Saturday, May 20, 2006

Jean Rohe Speaks

At HuffPo.

Damn Ponies

Thought I was gonna hit that trifecta until about 5 seconds before it was over...

What's Tom Kean Trying to Say?

I have no idea.

"Attacks From The Blogosphere"

Now might be a good time to take another listen to Joementum [Nedrenaline Mix] from jsff.

Cell Phone and a Camel

This New York Times article on the mendacious incompetence of the people running the Iraq strategy should be read all the way through.

One thing it's important to highlight was just how much the Tinkerbell Strategy of the 101st Fighting Keyboarders has been responsible for the disaster in Iraq. Tough questions, early on, might have helped save their pet war. To them, Dear Leader can do no wrong.

I don't know how any of them sleep at night.


Connecticut politics watcher Colin McEnroe tells us what last night's vote meant, and suggests there's a pretty good chance Joe bolts the party.

I think 33 percent is a pretty bad number for an incumbent senator to give up to a challenger nobody ever heard of. Certainly, the Lamont team members were staggering around like dazed lottery winners. "Pinch me," Lamont campaign manager Tom Swan told a comrade. The Lieberman team was acting like they knew it all along. "Can we count or can we count?" Lieberman manager Sean Smith languidly told a reporter. He was unpersuasive. It may have been a number that tumbled out of their worst-case game theory, but it certainly was not a number they wanted.

The real number is lot worse for Lieberman than 33 percent. I don't know how big the Lamont vote would get if you could tabulate the no-shows and the sleeper cells of delegates who plan to vote differently in the primary, but I do know it's a bigger number. And the convention is full of party regulars, usually the easiest people to keep in line. Wisdom of the ages would suggest that the "amateur" voters are potentially much more rebellious.

Give Ned some Big Love.

Afternoon Thread


Smart Kid

New School:

Noting that Mr. McCain had promised to give the same speech at all of his graduation appearances, Ms. Rohe, who was one of two students selected to speak by university deans, attacked his remarks even before he delivered them.

"Senator McCain will tell us today that dissent and disagreement are our civic and moral obligation in times of crisis, and I agree," she said. "I consider this a time of crisis, and I feel obligated to speak."

She continued, "Senator McCain will also tell us about his strong-headed self-assuredness in his youth, which prevented him from hearing the ideas of others, and in so doing he will imply that those of us who are young are too naïve to have valid opinions.

"I am young, and although I don't profess to possess the wisdom that time affords us, I do know that pre-emptive war is dangerous and wrong," she said.

She added, "Osama bin Laden still has not been found, nor have those weapons of mass destruction."

I love the way she waged pre-emptive war on his little rhetorical trick - yes people should feel free to disagree, but anyone who does is young and stupid.

...New Yorkers can go show their appreciation to Ms. Rohe by attending her show this Friday at Rockwood Music Hall.

Pulling Babies from Incubators

Here we go again.


I think it's pretty difficult to overstate Lamont's accomplishment last night. Remember that Lieberman's flunkies were throwing around the 30% number as a part of their expectations game. That is, they were predicting 30% so that when Lamont inevitably got fewer than 30% of the delegates they could claim "victory." Lamont managed to get over 30%.

Bye Joe. Hope there's a job at Fox News for you after you lose in August.

Morning Thread


Friday, May 19, 2006

Late Night

Final Vote

Lieberman 1004 66.5%
Lamont 505 33.5%

1509 voted.

Lamont's on the ballot. Quite an amazing feat. Tears in Liebermanland tonight.

Send him some love.

On the Ballot

We've got a primary in Connecticut.

...Lieberman's getting a big spanking.


They're doing the voting at the convention now. Just started. You can watch here.

Liveblogging here and here and here and elsewhere.

From early votes I'd guess Ned is on track for the 15%, but we'll see.


Friday Cat Blogging

Lottsa Phone Records

Regarding the phone company denials, maybe someone should just go ask Trent Lott who confirmed the basic story a few days ago:

Senator Trent Lott, a Mississippi Republican, told reporters he was briefed on the program and said the U.S. needs ``to use modern technological tools'' to defeat terrorists. President George W. Bush, while not confirming or denying the effort, defended his administration's spying and said the government isn't ``trolling through the personal lives of millions of innocent Americans.''

USA Today, citing anonymous sources with direct knowledge of the arrangement, reported today that the phone companies turned the records over to the NSA. The spy agency has compiled a massive database with the information, the newspaper reported.

Lott said the story ``undermines'' the program, which he called ``legitimate and legal.''

Mike McCurry

Still wanking.


This amusing bit of wingnuttery from swift boat liar Jerome Corsi brings us back to the black helicopter era of wingnuttery which thrived so well under Poppy. But could someone tell Jerome Corsi, Ph.D from Harvard in Political Science, that NAFTA was a trade pact between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico and therefore already includes Canada?

President Bush is pursuing a globalist agenda to create a North American Union, effectively erasing our borders with both Mexico and Canada. This was the hidden agenda behind the Bush administration's true open borders policy.

