Right Thinking From The Left Coast
I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have. - Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Blame the Bushitler
by Lee

Damn those pesky tax cuts!

Americans’ incomes, bolstered by strong gains in hiring, rose by 0.3 percent in February while consumer spending climbed at an even faster pace of 0.5 percent, the government reported Thursday.

The Commerce Department said the gain in spending followed a much smaller 0.1 percent increase in January and reflected the fact that auto sales rebounded last month after having fallen in January.

The 0.3 percent rise in incomes was attributed to a surge of 262,000 new jobs in February, the biggest increase in four months. Further solid gains in both incomes and consumer spending are expected in the months ahead as the consumer continues to be a driving force in the economy.

Analysts said the February gains in incomes and spending showed that the economy was being propelled this year by continued strength in employment growth and consumer spending — which accounts for two-thirds of total economic activity.

“Strong payroll gains over the next few months will surely boost the numbers” for incomes, Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics, said in a note to clients.

Now, this good news does not absolve the president and his cronies in the Congress of the fact that they spend money like a drunken whore with someone else’s Amex.  But, good news is good news, no matter how you slice it.  If the Bush adminisration could couple thsi growth with a cut in spending, maybe we’d be getting somewhere.

Posted by Lee on 03/31/05 at 07:43 PM in Politics  • (2) TrackbacksPermalink

Roles Reversed
by Lee

Greetings Instapundit readers!

A question for the group.  Imagine a country with a Democratic president, and a Congress controlled by Democrats.  In Florida, a fight is underway over the life of a mentally disabled woman.  The woman’s husband has kept her alive for 15 years, hoping she would recover, and despite the general agreement among doctors that she will never improve, he has decided to keep feeding her and keep working, always holding out hope that she might get better.  Her parents, however, are horrified that their daughter has been alive for this long.  They know that she would never have wanted to live in such a state, and are suing to have the husband’s rights terminated so that she can die in peace and with dignity.

The case goes all the way to the Florida Supreme Court, where the court finds that there is insufficient cause to grant the injunction requested by the parents.  Shocked at the news, the Congress rolls into action, drafting legislation that would give the parents case a review in the federal court system, and the president returns from her womyn’s conference in Amsterdam to sign the emergency legislation.

Now, how many of you conservatives out there would have absolutely no problem with the actions taken by Congress and the president in this instance?  I’m talking in the legal sense, not the moral.  You would, obviously, disagree with the right-to-die motives of the Congress, but would you still rant and rave about how the Constitution permits this kind of federal intrusion into a state matter?  Or would you, as I suspect, be railing against the injustice of a runaway liberal government meddling in the affairs of a sovereign state?

Update: The reason I ask this question is because I tuned into Limbaugh this morning to see what he had to say now that Terri is dead, and he was basically making the argument that the idea that this is a violation of federalist principles is absolutely preposterous.  He kept railing on about how he “didn’t get it.” Well, here’s a very specific example.  Do you think, for a second, that Limbaugh or Michael Medved or any of the other conservative pundits would not decry the actions of a Democratic federal government as being unconstitutional and a violation of states rights?  Of course they would, and it is astonishingly disingenuous of them to claim otherwise.

Posted by Lee on 03/31/05 at 02:13 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Lie?  No.  Clueless?  Yes.
by Lee

What’s that noise?  It’s the sounds of the world’s lefties screaming “cover-up!” in simultaneous, apoplectic ecstasy.

In a scathing report released Thursday, President Bush’s commission on weapons of mass destruction found that America’s spy agencies were “dead wrong” in most of their judgments about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction capabilities.

The commission was also highly critical of U.S. abilities to assess what existing adversaries have, stating that the United States knows “disturbingly little” about their weapons programs.

On Saddam, the commission stated that “we conclude that the intelligence community was dead wrong in almost all of its prewar judgments about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. This was a major intelligence failure.”

The main cause, the commission said, was the intelligence community’s “inability to collect good information about Iraq’s WMD programs, serious errors in analyzing what information it could gather and a failure to make clear just how much of its analysis was based on assumptions rather than good evidence.

“On a matter of this importance, we simply cannot afford failures of this magnitude,” the report said.

But the commission also said that it found no indication that spy agencies distorted the evidence they had concerning Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction, a charge raised against the administration during last year’s presidential campaign.

