Saturday, August 09, 2008


Georgia and Russia have been "nearing an all out war" pretty much all day. Wonder where the actual line for that is?

GORI, Georgia — The conflict between Russia and the former Soviet republic of Georgia moved toward full-scale war on Saturday, as Russia sent warships to land ground troops in the disputed territory of Abkhazia and broadened its bombing campaign across Georgia.

more thread

At the New Pornographers show. Talk amongst yourselves.

Later Evening

Rock on.

Evening Thread


Maybe It Occurred To Them

But I highly doubt there will be any follow through.


Over there.

BAGHDAD - The death toll from a blast in a market in the northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar rose to 25 on Saturday, after four of the six dozen people injured died from their wounds, a security official said.

Shouldn't Need the Olympics

It's a shame that many cities see hosting the Olympics as their big chance to score federal dollars for infrastructure projects.

BEIJING—On his first full day here, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley headed not for the famously sculptural sporting arenas, but rather for the bowels of the metropolis, taking a ride on a state-of-the-art subway that would turn Chicago commuters green with envy.

His tour of a spanking-new subway line, one of four built since 2002 at a total cost of $7.7 billion, signaled just how badly he wants to polish Chicago's transit system, with federal help, as part of its bid for the 2016 Summer Games.

Afternoon Thread

Hasn't everybody moved to Manhattan yet?

Probably Destroying It

Sometimes the wingnuttery is overpowering.

A Problem For Obama

And our discourse gets even stupider.


This is probably more important than other things currently dominating the news.

TBLISI, Georgia (CNN) -- Georgia's parliament Saturday approved a request by President Mikhail Saakashvili's to impose a "state of war," as the conflict between Georgia and Russia escalated, Georgian officials said.

...1500 killed.

And Who Else?

Given the editorial position of the Post on surveillance issues it's hard to be concerned for them.
WASHINGTON — The Federal Bureau of Investigation said Friday that it had improperly obtained the phone records of reporters for The New York Times and The Washington Post in the newspapers’ Indonesia bureaus in 2004.

Media Matters

From Jamison Foser.

The Good Stuff

Just breaking in to note that Roy Edroso has been hired to a regular gig by the Village Voice, and that this is pretty great.

Carry on.


Friday, August 08, 2008


Here's some Atriots you can read:


Echidne Of The Snakes

First Draft


Rising Hegemon


Cab Drollery


Southern Beale

The Kenosha Kid

Not Atrios

Sick of it

Sick of Democrats having to be eunuchs so Republicans can either attack them for being sluts or eunuchs.

Don't want to hear about Edwards' sex life anymore.

Not Atrios

Obligatory Commenting

The public: Edwards was a fucking idiot for running for president, and betrayed a lot of his supporters by doing so.

The private: everything else is between Edwards and his family. Not for the rest of us to figure out how this is supposed to affect their relationships and their marriage.

Deep Thought

The world awaits Petey's response.

Deep Thought

We can all be thankful that for the next couple of weeks most of MSNBC's normal daytime schedule, including Morning Joe, will be preempted by the Olympics.

And Mickey Has An Orgasm

Apparently adultery is always fair game for the press now. Their rules, we just have to live by them.

Mocking The Straight Talk

Now that's a campaign ad I can believe in, my friends.

Afternoon Thread


Please Make It Stop

I bet Chris Matthews is getting a warm feeling up his leg already.

Just when you thought everyone had moved on... former advisers to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton are in a tizzy over an upcoming piece in the Atlantic Monthly that chronicles the inner workings of the now-defunct campaign. Of particular concern are nearly 200 internal memos that the author, Josh Green, obtained -- 130 or so of which he plans to scan in and post online.


For some reason lie and liar are one of those forbidden words in politics, equivalent to accusing someone of raping a goat. But John "I approved this message" McCain is lying, even if that's literally impossible given his straight talking Maverickyness. Good for the Obama camp for actually calling it what it is:

This ad is a lie, and it's part of the old, tired politics of a party in Washington that has run out of ideas and run out of steam. Even though a host of independent, nonpartisan organizations have said this attack isn't true, Senator McCain continues to lie about Senator Obama's plan to give 95% of all families a tax cut of $1,000, and not raise taxes for those making under $250,000 a single dime. The reason so many families are hurting today is because we've had eight years of failed Bush policies that Senator McCain wants to continue for another four, and that's what Barack Obama will change as President.

An Army Of Twits

Whatever gets them through the day, I guess.

This Is Excellent News For John McCain

It always is.


