Saturday, February 21, 2004

Crotch Inspection

I agree with Matt that mandatory pelvic exams for the purposes of sex determination would make for a wonderful judicial order in San Francisco.

As for Josh Marshall's comments on the whole thing - I just don't think they really add anything of substance to the debate. For better or for worse, the Mass. Supreme Court has to a great degree taken the Civil Union Issue Dodge off the table. More generally, it's just time for Democrats to stop being on the defensive on culture war issues. They're on what conventional wisdom and our news media like to pretend is the losing side of these wars no matter what they do. We're the party of homosexuality, abortion, pre-marital sex, adultery, and divorce, and that's going to be true no matter how many anti-equal rights positions we take or how many Republicans get caught with their genitals being where they aren't supposed to be. And, frankly, no matter what people think of most of those things in the abstract, I don't think people want to criminalize adultery. Lots of people have pre-marital sex. Few really want to get rid of no-fault divorce laws. So, despite all the pretending that we're a conservative country on social issues, once you strip away the preachy BS it's basically a bunch of crap. It's been a long time since there's been much public shaming of adulterers or social ostracism of divorcees, outside tight-knit communities of church-goers.

It's much easier to take a strong, simple, if partially unpopular decision than a complicated, nuanced, and muddled position. Is John Kerry supporting "civil unions" but not "equal marriage rights" really going to win him any votes? Is he going to be able to sweep the issue under the rug by having to clarify, regularly, precisely which wording of which constitutional amendment in which state he would support or be against? Is he going to be able to explain with any clarity just what the hell the difference between "marriage" and "civil union" is, other than, you know, one is called "marriage" and one is called "civil union?" And, at the end of the day, does it make a damn bit of difference what it's called? If so, why?

At some point these issues require some courageous moral leadership. These issues are moving much faster than the national politicians, and they've lost control of them. I don't for a second believe that "gay marriage" is particularly popular nationally, but nor do I believe that most people give a damn either. The people who really care aren't going to vote for Democrats anyway. If by some bizarre miracle the US Supreme Court issued a ruling tomorrow mandating states provide for equal marriage rites, there'd be about a week of controversy and then most people would realize it didn't affect them one little bit and they'd move on to other things.

Lyndon Johnson didn't create the Civil Rights movement, and I'm not sure he cared much for it, but at some point he managed to push through legislation which was almost unimaginably far-reaching. He saw where things were headed, and saw what needed to be done and he did it.

The Times They Aren't a Changing

The Farmer compares congressional comments on homosexuality, then and now.

Flowers from Strangers

The Sf Chron has picked up on the story of strangers sending flowers to the couples in line to get married.

Robert Yamaguchi and Raymond Mungo were waiting outside City Hall in the cold early Friday morning when a florist clutching wedding bouquets handed them one. The outside of the accompanying envelope read, "To The Happy Couple, " and the card tucked inside said simply, "With love from Minneapolis, Minnesota."

The men -- who have been together for 23 years and flew up from Long Beach to make it official -- were stunned by the anonymous gift of red roses, irises, lilies and white Gerber daisies.

"Oh, my heart just burst with joy when he handed up those flowers!" Mungo exclaimed as Yamaguchi carried them in his arm like a beauty contest winner. "Some stranger who doesn't even know us is helping celebrate the event -- it's very touching."

The couple's gift has been replicated hundreds of times throughout the week as part of a grassroots movement called Flowers in the Heartland.

More info here.

... Fiore gives us the Gay Agenda.

...another story in the Strib.

Bloggy Goodness

I think Jim C. stayed up all night writing stuff for the Rittenhouse Review, so go take a look.

Ad Fight

Right now I have ads from both John Barrow and Doug Haines who are both competing to be the nominee in Georgia's 12th.

In a different political climate - say, one, in which Dems controlled the Senate and it wasn't a presidential election year - I would have thought that becoming actively involved in some primary races would be quite a useful thing to do. If your party doesn't have an incumbent in the race, then it's during primary season when you have a good opportunity to influence who the candidate - and hopefully the eventual congressperson - is. For those who are concerned about the lack of progressive Democrats in Congress, it's a chance to get them in there. Prove they can win the primary, prove they can raise some money on their own - then the institutional support money comes raining down on them.

But, it wasn't something I spent any time on this year so I really have no opinion about any of the contested primaries. However, if you think either candidate is the kind of person we need in Congress I suggest you lend your support. This is a seat that we "should win," given party registration numbers, so there's a reasonable chance that whoever wins the primary will win the race.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Life in the Green Zone

Hail the conquerors:

For U.S. civilian members of Baghdad's Coalition Provisional Authority, moving there is definitely hardship duty. But there are a few bennies. Like lobster tail dinners for those living in the protected U.S. Green Zone. And then there's the nightlife. An Army doctor reveals that he can't keep enough condoms in stock.

Ha Ha

"It looks like the Bush administration will be handing over power to the Iraqis by June 30th...and, then they'll be handing over power to the Democrats on Nov 2nd."


(big applause)



Feb. 18 - Faced with presidential resistance to turning over highly sensitive intelligence briefs, the commission investigating the September 11 terror attacks tried to learn the details in the documents by obtaining access to White House transcripts of interviews that senior officials gave to a prominent journalist, NEWSWEEK has learned.

The extraordinary access that top Bush administration officials gave Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward more than two years ago for his book, “Bush at War,” became a principal issue in the contentious battle between the September 11 panel and the White House over access to the President’s Daily Briefs or PDBs—the intelligence briefing report that is given to the president every morning.

Threatened with a subpoena for the documents, the White House relented somewhat last week and agreed to allow the full 10-member commission to hear a summary of key PDBs about the Al Qaeda terrorist threat that were given to Bush and before him, to President Clinton. The summary was prepared by a four-member team that was allowed to read under highly restrictive conditions hundreds of PDBs dating back to 1998.

Still, the last-minute deal, sources tell NEWSWEEK, came only after intense negotiations in which members of the federal panel repeatedly brought up the Woodward interviews as evidence of the administration’s hypocritical approach toward secrecy. How, commission officials demanded to know, could the White House deny a federal panel investigating the worst crime in U.S. history access to documents that it had already shared with a journalist?

“Woodward was a point of reference to show the PDBs were not as sacrosanct as they claimed,” said one commission official familiar with the negotiations with the White House. “In his book, Woodward claims he saw the PDBs. That was an argument that these were not the ‘Holy of Holies.’”

