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Pickin' It

Saturday, October 25, 2008 by Michael Reynolds

No guts no glory. 10 days out. I'm bettin there is no "Bradley effect." I'm betting Obama really does have a ground game. And I'm betting the American people have decided it won't be McCain-Palin..

Obama: 55
McCain: 44
Other: 1

In the electoral college, a landslide 396 for the O man.

All of New England, the Northeast and the west coast. CO, NM, NV, MT and ND in the mountains and desert. The Midwest including MO and IN as well as OH. VA, NC, FL and yes, even GA. Hawaii comes in last.

He will not get a 60 seat Senate.

Bold, a little bit crazy, and best of all I have no money riding on this.

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Oh, Boys?

by Michael Reynolds

Police reacting to the, "poor little white girl beaten up by one of Obama's big, black bucks," story that much of the hard right gobbled up like candy:

"The backwards 'B' was the obvious thing to us when we first saw her. Something just didn't seem right," Assistant Chief Bryant said. "And, first of all, with our local robbers, they take the money [and flee]. They're in and out. They're not stopping to do artwork."

Additionally, said Lt. Kevin Kraus, investigators were struck "that it was a superficial, pristine 'B,' which seemed highly inconsistent with the story she reported that it was a violent attack, basically in which she was fighting for her life."

And yet, over at StubbornFacts, they are still defending a decision to instantly take down my skeptical comment.

Here's the comment in question, along with the lame explanation appended by an SF editor:

It's a hoax.

The scar was not made by a knife. And it's a mirror image. So either the robber was remarkably careful with his blade and dyslexic, or it's a hoax.

Update by Pat: Michael's post was originally removed because at the time he posted it, there was insufficient evidence to determine whether the young woman was lying or not. A comment to the effect that there were inconsistencies would have been fine. When it turned out to in fact be a hoax, I decided it was appropriate to show for the record that Michael accurately predicted what subsequently turned out to be the case... however unsupported by the evidence it was at the time he made the comment.
So by the standards of the inaptly-named "Stubborn Facts," there was sufficient evidence to allege that a political hate crime had been committed.

And there was sufficient evidence that the failure of the MSM to be fooled was itself evidence of media bias.

But there was insufficient evidence for me to question the story. Right. Even though I was correct. And even though my suspicions were precisely those of the police. And even some right-wing blogs. Uh huh.

I note that some of the less party-blind editors at SF are now trying to walk this debacle back.

Here's a suggestion: stop trying to convince people you were right all along, somehow, in some inexplicable way. Start by saying: we screwed up. We fell for a hoax. On the basis of that hoax we made various accusations and generalizations. When we were warned it was a hoax we refused even to consider the possibility and made sure no one else visiting our site could consider it, either. And now we're justifying our actions with specious logic.

One more genuine and heartfelt piece of advice: don't be McCains. He had integrity and threw it away. You all have intelligence and talent, so don't pervert your reason in the service of partisanship. You are better than this.

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Yes: A Hoax

Friday, October 24, 2008 by Michael Reynolds

So, remember the attack on the McCain volunteer by a very large black man who was infuriated by her McCain bumper sticker? The one where he carved a "B" into her face with a knife? The one I said was probably a hoax?

Turns out it was a hoax. Duh.

How easy was it to guess that this was a hoax? Michelle Malkin figured it out. That's how easy. Even some of her commenters -- as intellectually deficient a bunch of people as you'll find anywhere -- figured it out.

But StubbornFacts.us did not. When I posted a comment very early on that said this was almost certainly a hoax, the comment was instantly deleted.

But Simon at SF wasn't content to run with this Drudge-pimped hoax, he just had to use this transparent nonsense to attack the dreaded MSM:

See this story on CNN, anyone? No? How about in the New York Times... No? Well, to be fair, they're far too busy - there was a McCain rally somewhere and someone might have suggested Obama was palling around with terrorists, and there's stories about Sarah Palin's clothes to write... They're just swamped. Actually, that isn't fair; it's not that the media isn't interested in the story, the Obama campaign just haven't told them how they'd like it covered yet.

Or maybe they didn't cover it because it was obviously bullshit.

The real question is: why was my comment casting doubt on the story deleted in such a hurry? I understand Simon is pissed at me for being right about the scattershot and downright weird attacks on Obama, right that the GOP's all-negative/no positive attack would fail, right about the questionable morality of his spreading the idiotic Michelle Obama "whitey tape" smear, right about the dishonesty of Republican's phony outrage tactics, right that Sarah Palin would be a gift to Democrats and, well, just generally right.

