Saturday, April 14, 2007
Senator John McCain said that the buildup of American forces in Iraq represented the only viable option to avoid failure in Iraq and that he had yet to identify an effective fallback if the current strategy failed....Isn't it a bit late in the day for McCain to pretend that he gives a rat's ass about what the vulgar public thinks about things like a troop surge?
He said that if the Bush administration’s plan had not produced visible signs of progress by the time a McCain presidency began, he might be forced — if only by the will of public opinion — to end American involvement in Iraq.
“I do believe that history shows us Americans will not continue to support an overseas engagement involving the loss of American lives for an unlimited period of time unless they see some success,” he added. “And then, when they run out of patience, they will demand that we get out.”
CBS News Poll. April 9-12, 2007
As you may know, the U.S. is sending more than 20,000 additional troops to Iraq. From what you have heard or read, would you say this troop increase is making the situation in Iraq better, making it worse, or is it having no impact on the situation in Iraq so far?
No impact: 43%
Do you think the United States should or should not set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq sometime in 2008?
Should not: 38%
The Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America are suing the FDA over the agency's approval of Plan B emergency contraception for over-the-counter sale. Their complaint? The FDA's decision was politically motivated.Read the whole thing.
UPDATE: A smart person points to excellent Plan B background info here.
I enjoy a good debate as much as the next guy but, increasingly, the next guy doesn’t want to argue — he wants to demonize me. He doesn’t want to win the debate; he wants to shut it down.
Whether the topic is global warming or Saddam Hussein’s links to terrorists, daring to contradict the “consensus” brings hoots and
hollers and worse.
If the question is, "how come the left blogosphere is so reflexively derisive whenever they encounter an argument from people like Goldberg and May," I think that May actually puts his finger on exactly why this is so:
It's because so many conservatives want to argue things like global warming is fake and that there were significant ties between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein.
These aren't arguments: they're conspiracy theories (as is another foundational conservative myth, that the media has a partisan liberal bias). They have the same basis in fact as the notion that "9/11 was an inside job." And so, consequently, such "arguments" are treated as conspiracy theories deserve to be treated: with derision and scorn. Taking them seriously only gives them and those who make them an undeserved and in fact dangerous legitimacy.
Even now, every time Bush mumbles on teevee or Cheney snarls you sense members of the press are thinking "oh no, those Democrats had better be careful now..."
People hate Bush and hate the war. That isn't going to change.
Various corners of the wingnutosphere are trying to claim Imus is a liberal (he isn't), that if he was a conservative he'd be fired (he wouldn't be), and that liberals are giving him a pass. Sadly, to the extent that "liberals" are represented by people likes James Carville and Tom Oliphant, on that last point they're actually correct.
And, sadly, that is apparently more true than I imagined. I don't claim to be representative of anything personally, but these people don't represent me, people I know, the general sentiment in left blogistan, etc. That perspective is almost entirely missing from our media. It's part generational, part cultural, part insiderism, part the general "no liberals on the teevee" rule. Whatever it is, it's troubling.
KERBALA, Iraq, April 14 (Reuters) - A suicide car bomber killed at least 40 people and wounded 128 at a crowded bus station near a major Shi'ite shrine in the Iraqi holy city of Kerbala on Saturday, police and hospital sources said.
In Baghdad, police said a suicide car bomber detonated his device near a checkpoint at the southern Jadriyah bridge, killing 10 people, wounding 15 and burning several cars in the second major attack on a bridge in the capital in the past three days.
Friday, April 13, 2007
The bottom line is this: Congress's failure to fund our troops will mean that some of our military families could wait longer for their loved ones to return from the front lines. Others could see their loved ones headed back to war sooner than anticipated. This is unacceptable. It's unacceptable to me, it's unacceptable to our veterans, it's unacceptable to our military families, and it's unacceptable to many in this country.
In other words, they were planning to implement an "unacceptable" policy and then blame the Democrats, but the Pentagon leaker made that rather difficult.
