Monday, June 12, 2006

  • Steve Benen:
    I've always been curious what it takes for a conservative to reach genuine pariah status in the political world. Last fall, Bill O'Reilly suggested that it'd be fine with him if al Queda attacked a major American city. There were no apparent adverse consequences. In 2001, just 48 hours after 9/11, Jerry Falwell said liberal Americans were to blame for the attacks and said the nation "deserved" to be hit by terrorists. Five years later, he's hanging out with John McCain as if he were a credible figure in Republican politics, which he unfortunately is. It's easy to pull equally disturbing comments from Limbaugh, Robertson, Dobson, etc. Not one lost his status as a leading conservative voice.

    Coulter is a best-selling pariah this week, but she'll be back on the air soon enough.
  • With Tom DeLay finally gone, let's spend some time reviewing his many pearls of wisdom -- and realize just how much better off this country will be with him gone.

  • Notice how quiet Dick Cheney has been about the gay marriage issue.... If Bush likewise had a gay daughter, you think he'd be just as silent? (Probably not. Votes are thicker than blood.)

  • Andrew Sullivan:
    I do not believe that this president has ever acknowledged his own responsibility for the atrocities committed by Americans on his watch and under his command. He simply cannot process the fact that his own hand provided the signature that allowed torture to spread like a cancer through the military and CIA.

    He cannot acknowledge that his own war policy — of just enough troops to lose — has created a war of attrition in Iraq in which soldiers are often overwhelmed and demoralised and stretched to the limit, and so more than usually vulnerable to the psychic snaps that sometimes lead to atrocities.

    His obdurate refusal to change course, to provide sufficient troops, to fire his defence secretary, to embrace, rather than evade, the McCain amendment has robbed him of any excuse, any evasion of responsibility.

    And yet he still evades it. Last week he spoke of Abu Ghraib as something that had somehow happened to him and to his country, almost as if he were not the commander-in-chief or president of the country that had committed such abuse. When the evidence is presented to him, he displaces it. He puts it to one side. In his mind America is a force for good. And so it cannot commit evil. And if he says that often enough it will somehow become true. In this way his powers of denial kick in like a forcefield against reality.
  • From Steve Leuthold:
    The absurd political proposals making the rounds in Congress for dealing with illegal immigration continue. How in the hell could we even consider deporting what has become a critical work force of 12 million people? Not only are the logistical problems impossible, the economic impact in many regions of the U.S. would be devastating, particularly when labor shortages already exist in many parts of the country.

    Then, we have the giant wall plan. The cost would be astronomical and who would we find to build the thing? How many Anglos would work in the searing desert heat? Anyway, how will a wall keep climbers, crashers, and tunnellers out of the U.S.? To be as effective as the Berlin Wall, the wall would need armed guards with orders to shoot trespassers.

    Most illegal immigrants don’t pay income taxes. But, neither do U.S. citizens participating in the underground economy. Or, citizens reporting earnings of less than $30,000 per year (Earned Income Tax Credit). Illegal immigrants do pay state sales taxes and state excise and federal taxes on things like gasoline and liquor. Also, illegals with fictitious Social Security cards will often pay into the system and never receive any of the benefits.
    How true. Just another example of emotion eclipsing intelligence and reason -- welcome to the modern-day GOP!
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