Saturday, August 19, 2006

Late Night

We're not gonna take it.

Evening Thread


Chris Shays Wants to Cut and Run

Now that Chris Shays has become a cut and run Republican will any reporter ask Ken Mehlman if he still has the RNC's support?


I don't know how we go from:

Should progressives shift their money and attention from the Connecticut Senate race to more important contests?


Call me crazy, but I think I'll stick with criticizing the circular firing squad that is the Lieberman-Lamont race, rather than focusing on whether everyone has their fair share of bullets, as Atrios seems to want to do.

The point is that the amount of money that has come from "progressives" to Lamont is a drop of the bucket in the grand scheme of things and most of it is "found money" and not diverted money. While the Lump of Campaign Cash fallacy is popular it's one of the more annoying ones.

Look, there's always a more important cause and a more worthy candidate. I don't know why someone who thinks that there's too much attention paid to the Lamont/Lieberman race thinks the best use of his/her time is to "stick to critcizing" that attention. If the thing is bad, presumably the meta-thing is worse. Some float above, some dive in.

But, anyway, this race is about more than Lamont now, it's about 3 important House races that Lieberman's going to ratfuck with all of his Republican pals. Attention must be paid by time wasters like myself because too many of the powers that be have apparently forgotten that they do, indeed, have a Lieberman Problem. It's not a circular firing squad, it's the implicit Republican candidate (Lieberman) versus the explicit Democratic one (Lamont). Joe's going to try to win by bringing Republicans to the polls, and when he does it won't be the fault of Lamont supporters, it'll be the fault of Lieberman and Dems who failed to confront him.

Afternoon Thread



LitPAC was founded to provide a way for authors to get more involved with politics. You can read more about them here. Anyway, for local folks they're having an author reading/fundraiser on September 20 at the Khyber.

Participants include Jennifer Weiner, Buzz Bissinger, Ken Kalfus, Lise Funderburg, Elise Juska, and Curtis Sittenfeld. I'll be there to do a brief introduction.


I always get annoyed when people write something like this:

Should progressives shift their money and attention from the Connecticut Senate race to more important contests? Absolutely.

I'd like more of that advice going to, say, the people who gave money so that Hillary Clinton could have $22 million cash-on-hand. Does Bill Nelson need $12 million to run against Katie Harris? On the House side, does Marty Meehan, who won with 67% of the vote last time, really need to have 5 million bucks in the bank?

There is always an incredible misallocation of resources in elections and that's the money which flows to incumbents. Sure, they're not all safe and it's understandable that they need somewhat of a defensive warchest just in case, but if you want to criticize where donors are directing their money (and attention) start there.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Late Night


Friday Night Follies

Modest Mouse - Satin in a Coffin.

Friday Cat Blogging

Al Wynn is a Bad Democrat

Not quite sure how much of an appetite for primaries people have at this point, but I do hope Donna Edwards kicks his ass.

Right Wing Times

This is funny.

Afternoon Thread



Can I just say that if someone finds a note on an air sick bag suggesting there is a bomb on the plane the probability that there is actually such a bomb is incredibly low. "Step 1: put bomb on plane. Step 2: Put menacing note on hidden air sick bag." is probably not the set of instructions followed by your typical terrorist.

I can understand why diverting and landing a plane is the appropriate response to such a thing, but it's no excuse for panicky news reports.

The Destination and the Journey

Greenwald has good insight into the disease which plagues much of our chattering classes. There's one additional aspect here which is the supreme desire to maintain their special status in the opinion game, but nonetheless there is an incredible gap between those who see the debate as a kind of game and those who, you know, actually give a shit about stuff.

Not Going to Leave

Bush equates leaving with losing and we will never start leaving Iraq as long as he has his way.

Smarter people than me keep predicting troop withdrawals, but they continue to be wrong. It isn't going to happen.


So much for the bounce. Tune in next week when the smart guys at The Note predict a popularity surge for Bush and a Republican sweep in November after evidence linking Bush to the Ramsey murder is uncovered.

Wanker of the Day

Alan Keyes.

Go Joe

Medium John sez Joe should drop out.

48th Level Berserker Nerds

I don't know when the conservative movement became populated by frightened bedwetters.

Breaking the Law


Thus, judicial decisions are starting to emerge which come close to branding the conduct of Bush officials as criminal. FISA is a criminal law. The administration has been violating that law on purpose, with no good excuse. Government officials who violate the criminal law deserve to be -- and are required to be -- held accountable just like any other citizens who violate the law. That is a basic, and critically important, principle in our system of government. These are not abstract legalistic questions being decided. They amount to rulings that our highest government officials have been systematically breaking the law -- criminal laws -- in numerous ways. And no country which lives under the rule of law can allow that to happen with impunity.

