Morning Links

Monday, November 29th, 2010
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46 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Andrew S. | 

    The government and media’s reaction to the Wikileaks dump is far more amusing than the actual content of the documents.

    (Except for Rep. Peter King’s “name Wikileaks as a terrorist group” reaction. Then again, Rep. King probably thinks that most posters here (and at H&R) are terrorists)

  2. #2 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    Yes, we are safer than we think. But don’t tell that to the TV news people.
    When the news corporations realized “terror” stories could hypnotize millions of viewers it was like prospectors finding a mountain of gold.

  3. #3 |  Matt | 

    Most of the documents I saw look pretty mundane. Wikileaks needs to come up with some sort of highlights reel to make it easier to find something salient.

  4. #4 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    I cannot express how much I want to like Issa. The hold-up is that he is towing the Republican line on foreign policy and Defense (can we change it to Offense now?) spending.

    You aren’t being tough on the budget if you parrot “We’ll look at all discretionary non-military spending.” This year’s “discretionary” is last year’s “non-discretionary” and the massively bloated military budget needs to be massively cut. His budget stance is more of the same Republican bullshit and will–at best–ensure that Republican connected businesses continue to prosper while politically DIS-connected individuals foot the bill.

    Other than that, he’s got some good ideas…which most likely will be set aside if he’s President.

  5. #5 |  Bob | 

    “More of this, please. Good on Rep. Issa. We need better oversight of and accountability from executive agencies, not partisan red meat. It’s probably a smart move politically, too.”

    So Mr. Issa has a Watchdog program that will monitor the MCP as well? He’ll be sent to the game grid for that.

  6. #6 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Pixar: It Gets Better

    Obama made an “It Gets Better” video.
    “Your differences are a source of pride…and strength. It’ll help you get involved and make this country a better place.”

    “Treat everybody with respect.”

    “All of us are equal and each of us deserves the freedom to persue our own version of happiness.”

    Good to see Obama is ready to stop kicking gays out of the military and ruining their careers AND pushing for all laws against homosexual sex to be repealed. No? Go to hell, Mr. Obama.

  7. #7 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Celebrities raise money for AIDS treatment in the most self-absorbed way imaginable.

    We should be grateful for what celebrities have done to stem the tide of AIDS. For example, remember this assertion by Oprah?

    Research studies now project that one in five heterosexuals could be dead from AIDS at the end of the next three years. That’s by 1990.

    That catastrophe was averted which proves that celebrity activism has saved hundreds of millions of straight people. I foresee a day when holidays and American cities will be named after rock stars and actors.

    I predict this powerful tool will soon be used in the fight against adolescent sex slave trafficking which victimizes five out of every three children that leave home before their 26th birthday. Most people don’t even know that one in four men between the age of 14 and 40 are pimps and three in four men have engaged in sex with women at least once without knowing exactly how old the women was which means she could have been (and probably was) 12.

  8. #8 |  Bob | 

    “Celebrities raise money for AIDS treatment in the most self-absorbed way imaginable.”

    LOL

    This will last for what? 10 minutes? Until one of them can’t take it anymore and donates the million dollars themselves.

  9. #9 |  shecky | 

    For Issa to play good politics, he’ll have to spend way too much time exploring the implications of having a Kenyan Muslim imposter in the oval office. Because that’s where his party is at.

    If Issa is serious about eliminating waste, good on him. If he’s serious about the deficit, he’ll have to do a hell of a lot better. Then again, Republicans have always done so well at reducing government, especially at the national level, amirite?

    He’s a local from my State. I can tell you that he’s been a hack ever since he’s been on the scene, and his biggest claim to fame was getting a Democratic governor ousted when he saw his opportunity for political gain, only to be pushed aside when a popular movie star took an interest in the position. Issa started a movement that didn’t help, and may have been worse than any Democrat.

    Don’t fall in that trap that libertarians have always fallen for. Namely, get lovey dovey for a Republican because they start whispering sweet nothings about smaller government. Because you know how that ends.

  10. #10 |  Brooks | 

    WikiLeaks just shows:

    Private Sector: Whistleblower = Hero
    Public Sector: Whistleblower = Terrorist

  11. #11 |  Mattocracy | 

    “Don’t fall in that trap that libertarians have always fallen for. Namely, get lovey dovey for a Republican because they start whispering sweet nothings about smaller government. Because you know how that ends.”

    This must be your first time here. We don’t really need warnings like this. But thanks for assuming we’re all political idiots and making vast, incorrect generalizations about libertarians.

