human parasitic garbage lining up to get their applications to loot.”

7) Fox News conspiracy-theorist-in-chief Glenn Beck, for describing Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court as, “Hey, Hispanic chick lady! You’re empathetic. … You’re in!”

6) MSNBC’s resident cranky uncle, Pat Buchanan, for saying prior to Sotomayor’s selection that he wanted Obama to pick a Supreme Court justice “who has real stature, impresses people” but thinking instead that Obama would pick “a minority, a woman and/or a Hispanic.”

5) Syndicated radio host Jim Quinn, for repeatedly calling NOW the “National Organization of Whores.”

Republicans Want Ahmadinezhad to Win and Lose, New Torture Revelations

The Boston Globe has some good though disturbing photos of some of the street conflicts taking place in Iran, Iran’s Disputed Election

Following up from last Friday’s entry about Iran’s Presidential Election, Tehran and other cities have seen the largest street protests and rioting since the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Supporters of reform candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, upset at their announced loss and suspicions of voter fraud, took to the streets both peacefully and, in some cases, violently to vent their frustrations.

Neocon Michael Ledeen weighs in on what he thinks President Obama should say and do. Before we get to his current childish bluster a quick review of his history,

A fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, Ledeen holds a Ph.D. in History and Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin. He is a former employee of the Pentagon, the State Department and the National Security Council. As a consultant working with NSC head Robert McFarlane, he was involved in the transfer of arms to Iran during the Iran-Contra affair — an adventure that he documented in the book “Perilous Statecraft: An Insider’s Account of the Iran-Contra Affair.”

[   ]…He was calling for attacks against Iraq throughout the 1990s, and the U.S. invasion on March 19 was a total fulfillment of his proposals. His attacks against the CIA and the State Department have contributed to the exclusion of these intelligence bodies from any effective decision making on Iraq. His attacks on Iran, even when Iran was assisting the United States, helped keep the Bush administration from seeking any rapprochement with Tehran. Were it in Ledeen’s hands, we would invade Iran today.

If Ledeen has his way we would have troops occupying Iraq, Syria and Iran or at the very least bombed those countries into oblvion. He also, like all good neocons sold the media and the public the Iraq WMD/al-Queda connection fairy tale. Mikie isn’t the kind of person that learns from mistakes, a soul mate of sorts to Cheney and Bush 43. Now he has deemed to bless us with his advice about the current events of Iran – a country and a people that Leeden now claims to care about so much, that would have been a nothing but a sand pit had Ledeen, Norman Podhoretz and Rudy Giuliani had their way. The bomb hasn’t been invented yet that can tell the difference between the average moderate minded Iranian and that countries authoritarin radicals – its the Brit Hume mentality – so what, its people that speak a funny language and they’re tens of thousands of miles away, mere collatareal damage.

Western governments have expressed dismay at the violence, and Obama, in his eternally narcissistic way, said that he was deeply disturbed by it, and went on to add that freedom of speech, etc., were universal values and should be respected by the mullahs.  I would have preferred a strong statement of condemnation–stressing the evil of killing peaceful demonstrators–but he finally said something.

He probably thinks he’s in a bind (he isn’t, actually).  He probably thinks that if he condemns the violence, and the regime wins, that will lessen his chances to strike the Grand Bargain he so avidly desires.  Somebody might remind him that Ronald Reagan was unstinting in his criticism of the Soviet Union (”The Evil Empire”), but negotiated no end of bargains with them, including quite dramatic arms reductions.

Ledeen should stop the bad mind reading act, this is the real world, not a cheesy Vegas magic show. The neocons rattled their sabers at Iran for almost eight years and their list of achevements include …… well zero. It defies common sense to go to a complete failure for advice. Might make a good reality show called Take Life or Death Advice from Infamous Losers. The Soviet Union fail because of years of incompetent and oppressive rule, not because their feelings were hurt by something Saint Ronnie said. It should go without saying that Reagan thought the USSR was evil, just as today’s neocons think Iran is evil, but Reagan negotiated with them anyway. On the other hand we have some neocons rooting for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,

Daniel Pipes, the president of the Middle East Forum, wrote that he was “rooting for Ahmadinejad” because it would be “better to have a bellicose, apocalyptic, in-your-face Ahmadinejad who scares the world than a sweet-talking Mousavi who again lulls it to sleep.”

An Iranian makes note of the obvious consequences of an Obama administration becoming just as bellicose and ultimately impotent as the Bush administration was,

Over the weekend, Trita Parsi of the National Iranian American Council told TWI that an Obama statement might allow Iran’s leaders to portray the unrest as a Western conspiracy.

Knowing that the Iranian government takes a lot of pride, if undeserved in the fact that their government is actually elected. Thus are more prone to respond in at least some marginally positive way with the statement that Obama made, Obama troubled by Iran post-election violence

“I am deeply troubled by the violence that I’ve been seeing on television,” Obama told reporters after talks with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi at the White House.

“The democratic process, free speech, the ability of people to peacefully dissent — all those are universal values and need to be respected,” he said.

Obama stressed that the United States respected Iran’s sovereignty and could not judge how the election was run because neither U.S. nor international observers were present.

“The Iranian government says that they are going to look into irregularities that have taken place,” Obama said.

“It’s important that moving forward, whatever investigations take place are done in a way that is not resulting in bloodshed and is not resulting in people being stifled in expressing their views.”

