Saturday, October 28, 2006


High Five!

Outcomes Determined by Results of Power Conflicts Between Competing Interest Groups

What an odd concept.

Bring on the General


Still, this must be good for Republicans.

Oct. 28, 2006 - As the race for Congress enters the homestretch, the Republicans find themselves limping to the finish line, according to the new NEWSWEEK Poll. President Bush's approval rating continues a slow but steady climb—from an all-time NEWSWEEK-poll low of 33 percent three weeks ago to 37 percent today. But it may be too little, too late: if the midterm elections were held today, 53 percent of those likely to go to the polls would vote for the Democratic candidate in their Congressional district versus just 39 percent who would vote for the Republican.

News to Brian Ross

Poor guy, scooped by Drudge according to the Post:

Allen campaign officials provided excerpts from the books -- some of them depicting acts of incest and graphic sexuality -- to the Drudge Report Web site Thursday night. Matt Drudge's Internet blog often breaks or promotes stories with sensational angles, most recently the scandal involving former Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.).

This is an absurd characterization designed to make Drudge seem like a neutral scandal-pusher, instead of a conservative operative.

Your liberal media, at work again. Mark Halperin was right about one thing:

Matt Drudge rules our world.

Indeed he does. Though only a member in good standing of the Gang of 500, could simultaneously believe that the media is overwhelmingly liberal and is ruled by Matt Drudge.

Morning Thread

Blogger is bloggered.

The Big Money

Didn't quite track it exactly here, but it was about $35+ grand. Kos and the gang had about $300K.

Whatever happens this election - it could be bad, ok, as good as it gets - I do hope that everyone who has given over this cycle commits to giving earlier, giving smarter, giving faster. I'm really not a blog triumphalist, but it's difficult to see how blogs aren't a nontrivial part of where we are right now for a variety of reasons. This isn't about glorifying individual bloggers, but about a way forward for forging a new grand coalition.

Late Night

Some gypsy shit.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Melissa Hart Calls the Cops on Granny

Story here.

News report here:

Fresh Thread

Spend some money.

Wanker of the Day

Stephen Sprueill.

Stupid Polling Tricks

Why would there be a poll just out about the Murphy/Fitzpatrick race which included the name of a guy who withdrew from the race in August? Franklin and Marshall just polled a 3-way race which doesn't exist. Maybe we need a poller's ethics conference.

So, to clear up some of Hotline's confusion - the reason why different polls are getting such different results is that one of those polls is polling about a named candidate who isn't on the ballot.

Here's the question.

Vote_CD. If the election for the US House of Representatives was being held today and the candidates were MICHAEL FITZPATRICK, the Republican, PATRICK MURPHY, the Democrat, AND TOM LINGENFELTER, the Independent candidate, would you vote for...




12% Do not know

Murphy's been trending well in ever other poll I've seen. He's still got a tough battle, but this particular poll can be somewhat discounted.

It's Dave!

No, Dave's not here man...

Bye Bye Cry Baby

18 months for Safavian.

(tip from pony boy)


Perhaps the Army and Marine Corps are like balloons - if you blow into them they'll expand! John McCain again comes out with his plan for ponies:

A member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, McCain said increasing U.S. forces would require expanding the standing Army and Marine Corps - a step the Bush administration has resisted. He also reiterated his opposition to a hasty U.S. withdrawal.

"If we leave ... the fighting will evolve into chaos there," McCain told reporters after speaking at an event for local Republican candidates.

Reporters asked him to elaborate on his statement last week in Iowa that more combat troops are needed in Iraq to quell a "classic insurgency."

"Another 20,000 troops in Iraq, but that means expanding the Army and the Marine Corps," he said.

"It's not just a set number."

Blow into that balloon Senator McCain!

I Thought His Last Name Was Rocket?

Silly me.

Give a Little, Give a Lot

Looks like around 70 people have contributed through the link today. How about a few more? Don't feel bad if you can't. I know not everyone has extra.

Go See a Movie

New York people can see Shut up and Sing at Loews Village 7 or Loews Lincoln Square.

LA people can go to AMC Century City 15. Buy tickets here.

Shut up and Sing

The ad which is TOO HOT FOR NBC.

wankers.'s a longer trailer for the movie.


Was out and overheard a conversation involving an elderly, apparently less than rich, Southern-born African-American man who was having to jump through hoops to prove his Medicare eligibility because, like many of his race, class, and generation, he was born at home and had no birth certificate.

They're really just sadistic.


Stu Rothenberg:

With only a couple of weeks until Election Day, we know there will be a Democratic wave on Nov. 7. And we can be fairly certain that by historical standards it will be high - possibly very high. But we still don’t know how many Republicans once considered safe will be swept out of office.

The national political environment currently is worse than it was in 1994, when the Democrats lost 52 House seats, eight Senate seats and 10 governorships, and when Republicans won GOP control of the House for the first time in decades.

You heard me right: It’s worse this year than it was in 1994, when voters were dissatisfied with the first two years of the Bill Clinton presidency.