But there is little doubt that Woodward got details of documents that are central to the commission’s investigation—and more than a little sensitive for the Bush White House. One intelligence document that Woodward described in a May, 2002 Washington Post story , although not in his book, is the Aug. 6, 2001 PDB given to Bush while on vacation at his ranch in Crawford. This is the day that intelligence officials briefed Bush on the prospect of an upcoming Al Qaeda attack and the prospect that terrorists might seek to hijack commercial airliners—a warning that critics have long charged should have triggered a more vigorous response from the White House. The title of the PDB, according to Woodward’s story, was more prophetic than the White House has ever acknowledged: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.”

Down Down Down

Now can we stop calling him a popular president? Fox News has him at 48/41 approve/disapprove.

Constitution Restoration Act of 2004

Perhaps the lawyers out there can chew on this one over the weekend.


(1) AMENDMENT TO TITLE 28- Chapter 81 of title 28, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

`Sec. 1260. Matters not reviewable

`Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Supreme Court shall not have jurisdiction to review, by appeal, writ of certiorari, or otherwise, any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an element of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official personal capacity), by reason of that element's or officer's acknowledgement of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.'.


(via the Yurica Report, which I know nothing about.)

Ralph's Gonna Run

And, well, if people are stupid enough to vote for him either because they believe "BUSH=Democrat Nominee" or because they believe voting for him will help build a third party movement even though he's running as an independent or because they believe it will force the Democratic candidate to pretend to move "to the Left" during the campaign in order to get their votes even though they've already decided to vote for Ralph or because they believe Ralph could actually win...

well, go ahead. Nothing I can say is going to change your mind.

Those Wacky Republicans

They have such a sense of humor.

During a Feb. 5 meet-the-candidate night for the newly formed College Republicans U. chapter -- not to be confused with the older and more established College Republicans -- representatives for several candidates revved up the jovial crowd with such statements as "We need to put an end to the liberal Matheson era" and support "the Democrat killers."

As the audience giggled off and on, Mike Clement, representing congressional candidate Tim Bridgewater, spoke excitedly about Republican successes when College Republicans work hard, citing the victory of Norm Coleman in the 2002 U.S. Senate race in Minnesota.

As Clement bantered with the audience, one Republican gadfly noted that they defeated former Vice President Walter Mondale in that race, adding: "We had to kill off Wellstone to get it." He was referring to the death in a plane crash of Sen. Paul Wellstone and his family before the election.

Bush Appoints William Pryor to 11th Circuit


Google Ad Restrictions

Google's content based restrictions on ads are a bit disturbing. Go see what Oceana wasn't allowed to run. In any case, nasty Google wouldn't let me run their ads here.

Onward to New Mexico!

Sounds like it's already legal there. Who knew?

Bernalillo, New Mexico-AP -- A county clerk in New Mexico says it has nothing to do with "politics or morals."

Sandoval County Clerk Victoria Dunlap says the county plans to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples.

She made the decision after asking for an opinion from the county attorney, who said New Mexico law isn't clear on the issue. He also says refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples could open the county to legal action.

State law defines marriage as a civil contract between contracting parties. It doesn't mention gender.

(thanks to emjaycue)

...looking through New Mexico law that seems to be the case. Not only that, but they have to honor any marriage performed in a different country!

40-1-4. [Lawful marriages without the state recognized.]
Statute text
All marriages celebrated beyond the limits of this state, which are valid according to the laws of the country wherein they were celebrated or contracted, shall be likewise valid in this state, and shall have the same force as if they had been celebrated in accordance with the laws in force in this state.

...and they're off! Congratulations!

...this writer in the NY Daily News also claims that New York's marriage laws are also gender neutral.

Us and Them

And, on the crazy theocratic corrupt Texan front, Tom DeLay doesn't consider homosexuals to be Americans.

"I think it will be central," DeLay, R-Texas, told reporters before addressing the Knox County Republican Party's annual Lincoln Day Dinner at Rothchild's. "Every now and then, an issue that is central to who you are and what your world view is comes along."

Americans "have been tolerant of homosexuality for years, but now it's being stuffed down their throats and they don't like it," DeLay said.

Help take back Texas from DeLay and his minions! Go pay a visit to Morris Meyer's campaign site, who is running in Texas against Joe Barton.

I wonder what the governor of Texas thinks of DeLay's comments. Maybe someone should ask him. can also give to Lloyd Doggett, who DeLay tried to redistrict away.

Around the Bend

Apparently Republicans now think it's somehow unethical or inappropriate for Democrats to criticize something which is a current law. I'm sure they'll all be apologizing for criticizing tax law, circa 2000.

As Dave Barry would say, I am not making this up.


Roger Ailes with the definitive takedown.

We've Found Them!

Apparently the White House has found hundreds of thousands of missing manufacturing jobs:

Is cooking a hamburger patty and inserting the meat, lettuce and ketchup inside a bun a manufacturing job, like assembling automobiles?

That question is posed in the new Economic Report of the President, a thick annual compendium of observations and statistics on the health of the United States economy.

The latest edition, sent to Congress last week, questions whether fast-food restaurants should continue to be counted as part of the service sector or should be reclassified as manufacturers. No answers were offered.

In a speech to Washington economists Tuesday, N. Gregory Mankiw, chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers, said that properly classifying such workers was "an important consideration" in setting economic policy.

...the blogger formerly known as Emma posted this two weeks ago as a joke.

They Sure Are Funny

What cads:

Hence, candidate -- and media critic -- Howard Dean reacted with humor Tuesday in Milwaukee as journalists presented him with a long-sleeve white T-shirt. It carried the motto "Establishment Media" in front, and a slogan swiped from Dean in the back: "We Have the Power, Dean Press Corps 2004."

What if it Fails?

I've posted about this one way or another a few times, but Digby brings us back to the basic point. Part of the PNAC dream was to go kick some ass to prove we could do it - and do it easy, and do it cheaply, and if we wanted to do it over and over again. Well, we went off and kicked some ass and proved we couldn't. Oh, sure, we toppled a regime - I'm sure we could do that just about anywhere. But now we're stuck there and we basically disproved what they hoped to prove. As Digby says:

Regardless of whether they hyped, sexed up or pimped out the intelligence on Iraq, the fact is that by invading Iraq the way we did and being proved complete asses now that no WMD have been discovered, one of our best defenses has been completely destroyed. It may have always been nothing but a pretense that we had hi-tech, super duper satellites with x-ray vision and all-knowing eavesdropping devices that can hear a pin drop half a world away but it was a very useful pretense. Nobody knew exactly what we were capable of. Now they do. It appears to everyone on the planet that our vaunted intelligence services couldn't find water even if they fell off of a fucking aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf.

