Saturday, September 16, 2006

Late Night

Aimee Mann -- Wise Up

New Lamont Ad

Debbie Debbie Debbie

I really don't think there's any way she's actually this stupid. Reporters have mastered the knack of "deliberate obtuseness."



BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi police have found the bodies of 47 more death squad victims in Baghdad, the latest in a wave of sectarian killings which prompted the United States to divert troops from other parts of Iraq to the embattled capital.

The bodies were found early Saturday. Most victims had been bound, tortured and shot, bringing the toll from such killings to nearly 180 in four days.

The United States has shifted its emphasis to the capital in recent months, after concluding that sectarian violence between Shi'ites and Sunni Arabs was a greater threat than the Sunni Arab insurgency it has fought mainly in the west and north.

The U.S. military confirmed Iraqi plans, announced earlier this week, to restrict access to Baghdad by forcing cars through 28 checkpoints, but denied some Western media reports that the plan involves digging a giant 60 mile trench around the city.

Wankers of the Day

Ole Perfesser and Dr. Mrs. Ole Perfesser.

LG&M have more.

To which, I can only add this:

(tip from julia)

Speaking of Which

Find and attend an Iraq for Sale screening near you.

Do it or the Xanadu videos come out.

For local people it's playing at Penn's International house at 6 - reception at 5.

Incompetent Lunatics Try to Run Iraq

Crazy times:

But many CPA staff members were more interested in other things: in instituting a flat tax, in selling off government assets, in ending food rations and otherwise fashioning a new nation that looked a lot like the United States. Many of them spent their days cloistered in the Green Zone, a walled-off enclave in central Baghdad with towering palms, posh villas, well-stocked bars and resort-size swimming pools.

By the time Bremer departed, Iraq was in a precarious state. The Iraqi army, which had been dissolved and reconstituted by the CPA, was one-third the size he had pledged it would be. Seventy percent of police officers had not been screened or trained. Electricity generation was far below what Bremer had promised to achieve. And Iraq's interim government had been selected not by elections but by Americans. Divisive issues were to be resolved later on, increasing the chances that tension over those matters would fuel civil strife.

To recruit the people he wanted, O'Beirne sought résumés from the offices of Republican congressmen, conservative think tanks and GOP activists. He discarded applications from those his staff deemed ideologically suspect, even if the applicants possessed Arabic language skills or postwar rebuilding experience.
Smith said O'Beirne once pointed to a young man's résumé and pronounced him "an ideal candidate." His chief qualification was that he had worked for the Republican Party in Florida during the presidential election recount in 2000.

O'Beirne, a former Army officer who is married to prominent conservative commentator Kate O'Beirne, did not respond to requests for comment. He and his staff were exempted from most employment regulations because they used an obscure provision in federal law to hire most CPA personnel as temporary political appointees.

There's much, much more... And, hey, a new book. Someone told me a few months ago that this book was in the pipeline.

Echoing Brad DeLong, impeach them all... impeach them all now...

How Many Like This?

I worry way too many:

t started two years ago. Anthony Stewart runs an automotive-services business. His wife cares for children in their 4-year-old home on a quiet street in a nice subdivision.

They learned at that time that a third child, a boy, was on the way. Being self-employed, they had no health insurance.

They paid for Kerry's prenatal care, hospital and delivery costs out of their savings and by selling stocks and fairly exhausting every credit card and line of credit available to them.

By the time they took their infant son home, they still owed the hospital $17,000. Negotiations on a payment schedule went nowhere. The $17,000 landed in collections.

Yes, they would refinance their home, pay off the hospital debt, plus bring down their credit card debt.

A banker friend steered them to a mortgage broker, a seemingly friendly woman, who told them that despite their credit woes and low credit scores, she could get them a mortgage at a rate no higher than 7 percent.

Weeks passed. And the offered rate continued to climb: 7.8 percent, 8 percent and higher.

Finally, at the closing table, the broker told them their new loan would be 10.8 percent, and adjustable. Anthony Stewart had missed his last mortgage payment, the one she'd earlier told him he didn't have to pay. He paid it that day. It made no difference.

The mortgage on his home would climb to nearly $5,000 a month now, from the $3,000 per month he'd been paying since buying the house.


Getting out of the loan was impossible, what with their low credit scores and a pre-payment penalty of no less than $22,000.

Now, two years later, the adjustable rate mortgage is about to adjust.

He and Kerry have figured out the monthly loan amount likely will total no less than $7,000.

(via housing bubble blog)

Groundhog Day

Except unlike Bill Murray these guys never learn.

Spanking Loser Lanny

Colin McEnroe:

When I asked about this, Davis's tone switched to an icy snarl. He complained about a Lamont commercial where Bush morphed into Lieberman (or is it the other way around?). Lieberman's support of Bush is a legitimate campaign issue, I said. Sounding like Alex Trebek on meth, Davis demanded that I name two issues unrelated to Iraq where Lieberman departed from his party to support Bush. When I couldn't produce them right away he kept barking the question and saying, "Is that the best you can do?" I tried to make the point that much of Lieberman's support takes the form of public utterances. He'll support one position but, at the end, vote the other way. Or vote against his party on a key amendment or cloture vote but then switch back for the final. Or, as we learned this week, simply not vote at all. Sometimes, though, what a Senator says is what's important, and Lieberman has often been ardent in his defense of the Bush administration, as when he urged us to keep Condoleezza Rice in our hearts (a job that has since been outsourced to Canada).
I tried to make some of these points but it was difficult with Davis snapping, snarling, interrupting. talking over me and complaining that I was talking over him. (The interview is available here. Listen and judge for yourself whether I let this guy have his say.)
I found myself thinking, this guy is a bully. He's a professional bully, and he's good at it. Far from being a logical proponent of a more civilized politics, he is a skilled practitioner at ferocious close combat. He's Bill O'Reilly in a donkey mask.
Near the end Davis suddenly complained that he was here to talk about his book, not the Senate race. ( Remember: he had asked off the air for extra time because of his involvement in the Senate race.)
When the interview was over, he called the station and demanded to talk to my boss about how rude I was.
UPDATE: In an interview minutes ago on the Jim Vicevich show, Davis said he blames himself for getting caught up in a shouting match with me, especially because his book espouses civility.
UPDATE: Davis called my boss and apologized.

