Saturday, February 18, 2006

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Zombie Wingnuttery

Impossible to kill.

Local Events

Lois Murphy is having a few kickoff events for her campaign tonight and tomorrow.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Millionaire Amendment

People, including apparently the Lamont campaign, are getting this wrong.

Anti-war activists embraced Greenwich millionaire Ned Lamont for his money and his politics, but a recent campaign filing indicates Lamont might not spend too freely to underwrite a Democratic primary against U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman.

Some critics of Lieberman's support of the war in Iraq have been drawn by Lamont's willingness to challenge a three-term incumbent and encouraged by his ability to self-finance at least a portion of a steep, uphill challenge.

But under the "millionaire's amendment" to the federal campaign reform act of 2002, Lamont cannot spend more than $514,000 of his own money without providing a potential windfall for Lieberman.

Lieberman's donors would be able to triple their maximum contributions from $2,100 to $6,300 if Lamont's personal spending hits $514,000. The contribution limit for Lieberman donors would double again to $12,600 if Lamont's personal spending reached $1,028,000.


In a written declaration filed this month, Lamont notified the FEC he does not intend to spend above the $257,000 threshold, but Swan said the campaign intends to amend that declaration.

Swan declined to say how much Lamont would spend, though it now appears that exceeding $514,000 could be counterproductive. Lamont will use his personal funds for "seed money" to get the campaign started and partly offset Lieberman's fundraising advantages, Swan said.

"It just reinforces for me we have to go out and make this a grass-roots campaign," Lamont said. "That includes financial support."

Swan said campaign lawyers are researching whether Lamont's personal spending could rise without penalty under federal elections law if Lieberman's spending becomes excessive.

I don't know how much Lamont is worth and don't think he's obligated to blow his personal fortune on the race, but the Millionaire Amendment includes this other provision:

he Millionaires' Amendment also takes into account fundraising by the campaigns. Campaigns must use the "opposition personal funds amount" formula to determine whether an opposing candidate has spent sufficient personal funds in comparison to the amounts raised by the campaigns to trigger increased contribution limits

A candidate with a significant fundraising advantage over a self-financed opponent might not receive an increased contribution limit. In this way, the regulations avoid giving increased contribution limits to candidates whose campaigns have a significant fundraising advantage over their opponents.

Short version is that as long as Lieberman outspends more than Lamont generally it doesn't matter how much Lamont dumps into the campaign himself.

Wanker of the Day

William Beutler.

The Big Money

One thing I've been thinking about recently is the usual sniping about how bloggers are too stupid to know which candidates should be supported, the usual Washington Insiders Knows Best line. This is in part based on the Lump of Campaign Money fallacy, the belief that there's a fixed amount of campaign dollars to be raised and spent, which of course is ridiculous. And, generally, the insiders want candidates to be beholden to them so they don't really like candidates with outsider support.

But if the netroots spend their money stupidly what does that say about the insiders and the Big Money people? Hillary Clinton has $17 million cash on hand for her re-election which she of course doesn't need given the GOP meltdown. Who are all of the idiots giving money to her? I'm not picking on Clinton, roughly the same thing could be said for lots of big name incumbents and their donors. But huge amounts of money are flowing to campaigns which don't really need it while challengers are struggling. If more people who thought nothing of writing $2000 checks to Clinton's campaign were plunking it into Francine Busby's race or Rodriguez's race against fake Democrat Cuellar, or some more challenger campaigns in November they'd be a lot better off.

The relatively small amount of money channeled through the netroots is often mocked by Those Who Know Where Our Money Should Go. But the truth is the netroots has played a critical role in helping Democrats get elected in special elections, stepping up when not enough others would.

The real misallocation of funds is to incumbents in safe seats, not a few thousand bucks to challengers with longer shot chances. Funding challengers is a risky investment which can potentially pay big future dividends. Funding incumbents with safe seats is largely just wankery.

The Dukestir

Josh Marshall has a good rundown on the Dukestir, but I'm fascinated by the lack of important context here as well as (unsurprisingly) a lost opportunity by the Democrats.

Consider this. The Dukestir wasn't just a corrupt congressman taking bribes. He was taking bribes for defense contracts during war. He was cheating our military, our government, and the taxpayers. He illegally profited on the war.

Daily Ciro

The wanker Cuellar continues his wankfest. Wank wank wank.

WASHINGTON — A political attack on former Congressman Ciro Rodriguez by Henry Cuellar's campaign backfired Friday when an angry Illinois business owner said her company was being dragged through the political mud with false accusations.

Cuellar's campaign accused Rodriguez of working for a Chicago company that persuades firms to outsource jobs and fire employees.

"It couldn't be further from the truth," Sandra Figueroa Bast, owner of Bast Services Inc., told the San Antonio Express-News. "It's slanderous," she said, noting Cuellar "should have had the decency to call me before writing something that is false."

Cuellar campaign manager Dan Wright, in a news release, said Rodriguez was hired by Bast as a Washington lobbyist, choosing "to line his own pockets at the expense of jobs for working families by representing a firm whose goal is to ship American jobs out of the country."

Federal law prohibits a former lawmaker from lobbying the House for one year.

Cuellar's campaign didn't offer proof of any lobbying to back up the charge.


Rodriguez and Bast said the former congressman was hired by the Chicago company, which was seeking to expand a Kindergarten-through-12th-grade science program for at-risk children into San Antonio schools.

"It had nothing to do with outsourcing jobs," he said.

Bast noted, "I don't have any work overseas."

