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From: JohnM3/2/2012 11:51:51 AM
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My bold.
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Political Animal Blog
March 02, 2012 10:31 AM
Can’t Have It Both Ways
By Ed Kilgore

One of the things about checking out of political talk for a day or two is that it offers a moment for regaining perspective. Checking back in today, I see a panel on MSNBC where a Republican consultant is complaining that Republican candidates are talking about anything other than the economy. I hear Rick Santorum complaining that “the media” have invented the current preoccupation with contraception. I read background reports that congressional Republicans feel trapped by the furor over the Blunt-Rubio Amendment, and wish it would all go away.

For much of the last year, Republicans have been saying constantly that all they have to do is to focus monomaniacally on the economy and they can’t lose in 2012. But somehow or other, they don’t. When the Catholic bishops went ballistic over the administration’s contraception coverage mandate (or to speak more strictly, over the scope of the “conscience exception” it provided), the air was filled with Republican cackling over the epochal, victory-sacrificing mistake Obama had made (echoed, as a matter of fact, by some Democrats). The GOP presidential candidates were all over the issue, shouting about this unprecedented threat to religious freedom.

Now that the controversy hasn’t turned out like they anticipated it would, suddenly Republicans are pretending they never cared about it to begin with.

The simple truth is that the GOP’s conservative “base” cares passionately about “cultural issues,” is constantly rewarding candidates who exploit them, and has elevated to totemic status blowhards like Rush Limbaugh who palpably want to return to the patriarchal mores of the 1950s.

I’d have more respect for Republicans if they just came right out and admitted that these spasms of cultural reaction—these “Terri Schiavo Moments”—are highly illustrative of the vision for the country’s future that they and their party stands for. You could make a pretty strong case that the GOP deployment of economic arguments—and certainly the fiscal arguments they only care about when they are not in power—is the real distraction from the fundamental determination of conservatives to re-create the society of their imagination, where Dad was large and in charge in every home, where Authority was rarely challenged in the classroom, the boardroom, or the bedroom, and where America itself was only wrong when it failed to fully exercise its righteous power.

But even if I’m exaggerating the power of cultural issues, it really is time to call ultimate B.S. on the whining of Republicans when their dog-whistles and out-loud overt appeals to advocates of cultural counter-revolution backfire on them. You made this bed over decades of efforts to mobilize cultural conservatives, boys; you have no one but yourselves to blame if it turns out a majority of Americans decide you have gone around the bend.

washingtonmonthly.com

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To: JohnM who wrote (184228)3/2/2012 11:55:52 AM
From: JohnM
of 265218
 
Political Animal Blog
March 02, 2012 10:55 AM
Old Spin
By Ed Kilgore

It wasn’t the main point of his piece, but WaPo columnist Michael Gerson yesterday casually referred to the notorious Abu Ghraib scandal as making George W. Bush and his team “an administration facing events that aren’t its fault but that are its problem.”

As it happens, Gerson’s act of retroactive absolution conflicted directly with the most recent bipartisan report from the Senate Armed Services Committee:

The report…issued jointly by Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, the Democratic chairman of the panel, and Senator John McCain of Arizona, the top Republican…represents the most thorough review by Congress to date of the origins of the abuse of prisoners in American military custody, and it explicitly rejects the Bush administration’s contention that tough interrogation methods have helped keep the country and its troops safe. The report also rejected previous claims by Mr. Rumsfeld and others that Defense Department policies played no role in the harsh treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in late 2003 and in other episodes of abuse. The abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, the report says, “was not simply the result of a few soldiers acting on their own” but grew out of interrogation policies approved by Mr. Rumsfeld and other top officials, who “conveyed the message that physical pressures and degradation were appropriate treatment for detainees.”

Rumsfeld, naturally, sent word via a spokesman (since when do former Cabinet members have “spokesmen?”) that the report was “irresponsible,” but I think we know who has more credibility on this particular subject. It would be nice if writers like Gerson didn’t buy the old spin when referring to this particularly dark moment in recent U.S. history.

