Saturday, April 07, 2007

Late Night Thread

Now with more peeps.

Evening Thread

Have fun.

Posted by Hannah

The NYT article on the horrors of the pressures on upper middle class girls can be look at in a variety of different ways. I don't think it's right to dismiss it entirely, as the gendered expectations and challenges faced by our "elite" are important to understand, even if they don't always exactly inspire our sympathies. Still, the final post on a comment thread provides some useful perspective:
I am originally from a small town in Michigan but now am a junior at a college in Manhattan. I was not blessed with the funds to pursue an unlimited amount of extra-curricular activities, nor did I attend a public school loaded with opportunities. I am pleased with my choice of university and it took a lot of hard work to get here (on scholarship), but there is no possible way I could have gotten into an Ivy League school or any of the other schools these girls consider “the best.” Although I admire their dedication, they seem like the kind of “perfect” girls I loathed in high school. I’ll break it down this way: while perfect girls got to attend youth group, play tennis, take AP classes (my school only offered two), be in the student government, plan proms and get straight A’s, since the age of 15 I had to balance a full-time job with classes and a disruptive, sometimes violent family life. I have always been an advanced reader and writer and I believe my “passion” is what, ultimately, got me into college, but I had neither the time, money or resources to match these girls’ standards. And since moving to New York, I have realized that compared to the VAST majority of girls (and boys) in the world, I had it easy. Frankly, upon reading that one of the girls only (gasp!) got into Smith, it took all my strength not to laugh. It was a great article, but perhaps the Times should write a few stories about those amazing girls who aren’t lucky enough to get into Smith. Thankfully I’m no longer a senior in high school and I don’t have to watch scores of personality-challenged, lily-white rich kids ship off to Harvard like calves to the slaughter. I’m proud that I not only worked hard in high school, but managed to maintain a sense of myself. So now I can concentrate on what I want to do, even though I’m not at a brand-name university.

Uh, WaPo?

It's the president who signs the bills or, as in this case, refuses to.

Afternoon Thread



Ah, we remember it well. The EFPs which COULD ONLY HAVE BEEN MADE IN IRAN. Much like the anthrax which COULD HAVE ONLY BEEN MADE IN IRAQ

Front page NYT story, 2/20/07:

The most lethal weapon directed against American troops in Iraq is an explosive-packed cylinder that United States intelligence asserts is being supplied by Iran.

Except, you know, not.

Bleichwehl said troops, facing scattered resistance, discovered a factory that produced "explosively formed penetrators" (EFPs), a particularly deadly type of explosive that can destroy a main battle tank and several weapons caches.

Burrrp burrp! Does not compute! Does not compute! Washington Post version of the story, as captured by Google News "1 hour ago."

That paragraph is now missing from that WaPo version of the story. But you do have this:

The U.S. military said two U.S. soldiers died in separate roadside bombings in the east and west of Baghdad on Friday.

One of the bombs was an explosively formed projectile, a particularly deadly type of device which Washington accuses Iran of supplying Iraqi militants.

Greenwald flashback has more about Michael Gordon

(ht lg&m)

Decisive Period

One F.U. and two days ago George Casey said:

This is a decisive period for everyone and everyone knows it. The next six months will determine the future of Iraq.

Any idea what we've decided?

Wanker of the Day

The Ole Perfesser.

Iraq 4ever!

Now there's some political smarts. Take the most important and most unpopular issue in the country and hang it around your neck like an anchor.

And, then, the real issue is what's he going to say 1 F.U. from now? Or 2? Or 3?

Baghdad John is not so smart.

Philadelphia Spring

I should know to never get suckered in:

Mostly cloudy. A chance of snow this morning...then a slight chance of snow showers this afternoon. Highs in the lower 40s. Northwest winds 10 to 20 mph with gusts up to 25 mph. Chance of snow 50 percent.

Fall, on the other hand, is usually great.

Morning Thread

Yes, I am your monkey.

--Molly Ivors
h/t simels

Friday, April 06, 2007

Fresh Thread

Stay away from the Tastee-Freez.

I warned you.

Open Thread

"Hillary Clinton is running for president. She set a fundraising record---she's already raised 26 million dollars. That's a lot of money. To put that in perspective, that is more money than President Bush lost in all the years he was a businessman."
---Jimmy Kimmel

Via Bill in Portland, Maine:

Evening Thread



CNN sez Goodling is resigning.

Tell Us What They Really Think

Fred Hiatt, in the tank.

90s All Over Again

Color Guard and Choir?

Sometimes people mystify me.

Make sure to watch the video.

Things I Learn From CNN

This morning:

I think so. And in fact, Assad has been meeting with all kind of American congressmen over this past week, some of them Republicans. He met with five Republicans, Frank Wolf, Republican from Virginia new full well that the administration didn't want him going there and he said, I don't care what the administration says and he went on and held his meetings. But he's one of 435, it's just different. It's perceptual politics and it's perceptual diplomacy and if Pelosi didn't realize that before, she does now.

Actually I don't know what the fuck I just learned because that made no sense at all.

