Saturday, June 24, 2006

Evening Thread

Enjoy, until Markos says you aren't allowed to enjoy anything anymore.


I do not think that word means what Marshall Wittman thinks it means.

Or, even scarier, maybe it does.

Adam Felber Gets Lazy

And recruits some new funny guest bloggers to help him out.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.


One does wonder why it's TNR's new internet business model, though I guess thinking back over the years the equivalent has often been the basic business model of the print magazine as well. Still waiting for answers from Zengerle. Lindsay writes:

It's all fun and games until someone starts fabricating sources. Glenn Greenwald notes that Zengerle claims that three sources sent him the same Steve Gilliard email. Unfortunately for Zengerle, the letter turns out to be a fake. Gilliard didn't write that letter and no such missive was ever posted to the Townhouse listerv.

So, how did Zengerle get ahold of three copies of the same fake email? The most charitable explanation is that he got egregiously burned by the same forger who sent him three copies of the fake, purporting to be different people. If so, Zengerle should burn that source, or if he doesn't know the source, admit that he'll publish anything from anyone. The second-most charitable explanation is that he got one fake email and lied about how many sources he had. The most disturbing possibility is that Zengerle fabricated the letter himself. It's time for Zengerle to burn his source, or resign. Somebody's gotta show Jason Leopold how it's done, and it might as well be Stephen Glass's old fact-checker Jason Zengerle.

Sunny, Sunni, What's the Diff

I have no idea what these guys actually intended to do if anything, though it doesn't seem as if they were too likely to succeed in blowing something up.

It's interesting that while the indictment claims one is called "Brother Sunni" his sister says her brother is Roman Catholic, and that his nickname since childhood was "Sunny." It's a small but rather significant detail, and it seems like something our crack media could probably clear up fairly easily.

Permanent Bases

I think Drum has the right idea. First, I believe there are a nontrivial number of elected Democrats who have, to some degree, bought into the benevolent empire notion with respect to the Middle East. Second, it isn't enough to raise the specter of permanent bases in Iraq. We have permanent bases all over the world. Maybe having permanent bases in Iraq is a grand idea, or would be if they were actually operating in a peaceful environment. I don't really have an opinion on that as I don't really have an opinion on the appropriateness of the dozens of other military bases we have around the world.

Still, I think it is necessary to point out that Bush's desire to stay in Iraq forever, while largely dominated by the fact that his ego is entirely invested in the project, is actually due in part to Bush's desire to stay in Iraq forever. That's a rather costly choice we're making as it isn't exactly a peaceful environment. People should be made to understand that.

The Picture of Dorian Grey

I'm really starting to worry about them over there at TNR. Maybe they need a nice big group hug or a nice glass of wine or something to calm them down.

Yes this pissing match is getting boring for all of us, but what can we make of a guy who, after calling bloggers fascists, defends the charge based on Markos's childhood experience in wartorn country and shrieks that people dared call him a "moron."

I do suspect, however, that Gizmo is a felinofascist.

Lies and the Lying Liars

Joe's still making shit up.

Right Side of History

Congratulations, residents of New Jersey, for your majority support of marriage equality.

Wanker of the Day

Richard Morin. As Stoller writes:

First of all, the problem with the testing Morin cites is that it assumes that 'hard news' programs are truthful, that politicians are honorable, and that journalists are honest and helpful to public discourse. If none of those conditions are accurate, then what the 'Daily effect' really shows is that Jon Stewart is able to accurately describe our political world to young people. And in fact, Daily Show viewers not only have more negative feelings about the political system, but they are better informed than 'hard news' viewers. And that sounds about right; things aren't great, the political system took the country to war that is nearly universally acknowledged as a horrific mistake, and 2004 presented us with two wildly unappealing old white men as candidates, so why is it good for citizens to 'feel' good about the political system? How is that a test of civic virtue instead of simple delusion?

Morin and the researchers go on to bite their nails about what this negative attitude might mean for voting. Only, young people voted in record numbers in 2004 (and I believe 2005 in NJ and VA as well, though I don't have those numbers handy), when many of them were getting their news from the Daily Show. Some Daily effect.

Ok, so let's be clear with what Morin is fretting about. He thinks that the Daily Show doesn't make younger viewers feel good enough about politicians and media figures. It's not enough that Daily Show viewers are better informed than any other media consumer, that young people voted in record numbers, that, and that the choice in 2004 for President presented young people with two wildly unappealing old white men. No, it's all about young people not feeling good enough about the people who routinely lie to them.

Young people have very negative feelings about politics, and rightfully so. And they're voting anyway. That's amazing. I suppose what Morin doesn't like is that the Daily Show punctures the media's sense of self-importance (of which Morin displays an amply large amount), and that young people are watching Stewart instead of reading Morin.

Morning Thread

Threadbot must've skipped town again.

Late Night


Friday, June 23, 2006

Questions for Zengerle

Glenn Greenwald wonders where Zengerle got an email from Steve Gilliard to the now mythic Townhohuse list that Gilliard didn't send.

Sounds like he can:

a) Produce the email with correct header information and Glenn will have egg on his face (as will I)

b) Out the claimed "three sources" who sent him a bogus email


Evening Thread


Friday Cat Blogging


Because everyone loves these posts, picking up where Garance leaves off it's time to acknowledge a few things. First, lots of bloggers and blog readers have something against the nebulous club of "A-List bloggers." I'm not sure who is exactly in that club, but I imagine it's fair to assume it includes Markos and myself among others.