I understand I'm irritating. What with being right all the time. And not terribly humble about it.

But if you're spreading a story, and learn that there are some pretty obvious doubts about that story, and hastily remove a perfectly mild comment that points out the F*CKING OBVIOUS . . . excuse me . . . that draws a reasonable inference from the visible evidence, what does that say?

Now, Simon says:

And: looks like it was a hoax. But two things to say: that doesn't vitiate the media's failure to cover it before (they will certainly do so now, because whereas before it might have reflected badly on Obama and will now be made to reflect badly on McCain), and I would maintain that the immediate chorus of doubt was an inappropriate reaction. What is incredible here is that someone would fake it, not the original story.

No, the fact that anyone with a pair of eyes and a functioning bullshit detector could guess that this was in fact, bullshit, does not mean the New York Times should not have splashed it all over page one. They should have reported a story they easily guessed was bullshit. They should have reported a story they strongly suspected to be false.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, would show that the MSM are reliable.

Tada! Brilliant!

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Thursday, October 23, 2008 by Michael Reynolds

Bet you a buck it's a hoax. Does that "B" look like it was cut with a knife? And it's reversed -- like someone scratching it on while looking in a mirror. A careful, dyslexic robber?

If not I'm going to feel like a cynical bastard. But I think, "Nah." My intuition is that we have a woman punched by her boyfriend and looking for some drama. No: of course it's not a campaign ploy, I'm guessing a lone, disturbed woman.

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The Best Blog You May Not Be Reading

by Michael Reynolds

Is right here.

Start with this piece. It's passionate, witty, on-point and principled, which describes the whole blog. (Except for the sports posts. My position on sports is clear: I don't care who did what with the ball.)

If, and I hope when, the GOP sheds the looney religious right and refocuses on what I think are the party's core raisons d'etre: free people, free markets, strong defense, caution in foreign policy, a decent respect for tradition, and reverence for the constitution, they'll get my vote.

There remain two reasons I cannot abide the GOP: the dog-whistle racism, and the alliance between the party and religious bigots determined to enforce a two-tier citizenship in which we are all equal so long as we are conservative Christians. There is no tent big enough for me to fit in with them.

But real, actual conservatives? That would be a very different story.

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Palin: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 by Michael Reynolds

I'm starting to love Sarah Palin. She's really all the entertainment you need. Latest fun? The $150,000 shopping spree.

Since her selection as John McCain's running mate, the Republican National Committee spent more than $150,000 on clothing and make-up for Gov. Sarah Palin, her husband, and even her infant son, it was reported on Tuesday evening.

The champion of small town values, the foe of wasteful spending, the defender of Joes (Sixpack and The Plumber,) apparently did her shopping in those most budgest-conscious and pro-American of America-loving small town venues: Sachs and Neiman's.

For those of you not familiar with the two stores in question, a single sock costs what you spend on your monthly car payment. You want a whole pair of socks? Bring your Krugerrands.

Now, I'll tell you something: I'm fairly hard to shock on clothing expenses because I love my Zanella slacks and my Zegna suits and my Bruno Magli shoes. (None of which I actually wear, by the way. Mostly I wear Gap jeans and Eddie Bauer t-shirts. Can I get a little product placement money, here?) But even I don't know how to piss away 150 large on clothing.

A hundred and fifty thousand dollars? Seriously? Are you insane?

You know how much clothing you could buy at Wal-Mart for 150,000 bucks? All of it.

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Republicans: They Aren't All Limbaugh (Updated)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008 by Michael Reynolds

I have taken down the video because the goddamned thing starts playing as soon as the page loads which is annoying beyond belief. The link is here. If you haven't seen it, you should.)

Republicans are not all Palin, not all Limbaugh, not all Karl Rove. When we get done destroying the GOP in two weeks it will be good to see them come back better and stronger. For too long it's been like watching a friend with a drinking problem. You know he's the only one who can decide to fix himself. You know if he ever does he'll be formidable.

