Currier and Ives The Schooner Cambria – Conservatism is a Never Ending Con-Game

 Currier & Ives The Schooner Cambria

 Currier & Ives The Schooner Cambria [between 1856 and 1907]. Hand-colored lithograph.

  Schooner, American,19th Century. Oil on canvas. Artist Unknown

  Schooner, American, 19th Century. Oil on canvas. Artist Unknown. This painting is in the permenet collection of The National Gallery in Washington, D.C. if you ever get a chance to visit. Though that does not mean it is always on display. Depending on how late this was done in the 19th century it could be classified as American”folk” art, like that produced by Grandma Moses. I’m not an art history expert, though from my reading what distinguishes the style from mainstream art schools of the time was the flatness and angles. What it lacked in technique it made up for in composition and color. This example seems very effective in conveying the spectacle and importance of seeing such a majestic schooner of that size with the child and woman waving.

Interior view of a saloon on a packet ship

Interior view of a saloon on a sailing packet ship. A packet ship was not a kind of ship like a schooner or frigate, but any ship that carried cargo, passengers and mail. This illustration is from a book published in 1928, but the salon itself is from the very late 1800s. Except for the lack of upholstered furniture, not terrible accommodations.

 

Dean Baker echoes Paul Krugman’s recent column, The US Should Grow the Deficit, Not Shrink ItThe US economy is too fragile to reduce spending and raise taxes. Fiscal austerity is a recipe for worse pain.

There is an astounding level of confusion surrounding the current US deficit. There are three irrefutable facts about the deficits:

First, the United States has large deficits because the collapse of the housing bubble sank the economy.

Second, if we had smaller deficits the main result would slower growth and higher unemployment.

Third, large projected long-term deficits are the result of a broken health care system, not reckless government “entitlement” programs.

The first point can be easily shown by examining the Congressional Budget Office’s projections from January 2008 (pdf), before it recognized the impact of the collapse of the housing bubble on the economy. The deficit in 2007 was just 1.2 percent of GDP. The deficit was projected to stay near 1.5 percent of GDP until well into the current decade, even if the Bush tax cuts did not expire.

With deficits of this magnitude, the debt-to-GDP ratio was actually shrinking. In fact, the deficit exploded.

It wasn’t because of a surge in reckless spending and/or a splurge of tax cuts, it exploded because tax collections plummeted when the economy went into a downturn. In addition, we increased spending on programs like unemployment insurance. We also had temporary stimulus measures that were explicitly intended to raise the deficit in order to boost the economy.

This reasoning and facts are one of the reasons conservatives drool over the prospect of the death of print journalism – except for Murdoch style tabloid journalism. If you count the morning news programs the big three networks only do about three and a half hours of news programing a day. When is the last time they regularly featured an economists making Keynesian arguments for economic recovery. The stimulus did work. American business has tons of money in the bank, they’re not hiring because demand for goods and services is soft. Get people jobs and that problem stops being self perpetuating.

How is it that Mike Huckabee is a minister and one of the more morally reprehensible people in America with a big soapbox at Fox News, Fox Civil War: Huckabee Attacks Rove For “Absolutely Repulsive” Anti-Tea Party Group

HUCKABEE: I think Karl needs to go through a metamorphosis. You know this idea that somehow a handful of Republicans are going to attack Republicans that the handful doesn’t like? I find that repulsive. I find it absolutely repulsive. This is not how you build a strong Republican Party, is by going after the people in your party who are different than you are. This is fratricide. And if the Republican Party wants to render itself utterly, utterly irrelevant, the best way to do it is to become several little parties within the party, which is apparently what some folks seem to think we ought to do. When you marginalize the Tea Party, marginalize the pro-life and pro-family part of the party, you lose every election coming up in the future.

