Saturday, April 01, 2006

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Ad Nags

I'm not quite as mad as John about the referenced Ad Nags article. More than anything it reveals what is probably the fundamental issue with Nagourney - he's not a very bright person. Yes it's imbalanced and yes like every other article which mentions blogs it avoids commenting on the racist freak show that is much of the right wing blogosphere.

But, mostly I just come away thinking that Adam's one stupid person.

Remember when the Harriet Miers blog came out and while funny at first it didn't seem quite right because it was hard to imagine that the Harriet Miers character had anything to do with the real Harriet Miers? And then the love letters to the best governor ever came out and suddenly the blog seemed to be a lot more true to form than anyone could have imagined?

After reading that article I feel much the same away about the Ad Nags blog. I always thought it captured quite the essence of Nagourney-the-journalist while not necessarily providing a parody of his actual personality. Now I'm starting to wonder if Nagourney writes it himself.

3 Cheers

Indeed, what's the problem?

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Slick Rick

Lying freak Rick Santorum says that people in Western Europe have "nothing to live for." I don't know, most of them seem quite happy to me, except maybe the Belgians (joke).

Saturday Music Recommendation

Local band Buried Beds.

You can listen to 3 tracks or download 2 from their myspace site.

And, Tristero composes a new symphony.

Don't Give Up Katie!

Perhaps we should all serenade her with the Peter Gabriel song:

The last of U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris' key staffers appear ready to abandon her campaign for the U.S. Senate in a wave of resignations expected to start this weekend.

Sources close to the campaign said Friday that the defections would touch virtually every level of her operation.

BoBo's World

North Carolina edition.

Good News

Usual ballot shenanigans in Pennsylvania thwarted:

A Commonwealth Court judge ruled yesterday that Democratic congressional candidate Patrick J. Murphy can remain on the Bucks County primary ballot.

Murphy, a lawyer and Iraq war veteran, is running against Andrew Warren, a former Bucks County commissioner, for the nomination in the Eighth District. The winner of the May 16 primary will face Rep. Michael G. Fitzpatrick in November.

The challenge to Murphy's nominating petitions was filed by Doylestown attorney Lawrence M. Otter on behalf of Bensalem resident Jane Faust. They argued that Murphy violated the law when he failed to witness each of 96 signatures on one petition. Murphy had signed an affidavit stating otherwise.

should be on track to beat uber-wanker Andrew Warren in the primary.


The Lamont Blog has the latest #s.


We finally pushed Jeff Goldstein completely over the edge.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Know Your Trolls

Ted Baiamonte.

His Amazon Reviews.

His Book (sadly, no longer exists at Amazon. Never mind.)

His profile by the Farmer.

Ted's great burden is that no woman will ever touch him, no matter how much he offers to pay them.

Know Your Conservative Media

"Ghetto Slut."

Jim Brady's probably got an offer out already.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Travel Day

Apologies, was in the belly of the beast for a bit. Normal blogging will resuming tomorrow...

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Fresh Thread

Remember it's not nice to shoot people in the face.

Here's Your Cowbell

Nedrenaline surges to 3000.

Grand Old Police Blotter

Gonna plead guilty:

Tony Rudy, a former top aide to Rep. Tom DeLay, has agreed to plead guilty to charges in the widening federal investigation of lobbyist fraud, a law enforcement official said Friday.

A hearing was scheduled Friday in U.S. District Court in Washington, where Rudy was expected to enter his plea.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not yet been filed with the court.

Wanker of the Day

Richard Cohen.

The Ballad of the 101st

"We're all conscripted in this war."

Just shoot me.

Project 354 Has Become Project 83

Lots of overnight Nedrenaline apparently, though not all through this site of course. Nearing the goal of 3000 online donations.

I've got a fever! And the only prescription is... more cowbell!

They Ask Questions


So here’s the question: Given her use of racist code language, given her spreading of a myth propagated otherwise by white supremacists, given her public links with a hate group, why is Michelle Malkin given the mainstream forum I would not be were I to have been serious in quoting the Protocols of the Elders of Zion earlier?

Good question.


Even an Obama appearance can't help this guy. From Obama's speech at the Connecticut fundraiser:

But Obama later mocked Lieberman, most likely inadvertently, when he described Bush as measuring progress in Iraq in terms of the increasing number of cellphones in use there, but ignoring the number of flag-draped coffins arriving at Andrews Air Force Base.

As the article reminds us, that's a reference to this:

One of those who has seen that progress is Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman. Senator Lieberman has traveled to Iraq four times in the past 17 months, and the article he wrote when he returned from his most recent trip provides a clear description of the situation on the ground. Here's what Senator Lieberman wrote -- Senator Lieberman wrote about the Iraq he saw: "Progress is visible and practical. There are many more cars on the streets, satellite television dishes on the roofs, and literally millions more cell phones in Iraq hands than before." He describes an Iraqi poll showing that, "two-thirds [of Iraqis] say they are better off than they were under Saddam Hussein."

One of Obama's speechwriters stuck a little stink bomb in there.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Project 354

The blogosphere is vast. Gazillions of people read liberal bloggers.

Lamont only needs 354 more donations to meet the goal of 3000. $10 all you can give? No problem.


