Saturday, July 30, 2005

Open Thread

Rarely is the question asked: is our children threading?

BoBo's World

Denton County, TX edition:

A Denton County constable drove to a Colorado restaurant on Thursday and called a woman he met through the Internet to let her know he had arrived, according to court papers.

Instead of Marsha showing up with her 8-year-old daughter for a sexual encounter, he met her colleagues – Cañon City, Colo., police officers.

Larry Dale Floyd, a 62-year-old constable from The Colony, was arrested on suspicion of soliciting to have sex with a child and was charged with seven related crimes, Cañon City police said.


Mr. Floyd has been a Denton County constable since 1993. A Republican, Mr. Floyd was unopposed in his most recent re-election in November.

Open Thread

I am the very model of a modern major threadbot.


John gives us a preview of the latest interrogation technique in Guantanamo.

Open Thread

Hopefully we are not threading over a cliff.

Worst Candidate Ever

Schmidt is so horrible.

ACS Convention

The America Constitution Society convention is currently happening. You can read about the various happenings and watch some speeches at their blog.

The Mob

The media still reacts very weirdly to the whole Jeff Gannon story, and I think this latest ridiculous comparison offers a bit more understanding of why they do. In the latest, a Korean woman refused to clean up her dog's poop on the subway. Those who subsequenty transformed her into a notorious "internet celebrity" are compared to the "mob" who in the Gannon case "went further, reporting and speculating on aspects of Gannon's private life."

There'a a tremendous difference between Jeff Gannon and dog poop girl. Jeff Gannon appeared in daily White House televised press conferences and appeared at and even asked a question at a presidential press conference. Dog pop girl was... nobody. In other words, dog poop girl was truly a private person who suddenly found herself thrust rather unfortunately into the public sphere in a way which was disproportionate to her offense.

Jeff Gannon - public figure. Dog poop girl - private figure. Members of the media hate the idea that they themselves could be considered to be "public figures." They want the luxury and benefits of being on television every day without any loss of privacy. They don't want to be "fair game" for the press, and an informal agreement tends to make it so. They want to be immune to the kind of scrutiny they give to others.

It was and is a legitimate story about how a security-obsessed White House let a cock-headed manwhore who essentially came from nowhere got daily press passes for over a year. By attempting to hide his identity while putting himself into the public sphere Jeff Gannon raised legitimate questions about his background and that identity. The fact that the answers to those questions turned out to be that he lied about his past military service and had spend recent years being a $200/hr manwhore were not the fault of the questioners.

I try to respect the distinction between private and public figures as I think that distinction is important. I find it a shame when people suddenly find themselves being "internet celebrities" for whatever reason - sometimes the internet "mob" does inappropriately take someone out of the private sphere and put them in the public one. But Jeff Gannon, white house correspondent, was a public figure, not a private one.

Ohio Culture of Corruption


Jean Schmidt, a former Republican state representative from the Cincinnati area, also appealed to the governor's office on behalf of a Web-based lottery. Ms. Schmidt is currently running for Congress against Paul Hackett, a Democrat who served in the Iraq War.

The race has attracted national attention.

In a November, 2001, e-mail, Jon Allison, a staff member for Governor Taft, complained that Ms. Schmidt "continues to bug me on Internet lottery."

One year later, her state representative re-election campaign garnered a $1,000 donation from Mr. Ach.

Ms. Schmidt said through a spokesman that she does not remember any conversations with the governor's office about an online lottery, although she does remember that this was a significant issue at the time.

"The documents indicate that she is lobbying the governor on behalf of Roger Ach," said her opponent, Mr. Hackett. "After doing their bidding, she takes a $1,000 donation. That is the culture of corruption - documented."

Doesn't take much to buy a Republican state rep.


Tickets on sale now.

I'll be there August 18...

Open Thread

Words form the thread on which we string our experiences. --Aldous Huxley

Open Thread

Better thread than dead.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Open Thread

Rarely is the question asked: is our children threading?

Lock, Load

and shoot.

Open Thread

Four score and seven threads ago.

Friday Catblogging

Pure dignitude:


Special guest kitty Jenny Linsky:

Fristians vs. DeLaelians

The battle begins.

Bad President, Unpopular Guy

Okay, now can we stop saying that people like the guy?

PRINCETON, NJ -- A new Gallup Poll finds a decline in George W. Bush's job approval rating. After standing at 49% approval in the prior two CNN/USA Today/Gallup polls conducted this month, now just 44% of Americans say they approve of Bush, a new low mark for the president. The poll also shows a drop in Bush's favorable rating to 48%, which is the first time it has dropped below 50% since Gallup began tracking this opinion in 1999. Four in 10 Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in the country, which is essentially unchanged from early July. The poll shows continued positive momentum for the Democratic Party in terms of national party identification and ratings of the two major political parties, both of which were evident before the drop in Bush approval occurred.

The July 25-28 Gallup Poll finds 44% of Americans approving and 51% disapproving of the job Bush is doing as president. Bush's prior low approval rating was 45%, which occurred once in March and once again in June of this year.


I guess there's literally no outcome in Iraq which would make the current crop of Iraq war proponents rethink their position.

Open Thread

Quick! To the threadmobile!

The New Media Rules

It looks like Republicans have learned a new trick in the media. If you give exclusive stories to journalists with the condition that no Democrats are to be allowed to comment on the story, journalists think that's a perfectly acceptable thing to do. Not only that, but they won't even bother to do any additional research for the story.

We recently had the Washington Post doing this, with the journalists not "allowed" to contact anyone else about the story until after it would be too late for the morning paper. And now we have Roll Call doing the same.

