Saturday, December 17, 2005

Late Night

What laws has Bush broken in the last few hours?

We're Not Idiots

Well, I'm not, anyway, but we'll see of our media continues to report Bush's lies as Truth or if they point out that they only make sense to people with the IQ of Assrocket. Consider this:

In acknowledging the message was true, President Bush took aim at the messenger Saturday, saying that The New York Times jeopardized national security by revealing that he authorized wiretaps on U.S. citizens after September 11. The president said he allowed the NSA "to intercept the international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda." Publishing details of the program "damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk," Bush said.

So, publishing the fact that Bush has decided he can spy on people without warrants is going to damage national security even though we already had a very public policy which allowed us to do the same by getting a warrant which didn't even have to really be gotten until 72 hours after the spying began?

Bush is a lying criminal.

And a wanker.

Fresh Thread



Bob Barr on illegal spying:

BOB BARR, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: What's wrong with it is several-fold. One, it's bad policy for our government to be spying on American citizens through the National Security Agency. Secondly, it's bad to be spying on Americans without court oversight. And thirdly, it's bad to be spying on Americans apparently in violation of federal laws against doing it without court order.


BARR: Well, the fact of the matter is that the Constitution is the Constitution, and I took an oath to abide by it. My good friend, my former colleague, Dana Rohrabacher, did and the president did. And I don't really care very much whether or not it can be justified based on some hypothetical. The fact of the matter is that, if you have any government official who deliberately orders that federal law be violated despite the best of motives, that certainly ought to be of concern to us.


ROHRABACHER: And by the way, how do we know who wasn't deterred from blowing up other targets. The fact is --

BARR: Well, gee, I guess then the president should be able to ignore whatever provision in the Constitution as long as there's something after the fact that justifies it.

BARR: Bob, during wartime, you give some powers to the presidency you wouldn't give in peace time. BARR: Do we have a declaration of war, Dana?

ROHRABACHER: You don't have to do that.

BARR: We don't? That makes it even much easier for a president.


BARR: Here again, this is absolutely a bizarre conversation where you have a member of Congress saying that it's okay for the president of the United States to ignore U.S. law, to ignore the Constitution, simply because we are in an undeclared war.

The fact of the matter is the law prohibits -- specifically prohibits -- what apparently was done in this case, and for a member of Congress to say, oh, that doesn't matter, I'm proud that the president violated the law is absolutely astounding, Wolf.

ROHRABACHER: Not only proud, we can be grateful to this president. You know, I'll have to tell you, if it was up to Mr. Schumer, Senator Schumer, they probably would have blown up the Brooklyn Bridge. The bottom line is this: in wartime we expect our leaders, yes, to exercise more authority.

Now, I have led the fight to making sure there were sunset provisions in the Patriot Act, for example. So after the war, we go back to recognizing the limits of government. But we want to put the full authority that we have and our technology to use immediately to try to thwart terrorists who are going to -- how about have a nuclear weapon in our cities?

BARR: And the Constitution be damned, Dana?

ROHRABACHER: Well, I'll tell you something, if a nuclear weapon goes off in Washington, DC, or New York or Los Angeles, it'll burn the Constitution as it does. So I'm very happy we have a president that's going to wiretap people's communication with people overseas to make sure that they're not plotting to blow up one of our cities.

BLITZER: We're out of time, but Bob Barr, I'll give you the last word.

BARR: Well, first of all, or last of all, this so-called plot to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge was bogus because it had to do with a group of idiots who were planning to dismantle it with blow torches.

And, we should never pass up the opportunity to play a round of Dana's Got A Secret.

(via pandagon)

Shorter Conservatarian Blogosphere

We are very concerned by the fact that people are exposing illegal acts by the government to the press.

Spying on Americans

We need to know who, why, what:

The revelation that the National Security Agency was allowed to conduct non-FISA intercepts of American citizens should bring last summer's hearing on John Bolton's nomination to the United Nations back into focus. As Legal times noted in September of this year, "During the confirmation hearings of John Bolton as the U.S. representative to the United Nations, it came to light that the NSA had freely revealed intercepted conversations of U.S. citizens to Bolton while he served at the State Department. . . . More generally, Newsweek reports that from January 2004 to May 2005, the NSA supplied intercepts and names of 10,000 U.S. citizens to policy-makers at many departments, other U.S. intelligence services, and law enforcement agencies."
We still don't know who he was looking at and what information was contained in those intercepts. More importantly, were they legally obtained? In light of the latest revelation, we have another possible explanation why the Bush Administration fought so strenuously to keep those intercepts secret and out of the hearing. Snooping without judicial review is wrong and must be punished.

There was absolutely no reason to not follow FISA unless they didn't want anyone to know who they were snooping on.


Lying Criminals

Yesterday they said they couldn't confirm the story because it would compromise national security. Today they decided it was necessary to do the opposite and have Bush admit he was a criminal.


Make the List Public

Indeed. All of these people have had their clear constitutional and legal rights violated under direct order from the president of the United States. Who knows, some of them may be bad guys. One of Arianna's resident wingnuts, who I'm sure is just there to be a chew toy and is apparently practically illiterate, argues this:

They're terribly upset that the President has authorized the interception of around 30 international communications by people inside the United States who have been determined to have "a clear link" to al- Qaida or related terrorist organizations.

No, Bush has just reauthorized the program 30 times. Not 30 international communications, which in any case would still be 30 violations of the law. The NYT:

While many details about the program remain secret, officials familiar with it say the N.S.A. eavesdrops without warrants on up to 500 people in the United States at any given time. The list changes as some names are added and others dropped, so the number monitored in this country may have reached into the thousands since the program began, several officials said.

And Bush claims:

Bush said in his address that it is used only to intercept the international communications of people inside the United States who have been determined to have "a clear link" to al- Qaida or related terrorist organizations.

Wow, there are thousands of people in the US who have been determined to have "a clear link" to al Qaeda. If true that's pretty damn scary. Of course, it's just bullshit, but the administration has been lying to us about this stuff for years.

Feingold Statements

Portions of a statement/fact sheet he's released:

“The President's shocking admission that he authorized the National Security Agency to spy on American citizens, without going to a court and in violation of the Constitution and laws passed by Congress, further demonstrates the urgent need for these protections. The President believes that he has the power to override the laws that Congress has passed. This is not how our democratic system of government works. The President does not get to pick and choose which laws he wants to follow. He is a president, not a king.

“On behalf of all Americans who believe in our constitutional system of government, I call on this Administration to stop this program immediately and to fully cooperate with congressional inquiries and investigations. We have had enough of an Administration that puts itself above the law and the Constitution.”


