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

Friday, September 01, 2006

Friday Moonbat

Normally, my analysis of a Lefty Moonbat is confined to the nutrooters over at DailyKos, DemocraticUnderground, etc, etc. Today, however.... we're going to focus on someone who almost had the reigns of power.

Kerry Revives 2004 Election Allegations
By DAVID HAMMER
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON

Sen. John Kerry didn't contest the results at the time, but now that he's considering another run for the White House, he's alleging election improprieties by the Ohio Republican who oversaw the deciding vote in 2004.

An e-mail will be sent to 100,000 Democratic donors Tuesday asking them to support U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland for governor of Ohio. The bulk of the e-mail criticizes Strickland's opponent, GOP Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, for his dual role in 2004 as President Bush's honorary Ohio campaign co-chairman and the state's top election official.

"He used the power of his state office to try to intimidate Ohioans and suppress the Democratic vote," said Kerry's e-mail.

Kerry, D-Mass., conceded the election when he lost Ohio and its 20 electoral votes. A recount requested by minor-party candidates showed Bush won by about 118,000 votes out of 5.5 million cast. But Kerry's e-mail says Blackwell "used his office to abuse our democracy and threaten basic voting rights."

Multiple lawsuits by outside groups were unsuccessful in challenging Ohio's 2004 election. One case filed by the League of Women Voters is still in U.S. District Court in Toledo. It claims Ohio's election system discriminates against minority voters.

Blackwell, who is black, says the election was run fairly, citing 1 million more votes cast than in 2000 and record turnout among black voters.

"People will say anything for money," said Blackwell campaign spokesman Carlo LoParo. "Fortunately, the historical record contradicts Senator Kerry."


Strickland spokesman Keith Dailey said the campaign welcomes Kerry's support.

So, now Senators are not just pandering to the Moonbats, he's actively promoting their conspiracy theories.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Cleland Gets Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Because of the images of Iraq on TV, don't you see? Oh, and because those evil right-wingers called him "unpatriotic."

Cleland Treated for Trauma Disorder
By BEN EVANS
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON


Former Sen. Max Cleland, who has battled bouts of depression since losing an arm and both legs in Vietnam, is being treated for post- traumatic stress disorder.

Cleland, who represented Georgia in the Senate from 1997 to 2003, said he believes the condition _ cases of which are increasing rapidly among Vietnam war veterans _ was in part triggered by the ongoing violence in Iraq.

"I realize my symptoms are avoidance, not wanting to connect with anything dealing with the (Iraq) war, tremendous sadness over the casualties that are taken, a real identification with that. ... I've tried to disconnect and disassociate from the media. I don't watch it as much. I'm not engrossed in it like I was," Cleland said in an interview with WSB-TV in Atlanta.

He said he feels depressed, has developed a sense of hyper-vigilance about his security and has difficulty sleeping, the television station reported.
[...]

Wow... just wow. Using personal illness for political gain.

And perhaps his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is also caused by the fact that he's now referred to as "former Senator."

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Jon Benet Ramsey & That Wacko

No, this blog isn't turning into a tabloid (although some on the Left would deem my opinions not worthy for a tabloid).

When I learned of this news yesterday, I could swear that I heard a primal scream and the sound of mid-length blonde hair being ripped frenetically from someone's scalp. That and a lot of gnashing of teeth.

You just know that she had banked on this case to skyrocket her to fame over the next year. Nancy and every other cable news idiot.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Monday, August 28, 2006

Dems & the Anti-WalMart Crusade

Perhaps no other corporation is as evil to the "progressives" as WalMart. Sebastian Mallaby covers the distinct break of the Dems from their traditional approach towards free markets and free trade in this article in the Washington Post:

Shopping for Support Down the Wrong Aisle
By Sebastian Mallaby
Monday, August 28, 2006

Once upon a time, smart Democrats defended globalization, open trade and the companies that thrive within this system. They were wary of tethering themselves to an anti-trade labor movement that represents a dwindling fraction of the electorate. They understood the danger in bashing corporations: Voters don't hate corporations, because many of them work for one.
[...]
To see the difference between then and now, just look at the Clintons. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Hillary Clinton sat on Wal-Mart's board; and when Sam Walton died in 1992, Bill Clinton lauded him as "a wonderful family man and one of the greatest citizens in the history of the state of Arkansas.'' Campaigning in the New Hampshire primary that year, Bill Clinton came proudly to the rescue of a local company called American Brush Co. by helping it become a Wal-Mart supplier.

