Should the Media Point Out the “I Told You Sos?”

romneyIt sure has been fascinating over the past couple of days to turn on Fox News and see clip after clip of President Obama and other prominent Democrats mocking Mitt Romney, during the 2012 campaign, for recognizing Russia as a serious geopolitical threat.

“The 1980s are calling to ask for their foreign policy back,” chided the president in one of his debates against Romney. “The Cold War has been over for 20 years.”

John Kerry (now our Secretary of State), with his arms flailing in condescension as he addressed the audience at the Democratic National Convention, went even further. He called Romney’s notion that Russia was our number one geopolitical foe “preposterous,” adding that “Mitt Romney talks like he’s only seen Russia by watching Rocky IV.”

Well, I’d hate to break it to Mr. Kerry, but with all that’s going on right now between Russia and Ukraine, Vladimir Putin is looking an awful lot like Ivan Drago while our president appears to be portraying the part of Apollo Creed.

No one could have predicted this, some on on the left would probably insist. The only problem is that someone did. Back in 2008, vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin observed Senator Obama’s reaction to the Russian Army invading the nation of Georgia. She called it “one of indecision and moral equivalence” and went on to say that it was the kind of response “that would only encourage Russia’s Putin to invade Ukraine next.”

Her comments were widely derided at the time, much as her famous “death panel” remarks were that liberal journalist Mark Halperin later felt compelled to concede had some validity.

Now, I’m the first to admit that Sarah Palin was not (and still isn’t) an expert on foreign policy. She was, however, echoing the sentiment of the man at the top of her presidential ticket, John McCain. McCain never made any bones about how seriously he took Vladimir Putin as a threat. He was calling the Russian leader out at a time when people like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were still daydreaming about “reset button” props and cancelling missile defense shields with Poland and the Czech Republic in exchange for absolutely nothing from Russia. McCain was widely criticized for his strong words on Russia as well.

It sure seems that Republican leaders had a far better understanding of Vladimir Putin and the Russian geopolitical threat than the Obama administration ever has, despite the abundance of snide criticism they received at the time. Yet, Fox News seems to be the only national media outlet that is pointing this out.

Does stuff like this matter? Does the media have a responsibility, or even a professional obligation, to take a look back at pivotal times in our history, analyze past statements and proposed directions, and vindicate those who had it right but were flayed at the time?

If such an obligation did exist, the media would certainly have their hands full.

One of the first on the vindication list would have to be the Tea Party movement. You know, those small government folks who the media and the Democratic part alike regularly portray as a bunch of bitter, old, white racists who hate our president and hate the country. It’s all part of a political tactic by the left, of course, but that doesn’t mean the smear-job hasn’t been successful.

The truth is that, despite the Tea Party’s poor political judgement in certain situations, the movement has gotten it right far more often than it’s gotten it wrong.

The Tea Party spoke out against the federal stimulus package’s infrastructure spending long before President Obama enjoyed a smile and a chuckle over shovel-ready jobs not being as shovel-ready as he expected. They spoke out against the government’s picking of winners and losers long before the Solyndra’s of the country crashed and burned and took a lot of taxpayers’ money with them. They spoke out against unfair targeting by the IRS long before Lois Lerner plead the Fifth. They spoke out against the false promises of Obamacare long before millions of people were tossed off their health plans, lost their doctors, and witnessed their premiums and deductibles shoot through the roof.

Mitt Romney certainly deserves a prominent spot as well. After all, he got more than Russia right.

As many might recall, there was more media outrage in September of 2012 over Mitt Romney’s criticism of the administration’s handling of the Benghazi attack than there was over the attack itself! Early on, Romney blasted the administration for offering a harsher condemnation of an American filmmaker for creating an anti-Islam video then they did the extremists who actually committed the violence. The media absolutely excoriated Romney for his comments and accused him of politicizing the event. We now know, however, why the administration was pushing that narrative, and that any political advantage Mitt Romney might have sought from the attack paled in comparison to the intricate charade put on by the administration.

From a Dead Sleep by John A. DalyWhether or not the rules for integrity in journalism (insert your joke here) call for seeking redemption for those who were wronged, it seems to me that special circumstances should warrant it. By special circumstances, I’m referring to instances in which people had their words brutally mocked and dismissed as pure fantasy by either our country’s leadership or a national media consensus.

Being ultimately being proven right when prevailing wisdom was wrong – especially in regard to a highly consequential issue – seems to me to warrant a news story by itself.

Author Bio:

John Daly couldn't have cared less about world events and politics until the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks changed his perspective. Since then, he's been deeply engaged in the news of the day with a particular interest in how that news is presented. Realizing the importance of the media in a free, democratic society, John has long felt compelled to identify media injustices when he sees them. With a B.S. in Business Administration, and a 16 year background in software and web development, John has found that his real passion is for writing. His first novel, entitled "From a Dead Sleep", is now on sale! He lives in Northern Colorado with his wife and two children. Like John on Facebook. Follow John on Twitter.
Author website: http://www.johndalybooks.com/
  • grainbirds

    I suppose it’s inappropriate to use a space designated for comments on the websites’ articles to simply chat. I don’t know what the rules are with that. At least on Bernie’s site some people who write the articles actually respond, like John Daly and Jeff Webb – so far no one has told me to cut it out. I didn’t think anyone was bothering to moderate such an old thread, but you say there was a problem with your comment getting posted.

    It does sound as if you ran into a pretty partisan bunch on BNN, a couple of times. The problem I’m having with the site pertains to censorship by the site itself, and I may not go on there again – not sure yet. They have removed a couple of my comments recently which were in no way obscene or hateful, and I don’t know what that’s about. It’s possible they didn’t like the format of the comments, which were essentially as if I was posting my own little articles instead of simply giving opinions. But if they don’t want that, they should say so. I’ll paste it at the end of this – I’m curious what you think as to whether it was right for them to censor the comment.

    Other BNN commenters have mentioned their posts were removed, on BNN and other sites, and they are not the kind of commenters who tend to write outrageous things.

    Lately the moderators have been removing comments by some trolls, but that’s based on a recent policy among regular commenters to flag the trolls, because they are saboteurs who aren’t there to contribute actual opinions but merely to distract discussion away from the articles and clutter up the thread with people responding to the trolls’ BS. I find it insulting that the moderators are treating me the same as a multi-flagged troll.

    I agree with you that providing an arena for public comment, however combative and intolerant, is a good thing. One BNN thread I was reading the comments on – I forget what the article was, but something which speaks to the idea that the divide among Americans may come to a head – and it was really interesting. I felt as if I was reading history.

    I love that movie, Hocus Pocus! I don’t normally like talking animals because it always looks fakey, but you can’t have everything. My favorite parts are where the Kathy Najimy sister has to use a vacuum cleaner from the museum broom closet to fly, and that scene where the sisters take the guy dressed as the devil for the real thing and the wife throws them out – it’s so funny. I love the way the one sister says, “Why would the master give us candy?”

    All three of those actresses has said horrible things about non-liberals, but I still like the movie.

    I can’t understand how closed-minded people are about only being able to picture actors as the character which made them famous. I never get why their agents don’t do whatever it takes for them to get attention doing something markedly different. Nowdays with you tube, the actors themselves could do that. Poor Nimoy. He showed his ability in the remake of The Bodysnatchers, so I don’t know why people had a problem. It would have been better if he had gotten a high profile role as a goofy person, I guess.

    How wonderful that you’re pleased with the choice you made in your teens! Your friendship sounds very enriching. As much as like mystery and romances and suspense and whatnot, my favorite things about films tend to be ones with good friendship aspects. Two movies I didn’t even like that much, I do really like simply because of the friendship parts. Like My Best friend’s wedding. The way the one friend comes through for the Julia Roberts character at the end I just really liked and identified with. Don’t know whether you saw it. And I like the expression I saw on a mug once – “friends are family you choose for yourself.”

    I like what you said about honesty, and I agree. I think Peck got it right about a lack of honesty being a “root of evil” as it were. And about lack of honesty deriving most often from fear.

    I also find it frustrating to try and weed my way to the truth on many issues. I recall sometimes just running into layers and layers due to info sources who/which are more interested in convincing people of their viewpoints than providing accurate info form all sides. And of course what’s despicable is when sources do that who pretend to be unbiased. Again, much of the reasons for lying can be traced back to fear. Including some people’s fear that others won’t see things the way they passionately want them too, because they are so convinced that they know how things should be. It’s not just the kind of fear you get that someone will knife you in an alley or a lover will leave you, or the neighbors think you’e weird or you’ll go to hell.

    Here’s my comment which was removed – it’s regarding Stephen Colbert and others taking FNC’s Lauren Ashburn’s comments on the Howard Kurtz media show out of context in order to make it look as if she was personally claiming that Chelsea Clinton’s pregnancy was just another Clinton stunt when in reality, Kurtz’s panel was discussing media reaction to the news of the pregnancy. It ties in exactly with what you wrote about people deliberately lying – in this case, by taking things someone said out of context in order to misinterpret the person:

    The Young Turks also lied regarding Lauren Ashburn’s comments on Chelsea Clinton’s pregnancy. TYT showed an edited clip of the Media Buzz segment on which Ashburn made the comments, which made it look as if Ashburn was making the claim personally that the pregnancy was a stunt. But if you watch or read the entire segment, it’s clear the discussion was about media reaction to the pregnancy, not the personal opinion of anyone on the panel.

    The internet outlet The Wrap played the same contemptible game, and did not even include any of the actual Media Buzz segment – which the writer probably did not bother to watch himself – but simply piggybacked off Colbert by including a clip from Colbert’s show in which Colbert defames Ashburn by taking her comments out of context.

    If Colbert, The Young Turks and Tony Maglio are so convinced – as they so very clearly are – of the moral superiority of their side, then why can’t they support it with truth instead of lies?

    The Wrap, Colbert and TYT all ignored the comments of Keli Goff – does that mean they are racist?

    The actual full transcript:

    KURTZ: I want to turn to a slightly lighter topic but one that just stunned me with all this political punditry about Chelsea’s baby, Chelsea Clinton announcing the other day, with her mother, that she’s pregnant. And you have all of these smart analysts saying what is the impact of this on 2016? Are we perhaps overanalyzing, overthinking what ought to be a routine, joyous occasion? The daughter of a woman who yes, who will probably run for president is pregnant with her first child.

    ASHBURN: You’ve been in this town for how many years and you don’t have a cynical bone in your body? I think a lot of reporters think maybe this was planned.

    KURTZ: Maybe this was planned?

    (LAUGHTER)

    KURTZ:
    You don’t think that Chelsea Clinton and her husband are entitled to try to have a baby whenever they want?

    ASHBURN: Sure.

    KURTZ: They looked at the political calendar. And by the way, if it was going to be planned, it would be planned for next year when the campaign might actually be under way.

    PINKERTON: Well, it could be that the pregnancy was a happy providential event, and then the mainstream media trying to help Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign decided to make this baby the royal baby. As be on a royal – (INAUDIBLE) who was married to a top Democratic official (INAUDIBLE) to say. By contrast, news busters pointed out look, the Bush first grandchild got no attention at all to speak of.

    GOFF: Can I just say that if we’re talking about media conspiracy theories here, about our planning about something, I think the only conspiracy is that people have seen how much coverage the Kate Middleton and Prince William’s baby has gotten. And they know that there’s – that’s a story. That’s a friendly “People” magazine story that people love to click on. And that’s why news outlets ran with it. And I’m just going to say, Howard, I think …

    PINKERTON: He is the (INAUDIBLE). This is Chelsea. She’s not running for anything.

    GOFF: I know. But people have been doing the whole royal America’s royal baby. Let me say, that was this story overanalyzed and overcovered as you initially asked? Absolutely. Am I pleading guilty? Absolutely.

    (LAUGHTER)

    GOFF: Because I was in the room that day – I was in the room that day when she made the announcement. And I’ve gone there to cover the event, and then I thought to myself, well, what happens when I leave here not covering the one thing that everyone considers the news.

    ASHBURN: You do have to realize that this is Hillary Clinton. She’s most likely running for president. It hasn’t been good for her. A lot of people say she’s too old.

    KURTZ: Wait a second. Wait a second.

    ASHBURN: And so, there is coverage, Howie.

    KURTZ:
    OK, you know what? You know the guy who ran in 2012, Mitt Romney, he was a grandfather. How much coverage did that get?

    ASHBURN: But people didn’t say he was too old to run.

    KURTZ: Isn’t this kind of sexist? Come on.

    ASHBURN: Yes. Or, are you baiting me?

    KURTZ: Yes.

    ASHBURN: What is that called, sex baiting or sexist baiting?

    (LAUGHTER)

    KURTZ: Grab the bait. Is it …

    ASHBURN: No, of course it’s not.

    KURTZ: You’re wrong.

    (LAUGHTER)

    • sjangers

      First, apologies for taking a few days to get back to you. I had to pick my mom up at the airport Tuesday night. Between flight delays, lost luggage, and a drive home in the rain, it was almost four o’clock Wednesday morning before I got to bed. I haven’t been good for much since then.

      I’m going to try to keep this short, just to avoid offending the site host. I’ll also extend an invitation to you to contact me via e-mail at sjangers at Comcast dot net, if you wish. That way we can avoid using Bernie’s bandwidth. Just set up an e-mail account on Yahoo or gmail if you don’t want to give out your primary e-mail address.

      I think the problem with my last post may have been length. It was more than four typewritten pages. The site may automatically route any post of more than x characters to moderation before it posts. I’ll have to ask John if there’s a word or character limit, if I think of it some time.

      Some web sites, and BNN may be among them, tend to appeal to very partisan folks. I used to catch the same nonsense with some of my moderate posts to the Daily Caller and with any of my posts to POLITICO. The loons don’t tend to handle even minor differences of opinion very well.

      Are your posts to BNN coming back with a moderator explanation or some sort of moderator message denying access? Sometimes posts get enough “down” votes from readers to simply disappear. There might be a placeholder message saying the post has been removed, with little further explanation, but it’s actually negative response from readers that deletes the post.

      Reading over your sample post, I don’t see why moderators would remove it as a matter of policy, although I suppose there might be concerns that you’ve misquoted speakers and that the transcript is inaccurate. Otherwise, it’s hard to see how it would be offensive to a news site to offer rather precise clarification of a news item. Nailing The Young Turks, The Wrap, or Colbert for inaccuracy would seem to be right up Breitbart’s alley. I certainly don’t see anything about the post that should be objectionable.

      If you find that BNN link about the divide among Americans coming to a head, please forward it to me. I’ve felt this way for several years. It’s not a good feeling, but better understanding what’s going on might offer some insight into how to prevent things from becoming worse.

      For a silly kid movie, “Hocus Pocus!” was rather entertaining. Midler was great in her role. Both Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker had some very good moments (the humor was so character-driven), the Garry Marshall and Penny Marshall cameos were entertaining, and even the kid actors did a nice job. The only part I can recall that struck any dissonant chord was some of the attempts at humor with the Billy character that the witches return from the dead.

      Most of the time, I don’t worry too much about what people in the entertainment industry have to say about anything but entertainment. Most stars are a little too emotionally pampered to have much grip on reality. But I’m okay with them as long as they do their job well.

      The honesty theme is become more and more important to me. It’s often hard enough to discover truth without others creating deliberate impediments for their own benefit. I’ve seen it in personal relationships, employment relationships, the marketplace and in politics; and it really frustrates me. Other people’s selfishness is often so wasteful of my time. You have to learn to live with it, because people aren’t likely to change, but that doesn’t mean I have to tolerate it well.

      I’m sure you’re right that fear is often the motive for dishonesty. I just wish those fearful people could see how much of what they want that they lose because of the time and effort we all have to spend wading through layers of nonsense. If they could really see clearly, I suspect most would realize that it’s counterproductive.

      And I think I’ll leave it at that for today. Just a little over seven hundred words, so not too bad. Your comment on BNN was fine. Write back when you get a chance.

      • grainbirds

        Hi! Hope you are well, and enjoyed/are enjoying your mom’s visit. It rained here today but I loved it – I love overcast. I got wet but that was fine. It’s still raining, actually.

        I was watching a Perry Mason marathon and guess who I saw? Nimoy! Pre-Star Trek of course, and he was playing a blue collar, urban type petty criminal – the kind they portrayed back then as being fast talking and expansive as opposed to the silent, give-nothing-away type. He was great. He turned out to be the killer, so he was no longer a petty criminal by the end. So he did get his chance to show his versatility, but maybe it was too late once America knew him as Spock.

        No, I get no explanation as to why my comments were dumped. Thank you for reading my comment that was cut. I agree that commenters on both sides get roiled up, including myself. Part of it is that both sides can be so critical or insulting of the other, because of the anger over the outcomes of policy, and of course from there, courtesy is a lost cause. It’s possible you’re being misunderstood, with people mistaking your saying something reasonable about “the other side” for utter approval of that side.

        The stakes are high and the divide is accordingly deep.

        I really should email you. I think honesty is crucial, but not easy to get. You may end up having to be satisfied with your own honesty; that may be as good as it gets, but there are always people and other entities one can depend on as striving for honesty, and recognizing its value. If not I think society and relationships would be much worse than they are. I think love is important also, and with more love, there would be less fear. Very simplistic, but I believe it.

        Take care.

  • Gayle

    Thats ok. In the next election conservatives can blame the left wing media for the mess that obama has got us us in sinse they got him elected! They r NOT mainstream! They should keep on backing him. Even Young liberals I know want obama out too!

    • legal eagle

      The youngest liberals you know must be your grandchildren…They tell you they want Obama out because they figure you’ll buy them something if they pacify you…LOL

      • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

        All children are liberals. Completely dependent. Whiny. Entitled. No responsibility. Naive view of the world. ;)

        • grainbirds

          Oh, you’re just a poophead and a meanie!

          Sincerely,

          Legal eagle

          • mcveen

            Spoken like a true liberal Democrat.

          • grainbirds

            I faked it.

  • bora bora

    guess whwre i am dildo boy

  • Rose

    The Right has shown a total lack of patriotism in regards to Ukraine, actually encouraging Putin! It is stunning to behold!

    • legal eagle

      “The Right” has no concept of patriotism when a Dem is in the White House….

      • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

        I suppose you believe that the “The Left” was patriotic when Bush was in the White House though, huh? lol.

        • loupgarous

          You see, the Left – Hillary Clinton, to be specific – went on and on about how “dissent was patriotic” when Bush was in the White House. Now, it isn’t. The only thing that changed was the presence of hypocrites in the current White House, who are so “unprecedentedly transparent” that a whistleblower made the unprecedented trip to Russia to get away from Obama’s transparency.

      • loupgarous

        Perhaps we’re taking our cues from the guy who’s giving guns to Al-Qaeda.

    • Jeff Webb

      Why don’t you try something stunning, like posting on-topic instead of trying to distract from it?

      • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

        That would require her to actually take the time to read the column and figure out what the actual topic is. She’s already stated that she doesn’t have time for such things. lol.

        • Rose

          John, I admit to being a skimmer. I really don’t have time to absorb every word of these columns. I am reading an interesting book via Kindle, talking a painting course and nursing a husband with a cold/allergy. I get the gist of things. Ha! Now I have to leave, making strawberry Crepes.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >> I really don’t have time to absorb every word of these columns.

            How can you not have the time??? In the few weeks that you’ve been frequenting this website, how many hundreds of posts have you already left (most of them being quite large in size)? You clearly have a breathtaking abundance of time on your hands, but simply choose not to use that time reading what you’re responding to.

            The problem isn’t your schedule. The problem is you.

          • Jeff Webb

            While reading her comment it dawned on me that LE hasn’t been around for a few days. Must be a coincidence.

          • loupgarous

            Then it’s reasonable to ask that you refrain from commenting until you can actually do so knowledgeably. So far you came out of “left field” (couldn’t pass that one up) with a comment that the right was encouraging Putin when Obama and Clinton were giving away our strategic interests in that area and betraying our local allies Poland and the Czech republic.

          • George Williams

            She takes after Obama. He doesn’t have time to be thorough either, because that would mean that he’d have less time for golf.

          • legal eagle

            You don’t have to explain yourself to a putz like John Daly….He’ll just keep harassing till you stop commenting on this site or start agreeing with him..

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Atta boy, legal. Stick up for your like-minded cohorts who can’t be troubled with reading what they reply to. It’s gotten you so far, after all.

      • Rose

        Topic is I Told You So…when the left uses sound bites of Palin talking about the bare-chested bear-wrestling “potency” of Putin, I will say I told you so.

        • Jeff Webb

          >>Topic is I Told You So<<

          OK, Rose, exactly what in the column is the "I told you so" pertaining to? Still afraid to discuss THAT, eh?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            We’re around 200 comments now and poor Rose still can’t figure what the column is about. lol.

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          Still haven’t read it, huh?

    • loupgarous

      No, the total lack of patriotism was a certain occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue’s giving away missile defense for Eastern Europe in exchange for NOTHING, and his supporters going on and on about how wise and “nuanced” his foreign policy was.

      Where you got we “actually encouraged Putin,” I have no idea. Is it time for a re-order of Zyprexa? Have an “I told you so” on that one, too… ObamaCare and Medicare aren’t paying for it. You’ll just have to collect aluminium cans, Rosie, old girl.

    • George Williams

      The only thing encouraging Putin is the obvious weak character of Barack Obama. What you want is co-miseration with the liar in chief, but he won’t get it, as he is the one responsible of setting the stage for the Ukraine. You give the little boy a hankie and pat him on the head but we won’t, as he’s betrayed our country and the world by his and Hillary’s failure of their “‘Reset” with Russia.

    • mcveen

      How?

  • legal eagle

    John McCain….hypocrite in chief..
    “But back in 2008, when Russia went to war with neighboring Georgia and there was a Republican in the White House, McCain criticized “partisan sniping” surrounding the issue and called on the country to be united.”

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      Hey, now we know which mailing list you’re on, legal eagle. Independent thinker my ass. lol:
      http://www.politico.com/story/2014/03/dnc-republican-ukraine-hypocrisy-104403.html

      • legal eagle

        It’s called GOOGLE…..I look things up, unlike you who just pulls facts out of their butts…

        • Integrity

          We are well aware that, without Google, your ability to opine would be severely degraded. QED

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          B.S. If you used Google, you’d find something besides party talking points.

          You’re licking the bottom of the tank for the Democratic National Committee and that was apparent LONG before today’s little revelation.

  • Rose

    I must say that I am shocked at the praise being heaped upon Putin by the right, mainly neocons. Giuliani said Putin could make a decision in a second and that is leadership. Palin praised his “potency” and Bolton said he had guts and was the winner! Wow! Jindal, Cruz, etc. all are impressed with the lusty, tiger-taming, bear-wrestling shirtless Former KGB agent Putin. He is so virile, manly! Ewwwww that is just plain creepy!

    • Integrity

      Me too! It is usually the left that praises dictators and communists. Go figure. QED

    • grainbirds

      You completely misrepresented Giuliani, Palin and Bolton by taking things they said out of context. So that you could claim people on the Right are praising Putin and his actions.

      Congratulations. That puts you in the same ethical category as Al Sharpton and Karen Finney, who showed the MSNBC audience an excerpt of FNC’s O’Reilly saying Nelson Mandela was a communist so they could pretend he was slamming Mandela when in fact he praised him. Also Ed Schultz, who dishonestly presented only part of a video so he could tell the audience Rick Perry was a racist.

      And so on, including the liberal media’s misrepresentations of Romney statements in order to mislead the public about what he was really saying.

      Let us know if NBC reaches out to you.

      • legal eagle

        How about your chief war monger John McCain?

        But back in 2008, when Russia went to war with neighboring Georgia and there was a Republican in the White House, McCain criticized “partisan sniping” surrounding the issue and called on the country to be united.

        • grainbirds

          War monger? If he is so, then there must be proof of it. Real proof – not rationalizing arguments by people who don’t have the integrity or the willingness or possibly even the knowhow to honestly research and argue their points.

          Let’s see it. It’s easy for people to piggyback off the articles of others with the same politics, while pretending to have come to these points based on honest thought.

          YOu can actually sometimes track how liberal journalists and bloggers have taken their “information” from other liberal sources, and where no one has actually contacted the people involved or visited the scene or researched the situation surrounding the issue. It’s disgusting. People on the Right do this also in blogs, but they do not hide their agendas and pretend to be offering objective analysis.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            You bring up an excellent point. It’s impossible to ignore that the lefties who frequent this site start using the exact same derogatory terms and throwing out the same propaganda statements all at the same time. It’s not by coincidence and it certainly doesn’t come from independent thought.

            They’re just parroting precisely what the left-wing outlets are telling them.

          • grainbirds

            I agree, and it happens on both sides. Except that, in my experience, it seems as if commenters on the Right just express opinions, while Leftist foot soldiers pretend to be making comments based on reasoned and informed analysis. That could be just my perception – obviously I have a side.

            But those are just blog commenters. What I find particularly sickening is the lack of real journalism practiced by those who supposedly inform the public, and their tendency instead to use info presented by other liberal outlets without checking on anything themselves, and then calling the results an article. For example, regarding that TN plant’s vote against unionizing. it seemed to me that no one was interested in actual investigation such as interviewing the workers, and the operatives on both sides, and then earning their pay by honestly reporting the results.

            Instead we got the usual revolting accusations of racism and cooperate coercion, and even articles all about the South’s history of racism from five decades ago, with the implication that nothing has changed. It’s almost like that Al Pacino movie about the virtual woman – everyone just sits at their computers promoting their partisan agendas, and citing each other in a ludicrous loop, while no one does any legwork.

          • legal eagle

            McCain has been calling for U.S. military involvement in every foreign crisis for the past 30 years..Thank goodness he is not the President…

          • Jeff Webb

            I can’t stand the guy, LE, but you’re happy we didn’t elect a guy who’d most likely be a bad president, but did elect Obama, who proved to be an extremely bad one.