There are a variety of reasons people seem to like to get their hate on at us, especially Markos, and I'll try to spell them out as I understand them without bothering to argue with them.

1) A-list bloggers have shitty blogs that no one should read but people just read them because they've been around for so long.

2) A-list bloggers are supporting the wrong candidates/causes. They are doing X, but they should be doing Y.

3) A-list bloggers suck up all the attention from better bloggers who everyone should be reading.

4) A-list bloggers end up representing the "netroots" but they shouldn't.

5) A-list bloggers aren't generous enough with their links and should be providing more publicity for other bloggers.

6) A-list bloggers are stupid and they're ugly and nobody likes them.

Anyway, I'm sure there are more reasons. I won't bother going into more detail except to say that I do find it truly bizarre that whatever people think of Markos personally or the Daily Kos generally, he actually gets surprisingly little credit for the fact that he's provided a platform which allows literally anyone to reach immense numbers of readers per day in an almost entirely community-run platform. I find that rather weird.

Okay, time for cat blogging.

Not Just Coulter

As Pierce notes, it's rather laughable for a pundit universe which includes Ann Coulter to question whether Bruce Springsteen should just STFU because he's merely a musician.

But, more generally, there's no qualification or particular expertise or license one obtains to get to talk about politics on stage, on cable, on the radio, or on the internets. In outlets with barriers like TV and radio, some people magically enter the "pundit club" through various channels. Some people earn their key to face time by being on enough rolodexes. Some people are actually experts in some stuff. But, for a long time punditry has consisted of people who don't necessarily know what the hell they're talking about posing as experts in just about everything. That's not necessarily as bad as it sounds, but it's made better if we strip away the pretense that everyone invited to talk about stuff on the TeeVee is actually an expert.

More Rumors Joe is Gonna Jump soon

Poor Joe, taken down by Franco loving Trotskyite supporters of Republican Ned Lamont.

Or something.

He's Stupid and He's Ugly

And Olbermann destroys little Ricky.

Finally a Plan

Democrats find Republican plan for Iraq (.pdf.)

Joking aside, I wish we would abandon this "plan" frame. It's a mess, there's no good "plan." There's just a decision about how many people have to die because the president is too petty and too stupid to find a way to declare victory and go home.

Wanker of the Day

Whiny ass titty baby Ernie Fletcher.

Content-based state censorship. That is, to put it bluntly, anti-American. What the hell country do these people want to live in anyway?


Here's Springsteen on CNN discussing various things, including cable news and Ann Coulter.

Can get his latest here:

War as Narcissism

Yglesias writes:

They say the definition of insanity is trying the same thing and expecting different results. But, as Andrew also says, I suspect his point of view on this is fairly widely held in this town by the saner Republicans as well as your hawkish Democrats. It's also a little crazy.

I mean, consider what we're contemplating here. Twelve months from now the war will have lasted about as long as American participation in the second world war. Twelve months after that there will still be six months left in the Bush administration's lifespan. In January 2009 when a new administration takes office, the war will have been going on for five and a half years, virtually the entire span of time between Hitler's invasion of Poland and the Nazis' surrender. With the difference being that Andrew doesn't believe we'll actually make any serious amount of progress between now and then.

This gets us toward what is, I think, a fairly fundamental point of political morality -- it's wrong, seriously wrong and seriously irresponsible, to support military action that has no likely prospects of success. It's one thing to ask young men and women to kill and die for a good cause. It's another thing entirely to ask them to kill and die as a token of your support for a good cause.

One wonders how many more people will die so that people like Andrew Sullivan can feel better about themselves and what they helped to cause.


It's hard to hate Geraldo completely, as during Monica Madness he had the only show where you could occasionally get a semi-sane viewpoint on the subject represented, but it's still fascinating what an incredible asshole he is.

One of television's finest moments was when, on his brilliantly bizarre show on New York's channel 9, Howard Stern staged the "Scrapple in the Apple" - a boxing match between trash-talking Geraldo and Frank Stallone.

Unsurprisingly, Geraldo got his ass kicked. Good times.

Some Other Way

Ah, the passive-aggressive thinly veiled called for violence, typical of cowardly pasty chickenhawks sitting in their cubicles.

Of course, the media will continue to invite the powerliners on, as CNN does Bill Bennett to express this basic view. It's truly bizarre why they continue to embrace those who want them dead, metaphorically and literally.


Don't forget, it's tonight! Article in local Metro:

PHILADELPHIA — Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg wants to be Rick Santorum.

“It’s just crazy for gays to get married,” he said. “It’s like dogs getting married to a rock.”

Actually, Urevick-Ackelsberg wants to be the first-ever “mockSantorum.” Along with two other contestants, he’ll go for the crown tonight at an event sponsored by Philadelphians Against Santorum (PAS), a group that wears its hatred for the conservative junior senator from Pennsylvania on its sleeves and Web sites.

Tonight at 8. Details here.

