ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Like Mosquitos to a Bright Light

As I pointed out, when the GOP needs to remind the country about how wimpy the Dems are on National Security, Karl just says "Boo!!!" and the Dems jump in headfirst.

Thanks Senator Leahy!

And some consider Karl Rove to be over-rated! Even as they themselves take the bait!

Here's OW's first post on the subject
, responding to a post at NRO by Mark Levin, who might - might - be a little more well versed on the Constitution than the Twinkiemeister.

This Call Is Between Me, You and The NSA Guy On The Line
by Oliver Willis | May 11th, 2006 | 2:36 pm

The new reality is superawesome terrific.

National Review’s Mark Levin (who once said John Kerry was Benedict Arnold):
The Constitution and precedent make clear that the president, especially during war-time, can intercept enemy communications, including if those communications involve U.S. citizens within the United States. It is absurd to argue otherwise.

If the president wants to assume wartime powers… declare war then.

Nope... never an authorization or declaration of war. Never happened.

Ahem... to quote:
(a) IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

As John Kerry said, this is primarily a law enforcement issue.

And no doubt that OW agrees...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Shhh - Don't tell anyone, but it IS a Rovian Conspiracy

Interesting analysis from Howard Fineman, although it's not being received well by those that are fond of twinkies. Here are some of Howard's relevant remarks:

Rove revamps the Republican strategy
With ratings down and an election coming up, the GOP take a new tack

By Howard Fineman
MSNBC contributor
Updated: 11:28 a.m. ET May 10, 2006


The conventional notion here is that Democrats want to “nationalize” the 2006 elections — dwelling on broad themes (that is, the failures of the Bush Administration) — while the Republicans will try to “localize” them as individual contests that have nothing to do with, ahem, the goings on in the capital.

That was before the GOP situation got so desperate. The way I read the recent moves of Karl Rove & Co., they are preparing to wage war the only way open to them: not by touting George Bush, Lord knows, but by waging a national campaign to paint a nightmarish picture of what a Democratic Congress would look like, and to portray that possibility, in turn, as prelude to the even more nightmarish scenario: the return of a Democrat (Hillary) to the White House.

Rather than defend Bush, Rove will seek to rally the Republicans’ conservative grassroots by painting Democrats as the party of tax increases, gay marriage, secularism and military weakness. That’s where the national message money is going to be spent.

Yes, because the best political strategy is always to play defense... Sorry, but the way to win elections is to talk about issues that appeal to your base and also sway independents and free-thinking voters that support the other party. You don't play an endless game of defending your candidate against the attacks from the Democrats (AND the MSM echo chamber).

So, Howard Fineman is clueless in this regard.
So the White House will try to survive by driving down the ratings of the other side. Right now, an impressive 55 percent of voters say they have a favorable view of the Democrats, one of the party’s best ratings in years. But the “favorables” of leading national Democrats are weak: 34 percent for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton; 26 percent for Sen. John Kerry; 28 percent for former Vice President Al Gore. The bottom line: As long as the Democrats remain a generic, faceless alternative, they win; Rove’s aim is to paint his version of their portrait.
Take the new GOP deal on taxes. It would, among other things, extend by two years the Bush-era’s reductions in taxes on capital gains and dividends. The claim is that doing so will sustain overall economic growth (which has been pretty impressive, even though Bush gets no credit for it.) But the real political target is somewhat narrower: the estimated 60 million Americans who own stock.

Bush and the GOP talk earnestly about their vision of an “ownership society.” And maybe it’s true that they want everybody to be part of it. In the meantime, however, they will focus on trying to secure the support, or at least the acquiescence, of voters with portfolios. They aren’t the stereotypical country club Republicans of old, by the way; they include tens of millions of middle-class Americans — ancestral Democrats — who nevertheless don’t want Congress to do anything that would depress the value of their 401 (k)s.

The idea is to get Democrats to vote against the tax-cut bill — ANY tax-cut bill. Let the op-ed pages rail about the deficit and the debt; the White House survivalists won’t care if they can find a way to accuse the Democrats of “wanting to raise taxes.”

The political apocalypse strategy
Then there is the attention being paid — and it’s just starting — to obscure Democratic characters such as Rep. John Conyers of Michigan. As of now, only political junkies know that Conyers, an African-American and old-school liberal from Detroit, would become chairman of the Judiciary Committee if the Democrats regain control of the House. Few know that Conyers has expressed interest in holding hearings on the impeachment of the president.