According to Tom Ridge on CNN it's wonderful that we live in a democracy where we can openly discuss the president's lawbreaking! yipee!

Morning Thread


Where Am I?

Was a bit out of it today, but I hadn't realized I stepped into a wormhole leading back to 1997.

Glad my cable modem still works.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Big John

More from Kerry on Lamont.

Late Night

I got nuthin'.

I Am A Bad Blogger

I admit it, I spent the afternoon watching the Phillies lose.

On the Majority Report
in a little while.

Breaking the Law

Glad someone's saying it.

More Thread

Please don't shoot anybody in the face.

District Court Rules Warantless Wiretapping Unconstitutional


Afternoon Thread


They Write Letters

John Kerry sends me an email:

People who live in white houses shouldn't throw stones.

George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove should know better, but it's no surprise they don't. For almost five years now, every time they've got their backs to the wall politically, they play "the fear card." The latest example: Dick Cheney claiming that Democratic candidates who dare to challenge the Bush White House on Iraq are "emboldening terrorists."

What's worse, and startling, is that in Connecticut Joe Lieberman is now echoing their intolerable rhetoric attacking the Democratic Senate nominee.

It won't work. We won't let it work.


In Connecticut, New Jersey and Hawaii, this cynical Bush-Cheney strategy is running aground because our stand-up candidates are exposing the failed policies, botched strategies, and mind-boggling incompetence of the Bush White House that have squandered America's treasure, kept Osama Bin Laden on the loose, and cost the lives and limbs of our brave young people.

If the Bush administration could plan and execute the war on terror as well as it executes its shameless pre-election fear-mongering, we'd all be a lot safer.

That's what strong, principled Senate candidates like Ned Lamont, Bob Menendez, and Dan Akaka are making clear to voters in three of America's closest, high-stakes Senate contests.


Our candidates are refusing to buckle or bend in the face of withering attacks by shameless politicians.

I urge you to stand with these candidates now. Because when we help them win, the cynical tactics of the Bush-Cheney-Rove political machine will lose their power.

There's only one way we can win. We've got to help our candidates give back as good as they get.

We'll meet every shameless attack with more energy, every distorting ad with more passion, and every ugly appeal to fear with more determination.

And 82 days from now, we'll celebrate the election of standup Democrats all across America.

We'll teach them, once and for all, that people who live in white houses shouldn't throw stones.

Let's get it done.


John Kerry

Everybody Hates McCain

I thought the country's collective mancrush meant that no one could resist travelling hundreds of miles to bask in his manly glare for a few moments. Guess not.

The evening was billed as a "veterans for Allen" rally, but the hotel's conference room was less than half-filled, even after a phone push for a larger turnout. Veterans came from as far away as Colonial Heights, but their numbers were little greater than the reporters and camera people who were there.

As it was, the rally started 10 minutes late and finished more than 20 minute early, according to a campaign worker's schedule.

Joe Mo

Well, one sitting senator will soon get up in Joe's face...

Wanker of the Day

Jon Chait:

Relatedly, Jon Chait got very upset yesterday with some people for attacking TNR's defense of Coulter. He singled out Atrios, my TAPPED colleague Charles P. Pierce, and other "partisan hysterics," saying: "They cannot imagine the notion of measuring a piece by any criteria other than ideological correctness." Chait almost certainly knows that this is false. But he wrote it anyway, probably because he'd fallen in love with his own loathsome "ideological correctness" formulation, and couldn't bear to part with it.

The obvious truth is that the objections to the TNR piece were mainly substantive, not ideological. Pierce, for instance, specifically faulted the piece for saying that it's "a little absurd to hold up a person as an expert judge of the 9/11 Commission Report...just because she lost a loved one," when in fact the "Jersey Girls" are held up as experts on 9/11 because, well, they are experts on it. Again, that's a substantive objection, not an ideological one. What's more, Pierce also linked to another piece making a long and detailed substantive case against the TNR defense of Coulter. Why Chait felt the need to mischaracterize the arguments against his mag's piece is beyond me, but he no doubt had his reasons.

Losing the House

Joementum's going to help destroy Dem chances to win back the House by hurting key races in CT. Time for some sitting senators to step up.

Don't Know Nothing

There are moments when I'm stunned by the ignorance of our elite pundits. How is it possible that John Fund could've even been marginally paying to world events over the last few years and not know that we pulled our troops out of Saudi Arabia?


Bob Bateman calls for another blogger ethics panel.

Morning Thread


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Stop Wearing Purple

There you go:

“Senior administration officials have acknowledged to me that they are considering alternatives other than democracy,” said one military affairs expert who received an Iraq briefing at the White House last month and agreed to speak only on condition of anonymity.