Memories of Joe

Mark Schmitt contemplates Lieberman:

So I ought to be a Lieberman “dead-ender.” I’ve respected him for 30-some years, I don’t mind his idiosyncratic positions, I don’t demand party loyalty, and I don’t insist on any particular position on how to end the war. But I’m not. Because something happened to Lieberman, and it’s more than his position on the war. It is not, as John Dickerson wrote on Slate this week that he “symbolizes” all the other Democrats who voted for the war or won’t take a firm stand. Above all else, it’s simply his self-righteous anger, his hostility to those who differ. He alone among Democrats seem to think that opponents of the war are not just mistaken, but will cause us to lose. (Just as he alone can continue to describe the choice in the war as “winning” or “losing,” as if “winning” were somehow still possible, as opposed to salvaging a bad situation.) He alone would say something like, “”We criticize the commander-in-chief at our own peril.” And he alone would suggest, as he did to David Broder, that Democrats who criticized Bush on the war were acting from "partisan interest" while he was thinking of "the national interest." He alone seems more focused on what he sees as the errors of the war’s opponents than those who launched the war. As Michael Tomasky said of Peter Beinart’s New Republic position on the Iraq War, it was not so much that they supported the war as that they “opposed the

It seems to me that Lieberman is following the path, quite literally, of the neo-conservatives - not the Rumsfeldian nationalists who incorrectly wear that label now, but the original neo-cons of the 1960s, driven to the right above all by their irritation at the left, often based on domestic politics. (Hence the title of this post, an allusion to one of the most famous original documents of the neocons, Norman Podhoretz’s 1967 essay, “My Negro Problem - And Ours”.)

Is that enough of a reason to oppose Lieberman? Sure, because it’s a huge error on one of the most fundamental questions of our time. It’s an error not of policy or of political loyalty, but of attitude. And it is not an error that I see others making. I heard Ed Kilgore today, on a bloggingHeads sequence, argue that if “the bloggers” come for Lieberman today, tomorrow they’ll go after Steny Hoyer or Hillary Clinton. I can’t speak for everyone, but while I have disagreements with Clinton and probably Hoyer, I’ve never heard them say things as deeply offensive to my sense of what democracy and patriotism requires as I’ve heard from Lieberman recently.

I think the "opposed the opposers" characterization captures quite nicely why anti-war people are still rather pissed off at a certain set of people. Too many pro-war people didn't just set out to win their argument (such courage, supporting the official actions of a sitting government), but actively joined in to marginalize those of us who disagreed. It was a highly discouraging time in history, it was a highly disheartening time to be partcipating (in the tiny way that I was) in the public discourse. Even those who who supported the war should've had the sense to notice that the active marginalization of dissenters, and the general way this war was sold, was something to be troubled about.

Oddly, give his later calls for a grand purge, during the pre-war period Peter Beinart was actually one of the few to be a bit less hostile, at least in his TV appearances, to those who were anti-war.

Fascistic Forces

TNR turns into the Onion.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


I don't know who to pity more, Ann or Mickey.

Still, Mickey at least aims for respectability and presumably is generally against the concept of "murdering journalists" so it's puzzling that he's good pals with the woman who once said:

My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building.

Oddly, few who commented on that seemed to understand what she actually said. She wasn't simply advocating the death of all who worked in the NYT Building, though of course she was doing that. She was also signalling her approval of what Timothy McVeigh did do - kill hundreds of federal workers and others, including children. His failure to take out folks at the Times was her "only regret."

Slate endorsed, slate approved.


Seeing the Future

Ann Coulter at the 2024 Republican convention, mocking the service of the Democratic presidential nominee, a decorated Iraq war veteran and Purple Heart recipient.

Roger Ailes Makes A Funny

The good one.

Evening Thread


Carville and Shrum

During the 2004 presidential primary season Bob Shrum was Kerry's media adviser. I don't actually know if he was hired directly or through Greenberg Carville Shrum. But, in any case, at that time a close associate of Carville's was in Kerry's camp, and during that time Carville was a regular on Crossfire, as well as being quoted repeatedly in newspapers about the primary campaign, generally labelled as a "political consultant" or "democratic strategist."

Carville was pretty negative about Dean through this period. I can't verify this anecdote - so take it with a grain of salt - but someone once told me that in the Iowa press area after the "Dean scream" the first words out of Carville's mouth were "put a fork in him - he's done" to a room full of typing journalists.

Now I'm not accusing Carville of any sort of "pay for play," that anything he said in the media was based on any financial considerations, but the point is these kinds of intersections between money, business, colleagues, friendship, and those in the media are pretty much standard in Washington. "Standard" doesn't mean "right" and these kinds of relationships in the lobbying/consultant/media world are crying out for some more press attention.

Generally, "political strategists" are quoted all of the time in the media, or have spots on cable news, and miraculously they never seem to have any clients. Or, more to the point, we are never told who their clients are. Perhaps they just stand on a soap box on the corner and announce their strategy to Washington pedestrians. Still, one assumes that they do have clients and that what they say is indirectly or directly motivated by that.

This kind of thing comes into play mostly during the presidential primary season, when people choose up sides, but that's quite a long season.


I was struck by these comments by Bush for rather obvious reasons:

Mr Bush forestalled the Europeans by raising the issue of Guantanamo Bay at the summit, saying that he understood their concerns. He spoke of his "deep desire to end the program", adding: "I'd like to end Guantanamo. I'd like it to be over with."

Some of the inmates would be returned to their home countries, he said. But "there are some that need to be tried in US courts. They are cold-blooded killers. They will murder someone if out on the street."

So, presumably Bush believes that "some" or even "most" are not "cold-blooded killers." In fact, it sounds like they haven't even committed offenses which would merit being tried in a court.

