Saturday, May 28, 2005

Oh, this won't be pretty, but it sure will be fun to see

Krugman addresses Okrent:
He offered no examples of my "disturbing habit," and maybe I should stop there: surely it's inappropriate for the public editor to attack the ethics of one of the paper's writers without providing any supporting evidence. He responded to my request for examples with criticisms of specific columns. Those criticisms were simply wrong: in each of those columns I played entirely fair with my readers, using the standard data in the standard way.

That should be the end of the story.

But it won't be:
The writer is an Op-Ed columnist for The Times. He and Daniel Okrent will be addressing this matter further on the Public Editor's Web Journal ( early in the week.

Incoming special delivery Mr. Okrent, your ass.

Let's have a healthcare thread

Start at The Mahablog.

New Thread

Here he comes to save the day!

All hail bat-bat and the bug wonder.

So much death

We've got the insurgents right where we want them now.

The surge of violence that has swept Iraq since its first elected government took office nearly a month ago continued on Saturday, with at least 30 new deaths reported across the country, some in what appeared to be sectarian killings.

The latest attacks raised the total number of Iraqis killed this month to about 650, in addition to at least 63 American troops who have been killed, the highest American toll since January.

I only wish Rich Lowry was around to reassure us.

MTV v. Nine Inch Nails

The American Stranger says MTV sucks:
"We were set to perform 'The Hand That Feeds' with an unmolested, straightforward image of George W. Bush as the backdrop. Apparently, the image of our president is as offensive to MTV as it is to me," Nine Inch Nails' leader Trent Reznor said in a statement posted on the band's Web site. MTV said in a statement: "While we respect Nine Inch Nails' point of view, we were uncomfortable with their performance being built around a partisan political statement. When we discussed our discomfort with the band, their choice was to unfortunately pull out of the Movie Awards."

Bloggity Blog Blog

Go away for a month and suddenly everyone's turning their blogs into mini empires.

Don't want to be left behind. So, next month Gil Gerard and Erin Grey will join the brain trust here.

Freedom on the march

One of the things that most infuriated me about the excuses for the invasion was that somehow getting rid of a secular ruler would improve the lot of women in Iraq - as if there were no distinction between Saddam and the Taliban. And as if the Bush administrated care about that, anyway. Echidne puts this thing in the rubbish where it belongs.

Forever 19

From Minnesota, but applies to the rest of the country, then and today.

The medals are still displayed below an Army photo of Roger Jr. on the wall of the family bungalow in Richfield. The photo is fading. The memories are not.

With young soldiers dying in another distant war today, the echoes of 1970 can seem as fresh and as painful as ever.

"I think people worry that Iraq will turn out the same as Vietnam," says Luella. "It seems such a waste. You can't print what I think about it."

*May require registration, but the Star-Trib has been as tough (i.e. rational) on the Bush Junta as any paper in the country, so it is worth it for more than just this article.

Strutting Phonies

Patrick writes:

At times it all seems like some sort of Bizarro World faith-versus-works argument. Liberals wind up being the ones pointing out, endlessly, that national security is provided by actual practices, not just by holding your face right. Meanwhile popinjays like Joe Biden desperately file their chins to razor-sharpness in the probably vain hope that the electorate, having sometimes demonstrated a preference for strutting phonies, will mistake them for one. And of course the fact remains, as the Poor Man never ceases to remind us: Michael Moore is fat.

One shouldn't underestimate the value of being a strutting phony, of a bit of macho swagger upping the Dem's ability to attract voters. But, one doesn't improve your party's chances by talking about how all those other non-strutting phonies are a bunch of wimps.

Go be tough guys Biden and Beinart (the latter, of course, could be very tough indeed by filling out an enlistment form). Fine by me. However, which serves our (assuming it's the same) cause more - talking about how Democrats are big wimps for being insufficiently enthusiastic about bombing whoever George Bush wants to bomb that day or pointing out that Iraq was a disaster and President "Bin Laden Was Determined to Strike memo not important" Bush was in fact asleep at the wheel on September 11 and hasn't bothered to wake up since?

Hitchens History

Max has some fun with Hitchens and some of his old pals.

Friday, May 27, 2005

The Report

What Went Wrong In Ohio: The Conyers Report on the 2004 Presidential Election, Introduction by Gore Vidal, Edited by Anita MillerWhat Went Wrong In Ohio:
The Conyers Report on the 2004 Presidential Election

Introduction by Gore Vidal
Edited by Anita Miller
This fascinating and disturbing book is the official record of testimony taken by the Democratic Members and Staff of the House Judiciary Committee, presided over by Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the Ranking Member. Originally released in January, 2005 by the Committee and now available in print for the first time.
Amendment: Rep. Conyers' blog.

In re some of the discussion in the comments, I've written a number of posts on this topic, particularly just after the election, notably here and here and here. (You'll find other, shorter posts on the subject on the same archive page.) More recently, this post looks at the response to the Edison/Mitofsky evaluation.

Speaking Wingnut

Or is it fibbing? First there was Tom deLay. Then there was Larry diRita. And now all that's the matter with John Bolton is some "rough edges". Or so Condoleezza Rice says, in that speech which got interrupted by demonstrators.

