Saturday, March 18, 2006

Torture Yoo

I'm sure Berkeley is so proud.

Digby Speak

Everybody Listen.

Fiscal Trainwreck

I actually don't think Josh is right. While the Bush administration has certainly not been good for the nation's balance sheet it actually isn't too late to fix the damage. For a variety of reasons the worst impacts of the Bush tax cuts for the rich won't really hit for a couple more years.

Of course, Fred Hiatt's Washington will be upset about the deficit, but much more upset about any sensible plan to fix the problem by nudging up the top marginal tax rates by a couple of points. This will make it difficult for genuine grownups to be elected.

Wanker of the Day or Tomorrow

I can't remember if somebody already got it today.

Either way...

Lord Saletan!


Here there be pirates!

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

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Ho Ho Ho

Fred Hiatt goes war whoring again.

This all just so stupid. Factual errors aside the entire issue is just idiotic. If it's the policy of the Iranian government to support the insurgency in Iraq, or take sides in the civil war, that would be an issue. Otherwise talk about "Iran doing x" is utterly misleading.

The morons who rule us.


This interview with Michael Gordon is interesting. I find it fascinating that journalists don't seem to be concerned with the impact of the stories they write and how they play into the larger narrative. Scroll down to where they start talking about aluminum tubes.

Wanker of the Day

Andy Warren.

Jeff Goldstein Explained


Abrahams, who has a vast knowledge of improbable scientific literature, compares Gier's work to that of two Cornell scientists who showed that one attribute of extreme incompetence is "that the person so afflicted is incapable of knowing that he is incompetent." The study, titled "Unskilled and Unaware of It," demonstrated that people who scored, on average, at the 12th percentile in tests of humor, grammar and logic assessed themselves to be, on average, at the 62nd percentile. Incompetence at the extreme is a double-whammy, the authors declare: "Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it."

Sorry, I'd Rather Drink Bleach

Rub hot peppers into my eyes, roll around naked in glass shards, etc...

Lions and Tigers and Group Sex Oh My!

I always have to chuckle a bit when I see Jennifer Roback Morse's name pop up because I was familiar with her work as an economist before she turned into a professional prude. Apparently before her professional prudery kicked in her life was more interesting than mine.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Friday, March 17, 2006


What is the point?

This is just the key thing and it drives me crazy. It drives me crazy that people don't already understand it. It drives me crazy that apparently I'm incapable of explaining it. It drives me crazy that it isn't obvious.

Fresh Thread

Try not to shoot anybody in the face, unless they're made of plastic.


Time's Michael Ware returned to the US just long enough to share this with us:

I and some other journalists had lunch with Senator Joe Lieberman the other day and we listened to him talking about Iraq. Either Senator Lieberman is so divorced from reality that he's completely lost the plot or he knows he's spinning a line. Because one of my colleagues turned to me in the middle of this lunch and said he's not talking about any country I've ever been to and yet he was talking about Iraq, the very country where we were sitting.

A couple of months later he tells us:

've spent the last three years immersed in this conflict, but after only two months away I'm amazed at how quickly this war has mutated into something even worse than it was before. We're now seeing a sectarian element nothing like we've previously seen. Even ordinary families, people who are in no way combatants are suddenly talking about fellow Iraqis in terms of "us" and "them."


Saddam's trial is nothing but a distraction. To the Iraqis, there's no question of Saddam's guilt, or of the final outcome of the judicial process — Saddam will die. The question for them is, why is it taking so long and why is he being given a platform? For whose benefit is this trial being run? For Western domestic consumption; it's for the international community. It's not the healing or reconciliation process for Iraqis some might like to make it out to be. Saddam has been the dominant figure in the courtroom and the political winner.

Warrantless Physical Searches

According to Countdown, US News and World Report will tell us tomorrow that Bush administration lawyers (Torture Yoo and Abu Gonzales presumably) after 9/11 made the case that Bush had the power to engage in warrantless physical searches of terrorism suspects on domestic soil.

Cue wingers screeching Clinton/Aldrich Ames. I actually don't agree with what Clinton did with Aldrich Ames, but it nonetheless isn't the same thing as at the time the FISA law had no provision for dealing with physical searches. After the FISA law as amended the Clinton administration didn't argue they could violate the law.

New Who

The new Doctor Who premiers for non-bit torrent savvy Americans on the Sci-Fi channel at 9. It's a fun show which manages to capture much of the essence of the original series while also updating it in mostly sensible ways. It'll probably be a bit alien for general American audiences, as it's a kind of show we don't have a lot of, a "family show" which is genuinely designed to appeal to the whole family, and not something for the kiddies that the adults have to suffer through.

Wagging the Dog


More Zombie Facts

I updated the post below. I really don't understand the argument, frankly.

Only on Fox

Hilariously weird.

Great Moments In Cable News

For real for once.


Zombie facts.

Outside of the blogosphere, I'm not aware of any media institution that, qua that institution, raises money for a political party or candidates.

Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post:

The sad news is that there is no cure. But there is hope. There are many fine researchers seeking that cure. Your donation to the BDS Foundation, no matter how small, can help. Mailing address: Republican National Committee, Washington, D.C., Attention: psychiatric department. Just make sure your amount does not exceed $2,000 ($4,000 for a married couple).

Sean Hannity, Hannity Radio:

HANNITY: Not only that. Just don't be a phony about it. If you're gonna run, say, "Yeah, I'm planning on running. I'm thinking of running." But don't play this cat-and-mouse game and not get away with answering the question. Listen, I'm gonna have to run, but I want people to donate to your campaign. I read [New York Post state editor] Fredric Dicker's column, and you gotta, you know -- I'm gonna give you a check for the maximum that I can give, and I really want other people -- where is, how can people get in touch with you?

PIRRO: It's It's J-E-A-N-I-N-E -- Pirro -- P-I-R-R-O dot-com, and, Sean, thank you so much.

HANNITY: I'll link that to my website,, because I'm gonna tell you right now, it is such a bunch of -- I need people to get to know you. If they know you as well as I do, everybody'll vote for you.

Air America.

While fundraising activities are not a regular feature of "other" media there's nothing in statute or regulation to suggest that telling readers/viewers/listeners to donate to a candidate, party, or cause is something which can nullify the media exemption. In fact, the FEC's basic stand on this was established in 1980 and hasn't ever been overturned. Endorsing and encouraging people to donate is not a problem and shouldn't be considered to be an in-kind contribution as long as the publication doesn't serve as a conduit for the money. Writing "I endorse John Kerry" is no different conceptually from writing "I endorse John Kerry, and here's where you can send the money" or typing "I endorse John Kerry, and here's a link to where you can donate."

Endorsements, issue advocacy, lobbying for causes are all features of our media which include Sean Hannity, The American Prospect (print and online), Howard Stern, Jon Stewart, Fox News, Michael Savage, Lou Dobbs, the New York Post, amateur newsletters, etc.

