Saturday, April 28, 2007

Late Night

Every year I fail to win a MacArthur and then fail to get drafted into the NFL. All very depressing.

...oooh! Pundit wars! Rich goes after Broder.

It’s our country’s bitter fortune that while David Halberstam is gone, too many Joe Alsops still hold sway. Take the current dean of the Washington press corps, David Broder, who is leading the charge in ridiculing Harry Reid for saying the obvious — that “this war is lost” (as it is militarily, unless we stay in perpetuity and draft many more troops). In February, Mr. Broder handed down another gem of Beltway conventional wisdom, suggesting that “at the very moment the House of Representatives is repudiating his policy in Iraq, President Bush is poised for a political comeback.”

Some may recall that Stephen Colbert offered the same prediction in his monologue at the correspondents’ dinner a year ago. “I don’t believe this is a low point in this presidency,” he said. “I believe it is just a lull before a comeback.” But the fake pundit, unlike the real one, recognized that this was a joke.

New Thread

With the 358th pick in the the 3rd Round of the NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks pick Rorschach, Tight End, University of Phoenix.

Fresh Thread

Out for the evening, don't forget to clap louder.

Why Didn't I Think Of That?

Worth revisiting this, from over a year ago.

Glenn Reynolds

1. Did you support the invasion of Iraq?


2. Have you changed your position?

No. Sanctions were failing and Saddam was a threat, making any other action in the region impossible.

3. What should the U.S. do in Iraq now?


8 more US troops died attempting to carry out this excellent strategy.



Over there:

BAGHDAD - A parked car exploded Saturday near one of Shiite Islam's holiest shrines in the city of Karbala as people were headed to the area for evening prayers, killing 55 people and wounding dozens, officials said.

The explosion took place in a crowded commercial area near the Imam Hussein shrine in Karbala, 50 miles south of Baghdad, officials said. At least 55 people were killed and 70 wounded, said Salim Kazim, the head of the Karbala health department.

I Love Journalists

If only these two excerpts had been sequential, perhaps the absurdity would have been apparent:

While mainstream reporters must sign their names to news stories and submit to the editors and ethical guidelines of their organizations, the bloggers -- many operating freelance -- often write under anonymous sign-ons and without the bureaucracy or controls of a mainstream media organization.


But one key state Democratic strategist, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of concern for riling the netroots crowd, warns that such efforts are potentially positive and negative.

Netroots commentary can frequently be intensely personal, even "totally mean and irrational," the strategist said, with some bloggers finding power in their ability "to assassinate political characters online."

"It's amplified by the anonymity, and it can be scary that it's so irresponsible," the insider said. "And it's pulling the mainstream media in that direction."

The Reeds and Brass Have Been Weaving

Often people, usually in the course of needing to explain the almighty power of blogs to people who don't get it, want to describe blogs in terms of specific tangible successful events. You know, "blogs took down Trent Lott," and whatnot. And while there are certainly occasions where I think blogs have played a very important and clear role in defining and shaping events, I always think it's wrong to focus on those events as what's really important about the blogosphere.

Left of center blogs filled various connected vacuums which were created by a triangulating-against-itself-Democratic party, a media with a "no liberals on TV or radio" rule, and the post-9/11 media prostration to the Bush administration and its complete abdication of its responsibility with respect to the Iraq war, all of which followed its campaign 2000 prostration to the Bush candidacy. Overall what blogs have been able to do is create an unfolding political narrative which has been largely absent elsewhere. Sometimes it's about emphasizing different things, sometimes it's about combating DC conventional wisdom, sometimes it's about highlighting things which are being ignored. But taken all together it's about telling the story of politics in a different way.

While there are other elements - fundraising, various types of activism, etc... - day to day the power of the blogosphere is that it offers up a competing version of political reality, in opposition to the Russert/Matthews/Dowd version and in opposition to the Limbaugh/Hannity/Fox News/Heritage Foundation version.

I remember years ago I'd know exactly when the few compelling liberal voices would have their moments. I knew when Joe Conason's column would hit the NY Observer, when Paul Krugman's column would hit the NYT, when Michelangelo Signorile's column would hit the New York Press. There were so few of them, voices in the wilderness, and there weren't enough to sustain a narrative.

As Greenwald suggests,
things have changed and are changing. The narrative can be sustained, and it can find its way elsewhere into the media bloodstream. It isn't just blogs, of course, but they're an important part.

Here's Bill Moyers chatting with Josh Marshall. And Bill Moyers chatting with Jon Stewart.


Cleland with Wolf yesterday.


BLITZER: All this happening as the battle over Iraq, funding for the war, and a time line for withdrawal, raging here in Washington with Congress and the White House at an impasse right now.

Joining us now, the Vietnam veteran, the former Democratic Senator, Max Cleland.

Senator, thanks very much for joining us.

Let me get your quick reaction to that piece we just heard.

It's been, what, four years. The U.S. has been training thousands of Iraqi troops, but they're still not ready.

How frustrated are you that it's taking so long to get these Iraqi troops ready to defend their own country?

MAX CLELAND (D), FORMER U.S. SENATOR: Well, it reminds me of Vietnam, quite frankly. The -- the essence of what we're seeing in Iraq is what we saw in Vietnam, that unless you have the political support of the people there, they're not going to support really fighting for their own country.

It's not until we get out will they really take it upon themselves to defend themselves, particularly against al Qaeda. Al Qaeda is just now using them and coming in and -- and attacking Americans, as they did when they killed those nine soldiers from the 90 -- 82nd Airborne.

So, we are part of the problem, not part of the solution. That's why, after five years of war, it's painfully obvious that there is no strategy to win. There is no strategy to end this war. And so the war is essentially unwinnable and untenable militarily. And that's why we have to get out.

But the Iraqis must ultimately take care of their own country. And that's what we need to leave them to do.

BLITZER: Here's what the president said today about the Democrats' desires to include a timeline for withdrawal in the war funding bill.

Listen to the president.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: If the Congress wants to test my will as to whether or not I'll accept a timetable for withdrawal, I won't accept one. I just don't think it's in the interest of our troops. I really think it's a mistake for Congress to try to tell generals, our military experts, how to conduct a war.


BLITZER: All right. What do you say to the president?

CLELAND: Well, this is not a test of the president's will, you know? And Congress is not trying to tell the generals what to do.

The truth of the matter is, there is no strategy that the president is telling the generals to do. You see, that's the problem.

I mean, more and more, generals are coming out of the military, particularly the Army, and saying the war is unwinnable militarily. It is essentially a political war that we're going into. And we're on the wrong side of it. We're trying to occupy a nation that doesn't want us there.

Secondly, we're going after the wrong enemy here. Al Qaeda is morphing around the world. They morphed most recently into North Africa. And George Tenet's book just coming out in the next few days says his concern is still about al Qaeda in the United States.

So, we need to withdraw from Iraq, withdraw our ground forces from there, because we are not part of the problem -- I mean solution. We're part of the problem there.

BLITZER: But you're...

