Tuesday, January 31, 2006

That liberal media

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Malkin:
Meantime, pre-speech buzz is focusing on Hugo Chavez's big squeeze, Cindy Sheehan, who has a gallery pass to watch the speech live.

Wonder if she will be wearing pink lingerie?

Update, 900pm eastern: CNN is reporting that Capitol Police arrested Sheehan after she unfurled an anti-war banner inside the House chamber.
I heard - from NPR - that she brought a banner inside the chamber, but got arrested before the speech...a banner does seem a little over the top, actually.

Then again, I wonder what really happened?
Peace activist Cindy Sheehan was arrested Tuesday in the House gallery after refusing to cover up a T-shirt bearing an anti-war slogan before President Bush's State of the Union address.
Wow. A t-shirt. Enemy of the people.

Update: According to MSNBC (via a Kos diarist), the t-shirt said "2,245 dead - how many more?"

Ironic?

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Yes - the furor over the cartoons portraying Mohammed in Denmark is lame. There is no question that, as Michelle and Jesse explain it, "The Bullies of Islam" are behind it.

It is ironic that the Malkins are some of the highest profiles "Bullies of Anti-Islam." Do they not remember the cyber-riot they incited over the presence of a CRESCENT SHAPE in the winning Flight 93 memorial architectural design?

If 44 posts demanding the removal of a SHAPE that coincidentally has a connection with Islam isn't bullying, I don't know what is.

manshake

Malkin: Yay for socialists!

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Malkin is encouraging everyone to buy danish, which is too bad, because I prefer fritters.

Was that joke worthy of this blog? Probably not. But it's hard to ignore the irony of a right-led campaign to support a country with 75% union membership, universal health care, and approximately 250,000 left-of-center political parties. Apparently all it takes to win the approval of Malkin and friends is to say something bad about muslims.

And tell us, Malkin, who should we support?
The Danish Food shop
Danish Deli Food
LEGO
Gevalia coffee
Ah yes, the length and breadth of Danish industry.

Monday, January 30, 2006

The scientific method is for suckers

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Malkin:
[A] study, which was presented at a conference held by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal or anywhere else for that matter. But that didn't stop the Post from trumpeting: "Study Ties Political Leanings to Hidden Biases"...
Brian Jones, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, said he disagreed with the study's conclusions but that it was difficult to offer a detailed critique, as the research had not yet been published and he could not review the methodology. He also questioned whether the researchers themselves had implicit biases -- against Republicans -- noting that Nosek and Harvard psychologist Mahzarin Banaji had given campaign contributions to Democrats...
This information should be included in any MSM article about the study. Why didn't the Washington Post report the details of the scientists' political contributions? Biases, anyone?
I wonder if what Malkin left out of the blog post would be illuminating in any way.

From the WaPo article:
[T]he study could not tell whether racial bias was a better predictor of voting preference than, say, policy preferences on gun control or abortion. But while those issues would be addressed in subsequent studies -- [independent reviewer Jon] Krosnick plans to get random groups of future voters to take the psychological tests and discuss their policy preferences -- he said the basic correlation was not in doubt.

"If anyone in Washington is skeptical about these findings, they are in denial," he said. "We have 50 years of evidence that racial prejudice predicts voting. Republicans are supported by whites with prejudice against blacks. If people say, 'This takes me aback,' they are ignoring a huge volume of research."
Malkin? Ignoring research? Pshaw.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

I'm back, baby

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With my Thinkpad T30 newly be-powered, Auguste is back in business. (Thanks to LA and Ryan for kicking in while I was gone.)

(N.B.: There's a lot more links than usual to Malkin's site in this particular post. I hate to drive any more traffic than need be, but they're illustrative links. Still, if you don't particularly want to read her, make sure you preview the links before clicking.)

It wasn't easy, sitting by and watching Malkin's anti-Google hilarity. Vendor from Street Meat has an interesting point.
I wonder if she supports WalMart (who also does a lot of business in China)?
She certainly does. And does. And does. She doesn't like Wal-Mart's history of hiring illegal immigrants, but that probably goes without saying.

Wal-Mart doesn't just do business in China. They bowed to government pressure and reversed a companywide policy, Google's big sin. Not only that, but that reversal resulted in unionization (as twisted as that definition is in China), which should be driving Malkin crazy.

As troubling as Google's China concessions are (and Justin Raimondo makes a decent case that they aren't very troubling at all), Malkin's pile-on is not about China as much as this. And this. And this.

And, quite possibly and prophetically, this.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Gawker Pokes Fun

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Submitted without coment.

[via Jill]

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Obsessed much?

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Today Michelle and Jesse posted their thirty-seventh post about the Air America "scandal." In today's edition they complain that Al Franken's salary is too high.

