FairAndUNbalanced's podcast

The last foreign policy trip George W. Bush took as President, and the last few days of the Bush Presidency itself are remembered for a single jarring incident. Shoes were thrown. They missed. The President was amused.

What is often overlooked is the reason President Bush was visiting Iraq to begin with.

The new Status of Forces Agreement had deadlines. Some experts thought the United States should stay a lot longer. The time frame of our stay should be anywhere from a few more years to a few more generations. Mostly they were the same experts who had marched us into Iraq.

But Iraq's Prime Minister, not to put too fine a point on it, turned out to be an astonishing jerk.

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Direct download: Throwing_Shoes_at_the_President.mp3
Category:Foreign Policy, Political News, Obama -- posted at: 9:36pm EDT

The Love It or Leave It mentality has, at its heart, a rejection of traditions important to representative democracy.

Missouri Republicans seem to have a different tradition.

State Senator Republican Ed Emery wrote to one citizen who protested Republican blocking of insurance for low income residents. Part of Ed Emery's letter was an invitation...

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Direct download: Love_It_or_Leave_It_Missouri_Style.mp3
Category:Policy, Political News -- posted at: 10:16pm EDT

The assessment went back to the closest previous period during which such threats had materialized. It had been during the Clinton administration a decade and a half before: Economic problems, the winding down of war, social change, and a liberal Presidential administration. This time we could add a black President.

Conservatives were insulted.

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Direct download: Domestic_Terrorism_-_Warnings_from_2.mp3
Category:Domestic Terrorism -- posted at: 11:21pm EDT

With each oscillation of modulus 4 years, Republicans win, when they win, by a smaller margin. When they lose, they lose by an ever widening gap.

The reason is that Republican politicians face an increasingly conservative electorate in Republican primaries. They lose to extremists or they adopt extreme views themselves to get past primaries.

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Direct download: Republican_Revolution_in_Virginia.mp3
Category:Political News -- posted at: 11:42pm EDT

All the vital, angry, deadly issues in this prisoner exchange come down to a few decisions. Each of those few decision involves priorities.

This true of the President. This is true of each conservative critic.


What is most important?

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Direct download: Angry_Issues_in_Prisoner_Exchange.mp3
Category:Policy, Political News -- posted at: 11:41pm EDT

Changes that keep keep minority voters and the elderly from voting for the other side are necessary. If voting rights are violated, that's just the price you have to pay.

The campaign activist locked alone with the ballots? Let's not make a big deal over every little thing.

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Direct download: Muddy_Mississippi_Elections.mp3
Category:Election Fraud -- posted at: 10:17pm EDT

Depending on our level of ignorance or on our philosophy, we either negotiated for a hostage, or we negotiated for a prisoner exchange.

The meaningful question is whether either one will encourage other enemies to take prisoners for the purpose of negotiation.

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Direct download: Negotiating_With_Terrorists.mp3
Category:Policy, Political News -- posted at: 11:24pm EDT

Eric Shinseki once discussed his management technique, comparing it to combat, where you never have enough information or resources."Sometimes you just gotta launch, and fight your way through the unknowns."


That might work at times in combat. In a non-combat organization, a narrow focus on motivation works about as well as overfilling a gas tank in response to a dead battery. Perverse incentives are a recognized enemy in the private sector. In this case, the 14-day mandate provided an incentive that was singularly perverse.

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Direct download: Perverse_Incentives_in_the_Veterans.mp3
Category:Policy, Political News -- posted at: 7:01pm EDT

There really are a small number of activists so devoted to ideology they cannot find within themselves any sympathy for the families of the Sandy Hook children. Some parents of those little kids still report anonymous messages of hostility.

And this newest tragedy carried with it yet another stunning reaction. The open letter on a conservative website targeted the grieving father who had appeared on television.

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Direct download: Devotion_that_Blinds_Us_to_Human_Val.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:25pm EDT

My friend John Myste asks me my diagnosis of urban youth.

Race notwithstanding, Mr. Deming, what do you think of the general work ethic, or more specifically, the motivation to succeed, of the urban youth?

My friend T. Paine seconds the motion, along with the lament:

I would not be able to ask simply due to the racist implications of the question regardless of whether I specified "race notwithstanding" or not."

The life of an oppressed conservative is hard.

Mr. Paine is correct in that "urban" has become a euphemism for African American. That is why he hesitates. A long, long history of stereotypes would make Mr. Paine's hesitation a conservative anomaly.


The short answer to the question of urban work ethic is obvious.

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Direct download: The_Work_Ethic_of_Urban_Youth.mp3
Category:Racism -- posted at: 11:45pm EDT