Saturday, August 06, 2005

The Democratic Ideological Gap

Fafnir explains.

Excess Demand for Rudeness

Rudepundit essentially sold out.

Socially Liberal

Strong majorities support abortion rights and stem cell research. Big majorities were horrified by Schiavopalooza. Yes, too many in this country hate the gay and, yes, polls tend to find some support for limiting abortion rights. The former is something which requires leadership, and the latter is just a reflection of the fact that lots of people are uncomfortable with abortion and don't quite understand the "choice" issue. We've had a definite failure of leadership on this in recent years. I truly believe that, no matter what the poll responses to certain questions are, a strong majority are pro-choice. Americans are pro-choice for me but not for thee on certain aspects of abortion, but I blame the fact that it's been quite some time since prominent politicians really faced this issue head on. Once people are made to understand what choice, or specifically the absence of choice, means they're on "our side."

So, other than hating the gay and maybe the evils of video games the nation is pretty much on our side. Why are we always running from these issues? As Digby writes:

A thought to ponder as we debate whether we should be moving toward more social conservatism. The number one Republican in the US Senate just endorsed stem cell research and the number three Republican in the Senate just backed off his previous support for intelligent design.

This would indicate to me that these two politicians, one of whom is running for president and the other who is trying to keep his seat in a swing state, have seen numbers that indicate the religious right is hurting their chances. They are sistah sojah-ing like madmen pretty damn early in the game.

I suspect that some democratic strategists think this is a good reason for us to "meet them in the middle" by running as social conservatives --- just without James Dobson. But anyone who thinks this is someone who hasn't been watching politics for the last 20 years.

Open Thread

To infinity thread and beyond!

Open Thread

Too many threads spoil the soup.

Open Thread

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

The Third GWOT Front Opens

Awhile back, The Editors wrote:

So, here’s my question: from the polls above, one learns that a majority of the public believes that the war in Iraq was sold on a lie, and will end in defeat. One might well conclude from this that the second war, the PR war, is being lost. Now, following from our argument in the previous paragraph, it would seem logical that this sort of poll would be likely to undermine the resolve of right-wing pundits, leading us to actually lose the war on the homefront, thereby undermining the troops in the field, and, thereby, losing the GWOT entirely. Naturally, the only proper response to this is to open a third front on the GWOT, where whoever isn’t fighting on the first two battlefields takes the fight directly to the American public - physically, rhetorically, or both - in order to ensure that our brave right-wing pundits can fight the good fight against the free press, human rights organizations, and people who don’t see what a picture of 9/11 has to do with Iraq, even if you sandwich it between a picture of the Khobar Towers and the USS Cole.

And so it begins:

A quarrel between two firearms vendors at a Floyd County flea market on Thursday allegedly led both men -- described as "good friends" -- to draw guns. Douglas Moore, 65, of Martin, who supports the [Iraq] war, shot and killed Harold Wayne Smith, 56, of Manchester, who opposed it, investigators said.

America Hates America


Aug. 6, 2005 - As U.S. troops endured a deadly week in Iraq, 61 percent of Americans polled say they disapprove of the way President George W. Bush is handling the war in Iraq, according to a new NEWSWEEK poll. Thirty four percent say they approve. This is Bush’s lowest rating on Iraq and the first time it has dropped below 40 percent in the NEWSWEEK poll. And 50 percent of those polled say the United States is losing ground in its efforts to establish security and democracy in Iraq; just 40 percent say the U.S. is making progress there.


Meanwhile, Bush’s approval ratings have dropped to 42 percent; 51 percent of Americans say they disapprove of the way Bush is handling his job as president. Bush’s approval ratings reached a high of 88 percent in his first term, in the month after the September 11 attacks. Forty-two percent is his low.


And when asked about the reports that White House adviser Karl Rove may have leaked classified information about Valerie Plame, a CIA agent, 45 percent say, from what they’ve heard or read about Rove’s involvement in the case, that they believe he is guilty of a serious crime; 18 percent say he is not guilty of a serious offense and 37 percent say they don’t know, the poll shows.

"Not a Public Figure"

Jay Rosen has info about another recent episode of Novak storming off, including his assertion that he'd end any TV or radio interviews that broached the Plame subject.

To me the most disturbing part is his claim that he's "not a public figure." I'm curious - do many other people who have been on television every day for the past couple of decades consider themselves to not be public figures? I've written before about the disturbing view put forth by news celebrities that they deserve all the benefits of celebrity without any of the downsides, but I'm actually quite shocked to have one of them say it so plainly.


I understand the desire of the Democrats to run from the Iraq war. Despite polls showing it being a not exactly popular war it's still a complicated rhetorical minefield through which to maneuver. This is of course compounded by the fact that a big chunk of the party, including most of the "media influentials" in that party, as well as most of the democratic-industrial complex in DC, were pro-war and most of them have yet to admit that maybe they were wrong. And, of course, many have gone even further than this, looking to purge that crazy 40% fringe of the country who were essentially opposed to the war from the beginning from their ranks.

It is difficult but they have no choice. Iraq will be with us in '06, '08, '10, ... No amount of lights and corners and tunnels will change that. I don't think all the pro-war types need to flagellate themselves publicly for their stand, but it still shocks me that in '04 more Democrats couldn't have simply said what Joe Hoeffel said when asked if he'd still have voted to authorize the war:

Absolutely not. I voted for the war because I was convinced we needed to disarm Saddam Hussein of weapons of mass destruction. I am now convinced we were lied to.

