Saturday, September 09, 2006


We all call him "Pantload" for a reason:


Al Qaeda & Saddam [Jonah Goldberg]
I have always been agnostic about the Saddam - al Qaeda connection stuff. I never thought it was particularly central to the case for invasion. I still feel that way.

June 1, 2004:

The Connection [Jonah Goldberg ]
My friend, ocassional poker buddy and the instigator of several pranks against yours truly, has finally come out with his book: The Connection: How al Qaeda's Collaboration with Saddam Hussein Has Endangered America. I've had a few verbal briefings and I look forward to reading it. Hayes claims to have the goods on the real connections between al Qaeda and Saddam. If what I've heard so far pans out, it could shred the conventional wisdom.

June 18, 2004:

Re: Relationships [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:

Seems to me that Congressional Democrats are more willing to give Saddam the benefit of the doubt over his contacts with Al Qaeda than they are to give Cheney with his post-election contacts with Halliburton.

Also June 18, 2004:

Well, after 9/11 for people to be defending Iraq because they had "only" been having meetings, coffee klatches and the like with al Qaeda strikes me as pretty lame. No, alone in a vacuum having meetings with al Qaeda isn't cause for war. But we weren't operating in a vacuum. There were quite a few other variables involved, WMDs, deteroriating sanctions, Saddam's defiance of the UN, the need to be proactive after 9/11 etc. In other words, if we heard that France had been having get-togethers with al Qaeda, war wouldn't be an option. But Iraq — a country we were still more than technically at war with since 1991 — holds meeting with al Qaeda, that strikes me as serious, very serious.
Posted at 7:21 AM

June 30, 2004:

Allawi: Al Qaeda Connected to Saddam [Jonah Goldberg ]
Will this be the real reason the American press turns on the new Iraqi leader?

April 1, 2003:

Al-Qaeda [Jonah Goldberg]
More links to al-Qaeda found in a camp belonging to Ansar al-Islam militants. Here's a thought: wouldn't it be something if it turned out that Iraq doesn't have chemical weapons but does have direct ties to 9/11? It's extremely doubtful (I'm still convinced they have the weapons). But considering how everyone, including Tom Friedman, has poo-pooed the al-Quaeda/Iraq angle whenever the admistration has floated it, wouldn't it be grand if the one silver-bullet justification even the anti-war people have conceded for all these months turned out to be true?

For a guy that was agnostic, he sure did bring it up a lot.

UPDATE: Um, this isn't my blog. Sorry Atrios.

Wanker of the Day

Joe Lieberman.

A rather important - and perhaps legal - question is why a campaign aide has access to constituent letters to Joe's Senate office.

They Write Letters

John Beug writes to the Mouse.

Fake 9/11 Movie Falsely Accuses American Airlines

I bet their marketing department will appreciate it.

And their attorneys.

Michael Moore Too Fat to Fix Film Projector

A report from a screening of Borat which ended prematurely.

This movie will be The Biggest Thing Ever, until the next such thing. Maybe not in ticket sales, but it will temporarily take over everything when it opens.


Ah, sock puppetry.

Fresh Thread



Okay, this is why I'm grumpy. The New York Times:

NEW HAVEN, Sept. 8 — Ned Lamont, who this week chastised Senator Joseph I. Lieberman for his public rebuke of President Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, wrote to Mr. Lieberman at the time praising the eloquence of his speech on the Senate floor.

“I supported your statement because Clinton’s behavior was outrageous: a Democrat had to stand up and state as much, and I hoped that your statement was the beginning of the end,” Mr. Lamont, then a cable television executive, wrote in an e-mail message to the senator’s Washington office on Sept. 16, 1998, two weeks after Mr. Lieberman’s speech.

Mr. Lamont defeated Mr. Lieberman in last month’s Democratic primary in Connecticut, but will face the incumbent — now running on his own party line — in November. In an interview with reporters and editors on Wednesday night in Washington, Mr. Lamont said he shared Mr. Lieberman’s “moral outrage” over Mr. Clinton’s sexual misbehavior but thought the senator should have handled it behind closed doors before making a public speech.

“You don’t go to the floor of the Senate and turn this into a media spectacle," Mr. Lamont said of Mr. Lieberman’s remarks. "You go up there, you sit down with one of your oldest friends and say you’re embarrassing yourself, you’re embarrassing your presidency, you’re embarrassing your family, and it’s got to stop.”

At the time, Mr. Lamont wrote that he had “supported the moral outrage” Mr. Lieberman expressed reluctantly because he “thought it might make matters worse,” adding that “unfortunately, the statement was the beginning of a process that has turned more political and morally offensive.” He urged Mr. Lieberman to “stand up and use your moral authority to put an end to this snowballing mess,” and suggested that “It’s time for you to make up your mind and speak your mind as you did so eloquently last Thursday.”

“I’m the father of three and the thought that Clinton testifying about oral sex before the grand jury may be broadcast into my living room is outrageous,” Mr. Lamont wrote. “This sorry episode is an embarrassment to me as a father and to us as a nation.”

Ned Lamont's actual letter:

Medina's been pretty good on this race most of the time, but I have no idea how a responsible journalist could spin Lamont's letter into that article.

Mouse Lies

Thomas Nicoletti, who quit ABC's 9/11 Conspiracy Theory movie, discussing it (quicktime).


Because I'm grumpy and Retardo makes me laugh.

Clinton's Penis

Yes, New York Times, we know you're obsessed. Still, we imagine that at some point you'd become a bit ashamed of that obsession and try to hide it. It really isn't very flattering.

9/11 Conspiracy Theorists

I don't like people pushing any horseshit about 9/11 - though I actually tend to appreciate that people are out there asking questions even if too often they provide silly answers - but it's long past time we acknowledge something very important.

The biggest 9/11 conspiracy theorists are the lunatics in the administration who kept pushing an Iraq/9/11 connection and a news media who have failed to communicate to large numbers of the American people that Saddam Hussein was not, in fact, behind 9/11.

Occasionally there will be a report about how those "silly Arabs" believe all kinds of wacky conspiracy theories, culling crazy stuff from their media.

How crazy is it to associate Saddam Hussein with Osama bin Laden? Both bad guys, but other than that they didn't exactly have much in common.

Media Matters

From Jamison Foser.

Morning Thread


Enron Goes to Iraq

Now we know why reports that August deaths in Iraq had magically tripled could make sense.

BAGHDAD, Iraq - U.S. officials, seeking a way to measure the results of a program aimed at decreasing violence in Baghdad, aren't counting scores of dead killed in car bombings and mortar attacks as victims of the country's sectarian violence.

In a distinction previously undisclosed, U.S. military spokesman Lt. Col. Barry Johnson said Friday that the United States is including in its tabulations of sectarian violence only deaths of individuals killed in drive-by shootings or by torture and execution.

That has allowed U.S. officials to boast that the number of deaths from sectarian violence in Baghdad declined by more than 52 percent in August over July.

But it eliminates from tabulation huge numbers of people whose deaths are certainly part of the ongoing conflict between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. Not included, for example, are scores of people who died in a highly coordinated bombing that leveled an entire apartment building in eastern Baghdad, a stronghold of rebel Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

Johnson declined to provide an actual number for the U.S. tally of August deaths or for July, when the Baghdad city morgue counted a record 1,855 violent deaths.

