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Saturday, December 27, 2008
Krauthammer's Gas Tax Proposal

He's generally a sharp thinker, but this is fuzzy:

A tax that suppresses U.S. gas consumption can have a major effect on reducing world oil prices.

Yes, but doesn't that end up resulting in lowered gas prices which brings about more driving, thus increasing world oil prices?
More Mike Connell Conspiracy Theorizing

It took years for the 9-11 Truthers to get to the stage where the idiot Left is on the Mike Connell plane crash. Get Mark Crispin Miller on
Amy Goodman's Democracy Now:

AMY GOODMAN: Now, he had asked the Attorney General Mukasey for protective custody, because of threats to him and his wife?

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: He reported threats to his lawyer, Cliff Arnebeck....

When dealing with 9-11 Truth books and documentaries, we've developed a little metric called TTFLOM, which stands for Time To First Lie Or Mistake, and that's gotta be some sort of a record. Goodman is wrong when she says that Mike Connell asked Mukasey for protective custody, and Miller is wrong when he says that Arnebeck was Connell's lawyer.

In fact, Arnebeck is the fruitcake lawyer who was bringing a lawsuit claiming that Bush did not win Ohio in 2004. Arnebeck had subpoenaed Connell in the case and then claimed in a letter that "sources" had told him that Rove had threatened Connell and his wife. Obviously if Arnebeck represented Connell he would have simply said that his client had told him that he'd received threats.

But Miller gets even nuttier:

MARK CRISPIN MILLER: Well, that’s a good question. We can’t ask him, unfortunately. I mean, this is kind of a grisly thought, but, I mean, I think we should be asking where the body is? We’re told that a trooper on the scene immediately identified Connell. But then we read elsewhere that there was nothing left but debris and that the fireball was enormous. So maybe he wasn’t on the plane. I mean, who knows, when you’re dealing with people as deep as these?

Good lord, what a nut!

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Friday, December 26, 2008
Liberals Love America

That's the theme of an LA Times column this morning. Although you can probably guess the punchline: What they love about America is that they can criticize how awful it is:

Sure, we liberals claim that our love is deeper because we seek to improve the United States by pointing out its flaws.


Fox News' Sean Hannity loves this country so much, he did an entire episode of "Hannity's America" titled "The Greatest Nation on Earth." In that one hour he said, several times, "the U.S. is the greatest, best country God has ever given man on the face of the Earth." One of the surest signs of love is it makes you talk stupid.

Because, you know, there are oodles of better countries than the United States, like Cuba, for example or the ones he goes on to name:

Conservatives feel personally blessed to have been born in the only country worth living in. I, on the other hand, just feel lucky to have grown up in a wealthy democracy. If it had been Australia, Britain, Ireland, Canada, Italy, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan, Israel or one of those Scandinavian countries with more relaxed attitudes toward sex, that would have been fine with me too.

Yeah, France was a heckuva place to live in in the early 1940s. And Ireland has only recently qualified as a wealthy Democracy; it was only 30 years ago that the US had to restrict immigration from the Emerald Isle.
Steve Benon: I Not a Conspiracy Nutbar

But it's an interesting story and people are talking about it, but I remember the nuts on the right talking about Vince Foster, so I'm not going to indulge myself in conspiracy theorizing but here's a post where somebody does exactly that.

Edsall, who has a reputation for credible, quality journalism, spoke to a "close friend" of Connell, who worked "extensively" with the consultant before his death, and who believes Connell "was more involved in that than a lot of people were let to believe." The friend added that Connell "may have been 'developing second thoughts' after years of being convinced that 'working for the Republican cause was doing God's work.'" Edsall added, "As it stands now, whatever Connell knew about the activities of Karl Rove and other Republican operatives will go with him to his grave."

The implication, I suppose, is that Connell had damaging information, may have been prepared to share it, and his plane crash was the possible result of foul play.

The Edsall piece is here. The scum-sucking bottom feeder had the stones to call his grieving wife:

In a telephone interview, Connell's wife Heather adamantly declared "he was a good man. He did nothing wrong. He wasn't about to talk, because there was nothing to talk about. Nobody did anything wrong. We won the elction fair and square. Deal with it." Asked if he ever spoke about the disputed emails, Heather Connell said "I have no clue about that. I just know it's not him."

Merchant of sleaze, Tom Edsall.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Merry Christmas, Everybody!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Quick Hits

The Left should love this story as it combines religion bashing with Global Warming:

CSIRO researchers said householders should know that each bulb turned on in the name of Christmas will increase emissions of greenhouse gases.

