Saturday, August 12, 2006

Evening Thread


Dirty Hippies

And Dan Gerstein, Joe Lieberman, half the idiots at TNR, the Bullshit Moose, and many others who seem to want Republicans to win will be doing their best to help out.

Does Anyone Remember Anthrax?

I've long been puzzled by the expulsion of that event from our national memory.

A Time to Win

Hey, have you given some scratch to your favorite candidates lately?


God, they'll spin anything:

According to the poll, conducted through phone interviews with 1,001 Americans, 55 percent disapprove of how the president is doing his job, while 38 percent approve, an increase of three points since the May 11-12 NEWSWEEK Poll. But a majority, 55 percent, approve of Bush's handling of terrorism and homeland security (40 percent disapprove), an 11-point boost since May, returning the President to levels not seen since early 2005.

All this suggests that news of a serious terror threat boosts the president's ratings, a correlation long noted by both Democrats and Republicans, and seen most dramatically—according to both sides—in the effects on opinion polls of an Osama bin Laden videotape released days before the 2004 election.

Emphasis added.

Step Aside

Governor Richardson and General Clark have the right idea.

And Harry Reid gets in Joe's face:

"Connecticut voters certainly aren't supporting terrorists," Reid said. "Joe has to play on the field of Connecticut; this is Connecticut politics. The people of this country and the people of Connecticut want a change in direction."

Wanker of the Day

Glenn Reynolds.

Media Matters

Something to read with your Saturday morning coffee.

Morning Thread


Friday, August 11, 2006

The Wanker Caucus

Oh Jeebus, if there's a bigger wanker than Lieberman it's Bob Kerrey.

Late Night


Getting Serious About Terror

The Editors put forth a strategy.

Friday Cat Blogging


It's increasingly clear that all this "Unity" nonsense is a strategy by Republicans to keep power in the wake of the disastrous Bush administration, and Joe's gonna be their test marketing case.

Aasif Mandvi:

Max is correct, this is good.

WMV and QT at the link or here's a Youtube version.

Speaking of Underexamined Lieberman Quotes

I'm still looking for an explanation for this one, about that other war he opposed back in his younger days:

"I was worried about a repeat of Vietnam," he said Friday during an interview aboard his campaign bus. "Public opinion was moving away from supporting the war for reasons that were understandable, but not complete."

And the Idiocy Continues

What is in the TNR water cooler?


Of course it isn't just Lieberman, it's the entire school of foreign policy "toughs" he supposedly represents.

We follow these people at our peril.

More Like This

Kudos to Clinton for treating Bush and Cheney with the disgusted contempt they deserve. They are incompetent fools and should be treated as such.



The answer, I suspect, is yes, we all were out of our minds. Osama bin Laden in his wildest dreams could not have imagined that the United States would have responded to the World Trade Center attack with such madness. Ricks, the Washington Post's Pentagon reporter, points out that the columnists and editorial writers at his paper and the New York Times supported the war at the beginning.

Most of these writers, sentinels against government failures, have changed their minds as sanity begins to return, but they have yet to admit their mistakes and take responsibility. Thomas Friedman of the Times, its all-purpose pontifical expert on the Middle East, has finally announced, yes, it is time to call a peace conference among Iraq parties and get out. Where was he three years ago? Why doesn't he admit flat-out that he was wrong and apologize? Why doesn't he say that he was swept along by the 9/11 frenzy and the blatant lies of the administration, and that he ought to have known better? Why doesn't he credit those of us who warned all along that Iraq was worse even than Vietnam? Why doesn't he concede he, too, failed the American people by not standing up to the frenzy sweeping the country? Why doesn't he criticize the media, which propounded the false cliché that America would never be the same again and the misleading shibboleth "war on global terror''?

Arrogance and ignorance were not limited to the administration. Friedman, David Brooks, Robert Kagan and James Hoagland failed in their duty to cry "hold, enough!" We should not permit them to change their minds until they admit full responsibility for the fiasco, which has given bin Laden his biggest victory yet.

As for Friedman, well, he was just reporting the facts:

FRIEDMAN: Not really. You know, the problem with analyzing the story, Howie, is that it doesn’t — everyone, first of all, this is the most polarized story I’ve certainly written about, so everyone wants, basically, to be proven right, OK?

So the left — people who hated the war, they want you to declare the war is over, finish, we give up. The right, just the opposite. But I’ve been trying to just simply track the situation on the ground. And the fact is that the outcome there is unclear, and I reflected that in my column. And I will continue to reflect.

(tip from geor3ge)

The Problem With The Pundits


But what I think is essential to understanding the Lieberman media phenomena is that, for the most part, the pundits who assailed Lamont's rise during the campaign were the same ones who signed off on the disastrous war in Iraq and now appear spooked that voters in Connecticut finally decided to hold Lieberman, the de facto Democratic co-sponsor of the invasion, responsible for that foreign policy debacle. They're spooked because for the last three-plus years there's been something of a gentleman's agreement that nobody inside the Beltway, whether at the White House, Congress, the Pentagon, or inside the corporate media world, has been asked to pay any sort of professional price for backing the disaster that is Iraq. But suddenly Democrats in the Nutmeg state have decided enough's enough. That's not a trend Beltway insiders want to see spread nationally, which is why so many pundits were eager to marginalize Lamont and his anti-war backers as "crazies" and "elitist" "bomb throwers."

The problem for pundits is that the November elections will offer a lot more referendums on the war--and nervous name-calling might not be enough to stem that tide.

A bunch of little children, unwilling to take responsibility for the consequences of the things they advocated.

Simple Answers to Simple Questions

Eric Alterman asks:

Is it me, or are the people who run this country dangerously out of their minds?


This has been another installment of simple answers to simple questions.

Disrupted Email

People trying to cover the whole Lieberman computer thing need to understand that they are dealing with liars. They keep claiming that they were unable to send email to supporters, but miraculously they managed to do just that on election day.
I sent a couple of emails to people at and while they sadly never replied to me the emails never bounced back as undeliverable either.

(post edited so it makes sense)


PDN lays into the disgusting people who rule us:

THESE PEOPLE have no shame. Their contempt for democracy is so great they will stop at nothing to undermine it. Their adherence to fundamentalist beliefs that blinds them to reality is frightening. They must be stopped.

And that's just the Republicans.

Let's start with Vice President Dick Cheney.

Yesterday, Cheney bashed those who voted for Democrat Ned Lamont in the Connecticut Senate primary, claiming that these votes would encourage "al Qaeda types" to think that "they can break the will of the American people."

The idea is that since 18-year incumbent Joe Lieberman lost based on his support for Iraq, Americans opposing the war are waving a white flag of surrender to terrorists.

This is stunningly ignorant logic, as well as annoyingly consistent with the Bush administration's fundamentalist myth that Iraq had ties to al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden - a claim by now well-discounted, most notably by a presidential commission.


For Cheney - and other Republicans like GOP National Chairman Ken Mehlman - to suggest that those Americans are encouraging terrorism is reprehensible.

Cheney's comments came out a day before British intelligence officials announced they had thwarted a major terrorist attack. Surely Cheney was aware of the plot and the work to thwart it, and was no doubt aware of the timing of yesterday's announcement.

To exploit a very real terror threat that could have led to major casualties, and to even indirectly implicate Americans who were exercising their democratic right by going to the polls and making a choice borders on the criminal, to say nothing of the insane.

Has Cheney completely lost it?


The immoral and ridiculous claims coming out of the Bush administration's reign of error could ultimately be responsible for the kind of casualties that al Qaeda can only dream of.

(via bunch)

Fresh Thread


Ad Nags

What a wanker.

