Saturday, March 31, 2007

Saturday Night Complaints Thread

Money Makes The World Go Round

Circuit City's variation on this is to fire its more highly-paid and more experienced workers and then to let them apply for the same jobs at lower wages:

The electronics retailer, facing larger competitors and falling sales, said Wednesday that it would lay off about 3,400 store workers. The laid-off workers, about 8 percent of the company's total work force, would get a severance package and a chance to reapply for their former jobs, at lower pay, after a 10-week delay, the company said.

Neat, isn't it? Of course Circuit City could have made similar savings by first firing its CEO, Philip J. Schooner, who earned around 2.17 million dollars last year and then letting him reapply at the "market" rate for CEOs.

Now why would a firm openly admit to doing something like this? Could it be a way around possible age discrimination suits? Many better paid workers are not only more experienced but also older.

Join a club!

Malkin so totally fights the war on terrorism!!!!

(Not Atrios)

Right Track/Wrong Track

People are really not happy with the direction the country is going in. I'd actually like to know why. While, if polled, I'd probably answer the question based on my thoughts on national political issues, but I'm not sure most people are like that (although as the question is asked in the middle of a poll about national stuff they might). Is it Iraq? Economic insecurity? They hate George Bush?

Sunday Bobbleheads

A little preview, since I'm on the road and might not manage tomorrow:

ABC's "This Week"—Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; presidential counselor Dan Bartlett; former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson; Cal Ripken Jr., former Baltimore Orioles shortstop.


CBS' "Face the Nation"—Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Arlen Specter, R-Pa.; Bartlett.


NBC's "Meet the Press"—Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah; Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y.


CNN's "Late Edition"—Sens. Kit Bond, R-Mo., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; the Rev. Al Sharpton, civil rights activist; Richard Haass, Council on Foreign Relations president.


"Fox News Sunday"—Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Joe Biden, D-Del.; Kevin Martin, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

Your Liberal Media

Via Jonathan Schwartz. John Hockenberry recalls in a talk at MIT what it was like at NBC in the dark days of the selling of the Iraq War. As Aaron Swartz has it:

You may or may not be aware that there was a real strong full-court press to sell the media -- and I'm not pro- or against it at this particular point, but there was a process in place where individuals in the media got access to the individuals involved in the planning of the war. There were generals who came in, there were former secretaries of defense, Schwarzkopf spent a whole lot of time giving sort of off-the-record, quiet briefings. And the generals would sort of bring in a certain group of editors and reporters and I went to all of these briefings.

Swartz then paraphrases:

At one of [these briefings] , Hockenberry explains, a well-known pollster told about a briefing he gave to all the senior officials at the White House about how the polling data from the Arab world showed that America's negatives were simply off-the-charts. Everyone was quiet. Condi asked a few technical questions and then finally Karl Rove spoke up. "Well, that's just until we start throwing our weight around over there," he said.

Hockenberry was stunned and thought they should do a piece on what this revealed into the mentality of the war's planners. But NBC News didn't think this was a very good idea. America wanted the war to happen; their job was just to wait and see how it turned out. "We're not particularly interested in the story," Hockenberry explains. "We're a process that's trying to maintain people in front of the set, so in a certain sense media at that point was doing its own kind of shock-and-awe that went right along with the war's shock-and-awe [because] the business is just to grab eyeballs."

I'm going to have a drink now.

Thanks for Everything, Matthew

Appreciate all you've done.

Looking back, Mr. Dowd now says his faith in Mr. Bush was misplaced.

In a wide-ranging interview here, Mr. Dowd called for a withdrawal from Iraq and expressed his disappointment in Mr. Bush’s leadership.

He criticized the president as failing to call the nation to a shared sense of sacrifice at a time of war, failing to reach across the political divide to build consensus and ignoring the will of the people on Iraq. He said he believed the president had not moved aggressively enough to hold anyone accountable for the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, and that Mr. Bush still approached governing with a “my way or the highway” mentality reinforced by a shrinking circle of trusted aides.

“I really like him, which is probably why I’m so disappointed in things,” he said. He added, “I think he’s become more, in my view, secluded and bubbled in.”

In speaking out, Mr. Dowd became the first member of Mr. Bush’s inner circle to break so publicly with him.

He said his decision to step forward had not come easily. But, he said, his disappointment in Mr. Bush’s presidency is so great that he feels a sense of duty to go public given his role in helping Mr. Bush gain and keep power.

Putz Is in the House!

Glenn Reynolds attempts comedy stylings. Noting that the House has pulled back on a vote granting Washington DC residents voting rights because the GOP inserted gun stuff into the bill, Glenn dusts off his rapier wit and makes this thrust:
I wonder how Jim Webb would have voted? Would he vote differently today than last week?
Ho ho ho hehindeed ha splutter bleah.

(Rolls eyes)

Yes, Glenn. I too wonder how Senator Webb would have voted on this House bill.

That's some damn fine lawyerly speculatin', right there... gah.

What does it all mean?

I’ve been trying to get the final four of evilness rankings arranged properly (or as John Boehner would say "a-ranged"):

Saddam <-- NTodd <-- Tom Coughlin <-- Hitler

Somehow that doesn’t quite seem right. I have a hard time undervaluing NTodd’s malevolence.