No empty rhetoric of the Bush years. No, Obama hit the Iranian government at their perceived strengths – they claim to have a legitimately elected government that rules by consent of the people. Obama undermines that assertion by highlighting the obvious. Obama’s words might not get a new election for Iran, but he has embarrassed the hard liners and encouraged resistance. No wonder the Right is grasping at straws, trying to put some kind of spin on events out of Iran, they’ve come up empty handed for years and it seems to irritate the hell out of them that merely having a president that knows when and how to throw the right punch for the situation is clearly embarrassing. See Rush Limbaugh and others zealots for hoping Obama fails. The Right has become known as the Culture of Death for a reason.

There used to be a a sign common in offices that said to screw up is human, to really screw up it takes  a computer. For the millennium that should be updated to, if you really want to screw up fellow the lead of Conservatives, CIA Mistaken on ‘High-Value’ Detainee, Document Shows

An al-Qaeda associate captured by the CIA and subjected to harsh interrogation techniques said his jailers later told him they had mistakenly thought he was the No. 3 man in the organization’s hierarchy and a partner of Osama bin Laden, according to newly released excerpts from a 2007 hearing.

“They told me, ‘Sorry, we discover that you are not Number 3, not a partner, not even a fighter,’ ” said Abu Zubaida, speaking in broken English, according to the new transcript of a Combatant Status Review Tribunal held at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

President George W. Bush described Abu Zubaida in 2002 as “al-Qaeda’s chief of operations.” Intelligence, military and law enforcement sources told The Washington Post this year that officials later concluded he was a Pakistan-based “fixer” for radical Islamist ideologues, but not a formal member of al-Qaeda, much less one of its leaders.

Whether its George Bush or Mike Ledeen, its the same mentality, the same rusted intractable and almost always wrong mind set. Torture does work, depending on how one defines works, Detainee says he lied to CIA in harsh interrogations

“I make up stories,” Mohammed said, describing in broken English an interrogation probably administered by the CIA concerning the whereabouts of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. “Where is he? I don’t know. Then, he torture me,” Mohammed said of his interrogator. “Then I said, ‘Yes, he is in this area.’ ”

Mohammed also appeared to say that he had fingered people he did not know as being Al Qaeda members in order to avoid abusive treatment. Although there is no way to corroborate his statements, Mohammed is one of the militants whom the CIA repeatedly subjected to the simulated-drowning technique known as waterboarding.

The newly released information could amplify calls for the Obama administration to make public more details about the treatment of terrorism suspects or allow a broader inquiry into the George W. Bush administration’s interrogation policies. Monday’s disclosure represented a rare allegation by a detainee that he had lied while being subjected to harsh practices.

A lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, which obtained the documents through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, said Mohammed’s statements raised questions about the effectiveness of the CIA’s interrogation program.

“It underscores the unreliability of statements obtained by torture,” said Jameel Jaffer, director of the ACLU’s National Security Project.

Ahmadinejad Iran’s Neocon, Republicans Make Great Economic Clowns

Over the last eight years Andrew Sullivan has taken some odd turns on the political spectrum. At times sounding like the worse of the we create our own reality neocons. He would never allow for the reality that most Americans have come to see, that the “war on terror” was like a dream come true for terrorist recruitment. That occupying Iraq, getting hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed – that had nothing to do with 9-11 or the spread of radical al-Queda sponsored terror, was a waste of lives and resources. His consistent opposition to torture has been admirable, which drives the rabid right crazy. Sullivan pushing some of the same buttons with his look at the Iranian elections, The Rovian Islamist

Think of this regime as Cheney and Rove in a police state setting, and you see what’s been going on. (Of course, Rove and Cheney live within a democratic system utterly unlike Iran, and there’s no evidence they would violate democratic norms as Khamenei just did. But their demagoguery, abuse of the state, dedication to conflict abroad, co-optation of the armed forces, and manipulation of rural and religious voters all have parallels in Red State Iran.) We keep expecting to see some kind of shame or some attempt at rational dialogue.

On that basic level of political maneuvering and manipulation, along with the qualifiers Sullivan throws in,  Ahmadinejad and his supporters in Iran’s power structure are very much red staters. Their attempts to manipulate and steal the election is a replay of Bush v Gore. Using all the political arm twisting and legal maneuvering they can muster, Iran’s conservatives have appealed to the powers that be to throw the election. Noting the political similarities, not the physical violence, is well within the realm of civil comparisons. Yet the Right, the Cult of Bush that will forever see Bush as a hero rather then frat boy with an emperor complex is ever so offended. A Republican blogger called The Other McCain writes, Karl Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Rove?

Really, Sully? I mean, really? WTF goes through someone’s mind when they dream up an idiotic comparison between (a) Karl Rove, a Republican political strategist, and (b) Mahmoud Ahmadinejed, a Jew-hating genocidal maniac?

Ahmadinejad might hate Jews. His public comments in that regard have been deplorable, but Sullivan’s comparison holds in the since that Ahmadinejad uses the threat of the Jews and the U.S. occupation of Iraq to exploit  fear for political gain, just as conservatives did and still do in regards to Muslims. “Genocidal maniac” from someone complaining that Sullivan’s post is nothing but hyberbole? As far as I know, as loathsome as Ahmadinejad might be, he has not come close to committing genocide. He is a Holocaust denier, a common rhetorical ploy among the more radical elements in the Middle-East, but still markedly different then committing actual genocide. Because of Bush’s occupation of Iraq, BushCo – which would include Unka Karl – what occured in Iraq as a consequence was what some experts consider a level of violence that neared genocidal levels. Most observers, including Human Rights Watch, settled on “ethnic cleansing” – Satellite images show ethnic cleanout in Iraq

Minority Sunni Arabs were driven out of many neighborhoods by Shi’ite militants enraged by the bombing of the Samarra mosque in February 2006. The bombing, blamed on the Sunni militant group al Qaeda, sparked a wave of sectarian violence.

