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Ahem.queenelizabeth.jpg

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is coming to America for the fif time to celebrate the 400th Anniversary of Jamestown…or at least that’s what the license plates in front of me at most red lights in Virginia say.

The trip will take her to the former colony, where she can watch paid white people dressed like complete idiots pick tobacco and completely gloss over a few, shall we say, historical labor disputes.

*Side note, that site I linked to above states:

“The first documented “20 and Odd” Blacks that arrived in Jamestown, Virginia in August of 1619 are not known to have been immediately enslaved. As an institution, slavery did not exist in Virginia in 1619.

This is immediately followed by:

“1619: Arrival of “20 and Odd” Blacks in late August of 1619 aboard a Dutch man of war. These blacks were sold/traded into servitude for supplies.”

Perhaps myself and the National Park Service have different definitions of what constitutes a slave…

Anyway, after her visit to this annoying school field trip magnet, Her Majesty is off to the Kentucky Derby, where she can do her part to help fight the war on terror by letting a few Saudi Princes try their hand at body shots. Oye, what a country!

After that, she’s off to the White House for dinner and awkward conversation with the President where the Queen and Barbara Bush will arm wrestle for the title of World’s Least Fragile Super-Rich Adorable Old Lady.

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Here’s the rundown of last night’s circle jerk:Let's make out.  H: OK

Obama: B-, there were no feets of fancy here, no grand rhetorical statements, just Barry in all of his “clean” and “articulate” glory. Coming from an Obama supporter, meh. Most outlets, including Drudge, are naming Obama the winner, but I disagree.

Hillary: B, came off surprisingly well considering this debate seemed largely aimed at shooting her down, the randomness of the questioning probably kept the Hillary attacks at a minimum…except for Gravel who did whatever he wanted to anyway. She actually brought up a few policy points.

Edwards: C+, was unusually stoic and somber, I imagine he was envisioning a puppy being skinned in the back of the auditorium…and then he imagined the lawsuit he’d file against the skinners, thereby climaxing on the debate floor. He did manage to explain his healthcare proposal fairly well, though he gets dropped a letter grade for saying “high falutin'” only once.

More after le jump:
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Tonight is the first of what is sure to be many long, arduous, annoying, over-produced, under-informed, cynically commented, rigorously over-dissected, craptastically over-prepared debates this election cycle.

It’s Momma vs Obama vs Pretty Boy vs a bunch of losers.  Should be fun.

Me?  I’ll be watching with a beer in hand and my rapier wit sheathed for an event so vastly important it is being carried on the lowest rated major cable news network in the country.

Salud, I’ll post my impressions later.

After all is said and done, the Outer-Loop, while often being a gleeful agitator of libertarians in general and American libertarianism in particular, is a vocal supporter of the ideals of a true libertarian society.

I would love to have a safe country where everyone who tried could make money and personal responsibility was the rule and not the exception. Alas, I don’t think that’ll ever happen…but hey, I got my little capitalist fingers crossed!I just like this picture.

Reason magazine is – in my opinion – one of the best political sources around. Kudos to a publication that is so influential on American economic and political theory yet can successfully run ads for psychotropic liquor delivery without batting an eye. Ten points Reason, nothing but net.

Anyway, Reason Express editor Jeff Taylor wrote a fantastic piece on the war in Iraq that made a serious and essential distinction from the usual rhetoric coming from both sides.

“But the significant thing about these American successes is that they are American successes—Iraqis still play a supporting role in operations in a clash of all-ends against the middle fighting, where double-crossing and double-dealing is just part of the order of battle. That state of affairs might not matter for the long haul in Iraq if another 160,000 U.S. troops were in-bound, but they are not.

Neither does Iraq have its own functioning national army of 500,000 or so to even the score. Instead it has perhaps a handful of reliable brigades out of a population of 30 million. With such a paltry force, it is impossible to secure the country even with America’s complete and utter conventional military victory well in hand.

Contrary to the cliché, the peace has not been lost; there never was any peace in Iraq. Similarly, the Iraqis have not lost their country—it turns out there is no such thing as an Iraq to win.”

Democrats and Republicans alike continue to classify this war in terms of the archaic concepts of Victory vs Defeat. There is simply no such thing as either of them anymore. There is only compromise, we did it in the Cold War, in Vietnam, indeed, in every war since World War II.

There are no longer any winners or losers, there are only people who lost more and people who lost less.

So let’s get the hell out of Iraq and lose less.

Those mulch pocketing liberals at Think Progress point out a lovely quote from CNN. Referring to our old friend AG Alberto Gonzales, Putnam was quoted saying:John Boehner is about to wreck this kid...

“He did not distinguish himself in the hearing… There remains a cloud over the Department… I think they would be well served by fresh leadership.”

This is coming from the third highest Republican in the House and, alongside Prince Harry and Finnish President Tarja Halonen, one of the world’s most powerful gingers.

Everyone knows that Gonzo needs to, and will eventually, skee-daddle.  The only question is will it be soon enough to offset the political damage it has already caused this White House?

My vote is no.

Yes yes, inquiring minds need to know exactly where the hell all of the updates to the site have been.

Well, allow me to boil it down this way.

Like you (or most of you anyway), I have a day job.  A job which is no less annoying and menial than any other…but one that does unfortunately cause me a bit of delay occasionally.

This week was one of those delays.  Needless to say, I apologize and hope I can keep this to a minimum.

John Warner, the Republican Senior Senator from Virginny, is counting his ducklings 29 years after they had hatched.

While he hasn’t officially indicated he’ll be retiring, WashPo reports that herentmegop.jpg has raised a meager $500 in the first fiscal quarter of the year.

