Saturday, April 22, 2006

Fresh Thread

Please don't shoot anybody in the face.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Olympics 2016

There are some noises around these parts about having Philadelphia make a bid for the 2016 Olympics. I have no direct desire for that to happen, though it would almost certainly be a much more sensible option than Atlanta and Los Angeles were, or than New York would be.

However, if I thought there was some chance that such a thing would spur state lawmakers to get serious about some transit projects in the city in anticipation of the Olympics, as London is doing, I'd consider being on board. Still, given that screwing Philadelphia is pretty much SOP in this state I can imagine a lot of legislators doing just that so they could laugh at the city's failure.

On a mostly unrelated note, Hannah Miller tells you why you should vote for Anne Dicker.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

More Gas

Kevin gives some numbers about how much people spend on gas. Just in case it wasn't clear I wasn't mocking people for complaining about gas prices, just finding the regular way the media covers the issue - showing clips of people complaining at gas stations - rather odd. It's nothing new, of course, just what they do every time there's a price spike.

Happy Birthday to Thers

Though he's chosen an odd way to celebrate it.


It's amazing how much time news stations can spend on showing people complaining about gas prices.

Keyboard Kommando Komics

Episode 13.


As journalists receive classified leaks from senior administration officials quite regularly, at some point it will be appropriate for them to reveal this fact to the public. If the administration continues to go after leaks it doesn't like, while continuing to defend and continue the practice of leaks it does like, journalists will have to call them on it.

Sunday Show Guests

Surprisingly fair and balanced:

Meet the Press hosts Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and a roundtable with Washington Times' Tony Blankley, Washington Post's David Broder, Los Angeles Times' Ron Brownstein and ex-WH spokesperson Dee Dee Myers.

· Face the Nation hosts retired Gen. John Batiste, ex-WH CoS John Podesta and Pat Buchanan.

· This Week hosts Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA), Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), and actress Gloria Ruben on playing Sec/State Condeleezza Rice.

· Fox News Sunday hosts Reps. Jane Harman (D-CA) and Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) and ex-WH CoSs Ken Duberstein and Leon Panetta.

· Late Edition hosts Sens. Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Carl Levin (D-MI)

The Coming Shriek

Yes, if there's anything more ugly than conservatives and our media when conservatives perceive themselves to be in power it's when they perceive themselves to be out of power.

It seems to have become a forgotten era already, but it would really serve many in our elite media well to, say, take a gander at the 1998 transcripts of Larry King, Hardball, etc...

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Late Night

Let Buried Beds sing you to sleep with the song insomnia (.mp3).

Net Neutrality

A quick two minute video explains.

Friday, April 21, 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.

Klein on Klein

If people like Joe Klein and Joe Lieberman had the interest of Democrats in mind, they might actually care about the things that people like Hugh Hewitt and Sean Hannity tended to say about them.


Flea writes an email:

george w bush should definitely be impeached
he is a liar
and his lies have bought misery to millions of people
and bought no good to anyone except for the corporate oil
billionaires who are making huge profits
they are profiting during wartime
that is unscrupulous and terribly sad
w bush has made the world a much less safe place
before the war iraq was not a place for terrorists
saddam hussein, brutal dictator that he was was secular and had
nothing to do with al queda
and was sanctioned to death and had no power outside of his country
now it is a breeding ground for terrorism and anti-americanism is at
an all time high all over the world
and the people of iraq are no better off at all
all those people want is for the americans to leave
decent families and people like you and i who never wanted america
there in the first place
goerge w bush has sent american soldiers over there to be maimed and
only to serve his selfish oil company needs and for his ego
american soldiers who are loyal to each other and who only want to
have a good job get an education and support their country are being
used for an unjust cause
i support the troops
they, like all americans are being betrayed by george w bush
he has betrayed his country he should be impeached

the administration's line that they were over there because they
wanted to spread democracy and freedom
is nothing else besides a lie
if they had any interest at all in the well being of other human beings
they would be doing what they could for people who desperately need
and would love help in africa

i pray to god that george w bush and his administration does not
invade iran
it would be a bloodbath
why dont they just leave the iranians alone
and go through the united nations
and work on making the united nations as strong and as just as possible
an invasion of iran would be the worst possible thing that could happen
i pray to god that it does not happen

i am just another guy sitting in the car on the english motorway

Click to hear Flea speak (.mp3).

Or here to order their new CD.

Or here to see their new video.


I'm very happy to be fortunate enough that circumstances allow me to not own a car.


Andrea Mitchell is an idiot. Ever heard of Citgo?

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Wanker of the Day

Joe Klein.

Feeling Fitzy

Fitz grand jury meeting today.

He's Stupid and He's Ugly and Nobody Likes Him

Little Ricky is now the least popular senator. Congratulations!

Just Being Friendly

Kathering Harris. Oh my.


Think Progress has the video of David Shuster talking about Rove's likely indictment. Reasoning is Rove not being on the prosecution witness list for Libby's trial, his designation as a subject, and his designation as "Official A," which is apparently Fitzgerald-speak for "You're about to be indicted."

bomb bomb bomb

bomb iran.

Steno Steno Sue

Oh Jeebus, are back to "Abramoff gave money to Democrats" again.

Time to rescind that Pulitzer.


These people really are vulgarians. I probably am too, but I'm not tasked with hosting state dinners and such.