Secretly, the Bush administration is pursuing a policy to expand NAFTA to include Canada, setting the stage for North American Union designed to encompass the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. What the Bush administration truly wants is the free, unimpeded movement of people across open borders with Mexico and Canada.

(tip from P O'Neill)

Zombie Narrative

It'll be impossible to kill the news narrative that the Lamont/Lieberman showdown is all about the Iraq war. It's certainly that, in part, but it's much much more than that.

Still, since the senator says:

Lieberman said he shares Democrats' frustration.

"I share their anger on most of the things that make them angry," Lieberman said. "I'm angry about energy prices. I'm angry that we haven't done enough to become energy independent. I'm angry about the irresponsible tax policies."

But he doesn't share their anger on the No. 1 issue that has these liberal activists frustrated — the Iraq War.

"Well, I don't," he said. "But the question is: What do we do now? And I think most everybody wants to get out of Iraq. The question is: When do we do it and how do we do it?"

I don't think George Bush wants to get out of Iraq, which is why when Lieberman says things like:

It's time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be the commander-in-chief for three more critical years, and that, in matters of war, we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril.

I get a little annoyed. We need leadership on Iraq. The president isn't providing it. Lieberman isn't providing it. He says we should focus on what we should do, but he doesn't offer any answers. He's not angry about Iraq? Even if he still is delusional enough to think it was a good idea he isn't angry about how it's been managed? It's all good? Rumsfeld's incompetence? Lack of body armor and armored vehicles? 2454 dead American troops? Even the homeless veterans of that war? Nothing to be angry about? You'd have to lack even a speck of humanity to not be angry about this war especially if you supported the damn thing.

Support Lamont so we can rid the Senate of this hideous human being.

Wanker of the Day

Vince Galko, Little Ricky's campaign manager.

Afternoon Thread


Still Not Noteworthy

The current #2 "album" at the iTunes store is the audio of Colbert's WHCA dinner performance. $1.95.

(tip from reader d)


I really don't know how we excise this "wants to invade lots of countries" attitude from elite opinion in Washington. It's very entrenched, very wrong, and very frightening.

Santorums Admit No Curtains, No Furniture

But then whine that democrats must be trespassing on the property where they don't live.

“He doesn't live here,” said Ed Vecchio of Penn Hills. “The house he's registered to vote out of, is vacant -- no curtains, furniture, nothing in there. It's abandoned for over a month. So, I feel it's my right to contest his vote.”

Those comments from the husband of the head of the Penn Hills Democratic Party led police to beef up patrols around the home of U.S. Senator Rick Santorum.

The increased police presence began late Tuesday, after authorities in Washington D.C. contacted Penn Hills authorities.

U.S. Capitol Police received a complaint from Karen Santorum.

She was worried that someone was trespassing or prowling on their Penn Hills property.


Right now, Penn Hills Police don't know who, if anybody, trespassed on Santorum's property.

No one has been charged.

As for the Santorums, they think someone would have had to go onto their property to know what is, or isn't inside.

Backdating Options

Ah, more lovely white collar corruption.

A Giant Tool

Here locally Patrick Murphy is, unsurprisingly, up against a giant tool, exceeding your usual Republican benchmark level of toolery.

Consider donating. If you're local consider volunteering. Follow the fun on the campaign blog.


While it's good fun to mock Tom "Six Months 'Till I Get a Pony" Friedman, he is in fact just reflecting Conventional Beltway Wisdom on the subject of Iraq. Hope seems to be the only plan, despite the fact that wishes are, sadly, not ponies. There seems to be little constructive dialogue by the so-called hawks or others in the Washington foreign policy establishment. Politicians, too, are living on the "6 months or so and then... ... ..." platform.

But George Bush is president. George Bush is not leaving Iraq. George Bush is not going to withdraw troops from Iraq. The war is becoming increasingly unpopular. Leaders are not stepping up to represent that sentiment in sufficient numbers. Nothing magical is going to happen between now and election day which, according to my calendar, is just about 6 months from now.

And, after election day, Tom Friedman and the rest of them will simply reboot, and consider what the next 6 months will bring.

Onward to Iran!

Oh My

The Dukestir to cooperate.

Morning Thread


Thursday, May 18, 2006

And She Was a Child

Lolita is great novel. The Derb is a great creep.

Mission Accomplished



Larry Beinhart.

It is an insult to our intelligence. It shows contempt, absolute contempt for the senate and the media. It shows that he is right to have that contempt. Since no one called him out on it. No one said it was a ridiculous and foolish assertion. Unsupported by the facts. Indeed, the facts point in the other direction.

The Decline of America

From Patrick to Pat.

Chicks on Tour

Dates Announced:

Austin sensation David Grissom (Joe Ely, John Mellencamp) reprises his 2003 role as leader of the Dixie Chicks band which this time features returning acoustic guitarist extraordinaire Keith Sewell, (Ricky Skaggs), as well as Wallflowers drummer Fred Eltringham, Black Crowes/Chris Robinson guitarist Audley Freed, west coast keyboard studio legend Larry Knechtel (Simon & Garfunkel, Mamas & Papas, Beach Boys) former Soul Coughing bassist Sebastian Steinberg, pedal steel player Pete Finney (Doug Sahm, Alison Moorer), Rod Stewart violinist Janna Jacoby and cellist John Krovoza.

