September 1, 2007

Coffeehouse.

This post is a coffeehouse. Have your conversation here. It's a beautiful Saturday here in New York City. I'll be back at some point with some photos, but, please, carry on without me.

42 comments:

AlphaLiberal said...

Coffee gets me thinking this morning. How can any American think it's okay to politicize the armed forces. Isn't that the sort of thing they do in those Banana Republics we so look down upon?

Can't we just agree the armed forces should be off limits for partisan activity? I guess not.

"MITCHELL: Petraeus went to the Republican caucus and told them, I will have real progress to you by August. They told him, if — we’ll stick with you —"

Well, there's that. Then there's the practice of handing out partisan, slanted, inaccurate talking points to the troops for communicating with visiting members of Congress. (And they physically remove anyone sending a dissenting view - more than propaganda).

Well, perhaps we should just take to calling them "Banana Republicans" more often.

Gahrie said...

1) I have seen no evidence that the briefings handed out to the troops concerning the unfamilar faces in their midst were either inaccurate or slanted. All of the evidence I have seen is that they accurately listed the person's positions and provided some of their quotes.

2) I think a much bigger scandal, especially concerning politicizing the troops, is the call by a writer at the HuffPo for the chairman of the joint chief of staff to commit a coup against the US government. This demand has been met by silence from the left.

Jim Hu said...

I don't see how briefing members of Congress in any setting is partisan activity. Whether the people the General meets with politicize their responses is politics as usual on both sides.

But perhaps alphaliberal thinks the "for you" in the words attributed to Gen. Petraeus means "you Republicans" as opposed to "you Americans".

gahrie, the WaPo article did point out inaccuracy in the information the troops had:
Under "latest Iraq vote," Tauscher's bio noted that she had voted in favor of legislation requiring the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq within 120 days of the bill's enactment.

She did vote that way -- in May. On Aug. 2, Tauscher voted in favor of her own bill, which mandates that troops be granted a leave from combat at least as long as their last combat deployment before being shipped back to Iraq. That vote might have been a little too popular with the soldiers she was meeting, Tauscher said.

See! It's inaccurate! They didn't say latest as of a specific date!

AlphaLiberal said...

The article linked to by Josh Marshall explains how the talking points are selectively given.

This is part of an orchestrated dog and pony show demonstrating how decisionmakers are being fed a steady diet of bullshit in support of the "do the same thing and expect a different result" policy.

And it's partisan because it's all about promoting the Administration and their position. Do you think they have her comments praising the troops? No.

I'd like to see more copies to see if it's designed to make Democrats look bad and Republicans look good. (More here)

And, John, the point is that they did not reflect the latest information.

There have been other examples, too, like when they broadcast Rush Limbaugh to the troops and didn't allow anyone left of center, like Al Franken. They finally backed off that policy after several years.

Kev said...

It's times like this where I wish either of my current bands had recorded anything yet (it's coming soon). If so, I'd post the link here. After all, a lot of coffeehouses have live music, and I'd be happy to "play" during the discussion. It might even set a tone for the dicsourse--music soothes the savage b(r)east, etc.

EnigmatiCore said...

Amazingly enough, the partisan liberals who always come on threads here and elsewhere demanding that everyone pay attention to whatever they are saying is a scandal that day are completely silent about Hsu and Clinton.

Instead, they want to try and discredit a General who is making progress that even Congressional anti-war Democrats have reported witnessing with their own eyes.

We just threw the Republicans out, and are primed to continue to do so. Now it is time to start throwing the corrupt Democrats out, and exposing their apologists as sycophants.

Maybe, eventually, we'll get in a batch who aren't scum-sucking asses. Partisans be damned, I want that regardless of party.

hdhouse said...

EnigmatiCore said...
Amazingly enough, the partisan liberals who always come on threads here and elsewhere demanding that everyone pay attention to whatever they are saying is a scandal that day are completely silent about Hsu and Clinton..."

what utter bullshit. She sent the money to charity as soon as she found out. What more do you want?....to have her come over and smooch your big fat ass? that is the kind of bullshit political commentary we on the left have now come to associate with some of you from the right.

EnigmatiCore said...

hdhouse,

She sent money to charity as soon as she was caught.

I am certain you would be so forgiving if the party shoes were reversed.

But I am sure you are 100% behind finding out, not only how much Hsu donated to Clinton and having her donate the money to charity, but also:

* which other people, like the Paws, did so and have their money donated to charity.