CLELAND: And this is not a test of the president's -- this is not a test of the president's will. He may have his -- he may have his day on this, but when he signs that veto early next week, he will sign it in blood, because he's just guaranteeing the death of more Americans in Iraq.

BLITZER: Saxby Chambliss, the man who beat you in your run for re-election the last time around in Georgia, he says, and I'm quoting now, "It's almost un-American, un-American to come out and tell the enemy that they've won and lost."

Listen to this little clip of what he said on the Senate floor yesterday. Listen to this.


SEN. SAXBY CHAMBLISS (R), GEORGIA: Men and women of the 3rd ID simply don't agree with the Democrats who want to tuck tail and run. Georgians don't want to do that, the military does not want to do that.


BLITZER: All right. He says Democrats are almost un-American for what they are trying to do.

What do you say to Senator Chambliss?

CLELAND: Well, first of all, I've been called un-American and unpatriotic by the senator before. It wasn't true then, it's not true now.

And secondly, I don't take my advice on war from somebody, Mr. Chambliss, who tucked his tail and ran from the war of his generation. He got out of going to Vietnam with a trick knee. So I'm not going to follow anybody's advice on that, and I'm certainly not going to back off my view that it's time to protect Americans, it's time to bring our young Americans home, and it is time to set a timetable.

That's what the Congress is voting on, and has voted successfully on. It is now time to change strategy, change policy. If the president won't change, ultimately we will see more Americans die, and ultimately we will get out of Iraq, but after he's gone.

BLITZER: You fought in Vietnam at a time of serious debate here in the United States over what U.S. troops were doing there in Vietnam. You know the impact on moral to fighting men and women.

What about the impact on the battlefield right now in Iraq, as a result of this very serious debate under way here in the United States?

CLELAND: Well, you feel like -- a young French lieutenant in the French Indochina War in Vietnam said he felt like he was shot in the stomach and kicked in the rear end. And I'm sure that members of the armed forces in Iraq feel that way.

I know that's the way I felt in Vietnam when the massive unrest in the United States breaking out in '67 and '68. But the worst morale problem is to commit young Americans to a cause that is not winnable and is ultimately untenable and unsupported by the United States people -- people in America.

So, the best thing we can do is make sure we have as good an exit as possible. And the president, if he vetoes this bill, will give up the last opportunity he has to make a bipartisan exit from Iraq. Ultimately, it's going to be ultimately on his head and shoulders, and he'll be signing that veto pen in blood because more young Americans are going to die when he vetoes this bill.

BLITZER: Senator Cleland, the current U.S. commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, has been in Washington all week. He's appealing to everyone for patience, to give him some time, to see if this new strategy can work, at least through September or so. He says at this point, he and the U.S. ambassador, Ryan Crocker, would have a better sense if it's working. He promises that if it's not working, he will tell the American people the truth.

Why not give the general some more time to see if he can make it -- make it better?

CLELAND: Time? This is the fifth year of this war. As a matter of fact, next Tuesday is the anniversary of President Bush standing up on an aircraft carrier, playing dress-up with his flight suit, which he never wore in combat, trying to be the war hero he never was, and saying major combat over, mission accomplished. And later on he said, "Bring 'em on." Well, they came on, surprise, surprise. Have killed over 3,300 young Americans and wounded over 30,000, and over half a million Iraqis have died.

I don't want that kind of patience. It's five years into this thing now. It's time to end it, and it's time to move on and worry about al Qaeda. That's the real threat to this country.

BLITZER: We're going to leave it there.

Senator Cleland, as usual, thanks for joining us here in THE SITUATION ROOM.

CLELAND: Thank you.


Hot monkey love:

Within minutes of McCormack's announcement, Tobias's biography was removed from the USAID Web site.

State Department officials declined to comment further on the reasons for Tobias's resignation.

"I'm sad today," said one person close to Tobias. "The president loves him and Condi absolutely loves him."

More Broder

We normally think of "High Broderism" as the worship of bipartisanship for its own sake, combined with a fake "pox on both their houses" attitude. But in reality this is just the cover Broder uses for his real agenda, the defense of what he perceives to be "the establishment" at all costs. The establishment is the permanent ruling class of Washington, our betters who know better. It is their rough agenda which is sold as "centrism" even when it has no actual relationship with the political center in a meaningful way. Democracy's messy, in Broder's world, and passionate voters are problematic. It is up to the Wise Old Men of Washington to implement the agenda, and the job of the voters to bless them for it. When the establishment fails, the most important issue is not their failure, but that the voters might begin to lose faith in and deference for their betters. Thus, people must always be allowed to save face, no matter what their transgressions, as long as they're a part of his permanent floating tea party.

While this basic attitude isn't unique to Broder, his apparent lack of interest in the actual details of policy makes him a more absurd figure than some. For him it's not about results, but about the right people being in the right places. It is terribly elitist in all the wrong ways. Arguments can be made for certain types of elitism - you do want a brain surgeon conducting brain surgery - but Broder's elites are simply aristocrats. It's their town.

Media Matters

From Jamison Foser.


Groundhog Day continues.

Morning Thread

"There are no happy endings in the Bush Administration".
- Randall L. Tobias

Friday, April 27, 2007

Dance Satan

Apparently Doug Schoen decided that lefty blogs needed a new punching bag and offered himself up in sacrifice.

Oh My


Deputy Secretary of State Randall L. Tobias submitted his resignation Friday, one day after confirming to ABC News that he had been a customer of a Washington, D.C. escort service whose owner has been charged by federal prosecutors with running a prostitution operation.

Tobias, 65, director of U.S. Foreign Assistance and administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), had previously served as the ambassador for the President's Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief.

A State Department press release late Friday afternoon said only he was leaving for "personal reasons."

On Thursday, Tobias told ABC News he had several times called the "Pamela Martin and Associates" escort service "to have gals come over to the condo to give me a massage." Tobias, who is married, said there had been "no sex," and that recently he had been using another service "with Central Americans" to provide massages.

Clean Thread

Wipe your feet.

Friday Night Fun

I'm going out, but if you need something to do there's a new document dump.

What Digby Said

This has been another edition of what Digby said.

Oh My

Was wondering what was going to break this evening:

WASHINGTON - A senior Justice Department official has resigned after coming under scrutiny in the Department’s expanding investigation of convicted super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff, according to a Justice Department official with knowledge of the case.

Making the situation more awkward for the embattled Department, the official, Robert E. Coughlin II, was deputy chief of staff for the criminal division, which is overseeing the Department’s probe of Abramoff.

He stepped down effective April 6 as investigators in Coughlin’s own division ratcheted up their investigation of lobbyist Kevin Ring, Coughlin’s long-time friend and a key associate of Abramoff.

When contacted at his home in Washington, Coughlin said he resigned voluntarily because he was relocating to Texas. “I was not asked to resign,” he said in an interview with McClatchy Newspapers. “It’s important to me that it's made clear that I left voluntarily.”

Very Mean

I must say that Ezra Klein is being very mean to Doug Schoen who is, by virtue of having purchased a bunch of ads for his book, a truly awesome person.