Violent deaths for August, a morgue official told McClatchy Newspapers on Friday, totaled 1,526, a 17.7 percent decline from July and about the same as died violently in June.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Late Night

Roger Waters -- Leaving Beirut

Then Why?

Really. I still have no idea why we invaded Iraq. I really don't.

Fresh Thread


They Write Letters

Albright and Berger write to Kean.

Whether your broadcast purports to be based on the 9/11 Report in whole - or only in part - is increasingly beside the point. The dramatic impact of a costly but carelessly produced film will invariably overwhelm the impression of any government document.

Amidst alarming reports that irresponsible theories about the events of 9/11 have begun to gain currency with the American people, you should not want to lend your personal reputation to a production which seems likely to instigate new and dangerous falsehoods. And so we ask that you use your influence to persuade ABC to withdraw the broadcast altogether. Failing that, we urge you to sever your relationship with this grossly misleading production.

Going Down to Burbank

Go protest Disney at 4PM Pacific.

We Suck

Stepping back for a moment from the bias and factual errors, I'm struck by what an odd movie this is for a major network to show on the 5th year anniversary of 9/11. I'm not sure how a watching a catalog of failures - real and extra made up ones just for fun - really fits with how people want to spend the anniversary of that day.

It's really an odd choice.

The reviews are coming in (although the reviewers have tremendous audacity to review their review copies even though the movie isn't finished [/snark]) and they aren't too pretty.

This is the most anticlimactic, tension-free movie in the history of terrorist TV.

It's hard to fathom a brouhaha brewed over such a bore. ABC has received tens of thousands of letters -- including one from Bill Clinton's office -- insisting "Path" is wildly inaccurate and should not air. But ABC still plans to air the two-part movie.

Controversy could boost viewership, except "Path" is the dullest, worst-shot TV movie since ABC's disastrous "Ten Commandments" remake. It substitutes shaky handheld cameras and dumb dialogue for craftsmanship. It could not be more amateurish or poorly constructed unless someone had forgotten to light the sets.

An appalling secondary concern is the tone makes almost every pre-9/11 American look like a fool.

Look, there's a security guard yawning while terrorists plant the 1993 bomb at the World Trade Center. How dare a security guard work while tired.

Oh, hey, there's an airline agent checking in a 9/11 terrorist even though he has a carry-on bag. Stupid airline agents.

Excuse us all, writer Cyrus Nowrasteh and director David L. Cunningham, for not acting like Hitler Youth in the glory days before ordinary Americans knew commercial planes could be turned into missiles.


Cheap emotions are on orange alert. Of all the people who died in the 1993 attack, who does the camera focus on? Ding-ding-ding, you are a winner if you said "a pregnant woman rubbing her belly."

Fresh Thread


Stoller Speak

You listen.

120,000 Names on a Petition

Here they are:

(pic thanks to xenophile)

Blame America First

Dinesh D'Souza.

Oh. My. God.


Sounds like it's time for another blogger ethics panel.

Go Local

First, sign the petition.

Then contact your local ABC affiliate. Here's a handy list.

Michael Froomkin describes his experience.

(pic thanks to doclarry)


Just cut the crap.

NEW YORK — ABC defended a miniseries on the events leading up to the Sept. 11 attacks after Clinton administration officials said it distorts history so drastically that it should be corrected or shelved.

"No one has seen the final version of the film, because the editing process is not yet complete, so criticisms of film specifics are premature and irresponsible," the network said in a statement Thursday.

You sent out hundreds of screeners to get advanced publicity on the project. The movie is scheduled to be shown on Sunday. And shame on all the people on cable teevee who are pretending this even makes any sense. Yes a few things could be snipped by Sunday, but that's about the extent of possible edits.

Shame on ABC. Shame on Disney. And shame on all the people who imagine we're idiots.

Wanker of the Day

Alessandra Stanley.

...more from Tristero.

Can you believe it?

She's saying don't worry, be happy, every little thing will balance out in the end, that if the 9/11 series is harsh and unfair towards Clinton, Bush will get his just as harshly and unfairly. That's because the Disney propaganda will be counterbalanced by a future, hypothetical mini-series on the Bush administration's marketing of the New Product in 2002 - the Iraq war - which will be equally inaccurate.

Once again, my mind boggles. It's a simple fact: The Disney propaganda series is laced with lies, bald-faced lies about the actions of the Clinton administration. That in no way is "balanced" by telling the harsh, despicable, and miserable truth about the Bush administration's wholesale effort to mislead the public into a pointless and ghastly war in Iraq. Real balance requires telling the truth both about what happened before 9/11* AND about the American public's bamboozlement regarding Iraq. Real balance leads to the inescapable, if frightening, conclusion that the Bush administration is incompetent, deceptive, violently delusional, and corrupt at a level that greatly exceeds any presidential administration within memory, including Nixon. (If not ever.) Real balance requires that story to be told as it is.

Lies and the Lying Liars

ABC still claiming their GOP-u-drama is "based on the 9/11 commission report." This is from an ad in the weekend supplement of the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

Except, you know, all the parts that flatly contradict that report.

Light'em Up

Contact George Mitchell.
Over 50,000 ThinkProgress readers have written ABC in the last 48 hours about “The Path to 9/11.” We’re going to keep the pressure on ABC, but we’re also broadening our focus today to the Walt Disney Company, which owns ABC.

Disney’s Chairman of the Board is former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-ME). Senator Mitchell has a long and distinguished career both inside and outside government and he knows how important it is to accurately represent historical events.

We need to remind him that 9/11 was a national tragedy, and that politicizing and flagrantly misrepresenting the facts about 9/11 is wrong.

Senator George J. Mitchell
T: (212) 335-4600
T: (212) 335-4500
F: (212) 335-4605

(Remember to be polite, and please copy us at so we can keep track your comments.)

Harvey Keitel Says Fix It

Good for him.


Hey, Bob Harris wrote a book.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Christine Todd Whitman:

Former EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman is blaming the city for not forcing Ground Zero workers to wear respirators, prompting a fiery response from the city's top lawyer.

In a "60 Minutes" interview to air Sunday, Whitman maintains that the nation's leading environmental agency did not have authority to enforce rules at the site, though the agency did warn the city about dangers in the air at Ground Zero.

"We didn't have the authority to do that enforcement, but we communicated to the people who did," Whitman says in the interview with Katie Couric.

"EPA was very firm in what it communicated and it did communicate up and down the line [to city officials]," Whitman says, referring to the city as the "primary responder."

"In no uncertain terms?" Couric asks.

"Uh-huh, in no uncertain terms," Whitman replies.


Despite Whitman's current claims, her remarks at the time suggested that the air at Ground Zero was not a major health hazard.

She was quoted in Newsday on Sept. 15, 2001, as saying, "There is no reason for concern," referring to asbestos measurements at Ground Zero and elsewhere in lower Manhattan. And on Sept. 16, she said, "New York is safe."

In the "60 Minutes" interview, Whitman draws a fine distinction regarding her earlier statements, saying she was referring to the ambient air around lower Manhattan, not Ground Zero itself.

"We never lied," she says.

Well, you know, other than the LIES. Wonder how many people will die because she lied.

These are really bad people. Awful.

Lies and the Lying Liars

New York Times edition.

Fresh Thread


The Road to 9/11

The story boards, courtesy of The Editors.

The Last Honest Man

Sirota busts Gerstein lying.

