Saturday, March 01, 2008


If you're bored, you could read this blog and see if you like it.

Linkily yours,
Not Atrios

Is It Wednesday Yet?

Sort of feels like everything's on hold until then. I got nuthin'.

Fresh Thread



The Editors write:

Louis Farrakhan is a very scary black man who everybody assumed had been dead for twenty years, and denouncing him means about as much these days as denouncing Peter Frampton’s hair. Now, I would say something like that, wouldn’t I just?, being as I am a callow and thoughtless Gen X’er with no appreciation for the heated racial politics of the 1970’s and the pure rock-n-roll awesomeness of listening to some bell-bottom’ed tit warble into a vocoder for 20 minutes.

I used to imagine there would be some generational shift in the media, leaving behind the previous baggage, and things might improve. But from what I can tell you have the perpetually lost in the 60s crowd, the 70s anti-partisan crowd, the 80s Reagan is The Awesome crowd, the 90s Republican Revolution and Bill Clinton's Penis is a WMD Crowd, and then the 00s George Bush's crotch looks awesome in that flight suit crowd.

It's never gonna end.

A Minor Cost of War

New train cars.

New SEPTA Regional Rail cars will be at least four months late, delaying relief for riders on the increasingly crowded rail lines, SEPTA officials said yesterday.


Rotem was unable to procure enough of the type of steel specified in the SEPTA contract because the U.S. government has cornered the market; it is using the steel for armoring vehicles bound for Iraq, Nowakowski said.

High Comedy

I have no idea if this person is, as claimed, a friend of Tim Goeglein, but these comments by William Walters are hilarious.

....oy, server hosed. Here they are:

# William Walters Says:
March 1st, 2008 at 11:01 am

Nancy you wrote: “Once a charge is made.” Indeed, once a charge is made publicly. And you are the one who gleefully made it public.

Did you bring this to the White House privately? Obviously not. Did you bring this to Tim’s attention privately? Obviously not. You executed him publicly with your own self-serving intentions in mind. Could you have forced his resignation privately - indeed you could have. You are not only in part responsible for Tim’s children being “un-provided for” - the greater collateral damage you intentionally created is solely your responsibility. That’s on you and no one else. Now that names were named you want to wash your hands. As I said before - shameful.

William Walters


# William Walters Says:
March 1st, 2008 at 9:26 am

Your gloating belies your trite statement that you “feel bad about what I’m going to do here.” Obviously, you take great pride in being center stage in public. Moreover, and contrary to what you may have expected, Tim Goeglein took immediate and full responsibility for his actions. The White House acted immediately as well. Tim, a husband and father of two, is now jobless. If the issue of plagiarism is so dear, and is the sole core of your intentions in exposing this matter, then you could have handled this privately. Nevertheless, you chose to smear this man publicly. Now that you have assisted in the destruction of his career, are you big enough to step up and offer your support to his family? I do not fault you for holding any public servant’s feet to the fire, but your manner of execution is shameful.
William Walters - a former colleague and friend of Tim Goeglein.

This one by someone else is pretty funny too:

eff Says:
March 1st, 2008 at 10:11 am

Damn, Nall, you’re the epitome of prejudice and hate. You obviously don’t believe that other points of view should be allowed by your first amendment.

Here’s a few of my observations.

• The trash Urinal Gay-zette wouldn’t exist if it were run in the evening.
• Call the Sentinel what you wish, we consider the source.

You slam Tim for his beliefs, his family, his friends and I’m sure nothing is off limits
to a bitter old hag as yourself.

If I chose to read more of your blog, you would also slam his children.

Are you on Hillary’s campaign? You should be. I see many similarities.

As far as the left’s failings, they can be summed up as, well, socialist, communist, and whatever TEARS at the positive social fabric of the family and America. Homosexuals, internet porn, NAMBLA, ACLU, Antichrist, Antichurch, Illegal alien amnesty-votes (for democrats), property tax increases, tax increases.

The muslims hate America only because what the lowlife liberals are exporting here and abroad. They hate the abominations I mentioned above. As far as I’m concerned, I would invite them in this country to take care of the left, if only the muslims were intelligent enough to identify what they hate is NOT all Americans but —Liberal americans.

(P.S. Those of us who saw your article photo in the past know why your web blog picture is blurred….Thank you, Photoshop.)Damn, Nall, you’re the epitome of prejudice and hate. You obviously don’t
believe that other points of view should be allowed by your first amendment.

GOP Daddy Disappoints Again

So the Attorney General doesn't think following the law is especially important.

I'm so old I can remember when this type of thing would upset the Villagers. Perhaps it will again, in 9 months or so.

Media Matters

From Jamison Foser.

Morning Thread


What are today's outrages?

--Molly I.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday Dog Blogging

Mali, who asks: "Are the primaries over, finally?"

And NTodd's critters who are bff:

More Thread

Friday Night Thread

Back later.

