Saturday, May 19, 2007

And now to thread

And some George Carlin with another view.

(I hope that link works this time.)

Not Atrios

More Thread

Maybe it'd be better if we threaded together.


Broder's boy bounces to new low in Rasmussen.


Tristero brings us the legislative history of that warped Republican from South Dakota. It is as you'd expect.


7 US troops killed yesterday, one more today.

Fought, Thought

What's the diff.

Morning Thread


Friday, May 18, 2007

Horn Honking

I saw this earlier today and I still can't quite be sure what to make of it. Who the hell sees refraining from horn honking as some sort of respectful sacrifice?

If I've honked my horn more than 5 times, aside from announcing my presence in front the the homes of people I was picking up when I was younger, I'd be surprised.

What Will Broderella Say?

I'm sure he's never before been confronted with a profanity-spewing presidential candidate before.

Open thread

Or you can always read Sidney on the little king.

Not Atrios

Evening Thread

Watch a cartoon.

Our Turn

Ezra says two years from now isn't an option, and that probably makes sense. So take the opportunity to take crappy bill and make it much better in conference.

Freepi Demand Impeachment


Notable Quotables

"I was listening to [Rush Limbaugh] earlier today..."
--Wolf Blitzer

Grand Old Police Blotter

Former S.D. legislator (lost in 2006) arrested.

Click through to the affadavit, the allegations are truly horrible.

...adding, you may not want to click through. Short version: conviced girl in his foster care that she should donate eggs for money, and that he needed to conducted regular "examinations" to prep for it.

Do Democrats Exist?

Not to the Politico.

Fresh Thread

Thoughts on the Friday news dump?

Only Get One Chance

Regarding the immigration bill, I think the basic calculation isn't "this bill or nothing," it's "this bill or nothing now but something else two years from now." Major reform legislation of this type is a once every couple of decades kind of thing, so whatever framework is put into place now is unlikely to be revisited for quite some time.

So, add 4 Dem senators, 10 House members, and a president, and can something better happen in 2009?

Gergen Says Abu G Will Go

"Sooner rather than later," he just said on CNN. That's his opinion, of course, but Gergen is the mouthpiece of the Republican faction of the Wise Old Men of Washington.

Interns and a VCR

Jon Stewart, doing the press's job.


From today's chat (typos are his):

The presideent clearly thought and acted as if he were above the law, or could bend it completely to his will. What happened was sickening, appalling on all the levels you describe.


Anonymous: 9/15/06 you typed about Clinton: "When a president loses his credibility, he loses an important tool for governing -- and that is why I thought he should step down." Do you think Mr. Bush retains credibility enough to govern effectively?

David S. Broder: I think that is seriously in question. But Vicve President Cheney would have less,so that option is not really available.

Just putting it out there for the record.


I do think it's one of those subjects that reasonable people can disagree about. Personally I'm quite pro-immigration and think there should be fairly straightforward and transparent paths to citizenship for people who come here. I think cultural homogeneity is a bad thing as it tends to be self-reinforcing with homogeneity leading to increasing conformism. I think this country would be a much less interesting place without the recent immigration boom, which followed decades of historically low levels of immigration.

But you can be a good liberal or progressive and have different views about that. Many peoples' opposition to immigration is rooted in deeply illiberal beliefs and there are some obvious liberal positions on how to deal humanely with immigrants, legal and illegal, once they're here, but I don't think there's One Liberal Viewpoint on the appropriate scope and composition of the US immigrant population.

Moving Forward

Since the decider guy will not engage in any genuine negotiation or compromise, it's time for Democrats to flip things around. I don't know why they let Bush get away with claiming that the Democrats refused to fund the troops after he vetoed the bill with those funds. Just keep sending him the same bill over and over again.


Saw a brief clip of Pelosi talking about the president's refusal to take any responsibility for the disaster in Iraq. This is indeed true, and it's largely true of our media as well. There's been tendency to blame everybody but the boy king for the debacle, but as he regularly reminds us by parading around in his custom-embroidered flight jackets, he's the commander in chief.