More Clinton

Matt's right that some Clinton supporters might be dissuaded if they knew some of her policy positions. So, yes, in some sense some of Clinton's support, as with the rest of the candidates, might be based on voter ignorance. But the point I'm trying to make is that there are a lot of people who really like Clinton. Maybe they don't agree with her on every issue, and maybe they would disagree with her more on issues if they actually knew more. But lots of people really respect Clinton. They admire her. They believe she would be a good president. They'd be more than happy to trust her with the job. It's that basic fact - plenty of people really like and respect Hillary Clinton - which I see left out of a lot of the online chatter about her campaign.

I'm not trying to make the case for Hillary Clinton, I'm just saying that there are plenty of people who would really like her to be president not simply because of name recognition or Clinton nostalgia. In other words, she has actual supporters.

More Atheists

Responding to a couple of comments in the thread below, I wasn't accusing Dionne of being hostile to atheists or atheism. I just think that he's reacting to "ornery" or "uppity" atheists for engaging in the kind of discourse which is commonplace among believers.

Wanker of the Day

Matt Lauer.

Level Playing Field

I don't know why EJ Dionne gets upset when a couple of atheists start talking about their atheism with the level of certainty that religious people do on a regular basis. I'm not interested in convincing people to abandon their religion mostly because discussion of religion bores the hell out of me. I also think asking whether religion is, in the net, a benovelent or malevolent force is sort of like asking if the weather is a benevolent or malevolent force. Religious belief and institutions are so dominant in our history that one can't try to isolate them and question their value.

Still, the "dogmatism" Dionne discusses isn't limited to those normally characterized as fundamentalists or the Christian Right, it's there for even the new more lovable public face of Christianity, Rick Warren, who doesn't believe in evolution and believes Jews (and, presumably, most of the rest of the world) are going to Hell. He comes off pretty absurdly in this discussion with Sam Harris, and reminds me why discussing religion bores me to death. Consider the intellectual vacuity of this argument:

We're both betting. He's betting his life that he's right. I'm betting my life that Jesus was not a liar. When we die, if he's right, I've lost nothing. If I'm right, he's lost everything. I'm not willing to make that gamble.

This is the kind of argument an 11 year can take down, as obviously Rick Warren has "lost everything" if his failure to put on a pirate costume and genuflect to the Flying Spaghetti Monster will doom him to to an eternity of being beaten by a noodly appendage.

As I said, I personally am not interested in confronting believers and trying to convince them of "the error of their ways," but the proselytizing of Harris, even in the mean scary quotes Dionne provides, is at its most strident rather meek and mild compared to the equivalent proselytizing from believers which is a steady drumbeat in our mainstream discourse. I'm sure some people agree with things Harris says and some don't, as some agree with Warren and some don't. I'm not trying to suggest a pure equivalence between the two, I'm just saying that to object to Harris's "dogmatism" is to object to Warren's, which Dionne doesn't care to do.


djw wonders why Clinton is the 2nd choice for many Edwards and Obama supporters. I think there's something to the various reasons people suggest - she has the highest name recognition, her support reflects the popularity of her husband - but I really think people are probably wrong to think that these are the sole reasons. Clinton has a lot of genuine support which isn't there simply because of ignorance or nostalgia, and people who don't want her to be the nominee should come to terms with that if they wish to oppose her/support someone else. I'm not saying that support is fixed, just that believe it or not a lot of people support Clinton because they like her.

Make Some More Noise

Tell CNN to get the facts right on Pelosi trip

For much of the past week, CNN and its White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux have offered a steady stream of inaccurate and incomplete coverage of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) trip to the Middle East and her April 3 meeting with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

Please join Media Matters for America in demanding that CNN and Malveaux stop misinforming viewers about Pelosi's trip and present all the facts. CNN's contact information can be found in our "Take Action!" sidebar on the right.

Since April 2, Malveaux has wrongly and repeatedly claimed that Pelosi had no "standing" and was not acting in an "official capacity," has attacked the trip as "political theater" and a "political stunt," and has parroted the Bush administration's attacks on Pelosi for going to Syria while ignoring the fact that a Republican-led delegation met with Assad on April 1. Most recently, Malveaux asked whether Pelosi's trip was a "big wet kiss to President Al-Assad."

Other CNN personalities have joined in as well. Lou Dobbs devoted an entire segment to "Pelosi's bad trip," while the April 3 edition of Anderson Cooper 360 featured a segment on Pelosi's trip titled "Talking to Terrorists."

After several days of inaccurate, one-sided coverage, it's time to tell CNN enough is enough. It's time to take action.

Use the contact information in our "Take Action!" sidebar to contact CNN, Malveaux, and Dobbs -- and be sure to tell your friends.

Take Action!

Contact information:

One CNN Center, Box 105366, Atlanta, GA 30303-5366
Phone: 404-827-1500
Fax: 404-827-1906

When contacting the media, please be polite and professional. Express your specific concerns regarding that particular news report or commentary, and be sure to indicate exactly what you would like the media outlet to do differently in the future.

And the Overs Win!

I lose. +180K news jobs.


Over there:

Iraqi security officials say a suicide car bomber struck a police checkpoint in western Ramadi Friday, killing at least 20 people and wounding 30 others.

A top local police official said two policemen were among the dead.

Morning Thread

Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit amphetamines.

Thursday, April 05, 2007


Blogs suck.

Kill Bill

In the 3rd part, Jesus kills Bill Donohue.

