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Edwards and the bloggers

John Edwards' base looks much like Howard Dean's -- reasonably affluent, highly educated urban white liberals. These are people for whom the blogosphere is a powerful, important and dynamic force. John Edwards knows that, and his campaign takes the blogosphere very seriously.

That's why I wasn't surprised to learn that the campaign had hired Melissa McEwan (aka Shakespeare's Sister) and Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon fame into prominent positions.

I've never been a fan or Marcotte's writing, but I've long had a soft spot for Shakes. I don't suppose I'm betraying any confidences by saying that Melissa and I have corresponded cordially for some time now, and I find her to be warm, witty, frighteningly intelligent and intellectually honest. She's patiently tolerant of my insipid comments on her blog, and she has a curiosity and a genuine desire to understand the "other side" that's all too rare among partisan bloggers these days. For all these reasons, she's consistently remained one of my favorite bloggers for quite some time, although I often disagree with her.

As you might expect, I think Shakes is getting a raw deal in the firestorm of controversy that erupted almost immediately after these bloggers were hired. Rumor is that the two have been unceremoniously sacked, almost as quickly as they were brought on board.

You'll probably hear that the two bloggers' fortunes turned against them because they like to say "fuck" a lot, or use terms like "Christofascist wingnut" on their sites. Don't buy it. It may be true, but it's not the reason. As I said, the Edwards campaign takes blogs very seriously, and it's clear that they spend a lot of time canvassing the blogosphere (see, for example, my update to this post.) I'm sure the campaign didn't hire McEwan or Marcotte without a thorough perusal of their sites, and you can't read either one of them for more than two seconds without realizing that vulgarity is their stock in trade. Edwards clearly knew that going into this, and clearly didn't care. That style of rhetoric is more the rule than the exception in the progressive blogosphere, and everyone knows it. That's not reason enough to turbo these nascent careers.

I think the whole scandal started when Marcotte's preposterous defense of Mike Nifong came to light, long after the rest of the sane universe realized that he was an amok, out of control DA, bizarrely obsessed with prosecuting a rape that never happened. Remember, the Edwards campaign is based in North Carolina, where Nifong is currently about as popular as William Tecumseh Sherman.

This was followed by Marcotte's inept airbrushing of said comments from her site, which only made matters worse. She could erase embarrassing posts from her blog, but not from the Google cache. When busted on this score, Marcotte seemed to allege persecution at the hands of the many-tentacled and ubiquitous VRWC. I think at this point, the campaign realized its mistake.

So where's Shakes in all this? An bystander caught in the crossfire, if you ask me. She suffered from having been introduced to the meatspace political world as part of a "package deal" with Marcotte. They're both "irreverent." They're both "provocative". They're both "progressive." See, they're exactly the same! Hired together, fired together.

I don't know how this is going to shake out. Perhaps the lesson is never to trust a slick, blow-dried trial lawyer. Or perhaps it's simply that politics is a dirty, ugly business. Still sucks for Melissa, though. And it's hard not to agree with this guy:

When Edwards hired Marcotte he signed up to a hard hitting unapologetic movement, a movement whose rhetoric is, shall we say, not always appreciated in the mainstream. If he backs off the ethos now, he can kiss their support away forever.


UPDATE: Looks like that last bit won't happen. Edwards spanked the bloggers for their rhetorical excesses but is sticking with them


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Edwards and the bloggers:

» Heh from Cynical Nation
All right, now that they've kept their jobs it's okay to laugh about it. Head over to Iowahawk and read the e-mail trail from Amanda Marcotte to John Edwards. To: Senator John Edwards From: Amanda Marcotte Re: Job Offer Dear... [Read More]


I’m slightly familiar with Ms. Marcotte’s scribblings, some of which probably could be embarrassing to any mainstream

Living in the post-freedom world

Published by September 4th, 2005;

Rehnquist died. He was no crusader for decency or anything, but nor was he a person whose ideology overruled his decisions. Those days for the Supreme Court are over. BushCo has a new appointment and can also choose the new Chief Justice.

Summary: We are fucked.

Choice is gone. And as soon as Roe v. Wade is overturned, states will start outlawing contraception, and eventually the ideologically run court will find that there’s no right to privacy, period, and contraception protection will be gone.
The only thing I can say now is that people who have enough children or don’t want any at all–get sterilized while you still can. As for those who want children, just not now....well, I don’t know. If you use condoms, stock up on EC now. If you use the pill, start exploring Canadian options.

