Saturday, January 12, 2008


Rock on.

Deep Thought

John McCain thinks war is awesome.


All the very serious people think war is awesome.

The New York Times found 121 cases in which veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan committed a killing in this country, or were charged with one, after their return from war. In many of those cases, combat trauma and the stress of deployment — along with alcohol abuse, family discord and other attendant problems — appear to have set the stage for a tragedy that was part destruction, part self-destruction.

Three-quarters of these veterans were still in the military at the time of the killing. More than half the killings involved guns, and the rest were stabbings, beatings, strangulations and bathtub drownings. Twenty-five offenders faced murder, manslaughter or homicide charges for fatal car crashes resulting from drunken, reckless or suicidal driving.

About a third of the victims were spouses, girlfriends, children or other relatives, among them 2-year-old Krisiauna Calaira Lewis, whose 20-year-old father slammed her against a wall when he was recuperating in Texas from a bombing near Falluja that blew off his foot and shook up his brain.

A Random Bit Of Cosmic Convergence

Can be found here.


Rudy's nonfriend wants some Citi.

Jan. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Citigroup Inc., the U.S. bank facing an estimated $4.21 billion fourth-quarter loss, may get cash infusions from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and China's government to bolster its capital.

Citigroup, the largest U.S. lender, is seeking a total of $8 billion to $10 billion from investors including Alwaleed, who already owns almost 4 percent of its shares, and China Development Bank, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday, citing people familiar with the matter. The Chinese bank is likely to invest about $2 billion, the newspaper said.


NEW YORK (CNN) -- Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Thursday the city would not accept a $10 million donation for disaster relief from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal after the prince suggested U.S. policies in the Middle East contributed to the September 11 attacks.

"I entirely reject that statement," Giuliani said. "There is no moral equivalent for this [terrorist] act. There is no justification for it. The people who did it lost any right to ask for justification for it when they slaughtered 4,000 or 5,000 innocent people."

Prince Alwaleed gave the mayor a check after a Thursday morning memorial service at Ground Zero, the site of the World Trade Center towers destroyed in the attacks.

The prince offered his condolences to the people of New York, but after the ceremony he released a statement suggesting the United States "must address some of the issues that led to such a criminal attack."

Fresh Thread

Be excellent to each other or I'll turn this into a Scoop blog.

Eschacon '08

Philadelphia. March 28-30. Be there or be square.

Our Stupid Discourse

Is about to get a whole lot stupider.


Media Matters

From Jamison Foser.

I certainly don't think generational change has gotten rid of racism and sexism, but I do have some hope that it is getting rid of this Archie Bunker-like obsession with race and gender.

Cable News Makes Me Stupid

Gloria Borger, just now:

Conservatives don't like John McCain because he didn't vote for Ronald Reagan's tax cuts.


Democrats like to spend money.


Back to this crap again.

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait (CNN) -- Attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq with bombs believed linked to Iran -- known as explosively formed penetrators (EFPs) -- have risen sharply in January after several months of decline, according to the top U.S. commander in Iraq.

Iraqi and U.S. officials indicated just a month ago that Iran was using its influence to improve security in Iraq by restraining cross-border weapons flow and militia activity. The U.S. military had said in recent months that the number of EFP attacks had gone down.

Gen. David Petraeus disclosed the reversal to reporters after a meeting with President Bush who was visiting troops in Kuwait.

"In this year, EFPs have gone up, actually, over the last 10 days by a factor of two or three, and frankly we're trying to determine why that might be," Petraeus said.

Because those stupid Arabs - who, just a few years ago, had enough WMD to DESTROY THE WORLD - couldn't make such things. Only the wily Persians can.

Except, you know, not.

Bleichwehl said troops, facing scattered resistance, discovered a factory that produced "explosively formed penetrators" (EFPs), a particularly deadly type of explosive that can destroy a main battle tank and several weapons caches.

Morning Thread

Today's Washington Post:

Edwards has offended many Democrats with his candidacy.

Like who?


I'm so old I remember when this blog didn't suck.

Hockey Music

Friday, January 11, 2008

Friday Late Night Thread

Rocking advised.

Friday Night Thread



Or, you know, not.

It was probably a slip of the tongue by President Bush, who continued his Middle East tour by arriving in Kuwait today. During a roundtable interview with Arab journalists before leaving Washington, he made a curious statement while he was lauding political reforms by pro-U.S. rulers in the conservative Gulf countries. "You know," he said, "women are now very active in the Kuwaiti parliament." Well, no woman has ever been elected to the Kuwaiti parliament.