How long have they been there?

Slimy and Tabloidy

I look forward to adopting the "new republic" standard for dealing with private emails in the future. Then I too can be a real journalist!

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Coulter Hearts Lieberman

By the "Belafonte standard" I'm sure Tim Russert will be asking Joe about what he thinks of Ann the next time he stops by Little Russ's place.

Why Don't Republicans Want the War to End?

It is truly bizarre. Bush is on the record is stating that there is no chance that the war will be over before he leaves office.

That's just under three years from now.

That means the war will go on for almost twice as long as it already has.

Why do Republicans want this?

20th Hijacker

Not quite as many of them as there are Al Qaeda number threes, but...

Woo Me

As ordered, this blog has become all about Markos all the time. The kitties do have to eat, after all. So, let me just echo something he writes here:

There's no doubt Hillary faces some hostility in the netroots. I've had several reporters ask me whether Clinton has "reached out" to the netroots, to which my answer is, "no". "Ahh", think the reporters, "So what Hillary needs to do is 'reach out' more and all will be well, right?"

Nevermind that "reaching out", in political terms, seems to mean "have a meeting with Markos", which is so freakin' stupid I can hardly stand it. I rarely do those kinds of meetings because frankly, I never know what to say. It's not like politicians will ever say anything juicy anyway. I'll talk to politicians when working on a journalistic endeavor (like Crashing the Gate or, early next year, my book on Libertarian Democrats). Other than that, I'd rather hang out with a staffer any day of the week. Staffers actually give you real information because they don't have to worry about "gaffes" or making a bad impression or whatever.

This is exactly right. I'm never comfortable with hierarchical relationships. I like hanging out with people who perceive me as a peer and vice versa. If, for example, I happened upon Al Gore in an airport bar and we got to shooting the shit and had a nice time that'd be great, but I have no desire to set up a formal meeting with Al Gore so he can pitch something to me.

There's really nothing they have to offer me. I'm not much of a star fucker, and whatever minor thrill of meeting politicians there was once has now mostly faded. Some politicians are pretty cool and interesting individuals who might be entertaining to shoot the shit with, but unless the conversation is at that level I'm really just not all that excited by it.

Markos is a Big Gay

And he likes gay things and his blog is gay and he's a big gayee gay gay gay, as gay as gay can be. But it would irresponsible to say so.


I do not think that word means what Howard Kurtz thinks it means.



Jeff Goldstein 2018, Artist's Conception

"A Healthy Dose of Innovation"

That's their slogan, but the healthy dose of innovation of Unicare Life and Health apparently involves signing up a friend for Medicare D without her permission, potentially messing with her coverage in the plan she's supposed to be enrolled in, and after 4 phone conversations, a call to Medicare, and a letter (and another one about to be sent), are sending her bills and have yet to take her off the plan.

Joementum 2: Biden Boogaloo

And Biden flushes his presidential campaign down the toilet before it begins.


Since "having a friend who works for a campaign" is apparently the new prima facie standard for evidence of corruption in Washington, it would actually be nice if journalists spent some more time tracking the chain of money and jobs in Washington - campaigns to consultants to lobbyists to media figures and around and around - to untangle the genuine financial conflicts of interest which rule that town.

Trying to Appeal to the Cool Kids

Lieberman using Jon Stewart to make himself look cool.

Light'em Up

Help save the internet. Call senators.

MockSantorum Finals

For local folk, come on out tomorrow night as we choose the best lying freak Rick Santorum impersonator.


I for one look forward to when we're ruled by our cyborg lawyer overlords.

"Heh. Indeed. Delete."


New maximum enlistment age for army, second increase this year.


Republicans really believe that by promising to stay in Iraq forever they'll win elections. I do think the politics of Iraq are a bit tricky, even though the press completely ignores polls showing that the Democratic positions are in fact popular, but it's up to Democrats to make the public understand that this is in fact what the Republicans are gloating about.

All About Politics

We're staying in Iraq in part because we'll never leave as long as Bush is president. We're also staying because it's an election year.

140,000 campaign props.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Wanker of the Day

Lying freak Rick Santorum.

Notable Quotables

Jon Stewart:

The House of Representatives is filled with insane jackasses.


I'm the monkey, and when Markos (who is worse than Hitler) says dance, I DANCE! Otherwise, the kitties don't eat. You understand my position.

I thought we solved all this stuff at the last blogger ethics panel.

...Jane has more.

Dying for Ricky's Bullshit

Despite my reputation for seething blogospheric rage, I'm actually rarely that angry, but little Ricky lying about what's going on in Iraq, putting his party and his re-election above country while shitting all over the soldiers that are in harm's way really pisses me off.

What a fucking wanker.

Crazy World

I really don't know how we stop this.

Whistling Past Dixie

No need to kiss anybody's rebel ass, especially those who demand you do.

Lieberman for the Opposition

Apparently stay the course is his cunning plan.

If someone gets his actual statement I'd be curious to see it.

Debasing Everything

That's about all most Republicans know how to do these days.


In Coulter's latest book she reveals an interesting obsession.

Page 12:

Liberals used to tell us they were teaching fisting to fourth-graders because ‘kids are going to have sex anyways!’ (Yes, ‘fisting’ is exactly what it sounds like; have a nice day!) Now they’ve dispensed with that and openly concede that they believe virtue is just one of many equally valid points of view that must be counterbalanced with the argument for promiscuity, group sex, fisting, and other lifestyle choices.