Seriously, watch it. It'll make you remember why Americans are still the coolest people on earth.

h/t stubbornfacts.us

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Time For Patriotism From Superpatriots

by Michael Reynolds

Ken Adelman, solid gold neo-con, lifelong Republican, somewhere to the right of Genghis Khan, is voting for Barack Obama:

When the economic crisis broke, I found John McCain bouncing all over the place. In those first few crisis days, he was impetuous, inconsistent, and imprudent; ending up just plain weird. Having worked with Ronald Reagan for seven years, and been with him in his critical three summits with Gorbachev, I’ve concluded that that’s no way a president can act under pressure.

Second is judgment. The most important decision John McCain made in his long campaign was deciding on a running mate.

That decision showed appalling lack of judgment. Not only is Sarah Palin not close to being acceptable in high office—I would not have hired her for even a mid-level post in the arms-control agency. But that selection contradicted McCain’s main two, and best two, themes for his campaign—Country First, and experience counts. Neither can he credibly claim, post-Palin pick.

So far we have Matthew Dowd, George Will, Christopher Hitchens, Kathleen Parker, David "she's a fatal cancer" Brooks, Peggy Noonan, Colin Powell and now Ken Adelman, (and I'm sure I'm forgetting a few,) all saying what I've said from the start, and what has been obvious from the start: Palin was a disastrous choice that laid bare John McCain's unsuitability for the White House.

The more dishonest Republicans want to keep pretending it's all some conspiracy by elitist Democrats. Democrats like Ken Adelman:

Ken Adelman is a lifelong conservative Republican. Campaigned for Goldwater, was hired by Rumsfeld at the Office of Economic Opportunity under Nixon, was assistant to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld under Ford, served as Reagan’s director of arms control, and joined the Defense Policy Board for Rumsfeld’s second go-round at the Pentagon, in 2001. Adelman’s friendship with Rumsfeld, Cheney, and their wives goes back to the sixties, and he introduced Cheney to Paul Wolfowitz at a Washington brunch the day Reagan was sworn in.

Only dishonesty, party loyalty and sheer denial are holding back the coming flood on Palin. For every Powell or Adelman willing to step up and tell the truth there are thousands who would rather play "let's pretend," or think party loyalty comes before patriotism, but who know, nevertheless, that this was a fatally bad decision by McCain.

The full truth of what people on the right believe about Palin won't come out until the election is done. And then you will read and hear a tidal wave of disgust from the GOP as they finally confess what we all know they know.

That will be a lot of fun for us all, but we'll remember those who put country first and told the truth, and those who cowered and dissembled and hid behind party loyalty until it was politically safe to speak up.

(all bolds mine.)

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Dear Markos: You're Not A CIA Agent

Monday, October 20, 2008 by Michael Reynolds

One of the great things for me about the coming election -- an election that I believe will leave the GOP flat on its ass and gasping for breath -- is that I will then have more opportunity to hammer Democrats. Until that holy work is done, until The Creature Who Ate John McCain is flushed down his own gutter to join the appalling Mr. Bush and all his appalling cronies, I feel I should mostly stick to beating on Republicans.

However. There's the DailyKos.

This one is going down to the wire, guys. And if you want to talk about crushing the GOP, eliminating their highest-ranking leader, and perhaps the only one left who can hold their coalition together, would be a stunner -- a true leadership decapitation.

No. Uh uh. Look, "Kos," I'm obviously as fond as anyone of dramatic, over-the-top language. But "eliminating their highest-ranking leader" and "decapitation?" These are terms that edge into military slash espionage language and imply killing. "Decapitation" is a term of art in the military for killing top members of an enemy regime. Killing.

If Republicans were using terms like that about Obama (and they are,) we'd all be screaming. It may be a fine line, and I've no doubt crossed it myself at some point, but that doesn't excuse using the language of assassination to talk about an American election. Smack 'em, screw 'em, fuck 'em up, kick their asses, whatever. But "eliminating" and "decapitating?" There's fun, and then there's creepy.

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Okay, Maybe Just A Teensy Race Problem In The GOP.

Sunday, October 19, 2008 by Michael Reynolds

From the comments at Michelle Malkin, despite her attempt to warn her readers away from blaming the Powell endorsement on race:

Is this endorsement a surprise to anyone? Colin Powell was the first affirmative action poser child for every office he ever held. He is certainly in favor of the first affirmative action president.

“It’s not about race”
“I read Playboy for the articles”
“The check is in the mail”
“Really, I didn’t know that was your sister”
“You are pretty on the inside”

No I am sorry, it is all about race, and finally Powell came out of the race closet for all to see.

