Saturday, June 17, 2006

Late Night


Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.


Bigots on parade.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Make the Case

As we go through another round of "Ann Coulter is bad but we keep putting her on the teevee," we're inevitably forced to go through another round of "Michael Moore is just like Ann Coulter."

Make the case. Really - conservative pundits, trolls, bloggers, and mainstream balanced commenators - make it. I'm happy to be convinced, but it's just lazy and sloppy to make the assertion without having a clear idea about why the comparison is valid.

Media Concentration

When it comes to national media I agree with Yglesias that the ownership issue is less important than some think.

However, ownership concentration combined with other economic pressures has had an severely negative consequence for local media.


To Patrick Murphy and his lovely bride.

I'm sure in lieu of wedding presents a campaign donation would be appreciated.


Here's some book tour events, including one in Philly.

Media Matters

Jamison Foser's call to arms.

Too few of you have bought Boehlert's book. Bad readers.

Support those who are trying to make the press better.

Jamison writes:

Former Washington Post ombudsman Michael Getler, who now holds that position for the Public Broadcasting System, recently criticized Boehlert's Lapdogs, arguing that the book doesn't prove "that the press rolled over for Bush" because that "would mean knowing what was inside the heads of producers and editors at the time their news decisions were made." In response, Boehlert wrote: "I don't buy it. Journalists should be judged on the work they produce, not what's inside their heads while they're producing it." We at Media Matters agree completely. We can't know precisely what reporters are thinking and feeling while working on a story, even if we wanted to. Instead, while the Right launches allegations of "bias," we focus on content, not intent. Boehlert may not know why "the press rolled over for Bush" -- but it's clear after reading his book that they did.

New York Times public editor Byron Calame recently said at a journalism conference that "cheapened" feedback from Media Matters readers goes "straight into a folder," and suggested that Media Matters readers are insufficiently "thoughtful."

And that's one of the nicer reactions we've gotten recently.

ABC's Jake Tapper, whose false statements downplaying the White House's now-broken pledge to fire anyone involved in outing Valerie Plame we have repeatedly had to correct, lashed out at us this week. Again. Tapper has now accused us of "dishonesty" and "partisan martyrdom," which he says is an effort to fill our "professional coffers." He has said we are "clearly all-too-eager to engage in standards more fit to last-minute political attack ads than to fair and objective journalism." He has called us "partisan hacks" who "find conservative media bias in every reporter's ampersand." But while Tapper stoops to name-calling, Media Matters has stuck to the facts. Contrary to his suggestion that we allege "conservative media bias," we have done nothing of the kind. We've said he got something wrong, and we've provided facts to support that position. Like we said: We focus on content, not intent. But some reporters -- and Tapper seems to be one of them -- just can't stand to be told they are wrong. They lash out, they call names, and they claim we are doing something we aren't.

That's fine. We aren't going away, and neither should you.

Upping the Ante

Lamont's increasing his personal financing of his campaing.

Ned Lamont is contributing another $500,000 to his Senate campaign, bringing his personal investment in the race to $1.5 million, his campaign said Friday.

The Lamont campaign cast the latest contribution by the multimillionaire businessman as necessary to counter attack ads by Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman.

"Ned said he would not sit back and let Lieberman attack him without a response. This shows he wasn't kidding," said Tom Swan, Lamont's campaign manager.

I know some people wonder why the pretty wealthy Lamont wasn't just self-financing his entire campaign. He is obviously wealthy but I don't know if he really has the liquid wealth which would allow him to ceasily ompete with Lieberman's PAC money. But, in any case, this kind of campaign was only going to be viable if Lamont could pull together the kind of grass root support base which he appears to have done.

Join the party.

From the article we see how Lieberman's people lie almost reflexively, just like the administration they support:

Lamont had publicly promised for weeks to accept any invitation to debate, but the Lieberman campaign issued a press release Friday afternoon asking, "Will Ned agree to a debate and answer questions on issues that matter to real voters?"

Swan said the press release was cheap posturing, since Lamont had accepted Channel 30's invitation on Wednesday.

Two days after Lamont agreed to the debate, Lieberman implies he hadn't.

What a fucking wanker.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Late Night

Face. Shooting in the. Bad.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Evening Thread


Game On

Lieberman agrees to debate.

Friday Cat Blogging

Because contractors are currently ripping my apartment into little pieces we're all camped out in the living room together, providing many opportunities for cat photos. So here's a bunch to make up for the missing weeks:

Lieberman Watch

As of 1:36pm on June 16, 2006, Joe Lieberman is still claiming to be a Democrat.

