Saturday, August 26, 2006

Late Night

Spend a little time with Rowley Birkin QC.

More Thread


Fresh Thread


Easy Answers to Easy Questions

Greg Sargent asks:

RI-SEN: When Will Bigfoot Pundits Bemoan Laffey?


This has been another edition of easy answers to easy questions.

Wanker of the Day

Glenn Reynolds.

The Last Honest Man

So, when Democrat Ned Lamont says we need to start a timetable for withdrawal, Lieberman says that would be a victory for terrorists. When Democrats in the Senate put that up for a vote, Joe leads off the debate on the side of... the Republicans. But when Republican Chris Shays says we need a timetable then Lieberman says:

Sen. Joe Lieberman, the three-term Democrat whose independent campaign for re-election is being seen as a referendum on the Iraq war, said Friday he would consider taking a look at a fellow lawmaker's proposal for a timeline for troop withdrawals.

The proposal was floated by Republican Rep. Chris Shays, another Connecticut politician facing a tough re-election battle with an anti-war candidate. Shays has long been a supporter of the war and previously opposed withdrawal timetables.

"It seems to me that Chris is saying, maybe we ought to set some goals for when we want to get out, and I'd like to see what he has in mind before I comment on it," Lieberman said while campaigning in New Haven.

"As I've said to you over and over again, the sooner we get out of Iraq, the better it's going to be for the Iraqis and us, but if we leave too soon for reasons of American politics, it's going to be disaster for the Iraqis and for us," he said.

What a wanker.

Memories of Uncle Alan

Just so history doesn't forget:

One way homeowners attempt to manage their payment risk is to use fixed-rate mortgages, which typically allow homeowners to prepay their debt when interest rates fall but do not involve an increase in payments when interest rates rise. Homeowners pay a lot of money for the right to refinance and for the insurance against increasing mortgage payments. Calculations by market analysts of the "option adjusted spread" on mortgages suggest that the cost of these benefits conferred by fixed-rate mortgages can range from 0.5 percent to 1.2 percent, raising homeowners' annual after-tax mortgage payments by several thousand dollars. Indeed, recent research within the Federal Reserve suggests that many homeowners might have saved tens of thousands of dollars had they held adjustable-rate mortgages rather than fixed-rate mortgages during the past decade, though this would not have been the case, of course, had interest rates trended sharply upward.

American homeowners clearly like the certainty of fixed mortgage payments. This preference is in striking contrast to the situation in some other countries, where adjustable-rate mortgages are far more common and where efforts to introduce American-type fixed-rate mortgages generally have not been successful. Fixed-rate mortgages seem unduly expensive to households in other countries. One possible reason is that these mortgages effectively charge homeowners high fees for protection against rising interest rates and for the right to refinance.

American consumers might benefit if lenders provided greater mortgage product alternatives to the traditional fixed-rate mortgage. To the degree that households are driven by fears of payment shocks but are willing to manage their own interest rate risks, the traditional fixed-rate mortgage may be an expensive method of financing a home.

In evaluating household debt burdens, one must remember that debt-to-income ratios have been rising for at least a half century. With household assets rising as well, the ratio of net worth to income is currently somewhat higher than its long-run average. So long as financial intermediation continues to expand, both household debt and assets are likely to rise faster than income. Without an examination of what is happening to both assets and liabilities, it is difficult to ascertain the true burden of debt service. Overall, the household sector seems to be in good shape, and much of the apparent increase in the household sector's debt ratios over the past decade reflects factors that do not suggest increasing household financial stress. And, in fact, during the past two years, debt service ratios have been stable.

As I wrote at the time:

Has He Gone Insane?


Those bloggers sure do have foul mouths.

Media Matters

From Jamison Foser:

Wrong About Everything

All the time.

Morning Thread


Friday, August 25, 2006

Dead Man Walking

PsiFighter37 makes the case for Lieberman's inevitable cutting and running from the campaign.

I don't buy it because Lieberman is no longer behaving as a rational actor. In addition, the window for a graceful exit is fast closing making it difficult for him to leave with any kind of dignity intact.

Still, I'd certainly prefer a "graceful exit" and do hope the powers that be are working to provide him with one.

Friday Cat Blogging

Chicken Feces

I bet Jeff Goldstein thinks it's yummy chicken salad.