* FISA makes it a crime, punishable by up to five years in prison, to conduct electronic surveillance except as provided for by statute. The only defense is for law government agents engaged in official duties conducting “surveillance authorized by and conducted pursuant to a search warrant or court order.” [50 U.S.C. § 1809]

* Congress has specifically stated, in statute, that the criminal wiretap statute and FISA “shall be the exclusive means by which electronic surveillance . . . and the interception of domestic wire, oral, and electronic communications may be conducted.” [18 U.S.C. § 2518(f)]

* The target of a FISA wiretap is never given notice that he or she was subject to surveillance, unless the evidence obtained through the electronic surveillance is ultimately used against the target in a criminal trial.

The president is a criminal.

"Muslims of America"

Andrea Mitchell last night:

MITCHELL: Well, a former intelligence official tells NBC News tonight that the people most likely to be swept up in this are listed in a Homeland Security database, Brian, called Muslims of America. But most people targeted are never charged with a crime. And one former official says this does amount to a giant electronic fishing expedition. Is it legal? The president says yes. Critics say no. Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter says his committee will hold hearings in the new year. Brian:


Earlier on CNN:

"We have a president, not a king, and that's the way he's talking," Feingold said in an interview with CNN. "What he's doing, I believe, is illegal. And it's really quite a shocking moment in the history of our country."

Bush Admits Criminal Act

Well, he just did it. I don't think the press has yet to understand what's going on here, typically. This isn't simply about whether spying on Americans without warrants is constitutional or even if it is the right or wrong policy, it's about whether the executive has the power to do whatever it wants. As Digby wrote:

Look, the problem here, again, is not one of just spying on Americans, as repulsively totalitarian as that is. It's that the administration adopted John Yoo's theory of presidential infallibility. But, of course, it wasn't really John Yoo's theory at all; it was Dick Cheney's muse, Richard Nixon who said, "when the President does it, that means it's not illegal."

This was not some off the cuff statement. It was based upon a serious constitutional theory --- that the congress or the judiciary (and by inference the laws they promulgate and interpret) have no authority over an equal branch of government. The president, in the pursuit of his duties as president, is not subject to the laws. Citizens can offer their judgment of his performance every four years at the ballot box.

Bush just admitted guilt, proudly. Stunning, really.

The Kippies are Here!

Go vote!

Open Thread

Where do we go from here? When does the thread appear?

Open Thread

Life?s a thread and we all play a part.

Lib Crit

I composed and deleted about 5 different replies to Foer's strangely self-contradictory article, but I think Anonymous Liberal (depsite responding to something else) gets at the issue:

In other words, we don't think the media is actively pursuing conservative interests; we think that the media, through its rigid adherence to certain journalistic conventions, has unintentionally contributed to the cheapening of political discourse. Put another way, unscrupulous partisans have learned to game the system. They've realized that the painfully formulaic structure of today's mainstream political reporting allows even the most dishonest and misleading talking points to gain currency.


Conservatives already dismiss all the reporting they don't like as the work of liberal critics. They've been doing this for over two decades and to great effect. In fact, it is this very allegation that has led political reporters to adhere so religiously to a format in which accuracy is routinely sacrificed in the name of "balance," and neutrality is valued above even truth. What a sad irony it is that Harris thinks these journalistic conventions make life more difficult for the White House. The truth is that the White House's political strategy entirely depends on this style of reporting. The key to Karl Rove's political success was his realization that he could count on mainstream journalists--who now fear, above all, the dreaded 'liberal bias' charge--to present almost any talking point, no matter how ludicrous, in a dueling narrative format free from any independent editorial judgment. Fear of the bias charge has essentially tied reporters hands behind their backs, making them unwilling or unable to do more than present differing narratives. The beauty of this strategy for the White House is that it's self-reinforcing: the more conservatives yell "liberal bias," the more rigid the balanced format becomes. And it certainly doesn't help matters when people like Harris contribute to the problem by accusing colleagues of liberal bias. The reality is that the White House has absolutely no desire to do away with this system. Why should they? It has served conservative political interests remarkably well over the years. As it stands, conservatives can dismiss reporting they don't like as the work of liberal critics while at the same time using the self-imposed neutrality of the press to facilitate the spread of misinformation. And those two strategies actually reinforce one another.

There's much more to be said about this, but that covers a lot of what I wanted to say. But, as one more quick response to Foer, liberals were really goddamn quiet about the craptacular mainstream media for years. The reason was is that no matter what the flaws of the mainstream press too many liberals internalized the idea that the press is "on our side." So, when the Times or NPR reports total bullshit too many liberals digest it unquestioningly.

As "pro-Gore" as TNR was reputed to be during the 2000 campaign, they failed to serve as an effective force against the myriad of horseshit being pushed by the mainstream media. Belief in the importance of the media is not the same thing as belief in its infallibility. The mainstream press has for 30 years internalized criticisms from the Right. That's the problem.

(via firedoglake)

Friday, December 16, 2005


I think Dana Milbank has largely failed to find a voice as a columnist. I think he's unwilling to really pick a side (by side I don't mean Democrat/Republican, I just mean to have a point of view aside from "everyone sorta sucks"), and in his attempts to be above it all he's become some weird hybrid of Bill Maher, South Park, and David Broder. But he's a smart guy and when he gets it right he really gets it right. In a live chat today he explained the basic Iraq political dynamic very succinctly:

Washington, D.C.: The most recent Sketch told us how many times the President used the term "victory" in discussing Iraq, but not what the President meant by the term. Since, as you point out, the President makes "victory" a centerpiece of his Iraq PR campaign, can you shed any light on what exactly the President means by "victory"? Isn't it important to know what we are fighting for; or is Iraq just a Vietnam re-run about which Country Joe and the Fish once sang, "well its 1-2-3-4, what are we fighting for? Don't know, don't give a darn. Next stop is Vietnam."

Dana Milbank:

This is why the "victory" strategy is brilliant: As my sage colleague Al Kamen points out, Bush is taking the Potter Stewart approach. I don't know the definition of victory, but I know it when I see it. While the president has put himself in position of being the sole arbiter of victory, he has managed to make all his opponents appear to be advocating the opposite, which is defeat.

(he may have stolen it from Al Kamen, but I couldn't track down the Kamen version)

Statute Can Not Be Overturned By Executive Order

Thank you Bill Keller for the year delay on this one:

NEW YORK - President Bush has personally authorized a secretive eavesdropping program in the United States more than three dozen times since October 2001, a senior intelligence official said Friday night.

The disclosure follows angry demands by lawmakers earlier in the day for a congressional inquiry into whether the monitoring by the highly secretive National Security Agency violated civil liberties.