I have no opinion about whether that is actually something Jesus would do. Maybe CNN will answer that question during an upcoming special.

A Bit of 30 Rock Fun

Since people are unsure whether to watch.

None Of It IsTrue

After a couple of days of the Malveux Faux News Network, I needed this.


New jobs report out tomorrow AM. Consensus forecast is +135K jobs. I'll take the under bet, as usual, as if I'd been making it consistently with real money during the Bush administration I'd be a wealthy man.

Saying Nice Things About a Republican

I haven't been following post-Jeb Florida politics at all, so I can't comment on the guy generally, but kudos to him for this:

Over the strong objections of one Republican, Florida's clemency board has worked out a deal with Gov. Charlie Crist to allow most felons released from prison to have their voting and other civil rights restored.

Under a rule approved Thursday, all but the most violent felons would avoid the need to get on a long list for a hearing before the board, which sometimes takes years.

I've never understood why felons should be disenfranchised, post-incarceration. While this still makes some convicted of violent felonies get on the list, it's progress.

Fresh Thread


Make Some Noise

Tell CNN to get the facts right on Pelosi trip

For much of the past week, CNN and its White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux have offered a steady stream of inaccurate and incomplete coverage of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA) trip to the Middle East and her April 3 meeting with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

Please join Media Matters for America in demanding that CNN and Malveaux stop misinforming viewers about Pelosi's trip and present all the facts. CNN's contact information can be found in our "Take Action!" sidebar on the right.

Since April 2, Malveaux has wrongly and repeatedly claimed that Pelosi had no "standing" and was not acting in an "official capacity," has attacked the trip as "political theater" and a "political stunt," and has parroted the Bush administration's attacks on Pelosi for going to Syria while ignoring the fact that a Republican-led delegation met with Assad on April 1. Most recently, Malveaux asked whether Pelosi's trip was a "big wet kiss to President Al-Assad."

Other CNN personalities have joined in as well. Lou Dobbs devoted an entire segment to "Pelosi's bad trip," while the April 3 edition of Anderson Cooper 360 featured a segment on Pelosi's trip titled "Talking to Terrorists."

After several days of inaccurate, one-sided coverage, it's time to tell CNN enough is enough. It's time to take action.

Use the contact information in our "Take Action!" sidebar to contact CNN, Malveaux, and Dobbs -- and be sure to tell your friends.

Take Action!

Contact information:

One CNN Center, Box 105366, Atlanta, GA 30303-5366
Phone: 404-827-1500
Fax: 404-827-1906

When contacting the media, please be polite and professional. Express your specific concerns regarding that particular news report or commentary, and be sure to indicate exactly what you would like the media outlet to do differently in the future.

Almost Have to Respect Rudy

He's either more honest than I expected or no one has sat him down and taught him the proper code words on this issue.

Weird, really. If he knew the right language he could get away with expressing almost the same thing without pissing off every conservative voter.

"Pelosi Facing More Criticism"

CNN chyron, catapulting the propaganda from the Washington Post.

You know, usually these fake controversies require some nudging from the right wing noise machine, but this one has been almost entirely driven by CNN and the Post.


Justin Rood says there's an investigation:

Another federal investigation is targeting a Bush administration official, this time for possibly using government resources for partisan political purposes.

The Office of Special Counsel confirmed to ABC News it has launched an investigation into General Services Administration chief Lurita Doan, probing concerns she may have violated a ban against conducting partisan political activity at government expense by participating in a meeting featuring a presentation by a White House political aide on GOP election strategy.

Give To Your Favorite Blogger Day

Yes, it's just a stupid hobby and how dare people think they should get paid for their hobbies, blah blah blah, but if you think bloggers have value in the world consider giving them a donation. Today would be a decent day. It takes time to build an audience and a reputation which allows you to have much influence in the world, and at some point it's something which people find hard to justify to themselves and their families. While a few of us make some scratch doing this, most people don't.

This isn't a pitch for this blog, btw, so go throw a few bucks to someone else.

21 Percenter

Like Booman, I'm in the "don't know" category with respect to the Philly mayoral race.

We're ABC News, Bitches!

And how could we forget that ABC News, the publisher of Halperin's odious note, was the 2006 misinformer of the year! (technically, all of ABC, as Path to 9/11 played a part)


Pretty much:

Brian Montopoli: It seems that some reporters, including yourself and CNN's Michael Ware, have really taken umbrage at John McCain's recent comments, essentially saying that there are a lot of neighborhoods where you can walk around relatively safely. Is it fair to say that that really sort of bothered reporters?

Allen Pizzey: Yes. It's disgraceful for a man seeking highest office, I think, to talk utter rubbish. And that is utter rubbish. It's electoral propaganda. It is simply not true. No one in his right mind who has been to Baghdad believes that story.

Now, McCain and some other senators were there on Sunday, and they claimed, "Oh, we walked around for a whole hour…and we drove in from the airport. Gosh, aren't we great, we drove in from the airport." Excuse me, Mr. McCain, you drove in in a large convoy of heavily armed vehicles. The last one had a sign on it saying "Keep back 100 yards. Deadly force authorized." Every single car that they approached or passed pulled over and stopped, because that's the way it is. When one of those security details goes by, every ordinary person gets the hell out of the way, in case they get shot.