“By the launch of the surge, many of the targets of conflict had either been killed or fled the country, and they turned off the lights when they left,” geography professor John Agnew of the University of California Los Angeles, who led the study, said in a statement.

“Essentially, our interpretation is that violence has declined in Baghdad because of intercommunal violence that reached a climax as the surge was beginning,” said Agnew, who studies ethnic conflict.

Some 2 million Iraqis are displaced within Iraq, while 2 million more have sought refuge in neighboring Syria and Jordan. Previously religiously mixed neighborhoods of Baghdad became homogenized Sunni or Shi’ite Muslim enclaves.

Why were hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed or turned into refugees. We know that it was not because of those WMD that posed an “urgent” threat. It was not because of connections between Saddam and al-Queda. Dick Cheney just recently admitted there was no connection. It should be a disturbing thought that as deranged as Ahmadinejad is, Bush and Cheney have gotten more Americans killed based on pure cynical political manipulations. If Bush, Cheney, Rove and assorted other neocons didn’t want to be remembered for their exploitation of fear and their manipulation of public, thus the comparisons to Ahmadinejad and his ilk, they should have thought about that eight years ago.

The WaPO has some fun with numbers in The Iranian People Speak. Which takes a look at some pre-election polls to show that Iranian incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had more support then some might think. Juan Cole takes them to task, Terror Free Tomorrow Poll Did not Predict Ahmadinejad Win

The poll did not find that Ahmadinejad had majority support. It found that the level of support for the incumbent was 34%, with Mousavi at 14%.

27% said that they were undecided. (Some 22% of respondents are not accounted for by any of the 4 candidates or by the undecided category, and I cannot find an explanation for this. Did they plan to write in for other candidates? A little over a quarter of respondents did say they wanted more choice than they were being given.)

Here’s the important point: 60% of the 27% who said they were undecided favored political reform.

Historically the average Iranian has been more moderate then the over wrought boiler plate for which Ahmadinejad has become infamous. That is part of the survey that holds up at WaPo,

Similarly, Iranians chose free elections and a free press as their most important priorities for their government, virtually tied with improving the national economy. These were hardly “politically correct” responses to voice publicly in a largely authoritarian society.

Indeed, and consistently among all three of our surveys over the past two years, more than 70 percent of Iranians also expressed support for providing full access to weapons inspectors and a guarantee that Iran will not develop or possess nuclear weapons, in return for outside aid and investment. And 77 percent of Iranians favored normal relations and trade with the United States, another result consistent with our previous findings.

One assumes in a half ass attempt to put some pretense of seriousness behind the tea bagging, the Right has dragged out Arthur Laffer and the certain doom that will be caused by the coming tsunami of inflation. I thought that was the comic relief, but Krugman rightly points to Congressional Republicans for the laugh of the day, Stay the Course

And Republicans, providing a bit of comic relief, are saying that the stimulus has failed, because the enabling legislation was passed four months ago — wow, four whole months! — yet unemployment is still rising. This suggests an interesting comparison with the economic record of Ronald Reagan, whose 1981 tax cut was followed by no less than 16 months of rising unemployment.

[   ]…What about the claim that the Fed is risking inflation? It isn’t. Mr. Laffer seems panicked by a rapid rise in the monetary base, the sum of currency in circulation and the reserves of banks. But a rising monetary base isn’t inflationary when you’re in a liquidity trap. America’s monetary base doubled between 1929 and 1939; prices fell 19 percent. Japan’s monetary base rose 85 percent between 1997 and 2003; deflation continued apace.

Where Bill Kristol, Victor David Hanson, and Rush Limbaugh are the always wrong pundits of rightwing spin on foriegn policy, Laffer is the always wrong neocon of economics. Yet, like the others he keeps swating at flies hoping that one day he’ll nail one.

While the Federal Reserve might not be the best vehicle for enforcing new financial regulation, other then that Timothy Geithner and Lawrence Summers seem to be on the right, if imperfect course, A New Financial Foundation

First, existing regulation focuses on the safety and soundness of individual institutions but not the stability of the system as a whole. As a result, institutions were not required to maintain sufficient capital or liquidity to keep them safe in times of system-wide stress. In a world in which the troubles of a few large firms can put the entire system at risk, that approach is insufficient.

The administration’s proposal will address that problem by raising capital and liquidity requirements for all institutions, with more stringent requirements for the largest and most interconnected firms.

[  ]…Fourth, the federal government does not have the tools it needs to contain and manage financial crises. Relying on the Federal Reserve’s lending authority to avert the disorderly failure of nonbank financial firms, while essential in this crisis, is not an appropriate or effective solution in the long term.

To address this problem, we will establish a resolution mechanism that allows for the orderly resolution of any financial holding company whose failure might threaten the stability of the financial system. This authority will be available only in extraordinary circumstances, but it will help ensure that the government is no longer forced to choose between bailouts and financial collapse.

US Capital and Flag wallpaper

Palin Pushing for Victim Sainthood, Walsh Out Classes O’Reilly, The Right’s Lame Attempt to Paint Brunn as a Liberal

O’Reilly Rages Against Joan Walsh Over Tiller Murder (VIDEO)

Joan Walsh went on the O’Reilly Factor tonight having publicly vowed to be well-prepared to defend the reproductive rights of women and the legality of Dr. George Tiller’s clinical practice, and truly doled out some major ownage without raising her voice or raising the temperature at all. It was an artful performance of talking headery….

