Sanctions are a harsh substitute for war. It's a bit like using a shotgun in a crowd. Lots of innocent folks get hurt. Most of us would rather push for sanctions against Iran than go to war over nuclear capability. Those who oppose sanctions point to pro-democracy forces in that country that will be hurt more than the ayatollahs who run the place.
Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin is running for the US Senate. She has voted for sanctions that she thinks will hurt the rulers, and voted against sanctions that she believes will hurt ordinary citizens. In a recent debate, she accused her Republican opponent Tommy Thompson of investing in companies doing business with the rulers of Iran, and Thompson accused Baldwin of accepting campaign funds from a pro-Iranian group. Thompson says he had no knowledge of the investments, and Baldwin says she had no knowledge of the donations.
Conservative James Wigderson exposes a scandal. It turns out that Tammy Baldwin voted against four sanctions and has been supported by a pro-Iran group. It is an interesting investigative piece, noteworthy in reporting what some of us may have thought we knew already.
Such is the breathless fever of a partisan. I guess I should know.
What I especially like about the Wisconsin race is that Tammy Baldwin is an openly gay candidate running against a kind of zany tea party sort of conservative, and nobody has brought up her sexuality as a campaign issue. Seems to me a small ray of light in the darkness. Speaks well for pretty much everyone on every side, including the esteemed Mr. Wigderson.
T. Paine, at Saving Common Sense, rubs his hands in glee, engaging in a bit of pre-gloating. He predicts the impending electoral doom of President Obama. His reasoning is that everyone who voted against Obama the first time will vote against him again, and not everyone who voted for him will vote for him again. I don't know why so many conservatives find such vehemence so personally important. I don't see how predictions will influence the election outcome. I'm cautiously optimistic. But if Americans vote for a choice that differs from mine, I'm fine with trying again at the next election.
One pollster points out that when his findings show President Obama ahead, Republicans want to kill the pollster. When his surveys show Governor Romney ahead, Democrats want to kill themselves. I suppose there is some truth to that. Polls are interesting to me. But I don't see how the loudest prediction will matter once votes are cast. If a pollster is right, he deserves attention next time around. If he's wrong, it affects him, not me. I get the dread folks feel when they think the country is about to go wrong. I don't get the anger at the messenger for having it wrong. He's an unofficial scorekeeper, not a referee who can throw the contest.
Tim McGaha at Tim's Thoughtful Spot looks to the betting pros and discovers that those who put their money where their predictions are still go for Obama's re-election. Did I mention my own cautious optimism?
Max's Dad gets to the main issue against Obama and the effect of recent debate clashes on conservative sensibilities.
Republicans have been a bit upset that the Romney Benghazi attack on President Obama backfired so retchedly. Rumproast reports that Congressman Darrell Issa, who conducts endless investigations has tried to help out Mr. Romney by going WikiLeak on the US government, releasing CIA documents that include the identities of Libyans who risked their lives to help the US. Nice.
Erin Nanasi of Mad Mike's America looks at the Mitt Romney position that gun violence is caused by women having babies without benefit of marriage. Seems guns don't kill people. Single moms kill people.
Before Tuesday's Presidential debate, The Heathen Republican reacted to the Biden/Ryan confrontation. In an effort to be completely fair, Heathen summarizes three points of view. Here is how he thinks Democrats see it.
On the other hand, if I'm a Democrat watching the VP debate, I think Ryan had his talking points down but wasn't up to defending against aggressive attacks. Biden may have blurred the truth a few times, but overall I agree with what he said and was happy to watch him dismantle Ryan. Plus, he was a dick, and that's what we need to beat Republicans who will say anything.
Nancy Hanks at The Hankster finds an organization for independent voters in California which endorses candidates of both parties. I've written about occasional Republicans I would support. I've met one or two in person. But it strikes me as contradictory to say that you vote for the individual rather than the party, then actively seek to balance your support. That's not really letting the chips fall, is it?
Julian Sanchez doesn't much like intolerance against religious attack speech, since tolerance of what is hateful is kind of at the core of freedom of speech. But he finds some encouragement in some false arguments by speech suppressors that parrot and distort traditional points of liberal democracy. Language can influence thought and the principles of the basic right to say what we want without witnessing holy rage in response may be more than a distant vision. It seems Mr. Sanchez has some hope for general recognition that civil respect for free speech does not depend on the civility of that speech.
Infidel 753 speculates on the hopeful possibility of a new instance of Arab Spring as the shooting of 14 year old Malala Yousafzai by the Taliban in Pakistan prompts nationwide outrage, including countless street protests.
- Kent Pittman, writing from Open Salon must be able to make hourglass sand into a fascinating article. I'm not kidding, this is about cleaning his room. Well, his office, actually. He focuses on the space, rather than what material needs to be moved, and engages in a captivating analysis. You end up interested before you realize it's about a household chore, and you're done before you can scream at yourself for going insane. Next week he'll probably write about shades of lip gloss worn by Nancy Grace, make it completely fascinating, and we'll all go crazy again.
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