Joe for Joe

It's all about Joe.

Afternoon Thread


McCain Hearts Bush and the War


MCCAIN STATEMENT ON WAR IN IRAQ For Immediate Release Friday, Aug 25, 2006 Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator John McCain released the following statement on the war in Iraq:

“I agreed with the President’s difficult decision to go to war in Iraq. I remain fully supportive of his determination not to leave Iraq until the freely elected government of that country and its armed forces are able to defend their country from foreign and domestic enemies intent on thwarting the will of the Iraqi people to create a civil society in which the rights and security of all Iraqis are protected.

“I have often emphasized the importance of leveling with the American people about the high costs and many difficulties of the mission, the potentially calamitous consequences of failure and the many benefits of success, as the President has also frequently stressed. But I have never intended my concern that the American public be fully informed about the conduct and consequences of the war to indicate any lessening of my support for our mission there. On the contrary, I view a candid, informed public discussion of the war as critical to sustaining popular support for the war and, thus, indispensable to ensuring the ultimate success of our mission. And I commend the President for his public statements offering Americans an honest assessment of the progress we have made in Iraq and the challenges that still confront us there, and, of course, for his determination to defend American security and international peace and stability by succeeding in this arduous and costly enterprise.”

Eschaton Assignment Desk

A cookie for the reporter who calls the Lieberman people to ask them if Chris Shays' Iraq policies would be a "tremendous victory" for terrorists.


So now Lieberman supporter Republican Chris Shays is pretty much stealing Ned Lamont's line on Iraq word for word.

Who's the serious one on foreign policy I wonder, Lieberman or Shays/Lamont? Perhaps the Bullshit Moose will tell us.

5th Party Candidate

Poor Joe, bottom of the ballot.

Two weeks after losing the Democratic primary, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman has qualified for a place on the November ballot as a petitioning candidate, the secretary of the state said Wednesday.

But on a ballot crowded with at least five Senate candidates, the three-term incumbent and former Democratic vice presidential nominee will be harder to spot.

Republican Alan Schlesinger will occupy the top line, followed by Democrat Ned Lamont, Timothy A. Knibbs of the Concerned Citizens, Ralph A. Ferrucci of the Green Party - and then Lieberman.

"The good news is name recognition is not going to be a problem," said Dan Gerstein, Lieberman's campaign spokesman.


I hear Clinton's meeting with Lamont went well, and that her guy Howard Wolfson will be working to coordinate the Dem response to Lieberman's crap (my word).

Scary Bad Words

The shrinking violets at the NY Sun have discovered a word so foul that they couldn't possibly print it in their pages:

The news about Mr. Mele drew a more vitriolic reaction from left-leaning commentators. A prominent Web activist who goes by the online name Atrios, Duncan Black, reacted to the news by tarring the McCain devotee with a British vulgarity similar to "jerk."

Except of course when they do:

Manhattanite "Kat" Ellis (Debra Messing) has to attend her sister's wedding in England. The best man, awkwardly, is her ex-fiance, who dumped her shortly before their own wedding. Unwilling to show up alone, she does what anyone would do - namely, pilfers $6,000 from her 401K to purchase the weekend services of the Big Apple's top male escort, Nick Mercer (Mr. Mulroney). From this premise the film proceeds pretty much as you'd expect: Nick wows the assembled wedding guests; Kat overcomes her heartbreak; the two interact with lovable Brits who use words like "scrumpy" and "wanker"; and, eventually (come to think of it, rather quickly), they fall in love.

Everybody's Fault But Mine

The truly puzzling thing about Lieberman's support from ridiculous people like the Bullshit Moose is that over the past 6 years Lieberman has displayed a remarkable record of incompetence. I know his supporters love his support for the Iraq war because they like the fact that there are people out there are who are as stupid as they are, but aside from that Lieberman's creation of the disastrous DHS and his 42 minute love-in at Michael Brown's confirmation hearing really deserve more attention.

And Dan Gerstein is such a wanker. Really, please, for the sake of the party and the country no candidate should get within 10 miles of this guy ever again.


Like every other member of the WATB party, Ann can't handle being challenged.

Morning Thread


Thursday, August 24, 2006


Uh, ew?

Late Night

Rock on.