Before the North American tour kicks off, the famed trio will perform two concerts in London as part of their promotional activities for the June 12 international release of their new album. Ironically, their first concert performance in two years will be on Thursday, June 15 at Shepherd's Bush Empire, the so-called "scene of the crime" of lead singer Natalie Maines' infamous words. The Dixie Chicks have also been added as special guests to The Eagles' June 17 show at Twickenham Stadium.

Dates at the link.



Asked about Lamont's ads, Lieberman campaign manager Sean Smith said, "They're cute little spots. But cute never saved a job or stood up to the big oil companies."

Neither did Joe "Voted for the Energy Bill" Lieberman.

Go Tex!

Hilarious partnership:

WASHINGTON, May 18 /U.S. Newswire/ -- House Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-Wis.), along with Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) and others, today introduced bipartisan legislation to preserve Internet freedom and competition. Over the last decade, the Internet has revolutionized the manner in which Americans access and transmit a broad range of information and consume goods. The advent of high speed (broadband) Internet access has dramatically enhanced the ability of Americans to access this medium and has been a catalyst for innovation and competition. H.R. 5417, the "Internet Freedom and Nondiscrimination Act of 2006," would ensure competitive and nondiscriminatory access to the Internet.

Chairman Sensenbrenner remarked, "This legislation is a necessary step to protect consumers and other Internet users from possible anti-competitive and discriminatory conduct by broadband providers. The FCC recently reported that 98 percent of American consumers get their high speed broadband from either a cable company or a DSL provider. This virtual duopoly creates an environment that is ripe for anti-competitive abuses, and for which a clear antitrust remedy is urgently needed."

I Already Did Sell My Car!

Though I'm bad in plenty of other ways. But, yes, Foer is right, Gore's movie will quite likely be a very big event.

It's hard to quite communicate how a 100 minute movie mostly consisting of Gore making a powerpoint presentation and talking about that presentation can be riveting. But, somehow it was.




Jonathan Singer chats with Joe Sestak.


Third ad is up.

Help keep them on the air.

Free Advertising

I think these industry funded "global warming is fake" ads are hilarious and will probably provide indirect free advertising for Gore's movie.

Get your NY/LA tickets here.

Or, go see Al in person in NYC.

Frightened Bunnies

What the hell?

Bush Wanted Felony Provision

So sez Tex Sensenbrenner:

WASHINGTON - Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, who has pushed a tough border security bill through the House, accused President Bush on Wednesday of abandoning the legislation after asking for many of its provisions.

"He basically turned his back on provisions of the House-passed bill, a lot of which we were requested to put in the bill by the White House," Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., angrily told reporters in a conference call. "That was last fall when we were drafting the bill, and now the president appears not to be interested in it at all."

Sensenbrenner chairs the House Judiciary Committee and would be the House's chief negotiator on any final immigration package for Bush's signature. He said it was the White House that had requested two controversial felony provisions in the bill the House passed last winter.

"We worked very closely with White House in the fall in putting together the border security bill that the House passed," he said. "... What we heard in November and December, he seems to be going in the opposite direction in May. That is really at the crux of this irritation," he said of Bush.

He's Stupid and He's Ugly and...

...nobody likes him.

Thousands of Republicans who came out to vote on Tuesday left the polls without supporting one of the GOP's top priorities: U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum's re-election.

Statewide, the Republican incumbent unofficially came away with more than 21,000 fewer GOP votes than gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann, with 98 percent of votes counted. Neither faced a primary opponent, but both will be immersed in contested races in the fall.


In the southeastern part of the state, Santorum received about as many GOP votes as Swann. But in the southwest, an area that analysts agreed is critical for the senator's re-election bid, Santorum received 6,000 fewer votes than Swann.

That has to be a concern because the southwest is Santorum's home base, Young said.

"I think his problems are greater in the southwest, where the anger is more palpable and more serious for him in that he needs the support out there if he's going to have a chance to beat Casey," Young said.

Ricky really pissed people off in the Pittsburgh area over his spending the school district's money to educate his kids in Virginia where they live.


Ah, Republicans:

Wednesday, the Democratic Party called for an investigation into allegations of perjury and voter fraud against Republican candidate Brian Bilbray.

Democrats said the proof is in property records from three homes and Bilbray?s declaration of candidacy.

These are serious allegations against a man who has run a campaign saying San Diego is and always will be his home.

The ad states San Diego is the home where Republican congressional candidate Bilbray said he lives.

"I live in Carlsbad, taking care of my mother," Bilbray said.

He said he has lived in the Carlsbad house since March 2005.

It is the address he used in his declaration of candidacy for the North County congressional seat.

Democrats said Bilbray does not live at that address.

"It was a convenient residence to use for this particular election since it is the 50th Congressional District," said County Democratic Party Chair Jess Durfee

In fact, there are serious questions about where Bilbray really lives.

Virginia property records show Bilbray claims a home in Alexandria, Va., as his primary residence, for tax purposes.

The same is true for a home in Imperial Beach.