But aside from that specific issue, the purpose of regulation isn't to regulate for regulation's sake. The purpose isn't to make sure the FEC is monitoring all political activitiy. The purpose of campaign finance regulation and federal election law is to try to minimize the corrupting influence of concentrated money. If we have a space where the corrupting influence of concentrated money has yet to be demonstrated, then the default position should be to stay away.

...Garance sez the American Prospect doesn't endorse candidates, which I didn't really mean to imply, the "features of our media which include" was just meant to list off a bunch of players which comprise our media and not to say all of those entities partake in all the activities listed. But, bad writing on my part. As for lobbying I meant in the colloquial sense of issue advocacy and general activism and not in the sense of actually formally lobbying your member of Congress. I'm not sure what the issue is, though. As she writes media outlets certainly do engage in formal lobbying, including the hiring of professional lobbyists. The fact that they don't do so on all issues doesn't seem to be really relevant. They're allowed to lobby without incurring the wrath of the FEC and they do.

I'm not sure I really understand what the issue is in any case. Certainly a columnist is free to write "If you care about this issue, I suggest you contact your member of Congress, and you can do so using the Capital Switchboard #..." if the guidelines at her paper allow it.

The fact that Krauthammer wrapped his fundraising plea in a joke doesn't mean he wasn't making a fundraising plea. I'm getting confused about these distinctions between individuals and institutions. Blogs are media outlets and people publish stuff. Sometimes they tell people to call their members of Congress, sometimes they suggest people donate money, sometimes they post up pictures of their cats. Kos Media, LLC is the corporate entity, is the website it owns, and it's a medium in which front page diarists, include Markos Moulitsas, write about what they want and also on which anyone can register and self-publish whatever the hell they want. If USA Today founder Al Neuhart suggested in a column that people donate money to a candidate or call their member of Congress that would be fine.

Worst. President. Ever.

Harry Reid:

I really do believe this man will go down as the worst president this country has ever had.

Friday Cat Blogging


Man it's been a shitty year for movies so far.

...On the other hand, this looks like it might be The. Greatest. Movie. Ever. Made. Bar none.

More about it here.

The Paradox of the "Toughs"

We've all said it many times in various ways but Digby revisits the central paradox of all of the people who keep wandering around talking about how tough Democrats need to be:

Yielding submissively to the Republican dominance you profess to be "taking on" is an excellent way to convince people that you can protect them. Great plan. Awesome.

Media Show

Chris Albritton says that Operation Swarmer is basically a stunt.

Media Matters

Paul Waldman explains Media Matters.

Bush Gets a New Speechwriter

From Chris Durang.

His latest play, the musical "Adrift in Macao" was pretty good. He described it as something like "Chris Durang in a good mood" and I think I prefer "Chris Durang in a bad mood" but it was still funny and entertaining.

More Internets

Kos has more on the stupid goo-gooers who don't understand what they're dealing with. I'm struck by the number of people at Kos and elsewhere who just really do not understand the issues at play. It has nothing to do with how much advertising revenue Markos gets. Unless the internet is exempted from the legal definition of "public communication" or other similarly strong safeguards are put into place then sites like Democratic Underground and the Free Republic would have to shut down or reform as political committees. If, as reformers want, state party committees have to start putting a value on posting up a link to a federal canddiate sites then links to candidates or republications of campaign materials would have to be assigned a specific value (how I have no idea). It wouldn't just impact the ability of Markos to make money, it would make it literally impossible for him to run the site as he currently does. It wouldn't just impact "big bloggers" it would potentially impact everyone.


Brzezinski :

The war has proven to be prohibitively costly. American leadership, in all of its dimensions, has been damaged. American morality has been stained – in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. American legitimacy has been undermined – by unilateral decisions. American credibility – particularly the case for the war, has been shattered. Leadership depends on morality, legitimacy, credibility. The economic costs of the war are escalating into hundreds of billions of dollars. More importantly, American casualties are in the thousands, with more than tens of thousands maimed. We are not even counting Iraqi casualties; we prefer not to know what they are.

46 Republicans Vote to Privatize Social Security

Including Rick Santorum.

I don't understand why Democrats have not been hammering this issue more. They won, and then they shut about it. Now they have another chance.

Make Her Spend It All

How fast can Cruella burn through the family fortune?

Charitable Deductions

Assuming Tweety/Kaplan are telling the truth, the questions remains whether Matthews is taking a charitable deduction from his speaking fees. If so, he's still directly profiting from doing these events.

...people are saying that this is a wash, which isn't entirely true depending on how Matthews does his taxes, but on balance it's probably not a big deal in any case. Stupid me.

A Brief Reminder

The crazy extreme left wing organization, Move On, was founded to push the notion that President Bill Clinton should be censured.

Tweety Update

Kaplan now says that all of Tweety's speaking fees went directly to charity and if that wasn't the case he'd be fired.

I'd like a bit more information about this, but I suppose for the moment we'll have to take Kaplan at his word.


The Clear Channel story hit the Inky:

One of the nation's largest billboard companies - and a generous contributor to political campaigns - has rejected a political ad because it didn't like the message. The subject: Money in politics.

The decision this week by Clear Channel Outdoor, the billboard arm of Clear Channel Communications Inc., places Democratic congressional candidate Lois Murphy in the same company as rapper 50 Cent, the Young Conservatives of Pennsylvania, and a labor union taking on Wal-Mart.

In recent months, all have had ads rejected by a billboard company.
According to the Murphy campaign, it tried to rent a Clear Channel billboard in Montgomery County to run an ad demanding that incumbent U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach (R., Pa.) return $30,000 in contributions from the political action committee of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R., Texas).

DeLay is facing trial in Texas on charges of money laundering, and Democrats are making congressional ethics and fund-raising a major issue in this year's campaigns.
Murphy's campaign claims Clear Channel backed out of the billboard deal only after it saw the text:

"Congressman Jim Gerlach, you are part of the problem in Washington. Return Tom DeLay's money."

Murphy's campaign spokesman, Mark Nevins, said that George Kauker, general manager of the company's Philadelphia division, told Murphy's campaign the ad was rejected because "it would make Jim Gerlach mad if he saw it."

In an interview, Kauker declined to discuss his conversation with the Murphy campaign, or why Clear Channel rejected the ad. "That's between me and the client, and I'm not going to discuss it."

He added, "The company policy is that we have the right to reject any copy, and it's at the discretion of the local general manager to facilitate that policy."

Murphy has an excellent chance of winning this race. I've donated to her campaign (and everyone listed at the ActBlue site) and I suggest others do the same. Her district's a tough one because it stretches between two media markets, one of them being the expensive Philly market.


Another man who will never be president.

The Internets

Stoller has a pretty good conceptual explanation of what's going on with the goo-goo groups.

The legal discussions get a bit complex, but basically there are people who think the Daily Kos should be treated differently the or I have no idea why.

