Thursday, September 16, 2010

On The Internets 09.16.2010

  • The Pentagon will finally resume an investigation it abandoned in 2007 into the purchase and distribution of child pornography among Department of Defense employees. Investigators found 264 military service members, civilian employees and contractors for the Department of Defense had purchased child porn with their credit cards or PayPal accounts (70 of them had security clearances and 22 had Top Secret clearance). For some inexplicable reason, only 52 were investigated before the entire thing was shut down. The DCIS is now re-opening the cases that had been closed or ignored to determine proper action was taken. Curious why child pornographers were tolerated among the ranks of the DOD at all.
  • One of the few remaining reality based conservatives left is former George W Bush speechwriter David Frum. On his website, Frum wrote an intelligent column about the latest round of results in Republican Party primaries entitled, The Real Winner of the Republican Primaries. In it, Frum writes that Pres. Obama is the real winner here since many of the tea party candidates who won in Republican primaries will either lose in the general election or lose in 2012 when more Democrats will be voting (due to Obama running for re-election). He argues that the GOP has sacrificed its long-term future for the short-term high of the angry screamers of the tea party. "The saddest thing is that this conservative calamity is mostly self-inflicted. More and more conservatives get Oprah-cized (one of their favorite leaders, Sarah Palin is sometimes called 'the conservative Oprah', and in my humble opinion Glenn Beck deserves that title too). They now believe that expressing their feelings (e.g. by nominating quixotic candidates) is more important than trying to influence government policies (e.g. by nominating viable candidates). They withdraw from practical politics and instead join a protest movement. They march in the streets in tricorn hats while the liberals (whom they unwittingly help to put in office) are creating new entitlements and raising taxes." I agree wholeheartedly (except for the raising taxes part), and hope the Republicans ignore Frum's advice (as I'm sure they will).
  • While David Frum's column will anger conservatives, Michael Moore's new column at The Daily Beast ("Liberals Sold the Iraq War") is sure to rile up liberals just as much (if not more). In it, Moore tears apart the "liberal" media for their unquestioning support of the Iraq War and for their marginalizing of any opposition to it. He also attacks Democrats who supported the debacle and calls them cowards. "We invaded Iraq because most Americans—including good liberals like Al Franken, Nicholas Kristof and Bill Keller of The New York Times, David Remnick of The New Yorker, the editors of The Atlantic and The New Republic, Harvey Weinstein, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, and John Kerry—wanted to...I blame the Times more for this war than Bush. I expected Bush and Cheney to try and get away with what they did. But the Times—and the rest of the press—was supposed to STOP them by doing their job: Be a relentless watchdog of government and business—and then inform the public so we can take action...So let me state this clearly: This war was aided and abetted by a) liberals who were afraid to stick their necks out and thus remained silent; and b) liberals who actually said they believed Colin Powell's cartoon presentation at the U.N. and then went against their better judgment by publicly offering their support for the invasion of Iraq." It's rough stuff, but it had to be said to prevent the next Bush or Cheney type politician (i.e. Sarah Palin) from getting away with lying a nation into war.
  • If the Democrats had any balls (which is doubtful) they would push for a vote to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the middle class only. Let the rates for the top 2% expire. This would put the Republicans in the position of voting against tax cuts for 98% of Americans or filibustering tax cuts for the benefit of millionaires and hedge fund owners. Remember, I said "if" they had any balls. I know Nancy Pelosi does (and that is not smear on her, she is a tough freakin' lady), but I worry about many in "Democratic" caucus. According to a new New York Times/CBS News poll, a large majority of Americans support this idea. Sounds like a win-win. Seriously, if the Dems do not push this and make it an issue before the elections, I am done with the party. I will officially be an independent. It's time for some spine, folks.
  • Digital music company,, is planning a major re-launch this Fall, and the subscription service will then have the catalogs of all of the major labels. Personally, I love emusic. It's cheaper than itunes, and the tracks are pure, no DRM mp3's. I hope this works out for them, as I'm not a fan of itunes or Amazon (the current #1 and 2).
  • The Canadian indie duo comprised of identical twin sisters, Tegan and Sara, are releasing a career retrospective. The collection will consist of two documentaries, six studio albums, one live album and thirteen music videos. It will be available digitally through itunes or in a vinyl box set. It is set to be released September 21. Here is a clip of Tegan and Sara performing "So Jealous":
  • Lastly, the incredibly crass and crude, yet thoroughly hysterical comedy, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, starts it's sixth season tonight. The show airs on F/X at 10 pm Eastern Time. This is must-see TV, my friends!