“The analysts who worked Iraqi weapons issues universally agreed that in no instance did political pressure cause them to skew or alter any of their analytical judgments,” the report said.

But it added: “It is hard to deny the conclusion that intelligence analysts worked in an environment that did not encourage skepticism about the conventional wisdom.”

Allow me to channel the American left:

“No, this is bullshit.  Everyone knew that Iraq had disarmed, and wanted nothing more to live in peace.  But the eeeeeeevil fascist George W. Bush wanted their oil to enrich his corporate buddies and work to destroying democracy and installing a corporate-run junta in power.  This is a cover-up, a whitewash, and just the latest in a long string of lies coming from the Bushitler!”

Sound about right?

Posted by Lee on 03/31/05 at 11:24 AM in War on Terror/Axis of Evil  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

RIP
by Lee

Terri Schiavo is dead.  Those of you who were invoking the name of God to keep her alive, now spend and minute and pray to that same God for Terri’s immortal soul.  If you believe in Heaven, take solace knowing she’s there.

On a personal note, I believe Terri died fifteen years ago.  Her body has now gone to the place her spirit has been for many years.
.

Posted by Lee on 03/31/05 at 10:50 AM in Politics  • (3) TrackbacksPermalink

Ulterior Motives?
by Lee

In recent days we’ve heard supporters of Terri Schiavo postulate a numer of theories regarding Michael Schiavo’s ulterior motives, reasons he “wants his wife dead.” With that in mind, take a look at this.

Thousands of people who helped Terri Schiavo’s parents finance their protracted legal battle could soon start receiving solicitations from groups who purchase their contact information from a conservative direct-mailing firm.

Each of the donors responded to an e-mail sent in February by Schiavo’s father, Bob Schindler, on behalf of his daughter, according to the Web site of the firm Response Unlimited.

According to The New York Times, a spokesman for Schiavo’s parents confirmed that Bob Schindler had agreed to allow Response Unlimited to rent out the list as part of a deal for the firm to send an e-mail soliciting funds for the legal fight to keep his daughter alive.

Now, I’m more than willing to stipulate that there is probably nothing more to this story than what it appears.  However, I have a question for those of you who are more than willing to believe every possible theory about Michael Schiavo.  If the story reported that he had sold the list of his supporters to a direct mail company, would you be as forgiving towards him as you are to the Schindlers?

Posted by Lee on 03/31/05 at 02:20 AM in Deep Thoughts  • (3) TrackbacksPermalink

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Unconstitutional
by Lee

In rejecting the Schindler’s latest appeal to keep their daughter “alive,” a fedral judge nails it.

One of the Atlanta judges, Justice Stanley Birch, assailed as unconstitutional a law passed by Congress and signed by Bush that sought to get the Schiavo case reviewed by pushing into the federal courts a matter that had long been decided by state courts.

“In resolving the Schiavo controversy it is my judgment that, despite sincerity and altruistic motivation, the legislative and executive branches of our government have acted in a manner demonstrably at odds with our Founding Fathers’ blueprint for the governance of a free people—our Constitution,” Birch wrote in an opinion. ...

“We must conscientiously guard the independence of our judiciary and safeguard the Constitution, even in the face of the unfathomable human tragedy that has befallen Mrs. Schiavo and her family,” Birch wrote in his scathing assault on the law as an intrusion into the judicial branch of power.

Exactly.  The protection of the separation of powers is more important than any single life.  I realize that’s harsh, and that it might upset some of your delicate sensibilities.  But that’s the cold, hard fact.  In this case the cure is worse than the disease.  We’re cutting off our head to cure a minor headache.

Posted by Lee on 03/30/05 at 09:41 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

An Assignment
by Lee

Explain to me, in four sentences or less, exactly what the core ideals of the modern Republican Party are.

Posted by Lee on 03/30/05 at 01:25 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Story of Terri
by Lee

Over at Right Wing News, one of my favorite sites, John Hawkins has done a great job compiling a FAQ about the Schiavo case.  And even though he and I are on opposite sides in this debate, it’s worth checking out.

Posted by Lee on 03/30/05 at 12:18 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Clinton Cooties
by Lee

Well, it’s good to see that, in these times of terrorism and war, that these two numbnuts have their priorities right.