But he wasn't okay, not really. The protocol-obsessed Chinese leader suffered a day full of indignities -- some intentional, others just careless. The visit began with a slight when the official announcer said the band would play the "national anthem of the Republic of China" -- the official name of Taiwan. It continued when Vice President Cheney donned sunglasses for the ceremony, and again when Hu, attempting to leave the stage via the wrong staircase, was yanked back by his jacket. Hu looked down at his sleeve to see the president of the United States tugging at it as if redirecting an errant child.

Then there were the intentional slights. China wanted a formal state visit such as Jiang got, but the administration refused, calling it instead an "official" visit. Bush acquiesced to the 21-gun salute but insisted on a luncheon instead of a formal dinner, in the East Room instead of the State Dining Room. Even the visiting country's flags were missing from the lampposts near the White House.

...oops, meant to add in Cheney's little nap during the press briefing.

Dear Mr. President

Pink, Live in NYC.

(thanks to reader g)

You can buy the CD here.

50 State Canvass

Don't forget to get up off your asses and interface with the real world for a bit. Join in the DNC's 50 state canvass on April 29.


I've never understood why civility is something which is valued for its own sake, especially when it's defined in such stupid terms as "not using naughty words" instead of "not calling your political opponents traitors on a regular basis" or "not sending your minions to harass college students by posting their personal phone numbers." A long-running theme from conservative bloggers is that they're, by this standard, oh-so-civil. Except when they're Jeff Goldstein.

Jeff Goldstein, artist's conception

But more amusing is Wall Street Journal deputy editor Henninger's fainting spell at all the bad words he finds on the internets. I really just don't get that foul language offends people so. Perhaps my experience differs, but I have never been in an environment, professional or otherwise, where people didn't swear like sailors, including the Capitol building.

Your Help Needed

The General requests some help for my BFF Bob Ney.


From tbogg and the Korner Kidz.

Undefinable Buzzwords

South Dakota legislature Joel Dykstra thinks it's impossible to define "rape" or "incest."

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Bitch, Ph. D gives a speech.


I'm curious if any people a bit closer to the action on the ground have a sense of how the Italian population is reacting to Silvio's shenanigans:

Premier Silvio Berlusconi is hanging tough, refusing to concede to center-left leader Romano Prodi even as a top court confirmed his defeat in the lower house of parliament in one of Italy's closest elections.

"We'll fight. They'll have to deal with us," Berlusconi was quoted as saying Thursday in the newspaper La Repubblica. Other newspapers published similar comments, and many reported the conservative leader has no intention of calling Prodi.


Several world leaders, including from Britain, France, Germany and Israel, have called Prodi to congratulate him. However, close Berlusconi allies President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin have not called Prodi yet, his office said Thursday.


Gotta be a real die hard supporter to donate to a candidate who is pissing a huge chunk of it away on legal fees unrelated to the campaign. It'll be so sad when my BFF Bob Ney leaves congress.

Feel the Love

Ah, the good old days when you could just beat up on homos whenever you felt like it.

Good times.


On Countdown, David Shuster said that Rove is likely heading for an indictment.

Who Let the Crazies Out?

Were there a bunch of people who didn't get enough opportunties in 2002 to get their crazy on that they're just itching for an opportunity to do it a bit more?

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

The Next Online Battle

Net neutrality.

Yes, another attempt to kill the internets.

Things I Learn From Bill Schneider

The Left is upset with China over trade and currency controls.

The Right is upset with China over human rights issues.

We Won, They Lost

What Adam Bonin says.

Lieberman Gets Scared

Spends money so that Connecticut voters can see what a WATB he is:

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Democratic U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman started airing his first television campaign ads in years Thursday as he faces a challenge from within his own party.

The two 60-second spots, running statewide, highlight Lieberman's record on key Democratic issues such as abortion, energy independence, environmental protection and increased education funding.

One also touches on Lieberman's support of the war in Iraq _ a position that has angered many activist Democrats and helped fuel a challenge by Democrat and Greenwich businessman Ned Lamont.

"I already know that some of you feel passionately against my position in Iraq. I respect your views, and while we probably won't change each others' minds, I hope we can still have a dialogue and find common ground on all the issues where we do agree," Lieberman says in the TV spot.

I hope he runs these nonstop.

If you're a student in Connecticut make sure you think early about how you're going to get an absentee ballot. Make all your friends get them too. The primary is in August.


Bush at 33% in Fox poll.


Mark Schmitt writes:

But like it or not, "authenticity" is an important political tool in its own right. And voters are malleable as well, supporting a political candidate they view as genuine, even if the candidate’s views differ greatly from their own, as I discovered in New Hampshire in 2000 where some number of independent, socially liberal voters chose to vote for the hot McCain in the Republican primary over Bill Bradley in the Democratic. Likewise, pro-death penalty voters supported Tim Kaine in Virginia because they felt that his opposition was authentically rooted in his religious belief -- it actually strengthened his sense of authenticity. But as McCain demonstrates, authenticity is itself a pose, one he adopted and has now discarded.

McCain’s latest move is necessary, if he wants to be president, but it’s awfully daring. Live by the cult of authenticity, perish by the cult of authenticity. A pollster once told me that the way to destroy a political opponent is to get people wondering, "Who is this guy?" That insight was certainly borne out by the demolition of John Kerry, in which he collaborated in creating a sense that he didn't quite have areal core of beliefs. I assume that McCain's gamble is that he has so strongly established the "straight-talk express" brand with the general electorate that he can perform the ritual obsequies of the Republican nominating process and still emerge with his reputation intact.