Bad Guys


Ezra's certainly right to say that it's bizarre for George W. Bush to criticize Barack Obama on the grounds that "it'll send the wrong message" for Obama to hold a meeting with "a tyrant who puts his people in prison because of their political beliefs" considering that Bush does exactly that on a regular basis. Is it a good thing that the people of China and Russia and Saudi Arabia are, like the people of Cuba and Syria and Iran, ruled by dictators? Of course not. And if the lessons of history indicated that some kind of "no meetings ever" policy caused those regimes to melt and transform into wholesome democracies, then we wouldn't be having this debate.

But things don't work like that, and in the world as it is it's hardly practical to eschew all meetings with everyone whose political system you don't approve on. The question is, thus, whether or not this posture of creating a mostly arbitrary class of "bad guy" that we're going to take down with our awesome powers of snubbing accomplishes anything meaningful. Obama's contention is "no." Bush's contention is "yes" but he has absolutely nothing to show for it.

The frustrating thing is that the media plays along, designating "bad guys" as whoever the US government is designating a bad guy that week, while perpetuating the notion that the "bad guy" designation is linked to some sort of human rights badness when in fact it's just because they're bastards, but not our bastards.


Another exciting trading day.

Friday Cat Blogging

The glamorous life.

Barely Begun

I fear this is true.

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) - The economic impact of the mortgage crisis and credit crunch will be huge, and it has barely begun, a new study prepared by several prominent economists and released Friday has concluded.

"Feedback from the financial market turmoil to the real economy could be substantial," it said. Unless they can quickly recapitalize, banks are likely to cut back their lending to consumers and businesses by more than $1 trillion, cutting economic growth by more than a percentage point over the next 12 months.


While the notion of this thing continuing until Pennsylvania so that I can actually vote has some appeal, I'm really not sure I can stand another 7 weeks of this.

Having said that, this election season doesn't exist for my amusement so campaigns are of course perfectly entitled to stay in the thing as long as they want.

Sticking a Finger Into My Brain

I have a pretty broad tolerance for messaging that comes out of campaigns. I appreciate that political speech includes hyperbole, spin, exaggeration, theater, etc. Just don't talk to the world as if it's as stupid as George Bush.

Deep Thought

A man named Goeglein was undone by some Googlin'.

More Homages

As I wrote in comments, I didn't have a chance to check but people rarely plagiarize just once.

What, No Wolves?

This ad really should have some wolves in it.


Conservative White House employee seems to have gone to the Ben Domenech school of writing.

Deep Thought

People who support candidate X are misguided fools who cannot see the truth.

Drudged Out

I don't have any strong feelings either way about whether Drudge was good or evil for reporting that Prince Harry was in Afghanistan. Obviously there are times when news outlets should consider not reporting things, but on the other hand one gets a little uncomfortable when there's a conspiracy of silence so large that it suggests that the media is simply an adjunct of the government or state.

Still, as others have suggested, if, say, the New York Times had broken this story it they would have been accused of painting a bulls eye on his head so The Terrorists could kill him faster.

Happy Birthday

To all you leap day birthday freaks!!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Lullaby

Music To Annoy You

I do my best to please.

Late Night

Rock on.

Late Night Thread

Evening Thread


Email Subjects That Make Me Sad

From the DNC:

Dean: Duncan's Statement Rings Hollow While RNC Pays to Test How Far They Can Take Race and Gender Attacks

Oh... Mike Duncan. Never mind.

They Write Books

Hey. Patrick Murphy wrote a book.

And here's an interview.

They Write Letters

Nancy Pelosi writes to AG Mukasey.

A Little Early?

Don't both these guys have better things to do than try to pass the buck?

But Will He Get The Russert Treatment?

Or even a brief mention from the beard? Probably not, because he's Saint John McCain.

HOUSTON -- The president of the Catholic League today blasted Sen. John McCain for accepting the endorsement of Texas evangelicalist John Hagee, calling the controversial pastor a bigot who has "waged an unrelenting war against the Catholic Church."

Hagee, who is known for his crusading support of Israel, backed McCain's presidential bid Wednesday, standing next to the senator at a hotel in San Antonio and calling McCain "a man of principle."

But Catholic League President Bill Donohue said in a statement today that Hagee has written extensively in negative ways about the Catholic Church, "calling it 'The Great Whore,' an 'apostate church,' the 'anti-Christ,' and a 'false cult system.'"

"Senator Obama has repudiated the endorsement of Louis Farrakhan, another bigot. McCain should follow suit and retract his embrace of Hagee," Donohue said.

Hating Lincoln

I'm sure plenty of people did, but he did manage to win the 1864 election by 10 points.

Huffington and the Nazis

I've met Arianna, and it's hard to imagine her presiding over a holocaust, but that's why I've got Fox News's Bill O'Reilly to set me straight on this stuff.

Big Money

Clinton campaign has raised a lot of money.

It's nice that neither campaign will be hampered by money problems in the late stages of this thing.


Charles Pierce:

And all of this was coming from an alleged tough-guy who admitted to Bill Moyers that he got suckered on Iraq because NOBODY CALLED HIM. A guy who anyway said under oath that, if a government official calls him, he presumes the conversation is off the record. A guy of whom the vice-president's aide said under oath that his show was the administration's best platform for launching bullsh*t into the media stratosphere. That he will be praised for it anywhere may well be the most perfect museum specimen we have of a feckless and corrupted national press corps.