In addition, this also is confusing, though it may be important in obtaining Rove's emails. But it’s all binary code to me. Maybe you can tell us?

Travel Day

Light posting ahead. If anyone wants to chime in, feel free...


David Broder is instantly irrelevant.


At this point I say Alberto decides Easter weekend is when he needs to spend more time with his peeps.

Chocolate Jesus Penis

Would a penis-less chocolate Jesus have been better?

I really don't understand this world.

9 Months

I haven't really been following the case of David Hicks, but isn't there something a little off about a guy who spent 5 years in a holiday camp for the Scariest Terraists Evah ultimately getting just a 9 month sentence?

Morning Thread

For the broadbandless.


Oh my.

Federal prosecutors have told Bernard B. Kerik, whose nomination as homeland security secretary in 2004 ended in scandal, that he is likely to be charged with several felonies, including tax evasion and conspiracy to commit wiretapping.

Late Night

Rock On

Friday, March 30, 2007

Fresh Thread


...for your Friday night soundtrack, August tells us that NPR is giving you a free Ted Leo concert.

In Which I Reveal I'm a Clinton Adviser

Well, no, not really, but I admit a couple of times (and not recently) I've chatted with Peter Daou about how Clinton could appeal to the "netroots" (whatever that means anymore). I'd hand out the same advice to anyone, not that they'd necessarily listen or that they should. If I had an opportunity to tell Mitt Romney how to appeal to people like me I would.

So I can appreciate that Carville, to some extent, sees his role that way. His friends call him, and he gives advice. But the real issue is that he's a Clinton *supporter.* He wants her to win. And he has a prominent media role which allows him to boost her and diminish others. I don't think CNN has to yank him, really, though I think they should make sure there's at least a little diversity among their pack of Democratic strategists, but he should just be more up front about what he thinks. Take off the fake "impartial observer" hat and put on the "Hillary supporter" hat. That's fine.

...adding, if I ever found myself rooting for someone in a sustained and committed fashion, that I'd crossed over from "guy with opinions" to "supporter of candidate X," I'd feel obligated to say so. Obviously it isn't always quite clear where that line is, but Carville's already admitted to crossing it.

Wanker of the Day

Dana Perino.

The Big Money

Was listening to a bit on NPR about on the relatively huge amounts of money being hauled in by presidential candidates already. I've broached this subject before, but never really quite figured it out. A lot of the early money is presumably coming from big donors who are maxing out their allowable contributions. Presumably there is not a limitless supply of such people, and once you run through existing donor networks it becomes difficult to find more of them.

I'm really curious about the extent to which what I'm suggesting is true, and its potential consequence for later fundraising. If the easy $2000 checks are all scooped up now, will candidates be forced to rely on smaller donors later?

That Was God Speaking

Michael Savage:

SAVAGE: It's becoming increasingly clear to me that God wants radical Islam on this planet at this time -- that it's not actually the scourge you think it is. What it is -- it's a counterpoint to the Romanization of the United States of America and the West. The collapse -- the spiritual collapse of the West, the death of the West in that regard, is being countered by the birth of fanatic religion, which is fundamentally a fanatic love of God, when you think about it.


SAVAGE: And God, who is the center of this monotheistic religion, has said, "Oh, you don't worship me anymore? Oh, you don't like me anymore? Oh, I don't exist anymore? Really? All right, I'm going to show you boys in Hollywood and you girls in New York City that I do exist. But since you're very hard-headed, stiff-necked people, and you don't really believe that I exist because you've gotten away with everything you've done all your life without any repercussions, I'm going to show you I exist in a way that you can't believe." Down came the World Trade Center towers. That was God speaking.

Lies and the Lying Liars

George W. Bush edition.

Sammy's Hill

Good for her. I actually thought Sammy's Hill was pretty good, and I can imagine how David O. Russell could make something interesting out of it.

Russell adapting Kristen Gore's novel for Columbia
David O. Russell (I Heart Huckabees, Three Kings) will adapt and direct Washington D.C.-based comedy Sammy's Hill, based on a novel by Kristen Gore (Al's daughter), for Columbia Pictures and Red Wagon. The story is about a young congressional aide on Capitol Hill in search of Mr. Right.

And, hey, apparently there's a sequel coming.


A dinner party for Saint McCain? Oh Lordy it's all too much.

Good for Jesse

And shame on the CBC:

Rev. Jesse Jackson today denounced the Congressional Black Caucus Institute’s planned presidential debate partnership with FOX. He called for yesterday’s decision to be reversed and for presidential candidates not to attend a FOX debate.

Jackson said, “I am disappointed by the Congressional Black Caucus Institute's partnership with FOX, and strongly encourage them to reverse that decision. Why would presidential candidates, or an organization that is supposed to advocate for Black Americans, ever give a stamp of legitimacy to a network that continually marginalizes Black leaders and the Black community? FOX moderating a presidential debate on issues of importance to Black Americans is literally letting the Fox guard the henhouse – FOX should be rejected.”


It's very simple, just label him as a Clinton advisor.

DoughBob LoadPants

The Editors discusses.