No Permanent Bases

This is pretty interesting. Barbara Lee managed to get this amendment passed in the House. It could get stripped out later, but it does demonstrate that Republicans aren't going to go on record supporting a permanent military presence in Iraq. From a press release:

Today, during debate on the to an emergency spending bill for the War in Iraq, the House approved an amendment introduced by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) that will prohibit the use of funds to enter in to basing agreements that would lead to a permanent military presence in Iraq.

The amendment to H.R.4939, the administration's $91 billion supplemental request for Iraq, Afghanistan and Katrina relief, was approved by a voice vote. Lee, who last year introduced H.Con.Res. 197, to make it "the policy of the United States not to enter into any base agreement with the Government of Iraq that would lead to a permanent United States military presence in Iraq," gave the following statement on the House floor:

"This amendment is not about the war, though I offered an alternative to keep us out of Iraq. This amendment is not about bringing our troops home, though I believe we should. This amendment is not about holding the President accountable for misleading us into an unjust and unnecessary war, though we should.

"Mr. Chairman, the amendment we are offering is very simple: it would provide that no funds be used under this bill to enter into military base agreements between the US and Iraq. Stating this will clearly indicate that the U.S. has no intention of making military bases permanent.


Sorry about that. Blogger broke last night and I went to bed.

We're back now, I think.

Try not to shoot anybody in the face.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Shorter Tom Friedman

Sadly, it appears that I'm insane.

Behind the wall, but who cares.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Al Qaeda is In NTodd's Pants

This is so stupid.

Remembering the Warbloggers

More from the idiots that no one should ever listen to again.

I guess it's one of those things that only oldtimers like myself remember, but the blogging culture we understand know began under the moniker of "Warbloggers." Blogging had been around for awhile, but it wasn't until after 9/11 that the subculture of media/politics blogging was really established and it began with a group of self-styled "warbloggers."

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

The World He Walks In

In Tweety's world, everyone luvs Bush.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Wanker of the Day

Almost forgot. What the hell, Andrew Sullivan.

...oh, and I keep forgetting about the Best. Joe. Lieberman. Quote. Ever.

Howard Dean has climbed into his own spider hole of denial if he believes that the capture of Saddam Hussein has not made America safer.

Port Security

Republicans still against it. Democrats have been on this issue for years, though that won't stop clueless bobbleheads from saying things like "no one's been talking about port security..."

Cloak of Invulnerability

If you wrap what you say in religion our media will give you nothing but deference.


Poor Lieberman keeps trying to tell everyone that Lamont is just a big angry meanie. Hilarious.

U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman took issue Thursday with the tone of his Democratic opponent's campaign.

Ned Lamont formally announced Monday that he will oppose Lieberman for the party's nomination, becoming Lieberman's first Democratic challenger since he first won election to the Senate in 1988.

Lamont has blasted Lieberman for his support of the Iraq war, calling him, "Republican Light." During his kickoff speech said that unlike the senator, he would never be called, "Bush's favorite Democrat."

"This shouldn't be about one issue or about name calling ... angry name calling," Lieberman told the Associated Press Thursday. "I don't think the public wants that."

Lamont denies he is being negative, noting he spent a lot of time talking about issues such as education and health care in his announcement speech.

"I called it an old-fashioned kitchen table debate within the Democratic family," the Greenwich, Conn. businessman said. "I thought it was a great kickoff."

As the Lamont blog points out, Lieberman does seem a wee bit concerned about this race.


Eric Brewer has fun with Scotty.

Reviewing Movies I Haven't Seen

Not really, but I've been rather puzzled by the concerned reactions to V for Vendetta. The two basic ones seem to be "it glorifies terrorism!" and "it makes references to the Bush administration which means it's really about the evil Bush administration!"

The first one is just silly. The world of the comic book, and presumably the movie, is a genuine fascist totalitarian state. I'm reasonably sure that the violent overthrow of tyrannical governments is something we're usually okay with. I mean, we kept encouraging Iraqis to do just that. I seem to remember something in our own history too. The fact that the fascist state evolved from the country we know as the United Kingdom doesn't change the fact that it is indeed a fascist tyranny.

As for the references to contemporary events in the film, that's a way to provide a frame that the audience can understand. Whether the filmmakers intend it to be part cautionary tale or not, if you do a movie about the "near future" it certainly makes sense to ground it its past, or our present. The original book is similarly grounded in the author's view of then-contemporary England.

Anyway, I haven't actually seen the movie, but if a movie about a fascist tyranny has people freaking out because they view it as a critique of the Bush administration I think that says more about their own view of the administration than the filmmakers'.

Oh, and David Denby's smack on Moore for being concerned at the time about quarantining AIDS patients is ridiculous. Discussion of quarantining AIDS patients was pretty standard fare in the mid-1980s, and though it never went anywhere as a matter of policy in the US, LaRouche did get quarantine proposals onto the California ballot twice. Yes it was LaRouche, and yes they were defeated, but he still managed to get the signatures to get them on the ballot.

And, from the December 20, 1985 New York Times:

A majority of Americans favor the quarantine of AIDS patients, and some would embrace measures as drastic as using tattoos to mark those with the deadly disorder, according to a poll published today.

The Los Angeles Times Poll found that 51 percent of the respondents supported a quarantine of acquired immune deficiency syndrome patients, 48 percent would approve of identity cards for those who have taken tests indicating the presence of AIDS antibodies and 15 percent supported tattooing those with AIDS.

In the mid-80s there was plenty of reason to be concerned that such measures could be taken. From a Nov. 4, 1985 CSM article:

Also on Wednesday, Representative Dannemeyer introduced five bills in Congress. They would: make it a felony for an individual from a high-risk group to donate blood; prohibit anyone with AIDS from working as a health-care professional in institutions receiving federal funds; deny federal funds to cities that do not close bathhouses frequented by homosexuals; keep children with AIDS from attending public schools; and allow health-care workers to wear special protective clothing around AIDS patients without interference from hospital officials.


For Rep. Don Gilmore, a Republican state representative in Ohio, public pressure prompted him to introduce an AIDS-quarantine bill.

''I'm shocked, I'm getting support from all over the US,'' he says of his proposal that all the AIDS victims in Ohio be quarantined in their homes. He says the bill has strong support among his colleagues in the legislature. He does not expect it to pass, however, because, he predicts, state health authorities will adopt other AIDS-related measures to syphon support from the bill.

Spy Plane

John wants a list of Bush stupidities. I want to take us all the way back to the beginning when a spy plane was downed in China. The crew was held for weeks and Bush's biggest concern was whether or not they had Bibles. The Chinese returned the plane itself in crates months later, presumably getting a nice look at whatever tech goodies were in there, after Bush got down on his knees and begged forgiveness. At the time the spin from the wingers was that even though we apologized we didn't super duper apologize, so it was okay.