You can help here!

Happy Birthday

To David Ehrenstein.


This WaPo article is actually pretty good. I don't think things have to play out exactly as they did in 1994, but often it is forgotten just how the Republicans did it in 1994.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Feel the NEDMENTUM!!!

Stoller on Ned Lamont.

All the campaign needs is a little more cowbell.

The Bush Era

This will be the Rosetta stone for future historians to make sense of it all.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Full Circle

Mission Accomplished:

We are helping to rebuild Iraq where the dictator built palaces for himself instead of hospitals and schools.

Rumsfeld, today:

We’re not there to do nation-building.

My Hero

Reba Shimansky.


It is really sweeping through the land. I'm not sure I believe this Rasmussen poll, but if Lamont is really at 36% support from Democrats in CT already then Joe's got problems.

Your Liberal Media

It continues. Sunday's Meet the Press roundtable:

Maureen Dowd
Paul Gigot
Mary Matalin
David Gregory

Daily Ciro II

According to Kos, Move On members have given almost $100K to Ciro since yesterday.

You can help too.


Contra Drum I did get the primary point of Cohen's article, I just recognized that the primary message was "I don't know shit and I'm proud of it." I don't think everybody needs to know algebra to function well in life, but the fact that Richard Cohen has been opining on politics and policy issues for decades despite the fact that he clearly and proudly is unequipped to do so at the level one would expect the Washington Post to demand from its political columnists.

As for the point, I think algebra is a reasonable requirement for high school graduation. No less reasonable than plenty of other requirements which we could quibble about on the margin. More generally the problem is not with curriculum requirements but with the emphasis on credentialling as a signalling device. Not only do I think plenty of people can do well in life without learning algebra I also think plenty of people should be able to do just fine without a high school diploma. I'm not advocating mass dropout, there's just no reason that obtaining the piece of paper should be given the importance that it is. It's so important that we recognize that if we deny it to someone they're going to have a much tougher time in life so it seems "unfair" to deny it based on the inability to complete one algebra class. In other words, it's a piece of paper that you need to enter respectable life but it's also a piece of paper that doesn't necessarily mean very much.

And, even moreso we should kill the idea that "everyone needs a college education." Everyone doesn't need one especially to the extent that it's really the diploma people care about and not the actual learning part. Lots of people have jobs which they could do with moderate on the job training. I think college education is generally a good thing for a variety of reasons not limited to its impact on your career prospects but it shouldn't be the case that a degree is a requirement for jobs that frankly don't really require it.


I guess it's illegal now.

Nut Crushing

Perhaps we should get some medical experts to weigh in, but I imagine the likelihood of ski jumping damaging reproductive organs that are outside the torso is a wee bit higher than damaging the internal ones.

Lock Her Up

Time to find out if the rule of law applies to Ann Coulter.

A Palm Beach poll worker says he tried to help GOP-loving pundit Ann Coulter vote in the right precinct last week. But, Jim Whited says, Coulter dashed out of the polling place when he told her she needed to file a change of address.

"I even ran out after her," he says. "But she was fast."

Later, elections records show, Coulter cast her ballot 2 miles up the road — in the wrong precinct.

Whited, a former candidate for WPB mayor, was posted at Bethesda-by-the-Sea Feb. 7 as a $185-a-day precinct adviser, records confirm.

"Ms. Coulter came to me, and the address we had for her in the computer didn't match the address I know she lives at," Whited says.

He says he remembered a Page Two story in April about Coulter, 44, buying a $1.8 million home on Seabreeze Avenue. Yet county elections records show Coulter gave an address in June at the northern tip of the island, on Indian Road, when she registered. Turns out the addresses are in different precincts.


I don't even know what the hell he's talking about here. Bizarre.

Gasbag Gap

Alterman has a good article based on Media Matters' recent report.

The strongest point of Media Matters' report is something we all knew but it's nice to have proof of. Throughout the years of the study - 2nd Clinton term on - roundtable type discussions on the Sunday news shows skew right much more often than they skew left, even with their very broad definition of who qualifies as on the left. This is one of those unassailable facts which everyone in the mainstream media politely ignores.

To borrow what I think is Peter Daou's terminology there are news stories and there are storylines. While stories are largely written by balanced objective journalists who to some degree eschew writing storylines (the exception being campaign journalism where there's nothing else), it's on places like the Sunday shows where the storylines are created. There's the news, and then there's the talking about the news. The talking about the news creates the storyline, the conventional wisdom, the distilled narrative thread which filters down to most people and also shapes the way stories are subsequently covered and the emphasis they're given.

In supposedly neutral settings of the major networks flagship political shows, that's a conversation largely dominated by conservatives. There's no denying it. Why is it so ignored?


Knight Ridder takes a look at Peter Beinart's war. Read the whole thing.

(via E&P)


Normally I'm made a little bit uncomfortable by issues which have a crypto-racist tinge to them - they're Arabs so they're bad! - but this seems to be a genuine issue. Why the hell would we let a UAE owned company handle domestic port operations?

Lamont Zooms Up

If there's any validity to this Rasmussen poll then Liberman has something to worry about. The poll's a bit weird so I'm not sure how much can be taken from it, but when some guy who nobody's really heard of is polling at 24% already that's impressive.

The 3 way matchup is unlikely as despite Lieberman's trash talk it would be almost impossible for him to file as an independent.

Daily Ciro


WASHINGTON — Former Congressman Ciro Rodriguez said Thursday he's surprised by the support he has received from national Democratic groups and the $136,000 that has poured into his campaign over the Internet.