But What About Margaret Carlson's Sex Life?

I think that, too, is a fun question. I'm just an ethically challenged blogger, but if I had been romantically linked with prominent figures I was commenting on I'd consider disclosing it.

From that same show, Carlson on Fred Thompson:

CARLSON: He does look like the dad. He has everything that Pat says. He`s handsome, he`s charming, he sounds like a president, he looks like a president, but Pat says he might not have the fire in the belly. That could help him, not having the hunger, not being willing to do anything could help him.


CARLSON: It could help him. And, you know, he`s smart. He`s articulate. He knows his lines. He can hit his mark. Few people could start --

MATTHEWS: Let me ask you. We`re having debates. MSNBC is going to have debates coming up within a month or so. They`re going to have debates around the country. Is the season still open for him to get in, right now?

BUCHANAN: It is open right now. But I think these guys that are saying they are going to wait until September and October may be waiting to long. That`s taking a big risk.

MATTHEWS: You think his door is open now?

BUCHANAN: I think his door is open now, yes.

CARLSON: The theme song of Republicans should be "Some Day My Prince Will Come," and they`re waiting and they`re hoping. And so Fred Thompson is not late at all. His moment is here.

MATTHEWS: Some day he will come along. Do you think he`s coming now?

CARLSON: I think he`s coming soon.

MATTHEWS: I notice it used to be you had to look like an anchorman to get the presidency. You needed to have a big thick head of hair. And he and Giuliani and McCain -

BUCHANAN: He looks like a big truck driver.

MATTHEWS: With a semi behind him.

BUCHANAN: Looks like a teamster, sure, a southern guy, a teamster. He`s in from Tennessee. He`s perfectly positioned, I think, but the question is, does he get in and is he really ready to do battle? Iowa, those things are very hard to do, Chris.

MATTHEWS: OK, you put him up against Hillary in the general election, who wins?

BUCHANAN: He wins.

CARLSON: Agreed.

MATTHEWS: Margaret Carlson? This is treason! Margaret, the sisterhood`s at stake here. You said it so quick.

BUCHANAN: Al was on the phone.

CARLSON: I don`t see anyone in the field now who can --

MATTHEWS: Billie Jean is on the phone. Billie Jean endorsed the other day.

CARLSON: Oh, now that you have the tennis queen on, I`m sure she`ll win. No, but the red pickup truck, the aura. He`s smart. He has experience. He did --

MATTHEWS: You know what I like about him? I interviewed him when he was running for the Senate. He was the underdog out in Tennessee, in Nashville. I said what hotel are you staying at. He said what hotel are you staying at. We were both at three-star hotels. He comes over, meets me for breakfast, no entourage, not another single person with him. This is when you fall in love with politicians. Maybe it`s rehearsed, but --

And I said -- well, I`m doing a column in those days. I said what about your divorce? You want me to write about that? He said, I prefer you wouldn`t. I mean, I just like the fact that he has a little unhappiness in his past, maybe some misbehavior problems, but he just says, you know, I`d rather you didn`t.

CARLSON: For the press, he would be the new McCain, because he does seem honest and open.


On the Republican side, Sen. Fred Thompson is said to have hurt his vice-presidential chances when his name was linked romantically to that of Margaret Carlson. The Time columnist and "Capital Gang" regular is reportedly too liberal for George W. Bush. Thompson's standing was not enhanced when gossips said he was simultaneously involved with another woman.


The New York Post, of all venues, reported recently that the Tennessee senator had of late become something of a sex object for "Capitol Hill hotties," one of whom complained about "all these other women" who wouldn't leave the senator alone. "I can't get up to get a cocktail at a party without coming back and finding some girl sitting at my chair," the woman was quoted as saying.

Margaret Carlson, the writer for Time and host for CNN, is described this way: "She calls his apartment all the time. It's the joke all over Washington that Margaret has this huge crush on him. And Fred is clearly not interested." (To which the gallant Thompson responded: "I generally don't comment on these matters, but as it relates to the statements made about my friend Margaret Carlson, I should be so lucky.")

72% of Americans Are A Bunch Of Blithering Idiots

Rush Limbaugh, man of the people.

Mob Hits

Rudy Rudy Rudy

Rudolph W. Giuliani told a grand jury that his former chief investigator remembered having briefed him on some aspects of Bernard B. Kerik’s relationship with a company suspected of ties to organized crime before Mr. Kerik’s appointment as New York City police commissioner, according to court records.

Morning Thread


Late Night

Rock on.

I Think I'm Supposed To Have Something To Say

I really don't at the moment. All out.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

More Thread


Fresh Thread


Blogger Ethics Panel

Uh, CNN? You've got a Carville problem.


Broder's boy is still bouncing.

President Bush’s job approval rating dips a point this week to 33 percent, matching a previous low in approval almost a year ago (33 percent, April 18-19, 2006). Disapproval of the president’s performance has increased to 61 percent — the highest disapproval rating of his presidency.

Polls Versus the Pundits

The Democrats' stepped-up pace of investigations has not drawn much in the way of negative reaction. Just 31% believe Congress is spending too much time investigating possible government wrongdoing, while slightly more (35%) say they are spending too little time on this, and a quarter believe that the time spent on investigations has been appropriate.