All good, but the real issue is not whether McCain can maintain this brand with the people it's whether he can keep his sycophants in the press on board, keep them intoning the phrase "straight-talk" every time he's in their range.

I actually enjoyed Tucker Carlson's book Politicians, Partisans, and Parasites, though it certainly wasnt't without its flaws. He gave a good insider's perspective on just how in the tank the press corps was for McCain during the 2000 campaign. A couple relevant excerpts:

McCain ran an entire presidential campaign aimed primarily at journalists. He understood that the first contest in a presidential race is always the media primary. He campaigned hard to win it. To a greater degree than any candidate in thirty years, McCain offered reporters the three things they want most: total access all the time, an endless stream of amusing quotes, and vast quantities of free booze.


I saw reporters call McCain "John," sometimes even to his face and in public. I heard otherse, usually at night in the hotel bar, slip into the habit of referring to the Mccain campaign as "we"- as in, "I hope we kill Bush." It was wrong, but it was hard to resist.

No Good Military Options

Reid speaks the obvious truth for people who aren't, you know, nuts.

Every Time I Try to Get Out...

I wish I could get past all this FEC nonsense now that we've basically won, but I can't seem to let it go. First, to correct a falsehood by Carol Darr in her online chat today:

Question from David Glenn:
In your National Journal interview last week, you said that you fear "undisclosed payments to bloggers made by third parties, not candidates, in order to escape disclosure." Can you flesh out what such a scenario would look like, and why it might be a problem? Is the South Dakota Senate race relevant here?

Carol C. Darr:
The difficulty with the payments from Thune to the bloggers was that they were not disclosed until after the election. Many people thought that the faux-independent bloggers did a lot of damage to Daschle, a fact that would have been very different if readers had known that Thune was behind it.

This simply isn't true.

Payments were disclosed in 2nd quarter FEC filings and mentioned in an August 9 news article.

Also, I want to address the recently forming conventional wisdom that the Swift Boat Liars were somehow a product of the scary dangerous internets. This is similar to the conventional wisdom that in 2000 Gore was smeared by "right wing radio" and not the Spite Girls at the Post and the Times and others in the mainstream media, which was actually the case.

While there was some internet-based colloborative research which went into the publication of the Regnery book Unfit for Command, the book was, it must be said, published on paper. The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth were a 527 organization with big money backers which got their message out through paid advertising in our mainstream media, as well as through immense amount of free media coverage on, but not limited to, cable news and talk radio. Bloggers talked up the story, as they did any campaign story, but the prominence of the Swift Boat Liars in our media had absolutely nothing to do with the existence of the internet.

Anyway, if you read through the Carol Darr transcript you get the sense that she sees "the media" or at least appropriate media as highly non-partisan respectable dry newswire copy. It's weird.

BoBo's World

Oklahoma edition.

Heart to Heart

Oy, these people are twisted.

(via Digby, who provides a synopsis)


371 good Atriots have ordered the new CD from the Dixie Chicks, which is currently #4 at Amazon despite not coming out for over a month.

The new single, which can be heard here for free, is currently #1 on the Itunes Country Chart, and #5 overall.


It's looking increasingly likely that Lamont will pick up enough delegates to get himself on the ballot at the convention instead of having to go through the ordeal of getting signatures.

Wankers of the Day

The Sierra Club.


As Stoller writes, the only real shake up can come in November. He adds:

Bush has a very good campaign mind, but as President he is completely paralyzed by his arrogance, fear, and personal weakness. He likes feeling like he makes big decisions and has 'the vision thing' (as another Bush once put it), so power rests with infighting advisors who tell him what to do in the guise of 'taking care of the details'. All problems are ascribed to as ones of 'communications' as the AM talk radio circuit has been spewing for months, which allows blame to go to the communications staff instead of those with the real power. That's why Scott and Card don't matter; Scott is a press release shaped like a human (nothing really changed when Ari Fleischer left), while Card was a glorified office manager. The Rove 'demotion' is in all likelihood a sham, since he's kept his security clearance and is gearing up for the midterms. The only serious member of the White House to leave is actually Scooter Libby, and that wasn't Bush's doing.

This is an awful situation. We have a man frightened to be President clinging desperately to the comforting adults who tell him what to do. These 'adults' happen to be vicious ideologues bent showing the world their manliness no matter how weak they transparently are. In other words, this isn't a real shake-up, because at this point Bush can't shake up the White House staff.

November is an interim step which can help improve things, but as Greg Mitchell points out we face a crisis: these idiots are in charge for 33 more months.

Fake Up

Moving deck chairs around the Titanic is not going to prevent it from hitting the iceberg.

Jim Gerlach - Serial Plagiarist!

Here locally, the awful Jim Gerlach has repeatedly accuse candidate Lois Murphy of being a plagiarist. It's an utterly stupid charge, as it's for the kind of thing candidates and politicians do all the time. They claim ownership and endorsement, not authorship, of speeches, legislation, plans, proposals, etc. That's not to say a politician could never be guilty of actual plagiarism, but they aren't exactly held to the standards of college English class or non-Domenech journalism. Here's Gerlach's most recent press release where he makes the charge yet again. It's apparently the only thing he's got in his campaign, as he knows he's going to lose. But, hey, since he thinks this is the most important issue facing the country let's hold him to his own standard.