Yes, Philadelphia is worse than Baghdad, but as I suggested earlier it really doesn't impact me as I live in that neighborhood known as "Center City" where you can see there's only one red dot.

But for the much of the rest of the city there's a whole bunch of killing going on.

No Reality Zone

Krugman (sub req)

What we need to realize is that the infamous “Bush bubble,” the administration’s no-reality zone, extends a long way beyond the White House. Millions of Americans believe that patriotic torturers are keeping us safe, that there’s a vast Islamic axis of evil, that victory in Iraq is just around the corner, that Bush appointees are doing a heckuva job — and that news reports contradicting these beliefs reflect liberal media bias.

And the Republican nomination will go either to someone who shares these beliefs, and would therefore run the country the same way Mr. Bush has, or to a very, very good liar.


The devil really is in the details. There's a lot of crazy in the current system, and amnesty-which-has-pointless-hurdles-so-we-don't-call-it-amnesty seems to add to the crazy. Border security is an expensive fantasy, and a guest worker program is just bad.

5 Brothers

I didn't know Mitt's kids were all between the ages of 8 and 13.

A bit tall for those ages, tho. Still it explains why they aren't in Iraq.


Over there.

30 anonymous bodies were found in Baghdad today.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Eschaton After Dark

Rock on.


Don't tell anyone, but The Editors have returned. While you're looking for them watch this video.

Fresh Thread

Rock on.

Wolfowitz Out, Effective June 30

Though his replacement doesn't seem to be much of a change.

Dean Broder, to the Fact Machine!

It's got some for you.

Wankers of the Day

The brain trust behind porkbusters.

Clogged Tubes

You know, when several hours go by and I don't get email on my blog account I should realize something isn't quite right...

Support the Troops

Bush style.

Music on the Teevee

Anything which gives relatively unknown artists an additional way to market themselves is a good thing.


Sounds like he's almost out.


Back in those happy days in the 90s, if Clinton had refused to answer a question like this a shitstorm would've erupted. Ted Koppel would've put up a "17 days and still no answer" clock. Tweety would have had 37 blond conservative lawyers on every night to demand "accountability." etc... etc...

Bald Kids

When I was of that age, if a kid shaved his head that closely it would be reasonable to see it as some kind of statement of punk or skinhead sympathies, or something else, but when I was that age close-shaved heads were just rare in general. Now they're pretty ubiquitous.

Not saying the fact that when I was that age a bald head could be seen as a kind of statement meant that it should have merited punishment, but I could at least see how school officials might have some reaction. Now I can't believe they'd even notice.

The Triumphant Return of Sam Seder

Announcing Seder 3.75

from the desk of Seder

May 16, 2007

Ladies and Gentleman:

I am happy to announce the launch of what we (by we, of course, I mean me) like to call Sam Seder 3.75, a fully updated and revised Sam Seder. I’m convinced you are going to love this new and improved Sam Seder even more than you did the old one. Sam Seder 3.75 includes a new radio program, Seder on Sundays; a new updated website,; and a general sense of more, wholesome Sam Sederness.

Seder on Sundays premieres this Sunday, May 20th at 4pm est. My old friend, Lauren K. will produce Seder on Sundays and it will feature many of the regular guests you’ve come to know from the Sam Seder Show plus some new faces, er, voices. Speaking of which, the SammyCAM will be in effect.

We will be introducing a couple of new weekly features including the Comfy Chair Award, presented to the most deserving corporate media aristocrat of the week and the Weekend Watchdog segment presented by Bill Scher.

Meanwhile, we are soft launching the new blog!!! You will notice that we now have an Open Mic section, not unlike the diaries found at Daily Kos. By registering on, you will essentially be able to create your own blog housed within our blog. Of course, you’ll always be able to continue to post or lurk on the main blog without registration- just like it’s been for the past three years. You’ll also notice more features on the new site including audio and soon, video. There will be more comedy, both from me and my friends. Soon, Senator Katherine Harris will have her own page on the site. Photos from Honeydo farm will be posted soon. Sweet lord, the possibilities are endless. Enjoy!

