Time for another round of “Caption This”

Can’t wait to see the responses to this one:

Here’s the original caption:

A video message from former U.S. Vice President Al Gore is shown during a press conference of Live Earth concert Tuesday June 19, 2007 in Shanghai, China. Live Earth is a 24-hour, 7-continent concert series taking place on July 7, 2007 to increase public awareness of our natural environment. Shanghai will be one of the nine concert sites across the world. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Have at it, ya’ll :D

Speaking of the Goracle, there are some ads running in New Hampshire, put on by the Draft Gore Committee, urging the “prophet” to run for president. Private Pigg at Iowa Voice has the details.

“I don’t think [Coulter] has any shame”

So sayeth the man who wants to be Panderer, er, Commander in Chief:

A day after his wife Elizabeth called in to MSNBC’s “Hardball” to confront conservative commentator Ann Coulter, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards made his own appearance on the show.

He dismissed Coulter, calling her “mean-spirited” having no shame and being “crazy.” He defended his wife’s efforts to ask Coulter to drop her personal attacks, saying, “You have to stand up to them.”

“I don’t think [Coulter] has any shame; there’s no doubt about that” Edwards said. “I think that’s just the way she behaves. That’s who she is. And I think that’s a lot of what we see from these people who are just — that are crazy.”

Neither do you, pal. Neither do you.

Newt Gingrich’s misrepresentation of the immigration bill

Newt Gingrich is one of my favorite conservatives, so much so that if he didn’t carry certain baggage (the affair on his wife, among other things) that I would vote for him in a heartbeat for president. He’s very well-educated, politically savvy, sharp as a tack, and seems to have his finger on the pulse of the conservative movement. So with that in mind, it’s disheartening to see how he’s misrepresented the immigration bill in a recent ad he was in opposing it.

Here’s the Fact Check summary on the ad and some of its faulty claims:

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich made false claims about the Senate immigration bill in a TV ad for a conservative group. He said it “will put…potential terrorists and gang members on a path to U.S. citizenship” which is contrary to the language of the legislation.

Actually, the bill grants authority to deport any alien who “at any time has participated in a criminal gang.” And as for terrorists, the measure also gives the government authority to deny temporary visa status to an illegal alien if “there are reasonable grounds for regarding the alien as a danger to the security of the United States.”

Gingrich further claimed that the bill “does not even allow convicted criminals to be deported,” which is false. The bill provides for deportation proceedings for those convicted of “aggravated felonies,” which can include violent crimes such as rape or murder or even nonviolent crimes such as fraud or theft. The bill would even allow the government to toss out an illegal alien who had been convicted of three misdemeanors, such as running a red light or disturbing the peace.

Gingrich and other opponents of the immigration legislation also describe the bill as granting “amnesty.” We find that label to be misleading and a classic case of mislabeling. Several dictionaries define “amnesty” as a pardon of past offenses, or clemency. But while the legislation would allow millions of persons who are in the country illegally to remain, it does not overlook violation of U.S. law. It would require illegal immigrants to pay a $1,000 penalty for having entered the country illegally, plus $2,000 in fees, and meet several other requirements before they could qualify for a temporary visa.

We neither oppose the legislation nor endorse it. We do advise our readers against making up their minds based on an inaccurate label.

Make sure to read it all beyond the summary to get the details.

Whichever side you fall on – or even if you don’t have a ‘side’ in the debate – we all want the facts about the bill presented accurately and fairly so we can make an informed decision about where to stand on the issue, and after reading the Fact Check piece on some of the claims Newt made, I can only conclude that someone as smart as Newt deliberately distorted some of the facts on this bill in order to appeal to the emotions of its opponents and also fencesitters. This is a tactic that I’ve seen the ‘pro’ side use, too, but to a lesser extent.

It’s easy enough for me or some other blogger to blog about something and inadvertantly get it wrong – or at the very least ony get it partially correct – because we’re not a part of the elite ‘beltway gang’ with all the insider knowledge but it is simply inexcuseable for a man of Newt Gingrich’s extensive Congressional experience and smarts to mislead on an issue that deserves honesty from start to finish. He’s got some great ideas on how to help solve the problem of illegal immigration. But it’s too bad that when discussing the problem he misrepresents the key piece of legislation aimed at trying to tackle it.

There are plenty of valid arguments out there in opposition to the immigration bill (most of them made at this blog by my thoughtful commenters) and knowing that makes it all the more disappointing that Newt went this route. If the bill is that bad, then Newt should have had no trouble whatsoever accurately portraying the immigration bill’s faults in that ad.

On a related note, the Fact Check piece also referenced a prior piece they did (in 2005) on how much worse the Canadian border security problems are than the Mexican borders, something I wrote about here last month.


For a mini-recap of today’s Senate goings-on as it relates to the revival of the immigration bill, make sure to check out Politico’s “Crypt” blog.

