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« Appalled | Main | Another Step Toward The Holodeck »

You Knew It Was Only A Matter Of Time

I haven't beaten up on Ted Rall much recently. But I don't want to get out of practice. Here's his latest mind-boggling, retch-inducing spew. It's already been discussed by the sub-intellects at Democratic Underground, but now the head moron, the supreme leader of the flying idiotarian monkeys, is on the case.

George W. Bush and his henchmen stole the presidency.

Lie Numero Uno
They threw thousands of innocent people into prison without even charging them with a crime.

Lie Numero Dos. Which "thousands of innocent people" would those be? Can he provide a cite. Or even a description? And how does he know they're innocent?
They're gearing up to invade Iraq without bothering to come up with a substantial justification.

I'll be generous. This isn't a lie. It's just an idiotic and uninformed opinion. What he really means is that he doesn't agree with (or more likely) doesn't understand the stated justification. But to say they "haven't bothered" is to ignore all the speeches made over the past few weeks in a futile attempt to convince idiotarians like Mr. Rall, who apparently lack the perspicacity, by their own admission, to even understand that they were at least making the attempt.
Now some Democrats and progressive Americans are asking the unthinkable about an administration they increasingly believe to be ruled by thugs and renegades. Did government gangsters murder the United States' most liberal legislator?

Unthinkable is a good word. It accurately represents the non-thought processes that would be necessary to result in the typing of such a sentence.
Talk of foul play began hours after Senator Paul Wellstone's plane went down over northeastern Minnesota on Oct. 25, killing him, his wife and his daughter, along with three staffers and two pilots. "Please tell me I'm wrong to be thinking what I'm thinking," a self-described "liberal Democrat" from St. Paul e-mailed me that evening. "I want to be wrong, but I wouldn't put it past the Republicans- -THESE Republicans--to sabotage Wellstone's plane." Internet discussion groups and e-mail in-boxes quickly echoed her sentiment.

Well, if unnamed "self-described 'liberal Democrats' from St. Paul" and denizens of Internet discussion groups (you know, like the ones that think that not only was Paul Wellstone assassinated, but that Elvis did it from his secret command post on the Moon?) are concerned about it, it must be something to be taken seriously. At least if you're a journalist of the lofty calibre of Ted Rall.
People expressed similar fears after Commerce Secretary Ron Brown and Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan (news - web sites) died in plane crashes--the latter weeks before facing an election challenge from future Bush Attorney General John Ashcroft (news - web sites)--but the whispers of assassination following the Wellstone tragedy are more widespread and gaining mainstream currency far beyond the usual conspiracy nuts.

Of course, Ron Brown died under extremely strange circumstances. He went down in what was described as "the storm of the century," which was later found to be a light drizzle, and his body was found with a hole in its skull and X-rays of lead chaff that was physically difficult to reconcile with a plane crash, but was easy to reconcile with a gun to the head after apparent survival of same. This is, of course, ignoring the fact that the X-rays were destroyed, or at least disappeared under mysterious circumstances, and the few military officers with the integrity to point this out were drummed out of the service...

Does Mr. Rall have any equivalent situation to relate here, a few days after the crash?

I didn't think so.

The Minnesota senator's death certainly comes at an auspicious time for the Republican Party. Wellstone's challenger, former St. Paul mayor Norm Coleman, was considered by both parties to be the GOP's best chance for recapturing the 50-to-49 Democratic U.S. Senate. Wellstone had been considered vulnerable for two reasons: his principled opposition to Bush's Iraq war resolution (the Senate voted 99-to-1 in favor) and a strong Green Party candidacy sure to siphon off leftie votes. Bush was so anxious to silence the Senate's most liberal voice (Mother Jones magazine called him "the first 1960s radical elected to the U.S. Senate") that he personally recruited Coleman to run against him. Bush then campaigned furiously against Wellstone, attending two fundraisers which raised over $2.3 million--more than he raised for any other Republican candidate, including his brother Jeb.

So let me get this right, Ted. Wellstone, by your own admission in the paragraphs above, was vulnerable to his Republican challenger, so the evil ("unelected") Bush Administration decided to rub him out?
Republicans resorted to Nixon-style dirty tricks in the Coleman campaign. Coleman called Wellstone "extremist" and implied he was a communist.