Rodriguez is challenging Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, in a rematch of the 2004 race in which the San Antonio congressman lost to a former friend.

Crandall schoolteacher Victor Morales also is running in the March 7 Democratic primary.

Rodriguez is narrowing a fundraising gap with Cuellar, who had nearly $292,000 in cash at the beginning of the year, compared to $43,000 Rodriguez held and less than $11,000 available to Morales.

Several Democratic groups endorsed Rodriguez after the conservative Club for Growth endorsed its first Democrat: Cuellar.

"It's a real opportunity to get a real Democrat back in the House," said Jim Dean, chairman of Democracy for America and the brother of Howard Dean, the Democratic National Committee chairman.

Dean said DFA has raised $37,000 for the Rodriguez campaign.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Wanker of the Day

Richard Cohen.

And it really explains a lot about him.

Our pundits sure is funny.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

What the Democratic Party Needs

The answer is here (audio).

Campaign Cash

Sometimes I think people don't really think through how much it costs to run a campaign. Forget media buys and consider how much it costs to have a full time staff of 10 for a year and a couple of campaign offices. You're already eating through a significant chunk of change before the game even really begins.

Ned Sez He's Gonna Be In

Here's a letter from Ned Lamont announcng his intentions.

All the people who dreamed of trying to get Lieberman in a primary now have their chance. I understand Lamont's got real campaign people working with him and they plan to win.

Donate at the link up there or here.

In 2004, without the support of any prominent national elected Republicans (I believe none at all but I'm not sure of that) Pat Toomey came within inches of beating Arlen Specter in a primary - 51/49. There's no reason we can't help make this campaign work.

Fresh Thread

Try not to shoot anybody in the face.

Support the Troops

Bush proposes smallest military pay increase since 1994.

Release the Blood Alcohol Report

If the White House wants people to stop speculating about whether Cheney was shitfaced when he shot a man in the face they could encourage Cheney's good friend acquaintance Whittington to release the blood alcohol test results. It won't prove whether Cheney was or wasn't drinking but it will certainly be a decent piece of evidence for or against the claim that people were drinking.

Whittington's doctors won't comment on the question.

Nice Work

Corrupt Specter:

According to a USA Today story, Ms. Siegel is married to lobbyist Michael Herson, who is a co-founder of the firm American Defense International ("ADI"). ADI has apparently received nearly $1.5 million in lobbying fees since 2002 from six clients who, as a result of 13 earmarks offered by Senator Specter, received a total of $48.7 million in set asides. The article states that Senator Specter claimed credit for all of the earmarks in various news releases.

Given that the companies that received the $48.7 million in earmarks paid Mr. Herson's firm nearly $1.5 million in fees, it appears likely that they paid ADI, at least in part, to lobby for those earmarks. As Mr. Herson's spouse, Ms. Siegel indirectly derived a substantial financial benefit from Mr. Herson's representation of those clients. And, as the primary Appropriations Committee staff member for Senator Specter, it also appears likely that Ms. Siegel was involved in securing the passage of those earmarks. As a result, CREW has asked that the Committee immediately commence an investigation into the circumstances that led to the passage of those earmarks and Ms. Siegel's involvement in securing them.

Just Got In

But, uh, I'm a little bit confused. UAE controls our port security and Bush doesn't want to tell Congress anything about? What's this all about?

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

A Shot of Treason

The further adventures of the Keyboard Kommandos.

Daily Ciro II

Move On jumps in.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Daily Ciro

Cuellar got his hug and smoochies two years in a row. He loves him some Bush.

Help Ciro.

One Beer

Yeah, it sounds like a lie.

I'm also amazed at the number of media types who claim to speak for the true men of the heartland who don't get that yes, in fact, drinking and hunting are commonly paired activities.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Travel Day

Light posting. Try not to shoot anybody in the face.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Where's Lynne?

Oddly missing. Usually she's there to tell us who is and isn't a bad man.

Gov Blog

Free idea for anyone who has the resources to run with it. Something that's missing is a bloglike shadow of CSpan, essentially explaining what's going on in the House/Senate at any given moment. Sure it isn't exciting most of the time, but often when it *is* exciting the viewing public isn't really sure why. And, inbetween interesting moments, it'd be the perfect place for more gossipy stuff.

A really on the ball "what the fuck is going on now" blog focused primarily on what was going on in real time in the House and the Senate would really fill a niche. Hotline/etc... do a bit of this but really not enough of it. There are many days when I flip to, say, Cspan's Senate coverage and know there's some really important context I'm missing which probably isn't that complicated and simply requires a reasonably seasoned Congresswatcher to explain it to me.

Cheney Resignation Watch

The Shrill Bob Herbert says it's time for him to go.

It's time for Dick Cheney to step down — for the sake of the country and for the sake of the Bush administration.


Mr. Cheney is arrogant, defiant and at times blatantly vulgar. He once told Senator Patrick Leahy to perform a crude act upon himself.

A vice president who insists on writing his own rules, who shudders at the very idea of transparency in government, whose judgment on crucial policy issues has been as wildly off the mark (and infinitely more tragic) as his actions in Texas over the weekend, and who has now become an object of relentless ridicule, cannot by any reasonable measure be thought of as an asset to the nation or to the president he serves.

On the whole Cheney's resignation would be bad for Democrats. Better to keep the snarl in place to scare the children and the voters.

But, yes, his resignation would be good for the country.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Ask the White House

With Ann Coulter.

Fresh Thread

Try not to shoot anybody in the face.

