Saturday, January 21, 2006

Wanker of the Day

Fact Free Joe Klein.

Let me add that Sirota links to this Klein column where he wrote:

The Schiavo case has provoked a passionate American conversation, which is taking place on a more profound level than the simple yes and no answers of the polls. Yes, the vast majority disdain the politicians who chose to exploit the case. And yes, a solid majority would not want their own lives prolonged in a similar situation. But the questions that cut closest to home are the family issues. What would you do if Terri Schiavo were your daughter? Why couldn't Michael Schiavo just give custody over to the parents? What do we do about custody in a society where the parent-child bond is more durable than many marriages? The President's solution, to "err on the side of life," seems the only humane answer—if there is a dispute between parents and spouse, and the disabled person has left no clear instruction.

And now he writes:

In fact, liberal Democrats are about as far from the American mainstream on these issues as Republicans were when they invaded the privacy of Terri Schiavo's family in the right-to-die case last year.

Oh. Kay.

Open Thread

A thread with family and friends. That sure as hell wasn't in the brochure.

Open Thread

If anyone sees my thread lying about, just try not to step on it.

Open Thread

Well, our old thread was just fine 'til you went and had it burned down.


Ever since I can remember there has been a fundamental undercurrent in discussion of peoples' leisure preferences reflecting the belief that ideally people would never have to leave their homes and that the only reason they do is that there are things outside the home that they ca'tn find inside the home. Mark Cuban discusses this way of thinking in the movie business and other issues.

Who the Hell is Sydney?

Max, Matt, and Brad.

Open Thread

A thread with family and friends. That sure as hell wasn't in the brochure.

There is Nothing More Important Than Blowjobs

Jamison Foser looks at what our national news media thinks is important.

Zombie Lies

The poster.

Prime Military Recruiting Opportunity

College Republicans.

Hate the Gay

How did Christianity get reduced to this? I don't get it. If I were a Christian who thought that there was a little bit more to my religion than gay-hating I'd be quite angry that the media equated Christian with Gay Hater and responded accordingly.


On On the Media, Rick Carr interviewed Massie Ritsch of the Center for Responsive Politics. Rough transcript:

M.R.: If you're talking about money which came from Abramoff's own pocket or from his wife, Pamela, then only Republicans received that money according to our research. If you include the Indian tribes who had hired Jack Abramoff as their lobbyist, they gave to Republicans and to Democrats. The overall picture is about 3.7 million dollars, 70% or so went to Republicans and 30% or so went to Democrats.

R.K.: The fact that some Democrats are giving money back does that perhaps increase the likelihood that people in the media and the public at large would see all of this money as tainted?

M.R.: Certainly some democrats who have chosen not to give money back have made that choice for that particular reason, that doing so just acknowledges that there's some sort of blemish on this money. Again, as far as we know, these were perfectly legal contributions. Let's be clear that the money that has been given back - either refunded to the people who gave it or given away to charity for purely political reasons. Because some the heat of the campaign seasons you can beat that opponents are going to be running ads where some sinister voice is going to be connecting them to Jack Abramoff.

R.K: What's your recommendation to a reporter who gets this sort of first wave information - x dollars given to Congressperson y - to look into whether there was a quid pro quo or whether there was more of an appearance of impropriety in this particular case - if a reporter calls and says I don't know a lot about this where should I go next what do you say?

M.R.: The only people who really know the details surrounding a particular gift are the giver and the recipient. And in the Abramoff case we've been telling this to reporters a lot. Listen, we don't know why this money was given at the time that it was, we suggest that you talk to the who were people involved. In some cases they have and we've learned interesting things about the particular timing of gifts - some gifts we were able to eliminate from our list actually because Abramoff wasn't working for the tribe at that point as their lobbyist. But you really have to spend some time digging, you have to go to a variety of sources to try and correlate these things because not everything is reported to the same organization. The federal elections commission doesn't collect everything. Lobbying reports, for example, are filed with house and senate offices. A lot of this stuff is done on paper. It's not going to be a quick hit story. Most likely these were perfectly legitimate contributions. There's a fine line between a legal political contribution and a bribe but it's that line that's going to keep members of congress out of jail or maybe send some too jail.

(thanks to reader b)

Conference Call Ringers

Hilarious. Roy Blunt holds conference call with bloggers. Participants shocked to discover softballs from ringers.

The Blunt people put a stop to that. They required us to email David All, one of Rep. Blunt's staffers, for permission to attend the conference call. Then, Mr. All asked us to submit our questions in writing, and informed us that the call would be moderated. Also, once we were on the line, we had to hit "*1" to be recognized before we could ask a question; otherwise, we were muted. That, though is a technical thing, which is no big deal.


Then, when Rep. Blunt opened the floor for questions, the next surprise was that the first question came from someone from GOP Bloggers. He wasn't a part of our group, i.e., the one organized by NZ Bear. How did he get on the call? This guy then proceeded to throw a softball at Rep Blunt, essentially asking him if those naughty Democrats were just dirty liars for denying that they had anything to do with Jack Abramoff, and was the Congressman going to fight back properly? Then, the next questioner was from WTF? I mean, while Townhall has what is technically a blog, Townhall is nothing more than an organ of the Heritage Institute. And they weren't part of our group either. He tossed another softball at Rep. Blunt, asking why Blunt hadn't gotten support from Conservative icons. Icons like...well...Townhall. And NRO. [Townhall's Tim Chapman has notified me that he objects to my characterization of his question. He should feel free to publicly correct me at Just be sure to get the link URL to QandO right, Tim.—EDF]

So at this point it was obvious that, rather than just talking to our group, which was already organized, Rep. Blunt had pulled in ringers, and, having asked for questions in advance—which I declined to provide, by the way—had screened them prior to the conference call. So, at this point, I'm feeling like we're being played. Unlike the calls with the other candidates, which were unscripted, Blunt had turned this into the least spontaneous event possible.

The Blunt call was a disaster for Rep. BluntThen, Rep. Blunt just outright pissed me off. He said words to the effect that, while he understood that many of us supported someone else, and he knew we'd be writing up the call later, he hoped we wouldn't write or do something that would jeopardize our ability to work together later, and since he was gonna win—already had the votes locked up, in fact—we would be dealing with him.

(via corrente)

Open Thread

I don't care what time it is, unlock his cell, unstrap him, and bring him to the thread!

Open Thread

Wish I could thread.

Open Thread

The thread I bear is scorching me.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Wanker of the Day

WashingtonPost.Com's Jim Brady.

Let's get this straight. The Right hates honest journalism. Has run a 35 year campaign against it. Hugh Hewitt does almost nothing but blast regularly what he considers to be "the liberal media" which, of course, includes the Washington Post. All we, on the left, wanted was a straightforward correction and admission of error and a genuine attempt to correct the record.