How did he do that, Ted? Can you provide at least a quote, if not a cite?
GOP workers phoned senior citizens to tell them that Wellstone was plotting to take away their Social Security (news - web sites).

"News - web sites"? Is that the best you can do to buttress your slander? This is century twenty-one, Ted. You ought to at least provide a specific URL.
They called members of the National Rifle Association to tell them that Wellstone was plotting to take away their guns.

Is that a false charge, Ted? What was the Senator's position on guns?
They even ran newspaper ads depicting gruesome photos of late- term abortions.

Why is that dirty politics, Ted? Was the Senator pro-life, or did he support late-term abortions? If the latter, why is it so horrible to display the consequences of his position?
Despite the money and sleazy tactics being used against him, recent polls showed Wellstone beginning to pull ahead. With Election Day looming on Nov. 5, many analysts were predicting a Wellstone victory and continued Democratic dominance of the Senate.

Ahhh, now he's changing his story. Now Wellstone is winning. Note again that he provides no URLs or cites--we are just supposed to take the word of the immaculate and unimpeachable Ted Rall.
Perhaps, the thinking goes, someone in the Bush regime decided Wellstone had to go.

"So the thinking goes"? That's a generous description of it. I would say more, "so the paranoid fantasizing goes." But that's just me. I don't have the brilliance of Ted Rall.
If Wellstone's plane was sabotaged, it wouldn't be the first time that a political figure met his end in the friendly skies. A plane carrying Chinese leader Mao Tse-Tung's hand-picked successor, Lin Biao, crashed under mysterious circumstances en route to Moscow during 1971. The Chinese later claimed that Lin was defecting to the Soviet Union after a botched coup attempt against Mao; guilty or not, most historians believe that his plane was probably sabotaged. On March 3, 2001, a phosphorus bomb blew up a Thai Airways Boeing 737-400 minutes before the country's new prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, was set to board the jet.

Note his choice of precedent. Because a totalitarian dictator may have decided to off his rival (assuming, again being extremely generous, that Mr. Rall isn't outright lying, since once again he is unable or unwilling to provide even a cite), obviously this isn't beyond the evil Bush Administration.
Many American politicians--mostly Democrats and liberal Republicans--have died in aviation disasters. Senator John Tower (R-TX) Senator John Heinz (D- PA), Congressman Mickey Leland (D-TX); Ron Brown and Mel Carnahan are among those who have been killed in airplanes since 1989. "Elected officials expose themselves every day to these kinds of risks as they travel across their states or districts," Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) commented, noting the perils of frequently using small aircraft.

Anyone who has traveled on what is euphemistically called "civil aviation" can tell horror stories about sudden drops, lurches and violent thunderstorms. But it's also true that security at the regional airports and small terminals at major airports used for such flights--Wellstone flew out of St. Paul--is more easily penetrable than that at JFK and LAX. It would hardly be impossible to sabotage a plane chartered for an inconvenient politician.

No, and of course it would also hardly be impossible to slip a lethal mickey into his drink. But much less difficult. We'll just ignore the fact that small aircraft like this have much poorer safety records than commercial airlines, and that anyone who spends an inordinate amount of time in them is more likely to thereby die, and that campaigning politicians (given their limited funding, which must be conserved for television ads rather than commercial airline tickets, and their limited time, which must be conserved for handshake time with potential or actual constituents, rather than minimum-wage cretins in airline-security lines) do exactly that.
According to aviation consultant Robert Breiling, the plane that carried Senator Wellstone--the King Air A-100 "business turboprop," also known as a Beech King Air--is remarkably safe, with 25 percent fewer fatal accidents than other planes in its class. Warren Morningstar, spokesman for the Airline Owners and Pilots Association, says: "It's a great airplane."

Note that he compares it to "other planes in its class." If you want safe travel, that's not a great class to be in.
So why did Wellstone's go down? Weather is the lead suspect. Freezing temperatures, which can be severe in Minnesota, came early this year. "This airplane would typically be equipped with de-ice equipment but there are icing conditions that are beyond the measure of any equipment to remove," Morningstar notes.

Local pilots, however, doubt that ice was a problem. "There was little ice. It was normal. We see it all the time," said Don Sipola, a flight instructor with 25 years experience.