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To: Cogito who wrote (184153)3/2/2012 12:01:15 PM
From: brushwud
of 265218
 
>>If a racist joke makes someone a racist, then a misogynist lyric makes someone a misogynist, right?<<

Let's stipulate that it does, for the sake of argument. What difference does it make? How's it relevant here?


I was angling for the contrapositive: if you can't reach a conclusion that misogynist lyrics make someone a misogynist, how can you reach a conclusion that repeating one racist joke makes someone a racist. No doubt this forwarded email is a very small bit compared to a large oeuvre of opinions during this judge's career.

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To: Steve Lokness who wrote (184219)3/2/2012 12:03:04 PM
From: Bread Upon The Water
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I appreciate your input. Although I'm sure there are many different points of view as to how far restrictions can go on a judge's personal life I'm basically saying that a judge always has to be thinking of how his actions will be perceived, if they become public, because if he's perceived as biased in some way he effectively is dead in the water--regardless of what legalities/technicalities that may or may not apply.

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From: JohnM3/2/2012 12:09:53 PM
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Amidst all the faint praise for Olympia Snowe, I like this Krugman quote of Jonathan Chait.
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March 2, 2012, 11:29 am
Jonathan Chait’s Sense of Snowe

Perfect:

When George W. Bush proposed a huge, regressive tax cut in 2001, Snowe, sitting at the heart of a decisive block of centrists, used her leverage to support the passage of a modestly smaller and less regressive version. When Barack Obama proposed a large fiscal stimulus in 2009, Snowe (citing fears of deficits that she had helped create) decided to shave a nice round $100 billion off his figure and call it a day. If a Gingrich administration proposed spending a trillion dollars to erect a 100- foot-tall solid-gold Winston Churchill statue on Mars, Snowe would no doubt decide, after careful deliberation, that the wise course was to trim the height down to 90 feet and perhaps use a cheaper bronze alloy in the base.

krugman.blogs.nytimes.com

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To: ChinuSFO who wrote (184180)3/2/2012 12:12:38 PM
From: brushwud
of 265218
 
That he should get a email that talks about bestialty and forward that is what is outrageous.

There've been times I've been with a group of guys and some of them are big jokers and have a ton of them. And they get into a game of "can you top this?" to see who can come up with the most disgusting joke. Many years ago, I was at a party and one guy (a very talented salesman) was telling jokes and one ended with the punchline, "and then she bit his dick off." There were a couple of women hanging on every word and they thought it was hilarious. I rolled my eyes at a friend and we took off and found something else to do. A few years later I discovered that The World According to Garp is a 600-page novel with that as the punchline.

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To: JohnM who wrote (184220)3/2/2012 12:14:38 PM
From: Win Smith
of 265218
 
The fat guy doubles down:

"So, Miss Fluke and the rest of you feminazis. Here's the deal. If we're going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch," Limbaugh said. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/01/martin-bashir-rush-limbaugh-sandra-fluke_n_1314569.html


Ok, so it's not like we didn't know Limbaugh was, in general, a loathsome human being. I'm thinking he's pushing for a backlash so he can play the victim, or something. I sort of wish one of the hapless Republican candidates would be a little apologetic about it, so they'd be forced to back down and grovel to the loathsome fat guy, but they probably know better at this point.

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To: Win Smith who wrote (184234)3/2/2012 12:20:36 PM
From: Wharf Rat
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Why not just say it?
Don't play coy, Rush.

" Here's the deal. If we're going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. We want you to have sex with me and post the videos online so we can all watch."

Lawrence O'Donnell, I think it was, put up a graphic of Rush's marriages. Perfect record. 4 marriages, no kids.

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To: Win Smith who wrote (184234)3/2/2012 12:21:32 PM
From: epicure
of 265218
 
Oh my. What a perv. So if the government pays for his ballsack exam, do we have a right to demand to watch it? And if guys want viagra...

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To: epicure who wrote (184236)3/2/2012 12:23:47 PM
From: Wharf Rat
of 265218
 
Rush Limbaugh could see a deal with prosecutors in a long-running prescription fraud case collapse after authorities found a bottle of Viagra in his bag at Palm Beach International Airport. The prescription was not in his name.
cbsnews.com

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