The Gerlach campaign has said this kind of "plagiarism" (which isn't really plagiarism, but he's setting the standard, not me), demonstrates someone "has no integrity and lacks any ethical standards" and "calls into question everything that comes out of” Murphy's mouth.

So, turnabout is in this case fair play. I give you the wanker Jim Gerlach, serial plagiarist.

First, Gerlach sends out a press release which is identical to a four month old House Education and Workforce Committee press release. A sample. Committee release:

Improved disclosure and transparency of Head Start. The bill will require all Head Start grantees to make available to the public an annual report detailing how money was spent, the sources from which funds were received, and how the agency has performed in terms of meeting the requirements of the law. An independent financial audit will also be required annually.

Gerlach release:

Improved disclosure and transparency of Head Start. The bill will require all Head Start grantees to make available to the public an annual report detailing how money was spent, the sources from which funds were received, and how the agency has performed in terms of meeting the requirements of the law. An independent financial audit will also be required annually.

He also published identical material as Jon Porter and Barrett Gresham on the same day.


Since the founding of this country, the federal courts have retained jurisdiction over cases between citizens of different states involving large amounts of money. However, because of an anomaly in the way the law has been interpreted, class action cases involving parties from many states and millions of dollars have been excluded from this rule. The result has been a proliferation of large class actions in “magnet” state courts that cannot be transferred to federal court. The Class Action Fairness Act closes this loophole by creating federal jurisdiction over large multi-state class action cases.


Since the founding of this country, the federal courts have retained jurisdiction over cases between citizens of different states involving large amounts of money. However, because of an anomaly in the way the law has been interpreted, class action cases involving parties from many states and millions of dollars have been excluded from this rule. The result has been a proliferation of large class actions in “magnet” state courts that cannot be transferred to federal court. The Class Action Fairness Act closes this loophole by creating federal jurisdiction over large multi-state class action cases.


It puts an end to the various ‘tricks’ currently used by some lawyers to stay out of federal court. In addition, this legislation creates several provisions specifically designed to ensure that class members – not their attorneys – are the primary beneficiaries of the class actions process.


The legislation also puts an end to the various ‘tricks’ currently used by plaintiffs’ lawyers to stay out of federal court . . .”

“The plan contains several provisions specifically designed to ensure that class members – not their attorneys – are the primary beneficiaries of the class actions process.

Anyway, there are more examples. One could waste an entirely lifetime hunting for them I imagine. This is a stupid issue. But, Jim Gerlach is a serial plagiarist!

Call his campaign headquarters and ask him when he's going to stop plagiarizing.


And then donate some money to Lois Murphy to help get this idiot out of office.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Late Night

Please don't shoot anybody in the face.

I'm The Decider

This hastily-produced parody is actually a much better version of I Am the Walrus than was that brain bleach-requiring recent Styx version.

(tip from someone I lost track of...)

The Big Money

Raw Story previews tomorrow's Post:

With the expected passage this spring of the largest emergency spending bill in history, annual war expenditures in Iraq will have nearly doubled since the U.S. invasion, as the military confronts the rapidly escalating cost of repairing, rebuilding and replacing equipment chewed up by three years of combat. The cost of the war in U.S. fatalities has declined this year, but the cost in treasure continues to rise, from $48 billion in 2003 to $59 billion in 2004 to $81 billion in 2005 to an anticipated $94 billion in 2006, according to the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.

The U.S. government is now spending nearly $10 billion a month in Iraq and Afghanistan, up from $8.2 billion a year ago, a new Congressional Research Service report found. Annual war costs in Iraq are easily outpacing the $61 billion a year that the United States spent in Vietnam between 1964 and 1972, in today's dollars.


Wow. Read the update to Glenn Greenwald's post (at the bottom) and the linked piece at Belgravia Dispatch.

Just when I think the 101st and Field Marshall Reynolds can't surprise me anymore they do.

Lying Dan

Not nice Mr. Bartlett. Kudos to Tweety for calling him on it.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Worst Preznit Ever?

Article here:

By contrast, the Bush administration -- in seeking to restore what Cheney, a Nixon administration veteran, has called "the legitimate authority of the presidency" -- threatens to overturn the Framers' healthy tension in favor of presidential absolutism. Armed with legal findings by his attorney general (and personal lawyer) Alberto Gonzales, the Bush White House has declared that the president's powers as commander in chief in wartime are limitless. No previous wartime president has come close to making so grandiose a claim. More specifically, this administration has asserted that the president is perfectly free to violate federal laws on such matters as domestic surveillance and the torture of detainees. When Congress has passed legislation to limit those assertions, Bush has resorted to issuing constitutionally dubious "signing statements," which declare, by fiat, how he will interpret and execute the law in question, even when that interpretation flagrantly violates the will of Congress. Earlier presidents, including Jackson, raised hackles by offering their own view of the Constitution in order to justify vetoing congressional acts. Bush doesn't bother with that: He signs the legislation (eliminating any risk that Congress will overturn a veto), and then governs how he pleases -- using the signing statements as if they were line-item vetoes. In those instances when Bush's violations of federal law have come to light, as over domestic surveillance, the White House has devised a novel solution: Stonewall any investigation into the violations and bid a compliant Congress simply to rewrite the laws.