"Black boxes"--a flight data recorder and a cockpit voice recorder--are often crucial for discovering the cause of airplane crashes. According to Federal Aviation Administration (news - web sites) spokesman Paul Takemoto, the plane was required to be equipped with both. Contradicting the FAA, Carol Carmody, acting chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board (news - web sites), which is investigating the site of the crash, says that the plane apparently carried neither. Were the black boxes lost or were they never aboard? Someone may know, but thus far no one's saying.

Note again that he provides no cites other than "news - web sites."

But now, after setting the stage for his conspiracy theory, and setting the paradigm in the minds of readers dim enough to take him seriously, he backtracks in a feeble (and laughable) attempt to regain some semblence of credibility.

Odds are overwhelmingly in favor of a natural or mechanical explanation for the crash of Paul Wellstone's plane. For one thing, substitute candidate Walter Mondale is expected to retain Wellstone's senate seat for the Democrats. That's predictable. The victories of last-minute substitute candidates like Missouri's Jean Carnahan in 2000 and New Jersey's Frank Lautenberg this year provide ample evidence that losing a candidate needn't mean losing an election. If anything, Mondale is more likely to win than Wellstone was, notwithstanding the inadvertent prediction of China's president Jiang Zemin (news - web sites), who offered his "deep condolences for the loss of the Senate."

The fact that we're having this discussion at all is a symptom of the polarizing effect that Bush and his top dogs have had on the United States since assuming office and even more so in the hard-right free-for-all that followed the Sept. 11 attacks. Presidents routinely cause their political detractors to take offense, but one would have to go back to Franklin D. Roosevelt's attempt to stack the U.S. Supreme Court (news - web sites) or Richard Nixon's wiretapping and enemies list to find another American leader who crossed the line of acceptable discourse as extremely as George W. Bush has done.

See, he isn't asking these questions because he really believes it possible--it's just because that spawn of the devil, George W. Bush obviously has no scruples.
Ronald Reagan (news - web sites) may have been a hard line conservative, but had Wellstone died during his watch you wouldn't have heard liberals asking whether the Gipper had had him offed. Bush is different.

Ooooohhhh, that's good. Unusual for Ted, because he's usually much less subtle. He pretends that he thinks that this is above Reagan, so that he might be able to pull in another two percent of the morons who are wavering, and like Reagan.
Asking mailmen to spy on ordinary Americans, creating military tribunals for anyone deemed an "enemy combatant," locking prisoners of war in dog cages, spending a decade's worth of savings in six months, allowing journalists to die rather than provide them with help in a war zone, smearing Democratic politicians as anti- American, invading sovereign nations without excuse--these are acts that transgress essential American reasonableness. A man capable of these things seems, by definition, capable of anything.

Well, yes, and any crimes so egregious obviously don't require any explanation, or citation. It should simply be accepted without question that George Bush is guilty of them, and therefore it shouldn't be surprising to anyone (at least anyone with Ted Rall's brilliance) that W would have Paul Wellstone whacked, even though he was recovering in the polls. Don't want to take any chances, you know, with the Senate in the balance, and the opportunity to get some Supreme Court justices that will allow him to lock up everyone who might stand his way of bestriding the earth, like the Father Of All Caesars.
Ironically, Paul Wellstone would have been the last person to suspect Republicans of such a monstrous crime. One of his final acts in the Senate was to praise the career of retiring Senator Jesse Helms, his ideological counterpart on the Right. Like most idealists, Wellstone thought the best of humanity, that people would do the right thing if the choices were properly and clearly explained. Wellstone wouldn't have wanted to believe that he was assassinated.

Neither do I. So let's hope those black boxes turn up.

Awwwwww, isn't that sweet.

Ted is torn. He doesn't want to believe that our President would assassinate a political opponent. He hopes that his slanderous insinuations aren't true.

Almost as much as he hopes that he persuades the mental deficients who take him seriously will believe that they are...

[Update the next morning]

Several have commented that there were links in the article that might in theory support Ted's statements, so I'll retract my complaints that he doesn't provide URLs. But considering the source, I'm not going to waste my time going to look at them. I already spent far too much time on this subject.

Another point that I missed, but shouldn't have, was that Senator Heinz was a Republican, not a Democrat. I'll assume that Ted was just too dumb to realize this (almost always a safe assumption), and that it's not an outright lie.

It's easy to get confused about it because (if I recall correctly) his widow became a big-time Democratic donor with her inherited fortune. Great way to honor her husband's memory.

[Update in the afternoon]

For an even better critique of Ted's nonsense, see what Bill Hobbs did to him.