Heh indeedy.

"They're trying to say, 'He's not one of us,'" Schumer said.

"I would answer back hard. What do you mean he's not one of us? It's John McCain who wears $500 shoes, has six houses and comes from one of the richest families in his state," Schumer said. "It's Barack Obama who climbed up the hard way, and that's why he wants middle-class tax cuts and better schools for our kids."

I think it's actually 8 houses, though it's hard to keep track.

Shitpile Tales

Fannie edition.

Fannie Mae, the home financing giant, posted its fourth consecutive quarterly loss on Friday as home loan defaults increased and said it would slash its dividend more than 85 percent and take other steps to shore up its capital position.

Just three weeks after the federal government took sweeping measures to support Fannie Mae and smaller rival Freddie Mac , the Washington-based company reported a greater-than-expected loss of $2.3 billion, excluding preferred dividend payments, or $2.54 a share in the second quarter.

Alleged Wise Men


What’s more, the politics of stupidity didn’t just appeal to the poorly informed. Bear in mind that members of the political and media elites were more pro-war than the public at large in the fall of 2002, even though the flimsiness of the case for invading Iraq should have been even more obvious to those paying close attention to the issue than it was to the average voter.

Why were the elite so hawkish? Well, I heard a number of people express privately the argument that some influential commentators made publicly — that the war was a good idea, not because Iraq posed a real threat, but because beating up someone in the Middle East, never mind who, would show Muslims that we mean business. In other words, even alleged wise men bought into the idea of macho posturing as policy.

Though, it must be said, what we did wasn't just posturing. The dead are all still dead.


I wake up to this ticker on CNN:

Georgian official says forces have shot down 2 Russian aircraft.


MOSCOW — Georgian government forces launched an effort to seize Russian-backed South Ossetia on Friday in a military assault that threatens to involve neighboring Russia into all-out war.

After a day of skirmishes, Georgian forces launched missile and artillery strikes late Thursday and early Friday, followed by a combined push of infantry and tank units aimed at capturing the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali.

By Friday afternoon, the parliament, a university building and the main hospital in Tskhinvali were partly destroyed or ablaze, according to South Ossetian officials and Russian state media. Various reports put the number of people killed at 15 or more, and the commander of Russian peacekeepers in the area told state media that he had lost men.

Morning Thread

"I've Never been to Me" by Charlene was released 31 years ago.

Deep Thought

Appetite for Destruction was released 21 years ago. Sgt. Pepper's was released 41 years ago.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Cohen Crushes Tinker

Good news.

Backstory here.

...nice choice, Emily's List.

Tinker’s work as campaign manager for Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. gave her a first-hand knowledge of the ninth district and its business and community leaders.


I do not think that word means what the Washington Times thinks it means.

Evening Thread

Still doing stuff.

Fresh Thread

Got some stuff to do.

2007 Was A Very Bad Year

For mortgages.

Mortgages issued in the first part of 2007 are going bad at a pace that far outstrips the 2006 vintage, suggesting that the blow to the financial system from U.S. housing woes will be deeper than many people earlier estimated.

An analysis prepared for The Wall Street Journal by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. shows that 0.91% of prime mortgages from 2007 were seriously delinquent after 12 months, meaning they were in foreclosure or at least 90 days past due. The equivalent figure for 2006 prime mortgages was just 0.33% after 12 months. The data reflect delinquencies as of April 30.

Some suggestion that lending practices got better in the second half of the year, though I doubt they changed too much. My guess is HELOCs and other refinancing did start to dry up quicker, making it harder for people to borrow to pay their mortgage.

Apocalypse Now

Amanda takes a stab at explaining the widespread apocalypse wish, saying it comes down to the need for history to end before you do for a variety of reasons. My own post inspired several "the world is going to shit you idiot" type of emails. They may be right! But I'm not talking about the likelihood (or lack) of any apocalyptic scenario coming true, just the pervasiveness of the phenomenon.


I doubt we'll really leave, but I suppose it's a start.

BAGHDAD) Two Iraqi officials say the U.S. and Iraq are close to a deal under which all American combat troops would leave by October 2010 with remaining U.S. forces gone about three years later.

A U.S. official in Washington acknowledges progress has been made on the timelines for a U.S. departure but offered no firm date. Another U.S. official strongly suggested the 2010 date may be too ambitious.

It's more than 16 months after January, 2009, so Obama and McCain and Bush pretty much agree about everything on Iraq. [/davidbroderfredhiatt]

Zombie Lies

Can't be killed.