FigureRepublicans are more likely than Democrats or independents to say that Congress is spending too much time on investigating possible wrongdoing. Still, only about half of Republicans (48%) express this view, while nearly as many say Congress is spending too little time (24%), or the right amount of time (20%), on investigations.

In addition, more independents say Congress is spending too little time on investigations than too much (by 39%-29%). Roughly the same number of Democrats as independents say Congress is devoting too little time to investigations.

The Original Sweaty Lunk

I like Al Gore and I'd be quite happy for him to run for president, but I think speculating about the possibility is somewhat counterproductive. The fact is that there are plenty of good candidates running and no need for someone on a white horse to come in and save the day.

...adding, that probably wasn't clear. I mean that the perpetual speculation makes it sound as if things suck unless he runs, that we need a savior candidate. I have nothing against him choosing to run now or 6 months from now or whenever.


Still surging:

At least 60 people were killed and 41 others were wounded today in a suicide bombing at a marketplace in Baghdad, police said.

(ht dave™©)

Time Passes

These days I collect various "Friedman Unit" type predictions and put them in my calendar, and it's getting rather full of them. It seems that every major politician and pundit has suggested that by July or the end of summer... well, something. We know how this game as played. The Friedman Unit Generating Device is apparently a perpetual motion machine with limitless energy to crank out new F.U.s to the American public.


If parents want to be paranoid and not let their kids walk/bike to school, that's their choice. The problem really develops when those personal choices become cultural norms and parents are scared to let their kids walk/bike to school because if they do they'll be seen as bad parents.

More Lying Abu G

From E&P:

Specter asked about Attorney General Gonzales' "candor" in saying earlier this month that he was not a part of any discussions on the firings. He asked about the November 27, 2006 meeting "where there were discussions" and Gonzales allegedly attended. Was Gonzales' statement about taking part in no discussions accurate?

"I don't think it's accurate," Sampson said. "He recently clarified it. But he was present at the November 27 meeting."

"So he was involved in discussions in contrast to his statement" this month? Specter asked.

"Yes." Sampson replied.

Sen. Charles Schumer then asked about Gonzales also claiming that he saw no documents on this matter.

Sampson replied: "I don't think it's entirely accurate."

Schumer: "There was repeated discussions??

Sampson: " least five."

Schumer then asked if Gonzales was truthful in saying Sampson's information on the firings was not shared within the depaartment.

Sampson: "I shared information with whoever asked."

Schumer: "So the Attorney General's statement is false?"

Sampson: "I don't think it is accurate."

Lying Abu G

Oh my:

Moving on to e-mails and question of AG's veracity. E-mails show that Gonzales was involved in a meeting that took up the issue of USA firings. Was your e-mail correct. Sampson says that the AG's statement that he wasn't involved in discussions was not accurate. Sampson recalls talking to him about this issue. Specter asks: So Gonzales was not correct in his statement during his news conference? Sampson: Yes sir.

Just At The Moment

Lieberman says things are looking up now in Iraq, finally.

Of course things were looking up in November of 2005.

A year from now, I'm sure things will just be starting to look up as well.

Wanker of the Day

Joe Lieberman.

Preventing Unrest


MOSUL, Iraq, March 29 (Reuters) - Policemen who took part in the reprisal shootings of scores of men in northwest Iraq this week were arrested but then freed again to prevent unrest, the provincial governor said on Thursday.

Hours after truck bombs killed 85 people on Tuesday in a Shi'ite area of Tal Afar, up to 70 Sunni Arab men were shot dead in a town which only a year ago was held up by U.S. President George W. Bush as an example of progress towards peace.

Shorter Kyle Sampson

Of course we turned the Justice Department into a wing of the RNC!


Why don't they just merge operations.

Uh, Ew?

Uh, Wuh?

I imagine David Gregory is praying for a mercy killing.


Please make them stop.

Game Weird

It's late so I don't have it in me to support this thesis, but it really seems that we're getting to a level of corruption and coverup that wouldn't even be close to being possible without sycophants in the media who enable it. And, yes, to some extent this is just a description of the past few years, but we've had a president essentially in the 30s in the polls (yes, some 40+ numbers appear occasionally) for over a year.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007



F.U. John

Friedman Units are only okay when Saint McCain uses them.

Oh My

Sounds like Sampson should take a peek at this law.

Under the federal False Statements statute, 18 USC 1001, it is a felony to cause another person to make a false statement to Congress. Since McNulty has allegedly told Senator Schumer that he made a false statement to Congress based on information provided to him by Monica Goodling, Goodling could very well be prosecuted for a Section 1001 violation.

Lurita Doan

Don't know nothing about nothing.

fresh thread


Take Her Glass


Braley v. Doan

GSA hearing. Hilarious.

Chris Dodd Is All Powerful

Email I received:

Dear Duncan,

Later today, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to vote on whether or not to approve the nomination of Sam Fox as America's Ambassador to Belgium.

Normally, these confirmations are quite routine.

Not this one ...

Sam Fox helped bankroll the reprehensible activities of "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth," by contributing $50,000 to the group infamous for its ads attacking Senator John Kerry's service during the Vietnam War.