Path to 9/11

Here's the Path to 9/11 site.

Contact George Mitchell

Think Progress has the details.

And here's a clip of William Cohen on CNN.

Fresh Thread

Discuss exciting non-Disney related locations for your family's vacation.

Good for Scholastic

Doing the right thing.

Wonder When This WIll Run?

From the White House pool report.

During the flight Tony Snow came back to gaggle.... He said the president had just had an interview with Charlie Gibson and on the way back he would have an interview with Paul Gigot from the Wall St Journal on board Air Force 1. The Gibson interview will be aired in three parts - some on the World News tonight, some on Good Morning America tomorrow and some on September 11.

It's fitting that after their miniseries of lies ABC would finish up with the chief liar.

E&P on ABC

Greg Mitchell from E&P was on MSNBC a little bit ago.

What's on Sunday?




After Lisa befriends Fat Tony’s (Joe Mantegna, reprising his role as Springfield’s infamous mob boss) son Michael, Fat Tony invites the Simpsons over for dinner as a sign of gratitude. Shockingly, Fat Tony is shot by a rival family moments after Michael admits he would rather be a chef than take over the family business. Fat Tony’s main thugs, Dante and Dante Jr. (guest voices Joe Pantoliano and Michael Imperioli), want Michael to be the new kingpin, but when he declines, Homer steps up and leads the family on a major mob spree in ”The Mook, The Chef, The Wife and Her Homer,” the 18th season premiere episode of THE SIMPSONS, Sunday, Sept. 10 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (SI-1715) (TV-PG; S, V) CC

Mouse Memories

Not so long ago:

One executive told the paper it did not want to be seen taking sides in the election and risk alienating customers of different political views.

"It's not in the interest of any major corporation to be dragged into a highly charged partisan political battle," said the executive, who was not identified by the paper.

That was over Farenheit 9/11.


ABC sez that it's unfair to criticize them because no one's actually seen the final cut. Uh, assholes, you sent out hundreds of screeners.

What will all the children do when they discover Mickey's a liar?

...full statement:

“The Path to 9/11? is not a documentary of the events leading to 9/11. It is a dramatization, drawn from a variety of sources including the 9/11 Commission Report, other published materials, and personal interviews. As such, for dramatic and narrative purposes, the movie contains fictionalized scenes, composite and representative characters and dialogue, and time compression. No one has seen the final version of the film, because the editing process is not yet complete, so criticisms of film specifics are premature and irresponsible. The attacks of 9/11 were a pivotal moment in our history, and it is fitting that the debate about the events related to the attacks continue. However, we hope viewers will watch the entire broadcast of the finished film before forming an opinion about it.

How About "Pro-Truth"?

I guess that's not an option.

Call WCVB and ask them why they're broadcasting known and deliberate lies.

(781) 449-0400

Making Shit Up

Ethical people don't play with the Mouse.

James Bamford, an author and journalist who has written about security issues, appeared on MSNBC to discuss “The Path to 9/11.” Bamford revealed that an FBI agent who worked as a consultant to the film quit halfway through production of the mini-series because he believed the writers and producers were “making things up.” Watch it:

Wanker of the Day

Crazy Curt Weldon:

Media, PA — On Thursday, former Vice Admiral Joe Sestak, criticized Curt Weldon for his unconstitutional proposal to take away the Commander-in-Chief’s authority over our military strategy in Iraq and give it to the military. According to today’s Hill, “Weldon initially contemplated introducing his proposal as regular legislation, but opted instead for a sense of the House resolution after learning that legislation would conflict with the president’s constitutional war powers.”

“As someone who served in the military for 31 years, this latest proposal from Curt Weldon, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, shows his profound ignorance on military issues and American history,” Sestak said. “Curt Weldon ought to go back and read the Constitution. Every elementary school child knows the President is the Commander-in-Chief. Curt Weldon has failed to hold President Bush accountable for the mismanagement of the war and has backed Bush’s ‘stay the course’ policy every step of the way. But, now facing a tough election, he’s once again trying to play both sides of the issue just like he has with stem cell research, privatizing social security and increasing the minimum wage. Saying and doing anything to get re-elected is not leadership. We need to set a timetable for redeployment from Iraq by the end of 2007.”

In today’s Hill, US Senators from both sides of the aisle roundly criticized the unconstitutional nature of Weldon’s latest plan:

“Constitutionally, the president is the commander-in-chief,” said Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. “I don’t see a good reason to separate the chain of command from the president. I appreciate what Curt is trying to do, but it’s not a good idea.”

Sen. Jack Reed (R.I.), a Democrat on the Armed Services panel, raised constitutional questions.

“The Constitution clearly gives the president the authority as commander-in-chief to make that decision,” he said. “I don’t know how you get around the notion that the buck stops there in the White House.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), a Republican on the Armed Services panel, said that empowering generals with such decision-making authority risked “doing away with civilian control of the military. It would subvert civilian leadership of the military,” he said.

They Write Letters

Bruce Lindsey writes to ABC.

No Sense of Decency


Clinton Sez Fix or Pull

Good for him:

linton pointedly refuted several fictionalized scenes that he claims insinuate he was too distracted by the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal to care about bin Laden and that a top adviser pulled the plug on CIA operatives who were just moments away from bagging the terror master, according to a letter to ABC boss Bob Iger obtained by The Post.

The former president also disputed the portrayal of then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright as having tipped off Pakistani officials that a strike was coming, giving bin Laden a chance to flee.

"The content of this drama is factually and incontrovertibly inaccurate and ABC has the duty to fully correct all errors or pull the drama entirely," the four-page letter said.

The movie is set to air on Sunday and Monday nights. Monday is the fifth anniversary of the attacks.

Based on the 9/11 commission's report, the miniseries is also being provided to high schools as a teaching aid - although ABC admits key scenes are dramatizations.

The letter, written by Bruce Lindsey, head of the Clinton Foundation, and Douglas Bond, a top lawyer in Clinton's office, accuses the ABC drama of "bias" and a "fictitious rewriting of history that will be misinterpreted by millions of Americans."

Clinton, whose aides first learned from a TV trailer about a week ago that the miniseries would slam his administration, was "surprised" and "incredulous" when told about the film's slant, sources said.

Shitty journamalism from the Post. A movie truly "based on the 9/11 commission's report" wouldn't have stuff in it which contradicts that report.

Bolton Nomination Pulled?


WASHINGTON A U.S. Senate panel postponed a vote scheduled for Thursday on the nomination of John Bolton as U.N. ambassador.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar, a Republican, gave no reason for the delay and did not say when the vote would be held. Bolton, nominated by President George. W. Bush, had been opposed by many Democrats, but he was expected to be confirmed by the Republican-led panel.

Lugar said he removed the nomination from the agenda of Thursday's committee meeting after conferring with several senators.

Good for MSNBC

It's long past time every presidential address was not given automatic full coverage on the cable nets. They aren't showing it. In a campaign season if such things are shown extra effort should be made to provide balance from Democrats.

Democracy ~= Doing Stuff "We" Like

I really don't understand what drives this way of thinking. When I met with Mark Warner he seemed to think we should be worried about Bolivia. Most people, I imagine, don't worry too much about Bolivia and that's probably pretty much the correct posture. I don't know enough about the policies Evo Morales to know if they appeal to my inner Sensible Technocrat, but I do know that there's basically nothing Evo Morales can do which will negatively impact me.