As far as I can tell Huckabee is under the bizarre delusion that he and like-minded conservative are pro-life because they think the government should determine what happens to a clump of cells, instead of the women in whose body they reside. There are many cultural issues surrounding the well being of the American family, but the single biggest factor in their well being is economic. While Clinton stopped the hemorrhaging in the 1990s, households have been losing ground since the late 70s because of wage inequality and health care costs. The conservative answer has been the parrot call of let the market decide. So the market decied that the Fortune 500 CEOs are somehow worth 380 times that of the average workers. And while health care corporations practice profit making, they are not constrained by markets in the way a potato farmer is. Thus annual health care cost inflation has averaged 14% a year while national inflation has averaged under 2%. Huckabee will start looking a lot less like an Elmer Gentry huckster the day he stands up for women’s s autonomy over their own bodies and starts actually doing something for American families. A for his differences with Rove. Since conservatives are so big on social-Darwinism how about they have a free- for- all fighting match. The survivor gets to determine the direction of conservatism’s next wave of hypocrisy and massive failures to accomplish anything for the country they say they care about.

Conservative Sleazebags at Fox Finds New Way To Twist Panetta’s Benghazi Testimony

Fox News contributor Byron York suggested that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s congressional testimony on Benghazi indicated that President Obama failed to order the military to protect Americans under attack. However, Panetta testified that Obama explicitly directed him to take military action to protect American lives.

[ ]…During the hearing, when Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) asked Panetta about conversations he had had with the president during the attack, Panetta testified, “We had just picked up the information that something was happening, that there was an apparent attack going on in Benghazi. And I informed the president of that fact, and he at that point directed both myself and General Dempsey to do everything we needed to do to try to protect lives there.” Panetta later reiterated, “[Obama] basically said, ‘Do whatever you need to do to be able to protect our people there.’ ”

As the Associated Press reported, “Panetta said he and Dempsey were meeting with Obama when they first learned of the Libya assault. He said the president told them to deploy forces as quickly as possible.”

Indeed, Panetta did deploy forces. The AP stated: “Between midnight and 2 a.m. on the night of the attack, Panetta issued orders, telling two Marine anti-terrorism teams based in Rota, Spain, to prepare to deploy to Libya, and he ordered a team of special operations forces in Central Europe and another team of special operations forces in the U.S. to prepare to deploy to a staging base in Europe.”

While a six-member quick reaction team already in Benghazi and reinforcements from the U.S embassy in Tripoli did help defend the Benghazi consulate, the AP article went on to note that unfortunately “[d]efense officials have repeatedly said that even if the military had been able to get units there a bit faster, there was no way they could have gotten there in time to make any difference in the deaths of the four Americans.”

The independent Accountability Review Board, which was set up by the State Department to investigate the Benghazi attack, determined there was “no evidence of any undue delays in decision making or denial of support from Washington or from the military combatant commanders,” and continued, “Quite the contrary: the safe evacuation of all U.S. government personnel from Benghazi twelve hours after the initial attack … was the result of exceptional U.S. government coordination and military response and helped save the lives of two severely wounded Americans.”

Here’s a great slogan for Republicans going into the 2014 mid-terms: “We exploit tragedy and death better than the other guys. We’ll beat it like a dead horse for so long it will begin to sound like worn squealing brakes in the background.” Conservatives deserve some special credit for the incredible energy they put into delusional thinking and the perpetual con-game, they call political principles. Another good example, the conservative fixation with rewarding utter incompetence. How can they carry on the crying game over Benghazi and then, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) Keeps Seat On Intelligence Committee Despite Discredited Anti-Muslim Witch Hunt 

Boehner (Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) in his statement making the announcement praised the lawmakers “charged sacred task of supporting that mission by ensuring the intelligence community has the resources and tools it needs to stay ahead of the evolving threats we face, and by conducting effective oversight of the administration.”

The last “threat” Bachmann was ahead of was keeping her husband from being indicted for Medicare fraud.

Sunrise Earth wallpaper – Dorner and The Michelle Malkin School of Journalism

Sunrise Earth wallpaper

 

Remember when one of the worse peace time mass murders in history broke in Norway by far Right conservative Anders Behring Breivik. As soon as the at news broke, ace conservative “journalist” Michelle Malkin was tweeting away about how it was the work of Isalmic jihadists. In addition to her shoot first get the facts later brand of reportage – and we’re not talking about facts unfloding and she just reported what a police or offical said as events unfolded – Malkin has a habit of being apologetically sleazy. Much like a middle-school smart ass who never out grew her worse impulses, Malkin has always been happy to make snide smears first, and forget the actual reportage. With the news of the serial murders by former police officer Christopher Dorner and the publication of his supposed manifesto, Malkin continues the conservative standard for fair and balanced, The Blame Righty mob falls silent By Michelle Malkin

Question: What will this rabid Blame Righty mob do now that an alleged triple-murderer has singled out prominent lefties in the media and Hollywood for fawning praise as part of his crazed manifesto advocating cop-killing?