Bush's alarmingly aberrant take on the Constitution is ironic. One need go back in the record less than a decade to find prominent Republicans railing against far more minor presidential legal infractions as precursors to all-out totalitarianism. "I will have no part in the creation of a constitutional double-standard to benefit the president," Sen. Bill Frist declared of Bill Clinton's efforts to conceal an illicit sexual liaison. "No man is above the law, and no man is below the law -- that's the principle that we all hold very dear in this country," Rep. Tom DeLay asserted. "The rule of law protects you and it protects me from the midnight fire on our roof or the 3 a.m. knock on our door," warned Rep. Henry Hyde, one of Clinton's chief accusers. In the face of Bush's more definitive dismissal of federal law, the silence from these quarters is deafening.

The Politics of Inspiration

One of Bush's biggest failures (and, yes, it's a very long list) both for country and for himself and his political party was to fail to genuinely tap into the uniting post-9/11 spirit. To use his lame expression, he decided to be a divider, not a uniter, and failed to transform American politics in a way which quite likely would've led to Republican domination for decades.

Tomasky has an essay about a new (old) kind of politics, one based on appealing to the common good rather than appealing to individual interest. It's similar to what Joe Trippi has been talking about - moving away from transactional politics and towards transformational politics.

Tomasky does a good job of fleshing out the potential pitfalls, as well as recognizing that it may just be his inner idealist talking. But I think many people do want to feel a part of something bigger than themselves, something they feel is a force for good.

Big Problem

Neiwert on Little LuLu.

Who The Hell Is That Stupid?

I think Josh is probably right, that part of the reason there isn't going to be any "new blood" in the White House is that no one actually wants to join the team.

Wanker of the Day

Professor Lloyd Christmas.


Michael Savage advocates killing 100 million Muslims.

Who Knew?

CNN's John Roberts on how the job of White House press secretary would be described in a job listing:

Be willing to take it full in the face every day.

Who's Next?

Frontrunners appear to be:

Tony Snow
Baghdad Dan Senor, otherwise known as Mr. Campbell Brown
Jeff Gannon
Ron Silver
Toby Keith

Bye Scottie

McClellan resigns.

Sinking Even Lower

The Washington Post op-ed section continues its quest to become a parody of the Wall Street Journal op-ed section.


What a loser:

President Bush's job-approval rating slipped for the third consecutive month and remains near the lowest mark of his presidency, according to a new Harris Interactive poll.

Thirty-five percent of 1,008 U.S. adults surveyed in the telephone poll think Mr. Bush is doing an "excellent or pretty good" job as president, down from 36% in March and significantly lower than 43% in January. This compares with 63% of Americans who said Mr. Bush is doing an "only fair or poor" job, down from 64% in March.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Worst. Preznit. Ever.

I briefly met Sean Wilentz recently, seemed like a nice guy. I think every time I bump into Joe Trippi he says, regarding Wilentz's "Rise of American Democracy," something along the lines of " gotta read the book... just read it... "

I haven't read it yet, though a kind reader did get me a copy and it's on top of the rather large stack of unread books...

Force for Fantasy

In the early days of this blog I'd do a regular feature (when I remembered) the night before MoDo's columns appeared, betting on whether she'd be good or evil that day. One can never expect her to stop regularly losing sight of the important for the trivial, or to stop choosing to embrace a catty pop culture reference over an insightful observation. But, when she's on she's on and tomorrow's column is a pretty good one. Excerpt:

He suggested invading Iraq the day after 9/11. He didn't want to invade Iraq because it was connected to 9/11. That was the part his neocon aides at the Pentagon, Wolfie and Doug Feith, had to concoct. Rummy wanted to invade Iraq because he thought it would be easy, compared with Iran or North Korea, or compared with finding Osama. He could do it cheap and show off his vaunted transformation of the military into a sleek, lean fighting force.

Cloistered in a macho monastery with W. ("The Decider"), Dick Cheney and Condi Rice, Rummy didn't want to hear dissent, or delve into worries about Iraq, the tribes, the sects, the likelihood of an insurgency or a civil war, the need for more troops and armor to quell postwar eruptions.

"He didn't worry about the culture in Iraq," said Bernard Trainor, the retired Marine general who is my former colleague and the co-author of "Cobra II." "He just wanted to show them the front end of an M-1 tank. He could have been in Antarctica fighting penguins. He didn't care, as long as he could send the message that you don't mess with Hopalong Cassidy. He wanted to do to Saddam in the Middle East what he did to Shinseki in the Pentagon, make him an example, say, 'I'm in charge, don't mess with me.' "

The stoic Gen. Eric Shinseki finally spoke to Newsweek, conceding he had seen a former classmate wearing a cap emblazoned with "RIC WAS RIGHT" at West Point last fall. He said only that the Pentagon had "a lot of turmoil" before the invasion.

Just as with Vietnam, when L.B.J. and Robert McNamara were running the war, or later, when Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger took over, we now have leaders obsessed with not seeming weak, or losing face. Their egos are feeding their delusions.

Asked by Rush Limbaugh on Monday about progress in Iraq, Rummy replied, "Well, the progress has been good." He said that if you always listened to critics about war, "we wouldn't have won the Revolutionary War" or World War I or World War II, and America would have been a different country "if it existed at all."

But the conscience-stricken generals are not critics of war. They are critics of having a war run by a 73-year-old who thinks he's a force for modernity when he's really a force for fantasy. It's time to change the change agent.