Been to Liberal Oasis lately?

I was just over at LiberalOasis, where Bill Scher says the Dems need to filibuster Bolton, and then I read the post below it had one of those telescopic moments of wondering whether the cabal is fattening up their villain of the future, someone whose abuses they turned a blind eye to, made friends with, shook hands with, and then turned around and cried, "He massacred his own people!" They need wars more than they need friends....

Friday Cat Blogging

Well, I'll probably only have one chance to ever do this, so....

This kitty encourages Bill Frist to just try a dissection!

Picture courtesy of here.

And in other Hillary News...

On the topic of Avedon's last post, one item that could have harmed Hillary Clinton was the charge that her former finance director David Rosen had made false statements to the Federal Election Commission. Rosen had specifically denied that Clinton knew anything about the matter.

Today he was acquitted.

Now, what will Tom DeLay's staff say?

Hillary? Really?

USA Today reports: Poll majority say they'd be likely to vote for Clinton.

At 53%, which puts her well ahead of the Occupant.

For the first time, a majority of Americans say they are likely to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton if she runs for president in 2008, according to a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday.


An overwhelming 80% of liberals were likely to support her, compared with 58% of moderates and 33% of conservatives.

Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog has a good analysis on this. Attaturk is not quite as positive but apparently can live with it. Oliver Willis says the right-wingers are already doing what you'd expect from them.

More Open Thread

The Abraham Lincoln Medallion, very valuable.

Open Thread

Word on the Street is that the market for souvenir novelty spoons is red hot!

Stupid Paul

Paul Krugman writes a very silly column in which he asserts that the Federal Reserve may be running out of bubbles to float the economy on. This is absurd! Greenspan's much smarter than that and he's got plans for bubbles in:

Hockey Cards
Beanie Babies
Collectible Plates
Original Star Wars Action Figures
Remington Steele Lunch Boxes
Original Who Shot J.R. T-Shirts
Happy Meal toys

My still in the box Millenium Falcon should be worth more than the entire real estate market in Manhattan within the week.


For someone obsessed with the internet and the general interconnectedness of all things, it sure seems like Tom Friedman's hooked up to the rest of the world with a dixie cup and a length of twine.

Nice column if it had been written, oh, two years ago.

Fork Him

Millions of assets missing from Ohio coin fund. I'm shocked.

Now it's time to get on all the politicians who let this happen.

Click through this link and you can listen to Sam Seder call the Dept. of Workers' Compensation with some exciting investment opportunities...

Wanker of the Day

Wah Wah whining Tom DeLay.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

So you don't have to....

NewsHounds watches Fox, and the hits just keep on comin'.

Open Thread



Vote delayed. Given the fact that the administration/state department isn't giving the Republican Committee Chair the information he requested, it's the only right thing to do.

Open Thread


Almost There

Big Media Matt circles around the point:

Politics and policy aside, I think those of us who'd classify ourselves as being among the more "hawkish" brand of liberals have a media strategy problem. Roughly speaking, a lot of Democratic voters don't like us very much. What we need to do is convince more liberals that they should like us. That means spending more time trying to convince liberals of the merits of our views, and less time re-enforcing the impression that we're just opportunists searching for votes out there in some ill-defined center.

Well, look, the reason why a lot of left of center types don't like the "'hawkish' brand of liberals" begins, of course, with their support of the Iraq war. Nice move that turned out to be. Then, you know, that group tended to think monitoring liberals for insufficient enthusiasm for painted schools and turning-the-corner-lights-at-ends-of-tunnels was more important than pointing out the obvious clusterfuck that was unfolding in their pet war. Once regret set in and the election passed we were told that the real reason we lost the election was because Fat Michael Moore and the Move On crowd were insufficiently enthusiastic about blowing shit up generally and supporting more George Bush led wars, and these "softs" tainted the Dems so much so that they should be purged from the party.

I'm all for Dems being associated with being the tough guys because I do think pandering to the ill-defined center does actually win votes. I'm all for the Dems being perceived as serious about foreign policy. A little "those guys would really blow some shit up if need be!" attitude goes a long way. Whatever his other flaws as a candidate may have been, Howard Dean actually had that but he dared oppose them and their pet war. Peacenik!

As far as I can tell the liberal hawks have mostly offered a series of op-eds telling Dems to get serious about foreign policy and telling people who were against the Iraq war to get out of the party.

This shouldn't be too surprising - even more than domestic policy, it's rather difficult to have a coherent foreign policy when your party is out of power. But, it neither helps the country get a decent foreign policy nor does it win any votes to carp about how everyone else in your party is a big wimpy hippie peacenik loser all the time, while proudly proclaiming that you, unlike Move On and their ilk, understand that their are Serious Problems And Bad Men in the World that Serious Men With Big Chests Understand.

While many "liberal hawks" have in one way or another admitted that their support for the Iraq war was perhaps misguided, few if any have confronted the fact that the mess they helped make isn't just the mess in Iraq - it's the mess of the incoherence of Democratic foreign policy. The perfect chance to establish a "tough but different" foreign policy stance happened when CooCoo Bananas decided to manipulate the country and the gullible press into going to war. It would've been right on the merits and right on the politics to oppose that obviously bad idea.