So, who does Jim Brady run to for sympathy? Hugh Hewitt. Factual errors throughout.


yes, I think we already had a wanker today, but sometimes there are just too many damn wankers.

Open Thread

She does pretty well with threads from hell.


Lou Dobbs:
The Washington Post has shut down one of its blogs after a Washington Post executive wrote that disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff gave money to Democrats as well as Republicans. The comments weren't well received by many Washington Post blog readers, in fact using the blog to launch highly personal attacks against ombudsman Deborah Howell. For the record about a third of the money from Jack Abramoff and his clients did in fact go to Democrats and 2/3 to Republicans. That's the reality. Don't blog me! It's the fact. And poor Washington Post ombudmsan not being able to deal with reality on their own blog.

Yes, Lou, but that's not what she wrote.

Anyone got a drink?

Friday Cat Blogging

Video version. It's a bit dark and you probably want to show it at 2x size.

Zombie Lies

C&L has the video...

Memories of Joe Scarborough

Part 1.

Part 2.

Part 3.

Uh, Tim?

Noah writes:

I don't begrudge Orlean her delight in her new abode. But what possessed her to broadcast it to millions of New York Times readers? Yes, dozens of idiots do it in the Times "Home" section every year, but, perhaps naively, I've always expected journalists to show less inclination to flaunt privilege, especially when the privilege exists on this scale. Among other things, it puts the profession's habitual poor-mouthing in an especially unattractive light. And if we are to believe the growing body of evidence that the acquisition of real estate (especially in an overheated housing market) is somehow related to sex, then isn't showing the entire world your fabulous house a bit like opening your trench coat on Main Street when you've got nothing on underneath?

The main thing, though, is that an inclination to state forthrightly, "I have a gorgeous multimillion-dollar house in the country and you don't," calls severely into question the journalist's ability to identify with the ordinary people about whom one is called upon, at least once in a while, to write. The reverse (and entirely unearned) snobbery of Orlean's casual reference to "pointlessly huge" houses suggests that she maintains some shrunken vestige of this ability. But its true measure will be whether she woke up this morning feeling like a perfect ass.

Is it the "inclination to state forthrightly" or is it the, you know, owning of the damn thing.

Don't get me wrong, I don't begrudge anyone their wealth, I just think that it's pretty damn hard for wealthy people to identify with "ordinary people." More to the point, the me of today can barely empathize with the me who was in the financial situation I was in 3 years ago, and that person could barely empathize with the one from 3 years before that, and that person 3 years before that, etc... I think we're capable of adjusting to new financial positions fairly quickly, but once we do we lose the ability to empathize with those in our previous situations quite quickly as well.

Washington Post Civility

Oh, NOW I understand what they think constitutes civility.

"Rose Garden Holdings"

Oh my.

Why We Say "Fuck" A Lot

Jane has more on the latest nonsense from the Post. The problem really is that no matter how many times we try to kill right wing horseshit (or as Media Matters delicately calls it, "conservative misinformation") it keeps coming back to haunt us. It infects the media bloodstream. We politely ask for corrections. They don't happen. We start screaming for corrections. They still don't happen. Eventually some half-assed weaselly blame-the-uncivil-critics statement is released. We scream louder. And, then, the horeshit pops up again on CNN.

As we were talking about on Air America last night, this whole situation is really reminiscent of the 2004 Adam Nagourney incident. Rough version: Nagourney wrote an article which passed on Bush administration peddled horeshit about how after the handover to the transitional government in Iraq U.S. casualties had declined. But they didn't. No matter how one squinted at the data, casualties hadn't declined. There was no way to slice it and dice it to make it so. Many angry exchanges between people and Nagourney and the useless Okrent. Many denials from them. Finally half-assed correction and an Okrent column which revealed the name and hometown of a rather "uncivil" reader because of his dastardly incivility.

Major newspaper has big megaphone. Readers generally have no megaphone. Journalists have responsibilities and these ethics I keep hearing about, including the responsibility not to be as factfree as they keep claiming blogs are. When you explain, calmly and repeatedly, that 2+2=4 and they keep denying it you get a little mad. Civil behavior isn't about restraining from insults or obscenities, it's about behaving like a fucking decent human being.

Zombie Lies

No matter how hard we try to kill them, they keep coming back to eat our brains. Kyra Phillips, just now on CNN:

The Washington Post turned off the reader comments feature on after it was flooded by what the Post describes as personal attacks, profanity, and hate speech. is a site dedicated to sharing news by and about the newspaper. What set off readers was a Sunday column by Post ombudsman Deborah Howell who wrote that corrupt former lobbyist Jack Abramoff gave money to Democrats as well as Republicans. That's true but most of the money went to Republicans.


Good News and Bad News

A miracle has occurred and the Sunday talk shows will be Biden-Free.

The bad news is that the same can't be said about Lieberman.

Uh, Congressman?

This is pretty funny, and revealing:

Ohio Republican Chairman Bob Bennett said Thursday that he'd ask Rep. Bob Ney to resign from Congress if he were indicted on felony charges.


"No party boss tells my constituents what to do," Ney said. "They will decide this thing."


Asked if Ney planned to step down if Bennett urged him to do so, Ney said: "I would say if he asked me to step down that he'd better look in the mirror because glass houses break easily.

Shorter Bob Ney: I'm a crook, but so is he, so he'd better shut his piehole before I make a deal on his ass.

Miraculously Bennett backed off.

The Race is On!

Who will be the first conservative to claim that Star Jones is a liberal?

Washington Post Beta

The General gives us a sneak peek of the new Post format.

Tell Chris Matthews What You Think

Chris Matthews.

Won Any Elections Lately?

Thought not.

Open Thread

You know there are quite a few American threads that are highly underrated. This, unfortunately, is not one of them.

The Votes Have Been Counted

Though I'm sure he'll be back:

Ahmed Chalabi, a Shiite politician once favored by the United States to lead Iraq after Hussein, did not receive a seat.

Bloggity Blog

I'll be on NPR's Radio Times in about an hour talking about... what else. It's produced here in Philly and you can listen to the stream but it's also on in some other cities around the country.

Wanker of the Day

Chris Matthews, who sounds a lot like Benito Mussolini.

Faculty Spying

I keep starting and stopping posts on this subject because I haven't quite find a way to express some thoughts in a way which probably won't be misinterpreted (perhaps because the thoughts are a bit muddled), but let me just add that none of this would be an issue at all if these idiots weren't plugged into the conservative media machine. The point is to intimidate, and the power to do so doesn't come from some idiots with a web site it comes with the implicit threat that you'll show up on O'Reilly one day and suddenly "professor nobody" will become Wingnut Enemy #1 over some out of context classroom quote. Classrooms aren't really public spaces and professors generally aren't public figures but the conservative bullshit machine rarely respects such boundaries.