Evening Thread


Wanker of the Day

Nicco Mele.


What the hell is in the TNR water cooler?


Yglesias says:

Anyways, I guess I've been remiss in my Lieberblogging . . . any reader intel on what Connecticut's favorite independent has said about Iran recently?

Well, yes. Lieberman agrees that we invaded Iraq not because of any silly old nonexistent weapons of mass destruction but because we "were trying to go and pop the head of the snake in Iran."

This is who the Bullshit Moose thinks is "serious" on foreign policy. He also said we can't leave Iraq because then Iran will invade and oil will be $200/barrel.

Freaky Ricky

I'm a bit surprised Freaky Ricky suddenly started running negative ads against Casey. His first bunch of ads were bizarre-scary-immigrant ads, quite stupid I thought, but the second bunch were actually really good at make him seem not so freaky. Transitioning from "likeable guy Ricky" to "nasty Ricky" so quickly is weird.

The Real Deal

Yglesias writes:

Democrats had better be prepared to confront this business aggressively. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that they won't be. Months and months ago when the groundwork for all this was being laid by conservative pundits and so forth I made it a habit to ask every Democratic politician I came across whether or not they were prepared for Iran to be an issue in the '06 midterms. Absolutely none of them seemed to be. People were either confident it wouldn't come to that, confident they could gin up a counter-pan if it did come to that, or else just expressed outrage at the idea that the GOP might politicize national security. But of course the GOP will politicize national security. What's more, they should politicize national security -- it's an important and legitimate issue in political debates. Democrats can't just plead for the refs to call a foul, they need to try to engage in this debate and win it.

In discussing Iran, Mark Warner said it was "the real deal." Fortunately for him this far out even wannabe '08 contenders don't really have to decide what this precisely means or what we should be doing about it. However, this type of rhetoric, regardless of the merits, simply provides the crazies who happen to be running our country right a license to do pretty much whatever they want. Whatever problems we face in the world it's important to understand that the choices are "do basically nothing" or "let George Bush do something" and it's doubly important to be able to recognize that "do basically nothing" is often going to be the preferable option. Republicans apparently think Iran has already annexed Kuwait, which I must have missed, but that shows how "serious" they are.

I don't know if Iran's going to take center stage as we head into November - though CNN is there to oblige them if they so desire - but, yes, both on the policy and the politics the Dems had better be ready.


Barry has some interesting discussion of the housing bubble. It's probably pretty difficult to argue convincingly against the idea that it has been in large part driven by increasingly bad lending practices (which were, it must be said, encouraged by Uncle Alan Greenspan). The "price" of a house isn't really the sales prices, it's the monthly mortgage cost, and continuing to hand out low-initial rate ARMs and no-interest loans kept depressing the mortage cost while simultaneously allowing actual home prices to rise.

New home sales were down sharply, and there's a new record for unsold inventory. Construction jobs are going to start disappearing rather fast I imagine, which could tip us into recession. Then other people lose their jobs. Then the foreclosures...

Fortunately my Egyptian cotton futures investments are netting me 47 quatloos per second.

Silly Laura

You don't roll out new product until after Labor Day. We all know that.

But, seriously, I can't really figure out what the administration is doing with Iran. Maybe there's a master plan, maybe the crazies are all fighting for control in the background, maybe there's nothing going on.

Politically the Democrats are going to have to be prepared to respond to whatever crazy shit they come up with.

Lieberman Campaigning With Republicans

We warned you...

It's Official

Sam Seder will be moving to the 9AM-noon slot.

The Banal Leading the Banal


At the risk of beating a dead horse, there is one other point worth making about the Ann Althouse Op-Ed. In the very first sentence, Althouse criticized Judge Taylor for "referring to [Earl Warren] as 'Justice Warren,' not 'Chief Justice Warren,' as if she wanted to spotlight her carelessness." The day before, Althouse created an entire post on her blog with the exclusive purpose of making this same "point" ("How can you forget to call him Chief Justice?").

But Madison Guy points to another Op-Ed written by Althouse in the NYT back in 2005, the purpose of which was to defend the Sam Alito nomination. To do so, Althouse said this: "Yet while Justice Burger remained conservative, Justice Blackmun went on to write the opinion legalizing abortion in Roe v. Wade and, eventually, to vote consistently with the liberal justices." As Madison Guy notes: "that would be Chief Justice Warren Burger, right?"