Watch Tony Soprano dicuss his affinity with Senator "Sanatorium".

Finally Some Good News

Kansas's freak of an attorney general thwarted in his panty sniffing quest:

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- In a victory for an abortion rights group, a federal judge ruled Tuesday that abortion clinic doctors and other professionals are not required under Kansas law to report underage sex between consenting youths.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten was a setback for Kansas Attorney General Phill Kline, an abortion foe.

Kline contended a 1982 Kansas law requiring doctors, teachers and others to alert the state and law enforcement about potential child abuse covers consensual sex between minors. He argued that the law applies to abortion clinics, and later extended that to other health professionals and teachers.


Memories of the good old days.

Buy the CD.

Horrifying the Framers

Yeah, but 9/11 changed everything [/wingnut]

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Sen. Santorium

Santorum's got an ally in Tony Soprano.

Keith in the AM

MSNBC is going to start rebroadcasting Olbermann at 9AM the next day.

More WaPo Blogger Profiles

This one is better.

They Write Letters

The General writes a letter to Ken Mehlman.

Must be a Green

This morning Mrs. A sent me an IM:

was gov ryan from IL republican or dem?

and then followed up with:

i've been searching from last night

It's difficult to find the answer to the question.

Reverb MoFos

A video of the artist as a young man.

Worthy of Jail

I hope CNN's on board with their paid commentator's desires to jail journalists for reporting on the illlegal actions of their government.

...let me add that this is really the kind of thing our respectable elite journalists need to figure out a way to deal with. Bennett is a longtime member of the respectable commentariat. He isn't even "just" a right wing ranter with a talk show, he's a fixture in the world of respectable journalism. And, he's calling on the jailing of journalists for doing their jobs. I'm sure some shrill blogger is doing something inappropriate today, but maybe, just maybe, things like this should inspire some genuine reflection on how our political discourse got to this state and who is responsible.

Purity Balls

Oh Jeebus.

Moral Clarity

I guess that's what it looks like. Maybe the Eustonites should figure out how that fits into their manifesto.

And, yes, it's link-to-Think Progress-day here at Eschaton, because they're such beautiful people.


The issue with the AMT isn't that we need to weep for upper middle class people, it's that it's shitty tax policy. I'd be quite happy to reform the AMT so it doesn't ensnare these people and then turn around and enacting a corresponding tax rate increase which would roughly keep their tax burden the same (no way to do this precisely, of course). The point is that there are incentives built into the tax code, for better or for worse, and these incentives are nuked when after going through the process of calculating your taxes (and the administrative burden of doing so), at the very end suddenly the rug is pulled out from under you.

The AMT probably does end up hitting some people with a higher tax burden than it "should," given the general philosophy behind putting the various credits and deductions into the code, but aside from that as more and more people get pulled into the AMT range the tax code just gets increasingly stupid.

Our Codpiece is the Biggest

I really would like to know what the common feature of the early social development of wingers has led them to believe that the most important thing in the world to do is to show everyone that "we" are the toughest bastards on the block.

Please save us from these morons.


Georgia10 has a pretty good post about Malkin's nonsense. The basic issues are understanding the power imbalance which comes from having a large microphone and the distinctions between public/private figures and public/private lives.

I've probably made a few mistakes along these lines while blogging - using the big microphone to bludgeon a small player - though I'm pretty sure I've always been careful to maintain the separation between the real and virtual worlds. I wouldn't knowingly post someone's personal phone number, and if I had done so inadvertently I would pull it down.

If Malkin had pulled down their phone numbers after being asked it wouldn't be a big deal. They did put it on their press release. When I post press releases I usually try to remember to pull out the contact information, though I probably haven't always remembered to do so. But if someone asked me to pull it down I would. The fact that a number has been made public somewhere on the internets does not mean that number should be posted on this blog as an encouragement for my readers to call it.


Let me roughly endorse the sentiments contained within Jill's post on the Duke lacrosse case, but even moreso let me endorse Norbizness's comment to that post:

Apart from the sociological elements identified by Jill in the post, I still have to place this in the category of “local news become national to the extent that national and international news gets shunted aside” that I deplore in missing white girl cases, and, to a lesser extent, serial killers who are operating exclusively in one area.

I think the nationalization of stories which should basically be local ones is one of the not-talked-about-enough pernicious impacts of 24 hour cable news (and to some extent the internets as well). People are raped and killed every day, but some stories bubble up to the national media for bizarre reasons. In some sense this isn't really fair to the accused or the accuser, as the media attention they get is disproprtionate to the importance of the situation. It also gives viewers a rather distorted view of crime and the justice system generally in this country. And, it provides additional privileges to people who can afford celebrity lawyers/PR people who can spin their way into the press. They also of course take time away from coverage of stories of actual national importance. There are also the obvious race/class issues of which stories get national coverage and which don't, but even without that...

The Consequences of the Tinkerbell Strategy

Since this nightmare began we have been told the criticism undermines the effort. The Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld strategy was to demand that we all clap louder while they ignored and dismissed any criticism.

As Ted Barlow provided for us on September 8, 2003:

Think of a wonderful thought…

From Donald Rumsfeld:

Mr. Rumsfeld did not mention any of the domestic critics by name. But he suggested that those who have been critical of the administration’s handling of the war in Iraq and its aftermath might be encouraging American foes to believe that the United States might one day walk away from the effort, as it has in past conflicts.