It's Over

Schmidt has received the most important endorsement in the country - that of General J.C. Christian, Patriot.

How Easy it Is

Paul Hackett may not win the race on Tuesday. Let's face it, this is an incredibly uphill battle. But, in the past week we've managed to alter the dynamics of the race, get national media attention for the candidate and if he wishes turned him into a rising political star, gotten the NRCC to spend a lot of money to "bury him," and perhaps altered the momentum in the Ohio political landscape.

There will be a lot of talk about all the money raised online, as there should be. But, let's put this in perspective. Only 6144 people have donated through Hackett's Act Blue site. An additional 486 have donated through the Eschaton community site. That's a relatively tiny percentage of what I imagine constitutes DFA's email list (which sent out the Hackett site) and what I guess is in the neighorhood of 1% of my daily unique pairs of eyeballs.

I don't write this to criticize people who haven't donated, or to lament the fact that it's "only" 486. I just write it to point out that in the scheme of things it really is a fairly small number of people who have made a difference. Just something to think about.

Newsweek: White House Propaganda Arm

Maybe we should convene a panel on blogger ethics or consider cracking down on the "stealth magazine" loophole in campaign finance law.

Judy Judy Judy

Maybe the Project for Excellence in Journalism or some other respectable outfit can answer the question: is this how a journalist is supposed to behave? Short excerpt here, but go read Arianna's good overview of the bizarre world of Judith Miller:

For starters, of course, we have her still unfolding involvement in the Plame leak. Earlier this month, Howard Kurtz reported that Miller and Libby spoke a few days before Novak outed Plame -- and I’m hearing that the Libby/Miller conversation occurred over breakfast in Washington. Did Valerie Plame come up -- and, if so, who brought her up? There is no question that Miller was angry at Joe Wilson… and continues to be. A social acquaintance of Miller told me that, once, when she spoke of Wilson, it was with “a passionate and heated disgust that went beyond the political and included an irrelevant bit of deeply personal innuendo about him, her mouth twisting in hatred.”


Turn on your answering machines. Record any attack robocalls you get about Hackett. These under the radar smear campaigns are almost impossible to document unless someone manages to record them.

Don't Like George Bush? The Republicans will "bury" you

Paul Hackett says he'd put his life on the line for Bush. In response, the NRCC "decided to bury him."

What prompted the committee's entry into the Schmidt-Hackett race was a comment made by Hackett in a USA Today article published Thursday. Hackett, talking about his service as a marine in Iraq, is quoted as saying, "I've said I don't like the son-of-a-b--- that lives in the White House. But I'd put my life on the line for him."

Because Hackett said that, Forti said, "we decided to bury him."

Memories of Schmidt

Acquaintance mahablog disputes some of Schmidt's hagiography.

If Schmidt is a farm girl I'm Lance Armstrong. I know exactly where the "farm" is, because my home was on the edge of it, and when I lived there 25 years ago it hadn't been farmed in a great many years. As I remember, Gus never farmed it (somebody should confirm that), but bought the land up cheap and, bit by bit, turned it into a subdivision. And from googling I found that Jean is still living in the same house (on Wards Corner Road, in Loveland), which then was a subdivision, not a farm, and I rather doubt it reverted back to farm status in the years since.


I remember at one point the other twin, Jennifer, went on a crusade to stop a property tax increase that would have benefited the local public schools. The school buildings were shabby, and news stories claimed the kids were using 20-year-old textbooks. Both twins believed that public schools were inherently bad, and since anybody who was anybody sent their kids to Catholic schools they didn't see any point in funding them. Property taxes were remarkably low, and the increase would have been less than $200 a year average per household, but Jennifer was on a rampage that she would be ruined if she had to pay that tax.

Birth Control is Harmful to Women

So says Senator Man on Dog. Watch here.

Open Thread

Hopefully we are not threading over a cliff.

Open Thread

How much thread would a threadbot bot if a threadbot could bot thread.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Open Thread

Better thread than dead.

Batshit Crazy

Fox News finds new previously undiscovered territories in the land of Wingnuttia.


Schmidt's campaign manager now threatening to sue bloggers. Someone's sensitive.

On a related note, I'll be on the Majority Report tonight around 9:20 and Paul Hackett should be joining us.

...never mind - just me, no Hackett.

Bobo's World

North Carolina edition:

GREENVILLE (AP) — A Baptist pastor has been accused of sexual exploitation and peeping after investigators found videotapes showing at least 10 women and girls at his church undressing and using the bathroom, a Pitt County sheriff's investigator said Wednesday.

Leon E. Harris, 54, is charged with six felony counts of secretly peeping and four felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. He was released Wednesday after posting bond of $30,000, said Lee Moore, Pitt County chief of investigations.

As a condition of his release, Harris cannot go on the premises of Rose Hill Free Will Baptist Church or have any contact with the people he allegedly videotaped, a court record stated.

Wankers of the Day

The whiny babies at the RNC, who want people to believe that when Bush said "there's no higher calling than service" what he meant to add was "except when Democrats serve and then they're traitors unfit to serve in Congress."

Bolton: Big Liar?

Just shocked. Absolutely shocked.

Tucker and Friends: Minority Crime Victims Unimportant


The Tremendous Agony

Of monkeys flying out of my butt as I realize I actually agree with Tim Graham about something. Romenesko:

I'm more annoyed by Tom Rosenstiel's kvetching to Mark Jurkowitz about ideological media critics. "Frankly, [for] reporters who cover the news business, it makes our lives more complicated." What he's really trying to say is what Pat Mitchell of PBS has tried to say: liberal critics who say reporters are tools of the right are no better than conservative critics who say reporters are tools of the left. Both ruin attempts to view the news business as a lofty Mount Olympus of nonpartisanship and the public good. Both drain away the perceived authority of the news business in the public mind. But why should the media elite be the only powerful sector of society that goes uncriticized for their political actions? I can't imagine Rosenstiel complaining about how reporters make the lives of elected officials more "complicated."