Bush Bounce


President George W. Bush's job-approval ratings have fallen off slightly from January 2006, according to a recent Harris Interactive poll, while Congress's ratings have remained about the same.

Any benefit President Bush may have gained from his State of the Union speech didn't last long enough to be measured in the latest poll, as Mr. Bush's ratings are now 40% positive, down from a positive rating of 43% in January, and 58% negative, up from 56% negative.

Prove It

The Daou challenge.

Fresh Thread

Try not to shoot anybody in the face whether they're good friends or merely acquaintances:

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, it's a great relief. But I won't be, obviously, totally at ease until he's home. He's going to be in the hospital, apparently, for a few more days, and the problem, obviously, is that there's always the possibility of complications in somebody who is 78-79 years old. But he's a great man, he's in great shape, good friend, and our thoughts and prayers go out to he and his family.

Q How long have you known him?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I first met him in Vail, Colorado, when I worked for Gerry Ford about 30 years ago, and it was the first time I'd ever hunted with him.

Q Would you describe him as a close friend, friendly acquaintance, what --

THE VICE PRESIDENT: No, an acquaintance.

Is This True?

In interview today Dick said:

Q Let me ask you another question. Is it your view that a Vice President has the authority to declassify information?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: There is an executive order to that effect.

Q There is.


Q Have you done it?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, I've certainly advocated declassification and participated in declassification decisions. The executive order --

Q You ever done it unilaterally?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I don't want to get into that. There is an executive order that specifies who has classification authority, and obviously focuses first and foremost on the President, but also includes the Vice President.

There are also two separate issues here. First, does the Veep have the legal power to declassify things? And, second, does that right allow him to selectively leak classified shit to random people without actually declassifying it? You know, like Bob Woodward or whoever he tells Scooter to leak to.

Dickie and the Trigger Happy Birdie Killers

Dick Cheney's band plays a tune.

(tip from attaeffingturk)

...What do you mean he had a heart attack? Go fuck yourself he's doing fine...

More Media

Media Matters responds to Vaughn Ververs.


Stoller's right that EJ Dionne is off base here, though I think there's a simple explanation. Dionne writes:

I have more sympathy than most liberals with the right-to-life movement because I believe most right-to-lifers are animated not by sexism or some punitive attitude toward sexuality but by a genuine desire to defend the defenseless.

The key thing is the conflation of "right-to-life movement" with "most right-to-lifers." The anti-choice movement is without a doubt animated by sexism and a punitive attitude towards sexuality. Are there plenty of "right-to-lifers" motivated by a "genuine desire to defend the defenseless?" I imagine so, but the movement is profoundly sexist.

Lies and the Lying Liars

And the press that begs them to keep doing it.

And Candy Crowley breathes a pleading sigh of relief over the man she once said "oozes credibility."

Byrd Speech

On Cspan 2 now. Excerpts:

…We cannot continue to claim that we are a nation of laws and not of men if our laws and, indeed, even the Constitution of the United States itself, may by summarily breached because of some determination of expediency or because the President says “trust me.”

…In the name of “fighting terror” are we to sacrifice every freedom to a President’s demand? How far are we to go? Can a President order warrantless house-by-house searches of a neighborhood, where he suspects a terrorist may be hiding? Can he impose new restrictions on what can be printed, broadcast, or even uttered privately, because of some perceived threat to national security? Laughable thoughts? I think not. For this Administration has so traumatized the people of this nation -- and many in the Congress -- that some will swallow whole whatever rubbish that is spewed from this White House, as long as it is in some tenuous way connected to the so-called war on terror.

…I plead with the American public to tune-in to what is happening in this country. Please forget the political party with which you may usually be associated, and, instead, think about the right of due process, the presumption of innocence, and the right to a private life. Forget the now tired political spin that, if one does not support warrant-less spying, then one may be a bosom buddy of Osama Bin Laden.

…There is a need for a thorough investigation of all of our domestic spying programs. We have to know what is being done, by whom, and to whom. We need to know if the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act has been breached, and if the Constitutional rights of thousands of Americans have been violated without cause.

…I want to know how many Americans have been spied upon. I want to know how it is determined which individuals are monitored and who makes such determinations. I want to know if the telecommunications industry is involved in a massive screening of the domestic telephone calls of ordinary Americans. I want to know if the United States Post Office is involved. I want to know if the law has been broken and the Constitution has been breached.

Wingnut Reboot

And they lose another round:

One of the most dramatic moments in the 12 hours of recordings comes when Saddam predicts — during a meeting in the mid 1990s — a terrorist attack on the United States. "Terrorism is coming. I told the Americans a long time before August 2 and told the British as well … that in the future there will be terrorism with weapons of mass destruction." Saddam goes on to say such attacks would be difficult to stop. "In the future, what would prevent a booby-trapped car causing a nuclear explosion in Washington or a germ or a chemical one?" But he adds that Iraq would never do such a thing. "This is coming, this story is coming but not from Iraq."

Also at the meeting was Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, who said Iraq was being wrongly accused of terrorism. "Sir, the biological is very easy to make. It's so simple that any biologist can make a bottle of germs and drop it into a water tower and kill 100,000. This is not done by a state. No need to accuse a state. An individual can do it."

The tapes also reveal Iraq 's persistent efforts to hide information about weapons of mass destruction programs from U.N. inspectors well into the 1990s . In one pivotal tape-recorded meeting, which occurred in late April or May of 1995, Saddam and his senior aides discuss the fact that U.N. inspectors had uncovered evidence of Iraq's biological weapons program—a program whose existence Iraq had previously denied.