I'm really not ready to buy it. Never underestimate the capacity for spite voting by the lizard brains. So, help out.

Staying is Winning


With the body counts soaring, the country descending deeper into civil war and the central government consistently unable to assert itself, how can he call this winning?

The answer: It's becoming increasingly clear that Bush sees the war in Iraq in very simple terms. As he himself said, he believes that the only way to lose is to leave. Therefore anything else is winning -- anything else at all.

Even if no progress is being made -- even if things are getting worse, rather than better -- simply staying is winning.

So we're winning.


Today really is the last day for your political contribution to make a difference. I've modified the Eschaton list a bit, and added a few more last minute candidates. Or no need to listen to me, choose our own. One last push.


Nick Confessore edition.

Lies and the Lying Liars

For some reason Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick likes to lie about veterans. Call his congressional office and ask him why he likes to lie about Patrick Murphy.

1516 Longworth H.O.B.
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-9511 Fax

Doylestown Office

60 N. Main Street
Doylestown, PA 18901
(215) 348-7511
(215) 348-7658 Fax

Langhorne Office

One Oxford Valley
Suite 800
Langhorne, PA 19047
(215) 752-7711
(215) 750-8014 Fax

Call his campaign office and ask the same:


Debate report:

The campaign rhetoric spiked in the Eighth District congressional race yesterday as Democrat Patrick Murphy called the incumbent "a liar and a coward" during a debate in Fairless Hills.

A rumble went through the crowd of about 100 businesspeople at the Lower Bucks Chamber of Commerce debate as Murphy used his opening statement to confront Republican Mike Fitzpatrick about televised ads that questioned his prosecution record.

Fitzpatrick's ad questions Murphy's contention that he did work for the U.S. Justice Department and that, as an attorney with the Army, he prosecuted some of the toughest criminals in New York.

"Mike, you are a liar and a coward," Murphy said.

He later offered reporters an affidavit of his appointment as a special assistant U.S. attorney in New York in 2001.

Your Liberal Media

Still not liberal.

The best revenge is to go see Shut up and Sing when it opens near you.

And, I suggest all that leftover advertising money be spent to advertise on fine liberal blogs everywhere.

Morning Thread



The portion of the interview they broadcast was quite decent. But you can see the whole interview here --- and listen to Katie Couric push him over and over again on the burning question of whether he manipulated his medication and ask him whether he should have re-scheduled the shoot when his symptoms were manifested as they were. And she does it while she's sitting directly across from him watching him shake like crazy. Her questions imply that it was in poor taste or manipulative as if he can magically conjure a film crew to catch him in on of the fleeting moments where he doesn't appear too symptomatic. The press seems to truly believe that it is reasonable to be suspicious of him showing symptoms of a disease that has him so severely in its clutches that if he doesn't take his medication his face becomes a frozen mask and he cannot even talk.

Well, not tears, so much as white hot anger.

I was a wee bit annoyed when Fox ran ads for Specter, thinking that it was a big picture counterproductive act, but christ it never occurred to me that anyone would go after him.

The conservative movement is sick, and I don't think there's anyone around willing to try to heal it.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Late Night

Vienna Teng - Harbor

Fresh Thread


Saint McCain on Webb's Novel Lost Soldiers

“James Webb’s new novel paints a portrait of a modern Vietnam charged with hopes for the future but haunted by the ghosts of its war-torn past. It captures well the lingering scars of the war, and exposes the tension between the dynamism of a new generation and the invisible bondage of an older generation for whom wartime allegiances, and animosities, are rendered no less vivid by the passage of time. A novel of revenge and redemption that tells us much about both where Vietnam is headed and where it has been.”
— Senator John McCain

Denny Hastert's Gonna Throw Victoria Wulsin Jail

Jean Schmidt really is a very stupid person. She's very proudly sent Wulsin two letters on the premise that somehow House Rules apply to a person not actually serving in Congress. In the second one she threatens to tattle to Dead Man Walking himself. Read it here (.pdf)

Heartless, Useless, Creeps

Yeah, for some reason my ability to be surprised by these conscienceless freaks never ends.

Lies and the Lying Liars

Mike Fitzpatrick edition.

A new television ad paid for by the campaign of Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick, R-8, claims that Democrat Patrick Murphy has lied about his employment as a federal prosecutor in New York.

Murphy called the ad “a lie” and “shameful” and demanded that his political opponent pull the ad from the airwaves; Mike Conallen, Fitzpatrick’s chief of staff, refused.

“It’s a desperate and false ad from a flailing campaign,” Murphy said Tuesday. “Mike Fitzpatrick is a liar and a coward.”

According to court documents provided by Murphy’s campaign and an interview with one of Murphy’s former superiors, Murphy did prosecute cases in New York involving drugs, theft, assault and sexual molestation.

The ad, which features the standard deep-voiced narration and ominous music, claims Murphy’s frequent statement that he “prosecuted some of the toughest criminals in New York” is untrue.