* do the same for all the money Hsu and the Paws et al donated to *all* Democrats, and to Democratic supporting groups.

* find out exactly where it was from that Hsu got his money, since all of his listed businesses over the past several years turned out to be non-existent.

Oh, that's right. You just said that it is all 100% bullshit. You know this because... well, obviously, because you have revealed yourself to be a partisan hack, completely unconcerned about the corruption you have claimed was one of your driving impulses against Republicans for the past few years.

A pox on the house of all partisans who think they can somehow get others to believe their shit don't stink. Feh.

Maxine Weiss said...

Coffee is poison. So is aspirin, liquor, and Botox.

In that order.

Maxine Weiss said...

Happy Labor Day, Everyone!

jane said...

“She sent the money to charity as soon as she found out.”

Absolutely, but you left off the end of the sentence: “as soon as she found out that WE found out.”

Happy Labor Day is a good wish (i'll make to a favorite friend who labors under unproductive assumptions---)

titus17 said...

i just had a hot stone massage and my chakras are all aligned and I just saw my third eye.

at this point i love everyone.

Namaste.

Jim Hu said...

alpha: Who's John?

From reading the linked article, I can't tell if the info sheets for the troops were part of the VRWC or not. I wouldn't put it past someone to do it the way you describe - i.e. I'm not automatically calling it innocent, as gahrie is, but I'm not automatically calling it "partisan, slanted, inaccurate, talking points" either, until someone posts a copy of the things and I can see for myself. Haven't seen any yet, but given the way things come out on the net, I won't be surprised to see one posted sometime soon. There's also the question of what the origin of the docs was. It's certainly possible that some Rove wannabe in the administration put these together, and I wouldn't be shocked if that was the case but there are other plausible explanations as well. I don't know what happened. But unless you have info you're not sharing, neither do you.

The actual inaccuracy highlighted in the WaPo piece struck me as trivial. I don't see how reporting how someone voted is sliming them unless the reporting of votes is a lot more selective than what was described in the WaPo piece (i.e the kind of selective vote reporting both sides routinely engage in during a typical US election campaign).

Similarly, the whole kerfuffle about Limbaugh vs. Franken on AF radio struck me as overheated. Like it or not, Limbaugh has much higher ratings. Are there people in the administration or the military who are glad that they have an excuse to not carry Air America? Probably. But that doesn't mean that there's a conspiracy to silence critical voices, esp. with NPR on AF radio.

Internet Ronin said...

Anyone looking for a few good laughs (and a bit of enlightenment)?

Google "Cedarford"

titus17 said...

Sorry I just wanted to clarify I did massage and then yoga which is why I can see my third eye.

I did Bigram yoga today where we are lined up like a bunch of sweaty seals in a 100 degree room. They constantly tell us to relax as we stay in our downward facing dog and then there is always some huge fart come from somewhere in the room.

The massage did not come with release today which was somewhat disappointing.

The weather is absolutely perfect here today, about 85 degrees.

People are everywhere. I think I need to go buy a little blouse. A fabulous dindin at a small out of the way 4 star restaurant is definitely a requirement tonight. I am thinking of sea bass or coq au vin-yum

titus17 said...

Oh some guy at yoga, before we all stripped, had a shirt on that said "I am not gay nor have I ever been gay"-damn people are fast with getting that shit out.

When I say "stripped" I mean the guys are all shirtless and the girls have sports bras on. Not naked yoga-that would be gross.

Cedarford said...

Ronin - Not as funny as the fake Vietnam Vet denouncing "coward Bush's Guard service" who set up the fake site. Who was called out on the unlikelihood that many Jewish university profs received military heroism awards in 'Nam. Then found to be too young to have served.
Participation by Jews in the military has always been low, historically - except when drafted with no waivers allowed. I think the guy was more pissed that people called his fakery on his ethnicity rather than just getting caught..

titus17 said...

Cedarford your popular and as the Duran Duran song says "nortorious"-you are all over Google-I'm jealous.

OK, on to me. Just got back from walking the dogs and I am currently "masking" and "waxing" as I type. I am a multi-tasker.

Dinner will definitely be tshirts and jeans but thats all we ever wear to dindin-dressing casual in fabulous restaurants is way cool.