...Greg Sargent has more. He writes:

One last thought on this. Imagine for a moment that the situation were reversed, that Dems controlled the White House and Congress but all signs showed that they were going to take a beating at the hands of the GOP minority. Is there any doubt that the papers would be full of pieces about the surging GOP challenge -- that is, full of pieces like the one I imagined above, only about Republicans?

We have an entire generation of the national political reporting establishment who have done nothing but take their cues from Republicans. I really don't think anything - including a complete takeover of government by Democrats - is going to change that.


I suppose it's too much to hope for, but if the Lieberman for Lieberman campaign is derailed because they couldn't provide enough valid signatures it would be fitting.

Na. Ga. Ha. Pen.

Lots of people seem to think Lieberman's going to drop out.

Unless Democratic bigwigs really use all the leverage they have it isn't going to happen. And maybe not then.


Zombie lies are impossible to kill.


He's stupid and he's ugly and nobody likes him.

An Associated Press-Ipsos poll conducted this week found the president's approval rating has dropped to 33 percent, matching his low in May. His handling of nearly every issue, from the Iraq war to foreign policy, contributed to the president's decline around the nation, even in the Republican-friendly South.

More sobering for the GOP are the number of voters who backed Bush in 2004 who are ready to vote Democratic in the fall's congressional elections 19 percent. These one-time Bush voters are more likely to be female, self-described moderates, low- to middle-income and from the Northeast and Midwest.


On the generic question of whether voters would back the Democrat or Republican, 55 percent of registered voters chose the Democrat and 37 percent chose the Republican, a slight increase for Democrats from last month.

Of course, they're ALREADY starting in with another round of "Bush is gonna bounce" stories.

Don't they ever tire of propping the guy up? It's bizarre.

Wanker of the Day

Lord Weisberg:

This is beyond thick; not only was Lieberman’s fall a consequence of his decision to make a career of attacking Democrats and enabling the Bush administration — and with a float mocking the Bush smooch following Lieberman all over Connecticut, Weisberg’s ignorance of that objection seems more than a bit daft — but when you strip away all the excess fluff, which is virtually the entire column, you’re left with the notion that Democrats are required to endorse every application of force, no matter how stupid, no matter how gravely it threatens our national security, if they want to be taken seriously on national security issues.

Weisberg will never cope rationally with any issue even peripherally involving Iraq unless he finds it within himself to forgive those who managed to identify the war as a terrible mistake a year or two or three before he did. Until then, he’ll find himself locked in the embrace of his own logic: Want to be a pundit? Put down your brain and slowly back away.

Morning Thread


Thursday, August 10, 2006


Heh. Indeed.

The question now is how deep into the gutter Mr. Lieberman’s ego will drag him.

There’s an overwhelming consensus among national security experts that the war in Iraq has undermined, not strengthened, the fight against terrorism. Yet yesterday Mr. Lieberman, sounding just like Dick Cheney — and acting as a propaganda tool for Republicans trying to Swift-boat the party of which he still claims to be a member — suggested that the changes in Iraq policy that Mr. Lamont wants would be “taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England.”

In other words, not only isn’t Mr. Lieberman sensible, he may be beyond redemption.

Sore Losers


In Time magazine, Mike Allen regurgitates the Republican line on Lieberman's defeat: "The Democrats' rejection of a sensible, moralistic centrist has handed the GOP a weapon that could have vast ramifications for both the midterm elections of '06 and the big dance of '08." A Democratic primary in Connecticut is quite unlikely to augur "vast ramifications" for anything that happens two years hence, but never mind. What is most astonishing about Allen's analysis is that he ignores the stunning verdict on Lieberman delivered by his own colleagues, which showed exactly why he was anything but "sensible" on the issue of the war.

It was Michael Ware, Time's Baghdad bureau chief, who provided the single most pungent assessment of the "centrist" senator last November. In an interview broadcast on Air America's morning show, the reporter recalled his puzzling encounter with the sunny, silly optimist so beloved by the White House:

"I and some other journalists had lunch with Senator Joe Lieberman the other day and we listened to him talking about Iraq. Either Senator Lieberman is so divorced from reality that he's completely lost the plot, or he knows he's spinning a line. Because one of my colleagues turned to me in the middle of this lunch and said he's not talking about any country I've ever been to and yet he was talking about Iraq, the very country where we were sitting."

In other words, Lieberman lacked credibility with voters on the most critical issue of the moment. He may pretend now to be a "critic" of the White House, but that isn't why Karl Rove has been calling every day since the primary to offer his support and best wishes.

Such basic facts and clear perceptions present no intellectual obstacle to the shrewd purveyors of Beltway spin. Consider Jacob Weisberg, the editor of Slate, who published a breathtakingly dishonest attack on Lamont's supporters:

"The problem for the Democrats is that the anti-Lieberman insurgents go far beyond simply opposing Bush's faulty rationale for the war, his dishonest argumentation for it, and his incompetent execution of it. Many of them appear not to take the wider, global battle against Islamic fanaticism seriously."

He provides no evidence for that bit of Rovian smear, because there is none. The same liberal bloggers who backed Lamont are helping former Navy secretary Jim Webb in the Virginia Senate race and Democratic veterans in several congressional races. It would be amusing to hear the Slate editor tell them they aren't tough enough.

As one of the "liberal hawks" who helped to sell the Iraq war, Weisberg has since changed his mind, but he cannot tolerate the public repudiation of his terrible mistake.

"Just about everyone now agrees that the sooner we find a way to withdraw, the better for us and for the Iraqis," Weisberg says. But if everyone agreed about the need to get out as soon as possible, the voters wouldn't be infuriated with Bush -- and would not need to express that sentiment by dumping Lieberman.


Didn't have much time to actually report on what went on in Connecticut while I was there. There's a conflict between reporting on events and participating in them - the former makes the latter much harder - and I generally just want to be a participant.

The whole event was a lot of fun, and not just because we won (though had we lost it would have been harder). Meeting all of the great local bloggers and activists in CT was a treat and catching up again with the various lefty media types and blogofascists I've met at various other events was great.

Election day was rather odd. You're there for what for the moment seems like the most important thing ever, yet depending on where you were there was almost no evidence that an election was going on. I began the day in New Haven, taking a trip to the headquarters there to find Chris Bowers hard at work:

After that we headed up to Meriden where the main headquarters was. Was surprisingly quiet there, which worried a lot of people, though it turns out that understandably most of the action was at the various field offices. Mrs. A and I went to work for a bit, heading out to a local polling station for awhile. Here she is:

I then headed up to Hartford with Tom Schaller and Ari Berman to try to find Jesse Jackson. We went to one polling location only to discover that he had just left. We also discovered how much walking around money Lieberman had thrown around there as he had tons of paid operatives working the polls. Not too many people were actually voting (for either candidate) however. Fortunately we met up with Connecticut State Rep. Doug McCrory, a really great guy who was supporting Lamont. He got on the phone to find Jackson and drove us to where he was headed.

Lamont was on his way as well for a joint appearance. It was in a West Hartford neighborhod where, for the first time since I'd been there, saw an immense amount of Lamont paraphernalia. Here's a shot I snapped of McCrory, Lamont, and Jackson:

We then headed back to Meriden for the (hoped for) victory party, stopping in briefly at Lieberman headquarters to see how things were going. I had to borrow a shirt to cover up the Lamont shirt I was wearing as we entered enemy territory. Team Lieberman was in full panic mode, asking us if we had cell phones to use to make phone banking calls for them as we walked in. It was an hour before the polls would close. The Lieberkids were in full battle mode.