Folks, Sam Seder 3.75 is just the beginning and merely a lead up to Sam Seder 6.47 when I will simply be known as Samuel. Won’t you join me on this journey?

Check out now and feel free to email me anytime at!


Massive Media Matt on politicians:

I also got a chance to talk to Richardson a bit before the speech and, of course, the trick with something like that is that almost all even moderately successful politicians are pretty charismatic, but nonetheless he seemed very impressive.

This isn't universally true, as some politicians managed to achieve their positions through means other than flesh-pressing, but it is true of a lot of them. It's one reason I don't like talking to them too much. I don't like talking to anyone who is trying to sell me something, really, even if what they're selling is themselves.

But as for this:

I particularly liked his insistence on the idea that most people underplay the role of transportation and land use policy in the energy puzzle. This was appealing because it's what I already thought, but Richardson said it totally unprompted, and it's true. More fuel efficiency is good, and more renewable energy is also good, but we're also going to need people to drive less. And that's going to mean that we'll need policies that make it realistic for people to do so -- mass-transit, but also transit-friendly, high-density constructions.

This is basically the deal. We need to increase the proportion of the population who live in areas where one car per driving age household member isn't a necessity. Well-designed mass transit and pedestrian transit-oriented development is a requirement for that. I think it's wrong to see it simply as encouraging "high-density constructions," as there are plenty of places which are actually quite dense, but are dense in stupid ways and lack adequate transit. The flip side is there are places with adequate transit (certain suburban rail lines) which lack density in the appropriate places (Nimbyism, sometimes understandable, is often the cause).

Not Legal

I kind of feel like Glenn Greenwald has to write a version of this post every day for the next 5000 years before maybe a few more people will understand: the Bush administration was, for years, illegally spying on unknown numbers of Americans in clear and obvious violation of statute and likely still are.

CNN just ran a pretty straight story on this. Progress.

They Write Books

Al Gore writes a book. Excerpt here.

(ht Will Bunch)

Clapping Louder

A brief reminder that it is not actually a viable strategy for success. Anywhere.

Eschaton After Dark

Rock on.

Late Night Thread


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Oh My

Oh My.

Fresh Thread

Apparently not much of a document dump.

DOJ "Turns Over Some Rove Emails to Sen. Judiciary Committee"

MSNBC breaking.


Stock up on popcorn for next Wednesday's testimony.

Only 25% Happy With State of Country

Lowest One of the lowest since Gallup poll started asking the question.

Matches the 25% who said the country was on the "right track" in the latest AP/Ipsos poll.

So Many Eavesdropping Programs

I'm sure Gonzo's fine, as he was probably talking about some other program run out of Rove's office or something.

Afternoon Thread


What Are They Going to Do About It?

At some point our fine members of Congress are going to have to deal with the fact that the administration doesn't think they have to obey subpoenas.

Kill Them All

Perusing our very sensible mainstream pundits and their response to the Republicans, I don't see that any of them find anything off with the way the audience responds to torture and locking people up without charges or legal recourse of any kind.

Something is very off with our pundits as well. suddenly occurs to me that the post title could be interpreted as a desire to kill pundits and/or debate audience members. My intention was to describe the bloodlust of the latter and the obliviousness of this by the former.

The Mittster

Commenter Bloix explains things to Massive Media Matt:

I thought he was clear. He does not believe in trial by jury, or the presumption of innocence, or the right to counsel, or an independent judiciary, or the right to liberty. He believes that the government should be disappear people from their homes and send them to prison camps where brutal guards will beat them up at their leisure. He thinks we need more Gitmos and bigger Gitmos. He wants to recreate the gulag. You saw how excited the audience was. They understood it. Why don't you?


