Archive for: July, 2009

Cantor Blames Liberals for Birthers; Republican Clown Show Continues

Jul 31 2009 Published by under Featured News, Republican Party

Oh, what was I thinking? I thought we were in the clear. Sailin’ off to the start of a lovely weekend; all we had to worry about was the government knocking on our door to “put us out to pasture”, doom, gloom and the general terror of a man in office whose skin may not be bleached white.

That’s enough fright for a Republican Friday Night, no?

Just as I was tryin’ to ignore the fact that Mike Pence (as in, top GOP Rep. Mike Pence – yes, you and I pay for his health care) went on national TV and exaggerated the CBO budget for public health care by a mere….

500 billion dollars

(give or take a few billion) — before you get all outraged, evil liberals, you know Republicans aren’t good at math, so you can’t really blame him. Just like you can’t blame them for their general incompetence at governing. They’re for SMALLL government! The fact that they’re even showing up is a blessing, or at least a surprise (Sarah Palin notwithstanding). They sure run for a lot of offices, for folks who don’t believe in government. But I’ll leave that discussion for the Lord’s day, as I’ve a sneaking suspicion that only She can explain this particular Republican peccadillo.

Anyhoo, for Pence, 540 billion and 1 trillion are the same, just rounded up. Rounding up. Remember rounding up? That’s like, past the decimal point, I’ve got 1.56 somethings, so I’ll round it up to 1.6. Which is sort of like calling 540 billion 1 trillion…but different.

I guess when you aren’t really on a budget of any kind, numbers shunmbers. Right? Just ask John McCain. Remember when he didn’t know the price of a gallon of milk? Like, within the tens of dollars? Out of touch. Slightly. In an amusingly cute clownish kinda way.

The good news is that you never know when Pence’s numbers might just add up! Eventually, of course, he’ll be right about something. And since we pay him good money to exaggerate those numbers, I’ve got high expectations that he’ll be accurate sooner rather than later. Just not today.

So, I was still breathing normally, ignoring Pence and his claims of many CBO numbers – none of them real – when BAM! Cantor dipped his toes in the Republican clown pool, naughty minx that he is. Can’t we have a day? Just one day that isn’t full of Poutrageous Bull Pucky?

Aw, Jeeze. Here it is:

Canter blames the Liberal Media for the Birthers.

“Asked for Cantor’s views on birtherism, his spokesman, Brad Dayspring, emailed me this:

“Mr. Cantor doesn’t question the President’s citizenship, but he has serious questions about the President’s push for government controlled healthcare, taxes on small business job creators, and a huge energy tax on middle class families. He finds it ironic that those most eager to talk about the President’s citizenship are in fact some of his biggest cheerleaders–whether it’s Chris Matthews or others on MSNBC, the Huffington Post, or camera toting liberal bloggers chasing people through the streets of Washington.””

http://theplumline.whorunsgov.com/president-obama/eric-cantor-rips-chris-matthews-msnbc-huffpo-liberal-bloggers-for-pushing-birther-story/

So, there you have it. It’s the evil liberals’ fault that the birthers have made such a fuss. It certainly had nothing to do with the many Republican senators who refused to sign a bill celebrating HI as a state, which just so happened to mention that President Obama was born there. Naw. Republicans are really mad at HI and just don’t want to acknowledge the state. Just cuz. Stop asking questions.

It had nothing to do with Rush Limbaugh or the many law suits or the Republican elected officials going on national TV to declare themselves “not sure” if Obama was born in the USA.

And it most certainly had nothing to do with President Obama’s skin color or his middle name! You know what happens to evil liberals who dare suggest such things?

Well, we’ll have to go ask a white male Republican, because they’re the only people whose judgment isn’t colored by their life experiences. Privilege does that to a guy, apparently.

If you had any, you’d know that. And you wouldn’t be asking petty questions about who started the birther thing. You’d take Cantor’s word for it. He knows.

He’s in charge. And I’m sure Mike Pence can help Cantor explain it all to us lowly little people whose life experiences make our judgment unreliably subject to things like empathy (shudder!). Don’t you feel better now?

Just don’t answer your door this weekend. Might be the gubbmint comin’ to getcha’.