So whatever you do don't go read Ezra saying mean things about him.

Wanker of the Day



Ah, nothing like that pillpopping racist Rush.

fresh thread


Opposition Party

The line pushed by Timmeh and others is that the failure of journalism in the runup to the Iraq war is somehow the fault of Democrats. Now certainly plenty of Democrats - and the Democrats generally - can be blamed for many things in that period, but Timmeh's shitty show isn't one of them.

And plenty of Democrats did vote against the AUMF and were against the war, so I'll engage Timmeh on this and go over his guest list (Democratic members of Congress only) from the day the Senate passed the AUMF until Shock and Awe Day.
10/13/02 - No Dem member of Congress.
10/20 Schumer - voted for it (subject was gun control/DC Sniper).
10/27 No Dem member of Congress.
11/03 No Dem member of Congress.
11/10 Tom Daschle - voted for it
11/17 Landrieu - voted for it
11/24 Graham - voted against it
12/01 John Kerry - voted for it
12/08 John Lewis - voted against, but subject was John Lott Trent Lott..
12/15 Carl Levin - voted against.
12/22 no dem member of Congress. "Laura Bush, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and Rudy Giuliani discuss the emotional, spiritual and philosophical lessons and challenges of the past year."
12/29 Biden - voted for it.
01/05 - Reid - voted for it.
01/12 - No Dem member of Congress
01/19 - Lieberman, voted for it.
01/26 - Dodd, voted for it.
02/03 - Bill Nelson, voted for it (show's subject was space shuttle disaster)
02/09 - No Dem member of Congress.
02/23 - Dennis Kucinich, voted against it. Debated Richard Perle. Richard Gephardt, voted for with extra gusto.
03/02 - No Democratic member of Congress.
03/09 - No Democratic member of Congress.
03/16 - No Democratic member of Congress.

There were war skeptics who weren't members of Congress - Al Sharpton, Mike Farrell, Madeleine Albright, Wes Clark.

So, in that 5 month period you had 9 appearances by pro-AUMF Dem senators, 2 appearances by senators who voted against. Two appearances by anti-AUMF House members, though only one discussed the topic, and one appearance by a pro-AUMF House member.

23 senators voted against the AUMF (Dems+Jeffords), and the majority of House Democrats.


He was for civil unions before he was against them.

Time for Another Blogger Ethics Panel

Lieberman employee and Jane Hamsher stalker DANGERSTEIN is at it again.

WooHoo! A Record!

Euro hits new high against dollar.

Not all that important, except for those of us who think a trip to Europe would be an enjoyable experience. The devaluation of the dollar isn't in isolation a bad thing, unless it happens at a catastrophic pace.

Chat with Broderella

Submit your questions.

he's on at noon.

...oy, never mind, it's next Friday. I am a stupid blogger.

American Terrorists

I think "cat stuck in tree" got more play on CNN than this attempted bombing.


The stupid!!!!! It burns!!!!!!!!!


Broder's boy bounces all the way to 32%.

(ht pony boy)

They Write Letters

50 Senators write to the Washington Post:

We, the members of the Senate Democratic Caucus, contest the attack on Sen. Harry Reid's leadership by David S. Broder in his April 26 column, "The Democrats' Gonzales."

In contrast to Mr. Broder's insinuations, we believe Mr. Reid is an extraordinary leader who has effectively guided the new Democratic majority through these first few months with skill and aplomb.

The Democratic caucus is diverse, and Mr. Reid has worked tirelessly to make sure that the views of each member are heard and represented. No one ideology dominates the caucus, so that a consensus can be reached and unity achieved. It is hard to imagine a better model for leadership.

Because Mr. Reid has the support of members of the caucus, is a good listener and has an amazing ability to synthesize views and bring people together, the Senate has accomplished a great deal during his time as majority leader. Armed with his years of service in the Senate and with a mastery of procedure, Mr. Reid has led the chamber with a slim majority and a minority that is, at times, determined to stop legislation with which it disagrees.

In the first 100 days alone, we made great strides under his leadership on long-neglected legislation concerning stem cell research, the Sept. 11 commission's recommendations and the minimum wage, to name three. In addition, under Mr. Reid's leadership, we have fulfilled our obligation, left uncompleted by last year's Republican-led Senate, to fund the federal government. He has accomplished all of this in the face of stiff opposition and with a commitment to giving ideas full opportunity for debate.

Finally, in this age of scripted politicians speaking only to their base or claiming that they "don't recall" anything, the fact that Mr. Reid speaks his mind should be applauded, not derided. His brand of straight talk is honest, comes from the heart and speaks directly to the people.





What Are Your Three Favorite States?

I see my decision not to watch the debate was wise.

Morning Thread

RIP Rostropovich.

--Molly Ivors

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Danger in the Night

Odds are Renzi is out soon.


Post away.


MSNBC Chyron:

Friday on Today: White House Counsel Dan Bartlett responds to debate

The debate, of course, being the 7pm Democratic debate. On MSNBC, a relatively low rated cable station. The Today Show, of course, is a highly rated broadcast program.

Fresh Thread


Carry-On Glock

I don't know how you can be so stupid as to try to bring a gun on the plane. You really have to be too stupid to breathe.

David Huckabee, a son of Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, was arrested at an Arkansas airport Thursday after a federal X-ray technician detected a loaded Glock pistol in his carry-on luggage.

"I removed the bag and asked Mr. Huckabee if he knew what he had in the bag," Little Rock police officer Arthur Nugent wrote in a report after he was summoned to a security checkpoint. "He replied he did now."

8 rounds in the gun with an extra clip in the bag.

Working Them Hard

Here's a lovely tale about a blue-collar boy from Buffalo who was working his sources so hard he forgot to pick up the phone and call them.

Blind Squirrel Finds a Nut

Shep Smith edition.

Fighting Age Beinart Talks to Bill Moyers

I like how he shifts discussion from the message (getting it fucking wrong) to the medium (television). You were wrong in print, too.


A CBSer says Bill Moyers is being unfair.

Here are the questions that were asked at that news conference.

Ron Fournier.

Q Let me see if I can further -- if you could further define what you just called this important moment we're in, since you've made it clear just now that you don't think Saddam has disarmed, and we have a quarter million troops in the Persian Gulf, and now that you've called on the world to be ready to use force as a last resort. Are we just days away from the point of which you decide whether or not we go to war? And what harm would it do to give Saddam a final ultimatum? A two- or three-day deadline to disarm or face force?



Q Are we days away?


Q Thank you. Another hot spot is North Korea. If North Korea restarts their plutonium plant, will that change your thinking about how to handle this crisis, or are you resigned to North Korea becoming a nuclear power?



Q Mr. President, you have, and your top advisors -- notably, Secretary of State Powell -- have repeatedly said that we have shared with our allies all the current, up-to-date intelligence information that proves the imminence of the threat we face from Saddam Hussein, and that they have been sharing their intelligence with us, as well. If all these nations, all of them our normal allies, have access to the same intelligence information, why is it that they are reluctant to think that the threat is so real, so imminent that we need to move to the brink of war now?