[Another update, at 3:45 PM PST[

Commercial pilot Stephen Quick appropriately chastises me for dissing the safety of chartered King Airs:

Corporate and charter aircraft of this type have a safety record that is equivalent to the airlines. It also has the unfortunate experience of being lumped in with the private pilots (like Carnahan's son, who was doing the flying in that accident). Most of us hold the same pilot certificate, Airline Transport Pilot, that the pilots at Southwest, American, United, Delta, Continental, etc. hold.

He has further pertinent comments.

Posted by Rand Simberg at October 29, 2002 09:26 PM
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Wednesday Morning Roundup
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Weblog: The Eleven Day Empire
Tracked: October 30, 2002 07:53 AM
Kettles, pots, that sort of thing
Excerpt: Let me get this straight. According to Ted Rall, George Bush may be behind Paul Wellstone's death, even though Rall
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Beyond The Pale
Excerpt: I expect to see/hear some lefties condemning Ted Rall this time.
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POLITICS: Beyond Bizarre
Excerpt: Andrew Sullivan and Rand Simberg point out that Ted Rall and Buffalo State College "journalism and media studies" professor Michael Niman need the tinfoil in their hats changed again. Sullivan aptly catches the parallel to Vince-Foster-was-murdered the...
Weblog: Baseball Crank
Tracked: May 5, 2003 09:53 AM

I can't figure out if Ted Rall is stupid enought to believe what he writes, or if he believes that any one who reads him must be stupid enought to believe him.

Posted by Don Bentley at October 30, 2002 04:35 AM

Ted Rall is a goofball, but just a quick clarification: The "(news - web sites)" citations within his piece were not provided by Rall. They are automatically added by Yahoo News to every story that runs there.

Posted by Tom at October 30, 2002 04:41 AM

If Bush is such an ugly beast, how comes Ted Rall is still publishing his lunatic rants ?

Posted by Peter at October 30, 2002 04:50 AM

Note the misuse of "Wherefore," further gilding Rall's intellectual credentials. Why not a DNC-assassination theory? Wellstone was clearly in danger of "going down" to Coleman. Mondale has a better chance of retaining the Dem's simple, Bol'shevik majority. Nice party rally at the funeral, too. Very tasteful.

Posted by Alex at October 30, 2002 05:09 AM

John Heinz was a Republican.

Posted by Bill Herbert at October 30, 2002 05:33 AM

As Rall rightly notes, the likelihood of Dems retaining the Senate seat were only bettered by Wellstone's death and the swith-a-roo by Mondale. But he fails to connect the dots. DASCHLE was the one who had to get rid of Wellstone because Wellstone had refused to pull a Torrecelli step-aside for the good of the party. Fearing that his position as Majority Leader and presidential aspirations hang on this election, Daschle did what he had to do: "arrange" for a sympathy vote.

Posted by Mike Adamson at October 30, 2002 05:34 AM

Ted Rall is actually only going to help Republicans and anti anti-war types by writing such malicious drivel. Any decent souls on the left - they do exist - must despair that Rall and other idiots like Michael Moore are getting so much air play.

Paul Wellstone, rest in peace. Ted Rall, please take a rest.

Posted by Tom at October 30, 2002 05:45 AM

"Talk of foul play began. . .", "People expressed. . ." It's written like a bad Robert Ludlum novel. I didn't detect any "mistakes were made" in there. It must be nice to sit on his lofty perch and make unsubstantiated accusations with no evidence, no sources, and no logic. If Rall had any conscience he would be ashamed of himself.

Posted by Rick at October 30, 2002 05:48 AM

Standard Rall monkeyshitslinging. Nothing new here; move on.

I still maintain that Rall must be punished for his abuse of the journalistic pulpit, as well as for his abuse of logic. Let's make sure Bush gets reelected; that's sure to give Rall a major case of apoplexy.

Posted by David Perron at October 30, 2002 05:50 AM

I like this touch: "So let's hope those black boxes turn up" setting up a false dichotomy, if they don't Wellstone was assasinated. Perfect Rall logic.

God this guy is a pathetic freak.

Posted by Amos at October 30, 2002 06:08 AM

Those news - web sites things are actual links, by the way. Don't know if what they lead to at all helps Rall's preposterous weaselings, however.