BoBo's World

BoBo edition.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

In on the Con

The difference between Republicans who still support Bush and the ones who no longer do is that the ones who still support Bush still imagine that they are in on the con.



How have I managed to, until now, be utterly unaware that we had a senator named Crapo.

Air War

I guess we're bringing it on.

The World According to Bush Supporters

Authoritarian cultist bedwetters.

Life Among the Scotus


Scalia decried his own court's recent overturning of a state anti-sodomy law, joking that he personally believes "sexual orgies eliminate tension and ought to be encouraged," but said a panel of judges is not inherently qualified to determine the morality of such behavior.


Like Yglesias, I miss the good old days when it was all social security all the time. It's a largely unacknowledged success of the liberal blogosphere, but I'm fairly convinced that collectively we killed that sucker.

I also miss the Washington Post editorials telling us that the universe was going to implode if we didn't gut social security NOW.

Lawyer Up

What they want:

Two of the Web’s most famous blogs, the liberal Daily Kos and the conservative RedState, have trumpeted the Hensarling bill since it failed on the suspensions calendar during a November vote, falling short of the two-thirds majority needed for passage but snagging more than half of the House. The bloggers of Daily Kos, RedState and other online forums argue that the Allen-Bass alternative, which would provide targeted exceptions from the law for individuals and some websites, would force them to register as political committees.

Allen did not dispute that possibility. He noted that his bill would allow websites unrestricted operations as long as their annual expenditures did not exceed $10,000.

“They might well have to file,” Allen said of blogs as large as Daily Kos, “but that’s the point. If the Internet becomes more important, the types of financial abuses that occurred within the campaign-finance system in general” are more prone to occurring.

No one can explain why Markos should be treated differently than the National Review Online,, Fox News, Air America, etc... but they really really want to nonetheless.

Idiots, as are plenty of commenters at kos who seem to think the issue is that since Kos makes money from his site he needs to be regulated by the FEC.

So Simple the Idiots at the Note Can Understand?

Probably not, but Senator Harkin gives it a try anyway:

We have a President who likes to break things. He has broken the federal budget, running up $3 trillion in new debt. He has broken the Geneva Conventions, giving the green light to torture. He has repeatedly broken promises – and broken faith – with the American people. And now, worst of all, he has broken the law.

In brazen violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), he ordered the National Security Agency to conduct warrantless wiretaps of American citizens. And, despite getting caught red-handed, he refuses to stop.

Let's be clear: No American – and that must include the President – is above the law. And if we fail to hold Bush to account, then he will be confirmed in his conviction that he can pick and choose among the laws he wants to obey. This is profoundly dangerous to our democracy.

So it is time for Congress to stand up and say enough! That's why, this week, Senator Russ Feingold proposed a resolution to censure George W. Bush for breaking the FISA law. And that's why I fully support this resolution of censure.

Nothing is more important to me than the security of our country. Of course, we need to be listening to the terrorists' conversations. And sometimes there is not time to get a warrant. That's why the FISA law allows the President, when necessary, to wiretap first, and obtain a warrant afterward. But that's not acceptable to this above-the-law President. He rejects the idea that he should have to obtain a warrant before or after wiretapping.

We have an out-of-control President whose arrogant and, now, illegal behavior is running our country into the ditch. It's time to rein him in. And a fine place to start is by passing this resolution of censure. I hope that Senator Feingold's measure will be brought to the floor. And when it is, I will proudly vote yes.

When Conservatives Give Advice

Uh, the smart thing to do is, you know, do the opposite?

Missouri House GOP Votes to Ban Birth Control From County Clinics

They're serious, you see.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Dumb Ideas

Maybe Feingold's censure resolution was a dumb idea. Maybe Senator Reid had a superior judo move planned and Feingold derailed it. Maybe the universe would be improved if Feingold hadn't chosen such a strategy. Maybe there were better ways to approach this basic issue.

I don't know. I have no idea. But I do know that whether or not Feingold's plan was a dumb one, a dumber plan was to run from it once he did it.

It's fair to think that Feingold had a dumb idea. I don't agree, but it's a reasonable position and I don't have all of the information necessary to really make a judgment.

But the question isn't whether Feingold made a dumb move. The question is given the move that Feingold made what should the Dems do? He made the move. They have to respond.

And running is a dumb response.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Whore vs. Whore

Who will win?

Quote of the Day

Former Senator Nickles:

He [Bush] inherited 9/11.

Katie H

Apparently Cruella Harris's big announcement was that she's going to dump the family fortune into the race.

Good for her.

Reducing Abortion

I don't have a link and I won't quote it in full, but Reid and Clinton are offering an amendment to the Budget Resolution which presumably would do all the things the Saletanian "abortion is icky" crowd thinks is vital for recapturing the center in the abortion debate even though we've pretty much got it captured. Bullet points:

Increase funding for the National Family Planning Program (Title X);
Pass the Equity in Prescription Insurance and Contraceptive Coverage (EPICC) bill so we may end insurance discrimination against women;
Improve awareness and understanding of emergency contraception; and
Improve teen pregnancy prevention programs.

So, here's the olive branch thingy we're always supposed to be doing to appeal to the mythical "don't like abortion but aren't anti-sex" voting bloc. Well, they're offering it. The press will ignore it. The Republicans will reject it because in case anyone hasn't noticed they're also anti-contraception and radically anti-"emergency contraception" and aren't actually interested in reducing unwanted pregnancies. And, a few months from now, the abortion is icky crowd will be back to hectoring us about how we need to be focusing on reducing abortions because that is the way to find common ground with the anti-choicers...

A Job for Howie

Someone needs to clear up whether Matthews is or isn't accepting fat speaking gigs. Either Think Progress has bad information or Kaplan and/or Matthews are full of shit.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Fresh Thread

Try not to shoot anybody in the face.

Remember the Polyanna Pundits

Inspired by Cal Thomas, who wrote:

All of the printed and voiced prophecies should be saved in an archive. When these false prophets again appear, they can be reminded of the error of their previous ways and at least be offered an opportunity to recant and repent. Otherwise, they will return to us in another situation where their expertise will be acknowledged, or taken for granted, but their credibility will be lacking.

FAIR takes a look back at what our elite opinionmakers thought of Iraq.

More Pew

There's a lot that's interesting and funny in the full results.

Currently, 48% use a negative word to describe Bush compared with just 28% who use a positive term, and 10% who use neutral language.

The changing impressions of the president can best be viewed by tracking over time how often words come up in these top-of-the-mind associations. Until now, the most frequently offered word to describe the president was "honest," but this comes up far less often today than in the past. Other positive traits such as "integrity" are also cited less, and virtually no respondent used superlatives such as "excellent" or "great" ­ terms that came up fairly often in previous surveys.

The single word most frequently associated with George W. Bush today is "incompetent,"and close behind are two other increasingly mentioned descriptors: "idiot" and "liar." All three are mentioned far more often today than a year ago.

It's enough to give our press corps the vapors.