And in relation to that, today, the British Foreign Minister, Jack Straw, suggested at the U.N. that it might be time to look at amending the resolution, perhaps with an eye towards a timetable like that proposed by the Canadians some two weeks ago, that would set a firm deadline to give Saddam Hussein a little bit of time to come clean. And also, obviously, that would give you a little bit of a chance to build more support within the members of the Security Council. Is that something that the governments should be pursuing at the U.N. right now?


Jim Angle.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. Sir, if you haven't already made the choice to go to war, can you tell us what you are waiting to hear or see before you do make that decision? And if I may, during the recent demonstrations, many of the protestors suggested that the U.S. was a threat to peace, which prompted you to wonder out loud why they didn't see Saddam Hussein as a threat to peace. I wonder why you think so many people around the world take a different view of the threat that Saddam Hussein poses than you and your allies.


Jim Angle.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. Sir, if you haven't already made the choice to go to war, can you tell us what you are waiting to hear or see before you do make that decision? And if I may, during the recent demonstrations, many of the protestors suggested that the U.S. was a threat to peace, which prompted you to wonder out loud why they didn't see Saddam Hussein as a threat to peace. I wonder why you think so many people around the world take a different view of the threat that Saddam Hussein poses than you and your allies.


Q The potential price in terms of lives and the economy, terrorism.


Terry Moran.

Q Thank you, sir. May I follow up on Jim Angle's question? In the past several weeks, your policy on Iraq has generated opposition from the governments of France, Russia, China, Germany, Turkey, the Arab League and many other countries, opened a rift at NATO and at the U.N., and drawn millions of ordinary citizens around the world into the streets in anti-war protests. May I ask, what went wrong that so many governments and people around the world now not only disagree with you very strongly, but see the U.S. under your leadership as an arrogant power?



Q Mr. President, good evening. If you order war, can any military operation be considered a success if the United States does not capture Saddam Hussein, as you once said, dead or alive?


Q Sir, I'm sorry, is success contingent upon capturing or killing Saddam Hussein, in your mind?


Bill Plante.

Q Mr. President, to a lot of people, it seems that war is probably inevitable, because many people doubt -- most people, I would guess -- that Saddam Hussein will ever do what we are demanding that he do, which is disarm. And if war is inevitable, there are a lot of people in this country -- as much as half, by polling standards -- who agree that he should be disarmed, who listen to you say that you have the evidence, but who feel they haven't seen it, and who still wonder why blood has to be shed if he hasn't attacked us.



Q Thank you, Mr. President. As you said, the Security Council faces a vote next week on a resolution implicitly authorizing an attack on Iraq. Will you call for a vote on that resolution, even if you aren't sure you have the vote?


Q No matter what?


Mark Knoller.

Q Mr. President, are you worried that the United States might be viewed as defiant of the United Nations if you went ahead with military action without specific and explicit authorization from the U.N.?



Q Thank you, Mr. President. Even though our military can certainly prevail without a northern front, isn't Turkey making it at least slightly more challenging for us, and therefore, at least slightly more likely that American lives will be lost? And if they don't reverse course, would you stop backing their entry into the European Union?


Q Oh, I have a question. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Okay. I'm sure you do have a question.

Q Mr. President, as the nation is at odds over war, with many organizations like the Congressional Black Caucus pushing for continued diplomacy through the U.N., how is your faith guiding you? And what should you tell America -- well, what should America do, collectively, as you instructed before 9/11? Should it be "pray?" Because you're saying, let's continue the war on terror.



Q Thank you, Mr. President. As you know, not everyone shares your optimistic vision of how this might play out. Do you ever worry, maybe in the wee, small hours, that you might be wrong and they might be right in thinking that this could lead to more terrorism, more anti-American sentiment, more instability in the Middle East?



Q Mr. President, if you decide to go ahead with military action, there are inspectors on the ground in Baghdad. Will you give them time to leave the country, or the humanitarian workers on the ground or the journalists? Will you be able to do that, and still mount an effective attack on Iraq?



Q Mr. President, good evening. Sir, you've talked a lot about trusting the American people when it comes to making decisions about their own lives, about how to spend their own money. When it comes to the financial costs of the war, sir, it would seem that the administration, surely, has costed out various scenarios. If that's the case, why not present some of them to the American people so they know what to expect, sir?


George Condin.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. If I can follow on Steve's question, on North Korea. Do you believe it is essential for the security of the United States and its allies that North Korea be prevented from developing nuclear weapons? And are you in any way growing frustrated with the pace of the diplomacy there?



Q Thank you, sir. Mr. President, millions of Americans can recall a time when leaders from both parties set this country on a mission of regime change in Vietnam. Fifty thousand Americans died. The regime is still there in Hanoi, and it hasn't harmed or threatened a single American in the 30 years since the war ended. What can you say tonight, sir, to the sons and the daughters of the Americans who served in Vietnam to assure them that you will not lead this country down a similar path in Iraq?



Q Thank you, Mr. President. In the coming days, the American people are going to hear a lot of debate about this British proposal of a possible deadline being added to the resolution, or not. And I know you don't want to tip your hand -- this is a great diplomatic moment -- but from the administration's perspective and your own perspective, can you share for the American public what you view as the pros and cons associated with that proposal?

Sign the Bill

Americans United ad.


Well, with almost all Republicans now on record voting in support of permanent war, the only thing which could prevent another big victory for Democrats in '08 is campaign consultants telling their candidates not to run on the war.

Young Broder

Washington Post, October 7, 1969.

If there are any smart literary agents around these days, one of them will copyright the title [ed. note - titles can't be copyrighted] "The Breaking of the President" for the next big series of nonfiction best-sellers. It is becoming more obvious with every passing day that the men and the movement that broke Lyndon B. Johnson's authority in 1968 are out to break Richard M. Nixon in 1969.

The likelihood is great that they will succeed again, for breaking a President is, like most feats, easier to accomplish the second time around. Once learned, the techniques can readily be applied as often as desired - even when the circumstances seem less than propitious. No matter that this President is pulling troops out of Vietnam, while the last one was sending them in; no matter that in 1969 the casualties and violence are declining, while in 1968 they were on the rise. Men have learned to break a President, and, like any discovery that imparts power to its possessors, the mere availability of this knowledge guarantees that it will be used.

The essentials of the technique are now so well understood that they can be applied with little waste motion. First, the breakers arrogate to themselves a position of moral superiority. For that reason, a war that is unpopular, expensive, and very probably unwise is labeled as immoral, indecent, and intolerable. Critics of the President who are indelicate enough to betray partisan motives are denounced (That for you, Fred Harris.) Members of the President's own party who, for reasons perhaps unrelated to their own flagging political careers, catapult themselves into the front ranks of the of the opposition are greeted as heroes. (Hooray for Charley Goodell.)

The students who would fight in the war are readily mobilized against it. Their teachers, as is their custom, hasten to adopt the students' views. (News item: The Harvard department of biochemistry and molecular biology last week called for immediate withdrawal from Vietnam.)