“Everybody in the administration is being quite circumspect,” the expert said, “but you can sense their own concern that this is drifting away from democracy.”

Late Night



Indeed we are.

The scary thing is I doubt he came up with that one by himself. His handlers must have told him that was the plan, though that doesn't mean they believed it themselves.

Wanker of the Day

Little Ricky.


Bush's poll numbers are perpetually going up, but somehow they never manage to rise.

Rating down despite foiled terror plot and Lebanon cease fire; Democrats hold generic Congressional lead

President Bush’s job approval rating dipped two points in the last three weeks, despite the foiling of an airline terror plot and the adoption of a cease–fire deal between Israel and Hezbollah forces in Lebanon, a new Zogby International telephone poll shows.

The survey was conducted Aug. 11–15, 2006, included 1,018 respondents, and carries a margin of error of +/– 3.1 percentage points.


In the forogotten war:

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Bombs killed 21 people in central Baghdad on Wednesday, and gunmen attacked the governor's office in
Iraq's second-largest city — another sign of unrest in the Shiite heartland as U.S. troops step up operations in the capital after the deadliest month for civilians of the war.

One bomb exploded late in the morning near day laborers waiting for work in the central Nahda district, killing eight people and wounding 28, police Lt. Bilal Ali said.

Two nearly simultaneous car bombs exploded Wednesday evening in the Batayween area of central Baghdad, killing 13 people and wounding 55, police Lt. Ali Mutaab said. The blasts sent a huge cloud of black smoke over the troubled city.

Much Ado

It's increasingly likely that the whole British plot wasn't much more of a big deal than the idiotic nonsense in Florida awhile back. Certainly as of yet there's nothing to indicate that FULL PANIC MODE AT THE AIRPORTS and cable news' return to 24 hour OH MY GOD THEY'RE GOING TO BOMB THE SHOPPING MALLS mode had any justification whatsoever.

And, hey, it got all the pundits talking about how much of a boost this would be for Bush.

Even though it wasn't.


Blogspot seems to be having problems with Firefox and not dishing up new content when you reload the page. I don't know why this happens, but when it does you can hit ctrl-reload a couple of times to get a real reload. Tell your friends...


Perhaps the housing bubble is indeed over. Odds of a soft landing are lower than usual, given that it's happening right as ARMs and no interest loans are about to rest in massive numbers.

Philadelphia, oddly, never seems to track with national trends that much. It isn't so much countercyclical here but noncyclical. Things just float along without many ups and downs. Sure there's been housing price appreciation and probably a localized bubble in center city, but I don't predict any big disaster locally.

Kerry's Game

Kerry just sent out a fundraising email, with link to actblue-style direct candidate donations, for Lamont, Akaka, and Menendez, with the pitch being about their willingness to "tell the truth about Iraq."


Chris Carney's campaign is first on the air with what is a pretty decent ad. It's definitely a race where your dollars can have a huge impact as it's in a pretty cheap media market.

His opponent, family values incumbent Republican Don Sherwood, recently settled a multimillion dollar lawsuit based on accusations he choked his young mistress, so...

Uh, Franky?

Despite his recent hostility to this site and my other fellow blogofascists I actually had hopes that Joe Lieberman Weekly would improve under Foer's watch. But, apparently a defense of Ann Coulter the kind of thing we're going to get under his watch.

(tip from Matt last night at DL).

Lowest Common Denominator

Kerry on Joe:

That's bunk. That's scare-tactic bunk. And it's an unfortunate statement from somebody of Joe's quality, and I regret it....

I'm not going to stand for those scare tactics, that's exactly what the Republicans have been doing for the last years. They avoid a real discussion by throwing out a slogan and they scare people....

It's a disgrace that people are playing to the lowest common denominator of American politics, which is fear.

On the Young Turks.

mmm... food...

Say hello to syllabub, a new food blog run by a friend.


Well, the mayor's race is on here in Philadelphia and early signs are not good. While Philadelphia faces the usually laundry list of contentious urban issues which get a lot of play, there's a serious lack of public conversation about two linked issues of major importance - transit and development. The city needs better transportation, and the city needs some smarter guidance for how it develops and redevelops.

The candidate who can address these issues seriously and with genuine vision gets my support.

Morning Thread


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Late Night

Matt Pond Pa - So Much Trouble

Oh My

Finally the powers that be are starting to notice:

A group of Senate Democrats is growing increasingly angry about Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (D-Conn.) campaign tactics since he lost the Democratic primary last week.

If he continues to alienate his colleagues, Lieberman could be stripped of his seniority within the Democratic caucus should he defeat Democrat Ned Lamont in the general election this November, according to some senior Democratic aides....