So, liberal hawks, it's your mess - figure out how to clean it up...

The primary conceit of the "liberal hawks" has been and is that only they are "serious" about the security of the nation. Support for the Iraq war demonstrated that seriousness, no matter how misguided it was. The truth is concern for our national security was a very real reason to oppose the Iraq war, and the primary reason for lots of its opponents.


I suppose one could write a multiple paragraph version of this, but I think it's rather simple:

The Democrats have an opening which they can use as soon as they stop thinking that the people they need to please are named David Broder, Chris Matthews, Fred Hiatt, and Tim Russert.

Bragging Rights

What Josh Marshall says. Instead of hand-wringing about what they need to do the Democrats should be out there bragging about the fact they've stopped George Bush from trashing Social Security.

Loudly. Proudly. Daily.

Sounds Like a Job for Geraldo

This should be fun:

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A judge on Thursday ordered a rare coin dealer under state and federal investigation to make a collection of state-owned coins immediately available to state auditors.

Franklin County Common Pleas Judge David Cain said auditors and fraud investigators should immediately view the coins, then have them available for handling and evaluation Thursday afternoon.

There is no truth to the rumor that the collection includes a limited edition 2002 thong autographed by one "Atrios" and valued at $800,000.

Action Alert

Do what John says if you can.

TRMPAC Trimmed

Judge says TRMPAC violated law:

State District Judge Joe Hart ruled Thursday that Texans for a Republican Majority violated state campaign law when it failed to disclose more than a half-million dollars in corporate contributions during the 2002 state legislative elections.

Hart, however, said the plaintiffs could only collect for damages in their campaigns. He awarded $196,660 to the five Democratic candidates who lost in 2002. Included in that total was an $87,332 award to former state Rep. Ann Kitchen of Austin.

...the AP puts it slightly differently:

An Austin judge ruled Thursday that the treasurer of a political committee formed by U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay violated state election law.
State District Judge Joe Hart says Bill Ceverha broke the law by not reporting hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions and expendituresy

That means Ceverha -- as treasurer of the Texans for a Republican Majority PAC -- must pay just under 200-thousand dollars. The money would be divided among five losing Democratic candidates in 2002 legislative races. Those candidates brought the lawsuit against Ceverha.

The civil case is separate form a separate criminal investigation into 2002 election spending being conducted by a Travis County grand jury. DeLay has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

and jesselee from the DCCC sez:

Not a good sign for those criminal proceedings, however. Ceverha was the only defendant left in the civil suit because Ellis and Colyandro were under criminal investigation and removed from the defendant list. Ceverha was much, much less involved than either of them.

Tick tock, tick tock....

Strawberry Days

David Neiwert of Orcinus has a new book out.

Click the pretty cover to order it:

Remember, every time you order a copy, Michelle Maglalang cries!

I haven't read this yet, but his previous two books are "must reads" for all. Reward good bloggers and good authors by buying their books. If Maglalang can become a bestseller, helped out by massive free media promotion from the liberal media, by publishing fraudulent intellectually challenged defense of the indefensible, we should help one of our own sell a few copies of the truth.

Buy the book! Amazon has it ranked at #21,499 now, let's see how much it can climb...

Open Thread

Have fun.

People of Faith

My guess is that this is Spongedob Stickypants' kind of judge:

An Indianapolis father is appealing a Marion County judge's unusual order that prohibits him and his ex-wife from exposing their child to "non-mainstream religious beliefs and rituals."

The parents practice Wicca, a contemporary pagan religion that emphasizes a balance in nature and reverence for the earth.

Cale J. Bradford, chief judge of the Marion Superior Court, kept the unusual provision in the couple's divorce decree last year over their fierce objections, court records show. The order does not define a mainstream religion.


"There is a discrepancy between Ms. Jones and Mr. Jones' lifestyle and the belief system adhered to by the parochial school. . . . Ms. Jones and Mr. Jones display little insight into the confusion these divergent belief systems will have upon (the boy) as he ages," the bureau said in its report.

In case this isn't 100% clear, this isn't a dispute between the former couple, this is a dispute between the divorced couple and the judge. The parochial school their kid attends is Catholic, and apparently he's the first non-Catholic ever to do such a thing.

"But it's on the March!"


People have been murdered, tortured, rendered to foreign countries to be tortured at a distance, sexually violated, imprisoned without trial or in some cases simply made to "disappear" in an all-American version of a practice previously associated with brutal Latin American dictatorships. All of this has been done, of course, in the name of freedom.

And if that does not make you angry, this will.

Rare Paper

Not just rare coin, but rare paper in the Ohio scandal. This should be the gift that keeps on giving.

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, which gave $55.4 million to an Ohio coin dealer to invest, said it was surprised that an inventory of assets is turning up more than rare coins.

"We had not heard about being involved in any collectibles. Our expectation was that we have investments only in coins," spokesman Jeremy Jackson said.

Attorney William Wilkinson, who represents Maumee coin dealer Tom Noe, said coins were one aspect of the investment plan.