2 responses so far

Jon Stewart Earns the Wrath of Rush Limbaugh

Jul 31 2009 Published by under Featured News

Jon Stewart has now earned the wrath of Rush Limbaugh for getting Bill Kristol to admit on The Daily Show that government run healthcare works. Limbaugh said that Stewart is a sell out for using the military as healthcare example, because liberals like Stewart hate the military. Ugh, so now Rush is going after Jon Stewart.

Here is the audio courtesy of Media Matters:

Limbaugh first didn’t know what The Daily Show was, and then called it that comedy show that young people think is real news. Limbaugh said, “The thing that gets me about this, I know Jon Stewart is a state run lib Democrat, and if he is having to resort to pointing to the military as something that works to sell a program, that‘s a huge sellout, because these people hate the military.”

In Rush’s mind, Jon Stewart is a liberal Democrat, which I am sure is a relief to Bill Clinton after the years of nightly beatings he took from Stewart during the last couple of years of his term. Secondly, Comedy Central is state run media, really? I didn’t realize South Park was a government run media project. Rush implies that Stewart is some sort of agent of left who is selling Obama’s policies to the young.

Stewart isn’t selling anyone’s programs. He can be very critical of both political parties, which is why his show is so successful. It isn’t a liberal or a conservative program. It is a half an hour of current events comedy. Limbaugh would be wise to pay attention to Stewart, because it is his audience that supported Obama in such large numbers in 2008.

Unlike Limbaugh’s old, angry, white man listenership, Stewart’s viewers will be shaping elections for years to come, so dismissing his program as a comedy show that young people think is real news is dumb thing to do. Stewart isn’t a sellout for pointing out the holes in the Republican healthcare argument. A sellout is someone like Rush Limbaugh who goes on the air everyday and acts as a propagandist for the Republican Party. Limbaugh is the very definition of a sellout.

140 responses so far

The Palin Plunge

Jul 31 2009 Published by under Republican Party

The Thrilla from Wasilla who just a year ago was touted as the country’s most beloved Governor (a statistic that had NOTHING to do with her socialistic program of sending thousands of dollars from the oil companies to each Alaskan citizen) is no longer a contender…..

According to Hays Research Group, Palinistas! Don’t shoot, I’m not a moose! It’s a scary job reporting facts on Mrs. Palin; checks behind self for lurking 21%er. Whew, no one there. Yet. Wouldn’t want to suffer the “backlash” Palin calls for against all political operatives, er, citizens who speak without paying deference to the Queen’s Alternate Reality. You did know this was all a Reality TV show, right? Along the lines of Punk’d? Well, it’s not just Alaska who got Punk’d by the Thrilla!

According to Palin’s Facebook Page (which she may later renounce), she pulled out of the Simi Valley Republican Women’s meeting at the Reagan Library. Or she never committed. Perhaps she’s merely applying “Abstinence Only” to her speaking engagements? A wise move from a “not-so wise white woman” – i.e., the only kinda leaders we need! Thank you very much! But no, a rumor suggests that she’s busy figuring out who she can sue! This rumor comes courtesy of a conservative group of Palin lovers, who relish the thought of their Warrior for God Princess firing off a few rounds of legal revenge. Go get ‘em, girl!

Just a rumor, yada yada, yada. I, for one, hope she sues someone somewhere for these plunging poll numbers – because it certainly is not her fault that people don’t like her. We KNOW who is to blame for that. Say it with me! “Evil Liberal Media Elite Trailer Trash Godless Sinners East Coast West Coast Tiny Celebrities and Moose!” Whew. I feel better now.

Jimminy Crickets, but there’s more!

Oh, numbers. The work of the devil, I know. They mean nothing except that Russia is apparently where we are housing the Anti-Christ, according to Palin’s Dominionist religion. See, you learn something new every day! Now you know why it was so important for Palin to keep her eye on Putin. I hope you feel duly scolded for doubting the Queen.

According to AKM at The Mudflats, the Approval Index (Very Positive minus Very Negative) is now -1.2. Ouch! So, it would be safe to say that more Alaskans disapprove of her than approve of her (ducking).

http://www.themudflats.net/2009/07/30/palins-approval-rating-in-alaska-goes-negative/#comment-113164

Okay. Back to those lawsuits.

Did you know that if you sue someone they are entitled to your deposition under oath?