Not meant to be shot.

Joementum [Nedrenaline Mix]

Soon to sweep clubs all across the nation.

The Big Money

What John says.


BooMan walks you through the latest.

Fundraising Deadline Tomorrow

If you have a favorite candidate who you want to get some love from the big boys at some point now would be a good time donate. For better or for worse the ability to raise money is a key indicator of whether or not you can be a good candidate, so making that a bit easier for your favorites is the way to send the right signal.

Rummy Rumors

Obviously for the good of the country and the military he should go, though probably the political upside would be for Bush.

Minute of Hate

I hope Jill Carroll stays in Iraq long enough for her position as the latest public enemy #1 of the right to end. As I said, her crime is apparently helping Iraqis.

What are we doing there again?

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

More Cowbell

Email from Lamont:

Dear Duncan,

It's coming down to the wire. During the past 48 hours our campaign has grown to over 2,520 contributors. We only need 480 more to reach our goal of 3,000 by the first filing deadline, March 31.

Take us over the top:

We can make a stand right now and show that this campaign is here to stay. Our challenge is to demonstrate we have the fortitude and drive to win, but we only have one day left.

Please forward this email to friends and family who care about the future of our country, and ask them to contribute.

Your support now will make the difference in August.

Thank you,

Ned Lamont

You can donate through those links or this one.



A Hartford Courant columnist discovers that Lieberman is a whiny ass titty baby.

It started the first day. The day Ned Lamont announced his run for the Democratic Senate nomination, Sen. Joseph Lieberman's campaign put out a blistering press release.

"Attacking Senator Lieberman's character and integrity was a predictable but dishonorable way to begin this campaign," it started. "Mr. Lamont is clearly going to run a very negative and angry campaign where the truth doesn't get in the way."

Can't you imagine the sparks flying as they typed that bad boy? What could Lamont have done to poor Joe?

He called him "Republican Lite."

He said he was "George Bush's favorite Democrat."

Vicious stuff, huh?


Smith says Lieberman's campaign has been put in a corner: If they ignore Lamont's digs, Lieberman gets accused of being out of touch. If they engage, Smith said, he's accused of overreacting.

But the Lieberman campaign isn't engaging, it's whining. And there's another way to counter Lamont.

What strikes me about Lieberman's thin skin is how unnecessary it all is. He's a decent guy with a good record in many areas - someone who can hold his own in any debate about Democratic goals and values.

But unless his campaign strategy is to position himself as a coddled incumbent with an overgrown sense of entitlement, he ought to do just that.

So far the Lieberman campaign has been a dream for Lamont. They've played it exactly wrong, providing the media with exactly the campaign frame that the Lamont people want.



If you're in the area make sure you do what you can to help Francine Busby. If you're not, consider donating a bit.

She's polling as high as she has, and a good last minute push/ground game could get her over 50...

More Baghdad Photos

Our media sure is covering up the reconstruction work. We're even building a recycling center!

Droopy Dog Makes a Threat

Trust me, there's probably nothing funnier than hearing George Bush's favorite senator, Droopy Dog Lieberman, say "I'm not going to let them get away with it."

Someone needs to work this into a club song.


Glad she was released. As far as I can tell the wingers hate her because she actually cared about the Iraqi people.

What are we doing there again?

Red America

I wonder if Neal Boortz qualifies as a proper representative:

BOORTZ: ...The United Nations and the Euro-weenies, who have their own immigration problem with their own "M" word; It's Muslims for them. They will start screaming about human rights violations like you've never heard them screaming before. They are not going to be shipped back. I mean, Royal, think about -- Mexico doesn't want 'em back, first of all. Think what happens if we round -- first of all, where do we store 11 million Hispanics just waiting to ship 'em back to Nicaragua, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico. Where do we store 'em?

ROYAL MARSHALL (show engineer and occasional co-host): That's a good point.

BOORTZ: You know, the Atlanta Coliseum? I know --

MARSHALL: Superdome!

BOORTZ: The Superdome! Exactly. And the Astrodome in Houston. That's where we'll put 'em. We've got practice. Got practice. But where are we -- and then, what happens if Mexico says, "We ain't taking 'em back"?


CNN's doing a little bit about the impact of rising interest rates on adjustable rate mortgages. I'm guessing we're hitting the point where a fairly big wave of ARMs are becoming untethered from their initial loocked-in rates. Also, interest rates on variable rate home equity loans are heading up...

Somewhat related, the real danger to the economy going forward is the softening construction market.


My videotape diagnosis tells me that Frist's presidential campaign is brain dead and should have its feeding tube removed.

Not Red Enough

At some point I figured out that a primary reason The Washington Post chose Domenech was that despite his many flaws he wasn't much of a homophobe. The wankerific TNR says it's because he wasn't Red enough. They might be the same thing.


Boston Herald:

Despite Scalia’s insistence that the Sicilian gesture was not offensive and had been incorrectly characterized by the Herald as obscene, the photographer said the newspaper “got the story right.”

Smith said the jurist “immediately knew he’d made a mistake, and said, ‘You’re not going to print that, are you?’ ”

Scalia’s office yesterday referred questions regarding the flap to Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg, who said a letter Scalia sent Tuesday to the Herald defending his gesture at the cathedral “speaks for itself.”