I know I overuse the word banal when referring to the lovely Ms. Althouse, but it's because I really never quite understood the word until she came into my life. Its meaning suddenly became clear.

Morning Thread


Wednesday, August 23, 2006


The smash things crowd is getting uppity:

Some policy makers have accused intelligence agencies of playing down Iran’s role in Hezbollah’s recent attacks against Israel and overestimating the time it would take for Iran to build a nuclear weapon.

The complaints, expressed privately in recent weeks, surfaced in a Congressional report about Iran released Wednesday. They echo the tensions that divided the administration and the Central Intelligence Agency during the prelude to the war in Iraq.

The criticisms reflect the views of some officials inside the White House and the Pentagon who advocated going to war with Iraq and now are pressing for confronting Iran directly over its nuclear program and ties to terrorism, say officials with knowledge of the debate.


As I've long said, it'll never happen whether it's in some sense necessary or not.


Now loud and proud.

The Bush era has been a very bad one for this country.


The Mushy Middle

My favorite term for undecided voters often gets a lot of complaints. But I think it's important to understand that "centrist voters" - which conform to some Beltway Pundit view of centrism - and "swing voters" are almost entirely different animals. Centrist voters who conform to the rough Washington Post editorial board center-right position do exist, but most of what we think of as "swing voters" are either completely clueless or they're more in the Ross Perot/Pat Buchanan/Reform Party mold (not mutually exclusive categories) for which there is no clear party.

You reach clueless voters by leading, not pandering, because their cluelessness makes them somewhat difficult to pander to.

And, no, saying people are clueless about politics is not necessarily insulting them. I pay attention to politics. A lot of people don't. They may be smart about many things but not so smart about politics.

Medium John

I agree with Chuck Todd. At least right now John Edwards is the most likely candidate for the Not Hillary position.

That, of course, could change.

Dean Unleashed


Evening Thread



Apparently we missed the apocalypse that CNN kept warning us about yesterday. But, Nouriel Roubini predicts another kind of big one is coming - a major recession.

I recommend putting it all in Egyptian cotton futures.


In a profile of Sam Seder, the Boston Globe says the Majority Report is moving to the 9AM-noon slot.


UAW for Ned.

Give a Little

Now might be a good time to consider making a campaign contribution to one of these fine candidates or to any of your favorites.

Afternoon Thread


Lies and the Lying Liars

I'm shocked to discover that Saint "straight talk" McCain and Joe "the last honest man" Lieberman are full of shit.

JOE 2006!

I was wondering why not much was going on with Joe's web site.

Apparently his money is no good.


Style guide for the media:

If you are writing about Joe Lieberman's activities in the US Senate it is fair to refer to label him as Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT).

However, if you are writing about his election campaign you should label him according to the party he has formed and joined, the Connecticut for Lieberman party.

CNN.Com says he has enough signatures to be on the ballot. So, (CFL-CT) it is.

Wanker of the Day

Ann Althouse.

Althouse thinks that the President's claim that neither courts nor Congress can interfere in his conduct with regard to national security "is a serious argument, and judges need to take it seriously," but she never says why that argument is "serious" or what the court failed to consider in rejecting the administration's theories of presidential omnipotence. Althouse apparently thinks that repeating the words "serious" and "difficult" enough times will bestow on her little platitudes the scholarly weight which her analysis so plainly, so embarrassingly lacks.

Ironically, although Althouse devotes the bulk of her Op-Ed to criticizing Judge Taylor for failing to consider important arguments, or failing to consider them "seriously" enough, it is Althouse's Op-Ed that is completely bereft of reasoning. It's basically one long list of political cliches and banal ad hominem more suitable to a Rush Limbaugh opening monologue than some "serious" legal analysis of a judicial opinion. Althouse -- who yesterday revealingly accused Judge Taylor of being "barely literate" and said Taylor's decision "nauseated" her -- wastes the Op-Ed space of the NYT to mock Taylor for referring to Earl Warren as "Justice Warren," rather than "Chief Justice Warren"; predictably accuses Taylor of being an "activist" judge; and meaninglessly claims that Taylor failed to "suppress their personal and political willfulness." None of this is accompanied by any substantive rationale; it's just one trite, empty, pro-Bush bumper sticker judge insult after the next.