“He claims he was a U.S. attorney, but the Justice Department confirms he never worked there,” the ad said. “Murphy says he prosecuted some of New York’s toughest criminals. Court records prove he never did.”

Mike Fitzpatrick. Just another Republican liar.

Here's a copy of Murphy's appointment letter.

This stuff really pisses you off when you actually know the person involved.

They Write Letters

Barack Obama writes a letter.

This is no small thing given Lieberman was who he chose as his mentor in the Senate.

Not the hugest thing, but still.

Lies and the Lying Liars

Dead Man Walking edition.

Joe and George

The quote off.

The idiots who rule us.

Oh My

Chris Shays has a problem.

But, while Shays may want his constituents to know about his first--and most daring--trip to Iraq, he apparently doesn't want them to know how he got there. Shays's moment of triumph in Iraq came about because he happened to already be in the Middle East--attending the third Qatar-American Conference on Free Markets and Democracy in the tiny oil-rich nation of Qatar. Shays's visit was paid for by The Islamic Free Market Institute, a nonprofit group founded by GOP ally Grover Norquist and run by a protégé of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff to help bring Muslims into the Republican fold. Days before he snuck across the border to cheer on Operation Iraqi Freedom, Shays was at the Doha Ritz Carlton, comparing Connecticut, a centuries-old, economically diverse democracy, to Qatar, a monarchy ruled by a single family since its independence in 1971. "This nation, like my small state, has always played a large role in advancing participatory democracy, civil discourse, and stable commerce," Shays told a well-heeled audience of Qatari politicians and businessmen over lunch.

Shays has been a strong advocate for public-disclosure rules over the years. "As public servants, we have a responsibility to uphold the ethics process, not weaken it," he told The Houston Chronicle in 2005, objecting to an effort to defang House ethics rules in the wake of revelations about Tom DeLay's overseas travels and ties to Abramoff. Those travel rules require members of Congress to file forms revealing all travel expenses paid by outside sources. But, despite his record of pushing for meticulous record-keeping, Shays's privately sponsored trip to Qatar was notably absent from his own annual federal financial disclosure form, filed in May 2004, in violation of House rules. Nor did he submit an amendment disclosing the sponsor of his Qatar trip until confronted in mid-October 2006 by The New Republic with internal Islamic Institute receipts for his plane tickets, which were provided by an Arab American source upset with Shays's foreign policy positions. Given his reputation and perennially contested district, it was a particularly foolhardy move.

Lies and the Lying Liars

Ohio GOP edition.

Give'em a call. Ask them why they lie.

(614) 228-2481

Wanker of the Day

Jean Schmidt.

I think she took her eye of the ball.

Anyway, please open up your wallets and empty them into the campaign account of your favorite candidates. Just do it.


As I just said on the Sam Seder show, what's tragic is that the conversation we're having about Iraq right now is just about the same one we're going to be having two years from now on the eve of the presidential election. It's very depressing.


Bush to his media sycophants:

My attitude about our – look, I'm into campaigning out there: People want to know, can you win? That's what they want to know. I mean, there's – look, there's some 25 percent or so that want us to get out, shouldn't have been out there in the first place – and that's fine. They're wrong. But you can understand why they feel that way. They just don't believe in war, and – at any cost. I believe when you get attacked and somebody declares war on you, you fight back. And that's what we're doing.

As Greg points out, a strong majority support getting out. But more than that, we weren't attacked by Iraq.

No wonder they hate us.


One thing our side has never embraced very well is the political power of derision, of turning a political opponent into a national joke. Obviously it helps if someone like Senator Man on Dog provides lots of ammunition, but my guess is that if Santorum does indeed lose this election it'll be in large part because a few years of sustained mocking reached into the brains of independents and low information voters (mostly the same group in my opinion). They may not know exactly why Santorum's a joke, but they know he is one, and that's enough to keep them from voting for him.

Along those lines, kudos to Casey's person for probably understanding this:

"The people of Pennsylvania are smart enough to see through this," Smar said. "Rick Santorum said North Korea isn't a threat, because Kim Jong Il just wants to watch NBA basketball. He's the same Rick Santorum who compared the war in Iraq to 'The Lord of the Rings.' This isn't the person to take foreign policy advice from."


Conservative ABC News continues to chastize Democrats for things they have no evidence they're doing.

Aside from the absurdity of Halperin's belief that the media are liberal, what's actually more troubling is his belief that if he bends over backwards to kiss the ass of conservatives they'll support him. There's nothing you can do to please conservatives, short of imitating Fox. And Fox already exists.


Over there:

BAGHDAD, Oct 26 (Reuters) - The military said on Thursday five more American troops were killed in Iraq, bringing the U.S. death toll for October to 96, as President George W. Bush sought to deflect mounting election-year pressure over the war.

Morning Thread


Your GOP

Mocking someone with Parkinson's.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Shut Up and Sing

Even though I'm the Biggest Fan Evah, no one thought to send me a screener of the new documentary about the Dixie Chicks. I have heard from a couple of people who have said it is really great, so check it out. I've heard it really captures the bizarro world which was the 2002-2003 political/media climate really well.

