Sunday, November 25, 2012

Jack Kelly today - his version of reality

This is a copy of a comment I made on the PG for today's Jack Kelly "The right will rise: Conservatives first must take the culture back from liberals"

This is simply the extension of Jack Kelly's world view, presumably the exact Tea Part line. Kelly treads a twisted, cognitively dissonant path, suggesting (for example) that "young people today" are i"so massively ignorant of history, civics, economics, geography, physics and basic math", yet his choice for Republican candidate in 2016 calls the age of the earth one of life's great mysteries, essentially (as I understand it) equating science and religion.

But the really insulting thing is the contempt Kelly has for the voters and really all the citizens of this country. Simply because the President won, Kelly assumes that voters were persuaded by lies. Instead of advocating for truth, Kelly tells us that Republicans need to spend money the way liberals do, in co-opting the young. Kelly doesn't advocate for truth because when some 97% of climate scientists all feel one way about climate change, you can't (credibly) say it is another, or even just suggest the issue is not resolved.

Simply saying that newspapers and colleges/universities are "technologically obsolescent" does not make it true. Newspapers have had issues responding to the 24 hour news cycle, but comment sections like this one are one innovation, and newspapers/magazines (like Mother Jones) can do the in depth stories, with lots more facts (sometimes only words) than TV can provide. But conservatives are threatened by the in depth knowledge provided both newspapers and Universities. Conservatives would like to make the case that both groups lie and spread propaganda (I guess because conservatives lie so reflexively), but newspapers are the oldest popular information source and Universities are the oldest learning institutions around. Both have long standing procedures ad mechanisms for being truthful, and I guess that annoys conservatives.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Could I find agreement with Jack Kelly?

This is (another) straight copy of a comment I made on the PG on today's Jack Kelly column "Sex sells, but what about Libya? (The Petraeus affair raises big questions)"

This is sort of frightening. I agree with a lot of what Jack Kelly says here. We do have a fundamental disagreement about who was deceiving who in the government, but I will agree there are things to investigate.

I agree that we (the nation) were lied to by our government about who was behind this Benghazi consulate attack. I think we do *now* know who was behind it, and I hope our government is pursuing them, if only to send a message to other terrorist groups. But I think that if conservatives continue to say our government is *currently* lying to us, they are just being irritating and ultimately silly.

Where Kelly and I part company is in this paragraph - "The White House claims no one there learned of the affair until Election Day. This strains credulity. Gen. Petraeus may have misled the House Intelligence Committee Sept . 13 about what happened in Benghazi to hew to the administration line that the attack had mostly to do with a protest over an anti-Muslim video. Why would he do this? Conservative columnists Charles Krauthammer and Bill Kristol have raised the possibility that the administration blackmailed him with knowledge of his illicit affair." The point about when the White House knew about the affair is worth investigating (slightly, although if the affair was over, then the only question was whether Paula Broadwell would be arrested for violations of secrets rules), but much of the rest of paragraph defies common sense. I seriously doubt Petraeus "hewed" to any administration line, rather I think the CIA was running its own game, and feeding bad intelligence to the administration for some time period after that attack (a week, two, honestly I don't know).

Actually, I disagree with Kelly's last bullet point as well, for pretty much the same reasons I gave above.

I am still personally convinced that Petraeus was forced to resign because he fed the administration bad information after the attack, that the CIA essentially let four Americans die at Benghazi, and that they gave conservatives a fairly juicy issue right before the election. I think investigating the President on this issue is at least the wrong place to start, if not down right absurd. Let's talk to the people who had/have a facility inside the consulate, who managed to put a big target on the consulate. Let's investigate the CIA on this.

And by the way, although it is premature, if I had to suggest where ultimate blame should lie, I would divide it evenly between Bush and Obama. Bush started this resurgence of covert operations and suggested weakening FISA, but Obama has certainly carried on and even expanded this new philosophy. If you kill Americans without due process, if you direct the CIA to assassinate suspected terrorists with drones and then allow the CIA to target their funerals, killing children along with adults, then you have little room to complain if they use consulates as intelligence facilities, and don't bother to warn anyone.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Kelly's sorry (we chose the wrong man) ...

This is a straight copy of what I posted to the PG comment section about today's Jack Kelly column "Eating crow, expecting trouble (I was wrong about the election; now I fear for the future)".

Well, it's nice that Jack Kelly is admitting he was wrong in his predictions of a Romney victory. He admits that he read the politics wrong. Of course, Kelly only goes so far. He gives no credit to Obama for turning another Great Depression around. He thinks that the (admittedly surprising) new Democratic coalition of voters could be easily split if the Republicans advance a Hispanic candidate. Now, we all remember how the Republicans screamed about Obama's lack of experience in 2008, yet Kelly simply insults all of America by suggesting candidates with no national experience at all.

It is already looking like Republicans will continue their practice of total intransigence in Congress. If we do drop into another recession, it will be clear who is to blame (hint - not George Bush). And Kelly's parting shot at "the gravy train" is beyond insulting, but of course neither Kelly nor the PG will apologize for that.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Kelly on desperation

You know, no one doesn't say this election is not real close (today's Jack Kelly). But what Jack Kelly says seems at odds with everything I read, including glancing at Real Clear Politics right now (which shows the race as no worse than a dead heat).

Meanwhile, if the 538 Blog on the New York Times is to be believed, their summary of the aggregate of national polls shows Mitt Romney never took the lead, even after the first debate. The fact that Kelly clings to what Gallup says or has said is what seems desperate.

Of course, if one party or the other thinks it is likely their candidate is going to lose, some number of the faithful have a reason not to vote. So Kelly has reason to spread his version of reality. Except that Jack Kelly is supposed to be writing the truth, or at least presenting maybe more than one point of view (or acknowledging another point of exists and is legitimate for some people).

So as a public service, a different point of view: 538 blog