That Althouse's "critique" of Judge Taylor's opinion is so free of substance is not merely ironic but also entirely unsurprising. As I documented yesterday (based on Althouse's forced admissions), she actually had no idea what even happened in this case at least until yesterday. The Bush Department of Justice made the decision not to address the merits and substance of the ACLU's constitutional claims despite being ordered to do so by the court -- twice. Althouse has spent the law week attacking the court for its failure to address arguments that the DoJ never raised -- and now makes the same inane, patently misinformed criticisms of Taylor in The New York Times.

But it is nothing short of humiliating that Althouse had no idea that any of that happened in this case. She hasn't followed this case at all. She has no idea what took place. Just as is the case for her good friend and colleague, Orin Kerr, whom she cites for support in her Op-Ed, Althouse is criticizing Judge Taylor for an "incomplete" opinion because Althouse is entirely ignorant of the fact that the DoJ chose not to advance any substantive arguments on the merits of these claims. She quotes Kerr to accuse Taylor of issuing an "incomplete" opinion, but Kerr -- like Althouse -- simply did not know that the DoJ made no substantive arguments that went to the merits of this lawsuit (because the DoJ, reflecting the Bush administration's belief that it is above judicial review, argued only that the court had no right to decide these issues).

Although these critical events in this lawsuit were all public and reported by major newspapers, Althouse learned of them for the first time -- as she reluctantly admitted -- by reading the Comment section at Volokh on Monday, after which she had to correct a completely false factual claim she made about the case. Her ignorance about these matters was not concerning some obscure legalisitc point. Rather, she was just blissfully and inexcusably unaware of the most important fact necessary for understanding Judge Taylor's decision -- that the DoJ failed to raise any of the issues which she and her good friend, Professor Kerr, find so "immensely difficult."

Though, admittedly, the true wanker is whichever NYT editor stuck this in their pages.

Stop Running Over Pedestrians

Along with just about every resident of this city I do get more than a little annoyed at all of the suburban drivers who are unaware of the fact that a green light does not give them license to make a right turn into a group of pedestrians crossing at a crosswalk. Sure local drivers can be very aggressive, but unlike the suburbanites they're at least aware of the concept of a pedestrian.

The number of people killed on U.S. roadways in 2005 climbed to the highest level in 15 years, an increase tied to rising deaths among motorcyclists and pedestrians, the federal government reported yesterday.

A total of 43,443 people died in traffic accidents last year, up 1.4 percent from the previous year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said. The agency said the motorcycle death toll rose for the eighth consecutive year. Last year, 4,553 motorcyclists died on the roadways, up 13 percent from the previous year. The agency said 4,881 pedestrians were killed last year, up 4.4 percent.

Why Are We In Iraq?

I have no idea, neither do you,* and neither apparently does Joe Lieberman.

*This assertion will inevitably prompt emailers who explain to me why we are in Iraq. Your theory may be correct, but it's just a theory, and they're always a little different. No one in power has articulated a consistent and coherent reason for the invasion. It'll forever be a mystery.


The banality it burns! It burns!

Colossal White

It is worrisome that open unapologetic racism is now acceptable in our mainstream media. Anti-Arab racism has been a staple of our contemporary discourse for some time but now it's increasingly becoming universal.


It's just awful that the rabid lambs of the Republican party are purging their own:

(AP) Republican Gov. Frank Murkowski, stung by accusations of arrogance
and stubbornness, lost his bid for a second term Tuesday after polling last
in a three-way GOP primary.

Sarah Palin, a former Wasilla mayor won the Republican nomination for governor after holding steady with about 50 percent of the vote through most of the night. Murkowski polled just 19 percent.

Morning Thread


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Late Night


My Afternoon

BooMan pretty much sums it up.

Evening Thread



CNN just flashed up his schedule showing he met with Booby Woodward on June 13. But the real interesting question is why was he meeting with Tom Cruise, Tom Davis, and Kurt Weiland of the Church of Scientology?


This clueless nutter is who the Bullshit Moose thinks is "serious" about foreign policy.

What ridiculous people rule our public discourse.

Colossal White

Ah, racists.

Nothing Short of a Miracle

These are our serious foreign policy thinkers.