Nothing new.

Fresh Thread

Try not to shoot anybody in the face.

They Write Letters

Barbara Crossette writes to Romenesko:

From BARBARA CROSSETTE: A brief comment on Daniel Okrent's remarks about the decline of investigative reporting:

He is right about the prewar coverage of WMD in Iraq, but this lapse does not fit into the category of something too expensive to investigate properly. Over more than a decade, the UN [where I was NYT bureau chief from 1994 to 2001] had accumulated exhaustive documentation on Iraqi weapons programs and prospects. UN teams had also destroyed hundreds of tons of illegal weapons and potential ammunition, so there was no inbuilt naivety or trust for Saddam Hussein's regime. Few Washington reporters ever asked to pore over the accumulated material stored in New York, UN officials say. American reporters were largely not only ignoring a cheap wealth of independent and often contradictory information close at hand but were also not immune to Bush administration efforts to discredit the UN and its inspectors. And then, of course, some reporters were just looking for scoops at any professional price.

Leahy Makes a Funny

Roll Call:

He never thought he’d say it, but Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) no longer thinks it’s such a big deal that Vice President Cheney told him to go you-know-what himself on the Senate floor last year.

Considering what happened to poor Harry Whittington (who remained in stable condition yesterday) this past weekend, Cheney’s shot at Leahy could have been a lot worse.

“In retrospect it looks like I got off easy,” Leahy joked, referring to Cheney’s accidental shooting of his buddy and campaign contributor.

(tip from pajamaline stringer)

The GOP and the Right Wingosphere


American People

It is amazing, really, that people manage to come to these conclusions all by themselves. "The president broke the law" is a view which is hardly aired on TV except when accompanied by skittish hedging. Yet, amazingly, a plurality think he did just that. 50% think it was "wrong" and 47% think he probably or definitely broke the law.

Daily Ciro

What. A. Wanker. Cuellar. Is.


What the Poor Man sez.

Magic BB

The General writes a letter to the senior senator from Pennsylvania.


Ann's got some problems:

Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections records show Coulter voted last week in Palm Beach's council election. Problem is: She cast her ballot in a precinct 4 miles north of the precinct where she owns a home — and that could be a big no-no.


Here's the sticky part for The Right's Lady Macbeth: She wrote down an Indian Road address instead of Seabreeze on her voter's registration application. And she signed to certify the information as true.

"She never lived here," said Suzanne Frisbie, owner of the Indian Road home. "I'm Ann's Realtor, and she used this address to forward mail when she moved from New York."


No matter, Florida statutes make it a third-degree felony to vote knowingly in the wrong precinct. Lying on a voter's registration can cost up to $5,000 and five years behind bars.

Free Stuff - Hamell on Trial

FInal Update: Tix All Gone! Everyone who "won" has heard from me and I'll send around another confirming email later to be sure.

UPDATE: Only One Date Left -- This one. Hamell NYC Knitting Factory Feb. 21 - TAKEN

Everyone got in so far has been informed by me.

You may remember a link to a rather naughty song about Ann Coulter a couple weeks back by Hamell on Trial. It was from his new album "Songs for Parents Who Enjoy Drugs" which, notwithstanding the naughty Ann Coulter song, is actually a rather sweet and funny meditation on what it's like to raise kids in George Bush's America after not having lived an especially clean cut life.

And I've been given some free tickets to give away! Hamell's doing 6 shows at the Knitting Factory in New York and one show here in Philly at the Tin Angel. I've got a pair of tickets for each show to give away and the first person to email me asking for the tickets for a specific date will get the tix. One date request per person, no multiple submissions.

And to make life easy for me you must click on the email to link for the date you want or use the correct subject line.

Hamell NYC Knitting Factory Feb. 21 -- TAKEN

Hamell NYC Knitting Factory Feb. 22 -- TAKEN

Hamell NYC Knitting Factory Feb. 23 -- TAKEN

Hamell NYC Knitting Factory March 2 -- TAKEN

Hamell NYC Knitting Factory March 3 -- TAKEN

Hamell NYC Knitting Factory March 4 -- TAKEN

Hamell Philadelphia Tin Angel Feb. 25 -- TAKEN

For more about Hamell you can read about him in this Philadelphia Weekly article.

Full disclosure: There's no quid pro quo here. I was given 2 tix to the Philadelphia show but that was before the promotion idea came up. Just taking the opportunity to give free stuff to readers.

....I'll pull the links to taken tickets as fast as I can get around to it.

Watch Them Fight

Ponnuru and Sullivan.



Joe Hearts George:

For the second year in a row, President Bush and his wife spent the lovers' holiday formally entertaining about 100 friends and associates at the White House.

Singer Michael Feinstein capped the romantic evening by serenading the crowd, which included new Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, actor Chuck Norris -- wearing black cowboy boots with his tux, of course -- singer Wayne Newton and Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Joe Lieberman, D-Conn.

Help get rid of Joe. Donate to Ned Lamont.


Tony Auth.


Apparently Congress is about to bless our new dictatorship. Lovely.

Dick Cheney Shot an Old Man in the Face

And they tried to blame the guy who got shot.

Think about it.

He shot a guy in the face.

Then blamed the guy who got shot for daring to stand 30 yards behind him.

One of Whittington's daughters, Peggy Puckett, said Tuesday morning that Whittington was feeling well. "It was just a terrible, terrible accident. No one was at fault," she said. "He feels bad for the vice president."

