Saturday, April 21, 2007

Fresh Thread

Here's a preview of the bobbleheads, with an extra special Republican Only Meet the Press.


Fresh Thread

Rock on.

Howie Kurtz Loves Them

Just scroll down to the final update...


This McClatchy article comparing that rat bastard Doolittle with my BFF Bob Ney is very unfair to Ney Ney.

When Rep. John Doolittle, R-Calif., stepped down from his position last week on the House Appropriations Committee because of the unfolding Abramoff investigation, he added yet another ominous similarity between himself and Rep. Bob Ney, the Ohio Republican who is the only member of Congress so far to have been brought down by the scandal.

Ney pleaded guilty to conspiracy in October and is serving a 30-month prison sentence for accepting gambling chips, luxury travel and other benefits in exchange for taking official actions that helped GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his clients.

Doolittle has not been charged. But FBI agents raided the suburban Virginia home he shares with his wife, acting on a search warrant that can only be issued by a judge based on agents asserting there is probable cause to believe a crime has been committed.

Fresh Thread

Hey, there's sun out there.


Such plans always end awesomely.

BAGHDAD- A wall U.S. troops are building around a Sunni enclave in Baghdad came under increasing criticism on Saturday, with residents calling it "collective punishment" and a local leader saying construction began without the neighborhood council's approval.

The U.S. military says the wall in Baghdad is meant to secure the minority Sunni community of Azamiyah, which "has been trapped in a spiral of sectarian violence and retaliation." The area, located on the eastern side of the Tigris River, would be completely gated, with entrances and exits manned by Iraqi soldiers, the U.S. military said earlier this week.

But some residents of the neighborhood, which is surrounded by Shiite areas, complained that they had not been consulted in advance about the barrier.

Wanker of the Day


Criminal Enterprise

Sounds about right.

The Justice Department is conducting a probe of a $6 billion reading initiative at the center of President Bush's No Child Left Behind law, another blow to a program besieged by allegations of financial conflicts of interest and cronyism, people familiar with the matter said yesterday.

The disclosure came as a congressional hearing revealed how people implementing the $1 billion-a-year Reading First program made at least $1 million off textbooks and tests toward which the federal government steered states.

"That sounds like a criminal enterprise to me," said Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), chairman of the House education committee, which held a five-hour investigative hearing. "You don't get to override the law," he angrily told a panel of Reading First officials. "But the fact of the matter is that you did."

They're All Birchers Now

I've written before that the right wingers have created an ever more complex mythology which is increasingly divorced from reality, but with this latest salvo it's apparent that they're on a one way trip to their fantasyland and they aren't likely to return.

There are nutters and conspiracy theorists (not necessarily a pejorative term) all across the political spectrum, but we're not talking about fringe beliefs or figures, we're talking about the leading lights of the conservative movement. They're nuts.


Republicans, so proud of their own.


Apparently, if you renegotiate terms with your creditor the IRS considers it to be taxable income.

Still, many banks are not willing to set up payment plans. Instead, they will force sellers to tap into other assets, such as retirement savings or cars. And if the lenders do forgive the debt, the Internal Revenue Service will consider it taxable income. On Wednesday, Reps. Robert E. Andrews (D-N.J.) and Ron Lewis (R-Ky.) introduced a bill that would make such a forgiven debt non-taxable.

That's absurd.

Conspiracy Theories on the Arab Street

Right wing bloggers are the stupidest fucking people on the face on the Earth.

Media Matters

From Jamison Foser.

Great Moments in Modern Punditry

John Dickerson, last May.

Pelosi announced that her new Democratic majority would also launch a series of investigations reaching all the way back into the first months of the Bush administration. Across the country, vulnerable Republican candidates are saying thank you to Pelosi. The GOP congressional majorities may now be secure.

...just for fun, Franken/Dickerson smackdown.

Morning Thread

Say hi to the world, little man!

--Molly Ivors (and no, it's not one of the 137 children of Liberal Mountain. This is the long awaited wee trifecta.)


Rock on.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Late Night

Norah Jones is shrill.

More Fresh Thread


Fresh Thread


Go Barney



Please, don't let Bob Kerrey anywhere near the Senate. I know Joe Lieberman needs a new friend, but still.

Wanker of the Day

Joe Lieberman.

Only 9 more months or so before his annual "things are finally getting better in Iraq" column.

...still stand by that quote, Harry?

Philadelphia's Shame

Now MSNBC's.

Most. Controversial. Ever.