From Christopher Durang:

You remember how in the second act Tinkerbell drinks some poison that Peter is about to drink in order to save him? And then Peter turns to the audience and he says, “Tinkerbell is going to die because not enough people believe in fairies. But if all of you clap your hands real hard to show that you do believe in fairies, maybe she won’t die.”

So, we all started to clap. I clapped so long and so hard that my palms hurt and they even started to bleed I clapped so hard. Then suddenly the actress playing Peter Pan turned to the audience and she said, “That wasn’t enough. You did not clap hard enough. Tinkerbell is dead.” And then we all started to cry. The actress stomped off stage and refused to continue with the production. They finally had to lower the curtain. The ushers had to come help us out of the aisles and into the street.

You hear that? CLAP LOUDER!

The consequences have been catastrophic:

"The American politicians couldn't understand the deepness and complications of the region," said Falah al-Nakib, the interior minister from June 2004 to April 2005, who said he raised the militia problem and the growing Iranian influence in Iraq with U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld. "They didn't take us seriously."

U.S. officials long have known that the Shiite militias could become a problem.

Officials in Washington said alarms about the growing power of the militias began in late 2003 and were raised throughout 2004 and 2005 by a variety of agencies, including the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

Senior officials dismissed the reports as "nay-saying" and "hand-wringing," said two former senior officials in Washington who were responsible for Iraq policy through most or all of that period and one top official who remains in government.

The officials agreed to speak only on the condition of anonymity because they discussed intelligence reports that remain classified.

Media Committees

These people are fucking nuts.

Wanker of the Day

Fred Hiatt, again.


In one of his recent meet the people outings Bush made repeated reference to kids:

The biggest decision I've had to make since I've been your President is putting kids in harm's way.


I made my first decision to send our kids into harm's way and liberate Afghanistan.


One of the benefits of sending our kids into harm's way was that we liberated 25 million people from the clutches of one of the most barbaric regimes known to the history of man.

Now, I know that technically we're all somebody's "kid" but it still made me wonder if he knows that a lot of the people in Iraq, and a lot of the people dying, are by no definition "kids."

Moving the Chairs Around

Wow, Bush is taking the guy who was US Trade Representative (Portman) and putting him in as head of OMB, because that seat became open when the head of OMB became the chief of staff...

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Monday, April 17, 2006

The World's Worst Person

Congratulations, Michelle Malkin.

Looking Ahead

I just glanced at my handy crystal ball and it presented me with an image of the Washington Post lead editorial, for January 5, 2009. The title?

A Good Pardon


Coulter, Limbaugh, and O'Reilly oh my!

Little LuLu won this evening, I hear.

Onward to Tehran

Holy Joe:

Lieberman indicated that the US had learned a lesson, from both Osama bin Laden and from Adolf Hitler, to the effect that "sometimes when people say really extreme things, which at some level a lot of people don't want to even believe... they may actually mean it. They may intend to do it. So I do think that the statements of Ahmadinejad are taken very seriously, both with regard to [speaking of a world without] the US and with regard to Israel."


Asked what last-resort military option was available, Lieberman said: "I don't think anyone is thinking of this as a massive ground invasion, as in Iraq, to topple the government." Rather, he said, he envisaged "an attempt to hit some of the components of the nuclear program," primarily from the air, with some potential for covert ground assistance.

"I think the only justifiable use of military power would be an attempt to deter the development of their nuclear program if we felt there was no other way to do it," he said. "And I use the word 'deter' because I'm skeptical of our ability - because they've spread their nuclear program and some of it is underground - to knock it out completely."

The goal of such action, he continued, would be "to delay it, to deter it, hoping that you set the program off course, so that by the time they catch up back to where they were, there's been a change in the government. That's the limited objective that I would see."

The senator said the Armed Services Committee had not been briefed on plans for a strike, "but we keep hearing that the administration is considering these options."

Lieberman, who also sits on the Armed Services Committee's Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, added, "The very fact that there is active discussion of the potential - this is not, you know, sort of set war plans, but the discussion of options - does say something. We've come some distance here with regard to Iran, fairly quickly, and I'm not saying that it says without doubt that there'll be military action, but there's been movement... We're taking this very seriously."

Please give to Ned Lamont. Do it for your children and grandchildren.

Evening Thread

Try not to shoot anybody in the face.


Dean on the Majority Report now.

Listen here...


And the Chicks move up to #3.

Little LuLu

What an awful person.

Sounds like Operation Yellow Elephant needs to pay a visit to Jesse Malkin and Michelle Maglalang.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

More Chicks

How they're treated in the alternate universe of our mainstream media.

And who knew those tough heartland folks were such WATBS:

Jessen said the song was played at least once on 41 of the 123 country stations Billboard monitors to compile the chart, with frequent airplay in Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Minneapolis and Cleveland -- large markets that can strongly influence chart position.

Not all big cities are playing it, though. WIL-FM in St. Louis, which hasn't had the Chicks in rotation since 2003, gave "Not Ready to Make Nice" a trial run and decided against adding it to the playlist after listeners complained with calls and e-mails.

"With the hard feelings out there, especially here in the heartland, combined with the in-your-face lyrics, I don't think that boded well for them," program director Greg Mozingo said.

In Denver, KYGO program director Joel Burke also was bothered by the lyrics. KYGO tested the song, and while Burke said listeners reacted favorably, he isn't ready to add it to the playlist.