Several recent polls, including the AP-Ipsos poll, have found Bush's approval ratings in the 30s. The Pew poll found Bush's job approval at 33 percent, the lowest ever in that poll.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Matthews' Patrons

Will Bunch has more.

I wonder if Rick Kaplan will clear this one up.

Hijinks Ensue

If I were a TV producer I'd make a show in which Alan Shore becomes a senator through a bizarre series of events. Denny Crane would be his press secretary, and wacky hijinks would ensue. Get David Lynch to direct.




Washington Post just makes stuff up.

Harkin Cosponsors Censure Resolution

Good for him.


Think Progress confirms Matthews got speaking fees. MSNBC prez denies it.

Light'Em Up

Please take a moment to call your Rep. about this FEC/internet issue.

I know it doesn't seem like the most important issue in the world, but it's a tremendous threat to the legal existence of sites like this.

Washing the Gay Away

Oh Jeebus.

Breeding us Out of Existence

While I do tend to subscribe to Gilbert and Sullivan's line that:

I often think it's comical
How Nature always does contrive
That every boy and every gal
That’s born into the world alive
Is either a little Liberal
Or else a little Conservative!

I'm not actually convinced that it's a trait which is passed from parent to children.

The Elevation of the Boy King

The Republican establishment in Washington gave their boy king his power and now they think they retake control?

hah. They ceded what control they have to the new generation, led by the idiot from Texas.

HR 1606

Kos explains what's going on.

While they haven't shown up yet in that post I'm always surprised at the number of Kos commenters who seem to think it's a good idea for the Daily Kos to be subject to FEC regulation.

Crazy Curt

I can't believe I get to be ruled by these idiots in Pennsylvania.

WASHINGTON - Late one night in June, Rep. Curt Weldon (R., Pa.) stood up in a largely empty House chamber and made an incendiary charge.

With dramatic rhetorical flourish, he said that a secret military intelligence program called Able Danger fingered Mohamed Atta and two other al-Qaeda hijackers before the 9/11 attacks - and that the government had failed to act.

"Not only did our military identify the Mohamed Atta cell, our military made a recommendation in September of 2000 to bring in the FBI to take out the cell of Mohamed Atta," he said.

Within days of the attacks, he said, he gave the same information - a pre-9/11 chart with Atta's name - to Stephen Hadley, then deputy national security adviser, to show how the government dropped the ball.

But Weldon's story, which unleashed a wave of national media attention as well as probes and congressional hearings, is unraveling.

He now says that he's not sure the chart had a picture of Atta, as he has sometimes maintained, and that he has been relying on the memory of an intelligence analyst who helped produce it.

Meanwhile, other key players in the story, including Hadley, contradict Weldon, saying they never saw Atta's picture. Moreover, several government investigations have failed to find any documentation so far that the program had identified hijackers before the attacks, and Weldon has begun to allow that there are parts of his story that may not be proven.

Yet even as his story triggers more and more questions, Weldon is making explosive new allegations. He says a high-level source has told him that terrorist leader Osama bin Laden has died in Iran, where he has been in hiding.

Yes, because Persian Iran is the logical place for bin Laden to be.

Please, 7th district voters, get rid of this idiot:

Facing what could become an unexpectedly competitive bid for reelection, Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) promised to unleash “the Army of Curt” against Joe Sestak, a retired vice admiral in the U.S. Navy and his likely opponent in the November midterm elections.

Asked about his opponent last week, Weldon told reporters, “We’ll run the most aggressive campaign in 20 years. [Just] because you have a couple of stars does not mean you should come in [to the race]. ... But I respect him.”

Sestak has built a solid campaign organization since retiring from the Navy on Jan. 1. After announcing he would run for Congress last month, he persuaded two Democrats to clear the field for him, raised $150,000 in less than a month and hired Barry Sweitzer, a well-known Democratic media consultant in Philadelphia who works for Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D).

Informed of Weldon’s comments, Sestak said, “We believe voters will prefer a career naval officer to a career politician,” adding that during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan he commanded 30 ships and 15,000 sailors that were part of the George Washington Carrier Battle Group.

Wankers of the Day

Clear Channel.

Short Ride

Just a brief reminder of what a truly horrible person Lieberman is.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

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From Boehlert.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Ed Helms

Daily Show:

I got mugged the other day... and this bum was beating me with a bottle. And I said, you know what? I'm going to sit back and wait for him to accidentally hit himself with the bottle. Sure enough, he did! I mean, I was unconscious, but I think I won that battle.

All About the Clevelands


The counterfeit money looked good, but there was one flaw. There's no such thing as a one billion dollar bill.

U.S. Customs agents in California said on Tuesday they had found 250 bogus billion dollar bills while investigating a man charged with currency smuggling.

Tekle Zigetta, 45, pleaded guilty to three federal counts of trying to bring cash, phony bills and a fake $100,000 gold certificate into the United States in January.

Further investigation led agents to a West Hollywood apartment where they found the stash of yellowing and wrinkled one billion dollar bills with an issue date of 1934 and bearing a picture of President Grover Cleveland.

Uh, Donnie?

The "liberals" who praise McCain are not the same liberals who condemn Lieberman.

Am I running a kindergarten class here?

Feinstein Proposes Censure Resolution

Good for her.

And, yes, there's a sad and obvious punchline.

Liberals Drink

Back from Drinking Liberally. Regulars such as noz, oolius, chris, booman, spin dentist, will, and others who probably never even tell me they have blogs were there.

Also, the next Congressman from PA-08, Patrick Murphy, dropped by briefly. As did Ann Dicker, primary candidate for 175th PA State House rep.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

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Lamont tops $100K in online donations.

When Fed Chairmen Go Wild

Uh, this is a rather odd news report:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Government policies aimed at reducing global trade imbalanc productivity growth, and deep financial markets,'' he said.

Bernanke said that while this had increased U.S. indebtedness, U.S. external debt was still ``within international and historical norms'' relative to U.S. income and s impending demographic changes fuel rapid increases in entitlement spending. By holding down the growth of national saving and real capital accumulation, the prospective increase in the budget deficit will place at risk future living sterol are doubled from birth and untreated it leads to coronary heart disease early in life. Early diagnosis and treatment is thus important."

One feature of untreated HeFH is that cholesterol is deposited not only in the arteries tendon should have his or her cholesterol measured.

SOURCE: Annals of Rheumatic Disease, March 2006.

(via billycreek)

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Weaky, Whiny, Pathetic Republicans

Another whiny ass titty baby.

Stay Katherine Stay

Let's hope Corner rumors are true:

Looks like the widespread expectation that Katherine Harris will announce this week that she is abandoning her Florida Senate race against Bill Nelson is wrong. The latest? Rep. Harris is planning on resigning from the House to underscore her determination to knock off Nelson in a race she has no intention of quitting.


I know this stuff isn't very exciting, but some of the people lining up behind alternative proposals are on the record as saying sites like the Daily Kos need to be regulated as political action committees.