Michelle Doesn't Know What Words Mean

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From this bit of schadenfreude: "Code Pink, the radical anti-war guerilla group...."

From the Merriam-Webster Defn of guerilla: "a person who engages in irregular warfare especially as a member of an independent unit carrying out harassment and sabotage".

In Malkin's world, you can call any partisan a "liberal conservative" and be right every time!

Learn more about CODEPINK at their web site.

Posting will be sparse...

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...to non-existent, as my laptop has a frayed power cord. Am scouring eBay as we speak.

I will check in as often as possible.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Possibly the least self-aware thing I've ever read, and I read Malkin!

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From Malkin's link regarding the "Milwaukee 5":
This is a clear message to any Democrat whose good conscience might prompt him to blow the whistle on fellow Democrats involved in felonious attempts to influence the outcome of an election: Democrats will destroy your reputation and smear you as a liar if you dare to tell the truth.
Hmm.

There's a lesson here

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If reports are true, it appears that Haleigh Poutre is, in fact, improving. Note here the difference between this case and the Terri Schiavo case: Diagnosis from the Senate Floor aside, Schiavo wasn't.

Which is why the irony here for the right-wing is so compelling. Malkin:
Michael e-mailed me that many talk show hosts don't want to discuss the story:
I fear it's the post-Schiavo syndrome.
I think Michael is right, and that the post-Schiavo syndrome is affecting more than just talk radio. Few on either the left or right--in politics, in the blogosphere, in the MSM punditocracy--want to grapple with the moral, legal, and medical implications of this wrenching case. And as I noted before, the bleeding hearts in Hollywood--so quick to leap to the defense of every last Death Row convict--are AWOL. There's already a jaded and shockingly callous exasperation about Haleigh's case epitomized by the title and comments at John Cole's blog: "Dear God, not again."
After which Malkin goes on to offer a sincere mea culpa for being such an integral part of the Schiavo media circus - nay, frenzy - which, she (or he) acknowledges, was so overwhelming that it would be impossible to blame the American public if they aren't interested in reliving it.




Just kidding.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

"Blount"?

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This is just a silly error, just as simply fixable as the one Auguste pointed out concerning the stretched Ted K. pic, but this one's actually funny:
THE GOP LEADERSHIP RACE

I'll be listening in on a blogger conference call with Rep. John Shadegg in just a minute. There are two more calls scheduled later today with Rep. John Boehner and Rep. Blount.
Of course, Michelle means "Rep. Blunt". It makes me wonder, though, if she thinks of Winton Blount every time she sees Roy Blunt's name in print.

You'll recall that our current President worked on Blount's failed Senate campaign [after allegedly getting off the hook for cocaine possession in Houston], when he failed to show up for a flight physical [also allegedly related to cocaine use]. It's still an open question as to whether or not Bush "fulfilled [his] obligations" to the TANG. A question I'm sure neither of the Malkins wants coming up yet again.

Just sayin'...

Friday, January 20, 2006

America's greatest weakness

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Apparently, it's listening to The People.

To wit:
John Noonan at The Officer's Club reflects on the 25th anniversary of the end of the Iran Hostage crisis:
...upsetting the American public is our Achilles heel.
I've always said that the Founding Fathers made a huge mistake not hiring a really good copyeditor. That Rousseauian social contract stuff just slipped right by them, didn't it?

Hey, whaddya know

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Malkin is complaining about image manipulation again.

In related news, Teddy Kennedy's still 250x200.

You know what I just realized?

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In this post, Michelle essentially calls herself a "center-right blogger."

I just thought I'd point that out.

Friday Poetry Blogging: Heavy-handed allegory edition

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Ozymandias of Egypt - Shelley

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said:—Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

And, finally, it comes down to this

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Malkin finally comes out and says it.
TAKE A STAND AGAINST THE ACLU
Okay, let's take a stand.

Against:
* The right to due process
* The right to a jury of one's peers
* The right to assemble peacefully
* The right to distribute religious literature
* The right to hold union meetings
* The right to travel freely between states
* The right of minorities to vote in primary elections
* The right to the Jeffersonian seperation of church and state
* The right of minorities to live where they like
* The right to artistic freedom
* Brown vs. the Board of Freaking Education
* The right of veterans not to sign a loyalty oath
* The right to privacy
* The right to nondemoninational prayer
* The right to a state-appointed lawyer
* The right to a lawyer during police interrogation
* One person, one vote
* The right to privacy in political mailings
* The right to contraception
* The right of the accused to understand their rights
* The right to criticize US foreign policy
* The right of juveniles to due process
* The right to marry interracially
* The right of illegitimate children to inherit
* The right of the poor to choose their domestic living arrangements
* The right of students to self-express
* The right to procedural due process
* The right to offensive speech
* The right to publish whistle-blowing material
* The right of women to administer estates
* The right to choose
* The right of a woman to have dependents
* The right of The People to hold their president accountable
* The right of the mentally ill to live outside of confinment when appropriate
* The right of, yes, even Nazis to Constitutionally protected freedom of speech
* The right to distribute poltical pamphlets
* The right to unpopular political speech
* The right of prisoners not to be beaten
* The right of women to serve on juries
* The right to practice one's chosen religion
* The right to display political signs

So. This is what Malkin would take a stand against.