Happy Friday.

2 responses so far

Obama Rocks the Stock Market

Jul 31 2009 Published by under White House

Remember earlier this year when President Obama took office and suddenly the stock market plunge of October, 2008 was his fault? Each little or large market dip; a trust-worthy reflection of the job performance of our new POTUS? Sure, we can judge him on Jan 21, 2009 as a bad President, just look at the stock market!

Frankly, for years now, I’ve been using the stock market this way. It was made perfectly clear to me that the free market “corrects” itself (and then it’s not so free, but socialism for corporations is not nearly as ugly as socialism for people), it’s all about supply and demand, and it needs no oversight! Free market baby! I’d suggest that you can also use it to judge your relationships and other ostensibly (wink, wink) non-related things, but more on that later. Anyway, man, does that free market hate the new, possibly non-real President.

Except, now the market has gone up 1200 points (15%) from January 09 and the GDP contraction rate has slowed dramatically (from 6.4 to 1.5) and it turns out that the recession inflicted even more damage on the economy in 2008. The economy grew just 0.4 percent in 2008.

Wait, wasn’t Bush in office then? This can’t be! The market loved Bush! Republicans stand for capitalism and all things Americana, and if any of you nasty dwellers on the past want to bring up October of 2008 again, well, forget it, because Obama shouldn’t blame everything on Bush!

Is it Bush’s fault that FEMA failed? Huh???.…Oh, really? Well… You should take a cue from Megan McCain and start looking forward. All of that backward stuff is just confusing and anyway, who can tell who’s to blame for anything? You know? So, totally. 911! God loves the troops! Where is your flag pin, anyway?

Now, see, with Clinton, we knew it was his fault (Clenis, Clenis, Clenis, save us from the menace!!! Distraction, shame, distraction!!). He committed the Great Sin. Pause to allow impact of inference to sink in: All Democrats/liberals are sinners who have no moral compass, so they should not be allowed to speak regarding policy. The thinking here is clear; If you are vulgar enough to cheat on your wife, your entire party is worthless, lacking in all integrity and moral fiber!

Granted, the Great Sin, now that it’s been done often, by many – especially Christian Republicans- isn’t looking so bad. Turns out, you can even use tax-payer money to fund such indiscretions and no one will talk of impeaching you! That’s progress, see? Look forward, I tell you. Forward.

Anyway, the stock market is up 1200 points, and I just wanted to point out that while the stock market plunging is an accurate assessment of President Obama, the stock market rebounding and climbing with great optimism toward it’s own Cash for Clunkers program in the sky is NOT an accurate indication of how Obama is doing.

Any moron can get the stock market to go up. Just ask George W. Bush! That’s why they call it a “free market”? See? You unfetter it, untie it, let it soar with no oversight and no regulation and it just grows like a magical beanstalk!!!!

It’s getting it to plunge to sickening, some might say suicide-inducing, depths at the verrrry end of your last term in office that shows you are the Master of the Universe, the Great Decider, and a Good Leader. When the DOW is playing with Dr Death, you know you’re good. Psst…..Also, because you and your friends got your money out before the Great Plunge of W. This nation of “whiners” (God, I love Phil Gramm! I wish McCain had won and Phil was leading us through this great financial darkness!) needs to grow up! Get some insider info, er, I mean, plan wisely (I kid, I kid. It’s just some people sayin’), and you’d be rich, too!! And while we’re at it, Karl Rove is innocent. He only had a little involvement in that whole DOJ firing scandal. Just a little, and a little is not the same as guilty. Just ask any three year old. Sheesh. Silly Democracy freaks! What next?

So, now you know the truth. Don’t let anyone tell you things might be getting better or that Obama might be doing something right. He’s not, and I can prove it.

Later. With the stock market numbers. Cuz they WILL go down again, you can bet on it!

By the way, have you seen his birth certificate? I think that’s the real issue here. That’s what we should be talking about instead of all of this lookin’ back stuff. That and how Obama wants to kill old people with rationing.

Let your gut lead the way. It only fails you every now and again. WMD.

4 responses so far

Birther Talk Causes Lou Dobbs’ CNN Ratings to Nosedive

Jul 30 2009 Published by under Featured News

According to an analysis done by The New York Observer, ever since Lou Dobbs started discussing President Obama’s birth certificate on his CNN program, his ratings have taken a nosedive. Dobbs has lost 15% of his total viewers, and 27% of viewers in the 25-54 demographic.