Yes, there's a big paid ad for this movie to the left. No I was under no obligation to write this.

Fresh Thread


Fresh Thread

We're back. Rock on.

Jealous Much?

Joe Klein on Joe Scar last night:

KLEIN: You know, I just can‘t get over Rush Limbaugh. Boy—you know, people who live in glass pillboxes shouldn‘t throw spitballs, right? I mean, this is the guy—the guy least in the country who should be criticizing an ad like this, given his own history of addiction.

And I got to say that, you know, for the vice president of the United States to legitimize a guy like Rush Limbaugh is every bit as bad as all those Democrats who went out to Las Vegas to kiss the ring of the Daily Kos and the left-wing bloggers. I mean, can‘t we—can‘t we just stop this crap?

Mindless Jerks

Conservative news network ABC is now pre-emptively chastizing Democrats for things they haven't even done.

Fresh Thread


Racism North and South

One always gets in trouble making simple observations about regional differences about anything, though I think the difference in the race-baiting tactics in the Tennessee senate race and the Mass. governor's race offer up a wee lesson on the differences in regional racist thinking.

In the Northeast the appeal to racism involves a general association between being black and urban criminality.

In the South it apparently involves the notion that black men are jungle animals who are going to sleep with all "your" white women, who will all be overcome by their animal magnetism.


Had to hunt for it, but here it is:

HELD: Denying committed same-sex couples the financial and social benefits and privileges given to their married
heterosexual counterparts bears no substantial relationship to a legitimate governmental purpose. The Court holds
that under the equal protection guarantee of Article I, Paragraph 1 of the New Jersey Constitution, committed samesex
couples must be afforded on equal terms the same rights and benefits enjoyed by opposite-sex couples under the
civil marriage statutes. The name to be given to the statutory scheme that provides full rights and benefits to samesex
couples, whether marriage or some other term, is a matter left to the democratic process.

...reading through, the majority decision seems to be that the state doesn't have to let gay people get married, just has to grant them the option to have all of the rights and benefits conferred by marriage.

(...apparently this is an ESCHATON EXCLUSIVE, as the link from their front page points to a file which doesn't exist and no one else seems to have found the right file yet)


It sounds like Ackerman got canned because he was too shrill. Funny. And I mean that literally, as Foer basically says he agrees with Ackerman about everything but suggests there was just something wrong with his tone.

A concern troll editing TNR. Perfect.

Simple Answers to Simple Questions

Not stumped this time. Media Matters asks:

Will news organizations that obligingly aired the RNC ad free of charge treat the Democrats' ad the same way?


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

Wanker of the Day

Mindless jerk Mark Halperin:

MARK HALPERIN, POLITICAL DIRECTOR, ABC NEWS: Well, Bill, as you know in this country, we’ve got these old news organizations. The major networks, ABC, where you used to work, The New York Times, The Washington Post.

These organizations have been around a long time. And for 40 years, conservatives have looked with suspicion at them. I think we’ve got a chance in these last two weeks to prove to conservatives that we understand their grievances. We’re going to try to do better, but these organizations still have incredible sway. And conservatives are certain that we’re going to be out to get them. We’ve got to fix that.

And that, folks, is your liberal media hard at work being conservative.


54% of Americans want out of Iraq within a year, and they arrived at that conclusion all by themselves. It's certainly not an opinion ever expressed by members of the "beloved center."


Mercifully I was away from the teevee, but I gather that was up to the usual high standards of these things.

Stay the Course


Probably the stupidest person in professional pundtry is Gregg Easterbrook. He's exhibit A for "too stupid to know he's stupid" and more than that he's too stupid to understand that there are people who know things that he doesn't, and more than that he's so stupid that he sets himself up as an authority about things he has absolutely zero comprehension of. It'd be comical except he's helping to make even more people as stupid as he is and what we don't need right now is even more stupid people.

The fact that something appears in an elite peer reviewed academic journal doesn't mean that it's necessarily flawless, or beyond criticism. Academic research is a process, and few things are ever definitive. And valid criticisms of a study do not necessarily invalidate a study, they just suggest further improvements. They may cast some doubt on the findings, and suggest further research is needed, but methodological imperfections are inevitable. Again, it's a process. No study, especially ones involving survey data, can be perfect. But it's fair to assume that the authors of such a study are not as stupid as Gregg Easterbrook is, that they have some vague understanding of basic statistics. Or, you know, maybe even an advanced degree requiring a lot of knowledge of such things.

More Nuggets of Wisdom From the Beloved Center

Ignatius, 10/18/2002:

A war in Iraq could trigger a new economic boom or a deeper slump. But most of the downside risk is already built into oil prices. So if forced to wager where prices will be in a year, a sensible gambler would bet on a price decline -- and a corresponding boost to the global economy.

Ignatius, 11/01/02:

If President Bush is going to lead the country into battle, he needs to begin by convincing his own national security bureaucracy. The effects of Iraq, like Vietnam, could last a generation. It's crucial to get it right -- and to have a united country that will stay the course behind the president, even when things turn nasty and optimistic assumptions prove wrong.