Democrats are worried that Lieberman may be giving Republicans a golden opportunity to undermine their message.

“I think there’s a lot of concern,” said a senior Democratic aide who has discussed the subject with colleagues. “I think the first step is if the Lieberman thing turns into a side show and hurts our message and ability to take back the Senate, and the White House and the [National Republican Senatorial Committee] manipulate him, there are going to be a lot of unhappy people in our caucus.”...

“Lieberman’s tone and message has shocked a lot of people,” said a second senior Democratic aide who has discussed the issue with other Senate Democrats. “He’s way off message for us and right in line with the White House.”

“At this point Lieberman cannot expect to just keep his seniority,” said the aide. “He can’t run against a Democrat and expect to waltz back to the caucus with the same seniority as before. It would give the view that the Senate is a country club rather than representative of a political party and political movement.”

Dumbass of the Day

Mark Levin.

I really do think the application test for Cornerites asks them to tie their shoes. If they can do it, they don't get the job.

Wanker of the Day

Rabbi Marc Gellman.

Here we have Gellman now:

My disappointment is with my people. I simply do not understand why so many Jews bailed on Joe. I cannot understand why Joe's percentage of the Jewish vote was not in the high 90s instead of the 54-57 percent range (according to Lieberman’s campaign). I have opinions on way too many things I don't know nearly enough about, but I know about Jews. I am a professional Jew, and yet if you asked me to explain why Jews did not vote for Joe the way blacks voted for Barack Obama or Catholics voted for John F. Kennedy I would not know what to tell you.*


There are and have always been only two kinds of Jews: tribal Jews and cosmopolitan Jews. Tribal Jews love anything Jewish. Cosmopolitan Jews love anything but Jewish. Tribal Jews are not trying to pass, assimilate or deny their tribal roots, their attachment to Israel and their love of other Jews no matter who they are. Cosmopolitan Jews are trying to pass and assimilate and become an undifferentiated member of the majority culture. The problem with tribal Jews is that they have trouble loving non-Jews. The problem with cosmopolitan Jews is that they have trouble loving other Jews. The reason for this split is you are Jewish by blood and not by belief. Judaism, which is the religion of Jews, has many wonderful beliefs but you can reject them all and still be Jewish.

Here we have Gellman then:

Another consequence of this historic selection is that it now frees Jews to vote against Lieberman even though he is Jewish. His selection is the historic moment that marks full Jewish acceptance in America—not the rise of Henry Kissinger, not the movies of Steven Spielberg, not the corporate mastery of Michael Eisner. None of them have done and none of them mean what Lieberman has done and what Lieberman means. True acceptance means that we as Jews can be delighted that he was nominated and then vote against him because we do not agree with his politics. Voting for Lieberman because he is Jewish is just as wrong as voting against Lieberman because he is Jewish. Acceptance means being considered for public office because of where you stand on the issues, not where you stand on the sabbath. Politics isn’t baseball. There is no room in politics for irrational rooting for the hometown team. If you believe in Lieberman’s political views, then you should vote for him; if you don’t, then you shouldn’t, and you should not feel as if you have betrayed Judaism or the Jewish people or God by your vote.

*And, yes, Obama's opponent was also black and Gellman is apparently not confused by the fact that catholic Kerry lost the catholic vote. But, hey, he's in "The Spiritual State" and I am not.


Obviously George Felix Allen, Jr. really doesn't have much choice. He can't actually come out and say "I told this guy "welcome to America" because I didn't think someone who looked like that could be American. And, then, well, I called him a monkey which aside from the obvious racism is also a popular racial epithet among white supremacists."

So, he'll continue to blame the victim.

Sad to say that the real reason George Felix Allen, Jr. shouldn't be a senator isn't that he's a racist - which he clearly is - it's that he's dumb as a box of rocks.

More Thread


Evening Thread

Off to Drinking Liberally.

While I'm gone you can listen to Selling the Wind by Pretty Girls Make Graves.

"I See Dead People"

Tweety no likey Joe:

MATTHEWS: I see dead people—that‘s Joe Lieberman pretending he‘s still running for the Senate. He already lost. We‘ll be right back with Mike Barnicle and Mike Smerconish.

Chuck Roberts Apologizes

And interviews Ned. Good deal.


Adam Felber of Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me and Fanatical Apathy has a new book.

Haven't read, but the NYT review is quite positive.

Liberal Elites

Facts are stupid things.


CNN just now:

His [Bush's] job approval ratings have risen as well.

Last 5 polls I'm aware of:

Gallup: 37 down from 40.
CBS: Unchanged at 36.
Newsweek: 38 up from 35.
Fox: Unchanged at 36.
Harris: Unchanged at 34.


Killing Children

This, according to the official rules of blogospheric civility, is very civil.