The story says a lot about America and the Middle East. What Bush may have been thinking about is the fact that Kuwait has indeed been taking gradual steps to grant women more basic rights, including the right to vote. Kuwait has long been regarded as the most liberal Arab country in the Gulf, with an elected parliament dating back to 1963. (Saudi Arabia still lacks one.) In 1999, amid a campaign by courageous Kuwaiti women activists, Kuwait's ruler tried to decree women's suffrage, but parliament blocked him. In 2005, parliament finally passed legislation giving women the right to vote, and in 2006, women voted and became candidates in elections for parliament. Twenty-seven women were among the 249 candidates competing for 50 seats, yet none of them won, though the balloting was considered free and fair. By virtue of being a cabinet member, one woman, Education Minister Nuriya al-Sabeeh, is currently permitted to vote on legislation, but is not an MP as such.

Wanker of the Day

Bill Bennett.


I'm sure this isn't true.

Successful Surge

Obviously things are still awful in Iraq even if they're better than they were in 2006.

But if it's been so successful as war lovers claim, when are those Baghdad tourism flights going to start?

Jonah Goldberg Is A Profoundly Stupid Man

And while I appreciate that the light needs to shine on such stupidity occasionally, I do not understand the endless efforts to actually grapple with his very serious, thoughtful, argument that has never been made in such detail or with such care.

This Blog Is Beneath Us

Fresh thread.

Stop Campaigning

By now, Rudy and his people should've realized that what he really should have done was not campaign at all. Outside the warped twisted world of the Hardball studio, Rudy is a positively creepy dude, the kind of guy who you run away from as quickly as possible if you're unfortunate enough to get stuck talking to him at a party. I was watching a bit of him on CNBC last night and he's positively bizarre to watch.

The memory of the Mayor of 9/11 might haveve won it for him, if only he'd stayed hidden in his crypt for all of these months instead of going out into the light.


California has a new budget crisis. Wonder when Mickey Kaus will call for Arnie's recall. As is typical, Arnie's calling for new fees which aren't the same as taxes, calling for new bond issues which aren't the same as borrowing, and of course cutting spending for stupid stuff like education and help for poor people.

The Persian Puzzle

It is truly impossible to fathom why Iran is obsessed with the United States.


It's a wee bit of a problem when a major bond insurer has to pay such high rates.

NEW YORK, Jan 11 (Reuters) - A planned $1 billion debt sale by a unit of MBIA Inc (MBI.N: Quote, Profile, Research) may yield about 14 percent, higher than levels discussed on Thursday, according to an investor familiar with the deal on Friday.

The issue of so-called surplus notes by MBIA Insurance Corp. is part of an effort by the bond insurer to buoy capital and preserve its "AAA" rating. Investors on Thursday said dealers were negotiating a coupon rate between 9 percent and 12 percent, nearly double what similarly rated bonds offer.

Surplus notes, unique to insurers, can bolster MBIA's balance sheet since they can be classified as equity.

...adding, the high rate reflects risk of nonpayment, which reflects the fact that the bond insurer isn't exactly on solid footing, which means all of those insured bonds aren't really insured.

Buy Buy Countrywide

Jim Cramer told you to buy at $44.

Countrywide will cease to exist... at $7.16.

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Bank of America Corp. said on Friday it's purchasing Countrywide Financial Corp. for $4 billion, effectively doubling down on a previous investment in the troubled firm and catapulting the buyer into the top spot among mortgage lenders and loan servicers in the U.S.
The stock-swap deal will put an end to the independence of the troubled California lender headed by Angelo Mozilo, and represents an increase from the Charlotte, N.C., bank's August investment of about $2 billion.
"We believe this is the right decision for our shareholders, customers and employees," said Mozilo, Calabasas, Calif.-based Countrywide's chairman and chief executive, in a statement.
Terms call for Countrywide stockholders to receive 0.1822 of a share of Bank of America stock in exchange for each share they own.
At Thursday's close, that values Countrywide at $7.16 a share -- lower than the $7.75 closing price after news leaked of a possible deal.

Morning Thread

What day does Bush make his completely predictable "SURPRISE" visit to Baghdad?

Thursday, January 10, 2008



Merrill Lynch is expected to suffer $15 billion in losses stemming from soured mortgage investments, almost double its original estimate, prompting the firm to raise additional capital from an outside investor.

Merrill, the nation’s largest brokerage firm, is expected to disclose the huge write-down when it reports earnings next week, according to people who have been briefed on its plans. The loss far exceeds the $12 billion hit many Wall Street analysts had forecast.


This is funny.

Watching kossacks debate the funny: not funny.


Kit Seelye covering Fred Thompson lumping together stereotypes about Arab Islamic suicide bombers with the Persian members of the Iranian military.

Confrontation at Sea Mr. Thompson rocks tonight. Asked about the recent confrontation between United States warships and Iranian speedboats, he suggests casually that if Iran’s Revolutionary Guard becomes more hostile, the Iranians will see those virgins they’ve been looking for.

Your modern press corps, ladies and gentlemen.

I told you politics sucks.