Ignatius, 11/08/02:

But nobody in Hussein's inner circle is thought to be advocating compliance, and for a simple reason: They know that if he reversed course and gave up the weapons he has secretly been accumulating for so many years, it would amount to a disastrous loss of face. The regime's authority would crumble -- and Hussein, his family and inner circle would be more vulnerable than ever to attack. That's why Saddam Hussein is likely to seek a defiant and probably suicidal last stand, like the famous American battle of the Alamo. He has few other viable choices. He is damned if he doesn't capitulate to the U.N. inspectors and damned if he does.


Keep your eye on Saddam Hussein as he is pushed inexorably toward the corner. I suspect that once the U.N. inspection regime is in place, he's a loser -- either way he moves.

The danger is, how many Americans, Israelis and Arabs will he take down with him? The Iraqi leader has an endgame strategy, too. We just don't know what it is.

Listening to the Wise Old Men of Washington

David Ignatius, 10/06/02:

Many analysts warn of the disasters that await in this postwar Iraq, but frankly I'm not convinced. Yes, Iraq is a country with many ethnic groups that don't always get along. And, yes, there will be a risk of revenge killings and general mayhem as the millions of Iraqis who suffered from Hussein's torturers seek to settle scores.

But these strike me as manageable problems, especially if people think carefully about them beforehand. Maintaining order will be essential in the first weeks and months after Hussein and his secret police are gone, and Washington should be training military police who will keep the peace, even as it drills the soldiers who will do the fighting. Yet we hear little of these plans -- even though they would encourage Iraqis and other Arabs, and even Europeans, to feel that the war is worth fighting.

In truth, Iraq is probably more ready for democracy than any nation in the Arab world. That's partly because its people have suffered so much from the cruelty of the current regime. But it's also because the Iraqis are the most likely Arabs to build a truly modern nation. For centuries, Baghdad has been a center of learning, and the Iraqis gained a reputation as the Prussians of the Arab world. It was no accident that Iraq was the only Arab country with the scientific brainpower to mount a serious nuclear weapons program.

And the talk of Iraq's internecine strife is overblown, too. The long-repressed Shiite community forms a majority of its population, which leads some analysts to fear Shiites will create a radical Muslim regime. But the Shiites of Iraq are Arabs who stayed loyal to Hussein through nearly a decade of war against the Persians of Iran. Iraq's Shiite elite has been the country's leading modernizers, supplying more than their share of scientists and engineers.

One Iraqi who is planning for the future is Kanan Makiya, who is heading a project to draft a new constitution, under the sponsorship of the opposition group, the Iraqi National Congress. I first talked with Makiya more than a decade ago, after he bravely published a book called "Republic of Fear," which documented the vicious torture and repression that sustained Hussein and his cronies in power.

Makiya and other Iraqi dissidents describe scenes of unimaginable cruelty -- children thrown from helicopters to force their parents to confess to crimes against the regime, for example. "Hope itself has been killed," he once wrote.

It's strange that liberals haven't paid more attention to the egregious human rights abuses of the Iraqi regime. To quote one horrific passage from the recent (widely ignored) British government report on Iraq: "Prisoners at the Qurtiyya Prison in Baghdad and elsewhere are kept in metal boxes the size of tea chests. If they do not confess they are left to die."

That's where Ignatius's "beloved center," which is punditspeak for "what my pals and I think about stuff," got us. Thanks.

The Wise Old Men of Washington

I think everything which is wrong with our elite political discourse is captured fairly well in the last paragraph of Ignatius's column:

The real opportunity presented by the Baker-Hamilton process is that it's bipartisan. To get most American troops out of Iraq over the next year will require more patience at home, and a lot less partisan bickering. And our politicians will need strong stomachs: They must manage an orderly retreat under fire. There is a path out of this mess, but we will be lying if we call it victory.

If only we get the Wise Old Men of Washington in the room together, and have them put politics aside, then all will be well.  The problems we've had, in an era where one party controls everything, are all due to partisan bickering.  If only sensible voices, like Ignatius's, who are unfettered by the petty concerns of politics - you know, getting the support of voters, the consent of governed - could rise up above the fray and politicians could have the "strong stomachs" to listen to them, then we'd eventually find the pony.

Of course, I remember what happened the last time the Wise Old Men of Washington got together and came up with a cunning plan.

Morning Thread


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Grand Unified Theory of GOP Corruption

Oh my.

Anyway, only about 15 more hours to get this stuff out there before the media becomes obsessed with the fact that gay people in New Jersey no longer have to travel to Mass. to get married.

"Made Her Hide In The Basement"

Republican Jim Gibbons, running for governor in Nevada, has an illegal nanny problem.

Course Correction

Medina posts correction.

Bring on the Band

Tommy Yum:

Hey y’all,

Me, Kenny and Rickie Lee are going on a three day bus tour November 2-4 with Ned Lamont, performing “Have You Had Enough.”