Senator Dodd will oppose that nomination, and said the following yesterday:

"U.S. ambassadors need to be both responsible and credible, and Mr. Fox's support for an organization known to have spread falsehoods illustrates neither. The fact that Mr. Fox refused to apologize for his behavior during his nomination hearing reinforces my belief that he would not be an acceptable representative for the position of U.S. ambassador."

Sam Fox is not fit to serve as an ambassador of the United States.

Please sign the petition urging the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to vote "NO" on Sam Fox later today, then ask your family, friends, and personal networks to do the same.

Let's stop this nomination today!

Tim Tagaris
Chris Dodd for President

The next email came from reader p:

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush has withdrawn the ambassadorial nomination of a businessman who donated money to a group that undermined Sen. John Kerry’s presidential campaign.

Too Clever By Half

This may be their undoing. JMM:

If the president's aides were using RNC emails or emails from other Republican political committees, they can't have even the vaguest claim to shielding those communications behind executive privilege.


Why is that pundits are forever throwing out "compromise" positions, suggesting intransigence of both sides, which are pretty much the Democratic position.

Free Trip to Iraq

There is an easier way.

Blogs, Inside Jokes, and Jargon

It's true that the insidery lingo of blogging is a barrier to outsiders, but it's also one of those things which keeps it interesting. I've long considered the basic model for this blog to be the Howard Stern Show, though with not quite as many lesbian strippers. Basically, there's a revolving cast of wacky characters (right wing bloggers, batshit crazy Republicans, and trolls form our own "wack pack"), including heroes and villians, recurring themes, inside jokes, and nicknames. There's a central evolving story being told over a long period of time, punctuated with various diversions. The insideryness is exclusionary at first, but people enjoy the process of learning what it's all about and becoming one of those "in the know."

Zombie Terrorists

The very serious Senator McCain:

The consequences of failure are catastrophic because if we come home, bin Laden and Zarqawi, they are going to follow us.

(Ht Ghost of Richard Milhaus Nixon)


Meet the new boss:

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Off-duty Shiite policemen enraged by massive bombings in the northern town of Tal Afar went on a revenge spree against Sunni residents there on Wednesday, killing at least 45 men, police and hospital officials said.

The policemen began roaming the town’s Sunni neighborhoods on foot early in the morning, shooting at Sunni residents and homes.

A senior hospital official in Tal Afar said at least 45 men ages 15 to 60 were killed and four others were wounded.

I appreciate that CNN has been using Michael Ware to beat up on John McCain for his batshit Pony Talk on Iraq, but senators and other regular CNN guess have been saying batshit Pony Talk for *years* on Iraq. Maybe they could start be looking at the statements of one Senator Lieberman (CFL-CT).


March 20, 2006:

Fact Sheet: Strategy for Victory: Clear, Hold, and Build

RSS Feed White House News

Today's Presidential Action

Today, President Bush Discussed The Strategy For Victory In Iraq And Profiled The Northern Iraqi Town Of Tal Afar. Once a key base of operations for Al-Qaida, Tal Afar is a concrete example of progress in Iraq.

Tal Afar Shows How The Three Elements Of The Strategy For Victory In Iraq - Political, Security, And Economic - Depend On And Reinforce One Another. By working with local leaders to address community grievances, Iraqi and Coalition forces helped build the political support needed to make the military operation to drive terrorists out of that city successful. The military success against the terrorists gave the citizens of Tal Afar security, and this allowed them to vote and rebuild their city. The economic rebuilding taking place is giving Tal Afar's residents a real stake in the success of a free Iraq - and further marginalizing the terrorists...

The Coalition Adopted A New Approach - Clear, Hold, And Build. The ability of al-Qaida and its associates to retake Tal Afar was a problem seen elsewhere in Iraq, and the Iraqi government and Coalition adopted a new approach. Instead of coming in, removing the terrorists, and then moving on, Iraqi and Coalition forces pursued a strategy of clearing a city of terrorists, leaving well-trained Iraqi units behind to hold the city, and working with local leaders to build economic and political infrastructure.

Wanker of the Day

Rick Stengel.

Late Night

Rock on.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Freddie's Thread

Threadie's on the corner now, and if you wanna be a junkie, wow.

Evening Thread

Out for a bit.

Cochrane Amendment Fails

48Y-50N. Withdrawal timetable language remains in Senate Bill


On Hardball Shuster is basically confirming this, that McNulty told Schumer he messed up because Gooding fed him some horseshit.

Booby Fear


A few months ago, Bob Wright asked me to do a BHTV with Ms. Althouse. I knew nothing about her at all, except that she accused a female liberal blogger who met with Bill Clinton of having breasts ... or something. I never could figure out what it was really. I said "OK," with the caveat that I wanted her to talk about why she, as a woman, thought it appropriate to call attention to the fact that another woman standing near Clinton happen to have breasts. I mean, my daughter will have breasts one day, and I want to be able to prepare her in case she needs to apologize for them. When Althouse emailed me to discuss potential topics, I said what I said to Bob, which was that we could talk about anything, as long as it included that topic. She got all huffy and pulled out of the discussion. Then she attacked me on her blog and again on the op-ed page of The New York Times. Here, she flips out -- is there any other word? -- with Garance when the latter merely refers to it. Garance is duly surprised by the hysteria -- as will you be if you watch it, I imagine -- but the fact is, she is getting crazy about the fact that she says Garance did not prepare the topic in advance. I tried to do that, and she flipped out as well.