What, then, are we to stand for?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Gainin' on ya!

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I'm not altogether sure about the right's fascination with the Nagin's "chocolate city" remark.

Can it be as simple as never having heard of Parliament? Are they disturbed by the idea of a black majority? Are they afraid of race mixing?

What the hell is the problem?

Champagne at the Malkins' tonight!

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Via twig, a commenter at Sadly, No!, comes this joyous news:
...soldiers, who are currently staging for combat operations from a secret location, reported that their commander told them if they were wearing Pinnacle Dragon Skin and were killed their beneficiaries might not receive the death benefits from their $400,000 SGLI life insurance policies. The soldiers were ordered to leave their privately purchased body armor at home or face the possibility of both losing their life insurance benefit and facing disciplinary action.
Thank God we've saved those soldiers from Hillary's dastardly plan to make them wear body armor they don't want, that will cut down on their mobility.
"We have to be able to move. It (Dragon Skin) is heavy, but it is made so we have mobility and the best ballistic protection out there. This is crazy. And they are threatening us with our benefits if we don't comply." he said.
Oh. Well, what do soldiers know, anyway?

Definitely read the whole thing.

Update: Via a Kos diary, the NC Times expands on the insult to the risk of injury:
Dragon Skin is worn by the Secret Service Presidential Protection detail, CIA, NSA, DoE, journalists and contractors in Iraq, U.S. Air Force, Special Ops forces, and several generals in the field.
Nothing but the best for our troops, eh, Malkin(s)?

Stretching the limits of hypocrisy

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Here's a picture of Ted Kennedy as it appears in this blog post:

And as it should appear:


Here's what the Malkins have had to say about things like this in the past:
"DEMONIZING CONDI"

and

"Unfortunately, filtering prominent conservatives through a distorted lens seems to be a bad habit at Time magazine..."
Usually the Malkins' filtering of prominent Democrats through a distorted lens is figurative.

Not today.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Actually, no it definitely isn't

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WHEN IS IT OK TO TALK ABOUT DIVINE RETRIBUTION?

When you're the Democrat mayor of New Orleans.
My first thought upon hearing this was "Oh, that is so not okay." I was really hoping to beat Malkin to it, though, so that she would be glaringly wrong in suggesting that the left was ready to just let it drop.

Make no mistake, though, outrage isn't the main reason Malkin wants to focus on Nagin's claims. This is.

Update: I didn't make it clear that I'm referring here to Nagin's invocation of "God's role" in the hurricanes. Anyone offended by Nagin's "chocolate city" remark, as the Malkins claim to be, is clearly untouched by the funk.

Okay, I've gotta give it to Malkin...

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...this is really dumb.

I'm no munitions expert, but that certainly doesn't appear to be a missile of any kind.

Update: Via Chad in comments, Maha, a diarist at Kos:
But the good news here is that because (I trust) there is one fake staged photo, the entire news story about 18 innocent people being killed has been cancelled. The villagers were faking the story; they were probably lying about not hosting al Qaeda also. We can now dismiss the whole episode as so much spin, as if it never happened. I know you are relieved.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

You know it, baby

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Cult Icon Hasselhoff





You are Hasselhoff, the Cult Icon. You revel in your enigmatic and confusing popularity – moreso in the positive aspects of it than the confusing or unclear parts. You are the shining star of the world: more specifically, of Germany. Someday, you will be featured in a ticker-tape parade. Someday!


Take this quiz at QuizGalaxy.com

Martin Luther King hates George W. Bush...FROM THE GRAVE!!!

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So sayeth Malkin:
Jim Hoft rounds up the bash-Bush events planned for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday tomrrow, including:
* New York Martin Luther King Day Events, Realizing the Dream: A Call to Conscience, actors Susan Sarandon and Jeffrey Wright will read select works of Dr. King...

* Sen. Edward Kennedy will join the LET JUSTICE ROLL Living Wage services and/or events on the Martin Luther King Holiday Weekend in order to inspire, educate and mobilize congregations and community organizations to support an act for raising the minimum wage at both the Federal and State levels.
If anyone can explain to me why these events are "Bush-bashing" without using the words "unhinged", "moonbats", or "Chappaquiddick", you win a prize.