“There is no doubt that this is inappropriate,” declared Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He promised hearings early next year.

WATB Keller:

Officials also assured senior editors of the Times that a variety of legal checks had been imposed that satisfied everyone involved that the program raised no legal questions.

Open Thread

A thread with family and friends. That sure as hell wasn't in the brochure.


Just read:

Oh for Gawd's sakes. Tom Brokaw is on Matthews boo-hooing that this NSA story stepped on Junior's wonderful Iraq triumph. He explains that when you are at war you need to do things that are difficult and believes that most people in the country will agree that the administration needed to spy on Americans after 9/11. He agrees with analyst Roger Cressy (who I used to think was sane) that once the "window" of a possible impending attack closed they should have gone up to the hill and sought permission to keep spying on Americans with no judicial oversight. (I haven't heard about this "window" before. Tom and Roger both seem to have a fantasy that the administration would not simply say that the "window" remains open as long as evil exists in the world.)

Look, the problem here, again, is not one of just spying on Americans, as repulsively totalitarian as that is. It's that the administration adopted John Yoo's theory of presidential infallibility. But, of course, it wasn't really John Yoo's theory at all; it was Dick Cheney's muse, Richard Nixon who said, "when the President does it, that means it's not illegal."

From what we know what they did is clearly, unambiguously, illegal. If Tom Brokaw thinks Waterboard Gonzales and Three Cheers for Fascism Yoo should be able to shove a camera up his ass jut because they want to then Tom Brokaw should start lobbying Congress to let them. I personally think it isn't good policy to let the president do whatever the hell he wants just because he says so but then maybe all that checks and balances stuff I learned about was just liberal propaganda.

Cafferty Video

At C&L.

Full transcript:

Who cares about whether the Patriot Act gets renewed? Want to abuse our civil liberties? Just do it.

Who cares about the Geneva Conventions. Want to torture prisoners? Just do it.

Who cares about rules concerning the identity of CIA agents. Want to reveal the name of a covert operative? Just do it.

Who cares about whether the intelligence concerning WMDS is accurate. Want to invade Iraq? Just do it.

Who cares about qualifications to serve on the nation's highest court. Want to nominate a personal friend with no qualifications? Just do it.

And the latest outrage, which I read about in "The New York Times" this morning, who cares about needing a court order to eavesdrop on American citizens. Want to wiretap their phone conversations? Just do it. What a joke. A very cruel, very sad joke.

Not the Official Narrative

But I thought America hated Clinton and loved Reagan and Bush more than anything?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush ranks as the least popular and most bellicose of the last ten U.S. presidents, according to a new survey.

Only nine percent of the 662 people polled picked Bush as their favorite among the last 10 presidents. John F. Kennedy topped that part of the survey, with 26 percent, closely followed by Bill Clinton (25 percent) and Ronald Reagan (23 percent).

Statement by Rep. Miller


WASHINGTON, D.C. - Rep. George Miller (D-CA) said today it was imperative for a federal special counsel to be appointed immediately to investigate allegations that the Bush Administration secretly authorized and conducted domestic spying without court orders beginning in 2002.

The New York Times reported today that the President secretly signed an executive order in 2002 to allow the National Security Agency to conduct secret surveillance within the United States on American citizens and others without first obtaining a court order or presenting evidence to justify the surveillance. The executive order was signed even after Congress had approved the controversial Patriot Act, which greatly expanded the government's power to conduct surveillance within the United States. The secret executive order appears to have allowed even greater domestic surveillance than Congress approved.

"I am deeply troubled that the President of the United States may have secretly ordered his intelligence agents to spy on Americans without obtaining court orders," said Miller, Chairman of the Democratic Policy Committee. "Congress had already broadened the powers of the Administration to fight terrorism through the gathering of intelligence, but now it is alleged that the President went even further and secretly ordered the NSA to conduct domestic spying in a manner that may be both unconstitutional and illegal.

"Because the United States Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, would have been intimately involved with drafting this covert policy in his former role as White House Counsel, I do not believe he can be truly impartial in investigating this matter. The Attorney General should recuse himself from the case and immediately appoint a special counsel to fully determine the truth," Miller said. "Congress and the American people need to know whether laws were broken, and if so who was responsible for it.

"Fighting terrorists is essential," Miller added. "No one disagrees with that. But allowing anyone to eviscerate America's freedoms and liberties undermines our security and greatness as a nation. In the battle against international terrorism, America has faced a terrifying and deadly enemy, but it has also suffered a great loss in its stature as a result of the use of torture and degrading treatment against foreign prisoners and the use of unapproved espionage. We must not lose ourselves as a nation as we fight to protect ourselves."


Haven't posted a good Cafferty rant in awhile:

You want to invade people's civil liberties without even considering the legal consequences? Just do it. Who cares about the accuracy of WMD intelligence. You want to invade Iraq? Just do it. What a joke.

Hilzoy Speak

You Listen:

This is against the law. I have put references to the relevant statute below the fold; the brief version is: the law forbids warrantless surveillance of US citizens, and it provides procedures to be followed in emergencies that do not leave enough time for federal agents to get a warrant. If the NY Times report is correct, the government did not follow these procedures. It therefore acted illegally.

Bush's order is arguably unconstitutional as well: it seems to violate the fourth amendment, and it certainly violates the requirement (Article II, sec. 3) that the President "shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed."

I am normally extremely wary of talking about impeachment. I think that impeachment is a trauma for the country, and that it should only be considered in extreme cases. Moreover, I think that the fact that Clinton was impeached raises the bar as far as impeaching Bush: two traumas in a row is really not good for the country, and even though my reluctance to go through a second impeachment benefits the very Republicans who needlessly inflicted the first on us, I don't care. It's bad for the country, and that matters most.

But I have a high bar, not a nonexistent one. And for a President to order violations of the law meets my criteria for impeachment. This is exactly what got Nixon in trouble: he ordered his subordinates to obstruct justice. To the extent that the two cases differ, the differences make what Bush did worse: after all, it's not as though warrants are hard to get, or the law makes no provision for emergencies. Bush could have followed the law had he wanted to. He chose to set it aside.

And this is something that no American should tolerate. We claim to have a government of laws, not of men. That claim means nothing if we are not prepared to act when a President (or anyone else) places himself above the law. If the New York Times report is true, then Bush should be impeached.


Wanker of the Day

Bill Keller, on why the Times held off on publishing the domestic spying story:

Officials also assured senior editors of the Times that a variety of legal checks had been imposed that satisfied everyone involved that the program raised no legal questions.