O’Reilly pulled his near patented yea sure you have free speech rights, but he does too and you’re a %&*@*& for using your free speech rights to dare disagree with Emperor Bill. Joan Walsh has an update over at Salon. I’m not sure whether it is to their credit or shame that O’Reilly and the few other conservatives that do interviews on TV or radio, but they get a maximal amount of milage out of question begging of the how often do you beat your dog type. They know if they ask an honest open ended question they’re get a cogent rebuttal – one of many reasons that the Rightwing pundits, with a few exceptions, have always impressed me as being weenies.

Sarah Palin

Palin Can’t Outsmart Letterman

Palin has spent much of her public life in feuds with the state legislature, with her ex-brother-in-law, with John McCain’s staff, with Levi Johnston’s family. An early fight with the chairman of Alaska’s Oil & Gas Commission paved the way to the governor’s office. She mostly wins, especially when the target is as easy, say, as a high-school dropout whose mother is under federal indictment. The Johnstons make the Palins look like Rockefellers.

Isn’t making a federal case out of a tasteless joke exactly what the right-wing loves to ridicule feminists for doing?

But picking a fight with a trained comedian, refusing to accept his apology, and continuing to battle after the white flag is shown reveals a complete lack of political sophistication.

Letterman apologized. The Right and Palin herself made the situation worse by trying to imply there was some hidden message within the top ten list that involved Palin’s younger daughter. Thus its Palin and the Republican bloggers and their deeply bizarre twisting of words and projections of their own fetid imaginations that now owe Letterman an apology. We know Palin doesn’t admit mistakes or act with a little grace. Because of the way she conducts her political life she has used her family and friends in a way that the political and the private have become nearly indistinquishable. Make a joke about her behavior and she has invariably held up one of her kids as a shield. Shameless behavior which hurts her children and insults the values of more moderate Americans who, if they haven’t already are beginning to see a trend where Palin is not a major player in a political movement, but more like a eccentric contestant on a reality show.

Obama on DOMA: He IS Keeping A Promise. Offers up some very valid reasons why Obama and the DOJ defended DOMA. I understand the legal reasoning think Obama is doing the right thing. Yet as Andrew Sullivan points out, the legal reasoning is sound, but what’s with the language used in the DOJ brief that included references/comparisons to incest and the ridiculous link to taxes is indefensible. This was a legal situation, not a ticking time bomb. Holder couldn’t have reached out to some legal eagles from the gay community to explain the situation and get their feed back on the language being used in the brief.

Speaking of jokes and the subjectivity of humor, the Conservative echo chamber’s attempts to portray a neo-nazi white supremacist as a liberal would make for a good skit on the Stephen Colbert Show, ‘Right-Wing’ Rhetoric on Hold After Museum Shooting , Conservatives Reject Association With James von Brunn

“Von Brunn would have been banned within his first three comments of posting at RedState, but would likely have enjoyed a long career as a recommended diarist at DailyKos.” Michelle Malkin, a conservative columnist who spent several days asking why President Obama did not immediately respond to the murder of Pvt. William Long, pointed to von Brunn’s hatred of neoconservatives and cited an FBI visit to the offices of the Weekly Standard as proof that he was an “equal opportunity hater.”

“From what I can tell,” explained Jonah Goldberg, the author of the 2008 bestseller “Liberal Fascism” and a writer for National Review, “his hatreds echoed the kind of stuff we hear from the Kos crowd, Chris Matthews, Andrew Sullivan et al.” Goldberg called Von Brunn “objectively crazy,” but argued that “his hatreds would be easier to find at an ANSWER rally than at CPAC.”

Though its hard to tell some days not all Conservatives are racists, anti-Semites and obviously most Republicans are not murderers. It might take a couple posts since there are hundreds a week, but Kos would have booted a racist in a heartbeat. We’re back to content and comments again with the Right claiming despite tons of proof to the contrary that everything they write is sweetness and light: Just two weeks ago Sen. James Inhofe said that President Obama was un-American, Rev Pat Robertson called Obama a socialist ( do any conservatives ever read any actual political science texts). Malkin and Redstate have also attempted to portray Brunn as liberal because he was some variant of 9-11 truther. Take a trip over to  Stormfront and there are plenty of posts that try to portray 9-11 as an inside job; a conspiracy between the U.S. government and Israel – which is in keeping with a well established aspect of the far right’s history – anti-Semitism.

Summer sailing wallpaper. When I was a kid someone taught me to sail in a little Sunfish sailboat.

When Conservative Extremists Murder, Blame Democrats

Just imagine

If radical Muslims had carried out terrorist attacks in Kansas and Washington DC over the past five days, we might be trying to pass legislation giving the president the legal authority to place people in preventive detention, and Daniel Pipes would be implying that we need to round up Arab-Americans (correction: Muslims) and put them in relocation camps.

But it was only a couple of old white guys, so our civil liberties remain unthreatened.

Lets imagine the Right’s attempt to portray the murderers of doctors and Holocaust Museum guards is their version of a bad joke by a late night comedian. Sure it would be in bad taste, but it would also e part of that generally rderanged “alternate reality” which the Right prefers over the fact based world adults live in. Conservatives Blame Liberals and Muslims for Holocaust Museum Shooting

First off, Beck went on his show tonight and performed perhaps the most stunning feat of pulling one out of the old anus in the history of stunning pulling one out of the ole anus feats. Beck, with a straight face mind you, looked into the camera and said that America as it stands today is a “boiling pot” fueled by extremists groups like Al Qaeda and 9/11 truthers who are sowing the seeds of extremism and hatred in this country. Then, still with a straight face, Beck also warned his viewers that more violence is likely to come in the future, that “more nutjobs are going to coming out of the woodwork now,” that all of this is part of the “perfect storm” he’s been trying to warn everyone about, a “perfect storm” which will result in a “witchhunt” that will focus on two groups of people. Can you guess who they might be?