And here Franken stomps on him.

Morning Thread


Friday, September 15, 2006

Don't Mention the War

Joe Lieberman won't.

Special Ed

So very special.

Jessica Has Boobs

It's true. I've seen them (fully clothed, of course).

Ah, the silly season is upon us.

Evening Thread


Kudos, So Far

I've certainly been skeptical about the apparent plan to hand over the fight to defend this country from George Bush's power grab to Senators Warner, Graham, and McCain. But, so far, they seem to be fighting the good fight.

Afternoon Thread


Screw Them

In the months after 9/11 first responders in NYC were given the full fluffer treatment by the media. It sickened me at the time, not because that attention was undeserved, but because I knew Peggy Noonan and the gang would drop their "firefighters are TEH HOT" schtick the instant the next union contract came up for negotiation. Too many of those paying tribute were clearly just paying tribute to what they imagined were projections of their own inner hero, a temporary narcissistic fetish.

Now we know the heroes of 9/11 and after were working in a damaging toxic soup, that EPA and health authorities were full of shit about that, and that many of those heroes are sick. Really sick.

And the Republicans are blocking money to help them.

Very bad people, they are.

Number Two

The answer to that question is, I think, obvious.

"Terrorist Surveillance Program"

I know this obvious will never manage to struggle through the clouds, but if we're eavesdropping on so many actual terrorists - you know, as in evidence exist which is sufficient to call them that - and it's so critical that we do so that the administration can't even be bothered to get a warrant 72 hours after the fact as FISA allows - ... why don't we arrest some of them?

I Decide The Terms of the Debate

The common feature among concern trolls and those who whine about civility and the precise tone of political discourse is that they all think they should be able to control the terms of the debate. They see themselves as referees, floating above the discourse and calling fouls where they see them according to some rulebook they pulled out of their asses, rather than participants in that discourse.

And, here we have our pal No Show Joe, once again saying that criticism is okay... when he says it's okay.

What a wanker.

Democrats Held Hostage

This is really getting ridiculous.

Fresh Thread


The Big Money

Winning elections is important to most of you. Removing the influence of big money and power of big donors/corporate PACs is important to most of you.

You can help achieve both of these goals by giving a small contribution to one of these fine candidates or any of your favorites.

We're getting close to the end and it's better for campaigns to have an idea early how much they're going to be able to spend.

If we raise $10,000, Karl Rove's picture will be gone.

Wanker of the Day

Bree Nordenson.


Muckraker has put together a delightful tribute to my BFF Neyney.

Uh, TAP?

If I wanted to read newsbusters I'd, uh, read newsbusters.


Is there a bigger WATB than Joe "no show" Lieberman:

New Haven Register - 09/15/2006
Lieberman, Lamont still arguing over missed votes
The "missing votes" issue won’t go away.

By Mary E. O’Leary , Register Topics Editor

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Ned Lamont Thursday said his opponent, U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, skipped almost 400 votes since 1999, including 33 of the 63 total votes taken on the Iraq war.

Earlier in the week, Lamont focused on a smaller slice of the senator’s Iraq war voting tallies, but expanded that Thursday to cover a seven-year period, the same amount of time Lieberman used almost two decades ago when he ran critical ads against then-incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Lowell Weicker.

Lieberman won his first of three terms in the Senate in 1988 after beating Weicker. Lamont beat Lieberman last month for the Democratic nomination for the Senate and Lieberman is now running as a petitioning candidate.

"It is astonishing that Senator Lieberman has missed the same amount of votes that he criticized Weicker for, in half the time," Lamont said, which includes 25 percent of all votes in the Senate in the last 3-1/2 years.

Lieberman, in a conference call with reporters, said Lamont was "hypocritical" and "persistently negative."


Morning Thread


Losing the Plot

Watching Michael Ware, he of Lieberman has "lost the plot" fame, on CNN I'm struck by the fact that as far as I know no journalists covering the Lamont/Lieberman race have called him up and asked him exactly what Lieberman said which caused him to characterize Lieberman as having "lost the plot."

Seems like a chatty guy. I imagine he'd answer the question.

Say It Isn't So

My best buddy in Congress looking at hard time.

A guilty plea would make Mr. Ney, a six-term congressman, the first member of Congress to admit to criminal charges in the Abramoff investigation, which has focused on the actions of several current and former Republican lawmakers who had been close to the former lobbyist.

People with detailed knowledge of the investigation said Mr. Ney had entered an in-patient rehabilitation center in recent days for treatment of alcoholism, making it uncertain whether he would appear at a court hearing to announce the plea. Lawyers and others would speak only anonymously because of concern that they would anger prosecutors.

They said the agreement with the Justice Department — and the exact criminal charges, which are expected to include conspiracy and false statement — would be disclosed in Washington as soon as Friday and would probably require Mr. Ney to serve at least some time in prison.

Late Night


Thursday, September 14, 2006


Bin Laden is Hitler:

He said the world had ignored the writings of Lenin and Hitler "and paid a terrible price" - adding the world must not to do the same with al-Qaeda.