Public transit ridership is up substantially here.

When SEPTA hiked fares 12 percent last summer, transit-agency officials said they expected ridership to decline, as it had after prior fare increases.

But when gasoline prices jumped sky-high and stayed there, SEPTA ridership escalated by 30,000 daily trips (4 percent) from July 1 to Jan. 1 over the same period in 2006.

Regional Rail ridership rose 12 percent, or 13,000 daily trips, while city transit (trains and buses) increased by 17,000 daily trips or 2.6 percent.

The ridership renaissance continued last month, up 51,000 daily trips or 6 percent over the previous January - up 32,000 daily trips on city transit; up 19,000 daily trips on Regional Rail.

The headline is "SEPTA ridership up, despite fare increases," though a better headling would probably be "SEPTA ridership up, despite fact that system isn't all that good." Need to expand light rail/subways in the cities, drastically improve customer service and information for riders, and of course get rid of the stupid token system.


Kyra Phillips, in April 2003.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: A little boy who lost both of his arms and much of his family in a coalition bombing is getting medical treatment in Kuwait. Twelve-year-old Ali Hamza was flown from Baghdad to Kuwait City overnight. His story has touched hearts around the world.


PHILLIPS: Doctor -- what has he been saying to you, Doctor? Is he asking anything of you? Is he thanking you? Is he wanting to know about family? Tell us what this little boy has been saying to you.

AL-NAJADA: Actually, today he was in good condition after the operation and started speaking with a journalist and answering all their questions. The thing which he was -- they asking about -- the journalists, especially the broadcasting, what the message he wants to reflect from the war. He said, first of all, thank you for the attention they're giving to him, but he hopes nobody from the children in the war they will suffer like what he suffer.

PHILLIPS: Does he understand why...


PHILLIPS: Doctor, does he understand why this war took place? Has he talked about Operation Iraqi Freedom and the meaning? Does he understand it?

So Much For That

General Casey, about 3 Friedmans ago, in August 2006.

BAGHDAD (AP) — The top U.S. commander in Iraq expressed optimism Wednesday that Iraqi forces are making enough progress to provide their own security within 18 months. But violence showed no sign of abating, with 66 people killed nationwide, including 24 in a Baghdad market bombing.

The U.S. military also reported Wednesday that a Marine was killed in action the day before in the volatile western Anbar province.

Gen. George Casey said Iraqi troops were on course to take over security control from U.S.-led coalition forces, a move that would bring the foreign forces a step closer to withdrawal from the country.

"I don't have a date, but I can see over the next 12 to 18 months, the Iraqi security forces progressing to a point where they can take on the security responsibilities for the country, with very little coalition support," he said.

Poor Exxon

One does wonder how people like this actually get created. The real question is "how can coastal Alaska protect itself from being covered in oil by companies like Exxon." Apparently they shouldn't be able to.

I imagine if, say, a tractor-trailer careens into Justice Roberts' home, his first thought won't be about how to protect the company from punitive damages.

Vallejo's Frist

Who will be second?

Feb. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Vallejo, a city of 135,000 outside of San Francisco, moved closer to bankruptcy after negotiations with its labor unions collapsed.

Bondholders will likely be asked to sacrifice some of their investment if the city seeks bankruptcy protection, an attorney for the municipality said last night. Vallejo faces ballooning labor costs and declining housing-related sales-tax revenue, leaving budget officials projecting that money will run out within weeks.


Municipalities throughout California are grappling with billions of dollars in labor and pension cost increases incurred during the late 1990s. The crisis comes as the worst housing slump in the U.S. in 26 years saps tax revenue. The state's own $16 billion deficit led Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger last month to declare a fiscal emergency.

Bondholders are ``creditors who would have to come to the table and it may be possible to adjust how much you are paying them and on what time period, which would, in effect, free up money that could be used as part of the plan to resolve the city's problems on a longer-term basis.'' John Knox, a public finance attorney with the law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, told the city council last night.


While I'm not one to minimize the role of race in such things, I'd say that the more likely explanation is that Obama has been insufficiently deferential to people like Cohen and Collins.

They rule this country and they don't want anyone to forget it.

Thursday Is New Jobless Day

Okay, now we're definitely at higher numbers.

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- First-time claims for state unemployment benefits rose 19,000 last week, reaching the highest level since late January, the government reported Thursday.
The number of initial claims in the week ended Feb. 23 gained 19,000 to 373,000, according to the Labor Department.
The four-week average of initial claims fell 1,250 to 360,500.
Recipients of state jobless benefits rose 21,000 to 2.81 million in the week ended Feb. 16, reaching the highest level since October 2005. The four-week moving average of continuing claims rose 24,250 to 2.78 million, also reaching the highest level since October 2005, when Hurricane Katrina flooded the jobless rolls.


Yes, I'd say that 12 minutes of dead air is pretty remarkable to begin with.

(Oh, yeah, you can watch it here.)

Not Atrios

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Rock on.

Evening Thread

Continue talking.

--Molly I.

Religious Intolerance

No longer limited to people in blog comments.

An evangelical chaplain who leads Bible studies for California lawmakers says God is disgusted with a rival fellowship group that includes people of all faiths.