Klein seems to be operating on the bizarre assumption that Bushies want to leave Iraq early. That's really weird.
Though, of course, less weird than his belief that he is the Iraq war. Wow.
In the television interview, Webb said McCain had approached him on the Senate floor and said lawmakers should avoid the type of personal attacks that occurred during congressional debates about the Vietnam War 30 years ago.
Since that conversation, Webb said McCain has been "consistently" attacking those who disagree with him about the war.
"I don't believe it is in anybody's interest for members of the Senate to be impugning the other side's patriotism or, by the way, hiding behind the troops as political justification for what we are doing," said Webb, a former U.S. Marine.
WASHINGTON, April 13 — A Justice Department e-mail released on Friday shows that the former chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales proposed replacement candidates for seven United States attorneys nearly a year before those prosecutors were fired, in contrast to testimony last month in which the aide said that no successors were considered before the firings.
The e-mail written by D. Kyle Sampson, who resigned last month as the top aide to Mr. Gonzales, provides the first evidence that the Justice Department wanted to appoint its own candidates, despite the insistence of Justice Department officials in recent weeks that the eight prosecutors, with one exception, were removed in December 2006 for performance reasons, without regard to who might succeed them.
But Mr. Sampson testified under oath on March 29 at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee that he had no candidates in mind to replace any of the fired prosecutors.
WASHINGTON, DC—In response to increasing criticism of his handling of the war in Iraq and the disaster in the Gulf Coast, as well as other issues, such as Social Security reform, the national deficit, and rising gas prices, President Bush is expected to appoint someone to run the U.S. as soon as Friday.
"During these tumultuous times, America is in need of a bold, resolute person who can get the job done," said Bush during a press conference Monday. "My fellow Americans, I assure you that I will appoint just such a person with all due haste."
The Cabinet-level position, to be known as Secretary of the Nation, was established by an executive order Sept. 2, but has remained unfilled in the intervening weeks.
"I've been talking to folks from all across this country, from Louisiana to Los Angeles, and people tell me the same thing: This nation needs a strong, compassionate leader," Bush said. "In response to these concerns, I'm making this a top priority. I will name a good, qualified person as soon as possible."
I'm optimistic about a Sunday radio show. While it isn't exactly peak listening time, there's space for a weekly critique of the Sunday bobbleheads.
You can always buy his book.
Over at Swampland, where Joe Klein is providing us with endless entertainment, a commenter makes a good point. The deployment extension was likely supposed to be announced after Bush had vetoed the Democrats' spending bill so that he could try to claim it was their fault.
This is not a good man.
Everyone knows this is perfectly normal. Except for Clinton, when it's somehow telling of... the fact that she's operating just like every other candidate in the race. For some reason she isn't entitled.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. - Gov. Corzine was seriously injured tonight when his Chevy Tahoe was involved in a hit-and-run accident and swerved into a guardrail on the Garden State Parkway. The governor, who was airlifted to Cooper University Hospital in Camden, did not appear to have suffered life-threatening injuries.
Corzine was on his way from an Atlantic City speech to host a private meeting between radio show host Don Imus and the Rutgers University women's basketball team at Drumthwacket, the governor's mansion in Princeton.
During a news conference at Cooper tonight, hospital officials said the governor was in stable condition in the intensive-care unit, with fractured ribs, a broken leg, and chest injuries. He did not sustain any head injuries. He was in surgery tonight and was expected to be hospitalized overnight.
Gov. Jon Corzine was injured Thursday night in a car accident on the Garden State Parkway, but a spokesperson says the injuries are not considered life-threatening.
...hit head and broke leg. May not be lifethreatening, but doesn't look like nothing either.
Here's a hint, Howie. If you enjoy talking about politics and media without the stuffiness of many teevee programs, talk about those topics with like-minded friends off the teevee. You still exist if no one's there to film you. Or get yourself invited on the hundreds of teevee and radio programs that don't star a racist clown. (Yes, that means stay away from O'Reilly, Limbaugh, Savage and the Salem Radio Network.)
