New Blog: Appeal to Heaven

Appeal to HeavenOver the years and months, What The Crap has gradually become more and more serious. This is perfectly acceptable, as blogs naturally evolve over time. Still – I have been meaning to create a space devoted to respectfully discussing deeper issues at greater length. Thus:

Appeal To Heaven

Appeal to Heaven will also certainly evolve over time. My initial goal is to clearly communicate conservative ideas and discuss the philosophy of liberty.

Please check it out and let me know what you think!!

PS – What The Crap will still be a place for posting random thoughts, videos, and other stuff I come across. Enjoy.


Obama’s Half-hour Infomercial: If you vote for me, all of your wildest dreams will come true

Yeah, that pretty much sums it up

Naturally, On Net Neutrality – Government Fails: Especially Joe Biden

Wait – what the crap is this all about?

First of all – what is Net Neutrality? I think the best way to describe net neutrality to a layperson is to first establish some groundwork. (If you already understand Net Neutrality skip down to ‘Political Implications’) Here are two different concepts:

  1. A Utility Service (e.g. electricity, phone)
  2. The Service Usage (the devices using electricity – or the conversations over the phone lines)

It is vitally important to understand that the two items are not the same thing. You may be thinking – well, duh – of course they aren’t the same thing, but the foundation of arguments around Net Nuetrality rely on this understanding. Again – here’s a basic analogy:

I pay the electric company for the amount (volume) of electricity I use. I do not pay the electric company based on what I happen to use the electricity for. Whether I am simply plugging in a clock/radio – or I am playing Mario tunes with a Tesla Coil, the electric company is only charging me for the amount of electricity I use (very little with the radio, quite a bit with the Tesla Coil).

Again – Utility Provider does not equal Service Usage.

Net Neutrality is basically legislation that applies the same definitions to internet bandwidth service. I pay Comcast a certain amount to provide me with an agreed upon amount of bandwidth service. I do not pay Comcast based on what I use that amount of service for.

Yeah great…and I should give a crap because…?

You should care because many Internet Service Providers are trying to change this definition with the strong-arm of government. Essentially – they are attempting to remove ‘Net Neutrality’ and define the two concepts (service provider – usage) as one. What Service Providers want to do is to be able to, not only charge you for how much service you use – but also, to charge you for what you use that service for.

For instance, Comcast already attempts to charge you more for having multiple computers connected to your cable modem. The question is – why? Let’s say I am paying for 5 Megabits (mbs) of service (I am simplifying the technical jargon so forget about uploading/downloading speed, etc). I should have 5 Megabits of service, regardless of how many computers I hook up to it.

It’s much worse than this though because, not only do Service Providers want to control what devices you hook to your service – the also want to control what types of content you transfer over their network. What the crap is that? I am paying for 5 Megabits of service –  End of discussion. As long as I don’t exceed that amount – or do something destructive to their network (this would probably happen in my Tesla Coil project above) – how do they get to decide what I do with the service I pay for? 5mbs = 5mbs, period. They are service providers – NOT content controllers. This would be analogous to the phone company charging me based on what topics I discuss on the phone.

Again – the two concepts: Service Provider and Usage are not the same thing.

Obviously – the reason that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) want to do this is because they want to charge you differently for certain specific types of service usage

This brings up the issue of network ‘overbooking’ and ‘tiered internet’.

Let’s say Comcast provides you with 5Mbs (megabits) of service. They are banking on the fact that once in a while you are on your computer, checking ESPN, or email – or whatever. This of course only uses a tiny amount of bandwidth, given you are essentially paying for 100% constant 5Mbs of service. This is why the Comcast fine print really reads “up to 5Mbs.”  

The problem is that current internet technological advances have brought about things that use much more bandwidth at a much more consistent rate (unlike the once in a while ‘getting on email’) such as VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol – basically transmitting voice data over a network), streaming video services, and Bit-Torrent and file sharing (torrents work by connecting a swarm of users together to share content – thus increasing the speed of transfers since there are many sources to send and receive data from, rather than one or two). These technologies and services obviously use much more bandwidth than the occasional user getting on ‘teh Internetz’ to ‘do the computer.’