"Although they are pleasant men in their personal demeanor, their group is more than disgusting to our Lord and Savior," Drollinger wrote on the Capitol Ministries' Web site.

The comments drew immediate fire from others in the capital, including the Republican lawmaker who sponsors Drollinger's Bible study group.

Drollinger said "progressive religious tolerance" is an offense against God and causes harm to its practitioners.

McCain Knows What's Right

Increasingly I've come to realize that John McCain is very good at convincing people that he agrees with them. I don't just mean members of the media, but also various interest groups (even more liberalish ones). It's a great skill for a politician to have if you can pull it off well, because everyone loves being flattered about the fact that they're correct and someone like St. John McCain recognizes it. It's very sad sad, then, when Saint John McCain goes back to the Senate and doesn't follow up or show any leadership on whatever issue it is. It's even sadder still when dark forces beyond his control known as voters force Saint John McCain to steer away from the light and do or say the wrong thing. Poor Saint John McCain. It's so sad, but he's still an honorable man.

So here we have Joe Klein, very saddened by McCain's rhetoric because he just knows John McCain "knows better" despite the fact that practically every one of McCain's public utterances about Iraq over the past few years have been complete gibberish. Perhaps privately he assured Joe Klein, or someone Joe Klein knows, that he knows better.

It's all very sad. Poor John McCain. He knows what the right thing is, but he just can't manage to do it or say it. Such a tragic figure, if only Billy Shakes were around to write a play about it.

Deep Thought

Increasingly, Matt Drudge is a more responsible news outlet than CNN.

Couldn't Even Get The Imperial Palace Right

It's really hard to comprehend it all...

WASHINGTON — The State Department's new embassy construction chief has cancelled his predecessor's certification that the $740 million new U.S. embassy in Baghdad is "substantially completed" and begun a top-to-bottom review of the troubled project.

The official, Richard Shinnick, said in an interview the State Department hopes that the sprawling embassy complex — originally scheduled to be completed last September — will be ready by March 31.


McClatchy reported in January that the embassy's firefighting systems are defective and that Shinnick's predecessor, in a rush to declare the new embassy complex completed, had ignored the concerns of the State Department's professional fire experts.

But He's Saint John McCain!

So none of the normal rules apply to him.

Huggy Bear Hugs Iraq

It really is fascinating that McCain is going to run on how awesome Iraq is, and every Republican in Congress will be forced to do the same. There will be no declaring victory and going home, or promises to do so in a Friedman or so, just a promise to stay for the sake of staying. Meanwhile, as we're spending hundreds of billions of dollars on a humanitarian mission in Islamic Iraq (or a Mission To Kill The Terrorists, depending on which day it is), the party and its surrogates are going to spend all their time smearing Barrack Saddam Hussein Osama Obama as a closet Muslim (very bad) who is doubly bad because he is intolerant of other religions like Judaism.

And the nuttiest thing is that they can hold all of these thoughts in their heads simultaneously.


New home sales drop again.


Another day, another new low for the dollar against the Euro...

Can't Stay, Can't Go

Michael Ware's reporting on Iraq is generally interesting, though he seems to be locked in a struggle with himself, simultaneously acknowledging that things can't continue like this even though they'll continue.

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Anderson, clearly, there has been progress in this war. I mean, the number of deaths of both American troops and civilians are clearly down. In Baghdad alone, comparing this month to the same month last year, 1,000 people died from terrorist attacks last year, less than 200 this last year, 800 from sectarian killings last year, only about 40 this year.

There's a number of factors to consider. One is, what is the price of this? Let's look at the surge. What is the surge? I know it's taken on a phenomenon, this phrase, in America, and in the political campaigns. But, whilst it's been successful, there's none of the triumphalism that we hear from the campaigns here on the ground, nor is anyone setting benchmarks for withdrawal. It's far too fragile for that.

The surge is much more than just 30,000 troops. It's about cutting a deal with the Sunni insurgents, about getting the Shia militias to back off and what that takes. It's about the political surge forcing the politicians to move, which is going much more slowly.

It's not just about American boots on the ground. And there's long-term consequences for all of these things that none of the candidates are talking about. And how sustainable is this? There will be costs in the future. Again, the American people need to hear this, Anderson.

So, what's happening on the ground is indeed a success in many ways. But you're not getting the full picture on the campaign trail, and perhaps that shouldn't surprise anyone -- Anderson.


WARE: Well, that's certainly a number that members of the Iraqi government are bandying about, 100,000 U.S. troops, down from what we will soon have of just over 130,000.

And, certainly, there's an expectation that America will hit that by the end of the year, an expectation held by some Iraqis. That's not necessarily an expectation held by American war commanders here on the ground.

Now, after the surge troops, the 30,000 extra combat forces that were sent here to flush through this war last year, once they go home in July, American force levels, American combat power will have been reduced by 25 percent already. Nonetheless, we're still going to have more Americans here after the surge, just by a few thousand, than before. So, in some ways, that's not a true indicator.