Hoeffel took it further another time:

I am now convinced I was lied to, specifically by George Tenet and Condoleezza Rice, on Oct. 2, 2002, in the Roosevelt room of the White House, and generally, lied to by the president and all of his people in the White House.

I don't know if it would've gotten them more success in the '04 election, but it certainly would've made them more credible going into '06.

Nixon, China, yadda yadda yadda

Idaho Republicans are thinking of requiring businesses to provide health insurance or alternatively pay for state health care costs.

Damn commies.

Bobo's World

Charlotte, NC edition.

Open Thread

He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument. -- Billy Shakes

Open Thread

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

Open Thread

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

Friday, August 05, 2005

Open Thread

Quick! To the threadmobile!

Bush Radio Address

Contemplate the sick mind that crafted this speech given the events of the past week. Notice anything missing?


THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. As families across the country enjoy the summer, Americans can be optimistic about our economic future. In the past four years, our economy has been through a lot: we faced a stock market decline, a recession, corporate scandals, an attack on our homeland, and the demands of an ongoing war on terror.

To grow the economy and help American families, we acted by passing the largest tax relief in a generation. And today, thanks to the tax relief and the efforts of America's workers and entrepreneurs, our economy is strong and growing stronger.

This past week, we learned that America added over 200,000 new jobs in July. Since May of 2003, we've added nearly 4 million new jobs. The unemployment rate is down to 5 percent, below the average of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. And more Americans are working today than ever before in our nation's history.

Recent economic reports show that our economy is growing faster than any other major industrialized nation. Small businesses are flourishing. Workers are taking home more of what they earn. Real disposable personal income has grown by over 12 percent since the end of 2000. Inflation is low and mortgage rates are low. And over the past year, the home ownership rate in America has reached record levels.

The tax relief stimulated economic vitality and growth and it has helped increase revenues to the Treasury. The increased revenues and our spending restraint have led to good progress in reducing the federal deficit. Last month we learned that the deficit is now projected to be $94 billion less than previously expected. I set a goal of cutting the deficit in half by 2009, and we are ahead of pace to meet that goal.

To continue creating jobs and to ensure that our prosperity reaches every corner of America, we're opening markets abroad for our goods and services. This past week, I was proud to sign the Central American-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement. This historic agreement will level the playing field for America's workers and farmers, and open up a market of 44 million customers for products made in the United States.

To keep our economy growing we also need affordable, reliable supplies of energy. Next week in New Mexico, I'll sign a bipartisan energy bill that encourages conservation, expands domestic production in environmentally sensitive ways, diversifies our energy supply, modernizes our electricity grid and makes America less dependent on foreign sources of energy. And next Wednesday in Illinois, I'll sign a highway bill that will improve the safety of our roads, strengthen our transportation infrastructure and create good jobs.

Our economy is strong, yet I will not be satisfied until every American who wants to work can find a job. So this coming Tuesday I will meet with my economic team in Texas to discuss our agenda to keep the economy moving forward. As Congress considers appropriations bills this fall, we will work with the House and the Senate to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely, or not at all.

We need to make the tax relief permanent, end the death tax forever, and make our tax code simpler, fairer and more pro-growth. We'll continue working on Social Security reform. Social Security is sound for today's seniors, but there's a hole in the safety net for our younger workers, so I'll work with the Congress to strengthen Social Security for our children and grandchildren. I'll continue to press for legal reform to protect small businesses, doctors and hospitals from junk lawsuits. And we will work to make health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans.

The American economy is the envy of the world and we will keep it that way. We will continue to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of America, so more of our citizens can realize the American Dream.

Thank you for listening.

Friday Cat Blogging

Open Thread

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

Novakula's Contradictions

Media Matters details the shifting stories of the prince of darkness.

And, here are the many faces of Bob Novak.

Carville Speaks

Josh Marshall talks to James Carville about Novakula.


Happy PDB anniversary tomorrow.

Open Thread

Better thread than dead.

Blight on the Network

Looks like the knives are out. Methinks we may have seen the last of Bob Novak on CNN>


Lots of people have observed that Novak's meltdown didn't really make any sense as what Carville had said to him certainly wasn't outside the normal partisan banter on such shows. But what Carville said really didn't make any sense in the context of the discussion. It sort of came from nowhere and didn't really fit in with the rest of the conversation. Increasingly I'm starting to think that Carville was making an "insider" comment to Novak - referring to something they both knew but which viewers would have no clue about. As reader David put in comments:

If you review exactly what Carville said that triggered Novak's meltdown, it was essentially "You have to show the right wingers that you are a stand-up guy, and the Wall Street Journal is watching your every move." Carville may have known that Novak has to make a hard choice: save himself, or throw his sources to the wolves. It's possible that Novak is looking at hard time here: perjury, obstruction of justice, conspiracy to violate the Espionage Act of 1917. He's safe from the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, which pretty much exempts reporters, but the 1917 act was the ostensible basis for the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, no joke at all.

Certainly possible.

Novak to Testify Today?

That's a rumor...

Bob Novak Says Bob Novak is Poisoning America


Speaking of Little Ricky

He doesn't believe that married couples should have the right to purchase contraception. From NPR yesterday:

And my feeling is that the judge has a responsibility to the Constitution first, precedent second. Precedent is one factor. It is not the only factor. If it was the only factor, then, you know, we wouldn't have had Roe vs. Wade. We wouldn't have had Griswold. We wouldn't have had Lawrence.