How Is It Possible?

AJ asks:

But aside from the astonishing heartlessness and political stupidity of Republicans who immediately embraced this imbecilic plan, amnesty for anti-Coalition fighters endangers U.S. troops. How do we reconcile releasing people who have killed U.S. forces in the past with arresting and detaining those who do it in the future? "Sorry, Joe Insurgent, but you missed amnesty by a day. If you had only blown up that tank yesterday you could go free, but instead it's off to Abu Ghraib." And any such precedent sets up a situation in which the Iraqi government will constantly be using this as a card to play in negotiations. Negotiations with "terrorists." Something I thought we didn't do.

Under some circumstances amnesty is understandable, even beneficial. Most notably in a cease-fire agreement. But you can't have a government that both asks America to keep our troops there AND tells its people that it's okay to kill our troops. How is it possible that there are Republicans who don't understand that?

This Republican party is weak, inept, and stupid. They've never seen the Iraq war as anything other than a domestic political issue. They don't know how to govern. They're uninterested in competently running anything. This disaster is their fault, and except for a couple like "Freedom Fries" Jones, none of them have any understanding of or concern with what they've unleashed on the world.

They're incomptent mendacious clowns, who would be funny if they weren't running the show. But Michael Moore is fat, Al Gore shaved his beard, and Bush has got his mojo back because polls went up a point, all the way up to 37.

Mission accomplished!

Matt Speak

Democrats listen.

Iraq will be an issue in 2006, 2008, 2010... Iraq will be an issue for at least the next dozen Friedmans.

I don't know why no one seems to be aware of that.


I believe it's called "attempt to solicit."

The Bear Is Back

Apparently Lieberman's just partying like it's 1988:

The commercial evokes one that helped Lieberman first win his seat in 1988. That 1988 ad depicted the then-incumbent, Lowell Weicker, as a fat lazy bear who never showed up for votes in his third term in office. The ad was significant for two reasons: It inaugurated a new era in Connecticut of low-grade personal TV attack ads that belittle opponents, make fun of their appearance or magnify minor or out-of-context portions of their record. And, once he too was firmly ensconced in his third term in the Senate, Lieberman himself repeated Weicker's absentee record. Lieberman spent much of 2003 running for president--and away from his job as senator. He skipped 54 percent of all Senate votes that year. He was absent for every vote on 63 of the 115 days in which the Senate cast votes. According to one estimate, that meant the taxpayers overpaid Lieberman $38,828.79 in salary that year.

The new cartoon ad reprises the figure of the Weicker cartoon bear. And it adds a new one: a little "bear cub," aka Ned Lamont.

The same DC consultant hit man, Carter Askew, designed both ads. The new one shows Weicker coming out of his cave, still angry 18 years later that Joe Lieberman beat him. But he's too lazy to run again. "Instead of coming out of hibernation," the narrator informs us, "he sent his bear cub instead." (In fact, Weicker had nothing to do with Lamont choosing to run for Senate.) It portrays Lamont as a whining, hop-about baby who doesn't want to run against Lieberman because he previously gave Lieberman a campaign contribution. "But I agree with the Republicans 80 percent of the time!" cartoon Lamont protests in a shrill toddler's voice. But as a "cub" he has to listen to the big bear.

The new ad brings another modern Beltway campaign attack mode to Connecticut: Bush adviser Karl Rove's strategy of taking your own weakness and turning it into your opponent's weakness instead, through relentless misrepresentation of facts.


Russert's book is Hannity's book of the month. Peas in a pod.

Is Lieberman Nuts?

This ad is hilariously awful. What a nasty man, mocking a guy for having knee replacement surgery. Jeebus, what an attitude to have about senior citizens.

(via lamontblog)


When reporters take the words of liars and put them into print, they imbue those lies with their authority. Readers expect that newspapers are providing them with accurate information. I know that when the Vice President says something it's almost by definition news, but it's also bigger news that he's lying.

Dems on the Floor

Selection of videos of Dems on the Iraq debate yesterday from Pelosi's Youtube page.

Throwing Jefferson Over

Good. It's the right thing to do and it was done for the right reasons. Democrats won't get any credit for doing the right thing because the beltway kids haven't bothered to blame the Republicans for always doing the wrong thing.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Sirota on the Colbert Report

From last night.

The Depravity of Our Media

I certainly agree history requires that we continue to document the fact that there's nothing that right wing lunatics can say which will cause the mainstream media to stop giving them a prominent platform, but we really should acknowledge that fact.