Fresh Thread



I've long been somewhat puzzled by the widespread belief in the inevitability of worldview-affirming apocalyptic scenarios. Obviously you come across everything on the internets, but there are plenty of people across the political spectrum who are quite convinced that [insert apocalyptic scenario here] is inevitable. It's weird.

Thursday Is New Jobless Day

Ouch. Another big number.

Jobless Claims Rise 7, 000 to 455,000. Expectations Called for Claims to Fall.


Meanwhile, the four-week moving average of claims, which smooths out weekly fluctuations, rose to 419,500 last week, the highest since mid-July 2003.

The number of people continuing to collect unemployment benefits went up by 31,000 to 3.3 million for the week ending July 26, the most recent period for which that information is available. That was the highest since early December 2003.

"Energy Crisis"

CNN just called it that. I really don't think it's quite a crisis.

Morning Thread

The jokes write themselves:

Miami - A bus carrying U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman was involved in a collision after leaving Local 10 on Wednesday.

Lieberman was traveling in presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain's bus, the "Straight Talk Express," when it collided with a van at the intersection of 54th Street and Biscayne Boulevard.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Rock on.

And While We're On The Weird Philly/Lauper Nexus

Robert Hazard, RIP

My first concert.

Robert Hazard, 59, the Philadelphia-bred rock troubadour who wrote the pop anthem "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," died unexpectedly Tuesday night after surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, his widow, Susan, confirmed today.

Mr. Hazard, who lived with his wife and two teenage sons in the Adirondacks and in Vero Beach, Fla., last month had canceled a planned fall tour without explanation.

The Schloz

Hopefully he's at least sweating a bit.

The Most Trusted Name In News

Can you imagine CNN giving a show to the liberal version of Glenn Beck?

It'd probably get better ratings, too.

I know this complaint gets a bit old. I've been making it for 6 years now. But it'd be nice if the liberal media contained an actual liberal.


No provincial election law in Iraq.

She's On To Me

She must be a regular reader.

Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) says it has not escaped Democrats what the cost of gasoline and loss of jobs are doing to the country.

"This is their agenda," Bachmann states bluntly. "I know it is hard to believe, it's hard to fathom -- but this is 'mission accomplished' for them," she asserts. "They want Americans to take transit and move to the inner cities. They want Americans to move to the urban core, live in tenements, [and] take light rail to their government jobs. That's their vision for America."

Bachmann predicts gasoline will rise above $5 a gallon if Barack Obama is elected president.


(ht thers)

Afternoon Thead



It's finally on with Mexico.

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Four Mexican soldiers crossed into a remote area of Arizona and briefly held a U.S. Border Patrol agent at gunpoint before realizing where they were and returning to Mexico, U.S. authorities said.

Lou will be so happy.

"All Over Dade County"

Interesting story about condo hell, with not enough owners to pay sufficient condo fees to keep the place going. Hopefully that quote is just a bit of hyperbole and there aren't condos-gone-to-hell all over the place.

"Squeaks By"

While it might cause an ulcer, I do sorta hope that for a brief time McCain holds what will be described as a "tremendous" 5 point lead or something similar.

Deep Thought

I knew I shouldn't have installed the new iPod software.

Actual Picture Of Edwards' Love Child

Porn For Goat Blowers



It's the way to drive McCain crazy.

ELKHART, Ind. (AP) -- Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Wednesday taunted Republican candidate John McCain for agreeing on the importance of keeping tires inflated as an energy-conservation measure after having joined the GOP in mocking the idea.

''It will be interesting to watch this debate between John McCain and John McCain,'' Obama said as he campaigned in Indiana with Sen. Evan Bayh, widely considered a top-tier candidate for running mate.

Has It Been 7 Years Already?

Ah, I remember those days, when the media swooned about our lazy do nothing president.


Simply Put

Terry Neal:
The fact that the mainstream media has embraced the uppity-Obama storyline is further evidence of the right's ability to advance whatever preposterous storyline it chooses, despite its persistent whining about the liberal media.

Deep Thought

Marmite tastes good.

But Having Said That

Touring is how bands make money these days. And t-shirts! So go out and see some bands that are charging non-stupid prices. And buy a shirt!

Stupid Prices In Crappy Venues

I'm so old I can remember when concert tickets in a hockey arena didn't cost $75+. No this isn't my "hey, kids, get off my lawn post," it's more the "hey, old people, stop paying so much money for nostalgia rock" post. And they are stopping!