Mr Bush has been defending his security strategy as mid-term elections loom.

His speech on Tuesday - the day following the US Labor Day holiday - coincided with the country's traditional start date for election campaigning.

"Bin Laden and his terrorist allies have made their intentions as clear as Lenin and Hitler before them," he said.

Bin Laden is not a top priority:

Barnes said that Bush told him capturing bin Laden is “not a top priority use of American resources.” Watch it.

It's unclear if taking Bin Laden off the world stage would really reduce any threats of terrorism - how would I know - but for some reason I thought bringing a mass murderer to justice might be a wee bit important.

But, more than that, Bush has equated Bin Laden with Hitler. Then said he's no big deal.


My poor BFF Bob Ney...

Hold Fast

Hopefully the odious Specter Bill will not survive as Reid suggests. Still, I imagine the Democrats may need some extra spine support over the coming weeks and I don't mean Marty Peretz.

Fresh Thread

Oops. Promised part 2 may not arrive until tomorrow.

House Armed Services Committee

First the funny (black comedy funny, anyway). We'll get to the not funny in the next post.

While looking into something I decided to head to the web page of the House Armed Services Committee web page. It's a truly beautiful site.

Then I noticed the "Victory in Iraq Caucus" link led to... nowhere.

Then I decided to see what's been going on under the title "Success stories - building freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan."

After clicking on the link we're helpfully informed that we should "Check back often - because there is a lot of good news to tell about Iraq and Afghanistan."

The last functioning update is from May 18, 2005.

This is Correct

heh. indeed. as the kids say:

They have to consistently and daily say:
"The President said that getting the guy who masterminded 9/11 is not a top priority, if you elect a Democratic Congress, we will make it a top priority. That is what is riding on this election. If you want Bin Laden captured or killed (need to use the word "killed"), you have to vote for a change." Over and over and over again.

Uh, Hotline?

They write:

BTW: Webb served in the administration for several years; the ad here refers to his job as Navy Secretary.

Uh, no, what the ad is trying to do is mislead people into thinking Webb only served in the Reagan administration for 10 months when actually did so for several years. The voiceover says "Twenty years ago, fiction writer James Webb served in the Reagan Administration. After 10 months, he quit." But the visual says "20 years ago, James Webb served as Navy Secretary."

No Smoking

Well, the Mayor finally got around to signing the restaurant/bar smoking ban which will apply to almost every such establishment in the city. I think it's stupid that Street doesn't like that people can still smoke on sidewalk cafes. Actually, I hope it encourages more restaurants to put in nice outdoor spaces which was what happened in California. I also like that some of the city's "old man bars" are going to be exempted.

To me, this strikes the right balance. The city waited long enough and smokers had enough warning it was coming. A few establishments - which as small locals don't really compete in the wider market - will still allow smoking at least for now.

He's Stupid and He's Ugly...

and he's such a wanker.

GOP Pa. Sen. Rick Santorum's flagging re-election campaign has launched a new TV attack ad that can only be described as absurdist theatre, if not out-and-out absurd.

Using actors and filmed in hazy black and white, the new 30-second spot seeks to tie his Democratic foe, state treasurer Bob Casey, to a shady cast of corrupt characters, without naming names. In fact, not a single one of the past Casey backers vaguely alluded to in the ad has anything to do with his current race for the Senate.

Indeed, one of the past Casey donors -- portaryed by an actor -- died 22 months ago, while the Democrat had not yet even been considering his race for the Senate. And while he was alive, Philly power broker Ron White also forged a link to Santorum through their charities

A second didn't give money to Casey's Senate campaign -- but donated $1,000 to Santorum in 2003 (later returned). During that time, fundraiser Bob Feldman was working for the private bank that gave Santorum the $500,000 mortgage -- not available to the general public -- to pay for the senator's McMansion in Leesburg, Va.

A third was once a key Casey supporter but has also been been known to play political footsie with Santorum from time to time.

You can see the ad here, and we suggest you do. As our fellow Philadelphia journalist Tom Ferrick notes today on his blog, the lack of specificity in the strange ad makes it little more than "innuendo." Since it names no names and gives no specifics beyond dollar amounts of past donations, it has been up to journalists -- and not Pennsylvania voters -- to ferret out just what exactly the Santorum campaign is charging here.


Bush bouncing from 37 to 37 in new Pew poll.

What's also interesting is that while anti-incumbent sentiment is highest since '94, though still lower, those saying that their vote in November is a vote against the president is much much higher - 36% now, 23% then.

(tip from pony boy)

Feature Not a Bug

From an interview with T. Christian Miller on Fresh Air:

GROSS: Now you've documented a lot of corporate greed and contracts given to corporations by Americans with the works finally not done or not done well. Do you think a lot of this work could've just gone to Iraqi companies and to Iraqi workers?

Mr. MILLER: Yes, absolutely. And three and a half years later, we're doing that finally. One of the greatest tragedies of the reconstruction, in my opinion, is that we're giving up on it. The money runs out at the end of this month. Biggest chunk of money needs to all be contracted out by the 30th of September. And here we are, three and a half years later, there's no more money in the pipeline for the reconstruction of Iraq. This is at a time when we finally figured out that, you know, we can--actually can send some money to the Iraqi firms. They can do a lot of this work.

Yes, some of that money's still going to get wasted. But it'll be wasted with Iraqi firms and, hopefully, it will trickle down somewhere in the Iraqi economy. And so here we are, we've learned these lessons, and we're going to give up on it. To me, that just doesn't make sense. It takes away a tool that our soldiers, our diplomats, our public servants need in Iraq. And to not send more money--and I acknowledge a lot of it's been wasted and there's been fraud and abuse--but to give up on that effort now seems to me the final tragic mistake of the reconstruction.