Remember that Coulter got canned from MSNBC 9 years ago when, according to her, she said to a disabled veteran:

People like you caused us to lose that war.

Although she didn't actually say that - what she actually said was "no wonder you guys lost" - she herself gave the quote to Howard Kurtz when explaining to him what happened. Later she took Kurtz to task for falsely accusing her of saying what she herself had told him she said.

Needless to say she's been on NBC's various outlets numerous times since then.

Coulter's also mocked triple amputee Max Cleland, claiming that the silver star recipient wasn't a war hero.

Malkin accused John Kerry of inflicting his own wounds.

There's nothing these people can say which will stop the mainstream media from putting them on. It's all balanced out, you see, by the fact that Michael Moore is fat.

So, yes, Coulter identifies John Murtha as a worthy target of murder. She'll probably be rewarded with a show cohosted with Joe Klein where they can talk about how nasty liberal bloggers are.

Phantom Menace

As we've all learned, when wages go up the headlines imply it's worrying-to-bad news. Fortunately, then, we haven't had all that much of such bad news lately. As Krugman points out that's why the obsessive fear of inflation is misplaced (behind wall):

I'm worried too — but not about recent price increases. What worries me, instead, is the Fed's overreaction to those increases. When it comes to inflation, the main thing we have to fear is fear itself.

Discussions of inflation can be numbingly arcane — are you a core C.P.I. type or a trimmed-mean P.C.E. person? But the real issue is whether there's a serious risk that inflation will become embedded in the economy.

The classic example of embedded inflation is the wage-price spiral — better described as wage-price leapfrogging — of the 1970's. Back then, whenever wage contracts came up for renewal, workers demanded big raises, both to catch up with past inflation and to offset expected future inflation. And whenever companies changed their prices, they raised them by a lot, both to catch up with past wage increases and to offset expected future increases.

The result of this leapfrogging process was that inflation became a self-sustaining process, feeding on itself. And ending that self-sustaining process proved very difficult. The Fed eventually brought the inflation of the 1970's under control, but only by raising interest rates so high that in the early 1980's the U.S. economy suffered its worst slump since the Great Depression.

Fed officials now seem worried that we may be seeing the start of another round of self-sustaining inflation. But is that a realistic fear? Only if you think we can have a wage-price spiral without, you know, the wages part.

Evening Thread


When Wingnuttery Collides

Nathan Newman asks the right question: can you shoot cops who don't knock before they come in? (adding: if you don't know they're cops and believed you're threatened)

And He Resigns

So an aide to the Iraqi Prime Minister says amnesty for people who kill American troops is a good idea. A bunch of Republicans (see below) say it's a good idea. Aide resigns.

BAGHDAD, June 15 -- Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's office Thursday accepted the resignation of an aide who had told a reporter that Maliki was considering a limited amnesty that would likely include guerrillas who had attacked U.S. troops, the aide said.

The aide, Adnan Ali al-Kadhimi, stood by his account, reported in Thursday's issue of The Washington Post. Kadhimi said Maliki himself had indicated the same position less directly in public.

"The prime minister himself has said that he is ready to give amnesty to the so-called resistance, provided they have not been involved in killing Iraqis," Kadhimi said Thursday.

My head is spinning.

Taking Their Money

Yes the 2nd ad on your right is from another bullshit telco astroturft organization. I trust you're all smart enough to not be swayed by their cunning plans to brainwash you.

1, 2, 3...

You know, it's actually the case that the way to deal with an insurgency is with a political, not a military, process, but I really don't know how Republicans seamlessly slip from kill'em all to hug'em all.

From the DSCC:

This afternoon on the Senate floor, several Senate Republicans are DEFENDING the proposal to give amnesty to terrorists who have killed or wounded American troops. Here is a quick compilation:

TED STEVENS - “IF THAT’S AMNESTY, I’M FOR IT:” “I really believe we ought to try to find some way to encourage that country to demonstrate to those people who have been opposed to what we're trying to do, that it's worthwhile for them and their children to come forward and support this democracy. And if that's amnesty, I'm for it. I'd be for it. And if those people who are, come forward… if they bore arms against our people, what's the difference between those people that bore arms against the Union in the War between the States? What’s the difference between the Germans and Japanese and all the people we’ve forgiven?” – Sen. Ted Stevens

MCCONNELL SUGGESTED A RESOLUTION COMMENDING IRAQIS FOR GIVING TERRORISTS AMNESTY. “…might it not just be as useful an exercise to be trying to pass a resolution commending the Iraqi government for the position that they’ve taken today with regard to this discussion of Amnesty?” – Sen. Mitch McConnell