OK-these are my three options for restaurant, which will be a small out of the way cafe:
1)hot
2)white hot
3)sizzling I am on fire

Talk to me Althousians what should I do?

Cedarford said...

Anyways, outside Ronin's distraction, I thought one story was under-covered and undercommented on was NASA's mealy-mouthed clearing astronauts of accusations of drunkeness.

For 45 years, NASA zealously guarded the reputations of astronauts from being besmirched. Then had a Committee of 3 NASA employees investigate if there were other problems besides the love-sick jealous diaper gal. The Committee somehow went outside their charter of looking at stress and psychological issues to make sensational charges that astronuats were showing up drunk for flight.

Then came all the drunken astronaut jokes and cartoons here and in Russia, China, the EU - as the Corps of present and former astronauts were besmearched as a group. And told to not speak out as "the investigation" of the charges was done.

Now we know the 3 NASA employees on the committee based their charges on people that had not witnessed anything but "heard about drunkeness somewhere" - and the gutless Administrator will not reprimand them.

EnigmatiCore said...

Internet ronin--

That first link is 1) a riot and 2) very enlightening.

dcwilly said...

I find it incomprehensible that Professor Althouse, who announced her new policy of deleting comments she found to be "garbage" just a few weeks back, allows Cederford to publish flagrantly anti-semitic comments almost daily.

hdhouse said...

"as soon as we found out". oh i love that. so i suppose senator craig was ditched by Romney "as soon as we found out" or "as soon as he found out"?

and you brainiacs.....$23,000. ohmygod....thats about 4hours of fundraising. i'm sure hillary is just gonna fold it up without the $23,000.

what do we always say about the neo-geo-p'rs? you ain't got dick?
but with senator craig comes the proof.

laughing at ya'

titus17 said...

Is Althouse the only site Cedarford hasn't been banned from? If you go to those links every other right wing site has banned him and that is saying something.

Now what about my dindin options girls?

Ginger Prawns sound good too tonight-just like Sonny Von Beulow

EnigmatiCore said...

"$23,000."

Uh, no. Try $255,970 from Hsu to 'a variety of Democratic candidates and committees since 2004', according to the New York Times.

This isn't about just Hillary, although for those of us who had been considering giving her a chance it is a sad but probably needed reminder that her husband, his VP, and she have been very cozy with shady far east money.

And beyond the $256k mentioned above, we have the money that Hsu solicited from families that live in small shacks and have little income, such as the Paw family, who gave Hillary $55,000 over three years. And the Lee family, $37K. And so on.

And yet, no curiousity at all from the peanut gallery. In fact, a distinct feeling of them circling the wagons in defense, and getting all profane at the mere suggestion of impropriety.

Completely shameless. You care about corruption when it comes from the right, and are determined to ignore it when it is on the left. That makes you a partisan hack. Maybe above an anti-semitic troll (as has been proven about another Althouse commenter) on the food chain, but not significantly higher.

hdhouse said...

still laughing at you. is this the best cheese you got? hahahaha

EnigmatiCore said...

Be careful, hdhouse. Your inner Stalinist is showing.

Don't worry, though. Soon enough, we voters will turn on your beloved Democrats the way we turned on Republicans.

If you were really smart, you would work to head that off, but we know that won't happen. If you were just kinda smart, when it happens you would learn from the experience. But being dumb as a brick, you'll curse the silly typical American voter for being so stupid.

Laugh all you want. The joke, after all, is squarely on you.

Peter Palladas said...

So, farewell Senator Craig.

You were only there for the craic you said.

But someone reckoned it was for the crack instead.

Keith's Mum says you should have gone before you left home and then there would have been none of this trouble.

Gahrie said...

Still no comment from the Left about the call for a coup d'etat.

Gedaliya said...

My guess is that this won't hurt Hillary much. She isn't going to lose votes among the Republicans, nor is she going to lose votes among the Democrats if she gets the nomination. In the same vein, it's hard to see how this hurts her in the primaries, because neither Edwards nor Obama has any chance of getting the nomination.

In the competition for the independent vote, the Bill and Hillary show will be formidable, and as they have many times in the past, they will adroitly manage this scandal with skills acquired from many years of experience.

If B&H get the nomination, and their Republican opponent underestimates them, the Republicans will lose decisively.

Maxine Weiss said...

Cute:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DSrJXQV9Og&mode=related&search=

rhhardin said...

Free goats

First they were $30 each, and then free if you take all of them.