As for the rest of the evening. Well, we won, though it was a nailbiter. Lamont started off 20 points ahead and the race slowly narrowed throughout the night. I wasn't ready to declare victory until Lieberman finally gave his nonconcession speech. Here we are fairly early in the evening:

After that the drinks were on Ned and, well, what happened in Meriden stays in Meriden. I did manage to give a quote or two to Ari Melber, gesturing wildly with the hand which was holding the wine glass. I advise against that.

Winning is fun. Let's do it more often.


I haven't read it, but was just listening to Thomas Ricks on the Majority Report and he had a lot of sensible things to say.


Joe Lieberman does sound just like Dick "28% Approval" Cheney.

Joe Says Joe is Unacceptable and UnAmerican

For once I agree.

Foreshadowing Tomorrow's News

Adolf Dean

I was going to let this go, but the GOP added a subtle Hitler moustache to Dean and then took it off.

Edwards for Lamont

Senator Edwards will campaign for Lamont on August 17.


It's great to be accountability free in punditland.

All these pundits supported the war, natch, and understand at some subliminal level, that they too are being rejected by the voters who blame Lieberman for trusting Bush and getting us into this horrific war.

Meanwhile in that forgotten war:

Aug 10 (Reuters) - Three U.S. soldiers were killed in action in the restive Iraqi province of Anbar, the U.S. military said. The three were assigned to the 1st Brigade, 1st Armoured Division, the military said in a statement.

No need to bother Lord Weisberg's beautiful mind.

The Party of Joe

It's no surprise that Joe's going to spit in the faces of all of those Democrats who supported him, 60% of the country, and the voters of Connecticut.

The only puzzling thing is why there are other Democrats who are going to help him do it.

We Tried to Warn You

Apparently Lieberman was hiding from Chris Dodd, who spent an immense amount of time trying to help him win.

Earlier that evening, Lieberman spurned a meeting with Dodd, his longtime colleague who had come to caution against making a hasty decision to run as an independent and to explain why he would be supporting Lamont in the fall, according to a Democratic official who asked not to be identified in order to speak freely about events on primary night.


Based on initial efforts, Lieberman appears unreceptive. Dodd, according to a knowledgeable Democrat, tried to approach Lieberman on Sunday to talk about post-primary decisions to no avail.

On Tuesday night, he knocked on the door of Lieberman's hotel suite, but no one answered. Eventually, he met with Sherry Brown, Lieberman's longtime adviser who was installed Wednesday as campaign manager.

Joe's gonna destroy everyone who supported him, just watch...


I think Josh Marshall needs better friends. Perhaps some of my NY readers can take him out for drinks or something.


We are in the age of stupidity.

Paper Hats

One likes to hope that there's some limit to what conservatives can say before new organizations stop legitimizing them as contributors to our public discourse, but as Ann Coulter will likely prove yet again there's probably nothing they can't say.


One really has to wonder about the people who keep advocating a "unity" presidential ticket. Aside from the generally absurd notions of what a supermajority supported political center really is, it's an obscenely authoritarian elitist notion. What's "unity?" It's what we say it is! Disagree? You're harshing our unity man! Shouldn't voters actually have a choice and a healthy public debate about the direction of our country? Hell no!

Fall in line people, get on the unity train. Don't you dare try to add any divisiveness or disagreement. We're all just trying to get along!

We know what's best. And that Saint McCain is such a likeable guy. No need to concern yourselves about what he might do.

They Write Letters

The General writes a letter to Marty Peretz.

I repeat: I'd rather take my marching orders from Generalissimo Kos than Marty Peretz.

His Own Senate

Daily Show on Lieberman. It's good.

Little Boys With Other Peoples' Toys

Digby hits many the high points of Lord Weisberg's latest, but misses one important point. People who adopt Lord Weisberg's lofty pose have a deep moral sickness. There is something wrong with them.

5 more American troops were killed yesterday. Lord Weisberg sleeps soundly.


Look, it's simple. Every time the Democrats do anything Republicans run to reporters and say how wonderful this is and how it means the downfall of the Democratic party and blah blah blah. Hell, when Dick Cheney shot a man in the face they were claiming it'd be good for poll numbers. The press always believes it, and too often Democrats do too.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Markos gets all the attention.

Fresh Thread


They Write Letters

Howard Dean writes an email:

Dear Fellow Democrat,

Ned Lamont -- that's the name of the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate from Connecticut. He defeated Senator Joe Lieberman yesterday in a hard-fought primary election.

There's been a lot said about this race and what it means for our party, so I wanted to get a few things straight.

One big issue in this race was the war in Iraq. Like the vast majority of Americans, Ned Lamont believes that "staying the course" will only drive America and Iraq deeper into disaster.

Lamont's courage and conviction on Iraq will make him a good Senator. But his positions on all the important issues -- on Iraq, but also balancing the budget, getting every American health insurance, and solving the energy crisis -- will make him a great Senator. These are not just the values of the Democratic Party, they are mainstream American values, and they are Ned Lamont's values.

After his loss, Joe Lieberman announced his intention to run as an independent. That's the wrong thing to do.

Ned Lamont won fair and square. We have a process, and those who participate in it should respect the outcome. Joe Lieberman should respect the Democratic voters' decision. He has to do what all of us who have lost an election have done: support the winner.

Our party is united on a new direction for our country. Joe Lieberman has been nominated for Senate by Democratic voters three times, and has served admirably for 18 years. But this moment in our country's history demands that we be unified.

This race wasn't about ideology. Ned Lamont succeeded because of participation politics -- he talked plainly and honestly with the people of Connecticut, and his campaign engaged in the kind of neighbor-to-neighbor organizing that has reinvigorated our party across the country.

Over a quarter-million people voted in the Democratic primary in Connecticut yesterday. Among those taking part in that exceptionally high voter turnout were tens of thousands of people who are new to our party. Voters included Republicans and Independents joining the Democratic Party and others registering for the first time and choosing to be Democrats.

That bodes well for our chances not just in Connecticut but everywhere that people like you have been working to build this party from the ground up.

We've got to be unified through November.

Thank you,

What's the Frequency Ken

On Hardball, Ken Mehlman refused to endorse the Republican candidate in the CT senate race.

Tweety pushed him a couple of times.

Support the Majority Report

Word is Air America may not keep Sam Seder on the air for much longer.

If you enjoy the show, please send an email of support to this address.

To Rhode Island!

If, as I expect, reporters don't descend on Rhode Island the way they descended on Connecticut I'd really like for some of them to explain why.


Well, it was fun being in happy fun fantasy land for awhile where good Democrats win, but I'm home and back to reality again. Stoller tries to cheer us up after our loss, but I'm tired of moral victories.

Much thanks to Attaturk and Echidne for their fine guest blogging while I was on the road. They are of course free to continue posting if they had anything else planned, and you can and should of course continue to read their fine blogs many times per day.

While Listening to the BBC World News Last Night

I realized how much Ned Lamont's victory truly matters, and not only for those of us who were rooting for him all along. Among all those weighty and worrisome news about Lebanon and Israel and Africa, the newsreader's clipped English voice suddenly stated: "And in the Democrrratic Prrrimarrry of the Amerrrican State of Connecticut,..." That's how much this victory matters.

I'm talking about its mythical significance, of course, or its meaning. A different and saner debate might, just might, be possible at last. We can now point out that bipartisanship doesn't mean turning into a blind sheep in the administration's flock, just as approaching the center of the bed doesn't mean jumping over your partner and hugging the other side. We can start a real debate about what fighting terrorism entails to keep us all safe, and how to do it without turning the international politics of this country into the best recruiting aid AlQaeda ever dreamt about. Or so I hope.

We all know that the Connecticut race is not over and may not be pretty. But the real significance of Lamont's win is this: the reawakening of American democracy.

