Thursday, October 18, 2007

Politics As Usual... Around Here

Yesterday I first read about General Peter Pace leaving his stars at the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial on the day he retired from the Marines and his job as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Today Flag Gazer has a post… with photos… documenting General Pace’s gesture. If you haven’t read this story yet, do go over to Flag Gazer’s place and have a read.

It’s much more than a damned shame General Pace didn’t get a second term as Chairman. It’s an outrage. But, Hell. Outrage is so common these days most of us don’t even blink. Sad.

In the Maniacal Laugh (Buh-wah-hah-Ha-HAHA!!) Dept First there was this:

Randi Rhodes is the Victim of a Violent Attack

Randi Rhodes was mugged on Sunday night on 39th Street and Park Ave, nearby her Manhattan apartment, while she was walking her dog Simon.

According to Air America Radio late night host Jon Elliott, Rhodes was beaten up pretty badly, losing several teeth and will probably be off the air for at least the rest of the week. At of late Monday night we have not able to locate any press accounts of the attack and nothing has been posted on the AAR website.


Pointing out that Rhodes was wearing a jogging suit and displayed no purse or jewelry, Elliott speculated that "this does not appear to me to be a standard grab the money and run mugging."

"Is this an attempt by the right wing hate machine to silence one of our own," he asked. "Are we threatening them. Are they afraid that we're winning. Are they trying to silence intimidate us."


Apparently, some right-wing critics of lib talk aren’t happy that conservative talk only accounts for 90% of the programming on talk radio. These whack jobs appear determined to whatever it takes to silence the opposing point of view.

Not surprisingly, the only talk radio host killed for his political views was a liberal. In 1984, two right wing extremists gunned down Denver talk show host Alan Berg. Berg’s tragic murder was memorialized in a chilling movie Talk Radio.

And then there was this:

Air America Radio host Randi Rhodes is temporarily off the air, but cops and her lawyer say reports she was mugged near her Manhattan apartment were bogus.

Fellow host Jon Elliott said on the liberal network that Rhodes was attacked at 39th St. and Park Ave. on Sunday night while walking her dog, Simon.

Elliott, who said Rhodes lost several teeth in the attack, waxed about a possible conspiracy.

"Is this an attempt by the right-wing hate machine to silence one of our own?" he asked on the air, according to the Talking Radio blog. "Are we threatening them?"

A police source said Rhodes never filed a report and never claimed to be the victim of a mugging.

Rhodes' lawyer Robert Gaulin told the Daily News she was injured in a fall while walking her dog, but she wasn't sure exactly what happened.

Followed by this:

Air America released a statement saying that "the reports of a presumed hate crime are unfounded." Elliott followed that up with a retraction.

"I shouldn't have speculated based on hearsay that Randi Rhodes had been mugged and that it may have been an attack from a right wing hate machine. I apologize for jumping to conclusions based on an emotional reaction," he said in a written statement.

Good luck finding Air America’s “statement” on their web site. And Elliot’s retraction cum apology. They’re well-hidden, if they exist at all. I looked and I couldn’t find ‘em. But Hey! No need to publicize an apology. There’s truthiness in what they said about the Rethuglicans, isn’t there? Even if they’re just a lil bit mistaken about the facts in this particular case? All right-thinking people understand this. Next time they’ll have enough facts. Just you wait. But, in the meanwhile, let’s just get on with the Conservative-Bashing.

Excuse me…I feel another maniacal laugh coming on.

In the “Broken Clock Is Right Twice a Day” Dept… From The Hill:

On Wednesday, five House Democrats, including a powerful ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), asked their leadership not to bring the resolution to the floor.

The chairman of the House Appropriations Defense subcommittee said 55 to 60 Democrats would vote against the resolution if it came to the floor Wednesday.

“If it came to the floor today, it would not pass,” Murtha said.


But Pelosi is resolved to bringing the measure to a vote, according to Murtha.

“She feels very strongly about this,” he said.