Page 175:

Anal sex, oral sex, fisting, dental dams, ‘birthing games’—all that would be foisted on unsuspecting children in order to protect kindergartners from the scourge of AIDS.

Page 275 251:

From the reaction of the evolutionists, you would think the Dover schools were teaching fisting to twelve-year-olds (when, as any student knows, that’s not covered until junior year).

I'd simply chalk it up to Coulter's understanding of the conservative need to get lots of kinky porn with condemnation, or maybe our Ann is more religious than we give her credit for.

Quote of the Day

From BooMan:

Don't read The Note. It will make you stupid and, quite possible, turn you into an asshole.

Though my take on The Note has always been, with apologies to Douglas Adams:

A bunch of mindless jerks who will be first up against the wall when the revolution comes.


DFA is taking a vote on who should get their next endorsement.

I recommend Patrick Murphy, but make your own choice of course.

Where Did Safavian Work?

Someone tell the press that it was The White House.


Probably the best bit of Boehlert's book is his chapter on The Note. Here's a taste of it in a Monthly article adapted from it.


Criminologist unhappy with Scalia's misuse of his research.

A report on NPR made clear that most leading cops are pretty unhappy with the evisceration of the exclusionary rule. It wasn't really hampering investigations, and the clarity made training and establishing proper procedures fairly simple.

The idea that civil suits are a reasonable remedy to civil rights violations is ridiculous. "Yes, members of the jury, my client was convicted of 1st degree murder, but we nonetheless ask that the police department be forced to pay compensation for the violation of his rights..." uh-huh.

"Less Mean"

Bill Kristol is correct, it is a problem if people are being nice to him.

Governor Censor

Ernie Fletcher, who is both corrupt as hell and probably the biggest whiny ass titty baby on the planet has blocked government computers from accessing the bluegrass report.


That was easy. Joe's net approval among Dems in CT now negative.

Joe's still full of crap.

And Harold Meyerson explains that Lieberman is truly a wanker.

Atrios is Bad for Eschaton

Too true.

Kos is still worse than Hitler, though.

"Truly Surprising"

Uh, Greg, have you been reading the Times' campaign/political journalism over the past decade? This is what the editors love!

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Late Night


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Evening Thread

Enjoy. the new boss, same as the old boss.


So, we torture a mentally ill guy and panic law enforcement all around the country so that the president doesn't "lose face."

All of it - homeland security, the "war on terror," Iraq - they've always only understood it as domestic politics. This type of stuff should make people rise up in horror at what the clowns in charge have been doing, but I suppose it's far more important to discover how many nights per year the Clintons spend together.

More Assrocketry

From David Weigel.

Opposing the War

Well, I've numbed my brain going through numerous Joe Klein transcripts. The most "opposition" I've found is in the post below. Here's probably the definitive Joe Klein view of the war, from 2/22/2003 on the Tim Russert show:

Mr. KLEIN: All you have to do is look at a--a picture of Abraham Lincoln's face, a photo of Abraham Lincoln's face, during the Civil War or Franklin Roosevelt's face during World War II, the dark circles under his eyes, or, you know, those photos of John Kennedy silhouetted against the--you know, the--the Oval Office windows during the Cuban Missile Crisis. I mean, we haven't gone to war with Iraq yet, but we have been involved in a clear, you know, cut confrontation since September 11th. And what you get from this president publicly are these very, you know, occasionally--often elegant public speeches, and then he kind of lapses into, you know, this tough macho talk.

I was watching him at the--at the Jacksonville Naval Station, and he was kind of leaning an elbow on the podium and kind of squinting sideways at the camera and dropping his G's and saying, 'We're smokin"em out. We're gonna get 'em.' And I just think that that kind of attitude, you wonder how that squares with the humility of his religious faith. You know, I'm not questioning his faith. I think it's real, and I think it's--it--it's a--it's an enormous comfort and enormous strength for him. But I do wonder about the absence of doubt. One of his top aides said to me, 'There's been no hand-wringing about this. There's been no existential anguish.' Well, some anguish is called for. This is a really tough decision. War may well be the right decision at this point. In fact, I think it--it's--it--it probably is.

RUSSERT: Now that's twice you've said that: 'It's the right war.' You believe it's the wrong time. Why do you think it's the right war?

Mr. KLEIN: Because sooner or later, this guy has to be taken out. Saddam has--Saddam Hussein has to be taken out.


Mr. KLEIN: He has been defying the world for 12 years. It is very clear--I mean, I--I--I haven't found anybody who doesn't believe that he's hiding stuff there. And if there's going to be a civilized world order, the--the world has to be able to act on its--you know, on--on--on its agreements. And--and there have been now 17 UN resolutions calling on this guy to disarm, a--something that he agreed to do, and at certain--at a certain point, you have to enforce it.

Now you can quibble with the fact, you can argue with the fact that the Bush administration forced this judgment at this time in this way, but I think--and--but I--but I do believe that it was Bill Clinton's moral responsibility and responsibility as leader of the country to do it in 1998, as we--as we were saying before. And--and I think that now that we've reached this point, where the inspectors are in and it has become absolutely manifestly clear that he's not going to abide by this--you know, just look at his behavior in the days since the peace protests. All of a sudden, you know, he's--he's--you know, he's defiant again.