Back to earth. What next in the race? Digby has some ideas, and so do Michael Tomasky, Arianna Huffington and Kevin Drum. Even Karl Rove seems to have some ideas...

And Reed Hundt reminds us of the necessity of money to fund the struggle for ideals and progress.

Alright, I'm done "guesting"

Although in reality it was nice of Atrios to just tell me to blog the last couple days when it didn't turn out to be too necessary.

But before I leave, and Echidne fills in until the sweaty lug gets back to his cats, I simply must post up this insight into the one and only Hammer of the Krauts:

About three years ago, I saw Krauthammer flip out in synagogue on Yom Kippur. The rabbi had offered some timid endorsement of peace — peace essentially on Israel's terms — but peace anyway. Krauthammer went nuts. He actually started bellowing at the rabbi, from his wheel chair in the aisle. People tried to "shush" him. It was, after all, the holiest day of the year.

So what comes first?

Bush pretends we're winning and pulls the troops out of Iraq, or the U.N. cranks out an ineffective cease-fire in the Levant?

Or open thread, whatever you want. I'm easy.

Ad Nags

First the Democrats are united, and then they're in disarray...because they're more united.

I'm so confused.

Reid/Schumer Statement

From email:

Democratic Leader Harry Reid and DSCC Chair Chuck Schumer issued the following joint statement today on the Connecticut Senate race:

“The Democratic voters of Connecticut have spoken and chosen Ned Lamont as their nominee. Both we and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) fully support Mr. Lamont’s candidacy. Congratulations to Ned on his victory and on a race well run.

“Joe Lieberman has been an effective Democratic Senator for Connecticut and for America. But the perception was that he was too close to George Bush and this election was, in many respects, a referendum on the President more than anything else. The results bode well for Democratic victories in November and our efforts to take the country in a new direction.”

We Tried to Warn You

I understood why Senate Democrats stood by Lieberman, but I do hope that someone sits Senator Boxer down and shows her some of Joe's recent quotes. She tried to help him out, and the thanks she's going to get is that Joe spends the next couple of months talking about all the "left-wing extremists," like Boxer, who are supposedly taking over the party..

Moose Memories

Heh heh.

The good news that the good voters of his home state treasure Joe as much as the Moose.(...) It has long been the Moose's view that there is a gap between the loudest voices of the left-wing blogosphere and its like minded activists and actual rank and file Democratic voters.

Joe: Voters Suck

From the Today Show this morning:

LAUER: Let me go back to that line in your speech last night. I'll paraphrase it if you don't mind. You said, for the sake of your state, your country and my party, you will not let these results stand. It's a nice line in the speech, but the fact of the matter is there are a lot of Democrats who think that now going forward you are putting your own personal ambitions above the good of the party.

How do you respond to that?

LIEBERMAN: Well, I think it's time for somebody to break through the dominance of both parties by the margins of the parties, which happens in primaries. I think it's time for somebody to break through and say, Hey, let's cut out the partisan nonsense.

Yes, I'm a proud Democrat, but I'm more devoted to my state and my country than I am to my party. And the parties today are getting in the way of our government doing for our people what they need their government to do.

So in the end, Matt -- the great thing about America is that the people will have the last word.


LAUER: Senator, is there any phone call you could receive? Is there anyone in the Democratic Party who could call you today and ask you to drop out that you would listen to?

LIEBERMAN: Respectfully, no. I am committed to this campaign, to a different kind of politics, to bringing the Democratic Party back from Ned Lamont, Maxine Waters to the mainstream, and for doing something for the people of Connecticut. That's what this is all about: which one of us, Lamont or me, can do more for the future of our people here in Connecticut. And on that basis, I'm going forward with confidence, purpose and some real optimism.

People vs. Lobbyists

I'll have more time for thoughtful blogging (yes, I do that sometimes) when I return home, but I do think it's time to do something we haven't done in awhile.

Ned Lamont pulled off an amazing campaign.

Reward good behavior.

Fire Joe

Kos has a good rundown of all the Democrats who are already supporting Lamont. Good for them.

Time for Joe to lose his committee assignments.

And the Sillier Season Begins

Well, those of you who saw Joe's non-concession speech last night saw that he's all we've been saying that he is.

What. A. Wanker.

He's on a roll

I have officially gone from Joe Lieberman reminding me of Willy from ALF to Willy from ALF reminding me of Joe Lieberman.

But I have to say, Willy did more with a lousy script. Lieberman's speech sure brought back memories of his last notable concession speech:

With 97 percent of the precincts reporting, the vote was 39 percent for Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, 26 percent for former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, 12 percent for retired Gen. Wesley Clark, 12 percent for Rep. John Edwards, 9 percent for Lieberman...

Opening with his trademark "Is New Hampshire a great state or what?" Lieberman quickly segued into his interpretation of the primary results. "We are in a statistical tie for third place. For the past few days the national media has been reporting a four-way race, and that we weren't a part of it. But today the people of New Hampshire put me into the ring and that's where we're going to stay."

Less than a week later, he was gonzo.

Meanwhile, Dungeon Master Gilliard demonstrates that Ned Lamont caused more than Joe failing his saving throws against Jane Hamsher's killer attack poodles. As the pundits or quasi-reporter pundits like Candy Crowley push the meme of "wild-eyed crazy liberals" taking over, Kevin Drum notes that Hank Johnson defeated Cynthia McKinney in Georgia. McKinney did, however, give us the gift of YouTube material with a departing song.

BTW, I promised Atrios I'd be a good blogboy and not get him into trouble (though these bolded author headers are probably an extra precaution). That doesn't count for my own juvenile form of blogfascism, as Joe shows his appreciation for that Ann Coulter endorsement.

And one more thing, before I finally stop adding to this post. National Review's New Republic's Marty Peretz gives the "fantasy" spin of the day:

I was for Joe Lieberman. I wrote an article about the race between him and Ned Lamont in Monday's Wall Street Journal. It was not neutral. But, though it got plenty of attention in the blogs and on television, it did not, alas, help Joe very much. Worse can be said of Bill Clinton's stumping in Connecticut for Joe (and Hillary's endorsement, too.) When Clinton came into the state, Lieberman and Lamont were running dead even in the polls, more or less. Clinton's appearance began Lieberman's decline.

Delusions of wankers.

Classless Joe

Hey, we won.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Bubbly Thread

And More Thread


More Primary Thread

Open thread.

The Connecticut Democratic Primary Thread

Sites for results (stolen from the comments threads):
- What looks like the official site
- This one may be better (thanks GWDPA)
- Another possibility
- And another site (thanks, watertiger)
- And the Hartford Courant results page (thanks, Robert)

A "Dear Joe" Letter

From Athenae. And another one from Hecate.

This is an open thread.

Understanding Liberal/Progressive Political Blogs: Polite Advice for Mainstream Journalists

Print this out and you have a one-page summary which you can keep in your pocket for those rare times you need to write about political blogs. The rules are simple:

1. You can choose from these assessments: Either liberal blogs don't matter, because nobody reads them. Or liberal blogs don't matter, because they are only read by fringe elements (dirty hippies) who don't matter or shouldn't matter. Or liberal blogs don't matter, because though they might be read by a whole lot of people, these people are still a fringe, even if their opinions might be those of the majority of Americans or at least of the majority of Democrats. Picture a very, very long fringe and you get the idea. Or liberal blogs don't matter, because they are read by rabid lambs with venomous teeth. That last one is handy to mix with all the others. You can never go wrong by distancing yourself from such mananimal hybrids.

2. If you need a firmer storyline, how about comparing liberal bloggers to fascists? Never mind that liberal bloggers are not in power and that their activities don't satisfy the definition of fascism. Should you not want to go that far, McCarthyism is another nice label to slap on all those angry, screaming faces. Both of these serve nicely to make the powers-that-be look like the really innocent victim, too.