If he did walk around that market, and I didn't see him do it, and he didn't announce he was going to do it, you can bet your life there were an awful lot of soldiers deployed to make sure that nobody came near that place. He's talking rubbish. And he should not get away with it.

Proud Democrat

The key to capitalizing on the public's discontent with Republicans is to make sure people know you're a Democrat and that the other guy (or gal) is a Republican. I fear this concept goes against the instincts which exist deep in the Washington DNA.

People know Republican politicians are usually assholes, they just need to be reminded of that fact now and again.



I continue to be puzzled why the usually astute folks at the Pew Center for The People and the Press are pushing this angle that news consumers aren't interested in the unfolding AG purge story; a mini-meme that has spread throughout the Beltway. Last week, Media Matters detailed the flaws in the Pew narrative. Yet this week, Pew returned with this headline: Attorney Firings: Important but Not Interesting. There's no doubt people think the story's important to the country; a whopping 68 percent, according to Pew's own numbers. Yet the "not interesting" angle remains very thin. Again, Pew's most recent survey shows 20 percent of Americans are paying "very close" attention to the scandal. And although Pew reports it's "only" 20 percent, that 20 percent puts Purge-gate right on par with the percentage of people who were paying very close attention to the Janet Jackson Super Bowl controversy (February 2004), the murder of Laci Peterson (July 2003), the Senate impeachment trial of President Clinton (January 1999), and the O.J. Simpson trial (July 1995). In fact, that 20 percent, in terms of real-time news consumer interest, puts Purge-gate ahead of the campaign examination of Bill Clinton's alleged extramarital affairs (March 1992), Paula Jones' sexual harassment accusations (May 1994), and the Whitewater investigation (July 1996). I don't recall much media chatter back then about how those sordid Clinton stories were "not interesting."

We're ABC News, Bitches!

Regarding Greenwald's discussion.

Good Morning America, April 3, 2003.

And this morning we have new details about Private Jessica Lynch's capture. Even though she had been shot and wounded, and watched other soldiers in her unit die, we're told that she kept shooting at Iraqis until she ran out of ammunition. One US official saying she didn't want to be taken alive. And this morning, she's recovering at a US hospital in Germany. In minutes, we're gonna talk with her mother and brother who spoke with her just this morning.

Good Morning America, April 4, 2003.

Well, we want to bring you the news now, the latest this morning on Private Jessica Lynch. As we said, it's been confirmed she was not shot, she was not stabbed. Doctors are tending her wounds, which include two broken legs, a broken arm, a fractured disk. And Mike Lee is live with us this morning with Landstuhl Medical Center and Germany's latest information. Mike, over to you.

April 6, 2003:

More details from US officials on the rescue of Private Lynch. As US troops stormed the Iraqi hospital where she was being held and reportedly beaten, one of the team yelled out, we are United States soldiers and we're here to protect you and take you home. Jessica peered out from under a sheet and said, I'm an American soldier, too. When told that eight members of Jessica's unit had been confirmed killed, her father was taken by surprise and struggled with his emotions.

April 7, 2003:

Officials tell ABC News some of the fractures she received may have been from a small-caliber weapon fired at close range. Yesterday, she had another operation to clean her wounds. And she's now seen her family since they arrived at her hospital in Germany.

World News Tonight, 5/7/03.

Private Lynch hadn't been shot in a firefight, as earlier reports suggested. Her doctors say she appeared to have broken her leg when her truck overturned. She wasn't mistreated either, according to the staff. She was frightened, of course.

GMA, 5/12/03:

A promising reporting caught making up, simply making up some of the big front page news stories, from the suburban sniper to Jessica Lynch. Can you really trust reporters? More on that later.

Looking Forward to Fred Hiatt's Condemning Op-Ed

Oh ha ha ha, just kidding. IOKIYAR.

Chris Satullo, America's Worst Editorial Page Editor

Here in Philadelphia, among our many other problems, we're cursed with America's Worst Editorial Page EditorTM, Chris Satullo. When he isn't busy channeling David Broder through the prose stylings of Jeff Foxworthy, he's publishing ridiculous factfree marketing horseshit. (try this link if that one doesn't work).

Edwards Surging! Obama Tanking!

Just kidding, of course, though Edwards moves from 17 to 19 and Obama moves from 19 to 17 in the latest Cook poll. As impressive as Obama's polling and fundraising has been, the dominant narrative of this as a battle between Clinton and Obama has been a bit silly.

More interesting in the poll results is the fact that Obama/Edwards supporters don't seem inclined to support the other one. Clinton is a popular 2nd choice as well as 1st one, and when Obama or Edwards are excluded from the poll their support largely shifts to Clinton.

And, yes, it's early and national polls are silly and when I find myself talking about this stuff too much I want to shoot myself in the face.

Pundits and Pony Plans

There are times I am puzzled about the fact that a dirty fucking hippie like me has a greater understand of how the world works than Wise Old Men like David Ignatius. Consider:

The Democrats' problem is that they seem determined to join the Bush administration in doubling down bad bets on Iraq. In the Democrats' case, the mistaken gamble is that by imposing a Washington timetable for troop withdrawal, America will compel good behavior from the fratricidal Iraqis. That idea is naive. But then, so is the Bush administration's politically divisive strategy for an open-ended troop surge in Baghdad. No matter how clever Gen. David Petraeus's battle plan, it won't work unless it can be sustained politically, in Baghdad and Washington. The crucial asset for Petraeus is time, which in turn is a function of political consensus at home. And that asset is wasting, even as the number of U.S. troops goes up.