"The investments included non-coin collectibles, things like valuable letters and papers," Wilkinson said. "These are assets of the coin funds. There is an enormous inventory of non-coin collectibles."

E&P has more.

Open Thread


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

What'd they expect?

Iraqi Christians Don't Want American Evangelicals.

Via LiberalOasis.



purty-mouth Moran still hasn't, as far as I've heard, issued a response. So, email him again: Exactly which of his colleagues in the press have an anti-military bias? We're waiting...

Blogger Ethics

Glad to see that titanium wall between editorial and advertising still exists.

I Wish I Could Say "Only on Fox"

But, at least, it's only on Fox that they don't even bother to pretend to pretend...

Little Ricky Hearts the New York Times

Not so long ago Little Ricky Santorum said the New York Times supported fascists, communists, Nazis, and Baathists. But I just got an email from him which starts out:

Dear ,

This past weekend the New York Times Sunday Magazine contained a long expose about me. Honestly, it was a privilege to be featured in such a prominent way, but it's more so to represent you and your family in the United States Senate..

Wingnuttia International

It's a bit creepy how much the political Right in Spain is increasingly adopting the tactics and rhetoric of our own right wing assholes.

An ad in today's El Pais newspaper:

Blowout government

At the newly merged Electrolite/Making Light from Patrick Nielsen Hayden and Teresa Nielsen Hayden, there's a hot thread about the filibuster deal by Patrick in which Teresa leaves this comment:
Huh. I've suddenly realized that I know the form of this scam: it's a blowout.

Here's the deal: Your basic blowout starts when crooks take control of a legitimate business that has a good credit rating, most often by entering into an agreement to buy it from its original owners, and possibly making a token initial payment.

In the next phase, the crooks start placing large orders for easily liquidated merchandise with the business's regular suppliers, and also with new suppliers who think they've acquired a valuable new customer. And since the orders are coming from an established business with a good credit rating, the suppliers don't ask for payment up front.

Meanwhile, the goods are being resold as fast as they come in, often at a fraction of their value. It's hugely wasteful, but the crooks don't care. Essentially, they're selling off other people's stuff and keeping the money, so anything they make off the deal is pure profit for them.

The suppliers send in their bills in due course, and meet with delays in payment. That's not an uncommon thing; and in the meantime, nobody wants to lose a customer that's obviously doing so much business. It takes some time for suppliers to start balking, and more time for them to start aggressive collection procedures.

At that point the business's new owners vanish, and all the money vanishes with them. Since they've never actually paid the agreed-upon price for the business, it reverts to the original owners. Unfortunately, what they get back is a plundered company that's deeply in debt to its suppliers and has a wrecked credit rating.

(Er, I should have been more clear that the really fascinating thread you might want to read all of broadened to include a discussion of the entire picture of everything the Republicans are doing.)

Open Thread


This Day in History and its Relevance to Today

I do this fairly regularly at Rising Hegemon, when I'm not emailing the Pope or Captioning Pictures (btw, feel free to visit the third of the captioning trio, the not adequately recognized Watertiger) but today is a notable anniversary.

Today is the 80th Anniversary of the indictment of John T. Scopes. Makes you wistful for the good old days when William Jennings Bryan at least had some progressivism about him doesn't it?

Morning Thread

Dispense Fresh-Squeezed Progressiveness.

Take Back America

I'll be at and participating in this conference in a minor capacity (along with other more important and interesting people), so join the fun if you're interested.

The Cultural Revolution

Just kill me. really.

Name Names

Terry Moran has accused his colleagues, some of whom have of course served in the military and some of whom have spent time getting their asses shot off covering war zones of having a "deep anti-military bias."

Email Terry and ask him just which of his colleages is afflicted with this particular bias. Sounds like something a reporter should let us know about:

Broder Examines His Colon

The Dean goes in deep:

The Monday night agreement to avert a showdown vote over judicial filibusters not only spared the Senate from a potentially ruinous clash, but also certified John McCain as the real leader of that body.

In contrast to Majority Leader Bill Frist, who was unable to negotiate a compromise with Minority Leader Harry Reid or hold his Republicans in line to clear the way for all of President Bush's nominees to be confirmed, McCain looks like the man who achieved his objectives. If -- as many expect -- McCain and Frist find themselves rivals for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, the gap in their performance will be remembered.

Um, no. No one gives a shit. While I certainly won't deny that the filibuster fight and the judges it's about are important, the people in this country don't give a shit and won't remember the fact the John "The Press Swoons at My Every Move" McCain was one of 14 senators who brokered a deal on this issue because most people in the country don't give a shit about this issue and more importantly most people in this country don't think bipartisanship and dealmaking for their own sakes are important.

It just isn't the case that there are two sides two every issue, there are courageous people who can forge a compromise if they want, and that compromise is intrinsically better than the original two positions. More importantly, it just isn't the case that the electorate is especially enamored with compromise.

McCain's popularity, largely a media creation thanks to friendly copy written by happy well-lubricated journalists during his primary run, had nothing to do with his being a "moderate" or a "compromiser." It had to do with the perception that he was "independent" and an "ass kicker." Independence has nothing to do with compromise or moderation, it's just about the myth that you're somehow your own man. The mushy middle in this country isn't about compromise or moderation, it's about a fear of being on the losing team. The mushy middle isn't looking for moderation, it's looking for a leader.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Open Thread


Arthur Silber,
Doing God's Work, And How Propaganda Becomes "Truth".