Of course, the great big flaw in this is the fact that-- as John Ashcroft undoubtedly told Bush as they cooked this plot up in the batcave-- seeing your opponent die a week before the election is a sure way to lose a close election. And anyway, Wellstone was useful as someone who could be used to tar the entire Democratic party as far lefties. If the Bushies wanted to kill somebody, surely it would have been Jim Jeffords.

In terms of logic, this all reminds me of the email that went around claiming Bush staged 9/11 to be able to ram his domestic platform through, ignoring the tiny fact that it had all been passed BEFORE 9/11.

Posted by Mike G at October 30, 2002 06:15 AM

Given the desperation of the Dems to get back power and the record of mysterious deaths within the Dems, I would not be surprised that the Dems assassinated Wellstone in an attempt to put a New Jersey scenario on Minnesota. I second Peter's post above.

Posted by Stephen at October 30, 2002 06:17 AM

Re: "Were the black boxes lost or were they never aboard?" Aircraft of this type are not required to carry cockpit voice recorders or flight data recorders. This is an (ignorant) red herring.

Posted by R. Butler at October 30, 2002 06:27 AM

"News-web sites" is what Yahoo News adds to all their articles and commentary. That part isn't Rall's fault.

Posted by Bill at October 30, 2002 06:30 AM

Ted should know better one shouldn't drink when you are on medication.

Posted by Kat at October 30, 2002 06:38 AM

Oh, come on -- not the Ron Brown stuff again! That anybody would kill a whole planeload of people to get at Ron Brown just beggars the imagination.

Posted by Ted at October 30, 2002 06:59 AM

My understanding is that Sen. Wellstone departed on this flight from Flying Cloud, a private airport in Eden Prairie, aboard a campaign charter. This is a busy airfield (about 20 miles west of MSP) with many charter operators, but no regional airlines and therefore no formal ATS security checks. I suspect the investigation will show the flight crew and the staff at the charter performed a thorough pre-flight inspection, and all maintentance procedures were complied with.

I flew small aircraft in Minnesota for several years, and icing can be a huge problem when the temperature is close to freezing. If this plane was picking up ice as it descended for the approach to Eveleth, then it could increase the stall speed (bad) and/or degrade engine performance (also bad) in a manner that might predispose the wings to enter a full stall -- no longer generating lift. In this scenario, with poor visibility and at low altitude, there would be little (or nothing) the pilots could do to recover. They might try to drop the nose and power-up the turboprops (they take a few seconds to respond) hoping to increase airspeed to get the wings flying again, but in a stall the aircraft can be nearly impossible to maneuver as the control surfaces cease to operate normally. Anti-icing gear installed on this type of aircraft should significantly reduce the risk of this problem (provided it was activated) but it is not 100% effective in all situations. The only other "rational" explanation is a poorly executed instrument approach where the pilots allowed the aircraft to fall below minimum safe altitude. If their altimeter was operational and properly set (unknown), then this would be a classic case of pilot error which is all too common. Perfectly functioning aircraft are flown into the ground/water by pilots who are unaware of their actual altitude fairly often, usually at night or in bad weather. Let's see what the NTSB has to say -- my guess is icing problems.

Posted by Evor Glens at October 30, 2002 07:03 AM

The implication that Coleman ran a sleazy Nixon-style campaign can only be made by someone who didn't set foot in Minnesota during the campaign. Wellstone's ads spouted much more vitriol than Coleman's. In fact, I think that Coleman could have run a much better campaign if he would have responded to these constant attacks instead of trying to play nice. Coleman should have hit Wellstone on the First Amendment atrocity that is campaign finance (amended by Sen Wellstone) and Wellstone taking tons of money from unions which have been just as bad or worse in the past year as far as financial corruption goes. The list of Wellstone issues to hammer goes on and on... About 'these polls' that showed Wellstone in front, it was a single poll, not multiple ones, and it was taken by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, one of the most unabashedly liberal papers in the region. Even in this poll, it still was a statistical dead heat. This jackass can't be fisked enough.

Posted by Hans De For at October 30, 2002 07:28 AM

Another fact that could helpful in this fisking of Rall is that the Senate voted on H. J. Res. 114 on 10/11/02. The vote (#237) was 77-23. The following Senators voted NAY on the resolution:

Akaka (D-HI)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Byrd (D-WV)
Chafee (R-RI)
Conrad (D-ND)
Corzine (D-NJ)
Dayton (D-MN)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Graham (D-FL)
Inouye (D-HI)
Jeffords (I-VT)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murray (D-WA)
Reed (D-RI)
Sarbanes (D-MD)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Wellstone (D-MN)
Wyden (D-OR)

So Rall couldn't even get the facts right about the vote.. once that happens, I just ignore the rest...