Homage to Hitchens

From the Editors.

Open Thread

Threads aren't just cute like everybody supposes.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Fair Use For Educational Purposes

The Shrill One:

The new prescription drug benefit is off to a catastrophic start. Tens of thousands of older Americans have arrived at pharmacies to discover that their old drug benefits have been canceled, but that they aren't on the list for the new program. More than two dozen states have taken emergency action.

At first, federal officials were oblivious. "This is going very well," a Medicare spokesman declared a few days into the disaster. Then officials started making excuses. Some conservatives even insist that the debacle vindicates their ideology: see, government can't do anything right.

But government works when it's run by people who take public policy seriously. As Jonathan Cohn points out in The New Republic, when Medicare began 40 years ago, things went remarkably smoothly from the start. But this time the people putting together a new federal program had one foot out the revolving door: this was a drug bill written by and for lobbyists.

Consider the career trajectories of the two men who played the most important role in putting together the Medicare legislation.

Thomas Scully was a hospital industry lobbyist before President Bush appointed him to run Medicare. In that job, he famously threatened to fire his chief actuary if he told Congress the truth about cost projections for the Medicare drug program.

Mr. Scully had good reasons not to let anything stand in the way of the drug bill. He had received a special ethics waiver from his superiors allowing him to negotiate for future jobs with lobbying and investment firms - firms that had a strong financial stake in the form of the bill - while still in public office. He left public service, if that's what it was, almost as soon as the bill was passed, and is once again a lobbyist, now for drug companies.

Meanwhile, Representative Billy Tauzin, the bill's point man on Capitol Hill, quickly left Congress once the bill was passed to become president of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the powerful drug industry lobby.

Surely both men's decisions while in office were influenced by the desire to please their potential future employers. And that undue influence explains why the drug legislation is such a mess.

The most important problem with the drug bill is that it doesn't offer direct coverage from Medicare. Instead, people must sign up with private plans offered by insurance companies.

This has three bad effects. First, the elderly face wildly confusing choices. Second, costs are high, because the bill creates an extra, unnecessary layer of bureaucracy. Finally, the fragmentation into private plans prevents Medicare from using bulk purchasing to reduce drug prices.

It's all bad, from the public's point of view. But it's good for insurance companies, which get extra business even though they serve no useful function, and it's even better for drug companies, which are able to charge premium prices. So whose interests do you think Mr. Scully and Mr. Tauzin represented?

Which brings us to the larger question of cronyism and corruption.

Thanks to Jack Abramoff, the K Street project orchestrated by Tom DeLay is finally getting some serious attention in the news media. Mr. DeLay and his allies have sought, with great success, to ensure that lobbying firms hire only Republicans. But most reports on the project still miss the main point by emphasizing the effect on campaign contributions.

The more important effect of the K Street project is that it allows the party machine to offer lavish personal rewards to the faithful. If you're a congressman, toeing the line on legislation brings you free meals in Jack Abramoff's restaurant, invitations to his sky box, golf trips to Scotland, cushy jobs for family members and a lavish salary once you leave office. The same rewards are there for loyal members of the administration, especially given the Bush administration's practice of appointing lobbyists to key positions.

I don't want to overstate Mr. Abramoff's role: although he was an important player in this system, he wasn't the only one. In particular, he doesn't seem to have been involved in the Medicare drug deal. It's interesting, though, that Scott McClellan has announced that the White House, contrary to earlier promises, won't provide any specific information about contacts between Mr. Abramoff and staff members.

So I have a question for my colleagues in the news media: Why isn't the decision by the White House to stonewall on the largest corruption scandal since Warren Harding considered major news?

Baby Scottie Today


The terrorists started this war, and the President made it clear that we will end it at a time and place of our choosing.

I had no idea we got to choose when it was over. Um, why not now?

The Cheney Standard

I find Cheney's "haven't been in hit more than four years" line pretty amusing. Because, you know, remember how the 20th century in the US was just a nonstop series of foreign terrorist attacks on US soil.

Fact Free Reporting

The battle never stops.

Open Thread

So when do we destroy the thread already?

Congressional Insider Trading

Josh Orton lays out pretty well the issue of "congressional insider trading." Short version: Congressional staffer knows what goodies are in a bill being voted on in the middle of the night, leaks it to someone on the outside, they make a killing on the stock market.

It's technically legal if there are no kickbacks involved, although it rather defies belief that if this is widespread activity that there wouldn't be kickbacks.

Obviously this should be against Congressional rules and against the law, but more than that it's something the financial industry should be up in arms about. While it does allow a small minority to make a quick buck, they're making it at the expense of everyone else in the biz. They're getting hosed and they should be pissed.

Criminal Defense

It really amazes me how slow the brain trust in DC is to wake up to this. The president knows he brokes the law. The justice department knows and admitted he broke the law.

Their excuse? He's the president and he has the right to break the law.

If only Bob Woodward were still alive...

Well That's That

Do Republicans believe that the president is the "sole organ" of foreign policy and that power gives him the right to do anything he wants to American citizens in pursuit of that?

So much for everything I ever learned about how this country was supposed to work.

Delicate Flowers

It really is ridiculous. I don't think the Post is obligated to have a comments section, but I'd read through most of the comments and there wasn't any "hate speech" or over the top "personal attacks" and I don't even remember seeing any profanity though I wouldn't be surprised if some was there. Not everything which is a bit mean is "hate speech" or a "personal attack."

The Post said they wanted a discourse, but part of the reason people were rather angry was that Howell was not providing honest discourse.

So, they blame their readers. Nice job!

Open Thread

Threads aren't just cute like everybody supposes.

Open Thread

There's nothing we can't face except for threads.

And the Comments Disappear


More on Howell

From Jane.

Indian tribe money is not implicitly dirty, any more than any of the directed money from any of Abramoff's other clients is dirty money. The reasons the tribal money has a central part in this story is that Abramoff ripped off the tribes.

Politicians may see any Abramoff-related money as radioactive and return it. That's fine. But the tribes were the victims, not the criminals.

Medical Savings Accounts

So, the central idea of Bush's SOTU is, supposedly, going to be medical savings accounts which are probably about the worst idea ever. I don't understand why we're supposed to throw a bunch of money in the bank that we can only use if we can get sick. Why don't we just make all health care expenditures tax deductible?

But that isn't the worst problem with medical savings accounts. Basically they encourage young and healthy people to not buy health insurance, which makes the pool of insurance buyers on average older and sicker and more expensive, further driving up insurance rates, further driving healthy people out, etc... And good luck getting any insurance after you've gottten a couple pre-existing conditions (Translation: gotten sick once or twice) under your belt, unless you can get it through your employer.

Worst. Ideas. Ever.