But before this election season is over, Republican and conservative voters are going to know a lot about Conyers. To hear the GOP tell it, the impeachment of the president will be the number one priority if Conyers gets his say, which of course Rep. Nancy Pelosi will be only too happy to give him. The aim will be to rally The GOP Base with talk of a political Apocalypse.

The issue of gay marriage will play a part. So far this year, at least seven states will have on their ballots measures to ban same-sex marriage: Alabama, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin. There are citizen-led campaigns seeking to add the issue to ballots in Arizona, Colorado and Illinois.

Sooo... the GOP is going to highlight the fact that the primary concerns of the Dems are investigations and impeachment (or, as the Twinkie-meister puts it "OVERSIGHT!!!! HALLIBURTON!!!") and contrast that with actual issues with which a majority of American voters agree with them?

How diabolical!!!!

Strength and faith wins votes
Beyond that amendment is the more general GOP theme of faith in the public square. To highlight that issue, the White House will use judicial nominations. That’s one reason why Bush is now pushing the nomination of Brett M. Kavanaugh. Faith matters — namely, that he is a conservative Catholic.
Finally, there is the war on terrorism and military strength — the only two areas in the New York Times/CBS poll where voters say they trust the GOP more than the Democrats.

Bush and Rove are daring the Democrats to turn the nomination of Gen. Michael Hayden as head of the CIA into a fight over the president’s secret eavesdropping program. That’s a fight they think they can win politically, by turning a legitimate constitutional issue into another Us v. Them morality play.

It’s worked before.

Quelle Horreur!!!! They're going to nominate a judge that shares the same judicial philosophy as the President and not that of Ruth Bader Ginsburg? Say it ain't so!!!

And they're going to highlight the lilly-livered position of the Dems when it comes to national security? Isn't that the type of issue that needs to be highlighted when elections approach?

And speaking of national security, I will admit that the Hayden nomination was a Rovian ploy... just like this information hitting USA Today. Since the Left only reads headlines, their reaction will be overplayed... and the more information the American people get about the project (ie, from testimony of Hayden or in political TV ads), the more the voter will recognize that the Dems just don't see the War on Terror as a war - but a criminal prosecution.

See Oliver Willis for the reaction of the reality-based Twinkie-obsessed community.

*** UPDATE ***
Thursday's Best Of The Web takes the same perspective that this post does, that to Fineman, the GOP shouldn't be allowed to discuss issues and only defend themselves.
Though in Fineman's description, Republicans aren't defending themselves but "waging war" and "painting Democrats" in unflattering ways. How come, though, the Republicans are being negative and nasty, while Democrats are merely "dwelling on broad themes" when they talk of "the failures of the Bush Administration"?

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Gouge This

The open house over at the WSJ is closed, so if you want cool content like this, get a subscription! Here are some highlights:

The Real Gas Gougers
May 11, 2006

Perhaps the explanation is an outbreak of mad cow disease on Capitol Hill. Last week the House of Representatives expressed its collective outrage over high gas prices by voting as a herd, 389-34, to make gasoline "price gouging" a federal felony.

Uh-oh... this doesn't sound good. Why do I have the feeling that this is purely an election year ploy that will have disastrous economic effects for us all? Why do I have the feeling that Bill O'Reilly, pinhead that he is, is partially to blame for this?
Really. This command and control legislation reads like the kind of law passed by the old Soviet Politburo. If an oil company is found guilty of charging a "grossly excessive" price for gasoline, it could face a $250 million fine and its executives face imprisonment. Even neighborhood service station owners could be sentenced to two years in jail and a $2 million fine for the high crime of charging too much at the pump.

One small problem is that no one in Washington can seem to define what constitutes price gouging. Under the House legislation, the bureaucrats at the Federal Trade Commission would define a "grossly excessive" price and then, once prosecutors charge some politically vulnerable target, juries across the country would decide who's guilty and who's not. A Senate version, sponsored by Maria Cantwell of Washington, contains terms like "excessively unconscionable price increases" and "a gross disparity" between the normal price and the price during a shortage or an emergency.