In fact, you can even use those words if you wish. Just don't tell me that you're really happy to claim that a focus on the civil rights movement or on labor rights is actually anti-Bush; since the obvious implication is that Bush is therefore anti-civil rights and anti-labor.

I mean, I'll claim that, but I don't think it's what Malkin meant.

And there are in fact some anti-Bush events available at the link on Malkin's site. Go sign up for some.

Update:Ryan reminds me that MLK may not have had much to say about W, but he certainly had some words which apply to his future apologists:
At the heart of their concerns this query has often loomed large and loud: "Why are you speaking about the war, Dr. King?" "Why are you joining the voices of dissent?" "Peace and civil rights don't mix," they say. "Aren't you hurting the cause of your people," they ask? And when I hear them, though I often understand the source of their concern, I am nevertheless greatly saddened, for such questions mean that the inquirers have not really known me, my commitment or my calling. Indeed, their questions suggest that they do not know the world in which they live.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Malkin: So reserved, so cautious

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Re: Iran.
We are on the brink.
Of what? A nervous breakdown?

My simple question: Do Americans understand the gravity of the situtation? I fear not. Once again, we are ill-served by a short-sighted, narcissistic, Bush-deranged news media far more interested in playing "gotcha," selling fish-wrap, and serving as Democrat Party adjuncts than keeping readers/viewers informed of the world's biggest threats.
This from the woman (and/or man) who devoted significant blog space to Mrs. Alito's tears - arguably the least important thing to happen in a judiciary committee hearing room since Douglas Ginsberg took a giant bong rip live on C-SPAN.

To bashing (and wildly flip-flopping about) Hillary Clinton's call for better body armor.

To a completely bogus story about terrorists in Midland, Texas.

All since we stepped onto the brink.

Who's ill-serving, short-sighted, and narcissistic now?

Oh, dear

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More bullshit.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Once and for all: Is Malkin consistent?

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Sadly, No!

More fact-esque fun

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Malkin:
[The "War on Wal-mart" is] on in Maryland, and the socialists are winning...the state's Dems overrode Gov. Bob Ehrlich's veto of a bill that that would require large employers to set aside a set percentage of payroll costs for health care. The bill currently applies to only one large employer in the state: Wal-Mart.
Wow! That's amazing. Maryland democrats were able to pass a law targeting only one company? Wal-Mart is the only company that has to set aside money for health care?

Man, that is discrimination. Unless...could it be?
The bill requires companies with 10,000 or more employees set aside at least 8% of their payroll costs to provide worker health insurance. Wal-Mart is the only company of that size in the state that does not already meet the minimum requirement.
I'm surprised on SO MANY LEVELS. That's the article that Malkin linked to for proof, by the way.
Wal-Mart claimed that more than three-fourths of its employees have health insurance, and that all Wal-Mart Maryland employees can become eligible for health coverage for $23 a month.
Really? Is that similar to this story at all?
A legislative report compiled by the Connecticut Office of Legislative Research shows that more than 1,000 Wal-Mart workers depend on tax-payer financed healthcare for themselves or for their children.
Oh, but there's nothing socialist about that.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I hereby coin the term "Malkin Fatigue"

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I mean, honestly, how am I supposed to keep up with crying Alitos, 250 pound body armor, and almost-exploding Starbuckses in one week?

teh l4m3 covers the Starbucks non-story.

Paul at Shakespeare's Sister and TBogg are on the body armor beat. TBogg:
Shorter Michelle Malkin

If I can use it to disparage Hillary Clinton then, yes, as a matter of fact, I am objectively pro-sucking chest wound.
Update: I was remiss in not mentioning John Lombard, who is not only on top of the body armor story but the I'm-gutted-I-didn't-notice-it-first Malkin plagiarism story:
She just changed "said Clinton" to "concluded Brigadier General Clinton", "who recently wrote" to "who immediately dashed off" and "calling for an investigation" to "demanding an investigation", adding the snark about "smarter-than-thout" and "highly recommended by image consultants".

So, this is how Michelle Malkin writes her columns: she lifts paragraphs from the news, changes the verbs and adds snark.
Go look. It's enlightening.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Malkin(s) the Sensitive

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Then:
Oh, cry me a river [, Cindy].
Now (shorter):
Hey! Quit making Mrs. Alito cry, you big meanies.

-----------------

Dadahead
:
Boo-fucking-hoo. How about a little sympathy for all the women who will be relegated to the status of second-class citizen if Mrs. Alito's husband has his way?
And via Dadahead, Wolcott:
The hypocritical highpoint came when Newt Gingrich, who during his reign as Speaker of the House did more than any political leader in recent memory to dump raw sewage into the political discourse, had the gall to invoke Joseph Welch's famous rhetorical throwdown of moral umbrage during the McCarthy hearings--"At long last, sir, have you no decency?"--to showboat his phony disgust over this trivial episode of upset feelings.