First, we developed a fuller picture of the concerns and misgivings that had been expressed during the life of the program. It is not our place to pass judgment on the legal or civil liberties questions involved in such a program, but it became clear those questions loomed larger within the government than we had previously understood.

First, nice job on trusting those officials to tell you the truth.

Second, how about telling us who they were?

(via Attytood)

Score One for Blogger Ethics

Copley news suspends payola columnist.

Criminal Penalties and Civil Liability

There are laws. There are consequences for breaking them. The president does not have the authority to overturn statute by executive order.

Novakula to Fox


Patriot Act

Feingold's filibuster survives one cloture vote.

Gifts for Geeks

Things you know you need to buy for yourself or your favorite geek:

Lottsa Crap

Tort reform advocate Trent Lott goes to court.

Bye Bob

No more Novak at CNN.

I credit Media Matters.

Champagne on Ice

Fitzgerald heeded my plea, and is back in DC.

They Write Memos

Well, they don't, but they should.

Op-Eds for Sale

Cato hackery:

A senior fellow at the Cato Institute resigned from the libertarian think tank on Dec. 15 after admitting that he had accepted payments from indicted Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff for writing op-ed articles favorable to the positions of some of Abramoff's clients. Doug Bandow, who writes a syndicated column for Copley News Service, told BusinessWeek Online that he had accepted money from Abramoff for writing between 12 and 24 articles over a period of years, beginning in the mid '90s.

Laura Rozen has more. We do need some blogger ethics discussion.

(via cursor)

President Authorizes Criminal Conduct

That's basically what we have here. The preznit and his supporters will just bleat that the war on terra, blah blah blah, but we're basically just back to Nixon's old "if the president does it it's not illegal." The preznit's people argue that the authorization to "fight the war on terra" give him the power to do anything he wanted to in pursuit of that goal, even if it violated laws and treaties.

The law governing clandestine surveillance in the United States, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, prohibits conducting electronic surveillance not authorized by statute. A government agent can try to avoid prosecution if he can show he was "engaged in the course of his official duties and the electronic surveillance was authorized by and conducted pursuant to a search warrant or court order of a court of competent jurisdiction," according to the law.

"This is as shocking a revelation as we have ever seen from the Bush administration," said Martin, who has been sharply critical of the administration's surveillance and detention policies. "It is, I believe, the first time a president has authorized government agencies to violate a specific criminal prohibition and eavesdrop on Americans."

Is the presidency above the law? That's what they're claiming.


Another one to flip on Abramoff/DeLay?


At a certain point one has to wonder why people do things. There are no legitimate national security needs which require warrantless spying by the government on its own citizens. How hard it is to get a damn warrant? The reason do such a thing is to simply assert that you can.

Open Thread

The thread I bear is scorching me.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The End of Conservatarianism

Not quite, but I think their response to the NYT story on domestic spying is pretty much the test.

It was always bullshit, but there pretty much can be no more excuses. If conservatarians aren't upset by this... well, I'll reserve my judgment for a later time.

Lies and the Lying Liars

Wow. Just about every Republican, for the last couple of years, has been lying to the American people!
I'm just shocked.



WASHINGTON, Dec. 15 ­- Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.

Under a presidential order signed in 2002, the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years in an effort to track possible "dirty numbers" linked to Al Qaeda, the officials said. The agency, they said, still seeks warrants to monitor entirely domestic communications.

The previously undisclosed decision to permit some eavesdropping inside the country without court approval represents a major shift in American intelligence-gathering practices, particularly for the National Security Agency, whose mission is to spy on communications abroad. As a result, some officials familiar with the continuing operation have questioned whether the surveillance has stretched, if not crossed, constitutional limits on legal searches.

Open Thread

Well, our old thread was just fine 'til you went and had it burned down.

Open Thread

You know there are quite a few American threads that are highly underrated. This, unfortunately, is not one of them.

Open Thread

I don't care what time it is, unlock his cell, unstrap him, and bring him to the thread!

Rep. Dingell Writes a Christmas Poem


Grand Old Police Blotter

Little birdy just informed me that Tobin was found guilty on two counts in the NH phone jamming case, pending verification...


James Tobin, a former Republican political operative and Bush regional campaign official, was convicted this afternoon of telephone harassment.

The federal charges stemmed from attempts to jam phone lines at Democratic and union get-out-the-vote offices on Election Day 2002 with hundreds of hang-up calls.

Tobin was acquitted of charges that he had violated voters' civil rights.

More details will be posted later.

Poor Conrad

I'm crying on the inside. Really.

CHICAGO Dec 15, 2005 — Former newspaper mogul Conrad Black was indicted by federal prosecutors Thursday on additional charges that include racketeering and obstruction of justice.

The new charges came two weeks after Black pleaded not guilty to fraud charges in connection with the alleged looting of more than $80 million from the Hollinger International Inc. newspaper empire he once controlled.

The charges were brought in an indictment returned Thursday by a federal grand jury in Chicago and announced by U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.

Come back to DC soon, Fitz...

Olbermann Smacks Boortz

What an asshole.

Open Thread

There's nothing we can't face except for threads.

Open Thread

Well, our old thread was just fine 'til you went and had it burned down.

More Fun with Jack and Tom


Capital Athletic Foundation, a charity run by disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff now at the center of an influence-peddling investigation on Capitol Hill, told the IRS it gave away more than $330,000 in grants in 2002 to four other charities that say they never received the money.

The largest grant the foundation listed in its 2002 tax filing was for $300,000 to P'TACH of New York, a nonprofit that helps Jewish children with learning disabilities.

"We've never received a $300,000 gift, not in our 28 years," a surprised Rabbi Burton Jaffa, P'TACH's national director, told the Austin American-States- man. "It would have been gone by now. I guess I would have been able to pay some teachers on time."

Federal investigators have not contacted P'TACH about the grant, Jaffa said. Representa- tives of three other nonprofits that supposedly received Capital Athletic money also said they have not been contacted.


The discrepancy also follows e-mails between Abramoff and members of his lobbying team that say then-House Republican Leader Tom DeLay of Sugar Land wanted to raise money through Capital Athletic for an unspecified purpose. In one of those e-mails, Abramoff announced a $200,000 fundraising goal.


Celebrations for Children was a short-lived effort to raise money for children's charities by providing donors with special access to DeLay, plus yacht trips and other enticements, during the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York. Watchdog groups protested, claiming the fundraiser violated a new ban on accumulating unlimited "soft" money, and DeLay dropped it in May 2004.

(thanks to JG)

What Millions Lets You Do

Apparently, it lets you advertise on Drudge and pay bloggers a salary even though they're not running your ads.