  12. #12 |  Mattocracy | 

    Thanks to wikileaks, the Fed’s finally know what it’s like to have your personal correspondance reviewed and your privacy violated.

    Sure fucking sucks, doesn’t it…

  13. #13 |  BillC | 

    Issa is a partisan hack and a moron. Believe nothing he says.

  14. #14 |  Cynical in CA | 

    Well, I guess you can’t blame Issa for trying. But trying and succeeding are vastly different things. His enemy is the permanent government of federal bureaucrats. They outnumber him and his kind at least 1000:1.

    But, hey, it was good for a chuckle.

  15. #15 |  Joey Maloney | 

    @9, “If Issa is serious about eliminating waste, good on him. If he’s serious about the deficit, he’ll have to do a hell of a lot better. ”

    The guy’s been in Congress for 5 terms. He has a record. Do you see anything in that record that suggests he’s serious about the deficit? Or for that matter, serious about anything except power? Because I don’t.

    I expect his first investigations will be into the links between Obama’s Muslim heritage and Vince Foster’s murder. And then it’ll get really wacky.

  16. #16 |  Mattocracy | 

    @ #9 | shecky |

    I was kind of a dick, sorry. It’s a Monday after the holiday and all. Bad mood. Anyway, most of us here don’t cosy up to the GOP.

  17. #17 |  MacGregory | 

    Remember kids: whenever you’re passing notes in class, there is always a chance that it will be discovered and read aloud to the whole class.

  18. #18 |  qwints | 

    It’s discouraging to hear that Issa has a history of political hackery as I’ve really liked what he’s had to say since the election. Perhaps the best we can hope for is that congressional republicans will have enough to do attacking Obama’s new programs to avoid adding any new ones of their own. Now, if we can just get Obama to make military spending and the war on drugs into ‘his’ issues, we might be in a better place in a couple years.

  19. #19 |  DarkEFang | 

    To echo Shecky and BillC, Darryl Issa is better in theory than practice. He talks a good game, but when push comes to shove, he’s part of the Mitch McConnell faction that will do anything to get Obama out of the White House, even if it involves manufacturing crimes/scandals or undermining the economy.

    #3 Matt –
    “Most of the documents I saw look pretty mundane. Wikileaks needs to come up with some sort of highlights reel to make it easier to find something salient.”

    I think the biggest service Wikileaks provides is showing people how much of the stuff governments keep secret is utterly pointless. Classifying documents is more about personal ego than it is protecting sensitive information. People with security clearances want to believe that their work is important enough to protect from prying eyes, when it reality it makes absolutely no difference whether that information is public or private.

    In this latest Wikileak document dump, nothing of interest that couldn’t have been read in the Washington Post has been found so far other than the fact that Middle Eastern leaders are hypocrites when it comes to scotch.

  20. #20 |  Marty | 

    what sucks about the pixar video is that the awkward, nerdy straight kids might think they gotta be gay to join their cool nerd club.

  21. #21 |  JS | 

    Thank God for wikileaks! I wonder how long before the CIA murders Julian Assange? If the worthless toadies at the New York Times, ABC News, CNN, etc. did what they were supposed to there wouldn’t be a need for wikileaks. Wikileaks just shows how great of a threat the US government regards freedom of the press.

    One of the best things about this leak is that maybe our worthless lapdog allies will be shamed into standing up for themselves and to stop trusting the US government. When the people of Europe see how their own government’s act like a subservient colony of Washington then maybe they will demand some changes. One of the best things that could happen would be for Europe to tell Washington to go fuck itself.

  22. #22 |  JS | 

    DarkEFang “n this latest Wikileak document dump, nothing of interest that couldn’t have been read in the Washington Post has been found so far other than the fact that Middle Eastern leaders are hypocrites when it comes to scotch.”

    I don’t know brother, I don’t think the Washington Post was going to report that Hillary Clinton ordered diplomats to steal UN officials credit card numbers and try and get their DNA: http://news.antiwar.com/2010/11/28/hillary-clinton-ordered-diplomats-to-steal-un-officials-credit-card-numbers/

  23. #23 |  claude | 

    “The Financial Services Committee will scrutinize the administration’s efforts to tighten regulation of Wall Street.”

    Yes we should certainly let wall street do to us again what they did the first time so we can socialize the losses. Issa is a parasite. His only goal is to oppose anything Obama proposes, in addition to causing nothing but distraction when this nation has some serious issues to work through. Its what party hacks do. He could best serve his country by throwing himself off a tall building.

  24. #24 |  FridayNext | 

    I have to echo what everyone here has said about Issa and investigations. There is NO evidence he intends to do anything substantial. It will be the 90’s all over again. Real scandals and incompetence will be ignored in favor of personal smears for political gain. Look for this millennium’s version of pumpkin shooting, Xmas card list research, and the blow-job police.