On the other hand, the dirty-hippies-for-peace metaphor might still have mileage in it. You could argue that the vitriolic bloggers are just like those flower-kissing weirdos of the past, and that they will destroy, destroy!, the Democratic party. Unless they don't matter at all, of course.

3. Don't forget the anger. The anger! Liberal bloggers are angry! Never ask why they might be angry or what their grievances might be, because this might make the liberal bloggers look...human and reasonable. Make sure to write a lot about the viciousness of liberal blogs. You can dig in the comments to the blogs for material, even if this material isn't written by bloggers themselves, and you can go as far back in time as you need to do to build up a truly frightening picture: The barbarians are ready to scale the wall surrounding the last shreds of civilization, and if they manage to get inside they will use naughty words!

4. Ignore the conservative blogs. They don't usually have comments so it's harder to get really nasty slurs, and they don't say shit and fuck. Ignore what they are writing, even if it's advocating lynching of the Supreme Court Justices. This advocating is done in a polite language (have another cucumber sandwich, dear), and in any case we all agree that the radical right is supposed to say these sorts of things. The liberals and lefties, on the other hand, are supposed to be peace-loving turn-the-other-cheek types.

If you have to compare the conservative and liberal blogs, make sure that the conservative ones come out looking great.

5. Never remind your readers that the anger and viciousness in the political arena was initiated by the radical right. Never remind your readers about the right-wing pundits in the media spewing hatred day in and day out.


Jeebus, is that really what Lieberman spent on his hosting?

Wankers. Chumps.


And the journalists are chumps:

I just talked with Eddie, and he told me that yes, turnout was very high in some places and pretty low in other places. However, he told me, there was a consistent pattern where it was very high in Lamont wards and very low in Lieberman wards. This is not surprising. We have poll watchers all over the place, and canvassers to back them up in those same wards. Lieberman, by contrast, has no one at the polls, has cancelled the rest of his public appearances today, and has invited his supporters not to volunteer, but instead to attend a party at 5pm, during peak voting. Things seem to be going well today for Ned Lamont, and Joe Lieberman is on the brink of a defeat--possibly a defeat that would surpass expectations, thereby finishing Lieberman off.

For a long time, the storyline they were going to use to justify an Independent run was low turnout. The Lieberman camp kept pushing a narrative hat they would do better with high turnout, and that they wanted to make a case to as many voters as possible. However, with turnout looking pretty good today, and with it not looking like turnout will help Lamont, not Lieberman (read Mystery Pollster for more on this), that justification for an independent run is collapsing. Now, they need something else, and have latched onto this "dirty tricks" narrative. If the storyline reads that Lieberman was robbed by evil bloggers, then he can justify running as an independent almost no mater what he loses by. The lapdog media has been more than helpful in fueling this narrative for Lieberman.

Never mind that the Lieberman website crashed the last time they had huge traffic back in June. Never mind that the Lamont campaign has offered to come help fix the problem. Never mind that the Lamont website has a Google cache link to the Lieberman website, thus allowing it to receive several times more traffic than it would have otherwise. Never mind that the Lieberman website had no interactive features or tools for supporters to use anyway. Never mind that the idea that this is even a DOS attack doesn't add up. Never mind any of this, because the lapdog press cannot stop falling all over themselves to help throw Lieberman a lifeline for a few last minute sympathy votes and a justification to run even if he loses tonight.

Congratulations Nick Lampson

Who has pretty much wrapped up his congressional race.

Bye Tom.


God journalists are stupid.

CNN keeps telling me that Lieberman plans to file a "formal complaint." I was in a restaurant and I couldn't hear the audio perfectly, but from what I could tell no one bothered to ask who he's actually planning to file this complaint too.


...ah, I see it's with the United States Attorney's Office. Good, let them investigate.


Stopping in quickly. Spent a couple of hours at a polling place doing campaign visibility. Some Lieberkids were there as well, though they eventually left.

Seemed to be quite a few Lamont supporters though one can't gauge these things too well. Lots of waves and thumbs up from people driving by. One guy pulled over and stopped to tell us he registered as a Dem so he could vote for Lamont.

Another guy came to vote with his son, each in a different car, and he stopped to tell us he voted for Lamont because he wouldn't send his kid off to war.

Sounds like a good reason.

Boo-Boo O'Reilly

More of that there "Fair & Balanced" media action as Bill opines to Michelle Malkin “Say, baby, put that pipe down and get my pipe up."

Okay, maybe not but it's still pretty bad.

The Hidden Hand of the Marketplace is giving you the Finger and other musings

Hmmmmm, sounds like a relevant question from an occasional poster at some normally rinky-dink, pseudo-intellectual, non-funny blog run by some foot and/or hat fetishist.

BP may make a LOT more money because the pipeline is shut down, what is their incentive to get it fixed quickly?

Meanwhile, it seems like our national media likes to follow the Bush Administration and Joe Lieberman line by avoiding the words "Civil War" as occurring in Iraq. There is a very, very high threshold that apparently can only be met if Maliki's nickname becomes "al-Stonewall" (I've been already been calling Bush "Burnside" for a while now).

On the other hand, the threshold for the Democratic Party is low indeed -- I give you Howie Fineman!

Keith, I think there‘s a civil war brewing, it‘s almost broken out in the Democratic Party, over the war in Iraq and the war on terror in general. I think it‘s going to continue and deepen and become more heated, whatever the results are in Connecticut tomorrow.

Makes perfect sense right?

Why Not?

Deep thoughts from Hugh Hewitt.

Ned Goes to Vote

This arrived in my inbox.

Lanny's Friends

By now we're all used to elite Washington insiders picking random comments on the internets and attributing them to unnamed "bloggers," so Lanny Davis's latest version of that in the WSJ editorial page - the Democrats' best friend - is no surprise. I was somewhat surprised by this however.

A friend of mine just returned from Connecticut, where he had spoken on several occasions on behalf of Joe Lieberman. He happens to be a liberal antiwar Democrat, just as I am. He is also a lawyer. He told me that within a day of a Lamont event--where he asked the candidate some critical questions--some of his clients were blitzed with emails attacking him and threatening boycotts of their products if they did not drop him as their attorney. He has actually decided not to return to Connecticut for the primary today; he is fearful for his physical safety.

Dollars to donuts he's talking about our friend Richard Goodstein who spent his time disrupting events, not asking critical questions.

It's nice to know just how dishonest "our" players can be. Lessons learned.

Transactional Lobbying

Don't call it a bribe.

How dare that bastard Boehner push my BFF Ney out of Congress!


Wandered around New Haven a bit and over to campaign headquarters, where Chris Bowers was blissfully sleeping. Only a couple of Lieberkids out for now and quite a few Lamont supporters wandering around. Saw the people in the JGG-mobile hard at work putting stuff out late at night as I was walking home.

I'd post pictures but I forgot my stupid USB attachment. Ah well.


If you're a CT resident don't forget to vote.

Don't forget to tell your friends in family in CT to vote.

Spent some time with the local gang here last night. Fingers crossed...


In the forgotten war:

BAGHDAD, Aug 8 (Reuters) - The following are security incidents in Iraq reported on Tuesday, Aug. 8, as of 0730 GMT.

BAGHDAD - Ten people were killed and 69 wounded when two roadside bombs exploded in al-Shorja market in central Baghdad, police sources said.

BAGHDAD - Three separate roadside bomb attacks in Baghdad killed at least nine people, police said. Two of the blasts targeted police, and the third was aimed at one of Baghdad's busiest bus stations, police added.

Lies and the Lying Liars

Yes, the last honest man.

What wankers.