          • grainbirds

            I agree. Obama has kept us much more safe.

    • Jeff Webb

      That’s nothing. I recently read a comment where someone actually thought that the pathetic little pansy Obama was a regular man-steak.

  • Rose

    Before I get banned by that freedom of speech advocate John Daly, I will attempt to instruct Brian on how to write a limerick, assuming he understands rhythm, meter, accent or stress and syllables.

    A limerick is a five-line witty poem with a distinctive rhythm. The first, second and fifth lines, the longer lines, rhyme. The third and fourth shorter lines rhyme. (AABBA)

    This five line poem also follows a syllable count.
    Line 1: 7-10 syllables
    Line 2: 7-10 syllables
    Line 3: 5-7 syllables
    Line 4: 5-7 syllables
    Line 5: 7-10 syllables

    Source: http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poems/funny/limerick/#ixzz2vEKnBFfw
    Family Friend Poems

  • Rose

    There once was a midget named Graham
    Who loved be in’ a camera ham
    But when he opened his mouth
    The north and the south
    Knew he was nothing but Spam.

    Oh, he’s the chief Obama baiter
    A peevish and pouty old hater
    But in his spiteful spiels
    He lost a few wheels
    And showed himself as a ill’ traitor.

    As W once said to each country
    For us or against us ye be?
    I think we all knows
    Which way Lindsay blows
    That little jerks for Vladimir P.

    • Brian Fr Langley

      There once was a person named Rose,
      who as a debater, often did pose,
      yet in all charity,
      they’re quite lacking clarity,
      but do meet the bar as “liberal” thought goes.

      • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

        Phenomenal.

        • Rose

          Brian does not quite get the requirements for a limerick.

          • loupgarous

            Nor do you. Your scansion limps.

    • Integrity

      I thought a limerick was supposed to be witty. QED

      • grainbirds

        The injection of partisan politics corrupts everything it touches. Too bad that’s not confined to limerick writing.

      • loupgarous

        Like haiku, all it’s supposed to have is a specific structure. Unlike “There Once Was A Girl from Nantucket… ” which did have the ability to at least induce laughter.

    • grainbirds

      “And showed himself as a ill’ traitor. That little jerks for Vladimir P.”

      That’s ridiculous. Back it up.

      • loupgarous

        Wow. “Liberals” who are doing McCarthyism. Never thought I’d see the day.

  • Rose

    There once was a rightie named Palin
    who loved to see ‘America failin’.
    She’s cheerin’ and rootin’
    for bear-wrestlin’ Putin,
    While Todd her hubby is wailin’.

    Todd’s stuck at home with the brood
    While Sarah gets paid to be crude.
    She’d ditch Piper’s dad
    For a tumble with Vlad,
    The chest bearing Russian bear Dude.

    A real man to Sarah’s a brute
    A bare-chested stomping galoot
    Vlad turns her on
    Like a bitch on a bone
    More than a guy in a suit.

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      A bitch on a bone? I’m going to give you one last warning, Rose. Clean it up or you’re gone.

      • Rose

        Get your mind out of the gutter, John!

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          You typed it. Not me.

        • legal eagle

          Webb’s going to threaten to ban you because he believes he is protecting the morality of the senior citizen right wing nut jobs who comment on this site…LOL
          We wouldn’t want the old white haters to be offended?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            You’ve got the love the irony of legal eagle calling someone an “old white hater.” lol.

          • legal eagle

            I can see how you came up with the title of your book…Your comments appear to have come from someone who has just awoken from a dead sleep…Like your fellow ideologues who haven’t had an original thought since the 1960′s..

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            This honestly has to be the worst putdown I’ve ever read. Sadly, you probably spent a lot of time coming up with it. lol.

          • Jeff Webb

            You sound remarkably similar to all those bitter, old, white, left-wing nutjob cultists who long for the good old days. Have you taken your meds yet?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Ironically, he’s actually stated before than he wishes we lived back in the 60′s. Yet, for some reason, that’s what he tries to accuse everyone else of.

      • Rose

        You have never given me any warnings, btw, and neither has anyone else here. But a dog with a bone is not dirty talk unless you interpret it as such.

        • Integrity

          Based upon the context, a reasonably prudent or decent person would find this in poor taste. I find your explanation disingenuous at best. QED

        • Jeff Webb

          Whether or not you’ve gotten any previous warnings, your limerick still would’ve been good & harsh if you had simply used “dog.”
          That wasn’t enough for you, was it? You’re so deranged with hate you needed to hammer it home with “bitch.”

          Before you try to insult MY intelligence too, don’t. I know every definition of the word, and you know damn well why you used it where you did.

          Before you cry “censorship!”, keep in mind it would be crossing the same line if someone said it at Mrs. Clinton’s expense. In any event, dial it down.

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          I have. You just ignored it.

        • grainbirds

          Weaseling worthy of the liberal media when confronted with a failure to cover stories which reflect negatively on the administration. Or comics who make vicious attacks or promote dishonest Narratives through alleged satire and then claim it was all a joke when confronted.

          You wrote a hate-driven poem slandering Palin as a bitch in perpetual heat – of which there is absolutely NO evidence – and then tell John Daiy he has a dirty mind for interpreting “dog on a bone” as a sexual reference, even pretending that you wrote “dog with a bone” and not “on a bone.”

          But I guess chastising John for his alleged prurience was a joke, too. What a lot of leeway humor allows.

        • loupgarous

          It’s misogynistic.

      • legal eagle

        You find “bitch on a bone” to be offensive? What’s next, book burning?

        • Jeff Webb

          >>You find “bitch on a bone” to be offensive? What’s next, book burning?<<

          Oh, don't worry your pretty little head, precious. We won't do anything drastic, like use the IRS to silence you.

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          >>You find “bitch on a bone” to be offensive? What’s next, book burning?

          If I’d written it, you would have cited it as proof of the “War on Women.” lol.

    • grainbirds

      You really are full of hate, aren’t you?

      • loupgarous

        That, and a certain laxative by-product….

        • grainbirds

          I’m sorry I never saw any of your comments to me, This new disqus version is just terrible. Usually I can’t even access the “replies” or “me” options and just have to make do with the one they now call “people,” which is spotty. Every time I try to use “replies” or “me” I get a message about them having difficulties and to go to the help desk. But messages about coconut banana pancakes, I can get.

          • loupgarous

            I can’t think of a single blog which Disqus has improved. Surely we don’t have to put up with lost replies and suppression of comments for no discernible reason just to prevent spammers from posting URLs in a comment section. All that would require is a filter that detects and traps URLs.

            But at least now you ARE seeing my comments, I HOPE.

  • Brian Fr Langley

    Limerick?
    .
    Obama thinks Putin is just a big brat,
    Kerry flies to Russia and tells Putin “scat”,
    yes the mice will now play,
    while our enemies say,
    Putin, mighty Putin, has just belled the cat

    • Rose

      So the right is root in’ for Putin, mighty Putin, these days? Seems pretty unAmerican to me. Sarah is all hot bothered over her hero Putin wrestling bears shirtless and Little Lindsay Graham admires the way that Putin is strong while we are so very weak, have you guys thought of defecting?

      As for me and mine, our allegiance is to the good old USA, not to your Mother Russia.

      • Brian Fr Langley

        ??? you must be a tad touched? “our enemies” and the “mice” are China, Iran, and North Korea. You know, the guys on the side lines cheering Putin who’s just demonstrated American power is less robust then once thought.

        • Rose

          Graham and Palin are giving Putin a lot of credit these days.

          • Jeff Webb

            While he is obviously a luscious Adonis in your eyes, in this situation Obama (& Kerry) aren’t making much of an impression on Putin.

            You’re so riddled with hate, you’re not only denying Governor Palin comes out looking smarter than BO in this instance, you’re trying to claim she’s happy Putin is doing what he’s doing. You’re one sad little specimen.

          • Rose

            Now let me get this straight. You used the words “smart” and “Palin” in the same sentence? Uhhhh no. She is not smarter than Obama or Hillary or Bill Clinton. She is not smarter than Stephen Hawking or the average fifth grader or Larry the Cable Guy, either. She is not smart period. She will never be smart. If you need that to validate your vote for her, you are up the proverbial creek without a paddle.

          • Integrity

            She is way smarter than what YOU are. QED

          • legal eagle

            only in the fantasy world or the right wing could a performer like Sarah Palin be considered smart? What’s next, are you going to tell us that Hannity and Limbaugh are smart?

          • Jeff Webb

            Yeah, yeah, we know you think right=dumb, left=smart. Save it.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            He didn’t say “smart.” He said smarter than YOU.

          • Integrity

            Are you competing with Rose? QED

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            No. They’re just on the same mailing list.

          • loupgarous

            The Daily Worker’s? :-)

          • Jeff Webb

            >>She is not smarter than Obama or Hillary or Bill Clinton. She is not smarter than Stephen Hawking or the average fifth grader or Larry the Cable Guy, either. She is not smart period. She will never be smart.<<

            And she STILL comes out looking smarter than BO in this instance, which obviously irritates the skin off of you.
            Like I said, riddled with hate.

            Seeing how you think a guy who thought there was an Austrian language is a supreme intellect, you'll have to accept you're not the most well equipped to judge people's intelligence.

          • legal eagle

            So Palin makes a comment which turns out to be true and she is smart? Did you ever hear the phrase “Even a broken clock is right twice a day”?

          • Jeff Webb

            >>So Palin makes a comment which turns out to be true and she is smart?<>Did you ever hear the phrase “Even a broken clock is right twice a day”?<<

            Yes. Did you ever hear "take a look in the mirror"?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            So you admit that she was right? Good boy. Now, let’s apply that concession to the actual point of my column which you’ve been trying desperately to avoid at all costs.

            Like the others I listed, she was excoriated for statements she made that turned out to be absolutely true. Does the media have a responsibility to report on that type of thing?

          • loupgarous

            It always has puzzled me, this trope about “Barack Obama, Super Genius.” This was a guy who thought organizing the elected law-enforcement officials in Missouri as the “Barack Obama Truth Squads” and threatening broadcast television stations with license revocation for airing anti-Obama ads was Constitutional, and who now apparently still thinks ObamaCare is working (not to mention the 57 states of the Union and a multitude of other public brain farts).

            The only thing a belief that Barack Obama has even normal intellect says is that the holder of that belief was hiding behind the same door Obama was when they were passing out integrity and brains.

          • loupgarous

            No one here will EVER use your name and the adjective “smart” in the same sentence – unless we talk about how it smarts to read one of your limericks.

          • Rose

            It is not Obama or Kerry’s job to impress Putin. Putin has no grip on reality. He lives in the past, yearning for the good old days of the USSR. Sound familiar.

          • Jeff Webb

            >>It is not Obama or Kerry’s job to impress Putin.<<

            Based on what they've been doing since the invasion, they appear to think their job is to make violent bullies see no reason to stop attacking people.

          • legal eagle

            Just like Bush did when the Russians invaded Georgia? Didn’t hear Republicans claim Bush was weak…Lindsay Graham sure is a tough little guy?…..LOL

          • Jeff Webb

            SQUIRREL!

          • loupgarous

            Actually, it sounds VERY familiar – it reminds me of when you rhapsodized about the good old days when Communists ran in local elections here in the States, just like ordinary people (you just forgot all about the “taking notes on each other and reporting each other to the KGB for being Trotskyites, and selling secrets to the Kremliin).

          • grainbirds

            “While he is obviously a luscious Adonis in your eyes…”

            I liked that.

          • legal eagle

            The only person Palin is smarter than is you….At least she makes $$$ off writing and speaking total nonsense.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            … says the guy who does it for free each and every day. lol.

          • legal eagle

            Lawyers are required to do “pro-bono” work. This is mine…LOL

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Thanks for admitting that you’re a shill.

          • loupgarous

            I’m glad for your sake you find your humor attempts funny. I’m visualizing you actually laughing out loud when you type something weak like that, then shaking my head sadly in pity.

        • Rose

          I don’t recall using the terms our enemies or mice.

          • Brian Fr Langley

            Then re-read the limerick??????

          • Rose

            And just how are readers supposed to know what you mean by those vague terms. I hardly see China as a mouse. And isn’t belling the cat, therefore, a reference to the “mighty Putin” defeating the USA in some way? Your vague allusions are misleading.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Apparently, Rose can’t be held responsible for reading or comprehending the things she responds to. She’s must be a hoot at the DMV.

        • Rose

          Let me put it in a format you will understand

          The world is a-watch in’ Ukraine
          As Putin reacts to their pain
          Iran and the Chinese
          Want U.S. On its knees
          Abetted by Graham and McCain.

          We wonder what all of it means.
          To diplomacy Obama leans.
          Palin just had to speak out
          show her conservative clout
          For bare chests, against mama jeans.

          While BO and Kerry work hard
          The right plays the old traitor card
          Their bet tin’ on Putin
          His horn they be tootin’
          They’re hoisting him on their petard.

          Palin/Putin will make quite a pair
          His bare chest and her fifties hair
          A tiger in her tank
          Will surely please that skank
          She’s GaGa for the Russian bear.

          • loupgarous

            And I’ll freely admit I can’t write a limerick to save my life, spare everyone the misery of reading something like yours, and say it in plain English –

            Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have been laying down and spreading their cheeks for Vladimir Putin since 2009. Your absurd idea that the right has anything but contempt for Stalin Junior is proof that you live in an whole other world from the rest of us, insulated from facts.

      • Jeff Webb

        At the risk of depressing you, you can accuse of others of admiring a scumbag all you want, but the scumbag is still making BO & JK look like the flaccid morons they are.

        It’s ridiculous for you to accuse people of enjoying this, and it’s embarrassing to see what you’ll stoop to to ignore a president’s glaring ineptness.

        • brickman

          I see. Bitch is bad. Scumbag( used twice) is political thought.

          • Jeff Webb

            If that’s what you see, find a new ophthalmologist.

          • legal eagle

            It’s political thought when Jeff Webb says it is…He probably heard someone Fox News call Obama a scumbag. Guess Bush showed us what a manly man he was by invading Iraq?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Is that why Hillary voted to take us to Iraq? To be a “manly man.” lol.

  • Alex

    Dead On.

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      Thanks.

  • nameless

    I hate you Rose, you stupid ugly woman, and your husbands ARJ127, phil silverman, Will, legal eagle, Bob Hadley, Ron F., and all of your dumb liberal men that you sleep around with. You’re all the same. Honestly, if all liberals were to drop dead tonight, I would get up and cheer. In Nancy Pelosi’s case, a rousing chorus of “Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead!” would be in order.

    • Rose

      Nameless, you seem overwrought. I hope it wasn’t something I said. You must have me confused with the Romney family. I have just one husband.

  • Rose

    In a nutshell: trips down memory lane are often not worth it. Palin and McCain obsessing about Putin do not erase the fact that George W. Was in office when Putin went into Georgia. Perhaps they should have shared their pearls of wisdom with W.

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      When did I claim that Bush wasn’t in office when Putin invaded Georgia? I even italicized “Senator” in front of Obama’s name when referencing Palin’s criticism.

      • Rose

        Yes, I saw that. I do t have time to read every word. But you conveniently left Bush out of the mix. I have to wonder if Palin and McCain gave Bush their advice on handling Putin.

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          >>Yes, I saw that. I do t have time to read every word.

          You have time to write multi-page responses to columns, but you don’t have time to actually read what you’re responding to?

          >>But you conveniently left Bush out of the mix.

          There was nothing convenient about it. Bush had nothing to do with the topic. I also left Justin Bieber out. Was that done in the interest of convenience?

          • Rose

            Beiber never assessed the character of Putin by looking Vlad in the eyes. Bush did.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Yet neither of them had anything to do with the topic of my column. Stop spamming.

          • loupgarous

            Bush also, when it counted, sent Condoleeza Rice with full authority to engage the Russians in what became intense and acrimonious negotiations over whether Europe was entitled to shoot down ballistic missiles headed its way. He and Secretary Rice won concessions from the Russians on the point despite some desperate threats made by members of the Russian General Staff.

            Compare and contrast with Obama, who gave the Russians back every concession Bush beat out of them, and has reduced our Minuteman missile force while Putin continually adds ICBMs pointed at us to the Russian Strategic Rocket Force. This latest humiliation over the Crimea isn’t a new thing for Obama, merely the tip of a huge iceberg of appeasement of the Russians on Obama’s part.

            Bush was guilty of a little public fatuity on the trustworthiness of Putin, but he learned from his mistakes and acted in a way that protected American interests. Obama has acted to progressively disarm us of an effective strategic deterrent to Russian and Chinese nuclear threats.

            But you’re too busy looking at recipes on your iPod to ever learn what the score really is with the Russians and Obama. Then you come back here and presume to lecture people who DO know what the score is.

            You’re pathetic.

        • Jeff Webb

          Rose, the column is about something going on right now, the people who scoffed at the notion it would ever happen & ridiculed those who predicted it, and whether or not it bears mention in the media.

          President Bush has nothing to do with the column. Your distractions are desperate and pathetic.

          • Rose

            Oh, I thought Bush looked Putin in the eyes and liked what he saw there. Yes, W definitely said that he saw in the eyes of Putin a trustworthy fellow. Is that off-limits in an assessment of past views on Putin?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Remind me who Bush publicly mocked and belittled for having a different opinion of Putin, and then you might have a point. Until you can come up with a name, stop spamming.

          • grainbirds

            Jeff Webb just explained why Bush is not pertinent to a discussion of this article. What’s the matter lady, don’t we have any colors you like?

          • loupgarous

            Bush, to give him credit, also went to the mat with Putin and his General Staff over missile defense of Europe, a stance that Obama and H. Clinton found so, so horrible they wasted no time in apologizing for it once Obama was elected. Or did you forget the “reset” button and the contempt with which the Russians reacted to that little grade-school skit?

        • loupgarous

          This isn’t the first time you’ve tried to weasel out of being caught in a lie about what someone else said by saying “I didn’t have time to read every word.” You sound like Obama lecturing on Constitutional law – neither of you knows WTF you’re talking about.

    • grainbirds

      Kate Openshaw showed on O’Reilly last night that McCain did speak up at the time. Palin, whatever her thoughts might have been was not a national figure at the time.

      • legal eagle

        McCain spoke up but didn’t say anything negative about Bush….If you can show me otherwise I’d love to see it…

        • grainbirds

          I don’t know whether he did or not, and I don’t want to research it. I thought the point I was responding to was the effort by Rose and others on the Left to distract from the issue of whether or not Obama’s and HRC’s policies created a situation which emboldened Putin.

          The deflecting effort to which I refer is their accusing Republicans of double standards and hypocrisy for not speaking out about Bush regarding Putin’s invasion of Georgia, but slamming Obama regarding the Ukraine situation.

          And so we get led further and further down the garden path until – they hope – no one remembers what the original point was, but do come away with the idea that Republicans are hypocrites and there’s nothing wrong with Obama’s foreign policies.

          • legal eagle

            Foreign policy is art not science. It is always open to criticism. McCain did not criticize Bush. He stated that Americans should join together in support of Georgia….McCain is the ultimate hypocrite but he is old and rich and doesn’t give a crap about what anyone thinks…

          • Jeff Webb

            What’s the difference between liberal glasses and conservative glasses?
            Liberal glasses have an image of George W. Bush on the lenses.

          • loupgarous

            What’s the difference between liberal toilet paper and conservative toilet paper? Conservative toilet paper has fluffy ridges, while liberal toilet paper is printed with the Constitution on it.

          • grainbirds

            Right. Politicians never care what anyone thinks.

          • loupgarous

            Unlike Obama, who cares so much about the American people that he makes end runs around their elected representatives in Congress every chance he gets.

          • legal eagle

            “But back in 2008, when Russia went to war with neighboring Georgia and there was a Republican in the White House, McCain criticized “partisan sniping” surrounding the issue and called on the country to be united.”

            Google “McCain and Georgia 2008″ It will take you five minutes to learn what a hypocrite he is…

          • grainbirds

            If I decide to investigate, I won’t rely on the stacked results of a Google search.

        • loupgarous

          He openly criticized Bush’s handling of the situation. None of us is your clerk or your graduate assistant, Google it for yourself.

          • legal eagle

            I haven’t seen any McCain quote criticizing Bush about the Russian invasion….Care to share where I might find this “criticism”?

    • loupgarous

      Many of us were enraged at the supine posture George W. Bush took when Russian moved into Georgia, and Bush remained in the same stands in the Olympics as that son of ten fathers. Bush, in my humble opinion, ought to have IMMEDIATELY gone home for consultations with the rest of the National Command Authority, recalled out Ambassador to Moscow for consultations, and done everything in his power to augment the Georgians’ defenses.

      That being said, the first thing Obama did on taking office was take a very hard-fought negotiation over missile defense in Europe in which Bush and Condoleeza Rice won many important concessions despite Russian threats to EMP North America, and tear it up, while having Hillary Clinton make a humiliating public display of submission to Russian hegemonic designs over Eastern Europe. That was in 2009. Since then, Obama also publicly (if inadvertently) told the Russians he’d cut them some more slack after he was re-elected in 2012.

      Compared to THAT performance, George W. Bush comes away looking like Patton in comparison.

  • Rose

    Uh you might want to check just who was president went Putin went into Georgia, Too. Hint: his initials are GWB.

    This is from mediamatters.com

    Fox News commentators have been rushing in to blame President Obama for the Russian military’s excursion into Ukraine. It’s because of Obama’s “weakness” that Vladamir Putin has seized the military initiative, announced Sarah Palin.

    The crisis proves Obama’s guilty of misunderstanding the Russians and not being “interested in American national security affairs,” according to John Bolton. Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld told Fox viewers Obama “left a vacuum that Putin is filling,” and Steve Doocy complained the president hasn’t done “much” to solve the situation.

    Also, Obama needs to get a “backbone” and he’s “lost moral authority.” All this while Fox has marveled over Putin’s prowess as a true “leader,” and swooned his supposed physical superiority over Obama.

    Please note that in August 2008, during President Bush’s final months in office, a strikingly similar scenario played out when Russian forces invaded the former Soviet state of Georgia. At the time, the Bush White House sounded an awful lot like today’s Obama White House. From Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino, now a Fox host:

    “The United States supports Georgia’s territorial integrity. We call for an immediate ceasefire. We urge all parties Georgians, south Ossetians, Russians to deescalate the tensions and to avoid conflict. We are work on mediation efforts and to secure a ceasefire, and we are urging the parties to restart their dialogue.”

    Yet unlike today, the Putin-led excursion in 2008 completely failed to spark the panicked rhetoric that’s become Fox News’ trademark since Russian troops crossed over into Ukraine last week. Notably absent from the 2008 Georgia coverage was relentless finger pointing and blaming the White House for the extreme actions of a foreign leader thousands of miles away. There was also none of the Putin cheerleading that we hear on Fox News today.

    In fact, some of the Fox commentators currently stoking the flames of “crisis” were rather non-judgmental when Russian tanks moved into Georgia. “I don’t think the Russians are reckless,” Charles Krauthammer announced on August 8, 2008, as Russian fleets advanced into the Black Sea and Russian jets launched raids targeting government buildings in Georgia. “What they are doing here is reasserting control of this province. And when it’s done, which will probably happen in a couple days, the firing will crease.”

    Three days later, Krauthammer insisted there was nothing for the United States to do as the crisis escalated: “Well, obviously it’s beyond our control. The Russians are advancing. There is nothing that will stop them. We are not going to go to war over Georgia.” Krauthammer’s Fox colleague Jeff Birnbaum, agreed: “Because Georgia is not part of NATO, there’s really no danger the United States or Europe will get in involved in what is really a civil war almost between–within this small part of Georgia.”

    Fox News’ message to America then? Just relax. There’s nothing the U.S. can do about Russia invading its sovereign neighbor and it will all be over soon.

    Bill O’Reilly agreed with the laissez-faire analysis. “Even if President Bush wanted to help Georgia we simply don’t have the ground forces to do it,” said O’Reilly on August 11.
    “And confronting the Russians in the air would lead to major hostilities that the USA cannot afford right now.”

    Even Fox’s usually bellicose, right-wing think tank commentators demurred. “There’s no easy answer; there’s only tough choices,” said the Heritage Foundation’s Peter Brookes on August 12, 2008. “Russia is a tough nut to crack.”

    Indeed.

    Recall that early in his presidency Bush famously announced he had peered into Putin’s soul and spotted goodness in the Russian leader. The Georgia invasion belayed Bush’s gut instincts, but few Fox commentators mocked the president’s for his misreading of Putin. (Nor was there discussion that Bush’s failed war with Iraq had created an opportunity for Russia’s military expansion.)

    “I don’t think that Putin spit in the eye of the president,” insisted Karl Rove in 2008. And John Bolton, who this week accused Obama of not “paying attention” to Ukraine? Back in 2008, he gave Bush a pass when Russian troops poured into Georgia. “I think a lot of people missed it, not just the administration.” Bolton said on Fox.

    Whereas the current Ukraine conflict is all about Obama on Fox News (i.e. Putin: leader; Obama: weak), Bush was portrayed as a minor figure when Russia waged war in Georgia six years ago.

    • Jeff Webb

      Wow, still obsessing over President Bush.

      • Rose

        Well, John made a serious error in his column. He indicated Obama was president when Putin went into Georgia. Untrue. George W. Was still warming the seat in the Oval Office. That is a fact. I know facts are not that important to you, but they are to me. Hmmm wonder if Daly will post a correction?

        • Rose

          The truth is that Obama was a senator running for president and John does say that. But he does not even mention that George W.’s actions and the writings of conservative pundits mirrored what Obama said. Palin’s remark completely discounts the fact that a Republican president was in office at the time and did not in any way prevent Putin’s foray into Georgia. And who on earth would imagine her remarks on the subject were not scripted for her?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>The truth is that Obama was a senator running for president.

            I know. That’s why I referred to him as “Senator Obama.” Do you need to have someone else start reading my columns to you?

