September 12, 2006

So much for the Muslim vote

We've been deprived for some time of local Republican politicians spouting utterly bizarre ideas and statements in public. (Other than Jim Mowen's peculiar musings online of course.)

So it was a bright spot to see that Republican candidate for 17th District Representitive, Andrea Zinga is fully capable, ready, willing, and able to express views more likely to be held by an extremely skinny woman with a lazy eye, two inches of dark roots exposed above frazzled bleached hair, sporting a second hand "Git R Done" t-shirt while nursing a long neck PBR and attempting to balance on a wobbly stool at the Goat Roper Tap. At noon.

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

But who'd a thunk that Zinga'd have not only her foot, but almost her entire leg up to the knee wedged in her mouth this early in the campaign?

Zinga, in an amazingly short time, managed to display her utter ignorance of recent history and disregard of basic civil liberties, and when it came to Homeland Security airport screening policy, simply made shit up.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - The Republican candidate hoping to replace retiring Democratic congressman Lane Evans says racial profiling of Middle Eastern men at airports doesn't bother her because they "have caused the outrages against our nation."

Andrea Zinga made the comments to reporters Monday at a Springfield fire station as part of a commemoration of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

"Profiling doesn't bother me if we are profiling the people who, with one exception - and that would be Timothy McVeigh - have caused the outrages against our nation and caused the deaths of American citizens," she said. "We're talking about Mideastern men."

McVeigh, who is white, was executed in 2001 for helping to bomb the Alfred P. Murrah federal courthouse in Oklahoma City in 1995, killing 168 people.

Zinga also claimed that under federal regulations, security personnel aren't allowed to screen more than two Middle Eastern men per flight but that "you can screen as many babies as you want."

Zinga's campaign manager, Charlie Johnston, later sought to clarify her remarks.

He told The (Springfield) State Journal-Register later Monday "that's not what she wanted to say."
Oh. Well nevermind then.
Johnston said Zinga was trying to say that airlines shouldn't face anti-discrimination lawsuits for flagging members of certain ethnic groups.
I see, I just didn't get that from what she said, since she didn't mention anti-discrimination lawsuits whatsoever. I appologize for misunderstanding.
He said she was also responding to a 2004 magazine article that said federal regulators had warned airlines that they could be penalized if they selected more than three passengers of the same ethnicity for additional screening on flights.
What magazine? Bullshit Monthly?
Representatives with the FAA and the Transportation Security Administration denied the existence of such a quota.

FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory said the agency doesn't have quotas. And TSA spokeswoman Lara Uselding said security personnel aren't the ones who choose passengers for additional screenings.

"Every passenger is subject to secondary screening on a random basis that is part of the unpredictability in the security system," she said.
We shouldn't be too hard on Ms. Zinga though. After all, she's only playing to her base, representing the Republican values of barely disguised racism and religious bigotry, their common practice of willingly throwing around utterly false anecdotes to prove or butress their views without the slightest attempt to find out if they're true, and the standard knee-jerk willingness to go to extremes and toss out civil rights and the constitution in the name of "security" and pandering to the frightened.

Of course, she also subscribes to the belief that we should do any old stupid-ass thing that sounds good at the moment out of mindless fear and ignorance. It plays well with the uninformed and frightened, and it's a hell of a lot easier than being creative or thoughtful.

Do you think Andrea got a good dressing down after her not-ready-for-prime-time comments? I take a certain pleasure at the thought of her campaign manager blowing gaskets and trying to lie their way out of this obvious blunder.

It will be interesting to see how much play this incident receives in the local media.


At 9/12/2006 12:53 PM, Blogger Craig said...

We all know it wont get any play from the Dispatch, they won't even look at it. However, it was on the front pages of and Also, I heard it on the radio on the way into work. I think Phil should personally thank her at the first taped debate, which is being taped on the 15th.

At 9/12/2006 1:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But don't we profile all the time in all sorts of police work?

Traffic stops.
Child abductions.
Drug cases.