Treason Part Deux

Well, we can expect to be treated to another round of "acknowledging and honoring our fallen service men and women is just giving aid and comfort to the enemy."

Just in case Adam "Ad Nags" Nagourney is reading, it sadly was not the case in July of 2004 or since that there "has been some reduction in US casualties since the handover in Iraq." About 840 names were read over 2 broadcasts last year on Nightline (for Afghanistan and Iraq casualties). This year, it'll be over 900. So, Sinclair Broadcasting will have to fill a little extra time this year when they yank Nightline.

Um, No

If the Dem "compromisers" think their new mission in life is to hand Bush a Social Security victory then I don't think it's hyperbole to suggest that the national Democratic party will be pretty much signing its obituary for the next 20 years.

Well, maybe it'll be an opportunity. Perhaps it's time to start spending our time and money worrying about state and local governments.

So Much For the Deal

Frist tells Republican compromisers to fuck off.

Wanker of the Day

Falafel Bill.

Our Dear Scottie


NEW YORK At a White House press briefing Monday, Press Secretary Scott McClellan, pressed by reporters and with Afghan President Karzai in disagreement, retreated on claims that Newsweek's retracted story on Koran abuse cost lives in Afghanistan.

He also claimed that he had never said it did, even though a check of transcripts disputes that. On May 16, for example, he said, "people have lost their lives." On May 17, he said, "People did lose their lives," and, "People lost their lives" due to the Newsweek report.

What Would Jesus Do?

The pastor of a small Baptist church has refused calls to take down a sign posted in front of his church reading "The Koran needs to be flushed," saying Tuesday he has nothing to apologize for.

"My creed is the Bible, which tells me I am supposed to stand up and defend my faith," said the Rev. Creighton Lovelace, pastor of the 55-member Danieltown Baptist Church in Forest City. "I don't hate Muslims, I just hate their false doctrines."

But the Council on American-Islamic Relations, based in Washington, D.C., called on Americans of all faiths to demand the message displayed outside the church be removed.


It merited hours of coverage when Sandy Berger fashioned a codpiece of old documents at the National Archives, yet the bloviators have been remarkably quiet about this:

A Pentagon analyst previously accused of leaking top-secret information to a pro-Israel group was charged Tuesday with illegally taking classified government documents out of the Washington area to his West Virginia residence.

Lawrence Anthony Franklin, 58, was not authorized to take such documents to his home in Kearneysville, according to the federal charge issued along with an arrest warrant by U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Johnston in Martinsburg.

The FBI found 83 classified documents in Franklin's home in the Eastern Panhandle town in June 2004, the documents said. Investigators say 38 of those documents were top secret and 37 others were classified as secret.

Tuesday's charge of unlawfully possessing classified federal defense documents focuses on six of the documents, which were written between October 2003 and June 2004. Four were CIA documents, including three about al-Qaida and one involving Osama bin Laden. Two of those documents were classified top secret, the rest as secret.

Wonder why that is?

Two's a Trend

I guess this means we can assume any publication carrying these ads has agreed to the policy:

NEW YORK ( -- Days after financial services giant Morgan Stanley informed print publications that its ads must be automatically pulled from any edition containing "objectionable editorial coverage," global energy giant BP has adopted a similar press strategy.

According to a copy of a memo on the letterhead of BP's media-buying agency, WPP Group's MindShare, the global marketer has adopted a zero-tolerance policy toward negative editorial coverage. The memo cites a new BP policy document entitled "2005 BP Corporate-RFP" that demands that ad-accepting publications inform BP in advance of any news text or visuals they plan to publish that directly mention the company, a competitor or the oil-and-energy industry.


One former publisher and longtime magazine industry executive who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that “magazines are not in the financial position today to buck rules from advertisers” and predicted that such moves will continue.


Both broad and quite specific, the directives range from notifying the media agency prior to running any editorial that contains fuel, oil or energy news text or visuals to providing the agency the option to pull any advertising from the issue without penalty. If the ad cannot be pulled, then the agency “must receive notification immediately of the situation in order to alert BP and to manage the situation proactively,” the memo said. It also states that if MindShare is not notified of the mentions prior to the issue’s on-sale date, immediate advertising schedule suspension will “likely result.”

One executive familiar with the situation said that “this is not the first time the agency has done this on behalf of BP,” but seemed to suggest some aspects of it may be new.

Another magazine executive who had not heard about BP’s policy or of Morgan Stanley’s said his company has unwritten guidelines with advertisers from several industries, including auto, airlines and tobacco, to pull their ads if related negative stories are in the issue. These cases, the executive said, occur more with news magazines than lifestyle ones.