          • legal eagle

            You seem a little sensitive Mr. Daly…Don’t like criticism?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Criticism? She outright lied about me.

          • loupgarous

            John, you know what would happen then… Rose would cover her ears and scream “I don’t hear you! I’m not hearing a word you say!”

          • Integrity

            Perhaps you should have someone script your remarks. QED

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          I made no such error. I even italicized “Senator” in front of Obama’s name when referencing Palin’s criticism so it would stick out.

          Pay attention, Rose. You’ve spent a great deal of time responding to an assertion that no one ever made.

          • loupgarous

            Rose is either a hopeless leftist doublethinker, or a hopeless educational failure. No, that’s not true – she could well be BOTH AT ONCE. The National Education Association has labored long and hard since the 1980s to give us the most ignorant generation of Americans in the nation’s history.

        • Jeff Webb

          >>John made a serious error in his column. He indicated Obama was president when Putin went into Georgia.<>I know facts are not that important to you, but they are to me.<<

          You've posted that arrogant little swipe before, and I'm amazed you managed to make it look even more idiotic.

          I've read plenty of your comments, and you couldn't care less about facts without experimental surgery.

          • grainbirds

            “…and you couldn’t care less about facts without experimental surgery.” Are you referring to the practice of taking statements out of context in order to misrepresent them?

        • grainbirds

          No he didn’t.

        • loupgarous

          From the article:
          “Back in 2008, vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin observed Senator Obama’s reaction to the Russian Army invading the nation of Georgia.”

          So what’s your excuse, now, Rose? Illiteracy or just being a pathological liar?

      • grainbirds

        1. Racialism

        2. Bush

        3. Class Warfare

        4. Bush

        5. The GOP War on Women

        6. Old White Men

        7. Old Racist White Men who Hate the Poor, Women, Foreigners and “Minorities” and Love Bush

        8. Herman Cain, Allen West, Clarence Thomas and Dr Ben Carson Are Not Really Black.

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          How did your get your hands on this list? I thought it was only sent out to committed left-wingers shilling for the president! ;)

          • grainbirds

            Perhaps I’m a mole who goofed….

      • loupgarous

        Like witches were to the medieval papacy, George W. Bush provides a valuable distraction from the rampant corruption and incompetence of the Obama administration.

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      Uh. I never said Obama was president at the time. That’s why I referred to Obama as “Senator Obama” in my column. Pay attention.

      • Rose

        I skim the articles since they are lengthy. Bush was president and certainly in a greater position to do something than Senator Obama was at the time. Bush did not do anything to stop Putin’s actions. If you give Palin credit for being right, you must think Bush failed in his handling of the issue.

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          >>I skim the articles since they are lengthy.

          Far be it for me to expect someone to actually read my columns before responding to them with false assertions.

          >>Bush was president and certainly in a greater position to do something than Senator Obama was at the time.

          I never claimed otherwise.

          >>Bush did not do anything to stop Putin’s
          actions.

          Actually, he did. But I wouldn’t expect you to know that since it probably wasn’t reported on the Daily Show.

          • grainbirds

            “But I wouldn’t expect you to know that since it probably wasn’t reported on the Daily Show.”

            Very good! I hope it doesn’t hurt your feelings that no one sends someone from the Left to kibbitz you who is actually challenging and is willing to argue with integrity. Or do they? I’m new here.

        • grainbirds

          The damn article was about the liberal media, not a comparison of Bush’s response to the invasion of Georgia with Obama’s response to the Ukraine situation.

        • Integrity

          This “lengthy” article consisted of about 594 words and only took a few minutes to read for those who actually read it. I will give you a pass since the Flesch-Kinkaid grade level was obviously too much for you to overcome. QED

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            I love how Rose keeps claiming to not have enough time to read the things she responds to, when she clearly has enough time to log about five dozen posts per day.

        • legal eagle

          Webb and Daly now claim that Hillary’s vote on Iraq makes her and Bush equally responsible for the Iraq disaster….

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            The world according to legal eagle: Congress bears no responsibility for what they vote for… unless we’re talking about Republicans when the outcome wasn’t good. lol.

            Care to give us any more lectures on hypocrisy, legal? Or maybe you’d just like to get all defensive again and start bashing gays.

        • loupgarous

          You skim the articles, period. You just take away enough to write one of your screeds and ignore anything else.

    • grainbirds

      What a disgusting article. It cherry-picked statements of people on FNC and completely misrepresented the speakers, weaving the isolated excerpts into a giant tapestry of BS. I’d be ashamed to do something so dishonest and manipulative.

      • legal eagle

        You’d be ashamed? Of what, being a hypocrite?

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          He’d be ashamed of being a liar.

          I know that’s hard for you to understand since you’ve gone on the record as stating that there’s no such thing as a lie (still one of your most hilarious past statements), but not everyone is as unscrupulous as you. Some people actually have a conscience and down pride themselves on their dishonesty.

          • legal eagle

            I stated that “legally” there is no such thing as a lie….Stop misquoting me or keep misquoting me…I don’t really care what you say but the truth would be nice…

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>I stated that “legally” there is no such thing as a lie…

            In response to a point that had nothing to do with legalities. You’ve already conceded defeat on this, and now you’re changing your story back to the original b.s.? You know… There might be a place for you in the Obama administration.

        • grainbirds

          More precisely, I’d be ashamed of:

          1. Claiming to be on the side of truth and the public and yet deliberately misrepresenting what people said and meant.

          2. Claiming to be on the side of truth and the public and yet actually using my platform to try and manipulate them.

          3, Misrepresenting people and often outright libeling them.

          So I don’t know whether hypocrisy is involved or just a complete, cynical disregard for honesty and a disrespect for MMfA’s readers. Hope this answers your question.

        • loupgarous

          Why should Grainbirds be ashamed of what you’re clearly guilty of? You’re the one going on about Bush’s stance in Georgia, when he defended the nation AND our allies in Europe on the issue of missile defense, something Obama IMMEDIATELY conceded to the Russians on taking office, and never stopped making concessions on our own strategic nuclear deterrent while the Russians built theirs up.

          I have to admit I was wrong earlier in comparing Barack Obama to Neville Chamberlain. Chamberlain just sold Britain’s allies out. Obama has never stopped selling his OWN country out since being elected.

    • legal eagle

      I think you are failing to grasp that most Republicans do not believe that they are hypocritical sociopaths….When you point out their hypocrisy about Putin they argue that what went on in 2008 is irrelevant and that the U.S. now should stop Putin when they did nothing in 2008….It is truly amazing…

      • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

        >>I think you are failing to grasp that most Republicans do not believe that they are hypocritical sociopaths….

        As opposed to bitter, old, white, self-loathing, left-wing haters who are motivated almost entirely by a man-crush they have on our president? lol. legal, you’re the last person who should be accusing others of hypocrisy. You ooze it every time you bash the Iraq war, while making excuses for all of the Democrats in Obama’s cabinet who eagerly voted to send us there.

        Party loyalty doesn’t give you a pass to spew blatant hypocrisy, Skippy.

    • loupgarous

      Media Matters is to serious news reporting what Obama is to lecturing on Constitutional law – unqualified and wrong on all the important points. If they were really concerned over someone standing up to Putin, they’d start with their false god who lives in the building on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC, not with Fox News.

  • Rose

    One other thing that makes the right look bad is this—failing to celebrate Obama’s capture/killing of Osama Bin Laden. The right looked small, peevish, petty and jealous when they refused to gave Obama credit. Everyone knows they would have crowned W King if he had gotten Bin Laden. But they were too small to even congratulate Obama for a courageous decision and a brilliant raid by our Seals.

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      lol. In other words, by acknowledging that George W. Bush and especially the U.S. Military ALSO deserved credit, Obama wasn’t sufficiently celebrated in your eyes.

      The poor thing.

      • Rose

        The whole nation, left and right, gave W credit for leadership after 9/11 and for every terrorist captured from his playing card deck of bad guys. But he did not get Bin Laden. Obama did.

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          I everyone credit Rose, even after Bid Laden was found as a result of Bush’s anti-terror interrogation techniques which Obama adamantly opposed.

          Now, try and stay on topic.

      • Kathie Ampela

        Obama DID NOT GET Bin Laden, OUR GUYS GOT Bin Laden. It took Obama weeks to make the decision to GIVE THE ORDER to get Bin Laden. http://theulstermanreport.com/2012/04/30/white-house-insider-obama-hesitated-panetta-issued-order-to-kill-osama-bin-laden/
        Leon Panetta and Hillary Clinton had to step in and give the order. And the national security leaks that Obama AUTHORIZED in the immediate aftermath of the Bin laden takedown led to the deaths of members of Seal Team VI, 3 months after OUR GUYS got Bin Laden:

        http://freebeacon.com/panetta-revealed-classified-info-to-zero-dark-thirty-filmmaker/

        http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2012/09/11/panetta-on-national-security-leaks-president-obama-did-it-and-that-makes-it-okay/

        http://www.wnd.com/2014/02/pentagon-no-chance-seals-team-6-mission-compromised/

        • brickman

          It’s funny that Obama didn’t get bin laden but that Reagan tore down the Berlin Wall.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Hey, I’ve give credit to Obama, Bush, and especially our military. They all deserve recognition for getting Bin Laden.

          • brickman

            I agree. I also feel that all the Presidents from Truman to Bush 41 brought down the Berlin Wall. So did all the troops that I served with during the Cold War and the taxpayers who funded us.

          • loupgarous

            There’s a large dose of “post hoc, ergo propter hoc” fallacy in that statement. It’s really hard to see Jimmy Carter, Jerry Ford or Richard Nixon’s fingerprints on the sledge that knocked down the Berlin Wall.

            But thanks for your service, Brickman. I do agree that our servicemen labored long and hard for the eventual dissolution of Sovietism during the Cold War. Thanks.

          • brickman

            Thank you.

            Richard Nixon drafted me and sent me and others to defend Europe. Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter kept us there. It was a group effort. I once saw Vaclav Hamel say that Frank Zappa and the Rolling Stones helped bring down the Iron Curtain. No one wants to live in a totalitarian s—hole.

          • grainbirds

            Show who got dissed in that situation, and in what way Reagan ran around taking full credit he did not deserve. It was a long time ago, but you are making the claim. You must have evidence.

          • legal eagle

            You can’t say anything negative about St. Ronnie Reagan…I’m reporting you to Webb and Daly and I demand you be barred for life for the sacrilege…LMFAO

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Hate to break this to you, but even true blooded conservatives have criticisms for Ronald Reagan – mostly notably in the area of illegal immigration.

            You, on the other hand, can’t bring yourself to utter a single thing uncomplimentary of President Obama. Now, would you like to throw out another one of your lectures about hypocrisy? lol.

          • Jeff Webb

            In case anyone isn’t very familiar with the word “irony” (like Rose, who tends to be phased by 3-syllable words), a good example would be a guy whose contrary posts are all over a website saying contrary posts get silenced.

          • legal eagle

            Do you not understand sarcasm or do I have to note it for you when a comment is meant to sarcastic….BTW in Regan’s 8 years the only thing you can find to criticize is immigration? What about Iran Contra, Lebanon, AIDS, deficits etc.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Legal Eagle’s definition of sarcasm: “A word used to escape accountability for saying something stupid.”

    • grainbirds

      Maybe because so many on the Right were revolted by Obama’s campaign taking an achievement which was the work of by many brave and dedicated people and which began in another administration and pretending that Obama had spear-headed and masterminded the entire operation, when he did not even want to give the order to go in at first. They took all the credit for the operation and gave it Obama. And the Pakistani doctor is still in hell.

  • Rose

    So anytime Conservatives lose, it is the fault of the media first, then the opposing candidate, then the voters. Is it ever the fault of conservatives themselves and the candidates they put forth? So much for taking responsibility.

    George W won twice. The first time is very questionable because the election was so excruciatingly close. The second time was a convincing win.

    The media and parties on both sides enjoy putting labels on candidates. Who knows why some labels stick and others don’t. It was easy to brand George W as just not very astute. However, portraying him as a villain did not work. He seemed like too nice a guy to be the Anti-Christ. It just did not work. Voters in general did not see him as mean and conniving. The left tried, but that label didn’t work. Cheney yes, w no.

    The right is busy trying to label Obama as a villain…still. People don’t buy it. He has that great smile, is a family man, was generous enough to give his primary opponent Hillary the job at state. He just doesn’t come across as a mean

    • Rose

      And nasty fellow. Obama seems cool and gracious and reasonable. You cannot brand a person like that as Satan. It just won’t work. So what keep beating your head against a brick wall.

      If you are on a losing course and stick to it like clue, it is your fault. Consider the lefts attempts to say George W. Missed a lot of guard or reserve meetings. He probably did. But nobody cared. Nobody cared that Reagan was old and divorced. Nobody cared that Clinton protested the Vietnam War or that Cheney got deferments.

      And guess what nobody cares that Obama smoked marijuana in his youth. Talk about faux outrage! And nobody believed that whole birther nonsense. If you make a claim like that, you had better have proof. To beat that dead horse for five years was sheer stupidity.

      • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

        You’re in love with Obama. We get it. Now, anything on my column?

        • Rose

          I saw your column as a peon to useless activity, namely rifling through old film of your heroes searching for times they might have stumbled upon a kernel of truth. It was George W. Who said he looked I or the eyes of Putin and saw a good guy. You are not interested in that little sound bite today.

          I proceeded to name other wasted efforts from the right and left. You are never going to make Palin or Romney look like sages or foreign policy experts. Why try?

          • Josh

            There isn’t this much spam in Hawaii.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Rose, I’m not even convinced you actually read my column. You’re certainly not responding to anything I wrote.

            What’s the difference between you and a spammer.

          • loupgarous

            The word you were groping for is “paean,” not “peon.” Your posts are paeans – dithyrambs, even – to educational failure.

      • loupgarous

        I didn’t see Obama’s youthful dope adventures or his maculate birth anywhere IN this column, Rose. You’re still hallucinating.

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      Remind me what this has to do with my column?

      • Rose

        Let me connect the dos for you….I Told You So is a losing game, an exercise in futility. So are the actions I mentioned. Wasted time, wasted breath, wasted energy.

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          If it’s wasted breath, why do you keep leaving page after page of comments on it?

  • Wheels55

    If it is the media’s job to inform, then the media – as a whole – is failing. Just think how politicians would act if the media did call them out all of the time. Stupid lies wouldn’t wouldn’t pour out of Pelosi, Kerry and Reid’s mouths so much.
    If it is the media’s job to serve as PR for liberals, they are doing a great job.
    It seems the later is true and not changing anytime soon.

  • RMN

    Bill O’Reilly sends out Jessie Watters to confront the guilty parties that are “hiding under their desk” to answer his questions.

    You should do the same John. Challenge the MSM on their talk shows. Get your column printed in the MSM.

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      It’s times like this that I remember how great Andrew Breitbart was at doing exactly what you just subscribed.

    • legal eagle

      Who would print this nonsense?

      • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

        Ah yes, because you’ve only made it in the world once the MSM publishes you. lol.

        • legal eagle

          I don’t write articles but I have been mentioned and quoted in the MSM many times over the years regarding legal issues.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Dude! That makes you awesome!

          • Jeff Webb

            If I weren’t 6’6 and could stand to shed a few pounds, that sure would make me feel small.

          • loupgarous

            Yeah, those C*O*P*S episodes really brought him gravitas.

  • Kathie Ampela

    Good article, John, but this kind of thing in the media goes way back, long, long before the age of Obama. Walter Duranty was given the Pulitzer Price in 1932 for his “reporting” on the Ukraine. 7-10 million people were starved to death under Stalin as the world was lead to believe all was sunshine and lollypops thanks to Duranty’s “coverage.” To this day, Duranty’s Pulitzer goes unrevoked. The media will not apologize or police itself for the good of the people. Cocktail parties and the liberal establishment is at stake. Public ignorance and apathy are on their side until it’s too late.

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/clay-waters/2005/11/19/ukrainians-protest-walter-durantys-bloody-new-york-times-pulitzer

    • Guest

      Kathie, you’re dead on target! The Left in general hasn’t apologized for a damned thing on its extensive rap sheet, from the French Revolutionary Terror to the New York Draft Riots (remarkable for the number of African-Americans slain in the streets by good old Democratic Party voters), to Jim Crow (another Democratic Party project).

      The excesses of Tammany Hall and the Democratic South were capped by Woodrow Wilson’s successful bid for the Presidency based in large part on racial hatred – which he then proceeded to place into effect by “reforms” intended to make rejection of African-American candidates for Federal employment a matter of reflex, to experiments on African-Americans during which syphilis was left untreated throughout the administration of FDR in hundreds of cases so its natural history could be determined.

      That atrocity was matched by the use of radioactives in terminal patients unrelated to their medical conditions, simply to determine their fate in the body during the Truman administration, and a largely disorganized American military unprepared when North Korea swept down almost to the very tip of South Korea to conquer it..

      Then we go from Eisenhower’s half-hearted support for intervention in Vietnam to Kennedy’s displays of military weakness that brought the world to the brink of nuclear annihlation, then back to the quagmire created by Kennedy and Johnson in Vietnam, for which Nixon was blamed when his only crime was getting the nation out of that mess… with a Democratic Congress responsible for withhoiding the comparatively small amount of aid to South Vietnam which could have led to victory over the defeated, disorganized North Vietnamese in 1972.

      Then we go to Carter’s repeated shows of weakness which encouraged the Soviets to push their expansionist agenda… and the open support for Communist insurrection in Central America by the current Secretary of State during the 1980s,

      Then we have the waste of American soldiers’ lives in Somalia under the Clinton administration when Les Aspin decided that the heavy armor which might have saved some of those lives was unnecessary, and Bill Clinton’s refusal</i? to authorize the assassination of Obama bin Laden while he was yet to order the massacre of almost 5,000 Americans on 9/11/2001.

      Finally we have the litany of deception and outright lies used to secure passage of ObamaCare, and still more military weakness which has resulted in the current humiliation over the loss of the Crimea, unnecessary death in Afghanistan while Obama dithered and played golf…

      The pattern's obvious – military weakness during Democratic administrations results in messes which Republicans have to clean up. No one in the Left seems willing to even consider their culpability for a ocean of blood spilled either through incompetence or malice. It's always those damned right-wingers, isn't it?

  • Kathie Ampela

    Good column, John, but this kind of thing goes way back in the media, long, long before the age of Obama. Walter Duranty was given a Pulitzer Prize in 1932 for his “reporting” on the Ukraine. 7-10 million people were starved to death as the world was led to believe all was sunshine and lollypops thanks to Duranty’s “coverage.” To this day Duranty’s Pulitzer is unrevoked. The media will not offer apologies or clarification. They will not police themselves for the good of the people. Cocktail parties and the status of the liberal establishment are far more important. Public ignorance and apathy are on their side, until it’s too late.

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/clay-waters/2005/11/19/ukrainians-protest-walter-durantys-bloody-new-york-times-pulitzer

  • Josh

    Man, I really feel sorry for America’s crooked media when it comes to foreign affairs and other things that are too large for them to control.

    I mean, most in media are so used to being…well, I can’t say it’s “right.” I guess I can say “not horrifically wrong.” After all, they can create the narrative to bail themselves out of their created narratives in many instances.

    “These Tea Party people are all racists. Obama criticisms are due to race. Blah yaddah.”

    After they present that type of narrative, a network like MSNBC can edit out an entire person, focus on two signs out of two thousand, and pick one person in movement of millions to be “right” about what they said. And the same goes for many issues. No one crafts a self-fulfilling prophecy better than a crooked media.

    But this foreign stuff seems largely out of their hands. I suppose that’s why they ignore or spin so much about Benghazi and other foreign goings-on.

    Fox and others are going to interview Palin until she crams her foot in her mouth somehow. Or a prominent Republican somewhere is going to unintentionally craft a little mole hill. And, viola, media will grant itself an out by projecting the little bump the size of Kilimanjaro on our screens. No apologies or oopsies from media. They’re in too deep.

    At this point, it seems to be a toss-up whether the crooked SOBs are covering for the administration or for themselves in not wanting to be the idiots who have constantly covered for the administration.

    All I know is that I’m happy to get most of my news from independent people with YouTube channels. The rest of ‘em can dye their hair with Russian tap water for all I care.

    • Rose

      Many on the left criticize Obama for being to moderate. Guess you missed that, huh?

      • Josh

        Missed it? Hell. It makes my day. I love seeing someone pretend to be fair by offering up criticisms that aren’t criticisms but rather backhanded ways of attacking Republicans for being backward obstructionists who won’t let Obama enact his vision of America on America with a mighty pen stroke.

        Now, excuse me. I have to go grab the pork rinds, ripple, throw on my Murica flag tee, sing hymnals in my negro spiritual voice and watch reruns of Sanford and Son.

        • legal eagle

          Don’t forget to grab an enema while you’re at it..

      • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

        That’s true… and those people are idiots. Obama’s taken this country hard-left on a number of fronts, and if those people don’t realize that, it’s only because they’re too dumb to.

  • Brian Fr Langley

    Limerick?
    .
    The seas they ain’t cooling, and the planet won’t heal,
    why aren’t they harking to Obama’s appeal,
    seems nature won’t heed,
    the Presidents screed,
    and neither will Putin, so now let’s get real.

  • Concernedmimi

    It certainly did deserve an article all it’s own and you did it, along with all the FACTS. These reporters today are nothing more than Obama’s useful parrots. You would think at least one or two adults would emerge from the circus to report the truth instead of this corrupt administration’s propaganda. Glad you pointed out the; I told you so’s, because it will only be reported from one honest news source today – Fox News!!

    • Rose

      Mimi, tell us about the big victory party you had after Fox News told you Romney would win by a landslide. You probably spent a fortune in Ripple wine and pork rinds before the returns came rolling in.

      • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

        Fox News did no such thing. And the reason you think that they did is because you never watch it.

        • Patrick H.

          It would be interesting to see how many liberals who criticize Fox News actually watch it as opposed to repeating what media matters, newshounds, or other liberal websites and talking heads say about it. Funny also how Rose had to use Media Matters as a source.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            lol @ Media Matters. Why not just quote Michael Moore time.

            I’m thoroughly convinced that most people who hate Fox News have only ever watched it through selective clips on the Daily show.

          • Patrick H.

            Don’t forget about the Colbert Report! I think most people do get their idea of Fox from the Daily Show and the Colbert Report.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Heck, I’ll give the whole Comedy Central network credit. ;)

          • grainbirds

            For predicting Putin’s invading the Ukraine? Thanks to kibbitzers, I’ve lost track.

          • brickman

            Yeah, John Stewart knows how to get them. He plays the video.

          • grainbirds

            He takes things out of context and misrepresents them. He does not show a full and balanced view of anything at all. Which is not his job, since it’s a comedy show, but a lot of young people think he’s giving an honest picture and real news, and he and CC know it.

          • brickman

            He plays their own words and that makes them look look idiots. You’ll notice that he never gets Jenna Lee because she reports news. He gets Gretchen Carlson musing about whether private businesses are allowed to not sell cigarettes. Unless that was out of context and misrepresented.

          • grainbirds

            Exactly. I think what Jon Stewart does is very dishonest.

          • grainbirds

            Excellent point. I see comments all the time by people bashing FNC which show they don’t actually watch it and are just believing such sources as you mentioned. I think the purpose is to try and stop normal people from watching it, because they will hear info on FNC the Left wants buried or spun.

            Brent Bozell was on Megyn Kelly tonight, reporting on how the liberal media giving buried the story of Lois Lerner’s pleading the fifth again at the hearing, and the significant and informative e-mails Issa produced. Greta Van Sustern kept making the point as well, of why is the liberal media not reporting on that?

            They also refuse to report on the letters family members of some of the Benghazi victims and several military figures sent to Boehner, asking for a special counsel on Benghazi.

            They are so clearly into protecting their political allies instead of informing the public.

          • legal eagle

            When Brent Bozo is your source of information it’s time you went back into the nursing home…

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Good point. Chris Matthews – the man you parrot at every opportunity – is WAY better. lol.

          • grainbirds

            Since you are a lawyer, you know that claims without proof are just so much garbage.

            So let’s see it. Take the data Bozell presented regarding coverage of the hearing and prove it was untrue. And/or other info Bozell has offered over the years.

            Bozell did his homework. It’s not ethical for you to just libel him as a liar without proof.

            And regarding your personal snipe at me: when will you people on the Left stop profiling your political opponents with silly cliches?

          • legal eagle

            If you would let me know whether Brent Bozo will provide discovery or respond to interrogatories I will let you know whether I can furnish the “proof” you request.

          • grainbirds

            Neither Bozell nor I need to do squat. As I said, he did his homework and reported his findings. You are calling a liar, so it’s up to you to watch and read those news outlets during the period he said he did, and prove his claims untrue.

          • legal eagle

            You have no idea whether Bozell’s information is accurate so what are you arguing about…How do you know he did his homework?

          • grainbirds

            Because I know he’s not a fool who would just claim that those outlets did not cover the issue when it can so easily be shown that he’s lying.

            You called him a liar, and can’t prove it. Going around and around the barn with me will not change that. Only proving that those outlets did actually cover the issue would absolve you from slandering him as a liar.

          • legal eagle

            Ok…Bozell is a liar, you’re just a fool.. Is that slander?

          • grainbirds

            No. You libeled Bozell. What you said about me is an opinion.

          • legal eagle

            Media Research Center is political organization not a research center. Bozell is a right wing political operator and knows as much about media research as my dog. His father was a Joe McCarthy hanger on and his mother is Bill Buckley’s sister. If you’d like to read media research Pew or Annenberg are credible and respected organizations.
            If you believe Bozell’s “research” then you believe that Fox News is “fair and balanced”…

          • grainbirds

            All I’ve ever seen Newsbusters do is articles exposing bias on the part of liberal journalists, always with the context included. They want readers to see the entire incident. They admit up front that they come from a conservative standpoint and that their aim is to expose liberal media bias.

            They do not advocate for political candidates.