Altio Whip Count

Kos has started. I just got a press release from Salazar who is voting no, too.

Democrats Advertised No:

Baucus (MT)
Durbin (IL)
Harkin (IA)
Kennedy (MA)
Leahy (VT)
Mikulski (MD)
Salazar (CO)

Advertised Yes:
Nelson (NE)


The guardians of our elite discourse.

MATTHEWS (1/18/06): Have you gone to see it yet? I’ve seen everything else but that. I just—
IMUS: No, I haven’t seen it. Why would I want to see that?

MATTHEWS: I don’t know. No opinion on that. I haven’t seen it either, so—

IMUS: So they were—it was out when I was in New Mexico and—it doesn’t resonate with real cowboys who I know.


IMUS: But then, maybe there’s stuff going on on the ranch that I don’t know about. Not on my ranch, but you know—

MATTHEWS: Well, the wonderful Michael Savage, who’s on 570 in DC, who shares a station with you at least, he calls it [laughter]—what’s he call it?—he calls it Bare-back Mount-ing. That’s his name for the movie.

IMUS: Of course, Bernard calls it Fudgepack Mountain...

Thank God Matthews and Imus are credentialled members of the media. Thank God for the wonderful Michael Savage.

"Pretty Big Prostitute"

CNN: The most trusted name in news.
ha ha.

Donut Hole

As Kevin rightly points out, this first stage of the Bush/Delay Medicare Drug Scam is just the warmup for round two.

Once total spending on drugs hits $2250, the scam plan stops paying for drugs until total spending hits $5100. Anger and chaos to follow...

Shorter Deborah Howell

Words don't actually mean anything.

I miss the old Deborah Howell. The one who said:

10. Accuracy is not just the most important thing; it’s the only thing. The American Society of Newspaper Editors recently did an excellent study on the credibility problems of American newspapers. The No. 1 complaint is that newspapers just don’t get facts right. Misspelled names and words; wrong addresses; wrong times. Simple stuff. This is not rocket science.

When a job seeker writes me a letter and misspells my name or has my title wrong or a misspelled word or a grammar error, I either ashcan the letter or write and tell them to get a new trade.

Sweat the small stuff. Have you heard the line: “If your mother says she loves you, check it out”? Tattoo that inside your left eyelid, and don’t forget it.

9. Don’t be afraid to look dumb and ask stupid questions. Accuracy demands it. I was once sent on two minutes’ notice to interview U.S. Sen. Gene McCarthy on his farm price support bill when I was a reporter in Minneapolis. I didn’t know anything about farm price supports. So I threw myself on the mercy of McCarthy and his aide. First they educated me, then they told me what was important about his bill, and then they told me who to call for criticism.

There was an old, wise judge – J.D. Todd – in Nueces County, Texas, when I was covering cops and courts for a radio and TV station. He could look at me and know whether I understood what was going on or not. He knew I had a noon deadline. As I would leave to call the office, he would say, “Debbie, approach the bench.” And I’d go up and he’d say, “You sure you understood all that?” And if I didn’t, he’d explain it to me.

Cops and politicians aren’t always trying to hide something from you. Let them help you when you need it. And if indeed they are hiding something, someone will know about it and probably will tell you if you keep your ear to the ground.

8. So you violate the 9th and 10th Commandments and make a mistake. Admit it. Know when to say you’re wrong. Know when to say you’re sorry. Don’t get defensive about it. Remember, daily journalism is the first rough draft of history. And we never get it all right all the time. That’s why God made corrections. Let me give you two great examples of personal humiliation.

We inadvertently left the school lunch menus out of the Sunday paper when I was editor in St. Paul. We got thousands of calls from angry parents who used that list to decide whether to pack lunches for their kids.

Then we got the snowplowing days screwed up on a snow emergency and caused hundreds of our readers to get parking tickets. Those both caused Page 1 corrections that I personally wrote. Another great moment in American journalism.

7. Don’t be a jerk. Too many young reporters act like you can’t get a story without being rude. Be friendly. You’d be surprised how far you can get on a smile and a pleasant manner. When I was a kid police reporter in Corpus Christi, Texas, I baked cookies for the dispatchers. They called me before the competition when there was a hot story breaking. They once sent a patrolman to fix my flat tire.

6. Have respect for the English language. There are rules. Follow them. Nothing irritates our readers and viewers more than grammatical errors or making up words. The Washington Post the other day said the president “motorcaded” somewhere. Motorcade is a noun, not a verb.

An editor working for me was having a particularly hard time with a very good reporter whose grammatical skills left something to be desired. He gave her a page filled with nothing but little marks. He told her, “This is a page of commas. Please learn how to use them.”

To you, I would say buy a paperback copy of Strunk and White’s “Elements of Style.” Read it. Use it.

5. Treat your trade, your sources, your audience and the janitor with respect. Be someone who gives a damn about your town, even if you’re just passing through.

Give folks the benefit of the doubt. Put yourself in the place of the people you’re covering. If your daughter has just drowned, would you want a photographer sticking a camera in your face? I think that we should never fail to cover the news, never fail to expose what needs to be exposed. But I also think we should never fail to remember we’re reporting on people with reputations and families that we can carelessly ruin.

As Associated Press President Lou Boccardi said in a speech, “Should we not re-examine standards which, on some days, seem to foreclose from our readers any suggestion that anything, anywhere is being done right by anybody?”

I remember sitting on my front porch steps in St. Paul at midnight in my PJs waiting for a copy boy to bring a picture to me so I could make a decision on whether to run it on the front page in the final. It was a dramatic picture of a fireman holding the body of a 2-year-old, not unlike the famous picture of the fireman holding the body of a child after the Oklahoma City bombing.

The body of this child was burned. I couldn’t put it in the paper. An old boss of mine told me, “Don’t ever put anything on the front page that will make your readers want to throw up in their cereal in the morning.”

But that wasn’t the reason. I couldn’t bear to think of the parents of that child seeing the picture on the front page.

Wrong Again

Is Malkin ever right?

Of course, the New York Times has decided that a conclusion that the administration broke the law deserves prominent page 19 treatment. Much less important than, say, "As Smoke Clears, Tobacco Maker Opens Lounge."

The Conways

Know your VRWC players.

Broder Gets Shrill

Yes, you have to read it through the David Broder filter. He's not likely to actually be inducted into the the Occult and Hermetic Order of the Shrill any time soon. But, nonetheless, for Broder this is indeed shrill. I'm feeling nice so I won't bother to remind the world what Broder said back in Monica days.

Danny Boy

The 2nd worst ombudsman in the history of journalism is headed to Harvard for a bit. Maybe he'll give lectures about how the primary job of the ombudsman is to humiliate your readers in print by publishing the contents of their private emails.