Yes, so heartsick were conservatives over this lady in distress that they immediately hurrahed Mrs. Alito's walkout as the humanizing moment that would win the public's sympathy vote and put Judge Alito's candidacy over the top and assure him a seat on the Court. If Alito is confirmed, Mrs. Alito and Judge Clarence Thomas's wife can commisserate by exchanging monogrammed crying towels as their men folk roll back women's rights and civil liberties and go duck hunting weekends with Scalia.
To paraphrase Tom Hanks, there's no crying in politics.

Not, anyway, by those who sit in their ivory tower and look down carelessly on millions of lives - or those who aspire to.

I assume, unlike some others, that Mrs. Alito's tears were real.

I am certain, however, that the right's outrage is not.

Update: LA reminds me that the Malkin daughter was enlisted in the "Don't be a crybaby" Voinovich letter-writing campaign.

Hypocrites. Filthy, stinking hypocrites.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Unintended consequences

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Boogedy-boogedy.
USA Today has an overview of the MS-13 menace.

Just committing the crimes that Americans won't commit, right?
Oh, so clever. So pithy. So racist and wrong.

A while back I posted about the fact that MS-13 pretty much represents the effects of US foreign policy coming home to roost. Now reader Nathaniel R. points out another interesting tidbit about MS-13:
If she knew anything about the history of this gang, which I know would be asking for way too much, research is such a pain, she would know that knee jerk immigration laws are what created this menace in the first place. In the early 90's when people were screaming about dangerous criminals etc a law was passed that deported all felons without citizenship. While this may have been an okay law, the way it was implemented (not telling the countries who these people we were sending back etc) resulted in a lot of harden[ed] gang members with no family being dumped on the streets. In El Salvador this was a particularly acute problem...
I think that Nathaniel's in error about the very genesis of the gang - MS-13 began in the 80s - but the crackdowns he described certainly helped take the gang international. And it's still going on.
But a deportation policy aimed in part at breaking up a Los Angeles street gang has backfired and helped spread it across Central America and back into other parts of the United States. Newly organized cells in El Salvador have returned to establish strongholds in metropolitan Washington, D.C., and other U.S. cities. Prisons in El Salvador have become nerve centers, authorities say, where deported leaders from Los Angeles communicate with gang cliques across the United States.

A gang that once numbered a few thousand and was involved in street violence and turf battles has morphed into an international network with as many as 50,000 members, the most hard-core engaging in extortion, immigrant smuggling and racketeering. In the last year, the federal government has brought racketeering cases against MS-13 members in Long Island, N.Y., and southern Maryland.
Just committing the crimes America helped teach them to commit, eh, Malkins?

Monday, January 09, 2006

The War on Usury

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On Thursday, Malkin led with this lurid headline:
COMING TO AMERICA: MUSLIM-ONLY BANKS?
In a word, no. Surprised? Well, we'll get to that in a minute. What's Malkin's complaint, anyway?
Check this out:
A bank that has been offering special services for Muslims for two years has now formed a subsidiary to focus solely on the religious group.

The Ann Arbor-based University Bank has created University Islamic Financial Corp. to offer Muslims home financing, deposit accounts and Islamic mutual fund shares.

"The formation of the subsidiary allows us to have a financial institution which is 100 percent in compliance with the Muslim Shariah, the legal code of the Islamic religion," bank President and Chairman Stephen Lange Ranzini told The Ann Arbor News for a Saturday story.
Make no mistake; Malkin may be Instapundit-like in terseness here but this is a complaint. The headline says it all.

Because the headline is as false as false can be. I e-mailed University Bank:
Are Sharia'a-compliant products available to non-Muslims who might like their features regardless of faith?
Answering was none other than Stephen Lange Ranzini, President:
The answer is yes! But since the products, due to their legal complexity and higher cost to deliver, are more expensive than traditional products, it’s unlikely that they would appeal to anyone other than a Muslim or observant Jew who were concerned about usury for ethical reasons. Both traditions have an absolute ban on all interest whereas Christians observe a ban on excessive interest and believe that reasonable interest is okay. In Michigan this is the usury law: you can charge up to 25% but not more.
So, not only are those wacky Muslims not the only religion to attempt to set up religion-specific lending practices, but apparently Christians have made their lending traditions the law of the land.

Raise your hand if you're surprised.

Frankly, maybe we should spend less time worrying about the Muslims wanting some sort of special rights and listen a little more to religions - all religions - about what the Catholics call "exploit[ing] the passions or necessities of other men by compelling them to submit to ruinous conditions."