            MMfA also states that it’s mission is to expose conservative bias in the news.

            But their articles deliberately mislead. I read one on FNC’s coverage of the Adegbile nomination. The article gave the impression that Adegbile had simply been pursuing the overturning of Mumia Abu-Jamal’s death sentence due to unconstitutionality, and that FNC had claimed otherwise, and of course, pushed the racialism Narrative.

            The article did not mention Adegblie’s efforts to politicize Abu-Jamal’s situation as a symbol of racial injustice, and did PR for this, including rallies.

            Nowhere in the MMfA article does it mention the full extent of Adegbile’s actions in the matter, or the fact that the murdered officer’s widow, still heartbroken, advocated against Adegbile’s nomination, along with much of law enforcement – those people who risk getting shot in the back and then clood-bloodely executed, so that our risk of that is far less.

            You show me examples of where Newsbusters wrote articles which attempt to manipulate readers by omitting key information like that, and spinning.

          • legal eagle

            “The article did not mention Adegblie’s efforts to politicize Abu-Jamal’s situation as a symbol of racial injustice, including holding rallies.”
            Care to tell me the specifics of these rallies? Since when is claiming racial injustice off limits as a legal strategy?
            You want law enforcement to have a say in who is appointed to the judiciary? Don’t you think they are a bit biased…
            As far as the widow goes, I don’t quite understand what she is upset about? A life sentence v. execution? As I don’t believe in capital punishment I don’t understand her logic…Care to explain how execution will end her heartbreak?

          • grainbirds

            None of your points address mine:

            MMfA told readers that FNC’s coverage of the Adegbile nomination was dishonest and racially-motivated, and in pursuit of convincing readers of this, MMfA omitted significant information, including the full scope of Adegbile’s actions, and efforts by the murdered cop’s widow and law enforcement agencies to stop approval of the nomination.

            They lied. I asked you to show me how what MMfA did does not constitute dishonesty with intent to manipulate, and to post similar behavior on the part of MRC.

            You did neither.

          • legal eagle

            Discussing anything with you is like eating Jello with a fork….You don’t give a crap about anything but arguing so GFY………….

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            lol. Look’s who’s talking.

          • Jeff Webb

            >>Discussing anything with you is like eating Jello with a fork….You don’t give a crap about anything but arguing so GFY………….<<

            Translation: "Waaaah! No fair! You're making me back up my words!"

          • grainbirds

            I’m not the one who accused a public figure of lying and then refused to back up my claim with evidence.

            I am not only concerned with arguing. I was concerned in this case with your false claim that Bozel lied.

            You did not back up your claim by checking transcripts of the outlets Bozel said failed to cover the IRS/Lerner e-mail stories and showing that they did, in fact, cover the story. Instead you used deflecting tactics such as asking what Bozel’s methodology was.

            When obviously his “methodology” was to watch the damn shows and see whether or not they covered the story.

            It was actually a very simple issue. You called Bozel a liar regarding the media coverage of the IRS/Lerner story, I asked for proof that the outlets he mentioned did cover the story, and did not produce it.

            Had you produced such evidence, I would not have argued with you.

          • legal eagle

            You want me to check the transcripts of MSM newscasts? Pretty difficult to do without knowing where to find said transcripts. Care to share the transcript of what Bozo Bozell said?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Translation: “I’m too lazy to back up what I say. Plus, I’m probably wrong anyway.”

          • legal eagle

            I’m too smart to waste time on narrow-minded ideologues like yourself who will never admit they are wrong…

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            In other words, “Oh crap… He’s right! Uh, better save face by pretending to take the high road.”

          • grainbirds

            You would need to get the transcript from the Kelly Files or FNC sites if you wish to pursue this issue. I don’t care whether you do or not. My point was that you called Bozel a liar without proof of the alleged lies. I said that to give yourself credibility, you would need to back up your accusation by proving Bozel lied. I’m not the one who libeled someone without proof. Maybe you should go to the MRC site and demand their proof. Either way, I’m done.

          • legal eagle

            You were done a long time ago….Your asking me to get transcripts but you don’t know where to get them because they don’t exist….
            Were you aware that Bozo Bozell’s newspaper column was dropped by several newspapers due to his failure to disclose that he didn’t actually write his newspaper column?….LOL

          • legal eagle

            Ben Jacobs
            facebook
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            postPolitics
            02.13.14
            Ex-Employees of Conservative Figure L. Brent Bozell Say He Didn’t Write His Books or Columns
            The head of the Media Research Center has allegedly been phoning it in for years.The news that L. Brent Bozell, the ginger-bearded conservative ideologue who runs the Media Research Center, doesn’t write his own columns landed in Washington with a thud Thursday. Jim Romenesko reported that Bozell uses Tim Graham, the MRC’s Director of Media Analysis as his ghostwriter. One former Media Research Center employee reacted to the news with a deep sense of befuddlement, “I thought everyone knew it.”

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            That’s your big ‘aha moment?’ That Bozell uses a ghostwriter? Granted, it’s something I’d never do, but do you have any idea how many people use ghostwriters for their written work?

            For that matter, can’t we fairly say that whoever composes those DNC talking points that you copy and paste from your email Inbox is YOUR ghostwriter? lol.

          • legal eagle

            Even O’Reilly was forced to finally acknowledge his ghostwriter…I have never heard of a “journalist” as Bozo pretends to be, not acknowledge a ghostwriter on a book…..

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>Even O’Reilly was forced to finally acknowledge his ghostwriter

            Forced to finally acknowledge? The guy’s name is on the cover of O’Reilly’s books!

            >>I have never heard of a “journalist” as Bozo pretends to be, not acknowledge a ghostwriter on a book…..

            It happens all the time, legal. You don’t think the MSNBC twits that come out with books have a ghostwriter they don’t aknowledge? Trust me, they do.

          • Jeff Webb

            Well, I can’t speak for grainbirds, but as far as I’m concerned it’s no big deal if you never back up your accusation of Bozell. You long ago established you’re all snark, no substance.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            And let’s be honest… His snark isn’t any good.

          • Jeff Webb

            Now now, be fair. He has completely mastered the “no substance” part.

            “Aww, don’t sell yourself short, Judge–you’re a tremendous slouch.”

          • legal eagle

            Do you really think the old folks who watch O’Reilly know that he doesn’t write his books? Tell me who, on MSNBC, has claimed to “write” a book which was actually ghosted? BTW, it would appear that you are defending Bozell only because I criticized his lack of journalistic standards….Do you have to respond to everything I write or are you just compulsive about me?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>Do you really think the old folks who watch O’Reilly know that he doesn’t write his books?

            Considering the guy’s name is written on the cover of those books, YES… I do.

            >>Tell me who, on MSNBC, has claimed to “write” a book which was actually ghosted?

            Ghostwriters are almost never credited or admitted to by the people whose names are on the books. That’s why they’re “ghost” writers. For example, no one knew Bozell used one until last month – and that was only because it was leaked by a disgruntled former employee.

            If you honestly believe that people like Chris Matthews, who frequently puts out historical books that require an incredible amount of research while they host multiple television shows at the same time, aren’t getting help from others, you’re being very naive.

            O’Reilly’s actually one of the few people who credits the person who helps him. Being that Martin Dugard is a renowned researcher, it works in his favor.

            Again, I’m not a fan of the practice. Being a published author myself, I can’t imagine putting my name on work that I didn’t create. Make no mistake about it, though… lots of media and political people use ghostwriters.

          • legal eagle

            So your answer is you don’t know if any MSNBC host has published a book using a ghostwriter…and you cannot offer any proof to he contrary…I rest my case…

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Remind me what your case was again? That using a ghostwriter is okay as long as you don’t admit it and it doesn’t get leaked?

          • legal eagle

            Credible research organizations explain their methodology…As I have never seen MRC publish their methodology I believe their research is suspect.. Perhaps you can cite a source for their methodology….

          • grainbirds

            You called Bozell a liar without proof. None of this BS changes that.

          • legal eagle

            You want to buy his B.S. be may guest..He count’s on old fools like yourself to buy the crap he’s selling…

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            If only he bought the crap our president is selling… Then he’d be your kind of guy.

          • Jeff Webb

            >>He count’s on old fools like yourself to buy the crap he’s selling…<<

            …but not on old fools like yourself.

            Look, while you do have the mentality of a child, you still look like an idiot mocking people for being the in same age group as YOU.

          • grainbirds

            Again, instead of ever offering proof of your libel of Bozel, you instead pile more libel on him, and imply more Leftist manipulative cliches about “old reactionary white men of subnormal intelligence.”

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            In fairness to legal eagle, all he knows of Bozel is that Chris Matthews doesn’t like him. Thus, he can’t really offer any specifics to back up his statement without listening to him on television or reading his columns first. That kind of thing can be a lot of work, you know.

          • grainbirds

            I’m sure you’re right. I’m just wasting my time and his and going around in circles in which he backs up jack but continues to defend his libel. It’s hardly a discussion. Have a good day.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            >>Media Research Center is political organization not a research center.

            Good point, it makes more sense to get our news from MSNBC. lol.

          • loupgarous

            And when Ed Schultz is your source of information, it’s time you went to Club Fed with all the other crooks in your party.

        • brickman

          You are correct. Fox News never predicted it. People like Dick Morris and Newt Gingrich predicted it on Fox News.

  • Brian Fr Langley

    Limerick?
    .
    There once was a Russky named Putin,
    whose own horn he really loved tootin,
    so Obama him let,
    have a re-set,
    a license to keep right on lootin.

    • Bob Olden

      There ain’t no disputin’
      That Putin will keep lootin’
      And soon there will be shootin’
      And Ukrainians will bleed.

      And the world will feel the ripples
      As Obama spits and quibbles
      Like a guard who’s lost the dribble
      And who knows where it will lead?

      When the major force for peace
      Allows it’s influence to cease
      We will see the wars increase
      And the evil will succeed.

      • Rose

        Bob, as a former English teacher, I will say that you are no threat to Wordsworth, Dickinson or Whitman. But I applaud your attempts to rhyme Putin and increase.

    • Rose

      Oh, boy, this makes my ears hurt just reading it.

      • Brian Fr Langley

        That’s Putin’s loud Putin, tootin, horn. Oh, and the dying sounds of Obama’s applause for his help on the Syrian “red line”.

      • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

        Your ears? Did you never learn to read silently?

  • Rose

    Truly, it is easy to see the attempts to rewrite history are based in battered egos and low self-esteem. Palin was a disaster on every level, a desperate choice, a Hail Mary by an old man who knew he was losing. She abandoned her position as governor mid-way, giving her supporters the middle finger, in favor of speaking fees and right wing nut celebrity. She is a national joke now, and you scramble to find one sentence she may have uttered that was half-way right amid all her gibberish.

    Romney was a terrible, awkward plastic candidate whose penny-loafers were constantly in his mouth. Mitt the Twit as the Brits dubbed him. He had the stench of the loser all over him even before his 47 % remarks. So you feel compelled to sift through his rumblings and come up with something “wise” that he might have accidentally uttered.

    If you cannot bolster Palin and Romney, what does it mean? It means you were the ones who were duped, fooled, and mislead down a primrose path. Well, as Palin once said, you can’t put lipstick on a pig, especially after the pig has lost an election.

    I Told You So is an exercise in futility.

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      I could respond by running down the plethora of lies, failures, and agonizing incompetence from the Obama administration, but I’d rather keep the discussion on topic. Let me know when you’re ready to respond to my column instead of spewing out a Bill Maher monologue.

    • grainbirds

      You are full of hate, and dishonest.

  • Rose

    I Told You So is for losers. Oh, that’s right, you lost.

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      We all lost, Rose. You’re just to foolish to realize it.

      • legal eagle

        I haven’t lost……Maybe you should check your stock account otr the price of your home…

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          Maybe you should check the number of people out of work, the national debt being handed down to my kids, our increasing irrelevance on the world stage, the monstrosity that is Obamacare, our insolvent entitlement programs, and administration that just can’t stop lying to the public.

          I’m glad you’re happy with things legal, but with a presidential job approval rating of 38%, you’re clearly in the minority.

  • http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJBG9zqKlqSMeoGWk8Sabog iizthatiiz

    Are you really gonna give McCain credit for Palin’s insight? McCain wouldn’t even be in office today if Governor Palin hadn’t trudged down to Arizona in 2010 to pull his ass out of a losing reelection bid.

    Stop posting this kinda crap Bernie. The conservative base is taking back the GOP, and if you wanna play a relevant role in our new conservative movement you better get on board now.

    Go give your RINO sweetheart Bore’Reilly a sloppy hug.

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      >>Are you really gonna give McCain credit for Palin’s insight?

      Either him or his foreign policy consultants. I like Sarah Palin, but I’m not going to pretend that she made it on the presidential ticket for her foreign policy chops.

      >>Stop posting this kinda crap Bernie.

      I’m not Bernie.

      >>The conservative base is taking back the GOP, and if you wanna play a relevant role in our new conservative movement you better get on board now.

      Oh brother. You sound like a liberal: Do as your told and everything will be alright.

      >>Go give your RINO sweetheart Bore’Reilly a sloppy hug.

      Never met the man… and how could he be a RINO if he isn’t even a Republican?

      • http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJBG9zqKlqSMeoGWk8Sabog iizthatiiz

        >>I’m not Bernie.

        Apologies John, not a site this conservative would normally visit.

        >>I like Sarah Palin, but I’m not going to pretend that she made it on the presidential ticket for her foreign policy chops.

        She was on the ticket because it McCain’s best path to victory. She energized the conservative movement like no one else in decades. Name one Republican on a presidential campaign trail who has drawn larger crowds than Sarah Palin.

        >>Do as your told and everything will be alright.

        That’s exactly what the GOP has been telling conservatives for a very long time. In 2012 we let the party have its way again and sat on our thumbs. In case you haven’t heard, we’re done. That will never happen again. Nominate a Jeb, or a Christie, or a Ryan and I guarantee you are electing a Hillary.

        Am not saying it has to be Palin. Who knows if she is even interested in the job. And I for one wouldn’t ask her to go through another campaign after the way the GOP allowed her to be treated in ’08. That would be a decision she would have to make on her own.

        But it will be a like-minded conservative, or the new nickname for Republicans is going to be ‘Whigs’.

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          >>Apologies John, not a site this conservative would normally visit.

          No problem.

          >>She was on the ticket because it McCain’s best path to victory. She energized the conservative movement like no one else in decades.

          I don’t disagree.

          >>Name one Republican on a presidential campaign trail who has drawn larger crowds than Sarah Palin.

          I attended a Sarah Palin rally during the 2008 campaign. I witnessed what you’re saying first hand.

          >>That’s exactly what the GOP has been telling conservatives for a very long time.

          Not really. Ever since I’ve been involved with the GOP, they’ve always tried to be a big tent party. The demands for conservative purity didn’t really take hold until a few years ago.

          >>In 2012 we let the party have its way again and sat on our thumbs. In case you haven’t heard, we’re done.

          How did we sit on our thumbs? I recall a pretty brutal primary.

          >>Nominate a Jeb, or a Christie, or a Ryan and I guarantee you are electing a Hillary.

          You think Rand Paul or Ted Cruz would have a better chance? I sure don’t.

          >>Am not saying it has to be Palin. Who knows if she is even interested in the job. And I for one wouldn’t ask her to go through another campaign after the way the GOP allowed her to be treated in ’08.That would be a decision she would have to make on her own.

          She’d never run, and she shouldn’t. She’d lose in a Mondale-like landslide. Conservatives love her. The rest of the country thinks she’s a joke.

          • http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJBG9zqKlqSMeoGWk8Sabog iizthatiiz

            >>Ever since I’ve been involved with the GOP, they’ve always tried to be a big tent party. The demands for conservative purity didn’t really take hold until a few years ago.

            There don’t seem to be any big tents in either party anymore. I see dozens and dozens of little tents Over the past two decades, the American people have been divided into every conceivable niche, and then pitted against one another. Our two political parties target these niche segments with promises to build their pluralities, but never a majority. They keep that ball on the 50 yard line, neither side ever scoring a touchdown, neither side ever really winning anything. And a government that solves nothing. This has to change. You plant your flag and you rally support to your side. You don’t carry the flag around the battlefield and promise each battalion different things. (Hey, I went from a football analogy right into a war analogy. nifty)

            >>How did we sit on our thumbs? I recall a pretty brutal primary.

            Any brutal moment in particular? Romney was declared the presumptive nominee by the party well before the first primary. Conservatives fought hard against that, as you recall. The ABR movement (anybody but Romney) was all about vetting Romney, exposing all his flip-flops, and hopefully getting a stronger, more electable person nominated. Let’s not forget how weak that field really was. The party made clear that Romney would be the nominee long before the primaries, and all of our stronger candidates sat out 2012 and didn’t run. Santorum, Gingrich, even Cain enjoyed their moments, as the base looked for ABR. When I said that we sat on our thumbs, I am referring to the field that emerged for 2012. Where was the strong conservative in that field? Please don’t point at Bachmann. Good woman. Not a president. Rick Perry? Well he demonstrated rather quickly that he wasn’t taking any of this seriously. If that’s the field that gave Romney such a brutal run, imagine if the competent conservatives had been allowed to enter the race.

            >>You think Rand Paul or Ted Cruz would have a better chance? I sure don’t.

            Cruz .. yes. Personally, I don’t believe he will run. I think he’s got his sights firmly set on Mitch McConnell’s position. Rand Paul? He is gonna run. No doubt of that. There are Paul groups seemingly organizing in every county across the country. His support across the base is very mixed however. His endorsement of McConnell has wounded him badly. If McConnell goes down in May, Rand might have to time to rehabilitate himself. Rubio is toast, we both know that. The fact is, I’m not very focused on 2016. If 2014 doesn’t happen, 2016 won’t matter. Scott Walker? Jan Brewer? We have lot’s of good solid conservatives out there that aren’t squishy.

            >>She’d never run, and she shouldn’t. She’d lose in a Mondale-like landslide. Conservatives love her. The rest of the country thinks she’s a joke.

            If she runs .. she wins. But that’ll be her decision. After all she has been through, I personally would not ask her to go through the gauntlet again. As to her electability, I’d rethink that if I were you. She currently enjoys the highest favorability rating of any Republican amongst ALL GOP primary voters.
            Public Policy Poll, page 25 – tinyurl.com/nmr2j3c

            That gets her the nomination. You put Sarah Palin before the American people, unfiltered .. anything can happen. Reagan was completely unelectable too as I recall. Americans love a comeback story. They will listen to what she has to say. And there is no one in American politics today that radiates, optimism, strength, charm, grace, and charisma like Sarah Palin. After everything this nation will have been through after eight years of Obama .. they will be ready to listen to something different. Do not overlook Palin’s ability to appeal to Democrats. They loved her in Alaska. She possibly might be the only candidate that could beat Clinton. If Sarah Palin were allowed to run her own race, with actual support from the GOP, she would win in a Reaganesque landslide.

            Tune into CPAC, sat at 6pm. Enjoyed our chat.

          • legal eagle

            The only way Palin would be nominated for POTUS is if she serviced the Koch Bros…..on second thought, that wouldn’t help her that much..LOL

        • Rose

          Palin could not win a national election. Her chances would be nil. She may run as Newt and Cain did to sell a book or increase her speaker fees, but she is not a serious candidate. The Republicans had a number of non-serious candidates in their primaries, and it diluted their message and weakened Romney, IMO.

          • grainbirds

            Yawn.

      • legal eagle

        O’Reilly’s not a Republican like Hitler wasn’t a Nazi….

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          Says the guy who doesn’t actually watch O’Reilly and has no idea what he thinks.

  • brickman

    I believe in “I told you so’s”. I bring up the Romney Electoral College victory predictions of 34 conservative pundits. I’ve NEVER had anyone offer me an explanation of that one. Oh, except to blame the liberal media. When I’ve used it to question the prognosticating abilities of Charles Krauthammer and Michael Barone in articles that they have written (on other sites, this site is pro free speech for all sides) it disappears from the thread the next day. If you are questioning the judgement of Chris Matthews, please stand in line. He’s a blockhead.

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      >>I believe in “I told you so’s”. I bring up the Romney Electoral College victory predictions of 34 conservative pundits

      Go right ahead… although election predictions don’t affect people’s lives like a takeover of the U.S. healthcare system and a geopolitical threat do.

      >>I’ve NEVER had anyone offer me an explanation of that one.

      Some pollsters used a 2010 election model rather than the 2008 model. The 2008 one proved to be more accurate.

      >>If you are questioning the judgement of Chris Matthews, please stand in line. He’s a blockhead.

      Good to hear.

      • brickman

        First of all, only people who wanted Romney to appear to win used the 2010 model (an off year). I notice that the people on that side are NOT using the 2012 model to predict the 2014 elections. Maybe they learned a lesson.

        Second of all, I served with the US Army during the 70′s in West Germany with the Air Defense Artillery. I’m not up to date on every new thing, but I’ve been following developments as regards missile defense. The missile defense shields were not cancelled with “absolutely nothing” in exchange.

        They are deploying the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System. This uses ships in the Mediterrean as a stopgap until upgraded in 2015. The SM-3 Block II A interceptor will be deployed in Poland in 2018. This is the same timetable as Bush’s plan. This development was approved by the Polish PM.

        The Russians opposed this plan offering a plan that would have shared a facility in Azerbaijan. Obama said no. The Polish government has gone on record as preferring this new plan, although to be fair the Czechs were not pleased.

        Merkel, Sarkozy and Brown gave their approval. BTW, I don’t know how familiar you are with the Air Defense Artillery, but I worked with missiles.

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          >>First of all, only people who wanted Romney to appear to win used the
          2010 model (an off year).

          I disagree. The model was used by some pollsters because they believed the 2010 election better echoed the sentiment of the 2012 electorate due to a perceived sea change in people’s perception of the direction of the country. I don’t believe there was any ill-intent. I’ve heard the logic debated by several posters and I understand why they felt the way they did.

          Let’s not get sidetracked though. My column is about public policy… not private practices.

          >>Second of all, I served with the US Army during the 70′s in West Germany with the Air Defense Artillery.

          Thanks for your service.

          >>The missile defense shields were not cancelled with “absolutely nothing” in exchange.

          Sure they were. It was done for the sole purpose of appeasing Putin as part of the administration’s “reset” policy.

          >>The Polish government has gone on record as preferring this new plan

          They sure as hell didn’t. http://blog.heritage.org/2012/08/08/polish-president-blasts-obama-on-missile-defense/

          • brickman

            The pollsters that used the 2010 model used it because they feel that elections that they win reflect the “true” voice of the American People and that the ones they lose are abberations.

            The Polish GOVERNMENT is not represented by the President, but by the Prime Minister. Donald Tusk, the longest serving Prime Minister since democracy was restored, was opposed to the Bush deployment plan. He was happier with Obama’s plan negotiated by Joe Biden.

            The newer weapons will be better at intercepting potential Iranian missiles which was the reason for the existence of the program.

            Thank you for thanking me.

    • Rose

      I have wondered if any conservatives felt the least bit snookered by their own pundits and Karl Rove regarding various Romney Wins scenarios. Rove predicted a Romney landslide on Fox and then was very stubborn about admitting it was not going to happen, that in fact Romney would lose. Remember Megan running down the hall to check the validity of numbers? We all knew their so-called polls were wishful thinking.

      • brickman

        I don’t believe that it was wishful thinking. I think it was an attempt to create a feeling of a Romney momentum and was an effort to influence the vote. It’s legal but strains credibility for the next time. It did have a harmful effect in that there are numerous nutjobs who now claim voter fraud because after all ,the polls of the people they trust showed Romney winning. And by a landslide!

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          In the case of Dick Morris, I think you might be onto something. I don’t believe for a second, however, that reputable polling companies were like Rasmussen were playing games.

          • brickman

            John, I am NOT talking about polling companies. Some predicted that Romney would win the popular vote within the margin of error. They were inaccurate but my told you so is not for them.

            I am talking about the conservative media pundits who were predicting a Romney landslide. Dick Morris was not alone. If you want a partial list- Michael Barone, George Will, Peggy Noonan, Charles Krauthammer, Fred Barnes, Joe Scarborough, Glenn Beck, William Kristol and Dean Chambers. There are more. I’m not talking about mathematical errors. I’m talking about manipulation or delusion. When people like that make the assertions that they did, I reserve the right to remind people about it.

            BTW, I’m not a liberal. I’m a moderate. I’m called a conservative by liberals. And vice versa.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Considering that I regularly read and watch the work of many of the people you just listed, and know they weren’t predicting a landslide, my guess is that your partial list was acquired from some inaccurate third-party source. A year or so before the election, I know that numbers were looking pretty bleak for the president, and many conservatives were feeling pretty confident, but as we got closer to the election, I don’t know of anyone besides Morris that was predicting anything that even resembled a landslide.

            Again, my column was about policy and the leadership of our country – not about things like polling that don’t affect the public.

          • brickman

            I’m not talking about polling, I’m talking about accountability. That was what I took to be the point of your column. When people spew crap they should be confronted with their own words. I’m going to have to tsk-tsk you. You could have easily checked the veracity of my point by goggling any of the names I mentioned and adding Romney landslide or prediction. You would have seen the original sources instead of making up some baloney of predictions a year before the election. Most were made in the last two weeks before election day.

            Since you don’t take my word for it, here are some links….
            ① Michael Barone predicted 315-223 Romney see http://www.daily caller.com/…/michael-barone-reflects-on-his-prediction-of-a-romney-landslide
            ②George Will predicted 321-217 Romney see http://www.real clear politics.com/…/george-will-predicts-romney
            ③Glenn Beck 321-217 Romney and ④ Lawrence Kudlow 330-208 Romney see http://www.the blaze.com/stories/2012/11/04/romney-landslide-here-are-the-biggest-names-predicting

            You can find the rest the way I suggested or you can save time and see about ⑤ Krauthammer ⑥ Dean Chambers ⑦ Fred Barnes ⑧ Bill Kristol and ⑨ Newt Gingrich on http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/11/07/1158236/punditz-34-blow-election-predictions

          • brickman

            Your spell checker broke up the links and your edit system sucks. I’m sure you’ll be able to work around it. :)

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Can’t get a single one to work. Did you paste from a PDF file or something?