For no particular reason I feel the need to the re-run Pelosi Gone Wild - Spring Break in Syria media trainwreck from a couple of weeks back.

The horror of our media.


I guess I don't really have much of a problem with seeing fundraising as a reasonable symbol of candidate support, especially if number of donors, and not just total amount raised, is taken into account. I mean, if you can't even inspire people enough to get them to throw a few bucks your way you probably aren't going to get very far.

Contributing is a way for people to buy into a campaign, it gives them a stake and an interest in its success. Obama's got the right idea.

No, we're not at a place where big money donors aren't important, and so we should still be concerned with the influence of money on politics, but this is really not as big of an issue in presidential politics.

No More Limbo

I really don't understand this stuff.


Boehner still has 3 more days before the deadline, but maybe if I put this out there some dilligent reporter might actually ask him about it. From 01/23/07:

BOEHNER: I think it will be rather clear in the next 60 to 90 days as to whether this plan is going to work. And, again, that's why we need to have close oversight, so that we just don't look up 60 or 90 days from now and realize that -- that this plan is not working. We need to know, as we -- as we're -- we move through these benchmarks, that the Iraqis are doing what they have to do.

KOPPEL: You spent a weekend at Camp David recently, along with other Republican leaders, and had a lot of one-on-one time with President Bush to talk about Iraq. What did you tell the president?

BOEHNER: Well, I told -- I told the president and others in his administration that there's skepticism on the Hill as to whether this plan will work.

There is skepticism about whether the Iraqis really will step up and bring their military into Iraq, whether they will do the other parts of this plan that they have committed to. And that's -- the skepticism is built around the fact that so much of the plan is dependent on the Iraqis doing their part.


KOPPEL: Now, an aide to Boehner told me that the leader's remarks were simply a gut feeling that he had. They were personal feelings that he had.

But, Kyra, it gives you a window, when you consider the pressure that the Republican Party is under, especially Leader Boehner over here on the House side, when you consider that it comes just one day after he and some Republicans put the White House on notice that they wanted a report every 30 days on the status of what was happening in Iraq, on specific benchmarks, for the first time in writing, saying that they wanted this to come from the White House, from the Bush administration, and also one day, Kyra, after Leader Boehner said many in his party, including himself, are skeptical that this policy, that this surge is going to work -- Kyra. .

How's all that working I wonder.



This is probably the single largest foreign policy-related failing among American politicians and members of the policy and media elites: A failure to make a serious effort to ask how things look from the perspective of other countries.

My favorite manifestation of this is the Friedmanesque obsession with "conspiracy theories on the Arab Street." Compare this to conspiracy theories by our president and his people about Saddam Hussein being connected to 9/11, let alone the conspiracy theories by our entire media and government elite about his weapons of mass destruction.

People in the Middle East can read batshit crazy and incredible hostile stuff coming from our politicians and pundit elite all the time.



I don’t understand it. I really don’t. You could find more informed and enlightened commentary by interviewing the guy on the 39 Bus in Boston who thinks he’s the Invisible Man. Why isn’t he being paid six figures to write weekly columns for the National Review? Hell, he wouldn’t even require all that money- just give him a cheeseburger, and he’ll gladly pen 3,000 words explaining why people who get shot by angry psychopaths deserved to die because they didn’t pack heat and/or were Muslamoatheists. What the hell.

When They Stand Up We'll Stand Down

Which will happen at 5 past never.

WASHINGTON - Military planners have abandoned the idea that standing up Iraqi troops will enable American soldiers to start coming home soon and now believe that U.S. troops will have to defeat the insurgents and secure control of troubled provinces.

Training Iraqi troops, which had been the cornerstone of the Bush administration's Iraq policy since 2005, has dropped in priority, officials in Baghdad and Washington said.


He going down too?

In a second blow to House Republicans this week, the FBI raided a business tied to the family of Rep. Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) Thursday afternoon as part of an ongoing investigation into the three-term lawmaker.

Details of the raid on Patriot Insurance Agency in Sonoita, Ariz., were not immediately available. Renzi’s most recent financial disclosure form lists the business as an asset belonging to his wife, Roberta, and valued at $1 million to $5 million.

Death to the Blue Bar

Okay, I successfully killed it.

I still hate change.

Morning Thread

Stop the blue bar hate!


Hate New

Anyway, if anyone could figure it how to kill the blue bar I'd appreciate it. I've tried all the suggestions I could find through the google.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


maybe this actually worked...

...effing hell, please tell me how to delete the stupid blue bar up top.


