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Saturday, September 27, 2008

You're Dead to Me, Rog

Roger L. Simon, if you didn't know, is a dick. He wrote a few detective books (I have almost all of them) and now he blogs over at Pajamas Media. He used to be a radical leftist and now he's a radical right wing nutjob, and I suppose he's an alright guy. Just a little sensitive.

Herb has gotten into a few verbal spars with him, troll that he is, and now I think Herb has been banned! A comment I posted a minute ago is gone, and we'll see if my follow-up disappears too.

On that site, that is. They will be preserved here for eternity.

The set-up.

Roger's post about the debates, which includes this line:
My question is why he thought Kissinger would let such a statement pass? Is Obama clueless or just a sleazy liar?
(Check the post for context.)

My response:
Herb:

Weak! Kissinger’s actual words that Obama referenced:
“One should be prepared to negotiate, and I think we should be prepared to negotiate about Iran,” Kissinger, who brokered the end of the 1973 Yom Kippur war and peace talks with the North Vietnamese, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. Asked whether he meant the U.S. should hold direct talks, Kissinger, 84, responded: “Yes, I think we should.”

http://deseretnews.com/article/content/mobile/1,5620,695261802,00.html?printView=true

Obama’s words from last night:
“Senator McCain mentioned Henry Kissinger, who is one of his advisers, who along with five recent secretaries of state just said we should meet with Iran _ guess what? _ without preconditions.”

And now Kissinger says: “I would not recommend the next President of the United States engage in talks with Iran at the Presidential level.”

Way to move the goal posts, bud! No one said anything about “talks with Iran AT THE PRESIDENTIAL LEVEL.” That “presidential level” nonsense is a straw man.

Are you clueless, too, Roger, or just a sleazy liar?
That prompted Roger to respond:
Roger L Simon:

Herb,you can call me anything you want (except late for lunch, as they say) but the topic at hand when Obama let fly with the Kissinger reference was his (Obama’s) statements about how he would behave with Ahmadinejad when President. So you can interpret that any way you want. Obviously, Kissinger was alarmed. He didn’t seem to waste much time with his clarification. But go ahead and call me sleazy. I’ve heard a lot worse in my decades as a writer. Pauline Kael once called me a “well known author of pop drivel” - and that was in the New Yorker. (And she put her name to the insult. You’re just some drive-by coward posting anonymous insults on a blog. Nice guy, you are.)
(I think I was supposed to be impressed by the name dropping or something.)

Anonymous insults? Pseudonymous more like it. I love the drive-by coward thing, though. It's not the first time he's called me that, and clearly he thinks it hurts. Sorry, Rog, it don't.

Drive-by coward? I'm not even driving. I mean, if you're going to get me with something, get me with something good.

At any rate, I responded to him with this, which only you and I will ever see, thanks to Roger's comment thread "bravery."
Roger, Please read the transcript of the debates again for signals on how Obama would handle Ahmadinejad. A few clues...

"Ahmadinejad is not the most powerful person in Iran. So he may not be the right person to talk to."

"Now, understand what this means "without preconditions." It doesn't mean that you invite them over for tea one day."

"Of course we've got to do preparations, starting with low-level diplomatic talks, and it may not work, because Iran is a rogue regime."

Kissinger, used as a blunt force object by Obama, HAD to come out for McCain on this one. That's his guy. Of course he didn't waste any time with his "presidential level" press release.

But he wasn't really responding to Obama... He was responding to some misinterpreted straw man argument about a high-level presidential photo op or something.

If you think Obama is lying about how he would handle Iran and Ahmadinejad, that's fair. All politicians have plenty of reasons to be mistrusted, and let's face it, the guy IS trying to get elected.

But you can't just distort his remarks without expecting to be called on it. It is, you know, kind of sleazy, not to mention a wee bit dishonest.

Your favorite anonymous drive-by coward,
James Pearce, aka Herb
What do you call a coward calling someone else a coward?