But I can tell you now, Anderson, Senator McCain mentioned 100 years American troops will be here. No one can speak to that. But I can tell you that American commanders here on the ground know that they're going to be here a lot longer than many people would otherwise expect.

Certainly, this sense of once people get into office they will start pulling the troops home is not a view shared by many here on the ground. And many believe that what's being said on the campaign will not necessarily be the action that a new president will take, no matter what party they're from. There's realities here. You just can't pull out -- Anderson.


WARE: Well, certainly from the State Department. They believe that what they call the political surge, which has been an unsung success of all of this, has been working.

And they're talking about the benchmarks. Absolutely, there's been significant gains on the political front. The deals that have been cut, the way Baghdad has been segregated off with massive blast barriers, so that it resembles a sectarian divided Sarajevo, where people can't cross the lines, has brought this down and bought some breathing room for political progress.

But, again, there's a cost for that. Can you pull the barriers down? No, or the bloodletting will resume. But, on the benchmarks, there has been progress on many of the fronts. But, again, remember, what are the costs? How long can it last? And don't forget, it's all completely underwritten by the presence of hundreds of -- more than 100,000 U.S. troops keeping everybody apart -- Anderson.

Can't stay, can't go. I believe there's a word for that.


I was curious about who was getting the endorsements and/or votes of sitting senators, recognizing that it seemed like Obama was getting them all because Clinton's endorsements came earlier.

And here we go.

Clinton gets:

Nelson (FL)
Corzine (added on edit) duh he's governor now

Obama gets:

Nelson (NE)

Booga Booga

So I've seen the stupid "Defense of Democracies" ad about how we can't eavesdrop on terrorists anymore, or whatever. It's surprisingly ineffective, and not just because this FEARFEARFEAR stuff is a little played out. It doesn't even really call out Democrats, but instead calls out the HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES who, unlike the wonderful and glorious Senate, went on vacation. Or something.

Deep Thought

I can't wait until Ali Velshi reports from France wearing a beret.

Because He's Profoundly Stupid

Obviously one can sense where Timmeh's tribal sympathies lie and which voices are yapping in his ear, but more than that he's a fundamentally stupid man. Because he seems to be at the top of the political press pyramid, everyone below him kisses his ass.

Our discourse is so stupid, and its king nitwit is Tim Russert.

Karma Watch

While I suppose we can be oddly thankful to the guy given the ultimate ruling of Lawrence v. Texas, it's still always nice seeing assholes get what they deserve.

Our Stupid Discourse

Why is CNN running this clip of a talk show host no one cares about in an infinite loop?

Why is Ali Velshi wearing a cowboy hat?

Why won't someone make it all stop?

Tech Question

Any idea why my cable modem would suddenly stop working with a wireless router? I actually had a spare router and it didn't work with that one either, though it works if I just use an ethernet cable.

...thanks Cameron in Bangalore, problem solved!

Deep Thought

If Obama is the candidate, he'll get to denounce the actions of every black person in the country.


Digby asks the most important question: "How Do We Defeat Tim Russert?"

Not Atrios

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Thanks liberal hawks.

There must have been a moment, at the beginning, where we could have said -- no. But, somehow we missed it.

Well, we'll know better next time.
-Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

The spot doesn't come out.



Make It Stop

Please, no more Tim Russert moderated debates.

...Never mind... social climber Chris Cillizza tells me over email "Tough Questions Courtesy of Russert."


Debate thread, if that's the sort of teevee you watch.

Raise Sails

A regular Eschaton commenter has passed, Darryl Pearce, and according to the notice in the paper the family requests in lieu of flowers etc, donations be made to the Raise the Sails Campaign, described here and here. If you're so inclined you may do so here. Feel no obligation etc.


I usually don't spend time arguing with commenters slagging me in random comments threads, but I was struck by this one by "yug."

uh-oh, you acknowledged that there are people who are not opposed to legal abortion but have moral qualms. you're on the atrios shitlist now, man. prepare to have your name turned into a nasty shorthand.

While I don't know exactly where Mr. yug got his opinion of my views from, I certainly have never expressed anything like this. Of course there are people who have "moral qualms" about abortion but who nonetheless support legal abortion. I'm not one of those people, though as I'm unlikely to ever personally be faced with the decision of whether to continue my pregnancy that isn't especially important. So, yes, these Saletans exist and I am not a Saletan Denier.

But if you believe in the legal right to have an abortion then you are... pro-choice. That's pretty much the definition of it. You can be "pro-choice" and spend your life trying to convince women not to have them, or writing moralistic screeds in newspapers about how horrible it is to have an abortion. That is, you can be pro-choice and still determine that you are qualified to sit in judgment of people who have them. You won't be my best friend, and you might not find lots of friends in the feminist and progressive communities generally, but it isn't inconsistent. I also disagree with the general Saletanic view that being pro-choice but shaming people who have them is somehow the best political strategy for keeping abortion legal, but I suppose reasonable people can differ on that.

But yes! Saletans exist! How could I deny their existence? Editors love to publish them!

Make It Stop

Wingnuttery overload.

So Much For That European Vacation

New low for dollar.

NEW YORK: The dollar fell to a record low against the euro and hit a 26-year bottom against the British pound Tuesday before recovering slightly, as investors fretted about a possible fallout from weakness in the U.S. subprime mortgage market.