So I think that, you know, the--the message has to be sent because if it isn't sent now, if we don't do this now, it empowers every would-be Saddam out there and every would-be terrorist out there.

RUSSERT: So you expect war?

Mr. KLEIN: I do expect war. And, in fact, I think the only way to avoid war now is a unified--absolutely unified show of force on the part of the civilized world.

There you go.

Opposing the War

Okay, there is this from Meet the Press, 12-8-2002

MR. KLEIN: I think from a diplomatic and global political standpoint at this point, the administration is going to have to show its cards. It's going to have to show exactly what we know about what's going on in there, the way Adlai Stevenson did at the United Nations in 1962 before the Cuban missile crisis, or else we don't have a case. We may go ahead and do it in any case, but it's going to hurt us long term, big time, in the rest of the world. So now is the time to do that or not. And I still think that, you know, the sequencing of this is all wrong. We've got a lot of other things that we should be doing in this war against terror before we go after this guy.

Opposing the War

Okay, here we have Klein on the Chris Matthews show, 11/24/2002

Mr. KLEIN: Yeah.

MATTHEWS: Do you think the president and his people still want to try to avoid a war, or are they using this weapons inspection program as a pretext to go in there?

Mr. KLEIN: I--I think--I--in all likelihood we're going to go to war with Iraq, but I think we're already...

MATTHEWS: No matter what Iraq does?

Mr. KLEIN: Well--but--but we're in--but we're in a war. And--and this has to be seen in the context of the larger conflict with--with radical Islam. I mean, we're at the beginning, I fear, of a very long religious war.

Ms. VANDEN HEUVEL: But--but a war with Iraq is a distraction from the fight against terrorism. The consequences of destabilization in the region undermining the real fight. The anti-Americanism it's going to breed

Mr. KLEIN: Not if it's going to be right.

Mr. CARLSON: Well...

Ms. VANDEN HEUVEL: What is it doing right...

Mr. KLEIN: Not--not if it's done right.

Ms. VANDEN HEUVEL: Re--regime--but the--the whole preemptive--but...

Mr. KLEIN: This guy has some really terrible stuff and you've got to get rid of it.


Ms. VANDEN HEUVEL: I think that there is a--this is the most imperial presidency. I really believe that there is an accretion of power in the Executive Branch.

MATTHEWS: You think that president is

Mr. KLEIN: We're at war here...

MATTHEWS: You think the president is just a repressive dictator? The president?

Mr. KLEIN: We're...

Ms. VANDEN HEUVEL: I--no, no. But there' a difference between a dictator and imperial presidency. And the collateral damage, the weakening of our democracy is one I think we need to take seriously.

Mr. KLEIN: We're at war with people who have absolutely no scruple. When you're at war--when you're at war, the notion of civil liberties changes a little bit as Richard Posner has said.

Ms. VANDEN HEUVEL: Yeah, balance.

Mr. KLEIN: But, I mean, the bottom line is that this is the wildest, freest, most spontaneous country in the world. And I don't care what kind of 1984-like title they put on an--on--on their--their agency, and what kind of former Reagan person they put in charge there, this is going to remain the wildest, freest, most spontaneous country in the world.

More as I find it...

The Challenge

Joe Klein says that he "opposed the war" and implies a September 2005 cover story im Time justifies that claim, presumably through the Time Independent Principle of Punditry (even though said article never actually expresses opposition to the war, just a critique of how it was done).

I haven't been able to find anything from Klein during the pre-war period in which he expresses opposition to the war. Maybe it exists - I'm not saying it doesn't - but I can't find anything. See if you can.

The point being that if you're a pundit with a regular column in one of the nation's premier weekly news magazines and you have negative opinions about the premier political and foreign policy question of our time perhaps you'd see fit to be on the record about that.


Warner's PAC is having a little contest to see which (mostly congressional) candidates will get money from the PAC, and the grand prize winner will get a fundraiser with Warner. As with all of these things I imagine it's in part a cunning plan to expand their email database, but if some of your favorite candidates are on there that might be a sacrifice you're willing to make.

My votes for this round are:



But, choose your own of course.

"No Shame"

Howie Kurtz's favorite blogger looks in the mirror.

Wanker of the Day

George W. Bush.


Bush administration official guilty.

WASHINGTON - A jury found former Bush administration official David Safavian guilty Tuesday of covering up his dealings with Republican influence-peddler Jack Abramoff.

Safavian was convicted on four of five felony counts of lying and obstruction. He resigned from his White House post last year as the federal government's chief procurement officer. No date was immediately set for sentencing.

The trial consumed eight days of testimony about Safavian's assistance to Abramoff regarding government-owned real estate and a weeklong golfing excursion the lobbyist organized to the famed St. Andrews golf course in Scotland and London. Safavian went on the trans-Atlantic trip while he was chief of staff at the General Services Administration, and other participants were Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, two Ney aides and Christian Coalition founder Ralph Reed.

The verdict came on the fifth day of jury deliberations.

Gore for the Hour

Google Video has Gore on Charlie Rose. The free "low quality preview" is actually pretty good quality and it's the whole thing.


Fresh off an ad campaign depicting Lamont as a Republican, Lieberman is now attacking him for wanting to be too much of a partisan Democrat. Hilarious.