Robert Stacy McCain computes the cost to Texas taxpayers of the raid on the polygamous community where girls were getting married and concludes it was a bad idea:

The cost to taxpayers of the raid and investigation was more than $12 million -- a million per underage marriage. Twenty-six mothers originally suspected of being underage were eventually determined to be adults.

Left unsaid is what level of expense per underage marriage the "Other" McCain would accept as reasonable.

The greatest conspiracy theory ever, as my buddy James B put it:

Longtime blog buddy Satire and Theology has some interesting photos of himself demonstrating various martial arts moves and a pretty good joke at the end.

Our longtime blog-buddy Gayle has a nice thought for all this holiday season. I have to admit, I have not exactly been the most Christian of people this year, battling the Right in January and February, the Left until election day, and now the Right again over the Birth Certificate stuff. My New Year's Resolution should be to keep my mouth shut when I think the Right is off the track.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Let It Go, Kenneth!

Dan Rather is still insisting that the memos he showed on Bush's TANG service were never proven to be fakes:

"Nobody has ever proven the documents to be anything but what they purported to be," Rather says. "What the documents stated has never been denied — by the president or anyone around him."

What an idjit. It is not up to everybody else to prove the documents were false (although clearly they were phony). It's up to Rather to prove the documents were valid.
Shoe-Lobber Update

He claims to have been tortured for 36 consecutive hours:

One of Zaidi's brothers, Uday, told AFP he had been able to visit him in custody for the first time on Sunday and charged that the journalist had been tortured by his captors to force him to sign a statement.

"I met my brother for around an hour. He has been tortured while in detention for 36 hours continuously. He has been hit with iron rods and cables," the brother said.

I'm shocked! Surely they could have given him a five-minute break! The judge is denying it:

"Muntazer's brother is lying, because there are only bruises on Muntazer's face that he received during the arrest and they are small ones," Kenani told AFP.

"Even if it were true that he had been tortured with electric shocks, it would leave burns on his body, and you will see Muntazer during the trial, so you can judge for yourself.

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Moron Bill Ayers

An FBI informant tried to write an oped for the Times on the real Bill Ayers after the former domestic terrorist published a self-serving column in that declining rag. You can read the informant's piece at PJ Media.

Billy goes on about how the Weather Underground came into existence because “peaceful protests had failed” and “after an accidental explosion killed three comrades.” The explosion of the townhouse in Greenwich Village was the result of a bomb factory which was preparing bombs containing roofing nails for use at a Fort Dix enlisted club. The inclusion of roofing nails can have but one purpose and that’s to injure or kill people. Prior to this event Bill’s wife, Bernardine Dorhn, placed a bomb of the same design at the Park Police Station in San Francisco and killed Officer McDonnell. Additionally, I was still inside the Weather Underground when the townhouse blew up and the commitment to sabotage and terrorism had already been established and the purpose was the overthrow of the United States government.

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Monday, December 22, 2008
Now don't get me wrong, I think Matt Yglesias is an awesome blogger. But very plausibly he could be an even awesomer blogger if he were allowed to speak his little mind.

Hat Tip: Memeorandum

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More on the Connell Death

Well, the fruitloops are off to the races. Larisa writes at OpEd News:

White House consultant who rigged 2004 election dies suspiciously

So much for her not being a conspiracy nutbar. One of the commenters over there chips in with this bit of fruitcakery:

The list of the conveniently dead and 'suicided' of those who threaten the fascist empire grows by the day.

Someone really should do a thorough project absent any partisan politics of just how many people who have met their premature demise over the last few decades.

They have, it was called the Clinton Death List and it was nutty. I'm sure there's a Bush Death List out there as well.

Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman check in with their usual caution:

Michael Connell, the crucial techno- lynch pin in the theft of the 2004 election, and much more, is dead at the age of 45. His unnatural, suspicious death raises serious questions about the corruption of the American electoral process that now may never be answered.

Unnatural? And note that this detail raises some suspicions about Larissa the Loon's claim that he was a "source" for her:

Connell recently wrote the following in his New Media Communications newsletter, regarding Barack Obama's election: "In our 230 year history, our democracy has suffered worse fates. It's just that none come to mind right now."

Anybody who wrote that would not likely be furnishing information to Raw Story, which is a fruitcake lefty site. Fitrakis is still harping on the idiotic exit polls:

At 12:20 am on the night of the 2004 election exit polls and initial vote counts showed John Kerry the clear winner of Ohio's presidential campaign. The Buckeye State's 20 electoral votes would have given Kerry the presidency.