The Ballad of Bill & Joe

Why ever learn, if you never get shamed into admitting you have been wrong?

William Kristol (son of Irving); not to be confused with Jonah Goldberg (son of Lucianne), John Podhoretz (son of Norman), or Byron York (curiously, the son of Dick Sargent) writes in the Weekly Standard -- aka the National Review with better, if less sniffed, binding glue*:

It's become clear, by contrast, that the Democratic party doesn't really want to fight jihadism. It's just too difficult. Last week the entire Democratic congressional leadership sent President Bush a letter on Iraq. The Democrats didn't chastise the administration for failing to do what it takes to achieve victory there.

Bill Kristol, ladies and gentlemen, he'll be on FoxNews the rest of your life (for even when his body shuffles off this mortal coil, the Kristol-bot shall continue dropping pithy bon mots for the Murdoch family empire).

And now through the magic of the internets, the wit, the wisdom, the profound inability to learn that is, B-I-L-L:

February 24, 2003 (jointly with Lawrence Kaplan and interviewed by Kathryn Lopez -- oh man - there is some triumvirate):

"Iraq should become a democracy. After all, the president has repeatedly cast the impending war as an effort to bring democracy to a land that for decades has known only dictatorship. Having defeated and then occupied Iraq, democratizing the country should not be too tall an order for the world's sole superpower."

April 1, 2003, on Fresh Air (Bill, always your 'April Fool')

"And on this issue of the Shia in Iraq, I think there's been a certain amount of, frankly, Terry, a kind of pop sociology in America that, you know, somehow the Shia can't get along with the Sunni and the Shia in Iraq just want to establish some kind of Islamic fundamentalist regime. There's almost no evidence of that at all. Iraq's always been very secular."

There is much more, and Kristol is not alone. I don't recall any form of substantial mea culpa, do you?

It should come as no surprise that Bill loves him some Lieberman. After all, Joe's only critique of Bush is the same as Kristol's, that a tweak here and a tweak there and Iraq would have turned out (and still could) to be the bestest little client state evah!

I'm sure, "real Democrat" Joe & Kristol may have talked about it at the National Review Anniversary Dinner just last October -- we know Joe attended. It is, after all, the kind of thing you would expect a "real Democrat" to be present for. Granted our source for this is an admitted drug addict:

Back in the '80s, Bill Buckley and the National Review staff got fed up with Lowell Weicker. They had had it with Lowell Weicker. So they set up a PAC called BuckPAC, and BuckPAC essentially got Lieberman elected. They knew they weren't going to elect a Republican up there. So he was there and Buckley, even in his speech last night, made mention of the fact that Joe Lieberman is his favorite Democrat... Kay Bailey Hutchison was on one side of our table, circular tables and Lieberman was two seats to my right.

So Joe's whole political career of saying he's a "real Democrat" started because the right-wing wanted a Democrat to the "right" of a sitting Republican Senator. And he's a buddy of Bill Buckley too. A man who repeatedly proclaims he marched with Martin Luther King, now celebrating with its founder, the magazine that was an apologist for the Bull Conners of the world at that time.

Wow, tough choice for you Democratic primary voters today, huh? Here is, at last, your opportunity to make one of them, Joe Lieberman, feel "something" if not shame.

*Some of you may suggest that the National Review is actually stapled together (no doubt by some prominent conservative's young son, angling to be the next Jonah -- or perhaps a daughter who might catch the eye of "the Derb"). While this is true, I'm still relatively confident the more avid readers -- okay, those read to -- still sniff - and possibly ingest - the staples.

Late Night Thread

As Atrios always says: Be excellent to each other.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Evening Thread

You could talk about the manatee in the Hudson River and whether it means that the end-times are coming. Or about Tom DeLay having to stay on the ballot, perhaps also a sign of end-times. Or about Lamont and Lieberman.

But whatever you do, no flirting.

It's Spelled C-i-v-i-l W-a-r

But it's pronounced...

Vote for Me Or You'll All Look Like Wimps

First of all, supporting disastrous wars is the very definition of "weak on security."
Second, this kind of yelling at the voters telling them they'd better vote for me or else always creeps me out and it tends to remind me of the approach taken by third party or longshot candidates. Not a way to build support.

In town. Lot of traffic. Saw some Lieberkids, and a crappy Joe commercial. That's about all I know.

Freeance and Peance

Glenn Greenwald is guest blogging at the Salon. His most recent post is on the self-contradictions of the neoconservative's Middle East position:

In his radio address last weekend, George W. Bush defined the goals of our Middle East policies, including our occupation of Iraq, this way:

"The lack of freedom in [the Middle East] created conditions where anger and resentment grew, radicalism thrived, and terrorists found willing recruits. We saw the consequences on September the 11th, 2001, when terrorists brought death and destruction to our country, killing nearly 3,000 innocent Americans ...

"The experience of September the 11th made it clear that we could no longer tolerate the status quo in the Middle East. We saw that when an entire region simmers in violence, that violence will eventually reach our shores and spread across the entire world."

According to the president, American security is threatened when anti-U.S. resentment grows in the Middle East and the region is awash in violence. Our goal, then, is to bring about a new Middle East where the U.S. is viewed as a force for good and peace and freedom can take hold. That is the essence of the neoconservative worldview.

Right. And, as Greenwald points out, the way to achieve all this freeance and peance is by killing:

That is the inescapable incoherence that lies at the core of neoconservatism. It claims as its goal the transformation of "hearts and minds" but the only instruments it knows are air raids and ground invasions. This approach is no different than trying to extinguish a fire with gasoline, and unsurprisingly, the flames that for decades were simmering are now raging, with no limits and no end in sight.

The whole piece is worth reading, but I find the initial Bush quote the most interesting. Note how many sweeping simplifications he manages to squash into one short statement: Lack of freedom is what caused resentment and terrorism and 911, and we need to fix this lack of freedom.

"Freedom" is never defined. What are the nations of the Middle East supposed to be freed from or freed to? As George Lakoff points out in his new book Whose Freedom?, we can't be sure that we know what this term might mean to George Bush.

And then there is the lumping of all types of resentments and terrorisms into one amorphous seething mass. No attempt to distinguish Sunnis from Shias or Wahhabis, for example. No attempt to tie the storyline to the actual historical events in the various nations of this geographical area.

Just freeance and peance and war.

Riverbend in Edinburgh

Riverbend's blog has been made into a theatrical documentary at the Edinburgh Fringe arts festival:

``Is it time to wash our hands of the country and find a stable life somewhere else?''

The question in ``Girl Blog from Iraq'' was posted only last weekend by an anonymous young Iraqi woman whose weblog has now been adapted into a theatrical documentary at the Edinburgh Fringe arts festival.

Played by actresses of Palestinian, Syrian, Iranian and Iraqi origin, she recounts the horrors of abduction, murder and rape alongside her determined efforts to carve out a normal life amid the carnage.

``It is exciting when she posts as we know she is OK. All of a sudden you are reminded how real and immediate this all is,'' said Kimberly Kefgen who adapted the weblog with Loren Ingrid Noveck.

Known only as ``Riverbend,'' the Iraqi blogger has been providing regular despatches since August 2003, writing in her first entry: ``I'm female, Iraqi and 24. I survived the war. That is all you need to know. It's all that matters.''

The blog was praised by the New York Times who said her ''articulate, even poetic prose packs an emotional punch while exhibiting a journalist's eye for detail.''

Her online diary on, which was collected together and issued by Marion Boyars Publishers, was nominated for a major literary prize in Britain.

If you haven't read her posts yet, do so.