And, of course, he doesn't think his chief of staff has a right to have a sex life.

Flippity Floppity

Rick Santorum was for Intelligent Design before he was against it.

America Thinks Bush is a Big Fat Liar

Internalize that, media.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans' approval of President Bush's handling of Iraq is at its lowest level yet, according to an AP-Ipsos poll that also found fewer than half now think he's honest.


Bush's overall job approval was at 42 percent, with 55 percent disapproving. That's about where Bush's approval has been all summer but slightly lower than at the beginning of the year.

The portion of people who consider Bush honest has dropped slightly from January, when 53 percent described him that way while 45 percent did not. Now, people are just about evenly split on that issue - with 48 percent saying he's honest and 50 percent saying he's not.


Forgot to place my over/under bet, but had I done it I would've lost. New jobs number at +207K, a bit over the 180K consensus number.

They Get Letters

To the Editor:

Bob Herbert's touching column about Specialist Fourth Class Hugo Luis Gonzalez, a maimed Iraqi war veteran, hit me especially hard ("Forget the War? Many Can't," Aug. 4).

I spent last weekend at a Silver Springs, Md., hotel near Walter Reed Army Medical Center. There, on Sunday morning, I helped a young wife wheel her legless husband into the elevator, then the dining room. He dandled a pretty 2-year-old on what remained of his lap. Another tiny beauty clutched the wheelchair, trying to help.

As we entered the dining room, we saw 10 or 12 cheery young men and women about to be seated. When the amputee rolled into view, he waved to the group. Only one of the group waved back. Another gave the vet a thumbs-up gesture. Strangely, all the others looked away or fumbled with napkins, newspapers and chairs.

Eavesdropping on them during the meal, I think that I discovered why so many of them seemed ill at ease. They were members of a conservative college student group, and the subject of their breakfast meeting was how to improve their campus recruitment activities.

Some World War II feistiness left in me wanted to ask, "If you're so ardent about the war, why don't you enlist?"

Art Shay
Deerfield, Ill., Aug. 4, 2005

Open Thread

I am the very model of a modern major threadbot.

Open Thread

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

Tinkerbell Must Die


WASHINGTON - The deadly recent attacks on American troops in Iraq are increasing the pressure on President Bush to develop an exit strategy. The U.S. death toll from the war is now over 1,800, and a new AP-Ipsos poll shows the lowest approval yet for Bush’s handling of Iraq, just 38 percent.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Who's Who?

Funny possibility.

...[checking the video] Earlier in the segment the Big Book is hidden next to Carville, and then at some point it's on the table and visible to Novak. He appears to keep glancing down at it, but I can't be certain of that.

Fresh Thread


On Collages

The Poor Man discusses the right wing's latest blog fetish.

...oh, and by the way, could someone start paying The Editors lots of money to write for some esteemed or not so esteemed publication. Some people who blog are writers, some of us for the most part aren't. I can occasionally pen a decent phrase and when I put the work in I can string enough words together to make a decent point. If I bother to proofread it and spend a couple extra minutes to polish what I've written the grammar nannies may not shriek in horror and I'm usually capable of getting the point across quite well. But, for the most part I exploit the medium of blogging - links, excerpts, quick references, etc... - in such a way which makes much of what I do not Real Writing. People may be interested in what I say, but it's rare that they're all the interested in how I say it. This isn't self-deprecation, just an acknowledgement that what I do on this blog isn't for the most part writing in the way we normally think of it. No prose contest winning entries in part because I'm just lazy.

The Editors can write. Someone send The Editors a check.


In comments, Bobby from the Paul Krugman archive let us know that CNN has a bleeped version of the video on its front page.

...Official transcript:

HENRY: And the "Strategy Session" continues on INSIDE POLITICS. Still here: James Carville and Robert Novak.

Katherine Harris made a name for her self during the Florida recount in the 2000 presidential race. She was then Florida's secretary of state. She went on to the House of Representatives.

Now she wants to move over to the United States Senate. Today she got the news that the speaker of the Florida House won't challenge her for the Republican nomination. In the meantime, Harris is blaming unnamed newspapers for tarnishing her image by doctoring her makeup with Photoshop. -- that computer program. Bob Novak, have you been investigating this make-up story?

NOVAK: No, but I've had the same experience that she did. A lot of my trouble in the world is that they've doctored my make-up and colorized me in a lot of newspapers on my picture. So, I sympathize with her.

HENRY: This is breaking news. I've haven't heard this.

CARVILLE: Breaking news. Who did it? What paper?

NOVAK: Well, I don't. I can't tell you.

CARVILLE: Yes. You know the two happiest people in America today about this decision, is Bill Nelson and Jay Leno. I mean --

HENRY: Bill Nelson the Democratic Senator.

CARVILLE: The Democratic Senator and Jay Leno. That -- I mean, they're going to go nuts over this. They're messing with my make-up, but you really don't know who it is. I mean, let's say this: She's going to be good for the humor circuit. She's going to be good for the speech circuit and she's good for a lot. And I think that Nelson -- I think, it's probably no secret that the White House wanted the speaker to run and I suspect that the Nelson people are, you know, feeling pretty good here today.

NOVAK: A couple of points here: The first place, don't be too sure she's going to lose. All the establishment's against her and I've seen these Republican -- anti-establishment candidates who do pretty well. Ronald Reagan, I guarantee you that the establishment wasn't for him. We just elected a senator from Oklahoma, Senator Tom Coburn, everybody in the establishment was against him. She might get elected -- So, wait. Just let me finish what I'm going to say, James. Please, I know you hate to hear me, but you have...