Open Thread

I am the very model of a modern major threadbot.

Schmidt: Contempt for Those Who Serve

This is pretty stunning. You can watch the Hackett segment on Countdown here. What amazed me was what his opponent, Schmidt, said regarding his time in Iraq:

NOVOTNY: His opponent, Republican frontrunner Jean Schmidt, a former state representative who is not convinced that time served in battle can compare to experience at home.

JEAN SCHMIDT, OHIO REPUBLICAN CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE: Everything’s local. Of course, it’s more important here. The issues that the people have are more important to those individuals than anything outside of that region.

People who serve are nothing compared to those who stay at home. The Chickenhawk Squawk.


Rick Perlstein's advice to the Dems.

Dudley Do-Right Calls for Hackett Volunteers

Ohioans, answer John Glenn's call.

Call me a Gore Man

I thought it was probably necessary for Gore to skip '04, but I certainly wouldn't be upset if he threw his hat in for '08.

Attack of the Chickenhawks

C&L has the video of MSNBC's promo for tonight's Hardball. It's tempting to write it off as just some really stupid promo copy without some deeper meaning, but I really think it reflects some deeper pathology. Boomers like Matthews (59 years old, who knew) who didn't go to Vietnam and today's 101st Fighting Keyboarders seem to really have contempt for those who served.


What George H.W. Bush thinks of Karl Rove.

Wonder what he thinks of his son?

New Medals

I thought this bit in Blumenthal's latest was interesting:

Since Bush's speech at Fort Bragg, N.C., on June 28, for which the White House asked for and received national television coverage, and in which Bush reaffirmed "fighting the global war on terrorism," mentioned "terror" or "terrorism" 23 more times, and compared this "global war on terrorism" with the Civil War and World War II, his administration has simply dropped the words that more than any others Bush has identified as the reason for his presidency.

Throughout July, administration officials have substituted new words for the old. Instead of trumpeting the "global war on terrorism," Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have sounded the call to "a global struggle against violent extremism." Medals have been awarded to brave U.S. soldiers stamped "Global War on Terror." Will new medals now be minted? [emphasis added]

Myers' change in language involves considerable historical and policy revisionism. He had gone along with Rumsfeld in policies opposed by senior military figures such as former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki, who was publicly derided by then Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz for worrying about invading Iraq with a light force. But now Myers presents himself as a secret dissident. In a speech before the National Press Club on Monday, he claimed he "objected to the use of the term 'war on terrorism' before, because if you call it a war, then you think of people in uniform as being the solution."

Next week on Hardball! Will Candidate Smith's Global War on Terror Medals hurt his candidacy now that we're now fighting the Gloabl Struggle Against Violent Extremists?

WASHINGTON, March 13, 2003 -- President Bush has issued an executive order establishing two military awards for actions in the global war on terrorism.

The president signed the order March 12 establishing the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

A White House spokesman said the medals recognize the "sacrifices and contributions" military members make in the global war on terror.

Your Liberal Media


(thanks to reader b)

Project for Stupidity in Journalism

The Boston Phoenix has a piece on Media Matters which is ok but it includes this quote:

Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Washington, DC–based Project for Excellence in Journalism, says, "I don’t have a lot of patience for any media criticism that is based in ideology. Frankly, [for] reporters who cover the news business, it makes our lives more complicated."

In other words, I can't be bothered to actually see whether Media Matters is good so I'll just dismiss it based on its ideology. Of course, what this ignores is that a massive proportion of our media now is "based in ideology" and is largely ignored by the "serious" media critics who probably use the same excuse. For example, let's check out Project for Excellence 2005 State of the News Media report, focusing on the content analysis portion of the Radio section. They discuss NPR, Howard Stern, Sirius, XM, Air America, and MPR. Um, anything missing guys?

The "respectable" insider institutional journalism watchdogs dutifully ignored the rise of the conservative media for years, and now it effectively controls the rest of the media. For a variety of reasons the conservative media has the power to set the agenda and control the content. As Ann Coulter said, "we have the media now." And they still ignore it, not wishing to waste their beautiful minds on it.

(yes I'm affiliated with media matters, and no nothing on this blog reflects their views).

Latest Hackett News

From Tim Tagaris:

The NRCC conducted a poll earlier this week (there is another poll in the field, but no idea by who), that showed the poor numbers. The numbers were leaked by a Republican who is part of a group that doesn't see eye to eye with Schmidt on certain issues.

In response, the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee has just dumped $285,000 into an astounding 1800+ point ad buy that will start running Friday through Tuesday. This is public record.

Now Jean Schmidt is scurrying to round up to volunteers from her primary opposition in a last ditch effort to counter Paul Hackett's overwhelming advantage on-the-ground. To the shock of the GOP, Hackett is also going toe-to-toe on television as well in terms of dollars. The free press because of Paul's service has been huge as well. I overheard the campaign manager (I believe) of Schmidt's campaign say to a Hackett staffer, "I have no idea how the hell you guys are raising this much money." They are worried.

I don't know what to say, other than this is a grassroots takeover. Whatever Paul Hackett accomplishes in this race will be because of us. The work done on the blogs, the volunteer and fundraising support of DFA, and Howard Dean's pledge to fight it out in all 50 states; if MoveOn were to jump in, the future of the Democratic Party will be completely represented in overcoming the most insurmountable of odds. When the ballots were cast on November 2nd, this is the moment we all looked towards. When Howard Dean was elected DNC Chair, this was the moment we all looked towards. In the first federal election since the fiasco in 2004, the grassroots of the party banding together, taking on the most dauting of tasks, and winning. Who would have thought we had such an opportunity, so soon.