The Observer found that, “Mr. Dobbs’ first began reporting on Obama birth certificate conspiracy theories on the night of Wednesday, July 15. In the roughly two weeks since then, from July 15 through July 28, Mr. Dobbs’ 7 p.m. show on CNN has averaged 653,000 total viewers and 157,000 in the 25-54 demo.”

This means that Dobbs’ numbers have taken a dive, “By contrast, during the first two weeks of the month (July 1 to July 14) Mr. Dobbs averaged 771,000 total viewers and 218,000 in the 25-54 demo. In other words, Mr. Dobbs’ audience has decreased 15 percent in total viewers and 27 percent in the demo since the start of the controversy.”

Dobbs has also experienced a ratings drop over his quarterly numbers, “But, that said, Mr. Dobbs’ ratings over the past two weeks, during the height of the “birthers” controversy, are also down significantly compared to his overall numbers during the second quarter of 2009 when he averaged 769,000 total viewers and 222,000 in the 25-54 demo.”

This means that if Dobbs was trying to juice his ratings by getting all birther, he has more than failed, he has lost audience share. You can be certain that Dobbs’ superiors at CNN have noticed the decline, and unless things reverse for him soon, the network will have all the justification that they would need to fire him.

The problem that Dobbs presents for CNN is that his program is running counter to the political momentum of the country. When Dobbs moved to the fringe right, he lost 118,000 nightly viewers. The viewers that Dobbs has lost have moved to the 7 PM replay of MSNBC’s Hardball. The rerun of Chris Matthews’ program is now beating or running even with Dobbs. This should not be much of a surprise as Matthews has spent the last couple of weeks taking on the birthers.

Where does all of this leave Dobbs? I think he is fine for now, but if he continues to lose viewers, CNN will replace him. The former cable news giant is struggling in primetime, and can’t afford to have a 7 PM lead in that is causing viewers to flee the network. I don’t know what possessed Dobbs to go birther, but if this decline continues, his decision might end up costing him his show.

2 responses so far

Lou Dobbs Completely Misses the Point of Jon Stewart’s Satire

Jul 30 2009 Published by under Featured News

On his radio show today Lou Dobbs got it all wrong when he praised Jon Stewart of The Daily Show for accurately reporting his Obama citizenship comments. The problem is that Stewart was making fun of Dobbs, not reporting what Dobbs was saying. Here is the audio of Dobbs and the video of Jon Stewart.

Here is the audio of Dobbs from Media Matters:

Dobbs said, “The only news organization to report what I said besides Bill O’Reilly’s show was Jon Stewart to report that I said he’s a citizen. I believe he’s a citizen. Listen to what Jon Stewart did, he had a lot of fun with that and, but he did it with wit and humor, and I’ve got all the respect in the world for Jon Stewart because what he does, he does intelligently, unlike The Huffington Post I mean all these left wing screwballs who are in advocacy groups and the left wing media.”

Here is the video from The Daily Show of Stewart deconstructing Dobbs’ argument:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
So You Think You Can Douche
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show
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Political Humor Joke of the Day

As you can see Stewart was not reporting anything, he was exposing Dobbs’ for what he is, a birther. Stewart was mocking Dobbs, yet Lou either doesn’t get it, or is pretending not to. Jon Stewart has said repeatedly in interviews that he does a fake news show, and he practically begs his audience to not rely on his program as a factual source for information.

Yet, here we have Lou Dobbs, who is so desperate for validation that he plays a piece of a comedy segment, which by the way is about who is the bigger right wing douche, to somehow validate his claims of left wing media bias. I think this move clearly establishes Dobbs as the biggest right wing douche of all. I know it is tough to put anyone ahead of Glenn Beck and his claim that the half white Obama hates white people, but I think that Dobbs wins by a nose.

See Also: Birther Talk Causes Lou Dobbs’ CNN Ratings to Nosedive

5 responses so far

Healthcare Reform: Life, Death, And Disinformation

Jul 30 2009 Published by under Featured News

The closer Democrats get to healthcare reform, the more Republicans and the health insurance industry whip up the scare tactics. From Rush Limbaugh claiming that the elderly with be euthanized to the lies spread around by Betsy McCaughey, the battle over healthcare reform is centered on life, death, and disinformation.