Is there any bit of wingnuttery that our cable news won't take seriously?

Wanker of the Day

Jonathan Kaplan.




What Ezra says. Every bit of legislation passed in the 90s came out of a highly combative partisan environment. If you think good things came out of that period then you should be a huge fan of mean-spirited partisan debate. Those who remember it as a period of bipartisan bliss really are mainlining the hard stuff.

Public debate is good. I don't know why people have a problem with it.


American Research Group has poll in line with Rasmussen for the Democrat/CFL race.

(via jmm)

Bedtime for Rummy?

Laura Rozen sez Bush is shopping around for a sucker to take over from Rumsfeld.

Sadly, anyone stupid enough to take the job probably won't be an improvement.

The WATB Party

Since whining has become the staple of conservative discourse over the last few years it's fitting that it's all we get out of the Lieberman for Lieberman gang.


According to this Kos diarist, Lieberman's up by 2 in the latest Rasmussen.

Another poll like this and I think we can feel pretty confident. I don't think the Republican candidate will only get 6 - even in Connecticut the lizard brain has to kick in and cause more than 6% to pull the lever automatically for whoever is next to the "R" on the ballot. Joe's gotta be at the absolute ceiling of support from Democrats, too.


Even a blind squirrel on LSD finds a nut now and then.

Morning Thread


Monday, August 21, 2006


We still haven't decided what we're naming this one. Perhaps that's wise as it'll be best forgotten.

Hot Dead Women



Do people really give a shit? I'm actually not so against outlets like CNN giving the people "what they want" instead of "what they need" at times, but there are many times when I think the judgment about "what they want" is extremely flawed...


I've been quite enjoying a copy of Jennifer O'Connor's "Over The Mountain, Across The Valley, and Back To The Stars" I received. It's somewhat Aimee Mannish with a bit more attitude.

Click to download .mp3s of the song Today and Exter, Rhode Island, though I don't think those are the strongest tracks on the CD>

And you can order the CD here.

Uh, CT?

I think this is still preliminary - I don't even think Joe has even officially qualified for the ballot - but he can no longer be on the ballot as a Democrat...

(tip from reader b)

Paging Stephen Colbert

I agree. Alan Schlesinger would be a great guest for the Colbert report.


It's a bit heartwarming to discover that being a racist asshole might cause some voters to stop liking you.


Here's an especially mendacious bit of quote clipping.

America the Fringe

35% support the Iraq war, and 61% oppose, in latest CNN poll.

Not Bad

According to CNN just now a Time poll for a hypothetical McCain-Clinton race has it at 49% McCain 47% Clinton. Given the sycophantic press McCain always gets it's actually interesting that such a thing would be within the MOE.

Clinton doesn't get bad press overall - it's a bit of a mix - but is nonetheless often associated with "divisive" or "polarizing" or "love her or hate her" kind of rhetoric. As is almost always the case with issues or people who "divide the country" such descriptions are completely arbitrary and could apply to just about any well-known person or issue. How often does such rhetoric get applied to George W. Bush for example?

The Deal

Alterman writes:

Here’s my prediction: If Lieberman wins the election, he will not switch to the Republicans, as some fear. But he will do the functional equivalent, which is accept Bush’s appointment to replace Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense, resign his seat and allow the Republican governor of Connecticut to appoint a Republican in his stead. That is the implicit deal between the Lieberman camp and Rove, Cheney, Bush etc and the reason, that alone, in the entire country, this is the only race where this most partisan of political operations, refuses to support the Republican in the race. Bush, Rove and Cheney do not make political decisions on the basis of what they think is good for the country. They care only about their party and themselves. If Lieberman supporters are genuinely supporting him as a Democrat, is it not enough for him to pledge to vote with the party in the Senate. He must pledge that, under no circumstances, will he accept an appointment from Bush or resign his seat under any circumstances, so long as a Republican occupies the state House.

I don't know how likely this is, but if it comes to pass don't say we didn't warn you . Another guess about a likely possibility is that Lieberman's agreed to caucus with Republicans if they need him. If by some miracle the Dems manage to retake the Senate with Lieberman's vote he'll vote for the Repulican Majority Leader instead.

Joe's got many more opportunities for betrayal ahead of him. Maybe he's not as much of a wanker as I think he is. Let's hope we don't find out.

