Monday, August 30, 2004


8/30/04 Am watching the republican convention, want to jot thoughts as I watch. McCain spoke well of war in Iraq. I agree we're right to be fighting it. Moore was there. He seemed to enjoy the attention even if it was negative (the crowed cheered McCain's term "disingenuous" in reference to Moore, and they chanted "Four more years!" He smiled and made the Loser signal w/ his hand.
Family of 911 victims and Heros--quite moving. Am reminded of Mahr's criticism of the ubiquitous flag displays because one speaker is now remarking how much such displays meant to her. She saw people saying they cared. That matters.
Rudy G. now speaking. Am reminded of hearing yesterday that the big three networks would not be broadcasting his or McCain's speeches. Is this because they are both so popular? He notes that Arafat won a nobel peace prize. Who needs to be part of a community who thinks Arafat deserves this? What's the point of such an award if this is who gets it? Note that the crowd applauded Rudy's reference to Kerry's war record as a soldier and boo'd his war record as a senator. I like his joke: "mabe this explains John Edwards' need for two Americas: One where Kerry [can vote for something and another where he can vote against it]". He says, "Under Bush, America will lead, not follow!" That's good. I often hear people's wishes to make America over in the image of other countries--WHY? Is France, or Canada, or any one else better? What's wrong w/ us- really? Is quality of life better in France? Are they morally superior? Why do we need their approval for anything? Do they really have great military assistance to offer? Woops, missed a funny story while on a diatribe. OK, good, caught a funny story about a traffic cop from Chicago.Now, remarks is "critical to remove the pillars of support' from terrorists. The 911 Report shows the support Saddam provided. I suggest that anyone who thinks there is no Iraq/Al Q'Aida connection read this non-partisan work though it does entail more effort than Moore-style misinfortainment. Rudy is right and all conservatives understand that the current war is part of a LONG TERM effort. Cheney's remarks about roses and candy didn't change that for reasonable people. Many Iraqis have shown appreciation. Many have shown the opposite. Who expected different? Apparently, only Kerry supporters. Bill Kristol says Rudy's speech may be the best he's ever seen at a convention. Too bad people who don't have cable TV won't see it. Brit Hume say's Moore hired by USA Today to cover event--also say's Republican firebrand Ann Coulter covered Dem. Convention for same. However, USA Today did not print her submissions. My prediction: Moore will say something outrageous (duh) and conservatives will ask why USA T. would hire him for this event. USA T. will then point to hiring Coulter as equal. Nobody will remember that they didn't actually print her. If they say they couldn't print her comments because she went too far, they must be lying. As with Moore, you can't not know what your getting by hiring Coulter. BTW, if I misspelled names, please forgive the sloppy presentation. If you ever find my logic as sloppy, please rebut.

Conservatism, Bush and the election

Let us get this straight. There are many kinds of people who call themselves conservative. Some do so wrongly such as the RINOs (Republican in name only). Then there are the NeoCons. These guys are conservative on social issues, but not on less governement, and they are hawks on foreign policy. Whether this hawkishness is truly conservative is up for debate but they apply this hawkishness strictly in the interest of the United States as a nation and that is truly conservative.

Basically, Bush acts like a neoconservative. Many traditional conservatives oppose this branch of conservatism. The worst of these guys are often called paleocons. The paleocons are hated by the Left even more than the neocons. Many conservatives feel the same way. Fine. We won't get into that debate here; it suffices to say that Pat Buchannan is a paleocon.

In fact, Bush is clearly a supporter of big Federal government. This is the antithesis of a conservative position. Why does Bush spend so much?

First, he is a uniter not a divider. He has not used his position to brow beat the Democrats, despite what they say. He has not used the Veto even one time. He teamed up with Kennedy to write the No Child Left Behind act. In doing so, he made a comprimise which gutted the very conservative heart of the bill: he dropped the private school voucher provision. Remember, he was popular even with the Dems as governor of Texas.