Who knew this was common? Maybe we should convene a panel on blogger ethics and put a stop to this stuff! Just the other day we were being lectured in the pages of the New York Times on that titanium wall which exists between the advertising and editorial departments in all those respectable publications:
Many bloggers make little effort to check their information, and think nothing of posting a personal attack without calling the target first - or calling the target at all. They rarely have procedures for running a correction. The wall between their editorial content and advertising is often nonexistent. (Wonkette, a witty and well-read Washington blog, posts a weekly shout-out inside its editorial text to its advertisers, including partisan ones like And bloggers rarely disclose whether they are receiving money from the people or causes they write about.


Mark Kleiman:
If a state law called for shoving a red-hot poker up the defendant's rectum immediately after indictment, Thomas (George Bush's ideal Justice) would point out that the precedent of Richard II showed that such a practice was not "unusual," and that in any case it wasn't covered by the Eighth Amendment because it was pre-conviction and therefore not "punishment," which by definition comes after conviction and sentence. That's just the sort of guy he is.
(Via Suburban Guerrilla. And I wrote a bunch of stuff at The Sideshow about the filibuster deal but I don't want to talk about it anymore. Carry on amongst yourselves.)

Bobo's World

Los internets could be down in Spain, so let me pilfer the homesite for this.

George Bush's "Proclaimed" Home State ladies and gentlemen:

A North Texas school district is having four pages of its high school yearbook reprinted to correct a photo caption that identified a student as "Black Girl."

All white students are identified by name in the photograph of Waxahachie High School's chapter of the National Honor Society. The teen identified as "Black Girl" is the only black student in the photo.

It's either stupid bigotry, or the stupid unveiling of a local superhero.

And as pointed out in comments, as seen yesterday at First Draft.


Donald Rumsfeld said it was just one vase! And all the right wing bloggers kept telling me this was all a myth!
Evidence of how quickly and irretrievably a country can be stripped of its cultural heritage came with the Iraq war in 2003.

The latest figures, presented to the art crime conference yesterday by John Curtis of the British Museum, suggested that half of the 40 iconic items from the Iraq National Museum in Baghdad still had not been retrieved. And of at least 15,000 items looted from its storerooms, about 8,000 have yet to be traced.

About 4,000 of the objects taken from the museum had been recovered in Iraq. But illustrating the international demand for such antiquities, Dr Curtis said around 1,000 had been confiscated in the US, 500 pieces had been impounded in France, 250 in Switzerland and 200 or so in Jordan.

Stupid School

A parent reading from the bible is not (necessarily) proselytizing. There is a difference and the school should recognize it:

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - A Pennsylvania school district violated the free-speech rights of a parent who was prevented from reading the Bible to her son's kindergarten class, an attorney for the woman said on Monday.

The parent, Donna Busch, has filed a lawsuit against the Marple Newtown School District near Philadelphia, claiming her constitutional rights were breached when a school principal stopped her reading from the Bible in a class last October.

Busch, of Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, attended her son Wesley's class as part of "Me Week," which gave parents an opportunity to read aloud from their child's favorite book.

Busch planned to read Psalm No. 118 but was told by the principal the reading would violate the separation of church and state, according to the suit filed earlier this month.

Sure, this is bull as the bible is unlikely her "child's favorite book," but I'm pretty absolutist on this stuff and I don't think this crosses any constitutional line. It could, perhaps, if most of the parents in class banded together and decided to turn "Me Week" into "read from the Bible" week, but one parent reading from Psalm 118 really shouldn't raise any red flagss (though, admittedly, the choice of Psalm 118 does pretty much confirm that this parent was trying to cause a showdown).


Well, all that excitement after I went to bed. But, my take is that it's value depends entirely on whether the group of compromising senators thinks it's more fun to kick George Bush and Bill Frist around every now and then than it is to walk around the senate halls with a "kick me" sign on their own backs.

(It's a mistake to call them all "moderates" - a willingness to act independently of the Bush administration and Fristy Frist, preserve the power of the Senate relative to the executive, and not behave in a corrupt mannerr to change senate rules has little to do with whether or not one has "moderate" political views. We don't live in David Broder's world, no matter how much he thinks we do.)

I think Feingold's response is correct in principle -- you really can't be serious about making deals with people who think that a threat to play Calvinball is a reasonable part of the dealmaking process. But, the real test is whether these senators are, in the back room, more serious than their public pronouncements to their rabies-infected base.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Late Night Thread

Evening Thread

So I've been doing my laundry, anything exciting happen?

I love a good scrap as much as the next person. Since I write under a pseudonym you know I'm being truthful. I know that quite a number of people here are upset with the compromise, but be advised that the tenor of the Busheviks is far more rabid (go figure).

From Kos we get a sampling:

I just left the GoP. I'm done with them. Cowards.

We've been snookered again. Picture Lucy whipping the football out from under Charlie Brown for about the millionth time.

What the HELL is this???????? We don't need a deal!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am furious. I will NOT SEND ANY MORE MONEY TO THE REPUBS. We didn't NEED a deal and we don't WANT a deal!!!

Not another frigging dime or a minute of my time, I stay home in 06' or vote libertarian. Unfreakin believable

If this is true it is truly an outrage. The only deal is the one the crats got. Everything they wanted. We got nothing. Only thing to do now is support a third party that can hopefully pick up 10-15% of the vote and use it as leverage to bargain.