Theory and Practice

The parallel discussions about more well-off voters potentially embracing more economic populism and why sensible liberals have become wildly unhinged are fairly interesting.

The 90s were a time of neoliberal ascendence in the public discourse. Discussions of economic policies became entirely framed in the language of Tom Friedman, a legacy which is largely still with us. But what have we achieved?

The move towards privatization in the federal government has just caused the federal government to turn into a massive patronage machine, with no decent oversight of federal contracts and a lack of genuine competitive bidding. "Free trade" has done nothing either for most of the people of Mexico - where inequality has risen - nor the people of this country - where median wages have been stagnant and inequality continues to rise. Telecom and energy deregulation have pretty much had the impacts that critics argued at the time.

In other words, almost the entire economic package of sensible liberals in the 80s and 90s has been for shit, at best benefitting few and not hurting too many people. Part of the reason is that many of these things were con games. "Free trade" isn't really free trade - much of trade is still not free, and much of what is put under its banner has nothing to do with it - telecom and energy deregulation aren't really deregulation, but re-regulation benefitting existing interests, etc... The devil is in the details in these things, and the most dedicated proponents of such things in the popular press are happy to stop at the bumper sticker - Free Trade! Free Market! - without bothering to understand that the policies are actually much more complicated than that.

That's the policy side. The politics side has to do with a a Democratic party in which all the leading Democrats are forever running against their own party. Triangulation can work for one man, but when every leading Democrat is constantly falling all over themselves (yes, this is exaggeration) to distance themselves from Those Damn Dirty Democrats, you have a party which is without foundation and where capitulation is confused with bipartisanship.

Oh, and then there's the media...

White Power

The three choices of George Felix Allen.

Big Dog

Clinton on Holy Joe:

Clinton also discussed Sen. Joe Lieberman's loss in Connecticut's Democratic primary last week to anti-war liberal Ned Lamont.

Lieberman has characterized his loss - and the need for his subsequent independent run - as liberals in the party purging those with the Lieberman-Clinton position of progressiveness in domestic politics and strong national security credentials.

"Well, if I were Joe and I was running as an independent, that's what I'd say, too," Clinton said.

"But that's not quite right. That is, there were almost no Democrats who agreed with his position, which was, 'I want to attack Iraq whether or not they have weapons of mass destruction.'"

"His position is the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld position, which was, 'Does it matter if they have weapons? None of this matters. ... This is a big, important priority, and 9/11 gives us the way of attacking and deposing Saddam.'"

Clinton said that a vote for Lamont was not, as Lieberman had implied, a vote against the country's security.

Time for the Big Dog to get to Connecticut.

(via lamontblog)

No Peeking

Guess who wrote this?

Cooperation between Pakistani and British law enforcement (the British draw upon useful experience combating IRA terrorism) has validated John Kerry's belief (as paraphrased by the New York Times Magazine of Oct. 10, 2004) that "many of the interdiction tactics that cripple drug lords, including governments working jointly to share intelligence, patrol borders and force banks to identify suspicious customers, can also be some of the most useful tools in the war on terror." In a candidates' debate in South Carolina (Jan. 29, 2004), Kerry said that although the war on terror will be "occasionally military," it is "primarily an intelligence and law enforcement operation that requires cooperation around the world."

Immediately after the London plot was disrupted, a "senior administration official," insisting on anonymity for his or her splenetic words, denied the obvious, that Kerry had a point. The official told The Weekly Standard:

"The idea that the jihadists would all be peaceful, warm, lovable, God-fearing people if it weren't for U.S. policies strikes me as not a valid idea. [Democrats] do not have the understanding or the commitment to take on these forces. It's like John Kerry. The law enforcement approach doesn't work."

This farrago of caricature and non sequitur makes the administration seem eager to repel all but the delusional. But perhaps such rhetoric reflects the intellectual contortions required to sustain the illusion that the war in Iraq is central to the war on terrorism, and that the war, unlike "the law enforcement approach," does "work."


Feel that Bush bounce.

PRINCETON, NJ -- The latest Gallup Poll finds George W. Bush's presidential job approval rating at 37%, consistent with recent polling. His approval rating has bounced between 36% and 40% since early June, after hitting a personal low of 31% in May.

In the Aug. 7-10, 2006 Gallup Poll, 37% of Americans say they approve and 59% disapprove of the job Bush is doing as president. He has averaged 38% approval since the beginning of June, after averaging 32% in May.

It is unclear what impact the recent terrorism developments will have on Bush's public support, though the initial indications are that it will not help much. While the poll was in the field, British officials broke up a terrorist plot to use liquid explosives to blow up airplanes traveling between Great Britain and the United States. Most of the poll's interviews were conducted before this news broke, but interviews conducted after the news became public were only slightly more favorable to Bush than those conducted before. Newsweek and CBS News polls conducted entirely after the revelation of the thwarted attack show Bush with 38% and 36% approval ratings, respectively.