Oh My

So Mavericky

The bundle of $2,300 and $4,600 checks that poured into Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign on March 12 came from an unlikely group of California donors: a mechanic from D&D Auto Repair in Whittier, the manager of Rite Aid Pharmacy No. 5727, the 30-something owners of the Twilight Hookah Lounge in Fullerton.


Some of the most prolific givers in Sargeant's network live in modest homes in Southern California's Inland Empire. Most had never given a political contribution before being contacted by Sargeant or his associates. Most said they have never voiced much interest in politics. And in several instances, they had never registered to vote. And yet, records show, some families have ponied up as much as $18,400 for various candidates between December and March.
Both Sargeant and the donors were vague when asked to explain how Sargeant persuaded them to give away so much money.

Suck On This, Panty Sniffer

Wingnut Phill Kline goes down.

Steve Howe defeated incumbent Phill Kline Tuesday night for the Republican nomination for district attorney in Johnson County, Kansas.


Kline made his reputation seeking to prosecute abortion providers in Kansas as the state's attorney general. He lost his bid for re-election in 2006 after the Kansas Supreme Court overturned his subpoenas for abortion records.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Late Night

Rock on.

Going Mainstream

Occasionally it happens. McClatchy:

WASHINGTON — Alice Rocchio is an office manager at the New York headquarters of the Hess Corp., drives a 1993 Chevy Cavalier and lives in an apartment in Queens, N.Y., with her husband, Pasquale, an Amtrak foreman.

Despite what appears to be a middle-class lifestyle, the couple has written $61,600 in checks to John McCain's presidential campaign and the Republican National Committee, most of it within days of McCain's decision to endorse offshore oil drilling.

Evening Thread

Off to drink liberally.

Obama Describes The Modern Conservative Movement


Now two points, one, they know they're lying about what my energy plan is, but the other thing is they're making fun of a step that every expert says would absolutely reduce our oil consumption by 3 to 4 percent. It’s like these guys take pride in being ignorant.

Afternoon Thread


From The "If Obama Had Said That" Files...

Pretty amazing.

That's A Lot Of Money

Just sitting around.

The soaring price of oil will leave the Iraqi government with a cumulative budget surplus of as much as $79 billion by year’s end an American federal oversight agency has concluded in an analysis released on Tuesday.

Poll Patterns

Barring some weird event, we'll basically see John McCain hover at around 43% until the election and Obama moving between 44 and 49.

I Want A Big Yard In A Walkable Community

But you can't have it! Or, more specifically, if everyone has a big yard the community ceases to be especially walkable. That isn't to say that you can't have developments with yards relatively near to retail, so that there is stuff within walking distance. You can still have corner shops or similar, but having sufficient residential density to support significant neighborhood-serving retail isn't really compatible with everyone has a big yard.

Keep your yard! Just understand the tradeoff.

A Good Start

And why give him airtime, either?

At Least No Charlie Gibson

Not exactly thrilled, but given the set of potential moderators it could have been worse.

Miles Tax

Just to make my objections a bit clearer, I think in the present state of the world a gasoline tax is superior to a mileage tax even aside from big brother concerns. It roughly charges people by the mile, while also rewarding people for using less gasoline per mile driven. If electric cars and other non-gasoline consuming vehicles start becoming a significant portion of the overall fleet so that there's a desire to replace the lost revenue, the best way to do that is simply to increase the gas tax rate. In the real world there's no precisely optimal tax, and to get it close to right we'd have to know how the electricity driving those cars was produced, but at a first pass the gas tax is pretty good in that it discourages driving and encourages vehicles with good mileage.

Mandatory Retirement

For their own benefit, they really need to force columnists to retire before they hit the "hey, kids, get off my lawn" stage of life.

Predict Your Dem Convention Hissy Fit

Republicans will throw one. Wonder what it'll be about? Maybe Sean Penn will be seated next to Mike Dukakis, or something.

Really Stupid Ideas

I really don't know why this one gets kicked around so much. No surprise Fred Hiatt's gang loves it.

Lawmakers need to work toward a sustainable solution. Increasing a gas tax that has remained unchanged for the past 15 years and has lost much of its value to inflation would certainly help, but the gas tax will bring in less money if Americans stay off the road or switch to other fuels. One solution is to charge commuters for the miles they drive instead of the gas they purchase.