Where's the fun in reconstruction if Iraqis are getting the money?


I really have no idea why bringing Bin Laden to justice isn't, in fact, a top priority.

For Bush it isn't.

More Like This


"In light of the rantings that went on for 30 minutes by two colleagues from the other side, I'd like to state for the record that America is not tired of fighting terrorism; America is tired of the wrongheaded and boneheaded leadership of the Republican party that has sent six and a half billion a month to Iraq while the front line was Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. That led this country to attack Saddam Hussein, when we were attacked by Osama bin Laden. Who captured a man who did not attack the country and let loose a man that did. Americans are tired of boneheaded Republican leadership that alienates our allies when we need them the most. Americans are most certainly tired of leadership that despite documenting mistake after mistake after mistake, even of their own party admitting mistakes, never admit they do anything wrong. That's the kind of leadership Americans are tired of."

She concluded,

"I'm not going to sit here as a Democrat and let the Republican leadership come to the floor and talk about Democrats not making us safe. They're the ones in charge and Osama bin Laden is still at loose."


Not only is Gregg Easterbook truly stupid, he's also run out of original bits of stupid so he has to repeat his old ones.

Kazakhstan Denies Plans to Meet About Borat



What Yglesias says:

The combination of the roster of signatories with what can only be called the remarkable vacuity of the text suggests that this is another signpost on the road during which a certain number of liberal intellectuals will become conservatives. The doctrine spelled out explicitly -- that fundamentalist Islam provides a poor basis for governance, that terrorist attacks are immoral, that it would be better if Iran didn't build a nuclear bomb, that anti-semitism is bad, and that an Iranian nuclear first strike against Israel would be a very bad thing indeed -- is almost frightening in its banality. The inference that the reader is plainly intended to draw from the statement -- that those of us who've been agitating against those who are agitating to start a war with Iran are anti-semites, apologists for terrorism, and perhaps eager to see the population of Israel wiped out in an unprovoked nuclear first strike -- is offensive in the extreme.

Clash of Civilizations

Anyone ever think for 5 seconds what Arabs and Muslims around the world think when they notice that leading public voices in this country have, in fact, declared war on them?


Truly ridiculous people.

Putting Troops at Risk

Hey, Colin Powell finally gets one right.

Since 9/11 our rulers have elevated American Exceptionalism to absurd heights, arguing anything we (meaning, actually, George Bush) does is by definition Right and True and Correct. Torture is fine when we do it, bad when others do it. They see no advantage in trying to achieve the moral high ground because whatever we do is moral.

American might in the world always depended in large part on its moral authority. No one thought the country was perfect or that it ever came close to living up to its ideals, but the ideals were still there.

Aside from disgusting me, losing that perception of moral authority makes everything we do more costly and more dangerous.



*BAGHDAD - Thirty-two bodies, most bound, tortured and executed, were found in various locations in Baghdad over the last 24 hours. This brings the total to nearly 100 in two days.

*BAGHDAD - A Shi'ite family of six, including a three-month-old boy, were shot dead in their home in a Sunni district of western Baghdad, family members said.

*FALLUJA - A roadside bomb targetting an Iraqi army patrol killed five civilians and wounded 15 outside a soccer field in Falluja, in the restive western province of Anbar, a hospital source said.

BAGHDAD - Iraqi forces killed senior al Qaeda leader Abu Jaafar al-Liby along with four other militants in central Baghdad, Interior Ministry Brigadier Abdul-Karim Khalaf told a news conference.

*TAL AFAR - A suicide bomber strapped with explosives detonated himself at a police checkpoint in Tal Afar, about 420 km (260 miles) northwest of Baghdad, killing one policeman and wounding two civilians, police and hospital sources said.

*BAGHDAD - A bomb struck a U.S. military vehicle in Ur district, northern Baghdad, as the coalition forces were starting a search operation. Witnesses at the scene said smoke was rising from the area. The U.S. military said it was unaware of the incident.

*NEAR BAQUBA - Iraq's Defence Ministry said its troops arrested the fourth-ranked al-Qaeda leader, Thamer Mohsen al- Jibouri, known as Abu Ayman, in northeast of Baghdad, the state-owned television al-Iraqiya said.


CNN just teased a poll segment - new WSJ poll - with the chyron "Bush Bounce?"

He's bounched all the way to 38% from 35%!!! his credit, Bill Schneider did smack that down once he came on.

...oops, my mistake. That was the Iraq number. The overall # is a major surge from 39 to 42.



I don’t want to hear any excuses from you guys about not wanting to look “weak on terror.” Y’know what makes you guys look really weak? Letting Republicans take the lead in keeping Bush in check. That is pathetic. Grow a pair and stand up for your beliefs.

Wanker of the Day

Lying Dan Gerstein.

Lieberman attracts very bad people to his side.

"Good News For Pessimists"


Morning Thread


Borat to be Discussed in White House

People who haven't seen it disagree, but trust me for at least a brief time Borat will dominate everything...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Daily Show On Primaries

From tonight:

David Rees is in the Hizzzzzzouse!

Actually he wasn't there, but I went to see a theatrical staging of Get Your War On by the Rude Mechs of Austin.

They did quite a good job I thought. They didn't tart it up too much, mostly being straight readings from the comic strip by various actors. Visuals were done on a set of 5 overhead projectors, and included some of the comic's clip art along with some other things, with a tiny bit of costumes/music thrown in for a bit of distraction. The OHPs required the actors to be switching slides, sometimes quite creatively, and they provided a nice theatrical expression of the simplicity and low-tech nature of the clip art.