One thing I vow here and now–you motherfuckers who want to ban birth control will never sleep. I will fuck without making children day in and out and you will know it and you won’t be able to stop it. Toss and turn, you mean, jealous motherfuckers. I’m not going to be “punished” with babies. Which makes all your efforts a failure. Some non-procreating women escaped. So give up now. You’ll never catch all of us. Give up now.

This portion of that post is particularly disturbing, in a creepy, dog-talking crazy sought of way;

"you motherfuckers who want to ban birth control will never sleep. I will fuck without making children day in and out and you will know it and you won’t be able to stop it. Toss and turn, you mean, jealous motherfuckers. I’m not going to be “punished” with babies. Which makes all your efforts a failure..."

Especially the "I’m not going to be “punished” with babies," part, which makes me inclined to respond, "I sure hope not."

I wouldn't wish her version of "motherhood" inflicted upon anyone.

But the rant itself is rife with so many obvious and undeniable falsehoods! For one, overturning Roe would NOT outlaw abortion, nor even impact the subsequent legality of contraception.

All that the overturning of Roe would do would be to send the matter back to the states, where virtually every state would legalize first trimester abortions.

Only third trimester or "partial birth" abortion would probably be in any real jeopardy...and probably rightly so, given that while polls show that two-thirds of Americans support abortion, two-thirds also support parental notification and oppose third-trimester abortion.

That kind of voice is a liability to anyone who’d want to reach beyond the moonbats.

Damn, my cut & paste left off the end of another sentence

I’m slightly familiar with Ms. Marcotte’s scribblings, some of which probably could be embarrassing to any mainstream candidate. Like this;

Yeah, she's a charmer, isn't she? That's exactly why I've never linked to Pandagon. I really think Edwards should've done a bit more homework on this one.

What's a little less "charming" is the batshit paranoia that Conservatives want to stop her from having sex without procreating.

That agenda (the "no fun" agenda0 has been popularized by the likes of Stalin, Hitler, Mao and other adhearnts of "big government"/socialism, only they don't worry about passing laws or polling numbers or even judicial decisions, they push their agenda through with a bullet to the back of the head.

Which is why this fantasized paranoia is so odd. considering that most of these folks laud the likes of Castro, Mugabe, Chavez and other Left-wing tyrants.

I have no idea why and how Edwards has been apparently succesful in winning over Dean's old base. I think Howard Dean is a great honest man, but I dont trust Edwards at all. In fact, I think he is almost as insincere as Hillary.

P.S. JMK, as always you say things that do not make necessarily sense. Who told you that leftist bloggers support Mugabe? or Castro? On the other hand, you watch and like Fox News, that is not that different from the Pravda of the old Soviet Union. In fact, it may be a little worse, as it pretends to be "fair and balanced" and some people believe that.

"Who told you that leftist bloggers support Mugabe? or Castro?"

Why’d you misquote me BW?

I never limited my assertion to “Lefty bloggers,” I said folks like “Little Miss” Marcotte," which includes folks like Cindy Sheehan, Chevy Chase, Al Franken and many others on the far Left support the likes of Castro (Sarandon and Streisand have recently lauded Castro’s Cuba) and Cindy Sheehan shared a very memorable embrace with Lefty tin-horn tyrant Hugo Chavez – some cute pictures here;



OK, how about Comedian Chevy Chase, at Earth Day 2000 in Washington D.C., said he believes "socialism works" and explained that "Cuba might prove that." Chase added, "I think it's conclusive that there have been areas where socialism has helped to keep people at least stabilized at a certain level."


Actor Jack Nicholson told Daily Variety, following his three-hour 1998 meeting in Cuba that, "He [Castro] is a genius. We spoke about everything."

A short list of some of the other Hollywood celebrities who’ve visited Cuba and Castro, which includes Robert Redford, Spike Lee, Sidney Pollack, Oliver Stone, Woody Harrelson, Danny Glover, Ed Asner, Shirley MacLaine, Alanis Morissette, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Kevin Costner.

BW, American Lefties LOVE socialist tyrants! They have afor a very long time, since before Walter Duranty wrote those embarrassingly phantasmagorical accounts of Stalin’s “worker’s paradise” for the NY Times back in the 1930s.

You keep misrepresenting facts. You may not like Chavez, but he is a DEMOCRATICALLY elected president with clear-cut majority, in elections done under international monitors. Nobody disputes that any longer. Not even his opponents in Venezuela. He won fair and square and the vast majority of the people in his country like him (thats why they elected him). Calling a democratically elected president "tyrant" is ridiculous and a deliberate misrepresentation of facts.

It's not a misrepresentation, since he recently demanded and got the power to rule by decree.


There's nothing at all to like about Chavez, an autocratic thug, who's chased most of Venezuela's middle and upper classes out of that country.

It is not merely economically misguided, but morally wrong to seek to "redistribute the wealth," by taking from those who've started and run the businesses that are the backbone of a country and those who hold the most valuable skills (physicians, engineers, etc) to dole out free commodities (housing, clothing, food, etc) to the poorest and least productive people of that country.

Verizon owns over 30% of the primary communications company in that nation and Chevron and BP Amocco own most of the companies that drill for and process the oil in that country.

The "nationalization" (theft) of those private enterprises owned by outside sources amounts to a "declaration of war" on the country/countries of origin of those companies.

Chavez hasn't "nationalized" (stolen) those private enterprises yet, but should, eh do that, it would certainly warrant the same treatment we gave Allende - "the socialist scourge of Chile."

As to the election, there was and remains a lot of controversy around those results.

“Since he first won office in 1998, Chavez has increasingly dominated all branches of government and his allies now control congress, state offices and the judiciary.

have to do something," said Dona Bavaro, a 36-year-old Rosales supporter. "My country is being stolen. This is the last chance we have. Communism is coming here."

Manuel Rosales, a cattle rancher and governor of western Zulia state who stepped down temporarily to run against Chavez, focused his campaign on issues such as rampant crime and corruption, widely seen as Chavez's main vulnerabilities.

her member of the Rosales camp had accused pro-Chavez soldiers of reopening closed polling stations and busing voters to them.”


There is no socialism without tyranny, that's why those who oppose, even oppress/exterminate socialists and communists are "freedom fighters" (fighting for freedom/personal responsibility) and even the most mild-mannered socialist is a "tyrant," and a rightful target of freedom loving people everywhere.

BEYOND that point, I proved to you (see above post) that many, many Leftists have visited, conversed with and lauded Fidel Castro (a murderous tyrant)...and you've apparently ceded that point.

THAT alone would seem to bolster my initial claim that, "Which is why this fantasized paranoia (of Marcotte's) is so odd, considering that most of these folks laud the likes of Castro, Mugabe, Chavez and other Left-wing tyrants."

Come on now, admit it, I believe just proved that many, many "Lefties love socialist tyrants."

What is at all controversial about that?

Offer me some proofs to the contrary, please.

You keep ignoring the facts. Chavez was elected by fair and square elections. Period. That is not disputable. It is a fact. In fact, he was elected by a landslide in his country. As you point out, he did get a power to rule by decree because he wants to nationalize certain companies, but that was done legally with the approval of the democratically elected congress.

Whether you agree or disagree with Chavez, the people in his country like him and they keep electing him and re-electing him as their leader. He is far more popular in his country than Bush is here. Calling him a "tyrant" is ridiculous.

Chavez was "elected" in a very suspect "election."

There's really no question about that.

Moreover, the people did not vote for his power to "rule by decree," nor do a majority support it.

As I said and this is a belief...a faith, on my part - If 90% of the people of a nation want communism and "duly install" a communist government, those people are all evil and the 10% who fight against that government, with violence and mayhem are "patriots."

You cannot "vote" for slavery to the state and not be evil, just as you can't call any anti-communist (anti-socialist) a "terrorist," even if he violently opposes the will of the majority.

Once Chavez demanded and got the power to rule by decree, he became a tyrant.


AGAIN I beseech you for the second time to cease ignoring the greater point that I'd like you to concede, to wit, "Many, many Lefties love socialist tyrants."

I believe the adulation those Left-wing Hollywood types lavished on Castro proved that.

You're picking a nit, erroneously claiming "supporting Chavez isn't as vile as supporting Castro."

You're wrong their too, because Chavez and Castro are "birds of a feather."

Ergo, "Many, many Leftists LOVE socialist tyrants."

"Chavez was "elected" in a very suspect "election."

That is simply a false statement. If you want to argue, argue with facts. Chavez won with 63% of the vote and his opponent (who hates him) admitted defeat after a fair election. The rule by decree for 18 months to push his socialist agenda and nationalization program, was approved by the congress there and was exactly what he was saying he would do if he gets elected.

As I mentioned earlier, whether someone agrees or not with Chavez, he is far more likeable and acceptable in his country than George W. Bush. Labeling people as "tyrants" because they disagree with you is anti-democratic and wrong.

It's a suspect election when there are many people who claim that irregularities were common and that has been charged.

"Manuel Rosales, a cattle rancher and governor of western Zulia state who stepped down temporarily to run against Chavez, focused his campaign on issues such as rampant crime and corruption, widely seen as Chavez's main vulnerabilities.

Another member of the Rosales camp had accused pro-Chavez soldiers of reopening closed polling stations and busing voters to them.”


ANYONE who "rules by decree" is a TYRANT." In fact, that's the very definition of a tyrant.

The reason I revile Chavez is not a matter of disagreement, but a matter of my despising those who belive that government should take care of the people. Such people are advocating slavery - slavery to the state and as such, they are evil. So it's not about mere disagreement but about a fundamental belief.

Just as those who love Sharia-based Islam are compelled to either convert or kill all the infidels (unbelivers) they meet, I am compelled by my personal faith (in Liberty - personal responsibility) to either convert or kill all communists &/or socialists (unbelievers) I meet...that's why it is my avowed believe that "If 90% of the people of a nation want communism and "duly install" (elect) a communist government, those people are all evil/wrong and the 10% who fight against that government, with violence and mayhem are right to do that, and are, in fact, "patriots."

"In my view, you cannot "vote" for slavery to the state and not be evil, just as you can't call any anti-communist (anti-socialist) a "terrorist," even if he violently opposes the will of the majority."

I recognize that that is not a belief shared by all, but it is one certainly shared by many people around the world, especially and perhaps ironically enough, among many from communist and formerly communist countries.

You still have not officially ceded my main point, which I believe I've proven, which is, "Many, many Lefties LOVE socialist tyrants."

As I said all those Leftr-wing celebrities lauding Castro kind of proves that, doesn't it?

"As I said all those Leftr-wing celebrities lauding Castro kind of proves that, doesn't it?"


Actually it's all the proof needed, as poor deluded dolts like Cindy Sheehan and other "far-Left loons" follow the bleatings of their Hollywood heros and heroines. If it weren't for the likes of goofey Michael Moore there'd be no Cindy Sheehan.

If it weren't for dopes like Chevy Chase and Harry Belafonte, many naive Leftist kids wouldn't be emboldened and impassioned with that idiotic ideology.

I don't know why people follow the pronouncements of such celebrities, for the life of me,I can't imagine why.

Most of those celebrities barely graduated HS, so go figure.

What I'd need, in order to stop making the assertion that "Many, many Lefties LOVE socialist tyrants," is some indication that there aren't "many" who do.

You haven't been able to offer that, ergo, it seems (seems, mind you) that you've surrendered that particular point.

Unless you're going to argue that neither Castro nor Chavez are "thuggish tyrants."

Please, you don't want to attempt to make that sort of argument, although I'd love to hear one. It sure would be amusing.

Chavez is a democratically elected president. I dont know how many times you will refuse to hear that simple, basic fact. He is not a "tyrant". On the other hand, Castro is a dictator. It is that simple.

Hitler was also "a democratically elected President" BW, so I suppose in your view, Hitler was no tyrant either...I understand that, I just strongly disagree.

Hitler wasn't a tyrant because he was a dictator - he was duly elected after all! He became a tyrant once he began to "consolidate power and rule by decree."

Stalin was also "elected," just as was Saddam Hussein...and BOTH of them were also dictators. Both were elected with 100% of the vote! If you didn't vote for them, you wound up in a gulag or a shredder respectively.

I'm with Thomas Jefferson on the subject of democracy - I REVILE it.

Jefferson, Madison, Franklin and the rest of America's Founders did all they could to reduce the pernicious effects of democracy - restricting the franchise to property owners, appointing the judiciary, maintaining a representative democracy - representatives are free from having to "do carry out the will of the people," as they are free to "vote their consciences."

Democracy is not just a bad thing, it's a terrible thing! Pure democracy has been best defined as four wolves and a sheep deciding on what's for dinner.

A Monarch or a dictator can be cruel and ruthless, but few are more cruel and ruthless than the people themselves.

That's probably why America is NOT a "democracy." It's a Constitutional Republic.

That Constitution is in place to restrict government action at every turn and to keep either "the people" (from looting the wealthy and propertied) and the powerful (from looting everyone else)...keeping both from using government to their own advantage

It's the Constitution NOT the democratic process that has made America great.

The Constitution, though all too often sidestepped and abridged, is what keeps governmental powers from being misused.

Huge numbers of Liberals (mostly hard-Leftists) have lauded Castro's Cuba, as in the past many lauded Stalin's USSR and other socialist tyrannical regimes and once again that's why, "Many, many Lefties LOVE socialist tyrants."

"Democracy is not just a bad thing, it's a terrible thing!

Hey JMK,
What you wrote above summarizes your views I think. And you should be the last to criticize leftists. After all, you have made clear that you admired Augusto Pinochet, one of the worst fascist dictators in history. Or is n't that the case?

BW, my view is THAT held by ALL of America's Founders!

Pure democracy is the worst possible form of government.

It's been tried many times throughout history and in every case a small majority (55% to 60% or so) winds up looking to abridge/restrict the rights of the minority.

Democracies NEVER protect minority rights. The Founders deeply cared about "minority rights" because they were all fairly wealthy and propertied men and they knew that the well-off and propertied were a minority that had to be protected from the "covetous."

That's why America's Founders thwarted the always pernicious effects of pure democracy by restricting governmental action via a Constitution and a Bill of Rights that severely hampered government action, limiting the franchise (voting) and not binding elected representatives to "the will of the people," but their own consciences..

Those who support big governbment social programs are enemies of Liberty and Liberty is what this country was founded upon.

Please do not laud pure democracy (a/k/a "democracy") again. That's an ignorant position to take.

Pure or actual democracy has nothing to to do with the Republican (Constitutional) form of government we have in America.

Only idiots, who don't understand America's founding laud "democracy."

Try reading The Federalist Papers, (http://federalistpapers.com/) it's a great insight into America's Founder's design.

A "representative democracy" (in which representatives are NOT bound to carry out the will of the people), within the confines of a Constitutional Republic, that is, even further restricted by a strict Constitution is about the furthest thing from a "democracy," there is.

Again, Hitler rose to power in a "democracy," unbound by the constraints of a Constitutional Republic like we have in America.

The Weimar Republic had a loose Constitution that allowed the President to disband the Reichstag (their Congress) and did not effectively limit governmental action the way America's does.

One of the primary reasons our Constitutional form of government is so effective is that it thwarts the rabble" (mob rule - or majority rule) at so many turns!

I see that you avoided responding about Pinochet? Do you admire him? yes or no? That guy was as bad as Stalin or Pol Pot.

One small correction. Amanda didn't airbrush her site. That was a Malkin claim that proved false, unsurprisingly. I think Malkin arranged it as speculation so that she could smear Amanda and claim that she didn't actually say that Amanda did that. Neither here nor there, I guess. But the site did have data issues and corruption issues. A lot of sites do from time to time, especially big sites.

I have to say that I am in some agreement with the main thrust of this posting. I don't personally object to Marcotte's style, but I think she may have had too inflammatory a history for the Edwards campaign. On the other hand, I have my own theories about how and why you choose a blogger for a campaign and it has less to do with what they have written. As for Melissa, she's aces in my book and she got a raw deal. I think she only got caught up in it because she and Amanda were hired pretty much the same day and kind of together, as a blog/netroots team. I thought the Edwards campaign choice of Melissa was brilliant, actually.

I also think the Edwards response to the whole thing was measured and wise. I think they hit the right tone and I am not nearly as critical of them as many in Left Blogtopia, who have been saying that Edwards "caved in" or was spineless. I think the statements they issued were entirely political and calculated and, as such, did what was needed very well. They were, as has been stated elsewhere, unapologetic apologies.

Anyway, I am satisfied, especially with the results. Any attempt to keep this alive in Blogtopia or elsewhere won't, I think, have much legs and will look like childish scalp-hunting rather than legitimate concerns.

> Amanda didn't airbrush her site. That was a Malkin claim that proved false, unsurprisingly.

DBK, it's not all a Malkin fantasy, I'm afraid. Here's a link to Pandagon where Marcotte actually expurgating the Nifong post.

Looked at your link but don't see how that shows she couldn't have been the victim of a data issue. In any event, it is Friday afternoon and I am not invested in the thing enough to go hunt down the whole story on that. Sorry to aver and run, so to speak.

> Looked at your link but don't see how that shows she couldn't have been the victim of a data issue.

Dude, go back and read it agian. She admitted she intentionally deleted it precisely because people were making an issue of it. It's pretty clear she wasn't the unwitting victim of some mysterious "data pixie" who spontaneously deletes random blog posts.

If you can produce the "proof" that Malkin was wrong, I'll gladly retract. Meanwhile, looks like a clear-cut case of airbrushing.

Pinochet was a U.S. installed dictator, with quite a few personal flaws., although hating socialism and socialists was NOT one of them.

He was not at all comparable to Stalin, Mao or Pol Pot, who all murdered millions of innocent citiezens who merely wanted to retain OWNERSHIP of their lands and enjoy the fruits of "economic liberty."

Pinochet killed about 3,000 (appx 0.2% of the number the least of the others, Pol Pit, killed) Marxists.

Those who respect freedom consider Marxists, etc., "economic terrorists."

I consider them "economic terrorists" who deserve death.

Is a Marxist who is "democratically elected" a legitimate leader?

The obvious answer is no, he cannot be, as no one has the right to consent to slavery and Marxism = "slacery to the state."

Ergo, there's no such thing as a "legitimate Marxist leader," any more than any terrorist can be the "legitimate leader" of any nation.

I've long admired Milton Friedman, as I believe do the vast majority of Americans - "We're ALL Supply-Siders now."

What Friedman did in Chile was help create the "Chilean miracle," digging that nation out the horrific poverty that Allende's socialist policies had mired it in and brought it to what remains today, the most dynamic econom in South America.

My admiration is for Friedman (a true American genius), though I will never condemn Pinochet, Sukarno nor ANYONE who dabbles in "the sport of eradicating Leftists."

The maternal side of my family came from Corsica and Northern Italy and successfully rebuffed a 19th century attempted communist revolution in that country (along the way killing some family members who'd tragically sided with the economic terrorists).

Later on, other members of that family fought in Germany against the same sort of despicable uprisings.

In Germany's 1919 communist uprising, they joined with the German Friekorps (spl?) to help put down a revolt which saw two of the leading European communists (both rabid opponents of WW I) - Karl Liebknecht (a German communist) and Rosa Luxemburg a Polish communist) were both captured and killed. Many others were reported captured and tortured to death, though such reports have been overblown by people who look to engender sympathy for such monstrous people - it's like trying to engender sympathy for a pedarist, in my view.

You are right. My bad. Friday afternoons I start to get groggy from the week. Okay, so she deleted the post. She said why and she didn't just delete it and disappear on it. Like, whatever, you know? I don't see the big deal. It's pretty clear that certain elements want to make a big deal about anything to do with the Edwards campaign and this nothing of a story is getting more play than it deserves. Hell, we had Jill Hazelbaker dead to rights sock puppeting over at BlueJersey and the media gave it a very small amount of attention (though it was satisfying to see something come from it). And that was a real issue (defrauding people strikes me as a real issue). Amanda isn't committing a fraud. She took down a posting and said where she stands and moved on. What's the damage?

Thanks. Apparently you admire Pinochet and you dont believe that democratic elections matter. Well, we disagree. Most Americans like and respect the democratic process and like to have elections. According to your way of thinking elections are not necessary because they may result in election of "marxists". Pinochet was a terrible dictator and mass murderer that killed at least 3,000 civilians, while another 25,000-30,000 (including the current president of Chile) were tortured severely. Thats not a good way to promote free market economy. There are much better ways than that.

I've only seen the expurgatedversion of the post, but even this updated and sanitized version is so insipid it cries out for a few turrets-styled profanities, which ironically Ms. Marcotte fails to use in this instance; “The prosecution in the Duke case fumbled the ball. The prosecutor was too eager to get a speedy case and make a name for himself. That is my final word.” (A Marcotte)

Now I didn’t see the initial post, apparently a half-hearted defense of Nifong?

Still, only a complete dolt would call the Duke Hoax a case of Nifung “dropping the ball.”

He deliberately withheld DNA evidence from the Defense (a violation of law), made inflammatory and incriminating statements about the defendants in public press conferences, potentially poisoning a jury pool (also in violation of law), rigged an illicit line-up using only photos of Duke LAX players (another violation of law) and refused to interview the accuser for over nine months, after which he quickly dropped the rape charges, as she was exactly what the Durham Police said she was, “unreliable.”

As a result, Nifong is being charged with numerous ethics violations, has had the case taken from him by the NC State AG and is facing disbarment and removal from office.

That ain’t “dropping the ball.” That’s malicious prosecutorial misconduct.

OK, so apparently Amanda Marcotte’s one of those “emotional thinkers” – an idiot.

Damn! I’d figure her fitting in better as a Gore or Kerry blogette, as they’re the two biggest idiots the Dems have. I know Kerry’s out, but Gore’s being courted to run, maybe it’s not too late for Marcotte to switch teams.

BW, let's end this.

You're clearly not up for the discussion. I'm not blaming you for that, you've just sought of lost the focus of your argument.

Suffice to say, we DON'T have a "democracy" in the U.S., never have and hopefully never will.

The form of government we do have is a "Constitutional Republic" - very different.

Democracies are inherantly unstable. That's why America's Founders reviled democracy about as much as I do (please read the Federalist Papers, I'd bet you'd enjoy them) and took the time to write up that cumbersome Constitution to circumvent majority rule (pure democracy) and to severely limit government action, then went on about limiting "the franchise" (the right to vote) and setting up the Electoral College) all to circumvent the majority rule of pure democracy.

Milton Friedman (an American icon) believed, as I do, that economic freedom (a/k/a Liberty) grounded in private property and individual ownership is THE most important freedom there is, no other freedom comes close.

Allende's Chile was a poverty stricken mess.

Less than 20% of Chileans supported him in the months before the coup.

Friedman helped guide Chile to becoming one of the most dynamic economies in South America and it remains that to this day, because those free market reforms remain in place.

On top of that, I believe I've made the case for the initial statement you took issue with, "Many, many Lefties LOVE socialist tyrants." The truth hurts and I probably shouldn't have put it so snarkily - though it's still true.

All those Hollywood types fawning over the demonic Castro and the likes of Cindy Sheehan and the eqaully adle-brained Harry Belafonte bashing America, while embracing another left-wing tyrant, Hugo Chavez, sought of prove that.

And BW, anyone who rules by decree is a "tyrant," ergo Hugo Chavez is indeed a tyrant!

Answer a simple question. Was Pinochet a tyrant? Yes or No?
Not only he was ruling by decree, but he was murdering anyone who opposed him. So was he in your opinion a good-tyrant, a bad-tyrant, a so-so tyrant or a hero?

Pinochet certainly was a "tyrant." I never said different.

Milton Friedman however, was the best thing that ever happened to Chile or South America, for that matter.

Chile was the perfect place to test Friedman's ideas - a perfect lab.

Allende's Chile was a basket case, a complete poverty-stricken mess, well before the U.S. backed coup that put Pinochet in power.

Again, you can't compare the likes of Sukarno and Pinochet to the likes of Polt Pot or Stalin because of (1) the shear numbers - Pinochet is charged with killing a few thousand Marxists, while Pol Pot (a lightweight compared to Mao & Stalin) killed about a quarter of Cambodia's population...and (2) while the likes of Pol Pot, Stalin, et al denied people the MOST basic freedom (the ownership of property), Pinochet killed those who supported the eradication of that most basic ans inalienable right - economic freedom.

Your idea that pure democracy is a positive thing, when America's Founders all knew that it was one of the worst possible forms of government, inherantly unstable and oppressive to minorities, like the well-off and propertied classes, is still troubling to me.

The lessons about the perils of pure democracy were only reinforced in the 20th Century. Hitler was "duly elected," so was Stalin, Saddam Hussein and other such mass murderers.

Elections can't be relied upon to deliver good government, only Constitutional restrictions that limit governmental powers does that.

> Like, whatever, you know? I don't see the big deal.

I'm not saying it was some great sin -- it wasn't. But when Pandagon was suddenly thrust into the national spotlight, some of Marcotte's posts began to attract attention (to no one's surprise, either. Hell, a blind man could've seen this coming.)

But the way she started sweeping controversial posts under the rug made it look like total amateur hour, not only at Pandagon, but at the Edwards campaign as well.

JMK wrote:

"Pinochet killed those who supported the eradication of that most basic ans inalienable right - economic freedom."

No, Pinochet killed anyone who supported basic freedoms, like freedom of speech. Pinochet killed less people than Stalin, Pol Pot and Hitler, but he was certainly similarly minded. He was an oppressive dictator and a mass murderer.

I do not know a lot about Friedman, but I have no respect for him, because he applied his theories/experimented in a repressed society under the fascist regime of Pinochet. Similarly, I have no respect for others, i.e. Henry Kissinger, who (for tactical reasons) supported and promoted the fascist regime of Pinochet those days. You can not have it both ways. You can not say you are for freedom and at the same time support fascist oppressive regimes.

Again the facts don't bear you out on that premise BW.

Killing communists, yes even "peace-loving" communists who want to "work within the system" is a net positive, because that ideology is such a net negative.

That's the premise we must start from.

I know many people don't accept my next premise, which is "The greatest good is to destroy evil," which then elevates the slaughter of collectivist people to a "common good," but the first premise that economic freedom (the right to private property and individual ownership) is the most basic and most vital freedom of all, must be the starting point, or there is no hope for any common ground.

Without the right to own property, one becomes property.

There are American citizens who are avowed Marxists and simply for espousing Marxism, they are, in fact, anti-American, as Marxism is predicated on the eradication of private property and self-ownership and thus on the eradication of everything America was founded upon.

In point of fact, Pinochet was vastly different than all those other tyrants you mentioned.

While EVERY one of those Leftist tyrants sought to eradicate private property and make the people dependent upon the state, Pinochet allowed for the Friedman economic reforms that allowed for private ownership of property, the building of independent (individually owned) businesses and the basis for the only kind of "freedom" that counts - self-ownership/personal-responsibility.

He did NOT seek to enslave people to the state.

In fact, he sought to eradicate (slaughter) those evil scum who wanted to make the government the "parent and provider of the people."

I'd like those people to be eradicated too, wherever they might be found, but that's another story altogether.

[i]By mid-1976, the economy began recovering, and from 1978 to 1981 it achieved what the Chicago boys called the "Economic Miracle." During this period the economy grew 6.6 percent a year. The Chicago boys lifted nearly all restrictions on foreign direct investment, creating an "almost irresistible package of guarantees for the foreign investor" with "extraordinarily permissive" treatment. Foreign investment and loans came pouring into Chile, with loans alone tripling between 1977 and 1981. Of the 507 state enterprises set up before or during Allende's presidency, the Chicago boys would eliminate or privatize all but 27. [14][/i]

Wow, great! Looks like JMK is absolutely right ... er, well, wait a sec ...

[i]Between 1977 and 1981, 80 percent of Chile's growth was in the non-manufacturing sectors of the economy, like marketing and financial services. Much of this was speculation attracted to Chile's phenomenally high interest rates, which, at 51 percent in 1977, were the highest in the world. These high rates were largly a result of low investor confidence in the Chilean government due to its default on foreign debts during Allende's presidency. The international recession that struck in 1982 hit Chile harder than any other Latin American country. Not only did foreign capital and markets dry up, but Chile had to pay out stratospheric interest rates on its orgy of loans. Most analysts attribute the disaster both to external shocks and Chile's own economic policies. By 1983, Chile's economy was devastated, with unemployment soaring at one point to 34.6 percent. Manufacturing production plunged 28 percent.[15][/i]

Hold on there, was it all some kind of cheap trick? Oh wait, there's more!

[i]Pinochet's market driven economic policies' benefits have been sharply contested. In 1973, unemployment was only 4.3% time when the government employed many of Chile's citizens. Following ten years of junta rule in 1983, unemployment had risen to 22%. Real wages declined by more than 40%. In 1970, 20% of Chile's population lived in poverty. In 1990, in the last year of Pinochet's dictatorship, poverty doubled to 40%.[16] Between 1982 and 1983 during the worldwide economic slump, the GDP dropped 19%, largly as a result of a downturn in the copper market. In 1970, the daily diet of the poorest 40 percent of the population contained 2,019 calories. By 1980 this had fallen to 1,751, and by 1990 it was down to 1,629. Furthermore, the percentage of Chileans without adequate housing increased from 27 to 40 percent between 1972 and 1988, despite the government's boast that the new economy would solve homelessness.[17] . In 1970, the richest one-fifth of the population controlled 45% of the wealth, after much of their wealth had been seized by president Montalva. In comparison the poorest one-fifth controlled 7.6%. In 1989, the richest one-fifth controlled 55% of the wealth while the poorest one-fifth controlled 4.4%[18][/i]

Hey wait, are you trying to tell me that Pinochet's policies gutted the middle class and concentrated all the power and money into the hands of the mega-rich?

Hell, I get it now. JMK is completely consistent. This is the same result Chimp is trying to bring about!

Nice job, JMK!

Chile's economy retains Friedman's policies to this day....because they work!

Free market reforms made entrepreneurs out of average laborers. As Friedman said, "It's the first time that many of these people have experienced real freedom, the exhiliration of selling your product (labor) in an open market. Some will do well, others will not. That's the same with any business."

Certainly the 1982 recession was no more Freidman's fault than it was Ronald Reagan's!

Friedman's ingenius economic maneuvers turned all that around.

Through 1983 the U.S. was mired in a recession, exacerbated in this country by the Carter debacle.

Does Reagan have any culpability (that's blame BH) for that recession?


He inherited it, like Friedman did. Ironically enough, Freidman's policies were used in both Reagan's and Pinochet's tenures to reverse those nation's respective economic malaises.

Free market reforms (Supply-Side policies) are designed to lead to an "investor oriented economy. One which rewards the investor FIRST!

That's done by slashing tax rates (especially on Capital Gains and dividends, etc) and pushing for large amounts of worker productivity (via labor "give-backs," and fewer workers carrying a greater load) amidst modest wage increases, thereby making labor a "better value" to investors.

I work for a living ahd that's the kind of economy that I favor - high growth, with an emphasis on worker productivity with corresponding wage increases (modest is better than none).

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