The point is not that I'd never get behind a humanitarian intervention of some kind, but instead that our Sensible Technocrats seem to get unduly upset when the rights of US business interests to do whatever they want around the world are curtailed. I don't really give a shit about that, and nor should most of us.

...and, adding, defaulting on debt was a stupendously smart thing for Argentina to do. There's a big racket which involves international lending institutions lending money at high interest rates to "risky" countries and then trying to convince those countries that defaulting on debt is the equivalent of setting off a nuke in their nation's capital, but that of course is ridiculous. Risky countries will default at times - that's why they're risky - and Argentina is bouncing back from their Sensible Technocrat encouraged crisis nicely.

Scholastic: Not Yet Sure if Lie Promotion Is Good Education

It will be quite the accomplishment if they manage to piss away their brand over this.



Since this is going to get nasty very quickly let me try to write it as slowly as I can:

It's important to respect human rights because of what it says about us, not because of what it says about some of the assholes in custody.

Morning Thread


Later Night

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Late Night

Nellie McKay was pretty popular last night so here's the video for David.


Calls ABC on their bullshit.

Isn't it about time for Bob Kerrey to take a momentary break from Club Wanker to express a bit of outrage?

They Write Letters

DNC's Tom McMahon writes a letter:

Dear Duncan,
Does a major national broadcast network want to stain itself by presenting an irresponsible, slanderous, fraudulent, "docu-drama" to the American public?
Not if you and I have the last word -- but either way, we're about to find out.
The ABC television network -- a cog in the Walt Disney empire -- unleashed a promotional blitz in the last week for a new "docudrama" called "The Path to 9/11". ABC has thrown its corporate might behind the two-night production, and bills it as a public service: a TV event, to quote the ABC tagline, "based on the 9/11 Commission Report".
That's false. "The Path to 9/11" is actually a bald-faced attempt to slander Democrats and revise history right before Americans vote in a major election.
The miniseries, which was put together by right-wing conservative writers, relies on the old GOP playbook of using terrorism to scare Americans. "The Path to 9/11" mocks the truth and dishonors the memory of 9/11 victims to serve a cheap, callous political agenda. It irresponsibly misrepresents the facts and completely distorts the truth.
ABC/Disney executives need to hear from the public and understand that their abuse of the public trust comes with a cost. Tell Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger to keep this right-wing propaganda off the air -- we'll deliver your message:
This story is breaking quickly. The bias of the "docudrama" only became known when ABC began circulating previews recently. Less than two weeks ago, 9/11 Commission member Richard Ben-Veniste confronted a lead writer of "The Path to 9/11" after watching the first half of the miniseries at a screening, but most of what we know amounts to bits and pieces because ABC chose to screen the miniseries to conservative bloggers and right-wing media outlets exclusively. Almost none of the Democrats portrayed in the film have even been asked for their thoughts.
But we still know enough, thanks to news accounts and crack research, to fact check "The Path to 9/11" as a biased, irresponsible mess. Here's what you need to know:
Richard Clarke -- the counterterrorism czar for the Clinton administration, now himself a consultant to ABC News -- describes a key scene in "The Path to 9/11" as "180 degrees from what happened." In the scene, a CIA field agent places a phone call to get the go ahead to kill Osama Bin Laden, then in his sights, only to have a senior Clinton administration official refuse and hang up the phone. Sandy Berger, President Clinton's National Security Advisor, called the same scene "a total fabrication. It did not happen." And Roger Cressey, a top Bush and Clinton counterterrorism official, said it was "something straight out of Disney and fantasyland. It's factually wrong. And that's shameful."
Another scene revives the old right-wing myth that press reporting made it impossible to track Osama bin Laden, accusing the Washington Post of blowing the secret that American intelligence tracked his satellite phone calls. In reality, responsibility for that blunder -- contrary to "The Path to 9/11" -- rests with none other than the arch-conservative Washington Times.
The former National Security Council head of counterterrorism says that President Clinton "approved every request made of him by the CIA and the U.S. military involving using force against bin Laden and al-Qaeda," and the 9/11 report says the CIA had full authority from President Clinton to strike Bin Laden. Yet chief "Path to 9/11" scriptwriter Cyrus Nowrasteh, a friend of Rush Limbaugh, says the miniseries shows how President Clinton had "frequent opportunities in the '90s to stop Bin Laden in his tracks -- but lacked the will to do so."
ABC asked only the Republican co-chair of the 9/11 Commission, Tom Kean, Sr., to advise the makers of "The Path to 9/11". The producers optioned two books, one written by a Bush administration political appointee, as the basis of the screenplay -- yet bill the miniseries as "based on the 9/11 Commission Report."
This is a picture of bias -- a conservative attempt to rewrite the history of September 11 to blame Democrats, just in time for the election.
Tell Walt Disney president Robert Iger that you hold his company responsible -- and that this community demands that ABC tell the truth:
ABC is trying to use of the airwaves -- airwaves owned by you and me, and loaned to broadcasters as a public trust -- to slander Democrats and sell a slanderous, irresponsible fraud to the American people, and they're shamefully doing it just weeks away from Election Day.
The Walt Disney Corporation could have given Americans an honest look at September 11. Instead, the company abandoned its duty to the truth -- and embraced the fiction known as "The Path to 9/11."
But ABC isn't the only company pushing this gross revision of history. ABC has enlisted the reputable education and children's entertainment company Scholastic, Inc. to send 100,000 letters to high school teachers, urging them to show students "The Path to 9/11". Scholastic has also created a discussion guide for teachers to use to encourage students and their families to watch this irresponsible fraud and then discuss it in school. The discussion guide does not in any way point out the concerns and criticisms that have been raised about the validity and accuracy of the film.
We've got to stop this now.
ABC/Disney must face an accountability moment. You can ratchet up the pressure on ABC by sending your own letter to Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger -- tell him to keep this propaganda off their air.
We'll keep you up to date as this story evolves.
Thank you, Tom
Tom McMahon Executive DirectorDemocratic National Committee

Path to Nowhere?

Looks like Scholastic might be doing the right thing...?

Tom Kean: Wingnut Lies Okay With Me

So much for his respectable elder statesman reputation.

ABC is owned by the Mouse we must remember. Perhaps it's time to start up a Mouse Retrospective of their not always respectable history...



I really couldn’t care less who reads the news, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Katie, particularly since I worked with her late husband on MSNBC when the station first began ten years ago, but our affair ended last night when she said that she wanted to help restore “civility” to the public discourse and then announced she would have Rush Limbaugh help with the job. I guess that’s the last time I can believe anything she says—or at least make sense of it.

Carson Confirms No Copy for Clinton

Just in case anyone doubted.

Is Our Children Learning?

Apparently they're learning right wing nonsense. Lovely.

The Lies in the Movie Are Intact

ABC going out of its way to reassure conservatives that their Clinton/9/11 porn will arrive as promised

Fresh Thread



Locally, anyway, none of the networks broke away from soaps for Bush's speech. What's he yammering on about anyway?

They Write Letters

Conyers, Dingell, Harman, and Slaughter write to ABC:

Dear Mr. Iger:

We are advised that ABC is scheduled to air a two-part mini-series entitled "The Path to 9/11" on September 10 and September 11. While we have not yet seen this program, news reports raise serious questions about its accuracy. Therefore, we request that the inaccuracies described herein be addressed immediately and that the program be thoroughly reviewed and revised for accuracy before it airs.