While Jean Schmidt and her allies run a slash-and-burn campaign, attempting to "Swift Boat" Paul Hackett, the message is simple, if we can win here, we can win anywhere.'s the actblue link, for those who requested it.

Potty Mouth Carlson

Harry Shearer has a fun video of bow tie boy.

BoBo's World

South Dakota edition. Cage fighting.


Herbert has an excellent read in the Times today. But, let me add in the political dimension. I wonder if Democrats realize that Iraq will be the central issue in both the '06 an '08 elections? I don't think they do. sad.

One Finger Salute

All class.

[[damn internet connection went out last night]]

Open Thread

How much thread would a threadbot bot if a threadbot could bot thread.

Open Thread

Because threads have feelings too.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Open Thread

I am the very model of a modern major threadbot.

Open Thread

Too many threads spoil the soup.

Open Thread

Rarely is the question asked: is our children threading?


Apparently he's decided to ignore House procedures entirely to write his cronies a $1.5 billion check.



Spanking George Gilder

Oh this is funny. If you some free time, make sure click the original post and read through all of the comments. The Gilded one himself makes an appearance...

For more Gilder, here's an old Wired article.

The Face of the Modern Republican Party

The swiftboating of Paul Hackett continues. This is the gratitude he gets for fighting their war, and this is the contempt they have for those who do.

Meanwhile, Crooks and Liars gives us a peek into the weird world of Hackett's opponent, Schmidt.


The good news is that Hackett pulled in $55K in the last 24 hours...

Ridiculous New York Times Anonymous Sources of the Day

This is actually a couple of days old, but it seems that there's nothing, absolutely nothing, which can lead to reporters burn their lying and maniuplative sources.

"we're not at war here"

I've read this quote in this article about Paul Hackett a bunch of times and I still can't figure out what the hell it means. We're not at war? whuuh?

But Ms. Schmidt is a proven battler, having bested several better-known candidates, including Pat DeWine, the son of Senator Mike DeWine, in the primary. She contends that although voters respect Mr. Hackett's military service, it will not be the deciding factor.

At the Warren County fair, where Ms. Schmidt bought a 230-pound pig from a 9-year-old girl and watched a demolition derby, Charles Hartman, a Democrat turned Republican, agreed.

"It's a positive thing for him," Mr. Hartman, a substance-abuse specialist with a nonprofit group, said after meeting Ms. Schmidt. "But we're not at war here."

How to Win The South

Start by voting against CAFTA.

Philadelphia Really Needs Actual Celebrities

And I was drinking fine Yuengling lager, not cocktails.

5 Ass

This is funny.

Latoyia Figueroa Reward Fund - You Can Help

Kudos to Richard for making stuff happen...

Through the Looking Glass


JESSICA SIMPSON wants to know where missing footage of her and husband NICK LACHEY's harrowing trip to Iraq got to - because she thinks Americans would like to see just how bad conditions are there.

The pop singers-turned-reality TV couple travelled to the war-torn nation to visit US troops as part of a recent ABC TV variety special, and they were both left shellshocked by what they saw.

But all the controversial moments and harrowing footage of the trip didn't appear in the fun-filled TV show.

Simpson says, "It was unbelievable. They didn't show a lot of what really went on with the enemy attacks and the shelling. There was so much stuff that went on and somehow the tapes got mysteriously misplaced.

"It put everything in perspective for me. It really did teach me the definition of sacrifice. I can't even fathom being out there right now. I was ready to come home." here.

Athenae Speak

You listen.

Judge Roberts, What is Your Favorite Flavor of Ice Cream?

From what I can tell, that's the only question left which the Republicans think is appropriate for Democrats to ask in his confirmation hearing. It's apparently unfair or obstructionist or illegal or something to know anything relevant about a guy who's about to be appointed to a lifetime position on the Supreme Court.

It's weird, really, that the Right wants to nominate people to the Supreme Court whose opinions are as unknown as possible and then make it impossible to know them. They've turned Roberts into Schrodinger's cat, locked him in the box, and then argued if we take a peek inside we might find out that he's a dangerous wingnut and the nomination would be killed. Better, then, to leave Roberts in a state of quantum wingnut indeterminacy, a superposition of wingnut and non-wingnut.

The Third Front in GWOT GSAVE

The Poor Man explains.

Roberts - More Wingnutty Than Ted Olson

Equal treatment for male and female prisoners? Sacrilege!

"I recommend that you do not approve intervention in this case," Roberts wrote. He said that such a step would be inconsistent with the administration's belief in judicial restraint and that, if equal treatment for male and female prisoners was required, "the end result in this time of state prison budgets may be no programs for anyone."

Minorities? Unqualified!

In 1981, outgoing U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Chairman Arthur Flemming wrote a report lauding the accomplishments of affirmative action. That document landed on Roberts's desk for a critique. He derided what he called the "perfectly circular" arguments in favor of affirmative action, as well as Flemming's contention that any affirmative action failures are caused not by inherent flaws but instead by sabotage.

"There is no recognition of the obvious reason for failure: the affirmative action program required the recruiting of inadequately prepared candidates," Roberts wrote...

Lie to a widow! It's the Christian thing to do!