          • brickman

            No. Don’t know what happened but just goggle any of the names I mentioned plus Romney landslide or election prediction and you’ll see what I mean. You made the inference that the predictions were a year before the election, I assume you researched that before saying it. You should be able to find the false predictions of these pundits.

          • sjangers

            I probably shouldn’t have bothered with an aging thread, but I really couldn’t help myself. My recollections of electoral predictions are pretty much in line with John’s. I don’t recall anyone I took seriously predicting a huge Romney victory, although a number thought he could pull out enough votes in Ohio, Virginia, Florida and/or Pennsylvania to put him over the top. The actual analysis shows that my recollection and John’s is somewhat inaccurate, and that some of your claims are rather exaggerated.

            On the plus side for you, conservative pundits who predicted, in the week before the election, a Romney landslide do include Will, Barone, Gingrich, Beck and Morris. Kristol also predicted a big Romney win, but that prediction came in April 2012. By November he wasn’t quite that optimistic. Dean Chambers predicted a solid Romney win, but perhaps not one of landslide proportions.

            In defense of Will and Barone, their analysis indicates they were both relying on late movement in key states like Pennsylvania and Minnesota to suggest a national trend. Historically, that analysis should have been accurate. A weak economy, an unpopular incumbent, a close race, and late movement in states where the incumbent’s support had been strong, should all be bad signs for the incumbent. What Will and Barone perhaps failed to fully take into account was the way Katrina helped freeze the campaign in its final weeks and the enormously effective get-out-the-vote campaign that Obama and the Democrats ran.

            Your claims fall a bit short in the case of other conservatives. Barnes never predicted a Romney landslide, as far as I can discover, although he did predict a Romney victory. Late in the campaign, Kristol was still predicting a Romney win but had moved off his landslide projection. Rove, as far as I can determine, never predicted a Romney landslide, although he seemed quite certain that Romney would win. Krauthammer said consistently during the final week of the campaign that he thought Romney would win, but the popular vote would be within half a percent and the electoral college would be very, very close.

            On the other side of the philosophical divide, I did find some pretty wild projections on the part of liberals. Perhaps we should excuse them because they were right in the basic outcome, but there was one overly optimistic sort who was predicting an Electoral College total well in excess of 400 for the President.

            I think one thing we can safely conclude is that predicting political races can be problematic. Hold accountable those who predicted poorly for their flawed analysis if you wish. I might even join you. But I have to agree with one point that John has made several times in this thread. Being wrong about the outcome of a political race doesn’t seem anywhere near as important as being wrong about things that will have a profound impact on the lives of people here and abroad.

            If George Will messes up a prediction about the outcome of a political race, not much changes. If I’m foolish enough to trust him to predict another political race and he’s wrong again, the outcome still doesn’t matter much. When Barack Obama is wrong about the intentions and level of threat posed by another major power, or if he’s wrong (let’s be charitable) about the way his signature health care law will impact people, some of us will end up paying a very heavy price for his incompetence.

            Think of it like going to the hospital. If the person at the reception desk messes up and gives you bad directions, you might end up circling the facility for ten or twenty minutes until someone else comes along and straightens you out. If your doctor messes up, you just hope you’re not the one of the operating table when it happens.

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Thanks for the legwork you did on this. Well done. I concede that I have little motivation to spend time researching the content of replies to my columns when that content has nothing at all to do with my columns.

            As you recognized, my column wasn’t about people making wrong predictions with trivial consequences for being wrong. It was about people being viciously mocked and excoriated (on big, consequential issues) for saying something that was ultimately proven right… and whether or not the media has a responsibility to help vindicate those people.

            I don’t know how either of those points applied to conservative pundits speculating the wrong outcome of an election, but then again this form of deflection is pretty widespread in today’s politics.

          • brickman

            My point was about accountability and I told you so. I pointed out a half dozen pundits who predicted a Romney landslide and more who merely said Romney would win. For brevity’s sake , I kept the list short . There are at least two dozen. I think that this should be brought up when these people give their opinions about other things. I don’t know why this is controversial.

            You guys keep bringing up the accountability of Obama. My mother taught me as a child that two wrongs don’t make a right and I defy you to show me where I excused him for anything. I disputed the contention that John Daly made that this was inaccurate polling. I was talking about punditry. If it was just about numerical error half of them should have had Obama winning by more than they did. It was not error, it was BIAS. Hey, that’s a good topic for a book.

          • sjangers

            You (and your mom) make a couple of valid points, b-man. You were talking about punditry when John and I worked Presidential and media accountability into the thread, and two wrongs certainly don’t make a right. But since John wrote a column about the failure of the media to hold the President, his supporters, and themselves (or perhaps the last two are one and the same) accountable for unfair and inaccurate criticisms of Republican politicians, and for failing to correct the record when the Republican politicians were proved indisputably correct about the very positions for which they were publicly ridiculed, I have to ask what the heck you’re doing bringing pundits’ electoral predictions into this discussion! John wasn’t talking about pundits’ predictions, and mentioning the failed prognostications of conservative pundits has nothing to do with his point. And two wrongs certainly don’t make a right. Go ask your mom.

          • legal eagle

            Rasmussen was so reputable that he was asked to resign by his own Board of Directors….

        • grainbirds

          I agree that in many cases what you suggested about wanting to create a Romney momentum is true. And I felt victimized by that. Although I didn’t see anyone predicting a landslide win. And I don’t know what nutjobs you reference, but there are people who have valid reasons for suspecting some cheating of various kinds.

          • sjangers

            You guys do understand, don’t you, that in every election there are pollsters and pundits on both sides who are wrong, often dramatically so? Polling is an inexact science, with many factors contributing to whether or not any voter finally expresses his or her preference- or even settles on a preferred candidate- by going to the polling place and casting a vote. Punditry is an even less exact science. Both sides and their supporters in the media probably do a modest amount of goosing of poll results to encourage their supporters, but I’d find it very hard to point to any one individual or information source and claim with certainty that their reporting on poll results wasn’t reasonably accurate, to the best of their understanding. Their credibility is too valuable an asset to them to be wasting it for the sake of one election.

          • grainbirds

            You’re probably right. I don’t know a lot about that issue. I guess I’m merely speaking from my own experience, and some of the comments I’ve seen by others who shared that experience. In my case I knew Rasmussen is extremely accurate, but Breitbart – which I really like – kept reporting about how the polls did not reflect this and that so Romney’s chances were better than the polls indicated, and I allowed myself to have hope.

            But I have to say that there were other things which made it sound as if Romney/Ryan had more support which would appear vote-wise, and that these mostly consisted of things people said – either which I heard, or friends relayed to me.

            Also, I had never heard about the experts which Obama’s campaign used quite legally, which I understand helped them quite a lot. In a society where there was an uncorrupted media working on behalf of the people instead of furthering their own agenda based on an arrogant belief that they know best how the country SHOULD vote, I don’t think a president who presided over the continued death of our economy and massively increasing debt to an enemy, running against a team who were a dream team in terms of fixing the economy, would have won, despite the firm team Obama used.

          • sjangers

            Polling is a pretty complex business. Trying to capture the mood of millions of people and predict how they’ll behave, with dozens of factors swirling around that could influence outcomes, is more than my little brain could handle. Evaluating the factors that will influence behavior, giving them their appropriate weight, evaluating the electoral model that’s most likely to pertain to the current situation… it all makes my head spin.

            The proof of the complexity of their job is how often even the best pollsters miss the mark. It may only be by a few percentage points, but that can be enough to throw the final results way out of line. That said, I would trust most polling organizations to be doing their best to predict an accurate outcome. Their reputation- and future employability- depends much more on accurate results than it does on helping to influence the outcome of political races (it’s the political campaigns that will try to ‘spin’ poll results to influence opinions and outcomes). If they’re attempting the latter, they’re only going to be successful a few times before the word gets out, the public loses confidence in their predictions, and they really aren’t employable any more.

            Pundits are a different matter. While I still believe that most do their best to offer accurate analysis, pundits are more likely to think with their heart than pollsters. Or, to be more precise, their thinking is more likely to be influenced by their world view. And they don’t focus as much on predicting group behaviors. Their forte is policy analysis, knowing the power players, understanding their relationships, underlying principles of policy. So you can end up with someone like Will or Barone, both of whom have rational world views, assuming in part that people must see the inadequacies of the first Obama Administration, so polling that shows movement away from him probably signifies a trend. As it turned out, it didn’t.

            I didn’t see any of the Breitbart analysis, so I really can’t comment on that. They do have a reputation for being a bit partisan, but whether that’s due to a world view that’s somewhat unique, or due to bias and going a bit ‘above and beyond’ to influence popular opinion, I really couldn’t say.

            Like you, there have been times when I’ve really wondered about the honesty of opinion takers and opinion makers. But on balance I’ve had to conclude that it really isn’t often in their interest to play too far outside the lines when doing their job, so the majority are probably doing their best to be accurate in their analysis and conclusions.

          • grainbirds

            What you say about pollsters makes sense. I believe that some skew things so as to get skewed results, and that they remain viable because so many entities want to promote those skewed results. But it’s a suspicion of mine I haven’t investigated – whereas you seem to have looked into the matter.

            You seem to be giving people far more of the benefit of the doubt than I do, as far as the motives and ethics of pundits. And yet you still come to the same belief as me, that Will and Barone are being practical and realistic. I used to give more of the benefit of the doubt to liberal pundits, that they were earnest and honest and simply arrive at different conclusions than me. And who could look at Juan Williams’ face and doubt he is sincere and a true believer? But some others, I just think they are motivated by a partisan belief that their Cause must be championed at every turn, no matter the individual circumstances.
            Breitbart is without question a partisan site. But they do not pretend otherwise. Admitting one’s agenda is not the same as thinking that gives one an ethical pass to then promote that agenda with untruths or distortions. To me BNN is part of the New Media which admits that news outlets have agendas, and admits what theirs is, so no one comes away, as some do from the alphabet news channels, with the false impression they have received all pertinent info, and input from all players.

          • sjangers

            I don’t know that I’ve really looked into how polling organizations work too thoroughly, grainbirds. Half the time I just make this stuff up. ; ) But I’ve been around politics a long time and have some sense of how things work.

            Depending on the sort of poll being commissioned, as well as the intent of the organization purchasing the work, I suppose pollsters might craft a sampling to produce somewhat misleading results. They’d never do that for a political campaign’s internal use. That information has to be reliable, else the reputation of the pollster suffers and nobody wants to hire that organization. But a media outlet, for example, might have an agenda and request that the poll be approached in such a way that the interpretation of results could be misleading. But I really don’t see pollsters getting involved in a situation where their credibility could be damaged. More often, the focus of the poll might be a little vague and the media outlet does the work of misinterpretation on its own.

            I will usually give people the benefit of the doubt. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have my suspicions. But I’d rather not publicly attack the integrity of any individual without clear evidence to support my charge, and that can be difficult to come by. So I attack their conclusions rather than their integrity (and if I’m feeling particularly suspicious, or even just a bit snarky, I might throw in a bit of ridicule). But speaking in the broadest terms, I’d have to be pretty naïve to believe that all pundits or media organizations are towers of integrity. Events like the JournoList scandal demonstrate that folks in that field are pretty fallible, whether by intent or simply because they’re human.

            I like both Will and Barone a lot (Charles Krauthammer, too, because any discussion about top-notch political punditry should always include mention of the estimable Dr. K). I don’t always agree with them, but I appreciate their very rational approach to analysis. There are a number of liberal-leaning pundits and news personalities who I also appreciate, although generally for different reasons. Fareed Zakaria, Evan Thomas, Kirsten Powers, Bob Beckel, Anderson Cooper, and Juan Williams all bring useful insights to a discussion and usually do so without too much bias or with a fair amount of sincerity, sometimes both.

            I tend to be a little cautious with overly-partisan information sources, as I believe Breitbart to be. They can be very useful for providing perspective from one side of the political spectrum, but you have to be very careful about the information they provide. If you’re not paying really close attention you might end up repeating something they’ve reported on as fact, but they might not have provided the full story. I did something like that once with a news item I picked up from the Daily Caller and really ended up feeling the fool when I saw the complete video from another source. Stuff like that can really damage your reputation if you’re unlucky. So I skim Breitbart and the DC very occasionally now and rarely pay close attention to specific content. But that’s my hang-up and may say more about how I choose to live my life than about anything else.

            As for the alphabets, I’ve been to ABC, NBC, and CBS for information exactly once in the past ten years. And even that experience wasn’t a very satisfactory experience.

          • grainbirds

            I really like Krauthammer also. I agree, he is so rational. And I like that although he is so no nonsense, he has a good sense of humor. Probably people who are so logical and rational in their thinking are far less prone to waste their own time and everyone else’s with less than the truth as they perceive it.

            I agree that pollsters working for campaigns’ internal info would want to be as dead on as possible. I trust Rasmussen. But I’m suspect of polls done by academic institutions and news outlets, because I’ve seen so much intent to manipulate and push an agenda there. And I think that as long as the Left still controls much of the public Narrative, those who skew polls in order to help promote their causes have little to fear in terms of their reputations. I doubt everyone who commissions polls or uses a pollsters’s services is necessarily paying for accuracy.

            I admire that you don’t want to make judgement other than saying this or that would seem likely based on the facts. I’d like to be that way but tend to get attitudinal. But I always improve.
            In terms of the Democrat/liberal pundits you mentioned, I like Powers because I think she’s being honest, as opposed to pundits and strategists who just want to push their sides’ Talking Points and argue for them, and will push things they know are crap such as the claim they were pushing that the IRS harried liberal groups at the same ratio they did conservative ones, and the claim that all the health plans which were cancelled due to the ACA were all worthless and substandard. I just think that’s despicable. The other side does such things too, but it doesn’t make me angry because I’m not neutral. It just disappoints me and makes me uncomfortable, and I don’t like it.
            Juan I just don’t get – I don’t think he’s deliberately pushing lies, but I have heard him argue such false talking points. Someone suggested that people just convince themselves things are true so they can be loyal to their side but not consciously lie. But that’s dangerous, and I don’t think it belongs in journalism.
            Beckle I used to think was honest like Powers and I simply disagreed with him on a lot of things. But I thought his accusing the TN Volkswagen workers who voted against the union and the entire community and its surroundings of racism based on his experiences from five decades ago was sick, when he didn’t even go there to talk to anyone but he didn’t mind accusing them of such things anyway, and I didn’t even understand what he meant by bringing up Nazism based on the Volkswagen company. But it was bizarre, and to me showed the basic thinking of his side – if they do something the Left thinks is bad, they must be racists or even white supremacists or Nazis. He really gave himself away there.

          • sjangers

            People who are seekers of truth, and who are intelligent. logical and self-confident, probably see no need to speak anything but the truth as they see it.

            I guess you probably should get to know various polling organizations and figure out for yourself who is reliable. I agree with you that a poll prepared by any news organization- except perhaps the Wall Street Journal- should be suspect until checked against more reliable sources. Academics, I guess, might be a mixed bag. But I think you’ll find that polling by Quinnipiac is generally quite reliable and that you can have confidence in any analysis from Larry Sabato. But get to know the sources, test their product, and figure out for yourself who you’ll trust.

            I like both Beckel and Williams. Beckel does have his strong bias in favor of unions, but I find that easy to filter out. And both Beckel and Williams do tend to spout party line when they’re badly outnumbered and feel they have to say something to represent the other side of a discussion. Juan is a nice guy who isn’t really cut out for debate, so two or three conservative sharks and an unsympathetic host can set him on spin cycle. The same with Beckel when it’s just him against four on The Five, and Guilfoyle and Bolling start ranting at him. But I think both of those guys are intelligent, knowledgeable and reasonable under ordinary circumstances.

            I should probably give Breitbart a chance, but I know going in that there’s a pretty strong bias so I’m not too motivated. I’m sure they’ve done good work. The Daily Caller has done similar good work, including their lengthy expose of Media Matters. But once I discover that an information source not only has a bias but is willing to present information in a misleading way to support that bias, then they pretty quickly become a secondary source for me. Because Breitbart already has that reputation I haven’t gone out of my way to seek them out. But someday fate will take me there. And if I like what I see, I may come back on occasion.

            I don’t know that I have any one information source that I rely on over others. I tend to seek my information from providers who offer in-depth coverage, and I seek out multiple sources to get a broad perspective. On television, I like Fox News and CNN. Neither is great on its own- the Fox News operation was generally very good until early 2012, when they started to go in the tank a little more openly for Republican and conservative causes- but between them I can rely on getting pretty comprehensive coverage. Their approach is in-depth and I get the conservative bias from Fox and the liberal bias from CNN. The alphabets provide not only bias but often outright slant, and their lack of depth couldn’t satisfy a middle school student with a serious interest in national and world affairs.

            I supplement Fox and CNN with a number of print and electronic information sources. I trust the Wall Street Journal for hard news- and some thought-provoking opinion- in business and international affairs, as well as to provide a “chamber of commerce” take on national news. I’ll look up AP and Reuters on line. I usually check out this site for commentary. The DC and POLITICO provide different views on political news, so I often check them both out despite the slant. I’ll skim a number of other electronic outlets from time-to-time (Daily Kos, USA Today’s site, Yahoo News pretty regularly, News Max), but that’s mostly just to see if there’s anything else being talked about that my primary sources haven’t covered yet. And I rely on a lot of electronic research. If something catches my attention, I’ll go to a search engine to see what’s being said about the topic elsewhere. The internet is a great tool when you understand and respect its limitations.

            I agree with your point about partisanship on all news outlets. But some at least try to offer balance and make an affirmative effort to keep the public informed, while some are far more concerned with shaping opinion. I try to avoid the latter as much as possible, although sometimes I learn as much about issues by identifying the efforts to propagandize on a POLITICO or a DC as I do by getting balanced information from a less slanted source.

            So there’s a rambling answer. Hopefully some of it was interesting. And a good Sunday to you, too. I’m off to bed as soon as I figure out whether it’s 1:43 or 2:43 a.m.

          • grainbirds

            Good points about the relationship between maturity and honesty, and I have heard good things about Quinnipiac. I’ve heard of Sabato, but don’t know about him, I will take your advice.

            What you said about Beckle and Williams makes sense. But I personally have not seen a ganging up on the panels (not the show The Five) or even a consistent outnumbering of Rightist pundits. It seems to me that Juan and Bob actually believe what they’re saying, but maybe you’re right. It’s certainly good to hear your perspective.

            Breitbart has that reputation for the same reason that FNC has a bad reputation and the Tea Party were represented as racist haters. There are those who don’t want BNN and FNC accessed, so they make sure that they are seen as unethical. I would recommend you go there and check into an article whose subject catches your interest.

            Thanks for that indepth list of your sources. I think that’s great. If one understands that there is always going to be a bias, then one can check into various sources to get a full picture. The sites which take a lot of attitude on either side are a problem. I can’t stomach some of the liberal ones because they are so disdainful and smarmy towards their ideological opponents, and I’m sure people on the Left are just as sickened and offended by many sites on the Right. Even American Thinker, which I like a lot, often takes an attitude. I sent some links to it to a liberal I was having a discussion with on BNN, and I realized he would probably be somewhat offended,and warned him.
            It’s just that we are so deeply ideologically divided these days, there is a lot of anger and resentment. But it’s the lies which I particularly despise, and the cheap reporting you see on blogs like Daily Kos which don’t investigate and just check out some sites they like regarding an issue and then just throw out an alleged article.

            What an excellent point about partisan efforts actually telling you exactly what they didn’t want you to know.

            I always used to screw up on daylight savings time. Once I was punished for being late to work and another time I didn’t pick up my ex at the airport.

          • sjangers

            Taking my advice can be a bit risky, grainbirds, but thanks for your kind words.

            I think Juan Williams is very sincere in his commentary. Beckel sometimes reverts to paid political consultant mode, but I think he offers enough useful insights and is generally sincere. That’s enough to put him on my pundits-worth-following list.

            I may not recollect accurately, but I think Breitbart revealed edited video of an HHS or DoAg functionary a few years ago that made her remarks look much more inappropriate that they were when the full video was viewed. After my experience with the misleading Daily Caller video, that’s about all it took to make me skeptical of Breitbart. But I will give them a shot some time soon. We shouldn’t judge people too harshly on the basis of one mistake. If we did that I’d be in some pretty big trouble… many times over.

            The deep ideological divisions in our country are, I think, cause for serious concern. It makes it difficult for us to accomplish anything if we’re so sure that our goals are best and we’re determined to have events work out to our satisfaction. Compromise and cooperation become even more difficult when we have thoroughly demonized those who don’t share our perspectives. There have certainly been times in our history when the issues that divide us were far more substantial than they appear today, and when the rhetoric has been much harsher and more heated, but our twenty-four-hour news cycle and instant access to communication does seem to have accelerated and intensified what should be relatively modest disagreements and differences. It probably doesn’t help that our generation is so remarkably self-centered and self-indulgent. It seems like many people suffer under the illusion that if they want something, that’s justification enough for doing whatever proves necessary to satisfy themselves.

            I won’t test your patience by going off on a long rant about dishonesty. Suffice it to say that I believe truth is a critical element in both effective communication and harmonious social interactions. A lie may get you what you want in the short run, but in the long run too many lies damage the essential fabric of trust in communication and individual and group relationships, and will eventually prove highly counter-productive. I think we’re already well past that point in early twenty-first century America.

            I appreciate your compliment about partisan communication, but it’s actually something we all understand intuitively. I spent a number of years in mental health, so I may express it more explicitly, but we all know that what someone says usually doesn’t tell us half as much about their agenda as how they say it and what they don’t say. It’s true in all forms of communication, not just individual conversation.

            You and I aren’t the only people who occasionally get confused about daylight saving time. In my younger days, I hosted a morning drive show on a local radio station. My news personality and I decide to play a little prank for April Fools and apparently had a fair number of people convinced that clocks should have been set ahead the previous (Sunday) night. The local police finally got sick of dealing with panicked callers and let us know that it was time for us to knock it off. That was probably just karma finally catching up with me this past Sunday morning.

          • grainbirds

            Thanks for your interesting comment, including your former radio show’s War of the Worlds moment. It’s amusing, but it also points out how even in this day and age, we seem to be wired to simply believe an allegedly authoritative voice without much or any investigation or cross checking.

            I’d like to reply further, but for now I just wanted to address the Andre Breitbart/Shirley Sherrod issues you referenced with a link which explains much. Liberal journalists and bloggers deliberately took AB’s video and actions out of context, and the issue got out of control, with the Dept of Agriculture overeating and firing Sherrod, and the liberal media then piling on the lies by claiming that it was AB’s intention to ruin Sherrod.

            Your impression that AB sandbagged and framed Sherrod by taking things out of context is a lie they promoted, most without EVER showing anyone the entire video or interviewing AB as to his actual intentions and actions. Because the Left wanted AB’s and BNN’s brand poisoned as unethical, mean-spirited entities.

            Here is the link: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2010/07/19/Video-Proof–The-NAACP-Awards-Racism—2010

            Please let me know what you think when you’ve had a chance to read and digest and respond. Take care.

          • sjangers

            I never figured out why so many people were calling the police station to confirm our daylight savings time story, but you’re right about how much people depend on authority. Which kind of reminds me of another April Fools’ Day prank, but I guess that would be getting a little too far off topic.
            I wouldn’t disagree with anything Breitbart wrote in the column you linked. I’d probably even agree with most of it. There’s not much doubt in my mind that some groups are taking advantage of public attitudes that developed out of the progressive social agenda to push their own agendas even further. Worse, many aren’t all that ethical or honest in the pursuit of their objectives. I’ve been concerned for many years now that over-promotion of legitimate social goals could lead to a backlash and regression in broad public support for these goals, but that doesn’t seem to concern many progressive warriors if they see a short-term gain in the offing.
            My concern with the Sherrod story is that, if I recall correctly, the original version of Breitbart’s story, or at least the way it was picked up by conservative media outlets, did appear to misrepresent Sherrod’s remarks in a way that made her look unnecessarily bad. Three-and-a-half years have passed, so there’s no way I’m going to recall all the specifics of that story as it broke, but I think his original report left off the softening edge in which she said that she did make sure the white farmer got adequate assistance. I have strong feelings about accuracy and honesty in public debate. The impression I had, correct or incorrect, was that Breitbart may have fallen a little short of this ideal, although he may have been completely accurate for the purposes of the story he intended to present. I really can’t say from this distance.
            In any event, I will give Breitbart another look some time soon. Their general outlook is a little more conservative than mine, but that’s probably a good thing. It will help keep my mind open and should balance some of the left-leaning nonsense I contract from POLITICO and the Daily Kos. Thanks for taking the time to share your perspective.

          • grainbirds

            You may be right in your memory that conservative sites did as much to distort and confuse AB’s original intentions as did the Left. I seem to recall something about Bill O’Reilly, who is not a conservative or liberal, excerpting part of the video and causing a misleading impression. I can imagine that some conservative bloggers created even more problems than O’Reilly, who attempts to be scrupulously fair.

            Unfortunately, due to the complete dishonesty of the liberal media, which sought to paint AB as a bad man with lousy intentions; ignored his actual intentions as stated in that article I linked to and ignored also the misrepresentation of the video by others which led to Ms Sherrod’s problems; and NEVER actually interviewed him to get his side but instead just slammed him in order to ensure people thought him an unethical and disgusting person, the truth is hard to discern.

            However, the fact that any decent journalist would not only have interviewed AB but viewed his entire video before damning him and blackening his name and that of his website, says quite a lot to me about the liberal media. Had they behaved ethically at the time, it would not be so difficult for both you and I to gain clarity on the story now.