I'm a bit puzzled by all the conversation about whether NBC and other news outlets shoud've broadcast Cho's videos. While there can always be debates about what should be front and center, the idea that this kind of thing should be withheld by a Media That Knows Best is rather disturbing. Emphasis and placement is always an issue, which is why if nothing else this stuff can be put on the internets where people can make the effort to take a peek if they wish.

And, no, I didn't have much desire to see any of it, I just reject the idea that our Elite Filters really know what's best for us.

Fresh Thread

Keep rockin'.

...the Bank video seems to be working again.

Sharpton/Tancredo '08!

Unity08 emailed me asking me to choose my ticket.

There it is.

The Bank

Starring Paul Wolfowitz.

Fresh Thread


Your President

Blogging is Easy

Until you do it for awhile.

Gonzales "In Trouble"

CNN reporting quotes from White House senior aides.

"Going down in flames."

"Not doing himself any favors."

"Watching clubbing a baby seal." (watching testimony)

"Very troubling."

"Don't understand that tactic Gonzales used."

Vegans, transsexuals, and "fake Holocaust survivors," oh my

Oh my indeeed.

Oh My


Republican Rep. John Doolittle of California has decided to give up his seat on the House Appropriations Committee in the wake of FBI agents searching his house in a congressional influence-peddling investigation.

Would You Like to Extend Your Remarks?

Colbert King, from his farewell memo to the WaPo:

A Post editorial stands for something, even when the desired action does not occur. A Post editorial is an expression of the considered opinion and collective wisdom and values of the best minds in the business. It is not the special province of any writer, no matter how prolific or dogmatic he/she may be in his/her views. Allow a Post editorial become the vehicle for the expression of one person's point of view-or a minority of the board's point of view-and the editorial loses its value, even though it might be selected to lead the page. I offer this thought because Fred has assembled a first rate staff-good minds that produce great work when they all contribute to an editorial, even though there may be one writer. Editorials simply must not be used to advance one individual's causes or views. That's what columns are for.

This means that members of the board must have the courage of their convictions-that the place to put views on the table is not in the corridor, rest room or across the dinner table at home- or in whispered conversations with friends and newsroom colleagues- but in the conference room where what is discussed there, stays there...or at least that's the way in which I was brought up by Meg. The period ahead offers serious challenges: the war; presidential politics; direction of domestic and foreign policy, a new Congress and a new city administration. If ever the Post's editorial page will be examined closely by readers across the city, country and world, it will be now.

The board, in my final view, needs to think through its position on Iraq, encouraging a full expression of views. Likewise, there must be a serious examination of race—how we editorialize about Prince Georges leaders vs. Northern Virginians-the language, the selection of words we use when talking about black vs. white leaders in the region.

The page must also take care to avoid resorting to sophomoric language when addressing serious matters. There is a tone that a Post editorial must maintain to preserve its unique standing in journalism.

How about telling us who, and how, and why?

It's About You, Asshole

One of the most (and there are many) despicable rhetorical tactics taken by Bush and republicans over the past few years is to deflect any criticism of them onto "the troops." Abu G did his own version, saying criticism of him makes people in the DOJ cry.

What pathetic people rule us.


St. John McCain, the elder statesman.

Simple Answers to Simple Questions

Boehlert asks:

Can conservative bloggers tell the truth?


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

Philly Car Share

I recently joked that Philly Car Share was taking over Philadelphia, and that's before I realized that the nearest lot (or "pod" as they call them) to me now contains 13 cars.

When we got rid of our car it was largely a financial decision. We didn't really need it, and payment/insurance/parking added up to quite a large sum. Recently I thought about what I'd do if George Soros upped my regular payments substantially, and money wasn't an issue. I still wouldn't buy a car. They're a big hassle and I really just have no need for one.

Abu G

Forget the rest of it, do we really want a whiny little child running the Justice Department?

Ditto the country, I suppose.


As I wrote once before, my biggest misreading of the American mood over the past few years was my perception that people were much more hostile to immigrants, especially illegal immigrants, than they actually are. I am utterly astonished by this.

WASHINGTON — While Congress and the White House remain divided over what to do with the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants living in the USA, a new poll shows the American public appears to have reached a consensus on the question.

A USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken last weekend found that 78% of respondents feel people now in the country illegally should be given a chance at citizenship.

I Agree With George Will!

The 21-year old drinking age is absurd.

I still like the idea of "drinking license, or driving license, but not both" up to some certain age. This would have the added benefit of increasing the relative attraction of "high-density areas well-served by taxis and mass transit."