Jews and—Conservatives!

So in Beckworld a life long right-wing extremist murdering a guard in a Holocaust Museum in part of a wave of right-wingers that are going to kill each other, in between trying to kill Jews. Beck, along with Michelle Malkin are using the rumor that James von Brunn beloned to the 9-11 truthers as proof he was not a real Conservative, like they know for a fact that no one on the Right belongs to the 9-11 conspiracy crowd . I don’t kow if all these military officers are Republicans, but they tend to think there was some kind of cover-up. Malkin’s accusations only have the slighest chance of working if she can prove beyond a reasoanble doubt that all 9-11 truthers are liberals. One 9-11 truther was Stanley Hilton, who was a senior advisor to Sen Bob Dole (R) and State Sen. Karen Johnson, R-Mesa is also on record as doubting the government’s offical account of what happened on 9-11. Malkin, Beck and the cadre as usual try to avoid facts, hode behind unsubstantiated innuendo, their own conspiacy theories and iability to face up to the fringe nuts that populate their moverment. From Malkin, White supremacist kills guard at Holocaust Museum

To that, I’d respond that our criticism was that the DHS report didn’t focus on known, specific threats, instead making generalized threats about abortion opponents and other vague and broad generalizations about conservative issues.  In fact, it never mentioned Holocaust denial at all, nor did it mention anti-semitism at all [see Update V below], either; those terms don’t appear at all in the report.(emphasis mine)

Malkin is factually wrong. From the DHS report,

(U) Exploiting Economic Downturn
(U//FOUO) Rightwing extremist chatter on the Internet continues to focus on the economy, the perceived loss of U.S. jobs in the manufacturing and construction sectors, and home foreclosures. Anti-Semitic extremists attribute these losses to a deliberate conspiracy conducted by a cabal of Jewish “financial elites.” These “accusatory” tactics are employed to draw new recruits into rightwing extremist groups and further radicalize those already subscribing to extremist beliefs. DHS/I&A assesses this trend is likely to accelerate if the economy is perceived to worsen.

Grief, Shock After a ‘Gentle Giant’ Loses His Life in the Line of Duty

Colleagues called Stephen T. Johns “Big John,” for he was well over 6 feet tall. But mostly friends recalled the security guard’s constant courtesy and friendliness.

“A soft-spoken, gentle giant,” said Milton Talley, a former employee of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, where Johns was killed yesterday in the line of duty — shot, authorities said, by an avowed white supremacist who entered the museum with a rifle.

Vincent Thomas Bridge Twilight wallpaper, Avoid Creating Martyrs, The War on Reality

Vincent Thomas Bridge Twilight wallpaper. The Vincent Thomas Bridge is a suspension bridge crossing the Los Angeles Harbor in California.

Difficult to believe but the story creating the most buzz in blogtopia is David Letterman’s Top Ten list with a joke about Governor Palin – you can read the complete list here, Top Ten Highlights of Sarah Palin’s Trip to New York. The flight attendant joke was in poor taste, but I’ve been watching Letterman for years. From the 90s and even up through Bush’s two terms the jokes about Bill Clinton and his real, imagined or greatly exaggerated indiscretions were a very regular source of Letterman material. Some of it was funny, some not and some in poor taste. As the whining mobs on the right feign fainting spells in outrage, the rest of us know that Letterman did Palin a favor by adding yet another notch on Palin and the Right’s endless game of Martyrdom. Rather then deal with the issues and Palin’s absurd takes on governance and relevant issues, the Right gets to deflect criticism by citing yet another incident in which poor Sarah was victimized by the media. All the while pretending that the endless jokes directed at former President Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the non-stop, deeply egregious and unfounded epitaphs directed at President Obama mean nothing. The words that come out of Palin’s own mouth are arguably more damning then Letterman’s acerbic sense of humor,

Hannity: …The price of oil is going up again.  It’s not quite at $140 a barrel, but it’s on its way up to $70 and $80…

Palin:  Yeah, well and I thank God it’s not at $140.  You know people say, “Hey, Alaska!  85% of your state budget is based on the price of a barrel of oil.  Aren’t you glad the price is going up?”    I say, “No!”  The fewer dollars that the state of Alaska government has, the fewer dollars we spend.  And that’s good for our families and for the private sector.

As many might remember Alaska is one of the fiscally easiest states to govern because the state and the residents get a direct share of oil revenues. Republicans frequently, abet inadvertently, make the case that working class Americans are actually better off with lower incomes. Thanks to Palin for once making the Republican stance on income distribution crystal clear.

Another trip in the way back machine, Without a Doubt By RON SUSKIND

In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn’t like about Bush’s former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House’s displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn’t fully comprehend — but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

The aide said that guys like me were ”in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who ”believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ”That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. ”We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.

Now along comes WaPo columnist, Fox News contributor and darling of the fringe Right, Charles Krauthammer, Fox News has ‘created an alternate reality’ for its viewers.

In his acceptance speech, Krauthammer lauded Fox News channel, which he said has “done a great service to the American polity” and for “single-handedly breaking up the intellectual and ideological monopoly that for decades exerted hegemony (to use a favorite lefty cliché) over the broadcast media.” But his praise took a strange turn when he extolled the “genius” of Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes for creating an “alternate reality” for its viewers…

Obviously humor is subjective, but its  sad commentary of the Right’s war on things that really matter where they find a bad joke reason for hollow outrage yet embrace their inability to deal with facts and reality.