This might not seem like news, but the important thing to remember is that with popular incumbents, like Sen. Warner, lobbyists and PACs will typically contribute to the campaign without even asking…like those annoying auction snipers on eBay. In essence, you have to really try NOT to raise money when you’ve been a popular Senator for three decades.

Warner has been a powerful advocate for VA, and a great leader. I don’t agree with his politics, but there is no debating his positive mark on the state.

Taking his place on the Republican ticket would be none other than my own douchebag Republican representative Tom “I Pray My Headaches Away” Davis. The likely Democratic challenger would be homestate hero and former Governor Mark “Bill Clinton Jr” Warner, who consequently is close personal friends with the former Warner…and no they aren’t related.

Should be a fun race. We’ll keep you posted.

Every educated liberal has that moment of clarity at some point in their life. A fleeting instant where all of the pretenses of their typical college incubated socialism disappear and one is left staring, with amazement, at just how effective this little capitalist experiment truly is.  I’m sure the standard college hard-right winger experiences it as well, absorbing the country’s success all the while criticizing the very institution that keeps it that way.

In intellectual political circles, the Poli-Sci departments are often so separated from the business schools that the cultures rarely meet . Instead, these business schools leave many otherwise progressive-minded students with the mindset that since money makes the world go round, and Republicans let you keep more of it, it’s a no-brainer. Liberals leave college with an anorectic view of the business world, many failing to see that the expansion of enterprise and the solidifying of a progressive society are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

In both the Republican and Democratic parties, we see individuals who are challenging these notions. Prominent Democrats like Nextel co-founder Mark Warner prove that there is room for conscience in business and Republicans like Arlen Specter remind us that conservatism is about creating responsive government, not using it to impose narrow blanket moral ideals.

The Republican Party is, as it was in 1964 with the nomination of Goldwater over Rockefeller, at an ideological crossroads. In that election, the new conservative ideological backbone for the party was laid and held relatively steady for the next 30 years. This new concept of conservatism, a focus on individual achievement and government accountability, inspired candidates from across the political spectrum. Not only did it fundamentally change the Republicans and their various competing social and economic ideologies…it changed liberals and Democrats as well.

Conservatism simultaneously bloomed during and was perverted by the Reagan administration. With the politics of optimism and personal responsibility being tainted by the immense power of the office, Reagan preached shrinking the government while he expanded the military to a historic size and scope.

Today, we are at yet another crossroads in the ever evolving ideologies of American politics. Should we liberalize the markets and let a vibrant economy ebb and flow or should we socialize commerce to better protect consumers? Should the government have a say in what is and isn’t moral or should we promote tolerance across the board?

A better question would be, does a middle even exist?

In American politics the parties like to be boiled down to the Right promoting free markets and government regulated social issues while the Left promotes government regulated economy and social liberalism…two perfectly complimentary views that together make for a very cozy tug of war.

The problem with this narrow view of political ideology is that it doesn’t take into account the nuances of particular issues and their effects on the society at large.

Case in point: A slim majority of Americans support the death penalty, and of that pool of supporters a sizable plurality would support capital punishment for rapists, and child molesters. Many of them would probably offer to do it themselves actually.

But if the punishment for rape and murder were the same, would that not encourage criminals to kill their victims for the chance at getting away? All of a sudden support for the death penalty begins to decline. Things are no longer so cut and dry.

This is American politics in a nutshell, a little bit of column A and a little bit of column B.

There have ALWAYS been two parties in America, two sides of the same coin.  When those sides begin to separate, when they deviate from each other in the name of “base politics” and pandering, then there is no coin left.

To take this lovely little metaphor a bit further, centrism protrays itself as the defining line, the point at which the coin can perfectly balance itself and faithfully represent both sides of the argument.  Only that doesn’t happen, does it? Physics gets in the way.

In politics, as in nature, a coin can only rest on its side.

That coin can be flipped.

Let’s keep on flippin guys.

Wonkette scored a big 10 points by finding an old indexed page belonging to Alberto Gonzales’ #1 Fif ammendment ho, Monica Goodling.

Check out this lovely waste of bandwidth here.

Since Wonkette already got most of the good digs, I’ll save my criticism for this picture of her “Guy” friends.

monigoo.jpg

Let’s start with the dude on the left, who’s name I believe is “Greg”. From this super low-res pic, he looks a gay Elliot Stabler. According to the caption, Monica and this guy had some sort of tension going on, although that’s unlikely because he is obviously into dudes.

The next guy is obviously the loser tag along, you know…the guy who hangs out in the back and tries to throw in a quip now and again in an attempt to feel like he’s part of the group. Thumbs down buddy.

Dude number three, well, there just isn’t much left to say now is there?.

Manly man #4 exudes his masculinity by leaving the top two buttons on his London Fog jacket unbuttoned, y’know, for zeh ladies. Those pale highwater jeans also prove this man means business, and his awkward toothy smile coupled with his contemptuous stare towards guy number 5 is quite telling.

Finally, guy number five, also known as “sore thumb” and “boy” by the rest of this entourage is hanging out to the side on a separate but equal portion of the sidewalk. He’s laughing hysterically at the prospect that being a minority at an ultra-right wing university might actually do something to help your future career. I’d like to see what this guy is up to right now.

According to Ben Smith at the ever-reliable-or-at-least-sometimes-reliable Politico, Diet Jesus himself has decided to drop out of a September debate sponsored by Fox News and the Congressional Black Caucus. This follows John Edward’s silly announcement that he was going to drop out of the debate, citing Fox News’ right-wingyness as his prime concern.

Considering that Fox News does in fact have the largest slice of the cable news pie, and that, statistically speaking, at least some of its insane assault-weapon owning abortion-clinic picketing viewership must be at least minutely willing to listen to a Democrat after 8 years of W’s horseshit, I personally think this is a mistake.

But that’s just my $0.02.