Posts Tagged ‘Kaptain Kaganroo’

Frank Gaffney is a neo-con rock star.  Washington Times, National Review, Jewish World Review, Center for Security Policy, original signer of the PNAC statement, Committee on the Present Danger…  Thing is, he’s dumb as a brick.  Witness:

“Napoleon is said to have declared that “Geography is destiny.”  That certainly is true of Gov. Palin.  Her state is adjacent to Russia, a nation that has in recent years demonstrated a rising aggressiveness towards its neighbors.”

I understand this is Cindy McCain’s view, but when did this become the talking points of conservative (and I used this guardedly) “intellectuals?”  He goes on with the osmosis:

“…As it happens, the best of those defenses – including a squadron of America’s state-of-the-art interceptors, the F-22 Raptor – are stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base near Anchorage.  Governor Palin would not only be intimately familiar with that facilities’ vital role in protecting U.S. territory…”

I grew up two exits north of West Point but it doesn’t make me a General.  (Nor does it qualify David Paterson as Secretary of Defense.)

But wait, it’s in the way of missiles!

“…Speaking of geography, Alaskan territory is also along the trajectory of ballistic missiles launched eastward out of Stalinist North Korea.  For that reason, among others, Alaska’s Fort Greely was selected as the site for the principal U.S. ground-based defense against such missiles…”

Seriously.  One of the top conservative (and again, guardedly) “intellectuals” is basically arguing that west coast placement counts as national security cred.  California also has two ground-based missile-interceptors, but somehow the GOP doesn’t generally credit that.

“…At present, one can only infer Sarah Palin’s grasp of the danger posed by today’s principal enemy: adherents to the brutally repressive and seditious program the Islamists call Shariah… A tangible indicator of her views, however, is the enlistment of her eldest son, Track, on the anniversary of 9/11 last year and his imminent deployment to Iraq…”

Considering there’s maybe 1,000 Muslims in Alaska, she does rather fail the osmosis test vis-a-vis Jihad… ps. Beau Biden is also shipping off in a month if we’re trading war stories.

If you can stomach it, here’s the rest.  Dude thinks he’s Kaptain Kaganroo.

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I swear, on CNN right now, Jeannie Moos is reporting on “Obama’s sniffles: Spreading germs on the campaign trail.” Really really. “The threat of Presidential candidate cooties didn’t deter this crowd,” and pictures of little kids putting their fingers in their mouths. Even better, they’re now showing months-old footage of Obama blowing his nose at a rally. Blitzer returns us to the studio with “gesundheit to all of you.”

And when I turn on WETA instead, I get Fred Kagan’s analysis of Georgia. Yes, that Fred Kagan. I swear, if I wanted jowls with my dinner I’d call Blankley. To be fair, Kaptain Kaganroo is on with a guy from Council for a Livable World. But then, Quinnipiac just found that twice as many Americans (55%-27%) trust McCain to deal with the crisis in Georgia rather than Obama. So I remain in agreement with the Sage of Baltimore:

“No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”

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August 13 (Originally posted by Mischa)

(…or perhaps, both / and.)

Robert Kagan churns out the usual anti-historical dreck in the other day’s Post. Highlights of which include:
-the “morally ambiguous” Sudeten crisis;
-August 8, 2008 as “no less significant than Nov. 9, 1989;” and
-Russia “[creating] a major geopolitical confrontation” over deployment of U.S. missiles in Eastern Europe. (Unimportant side note: Massive opposition to the plan by a majority of Poles and an overwhelming majority of Czechs.)

But that’s just the segue for this very sloppy MSPaint Kagan family tree…

Not surprisingly, Greenwald has the definitive commentary. But it’s not just the Kagans who keep it in the family. Right-wing fathead Jonah Goldberg is the offspring of Lucianne “I was a spy for Nixon” Goldberg, whose website drove away advertisements by the Marines, Red Cross, United Airlines, and Weight Watchers. Giuliani advisor John Podhoretz sprang from the loins of PNAC signatory and Commentary weirdo Norman Podhoretz, who is also (via Rumsfeld hagiographer Midge Dector) the stepfather of Eliot Abrams’ wife — that’s two misdemeanors for withholding information from Congress Eliot Abrams. The smiling assassin Bill Kristol is the son of neo-con Godfather Irv Kristol, while Independent Women’s Forum founder Barbara Ledeen is married to AEI “Freedom Scholar” and lobbyist for the Republic of Congo Michael Ledeen. Hell, Rush Limbaugh’s kid brother is published by the Washington Times. (Christopher Buckley seems to have come out alright.)

So what? We’re dealing with a group of people from very similar socioeconomic backgrounds, whether in punditry, journalism, academia, lobbying. Of course they’re going to marry each other, and of course we’ll end up with something like this. It happens on the left as well, witness the fantastic Foer family, or the manner in which Marty Peretz bought and ruined New Republic with his wife’s money.

Again, so what? No one is banned from expressing opinions because of their relatives, and certainly one Kilpatrick isn’t to blame for another. That said, readers of Anne Applebaum’s consistently anti-Russian op-eds in the Post might benefit from knowing she’s married to the Polish Foreign Minister. This doesn’t mean she’s incapable of objectivity — Applebaum has a strong academic and journalistic record. However, I can’t be the only one who finds it noteworthy that the Post‘s flagship opinion writer on Eastern Europe is married to one of the region’s most important figures.

Such family ties are usually apparent with politicians. Names like Bush, Kennedy, Sanchez, Udall, are alternately trafficked in and attacked. Unfortunately there’s much less awareness of journalist and pundit family ties.

I don’t have any solution for how this should be moderated, nor can I quantify its effect on the discourse. This post is mainly a think-out-loud exercise. Obviously disclosure requirements vary tremendously, and should depend on the subject matter in question. Bill Kristol gleaned an ideology from his dad, but there’s no need to label him “Irv Kristol’s son” all the time; on the other hand, it might be nice to know that the columnist praising the surge is the brother of its planner. Thomas Frank has one suggestion for journalists that applies equally to pundits:

“Journalists love to put “full disclosure” in parenthetical statements, but, compared to federal appointees, we disclose barely a thing, and only when it suits us. Let newspapers and other journalistic media maintain disclosure Web sites where employees list potential conflicts of interest, including professional affiliations of spouses.”

It’s a great idea, but the late A.M. Rosenthal put it better:
“You can’t cover the circus if you’re fucking the elephants.

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