At 9/12/2006 4:42 PM, Blogger demgorilla said...

I'm sure she didn't mean to say what she said. But if she did mean to say what she said, that all Middle Eastern men should be singled out because they've been the ones causing all of our troubles, then I have serious doubts about her values and perspective and ability to go to Congress.

Can someone in the Zinga Campaign please come onto this site and clarify exactly what she meant.


At 9/12/2006 6:21 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Craig, while you can certainly be forgiven for assuming that the Dispatch/Argus might not report this, they actually did as soon as the story came across the wires. Or at least it's posted on their website, and I assume it made the print editions, if not today, then tomorrow.

And DemGorilla, you're WAY, WAY too magnanimous. It's clear to anyone over the age of, oh, about 6 months, that Zinga meant exactly what it sounds like she meant.

Nonetheless, I would like to see a helpful Zinga staffer lend some further clarification as to just what they hope we'll believe she meant to say.

Anyone Zingites out there care to take a stab at it?

At 9/12/2006 7:11 PM, Blogger Benton Harbor said...

Actually she said what a great many people think... what's wrong with doing some profiling? Do you feel safer when you see old women or men with walkers being given a secondary screening? Or a small child?

Just screening for contraband items isn't the answer. TSA would take nail clippers with that goofy little file, or divot repair tool/moneyclips and tell you they could be used as weapons. But they never gave a thought to a 5" ball-point pen that can be used to poke out eyes or get pushed into one's throat.

The old "if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck..." theory seems to me to need some utilization in some degree. Or maybe our TSA needs to learn from some of the European airlines in how to conduct passenger interviews. I've gone through them several times (along with some bag screening) and they seem to work for them.

But it wasn't pasty-faced white people who flew the planes into the WTC or the Pentagon. It was young, Middle Eastern men. And if some Middle Eastern people don't like it, maybe we should remind them again who it was that did the deed.

While I don't like Zinga and won't be voting for her, at least she has the guts or stupidity to at least say what is on a lot of the traveling public's mind.

Have at me gang.

At 9/12/2006 8:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Schoeburg Article. State Journal Register:

Johnston said he didn't have the documentation to back Zinga's assertion with him in Springfield, but in a telephone call later, he referred to the MacDonald article, titled "Homeland Security? Not Yet," which claimed that U.S. Department of Transportation lawyers had "extracted millions in settlements" from airlines accused of discrimination.
The article also claimed the government's "rights enforcers warned that airlines could face penalties if they selected more than three passengers of the same ethnicity for additional scrutiny on any given flight, "as work was being done on a pre-screening system based on many factors, including the purchase of one-way tickets.
From Illinois Review. Excerpt from Zinga's Speech:
On matters of security, I want a bill in the House to close our borders. And let’s put an immediate halt to procedures that make life easier for the terrorists and harder for Americans. Profiling terrorist types at airport checkpoints doesn’t bother me: grandmothers and babies aren’t likely to blow up a plane. You know, if I were head of Al Quaeda, I’d make sure I had a good FIVE terrorists on the next plane I want hijacked. After all, under current law the airports can only screen two Middle Eastern men per flight—so I know that three of them will get aboard.

At 9/12/2006 9:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was there any question that she is an evil person?


At 9/13/2006 5:14 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Scott, if that's indeed you, I love ya, but "evil"??? Please.

And to the conspicuously anonymous poster at 20:06, is that a defense? It seemed pretty clear that she'd gotten this information from some source, but it was equally apparent that it wasn't true.

What is this "MacDonald article" that Shoenburg refers to? I might presume that it appeared in some right wing publication, or that MacDonald, whomever they are, didn't have their facts straight.

At any rate, as to profiling and Benton Harbor's arguments, it's very easy to see the logic to racial profiling at first blush.

First of all, if you think that dark skinned people who appear arabian or muslim don't already get a whole hell of a lot more scrutiny, you're nuts. They get scrutiny walking through the produce section at the supermarket, let alone boarding a plane.

So let's not get carried away here thinking that any efforts to avoid extra attention based on appearances is somehow going to lessen security.