Posted by A. Non at October 30, 2002 07:36 AM

Interesting. The (news - web sites) looks like a cut & paste job from Yahoo News. Yahoo automatically inserts (with working links) this text into stories around keywords (Ronald Reagan, Social Security). It's interesting that Rall has this same affectation in his writing style (without the links of course).


Posted by Sean at October 30, 2002 07:38 AM

If Bush was going to off a Senator, surely he would have chosen one from a state with a Republican governor.....seems like Dems had more to gain from Wellstone's untimely demise.

Posted by at October 30, 2002 07:47 AM

If Bush was going to off a Senator, surely he would have chosen one from a state with a Republican governor.....seems like Dems had more to gain from Wellstone's untimely demise.

Posted by at October 30, 2002 07:47 AM

Slight correction: They (you know, THEY, The Horde of Ecumenical Yodelers, aka the Stone Cutters) wouldn't believe that Elvis orchestrated an assasination from his moon base.

The kind of people who think Wellstone was assasinated are the same people who don't believe anyone has ever set foot on the moon. (Well, any humans)

Posted by Greg at October 30, 2002 08:15 AM

"Elvis did it from his secret command post on the Moon"

Everybody knows that Elvis' secret moonbase is really a studio in some hangar at Area 51.

Posted by Robert Racansky at October 30, 2002 08:20 AM

Senator John Heinz (R-PA) was married to Teresa Simões-Ferreira. After Heinz's death, she married Senator John Kerry (D-MA).

Posted by Fredrik Nyman at October 30, 2002 08:29 AM

Citing one conspiracy theory (Ron Brown's "mysterious" death) is not a good way to debunk another. Where's your own "(news - web sites)" links?

Posted by newnumbertwo at October 30, 2002 09:16 AM

There were other errors you didn't comment on, but this one lept out:

"[Wellstone's] principled opposition to Bush's Iraq war resolution (the Senate voted 99-to-1 in favor)"

Posted by Bill Woods at October 30, 2002 09:20 AM

If I were prone to conspiracy theories, I would be looking into whether Wellstone had offended anyone in the DNC. It is more their style.

Posted by RB at October 30, 2002 09:26 AM

Sample Ron Brown URL:

Posted by Rand Simberg at October 30, 2002 09:30 AM

It's a minor point, but John Heinz was a Pennsylvania Republican. And the crash had unusual circumstances -- as I recall, the pilot of Heinz' plane wanted a nearby helicopter to see if the front landing gear was down; the helicopter got too close, and the two collided, over a school yard, as it turned out. The NTSB summary, which blames the accident on pilot error, is here:

Posted by Bill Allison at October 30, 2002 10:08 AM

On the hand, he says that Wellstone was a sixties radical, and on the other he complains that Coleman called him an extremist? Isn't sixties radical just a nicer way of saying left-wing extremist?

Posted by Joe Socher at October 30, 2002 10:15 AM

Peter wrote:

If Bush is such an ugly beast, how comes Ted Rall is still publishing his
lunatic rants ?

Posted by Peter at October 30, 2002 04:50

Peter stumbles over another piece of the vast conspiracy. Tom explains how this works. TED RALL is part of the Bush conspiracy team.

Tom wrote:

Ted Rall is actually only going to help Republicans and anti anti-war types
by writing such malicious drivel. Any decent souls on the left - they do exist -
must despair that Rall and other idiots like Michael Moore are getting so much
air play.

Paul Wellstone, rest in peace. Ted Rall, please take a rest.

class=posted>Posted by Tom at
October 30, 2002 05:45 AM

Posted by Jabba the Tutt at October 30, 2002 10:38 AM

Speaking of Rall's bizarre conspiracy theories: FREE DIRTY DANNY

Posted by Jim Treacher at October 30, 2002 10:47 AM

Rall can't even get the vote tally right, what a sick little moron he is.

