Nothing to See Here…

by matttbastard

So I’m skimming Memeorandum, wearily chuckling at Ben “$400 haircut!!1one” Smith’s apparent inability to properly distinguish between ‘censorship’ (Eek!! What does teh Obama has to hide aboot teh Blago?!) and ‘burying‘, when I spot the following Salon headline on the New Item Finder sidebar:

What Do The Clintons Have on Obama?

Thinking it’s time to once again break out the trusty Em Ess Em clue stick, I click, only to discover that it’s just the latest moldy Camille Paglia time-slip from the Alanis Morrisette era (yes, yes–you! you! you! oughta know not to click a Salon link on the second Wednesday of every month, unless it’s Glennzilla). So, I figure, why waste the effort? I have many, many other tasks awaiting my attention that are far more worthwhile than tying myself up in knots trying to untangle Paglia’s typically twisted reasoning.

Seriously–these cuticles won’t tend to themselves.

Oh, and just to briefly satisfy your perverse curiosity, yes, she’s still Madonna-crushing hardcore on the neo-feminist ex-mayor of Wasilla, spouting some blather about “the quick, sometimes jagged, but always exuberant way that Palin speaks — which is closer to street rapping than to the smug bourgeois cadences of the affluent professional class.”

*blinks*

Apparently Pags is trying her goddamndest to be hailed as popademia’s answer to John Hinderaker.

You betcha.

(Oooh. Jagged yet exuberant!)

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CP: Torture Continues in Afghanistan Under Canada’s Watch

by matttbastard

Awesome:

An agreement between Canada and the Afghanistan government has not stopped the torture of Afghan detainees after Canadian troops hand them over to Afghan security forces, the Federal Court of Appeal heard Wednesday.

A lawyer for human-rights groups that want to extend Canadian human-rights protection to the detainees told court the agreement reached in February has not ended abuses that came to light in 2007.

“It is our submission it is not working,” lawyer Paul Champ told a court tribunal. “There are still human-rights abuses in Afghanistan.”

Champ later said investigations by UNICEF and the Afghanistan Human Rights Commission have found recent evidence of torture in Afghanistan.

But he said it has been impossible to obtain information from the Canadian Forces about the treatment of prisoners they hand over to Afghan police.

In other news, the Little Eichmanns in Kandahar finally received new boots.

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Conservatives Just Can’t Quit the (Profitable) Partisan Bomb Throwing

by matttbastard

Behold–the birth of the New New Spirit of Cooperation (now with even less irony):

The Conservatives issued a fundraising letter on Wednesday painting interim Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff as a parachute leader who wasn’t rightfully elected by Canadians or his own party members.

“Stéphane Dion has resigned as leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, and by extension, of the Liberal/NDP/Bloc Coalition,” Tory campaign chair Doug Finley writes.

“In yet another stunning and unprecedented demonstration of Liberal contempt for our democratic rights, they’ve decided to appoint a new leader in place.”

The fundraising letter then implores party supporters to donate $200 or $100 to “help us spread this message to Canadians.”

The letter came just a day after Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered an olive branch to Ignatieff, urging the “big national parties” to work together on protecting Canada’s economy from the global economic turmoil.

“I hope the next Liberal leader, the first thing he’ll do will be … to sit down with me and have that kind of discussion,” the prime minister said in an interview with the CBC’s Peter Mansbridge on Tuesday.

Likely to be first on the (current) Prime Minister’s agenda: “So, uh, what colour is your parachute, Mr. Ignatieff?”

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A Liberal Government Without a Coalition: Clear, Refreshing and Zero Calories!

by matttbastard

pogge nails it–behold, the birth of the uncoalition:

[CTV News Ottawa Bureau Chief Bob] Fife also said senior Liberals have told him that they may not need a coalition to form a new government.

“If they do defeat the Conservative government… Ignatieff will go to the Governor General and say ‘We think we can form the government but we don’t have to do it with a coalition,'” Fife said.

“In other words we don’t have to give the NDP any seats in a Liberal government.”

He said the NDP and Block (sic) would have to support the Liberals because they already have expressed their hatred towards the Conservative government.

Y’know, I get the impression that this mysterious gaggle of “senior Liberals” who go running to Fife every time a gnat cuts a fart during a caucus meeting have an ongoing bet on who can convince CTV’s 1337 stenographer to breathlessly relay the most outrageous load of horseshit, no matter how absurd. Yes, the NDP will dutifully prop up the Grits without having a say in shaping policy. And Stephen Harper truly has the best interests of the nation at heart.

Tell me another one, Bob.

Anyway, Iggy just reiterated his (tepid) support of the coalition, stating in his first news conference as Liberal interim leader that “the ball is in Mr. Harper’s court” and that the (un)coalition is fully prepared to form a “stable” government, should the Governor General make such a request. So even though pogge’s skepticism is likely warranted (based on both Liberal scuttlebutt and Iggy’s equivocation about whether he will actually invoke the coalition option), I’m not quite ready to write off the coalition as DOA just yet. What Iggy has made abundantly clear is this: over the next several weeks the overtures and maneuvers undertaken by Harper and his minions will determine the fate of this Parliament.

One wonders if the current Prime Minister, based on the hubris he’s displayed over the past several weeks, will be able to resist hanging himself with the rope he’s just been handed.

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Of Fools and Folly

by matttbastard

How much you wanna bet that the only reason Jonathan Martin and Ben Smith cobbled together this rickety structure of baseless speculation about Obama and the potential (yes, potential) scandal that might (yes, might) arise (passive voice!) for the President-elect and certain members of his team, following yesterday’s dramatic arrest of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, was to frame the following paragraph:

One prominent Chicago Democrat close to many of those named in the indictment suggested the risk for Obama is “Whitewater-type exposure.” That was a reference to an Arkansas real estate deal that produced a series lengthy and highly intrusive investigations in the 1990s that never proved illegality by the Clintons.

Apparently The Politico brain trust is still stuck in 1992.  Not surprising, considering that throughout the ’90s Politico editor-in-chief John F. Harris and his then-colleagues at the Washington Post reported extensively on many  now-infamous media-and-Republican-manufactured Clinton-era scandals that would not fucking die.   Eric Boehlert, critiquing a 2006 book written by Harris and ABC News  Political Director Mark Halperin, puts “Whitewater-type exposure” in proper context:

The duo devotes an entire chapter detailing Clinton’s often troubled first term in office, yet the phrase “Whitewater” never appears in print there. Keep in mind that reproducing The Washington Post’s library of breathless Whitewater stories printed during Clinton’s first term would likely fill three volumes the size of The Way to Win, while ABC’s Whitewater archives could fill a weekend of around-the-clock coverage. But for Halperin and Harris, the story, and the media’s absolutely central role in keeping alive a Republican-generated hoax about a long-ago real estate deal, goes down the memory hole.

The old proverb about dogs and vomit comes to mind.

Update: More from Steve Benen, who looks at AP’s latest “wildly irresponsible” example of “cutting through the clutter”  by not relying on such hoary journalistic conventions as “facts” or “evidence” to support ones assertions.

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