In short – internet and device technological advances have out paced the network providers (a prime example of the ultimate free market provided by the internet) who have actually over-promised users about their internet service. The simple fact is that Comcast can’t even begin to provide 5Mbs of service to all of its users. So where do the service providers turn to? The government (more on this in the next section).

Next, we have the idea of Tiered Internet:

Certain types high bandwidth network content would be appropriated to a different (more expensive) tier of service provision however the Internet Service Providers sees fit. At this point we have just breached the divide between service provider, and content – creating a sort of middleman. In a crappy way – the ISPs would be able to choose what content fits into the higher tiers and what belongs in lower ones – and charge accordingly.

Many people (including myself, who work in the online software industry) see this as a huge impediment on the free market nature of the internet – as innovative internet content providers such as YouTube, Google, Hulu, or services like Bit-Torrent could end up at the mercy of the internet service providers (two very different industries).

Obviously, there could be a serious stifling impact on advancement of online companies and technology – not to mention a detrimental regulatory effect on the internet free market, imposed by the service provider (who exist in a different market).

Political Implications

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I generally take a conservative stance and am a huge proponent of free markets and limited government. It seems like many in government, especially conservatives are touchy about what they perceive to be ‘government regulation’ of the free market. In my view – Net Neutrality does not violate these free market ideas, In fact – quite the reverse is true, and I will explain why.

In the case of Net Neutrality – opponents that use the ‘free market’ argument usually make a case along these lines: “Well, the service providers own the data lines – so they should be free to do whatever they want with them.” Normally I might agree with this – except, arguably the Internet is more of a Service/Utility than anything else. More importantly – Net Neutrality is simply a principal that defines business types, and not really some sort of governmental regulatory meddling. (Not to mention – the un-regulated internet is itself, a prime example of successful laissez-faire capitalism in a free market system.)

In fact – it is partly the governments fault, in my opinion, for fostering opposition to Net Neutrality. For instance -the legal system has foolishly attacked network service providers for ‘supporting’ illegal internet activity (usage) – such as illegal file sharing. In doing so – they are incorrectly presuming that the two concepts of Net Neutrality, are one and the same. This would be like suing the water company over someone who drowns a child in bathtub water.

What the government needs to do is fairly simple: properly define the two concepts of Net Neutrality. In doing so – it must grant service providers with immunity from legal proceedings with regard to the usage of their services. Also – it should define Internet Access as a bandwidth (or time) based service – not a content service. Note that this doesn’t require some huge new government bureaucracy – it simply demands a proper legal definition.

Finally – it bears mentioning that it is a misconception that conservatives are 100% anti any sort of government programs or regulations. Obviously – if that were the case – they would be anti-government. (Another important distinction is that corporations are not necessarily ideological -neither liberal, nor conservative- but, as in the case of Net Neutrality – are instead opportunistic). There clearly need to be some laws in place to protect competition in a free market – such as the one created by the internet. Otherwise you open up the playing field to ‘crony capitalism‘ which essentially eliminates real competition, and thus is a destructive force to the fundamentals of a free market. Essentially, without Net Neutrality, there would be blending of two different industries – one infrastructure, and one data.

But what about situations of national security?

The nature of national security situations and legislation are vastly complex, so the following are simply some of my thoughts:

The only case where the ISPs should be requested to hand over any sort of user information should be a the situation where the government has tracked communication from an identified threat to a certain location or person. Even in this case – I don’t think the ISP should be allowed to record, log, or be required to hand over any information other than location and perhaps usage amounts. Location and Usage Amounts are clearly within the jurisdiction of a service provider – so that only seems fair. Neither should the ISP be held legally responsible for the content of the users transmissions unless there is clear evidence that the ISP had anything to do with the particular users involved other than providing them with service.