Bilbray and his wife, Karen, also claim the Imperial Beach home as their primary residence.

"He's misleading us. He's stating different things, different places, for different purposes," said Durfee.

"If these records existed since last August, and they had issues with them, then why didn't they raise them before?" asked Bilbray.

Bilbray stands by his claims of his Carlsbad residence.

Neighbors told 10News they rarely ever see Bilbray at the house, which is his mother's home.


Another man, who lives right next door, said he wondered when people would catch on that Bilbray does not live here.


There are also allegations Bilbray's children testified they lived in Virginia for purposes of paying in-state college tuition there.

Final push for Busby.

Morning Thread


Late Night

Don't fear the reaper.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Snow Confirms Fox is White House Network


More Thread

I'm gonna shoot Attaturk in the face...

Open Thread

They all made me do this Atrios, or they were going to shoot me in the face.

Fresh Thread

Out for a bit. Threadbot sent a postcard from Venezuela. Seems like he's having fun. Unclear when he'll return.


Holy crap.

Crashing the Gate

Don't forget, locals, now's your chance to tell Markos he's the Worst Blogger Ever.

6-8 this evening.
Drinker's Tavern.
124 Market St.


Campaign commercials on the air!

Gets Weicker endorsement.

More Good News

Republican state senator kicked out in special election. Certainly a good sign.

Gore Mania

The non-wankererous Klein is starting a Gore Watch feature. Meanwhile, those near NYC can pick up tickets to this event:

Wednesday, 17 May 2006
(PRNewswire) - Former Vice President Al Gore, film producers Lawrence Bender and Laurie David, and NASA scientist Dr. James E. Hansen will participate in a panel discussion presented by WIRED Magazine at The Town Hall in New York City on Thursday, May 25th.

Gore will open the evening by framing the issues explored in "An Inconvenient Truth", his new film that examines the detrimental effects of global warming. WIRED contributor John Hockenberry will then moderate a solutions-focused conversation between Gore, Bender, David, and Hansen on what the public can do to act now in the fight against global warming.

"An Inconvenient Truth strives to educate a mass audience about the climate crisis, and does so in a powerful way," said Chris Anderson, Editor in Chief of WIRED Magazine. "The discussion will pick up where the film leaves off, focusing on the solutions, responsibilities and even controversies that we must face now in order to make a difference."

An Inconvenient Truth is a documentary based on Al Gore's tireless research on global warming and his crusade to raise awareness of this planet- threatening problem. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January and will be in theaters in New York and Los Angeles on May 24.

Event Details

Who: Al Gore, Lawrence Bender, Laurie David and Dr. James E. Hansen, John Hockenberry; introductions by Chris Anderson, editor in chief of WIRED
What: An Inconvenient Truth: A WIRED Town Hall on the Climate Crisis
When: Thursday, May 25, 2006 | 8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. EDT
Where: The Town Hall, New York City [123 West 43rd Street, btw. 6/7th Avenues]
Tickets: Available at Ticketmaster or at the Town Hall Box Office. Orchestra seats are $20.00; Balcony seats are $15.00

Ticketmaster ticket link here. Get them before they're gone.

If that's not enough of the Original Sweaty Lunk for you, he's got a new book coming out.

Authorized to Lie

Executive Order Presidential memorandum authorizes companies to lie without running afoul of Securities Law if Negroponte tells them they can.

Which makes a lot more sense than this.

Bush Boom

Well, it was just recently that conservatives were crowing that the great and wonderful Bush boom was, 6 years later, leading the stock market to a "new record" as if that was an achievement to be proud of.

Na. Ga. Ha. Pen.


Ari Melber explains why the guy's worse than a wanker.

The Murphies

Primary season is out of the way so there's no better time to give away some of your hard earned dollars to Patrick and Lois Murphy (no relation). I know both of them and they're great candidates. I regularly bump into people working on Patrick's campaign around town and they're great people. Patrick especially has an enthusiastic young staff and a lot of eager volunteers. He's a young guy and the actually having a contested primary was probably a good thing for both him and his staff. They're all ramped up and ready to go, and their campaign blog is actually fun to read (hint to other candidates wondering how to do it).

Lois Murphy almost won in 2004, and on that fact alone she's probably about the best chance for a seat pickup we have. In addition, the Philly burbs have been slowly trending blue over the years and hopefully this year will be the year to put her over the top.

Sherwood (R-Accused Mistress Choker) Survives Primary

Don Sherwood survived his primary challenge, which given his mistress-and-violence issues increases the chances that Democratic challenger Chris Carney could unseat him.

TUNKHANNOCK, Pa. - Retired dairy farmers Ben and Phyllis Cole have been arguing over the dinner table about their congressman, Don Sherwood.

Ben Cole, 69, who has known Sherwood for decades, doesn't much care that the four-term U.S representative recently settled a $5.5 million lawsuit that accused him of abusing his former mistress. Cole plans to vote for him in the Republican primary anyway.

But Cole's wife said Sherwood had lost her support. "I'm very upset with him for what he did," said Phyllis Cole, 69. "I don't think it's an example for our youth. I don't care what he's done for our area."