“The judge paused for a second, then looked directly into my lens and said, ‘To my critics, I say, ‘Vaffanculo,’ ” punctuating the comment by flicking his right hand out from under his chin, Smith said.

The Italian phrase means “(expletive) you.”

In other words, he didn't just make the sign for "fuck you" he said "fuck you." In church. What will we tell the children.

...My vast research into Sicilian obscenities reveals that while the word/sign is used as we would use "fuck you" or similar it actually means something along the lines of "go take it in the ass."

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.


While I'm certainly happy to welcome all fellow travellers did I miss ITMFA creator Dan Savage's mea culpa over the Iraq war and his denunciations of those who opposed it?

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

The Internets


NPR's political money-tracker Peter Overby was floored by the ruling and the process by which it came about. He says it was a stunning example of everything going... right.

The process was characterized by a tone of civility not usually seen inside the Beltway. Granted, that's a pretty low standard. But Overby says initially when talks began, the FEC and good-government groups had no understanding of bloggers -- or much else about the Internet for that matter. Bloggers had no clue how campaign financing rules and regs worked. But somehow the two sides actually began to understand each other.

The core of the decision is a recognition that the Internet is a unique medium. In traditional politics, money buys influence. On the Internet, influence raises money. And a bunch of a little bloggers, each with a million readers, can have a big influence. But the FEC isn't worried about the little guy. As long as you aren't being paid by a campaign, nothing you do online will be considered a contribution. Only traditional paid political ads on Web sites are subject to the old campaign rules.

Yes, it was really an example of things going right and not simply because I think the final ruling was great. It's true that people on both sides learned. I learned far more about campaign finance law than I ever wanted to (and which I hope to quickly forget) and the FEC commissioners also really seemed to take the time to "get it." That people involved in the process understood campaign finance law was important because when you're lobbying Congress you can ask for a pony, but when you're trying to influence a body like the FEC you have to understand that the legal framework they're operating under doesn't necessarily let them give you a pony, or at least that you're going to have to offer up a complex rationalization for why they should, in fact, give you a pony.

The Nedrenaline Surges!

Feel it!

Ripping Us Off

Josh Marshall has a right to be pissed. Look, personally I've never cared about getting credit for stuff other media types might happen to lift from this site. I was anonymous for a couple of years and I know that a good way to undercut the validity of a story is to credit its origin to "some anonymous dude on the internet" even if the reporter has verified the information independently. A few times I've told reporters/editors/columnists to run with stuff they find here without crediting me. I've always been interested in just getting the good stuff out there and not really caring how it's done or where it comes from, and it's silly to try to take credit for stuff which is often highly collaborative between readers, other blogs, me, etc., just because I have a big megaphone.

Most of all, original reporting isn't the focus here and even if occasional acts of reporting happen I'm not trying to establish Eschaton as credible news outlet the way that Josh and Raw Story are. While journalism doesn't have the same citation standards of academia, and it generally shouldn't, reporters shouldn't feel entitled to rip things off just because they were originally reported on the internets.

I'm sure Alt Weekly reporters are chuckling to themselves, "welcome to our world..."

Let's Engage Her In Debate

Let's make her deny it.

Palm Beach County's elections supervisor has given the right wing's unofficial mouthpiece 30 days to explain why she voted in the wrong precinct.

In a registered letter scheduled to be sent to her this week, Coulter is asked to "clarify certain information as to her legal residence," elections boss Arthur Anderson said.

"We want to give her a chance," Anderson said. "She needs to tell us where she really lives."

Or else? He could refer the case to State Attorney Barry Krischer for criminal charges, Anderson said.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Baghdad's Safe!

Hilarious. This is apparently the best picture Kaloogian could obtain from his visit to Iraq to illustrate his point:

Downtown Baghdad
We originally posted a photograph not of Baghdad, Iraq but from Istanbul, Turkey where our delegation traveled on the way home to the United States. We apologize for this mistake. We have corrected it with a photograph we took from Baghdad. We took this photo of downtown Baghdad while we were in Iraq. Iraq (including Baghdad) is much more calm and stable than what many people believe it to be. But, each day the news media finds any violence occurring in the country and screams and shouts about it - in part because many journalists are opposed to the U.S. effort to fight terrorism.

Love the last sentence.

The Ben Follies

Wonkette has some information which may or not be true. I have no idea. Caveat lector, yada yada.


With respect to this issue, it's my strongly held belief that one of the great features of the internet is that it lets anybody participate in the public discourse without having to be concerned with how it impacts your life otherwise. In addition, the potentially VERY PUBLIC nature of the internet makes the choice to hide one's identity the smart thing to do for most people. Not everyone has career in which current or future employment wouldn't be affected by what they post on a blog. Not everyone lives in an area with tolerant neighbors.

Any reporter who passes along without verification something they found on some random website somewhere is an idiot, but that has little to do with whether the identity of the person running the website is known or not.

...just adding, there's a difference between simply quoting an anonymous blog, as in "Internet commentator AlGoreRox asserts 'Bush is a big weenie'" and passing on unverified or unverifiable information from a blog, such as "AlGoreRox say Bush is a child molester." The latter is what reporters shouldn't do, but of course it's something they should be hesitant to do whether that's an anonymous blogger, a named blogger, or Karl Rove.