Here's another video.

Politics Sucks

Let us listen to some tunes instead.

Your Liberal Media

Greg Sargent points us to this Politico mea culpa.

I thought the telling bit was this:

2. The echo chamber

Check out the nicer restaurants in Manchester, N.H., or Des Moines, Iowa, in the political season and you will see the same group of journalists and pols dining together almost every night. We go to events together, make travel plans together and read each other's work compulsively. We go to the same websites — the Drudge Report, Real Clear Politics, Time’s “The Page” — to see what each other is writing, and it’s only human nature to respond to it.

Drudge: conservative. Real Clear Politics: conservative. Halperin, formerly of the Note: conservative (I don't know what his personal politics are, just judging the product).

And that's all you need to know about the Villagers.

Large and in Charge

I just like how, when they're anchoring events together, Olbermann just stares at Tweety like he's the crazy drunk uncle.

But he seems to be doing well for himself in the office now. Tullis cites a senior executive at MSNBC, who says, "Keith runs MSNBC. It's been an amazing turnaround, because two years ago they were going to cancel him. Because of his success, he's in charge. Chris Matthews is infuriated by it."


The dream is dead! Well, dormant anyway. Unity08

Dear Duncan,

One of our principles at the outset of this audacious project was transparency and openness. Too often in our recent political history, what you see has not been what you get.

For this reason, we are writing you today to lay out the current status of Unity08 and its possible paths going forward.

First, however, it's important to reflect upon what we have accomplished together in shaping the current political discussion and building a sense of what is possible in this crucial election year. Two of our core ideas, the importance of a centrist, bi-partisan approach to the solving of our nation's problems and the possibility of an independent, unity ticket for the presidency, have already come from far-out to mainstream.

Barack Obama, for example, has made the theme of unity and the necessity of bridging the partisan divide an absolutely central theme of his campaign. And just last week, a group of former and present national office holders comprised of independents, Republicans and Democrats met in Oklahoma for the sole purpose of stating their belief that at the present perilous moment, a unity government is the only hope of solving the nation's mounting problems. When you find agreement between the likes of former RNC chairman Bill Brock and Gary Hart, you're onto something.

And, of course, waiting in the wings should the divide persist, is the potential of a serious non-partisan candidacy in the person of the Mayor of New York (two of our founders, Doug Bailey and Gerald Rafshoon, have stepped down from the board and may have more to say about their plans in the near future).
Waiting in the wings, should the divide persist, is the potential of a serious non-partisan candidacy by Mike Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York (two of our founders, Doug Bailey and Gerald Rafshoon, have stepped down from the board and may have more to say about their plans in the near future).

Can Unity08 take full credit for these remarkable developments? Of course not. But through this website, your active involvement, innumerable news stories, op-eds, and public appearances by friends like Sam Waterston, we certainly have helped to bring these ideas to the forefront of the current political discussion.

So in a larger sense, we have accomplished a major portion of what we set out to do. But in the specifics and logistics, we have fallen short.

At the current moment, we don't have enough members or enough money to take the next step toward achieving ballot access in 50 states, reaching the goal of establishing our online convention, and nominating a Unity ticket for president and vice president this coming fall.

The past year has taught us that it's tough to rally millions for a process without a candidate or an issue. In the past, third party movements that have broken through the monopoly of the established parties have always been based on a person (Teddy Roosevelt in 1912 or Ross Perot in the last decade) or a burning issue (slavery in the case of the insurgent Republican party in 1860). Motivating people to fix a broken system that drives candidates to the extremes by creating something more inclusive and sensible has proven to be a lot harder than we expected.

And the Federal Election Commission hasn't helped. The Commission has taken the position that we are subject to their jurisdiction (even though two United States Supreme Court decisions hold exactly opposite) and, therefore, that we are limited to $5000 contributions from individuals (even though the Democratic and Republican Parties are able to receive $25,000 from individuals). Needless to say, this position by the FEC effectively limited our fundraising potential, especially in the crucial early going when we needed substantial money fast to get on with ballot access and the publicity necessary to build our membership.

We were caught in a peculiar catch-22; we wanted to break the dependence on big money by getting lots of small contributions from millions of members, but needed some up-front big money to help generate the millions of members to make the small contributions. And the FEC (in effect, an arm of the parties) didn't let that happen. We have challenged this ruling in the federal courts, but are still awaiting a decision and time is running out.

And so reluctantly, especially given the volatility of the present situation, we're forced to scale back, but not cease our operations, and suspend our ballot access project. Our website will become less interactive (it takes staff to answer hundreds of e-mails a day) and we can't in good faith make the $5 million commitment necessary to make a serious start on ballot access.