In other civil cases I think there are plenty of ways that the Justice Department could track illegal activity – but this should not involve the service providers.

Essentially – the service providers should not have any business meddling with the content transmitted over their networks. I probably sound like a broken record, but I can’t repeat this enough.

So we should like Joe Biden. I mean – he’s probably pro-government right?

Not so fast.

In the midst of the torrents (no pun intended) of glistening putrescent horse excrement Hollywood, the media, and the Obama campaign have been hosing Sarah Palin with 24/7, there is one man whose record has quietly been ignored (ok fine…one man besides Senator Obama). That would be Senator Joe Biden.

What is his record with regard to Net Neutrality? To put it bluntly, it completely sucks. Consider the following less-than-sunny appraisal from Gizmodo:

Maybe you don’t care about the doings in Washington, but you may want to know that Biden considers a lot of what you do care about criminal activity. Here’s what I’m talking about:

• He asked Congress to spend $1 billion to monitor peer-to-peer activity. (In fairness, much of this is to prevent child pornography, but the tactic is apparently a little blunt.)

• Two Biden bills have been explicitly anti-encryption, because you know, encryption makes it hard for the FBI to read people’s e-mails.

• He has expressed support for internet taxes and internet filtering in schools and libraries.

• The RIAA seems to be one of his best buddies: Biden sponsored a bill that would restrict recording of songs from satellite and net radio, and another one that would make it a felony to “trick” a computer into playing back unauthorized songs or running bootlegged videogames. That latter one died when Verizon, Microsoft, Apple, eBay and Yahoo all argued against it.

• Biden was one of just four senators invited to attend a celebration of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act hosted by the MPAA’s Jack Valenti and the RIAA’s Hillary Rosen, two of American file-sharer’s most wanted.

• When he was asked in 2006 about proposing net-neutrality laws, he said there was no need, since any bit-filtering violations would provoke such a huge public ruckus they’d have to hold congressional hearings anyway—and they’d be standing-room only.


If you think that’s dire – try this article from Yahoo News:

By choosing Joe Biden as their vice presidential candidate, the Democrats have selected a politician with a mixed record on technology who has spent most of his Senate career allied with the FBI and copyright holders, who ranks toward the bottom of CNET’s Technology Voters’ Guide, and whose anti-privacy legislation was actually responsible for the creation of PGP

Also, check out Biden’s voting record at the CNET Technology Vote. 

Basically – it’s a bipartisan FAIL when it comes to Net Neutrality. McCain’s also sucks, Obama’s is about 50%, and Palin’s is unknown. Clearly neither ticket is all that hot on this issue – but this should come as no surprise to conservatives like myself. Again, government fails to understand and keep up with free market innovations. I never saw that coming…(cough *sarcasm* cough)

The issue here for conservatives (as well as others) is that Net Neutrality is not about government messing with the free markets. Internet providers did not create the online free market – they created the technology that supports it. Like I mentioned above – Net Neutrality is about a legal distinction between service providers and content, not a new government bureaucracy. In effect – the advances of technology created the ultimate free market online. This is similar to the way that the provision of electricity to homes created a a whole new market for electrical devices. A strong argument can be made that the proper definition of Net Neutrality actually protects the laissez-faire capitalism of the online free market.

The government needs to acknowledge the creation of the internet free market – and protect it. That’s what Net Neutrality is all about. You should contact your senators and representatives, regardless of political party, and clarify what this is all about.

Further Questions

Sean brought up some great questions in the comments that I’m elevating into this post (as if it wasn’t long enough…ha! Complex issue though – needs much discussion.)

The issue with tiering the Internet is a huge concern of mine personally. As an entrepreneur who plans to make most of the money in my lifetime from Internet related ventures, I do not want to have to get in bed with Comcast or whoever the *service providers* might be to make sure that my product gets delivered with equal emphasis as CNN, ESPN, or whoever is already part of the party.