Rees's work has held up well since he began, though it's frightening to realize just how long this has been going on. Each little segment was prominently date stamped, fix the event in its time, and it was creepy to realize that the Iraq conversation has changed little since the Fall of 2003 (let alone the fact that we started entering Crazy Iraq Talk Land in March of 2002). Truly we're living in Groundhog Day.

Anyway, anyone local should go see it while it's in town.

RIP Ann Richards

CNN reporting, died of esophageal cancer.

...1988 convention speech here.

Fresh Thread


Tammy Sun Calls Carter a Liar

Lieberman spokesmannequin Tammy Sun just issued a statement to CNN regarding Carter's statements:

[I]t is entirely false to suggest that Joe Lieberman in any way equated dissent about the war with supporting terrorists.

Joe Lieberman:

If we just pick up like Ned Lamont wants us to do, get out by a date certain, it will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England. It will strengthen them and they will strike again.

National Greatness

The answer to Kevin's question is that if people like Kristol and McCain and the Bullshit Moose had the courage of their convictions they'd ramp up the National Greatness Conservatism rhetoric and call on all patriotic Americans to consider enlisting in the military to go and fight the Glorious World War III. I'm not naive, I don't expect the doughy pantload or little coward Lowry or any of the other prime fighting age members of the 101st to actually sign up, but apparently it isn't even possible for their elders to gently ask them to consider doing so.

Ah, Memories

Roy on conservative reaction to Chafee and Lieberman.

Uh, TAP?

Maybe you should rethink things a bit. This is getting sillier.

I believe Brendan's older than 14. I'm not sure why he's not capable of acting like it.

History's Greatest Monster

Jimmy Carter on Lieberman, excerpted from his interview with Larry King tonight:

He's been strongly in favor of the Iraqi war from the very beginning. He was one of the originators of the public statements that misled the American people into believing that the Iraqi war was justified. He's been an undeviating supporter of the war from the very beginning and still is. He's joined in with the Republican spokespersons by saying that Democrats who disagree are really supporting terrorism. So for all these reasons I've lost my confidence in Joe Lieberman and don't want to see him re-elected.

Iraq for Sale

Go find a screening of Robert Greenwald's new film.

Philadelphia locals can attend on Sept. 19 with special guests including Robert.

Just don't ask him about Xanadu (ok, go ahead).

Democrat Joe Sestak

This ad is pretty good too.

You can help here.


If you like the ad, make a contribution.

Judy Judy Judy

As bad as we've all said.

The End?

If the Democrats are unwilling to stop this, then there really isn't much point in bothering.

From what I can discern, the Senate Judiciary Committee essentially passed on responsibility to the full Senate to save the administration by enacting the Specter FISA bill, while simultaneously blocking Democratic efforts on the Committee to dilute the most offensive parts of the Specter bill. Democrats have been reluctant to pay much attention to the Specter bill, but the way in which it (a) abolishes all limits on the President's eavesdropping powers; (b) embraces the Bush administration's most radical executive power theories; and (c) virtually destroys the ability to obtain judicial review for the President's lawbreaking, renders it a bill that is at least as pernicious as anything else that is pending. It deserves full-scale attention and opposition.

Lies and the Lying Liars

Novakula still changing his story.

No Democrats on Couric's "Free Speech" Segment

Your liberal media.

Mushroom Cloud

It's not surprise that Fantasyland Fred Hiatt would hire Bush's former chief fabulist Michael Gerson to write alternative reality pieces for the newspaper's opinion page.

Messianic Delusions


Donna Edwards

This would be a great victory, and if she doesn't pull it off I hope she wakes up the next day and starts plotting her '08 campaign.

Wanker of the Day

Brendan Nyhan.

...Jeebus, he never learns. I don't know why I'm supposed to respond substantively to totally inaccurate criticism.

Oh My

Tucker Carlson, the lowest scoring contestant on Dancing with the Stars...


In Iraq:

Iraqi police say they have found in the space of one day 60 bodies of people bound, tortured and shot in the capital, Baghdad.

They were found all over the city, from Sunni areas in the west to Shia districts in the east - but most were found in largely Sunni west Baghdad.

Sectarian killings are not unusual in the city but this is a large number for one day, a BBC correspondent says.

Meanwhile, car bombs killed at least 22 people in Baghdad.

One device near the national sports stadium in the eastern Shaab district exploded in a parked car during the morning rush hour, killing 14 people including two policemen and wounding at least 57.

A bomb later went off near a police patrol in the Zayona district, also in the east, killing eight people and injuring at least 17.

Damn liberal media, doesn't tell us about all the school repaintings.

No Match for the Rabid Lambs

Club for growth loses again.

Morning Thread


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

World War III

This is how the president fights islamocommiefascinazism or whatever we're calling it this week:

MICHAEL WARE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: To be honest, I'm quite stunned that people are so surprised by this report. I mean the situation has not deteriorated. It's been like this for over a year, perhaps even two. I mean, it can still be reclaimed. I mean, it's not all is lost.

And I think people who suggest that fail to understand the true dynamic. But certainly what the Marine general in charge of al-Anbar said tonight on the conference call is that he admitted for the first time that right now, today, through the combination of either U.S. and/or Iraqi forces, he does not have enough troops to win against the al Qaeda insurgency. His mission is to train, he said. If his mission was to change and for that to be to win, then his matrix, his troop numbers would have to change. This is not new.

Al Qaeda has owned al-Anbar for quite some time. And the soldiers out there out are being left out there on demand just to hold the line. They've been screaming for more troops for at least a year and a half -- Wolf.