Rush Limbaugh has been using his radio show to promote disinformation that the HR bill “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009″ would include provisions for euthanizing the elderly.

It is obvious that Rush is not himself reading the bill, which is available for free on Scribd.com, under Health Bill 2009, to anyone who is curious about checking some of these egregious claims. Given the nature of the statements, and the availability of the bill itself, and the recurring pattern, it is not credible that these errors are accidental. It suggests a calculated and intentional reliance on an audience that will not question what it is told, and will not fact check what it hears, so long as it is told what it wants to hear.

After the question, “why would anyone seriously believe something so ridiculous?”, the next question which presents itself is — “where is he getting such strange ideas?”

One source for consistent right wing misinformation is Betsy McCaughey. Ms. McCaughey is a former Republican Lieutenant Governor of New York, who switched to become a Democrat in 1997, in anticipation of a run for Democratic candidate for governor in 1998; she lost that candidacy race to another Democrat. McCaughey ran as the Liberal Party candidate for governor of New York in 1998. The New York Liberal Party is a minor party specific to the state of New York and its politics; it has supported an interesting array of both Democrats and sometimes Republicans for a variety of local and state offices in its history.

Looking at McCaughey’s history in politics, it is fair to say her loyalties have had a lot of variety as well, to the point that I find myself as skeptical of her sincerity and integrity, as I am of her accuracy. McCaughey has a BA with distinction from Vassar, and an MA and PhD from Columbia in history. In this regard of being well educated, McCaughey reminds me of our Minnesota representative Bachmann, who holds advanced degrees which demonstrate an ability to perform research and critical thinking, but who seems to consistently fail to use them, or alternatively, deliberately chooses to present false information to serve an extreme political cause.

In the area of health issues, McCaughey has been found on more than one occasion to have misrepresented critical information. Like Bachmann, McCaughey presents and attractive appearance; arguably this is used in a calculated effort to persuade.

McCaughey has appeared all over the mainstream media, including Lou Dobbs program on CNN, back in February of this year, and more recently on the radio show hosted by Mark Levin. That Levin interview, and others, is available on YouTube.

The interview with the false assertions about forcing the elderly to commit suicide opens with an ominous black background, and the frightening words that state:

Page 425 of Obamacare Bill: Mandatory Counseling Sessions pushing SUICIDE for the elderly and seriously ill. Pages 16 – 17: NO NEW private health insurance policies.

Well, no. Page 425 doesn’t say that. Nowhere in the bill does it say anything like that. That someone has read, or at least scanned through nearly a thousand pages (double spaced pages with large margins) to locate a section that does deal with end of life issues, to the point of specifying a single page, and then misrepresents the content, begs an explanation of accident. That Rep. Bachmann would at approximately the same time be caught misrepresenting page 16, cannot be a coincidence.

What IS talked about, on page 425, are things like living wills and health care proxies, end of life planning, and hospice care.

I would refer you to that excellent organization, Fact Check.org, where any number of items of misinformation about this health care plan is addressed; there is a lovely section that addresses an email that I had come across my computer just yesterday. Limbaugh and McCaughey are certainly not the only individuals on the right, with access to a media pulpit, preaching misinformation and messages of fear, who are noted in the Fact Check.org Health Care legislation analysis. It covers a LOT of ground.

It is in all of our interests to be cynical and skeptical, and to check the information supplied to us. This is not a liberal versus conservative matter. It is not a Democrat versus Republican concern. It is AS important to fact check information with which you agree, as it is to check information which is not in agreement with your views.

I feel most compelled to check information presented as fact which promotes an unreasonable fear, or which exaggerates grotesquely. I feel compelled to check and to resist assertions which demonize too broad segments of the political spectrum. I also find myself compelled to check information which appears to be or could be slanted to what someone believes I want to hear, out of concern that it may be manipulative.

Too much of the political discussion that takes place on all levels, local, state, regional and national, is deliberately divisive, too much of that discussion begins with a difference of information, where instead of seeking common ground and greater accuracy, there is a failure to challenge facts, in good faith and with integrity, a s part of a larger effort to achieve a meeting of the minds. I do not like to be lied to; apparently some people thrive on it.