Times change. Last year Hillary Clinton returned a campaign contribution from Wal-Mart, even though she had no compunction in banking a check from Jerry Springer. The nation's most successful retailer, which has seized the opportunities created by globalization to boost the buying power of ordinary Americans, is now seen as too toxic to touch. But a trash-talking TV host is acceptable.
[...]
The truth is that none of these Democrats can resist dumb economic populism. Even though we are not in a recession, and even though the presidential primaries are more than a year away, the DLC crowd is pandering shamelessly to the left of the party -- perhaps in the knowledge that the grocery workers union, which launched the anti-Wal-Mart campaign, is strong in the key state of Iowa.

For a party that needs the votes of Wal-Mart's customers, this is a questionable strategy. But there is more than politics at stake. According to a paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research by Jerry Hausman and Ephraim Leibtag, neither of whom received funding from Wal-Mart, big-box stores led by Wal-Mart reduce families' food bills by one-fourth. Because Wal-Mart's price-cutting also has a big impact on the non-food stuff it peddles, it saves U.S. consumers upward of $200 billion a year, making it a larger booster of family welfare than the federal government's $33 billion food-stamp program.

How can centrist Democrats respond to that? By beating up Wal-Mart and forcing it to focus on public relations rather than opening new stores, Democrats are harming the poor Americans they claim to speak for.

Now, I submit that the anti-WalMart crusade is not beneficial to the Dems, and not just because it would cause economic harm to the consituents that they purport to champion. While it bolsters the nutroot progressives, it only harms them among lower- and middle-class swing voters. The people that are the driving force behind this crusade are not people who shop or even work at WalMart. No, it's the elite, well-to-do, NPR/AAR-listening progressives driving their expensive hybrids on their way into their upper-middle class jobs (or perhaps to their art studios & coffee houses).

These people would never set foot in a WalMart - even at gunpoint. And their objection to shopping there isn't because of WalMart's supposedly unfair labor practices, but because they see WalMart as the realm of the rube, working-class stiff. The yokels that don't know that voting for Howard Dean and seeking out a collectivist state is what's best for their interests. How provincial...

At least there is one war that the Dems are ready to fight. It's a shame that it's not against an enemy that poses the greatest danger to our country.

***UPDATE***
JayReding is covering as well...

***UPDATE 2***
This Op-Ed in the Washington-Times bolsters my assertion that the Dems are hurting their chances with the poor- and middle-class that they claim to represent:
[...]
The Pew Research Center last year found households making under $50,000 rated Wal-Mart most positively and shopped there more frequently. Of those who make $20,000 or less, an astonishing 90 percent had a favorable opinion of Wal-Mart. Minorities were also big Wal-Mart fans, with blacks and Hispanics rating the company more positively than Caucasians. Presumably these demographic groups love Wal-Mart because the retailer has helped them stretch their dollars.

Together, these poll results and academic studies demonstrate why the Democrats anti-Wal-Mart fervor could backfire as a campaign message. Most consumers don't interact directly with typically demonized companies like Halliburton. To the extent they do so, it's usually not positive. People don't like paying $3.00 for a gallon of Exxon gasoline or $300 a month in Pfizer prescription medications, even if they benefit from the company's products.

But nearly everyone has had an experience with Wal-Mart and, for the vast majority, that experience was overwhelmingly positive. Wal-Mart's "everyday low prices" have a real-world effect for many consumers, allowing them to save money on common products and greatly expand their overall purchasing power. This is especially true for those at the lower end of the economic scale.

Mr. Biden and others comments could be seen trying to defend the allegedly "abused" Wal-Mart work force. There is no indication, however, that Wal-Mart employees are treated poorly. They make competitive wages by retail standards, in some states twice the federal minimum wage. They also have access to affordable health care plans for as low as $11 a month and can take part in an attractive employee stock ownership plan, fringe benefits that few retailers -- even the much beloved "Mom and Pop" stores -- offer their employees.

And you all know what this means, right? The whole anti-WalMart crusade by the Dems is actually a Rovian ploy to hurt their chances in November.

Ssssshhhhhh.... don't tell The Architect!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Monday Morning Moonbat - MIHOP, LIHOP, or Official Story?

Here are a few Monday Morning Moonbat posts for you. It seems that the Left is still unsure about the facts surround 9/11 and continues to question whether Bush Made It Happen On Purpose (MIHOP) or simply Let It Happen On Purpose (LIHOP). Here are several posts that deal with the subject.