Ezra also discusses the problem with economists. My problem with economists is that even many of the smart ones tend to instinctively equate the social welfare of a country with its per capita GDP. This is absurd, and it isn't as if they don't actually know this, but nonetheless it tends to be how people operate.

This happens because of two basic reasons. First, there's no actual way to define social welfare scientifically. One can define social welfare functions which meet certain kinds of pleasing properties, but ultimately judgment calls have to be made. You know, is overall social welfare enhanced more if you give an extra dollar to me instead of Bill Gates? Consequently per capita GDP as a measure of society's welfare is seen as a kind of value-neutral measure. But it isn't, or at least policies which lead to more or less growth aren't value neutral as those policies don't necessarily just impact growth and subsequent per capita GDP, they also impact income distribution. So if you advocate for a policy such as "Free Trade," which will increase GDP by $100 but cause Bill Gates to earn $150 more (all of the gains and more), you're implicitly saying that either income distribution is irrelevant or that it's "good" from the perspective of society if Bill Gates gets more and the rest of us get less. Since one needs to make value judgments to evaluate income distribution effects of policy, there's a tendency to just assume they aren't important.

The second is that early on it becomes hardwired in our young economist brains that it makes sense that if the pie is bigger there are more slices to pass around. You can have gains from a policy such as "free trade" and then redistribute the goodies later. But the redistribution doesn't happen.

All this leaves aside other issues, such as the fact that people, especially French people, don't just like goodies but also this mysterious thing called "leisure" which doesn't get counted in that GDP figure...

The Wingnut Brain


So I'm glad to see Tom Friedman suggest that his audience read Rajiv Chandrasekaran’s Imperial Life in the Emerald City "details [as to] the extent to which Americans recruited to work for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad were chosen, at times, for their loyalty toward Republicanism rather than expertise on Islamism." Two CPA staffers, for instance, were asked whether they supported Roe v. Wade, assumedly because Iraqis are really concerned over whether the American Constitution includes an implicit right to privacy.

Worse than that, really:

The coalition government relied heavily on a revolving door of diplomats and other personnel who would leave just as they had begun to develop local knowledge and ties, and on a large cadre of eager young neophytes whose brashness often gave offense in a very age- and status-conscious society. One young political appointee (a 24-year-old Ivy League graduate) argued that Iraq should not enshrine judicial review in its constitution because it might lead to the legalization of abortion.



Does this sound in any way like the behavior of a government operating under the rule of law, which believes that it had legal authority to spy on Americans without the warrants required for three decades by law? How can we possibly permit our government to engage in this behavior, to spy on us in deliberate violation of the laws which we enacted democratically precisely in order to limit how they can spy on us, and to literally commit felonies at will, knowing that they are breaking the law?

How is this not a major scandal on the level of the greatest presidential corruption and lawbreaking scandals in our country's history? Why is this only a one-day story that will focus on the hospital drama but not on what it reveals about the bulging and unparalleled corruption of this administration and the complete erosion of the rule of law in our country? And, as I've asked times before, if we passively allow the President to simply break the law with impunity in how the government spies on our conversations, what don't we allow?

If we had a functioning political press, these are the questions that would be dominating our political discourse and which would have been resolved long ago.

I don't understand it myself.

The Map

Well, obviously the Philadelphia mayor's race broke down along geographic lines. While the racial makeup of the city isn't entirely cut and dry, the white guy did best in the predominantly white Northeast part of the city.

Out of Control

It was six months ago today that General Abizaid said the following:
Pressed by Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., on how much time the U.S. and Iraqi government have to reduce the violence in Baghdad before it spirals beyond control, Abizaid said, "Four to six months."

28 Percenters


These people don't care if he's wearing a teddy under his suit and sleeping with the family schnauzer as long as he promises to spill as much blood as possible.

That's about right.

Broder's Boy

It was 3 months ago today that David Broder wrote:

It may seem perverse to suggest that, at the very moment the House of Representatives is repudiating his policy in Iraq, President Bush is poised for a political comeback. But don't be astonished if that is the case.