CARVILLE: He's got to show these right wingers that he's got backbone. Show them you're tough.

NOVAK: Well, I think that's bullshit. And I hate that. Just let it go.

[much later]
HENRY: Thanks, James Carville. And I'm sorry as well that Bob Novak obviously left the set a little early. I had told him in advance that we were going to ask him about the CIA leak case. He was not here for me to be able to ask him about that. Hopefully we'll be able to ask him about that in the future.

Time Out for Bob Novak

Looks like CNN has sent him to the corner for awhile.


Just on CNN. The context with a discussion of Katherine Harris.

Carville: You've gotta show these right-wingers some kind of backbone, you know, the wall street journal editorial page is watching you show them you're tough.

Novakula: I think that's bullshit and I hate that...Just let it go

Then he pulled off the mike and walked off the set. at Media Matters.

...Think Progress provides the postscript from the host:

Thanks, James Carville. And I’m sorry as well that Bob Novak left the set a little early. I had told him in advance that we were going to ask about the CIA leak case, he was not here for me to be able to ask him about that. Hopefully, we’ll be able to ask him about that in the future.

...C&L has an alternative video.

Open Thread


Nazis Everywhere

Radical Mullah Stickypants Dobson equates stem cell research with Nazi experiments.


I certainly have no sense of why the circumstances behind the adoption of children by a Supreme Court nominee should merit a news story (see Drudge), but this kind of typical Drudgian "try to kill the story before it comes out" play suggests that maybe there is a reason.


Certainly the death of a prisoner during "interrogation" is of concern, but there's an additional issue here - the lack of outrage by our press at the regular stream of lies being fed to them by our government.

In a widely circulated statement, which has since been scrubbed from all Defense Department Web sites, the Pentagon announced that Mowhoush had died "during an interview with U.S. forces."
"Mowhoush said he didn't feel well and subsequently lost consciousness," the announcement claimed. "According to the on-site surgeon it appeared Mowhoush died of natural causes."
Pratt would soon learn that Welshofer had been using the sleeping bag technique on Mowhoush when the general died. But, according to his testimony, he didn't tell anyone what he knew about the interrogating officers' history with the general and the technique.

Open Thread

I am the very model of a modern major threadbot.

1, 2, 3, What are We Fighting For?


We actually misnamed the war on terror, it ought to be the struggle against ideological extremists who do not believe in free societies who happen to use terror as a weapon to try to shake the conscience of the free world.
-GWB, 8/6/04


Chris Bowers, Albert, Kyle, and Susie all have reports on last night's Meetup, including the all important Eschaton Sweat Report with a Beat. It was attended by various local candidates for office. I think '06 will be the year we sweep all of the Republican Reps out of the suburban Philadelphia counties. Though they'd all better start showing up to Drinking Liberally, like Patrick Murphy, Chuck Pennacchio, and Alan Sandals, as that's the only way to get elected in this town...

Grand Juries Everywhere


COLUMBUS — The burgeoning scandal swirling around Tom Noe, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, and top state officials has triggered the need for a third grand jury, prosecutors announced yesterday.

A federal grand jury will be empaneled in Cleveland to look into the broader investment practices of the bureau, an escalation of the inquiry that started with Mr. Noe’s failed $50 million coin funds and has moved into offshore hedge funds and other questionable investments.

Prosecutors also announced how they have divided the work:

• The federal grand jury that has been meeting in Toledo since June will continue to focus on whether Mr. Noe skirted federal campaign finance laws by giving others money to contribute to President Bush’s 2004 re-election effort.

• A state grand jury, empaneled Monday in Toledo, will focus on possible criminal activities in Mr. Noe’s rare-coin funds. It will be supervised by Julia Bates and Ron O’Brien, the prosecutors for Lucas and Franklin counties.

• The federal grand jury in Cleveland will focus on the remaining issues associated with the bureau’s investment portfolio. Both of Ohio’s U.S. attorneys — Greg White from the Cleveland office and Greg Lockhart from the Columbus office — will supervise the investigation.

Open Thread

He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument. -- Billy Shakes

Open Thread

He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument. -- Billy Shakes

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


President Makes It Clear Phrase Is 'War on Terror'

Published: August 4, 2005
GRAPEVINE, Tex., Aug. 3 - President Bush publicly overruled some of his top advisers on Wednesday in a debate about what to call the conflict with Islamic extremists, saying, "Make no mistake about it, we are at war."

In a speech here, Mr. Bush used the phrase "war on terror" no less than five times. Not once did he refer to the "global struggle against violent extremism," the wording consciously adopted by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and other officials in recent weeks after internal deliberations about the best way to communicate how the United States views the challenge it is facing.

Good Government

Doug Forrester style.

Open Thread

Because threads have feelings too.

Open Thread

Hopefully we are not threading over a cliff.

Open Thread

To infinity thread and beyond!

Limbaugh Pukes On Those Who Serve


Shocked, Just Shocked

Yeah, what Kevin says. Bush's shocking new statements on wanting to teach Intelligent Design/Creationism are nothing new.

As all at least moderately sensible people understand, the issue is not whether schools can teach creation myths or discuss various beliefs about the creation of the universe. The problem is teaching them either as Truth or alongside legitimate science in a science class.