If all of this seems hopelessly vague, the heretofore sensible Joe Barton, head of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, explains that "we know price gouging when we see it. . . . We're here to put the gougers out of business . . . or behind bars." If this works at all like the malpractice tort system, with deep pocketed oil companies pitted against widows and orphans, look out.

Yep, we're all toast. It's been nice knowing you folks! But I think we'll all become much too familiar with the environmental impact of horsepower (if you know what I mean) if we let the tort lawyers after big oil.

I'm sure John Edwards, never one to shy away from a fight - especially when there's millions to be made from a dubious claim - is considering dropping his "Two Americas" schtick to stake out gasoline stations so he can start his class action database.

"Excuse me, Ma'am. Do you feel like you've just been gouged? Thanks, sign here and we'll contact you!"

This editorial is great... and I would provide it in its entirety, but here's just the last few paragraphs:
If service stations are guilty of extortion because their prices are rising more than their costs, then are we to have pricing police preventing homeowners from selling their houses for two or three times what they bought them for, or movie theaters from charging $6 for popcorn that costs 25 cents to produce, or Barbra Streisand from commanding a $1 million fee for a single performance? Now that Republicans have surrendered to the political expediency of price controls on big oil, they won't have much standing to stop Democrats from imposing price ceilings on pharmaceutical drugs, school supplies, medical equipment, and the like.

The irony here is that if there is any extortion or swindling going on in the oil marketplace, Congress is the guilty party. It is Congress that ordered service stations across America to switch last month to ethanol additives that have both raised prices at the pump and exacerbated shortages in recent weeks. It is Congress and state governments that take 59 cents a gallon on average of fuel taxes at the pump -- almost six times the average of 10 cents per gallon profit that the oil companies make.

When the House had a chance to take a positive step to increase gasoline supplies and lower prices last week by making it easier for oil companies to expand their domestic refinery capacity -- Northeastern Republicans teamed with Democrats to bring the measure down. The U.S. now consumes 21 million barrels of oil a day but has a refining capacity of only 17 million. As usual, the loudest Congressional complainers about high gas prices voted as a bloc to keep supplies precariously low.

The headlines for this legislation makes for great politics. And a Bush veto writes its own headline for the MSM: "Bush Vetos Gasoline Gouging Bill. Poor and Minorities hurt the most."

But this is only because the American people often fail to think beyond stage one of any issue involving economics (and, doesn't every issue have some economic ramification?) and the MSM is too eager to ignore the economic realities of such legislation. Either that, or the MSM is just as stupid... which is probably the more likely explanation.

If my local station is gouging its customers, by let's say, charging $3.20 per gallon when the average rate at competing gas stations is $2.80, what do you think would happen? People would simply go to the station charging $2.80 per gallon, which will result in the "gouger" to lower his prices to attract business.

Now, if there is collusion between the stations - something which has never been alleged - then, that's a different story. However, that's already a prosecutable crime.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Digital Brownshirts

What's the difference between a blog swarm by the Right vs. a blog swarm by the Left? Facts and relevance vs. Emotions and irrelevance.

When the Rightside of the Blogosphere "Gets a Swarm On," it's usually in response to some gross misconduct by the MSM or a public official - see Rathergate, etc, etc.

Well, what's the latest blog swarm by the Left? Attacking MSM reporters for their subjective criticism of Stephen Colbert.

Digital Lynch Mob
By Richard Cohen
Tuesday, May 9, 2006; A23

Two weeks ago I wrote about Al Gore's new movie on global warming. I liked the film. In response, I instantly got more than 1,000 e-mails, most of them praising Gore, some calling him the usual names and some concluding there was no such thing as global warming, if only because Gore said there was. I put the messages aside for a slow day, when I would answer them. Then I wrote about Stephen Colbert and his unfunny performance at the White House correspondents' dinner.

Kapow! Within a day, I got more than 2,000 e-mails. A day later, I got 1,000 more. By the fourth day, the number had reached 3,499 -- a figure that does not include the usual offers of nubile Russian women or loot from African dictators. The Colbert messages began with Patrick Manley ("You wouldn't know funny if it slapped you in the face") and ended with Ron ("Colbert ROCKS, you MURDER") who was so proud of his thought that he copied countless others. Ron, you're a genius.