The Great Orange Satan

This provides a fascinating window into a pervasive blog phenomenon.

For people who give a shit about pervasive blog phenomena.

...and, for everyone else, Christy's liveblogging Gonzo.


Watch here.


I don't have the mad diagnostic skills of, say, Charles Krauthammer, but after seeing a bit of the Cho videos its rather clear that he's basically lost any touch with reality and anyone who tries to divine any actual meaning or coherent motive, other than the fact that he was deeply miserable and very very crazy, is wasting their time.

The Freak Show

15 years later, David Broder finally discovers his colleages are the freak show? So glad the Dean of Washington journalism is so on top of things.

Morning Thread

Gonzalez starts in 45 minutes, CSpan 3.
--Molly I vors

Keyboard Kommandos

In Cheeto-Scope.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Because I needed an excuse to feel good about the Chevron ads.

Serious Thread

No frivolity, please. David Broder is watching.

I Miss London

But who the hell can afford to go with this exchange rate.

The British pound climbed to a 26-year high Wednesday as the euro rose to its highest level in two years but fell short of its all-time record.

The strength of both currencies indicates Europe's economy is performing better than expected amid fears of a slowdown in the United States and booming competition from China.

It also makes visiting Europe more expensive for Americans, but shopping trips to the United States more enticing for Europeans.

The pound rose as high as $2.0132, then settled back to $2.0057 -- down slightly from the $2.0066 it fetched late Tuesday in New York. The last time the pound rose this high was in June 1981, the year Ronald Reagan took over the White House from Jimmy Carter.

While there price variations for some things, a reasonable rule of thumb is that what costs a dollar here costs a pound there.

Used to live right around here.

Hit Them With the Chair

I think Harry and Nancy might do it this time.

Oh My

Oh My

A source with pretty good knowledge of such things just tipped me off that the FBI raided Rep. John Doolittle's house in Virginia today. Doolittle, R-Roseville, has all kinds of ties to the felonious ex-lobbyist Jack Abramoff.


What They Hear

Indeed. People hate this war and hate George Bush, and every time he gets on the teevee and reminds people that the Democrats want to bring the troops home it makes them like Democrats.

They Write Books

Hey, Jessica Valenti wrote a book.

Every time you buy a copy the baby Althouse cries.

Hall of Shame

Sitting Democratic Senators who voted for the "we don't care about women's health" Bill:


Lies and the Lying Liars

Norm Coleman edition.

They Write Letters

Russ Feingold writes to John Roberts (.pdf).

With a Capital 'T'

Yglesias is far too kind to Mister Ignatius. The idea that the complications surrounding Kurdish autonomy represent "a major new threat" rather than a long brewing problem basically predicted by, well, everyone is absurd.

I never made many predictions about Iraq before the show started (and perhaps not even that one), but the idea that the Kurdish problem was going to, in fact, be a problem was probably the most undeniable one.

Baghdad Daily

Make that 157 and rising.

Supremos: Ban On Nonexistent Procedure A-Ok

Horrible result which will simply lead to more women being unable to get the medical treatment they need.

The Power of the Great Orange Satan

I had no idea his evil reach extended so far.

Wanker of the Day

Eve Fairbanks.

Baghdad Weekly

I also really didn't know quite what to make of this when I first saw it. In some ways it's a fairly typical expat community kind of thing, on the other hand there's something very not typical about this particular expat community.

Anyway, there are a few floating around the internets, of varying degrees of creepy.

...and Baghdad Daily says death toll from bombings in Baghdad is 66 and climbing...

...make that 127 and climbing...

Cable News is Making Me Stupid

CNN's new refugee from Fox News just told me you can't lock people up for "intent." That's true if you mean we don't have mindreading machines to divine that intent, but you can certain lock people up for conspiracy to commit, attempted murder, or related if you have actual evidence of intent (those better versed in criminal law can nitpick the details, but the point is if my plot to kill people is uncovered, with evidence, they don't have to wait until I actually do it.)


Over there:

BAGHDAD Apr 18, 2007 (AP)— Two explosions rocked Baghdad at midday Wednesday, killing at least 15 people and wounding 19, police said.

Meanwhile, U.S. troops killed five suspects and captured 30 others in a raid in Iraq's western Anbar province, a day after police uncovered 17 decomposing corpses beneath two school yards in the provincial capital.

Late Night

Still nothing to say. Sometimes the stupids are overwhelming.