What an a**hole you are, Powell. Of course your decision is based soley on race.

Hmmm maybe but race is certainly a factor.

Have to disagree with you Michelle. If Obama were a white liberal I dont think you would have seen this. It may not have been the main reason that (newbie RINO) Powell made this endorsement, but I believe it is a big part of it.

Its funny becuase he was a house nigger for such a long time according to his race. maybe he’s trying to fit in now. He is a RINO, and I am not suprised to here this news. Plus ws he any good at what he did? History be the judge.

The ONLY reason Powell is voting for Obama is color… period. The fact that Obama is going to follow anti-white, liberation theology is just icing on the cake.
Most blacks hate whites… it is axiomatic, and the liberals are opening up the chicken coop and maybe the prisons and definately my wallet.

I haven’t had a chance to read all the comments so someone may have brought this up already, but I think Powell did this for 2 reasons: #1 its about race and #2 he has always been regarded as a “white” african-american just like Condi Rice. This is his chance to break out of that and be more “black”.

Looks like Powell is acting like a “typical” black man.
I expected nothing more from him.

His specialty was, frankly, using his race and being a yes-man to whoever held power of his promotion.

At this point he is simply jumping on the bandwagon to support a fellow African American and regain his popularity with the media. Is this racists? By every indicator, provided by the MSM, Yes it would be charged as definite racism provided BO was a Republican. However, BO is a Socialist, ergo a charge of racism is not allowed to be levied.

I now put Powell in the same category as Oprah and many other prominent blacks. Do not do what is good for your country, do what is good for your race.

I think that to suggest that Powell was the first “affirmative action” Join Chief of Staff of our armed forces is a valid one.

I dare say Colin Powell support for Obama is about race. Why else would he come right out and say it isn’t about race. That is, by definition, the underhanded delivery of “RAAAAACIST!!!”.
BTW: Does Harry Belafonte still think Colin Powell is a House N****R? Or is he now a House N***AH?

Frankly, I think Powell is doing this to save his own skin (the fact that its got as much melanin as Obama’s might not be good enough for the coming regime).

The Republican base is rascist? Colin Powell’s decision to vote for Obama is purely a rascist move. There is no other reason when 92+% of the Black population are voting for Obama.

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Nope. No Racism In The GOP

by Michael Reynolds

Rush Limbaugh reacts to Powell's endorsement of Obama in an email to Politico:

Rush Limbaugh said Colin Powell's decision to get behind Barack Obama appeared to be very much tied to Obama's status as the first African-American with a chance to become president.

"Secretary Powell says his endorsement is not about race," Limbaugh wrote in an email. "OK, fine. I am now researching his past endorsements to see if I can find all the inexperienced, very liberal, white candidates he has endorsed. I'll let you know what I come up with."
The only possible reason Colin Powell could have for endorsing Barack Obama is that they share a skin tone. Thanks, Rush. Thanks for being so wonderfully overt.

In fact, for those who didn't watch the clip, Powell said that he had heard senior figures in the GOP expressing anti-Muslim bigotry. But of course there is no bigotry in the GOP.

For the record, I think the percentage of racists in the GOP is very small. I think the same of the Democratic party. The difference is that the GOP profits -- knowingly, deliberately -- from its bigots. They hold political power because of the bigot vote in some areas, in some states. It was a choice they made with Nixon's southern strategy. They use the dog whistle racism of people like Limbaugh to wink and nod to the kind of people that decent Republicans would not have at their dinner table.

I look forward to watching the GOP take a beating in a couple of weeks. They need to be destroyed. But they need to be destroyed only so that they can be rebuilt.

We need a healthy Republican party. We need a Republican party that is about free people, free markets, skepticism about government, caution in foreign policy and a strong defense. What we don't need is a Republican party of religious intolerance, dog-whistle racism, homophobia and fiscal and foreign policy recklessness.

The job of the Republican party is to say, "Hey, hold up there a minute, Sparky, and let's think about this for a while." That doesn't make for entertaining talk radio, but one of the political parties has to play the stuffy grown up role, and God knows it won't be the Democrats.

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Powell Endorses Muslim Terrorist

by Michael Reynolds

Colin Powell, Vietnam war hero, army general, former National Security adviser to Ronald Reagan, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs under George H.W. Bush, former Secretary of State to George W. Bush today endorsed a Muslim terrorist as President of the United States.

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