Asked if Whittington agreed with accounts by others that the accident was Whittington's fault, Puckett said her father "hasn't said anything like that."

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


A bunch of people have sent this to me. Short version: there was a line in an MSNBC story about beer being served before Cheney shot a man in a face. The line was subsequently removed.

I verified this earlier but I was on my way out and didn't have a chance to post.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

More Media

Vaughn Ververs looks at the Media Matters study. I was struck by this:

I’ll certainly buy columnist Bob Novak as a conservative, but I think you’d get some real arguments from Republicans by classifying David Broder as a “centrist.”

This is really pretty amazing. I'm sure you would get some complaints by Republicans for classifying Broder as a "centrist," but those Republicans should just be laughed at.

Bizarro World

Cuellar is so off the charts that even the Blue Dog Democrats won't let him join and Hotline claims Dems worry that his primary opponent, a former member of the House, might actually win?

Lead Shot

Garance raise a good point - that having a big chunk of lead entering your body is not really a good idea, even aside from all the holes it makes.

We do have an answer to one of her questions. Cheney was using 7 1/2 shot.

More Media

Meet the Press responds to Media Matters.

Media Matters responds to the response.

Interesting.'s addressed in the second link, but I just wanted to highlight how deceptive (deliberately or not) this claim from MtP was:

In summary, for the first term of President Clinton (1993-1996), the ideological breakdown of guests on "Meet the Press" was as follows: 260 Democrats to 208 Republicans - for a ratio of 56% Dem to 44% GOP). How different is that from the first term of President Bush? Well, it's basically the same - according to Media Matters own findings - Republicans accounted for 58% of all guests on Sunday shows in President Bush's first term and Democrats accounted for 42% of appearances).

This of course is comparing Meet the Press guests during Clinton's first term with guests from all Sunday shows in Bush's first term.

Not In My Etiquette Guide

I'm not quite sure what the etiquette is for "what to do right after you've just shot your friend in the face" but this doesn't really sound like it.

She said Cheney stayed “close but cool” while the agents and medical personnel treated Whittington, then took him by ambulance to the hospital. Later, the hunting group sat down for dinner while Whittington was being treated, receiving updates from a family member at the hospital. Armstrong described Cheney's demeanor during dinner as “very worried” about Whittington.

Daily Ciro

Rodriguez campaign tells us how they're going to win.

You can help out here.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Bruised More Than Bloodied

CNN homepage:

Man shot and wounded by Vice President Cheney suffers "minor heart attack" after birdshot becomes lodged in his heart, hospital spokesman says.

Those pellet guns are dangerous. They should be outlawed.

Stalinist Discipline

What was it David Brooks said the other day about lefty bloggers?

As the immediate past eCampaign Director for the GOP, and the eCampaign Director for Bush-Cheney 04, I may be one of the only people who can answer this directly.
We started to build this in January of last year. The plans for the launch of last spring included two things that have never made it to the light of day - a viral fundraising component, and a "MyGOP" functionality that would have let activists build a MySpace-like site on Practical reality set in, however, and killed both. The trouble with the MyGOP concept was the conflict it created with incredibly tight internal controls on message.

When we were forced to pull a Social Security Testimonials tool off the site because someone dared to use the word "private" instead of the more acceptable "personal" accounts, it became apparent that our internal tolerance for self-expression would not allow that sort of openness. Arguments that restrictions of that nature are ridiculous and hamper our ability to be effective online were met with stony silence. In the end, MyGOP went nowhere.

Wanker of the Day

The perfesser.

Quantum Journalism

It's the only explanation for how these things can be true simultaneously.

Things I've Learned Recently

Every conservative on the internet is an avid hunter and they've all been shot multiple times.

Shotguns aren't really guns, just toys. You can't really hurt people with them, only animals.

It's standard hunter etiquette to yell and scream at your fellow hunters as they're stalking their prey.

The most dangerous place to be is behind the people with the guns.

And Dick Cheney was not drunk, so stop saying that.

Several Days

Would it be too much trouble for the media who are downplaying Whittington's injuries to comprehend that he's been in ICU for 3 days and will be in the hospital for several days longer after that?

Please Shoot ME in the Face

Pellet gun:

After difficulty getting information from Cheney's staff, ABC News learned from sources mostly outside the White House that the vice president's Secret Service contingent had notified the local sheriff an hour after the vice president accidentally shot prominent Texas lawyer Harry Whittington with a pellet gun while hunting for quail.

Pellet gun.

Pellet gun.

Pellet gun.

Rules Changed

The key thing about the Media Matters report is how the rules have changed (or stayed the same, depending on how you look at it). From Waldman's Monthly article:

Fair play

Since the Sunday shows focus so heavily on the words and actions of the powerful, it's perhaps not surprising that the party controlling the executive branch is represented more than the opposition. That's certainly the explanation producers give for their often lopsided line-ups. "If you take everybody from the Bush administration and label them Republicans or partisans," says Carin Pratt, the executive producer of CBS's "Face the Nation," "we're a country at war, and when we can get someone from the administration [to be a guest on the show], like the secretary of state, then we get them. Republicans are in power. I bet you'd find the same thing during Clinton's administration." Betsey Fischer, the executive producer of NBC's "Meet the Press," responds much the same way. "The party holding the presidency also has a Cabinet full of major newsmaker guests that speak to U.S. policy matters," she says. "The same would be true for the eight years of the Clinton administration when the Cabinet was, by and large, filled with Democrats."