Jeebus. Let's hope the folks in his district are smart enough to elect someone else.

We must remember they kept sending Duke "Death Penalty for All Major Drug Dealers Who Aren't My Son" Cunningham back to Congress again and again.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Jack Sentenced

5 years, 10 months. $20 million in restitution.

Your Liberal Media

2 hours for Bush, 8 seconds for Reid.

Istanbul Not Baghdadinople

Brave brave Sir Kaloogian, visiting the war-torn streets of Bakirkoy.

Don't Talk About Iraq

Judd Ledum has the right take on what's missing from the Democrats' national security plan. This is what happens when you have to keep Joe "lost the plot" Lieberman on board.

The real issue isn't what Democrats are saying about Iraq now. The real issue is knowing what they're going to say in October, and laying the foundation now to do that. In the plan:

Ensure 2006 is a year of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty, with the Iraqis assuming primary responsibility for securing and governing their country and with the responsible redeployment of U.S. forces.

Early November is pretty near the end of 2006 and at that time, I imagine, Iraq will still be shit. If 2006 fails to be "a year of significant transition" what will Democrats be saying then? Forget the unified message now, what will be the unified message then?

Through the miracle of time travel I've recevied an advance copy of their 2010 national security plan:

Ensure 2010 is a year of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty, with the Iraqis assuming primary responsibility for securing and governing their country and with the responsible redeployment of U.S. forces, and a pony.

(linked post seems to have disappeared. maybe it will return.)


Attempts to seriously regulate the internets are finally dead for the moment. HR 1606 will provide a weapon to use against zombie reform efforts which will keep coming back to life.

To make something clear I'm not necessarily opposed to the idea that some day we might be confronted with problems with politics/internets which require a legislative solution. But those problems will only be an issue if they're problems with money and the internet and not simply, as many seem to see it, a problem with letting all sorts of crazy people say whatever they want!

...just wanted to add one more thing which I think has been largely left out of the discussion. The person most likely to have gotten nicked by various reform proposals would've been Markos because he spends a lot of money to run his site. But Markos does't spend that money specifically to promote federal candidates, or for bandwidth for his endorsements, he spends it on the community features of his blog. You need a bunch of servers to power the diaries, comments, etc... and not simply to push a message out over the internets. Basic bandwidth without any real database power is still free or cheap. Markos spends a lot of money to empower others to speak, not to give himself a mightier personal platform.

The Problem In America

According to Senator Cornyn:

Well, you know, that's the problem in America, we're always having elections.

(tip from Pere Ubu)

Hugh Hewitt, On the Front Lines

Apparently New York is also in Iraq. Or something.

Baghdad, Turkey

Josh Marshall stayed up a bit late to get more on this. And the General goes to Baghdad, CA.

...and don't forgot to throw a few dimes to Francine Busby, the non-liar candidate in the race.

The Party of Death

It seems that Box Turtle Ramesh is already running from his own book...

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.


FDL uncovers my preblog days.

Fresh Thread

Even concern trolls deserve concern. Right before you shoot them in the face.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


This certainly doesn't look right, though more sleuthing is in order...

Personal Responsibility

Lying freak, and regular reader, Rick Santorum doesn't think the concept applies to him.

The Matrix

This is one of those posts which people are going to assume is about me complaining, but it really isn't. Sometimes I get the sense that people think I'm Neo of the blogosphere, downloading the entire matrix into my noggin in real time at all times. That's not the case. If I don't link to your brilliant post/blog/whatever there's a good chance that I'm simply unaware of it.

Sensible blogwhoring is encouraged, though despite much commentary suggesting otherwise I'm not the "Instapundit of the Left." I generally read through and fact check stuff I link to, and don't simply link to whatever random stuff might support my worldview that day. That takes time and I'm only human so depending on whatever else is in the queue that day you might simply be overlooked...

Send in the Media Critics

Good idea. I'd love Howie Kurtz's nuanced views of reporting from Iraq.

Send some of the Pajamliners too.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Got His Back

Jane's going to make sure Ramesh has lots of support whenever he promotes his new book.

Olbermann Beats CNN

In the 25-54 age demo which determines advertising rates.

Maybe there's a message there for CNN and MSNBC.

Lies and the Lying Liars

O'Reilly continues to make things up.

Yah, I know, water wet, sky blue.

Newt to the Rescue

This is exactly what the Gingrich is thinking.

Not that I think he has a chance, but still.

Latino Alert

Via Rox, this open letter to the media is good.

The "foreignization" of all Latinos in this country has been strange. Not that it's entirely new of course, but it seems to be strengthening.

More 1606

From Allison Hayward:

I believe that the original Internet exclusion was proper, and it is too bad that we had to go through all this. Having said that, what 1606 advocates may find is that they are in the tricky position of asserting dissatisfaction with a decent rule. They will have to make the case that paid Internet advertising is not “general public political advertising” and I think they will be vulnerable to the accusation that their “true” agenda - “allowing soft money into the system” blah blah blah, could be the only logical reason for their dissatisfaction.