Among our concerns about the program are the following: first, it reportedly contains a scene in which Sandy Berger, the National Security Adviser to President Bill Clinton, declines to give Central Intelligence Agency operatives the authority to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden, and in which those operatives are outside a house where Bin Laden is located. This account has been expressly contradicted by Richard Clarke, a high-ranking counterterrorism official in both the Clinton and Bush Administrations.

Second, the film reportedly contains a scene in which the Central Intelligence Agency declines to share information about the 9/11 hijackers with the FBI and ascribes that failure to the so-called "wall," limiting information sharing by the Department of Justice in certain circumstances, and established by the Department of Justice in an internal memorandum.

This scene is puzzling at best, and inaccurate at worst. According to a Republican Member of the 9/11 Commission, former Senator Slade Gorton, the "Department of Justice guidelines at issue were internal to the Justice Department and were not even sent to any other agency. The guidelines had no effect on the Department of Defense and certainly did not prohibit it from communicating with the FBI, the CIA or anyone else."

These two examples alone create substantial doubt about the overall accuracy of this program. September 11th is a day of mourning and remembrance for every American. We do not believe that it is appropriate for it to be tainted by false assertions of blame or partisan spin.

To avoid that occurrence, we urge you to review this film and correct these and other inaccuracies. We appreciate your prompt attention and reply to this time sensitive matter.


Representatives John Conyers, Jr., John Dingell, Jane Harman, Louise Slaughter

The Rumsfeld Dodge

Yglesias is correct here:

This Rumsfeld-obsession plays a genuinely pernicious role in our national discourse. The basic reality of the matter is that between September 2001 and Spring 2003 the bulk of the American political and media establishments endorsed the key elements of the Bush foreign policy. Over the subsequent 18 months or so, it became obvious to the bulk of this establishment that the Bush foreign policy was a moral and practical disaster. Rather than conclude that they were operating from mistaken premises and that they should come up with some new, authentically different ideas, the predominant impulse has simply been to say "we could have gotten away with it to if it wasn't for that meddling Rumsfeld!"

Well, no. Rumsfeld's ideas were bad ones. But the bad ideas -- the policies, Bush's policies, The Washington Post's policies, Andrew Sullivan's policies, etc. -- are the issue here, not Rumsfeld personally.

Berger and Albright Also Denied Copies

Right wing blogger? No problem.


The FBI have been enlisted in the Campaign To Scare People.

fear fear terra terra freedom fear fear terra terra freedom

What Now?

K. Lo sez White House is asking networks to break into soaps for a speech by the preznit.

...ah, kangaroo court plans.

(tip from reader k)

ABC to President Clinton: No Copy For You

According to a source, President Clinton's office has asked for, and been denied, a copy of ABC's 9/11 revisionist wight wing fantasy.

So, let's get this straight: Rush Limbaugh and a bunch of right wing bloggers get to screen the movie. Former President Clinton does not.

Uh, When Was That?

John Dickerson of Slate just said on MSNBC, "When the Iraq war was going well, the president didn't want to talk about Osama Bin Laden..."

The Iraq war hasn't been "going well" since about a month after the invasion. Apparently it took our elite pundits a very long time to notice.


Shame on ABC for putting out 9/11 bullshit historical revisionism.

These are bad people.

The Lump of Campaign Money Fallacy

I don't know why this one can't be killed. First, the size of the pie is not fixed. Second, to the extent that the pie slices are not optimally allocated across candidates for the purposes of maximizing electoral wins, tell it to the people who have made sure Hillary Clinton has $22 million in the bank.

Olbermann Slams Bush

At C&L.

Transcript here:

It is to our deep national shame—and ultimately it will be to the President’s deep personal regret—that he has followed his Secretary of Defense down the path of trying to tie those loyal Americans who disagree with his policies—or even question their effectiveness or execution—to the Nazis of the past, and the al Qaeda of the present.

Today, in the same subtle terms in which Mr. Bush and his colleagues muddied the clear line separating Iraq and 9/11 — without ever actually saying so—the President quoted a purported Osama Bin Laden letter that spoke of launching, “a media campaign to create a wedge between the American people and their government.”

Make no mistake here—the intent of that is to get us to confuse the psychotic scheming of an international terrorist, with that familiar bogeyman of the right, the “media.”

The President and the Vice President and others have often attacked freedom of speech, and freedom of dissent, and freedom of the press.

Now, Mr. Bush has signaled that his unparalleled and unprincipled attack on reporting has a new and venomous side angle:

The attempt to link, by the simple expediency of one word—“media”—the honest, patriotic, and indeed vital questions and questioning from American reporters, with the evil of Al-Qaeda propaganda.

That linkage is more than just indefensible. It is un-American.

Joe's Blogroll


* No to Ned - An offensive, anti-Lamont blog that posted a picture of bin Laden wearing a Ned Lamont sticker - which must be what Joe’s talking about when he calls for civility in politics. Five total posts.
* Joe Lieberman in 2006 - Complains of “the anti-war left” and has three total posts. The author, Chris Arnell, also writes this blog, which is obsessed with Muslim violence (including this sickeningly titled post, “D.U.I.I. - Driving Under Islamic Influence“).
* Joe for Progress - This looks like it wants to be a blogging community. From what I can tell it has one author, two total posts, and a blogroll containing pretty much the same sites as Joe’s campaign blog - Bull Moose, Austin Centrist, Maverick Views, & Moderate Voters - as well as six news and policy sites.
* The Bull Moose - Infamous Democratic Leadership Council hack Marshall Wittman is a known commodity. Wittman has notably worked for the Christian Coalition before switching sides moving on to the DLC.
* Austin Centrist - A “non-partisan…sensible center” blog from Austin, Texas. I was hoping it was from the ill-marketed Austin, Connecticut. This blog hasn’t posted on Lieberman since the day after the primary.
* Maverick Views - A San Antonio, Texas based blog. One of the first posts is titled “Why I’m Not a Neo-Con” and is in response to his commenters accusing him of being a neo-con, which is a problem that I’ve never seen a Democratic blogger have with his audience. This blog hasn’t posted about Lieberman since the day after his primary defeat.
* Moderate Voters - Based in Southern California, this blog seems to exist solely to blockquote. It also has not posted (an article) about Lieberman in two and a half weeks.
* Blog Policy - It’s not a blog, it’s a policy.

Lieberman’s blogroll is made up entirely of blogs outside the state of Connecticut (if any are Connecticut based, they don’t advertise it). The top three have a grand total of ten posts between them and were created in the last three weeks. One is forced to wonder if the delay in launching Joe2006 v2.0 was to allow their “ringers” a chance to get up to steam (snicker).

Morning Thread


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Gypsy Shit

A gift to jdw.

Late Night

Nellie McKay - Sari


Joe's back. Oddly his issues page doesn't mention Iraq at all.

...oops, it's there now. It wasn't a few minutes ago. Never mind.

Easy Truths

General Wesley Clark:

The attack on 9/11 occurred on the president's watch. He took us into a war with Iraq we didn't have to fight. It's been used to incentivize recruiting in Al Qaeda. The nu,ber of people who are affiliated with Al Qaeda worldwide has more than doubled since 2001. Our armed forces are bogged down in Iraq. We haven't been able to effectively engage with North Korea. We're hearing the tom toms beating for war with Iran. I think the American people can judge. This administration's policy has been a mistake and he's not made us safer. He's left us more vulnerable.