Open Thread

I realize every thread comes with an expiration mark on the package, but I want mine to be a long time from now, like a Cheeto.

The Dean

One thing that people should ask the WATB is why he hasn't seen fit to make any complaints about David Broder's presence at the Post? Broder has written a column for the Post for years, and he also still (though with declining frequency) puts his byline on news stories. I actually don't care that he wears two hats, but one would imagine that it would offend WATB's delicate sensibilities.

Of course the answer is that Broder is Broder and no WATB is going to complain about the Dean.

...let me add that while I don't care that Broder wears two hats I think by the conventions and rules the contemporary mainstream imagines they operate under he shouldn't be wearing two hats.


John Harris wants to answer your questions.

Losing Seniors

That's the poll number tidbit which is going to scare the Republicans.

Nice Polite Republicans

Gotta love NPR's ombudsman:

NPR often calls on think tanks for comments. But NPR does not lean on the so-called conservative think tanks as many in the audience seem to think.


The score to date: Right 239, Left 141.

The 141 come entirely from Brookings and CSIS, which are hardly hotbeds of progressivism in a way which provides any balance to AEI/Heritage/Cato/Hoover/Manhattan.

Open Thread

Why do people keep coming to these threads because it's not the snacks.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

They're All Whiny-Ass Titty-Babies

Brokaw, on Daily Show:

Barry McCaffrey who was a consultant for NBC, retired four-star general, was saying we don't have enough troops and we were starting to get a lot of pushback from the administration for saying that.

When I get pushback, if it's full of shit it goes into the goddamn trash and the sender goes into my email filter.

Lies and the Lying Liars

Joe "Even More Hacktackular than Kaus" Klein.

Open Thread

Well, our old thread was just fine 'til you went and had it burned down.

Problems for Whiny-Ass Titty-Baby?

Jane sez:

Do you think he's probably regretting that he didn't check Ruffini's website before he went out there and said what Rover told him to, did not take a look around to see what an obvious shill the guy was? Is he worried that those extra cocktail weenies he was promised will not be forthcoming? When I clicked the link yesterday it took all of oh, five seconds to look up Ruffini's bio and figure out this was hardly the off-hour chicken scratchings of some Idaho potato farmer.

Karl fucked him up. And now rumor has it Harris might not survive this obvious stint as the GOP's go-to guy inside the WaPo. I mean, it's one thing to jump when Rove snaps his fingers. It's quite another to blab it to the world.

Open Thread

Threads aren't just cute like everybody supposes.

Just Dumb

Nothing like "our team" to desperately try to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.


If you want to improve national savings in this country doing it by waving the magical private account wand is just idiotic. Start by reforming predatory lending and bad practices by credit card companies. Too many people don't have any damn money to save.


Ha ha.

Fox - The Hate Network

A former producer tells us how they do it.

Bye Mitt

Don't let the door hit you...

BOSTON Dec 14, 2005 — Republican Gov. Mitt Romney has decided not to seek re-election in 2006, a source told The Associated Press on Wednesday, fueling speculation he will run for president in 2008.

The 58-year-old businessman and son of former Michigan Gov. George Romney scheduled an evening news conference to announce his re-election plans.

Brad DeLong Interviews a Whiny-Ass Titty-Baby

Results are pretty predictable.

Why Does O'Reilly Hate America So Much?

Falsely smears yet another city.

Post to Change Froomkin Identification

Maybe this will please whiny-ass titty-baby John Harris.



And I seriously doubt that Concerned Alumni of Princeton "fought integration of women and minorities on campus."

First of all, why the faux shock at the concept? The reason why it took so long for women and minorities to be integrated into many colleges, elite and otherwise, is that lots of people "fought integration of women and minorities."

But, in any case, here's PFAW providing us some information:

# CAP complained about the admission of women to Princeton. T. Harding Jones, Alito’s classmate and CAP’s executive director in 1974 (two years after they graduated) told the New York Times that “Co-education has ruined the mystique and the camaraderies that used to exist. Princeton has now given into the fad of the moment, and I think it’s going to prove to be a very unfortunate thing.”1
# CAP also complained about the admission of minorities to Princeton. An alumnus wrote in 1974 in CAP’s magazine that “We had trusted the admissions office to select young men who could and would become part of the great Princeton tradition. In my day, [Dean of Student Affairs] Andy Brown would have been called to task for his open love affair with minorities.”2
# CAP repeatedly warned that the admission of women and minorities would undermine the university. A 1973 CAP fundraising letter claimed that “a student population of approximately 40 percent women and minorities will largely vitiate the alumni body of the future.”3 And in 1974, T. Harding Jones claimed that “Annual giving has been hurt very substantially by the equal-access vote.”4
# CAP supported a quota system to ensure that the vast majority of students would continue to be men. Asa Bushnell, then chairman of CAP, told the New York Times in 1974 that “Many Princeton graduates are unhappy over the fact that the administration has seen fit to abrogate the virtual guarantee that 800 [out of roughly 1,100] would continue to be the number of males in each freshman class.”5
# CAP opposed affirmative action for women and minorities but supported affirmative action for athletes and the children of alumni.6 For instance, CAP principal John Thatcher argued in 1974 that “Academic weakness below the projected graduating level, or character defect, should be the only grounds for rejecting athletes.”7


Hilarious. I have no idea if Frist is, or deserves to be, in any actual legal trouble but the fact remains that he keeps lying about his stocks. I know Republicans like to imagine Fox News as a kind of happy parallel universe where they get to lie to their followers with impunity,but the rest of us didn't have access to the damn thing and we know you're still lying.

I remember when even whiny-ass titty-babies like John Harris thought lying was a big deal.

What the Hell is a "Bold Constitution?"

Seriously. I have no idea.

The Story

If the White House is giving reporters shit for what other people associated with their newspaper do then that is, in fact, the story the public should be told about. It should not inspire whiny-ass titty-baby to go and complain to the ombudsman. Access journalism is truly becoming indefensibly absurd.

Whiny-Ass Titty-Baby John Harris

Big Media Ezra gets to the heart of the matter - the result of the 30+ year campaign by conservatives to make journalists scared of being perceived of being biased by conservatives who have an interest in slanting their coverage. Whiny-ass titty-baby Harris is basically admitting that it isn't enough to avoid having a liberal bias, you have to avoid doing anything that will make conservatives imagine or claim to imagine that you have one.

Nice trick they've pulled, and whiny-ass titty-baby Harris just plays along.


Novakula says what everyone knows is probably true but nonetheless like to ignore:

Newspaper columnist Robert Novak is still not naming his source in the Valerie Plame affair, but he says he is pretty sure the name is no mystery to President Bush.
"I'm confident the president knows who the source is," Novak told a luncheon audience at the John Locke Foundation in Raleigh on Tuesday. "I'd be amazed if he doesn't."

