Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: The Rick Moran Show — Rick Moran @ 3:26 pm

You won’t want to miss tonight’s Rick Moran Show, one of the most popular conservative political talk shows on Blog Talk Radio.

Tonight, I welcome Jazz Shaw and Tina Korbe of Hot Air, and Doug Mataconis of Below the Beltway. We’ll discuss the debt ceiling issue and the face off between Obama and Boehner.

The show will air from 7:00 - 8:00 PM Central time. You can access the live stream here. A podcast will be available for streaming or download shortly after the end of the broadcast.

Click on the stream below and join in on what one wag called a “Wayne’s World for adults.”

Also, if you’d like to call in and put your two cents in, you can dial (718) 664-9764.

Listen to The Rick Moran Show on internet talk radio


Filed under: FrontPage.Com, Media, Middle East, Politics — Rick Moran @ 12:56 pm

My latest is up at FPM and I take a look at the so-called “reform” that the Syrian parliament passed that would theoretically allow opposition political parties.

Guess what. The law does no such thing:

But it is in this new draft law regarding political parties that Assad’s hypocrisy has reached its zenith. Not only is there no chance that any opposition will ever challenge the Baath party to govern the country, the rules for these new parties to be certified are designed to make sure that Assad maintains a firm grip on the political life of the country. First, there is a prohibition of parties based on religion, tribe, denomination or profession. While this will keep Islamist parties from forming, it will also make it difficult for Syrian citizens to create natural political allegiances. Secondly, there is a threshold of members that must be crossed before a party can be legalized. Anwar Al Bounni, who is head of the Syrian Center for Legal Studies and Research in Damascus, told CNN, “The law stipulates that any political party needs to have at least 2,000 members representing at least seven Syrian provinces before being active.”

The third roadblock that Assad has placed in the way of any real political opposition is the manner in which a party must be certified. Bounni pointed out that a party cannot be legalized unless a committee made up of the interior minister, a judge, and three other members appointed by the president give their assent. This, for all practical purposes, means that few, if any, parties will be allowed to function.

Elliot Abrams , whose experience in government goes back to the Reagan administration, was contemptuous of Assad’s reform efforts. He referred to the “unrivaled standard of hypocrisy” by Assad in this instance being “prizewinning.” He quotes a Reuters dispatch on the government’s stipulation that the new parties must have “a commitment to the constitution, democratic principles, the rule of law and a respect for freedom and basic rights.” Abrams writes, “Of course, were parties in Syria actually required to be committed to democracy and human rights, much less the rule of law, the Baath Party itself would be viewed–accurately–as a criminal organization.”



Filed under: Decision '08, Election '06, Ethics, Politics — Rick Moran @ 4:58 pm

Gee guys…what can I say? I blew it when I accused you, and other peace loving extremist Muslim groups of having a hand in that Norway operation yesterday. I mean, what can I do to make it up to you? Cut off my own head? Drown myself in boiling oil? How about if I chopped off my hand and mailed it to you? Would that make you feel better?

Anyway, there are several VERY important people who are demanding that I apologize for getting it wrong. Well, not me specifically. I knew it was a right wing nut all along. Soon as I heard about it, I said “Yep. Christian conservatives did this.” The tell-tale massive explosions close together. And then there was that carnage at the youth camp. Only Christian conservatives - and you - carry out attacks like that. And since we’ve blamed a lot of terrorism on you guys over the last decade (here’s a list of Muslim terrorist acts over the last two months - pretty impressive, I must say!) I figured that we ought to give someone else a chance to get blamed. Blond haired, blue eyed European terrorists have been in short supply since the Red Brigades and Baider-Manhoff retired. Nice to see we white people are making a comeback in this sphere.

So Glenn Greenwald thinks we do you a disservice when blaming you for any old terrorist attack that comes down the pike:

Al Qaeda is always to blame, even when it isn’t, even when it’s allegedly the work of a Nordic, Muslim-hating, right-wing European nationalist… we’ve seen repeatedly: that Terrorism has no objective meaning and, at least in American political discourse, has come functionally to mean: violence committed by Muslims whom the West dislikes, no matter the cause or the target.