No tax is perfect, including the gas tax, but it does in a very small way discourage driving by raising its price and encourage the use of vehicles with better mileage. These are both features, not bugs, and fretting about people perhaps not using as much gas kind of misses the point. That's a good thing! Oh and there's the "everyone install a GPS system so a central computer can track all of your movements" aspect, too. Need to raise more revenue, increase the tax. The big concern is that the political impossibility of doing that will lead to politicians searching for high tech back door methods of doing the same, blessed by Fred Hiatt's crew.

Wanker of the Day

Lee Siegel.

Protected By The Vanity of the Villagers

Nothing will ever break through.

A new book by the author Ron Suskind claims that the White House ordered the CIA to forge a back-dated, handwritten letter from the head of Iraqi intelligence to Saddam Hussein.

Suskind writes in “The Way of the World,” to be published Tuesday, that the alleged forgery – adamantly denied by the White House – was designed to portray a false link between Hussein’s regime and al Qaeda as a justification for the Iraq war.

The author also claims that the Bush administration had information from a top Iraqi intelligence official “that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – intelligence they received in plenty of time to stop an invasion.”

Morning Thread

Help yourself to espresso and croissants.

Monday, August 04, 2008

And When He's President?

I suppose Saint McCain won't really be responsible then, either.

Bridge Burning

More like this.

Evening Thread

Off to go take the elitist bus to see Aimee Mann.

Things You Learn

Apparently John McCain is not responsible for his own campaign. That's what I learned on Hardball, anyway.

Morgan Freeman

Hopefully he recovers.

And this is an opportunity to tell my Morgan Freeman story. Went to watch some of the filming of Amistad, which was being done at the Rhode Island State House. At some point he came over to where the people were watching from, and this woman got incredibly excited and started screaming, "Morgan Fairchild! Morgan Fairchild! I love you Morgan Fairchild!"

He just smiled and shook her hand.

Afternoon Thread



As with the rest of the campaign, Obama's VP choice isn't going to be designed to please me. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised, but I just don't think it's all that important. As BooMan says, it's mostly a strategic choice. I'll be pissed if it ends up being bad strategy, but I don't really claim to have deep insight about who would be the best strategic choice.

Thinking About The SUPERBUS

Here's the number 23 bus, traveling on top of the tracks and below the power lines that used to serve the number 23 trolley, which stopped service in 1992. Here's the trolley, about 6 blocks north of the picture taken above (pic from Phillytrolley).

Trolley service is unlikely to be restored anytime soon, sadly. Plenty of people opposed to rail of all kinds trumpet the flexibility of buses over rail, rightly pointing out that it's much easier to add and change bus routes as desired. But there's a downside to that, as bus lines tend not to attract the kind of long term transit-oriented development precisely because there's no guarantee they'll be there forever.

But that state of affairs can be improve if the transit authority does make an effort to lay down some markers which show commitment to a bus line. One way to do this is to elevate certain bus routes, ones with especially high frequencies, over others, marking them as key routes. The 23 bus runs every 8 minutes or so during the day, giving it a frequency similar to the subways. Creating transit maps which graphically conveyed this information, highlighting certain trunk routes, would provide people with a quick sense of what more convenient routes were. Knowing that, people might actually choose to live in certain places due to the presence of the bus.

At least until they bring back the damn trolleys.

That's Mavericky!

That, my friends, is ethical politicking we can believe in.

More Tires

I guess I'm having a hard time with one because usually when the Republicans bring on the stupid it can at least be roughly grafted onto one of their pre-existing narratives about Democrats. But in the world of that mythical heartland, every manly man is an amateur mechanic and forever tinkers with his roadster and, yes, does things like change oil and check tires and keep them properly inflated.

Tire Gauges

Bringing on the stupid.

Chapter 11

Retail troubles.

Boscov's, the last department store chain based in this region, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this morning, seeking protection from creditors while it slims down into a company that can compete successfully and provide high-quality goods and services.

The 50-store chain, based in Reading, is a presence at most area malls. It said in the filing that it plans to close about 10 unprofitable stores after liquidating their inventories with going-out-of-business sales.

That'll eliminate quite a few jobs.


I do not think that word means what Bob Schieffer thinks it means.

Thinking About The SUPERTRAIN

This bit from an article about transit ideas in Portland highlights the flawed way many think about mass transit.

There are skeptics, though. Steve Linnell, a senior planner at the Greater Portland Council of Governments, said he doesn't think the region is ready for major changes.

High gas prices hit poor families the hardest. But many middle-class families are able to adjust to the higher prices without changing their lifestyle, he said. And the same holds true for many policy makers, who generally are affluent enough to keep to their same driving habits, he said.