I’m pumped. Howie’s already told the BBC, but I wanted y’all to know.

I’m almost as young and beautiful as I appear in writing, and can’t wait to meet some FDL nutmeggers. Back on the road!

Your Liberal Media

Candy Crowley, who once said that Dick Cheney "oozes credibility":

Ever since the early '70s when Democrats got tagged as the party of acid, amnesty and abortion, they have been on the losing side of the values debate, the defense debate and, oh yes, the guns debate.

Two Weeks

Well, two weeks from today everything will start to look a bit different... or it won't.

Consider giving, volunteering, etc... There are numerous ways to do something if you're so inclined - local candidates, DSCC, Move On, etc... - so if you are so inclined don't hesitate to figure out how.

Free Speech

There's nothing wrong with having opinions on a news show, but that shouldn't give people license to make stuff up.


You all remember what a huge controversy it was when Michael J. Fox starred in ads in support of Arlen Specter, right?

Oh, right, there was no controversy.


As Upyernoz reminds us, same sex marriage will probably become legal in New Jersey tomorrow. So, get ready for some fabulous weddings and the usual political shitstorm.

Still Staying the Course

So sez Darth Rumsfeld:

HANNITY: A lot of debate has no emerged over the phrase “stay the course,” and what that actually means. “Well, the President is backing away from staying the course.”

RUMSFELD: Aww, that’s nonsense.

HANNITY: He’s not backing away from staying the course?

RUMSFELD: Of course not.

Simple Answers to Simple Questions

Actually, I'm stumped again. Why don't reporters mind being lied to?

I have no answer.

Chump Change

$10/person for a national election campaign really isn't a lot of money.

In fact, it's so little that public financing would be a perfectly realistic option.

Where's the Dough Joe?

Jennifer Medina reports that Lieberman still won't say where the petty cash went.

While you're over there you can ask her why she didn't uncover all those times Joe did, in fact, say we should "stay the course."

First 4 Minutes of Borat

Because nothing seems to annoy more people than Borat blogging.

(via E&P)

Spoke too Soon

Santorum just had a new ad on CNN. He's back to jokey humanizing ads, which is what he should've stuck to all along.

Safe to Turn the Teevee Back On

According to the DSCC, Santorum has no active ad buys at the moment.

Dead Man Talking

Hastert doing some surprise testifying to the ethics committee.

Elect Rick Santorum or Hitler Takes Control

Please tell me I'll wake up in 15 days with at least one semi-reasonable senator.

Obama and Clinton

I guess I should explain a bit more. The dynamics of this presidential race, barring something weird happening, is going to be about Hillary and the contest to be NotHillary. There are two ways to try to be NotHillary - you can nuke everybody else in the race or you can set yourself up to be the AntiHillary and try to nuke her. I assume someone will by the designated Clinton nuker, whether successful or not, but it's pretty damn hard to see Obama being that guy. Instead, he'll join in this little dance which Grover Norquist got exactly right:

I passed out a piece on 2008 and I’ll summarize it. My assumption is that Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee. I believe the debates will be Hillary Clinton and seven guys sitting around a table, her chair will be four inches taller than everybody else’s, and Biden will say things like, “I was thinking today how clever and brilliant and witty Hillary was, which reminded me that Evan Bayh is an idiot.” And so, they’ll kick each other under the table while praising Hillary, and then one of them gets to be vice president. So that’s my operating assumption on the Democratic Party.

I think Clinton is beatable, but someone has to take the battle to her, someone with widespread popularity. Obama probably could to it, but I don't see him wanting to. I see him kicking the other guys under the table while singing her praises, winning the Veepstakes.

Tricky Joe

Anonymous Cowards?



I've been trying to Not Talk About the Presidential Primaries until at least two weeks from now, but I'm getting sucked in.

FWIW, if Obama's running he's really running for Vice President. Far from blunting the Hillary machine, he'll reinforce it.

Clinton/Obama '08 baby. Taste it.

Wanker of the Day

Joe Lieberman.

2-3 FUs

Okay, this is what I woke up to on CNN:

BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. officials said Tuesday Iraq’s government has agreed to develop a timeline for progress by the end of the year, and Iraqi forces should be able to take full control of security in the country in the next 12 to 18 months with “some level” of American support.

Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, also said he felt the United States should continue to focus on drawing down the number of American forces in the country, adding that he would not hesitate to ask for more troops if he felt they were necessary.

Poor TamSun

I'd almost feel sorry for her, except she's the one who decided to work for Where's the Dough Joe.

How Many More FUs?

Is it 2 or 3 now?

Dare to Dream

Unless I'm missing part of the calculation, if I were one of these members of Congress facing a pretty high likelihood of imminent indictment I'd get my ass out of Dodge to minimize the publicity when it does happen.