I’m not saying that this accusation is fair or accurate, but it seems to me that’s how the argument unfolds in the face of today’s vote, and it puts the 1606 folks in a bad spot. The “perfect” can be the enemy of the “good” - and not just when it is the CDT doing the pushing. Maybe I am wrong and you should feel free to comment if I’m neglecting an important angle.

This is right I think, and by being on the trickier-to-defend side of this debate could end up leading the debate somewhere we don't want it to go...

Bored George Allen

The DSCC writes a letter to the US Office of Personnel Management.

Day Trading from the Capitol

One of those "I can't believe it's legal" things.


HR 1606 which I had supported in the past due to concerns about what the FEC was going to do may still come up for a vote. The bill would basically exempt the internet entirely from campaign finance law. While I don't think the bill itself is bad, I also don't think it's necessary at this point. More importantly, if itcomes up it could get loaded up with amendments which would pave the way for more meddling. Or, if it fails it could provide grist for the "reform" community as a signal of congressional intent regarding internet regulation if they decide to run back to court.

From my perspective the current status quo, established yesterday, is just fine and it would be best to embrace it for the moment. I don't think 1606 is a bad Bill but I don't think it's necessary either. And bringing it up for a vote could potentially end up causing the problems it's designed to avoid. The FEC action yesterday has already achieved what we wanted.

Zombie Wingnuttery

Impossible to kill.

The McCain Strategy

Two-faced McCain is relying on the fact that his good buddies in the media won't bother to notice who his new friends are, or that he's "flip-flopped."

He's probably right.

Fraud And Perjury?

Not Huckleberry Graham. I'm shocked.

Feel the Nedrenaline!

In my inbox:

Dear Duncan,

We have something to prove. On Friday at midnight our campaign faces its first quarterly fundraising deadline. More than 2,355 of you have already stepped up and contributed online - help us hit 3,000 by our deadline.

This campaign has gone farther in one month than I ever imagined. Just this week, 16 of the 22 delegates elected to the State Party convention from Greenwich have pledged their support to my campaign. Not a single delegate endorsed Joe Lieberman.

Don't let anyone fool you - Joe Lieberman is worried. His campaign is continually making the ludicrous claim that this is a single-issue campaign. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Of course I oppose Joe Lieberman's stand on the War in Iraq, as do 60% of Americans. I also believe that the $ 250 million a day we spend in Iraq would be better spent ensuring that everyone have quality, affordable health care, and that the war is distracting us from developing real solutions for our future energy and education needs. I would have lead the fight against Samuel Alito' lifelong appointment to the Supreme Court and will hold the Bush administration accountable for any illegal wiretapping.

This quarterly deadline is important for so many reasons. Right now our campaign needs to show Connecticut we are for real. We need to show real broad base of support to show how our grassroots campaign can win against the Washington DC lobbyist money on August 8th. With a strong first quarter report, we can show them we are here to stay.

Help us reach 3,000 contributors:

Thank you,

Ned Lamont

You can contribute through the links above or through the Eschaton Act Blue page.

Contrary to Lieberman's attempts to claim otherwise, this isn't about "one issue" or even just about Lieberman's hostility to Democrats. Remember this:

Lieberman said he believes hospitals that refuse to give contraceptives to rape victims for "principled reasons" shouldn't be forced to do so. "In Connecticut, it shouldn't take more than a short ride to get to another hospital," he said.

Short ride.

Bye Andy

I'm sure having Josh Bolten replace Andy Card will change everything.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Monday, March 27, 2006


Whether or not the underlying charge has merits, if a sovereign nation tells us to piss of aren't we supposed to, you know, piss off?

IRAQ'S ruling parties have demanded US forces cede control of security as the government investigated a raid on a Shiite mosque complex that ministers said involved "cold blooded" killings by US-led troops.

US commanders rejected the charges and said their accusers faked evidence by moving bodies of gunmen killed fighting Iraqi troops in an office compound. It was not a mosque, they said.
As Shiite militiamen fulminated over Sunday's deaths of at least 16 people in Baghdad, an al-Qaeda led group said it staged one of the bloodiest Sunni insurgent attacks in months. A suicide bomber killed 40 Iraqi army recruits in northern Iraq.

The Iraqi Defence Ministry said a suicide bomber wearing an explosive belt also wounded 30 at a base near Mosul.

After 24 hours of limited communication, US commanders mounted a media offensive to deny Shiite accounts of a mosque massacre and portray instead a bold and disciplined operation by US-trained Iraqi special forces that killed 16 fighters and freed a hapless Iraqi hostage being held to ransom for $US20,000 ($28,400).

Three gunmen were wounded and 18 people detained.

"After the fact, someone went in and made the scene look different from what it was," Lieutenant General Peter Chiarelli said of footage aired extensively on state television showing the bodies of apparently unarmed civilians in a mosque.

And, yeah, I know that since they haven't quite successfully formed a government no one is really in charge...

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.


Both Raw Story and Steve Clemons say that Rove has been helping out Fitz.

Schwetty Balls

Silly moments with Hannity and Baldwin.

Wanker of the Day

John Cole.