In sad, but true and not so funny news, America’s Sea of Red Ink Was Years in the Making

There are two basic truths about the enormous deficits that the federal government will run in the coming years.

The first is that President Obama’s agenda, ambitious as it may be, is responsible for only a sliver of the deficits, despite what many of his Republican critics are saying. The second is that Mr. Obama does not have a realistic plan for eliminating the deficit, despite what his advisers have suggested.

The New York Times analyzed Congressional Budget Office reports going back almost a decade, with the aim of understanding how the federal government came to be far deeper in debt than it has been since the years just after World War II. This debt will constrain the country’s choices for years and could end up doing serious economic damage if foreign lenders become unwilling to finance it.

Mr. Obama — responding to recent signs of skittishness among those lenders — met with 40 members of Congress at the White House on Tuesday and called for the re-enactment of pay-as-you-go rules, requiring Congress to pay for any new programs it passes.

The story of today’s deficits starts in January 2001, as President Bill Clinton was leaving office. The Congressional Budget Office estimated then that the government would run an average annual surplus of more than $800 billion a year from 2009 to 2012. Today, the government is expected to run a $1.2 trillion annual deficit in those years.

You can think of that roughly $2 trillion swing as coming from four broad categories: the business cycle, President George W. Bush’s policies, policies from the Bush years that are scheduled to expire but that Mr. Obama has chosen to extend, and new policies proposed by Mr. Obama.

If Obama and Democrats do not produce a plan that shows verifiable progress toward reducing the deficit, Obama is headed toward being a well liked, but one term wonder. Then we’ll have another conservative who will inevitably run on some form of voodoo Palinomics. Tempting to say that such a scenario will simply produce another boom and bust cycle, but I wonder if working class Americans can survive , what would probably be worse then the predicament we have now.






Black and White Rain Drops Twisted Stem wallpaper, Black and White City Night wallpaper

Black and White Rain Drops twisted stem wallpaper

Black and White City at Night V wallpaper

Hannity’s new false talking point Obama decided to “take over Fannie, take over Freddie”

Sean Hannity falsely claimed or suggested that the Obama administration acted to “take over Fannie, take over Freddie.” In fact, it was the Bush administration that made the decision to “take over” Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Freddie and Fannie Mae were also hybrid public-private entities any way – they’re GSEs. Hannity is either lying or is blabbering on about a subject on which he has done zero research. Neither is a big surprise considering Fox’s gutter level standards of journalism.

CIA Urges Judge To Keep Bush-Era Documents Sealed – Al-Qaeda Could Use Contents, Agency Says

Panetta argued that none of the 65 CIA documents immediately at issue, which the ACLU has sought for several years in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, should be released. He asked U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein to draw a legal distinction between the administration’s release in April of Justice Department memos authorizing the harsh interrogations and the CIA’s desire to keep classified its own documents detailing the specific handling of detainees at its secret facilities overseas.

He said that while the Justice Department memos discussed harsh interrogation “in the abstract,” the CIA information was “of a qualitatively different nature” because it described the interrogation techniques “as applied in actual operations.”

The “disclosure of explicit details of specific interrogations” would provide al-Qaeda “with propaganda it could use to recruit and raise funds,” Panetta said, describing the information at issue as “ready-made ammunition.” He also submitted a classified statement to the court that he said explains why detainees could use the contents to evade questions in the future, even though Obama has promised that the United States will not use the harsh interrogation techniques again.

Jameel Jaffer, director of the ACLU’s national security program, said yesterday evening that it is “grim” and “troubling” for the Obama administration to say that information about purported abuses should be withheld because it might fuel anti-American propaganda. He said that amounts to an assertion that “the greater the abuse, the more important it is that it should remain secret.” Jaffer said the ACLU is convinced that the public should have “access to the complete record of what took place in the CIA’s prisons and on whose authority.”

Its odd if not a stretch of the law as it regards Congressional oversight of the CIA that the Obama administration would claim the CIA had a right as such to destroy taped evidence. A situation where field agents are thus allowed to make law as they go. If this or another president thinks they have the legal right under national security guidelines to keep such materials secret that is at least arguable. Most of us would not buy into the other extreme where the CIA flings opens all its files and tells the media and ACLU to help itself, but it seems to the CIA and president Obama that are acting in broad strokes – claiming anything and everything is potentially damaging to an already battered reputation. It should be troubling to members of both parties that Congress’s role as watchdog on rogue activities by our security agencies get the automatic cover-up treatment. That would seem to extend the CIA’s rights into Cheneyish Fourth Branch of government territory. Glenn has more on the subject of transparency, Defeat of Graham-Lieberman and the ongoing war on transparency

A much more critical issue here is whether the President should have the power to conceal evidence about the Government’s actions on the ground that what the Government did was so bad, so wrong, so inflammatory, so lawless, that to allow disclosure and transparency would reflect poorly on our country, thereby increase anti-American sentiment, and thus jeopardize The Troops.  Once you accept that rationale — the more extreme the Government’s abuses are, the more compelling is the need for suppression — then open government, one of the central planks of the Obama campaign and the linchpin of a healthy democracy, becomes an illusion.

* * * * *

But there’s an even more vital issue at stake here.  One of the central objections to the Bush presidency was its claim that we could only Stay Safe from the Terrorists if we fundamentally altered — diluted and abandoned — our long-standing political values and legal frameworks.  That argument was repeatedly ridiculed by Obama as a “false choice.”