Here we return to Hamilton, co-chairman of the Iraq Study Group, and his partner on the other side of the bipartisan hyphen, former secretary of state James A. Baker III. Four months after its release, the Baker-Hamilton report still looks like the best way to unite Democrats and Republicans before there is a dangerous collision over funding for the war. The report has something for everyone: It shares the Democrats' goal of withdrawing most U.S. troops by March 2008 and stresses the need for milestones in Iraq. But it endorses the Bush administration's view that milestones should be jointly negotiated with the Iraqi government, rather than imposed by Washington. And it recognizes that troop withdrawals must be contingent on political and military conditions on the ground.

But of course the Democrats don't have any power to negotiate milestones with the Iraqi government. And no matter how many shiny objects they wave in Ignatius's face, the fact remains that George W. Bush has no intention of leaving Iraq. He's made this clear many, many times. There are no milestones being negotiated. There are no conditions on the ground which would cause Bush to start withdrawing troops. There is no conceptual definition of the pony such that when we find it we will start to end the war.

Leaving is losing. That's the Bush doctrine. You either embrace what the Democrats are offering, or you embrace Bush's "leaving is losing" plan. The Magical Pundit Pony Plan, which will never happen, is only about gazing at yourself in the mirror so you can marvel at how much smarter you are than all the politicians, instead of bothering to make the choice between the actual options.

4 years later I am so sick of every "what we really need to do in Iraq" column which gets published. None Of That Is Going To Happen. We either stay there under George Bush, or we start to get the fuck out. You don't get to micromanage the war.

Counting Jews and Grilling Puppies

Who amongst us does not enjoy counting Jews? Who amongst us does not enjoy the tantalizing aroma of grilled puppy?


Fukuyama comes out in favor of Yurp and against belief in God.

Silly Francis just doesn't understand that by the year 2070 Yurp will be 160% fanatical Muslims bent on destroying the rest of the world, or so right wing blogs keep telling me.

Wanker of the Day

Fred Hiatt.

(first suggestion of wankery from trifecta)

Spinning into Oblivion

This piece in the New York Times provides a pretty good assessment of the absurd business decisions the music industry has taken over the past decade.

Morning Thread


Late Night

Rock on.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Run, Newt, Run!



Over there:

WASHINGTON Two soldiers killed in Iraq in February may have died as a result of friendly fire, Army officials said Wednesday, not from enemy fire, as the press reported.

The military suspected friendly fire later in February but did not inform the dead soldiers' families of these new doubts.

One of the soldier's died just hours after arriving in Iraq -- and was one of those troops rushed to the country in the "surge" who did not receive full training.

More Thread

Rock on!

New thread

My Liar of the Week is Orrin Hatch.

Fresh Thread

Yes, dear readers, I must go out for a few hours. Possible discussion topics while I'm gone:

1) Who has the awesomest/shittiest blogs

2) Mac or PC?

3) City mouse, country mouse?

4) Edwards vs Obama


While Rudy is still implying that those fine conservative judges he'd appoint might well overturn Roe v. Wade, he just made pretty clear what he thinks the law should be:

But it is your choice, an individual right. You get to make that choice, and I don't think society should be putting you in jail.

Even the first sentence and a half could be construed as being prefaced by "Given the currrent Supreme Court Ruling," but the last part isn't connected to that:

I don't think society should be putting you in jail.

There you go.

...and, he supports public funding for abortion.

I'm still curious about the all important Matt Drudge primary. Drudge has long hated McCain, though whether that's still true I have no idea (his fronting with McCain's forehead spot suggests he still does). Drudge is extremely anti-abortion, so it's hard to see how he doesn't start ragging on St. Rudy too, as well as Multiple Choice Mitt.


I think this Republican might be overestimating the president's popularity.

Richard Gere Talks to Diane Sawyer

Your liberal media:


This is just the beginning because it goes further and further into madness, into crazy political stuff. And...


(Off-camera) And what's real and not real.


I think with some real resonance about today as well.


(Off-camera) Yeah.


Presidents who lie, cabinets who lie, you know, all kinds of fiddling...


(Off-camera) You're on your own here, you know?


I know that. You weren't gonna come back at all.


(Off-camera) No. I'm not.


No. And we have two wars too. There's a resonance with the Vietnam War and there's a resonance with the war in Iraq.


(Off-camera) Hmm.


Two wars that started with lies.


(Off-camera) And...


You're not gonna go there with me?


(Off-camera) No, I'm not. I'm going to just put up a little...


Why not?


(Off-camera) ...'The commentary is the view of the, of Mr. Gere and not this, certainly, this network." Anyway, I wanna ask about Homer, age seven.

Very Simple


"The bottom line is this," Bush said. "Congress's failure to fund our troops on the front lines will mean that some of our military families could wait longer for their loved ones to return from the front lines. And others could see their loved ones headed back to the war earlier than they need to. That is unacceptable to me, and I believe it is unacceptable to the American people."