Next, a New England election (the New Hampshire primary is best but the Massachusetts Sixth Congressional District election will do as well) surprisingly shows that peace is popular at the polls. The President's party sees defeat staring it in the face unless it repudiates him, and the Harris poll promptly comes along to confirm his waning grip on public trust. The Chief Executive, clearly panicky, resorts to false bravado and says he will never be moved by these protests and demonstrations, thus confirming the belief that he is too stubborn to repent and must be broken.

And then, dear friends, Sen. Fulbright and the Foreign Relations Committee move in to finish off the job.

All this is no fiction: it worked before and it is working again. Vietnam is proving to be what Henry Kissinger once said he suspected it might be -- one of those tragic, cursed messes that destroys any President who touches it.

That being the case, any President interested in saving his own skin would be well-advised to resign his responsibility for Vietnam and publicly transfer the assignment of ending the war to Congress or the Vietnam Moratorium Committee or anyone else who would like to volunteer for the job.

But he cannot. And that is the point the protesters seem to overlook. Assume that they and the President are both right when they assert the time has come to end this war. Assume that the protesters know better than the President how to do so -- despite the conspicuous absence of specific alternatives to the President's policies in their current manifestos.

There is still a vital distinction, granting all this, to be made between the constitutionally protected expression of dissent, aimed at changing national policy, and mass movements aimed at breaking the President by destroying his capacity to lead the nation or to represent it at the bargaining table.

The point is quite simple. Given the impatience in this country to be out of that miserable war, there is no great trick in using the Vietnam issue to break another President, you have broken the one man who can negotiate the peace.

Hanoi will not sit down for secret talks with the Foreign Relations Committee. Nor can the Vietnam Moratorium's sponsors order home a single GI or talk turkey to Gen. Thieu about reshaping his government. Only the President can do that.

There is also the matter of time. It is one thing to break a President at the end of his term, as was done last year. It is quite another thing to break him at the beginning, as is being attempted now.

The orators who remind us that Mr. Nixon has been in office for nine months should remind themselves that he will remain there for 39 more months -- unless, of course, they are willing to put their convictions to the test by moving to impeach him.

Is that not, really, the proper course? Rather than destroying his capacity to lead while leaving him in office, rather than leaving the nation with a broken President at its head for three years, would not their cause and the country be better served by resort to the constitutional method for removing a President?

And what a wonderful chapter it would make for Volume 2 of "The Breaking of the President" series.


Begala has a good column about Broder, which highlights, among other things, his sneering elitism. Given that Broder has long painted himself as the One True Understander Of What The Murkin People Think it's important to call him out on that.

They Know Even Less Than What They Say

Greenwald discusses the Moyers documentary in contemporary context.

The tragic absurdity of our contemporary political discourse, where selling a catastrophic war ensures your tenure in elite punditry, cannot be overstated.

Blowing Up Bombs Where Angels Would Fly

Little Petey Beinart, 4/29/02:

PETER BEINART: (CNN 4/29/02) We need a little bit of logistical support, but we don't need the moral support of anyone, because we're on the side of the angels in this.

What the People Think

Obviously what orthodontists and the other members of the dirty masses think is much less important than, say, the thoughts of Washington insiders who have proven their inability to find their own asses again and again over the past few years. So, I imagine such views will be left out of the Sunday outlook. Still, here it is:

Fifty-seven percent (57%) of American voters now favor either an immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq (37%) or a firm deadline for their withdrawal (20%). The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 35% of voters are opposed to both of these options for ending the war.


Underlying these attitudes is pessimism about the War itself. Just 29% of American voters believe the troop surge launched earlier this year has made things better in Iraq. Twice as many, 61%, believe the surge has either made things worse (43%) or had no impact (18%). A separate survey found that just 33% believe history will judge the U.S. mission in Iraq a success. Fifty percent (50%) believe it will be viewed as a failure.

BTW, I really think it's important for all good people to cancel their Washington Post subscriptions. It has become yet another propaganda arm for the Bill Kristol wing of the Republican party, as if that territory wasn't already amply covered.

They Write Emails

The deputy editor of the Washington Post's Outlook section is sending this email around:

Is Harry Reid right? Is the Iraq War lost?

The Washington Post's Outlook section wants to hear how people in the know would answer this ringing question. So we're asking a variety of people around town and in the political/military/media/diplomatic community to tell us what they think. We'd love it if you could send us no more than 50 words from the senator, starting with a blunt "yes" or "no" and then explaining why, for publication in this Sunday's Outlook.

You can send responses directly to this e-mail. I'll need your reply by 2 p.m. Thursday, April 26.

Look forward to hearing from you soon, and many thanks.



I couldn't stomach watching the whole thing, though I skipped through it. If you have an iron stomach you can watch here.

Great Moments in Modern Punditry

Tom Tomorrow.

"Get a Life"

In response to Murtha taking issue with McCain joking about IEDs, McCain said:

Lighten up and get a life.

The point is that dead troops and other victims are no longer capable of getting "a life."

All good fun for St. McCain, though.

Jonah's World

Recently Max asked:

Why do so many bloggers engage in online debates with Jonah Goldberg?

But he basically answered his own question:

He's a gigantic honking ignoramus. He doesn't know anything about anything.

Probably the most successful kind of internet troll, the kind of troll unaware that it is actually attempting to troll, is the truly stupid person. They attract an immense amount of attention, bringing out all of our inner teachers. We cannot believe they are actually that stupid. We believe that maybe, somehow, if we explain things to them very slowly they will actually have the capacity to learn. But they don't. They are giant honking ignoramuses who don't know anything about anything and likely never will.

Yet we can't resist them, because we are fascinated by their stupidity. Fascinated that they manage to be that profoundly dumb yet still manage to tie their shoes, string complete sentences together, etc.

Jonah's so stupid he has no idea how stupid he is. It'd be funnier if he wasn't one of the standard bearers of the dominant (if fast waning) political movement in this country.

Malkin Allies With MSM Against Liberal Bloggers



Petraeus is now rebooting the war as the US allied with Iraqis against al Qaeda.

Lord help us.

...ah, I see Lieberman was prepped with the talking points, which Fred Hiatt dutifully printed.

Funny how all that works.

Scary Vaginas

Can't parody them anymore.


Broder's boy bounces all the way to 28%.

And the First Eschaton Wanker Emeritus Award Goes To

David Broder.

We'll provide his acceptance speech for him.

Let me disclose my own bias in this matter. I like Karl Rove. In the days when he was operating from Austin, we had many long and rewarding conversations. I have eaten quail at his table and admired the splendid Hill Country landscape from the porch of the historic cabin Karl and his wife Darby found miles away and had carted to its present site on their land.

Y Kant Timmeh Spell?


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Late Night

Rock on.


Fresh for now.

People Hate Bush And Hate The War

I don't know what it'll take for that to enter the bloodstream of Official Washington.

WASHINGTON - As the Democrat-controlled Congress and the White House clash over an Iraq spending bill, with President Bush vowing to veto it because it contains withdrawal deadlines, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that a solid majority of Americans side with the Democrats.


