Saturday, June 30, 2007

Late Night

Rock on.

Saturday Evening Thread

Probably good for Republicans.

I Bet This Will Be Good For Republicans

It always is.

Some Good News in the World

New Hampshire repeals parental notification law.


Ken Silverstein:

The decline of undercover reporting — and of investigative reporting in general — also reflects, in part, the increasing conservatism and cautiousness of the media, especially the smug, high-end Washington press corps. As reporters have grown more socially prominent during the last several decades, they've become part of the very power structure that they're supposed to be tracking and scrutinizing.

Chuck Lewis, a former "60 Minutes" producer and founder of the Center for Public Integrity, once told me: "The values of the news media are the same as those of the elite, and they badly want to be viewed by the elites as acceptable."

Fresh Thread



I never understood the whole "blow up car at an airport" idea. After 9/11 it seemed to be the sole obsession of LAX airport security, and they went so far as diverting all traffic, except cabs and buses, away from the terminals for awhile (I have no idea what they do now). Why they imagined wannabe terrorists would find it impossible to obtain a cab I have no idea. In any case, there's nothing special about airports which make them desirable targets for a car bomb. There are plenty of places with greater crowds and less security which would presumably be much better targets. The reason why airports are seen as terrorist magnets is because of concerns they'll blow up planes.

Anyway, assuming this was an attempted terrorist attack it appears the ranks of international terrorists are filled with incompetent idiots.

...and what Larry Johnson said:

As events unfold I'm simply asking that folks take a big deep breath and try to keep things in perspective. Are there jihadist extremists in the world who are willing to kill innocents? Absolutely. Are they amenable to negotiation? No. I am not in the, "have you hugged a terrorist today" camp. However, we need to stop equating their hatred with actual capability.

If today's events at Glasgow prove to be linked to the two non-events yesterday in London, then we should heave a sigh of relief. We may be witnessing the implosion of takfiri jihadists--religious fanatics who are incredibly inept. While I am not an explosives expert I am good friends with one of the world's foremost explosives experts. Propane tanks and petrol (gas for us Americans) can produce a dandy flame and a mighty boom but these are not the tools for making a car bomb long the lines of what we see detonating on a daily basis in Iraq.

My main beef remains that much of the cable news media reacts to this nonsense like a fifty year old guy on Viagra or Cialis--they pop major wood. And the same warnings are appropriate--an erection lasting more than four hours may be harmful. Amen.


Fred Hiatt's crew supports putting right wing freaks on the Supreme Court and then they're shocked to discover that right wing freaks make right wing freak rulings.

The foolish elites who rule us.

Media Matters

From Jamison Foser.


The Anbar miracle continues.

THE US military said it had uncovered 35 to 40 bodies in a mass grave south of Falluja, in Iraq's Sunni dominated Anbar province.

A Falluja hospital source said 35 bodies had been retrieved and were being finger-printed to establish their identity.

The military said the killings were relatively recent and the bodies had been bound and bore gunshot wounds.


Broder's boy bounces all the way to 27%.

A CBS News poll shows Americans are increasingly dissatisfied with the Iraq war, President Bush and the Congress, as well as the overall direction of the country.

More Americans than ever before, 77 percent, say the war is going badly, up from 66 percent just two months ago. Nearly half, 47 percent, say it's going very badly.

While the springtime surge in U.S. troops to Iraq is now complete, more Americans than ever are calling for U.S. forces to withdraw. Sixty-six percent say the number of U.S. troops in Iraq should be decreased, including 40 percent who want all U.S. troops removed. That's a 7-point increase since April.



Fewer than one in five thinks that the troop increase is helping to improve the situation in Iraq, while about half think the war is actually creating more terrorists.

The poll has bad news for President Bush, too. His job approval rating slipped to 27 percent, his lowest number ever in a CBS News poll — 3 points less than last month and 1 point below his previous low of 28 percent in January. His disapproval rating is also at an all-time high of 65 percent.

It's time

For some clean sheets. Go read Digby on Borosage on obstructing the obstructionists. Like you needed me to tell you to read Digby, even.

It's grey and rainy in London, and you didn't need me to tell you that, either. I'm so redundant.

Not Atrios


Fresh thread. New pony tomorrow.