Answer: Evade, deflect, ignore and whitewash.

This week, former Los Angeles Police Department Officer Christopher Dorner allegedly shot and killed three innocent people in cold blood. He was the subject of a massive manhunt as of Thursday afternoon. Dorner posted an 11,000-word manifesto on Facebook that outlined his chilling plans to target police officers.

CNN headlined its story on the rant: “Alleged cop-killer details threats to LAPD and why he was driven to violence.” MSNBC reported: “Manifesto: Alleged Revenge Shooter Named Targets.” KTLA-TV in Los Angeles went with: “Christopher Dorner’s Manifesto (Disturbing Content and Language).”

There was a curious, blaring omission in both the headlines and the stories from these supposedly objective outlets, though. Dorner expressed rather pointed, explicit views of news personalities and celebrities who have influenced, entertained and uplifted him.

Note the bold (mine) in that last paragraph. Malkin links to what Dorner wrote. It is available on-line in several places, which she lists. So if she found it, she linked to it, the manifesto is up for anyone to read , where is the “blaring omission”. Where is the media hiding stuff that Malkin says is a secret. Are they hiding it in plain sight. A modern case of the Purloined Letter? Does Malkin read her rants back to herself and check them for coherence. Let’s pause for a second and discuss that manifesto. BuzzFeed says that the version released has been highly edited.  Malkin has probably not jumped the shark as badly as with Brevik, but is basing her post on a document that may or may not be the complete original. I tend to think that even if only half the stuff in it is true Dorner has some evil impulse issues. If the the parts about police department racism and brutality are true, still not even close to being an excuse for murder. For the time being let’s say the snips she quotes remain in an unedited version, that means some other parts, that distract some Malkin’s spin of Dorner as a crazed “lefty”: Fox News/Hannity Uses Ex-LAPD Cop Killer To Dishonestly Smear Liberals

Oddly enough, Hannity left out Dorner’s support for Republican Chris Christie (“You’re America’s no s*** taking uncle. … Your leadership is greatly needed.”), how Dorner said that the only presidential candidate he supported in 2012 was Republican Jon Huntsman, and how George H.W. Bush was “always one of my favorite presidents.”

It turned into a trifecta of political opportunism for the “fair and balanced” network that allowed Hannity to a) play the media victim because b) the “liberal media” was showing its hypocrisy in c) not reporting the liberal/Democratic affiliations of Dorner the way you know it would have if he were a conservative.

Dorner hearts Bush 43 and Chris Christie, and Malkin thinks the guy is a liberal. Maybe, but he seems to belong to the cult of personalities. He sees and hears public officials, newscasters and celebrities and either falls in love or hate with them. Dorner was a police officer and is ex-military. Maybe he did have legitimate mainstream liberal leanings on some issues – racism as an issue obviously meant a lot to him, but antisemitism and police corruption as well. It is safe to say that he snapped. Liberals don’t stand for gunning down innocent people. That is certainly not something he got listening To Joe Biden, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. None of the newscasters or celebrities he admired have advocated murder. So how can one reasonably say that they are to blame. That is where Malkin and the conservative pile-on comes in. They do not have to put together a reasonable case for cause and effect, because they don’t care about the truth.

I cannot vouch for this site, but he claims to have the entire unedited-uncensored version. Here are what “glaring omission” Malkin missed,

Those lesbian officers in supervising positions who go to work, day in day out, with the sole intent of attempting to prove your misandrist authority (not feminism) to degrade male officers. You are a high value target.
Those Asian officers who stand by and observe everything I previously mentioned other officers participate in on a daily basis but you say nothing, stand for nothing and protect nothing. Why? Because of your usual saying, ” I……don’t like conflict”. You are a high value target as well.