BLITZER: But it seems like the U.S. military has put a priority, as you know, Michael, on getting the job done in Baghdad and the surrounding areas of Baghdad. That's where they're bringing reinforcements. That's where they're moving troops. And they're sort of relegating the Anbar Province out in the west, which is a huge part of Iraq to a lesser priority. Is that accurate?

WARE: That's certainly what I'm being told by senior military intelligence officials. They're saying that al-Anbar and Ramadi can fester like a sore as long as we win Baghdad. But that's very short- sided. I mean if this is a global war on terror, President Bush put al-Anbar in the center of the war on terror and they're under-manning it. I mean this is making al Qaeda stronger, not weaker. This is giving them the oxygen they need to breathe -- Wolf.

BLITZER: And you've just come back from Ramadi, one of your many visits to this part of the -- of Iraq. Give us a little flavor. We're showing our viewers some video that you came back with, you and your crew. Give us a little flavor, Michael, of how the U.S. men and women, the military personnel who are deployed to the Anbar Province, how they're dealing with this, what kind of mood they're in. What's going on?

WARE: Well, I mean we've just seen a new brigade go in and the other brigade come out. There is some crossover. There are some units that I've spent a lot of time with. I mean there are some units out there that literally I've seen them bleed on the streets and one of them is about to go home.

And they stand by their resolve to fight where the president needs them. But the toll it has taken on them, out there, I mean, Ramadi is referred to as the meat grinder. And that's really what it's been. I mean it's just so hard to express, Wolf, what the battle is like out there. And it's a false measure.

I mean, America at the end of the day, in terms of fighting al Qaeda here in Iraq, is not committing to the fight. And it's the same across the country. Al-Anbar does not have enough troops. Iraq does not have enough troops. You either do this war or you don't. And that's the feeling of the men on the ground -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Michael Ware, our reporter. Thanks, Michael, very much.

I don't agree with the president's characterization of the war in Iraq but if it really is The Most Important Thing Ever then he has certainly fucked it up badly.


One reason to mount primary challenges is to get incumbents to get more serious about their jobs. Since Jane Harman faced a serious primary challenger she has been much improved.


If you aren't reading Pandagon you should be.

One thing about the kind of blogging I do is that while I link to lots of stuff it's all done to, well, tell the story I'm trying to tell. There are lots of people telling interesting stories which I read regularly but which don't always neatly fit into my narrative.

Anyway, not sure that makes sense to everybody, but that's just because you're stupid (joke).

What Digby Said

Someone I met once said to me if they started a blog they'd call it "What Digby Said" and it would consist of links to every post at Hullabaloo with the caption "What Digby Said."

Back in the early days of this blog Digby was a regular commenter which made my job easier as I could just cut and paste all the good stuff. Then I stupidly suggested Digby get a blog, which happened at some point.

So, once again, What Digby Said.

Primary Fun

This probably won't be the best place for all your primary action, so check out and Generalissimo Kos for what you need to know.


Thanks to Echidne, Attaturk, and Avedon for helping out. Was visiting with the Clenis.

Afternoon Thread

Oh, keep me away from the remote:

Kudlow [Jonah Goldberg]
I'll be on his CNBC show tonight, FYI.
Posted at 4:12 PM

Suburban Guerilla says:

Compare And Contrast
The American Airlines ticket agent who checked in Mohammed Atta on 9/11 later committed suicide - unlike the man in charge who, being briefed on the potential threat, told his briefer, "Okay, you’ve covered your ass."

Mission Accomplished Impossible

It's been reported we now have 142,000 troops in Iraq. Where we are going to obtain another 280,000 is beyond me.

The military is clearly letting reporters now know -- for their future books -- that Bush, Cheney & Rumsfeld are responsible for the inevitable loss of what Bush has said is the central front in the "War on Terra".

M. O'BRIEN: Well, Michael, you have talked to the people on the ground there. I'm sure they probably don't say it for the record, but how many troops do they think need in order to get a hold of this problem?

WARE: Well, officially, from Baghdad to Ramadi, the response you will get from American commanders is that we have an appropriate level of force to do what we have to do within the confines of our mission. However, the key term that all of them use is "economy of force."

They say that we are applying an economy of force mission. That in itself is an admission that they don't have the full number of troops that they need to do what actually has to be done.

Privately, off line, what commanders, again, from Baghdad to Ramadi, will tell you is that they need at least three times as many troops as they currently have there now, be that Iraqi and American or, even better, just three times as many as American troops. I mean, there's an area there north of the Euphrates River that is used by al Qaeda's top leadership that Osama bin Laden himself points to. It's the size of New Hampshire.

You have only a few hundred American troops there. They can do nothing to hamper al Qaeda's leadership in that area -- Miles.

The Macaca hits the fan again

George Allen and his campaign folks, not the sharpest tools in the shed.

Though they are clearly tools. From the campaign website as captured by Josh Marshall.

That's right "Ethnic Rally".

How Many More Friedmans?

I'm sure that a couple of Friedmans from now Bill Kristol will be writing pretty much the same column.

We live in depressing times, ruled by fools who care not for the consequences of their actions.

...and Greenwald explains what a sad and ridiculous figure Rich Lowry is. These two are the editors of the premier conservative magazines. The leading lights of the movement.

A really fine speech

By Keith Olbermann, of course. If you haven't seen it yet, go there now.
And anyone who claims that I and others like me are "soft,"or have "forgotten" the lessons of what happened here is at best a grasping, opportunistic, dilettante and at worst, an idiot whether he is a commentator, or a Vice President, or a President.