"I've been really fed up by the rigid partisanship in Washington, not just about the war," Lieberman told reporters later. Of Lamont, he said, "Part of his attacks on me are that I haven't been partisan enough, haven't been a polarizer enough."

He denied that his attack on partisanship was an unwise message for a candidate intent on winning a Democratic primary. Only 5 percent of Democrats in Connecticut gave Bush a high approval rating this month.

"I'm telling the truth," Lieberman said. "Whether it's risky or not, I don't know. My obligation is to tell the truth to the American people."

Lamont said Lieberman's comments were surprising, considering that Lieberman previously has attacked him as being too cozy with Republicans while Lamont was a local official in Greenwich.

"He's got to be making up his mind. Half the time he accuses me of being too bipartisan when I'm on the board of selectmen in Greenwich. And the other half, it's this accusation," Lamont said.

In a Nutshell

The Bush administration:

The topic was the largest defense procurement scandal in recent decades, and the two investigators for the Pentagon's inspector general in Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's office on April 1, 2005, asked the secretary to raise his hand and swear to tell the truth.

Rumsfeld agreed but complained. "I find it strange," he said to the investigators, on the grounds that as a government official "the laws apply to me" anyway.


"There will be no early withdrawal as long as we run the Congress and occupy the White House." - Bush's extraordinarily blustery red-faced speech last night.

The thing the Kleins and the Friedmans and the Bayhs and just about everybody else don't seem to understand is Bush equates leaving with losing. There will be no significant withdrawal from Iraq, if any, as long as Bush is in office. All of these people accusing some Democrats of "defeatism" because they want to encourage Bush to start pulling out troops seem to not understand or care that what they're doing is ensuring that we have the status quo until January 2009 at the earliest, almost 6 years after the start of the war.

I believe we'll call that length of time "one Bush."

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Joephie's Choice

As the most recent poll supports, the idea that Joe would fare better as an independent is puzzling. It's premised on the idea that Republicans would sit out a three-way race, given how much they love their Joey-bear. But Republicans would, you know, actually try to win such a race. Joe-the-Independent running against a well-funded Republican wouldn't necessarily fare so well.

Still, Lieberman's running as if going independent is what he thinks is the best strategy. Methinks it's because he thinks the Republicans really love him.

They don't, Joe. Nobody does.

Monday, June 19, 2006

And the Zombies Will Return

Sadly, Josh is right. Remember the liberal Al Hunt on Cap Weinberger's pardon, from 1993 on CNN:

HUNT: I thought the pardon of Weinberger was justified, despite the fact that he misled Congress.

Libby will be pardoned eventually, and official Washington will breathe a sigh of relief. It's up to the rest of us to explain to the world why this is not okay. The punditocracy won't do it for us.

Joe Klein Is Hot And Bothered

Oh my.

History's Greatest Monster

Given the generally negative press President Carter gets about his presidency (better press about his post-presidential activities) I was pretty surprised by this poll which I hadn't seen before, which puts approval of how he handled his job at 61%. I was also surprised that Nixon's stuck at 28%.


Uh, what Yglesias says. Technology is great. Blogging is great. Neither will solve all of our problems, and neither are the path to utopia. I can't remember ever expressing anything even remotely like Reynolds' general take on this subject.

Damn Threadbot

Apparently he stole all my espresso beans. Was out for Glenn Greenwald's book tour.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Fresh Thread

I'm sure one of the many fine bloggers linked to the left just posted something wonderful.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

"Last Throes"

So, Cheney thinks that 13 months later the insurgency is still in its last throes and lies about what he meant when he first said it.


Heh. Indeed.

The Endorsement

Previous CT senator majority leader and prior Dem. party chair George Jepsen endorsees Lamont.

Not big national news, but it helps free the hands of state party players.

mockSantorum Contest Final!

Philadelphians against Santorum has been running a contest for the best Santorum impersonator. The final is on this Friday, and yours truly will be one of the judges. Info:

Showdown: the mockSantorum Contest Finals
June 23rd @ the Ortlieb's Brewery Cabaret
829-51 N. American St, 8 PM
A free wine and beer bar will be available.
Suggested donation for event: $6

Click through the link above to RSVP.

Joementum 2: Biden Boogaloo

The man who will never be president says:

Sen. Joseph Biden (news, bio, voting record), D-Del., said he believes the American people are frustrated by the Bush administration's failure to articulate a clear strategy for winning in Iraq. Benchmarks and timetables for a withdrawal are needed to gauge progress and limit U.S. casualties, he said.

"If I had known the president was going to be this incompetent in his administration, I would not have given him the authority" to go to war, said Biden, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

While this administration certainly has executed this war in an even more incompetent fashion than my wildest nightmares could have conjured, it's also the case that the "incomptence dodge" really doesn't fly. This was a horribly diastrous idea, from premise, to sale, to invasion, to occupation, to civil war. No person who fails to understand this should get anywhere near the oval office. In any case, Biden won't get anywhere near it.

As I've written before, "incompetence" should've been the reason, before the war, that the "liberal hawks" should've all been able to use to understand that this was a really goddamn awful idea, but by now we should all understand that it certainly wasn't the only reason.

"This One's Big"

Sadly my numerous spies in Lamont headquarters wouldn't tell me who the endorsement is from, but hopefully they don't disappoint...