On the Religion Thing

Digby writes:

We've had quite a few discussions about religion on this blog lately, which led me to believe that there is a serious need for the religious left to assert itself and make a case for Democratic religiosity. The Republicans simply do not own the church and they have no right to claim they do.

but I, being a non-believer, cannot make that case effectively. I can't even discuss it in terms other than dry pragmatic political language. So, I'm thrilled to read through Street Prophets that the United Church of Christ has teamed up with Media Matters to "fight the pronounced tilt toward the Religious Right in mainstream media news."

This is an issue I fave all of the time. It's really not in my business to promote the "Religious Left" as it's not really my job to choose sides in religion. But when it intersects with something I do have a comment on - unfair treatment by the media - then of course I'm happy to bring attention to it.

Religion in the Media

Only in upside down universe could tolerance be controversial and intolerance embraced.

Street Prophets has more.

Fresh Thread

Try not to shoot anybody in the face.


Republican Jesus wholeheartedly approves of flipping the bird in church.

A Boston Herald reporter asked the 70-year-old conservative Roman Catholic if he faces much questioning over impartiality when it comes to issues separating church and state.

"You know what I say to those people?" Scalia replied, making the obscene gesture and explaining "That's Sicilian."

The 20-year veteran of the high court was caught making the gesture by a photographer with The Pilot, the Archdiocese of Boston's newspaper.

"Don't publish that," Scalia told the photographer, the Herald said.

I love how Scalia thinks he gets to order the press around.


I didn't think there was any doubt, but the FEC held their vote and unanimously approved the new regs.

The Federal Election Commission decided Monday that the nation's new campaign finance law will not apply to most political activity on the Internet.

In a 6-0 vote, the commission decided to regulate only paid political ads placed on another person's Web site.

The decision means that bloggers and online publications will not be covered by provisions of the new election law. Internet bloggers and individuals will therefore be able to use the Internet to attack or support federal candidates without running afoul of campaign spending and contribution limits.

"It's a win, win, win," Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub said, adding that the rule would satisfy concerns of campaigns, individuals and the Internet community about whether the campaign finance law applies to Internet political activity.

Ellen Weintraub deserves special credit. She was the Dem commissioner who really came around to our view of the issues and I think really got what our primary point was -- that regulations which make total sense in the "real world" can't easily be reapplied to the internet in a way that makes any sense and that the money/power link is largely absent in the virtual world.

And, also kudos to the Republican commissioners, including Chairman Toner and former commissioner Brad Smith, for being on board the whole time. This could have been an utter disaster, but it appears to have all worked out in the end...

Bored George

The DSCC writes a letter to Paul Tagliabue.

Take Action

Forget Butterstick. Obey Christy.

Howell on Box Turtle

Glad to see wilting flower Debbie is gone and potty mouth Debbie has returned.

It just happens that former Pioneer Press editor Deborah Howell, now the Post's ombudsman, was in our newsroom today for a Q&A session on journalism topics. I asked her about the Domenech affair.

Her reply: "I can't defend it. It's a f****in' disaster."

Anne Dicker for PA State House

I know it's too much to ask my mostly national audience to care much about a state race, though I will say that moving ahead to 2000 the most important races in the country will in fact be state elections. Still I hope local people consider helping out and getting involved in Anne's campaign. I went to the launch party last week and she did a great job. One of her opponents bowed out and endorsed her, which was nice to see. Anne's one of those people who everyone pretty much warms to right away and she's definitely someone we want in government.

Most importantly if you live in her district make sure to go vote. There are two traditional machine candidates in the primary and this is a test of whether the new machine - Philly for Change - can get the votes out.

Bush Lied

Fortunately congress is considering legislation which would bring his lying back under the umbrella of truth.

The Good News

I know this has been said by others and no matter how many times it is restated paste-eaters like Jeff Goldstein will faily to comprehend but I'll give it one more try.

Imagine if 30 people were killed every day by car bombs in US cities. Monday, 30 dead in Denver. Tuesday, 30 dead in San Francisco. Wednesday, 30 dead in Philadelphia. You get the idea.

Now scale that roughly relative to population size. Make that 300 dead per day. Every day. Would the lead story on the evening news be about all the people who weren't blown up that day? No. The country would be completely hysterical.

Where's the Report?

It's not as pressing an issue as it was last year when blogging seemed to be all about Social Security, but I'm wondering when the annual Social Security Trustees Report is going to arrive. Last year it came out on March 23.

We Won

I'll let Adam B explain below, but the short version is that the FEC has basically done nothing but bring in paid advertising on someone else's website under their current regulatory blanket. They've done nothing which could jeapordize the kinds of activities that go on in the blogosphere generally. I imagine there's a good chance the regulators or the reform community will sue the FEC again, but let's hope not. Here's Adam B:

The netroots have won.

Not an election, mind you - though those victories will come - but an official governmental recognition that what you all do is a valuable part of the democratic experiment, and one which should not be thwarted by the incursion of the federal government.

Today, the Federal Election Commission will vote to approve its final regulations regarding political activity on the Internet. As you know, we had dreaded these regulations for a year and did everything we could to influence or stop them altogether - submitting our own comments to the FEC and encouraging you to do the same (and you did, in the thousands), testifying before the FEC and Congress, and pressuring Capitol Hill to pass legislation protecting the medium.