            Thank you so much for reading the article, and giving your thoughts.

            I’m not a conservative either, but many of BNN’s articles cover political concerns of mine. As you might have guessed, my big attraction to BNN has always been the exposure of liberal media bias. I consider it not so much ironic as inevitable that AB, who sought to expose unethical partisan media bias, was himself the victim of it via the Sherrod debacle.

            Maybe you will share your April Fools stunt some time.

          • sjangers

            Unfortunately, many journalists today, left and right, don’t take a lot of time to check out information if it already fits, or can be easily made to fit, their preconceived world view. I spent years trying to figure out how journalists could be so dishonest in their presentation of information, then I read Bernie’s “Bias”. He spelled it out so clearly. These aren’t evil people, just egotistical people who rarely have any different world view intrude on their bubble. If they and all the people they know think something, that must be the way it is. If some conservative “nut job” like Breitbart is spouting another point of view, he must be ill-informed or dishonest. So a story like Sherrod comes along and it’s pretty easy for the left-leaning journalists to jump to conclusions about Breitbart’s reporting on the subject and his intentions.

            My political perspective is probably a bit warped. I’ve been involved in Republican politics most of my life but tend to exist on the liberal fringe of the party. I usually sympathize with the social goals of liberals but think that conservatives have a much more realistic view of how the world works and are much better suited for helping us accomplish those social goals. That produces some schizophrenic perspectives on issues that often manages to annoy both sides of the political spectrum.

            And I guess I really do need to visit BNN soon. One of my biggest frustrations since before I was an adult has been the strong leftist bias of big media. That isn’t to say that there isn’t also a conservative bias in some segments of the media, but the liberal bias is much more prevalent and much more damaging to our society..

            That April Fool story isn’t any huge big deal. I thought of it because it was fairly illustrative of your point about how easily people subordinate themselves to perceived authority- and because we had already been talking about another April Fools’ Day incident. It’s far enough off topic that it really doesn’t belong here. But if you’re ever so bored that you’d like to hear the story, or want to get in touch for any other reason, my e-mail is sjangers at comcast dot net.

          • grainbirds

            I feel you are giving them too much credit, sjangers. Anyone who can’t recognize that they have a filter and so allows themselves to simply absorb an ideological worldview as reality, with all the facts falling into place behind that, should not be a journalist.

            They are supposed to be the public’s defense against the promotion of one side or the other’s worldview on the public’s perceptions.

            And I don’t think it is a matter of good people who have been convinced of a skewed reality. They have lied KNOWING better – you can see it in their efforts. I gave a couple of examples of the AP deliberately using their platform in order to subtly push their political messages. Later I’ll paste them here.

            AB was not a “conservative nutjob.” The liberal media loved to ignore the fact that like many on the Right, AB was once a liberal. Until he realized that that ideology had changed from compassion and helping others to being a tool of a political power force. I understand from writings by his friends that he would also consider all sorts of ideas and POV’s, and loved to debate people on various issues, with perfect friendliness.

            Instead they pretended that he was some sort of dyed-in-the-wool hater of all things good such as compassion and caring, and hater in general. They never presented him honestly to the public, but instead selfishly and sanctimoniously slammed him as simply an ugly-hearted hater who thought nothing of lying to achieve his ignoble ends. When in fact,his whole fight was about honesty.

            It was this attitude which caused the liberal media to attack and misrepresent him, and to cover the Sherrod issue without ever showing the whole video or interviewing AB, which is CRAP journalism.

            “I usually sympathize with the social goals of liberals but think that conservatives have a much more realistic view of how the world works and are much better suited for helping us accomplish those social goals.” I agree that is often the case, and it’s the very reason we have a two-party system which is supposed to compromise when agreeement can’t bereached, and a free press which enables the public to what legislators are up to.

            The ACA is a perfect example of how the liberal media enabled Senate Democrats to bypass the compromise system which would have marriied GOP practicality with Democrat plans, which resulted in a deeply-flawed product which has caused harm and wasted millions, and may screw-up our health crae system. The liberal media, instead of informing the public of the facts, instead buried all stories on negative aspects of the ACA, and damned all those with criticisms of it as selfish partisans who did not give a damn about the suffering of others.

            As far as I’m concerned, the liberal media betrayed us on that issue and many more, due to their arrogant belief that their ideological beliefs trumped truth and objectivity. Politicians will do what politicians do. It was up to journalists to give the public the whole truth regarding potential of the ACA, good and bad.

            But they had the backs of a political party, not the people.

            I think the reason the liberal media bias is so prevalent is that they have the monopoly. We can’t know what it would be like if the Right had the monopoly. But I feel that now that we have New Media and people are more aware you can’t just trust any particular news source, the pendulum can’t ever swing now. Of course, never say never.

            Thanks you so much for your kind offer! Take care.

          • sjangers

            I’m sorry for the delayed response, grainbirds. When I saw your post I knew it would take a while to answer, so I put it off until I had a little more free time.

            I don’t disagree with you in principle that journalists should be more inquisitive and open-minded than the average person, but the reality is that many are not. They’re human like the rest of us. And I think after Vietnam and Watergate, people started getting into journalism for reasons that may be a little more complex than just a desire to serve the public by keeping them well-informed. There are still some good journalists out there, but they appear to be a vanishing breed. Most are prisoners of the bubble they live in, whether they realize it or not, and are otherwise too lazy, or arrogant, or disinterested to try to find out what lies beyond their comfortable existence.

            Lack of perspective is a social trend that I’ve observed with increasing frequency as mobility, increased opportunities, and the pace of life today contrive to isolate us from the rest of our society. I see it in professions, certainly, but I also see it in many varieties of communities that form within our broader community. Physical communities (i.e., neighborhoods, large and small) can certainly promote insularity and even mild forms of xenophobia. We have a group like that where I live; a group of people brought together by physical proximity and common values and purpose. I’ve never seen a group of people so impressed with themselves and disdainful of others who don’t share their perspective. Talk about people- to twist a romantic cliché- who think they hung the moon! And the corollary to that is that anyone who doesn’t belong to their group must be somehow defective.

            People with a partisan or extreme world view, I think, tend toward those beliefs because they aren’t very secure in themselves or in their place in the world. Once they settle on a world view, they need for those who don’t share their view to be deficient. Otherwise they have to consider the real possibility that their views may occasionally be wrong, and I think that’s a sort of reflection that can be very disturbing for them. That’s why, in part, they have a need to demonize or denigrate those who oppose their world view. Those people have to be stupid or dishonest. And that’s why I think we often see liberals trashing Republicans and conservatives for their supposed lack of intelligence, while they gush about the intellectual ability of their leading lights. If somebody doesn’t agree with them it can’t just be an honest difference resulting from different but equally valid world views; there has to be something wrong with those other people! And that, of course, makes it easier for them to shut out and ignore views that conflict with their own, which strengthens their bubble. That may not be the sort of world you and I wish we lived in, but it is the world we inhabit.

            Having said all that, I don’t disagree with your suggestion that sometimes journalists are dishonest. They are human. And sometimes a little dishonesty is the only efficient way to help readers and viewers see things the way they should see them. And distasteful as it might be, it really is justifiable. After all, the other side lies- a lot! They must. They frequently disagree with our way of looking at things, and they can’t all be that stupid all the time. So we know they lie. Or at least that’s our story, and we’re sticking to it until we really believe it.

            I think people whose world view shifts substantially from one side of the political spectrum to another are interesting. I may still think that those who move from near one extreme to the other do so, at least in part, out of insecurity, but they are interesting and their perspective can be illuminating. You like Breitbart. I’ve found Horowitz and Reagan interesting. David Brock is perhaps a little less so because he really has migrated from one complete extreme to another, and because I think there are legitimate questions about his mental health. But I like that all four can bring an informed perspective about elements of the opposite view that simply aren’t accessible to someone who hasn’t live them.

            I know that many who knew him personally thought highly of Breitbart. Those who didn’t know him, particularly if he disagreed with them, probably needed some way to validate their perspective. So if he wasn’t stupid or dishonest, then he was a hater. Pretty standard stuff.

            Perhaps some of my liberal friends have similar thoughts about me when I disagree with them. As I said before, while I often share liberal social goals, I think the modern liberal movement has an entirely unrealistic program for achieving those goals. So I don’t agree with them. And I must be stupid, or a liar, or a hater. Maybe I am a stupid hater and am just lying about it. I don’t think so, but what do I know? I’m not all that smart. I’m not one of them.

            Compromise. There’s an interesting concept. I tend to agree with you about the need for both sides to compromise. But what do I know. I’m a stupid, lying hater. (Or a foolish, RINO traitor, for those conservative sorts who may be reading this.)

            For passage and implementation of the ACA- and other similar examples of government by blitzkrieg, or of government by stealth- frustrated extremists are easily seduced by totalitarian tactics. If we don’t get it done now, it may never get done. And it’s the right thing to do! So do what you have to do. It will turn out for the best in the end. People need to be sufficiently engaged to be aware of it when one or both sides gets that far out of control, then do the right thing by offering them honorable and early retirement.

            I can’t disagree with your conclusions. Just keep in mind the strong likelihood that a conservative dominated media would probably not be any better, just different. Extremes tend to extremes. And once they get comfortable, they accelerate to extremes. And much as you and I may deplore the failure of the media to do their job properly, in the end it’s really the responsibility of the people to take note of their failings and keep them in mind as we seek to remain responsible stewards of our society.

            Well that was a mouthful (or a butt-full, depending on the perspective of the reader). It’s been a pleasure, as always. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

          • grainbirds

            “People with a partisan or extreme world view, I think, tend toward those beliefs because they aren’t very secure in themselves or in their place in the world.” That’s so funny, that’s exactly what I was thinking after reading your third paragraph, about the isolated community near you. I like the advice that says we’re either coming from love or fear. It’s not an answer to everything, but it’s a good concept to keep as a source of perspective.

            As you continued, about people needing to think others are defective in their thinking so that they don’t need to question their own beliefs, it reminded me of a fascinating book by psychiatrist M. Scot Peck called “People of the Lie,” in which he explores the concept of evil and attempts to define it. He gives some examples of actual people he has dealt with, and what he seems to me to say is that people often commit evil in their desperate attempts to avoid certain truths. Maybe you’ve read it.

            You’re probably right about why so many people think those with the opposite political views must be in denial, stupid, willfully ignorant, evil, or whatever. I think that’s often the case on both sides. I perceive the views of the Right – not social issues, but more policy type issues – to be more realistic and sensible, but I recognize that’s my perception. Anyway, it explains why so many of us get so exasperated, and angry. It seems impossible that people could rationally and in good intellectual and moral faith, take the opposing side’s viewpoint.

            I completely disagree with you that it’s ever acceptable for a real journalist to deliberately lie or skew. The only standard there is reporting on facts is that of being objective and honest to the best of one’s ability. People do not need to have things spoonfed to them. The facts stand on their own. If an issues is complex, its’ the journalist’s job to take all the facts and boil them down to the bottom line, and add info from there. As I said before, journalists are supposed to be our line of defense against the manipulations of politicians and other power players. There just is no gray there. None.

            I agree with you that many people’s reasons for becoming journalists have changed, and certainly we now have advocacy journalism, which is fine, but only if the writers’ agenda is made clear. That sort of journalism should not masquerade as objective, balanced journalism which gives people both or varied sides, without respect to personal stand.

            I find people who have switched from one extreme to the other interesting as well, but often there is such an emotional component to that that there’s not much hope of a reasonable sense of perspective. Maybe that’s Brock’s issue – I don’t know, I despise MMfA because I find them highly dishonest. But I can certainly understand the bitterness and anger of a gay person. As a child I was ostracized for being “weird,” and it makes you hate the society or group which rejects you, and the people who do so. I always admire people who can rise above that. And of course, I came eventually to learn that children and adolescents attack scapegoats because of their own insecurity, which goes back to what you pointed out earlier, and that as an atavistic defense, we instinctively attack the “abnormal.”

            Let me respond to the rest of your comment tomorrow. I stopped for now at the paragraph about people’s varied outlooks on Andrew Breitbart. I so appreciate your thoughtful perusals and responses to my comments. And I do the same thing – if I know I’m going to need to review and think, I’ll put off a response till I can do a decent job of that. Take care!

          • sjangers

            Just a few quick thoughts in response to your latest post.

            I haven’t read “People of the Lie”. I’m not sure it’s possible to define the concept of evil, except perhaps on a personal level, but it would probably be interesting to see what Peck has to say on the subject. I’ll have to add this to my to-do list.

            When I was in college in the late Seventies I had an international relations class in which the professor contrasted the foreign policies of Presidents Nixon and Carter. In the broadest terms, she described Nixon’s policy as “pragmatic” and the Carter policy as “altruistic”. And while I didn’t fully agree with her analysis, I think there was a solid kernel of truth in that both men approached policy at least from those perspectives.

            I think a similar broad contrast can be drawn between the policy goals of liberals and conservatives (not that Nixon was conservative or Carter liberal). Liberal policy goals often come from a place that is at least perceived to be altruistic- although I’m not sure I’d always choose that word to characterize the motivation- while conservative policy is more often driven by pragmatism. Liberals see the world as they want it to be and then try to achieve that outcome, often guided more by wishful thinking than any practical assessment of ways and means or potential unintended consequences. Conservatives generally appear to possess a much more advanced sense of real human motives and how the world actually works, although they may lack a clear sense of mission for making our world a better place. That’s why I say that I often sympathize with liberal goals but believe conservatives are much more competent to achieve those goals. I’d prefer to live in a society where goals are driven by altruism but reaching for those goals is guided by pragmatism.

            I guess I should have been a little clearer in my paragraph exploring motivation for behaviors by members of the media. My justification for deliberate media dishonesty was intended to express their possible internal dialogue. I don’t believe it’s ever right for anyone to be dishonest, and certainly not people whose job is to keep the public well informed. I probably should have offset in single quotations (or brackets) everything in that paragraph after the sentence “They are human”, as I was trying to express that as an internal thought process of journalists who make a conscious decision to stretch (or mutilate) the truth in their reporting.

            Brock was probably a poor example of someone who has switched ideological “sides”. There’s a lot going on with that dude. Aside from the very personal motivations and potential mental health issues, he also appears to have experienced some of the sort of internal dialogue I referenced in the previous paragraph while he was on both sides of the political spectrum. But when I was writing, he was the first right-to-left switch that came to mind. I should have considered deeper.

            I never really experienced disinclusion when I was a kid, although my social clique was rather exclusive (and probably not in a way that should evoke an excess of envy). I may not be able to empathize completely with the emotions of people who are rejected, but I think I can understand enough of the feeling. It’s a mixed bag. Even as a child, I don’t think I would ever have wanted to fit in fully with the “in crowd”, but there is a desire to at least belong. The good news, as we’ve discovered in recent decades, is that the weird often inherit the earth. It just takes a few years for childhood insecurities to mature in adults who can appreciate what the weird have to offer.

            I’m looking forward to the rest of your response. It’s a pity I don’t have a home page or blog. I’m not sure how many people would be interested in a conversation of this length, but it has been an interesting experience for me. I wish we had some place to leave it that might get a little more attention than in the aging comments file attached to John’s column.

          • grainbirds

            I know I haven’t completed my response to your previous comment, but wanted to reply to this one. I agree with what you wrote about what conservatives and liberals bring to the table, and that a marrying of the two might create advancements in society and also maintain its functional existence.

            The only thing which bothers me about that is that I resent it when some people or groups use that concept to foster the premise that liberals are all motivated by the purest, finest, and most wonderful of motives, while the conservatives’ pragmatism is motivated by their purely self-interested natures. I know you are not saying that – I’m just noting what some people do.

            I’m not a conservative, but I certainly don’t classify myself as a liberal, given that in my perception, today’s liberals seem to be all about a strict adherence with the goals of the Left, which seems to mean a lockstep alignment with many things I despise and/or consider bad for the country. I classify myself as being on the Right, and as such, do not appreciate assumptions by sanctimonious people that my political alignment must mean I don’t have compassion and a desire that things be good for others.

            I find the grabbing of the high road for themselves by some of these people to be disgusting. I don’t know to what extent this is the case, but I feel that many who align themselves with today’s version of liberalism are actually feeding their own ego needs by defining themselves as fine, good people in a ridiculously simplistic vision of human behavior. I find that no more admirable than the hypothetical conservative who is only pragmatic because of his/her selfish desire to survive. One is ego survival and the other physical survival. Neither is evil, but neither deserves to be wrapped up in a pretty package either.

            Again, I know you are not saying this, and your mention of the college instructor’s take was interesting. I wonder whether she noted that Nixon for all his faults meant the world well, and that Carter’s foreign policy for all he meant well also, did not make things better for the US to say the least. It’s obvious that you take note of that, though.

            I don’t know how to define evil either, but the question always fascinated me, and I really appreciated Peck’s examining it and giving his take. He’s given a lot to our society.

            I understand your clarification of what you wrote about the possible thinking of liberal journalists. You express yourself so well. I actually don’t know a lot about Brock, but like you I also have always found it interesting when people make ideological reversals. As far as recovering from the results of social ostracizing, I have to say that what happened to me affected me for the rest of my life, but I’m assuming that’s how things were supposed to be, and that I was meant to have certain experiences and learn certain lessons, and evolve at the rate I did. Etc.

            I’m in two minds about whether or not I want others to read our exchanges. I suppose if that’s meant to be, it will be as well. Thanks again!.

          • grainbirds

            I guess you’re saying that you assume those ugly accusations are what your liberal friends are saying about you, not what they say to your face. Otherwise, how could you maintain the friendships? I usually don’t discuss politics with people I know feel the opposite way.

            And I imagine moderate Republicans and conservatives don’t mesh too well either, as you said. We have only to look at the unrest within the GOP. Someone I either heard or read was recently pointing out that the Democrats had those internal ideological differences in the past, and decided to all hang together because this disunion was hurting the party’s goals. But it seems that that’s not a good solution in the end either, because look at what all hanging together has done for Democrats running for re-election in the wake of all the ACA problems.

            Maybe if politicians would simply do what their consciences tell them rather than what their party demands, things would work better. But the system doesn’t work that way, I know, because of power and support needs. On the other hand, people like Cruz seem to be a new sort of political creature, so we’ll see. Just like New Media has hopefully ended the old system in which people trust any news source completely as being objective, and as being on the side of the public rather than promoting a political or ideological agneda.

            I really think compromise was the idea the Founders had in mind by creating a system in which the major political entities must work together to a degree, or things will be gridlocked.

            I agree that the completely non-bipartisan nature of the ACA and its unworkability speaks to the need for cooperation between the parties. Even if it was designed to fail as some theorize, that speaks even more to the need to not allow one political force to have sway. Maybe some of the motives of those who rammed it through were as okay as those you described.

            No, I agree with you about a conservative media – I was never suggesting that. I don’t want any ideology to dominate coverage – I want the journalists’ personal outlooks to be as absent as possible in their analysis and reporting. I agree that citizens should be alert and aware, but not everyone has the time or the knowhow for that. Still, far more of those who do try to follow the news are now aware of the need to consider the source, and to crosscheck. Please also enjoy your weekend.

          • sjangers

            Hi, grainbirds. I apologize once again for leaving this thread hanging for so long. I was distracted by some family business for a couple of days and have just felt brain-dead today. I’m going to respond to your last two posts with one of my own and attempt to knit this thread back together. Hopefully it won’t prove too confusing.

            My reference to ugly accusations from liberal friends was strictly hypothetical; at best, an approximation of how I suspect their internal dialogue may be running when we’re exchanging opinions. We’re generally polite enough not to be blunt in our assessment of each other. The friends I talk politics with are usually friends of long standing. I have both conservatives and liberals I’ve known since we were in middle school together. I probably wouldn’t talk politics in much depth with people I didn’t know as well. We’d have to be pretty secure in our mutual respect for each other to risk disagreements over issues where we have strong opinions.

            The Republican Party today is working out some internal conflicts that the Democrats worked out a few decades ago. There was once a fairly strong moderate to conservative wing within their party. Those folks have almost entirely disappeared (i.e., been forced out or chose to leave) in much the same fashion that conservative Republicans are now trying to push out moderates and liberals from their party. The conservatives didn’t really start that process within the Republican Party until about twenty years ago. There are a few examples of very liberal Republicans getting hard push back from the right as long ago as the Sixties and Seventies, but moderate and liberal Republicans were generally welcome in the tent until the very last few years of the past century. But now I suspect we may end up with two very polarized parties before the end of the next decade.

            Personally, I think that a conservative party and a liberal party wouldn’t be a bad development if a strong centrist party could also be established. The American and British political systems haven’t tolerated third parties well, but perhaps a true centrist party could be the exception to that experience if moderate voters can be sufficiently motivated to keep it relevant. If that can happen, we could benefit from the social and political innovation of vibrant liberal and conservative movements without turning the entire government over to one extreme or the other. Coalitions between the center and the right or the left should sustain responsible government while introducing new ideas from whichever extreme party is currently in the governing coalition. I think it would be a very effective way to moderate both extreme movements while largely avoiding government gridlock, but that may all be my pipe dream.

            As you suggest, there are reasons why politicians don’t just do as their conscience directs. There needs to be some sort of cohesion within the government simply for the sake of stability, let alone party needs. Money, of course, is another issue. Our society has become so complex that “doing what’s right” can lead to all sorts of unintended consequences that aren’t so right. It was a lot easier for a public figure to be governed by conscience when issues where fewer, less complex, and far less likely to impact each other.

            I agree that the Founders probably envisioned a political system that favored compromise over inaction or extreme action. I don’t want to see a radical revision of our system of government, but I think we do need to be aware that a framework that served us well for two centuries may be in need of some changes. But that will be a very dangerous door to crack open deliberately. Once the precedent is established, it may prove very difficult to put the genie back in the bottle.

            I can’t be sure of the motivations of the people who forced the ACA on us. But having some understanding of the complexity of the issues, the way that complexity is magnified exponentially by interrelated issues, and how different understandings of the way the world works can lead to very different conclusions about probable outcomes, I wouldn’t assume that the failure of the ACA is due to anything beyond massive incompetence, and political pressures that followed in the wake as the scope of the fiasco became apparent.

            I agree with your ideals about how journalists should behave. But I think we both understand that reality is now something very different and isn’t likely to change in a positive way any time soon. So the best we can hope for is robust competition among journalists with views on both sides of issues, coupled with a responsible public that seeks out a range of perspectives to help inform their decisions. That may be overly optimistic, but I think it’s the best we can hope for in the immediate future. Perhaps one temporary solution would be a new institution for interpretive journalism, featuring people who would consume information from a wide range of sources and attempt to digest that information for the general public. Maybe we could find a handful of very competent and responsible souls to take on a public trust of that nature. Perhaps we could even find a modest body of citizens who would care enough to support such an institution.

            And now a response to your post that begins with “I know I haven’t completed my response to your previous comment…”

            Your first couple of paragraphs, as I interpret them, delve into additional complexities around our evolving bi-polar political system. Within each pole exists a variety of additional tensions. That is to say that the electrical field is far from uniform. We have true, ideologically-motivated liberals and conservatives, and then we have people who present themselves within those frameworks to advance other motives. People have different views of what liberals and conservatives are because there are liberals and conservatives who are truly quite different from other liberals and conservatives. And in the political process that makes it relatively easy to find demons within the opposing camp and to use those examples to demonize the entire camp. It does get pretty hard to keep score, even if you’re really paying attention. Actually, paying close attention may make it harder to keep score.

            I’m not going to get into your characterizations of the motives of many of today’s liberals. It’s not that I disagree with you. I don’t. But I can’t see how it would be productive to examine their motives, at least for purposes of our discussion. And to be perfectly fair, there have been, and still are, a fair number of sanctimonious sorts on the other side of the political divide. The rallying themes of love of country, respect for God, support of law and order, that used to work to the advantage of the conservative establishment have simply been supplanted by the themes of compassion, scientific and humanitarian values, and open-mindedness that work to the advantage of the liberal establishment today.

            As I recall it, the poli sci professor I mentioned did a pretty good job of presenting her analysis with balance. Since we were only five or six years removed from Nixon’s resignation, I’m actually surprised that she managed to do so. We had another poli sci professor who used to lecture annually about his theory that the Kennedy assassination was a plot involving Nixon and the CIA, so the mood on campus wasn’t particularly friendly to the disgraced former President.

            I’m still not sure I have the perspective to adequately analyze Carter’s foreign policy. It seemed pretty nutty to me at that time (my early views on international relations were strongly shaped by Hans Morgenthau’s “Politics Among Nations”), and similar efforts by some of his successors have demonstrated some of the shortcomings of that emphasis on humane values, but I can also see some benefit in forging international coalitions to support humane principles (sort of a complex or sophisticated version of acting in self interest) that could probably never be achieved in a world that depended entirely on each nation pragmatically pursuing its narrow self-interest. I wonder how this philosophical approach to foreign policy will be judged one or two hundred years from now.

            I wanted you to know that your enthusiastic advocacy of BNN motivated me to become a regular visitor and I appreciate what I’m finding there. It will probably replace the Daily Caller in my regular rotation. I also ordered Peck’s “People of the Lie” today and should find the chance to read it within the next week or two. I’m looking forward to it.

            Thank you for your kind words about how I express myself. I know I can be awfully long-winded, but I do enjoy the opportunity to explore ideas in some depth. Communication today really frustrates me. There are times when I think that modern technology and our diminishing attention spans are taking us back to the Stone Age. After millennia of developing language skills to fully express thoughts and ideas, now we’re back to the equivalent of cavemen grunting at each other, 140 electronic characters at a time. I appreciate the opportunity you’ve given me to exchange points of view in depth, with a lot of give and take. It’s been great.