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Return of Angry Joe

Holy crap

Lieberman reversed himself yet again on Iraq.  In the debate, he said that the situation only started getting worse in February.  Yet in the primary debate, Lieberman said that "the situation in Iraq is a lot better."  This guy's a professional liar.  He saw the polls, changed his strategy because he knew that voters realized the situation was bad.  It's good he's getting angry and sloppy, and I imagine it has something to do with the possible criminal activity involving his petty cash disbursements.

Here's a little tidbit.  After the debate, Lieberman went up to Lamont and said "You goddam sonovobitch!"  And then he went on to said something along the lines of 'how dare you accuse me of voting for the Energy bill because of campaign contributions?'

Lieberman is angry again.  Nice.  

And he fully embraced his pro-war stance, in contrast to the ads he's been running about wanting to end the war and bring the troops home.  It's clear that Joe will just say anything.  He's a very very bad man.

Fresh Thread

Blogger bloggered.

Uh, Lindsey?

The guy in charge? His name is George.

Where'd the Dough Go, Joe?

Jane says that TamSun is now saying the petty cash diary will not be released.

Big Pharma

Limbaugh says Michael J. Fox is acting or deliberately off his meds.

Here's how Howard Kurtz described Limbaugh:

Has the senator listened to Rush lately? Sure, he aggressively pokes fun at Democrats and lionizes Republicans, but mainly about policy. He's so mainstream that those right-wingers Tom Brokaw and Tim Russert had him on their Election Night coverage.

Have a Nice Life

Jeff Skilling gets 24+ years.

Dick and Joe

Peas in a pod.

Simple Answers to Simple Questions

Actually, this time I don't have an answer. But Dean Baker does have a simple question

Why do Washington Post columnists so frequently say things about Social Security that are not true?

Accent On

This isn't important, but I just watched a clip of Ford/Corker from the weekend and Ford sure has amped up his Tenn. accent compared to how he's sounded in the past.

That Wasn't So Hard

CNN anchor just said:

President Bush has used the term "stay the course" throughout the war.

Too hard for CBS or the AP, however.

They File Complaints

Lamont campaign files an FEC complaint.

Clinton v. McCain

Overall I'd say that Hillary Clinton gets decent coverage in the mainstream press these days (for a Democrat) - occasional eruptions of the Clinton Rules of Journalism aside - but she doesn't get the sycophantic Savior of the Universe press that John McCain gets, so it's rather heartening to see that in a national poll she's about even with him.

Some people, all by themselves, have come to the conclusion that John McCain isn't the greatest human being to ever walk the Earth. That's encouraging.


I don't really think they're switching strategies here, it's just a temporary head fake before they relaunch version 3.0 of TERRA TERRA TERRA.

War, What is it Good For?

Drum writes:

In general, it's hard to fudge on war: you either support it or you don't. After you've examined everything, talked to everyone, and thought long and hard, you draw together everything in your experience and make a decision. The gears may turn in private, but the final result represents one of the ultimate tests of someone's foreign policy judgment.

Well, no, not really. This is silly. Perhaps a detailed explanation of how those gears were turning tells us a lot about a person's views of the world, but the final up or down vote? Not so much.

This provides an opportunity to revisit the incompetence dodge favored by our better liberal hawks everywhere (it was a great idea but they fucked it up!). What's always bothered me most about the incompetence dodge isn't the basic set of reasons set out by Yglesias and Rosenfeld. Instead, what has long bothered me most about it was that pre-war it was probably the most derided (or, in the vernacular of the day, most "morally unserious") argument against the war. Imagine a senator getting up and giving a speech which said, in essence, that if we had competent people running the show we should go to war, but since George Bush is incompetent it'd be a really bad idea. The fine folks at Joe Lieberman Weekly would've really taken that argument seriously. But now it's the favored position of all those self-appointed very serious people.

I don't wish to to re-debate any particular military conflict other than the current one, but I do find it troubling the extent to which it's accepted that Gulf War I was a war that all sensible people should have supported. I'm not taking a position here, really, but I find it absurd and dangerous that conventional wisdom has solidified around the idea that this is now a closed question. If nothing else, war is not really a binary question as Drum and Beinart, along with the incompetence dodgers, suggest. The how and what next questions are extremely important. But, along those lines, imagine how seriously the incompetence dodgers of yesteryear would have been taken: "Yes, I think that in an ideal world America should intervene against Saddam Hussein's aggression in Kuwait, but I don't trust Poppy Bush to do it right so on balance I have to oppose this war." Very morally unserious that, but it would have been a perfectly reasonable position to take. Gulf War I was definitely a war of choice. It isn't clear how our buddy Saddam's occupation of Kuwait posed any additional threat to us. Sure, there are oil-related and other great game arguments that can be made, but they aren't really all that strong. It was a war which could have - and ultimately did - have some catastrophic unintended consequences. If you believed the people in charge were less than competent, opposing it would have been a good idea even if you broadly supported the advertised goals of the war.