Fearing the Facts

When the facts themselves are biased the press is scared to report them. More than that, they deliberately play stupid.

Open Thread

A thread with family and friends. That sure as hell wasn't in the brochure.

Open Thread

So when do we destroy the thread already?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Can't keep that up. Anyway, the point is that parody is protected speech, yadda yadda yadda, and Mel Gibson is a wanker.

Well, My Secret Is Out

I can't believe you bought that "Duncan Black" crap for all these months. "Duncan Black" was just my porn name, back before I got famous. Suckers.

Anyhoo, I just thought I'd clear up a few things. A lot of you misunderstood me when I had that nice chat with Crazy Jesus Lady Peggy Noonan (don't get me wrong, I love me some Jesus, but she's nuts!). She's sure clueless, as is everyone else out there. Here's what I said to her:

I have friends and parents of friends who have numbers on their arms. The guy who taught me Spanish was a Holocaust survivor. He worked in a concentration camp in France. Yes, of course. Atrocities happened. War is horrible. The Second World War killed tens of millions of people. Some of them were Jews in concentration camps. Many people lost their lives. In the Ukraine, several million starved to death between 1932 and 1933. During the last century, 20 million people died in the Soviet Union.

Hey, lots of people died. Some of them were Jews! Most of them weren't Jews! As my pal Linda Richman would say, no big woop!

[guest post by "Mel Gibson"]

They Write Letters

Mel Gibson threatens to sue Mel Gibson.

Open Thread

Threads aren't just cute like everybody supposes.

Where Do They Find These People?

WaPo ombudsman says she has new policy of not responding to criticism. Or something.

Little Scotty Liarpants

For quite awhile McClellan would do this little dance with the press corps such that whenever they questioned his honesty he'd emphasize and re-emphasize that he'd always been honest with them, and they seemed, for the most part, to buy that.

But lately he's just been so full of shit.

Wanker of the Day

Prize shared by Hugh Hewitt and CNN.


I hear the sound of chickenhawks squawking.

If the Rude Pundit Wrote A Song... might sound something like this. Extra rude .mp3 file. Consider youself warned.

Band is Hamell on Trial.

The Terrible Twos

Ivo Daalder writes:

America's power and influence in the previous century was built not just on its military and economic prowess, but especially on the belief of many that it would use its power to the benefit of all rather than of the United States alone. But that view of the United States as a benevolent power is now gone. America's image in the world has been tarnished by launching an unnecessary war of choice, flouting international law, and its appalling abuse of detainees. Polls indicate that large majorities in Europe have an unfavorable opinion of America and, shockingly, that a majority of Europeans now believes the United States poses the greatest threat to international security.

When trust is broken, a commitment to diplomacy can only do so much. When an American secretary of state has to spend an entire week in Europe to argue that the United States does not torture people -- and leave without having convinced anyone that she's speaking the truth -- you know something profound has changed in America's relations with the world. In such circumstances, a willingness to talk, to negotiate, even to compromise is not enough. It will take a new administration, fully committed to restoring trust in an America rededicated to the rule of law, to begin to reverse the damage that has been done.

I've made this basic point a few times. America's post-war power in the world has depended in large part on a perceived benevolence and general idealism. As a nation we had a kind of admirable idealism even if we certainly failed to live up to it at times. One can take a cynical view of those failures, or one can at least believe that the existence of those ideals is important. Sure it requires a bit of ignorance and naivete to say "We're America! We don't DO that kind of thing!" but there's nonetheless something nice about the fact that our own self-perception, if a bit of a whitewash of the facts, embodied that idealism.

But the Bush administration has done away with all of that. Instead of ignoring our imperfections we've proudly made them all official policy. We justify these things by pointing out that there are even worse people in the world than us! Instead of trying to lead the world we've thrown temper tantrums at it.

Time to grow up...


I'm a broken record on this subject and some days I think I'm one of those crazy people who is convinced he sees something so utterly obvious and can't understand why everyone else doesn't see it too. Maybe I'm wrong, or maybe it isn't obvious, or maybe it's so obvious that no one else bothers to point it out.

The population is getting older. While the "let them eat cat food" crowd at the Washington Post and the general center right "pain caucus" of "serious Democrats" and their fellow travellers see this as a looming fiscal crisis which necessitates drastic cuts to government services for those elderly people, in truth eventually the opposite will happen. Old people vote. They vote for politicians who support public services they like. They're perfect for appearing as sympathetic victims on local news making politicians look bad when things don't go as they should. And there are going to be more of them. Many many more of them. In twenty years time we won't be talking about how we need to cut Social Security. Instead politicians will be falling all over themselves to double the payments and to promise new luxury retirement homes for all.

The only question is how this will be done. Will the Republicans be in charge and waste immense amounts of money by giving it all to Big Pharma or will it be done more sensibly?

Stonewall Scottie

Look, back during the Clinton administration this kind of thing would've dominated cable news every night. Howell Raines would've been writing thunderous editorials demanding that we knew every detail of Abramoff's White House connections. Tweety would be cranking out spittle at a record rate, screeching about the "culture of corruption" in the White House. Nightline would've put up a little "X days since White House refused to disclose information about Abramoff contacts with the president" graphic on its show.

Words Speak Louder Than Actions

Instead travelling around the country trying to convince people that the Medicare drug plan isn't a total clusterfuck why don't you, you know, fix it.

President Bush's top health advisers will fan out across the country this week to quell rising discontent with a new Medicare prescription drug benefit that has tens of thousands of elderly and disabled Americans, their pharmacists, and governors struggling to resolve myriad start-up problems.

This is also one of those articles that you have to read with the special super secret discerning reader journalist decoder ring to understand that what spite girl Ceci Connolly is trying to ever so gently inform the reader is that "they're lying."

In a call with reporters, Leavitt said enrollment in the program, called Medicare Part D, exceeded expectations and put the administration "well on track to meet our goal of enrolling 28 to 30 million in the first year." Last year, officials predicted 39 million seniors and disabled people would participate, according to documents published in the Federal Register on Jan. 28, 2005.

In the past month, 2.6 million people have signed up for a drug plan. Seniors have until May 15 to enroll.

In other words they're lying about what the expectations were and so far the enrollment hasn't even come close to meeting the new lowered expectations.

Republican Lobbying Reform

This is hilarious. Their "lobbying reform" just makes the bribery explicit by requiring a campaign donation with every free trip.


Not Just Liberals


WASHINGTON, Jan. 17 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Patriots to Restore Checks and Balances (PRCB) today called upon Congress to hold open, substantive oversight hearings examining the President's authorization of the National Security Agency (NSA) to violate domestic surveillance requirements outlined in the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

Former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr, chairman of PRCB, was joined by fellow conservatives Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR); David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union; Paul Weyrich, chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation and Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, in urging lawmakers to use NSA hearings to establish a solid foundation for restoring much needed constitutional checks and balances to intelligence law.