"So I say, 'Don't bug me. Don't bug Bob Woodward. Bug the president as to whether he should reveal who the source is.' "

Whiny-Ass Titty-Baby John Harris


For me it is a problem. I perceive a good bit of his commentary on the news as coming through a liberal prism--or at least not trying very hard to avoid such perceptions. Dan, as I understand his position, says that his commentary is not ideologically based, but he acknowledges it is written with a certain irreverence and adversarial purpose. Dan does not address the main question in his comments. He should. If he were a White House reporter for a major news organization, would it be okay for him to write in the fashion he does? If the answer is yes, we have a legitimate disagreement. If the answer is no, there is not really a debate: should change the name of his column to more accurately present the fact that this is Dan Froomkin's take on the news, not the observations of someone who is assigned by the paper to cover the news.


John Harris: I think Clinton has mixed, but on the whole fairly negative, feelings toward reporters. He is someone who likes to shoot the breeze and engage on different subjects, and he does this occasionally with reporters (both on and off the record). But, on balance, I believe based on conversations with staff that he generally feels most reporters are out to damage him. And, since our job is to constantly try to hold elected officials accountable and point out to the public when there are inconistencies, this naturally and appropriately leads to a degree of tension.

((Note if you click through the link that whiny-ass titty-baby repeats variations of "sex with a young intern," as all Official Washington does, even though Lewinsky was not an intern when they were having an affair.))


According to extreme traffic this site gets about as much traffic as the Boston Globe. If that's true, the Boston Globe is doing something wrong:

At the same time, the information these dinosaurs churn out is being consumed as never before. Because when people turn to the Internet for news – not airline tickets or blogging or porn, but news – they, not surprisingly, frequently turn to mainstream media Web sites. While MSNBC and CNN have much larger online audiences, newspapers do quite well., for example, had 10,361,000 unique visitors in October, trailing only (with 11,405,000) among newspaper Web sites. And it isn't just the big national papers: The San Francisco Chronicle's site attracted nearly 4 million unique visitors, the Boston Globe's 3,602,000 and the Houston Chronicle's 2,654,000. (The stats are courtesy of Nielsen//NetRatings.)

Though, I'm sure their ad rates are much higher.

Hosama Bin Blabem

Fafblog interviews Rice.

The Torture Administration

It's a fetish, really, there's no other explanation.

Open Thread

Wish I could thread.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


You. Have. Got. To. Be. Fucking. Kidding. Me.

Not even a blogger ethics panel can save this profession.

Wanker of Tomorrow

Okay, it's a bit early.

Len Downie!

...and, henceforth, John Harris shall be known as whiny-ass titty-baby.

Open Thread

We saved the thread. I say we have to party.

Wanker of the Day

John Harris.

DeLay and the Dukestir


O'Reilly - Still Bonkers



This past weekend here's what we had:

Meet the Press roundtable:

E.J. Dionne, BoBo Brooks, Mike Allen. This one at least is roughly "balanced," but Allen's a reporter while Dionne and Brooks are columnists. Confusing much?

This Week:

George Will, Fareed Zakaria, and Marth Raddatz. Will's a conservative hack, Zakaria's an honest conservative, and Raddatz is their White House correspondent. Confusing much?

Reliable Sources:

Laura Ingraham, Clarence Page, Pam Hess. Ingraham's a conservative radio host whose show is generally pretty fluffy, Page is a long time respected columnist, and Pam Hess is UPI's Pentagon correspondent. Confusing much?

Generally, "straight reporters" should not appear in the same discussions with the ideological pundits. I have no idea why producers and editors let them do so. I think it's fine when print reporters go on TV to discuss and explain stories they've written, but they shouldn't be participating in discussions with people who have much more freedom to speak outside of the model of "balanced journalism."


Marty Kaplan has a good HuffPo post:

It's possible that once upon a time, American newspaper readers really did understand that reporters are different from editorial writers, who are different from the paper's columnists, who are different from the syndicated columnists they run, who are different from the op-ed writers they carry.

If ever that were true, that day has passed. It's partly a function of a lack of readership understanding. But it's also a consequence of Fox News, The Washington Times, the Manchester Union-Leader and other outlets whose cheering for their team has broken down the news/editorial wall. It's a consequence of journalism become a profit center in big media conglomerates, which means that decisions about what to cover and how to invest journalistic resources are driven by entertainment values, not by news values. It's a consequence of relentless pressure from conservatives, which has pulled what used to be the center way over to the right, and which has made editors and producers scared of their own shadow. It's a consequence of brazen government propaganda, from a Republican White House and a Republican Congress, which is so breathtaking in its Orwellian disinformation that none dare call it Stalinist, and which is so vindictive and pugnacious in its push-back that none dare call it McCarthyite (except, of course, as flattery).

It's something I've written about many times, but if editors and journalists are upset because the walls between punditry and reporting, between fair journalism and hackery, have been eroded and news consumers are confused they have no one to blame but themselves. Every week, if not every day, journalists appear on roundtable shows with pundits and partisan hacks, usually but not always conservative. Every day "reporters" go blabbing on Imus and Tweety (MSNBC is the worst offender for this for some reason), clearly stepping outside any clear boundaries between reporting and opining or speculating.

I have mixed feelings about the American model of "balanced" journalism, but whatever its merits or lack of its integrity has largely been destroyed from within, as journalists willingly walk hand in hand with pundits, when lazy "he said she said" journalism is justified by that model, and when increasingly reality itself must be distorted to provide "balance" when the facts themselves are biased.

They Write Letters

Todd Gitlin's unpublished letter to the Times:

To the Editor:
Re: "Multiple Reality Syndrome," by David Brooks (Dec. 4):

Mr. Brooks writes that earlier in the Iraq war "Sometimes I'd come away from off-the-record conversations and background briefings [with administration officials] feeling my intelligence had been insulted, because even in private, officials would ignore realities that were on newspaper front pages."

I have just reread Mr. Brooks' dozens of columns on Iraq. He wrote that "senior members of his administration are capable of looking honestly at their mistakes" (Dec. 9, 2003). He described the Bush administration as "drunk on truth serum," practicing "honesty and candor." (Dec. 13, 2003). He proclaimed that Mr. Bush has "exceptional moral qualities" (Nov. 23, 2004), and that "two years from now...Bush's [inaugural] speech, which is being derided for its vagueness and its supposed detachment from the concrete realities, will still be practical and present in the world, yielding consequences every day." (Jan. 22, 2005).