ALEXANDER COMPARED IRAQI AMNESTY FOR TERRORISTS TO NELSON MANDELA’S PEACE EFFORTS. “Is it not true that Nelson Mandela's courage and his ability to create a process of reconciliation and forgiveness was a major factor in what has been a political miracle in Africa…Did not Nelson Mandela, win a - the co-winner of - a noble Nobel Peace Prize just for this sort of gesture?” – Sen. Lamar Alexander

CORNYN: IRAQI AMNESTY DEBATE IS “A DISTRACTION.” “It makes no sense for the United States Senate to shake its finger at the new government of Iraq and to criticize them… it really is a distraction from the debate that I think the American people would want us to have.” - Sen. John Cornyn

CHAMBLISS: AMNESTY IS OK FOR EX-INSURGENTS AS LONG AS THEY ARE ON OUR SIDE NOW. “Is it not true today that we have Iraqis who are fighting the war against the insurgents, who at one time fought against American troops and other coalition troops as they were marching to Baghdad, who have now come over to our side and are doing one heck of a job of fighting along, side by side, with Americans and coalition forces, attacking and killing insurgents on a daily basis?” - Sen. Saxby Chambliss

Ponies Will Never Be The Same

Oh my.


You can watch the Dixie Chicks streaming live on the internets at 10pm ET tonight.

Speaking of Not Worth Bothering With

Greg Sargent bothers with Marshall Wittman.

Dishonest Racist Michelle Malkin

Taylor Marsh tries to reason with racist Michelle Malkin but it's rather pointless. Malkin and her merry band of hatemongers are just truly awful human beings.

Shorter Dawn Eden

Because I have problems everyone must stop screwing.

Those Wacky Republicans

If a governor's flunky accused me of fantasizing about the mass killing of American citizens I'd be considering my legal options. Via TPM Muckraker:

At Jackson’s request, Temple was escorted out of the office by Capitol police. At one point, five officers surrounded him, Temple said. They later told Temple that no charges would be sought, but that he would not be allowed in the governor’s office.

Jackson said that was his decision, and that he had good reasons. He called Temple one of the “Carnahan hate-bloggers…The Carnahans have a deep and visceral hatred for the Blunt family.'’

Jackson also accused Temple of having “Timothy McVeigh-like fantasies.'’

Temple, a lawyer, said he was struck “speechless'’ by Jackson’s McVeigh statement, and is weighing whether to seek legal action. Temple noted that McVeigh, convicted and executed for the Oklahoma City bombing, was “a mass murderer.'’

Wanker of the Day

Glenn Reynolds.


I had to skip out of this session to catch a train before Ned spoke but apparently he was rather popular:

WASHINGTON -- It's one thing to be the darling of the liberal bloggers; it's another to pull bodies into a room.

Ned Lamont did that Wednesday as 350 progressive activists crammed a hotel meeting room to witness the Senate challenger's first big national appearance.

After basking in three standing ovations before, during and after his nine-minute speech Wednesday, Lamont was asked by his new-found fans to pose for pictures.

For CT area people here's a list of Ned events.

As of 10:01 AM on June 15, 2006, Joe Lieberman is still claiming he's a Democrat...

Edited Truth

I saw Gore's movie again Monday night, as August says, and since I saw it a couple of months ago it had been edited down a bit.


The perpetual pre-writing of "Bush bounce" story is truly bizarre. Bush is a very unpopular president. Deal with it.

Morning Thread


Alex Speak

You listen.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Racist Michelle Malkin is a Liar

Water is wet, sun sets in the West, Jeff Goldstein is a moron, blah blah blah.

Late Night


Wanker of the Day

Tom DeLay.


For those who have forgotten their Lieberman lore, during his original Senate racerun he was supported by none other than William F. Buckley in his against moderate Lowell Weicker. Joe's lovefests with Hannity and other wingnuts also demonstrate who Joe feels more comfortable palling around with.

If Joe feels no loyalty to the party, there's no reason to believe that he'd caucus with the Democrats and vote for them for leadership positions if he managed to get re-elected.

Lieberman 2006: The Cut-and-Run Campaign.

The Teachers

Lamont picks up the endorsement of the Connecticut Education Association (36,000 members) just after getting the same from the Connecticut chapter of the American Federation of Teachers (26,000).

Be careful with this one Chuck...