Obviously most people who believe in some form of supreme deity are lowercase intelligent design believers of some kind, but that's entirely different from being believers in the "science" of uppercase Intelligent Design. People are free to believe, if they wish, that aspects of the universe including life suggest to them the presence of some form of divine hand. But that's spirituality and faith, not science. There is no genuine science of Intelligent Design and it has no place in science classrooms.

Kudos to our wonderful media for treating this as a he said/she said issue, where one side is the entire legitimate scientific community and the other side consists of a bunch of good Christian liars trying to dress their religion up as science. They tried once before with "Creation Science" and now they're trying again with "Intelligent Design."

Behind the Mustache

A lot of people are unhappy with my snark about Tom Friedman's column. I am, of course, all for expanding access to technology and think municipal wireless/broadband, discussed in the column, is something to applaud and promote, But all of that has little or nothing to do with improving cell phone service, and certainly nothing to do with how our cell phone service compares with that of Ghana. I realize cell phone service is, in this column, just another bad Tom Friedman metaphor for "a bunch of technology-related stuff which may or may not involve wireless technology in a general sense," but as with most late-era Tom Friedman metaphors it's neither appropriate nor illuminating.

While his praise for municipal wireless efforts should be applauded his failure to identify the key barriers to such efforts - intense lobbying by the masters of the universe who run Big Telecom - reduce the utility of his column. He makes it sound as if our failures in this area are due to some sort of general cultural failure, rather than a consequence of existing companies not providing the service while stopping efforts by others to do so.

Conservative Blog Taxonomy

Gotta know the players.

That Didn't Last Long

Treasury to sell 30 yr. bonds again.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Bush administration announced Wednesday that it is bringing back the 30-year Treasury bond next year, a move that would help finance the national debt and should hold appeal for investors looking for a safe, longer-term investment option in their portfolios.

The Treasury Department said the first auction of the 30-year bond will take place in the first quarter of 2006, with auctions held twice a year.

Treasury Secretary John Snow said the decision to revive the bond was based on "our commitment to prudent debt management and our desire to maintain cost-effective and diversified portfolios."

The United States stopped selling the "long" bond in October 2001, which turned out to be the last year the government produced a budget surplus. After that, though, it has racked up record amounts of red ink, helping to push up the national debt, which now stands at $7.8 trillion.

...barry provides more context.

Bill O'Reilly's America

Where we execute people who haven't been charged with any crime.

8 Inches Cut

Wanker of the day: JimmyJeff.


Don't be shy, come meet the crowd. Thanks to NYMary and Vicki and chicago dyke for organizing.


Looks like the DeLaelians are ascendant, and the Fristians are on the decline.

Finger on the Pulse

Never let it be said that Tom Friedman isn't in touch with the needs of the common man. What America demands most is, of course, better cell phone service.

Over There

I'm not one who thinks that every dead soldier in Iraq should receive massive coverage by the national media. Besides, there wouldn't be any time left for missing white women. Nonetheless, a mass casualty event such as the one today should get a little bit more coverage than CNN has bothered with in the last two hours.

Different Shades of Red

Hackett won the rural counties. Not knowing enough about that area of Ohio I won't offer any additional analysis.

The race was tighter than expected, with Schmidt winning her home county of Clermont, neighboring Warren County and Hamilton County, where Hackett, 43, is an attorney in Indian Hill.

Hackett won mostly rural Adams, Brown, Scioto and Pike counties.


People have been writing in and complaining about firefox/blogads for quite some time. Thanks to reader Ralph, I believe the problem is now fixed...

I Read the News Today


Open Thread

Hopefully we are not threading over a cliff.

Open Thread

Better thread than dead.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Sucks When Your Internet Connection Goes Out

I'm back...uh, what happened?

...holy crap, 52-48! A win would've been great, but I certainly didn't expect to do this well.

...Armando says it well:

New Ohio Democratic superstar Paul Hackett went into the lion's den of pure Red Southern Ohio and scared the pants off of the GOP losing by less than 4 points in the face of a NRCC promise to "bury him."

No spin - the GOP is on the run.

Let's remember what the Cook Report said earlier:

If Schmidt's victory margin is in double digits, this tells us that there is not much of an anti-GOP wind in Ohio right now. If the margin is say six to nine points for Schmidt, then there is a wind, but certainly no hurricane. A Schmidt win of less than five points should be a very serious warning sign for Ohio Republicans that something is very, very wrong, while a Hackett victory would be a devastating blow to the Ohio GOP.

Something is very, very wrong for the Ohio GOP.



580 precincts of 753 reporting
JEAN SCHMIDT 45,134 52%
PAUL HACKETT 42,342 48%



US HOUSE Ohio 2nd Dist
305 precincts of 753 reporting PAUL HACKETT 23,957 51%
JEAN SCHMIDT 22,846 49%



Schmidt: 24,527 votes (49%)
Hackett: 25,920 votes (51%)



US HOUSE Ohio 2nd Dist
175 precincts of 753 reporting PAUL HACKETT 13,512 51%
JEAN SCHMIDT 12,802 49%

...another link here.

...another source here, i think.

Open Thread

To infinity thread and beyond!

...looks like the net interest in election results is making it hard to actually get them. Here's another (slow) place to find them.

...more here, working for now.

Election Results

Out for awhile. Results should be available here and presumably somewhere here soon after the polls close at 7:30....

Not Too Late to Help Canvass

Polls open until 7:30. If you're in or near OH-02, go relieve some hot workers...