But we're not closing our doors. We believe it is important to see our case against the FEC through (both for Unity08 and any similar movement in the future) and be ready to gear up if (when) we win our case and political circumstances warrant later this spring. Unity is in the air right now, and Mayor Bloomberg seems poised to run on his own campaign (and the fact is that two independent candidacies wouldn't work) if the parties leave the sensible center open. But all this could change in a matter of weeks.

We still believe strongly that we have the right idea, but it just might (emphasize "might" because who knows what can happen in the next month) not be the right time. In the meantime, a sincere, profound thanks for your help, involvement and support so far and please keep pushing for the simple, but very powerful, idea that solutions to our nation's problems are going to take ideas and hard work from all Americans, and that a political system whose stock-in-trade is division may well be the biggest problem of all.

Please know that you have already made a difference and are at the forefront of a movement that may yet save the country.

Robert Bingham
Angus King
Peter Ackerman
Zach Clayton
Lindsay Ullman

Board of Directors, Unity08

Fresh Thread

Early dinnertime for me.

Michigan Democrats: Duty Calls!

Vote for Mitt!

Buy Some Crap, Cheap!

Probably not a bad deal.

Jan. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Lennar Corp.'s November sale of 11,000 properties in eight states set a price that may mark the bottom for the U.S. housing market: 40 cents on the dollar.

That's how much Morgan Stanley Real Estate paid for an 80 percent stake in the 32 communities, 60 percent less than the price at which the properties were valued just two months earlier. That's also what some investors say they would pay for distressed land, condominiums, homes and whole developments, whether it's now or later this year.

Live By The Wingnut, Die By The Wingnut

I suppose Huckabee getting nuked by the Wayne Dumond issue would represent some sort of karmic justice, though that won't be much solace for Dumond's victims.

Again, The Charitable Explanation...

Is that Jay Newton-Small was hired by Time to write parodies of her colleagues.



Just two days after the U.S. Navy released the eerie video of Iranian speedboats swarming around American warships, which featured a chilling threat in English, the Navy is saying that the voice on the tape could have come from the shore or from another ship.

The near-clash occurred over the weekend in the Strait of Hormuz. On the U.S.-released recording, a voice can be heard saying to the Americans, "I am coming to you. You will explode after a few minutes."

The Navy never said specifically where the voices came from, but many were left with the impression they had come from the speedboats because of the way the Navy footage was edited.


Bernanke's on the teevee, basically saying that things suck but don't worry 'cause he's warming up the helicopter. As long as "the market" thinks more rate cuts are coming, it's all good.

Here's the speech as prepared.

Are There Any Republicans Left?

And another one down.

WASHINGTON - Republican Rep. John Doolittle, who is under investigation in a congressional lobbying scandal, plans to announce Thursday that he'll retire from Congress at the end of his current term, according to a Republican official who spoke with Doolittle.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity pending a public announcement in Doolittle's Northern California district.

Should I Sue?

Dear readers know that I've been heavily invested in the Unity 08 movement. And they've long promised me that I would be a part of their nominating process, that together we would choose our bipartisan ticket. I've put a lot of effort into pushing my favorite choice - Sharpton/Tancredo.

Now it appears they're going to choose the candidate for me, without my input. It's very sad.


Rough times ahead.

Fueled by the mortgage crisis, personal bankruptcy is reaching all levels of the income spectrum -- from affluent professionals to lower-income subprime borrowers, bankruptcy lawyers said.

"I have doctors, Realtors, mortgage brokers and all kinds of people who had rental properties who are in trouble now," said Andrew Baron, a consumer-bankruptcy lawyer in Orlando. "These are people who never dreamed they'd be facing this kind of situation. And they'll resist until the bitter end before they file bankruptcy."


Exotic interest-only loans or adjustable-rate mortgages with low "teaser" rates lured the rich as well as the not-so-rich, many of whom bought second homes (and sometimes even more) with the intent to quickly resell, or "flip," them at a profit.

When the housing market collapsed, they could find no buyer, leaving them strapped with debt, falling prices and little hope of refinancing.

"We know of a lot of folks who own more properties now than they ever thought they'd still have," said Dan Moisand, a certified financial planner in Maitland and former chairman of the Financial Planners Association of America. "There are many stories out there about flippers who are stuck all over the place."

A Cunning New Plan

Better give it a year or so to work, at which point we can try something else, otherwise Michelle Malkin will make you watch this.

Happy Surge Day

George Bush, one year ago.

A successful strategy for Iraq goes beyond military operations. Ordinary Iraqi citizens must see that military operations are accompanied by visible improvements in their neighborhoods and communities. So America will hold the Iraqi government to the benchmarks it has announced.

To establish its authority, the Iraqi government plans to take responsibility for security in all of Iraq's provinces by November. To give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country's economy, Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis. To show that it is committed to delivering a better life, the Iraqi government will spend $10 billion of its own money on reconstruction and infrastructure projects that will create new jobs. To empower local leaders, Iraqis plan to hold provincial elections later this year. And to allow more Iraqis to re-enter their nation's political life, the government will reform de-Baathification laws, and establish a fair process for considering amendments to Iraq's constitution.