Second, he knows that as President, he has to pick his political battles. We may argue over which battles should be fought, but a president does have to pick. Bush chose thusly:

1) Tax cuts.
2) Introduce some level of competition into the Education depatment. This is why he comprimised so much on the bill and increased spending. Opening this door may be the beginning to long term reform.
3) Of course, Defense. This turns out to be the most important, but he argued for defense spending before 9/11.

Bush had said in 2001 that his top priorites were Education and Defense. No one is against "education." Conservatives will argue with Bush over how to get it done, but, as I have said before, politics is about winning. Conservatives may argue to abolish the Department of Education while Bush slowly gets it done.

In the end though, the first job of President is commander-in-chief and the first job of all goverment is to protect the nation against all enemies. Wherein all conservatives must agree that Bush has performed beyond expectations. Indeed, he made a 180 degree turn. The first question facing conservatives is not whether Bush is a true conservative, rather it is "who do we want as commander-in-chief."

Can you imagine a war hating John Kerry leading this nation as we wage the most difficult war of all time?

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Swift Boat Veterans, Money and Freedom

CNN often calls the the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth (SBVFT) "well funded." Yeah, right. See this quick comparison of SBVFT to a few liberal groups:

Note that while the only major non-campaign advertising on the right which I am aware of is by SBVFT who spent around $500,000 on a few ads in a few states. The ads were so powerful that the media has broadened their reach significantly making it seem like they have spent millions. On the other hand, and Media Fund actually have spent millions upon millions.

Fox News reported on the Big Story today that the breakdown of 527 money looks like this: $145 million democrat to $9 million to republican.

Further explaining this 527 imbalance is this: Wherein you will find that the liberal 527s are mostly overwhelmingly by the super rich.

The August 20th New York Times article is often cited now to prove that SWVFT are republican controlled. Read it and you will see that their case is entirely "by association." They find no direct link and thus must characterize it as a "web of connections to the Bush family." First, so what. Does this prove that SBVFT are lying? No. If they could prove that they would not have made this gossamer argument. Second, Of course there is a web of connections. These people and the "Bush family" want the same thing. What is wrong with that? Anyone who wanted to defeat Kerry would end up making the same connections. This is the worst kind of pandering. The real question is why does it work? What kind of stupid, gullible person buys into this? Oh, right, liberals.

Finally, Bush is wrong to say that 527's are bad. 527s are just citizens pooling money to exercise their First Amendment right to free speech. Surely this is the heart of the First Amendment since it is political speech. Indeed, the Supreme Court made a frightening mistake in restricting this political speech as the election approaches. Bush should extoll the virtues of the freedoms which America cherishes. They are the freedoms we hope to extend to the Muslim world. They are the freedoms which protect us from tyranny. The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, et alia are perfect exemplars of American values.

Monday, August 16, 2004

simplex et multiplex, Morality and WMDs

"Conservatives think the world is simple whereas Liberals know that it is complicated."

This line of stupidity passes for political wisdom on the Left. It is easy to see why Liberals think this way. The Left allows for no simplicity in thought at all. Every situation is unique and must be understood from it existential totality -- no abstraction, generalizing or analogy allowed. (Of course, they violate this idea all the time, but when pressed on any issue they usually end up here anyway.) This is especially true concerning moral problems. They find the idea that an individual can and must be judged by some standard. They argue instead for relativism. Ay condemnation or punishment of one by another is arbitrary. Many accept that society must exercise some level authority over constituents, but assert that this authority is arbitrary or merely conventional -- the "social contract."

The truth is that Conservatives believe that the world is both simple and complex. Unlike Liberals, conservatives have no problem sorting this out. There is simplicity, indeed certainty, in logic. Given premises, conclusions follow simply and with certainty. OF course, the premises might be flawed and this can get complicated. Examining the premises requires a new argument which itself will have premises and conclusions. This can appear quite complicated and can make one think that there is no real answer -- relativism is just around the corner, no? Human development is this struggle to find conclusions and premises.