Its a little distrubing that any president can simply wave the national security flag to cover up any and all activities. We now know that initially there was a cover-up of the abusive activities at Abu Ghraib. There was an investigation, soldiers are sill serving time in prison and one general was fired (perhaps unfairly used as a scapegoat for orders that came down from Rumsfeld and the White House). With that kid of history behind us, all the more reason to question whether actions being taken now are in the best interests of the country or actions that pander to a powerful circle of political elites who are too old to be seeing bogeymen around every corner.

Its an old formula. Add xenophbia with a world wide fiinancial crunch and ultranationalism gets a boost. Meet Britain’s Leading Fascist. If there is one thing that could bring back America’s twisted brand of fascism-lite conservatism, it is the combination of financial panic and Republican identity politics.

Yet One More Example of Bush Pushing For the Answers He Wanted, Thou Shall Not Challenge Ed Whelan’s Hackery

Black and White Chicago River Skyline wallpaper

Mountain Peak II wallpaper

One of the problems with regular blogging is that some news stories seem like so much of the same – missing important caveats and details, read more like opinion pieces, the facts as related to previously published reports are left out – leaving a snapshot. That snapshot, that headline is exactly what the subjects of the so-called news piece want to sink in among the info saturated public, that in general has a terribly short attention span, for example, U.S. Lawyers Agreed on Legality of Brutal Tactic. OK, then. Lots of people with law degrees said that torture was legal. The poor Bush administration was simply the victim of some bad legal advice. As Glenn Greenwald notes the Bushies went to the Department of Justice, much like they went to the CIA about WMD and al-Queda connections, and pressured DOJ lawyers to come up with legal opinions that fit their agenda. Bush and Company wanted to torture subjects in part to get them to make false confessions about intelligence that was not true and ignore laws that would prevent such abhorrent behavior, What the new Jim Comey torture emails actually reveal

The New York Times was provided 3 extremely important internal Justice Department emails from April, 2005 (.pdf) — all written by then-Deputy Attorney General Jim Comey — which highlight how the Bush administration’s torture techniques became legally authorized by Bush lawyers.  As Marcy Wheeler documents, the leak to the NYT was clearly from someone eager to defend Bush officials by suggesting that Comey’s emails prove that all DOJ lawyers — even those opposed to torture on policy grounds — agreed these techniques were legal…

[   ]…Comey begins by noting that OLC lawyer Patrick Philbin had expressed numerous objections to the Bradbury memo — all of which were being ignored in the rush to give the White House what it wanted:

Comey then noted that he, too, had “grave reservations” about the DOJ legal opinion:

Does that sound to you like there was unanimity in the DOJ about the legality of these methods?

As a result of his objections, Comey went to Attorney General Alberto Gonazles to urge that the memo not be approved, but Gonzales told him that he was under extreme pressure from Dick Cheney, David Addington, Harriet Miers — and even Bush himself — to get these memos issued…

President Obama, not given nearly enough credit by conservative cheerleaders for torture, wants to move on. That simply is not possible. As time passes we’re get more leaks and more documents that become available as time passes and they become available through the Freedom of Information Act. It might be a couple decades, I forget the exact time limits, but eventually many of the conversations that Bush, Cheney etc had in the Oval Office – many of which have been recorded will also become available like the tapes from Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. History will not be kind to an administration that acted like scheming criminals more then trusted public officials that were sworn to act within the framework of the Constitution.

Conservative “hitman” Ed Whelan has been busy with almost daily hackery at the National Review’s Bench Memos, aimed at derailing Judge Sotomayor’s appointment to the Supreme Court – yes one can always depend on the Right to live down to our worse expectations. publius at Obsidian Wings has simply been doing what bloggers do, calling out Whelan on some opinions that were more twisted then average especially in light of the fact that most liberals and moderates would acknowledge that Whelan is a well qualified lawyer capable of making the kind of rational disagreements that we should be having rather then these -Hannity-Limbaugh-Coulterish style mud slingings. pubius is or was an anonymous blogger, so out of the petty revenge Whelan outs publius – Stay Classy Ed Whelan

And to be clear – the proximate cause was that Whelan got mad that I criticized him in a blog post.  More specifically, he’s mad that Eugene Volokh made him look rather silly – and he’s lashing out at me for pointing that out, and publishing my name.

For background, Whelan and others have been harshly criticizing Sotomayor for her comment that courts are “where policy is made.”  Whelan has repeatedly seized on this comment (in print and on TV), and is demagoguing it (much like he did with selective and inflammatory readings of Koh).

The problem, though, is that it’s not even controversial that courts consider policy, which Whelan knows full well.  Volokh, responding to one of these Whelan posts, wrote an excellent and definitive blog post explaining in great detail why courts do consider policy (something Orin Kerr echoed a while back too).   Volokh’s post embarrassed Whelan because it decimated his argument – and now he’s mad.

Whelan took a beating from both publius and Eugene Volokh, but since Volokh doesn’t write under a pseudonym, Whelan couldn’t take any revenge directed at him – Ed would have been forced to deal in the facts of the argument at hand, something he seems unable to do – which n part explains the hackish nature of his posts at National Review. Supreme Court Justices and “Policy Implications”

1. In some cases, the Supreme Court acts as a common-law-making court, or something very close to it, and there is (and should be) very little controversy about this. Admiralty law is one example. The defenses to federal criminal charges are another. (Federal crimes are legislatively defined, but the defenses are not.) The law of many federal remedies is in some measure another — consider the preliminary injunction standard, which calls for considering the consequences of granting or denying the injunction, or consider the qualified immunity caselaw, which has largely been developed with an eye towards the consequences of providing more or less liability. ( Eugene Volokh entire post is rather lengthy, but worth reading. The post, contrary to Whelan’s assertions takes up much more then the issue of a lame legal profession inside joke that told by Sotomayor).