It's this kind of thing that makes really crazy wackos like Kim Jong Il make mistakes. When a hugely powerful country like the United States proves to the entire world that it is not as powerful as everyone thought, petty tyrants and ambitious generals tend to get excited. This is why mighty nations should never fight wars unless they absolutely have to. It is always better to have enemies wonder whether they are as omnipotent as they appear. They should not risk proving otherwise unless they have no choice.

It is, therefore, in the national interest for the Democrats to lay this strategic blunder at the door of this administration as clearly and as forcefully as possible. We can only benefit by the world coming to believe, in no uncertain terms, that this war was fought in spite of what we knew, not because of what we didn't know. Bush and his neocon wet-dreamers need to take a very public fall for what they did, not just for justice but for national security. Nobody should allow the world's dangerous crackpots to believe that our institutions of the military and intelligence services have been tainted by this enormous error in judgment. It's too dangerous.

Oh, and the good news is we've hired former Apartheid goons to help us out.

Wrong on Every Count

He said it. Not me.

WASHINGTON -- The top U.S. military officer said Thursday he could not estimate with confidence how long American forces will have to stay in Iraq.

"I really do believe it's unknowable," said Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in an interview with a group of reporters. "If I gave a good professional estimate, then that would be a standard that people would point to and, knowing that we can't know it perfectly, we'd get hammered."


"Actually, the things we've sat around and talked about before have been wrong on every count," he said with a chuckle. "So that's probably another reason why I don't want to" discuss it. Although he did not mention it, U.S. officials had assumed when Baghdad fell to U.S. forces last April that tens of thousands of troops could be withdrawn within a few months.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Justly Married

A small souvenir to remember a moment in history.

The World According to Karl

Karl sez Bush will support and fight for FMA:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush (news - web sites)'s political director has told a group of prominent conservatives that the president would soon publicly endorse a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

Bay Buchanan, sister of former Republican presidential candidate Pat Buchanan (news - web sites), told Reuters she was one of several conservatives who heard the message from political director Karl Rove two weeks ago.

"We were told by Karl Rove that the president would support the constitutional amendment -- not just that he would endorse it but also that he would fight for it," Buchanan said.

Specifically, Rove told an alliance of conservatives known as the Arlington Group in a telephone conversation that Bush would back the amendment being put forward by Colorado Republican Rep. Marilyn Musgrave and that his statement would come "sooner rather than later."

As I say for the hundredth time, this is going to be an issue whether the Democrats want it to be or not. The moment is here - and the thing the Dems can do is take a strong stand on the right side of this issue. Will it doom the Dems? Maybe. I don't know. But taking a weasel stand will hurt them more.

More Lies

Poor Scott McClellan. He just can't keep them all straight.

...just wanted to add that 3 years later I find the desire to pin the recession on the Clenis by backdating its beginning 3 months rather odd. The implication is that if the economy is bad, it's the president's fault. Well, okay...

That's It - I'm Getting Divorced

These people have just ruined my marriage.

...this site tells you who to call to send flowers.

(via Electrolite)

Human Scum

You know, I thought Nick Kristof was just lazy and ill-informed. But, after reading this Katha Pollitt column I realize he's also dishonest.

Just for fun, I called Kim Gandy, head of NOW, something Kristof forgot to do. "We're basically a national organization with a domestic agenda," she told me. "I mean, that's what our mission is. If we had more money, we could do a lot more." Still, NOW had, along with Equality Now, Feminist Majority and other groups, lobbied for passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, passed in 2000 under President Clinton, which established legal rights for trafficking victims in the United States and mandated cuts in aid to governments involved in the sex trade. Over at Feminist Majority, Ellie Smeal was peeved as well. They'd spent hours, she told me, informing Kristof's assistant about their organization's work on sex trafficking--beyond lobbying for the trafficking bill, the Feminist Majority's Center for Women and Policing holds regular conferences on implementation for law-enforcement officials. "You could say that on every issue, we could do more," she said. "But 'complacent?' 'Shamefully lackadaisical?' I don't think that's fair." Jessica Neuwirth and Taina Bien-Aimé of Equality Now also met with Kristof, to little avail. "It's great that he brought the issue to greater public attention, and we hope he'll stay with it," Neuwirth said. "But I don't think he appreciates how stretched women's organizations are."

You can see the narrative in the process of creation: Third World women are victims; American men are saviors. Right-wing Christians care about Third World women; feminists only care about themselves. Meanwhile, Equality Now fights the good fight on 'spit and a nickel,' as Bien-Aimé says, and gets ignored.

As my daughter used to say when she was small, "What do you have to do to get some attention around here?" You can send a donation to Equality Now at PO Box 20646, Columbus Circle Station, New York, NY 10023;

...Kristof has a real whiny response to Pollitt. One question - did anyone see the Charlie Rose recently when Kristof was on? A couple of people told me that Rose got Kristof to admit that one of the girls he "saved" went back to the brothel. Can anyone confirm this? If so, it sure does make his response look double-plus-ungood. (NOTE: I'm not claiming that's true - I don't know - just that I had been informed of that.)

...sorry, duh, Kristof himself wrote that one of the girls returned in his 1/28/04 column. But, then, in a later column said she had returned to her mother.

Some Thoughts on Blogs and Fundraising

I always feel a bit uncomfortable writing about this stuff because as the manager of the advertising department it's my sworn duty to inform all potential clients that advertising here will lead them to victory. But, as editor of this place I can't be quite that evangelistic.

The Chandler campaign had a lot of success with their ads. If nothing else, they got a terrific return on their advertising investment. And, for the most part the benefit of doing what is essentially national advertising for a local race is fundraising. That is, I don't think Blogads are going to steer any votes your way, but they might steer some dollars (and volunteers).

But, as many have pointed out 435 House campaigns and thirty-odd Senate campaigns aren't going to be able to spend a couple grand on ads and get back $80,000. Chandler's campaign succeeded partially because they were first, and mostly because they were the only game in town due to the fact that it was a special election. Also, there were polls showing that while Chandler could win, it definitely wasn't guaranteed. People want to contribute where they think a) they might get results and b) their $25 might have an impact. And, the chance to win in a "red state" where the opponent was running on a "whatever Bush does is right" platform was also an appeal.

I do think that there are a lot of campaigns out there who will be able to make Blogs work for them, but it's going to take a bit more than simply placing ads. If everyone jumps on the ad-placing bandwagon, and then they sit back and wait for the money to roll in, then I'll get a nice fat check from Blogads but it won't necessarily do much for the campaigns.