Even the WaPo got a bit annoyed about George Felix Allen, Jr.

"MY FRIENDS, we're going to run this campaign on positive, constructive ideas," Sen. George F. Allen told a rally of Republican supporters in Southwest Virginia last week. "And it's important that we motivate and inspire people for something." Whereupon Mr. Allen turned his attention to a young campaign aide working for his Democratic opponent -- a University of Virginia student from Fairfax County who was apparently the only person of color present -- and proceeded to ridicule him.

Let's consider which positive, constructive or inspirational ideas Mr. Allen had in mind when he chose to mock S.R. Sidarth of Dunn Loring, who was recording the event with a video camera on behalf of James Webb, the Democratic nominee for the Senate seat Mr. Allen holds. The idea that holding up minorities to public scorn in front of an all-white crowd will elicit chortles and guffaws? (It did.) The idea that a candidate for public office can say "Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia!" to an American of Indian descent and really mean nothing offensive by it? (So insisted Mr. Allen's aides.) Or perhaps the idea that bullying your opponents and calling them strange names -- Mr. Allen twice referred to Mr. Sidarth as "Macaca" -- is within the bounds of decency on the campaign trail?

We have no inkling as to what Mr. Allen meant by "Macaca," though we rather doubt his campaign's imaginative explanation that it was somehow an allusion to Mr. Sidarth's hairstyle, a mullet. Mr. Allen said last night that no slur was intended, though he failed to explain what, exactly, he did have in mind. Macaca is the genus for macaques, a type of monkey found mainly in Asia. Mr. Allen, who as a young man had a fondness for Confederate flags and later staunchly opposed a state holiday in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., has surely learned too much about racial sensitivities in public life to misspeak so offensively.

But, uh, mullet? Where'd that come from? While Sidarth didn't have a mohawk, he most definitely didn't have a mullet.

...ah, Sidarth says he has a mullet (tip from jeff). Not like the fine mullets of my generation. Kids today...

Morning Thread


Late Night

Erin Bode goes to Graceland (.mp3).

Monday, August 14, 2006

We Undermine Presidential Credibility At Our Nation's Peril

Heh. Indeed.

Joe Bombed in New Haven

But locals there can go see Lamont and John Edwards on Thursday.

As Nasty As He Wants to Be

Mr. Civility is being a real prick, as some of us smart people said he would be. Get thee to Connecticut leading Democrats and support Ned Lamont. Joe's gonna burn the whole place down if you don't.

Evening Thread



I was thinking that the assumption that George Felix Allen had been invoking a species of monkey was a bit of a stretch and that he was probably just speaking gibberish for "furrin name." But it is actually an established racial/slur, specifically directed at North Africans. If you search the nastier corners of the internet you'll find it's in surprisingly common usage.



Wadhams said Allen campaign staffers had begun calling Sidarth "mohawk" because of a haircut Wadhams said the Webb staffer has. "Macaca was just a variation of that," Wadhams said.


(pic from here)

Welcome to America


Democrat James Webb's Senate campaign accused Sen. George Allen (R) of making demeaning comments Friday to a 20-year-old Webb volunteer of Indian descent.

S.R. Sidarth, a senior at the University of Virginia, had been trailing Allen with a video camera to document his travels and speeches for the Webb campaign. During a campaign speech Friday in Breaks, Virginia, near the Kentucky border, Allen singled out Sidarth and called him a word that sounded like "Macaca."

"This fellow here over here with the yellow shirt, Macaca, or whatever his name is. He's with my opponent. He's following us around everywhere. And it's just great. We're going to places all over Virginia, and he's having it on film and its great to have you here and you show it to your opponent because he's never been there and probably will never come."

After telling the crowd that Webb was raising money in California with a "bunch of Hollywood movie moguls," Allen again referenced Sidarth, who was born and raised in Fairfax County.

"Lets give a welcome to Macaca, here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia," said Allen, who then began talking about the "war on terror."

A lot of people in this country are unable to perceive South and East Asian-Americans as anything but foreigners. Unsurprisingly, George Felix Allen is one of them.


Spencer Ackerman - for some reason not writing in his home at TNR - points out the Lieberman is a complete disaster on foreign policy issues.

This is one of those things which should be painfully obvious, but since 9/11 bellicosity=strength=strong foreign policy dude has been a basic idea pushed relentlessly in the media. The fact that on Iraq and other issues Joe Lieberman actually doesn't seem to have any idea what he's talking about should count for something.