And then...?

BAGHDAD — The Iraqi government on Tuesday condemned Turkey’s incursion into northern Iraq and demanded that withdraw its troops as fighting continued for a sixth day between Turkish forces and Kurdish rebels.

“The council expresses its rejection and condemnation to the Turkish military incursion which is considered a violation to the Iraqi sovereignty,” the Iraqi cabinet said in a statement. “The cabinet stresses that unilateral military action is not acceptable and threatens good relations between the two neighbors.”

Speaking Of That Talk Show Host

Now he doesn't like St. John anymore.

Clinton and the Media

It's certainly true that the media, in a lot of ways, isn't exactly kind to the Clintons. Though I have to say that it's also the case that their bizarre obsession with the Clintons has helped her keep the campaign going. While there's a degree of cheering on of her downfall from many quarters, I also think that if the tables were turned and Obama was seen as the presumptive loser by a similar margin they'd be treating him like they treat Huckabee now, as a peripheral figure.

...adding, I don't think they *should* be treating either of them as peripheral figures, wondering aloud when they're going to drop out, but they do have a tendency to start trying to cull the herd about 5 seconds after the Iowa caucuses.

Fresh Thread


Our Stupid Discourse

Turned on the teevee and the news of the day is that a talk show host... said something mean about Obama... at a McCain rally!

Winning The Bet

Not one I wanted to win, but I do wish that, say, back in 2005 more people in power would have realized that we weren't leaving Iraq. It was conventional wisdom then that in a couple of Friedmans we'd start packing it in... always in a couple of Friedmans.

I don't know if Bush stays in Iraq simply because he's stubborn, doesn't like when Poppy's pals, otherwise known as the Iraq Study Group, try to tell him what to do, and equates leaving with losing, or if he really is invested in a long term military occupation of a Middle East client state. It doesn't much matter, really, the guy is a simpleton and whatever reasons he has are probably intellectually incoherent.

But at least we didn't have a "precipitous withdrawal," so Joe Klein is happy.

We'll Still Have Renzi To Kick Around

I actually don't really have a problem with that. An indictment... well, dozens of indictments... isn't a conviction. Obviously one can have a higher standard for "should be serving in Congress" than one does for "should not be in jail," but House elections are pretty frequent and voters can chuck him out if they want to, as can his colleagues in the House if they so choose.

Make It Stop

Amy, the label is "pro-choice."

But if you really feel the need for a label for people who think abortion is legal only if we talk about how awful it is all the time, how about... Saletans!

There we go, label supplied, use it and enjoy.

Wankers of the Day

The "reform" community.

My memory of individuals and individual groups is hazy, but my experience with this community during the days when the FEC was considering how to regulate political speech on the internet left me with a decidedly negative view of this group.'s a flashback from Adam Bonin fleshing this out.

Violating the Laws of Nature

Home prices fall.

NEW YORK (AP) -- A closely watched study shows U.S. home prices falling 8.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2007. That marks the largest drop in the index's 20-year history and a full year of declining values.

Lots of people underwater.


CNN tells me Dodd is endorsing Obama.



Monday, February 25, 2008


FDIC expecting bank failures.

Wanker of the Day

Time's Chief Racism Promoter, Mark Halperin.

Just In Case You Thought It Might Be Over Soon

Onward to Pennsylvania!

Campaign staff

Coming to head the Obama campaign will be political director Nicole Price and field specialist Jeremy Bird, both veterans of the Obama campaigns in South Carolina and Maryland.

Washington-based consultant Tom Lindenfeld, who managed the field efforts in former Mayor John Street's successful campaigns has relocated to Philadelphia for the duration.

The state director of the Clinton campaign is widely expected to be Tony Podesta, who has managed several statewide campaigns, including the successful 2004 effort for John Kerry in Pennsylvania (Podesta said in an interview last week he hasn't been offered a job yet).

Clinton communications will be handled by Mark Nevins, who worked on Street's 2003 campaign. Philadelphia-based operative Abe Dyk has been working for months, and will remain on board.

Bye Asshole

Maybe you can move to some other country which shares your quaint notions of justice.

Trent and Dickie

Just a witness, he claims.

Former U.S. Sen. Trent Lott told the Sun Herald on Monday that federal investigators have assured him he is not a target of a judicial bribery investigation involving his brother-in-law, prominent Mississippi attorney Richard "Dickie" Scruggs.

Lott said FBI agents did interview him earlier this year, but only as a potential witness.

The Justice Department is investigating whether Scruggs tried to land a lifetime appointment to the federal bench for Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Bobby DeLaughter. Scruggs recommended to Lott that he appoint DeLaughter as a U.S. District Court judge, according to an attorney who has pleaded guilty in the case. In exchange, New Albany attorney Joey Langston said, DeLaughter was expected to rule in Scruggs' favor in a Hinds County lawsuit filed against him by another attorney over legal fees.

Our Discourse Is So Stupid

I wasn't even listening to the sound, but watching the CNN chyrons while I was at the gym subtracted 20 from my IQ.