Secondly, those who defend racial profling like Zinga and Benton Harbor have it almost right, but their arguments are fatally flawed.

First of all, it's clear that any self-respecting terrorist, first, if they were so stupid and unimaginative as to actually attempt the very same attack that they'd been amazingly lucky to have pulled off the first time. (almost zero chance of them being that stupid) and secondly if they WERE that stupid and unimaginative and wanted to try for a repeat, they sure the hell wouldn't use obviously suspicious characters to do it.

So while we have these TSA employees busy sniffing around every person with dark hair and olive colored skin, they have some middle aged white woman carrying dangerous weapons onto a plane.

It's also discouraging that people seem so able to not realize that this would go against the very ideals of our country, namely that everyone has the same rights.

If you're a muslim, born and raised in the US, and you want to travel by plane, should you be subjected to more scrutiny, delay, hassle, and humiliation than anyone else?

I think the answer is plainly no, especially in light of the fact that putting extra scrutiny on dark complected people will not make us ONE BIT more secure, as it could be literally anyone who would attempt a hijacking, red, yellow, black, blue or purple.

And to Benton Harbor and Zinga and anyone else who thinks this is acceptible, I have only two questions.

What exactly does a muslim look like? And what exactly does a "terrorist" look like?

If anyone can answer those questions, questions which must have an answer before such profiling could be done, please let us know.

At 9/13/2006 7:06 AM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

I watched Zinga stammer around last night on channel 8 to try and explain herself. She looked like an incompetent idiot. She has no idea how to explain what she said or why she even said something so dumb.

This will further drive away any hope Andrea has of building a republican base or catching many independants this fall.

It seems that Andrea has a lot of maybe she should just accept the fact that she is not qualified for the job and go apply for something that takes less headwork -- like reading the news. Oh yeah, they fired her for that job already.

At 9/13/2006 10:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zinga has blogged on all of this.....

At 9/13/2006 12:49 PM, Blogger demgorilla said...

Go to www.zingaforcongress and check out her blog. It is there that she gives a 15-paragraph defense of her profiling policies and statements from the campaign trail.

And I, regretfully, have to eat my words. I gave her credit and assumed that she had misspoken.

But, tearing a page from Karl Rove, she has turned this into a question of whether we want to "coddle terrorists" or not.
It's classic fear-mongering rhetoric; I just thought Andrea was above that stuff.

At 9/13/2006 4:08 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

This is not surprising, given that the Republican play of the week is "Democrats want to protect terrorists more than they want to protect America".

This absolutely insane and baseless lunacy is being dutifully spouted from coast to coast by right wing shills who continue to trust in the strategy that they can appeal to enough morons and uninformed dim-wits that it will be a winner for them

At 9/13/2006 7:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is Phil Hare for letting these people thaat caused the worst tragedy in the US history to walk free. I wonder how he would react if it affected him personally. His liberal view of Nevil Chamberlin of if it is going to happen we can't do anything about it. What kind of crazy dangerous attitude is this to have. I for one was for Hare and now am polorized by Zinga taking the hard stance. Hare wouldn't say a word if he had a mouthfull. What you will get with Hare is a do nothimg softy. We need strength in this country not weakness.

Please if you love this country VOTE ZINGA!!!

At 9/14/2006 3:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you above Exhibit A of right wing lunacy and fear-mongering lies.

You've learned well, young anonymnous. Your head is full of poison.

At 9/14/2006 9:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right wing lunacy. If you think it is lunacy for someone to have ideas and passion then the above is luny. I have noticed that Evans was a do nothing congressman. He was great at hiding. That is how some people get re-elected year after year. Others try and lead. Hare has learned from the master. Hare has not had one idea that might cause contraversy. This is the way to get elected today. It is nice to see Zinga with at least a voice that isn't going to be so soft that we don't notice her.
Hare is a hider and Zinga is a leader. It is time for leadership in this district.

At 9/14/2006 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's the sort of mush-headed thinking shown by anonymous above that gave the world George Bush.