"When the Patriot Act was passed shortly after 9-11, the federal government was granted expanded access to Americans' private information," said Barr. "However, federal law still clearly states that intelligence agents must have a court order to conduct electronic surveillance of Americans on these shores. Yet the federal government overstepped the protections of the Constitution and the plain language of FISA to eavesdrop on Americans' private communication without any judicial checks and without proof that they are involved in terrorism."

Open Thread

When the apocalypse comes... thread me.

Open Thread

A thread with family and friends. That sure as hell wasn't in the brochure.

Open Thread

We saved the thread. I say we have to party.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Truth Demolishes Truthiness!

Good for the AP.

Open Thread

Well, our old thread was just fine 'til you went and had it burned down.

Open Thread

A thread with family and friends. That sure as hell wasn't in the brochure.


Big Media Ezra takes issue with Glenn Greenwald's post, thinking it in part to be an attack on authority. I didn't read Greenwald's post that way, and it wasn't what he meant, but it does let us advance the discussion a bit.

The industry of modern punditry is entirely anti-expert and anti-authority. Sure experts and authorities are brought on at times to educate the masses, though frequently those "experts" are simply experts because some right wing think tank bestowed the title on them, but most people who regularly comment on current events in the pages of newspapers and on various roundtable discussions on TV aren't usually experts in anything, and certainly aren't experts in all of the things they are brought on to opine about.

Punditry is all about credentials. Your standing as a pundit is derived from whatever fancy title you have and the number of hours you've logged on TV. Somehow one day you make it into the club and voila! You're a Pundit!

It wasn't bloggers who put Ann Coulter on TV with the chiron "constitutional scholar" (or something simliar) every night for a year...

Gore Statement


The Administration's response to my speech illustrates perfectly the need for a special counsel to review the legality of the NSA wiretapping program.

The Attorney General is making a political defense of the President without even addressing the substantive legal questions that have so troubled millions of Americans in both political parties.

There are two problems with the Attorney General's effort to focus attention on the past instead of the present Administration's behavior. First, as others have thoroughly documented, his charges are factually wrong. Both before and after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was amended in 1995, the Clinton/Gore Administration complied fully and completely with the terms of the law.

Second, the Attorney General's attempt to cite a previous administration's activity as precedent for theirs - even though factually wrong - ironically demonstrates another reason why we must be so vigilant about their brazen disregard for the law. If unchecked, their behavior would serve as a precedent to encourage future presidents to claim these same powers, which many legal experts in both parties believe are clearly illegal.

The issue, simply put, is that for more than four years, the executive branch has been wiretapping many thousands of American citizens without warrants in direct contradiction of American law. It is clearly wrong and disrespectful to the American people to allow a close political associate of the president to be in charge of reviewing serious charges against him.

The country needs a full and independent investigation into the facts and legality of the present Administration's program.

Uh, Journalists?

Regarding this Hillary flap, please just click this link and have fun.

Start Raising Money Already

Ned Lamont, the man who will beat Joe Lieberman.

Kos has more.

Powerful incumbents can be defeated. Pat Toomey missed taking down Arlen specter by about 16000 votes in a race with 1 million or so cast.

Open Thread

So when do we destroy the thread already?

"Inartfully Worded"

Some press critic, that Howie Kurtz.

Fort Washington, Md.: Reporter Sue Schmidt and ombudsman Deborah Howell have both asserted repeatedly that Jack Abramoff gave money to Democrats as well as Republicans. The FEC shows no record of any Democrat getting any money from Abramoff, period. Some Indian tribes who were among Abramoff's victims contributed funds to some Democrats, but suggesting that that somehow is a donation from Abramoff defies logic. How does the Post justify passing on what appears to be nothing but GOP spin as fact?
Howard Kurtz: Howell's column Sunday said that a number of Democrats "have gotten Abramoff campaign money." That was inartfully worded. I believe what she was trying to say, and I have not discussed this with her, is that some Democrats have received campaign cash from Abramoff clients, and that this may have been orchestrated by the convicted lobbyist. That's why you have a number of Democrats (as well as many Republicans, now including Denny Hastert) giving back the tainted dough or donating it to charity. Even National Review Editor Rich Lowry says this is basically a Republican scandal -- we are talking about a Bush fundraiser and Tom DeLay pal -- but where the tangled web has extended to Democrats, we need to mention that too.

Speaking of the Dirty Masses

CNN to hire Glenn Beck.

Elect Democrats

As I've said a couple of times the subtle encouragements to donate will become less subtle. It's embarrassing how much time candidates spend in some dark dungeon on the phone begging for campaign contributions. Time spent doing that is time not spent out among the people doing press the flesh politics which at least to me seems to be a bit more desirable.

Right now there are 3 candidates on the Eschaton community list. Have another candidate you like? Go give money to them.

The first candidate is Lois Murphy. She's running against the awful Jim Gerlach here in Pennsylvania. In '04 she came close enough that some called the race for her, but Gerlach managed to win it by a whisker in the end.

The second is Patrick Murphy, no relation to Lois. He's an Iraq war vet, really nice guy. Also running in PA. He does have primary opponents, one of whom was a Republican until about 5 minutes ago. I don't know much about the other one who just entered the race.

The third is Louise Slaughter. She's an incumbent, and my preference is to steer money to challengers, but Slaughter is a great friend of the blogosphere and has been spending a lot of time fighting the good fight instead of raising money. For this she was rewarded with a threatened primary challenge, though this has yet to fully materialize. In any case, Slaughter's "our kind of Democrat" and we should support those who support us.

I'll add a few more candidates at some point, and please feel free to give to anyone you like. But do give. A candidate does or says something you like? Reward them with a few bucks. The Dems make you proud one day? Show them some love. The more money they get from the "little people" means less time asskissing big donors and sucking up to the Washington power establishment.

The Gold Watch

Something Susie always reminds me of when we chat at Drinking Liberally is that for a long time getting a column was the reward for putting in years of service as a journalist. It was a weird, system, really, for a variety of rasons. First, it's not clear why spending 25 years writing "objective balanced copy" is actually good training to be a columnist. Second, it means your columnists are going to tend towards the older side, a strange strategy for an industry obsessed with getting younger readers.

But most of all what it does is create a mindset such that the right to express an opinion is something which has to be earned. It explains, in part, the antipathy of some journalists to bloggers. We stold their gold watch. The thing is it didn't start with bloggers. The "column is a reward for years of service" idea went out the window when newspapers started buying up more and more mostly conservative syndicated columnists, most of whom had little or no experience in journalism, providing fewer opportunities for their own journos to get that promotion.