I think it's useful to spell out my ad policy here. First, I'll accept ads from just about any entity that isn't explicitly fraudulent, obscene, racist, etc... If the Bush campaign (as obscene, fraudulent, and racist as it is) wants to waste their advertising dollars here that's fine by me.

Second, buying an ad buys an ad. It doesn't buy a plug from me personally. On the other hand, an ad sitting on my website gets my attention too. And, if I see something I like I'm going to plug it. I tend to take a closer look at those who buy the "sponsored link," but if the Bush campaign buys a spot there I'm not going to tell everyone to rush and donate to them.

I think placing an ad is a good first step for reaching blog readers, but it is neither a necessary nor sufficient way to do it. I've plugged campaigns that haven't advertised, such as the Herseth campaign. A senate campaign has contacted me about doing a "guest blogging" post, which I agreed to. They later placed an ad (which hasn't run yet), but I never suggested it.

The key thing blogs provide is a way to personalize your campaign. Aside from getting the attention of the bloggers themselves, I think ads get a positive reaction from blog readers because they perceive that the campaigns take this seriously. And, then, when they click through the website they want to see something more than just a standard impersonal campaign website which is rarely updated. Nobody thinks that twenty bucks buys them face time with a candidate, but people donate because they think their twenty bucks is being bundled with a hundred other peoples', and suddenly that makes them part of an interest group which, collectively, wants to feel it's being heard.

What the Dean campaign tapped into was a bunch of people who wanted to feel personally invested in a campaign, but hadn't found any way to do that. Too many state and local parties are completely ossified and don't return calls by people offering to volunteer, and are often run by people who don't seem to want any new blood interfering with their little fiefdoms. Between impeachment, Florida, and the Bush administration there are a lot of people new people who decided they wanted to become "involved" but didn't know how. The internet allows a small degree of personal involvement by a large number of people, and they're grateful for candidates who let them feel involved. Haines, who is running to be the nominee in Georgia's 12th, started taking/responding to comments and criticisms. That's smart.

Look, a lot of the internet "personal involvement" is an illusion - and most people know that. Nobody ever thought Howard Dean read through thousands of comments on his weblog, but it nonetheless allowed them to feel they had a wee personal connection to the campaign, and that's all that mattered. The truth is, I think it's relatively easy for a campaign to tap into that sentiment, though not all campaigns will be comfortable doing that - and nor should they try. Blog readers are not your "typical voter" or your "typical Democrat," and not all campaigns/candidates are necessarily well-suited for trying to tap into that particular vibe. But, some are and with a little creativity and not too much effort they might be able to get the little extra money/attention they need to put them over the line in November. And, hey, write me a nice fat consulting check and I'll tell you how to do it... ;)

A Terrible Player

Someone needs to lose his job. Now.

On Tuesday, Sports Illustrated on its Web page quoted former place kicker Katie Hnida as saying she had been subjected to lewd comments by other players, groped in team huddles and raped by a teammate.

Barnett issued a statement saying he knew nothing about the rape and told television reporters she was an awful player who was not respected by the rest of the team.

"You know what guys do, they respect your ability. Katie was a girl, and not only was she a girl, she was terrible. She couldn't kick the ball through the uprights," he said.


Good for Daley:

Mayor Daley said Wednesday he would have "no problem" with County Clerk David Orr issuing marriage licenses to gay couples -- and Orr said he's open to a San Francisco-style protest if a consensus can be built.

"They're your doctors, your lawyers, your journalists, your politicians," the mayor said. "They're someone's son or daughter. They're someone's mother or father. . . . I've seen people of the same sex adopt children, have families. [They're] great parents.

"Some people have a difference of opinion -- that only a man and a woman can get married. But in the long run, we have to understand what they're saying. They love each other just as much as anyone else.''

A devout Catholic, Daley scoffed at the suggestion that gay marriage would somehow undermine the institution of marriage between a man and a woman.

"Marriage has been undermined by divorce, so don't tell me about marriage. You're not going to lecture me about marriage. People should look at their own life and look in their own mirror. Marriage has been undermined for a number of years if you look at the facts and figures on it. Don't blame the gay and lesbian, transgender and transsexual community. Please don't blame them for it," he said.

Daley said he has no control over marriage licenses in Cook County. But if Orr wants to take that bold step, the mayor has no problem with it.

Orr said he was "game to looking at options" provided a consensus could be built.

"I'm fed up with people being discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. We can't even pass a law that eliminates discrimination against gay couples. [But] whatever you do when it comes to challenging laws, you want it to be effective and not knee-jerk," Orr said.


The General writes some letters to Pepperdine.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Nascar Fans

Apparently they're not too fond of Bunnypants, either.


Can I be the only person to take note that for all the outrage the Bush administration has expressed over Janet's boob, Bush didn't seem to so concerned about mammaries when he gave an exclusive interview to The Sun when he visited the UK?

The Sun, which is kind enough to print universally accessible breasts daily.

Some Thank Yous

I alway hate doing this because when I do it looks like I'm just sneakily begging for more. But, a lot of people have been kind enough to send me things through my Amazon Wish List and since I usually don't have their email addresses I don't get a chance to thank them.

So.... thank you! It's always nice getting toys in the mail, and frankly it's one of the more enjoyable, if frivolous, perks of doing this. Though, I think my UPS guy is a bit curious about who this "A. Smith" person is...


This is an important case:

Meet Dudley Hiibel. He's a 59 year old cowboy who owns a small ranch outside of Winnemucca, Nevada. He lives a simple life, but he's his own man. You probably never would have heard of Dudley Hiibel if it weren't for his belief in the U.S. Constitution.

One balmy May evening back in 2000, Dudley was standing around minding his own business when all of a sudden, a policeman pulled-up and demanded that Dudley produce his ID. Dudley, having done nothing wrong, declined. He was arrested and charged with "failure to cooperate" for refusing to show ID on demand. And it's all on video.

On the 22nd of March 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether Dudley and the rest of us live in a free society, or in a country where we must show "the papers" whenever a cop demands them.

It wasn't too many years ago that I used to mock my European friends because their countries required them to carry official IDs with them at all times.

(via Talk Left).


This Wired article on blogs/campaign fundraising is pretty good. I'll write more about this tomorrow.

The Chalabi Gravy Train

Chalabi and family have pulled in $400 million. Lovely.

Pop Quiz

Fill in the blank.

In 1958, nine years before the Court ruled in Loving v. Virginia that miscegenation laws were unconstitutional, Gallup polled people about interracial marriages.