If you're in the Scranton-Wilkes Barre area you have an opportunity to see him and Rendell today.

Also, Max Cleland will be campaigning with him at various events over the Memorial Day weekend. If you live in the area make sure you get in touch with the campaign about volunteer opportunities if you have the time and wish to.

Six Months

When I heard Tom Friedman say this to Chris Matthews I meant to do what FAIR has done but I never got around to it. In Tom Friedman's world, the accountability moment is always 6 months away...

Another 6 months, another $65 billion. That's about $180 per person.

WASHINGTON (AP) - With war bills to pay, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is calling on Congress to pass President Bush's request for an extra $65 billion to cover costs in Iraq and Afghanistan this year.


Pentagon press secretary Eric Ruff said Tuesday that Rumsfeld planned to tell the appropriations panel that Iraq has entered a ``hopeful new phase'' following a successful election last December and progress in recent weeks toward assembling a unity government.

``We will be talking about defense spending in terms of how we view the global war on terror and why there is reason for optimism in Iraq,'' Ruff said.

6 months from now, Tom Friedman will tell us that in 6 months we'll know if there is reason for optimism...and on and on...


Congrats to Patrick Murphy for beating the wanker Warren. Lois Murphy as well, though there wasn't much of a challenge there.

The top two Republicans in the state Senate got their asses booted out.

Chris Bowers won his race.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Zack Speak

You listen.


Another low.


Congrats, ladies, you are now supposed to live your life to ensure the health of your uterus.

New federal guidelines ask all females capable of conceiving a baby to treat themselves -- and to be treated by the health care system -- as pre-pregnant, regardless of whether they plan to get pregnant anytime soon.

Among other things, this means all women between first menstrual period and menopause should take folic acid supplements, refrain from smoking, maintain a healthy weight and keep chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes under control.

While most of these recommendations are well known to women who are pregnant or seeking to get pregnant, experts say it's important that women follow this advice throughout their reproductive lives, because about half of pregnancies are unplanned and so much damage can be done to a fetus between conception and the time the pregnancy is confirmed.

The recommendations aim to "increase public awareness of the importance of preconception health" and emphasize the "importance of managing risk factors prior to pregnancy," said Samuel Posner, co-author of the guidelines and associate director for science in the division of reproductive health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which issued the report.

(via salon)

Meet the Blogger

The standard media stereotypes about bloggers don't bother me as they provide a handy quick signal for "lazy reporter." I don't really care if we're written about as young anti-social idiotic childish computer nerds except to the extent that it isn't true of most of the bloggers I know and I thought our press was supposed to exist in a fact-based reality (cough). Still, as an aid to all the lazy reporters out there who desperately want to cling to their belief that they're cooler than us dorks for some odd reason James Boyce is starting a meet the blogger series.

Little Ricky's Got More Problems

Poor Little Ricky. His formers staffers not playing nice:

The alleged violations include:

• Dick contributed $14,000 and Kuklis contributed $11,800 to GSP-PAC in violation of the FECA, which limits PAC contributions to $5,000.

• GSP-PAC may have violated the FECA by soliciting a contribution from someone not employed by or a family member of someone employed by GSP.

• HHLS-PAC may have violated the FECA by soliciting contributions from Dick and Kuklis, who were not employed by or family members of anyone employed by HHLS.

• In The Philadelphia Inquirer, Dick was quoted as saying that he tells his clients to contribute money to federal candidates. Using corporate resources to facilitate contributions to candidates violates the FECA.

Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW, said “Lobbyists need to learn that following campaign finance law is not optional. Mr. Dick and Mr. Kuklis blatantly and repeatedly violated the law and should be subjected to the appropriate sanctions. We look forward to the FEC’s prompt investigation of this matter.”

Bloggity Blog

New York Times dealt with that whole Whitewater stuff yet?

Your Liberal Media

Five white men gab about immigration.

Though, in their defense, it's possible Tony Blankley is actually an alien.


Another new low in this Zogby poll:

This as the President’s overall job approval numbers fall to 32%, according to a separate Zogby International survey conducted via telephone before the immigration speech Monday.

Crashing the Gate

For local folk, the great Satans of the liberal blogosphere, Markos and Jerome, will be in town tomorrow for their book tour.

Drinker's Tavern
124 Market St.
Wed, 5/17

Oh, and as always Drinking Liberally, tonight 6-?, at Tangier at 18th and Lombard.


NOW PAC endorses Ned Lamont.

Afternoon Thread

Pennsylvanians, make sure you go vote.

Stupid AND Dishonest

Really. It's not a choice. Conversations with wingers about tax policy and economics generally as well as the output of their various mouthpieces in the media generally begin with a poor comprehension of about two weeks of Econ 101 and end with pure bullshit.

Lizzy Bum

I suppose most of us have just tuned it out, accepting that the New York Times has decided that valuable use of its real estate is to provide unfettered access to White House spinners, a decision they'll no doubt reverse if ever a Democrat hits the White House again. But the latest edition of Bumiller's love letter to the White House is a a marvel of the stenographic arts.