I like to imagine the goo-goo people are on the side of angels, if occasionally misguided, but through this long process I've seen enough to make me pretty suspicious.

The FEC may implement rules on Thursday which could kill blogging as we know it. Or not. No one knows what they've proposed.

The Grasshopper, The Ants, and the Blogger

A fable.


How many damn pony pictures am I going to have to post before the rest of the Democrats understand that Bush is an unpopular president running a horrible unpopular war.

I’m amazed at Democrats, cowering with this president’s numbers so low. The administration just has to raise the specter of the war and the Democrats run and hide…too many Democrats are going to do the same thing they did in 2000 and 2004. In the face of this, they’ll say we’d better just focus on domestic issues…[Democrats shouldn’t] cower to the argument, that whatever you do, if you question administration, you’re helping the terrorists.

Future of a Iraq Project

Russ Kick FOIA'd the ignored State Department Iraq plans. Have at them.

Support the Troops

Bush style.

Still at 34

Second CBS poll in a row has Bush at 34% (pdf).

Another damn pony for Holden who noticed the poll.

HR 1606

I urge all good members of Congress to support HR 1606. Adam explains what's wrong with the alternative.

As we've stated before, we support HR 1606. It has been through hearings and fully considered in Committee, as well as in an earlier floor debate, and it is ready to pass. Its passage would be a strong signal to the FEC, which otherwise will be voting this Thursday on its regulations for the Internet -- which no one has seen yet.

Our problem with the CDT bill isn't so much what it does as what it accepts -- it accepts as its fundamental premise that citizen activity on the Internet ought to be regulated, and it's just a question of tinkering with the limits to afford optimal protection.

We're not so sure yet. Here's one problem: part of the CDT proposal regulates the use of state party websites, which can be financed with soft money, to promote federal candidates. Well, take a look at the Arizona Republican Party website. It's got a picture in the center attacking Jim Pederson, the Democratic nominee for the U.S. Senate. Under the CDT proposal, the FEC's going to have to come up with a formula to determine how much that picture's worth as a percentage of the whole website, because that portion of the website (and other pages devoted to the U.S. Senate race) will have to be paid using only federal "hard" dollars. How much is a link to John McCain's campaign site worth? The FEC would have to figure that out.

It's a path that's best left avoided. Once you start determining that links and jpegs have an in-kind value, then it's only a matter of time before such regulation starts creeping into this space as well. How much is it "worth" for a federal candidate to post a diary here while a state party advertises on the site?

We are not saying that the CDT Proposal is a bad one. Adding the media exception to the Online Freedom of Speech Act would be a great idea, and can be done right now. However, the proposal as a whole needs to be fully considered and studied in Committee to understand its implications before it can be voted on.

On Religion and Politics

Since I'm now getting angry emails about things I've never even said let's clear a few things up.

I'm not hostile to religion. I don't much care about religion. I'm not much interested in it. This isn't strange. Most people aren't much interested in religion other than their own, if that.

I'm not sick of religious people. I think it's great that they're free to believe and practice their religion in any way they want. I'd like to keep it that way.

I am sick of people who keep claiming that the Democratic party is hostile to religious people and controlled by secular liberals who are hostile to religion. If by "Democratic party" you mean "some people who post anonymous comments on the internet" you may have a point. Otherwise, the idea is ludicrous.

Do the Democrats have a perception problem about religion? Sure. We have a political party which has been claiming to be God's Own Party for decades. We have a mainstream media which equates Christian with Religious Right most of the time, and news anchors who don't think liberals can be "good Catholics." We also have some left-leaning Christians who seem to think this perception problem is due to hostility to religion by secular liberals who (see below) have no public presence. I don't understand this. People who perpetuate right wing talking points about Democrats always piss me off especially when they have no basis.

Secularism has essentially no representation in our media or politics. I'm sure there are secular politicians and media types, but few discuss it. No one gets on tv or writes newspaper columns or in any way participates in our contemporary mainstream political discourse and praises secularism or atheism or anything similar, and certainly not in a way which denigrates religious beliefs generally. Advocates for the separation of church and state are not advocating secularism, aside from government secularism, they're simply trying to defend freedom of religion.

Can Democrats appeal to evangelical voters by doing X? Sure, and they can appeal to [insert voting bloc here] by doing Y. The question is can they do so without alienating lots of other people or compromising their principles. Maybe they can. I have no idea. But that's politics. I'm happy to hear about ways to reach out to religious voters, though not being a politician it isn't actually my job to do so. If people vote Republican because they perceive some guy on the internet with no actual official relation to the Democratic party in any way is insufficiently deferential to their religious beliefs then I'm really not sure what I can do about that. I don't really require people to be deferential to my beliefs.

Moderate/swing/independent voters respond to personal charisma and the perception that somebody "knows what they stand for." You know, spine, backbone, etc. I'm sure some genuinely religious politicians can use their faith to help send this message. There are lots of other politicians who can find other ways to do so.

From a policy perspective I'm personally not really interested in compromising on sex or reproductive rights in order to get votes. As with every other issue of course messaging can be improved, though I'd rather focus on getting the "pro-choice for me but not for thee" crowd to understand that they are, in fact, pro-choice whether they know it or not rather than talking about how icky abortion is. I don't know why the public face of religion in this country is concerned with almost nothing but sex, but I'm not really sure those people can be reached.

As with Democrats who constantly fret that they aren't seen as "tough" enough, people who fret that Democrats are not "religious" enough simply reinforce the perception without improving it. Want to be seen as tough? Stop being a WATB and start being tough. Want to make the religious left a visible force in this country? Go on TV and or write columns or whatever which, instead of whining about how awful everyone else on the left is on religion, reassert the public face of the religious left in this country.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

I Have No Idea

What my "poorly considered sophomoric theology" is but I'm glad we all agree that mocking religious beliefs is an acceptable thing to do.

(p.s. Sorry, wasn't clear, no I'm not the "Duncan" he's referring to.)

Adele Fergusen Finds a Pony

And the General writes a letter.

Because the Most Important Thing Is Whether Bush is Happy With What We Call It

So this isn't a civil war:

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Police in the past 24 hours have found the bodies of at least 85 people killed by execution-style shootings -- a gruesome wave of apparent sectarian reprisal slayings, officials said Tuesday.

The dead included at least 27 bodies stacked in a mass grave in an eastern Shiite neighborhood of Baghdad.

Open Thread

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Open Thread

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Evil Twin Theory

A couple people sent this in earlier but I didn't have a chance to listen to it. Certainly a novel defense, unless you live in Port Charles.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Monday, March 13, 2006


It's news if the GOP says it's news.

Flash Game, Text Adventure, Choose Your Own Adventure Book

This would work for any of them.

We'll try the text adventure version.

It is dark.

>>Light light.

The light is already on. It is dark.

>>Light light.