This sounds reasonable enough—except Pratt and Fischer are wrong about the Clinton years. In fact, during Clinton's second term, only 48 percent of the ideologically identifiable guests on the Sunday shows were Democrats or progressives while 52 percent were Republicans or conservatives. (Available transcripts from Clinton's first term are not complete enough to allow analysis.) And when Bush swept into town, the gap widened further. In Bush's first term, Republicans and conservatives held a solid advantage, out-talking the left by 58 to 42 percent. (Things were virtually the same in 2005, with the margin 57 to 43 percent in favor of the right). There were small differences between the shows, but all showed the same overall pattern: rough parity during the Clinton years, Republican domination during the Bush years.

Perhaps this shift is explained by the fact that we had a divided government when Clinton was president and have had one-party rule under Bush. But if that's true, how do we explain the years 2001 and 2002? For a 16-month period in which the Democrats held control of the Senate, the number of Democrats booked on the shows not only did not increase, but actually dropped further. Political power, it seems, does not always equal access to the airwaves.

You might think this balance would shift somewhat during an election year, when both parties have major candidates who make headlines and attract attention. Again, Fischer of "Meet the Press" told us directly that this should happen. "When one party has 10 contenders for the presidential nomination [as the Democrats did in 2004]," she wrote in an email, "one could expect those candidates to occupy a majority of interview time on the program." One could indeed expect that result, but one would be wrong. Despite all the appearances by Democratic presidential hopefuls—and they had a whole slew, compared to the uncontested Republican primaries—Republicans still outnumbered Democrats on "Meet the Press" in 2004, just as they did on "Face the Nation" and ABC's "This Week."

During the 2nd term of the Clinton administration Republican/Conservative voices were given serious air time. During the Bush administration left/Democratic voices were not, and this was true even during the period of divided government when the Dems controlled the Senate.

So, when Democrats are in power Republicans get heard. When Republicans are in power, Republicans get heard.

The Full Sunday Report

Here it is for people who are interested.

Link goes to summary, you can find the full report there.

Don't Oppose the War

There's a lot that's of interest in the Media Matters report which is embargoed for another 45 minutes, but Kevin Drum highlights one - the lack of anti-war Senators on the Sunday shows during the run-up to the Iraq war. Personally I think Drum's explanation - lazy bookers on autopilot - isn't all of the answer. Despite the fact that between 40-60% (or so) people were against the war depending on how the question was asked and at what time there were so few genuine anti-war voices in the media at all during that time. The lack of dissenting voices on the issue of the day speaks to something other than just lazy bookers, though I don't doubt that having Biden and McCain on speed dial had something to do with this particular statistic.

But, more generally, is there any reason for John McCain to have been on 124 times since 1997? Yes he ran for president in 2000, but aside from that he doesn't even currently hold an especially prominent committee chair.


It's been requested that people refrain from posting Olympics spoilers in the threads.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Bury the Bitch

You know I really don't normally give a shit about athlete endorsement deals, but I really found this Times piece bizarre in its gleeful prediction of Michelle Kwan's professional doom.

Shooting an Old Man in the Face

Daily Show on Deadeye Dick.

Monday, February 13, 2006


Yah, what Stoller says. I had no position on the Hackett/Brown primary, but I saw no reason why it wasn't the perfect time/place to actually have a primary. They aren't always bad things. There isn't a lump sum of money for elections which gets eaten away which strangely seems to be a common view among people.

Digby Speak

You listen.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Holden Gets a Pony


Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Scottie Gone Wild

Fun at the White House:

Why was the White House relying on a Texas rancher to get the word of Cheney's hunting accident out over the weekend, asked Gregory, accusing McClellan of "ducking and weaving.''

"“David, hold on… the cameras aren't on right now,'' McClellan replied. "You can do this later.''

"Don't accuse me of trying to pose to the cameras,'' the newsman said, his voice rising somewhat. "Don’t be a jerk to me personally when I’m asking you a serious question.''

"You don't have to yell,'' McClellan said.

"I will yell,'' said Gregory, pointing a finger at McCellan at his dais. "If you want to use that podium to try to take shots at me personally, which I don’t appreciate, then I will raise my voice, because that’s wrong.’’

‘’Calm down, Dave, calm down,'' said McClellan, remaining calm throughout the exchange.

"I'll calm down when I feel like calming down,'' Greogry said. "You answer the question.'

"I have answered the question,'' said McClellan, who had maintained that the vice president's office was in charge of getting the information out and worked with the ranch owner to do that. "I'm sorry you're getting all riled up about.''

"I am riled up,'' Gregory said, "because you’re not answering the question,''

McClellan insisted he understood that reporters deserve an answer.

"I think you have legitimate questions to ask,'' the press secretary said. "The vice president’s office was the one that took the lead to get this information out… I don’t know what else to tell you... That's my answer.''

John Fund Again?

Media Matters' Paul Waldman has an excellent Washington Monthly article on how the Sunday shows skew right, with research to prove it.

This ideological imbalance isn't only evident in the "official" sources that are interviewed: the elected officials, candidates, and administration officials who make up most of the shows' guests. It is even clearer in the roundtable discussions with featured journalists. (Although "Face the Nation" seldom uses a journalist roundtable to mull over the week's news, it is a staple on both "Meet the Press" and "This Week.") Though there has been some marginal improvement in the past year, it has been a frequent practice for a roundtable to consist of a right-wing columnist or two supposedly "balanced" by journalists from major newspapers. While these newspaper journalists may also be columnists, they don't operate with the same expectation of—or license for—partisanship that their conservative counterparts do. If David Broder or Ronald Brownstein express an openly partisan opinion, they know that their editors are likely to call them to task for it. By the same token, if Fred Barnes doesn't use his time to spout talking points, he knows his editors will be disappointed.