That wasn't so hard.

Fresh Thread



Apparently CNN thinks we're not clapping loudly enough.

Lies and the Lying Liars

Well, he's a Republican.

Where's Joe?

Server not found.

Firefox can't find the server at

Very sad.

Justice Kennedy Had Heart Surgery

From CNN. Put in a stent.

Stay well.

Pissing off the Post

So, the 9/11 horseshit movie blames the Washington Post for something that the Moonie Times did. Someone there must love the Moonie Times.

The Blog is back. Go let them know your thoughts.

Fresh Thread



Bowers is right - this ad from Patrick Murphy is pretty good.


Okay, I managed to hold my tongue until just now as Kyra Phillips said:

In Australia many compare it to the death of JFK or Princess Diana...

Nothing against this guy, awful for his family that he died, but when did he become the most popular person on the planet?

Dunk Tank

The Lynn Swann campaign.

Does Anybody Care?

Certainly not the Bullshit Moose.

Come Clean

Rep. Slaughter calls out ABC.

Send a message to ABC.

Hello, Athenae?

A present just for you.

Questions for ABC

Jennifer Nix has some questions for ABC.

According to Variety (sub. req.) ABC is now going to be broadcasting this pile of lies commercial-free, leaving extra time at the end for... oh, they're not sure yet. Dollars to donuts they're planning to finish their little miniseries of lies with 10 minutes from the Preznit Himself in prime time.

Sounds like it's time for another blogger ethics panel.

Moose Droppings

Scott Lemieux:
The DLC likes to complain about its reputation, but having people like Wittmann--somebody with reactionary positions on most economic and cultural issues, whose positions on foreign policy aren't so much liberal or conservative as living some kind of blood-drenched double life, and whose schtick consists almost entirely of uninformed, broadly drawn smears of actual moderate Democrats--act as a public face means that they've made their own bed.

In this sort of thing, Garance is correct. Pulling quotes from open forums is truly the stuff of wankers. Wittman's crocodile tears about anti-Semitic blog commenters are doubly ridiculous given that Wittman worked for the Christian Coalition when it was building itself on a foundation of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

As Michael Lind wrote:

In the 1990s, televangelist Pat Robertson, in the manner of the demagogic radio priest Father Coughlin in the 1930s, put together a powerful grass-roots political movement, the Christian Coalition, while disseminating the familiar ideology of the far right: a conspiracy theory blaming wars and revolutions on a secret cabal of Jewish bankers, Freemasons, Illuminati, atheists, and internationalists.

So, Wittman working for a guy pushing long-existing anti-Semitic nutjob conspiracy theories to build a political movement - no problem! Politicians failing to support Joe Lieberman when some unknown anonymous commenters on the internet with unknown motives are making anti-Semitic comments - the horrors!

Wittman is perhaps the most ridiculous figure in our contemporary political discourse.

Name Them

Hit and run style, Garance writes:

I know for a fact that several active commenters on Daily Kos are either Capitol Hill press secretaries, who post comments defending their members, or campaign workers. That makes them sock puppets for their causes, even if they win praise, in some quarters, for defending their bosses.

This is quite possibly true, and I have no idea and actually don't much care, but it's the kind of accusation which should either be made not at all or made in full. It's rather irresponsible to just let it dangle, both tarring members of the Kos community and stoking paranoia among its members. And what does it mean to be "active commenters?" Are we just talking about people who are have active accounts and occasionally post or people who have established known identities there.

I actually don't have a problem with press secretaries "defending their members" anonymously if those defenses are basically correcting misinformation and aren't in the realm of "Congressman X is the best person ever."

As for the general issue, yes quoting anonymous blog commenters is generally a stupid practice, though journalists/editors and producers rarely bother to let their readers/viewers know the relevant financial connections and conflicts of interest of those who write op-eds or appear on their television shows (let alone for those who do "man in the street"-type interviews, which is really more of what we're talking about here). Yes, disclosure of this stuff is always good but in the hierarchy of Problems With Journalism the dreaded Anonymous Blog Commenter is really just a matter for a blogger ethics panel. There's rarely any vetting of the kind Garance imagines for bloggers anywhere else in the universe.

Made Up

Richard Clarke responds to ABC's right wing horseshit.

Wingnuts love their lies. It's all they've got. Oh, and a major television network to support their fantasy world.

Does Anyone Remember Anthrax?

Am I the only one who remembers that rather soon after 9/11 a bunch of people were killed after anthrax was sent in the mail?

But, apparently, there's been no terrorist attack since 9/11. Just keep repeating it Miles O'Brien...

Is Your Children Learning?

Scholastic Corporation is putting out a helpful guide so that your children can be taught that the right wing fantasy in ABC's 9/11 miniseries are actually true.

Nice to mark the anniversary of 9/11 by just making shit up.


Wanker of the Day

Condi Rice.


On the CBS Early show news crawl just now:

Today Florida voters votes will decide teh GOP candidate to challenege Democrat Bill Nelson in the race to replace incumbent governor Jeb Bush. One of the candidates is Katherine Harris, the woman who oversaw the disputed 2000 presidential election in the state.

That'll be news to Senator Nelson.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Late Night

All bloggers are liars.

Where Is The Last Honest Man?

I certainly won't claim that there's a way for Holy Joe to win back my love (not that I think that's especially important to him), and I also don't imagine that I'm the guy they're going to come to for campaign advice, but there's still a bit of Sensible Technocrat left in me so when presented with a question I tend to try to think of the best answer. And, hey, I'm a bit of softy. So, what should Lieberman do? Aside from dropping out, of course.

I don't know if Joe had a humanity moment or if he's just still unsure how to navigate the new political waters but I was nonetheless struck by this a little bit:

Keith also got a chance to talk to Joe briefly, and tried to hand him a "kiss" button (still for sale on EBay here, the proceeds to help Keith and Ed repay their expenses). "That’s a bunch of nonsense," said Lieberman.

Later, Joe approached Keith once again and said, "it’s very important that we stay civil."

"I agree with that, Senator, but it’s more important that we stop this war," said Keith.

Assuming for sake of discussion that maybe, just for a moment, for the first time in a long time Joe actually meant that whole "civility thing." Assume that maybe, just maybe, he doesn't want Sean Hannity being the patron saint of his campaign. Assume that maybe, just maybe, Lieberman doesn't want to win this race in debt to the Swift Boat Assholes.

Big assumptions, I know. Probably wrong. Still, this all got me thinking about what Joe really should do, whether or not his conscience is still functioning. What should he do to win the election?

I decided that he really should be the guy he keeps claiming to be. Stop talking the goddamn talk and just walk the goddamn walk. Rise above the fray. Call off the swift boat liars. Send your asshole conservative friends packing. Tell them to stay the hell out of this. Be Joe Lieberman, elder statesmen and good Democrat, instead of whining about how everyone should just respect your authoritah. Don't dream it, be it!

Would it work? I dunno. It's certainly what he should have done two months ago, and if he had he would have won the primary. My guess is that it's still his best strategy, though I don't expect them to listen to me...

Bush the Progressive

Only made it through about half of the speech today but I was amused by this line:

And so, here on Labor Day, I say to the union members who are here, happy Labor Day, and thanks for supporting leadership that is progressive, smart, capable, and has your best interests at heart.