He’s right, ya know. You’ve given us very little cause to “dislike” you. I mean, what’s a few thousand infidels being incinerated, more or less? We make far too big a deal out of people dying. After all, it happens all the time, every day in fact. Just a part of life.

Greenwald has a valid point. Terrorism has no “objective” meaning. It could mean Eric Rudolph blowing up the Olympics. Or some Christian wacko murdering an abortion doctor. Or Glenn Greenwald inflicting more of his tortured logic on an unsuspecting world (OK - maybe not terrorism but it’s annoying as hell.)

But Allah forbid it ever mean that 95% of the acts of terror committed on this planet is carried out by friendly Muslim fanatics like you. This “objective” truth must never be uttered lest we hurt your feelings. Far better to point to blond, blue eyed righty extremists as the true terrorists of the world and blame them first when some nutcase breaks into a meeting and starts screaming “Allahu akbar!” while spraying automatic gunfire into the crowd. After all, maybe the perp dyed his hair black, and is only pretending to be a Muslim.

So for what it’s worth, I apologize. From now on, I give all Muslim terrorists the benefit of the doubt and will hold my literary fire until you tell us that you’re the guilty party.

It’s not only the fair thing to do. It’s the right thing to do.


Filed under: Blogging, Politics — Rick Moran @ 11:54 am

James Fallows sounds upset that bloggers jumped the gun in speculating that al-Qaeda or Islamic terrorists were responsible for the attack in Oslo yesterday:

No, this is a sobering reminder for those who think it’s too tedious to reserve judgment about horrifying events rather than instantly turning them into talking points for pre-conceived views. On a per capita basis, Norway lost twice as many people today as the U.S. did on 9/11. Imagine the political repercussions through the world if double-9/11-scale damage had been done by an al-Qaeda offshoot. The unbelievably sweeping damage is there in either case. For an example of a sober, dignified, shocked but resolute and democratic way to respond to national tragedy, see the moving and impressive speech by Norway’s Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg, here. (Thanks to M. Fullilove.)

Seven Seventeen hours after the Post item went up, six sixteen hours after its claims were shown to be false and hysterical, it’s still there, with no correction or apology.

I don’t recall Fallows making a big deal out of the left’s snort-worthy attempt to capitalize politically on the Giffords’ shooting in Phoenix last January. Before the smell of gunpowder had dissipated, liberal blogs and commentators were blaming the tea party, Sarah Palin, a months-old “bullseye” map of targeted congressional districts, and “hate speech” by righties. This despite the fact that Jarold Loughner, the shooter, had a mind so broken and bereft of reason and logic that the idea he had any motivation for shooting the congresswoman beyond his own warped, paranoid imaginings was silly. And yet, the same “jumping the gun” on culprits and accessories to the crime occurred then as it happened yesterday in Oslo with the immediate blame for the attack being pinned on Islamists.

The same sort of nonsense occurred when Christian Science Monitor reporter Jill Carroll was released from her captivity in Iraq and right wing blogs piled on her statements that seemed to be solicitous of her captors. Without waiting to hear from Carroll about why she made those statements (she was coerced), several bloggers put out information hinting that she was a closet al-Qaeda sympathizer. At the time, I wrote:

In people’s haste to be first, or different, or just plain ornery and contrary (all the better to get links and readers) a culture of “shoot first and ask questions later” has arisen in the blogosphere that quite frankly, is proving every bad thing that the MSM has been saying about blogs from the beginning. Many of us - including myself - have been guilty in the past of hitting that “Publish” button when perhaps it would have been prudent and proper to take a beat or two to think about what we just wrote and the impact it might have beyond the small little world we inhabit in this corner of Blogland.

I wrote that in 2006 and, if anything, it has gotten worse on both sides of the political divide. On the left, blaming the right for the Giffords shooting had been proceeded by a similar exercise in stupidity when a shooter, hell bent on committing “police suicide,” murdered three policemen in Pittsburgh. Before anything was known about the perpetrator, the left was screaming about the telling news that a book by Sean Hannity had been found in the murderer’s home. Despite evidence that emerged later that his motivation was to draw down on police and die at their hands, no “apologies” as Mr. Fallows demands from Jen Rubin were forthcoming.