And by the way, when she accidentally says, "You're really just undermining my point," she's right on. And by the way, calling the people at Tapped "vicious, ugly people" is not really a good argument for the civility of your side, ma'am.


Symbiotic creatures they are.

Run Away!

Brave Sir Alberto.

Fresh Thread


Campaign Journalism

Adding to the post below about reporting/talking, campaign journalism is an area which is just filled with hackery. There's really no way to do interesting "straight reporting" about campaigns, aside from polls and hirings/firings. It's almost intrinsically "talking about the news" instead of reporting on it. So campaign journalism is part highly subjective narrative, part gossip, part anonymous backbiting, part reporter projection, part quoting sources with major conflicts of interest, part unrepresentative "man on the street interviews," etc. If I ran a newspaper, campaign reporting is the area where I'd begin chucking out the entire model of "balanced journalism" and recognize it for what it ineivtably is, a highly subjective description of what's going on. Reporters hide behind all the various devices given to them to try to take themselves out of the narrative, but ultimately they really are just creating the very subjective narrative they wish to create. So, drop the pretense and bring the reporter's voice forward.

Surging Romney

CNN just showed a Gallup poll for the Republican nominee. Fred Thompson got 12%, and Multiple Choice Mitt surged all the way to 3%.

Grand Old Police Blotter

PA edition:

Criminal charges were filed today against state Sen. Robert Regola in connection with the death of a teenage neighbor who was shot with the senator's gun.

The Westmoreland County coroner ruled that Louis Farrell, 14, committed suicide in July. He was found behind his home in Hempfield; a gun belonging to the senator was near the body.

After a lengthy inquest before attorney Thomas Farrell, who presided, Mr. Farrell suggested the senator wasn't being totally forthcoming about the presence of the gun in his home. Mr. Farrell is not related to the victim.

Today, state police filed charges that support that conclusion. Mr. Regola is accused of three counts of perjury, allowing possession of a firearm by a minor, recklessly endangering another person and false swearing.


Still surging:

BAGHDAD - Two truck bombs struck markets in Tal Afar and a suicide car bomber exploded his payload near Ramadi on Tuesday — the latest attacks in a surge of violence outside the Iraqi capital. The three bombings killed at least 58 people, including 48 in Tal Afar.


The Editors:

The difference between then and now is that then, Bush was strong and he had a loyal Republican Congress, and now he’s not and he doesn’t, and these two things are not unrelated. Fifteen months ago that nauseating little bitch Lindsey Graham was primarily concerned with making sure that Leader had the right to revoke habeus corpus whenever he felt like it; now, he’s troubled that the President didn’t follow the usual protocol in replacing some civil servants. Furrow your brow, Lindsey! Furrow it with sincere concern for everyone to see! Because you can read the polls as well as anyone, and you know that anyone who sticks by Bush these days is fucked.

The News and Talking About the News

I understand that media people who like to think of themselves as good responsible journalists get peeved at what they perceive to be the monolithic caricature that us dirty bloggers sometime make of them. There is good journalism out there, and dirty bloggers generally would have little to talk about if there wasn't. Well, except for all the wankery.

Still, there's a difference between those who report the news and those who talk about it. The former generally takes of the form of quality print journalism, which is then given wings on the various cable news channels, political/news talk radio, by the Sunday Bobbleheads, in unctuous Fred Hiatt Op-Eds, etc. It is in these forums that news is turned into narratives, where certain facts and spin are privileged or diminished, where The Story becomes A Story, where conventional wisdom is created and disseminated both to political insiders and to the rest of us. It's where supposedly knowledgeable people make sense of all of the news for the rest of us, by telling us what is important (or at least relevant and interesting) and why it is important.

In many of these forums the True Elites of Elite journalism put on their peacock feathers and strut around, proudly sporting their faux-cynicism and horrifying vacuity.

So, yes, there are plenty of good journalists out there doing important work. They need to understand that they're being publicly represented by a cast of fools. And, no, we're not just talking about the various flunkies and hacks that fill time during the day on MSNBC. We're talking about people with very prestigious titles and roles, such as editors of major newsweekly magazines and hosts of Well Respected Sunday Talk Shows.


Happy netroots freedom day.

We should remember that my BFF Bob Ney was on our side for this one.

Wanker of the Day

Richard Cohen.

Because I Suppose I Have No Choice

But to at least make some mention of this.

One personal rule in life which I've been trying to follow is "have as little involvement with insane narcissists as possible." It seems to be a pretty good one.

25 Percenters

It's possible that the parallel universe created by the Right has gotten so complex that it's become exclusionary. I've tried to get a handle on this before, though I don't think I've quite managed to pin it down yet. I've mentioned before that it seems that members of the movement Right demand that their candidates buy into the Entire Package of Wingnuttia. This isn't simply political purism, it's about validating a worldview. There are all these articles of faith in wingnuttia which have been given to them by the wingnut noise machine, and failure to embrace them all is a signal that you aren't really part of the club.