In September 1982, Roberts played the role of diplomatic coach, advising Smith on how to handle an upcoming meeting with Coretta Scott King, the widow of the slain civil rights leader. The Carter administration's Justice Department had supplied a $250,000 grant to the Atlanta-based King Center for Non-violent Social Change, to teach conflict resolution in the hopes of reducing violent crime.

The grant, approved in 1980, had run out and the Reagan administration planned not to renew it. Roberts, in a Sept. 16, 1982, memo, called the program "very poorly run" and said that it had only received funding because of "political ties" between King and Homer Broome Jr., a black Justice Department official. But rather than share those concerns bluntly with King, Roberts advised, Smith should instead tell her "there is simply no money available for additional funding," and "indicate support for the activities of the King Center, and even pleasure that the Justice Department was able to be of assistance in advancing" its goals.


From the Roots offers some suggestions for a personalized little Ricky signature.

Remember, you can get your book signed by little Ricky today if you're in DC!

12:30 at Trover Shop bookstore
221 Pennsylvania Ave, SE
Wedneasday the 27th

Positive Agenda

Let's take stock of the latest publication of the DLC, edited by Peter Ross "always wrong" Range.

Al and Bruce tell Democrats to adopt the Republican platform.

Will Marshall tells Democrats to stop hating America.

Marshall and Magee tell us that poor kids should only get college aid if they go get their asses shot off in Iraq first.

Michele Stockwell says advertising needs to be more heavily regulated.

Jan Mazurek tells us that we must abandon "environmental extremism" and, if we do, conservative Christians will save the environment.

There are a couple more, but I'm bored...

"We Have the Media"

Ann Coulter actually says something which is true.

Open Thread

I am the very model of a modern major threadbot.



Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Please, Mr. Republican, Be Nice!

It's late or I'd go into a bit more detail. But it's clear there are still democrats, especially certain Senate democrats, who imagine that appeasement will spare them from the right wing shit machine. Idiots.

But for all the criticism directed at Mr. Bush and his Republican allies on Capitol Hill, some of the prospective presidential contenders warned that Democrats had to offer the public more than criticism of the Republican Party if they hoped to begin winning again.

"We can't afford to be anti-, against everything," Mr. Vilsack said. "America is waiting for us. They are desperate to know what we are for."

Republicans immediately fired back at the criticisms, mocking the council for reaching out to Mrs. Clinton, whom conservatives have long derided as a symbol of liberal excess.

"The fact that the centrist organization of the Democrat Party would anoint Hillary Clinton anything, exemplifies just how far left the Democrats have gone," said Tracey Schmitt, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee.

"There is nothing centrist about Senator Clinton's liberal record," Ms. Schmitt said in a statement.

Tools or suckers, you decide...


Who knew bloggers were so important?

The most pointed critique of Clinton came in one of the most influential blogs on the left, Daily Kos out of Berkeley, Calif., which called Clinton's speech "truly disappointing" and said she should not provide cover for an organization that often has instigated conflict within the party.

"If she wanted to give a speech to a centrist organization truly interested in bringing the various factions of the party together, she could've worked with NDN," the blog said in a reference to the New Democrat Network, with which Daily Kos's Markos Moulitsas is associated. "Instead, she plans on working with the DLC to come up with some common party message yadda yadda yadda. Well, that effort is dead on arrival. The DLC is not a credible vehicle for such an effort. Period."

Other blogs noted that the day Clinton was calling for a truce, one DLC-sponsored blog was writing disparagingly of liberals. Marshall Wittman wrote from the DLC meeting in Columbus, "While someone from the daily kosy (misspelling intended) confines of Beserkely might utter ominous McCarthyite warnings about the 'enemy within,' here in Columbus constructive committed crusaders for progressivism are discussing ways to win back the hearts of the heartland."

Makes it easier for journalists, I guess. They don't need to bother to call anyone anymore.

Bobo's World

Nebraska edition:

LINCOLN, Neb. -- A 22-year-old man faces criminal charges in Nebraska for having sex with an underage 13-year-old girl, although he legally married her in Kansas after she became pregnant.

The man's lawyer said the couple, with their families' support, "made a responsible decision to try to cope with the problem."

Matthew Koso, 22, was charged Monday with first-degree sexual assault, punishable by up to 50 years in prison. He was released on $7,500 bail pending an Aug. 17 preliminary hearing.

After the girl became pregnant, her mother gave permission in May for Koso to take the young woman to Kansas, which allows minors to get married with parental consent. The girl is now 14 and seven months pregnant.

"The idea ... is repugnant to me," said Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning. "These people made the decision to send their ... 14-year-old daughter to Kansas to marry a pedophile."

Ollie Rove North

Susie provides an additional motive for Roberts' congressional hearings about Rove - an opportunity to provide immunity to all parties involved.

The Sentelle/Silberman precedent may return...

...short version, during Iran-Contra hearings Congress granted limited immunity to North and others. A 3 judge panel, including right wing hacks Sentelle and Silberman, determined that such limited immunity was enough to throw out North's felony convictions. Neiwert provides additional context.

Ridiculous Washington Post Anonymous Sources of the Day

This is even worse than usual. The Post granted administration officials an embargo on the story which prevented them from having any Demcoratic response, while simultaneously allowing anonymous administration officials to spin the story. They went even farther by not even including recent quotes by Democrats which would've at least provided adequate response to the Republican spin.


DC folk - go to Santorum's book signing!

12:30 at Trover Shop bookstore
221 Pennsylvania Ave, SE
Wednesday the 27th

Open Thread

No cord or cable can draw so forcibly, or bind so fast, as love can do with a single thread. --Robert Burton

No Jews Allowed

Another bad day for Little Ricky.