I also greatly am troubled by the call to end encryption by the FBI (as reported). Encryption is very important to a lot of the technologies that are developed and I personally don’t want anybody to sniff my emails/credit cards.

What do you think of city governments becoming more responsible for acting as ISP’s? It seems that a city could ding each of its citizens with a little bit of a tax hike and cut out the Comcast & Time Warners altogether… Or is your point that the ISP’s are not the enemy but rather the government and its inability to define the rules?

As far as city run internet service goes – I think it is kind of a double-edged sword. The obvious advantage would be the universal access, and certainly (perhaps not though…) a more clear definition between service and content. However – as in other government solutions, there are many potential downsides.

For one – anything powered by tax dollars become involuntary. You will be paying for a service – simply because it exists – regardless of quality. This could have serious ramifications, especially with a service as technical as internet connectivity. (Low speeds in your neck of town? Highly unlikely your taxes with reflect that) A government solution (similar to ‘crony capitalism’) effectively eliminates competition and choice. Sure – you could say you get some choice, such as a vote on the program every couple of years, but contrast that with our current system which constitutes a voluntary vote-with-dollars each month. (I hire Comcast, bums that they are, to provide me with internet service – and I can fire them at will.)

Perhaps you could argue for a government solution, along-side private service providers. This is problematic also because the tax funding the government ISP would then have to become voluntary – giving people an option to pay for the city service vs. the private service. Or it wouldn’t and you would just have to pay for both.

I want to reiterate that I’m in no way trying to make a case that Comcast, Time Warner and others are some shining example of free market perfection. (Actually – I think that they, in many ways are attempting to subvert free market competition.) To answer your last question – I think both parties are to blame. Private ISPs are opportunistically trying to take over and control the market – mainly because the government has failed to properly define what the internet is. (clearly – The Internet != internet access.)

What the government can and should do is make sure that there are clear and fair rules/laws governing the internet service market – mostly defining internet service as one industry, wholly separated from the actual internet entity (content). Most importantly – like I mentioned above – the government must acknowledge that the internet is itself a free marketplace outside the jurisdiction of the internet service providers.

Finally – the government should do everything in it’s power to encourage competition in the internet service industry. It should be wary of crony capitalism and regional monopolies. If it is going to allow a giant like Comcast, then it should be equally welcoming and encouraging to competitors like Verizon FIOS, etc… not allowing ‘deals’ where a certain provider is granted exclusive access to a certain area. The more service options local citizens are able to choose from, the better.

Oh yeah – and the whole ‘end encryption’ movement is completely nonsensical. Internet Data Security is a crucial facet for internet market success. Clearly – the arguments for encryption are legion. If the FBI is concerned about monitoring illegal online activity – trying to do away with encryption is about as foolish a concept as gun control. You universally punish every responsible user, for a small % of miscreants. The FBI needs to look elsewhere because ending encryption is a ludicrous solution to the problem.

Anti-Palin Astroturfers, You Just Got Dominated

Astroturfing in American English is a neologism for formal publirelations campaigns in politics and advertising which seek to create the impression of being spontaneous “grassroots” behavior, hence the reference to the artificial grass, AstroTurf.”Wikipedia

Here’s the intro from Michelle (or you can skip this and read the full outline here):

A collaborative investigative effort by our friends at The Jawa Report to expose an apparently astroturfed, anti-Sarah Palin smear campaign seems to have caused late-night panic in Barack Obama-linked p.r. circles.


First, read this. Read the whole thing. Rusty Shackleford — with help from Jane of Armies of Liberation, Stable Hand, the Jawa team, Dan RiehlAce of Spades, and Patterico – traced a Palin-bashing YouTube video to a Democrat public relations firm, Winner and Associates, and one of its employees, Ethan S. Winner. They believe the voiceover for the ad — which spreads the lie that Sarah Palin belonged to a fringe third party, the Alaska Independence Party — was done by a professional whose voice they believe was also featured in several Obama ads and other spots produced by Obama top strategist and astroturfer extraordinaire David Axelrod’s firm. 