_____% of Whites opposed them.

no cheating.

...and the winner is... 94%! (it's also frequently reported as 96%. I think 94% is the right number).

It isn't clear if this is just personal disapproval or support for legal restrictions.

Jerk in Chief

Get tickets to the Daytona 500, and the damn preznit ruins your day.

DAYTONA BEACH -- Race fans say the commander in chief took command of their seats.

Some Daytona 500 attendees seated near President Bush's suite Sunday complained they couldn't return to the grandstands after using the bathroom, grabbing a soda or buying a T-shirt.

Daytona International Speedway officials responded Monday by placing a formal apology on the track's Web site for any inconveniences fans faced while Bush met NASCAR drivers, posed with military personnel and gave television and radio interviews.

You know, this is one of those relatively minor things which, if it had been Clinton, would have been a national outrage for 3 weeks.

White House Backs off Jobs Forecast

As Brad DeLong points out, the media are still not able to comprehend how many jobs were actually forecast. But, now we've learned that no one in this administration is actually responsible for anything they say or do.

WASHINGTON Feb. 18 — The White House backed away Wednesday from its own prediction that the economy will add 2.6 million new jobs before the end of this year, saying the forecast was the work of number-crunchers and that President Bush was not a statistician.



From what I can glean from some of my hate mail and the general conservative outcry, here is what the homophobes fear about same-sex marriage: bestiality.

That is, they are utterly terrified that same-sex marriage is a slippery slope of permissive debauchery that will lead to the utter breakdown of social rules and sexual mores, to people being allowed to marry their dogs, or their own dead grandmothers, or chairs, or three hairy men from Miami Beach.

In short, to the neocon Right, a nation that allows gays to marry is a nation with no boundaries and no condoms and where all sorts of illicit disgusting behaviors will soon be legal and be forced upon them, a horrific tribal wasteland full of leeches and flying bugs and scary sex acts they only read about in chat rooms and their beloved "Left Behind" series of cute apocalypse-porn books.

You know, just like how giving blacks the right to own their own land meant we had to give the same rights to house plants and power tools, or how granting women the right to vote meant it was a slippery slope until we gave suffrage to feral cats and sea slugs and rusty hubcaps.

This, then, is why it is a time to be incredibly proud. San Francisco is slapping this moronic worldview back to the dank basement of subhuman intellect, where it belongs. We have broken the taboo, challenged the ignorant and the easily terrified, made it beautifully clear that what matters most in a modern society is not unfounded, naive fears, not uptight religious puling, but a humane and equal, joyous sense of love for all.

All Hell About To Break Loose


[kaus] The rumors about Governor Perry's private life, if true, are a synedoche for...[/kaus]

Do They Ever Tell the Truth?


FORT POLK, La. -- President Bush, dogged by questions about his Vietnam-era service in the Air National Guard, surrounded himself with a sea of military olive and beige yesterday, touting his credentials as commander in chief at an Army base that has sent thousands of troops to Afghanistan and Iraq and lunching with a soon-to-be-deployed group of guardsmen.

White House officials said Bush's campaign-style stop at Fort Polk had nothing to do with the controversy over gaps in his service record with the Air National Guard between May 1972 and May 1973.

"This event has been in the works for several weeks," White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said.

But one officer at the base said Fort Polk received orders last week to begin preparing for the president's visit.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Losers Suck

In talking about Ben Chandler's win, Josh Marshall raises an issue that he's raised before - that perhaps Democrats have a comparative advantage in raising money over the internet, relative to direct mail due to the charcteristics of their supporters. I think he's given his reasons for this in more detail previously, and to some extent I probably agree. But, aside from the medium of direct mail I'd argue that there's something wrong with the message.

I get a reasonable amount of political junk mail. Frankly, most of it goes into the trash unread these days. But, to the extent that I do read it I have the impression that it reads something like this:


There's a kind of "we're pathetic and can't do anything unless you send us a couple of bucks" vibe. Now, that may in fact be true - that they're at a financial disadvantage. But, look - nobody likes a loser.

I'd prefer direct mail which went something like:

Last week we took Tom DeLay out back and kicked the crap out of him. This week, we plan to do it again. Help support this ass-kicking! For only $25, your name can be on a bootprint on DeLay's mottled ass!

Democrats are tired of being on the defensive. We've been on the defensive since the Failed Clinton Presidency began being reported 2 hours after election day '92. It's time for those days to be over.

Congratulations Congressman Ben Chandler!

It looks like he's won this thing easily - 12 points over Kerr! Thanks to all who contributed - hopefully we made a bit of a difference.

Damn, so this is what it feels like to win. I haven't felt like this since Jim Jefford's Day.

Hey, Mitch McConnell - how about them apples?

While you're feeling all glowy and generous, let me recommend heading over to the websites of Stephanie Herseth and Morris Meyer.

Herseth is our next battle - she's running in the June 1 special election in South Dakota. She's currently ahead in the polls, but that could change.

Meyer is one of my advertisers. I'll admit I was a bit skeptical at first - taking on one of the DeLay's little gnomes in the heart of Texas seems like a huge challenge. But, after looking into it a bit more... it's possible. Barton, the incumbent, is bad news. We just need to get the word out...

...and, if you care to donate to either of them add $.18!

...KY Vote May Signal Nation's Mood.

...Josh Marshall comments.

KY Polls Close in 6 Minutes

Results here.

Fingers crossed.

...or here! looking good...

...currently 33% reporting, 55/43 Chandler.

too nervous. had to pour a drink...

...46%, 54/44

...55%, 54/44

...63%, 55/44

...72%, 55/43

...d'Oh! These numbers are only for Fayette, not the whole district.

...switching to AP. 31/594 reporting, Chandler 61/Kerr 37.

...41/594 60/38

...85/594 57/41

..uh-oh, from this link:

241/595 Chandler 48/Kerr 50

looking up!

266/595 Chandler 54/Kerr 44

303/595 Chandler 56/Kerr 42 They've called it for Chandler! I'll hold off a bit longer...

346/595 55/43 still called

356/595 55/43

430/595 55/43

470/595 55/43

The Results are In!

Congratulations to this year's Koufax Award winners!

And, thanks to the folks at Wampum for all their work. can get all the exciting "preznit giv me turkee merchandise" here. (winner of Most Humorous Post!)

Those Wacky Young Republicans/Conservatives

Reader ml writes in to inform me about this.

I'd known they were threatening to picket Cho, but this is hilarious... well, not ha ha funny, but you know what I mean.

Dean Loses Wisconsin, Drops Out of Race

According to stories here and here.