James Joyner doesn’t necessarily give those who jumped on the Muslim terrorist bandwagon a pass, but his explanation is logical:

When tragedies are unfolding and information is scant, however, the incentives are to get as much information out as fast as possible, even if much of it is inaccurate. And as much air time as possible is filled with “experts,” whose expertise is often tangentially related to the crisis and are hamstrung by the need for rampant speculation, to do instant analysis. The inevitable result is that they will fall into their comfort zone, analyzing by drawing analogies with past events that have some similarities.

We’ve now shifted from “this is Norway’s 9/11? to “this is Norway’s Oklahoma City.”

The investigators still don’t have complete information about this monstrous crime and they’re almost certainly not sharing everything they have with us. But, if the Oklahoma City analogy holds up, it would be fitting in one respect: The instant analysis in Oklahoma City was that it was the work of Islamist groups. While a natural assumption two years after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, it was completely wrong.

We can’t all write for The Atlantic and wallow in the luxury of being able to sit back, wait for events to sort themselves out, and then pontificate on how someone else who is paid to post and comment on breaking news got it wrong. The immediate speculation that it was a Muslim terrorist attack wasn’t widespread; it was universal. First reports of a Muslim terrorist group (that we now know doesn’t exist) claimed responsibility for the attack contributed to the notion that it was al-Qaeda or one of their murderous imitators who carried out the attack.

But was the promotion of a political agenda at work as well? As with previous instances where bloggers jumped the gun on assigning motives or intent to a fast breaking news story, trying to be first in order to garner links and readers took second place to advancing a particular political point of view. Speculation was unavoidable. But how much did our prejudices and pre-conceived ideas about terrorism lead most of us to get it so wrong?

It is the nature of the beast, as Joyner says. But perhaps the beast has learned a small lesson and next time, will reign in the natural desire to promote a particular agenda at the expense of the facts.



Filed under: FrontPage.Com, Politics, War on Terror — Rick Moran @ 1:47 pm

My latest at FPM is about the security handovers in Afghanistan and the enormous challenges facing the Afghan government of Hamid Karzai.

A sample:

Perhaps the biggest question mark is the Afghan government itself and the performance of its mercurial president. The shock of losing his half-brother and close adviser, Ahmed Wali Karzai, last week was compounded when another close confidant, Jan Mohammed Khan, was killed by a suicide bomber in Kabul on Monday. Some in Afghanistan are questioning whether Karzai’s government can survive once the handover is complete. One member of parliament told the Guardian newspaper, “These killings show the weakness of failure of Karzai’s politics. The situation is crisis. Karzai has lost control of the country.”

In fact, Karzai is scrambling to fill the void of his half-brother’s death, casting about for someone who can fill the hole in his leadership circle in Kandahar province, the most crucial area of the country. According to the Washington Post, several candidates are being considered, including Gul Agha Shirzai, the governor of eastern Nangahar province, who would replace the current governor of Kandahar. But tribal jealousies — Shirzai is of a different tribe than Karzai — might make that choice problematic.

Regardless, the dual blow of losing two of his closest advisers has jolted Karzai’s government and knocked it off-balance at an important juncture. The security handovers in Helmand province (Lashkar Gah), Bamiyan province in central Afghanistan, and Lagham province (Mihtarlam) are being seen as a test case for the government’s ability to keep the peace and build trust with citizens in order to extend the influence of the Karzai administration into the provinces. At the handover ceremony in Mihtarlam, British General James Bucknall, deputy commander of the International Security Assistance Force, said, “There will be plenty of challenges ahead, security and otherwise, as Mihtarlam progresses through transition over the coming months[.]”

And the biggest of those challenges will be finding out just how well the newly-trained Afghanistan police force performs under pressure. NATO soldiers will still be stationed nearby, but they will take their orders from the Afghanistan security services. The police force has been built from scratch, trained by NATO, but suffers from both a shortage of personnel and lack of equipment.