How stupid is it to argue that you want a leader who'll do idiotic and wrong-headed things, take reckless and ill-considered actions, rather than someone who isn't in a rush to change everything that comes down the pike?

Sometimes, if things aren't so bad, it's a better idea not to make some sort of radical knee-jerk change.

Harassing those who someone THINKS is Muslim or an Arab is a stupid, stupid idea because it doesn't make us any more secure, and is utterly ineffective at preventing attacks (because obviously, ANYONE could attempt a terroristic attack)

Yet morons seem to demand that politicians do their idiotic bidding, even if it makes things worse and abandons civil or constitutional rights, all because they THINK somehow it will make them safer.

That's a perfect example of why we have such a crop of ridiculous ineffective blowhards for representitives who waste their time pandering to the rubes.

At 9/14/2006 2:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 9:22.

Your comment is very accurate with respects to Evans hiding - and Hare's ability to learn well. However, as a Republican myself, I must question the 'Zinga is a leader' comment. I have seen little leading in anything that she has done her whole life. She hid behind a teleprompter (and read what she was told) and this episode with profiling has exposed that she is hiding behind Republican talking points and Charlie Johnson (and reading what they tell her to read).

She is no leader and quite an offensive choice that I will be forced to vote for, because as you have indicated - Hare is worse.

At 9/14/2006 2:41 PM, Blogger demgorilla said...

Phil Hare has been leading the Congressman's staff for 23.5 years. He's been leading on taking care of thousands of constituents. He's been leading on advising Lane Evans about issues of importance since 1983. He's been leading, representing the Congressman at forums and civic events since 1983.

He knows the district, he knows the issues, he very well qualified.

I don't know how anyone can say he's been hiding; he's been leading.

At 9/14/2006 4:11 PM, Anonymous havinfun said...

Come on, the man has been providing service to people. This is an admirable thing to do and a part of his job. He may have done this job excedingly well, however...

Phil Hare has not been leading the charge on any issues. He is not a leader - he is someone that will plod along with the status quo.

If you want good service - i am guessing that Mr. Hare will do a fine job. Persoanlly, I think that we need real leadership in this District and, unfortunately, I don't see it coming out of Mr. Hare (or out of Ms. Zinga either).

Too bad for us...regardless of who wins, we lose.

At 9/14/2006 4:36 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Are you psychic? Do you possess the powers of telekinesis?

Otherwise, how in the wide, wide, world of sports could you possibly know that Phil Hare won't exhibit any "leadership"?

The guy hasn't been elected to anything, nor has he served as an elected representive.

"Leadership" wasn't in his job description as an aide to Lane Evans, was it?

It's ridiculous to assert that someone won't be a "leader" when they haven't even been in a position to demonstrate that trait.

At 9/14/2006 5:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phil Hare was the district director. His job was to provide leadership on the ground, in the district as to what the district needs.

Do I need to remind you that the Dispatch (when they endorsed Schibert) said Phil Hare will continue the failed policies of empty factories and empty neighboorhoods. That is a direct statement that new leadership is needed. Now the voters get to decide if they are ready for change.

At 9/14/2006 9:11 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Thanks for the reminder, but some people don't care to have the Dispatch/Argus be ultimate authority over their lives and who they vote for.

And if you do, you're not trying hard enough at your job as an informed citizen.

At 9/14/2006 10:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hare a leader. He learned from the best congresman in the world on how to hide. He had 22 years senyority and he had nothing to show for it. We got nothing from the Feds. Go to Peoria if you want to see leadership. All Hare and his legislative staff cares about is how to stay in the middle do nothing make no movement and maybe they wont get noticed. We have had enough of this hide in the ciorner and try not to get noticed way around here., What we need is a strong leader that can bring Federal bacon to our district. You realy need to take a trip down to Peoria and see the great Federal projects that they have been working on. When you hide and do nothing you get nothing. You may be loved and reveared but the people get nothing. What a nice man that Hare is. That isn't the leadertship that I or the people of the district want or deserve.