Trust Me Chuck

I know Chuck Schumer isn't likely to take advice from little old me, but if he decides to support the increasingly-likely independent run from Joe Lieberman he's really going to regret it.

He'll regret it doubly when Joe bolts the party AND loses.

It's going to be fun.


Chris Matthews addresses the important issues of the day.

Know Your Wingnuts

Jeff Goldstein-Cockvulture.

Bush Mocks Blind Reporter


Afternoon Thread

Home finally. Haloscan still acting up?

Fresh Thread

Fixed something. Not sure what else is going on...


First threadbot abandons me, and now Haloscan seems to be having time stamp issues. I'll try to fix things up when I get home later today...


Jake Tapper was a whiny ass titty baby when he worked for Salon, and he's a whiny ass titty baby now.

The Pros

Ana Marie Cox has got her game.

Feeling the Nedrenaline

Went to a packed fundraiser for Ned Lamont yesterday here in DC (Take Back America conference). Went well, crowd was happy.

Gonna miss you Joe.

Late Night

May the force be with you.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Evening Thread


"First Few Bullets"

These people are disgusting.

...killed the server I think, here it is:

Karl Rove Taking Bullets?

Never one to let the facts or delicious irony stand in the way of a vicious political smear, today Karl Rove took a swipe at war heros Sen. John Kerry and Rep. John Murtha, stating, "They may be with you for the first few bullets but they won't be there for the last tough battles." Rove, of course, never served in battle, dodging the draft for nearly three years of the Vietnam War. He's in good company, though-- the Vice President received five deferments from going into battle himself.

"Unfortunately for the American military, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove and their merry band of draft-dodgers won't be with you for the first few bullets, the last tough battles, or anywhere along the way," said Christy Setzer, Communications Director, Senate Majority Project.

Afternoon Thread

Enjoy. On the road again...


I never had any faith in Leopold's reporting about Rove, but this latest news doesn't prove or disprove the basic question of whether Fitzgerald was ready to indict Rove. It's quite likely Rove has cut a deal of some sort. It's quite possible that Fitz's letter to Luskin, which hasn't been made public as far as I can tell, says something along the lines of "as long as you cooperate as promised your ass is safe for now."

God Save the Internet

New tune from Jill Sobule, Kay Hanley, and Michelle Lewis.

Time to Answer Questions

If Rove's really no longer the subject of an investigation will reporters demand - and get - answers to all the questions they refused to answer previously?

Operation Photo Op

Bush in Baghdad.

Meanwhile in Business News

What the hell's going on?

The Lieberman Strategy

Apparently it's to claim Lamont is a Republican who is supported by left wing weirdos.

Hilarious. I wonder if Arlen Specter's people ever referred to Pat Toomey voters as "right wing weirdos." I highly doubt it as I imagine they were busy trying to get them to vote for Specter.

Only Lieberman Democrats and their kind seem to enjoy insulting voters instead of wooing them.

...ah, reading through Lieberman's people distanced themselves from their supporter's comments. They're going to have to get all their people on the same page. Lamont can't be both a Republican and the darling of far left weirdos.

Not a Happy Way to Start the Morning

Luskin sez Rove in the clear for now. Still, it doesn't mean this is over...

Morning Thread


Monday, June 12, 2006


According to the schedule CSPAN2 will be broadcasting a panel I was on in about 2 minutes.

I'll be watching the daily show.

...never mind, apparently they lied. It's a panel which does not include me so it is NOT IMPORTANT. Return to the Colbert Report.

"Actions Have Consequences"

Indeed they do.

Bush Bounce

All the way down to 33%.

Sadly, No!

Yet again.

I do wish they'd get back to fixing the internets, however.

Truth Telling

One of the central conceits of contemporary "balanced" journalists is that unfettered by the ideological bias that infects mere mortals they have a unique ability to communicate the Truth to the world.

While the ego of the contemporary pundit generally includes a belief in their Superhuman Truthtelling ability, they usually don't continue with the conceit that they lack any ideological perspective at all.

Not so for Tom Friedman. He's just smarter than everyone.

Actually, he's a complete idiot. But you knew that.

Lucky for us, he'll be on the Daily Show tonight.


What Edward Wasserman says:

Source confidentiality

When the media decide that predatory bureaucrats with a good-enough story to tell are entitled to constitutionally sanctioned protection, regardless of their truthfulness and recklessness, where does that leave us, the citizenry? And what happens to that core principle of accountability -- of the government and the media?