"The ticked-off factor is beginning to subside," Burke said. "There is an appetite that I'm beginning to see for the first time in nearly three years that people are interested in the Dixie Chicks again.

"But what concerns me about this song is it's backward thinking," he added. "I'd rather wait until the CD comes out and pick a song we can embrace and that doesn't have any negative connection to it."

Meanwhile, America buys the CD.

Go Murphy!

Murphy campaign press release:

Levittown, PA – Patrick Murphy, endorsed Democratic Congressional candidate for Pennsylvania's Eighth District, is gaining more and more support for his campaign by the day. His campaign is charging ahead after a great first quarter in fundraising, where, according to reports just filed with the Federal Elections Commission, Murphy out-raised incumbent Republican Mike Fitzpatrick's by more than $16,000.

"I appreciate all the support this campaign has been getting over the past few months," said Patrick Murphy. "But no matter how much money we raise, this is a grassroots campaign at its heart. This campaign is about changing the direction of our country for the people of Bucks County. It's providing real prescription drug coverage for our seniors, bringing real ethics reform in Washington, and having a real plan to to fix the mess in Iraq. The support I've received makes it clear Bucks County is ready for a change, and I plan on delivering that change in November."

Patrick Murphy raised more than $250,000 in the first quarter. After receiving the Eighth District Democratic Party's official endorsement in February, he's gearing up for a primary victory in May, and a hard-fought victory in November. With the help of hundreds of supporters, he's pushing ahead, ready to take his vision to Congress, and ready to guarantee the people of Bucks County are really represented in Washington.

Saving It!

When Franken wrote Lies and the Lying Liars he got into a bit of trouble because on Harvard letterhead he sent a request to various Bushies for them to give an inspiring story about their abstinence for a book on abstinence-only education called "Saving It!" that Franken wasn't actually planning to write. The idea being that prominent figures should tell their stories about how they managed to remain abstinent until marriage.

Now the Bush administration is pushing abstinence-only education which isn't just about teen abstinence, but abstinence for all unmarried individuals. Given that this is the case it's more than legitimate to ask unmarried members of the Bush administration if they are, in fact, saving it.

Not Quite As Frothy As Feared

Well, that's somewhat of a relief. Earlier it had gone around that little Ricky had $11.5 million in the bank. Turns out it's "only" $9 million.

When a Man Loves a Man

The Rude Pundit (who is, in fact, rude so if that's not your cup of tea consider yourself warned) on Joe Klein's love for Newt Gingrich.


#6 at Amazon, and the CD doesn't come out for over a month... 200 fine Atriots have placed an order.

Facts, Schmacts

Washington Post endorses the "choose your own reality" view.

Laughing All The Way to the Apocalypse

I know we're a bunch of angry fucking hippies, but I'm constantly amused by the fact that the Right doesn't seem to understand that we are laughing at them. We find them hilariously funny and they provide endless material for the wittier bloggers out there. One of the idiots showed up to Tbogg's place and imagined that his written-in-crayon manifesto was driving us crazy, and wanted to see if anyone wanted to seriously debate him. Who would want to spend time debating something coming from the minds of mental midgets?

They're such silly stupid people and they don't even have the brains enough to realize it.

Joke's on us in one respect, though. These are the people in charge.

Get Your Crazy On, Part Deux

While admittedly invading Iran is somewhat more crazy than invading Iraq, especially now that we actually invaded Iraq, as Belle Waring gazes at the lunacy of the pro-war nutters, I feel it's necessary to point out that for many of us this is deja vu all over again. The arguments are the same as they were, except lacking de Beste's 4 billion word treatises on why we need to kill some brown people they have to turn elsewhere for their Getyourwaronomicons to inspire their little bloodthirsty fantasies. For us anti-war types during the runup to the Iraq war, "holy crap has the world gone fucking nuts?" was pretty much how we felt the whole time.

It is as it was. While the politicians and public intellectuals seem to be slightly less on board for the our little trip to Tehran than they were for our little trip to Baghdad, there hasn't actually been much leadership on the issue either.

Time to stand up.

Happy Blogiversary to Me

Four years. Time flies.


Feel the Joementum!

The Ultimate Wankery

I've seen a lot of wankers in my time, and there are certainly more important wankers, but Tbogg uncovers a new achievement in the high art of wankery.


I really don't understand the handwrining about whether the speaking out by retired generals undermines civilian control of the military. They're retired. No one raises this issue when they say nice things about the administration.


The push to criminalize illegal immigrants came from the Bush administration.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Wanker of the Day

Joe Klein.

Look, I understand that official policy is that nothing is off the table. I don't expect George Bush to say "nukes are off the table." But I do expect that liberal pundits, who are free to, you know, give their actual opinion instead of joining in the administration's posturing (for good or for bad), understand that nuking Iran is, in fact, bugshit crazy, and would alter the world in ways their most feverish nightmares (and those bedwetters have lots of those) can't come close to conjuring.

Slow Blog Day

Surrounded by receipts and documents and forms and whatnot...

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.


Are a pain.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.


Tom Hanks was in Bachelor Party.


I guess Operation Yellow Elephant needs to make a stop at Joe Lieberman weekly.

Cold, Dead, Dishpan Hands

Jeff Goldstein pulls out the paste again.

Sunday Bobbleheads

Document the atrocities.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.