At 9/14/2006 10:55 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon above, you're welcome to your opinion, of course, but I'd ask you to refrain from the annoying political habit of assuming that you somehow know the feelings of the people in the district or can speak for them in any way.


At 9/15/2006 1:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been driving through Peoria as part of my work for the last six months. All I can say is that
Congressman Ray LaHood must have scored big in the Federal Transportation Budget. A guy in Peoria town told me Lahood brought home a 1/2 BILLION in federal funds to rebuild Peoria's aging infustructure, streets and bridges.

And trust me these guys didn't cheat themselves. I could smell the money every time I drove down and up. being made. The folks in charge didn't spare a dime. Every single detail was planned.

The massive congressional project stands as a testemant to Lahood's ability to dominate his landscape. Tons of stone, cement and wire went into this massive project. I can't imagine the pay-roll, let alone how much money was made.

The end result is a better Peoria.

By way of contrast, what, if anything, after 22-years in hiding did Lame Evans deliver to us via the Federal Transportation Budget?

Your response will tell me a great deal about what we can expect if Evan's second is crowned. As well it will serve to demonstrate to you how willing Evans sat in the back row. I pray that Hare didn't inheret Evans' penchant to cut and hide.


At 9/15/2006 2:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LaHood is a Republican serving in a Republican majority congress and with a Republican dominated senate and white house (and judiciary, for that matter)

So you think it's some miracle that LaHood brings home pork? I'm not sure.

And I'm also kind of creeped out by the fact that you seem absolutely aroused by the sight of concrete and steel. Is that how you got the name "HardR"?

And bringing home budget busting pork and spreading millions around to contractors doesn't necessarily mean the area is automatically better off, does it? Do the majority of residents see any benefit? Nope. But it does add to the staggering record deficits that the Republican congress has given us, spending like drunken sailors in order to please people such as yourself who worship at the alter of "gimme gimme" and judge a politician by how many millions of fed tax dollars they can bring home to their wealthy backers.

A lot of us see that as being irresponsible, and clear evidence of how the Republicans hold on to power. Namely by looting the national treasury and giving it out recklessly to Republican politicians so they can impress those like yourself who get turned on by seeing endless pavement and who will then be big cheerleaders for more of the same.

At 9/15/2006 9:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your reply clearly demonstrates what kind of Congressman Phil Hare would be. The kind that blames everyone else for their failures. One stuck in a "us v.s. them" world. A congressman who is more comfortable blaming those that do than doing something themselves.

Lame Evans spent 22 years in Congress, and all I got was partisan excuses. I am tired of our homtwons getting short changed in Congress. When are we going to have a Congressman that delivers and understands the give and take of Washington DC?

For the record, I am not "aroused" by construction work, I am simply thrilled to see growth and prosperity (we have seen so little in the Illinois QCs. Oh well, I'll suppose I can always drive down to Peoria when I want to see progress. thankfully, I still have the discover channel.

Why do we have to be at the epicenter of the Democrat/Republican war? Can't we elect a congressman that gets along with others? A politican that knows how to work with others? Someone that gets the job done rather than offer lame excuse after lame excuse? What gives anonymous 2:20, why do my family and I have to be represented by a cut and hide Congressman? Don't our familes desrve better?

Our community is going down the tubes, and all you have to offer is stale partisan rhetoric! More of the same from the folks that have nearly destroyed the Quad Cities.

Lame Evans gets a fat federal pension check and we get more of the same --- excuses, partisanship and lack of growth. Lame, really lame!

At 9/15/2006 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your assumptions are so much garbage.

First of all, my reply is my opinion, don't make it out as if it's somehow the official Hare campaign.

You're dishonest in your assumptions and your reply is chock full of republican bullshit, such as calling any argument for a Democrat "partisan".

Well DUH! I suppose your ridiculous attacks on Hare and Evans AREN'T partisan? What a disingenous and stupid tactic.

And ya know, you really ought to move to Peoria. You'd love it there, and LaHood would be glad to have you.