More important, he is demonstrating political smarts that even his critics have to acknowledge.


In other respects, too, Bush has been impressive in recent days.

He has been far more accessible -- and responsive -- to the media and public, holding any number of one-on-one interviews, both on and off the record, leading up to Wednesday's televised news conference. And he has been more candid in his responses than in the past.


With the public eager for some bipartisan progress on all these fronts, Bush is signaling that he, at least, is ready to try.


Over there.

BAGHDAD - A parked car bomb exploded near a market in a Shiite enclave northeast of the capital, killing at least 32 people and wounding 50, police said Wednesday. Hospital officials and some of the wounded said it appeared that chlorine gas was used in the attack, but police denied the reports.

The attack occurred about 7:45 p.m. Tuesday in the village of Abu Saydah in the volatile Diyala province, local police said, giving the casualty toll.

Late Night

Rock on.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Nutter Wins

While not a surprising development based on the last 7 days of polls, it certainly wouldn't have been a bet anyone would've made a month ago let alone a year ago.

Barring freakish developments, he's the next mayor.

Stopped by the Nutter party for a bit as it's being held only a couple blocks from Eschaton World Headquarters. Occurs to me I've lived here awhile as I actually bumped into a bunch of people I know.

...yes, I voted for Nutter, though I would've been content with other candidates.

...oddly, I never saw the Olivia ad which all the local talkers are now saying won it for him.


Thread. Also, "Warm temperatures melted an area of western Antarctica that adds up to the size of California in January 2005, scientists report."

Fresh Thread


The War Czar Speaks


The US is expected to pull significant numbers of troops out of Iraq in the next 12 months in spite of the continuing violence, according to the general responsible for near-term planning in the country.

Maj Gen Douglas Lute, director of operations at US Central Command, yesterday said the reductions were part of a push by Gen John Abizaid, commander of all US troops in the region, to put the burden of defending Iraq on Iraqi forces.

He denied the withdrawal was motivated by political pressure from Washington.

He said: “We believe at some point, in order to break this dependence on the . . . coalition, you simply have to back off and let the Iraqis step forward.

“You have to undercut the perception of occupation in Iraq. It's very difficult to do that when you have 150,000-plus, largely western, foreign troops occupying the country.”

That was in August of 2005.

And We Have a War Czar

Because giving someone the title "czar" always ensures they'll solve the problem.

There will eventually be confirmation hearings. There will be pressure on Democrats to confirm him. Then Tony Snow and the president will say the Democrats have no right to criticize the plans because they just voted to confirm the guy who will implement them.

In other words, reboot the F.U. machine.

Stealing The Walking Around Money

Two men in "Knox for Mayor" t-shirts stole the Knox campaign's street money.

Just smart thieves or political opponents?


This is a parody.


What to say? Obviously sympathies to those who cared for him. Many undeserving people have good people around them. It's hard to have sympathies for those who fault other victims for their tragedies. As he said of AIDS and AIDS victims:

AIDS is the wrath of God upon homosexuals.


AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals.

He lived a decent-length, if not long, life. One hopes he finds that his God is a more forgiving being than he believed.

...Steve Benen has more.

Reid-Feingold and the Candidates

Edwards says support it.

Obama supports it.

Dodd supports it.

Not yet sure about the rest.


Off to vote.

Fanatical Truth Telling

So glad to see the New Republic's continuing adherence to that principle.

Glorious Summer of War

Well, actually this is from two years after the glorious summer of war at which point things had cooled down a little bit.

My take is that while 9/11 drove a bunch of people bonkers, most of them kept it in check for awhile. That is, they witnessed a traumatic event, but had the sense enough to recognize that it might drive them a bit bonkers so they should try and maintain a certain perspective. That slowly unraveled during the Spring of '02, and the nutters found a bunch of other nutters to convince them that they weren't losing their minds but were instead Very Wise And Serious People Who Saw Things That Others Didn't.