The campaigns of Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, widely expected to be opponents in next year’s GOP gubernatorial race, are taking political shots at each other over apparently friendly relationships with liberal Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Last week, Perry’s campaign circulated a video that showed the conservative senator speaking kindly of Clinton, and now a 1993 letter has emerged in which Perry called Clinton’s health care reform efforts “commendable.”

“It’s a double standard. It’s the ultimate in hypocrisy,” said Hutchison campaign manager Terry Sullivan.

Perry is bracing for a potential primary challenge by Hutchison in 2006. Hutchison, first elected to the Senate in 1993, hasn’t said yet whether she will run for governor against Perry.

The videotape, made by two men working for Perry’s campaign, showed Clinton with Hutchison at a recent event at a museum devoted to women’s history in Washington. It played up a brief hug and air kiss between the women and featured Clinton saying she is “delighted that Kay is my partner on so many fronts.”

“We’re being very aggressive in everything we do,” Perry campaign director Luis Saenz said last week. “And you ain’t seen nothing yet.”

“Ewww!  You touched a Clinton!  You’ve got Clinton Cooties!”
“Shut up, boogerhead!  You touched her before, too!”
“Did not!”
“Did too!”

Nobody seriously believes that either of these people has anything but the highest level of contempt for Hillary Clinton.  It’s just a fact that, in the world of politics, sometimes you have to make nice with the opposition, no matter how built of pure evil they are.

Posted by Lee on 03/30/05 at 12:11 PM in Politics  • (1) TrackbacksPermalink

Here We Go
by Lee

Let me begin this by thanking everyone for all the emails.  I got roughly 40 of them, the vast majority from people who have been lurking on the site for years, thanking me for having done what I’ve been doing all this time.  Some asked me to reconsider. 

I’ve also enjoyed all the armchair psychological profiles that people have been coming up with, especially my change in attitude having something to do with my father dying.  Look, this is very simple to explain: I’ve become totally disillusioned with both contemporary conservatism and the Republican Party.

Posted by Lee on 03/30/05 at 01:56 AM in Deep Thoughts  • (4) TrackbacksPermalink

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

I Quit
by Lee

I can’t handle spending all day arguing with people whose opinions I used to respect.  It’s quite obvious that there is no room in the conservative movement for someone like me.  I’ve blogged in suport of the rights of the religious in America countless times, and over the past few weeks I’ve seen just how much respect those very same religious people have for me, my opinions, and the rule of law.

Fuck all of you.

If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals–if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.

Now, I can’t say that I will agree with all the things that the present group who call themselves Libertarians in the sense of a party say, because I think that like in any political movement there are shades, and there are libertarians who are almost over at the point of wanting no government at all or anarchy. I believe there are legitimate government functions. There is a legitimate need in an orderly society for some government to maintain freedom or we will have tyranny by individuals. The strongest man on the block will run the neighborhood. We have government to insure that we don’t each one of us have to carry a club to defend ourselves. But again, I stand on my statement that I think that libertarianism and conservatism are travelling the same path.

-- Ronald Reagan, 1975, Reason Magazine.

Posted by Lee on 03/29/05 at 02:39 PM in Decline of Western Civilization  • (3) TrackbacksPermalink

Allah Down South
by Lee

Your government at work.

In its scramble to marshal resources for gathering intelligence on Al Qaeda and Iraq, the CIA shut down a spy ring it was operating in South America that was providing a rare glimpse of the activities of Iranian militants and intelligence networks, according to a former agency official involved in the operation.

The program, which had taken five years to assemble, penetrated Iranian intelligence operations in South America and succeeded to the point that several of the CIA’s informants were taken to Iran for religious training, the former official said.

The agency has struggled to obtain reliable intelligence on Iran. The official who was involved in managing the spy ring said it was among the few successes the CIA had had in recent years.

“I believe now if we’re forced to go back into Iran, we’re going to be starting from near zero,” the official said, referring to intelligence on the Islamic regime. The Bush administration has recently endorsed European efforts to negotiate with Iran to dismantle its nuclear enrichment program, but has not ruled out the possible use of military strikes or covert operations.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m really starting to lose faith in the ability of our government to actually accomplish anything.  THIS is who is supposed to be keeping us safe from Islamic fundamentalists?