            I won’t try to wax philosophical on the impact of traumatic childhood events, other than to share your general philosophy that some events, good and bad, are just meant to be. How we learn and grow from those events helps to define who we are. Based on the exchange you and I had over the past week, I have to say that whatever the challenges you faced in your youth, you appear to have coped rather well. You’re intelligent, express yourself well, and appear to be well-balanced emotionally. You’re reasonably confident in your viewpoints but also seem open to new ideas. At a snap judgment, I’d say you’re doing a lot better than most of the people I see here. I know it’s a surface judgment, but you appear to have some very solid tools with which to shape your future.

            I regret that there are probably few people reading what we’re saying here; not because I think what we have to say is so profound, but because this sort of exchange of ideas is fairly rare in our modern world. At the risk of sounding self-congratulatory, I’d say that I think it’s a dying art. Maybe fifty years from now it will be dead and no one will care. But I think there’s real value in in-depth give-and-take about philosophy, current events, and culture. I wish I saw it happening more frequently.

            Until next time.

          • grainbirds

            Hi! Thanks so much for your kind assessment of me. I think like everyone I was born with certain gifts,and like many, I had certain environmental blessings. Whatever level of maturity I have now I had to work for, and needed help with. That’s probably typical, but I was a late bloomer. So what you perceive as firmness in my opinions might once have been stubbornness, and what you perceive as a willingness to accept new info and outlooks might once have been a failure to think concepts through. It’s hard to assess yourself. On the other hand, there’s things we know about ourselves that no one else can. I do love the idea of balance, and being open. In fact I find it fascinating if a really completely new perception of things comes to me – it seems exciting. Sort of like sci-fi scenarios. And I probably love lucid dreaming more than many things. Unfortunately, I can’t cause it to happen like some people can. I wish I could. I just love it. Maybe I’ll start trying again – it couldn’t hurt. One trait I have is curiosity.

            As far as those liberals I was suggesting identify themselves as such and adopt that ideology for reasons of ego, I was saying I don’t know how many people do that. If any. It’s just an impression I get from many comments I’ve read by regular citizens. There’s such an absolute, sweeping assumption of moral superiority, and such a sweeping condemnation of the “opposite side” as bad people, based on propaganda that doesn’t really hold up to logic. The liberal media constantly pushes Narratives about racism, ignorant reactionaries, xenophobes and that sort of thing, and many citizens buy into that and imagine these cliche characters who are throwbacks to Southern racists from five decades ago. It’s scary, really. It reminds me of the kind of mob mentality which leads to death. I found it sickly ironic that the HBO movie Game Change promoted the idea that McCain/Palin supporters were such people, easily whipped-up into a dangerous pitch in their hatred of the black presidential candidate. Because the movie makers were doing in reality what they were claiming Palin was doing in their fictional account – spreading hatred of others based on lies.

            I realize you’re correct about there being plenty of sanctimonious people on the “other side.” I may be one of them. But I wouldn’t break the camps down according to the criteria you mentioned. Again, it’s giving all the heart and soul related traits to one side. But I also agree with you completely that you can’t just categorize people that easily anyway. I like the idea that I’m a mix and match kind of person, and I’m happy that there are so many independent voters these days. My sister is a liberal – I would say sort of a kneejerk one, but also one truly motivated by a good heart, and also a Christian. So there are two areas that exclude her from fitting into the strict Right or the Left camps right there. But Christians vary in their interpretations of their faith, like Muslims. She doesn’t have the social conservative stands held by many Christians.

            I’m glad you checked out BNN. It’s a lot like Talk Radio in that you already know up front that they’re coming from a conservative standpoint – ,there’s no attempt to pretend otherwise – and regardless of your politics, there’s a lot of information and POV’s you won’t get from the liberal outlets. And all the writers have different foci and POV’s. Joel Pollak writes about broad political issues, sometimes global ones, with a focus on Judeo-Christian and conservative concerns, John Notle writes colorfully about liberal media bias, and Brandon Darby and AWR Hawkins write about security/intelligence/law enforcement type issues, and there are many others. Sometimes I see several articles that interest me and sometimes just a couple – it really varies. I love to read comments, it’s so interesting to see all those opinions and interchanges, etc. But I often get angry at sites with all comments from the Left. I wouldn’t if they weren’t so insulting towards the other side, but that definitely happens from both sides – some pretty rough stuff. I like comment sections where there’s a mix. But like you I can’t spend all day on the internet.

            Re rewarding exchanges, what you said reminded me of a really nice movie with Anthony Hopkins and Ann Bancroft about an English bookseller and an American he helps find rare editions for and they have a correspondence which lasts for years. Also a book of letters exchanged by Tchaikovsky and his patroness, whom I believe never met. I seem to have a memory of reading it, but that can’t be right or I’d recall more about it. They made a movie about him with Richard Chamberlin but I thought it was tacky and mean-spirited.

            I think you write extremely well, and I would not call it long-winded. I don’t see anything superfluous or pointless or repetitive. I’m often long-winded in that I don’t pare my thoughts and info down enough and am consequently often not very clear. But sometimes I do well, also.

            As far as foreign policy, I don’t know a lot about it but I thought that the idea was always to form alliances based on cooperation, but to take a strong stand regarding enemies and rogue nations which can’t be trusted to abide by agreements. I don’t see the concepts of cooperation and a desire for peace and prosperity for all nations as being special contributions of Democrat presidents. And I would say that Carter’s giving away the Panama Canal and Obama’s screwing the Poles to appease Russia was more foolish than altruistic. But again, I’m not exactly Henry Kissinger, and I may be misunderstanding your instructor’s overall points.

            I wouldn’t worry that people will stop communicating in interesting ways which touch on various takes and disciplines along the way. I think the desire to share thoughts and kick different things around together is part of human nature and that that won’t change.

            Take care.

          • sjangers

            I’m going to blow you off tonight, grainbirds. I’ve been thinking about your comment off-and-on all day, trying to frame some coherent thoughts while tackling a few other projects, and I just haven’t put together an adequate response for you. I’ll get back to your post tomorrow morning and hope to have a full reply before too much of the day is gone.

          • grainbirds

            Do what’s comfortable for you. A sense of being required to do something makes it less pleasant.

          • sjangers

            Thanks, grainbirds. I’d already left you hanging for more than a day twice during the course of this exchange and wanted to give you a heads-up that it was happening again. I think I had a case of temporary ADD yesterday. I got involved in a number of small projects and brief exchanges of comments on line, but I couldn’t seem to get my head around the idea of comprehending a large post and responding appropriately.

            How we become who we are is an interesting process to analyze. Sometimes a person is largely the result of a small number of significant factors, more often the gradual accretion of characteristics resulting from lesser events and environmental influences. But there’s usually a ‘direction’, for want of a better word, to our personality that forms by early adolescence. Self-discovery is an interesting process that doesn’t ever have to end. In my life, I ended up as interested, perhaps, in the way other people’s personalities develop as I did in my own development. But it does start with exploring and understanding self.

            I’m interested in your exploration of lucid dreams. I don’t know much beyond how they’re defined, and I can’t recall every having one. I’ve had dreams in which I understood that I was part of a dream, but I’ve never been able to influence the course of a dream. Perhaps I’ve never tried.

            I think some people will self-identify in certain way in order to fit in; perhaps with groups to which they want to belong, perhaps only with an image of who they want to be. The way they identify others, especially the moral values they impute to those who are different from them, can be more threatening. Once a concept is established within the popular culture that some individuals or groups are ‘less worthy’ than others, it’s easier to dehumanize them. What’s most frustrating to me in the way we see progressives advance negative stereotypes about religious and social conservatives today is the blatant hypocrisy of the behavior. These are the same people who decried conservative and establishment stereotypes of those who weren’t part of the social mainstream thirty and forty years ago. And the arguments they used against those stereotypes demonstrated a clear understanding of how the process worked, its inherent unfairness, and the damage it could do to individuals, social groups and even society. Today they use those same social tactics to stereotype, marginalize, and ostracize those who don’t share their vision of our society. Looking at it largely from the outside, it’s hard to conclude that it isn’t fueled either by deliberate hypocrisy, colossal ignorance, extreme self-centeredness, or some combination of the three.

            I think, if I understand which section of my previous post you cite when you disagree with the criteria I assigned to the respective sides in our culture wars, that my reference is more to the themes that conservative establishment and liberal establishment have used to self-identify and distinguish themselves from the “bad” others. I don’t necessarily assign heart- and soul-related traits to liberalism, although I think much of their behavior is driven by feeling over thinking. In the same regard, I don’t necessarily believe that conservatives are driven more by principles of order and convention, although I do believe that the process through which they arrive at their values is more rational than emotional. But the three themes I assigned each group do tend to be the sort of “virtues” they extol in themselves and identify as lacking or absent in their political opponents. But as you say, we are all individuals who exemplify and esteem these values to greater or lesser degrees. Sophisticated psychological profiles of individuals weigh the presence of attributes, they don’t simply identify them as present or absent.

            I’m finding BNN interesting. There is a clear bias, so I’ll be careful to check any information against more than one source before I accept it as completely and thoroughly accurate. I think I can live with that. The Daily Caller, much as I often like Tucker Carlson personally, has become a bit cartoonish, so change is probably a good thing. Thanks.

            The movie with Hopkins and Bancroft that you mention doesn’t ring a bell, but I’m not generally a big fan of television or cinema. A little quick research suggests that it’s probably “84 Charing Cross Road”. If I ever get the opportunity, I’ll check it out. Human exchanges at anything beyond the superficial level seem rare today, or at least they do to me. We usually have family, a few close friends, and the rest of our associations are often driven by commerce. The last time I can recall engaging in more than the occasional in-depth conversation about anything of real human value was in college. And in those instances the profundity of any exchange of ideas was probably tempered by youth and alcohol.

            I’m glad you can tolerate the length of my exposition. Many can’t. Just yesterday I was accosted by a poster to a Yahoo! Comment section who apparently agreed with my general point of view. But he still told me to stfu, insisting that the only way to effectively debate a liberal was with a loaded gun. Sadly, that sort of thinking- both about the length of my posts and about the proper debating technique to use with political opponents- isn’t unusual.

            For what it’s worth, I haven’t had any difficulty following the intent of your comments. We’ve had a few rather minor misunderstandings between us, but that’s normal when any two strangers get together and try to communicate.

            International relations was once a serious interest of mine. I could probably blather at some length here, but will resist the temptation. This is a great over simplification, but foreign policy can be viewed as analogous to any form of human relations, just without the police and courts to step in and help moderate exchanges between people of wildly differing views and objectives. The scale and specific objectives are obviously different, but many of the principles are similar. Defining national interest is much more complicated that an individual determining his or her own interest, so perhaps one might think of international relations as similar to social interactions if the individuals suffered from multiple personality disorders. But in the end, everyone’s goals will be selfish and different from those of any other nation. Every nation will have a different sense of the tools appropriate to the process, depending on the resources they have available, their level of need, and the demands of their environment. The challenge is to figure out how to get the most of what you want or need, and to do it in a way that isn’t going to create bigger problems for you down the road.

            Developed nations, like ours, often place a high value on stability in international relations. We benefit from that. And in order to promote stability we often are willing to provide benefits to other nations that are less motivated by stability. Carter, if one were to be overly charitable, was apparently trying to establish a new, and less pragmatic, approach to international relations, and saw this as something that would benefit long-term U.S. interests. It was also a bit of a gamble. He sacrificed national assets of real value, not in a quid pro quo but with an eye to establishing precedent for the way other nations should behave toward us and each other. Of course it really doesn’t do us much good if other nations take the canal, take our money, take our unilateral concessions in other areas of national interest, and then punch him in his toothy grin. But it’s a process with long-term goals- again, if we’re to be charitable to him. The rewards may include a new paradigm in international relations that will eventually benefit the United States and all developed nations… or they may not.

            And finally, I hope you’re right in your final point. I see a devolution in communication, as well as social factors that seem to promote that development. But hopefully the human impulse to share our ideas and values will be strong enough to overcome those influences toward insularity and self-involvement. The latter course is becoming much easier than it ever was, and we could easily get well down that road before we recognize what we’re losing by travelling too far in that direction.

            Until next time.

          • grainbirds

            “Once a concept is established within the popular culture that some individuals or groups are ‘less worthy’ than others, it’s easier to dehumanize them.”

            I agree. Power players are always pitting people against each other rather than promoting understanding and unity.

            “Today {‘progressivess’} use those same social tactics to stereotype, marginalize, and ostracize those who don’t share their vision of our society.”

            That’s one reason I so deplore these criteria which claim all things nice for what motivates liberals, and all things selfish for what motivates people on the Right. This is part of the mythology used by the Left to convince people that all human decency resides on the political Left.

            I’m such a hopeless codependent that I feel guilty at wresting you away from the Daily Caller and directing you to BNN. Sad. But I just note it – I try not to act on such silly things.

            It is the Charing Cross Rd movie, you’re right. It’s interesting you don’t run into people who want to discuss things abstractly and/or in depth. I don’t find that. Often if I ask someone a question which calls for them to reflect on something where I’m curious what they think, they will answer and it can go from there. It depends.

            I’m surprised you so frequently run into people who object to the lengthiness of your comments. I know people often don’t read mine because they’re long, and I don’t blame them. Not everyone likes reading or finds it easy. I feel lucky I find it easy. Many don’t even have time. What’s nice to me is, no one has to read everything, or like it. Although I can understand the anger given what’s going on, responding that deadly force is the only answer to certain people is pretty negative. I assume it’s just emotional, but that is kind of depressing.

            What you speculated about Carter’s thinking seems to be exactly what it seems Obama was thinking in his policies. Really scary. To me, doing something based on a hope that another entity will respond in the way that you would consider a good way yourself, irrespective of that entity’s culture, worldview and moral and survival codes is absolute idiocy. It seems almost narcissistic, in that it presupposes everyone thinks as you do. But there must have been more to these decisions than that, surely.

            Lucid dreaming is where you are aware that you are dreaming. So it sounds as it if you’ve experienced it. Probably most people have once or twice. Some can induce it, but I can’t. Once you’re aware you’re dreaming you can make things happen, because it’s all in your own mind. Whenever I suspect I’m dreaming, I try to turn something blue as a test. When you’re dreaming, the belief that you’re in reality is strong, so it’s not always easy to really grasp that you’re dreaming. Most often I get clued in because I dreamed something so odd that I question whether it could be real, or if I might be dreaming. Often it occurs because you’re so close to a waking state, that your waking consciousness is closer. One way to try and induce LD’ing is to go to sleep, then get up and do something for about an hour and then go to sleep again. That’s actually worked for me. Whether you can affect your dream once you become conscious you’re dreaming has to do with what you believe you can do. Some people can’t fly in lucid dreams, but I flew because I knew so many other do, so I already believed it possible. Take care.

          • sjangers

            I think we’re all influenced to some degree or other by the tides of our time. I probably started my adult life somewhat right of center because I grew up mostly in the ‘60s and ‘70s, during periods where the degree of liberal hypocrisy became particularly evident within the political and popular culture. I may have embraced many of their stated goals philosophically, but their blatant disregard for their own values in the pursuit of their goals was too obvious for my idealism. That, of course, helped inform my view of human nature and how the world works, which helped convince me that conservatives have a much clearer sense of those things. So I ended up somewhere between the two political philosophies, where we speak of both sides in the terms they prefer while occasionally thinking very different thoughts about them.

            Don’t feel any guilt over my abandonment of the DC. You’ve actually done me a favor by introducing me to what appears to be a more valuable service. The only negative observation I have about Breitbart so far is that the inhabitants of some of their comment sections appear to be rabid. And my departure from the DC was going to happen sooner or later. For the past couple of years I’ve been pretty frustrated by them on a variety of levels. And I will still check out what they’re doing occasionally. If they improve, I’m sure I’ll spend more time there in the future.

            Your observation about deep conversations probably contains the explanation for my difficulty finding people to exchange ideas. You ask questions and listen. I ask questions and listen, but I also expound on my ideas. Many people are quite happy to talk about themselves. Not everyone is so eager to hear as much about someone else. If someone wants me to listen to them, they have to be ready to pay the price! Finding people who have something interesting to say and who retain curiosity about other points of view may be my challenge.

            I also don’t understand why some people seem bothered by long posts. As you say, if it doesn’t look interesting, or if you don’t have the time to read it, just pass it by. I think most of us have scroll keys that can dispose of long posts fairly easily. Personally, I’m a lot more upset about people wanting to dialogue with firearms. That kind of thing can be much more harmful to innocent bystanders than wordy posts.

            We could digress into a very lengthy conversation about international relations and US foreign policy, but I’ll try to avoid getting too deep into that discussion unless you’re really interested. I’ve tried to understand the Obama foreign policy since he took office. Assuming there’s intelligent design behind it, the only conclusion I can reach is that he has much different objectives than I would have were I in his shoes.

            I believe there’s benefit to trying new approaches in any form of human relationship, but don’t think it’s the best time to do so when stakes are high. Trying to influence a potential adversary to share your world view is probably better left to situations where failure comes with a limited cost.

            Of course, it has also occurred to me that there could be a very intelligent design to their non confrontational approach toward other nations. Carter, Obama and their advisers may have concluded that the country can’t hope to maintain its superpower status much longer and are (were) attempting to ease our transition into being just one of many powers with a much more amicable approach to other nations. I think such an approach would be mis-timed and not particularly effective now, but there may be something beyond a hopeful approach of treating others the way we hope they’ll treat us. But once you throw the word “narcissistic” into the conversation, given my conclusions about the President’s personality, I do find myself leaning toward the ‘egocentric assumptions about others’ motivations in international relations’ as the most likely explanation for his foreign policy.

            I’ll have to give a little more thought to lucid dreaming, perhaps even put some effort into trying to induce a lucid dream or two. But I’m a rather ambivalent about trying to influence the course of my dreams. If I get good at manipulating my dream environment into something more attractive than real life, I may discover that I don’t want to wake up.

            I’ll look forward to your response.

          • grainbirds

            It’s hard to say what I was at the beginning, because I was idealistic and not practical, but I refuse to attribute my common human decency to a specific ideology, political movement or political party. None of them can own what goes on in people’s hearts, much as they would like to. I would say that now I care as much, but am far more savvy about attempts to manipulate me, and far more practical about what is feasible.

            I agree that BNN has some rough and angry comments, but I there are also some very incisive and practical and informative ones of great value. And the idea that the comments of those on “the other side” are somehow nicer or more tolerant or more classy is to me, a huge fallacy. Not that I think you;re saying that at all, but I wanted to note these comments I gleaned from a HuffPo article which to me, illustrate some pretty negative stuff.

            To get them, I input “HuffPo Kochs Republicans” and selected the first article I got, and looked at the first several comments following the article. To me the ones I copied demonstrate:

            A simplistic belief that all billionaires and other wealthy and powerful people donate only to Republicans and causes of the Right, and are among an evil 1 percent who suck the life out of people whose necks they keep their feet on.

            All of these wealthy people and all Republicans, are greedy racists and haters.

            Republicans are responsible for all that’s wrong with America, including the horrible economy, because they all serve the wealthy corrupt billionaires.

            When the DNC in tandem with the liberal media launch a Narrative – such as the “Kochs are devils” campaign – it must be all true. No need to crosscheck. Therefore, it’s okay to wish for the Kochs’ death, without ever researching another side. Talk about a kangaroo court.

            And the most disturbing to me, is the sanctimonious belief that no one on the Right has an ounce of compassion, charity, love or decency. Because all of those human traits are shown exclusively by liberals/Democrats. As shown in this comment:

            “They’re {Republicans} not real Christians. You would know it very clearly if they were.
            They would be talking about feeding the hungry, clothing the needy
            and helping the sick. I see these people when I attend my church and
            I’d bet none of them are GOPers.”

            And here’s the rest, which show a wholesale swallowing of the claims of liberal journalists, who make no effort to sow understanding, but only slander the Right. And yet these same journalists castigate media people on the Right as “divisive?”

            “Of course the Kochs do everything behind the scenes and in secret. They want to control the 99% who they consider their puppets. They will be donning their white sheets and hoods at a secret meeting in the near future ”

            “Prosperity for the 1%. Americans for Prosperity. The downfall of the United States as we know it.”

            “I look forward to their treasonous obituaries. Or a picture on a milk carton, I’m flexible.”

            “Once they have suceeded in reducing the United States to a serfdom, I wonder how much of thier wealth they are going to have to use to fund thier private army. They don’t have to…they own ours”

            “I’d like to ask a serious question to Republicans and possibly you can answer and this is NOT meant to be disrespectful, but…Can you ACTUALLY name 5 things the GOP has created and implemented to make your lives better in the last 20 years?”

            That question was without venom, but look at the ignorant answer it got, in which the person states that Republicans single-handedly ruined thee economy and are responsible for the jobless rate:

            “3 wars
            2) Trillion dollar debt
            3) Economic disaster
            4) Increase poverty rate
            5) 10%+ unemployment rate

            How can you beat that?”

            “WOW, they have bought this country….now what? :(”

            “The Koch Brothers inherited their business and fortune. They are why we need a big estate tax. They are rich kids like Bush. Born with a silver spoon they could care less about the American Peoples asperations. They are vultures.”

            “republicans are true to their color which resemble, featherless chickens”

            Scott
            Walker’s knees are always dirty after his meetings with the Kochs,
            what gives? His
            knees are the least dirty of his body parts after he meets with them.

            “Their plotting paid off with G.W. If they get control again this country is done for with no hope of ever coming back to normal for the 99%.”

            “I always think Mr. Potter from It’s A Wonderful Life” when I see that picture. {of one of the Kochs.} Why can’t the life expectancy of old white billionaires just be a little shorter? I expect though their heirs are just as
            bad.”

            “Why do all the republican PAC brothers look like old white klans-men?? I hope someone follows these people at night to see what they’re REALLY up to…”

            “The epitome of I’ve got mine and I will spend as much money as I can to make sure you get nothing.”

            “The good thing is they can’t live forever. But their billions may live on-and-on, in the hands of others who are just as destructive.”

            I think that you and I have nice exchanges partly because we don’t really seem to differ on incendiary issues.

            What you said regarding Obama’s foreign policy was very reasonable. It’s certainly more charitable and politic than I feel he is towards those whose policies he disagrees with.

            “I believe there’s benefit to trying new approaches in any form of human relationship, but don’t think it’s the best time to do so when stakes are high. Trying to influence a potential adversary to share your world view is probably better left to situations where failure comes with a limited cost.” If everyone spoke that plainly yet understandingly, maybe things would work better.

            Since you have studied the subject and I know little, I guess I will just go with what you say. Except, that I still don’t really see how presidents before Carter were not amicable, and not desiring of peace through strength. Maybe you could give some examples of how Carter’s philosophy was an improvement in practice – which is what counts.

            Take care!

          • sjangers

            Holy crap! I think this post is longer than anything I’ve written so far! I’ll start a response tomorrow and will hope to have it posted by evening.

          • sjangers

            I guess I do need to be careful of how I phrase any distinctions between liberals and conservatives. It’s an oversimplification, but I frequently fall back on that old Churchill observation that anyone who isn’t a liberal at twenty has no heart and anyone who hasn’t become a conservative by forty has no brain. I take that to mean that youth should be idealistic but should become more aware of how the world really works as they get older. But I don’t think that everyone who embraces conservative principles in youth does so out of a lack of compassion. Some people just mature more quickly than others. : )

            I was fairly idealistic when I was young, but my politics were much more conservative than liberal. I’ve actually become a bit more liberal as I’ve gotten older. But at fifteen or twenty I had already become strongly aware of the hypocrisy that infects many vocal liberals, and that lack of intellectual honesty offended my principles. It’s just one example, but I recall a teacher at our local elementary school who was very big on indoctrinating his students with the whole ‘peace, love, kumbaya’ nonsense. He even got out his guitar to strum along on occasion. But the guy was one of the more obnoxious and aggressive people you could meet in polite society when he felt his interests had been crossed. In retrospect, I don’t think he was even aware of the dissonance. But at the time I thought it a huge hypocritical act. And he was one of many people I either knew or knew of who spouted the liberal cant while behaving very differently in their personal interactions. Some I believed, like this teacher, were very hypocritical. Many just made me aware of how unrealistic was the liberal understanding of human nature. And I figured that if they didn’t get that, what confidence could I possibly have in their political philosophy that was dependent on a flawed view of human nature and how the world functioned?

            People, more often than not I discovered, tend to be driven by fairly selfish motives, especially when they don’t bother to stop and examine their behaviors. There’s a fair body of psychological evidence that bears out that assessment. Failure of liberals I knew to understand such personal basics of human nature as what motivated them and their behaviors didn’t inspire my confidence in their overall world view.

            I wasn’t suggesting that BNN is unusual in the negative quality of some the comments there, just that it was one of the few disappointing aspects of the site that I had discovered so far. I’ve seen many really hateful comments from both sides of the political spectrum at most sites that permit posting. I’ve even been on the receiving end of some pretty negative posts. I probably am more frustrated when it comes from the right because I do sympathize more with that political perspective and would like those people to behave better. When I see it on the left it just strikes me as more of the same old hypocrisy I’ve encountered throughout my life, and just reinforces my certainty that I really don’t want those folks to have any more power in our society than can’t possibly be avoided. It’s probably condescending and even unfair of me to place lower expectations on the behaviors of liberals, but I do. I’ll have to work on that.

            There’s probably no point getting into the idiocy of those posters you quoted. I don’t mind the occasional sharply worded post if it’s witty, or clever, or manages to illustrate a point well. Most of what you referenced was just the product of people who are bigoted, hateful and probably not very bright. In the immortal words of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, we should consider the source and move on.

            I’m not sure that Carter’s foreign policy was actually any improvement over what had preceded it. Frankly, at times I think it was sheer idiocy. But I do think it may have been motivated by reasonable intentions. And if I were very charitable, I think it’s possible that he may have seen it as a shift in American foreign policy that could yield benefits for us and the rest of the world into the future.