Santorum Hates the Declaration of Independence

Says "pursuit of happiness" is harming our country.

Now we know whose side Rick would've been on:

Staff Puke

Republican Rush Limbaugh on those who serve in the military.

Hackett was a "staff puke" in Fallujah.


The good kind.

Fresh Thread


Call Rep. Kirk

Annatopia explains.

you can contact rep. kirk's office by calling 202-225-4835. perhaps if they get enough calls today they'll issue a press release of their own refuting schmidt's claims before the polls close. it couldn't hurt to try. remember to keep it simple and be nice - kirk's folks didn't ask for this.

Inform Kirk's office, nicely, that Lying Jean Schmidt still has the press release up on the website, and as of yet has issued no retraction.

Schmidt Campaign Imploding?

Word is that Spankin' Joe Braun is too obsessed with what's being said about him on the internets to actually actively manage the campaign...

Project Wanker

Are there any honest conservatives?

Judith Miller - the Epic Miniseries

James Moore has written a long and comprehensive version of the Judy Chronicles. I think there's one point which isn't made clearly and plainly enough generally so I'll do it. Aside from everything else, it's hard to not conclude that Judith Miller is a fundamentally dishonest person, something which I thought would've concerned her defenders in the 4th estate.

(link thanks to Shaw Kenawe)

Team Schmidt, Liars

Ntodd provides in comments:

I just talked with Matt Townsend [Kirk press secretary] at Kirk's office and he told me that Schmidt's people had called him asking about Kirk's service record. He indicated that Kirk was "prohibited" from serving in Iraq but did serve *stateside* in OIF. That's all, and the next thing he knew they ran the press release.

So, Schmidt misrepresents Kirk's service and compounds the lie by accusing Hackett of being a liar.

Way to piss on those who served.

Swift Boating Continues

The Schmidt campaign continues their war against veterans. They're now calling Hackett a liar for claiming he'd be claiming he'd be the only OIF Vet to serve in Congress. Apparently, one current member of Congress flew missions over the northern no-fly zone in Iraq in 2000, before Operation Iraqi Freedom, and that therefore Hackett is a liar.

Chickenhawk squawk!

The real question is why does Jean Schmidt keep taking her eye off the ball?

Call the Schmidt campaign at 513-295-1960 and 513-575-0840 and ask how it's possible to have served in OIF before it even existed.

...To be clear, as far as I know Mark Kirk isn't misrepresenting his military service, the Schmidt campaign is doing it for him. Kirk's own website says he served stateside during OIF (one weekend a month as an intelligence officer in the Pentagon). There's no separate medal for serving in OIF, as the morons in charge decided to piss on the troops even further by lumping OEF and OIF together and giving only a GWOT Expeditionary medal, but unless there's some component of Kirk's service he's not advertising he wouldn't qualify for a GWOT medal. Again, this is no criticism of Kirk who, as far as I know, has not engaged in any resume puffery at all. It's all Schmidt, pissing on yet another Vet.

...oops, Terry corrects me. The White House did eventually change their mind and establish a separate Iraq campaign medal. Missed that.

Markos Can Now Retire

As a recipient of blogging's highest honor.

Markos aside, anyone who's seen Hillary Clinton in person knows that she is, in fact, "warm and enchanting" (much to my surprise, admittedly).

...just to add, "Hillary in person" reminded me very much of the Hillary that came out on Crossfire to give Tucker Carlson his shoe cake to eat - warm, friendly, witty. It's the only time I remember that her "TV persona" matched what I saw in person.

Kornblut - Stupidest Person Alive?

I wrote a version of this post last night and quickly pulled it because it required a bit more detail than I'd put into it. Josh Marshall does the work.

But, the answer is no. Anne Kornblut is not the stupidest person alive. More importantly, her editors aren't the stupidest people alive. They know what they're doing. They aren't stupidly buying into Novak's spin, they're deliberately carrying water for him.

Open Thread

Habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it each day, and at last we cannot break it. --Horace Mann

Open Thread

He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument. -- Billy Shakes

Monday, August 01, 2005

Blogger Ethics and the FEC Collide

Who knew there was such irresponsible outrageous partisanship being broadcast over the airwaves? We'd better convene an ethics panel stat...

Late Night


Open Thread

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


Shafer gives him about 1/100th of the whacking he deserves, but it's a start.

Save Ohio and America!

The ball is coming to attack!

When it does, who will you trust to defend America?

Jean Schmidt?

Or Paul Hackett:

On August 2, the choice is clear.

(picture thanks to pixie)

Stop Giving

Hackett campaign got over $40K today.

Johnson v. Novak

Larry Johnson on Novak's latest nonsense.


Stern goes after Limbaugh. Funny.


I was a bit puzzled by this:

There is a disturbing quality to all the recent chatter from talking heads, both conservative and liberal, urging Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist to retire from the Supreme Court.

Diagnosed with thyroid cancer and hospitalized recently with a fever, Rehnquist has undergone nearly a yearlong odyssey of fighting the disease. He's had a tracheotomy. He's undergone chemotherapy.

The media and political pundits continue to treat him as a barely functioning member of society and sound his death knell, citing survival statistics that are too often misleading.

No examples of any of these are given, but does anyone remember any pundit "urging" Rehnquist to retire? I imagine survival statistics for cancer were given, but has anyone really treated "him as a barely functioning member of society?"

Exciting New Logo

Playing around with this great logo that someone made for me months ago but I, in my lazy ways, never made use of. Change is so disconcerting.