...adding that the not exactly reliable Gerstein has said Lieberman is committed to supporting Reid.


Well, Ostrich is one word for him I suppose.

Why Are We In Iraq?

Well, at least now we know it had nothing to do with 9/11.


Colin McEnroe on the clown show* that is Joe Lieberman.

I suppose another good question might be framed around the idea that this November Senate election will fall just a few weeks shy of the writing of that article, which argued that victory was so close that we would be fools not to stay and harvest it. His new line, as I understand it, is that disaster -- the kind of disaster that could suck the whole region down with it -- is so close that we would be fools not to stay and prevent it.

*My sincere apologies to fine clowns everywhere.

Et Tu, Lawrence?

Joe's beginning to lose his wingnut support.


Jim Henley is shrill.


Lieberman on Iraq in March:

We're talking about 2006, 7, 8... that's three years. And I believe that a lot of very good things can happen in three years in Iraq that ideally would allow us to remove every American soldier who's there today.

Lieberman on July 6:

So I am confident that the situation is improving enough on the ground that by the end of this year, we will begin to draw down significant numbers of American troops, and by the end of the next year more than half of the troops who are there now will be home.

Lieberman on July 19:

The three-term U.S. senator said he believes a complete withdrawal is possible by late 2007 or early 2008.

Lieberman yesterday:

SCHIEFFER: Are you now saying it's time to start drawing down the troops
there, Senator?
Sen. LIEBERMAN: No, and that's absolutely the point I'm making.

But, hey, the Bullshit Moose supports him, and he's always supported the best - Ralph Reed, the Heritage Foundation, John McCain...

Wanker of the Day

Kenneth Pollack.

If only Kevin had been the influential one in the family.*


Not Going to Leave

Bush (approximate transcript, too lazy to rewind the Tivo):

As long as I am president we are not leaving Iraq.

For those keeping score, that's another 5 more Friedmans at least. Which means Bush doesn't believe there's any way that his "plan" (whatever the hell that is) will "succeed" in under two and a half years.

...Think Progress sez the precise quote is:

We’re not leaving [Iraq] so long as I’m the president.

People don't understand that this is, in fact, the plan. To stay.


In the forgotten war:

BAGHDAD, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Three members of a U.S. Marine unit were killed in action in western Iraq on Sunday, the U.S. military said in a statement.

The statement released on Monday gave few details of what appeared to be a single incident: "Two Marines and one sailor assigned to Regimental Combat Team 7 died from wounds sustained due to enemy action while operating in Al Anbar Province."

Your Liberal Media

Still not liberal:

THIS WEEK IN PANEL BALANCE. Classic Sunday chat show roundtable on ABC's "This Week" yesterday: George Will, Reuel Marc Gerecht, Fareed Zakaria, and Robin Wright. For those keeping score, that's a conservative, a neoconservative, a moderate conservative, and a straight news reporter.

The Concern Troll

On the internet, and in real life, there is perhaps nothing more annoying than the concern troll, the person who claims to be on your team but is forever fretting about the tone or substance of a particular criticism of the other side. Lieberman has deservedly criticized for his stated anti-democratic belief that criticizing the president imperils the country, but what he was really doing was setting himself up to be the ultimate concern troll. You see, it is actually okay to critcize the administration, but only in the time and place and manner that Joe Lieberman says you can. When is it okay? When Joe says so! Otherwise, it imperils the nation!

Lieberman really revealed his concern troll colors with this comment about Vietnam, a war he has long proudly opposed:

"I was worried about a repeat of Vietnam," he said Friday during an interview aboard his campaign bus. "Public opinion was moving away from supporting the war for reasons that were understandable, but not complete."

Sure, the war was bad but what really concerns Joe is that some people who opposed it maybe opposed it too much! Or for the wrong reasons!

I hate concern trolls.

Taking Terror Seriously

From Tom Tomorrow.

Click through Salon's ad for the rest...

Morning Thread


Late Night

Be excellent to each other.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Along with Saint "stay the course even though it's wrong" McCain, Joe "lost the plot" Lieberman is someone people like the bullshit moose think is "serious" on foreign policy.

These people are very silly, and should not be listened to.


New Neil Young video.

Afternoon Thread


Wanker of the Day

Glenn Reynolds.