A majority of Americans believe the president of the United State deliberately miseld the country about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

You'd think such a fact would, just maybe, have an impact on the press. It might make them a bit curious. It might make the probe a bit deeper. They might be rather stunned that a majority of Americans came to this conclusion despite the fact that very rarely is this opinion actually expressed over the airwaves by any of the guardians of our political discourse.

Hackett Says Thank You

Watch the video here.

Missing Non-White Woman

Someone Nancy Grace cares nothing about.

This is a Horrible Idea

I mean, who the hell would want Bruce Reed and Al From showing up at their door?

"Stand With the President"

Hackett's opponent, the awful Schmidt, thinks the way to support the troops is to "stand with the president." I always associated that kind of thinking with certain military dictatorships I won't name. Hackett tells her to buzz off:

Schmidt commends Hackett for his service, but believes Hackett should "stand with the president" by "supporting the Iraqi war effort and our troops that are over there," her campaign manager Joe Braun said. (Through Braun, Schmidt declined to speak with Salon.) When asked to answer that charge, Hackett is blunt: "The only way I know how to support the troops is by going over there." He doesn't hesitate to criticize Schmidt's support of the war: "All the chicken hawks back here who said, 'Oh, Iraq is talking bad about us. They're going to threaten us' -- look, if you really believe that, you leave your wife and three kids and go sign up for the Army or Marines and go over there and fight. Otherwise, shut your mouth."

You can help here.

More info here, including news that the conservative Cincy Post has endorsed Hackett.

On DLC Wankery


[T]heir rhetorical devices... include 1) a lot of sniffing and despairing at all those hopelessly irresponsible liberals followed by a 2) high-minded promise to stroll into whatever trap the Republicans have set for them or 3) set one themselves if the right's been remiss.

12 Hour Gap

Dems demand DOJ Inspector General investigation.

Open Thread

Too many threads spoil the soup.


Info here. Registration here.

Wanker of the Day

Eric Minamayer. Make sure to read through the comments.

Minamayer thinks he's justified in questioning Hackett's service because he was a Civil Affairs officer. You know, the guys who, like Hackett, have to go into Fallujah after we bomb the shit out of it and try to make nice with the local population. Surely not a dangerous or important job.

Minamayer writes:

Being a Civil Affairs Officer is a noble thing and carried the same dangers we all faced in the Middle East. If one’s role was not command or combat, however, one should not imply that it was.

Of course, here's what Minamayer said on his own website:

I fought the war on terrorism and now I will fight for you in Washington. At
least the liberals in Congress don’t have guns.

Minamayer in combat? Nope.

You know what to do.

The End of GWOT

Did we win?


The DLC really are hilarious. Read this one.

If only we could hear such moral clarity from our own party's left! Instead, we heard from Daily Kos, the ur-liberal ur-blogger, whose blog included a cheer for, among others, outcast Labourite George Galloway, who blamed the attacks on Blair's Iraq policy -- and was roundly denounced by virtually all British politicians. "See, Democrats? That's how it's done," lectured the blogger ignorantly. Likewise, Matt Yglesias, an articulate liberal voice at The American Prospect, who belittled Marshall Wittmann's call for moral clarity as a phrase never used "unironically" anymore. No wonder Democrats are perceived to have a values problem.

Notice especially that they're trying to smear Markos not based on something he wrote, but simply because his "blog included" something - could've been a comment, an unpromoted diary, etc...

[edited]...ah, I found it. And, no, Markos didn't write it. It's funny how much they hate Markos with little reason - they have to reach to find quotes with which to try to smear him, and attribute things to him which he didn't even write. Hilarious.

Reinventing the Wheel

This is sad and scary.

Open Thread

Words form the thread on which we string our experiences. --Aldous Huxley

Open Thread

Quick! To the threadmobile!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Little Ricky

Did little Ricky just say on Aaron Brown what I thought he said? That Griswold was wrongly decided, and that therefore the state has the right to regulate the use of birth control by married couples?

If we had a decent press, the first question little Ricky would face at his next press availability would be - have you ever used any form of birth control of any kind?

DLC Loser Will Marshall

What Digby Says.

Though I'll add one thing... born in 1952, Marshall was of prime fighting age in 1970, though that little stint in Vietnam appears to be missing from his CV.

Never fear, though. Another round of enlistment eligibility age raising and he'll get another chance.

Open Thread

To infinity thread and beyond!

Dance PNAC Monkey Dance

PNAC Monkey Gary Schmitt today:

Well, it's good to see that the former CIA employee is now worried about the war on terror. But it's a bit late. On July 10, 2001--two months before the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon--Johnson wrote an op-ed for the New York Times ("The Declining Terrorist Threat") in which he argued that Americans were "bedeviled by fantasies about terrorism" and, in truth, had "little to fear" from terrorism. And, in turn, he rebuked his former colleagues in the national security bureaucracy for using the "fiction" of the terrorist threat to pump up their budgets.

Note he's blaming Johnson for having a "pre-9/11 mindset" for something he wrote... pre-9/11.

What did Gary Schmitt write in November 2000?

The reason is that, as horrific as terrorism can be, its human and material costs have a minimal impact on the American population. Oh, we loudly demand that the culprits be caught and justice meted out. But that indignation passes rapidly as the terrorists’ deeds fade and the terrorists themselves disappear into the shadows. And the dirty little secret is that governments are often happy that’s the case. If terrorism is state-sponsored, then governments are faced with a choice between waging war in return and ignoring an act of aggression, neither of which is without consequences.