But he never informed his readers that Bush and his team insulted his intelligence. Thanks to Mr. Brooks, 27 months into his column, for finally getting around to telling us.

— Todd Gitlin

...more Brooksian hooey on Meet the Press.


What Katha Polllitt says.


VandeHei says he misspoke, and meant Libby when he said Hadley. That's fine - mistakes like that are easy to make on live TV/radio - but the real issue was that when he said it neither Norah nor Tweety even blinked. Clueless.


Limbaugh's lawyer tried to spin this ruling in their favor yesterday but it sounds to me as if the prosecutors will be able to get the information they really need to determine whether they can show a crime has been committed.


I haven't read Off Center yet, but these posts by Yglesias and Chait pretty much cover the weird world of Matt Bai.


Fineman on Booby:

MADISON -- Howard Fineman, Newsweek's chief political correspondent, said Monday night in the first program of a Drew University lecture series, that Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward had become a "court stenographer" for the Bush administration.

Shorter E.J. Dionne

Democrats who are obsessed with looking tough should stop running every time the Republicans yell boo.

Open Thread

If anyone sees my thread lying about, just try not to step on it.

Open Thread

Life?s a thread and we all play a part.

Ad Fun

Check out Josh's top two ads...

Monday, December 12, 2005

Death Penalty

I'm against it for numerous reasons (depending on when you ask me a different reason is the most important one), but I really can't quite see how Stanley Williams is really the poster child for the cause. The cause is still just, and I'd argue for clemency for everyone on death row and therefore support those who have taken up his cause, but the wrong poster child doesn't help a cause (added: meaning anti-death penalty activists are certainly correct to try to obtain clemency for him and everyone on death row, but that it's a tactical mistake to use his case to further the more general cause of ending the death penalty).

Every now and then the wingnutosphere finds a cause which actually has merit. Too often when they do they spend more time gazing at themselves in self-righteous admiration then actually supporting the cause, but nonetheless when they're right they're right. The case of Cory Maye is indeed a travesty.

...let me also add that while Radley Balko and I probably agree on little I don't consider him to be part of the wingnutosphere. I was referring to the fact that much of the wingnutosphere has turned their championship of the Maye cause (worthy) into a reason to bash liberals for reasons I've not quite been able to understand. Certainly the wingnutosphere emphasis of the case is a bit different. That is, I don't really think you should have the right to blow people away simply because they trespass on your property, though I do think reasonable prosecutors/judges/juries should find it understandable and therefore not criminal at times when it does happen.

Split Screen Bimbos

When they're so clueless about a story which is largely about them how often do they screw it up generally?

Fox News Continues Its War On Christmas

Another holiday party!


That must've hurt.

Guardians of our Discourse

Lordy John Harris is a weenie.

War on Christmas

Sam Seder clip available both at C&L and Think Progress.

Forrester Wins!

Matt thinks this is a goof, but I think if they just keep talking about governor elect Forrester eventually Fox News will start playing along and then the rest of the media will too.

Push Back

Go Read Digby.

Then Jane.

Then Froomkin.

The War on Christmas

Sam Seder did a pretty good job on CNN today giving this issue the degree of respect it deserves:

SEDER: Listen, as far as the war on Christmas goes, I feel like we should be waging a war on Christmas. I mean, I believe that Christmas, it's almost proven that Christmas has nuclear weapons, can be an imminent threat to this country, that they have operative ties with terrorists and I believe that we should sacrifice thousands of American lives in pursuit of this war on Christmas. And hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money.

PHILLIPS: Is it a war on Christmas, a war Christians, a war on over-political correctness or just a lot of people with way too much time on their hands?

SEDER: I would say probably, if I was to be serious about it, too much time on their hands, but I'd like to get back to the operational ties between Santa Claus and al Qaeda.

PHILLIPS: I don't think that exists. Bob? Help me out here.

SEDER: We have intelligence, we have intelligence.

PHILLIPS: You have intel. Where exactly does your intel come from?

SEDER: Well, we have tortured an elf and it's actually how we got the same information from Al Libbi. It's exactly the same way the Bush administration got this info about the operational ties between al Qaeda and Saddam.


Yes, well, Kyra, I mean, listen, I would like Bob to tell me who is the person who has been offended by someone saying Merry Christmas to them? I've never met that person.

I don't celebrate Christmas. But if someone says "Merry Christmas" to me, I either think, well, it's a little bit odd, it's like me saying happy birthday to you on my birthday, but no one cares.

But I will tell you this, as we wage the war on the war on the war on the war on Christmas on our radio show. News Corp., Fox News, those people who have started this entire war on Christmas mean, fake war, they're having a holiday party.

President Bush saying "Happy Holidays." Tokyo Rose, Laura Bush, saying "Happy Holidays" to her dogs in the video, I'm sure you've seen it. I mean, these are the things that we should be talking about when we are waging this war in Iraq, we should be equating it to the war on Christmas.

What else would Bob Knight have an opportunity to do, how else would he get on television if he wasn't pretending to be attacked.

KINGHT: This would be funny except it is serious to a lot of people who have seen their faith cleansed from the public square systemically.

SEDER: Are you suggesting, Bob, that someone can't celebrate Christmas in America? Tell me about the person who can escape the celebration.


SEDER: I do agree with Bob. I think what should happen is companies should calculate how much money they're getting from people who are celebrating Christmas and provide exactly that much amount of Merry Christmas, because that is exactly how I would want any type of religious holiday to be celebrated.


SEDER: Hannukah is not a high holiday. Our high holidays are Rosh Hashanna and Yom Kippur, which I'm sure Bob has been protesting why there are not more Yom Kippur sales or Rosh Hashanah sales during those holidays. Why shouldn't there be, right Bob?


SEDER: Bob, have you ever protested Martin Luther King Day not being celebrated. Do you resent when people don't say "Happy Martin Luther King Day" a month out in advance?


PHILLIPS: Bob, I'm going to let you have the final thought.

KNIGHT: OK. You know, when the Nazis moved into Austria in 1936...

SEDER: Oh, that's offensive, Bob, to raise Nazis. KNIGHT: They immediately removed from the schools. You can read about it in...

PHILLIPS: Hold on, Sam. Let Bob make his point. Let Bob make his point. Go ahead, Bob.

KNIGHT: You can't even let me speak. Can you? You're so...

Maria Trapp wrote the story of the Trapp singers that's in "The Sound of Music," and she said she sent her kids to school after the Nazis took over. And they came home and said mama, we can't say the word Christmas anymore. It's now winter holiday.

I think that ought to disturb people...

SEDER: Kyra, that's offensive.