The reason you "looked the other way," Ho, is that Imus's bigotry never bothered you. In fact, 11 years ago, you wrote that "Imus's sexist, homophobic and politically incorrect routines echo what many journalists joke about in private." Unstuffy journalists like you, Howie?
Never mind what Imus said, sez Kurtz. Black people invented the word "ho," Jesse Jackson impregnated someone other than his wife, and Al Sharpton supported Tawana Brawley. In other words, they started it.
Aside from the general issue of the fact that illness shouldn't inspire others to micromanage your life, what's obvious is that the "Fred Thompson shouldn't run even though he has cancer" won't inspire the same amount of commentary as "John Edwards shouldn't run because Elizabeth has cancer." And, if it does, it'll be about whether voters should be concerned about his illness, and not about his obligations to his wife and two small children.
Still, he looks cute when he dances and raps with David Gregory, so I suppose it all evens out.
And Adele Stan comments on the parade of white male defenders.
Apparently Imus is pissed that Harold Ford didn't support him. Interesting.*, **
*No, I'm not endorsing everything in this diary, just linking to it for the Harold Ford bit.
**Replaced with media bistro link, where the transcript likely came from.
BAGHDAD -- A bomb rocked Iraq's parliament building in the heavily fortified Green Zone Thursday, killing at least two lawmakers in a stunning security breach in the third month of a U.S.-Iraqi crackdown on violence in the capital, officials said.
At least four other people were wounded in the blast, which shook a cafeteria while several lawmakers were eating lunch, initial media reports said.
The attack came hours after a suicide truck bomb exploded on a major bridge in Baghdad, collapsing the steel structure and sending cars tumbling into the Tigris River below, police and witnesses said. At least 10 people were killed.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Rosewater was on the next bed, reading, and Billy drew him into the conversation, asked him what he was reading this time.
So Rosewater told him. It was The Gospel from Outer Space, by Kilgore Trout. It was about a visitor from outer space, shaped very much like a Tralfamadorian, by the way. The visitor from outer space made a serious study of Christianity, to learn, if he could, why Christians found it so easy to be cruel. He concluded that at least part of the trouble was slipshod storytelling in the New Testament. He supposed that the intent of the Gospels was to teach people, among other things, to be merciful, even to the lowest of the low.
But the Gospels actually taught this:
Before you kill somebody, make absolutely sure he isn't well connected. So it goes.
The flaw in the Christ stories, said the visitor from outer space, was that Christ, who didn't look like much, was actually the Son of the Most Powerful Being in the Universe. Readers understood that, so, when they came to the crucifixion, they naturally thought, and Rosewater read out loud again:
Oh boy - they sure picked the wrong guy to lynch that time!
And that thought had a brother: "There are right people to lynch." Who? People not well connected. So it goes.
The visitor from outer space made a gift to Earth of a new Gospel. In it, Jesus really was a nobody, and a pain in the neck to a lot of people with better connections than he had. He still got to say all the lovely and puzzling things he said in the other Gospels.
So the people amused themselves one day by nailing him to a cross and planting the cross in the ground. There couldn't possibly be any repercussions, the lynchers thought. The reader would have to think that, too, since the new Gospel hammered home again and again what a nobody Jesus was.
And then, just before the nobody died, the heavens opened up, and there was thunder and lightning. The voice of God came crashing down. He told the people that he was adopting the bum as his son, giving him the full powers and privileges of The Son of the Creator of the Universe throughout all eternity. God said this: From this moment on, He will punish horribly anybody who torments a bum who has no connections!
Billy's fiancee had finished her Three Musketeers candy bar. Now she was eating a Milky Way.
"Forget books," said Rosewater, throwing that particular book under his bed. "The hell with 'em."
"That sounded like an interesting one," said Valencia.