"One Last Shot"

He fails to provide a time frame, so we can't add a Klein to our Friedmans (6 months) and Bayhs (6-8 weeks) as our new Iraq-related units of time. But Joe Klein has laid down his marker, and I'll generously grant him one Friedman for him to decide whether Iraq is a success or failure. Putting 12/19/2006 on my calendar.

Lieberman Watch

Lieberman claims he will be a Democrat until at least the late hours of August 8, 2006.

From what I understand about CT election law, what this likely means is that Lieberman is going to start collecting the 7500 signatures he needs to get on the ballot as an independent before the August primary, as he'll have to file them the very next day. So, if you're a CT resident be on the lookout for people with clipboards asking for your signature to get Lieberman on the ballot. I imagine he'll want to have this be below the radar for as long as possible so it'll be somewhat of a stealth campaign.

...ah, I've been informed that Joe won't really be able to do a stealth campaign. It'll be a part of the public record as soon as he even starts the process. So, the day Joe starts to jump we'll know.

Big Waste Of Money

I admit it, I have my price. I'd probably be happy to be corrupted temporarily by a nice fat consulting fee so I could turn around and devote my life to good works (of course!). Still, the question is why the hell would they pay Mike McCurry, who is obviously totally clueless about the issue he's advocating, to be the point man on anti-net neutrality.

Watch him be destroyed.

...oops, left off that Save the Internet has some choice transcript bits from the Q&A for those who don't want to sit through it.

And Then There Were 48

Another state I won't being traveling to.

Wanker of the Day

Glenn Reynolds.

Greenwald in Philly Today

Glenn Greenwald will be in Philly to discuss his excellent book.


Monday, June 19
6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Drinking Liberally Event
Higher Grounds Cafe
631 North 3rd St.
Philadelphia, PA 19123

Dopey College Kids

I've probably said this before in one way or another, but one thing which has long puzzled me was the idea that bloggers and blog readers were a bunch of young people was something treated with derision. I mean, if us lefty bloggers could really turn a few hundred thousand twenty-somethings into politics-and-media-junkies you'd think we'd be hired by every newspaper and political consultant in the country to tell them how it's done.

Similarly, what's with cranky old man Bill O'Reilly insulting the Daily Show audience? The thing about the Daily Show is that to really find the show funny you actually have to have a decent awareness of current events. Not all the bits require that, but the multi-layered politics/media satire does. "Kids" interested in news and politics? I thought that would be a good thing!


Threadbot must've gotten into the liquor again.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Trailer Trash Pie

From Cal Thomas's lips to your ears.


Yes it's shocking, and it isn't getting much play.


Buy the book.

Join the discussion.

On Biden

What Athenae says.

Oh My

Connecticut editorial boards gone wild:

For ludicrous and bizarre remarks, it would be hard to top the comments of Gen. Harry B. Harris, the commandant of the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo. Harris reasoned that the suicides of three prisoners of war who were kept without charge, counsel, or hope of release was an "act of asymmetrical warfare" against the United States.

A lot of us are still saying "wow" about that one.

But first runner-up in the Spiro T. Agnew Foot-in-Mouth, Mind-in-Space Award this week is John F. Droney Jr., a former Connecticut Democratic chairman.

Droney said Sen. Joe Lieberman should bolt the Democratic Party and run as an independent.

"I think to be terrorized through the summer by an extremely small group of the Democratic Party, much less the voting population, is total insanity for a person who is a three-term senator," Droney said.


It's called an election, dude.

We know that long-time incumbents don't expect such disturbances of the peace. And it may feel like terror, just as it is terrifying to a nobleman when the serfs ask for their wages. But truly, having to debate a primary opponent is not like being blown up or beheaded.

The Lieberman campaign has, meanwhile, been peddling to the press and the public that it is Lamont, not Lieberman, who is right, or Republican-leaning. After all, Lamont is rich, he lives in Greenwich, and as a selectman there, he occasionally - hold your breath now - voted with the Republicans.

So, let's see. Lamont is a closet Fallwellite backed by Trotskyites.

Hmm. Seems unlikely.


The shocking thing is that Lieberman is revealing what he really believes. And what he really believes is not that there are too many nasty lyrics on rap records, or that the U.S. can sustain a Pax Americana in the Middle East. Lieberman's deepest conviction is that he should hold office; he and his friends should retain power.


Rove's gamble is that enough Americans identify with the 101st, the chickenhawks who imagine they have "steely resolve" as they enjoy war porn, and are intimidated by and somewhat hostile to the bravery of those who actually serve.

He might be right.

Lieberman: Bandwidth Exceeded

That sums it up pretty well.

(tip from puppethead)

The Contenders

Hard to believe, but this time next year the presidential primary season will be in full swing.

So, who's probably running?


I'm sure I'm missing a couple. Crowded field.


Elite pundits: out of touch with American public opinion, have license to just make shit up.

Joe Biden: Rove's Sock Puppet

So, Joe Biden's running for president. He says Democrats need to show strong leadership on national security and be less condescending to people of faith. Of course no elected Democrats are condescending to people of faith and Joe's been in the Senate for quite some time showing piss poor leadership on national security. But, hey, Joe knows what those other Democrats need to do. One wonders why he doesn't do it.

Sunday Bobbleheads

Document the atrocities. Apparently it's oil executive day on Meet the Press.

Wanker of the Day

Karen Tumulty.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.

Open Thread

Yeah, yeah, another stupid open thread.