Study of Revenge, then, is about an ongoing war. But this war by unconventional means is not recognized as such. Rather, as Mylroie points out, the conventional wisdom is that terrorism today is chiefly a product of transnational organizations, motivated by religious extremism, only loosely tied together and, more often than not, directed and funded by a single individual, Usama bin Laden. Witness our initial reaction to the attack on the USS Cole. Putting aside for the moment that even bin Laden depends on state sanctuary and state assistance to operate, isn’t it reasonable to ask what states had the most to gain from raising the price for our presence in the Gulf?

(thanks to Cloudy who wants me to credit someone at the DU forum)

On the Radio

Paul Hackett will be on the Majority Report at about 7:50 tonight.

The corrupt Ohio Republicans are starting to give him the Swift Boat treatment.

What they think of Vets:

You can help out here.


Air America now has a White House reporter...


Dean Baker discusses the potential housing bubble, and provides on clean fact I'd been wondering about (along with others):

Over 2 million housing units are being built annually, while the number of households is only growing by 1.4 million a year.

It seems that price increases are slowing if not stopping in a lot of places, and that's without any uptick in mortgage rates.


Chris Bowers has a good update about the Hackett race. Short version - his opponent is almost broke while Hackett's got cash to spare.

This is an uphill battle - it is a Republican district - but clearly we're making them nervous. It's more proof of concept that the grassroots on the ground and the netroots can accomplish a lot. The sudden surprise injection of $150K or so in cash into a race like this is a big thing.

Something to keep in mind...

Open Thread

Better thread than dead.

Fresh Thread


Wankers of the Day

The Washington Post

Little Ricky, Live!

The show begins...


The neverending story.

Law firms reaped bounty in Noe case
$12,000 paid out from coin funds


COLUMBUS - Law firms reaped thousands of dollars in fees from the state's $50 million rare coin investment with Tom Noe, raising questions about how the coin funds were managed and whether they served as Mr. Noe's personal account.

Facing criminal and civil action by state and federal authorities, Mr. Noe used money from the state coin funds he managed to pay more than $12,000 to law firms during 2004 and 2005, according to records released by the attorney general's office last week.

Attorney General Jim Petro said last week that Mr. Noe transferred nearly $4 million from the coin funds to private accounts, alleging that the money was spent on luxury vacation homes, automobiles, and boats.

As the state inspector general began to investigate the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation's coin funds in April, Mr. Noe hired the same lawyer responsible for vetting the bureau's investments and paid him from the state coin fund's checking account.

"They used the injured workers' dollars to defend the state and Tom Noe," said state Rep. Chris Redfern (D., Catawba Island), the House minority leader. "And he probably filed briefs from houses bought with BWC money."


8 days until the special election. TAP has some info:

Now Hackett’s opponent, former state Representative Jean Schmidt, has been snared in a scandal of her own. On July 8, The Columbus Dispatch reported that Schmidt improperly failed to disclose that a biotech lobbyist treated her last fall to a lavish dinner and skybox seats at a Cincinnati Bengals game.

“We’ve got a real opportunity here,” Burke says. “Even if we lose, you at least are getting a great candidate out there talking the Democratic Party position on things like Iraq and Social Security and health care.”

The DCCC’s failure to support Hackett until late in the race raises questions about party Chairman Howard Dean’s promise to start competing in Republican strongholds. Will the Democrats start taking chances in red-state redoubts like the 2nd? Or will they remain a risk-averse party that falls ever further into minority status?

[let me just add here that I don't think it's really appropriate to credit Dean either way for what the DCCC does. The DNC, DSCC, and DCCC are independent organizations.]

“This race is a long shot,” admits Brewster Rhoads, a Cincinnati-based political consultant. “But the payoff is potentially huge. If Hackett does well, it shows that the Bush bandwagon is losing its wheels even on Republican turf.”


On economic issues, Hackett is solidly progressive. The corporate-friendly bankruptcy bill, which passed the House with a fair number of Democratic votes, Hackett calls “garbage.” And he’s appalled that Democrats have let the GOP define the debate on the “death tax.” “We should call it the ‘anti-aristocracy tax,’” he insists.

On questions of values, Hackett’s libertarian tendencies take over. “When I elect someone to go to Washington, D.C.,” he says, “I don’t elect a spiritual leader. I get that from my minister on Sundays when I go to church. Congress isn’t invited into my personal life; they’re not invited into the decisions my wife makes with her doctor any more than they’re invited in to check out what guns I’ve got in my gun cabinet.”


Ultimately, the best case for taking a risk on Hackett may come from Dean himself. In a recent Washington Post profile, Dean said of long-shot races, “If you lose, so what? It’s worth the investment if we can have somebody there who gives the message, who’s articulate and … respectful of the voters, because they’ll get a better impression of Democrats than they would otherwise.”

8 more days...

More Questions for Santorum

Make sure to get your questions in.

For some inspiration:










Rick Kaplan, Genius

Genius if his goal is to lose all his viewers:

Propeller-necked pundit Tucker Carlson may have found a platform for his towel-snapping brand of conservatism on MSNBC’s The Situation, but industry insiders are predicting a dim future for the critically-lambasted show. Positioned dead last in prime-time cable news ratings, the political rant-fest has been a disappointment from day one, sources say—a sentiment echoed by New York Times’ TV critic Alessandra Stanley, who last month suggested MSNBC pull the plug on the crapulent show and “end the misery.”

According to a network source, the 36-year-old motormouth landed the job after promising MSNBC he could deliver raucous debates with high-profile guests like Jon Stewart—who famously called Carlson a “dick” on Crossfire and accused him of “hurting America”—but that the debates have yet to materialize.