Bumiller says that Bush "first met Mexican immigrants at public school in Midland, Tex.," then employed some as field workers for the small oil company he owned. But never, it seems, did the president love his friends from south of the border as much as he did when some worked for him as ballplayers.

"When he was the managing partner of the Texas Rangers," Bumiller says, Bush "reveled in going into the dugout and joking with the players, many of them Hispanic, in fractured Spanglish."

Funny, that's not how Jose Canseco remembers it. In his New York Times bestseller, "Juiced," Canseco – who played for Bush's Rangers – said he "never had any sort of conversation" with the future president. "I shook his hand and met him once, but that was about it," Canseco writes. "Bush did gravitate toward Nolan Ryan a bit, probably because he was a legend, and also closer to his age. He didn't talk to us Latinos much."

Let me add that Bumiller's precious "south of the border" construction with respect to Latino baseball players is also rather annoying. Lots of Latino baseball players are Puerto Rican, and lots of Puerto Ricans were playing for the Texas Rangers during that period.

...oy, my fault, quotation mark wasn't where I thought it was. That was Grieve's paraphrase, not something Bumiller actually wrote.

Warblogger Fatigue


Where Is the Outrage?

NYT editorial board? Nothing.

Washington Post editorial board? Nothing.

I guess they're ok with the records of journalists being obtained with "National Security Letters."

Specter Caves

The most cowardly of senators. No surprise for those of us who have paid attention over the years.

Thanks again, Inqy, for endorsing him.

An Inconvenient Truth

Over at the blog for the movie they have more advanced ticket links for shows in New York, Santa Monica, and Hollywood.


Primary day here in Pennsylvania. If you can vote for Chris Bowers consider doing so. In addition I'd suggestion voting for Valerie McDonald Roberts for Lt. Governor. I'll also be voting for Chuck Pennacchio for candidate for U.S. Senate. If you're in Patrick Murphy's district please consider voting for him over his wanker opponent Andy Warren. And, finally, make sure to vote for Anne Dicker if you're in her district.

Morning Thread

Just consider this this to be your National Security Letter and act accordingly.

Later Night

Never Be Young Again.

...and more fun here.

...and here.


The air is humming...

Monday, May 15, 2006

Late Night

Join with me in founding the new organization Glibertarians for the Police State.


Journalist after journalist, editorial writer after editorial writer, freaked out for months over Fitzgerald's careful, last resort, by-the-book questioning of journalists.

Will the Bush administration's "fuck it, we don't need no stinking courts" approach inspire any such response?


CNN jumps the gun.

After Speech

That was stupid.


Ah, yes, the Patriot Act. No one could have ever imagined that would be abused:

The FBI acknowledged late Monday that it is increasingly seeking reporters’ phone records in leak investigations.

“It used to be very hard and complicated to do this, but it no longer is in the Bush administration,” said a senior federal official.


Officials say the FBI makes extensive use of a new provision of the Patriot Act which allows agents to seek information with what are called National Security Letters (NSL).

The NSLs are a version of an administrative subpoena and are not signed by a judge. Under the law, a phone company receiving a NSL for phone records must provide them and may not divulge to the customer that the records have been given to the government.

Final Solution

Ah, World Nut Daily.

More info from ConWebWatch.


US News has an interview with Murray Waas. The whole thing is worth reading, and it concludes with this:

What's your next story?

It's another story about the level of knowledge among high-level administration officials about attempts to discredit Wilson and when they knew about it.

He of Little Faith

Yes, odds are at some point Bush's poll numbers will creep up slightly to a still-abysmal level. The frustration won't be about that, the frustration will be about the media pre-emptively jumping on the "Bush boost" story for the thirtieth time.

Still, I don't think I can put my ponies out to pasture yet. I don't think this is going to go over well at all. I think most people understand that we're fighting a real war, and a bunch of photo ops of Bush playing dressup at a fake war aren't going to go over too well:

1 DEPLOY GUNS AND BADGES. This is an unabashed play to members of the conservative base who are worried about illegal immigration. Under the banner of homeland security, the White House plans to seek more funding for an extremely visible enforcement crackdown at the Mexican border, including a beefed-up force of agents patrolling on all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). "It'll be more guys with guns and badges," said a proponent of the plan. "Think of the visuals. The President can go down and meet with the new recruits. He can go down to the border and meet with a bunch of guys and go ride around on an ATV." Bush has long insisted he wants a guest-worker program paired with stricter border enforcement, but House Republicans have balked at temporary legalization for immigrants, so the President's ambition of using the issue to make the party more welcoming to Hispanics may have to wait.

An Inconvenient Truth

Don't forget to get your tickets early, New Yorkers, one opening night showing of Gore's movie is already apparently sold out...

Phone Records

Georgia10 reminds us that in a non-Plame related Fitzgerald case he tried to obtained the phone records of some reporters. The judge in that case refused to do so, based on his view of reporters' qualified constitutional source privilege.

So, if the administration is truly going after the phone records of reporters they're unlikely to be doing so using a warrant, or even bothering with a normal Justice Department criminal investigation. They're simply using their powers to get them.

Lies and the Lying Liars

Must be nice to be a Republican and be able to lie with impunity.

