The White House is about to get hit by the biggest tsunami since the Iran-Contra affair, maybe since Watergate. [The President] is trapped, immobilized by his own stay-the-course campaign strategy. Can he escape the massive tidal waves? Maybe. But at this point, it's not clear how.That was how the reporting went for Abu Ghraib. But now we are in a brave new world when the buck stops anywhere but at the President's desk.
If today's investigative shockers are true, it's hard to avoid concluding that responsibility goes straight to the top, both in the [agency involved] and the White House, and that varying degrees of blame can be ascribed to officials up and down the chain of command.
When the story is targeting political opposition with the heavy hand of the IRS, blame it on Bush because it was the guy he appointed that was in charge when the IRS targeted people aligned with Bush (seems like Bush would be praised for appointing such a bipartisan 'company man' who was willing to cross political lines, but who can understand this logic?).
When the story is misleading the American people about Benghazi, it is just a witch hunt by a vast right-wing conspiracy. But when others get information from intelligence agencies and act on it, it is a war crime. Apparently it is no longer fashionable to ask, "What did the President know and when did he know it?" There was a time when Ms. Clinton was very interested in just this sort of question. She also noted that "The goal of such an examination should not be to assign blame, but to find out all of the facts." But what difference does it make now?
When the story is the President's Justice Department doing illegal wire taps, it is justified because of national security. No problems with Patriot Act style intrusions here. Too bad Holder wasn't a Bush appointee; the assignment of blame would be over. (Make that 'undocumented' wire tap since illegal is somewhat out of fashion these days. And maybe we should go with 'domestic contingency operation' instead of wire tapping while we're at it.)
That Bush appointee should have just said, "I don't know." Come to think of it, Donald Rumsfeld might have been well served to use Holder's tactic when pressed about Abu Ghraib:
But it is hard to hold the President accountable for any of this. After all, he only just heard about it in the paper. As Steyn wrote:
...the Internal Revenue Service had spent two years targeting his political enemies until he "learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this." Like you, all he knows is what he reads in the papers. Which is odd, because his Justice Department is bugging those same papers, so you’d think he’d at least get a bit of a heads-up. But no doubt the fact that he’s wiretapping the Associated Press was also entirely unknown to him until he read about it in the Associated Press.How is it that the most intelligent, smartest, most caring, "articulate, bright, clean, nice-looking" President only finds out about scandals in his administration by reading about them in the paper? One recalls that the former "Presi-dunce" held to account for every bad thing that happened on the planet up to and including hatred of America.
One can only imagine if Obama had been the one reading to school children on morning of 9/11 2001. I wonder how much time would have elapsed until he finally read about that day's events in the evening edition.
When talking to students, I often like to use a visual from the movie "Wall Street". Remember Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko? In the movie he's talking on a cell phone; a Motorola cinder block, that when adjusted for inflation, cost about $10,000 and about $1,000 a month to operate with 30 minutes of talk time. You couldn't give the thing away.
So I ask students to pull out their phones and show me what's in their pocket. They've got iPhones, Droids and whatnot. Rich kids, middle class kids, working class kids, they pretty much all have cell phones. Some have nicer ones; some less nice ones. Compare what you have in your pocket to what Michael Douglas had in that movie 25 years ago – and you had to be a millionaire to have that. Now everybody has one.
This thing has gotten better and cheaper, better and cheaper, better and cheaper. Now what do your schools look like? You can see the little light bulbs coming on over their heads. If you can figure out why your cell phone has gotten so much better and so much cheaper over time but your school still looks like something that was from the 1950s, 1960s – or in many cases the 1930s – then you'll have an idea about why this system doesn't work.
The problem with education is that we are a country of 300 plus million people. We are an extraordinarily diverse and complex country with an extraordinarily diverse and complex economy. We've got basically one model of K-12 education that comes from 19th century Prussia and Otto von Bismark. It’s a kind of factory model of education where the students are widgets and the schools are factories; they turn them out and they fit into various places in the economy. That is not a model for the 21st century.
The question isn't what kind of system to we replace our current education system with, it is what kind of systems, plural, do we replace it with.
Profit can act as a catalyst for advancement and is not necessarily evil. As with most things, in and of itself, it is morally benign. Much like a gun, profits can be used for good or evil.
The audio of this portion of the interview:
The entire interview can be found at Mike Rosen's webpage.