"Jesus-if Kilgore Trout could only write!" Rosewater exclaimed. He had a point: Kilgore Trout's unpopularity was deserved. His prose was frightful. Only his ideas were good.
Though, let me add, I get the sense that a lot of people get confused, frustrated, and annoyed when I focus on things like this instead of "more important things." This blog was started not so much out of a frustration with politics, but out of a frustration with the media. While I certainly care about politics, my fundamental interest and fascination has always been the intersection of media and politics. That isn't true of all bloggers, of course, but it's always what this blog has been primarily about.
Obama says no more Imus for him (he was on two years ago), and that he should go.
(On CNN) Dodd still unsure what he thinks.
...and, advertisers keep bailing. Sprint, Amex, GM, Ditech, P&G, GlaxoSmithKline, Staples ....
....TVNewser says MSNBC is done with Imus, though treat that as unconfirmed...
...Edwards all for forgiveness...
In terms of why we're announcing it simultaneously with the unit commanders, I'll be very blunt. Some very thoughtless person in this building made the unilateral decision yesterday to deny the army the opportunity to notify unit commanders who could then talk to their troops 48 hours before we made a public announcement. And, I can't tell you how angry it makes many of us that one individual would create potentially so much hardship not only for our servicemen and women but their families, by letting them read about something like this in the newspapers.
I blame Barbara Starr (joke).
But, no patriotic call to service. Not even from St. McCain of Arabia.
As I wrote before, the problem with Imus is largely a problem of his large list of guests which make him "respectable," thus reasonably raising the bar for what should be expected from him. Arguably, calling the Rutger's basketball team a bunch of nappy-headed hoes should be a firing offense for anyone on the public airwaves, but it's certainly one for the guy who's simulcast on a "respectable" news channel and is a regular destination for all of Washington's elite.
It's not that I think politicians or other major public figures should always shun such outlets, it's just that in Imus's case everyone has agreed that he's one of them. "Part of the gang." Peers. Cut from the same cloth. Pals. In spite of Imus's long history of this stuff.
Too many of the gang will defend him, and oddly that's precisely the reason he needs to go.
Specifically, the fact that rap contains misogynistic lyrics has nothing to do with what Don Imus said. Absolutely nothing. Zero. Zip. If the Imus affair goes on to inspire this wider conversation, great, but this isn't about Fifty Cent lyrics. It's about Don Imus calling the Rutgers Women's Basketball Team "nappy-headed hoes."
...and, Rahm Emanuel reminds us that once upon a time the "war czar" was called the "Commander in Chief," that is until the boy king decided it was hard work.
The Washington Post reports that the White House wants to appoint a war czar to run the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but they can't find anyone to do it. Someone needs to tell Steve Hadley that position is filled, it's the Commander in Chief, unless the decider's become the delegator.
I couldn't tell you how much a gallon of milk costs (though I'd guess 4 bucks) because I don't drink milk, and when I do buy it I don't buy it by the gallon, and since its such a minor part of my spending when I do buy it I don't pay much attention to the price.
Yes, this is one of those long established little hoops politicians should be prepared to jump through, but it's still a stupid one.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Democrats loudly proclaim their willingness to negotiate and compromise, even after they've already compromised with themselves. The Bush administration loudly proclaims its unwillingness to do so.
Broderesque columnists loudly wail about the fact that both sides are unwilling to sit down over tea and negotiate and compromise.
Republicans sneak in with what they call a "compromise" which, magically, will be exactly what Bush wants, and won't involve actually compromising with the people who run Congress.
Broderesque columnists will loudly praise the non-compromise compromise put forward by the Republican party and the Bush administration.
We've been here many times before.