Posted by Lee on 03/29/05 at 11:51 AM in Politics  • (2) TrackbacksPermalink

A Shame
by Lee

I got the following email a little while ago.

Lee,

I debated even sending you anything, but thought you should know why one of your long-time readers is leaving you.
I am not a prude.  I’m not a hard-core lifer.  Hell, I was the one who was going to take a pic of a ‘dozer on St. Rachel’s tombstone if her parents had the guts to bury her up here in Washington.

I haven’t really even taken sides on the Schiavo case, as I’m mixed between state’s rights, separation of powers and simply letting a person die through no fault of her own.
I know there are people who’ve pissed you off on this, but quite frankly I’ve just grown tired of it all.

Why link the Famous Last Words?  What does it accomplish?  I would think you - especially with what you and your family went through with your dad - would be just a bit more understanding.  And I’m sorry for what happened then.  I read every word.

If you want to mock the crazies outside the hospice, so be it.  If you want to rip the hard lifers who come to your site, so be it.  But I just don’t find the humor in making fun of a person - who’s done absolutely nothing to warrant what she’s going through - while she’s dying.  Honestly, it’s beneath you.

There must be another way to get under the skin of those who’ve ripped you on this, other than alienating otherwise reasonable people such as myself. 

Lee, I’ve enjoyed your site and appreciated your Liberatarian take on things. 
Best of luck, and try to remember not all conservatives are the same.

[Name Withheld]

I would have thought by now that my warped sense of humor would have been blatantly obvious.  I engage in this sort of thing all the time.  I spared no joke when Rachel Corrie was run over by the bulldozer.  And I often engaged in gallows humor with my mom and dad when my dad was nearing the end of his life.  Jokes are jokes, and often times the funniest jokes are the most tasteless.  Gallows humor is how some people (of which I am one) deal with issues that are delicate or uncomfortable.  How many times on here have I made self-deprecating jokes about my weight, or appearance, or my astonishing inability to meet a girl I actually like?  This is what I do.  I always encourage people to hit me with their best shot when it comes to insults, the more personal and wounding the better.  That’s what I think is funny.

I always hate getting letters like this, but ultimately this site is about me.  I have no editors, no subscribers.  The site is free, and people are permitted to come and go as freely as they like.  I hope that this reader, and anyone else who has departed recently, somehow find their way back here someday.

Posted by Lee on 03/29/05 at 03:01 AM in Deep Thoughts  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Oil and Water
by Lee

Following up on the success of the intervention in the Schiavo case, I present the latest reason why there needs to be an explicit separation of church and state.

The Colorado Supreme Court on Monday threw out the death penalty in a rape-and-murder case because jurors had studied Bible verses such as “eye for eye, tooth for tooth” during deliberations.

On a 3-2 vote, justices ordered Robert Harlan to serve life in prison without parole for kidnapping 25-year-old cocktail waitress Rhonda Maloney in 1994, raping her at gunpoint for two hours and then fatally shooting her.

The jurors in Harlan’s 1995 trial sentenced him to die, but defense lawyers discovered five of them had looked up Bible verses, copied them down and talked about them while deliberating a sentence behind closed doors.

The Supreme Court said “at least one juror in this case could have been influenced by these authoritative passages to vote for the death penalty when he or she may otherwise have voted for a life sentence.”

Assistant District Attorney Michael Goodbee said prosecutors were reviewing the ruling and could ask the state Supreme Court to reconsider or could appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

During oral arguments before the Supreme Court last month, defense attorney Kathleen Lord said the jurors had gone outside the law. “They went to the Bible to find out God’s position on capital punishment,” she said.

Prosecutors had argued jurors should be allowed to refer to the Bible or other religious texts during deliberations.

Quick, someone call Congress!  Emergency legislation needs to be passed right now to make sure that this guy gets the death penalty!  Fuck the Constitution, fuck the separation of powers, fuck states rights, and fuck the court system, this fucker’s gotta fry!

Note to religious conservatives: when you’re on a jury, forget what the Bible says.  Just go with that pesky old law, okay?

Posted by Lee on 03/29/05 at 12:02 AM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Monday, March 28, 2005

Famous Last Words
by Lee

Okay, I have to admit I found this tastelessly hilarious.  A lot of you won’t, though.  Be warned.

Posted by Lee on 03/28/05 at 05:16 PM in Fun and Humor  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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