Still Nobody Watching Beck

Friday ratings:

HLN HLN: Prime: Beck: Grace: Beck: Grace: Showbiz:
115/82 107 57 161 56 96 145

More Wolfowitz



They might nuke him?

Potty Mouth Wolfowitz

Of all of the charges leveled at bloggers by our betters is that we have such potty mouths, unlike all of the Very Fine People who reside in that floating world known as Washington, D.C. While I'm sure there are individuals in Washington who refrain from using the words that Dick Cheney and Karl Rove are known to use, from my experience people in Washington swear often enough that David Broder must have overheard them doing it on occasion.

In A Sane Media Universe

The testimony going on right now would have some prominence. Short version is (I think) that Gonzo and Card tried to pressure Ashcroft and Comey while the former was severely ill and in the hospital to approve what is presumably their illegal wiretapping program. They balked, and the White House decided they could tap all your phones without warrants anyway.

I'm reminded of Joe Klein's comments on the program:

"People like me who favor this program don't yet know enough about it yet," he says, "Those opposed to it know even less -- and certainly less than I do.

Those of us opposed to it know it's... illegal.


The Pope loves him some old time religion.


Having somewhat similar experience as Glenn, I'll just let him provide the update to the Edsall/Broder situation.

The Serious People Primary

Today's wanker illustrates that to win over the hearts and minds of the Very Serious People of Washington, Democrats have to make noise about causing pain for middle class voters.

It's absurd. Social Security is fine. With a wee bit of luck it'll be fine until the end of time. It is not a pressing problem of any kind. It is not worth wasting time or column-inches discussing it as a pressing political issue.

Wanker of the Day

Marc Ambinder.


All very predictable.

Everyone should read Kevin Baker's excellent article in Harper's about this.

Morning Thread


Monday, May 14, 2007

Losing Lanny

I didn't think there was anything Bush could do to lose BFF Lanny Davis.

Keyboard Kommandos

Broderella discovers America.

What Digby Said

This has been another edition of What Digby Said.

Fresh Thread


Voter Fraud

Fox style.


McNulty's resigning.

Kill Them All

Options, Rick Sanchez style.

Taking a Stand

Feingold-Reid amendment will come up for a vote. As for this:

The staffer claims that the Senate leadership was going back and forth all weekend on whether to allow this vote. "I think there are probably some people who would prefer not to see a vote on this," the staffer says. "It forces people to take a stand."

I imagine there's a pretty close correlation between those who regularly prattle on about Democrats needing to stand for things and show strong leadership, yadda yadda, and those who aren't too thrilled that they'll have to actually take a stand.

People hate this war and George Bush, I really don't know why some lawmakers are still a couple years behind the polls.

More on the Pseud

Back in the good old days when my secret identity was known only to Mrs. Atrios, I always wondered what would have happened if I had instead used a real-sounding fake name on this blog. A name in and of itself doesn't tell you anything about a person, and most names are not even unique identifiers. So the real issue isn't pseudonymity, the issue is being able to discover information - address, employer, other personal details - so that writing on the internets can have "consequences."


The price of gas is another one of those things which doesn't really impact me much directly but which most people care about a great deal. Hit a new record.

Hard Work

Voting day in Philadelphia tomorrow. It's the primary, but it's basically a single party city so it's largely the one that counts.

I find it to be very hard work to follow local politics and to make informed judgments on even the major races, let alone the ones more down ticket (When in doubt I vote for the people who show up at Drinking Liberally). More than that, it's difficult to really know what the range of possibilities are, where the bottlenecks and blocks to progress are, what could reasonably be hoped for, etc.

It's also the case that my personal pet issues probably don't necessarily echo the pet issues of most people in the city. I have no kids and live in a low crime area, and while education and crime reduction are of course very important issues for every urban area, and successful improvements will have positive impacts for the city generally, it's still the case that they aren't things which by and large impact me directly.