Congress punted, but something remarkable happened -- though it's not something which ought to be remarkable: the Federal Election Commission reviewed all the comments, asked pointed questions during two days of hearings, deliberated for months . . . and ended up with the only logical conclusion that the facts, technology and law could warrant:
Through this rulemaking, the Commission recognizes the Internet as a unique and evolving mode of mass communication and political speech that is distinct from other media in a manner that warrants a restrained regulatory approach. ...

As a whole, these final rules will make plain that the vast majority of Internet communications are, and will remain, free from campaign finance regulation. To the greatest extent permitted ...the Commission is clarifying and affirming that Internet activities by individuals and groups of individuals face almost no regulatory burdens under the Federal Election Campaign Act. The need to safeguard Constitutionally-protected speech allows no other approach.

Over the next few weeks, I'll try to outline how the regulations will work, but here's the details:

What will be regulated: Paid advertising. If a communication is placed for a fee on someone else's website, the FEC rules regarding disclosure and coordination will apply.

What's protected: So much. It starts with explicit, broad protections for uncompensated individual or group activities for the purpose of influencing a federal election. In short, if you're using the Internet and aren't being paid by a campaign or party to do so, nothing you do will be considered a contribution to a campaign on an expenditure on its behalf. Even if you're in a group. Even if it's not a "blog" but some other form of internet participation, even ones that have yet to emerge. Even if it's not "news, media, or commentary" but just activism and organizing. Even if you've incorporated for liability purposes. Even if you're doing all that and are selling advertising space on your site to defray its costs. Even if you're making a profit. Even if you're using someone else's computer. Even if you're republishing a campaign's materials on your own site. All explicitly protected.

Oh, yeah: and websites are eligible for the same media exception available for print/radio/tv sources engaging in news, commentary and editorial activities. No matter how partisan, biased or imbalanced the site is. No matter - and they say this explicitly - if encourages readers to make donations to various candidates.

To be sure, there are still some details worthy of focus. For instance, the ad disclaimer requirements apply even to the tiniest Google AdWords purchase, though the FEC has promised that they will not seek enforcement against ads placed for a "nominal" fee.

Read the document, and don't be intimidated by its length. Most of it is a thoughtful review of each issue by the Commissioners, where they indicate the comments on each side, and explain their reasoning for each conclusion. This is how government agencies are supposed to function, and given the equal Republican/Democratic split on the FEC, its commissioners can.

Much thanks are due to our friends in Congress who raised and pressed these issues, and forced our opponents to show their hand; to the other committed advocates on our side, from Bob Bauer and Marc Elias at the Perkins Coie firm to John Morris and Leslie Harris at CDT, who did so much great organizing and advocacy from the early days (regardless of our differences on HR 4900); to Mike Krempasky of RedState, who despite what you might think is truly a decent guy (regardless of our differences on basically everything but this issue.)

Congress is set to reconsider HR 1606, the Online Freedom of Speech Act, this week. Honestly? I don't believe it's necessary now. These FEC regulations give as strong a set of legal protections as we could reasonably expect, and the best thing Congress can do now would be to find ways in the Record to simply affirm that the FEC approach reflects their beliefs, and that the regulations should be interpreted with a bent towards freedom.

As to those who opposed us along the way, know that we have long memories and vigilant friends. Nevermore will we abandon this turf to the "experts" who fear and criticize what they do not understand.

Markos, Duncan, Matt and I have fought this battle for a year because we believe that our ideas are better than our rivals', and that we will ultimately win in the ballot box so long as we're able to advocate freely on behalf of the candidates and positions we hold dear. Mike Krempasky and his conservative friends believe the same thing. Today's FEC vote allows us to prove it.

(Normally this would've just gone up on Kos, but Markos is in the middle of the book tour and Adam is on the road so I thought I'd get it out there now. Might be repeated on Kos later)


Sadly I guess Congress is going to muck around with immigration. Not that the system shouldn't be changed, but there's no reason to trust the people running the show to do the right thing. I think sentiments like Oliver's make a lot of intuitive sense to people, but they're still basically wrong as a practical matter. A lot of illegal immigrants have been here a long time, have kids who are citizens, etc. Yes they broke the rules by coming here, and yes other people who come here legally did it the right way, but I can't get behind tearing up otherwise law-abiding families and sending people back to places where they may no longer have a home or a means of supporting themselves.

I understand what motivates people to be against amnesty programs. "Rewarding bad behavior" sounds like an unappealing thing to do. But the practical thing and the compassionate thing to do is to put large numbers of these people on the path citizenship.

Any kind of guest worker program is just awful. The creation of a permanent legal underclass will have numerous adverse consequences, even aside from the basic immorality of it.

Genuinely good immigration reform will require courageous political leadership and sensible politicians. We currently lack both.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Red America

Sadly, No! researches Jim Brady's possible hires for him as apparently Jim doesn't even own a computer.

Finally Some News About the Schools


Their visit came as more violence was reported across Iraq, including a terrifying incident earlier in the week in the western city of Ramadi. On Wednesday, armed insurgents burst into the classroom of Khidhir al-Mihallawi, an English teacher at Sajariyah High School, accused him of being an agent for the CIA and Israeli intelligence and beheaded him in front of his students, according to students, fellow instructors and a physician at a local hospital.