There's so much to unpack just in that one paragraph alone. For one, strictly speaking it's not Congress that would be failing to fund the troops, it would be Bush's veto. Bush of course has promised to veto the bill precisely because it requires him to withdraw troops sooner than he wants, not later. And the American public is overwhelmingly in favor of such a withdrawal.

Turn Them Over

Waxman wants emails.

If this really was their scheme, then Rove must have really been counting on "the math" last November...

Fresh Thread


Over 100,000 Donors

Forget Obama's apparent $25 million haul, according to the teevee, it's the 100,000 donors which are impressive.

...and, the press release:

Over 100,000 People Donate to Obama Campaign in First Quarter

Campaign Raises At Least $25 Million, At Least $23.5 Million for Primary

Chicago, IL- The Obama for America campaign today announced that it will report raising at least $25 million from more than 100,000 people in the first quarter of 2007, with at least $23.5 million eligible to be spent in the Democratic primary.

“This overwhelming response, in only a few short weeks, shows the hunger for a different kind of politics in this country and a belief at the grassroots level that Barack Obama can bring out the best in America to solve our problems,” said Obama for America Finance Chair Penny Pritzker.

The Obama campaign raised $6.9 million over the Internet from more than 50,000 donors.

I've Having Flashbacks

To the US-China spy plane incident.

Fighting Wingnuttery With Wingnuttery

Just when I think they can't get any more fucking stupid.

...adding, to make the obvious point, I've bowed my head to "pray" in church, I've worn yarmulkes in Synagogue, etc. It's called respect.

How Many Days Did That Take

As I said, White House Spin is reported simply as news for the first round or two, and then slowly some facts might creep in.

To President Bush, they are "pork-barrel projects completely unrelated to the war," items in the House and Senate war-spending bills such as peanut storage facilities and aid to spinach farmers that insult the seriousness of the conflict and exist only to buy votes.

But such spending has been part of Iraq funding bills since the war began, sometimes inserted by the president himself, sometimes added by lawmakers with bipartisan aplomb. A few of the items may have weighed on the votes for spending bills that have now topped half a trillion dollars, but, in almost all cases over the past four years, special-interest funding provisions have been the fruits of congressional opportunism by well-placed senators or House members grabbing what they could for their constituents on the one bill that had to be passed quickly.

Creeping Dick

This really is just weird.

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times


Digby tries to remind Iraq wingnuts of what those of who have watched Michael Ware's reporting for some time understand - he's one of them, but he doesn't seem to believe in making stuff up.

Morning Thread


Tuesday, April 03, 2007


Amanda discusses us assholes with opinions. There's a lot which could be written about this subject, and not just from a blogger perspective, but a big part of it is about those who think political power and discourse should be in the hands of elites, and those who think otherwise. There's a large amount of paternalistic elitism which runs through many, the belief that governance is too important for the orthodontists and the rest of the rabble to have much to do with it and that essentially Democracy is a nice fantasy we should maintain without embracing the reality.

It's an argument which would have more merit if the elites in our discourse hadn't gotten basically everything wrong over the past decade.


I had no idea John was so powerful.

I'd better be nicer to him.

Open Yarn


Evening Thread


This Is Definitely Good For Republicans

It always is.

Creeping Dick

Why is he lurking in the shrubbery?


Boehlert writes about Halperin's departure from the Note.

For instance, The Note actually thought the Terri Schiavo right-to-die debacle was going to be a home run for Republicans. "[T]he Republican leadership seems to have succeeded in framing the discourse around a moral question," wrote The Note at the time, faithfully regurgitating GOP spin.

The Note thought Republicans were winning the post-Katrina spin war: "Mr. Bush still hasn't found his footing or his voice on this story, but his side clearly won the last news cycle in raw political terms."

During the 2006 congressional debate about withdrawing troops from Iraq, The Note thought the Democrats' anti-war agenda -- the same agenda that won them control of the House and Senate in November -- was a huge loser. In other words, they were "on the precipice of making Iraq a 2006 political winner for the Republican Party," in part because "Democrats remain united in their disunity, defensiveness, and distraction." That's right, The Note, deftly reading off Karl Rove's notes, announced Iraq was an electoral problem for the Democrats. ("If I were them," Halperin said of Democrats during a June 22, 2006, interview, "I'd be scared to death about November's elections.")

In June of last year, The Note was confident that "[t]he Democrats still don't actually have enough Senate seats in play to take control of the Senate (or a national message)." Around the same time, The Note accused the Democrats of rooting for more U.S. casualties in Iraq to help the party's political fortunes at home.

Too Much Credit


A bunch of reporters got played on this one. And now they're too embarrassed to retrace their steps.

They didn't get played. They knew what they were doing. The press is just in the habit of reporting White House spin as news in and of itself, at least for the first round. It's habit.

They Write Letters

John Conyers writes to Monica "Buzz Saw" Goodling.

We have reviewed Ms. Goodling’s declaration and the letters you sent to us and Senator Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and we are concerned that several of the asserted grounds for refusing to testify do not satisfy the well-established bases for a proper invocation of the Fifth Amendment against self- incrimination. In addition, of course, the Fifth Amendment privilege, under long-standing Supreme Court precedents, does not provide a reason to fail to appear to testify; the privilege must be invoked by the witness on a question-by-question basis.