It is amazing that Cheney was even able to speak, what with that file in his mouth to sharpen his teeth and all. I mean he is unmitigated evil, so this really shouldn't be surprising, right?
Well, hold on. I went to a Americans Against the Tea Party to see what all the fuss was all about. A left wing site like this should give me the unvarnished scoop on this most recent utterance of horror from the evil one.
Their headline shouted out the disturbing wickedness: "Dick Cheney Tells Fox News That Benghazi Is Worst Disaster In His Lifetime (Video)." They embedded the video and even kindly posted a transcript of Darth Cheney's words. Let's watch what the portal to hell actually said:
It’s one of the worst .. incidents in frankly that I can recall in my career.Either they can't read, they can't hear or they are liars. Take your pick. They have no problem misrepresenting what was actually said even after they post the video and the transcript that contradicts their statements - now that's chutzpah. I wonder how often this occurs in the name of partisan zeal? (Rhetorical question.) I guess they don't share the President's feeling that "We dishonor them when we turn things like this into a political circus."? Apparently telling lies is neither dishonoring nor political big top material but calling attention to lies is.
One of the joys of being on the left is never having to say you're sorry. You can misquote somebody you disagree with and attach video and written evidence that you have misquoted them without suffering any shame or embarrassment. Anything for political gain. Destroy the opposition at all costs.
But at least Cheney couldn't say that the Benghazi bacchanal was the “Most Audacious Plan” In 500 Years. That honorific has already been doled out.
Mike Huckabee, the Fox News host, said that the Benghazi hearings would lead to the downfall of Barack Obama, that when the facts came out Mr. Obama would not be able to finish his presidency.Two reasons it may not advisable:
- The imagery that will be used against Republicans if the first African American president is run out of town. Undoubtedly there will be political cartoons depicting Obama in shackles. And that will only be the beginning.
- Joe Biden.
As Krugman explained a while back, "Arguably the most important thing we can do to limit the growth in health care costs is learning to say no."What it would sound like if the right argued like the left does:
This is just more obstruction and denial from the party of "no". This is discriminatory and picks on the elderly. Denying procedures for the elderly is unfair. How in good conscience can they deny healthcare to the elderly? Next thing you know, they'll be preying on the young, poor, minorities and women. Why can't the rich just pay their fair share so that women, children, minorities, the elderly, the homeless, the unemployed, the disabled, college students, LBGTQI, the abused, inmates, veterans, the mentally ill, refugees, the under-housed and Vietnamese fishermen can get decent, comprehensive, affordable access to healthcare?
People are hurtin', man.
We all know that doctors are cutting off limbs and taking out tonsils just to fill their filthy, blood-soaked wallets, and maybe we should say "no" to that, but where will it end? I hope that in their heartless, greedy rush to deny all medical procedures, the party of "no" doesn't deny assisted suicide. Sure, suicide should be safe, legal and rare, but denying it altogether is extremist.
Apparently the Krugmans of the world think that "poor people have too much access to affordable health care" and we should deny as much care as we can – that the greedy blood-suckers who gorge themselves on healthcare need to cut back. This is just more austerity that doesn't work. They want to cut corners and refuse to allow procedures as part of a strategy of greed over consumer benefit. Deny, deny, deny. I guess if we could just be a little more considerate by knowing when to say "no" and die, we could save tons of money. Our moral values, in contradistinction to this ass-hat, is we don't think healthcare should be denied to anybody. These people hate everyone.
BTW, denying healthcare isn't, per chance, the task of the oft-maligned death panel is it?
He cited the case of Eli Erlick, a high school student in Mendocino County who was born male but identifies as female. He said Erlick was prohibited from participating in girls' gym classes while in middle school and noted that Erlick's parents testified in favor of the bill.How long until whites self-identify as black? Before you go and get all snooty, hasn't this been the point made by same-sex marriage supporters? That denying marriage to gays is the same as denying marriage to blacks? I guess Elizabeth Warren was ahead of the curve when she identified as Fauxcahontis based on the incontrovertible evidence that "My grandfather had high cheekbones like all the Indians do," and a few purloined recipes in the "Pow Wow Chow" cookbook.
He acknowledged that parents may be uncomfortable about their children sharing bathrooms with students of a different sex, but he said, 'It's also important to protect our children from prejudice.'
Watch out Olympics, you're next. Oops, never mind. Been there done that.
Transgendered bathroom use news:
State of California
But, “what difference, at this point, does it make?”