Roger L. Simon.

On Flagpins And Other Nonsense

Someone forgot his flag pin again...

Why You Can't You Look Me In the Eye?

I didn't watch the debate last night, but is it true that McCain could hardly bring himself to look at Obama?

Character? Strength? Respect? These mean nothing to you?

Friday, September 26, 2008

McCain Blinked

Grumpa's hissy fit is up, apparently. He's going to Mississippi to debate Obama after all. (You sure? It's not too late to chicken out for reals this time, you phony bastard.)

I love this subtle dig from the article:
McCain's campaign said the meeting "devolved into a contentious shouting match" and implied that Obama was at fault — on a day when McCain said he was putting politics aside to focus on the nation's financial problems.
Cuz nothing says "putting politics aside" like pointing fingers at your opponent...

What a joke.

The 7 Habits of Highly Ineffective People

Not only is McCain scared of debating Obama, but he's scared of standing with or against his fellow Republicans. From the NY Times:
But once the doors closed, the smooth-talking House Republican leader, John A. Boehner of Ohio, surprised many in the room by declaring that his caucus could not support the plan to allow the government to buy distressed mortgage assets from ailing financial companies.

Mr. Boehner pressed an alternative that involved a smaller role for the government, and Mr. McCain, whose support of the deal is critical if fellow Republicans are to sign on, declined to take a stand.

The talks broke up in angry recriminations, according to accounts provided by a participant and others who were briefed on the session, and were followed by dueling news conferences and interviews rife with partisan finger-pointing.
That's not leadership you can believe in, friends.

Obvious to Everyone

John McCain is a pussy scared.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Good News

So I spend some time away from my intravenous news connection and find out that John McCain is "suspending" his campaign?
NEW YORK (CNN) -- Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain announced Wednesday that he is suspending his campaign to return to Washington and focus on the "historic" crisis facing the U.S. economy.
And apparently he's serious.
McCain senior adviser Mark Salter said later that the campaign will suspend airing all ads and all campaign events pending Obama's agreement.
Whew...finally.

And to think I was starting to long for November when he'd have to officially suspend his campaign. On a beautiful early fall day like today, that's a hard thing to do.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Pearce Economic Recovery Plan

We've all heard about the Paulson plan to save the economy, which basically amounts to "Fuck you, pay me," but here's my plan to help fix the economy.

1) Legalize drugs and tax them. All drug enforcement operations will be suspended, the personnel retrained, the materiel repurposed. All corn subsidies will be canceled and applied to growers of hemp, increasing its use as both a fuel and a fiber.

2) Lower the drinking age to 18, allowing our nation's binge drinkers to gorge themselves on highly taxed legal booze. All house parties will be required to maintain a three-keg minimum.

3) Makes churches tax eligible. The faithful will still congregate and worship, but God, Inc. would either have to go out of business or pay their fair share. (There is an upside to this, pastors, priests and reverends: Now that you're actually taxpayers, maybe we can talk about putting the ten commandments in the courthouse.)

4) Legalize prostitution. There's no reason why enterprising men and women shouldn't be allowed to pull themselves up by the garter belt by engaging in a profession that predates the industrial revolution.

5) Convert McMansions to low-income housing. It happened to the Victorian neighborhoods with their mansions, so it's only natural that it will happen in cul-de-sac land.

6) Allow the hostile takeover of the US Government by Wal-Mart. Any student of business knows that mergers can offer a lot of shareholder value and can avert many potential bankruptcies.

7) Send a check payable to James Pearce c/o PO Box 123, Aurora, CO 80010 in the amount of 100.00 British Pounds. (If US Dollars, send $500...in cash!)

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Land of Second Chances

In a bit of snark, Matthew Yglesias writes about the Chinese tainted milk tragedy:
In the People’s Republic of China they have this crazy system where if a huge problem emerges in an area of policy, the person who was supposed to be in charge of that area loses his job, rather than getting $700 billion to spend at his absolute discretion.