Philosoraptor asks if people's opinions of the events have changed since 9/11:

>Philosoraptor Donating Member (1000+ posts)
Mon Aug-28-06 06:39 AM
Original message

Poll question: A simple Yes or No: Have you changed your mind about 9/11?

I'd prefer we not get into details and specifics, just trying to get a feel for things five years after. Of course feel free to respond as well.

I'm just referring to the official story about the event and your own personal opinion, has it changed over the last five years, or is it the same?
[...]

sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts)
Mon Aug-28-06 06:48 AM
Response to Original message

1. I took...
... the whole story at face value when it happened.

I honestly don't see how a sentient being could possibly buy the story now.

Our illustrious president didn't pull out all the stops to derail any serious investigation for nothing.


[...]
smtpgirl (984 posts)
Mon Aug-28-06 06:57 AM
Response to Reply #2

5. I totally agree with your statement,
I think that the *ush Admin is responsible for 9/11


Phrogman (205 posts)
Mon Aug-28-06 06:53 AM
Response to Original message

3. I've gone from thinking that they saw it coming and let it happen to
thinking that some in our government actually facilitated some of the hijackers, and deliberately disabled air defenses that day.

I bet I'm not the only one to draw these conclusions.

At least, I hope I'm not. But I'm an expatriate living overseas, I'm not under the homeland propaganda umbrella. So, the view is quite different from out here.

Ahh, to be a part of the "reality-based community!" ;-)

Here's another MIHOP/LIHOP post, caused by the recent broadcast of Inside 9/11 on National Geographic.
Texas Explorer Donating Member (425 posts)
Mon Aug-28-06 02:01 AM
Original message

Was just watching "Inside 9/11" on NGC and ...
no matter how many times I see the official story told, it is still profoundly compelling. I can't imagine what they've got planned for us next.


[...]
Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts)
Mon Aug-28-06 04:57 AM
Response to Reply #3

4. War is very profitable, afterall.
You can't have war if there is no justification for it...like another Pearl Harbor.

Yet another 9/11 related post appears here.

Now, the amazing thing is that these people are the driving force behind the Democratic party today - I recall something about how they bought it, they own it, and they're taking it back. A few of their candidates are gaining prominence in the Democratic party and in the MSM, such as Ned Lamont in CT. I suspect that many of the whacko views expressed on posts such as these at DU are not only within the realm of pajama clad nerds suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome. I submit to you that a decent size of the Democratic base has similar thoughts on 9/11 - perhaps not going as far as to declare themselves MIHOPers or LIHOPers, but at least "questioning the official story." Why is this important?

Well, if you question the basic facts of what happened on 9/11 (ie. radical, Islamofascists were solely responsible for successfully attacking the US yet again), then how serious can you be about the War On Terror? I mean, if some small part of you consciousness actually believes that the Bush administration may have been behind 9/11, can you truly be vigilant when it comes to defeating our enemies - since some part of you actually believes that our CiC might himselfbe the enemy?

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Armitage & the State Department

Tom Maguire at JustOneMinute has the best coverage of the Plame Kerfluffle, better coverage than what you'll get from the MSM and the Moonbats. Here is Tom's assessment of the latest revelation (along with some humorous jabs against David Corn) - that Armitage is likely Novak's original source - and provides references to the evidence provided by Fitzy from the Libby indictment:

Or from another tack - per the Newsweek story, Armitage learned about Ms. Plame from the famous INR memo, which did not mention her undercover background and named her as Valerie Wilson.

But Armitages's biography strongly suggest an intel background, so it seems fair to guess he had contacts in the intel community.

And by uncanny coincidence, Robert Grenier, a top CIA official who was heading the Iraq Issue group at the time, had a chat with Lewis Libby. This is from the indictment:
7. On or about June 11, 2003, LIBBY spoke with a senior officer of the CIA [later revealed to be Grenier] to ask about the origin and circumstances of Wilson's trip, and was advised by the CIA officer that Wilson's wife worked at the CIA and was believed to be responsible for sending Wilson on the trip.
I don't think that Grenier was relying on the INR memo for the news that "Wilson's wife... was believed to be responsible for sending Wilson on the trip". But I do think that Grenier, as a top CIA guy, was a bureaucratically appropriate contact for a chap like Armitage. As a bonus, since he had been with the CIA forever I bet that Grenier met Ms. Plame back when she *was* Ms. Plame, and remembered her by that name rather than her more recent married name.