….I will utilize OSINT to discover your residences, spouses workplaces, and children’s schools. IMINT to coordinate and plan attacks on your fixed locations. Its amazing whats on NIPR. HUMINT will be utilized to collect personal schedules of targets. I never had the opportunity to have a family of my own, I’m terminating yours. Quan, Anderson, Evans, and BOR members Look your wives/husbands and surviving children directly in the face and tell them the truth as to why your children are dead. ( one of the more disturbing parts)

…Wayne LaPierre, President of the NRA, you’re a vile and inhumane piece of shit. You never even showed 30 seconds of empathy for the children, teachers, and families of Sandy Hook. You deflected any type of blame/responsibility and directed it toward the influence of movies and the media. You are a failure of a human being. May all of your immediate and distant family die horrific deaths in front of you. ( if he would have left off the last sentence he would have nailed it).

…General Colin Powell, your book “My American Journey” solidified my decision to join the military after college. I had always intended to serve, but your book and journey motivated me. You are an inspiration to all Americans and influenced me greatly. ( Powell was and still is a conservative)

….Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five” is the greatest piece of music ever, period. ( if everyone one that thinks this is a violent liberal, than some of the conservatives I know are leading double lives).

…Anthony Bourdain, you’re a modern renaissance man who epitomizes the saying “too cool for school”.
Larry David, Kevin Hart, the late Patrice Oneal, Lisa Lampanelli, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Louis CK, Dave Chapelle, Jon Stewart, Wanda Sykes, Dennis Miller, and Jeff Ross are pure geniuses. ( after 9-11 Dennis Miller turned into a humorless conservative smart-ass, an Ann Coulter with a bad beard).

 

 

Kick That Can

John Boehner, the speaker of the House, claims to be exasperated. “At some point, Washington has to deal with its spending problem,” he said Wednesday. “I’ve watched them kick this can down the road for 22 years since I’ve been here. I’ve had enough of it. It’s time to act.”

Actually, Mr. Boehner needs to refresh his memory. During the first decade of his time in Congress, the U.S. government was doing just fine on the fiscal front. In particular, the ratio of federal debt to G.D.P. was a third lower when Bill Clinton left office than it was when he came in. It was only when George W. Bush arrived and squandered the Clinton surplus on tax cuts and unfunded wars that the budget outlook began deteriorating again.

As bad as their economic lies are, the conservative dedication to being ingenious is even worse.

CNS and Liberty Dot Com Serve Up Some Conservative Comedy

Flowering Dogwoods wallpaper

Flowering Dogwoods wallpaper

 

This columnist from the extreme Right site CNS should be a comedian, Karl Rove Is Not a Conservative

Now, with an assist from The New York Times, Rove is presenting himself as a conservative leader. On Sunday, the Times reported that American Crossroads, the super PAC Rove started, was beginning a new program called “The Conservative Victory Project.”

For as long as I have been reading about culture and politics the Right has tried to portray ever word from the New York Times as Marxist propaganda. Now the NYT is helping Karl Rove by covering, thus giving publicity to, Rove’s far Right organizations and plans. Karl should operate in the dark with no media coverage because that is, according to CNS, how the media in a democracy is supposed to operate.

Weekly Standard editor Fred Barnes coined a more candid, if oxymoronic, description of the Bush-Rove approach to government. In a 2003 commentary in The Wall Street Journal, Barnes said Bush was “a big government conservative.” Big government conservatives, Barnes explained, “simply believe in using what would normally be seen as liberal means — activist government — for conservative ends. And they’re willing to spend more and increase the size of government in the process.”

In fact, conservatives believe the proper end of all federal elected officials is to preserve the limits on government that are spelled out in our Constitution and that protect the God-given rights of individuals against an overreaching state.

Yawn. This is just the old there was nothing wrong with conservatism from 2000 to 2008 ( 6 years of which conservatives controlled all three branches of government), it was personnel problems. Change the personnel with real conservatives and you get …well people with shinier jack boots or whatever. Government has always expanded under conservative governance. Bush and a compliant conservative Congress gave us the modern surveillance state, lied us into a three trillion dollar unpaid war, lost Bin Laden and gave the pharmaceutical industry a gift called Medicare part D ( part D was not a terrible plan, but conservatives passed the spending part without passing the legislation to pay for it – also typically conservative). Most readers already know this, but for those that do not, conservative terms like “small government” are code. What they mean is that he federal government does not have the right to make sure your drinking way does not have toxic pollutants in it, cannot regulate pet food even if poorly regulated food poisons the family pet. It is code for paying workers less than a living wage because that is apparently what God intended, while the elite buy elevators for their car collection. They belive dismantling public education and forcing home schooling on everyone will bring back the glory days of 1850. Like Rand Paul they belive big govmint overeach is when we have laws that include everyone in the common economy, including people of color.
CNS also states a sundry statistics that are made up out of thin hot air. One example, he says standardized test scores are down, they are not. Public schools as a whole are doing as well if not better than private schools.