ABC News spent 6 days prior to the handover roaming the city of Mihtarlam talking to residents and officials. What the news outlet discovered is disturbing. There were only a “few dozen” officers patrolling a city of 100,000, which is “like asking the New Orleans Police Department to maintain security with fewer than 100 cops.”

Police officials do not patrol with armored trucks, despite the presence of IEDs, nor do they have bulletproof vests. In fact, the police do not patrol at all, according to ABC. US mentors have been urging the police to get out into the neighborhoods, but instead, the officers “would set up checkpoints and respond to emergencies, but they were not familiarizing themselves with the city they now officially protect.”

And there are troubling signs that citizens are not very accepting of their new security shield. When police officers caught a man trying to plant an IED, they chased him down only to have angry villagers confront them and drive them back. “There’s no intimidation factor,” says a special forces soldier who mentors the Afghan security forces. “They walk down the street, they have no vests, no helmets, and nobody is scared of them.” A senior aide to President Karzai told ABC that it might take 10 years before cities have functioning police departments. “The Taliban will continue to use suicide attackers and IEDs,” says the precinct captain. He added, “But if we receive the right equipment and more men, we will be ok.”

Read the rest here.



Filed under: General, Media, The Rick Moran Show, Walpin Scandal — Rick Moran @ 5:43 pm

If you follow politics and government at all, you know that nothing ever dies in Washington. This includes federal programs, politicians who habitually seek a “second act,” and government bureaucrats who have a better chance of dying than losing their jobs.

That’s why it’s not surprising that, at the very last moment when all seemed lost and the country appeared ready to teeter and totter over a cliff into default, the Gang of Six has arisen Zombie-like to come to our rescue.

They’ve been dead a while so perhaps a little refresher course on who they are might be in order. First, don’t confuse this Gang of Six with the other Gang of Six who tried to work out a healthcare reform compromise in 2009 — and failed. Second, the group is comprised of six senators, three from each party, who have been striving for months figuring out a way to save the country from the profligacy of a president who wants to remake America and a Congress who thinks every federal dollar ever appropriated is a sacred relic to be venerated and worshiped.

Back in May, a key member of the group, Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, quit in disgust. He said at the time that the Democratic members of the group weren’t serious about cutting entitlements. “It’s got to be balanced. And I didn’t perceive where we were was balanced,” Coburn said. Their deliberations were behind closed doors and very little in the way of details leaked out, but apparently, the Democrats wanted more than $3 trillion in tax hikes over 10 years while only fiddling at the margins with Medicare. So Coburn left in a snit, saying he could do better.

With one less politician at the table, the Gang of Six kept at it and on Tuesday, emerged from seclusion with the mother of all deficit reduction plans; not that it cuts nearly enough spending, but in sheer unintelligible complexity, it can’t be matched. Reading the summary is an invitation to a headache. Politico strove to reduce the turgid prose into something approaching English:

According to a copy of a summary of the Gang of Six plan, obtained by POLITICO, the group would impose a two-step legislative process that would make $500 billion worth of cuts immediately followed by a second bill to create a “fast-track process” that would propose a comprehensive bill aimed at dramatically restructuring tax and spending programs. The plan calls for changes to Social Security to move on a separate track, and establishes an elaborate procedure for considering the measures on the floor.

A bill that proposes two other bills that proposes another comprehensive bill that would “fast track” the process? And Social Security changes would be an entirely separate bill from all that?

Can it really be that complicated? The short answer is it must be that complex. Without complexity, the rest of us would be able to understand what was going on and that would mean curtains to the small army of lawyers, regulators, aides, bureaucrats, and lobbyists who actually run the country.

As of 2009, there were more than 157,000 pages federal regulations governing every aspect of our lives and businesses, all with the force of law. Each year 3000 to 5000 more regulations are added. Few are ever challenged in court for their constitutionality, although in-house reviews by regulatory lawyers are supposed to take care of that little problem. The point being, those impacted by regulations rarely get a day in court simply because challenging the Colossus is expensive, time consuming, and usually futile. Better to grit your teeth and comply rather than spend your life savings on what is usually a lost cause.