One teacher, who spoke on the condition that he not be named because he feared retaliation from insurgents, said that most students ran from the classroom but that some stayed to watch. Many stopped coming to school after the incident, he said. Another teacher, who said he moved his mathematics class to his home to accommodate frightened students, said Mihallawi had earlier been threatened because he worked as a translator for U.S. forces in Ramadi, a hotbed of the Sunni Arab insurgency.

Mihallawi "looked at us just like he was telling us that we do not have to be scared. Even as we were running out of the door, his looks were still telling us that nothing will happen and we do not have to be scared," said a student, whose father asked that his name not be used. "I heard him screaming for a few seconds, then stop screaming."

What About the Schools?


American and Iraqi government forces clashed with Shiite militiamen in Baghdad tonight in the most serious confrontation in months, and Iraqi officials said the fighting left at least 17 Iraqis dead, including an 80-year-old imam.

The fighting erupted at a very combustible moment in Iraq, with sectarian tensions rising, leadership problems deepening, and dozens of mutilated bodies continuing to surface on Iraqi streets today.

Another concern is that the clash could open an old wound, because the militiamen who were killed worked for Moktada al-Sadr, the radical Shiite cleric who has already led several bloody rebellions against American forces.

Security in Baghdad seems to be deteriorating by the hour, and it is increasingly unclear who is in control. Earlier today, the Iraqi Interior Ministry reported that American forces raided a secret prison and arrested several Iraqi policeman.

American officials have been more overt in the past week than ever in blaming Shiite militias, in particular Mr. Sadr's Mahdi Army, for a wave of sectarian bloodshed that seems to have no end. This morning, authorities in Baghdad discovered the corpses of 10 more men, all bound, blindfolded and shot.

Atrios Revealed

Stupid NBC. Everyone knows I'm tall, sweaty, and have 20/20 vision.

Fresh Thread

I'm giving you all some love.

West Wing

Watch NBC make me look like an idiot, 8pm ET...

...ideally it would star me, as me, the dashing young blogger who smites evil, saves the world, and gets the girl, but in reality it's just a brief bit with an actor playing "Atrios."

...not quite as bad as I thought - Jon Bon Jovi did a really convincing Atrios.

Merkin Patriot Writes a Letter

To Jim Brady:

Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2006 15:53:49 -0800 (PST)
From: "Merkin Patriot"













Recruiting the General

There is only one possible replacement for Ben. When you write Jim Brady make sure your emails are largely gibberish filled with random word capitalizations and multiple accusations of "treason" against top Democrats like Barbra Streisand and Ward Churchill. That way he'll know you're a genuine conservative.

Jane has more.

Wingnut Affirmative Action

What Ailes says.

Next Step

Tristero on Ben:

Many bloggers have suggested that the recently unemployed Ben Domenech should seriously consider signing up for service in the military (but not, presumably, as a blogger for the Army Times). Far be it for me to disagree, but I would like to suggest an equally worthy alternative.

Ben can grab himself one of those groovy new digital videocams, catch the next plane to Iraq, and hitch-hike around, carefully filming all the good news in the country. You know what I'm talking about, Ben: All the schools opening, the pipelines flowing, the new businesses being generated (terrorism insurance not included; that's been covered), the overstaffed hospitals, the fearless Iraqi policemen, and the many public squares all over Iraq's villages and towns renamed in honor of George W. Bush.

While there's some snark in all of these suggestions I actually think they're genuinely good ideas. Young adult screws up and takes hit to career and reputation. It isn't going to ruin his life but it will be harder to climb back up in the game. Strap on a gun or a camera and go to Iraq, either way it'll be the quickest possible route to rehabbing his rep.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

The Good News

It's ridiculous that anyone in our media is entertaining the notion seriously the charge that they're underreporting all the great stuff that's happening in Iraq. As someone who experienced the civil war in Lebanon, Peter Daou understands that while life goes on in the midst of such things the news it not in fact that "life goes on" - it's that 30 people were beheaded.

At least there was a little sense on Howie's show today, though it's still awful that the media has to deal with any pile of wingnut horseshit that gets entered into the discussion:

Oh, yes. Absolutely. And, I mean, our own -- you know, our own editors back in New York are asking us the same things.

They read the same comments. You know, are there positive stories? Can't you find them?

You don't think that I haven't been to the U.S. military and the State Department and the embassy and asked them over and over again, let's see the good stories, show us some of the good things that are going on? Oh, sorry, we can't take to you that school project, because if you put that on TV, they're going to be attacked about, the teachers are going to be killed, the children might be victims of attack.

Oh, sorry, we can't show this reconstruction project because then that's going to expose it to sabotage. And the last time we had journalists down here, the plant was attacked.

I mean, security dominates every single thing that happens in this country. Reconstruction funds have been diverted to cover away from reconstruction to -- they've been diverted to security.

Soldiers, their lives are occupied most of the time with security issues. Iraqi civilians' lives are taken up most of the time with security issues.

So how it is that security issues should not then dominate the media coverage coming out of here?

Republican Jesus on TV

It's all about the values baby.


Feel the surge!

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Fresh Thread

Faces, not meant to be shot.