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Friday Open Thread

Here's a few topics for today's Open Thread, feel free to add your own:

Rumors of Cheney visiting prostitutes continues to get (non-serious) play. David Letterman spins it this way:

cheney.jpg

"Here's a story we're working on now," Letterman said, according to Madsen's account. "Apparently, there are rumors coming out of Washington that Vice President Dick Cheney, when he was the CEO of Halliburton, used to go visit prostitutes. This could explain why one girl was paid two billion dollars. I mean, I was thinking about this and Cheney ... I mean, going to a prostitute, that's ... I mean, I can't believe a good-looking guy like that would ever have to pay for sex, you know what I'm saying?"

Wacky Flashbacky - (2004) Sen. David Vitter's hypocritical past has a dark side - other allegations of prostitutes, and a brush with David Duke.

While many Republican politicians and operatives see Vitter as duplicitous, and many African-American leaders call him racist, Louisiana's white conservative voters appear mostly beguiled. Based in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie, Vitter has won his last two congressional elections with more than 80 percent of the vote. He presents himself as a morally righteous, clean-cut family man, and his wife and three young children have become virtual campaign props. The Harvard-educated Rhodes scholar is also extremely intelligent, observers say, and runs perhaps the most effective political ads in the state. But there are hints of a dark side: allegations of an affair with a prostitute and a lawsuit claiming he lost his temper and physically charged at a woman at a town hall meeting.

Yet Vitter's increasing popularity and power have caused his once-vocal critics to retreat. The situation today is in stark contrast to five years ago, when virtually the entire state Republican establishment lined up against the young state representative in his successful bid for the congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Bob Livingston, a Republican who was forced to retire after revelations about his extramarital affairs.

And from the "Reality is Stranger than Fiction" inbox -- a new website, dcphonelist.com, let's you check the publicly released phone records of DC Madam Deborah Palfrey. I'd love a peek at their web server logs, especially a list of the dot gov sites that are hitting this website.

Don't like the news? Then go ahead and make some of your own.


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Comments (18)

Lee Ward:

It is mind-boggling, isn't it? The pious, evangelical right wants to pack the bench with like-minded righties, and they want to rewrite the laws to codify their doctrine, and then you see examples like this of "family-value" conservatives who refuse themselves to follow the moral compass that supposedly guides them - as exemplified by Vitter past and present.

It makes me think of the stereotypical slimy evangelical that wants nothing more to get into your friggin' checkbook (here they just want to get into power instead) -- and these are who the conservatives in America are putting into office? Why?

The good news is that the more these hypocrites are exposed, the more outraged voters will become, which (I hope) lowers the likelihood of correct-minded moderates and leftists from sitting out the next election.

kim:

Don't get too out of line there, Lee. Humans are sinners and that hasn't anything to do with partisanship.
========================================

MunDane:

I wanna ask something: Why is it that those that think Islamic terrorists have tried and succeeded in attacking the United States are bad/evil/tools of the Industrial Hegemony for making people afraid that terrorism can happen in the United States, but those that think that Global Warming exists are not bad/evil/tools of Environmental Research Hegemony for making everyone afraid of a prediction that has more holes in it than Star Trek's "Space/Time continuum" and requires several leaps of faith on the order of a religious experience?

It is kinda funny...one almost never hears of a person who is supporting both (Fighting Worldwide Islamic Terrorism and Global Warming) theories or thinking that both are bunk. Other than some nutters who think that we somehow "caused" both.

Lee Ward:

News ricochet -- Bank Robbery in Iraq - and they netted $350 million. What the...?

THIEVES have stolen about $US300 million ($348 million) from a bank in Baghdad, in one of the biggest thefts in Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion to topple Saddam Hussein.

Police said the thieves were three guards who worked at the private Dar Es Salaam bank in Baghdad's Karrada district.

They said that when bank employees arrived for work yesterday they found the front door open and the money gone.

The guards, who normally slept at the bank, had also disappeared, they said.

An official at the bank said about $US300 million in US denominations had been stolen, as well as 220 million Iraqi dinars ($208,460). He declined to give further details.

Police said the Interior Ministry and the Finance Ministry had set up a committee to investigate the theft.

It was not immediately clear why the bank had so much cash on hand, but Karrada is a key commercial district in Baghdad.

Lee Ward:

"Why is it that those that think Islamic terrorists have tried and succeeded in attacking the United States are bad/evil/tools of the Industrial Hegemony for making people afraid that terrorism can happen in the United States,"

I personally don't blame the terrorists for the Bullshit fearmongering we get from the Bush administration and jackasses like Giuliani.

Or did I miss your point?

..."but those that think that Global Warming exists are not bad/evil/tools of Environmental Research Hegemony for making everyone afraid of a prediction that has more holes in it than Star Trek's "Space/Time continuum" and requires several leaps of faith on the order of a religious experience?"

I don't think you can blame people who are concerned about global warming "for making everyone afraid" either.

If you're saying the Bush administration is innocent in their fearmongering efforts but Al Gore isn't I think you've rung the "Can I be a Republican Hypocrite too?" bell....

but my snarkyness aside, I suspect I'm just not "getting it" - understanding what you're trying to say.

Maybe when kim gets off the phone she can translate....

MunDane:

So it is fear mongering when the threat of something that HAS happened is mentioned, but when one brings up teh fear of something that is at best misunderstood, that is just prudence?

Lee Ward:

You mean the glaciers aren't melting? We aren't seeing temperatures rise?

Of course we are. The evidence of global warming is everywhere.

Are we seeing evidence that supports Chertoff's "gut feeling"? Bush says no, the threat isn't real, there is no imminent threat.

The Republicans have been dusting off the Fear-Mongering ploy every time things get desperate. It's a lie, just a flat out lie.