The practice of source confidentiality needs an overhaul. The continuing Bob Novak affair, in which reporters have risked prison to safeguard the right of senior government officials to endanger a blameless CIA agent whose husband embarrassed the administration, should have been enough. Instead, the media's toothless response has been to treat this as a PR problem, to start disclosing the ''reasons'' for withholding an informant's name, which generally boil down to, ``The source insists.''

The real question is, why are you telling these guys' stories in the first place?

Confidentiality promises are powerful and complex things. Sometimes brave and desperate people take great risks to expose important wrongdoing, and the reporters who shield them accept legal exposure. Good for them.

Net Neutrality

Josh Marshall is keeping track of who is naughty and who is nice.

I've just heard Chris Dodd is in the nice category too.


Lamont challenges Lieberman to commit to supporting whoever wins the primary.

I think the Democrats may have a Lieberman problem.


Tim Russert hearts The Hair.

Fact Free Journalism

From Friday's Good Morning America. Ana Marie and one of Malkin's little pals have their script:


Well, that's a good question. I think that he probably couldn't get it with blogger hate but it's not clear how important the blogger love is. We have to remember no matter how much we've heard about bloggers they haven't been the force behind electing anyone at all. Daily Coast [sic-bad transcript] which is the, the sort of force behind the convention that was here, which was called Yearly Coast [sic- bad transcript again], actually is kind of, I think, I think an 0-20 record as far as candidates they've endorsed.



I see them as a force. I wouldn't say envy is the word. I mean, I wish Kos and acolytes all the success in the world. As in remention (PH), this guy has helped or fundraised for, I think it's, 20 candidates now and he's 0-20. So I wish him all the success in that. I'm sure all those are moral victories he's had. But, you know, we wish him all the success. Get those nut roots, I'm sorry, net roots out there and have them hobnob with the democrats and pull them further to the left and further out of the mainstream. That's fine with me.

Daily Kos, 6/2/04

It was a long night, and that 3-4,000 vote margin made for some serious heartburn. But Ben Chandler is no longer the junior member of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Rep. Stephanie Herseth gives the Democrats a 2-0 record in special election contests this year. That's after going over a decade without a single open-seat special election victory in the House.

And what makes the victory extra delicious is that both have come in strong Republican districts. Chandler's district was handily won by Bush 55-42, while South Dakota (Herseth's is an at-large seat) was a 60-38 Bush romp. Yet voters in both districts decided to flip parties and give Democrats a chance to fix the mess in D.C.

Chandler was able to eliminate any serious November competition with his handy victory in February. Herseth, on the other hand, will be bedeviled by Diedrich for the next five months straight. The GOP came too close to give November up without a fight. Herseth has become the Dems' most endangered incumbent. In fact, expect a wedge vote in the House designed specifically to put her in a bind. Some of you may not like it, but we're going to see some Republican-lite out of Herseth in the coming months. It's the only chance we'll have to hold the seat.

Both Chandler and Herseth were heavily supported by the Daily Kos. Not that it should really matter - of course bloggers are going to support more longshot candidates in general - but as this is a standard right wing talking points, loved by Time's liberal blogger as well as the rest of the lying liars on the right, I thought I'd clear it up for the hundredth time.

...adding, of course, the recent primary victory of Jon Tester.

Getting it Right

I'm quite glad that the blogosphere is chipping away at the reign of the Elite Pundit. For too long people with dubious expertise and track records have been opining with little accountability about the events of the day. What's weird is that despite their tenured role of making the news and its implications understandable to the rest of the great unwashed they seem to have little memory and little interest in the question of whether they ever actually do a good job at that. Greg Sargent has more:

I don't know, I kinda think being right on such matters as whether to fight a war might be important. Particularly if you're Tom Friedman, the man whom wavering liberals trusted more than anyone else in the galaxy to interpret the Middle East for them in the runup to the Iraq war. Whether you were right about that or not should tell us a thing or two about the soundness of your judgments and doctrines. Yet in Friedman's world, those who were right about Iraq couldn't possibly have been motivated by reason or sound thinking. No, they were driven by emotion: they "hated" the war.

Note how tidily this absolves Friedman from his own catastrophic failures of judgment and doctrine: It's as if those who did what people place their trust in him to do -- that is, get it right -- almost hit on the right position by accident, as if their emotions drove them to take a position that just happened to coincide with eventual reality.

Similarly, those same people who now are calling the war a failure want to "give up." Friedman is obviously saying that residual feelings over the argument about whether to invade shouldn't color our assessment of what to do right now. But his assertions are unwittingly revealing. He simply can't imagine that those who are ready to write off this horrible and costly venture are motivated by sound judgment or a clear reading of factual reality. Just as they were in the runup, they're now in the grips of another bad emotion, defeatism.