Who knew?

Fresh Thread


Map of Suck

Now that is depressing.

Joe Blog

A reminder that the Lieberman blog is apparently going live tomorrow. It's basically going to be a trap to entice people to say mean things about the Last Honest Man so they can go whine to the press about how mean everyone is unlike Stay the Course Joe. I give it about 36 hours until they send out a press release along those lines. I don't know why they're obsessed with pointing out how nobody likes Joe, but it seems to be their campaign strategy for some reason. Maybe they should try to talk about people who actually like him for a change, although that's pretty much Marshall Wittman, Bill Kristol, Michelle Malkin, Ann Coulter, and assorted other conservatives.

So, leave the Joe Blog to Joe and his pals the Bull Moose and Spezzatura. There are plenty of other places on the internets where you can say mean things about Joe.

Afternoon Thread


They Write Letters

Top Democrats write to President Bush:

September 4, 2006

The President

The White House

Washington, D.C.

Dear Mr. President:

Over one month ago, we wrote to you about the war in Iraq. In the face of escalating violence, increasing instability in the region, and an overall strain on our troops that has reduced their readiness to levels not seen since Vietnam, we called upon you to change course and adopt a new strategy to give our troops and the Iraqi people the best chance for success.

Although you have not responded to our letter, we surmise from your recent press conferences and speeches that you remain committed to maintaining an open-ended presence of U.S. forces in Iraq for years to come. That was the message the American people received on August 21, 2006, when you said, "we're not leaving [Iraq], so long as I'm the President."

Unfortunately, your stay the course strategy is not working. In the five-week period since writing to you, over 60 U.S. soldiers and Marines have been killed, hundreds of U.S. troops have been wounded, many of them grievously, nearly 1,000 Iraqi civilians have died, and the cost to the American taxpayer has grown by another $8 billion dollars. Even the administration's most recent report to Congress on Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq indicates that security trends in Iraq are deteriorating, and likely to continue to worsen for the foreseeable future. With daily attacks against American and Iraqi troops at close to their highest levels since the start of the war, and sectarian violence intensifying, we can only conclude that our troops are caught in the middle of a low-grade civil war that is getting worse.

Meanwhile, the costs of a failed Iraq policy to our military and our security have been staggering. As you know, not a single Army non-deployed combat brigade is currently prepared to meet its wartime mission, and the Marine Corps faces equally urgent equipment and personnel shortages. Lieutenant General Blum, the National Guard Bureau Chief, has stated that the National Guard is "even further behind or in an even more dire situation than the active Army." Your recent decision to involuntarily recall thousands of Marines to active duty to serve in Iraq is but the latest confirmation of the strain this war has placed on our troops. At the same time, the focus on Iraq and the toll it has taken on our troops and on our diplomatic capabilities has diverted our attention from other national security challenges and greatly constrained our ability to deal with them.

In short, Mr. President, this current path - for our military, for the Iraqi people, and for our security - is neither working, nor making us more secure.

Therefore, we urge you once again to consider changes to your Iraq policy. We propose a new direction, which would include: (1) transitioning the U.S. mission in Iraq to counter-terrorism, training, logistics and force protection; (2) beginning the phased redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq before the end of this year; (3) working with Iraqi leaders to disarm the militias and to develop a broad-based and sustainable political settlement, including amending the Constitution to achieve a fair sharing of power and resources; and (4) convening an international conference and contact group to support a political settlement in Iraq, to preserve Iraq's sovereignty, and to revitalize the stalled economic reconstruction and rebuilding effort. These proposals were outlined in our July 30th letter and are consistent with the "U.S. Policy in Iraq Act" you signed into law last year.

We also think there is one additional measure you can take immediately to demonstrate that you recognize the problems your policies have created in Iraq and elsewhere -consider changing the civilian leadership at the Defense Department. From the failure to deploy sufficient numbers of troops at the start of the war or to adequately equip them, to the prison abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib, to disbanding the Iraqi military, to the failure to plan for the post-war occupation, the Administration's mistakes have taken a toll on our troops and our security. It is unacceptable to dismiss the concerns of military personnel and their families when they are affected by the consequences of these failures, as the Secretary of Defense recently did in Alaska by suggesting that volunteers should not complain about having their deployments extended. While a change in your Iraq policy will best advance our chances for success, we do not believe the current civilian leadership at the Department of Defense is suited to implement and oversee such a change in policy.

Mr. President, staying the course in Iraq has not worked and continues to divert resources and attention from the war on terrorism that should be the nation's top security priority. We hope you will consider the recommendations for change that we have put forward. We want to work with you in finding a way forward that honors the enormous sacrifice of our troops and promotes U.S. national security interests in the region. We believe our plan will achieve those goals.

Thank you for your consideration of our views.

Harry Reid, Senate Democratic Leader
Nancy Pelosi, House Democratic Leader
Dick Durbin, Senate Assistant Democratic Leader
Steny Hoyer, House Minority Whip
Carl Levin, Ranking Member, Senate Armed Services Committee
Ike Skelton, Ranking Member, House Armed Services Committee
Joe Biden, Ranking Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Tom Lantos, Ranking Member, House International Relations Committee
Jay Rockefeller, Vice Chairman, Senate Intelligence Committee
Jane Harman, Ranking Member, House Intelligence Committee
Daniel Inouye, Ranking Member, Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee
John Murtha, Ranking Member, House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee



Sept 4 (Reuters) - Following are security and other developments in Iraq reported on Monday, as of 1515 GMT:

Asterisk denotes new or updated item.

*TIKRIT - A U.S. soldier was killed after his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in the northern city of Mosul, the U.S. military said on Monday.

*BAGHDAD - A U.S. soldier was killed by a roadside bomb north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said on Monday.

BASRA - Two British soldiers were killed and one seriously wounded when their patrol was hit by a roadside bomb north of the southern city of Basra, British military spokesman Major Charlie Burbridge said.

BAGHDAD - The bodies of 33 men, some with their hands bound and bearing signs of torture, were found across the capital, an Interior Ministry source said. All had been shot.

ANBAR PROVINCE - Two U.S. Marines were killed in action on Sunday in Iraq's Anbar province, the U.S. military said in a statement.

Some "strategy for victory," Enabler Joe.

Wankers of the Day


Miraculously they've been heavily marketing this to conservatives. Wonder why that would be.



As Greenwald notes it's rather depressing that many in the media have taken an incredibly simple issue - the Bush administration is breaking the law by unnecessarily wiretapping American citizens without warrants as is clearly required by statute - and entirely adopted the Bush/Republican factually incorrect spin.

The Bush rules of journalism.


Yes I know it doesn't officially start for a couple more weeks, but to me September means Fall has arrived. It's the one almost always nice season in Philadelphia, with not much rain and relatively warm temperatures holding through to Thanksgiving with a little luck. Perhaps because I spent too many years attached to the academic calendar Fall has long had the feeling that most attribute to Spring, a sense of renewal.

Happy Labor Day. I imagine like public transportation things will be on a Sunday schedule here with relatively light posting.

Morning Thread


Where's Keith?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Late Night


What a Douche

Shakes on Siegel.

One Kristol

He's an optimistic one. A Kristol is one third of a Friedman.

The wars been going on for about 39 Kristols 21 Kristols.

Afternoon Thread


Wanker of the Day

Liddy Dole.