The comedy doesn’t stop there, Conspiracy Theory of the Day: Obama Death Squads Targeting Gun Rights Activists

What do you get when you combine the president’s ability to secretly kill American citizens and the recent push to restrict gun access? One of the most bizarre anti-Obama conspiracy theories ever—and it takes a lot to win that prize.

Various tea party activists, libertarian websites and other conspiracy-minded Obama haters are claiming that Russian security forces have discovered that Obama is about to unleash “death squads” across America to assassinate defenders of the Second Amendment. According to Liberty.com, one of the sites perpetuating this latest story, Russian intelligence has outlined the whole nefarious plot in a memo for President Vladimir Putin, detailing the Obama’s administration’s dispatch of “VIPER teams…which is the acronym for Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response Team, a programme run by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and whose agents terrify millions of Americans with Nazi-like Gestapo tactics on a daily basis at airports and who report to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).”

I’ve read that the most convincing lies are the ones with a lot of detail. Liberty.com, an oxymoron, has crested a virtual conservative-libertarian graphic novel of bizarre details.

Great East River Suspension Bridge 1885 – The Drone Strikes Merry Go Round

  Grand birds eye view of the Great East River Suspension Bridge. Connecting the cities of New York & Brooklyn showing also the splendid panorama of the bay and part of New York.

  Grand birds eye view of the Great East River Suspension Bridge. “Connecting the cities of New York & Brooklyn showing also the splendid panorama of the bay and part of New York.” Currier & Ives.

 

Where to start with the current wave of controversy over when, who and where the President ( current or in the future) can use drone strikes to kill enemy combatants, including Americans suspected of being enemy combatants. This somewhat breathless report from Michael Isikoff lays out most of the details, Justice Department memo reveals legal case for drone strikes on Americans

A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” — even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.

The 16-page memo, a copy of which was obtained by NBC News, provides new details about the legal reasoning behind one of the Obama administration’s most secretive and controversial polices: its dramatically increased use of drone strikes against al-Qaida suspects abroad, including those aimed at American citizens, such as the September 2011 strike in Yemen that killed alleged al-Qaida operatives Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. Both were U.S. citizens who had never been indicted by the U.S. government nor charged with any crimes.

The memo is news, but the issue has been the same since 2009. While I generally side with Glenn Greenwald and the ACLU on civil liberty issues, I thought they jumped the shark on Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. That is not to say they do not bring up some important legal/constitutional issues – which Scott Lemieux gets into, License to Kill..

Much of the coverage of the memo, including Isikoff’s story, focuses on the justifications offered by the Obama administration for killing American citizens, including Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan (two alleged Al Qaeda operatives killed by a 2011 airstrike in Yemen.) In some respects, this focus is misplaced. If military action is truly justified, then it can be exercised against American citizens (an American fighting for the Nazis on the battlefield would not have been entitled to due process.) Conversely, if military action is not justified, extrajudicial killings of non-Americans should hardly be less disturbing than the extrajudicial killing of an American citizen. The crucial question is whether the safeguards that determine when military action is justified are adequate.

If some Americans fought on the side of the Nazis during WW II ( it does seem there were a few and they were killed) they would have been considered fair targets. There was a German American Bund, but they were more domestic thugs than enemy combatants. We do know that many of the French were allies (Free French), but the Vichy Regime sided with the Nazis so they were fair game in enemy combat. Though at the time the only equivalent to using drones would have been carpet bombing, which was much more indiscriminate in killing civilians than the current use of drones. And certainly the use of atomic weapons against the Imperialist Japanese was far less discriminant than drones. So the use of such tactics has been well established for use against declared enemies. al-Qaida suspects abroad would fall under that heading. Kevin Drum at Motherjones, who is certainly not known as a war monger, read the Prospect piece and wrote,

The more I’ve thought about this, the more I’ve come to agree with this position: If we’re at war, and if targeted killings of enemy combatants are legal, then U.S. citizenship is irrelevant. If you’ve joined up with enemy forces, you’re fair game. Conversely, if the justification in the memo is inadequate, that means the justification for targeted killings in general is inadequate. Either the entire program is justified, or none of it is.