I remember last year when China was taking a lot of heat for toxic toothpaste. When they executed (yes, executed) the guy in charge of their Food and Drug, my first thought was: "And that's why China is going to kick our asses in the 21st Century."

America is the land of second chances. We reward failed CEOs with millions of dollars, failed political advisers with media commentary jobs. Martha Stewart still has her TV show and when Michael Vick gets out of jail, some dumb ass is going to want him to quarterback their team.

You screw up in China, do not pass Go, do not collect a golden parachute, do not spend more time with your family, do not start your second career as an "expert" talking head. You head to the gallows in shame.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Contrast in Styles

Government:

Church:

Flame War

To entertain myself today, I got in a flame war with a weirdo on the dumbest website ever invented, Pajamas Media.

Here's the post. And here's the flame war: (I'm Herb, of course.)

daddypeacebucks:

got this in my email recently. maybe we can get it passed around the net.

Who Am I?

o I am under 45 years old,
o I love the outdoors,
o I hunt,
o I am a Republican reformer,
o I have taken on the Republican Party establishment,
o I have many children,
o I have a spot on the national ticket as vice president with less than two years in the governor’s office.

Have you guessed yet???

I’m Teddy Roosevelt, in 1900.

Hmmm so Sarah Palin is not qualified but Obama is?

Herb:

daddypeacebucks, So Sarah Palin is Teddy Roosevelt now?

Did she ever ride with the Rough Riders? Was she ever the police commissioner in New York City? Is she as racist as Teddy was? When was Palin ever an Assistant Secretary of the Navy?

Seriously…I get that you think she’s experienced enough to be VP. But do you really have to rely on absurd arguments to justify your view?

daddypeacebucks:

ooh, herb, i must have struck a nerve. as your hero BO responded so quickly to the VP candidate, even though he is running for the top spot, your effete statements about my arguments being absurd show everyone that the TR analogy really got to you.

how about your boy? the saul alinsky, Marxist-trained community organizer. please, fill us all in on his many accomplishments.

no, no, that’s wrong. i misspoke. BO has such a resume of accomplishments that he’d never get a security clearance from the CIA, FBI, Secret Service or any branch of the Military. yet, he’s running for the number one job on earth. only in America.

Herb:
daddypeacebucks, Struck a nerve? Sorry, dude, but your (weak) TR analogy did not cause my knees to start shaking and the sweat to start dripping. I didn’t think, “OMG, if everyone finds out that Sarah Palin is just like TR, there’s no way Barack Obama can win this thing! This analogy must be suppressed!”

Instead I thought…man, these Palin supporters are really reaching…

It’s one thing to support her candidacy. It’s another to pretend that she belongs with Teddy Roosevelt in the pantheon of Great Republican Leaders.

daddypeacebucks:

herb, herb, you’re just like all the liberals, you think with your intestines. nothing i might ever say would possibly persuade you and your ilk to vote for a repub ticket. but, there are some out there who are on the cusp, and a favorable comparison to a revered figure could be just enough to swing their vote.

by the way, herb, why no response to your candidate’s not being able to get a proper security clearance? are your intestines too knotted up by the immutable truth?

Herb:

daddypeacebucks, Thinking with my intestines? Wow, thanks, bud. It seems my intestines are more cogent than the gray matter between your ears.

When you say, “nothing i might ever say would possibly persuade you and your ilk to vote for a repub ticket,” yes, that’s true. You, my friend, are not persuasive AT ALL. Instead of defending your analogy, you instead project your hatred of liberals in my direction. “You and your ilk?”

Dude, you don’t even know me…much less anything about my “ilk.”

Can YOU be persuaded by insults?

As for your strange security clearance non sequitur…of course, I didn’t respond to that. YOU brought it up. YOU explain why you think he’s a security risk.