The obligatory Ann Coulter vs. Elizabeth Edwards post (MORE: VIDEO OF COULTER’S COMMENTS *IN CONTEXT*)

The blogosphere and mediots are abuzz today over the confrontation that took place between Ann Coulter and Elizabeth Edwards yesterday on Chris Matthews’ MSNBC show Hardball. Coulter was in the studio, and Mrs. Edwards made a supposedly impromptu phone call over Coulter saying she wished John Edwards would die in a terrorist attack.

My thoughts on Ann Coulter are well-known by my readers (see here and here for examples) so ’nuff said on that.

But isn’t it mildly ironic that Mrs. Edwards chides Coulter for her inflammatory rhetoric in spite of the fact that her husband’s campaign hired some of the most foul-mouthed inflammatory bloggers in the leftosphere, and wanted to keep them even after supposedly ‘just finding out’ through other bloggers and pundits just how crude and offensive they were, using terminology that makes Coulter look like Mary Poppins? He demanded ‘assurances’ from them, of course, that they would keep it clean on his blog but that said nothing about their continued insults and highly inflammatory and crude language used on their own.

Hey, it’s a free country, right? At least that’s what the left told us during Bloggergate …

Bottom line is: Here we go again – the left is foaming at the mouth over Ann Coulter, while they continue to refuse to police themselves, just as they have always done.

Hey Nutroots: Your wails of indignation over Ann’s comments and high-fiving each other over Mrs. Edwards’ ‘slam’ aren’t fooling anyone. Wanna convince the right you’re really interested in civilized spirited dialogue? Then start demanding of your own side what you demand of the other.

Update I: I should have known. Check out the real reason Elizabeth Edwards called in to challenge Coulter: to raise money for her husband’s failing campaign. In other words, this was just a publicity stunt. Just like the time they tried to raise money after Ann’s controversial comments at CPAC in March, and just like John Edwards shamelessly used his wife’s cancer to get donations to his campaign.

Update II: Check out this video, which shows Coulter’s comments in context, which is very important here. She was making a point about how Bill Maher got away with calling for Dick Cheney’s assassination right around the time she was criticized about her CPAC comments, and said that the next time she said something negative about Edwards it would be that she wished he were to be killed in a terrorist attack because if Bill Maher could get away with making similar comments, then so should she. These comments have been presented in the MSM out of context, making it look as though Coulter came on the show specifically to say that. Now, I’m by no means a defender of Ann Coulter, but the media is guilty of a major deliberate dereliction of duty by not reporting what was said in context.

Once again, shame on the MSM.

Excitement in the air at the NYT as poll suggest young Americans “lean left”

Are liberals winning the hearts and minds of young America? A new poll from the NYT seems to suggest they just might be:

Young Americans are more likely than the general public to favor a government-run universal health care insurance system, an open-door policy on immigration and the legalization of gay marriage, according to a New York Times/CBS News/MTV poll. The poll also found that they are more likely to say the war in Iraq is heading to a successful conclusion.

The poll offers a snapshot of a group whose energy and idealism have always been as alluring to politicians as its scattered focus and shifting interests have been frustrating. It found that substantially more Americans ages 17 to 29 than four years ago are paying attention to the presidential race. But they appeared to be really familiar with only two of the candidates, Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, both Democrats.

They have continued a long-term drift away from the Republican Party. And although they are just as worried as the general population about the outlook for the country and think their generation is likely to be worse off than that of their parents, they retain a belief that their votes can make a difference, the poll found.

More than half of Americans ages 17 to 29 — 54 percent — say they intend to vote for a Democrat for president in 2008. They share with the public at large a negative view of President Bush, who has a 28 percent approval rating with this group, and of the Republican Party. They hold a markedly more positive view of Democrats than they do of Republicans.

Among this age group, Mr. Bush’s job approval rating after the attacks of Sept. 11 was more than 80 percent. Over the course of the next three years, it drifted downward leading into the presidential election of 2004, when 4 of 10 young Americans said they approved how Mr. Bush was handling his job.

At a time when Democrats have made gains after years in which Republicans have dominated Washington, young Americans appear to lean slightly more to the left than the general population: 28 percent described themselves as liberal, compared with 20 percent of the nation at large. And 27 percent called themselves conservative, compared with 32 percent of the general public.

Forty-four percent said they believed that same-sex couples should be permitted to get married, compared with 28 percent of the public at large. They are more likely than their elders to support the legalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana.

JammieWearingFool makes an excellent point:

Of course, they couldn’t identify with any Democrat presidential candidates outside of Obama and The Pantsuit, and we’re supposed to believe this is an informed age group?

Makes sense: As has been told to me in some form or the other over the years, when you’re young and impressionable, you tend to be more liberal in your viewpoints. When you grow up and become a responsible adult, then you become a conservative :D