Time For A Nap: Some Economic News

Invest in the petroleum industry:

Oil surged above $77 a barrel in Europe as BP began shutting an Alaskan field that pumps 8 percent of U.S. crude and anxiety over the Middle East, supplier of almost a third of the world's oil, ran high.

We'll see what happens to gas prices at your local pump.

One group that might have trouble with the new higher gas prices are those who earn minimum wages in the U.S., the people that one wingnut talking-head called pure unadulterated losers

If you are a grown adult in this country who is not suffering from some hideous physical or mental disability, and you are trying to raise children on the minimum wage, then you are a 100 percent pure unadulterated loser. And I am so sick and damned tired of all those left-wing bedwetters and sympathy pimps out there -- passing -- just moaning over these people who have squandered their American birthright by becoming just the dregs of socie[ty]-- and then -- I'm just so sick of it I could scream. OK, calm down.

But how would these pure unadulterated losers get to their minimum wage jobs if the old bangers of a car they have don't have any gas and if public transportation is as alive as a dodo where they live?

Self-discipline, would be the wingnut stock answer. Or perhaps levitation. But raising the minimum wage is another option, and one that most economists have come to view in a favorable light:

Prominent economists of all ideological persuasions long believed that raising the U.S. minimum wage would retard job growth, creating unintended hardship for those at the bottom of the ladder.

Today, that consensus is eroding, and a vigorous debate has developed as some argue that boosting the wage would pull millions out of poverty.

A moderate increase in the minimum wage won't raise unemployment among low-skilled workers, according to recent studies, many economists say. They are joined by some business executives who say they can live with that, especially if it's coupled with tax relief.

``My thinking on this has changed dramatically,'' says Alan Blinder, a former Federal Reserve vice chairman who teaches economics at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey. ``The evidence appears to be against the simple-minded theory that a modest increase in the minimum wage causes substantial job loss.''

The debate over how to help struggling American workers was at the center of a battle in Congress last week over whether to increase the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour by 2009 from the current $5.15. The measure failed after Democrats objected that the wage increase had been linked to a plan to roll back the federal estate tax for many multimillion-dollar estates.

Mmm. Horrible Democrats, not to want to help the suffering multimillion-dollar estates.

Why might raising the minimum wage not have much of an effect on unemployment? This goes against the conventional wisdom that raising the price of something will reduce its demand. But the conventional wisdom is based on a particular model of the labor markets with all sorts of assumptions, one of those being that the wage rate in itself doesn't affect worker productivity. But what if it does?

Suppose that the initial wage rate is very low. So low that it's hard to survive on it, hard to both eat well and to fill the gas tank of the old lemon you use to drive to work. So low that the worker spends a lot of time juggling financial problems.

If this low wage rate is raised, the worker just might be able to eat better, sleep better and be healthier. Healthier workers might work harder. And workers who are paid more might feel more pride in their work and have greater concerns for its quality. Greater productivity might result, and this means that the employers would be getting more work for the raised wage.

It could also be the case that the initial study finding little job loss after a rise in the minimum wage was incorrect. But the alternatives are worth looking at.

Ok. This is the last economics post from me for the duration of the guest blogging. Promise.

The World is Better off without Saddam

Somehow, this doesn't really sound much better to me. But then again I am a treasonous, 'murica-loathing, liberal, shrill blogger, motivated only by hatred:

Iraq has to be a serial killer's paradise. Scores of dead bodies turn up on dumping grounds outside the country's main cities every morning. Iraqi police reports speak of corpses discovered bound, often showing signs of torture, and shot in the head. And yet nobody is ever arrested and charged with the killings. The overload of bodies prompted Baghdad's main morgue to announce this week that due to lack of storage space they would from now on keep corpses for only two weeks before burying them in mass graves.

But what about the freshly painted schools?

Watertiger's Desk, apply directly to the Forehead.

Great Ceasar's Codpiece! What a maroon!

Today at a press conference, President Bush dismissed these concerns out of hand. Bush said, “You know, I hear people say, Well, civil war this, civil war that. The Iraqi people decided against civil war when they went to the ballot box.”

Aside from this being a complete non-sequitur, perhaps Mr. Bush should talk to Cheney. For we know that the latter has watched "Ken Burns' 'The Civil War'" enough to realize that secession in the good ol' U.S. of A started in the wake of Mr. Lincoln being elected at the ballot box.

Following the election of Abraham Lincoln in November 1860, the South Carolina legislature calls a state convention that convenes on December 17, and on December 20 approves a proclamation to remove the state of South Carolina from the union. The secession of South Carolina is followed by the secession of six more states -- Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. Four additional states--Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina--delay acting on secession, but eventually join the others to make up the eleven states forming the Confederate States of America.

To paraphrase David Letterman, four-score & seven also happens to be Bush's IQ.


In the forgotten war:

RAMADI, Iraq — After a long day searching homes in suffocating Iraqi heat, Lance Cpl. Mike Young saw a most surprising source of relief _ a sprawling Wal-Mart had appeared in the distance.

"No joke _ looking through the haze I thought I saw a Wal-Mart. I said to myself, 'I bet they got some cold water in there,'" Young said, recalling a mission last year in a rural area west of Baghdad.

He contemplated running over to fetch water for fellow Marines who were "staggering like dead men." Three of them had collapsed in the heat.

Young soon stirred from his heat-induced hallucination and returned to the struggle of enduring summertime in Iraq.

Daytime temperatures in the Iraqi summer usually range from a low of about 105 degrees Fahrenheit to about 125. Though most bases have added air conditioning, grunts must still venture out to man their posts or patrol steaming streets under an unrelenting sun.

What they are doing is exactly the same as the important work being done by the 101st fighting keyboarders.

And I Just Can't Hide It

I'm not on the road for another hour or so, but I feel like that time when I was a little kid and I couldn't get to sleep because I was so excited about the trip to the amusement park.

Thinking back over these last few months a truly inspiring time was watching the Connecticut State Democratic Convention and discovering that blogofascist mind control techniques were working and watching town after town throw their support behind Lamont. For reporters wanting to understand this race, that was the place to start. Not with the bloggers.

Who's the Boss?

I'd rather take my marching orders from Generalissimo Kos than from Marty Peretz.

Just sayin'

Weepin' Joe

Just let Pierce do the talking.

Bye Bob

I shed a few tears when I awoke to Attaturk's announcement that my BFF Bob Ney won't run for reelection. And this further news (sub. req) has me even more depressed.

With the deadline for removing Ney's name from the Ohio ballot less than two weeks away, the review of his statements to the Indian Affairs Committee could form the basis for a charge of lying to Congress against the Ohio Republican, according to a handful of sources familiar with the transfer of documents to federal prosecutors.

In releasing its report on the Abramoff investigation June 22, the Indian Affairs Committee cited several instances in which Ney's statements to panel investigators conflicted with the testimony and e-mails of several other figures involved in the case.

His replacement sounds like a real winner.

Wanker of the Day

Lanny Davis.

Lamont by 6

I see fezhead got an early start.

While I'm on the road Atta J. Turk and Echidne of the Snakes wil help keep this place running. I'll be posting too when I can.

Latest, and presumably the last, poll has Lamont up by 6.


January 2006:

U.S. Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, has vowed to seek re-election even if he is indicted in the federal lobbying probe on Capitol Hill.

August 7, 2006:

Rep. Bob Ney, dogged by an influence peddling probe in Washington, will not seek re-election, state Sen. Joy Padgett said early Monday.

Ney called Padgett on Saturday and asked the fellow Republican to run in his place, saying that defending himself has been a strain on his family, she said.

However, as of yet there has been no comment from the real decision-maker in the Congressman's office.

Dear MSNBC Programming Department

There is a "Best of IMUS"?