There are plenty of conservative foreign policy types who I think are quite a bit nuts and definitely wrong but most of them actually seem to know a little bit and spend some time thinking about the issues, even if it leads them to disastrous conclusions. I can see how people think they're making sense even when they aren't. But with Lieberman it's just gibberish.

America the Fringe

In new poll, 68% 58% of Americans support bringing all troops home either by the end of this calendar year or by a year from now., maybe not quite. Looks like Angus-Reid doesn't have it right. Shoulda noticed the numbers added up to a bit much. Looks like that should be 58%, not 68%.

Lies and the Lying Liars

Mehlman is such a wanker.

Game On

Lamont campaign says Lieberman won't outspend them, as Joe's Republican base lines up to support him.

The Accountability Free Era

The sad thing is that 7 Friedmans later these people don't have a credibility problem.

Rail Security

I have to admit I really don't understand why people seem very concerned with security on Amtrak trains. Unless I'm missing something the reasoning seems to be "people travel long distance on Amtrak trains just like planes so they need similar security!" But no one would seriously suggest requiring ID-and-baggage-checks for the nation's subway systems - essentially shutting down mass transit - and a well-executed bomb plot on a crowded subway system would probably be able to wreak more havoc, damage, and terror than blowing up most Amtrak trains.

More generally the obsession with identity-verification based security seems misplaced...


Bush stuck at 36%. The Gang of 500 reboots, desperately grasps for new hook for "Bush set to rebound?" story.

Shorter Noam Scheiber

I find it highly unlikely that the netroots are the class traitors many fear they are.

Joking aside, many of us once-"sensible liberals" bought into the neoliberal 90s paradigm to some degree, and now that we've seen the consequences - both in terms of its politics and its ultimate policy outcomes - we've come to realize that much of it is in many ways Very Bad.

How the UN Ambassador Spends His Time

One would think that would be an interesting story.

More from Sadly, No.

"Target: USA"

Apparently CNN producers had a meeting today and decided "this is the day we cause Atrios to have a nervous breakdown."

On Civility

Heh. Indeed.

Because I frankly don't see what is so very fucking "civil" about Lieberman accusing anyone who voted against him of giving aid and comfort to a greater evil than the Nazis and a greater menace than Stalin.

Wanker of the Day

Jeff Jarvis.

The Al Qaeda Candidate

Your liberal media at work.

Consider how completely your brain stem must have been taken over by wingnuttery - how many ludicrous assumptions about the world you've internalized - in order for you to come up with such a thing.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Late Night

Some kittens to start the week.


In the forgotten war:

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Aug. 13 — As American forces conducted a new security sweep in western Baghdad on Sunday, five apparently coordinated bombings in a predominantly Shiite neighborhood on the city’s south side killed at least 57 people and wounded 148, an Iraqi government official said.

The death toll could rise, the official said, as emergency workers searched for victims in the rubble of an apartment building that collapsed as a result of the bombings.

The attacks, which killed civilians in a largely residential neighborhood, were the deadliest in the capital since the American military dispatched new forces here more than a week ago to quell a surge in killings and kidnappings by sectarian militias and criminal gangs.

Also Sunday, American and Iraqi soldiers searching for people who had been kidnapped raided Iraq’s Health Ministry early in the morning and arrested five bodyguards, military and government officials said.

Evening Thread


Ho Ho

Dean on MTP:

MR. GREGORY: Let me ask you about the big political news of the week, that of course related to Senator Joe Lieberman. Six years ago he was the vice presidential choice for your party. What happened?

MR. DEAN: I think he embraced George Bush’s policies, and the American people are tired of George Bush’s policies. They want a new direction in this country, and, and the voters have spoken.

MR. GREGORY: Should he get out of the race now?

MR. DEAN: I think so. Look, I know how hard this is for Joe, and he’s a good, good person. But the truth is I, I lost one of these races, and I got right behind my party’s nominee, and I think that’s what you have to do if you want to help the country. The way to help this country is to limit Republican power. They have failed in, in the budget, they’ve failed in Iraq, they’ve failed at—with Katrina. I just got back from North Dakota; there’s not—more than a war on terror going on in this country, there’s a war on the middle class going on. There—you know, those folks need help, and we need help domestically. We need a change in this country. We need a new direction, and I think Ned Lamont will give us that new direction.

MR. GREGORY: Senator Lieberman led the charge against the new face of the party after his defeat, saying, in effect, it had been taken over by the liberal wing. This is what he had to say the day after his defeat on NBC’s “Today” show.

(Videotape, Wednesday):

SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN: I am committed to this campaign, to a different kind of politics, to bringing the Democratic Party back from Ned Lamont, Maxine Waters, to the mainstream.