Any of that happen?

Approx. 789 US troops died to not achieve all that stuff.

Sully Defined


Sullivan has no grasp of policy, or of how things actually work or are likely to in the real world. Or he just doesn't care. He has some Exciting Grand Epic Movie playing in his head, and that's what matters.

That's about right. Though it's also true of many of the Villagers, Sully is somewhat unique in that he seems to be completely unaware of this.

Mo Money

Citi and Merrill, facing more losses, are trying to get bailed out by foreign governments.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Only if that paper didn't include the name "Wen Ho Lee."


Evening Thread


And Another One Out

Richardson drops out.

Leaving Clinton, Obama, Edwards, Kucinich and, I suppose, Gravel.

...or maybe not.

NBC: Richardson campaign denies report he is dropping out of Democratic presidential race

Would be sorta weird to drop out before Nevada.

More Thread

--Molly I.


Over there.

BAGHDAD, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Six U.S. soldiers were killed in a house rigged with explosives on Wednesday in Diyala province, where U.S. and Iraqi forces have launched a major operation against al Qaeda, the U.S. military said.

It was one of the highest daily death tolls for U.S. troops in Iraq for months. The military said four U.S. soldiers were also wounded in the explosion.

Earlier on Wednesday, the military reported the deaths of three other soldiers the day before in northern Salahuddin province, another target area of the new offensive against al Qaeda that was launched on Tuesday.

Fresh Thread



Jim Cramer, 2/6/07:

The conundrum of Countrywide (CFC - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr - Rating) going up even as another subprime dealer, Mortgage Lenders Network, goes under, may be answered by a simple tenet: The weak hands are going under, leaving the biggest and best to triumph.

When I pulled up with Angelo Mozilo, the man who built Countrywide -- the man who is Countrywide, some would say -- we joked about how strong Countrywide's business is because it has always "modeled" the bad loans better than anyone. One of the mistakes made by the analyst community is believing that any loans that go under could be death to a lender. In truth, the good ones model what will happen under a lot of scenarios, and it is pretty clear that Countrywide has the best models. Always has.


That's why it is going up. That's why it will continue to go up. That's why Countrywide is still a buy, despite the problems in housing and the headlines about how bad this business is.

Countrywide closed at $44.74 on February 7, 2007. Had you invested $10,000 in that stock then, it would now be worth about $1050.00

Chris Matthews Hosts Archaeology Today

(ht chuck)


I know grappling with Doughbob Loadpants' deep thoughts is largely pointless as he's perhaps the stupidest person in our "elite" discourse today, but I suppose I must point out that this deference to authority and elites is a key feature of a certain political system that starts with the letter 'f.'

We live in a world where Jonah Goldberg imagines himself to be among the elites. And he's right.


This I didn't know.

Delinquent loans create huge liquidity problems for loan servicers like Countrywide because the servicer becomes a middleman between the borrowers and the people who bought their loans.

When the borrower misses payments, as a record number of Countrywide's borrowers are doing now, these contracts require that the company advance those missed payments to investors until it's clear that the amounts won't be recovered.

With Countrywide having a $1.5-trillion servicing portfolio, that puts tremendous strain on its cash flow, Cannon said.

There are a lot of weird incentives here. A company like Countrywide generally doesn't want to foreclose on underwater homes, on the other hand if they have cash-flow problems they'll need to push those foreclosures through so they can stop making payments.


Maddow and Tweety

This is funny.

And just fire Tucker and give Rachel her own show already?


The Great Orange Satan:

The more she's attacked on personal grounds, the more sympathy that real person will generate, the more votes she'll win from people sending a message to the media and her critics that they've gone way over the line of common decency. You underestimate that sympathy at your own peril. If I found myself half-rooting for her given the crap that was being flung at her, is it any wonder that women turned out in droves to send a message that sexist double-standards were unacceptable? Sure, it took one look at Terry McAuliffe's mug to bring me back down to earth, but most people don't know or care who McAuliffe is. They see people beating the shit out of Clinton for the wrong reasons, they get angry, and they lash back the only way they can -- by voting for her.

I don't know if reaction to the media treatment of Clinton had anything to do with voter choices yesterday, but I certainly know people in real life who a) don't want Clinton to win and b) are tempted to vote for her every time they're exposed to the way she's treated by the deeply broken monsters in our mainstream media.



The Times leadership has convinced itself that the duo will anchor some sort of opinion all-star squad, but I think more and more loyal readers and independent observers will come to the opposite conclusion: that Kristol and Dowd represent the troubling demise of the paper's commitment to serious, and entertaining, opinion journalism.