But this wingnut worldview has gotten complex and sprawling. Its cast of characters, bizarre understanding of history, and policy positions have grown and expanded so that only obsessed true believers can really feel a part of it. They've established an entire mythology, and its adherents have become cultlike.

The noise machine still has a great impact on our mainstream discourse, but only the real hardcore wingnuts can really identify with the full wingnut package anymore. The beast has grown too large.


Christy takes a look at legal issues surrounding taking the 5th.

Short version: you can't take the 5th because you're worried people might be mean to you.

Morning Thread


Monday, March 26, 2007

Broder's Boy Bouncing

1973 edition.

(ht reader r)

Late Night

Rock on.


Some Facts

Yes, facts are like kryptonite to the kool kids:

And then we have this USA Today poll, taken over the weekend (exactly when Stengel and his colleagues were warning Democrats that Americans would be angry if they pursued Karl Rove):

14. Do you think Congress should -- or should not -- investigate the involvement of White House officials in this matter?

Yes, should - 72%; No, should not - 21%

15. If Congress investigates these dismissals, in your view, should President Bush and his aides -- [ROTATED: invoke "executive privilege" to protect the White House decision making process (or should they) drop the claim of executive privilege and answer all questions being investigated]?

Invoke executive privilege - 26%; Answer all questions - 68%

16. In this matter, do you think Congress should or should not issue subpoenas to force White House officials to testify under oath about this matter?

Yes, should - 68%; No, should not - 24%

Just compare those facts to the wild assertions made by Stengel and friends on MSNBC:
Mr. STENGEL: I am so uninterested in the Democrats wanting Karl Rove, because it is so bad for them. Because it shows business as usual, tit for tat, vengeance. That's not what voters want to see.

Ms. BORGER: Mm-hmm.

MATTHEWS: So instead of like an issue like the war where you can say it's bigger than all of us, its more important than politics, this is politics.

Mr. STENGEL: Yes, and it's much less. It's small bore politics.

O'DONNELL: The Democrats have to be very careful that they look like they're not the party of investigation rather than legislation in trying to change things.

uhhh... Scar?

Tonight's Joey Scar Panel is Mike Barnicle (fake liberal), Joan Walsh (moderate liberal), and John Nichols (actual liberal).

Must be some weird planetary alignment going on.

Fresh Thread


When Hacks Stop Hacking

Wingnut Terry Jeffrey just now on CNN:

It's not good, apparently her lawyer is trying to suggest they're building a perjury trap for people in the Justice Department. But the truth is, Wolf, Congress - its Judiciary Committees - they have oversight over the Justice Department. It is inexcusable for people in the Justice Department to take the 5th amendment to avoid testifying in Congress. People there must go testify. There's no question about it.

Clamming Up

Sampson to plead 5th.

Another great Politico headline: "Sampson Testimony May Be Key To Case"

I swear JMM originally wrote Sampson in that post. Either way, steve simels regrets the error. It's Goodling, apparently.

59% Support Bill To Get Out

Most of them are orthodontists, however.


Keep pulling this thread...

White House staff are using non-governmental e-mail addresses to avoid leaving a paper trail of their communications, a senior congressman charged Monday.

In a pair of letters Monday, House Oversight and Investigations Committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman, D.-Calif., asked the Republican National Committee and the Bush-Cheney '04 Campaign to preserve e-mails sent and received by White House officials using domains controlled by the two groups.

Waxman also asked the two to meet with his staff to explain how they handle e-mail accounts for government officials.

"Such e-mails written in the conduct of White House business would appear to be govemmental records subject to preservation and eventual public disclosure," Waxman wrote.

Wanker of the Day

Fred Hiatt.

The Rules

Move On is a left wing extremist organization because it once held an open contest in which someone submitted an ad which compared Bush to Hitler which they promptly removed after it came to their attention.

And Tom DeLay is a respected former Congresman.


While I actually think "GAY VOODOO LIMBO TANGO AND WANGO DANCE" is perhaps the Best Name For A Dance Evah, this is pretty fucking disturbing.

Sinking Ships

The new Johnny Marr enhanced Modest Mouse album is actually pretty good. Not sure it stands out quite as much as some of their previous stuff, but it's more than a little enjoyable.


Big drop in new home sales this month, even with last month's being revised downwards.

...bit more from Bondad.


Bob Bauer writes about what really motivates the mainstream media when they fret about the internets.

Still, they happily handed control over to America's Assignment Editor, Matt Drudge, years ago. One should consider why they were comfortable with that.

Going Right

One of the never-discussed dirty little secrets of the newspaper industry is that many editorial pages in newspapers in major cities lean heavily right, especially relative to their potential local audience, and not just because of their heavy reliance on syndicated wingnuttery. With all the fretting about the death of the newspaper, perhaps it should occur to people that maybe people are tired of reading right wing horseshit.

Keyboard Kommandos

In dough-o-color.