But….even if this makes sense, I’m not sure it feels right. Comments?

Call this a bridge if you will. What the executive branch is doing is probably legal in light of past precedents. That said many of us would like the legal boundaries to be less vague. I’ll refer to the lawyers at Balkinization, Legal Justification for Drone Attacks on Citizens

The White Paper says that a citizen is eligible for death-by-drone when “an informed, high-level, official of the U.S. government has determined that the targeted individual poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States.” In my opinion, this threshold is too low. First, who counts as a high-level official? The CIA Director? The Ambassador to Pakistan? An analyst at Langley? This is not clear at all. Second, suppose that the majority view in the intelligence community is that someone does not pose an imminent threat. The standard for death, I gather, is met so long as ONE informed, high-level person thinks that a suspect poses an imminent threat. I submit that the President can always find one “senior-enough” person in his Administration with that view, so in reality the DOJ standard just gives the White House carte blanche.

Personally, I would prefer that Congress create a statutory regime for such decisions that would require the National Security Council to sign off on each of these citizen attacks before the President can proceed. But until then, the President is, I think, acting within his constitutional authority to conduct such attacks.

As though he read my mind. Until Congress spells out some hard and fast rules, certainly including who can give the green light to killing an American, the president seems to be acting within his legal boundaries. It please me to no end to see Congress act as soon as possible. Though that is unlikely to happen. Because recent history tells us that if conservative presidents are comfortable with torture and finding flimsy legal reasoning to break torture statues, there is no reason to believe that Republicans would not now be supporting a McCain or Romney ordering drone strikes and accusing anyone who even mildly disagreed as being a traitor. So Republicans might see some political gain now in using drone strikes as a gudgeon, but it all rings like typically hollow posturing from the Right.

Black and White River City Lights wallpaper, Wheels Down Jetliner wallpaper

Black and White wallpaper

Black and White River City Light wallpaper

blue skies, jet, aviation

Wheels Down Jet wallpaper

Conservatives eat their own, Karl Rove launches initiative to keep tea party candidates out of elections

The organizers of American Crossroads hope to bring electoral victory to the Republican Party by defeating unelectable tea party candidates in GOP primary races. The new super PAC, called the Conservative Victory Project, will be run by American Crossroads president Steven Law and is supported by former Bush political adviser Karl Rove.

“There is a broad concern about having blown a significant number of races because the wrong candidates were selected,” Law told the New York Times on Saturday. “We don’t view ourselves as being in the incumbent protection business, but we want to pick the most conservative candidate who can win.”

The Victory Project plans to oppose candidates like Christine O’Donnell, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock. Though running in places where Republicans were favored, the tea party-backed candidates lost the general election after defeating moderate Republicans in the primary. Many tea party candidates who were victorious in 2010, such as Allen West and Joe Walsh, also ended up being defeated by Democratic challengers in 2012.

One way to see this is as a conservative implosion. The rabid conservatism of the Allen Wests, Ted Nugents and Ann Coulters. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has tenuous control of his caucus at best. This kind of conservative infighting has been going on since the days of Barry Goldwater versus the social conservatives of the religious Right. While they have some entertainment value, this is one aspect of politics that they have in common with most Democrats. I don’t especially like Joe Manchin (D-WV). Though if I lived in West Virginia I would easily vote for him over a deeply corrupt conservative radical like John Raese. In 2014 or 16, when a conservative voter has a choice between a generic Democrat and someone not as radical Right as they’d like, they’re going to hold their nose and vote for the less than ideal righty candidate. Will there be lots of fun infighting between Karl Rove establishment types and the even wackier wing of the Right. Sure, but it would be a huge tactical mistake for any Democratic opponent to think that infighting will win the election for them.