I'm sure you'd be able to get a lot of people who'd volunteer to help you pack.

At 9/15/2006 6:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You seem to know that we don't want nice chairs in the library don't you. I call bull- on you.

At 9/15/2006 6:43 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 18:11

Disagree with me if you want, but don't accuse me of bullshit.

You're full of it yourself frankly, unless you can show me where I tried to speak for everyone and said that "we" don't want fancy chairs in the library.

Otherwise, shut up.

I simply said that I found it to be excessive and asked readers for their impressions. I didn't try to make myself the "voice of the people" somehow.

So bullshit back at ya.

At 9/16/2006 8:28 AM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

Wasn't that nice of the Dispatch to give Andra a front page valentine story on this issue? I am surprised they didn't take out a free campaign ad inside the cover as well.... Talk about biased reporting from the Republican rag of Moline. The Daily Disgrace...our Dispatch.

At 9/16/2006 8:29 AM, Anonymous havinfun said...

My comment about the lack of leadership of Phil Hare was in response to 'Demogorilla' who stated that Hare HAS exhibited great leadership.

I can only surmise that a man who has done little but follow throughout his life, will continue to be a follower.

Hare was totally unable to even lead a staff person, or even hire a company, through the effort of setting up a simple website. This little hiccup showed how ill-prepared the man is for leadership. Having a website "Under Construction" for over 4-weeks is a lack of leadership.

Whatever...if you Democrats want to slug through another 20-years of stagnation and job loss because you put forth leadership (?) that does not have the first clue about job creation/ economic development, so be it.

To show that I am not a total partisan...Mike Jacobs understands economic development. I have no problems with Jacobs. He appreciates the need for aggressive and active LEADERSHIP!

Phil Hare, he is about as incapable of leading anythingin the economic development area as, well, as Zinga.

At 9/17/2006 8:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Big Mike Jacobs endorsed Phil Hare's appointment and supports his election.

At 9/17/2006 9:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If memory serves me, I do believe that Jacobs got out of the race very early on to promote party unity. He then stated that we had four great candidates: Boland, Hare, Schwiebert, and Sullivan. He is a working partner with Sullivan and Boland and couldn't endorse one candidate and did promote the process. Jacob's is supporting Hare for the Congressional seat. A great Democrtic candidate for Congress.

At 9/18/2006 9:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 15/9/06 02:20, "LaHood is a Republican serving in a Republican majority congress and with a Republican dominated senate and white house (and judiciary, for that matter)". You act as if Evans was never in when the Dem's had controll. This is what you get from the Hare team. Excuses. Hare is a place holder as Evans was. If this is there excuse and I am a democrat and it pains me to say it. Maybe we need a Republican so that we can eat.
Where is my bacon?
I am hungry?
Feed Me?

At 9/18/2006 9:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So you demand more pork for the area, but why am I certain that you'd also carp about the exploding deficit and the reckless and irreponsible congress that's spending money like there's no tomorrow and passing the debt on to future generations?

And let's say for the sake of argument, that Evans never accomplished a thing, which is a ridiculous assertion.

OK, now please explain to us how you seem so certain that Zinga will somehow be a real go-getter that brings home tons of dough for all the developers and contractors in this area?

You bang on Evans, and on Hare, whom you know NOTHING about, but fail to explain why you think Zinga is the answer.

Let's hear it.

At 9/18/2006 2:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will say that you say that Evans did something. Give me a few examples of where Evans and Hare brought home big bacon. We have had lots of State pork over the years. The mark for starters. I am a democrat and I see other areas getting their fair share. If you are saying that Evans was trying to save money well, I would say to that the other areas like Peoria hav been fed and maybe Evans could have taken some of there bacon and fed it to us. We have been starving for federal money for years.
You are the one that said the we didn't get fed because it was a republicans in the government that made it happen. I was agreeing with you. If all it takes is a republican congressman to get me a sandwich according to you then I will vote for Bacon. Bacon is spelled ZINGA!


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