Update: John Lombard reviews some of the right's other, even more histrionic reactions to this story.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Moral Equivalence?

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Malkin's post about Harry Belafonte's meeting with Hugo Chavez includes this quote from another blogger (emphases mine):
In June 2000, Belafonte was a featured speaker at a rally in Castro's Cuba, honoring the American Soviet spies, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. Tears, one observer reported, "streaked down" Belafonte's face, "as he recalled the pain and humiliation his friend [Paul] Robeson had been forced to endure" in 1950s America.
There's layers and layers of analysis that could be done on Paul Robeson, but I was struck by this passage from Wikipedia:
In 1948 Robeson was on one of his periodic visits to the Soviet Union when he asked to meet with Yiddish poet Itzik Feffer. Feffer, along with the actor Solomon Mikhoels and other prominent Jews were victims of the latest anti-Semitic purge by Stalin. They had been hosted by Robeson during a World War II visit to the U.S. as part of Stalin's Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee and Robeson had been urged to intervene on their behalf. Though he had been cleaned up and dressed in a suit, Feffer's fingernails had been torn out.

Though he couldn't speak openly, Robeson later told his son that the poet indicated by gestures and a few handwritten words that Mikhoels had been murdered on the orders of Stalin and that the other Jewish prisoners were being prepared for the same fate. After the two friends said goodbye, Feffer was taken back to the Lubyanka and would never be seen alive again.

However, when Robeson returned home he condemned as anti-Soviet propaganda reports that Feffer and other Jews had been killed. Not once did Robeson denounce Feffer's murder. Later on Robeson confided in his son, Paul Robeson Jr., the details of his meeting with Feffer. He made his son vow not to make the story public until well after his death, "because he had promised himself that he would never publicly criticize the USSR."
There's a lesson here, but I have the feeling it's a little too subtle for the Malkins to pick up on.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Congratulations Pandagon...

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...on the new layout.

Boy, that Jedmunds really gets around, doesn't he?



Friday Poetry Blogging: I'm sorry John edition

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A couple editions ago I made fun of John Greenleaf Whittier, after whom my mother's high school was named for crying out loud. This was not right. I mean, the guy generally wouldn't know meter if he passed it on the street, but he was a huge lefty (relative to the time), a Quaker and labor and abolition advocate. So, here's one of his best:
A Moral Warfare - John Greenleaf Whittier

When Freedom, on her natal day,
Within her war-rocked cradle lay,
An iron race around her stood,
Baptized her infant brow in blood;
And, through the storm which round her swept,
Their constant ward and watching kept.

Then, where our quiet herds repose,
The roar of baleful battle rose,
And brethren of a common tongue
To mortal strife as tigers sprung,
And every gift on Freedom's shrine
Was man for beast, and blood for wine!

Our fathers to their graves have gone;
Their strife is past, their triumph won;
But sterner trials wait the race
Which rises in their honored place;
A moral warfare with the crime
And folly of an evil time.

So let it be. In God's own might
We gird us for the coming fight,
And, strong in Him whose cause is ours
In conflict with unholy powers,
We grasp the weapons He has given,--
The Light, and Truth, and Love of Heaven.
Right-wing fundies who think Whittier's talking to them are encouraged to read the poem again.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Righteous fury tempered by a dab hand with the ellipses

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Malkin:
A judge gives a child rapist a two-month sentence because he "no longer believes that punishment works":
Burlington, Vermont -- January 4, 2005 [sic]

There was outrage Wednesday when a Vermont judge handed out a 60-day jail sentence to a man who raped a little girl many,many times over a four-year span starting when she was seven.

The judge said he no longer believes in punishment and is more concerned about rehabilitation.

Prosecutors argued that confessed child-rapist Mark Hulett, 34, of Williston deserved at least eight years behind bars for repeatedly raping a littler girl countless times starting when she was seven.

But Judge Edward Cashman disagreed explaining that he no longer believes that punishment works.

"The one message I want to get through is that anger doesn't solve anything. It just corrodes your soul," said Judge Edward Cashman speaking to a packed Burlington courtroom. Most of the on-lookers were related to a young girl who was repeatedly raped by Mark Hulett who was in court to be sentenced.

The sex abuse started when the girl was seven and ended when she was ten. Prosecutors were seeking a sentence of eight to twenty years in prison, in part, as punishment...
And what did Malkin leave out?
But Judge Cashman explained that he is more concerned that Hulett receive sex offender treatment as rehabilitation. But under Department of Corrections classification, Hulett is considered a low-risk for re-offense so he does not qualify for in-prison treatment.So the judge sentenced him to just 60 days in prison and then Hulett must complete sex treatment when he gets out or face a possible life sentence.
Now, it would be valid to argue with the judge's theories of what best serves the community in this case.