In case you haven’t been following this particular brouhaha, it’s all about a congressional resolution to condemn Turkey for something the frickin’ Ottoman Empire did back in World War One, and it’s been hanging around the congress for, oh, about 25 years or so. The last time the resolution got close to a floor vote, President Clinton personally intervened with then-Speaker Hastert and Hastert wisely blocked a floor vote.

Minutes before the House was to vote on a measure condemning the mass killings of Armenians in Turkey 85 years ago as genocide, J. Dennis Hastert, the speaker, withdrew the resolution tonight, citing President Clinton's warnings that a vote could harm national security and hurt relations with Turkey, a NATO ally.

In a telephone call late Wednesday and in a letter today, Mr. Clinton urged Mr. Hastert to withdraw the measure, saying it could inflame tensions in the Middle East, embolden President Saddam Hussein of Iraq and interfere with American efforts to stabilize the Balkans.

And, according to yesterday’s WaPo, President Bush did exactly the same thing:

"The president called the speaker today and requested that the resolution not be brought to the House floor. The president and the speaker exchanged candid views on the subject, and the speaker explained the strong bipartisan support in the House for the resolution," said Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly.

As of yesterday Pelosi apparently intended to bring the resolution to a vote (although there are signs she’s wavering), despite what the President and influential members of her party think. And regardless of the impact this resolution will have on Turkey, a nation that used to be our staunchest ally in the region. Let me quote an op-ed in Tuesday’s WSJ:

Where is the upside in October 2007 to this Armenian resolution?

The bill is opposed by eight former U.S. Secretaries of State, including Madeleine Albright. After Tom Lantos's House Foreign Affairs Committee voted out the resolution last week, Turkey recalled its ambassador from Washington. Turkey serves as a primary transit hub for U.S. equipment going into both Iraq and Afghanistan. After the Kurdish terrorist group PKK killed 13 Turkish conscripts last week near the border with Iraq, Turkey's prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, asked the parliament to approve a huge deployment of the army along the border, threatening an incursion into Kurdish-controlled Iraq. This of course is the one manifestly successful region of post-Saddam Iraq. In a situation teetering on a knife-edge, President Bush has been asking Mr. Erdogan to show restraint on the Iraq border.

Somehow, none of this is allowed to penetrate Speaker Pelosi's world. She is offering various explanations for bringing the genocide resolution to the House floor. "This isn't about the Erdogan government," she says. "This is about the Ottoman Empire," last seen more than 85 years ago. "Genocide still exists," insists Ms. Pelosi. "We saw it in Rwanda; we see it now in Darfur."

Yes, but why now, with Turkey crucial to an Iraq policy that now has the prospect of a positive outcome?

Why, indeed. The cynical amongst us think it’s just another roundabout way of ensuring “Bush’s War” ends in defeat, and damn the long-term consequences. Given the facts, as they stand, I’d say there’s merit in that argument. YMMV.

Finally…back to Murtha. You done good on this one, Jack. But one lil attaboy ain’t NEAR enough to erase the TON of aw-shits you’ve accumulated. Keep tryin’.

Update: Good op-ed on this subject in today's Philadelphia Inquirer: The House Genocide Resolution; And the point is . . . ?


  1. Liberals lying?

    "I'm shocked inspector, very shocked"

  2. "Not surprisingly, the only talk radio host killed for his political views was a liberal. In 1984, two right wing extremists gunned down Denver talk show host Alan Berg. Berg’s tragic murder was memorialized in a chilling movie Talk Radio."

    Wow, I saw Talk Radio starring Eric Bogosian, and I thought the main character was gunned down for being a stark-raving asshole, not for being a liberal. I suppose it's all a matter of perspective, eh?

  3. Pat...I know it's hard to believe, but try, OK? :->

    Phleghmmy sez: I thought the main character was gunned down for being a stark-raving asshole, not for being a liberal. I suppose it's all a matter of perspective, eh?

    Stark raving asshole, liberal... Nah. Won't go there. Some of my best friends are liberals. Well, two of 'em, anyway. I keep hoping they'll come around, but in one case it's been nearly 30 years, and in the other 20.


Just be polite... that's all I ask.