T. Paine said...

I absolutely agree with your take on DOD employees with the child pornography issue. This needs to be investigated fully and those found guilty should be punished severely, regardless of rank, title, or connections.

Frum has evidently suffered from an aneurism and is no longer a conservative. He may still be qualified as a typical Republican though. He is also dead wrong in his analysis.

What Frum is proposing is for the GOP to put up more centrist or progressive RINO candidates for election. That is EXACTLY what created half of the mess we currently find ourselves in here.

George W. was not a conservative. He was a moderate at best, as was McCain, as was Bush's father. These folks are largely responsible for the failure of the GOP and the damage done to this country.

I expect the Democrats to tax and spend and spend and spend. I don't expect this from the GOP.

By the people being fed up with this and insisting on conservative candidates, we are shifting the window back to the right where it needs to be if we are to restore this country to greatness.

Supporting mushy centrist RINO's as Frum suggests will simply result in more of the same mess in which we currently find ourselves.

Moore is so cartoonish that he doesn't even deserve a response.

As for Pelosi, she is corrupt and a liar. That being said, she will likely wait until after the November election and then schedule a vote on the tax cuts in a lame duck session of congress. This will ameliorate any more harm from voters done to her tax and spend progressives. Her days as Speaker of the House come to an end in January of 2011, THANK GOD!

Dave Splash said...

I definitely hope the GOP follows your advice as it is the surest way to ensure Democratic majorities for decades to come as the Republican party becomes increasingly marginal and regional. Regardless of what happens in 2010, Frum is right that many of the winners this year won't last through the next election cycle.

The overwhelming anger from the right and the absence of anything resembling a plan to do much more than ensure millionaires pay less taxes, is a recipe for failure in the long term. Voters don't respond to anger, they respond to optimism. That is something the apoplectic right seems to forget.

Hating Barack Obama is not exactly a strategy for fixing the country, nor is it something that moderates and independents will sign on to. The tea party now has a lower approval rating than either Democrats or Republicans.

I hope very much that the GOP refuses to moderate in any way. I'll get a second Obama term, and the Republicans will have a difficult time enacting any of their so-called agenda.

T. Paine said...

I am curious as to where you are getting your polling information, Dave. Seems to me that the Tea Party has managed to upset the establishment in the GOP and Democratic parties. They have successfully challenged and beaten at least eight establishment candidates in primaries thus far that I can think of to date.

And despite your characterization to the contrary, conservatives as represented by the Tea Party are not running on a "I hate Obama" platform. Rather they are running on a prudent fiscal conservatism and restoration rather than reformation of our country.

Sorry to say for progressives, but this movement will have legs for a LONG time... at least it will if we are to survive as an American nation.

Dave Splash said...

Every major poll (CBS, Gallup, etc) all showed that a majority of Americans have an unfavorable view of the "tea party." The number has doubled since this time last year. Dems and Repubs also have high unfavorables, too. Furthermore, there have been no Democratic upsets by the tea party. Name one. This is a movement inside the Republican Party, and the only people who believe otherwise are the folks at Fox News. This is the radical, fringe base of the GOP rebelling against its leadership.

Unlike the Perot voters in 92 (who the tea party frequently is compared to), the tea party is extremely ideological and not simply focused on economic issues. Saying otherwise is spin. This is a rabid anti-Obama crowd who have never accepted losing the election in 2008, and who decided to bite their tongues for 8 years, and then unleash their anger on Obama for all of the failures of their hero, George W Bush.

Sorry, Paine, I don't drink tea party kool-aid. I prefer to deal with reality. This is a Republican problem, and as that party moves further and further to the right, the chances of the GOP remaining a national and relevant party continues to decline. Of the 535 members of Congress, how many "tea party" members are even running in the general election? 5? 10? 15?

Enjoy the anger and vitriol and the anti-Obama nonsense, but when you guys nominate Sarah Palin in 2012, and Obama wins 45 states, I'll be the one with the grin on my face.

T. Paine said...

Dave, I am laughing out loud because I know that you actually believe everything you just wrote, sir.

If the Republican party does not tack to a more conservative bent via the influence of the Tea Party, they will indeed cease to have a governing majority. They will also be unworthy of the name of Republicans, which they have already horribly tarnished.