Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dave Elswick could suck a lot less if he really tried.

Like many of my fellow Arkansans I listen to Dave Elswick many afternoons. Unlike (or maybe like, I don't have a clue) many of them though, I'm usually frustrated by his show. Frustrated because he has shown glimpses of being slightly more libertarian in his thinking than a standard issue conservative talk radio host but that's usually only ten percent of the time.

This is the Elswick who had Wendell Griffen on quite awhile back to chat about whether or not judges should be free to speak their opinions when not on the bench. The Elswick who has had on Michal Graves, singer for the Misfits for many years (even though he was still no Danzig), to talk about the West Memphis 3 case. The Elswick who recently made marijuana legalization the topic of his show. The Elswick who had on a guest who questioned the need for a tax to raise money the Garland County Jail project and who advocated more varied (and inexpensive) degrees of punishment for crimes.

And then you have the other 90 percent represented by the Dave Elswick heard today who spent much of his show yukking it up with two fellow conservatives whose names I didn't catch. One of whom basically gave a water carrying endorsement of any Republican who would run against Obama (thankfully Dave was slightly more principled and stuck to his guns against Romney).  There was also mountains of praise heaped on Sarah Palin from one of the guests and a comment form Dave that she "looked good wearing leather." The cherry on top of all this was Dave saying he thought Satan would do a better job as president than Obama. Hyperbole for sure, but jeez.

When Dave talks about liberty issues he's at his finest, when he's railing against liberals like they were spawned from Hell's anus he loses me big time. All he's doing is playing to the simplest elements in his audience when he could be trying to elevate the dialogue a little bit. There is an opening in media markets both local and nationwide for a larger embrace of truly libertarian thinking. It would be nice if someone with a built in audience took that full on plunge and spent less time comparing our president to Lucifer.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Absolutely legal, and rat bastard, move by State GOP

  In case anyone reading this hasn't heard, liberal blog Blue Hog Report was shut down following a freedom of information request by the state GOP aimed at two individuals behind the blog, both of whom are state employees. This FOI request by the GOP followed numerous Blue Hog FOI requests for the Secretary of State's office, which is currently occupied by Republican Mark Martin. The state GOP wants to make sure that Blue Hog blogging wasn't done on state time and computers.

  Both sides are well within the law with these requests. But the request by the state GOP does have a potent rat bastard smell to it. In all honesty if a little blogging was done on state time and computers, but not to the point that it hindered their work, I really wouldn't care all that much. Party affiliation wouldn't matter to me. I know the rules are the rules, but I assume that most workplaces with Internet access have a little bit of blogging/shopping/screwing around/"look at this funny video" internet activity going on anyway.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Obama no different than Bush on Israel.

Days like these make me so glad McCain wasn't elected president.

Don't get me wrong, Obama has been a colossal disappointment. But to have to live through four years of McCain doing some of the same things that Obama is doing now and receiving nary a negative Republican word? The silent hypocrisy could have killed me. Kind of like the way the very vocal hypocrisy of Republicans criticizing Obama over his Israel comments is killing me now.

As this article in the Economist points out, Obama has basically spouted the same line on Israel as Dubya and Clinton. Of course you'd never know that if you listened to Newt and some of the other mouth breathers in the GOP at the moment. (Dear Jon Huntsman, if you run, please try to drown out these morons a bit.)

At the very least Obama is forcing many of the more serious issues facing our country to the forefront in a way few presidents have. Largely because most Republicans would have been silent and happy if a member of their party had won. And no, I don't think we would have had a Tea Party with a McCain/Palin ticket winning. The Ron Paul supporters would still be around, but the rest of the Tea Partiers, the Bachmann branch we'll call them, would have been lapping up VP Palin soundbites on a daily basis.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Netanyahu's "Ancient nation" isn't that old

Having just read a news story about Netanyahu's visit with President Obama, I was annoyed that he called himself the "leader of the ancient nation of Israel". Can we drop the whole notion that Israel is a continuation of the biblical nation? Your country was founded in 1948, we are more "ancient" than you are.

Acknowledging would have no bearing one way or the other on U.S. policy, it would go a long way towards stripping all that premillenial garbage that clogs up U.S. dialogue about the Middle East. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

My feelings on Dubya, a few years out

Andrew Sullivan had a post a few days ago that is the first thing I've read that perfectly captures the way I feel about our former president:

"He still befuddles me, this man. His heart seems so often in the right place, and then he defers to thugs and cowards. Maybe he was just out of his depth. But my feelings about him remain much more complicated than about Cheney, Rumsfeld and Yoo. And when you see him again relieved of the burden of office, you realize how he got elected twice to the White House. He'd rather have been cycling."

My thoughts exactly. I never understood the visceral hatred for Bush anymore than I understand the visceral hatred for Obama.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Obama's shot in the arm for U.S. politics.

  This comment on a recent Reason.com article I was reading summed things up nicely:

   "Point being, why didn't these groups organize themselves to oppose TARP and the bailouts when they happened, instead of waiting until a D was in office, and then rebelling (initially at least) over a very specific program he proposed to use those funds for?

    It's a pointless thought exercise, but I've always imagined that if McCain was elected, and proposed the exact same programs as Obama, the whole thing wouldn't have blown up. It would have remained as grumbling amongst the punditry and blogosphere, instead of blossoming into a full-blown movement. That's just my opinion, and it's worthless, but it influences how I view the TP in broad strokes (there are plenty of individual TPers who I've met who would be hardcore libertarians; I'm not trying to make a blanket statement about all of them)."

I agree with everything about this statement. The libertarians did get a shot in the arm from the tea party's focus on economic issues (but not much else from the tea party), enough to where libertarian views are in the GOP primary like never before. The mainstream GOP rode the tea party wave to victory in the House. The moderate Democrats got a surprisingly hawkish charismatic president who, while he didn't get a single payer system, passed what is basically Nixon's version of healthcare. And what moderate Democrat doesn't love to look tough on defense and cut sly compromises behind closed doors?

Honestly the only political group that gained very little from Obama's election was true blue liberals.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The credit Obama deserves, FTW

Someone in the past week made the point that if you don't give Obama any credit for Bin Laden's death, then you can't blame Bin Laden for 9/11 since he wasn't flying the planes himself.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bin Laden's dead. Now what?

  It's late and I'll keep this brief because I'm tired. Bin Laden is dead. He was killed in Pakistan. The country where our CIA is conducting a cover war. Gen. Petraeus is being moved to head the CIA. Panetta (whose primary mission from Obama was apparently to get Bin Laden) is being moved to Defense. So surge-master Petraeus has basically been made leader of that covert war. For some reason I'm feeling that Bin Laden's death is only the highest profile incident to come of our covert war in Pakistan. Not the terminus. With a military, counterinsurgency man at the helm I think our involvement in Pakistan is going to get a lot more hot.