And having commented on my favorite giggle line from the new Star Wars movie the other day, my favorite freeper reaction:


Senators said to reach filibuster deal

AP reports
These officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the agreement would clear the way for yes-or-no votes on some of Bush's nominees, but make no guarantee.

Under the agreement, Democrats would pledge not to filibuster any of Bush's future appeals court or Supreme Court nominees except in "extraordinary circumstances."

For their part, Republicans agreed not to support an attempt to strip Democrats of their right to block votes.

Under the agreement, Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen, nominated to a seat on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, would advance to a final confirmation vote.
I don't know about you, but I don't like it.

Update: C-SPAN streaming the Senate news conference.


TalkLeft says DemBloggers got the video of Da Boss on CBS Sunday Morning.

The Formula of Freedom

The Medium Lobster has found it, probably under a slice of tasty pie.

Policies Have Consequences

Apparently Jonah Goldberg doesn't understand that less foodstamps = less food for some kids.


Roxanne says it's that time again, so just to balance things out, let's consult some women:

Suburban Guerrilla learns that Michael Moore was right again.

Echidne interprets a nincompoop.

At Pandagon, Amanda looks at some politics around psychiatry.

Feoreg on fruitcake watch for Yahweh's flying saucers.

Jeralyn says the Supremes agreed to hear only one case today - on parental notification.

Cat Fight!

IHeartDixiecrats vs. SpongeDobStickypants. Meow!

"James Dobson: Who does he think he is, questioning my conservative credentials?" Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., said in an interview. Dobson, head of the conservative group Focus on the Family, criticized Lott for his efforts to forge a compromise in the fight over the judges. Lott is still angry. "Some of his language and conduct is quite un-Christian, and I don't appreciate it," the senator said.



How big and brave is the mighty Okrent—this big, bold man who slithers away with so many loud complaints? The big, brave fellow had eighteen months to offer examples of Krugman’s misconduct, but even now, he offers none. Instead, he waits until his final column—then hits and runs with his unexplained slams. But at least he provides us a few mordant chuckles, in the manner of flyweights worldwide. In his very next item—undiscussed Topic 3—Okrent complains that three other writers have failed to let the great New York Times serve “as a guardian of civil discussion!” Was this an attempt at comic relief? Or is it the sign of a consummate flyweight—the sign of a man who waded far over his head when offered this unwise assignment?

Let’s make sure we understand the context of Okrent’s complaints. Without question, Krugman has been one of the Times’ most-discussed writers over the past several years. If Krugman has behaved in the manner described, it should have been discussed long ago. But throughout the course of human history, that just hasn’t been the way flyweights like Okrent conduct public hangings. The exercised ed had eighteen months to offer examples of Krugman’s misconduct. Instead, he waits until his final column, then provides exactly no examples of the crimes he lustily limns. To state the obvious, this the work of a small, petty thug—the kind of man Okrent often seemed to be as he typed his frequently worthless columns. But it’s also the mark of something else—it’s the mark of a pure intellectual flyweight, something else Okrent often seemed to be during his 18-month rule.

We criticized Okrent at several points in his reign, but we would have liked to let it all go as he departed his post at the Times. For us, his major problem seemed to be one of temperament. By the time he wrote just his fourth column, Okrent seemed more intent on knocking Times readers than on critiquing the paper itself; in this continuing impulse, he displayed a temperament that’s fine for most jobs but ill-suited for a public editor. But in Sunday’s closing (cheap) shot against Krugman, he showed himself again as a cheap, petty thug—and as a flyweight for the ages. How does America’s most important newspaper have such a flyweight in such a high post?...

Open Thread

Choose a Roman name!

Me Me Me

Why is it that when conservatives get caught up in the nastier features of homeland security they whine about themselves, or at best people like them who are of course innocent because they don't look or sound swarthy, rather considering the broader issues...


Uh, Tacitus?


Interest Groups

This seems to be the hot topic in the liberal blogosphere but I can't really muster up strong feelings on the subject. But, I do think the power of single interest groups is overrated. If NARAL "drove" Langevin out of the RI race then that says more about Langevin than NARAL, I think. Yes, there are examples of single issue interest groups shooting their causes in the foot at times but to me NARAL's endorsement of Chafee (post-Langevin dropping out) is really an example of a good use of an opportunity to prove their necessary non-partisan bona fides in a way which won't have much of an impact on the election itself...

Real Estate, the CPI, and Inflation

One of the interesting things about the consumer price index is that while one of its component prices is rental prices and owner-equivalent rents, it actually excludes actual home prices. This isn't an unreasonable approach generally, though it's apparently leading to some perverse results. The increased demand for home ownership both for primary residence and for rental property investment purposes has suppressed rental prices while home prices (in many markets) have been skyrocketing. So, the housing portion of the CPI may perversely being held down by an overheated housing market.

Freedom Fries


The words "freedom fries" are still on the menu in the U.S. House cafeteria, and are likely to appear in the first line of Walter Jones' obituary, perhaps with their lesser-known cousin, freedom toast.

The words came to Jones, as so many things do, by a combination of God's hand and a constituent's request.