Yet the poll shows that 56 percent say they agree more with the Democrats in Congress who want to set a deadline for troop withdrawal, versus the 37 percent who say they agree with Bush that there shouldn't be a deadline.

What's more, 55 percent believe that victory in Iraq isn't possible. And 49 percent say the situation in Iraq has gotten worse in the last three months since Bush announced his so-called troop surge. Thirty-seven percent say the situation has stayed about the same, and just 12 percent think it has improved.


According to the poll, only 22 percent believe the country is on the right track. That's the lowest number on this question since October 1992, when Bush father's was running for a second term -- and lost.


Sorry, It's Video Day

Blame Monica A for this horror which will require spending a few hours at the Daily Kitten in order to recover.

More Bush dancing horrors.

Knuckle-Dragging Savages

I sense we're swinging back from "spreading peeance and freeance to the Iraqi people" to "kill the brutes." It's always hard to keep track of just where that pendulum is at any particular moment.

One Cannot Prosecute a Nonexistent Crime

Though the loyal Bushies keep trying.

Now That Bigfoot is Captured

A little musical palette cleanser for the previous unpleasantness. Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood (.mp3) from Clap Your Hands Say Yeah.

The Pelosi Rules

Everything she does is scandalous.

Oh. My. God.

Oh. My. God.

No. Really.

Oh. My. God.

Malaria Awareness Day

Be careful kids, this is what happens when you get malaria.


One cannot begin to describe how deeply twisted she is.

McCain Takes it to Rudy

His speech today:

They won't accept that firemen and policemen are unable to communicate with each other in an emergency because they don't have the same radio frequency.

Heckuva job, Rudy.

Free lifetime subscription to Eschaton for the first mainstream media person who picks up on that.

Stephanie Miller on MSNBC

Stephanie Miller will be taking the former Imus slot from Mon-Wed next week. to express your support for this decision.

Subpoena/Immunity for Goodling

Should be fun.

Terry Moran Loves His Brother

But he's a total wanker.

We Write Letters

A bunch of people write to the DNC and the RNC requesting the convention footage be placed in the public domain or under a Creative Commons license (.pdf).

Old Shoe

Greenwald takes us back to the Jessica Lynch coverage.

The Outrage Generation Machine

Consider, if you will, a parallel universe in which Bill Clinton presided over a deeply unpopular war in Iraq which was increasingly opposed by members of the Republican party. Thousands of US troops had died, and many thousands more had life-altering injuries. And, then, First Lady Hillary Clinton said, on a popular morning show, that over the course of the war no one had suffered more then she and her husband had.

Just imagine for a moment how that would've played out on talk radio, Drudge, CNN, Fox, MSNBC, the nightly news, the Sunday shows, the wingnut columnists, the liberal columnists, NPR, etc...

I imagine few honest members of the media industrial complex could deny this point, though most refuse to learn the broader lesson implied by it.

This American Life

The General discusses his inner frenchman's younger days.

Wanker of the Day

Laura Bush.


Cat playing piano.

Just kill me.

Stewart and McCain

McCain's wacky.

Morning Thread


Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Jon Stewart:

Basically, first-term president Bush, you invaded to remove the threat of Saddam Hussein. And you, current president Bush, are there to battle the threat created by the lack of Saddam Hussein.

Oh My

Oh my.


Unless Rudy and the Republicans run the government, 9/11 could happen.

Oh, wait...

Oh My

What fun we're having.

WASHINGTON - In a burst of activity over the last eight days, FBI agents and federal prosecutors have won a guilty plea from a former congressional aide, implicated two more House of Representatives members and put the scandal surrounding onetime super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff's influence-peddling back into the headlines.

The pace of the inquiry, which now has bagged a veteran congressman, a deputy Cabinet secretary, a White House aide and eight others, appears to be accelerating.

And it portends to be a major new headache for the Bush administration and congressional Republicans still reeling from a furor over the Justice Department's firing of eight U.S. attorneys and from last fall's election, which put Democrats back in command on Capitol Hill.

The newest figure to face serious FBI scrutiny is Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Fla., who said bureau agents have asked for details of a 2003 golf trip to Scotland that he took with Abramoff - a trip that the House ethics committee recently found violated House rules.

...and Renzi news.

The Simon Standard

I look forward to Roger Simon holding all politicians to his new ecumenical standard.

And, yes, I just wet myself laughing.

Keys to the Kingdom

Interesting, though I don't think we can count on Scott Bloch.

Evening Thread

Your Liberal Media

(ht reader t)


From Reid's spokesman:

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Jim Manley, Spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, released the following statement today after comments made by Vice President Dick Cheney:

Vice President Cheney should be the last person to lecture anyone on how leaders should make decisions.

Leaders should make decisions based on facts and reality, two words that seem to be foreign to the Vice President

This is the same guy who said Iraq has weapons of mass destruction and that we would be greeted as liberators. And it's the same guy who continues to assert that Saddam Hussein had links to al Qaeda long after our own intelligence agency conclusively refuted this notion. To suggest he lacks credibility would be an understatement.

The Vice President's and others' attacks on those who disagree with their failed policies are signs of desperation. They are lashing out because they know the days are numbered for their failed strategy and that the American people and a bipartisan majority are determined to force this Administration to change course in Iraq.

Cheney's an absurd buffoon. I can't believe how the talking heads on the teevee seem to quiver when he appears. What a joke.

Zombie Lies

Can't ever kill them.

Fresh Thread


Bring out the Snarl

They sent out Big Time to snarl at Democrats. Even they're not stupid enough to think anyone actually gives a shit about Dick Cheney, anyone but our elite media who think that when Dick snarls the Democrats are supposed to cower.

We're supposed to take war advice from a man who shot someone in the face.

Hanging in There

It's true that some people still like Bush, and most of them are elite pundits.

Worm Dirt

Mary Tillman just recounted this incident:

In a transcript of his interview with Brig. Gen. Gary Jones during a November 2004 investigation, Kauzlarich said he'd learned Kevin Tillman, Pat's brother and fellow Army Ranger who was a part of the battle the night Pat Tillman died, objected to the presence of a chaplain and the saying of prayers during a repatriation ceremony in Germany before his brother's body was returned to the United States.

Kauzlarich, now a battalion commanding officer at Fort Riley in Kansas, further suggested the Tillman family's unhappiness with the findings of past investigations might be because of the absence of a Christian faith in their lives.

In an interview with, Kauzlarich said: "When you die, I mean, there is supposedly a better life, right? Well, if you are an atheist and you don't believe in anything, if you die, what is there to go to? Nothing. You are worm dirt. So for their son to die for nothing, and now he is no more — that is pretty hard to get your head around that. So I don't know how an atheist thinks. I can only imagine that that would be pretty tough."

Asked by whether the Tillmans' religious beliefs are a factor in the ongoing investigation, Kauzlarich said, "I think so. There is not a whole lot of trust in the system or faith in the system [by the Tillmans]. So that is my personal opinion, knowing what I know."