Anyway, special thanks to the designer who also designed this award winning game called DaVinci's Challenge.

New Thread


Hackett Update

I don't have exact numbers, but it looks like Hackett's raised at least $20,000, $28000 including $6000 $7000 or so through the Eschaton community site, since the call went out...

Free Beer

That should be enough to attract you to this event, Philly area folk.

30 Grand

Brigham says team Hackett needs $30,000 to fund their election day GOTV efforts.

Paul Hackett is a Fighting Democrat and he's gambling, pushing, pull out all of the stops and running like his life depends upon it (if he loses, he'll probably be sent back in Iraq).

To Get Out the Vote, we need to raise $30,000 today. Here's why.

Last week, the netroots stepped up and delivered around $40K a day. The campaign gambled and put all of that on TV (the ads are great and a Democrat is leading the Republicans in gross points in every market in every medium!!!).

It worked, and now Independents are breaking rapidly our way. And Democrats in the district are so fired up that the far more than expected are signing up for GOTV.

This has drastically increased the cost of the GOTV mobilization. The enthusiasm over the weekend was more than expected and more was spend during the huge door-to-door effort. Now the campaign needs money for tomorrow to finish the job.

The cost breaks down to around $500 $50 a precinct with 600 precincts. The netroots best friend, Matt from ActBlue, is flying in right now to coordinate moving the money.

But we need enough to finish the job.

Your investments have made Hackett a contender. Please ask people to give one more time so we can win this in the field.

You can donate here or here.

[[contacting bob to, uh, clarify the math]]


Johnny Wendell is subbing for Stephanie Miller, and he's good...

Death to the Roundtable

Cenk Uygur has a post about the latest version of the traditional Meet the Press "journalists plus conservatives" roundtable. Aside from the perpetual lack of liberal voices on these things, which is of course an issue, I don't understand why journalists agree to appear on these things (and why their editors allow them to).

Journalists are limited in the range of "opinion" they're allowed to express on these things. Essentially, they are allowed to regurgitate current conventional wisdom or offer up "liberals say..." or "conservatives say..." type of sentences. They're placed in a conversation with partisan hacks, who are not constrained by anything at all. Even if there was an actual liberal on for balance I would still object to journalists appearing in these formats.

Open Thread

Rarely is the question asked: is our children threading?

Scrap Heap

Uwe Reinhardt:

When our son, then a recent Princeton graduate, decided to join the Marine Corps in 2001, I advised him thus: "Do what you must, but be advised that, flourishing rhetoric notwithstanding, this nation will never truly honor your service, and it will condemn you to the bottom of the economic scrap heap should you ever get seriously wounded." The intervening years have not changed my views; they have reaffirmed them.

Unlike the editors of the nation's newspapers, I am not at all impressed by people who resolve to have others stay the course in Iraq and in Afghanistan. At zero sacrifice, who would not have that resolve?

Open Thread

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

Open Thread

To infinity thread and beyond!

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Open Thread

He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument. -- Billy Shakes

Schmidt Media Strategist - Former Blade Reporter and Good Buddy of Noe


Wenzel, a longtime GOP campaign worker in Oregon, spent 10 years on the Blade politics beat before returning to the world of political consulting in May, virtually the day after he left the paper. One of the key contacts he made along the way was the man now at the center of the Coingate accusations, Tom Noe, a major Republican fund-raiser who attended the wedding of Wenzel's son, P.J., a state GOP employee. Noe's wife, Bernadette, even praised Wenzel during a GOP Lincoln Day Dinner this spring. "It was obvious that [Wenzel] was a Republican, he never hid the fact," Dennis Lang, interim chair of the Lucas County Republican Central Committee, told me last month. "But his work stayed in neutral ground."

Not according to the Lucas County Democratic Party, which devoted a page on its Web site to blasting Wenzel for alleged inaccuracy and bias. Suspicions about partisan leanings were further fueled when Wenzel signed on as media strategist for Jean Schmidt, the GOP nominee for an open Cincinnati-area congressional seat that voters will fill in a special August election (she won a primary on June 14). Disclosure records show Wenzel received $30,000 from Schmidt's campaign on May 16, the day his last column for the paper appeared, and three days after he left the Blade. He got another $30,000 from those coffers a week later, according to records. Part of the money went to media buys.

Wenzel's career change also renewed rumors, so far unsubstantiated, that his ties to Noe and the GOP may help explain why he not only failed to uncover Coingate but also a related Noe scandal involving alleged illegal funneling of contributions to President Bush's 2004 campaign. Several Blade editors told me they'd heard rumors that Wenzel learned as early as January 2004 about a federal investigation into Noe's alleged illegal donations, none of which emerged in the press until this past spring.

Toledo Blade

Is this the only newspaper left in the country that does serious in-depth investigative reporting?

Senator Too Stupid to Breathe

Brownback on Face the Nation:

This will be one of, I believe, the first time we've ever used taxpayer money to pay for the intentional destruction of human life and that's what this does.

Lucky Lady

Judy Judy Judy.

Open Thread

I am the very model of a modern major threadbot.

Mercury Cookies

Schmidt really is mad as a hatter. Watch and marvel.

Iraq Fatigue

The headquarters building in Kismaayo port had a satellite connection, and in the poor-excuse for a dayroom the support staff had set up a TV that was kept on CNN all day. Of course, they watched it. And what they saw was not what they expected: What they say wasn't them.