Atta J. Turk

P.S. Perhaps this is something soon to be former talking news head Daryn Kagan can address on her pending "Happy Shiny People (who may have seen Rush Limbaugh nekked) Blog"?

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Holy crap.


I'd be pretty surprised if the movie actually manages to open without major legal action.

In another scene Borat insists on driving to California, instead of flying, “in case the Jews repeat their attack of 9/11”. In another scene, Baron Cohen, who is himself Jewish, is shown spitting out food given to him by the Jewish owners of a bed-and-breakfast because he believes it may be poisoned. He tells Alan Keyes, a black presidential candidate, he has a “chocolate face”.

While Kazakhstan may be the butt of Borat’s jokes, his interviewees often come off even worse, lured into betraying extreme or idiotic views. In one scene Borat is at a rodeo discussing homosexuals with an older man in rancher-style clothes, and says: “They hang ’em in our country.” The man replies: “That’s what we’re trying to do here.”

At another point, Baron Cohen, naked in a hotel room, catches the fat actor playing his producer, also nude, looking at a magazine containing pictures of Anderson. A wrestling contest ensues, with the fat producer sitting on Baron Cohen’s face.

Matt Dentler, producer of the South By South West film festival, who has seen an early version of the film, said: “This naked hairy male chase ends up coming into a giant marketing convention with 200 suited and tied people, screaming ‘call the cops’ and throwing them to the ground.”

While the Borat film was being made, George Matthews Marshall from Natchez, Mississippi, was tricked into holding a dinner party for Borat and a large black prostitute.

Marshall said that, while Borat was fondling the woman, the comedian tried to lure him into making pro-slavery and anti-Jewish comments.


I suppose I'll wait until Wednesday to write a longer version of this, but for now I'll just say that there probably is a great story about the Lieberman/Lamont election, and that story's preface should discuss blogs-as-understand-by-most-in-the-media, but most of the rest of the story has nothing to do with that. Blogs mattered as a tool for local activists, but not so much bloggers in the sense of "known blogs with big traffic."

Have You Had Enough?

Story here.

Song here.

Song is quite fun, make sure you listen.

Evening Thread

Grilling steaks on the roof. Everyone in Philly wave.

CT Calling

I'll be heading to CT tomorrow to join the party. I promise to exercise my freedom of expression in legal ways.

I'm signing up a couple of guest bloggers to keep this ship running, more or less, while I'm gone.

Wanker of the Day

Joe Lieberman.

From a press release just issued containing a speech he's delivering at a campaign event with Max Cleland.

Sadly, my opponent has done his best to distort my record, spending at least $4 million of his own money to mislead people into thinking that I am someone I am not. Not unlike what happened to Max Cleland four years ago.


I hope they don't actually pay Cokie for this stuff. You know, hard to believe, but there are senators who are arguably more liberal than Lamont sitting in the Senate right now!

"It's Better and Worse"

No wonder Joe's Bush's favorite Democrat.

Back to Rahm

At first I thought Emanuel couldn't have possibly really meant what he said, or at least that he couldn't have possibly meant to stick the shiv into Lieberman so deeply. But, as someone suggested in email he might be smartly planning to make lemonade out of Joe's lemons.

Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said Friday he is not worried about the fallout from the Senate primary on House races, arguing that the message from Connecticut is that anyone supporting Bush’s war policies is in deep trouble. “What’s playing out here is that being a rubber stamp for George Bush is politically dangerous to life-threatening,” he said.

If this is Rahm's plan, then Joe might find out that not only will his old friends disappear rather quickly, his primary loss might be the launching pad for the '06 campaign. Stand with Bush, and you lose.


Lieberman's rap is even sadder than my invocations of l33t speak.

And a Pony

I appreciate that people like to see themselves as somehow above the political fray, but it drives me nuts when they forget that the fray is real, it exists, and it can't be ignored. It's wonderful to write about What Should Be Done even if those things Will Never Happen, but it's boneheaded stupid to imagine that politicians who are actually trying to achieve something can achieve it by doing the same. The New York Times starts off well:

As America’s military experience in Iraq grows ever more nightmarish, it is becoming clear that President Bush’s strategy comes down to this: Keep holding to a failing course for the next 29 months and leave it to the next administration to clean up the mess.

But then goes quickly downhill:

That abdication of responsibility cannot be allowed to continue at the expense of American lives, military readiness and international influence. With the Republican majority in Congress moving in perpetual lock step behind the White House, the job of pressing the issue has been dumped in the laps of the Democrats. Unfortunately, they have their own version of reality avoidance. It involves pretending that the nightmare can be ended by adopting a timetable for a phased withdrawal of American troops.

Mr. Bush’s cheerleading encourages the illusion that it is just a matter of time and American support before Iraq evolves into a stable democracy. The Democratic timetable spins a different fantasy: that if the Iraqis are told that American troops will be leaving in stages, at specific dates, their government will rise to the occasion and create its own security forces to maintain order.


The only responsible way out of Iraq involves all the things President Bush refused to consider on the way in. That means enlisting help from some of the same Arab neighbors and European allies whose opinions and suggestions were scornfully ignored before the invasion. Getting their assistance would be a humbling experience. Americans may feel the war is going badly, but they have not been prepared to acknowledge failure.

But the choice will never be between Bush's pretend everything is okay plan and the New York Times' Pony Plan. It won't. The writers of that first paragraph surely know that. The choice is between Bush's pretend everything ok plan and the Democrats' Bush is going to keep fucking this up so it's time to start heading home plan.

The Pony Plan might be a lovely one, and I'm sure with a bit of time I could dream up the Unicorn Plan which would be TEH AWESUM.

But George Bush is in charge, so chastizing the Democrats for not advocating the Pony Plan is just helping to ensure that we will "Keep holding to a failing course for the next 29 months and leave it to the next administration to clean up the mess. "


One sad feature of winner-take-all elections is that the post-election narratives depend too heavily on who manages to get 50%+1. No matter what happens on Tuesday, the fact is that this should have never been a race. As big a wanker as Lieberman has been, he should have been able to easily swat away a primary challenge.

I had to think pretty hard about encouraging people to give money to Lamont. I probably thought his chances of winning were about 5% back when this began and I had to consider whether asking people to donate their time and energy for a long shot of a cause was really worthwhile. Ultimately I decided that it was, but I still never saw it as anything but a tremendous long shot.

The scariest thing about the campaign is just how inept Lieberman's campaign has been. I have to hope that this is the fault of the senator and not the people he pays a lot of money to do this stuff, because if Washington's crack team of consultants are this idiotic we're in more trouble than I imagined. As Digby writes:

All Lieberman had to do in the early going was ignore the sniping, distance himself that schmuck in the white house and it would have been very difficult for Lamont to get enough traction to get this far. Perhaps it would have happened anyway, but I have my doubts. In fact I sincerely believed when this whole thing began to bubble to the surface that the point of this challenge was to get Joe to distance himselof from that schmuck in the white house and keep him on the reservation. I never dreamed he'd be so stubborn about something so obvious.

And now to find out that he had originally been critical and then changed his mind (because of what is speculated to be petulance about his treatment in the 2004 presidential campaign) is stunning to me. I'm actually beginning to wonder if deep down Joe wanted out anyway. (Or perhaps he really does want Rumsfeld's job.)

In any case, this is a primer on how to screw up an election by Democratic Insiders Inc. Again.


Watch Ned's appearance on Stephy's show here.


Emanuel just slammed Lieberman. Not sure if he intended to, but there you go.

Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said Friday he is not worried about the fallout from the Senate primary on House races, arguing that the message from Connecticut is that anyone supporting Bush’s war policies is in deep trouble. “What’s playing out here is that being a rubber stamp for George Bush is politically dangerous to life-threatening,” he said.

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