...ohh, what the hell, I've been meaning to point to this for awhile.

Every morning, Tammy Haddad, executive producer of MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews," hears from more than 100 aspiring commentators. They each explain why they'd be the perfect guest to spout off on the issues of the day. "We call them 'street meat,' " says Ms. Haddad. "They're always available, walking the streets, waiting for your call on their cellphones."

They are the minor-league pundits -- political consultants, professors, activists, actors, journalists, bloggers and opinionated civilians -- and they're using 21st-century stunts to troll for airtime. Some try to break out of the blogs by repeating particular phrases in their written rants, designed to pop their sites up when TV bookers search for keywords online. Others are buying air time on AM and Internet radio stations to practice their punditry. And many are turning to media advisers or partisan training programs, where they learn new rules of engagement, such as how to use food to bribe producers. The ploys can work, as networks like CNN regularly survey the field, looking for new contributors.

Debbie Schlussel, 37 years old, supports her pundit habit by practicing commercial law in suburban Detroit. She is among the most proactive B-list pundits. Almost daily, she emails her appearance schedule, availability or sharp-elbowed conservative commentaries to 5,000 people in media and politics.


So far this year, Ms. Schlussel has appeared on more than 600 radio shows and 35 TV programs, she says. But while Ms. Coulter, America's most-famous blonde pundit, earns millions, the also-blonde Ms. Schlussel has earned well under $10,000 this year from her punditry, she says. Still, Ms. Schlussel feels momentum: Her online fan clubs have grown to 5,496 members.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Fresh Thread

Kos has ordered me not to say anything.

Evening Thread

KO Smackdown Edition.

--Molly Ivors

Afternoon Thread


Shop Daily

In this discussion of biking/shopping/delivery I was struck by someone's observation that the only way to shop on a bike is if you do daily shopping. I was struck by it because while I don't own a bike - I walk (3 blocks to decent urban market, 7 to Whole Foods and large Super Fresh) - we do basically shop almost every day that we cook a meal, at least any meal that doesn't involve the microwave or a heavy dependence on canned products.

Anyway, no major point here, just that being carless really fundamentally alters your relation to the space around you.

Of course, being carless gets a bit easier every day because Philly Car Share seems to be taking over the city. Can't spit without hitting one these days.


Apparently the new normal is that victims and near-victims of horrendous crimes can have their perceived bravery level rated by every chickenhawk on the internets.



Wanker of the Day

The Derb.

Much of the post-9/11 wingnut wankery can be traced back to their firm belief that they themselves were the heroes of Flight 93. Even though, you know, the heroes of Flight 93 are dead and they themselves have done nothing courageous.

Everybody Loves Pelosi

And our media elites continue to be wrong about everything.

As do idiots from Tennessee.

yeah, I know, water wet, sun rise, blah blah...

National Greatness Conservatism

Yes, I don't know why it's necessary to remind people that in 2000 McCain was Kristol's, and the Weekly Standard's, man. There were reasons for that.

Even More Stupids

My point, below, was simply that if people want to kill people and don't care if they get killed or caught they're going to kill people. The existence of guns facilitate certain kinds of crimes, but there are many other options. Large motor vehicles could be quite effective, too, and don't require much creativity or skill. More creative options also exist.

Obviously security measures can protect specific locations and minimize the likelihood of certain kinds of violence at those locations - hard to bring a gun past security at an airport, easy to shoot up the check-in desk area or drive your SUV into the crowd standing outside - but I assume we don't want all of our spaces to have that kind of security. There's a catchy phrase for that kind of state, which usually has bad connotations.

College campuses are not daycare centers, they are places where large numbers of adults live and study and work. While some, especially those in dense urban areas, are more closed to the outside world, many are quite open. You know, like shopping malls are, another set of places where large numbers of people congregate with minimal security present and where someone who didn't care if he got killed or caught could successfully kill a lot of people.

None of this is an argument in defense of whatever specific measures the campus took yesterday, it's just about the notion that there are any general security measures any of us would want applied which could prevent this kind of thing. You can't. At most you can divert it.

And the Stupids

I don't know why it's necessary to point this out, but when people have guns and don't care if they're going to get caught or killed, if they wish to kill a bunch of people they're going to succeed and no security arrangement is going to stop them.

Morning Thread


...oy, sometimes these people depress me. The obsessive quest to learn the ethnicity of the shooter in order to... well, do whatever it is they usually do... is quite disturbing.

