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Links With Your Coffee - Wednesday



    "It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine."

  • Obama to Palin: 'Don't Mock the Constitution' | The Trail |
    Sen. Barack Obama delivered an impassioned defense of the Constitution and the rights of terrorism suspects tonight, striking back at one of the biggest applause lines in Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's speech to the GOP convention.

    It was in St. Paul last week that Palin drew raucous cheers when she delivered this put-down of Obama: "Al-Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America and he's worried that someone won't read them their rights."

    Obama had a few problems with that.

    "First of all, you don't even get to read them their rights until you catch 'em," Obama said here, drawing laughs from 1,500 supporters in a high school gymnasium. "They should spend more time trying to catch Osama bin Laden and we can worry about the next steps later."

  • Nationalize Fannie Mae? It Worked Until It Was Privatized | | AlterNet
    In the past several days, before the U.S. Treasury Department acted to seize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, several people asked me if I thought it was a good idea for the government to "nationalize" the two mortgage giants. In virtually none of the coverage of the Bush administration's latest emergency action did anyone bother to tell the backstory. Fannie Mae, nee the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA), began life as a government invention. It was born "nationalized" -- and it worked beautifully until it was privatized.

  • Death by Definition: Save the Endangered Species Act! Now! |
    The Endangered Species Act is our primary legal tool for environmental protection.

    We have until September 15 -- about a week -- to save the Endangered Species Act.

    Not just some species, but the Act itself! Bush administration officials are proposing redefinitions of terms that would allow conservative appointees in federal agencies to virtually the destroy the Act.

  • BBC NEWS | UK | Magazine | Storm in a toilet bowl?
    The story: Health crisis as three million people went down last winter with Norovirus - winter vomiting disease.

    The flaw: The authorities don't know how many had it. They don't even know how many went to the doctor with it. All they know is the 2,000 cases in the peak months that were confirmed in the lab.

    Was she one of 280,000 or 34 million, or somewhere in between?
    They say that for every lab-confirmed case there are about 1,500 in the community, a ratio of 1:1,500. (Hence: 2,000 lab cases x 1,500 = three million). But how do they know that? They don't. They haven't a clue

  • (tip to Pedantsareus)

  • The Reality Club: WHAT MAKES PEOPLE VOTE REPUBLICAN? By Jonathan Haidt

  • RealClearPolitics - Articles - Too Cool to Fight?

  • Republican Faith ChatSatire is hard, when the truth is so bizarre. (tip to Geoff)

  • Philosophers' Carnival LXXVII

    Oh, I'm so sorry about the colors Ken chose for his blog, but there are a number of interesting articled linked in the latest Philosophers Carnival



Obama defending the Constitution? Ahhh, yeah, that's the stuff. Mmmm, tastes like candy for my soul.

The RCP analysis of the Stephanopoulous interview is dead-on. Obama was pathetic. The way to win is to hit your opponent as hard as you can, below the belt, with simple, direct shots. Republicans understand this. Democrats don't. It's especially depressing since they have such a wealth of opportunities, so many issues, on which McCain/Palin are so vulnerable. Argh.

The problem is that the republicans will cry every time. You can hit your opponent as hard as you want, but the republicans will say that Obama is being hypocritical to his message of change. They will even insinuate that he is an angry black man fighting against a white man.

Obama has built his message around hope and change and he has to stick with it or he will get torn apart worse. He is aiming to break this cycle of the American people believing everything that republicans say. His movement is dependent on his supporters. Whenever you read something false said by McCain, you should email it to friends and family and explain to them the issues at stake. Encourage them to look past the drama and name calling and provide them with the substance behind Obama's words.

The way to win is to hit your opponent as hard as you can, below the belt, with simple, direct shots.

The thing of it is, you don't even have to hit them below the belt. The Fannie Mae article offers a case in point. Once again, you have someone pointing a finger where it deserves to be pointed: Phil Gramm. Norm could line up a page full of links describing Gramm's involvement in stupid financial decision-making. John McCain loves Phil Gramm - even after Gramm's political witless "whiner" remark, Gramm was back in McCain's meetings.

You want more corporate welfare and fraud, banking shenanigans, financial instability, and government policy being made by unscrupulous lobbyists? Vote for John McCain.

Is that Republican Faith Chat for real? Pretty scary, either way, but even more so if it's not a satire?

Is anyone seeing the amount of lying and fear mongering coming out of the McCain campaign and thinking that the world is about to explode.

I mean if this guy wins this campaign on clear lies, and not just innuendo, how the hell are people going to react?

I think , despite some dubious accusations, we can blame Gore and Kerry for a good portion of their defeats, but if clear, well documented lies (no thanks to bridges, Kindigarten sexy time, pig lipstick, sexism and maverick change) are at the core of an Obama loss, then I have to believe we are in a shitstorm on Nov 5th.

You know why urban legends are so hard to debunk? Because people accept them on faith, and spread them - like rumors - and next thing you know, they're woven into the fabric as unquestionable truths.

It amazes me that so many political arguments are based on the same shaky foundation. Take the article regarding Fannie Mae, for example:

It was born "nationalized" -- and it worked beautifully until it was privatized.

Hardly. FNMA was formed in 1938 and until 1968 was a government agency. As a government agency it held a monopoly. From 1968 to 2008, it functioned as a private entity. During this phase there was a gigantic housing boom.

Simple math: that's 30 years as a government agency and 40 as a private. So the agency survived longer and generated more 'good' as a private company than it did as a government branch.

And we cannot possibly gauge whether or not the government stepping in will be a good thing. Takes time to evaluate such positions.

History has shown that deregulation of industries leads to lower prices, greater growth, and benefit for all. Obviously problems can arise - but claiming that deregulation is a universal evil because we hit a bad patch is just bootstrapping.

Obama defending the Constitution?

It's easy to 'defend the Constitution' when you're not the one who has to make important decisions. It's also easy when you can speak out of both sides of your mouth - don't your type think FISA is unconstitutional? But ... Mr. Change supports that!

The fact is that fighting terrorism is a completely different thing from fighting simple domestic crime, or a standard war. The lawmakers and politicians all realize that - Obama is just singing you a soothing lullaby while he agrees with the current system. That's why McCain is clearly the better candidate: he tells you directly what he stands for, while Obama wants to have it both ways.

History has shown that deregulation of industries leads to lower prices, greater growth, and benefit for all.

Hear that, everybody? Deregulation is an unmitigated societal good! Can you guys believe this creep? Talk about a lack of perspective.

calligraph, you chose your name well. Calligraphy is all about stylings, and utterly independent of substance. Oh yeah, and it's done with a specialized tool.

I think you should try writing with lipstick on your bathroom mirror. You'll have a more interested audience.

Wait, you mean that before regulation everyone didn't make infinite profit?

And again, with the Obama's not perfect argument.

I think Calli is secretly a liberal that just wants to spur the conversation here. Hard to believe someone that can spell most words right can make such poorly thought out arguments if they were really believing what they were typing.

"History has shown that deregulation of industries leads to lower prices, greater growth, and benefit for all."

Is this the history that includes all those bailouts from Republican banks? Billions of tax payer dollars because of deregulated greed.

If high-end white collar crimes had Capital Punishments and MANDITORY public legal representation (no expensive lawyers). Then grab their assets, like in drug cases, and build schools. I think you would see a decrease in fraud then.

Or Batman. Batman could fix it.

Take that! Fancy Writing Boy. *8)

Urban Legends:

Republicans are good for poor people.

Republicans are the morally righteous people.

Jesus would have been a Republican!

"Hey, did you see that one black guy at the Republican National Convention"?

Republicans are the party of Change. ("Just like Lincoln!")

Democrats will raise your taxes (right before leading the country to lower taxes and a record surplus)

Republicans are against gay marriage (but for gay sex in bathrooms and with prostitues! See, no marriage there!)

In short:

Democrats screw their mistresses.

Republicans screw everyone.


McCain is Goebbelling Obama alive*, all while in the middle of a desperate search for Pig-Palin's Pygmalion.

Talk about multitasking. He been estrogenated off the testoterone I guess. Maybe he should try on some of the red stuff hymself.



*("Islamo-fascist")Muslims as Jews. Population bombs in both cases (prewar for the latter).

I would rather lose an election than have my candidate act like the republicans have.

Thanks for the link!

I happen to like my color scheme, but you are not the only one who doesn't! For this reason, there is a button on the top right of every page which says "view with boring colors" and will change it to normal black on white. Please let me know if it doesn't work with your browser.

Obama's position on FISA is disappointing. Alas, as both candidates prove, you have to compromise your principles to get anywhere in national politics. If you always stick to your principles, you can hope for as much support as Kucinich or Ron Paul get.

As for the constitution, the only reason to contravene it is to appeal to ignorant war-mongers. The United States is not at war and it's citizens are not at great, imminent risk. America was attacked eight years ago in such a shocking way that it is difficult to rationally assess threats and responses to them. But I'd recommend starting here:

The very minimal threat posed to American by international terrorism does not justify undermining the most basic civil liberties--the freedoms, such as habeas corpus, that distinguish us from feudal Monarchies and tin pot dictatorships and that are quite possible the greatest achievements of the enlightenment.

That's not to say that Muslim extremism is not a very serious threat to the citizens of virtually every Muslim country on earth. It would be silly to deny that. But please try to distinguish local fanatical movements from people capable of carrying out an attack on the US.


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