Disgusting Human Being

Lying freak Rick Santorum presumes to speak for Bob Casey's dead father.

And I think his father would be very upset if, if he were alive today and, and heard him be supportive of something like this.

I hate these people.


We are ruled by people who confuse their cowardice for bravery. Greenwald:

The creepy spectacle of watching one warrior after the next insist that we must risk other people's lives and bomb more people so that we don't feel girlish and scared and submissive is repugnant enough, in itself, to have to witness on a daily basis. But the fact that these same people are the ones whose deep, irrational fears of The Terrorist override virtually all other considerations, and who demand that we change our nation and relinquish all of the values and liberties which have always defined it and which make it worth fighting for, all because they believe that doing so is necessary to allow them some marginally greater chance of avoiding death, renders their accusations and warrior dances -- on top of everything else -- an exercise in the grossest and most absurd hypocrisy.

Mark Steyn and his comrades think they are so courageous (as they make clear virtually every day). But a courageous act entails risk, and they never risk anything. Quite the contrary, they are desperate to eliminate all perceived risks to their "safety," regardless of the costs. Their entire world-view is based upon and driven by their deeply irrational fears, which lead to a never-ending desire to sacrifice liberty (theirs and ours) and a hysterical, risk-free insistence that the Bad Scary People (along with hundreds of thousands or even millions of others near them) be bombed, incinerated and killed -- all so that they aren't so scared any more, so that they can feel safe.

On a daily basis, they re-enact writ large the ritual in which Centanni and Wiig engaged -- submitting to unlimited Government power, relinquishing all of our national values, and assenting to the most crazed wars fought by others, without limits, all to assuage their own fears, in order to obtain illusory feelings of "safety." As Steyn put it in purportedly describing Centanni and Wigg, "that there's nothing -- no core, no bedrock -- nothing [they're] not willing to trade."


It, of course, has to be Dick.


This statement by Brad DeLong disturbed me on so many levels and I've had difficulty sorting them all out.

I am, as I said above, a reality-based center-left technocrat. I am pragmatically interested in government policies that work: that are good for America and for the world. My natural home is in the bipartisan center, arguing with center-right reality-based technocrats about whether it is center-left or center-right policies that have the best odds of moving us toward goals that we all share--world peace, world prosperity, equality of opportunity, safety nets, long and happy lifespans, rapid scientific and technological progress, and personal safety. The aim of governance, I think, is to achieve a rough consensus among the reality-based technocrats and then to frame the issues in a way that attracts the ideologues on one (or, ideally, both) wings in order to create an effective governing coalition.

This, in a nutshell, is the worldview of the Sensible Liberal. It's the belief that there are Sensible Policies concocted by Wise Men (and women), preferably ones with advanced degrees, which are Right and True and Good. Wise Men may disagree a bit about the means, and we should throw a few conferences to hash these differences out. Politics and ideologues who do not share the ideology of the Wise Men, who of course are not really tainted by ideology, get in the way of enacting policies which are Sensible.

It's a dangerously wrong view of the world. First, there are absolutely fundamental differences of opinion about the direction of this country which will have tremendous impact on the lives of people. DeLong's been tangoing with Greg Mankiw long enough to know that we're not just talking about minor tweaks. There are wide differences of opinion about not just the means but the goals, and those differences of opinion aren't just about debates between Pat Robertson and writers for the Nation. Those differences of opinion exist throughout society, including in the club of technocrats.

Second, it's a useful conceit to imagine you're above ideology, to plant your feet in a place and call it the center, imagining you have the facts on your side and everyone else is an ideologue, but that's hogwash. Certainly some people are more informed by the facts than others, but that doesn't free them from ideology.

Third, as someone who has spent a reasonable amount of time around the kinds of people DeLong is talking about, I'm not sure I want them running anything. The sensible technocrats haven't exactly had the best track record lately, in part because imagining you're above it helps to isolate you from the consequences of what you're advocating.

How's that "free trade" working out for Mexico? How'd that currency peg work out for Argentina? How'd that energy deregulation thing work out for California? How'd that shock therapy work out for Russia? How's the privatization of federal government functions coming along? Oh, and how's that Iraq war coming along?

I'm not pinning all of these things on DeLong, I'm just saying that the Consensus View of Sensible Technocrats has been pretty disastrous for a lot of people. Sensible Technocrats are above of all driven by the belief that They Are Right.

When the Russia collapse happened one Sensible Technocrat who was partly responsible for the disaster said it all would've worked out swimmingly if only they'd listened to everything he had said. Perhaps true, but not how the world works in practice.

Stupid People

Joe Lockhart talking about his exciting new web site Hot Soup where people will come to debate, or not debate, or something. And did you know that the "blogging elite" are inside the beltway people? Unlike his new exciting website which will be run by... Oh never mind.

From Reliable Sources:

LOCKHART: I think that there's a huge audience out there, Howie, that a network of people outside of Washington that are having conversations, that don't feel like they're a part of the conversation in Washington.

And so we're providing a platform for people to engage in a conversation that they're already having out there. We're not trying to replace anything that's happening right now. We're just trying to add that dialogue to the dialogue that's going on in Washington.


LOCKHART: Our jobs over time have been to monitor and try and understand the public mood and the public market, and the public wants a different dialogue. And so we're going to try and provide that.


LOCKHART: Yes. Bloggers will have an important role to play. We're not challenging them. There's people who have very well formed opinions, and they like to argue, and they like to express that. There are people who, you know, are making up their mind, and they want to talk about it. And it's not necessarily the right forum.

But it's also the subjects we pick to discuss. We're very narrow here in Washington in, sort of, the blogging elite and the media elite.


LOCKHART: Yes, people inside the Beltway. People outside the Beltway have a whole different areas of concern. There are issues they want to discuss. And, you know, I think, first and foremost, they want to discuss those things. Secondly, I think they want to be heard. And I think if this is done right, they'll be able to do both of those things.

KURTZ: But if you put your opinions on the side, and you have some essay on the side, and then people responded. There's commenting back and forth and interactivity and all of that. How do you prevent Hot Soup from getting hotter than you want? In other words, people out there who do have passionate feelings...

MCKINNON: We hope it's hot. We want it to be interesting. By the way, it's going to be about a lot more than politics. It's going to be about culture and religion and entertainment.

So it's going to be a very broad-based discussion. But we're going to have some rules, and we're going to have some moderation so that it's...

KURTZ: Rules that say that there are certain things you can't do.

MCKINNON: If you start swearing at people, you're out.

KURTZ: Because that would never happen in the backroom of a political consulting firm, right?

LOCKHART: But I think the bottom line here is it's not going to be about what Mark and I decide. It's going to be about what the community decides. If you look at the social networking sites right now -- even look at some place like eBay -- the community decides what gets discussed, what gets bought, what gets put forward, what the rules are.


Bad Guys

Watching Little "Woof" Ricky on Meet the Press I'm struck by the fact that once upon a time (rhetorically, anyway) we were on the side of Shiites fighting Sunnis and now, according to him, we're on the side of Sunnis fighting Shiites and it's all about Iran.

I guess that's what you call mission creep. Or something.

...okay, I can't take it anymore. Casey is awful and Tim Russert makes me want to shoot people in the face.

Sunday Bobbleheads

Document the atrocities.

Later Night

Starlight Mints - Inside of Me

Late Night

Mates of State - Fraud in the 80s.