For example, Slavery used to be common to all men. Paleo-man had this syllogism: that guy from across the river is not one of my tribe; only guys from my tribe have moral value; therefore, that guys from across the river has no moral value and may be enslaved. Simple. But, once human society adapted to agriculture and left behind its nomadic, tribal ways, it began to rethink this idea: that guy from across the river, though not from my tribe, is part of our society; all members of our society have moral value; therefore, that guy from across the river, though not from tribe, has moral value. In this way, the premises are examined and changed. There is both difficulty and confusion in this process, but there is also certainty. Our founding fathers knew this well. They knew that their premisesforced them to admit that slavery was evil. This was simple. But, they also knew that the world in complicated and that making this simple idea a reality was complicated. In the end, the United States worked this problem out. Without the clarity of simple morality there would have been no conviction. Without conviction Washington would not have freed his own slaves, setting an important example; Lincoln would not have sent thousands to die to free all the slaves. Simple and complex.

The Left lacks the conviction of simple truths and is, thus, terrified and sometimes paralyzed by the complexity. This is obvious when they try to figure out how nations should interact. Specifically, I am thinking of Iraq and the WMDs. It is patently true that Iraq both had them and had a plan to continue to develop them. [See this excellent compilation of news stories attesting to this ] Further, it is obvious that the UN had proved itself incapable of doing anything about it. The UN and the Left both lacked the simplicity of moral conviction and were paralyzed by the complexity of the issue. I want to believe that all except pacifists would agree that IF Iraq were a threat, then we were justified in acting. But, in reality, I think that many on the left can not accept that conclusion and so turn to arguing that the premise is wrong. Since they never find certainty (indeed it seems that they deny its possibility) they are left in chaos. The only thing they can do is appeal to some super authority in which they have placed vague and arbitrary "justice." Good for them, but those of us who are not so confused and paralyzed see the moral truth and must act.

The Left, in fact must deny and work against any conclusion from the right since its existence threatens their epistemology. This is why they continue to deny the facts while they say loudly "there were no WMDs." Of course there were; it is just that understanding this is complex. The Washington Post had another article today putting this in question.

Saddam Hussein periodically removed guards on the Syrian border and replaced them with his own intelligence agents who supervised the movement of banned materials between the two countries, U.S. investigators have discovered.
The recent discovery bythe Bush administration's Iraq Survey Group (ISG) is fueling speculation, but is not proof, that the Iraqi dictator moved prohibited weapons of mass destruction (WMD) into Syria before the March 2003 invasion by a U.S.-led coalition.

If Leftists were not so dangerous to the liberty of mankind they would be funny.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

The Media, Kerry and Swift Boat Veteran George Elliot

Why is it that the press never asks the right questions? We give them great freedom under the constitution. In return they have the resposibility to be, well, responsible. It is irresponsible for the press to publish allegations or claims that are totally false. Yes, we want a free and open dicussion in our society. The press is given its special status as the fourth estate in order to make sure that the discussion is informed. It does no good, indeed it does great harm, to inform us of falsity. Mistakes are to be expected. The problem is that the press is constantly screwing up the story and presenting falsehoods and distortions. Bernie Goldberg makes this case well in Bias and shows that the agenda of the Left has informed the distortion.

In the last few years, thanks in part to Bias, but also to Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, the landscape of the media has changed; MSNBC, for example, has Scarborough and CNBC has Dennis Miller. These influences have helped to include perspectives other than those of the Left. Today, one can readily hear the conservative take on the world. The hard news itself is less left-slanted than it used to be. This is progress toward responsible journalism: the fair presentation of the issues.

But, getting the real story can still be difficult. The press, even the so called conservative press, does not always tell the story in a reasonable manner. In order to be an informed participant in the national conversation one needs to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Case in point: Kerry and the Swift Boast Veterans for Truth.

George Elliot was Kerry's commanding officer and recommended Kerry for the Silver Star. He also created a "write-up" of events upon which the actual awarding was based. On July 21st, Elliot signed an affidavit, along with the other Swift Boast guys, saying that Kerry lied about, among other things, the events that led to his Silver Star. Then on August 6th the Boston Blobe ran a story by Michael Kranish "VETERAN RETRACTS CRITICISM OF KERRY" quoting Elliot saying the affidavit was a "terrible mistake." In response, Elliot signed another affidavit wholly endorsing and reaffirming his prior one adding that his knowledge of the events were not first hand. He further added that his current understanding of the the events is based partially on Kerry's own narrative as quoted by Kranish himslef in the Globe bio of Kerry.