Posted by Robin Roberts at October 30, 2002 11:26 AM

The King Air can be a dangerous plane to fly under conditions of freezing rain. My brother, who has flown such planes, provided me with some information, that I have posted at

Posted by Stephen Hopkins Karlson at October 30, 2002 12:40 PM

Lefties loathed Ronald Reagan when he was president; they loathe George W. Bush now. But it's hard to argue that Bush is "polarizing." Bush has record high approval ratings for a mid-term president. Most Americans, including those who are dubious about his policies or his IQ, think he's a decent human being.

The loony left is getting loonier.

Posted by Joanne Jacobs at October 30, 2002 01:50 PM

As Sean and Bill's comments imply, you've been overly generous to give Rall credit for even perfunctory linking of tangentially supporting material. Yahoo! editors stick those in all the articles they post, Rall himself didn't do a single thing to back up his nonsense.

Posted by Dodd at October 30, 2002 01:50 PM

If anything, Mondale is more likely to win than Wellstone was, notwithstanding the inadvertent prediction of China's president Jiang Zemin (news - web sites), who offered his "deep condolences for the loss of the Senate."

Looks to me as if Rall's being an idiot here (so what else is new).

Rall interpreted this as Zemin saying "too bad you're going to lose the Senate". But instead, it seems clear that what Zemin was saying was "the Senate has experienced the sad loss of Paul Wellstone".

Note that Zemin is not a native English speaker, and that languages which don't have possessive forms use "of" instead ("John's car" is rendered as "The car of John"). Zemin's "loss of the Senate" comment thus is directly analogous to, "deep condolences for the Senate's loss", which more obviously conveys the actual sentiment intended.

A native English speaker might have more likely worded the sentiment as, "deep condolences for the loss *to* the Senate", or "deep condolences for the loss the Senate has experienced".

Need I repeat that Rall is an idiot?

Posted by Dan Day at October 30, 2002 02:28 PM

Yep, it was a planned hit, ordered by the Smirking Chimp himself. Poppy took him down in his stealth SR-71 on the way to a secret October Surprise meeting with Neil, Bar and Rush Limbaugh to trade missing chads and Contra licorice for a clandestine balsamic vinegar pipeline through Upper Volta. See, Wellstone had to be taken out because he knew too much about the whole Scaiff-funded Cheney/Helms/Schwartzenneger/Wayne Newton plot to cover up the Jeb-Katherine Harris S&M human sacrifice rituals at Epcot.

Posted by iowahawk at October 30, 2002 02:51 PM

To anybody who wants to talk to Rall directly, he is currently participating in this thread...

Posted by CmdrNacho at October 30, 2002 03:59 PM

Nacho, looks as if that thread died out ten days before the Rall article was published. Other than that and the fact that mostly people are discussing comics, I'd say it's just about level with Rall's relevancy quotient.

Posted by David Perron at October 31, 2002 04:46 AM

I think IowaHawk is onto something. But I probably shouldn't have said that because now the conspiracy will be after him too. And me next.

Now where'd I put my tinfoil hat? Hawk, did you borrow it and forget to bring it back?

Posted by Kevin McGehee at October 31, 2002 06:51 AM

Virulent antisemitism, conspiracy hallucinations, paranoid delusions; the loony left and the pitchfork right meet in one big Anti-Globo, Anti-Corporate, Anti-Personal Hygiene group hug. Feel the love.

Congrats to Gore Vidal, Ted Rall, Michael Moore and the rest of the Gauche Delusionaire for building the ultimate political coalition. Philisophically they are now indistinguishable from Lyndon LaRouche, Father Coughlin and the John Birch Society.

Forget Shrub's evil assasination conspiracies, Ted. It's just a cover for his plan to fluoridate the water.

Posted by iowahawk at October 31, 2002 10:27 AM

I just read Breitbart's article on Lefty conspiracy theories in NROnline. Damn. Wish I'd said that. I guess if I had, I'd be collecting his paycheck.

So...Bush is both a moron and a Master of Evil. No, it's Cheney that's the brains behind the operation. Wait! No! Bush is doing it all! He's to blame! Oops, we're back to Master of Evil again. I wish the Left would make up its collective hive-mind on which Bush we're talking about. Oh! I know! Bush has multiple personality disorder! No! That would mean he could be found not guilty by reason of insanity!

Too much coffee, already. Apologies for the above, but I was forced to do it by childhood hypnotic indoctrination in some right-wing summer camp. By Bush the Elder.

Posted by David Perron at November 1, 2002 05:23 AM

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