KNIGHT: ...that we're moving toward that kind of attitude in this country.

SEDER: The Puritans also outlawed Christmas. The founding fathers of this country would fine you in Massachusetts if you celebrated Christmas in the beginning. So don't talk about Nazis, Bob. I think that's really inappropriate.

Why do you have to bring hate to this Christmas and holiday season? That's so sad, Bob.

KNIGHT: Well, let's go to the Soviet Union then too. They had grandfather frost.

Well, it's the truth. You ought to read the book yourself, and maybe you'll change your mind.

SEDER: It's just sad that you have to raise Nazis when you're talking about Christmas and the holiday season. And we all know that Christmas actually, Tannenbaum, it's a German holiday. Bob, I'm really, really disappointed in you.

KNIGHT: I'm sorry to disappoint you, but if you can't understand the force of history...

SEDER: To bring up Nazis, Bob.

KNIGHT: I'm not calling you a Nazi.

SEDER: Oh, who you calling Nazi? Who are you calling a Nazi, sir?

KNIGHT: I'm not.

"Finally, a WASP riot.."

Oh Jeebus.


I've always hated people who dish it out but imagine that they shouldn't have to take it.

Know Your Audience

I certainly appreciate MSNBC's massive blog advertising buy, but they seem to have missed the opportunity to make use of the targeted advertising that blogads allows. Liberals watch MSNBC for three main reasons. First, it's frequently a better place to get actual news than CNN. Second, Keith Olbermann. Third, there are some who are addicted to those occasional moments when Tweety sounds a bit reasonable. The purpose of MSNBC's ad buy is to get people to actually watch the network, not to drive traffic to their site. If they were smarter they'd use the ad space to remind people why the shold watch Olbermann, or let us know that Tweety is letting one of his occasional liberal guests on to have a say. On conservative blogs they'd have ads talking up the Mayor of Looneyville's show. Leave the neon tits to the sex blogs.

Two Missions

So last week the preznit told us we were fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here.

This week he's telling us that we're there to spread Democracy.

Open Thread

Threads aren't just cute like everybody supposes.



BREAKING NEWS U.S. Supreme Court to review Republican-friendly Texas congressional map engineered by Rep. Tom DeLay.

Not optimistic, really. In fact I imagine if Strip Search "one person one vote is for suckers" Sammy is on the Court then it'll be a good chance to eviscerate the Voting Rights Act.

Dark Clouds

The preznit is going to speak soon about 7 blocks from chez Atrios. They've really been working their pals in the infotainment business for this one. CNN is showing Air Force One footage of his journey to the speech and NBC News has promised coverage of the preznit's entire speechday on their broadcast tonight.

Open Thread

Wish I could thread.

Open Thread

A thread with family and friends. That sure as hell wasn't in the brochure.


Laura Ingraham tries to argue that journalists are reporting the bad new in Iraq because they're only in the green zone, unlike the rest of the country where things are peachy.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Open Thread

I don't care what time it is, unlock his cell, unstrap him, and bring him to the thread!

Spare Us the Pieties


"Competence Hearing"

Wow. Just wow.

We're All Tivo Now

Yes non-Tivo owners hate my Tivo posts. But, anyway, congrats to Rocketboom for getting a Tivo distribution deal which might actually make some money for them.

AMANDA CONGDON is a big star on really small screens - like the 4½- inch window she appears in on computer monitors every weekday morning or the 2½ inches she has to work with on the new video iPod. Ms. Congdon, you see, is the anchor of a daily, three-minute, mock TV news report shot on a camcorder, edited on a laptop and posted on a blog called Rocketboom, which now reaches more than 100,000 fans a day.


In case you're wondering, it has occurred to Mr. Baron and Ms. Congdon that they just might be sitting on a gold mine. At a cost of about $20 an episode, they reach an audience that some days is roughly comparable in size to that of, say, CNN's late, unlamented "Crossfire" political debate show. They have no background in business, but Jeff Jarvis, who tracks developments in technology and culture on his blog, (and who has served as a consultant to The New York Times on Web matters), pointed out to them that they might be able to charge $8,000 for an interactive ad at the end of the show, which would bring in about $2 million annually.

The financial opportunity here has occurred to others, too. TiVo, which can now be used to watch Web video on home television sets, just signed a deal to list Rocketboom in the TiVo directory - making it as easy to record as conventional television programs like "60 Minutes" and "Monday Night Football." Giving up no creative control, Ms. Congdon and Mr. Baron will get 50 percent of the revenue from ads sold by TiVo to appear before and after their newscast, and their show will gain access to more than 300,000 TV sets connected to those new TiVo boxes

Tivo isn't quite there yet, but they're half a step away from having a system in place such that anyone can put video content directly on your TV set, if you want it to be, over the internet. They've added support for audio podcasting, and all they need to do is allow video too (and, to be a bit more practical, allow for some formats other than MPEG-2 to be used). Then, suddenly, anyone will be able to produce video, put it up on a server somewhere, and have people watch it on their TVs. Again, they're not there yet, but a system could easily be implemented such that all you have to do is click on a link and it'll get downloaded to your Tivo automatically, soon if not quite immediately, or of course let you subscribe to a regular feed as you can a podcast. You could, perhaps, subscribe to a Crooks and Liars feed and have all the clips just sitting there waiting for you when you got home. Of course, that might hurt John's traffic/revenue model but Tivo could also put into place a generalized revenue sharing program which could automatically wrap clips with ads, if the video author wanted.

The rumored Apple Tivo killer, if it's real, might get there first.

...and, via ZatzNotFunny, they're obviously thinking along those lines.

Open Thread

She does pretty well with threads from hell.

Vivak Roundup



Greg Mitchell.

Luskin - Big Liar

While there isn't all that much that is enlightening in Novak's piece what we do learn is that Luskin has been less than forthcoming with the press. Before this we were never entirely sure what Luskin knew when. That is, when he declared that "If Matt Cooper is going to jail to protect a source it's not Karl he's protecting" there was some possibility that his client had just been less than forthcoming to him.

However now we know that sometime between January and May Viveca Novak told him that Rove was Matt Cooper's source, so he knew.

Luskin's not a journalist, he's an attorney, and he's free to lie to the press on behalf of his client. But there have been numerous articles which have been based on information from a source who is most likely Luskin so journalists should be taking what he says with a few grains of salt.


Frist, still big liar.


Viveca Novak's tale us up now. I'm not sure there's anything that enlightening in it, but she sure did screw up big time.


Oh fucking hell.

Kafka's America

We just live in in it.

Open Thread

She does pretty well with threads from hell.

Open Thread

We saved the thread. I say we have to party.