On FoxNews Watch today, Jane Hall repeated this story of affidavit, recantation, and so on as an argument that the Swift Boat guys are lying. Jim Pinkerton responding by pointing out that no other news agency has verified the Globe claim that Elliot recanted. It is worth asking, "If Kransih has proof (video or audio) to support his quotation, why have we not seen it?" This would put this little controversy to bed and give the Globe a needed reputation boost -- so where is it? What is disgusting is that Jane Hall and many, many others have decided that the single, unconfirmed and apparantly unsupported Globe article is more believable than an honorable man's affidavit. Of course, it gets worse. No one has pointed out that the Silver Star was awarded to Kerry partially based on false information. Elliot has admitted that he has no first hand knowledge of the events. Obviously, it was Kerry himself, since he was admittedly alone, that reported the events to Elliot.

My problem then is this: The press is supposed to sort through these conflicting stories and use educated, reasoned judgement to report to us the true story. There is no good reason to believe that Elliot suddenly and briefly recanted his sworn affidavit. Whereas, Kerry's own narrative supports Elliots claim that he did not know that Kerry had pursued a lone gunman (nor that he shot him in the back). The only real argument is whether Kerry told Elliot this or not.

BTW, does this not explain why Elliot is so mad. He was used by Kerry. Elliot makes it quite plain that he would not have recommended Kerry if Kerry had told him what he told Kranish.

The media persists in allowing themselves and Kerry's team to refer to the Globe article as proof. We need to see more proof than that.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Manchurian Candidate: A Wake-Up Call to Voters

Nick and I saw The Manchurian Candidate, and we both liked it very much. If you haven't already seen the film, wait to read this because I'm not going to be careful about giving away the plot.
This movie isn't exactly what we expected. I thought it would be a fairly blatant attack on Republican's stereotypical corrupt association with big business.. After all, Manchurian Global is an obvious stand-in for Halliburtin and it's long-standing government contract work. But the story is not about Republicans at all. There are only vague references to the the incumbant administration which suffers in spades the same criticisms of the current Bush administration. Of the two heros, Ben reveals no party affilliation, and Ray is clearly a Democrat. The leading villain in this film is a dead on ringer for Hillary Clinton. If the makers of Manchurian Candidate did not mean them to be Democrats, they failed.
Don't get me wrong . . . I don't think this film is meant to tell you whom to vote for or which party to believe. I think the film is pointing to the surreal nature of politics. The main characters, Ben and Ray, represent us, the voters. Senator Shaw and Manchurian Global represent those forces that seek to prevent us from making informed, autonomous decisions. Their weapons are lies and intimidation. Here's a real-life example: The writers of "Unfit for Command" face lawsuits from John Kerry's lawyers. Mabe they deserve it, but even if they're telling the truth, they'll have to pay large sums to defend themselves. If the suits are unfounded, there is no penalty to Kerry or his lawyers. That's pretty compelling intimidation. Also, just as in the movie, people have a hard time finding the truth. News reports, TV politics, radio shows, rock music, movies, etc all are rife with distortions, partial information, lies and plain mistakes. Our hero Ben said that his dreams seemed more real than the real world. I think we all get frustrated trying to sort the true from the false. But the point of the movie (and my blog) is this: deep down we have what we need to make the right choice. Ben and Ray, though controlled by implants and coerced by threats, know that they can find the truth and free themselves. We too know when things aren't adding up. We too can fight for the truth. We can't eliminate deceit in politics any more than Ben can defeat Manchurian Global. We can, like Ben, exercize the only real power we have: The power not to be another man's tool.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

HSA's and Liberal Religion

Why can't liberals and Democrats be more open minded? They hated MSA's and oppose HSA's now. They claim that HSA's will suck healthy and young people out of the group market, thereby increasing costs to those who remain. Further, they claim that people with HSA's will not seek health care since it means spending their money. They claim that HSA's are "for the wealthy." see also

All of the criticisms seem reasonable in theory.