It's objectively not valid to state that 60 days was the sum total of the sentence, which is exactly what Malkin did.

Haven't done a "shorter" post in awhile

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Two for one from the same post:
Feminism is like copyright defense. If you don't vigorously attack each violation, you lose your claim altogether.
And, a repeated theme:
Hate crimes are those committed by swarthy people.

Here's a question

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If Malkin's so upset about cronyism, why the outrage at people complaining about Bush's gutting of the Mining Safety and Health Administartion (MSHA)? Two Democratic congresspeople say that the MSHA is nothing but cronies:
The [House Education and the Workforce] Committee should investigate whether the Bush Administration has employed people with proper regulatory experience in leadership positions at MSHA. Many senior MSHA officials have come directly from the mining industry, raising concerns about their ability to effectively oversee the industry and protect its workers...President Bush's first appointment to MSHA was Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health David Lauriski, a long-time management official in the mining industry. In addition, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for MSHA John Caylor held management jobs with Cyprus Minerals Co., Amax Mining Co. and Magma Copper Co. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for MSHA John Correll served in management posts at Amax Mining and Peabody Coal companies. Special Assistant for MSHA Mark Ellis served as legal counsel to the American Mining Congress. And Chief of Health for Coal Melinda Pon was a management official at BHP Minerals-Utah International.
Et cetera, et cetera, et completely unsurprising cetera.

An editorial from the Charleston (WV) Gazette:
The exact cause of the explosion is yet to be determined. But the Sago mine had three roof falls since International Coal Group finalized its purchase in November. Altogether, the mine had a dozen roof falls during the last six months. The mine has an injury rate three times that of similar pits across the country. Last year, the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration fined then-owner Anker West Virginia Mining Co. more than $24,000 for 200 alleged violations. MSHA issued 46 citations, including 18 considered “serious and substantial” for October through December. The company’s failings included violations regarding emergency escapeways and pre-shift safety exams. From July to September, MSHA found 70 violations, including 42 serious and substantial ones.

This mine operated amid growing laxity toward mine safety. After the Jim Walters No. 5 disaster in Alabama in September 2001, MSHA’s own internal review found that its inspectors did not make sure safety violations were fixed...

The Bush administration has taken a callous attitude toward the lives of coal miners. It has proposed cuts to MSHA’s budget and increases in the amount of coal dust miners can breathe. Its first MSHA director, Dave Lauriski, promoted “cooperative” enforcement of safety rules at the expense of actual enforcement. At least Lauriski came from a safety background within the industry. The current nominee for the job, Marion County native Richard Stickler, is an industry manager with questionable qualifications. He ran mines with injury rates twice the national average.
Malkin is properly outraged by the tragedy, but stops short of placing even some blame where it belongs.
And the always astute The Anchoress concludes:
Last night, while politics seemed far away from the awful scene in West Virginia - and we hope, for once, it remains so...
-------------------
In the repeated pleas by right-wingers to "leave politics out of [whatever]" is a fundamental self-denial: Actions have consequences. Controversial? Only to right-wingers, who claim to be for personal responsibility - but you can't take responsibility without a belief in cause and effect.

Political decisions have clearly identifiable real-world effects. When should we examine that relationship, if not while those effects are on display most prominently?

Or, to put it another way, the "leave-politics-out-of-it" crowd is saying that correlation does not imply causation, or that if it does, that causation is irrelevant. The latter is breathtaking in its amorality.

As for the former, I would argue that there's a certain point at which the "correlation implies causation" fallacy stops being a fallacy and starts to become the elephant in the middle of the room that no one wants to talk about.

More precisely, the left wants to talk about it, the media doesn't want to talk about it, and the right just wants to talk about how the other two are talking too damn much.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

And, really, who can blame them?

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News quotes from Malkin's roundup regarding the mining tragedy:
Grieving family members 'lunged at company officials'...

...It took three hours for the coal company to correct the reports. It is unclear why the media carried the news without proper sourcing. Some reports claim the early reports spread via cell phones and when loved ones started celebrating most in the media simply joined in...
A shame. A tragedy and a shame.

Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story, eh, Michelle?

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Newshounds does a little deconstructing of Michelle's appearance on O'Reilly today:
Michelle Malkin went on to trash Newsweek as a Bush-hating publication, using as one of her examples the now-debunked "Koran flushing" story. As I've posted twice before, the DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE website contains a press release that absolves Newsweek of any complicity in the Afghani riots. But like the good conservative jihadist she is, Malkin hears only what she wants to hear.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

M/esse: How We Learned To Stop Worrying About Abramoff

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[Guest posted by Ryan]

It's not a good day to be a GOP lackey, and the Malkins, who have been harshly critical of Abramoff since his indictment back in August, are bracing for the "A-Bomb's" blast.