            To put it simplistically, I think it may have been Carter’s intention for the United States to act as an example for other nations in the hope that it might change the way most nations approached their international relations, creating a world where most peoples were less narrowly selfish in their national goals and focused more on areas where increased cooperation could be a win-win for all parties involved. In a world where the United States can’t hope to sustain its interests forever through economic and military might, Carter and others may have believed they could influence a paradigm shift toward the general adoption of a style of foreign policy that would enable us to protect our interests through cooperation after we no longer had the raw power to protect those interests unilaterally. Of course, Cater may also have just thought that he was smarter than everyone else who help the office before him, and that no one else had discovered his new and improved approach to international relations because they lacked his intelligence and insights. Or maybe he was just an international relations neophyte who gave too much influence to his moral and religious views of the world. And ultimately, I can’t really show any concrete examples where his approach has paid off for us yet. But there is still hope for the future.

            Until next time…

          • grainbirds

            I think I’m just more sensitive to the dreamer/realist idea being twisted by manipulators into really meaning enlightened/venal. You express yourself in a very balanced and reasoned way. I aspire to come from that place, but often I don’t get there until after I’ve jumped to my visceral reaction and had time to process more rationally. That’s one reason I assume many commenters who write aggressive things may be in the throes of their first reactions.
            So I’m saying I think you were perfectly clear, and in fact I was just harping on my favorite bete noir.
            It’s interesting that you were initially turned away from an ideology due to people who supposedly embraced it, making the whole ideology look bad with their bad behavior as individuals. I’m impressed by your sensibleness and self-respect as a young person. I can’t say anything like that about myself. But i’m actually not criticizing myself. Sometimes I imagine how my life would have been at certain times if i’d been different, and picture little scenarios, but then I let go because it’s counterproductive and somewhat self-abusive. I don’t mind how things turned out in terms of my luck, where circumstances were beyond my control. It’s just the areas where my being different would have made so much difference that I think about. But even how I thought and behaved when, is still a matter of circumstances. That’s where people can cross the line from assessing things and gleaning the lesson going forward, to missing the lesson altogether because they’re mired in something negative like self-hate or bitterness, or rage at others.
            Anyway, I like the way Data on Star Trek TNG thinks. He’s so nice, and he addresses everything with such perfect practicality and yet without assumption, other than what he knows factually. There was an episode this weekend where Data tells a little boy the faults in the boy’s project, and the boy, who’s already under terrible emotional stress, says “I can’t do anything right.” And Data says “You have made an unwarrantable extrapolation.” Worf is my favorite character, but I don’t find the Klingon warrior culture all that interesting. The episodes which feature that are among my least favorite. I like the way he interacts with the others on the ship, and his reverence for his interpretation of honor. He’s often funny.
            I don’t see how it’s unreasonable to place lower expectations on people whose behavior has already shown you they have outlooks which would result in negative results should they have total power. Sometimes that is just perception, but since I am perceiving things the same way as you, I agree with your conclusions regarding who should influence policy. But as we both agreed, our political system was set-up to avoid any ideological group having power, unless that was the will of the people in honest elections. But it seems that’s never the case – out two current parties have alternated in power, and legislators of differing beliefs have had to work together.
            That’s why this attitude of Obama and lead Democrat legislators that their will must prevail, which has led to abuses such as Reid and his crew killing the filibuster option as far as the other side having input on judicial appointments, and Obama’s executive actions which affect major policy, rather than those of past presidents, is so very dangerous. And some liberals see that – they are able to see past the immediate benefits of powergrabbing such as stacking the judicial decks to ensure future liberal influence, to the good of the country. I’m sure you agree.
            I agree that Carter had good intentions and I suspect that Obama does as well, but their behavior just bears out the “road to hell” adage. Short-sighted good intentions by those who cannot be convinced of their own fallibility and so refuse to consider the practical can lead to evil prevailing, which as you know, many see as playing out right now. What difference does it make, once you’re plunged into a nightmare, whether someone did it to you on purpose, or someone meant well but was short-sighted and arrogant and did a stupid thing? I’m guessing we both agree on that as well. The well-thought out options you gave re Carter, I would think it was a combination of someone who wanted good things for the world, but was too stubborn and arrogant to consult the knowledgeable on the issues. That’s what people in love do – they believe what they want because they don’t want to lose the feeling. Take care!

          • sjangers

            Hi, grainbirds. I hope this post manages to be reasonably coherent. I’m feeling a bit irritated this evening, but I really don’t want to pass up the change to play an April Fools prank on you by responding to one of you posts within the day. What does that mean? I have absolutely no idea, but it seemed to make sense as I was typing.

            You’re absolutely right about the way our friends on the left manage to manipulate words to manipulate concept and ideas. They’re darned good at it and have managed to accrue a lot of the “positive” value words to themselves in the ideological arena. I could be wrong, but I suspect there’s a huge cottage industry of stay-at-home liberals devoted to finding words and expressions that induce positive visceral reactions for their positions and the opposite for their political opponents. Sometimes I get lazy and just play along with them, but I probably shouldn’t

            Don’t be too aspirational about coming from my happy place. It isn’t always that happy. I have the same reactions you do. But experience has taught me to think through my responses- most of the time- when I feel my blood pressure rising, and to try to use tools like humor and moderate ridicule when I’m feeling particularly aggressive. I get a decent amount of satisfaction out of the response without coming across like a total jerk. I guess that makes those responses passive-aggressive.

            My reaction to liberal political ideology is actually a familiar pattern in my life. I don’t know that it says anything good about my character, but I tend to mistrust popular opinions and approach them with skepticism. I’m the same way about any cultural event that’s getting a lot of positive buzz. To date myself a bit, in my youth it took me almost a year before I even watched the television show “Cheers” because of the effusive praise it was receiving from critics and in popular journals. I felt like an idiot when I finally did tune in and discovered that it really was an outstanding comedy, although that didn’t really change my attitude about popular opinion. The great majority just got one right for a change. Even a herd or blind pigs will stumble across the occasional acorn. But it was my innate skepticism and a close examination of liberals values and behaviors that convinced me that the philosophy, whatever its virtues, was largely divorced from reality. So I embraced the dark side.

            Self-examination of the variety you mention can be entertaining, but it probably isn’t often productive. We all have events- large and small, internal and external- that shape our lives. But once the impression is made, it can be very hard to undo the result. We are who we are for a reason, however clear or unclear that may be to us at the moment. Still, it can be interesting to contemplate ‘what-might have-beens’. And I know that it’s sometimes fun for me to try to get inside the head of the person I was at eight, or twelve, or sixteen. At the very least, those excursions can provide some interesting insights for fiction.

            I like your interest in Data’s thought process. When I was growing up I watched a lot of the original “Star Trek” and was fascinated by Spock’s personality and his approach to life. Intentionally or otherwise, I probably internalized at least a little bit of the character’s philosophy. That show, like TNG, was much more than just entertainment.

            The difficulty that either U.S. political party has had gaining dominance is probably responsible for abortions like the ACA. There’s a lot that pundits read into the tendency for voters to support divided government, although I think that’s mostly just because they really don’t know what to expect if they were to give one party the upper hand for a period of time. So when one party does find itself with temporary control of both Congress and the Executive, we end up with hasty and imprudent decisions like ACA or the Iraq War. And when one party has held a temporary control of government, they use just about any tool at their disposal to prolong that power and sustain policies in place so long that it becomes difficult to turn back the clock and undo the damage done by those policies. Which brings me back to my idea of divided government with the balance of power held by a moderate party. There would be more opportunity for action in one direction or the other, as the centrists adopt governing policies under some influence form their liberal or conservative partners, but a strong center of gravity pulling against policy extremes. Again, it’s probably just a pipe dream.

            Your observation about intentions versus results is completely valid. Good intentions may matter after the fact, but in the moment all that really matters is what flows from the behavior. I recall past conversations with colleagues during periods of workplace politics in which I’ve been trying to assess the intent of co-workers. But the inevitable conclusion is that it really doesn’t matter whether or not a co-worker is trying to do harm to my objectives, harm is harm. If you shoot me because you want to hurt me, or if you shoot me because you’re not smart enough to understand the consequences of pointing the gun at me and pulling the trigger, it’s still going to hurt. It’s best to keep those folk at a safe distance, and certainly best not to give them access to the Oval Office.

            I do think Jimmy Carter’s intentions were usually good. He wasn’t a good President, and he is a flawed individual (e.g., stubborn, arrogant, petty and occasionally vindictive) despite his good intentions, but I think he usually means well. To be honest, I’m not quite so certain about President Obama’s intentions. He may be a very decent individual, but there’s enough evidence in his personal history and in his behavior in office to suggest that his intentions are much more self-serving than Carter’s were. But perhaps Obama’s biggest flaw may be that he doesn’t have a very realistic understanding of himself. I think Bill Clinton, for all his personal flaws, actually probably had a fairly reasonable understanding of who he was, making it easier for him to separate himself from his job and to be a good President. Obama may lack that self-awareness, further complicating his ability to lead the country.

            Well, that last bit was just some armchair psychology and perhaps deranged ramblings. But I guess it shouldn’t do any harm. Good talking to you again. Happy April Fools’ Day!

          • grainbirds

            Thanks for the joke, and sorry I did not get back sooner. As it is I’m only going to respond in part right now. I seem to be so tired. Regarding Spock, I never personally found him inspiring because I never liked his supercilious and often judgmental attitude. It actually didn’t make sense to me, because I couldn’t fit a highly evolved philosophy for living with one which also was so utterly lacking in humility. It also seemed to me that after hundreds of years, after having solved the problem of being in danger of all murdering each other, you would think they might have moved on to the next stage, and found a way to incorporate their natural feelings into their lives, instead of rigidly adhering to a policy of unnatural denial of their organic realities.
            I did enjoy him, as I did all the characters. He was wonderful. I liked the way a reviewer described him that was comparing him to the way young Spock is done in the new ST movies. Something about how the current guy lacks the original Spock’s icy irony. He really captured him, and Nimoy’s portrayal. One of my favorite scenes in the old show is where the crew are affected by a virus which makes them essentially drunk on their butts, and Sulu imagines he’s a swashbuckling musketeer and acts out, and once he passes out Spock tells the security guys, “Take D’artagnan here to sick bay.” He did it so perfectly – exactly that icy irony the reviewer described.
            But I do find Data inspirational, for the reasons I said. I agree that the show had a lot to say, and I liked most of what it preached, or offered or suggested, whatever – except that it was abysmally sexist.
            I wasn’t talking so much about coming from a happy place as a mature and rational one. But I’ve learned that includes counting one’s blessings, so it’s a way to happiness. For me, anyway. It’s interesting you mentioned it can be fun to revisit your own past and speculate for fun rather than to second guess. Because whenever I look back, it’s as if I’m not that person any more – it doesn’t seem to be me. Even though I remember thoughts and feelings. Odd, huh?
            I know what you mean about the Cheers example, as far as making assumptions based on a thinking pattern and finding I was wrong. Although the particular pattern of assuming that if it’s popular it will be poor, is not one of them. I can’t think of my own such patterns right now which have me make inaccurate assumptions, but there are or were many. Maybe one will come to me – maybe while I’m engaged in it.
            No harm – always interesting. More later. Take care.

          • sjangers

            Hi, grainbirds. I was never really put off by Spock’s supercilious and judgmental attitude, perhaps because I can be a little supercilious and judgmental myself. I may even have shared the lack of humility. I really enjoyed the character’s intelligence and self-control. I either identified with those characteristics or aspired to them; it’s hard to say which. And ultimately, once viewers identify with a character, it doesn’t matter if the rationale for the character and his behavior is internally consistent. What matters is whether or not the behavior is internally consistent with the viewer’s interpretation of the character and, probably, the viewer’s own characteristics.

            I think I was also impressed by Nimoy as an actor. He managed to convey an awful lot of what was going on inside the character, despite the intrinsic limits of Vulcan self-expression. This manifest in many ways, including Spock’s humor. One discussion I read about Nimoy’s acting, or perhaps just how he had internalized the character so well, identified the way Spock’s internal emotions were manifest in his autonomous reactions. I forget who made the observation, but one of the show’s directors, producers, or editors noted that Spock would almost always swallow convulsively in reaction shots when the Kirk character was in danger. Nimoy claimed he wasn’t aware of the behavior, and critics might claim that it was a flaw in portrayal of a character that was supposed to have such rigid control over emotion, but I thought it was one of many ways that human viewers could identify with the need for the half human character’s feelings to find some sort of outlet. Of course, I really didn’t have much awareness of most of these things at the time the show originally aired, since I was only about six, but that’s sort of my view as it’s developed over time.

            “Mature” and “rational” are good words to describe how I think we should aspire to approach life. But neither word really applied to me on Tuesday. I was far from happy, which meant that I also wasn’t very mature or rational. Hopefully I’m getting better.

            Looking back at oneself is an interesting pastime. I think it’s probably more accurate to say trying to look back at who we were, because we aren’t that person any more, as you’ve observed. The person we are today evolved from that younger version. We may have many characteristics in common with that person, but have become someone different; usually someone we identify with more strongly than, or prefer to, that younger version. That may help explain why some people, particularly younger people, have difficulty looking back at earlier iterations of themselves. For me, I find it interesting to look back at myself as a measure of how I’ve changed, to understand the origins of some of my current characteristics, and to speculate how I might have changed- that is, who I might have become had some things in my past been different. It’s a learning process.

            I’m about a hundred pages into “People of the Lie” (just coming up on narcissism) and am deeply intrigued Peck’s view of evil and what makes a person evil. I’m going to defer any specific observations until I’ve finished reading, except to say that I’m finding quite a bit of common ground with his view of the world and am really engaged in trying to understand his analysis. Thanks for steering me toward this work.

            And I’ll leave it at that for now. I’m sorry to hear you aren’t feeling well. Hopefully it’s just something seasonal. I know that low energy or minor illness isn’t that uncommon as seasons are changing. Write when you feel up to it. Or don’t write if you feel this discussion has run its course. If you don’t continue, I’m sure we’ll bump into each other again at Bernie’s site; perhaps even at Breitbart.

            Take care.

          • grainbirds

            I agree about Nimoy’s performance, and about his implication of things going on with Spock which could not expressed or shown, which is quite a feat of acting. Interesting that his steeping himself in the character would have resulted in his reacting without his even realizing it, as in the swallowing action. And then he did such a good job of letting people see who Spock might have been if he’d allowed himself to be natural. As in the episode where the landing party are affected by some flower on a planet and become carefree and lose their sense of goals and duty. It was poignant, especially at the end, what’s in his voice when he tells the woman he was in love with, “You couldn’t pronounce it,” when she asks him his first name. She was very good. So often the young guest actresses were pretty poor – as bad as the sets. Also the time when Spock thinks Kirk is dead and then Kirk suddenly appears and Spock calls him Jim and is thrilled to find he’s alive. Then he’s ashamed he did so.
            And no one else who has played a Vulcan since has managed to bring it off, for me.
            It was probably healthy of you to identify with someone who knows their value as far as being a useful member of society or a team, or who simply knows they’re good at what they do. I probably overidentified with the emotional stuff, which was one reason I just could not see Spock throwing the hope of happiness away over something I didn’t admire to begin with. For all his iron control and natural courage, I saw it as a weakness. An inability to break away from his indoctrination and see other possibilities. I guess Kirk, McCoy and Spock were foils for each other in some ways, with Kirk being all kinds of passionate and McCoy being the patron saint of old-fashioned, illogical sentimentality with a base in honest compassion.
            I’m more likely to turn into a jerk when I’m angry or resentful than unhappy, but it’s often the same thing, or an overlap.
            I do like to see my progress, which is the best way to view things. It’s best when I manage to self-parent, which for me usually involves applying perspective to my own actions.
            I’m so glad you are getting value from Peck’s book. He’s best known for A Different Drum, which I’d also recommend. People of the Lie is an exercise in his theories about evil which different people would see variously, but A Different Drum is probably universally positive in its effect. BTW, I think you may have misunderstand passive-aggression. It’s the practice of getting revenge on someone who has power over you, or even just annoying them like a mosquito, often done unconsciously, or in a state of denial. It’s done from a state of powerlessness or perceived powerlessness. I’ve done it, and recognized it. It’s more of a woman’s tactic due to out frequent conditions of lesser power. Men feeling weak would be more likely to bluster, because that’s what society sticks men with. IMO.
            Take care!

          • sjangers

            I think Nimoy was a fine actor. It’s a shame that type casting as Spock apparently prevented him from getting more opportunities to demonstrate that ability.

            I think the original Star Trek was outstanding television, but it did suffer from many of the flaws of Sixties production standards. Poor sets and weakly acted, cookie-cutter kinds of roles for guest stars were two of the issues that consistently stood out. I don’t particularly recall the guest star in the episode you reference, but I’m sure she was the exception among a sea of bland or wooden performances.

            Despite the flaws, Star Trek was one show from my youth that has remained with me. I think a big part my fascination was the universal values that the show made us think about, but the other large element was that relationship between Kirk, Spock and McCoy that you mentioned. Such distinct characters made for some interesting dramatic opportunities, but also provided a broader context for viewers to engage with the themes of the show. It has probably been twenty years since I last viewed an episode of the original show. I may just have to track down a few of them to see how the reality of viewing stands up against my memories.

            For most of my life I’ve tried to maintain an even keel, avoiding excursions into deep emotionalism. It’s hard to say which approach makes more sense, since I only have the direct experience of my own life, but I suspect that benefits of either approach can be outweighed by the cost. Reluctance to engage emotions too deeply often closes doors to opportunities, but mitigates against the heavy emotional price we can pay when we commit everything to our goals and fail to achieve them.

            I suppose the best approach for each of us depends on what we’re comfortable with. I have a good friend who enjoys giving me a hard time about the infrequency of my deep emotional engagement. On the other hand, I’ve spent a lot of time helping her cope with the results when she leaps without knowing exactly where she’s likely to land. But she seems happy a fair amount of the time, as am I.

            I’m probably most apt to become a jerk when I’m frustrated, which is probably a better word for how I was feeling last week than unhappy. And that reaction may be linked to my approach to life. I try to maintain an even keel to keep my environment predictable and manageable. When it isn’t, it can become a frustrating experience for me. And if my emotional resources are already taxed, I may lash out. On my better days I withdraw, make sure my thoughts are grounded and my emotions stable, then I re-engage. But not every day can be a good day.

            I’ll have to check out “A Different Drum” next. Universally positive would be good. I set down “People of the Lie” for a few days. It seemed that I was seeing the behaviors of the people Peck was describing in far too many places. I was becoming concerned that it would distort my perspective, so I took a few days off to recover my balance. I think I’m ready to get back into it.

            I’m not sure my reactive behaviors are best describes as passive-aggressive, but that characterization feels close enough for my purposes. Rather than be directly confrontational, sometimes I prefer to use subtle humor and ridicule. The object usually gets the point but has little basis for a negative reaction, since most people wouldn’t understand why my remark is offensive. It’s a way of ‘getting mine back’ without entirely owning the action. It feels close enough to passive aggression for my purposes, although a psychiatrist might give it another diagnosis- and prescribe appropriately.

            The weather is getting warmer here. Spring gardening starts soon. I hope the season is also improving where you are.

            Until next time.

          • grainbirds

            Hi. I’m sorry I haven’t responded in so long. You said that was okay with you. I keep commenting on stories that interest me on BNN and a couple other sites but it’s a real waste – it never seems coherent or worthwhile in retrospect and I don’t think anyone’s interested, and it’s time-consuming. Although I do think that collectively, people giving their opinions and providing info and insights has value.
            I saw you had a discussion with my cyber friend Nick Shaw – I thought that was nice.
            The spring is lovely. It begins with red maple buds and trees that bloom before they leaf out, with white flowers whose petals blow around in the wind like snow. Then the trees leaf out more and more, and flower, and all the bareness is gone and it seems very full.
            I didn’t realize Nimoy was type-cast, although I did wonder why he seemed to disappear. I always think type-casting is so stupid. I always recall how when Bette Midler was so good in “The Rose” that everyone said she was good because the role was so close to her life, simply because she was also a singing star, and I thought that was so stupid also.
            I don’t think I was aware I had the option to control my emotions, but I don’t think I would have wanted to. Our discussion has made me realize what an emotional sort of person I’ve always been. And that that won’t change. An important lesson I learned is that the trick is to have control of one’s reactions to emotion. It’s admirable that you were so far-thinking and in control. I don’t see how you could have lost in being so unless you actually buried or denied emotions sometimes which might have enriched you, like Spock. I agree that it may be a matter of gambling or weighing as to missing something exciting or enriching or avoiding pain or other negatives. It’s interesting that you and your friend are in a way two extremes, who meet in the middle as far as a percentage of happy times.
            I don’t recall seeing Peck’s descriptions in other people, except that my ex and I both saw them in each other. Isn’t that sad?
            Your experiences of passive-aggression are interesting. Mine were much more self-deceiving. It’s self-sabotage which is more of an issue for me now. Weird things like continually somehow forgetting to buy or take vitamins or good face cream. Kind of cruel. I have a book of daily readings which is excerpts from Peck’s books, and one of them I very much like is, “self-discipline is self-love.”
            Take care!

          • sjangers

            I have a reply coming to you that is still awaiting moderation. I don’t know if it’s too long to post automatically, or if this thread is going out of date. If my original response hasn’t posted by tomorrow I’ll try to post it to you in two or three parts.

          • sjangers

            Sorry about the duplication. I tried to post yesterday afternoon and was told that the comment awaiting moderation. When the post hadn’t appeared within the hour I posted it again. I finally went back to John’s original column and it now appears that everything eventually posted. What a mess.

      • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

        This seems to be a huge topic for liberals. Not so much for conservatives.

        I don’t know many conservatives that were confidently predicting a Romney win other than Dick Morris, and he was discredited long before that. Most saw a razor-thin race. Disappointed by the results for sure, but caught totally off guard? No.

  • grainbirds

    Good article. But I guess John Daly is just writing about what seems right to him, not what could ever actually happen.

    We’re talking journalists who buried stories such as the administration’s handling of Bengahzi, and potential downsides of the ACA, and then blamed their political enemies when confronted with this partisan behavior.

    As in, liberal journalists claiming they did not cover those stories because people on the Right lied so much about the stories that the liberal journalists could not discern the stories’ validity. Absolutely craven. And insulting to the public’s intelligence.

    Are such people likely to apologize for slamming Palin and Romney over issues on which the two were later proven accurate? After all, they had elections to win for Barack Obama, and all’s fair in love and war.

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      >>Good article. But I guess John Daly is just writing about what seems right to him, not what could ever actually happen.

      Correct. I don’t expect much from the mainstream media. I’m just pointing out what should be expected of a hypothetical, fair media.

      • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

        … and thanks for the compliment!

        • grainbirds

          Did you mean me? If so you’re welcome. I thought it was excellent. And it was an interesting point about Palin’s reflecting McCain’s views when she made the prediction, because I recall reading Randy Scheunemann who coached her on foreign policy saying that she was anxious to learn McCain’s stands.

          It’s scary to me that there are so many people who actually believe Palin is so stupid that she imagined that being able to see Russia from Alaska qualified her to deal with that country. I mean, doesn’t that make them the stupid ones?

          • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

            Yes, you. Appreciate it!

            Yeah, Palin did make some dumb comments during the campaign, but the Russia remark wasn’t one of them. She was merely throwing out a fact… not bolstering a case for being an expert on foreign policy.

          • grainbirds

            I have trouble figuring her out. But I think her strengths lie in facilitating things, where she is very good, rather than in situations requiring her to process things quickly. I’m always amazed at the people who are able to do that, like Reagan, Cruz and Clinton for example. I don’t think Obama is any good at it at all, and I find it laughable in a depressing sort of way that the liberal media see Obama’s constant pauses as signs of a deep thinker, and Palin’s difficulties in real time discussions as utter stupidity.

            But I was also saying that it’s frightening to me that political operatives (which includes the media) can convince so many people who are no doubt of average to high intelligence, that a successful governor whom a seasoned politician chose as his VP, is so stupid and dysfunctional that she would think being able to see a country could equate to being adept at dealing with its politics and leader.

            And I’m impressed that she could hold her own at all against the aggressive sandbagging efforts of Charles Gibson and Katie Couric, who were actually looking for every opportunity to make her look bad in many ways. Not only was she a newbie, but no other politician had ever faced such a press – one which was not tough and on point, but instead, determined to decimate her brand.

            I found Gibson’s efforts to make the public view her as a theocrat particularly despicable, and I was impressed by her handling of that. I think she was on secure ground there because all she had to do was refute his implications with the truth. She explained what she had meant about the Lincoln quote which he had taken out of context.

      • grainbirds

        I thought so. In a way it’s a conundrum, because if the media were fair, the situation would not exist in the first place, so there would be nothing for them to apologize for.

        • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

          Yep.

          • grainbirds

            What a shame it’s not all some exercise we’ve been assigned to review in a giant philosophy class.

  • Brian Fr Langley

    Limerick?
    .
    O’er the ramparts in Alaska it’s Russia they see,
    you can dam near hit them while taking a pee,
    though she they quite scorned,
    Palin did have us warned,
    Yet I “TOLD YOU SO” comes with no glee.

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      Nice!

  • Brian Fr Langley

    Limerick?
    .
    The strong man he’s breaking into my house,
    who knew he’d be, such a big louse,
    to give me a rest,
    I prepared for the best,
    now I sit here a quiver like timorous mouse.

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      :)

  • Brian Fr Langley

    While the Obama administration has got the “walk softly part”, they’ve totally forgot about the “and carry a big stick” part?

    • grainbirds

      I don’t know about that – the stick he brandished at me looked big enough.

      Sincerely,

      Bibi Netanyahu

      • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

        So true.

        • Brian Fr Langley

          So true indeed, I’ll bet he’s still shook up.

          • grainbirds

            But not in love.

    • http://johndalybooks.com/ John Daly

      I agree. This whole “reset” policy has been a predictable failure. I love how John Kerry didn’t even want to acknowledge the whole “reset” thing when interviewed the other day.