Truth to tell, I peeked into only a few of the e-mails. I did this because I would sometimes recognize a name I thought I knew, which was almost always a mistake. When I guilelessly clicked on the name, I would get a bucket of raw, untreated and disease-laden verbal sewage right in the face.

Usually, the subject line said it all. Some were friendly and agreed that Colbert had not been funny. Most, though, were in what we shall call disagreement. Fine. I said the man wasn't funny and not funny has a bullying quality to it; others (including some of my friends) said he was funny. But because I held such a view, my attentive critics were convinced I had a political agenda. I was -- as was most of the press, I found out -- George W. Bush's lap dog. If this is the case, Bush had better check his lap.
But the message in this case truly is the medium. The e-mails pulse in my queue, emanating raw hatred. This spells trouble -- not for Bush or, in 2008, the next GOP presidential candidate, but for Democrats. The anger festering on the Democratic left will be taken out on the Democratic middle. (Watch out, Hillary!) I have seen this anger before -- back in the Vietnam War era. That's when the antiwar wing of the Democratic Party helped elect Richard Nixon. In this way, they managed to prolong the very war they so hated.

The hatred is back. I know it's only words now appearing on my computer screen, but the words are so angry, so roiled with rage, that they are the functional equivalent of rocks once so furiously hurled during antiwar demonstrations. I can appreciate some of it. Institution after institution failed America -- the presidency, Congress and the press. They all endorsed a war to rid Iraq of what it did not have. Now, though, that gullibility is being matched by war critics who are so hyped on their own sanctimony that they will obliterate distinctions, punishing their friends for apostasy and, by so doing, aiding their enemies. If that's going to be the case, then Iraq is a war its critics will lose twice -- once because they couldn't stop it and once more at the polls.

Now, I love The Colbert Report, but I didn't find his performance at the Press Club dinner as one of his best... See the video for yourself. And my lack of enthusiasm is not just b/c he was speaking "truth to power," since it's not very courageous to parrot the conventional wisdom night after night. Rather, the video clip that he relied on for most of his humor was too long and didn't get the laughs that it should have.

I seem to recall being called a Digital Brownshirt by one of the leaders of the Left... In reality, it's the Left that is squashing dissent from the conventional wisdom. They provide no evidence for Colbert's performance, just attack those saying that he wasn't funny as being lapdogs for W. And what's the purpose? Who the heck cares if Colbert was funny or not? If you can get yourself in a lather over how a comedy performance was received, then you're clearly unhinged. seriously... take a breath, folks.

How childish... and as the '06 midterms approach, expect the Left's volume to get louder and louder.... and for the GOP base to become more and more energized.

It's a good thing that Rove Bush picked Gen. Hayden (of NSA terrorist surveillance fame) as the future head of the CIA. Nothing like reminding the base how idiotic and submissive the Left is in this War On Terror to get the Security Moms back into the fold.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Hero of the Left Makes a Predictable Decision

H/T to the Gateway Pundit

Ahhh.... it's just great when one of the heroes of the Left follows the gameplan. It seems that Hugo isn't too pleased with the prospect that he'd have to retire in 2012 and is pushing for the voters to decide whether his next term should be 25 years.

Hugo Chavez Suggests Holding Power For 25 Years

(AP) CARACAS, Venezuela President Hugo Chavez said Saturday that Venezuelan voters should have the chance to decide whether he should govern the country for the next 25 years.

Speaking at a stadium packed with supporters in central Lara state, Chavez said he would hold a referendum to put the question of his remaining in office to Venezuelans if the opposition pulls out of upcoming presidential elections.

"I am going to ask you, all the people, if you agree with Chavez being president until 2031," he said.

It was not clear if Chavez was talking about holding a legally binding vote to eliminate term limits or proposing a plebiscite.

Chavez said Friday that he said he might seek "indefinite" re-election through a referendum if the opposition boycotts the presidential vote.

"I would call a national referendum to have the people decide if I can continue here indefinitely or if I have to go after six years," he said.

Opposition leaders accuse Chavez, a former paratroop commander first elected in 1998, of becoming increasingly authoritarian and opening dangerous divisions along class lines in Venezuela -- the world's fifth largest oil exporter.

The Venezuelan Constitution allows a president to be re-elected only once in immediate succession. Chavez is eligible for re-election to another six-year term in December, but if he wins he would not be able to run again in 2012.