(And I agree with Attaturk, too.)

If at first, second, third ... nevermind, but this time We'll Succeed!

I guess it is great to be a conservative pundit. You can repeatedly say things that are absolutely wrong -- have it result not just in financial harm but literally have it lead to the deaths of tens of thousands of innocent people (including American soldiers) and STILL you can have major publications publish your editorials as if you flatulence has that new car smell!

Hat tip to Pony Boy, who also found this despite all of Bush & Rove's efforts:

A new Gallup poll finds little change in the public's approval ratings of President George W. Bush and Congress, along with Americans' overall satisfaction with the course of the nation...The poll, conducted Sept. 7-10, finds that 39% of Americans approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president, while 56% disapprove.

That's down from 42% in the last poll.

Well, somebody has to say it

I'm just a b-level guest blogger so what I say can be passed off as the extreme rantings of the extreme wing of the extreme left of the extreme commie-branch of the Democratic Party. An accusation that is extremely laughable in reality.

But dammit, I'm not going to live my goddamned life afraid of those on the Osama to Cheney asshole continuum, so I'm gonna say it:

Neither party has the guts to stand up and truly inform the public on the general "ineffectiveness" and weakness of terror groups. Anyone who actually said so would have the bodies of innocent civilians thrown at their feet and the "fear" words would come in a Katrina-level deluge...

What is not needed, are needless wars and the inflating of the threat into one that can topple our nation and our government. That is something we can ONLY do to ourselves. Osama "may" aspire to it, but only we, ourselves, have the means. If this situation isn't confronted, as much as Bush and the GOP need to be replaced, the Democrats that follow them will only be better by degree, the bromides will just take a slightly more moderate phrasing and a more tolerable mode. But the cancer will remain -- keeping you shitting your pants will be the Republican method of politics, keeping you angst ridden and afraid you'll shit your pants will be the Democratic mode.

So endeth this part of the rant.

Travel Day

Light posting. If any of those who have the keys to the castle wish to chime in, feel free...

Morning Thread


Late Night

Viva Voce - From the Devil Himself

Monday, September 11, 2006

Why We Invaded Iraq

The Editors tries to explain.


Er, get in line and shut the hell up.


Lays into Bush.

They Write Press Releases

American Airlines:

FORT WORTH, Texas, Sept. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- American Airlines today issued the following statement regarding the ABC-TV program The Path to 9/11:

"The Disney/ABC television program, The Path to 9/11, which began airing last night, is inaccurate and irresponsible in its portrayal of the airport check-in events that occurred on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.

"A factual description of those events can be found in the official government edition of the 9/11 Commission Report and supporting documents.

"This misrepresentation of facts dishonors the memory of innocent American Airlines employees and all those who lost their lives as a result of the tragic events of 9/11."

American said it will have no further comment beyond the statement at this time.


Denny Hastert doesn't know the words to the national anthem.

Evening Thread


Throw Richard Pombo Out

It's got a good beat and you can dance to it.

Had Enough?

This is about right. For too long the Democrats have been letting the Republicans define the game. Play your own game.

The Best War Ever

Hating America

There's really no other way to describe John Yoo's view of this country. He doesn't like the system of government we've embraced and doesn't like the animating principles of this country. He's rejected the entire ideal of America in favor of embracing a system of government favored by shitty little dictators throughout history.

I don't know if he always felt this way about the country, or if like so many others 9/11 just broke his brain irreperably, but I wish he'd find a nice video game to be an outlet for his warped fantasies instead of the governance of this country.

Wanker of the Day

The Bullshit Moose.

Don't Tread On Me

Heh. Indeed.

Operation Ignore

Franken's take on the Path to 9/11.

Lies and the Lying Liars

More from St. McCain.

Your Liberal Media

Alterman fired from, though he will have a new home at Media Matters.

The Good War

It's firmly etched in the bedrock of our political discourse that war in Afghanistan was necessary and desirable and that All Serious People agree with that. But, frankly, there really isn't much reason to be so sure about that anymore. The immediate post-9/11 dominant narrative was a good and proper one and the one little thing I actually give George W. Bush some credit for. Basically, the story was that Afghanistan had been taken over by bad people (it had), those bad people were harboring bad people involved with 9/11 (they were), and the country had been pretty much destroyed between the Soviet invasion and the Taliban rule (it had). So we were going to go get the bad guys (we got some), create a new democratic national government (now known as the city government of Kabul), free the people - especially women - from tyranny (not so much), and rebuild the country to such a fantastic degree that it would be an utter inspiration to the world and create democracy-and-America-loving people everywhere (not).

Sadly, that didn't last long. They were obsessed with Iraq, so we soon shifted from pave the streets of Afghanistan with gold to SaddamoMuslims are going to KILL US ALL FROM BAGHDAD. The media happily followed the soccer ball as the Bushies kicked it from Kabul to Baghdad, and the real forgotten war and reconstruction - in Afghanistan - quickly faded from memory. Truly, we didn't think much about it anymore.

Yglesias writes:

For all that anger, though, I recall that I also took it for granted that "we" -- the country, the government, the military, the CIA -- at a minimum were going to manage to get the bastards who did that. It hasn't, of course, worked out like that. We got some folks, but the ringleaders got away. We toppled the Taliban, but didn't really finish them off. And I remember self-righteously assuring the far-left types on campus who opposed the Afghan War that of course the USA would be fully committed to reconstructing Afghanistan -- it was a case where our moral obligations aligned almost perfectly with our narrowest interests in safety.

We truly had an opportunity to Do The Right Thing - the Grand Military Humanitarian Intervention that the Peter Beinarts of the world dream about - and we didn't in large part because the "liberal hawks" thought it was more important to head to Baghdad than to do it right in Afghanistan.