Happy Tax Day

Oh, and happy 5th blogiversary to me.

steve simels says this is his favorite song:

...maybe I misheard. This might be steve's bestest song evah., wait, it was this one.

Monday, April 16, 2007


Limbaugh hearts Media Matters.

The Failed Pelosi Speakership

Establishment Washington tried to take her down, but she's riding high at 53% approval.

58% say Congress will do a better job with Iraq, 33% say Bush.

More Thread

For you.

Fresh Thread

Where's Tweety? Been missing awhile.

Oh My

Bye bye.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' assertion that he was not involved in identifying the eight U.S. attorneys who were asked to resign last year is at odds with a recently released internal Department of Justice e-mail, ABC News has learned.

That e-mail said that Gonzales supported firing one federal prosecutor six months before she was asked to leave.


It's a small thing in the scheme of things, but for the purpose of enlightening the world, the MSNBC reporter who just informed us that you need an email address associated with an educational institution in order to get a Facebook account is wrong. Anyone can sign up now.

Abu G Hearing Postponed

Until Thursday.

Stuff Happens, But Not That Often

Without meaning to minimize the tragedy, can we stop the hysterical calls for increased security measures on college campuses. Large residential college campuses are like small cities, places where people live, work, and study. Calling for absurd things like random bag checks and metal detectors in such an environment is like calling for such things on city streets.

Fresh Thread

Mass death events suck.


Feel the Tomentum:

WASHINGTON - Former Wisconsin governor and Republican presidential hopeful Tommy Thompson told Jewish activists Monday that making money is "part of the Jewish tradition," and something that he applauded.

Speaking to an audience at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington D.C., Thompson said that, "I'm in the private sector and for the first time in my life I'm earning money. You know that's sort of part of the Jewish tradition and I do not find anything wrong with that."

Thompson later apologized for the comments that had caused a stir in the audience, saying that he had meant it as a compliment, and had only wanted to highlight the "accomplishments" of the Jewish religion.

I would like to compliment my African-American readers on their dancing abilities and athletic prowess, my Asian-American readers on their studiousness, and of course my female readers for their excellence in homemaking.

...almost forgot to congratulate my white male readers for their astounding successes in the face of unprecedented oppression.

Media Matters is the Straight Man, Bo Dietl is The Stooge

Another one who misses the understated hilarity present in each and every Media Matters item.

The question is, where were Imus' friends last week?, the liberal media watchdog organization that first threw gasoline on Imus' remark, asked, "Will Imus's Guests Condemn History of Bigotry?"

That was rare example of dry wit from Mediamatters, for they mostly didn't say anything. Most neither condemned nor praised their friend. Most hid behind corporate statements or "no comments." Some -- politicians like former Tennessee lawmaker Harold Ford Jr. -- were eventually smoked out to say something, but their comments read like tightly vetted, regurgitated PR babble, structured to offend no one nor draw the media spotlight on themselves.

Other figs, like conservative former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, have said nothing about the incident.

That's understandable. They're politicians. We expect them to weasel their way out of this sort of stuff. But what about media figures? We expect something different from them.

And that last sentence is an example of Verne Gay's dry wit.

Wanker of the Day

The shame of Philadelphia, Mike Smerconish.


While there's certainly the case to be made that the system was flawed in that there was a shitty and possibly corrupt prosecutor, otherwise Matt's take on the metaissues surrounding the Duke rape case is correct. One can sympathize with their plight without drawing the absurd conclusion that it says anything about our justice system's treatment of relatively privileged white males.

The are a few other elements, however, and one is that apparently there are lots and lots of men who are deathly afraid of being accused of rape. I'm not entirely sure why this is, though I have some theories.

In any case, I tried to stay away from writing about it because as I said at the time I think when what are ultimately local news stories get blown up into huge national controversies there's a tremendous disservice done to both the accused and the accuser. In addition, it's generally wise to avoid passing public judgment (either way) on the accused when they're otherwise basically private figures. All of us - bloggers, Nancy Grace, Drudge, the news industry generally - should think a bit more carefully about when it's okay to shine a massive spotlight on people. I don't have a clear idea of where the lines are, but increasingly I try to avoid drawing attention to stories which really should just be local stories when they involve people who are otherwise not public figures in any way.


Broder's boy bounces all the way up to a new all-time low in the LA Times poll (.pdf).

(ht pony boy)

The Problem

This is from a few weeks back, but it pretty much sums it all up.

David Obey:

Let me submit to you the problem we have today is not that we didn’t listen enough to people like the Washington Post. It’s that we listened too much.