Remember to vote early and often! I intend to.

Most Controversial House Speaker Yet

Pelosi as popular as she was before the latest round of crap from CNN and elsewhere.

Monday Roof Deck Blogging

Tasty fishies edition.


Lionel was awful. Not just awful in the ways I expected - I hate the "independent thinker" schtick which suggests everyone else isn't - but truly awful radio period. Who the hell would want to listen to that?



Not the Bad Klein writes:

Grubisich thinks the public square has become too open, and he wants to erect some new barriers to entry. That's what the pseudonymity discussions are always about: Privileged members of the media feeling great anxiety that they're no longer set apart simply by access to microphones and looking for ways to keep the barbarians off the stage. But whatever, I'm willing to meet them halfway. I'll start running background checks on my readers if Grubisich and his colleagues consents to some symmetrical constraints: If they write something stupid, inflammatory, or wrong, they will lose their jobs. If what you want is for new entrants to the public sphere to feel more vulnerable when participating, it's only fair that you do the same.

This is it in a nutshell. And, as Ezra suggests, the club that they want to use is the "consequences," which for most of us is about having current or future employment prospects threatened because someone googles our names and discovers that we don't like George Bush enough, or we hate her favorite rock band, or some other reason. This, of course, is a barrier too high for plenty of people. Which is the point.


I was never quite sure if the AOL/Time Warner merger* or DaimlerBenz's purchase of Chrysler was the Stupidest Business Decision Ever. They bought it for $36 billion in 1998 and are now selling 80% of it for $7.4 billion today, around $5.9 billion in 1998 dollars.

*Stupid for Time Warner, of course, genius for AOL shareholders.


Paul Brinkley is trying to commit genocide against the free market fairies which have been unleashed in Iraq.

Meet the White Guys

Identity politics, elite political discourse style.


I don't even know why people bother writing these kinds of things. Pseudonymity allows people to participate in the public discourse who for a variety of reasons wouldn't be able to otherwise. It offers little protection for criminal speech (threats of violence) or for those who engage in libel.

Oh, and Publius called and asked me tell Mr. Grubisch to go Cheney himself.


Are the people who run Air America on crack?

Religion in the Public Square

How it goes.

A mayor's race that began with high-minded debates and polite candidate forums has degenerated in its last hours to harsh personal attacks between the two perceived front-runners.

While Tom Knox depicted Michael Nutter as a compromised political insider, Nutter railed against Knox as "a scumbag." Nutter made the comment after flyers were distributed outside at least two Catholic churches early yesterday accusing Nutter of changing his religious beliefs for political reasons.

It was a sharp departure from a day in which all but one of the five candidates vying for the nomination in tomorrow's Democratic primary acted in typical candidate fashion: scouring the city, especially its voter-rich African American churches, for votes.

"Remember that Democrat Tom Knox is a practicing Catholic," the flyer reads. "Michael Nutter? He was Catholic when it was convenient for him, so he could get a quality Catholic education. Now? He quietly left the Catholic Church to become a Baptist, probably because his polls told him it would be a smart move."

All this is perfectly fine. I'd prefer a world where religion was considered to be rather a personal thing, but lots of people seem to think that the religion of politicians is something which should more front and center in campaigns. Religion can't simultaneously matter and not matter.

...adding, you put religion on the table as campaign fodder and it will become... campaign fodder, fair game for the same sorts of political attacks as any other issue. It isn't always nice, pretty, or fair, but campaigns aren't always nice, pretty, or fair. People seem to imagine that the politicians/faith issue simply boils down to religious politicians incorporating religious language and giving stirring speeches about their faith. In reality it involves explicitly exploiting yet another brand of tribalism. We don't live in a happy can't we all get along ecumenical service.

Wrong About Everything

But still at the top of Fred Hiatt's speed dial list.