Not Getting It

It isn't just the Right. The mainstream media has never understood Move On, or at least pretended not to. This is basically a group which formed and gained incredible support around the notion that Clinton should be censured, not impeached, which the wise old men of Washington thought was crazy until the sainted senator from Connecticut proposed it. Then they had the crazy idea that the Iraq war might not be such a hot idea.

And those organizations which thought impeaching the president over a blowjob and invading Iraq were awesome ideas are very serious indeed.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Friday Night Thread

Freshly laundered.

If It's Friday...

...then a loyal Bushie is resigning.

WASHINGTON — A Justice Department official who was eyed as a possible replacement for one of several fired U.S. attorneys announced her resignation Friday.

Rachel Brand, the assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Policy, will step down July 9, the department said in a statement. The statement did not give a reason for her departure, but Brand is expecting a baby soon.

Brand was a member of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' leadership team. When officials were planning to fire U.S. attorneys in San Diego, San Francisco, Michigan and Arkansas, Brand was named as a possible replacement for Margaret Chiari in Michigan, according to documents released as part of a congressional inquiry.

Fresh Thread


Giant Killing Machine

David Broder is shocked.


Following up on what Josh says here, I think it's this kind of thing which has been very frustrating over the past few years. There is good reporting, and it's from that information that I form my conclusions about the Bush administration generally, but so little of it manages to penetrate the basic narratives conveyed in punditland and, more importantly, the narratives which shape much subsequent reporting.

Fresh Thread




WASHINGTON — Facing eroding support for his Iraq policy, even among Republicans, President Bush on Thursday called al Qaida "the main enemy" in Iraq, an assertion rejected by his administration's senior intelligence analysts.

The reference, in a major speech at the Naval War College that referred to al Qaida at least 27 times, seemed calculated to use lingering outrage over the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, to bolster support for the current buildup of U.S. troops in Iraq, despite evidence that sending more troops hasn't reduced the violence or sped Iraqi government action on key issues.

Bush called al Qaida in Iraq the perpetrator of the worst violence racking that country and said it was the same group that had carried out the Sept. 11 attacks in New York and Washington.

"Al Qaida is the main enemy for Shia, Sunni and Kurds alike," Bush asserted. "Al Qaida's responsible for the most sensational killings in Iraq. They're responsible for the sensational killings on U.S. soil."

U.S. military and intelligence officials, however, say that Iraqis with ties to al Qaida are only a small fraction of the threat to American troops. The group known as al Qaida in Iraq didn't exist before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, didn't pledge its loyalty to al Qaida leader Osama bin Laden until October 2004 and isn't controlled by bin Laden or his top aides.

There, see how easy it is?

Everyone should bookmark McClatchy's new page, btw.


Supremos will hear Gitmo case.

...bit more here.

Wet Yourselves

Watching the CNN coverage of the thwarted car bombing in London I'm struck by how the coverage makes something that didn't happen thousands of miles away sound like something around the block. You know, foiled bomb plot in London! Terrorists crawling up through your toilet!

There are also the implications that such an event might practically shut down London, aided by images of the locked down site, which is of course absurd. Most people don't have the luxury of huddling under their beds, cowering in fear, even if they wanted to. But more to the point it's a big goddamn city and something almost happening in one part of it, even a central part, is for most people something quite far away.

I was living in London during the nail bomber era, who turned out to be a right wing nut. I'd heard about the first bombing as I was on my way to a bar in another part of town, and after I arrived I casually mentioned it to the bartender and the person sitting next to me. They basically shrugged their shoulders. Brixton wasn't exactly close, and terrorist bombings in London weren't exactly new.


Over there.

BAGHDAD - Insurgents launched a deadly coordinated attack on an American combat patrol, detonating a roadside bomb, then firing guns and rocket-propelled grenades at the soldiers, the U.S. military said Friday. Five troops were killed.

Seven soldiers were wounded in the attack on Thursday in southern Baghdad and were evacuated to a military hospital; one has since returned to duty, the military said.


In other violence, Iraqi police said at least six Iraqi soldiers were killed and five wounded when a suicide truck bomb exploded at their army post north of Baghdad. Two civilians were also killed in a barrage of gunfire that followed, they said.

The blast went off at a railway station in Mishada, a town 20 miles north of the capital, an officer said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information. It destroyed half the building and ignited a fire, he said.

Wanker of the Day


Overnight Blues

Suggested by JR, Kerosene & a Match.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Fresh Thread

Rock on.

They're Back

Fresh Thread


Friedman Forever

Joe Klein on 6/18/06:

In fact, the responsible path is the Democrats' only politically plausible choice: they will have to give yet another new Iraqi government one last shot to succeed. This time, U.S. military sources say, the measure of success is simple: Operation Forward Together, the massive joint military effort launched last week to finally try to secure Baghdad, has to work. If Baghdad isn't stabilized, the war is lost. "I know it's the cliche of the war," an Army counterinsurgency specialist told me last week. "But we'll know in the next six months—and this time, it'll be the last next six months we get."

Joe Klein, over two Friedmans later:

It is, indeed, a moment of truth in Iraq. "This is a decisive phase," a member of Petraeus' staff told me and began to laugh. "That's one of our favorite jokes. It's always a decisive phase. But this time, I guess you'd have to say, it actually is." Operation Phantom Thunder, the nationwide offensive launched by U.S. and Iraqi troops in mid-June, may well be the last major U.S-led offensive of the war. "We couldn't really call it what it is, Operation Last Chance," says a senior military official. There is widespread awareness among the military and diplomatic players in Baghdad that, with patience dwindling in Washington, they have only until September — when Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker are due to give Congress a progress report — to show significant gains in taming the jihadist insurgency and in arresting the country's descent into civil war.

For those keeping score, a year ago Joe was telling Democrats to STFU and allow for "one last shot."

And, one year later, ... we're there again.

The dirty fucking hippies of the fetid fever swamp knew Bush would never leave. We tried to tell people. Still, Joe is a very serious, if perpetually wrong, person.


David Gregory - Ann Coulter's sock puppet.


People trust the Democrats to win the war against the islamonazicommiechomskyfascists. Or whatever.


Broder's boy bounces all the way to 31 in new Fox poll.

Fresh Thread


Inmate #28301-016

Scooter's no longer a name, he's a number.

(ht pony boy)


Wow, this is pretty stunning, even for him.

Dead Again

Immigration bill dies again. I really don't know why they bothered to try.


So, perhaps she should run? And save us from Lieberdem Swett.

Bill Clinton Factor: Campaign Asset or Liability?

Only to the Drudge-addled brains of our elite press corps would this question even occur. It is, by the way, the topic of tonight's exciting installment of THE SITUATION ROOM with WOLF BLITZER.

Bill Clinton is probably the most popular man in the country. The 90s were a period of growth, optimism, wage growth across the board, declining unemployment and declining poverty. America got its groove back.

Like the guy or not, the idea that he'd be anything but an asset for Hillary Clinton is absurd.

Dead Iraqis


On 22 June the US military announced that its attack helicopters, armed with missiles, engaged and killed 17 al-Qaeda gunmen who had been trying to infiltrate the village of al-Khalis, north of Baquba, where operation "Arrowhead Ripper" had been under way for the previous three days.

The item was duly carried by international news agencies and received widespread coverage, including on the BBC News website.

But villagers in largely-Shia al-Khalis say that those who died had nothing to do with al-Qaeda. They say they were local village guards trying to protect the township from exactly the kind of attack by insurgents the US military says it foiled.

What's the truth? Who knows. But the bigger point is that US military has no idea if these guys were "al Qaeda," or, more specifically, "al Qaeda in Iraq," which isn't really "al Qaeda" in the sense of being "the bad guys who attacked on 9/11." They may have thought they were "bad guys," and they may in fact have been "bad guys," but most likely all they know is that they're dead Iraqis and we have a stenographic press.

When you're playing all sides in multiple civil wars the bad guys are anyone you point a gun at.

(ht pseud in nc)


If we just give it another couple of Friedmans....

BAGHDAD – A car bomb parked at a crowded Baghdad bus terminal killed at least 25 Thursday morning, while 20 beheaded bodies were found on the banks of the Tigris River southeast of the capital.

The car bombing shortly after 8 a.m. struck during the rush hour in Baghdad ’s Bayaa neighborhood as many of the victims were lining up to catch rides to work. About 40 minibuses were incinerated, police reported.


As this Coulter madness continues, it occurs to me that a tremendous problem is that most of our media folks are, in fact, the most clueless losers in the world, wearing 15-year-old fashions and imagining they're cutting edge hipsters.

All of these people essentially came of age during the Clinton years, when Matt Drudge first started to Rule Their World. They've operated in an era of Republican dominance and Ann Coulter journalism for that entire time.

The country wasn't ever really there to begin with, but to the extent it was it's long past moved on.

Wanker of the Day

Andy Sullivan.

...adding, the reason there are gas station riots is that people are pissed off about newly imposed gas rationing. The only grand ideological struggle here is "we want more cheap subsidized gas."


So nice that racism has been wiped out in this country.

Late Night

Rock on.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Major thunder and lightning here. Came home and found the poor kitties huddled in fear by the front door.


All you ever want to do is talk talk.

Teh Gay!!@!#!#$$##$$#@#$

Apparently not so hated anymore.

They Write Letters

Donna Edwards:

Dear Friend,

We know that this country faces very serious problems. We are bogged down in Iraq, gas prices are high and we're ruining the world's environment. Going to the doctor is a nightmare of paperwork and a lot of us cannot even afford to make an appointment. Our schools are rundown, our children are struggling, and our teachers do more testing than teaching. Meanwhile, the television is full of unimportant stories about Paris Hilton and celebrity mishaps.

There's a sickness in our country today, a slow, ill-at-ease feeling, a sense that the big things and the little things have gone wrong, an understanding that where we need big leadership and risk-taking, there isn't any, and where we need prudence and caution, we find only greed and a desire to take the easy way out.

Well, I'm not ready to give up. That's why I'm running for Congress again, and that's why I'm asking you to help me change the country. It's not enough to elect Democrats, we need to elect leaders. Please consider a $100 contribution to help us reach our campaign goal for the quarter ending June 30. I guarantee you that it will be the proudest investment you'll make this year. To reach our goal, we need 100 people to each make a $100 contribution. I'm asking you to be one of them, and for a very specific reason. Please contribute today -- and help us reach our 100 new donor goal!

Last year, I challenged Congressman Al Wynn for Maryland's 4th Congressional district. I'm a Democrat and I challenged him in a Democratic primary. I did it because he voted for the war, voted for Bush's energy bill, worked with oil, coal, and nuclear companies to further their interests, and voted with big banks and credit card companies against consumers. But most of all, I ran against this entrenched incumbent because he has a history in Congress of taking the easy way out, of not making tough decisions, of standing on the sidelines. He was afraid of corporate interests, so he consistently did what they wanted for fifteen years in Congress.

At a certain point, after watching what these groups did to the country, I had had enough. From my work with battered women to my fights with the pharmaceutical industry to my fight for meaningful campaign finance and ethics reform, I've stood up and led. Like many of us I feel that we need representation in Congress that does the same - leads. It wasn't an easy decision, but I decided to challenge Al Wynn for the Democratic nomination in 2006. Though I had almost no money and the political establishment wrote me off, I surprised everyone, most of all Al Wynn, by coming within a couple of thousand votes of winning. I didn't do any television, there was only one debate, and I didn't even have a campaign manager, but it turns out that Wynn had lost the confidence of voters in the district, and I was able to turn that frustration into hope - for change.

Your support and your confidence won't be wasted on me. I'm a single mother, a lawyer, involved in my community - I know what it takes to get up everyday, work hard and take care of my son. I won't match my opponent's war chest that's filled with corporate special interest money. That's why I need your help.

I'm asking you to help me finish the job we started in 2006 with a $100 contribution to my campaign for change in 2008. Help us reach our goal for June 30 . Please contribute today.

In case you haven't noticed, the problems in our country have not gone away. Though there's a Democratic Congress, the Iraq war drags on and going to the doctor hasn't gotten any easier. I think we've all realized that it's not enough to have a Democratic Congress; we need people in Congress who are leaders who are willing to take on the corporate special interests. And while Al Wynn was forced to change his tune because I nearly beat him, he is not a leader who will stand up to those interests. After nearly losing, Wynn is now signing on to everything: resolutions to impeach Dick Cheney, and calling peace groups before votes, trying to make sure that he won't offend anyone. But that's only one side of the new Al Wynn. He is still taking money from every corporate PAC he can, including AT&T, Wal-Mart, big banks and predatory lenders, and even the nuclear industry. If you don't believe me, just go to the nonpartisan site, which lists his contributions in all
their glory. In his campaign kickoff, Wynn had as the keynote Fox News commentator and financial services lobbyist Harold Ford Jr, a conservative Democrat and a supporter of the continued occupation of Iraq.

While Al Wynn is not a bad man, what's going on here is clear. He's been in Congress for fifteen years, and until last year, he never faced a real challenger. Now he's confused, and is doing what politicians often do - he's blowing with the wind, like a weathervane. He has been in Congress so long he has lost his moral core. Over the last eight years, we've seen the tragedy that results when we have politicians that take the easy way out. I see a different role for Congress and for myself as a leader. I think that it's time for leaders to emerge and go after the energy industry that keeps our gas and energy prices high without a plan for the future, the health care industry that kills our children and leaves most of us at its mercy, and the telecommunications industry that never seems to be able to show up on time to install cable TV or a new phone line but wants to raise your rates and control everything you see on television and every site you visit on the Internet. With your help, I will be a leader in Congress with a moral compass who shares your progressive values.

The reality of our political system is that the incumbent is backed by well-financed groups, and I'm going to need an alternative source of money to take them on. I am asking you to be that source, to help be the change this country needs. This country spends $20 billion a year on ice cream, it's up to us to spend a fraction of that considering matters of war and peace,
health care, education, energy independence, and the many challenges we face. Giving even a small contribution takes real commitment from you and I don't take that lightly - I will earn your trust and your confidence.

So please contribute $100 today so we can show them we mean business with a strong showing for the quarter ending June 30. Please contribute today -- an help us reach our 100 donors at $100.

I'm going to continue to ask for time, money and support, and for you to tell your friends about this campaign. Please forward this email to your family, friends and associates. Because while we'd all like our political problems to just go away, we also know that this country will not change until we the people stand up and make it happen. I stood up last year, I'm standing up now, and I hope that you'll stand up with me.

Donna Edwards
Candidate for Congress

100 donors? Not asking for too much.

More and better Democrats, please.

If It's Sunday...

...there still probably won't be anyone violating the "no liberals on the teevee" rule.

Strapping Tagg to the Roof of the Car

More on Mitt the Dogg Torturer.

Circle Closes


WASHINGTON - California GOP Rep. John Doolittle's former legislative director said Wednesday he was recently contacted by federal investigators in their probe of Doolittle's ties to jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Pete Evich, Doolittle's legislative director from 1998 to 2002 and now a lobbyist, told The Associated Press that he plans to talk to the Justice Department.

The news comes two days after an attorney for another ex-Doolittle aide, former chief of staff David Lopez, said he'd given documents to federal prosecutors under subpoena.

I recognize that to some degree the "money in the freezer" detail justifies the disproportionate media coverage that William Jefferson got between the time his house was raided and his indictment, but Doolittle seems to be getting no coverage on the teevee.

...taking a break from being a lazy blogger I checked. CNN hasn't mentioned this story since April 21.


Here's more info.

Hatch, Specter, and Grassley signed on.

Who Is That Doggy On The Roof?

Is this normal?


Dana Perino apparently did her concern troll thing, regretting that the Democrats have chosen "confrontation" or something like that with respect to the subpoenas.

David Broder aside, the fact is we have an adversial system of government. The system of checks and balances between the 3 branches is by its nature adversarial. While it's nice when presidents don't break the law and such confrontation is unnecessary, this is the system that was established.


In reporting that a Senate committee is sending out subpoenas regarding Bush's illegal wiretapping program, Kyra Phillips informed me that the controversy is about "civil rights." There's that aspect, of course, but the controversy is about the fact that it's illegal.

Libertarian Fascism

Dave Weigel reminds us that the Whole Foods founder is on the libertarian side of things.

My guess is that Whole Foods™ might not be thrilled with Jonah's book.

Cowardly Jonah

Reader m writes in to inform us that Jonah's book title is now:

Liberal Fascism: The Totalitarian Temptation from Hegel to Whole Foods

The graphic at Amazon reflects the original title.

In Defense of Larry King

I can't stand Larry King or his show, but his show has always been fluff. It's completely consistent with the many decades of his show to do an interview with Paris Hilton. There's nothing new about that at all.

One can criticize the degree to which such things bleed into the rest of the news coverage, and one can ask whether CNN should have a show like Larry King, which they have had for decades, but Larry King has always provided this kind of stuff. It's stupid to criticize him for interviewing Paris Hilton.



In this edition, Joe Klein criticizes his employer for making us all just a bit more stupid. So we pat him on the head.

Aside from the "no liberals on the teevee" rule which is apparently still in place, I do find the lack of innovation and creativity from broadcasters to be rather stunning. I'm not a news purist. I don't think the only model of television journalism is the Serious Anchorperson Being Very Serious. I think a news show can be engaging and entertaining, and that a serious news show can include some fluff and frivolity as long as it isn't overwhelmed by it. You can have a commitment to serious news without thinking it all has to be serious, and you can allow an anchor to have a strong voice. But, Jeebus, what's the obsession with promoting whiny ass titty baby versions of Morton Downey Jr.? I think even cranky white guys who feel like they're the #1 victims of society are tired of listening to whiners like Beck. That era is so over.

Though, I imagine, all of this is related to the "no liberals on the teevee rule." Whining is all conservatives have right now, so if you want to promote conservatives you're going to promote these idiotic whiners.

Nothing Will Happen in September

While I do think it's a positive thing that people like Lugar and Voinovich are speaking out against Bush's neverending war, it still remains the case that they are unlikely to actually try to do anything about it. We all know by now that anything which requires Republicans to do the right thing is bound to fail.

Still a Real Issue

While I think one can exaggerate the extent to which new technologies make it harder to outrun our youthful mistakes, it's still a real issue. For example, I don't think the mainstream media have given much thought to "semi-public" spaces like Myspace pages which, while technically public, aren't generally meant to be seen by hundreds of thousands of people. They're public within the virtual space they inhabit.


Left out of the last installment about Emperor Dick is the fact that at the time Klamath was like the #1 wingnut cause at the time. Yeah, I know, hard to believe, but it really was an obsession in wingnuttia.

...reader b points out that they sort of mention it:
The case also was rapidly becoming a test for conservatives nationwide of the administration's commitment to fixing what they saw as an imbalance between conservation and economics.

but that really doesn't cover it. For awhile Klamath was the new Clenis.

Wanker of the Day

Michael Gerson.

Morning Thread

Dick Cheney sucks.

--Molly I.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Rock on.

Late Night

Rock on.

Fresh Thread



And Glenn Greenwald hits #1 in the Amazon nonfiction list.

...adding, Coulter's newly released paperback edition is currently sitting at #6,735 for all books, though I couldn't find the rank for nonfiction. This is notable because that fact she sells books was Tweety's excuse for having her on.

Elizabeth and Ann

God, I knew Coulter was going to be on Hardball but I had no idea she was going to be on for an hour.

American journalism. fucking stupid as this is, take the poll.

Evening Thread

May the force be with you.

Well, most of you.

10 Months for Griles

Hope he enjoys his stay.

J. Steven Griles, who was the department's deputy secretary, had pleaded guilty to obstructing a congressional investigation, and a federal judge said he continued to make excuses about his lies.

''Even now you continue to minimize and try to excuse your conduct,'' U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle told Griles before doubling the five-month person prison term he and prosecutors had agreed on.

Griles admitted to lying to Senate investigators about his relationship with Abramoff, the central figure in a corruption investigation that has led to convictions of a former congressman, legislative aides, lobbyists and officials in the Bush administration.

Griles had asked to be spared prison time. Under his plea deal with prosecutors, the Justice Department recommended he serve five months in prison and five months in a halfway house or under house arrest.

Remind me how many Clinton administration officials were convicted for acts they committed while in office?


Saw a quick flash on the teevee at the gym that Scooter may get his answer from the appeals court soon about whether he gets to stay out of jail pending appeal. Guess the conservative protection racket in that court decided to look at the case quickly.


Broder's boy bounces all the way to 32 in new CNN poll.

67% oppose the war, with 30% in favor. 2/3 Independents against. 38% of Republicans oppose war, an increase.

54% say war not morally justified.

63% want troops to begin withdrawing, including 42% of Republicans.

From the teevee, so no link.

Don't Talk About the War


Facts Are Stupid Things

Stupid Andy Sullivan edition.


I repeat, no more Lieberdems. From right after the CT primary:

Swett believes Lieberman lost because of three perceived Democratic "sins": the sin of supporting the Iraq war and being tough on defense, the sin of being bipartisan and the sin of displaying religious faith. Swett said those traits might make Lieberman undesirable to many Democrats but they could be key for Democrats in winning future national elections.

Intellectual Bankruptcy

Boehlert on Scooter's BFFs.

Run Away!

Sorry, no more Lieberdems.