And, as always, to the extent that the elite opinion makers are concerned about the great unwashed being part of the conversation, it's puzzling why they ignore talk radio and cable news blowhards. They brought the discourse into the gutter long before dirty people like me got there.

Assisted Suicide

Oregon's law upheld, 6-3. That's good. In any case I'm a bit curious - what precisely is the constitutional basis behind the conservative judges' reasoning that the feds can trump state law on this?

Invasion of the Dirty Masses

Glenn Greenwald discusses the silly obsessions of TNR writers.

...and, on a related note, Athenae points us to actual journalist Will Bunch's smackdown of the Post.

Hiding Needles In Haystacks

On quite a few occasions Bush asserted defiantly that wiretapping required court orders. It was a rather odd line to make its way into a speech, and now we know he kept saying it because he was disobeying the law.

He subsequently claimed that this was a limited program which only operated on people who had links to terrorism and who were getting phone calls from al Qaeda. This, of course, was untrue on its face as there is no way they'd have problems getting warrants from the FISA court for such things.

Now we know the program involved illegally spying on large numbers of innocent people with no connections to terrorism.

Through all of this the question really has been -- why? None of the claims by Bush defenders have held up at all. The only reason I can come up with that makes any sense is that if you institute a program which illegally spies on large numbers of innocent people it's much easier to hide the real targets of the operation.

Abu Gonzales

Liar. They just never stop.

Open Thread

Life?s a thread and we all play a part.

Open Thread

The thread I bear is scorching me.

Wanker of the Day

So early, but so deserving nonetheless.

Derek Willis.

...oh, and if you click through the links you'll find that the WaPo has engaged in mass deletion of hundreds of comments regarding Deborah Howell's hackery.


Monday, January 16, 2006

Scary Pictures

Since blogger has returned to me (thanks blogger support staff!) I'll repost this post which was MUCH MORE HILARIOUS with the scary pictures actually working and typos fixed. Besides, I spent ONE THOUSAND SECONDS to create the scary picture.

Think Progress
I see the scary satellite photos are out.

Everyone can play! Look what I found here in Philadelphia!

Joking aside, I suppose it's necessary to explain that just because I mock the inevitable rhetoric on Iran from the Bush administration and the wingnutosphere doesn't mean that I don't think a nuclear Iran thing would be a less than desirable development. But Iran Talk has nothing to do with what we're going to about that, Iran Talk is entirely about domestic politics. There's a difference between Talking and Doing, even if words have consequences, and the Iran PR campaign is more about domestic politics than actually doing anything about the problem.

But, as for how we got here let's remember that George Bush helped kill whatever reformist movement there was in Iran by referring to Iran as part of the "axis of Evil," thus making it easy to paint any Iranian reformer as "objectively pro-American." Much as I don't like the Bush administration I'm not actually hoping that France invades to liberate us and I imagine most Iranians feel much the same
way. The Bush administrations "isolate no matter what" tough talk certainly gives Iran a lot of incentive to get a nuke as quickly as possible.

And, of course, our great Iraqi adventure has made things like air strikes a wee bit difficult. The people in our new pet democracy/Iranian client state probably won't be too thrilled about that. So if there is a weapons development site to be taken out our hands are rather more tied on that account than they would have otherwise been.

I'll admit I worry less about a nuclear Iran than some. State sponsored nuclear terrorism/war would require a completely irrational actor, one even more irrational than North Korea's Dear Leader. Nuclear proliferation is a concern, but state proliferation less than the general wandering nuke issue...

And Here It Is

How many times has Bush told us that this was a limited program only for people who got phone calls from the Al Qaeda address book?

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 - In the anxious months after the Sept. 11 attacks, the National Security Agency began sending a steady stream of telephone numbers, e-mail addresses and names to the F.B.I. in search of terrorists. The stream soon became a flood, requiring hundreds of agents to check out thousands of tips a month.

But virtually all of them, current and former officials say, led to dead ends or innocent Americans.

F.B.I. officials repeatedly complained to the spy agency, which was collecting much of the data by eavesdropping on some Americans' international communications and conducting computer searches of foreign-related phone and Internet traffic, that the unfiltered information was swamping investigators. Some F.B.I. officials and prosecutors also thought the checks, which sometimes involved interviews by agents, were pointless intrusions on Americans' privacy.


"We'd chase a number, find it's a school teacher with no indication they've ever been involved in international terrorism - case closed," said one former FBI official, who was aware of the program and the data it generated for the bureau. "After you get a thousand numbers and not one is turning up anything, you get some frustration."


F.B.I. field agents, who were not told of the domestic surveillance programs, complained they often were given no information about why names or numbers had come under suspicion. A former senior prosecutor, who was familiar with the eavesdropping programs, said intelligence officials turning over the tips "would always say that we had information whose source we can't share, but it indicates that this person has been communicating with a suspected Al Qaeda operative." He said, "I would always wonder, what does 'suspected' mean?"

So, the administration was illegally spying on innocent American citizens. It was not only illegal but a colossal waste of resources. No one has yet to answer the question of why? If they really thought some schoolteacher had ties to international terrorism there's no reason the FISA court wouldn't give them a warrant.

Haven't we been here before...

Hitchy-Poo Sues Commander Codpiece

As does someone from the generally wingnutty Hudson Institute Hoover Institute.

There's something in the air in Washington tonight, and as much as I'd like to I don't think it's cause of Gore. Shuster was good on Hardball tonight, Blitzer was taking Bob Barr seriously, etc... Methinks there are a few in the power structure who have had their delicate feathers ruffled.

Hi Stacy

My bff Robert Stacy McCain, Assistant National Editor for the Moonie Times, has just joined the blogosphere! Welcome Stacy!

You can read about McCain in this great piece by Mike Signorile.

Or read what the SPLC has to say about him here and here.

A little bit at Media Matters.

There's a bit more at posts here and here.

McCain was a regular poster at freeperville until someone tipped me off about that and I passed it onto Signorile. They pulled all his posts after that, but I still have them.

Go say hi. Be nice.

Open Thread

There's nothing we can't face except for threads.

Something in the Water Today

Hillary today:

"We have a culture of corruption, we have cronyism, we have incompetence," she said. "I predict to you that this administration will go down in history as one of the worst that has ever governed our country."

Called Out

One of my favorite parts of Gore's speech was when he called out all the cowardly whiny ass titty babies hiding under their cheetoes packages:

Fear drives out reason. Fear suppresses the politics of discourse and opens the door to the politics of destruction. Justice Brandeis once wrote: "Men feared witches and burnt women."

The founders of our country faced dire threats. If they failed in their endeavors, they would have been hung as traitors. The very existence of our country was at risk.

Yet, in the teeth of those dangers, they insisted on establishing the Bill of Rights.