“Please don’t lie to me, unless you’re absolutely sure I’ll never find out the truth.”
Ashleigh Brilliant
English Author and Cartoonist, b.1933

“He who does not need to lie is proud of not being a liar.”
Friedrich Nietzsche
German classical Scholar, Philosopher and Critic of culture,
1844-1900

7 responses so far

Clear Channel Says No Thanks to a Sarah Palin Radio Show

Jul 30 2009 Published by under Featured News

According to Broadcast and Cable media giant Clear Channel has already passed on the chance to give former Alaska governor Sarah Palin her own radio show. Clear Channel turned her down because they weren’t sure that she could handle talking for 15 live hours a week. Palin might not find as many takers for her services as she thought.

According to Paige Albiniak, Clear Channel’s major concern was that, The main objection to Palin as radio talk-show host is that she would have to hold forth for three hours a day. While some of her recent remarks may indicate a talent for improvisation, anyone who’s listened to Rush Limbaugh or Thom Hartmann or Don Imus or Howard Stern or even Ryan Seacrest knows it’s the rare personality who can blab extemporaneously for 15 hours a week. And relying on callers to get you through won’t help, because as we’ve all experienced, callers-in are usually more embarrassing than compelling.”

Clear Channel thinks that Palin might not be able to cut it in the world of talk radio. They may be correct. She does have no experience, and nothing in her speeches or public appearances would lead someone to think that she has the ability to be entertaining and compelling on live radio every weekday. Palin tends to repeat herself and stick to the same basic talking points. This isn’t the trait of a great radio host.

Palin is probably a much better fit for television. I could see her doing one hour of television on the weekend, on Fox News, like her fellow Republican Mike Huckabee. Palin is the Paris Hilton of the political world. She is famous because of who she is. She is political pop culture. Palin is still going to make a boat load of money, but her cash may have to come from her book and the speaking circuit.

For the sake for Palin’s political ambitions, having a radio or television show would keep her in the public eye and in the mix for 2012. Without some sort of media platform, Palin is going to struggle to get publicity. One also can’t overlook the irony that Palin constantly bashes the media, yet she is willing to sell herself out to the media for a buck and to keep herself in the spotlight. Once again, Palin is revealing the hypocrisy of her own words.

2 responses so far

CNN’s Lou Dobbs Calls MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow a Lunatic

Jul 29 2009 Published by under Featured News

After MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow mocked CNN’s Lou Dobbs for calling her the, “tea bagger queen” yesterday on her show, Dobbs fired back today on his show. He referred to Maddow as, “a lunatic among the lily livered, limp minded, lefty lemmings.” Dobbs, who has “questions” about Obama’s citizenship, thinks Maddow is mentally unstable. That’s a laugh.

Here is the audio courtesy of Media Matters:

Dobbs was explaining to a listener who submitted a complaint to FCC about Dobbs using the term tea bagger, and said, “No way. I think I referred to Rachel Maddow as the tea bagger queen, is that correct? I guess I don’t know there must be some misunderstanding about what I said because I was just referring to her as the tea bagger queen because of the things she said back in mid-April with the tea parties going on, you know where people were sending tea bags to their congressman tea bags through the mail, and Rachel Maddow was very caught up in the moment.”

Dobbs explained, “Because of her fascination with the idea of the tea parties, and seemingly trying to mock the tea parties and the tea bagging, so I don’t know what the issue is, and surely she would not engage in derogatory and obscene language. Do you think she would? I don’t think she would, so I hope the FCC doesn’t get her in big trouble.”

He then called Maddow a lunatic, “I think Rachel Maddow is a very nice pleasant person. You she is a lunatic among the lily livered, lefty lemmings, but other than that, I think she is doing ok.” I don’t know what I find funnier, the idea that someone filed an FCC complaint against Dobbs for his use of the term tea bagger, or that he called Maddow a lunatic.

Now I could completely understand anyone referring to Keith Olbermann as a lunatic, especially when he slips into his frothing at the mouth liberal mode, but Rachel Maddow being called a lunatic by Lou Dobbs is hysterical. Dobbs is going so far off the beaten path that he is starting to make Glenn Beck and Michael Savage look mainstream by comparison.