Although maybe, just maybe, that belief can bite you in the ass...


The way things were. The way things are.


Military's just another political prop to these people.

50 State

If you feel inclined get Howard's back, now would be a good time.

Wanker of the Day

Joe Klein.

The Air Is Humming

Unclear if Edsall knows something or if he's just sensing the hum.

Miami, Fla.: The blogs are abuzz with reports of Karl Rove's impending (some say actual)indictment. What's the story?

Tom Edsall: I think we will know very soon, perhaps as soon as early afternoon. No guarantee, however.

(thanks to reader k)

Trust Us Is Not Our System of Government

Though our neoloyalists seem to think otherwise. JMM:

Once you set aside the law as your guide for action and view the president's will as a source of legitimacy in itself, then everything becomes possible and justifiable.

heh. indeed.

Richard Cohen: A Scientific Inquiry

Ken Silverstein examines whether Richard Cohen is funny and courageous.

Living With War

My copy finally arrived, though I'd of course listened to strem a few times. There are a couple of weak tracks like most CDs, but even leaving aside the political content it's probably Neil Young's best CD in quite some time. It also does mostly work as a piece of political art, something difficult to pull off.

Get your copy here...


Argh. Something like this goes around every few months. In response to this, paid advertisements are paid advertisements. They are not endorsements by me. My ad policy is, roughly, accept any ad that is work safe (both the ad and whatever page it links to) and isn't at a glance advertising something obviously fraudulent (the blogads version of a Nigerian email scam). If the RNC wants to buy an ad that's fine with me. There are probably some other things I'd reject - something clearly racist, for example - but on the whole it's important to separate advertising from editorial. The only question is whether the advertising influences the editorial, but in the case of the net neutrality issue that obviously hasn't been the case.

I do not endorse all of the candidates, causes, products, organizations, books, movies, television shows, etc... that are advertised here. If I pick and choose ads then that means I'm implicitly endorsing the things advertised here, and that's just not the case.



A senior federal law enforcement official tells us the government is tracking the phone numbers we call in an effort to root out confidential sources.

"It's time for you to get some new cell phones, quick," the source told us in an in-person conversation.

We do not know how the government determined who we are calling, or whether our phone records were provided to the government as part of the recently-disclosed NSA collection of domestic phone calls.

Other sources have told us that phone calls and contacts by reporters for ABC News, along with the New York Times and the Washington Post, are being examined as part of a widespread CIA leak investigation.


Not enough attention was paid to the fact that the Dems managed to kill all 3 of Frist's awful health care bills, including the loathsome Enzi bill.


I'm not sure how common it is these days - I doubt it is as much as it used to be given the rise of cell phones - but I'm sure you all remember a few years ago when long distance service slamming was all the rage. Basically telemarketers, to earn their pay, would just switch your long distance service on you without bothering to get your approval. It happened to me a few times.

A senior I know who had managed to get enrolled in a Medicare D program found herself magically enrolled in a second program when her enrollment information arrived in the mail. Of course you can't be enrolled in 2, and for reasons known only to Mark McClellan it'll take 6 weeks to be disenrolled from the second plan. Until then will her original plan still function? We'll see...

I bet this will be a really really common occurrence.



A political ideology for the truly stupid.

Commander Codpiece Defends the Border

So, Bush assures Fox that our little military mobilization at the border will just be temporary. I know what they're thinking at the White House. We can have a lovely little "fake war" at the border, one with all the cool uniforms, hummers, helicopters, etc... A war which is entirely safe. A war where there isn't really an enemy. And the president can safely visit that war, prance around in his codpiece, yell things out a bullhorn while sitting astride a massive hummer.

Ridiculous, but that's probably the plan.

Morning Thread

And the week begins.

Late Night

Be excellent to each other.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Ned Lamont - The Motion Picture

The Lamont campaign has just released a 10 or so minute video, produced with a little help from Robert Greenwald. Check it out.

When you're done there you can head over and enjoy Firedoglake's book club discussion of Rick Perlstein's Before the Storm.

The Air Is Humming

I certainly have no exciting information, sadly, but nonetheless it feels like something's going to happen this week...


A couple of months back Jamison Foser wrote of the press's ability to hang a "good for Bush" narrative on literally any piece of news that shows up. Dick Cheney shoots a man in the face? That'll sure boost Bush's polls!

They're doing it yet again. It's pathological. They need to get back to their story where Bush is popular, and likeable, and thought to be an honest straight-shooter. It drives them crazy that they left that little world behind.

Time to face up to the fact that I got a lot of pony pictures, and I'm going to be able to use them. I think it'll be pretty much impossible for Bush to climb above about 42 on a sustained basis until he's about to leave office. Unpopular until the end.


Clicking through the poll further is fascinating.

19% of people think the Bush administration has gone "not far enough" in restricting people's civil liberities. These are the Malkinites.

54% say it definitely or proabably violates the law even though only 51% disapprove.

57% say they "would feel violated" if their phone company handed over records even though only 51% disapprove.

62% favor holding hearings.