That the Times wants to view the crucial 2008 presidential campaign through the prism of Kristol and Dowd tells you all you need to know about the paper's priorities.

Click to read the rest.

And the P.S. is important:

P.S. Lots of progressives, myself included, spend a fair amount of lot of time instinctively defending The New York Times from ludicrous right-wing attacks by the likes of Kristol and Malkin. I guess the question going forward is, why bother?

This has long been a dilemma. Those of us on the left who defend journalism while criticizing its often less than perfect manifestations find our criticisms ignored, while at the same time mainstream media types think we should defend them from the howler monkeys on the right.

Maybe I should suggest the NYT be prosecuted for treason. Then I can haz column too?


Somehow I missed that the Dow tanked yesterday.

I suspect we may be about to enter the "other shoe drops" phase, whether that's a severe labor market contraction, major financial institution going belly up, or commercial real estate market crash...

Going Forward

Now we have a few weeks during which nothing much happens until Super Tuesday. While understandably if you have strong candidate preferences you would've preferred a one-two punch in Iowa and New Hampshire, I think in a broader sense it's nice to know that two small states won't necessarily determine this for us.

If you have a favorite candidate, they could probably use your money right now.

The Superhuman Objectivity Squad Dedicated To Truth Above All Strikes Again

Dowd dishes on what the New York Times reporters think of Clinton:

A woman gazing at the screen was grimacing, saying it was bad. Three guys watched it over and over, drawn to the “humanized” Hillary. One reporter who covers security issues cringed. “We are at war,” he said. “Is this how she’ll talk to Kim Jong-il?”

Another reporter joked: “That crying really seemed genuine. I’ll bet she spent hours thinking about it beforehand.” He added dryly: “Crying doesn’t usually work in campaigns. Only in relationships.”

Because only boys are allowed to cry. Or something.

These people are all broken. Complete monsters.

Winners and Losers

The big winner of last night was, obviously, me for having the sense to mostly keep my trap shut about the whole thing over the last few days.

Morning Thread

Dedicated to Haloscan.....

(and in hopes that a shorter thread will work better)

--Molly I.

Overnight: The Sequel

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


Rock on.


On my cable, at least, the network has committed suicide. As has CNN.

Latest from the Concord Monitor.

63% in

Clinton , Hillary Dem 64,743 39%
Obama , Barack Dem 60,322 36%
Edwards , John Dem 27,578 17%

...NBC projects Clinton.

48% In

Clinton 39%, Obama 36%.

51% in:

Clinton 39%, Obama 37%, Edwards 17%.


Clinton 39%, Obama 37%.

County Results

Or whatever the appropriate municipality designation is for New Hampshire. These mean nothing to me, so if anyone thinks they provide insight...

(ht blue hampshire)

And with 42% in:

Clinton 39%, Obama 37%


Clinton 39%, Obama 36%

...Chris Matthews: LEAVE JOHN MCCAIN ALOOOOOONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

39% In

Clinton 39%, Obama 36%

30% In

Dems: Clinton 40%, Obama 36


31% in:

Clinton 39%, OBama 36%, O. Savior 8 votes (0%)

More Results - 21% In

Dems: Clinton 40%, Obama 36, Edwards 17, Richardson 5, Kucinich 2

...24% in:

Dems: Clinton 40%, Obama 34, Edwards 17, Richardson 4, Kucinich 3

More Results - 14% In

14% in:

Dems: Clinton 40%, Obama 35, Edwards 17, Richardson 4, Kucinich 2

16% in:

Dems: Clinton 40%, Obama 36, Edwards 17, Richardson 4, Kucinich 2

So Fine

Howard Fineman: "This is perfect for Giuliani..."

I just can't out-satirize them.

More Results

11% in:

Dems: Clinton 38%, Obama 36, Edwards 17, Richardson 4, Kucinich 2


12% in:

Dems: Clinton 38%, Obama 36, Edwards 17, Richardson 4, Kucinich 2

Reps: MSNBC projects McCain winner.

More Results

MSNBC-TV has the fastest results I can find. So I'll type them in periodically.

Reps: M 38, R 28, H 12, G 9 with 8% in

Dems: C 38, O 36, E 17, R 4 with 8% in


Try here.

or here.

...MSNBC has 38 O-33 C-17 E -4 R-2 K with 4 in for Dems.

and 38 M - 29 R - 11 H - 9 G - 8 P with 5% in for Republicans. This is an excellent result for Giuliani.


Get happy!

Not Atrios

Afternoon Thread

...dedicated to Brave Sir Sean, who had nearly fought the Dragon of Manchester, who had nearly stood up to the vicious Paulistas of Portsmouth and who had personally wet himself at the Battle of Dixville Notch...

--Molly I.

(photoshop courtesy of the divine and gifted watertiger)

Shitpile Update

Countrywide, ground zero for the issuing of the seeds of big shitpile, is down 17% on bankruptcy rumors.