Just speculation, of course. But I bet that the Armitage story on display here is only the first fallback - at no other point in this story has he been candid or forthcoming about his role and I doubt he was in October 2003 (did he mention his Woodward chat to Powell, and did Powell urge a cover-up of that? I doubt it.)

Last bit of speculation - if (I say *IF*) the "Plame" name came to Novak via Armitage and Grenier, where did "Operative" come from in Novak's famous column?

Good question, and let me ask another - where did Andrea Mitchell get "operative" in her July 8, 2003 report? She attributes it to CIA sources in a story about who might get blamed for allowing the "16 Words" into the State of the union address:
MITCHELL: Well, people at the CIA say that it's not going to be George Tenet; and, in fact, that high-level people at the CIA did not really know that it was false, never even looked at Joe Wilson's verbal report or notes from that report, didn't even know that it was he who had made this report, because he was sent over by some of the covert operatives in the CIA at a very low level, not, in fact, tasked by the vice president.

Note that the Mitchell use of "covert operatives" actually predates the Novak column by six days.

For the record, I'd like to point out that Another Rovian Conspiracy stated last year that Novak's source was likely Colin Powell or someone close to him.

Meanwhile, the Moonbats hold out hope that it really was Rove or Cheney (HALLIBURTON!!!) that "outed" Plame. Curiously, their attention focuses on who first told Novak that Plame was an "undercover operative," instead of just the apparently innocuous (to the Moonbats) act of mentioning that Wilson was selected to go on the trip by his wife, an expert on counter-proliferation.

From FireDogLake's Something's Missing post:
[...]
Armitage may have told Novak and Woodward that Valerie was involved in some way in her husband’s selection as the CIA’s man-on-the-ground in Niger, but it appears, according to Isikoff at least, that he did not have knowledge at that point that she was a covert operative, which is an essential piece of the charging puzzle for Patrick Fitzgerald’s prosecution.
[...]
That is a whole lot of gray, isn’t it? But it does not explain the central question that we’ve all been trying to answer from day one on this: how did Bob Novak learn that Valerie Plame Wilson was a covert operative?
[...]
What possible motivation could Scooter Libby have had to lie unless he was (a) having an attack of personal guilty conscience and trying to save his own ass or (b) more likely, trying to save someone else’s ass, namely Dick Cheney’s.

Amazing that they keep escalating their hopes & dreams to bigger and bigger fish while the story consistently points to Armitage as the first leaker, followed by reporters getting confirmation from a variety of sources about Plame's identity (including Who's Who and Rove).

And, the Moonbats don't like the fact that Armitage is the source (or perhaps even Powell) because neither of them fit into their "reality-based" view that there's a vast neocon conspiracy that has taken over our government.

However, here is the text from Novak's 2003 column and it's important to note that Novak uses the term "operative" often to describe people and did not call her "covert" in the original article:
Wilson never worked for the CIA, but his wife, Valerie Plame, is an Agency operative on weapons of mass destruction. Two senior administration officials told me Wilson's wife suggested sending him to Niger to investigate the Italian report. The CIA says its counter-proliferation officials selected Wilson and asked his wife to contact him. "I will not answer any question about my wife," Wilson told me.

Is there any hint that Novak thought that Plame was undercover in this story?

Keep reading Tom Maguire and disregard anything that the MSM or the Moonbats have to say on the subject. As I've said before, why do I know more about the Plame/Wilson matter than the MSM?

Here's a message to those at FDL (and I realize that it will likely go unheeded). When the facts become overwhelming, perhaps your "reality" isn't as real as you think. Don't pull a Jason Leopold...

***UPDATE***
Since I mentioned posts at both blogs, I sent a trackback link to both JustOneMinute (JOM) and FireDogLake (FDL). Now, as regular readers of this blog know, I'm intrigued by the censorship and authoritarian control imposed on comments and trackbacks by the Left side of the blogosphere (link to my most recent post on the subject). My trackback to JOM appeared within seconds, along with 7 other links which other bloggers had provided, giving JOM's readers the ability to branch out and obtain other points of view. My trackback link to FDL was successfully sent, but has not been added to the site. I know that they have to "approve" any links submitted and I don't know whether I'm still waiting in the approval queue or whether my link was deemed unacceptable. However, it's interesting that it seems like the right-side of the blogosphere seems to be more open to giving their readers a broader perspective (through unfiltered comments and trackbacks to other blogs) while the left-side of the blogosphere seems to be extremely interested in controlling what their readers see. How.... fascist.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler