Ann at her best

Ann Coulter can be too mean sometimes, and I think she undermines her points when she is. Sometimes, though, she’s right on the money, as she is in this article, some of which I quote here:

The “bipartisan” Iraq panel has recommended that Iran and Syria can help stabilize Iraq. You know, the way Germany and Russia helped stabilize Poland in ’39.

***

In a broadcast on the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, NBC’s Matt Lauer tried to nail down the Manhattan portion of his audience by aggressively questioning President Bush about the possible use of “waterboarding” against terrorists like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Lauer said ominously, “It’s been reported that with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, he was what they call ‘waterboarded.’”

***

There are few better examples of how out of touch leftists are. They go right to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and expect Americans to be outraged that he may have been waterboarded.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks and is believed to have played a role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the Bali nightclub bombings, the filmed beheading of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, a thwarted 2002 attack on a bank tower in Los Angeles, and Operation Bojinka, a plot to blow up 11 commercial airliners simultaneously. Oh, and he took home the coveted “world’s craziest terrorist” prize at al-Qaeda’s end-of-season office party last year.

Sadly, the Democrats’ misplaced compassion (and I think it is seriously misplaced) didn’t prevent the Republicans from getting kicked out of office. It’s sad that Americans believe that Republicans are so inept and have failed so much to live up to conservative standards, that they (average Americans, that is) are willing to take just about anything in the Republicans place. Please, please, please, Republicans, get your priorities in order and your backbone in place before 2008.

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Comments

  1. says

    I don’t think the Republican Party can make it back. I think they have gone over into the “Land of Politics” completely. Perhaps they are now the new Whig Party. If so a new party must rise and take its place. A new start is needed.

  2. BigAL says

    BW,

    The truth is that our two party system has turned into nothing but “political theater”—which constantly brainwashes people into believing there are only two choices–two directions–no matter how many real options there are.

    The people with power and resources benefit greatly from only having to worry about 2 strong political parties–rather than 3 or 4. The current system is in place because powerful people want it to stay that way. Major changes to the system would threaten their grip on power, influence, and resources. That will continue until the average person in the middle-class and lower-upper class feels powerless (or close to it) to actually live the American Dream and begins to demand change. People change when their pain becomes too great for them to stand any longer. The average person in the middle-class and many in the lower-upper-class must be completely and utterly sick of the pain before any great changes will take place When the middle-class truly rises up–the power-mongers will have no choice but to institute a dictatorship or change to a more equitable system.

    We need a 3 or 4 party political system very badly.

  3. dagon says

    see this is the kind of crap i’ve been talking about book:

    Sadly, the Democrats’ misplaced compassion (and I think it is seriously misplaced) didn’t prevent the Republicans from getting kicked out of office. It’s sad that Americans believe that Republicans are so inept and have failed so much to live up to conservative standards, that they (average Americans, that is) are willing to take just about anything in the Republicans place. Please, please, please, Republicans, get your priorities in order and your backbone in place before 2008.

    –the ‘democrats’ don’t have any compassion for mohammad (no one does). most AMERICANS consider waterboarding torture and don’t think that it’s the kind of thing we should be involved. now, the efficacy of this procedure is debateable.

    what’s not debateable is the FACT that the leading opponent to these practices is a leading frontrunner for the REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION!!! in ’08, john mccain.

    peace

  4. says

    The people with power and resources benefit greatly from only having to worry about 2 strong political parties–rather than 3 or 4.

    This must be why the rich aristocrats control Europe.

    Major changes to the system would threaten their grip on power, influence, and resources.

    You don’t even know how to get a coup de tat off the ground, let alone play with Machiavelli.

    The average person in the middle-class and many in the lower-upper-class must be completely and utterly sick of the pain before any great changes will take place

    Glorification of suffering. Why does that sound familiar.

    Oh, I know. It is cause of the Revolutionary text Sartre. “When a man of the revolution kills, a tyrant dies and a free man is born”.

  5. says

    When the middle-class truly rises up–the power-mongers will have no choice but to institute a dictatorship or change to a more equitable system.

    Rise up, vive de Revolution! And then Comes the Revolution, Book.

  6. says

    I am not as tolerant as you, Bookworm. I don’t the Left you refered to have any compassion at all for their fellow brothers and sisters. Compassion is about caring about others. How do narcissists care about anyone except themselves, Bookworm? To feel compassion one must see other people as human, deserving of equal respect and treatment. Not as tools to be used and discarded.

  7. says

    I don’t like McCain. Never have, never will. I don’t think he’s an iconoclast, I think he’s a political panderer. He has some good positions, but way too many bad ones. If it boiled down to Hillary v. McCain, I’d vote for McCain, but I’d be holding my nose big time to do so.

  8. BigAL says

    Y said:
    I don’t the Left you refered to have any compassion at all for their fellow brothers and sisters.

    Makes no sense. But I will assume you are saying the left has no compassion for their fellow brothers and sisters.

    Since you, Ymarsakar, seem to have no problem with the corporate welfare and wealth re-distribution by the government to the rich–I will assume you are a “communist leftist pig” with no understanding of the benefits of competition.

  9. Zhombre says

    Getting kicked in the butt in one election cycle does not a Whig party make. Wait two years. By then Nancy Pelosi jokes may be a staple on Leno’s show. And contrary to BigAl’s assertion a multi party system may usher in less stable government. France has a multiparty democracy, and subsidizes the political process in a way I’m sure Obama and other progressives would love to adapt here, yet its last election boiled down to a choice between Chirac and LePen.

  10. dagon says

    bookworm,

    i think the point was that the leading advocate against the sort of treatment that was given to mohammad is a republican. yet you didn’t let that stop from spewing out one of your daily diatribes against democrats.

    frankly MOST of the outcry against torture has come from the right side of the fence (hence the election results) yet just because the media reports on it, you try to again paint the dems as terrorist enablers. that sort of rhetoric is extremely irresponsible.

    peace

  11. Zhombre says

    I don’t see that MOST of the outcry against torture has come “from the right side of the fence,” and don’t see how the election results flowed from this alleged outcry. Do you have access to polling data or exit polling that most people specifically voted against the Republicans because they were against torture. Based on what do you draw that conclusion?

  12. kevin says

    I don’t see that MOST of the outcry against torture has come “from the right side of the fence

    I agree–it certainly wasn’t conservatives raising all the fuss over the “torture memos.”

  13. dagon says

    zhombre,

    most of the public outcry has been from republicans. remember, the dems didn’t have much of a platform to forcibly speak out against anything prior to the mid-terms. of all the top media shows (russert, hardball, stephanopoulus, etc.), by an overwhelming margin it was mccain, warner and graham (3 GOP bigwigs) who were forcing the anti-torture issue

    http://masl.to/?E3422135E

    as for as the american public repudiating torture. i think that was born out in the results against the war in general. i think most americans tend to conflate the torture problem with our performance in iraq overall. i’m looking for data that breaks down the results to that level of detail.

    peace

  14. Zhombre says

    McCain, Warner and Graham were 3 Republicans who opposed Bush and hence they got a lot of media coverage, but that is a case of the tail wagging the dog. And may I add that 3 Republican senators hardly constitute an overwhelming margin. As for the American public repudiating torture, that this is “born out” by the results of the election is strictly your opinion unless you can produce data that delves into the subatomic level to prove your point. One could just as easily say the duration of the war in Iraq or the mishandling of the Katrina aftermath or runaway spending turned voters anti Republican. That “most Americans tend to conflate the torture problem with our performance in Iraq overall” is unsubstantiated, pure conjecture on your part, unless of course you claim psychic powers like that cute Patricia Arquette in the television show. I’m sure many of the people you are in contact with on a daily basis conflate this, but that brings to mind Pauline Kael’s comment that she could not comprehend how Nixon trounced McGovern in 1972 since nobody she knew voted for Nixon.

  15. dagon says

    easy zhombre,

    you should know by now that i’m better than that. i was just trying to find codified exit-polling for my own edification.

    there has already been PLENTY of documentation of the american people views on torture:

    “May 27, 2004— Americans by nearly 2-to-1 oppose torturing terrorism suspects — but half believe the U.S. government, as a matter of policy, is doing it anyway. And even more think the government is employing physical abuse that falls short of torture in some cases.

    Given pro and con arguments, 63 percent in an ABC News/Washington Post poll say torture is never acceptable, even when other methods fail and authorities believe the suspect has information that could prevent terrorist attacks. Thirty-five percent say torture is acceptable in some such cases.

    abcnews.go.com/sections/us/Polls/torture_poll_040527

    http://masl.to/?P2032135E

    **update**

    here’s an exit poll that shows how people who self-identify as religious voted on issues such torture and the war.

    http://www.faithinpubliclife.org/content/files/zogby_exit_poll_memo_EntryFile_1.pdf

    peace

  16. Zhombre says

    Of course Americans are opposed to torture. I don’t anyone who thinks torture is a good idea (well, possibly some S&M enthusiasts in Nancy Pelosi’s San Fran congressional district dig it). But neither of the links you provide specifically links voting in the last election with aversion to torture. The Faith in Public Life (two pages) doesn’t even use the word torture or deal directly with the issue. Voters may have repudiated Republicans in the last election, that is quite clear, but the correlation you draw is not substantiated.

  17. says

    I think most Americans see torture as they see the death penalty. Oh sure, a majority might say that they are “against it” in principle, state executions that is, but if you give them a face of a child killer and rapist, well then things start a changing.

    People can’t make good decisions based upon bad information. So if people try to decide what to do with killers, while they live in comfort and safety (Europe), then obviously they will be less hardline, hardcore, and anti-death penalty. That’s pretty standard behavior for humans.

  18. says

    Since you, Ymarsakar, seem to have no problem with the corporate welfare and wealth re-distribution by the government to the rich

    So you are in favor of Bush’s flat tax system, right? Doesn’t that make you a corporate lapdog of Bush or something Haliburton?

  19. dagon says

    zhombre,

    they weren’t talking about torture in abstraction but were specifically focused on OUR actions, which they believed were indeed ‘torture’ and that we were continuing to practice it.

    The Faith in Public Life (two pages) doesn’t even use the word torture or deal directly with the issue.

    sure it does, in the upper cell of the graph on the first page

    “Religious groups who urge people to vote according to issues like the Iraq War, torture, poverty and the minimum wage”

    –essentially, issues of our humanity and the graph explicity includes torture as a factor for these people of faith.

    peace

  20. BigAL says

    Y said:So you are in favor of Bush’s flat tax system, right? Doesn’t that make you a corporate lapdog of Bush or something Haliburton?

    No. An equitable tax system does not make someone a fascist.

  21. JJ says

    Most places where there are multiple political parties end up standing for very little, because the inevitable outcome is that there can never be a clear majority, thus you tend to get coalition governments. In practice what this means is that even those with strong principles have to give some portion of them away in order to forge sufficient alliances to be able to govern at all. You have a government that basically “believes” or “stands for” not much of anything.

    And you end up with France or Italy, both of whom have elected several hundred governments since the Second World War ended. (Italy is at the moment leading this dubious competition, I believe.)

    America is on president #11 (it would be 9 without the interventions of an assassination and a resignation) since the war, and there have been 3 changes of the ruling party in government. A lot more stable. Better? I don’t know, but a lot more stable.

    Multi-party systems empower instability. It’s nice to let everyone have a say, but in practice what you get is a multitude of elections (sometimes mroe than one a year, vide both France and Italy) and the subtle dynamic of a third-grade recess.

  22. Zhombre says

    Why is a flat tax more equitable? I don’t see anything that objectionable about the wealthier paying a higher rate. They have more money, after all. Taxation is about putting money in the Treasury. Not about fairness, and certainly not about income redistribution, or any other social chimera. No tax is fair because a tax is involuntary, though of course necessary to maintain the government.

  23. says

    Taxation is about putting money in the Treasury.

    You can get quite a lot of taxation with a flat tax at this moment. Because all those super rich boys and girls have their real money in offshore accounts, immune to income taxes or interest taxes or any other taxes.

    A flat tax with some laws increasing punishment for that kind of activity, would get people to put their assets in American banks. Which is better for economy and the IRS.

    There is nothing wrong with special levies on Hollywood and Basketball stars making millions. But that should be a special case, what we have now is a progressive tax list going for pages and pages.

    Progressive taxes aren’t fair because those with money can hire lawyers and what not and evade those taxes, while those who have some money and businesses who hold up America, have cost overruns and bare minimums that they just can’t hire a gaggle of lawyers to solve for them.

  24. says

    There is also the question of corporate taxes, because the employers get taxed for their income, and then the company income revenue gets taxed “again”. It would be much simpler to pay people more, and tax them once, not twice. After all, look at Ford, their costs are going up and they had to cut the pay of their workers. The corporate tax structure was reduced by Margaret Thatcher in Britain, so theirs might actually be a bit lower than ours in terms of tax brackets.

    In a global economy, with Japanese and French subsidized companies, putting a tax on the profits of these companies, lowers their ability to compete and therefore destroys American companies and thus American jobs.

  25. Zhombre says

    A flat tax, per se, makes absolutely no difference, Y. If people use offshore accounts to hide assets, why should a flat tax as opposed to a progressive one make any difference? I have worked in tax compliance for 23 years and all these great schemes to make taxation fair and beef up enforcement, ushering in some golden age of tax compliance, are nothing but a mirage. Believe me, a mirage. Whatever form of taxation is imposed, however fair and enlightened it purports to be, somebody will attempt to beat it. Some people are simply greedy and devious, some are simply scofflaws. You think if people hire lawyers to find ways to beat taxes at 38 percent, that if the tax rate is reduced to 20 percent, they will hire 18 percent fewer lawyers, or spend 18 percent less time to evade paying? Sorry, guys, it don’t work that way.

  26. JJ says

    A flat tax is more equitable because it’s the definition of the word “equitable.” Everybody pays the same rate: that’s equitable.

    As soon as you start tinkering with that straightforward proposition, such as : “A has more (a bigger basis) than B does, therefore A should pay more because he/she/it can afford to” – it may be fine, it may fit your definiton of “fair,” but that’s no longer equality, and is therefore by definition not equitable.

    “Progressive” anything by definition can’t be equitable.

    If 20% of me is bigger than 20% of you, then the IRS will indeed collect more from me than from you – equitably.

    Great IRS answer, though Z – “I don’t see anything wrong with the wealthy paying a higher rate. They have more money after all.”

    Class envy, in a nutshell.

  27. Zhombre says

    It may not be “equitable” but I have no objection to people who have prospered and have more resources paying a larger percentage in tax, as long as the top tax rate remains relatively low. I’m all for low tax rates and for people keeping the money they have earned. But if class envy exists, and I’d posit envy is inherent in human psychology, than a small concession to it to me is better than enforcing a rigorous equality. Do you really think a truck driver in Des Moines will take satisfaction in the fact he pays the same tax rate as Bill Gates, or some Hollywood idiot that makes $10M per movie?

  28. JJ says

    I don’t care what he does or doesn’t take satisfaction in – it’s none of hus business. I don’t worry about what other people pay, truck drivers or septic tank pumpers. The only tax return I give a damn about is my own.

    And envy is certainly helped along by one political party that specializes in it.

    Not sure what it has to with Ann Coulter – but then, I came in late.

  29. Zhombre says

    “I don’t worry about what other people pay …(t)he only tax return I give a damn about is my own …”

    Then what the hell do you care about people with higher incomes paying higher tax rates?

  30. JJ says

    I get sick of doubletalk and the politics of class envy from democrats. “The rich need to pay their fair share” – the top five percent of taxpayers are already paying 25%+ of the taxes in this country, and the top 10% pays 50%.

    Which you in your job know perfectly well.

    I don’t care about other people’s returns, but I object strenuously to political BS.

    There ought to be one of those guys who rode in triumphal processions in ancient Rome in the chariot right behind the conquering hero, whose job was to whisper into the hero’s ear as the parade wound along: “this too will pass.”

    Only in the case of Schumer, Clinton, Pelosi, Kennedy et al, it would be someone standing at their elbow who would reach out and smack them every time they began: “the rich need to…” BAM! Right in the chops.

    Could only do them – and all of us – good.

  31. says

    If people use offshore accounts to hide assets, why should a flat tax as opposed to a progressive one make any difference?

    I see it as incentive. People have offshore accounts for various reasons, primarily because it benefits them in one way or another. So other people get the finances and monies, while the funds are transfered away from America.

    In terms of law, law should be made so as to give rewards to people to do the right thing and to punish when the wrong action is taken.

    There are many laws that do things right and wrong. And even the right law, won’t always work as intended.

    Whatever form of taxation is imposed, however fair and enlightened it purports to be, somebody will attempt to beat it.

    The aim is not eliminating tax fraud or greed. The aim should be to make it easier for honest folks to be honest, and harder for dishonest folks to be dishonest.

    You think if people hire lawyers to find ways to beat taxes at 38 percent, that if the tax rate is reduced to 20 percent, they will hire 18 percent fewer lawyers, or spend 18 percent less time to evade paying? Sorry, guys, it don’t work that way.

    I think it does work that way, because it is called the law of diminishing returns. As demand goes down, and supply goes up, along the z axis of time, they will hire less tax evading lawyers because they won’t need them as bad. A flat tax means there are no excemptions that lawyers can “find” out. It is flat, there is no loopholes, or least fewer loopholes. So hiring lawyers just spends money that doesn’t do anything to get more money. People hire lawyers because it saves them money, even with what they pay per hour. Make it so that the system causes people to spend more than they get back from tax lawyers, and you create a system that prevents abuse instead of invites.

    Someone who gets taxed 60% might find it very pleasant to hire a lawyer for .5% of his income, to save 10% on taxes. It doesn’t matter how honest a person is, if he believes the price too high for survival, he will cheat. The goal should be to make it easier on honest people, and try to find ways to discourage the dishonest.

    I’m not for the flat tax for the equitability so much as for the simplicity and cost/time savings. Besides, it reduces the IRS and gov mint bureacracy. Aren’t people for that?

    I’m perfectly fine with rich Democrats like Barclay who says his Bush tax returns was just another blackjack game to him, being taxed at 60-70%. I have no moral, ethical, or systemic complaints about that. Does anyone?

  32. kevin says

    Just my quick two cents–I’m against a flat tax but I am for the fair tax which would replace the federal income tax and withholding system with a simple 23 percent retail sales tax on new goods and services.

    This would (according to the Amazon link):

    Make America’s tax code truly voluntary, without reducing revenue
    Replace today’s indecipherable tax code with one simple sales tax
    Protect lower-income Americans by covering the tax on basic necessities
    Eliminate billions of dollars in embedded taxes we don’t even know we’re paying
    Bring offshore corporate dollars back into the U.S. economy

    Think about it; since people will pay taxes based on their consumption so it does create a progressive tax system. This will render the argument that the rich can shield their income moot. You want to live in a mansion and drive a Lamborghini? You’ll pay the appropriate taxes to do so.

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