To be clear I'm not anti-expert and nor am I anti-generalist. I appreciate those who have skill at communicating their expertise to the general public and I also appreciate those who take the time and effort to educate themselves on a wide variety of subjects (I don't think you have to be a credentialed expert in a particular subject to have smart things to say about it). But Tom Friedman has decided that his opinion matters because he's Tom Friedman and his powers of analysis and prognostication are automatically superior to his critics.


Crazy Curt

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America PAC sent a letter to Crazy Curt Weldon asking him to stop pissing on the troops by making shit up. I can't find it on their site but here's an excerpt from the letter:

On behalf of the men and women who have and are currently serving in Iraq, I implore you to stop ignoring the facts just to save face. Your continued support for the decision to go to war cannot be justified by ignoring the reality of the overwhelming evidence and espousing conclusions you wish were true. You can honor the service and sacrifice of these brave men and women by acknowledging the reality on the ground in Iraq and moving forward with the facts, not spin. Please join Congress, the President, and our allies in admitting there are no WMD in Iraq, and focus on how to achieve victory there so our 21st Century American Patriots can come home with the honor they have earned.

I met Crazy Curt's opponent Joe Sestak (who I've seen at events in the area a few times) at Yearly Kos. He's definitely deserving of support.'s the full release.


I like Mark Schmitt's discussion of the Scoop Jackson myth.

There are perhaps several bits of Beinart’s history that I’m tempted to challenge, but I’ll pick on just one of them here because it’s been bugging me for years. It’s a fairly small thing, just a few pages in the book, but it is an essential pivot point for the argument and, frankly, for the New Republic view of the world. And that is the counterfactual proposition that if only, if only Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson had been the Democratic presidential nominee in 1972 or 1976, all would be right with the world.

This is an essential myth to many of the liberal hawks, to the neocons when they still considered themselves Democrats, and to some extent to the predecessors of the Democratic Leadership Council. (the Schachtmanite Committee for a Democratic Majority). And it’s central to Beinart’s argument. But it’s not just wrong, it’s ridiculous. If I went around arguing that if only Bill Bradley, who I worked for, had been the Democratic nominee in 2000, the world would be better, I might – in some unprovable sense – be correct, but people would still laugh at me. Because he didn’t get many votes. (And that was only six years ago, not 30.) Scoop Jackson wasn’t robbed of a nomination that was rightly his, or shot to death after winning the California primary. He just didn’t get many votes. He fell completely flat in 1972. And in 1976, he botched the tactics, unwisely skipping Iowa and New Hampshire and so by the time he won two primaries, Jimmy Carter had already consolidated the support of conservative Democrats while the liberals were split. Scoop Jackson’s not the great lost hope; he’s merely one of about two dozen capable, non-brilliant Senators since 1972 who saw a president in the mirror each morning, but couldn’t persuade anyone else to see the same thing. Would he have won those elections, if nominated? Who knows? Nor was Jackson some sort of foreign-policy visionary. He was a classic Western New Dealer (the really, really big spenders), who also happened to represent the biggest defense contractor of his era. The unsustainability of his pork-barrel “Guns AND Butter” policy would have tripped him up in the 1970s as surely as it did LBJ in the 1960s. If there is a deeper legacy that Jackson represents, it is uniformly a despicable one, in the form of people like Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz who used him as a vehicle for their emerging theories, and if their later careers are an indication of what a Jacksonian America would have been like, then we should be thankful he was a dud as a candidate. His dud candidacy deserves no more attention than those of Lloyd Bentsen, John Glenn, Fritz Hollings, and many others.

More generally I think this is a part of a highly un-democratic and elitist tone coming from certain quarters which seems to believe that Democratic voters are naive and childish and can't be trusted to vote for the "right" person. There'a s set of people out there who seem to believe that their role is to save Democrats from themselves, and they don't do it by trying to persuade or lead, but simply by being dismissive and condescending. Strange people.

Killing Unbelievers

I haven't really been following this closely, but everyone should be aware of the videogame invested in and promoted by major figures in the Christian Right which lets you roam around killing infidels.

Feel the love.

The Idiots Who Rule Our Discourse Part Deux

I know it shouldn't be a surprise by now, but it is frustrating that the elite editorial board in the country is apparently led by the fourth stupidest fucking guy on the face of the planet (1. Doug Feith, 2. Gregg Easterbrook, 3. Jeff Goldstein). This anti-net neutrality editorial basically gets everything wrong.