More than 50 federal agencies have regulatory authority over the economy, our workplaces, and our lives. Leave aside the notion that many if not a majority of those regulations are necessary and good. Most are designed to protect us from predators, crooked employers, and even crazy neighbors.

But have we ever asked how any government purportedly representing free people can possibly oversee, manage, direct, command, administer, or even comprehend such complexity? One president, 535 members of Congress, and nine Supreme Court judges cannot even remotely grasp what they have wrought in our names. Yes, the president has cabinet officers who are supposed to ride herd on their departments. But even if they are competent, intelligent, and dedicated public servants, how much can they truly grasp of their department’s total impact on citizens?

We like to say that government is “out of control” but that’s not really true. Such a statement suggests that control was to be had in the first place, or that the system has developed so that control is somehow possible. It hasn’t, and it isn’t. But for those who get rich off this complexity — armies of lobbyists who specialize sometimes in one regulation or one area of the tax code, for instance — there is advantage in making government incomprehensible to everyone else. And if knowledge is power, the same could be said for government bureaucrats who shepherd these regulations through the approval process. Meanwhile, the average citizen who runs a business turns in desperation to those who, for a tidy fee, will guide them out of the labyrinthine maze that is oftentimes designed to entrap them.

When the Gang of Six comes up with a plan that buries its purpose in legislative gambits and tricks, they are really muddying the waters so they and their colleagues don’t have to face facts, and bite the budget cutting bullet. By making the method of cutting trillions from the budget mind-numbingly incomprehensible, they are sowing the seeds for the plan’s own failure — knowingly or not.  But by the time the process collapses under its own complexity, who will care? The debt ceiling will have been raised and at least $500 billion will have been cut thus giving the impression that Congress and the president are dealing with the problem.

Over the next decade — the time period when the $3.7 trillion is supposed to be cut from federal spending — the government will spend more than $40 trillion dollars. There is no one on the Hill who doesn’t believe there isn’t at least $3.7 trillion of that unintelligible amount of cash that can’t be stripped from the budget without raising taxes one cent. Not even the most partisan, dedicated liberal could be in such denial.

But by defining the problem using enormously complex triggers and procedures, Congress will escape its responsibility and little, if anything, will be accomplished.


Filed under: The Rick Moran Show — Rick Moran @ 4:09 pm

You won’t want to miss tonight’s Rick Moran Show, one of the most popular conservative political talk shows on Blog Talk Radio.

Tonight, I welcome Jazz Shaw of Hot Air, Jeff Kropf of KUIK radio, and Monica Showalter of IDB. We’ll discuss the debt limit and other hot topics making news.

The show will air from 7:00 - 8:00 PM Central time. You can access the live stream here. A podcast will be available for streaming or download shortly after the end of the broadcast.

Click on the stream below and join in on what one wag called a “Wayne’s World for adults.”

Also, if you’d like to call in and put your two cents in, you can dial (718) 664-9764.

Listen to The Rick Moran Show on internet talk radio



Filed under: FrontPage.Com, PJ Media, Politics — Rick Moran @ 7:58 am

I have been remiss in publishing links to my work around the web lately. Allow me to rectify that:

My latest was published at FPM today about the planned massive demonstration today in Tahrir Square, Cairo. Protestors are angered at the slow pace of change and want the military to step aside for a civilian “transnational council” that would rule until elections were held - now put off till probably December.

On 7/12, I had another piece at FPM “Syria Embassy Attack: The Last Straw?” which gave some background on the attack on the US embassy in Damascus. Assad bused in hundreds of thugs to attack both our and the French consulate. It was in response to a visit to Hama by our ambassador to stand in solidarity with the Syrian people in their right to protest.

On 7/11, my FPM piece was on the “The Peaceful Palestinian ‘Fly-In’ Lie.” So many useful idiots - so little time to list them all.

Finally, the brand new PJ Media Lifestyles page was the venue for my short blog post on Falling Skies and why it might go all PC on us.

Enjoy. Political writing to return at any moment so stay tuned.



Filed under: The Rick Moran Show — Rick Moran @ 5:20 pm

You won’t want to miss tonight’s Rick Moran Show, one of the most popular conservative political talk shows on Blog Talk Radio.