So Whelan got in some petty revenge against a blogger, but at the end of the day several bloggers have taken Whelan to the woodshed both in terms of the history of the federal courts and on points of legal precedent. Ed cannot reply because without hiding behind the hacery he would have to acknowledge facts of which he is well aware. While its fun to watch a denizen of the Right shoot themselves in the foot, it still doesn’t make up for the harm Ed may have done to publius’s family, colleagues and friends.

Conservative Knuckle Draggers of the Week

Conservative Knuckle draggers of the week, Inhofe Rips Obama As ‘Un-American,’ Suggests He’s On The Side Of Terrorists, (Video) Rev. Pat Robertson on President Obama’s attempts to stop the depression left by Bush: “Obama and his crew are taking advantage of this to insert socialism and government control” and Sean Hannity told Fox News viewers that the president “decided to give 9/11 sympathizers a voice on the world stage.” Washington Monthly has the part of the speech that Inhofe apparently cannot understand and leaves spin miester Hannity gasping for a hold on reality,

“The first issue that we have to confront is violent extremism in all of its forms.

“In Ankara, I made clear that America is not — and never will be — at war with Islam. (Applause.) We will, however, relentlessly confront violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security — because we reject the same thing that people of all faiths reject: the killing of innocent men, women, and children. And it is my first duty as President to protect the American people.

“The situation in Afghanistan demonstrates America’s goals, and our need to work together. Over seven years ago, the United States pursued al Qaeda and the Taliban with broad international support. We did not go by choice; we went because of necessity. I’m aware that there’s still some who would question or even justify the events of 9/11. But let us be clear: Al Qaeda killed nearly 3,000 people on that day. The victims were innocent men, women and children from America and many other nations who had done nothing to harm anybody. And yet al Qaeda chose to ruthlessly murder these people, claimed credit for the attack, and even now states their determination to kill on a massive scale. They have affiliates in many countries and are trying to expand their reach. These are not opinions to be debated; these are facts to be dealt with.”

It is well past time for Inhofe to retire if after listening to or reading that speech there is some question as to President Obama’s patriotism and commitment to fighting extremism.

A staunch far Right nationlists named Marcus Epstein, a supporter of racists Pat Buchanan and Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) was arrested.

“On July 7, 2007, at approximately 7:15 p.m. at Jefferson and M Street, Northwest, in Washington, D.C., defendant [Marcus Epstein] was walking down the street making offensive remarks when he encountered the complainant, Ms. [REDACTED], who is African-American. The defendant uttered, ‘Nigger,’ as he delivered a karate chop to Ms. [REDACTED]’s head.”

Sounds pretty crazy, but if you live in the south and know any police officers, not the strangest or most violent story that they can tell about Saturday nights and drunks, but still a pretty damning event. In light of the right’s attempt to defend Epstein its important to note that he plead guilty. Pat Buchanan’s  sister writes ,

The stories about Marcus were for the most part inaccurate and incomplete.  Yet, the left wing bloggers ran with this little factoid because the assailant worked for organizations associated with Pat Buchanan and Tom Tancredo. What happened next was a modern day lynching by a faceless, angry, ignorant mob who reveled in the collective assault on their victim.

To call Bay Buchanan’s “lynching” analogy an odd combo of hypocrisy and lunacy is to be generous. The link above provides the link to her full column at, where else, but the flaming far right site Human Events. Bay goes on to describe Epstein’s mental/emotional troubles. If true, Epstein certainly does have some personal problems which deserve sympathy, but as David Weigel points out at the Washington Independent,

I usually despise the “what if X has said this” framing of a controversy (which Bay Buchanan used to call Sotomayor a “bigot”), but consider — how would Buchanan and Tancredo react if, to pick an example totally at random, a Latina judge employed a top-level assistant who had written thousands of words for a Hispanic nationalist site, and who had pled guility to hitting a white woman and calling her a “cracker”? Would they stay mum or worry, publicly, about the possible “lynching” of this employee? Or would they, you know, call this judge a racist?

Can one also imgine the reaction if some blogger of what ever political or religious persuasion had tried to defend the recent murderer of Pvt. William Long by Abdul Hakim Mujahid Muhammad with anecdotes about Abdul’s mental issues. Epstein has been writing ultra nationalistic far right garbage for years – Vdare and other conservative sites didn’t reject Epstein’s ranting because of his history of mental problems.  Pat Buchanan and Tom Tancredo didn’t tell Epstein to get some help and rejoin the cause when you get your personal issues straightened out. Of course Pat Buchanan wouldn’t offer or is incapable of offering any kind of wise guidance to anyone considering that Pat’s history, Race-baiting lowlights from Rush Limbaugh and Pat Buchanan, two of the pundits who say Sonia Sotomayor is racist. By Joe Conason

In Washington media circles, Pat Buchanan is a well-liked and avuncular figure, presumably owing to his personal qualities rather than his crank politics, but for him to be encouraged to pontificate endlessly on the subject of race on television is worse than ludicrous. The late William F. Buckley Jr. expelled Buchanan from the pages of the National Review many years ago for his crudely anti-Semitic rants, which included a very unattractive tinge of admiration for Hitler.

As Conason points out most modern conservatives are not anti-semantic. Though it is also ture that America’s last remnants of anti-semantism remain largely on the right-wing of the political spectrum.

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