Maddow is such a lunatic that her show crushes Dobbs’ CNN program in terms of overall viewers. The replay of Maddow’s programs draws almost as many viewers as Lou Dobbs tonight on CNN. Dobbs is starting to get to the point where even Bill O’Reilly will have to look him someday and think, Lou has really lost it.

2 responses so far

PETA Wants to Judge Michael Vick’s Remorse through a Brain Scan

Jul 29 2009 Published by under Featured News

Tuesday’s episode of MSNBC’s the Ed Show included a segment on the return of Michael Vick to football. PETA, the animal rights extremist group is demanding that Vick undergo a brain scan first. The scan is to determine to the satisfaction of PETA that he is sufficiently rehabilitated. Do not support PETA’s demand for a brain scan of Michael Vick.

Here is the video from yesterday’s The Ed Show:

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Let me begin by identifying my bias. I not only love dogs, I live and breathe dogs; I breed, raise and train dogs, I engage in a variety of competitions with dogs. My morning began with training a three year old greyhound, not my own, to go potty on command, on leash. This morning we ‘proofed’ the success of that training with the challenge of requiring the dog to comply with the command while a number of other dogs ran free around her playing, as an intentional distraction.

She did wonderfully well with the command, but her real success was that she was bouncing around like a cartoon Kangaroo at the prospect of her training collar being put on before we began. Before she could learn any new commands, this dog had to be rehabilitated to overcome her fears. She used to shake with anxiety when she was expected to do something, because if not exactly abused, someone – I don’t know who – had been horribly, unnecessarily harsh with her. Now she can go to a new home to bond with a new owner, as a happy, well adjusted, well mannered dog.

So understand, as you read this, how very much I hate the actions of Michael Vick. I hate, more than even the average dog loving pet owner, that he caused pain and fear, and horrific deaths to those dogs. More than that, I live in Minnesota; as of the recent announcement that Brett Favre will not come out of retirement, the Minnesota Vikings are among the most likely teams in the NFL to hire Vick. One of my friends, the dog-loving wife of a die-hard football fan, refers to the NFL not as the National Football League, but as the National Felons League. She is angry enough to have written a letter of protest to Roger Goodell; I am sure she will not be the only person to do so. This decision by Goodell may be the most controversial one he ever makes.

I respectfully disagree with my friend. However much I deeply deplore what Vick did, he served his sentence. Has he genuinely changed his values and his feelings? I don’t know. I am familiar with the science that PETA is relying on to determine Vick’s sincerity. There are huge ethical controversies surrounding this science; and those ethical dilemmas have not been resolved. At the core of the controversy is simply this, do we judge people on their thoughts, and their feelings, or do we judge them on their actions?

People may feel that Vick got off too lightly for what he did, but we have courts that make that decision. What they decide, we need to accept, reluctantly if not enthusiastically. We don’t have to like Vick. But we should not allow that dislike to prevent him from lawfully seeking employment in his area of expertise after he has fulfilled the penalty he was given.

Most of all, we should not allow anyone, least of all an organization like PETA, to require something as intrusive as a brain scan, as a condition of employment. Vick must, going forward, act appropriately. Sanctions to enforce and ensure that behavior are available, by contract, and the authority of Goodell.

If you are like my dog-loving friend Amy (who I expect will be commenting here any minute now), demonstrate your objections to Vick playing football by not supporting whatever team hires him. Write letters to the team owners, don’t give them money by buying tickets, don’t watch their games on television. Or, support the rest of the team by attending and watching, booing Vick when he plays.

But do not support PETA’s demand for a brain scan of Michael Vick.

Do not support PETA, or the HSUS. Don’t give them money, don’t give them the power of influence. Research who they really are. As much as I dislike Vick, as a dedicated dog lover, I dislike PETA and the HSUS, even more than I dislike Vick. In a different way, they do more harm as organizations than Vick could ever do as an individual, bad as he was.

If you love humans, as well as loving dogs, do not endorse judging people by their intentions as determined by intrusive brain scans. Support judging people by what they do; whatever their thoughts or urges, their is no definitive way to anticipate what ultimate decisions they will make about their feelings and their impulses. In the end, that is all that matters, their choices, their actions; anything else is simply their private demons to battle.

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