"I am not convinced yet that $4 a gallon gas has made that much of a shift," he said.

To the extent that mass transit is simply a parallel system from getting from A to B, an alternative method of commuting to the highway, it is going to come down to a simple time/cost decision for people. But a more comprehensive mass transit system doesn't simply provide an alternative way to travel where that highway goes, it frees you from the necessity of car ownership. Of course a transit system, even an excellent one, isn't enough to get you there. You also need to create walkable neighborhoods around major transit stops.

If You've Been Reading This Blog

Then this isn't going to be a big surprise.

The first wave of Americans to default on their home mortgages appears to be cresting, but a second, far larger one is quickly building.

Homeowners with good credit are falling behind on their payments in growing numbers, even as the problems with mortgages made to people with weak, or subprime, credit are showing their first, tentative signs of leveling off after two years of spiraling defaults.

The percentage of mortgages in arrears in the category of loans one rung above subprime, so-called alternative-A mortgages, quadrupled to 12 percent in April from a year earlier. Delinquencies among prime loans, which account for most of the $12 trillion market, doubled to 2.7 percent in that time.

Alt-A is where the big money is.

What The Press Corps Finds Funny

Does anyone understand why Obama suggesting that people keep their tires properly inflated is some sort of hilarious gaffe?


Just because it's a nice morning to play with the new camera on the roof.

Obama's Problem With White Working Class Voters

Nobody could have predicted that it's as real as his Latino and Jewish voter problems.

Democratic Sen. Barack Obama holds a 2 to 1 edge over Republican Sen. John McCain among the nation's low-wage workers, but many are unconvinced that either presidential candidate would be better than the other at fixing the ailing economy or improving the health-care system, according to a new national poll.

Obama's advantage is attributable largely to overwhelming support from two traditional Democratic constituencies: African Americans and Hispanics. But even among white workers -- a group of voters that has been targeted by both parties as a key to victory in November -- Obama leads McCain by 10 percentage points, 47 percent to 37 percent, and has the advantage as the more empathetic candidate.

Morning Thread

47 years ago today Barack Obama was born in either Hawaii (if you're sane) or a madrassa in Indonesia (if you're Steve Doocyesque).

Sunday, August 03, 2008


Rock on.

Sunday Evening

Rock on.

Since Everyone's Talking About It

McCain vid.

Evening Thread

Another week of cable news hell begins tomorrow.


I suppose it's nice that someone can point out the obvious to the dimwitted fools in our press corps.

But it isn't just the McCain camp. Ever TV bobblehead has been echoing the "uppity presumptuous" line for the past 10 days or so.

Fuck Tim Blair

Some days it's hard to know what to do with such absurdities.

Deep Thought

Bentonite is good enough... for my cats to poop on.

Did They Add Extra Tubes?

The Stevens thing really is just kinda weird.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The idea to double the size of U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens' home in Girdwood, Alaska, by jacking it up and adding a new first floor was hatched by Veco employees over drinks at the Alyeska Prince Hotel, according to two of the participants.

"This is what I'm thinking — I want to expand Ted's house," former Veco chairman Bill Allen told two of his trusted employees, his nephew David Anderson and Robert "Rocky" Williams. "How can we do this?"

The conversation was recalled in interviews last week by Anderson and Williams, federal grand jury witnesses who may testify at Stevens' corruption trial, scheduled for September. They said it took place in a suite at the Girdwood hotel rented for the night by Allen probably in the spring of 1999 or 2000, Anderson said.

Sunday Bobbleheads

Document the atrocities.

•“Fox News Sunday,” Guests: Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican; Tom Daschle, a former Democratic senator from South Dakota; actress Ashley Judd.

•NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Guests: Sen. John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat; Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut independent.

•ABC’s “This Week,” Guests: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat; Tom Ridge, a former Republican governor of Pennsylvania; David Gergen, a former White House adviser.

•CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Guests: Robert Rubin, a former Treasury secretary; Carly Fiorina, an adviser to John McCain.

•CNN’s “Late Edition,” Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat; Rob Portman, a former Republican congressman from Ohio; Kenneth Blackwell, a former Ohio secretary of state; Ron Kirk, a former Dallas mayor; Maj. Gen. Mark Hertling, the commander of U.S. forces in northern Iraq; Tzipi Livni, Israeli foreign minister; James K. Glassman, undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs; Laura Tyson, an adviser to Barack Obama; Nancy Pfotenhauer, an adviser to John McCain.

Dead of Night