Somebody is of two minds.

Fletch said...

"as soon as we found out". oh i love that. so i suppose senator craig was ditched by Romney "as soon as we found out" or "as soon as he found out"?

Exactly!

Just like here in Ohio- Gov. Strickland- along with AG Dann and Sec State Brunner-- they all "gave up" their contributions from Hsu- "when they found out"...

Because, "election law violations" are okay! ...when you're a Dem.

EnigmatiCore said...

"She isn't going to lose votes among the Republicans, nor is she going to lose votes among the Democrats if she gets the nomination."

About 1/3 of us aren't either.

Elections are won by securing us.

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Theo Boehm said...

This has nothing to do with political fights or anything else here so far.  I just ran into a bit of Althousiana today in Woodstock, Vermont, and had to share it.

Back in April, Althouse visited Dartmouth.  As you might expect, she took her usual great photographs.

She also took a side trip to nearby Woodstock, where she encountered this creepy shop window. Here are direct links to the first and second shop window photos.  Fairly weird, eh?

Now it's 5-1/2 months later, and we did a little pre-Labor Day last-rose-of-summer snap vacation to Vermont.  We visited Woodstock with the kids—first time for them—and encountered the same mannequins.  They have been sitting outside all summer, creeping people out.  An older British couple were snapping pictures just ahead of me, making Althousian remarks about the message on the shirt.

My youngest couldn't resist making his own statement on the subject.

Fletch said...

hdhouse-

She sent the money to charity as soon as she found out.

See also (Ohio) Gov. Strickland,
AG Dann, and Sec State Brunner...

(They are still using the "Sgt. Schultz defense"- "I knew nothing"!)- but, all have already attempted to "return" the contibutions they have received...

Gahrie said...

Still no comment from the Left about the call for a coup d'etat.

Revenant said...

Coffee gets me thinking this morning. How can any American think it's okay to politicize the armed forces. Isn't that the sort of thing they do in those Banana Republics we so look down upon?

Given your "Banana Republic" parallel I assume you're referring to military rule over the civilian population. Yes, that's a horrible idea, and fortunately nobody's suggesting it.

If you're just talking about people playing politics with the military, though, that's just a typical part of democracy.

Ann Althouse said...

Theo: Thanks! I'm glad to see those creepy little mannequins are getting some fresh air.

And your son is adorable (and not at all creepy).

Theo Boehm said...

Professor A:  Thank you!   I remember your trip to Woodstock because of the bad restaurant recommendation I gave you, but I'd forgotten the weird mannequins until I found myself rubbing elbows with them.  Also, it's been 4-1/2 months, not 5-1/2.  Someday I'll put up a typo-free comment.

Anyway, as you might tell from the devilish grin on his face, our youngest has a wicked sense of humor.  He's extremely quick-witted, and regularly ties poor Mom and Dad in verbal knots (especially Dad).

He's going to the Boston Archdiocesan Choir School next year, joining the approximately 6,800 full-time choir-school students in the world—a vanishing breed.  He'll be singing at one of the two remaining churches I know of anywhere that has a daily sung Mass.  It's a big parental commitment, not the least of which is getting him back and forth to the precincts of Harvard University daily from our perch in the 'burbs.  He's a very good singer, and even looks the part of a choirboy if we can get him to comb his hair.

Our little vacation was a refreshing start to the back-to-school chaos next week.  I'll put up some more pictures, because Vermont was green and beautiful for photography.  The days were golden, the nights were cool, and it was all ripe and teetering on the edge of autumn—which in Vermont, as everyone knows, is one of the most astonishingly beautiful things in the world.

AlphaLiberal said...

"But that doesn't mean that there's a conspiracy to silence critical voices, esp. with NPR on AF radio."

Well, not exactly. More like an outright policy to filter news reaching the troops so they only hear right-wing propaganda.

Such as when General Batiste wrote a piece blasting the occupation, which ThinkProgress.org posted. Within days the military turned off access to thinkprogress.org.

Gedaliya said...

More like an outright policy to filter news reaching the troops so they only hear right-wing propaganda.

I guess if you were in charge we'd bombard the troops with news designed to lower their morale. After all, this is a free country, right?? Never mind that the troops face a determined, lethal enemy looking for any advantage in their struggle against what is a superior military force.

Is it your intention to ensure we are less effective against our mortal enemies?