Being Judged by the Company You Keep

Time's liberal blogger.

As an aside, one great thing about Yearly Kos was meeting Tbogg and the dazzling and delightful Mrs. Tbogg.

The Idiots Who Rule Our Discourse

Tom Friedman. Jeebus.

Wanker of the Day

Michael Getler.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Never Leaving

Planning to stay in Iraq forever.

Gore Mania

Gore's movie took in a million and a half bucks this weekend despite being on only 122 screens. It'll get wider release on about 400 screens this coming weekend.


Kudos to Reid for being for net neutrality. I had the chance to have a bit of a chat with him with some other bloggers right before his speech. I was never quite sure how on or off the record it was so I can't go into detail, but he said a couple of surprising (in a very good way) things that I didn't quite expect from the conservative Democrat from Nevada.

He gave a good speech as well - the main bit of news was his legislation he's proposing regarding Iran. Here's the relevant bit from the press release:

Looking ahead to Iran and other national security challenges, Reid said: "We face many threats - threats that have grown worse - because this administration took its eye off the ball. We must address these threats, but we must never allow this Administration or any future Administration to manipulate or mislead for ideological or political reasons."

Reid's legislation, the Iran Intelligence Oversight Act, would:

  • Require an updated national intelligence estimate on Iran with an unclassified summary available to inform debate by Congress and the American people

  • Require the President to report to Congress on his objectives regarding Iran and his strategy for achieving them

  • Require the Director of National Intelligence to show Congress that he has a process to review statements about Iran and other key challenges to our national security made by President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and key cabinet officials to ensure they are consistent with the consensus assessments of professional intelligence analysts.

"Next week, I will introduce new legislation to ensure that Americans are not misled again about a national security challenge. The bill will require intelligence community professionals to monitor and certify administration statements about the threat posed by Iran," Reid said of the legislation. "Every thing they say will have to be supported by facts. I have no doubt the White House won't like this requirement, but after what happened in Iraq, the American people deserve nothing less."

He also discussed his recently arrived granddaughter, being quite proud of the fact that after she was named River Reid he had his "own little hippie."

mmm.... donuts

I really hope the Democrats are figuring out both how to capitalize politically on the arrival of the donut holes in the Medicare drug plan as well as actually, you know, wanting to make the program better.

Evening Thread

I think threadbot is drowning in tequila at the Bellagio. Normal blogging will resume shortly.



The election year is still young, and we haven't seen the half of this vitriol yet. Some politicians, like Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, are equal-opportunity bigots: when he isn't calling for the Senate to declare English the national language and demanding that immigrants be quizzed on the Federalist Papers (could he pass?), he is defending marriage by proclaiming that in his family's "recorded history" there has never been "any kind of homosexual relationship." (Any bets on how long before someone unearths the Inhofes' unrecorded history?) Vernon Robinson, a Republican Congressional candidate challenging the Democratic incumbent Brad Miller in North Carolina, has run an ad warning that "if Miller had his way, America would be nothing but one big fiesta for illegal aliens and homosexuals."

The practitioners of such scare politics know what they're up to. That's why they so often share the strange psychological tic of framing their arguments in civil-rights speak. The Minuteman Project, the vigilante brigade stoking fears of an immigration Armageddon, quotes Gandhi on its Web site; its founder, Jim Gilchrist, has referred to his group as "predominantly white Martin Luther Kings." On a Focus on the Family radio show, James Dobson and the White House press secretary, Tony Snow, positioned the campaign to deny gay civil rights as the moral equivalent of L.B.J.'s campaign to extend civil rights. James Sensenbrenner, the leading House Republican voice on immigration policy, likened those who employ illegal immigrants to "the 19th-century slave masters" that "we had to fight a civil war to get rid of." For that historical analogy to add up, you'd have to believe that Africans voluntarily sought to immigrate to America to be slaves. Whether Mr. Sensenbrenner is out to insult African-Americans or is merely a fool is a distinction without a difference in this volatile political climate.

Mr. Bush is a lame duck, but he still has a bully pulpit. Here is a cause he has professed to believe in since he first ran for office in Texas, and it's threatening to boil over in an election year. Imagine if he exercised leadership and called out those who trash immigrants rather than merely mouthing homilies about tolerance and dignity.

Tolerance and dignity are already on life-support in this debate. If the president doesn't lead, he will have helped relegate Hispanics to the same second-class status he has encouraged for gay Americans. Compassionate conservatism, R.I.P.

Wanker of the Day

George Will.