The light is already on. It is dark. You hear the sound of a door opening.

>>Light light.

The light is already on. It is dark. A voice says "Try to relax."

>> Tell voice "I am blind."

"I am blind."

The voice responds "Your eyes are swollen shut because of the bruises. Do you remember what happened?"

>>Ask voice "What happened?"

"What happened?"

The voice responds "I am sorry to inform you that you were raped and severely beaten. My name is Dr. Lieberman."

>> Ask Dr. Lieberman "Did I receive emergency contraception?"

Dr. Lieberman responds "This hospital does not provide that because of principled reasons. As long as you do something for what you call "principled reasons" you can do anything you want. Fortunately, you live in Connecticut so another hospital is probably a short ride away. I assume, anyway. Ta-ta.

>> Open eyes.

You manage to open your eyes a little bit. It hurts. You are in a hospital bed wearing a hospital gown.

>> Get purse.

There is no purse in this room.

>> Get wallet.

There is no wallet in this room.

>> Get money.

There is no money in this room.

>> Stand up.

You stand up in the hospital room.

>> Get clothes.

You are wearing your hospital gown. There are no other clothes in this room.

>> Exit hospital.

You exit the hospital wearing your hospital gown. It is snowing.


...for those who have no idea what this is about, you can play the original 1984 Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy text adventure here if you dare.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Unpopular President

Has any elected Democrat uttered that phrase yet? I think I may have heard Dean say it, but anyone else?

Do they even know it?

Republicans were talking about how unpopular Clinton was constantly when his personal approval rating dipped below 50 even as his job approval was in the mid 60s.


Stoller lets off a righteous rant. I've said or written at some point that Lamont can probably count on a million dollars in online donations. That prediction will probably hold as long as Lamont continues to mount a credible campaign. Already he's managed to get way more press than he "deserves," frankly, judged relative to the amount of press relatively unknown (as of yet) primary challengers usually can manage to get from the local media.

No one expects the money to roll in all at once, but remember that early money is always better.

Sag Harbor Circle Jerk

Arianna on Vanity Fair's attempt at Judy rehab.

From the Corrections Desk

Just so we know.

More on Lord Saletan's Wankerness

From Scott Lemieux.

The Internet Caucus

Sam Rosenfeld discusses the McCain issue. One thing which has been left out of the conversation is the internet caucus. A little internet history is in order. Obviously the Free Republic is no longer the primary nexus of online Republicans, but it still has its place. Back before the 2000 election Freeperville's Leader, Jim Robinson, was a hardcore McCainiac. There was a big spat and all the Bushies, including Lucianne and Matt Drudge, fled to Lucianne Goldberg's new place. At the time Lucianne tried to pass it off as a moderates vs. the extremists spat, though Ldotters these days are more batshit crazy and extreme than Freepers, as hard as that is to believe.

Then, of course, Bush won the primaries and Robinson had to retool the place back into Bush worship central. Another round of purging and fleeing, yada yada.

The Freepi themselves hate McCain generally, though I'm not sure where Robinson is on the issue. In any case, as I said, freeperville is not the force it once was, with conservative blogs becoming more relevant and influential.

Still, one important point remains. As David J. reminded me in comments, Matt Drudge cannot stand McCain. That's a big hurdle of McCain to get over. One wonders if he's even aware.

Trivia: Michelle Malkin's onetime freeper handle was Little LuLu.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Bob Somerby Is Not Making This Up

Hard to believe, but apparently true.

It seems that Christmas came early for Maury Elementary of Alexandria, Virginia last year. In the spring of 2005, only 5 of Maury’s 19 third-graders passed the state’s “Reading/Language Arts” test, a passing rate of 27 percent. (Statewide, 77 percent of third-graders passed. We’ll call this test “reading” from this point on.) But yes, Virginia—there is a Santa Claus! Thanks to bizarre statistical manipulations, the state ended up reporting that 17 of Maury’s 19 third-graders had passed—and Maury was soon at the top of the Washington Post’s front page, hailed as “a study in pride, progress” (full links below). How did five out of 19 become seventeen? How did an abysmal passing rate become a source of community “pride?” Simple—according to Alexandria testing director Monte Dawson, an undisclosed number of Maury fourth-graders also were given the third-grade test. When 12 fourth-graders passed the third-grade test, they were added to the third-grade total. We know, we know, it sounds impossible—but no, we’re really not making this up. Indeed, Dawson sent us a lengthy excerpt, apparently from a technical manual, which outlined the absurd procedure. What do you do when a school’s passing rate exceeds 100? The excerpt even explained that!

(tip from Stunt Woman)

Rovian Ratf*ck

If I were McCain I'd be thrilled about this:

Is John McCain a lesbian? Maybe we'll learn the answer from Edward Klein, who insinuated as much about Hillary Clinton in his 2005 biography -- largely a clip-job of hit pieces, reviewers said -- and is apparently hard at work on a poison-pen book about the Arizona senator. According to Crain's New York Business, Klein claims he'll chronicle the Republican presidential front-runner's "sexual infidelity, chronic gambling and anger management." I can hardly wait.

Since Klein discredited himself so badly with his Clinton hack job that even conservatives who will believe literally anything about Clinton distanced themselves from him, this book will serve McCain well. If there's anything that's actually seedy and true in the book it'll be lost in the bullshit and McCain will be inoculated.

Lieberman Supports Rapists' Rights

How low can Joe go.

You know what to do.


Having first decided that Congress is irrelevant, Specter now concludes that the Supreme Court is too.

Nice endorsement there, Philadelphia Inquirer.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

A Conservative News Outlet Bites the Dust

Apparently the market has spoken:

DCRTV has run rumors for the past few months that Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcast Group will shutter its Hunt Valley-based News Central. Now, News Blues confirms that the national news operation, which feeds dozens of Sinclair-owned and operated TV stations, will close at the end of March. The employment status of news anchors like former Fox 5er Morris Jones (left), Jennifer Gladstone, and Alison Kosik, and weather forecasters Kristin Emery, Scott Padgett, Tony Pagnotti, Vytas Reid, Susan Schrack, Lisa Teachman, and James Wieland remains unclear. Sinclair launched its $50 million News Central in 2002. Says NB: "Designed to cut costs by eliminating or greatly reducing the size of existing news departments at Sinclair stations, News Central became the focus of much criticism because it shifted control of news content away from the individual stations and into the hands of Baltimore news managers." However, News Central newscasts produced low ratings and have been dropped by many Sinclair stations. NB adds that Sinclair is "scrambling" to maintain local news broadcasts on its major network-affiliated stations like Baltimore's Fox 45, WBFF, which produces a morning and a 10 PM newscast.....

Oh, and Limbaugh got canned in Baltimore too.

The End of the Joeldrums

Ned Lamont makes it official.

Support his candidacy here.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

New Low

36% in new CNN/Gallup poll.

41% disapproval among conservatives.

