Category Archives: 05_kathy

The “Genial, Professorial” Grinning Deathhead

Howard Kurtz profiles William Kristol in the respectful way he reserves for rabid right-wing lunatics:

Bill Kristol’s the-war-is-being-won piece in The Washington Post brought him plenty of ridicule, but at least one person liked it.

President Bush read the July 15 Outlook article that morning and recommended it to his staff.

On the other hand, Arianna Huffington called it “the single most deceptive piece of the entire war” and said Kristol had “officially surpassed Dick Cheney as the most intellectually dishonest member of the neocon establishment.” David Corn of the Nation dismissed Kristol’s “Bush boosterism.” And 260 pages of comments on The Post’s Web site called him everything from an “uninformed, partisan fool” to a “Bush sycophant” to a “menace to America.”

The Weekly Standard editor, looking a bit grayer at 54, takes the broadsides in stride, his genial, professorial demeanor seemingly unruffled by the highly personal attacks.

“I’ve been pretty consistent, pretty upfront and straightforward about my views,” he says in his downtown office. “I had the same views when they were reasonably popular as I do now when they’re unpopular. It would really be pathetic to adjust one’s analysis based on public opinion.”

Adjusting one’s analysis based on emerging information and facts might make sense, though.



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Thanks For That Wonderful Thank You, France — Now Here’s a Slap in the Face

There’s a lot of good writing in the blogosphere, but every once in a while I read a post that so exactly hits the nail on the head that I think, “Wow. I wish I’d written that.” Well, right now I’m feeling that way about the post Shamanic, over at Newshoggers, wrote regarding the boorish response by some right-wing bloggers to a deeply touching gesture of appreciation from a group of French citizens to the United States for saving France in World War II. The post is titled “The Cons Even Slime French Gratitude“:

Here’s your tasteless Sunday treat: Gateway Pundit and a couple of others on the right are mocking a French event commemorating the US-led liberation of that country in WWII.

Asking “Goodness, What’s Happened to France?”, Gateway Pundit shows a brief series of pictures (culled from MSM mainstay Reuters) showing thousands of people lined up on Omaha Beach, forming a human chain that spells “France Will Never Forget”. Below the words, the American and French flags are held aloft.

So, what’s happened to France? Not a thing. The real question is what’s happened to the slice of Americans that have turned long-time allies, partners, and friends into enemies.

French foreign policy often butts up against America’s interest in a given region. This should surprise no one. France has played the role of regional European power since before North America appeared on European maps. That two powerful, internationally engaged nations often disagree in pursuing their own interests is a no-brainer. Only to the crazies on the utter fringe of the right does this make a nation like France our enemy. Idiots.

That was precisely what I thought when I saw that headline, “Goodness…What’s Happened To France?” What condescending slop. Can you say, Ugly American?


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Just the Kind of Thing A Liberal Would Say

In the wealthiest country in the history of the world, it is an outrage that anyone who works full time would still wind up in poverty. Everyone who puts in an honest day’s work should receive a fair day’s pay.

That’s Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, quoted in an AP article about the federal minimum wage, which will rise to a stunning $5.85 an hour on Tuesday:

Many lawmakers, along with advocates for low-wage workers, are celebrating the first increase in the federal minimum wage in a decade. Yet many acknowledge that raising it from $5.15 an hour to $5.85 will provide only meager help for some of the lowest paid workers.

About 1.7 million people made $5.15 or less in 2006, according to the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“The reality for a minimum wage worker is that every penny makes a difference because low-wage workers make the choice between putting food on the table and paying for electricity or buying clothes for their children,” said Beth Shulman, former vice president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.

“Saying that, it’s clear going up to $5.85 is not enough to really make sure that people really can afford the things that all families need,” said Shulman, author of “The Betrayal of Work: How Low-Wage Jobs Fail 30 Million Americans.”

Minimum wage workers will get an additional 70-cent boost each summer for the next two years, ending in 2009 at $7.25 an hour. That comes to just above $15,000 yearly before taxes for a 52-week work year.

Now, someone in such a job and earning $5.85 an hour would bring home $12,168 a year before taxes. The federal poverty level for singles is $10,210, couples is $13,690 and $17,170 for families of three.

“In the wealthiest country in the history of the world, it is an outrage that anyone who works full time would still wind up in poverty,” said Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee. “Everyone who puts in an honest day’s work should receive a fair day’s pay.”


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Questions and More Questions

The Grinning Deathhead has a question:

How can you say with a straight face that you support the troops while advancing legislation that would undercut their mission and strengthen their enemies?

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There’s A First Time for Everything

Hell is a cold place today. I agree with Ann Althouse. Vis-a-vis Mitt Romney’s attack on Barack Obama for “advocating sex education for kindergartners,” Ann came out in favor of age-appropriate sex education for five-year-olds. Avedon is shocked, too:

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If This Does Not Light A Fire Under Congressional Asses, Nothing Will

I know exactly how you feel, Jeff.

The cognitive dissonance of George W. Bush’s supposed democratic “mission” in Iraq is buzzing louder by the day:

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The Name of Our Country is the United States, Not “The Homeland”

Rana beat me to it. About the references in my post (in material I quoted) to “The Homeland,” Rana commented:

Am I the only one freaked out by the “the” there, and the capitalization?

I’m trying really, really hard to avoid Godwin’s Law, but it’s damn difficult when things like this issue from that man’s mouth!

No, Rana, you are not the only one. In fact, I was going to write about that in the post itself, but I couldn’t find a way to do it smoothly because it was a non sequitur from what I was discussing in the post. So I was going to write a separate post about that obnoxious usage, but Rana posted her comment, like, 10 seconds after I published!

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