Another Poll

USA Today/Gallup:

WASHINGTON — The majority of Americans disapprove of a massive Pentagon database containing the records of billions of phone calls made by ordinary citizens, according to a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. About two-thirds are concerned that the program may signal other, not-yet-disclosed intelligence efforts directed at the general public.

Poll:NSA database reaction

The survey of 809 adults taken Friday and Saturday shows a nation that continues to wrestle with the balance between fighting terrorism and maintaining civil liberties.

By 51%-43%, those polled disapprove of the program, disclosed Thursday in USA TODAY. The National Security Agency has been collecting phone records from three of the nation's four largest telecommunication companies since soon after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Still, Zombie WaPo poll will keep trying to eat our brains.

Comment of the Day

Over at Crooked Timber:

Talking with Mom and Dad about their personal histories led me to this association: what the war party bloggers have done is recreate the experience of being a child in World War II. They write patriotic essays and make patriotic collages, and get pats on the head and congratulations from the authorities. They watch diligently for the mutant, I mean, for the subversive among us, and help maintain the proper atmosphere of combined courage and vigilance. They are not expected to manage the family books, nor invited into discussion of the nitty-gritty, and it seldom occurs to them that there’s even a possibility there – that’s for the grown-ups, and rightly so.

It all makes sense now.

Leahy on Blitzer

Some excerpts (via email):

On the lawfulness of the NSA wiretapping program, which Gen. Hayden publicly defends
LEAHY: No, I don't believe it's lawful. I do believe that General Hayden is a very competent, highly intelligence trained officer. And I appreciate that. But this is a question that goes beyond him. It goes to the White House.

On the NSA wiretapping program
LEAHY: And some might question: what does that give us? I mean, it's like drinking from a fire hose. We should be spying on terrorists, not spying on innocent Americans.

If you have hundreds of millions of phone calls you're trying to track a day, what do you get out of it? Remember, this is the same administration that had the information that could have stopped 9/11 from happening. They didn't translate it until September 12.

On the phone companies
BLITZER: So did AT&T, Southern Bell and Verizon -- did they violate the law, violate the privacy of their customers?
LEAHY: I do not find anything in the law that allows them to do this. This is why they're going to be invited to come before the Senate Judiciary Committee and explain under what law they acted.

On the Bush Administration
LEAHY: Every time this administration screws up, whether it's with homeland security, after Katrina, a massive failure even though they spent billions of dollars to make sure that thing wouldn't happen, when they screw up along the border, when they get caught doing illegal surveillance of Americans, they say, well, but 9/11, 9/11.

Well, I'd remind them 9/11 happened on their watch. I think Americans are getting fed up with simply using an excuse for your mistakes and classify everything else so that you can't talk about it.

I want us to be safe. I don't think that this administration is doing it the right way. They screwed up with homeland security. They screwed up with Katrina. I mean, after all, they were told, go catch a 6'6" Arab running around Afghanistan, probably on dialysis, according to the press reports, Osama bin Laden.

Shorter "Leading Democrats"

We are losers who fear responsibility.

Of course it's an Adam Nagourney special and any "leading Democrat" who talks to Adam Nagourney should be permanently ostracized.


Dixie Chicks will be on 60 Minutes tonight. Will be interesting to see if they get the "Diane Sawyer treatment" (how dare you criticize Dear Leader!) or not.

CD's coming out soon. You can get it here.


One thing you can do for the big guy is go see the movie the weekend it opens in your area.

Here's a list of theaters/dates.

...if you're in NYC you can book tickets to the Landmark Sunshine screenings here.

Guard on the Border

As Hagel, who is the conservative that everyone pretends McCain is (note I said "conservative" and not "some guy liberals should love because he's secretly liberal"), says, the whole Guard-on-the-border-plan is stupid. My guess is that there isn't a real plan to do this, just a plan to stage some elaborate "border security theater" and give Bush some chances to play dress up while hunting Mexicans. Hell, didn't Rove say as much at some point? There won't really be any kind of actually serious border enforcement program, it'll just be yet another way to exploit the hardworking people of the National Guard as political props.

Won't help them though. I was worried about the immigration issue for awhile, even knowing the Republicans were going to screw it up. But I think, somewhat surprisingly, that America's xenophobic streak isn't quite as strong as I had thought. In addition I don't see that people are connecting whatever economic angst they have very strongly with the immigration issue.

Gore on SNL

C&L has it.

..also on YouTube if anyone has problems with C&L.

Sunday Bobbleheads

Document the atrocities.

  • Meet the Press hosts Newt Gingrich and the roundtable consists of Wall Street Journal's John Harwood, Newsweek's Jon Meacham and PBS' Judy Woodruff.
  • Face the Nation hosts NSA Stephen Hadley, Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA).
  • This Week hosts Sens. Joe Biden (D-DE) and Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and Laura Bush. New York Times' David Brooks and Dem strategist Donna Brazile join the roundtable. Actress Reese Witherspoon is the voices segment.
  • Fox News Sunday hosts Laura Bush and Mary Cheney. Their power player is Art Buchwald.
  • Late Edition hosts Hadley and Senate Maj. Leader Bill Frist.

Open Thread

Beware the glaciers.