Oddly, the stories fail to mention that his final act as a candidate was to set off nuclear weapons in 37 major American cities.


Larry Flynt says he's finally "nailed" the Bush abortion story. I'm sure the media, who spent the past week reporting on BS scandal-mongering from Drudge, will universally condemn Flynt for daring to do such a thing, as they did when he rightly thought that the hypocritical behavior by certain Republicans during the impeachment fiasco was newsworthy.

As Molly Ivins writes:

My favorite campaign document of recent days is from a conservative email newsletter, Talon (you can't make this stuff up). In the Feb. 13 update, Item One is a nasty piece of gossip about a Democratic contender, whereas Item Three (I swear) is, "Gutter Politics to Get Uglier: Reacting in part to the relentless questioning of the President's service record, RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie said Wednesday that despite being so early in the campaign season, the Democrats have made clear they intend to run the dirtiest campaign in modern presidential politics."

I think we need a rule calling for at least two paragraphs between spreading nasty gossip and then decrying the spreading of nasty gossip. On television and radio, 24 hours should be required. Standards must be maintained here, team.

I'd also like the media to consider one thing - compare Flynt's batting average with Drudge's. While the media will jump to condemn Flynt, they should recognize that Flynt has higher journalistic standards than any of them for this kind of thing. He doesn't run with things until he has multiple sources. This story may or may not be true, but frankly I have a lot more faith in the accuracy of Flynt's reporting than I do in a lot of the mainstream press. The recent week has only re-confirmed that.

Let's remember that Drudge first became a celebrity not because of Monica, but because he falsely accused Sidney Blumenthal of beating his wife. And the media sided with Drudge.

...just a reminder. Flynt previously floated this story on Crossfire back in '00, and the CNN producers flipped out, started screaming in his ear, and the transcript was removed permanently from their website. Here's what he said:

[ROBERT] NOVAK: Mr. Flynt, never let it be said that we censor any of our guests here on CROSSFIRE, and you said you wanted to talk about the election. Tell me what you wanted to say.

FLYNT: Well, during the impeachment debacle, we did an investigation which resulted in the resignation of Bob Livingston and others and we have continued this investigation and for eight months we've been looking into George W. Bush's background. And we've found out in the early 1970s he was involved in an abortion in Texas, and I just think that it's sad that the mainstream media, who's aware of this story, won't ask him that question when they were able to ask him the drug question without any proof at all, and we've got all kinds of proof on this issue.

NOVAK: Well, you're...

FLYNT: You know, the guy admitted he was a drunk for 20 years, and if the abortion issue is true then that puts him lower on the morality scale than Bill Clinton.

NOVAK: Mr. Flynt, you said if it's true and you have no proof of that. I gather you are a very strong...

FLYNT: The hell we don't have proof.

NOVAK: Sir, I gather you're a very strong Gore supporter. Is that correct?

FLYNT: I'll vote for the lesser of the two evils. I don't like either one of them.

[BILL] PRESS: All Right, Larry Flynt, a man who speaks his word, but we remind you they are Larry Flynt's words and not ours. Larry Flynt, thank you very, very much for joining us.

This was followed by an online chat, in which Flynt went into greater detail:

CNN - Mr. Flynt, I would like to know how you plan to protect yourself from a law suit by claiming to have the goods on GWBush.

Flynt: Because we have them and the truth is an absolute defense.

CNN; When and where are you going to publish information about George W. Bush?

Flynt: When I said that we had the proof, I am referring to knowing who the girl was, knowing who the doctor was that pereformed the abortion, evidence from girlfriends of hers at the time, who knew about the romance and the subsequent abortion. The young lady does not want to go public, and without her willingness, we don't feel that we're on solid enough legal ground to go with the story, because should she say it never happened, then we've got a potential libel suit. But we know we have enough evidence that we believe completely. One of the things that interested us was that this abortion took place before Roe Vs. Wade in 1970, which made it a crime at the time. I'd just like the national media to ask him if abortion is okay for him and his family, but not for the rest of America. We're not looking at it as a big issue, we're looking at it as a situation of people not being told the truth. I think the American people have a right to know everything there is to know about someone running for President.

Sock Fight

Tim Lambert discovers that John Lott had multiple sockpuppets arguing with each other.

As I've said before, aside from the ethics issue - the dude is just weird.

Shocking Sex Scandal Investigation


I happen to know that several major news organizations have for some time been looking into claims about portly conservative moralizer William Bennett and a leather-bound dominatrix bodybuilder in Las Vegas, a woman who has some very interesting narratives to recount. What news organizations? The top five that come to your mind are on the list. Some reporters have even traveled far and wide on this story.

Does this mean the story is true? No. It is "developing," as our favorite cybergossip character assassin likes to say, and it may go nowhere. Every day reporters track down leads and follow up on tips. Sometimes this goes on for a while and they may never nail down the leads. And that’s certainly true if there’s no truth to them.

It’s interesting, though, that Matt Drudge, whose standards are far lower than even those of the Weekly World News, hasn’t run a blaring headline like, "Bill Bennett in Grip of Imminent Dominatrix Scandal." I say that, of course, because last week Drudge ran a breathless "world exclusive" report of his own claiming that news organizations were chasing down "recent alleged infidelity" on the part of Democratic front-runner John Kerry.

Now, with regard to the Bennett rumor, take my word for it (and don’t ask any more questions right now, okay?) that several reporters have communicated directly with first-hand sources–as have I. But what Drudge claimed about Kerry was so ridiculously far removed from the supposed source that you’d have better luck using a Ouija board to determine if there’s any scandal in his future. The Washington Post and several other news organizations, Drudge claimed, had been looking into the allegations based on the rantings of a "friend" of a woman who supposedly had an affair with Kerry but who "fled the country" and conveniently couldn’t be reached.

The rest is good too.

Martial Law in New York

The Republicans want to bring in 5000 troops to "augment" the police during their convention.

Chandler Race Today

Check out the DCCC's new Blog, The Stakeholder, for info and updates.

Horowitz Mirror

He took down the site, but there's still a mirror so you can see if your friends and family are on The List.

Monday, February 16, 2004

The End of Racism

Dinesh D'Souza can bite me.

Destroying the CAGOP

The California Republican Party is as, or more, loathsome as any in the country. If the Log Cabin Republicans succeed in making inroads into the party they'll cause a complete meltdown:

Several weeks ago, Assembly and Senate Republican political strategists put out a call to GOP groups asking them to recruit candidates for legislative districts where the party needed to show the flag.

It turns out the flag they're showing is rainbow-colored.