As per the Malkin Method of Minimal Content Roundups, there is very little to wade through:
As I've noted before, Abramoff spread his stench across both parties. But principled conservatives must call Abramoff what he is--a sleazebag plain and simple, as I've noted before--and condemn his criminal activities unequivocally.
(Emphasis mine, and I also corrected the "sleazebag" link mistake the Malkins made.)

A casual perusal of Think Progress' Abramoff page would have brought the Malkins to this recent Bloomberg article:
Between 2001 and 2004, Abramoff gave more than $127,000 to Republican candidates and committees and nothing to Democrats, federal records show. At the same time, his Indian clients were the only ones among the top 10 tribal donors in the U.S. to donate more money to Republicans than Democrats.
The Malkins are attempting to minimize fallout by smearing Democrats as a whole. Note that they do not condemn any of the politicians who have received money from Abramoff or his associates. The lobbyist merely "spread his stench". The Malkins would prefer that the details of Abramoff's dealings remain out of the "MSM" spotlight, leaving him to be painted as some kind of rogue, satellite activist taking advantage of the helpless Republican party.

Pundits like Malkin know that there exists a pervasive image of Republicans as the more corrupt helmsmen of American government. This is the legacy of Watergate; not an imaginary media bias. For the rest, I defer to digby:
Anybody who looks at Jack Abramoff and sees anything but a hard core GOP influence peddler who was paid very well to finance the GOP machine is either a shill or a fool.
...
This characterization of the scandal as being "bi-partisan" is typical bad mainstream journalism, particularly the emphasis they are placing on the very small handful of Democrats who've even been mentioned (much less included in any legal procedings.) Not only are they creating some equity and illegality where none exists, by doing it they are missing the real story, as usual.
Read the whole thing, Messe.

Monday, January 02, 2006

PLAME PLAME PLAME PLAME

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I don't have anything to say about Plame, that aspect just annoys me.

Malkin is actually right, though, that whoever leaked the information about Bush's pseudo-Stalinist, unconstitutional, impeachable activities is not technically a whistleblower and is probably subject to prosecution, just as Daniel Ellsberg was. Which tells me that whoever the leaker was must think that this is at least as important as the Pentagon Papers, because he or she can't trust the Bush administration to break into a psychiatrist's office and blow the case.

Still, I have the feeling that before this is said and done, the leaker will be seen by reasonable people as a de facto whistleblower, even if not a de jure one.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

January 1 Poetry Blogging: No War in 2006 Edition

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For Christmas Augustienne gave me a three-disc Johnny Cash collection, comprised of At Folsom Prison, At San Quentin, and the previously-unknown-to-me America. The latter is an interesting piece of Americana from a man who clearly has love and mixed feelings towards his homeland, kind of like me.

There's a song on it called "The Big Battle" which I had never heard before, being a Cash dilettante at best, and which has quickly become my favorite song of his behind "Man in Black." Given my love for popular music as poetry, it wasn't long before I knew I wanted to blog it. Here it is in an extended version:
The Big Battle - Johnny Cash

I
"I think, sir, the battle is over,"
and the young soldier laid down his gun
"I'm tired of running for cover
I'm certain the battle is done

"For see over there where we fought them
it's quiet for they've all gone away
all left is the dead and the dying
the ground's covered with them today."

II
"So you think the battle is over
and you even lay down your gun
You carelessly rise from your cover
for you think the battle is done

"Now, boy, hit the dirt - listen to me
for I'm still the one in command
Get flat on the ground here beside me
and lay your ear hard to the sand

"Can you hear the deafening rumble?
Can you feel the trembling ground?
It's not just the horses and wagons
that make such a deafening sound

"For every shot fired had an echo
and every man killed wanted life
There lies your friend Jim McKinney
can you take the news to his wife?

"No, son, the battle's not over -
the battle has only begun
The rest of the battle will cover
the part that has blackened the sun

"The fight yet to come's not with cannon
nor will the fight be hand to hand
No one will regroup the forces
no charge will a general command

"The battle will rage in the bosom
of mother and sweetheart and wife
Brother and sister and daughter
will grieve for the rest of their lives

"Now go ahead rise from your cover
be thankful that God let you live
Go fight the rest of the battle
for those who gave all they could give."

III
"I see, sir, the battle's not over
the battle has only begun
The rest of the battle will cover
this part that has blackened the sun

"For though there's no sound of the cannon
and though there's no smoke in the sky
I'm dropping the gun and the saber
and ready for battle am I."