As Walter and Jim were both MEs of Time, it was a Time-heavy party, and Joe Klein was there. As I said in this space recently, I don't remember ever speaking to Klein before and I've tended to avoid it on purpose. I shook his hand walking in and then avoided him for the rest of the party. But on my way out, as I went to thank my hosts, Klein accosted me and demanded to know why I only wrote mean things about him and never nice things. I tried to explain that I felt it was my jobs to defend liberals against unfair abuse in the MSM and that I didn't really care about him otherwise. He insisted I should be writing nice things about him, in part, he seemed to be arguing, because Springsteen liked his book about Woody Guthrie and also because he had had lunch with Omar Minaya that day. I kept trying to explain that Klein, per se, was uninteresting to me; I had a job to do and I did it. He should stop worrying so much about what I wrote and said and did and do the same. Soon, however, he started screaming and backing me into a corner of the living room as if he wanted to fight about it. I did not think this was such a hot idea, given the location, and so I tried to make a joke of it, making the sign of a cross in front of my chest as I backed into the corner. Thinking fast of how to save his party from disaster, Jim ran into the other room to get his camera and perhaps capture the moment for posterity. I dunno.
Still, it's weird. I am loathe to speculate publicly about what Klein's problem may be, but as I mentioned above, I had just done this bloggingheads with Garance that afternoon and in it, I had occasion to mention that in New York, we don't take politics too seriously when the day is over and that evening I expected to see someone at a book party for a mutual friend and we would behave as if no problem existed between us, or something. I was actually thinking of Klein. In other words, this kind of thing is rarely if ever done, and I'm rather amazed by Klein's intense personalization of my criticism of his work, but you would think a guy who dishes out such nasty stuff would be able to take it with a little more grace -- especially since, as I keep pointing out, I stick to the work, not the person, at least until something crazy like last night takes place. Coincidentally, my last Nation column, "The Politics of Pundit Prestige," is, in part, a take on just this phenomenon ...
Be on the lookout for people in the media pretending there's something weird about it.
But the agenda was different during the Clinton administration. The government reform panel alone, for example, issued 1,052 subpoenas related to investigations of the Clinton administration and the Democratic National Committee from 1997 to 2002, and only 11 subpoenas related to allegations of Republican abuse.
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Call his office.
4201 Dominion Blvd, #110
Glen Allen, VA 23060
763 Madison Rd #207
Culpeper, VA 22701
329 Cannon Building
Washington, DC 20515
Various corners of the wingnutosphere are trying to claim Imus is a liberal (he isn't), that if he was a conservative he'd be fired (he wouldn't be), and that liberals are giving him a pass. Sadly, to the extent that "liberals" are represented by people likes James Carville and
IMUS: So, I watched the basketball game last night between -- a little bit of Rutgers and Tennessee, the women's final.
ROSENBERG: Yeah, Tennessee won last night -- seventh championship for [Tennessee coach] Pat Summitt, I-Man. They beat Rutgers by 13 points.
IMUS: That's some rough girls from Rutgers. Man, they got tattoos and --
McGUIRK: Some hard-core hos.
IMUS: That's some nappy-headed hos there. I'm gonna tell you that now, man, that's some -- woo. And the girls from Tennessee, they all look cute, you know, so, like -- kinda like -- I don't know.
McGUIRK: A Spike Lee thing.
McGUIRK: The Jigaboos vs. the Wannabes -- that movie that he had.
IMUS: Yeah, it was a tough --
McCORD: Do The Right Thing.
McGUIRK: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
IMUS: I don't know if I'd have wanted to beat Rutgers or not, but they did, right?
ROSENBERG: It was a tough watch. The more I look at Rutgers, they look exactly like the Toronto Raptors.
IMUS: Well, I guess, yeah.
RUFFINO: Only tougher.
McGUIRK: The [Memphis] Grizzlies would be more appropriate.
Monday, April 09, 2007
The thing that strikes me is that as a result the things people care about most don't get addressed.
The political process pulls people to the fringes.
wuuuuuh? The left fringe is all for universal health care, as is much of the country.
I think there's something else going on here, also linked to this Kathleen Parker/female soldiers thing, that plays into the Republicans' Victimized White Male base and the narratives that appeal to such a base.