Asked what might finally placate the family, Kauzlarich said, "You know what? I don't think anything will make them happy, quite honestly. I don't know. Maybe they want to see somebody's head on a platter. But will that really make them happy? No, because they can't bring their son back."

Kauzlarich, now 40, was the Ranger regiment executive officer in Afghanistan, who played a role in writing the recommendation for Tillman's posthumous Silver Star. And finally, with his fingerprints already all over many of the hot-button issues, including the question of who ordered the platoon to be split as it dragged a disabled Humvee through the mountains, Kauzlarich conducted the first official Army investigation into Tillman's death.

That investigation is among the inquiries that didn't satisfy the Tillman family.

"Well, this guy makes disparaging remarks about the fact that we're not Christians, and the reason that we can't put Pat to rest is because we're not Christians," Mary Tillman, Pat's mother, said in an interview with Mary Tillman casts the family as spiritual, though she said it does not believe in many of the fundamental aspects of organized religion.

"Oh, it has nothing to do with the fact that this whole thing is shady," she said sarcastically, "But it is because we are not Christians."

After a pause, her voice full with emotion, she added, "Pat may not have been what you call a Christian. He was about the best person I ever knew. I mean, he was just a good guy. He didn't lie. He was very honest. He was very generous. He was very humble. I mean, he had an ego, but it was a healthy ego. It is like, everything those [people] are, he wasn't."

And they delayed Jessica Lynch's recuse for a day because they needed to prepare to videotape it.

These are bad people.

Waxman, Kevin Tillman, and Lynch

From the Gavel:

Very Serious People

Lawrence Kaplan:

"At what point does the press report a trend? The question comes to mind because, over the past month, the news from Iraq has been unusually good. Depending on which military official you ask, insurgent attacks have dropped by either a third or nearly half. The number of Americans killed in action has declined. Civilians have begun killing terrorists. Over the past week alone, U.S. forces have killed scores of insurgents in lopsided battles -- in the latest, Iraqi forces spearheaded the offensive. Does this mean America has turned a corner? Can we see a light at the end of the tunnel? Does it mean anything at all?

At least to judge by the amount of press coverage devoted to the past weeks' progress in Iraq, the answer would seem to be no.

Our pal Larry wrote that exactly two years ago 25 months ago.

Tillman Hearing

Wow, just watch if you can. CNN.


Greenwald surveys the landscape.

My Vision

Fred Hiatt, Joe Lieberman, Bill Kristol in Annie Afros and little red dresses singing:

The sun'll come out
In six months
Bet your bottom dollar
That in six months
There'll be sun!

Just thinkin' about
in six months
Clears away the cobwebs,
And the sorrow
'Til there's none!

When I'm stuck a day
That's gray,
And lonely,
I just stick out my chin
And Grin,
And Say,

The sun'll come out
In six months
So ya gotta hang on
For six months
Come what may
In six months! In six months!
I love ya in six months!
You're always
A Friedman
A way!

Until the End of the Summer

Elite press consensus appears to be taking its cue from Joe Lieberman and taking the view that it's just wrong not to let the boy king have another chance to let the surge "work," that we should just sit back and give the incompetent crew yet another do-over.
So, just shut the hell up until August! Or September! Or whenever the hell summer ends.

I imagine the Friedman Unit Generator is hard at work, preparing for the inevitable reboot that will come at that time. When Snowe and Collins furrow their brows and look sad and very seriously say they hope things get better soon. When Joe Lieberman writes his annual "things are getting better finally!" column. When a 3 day period with no mass casualty event in Iraq provides "proof" that maybe it's really really working!

It's all so absurd and so horrible.

The Center of Everything

Media Matters is all powerful.

Morning Thread

Oh. My. Gawd!

(by special request for Ruth)


Oh My

Monday, April 23, 2007

Time's Editors

Perhaps they should step in and have an intervention with Joe Klein.

Not holding my breath.


Over there.

BAGHDAD - Nine U.S. soldiers were killed and 20 were wounded Monday in a suicide car bombing against a patrol base northeast of Baghdad, the military said.

The attack occurred in Diyala province, a volatile area that has been the site of fierce fighting between U.S. and Iraqi troops, Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias, according to a statement.

The nine Task Force Lightning soldiers died of injuries sustained in the blast, which also left 20 soldiers and an Iraqi civilian wounded, the military said.

Go Away

As if we hadn't had enough to put up with lately, Frank "The Worst Critic in America" Bruni was lurking around my city.

The awful food writing is no surprise to those of us who lived through his campaign 2000 writing.

(via foobooz)

Sharpton/Tancredo '08!

I took the plunge and officially became an official Unity '08 delegate.

It's true I briefly flirted with the Editors/Airwolf '08 campaign, but now I'm back in the Unity fold supporting the only ticket which can bring America together.


I think these RNC ads are great, and I hope they spend a lot of money to run them. Over and over and over.

"Fixing" Social Security

In the summary overview we have this:

Social Security could be brought into actuarial balance over the next 75 years in various ways, including an immediate increase of 16 percent in payroll tax revenues or an immediate reduction in benefits of 13 percent or some combination of the two.

Roughly, this would require increasing both the employee and employer share of the tax from 6.2% to 7.05% (there might be some employment/wage impacts of such a change so this is a rough take).

A small price to pay to ensure Robert Samuelson never writes another column.


Well, another year and not much has changed. Last year they said Social Security could pay full scheduled benefits without any program changes until 2040, and now it's 2041.

More Thread

God I have a shitty blog.

Grand Old Police Blotter

And another one...

fresh thread


Still Wanking


American Family Association

How do they know how often Cho was spanked? Besides, I thought hot saucing was the preferred method of wingnut discipline.

Memo to Alec Baldwin: more hitting, less yelling.

Too Many Wankers

Memo to Dean Broder: the fact that Republicans whine and screech and cry and carry on is not, in fact, evidence that someone has said anything wrong.

The whiny ass titty baby party always whines and screeches and cries. It's what they do.

The disconnect between elite opinion in Washington and reality continues to grow. It's frightening.

Bigger Media Matt

He's all grown up now.


Bush bouncing all the way to 33%.

Some days I really just can't stand watching the teevee. They still talk about this stuff as if Democrats are on the defensive and the steely-eyed rocketman is going to wow the public with his plainspoken ways.

People hate Bush and hate this war. It's that simple, and it's been true for quite some time.


Incoming: stupid journalism.

The Social Security Trustees are supposedly releasing their annual report today, so we can look forward to lots of stories about how Social Security is DOOOOOOOOOOMED.

Dead Babies

Ah, pro-life Republicans.

Wanker of the Day

Joe Klein.


Boehner, 90 days ago:

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.

Since the, about 250 US troops have been killed. The rhetoric about Iraqis "standing up" and talk of training has ended. And life goes on.

BAGHDAD - Three suicide bombers launched attacks in different parts of
Iraq on Monday, killing at least 27 people and wounding nearly 60 on Monday, police and politicians said.