Fast Trains

Since people are excited about fast trains, it's worth pointing out that the "emergency supplemental" money giving Bush $100 billion for his pet war could build a lovely fast train from San Francisco to San Diego, with about $70 billion to spare.

McCain's Folly

It occurs to me that Grover understands what Baghdad John does not; it was never about the Iraq war, it was always about supporting Bush. Baghdad John has never been all that consistent with the latter, so his consistent support for the former means nothing to people.



If the President vetoes this bill he will have delayed funding for troops and kept in place his strategy for failure.

Grover Might Be Right

GFR quotes Grover Norquist:

The base isn't interested in Iraq. The base is for Bush. If Bush said tomorrow, we're leaving in two months, there would be no revolt.

It's hard for non-lizard brain people to see how they could pivot on a dime like that, but noted Bush basers like Glenn Reynolds spent years arguing against more troops in Iraq then immediately went to arguing the opposite as soon as Dear Leader said it was a good idea.

So, yeah, Grover's probably right. They'd just need to create some fake political event to allow them to declare victory and go home.

But Bush won't do it. And the 30 percenters are happy to stay in Iraq just as they'd be happy to leave. Whatever Dear Leader says is fine with them.

Wanker of the Day

George W. Bush.

Bush Fatigue

After all this time I still find the contextless parroting of whatever Bush says by the news media to be rather depressing. It is news when the president says something, but it's bigger news when he's full of shit.


When August comes, they'll throw in for another Friedman.

It's easy to gamble with other peoples' lives.

Oooga Booga

Word is we're going to get another dose of Strident Bush, lecturing those Democrats, or something. I suppose it'll be about accusing Pelosi of treason as CNN has been dutifully not pointing out all of the Republican members of Congress who have been visiting Syria.

Morning Thread

Okay, who ate crackers in bed?

--Molly Ivors

Monday, April 02, 2007


Rock on.


We surely will miss her steady optimism.

WASHINGTON - President Bush is losing his top day-to-day adviser on Iraq, the White House confirmed Monday.

Meghan L. O'Sullivan, who has played a key behind-the-scenes role in implementing Bush's controversial Iraq policies over the past four years, will leave later this spring.

Her departure, which follows that of her deputy, could leave the White House with a vacuum of long-term experience on Iraq policy, and it comes as Bush and the Democratic-controlled Congress prepare for a showdown over withdrawing U.S. troops.

O'Sullivan, 37, known for her 100-hour work weeks and steady optimism over the eventual outcome in Iraq, said in an interview that with the completion of months-long reviews of policy in Iraq and Afghanistan - which she also oversees - she felt it was the right time for a change.

Fresh Thread

Don't fear the reaper.

Future Punditry

There will come a time, perhaps around a year from now, when the drumbeat will start to sound. All kinds of insiders will talk about how it would be in poor taste to tie the Republican nominee to George Bush, the most disliked person in America, that no matter what the polls say the people just want to move on, blabbity blah.

don't listen!

Matt Drudge Rules His World

Instapundit versus reality.


Digby writes:

I would suggest that it was when the Democrats finally took the issue of Iraq seriously that the country began to take them seriously. And it wasn't because it was a "daddy issue." It was because it was the most important issue on the table. It still is.

It's long been frustrating how very serious people in Washington have, for years, believed that being seen as strong leaders on national security issues meant lining up behind George Bush and say "yes, sir." Leadership requires... leading.

People hate George Bush and hate the war. The public would be behind literally any possible course of action the Democrats choose to take to get out of there.

Beaten by the Mittster

This fundraising stuff is generally mostly boring but I am rather fascinated by who Republicans are giving money to. Saint McCain was outraised by Clinton, presumably Obama, Edwards, the Mittster, and Saint Rudy.

Faux News

They aren't even pretending anymore, not that they ever really did.

Wanker of the Day

Jonathan Weisman.

The Mittster

So, Mr. 3% raked in $23 million, according to the teevee.

Republicans with fat wallets sure are funny.

Panty Sniffing Press

Mistah Kurtz speaks some truth:

Nothing the New York senator says or does will ever be as fascinating to journalists as her marital situation.

Praying to the Pope

According to CNN's "faith and values correspondent" - can't have one without the other - the "miracle nun" whose cure might lead to JP II's sainthood had to have prayed not to God but to the pope for the miracle to count for this purpose.

I find this all rather odd.

Things Which Make Me Want To Shoot People In The Face

People who bitch about other peoples' blogrolls who don't even have a blogroll on their main page, but just a link to one.

They Write Press Releases


Washington D.C. -­ U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced today that they are introducing legislation that will effectively end the current military mission in Iraq and begin the redeployment of U.S. forces. The bill requires the President to begin safely redeploying U.S. troops from Iraq 120 days from enactment, as required by the emergency supplemental spending bill the Senate passed last week. The bill ends funding for the war, with three narrow exceptions, effective March 31, 2008.

“I am pleased to cosponsor Senator Feingold’s important legislation,” Reid said. “I believe it is consistent with the language included in the supplemental appropriations bill passed by a bipartisan majority of the Senate. If the President vetoes the supplemental appropriations bill and continues to resist changing course in Iraq, I will work to ensure this legislation receives a vote in the Senate in the next work period.”