Speaking of fun to watch, Paul Krugman Destroys Republican Liar Carly Fiorina Talking Points on Government Jobs. There can be too many govmint employees, but we’re actually at an historic low in terms of both numbers and percentages. That is one of the things dragging down the economy. Teachers spend their paychecks on cars, refrigerators and groceries. Contrary to the Fiorina mentality, their pay does not disappear down a black hole, it has a multiplier effect, adding jobs to the private sector.

Conservative Glee at Illegal and Immoral Behavior

Jim Hoft Flat Out Lies About Panetta and “Waterboarding,” Gets a Drudge Link

The Dumbest Man on the Internet resorts to a flat out lie today, and is rewarded with a headline link at Drudge Report: Defense Secretary Panetta Admits Information From Waterboarding Led US to Bin Laden (Video) | the Gateway Pundit.

Yes, waterboarding worked.
Today on Meet the Press Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta admitted that information gleaned from waterboarded detainees was used to track down al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and kill him.

“The real story was that in order to put the puzzle of intelligence together that led us to Bin Laden, there were a lot of pieces out there that were a part of that puzzle. Yes, some of it came from some of the tactics that were used at that time, interrogation tactics that were used. But the fact is we put together most of that intelligence without having to resort to that.”

Jim Hoft is such an amazing dimwit that he actually includes the quote that exposes his own brazen lies.

If you read Hoft ( The Gateway Pundit) on an even semi-regular basis it is hard not to conclude that are definitely problems with the number and quality of the neurons. Even more obvious is the example of the conservative mind at work. He reads something. It contains something, a tiny morsel of validation, and his mind only sees that, managing to ignore the larger truth. Torture is both immoral and illegal. If the Right continues to take pride in the actions of government employees and elected officals engaging in immoral and illegal activity, that says a lot about how they veiw patriotism. Some interting thoughts here, I THINK IT’S APPROPRIATE TO GO GODWIN HERE. Does the USA want to model it’s moral standards of Nazi Germany or Imperialist Japan circa WW II.

When Hoft is not defending depraved moral standards, he is engaging in them. The scene capture is from a recent post about this story, Midtown shooter gets life plus 65 years in prison

The man found guilty of murdering a woman and wounding two others in a 2011 Midtown shooting spree was sentenced to life without parole plus 65 years in prison Thursday.

Hoft links to this previous background story

During his testimony Wednesday, Thandiwe suggested that his reason for even purchasing the gun he used in the shootings was to enforce beliefs he’d developed about white people during his later years as an anthropology major at the University of West Georgia.

“I was trying to prove a point that Europeans had colonized the world, and as a result of that, we see a lot of evil today,” he said. “In terms of slavery, it was something that needed to be answered for. I was trying to spread the message of making white people mend.”

Just in case anyone was wondering what race baiting was and how the Right engages in it, this is a textbook example. This murderer was a racist. He was, and I think correctly, not found to be insane. Though we would all probably agree that he was a wacko. Hoft’s point is that you see African-Americans are out there murdering people because, well, they’re black and the ones that went to universities, which are all just  hot beds of liberal guilt, taught this wacko to go out and murder people. This recent and very tragic news, serves as a good counter-point, Top Navy SEAL sniper killed on gun range of West Texas resort

Chris Kyle, a retired Navy SEAL and the U.S. military’s most lethal sniper, was fatally shot Saturday along with another man on the gun range of Rough Creek Lodge, a posh resort just west of Glen Rose, Erath County Sheriff Tommy Bryant said.

The 25-year-old suspect was apprehended about five hours later in Lancaster, southeast of Dallas, more than 70 miles from the scene, Bryant said.

The suspect, identified as Eddie Ray Routh, 25, was pursued to a house in Lancaster by officers, including a local SWAT team. Routh again try to flee in a vehicle but was stopped about 9 p.m. after spikes were laid across a road, Bryant said.

One way to describe Routh is as a white military veteran. Which means according to Hoft and the  morally bereft commenters at his site, this means all white veterans are having their minds poisoned by the military to go out and murder military heroes. The military is no more turning out murderers anymore than librul universities are turning out racists maniacs. Hoft just gives us the very latest example of race baiting, but the far Right’s premiere blogger, Drudge, has made it a regular part of his disinformation brand of journalism.