(End videotape)

MR. GREGORY: “Back from the extreme.” Has the Democratic Party that, that you represent been taken over by the extreme?

MR. DEAN: You know, I think that was an unfortunate statement that Joe made.

That’s exactly the same line that Ken Mehlman and, and Dick Cheney are using. The truth is, Ned Lamont is a moderate. Ned Lamont earned his own living. He made a lot of money—and good for him—in, in this American system. He wants a balanced budget, he wants a sane defense policy, he wants health care for all Americans. That is what the Democratic Party believes in. The truth is, most Democrat—most people in this country, let alone Democrats, most Americans, by a large majority, agree with Led—Ned Lamont and not George Bush and, and Joe Lieberman.


MR. GREGORY: Let me ask you about something Senator Lieberman also said in the wake of the UK bombing plot. This is how it was reported in The Washington Post on Friday: “Campaigning in Connecticut, Senator Joseph Lieberman ... said the antiwar views of primary winner Ned Lamont would be ‘taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England.’” Your, your reaction?

MR. DEAN: I think that’s—I think that’s outrageous. I mean, that’s the same—again, the same thing Dick Cheney, who’s been widely discredited by most Americans as essentially a propaganda machine, has said. It’s ridiculous. That is saying to the Connecticut voters that you don’t care about American security and saying to the Connecticut voters that they like al-Qaeda. That is a ridiculous thing. The Republicans hope, once again, to win an election based on fear. They—you know, fear-mongering, whining and complaining and name-calling is not going to lead America.

Wanker of the Day

Joe Klein.

Reading the Tea Leaves

It looks like we're going to be in for another round of Vote For This Legislation or Prove You Love When Terrorists Kill Americans. Not sure what the legislation will be aside from infinite power for Dear Leader. In all likelihood George's BFF Joe will make it easy for them like he did in '02 with the Department of Homeland Security catastrophe.

Any of Joe's defenders want to defend that one?


Afternoon Thread


The Enablers

It'll take a better writer than me to really address this issue well, but I have to admit I'm still somewhat puzzled by those who long enabled Bush's disaster in Iraq. I don't mean lickspittles like Bill Kristol, but nominal Democrats whose personal insecurities and deep self-loathing required - and still require - them to imagine an allegiance and affiliation with some bizarre tribe of "hawks" who were wrong for the right reasons as opposed to those who were, in their judgment, right for the wrong reasons.

In their world they were the courageous ones - as if supporting an administration's policies is courageous - and those who risked getting Dixie Chicked were cowardly and weak.

It's disheartening that even now many of them are more concerned with marginalizing the opinions of those who rightly saw this as folly from the beginning than they are at taking a long hard look at themselves.

They fucked up, and many sadly continue to do so.

Lieberman Free Sunday

Wow, I suddenly realized that Joe's missing from the teevee this Sunday.

That's odd.

So Fein

Feingold on This Week (via email):

Lieberman (on video): “If we just pick up as Ned Lamont wants us to do and get out by a date certain, it will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England, and it will strengthen them and they will strike us again.”

Stephanopoulos: “Senator Lieberman thinks that your approach will strengthen the terrorists and it’s a victory for terrorists. What’s your response?”

Feingold: “Well, I like Joe Lieberman, but I support Ned Lamont. Because Joe is showing with that regrettable statement that he doesn’t get it. He doesn’t get it. The fact is that we were attacked on 9/11 by Al Qaeda and its affiliates and its sympathizers, not by Saddam Hussein. And unfortunately Senator Lieberman has supported the Bush Administration’s disastrous strategic approach of getting us stuck in Iraq instead of focusing on those who attacked us. I mean, look at the places that have been attacked: India, Morocco, Turkey, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Somalia, Spain, Great Britain. What does this have to do with Iraq? And Senator Lieberman is stuck on that point. Ned Lamont and I believe that we should refocus on those who attacked us on 9/11 and not simply try to cover our tracks because this was such a very poor decision in terms of the overall battle against the terrorists who attacked us.

Stephanopoulos: Do you think Senator Lieberman should get out of the race?

Feingold: Well, you know, I think that’s his own decision. It would be better for the Democratic Party, I think it would be better for the people of Connecticut, it would be better for the country if he did it. Not because he hasn’t been a good Senator, not because he isn’t a good man, but this is a critical time. And we have to change course. We have to focus on those that attacked us on 9/11 and get away from this very mistaken policy in Iraq. So it would be helpful if he would do it, but obviously Joe will have to make that decision for himself. here.

Damn Dirty Hippies

For local folks, Stephen Stills is performing at a fundraiser for Patrick Murphy on Aug. 24.

Your Liberal Media

On the job as usual.

Sunday Bobbleheads

Document the atrocities.

Late Night

Enjoy even more.