It's our government lying to us, Dane? That doesn't bother you?

Is Al Gore telling the truth about Global Warming - he's telling the truth as he believes it.

The fear mongering that we see in politics is a different animal.

And it comes from the administration - our government isn't supposed to lie to us!!!

MunDane:

So the Goracle gets a pass and George Bush doesn't? Ok, that's how you roll here, I guess.

If Gore was President he would still be lying about the severity and magnitude of global warming. Somehow, I think you would be so understanding, because, after all, he would be doing it for "good reasons".

Tell you what, I bet you $50 to the Fisher House that there are 10,000 casualties, worldwide, to Islamic terrorism before the average temperature of this planet rises .5 C. Whaddya say?

Here's some open line Friday:

"Jim
So, according to this estimate it's not a half-trillion dollars, it's only a third of a trillion. I expect more, but I'll go with the lower estimate."

Are you comparing a comment about budget estimates with yesterday's release of actual historical budget results.

Please provide the exact location in the link that you serve up as a rebuttal.

I smell road kill.

22. Posted by HughS | July 13, 2007 7:33 PM | Score: 0 (0 votes cast)

More from Jim:
------------------------------------------

Yeah, it's road kill.

kevin, you should ban this excrement.

He said this on July 12:

"That figure for the deficit does not contain any reference the cost of the Iraq occupation and the Afghanistan occupation.

So, add the extra half-trillion or so that we ***actually*** owe, and quite a different picture emerges.

5. Posted by jim | July 12, 2007 6:50 PM | Score: -7 (9 votes cast)"
------------------------------------------

He was challenged on this point and only today offered up this:

Here's the facts you guys asked me to back up -

http://thinkprogress.org/?tag=budget&paged=2

"The President's budget excludes all costs for continued operations in Iraq and Afghanistan -- expected to cost at least $300 billion over the next 10 years -- so do the CBO [Non-partisan Congressional Budget Office] estimates. The fact is, President Bush's policies are leaving an enormous tab that future generations will have to pick up. And he's not being honest about it."

So, according to this estimate it's not a half-trillion dollars, it's only a third of a trillion. I expect more, but I'll go with the lower estimate.

21. Posted by jim | July 13, 2007 12:13 PM | Score: -1 (1 votes cast)
---------------------------------------------

The link is nothing more than an opinion of budget estimates. To borrow Jim's phrase, when we hear from him from now on, we should consider him "with the lower estimate".

He is a Liar
He is a Fool
And He is a Coward, because he attempted to sneak this response in for the record some , what, ten topics after the fact.

Wizbang deserves better

Lee Ward:

Looks like you got him dead to rights, Hugh.

Are you suggesting we hang him? I've got a good strong rope --

invite him over to this thread and we'll let the two of you duke it out - fight club style. kim will be referee, and we'll let mantis ring the bell, he always likes that part.

"invite him over to this thread and we'll let the two of you duke it out - fight club style. kim will be referee, and we'll let mantis ring the bell, he always likes that part."

No, if I wanted to really punish him, I would be the referee and he would be fighting Kim.

kim:

Woof?
===

kim:

Excellent question MunDane. This is a huge partisan delusional divide. I don't phrase that well. Rightists clearly feel more threatened by Islamic Radicalism, and leftists more by Anthropogenic Global Warming.

Lee, google CERN and Svensmark. Cosmic rays and magnetic belts have ten times the effect of greenhousing.

Mantis, speak to this divide, please? Pretty please?

TNX, H.
====================

kim:

Third of a trillion, half a trillion; pretty soon we'll be talking real money.

Like the trillion dollar hit to the economy caused by 9/11.
=====================================

kim:

Leftists are frightened by the idea of American hegemony and 'corporatism' than rightists, and Islamic radicalism opposes both of these. The bogeyman of climate change caused by just what they fear, the hegemony and transnational corporatism, is somewhat spiritually attached to this cause. It is an error, though, because trace gases give trace effects, and the Enlightenment must inevitably defeat the willful ignorance of the fanatics. The Wahabbi and the Mullahs have just been pumped up by oil; they're a mirage.

So, they bargain with the devil, and they lose.
=======================

kim:

bah, 'leftists are more frightened by'. I should just quit editing, at all; I do it so poorly.
================

Lee Ward:

Woof?

Grrrr...

(and I apologize, Paul, for putting words in Montery's mouth)

"I should just quit editing, at all; I do it so poorly." Since I am one of the world's sloppiest typists, I thoroughly understand your pain.

I used to blog on a site where the software permitted the author of a comment to edit their comment up until the point someone replied to it - at which point it was locked in stone and no longer editable. I'll see if we can implement that here, but that was a Drupal site, and this site is Moveable Type, so it isn't as easy as us just clicking a switch.

Proof, preview, proof, preview. Just try to be a "proof and preview" pooch, kim - that's what I do.

As to Global Warming, it's real - whatever the cause, and we spend entirely too much energy, time and angst arguing about the root causes when we should be discussing solutions.

The mere fact that solutions -- whatever the cause -- often involve impacting the oil industry in one extent or another is clear enough of an indication that the petroleum piggies have a dog in this fight - hence the vociferous opposition of the petroleum-industry defenders on the right.

The fact that the OilCos have money in this fight means they are buying the scientific data that supports their position. The fact that our oil-company loving government is welded at the hip to the oil industry means we can't count on them to mediate this dispute, and that's a shame.

The rest of the world is moving forward on this issue, as are states like California. They know what we know, but what George W Bush is still denying. The problem is real, and solutions are needed.

Republicans are dead-set on discrediting Gore, which only proves to me that the political motives of the right are polluting the solution pool. Maybe we'll make progress in this debate after the 2008 elections -in fact, I'm sure we will.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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