Is our Congress today in more danger than were their predecessors when the British army was marching on the Capitol? Is the world more dangerous than when we faced an ideological enemy with tens of thousands of missiles poised to be launched against us and annihilate our country at a moment's notice? Is America in more danger now than when we faced worldwide fascism on the march-when our fathers fought and won two World Wars simultaneously?

It is simply an insult to those who came before us and sacrificed so much on our behalf to imply that we have more to be fearful of than they. Yet they faithfully protected our freedoms and now it is up to us to do the same.

The actual speech was a wee different than the prepared remarks which is what I'm quoting, but you get the idea [ he didn't actually say the two world wars simultaneously part, which unless I'm confused makes no sense]

If a Tree Falls...

I'm not going to claim that CNN was obligated to carry a speech by a former vice president currently not directly involved in politics. But I do think responsible news organizations should ask themselves if there's actually any way that a prominent Democrat could get a full speech aired live on their networks, especially given the fact that they've run Bush's stock speech in full about 700 times.

I remember when CNN used to run Newt Gingrich's morning press conferences every day. That didn't seem too unreasonable to me, actually, fairminded person that I am. And, yes, Gingrich was in the majority at the time. But is there no way for the minority to ever have a few moments to get their message out?

Culture of Life

People can, you know, die when they can't get the drugs they need.

Open Thread

Wish I could thread.

Open Thread

There's nothing we can't face except for threads.

Elect Democrats

I can't speak for Al, but my guess is he wouldn't think it such a bad idea to, say, give a few bucks to Lois Murphy so that maybe we can have a few of those oversight hearings in 2007.

The Rantings of a Lunatic

Get the full speech by CRRRAAAAZY AL here.


Blogger still broken for me so if there are more than the usual number of typos, etc... that's why.

Parlor Games

Josh Marshall hits on a point I've been meaning to make a bit more clearly.

"Serious" foreign policy discussions are really just wankery for the chattering classes. The clowns are in charge and they're going to do it their way. It's why I mostly just focus on the politics of it. It isn't that I don't think there are genuine issues that need to be dealt with, it's that the idiots in charge are unlikely to deal with them in sensible ways. And, in fact, their primary focus with the Iran issue is politics because they have no idea what to do about the situation. Best to just thump their chests and then have their surrogates like Marshall Wittman talk about the lack of Democratic chest thumping is is proof that they are "weak" on national security.


You know, it's been almost 3 years since the Iraq war started?  Anyone yet have any idea when we'll know we've "won?"

GOP Groups



Steno Sue Schmidt on C-Span.

They – the Democrats have not been – a few have been sort of out there strident about it but there's a deafening silence on the part of a lot of people. And that's because actually Abramoff had – was giving a lot of money to Democrats, too.

Aside from the falsehood about Abramoff giving money to Democrats, on what planet have the Democrats been silent about this?  The DNC, Dean, Reid, Pelosi, have all been hitting this issue hard.   I know in Washington Post Land  if it's not on their own page A1  it didn't happen.  Of course in Washington Post land they feel free to manufacture facts to make Republicans happy.

What was it Prime Fighting Age Beinart's employee wrote the other day?  Oh yes, it was:

One last point. Back in the '90s Sue Schmidt took a lot of shit for her reporting on Clinton. Many liberals accused her of being a right wing shill. But she has written some of the best and most important Abramoff stories, pushing a scandal that could exact enormous damage on the Republican party. Now, I think her critics owe her an apology.


(tip from Central Scrutinizer)

Morning Dose of Stupid

From Roger Ailes here and here.

Open Thread

Wish I could thread.

Life is Like a Box of Bedwetters

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Just Kill Me

Open Thread

The thread I bear is scorching me.

Back in Pony Territory, Baby!


Here's one for WATB Holden:

(tip from desi)

Say Hi To Deborah Howell

You can express your innermost thoughts and feelings at the WaPo blog.

Bye Bob

Dirty Money

Josh tries to explain the concept of dirty money for the slow among the Washington press corps.

Let me just chime in too because Deborah Howell doesn't have the ability to comprehend this apparently:

The fact that clients of Abramoff, some of whom were explicitly cheated by him, gave to Democrats (or Republicans) means nothing in and of itself. Period. The fact that they hired a crooked lobbyist does not mean that they, or anyone they donated to, was necessarily crooked.

To the extent that such money were directed donations by Abramoff it makes the money a bit dirty, and I can certainly understand that the recipients may wish to part with it, but that in itself doesn't necessarily imply any ethical transgression on the part of the members receiving the money.

More Bloggity Blog

Just in case anyone at blogger reads. When I try to log in I get this:


We apologize for the inconvenience, but we are unable to process
your request at this time. Our engineers have been notified of this problem and
will work to resolve it.

And, I also keep getting a little pop up message from Firefox and random moments:

"" is a site that uses a security certificate to ecrypt data during transmission, but its certificate expired on 11/4/2004 5:06PM.

I've tried using both firefox and IE, and I've cleared cache/cookies on both...

More on Today's Wanker

Open Thread

Life?s a thread and we all play a part.

Open Thread

I don't care what time it is, unlock his cell, unstrap him, and bring him to the thread!

Bloggity Blog

Oddly I still can't seem to log in to blogger through the normal channels but someone directed me to this firefox blog editor and I can manage to log in that way. Or, at least, if this post works I can.

Wanker of the Day

Ombudsing is hard.
Democrats took no Abramoff campaign money.  None.
Taking money from Indian tribes is not in and of itself illegal or unethical.  Indian tribe money is not implicitly dirty money.
Taking money from Indian tribes who were bilked and cheated by Abramoff does not mean that you yourself are guilty of bilking or cheating those tribes.
This stuff is not complicated.  It's very simple.  People working in Washington for a long time certainly undertand these things.  Why they pretend to not understand them is a mystery.


One bright spot of the Alito hearings was that Biden managed to even exceed his own high standard for Excellence In Ridiculous Buffoonery that he became the much-deserved target of most of the hearing related jokes for the week.  Perhaps it was bad enough to spare us the annoying humiliation of his presidential primary camapign.  I gather Biden has no idea what he's in for with that one.  The minute he starts to campaign seriously all his Sunday chat show anchor pals will run him through the meat grinder.  Odd he's not aware of that.

Young Guns

John's right.  The old order needs to be swept away.  They've lost the plot.

Impeachment is a Remedy

So says Arlen.

Dead Blogger

Blogger's still broken and post-by-email is a real pain in the ass so
I'm not sure how much blogging there will be until it's fixed.

Open Thread

Threads aren't just cute like everybody supposes.

Open Thread

Wish I could thread.


I have to post this by email and the links are going to get screwed
up, but I think this is important so I may have to just post it as a dead link.

The country was never behind Clinton's impeachment but the media
begged for it. The country is much more behind Bush impeachment but
the media is silent.