People like this really do feel put-upon that they can't give in to their basest instincts. They really feel like they've been somehow reduced because they're not allowed to reduce others. What Fineman is basically saying is that left to his own devices, he'd be happy to mock black women for being black and being women. Left to his own devices, he'd be happy to use snotty code language to put other human beings in their places. Left to his own devices, he'd be a total fucking ignorant jackoff. And it's outside pressure that is keeping him from being so.
Some of the kind of humor you used to do you just can't do anymore.
It's an imposition, to not be a racist asshole. And it's hard on these guys, isn't it? It's so rough that they can no longer mock the women and the minorities and, I don't know, I guess you'd throw retard jokes in there, too, because they all seem to be about 12 years old. I don't know how any of them manage to feed and dress themselves with all that's been taken away from them.
IMUS: "Don't talk about me doing used car commercials. I'll bet you I've slept in a house with more black children who were not related to me than you have. Do not get into my face about this…why don't you show up here in person."
That was to someone from Ebony magazine who was (rightly) criticizing Imus for his bullshit on sickle-cell anemia.
OLIPHANT: What I thought would be instructive for people is to go back on the tape to a minute or so before this happens and see if you can see it developing. Now, believe me, as you well know, I don't know beans about hip-hop culture or trash-talking, or what do you call those things where you run on forever? Riffs, or whatever.
But even I could see the beginning of what appeared to me to be a riff. And the train went off the tracks, which, you know, can happen to anybody. And, of course, what counts when the train goes off the tracks is what you then do. And that's why I, you know, didn't have a moment's hesitation talking to this guy from The New York Times yesterday. Of course I didn't think about reacting like that because I saw the whole episode in context, including your statements about it.
Please, just shut the hell up. "Well, gosh Imus, I don't know much about that Negroid stuff, but I heard you rapping and I knew you were rapping so I threw my hands in the air and waved them like I just didn't care!"
He has to assume no one is paying attention. Otherwise, there's no way Joe Lieberman could maintain his record of dissembling, prevarication and misrepresentation he's been peddling about Iraq for the past four years.
His new statements flatly contradict his old ones. He tells us things are finally turning around — but he said that a year ago, and two years ago. He has no credibility left.
Among the senator's more ingratiating habits is his constant name-dropping. Listen the next time he's on a Sunday-morning talk show how often he mentions his agreement with former media darling John McCain. Now his affections have moved on to Lt. Gen. David Petraeus, the recently promoted leader of U.S. forces in Iraq. The mere mention of McCain or Petraeus is apparently supposed to put the sheen of credibility on even the most outrageous statement.
But his biggest offense is seeking to end debate on the most bitterly divisive issue in a generation. "General Petraeus says he will be able to see whether his plan is succeeding by the end of the summer. Let us declare a truce in the Washington war until then. For the next six months, let us instead come together around a constructive legislative agenda for our security, " he says.
Just sit back and see what happens, he says — let people continue dying, let the country continue to spend billions of dollars each month. It's a profoundly unserious proposition to ask that Americans, four years into what was promised to be a quick and easy victory, would suddenly stop questioning just what in the world we're accomplishing over there. It defies every instinct of a democratic society.
But it was also the first major salvo in the Iraq war propaganda blitz, as major media outlets jumped to link it to bad old Saddam (and American pundits often blather about "conspiracy theories" on the "Arab street.") Bentonite, known to most of us as "clumping kitty litter," was a uniquely Iraqi thing, or something.
Anyway, Glenn Greenwald takes long hard look at trusted news source ABC, and its role in peddling that crap. The failure to revisit these stories or to explain how they came to be really highlights the fact that something is seriously wrong with our very trustworthy outlets.
Fineman: It's a different time Imus. It's diferent than it was even a few years ago, politically. You know, in the environment politically it's changed. And some of the stuff you used to do you just can't do anymore.