Fresh Thread


The War is Over

But it will continue forever. But the Iraqis will handle everything. But our troops need to stay there anyway.

McCain is very serious!!!


This would be awesome.

How this could happen: McCain actually realizes that maybe the FEC stuff is serious, he doesn't want to go to jail, and he can't go completely dark until September. Mittens steps in, starts writing more checks from Tagg's bank account, and puts McCain in for VP as part of the deal.

All terribly unlikely of course, but we're rooting for you, Mittens.

They Write Press Releases

Al From:

Spirited political debate always has been - and always should be - essential to the conduct of our nation's business. But the big ideas that have changed America - from the G.I. Bill to the Voting Rights Act, from Medicare to welfare reform - earned support from both parties and were the products of negotiation and compromise.

It is a sad truth that too frequently Washington focuses on the war of sound bites rather than engaging in constructive debate to build real-world solutions. We hope that today's debate and those that follow will change that.

Representatives Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) and Adam Putnam (R- Fla.) deserve credit for trying to move past the hyper-partisan atmosphere on Capitol Hill. At the DLC, we are delighted to work with the Congressional Institute and the leadership of both the Democratic Caucus and the Republican Conference to foster the kind of frank, substantive discussion that is so often missing in today's Washington - the kind of debate that is necessary to forge solutions to America's biggest challenges.

This Adam Putnam:

Putnam Emerges As GOP's Top Aggressor
Skip directly to the full story.

By BILLY TOWNSEND The Tampa Tribune

Published: Feb 20, 2007

More from this channel:

Search for more information: Site Search | Tribune archive from 1990

LAKELAND - It was Tony Snow, the Fox News anchor-turned-presidential spokesman, who in effect ended the recent scandalette over whether the military plane that would fly Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi back and forth to California was too luxurious.

"This is a silly story, and I think it's been unfair to the speaker," Snow said, according to published reports. He was countering voices in his own party.

One of the most prominent was U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam, R-Bartow. Putnam, the third-ranking House Republican, had pushed the Pelosi story aggressively the day before, both in print and on television.

"This is not about having secure communications and secure aircraft available to her. It's about an arrogance of extravagance that demands a jumbo jet that costs $22,000 an hour to operate to taxi her and her buddies back and forth to California," Putnam told Fox News.

It turns out there's no evidence Pelosi requested any such thing. A day after Snow's remarks, the nonpartisan House sergeant-at-arms released a written statement explaining that for security reasons he asked for a plane that could carry Pelosi nonstop to her home in San Francisco, a much longer distance than former Speaker Dennis Hastert, of Illinois, had to cover.

We're Number 4!


For at least a generation, scholars have noted that more Americans are moving among faiths, as denominational loyalty erodes. But the survey, based on interviews with more than 35,000 Americans, offers one of the clearest views yet of that trend, scholars said. The United States Census does not track religious affiliation.

The report shows, for example, that every religion is losing and gaining members, but that the Roman Catholic Church “has experienced the greatest net losses as a result of affiliation changes.” The survey also indicates that the group that had the greatest net gain was the unaffiliated. More than 16 percent of American adults say they are not part of any organized faith, which makes the unaffiliated the country’s fourth largest “religious group.”

It's About Screwing Liberals

Those of us in the know understand that the "gang of 14" thing was not a victory for Democrats, or bipartisanship, but a blessing bestowed on the Republican right to cheat by promising that Democrats wouldn't do anything to make them want to cheat.

But it pissed off conservatives because while they want conservative judges to be appointed, what they want even more is to extend a middle finger to Democrats as often as possible. In other words, they wanted the Republicans to cheat so they could laugh at the impotent Democrats.

Their politics is mostly driven by a desire to say "fuck you!!!!!!!!" to their perceived political enemies. There isn't much more there.


And we're back to where we started. Of course the next president, if a Democrat, will have to clean up the mess. If a Republican, we're just going to be in a mess.


The obsession with wanting to know how much money Josh Marshall makes is funny.

Mr. Marshall, who has a young son he occasionally writes about on the sites, would not disclose the financial performance of the business. Asked about his salary, he said, “I make a better income than when I was freelancing,” then when pressed added, “I probably make in the neighborhood of what successful political journalists make.”


Problems at Lowe's.

Complicated Things Ususally Don't Have Monocausal Explanations

There's a certain kind of internet dweller who you probably all have come across at some point in your virtual existences. They show up on blogs or comment threads and declare, confidently, that they know "the real reason" for something. Now these people can be annoying for the obvious reason that they tend to be a bit overconfident about the level of their genius. They often sport names like "Truth" or "Truth Teller" or something else suggesting unique access to the great universal knowledge that us mere rubes lack.

But aside from that there's always been something about these people that's bothered me which I could never quite figure out, and I finally got it this morning. The "truth" they share with us, the "real reason," is always a single cause. Other people who think the world might be a bit more complicated than that, and thus discuss other non-competing reasons, are idiots for failing to focus on The One True Reason.

Funny people.

The McCain Channel

Can we just put this guy on teevee 24 hours/day until November?

Teens Not Driving

This is kind of interesting.