“I am delighted to be working with the Majority Leader to bring our involvement in the Iraq war to an end,” Feingold said. “Congress has a responsibility to end a war that is opposed by the American people and is undermining our national security. By ending funding for the President’s failed Iraq policy, our bill requires the President to safely redeploy our troops from Iraq.”

Morning Thread



Rock on.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

I'm John McCain, Bitches!

I think it's worth spending a couple of moments pondering just how low Saint John Straight Talk "Maverick" McCain has sunk.

Last week he laid down his marker. He said yo my bitches - and by his bitches, we mean the media which are his "crazy base land" - your reporting is wack! There are safe neighborhoods in Baghdad!

Then he went to Iraq. He could've walked through one of those neighborhoods. And, hell, he's macho John McCain! Tough guy Saint John! He's got bigger balls than you do! If anyone can swagger down the streets of Baghdad with nothing but his grimace and glare to keep himself safe, it's fucking John McCain!

Now, realistically, I wouldn't have expected even Fucking John McCain to wander down random Baghdad streets unaccompanied. But you would've thought he'd have more self respect than to do it with 100 soldiers, 3 Blackhawks, 2 Apaches, and then have the balls - well, I guess here is where his mighty balls do their job - to pretend it was a stroll through the park.

I don't know whether to be more amazed by how full of shit he is or the fact that some in the media are actually choosing to report on that fact.

A Wank of Wankers

Some days require two wankers of the day.

The Magic of the Internets


I wish Joe Klein had been allowed to spit out whatever it was he was trying to say, because he seemed to be contradicting Mitchell's account.

Regardless, her account is disturbing for several reasons. First, I think it is inappropriate for the commanding general in Iraq to meet privately with the Republican caucus to plot a legislative strategy for dealing with the Democrats. And that is what it appears Mitchell was reporting.

Fortunately, Joe Klein has another opportunity to spit it out! On the glorious and wonderful internets! Let's hope he explains just what his point of disagreement with Mitchell was.

Just Another Day At The Market

Brave, brave, Sir John:

Baghdad, April 1, 2007. It wasn't your typical Sunday stroll. A Republican congressional delegation led by Sen. John McCain popped by the Shorja market in Baghdad this afternoon, a stop on an unannounced Iraq trip. They spent over an hour browsing market stalls, chatting with locals and drinking chai. "I bought five carpets for five bucks," Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina gushed at a presser shortly after the visit. (A helluva bargain by any measure).

Ahh springtime in Baghdad - or is it campaign season in the United States? As political theater goes, McCain couldn't have asked for much more. On a radio talk show last week, the Arizona senator said, "There are neighborhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through - today." Later in the week, CNN reporter Michael Ware blasted the claim, "I don't know what part of Neverland Senator McCain is talking about when he says we can go strolling in Baghdad." He later added, "I'd love Senator McCain to tell me where that neighborhood is, and he and I can go for a stroll." (Videos of both McCain's and Ware's comments have been big hits on YouTube).

Well, here was McCain strolling, strutting in fact, in Baghdad. And he wasn't done yet. At the presser, McCain, who was testy throughout, pointed out that the delegation had driven into town from the airport, rather than fly in Blackhawk helicopters like most VIPs. He also cited a drop in the murder rate as a sign of progress and got in one final dig: "American people are not getting the full picture of what's happening here." No guesses who McCain blames for that. "The media has a responsibility to report all aspects of what's taking place," he said.

Yes, the media again. In the interest of presenting the full picture then, I think it should be pointed out that McCain and his fellow senators were accompanied to the market by a small army, upwards of 50 soldiers according to a source who accompanied the group on the stroll. Just another day at the market. And even though McCain cited a drop in violence, Agence France Presse on Sunday quoted an Iraqi official who reported a 15 percent increase in violence across Iraq in March. According to their tally, 2,078 civilians, cops and soldiers were killed last month, 272 more fatalities than in February.


Life goes on.

BAGHDAD - After a heavily guarded trip to a Baghdad market, Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record) insisted Sunday that a U.S.-Iraqi security crackdown in the capital was working and said Americans lacked a "full picture" of the progress. The U.S. military later reported six soldiers were killed in roadside bombings southwest of Baghdad.

For some.

Wanker of the Day

Bill Kristol.

Very Brave Republicans

Sacrificing others for their cowardice:

Stunningly, Mitchell said that “moderate Republican” senators had told her that they didn’t believe the escalation would work but voted for it anyway. “They really are not in favor of the surge. They don’t believe it’s going to work. But they basically said the president has until August, until Labor Day. After that, if it doesn’t work, they’re running.”

Media Matters

From Jamison Foser.



"If Republicans in this election vote in such a way as to say a candidate’s personal life and personal conduct in office doesn’t matter,” he declared, “then a lot of Christian evangelical leaders owe Bill Clinton a public apology."

Your Modern Republican Party

It's all about the authoritarianism, baby.

Morning Thread

Oy, April 1. A good time to stay away from the internets, and definitely a good time to think before sending me that email...

Overnight Rock and Roll Fun

The same message as Echidne's video, in a different idiom.