Establishment Washington, wrong about everything.

Wrong Track

I'm rather fascinated by just how low the "right track" numbers are in polls. I don't know enough about this question from a historical polling perspective to know what should be taken away from it. After thinking about it a bit my working theory is that as the question is asked in the middle of a poll about politics and presidential approval that such issues are on the respondents' minds and so it'll tend to track the presidential approval rating fairly closely.

But if there's something more there, then I'm really curious about what's driving it. And either way, I really don't see that perspective reflected in media coverage. And, no, I shouldn't be surprised by that in the 6th Year of the Glorious Age of Bush, but it's still a puzzling disconnect. People are really pissed off, and yet the news remains as chirpy as ever.



Thus, the Kagan/Kristol/Krauthammer war propagandists continue to say whatever they have to say in order to find a way to stay in Iraq forever. Our Serious Beltway pundits continue to embrace that reasoning because staying is the only way to avoid the reality of how wrong they were. And the disconnect between what Americans want and think, and what our government (and the "small but powerful" faction that controls it) does, continues to grow without any end in sight. On the most crucial issues faced by this country, nothing matters less to the Kagans and the Fred Hiatts (and, increasingly, to many disturbingly tepid Congressional Democrats) than the views of Americans. Within that disconnect lies most of the sicknesses ailing our political culture.

Make Them Stop

Begala and Carville on CNN defending Imus... again.

...and then Chyrons:




Please kill me.

Morning Thread


Late Night

Rock on.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Fresh Thread


Always Focus on the Trivial

Little Debbie sure does understand her job.



I have a few quibbles with what she said about the "Culture of Meanness", however, which I fear will be interpreted as "being rude." On the McLaughlin Report last night Tony Blankley repeatedly brought up the fact that "liberals" say horrible things about President Bush and Dick Cheney as a corollary to the Imus matter. To any sentient person, this is ridiculous, and Blankley is a total partisan so his views are tainted. But I don't think it will stop with him. You have to remember that we are talking about the elite political media, which reflexively seeks an equivalency between both sides as a way of appearing impartial. There is probably going to be a concerted effort among many of these embarrassed media types to find "intolerant" language on the left to show that "both sides do it", even as the right works desperately to hang Imus on us, despite the fact that it makes no sense. Liberals called out the elite media for consorting with jackasses and they aren't going to forgive us for it any time soon. Just a word of warning...

Judging from some of the elite media commentary (cough, howie kurtz, cough), it's clear that they are unable to distinguish (or pretending to be) between racy humor and racist humor, between jokes about sex and sexism, picking on powerful public figures versus picking on powerless private ones, etc. I can never tell if this obtuseness is genuine, or cultivated, but either way it's their story and they're going to stick to it.

Fresh Thread

I got nothin'.

Fresh Thread


Real Improvements In 3 Months

Ah, a Republican revolt.

Bush expected at least a handful of Republican senators—critics like Chuck Hagel and George Voinovich—to run from a troop increase. But the White House was surprised when even pro-war senators, including Sam Brownback and Lisa Murkowski, came out against the plan. Other prominent senators, including Lott and John Warner, the senior Republican on the Armed Services Committee, have been quiet. They aren't bashing the idea, but they aren't promoting it either. Warner and Richard Lugar, the ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, are contemplating a resolution to draw bipartisan support for the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group report.

Senior administration officials, who declined to speak on the record about private deliberations, say the president knows he has to show real improvements in Iraq within two or three months or risk losing even more GOP support. "All the talking points aren't going to make the difference," says a senior aide. "What matters is what happens ... on the streets and the neighborhoods of Baghdad."

A former senior Bush aide who is still close to the White House says if things don't improve, a delegation of Republican senators could one day show up in the Oval Office to tell Bush that the party is no longer with him and the war must end—much like Sen. William Fulbright's forcefully urging Lyndon Johnson to bring the Vietnam War to a close. (Last week Warner told NEWSWEEK he "wouldn't hesitate" to tell Bush if he came to believe Bush's policy was failing.) Bush's challenge isn't just to take control of Baghdad, but to win back control of his party. "Before this, the president's credibility was hanging by a thread," says the former aide. "After this, I don't know. It may be lost."

While the article is dated 1-22, it actually first hit the web 3 months ago today. While Republicans are still revolting, they have yet to revolt. Check back in another couple of Friedmans.


Good for her:

And yet, you write this: “Why do my journalistic colleagues appear on Mr. Imus’ show? That’s for them to defend and others to argue about. I certainly don’t know any black journalists who will.”