Imus: no you can't
Fineman: You just can't because the times have changed. I mean just looking specifically at the Africa-American situation. I mean, hello, Barack obama has gotten twice the number of contributors of anybody else in the race. I mean, you know, things have changed. Some of the kind of humor you used to do you just can't do anymore. So that's just the way it is.
Imus: I would say in the spirit of charity that the same black journalists that are calling for me to be fired, and the same black leaders, they had the option to call me when I was asking for weeks about helping, trying to get more information about sickle-cell anemia, about what the government was doing. About what could be done, about research, and nobody, nobody called me. I'm not looking to get patted on the back for that but those are the facts.
Or, Shorter Howard Fineman:
Because Barack Obama got a lot of campagin contributions it's not okay to make nappy headed ho jokes anymore.
Shorter Don Imus:
In the spirit of charity, I'm going to accuse my critics of not caring about my pet issue which, because they're black, should be their pet issue too.
And an awesome surge it is:
BAGHDAD -- Calling the United States the "great evil," powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr on Sunday ordered his militiamen to redouble their effort to oppose American troops and argued that Iraq's army and police force should join him in defeating "your archenemy."
The cleric's verbal assault came as the U.S. military announced that 10 American soldiers were killed over the weekend, including six Sunday in attacks north and south of Baghdad. At least 69 Iraqis also were killed or found dead across Iraq.
Sunday, April 08, 2007
This is doubly true now, as any president is not only going to have to deal with this disaster in Iraq, but also a federal government which has been staffed from top to bottom with career ideological Bushies who will fully understand that their job in a Democratic administration is to take it down.
I can't speak to what's inside their little heads, but to me it seems that journalists often go out of their way to write about things as if policy doesn't matter, as if there's little impact on the lives of actual people.
And, yes, policy matters.
And then there are weeks like this, when CNN and the WaPo decided to turn Nancy Pelosi into enemy #1, without any real prompting from the noise machine, for reasons which they couldn't actually articulate.
And that's why blogging is such a long hard slog.
BAGHDAD - The renegade cleric Muqtada al-Sadr urged Iraqi forces to stop cooperating with the United States and told his guerrilla fighters to concentrate their attacks on American troops rather than Iraqis, according to a statement issued Sunday.
The statement, stamped with al-Sadr's official seal, was distributed in the Shiite holy city of Najaf on Sunday — a day before a large demonstration there, called for by al-Sadr, to mark the fourth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad.
"God has ordered you to be patient in front of your enemy, and unify your efforts against them — not against the sons of Iraq," the statement said, in an apparent reference to clashes between al-Sadr's Mahdi Army fighters and Iraqi troops in Diwaniyah, south of Baghdad. "You have to protect and build Iraq."
The U.S. military on Sunday announced the deaths of four American soldiers, killed a day earlier in an explosion near their vehicle in Diyala province northeast of Baghdad. The province has seen a spike in attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces since the start of a plan two months ago to pacify the capital. Officials believe militants have streamed out of Baghdad to invigorate the insurgency in areas just outside the city.
Separately, a pickup truck loaded with artillery shells exploded Sunday near a hospital south of Baghdad, killing at least 15 people. The blast left a crater 10 yards wide, the Iraqi military said.
BC's "This Week" — Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Jon Kyl, R-Ariz.; Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry; Walter Isaacson, author of "Einstein: His Life and Universe."
CBS' "Face the Nation" — Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
NBC's "Meet the Press" — David Gregory, chief White House correspondent, NBC News; Kate O'Beirne, Washington editor, National Review; Chuck Todd, political director, NBC News; and Judy Woodruff, senior correspondent, PBS' "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer."
CNN's "Late Edition"— Sens. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn.; former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson; former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; Mark Thompson, Time magazine correspondent; retired Army Brig. Gen. David Grange; Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Washington arch- bishop emeritus.
"Fox News Sunday" — Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; author Christopher Buckley.
And that's your liberal media for another week.