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. . .takin’ the “BS” out’a the BlogoSphere (and MSM), one shovel-full at a time

Al Franken’s first and ten tax punt

Bloged in America, Wing-Nuts (Left) by Gutter Grunt Wednesday December 15, 2010 at about 10:44 am

When you’re looking for BS in the blogosphere, check the politicians’ blogs first.

Here’s Al Franken’s whining, self-serving “explanation” on HuffPost of why he went over to the dark side and voted for the tax cuts for the rich.

Note his lead line:  “A lot of people are unhappy that the president punted on first down, and I’m one of them.”

First, the obvious: it is not the president that passes tax bills.  It’s congressmen, like Franken.  So enough of the finger-pointing.  Enough of the cowardice.  Go back to being a clown on SNL or wherever you came from if you can’t take up fights in behalf of the people you represent.

But Franken’s “explanation” of why he also punted is not about punting on first down.    He “explains” why he folded, not why he folded on first down; there is a large difference.  Franken doesn’t justify why the Democrats didn’t take this ball at least three downs, and that is the whole issue that is driving middle-class Democrats to the right – it’s not that the Democrats in Congress and the White House are fighting for them and losing, it’s that they’re not even fighting.  They are punting on first down, as Franken admits.  What’s at issue is the first down, not the punt.

The reason there is no fight over these tax cuts for the rich is that Franken and his politician buddies, including Obama, all personally benefit from the tax cuts.  And therein lies the fallacy of representative democracy: the representatives are, or soon become, rich.  If they aren’t there already, by taking office they move into a different economic class than the people who elect them, and, therefore, they acquire an unavoidable conflict of interest.

When was the last time the house of a president, ex-president, congressman, or ex-congressman was under threat of foreclosure?  When was the last time a president, ex-president, congressman, or ex-congressman had to worry about health costs, or affording health insurance, or his/her unemployment benefits running out in a tanking job market?

We will know we have a truly representative democracy when the representatives are under the same financial pressures and burdens as the people they represent – mostly the middle class.  That’ll never happen, which is why representative democracy has a large element of fraud built into it.  It is, to be blunt, a hoax.  America has returned to what Alexis de Tocqueville referred to as the rule of the aristocracy, and Franken is a good example of the aristocracy made up to look like regular folk.

The strange case of the Wikileaks slam hound and his sluts: one lawyer’s view

Bloged in Europe by Gutter Grunt Sunday December 12, 2010 at about 5:32 pm

For an American lawyer, the Swedes’ case against Julian Assange is weird, indeed.

As a point of departure, it is worth noting that by “strange case” I do not mean a case for criminal conviction, which is what Americans normally mean by “case.”  Assange has not been charged with any crime at all.  At the moment, all the Swedes have articulated is a “case” for extraditing him for questioning, which is entirely different from locking him up to stand trial.  In Sweden, apparently, they lock people up so they can chat with them — in Assange’s case, about a busted condom.

The Swedes have put into effect an Interpol international arrest warrant based on nothing more than their desire to ask Assange some questions.  They are busting the guy without any indictment or charges being laid, merely because some feminist prosecutor, Marianne Ny, wants him to answer some questions about the busted condom.  From an American perspective, that’s weird — not the condom breaking, that happens all the time (I am told).  What’s weird is an international arrest warrant to talk to someone about how, when, and if they use condoms.

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FBI redux: At least one question gets answered.

Bloged in America, BigBro by Gutter Grunt Monday December 6, 2010 at about 9:33 pm

In yesterday’s post on the Portland, Oregon non-bomber case, I asked: Why would the FBI dress up  Mohamud like OBL and video him reading a long written message?  Assuming the FBI wrote the message, which is likely, the video would have scant evidentiary value.  So why go to the trouble?

The answer pops up today in an AP article by Jeff Barnard and Nigel Duara about Mohamud and his history.  In that article Barnard and Duara refer to a “cell phone video obtained and aired by Portland station KPTV last week . . . KPTV won’t reveal how it obtained the video, which lasts less than a minute.  It is not known who recorded the video clips . . .”

Although it is clear that Barnard and Duara had access to FBI agent Dwyer’s affidavit, which I linked to yesterday, and which describes setting the video up, and which gives a verbatim transcript of the video, Barnard and Duara miss the obvious.  The quotes in the Barnard/Duara article, which are the quotes from the clips shown on KPTV, are word for word from the transcript of Mohamud’s video in the Dwyer affidavit.

Come on, AP dudes.  Are you so seriously dense that you can’t see that the unknown source of the KPTV clips had to be the FBI?  According to the FBI’s own affidavit, they shot the video.  They are the only ones who could have access to it or who could have passed it to the TV station.

As to my question why would the FBI go to the trouble to make the video, the answer is now obvious.  They didn’t shoot the video just to have it bounced out of court as illicit and inadmissible evidence.  They shot it for the local news.  They shot it in order to taint the jury pool.  They shot it to scare Portland citizens even more so that Portland would re-join the JTTF.  That was the whole reason behind the Mohamud set-up and bust to begin with, as explained in yesterday’s post, below.

Stasi, Mossad, Hitler’s SS, KGB, FBI.  So, what’s the difference, particularly when Americans — and Mohamud is an American — have more to fear from their own FBI and their so-called Department of Justice than Al Qaeda?

The FBI: coming to a mosque near you.

Bloged in America, BigBro by Gutter Grunt Sunday December 5, 2010 at about 7:24 pm

Is the US Government — the FBI and Justice Department, specifically — doing more to destroy America than Al Qaeda is?  I don’t mean intentionally, but I mean is America itself becoming the collateral damage of the FBI’s anti-terrorism campaign?

I don’t think there is a yes/no answer to these unsettling questions, but they are reasonably raised in view of recent cases in Irvine, CA and Portland, OR, where the FBI have been caught in, or admitted to, very questionable activities.

In Portland they groomed teenager Mohamed Osman Mohamud in order to get him in a position where he thought he was going to blow up a Christmas crowd.  I’m sure you’ve heard the story, but you likely haven’t read the 38-page affidavit of FBI Special Agent Ryan Dwyer that was attached to the arrest warrant.  It’s here.

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