  25. #25 |  dsmallwood | 

    slight diversion, but this merits some discussion.

    how can i agree with Issa? am i now a dupe?
    and when did Pat B pick up the libertarian ideas?
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/uc/20101126/cm_uc_crpbux/op_3316141

  26. #26 |  Dave Krueger | 

    CNN reported viewer comments about the latest Wikileaks document dump. I had to laugh when one commenter said, “If the government hasn’t done anything wrong, they should have nothing to hide.”

  27. #27 |  Amy | 

    How much would I have to donate to get all of those celebrities to agree to permanently stop posting their idiot blather online? Because the idea that they’ll come back sooner if I donate money is a pretty good disincentive for me.

  28. #28 |  Elroy | 

    There seems to be a cognitive dissonance with these celebrities. On the one hand they are concerned about the environmental impact humanity has on the planet and on the other hand they want every child in every third world country to have a long and productive life. How can these two things coexist. If they ever got their wish and were able to bring down mortality rates it seems to me that the population explosion would have catastrophic consequences.
    I’m not arguing in favor of letting children die, just pointing out the hypocrisy.

  29. #29 |  Andrew S. | 

    re: the “We’re Safer than we think” link, and the TSA in general. I long ago stopped believing that the government was enforcing the powers it gave itself after 9/11, even in a completely misguided way, to “make us safer”. 1984 references (true though they may be) have become cliche, but every time another one of these stories come out, with the government screaming “it’s for your own good!”, I’m reminded of that book, again and again:

    He came closer to the bed. ‘For ever!’ he repeated. ‘And now let us get back to the question of “how” and “why”. You understand well enough HOW the Party maintains itself in power. Now tell me WHY we cling to power.
    What is our motive? Why should we want power? Go on, speak,’ he added as
    Winston remained silent.

    [...]

    ‘You are ruling over us for our own good,’ he said feebly. ‘You believe
    that human beings are not fit to govern themselves, and therefore—-‘

    He started and almost cried out. A pang of pain had shot through his body.
    O’Brien had pushed the lever of the dial up to thirty-five.

    ‘That was stupid, Winston, stupid!’ he said. ‘You should know better than
    to say a thing like that.’

    He pulled the lever back and continued:

    ‘Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party
    seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good
    of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long
    life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will
    understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the
    past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who
    resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the
    Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never
    had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps
    they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a
    limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where
    human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that
    no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is
    not a means, it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order
    to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish
    the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of
    torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to
    understand me?’

  30. #30 |  flukebucket | 

    Fuck Issa

  31. #31 |  Dr Duck | 

    Hey, Issa:

    “He has also threatened to investigate the so-called policy czars, including Elizabeth Warren…”

    Fahget that broad, get after the Asian Carp Czar and you’ll be my hero!

  32. #32 |  shecky | 

    It’s OK, Mattocracy. The reason I put it that way was because Radley’s own Morning Link was wanting “more of this”. Normally, I wouldn’t say such a thing here. But when the very owner of the blog seems to have been hoodwinked, I can’t let it slip by.

  33. #33 |  Cackalacka | 

    For my money, I preferred Kucinich’s letter to Issa two weeks ago, where he figuratively/literally asked ‘Show me the money.’ But he looks like an elf and sounds funny, so pay no attention to him.

    Boyd & Shecky are spot on. This is going to be Vince Foster redux.

  34. #34 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    Cackalacka,
    People who comment about Kucinich looking like an elf ignore the volumes of real reasons to dismiss him. But, the Dems should hammer them with breaking their promises…because the Reps efforts to slow spending are doooooomed.

    No Congressman will show anyone the money. It can’t be done with a Ponzi scheme. I thought we covered this. Bet accordingly.

    Twitter:
    Celebrities doing PSAs for publicity is better than when they do it because they really think they know something. That’s when shit gets bad.

  35. #35 |  derfel cadarn | 

    Wiki leaks amusing you betcha. Lets see how the ballsacks in D.C. like getting their nuts slapped,but don`t be offended just think of it as a love pat,you`ll feel better about it. Remember the truth is a sharp weapon next time it may even cut your balls off. NOTE: To those in government this is a learning experience make the best of it.

  36. #36 |  Aresen | 

    From the “We’re safer than we think” item:

    Our desperate flag-waving and chest-beating only makes more vivid that this has been an age of fearful truculence and squandered liberty upon which we will some day look back with shame.