The group that recruited the largest number of candidates was the Log Cabin Club, the main gay GOP organization in the state.

At a time when same-sex marriage has emerged as an issue that the national Republican leadership hopes to use against Democrats, 11 Log Cabin Republicans are on the March 2 ballot running for legislative office, seven for the Assembly and four for the Senate.

If they become the party nominees -- and seven are running unopposed in the March primary -- that guarantees the Log Cabin members a seat on the state GOP central committee and the possibility of more seats, depending on how well the candidate runs.

"We want people to have a true choice," said Shane Connolly, 35, a corporate finance manager and a Log Cabin Republican running in the 13th Senate District, a South Bay seat. "We want to send a message that the Republican Party isn't what you may think it is."

It's a message that some Republican leaders are happy to send.

"We are the party that allows for diverse positions on any number of issues," said California Republican Party Chairman Duf Sundheim, who spoke supportively of the efforts of the Log Cabin members.

"We work it out within the party and have the best person run who holds Republican values," Sundheim said.

But conservatives, a key component of the Republican coalition, say the Log Cabin Club does not represent core Republican values.

"They are a single-issue organization. They would be better off calling themselves the Gay Party," said Randy Thomasson, executive director of Campaign for California Families, a self-described pro-family organization that last week filed suit to stop San Francisco's decision to legalize same-sex marriages.

"It isn't because they're homosexuals that there's a problem," said the Rev. Lou Sheldon, chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition. "The problem is with the homosexual agenda to overturn the heterosexual ethic of one man, one woman."

Feel the love.

Big Day Tomorrow

It's hard to not be at least a little excited about the KY6 special election tomorrow. I think if Ben Chandler succeeds we can all feel that we played a not entirely insignificant role. The online fundraising through weblogs helped the campaign increase their media buys substantially in the last days before the election.

Let's hope the Big Mo of '04 starts in Kentucky.

Pardon Me

Bush just pardoned an S&L fraudster.

I don't want to hear any crap about "compassion for a dying man." Our jails are filled with dying men who were a much less harm to society than this scumbag.

More on Crazy Davey

Apparently being a "closet homosexual" is a notable characteristic, though being dead isn't.

...I never thought the ADL was particularly "left wing."


Quick! Go!

Gonna Find Out Who's Naughty Or Nice

Kieran looks into some of the people who made Davey's little list.

Happy Birthday To Me

Well, not today precisely, but sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Just thought I'd share.

Man on Dog

Rick Santorum really is a dishonest whiny little bitch. Through the stolen-memo-gate scandal, little Ricky has been maintaining that he is SHOCKED, no SHOCKED that Democrats would dare work closely with OUTSIDE GROUPS on judicial nominations. Here's what he's on about now:

The most unrepentant of Republicans was Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a member of the Republican leadership. According to the newspaper Roll Call, Mr. Santorum told reporters that he still believed that "the real potential criminal behavior" was with the Democrats because the content showed their unwholesome ways of colluding with outside interest groups to oppose Mr. Bush's judicial nominees.

Here's little Ricky's regular Tuesday schedule:

The chief purpose of these gatherings is to discuss jobs--specifically, the top one or two positions at the biggest and most important industry trade associations and corporate offices centered around Washington's K Street, a canyon of nondescript office buildings a few blocks north of the White House that is to influence-peddling what Wall Street is to finance. In the past, those people were about as likely to be Democrats as Republicans, a practice that ensured K Street firms would have clout no matter which party was in power. But beginning with the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994, and accelerating in 2001, when George W. Bush became president, the GOP has made a determined effort to undermine the bipartisan complexion of K Street. And Santorum's Tuesday meetings are a crucial part of that effort. Every week, the lobbyists present pass around a list of the jobs available and discuss whom to support. Santorum's responsibility is to make sure each one is filled by a loyal Republican--a senator's chief of staff, for instance, or a top White House aide, or another lobbyist whose reliability has been demonstrated. After Santorum settles on a candidate, the lobbyists present make sure it is known whom the Republican leadership favors. "The underlying theme was [to] place Republicans in key positions on K Street. Everybody taking part was a Republican and understood that that was the purpose of what we were doing," says Rod Chandler, a retired congressman and lobbyist who has participated in the Santorum meetings. "It's been a very successful effort."

Now that sounds criminal.

Crazy Davey's Academic Black List

See a preview version of it here before he pulls it down.

RMPN has some commentary.

...According to Crazy Davey, Osama Bin Laden is a "funder" of the political left. Ah, yes, the dreams of the secular left...a fascist Muslim theocracy with equal rights for none... We all have our dreams...

The Horrible NYT

What kind of editor would let this paragraph through on a book review?

And yet, just as Hillary Rodham Clinton was more complicated than her feminazi image, surely Laura Bush has a few currents, a little tension, in her inner life. After all, as Ann Gerhart writes in ''The Perfect Wife'' this is a bright, educated, exceedingly well-read woman, with many liberal friends who cannot abide her husband's conservatism. She has a separate intellectual life that leads her to opera and poetry and serious literature -- a life that, well, seems an odd match with the interests of her husband. Beneath her placid exterior, Gerhart sees ''an independence that seems almost subversive.''

Have You Seen Her?

Evidence Mounts

I think we can say with increasing confidence that the Bush military records were, to some degree, "scrubbed," in violation of federal law. If true, that's probably a much more damaging story than whatever they were trying to cover up in the first place.

Surprisingly Well

I have to say that given the recent media coverage of the Dean campaign, which has been, to put it mildly, universally derisive, he's doing surprisingly well in Wisconsin polls. Probably not "well enough to turn it around" surprisingly well, but surprisingly well nonetheless.

Edwards has gotten much better media treatment, but has fared worse at the polls.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Outsource This

Let me preface this by saying, as I have many times, that roughly speaking I'm a "free trader." And, I'm not sure quite sure how to react to the attention "outsourcing" has gotten recently. When Nike started making shoes in Indonesia, nobody called it "outsourcing." The fact that it's increasingly a white collar issue is the only new thing.

But, even as I provide my free-trader creds, I'm a bit puzzled by the number of stupid things said by the very smart Jagdish Baghwati in the New York Times.

In objecting to moving service jobs overseas, Senator Kerry is wrong on two counts. First, his economics is faulty: the practice only adds to the overall economic pie and improves the competitiveness of American companies. In a world economy, firms that forgo cheaper supplies of services are doomed to lose markets, and hence production. And companies that die out, of course, do not employ people.