“The incident with Jon Stewart made Tucker a household name, and MSNBC thought they could parlay that into a show that would appeal to 18-30 year old men,” says our source. “The problem is, most 18-30 year old men are watching baseball or Sports Center at 9 p.m., and Tucker has yet to have one interesting person on his show.” (Instead, he’s been reduced to relying on fellow MSNBC commentators like Monica Crowley and Dan Abrams to fill the gaps in his guest list, the source notes.)

But Carlson, who snagged a high six-figure salary and stock options from MSNBC after being booted from CNN, is still sitting pretty. “For some reason the higher-ups keep kissing his ass, even though the show was DOA the week it premiered,” the source gripes. A spokesman for Carlson’s show did not return calls for comment by press time.

Tucker Carlson? Appeal to 18-30 year old men?

I Wonder Who This Was?

And did he wear plaid pants?

Amid the political hullabaloo surrounding white-bread Supreme Court nominee John Roberts, gay activist Michelangelo Signorile remembers a much more colorful candidate.

"There was a contender for the federal judiciary in the George W. Bush administration who I began receiving information ... about him making sexual advances on men in gyms in Washington and other cities," Signorile told us Friday. Immediately after sex, "he would ... go into a religious tirade and then tell them how morally wrong all this was. His record was really conservative."

Signorile, whose collection of essays, "Hitting Hard," is out next month from Carroll & Graf, outed Malcolm Forbes not long after the billionaire died in 1990. He now writes for and has a show on Sirius Satellite Radio.

Having heard the stories about the would-be federal judge, the writer made a few calls to the White House.

"They said they'd have someone call me back, and they didn't," Signorile laughed.

"The upshot of it was, this person was just quietly no longer a contender!"

The Sgt. Schultz Party

Roberts is a made man whether or not he ever was part of the Federalist Society. Now we know he was an active member once but he just can't remember.

When they feel the need to lie about the little things (besides, wouldn't "Yeah, I was with them briefly but I didn't really fit in" been more effective?) we know they have no problem lying about the big ones...

Don't Forget

Little Ricky is taking questions today. Submit yours now...


Open Thread

Too many threads spoil the soup.

Open Thread

Words form the thread on which we string our experiences. --Aldous Huxley

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Groundhog Day

The people in charge need to learn Bill Murray's lesson. Changing how you seem to be accomplishes nothing, changing what you are might.

Little Ricky

Submit your questions...


Open Thread

Four score and seven threads ago.

Open Thread

Rarely is the question asked: is our children threading?

Ongoing Investigation

Think Progress has an excellent question. Maybe some reporters should ask Scotty tomorrow:

If the Attorney General of the United States can answer questions on the ongoing investigation, why can’t the White House?

Pro-Adultery Santorum

Ouch, local paper giving it to little Ricky:

OR A GUY who just wrote a stinging book about family values, Sen. Rick Santorum sure sounded mealy-mouthed when asked about U.S. Rep. Don Sherwood’s dalliances.

“I don’t know how it’s going to shake out,” Santorum said Monday during an appearance at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Plains Township. “All I would suggest is that, again, until we know all the facts and we look at the job that Congressman Sherwood is doing and make decisions based on the facts and the work he’s doing.”

Santorum dodged a reporter’s question about whether the allegations against Sherwood have hurt the Republican Party.

“I think what hurts and helps the Republican Party is what we’re doing in serving the American people,” he said, shifting the focus to the media, which he said likes to focus on racy and scandalous stories.

Pretty wishy-washy, huh? Especially since Santorum’s new book, “It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good,” lashes out at the nation’s “divorce culture” and “hostile cultural climate,” influenced by television shows such as “Sex in the City” and “Friends.”


Santorum’s book contains many harsh words. We wonder, why didn’t he have any for Sherwood on Monday?

Can This Administration Do Anything Right?

Wow. Just stunning.

The Justice Department blocked efforts by its prosecutors in Seattle in 2002 to bring criminal charges against Haroon Aswat, according to federal law-enforcement officials who were involved in the case.

British authorities suspect Aswat of taking part in the July 7 London bombings, which killed 56 and prompted an intense worldwide manhunt for him.

But long before he surfaced as a suspect there, federal prosecutors in Seattle wanted to seek a grand-jury indictment for his involvement in a failed attempt to set up a terrorist-training camp in Bly, Ore., in late 1999. In early 2000, Aswat lived for a couple of months in central Seattle at the Dar-us-Salaam mosque.

A federal indictment of Aswat in 2002 would have resulted in an arrest warrant and his possible detention in Britain for extradition to the United States.

"It was really frustrating," said a former Justice Department official involved in the case. "Guys like that, you just want to sweep them up off the street."


At the time, however, federal prosecutors chose not to indict Aswat for reasons that are not clear. Asked why Aswat wasn't indicted, a federal official in Seattle replied, "That's a great question."

(via kos)

Return of Heads Up Gate

I'm glad Frank Rich reminded the world of the absolutely unjustifiable delay the White House was granted allowing them to hold off on officially being required to maintain documents. It's one tidbit of this case that I'd forgotten. NPR reported at the time:

The White house asked for and got permission earlier this week to wait a day before issuing a directive to preserve all documents and logs which led one seasoned federal prosecutor to wonder why they wanted to wait a day, and who at the justice department told them they could do that, and why?

It's another part of this scandal which should've raised more than a few eyebrows among the beltway kool kids, but they weren't too concerned about it at the time.

APJ lets us know that we've learned something new - that Gonzales told Andy Card that night.

While we're walking down memory lane, we must also remember that the documents were also vetted by Gonzales before they even got to the Justice Department.

Open Thread

Quick! To the threadmobile!

Sunday Bobbleheads

Document the atrocities.

Open Thread

Quick! To the threadmobile!

Open Thread

I am the very model of a modern major threadbot.