    I only hope there is a time when we DO ‘look back in shame’ instead of ‘this is where we should have said “No’.’

  37. #37 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    So, someone’s blowing up Iranian nuclear scientists with magnetized car bombs. This looks a lot like how the US and Israel operate. Of course any conjecture of this kind would be just terribly naive on my part.

  38. #38 |  JThompson | 

    Issa is off to a good start with his “Every budget but mine is waste.” policy. No hypocrisy on him.

    @mattocracy #12: Good grief, you win the internets for that one.

  39. #39 |  BSK | 

    “If you assume the existence of a person willing to die for Osama bin Laden’s war on America, located within the United States of America, and in possession of a working explosive or firearm, there’s basically nothing stopping him from blowing up the 4/5/6 platform at Union Square or the 54 bus in DC or the Mall of America or even the security line at DFW airport. And yet it doesn’t happen.”

    This is what I don’t get. Obviously, there are individuals and groups who do seek to do harm. They have done it before and have made attempts to do it again (note: using “they” here is not meant to imply that all or any efforts were necessarily related; simply that there were multiple attempts/attacks). Yet, all of the attempts, at least the ones we’ve heard about, have been directed at airplanes. At least up until the Oregon situation this past week.

    Are the would-be-terrorists dumb? Are they obsessed with air planes? Is there a sense that anything less than planes falling out of skies isn’t grandiose enough? It’s some sort of weird paradox. If we believe that there really is this virulent, organized movement meant to maim Americans, why is every attempt done in such a way that makes it nearly impossible to succeed? Boggles the mind, sometimes…

  40. #40 |  albatross | 

    BSK:

    My guess is that only a tiny, tiny fraction of the people mad enough to blow stuff up and kill people for some political cause are also willing to kill a bunch or random innocent people. And that subset is probably not too functional.

    Think of the OKC bombers. However pissed you are about whatever evil, would you really be able to park the truck bomb
    In front of the

  41. #41 |  albatross | 

    (con’d)

    daycare? Most normal human beings don’t want to kill people, and wouldn’t even if we could get away with it.

  42. #42 |  Frank Hummel | 

    Re: Wikileaks

    This one flopped just like other two doc leaks. The only one that kinda caught on was the Apache video and that was just because people were being blown to pieces. The first few times it was fun to count the seconds from the camera shaking to rounds impacting and get the velocity or chuckling when the pilot would fall asleep at the stick, let the heading drift and the gunner getting an azimuth limit on the chain gun.

    I’m pretty sure in diplomatic circles everyone knows exactly how these things work. It was just an opportunity for us low level citizens to get glimpse on how sausage is being made.

    Nothing new here. Twenty two years ago i was sitting on the side of a major road in communist eastern Europe dressed as a sanitation worker and writing down license plates of foreign embassy vehicles passing by.

  43. #43 |  JOR | 

    #40,

    That, and most people who are pissed off also don’t want to die (or risk dying) or risk going to jail. Because they have things to live for.

    If even the Palestinians were as suicidally, irrationally devoted to annihilating Israel as, say Israeli apartheid apologists (and Palestinian terrorists) would like us to believe, they would have all blown themselves up at bus stops (or gotten shot trying to) by now. But however angry they are (for good and bad reasons) they’re people with loves and families and the meager pleasures of everyday living or who at the very least get on with the grind of making it day to day. People with things to live for. Active terrorists usually come from middle-upper class backgrounds; people with the liesure to be passionate about perceived injustices or feel a sense of obligation to some kind of romantic world-historical narrative, the naivety or overintellectualism to adopt or construct a rigid ideology, and the youthful urge to do something Super Imortant with their lives – to be Part of Something Greater. People like this in America usually sign up for the military.

  44. #44 |  Curt | 

    Only thing better would be if some really rich person decided to match the donations if those celebrities would promise to permanently abandon twitter.

  45. #45 |  PW | 

    This one’s simply lovely. The New Jersey judge who gave a man a 7 year prison sentence for legally transporting two handguns that he owned is the same judge who threw out the animal cruelty conviction for that cop who was caught raping cows a few years ago.

    http://www.philly.com/dailynews/local/20101130_Family__New_Jersey_man_serving_7_years_for_guns_he_owned_legally.html

  46. #46 |  TC | 

    This whole Wiki Leak kerfuffle is being caused by the NYT out of jealously!

    Too bad so many have made such a big wave out of it. There really is not one single bit of real news involved.

    No offense to any ladies, but when the USA appoints a woman as SOS they instantly shut down much potential diplomacy and real talks. Way too many nations have zero respect for women in power positions. Sorry it’s just the way it is.

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