I don't entirely understand how this was possible. I suppose they, like Yglesias, were so convinced that of course we would do the right thing as anything else defied comprehension, even as unfolding evidence to the contrary was everywhere.

There's no way to answer the question of whether the Afghanistan war was the right thing to do - it was inevitable and there's no way to tease out a credible "what if" alternative history timeline - but it's reasonable to ask if it's been a net good. I have no ability to answer that question, but it's not something which should be taken on faith. We certainly didn't achieve what we should have, and those "far-left types" who worried that we were going to kill a bunch of people then screw the pooch certainly had a point.

9/11 From Two Viewpoints

On 9/11 I was in Connecticut. It wasn't the part of Connecticut which really exists in the shadow of New York - further East than that - but nonetheless in a place which was connected to New York. The city was a common destination, lots of people had friends relatives and direct connections to the place. Not everyone knew somebody killed in the attack, but just about everyone would soon find that they knew someone who lost someone close to them. Directly or indirectly people were affected without many degrees of separation.

Soon after I went back to California where I was living. There was a tremendous difference in how people were affected by it. It was a Big Deal, but people had much more distance from it. It was to a great degree not something which happened Here, but something which happened Over There. In my time in California I was struck by how much people in California seemed detached from what I considered to be "national news," recognizing that "national news" is in fact very New York- and Washington-centric and that physical distance and the time zone difference between these places oddly matters. 24 hour cable news is very much timed to the rhythm of East Coast time, and watching it from California it always seems slightly askew. On 9/11 most Californians were probably still asleep when the first tower was hit.

But, anyway, just a big hearty fuck you to the White House and the news media who have decided this day is largely a personal narrative about George Bush, a man who was almost entirely absent on that day then had a big giggle before falling asleep early. It isn't about him, and unless you were in New York or Washington or were close to people who were directly affected, it's probably not about you either.

I Blame Big Pharma

Couric had Limbaugh on Thursday evening, and her show went from first place on Thursday to 3rd on Friday according to Drudge.

Coincidence? I think not. Telling a majority of the country that they're unpatritioc isn't a great way to win viewers.

Nice job, CBS.

Partisan Rancor

It's easy to avoid if you just exclude one party.

Obscene indeed.


Children remember 9/11 the way it actually happened.

Heckuva Job, Bushie

These people are clowns:

The chief of intelligence for the Marine Corps in Iraq recently filed an unusual secret report concluding that the prospects for securing that country's western Anbar province are dim and that there is almost nothing the U.S. military can do to improve the political and social situation there, said several military officers and intelligence officials familiar with its contents.

The officials described Col. Pete Devlin's classified assessment of the dire state of Anbar as the first time that a senior U.S. military officer has filed so negative a report from Iraq.

One Army officer summarized it as arguing that in Anbar province, "We haven't been defeated militarily but we have been defeated politically -- and that's where wars are won and lost."

Dissent is Treason

Dear Mr. Cheney, go fuck yourself.

"They can't beat us in a stand-up fight -- they never have -- but they're absolutely convinced they can break our will, [that] the American people don't have the stomach for the fight," Cheney said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

The vice president said U.S. allies in Afghanistan and Iraq "have doubts" the United States will finish the job there. "And those doubts are encouraged, obviously, when they see the kind of debate that we've had in the United States," he said. "Suggestions, for example, that we should withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq simply feed into that whole notion, validates the strategy of the terrorists."

Morning Thread


Literally Anything

Fortunately our responsible news media will ensure that ridiculous, irrelevant, and unfair charges won't get a wide hearing.

Excuse me, but I just pissed myself laughing and need to go clean up.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Sunday Funnies

Tonight's episode of the Family Guy was based entirely on the 9/11 commission report.

If Only She Had a Gun

I really don't understand how their brains work.

Fresh Thread


Lies and the Lying Liars

As I've said, the nuttiest 9/11 conspiracy theorists are the ones running our government.

The Shrinking Movie

ABC says that Disney 911 is only lasting from 8-10:30 now, one half hour less than originally scheduled

Wanker of the Day

Hugh Hewitt.

BoBo's World

In which BoBo doesn't know that single males are in fact eligible for the EITC.

Don't Know Nothing

Disney should be so proud.

He Really Doesn't Care That Much About Him

Except for the election year ad campaigns.

On the videotape obtained by the CIA, bin Laden is seen confidently instructing his party how to dig holes in the ground to lie in undetected at night. A bomb dropped by a U.S. aircraft can be seen exploding in the distance. "We were there last night," bin Laden says without much concern in his voice. He was in or headed toward Pakistan, counterterrorism officials think.

That was December 2001. Only two months later, Bush decided to pull out most of the special operations troops and their CIA counterparts in the paramilitary division that were leading the hunt for bin Laden in Afghanistan to prepare for war in Iraq, said Flynt L. Leverett, then an expert on the Middle East at the National Security Council.

"I was appalled when I learned about it," said Leverett, who has become an outspoken critic of the administration's counterterrorism policy. "I don't know of anyone who thought it was a good idea. It's very likely that bin Laden would be dead or in American custody if we hadn't done that."

Several officers confirmed that the number of special operations troops was reduced in March 2001.

Ben-Veniste in Media

For local folks, Richard Ben-Veniste will be at Media Borough Hall today with Joe Sestak at 5pm.


Well, so much for the Mouse. According to the NY Post the movie would've been even more batshit false wingnuttery if Harvey Keitel hadn't keep trying to fix things.

Morning Thread



A doe, a deer, a female deer.