DETROIT — For generations, driver’s licenses have been tickets to freedom for America’s 16-year-olds, prompting many to line up at motor vehicle offices the day they were eligible to apply.

No longer. In the last decade, the proportion of 16-year-olds nationwide who hold driver’s licenses has dropped from nearly half to less than one-third, according to statistics from the Federal Highway Administration.

The article suggests cost is a big factor. In any case, people like me have the crazy idea that it'd be nice if more teens lived in a world where they had some amount of mobility which didn't depend on automobile ownership. Yes, crazy I know.



HILLA, Iraq (Reuters) - The death toll from Sunday's suicide bomb attack on Iraqi pilgrims heading to a Shi'ite festival south of Baghdad has risen to 63, a health official said on Monday.

It is of course good that there has been a decline in the number of mass casualty events, but it's also important to consider what it'd be like if we had even one of these types of things per year in this (a much smaller) country.

Good morning, or good night, as the case may be

Every now and then I like to remind people that we have a press corps that happily led us to disaster by carrying the meme that there was something unsavory about counting the ballots in an election.

Compared to that, things like this seem trivial, but should be taken as a warning.

Not Atrios


From 1992:

(via C&L)

Wankers of the Day


Sunday, February 24, 2008

And The Winner of The Best Thread IS......


I'd like to thank the Academy for this


Obama's Ground Game

Various people have written in about their experiences with the Obama campaign in various capacities - attending events, volunteering, being contacted at home, being a precinct captain, etc... - and it does sound like the campaign has made extraordinary use of organizing. People who attend events are contacted, internet tools allow quality organizing and phonebanking from home, etc.

I don't have similar info about the Clinton operation so I can't compare, but if this kind of thing is what ends up making the difference in the primary campaign it'll be truly interesting.

More to say on this when it's over...

Evening Thread

For our dial-up brethren and cistern.

--Molly I.

PS. Register, ya mooks!

Stop Spending

McCain's got some problems.

And Their Story Is?

As I wrote before there's been a lot of insidery campaign stories about the Clinton camp and not so much from the Obama camp. More than that, there really hasn't been a lot of analysis (that I've seen) about how team Obama achieved what they did.

Campaign stories tend to be overly determined by who the ultimate winner is (if you win it was all genius if you lose it was all stupid), but I'd really be interested in knowing how much of what Obama achieved was due to some awesome master plan, and how much of it was just luck combined with a charismatic candidate.

Mack Daddies

Colin McEnroe:

Even Joe Lieberman, who is not a Republican but who often "unites" with them, and sometimes on the first date, accused the Times of "puking" up 8-year-old rumors. That may not sound senatorial to you, but it was in fact a respectful invocation of Sen. Henry Clay's famous 1850 speech about compromise, in which Clay asked: "What if, in the march of this nation to greatness and power, we should be buried beneath the puke that propels it onward?"

Lieberman had an even more important role to play in convincing us of McCain's innocence. He explained that he and McCain had traveled the world and met many lovely ladies and that he had never seen McCain do anything inappropriate.

Not that there haven't been some opportunities for those two mack daddies, right? When they hit Abu Dhabi in their Miami Vice unstructured white sports jackets and Don Johnson cheek stubble, it's like ring-a-ding-ding, hey there, you with the stars in your eyes. I'm sure that China doll down in old Hong Kong waits for their return.

(via fdl)

Another Friedman Up

Billy Kristol six months ago.

Since then approximately 244 US troops have died.

I Drink Your Milkshake

Oscar time. No real comment on the movies themselves, just reminded of my days in SoCal. It was weird being in a place where Hollywood and the entertainment business is covered as local news, and people have a kind of civic pride about it the way that people in other cities have pride about their sports teams or local landmarks or whatever.

George Will, Man Of The People

On This Week he notes that no one in Versailles is hurting.

GEORGE WILL: It seems to me Obama’s problem is that you can only be a novelty once, and for a while. And he needs – he’s worked one pedal on the organ quite enough now; this stuff, I’d call it banal eloquence, where he says, ‘In the face of despair, we can still hope.’ I have news for him: Americans aren’t in despair. Look around you. Who’s despairing? We have mild problems.


Who cares?

.38% in 2004.

I could get .38%.


The war is still over.

KERBALA, Iraq (Reuters) - A suicide bomber targeting pilgrims heading to one of Shi'ite Islam's holiest festivals killed 40 people, including women and children, south of Baghdad on Sunday, police said.

Sunday Bobbleheads

Document the atrocities.

•NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Guest: consumer advocate Ralph Nader.

•“Fox News Sunday,” Guests: Rick Davis, campaign manager for Republican presidential candidate John McCain; South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, a Republican; Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, a Democrat; New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, a Democrat; Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican.

•ABC’s “This Week,” Guests: Sen. Joe Biden, Delaware Democrat; Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas Republican.

•CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Guests: Charlie Black, strategist for John McCain’s Republican presidential campaign; Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat; Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat.

•CNN’s “Late Edition,” Guests: Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee; National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell; Robert Bennett, attorney for GOP presidential candidate John McCain; Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat; Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat; Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican; Sen. Chuck Hagel, a Nebraska Republican.

Mourning thread

Be fabulous.

Not Atrios


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