The problem is they are wrong. In fact, a significant portion of people who have applied for HSA's did not previously have insurance and about a quarter are low income. Moreover, many are over 40 years old.

Assurant (formerly Fortis) has reviewed its data of its roughly 44,000 HSA applicants since January 1, 2004, and has found that 42% were previously uninsured, 27% of HSA purchasers have a net worth of less than $25,000, while over 70% of HSA purchasers are over age 40. Interestingly, only 30% of HSA purchasers are registered Republicans.

eHealthInsurance found that 56% of its HSA policies sold to those with incomes of less than $15,000 a year were uninsured, and that 33% of its total HSA policies sold, were to those who were previously uninsured.

This information is not from some study, but from the companies actually selling these policies -- this is pure hard data. Nevertheless, one can still hear the same theoretical arguments against HSA's from the Left. Look, if the unadulterated -- not from Brookings, CATO nor AEI -- facts prove your theory wrong, you must change your theory. Of course, Liberals beleive they have access to the revealed truth of their Lord, Government, therefore nothing good can come from a freer market.

Facts be damned!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Leadership, bureaucracy and Risk

Reading the 9/11 report is revealing. It is obvious that we suffered a lack of leadership and an overly bureaucratic system. Both of these sicknesses doom a free people. The question is: "why was leadership so weak and why was congressional oversight so deadly for us?" It might suprise you to hear that I have the answer: Risk

After Vietnam and Watergate, the press and the intellegencia became very critical of executive action. The heads of Justice, CIA and the president were too risk averse. They were unwilling to take the bold action
that the country needed. Worse, Congress worked to weaken the CIA and Janet Reno and Jamie Gorelick crerated the infamous wall. This culture of weakness invaded even lower levels of the white house. The report says, "even officials who acknowledge a vital threat intellectually may not be ready to act on such beliefs at great costs or at high risk." Pg. 119.

This high risk was identified by the report on page 114. The CIA had developed a plan in May 1998 to capture Bin Ladin. However, they abandoned it, worried about failure: "millions of dollars down the drain; a shoot-out that could be seen as an assasination; and, if there were repercussions in Pakistan, a coup." You will remember that 70 days later Bin Ladin bombed U.S. embassies Kenya and Tanzania killing hundreds, wounding thousands and costing America at least $46 million dollars.

I want to believe that 9/11 has forced Americans to grow up and realize that the threats are real and deadly. After all the first unalienable right is the right to Life, upon which Liberty depends. We have to secure our actual safety in order to secure our freedom. I am not suggesting that we trade the former for the latter, rather that we simply order them so as to secure both. Justice Goldberg wrote in Kennedy v. Mendoza-Martinez (1963), "[W]hile the Constitution protects against invasions of individual rights, it is not a suicide pact."

We cannot afford the sophomoric, reactionary, culture of the Left. When I hear Kerry, Dean, Moore and the rest of the childish hippe crowd and I think, "Dudes, the president is not your dad. Grow up and help him be commander-in-chief. There is adult work to be done."

Monday, August 09, 2004

Alan Keyes, hypocrisy and politics

When Hillary was running for Senate in New York, Keyes rightly criticized her saying

I deeply resent the destruction of federalism represented by Hillary Clinton's willingness to go into a state she doesn't even live in and pretend to represent people there, so I certainly wouldn't imitate it. (Reportedly saying this to Pat Buchanan on Fox News in 2000)

Now he is running for Senate in Illinois even though he is from Maryland. This is hypocrisy. Speaker Hastert (IL) told Tim Russert that he had been looking for five weeks to find a candidate from Illinois who could challenge Obama to no avail. He has even asked Ditka. The argument is that it takes millions of dollars to build name recognition (Obama is riding on a wave of fame from the Democratic Convention) and Keyes already has it.

I suppose, from the point of view of the Republican Party, you have to do what it takes to win. However, this is one of the major problems with liberal thinking -- ends justify means. Conservative philosophy should deny this sort of reasoning favoring instead principled argument.