Big John


Kerry Calls Lieberman the New Cheney

Senator Labels Bush Iraq Policy 'Disaster,' Lieberman Bid 'Huge Mistake'


Aug. 20, 2006 -- - Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., blasted fellow a Democrat, Sen. Joe Lieberman, for continuing his bid in the Connecticut Senate race despite a narrow loss to newcomer Ned Lamont in the Democratic primary earlier this month.

"I'm concerned that [Lieberman] is making a Republican case," Kerry told ABC News' "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" in an exclusive appearance.

Kerry accused the 2000 Democratic vice presidential candidate of "adopting the rhetoric of Dick Cheney," on the issue of Iraq.

"Joe Lieberman is out of step with the people of Connecticut," Kerry added, insisting Lieberman's stance on Iraq, "shows you just why he got in trouble with the Democrats there."

Kerry called Lieberman's independent bid a "huge mistake" and applauded businessman-turned-politician Lamont as "courageous" for challenging Lieberman on the war.

Drinking the Sand



Shorter John McCain on MTP (Russert-free, thankfully):

The administration has done the wrong thing for the last 3 and a half years which leaves us with no option other than staying the course.

I guess this is what counts for "seriousness" on foreign policy in Beltwayland.

...oh Lordy, it's a "critical time" in Iraq. I guess that's critical time #1432.

...Jeebus, McCain sez:

Most Americans, when they're asked if they want to set a date for withdrawal, say no.

CNN poll:

"Which comes closer to your view about U.S. troops in Iraq? The U.S. should set a timetable for withdrawal by announcing that it will remove all of its troops from Iraq by a certain date. The U.S. should keep troops in Iraq as long as necessary without setting any timetable for withdrawal." Options rotated. Half sample, MoE ± 4.5.

8/2-3/06 Timetable 57 No timetable 40 Unsure 4

CBS poll:

"Do you think the United States should or should not set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq?"

Should 56 Should not 40 Unsure 4

USA Today Gallup:

"Here are four different plans the U.S. could follow in dealing with the war in Iraq. Which ONE do you prefer? Withdraw all troops from Iraq immediately. Withdraw all troops by August 2007, that is, in 12 months' time. Withdraw troops, but take as many years to do this as are needed to turn control over to the Iraqis. OR, Send more troops to Iraq." Options rotated.

Withdraw immediately 19% Withdraw by August 2007 33% Takes as Long as Needed 38% Send More Troops 7% Unsure 2%

Fox News Poll:

Pull out by year-end 27% Pull out all over the next year 31% After Iraqis capable 33% send more 4%

So much for the straight talk express.

That's Rich

Frank Rich:

The hyperbole that has greeted the Lamont victory in some quarters is far more revealing than the victory itself. In 2006, the tired Rove strategy of equating any Democratic politician’s opposition to the Iraq war with cut-and-run defeatism in the war on terror looks desperate. The Republicans are protesting too much, methinks. A former Greenwich selectman like Mr. Lamont isn’t easily slimed as a reincarnation of Abbie Hoffman or an ally of Osama bin Laden. What Republicans really see in Mr. Lieberman’s loss is not a defeat in the war on terror but the specter of their own defeat. Mr. Lamont is but a passing embodiment of a fixed truth: most Americans think the war in Iraq was a mistake and want some plan for a measured withdrawal. That truth would prevail even had Mr. Lamont lost.

A similar panic can be found among the wave of pundits, some of them self-proclaimed liberals, who apoplectically fret that Mr. Lamont’s victory signals the hijacking of the Democratic Party by the far left (here represented by virulent bloggers) and a prospective replay of its electoral apocalypse of 1972. Whatever their political affiliation, almost all of these commentators suffer from the same syndrome: they supported the Iraq war and, with few exceptions (mainly at The Wall Street Journal and The Weekly Standard), are now embarrassed that they did. Desperate to assert their moral superiority after misjudging a major issue of our time, they loftily declare that anyone who shares Mr. Lamont’s pronounced opposition to the Iraq war is not really serious about the war against the jihadists who attacked us on 9/11.

Sunday Bobbleheads

Document the atrocities. Here's the lineup. I recommend putting on some biohazard gear before watching the fluffing Russert will undoubetdly give Saint McCain.