Bond insurers MBIA and AMBAC are down around 15% on "increased deterioriation in the credit marketets." Learn the term "counterparty risk." There will be a test.

Pending home sales declined.

More slices of big shitpile have been officially recognized for what they are.

Fevered Pitch

I have no idea if Michael Bloomberg is going to run for president, and frankly I don't care, but only the Villagers could imagine that at this point in time there's some sort of mass excitement over the prospect.

Who knows what someone blowing a billion of their own bucks could pull off, but there is no national Bloomberg constituency at the moment. Except, as Eric put it:

Those who support the idea of his candidacy are either people who stand to see some of that $1 billion he'll be handing out if he runs; fools and naifs of the sort that supported Nader, albeit of the right-center rather than the far-left; people who hate Democrats and want to elect a Republican but cannot, either for personal or professional reasons, admit this. (See under "Broder, David.")


Though apparently I have a new niece, so I may be out a bit more.



A curious thing the media won't tell you

Edwards surging. And only Edwards.

Not Atrios

"Cool Brother"

If Obama wins this thing, it's going to get very very ugly. And no I don't consider that to be a reason to not vote for him.

I Did Not Know That

Apparently, men are having abortions.


Is Britney marrying Dr. Phil or something?

Monday, January 07, 2008

Late Night Rowwwr!

Everyone wants to see Rudy Giuliani rub his nipples.


Ron Paul supporters cut Fox no slack, Hannity runs away. (They didn't like Frank Luntz, either.)

Not Atrios



Liberal media.

Not Atrios

Wanker of the Day

Michael O'Hanlon, who, unlike Peter Beinart, loves the blood on his hands.


Afternoon Thread

Don't cry.

Can Clinton's Emotions Get the Best of Her?

The headline on one of those pieces about Hillary Clinton showing emotion. For months the media has fretted over her not showing emotion: Is she perhaps too cold, too callous, too ambitious? She was supposed to suffer from a "likeability" crisis.

So what happens when she shows some emotion, by tearing up? Oops:

How voters weigh Clinton's composure may not differ between genders, according to Georgetown's Owens.

"Male voters are basically going to see a hysterical woman," said Owens. "Women are going to think that if Clinton is going to take on this responsible role and represent women in such a visible way she should do a better job of it and not expose the gender to this criticism."

There ya go. Now could someone in the media write a piece about exactly how a female candidate may show emotion, when and where.


Good enough for the Times.

Conservative Victims

From Red State. This is pretty hilarious even for them.

Dear RedState Reader:

I have, as they say, some good news and some bad news.

(Short version: We need you to open your wallet and give what you can to build RedState 3.0. Go here to help. We need the money ASAP.)

The good news first: is about to embark on a major upgrade of our website that will make it easier, more informative, and just plain more fun for you to visit.

The bad news: our liberal “friends” – you know, the ones who believe so strongly in free speech and open debate – have done what they can to prevent us from making these improvements, so that our influence will be minimized just as we head into the 2008 presidential primary season.

No, our Blue State buddies haven’t succeeded in stopping us from improving our website. But they’ve made it more difficult and more expensive – which is why I’m coming to you for help.

Let me explain …

You see, when we started RedState in May of 2004, we used a website program called Scoop — the same program a lot of similar sites on the left used. But, as the number of visitors to our site grew, Scoop kept crashing on us.

If we’d been a liberal website, we would have been able to fix the problem quickly and relatively cheaply. The online left loves Scoop. Unfortunately, there weren’t really any conservative Scoop developers out there to help us. We kept crashing and were out of money. We had to close down or take drastic action.

Well, we didn’t close down. We ditched Scoop and moved to the best alternative at the time, a program called Drupal. But, in accomplishing the switch, budget constraints forced us to sacrifice some popular site features in order to alleviate the strain on our overused servers.

Needless to say, we always regarded those “downgrades” as temporary, and we hoped to restore the eliminated features – and to add new and even better ones – as soon as we could afford to.

Unfortunately, we still can’t afford to. But we’re convinced that America can afford even less to have us operating at anything less than our absolute peak potential during the coming presidential election season.

So we’ve decided to move ahead with our upgrades without delay, and despite not having the cash on hand – hoping and praying that readers like you will help us make up the shortfall with a generous donation.

Here, specifically, is what we’re planning to accomplish with your generous financial support …

There's more, but you get the idea. It's the fault of liberals that they can't run their website because... hell I don't know.

So Hard

Since my type of blogging is somewhat reactive, it's really hard to have material when everyone's talking about the damn primary. I don't mind making fun of Republicans or the media, but I really just don't want to go down the path of obsessing about who is up and who is down while trying to impose my particular narrative onto why that is. That way lies madness, and there are enough lunatics around if that's what you want.