Hostage Situation


There are two ways to describe the confrontation between Congress and the Bush administration over funding for the Iraq surge. You can pretend that it’s a normal political dispute. Or you can see it for what it really is: a hostage situation, in which a beleaguered President Bush, barricaded in the White House, is threatening dire consequences for innocent bystanders — the troops — if his demands aren’t met.

If this were a normal political dispute, Democrats in Congress would clearly hold the upper hand: by a huge margin, Americans say they want a timetable for withdrawal, and by a large margin they also say they trust Congress, not Mr. Bush, to do a better job handling the situation in Iraq.

But this isn’t a normal political dispute. Mr. Bush isn’t really trying to win the argument on the merits. He’s just betting that the people outside the barricade care more than he does about the fate of those innocent bystanders.

What’s at stake right now is the latest Iraq “supplemental.” Since the beginning, the administration has refused to put funding for the war in its regular budgets. Instead, it keeps saying, in effect: “Whoops! Whaddya know, we’re running out of money. Give us another $87 billion.”

At one level, this is like the behavior of an irresponsible adolescent who repeatedly runs through his allowance, each time calling his parents to tell them he’s broke and needs extra cash.

What I haven’t seen sufficiently emphasized, however, is the disdain this practice shows for the welfare of the troops, whom the administration puts in harm’s way without first ensuring that they’ll have the necessary resources.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

And the cover...

...which made it okay for white kids to like rap, white broadcasters to play it, and brought back Aerosmith from the dead.

More Thread

You talk too much.

...odd, I never knew Run was the brother of Russell Simmons. And I was someone who saw Krush Groove in the theater on opening night!

Fresh Thread

Night of the Bat-Bat.

Mr. Bush, Tear Down That Wall...

Anyone actually in charge?

CAIRO, Egypt: Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Sunday that he has ordered a halt to the construction of a barrier that would separate a Sunni enclave from Shiite areas in Baghdad, saying there are other ways to provide protection.

Wanker of the Day

Pete Sessions.


What a lovely war.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Gunmen in northern Iraq stopped a bus filled with Christians and members of a tiny Kurdish religious sect, separating out the groups and taking 23 of the passengers away to be shot.



The date we set a deadline to pull out is the date al Qaeda will declare victory over the United States.

In other words, we can never leave.

Politics as Theater

Leaving aside the various sins of error, emphasis, and omission, there is a place in our political discourse for political-writing-as-theater criticism as practiced by people like Rich and Dowd. The problem is that this type of stuff has come to dominate our political discourse, and it's especially awful when it gets filtered through the mouths of people like Chris Matthews who lack any talent in that area whatsoever.

Editors/Airwolf '08

Awesome. It might make me rethink my support for Sharpton/Tancredo '08.

More Truth

In fairness to CNN, they let a bit of truth slip out too. Yesterday:

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): Americans do not want to fight an unwinnable war. That's why back in 2005, President Bush said --

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And we'll accept nothing less than complete victory.

SCHNEIDER: The president speaks about the war a little differently now.

BUSH: It's really important as we -- that we have a sober discussion and understand what will be the consequences of failure.

SCHNEIDER: Pessimism about Iraq has continued to mount, even before the news of Wednesday's bombings in Baghdad. In a CNN opinion research center poll taken last week, 69 percent of Americans said things are going badly for the United States in Iraq. That's the most negative assessment yet recorded, up from 54 percent who though things were going badly last June and 62 percent in October. The public's view -- it's not working. Senator Reid put it bluntly.

SEN. HARRY REID, (D-NV) MAJORITY LEADER: As long as we follow the president's path in Iraq, the war is lost.

SCHNEIDER: Senator McCain objected.

VOICE OF SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R-AZ) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: That's not the view of the men and women who are putting their lives on the line as we speak.

SCHNEIDER: Do Americans believe the U.S. is winning the war in Iraq? Last month they said no by better than two to one. Do Americans believe the U.S. will win? No. Do Americans believe the U.S. can win? The public is split. They're not sure. So Reid said --

REID: But there's still a chance to change course and we must change course.

SCHNEIDER: Which side does the public take in this standoff? It's not even close. Sixty percent of Americans say they side with the Democrats in Congress, thirty-seven percent with the president.


Hey, Juan Williams let a little truth slip out.

CNN spent all day Friday hyping this "controversy," parading a series of Republicans - with no rebuttals - to talk about Harry Reid's dastardly statements.

Keep doing it. People hate Bush and hate this war and the more the Democrats are associated with that view the more support they'll have.

Sunday Afternoon on the Roof

Finally some nice weather returns to Philadelphia, otherwise known as Baghdad on the Delaware, and my cold recedes. The only pressing question for the day is which tasty meats to put on the grill for dinner.

As for those residing in our sister city, more pressing issues exist.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Two suicide car bombers attacked a police station Sunday in western Baghdad, killing at least 13 people and wounding 82, police said.

The bombs exploded as Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki arrived in Cairo, Egypt, on the first stop of a four-nation regional tour aimed at winning Arab support for his embattled government.

The first driver raced through a police checkpoint guarding the station and exploded his vehicle just outside the two-story building, police said. Moments later, a second suicide car bomber aimed for the checkpoint's concrete barriers and exploded just outside them, police said. (Watch why the Senate majority leader says the war is "lost" Video)

The blasts collapsed nearby buildings, smashing windows and burying at least four cars under piles of concrete. Metal roofs were peeled back by the force of the explosions. Pools of blood made red mud of a dusty driveway.

And, suddenly it occurs to me that only one man is truly qualified to be the Czar of All Iraq War Czar.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the moustache of understanding himself. Tom Friedman.

Must....Avoid... Oh, what the hell.

I thought this reader poll at Daily Kos was fairly interesting. A significant (not a majority or most, but significant) number of respondents basically read the Daily Kos and not much else. Their view of blogging is Kos-centric. That is, it isn't really about liberal blogs generally it's all about the Home of the Great Orange Satan.

I'll avoid the temptation to go deeply into this, but I think a lot of the social dynamic that plays out there and elsewhere can be explained in part by this. Us outsiders see Kos as one blog among many, if a very highly trafficked blog, and his voice one among many many many voices on the blog (the other front pagers, the prominence of the recommended diaries, etc...). Some insiders and former insiders see it as the center of the universe.

Sunday Bobbleheads

Document the atrocities.

ABC’s “This Week” — Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., and his wife, Jackie Marie Clegg.


CBS’ “Face the Nation” — Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.; Jim and Sarah Brady of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence; former FBI profiler Gregg McCrary.


NBC’s “Meet the Press” — Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt; Education Secretary Margaret Spellings; Col. Gerald Massengill, former Virginia State Police superintendent; former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge.


CNN’s “Late Edition” — Sens. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore.; Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell; New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman; Lanny Davis, former special counsel to President Clinton; David Rivkin, former counsel to President George H.W. Bush.


“Fox News Sunday” — Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling; Stephen Trachtenberg, George Washington University president; Sens. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y.

Morning Thread

Last night's White House Correspondents Dinner was, as I understand it, almost as funny as television in the 70s.

Because it pretty much was.

There was one relative highlight (once you get past Tony Snow, though I'm glad he's about)


Rock on.