So, the question is, was Keyes right to criticize Hillary? In order to escape hypocrisy he must explain his position then and now and resolve the conflict. Is it permissible to represent a state in the US Senate without having lived there? I do not have a well considered opinion. However, I also criticize Hilary for her blatant pandering and ambition. Specifically, I criticize her for her lack of principle. Like any good citizen, I am willing to be convinced. But, until then I must criticize Keyes for this hypocrisy.

Of course, we still have to deal with the lesser of two evils argument. Politics is, after all, pragmatic. When you vote, you are not saying that you agree with everything your candidate stands for. You are saying that you want him to win more than the other guys. This is certainly the case with Keyes -- not to mentions the strategic need to keep Senate control in the hands of Republicans.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

AOl Blogs suck and so does Janet Reno

AOL Blows my balls!
I had a really great post about Gorelick, Reno and leadership but the stupid sub-par AOL journal software destroyed it.

Upshot: If we had a better Attorney General the FBI would likely have prevented 9/11.

Eat me AOL!

endymion at 10:37:44 PM EDT

McCarthy, Coulter and WSJ's Dororthy Rabinowitz

The Venona Project has been embarrassing liberals for nearly a decade now. Strangely, even after Venona corroborated McCarthy's charge that communists had infiltrated our government, liberals still demonize him. Worse, they still claim that his charges were groundless. Happily, these "useful idiots" are just as lazy and stupid today as they were then. Sadly, they are not all liberals.

Case in point: Dorothy Rabinowitz
Ms. Coulter has not just set about rehabilitating McCarthy as a martyr destroyed by anti-American leftists--she has also set about rehabilitating the most notorious of his cases, the kind dramatized in famous film clips of the period. Cases like that of Annie Lee Moss, a black code clerk who had lost her job at the Pentagon when she was hauled before McCarthy's committee as a security risk and Communist Party member. She had been confused with a different Annie Lee Moss, the witness explained--and who Karl Marx was she could not even say. So evident was Ms. Moss's confusion at what she was doing there that applause erupted in the hearing room when Democratic Sen. Stuart Symington declared he believed her.

But the evidence against Ms. Moss was not insignificant, the author of "Treason" now maintains. The code clerk had said there were two other people called Annie Lee Moss listed in the Washington phone book--whereas the two others were actually Anna Lee Moss and Annie Moss. Dynamite evidence, as far as Ms. Coulter is concerned--case closed. After all, an FBI report had identified her as a Communist.
Now, she may be able to pass this off on idiots, but not on me. You see I actually read the book. The case made by Coulter is much stronger than this, but do not take my word for it. Read what M. Stanton Evans has to say about it in his unprinted letter to the WSJ editors.

Mrs. Moss had been identified as a member of the Communist Party in the District of Columbia by FBI undercover agent Mary Markward, who had access to the party’s records. This information was passed on from the Bureau to the Army, which nonetheless promoted Mrs. Moss from cafeteria worker to code clerk, and security-cleared her for these duties.

The outrageous Joe McCarthy, if you can believe it, actually wanted to know how such a thing couldhappen. When Mrs. Moss appeared before him in March of 1954, she denied she was a communist, indicated she had never heard of Marx, and allowed that she was being confused with some other Annie Lee Moss who must have been the guilty party. This mistaken-identity theme was echoed by the Democrats on the panel, and has been repeated often since.

Unfortunately for Mrs. Moss and for such as Murrow, she inadvertently gave the game away in testifying--volunteering as one of her addresses 72 R St. S.W. in the District. This proved to be the crucial evidence in the case when, four years later, the Subversive Activities Control Board (SACB) obtained the records of the D.C. party, and there found an Annie Lee Moss, of 72 R St. S.W., listed as a member in the middle ‘40s. Thus Markward’s testimony was confirmed by the Communists’ own records, reflecting this particular Annie Lee Moss, and no other, as a party member.
What an astounding lack of professionalism. Is it deceit, sloth, or stupidity? Whatever, it is troubling that it is in the WSJ. The bulk of her article is rhetoric of the tone “I can’t believe she is saying this.” She makes only four actual arguments: The one above and another similar one about Peress which are refuted by reading the book.