Maybe they did all they could do. Foreign affairs is a messy business; things go wrong. They were trying to manage a crisis consistent with their beliefs, agendas and ideology. There are no right answers. And I'm not sure any other response would have ended any better.
But the double standard is dangerous.
The lack of self-awareness is breathtaking. That Zepps is not able to self-reflect on his rejoinder that "Uh, well there are laws against incest" is stupefying. There are laws against all kinds of things and those laws can be changed. The presence of a law does not ensure that the law is just. I don't suppose he would support sodomy laws. Aren't the same sex marriage (SSM) supporters trying to undo laws that they perceive are unjust? The reason the SCOTUS is considering SSM cases is precisely because certain laws and changes to a state's constitution is thought to be unjust.
You would think that that would be enough unconscious opining for one interview, but no, he doubles down.
Zepps: "No, that sounds like a total red herring. I'm sure that incest law would still cover same sex marriages."
Irons: "Really? Why?"
Zepps: "Because I don't think the incest law is only justified on the basis of the consequences of procreation. I think there's also a moral approbation that's associated with incest."
Zepps seems to be completely unaware of his own statements. Is he really making the case for moral approbation (I suppose he meant prohibition) of a behavior? Really? Tap, tap, tap. Hello Mr. Zepps. Are you aware that the moral prohibition argument is exactly what has been used to prevent SSM and the very activity that leads to SSM? Are you not aware of what the SSM crowd is fighting against?!?!?!?!?
Since the whole point of legalizing SSM is to remove the moral prohibition therof, what is the argument that can be made to prevent the removal of other moral prohibitions? Furthermore, to borrow the arguments on behalf of removing the moral prohibition of SSM, how does incest or polygamy or any number of other arrangements hurt the gay's marriage? Incest or polygamy wouldn't hurt their marriage or affect them in any way. And who are the gays to look down their nose and dictate who somebody can love? Why can't the polygamist and incest-amist (I know of no noun for those who commit incest...) love whom they want to love? Cannot a loving poly-amorous unit raise good and decent citizens just like hetero or gay couples? Why the bigotry?
But I get the "You can't expect me to believe that society would lift the moral prohibition of incest just because we want to lift a moral prohibition" argument all the time. You would think the self-reflective person would stop after hearing the double-standard and the absurdity of the argument and for the sake of intellectual honesty concede the point.
Of course, none of this argues for or against SSM. And conceding this obvious point does not necessarily negate other aspects of the argument. Discussion of such issues is just an honest, open examination of the penumbra of consequences that may result from this change. A good-willed gay or lesbian interested in open discussion rather than forcible imposition of dogma could just as easily conclude these things.
The honest broker would say, "Of course we intend to discriminate against certain of our fellow citizens and declare their behavior to be morally objectionable. We just want to move the fence far enough for us to get in while keeping those we disagree with out." And based upon what? At least polygamy and incest have the advantage of actually having been tried throughout history. SSM on the other hand is uncharted. Does that put those who support SSM on the wrong side of history?
What is ignored is that if these sea changes are based on the current social eros ethos, upon what are the guardrails for society based? The response is always a version of, "Well, you don't have to be religious to be moral." Sure. Just as being religious is no guarantee that one will be moral. But let's be honest, there is no discernible distinction between the one who allows SSM into the assemblage of morally acceptable behaviors while excluding polygamy, incest and many other variations on the theme and the one who disallows SSM for doctrinal reasons or because 'God told him so'. Your placement of the societal fencing to include SSM is no different than their placement to exclude it. It is belief based on a mysticism and current social doctrine. It is morality by committee and is about as good an example of arbitrary and capricious as one can find.
At the end of the day, the supporter of redefining the moral boundaries to include SSM is left with the identical argument as the religious person for why one activity is moral and another isn't: "Because I say so." The religious says that God informs his doctrine while the irreligious says that nature, his conscience or some other ethereal phenomenon is the source of morality and informs his doctrine. The religious are mocked for relying on their buddy in the sky by those who can identify no better moral source or even a reason for the existence of morality. The mockers like to believe that a dianoetic journey leads them to their conclusions about morality. But in the end they are left with the curt response of the religious – "Because God said so" – replacing the notion of God with logic or their version of a buddy in the sky. They are as powerless to prove the parameters of morality or the reason for its existence as the religious are to prove the existence of God. As with Zepps, it is almost as though they cannot hear themselves speak.