At first, there had been a lot of updates from Mogadishu, especially after the fiasco of the Marines and Navy SEALs being met on the beach by the press corps that first night of the invasion -- they had watched that from their hotel room in Kenya. But now, prety much nothing. The occasional political report on Somalia from an on-camera journalist who more often than not wasn't actually filing the report from Somalia, and the occasional feel-good film clip showing a minor celebrity on a USO tour visiting the troops. No mention of Belgian casualties, no mention of American casualties, certainly no mention of Somali casualties. The biggest report they saw was when some dumb fuck of a Marine in Baidoa had killed himself -- suicide. That had kept CNN's interest for a whole forty-eight hours.

"Do you suppose it's possibly no one knows we're here?" Trevor asked one night, crossing the quay wall toward the boat. "What's my mom gonna say when they come to tell her I'm dead? `Who? Killed where?'"

The smaller and smaller Somalia became on CNN, the weirder and weirder life got in-country. That's how it felt to Jones, anyway.

The week after the Belgian squad was slaughtered in their own truck, the night Jones and the LCM-8593 had arrived in Kismaayo, CNN had reported a "minor skirmish" in a "southern Somali city" involving "U.N." troops. They did report three Somalis were shot in the port by the Belgians, but not that they had been executed at point-blank range, without a trial. No one know, because no one asked.

--From Christian Bauman's The Ice Beneath You

Major Bob Bateman, in Iraq:

From BOB BATEMAN: Just heard about this whole Natalie Holloway thing. Apparently there are some benefits to being deployed in a theater of war. I am disappointed. I thought I'd noticed all of you making solemn vows here, over the years, "No more." No more pre-teen beauty queens, no more missing white women, no more one-person crimes elevated to a national issue.

There is a Supreme Court seat in play, a UN nomination in stasis, death in the Sudan, death in London, and a few things occurring in Afghanistan and here, and our national news stations choose to run stories on the death of a privileged 18-year old? Here's an idea, if these stations are so short of news: Come here. Send an additional 5-15 reporters and cameramen. We have plenty of 18, 19, 20...25, 35, and 45 year-olds dying every day or three. Pick some. Tell their stories to America. Learn who they were before they came here. Follow up on the latest developments in their units. See how their buddies are doing. Interview (when they are ready, if they ever are ready) their parents, spouses, children. Find out who killed them. (Was it Sunni extremists, former Ba'ath party leaders, common criminals, Syrian provocateurs, jihadists...) Help America understand that we are, no kidding, at war.

And try to do it without Geraldo this time, ok? Please? From Iraq, Bob Bateman.

CNN's Reliable Sources:

Are Media Suffering From Iraqi Fatigue?; Television's Missing Women Fixation

Kurtz: The endless war, with casualties in Iraq day after day, are the American media growing tired of the story? Is there any way for journalists to measure progress there? And do critics of the war draw attention only when they're celebrities like Jane Fonda?

Plus, television's missing women fixation. Is it really about missing white women, preferably attractive and middle-class?


MICHAEL WARE, "TIME" MAGAZINE: Well, clearly it is very difficult. I mean, I'm sure there is a reader fatigue out there among the public, and editors, I think, are alive to that, and experience a certain fatigue themselves. So the days of the Iraq story getting a run for its own sake are definitely over. Now, it is much more of an even playing field, where an Iraq story has to compete with everything else. So really, it has got to stand on its own merits.

Siren's Up

Bob promises big news at 1...

Holy crap! I'm just shocked, shocked, to discover that Jean Schmidt is lying to the voters in Ohio. Just this morning, just TWO DAYS before the election, Schmidt stared into the camera and claimed she didn't know Tom Noe know, that she'd never met Tom Noe, and that she'd never before heard of Tom Noe.

Oops. I guess those statements are, as they say, no longer operative.

Remember, it's not the really really creepy personality, it's the lying.

Community vs. Village

Can anyone tell me what the difference between a community and a village is? I realize they're both metaphors, but don't understand how they actually differ?

SANTORUM: Oh, just, you know, pass in the hallway, you know, she made a comment to me about that it takes a village, and I responded, no, it really does take a family.

STEPHANOPOULOS: So no serious debate?

SANTORUM: No serious debate. I’d love to have a serious debate.

STEPHANOPOULOS: You may have drawn her out now, calling her a radical feminist.

SANTORUM: I’d love to have a serious debate. If she’d like to have a serious debate about her view of how society should be ordered and structured — I believe her view is one that says government and top-down. I believe my view is the view that’s held by most Americans, which means we need strong families and strong communities, and we don’t need government really dissembling those institutions, which I think her view of the world does.

(what the hell did he mean by "dissembling those institutions?")

Spankin' Joe Braun

This is funny.

Santorum Freakout?

Sounds like it...


...partial transcript:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let's get specific here, name one or two of these radical feminists who are on this crusade.

SANTORUM: Well, I mean, uh, you know, you have, you go, you go back to, um, ah, what's her name, well, Gloria Steinem, but I'm trying to remember, ah, [tsk], eh, can't remember the woman's name. That's terrible­anyway...

STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, that's kind of an important point. You point this broad brush ... radical feminists, village elders ... name one.

SANTORUM: (talking over Stephanopoulos) There's lots of, there's lots of, well, Gloria Steinem, there's one.

...full transcript here.

Open Thread

I am the very model of a modern major threadbot.

Open Thread

Because threads have feelings too.

Open Thread

Four score and seven threads ago.

Late Night

David david david.