But from then until around 2am, the flow of information mysteriously ceased. After that, the vote count shifted dramatically to George W. Bush, ultimately giving him a second term. In the end there was a 6.7 percent diversion---in Bush's favor---between highly professional, nationally funded exit polls and the final official vote count as tabulated by Blackwell and Connell.

Never mind that the exit pollsters themselves admitted they got it wrong.

Like all conspiracy loons, Fitrakis overemphasizes the unlikeliness of the crash:

An accomplished pilot, flying in unremarkable weather...

But the Akron Beacon Journal gets an expert opinion:

Charles Starkey, a former Navy pilot and director of safety for a Cleveland-area private jet company, said Friday night's cloud cover and misty, cold conditions presented challenges for even the most experienced pilots.

In a 30-minute time frame around the crash, the weather deteriorated quickly as visibility around the airport diminished from nine miles to a little over one mile with a low ceiling.

In such cases, pilots typically are forced to rely on the plane's instruments rather than their own vision, which can contribute to crashes, Starkey said.

There are reports of the usual "warnings":

Without getting into specific details, 19 Action News reporter Blake Renault reported Sunday evening that 45-year-old Republican operative and experienced pilot had been warned not to fly his plane in the days before the crash.

"Connell...was apparently told by a close friend not to fly his plane because his plane might be sabotaged," Renault said. "And twice in the last two months Connell, who is an experienced pilot, cancelled two flights because of suspicious problems with his plane."

The "close friend" goes unnamed, of course.

Let me add here my sympathies to the Connell family. He sounds like a fine man and he leaves behind a wife and four children, and does not deserve to be maligned by conspiracy nutters after his death as the man "who rigged [the] 2004 election".

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Sunday, December 21, 2008
Say Yes to Yes Man

My sister suggested that we take in a movie this evening, and I could have said no, but I knew it would be good for her to get away from the kids for a couple of hours. The movie we saw was Yes Man, featuring Jim Carrey.

Terrific film, very funny with great characters. The plot is fairly similar to Liar, Liar; Carrey plays a lowly loan officer at a bank whose wife has divorced him and who habitually says "No" to everything. A friend coaxes him to come to a seminar that advertises "Yes is the New No", with a revival-type spirit. Carrey gets singled out for some one-on-one treatment and agrees to say "Yes" to everything.

Coming out of the seminar a homeless man asks him for a lift, then borrows his cellphone. Carrey drops him off in a park and discovers that he's run out of gas and his cellphone battery is dead, so he has to hoof it to the nearest gas station. Sounds like Yes isn't working for him, right?

But at the gas station he meets a pretty girl who offers him a ride back to the park on her scooter, and before you know it, he's got a girlfriend again. He starts approving loans he would never have allowed before, and the top management promotes him for his excellent production. He takes up guitar lessons and ends up coaxing a guy down from the ledge by playing him a song.

Of course, not everything goes smoothly; in a key scene the Feds have noticed that he's learning Korean, and how to fly and he has also signed up for an Iranian bride, so they arrest him on suspicion of being a terrorist. And in the end he does have to learn to say no to some things.

But it's all great fun, with Carrey's usual terrific physical comedy and sense of timing hitting on all cylinders. Highly recommended!

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Larisa Alexandrovna Is Not A Conspiracy Nutbar

Nope, not her.

I am not saying that this was a hit nor am I resigned to this being simply an accident either. I am no expert on aviation and cannot provide an opinion on the matter. What I am saying, however, is that given the context, this event needs to be examined carefully.

Nope, she's not a crackpot:

Just to be very clear and state again, I am not claiming conspiracy theory or direct relation to Karl Rove or the White House in any of these events. What I am saying, however, is that these possible relationships cannot and should not be overlooked by investigators. There are far too many serious and reasonable questions that must be answered for the public.

Not a tinfoil hatter:

Okay children - because that is what I am going to call adults who willfully mis-read information. I will say this AGAIN (as I have twice in the above entry and also used bold case so that no one would miss the caveat), I am NOT - I repeat NOT - saying this was a). a murder, b). that it was in any way connected to the White House or to Karl Rove, and c). that I am convinced of any of the above three.

Well, except that she has dabbled her toes in the 9-11 nutbar swamp:

At least this might finally explain a nagging problem I have had with the FBI's most wanted poster of OBL, which makes no mention of September 11, 2001 among the crimes OBL is wanted for....

This of course is one of the things that the conspiracy kooks always bring up. But the fact of the matter is that the FBI's most wanted posters list crimes that the perp has actually been indicted for. The Feds have not yet indicted Osama for 9-11 because they already have enough to hold him for on the 1998 embassy bombings, for which he has been indicted.

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