Second, Mr. Kerry is making a political error. By playing to the understandable but incorrect fears of American workers that outsourcing is "taking away" jobs from Americans, he is painting the Democratic Party into the wrong corner on trade issues.

As for the second point - look, outsourcing is taking away jobs from American workers. How many jobs? I don't know. How long will those individual workers suffer from unemployment after losing those jobs? I don't know. How many of those workers will find themselves, once they return to employment, earning less money and having fewer benefits? I don't know.

As for the first point - it's a rather strange one for an economist to make, particularly one simultaneously making the opposite argument. Even Comrade Max agrees that free trade or no free trade has no impact on long run levels of employment/unemployment. Similarly - if, say, legislation were passed forbidding "outsourcing" (whatever that would mean), it too would have no effect on the long run levels. It may decrease the size of the "economic pie," and it may, as with trade, lead to temporary unemployment and impact the distribution of income. But, the same arguments which claim that increasing trade openness wouldn't, in the long run, diminish the number of jobs in the economy also tell us that "anti-trade" or "anti-outsourcing" policies wouldn't diminish them either.

And, all such arguments ignore the transition effects. Some temporary employment/underemployment can result as regulations, technology, and terms of trade change. The industry-specific skills of workers can suddenly be devalued, negatively affecting both them and potentially the overall productive capacity of the economy. Labor force participation may decline for years, as discouraged workers drop out of the labor force.

Economists need to stop having a fetish about the "size of the pie." It's one measure of welfare, but it isn't a particularly meaningful one. Absent policies to temporarily offset transitional effects and minimize distributional consequences, "free trade" is just a fetish.

Anagrams for Bushco

Amazing what subliminal messages one can find in the Bush'04 campaign slogan.

TV Economics

I do wonder about the proliferation of "reality" shows. I know they're pretty low cost/high rating. But, what they don't provide for is much/any syndication/DVD sale revenue. Anyway, I don't know much about the actual numbers on these things but I'm curious if they're sacrificing long-term revenue streams for a quick buck.


Well, the dwindling number of decent shows on TV has fallen once again. Bye bye Angel.


I definitely give Okrent mixed reviews on his job so far, but he does let us know just how twisted the culture of arrogance is at the New York Times.

. So tell me, Dan. How are they treating you at The Times?

A. I'm glad you asked. It has been both better and worse than I expected - better because a lot of people here believe that The Times should be as open to examination as those The Times itself examines each day; their welcome has been generous and heartening. What's worse than I expected is the overt hostility from some of those who don't want me here.

Q. Is it aimed at you, or at the job?

A. Both. One reporter ripped me up and down about how offensive it was that the staff had to endure public second-guessing, how it makes reporters vulnerable to further attack, how the hovering presence of an ombudsman can hinder aggressive reporting. When I objected - "I don't think your complaint's with me; I didn't invent this job" - the reporter hissed, "You accepted it!"

Others have complained that as a former magazine writer and editor, I don't know anything about newspapers; as a non-Timesman, I don't appreciate how The Times is different from all other media institutions; or as an idiot, I don't know anything about anything. They may well be right. But all those deficiencies may enable me to ask the stupid questions no insider ever would.

Then there are the people in between, who say that I'm doing a good job and taking the right positions - except on those subjects in which they're involved. Fair enough; in this regard, they're just like a lot of the people The Times writes about.

Severe Scandal Possibility from the Oddest Sources

I don't even know what to make of this.

... just want to make clear I don't put much stock in this, it's just an odd story to percolate up from Fox News and Freeperville. Loftus is an odd guy - he's frequently treated as quite respectable by the mainstream media yet he definitely treads into tinfoil hat territory.

Those Wacky College Republicans

They always have such hilarious ideas:

Feb. 15, 2004 | BRISTOL, R.I. (AP) -- A student group at Roger Williams University is offering a new scholarship for which only white students are eligible, a move they say is designed to protest affirmative action.

The application for the $50 award requires an essay on "why you are proud of your white heritage" and a recent picture to "confirm whiteness."

"Evidence of bleaching will disqualify applicants," says the application, issued by the university's College Republicans.

Jason Mattera, 20, who is president of the College Republicans, said the group is parodying minority scholarships.

"White kids are at a handicap," Mattera told The Providence Journal. "Handing out scholarships based on someone's color is absurd."

The stunt has angered some at the university, but the administration is staying of the fray. The school's provost said it is a student group's initiative and is not endorsed by Roger Williams.

Mattera, who is of Puerto Rican descent, is himself is a recipient of a $5,000 scholarship open only to a minority group.

One wonders why Mattera just doesn't donate his $5,000 to Hoggwood.


I've returned - a big round of applause to Tena for her excellent contribution while I was away...

Mary Beth Williams for Maine State Rep

Mary Beth, of Wampum Blog, is running for the Maine State Legislature. As part of her campaign platform she's promised to begin a new program subsidizing promising young bloggers such as myself with obscene annual stipends. Well, sadly that part isn't true, but if you wish for her to take her first step towards her ultimate goal of become Lord High Empress of the Known Universe and Beyond, you can contribute by going to the main page here and clicking on the donate button.

The Kenis

Hesiod has a roundup of all the latest on Kerry and the intern, plus some pictures.

Thomas Friedman, Secretary of Defense

Thomas Friedman tells us here just exactly what he wants John Kerry to say about the situation in Iraq. And from what I can tell, Friedman thinks that what he thinks about it is the only valid way to think about it. But maybe that's how he thinks about everything, ya think?

More Secrets

The New York Times has this article on the intelligence commission appointed by the president to look into possible intelligence failures, and the secrecy surrounding the possible financial conflicts of interest the appointees may have:

"The White House is declining to make public the financial histories of the commissioners President Bush appointed to investigate American intelligence failures.


Laurence H. Silberman, a conservative judge who is one of the commission's two chairmen, has drawn particular criticism...Several other commissioners also have financial links to groups in the Middle East and the defense industries that could become involved in the inquiry."

You know, by now, I would think that the president and Karl Rove would have realized that the more they stonewall, the worse it gets for the administration. There are times lately when I wonder if Bush actually wants to win, because this sure isn't the way to do it, as far as I'm concerned.

Poll Results from Nevada and D.C.

Washington,D.C. (16 delegates)

John Kerry 47%
Al Sharpton 20%
Howard Dean 18%
John Edwards 10%
Dennis Kucinich 3%

Nevada (24 delegates)

John Kerry 63%
Howard Dean 17%
John Edwards 10%
Dennis Kucinich 7%
Al Sharpton 1%

Was Bush Booted out of Tang?

All signs point to maybe...