16 point lead for Democrats on generic congressional ballot.

Wanker of the Day

Lord Saletan.

Things Still Going Really Well

I can't believe Bush is going to give yet another speech on Iraq.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Attacks around Iraq on Monday claimed five lives and wounded at least 31 people, officials said.

Your Liberal Media

General Electric edition:

There are people I know in the hierarchy of NBC, the company, and GE, the company, who do not like to see the current presidential administration criticized at all.

The thing we need to worry about most is that companies like General Electric will skirt campaign finance laws by exploiting the internet "loophole" and putting up blogs.

Grand Old Police Blotter

Wisconsin edition:

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A former speaker of the Wisconsin Assembly, convicted of using state workers as campaign operatives on the taxpayer's dime and now facing up to 15 years in prison for it, announced Monday he would resign his office next week.

A jury convicted state Rep. Scott Jensen on Saturday of three felony misconduct counts and a misdemeanor for using state workers to run Assembly Republican campaigns on state time and with state resources.

Bush's Campaign Against the Bush Administration

What Yglesias says. This is just stupid.


I was hunting around my archives for something over the weekend and I came across an "amusing" reminder of where our discourse was as we were heading towards Iraq. The name of the author of that reminder was vaguely familiar but I couldn't quite remember why. Today, it clicked. It was Nick Denton of gawker/wonkette/etc... fame.

One could point at the examples of Japan and Germany after the Second World War. But the Muslim world provides its own case study. Ottoman Turkey only began to pay attention to Western science and organization after its first serious military defeats at the hands of Austria and Russia in the 17th and 18th centuries. The US needs to destroy Saddam Hussein's regime because he's a bad man, sure, because he may conceivably be connected with Al-Qaeda, because he's developing weapons of mass destruction, because a friendly Iraq would alter the balance of power in the Middle East, sure, because of all of that. But the US needs to destroy Saddam Hussein's regime mainly because the West needs to humiliate the Arab world, and dispel the Islamic millenial fantasy.

Feingold Speaks

Diary at Kos.

Round 2 - Going Local

Already called the DC offices of your senators? Haven't gotten around to it yet? Either way, take a minute to call their local offices in your state.

Just google your senator's name and you'll find the information.

Greenwald and ReddHedd have more.

Light'Em Up

ReddHedd sez:

Your action steps: call both your Senators first thing in the morning and ask if they support Russ Feingold's censure proposal. If they don't, ask what their position is on the issue -- and why.

The more people we have calling, the more staffers in the offices start to realize that Feingold struck a political chord with a bunch of us in America. And then the more we continue to call, the more that message starts to sink in...and then some. Plus, it forces Senators to go on the record one way or the other, which is useful information for all of us to have.

We're going to keep track of it here on Firedoglake, so once you've called, please report back to us -- either through e-mail or in the comments -- and we'll put up a tracking list of yes, no and no comment. That's it. It's pretty much pain free and you can help us get an idea of which Senators are dodging and weaving. And, frankly, you can help us nudge them again to do their jobs. Thanks in advance for your assistance!

You can find the numbers here.

One things politicians often need is a crowd in place at the right moment. Time to be that crowd.

Call your senators, no matter which party. Get them on the record.


never mind. I swear I clicked through the main site to make sure this wasn't a hoax, but it appears my coffeeless brain missed something.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

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Open Thread

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I'm one of the opinion that any subject can be turned into a funny joke, but it depends on the skill of the joke teller as well as his/her relation to the subject. So, the image of prominent politicians and media types making funnies out of this makes me want to hurl:

Tim Russert, making his first appearance as a new member, decked out in a blue dress and a shiny blond wig as one of the cable news bunnies. But there were also some true clunkers. Singing about torture, subbing "rendition" for "tradition" and borrowing the "Fiddler on the Roof" song was not funny at all. The chumminess of the politicos and the press corps can be cloying.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Does it Ever End?

I'm so sick of this crap. Is there a Republican talking point that our notional allies won't perpetuate without evidence?

The Real McCain

Finally the beginning of an honest conversation about Pander Bear McCain:

So here's what you need to know about John McCain.

He isn't a straight talker. His flip-flopping on tax cuts, his call to send troops we don't have to Iraq and his endorsement of the South Dakota anti-abortion legislation even while claiming that he would find a way around that legislation's central provision show that he's a politician as slippery and evasive as, well, George W. Bush.

He isn't a moderate. Mr. McCain's policy positions and Senate votes don't just place him at the right end of America's political spectrum; they place him in the right wing of the Republican Party.

And he isn't a maverick, at least not when it counts. When the cameras are rolling, Mr. McCain can sometimes be seen striking a brave pose of opposition to the White House. But when it matters, when the Bush administration's ability to do whatever it wants is at stake, Mr. McCain always toes the party line.

It's worth recalling that during the 2000 election campaign George W. Bush was widely portrayed by the news media both as a moderate and as a straight-shooter. As Mr. Bush has said, "Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

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Open Thread

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God Baiting

It's an incredible danger to freedom of religion in this country and it shouldn't be just us secular types who point this out.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Habeas Schmabeas

Make sure to listen to this week's This American Life either when it plays locally or when the archive version goes up online.

So Simple

Glenn Greenwald explains what seems to be eluding the tough guys of the beltway - the way to be strong is not to be spineless.

The Good News

More of it:

At least 36 people have been killed and 92 injured in three car bomb attacks in the Baghdad, Iraqi officials say.

In other violence elsewhere in Baghdad, 10 people were killed in a series of mortar blasts and roadside bombings.

...oy, Reuters has a bigger rundown.

One of the sad facts of this administration is that they've long been pushing a line on Iraq purely for domestic political consumption. That'd be bad enough but hey, politics is politics, but the truth is that they've been unable to distinguish between the political slogans and the reality on the ground. So, politics has dictated the policy which has had no relation to what was really going on. Thus we get the obsession with foreign fighters and al-Qaeda terrorists rather than sectarian homegrown violence.


Stanley Kurtz hilariously picks up where Tierney left off:

We can't licence polygamy without also promoting polyamory. Traditional polygamy, by its nature, will have limited appeal in America (as Tierney correctly notes). But (which Tierney ignores). Take away the stigma against multiple-partner marriage, and our larger family system will be profoundly weakened. It's the stigma and the resulting secrecy
that limit the social effects of multi-partner unions now. Change that, and you will see deep systemic consequences.

Consider what motivates someone to write "polyamory has much greater potential appeal, and poses a much deeper danger to the American family." I have no idea if "polyamory has much greater potential appeal" or, if it does, why it "poses a much deeper danger to the American family" than does polygamy.

I'm glad I don't live in Kurtz's brain.

Stay, Katherine, Stay

Don't quit Cruella! Don't quit!

Feingold to Introduce Censure Resolution

Over illegal domestic spying.

Open Thread

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Open Thread

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Open Thread

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Fresh Thread

Try not to shoot anybody in the face.