The Bottom Line from the Rusty’s investigation:

While not conclusive, evidence suggests a link to the Barack Obama campaign. Namely:

* Evidence suggests that a YouTube video with false claims about Palin was uploaded and promoted by members of a professional PR firm.

* The family that runs the PR firm has extensive ties to the Democratic Party, the netroots, and are staunch Obama supporters.

* Evidence suggests that the firm engaged in a concerted effort to distribute the video in such a way that it would appear to have gone viral on its own. Yet this effort took place on company time.

* Evidence suggests that these distribution efforts included actions by at least one employee of the firm who is unconnected with the family running the company.

* The voice-over artist used in this supposedly amateur video is a professional.

* This same voice-over artist has worked extensively with David Axelrod’s firm, which has a history of engaging in phony grassroots efforts, otherwise known as “astroturfing.”

* David Axelrod is Barack Obama’s chief media strategist.

* The same voice-over artist has worked directly for the Barack Obama campaign.

This suggests that false rumors and outright lies about Sarah Palin and John McCain being spread on the internet are being orchestrated by political partisans and are not an organic grassroots phenomenon led by the left wing fringe.

Here’s the best part: IT’S A TRAP!!! Blogger Ace of Spades tipped the Obama campaign that a major story was about to drop about astroturfing:

Barack Obama and the DNC watch this blog. And I’ve put them on notice since this afternoon that a story about them was coming.

Within an hour of the story being posted, the videos began coming down. Within 90 minutes they were all down.

That’s a pretty fast response time. I didn’t mention Winner & Associates in my hints. So why would they be on notice?

I only mentioned Axelrod and Obama.

Fedpapers sums up the great ‘dissapearing’:

Ace warned about a major story breaking from Rusty, and even tipped people off to the approximate time it would be published. All they did was sit and wait for the expose. AJ’s right. They read it, realized they got caught, and immediately set about the task of covering their tracks. The problem is that people like Ace, Dan Riehl, andMichelle Malkin are night owls when it comes to major news. If this had been pure conjecture with no back up evidence, they would have shut their computers off and gone to bed. But the evidence Rusty provided was enough to prompt them to keep an eye on the YouTube accounts. At 12:42 AM Ace noted that “eswinner” logged into his YouTube accountBy 4:38 AM, all of the “winner” accounts were gone. Ace even noted that he didn’t mention Winner and Associates in his initial report of the scoop coming out. Obama campaign people were obviously watching to see which one of their stealth cronies was about to get exposed. Ace also notes that the KosKiddie who urged the scorched earth viral video astroturfing has been busy scrubbing the DailyKos diaries of his/her suggested strategy. Searching for it on the Kos site is futile because it’s gone. Um, note to the KosKiddie “geekesque” — you can delete the diary, but you can’t delete the cached page

New kind of politics, anyone?

In the race to adulterate Christ…

Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) is leading by a nose:

Other contenders:

  • Pat Robertson
  • Robert Tilton
  • Jesse Jackson
  • Don Miller (added recently)

Bonus – Uh Oh! Extremely knowledgeable political analyst Matt ‘America’s fighting class‘ Damon doesn’t know much about Sarah Palin – but compares her life to a bad Disney story:

I want to know if Matt Damon knows what a book is? How about a website? He could try to start, who completely pwned this ludicrous notion that Palin banned books, among others:

Palin did not cut funding for special needs education in Alaska by 62 percent. She didn’t cut it at all. In fact, she tripled per-pupil funding over just three years. 

She did not demand that books be banned from the Wasilla library. Some of the books on a widely circulated list were not even in print at the time. The librarian has said Palin asked a “What if?” question, but the librarian continued in her job through most of Palin’s first term.

She was never a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, a group that wants Alaskans to vote on whether they wish to secede from the United States. She’s been registered as a Republican since May 1982.

