Monday, March 12, 2012

The Daily Caller and Iran's rattling sabers

  A recent article in the Daily Caller once again sounds the drumbeat for war with Iran. The headline of the article is "Iran rattles sabers: '11,000 missiles ready to launch' at Israel, US targets". Wow, pretty scary crap eh?

  But read the article (it can be found here), and you'll find that this is only a threat by Iran in response to any US/Israeli attack on its soil.

  From the article:
The Kayhan report emphasized that the leaders of the Islamic regime have successfully thwarted American and Israeli threats over its illicit nuclear program. But given Iran’s missile capabilities, it said, any aggression on its soil will be met with the launch of 11,000 missiles against Israel and U.S. interests in the region.

  So a country saying it will counterattack if it is attacked is saber rattling? I'll admit, that's a crap load of missiles to launch in response to what would most likely be a US or Israeli attack on a few nuclear sites. I'll also admit that I'm not so naive as to think that Iran isn't at all threat to Israel and many of its neighbors. But of all the stories I've read about Iran's threatening posturing, this one doesn't scream saber rattling to me. It does scream big bloody deterrent. And our country wouldn't launch missiles if another government decided to bomb a few of our nuclear facilities? Please.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Big Hollywood's pathetic response to HBO's "Game Change"


    Sorry, I haven't posted in a while (not that many people are going to notice). I had to post something regarding Big Government's alleged exposing of the "lies" in HBO's film Game Change. You can read it here. I'll be watching the film when it airs tonight, but even without having seen it I can recognize the weakness of the arguments provided by author Stacy Drake.

   I won't go over all 10 of their points because I have a life (or a little bit of one that I try to preserve), but by covering a few of them it becomes pretty clear that their definition of a lie sucks. There are a few valid points in the article that I won't cover here but I would attribute most of those to artistic license and the need to make a 2 hour movie. And those points don't obscure how thoroughly weak this takedown is.

Here we go:

Alleged lie #10: HBO says their film is a balanced portrayal of the McCain/Palin campaign
Response: Beyond the grotesque character assassination, there is a heavy partisan imbalance at work. "Game Change" portrays most Republicans in a bad light -- everyone minus Steve Schmidt (Woody Harrelson), Nicolle Wallace (Sarah Paulson), Mark Wallace (Ron Livingston) and Chris Edwards (Larry Sullivan). One character refers to former Vice President Dick Cheney as "Darth Vader," while the McCain/Palin rallies depict inhinged men yelling "terrorist" and "he's a Muslim" at the mention of Obama's name. Then, there was the the quote they placed toward the end of the movie which had Sen. John McCain (Ed Harris) warning Palin not to get "co-opted by Limbaugh and the other extremists." None of these instances were balanced and were clearly told from a left-wing point of view.

I'll acknowledge that the film probably isn't balanced, it is HBO afterall, but these arguments are weak. Major character Steve Schmidt has said in real life that the film is accurate, why should we take this author's opinion over his? Also, anyone who remembers the woman McCain shut down during the '08 campaign after her accusations of Obama being a Muslim could definitely believe the idea of people at rallies yelling "he's a Muslim". Only the most naive would think there weren't some people like this attending those events.'

Alleged Lie #9: Palin is portrayed falsely
Response: Virtually every characteristic attributed to Palin in "Game Change" is false. They portray her as as egotistical, ungracious, demanding, stupid, forgetful and, cruelest of all, mentally unstable. They do show her as a loving mother, even though they have her going into "catatonic stupors" being separated from from her children. Even when they're trying to be nice they're mean. I don't know Palin personally, but I know people who do. I have never heard any stories that fit the descriptions listed above; in fact, I've heard just the opposite.
An egotistical person wouldn't put her state's well-being before her own political career. An ungracious person wouldn't spend her time calling in long messages to supporters, giving them shout-outs at rallies, or spending countless time shaking their hands on rope-lines. It also appears as though Alec Baldwin didn't get the lefty memo. In October of 2008, after meeting her on the set on SNL, Baldwin describes Palin as "polite" and "gracious." Oops!

This comes down to he said/she said. Some people have described her the way the author mentions and other people have described her as the way the film portrays her. Pick your narrative.
As far as calling in long messages to supporters and giving them "shout-outs" at rallies, those are the kind of things that are only done by um, every politician ever. Nothing terribly exceptional about that. And Alec Baldwin calling her "gracious" is proof of nothing either. Every person can appear gracious especially when meeting someone for the first time. That doesn't tell you their entire life's story or what they are like behind closed doors.

Alleged Lie #7: Palin wanted to flee Alaska
Response:  The movie suggests Palin wanted to flee Alaska. At the 89 minute mark, Palin whispers into Schmidt's ear:
I so don't want to go back to Alaska.
Never mind Moore's horrendous acting -the statement is ridiculous. If Palin "so" wanted to get out of Alaska, why does she still live there? And how exactly do you explain "Sarah Palin's Alaska?"

Well there are many ways to explain "Sarah Palin's Alaska". You could go with what the author probably wants us to say which is that Palin loves her home state and wants to support it, or you could say that she wanted to keep her name in the spotlight with a reality show (and make some money too, $1million an episode from what I've read). Once again, this depends on who you believe she really is. None of us on the outside can say for sure. Also the quote in the film is from a book about Palin titled "Sarah from Alaska". So we have he said/she said again.

Alleged Lie #4: The film says Palin opposes stem cell research
Response: At approximately the 16 minute mark in the film, while interviewing the faux-Palin, Schmidt says:
Senator McCain supports stem cell research, you do not.
While the movie is correct in pointing out that Palin differed with John McCain on the issue (McCain supported federal funding of embryonic stem cell research), they make no distinction between embryonic and adult stem cell research. There is a big difference, and Palin supports adult stem cell research, as she pointed out in her interview with Charlie Gibson:
We’re getting closer and closer to finding a tremendous amount of other options, like, as I mentioned, the adult stem cell research.

Anyone with any common sense knows that when stem cell research is mentioned in the context of political disagreement it is invariably embryonic stem cell research. You'd be hard pressed to find a politician who opposes adult stem cell research.

     Final thoughts: Most arguments regarding the "real" Sarah Palin are, as mentioned earlier, he said/she said arguments. For those of us without the inside scoop, or with only second hand stories, that isn't enough for us to accuse anyone of lying.