They made him famous, for a moment, after 10 years in the U.S. House. Jones led the fight to rename fries and toast at the Capitol in protest of the French leading opposition to the war in Iraq.

Ask him about it now, and he lays his cheek in his left hand, a habit he repeats dozens of times a day when lost in thought or sadness.

"I wish it had never happened," Jones said.

Like many things about Jones, freedom fries lend themselves to caricature. They are an emotional response to a complex problem, easily reduced to a ticker line on CNN.

But Jones now says we went to war "with no justification." He has challenged the Bush administration, quizzing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other presidential advisers in public hearings. He has lined the hallway outside his office with "the faces of the fallen."

Jones represents the state's most military congressional district, running from Camp Lejeune along the coast through Cherry Point, up to the Outer Banks.

The real story is that he was playing to the locals then and he's playing to them now...

Sunday, May 22, 2005

File Under: WTF?

Scores of convicted rapists and other high-risk sex offenders in New York have been getting Viagra paid by Medicaid for the last five years, the state's comptroller said Sunday.

Audits by Comptroller Alan Hevesi's office showed that between January 2000 and March 2005, 198 sex offenders in New York received Medicaid-reimbursed Viagra after their convictions. Those included crimes against children as young as 2 years old, he said.

Hevesi asked Michael Leavitt, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in a letter Sunday to "take immediate action to ensure that sex offenders do not receive erectile dysfunction medication paid for by taxpayers."

From Des.

Open Thread


In the absence of CNN in my house, I only read about this woman, but everything I hear horrifies me. It's nice to see that I am not alone:
If one looks at every page of every transcript since "Nancy Grace" debuted three months ago, the program more closely resembles a torch-bearing mob than the "legal issues" show that CNN promised. Grace has created her own parallel universe in which guests are berated for advocating due process, panelists are invited back frequently if they make ad hominem attacks and suspects are seemingly guilty until proven innocent.
Peter Hartlaub in The SF Chronicle, via Dan Gillmor, who is similarly disgusted.

Lonely Horny Losers

Dots you don't connect when you're traveling...

The Heat of the Moment

In comments, res ipsa loquitur points us to Wolcott's latest meditations on flathead Friedman. Worth a read, but I was most stunned by this sentence quoted from Friedman's new book in the linked Guardian review:

"Our kids will be increasingly competing head-to-head with Chinese, Indian and Asian kids," writes Friedman.

Um, anyone else see what's wrong with that?


Who knew that Tacitus was a liberal blog?

Learn something new every day... (page 6)


A lot of people have written over the past few days about this (And, hell, if I had a chance to read my own blog I might discover my fine guest bloggers have addressed this), and I keep expecting some reporter to address it, but as far as I can find they haven't. Why is George Galloway's testimony missing from the Senate site when that of every other witness appears to be there?


Like Chris in Paris I watched most of it last night. Interesting cultural phenomenon which I'd heard plenty about but never actually watched. Nationalist version of American Idol. Or something. The interesting bit is watching how the votes from the various countries come in - often reflecting imagined country biases, but often reflecting the opposite (sometimes "rival" countries vote for each other, sometimes against).


Every now and then something happens on the Sunday talk shows that makes me sorry I don't get these things on my TV. Like Howard Dean calling 'em like he sees 'em.

Pay Per Columnist

Tim Noah suggests a brilliant idea -- the NYT's new pricing plan should offer a "pay per columnist" feature. We could add to the fun by, say, every 6 months or so canning the columnist with the fewest number of individual subscriptions. I'm sure it's an idea John Tierney would embrace, even though he'd probably find himself seeking new employment soon...

(via Jeanne).

Document the Atrocities

You may have to help us out here.

L'il Russ and the others come on late in the morning, after the gripping excitement of local church services, where I live.

Paging Private Jonah

Jonah Goldberg once had the nerve to suggest he couldn't possibly serve because he couldn't afford to because he had a wife and child to take care of. Look who served and died fighting Jonah's war in his place.

Walker called his family from Iraq often but didn't want to talk about war. Instead, he talked about coming home to start a career in real estate. He constantly reminded his mother to make sure his beloved Chevrolet Tahoe would be ready to drive when he returned. But mostly, Walker talked about his three children, who he had raised alone after his divorce. Walker's parents and aunts helped while Walker was overseas.


Walker called his family from Iraq often but didn't want to talk about war. Instead, he talked about coming home to start a career in real estate. He constantly reminded his mother to make sure his beloved Chevrolet Tahoe would be ready to drive when he returned. But mostly, Walker talked about his three children, who he had raised alone after his divorce. Walker's parents and aunts helped while Walker was overseas.

Should've Imposed an Import Tax

Yes, they're forbidden by the Lords of Free Trade, but look what we've done now. We told China to revalue their currency to increase prices on textile faced by US consumers, and instead they've imposed an export tax. As I advocated before, we should've just imposed an import tax - that way we would've gotten the tax money. Effect on prices would've been the same, but the duties would've filled our Treasury's coffers instead of China's.

But, that would be Wrong, because free trade is good except when it isn't an oh I'm so confused...

NYT Gives Little Ricky Some Hot Man on Dog

Will Bunch covers the liberal media's latest whitewashing of the good Senator from Virginia.