When liberals do appear, the balance is often stacked against them. For nearly three years in the late 1990s, the regular roundtable on "This Week" featured George Will and William Kristol double-teaming George Stephanopoulos. On five occasions, Stephanopoulos was absent, and Will's establishment conservatism had to provide "balance" to Kristol's triumphalist conservatism. But even when the former Clinton aide was in the studio, he was in the process of trying to shed his political reputation and become a "Journalist," he who expresses no personal views, making the debate even more lopsided than it otherwise would have been.

The consequence of all this is that in every year since 1997, conservative journalists have dramatically outnumbered liberal journalists, in some years by two-to-one or more. Why would the producers of the shows believe that a William Safire (56 appearances since 1997) or Bob Novak (37 appearances) is somehow "balanced" by a Gwen Ifill (27) or Dan Balz (22)? It suggests that some may have internalized the conservative critique of the media, which assumes that daily journalists are "liberal" almost by definition, and thus can provide a counterpoint to highly partisan conservative pundits.

What gets left behind, of course, is the real liberal. Not only do openly liberal columnists like Paul Krugman appear far less frequently than their conservative colleagues, writers, and editors from magazines like The Nation, The American Prospect, and The New Republic are seldom seen (forget about the Progressive, Mother Jones or In These Times), while the Weekly Standard and the National Review are regularly represented. Last year saw eleven appearances by writers from the two conservative magazines, but only two from liberal magazines. (There was one bright spot in the data: A December 1998 episode of "Meet the Press" featured none other than Charles Peters, this magazine's founder. Unfortunately, that was the last time anyone from The Washington Monthly graced the Sunday shows.)

Personally I don't just blame the producers, I also blame the journalists who participate in this stuff. Why would a Dan Balz sit on a roundtable with a William Safire? Why would his editors let him?


I have just been selected to play the title role in the Delibes ballet Coppélia.

"The Movement and the Cause"

More from Glenn Greenwald on the authoritarian cultists.

The interesting paradox is, as I've written before, that they'll dump Bush and transfer the cult onto the next Daddy figure that comes along.

The Hunting Party

What ReddHedd Sez


Something is weird about this. I can't put my finger on what it is, and I'm awaiting a read of whatever police report gets released, but the whole narrative is odd. And reeks of covering for something.

Note to Media

Spray bottle:


Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Canned Hunts

I really have nothing against hunting, but Dick's love of hunting pen-raised animals for fun is really actually quite sick. It's not hunting, it's just mass slaughter.

The Guy Peppered Himself!

All class, this administration. All class.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Torture Yoo

Just in case there was any actual question about what was going on.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Nice Shot, Dick


Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and injured a man during a weekend quail hunting trip in Texas, his spokeswoman said Sunday.

Harry Whittington, 78, was "alert and doing fine" after Cheney sprayed Whittington with shotgun pellets on Saturday at the Armstrong Ranch in south Texas, said property owner Katharine Armstrong.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Snow Beats Swann

I was planning on actually sitting through This Weak to see how Republican candidate for governor Lynn Swann did on his real debut, but the local ABC affiliate decided that footage of snow was more important.


We should all aspire to be more like David Brooks and Ann Altmouse.

Galactica Blogging

So, the show is still pretty good despite a few less than great episodes, but the problem is that I imagine most fans are sitting there wondering if the writers know what they're doing or if they're just making it up as they go along.

Not every science fiction show needs to be as precisely plotted as was Babylon 5, with not just the basic show mythology and long term plot planned in advance but also the major plot arcs of every character. And, even an elaborately plotted show is going to have some "filler episodes" which do little or nothing to advance the plot. However the opposite approach means that you end up with a show like the X-files which they really did just make everything up as they went along. Earthshattering developments in one episode are forgotten in the next. Seemingly important plot developments are dropped and ignored.

It isn't just maintaining a rough continuity, it's about not being an elaborate con game on regular viewers who trust that this is a story which is going somewhere and not just another "episode of the week" with little relationship to what went before.

Still not quite sure with Galactica if they know what they're doing or if they're just making it up as they go.


From what I gather the Think Progress people don't quite agree with Kim Eisler's characterization of the events that led them to publish the Abramoff emails. But, let's take them at face value and contemplate what that means for Washington journalism.

Authoritarian Cultists

Your modern conservative movement.

...just adding a couple of things. First, this, which Glenn links to but really makes the point perfectly:

Barr answered in the affirmative. "Do we truly remain a society that believes that . . . every president must abide by the law of this country?" he posed. "I, as a conservative, say yes. I hope you as conservatives say yes."

But nobody said anything in the deathly quiet audience. Barr merited only polite applause when he finished, and one man, Richard Sorcinelli, booed him loudly. "I can't believe I'm in a conservative hall listening to him say [Bush] is off course trying to defend the United States," Sorcinelli fumed.

Second, there's an additional point which isn't made enough. As David Brock especially made clear in the Republican Noise Machine, the problem with Fox News specifically and the conservative press generally isn't that they're conservative, it's that they're Republican in a way which has no counterpart anywhere else in the media. And in today's world Republicanism is simply Bushism.


Much snow. Would've been worse if the air and ground temperatures hadn't been so warm yesterday - had about 6 hours of moderate snowfall before any accumulation started.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.