Palin never endorsed or supported Pat Buchanan for president. She once wore a Buchanan button as a “courtesy” when he visited Wasilla, but shortly afterward she was appointed to co-chair of the campaign of Steve Forbes in the state.

Palin has not pushed for teaching creationism in Alaska’s schools. She has said that students should be allowed to “debate both sides” of the evolution question, but she also said creationism “doesn’t have to be part of the curriculum.”


Man – that was really difficult Matt. It almost took longer to run a google search on that information, than your whole scary-disney-dead-mccain-book-banner-dinosaurs quote there. And there’s good news: you don’t have to poop your pants in fear – Here’s a book about Sarah (and, ooooh boy – it’s even illustrated).

You know what else I was wondering Matt? Since you bring up some really important political issues like dinosaurs – I was wondering if you find science’s empirical method of knowledge-acquisition reliable and logically justified? For instance, Matt – can you show empirically that knowledge can be acquired through sense experience? Have you shown that a physical world exists and that our perceptions of it can be trusted, or are you simply assuming empiricism without justification?

    “..who gave His own life against the forces of injustice.”

    Don Miller, author of popular books, Blue Like Jazz and Searching for God Knows What gave a benediction at the DNC convention last night:

    “Father God,
    This week, as the world looks on, help the leaders in this room create a civil dialogue about our future.
    We need you, God, as individuals and also as a nation.
    We need you to protect us from our enemies, but also from ourselves, because we are easily tempted toward apathy.
    Give us a passion to advance opportunities for the least of these, for widows and orphans, for single moms and children whose fathers have left.
    Give us the eyes to see them, and the ears to hear them, and hands willing to serve them.
    Help us serve people, not just causes. And stand up to specific injustices rather than vague notions.
    Give those in this room who have power, along with those who will meet next week, the courage to work together to finally provide health care to those who don’t have any, and a living wage so families can thrive rather than struggle.
    Help us figure out how to pay teachers what they deserve and give children an equal opportunity to get a college education.
    Help us figure out the balance between economic opportunity and corporate gluttony.
    We have tried to solve these problems ourselves but they are still there. We need your help.
    Father, will you restore our moral standing in the world?
    A lot of people don’t like us but that’s because they don’t know the heart of the average American.
    Will you give us favor and forgiveness, along with our allies around the world?
    Help us be an example of humility and strength once again.
    Lastly, father, unify us.
    Even in our diversity help us see how much we have in common.
    And unify us not just in our ideas and in our sentiments—but in our actions, as we look around and figure out something we can do to help create an America even greater than the one we have come to cherish.
    God we know that you are good.
    Thank you for blessing us in so many ways as Americans.
    I make these requests in the name of your son, Jesus, who gave his own life against the forces of injustice.
    Let Him be our example.

    Disclaimer – If you are not a Christian, you may find this post meaningless. However – I am always interested in what exactly other folks think, so perhaps you will be too. The following is a little Christianity 101 in response to Don Miller’s strange prayer/political talking points list at the DNC convention:

    I have many problems with this whole thing that I could comment about, (is it a prayer – or a list of political agendas?) but the last bit is, by far the most important (and disturbing).

    …Jesus, who gave his own life against the forces of injustice.

    Against what ‘forces of injustice’, did Christ give His life for?

    You could argue that Miller meant mankind, as the ‘forces of injustice’. However, he didn’t say – ‘gave His life for the forces of injustice’ – he said ‘against’ them…and right after running through a long list of (what he, no doubt, perceives as) social injustices.

    The other argument you could perhaps make is that Miller was talking about ‘sin in general‘. But again – given this was a prepared prayer/speech, why say ‘the forces of injustice’? Sin is essentially a rebellion of man against God – thus, we/us/mankind are ‘the forces of injustice’ because of our own sins. In this case – again – is he saying that Christ gave his life against us…?