Tonight, I welcome Jazz Shaw of Hot Air, Rich Baehr of the American Thinker, and Vodkapundit Stephen Green. We’ll discuss the debt ceiling talks and the how the nature of government drives our debt ever higher.

The show will air from 7:00 - 8:00 PM Central time. You can access the live stream here. A podcast will be available for streaming or download shortly after the end of the broadcast.

Click on the stream below and join in on what one wag called a “Wayne’s World for adults.”

Also, if you’d like to call in and put your two cents in, you can dial (718) 664-9764.

Listen to The Rick Moran Show on internet talk radio



Filed under: FrontPage.Com, Politics, War on Terror — Rick Moran @ 9:29 am

There are serious issues that the administration is apparently dismissing as they insist that trying all terrorists in federal court is the best way to combat terrorism.

I am sympathetic to the argument that whenever possible, terrorism related crimes should be tried by the regular courts. The Holy Land Foundation trial is a good example of this, where various Muslim “charities” were caught funneling money to Hamas. Other terrorist financing cases have been successfully prosecuted in civilian courts, and even FBI “stings” involving  home grown terrorists plotting mayhem might conceivably be better off being tried in federal court.

But for genuine, committed terrorists who are a danger to the entire world, a military tribunal and indefinite detention appears to be the only option. Civilization should have a trap door for these extremists, and granting them the extra protections afforded defendants in civilian courts is not only dangerous but a waste of time. As I point out in my FPM piece today, even if Mr. Warsame, the Somali captured in April and brought to New York to stand trial, is acquitted, he isn’t going anywhere. He will be sent to the “Supermax” prison in Colorado to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Is it really that important that the rest of the world will think better of us if we allow a defense lawyer in federal court to make a circus out of the proceedings?

A sample from my FPM piece:

Obama’s new policy seeks to avoid the “tainted fruit” charges made by defense attorneys for terrorists who argued that some evidence used in court or offered during the military tribunals was the result of interrogations where the suspect was not apprised of his rights, or illegal methods were used to obtain the evidence.

This was the major problem during the 2010 trial of Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, charged with more than 280 counts of murder and conspiracy in the bombing of our embassies in Africa in 1998. A pre-trial ruling by the judge denied the prosecution the testimony of a key witness who sold the explosives to Ghailiani, because the government learned of the sale when interrogating the witness at Guantanamo. Ghailiani was acquitted of all but one charge of conspiracy to destroy government property.

There were many who argued at the time that Ghailiani had no business being tried in a civilian court anyway, and that a military tribunal would have worked much better at bringing him to justice. Whether or not that supposition is true, it is a fact that Ghailiani was sentenced to life in prison without parole and is currently incarcerated at the “Supermax” detention facility in Colorado, along with other participants in the embassy bombings. His fate was ultimately no different than if he had been tried at Guantanamo, which raises serious questions about the efficacy of civilian trials in the first place.

But by keeping Warsame’s interrogations separate, with a clear wall between the CIA’s national security interrogations and the FBI’s efforts to gather evidence for trial, the administration is hoping to avoid the problems that emerged in the Ghailiani case, and that they can satisfy critics who worry that placing a terrorist in the court system is a wasted opportunity to glean significant intelligence from suspects. They also hope to satisfy their own supporters who believe Guantanamo should be closed and all terrorism suspects tried in federal court.

Judging by the reaction from both sides to Warsame’s indictment, it appears that the administration has failed to convince anybody that their new policy is the answer.

This is Obama manufacturing a policy not based on the reality of the situation, but rather on the political calculation that he must do something differently than George Bush. I’m not sure that a defense strategy wouldn’t try to claim that Warsame should have been mirandized by the CIA and that anything from those interrogations should not be allowed. Rules of evidence is one reason why a tribunal is preferrable to a civilian trial in some cases.

In the end, it won’t matter. Warsame is going to jail for life and those so disposed to believe that holding a civilian trial for enemy combatants will meet with the approval of the world - or at least liberals in Europe - will no doubt feel better about themselves.

Asking if it is the best course for protecting ourselves doesn’t seem to enter into their heads.

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