Then she goes off into idiotville about the actors. Coulter has claimed that the blacklisting was not as bad as we have all been led to believe. To counter this, Rabinowitz tells us the “sad story” of Philip Loeb. Problem one: McCarthy was in the senate not the House. It was the House Un-American Activities Committee that dealt with Hollywood. Problem two: it’s a lie anyway. It was not HUAC, nevermind McCarthy, that bankrupted Loeb. It was Loeb. Even if it is true that the allegations ended his career, he was bought out of his TV show for $40,000 years before he killed himself (Slate). This would buy about $250,000 worth of goods today. Don’t get me wrong. It is a sad story, but, Rabinowitz does not tell the whole tale. This is what Coulter is trying to do with McCarthy: tell the whole tale.

Her final argument though, is intriguing. I admit that I do not know anything about it. She condemns McCarthy for supporting several SS troops who killed American POWs. McCarthy, she says, claimed that these SS troops had been mistreated by the US. Is it not ironic that McCarthy would be condemned for attacking the US Army for "prisoner abuse?"

In any case, Rabinowitz fails to provide any valid criticism of Coulter's work. McCarthyism may have seemed real and terrible for decades, now the story is different. There were, in fact, communist spies in the State Department -- Thank God for Tailgunner Joe.
endymion at 3:09:09 AM EDT

Friday, August 06, 2004

Al Franken, Rush Limbaugh and Minimum Wage

Al Franken recently bragged about catching Rush in a lie. He has on his site the following comment:

Among other things, you can check out Rush Limbaugh Dropping a Whopper ( )about the minimum wage, something all of us at the Factor enjoyed listening to last week.

Now, on his show and on Late Night he claimed to have used the Bureau of Labor Statistics to refute Rush's 75% number. This was a lie. The BLS numbers do not agree with his own. This is because he did not use the BLS. He cited the Media Matters article above which in turn cites a study by the Economic Policy Institute ( This study used BLS numbers from 2000 not the current 2003 numbers.

This is all to say that he is a Liar. Weird, since the 2003 BLS numbers are actually better for him and very easy to get. Of course, as usual, he has failed to engaged the actual argument Rush made anyway.

It is true that Rush was wrong to say that 75% of MW workers are teens. In fact, 25% are teens. However, he was not actually arguing that point. He was arguing that most minimum wage earners do not support a family on that income. Using data relative to the same time of study that Franken used, Cato ( says

According to the Employment Policies Institute, the average family affected by the minimum wage has an annual income of $38,000 because seven out of 10 minimum-wage workers live with a working spouse or relatives.

This is what Rush was saying. Yes, he should have said "75% of minimum wage workers are like teenagers." But to correct this minor mistake, which does not alter his argument anyway, without engaging the argument itself is intellectual dishonesty. Surprised?

endymion at 3:49:26 AM EDT

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Ben Affleck, O'Reilley, taxes and soldiers,2933,127324,00.html

Ben talked with O'Reilley during the Democrat convention and he said three things which impressed me.

First he said, "I'm not a big gun control guy. I believe in all the bill of rights, including the Second Amendment." This is very interesting, no?

More importantly, he said:

I object to me getting a tax cut where we got soldiers who have got to pay for their own body armor in Iraq. That's what; I don't deserve a tax cut. I believe that money ought to be spent on education.

Let us put aside the knee-jerk and wrong idea that we should spend more on Education. I could not agree more with his complaint about under-funded, under-paid soldiers. He cited this as his "biggest issue." Commendable. It is shameful that we do not take better care of soldiers, their families and veterans. If a citizen is willing to put his life on the line and/or dedicate his service to our military, we should make sure that this choice is not financially burdensome.


O'REILLY: Wouldn't it be better, though, if they put a little thing on your IRS form that said I'm going to donate so and so to the government?

AFFLECK: I would like that. I really would.

Now this is very interesting. It is rare to hear a liberal, even a moderate one, admit that taxation is not the only solution to fund social needs. Of course, giving money to the government is the least efficient way to fund anything, but this is a promising breach in the wall.

Into the breach!

endymion at 8:57:57 PM EDT (Link to this entry)