Yow know, it’s interesting to me. This has been an interesting week. The people who have spoken, the people who issued statements and the people who haven’t. There has been radio silence from a lot of people who have done this program who could have spoken up and said, I find this offensive or I didn’t know. These people didn’t speak up. Tim, we didn’t hear from you. David, we didn’t hear from you. What was missing in this debate was someone saying, you know, I understand that this is offensive. You know, I have a 7-year-old god daughter. Yesterday she went out shopping with her mom for high-Thetop basketball shoes so she can play basketball. The offense, the slur that Imus directed at me happened more than 10 years ago. I would like to think that 10 years from now, that Asia isn’t going to be deciding that she wants to get recruited for the college basketball team or be a tennis pro or go to medical school and that she is still vulnerable to those kinds of casual slurs and insults that I got 10 years ago, and that people will say, I didn’t know, or people will say, I wasn’t listening. A lot of people did know and a lot of people were listening and they just decided it was okay. They decided this culture of meanness was fine — until they got caught. My concern about Mr. Imus and a lot of people and a lot of the debate in this society is not that people are sorry that they say these things, they are sorry that someone catches them. When Don Imus said this about me when I worked here at NBC, when I found out about it, his producer called because Don said he wants to apologize. Well, now he says he never said it. What was he apologizing for? He was apologizing for getting caught, not apologizing for having said it in the first place.


As I suggested, I went to see Frost/Nixon last night. While I'd heard of the play I had initially assumed it was just a dramatization of the famous interviews. That's incorrect. It actually covers of all of the machinations which led up to the interviews, as well as the behind the scenes strategizing of Frost's gang in their attempt to get something more than fluff from Nixon.

The play addresses checkbook journalism, the role of the adversarial press, celebrity journalism, and of course Richard Nixon. Frank Langella is brilliant as Nixon. It isn't a sympathetic portrayal - it isn't designed to get our sympathies - but it does remind us that whatever his flaws, Nixon was a giant of a man compared with the doofus currently occupying the White House.

Years later, we see that we learned neither the lessons of Vietnam nor Watergate and that the Washington "Fred Hiatt" Establishment is much more invested in preserving its aristocracy than it was back then. Today, if Bush uttered the immortal line "When the President does it, that means that it's not illegal," that establishment would barely blink, let alone react with the horrified revulsion anyone who believes in our stated system of government should.

...adding, I see a decent amount of theater, and this is the best thing I've seen in quite some time. Really a great play, superb production, stellar cast. Mrs. A agrees.


Over there:

Four bombs exploded in predominantly Shiite sections of Baghdad Sunday, killing at least 37 people in a renewal of sectarian carnage that set back the U.S. push to pacify the capital.

Memo to the Media

Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are not the only black people in America, and more than that they do not have the ability to force themselves onto your news shows. There's a pattern here:

1) Bigot eruption somewhere
2) Lots of people condemn it
3) Al Sharpton goes on every teevee program
4) The media people turn around and use Sharpton's past as a distraction/excuse for the current bigot eruption

If Al Sharpton is an imperfect spokesperson for an issue, and you keep putting him on the teevee to be the spokesperson for that issue, then the obvious conclusion is that this is a deliberate strategy.

The Worst

Drum writes:

Matthews' audience is probably mostly liberal and centrist liberal, and he convinces them that liberal politics is an idiotic clown show.

This certainly isn't who Matthews thinks his target audience is. He thinks his audience is angry old white guys, crotchety "Reagan Democrats."

Wanker of the Day

Frank Rich.

Sunday Bobbleheads

Document the atrocities:

ABC's "This Week" -- New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson; Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa.; comedian Rich Little. .

CBS' "Face the Nation" -- Vice President Dick Cheney.

NBC's "Meet the Press" -- Retired Gen. Anthony Zinni.

CNN's "Late Edition" -- Walter Mondale, former vice president; Sens. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and Jim Webb, D-Va.; Marc Morial, president and CEO of National Urban League; Amy Holmes, onetime speechwriter for former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist; Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund; Richard Perle, fellow at the American Enterprise Institute; Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh.

"Fox News Sunday" -- Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; the Rev. Al Sharpton; Thomas Blanton, director of the National Security Archive.


Run, don't walk, to see Frost/Nixon.

Open Love Letter

Dear Jonah:

I was talking to Cliffy, but I just want to say that I really do love you the best, ya big lug.



PS: Attaturk loves you too!

(Thanx to Righteous Bubba in comments)