Anyway, all I'm trying to say is that whether you gave the thumbs up or thumbs down to any particular conflict, no matter how right or wrong it seems after the fact, doesn't necessarily say all that much about you. However, I would say an exception to that is the current conflict in Iraq, which was sold to the country in an especially divisive and dishonest manner. Supporting this war wasn't just about supporting the war, but "supporting the supporters" who, by the time the bombs dropped at least, had clearly demonstrated that they were very bad people who were not acting in good faith. Though, I suppose, they weren't quite as smelly and annoying as Some Guy With A Sign somewhere.

Lies and the Lying Liars

Dan Bartlett edition.

All Class

Your GOP:

Hillary Clinton's Republican challenger is getting personal and it's not pretty: He says the senator used to be ugly - and speculates she got "millions of dollars" in plastic surgery.

"You ever see a picture of her back then? Whew," said John Spencer of Clinton's younger days.

"I don't know why Bill married her," he said of the Clintons, who celebrated their 31st anniversary this month.

Noting Hillary Clinton looks much different now, he chalked it up to "millions of dollars" of "work" - plastic surgery.

"She looks good now," he said.

Spencer's bizarre comments came during a conversation with a reporter seated beside him and his wife, Kathy, on the 10:30 a.m. JetBlue flight Friday to Rochester, the site of the race's first debate.


In that other place:

BAGHDAD, Oct. 23 -- At least 15 Iraqi police recruits were killed Sunday when two buses taking them to Baghdad were ambushed by insurgents north of the capital, a local police official said. Twenty-five recruits were injured in the attack, and 20 others were kidnapped, he said.

The U.S. military announced the deaths of seven soldiers and a Marine over the weekend, bringing the number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq this month to at least 86 -- the fifth-highest total in any single month since the war began. Attacks against U.S. and Iraqi forces in Baghdad have increased more than 40 percent since midsummer, U.S. military officials say. The only higher monthly tolls were 137 in November 2004, 135 in April 2004, 106 in January 2005, and 96 in October, 2005.

Six U.S. soldiers were killed Sunday, in five separate attacks in and around Baghdad, the Defense Department said in e-mailed statements. Iraqi gunman killed two soldiers with small-arms fire west of the capital, and another soldier southwest of Baghdad, the military said. Three other soldiers were killed in explosions caused by three different roadside bombs, one of which left four soldiers injured.

Late Night

Aimee Mann

Sunday, October 22, 2006

One Blair = 2 F.U.s


Tony Blair will put pressure on the Iraqi government today to demonstrate that its security forces will be ready to take over from the British army in southern provinces within roughly a year.


Like the rest of us who have no idea why we invaded Iraq, and certainly don't know how invading it with wanton destruction without consideration of loss of innocent life was likely to create a pro-US beacon of freedom-loving Democracy in the Middle, I find it quite disturbing that MSNBC to give airings to these insane views.

More than that, it's important to remember what Melanie Morgan is referencing. The suggestion that Iraq should have been "blitzed" isn't a football reference, it's a suggestion that we should have emulated Nazi German's bombing campaign against the UK which wikipedia says killed about 45K people, destroying numerous properties and forcing mass evacuations of parts of London.

Hearts and minds, people, hearts and minds.

Petty Cash

Sounds like the Last Honest Man has some problems.

All Bloggers Suck

Booman sucks.

War, What is It Good For?

Anyway, wanking aside, what I was thinking of when I wrote that post was this bit from Peter Beinart where the measure of a man is determined by his rightness in supporting the use of force in various situations:

Anything one writes deserves to be judged by itself. The Democratic Party nominated someone in 2004 who had been flat wrong in his opposition to the Gulf War in 1991, I think most people would acknowledge that. Many people who were very prominent figures in the Democratic foreign policy debate and the Democratic Party in general–most of the people who were there at that time in 1991 were wrong about that. The vast majority of the party was wrong, and yet it still seems to me that we have things to learn from people like Sam Nunn or John Kerry. If you were to go from the Gulf War through Kosovo and Iraq, you would find that a large number of people in every facet of the liberal Democratic universe were wrong, on at least one of those wars. Very, very few people were right about all three of them. The people who were–and I think Al Gore is in this category–deserve a significant amount of credit, but the truth of the matter is, if you were looking for an untainted record, you would find very few people.

And, my point was, simply, that whatever the merit of those particular wars at the moment we decided to undertake them, they were all the consequence of failures of policy beforehand. More than that, foreign policy/international diplomacy is an extraordinarily complex undertaking with numerous moving parts, uncontrollable circumstances, and people of various levels of competency in important positions of power at any one time. To reduce all that to "did you support the wars I liked?" as Beinart seems to requires a fascinatingly childish worldview.

The Worst Blog In The World

And it just keeps on getting even worse. Sad, really.

Wanker of the Day

George W. Bush.

More Thread


Not Dead Yet

On the road a bit here. Anyway, watching the Sunday shows this morning it struck me that the Wise Old Men of Washington have, 3.5 years later, decided that the Iraq war wasn't such a hot idea after all.

Not so wise, really. Took them long enough.

Tap tap tap

Is this thing on?

(OK, an hour ago, that didn't work. Go read Eric Boehlert on Peggy Nooner.)