    Here’s the point that I am driving at: Christ died for the sins of mankind to create a way for us to be with Him. We don’t earn His favor by being just. Neither did He die to grant better economic opportunity, or healthcare, or to further social causes. Christ took the punishment for our own wickedness upon Himself. As the Battle Hymn of the Republic puts it, “…He died to make us Holy…” If there was any injustice – it was the fact that He (Jesus) was punished for our crimes, and not us. The Bible could not be more clear on this:

    (Be sure to read these full sections, lest you think I take them out of context)

    You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

    Romans 5:6-8 (READ THE WHOLE SECTION)

    You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

    Colossians 2:13-15 (READ THE WHOLE SECTION)

    …for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

    Romans 3:23-26 (READ THE WHOLE SECTION)

    The simple fact is that God wanted us back so badly that He took our just punishment upon His own shoulders. God loved us, despite our sin -so much so, that He was willing to do whatever He could to provide a way for us to be with Him. This was the passion of the Christ and is essentially Christianity in a nutshell.

    It appears to me that Miller is somehow equating social and societal injustices with the cause of Christ. Jesus’ mission was to redeem individual souls – not fix societal injustices – (though this may be the end result from fixing souls). In my view – Miller is, at the very least – carelessly distorting religion to fit a political cause.

    If this is the case – Don Miller, sadly – you have become the Pat Robertson of the left.

    UPDATE – Dennis Prager had some strong words about some other aspects of Don Miller’s prayer/speech:

    Two Americas: Affair America, and No Affair America – Edwards Admits

    Let me just start out by saying that this is a tragic story. I take absolutely zero joy in the destruction of anyones personal life regardless of whether I agree with them or not. Even the left is outraged over this one – and they should be:

    John Edwards repeatedly lied during his Presidential campaign about an extramarital affair with a novice filmmaker, the former Senator admitted to ABC News today.

    In an interview for broadcast tonight on Nightline, Edwards told ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff he did have an affair with 44-year old Rielle Hunter, but said that he did not love her.

    Edwards also denied he was the father of Hunter’s baby girl, Frances Quinn, although the one-time Democratic Presidential candidate said he has not taken a paternity test.

    Here’s what the Kos entry said:

    Well, since he didn’t love her, it’s okay that he made a run for the Democratic Party’s nomination knowing that he was lying through his teeth about this. And a Friday news dump on the day of the opening ceremonies of the Olympics? Coward.  

    I don’t care what your politics are – don’t freakin cheat on your wife. Another sad day as yet another sad politician eats large quantities of crap – as he should. I feel horrible for his wife.

    This story has been going on for a while now – but finally the media is picking it up. You read more here. And cheers to Kaus not being bullied into suppressing the story like the rest of our media.

    Dems on Meet the Press: Kerry and Lieberman

    The following was an interesting debate between Kerry and Lieberman. The videos were posted by a Lieberman hater – but I think they are quite revealing as to who is the reasonable candidate:

    Obama’s Judgment? Seriously? Here’s a little more on Obama’s judgement. And here. And here. Also, note how Kerry talks about Medicare being a disaster… So why then would we want to hand over all healthcare to the government?

    The reason they aren’t drilling there is because there’s no freaking oil there John Kerry. (or it is too difficult to get). 

    John Kerry has some very strange views of the history in Iraq. Check out this bit about the Anbar Awakening. The things he claims haven’t happened – actually have, and even people who have been consistently hostile to the war in Iraq are having to admit it. Kerry still hasn’t got the memo yet.

    Final question – as you watch these clips, note who sounds fairly reasonable – and who sounds flailing and desperate…

    Washington Post: [Afghanistan’s] strategic importance pales beside that of Iraq. +Candidates on Iraq

    Quite the editorial from the WaPo the other day (emphasis mine):

    Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who has a history of tailoring his public statements for political purposes, made headlines by saying he would support a withdrawal of American forces by 2010. But an Iraqi government statement made clear that Mr. Maliki’s timetable would extend at least seven months beyond Mr. Obama’s. More significant, it would be “a timetable which Iraqis set” — not the Washington-imposed schedule that Mr. Obama has in mind. It would also be conditioned on the readiness of Iraqi forces, the same linkage that Gen. Petraeus seeks. As Mr. Obama put it, Mr. Maliki “wants some flexibility in terms of how that’s carried out.”