Morning Thread


Oh My

Oh My:

Witnesses have told congressional investigators that the chief of the General Services Administration and a deputy in Karl Rove's political affairs office at the White House joined in a videoconference earlier this year with top GSA political appointees, who discussed ways to help Republican candidates.

With GSA Administrator Lurita Alexis Doan and up to 40 regional administrators on hand, J. Scott Jennings, the White House's deputy director of political affairs, gave a PowerPoint presentation on Jan. 26 of polling data about the 2006 elections.

When Jennings concluded his presentation to the GSA political appointees, Doan allegedly asked them how they could "help 'our candidates' in the next elections," according to a March 6 letter to Doan from Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Waxman said in the letter that one method suggested was using "targeted public events, such as the opening of federal facilities around the country."

On Wednesday, Doan is scheduled to appear before Waxman's committee to answer questions about the videoconference and other issues. The committee is investigating whether remarks made during the videoconference violated the Hatch Act, a federal law that restricts executive-branch employees from using their positions for political purposes. Those found in violation of the act do not face criminal penalties but can be removed from their jobs.



None of this is about Alberto Gonzales. This is about the president and the White House, which is where this entire plan was hatched. Gonzales was just following orders, executing the president's plans. This is about this president and this White House, which ... let's be honest, everyone on both sides of the aisle already knows.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Fresh Thread


Mainstream Move On

I'm not sure I agree with everything in this Stoller post, but I think it's important to understand that it seems that many on "the left" have internalized the right wing talking point about Move On being a bunch of "left wing extremists" in some sense, and therefore expect them to be the standard bearer for the "far left." These terms are unhelpful and I don't mean any of them in a pejorative sense, but I've long been fascinated by how easy it was to try to portray the very mainstream generally and very "sensible" Move On as a bunch of insane Stalinists (okay, insane Stalinists is probably pejorative).

Whether you think it's a good or a bad thing, or whether you agree or disagree with them on issues and strategies, the fact is that Move On has never been particularly "left."

Divided Lives


And that's the assumption that it's either work or family, that there's two boxes, and you either pick one or the other. I see this a lot in discussions online and with friends, this idea about your life being divided, this part and that part and it's your job to parcel out time to each thing like a mother bird dividing up food into hungry squawking mouths.

It's something I find quite odd, and after living in Europe for awhile I realized it was an especially American thing to divide up your life into distinct bits.


Over there:

BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Two roadside bomb attacks killed five U.S. soldiers in Iraq Sunday, according to the U.S. military. Four Task Force Lightning Soldiers were killed and two others were wounded when a bomb exploded near their patrol in Diyala Province, the military said.

Another U.S. soldier was killed and two others were wounded when by a roadside bomb blast in northwest Baghdad, the military said. The soldier was involved in a route-clearance mission, the military said. The names of the dead have not been released.

Memories of George Will

From Alterman's Sound and Fury:

Rumors of a relationship between the self-declared 'thoroughly married' George Will and Lally Weymouth, globetrotting reporter, daughter of Post owner Katherine Graham,and former main squeeze of Left executioner Alexander Cockburn, were initially dismissed by Washington wags as too good to be true. When the rumors panned out and Will left his wife and children to buy a $990,000 house a few blocks away from his family in Chevy Chase only to see, according to the Washingtonian, his office furniture left on his front lawn with a note reading "Take it somewhere else, Buster," the cocktail party circuit exploded. Will and Weymouth both denied that the relationship had been romantic and threatened to sue the Washingtonian. The magazine offered to write a correction if it would be allowed to investigate the matter and interview Will's friends. The matter was dropped there....

Since breaking off with Weymouth, Will apparently found love again with former Reagan White House communications worker Mari Maseng, thirteen years his junior. The couple was married in Will's home on October 12, 1991.

Afternoon Thread

With peeps.

Go Go Gonzo Go


WASHINGTON, March 24 — An accumulating body of evidence is at odds with the statements of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales that he played little role in the deliberations over the dismissal of eight United States attorneys.

Mr. Gonzales has said he did not take part in any discussions of the dismissal effort, and left the planning and execution of the removals up to D. Kyle Sampson, his former chief of staff.

But e-mail messages and other documents released by the Justice Department in recent days suggest that Mr. Gonzales was told of the dismissal plan on at least two occasions, in 2005 when the plan was devised and again in late 2006 shortly before the firings were carried out.

Bush taped his "I Heart Abu G" radio address before the latest stuff came out.

Wanker of the Day

David Broder.

Sunday Bobbleheads

Document the atrocities.

BC's "This Week" — Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb.; breast cancer specialist Dr. Eric Winer; breast-cancer survivors.
CBS' "Face the Nation" — Sens. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; former U.S. Attorney H.E. "Bud" Cummins.
NBC's "Meet the Press" — Former U.S. attorneys David Inglesias and John McKay; Sens. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and Arlen Specter, R-Pa.
CNN's "Late Edition" — Samir Sumaidaie, Iraqi ambassador to U.S.; John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N.; Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah; Lanny Davis, former Clinton special counsel; Donna Brazile, Democratic strategist; Ed Gilles-pie, former RNC chairman.
"Fox News Sunday" — Sens. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Trent Lott, R-Miss.

Morning Thread

Good morning, kids! Don't forget your exercise!