And I have no doubt how that vote will turn out... If the Left really wants to see some voter fraud, they should stop focusing on Diebold machines and take a look in Latin America (and any election that Jimmy Carter certifies).

And the reaction of the Moonbats? Crickets chirping, other than this post at DU congratulating Chavez on his goal of creating a Leftist Western Hemisphere to oppose US policies. Notice how one commenter questions some of Hugo's policies and is immediately attacked...
lovuian (1000+ posts)
Sun May-07-06 10:18 PM
Original message

Hugo Chavez wants to form 'axis of good'

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is leading the way to form what he calls an axis of good -- countries opposed to U.S. foreign policy.

He heads to London this week to meet with Mayor Ken Livingstone and others who oppose what they see as U.S. imperialism, The Sunday Times of London reports.

In his own hemisphere, Chavez is gaining support, the newspaper said.
Is this a topsy turvey world???

Sun May-07-06 10:19 PM
Response to Original message

1. Here we go again


Pass the butter please!


eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts)
Sun May-07-06 10:20 PM
Response to Original message

2. If it wasn't for good people in the world like him, I'd go nuts

Edited on Sun May-07-06 10:26 PM by eleny
Thanks for posting. This makesme feel better today.

Edit: I sent the article to Peter Werbe. Maybe he'll talk about this on his broadcast tonight.

jerry611 (128 posts)
Sun May-07-06 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #2

4. I wouldn't call him good....

Just because he opposes Bush doesn't automatically make him "good."

I know some people who immigrated here from Venezuela and all I have heard are just terrible things about Hugo Chavez.

Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts)
Sun May-07-06 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #4

5. A good many DU'ers have been keeping close watch on news from

Venezuela, and we READ a lot.

We know enough to know that most of the Venezuelans in South Florida are right-wing @$$hole$. Long term DU'ers who live there have commented on it.

eleny Donating Member (1000+ posts)
Sun May-07-06 10:41 PM
Response to Reply #4

7. I know full well about some of his policies

Chavez is doing much good for Venezuela one step at a time. Not to forget that he even sold heating fuel to poor areas within the USA this past winter. He's a good man in my book.

Mika (1000+ posts)
Sun May-07-06 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #4

10. More from the "Some people say" dept.


muntrv (292 posts)
Sun May-07-06 10:24 PM
Response to Original message

3. Evo Morales of Bolivia

is trying to do the same thing by nationalizing the natural gas reserves. Face it, the rest of the world is tilting leftward.

Boojatta (931 posts)
Sun May-07-06 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #3

9. The USA might do the same thing by repudiating all US government debt

that is owed to foreigners. Citizens of the USA may continue to receive interest payments.

IndyOp Donating Member (1000+ posts)
Sun May-07-06 10:34 PM
Response to Original message

6. Sadly, this wil *not* make ABC, NBC, FOX, CNN, MSNBC...

They can only report Chavez-negative information.


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Belgian Hospitality...

Apparently, some Catholic churches in Belgium are being used as hostels for Islamic immigrants. Don't have a problem with the church helping those in need, of course... but, when those being helped end up transforming your Church into a mosque, perhaps they've gone a bit too far?

Allah Takes Over Church
From the desk of Paul Belien on Sun, 2006-05-07 11:40

The Belgian Bishops have opened their churches to illegal immigrants in order to pressurize the Belgian authorities to allow the immigrants to stay in the country.

Most of the immigrant squatters in the churches are Muslims. They display banners in the church showing the name of Allah (picture taken in the church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Brussels).


The Belgian Bishops are so ignorant that they do not see what is going on: their churches are being turned into mosques before their very eyes.

The Muslim squatters hold Islamic prayer services in the church. The altar has been moved and the statue of Our Lady covered by a cloth to hide her from the eyes of the Muslim believers.

The squatters are living in the churches. "Church occupations" by illegal immigrants have been going on for a number of years in Belgium. They are not really "occupations" because the Bishops condone the actions and actively support them. Chris Gillibrand visited a number of Brussels churches to take these pictures.

Check out the site to see the pictures for yourself.

But, then again... perhaps the Bishop is just happy to have someone in his Church for a change. If the Europeans won't attend Church, perhaps he has little alternative.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler