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Reagan but he wasn't actually dumb. Palin on the other hand I'm convinced I could talk circles around. In 6 weeks I'll also have the same level of education she has except I will have gotten more out of mine.

 

Sure you have.

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QUOTE (Rex Kicka** @ Sep 23, 2009 -> 09:24 AM)
Usually anti-intellectual populist figures with a grasp on actual power are fairly intellectual themselves - having gone to good schools, etc.

 

Palin seems to be a solid exception to that rule.

George W. Bush.

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QUOTE (Rex Kicka** @ Sep 23, 2009 -> 09:29 AM)
Anti-intellectual, sure. But not an idiot by any means.

Disagree.

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QUOTE (Balta1701 @ Sep 23, 2009 -> 11:39 AM)
Disagree.

No one who has held the office of President, even W, has been an idiot, or stupid, or anything of the like. Most are genius level intelligences. Bush is probably not in the rarified air of the smartest Presidents, but he is not a moron or anything of the like.

 

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QUOTE (NorthSideSox72 @ Sep 23, 2009 -> 09:41 AM)
No one who has held the office of President, even W, has been an idiot, or stupid, or anything of the like. Most are genius level intelligences. Bush is probably not in the rarified air of the smartest Presidents, but he is not a moron or anything of the like.

Being elected President doesn't mean that you're necessarily intelligent. Maybe I'm using a more strict standard than you, but in my head, I've got GWB pigeonholed as a frat guy who got in to a fancy college because of his dad's money, who had no interest in learning anything he didn't need to learn (policy included), and who shuts down completely when you try to educate him about anything to the point where he can actually make an informed decision. I'm not exactly talking learning disability here, but I don't think anyone has put Palin at that level either. They're both in the same boat for me. Whether one is 5% less interested in national policy than the other doesn't strike me as mattering that much. Maybe it's a bit of Fuzzy math.

 

There's an old saying in Texas, I don't know if it's in Tennessee but I know it's in Texas that goes fool me once, shame on, shame on you....(10 second pause)....fool, you can't get fooled again.

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QUOTE (Balta1701 @ Sep 23, 2009 -> 11:47 AM)
Being elected President doesn't mean that you're necessarily intelligent. Maybe I'm using a more strict standard than you, but in my head, I've got GWB pigeonholed as a frat guy who got in to a fancy college because of his dad's money, who had no interest in learning anything he didn't need to learn (policy included), and who shuts down completely when you try to educate him about anything to the point where he can actually make an informed decision. I'm not exactly talking learning disability here, but I don't think anyone has put Palin at that level either. They're both in the same boat for me. Whether one is 5% less interested in national policy than the other doesn't strike me as mattering that much. Maybe it's a bit of Fuzzy math.

 

There's an old saying in Texas, I don't know if it's in Tennessee but I know it's in Texas that goes fool me once, shame on, shame on you....(10 second pause)....fool, you can't get fooled again.

By the nature of the process, you simply cannot get to that job without being pretty smart. There is variance there among the "smart", but, no way he is dumb, or even below average in intelligence.

 

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I'm a gonna hope this was fake, but here's what it would look like if Glenn Beck Killed a frog. Or alternatively, here's Glenn Beck killing a frog.

 

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Entertaining blog entry from Cesca...

 

The Impeachment of President Obama

 

If the Republicans ever manage to retake Congress, they will absolutely try to impeach President Obama. And it'll be based upon a supremely ridiculous charge such as, say, the president refusing to nourish our crops with a sports drink instead of water.

 

Okay, so maybe the Idiocracy example is over-the-top, but if we follow the current trajectory of far-right attacks to their logical yet insane conclusion, it makes sense in a very eerie way. Have you seen the television commercials solemnly defending our right to poison our kids with "juice drinks and soda?" There you go.

 

I've been following the Republican descent into the realms of the bizarre for some time now, and it wasn't until the "czars" thing broke that I became convinced that if they retook Congress the Republicans might try to impeach the president. The grounds for both the impeachment and the language used to sell it will likely be fabricated by either Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh.

 

I mean, 100 Republican members of Congress have signed onto Rep. Jack Kingston's cartoonish czar bill. 100 House Republicans out of 177 have attached their names to a bill that was essentially invented as a television bit by Glenn Beck without any regard for the fact that "czar" is a nickname invented by the press, and that every president -- all of them! -- has employed policy and political advisers within their administrations. But it functions as an effective Beck attack because he knows his audience isn't bright enough to distinguish "czars" from "communists." By the way, not to be out-crazied by his House colleagues, Senator Ensign introduced an amendment to the Finance Committee health care reform bill called "Transparency in Czars." This might as well be "Transparency in Hobbits" because it's just that ludicrous.

 

Nevertheless, there's a growing conventional wisdom in the press alleging that both sides of the political spectrum are equally guilty of wackaloon attacks and conspiracy theories.

 

Granted there might be one or two very fringe exceptions but this is otherwise a false equivalency written by the establishment media as part of their self-conscious effort to seem balanced. The distinction is that any "fringe" attacks from the left during the Bush years weren't mainstreamed and legitimized the way the wingnut attacks are today, even though the fringe attacks from the left turned out to be mostly accurate.

 

On the right, we're hearing about communist takeovers, birth certificates, Oval Office dress codes, teleprompters, death panels, czars and a return to segregated buses. During the previous administration, on the other hand, the left insisted that Iraq didn't have WMD. This turned out to be true. The left insisted that there wasn't a connection between Saddam and 9/11. Also true. The left alleged that George W. Bush was incompetent. The rest of the nation caught up with the left when Katrina slammed into New Orleans, shattering the levees while Bush was eating cake with John McCain.

 

Some, but not all, of the left thought Bush had prior knowledge of the September 11th attacks. It's a matter of record that he knew an attack might be imminent based upon the famous PDB titled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States." So that one was partially true.

 

The left also accused the administration of using illegal wiretaps, torture and other human rights violations. All true. Did Bush have business connections with the Bin Laden family? Yes. Did 100 Democratic members of Congress co-sponsor a bill calling him out for it? Of course not.

 

And throughout the Bush years -- no matter how accurate the left's "fringe" attacks might've been -- liberals were marginalized and laughed off by the establishment press, ignored by certain leaders in our own party and attacked as unpatriotic by the Republicans. Sean Hannity, Tom DeLay and Bill O'Reilly, who are all busily ripping the current president an array of new holes, actively accused the left of undermining the troops because we were criticizing the commander-in-chief during wartime. Ah yes. They abandoned that one faster than Newt Gingrich abandons sick wives, didn't they?

 

As for the name-calling, it's to be expected given its long and distinguished history in American politics. (Teddy Roosevelt once called Howard Taft a "puzzle-wit." Fightin' words!) But again, it's a matter of who's doing it and in what context. Yes, some people on the left were guilty of violating Godwin's Law and compared Bush and Cheney to Nazis. But in terms of the ideological spectrum, it's far more likely that a conservative, reactionary, corporate-friendly administration engaged in secret detentions, eavesdropping, torture and endless war might have fascist tendencies. On the other side of the coin, I don't know when Nazis suddenly began to embrace biracial, liberal children of African immigrants, but if I missed this development then bravo Nazis! You're doing better than South Carolina! Of course I'm kidding, South Carolina. Maybe.

 

Yet on the right, we have legitimate politicians, talkers and writers accusing President Obama of being everything from a fascist to a communist to a foreign usurper -- as if all of those accusations are somehow interchangeable. In other words, on the left there were fringe protesters ballyhooing the "Bush is a Nazi" thing, but on the right, everyone from cable news people to members of Congress are questioning whether the president was even born in the United States.

 

Fortunately, no Republican members of Congress would stoop so low as to compare President Obama to Hitler -- oh wait. Correction. Congressman Gohmert did exactly that back in July on the Alex Jones radio show no less -- Alex Jones, who makes Glenn Beck and Michael Savage appear centered.

 

All of this is all set against the backdrop of the infamous Republican Southern Strategy: a well-known tactic from the GOP playbook employing racially-suggestive code language and imagery for the sole purpose of consolidating white support by stoking racial resentment.

 

This is nothing new, and so it's a little strange and nearsighted of the very serious Sunday morning television people to laugh off racial connotations in right-wing attacks against the president, given the Strategy's prevalence in Republican politics. Pat Buchanan, the official cable news grampy, practically invented it. Later, Lee Atwater laid out the semantics like so: Republicans "can't say 'n*****' -- that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff." In the present day context, Atwater might've been happy with dog-whistles like "ACORN" or "community organizers" or "third world" or "exotic."

 

So some of these Republicans need to drop the "who me?" act. Credit where credit is due: at least Rush Limbaugh, the de facto head of the Republican Party, is honest about his racial dog-whistles and epithets. Calling for segregated buses in order to protect white kids from violent black kids in "Obama's America" is pretty obvious, no? In light of what happens on his show for three hours a day, it's remarkable that there's such denial coming from the press. (The Obama administration has no choice but to deny it, or else they'll only succeed in feeding it.)

 

Ultimately, this is how the Republicans will likely proceed with an attempted impeachment of the president should they manage to take back Congress next year. If precedent is any indicator, they'll likely concoct some sort of ridiculous charge torn from a Beck or Limbaugh transcript, while generating public support for it using a Brundlefly hybrid of the Southern Strategy and neo-McCarthyism. And why not? It's exactly what they're doing now.

 

Vice President Biden said this week that the administration's agenda would be crushed if the Republicans manage to take back Congress. He's right, but I think it'd be worse than that. Much worse. The 1990s will seem quaint by comparison, and it's clear that no matter how ridiculous the charges, the media will devour the spectacular drama while simultaneously excusing their behavior using false equivalencies and overcompensating with right-leaning conventional wisdom.

 

Of course, I hope I'm very, very wrong on this one.

 

 

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Awesome read...

Believing In Wet Works

 

by digby

 

Scott Horton discusses the available scientific evidence showing that torture doesn't work and then notes this new information:

Now another important contribution to the
s
cientific literature ha
s
appeared. Iri
s
h neurobiologi
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t
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hane O
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s
in Cognitive
S
cience
s
, ta
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e
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a
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pecial loo
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at the Bu
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h Admini
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tration
s
enhanced interrogation technique
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:

the u
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e of
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uch technique
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appear
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motivated by a fol
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ychology that i
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trably incorrect.
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olid
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cientific evidence on how repeated and extreme
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tre
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and pain affect memory and executive function
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ugge
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are unli
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ite of that intended by coercive or
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New
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haron Begley
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ummarize
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O
Mara
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analy
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i
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:

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o let
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brea
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thi
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down anatomically. Fact One: To recall information
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tored in the brain, you mu
s
t activate a number of area
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s
pecially the prefrontal cortex (
s
ite of intentionality) and hippocampu
s
(the door to long-term memory
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torage). Fact Two:
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tre
s
s
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uch a
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that cau
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e
s
the hormone corti
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ol, which can impair cognitive function, including that of the prefrontal cortex and hippocampu
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.
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tudie
s
in which
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oldier
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were
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ubjected to
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tre
s
s
in the form of food and
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leep deprivation have found that it impaired their ability to recall per
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onal memorie
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and information, a
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thi
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2006
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tudy reported.
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tudie
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tre
s
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with
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pecial Force
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oldier
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have found that recall of previou
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ly-learned information wa
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tre
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occurred,
note
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O
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tre
s
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or and ha
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the potential to elicit wide
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pread
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tre
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-induced change
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ing of fear), al
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o impairing memory and the ability to di
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h a true memory from a fal
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in thi
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tudy,
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ugge
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t why: torture trigger
s
abnormal pattern
s
of activation in the frontal and temporal lobe
s
, impairing memory. Rather than a que
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tion triggering a (relatively)
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imple pattern of brain activation that lead
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to the
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tion, the que
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tion
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timulate
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memorie
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almo
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s
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. The
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e neurochemical effect
s
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et the
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tage for two
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eriou
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pitfall
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of interrogation under torture, argue
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O
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t i
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ented by the captor to elicit re
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pon
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e
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during interrogation may inadvertently become part of the
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u
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pect
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memory, e
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pecially
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ince
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u
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pect
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are under extreme
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and are required to tell and retell the
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ame event
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A
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a re
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ult, information produced by the
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u
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pect may parrot or embelli
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h
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ugge
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tion
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rather than revealing
s
omething both truthful and un
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nown to the interrogator
s
.
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econd, corti
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ol-induced damage to the prefrontal cortex can cau
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e confabulation, or fal
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e memorie
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. Becau
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s
on being tortured lo
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e
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the ability to di
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, a
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tre
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not cau
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e him to tell the truth, but to retreat further into a fog where he cannot tell true from fal
s
e.

If science wasn't a proven communist conspiracy, that might be convincing. As it is we will have to rely on the renowned neurobiological experts Dick Cheney and John Yoo, who tell us otherwise.

 

Actually, I think "folk psychology" is the best way to describe the "feeling" people have about the efficacy of torture. They just "know" that people will tell the truth if they are given enough pain. We all probably believe deep down that we'd spill our guts if enough torture were applied, so naturally others would too. It's truthiness about truth. But it's one of those things like ... well, aerodynamics. You just have to believe the engineers and pilots and the evidence before you that your plane won't fall out of the sky even though it "feels" like it absolutely should. One hopes that the new interrogation team the Obama administration has gathered will listen to the science and jettison these methods from the interrogation arsenal once and for all.

 

I wish they'd consult some ethicists as well, however. We wouldn't have to have these discussions in the first place if the moral compass of the American political and military establishment wasn't so damaged that this country can't tell the difference between right and wrong -- or legal and illegal. There are many things that might "work" that are nonetheless taboo. Why this one is now controversial is less a matter of rejecting the science than accepting the clear and obvious moral depravity of those who would order such things be done to other human beings.

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Serious props to Obama for getting Medvedev in on Iran.

 

No as soon as health care is done, i hope he gets to work on obvious stupid policies that will cause distractions now like some of what Sullivan is talking about on LEGAL immigration reform where we are losing a lot of great minds because of stupid policies.

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QUOTE (Balta1701 @ Sep 23, 2009 -> 08:49 PM)
I'm a gonna hope this was fake, but here's what it would look like if Glenn Beck Killed a frog. Or alternatively, here's Glenn Beck killing a frog.

 

Holy f***! what a lunatic!!!

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QUOTE (Athomeboy_2000 @ Sep 24, 2009 -> 09:49 AM)
<!--quoteo(post=2017207:date=Sep 23, 2009 -> 08:49 PM:name=Balta1701)-->
QUOTE (Balta1701 @ Sep 23, 2009 -> 08:49 PM)
<!--quotec-->I'm a gonna hope this was fake, but here's what it would look like if Glenn Beck Killed a frog. Or alternatively, here's Glenn Beck killing a frog.

 

Holy f***! what a lunatic!!!

 

 

Good thing he doesn't have many followers. :unsure:

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QUOTE (bmags @ Sep 24, 2009 -> 10:44 AM)
Serious props to Obama for getting Medvedev in on Iran.

"Apologist"

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QUOTE (bmags @ Sep 24, 2009 -> 10:44 AM)
Serious props to Obama for getting Medvedev in on Iran.

 

No as soon as health care is done, i hope he gets to work on obvious stupid policies that will cause distractions now like some of what Sullivan is talking about on LEGAL immigration reform where we are losing a lot of great minds because of stupid policies.

 

Hopefully the puppetmaster in Russia will allow Medvedev to follow through on those actions. I think we are getting to a point where Russia may, in fact, act - simply because with oil not being nearly the economic darling to them as it was a year ago, it makes sanctions a lot less painful to Russia.

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QUOTE (Rex Kicka** @ Sep 24, 2009 -> 04:53 PM)
Hopefully the puppetmaster in Russia will allow Medvedev to follow through on those actions. I think we are getting to a point where Russia may, in fact, act - simply because with oil not being nearly the economic darling to them as it was a year ago, it makes sanctions a lot less painful to Russia.

 

I don't think Medvedev would have spoken without prior approval from KGB eyes.

 

Did I ever speak to the hilarious genius of medvedev working to end the term limits on president so it allowed Putin to run again after he steps aside.

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QUOTE (JorgeFabregas @ Sep 24, 2009 -> 04:56 PM)
I don't think he threw the frog in the water. There was a cutaway--likely no frog in his hands.

 

well, that analogy isn't true anyways. So we need to come up with something else.

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QUOTE (bmags @ Sep 24, 2009 -> 11:54 AM)
I don't think Medvedev would have spoken without prior approval from KGB eyes.

I don't think he was referring to the KGB being the puppetmaster.

 

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QUOTE (NorthSideSox72 @ Sep 24, 2009 -> 04:58 PM)
I don't think he was referring to the KGB being the puppetmaster.

 

KGB eyes is putin NSS

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QUOTE (bmags @ Sep 24, 2009 -> 11:59 AM)
KGB eyes is putin NSS

Then you need to study Russia a little better, becase the KGB has their own set of interests seperate from either Medvedev OR Putin (thoughly obviously at times in concert).

 

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QUOTE (bmags @ Sep 24, 2009 -> 12:59 PM)
KGB eyes is putin NSS

I look at this and I think of Bette Davis Eyes. Then I replace KGB with Josef Stalin in my head and it fits the song.

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