Still... what to talk about?

I disagree!

I think NTodd is missing the plot. Why, I even left a comment to say so.

Not Atrios

Morning Thread

Okay I'm outta here. Wireless access permitting I might pop in later, otherwise see you tomorrow...


Over there.

BAGHDAD, Iraq CNN) -- A well-respected Sunni leader who was key in helping reduce violence in his northern Baghdad neighborhood was among at least 15 people killed in three separate suicide bombings Monday, officials said.

And because Joe Lieberman's priapism was subsiding.

U.S. officials: 5 Iranian Revolutionary Guard boats harassed, provoked 3 U.S. Navy warships in the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday.

I Can't Relate To This At All

Completely alien.

God Save, the Chimp


The average UK person will this year have a greater income than their US counterpart for the first time since the 19th Century, figures suggest...

Mr Cooper said: "The UK has been catching up steadily with living standards in the US since 2001, so it is a well-established trend rather than simply the result of currency fluctuations."

We're in a Dickens of a Pickle, what what.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Must Resist...

Ah. Successful. Almost broke my no intra-primary discussion until Tuesday night rule.

Anyway, I'm gonna be MIA most of tomorrow. Gonna go listen to people belt out German for 5 hours. Supposedly it's better than it sounds.

Keepers of the keys feel free to chime in if you have the time. Perhaps a post on biofuels?

I'll return Tuesday to begin the long hard slog to election day, though a family matter might delay that slightly, in which case the long hard slog begins Wednesday...

Wanker of the Day

Dan Boren.

Thread again

Oh, look, it's the evils of socialism.

Not Atrios

More More Thread

More Thread

--Molly I.

Afternoon Thread

Out until later. Be excellent to each other.


Plenty of places where there are just too many houses, and many people face constraints which prevent them from lowering the price too much even if they would be willing to do so.

Very little subprime mortgage lending is taking place in the Toledo area anymore, but loans made in the last several years led to a glut of foreclosed homes and a struggling real estate market, two local real-estate experts said in remarks to be broadcast tonight and tomorrow.

Al Green, president of the Toledo Board of Realtors, said on this week's Deadline Now, said that with nearly 7,000 more homes on the market than a year ago, sellers should expect houses to sit 180 to 300 days. "We're pushing a year to sell a house."

And eventually everyone in this will understand that this never had much to do with "subprime" mortgages.

Credit Where Credit Is Due File

Fred Hiatt and the gang actually published this.

High End

Some evidence that the high end real estate market, which had been holding on, is crashing down too.

I was curious if this would happen. High end real estate, outside of NYC, tends to be a boutique product. It isn't simply a big house in a desirable place, but something in a relatively unique location which can't be duplicated. Ocean views, that sort of thing. So as long as there are a sufficient number of rich people chasing these boutique products the market would stay high even if the rest of the housing market collapsed.

But in this market, too, we're probably going to discover that there was a lot of flipping/speculation/outright fraud/lax lending standards which led to obscenely inflated prices.


Over there.

BAGHDAD - A suicide bomber wearing an explosives vest killed nine people and wounded 12 others in Baghdad's central Karrada district, a police official said. Another police source said nine people were killed and 17 wounded.

* BAGHDAD - A parked car bomb killed three people and wounded 15 outside a restaurant in the Qahira district in northern Baghdad, police said.

* BAGHDAD - Twelve bodies were found in various districts across Baghdad on Saturday, police said.


MUQDADIYA - Four human heads were found on Saturday in Muqdadiya, 90 km (55 miles) northeast of Baghdad, police and hospital officials said.

DIYALA PROVINCE - One U.S. soldier died after a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle in Diyala Province on Saturday, the U.S. military said.

Still everyone in Washington agrees that the surge found the pony. Because that's the serious thing to do.

God Help Us

We're cursed with our own version of David Broder, Chris Satullo, here in Philadelphia. Occasionally he dresses up as Maureen Dowd, and the results are never pretty.

Please make them stop. They're destroying this country.


I do not think that word means what Mark Halperin thinks it means.

Sunday Bobbleheads

Document the atrocities.

•“Fox News Sunday,” Guests: Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, Mike Huckabee of Arkansas.

•NBC’s “Meet the Press,” — Guests: Republican presidential candidate John McCain of Arizona.

•ABC’s “This Week,” — Guests: Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, Mike Huckabee of Arkansas; Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards of North Carolina.

•CBS’ “Face the Nation,” — Guests: Republican presidential candidate John McCain of Arizona.

•CNN’s“Late Edition,” — Guests: Republican presidential candidates Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, Ron Paul of Texas, Fred Thompson of Tennessee; Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson of New Mexico; Mahmud Ali Durrani, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States.

9 Republicans, 2 Democrats.

Dawn Thread

With coffee and toast.


Rock on.