Morning Thread


Late Night

What Joe Klein will never understand: the burning need to put down the Duckie.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Someone To Thread



(simels and I are having one of our rare disagreements about this song. I think the crucial pre-text is "Eleanor Rigby." He thinks it's "Terry and Julie"/"Waterloo Sunset." Anyone want to weigh in?)

--Molly Ivors

More Thread

Party on dudes.


Culture of Truth (from comments) watches the Chris Matthew show.

Matthews: Republicans revolting on teh Preznit

Gregory: they told him u have no credibility

Stengel: Bushies think they're all wimps after all Hoover is a hero now

Kay: hes a total mental case

Tucker: he has a messiah complex god told him to keep us in iraq with too few troops to succeed

Kay: hes teh Commender Guy

Stengel: Mitt Romney's gonna run as teh guy who thinks war was badly managed and can do better after all he ran teh Olympics and Duane Reed

Matthews: teh drugstore in dangerous

Gregory: yeah but was war a bad idea or just badly managed

Matthews: uh yeah

Gregory: no one is talking about the real question which is is we stop teh war in Iraq who do we go to war with next after all we must be at war at all times

Matthews: who made u an expert on teh middle east dood

Kay: but teh base still luvs Bush

Tucker: GOP base are impevious to teh facts shut up about the war

Matthews: i still luv McCain

Gregory: dood he'll stick with Bush

Kay: Tony Bliar is loathed in Britain because he is seen as Bush's poodle

Mattthews: yeah none of the other dogs want to sniff Barney's butt anymore its sad

Gregory: yeah but Blair was right about everything we must crush the middle east infidels!!!

Matthews: i luv teh movies!!!

[shows clip: "David Beckham, Harry Potter, teh Beatles, Bush is a bully"]

Kay: Chris yur crying over "Love Actually" yur so fucking weird dood

Matthews: who is teh God-candidate

Tucker: Huckabee, Brownback

Matthews: i mean non-crazy ones

Kay: rudy has to start running against hillary now

Matthews: exactly he already has my vote!

Stengel: but GOP aren't as terrified of brown terrorists as they were

Matthews: they truly fear hillary

Tucker: they wont sell out everything they believe in just to stop hillary

Matthews: but my religion is hating hillary i do it every sunday morning

Gregory: i was hanging with the queen and I kissed the royal jewels and dood they're real and they're spectacular

Tucker: The Generals are hating on Bush

Stengel: Fred McGruff gave a bad speech

Matthews: Nooooooo!!!!!!!

Matthews: graduation advice

Kay: Travel see the world

Matthews: i luv Aussies

Gregory: thank teh people who allowed you to become teh whore u are today someday u might meet teh queen

Tucker: dont run up credit card debt

Matthews: boooorrrriiing!!!

Stengel: dont follow yur bliss study science

Matthews: dood yur with Time magazine

Stengel: ok smart dood whats yur advice

Matthews: dont ever let anyone tell you mental illness is a barrier to hosting 2 tv shows if thats yur dream


Still surging.

BAGHDAD, May 13 (Reuters) - A car bomb near the office of a leading Kurdish party in northern Iraq killed 30 people and wounded 50 others on Sunday, police said.

And Fred Hiatt responds by publishing a piece by Viceroy Jerry.

Why is Ken Pollack in My Newspaper?

Please, just make him stop.

Pollack and some other analysts, including Frederick Kagan of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, who was an architect of the "surge" policy, say it's much too early to declare failure. Two of the five brigades of additional U.S. troops, each comprising about 3,500 soldiers, have yet to begin operations in Iraq, they note.

Recent History

Students never seem to know anything about recent (last 25 years or so) history, except what they remember from whatever bits they lived through.. It's problematic.

Sunday Bobbleheads

Document the atrocities.

ABC's "This Week" — Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.; actress Brooke Shields.
CBS' "Face the Nation" — Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb.
NBC's "Meet the Press" — Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
CNN's "Late Edition" — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh; Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C; former Sen. Max Cleland, D-Ga.
"Fox News Sunday" — Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.