    Other Iraqi leaders were more directly critical. As Mr. Obama acknowledged, Sunni leaders in Anbar province told him that American troops are essential to maintaining the peace among Iraq’s rival sects and said they were worried about a rapid drawdown.


    Charels Krauthammer made the case about a year ago about the importance of Iraq. Yesterday, this Washington Post Editorial joins him.

    Yet Mr. Obama’s account of his strategic vision remains eccentric. He insists that Afghanistan is “the central front” for the United States, along with the border areas of Pakistan. But there are no known al-Qaeda bases in Afghanistan, and any additional U.S. forces sent there would not be able to operate in the Pakistani territories where Osama bin Laden is headquartered. While the United States has an interest in preventing the resurgence of the Afghan Taliban, the country’s strategic importance pales beside that of Iraq, which lies at the geopolitical center of the Middle East and contains some of the world’s largest oil reserves. If Mr. Obama’s antiwar stance has blinded him to those realities, that could prove far more debilitating to him as president than any particular timetable.

    I can’t usually stand Couric – but she deserves a great deal of credit here for actually asking the candidates tough questions about the war on terror:

    Obama continues to insist that Afghanistan (the good war) is where we should be investing troops. What he doesn’t explain is why that would make any sense.
    Also, for some reason he simply has ‘no idea’ what would have happened if the US had followed his advice rather than the surge. I have an idea: Iraq would have become a disastrous bloodbath – which is exactly where it was headed before the surge. In fact – this is exactly why the Iraqis are saying that “American troops are essential to maintaining the peace.” How is this such a tough hypothetical?

    I have to give McCain major props here for cutting out all the ‘hypothetical’, ‘too difficult to know’ bullcrap. If you want to hear more of McCain’s statement you can check it out here. I especially appreciate this line, as Obama’s main talking point has been that McCain is basically Bush part 2 and all he wants to do is stay in Iraq:

    I know those wars. I know conflicts. And I hate war. No one hates war more than the veteran who feels most plainly the loss of a veteran. And I know how to win wars.


    We have succeeded in Iraq. We are winning. We will be making additional withdrawals as everybody acknowledged. We may have an advisory capacity as even Sen. Obama agrees. And we may have security arrangements that are in the interest of both countries. But the fact is victory is being achieved now. A stable society. Secure environment. Functioning government. Functioning legal system. All of the trappings of a nation where people can feel secure in their future in a free and independent nation. And that’s what we’ve succeeded in the strategy which will then mean we are winning the war and bring our troops home.

    You can debate whether or not getting into Iraq was a good idea, but in my opinion – that will ultimately be determined by how we get out of Iraq. McCain thinks that victory there is possible, and that it is important not to leave until we reach that point. Obama thinks victory is impossible, and that we should get out ASAP.

    We get to decide whose strategy would be best for America this fall.

    Obama: Rather loose a war, than loose an election?

    Q: If you had to do it over again, knowing what you know now, would you support the surge?

    A: No, because, keep in mind that…

    Q: You wouldn’t?

    A: Keep in mind… These kinds of hypotheticals are very difficult. Hindsight is 20/20. But I think that, what I’m absolutely convinced of, is that at that time we had to change the political debate because the view of the Bush administration at that time was one that I just disagreed with.

    So, something that has brought down violence 80% and American troop deaths from 78 to 5 per month – he would still oppose…because he disagreed with President Bush…? Is he saying he would still oppose something that has empowered Iraqis and saved American (and Iraqi) lives simply for political reasons?

    Is this a gaffe, distraction, or a moment of clarity?