That he’s a sitting US Senator and one of the candidates for President really doesn’t make me worry about his “security clearances.”

daddypeacebucks:

herb, no, you brought up gov palin’s qualifications by implying that her not sharing some of TR’s accomplishments disqualifies her from serious consideration as a VP. so, it was perfectly logical for me to bring up BO’s stellar - that’s satire, herb - accomplishments.

and, your attempt at a quip - “daddypeacebucks, Thinking with my intestines? Wow, thanks, bud. It seems my intestines are more cogent than the gray matter between your ears …” - was pretty sophomoric. Surely, an erudite fellow like you, one who can use non sequitur properly in a sentence (even though the example you cited for it was spurious), can come up with something better than that. Lame, herb, lame.

as far as BO’s not being able to get a security clearance, you know exactly what i mean. and, you know that i speak the truth. but, i’m really getting bored with the whole herb routine here. so, if you want to fool yourself in thinking that you’ve won this exchange, go ahead. from the anger exhibited in your arguments, it’s not hard come to the conclusion that your imagined victory would be the only cause for joy in an otherwise empty life.

let me be the first to say it. hooray for herb!

Herb:

daddypeacebucks says, “from the anger exhibited in your arguments, it’s not hard come to the conclusion that your imagined victory would be the only cause for joy in an otherwise empty life.”

To quote Reagan…”there you go again.”

Let me remind you….you know nothing about me or my life or whether it’s full or empty. Forgive me if I’m unimpressed with your comment thread psychoanalysis.

Also, I wasn’t implying anything about Palin’s qualifications. I was stating quite clearly that your Roosevelt comparison has enough holes to drive a whole regiment of Rough Riders through it.

But if you’re bored defending your metaphors, and would rather talk about security clearances for US Senators/Presidential contenders, well, I guess that’s your problem. Have fun spreading your e-mail jokes, bud.

Hooray for Herb indeed.

No

More commentary on the bailout:
Hank Paulson--one of the CEOs who got us into this mess--is asking each and every American to give him $2,333 to do with as he sees fit, with absolutely no strings attached.

No.

Game Changer

Observations from Hilzoy:
Second: if anyone ever tells me that Republicans are the party of fiscal discipline ever again, I will either dissolve in laughter or bite their heads off. I don't know which. You have been warned.

Third: in particular, if any Republican ever tells me that a hundred million or so is just too much to pay to make sure that kids have health insurance, I will definitely bite his or her head off.

Fourth: I do not want to hear people tell me that regulation cripples the economy, unless they are willing to admit that a lack of regulation can also cripple the economy. Not ever. I don't understand why anyone is so much as tempted to think that "regulation" is good or bad, as a whole: to me, that's like being for or against "things" or "people". Some regulations are good, some are bad; obviously, we want people in government who can tell the difference, and implement regulatory systems that work well. However, altogether too many of my fellow citizens were willing to listen to ideologues, and now we all get to pay for their mistakes.

WTF

What a scam.

As US taxpayers prepare to dish out $700 billion - $1 trillion (plus interest over X number of years) for Wall Street bailouts, 208 people are going to carve up $2.5 billion in "bonuses" during Lehman Brothers' bankruptcy.
A Chapter 11 bankruptcy document filed by Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc says that Barclays has identified eight individuals out of the New York staff of 10,000 who are vital to make the deal succeed and a further 200 who are identified as “key”. It is thought that these eight directors will be locked into two-year contracts worth between $10m and $25m a year.
You don't get million dollar bonuses, you fucking scammers. You get to find a new line of work!

What a joke.

Speaking of Financial Crises

John McCain has more cars than he has houses. Clearly this means that Barack Obama is an elitist, and McCain? A man of the people.

Nice Slam

Ha!
If our economic options are either A) give the Bush administration, which has screwed up pretty much everything it has ever touched, a blank check for somewhere between $700 billion and $1 trillion with only four months left in power and B) risk a total meltdown of the entire system, I've got to say that B doesn't look too bad.