It's no mystery that there's opposition to a bill which is a messy compromise between opposite agendas. Conservatives hate it, and prominent Democratic politicians haven't really expended any effort to make the liberal case for it. It's sold as a fix to a problem, without either the "fix" or the "problem" being clearly defined. It's Broder Politics at its worst.

The more liberal view of immigration is much more popular than I ever imagined, and it's a shame that Democrats haven't used the opportunity to rally any support for that view. It's what happens when legislation begins as behind-the-scenes compromise.

They Write Books

Just in case you hadn't noticed, Glenn wrote a book.

Lies and the Lying Liars

Dana Perino edition.

Dear Mr. Fielding:

Last week, I wrote the Vice President about evidence that he violated Executive Order 12958 by blocking the National Archives from conducting security inspections in his office. In response, White House spokesperson Dana Perino said: “The president and the vice president are complying with all the rules and regulations regarding the handling of classified material and making sure that it is safeguarded and protected.” She asserted that the only part of Executive Order 12958 that was not being followed by the White House and the Vice President’s office was the “small portion” giving oversight responsibilities to the Information Security Oversight Office of the National Archives.

I have received information that casts doubt on these assertions. There is evidence that both the White House and the Office of the Vice President have flaunted multiple requirements for protecting classified information, not just the section related to the responsibilities of the Information Security Oversight Office. According to current and former White House security personnel who have contacted my staff, White House practices have been dangerously inadequate with respect to investigating security violations, taking corrective action following breaches, and physically securing classified information.

I have received information that:

• White House security officials have been blocked from inspecting West Wing offices for compliance with procedures for handling classified information. The White House has its own security office that functions independently of the Information Security Oversight Office in the National Archives. According to several security officials who have worked in this White House office, the Bush White House blocked the White House security officers from conducting unannounced inspections of the West Wing. This is a departure from the practices of the prior administration, which allowed these inspections.

• The White House regularly ignored security breaches. The security officers described repeated instances in which security breaches were reported to the White House Security Office by Secret Service or CIA agents, but were never investigated. In one case, the White House Security Office took no action after receiving a report that a White House official left classified materials unattended in a hotel room. In numerous instances, reports that White House officials left classified information on their desks went uninvestigated.

• The President’s top political advisor received a renewal of his security clearance despite presidential directives calling for the denial of security clearances for officials who misrepresent their involvement in security leaks. Under guidelines issued by President Bush, security clearances should not be renewed for individuals who deny their role in the release of classified information, regardless of whether the disclosure was intentional or negligent. Contrary to this guidance, the White House Security Office renewed the security clearance for Karl Rove in late 2006.

• The White House has condoned widespread mismanagement at the White House Security Office. According to the White House security officers, the White House allowed the White House Security Office to be run by managers who ignored basic security procedures and allowed other White House officials to do so also.

Click through for the rest.

SANDY BERGER'S SOCKS!#!$#$$%##!%^^#%&$*#!*(^$!

Executive Branch

While it's a sucker's game to even engage Cheney's flunkies on the merits of their shifting arguments, once upon a time he did seem to understand which branch of government he was a part of.


It's becoming increasingly apparent that to stay competitive in a crowded and long primary that big donors just aren't enough, given campaign finance limits.

Big donors aren't ever going to go away, and we're nowhere near a situation where they don't matter, but they aren't enough. Campaigns have to think about the little money.


Over there:

BAGHDAD - More than two years ago, Sheik Fasal al Gaood approached the U.S. military with what was then an unprecedented offer: His tribesmen were prepared to help American troops rout insurgents linked to al Qaida from Anbar province in western Iraq.

But the Sunni Muslim tribal leader and former provincial governor met one rebuff after another from American officers, he told McClatchy Newspapers at the time. Discouraged and angry, he warned that U.S. officers risked losing him as an ally.

The Americans eventually came around, and al Gaood renewed his offer. He helped turn some of Anbar's most prominent Sunni tribes into a force in the war against al Qaida's followers. That high-stakes partnership may have cost him his life: Al Gaood and 11 other Iraqis were killed Monday in a bombing at a Baghdad hotel where tribal sheiks who've joined forces with the U.S. were scheduled to meet.


The most trusted name in news.

Sally Forth

Sally Quinn, the permanent hostess of the floating Washington cocktail party, suggests there's a GOP plot to oust Dick Cheney and substitute the sexiest man in Washington, Fred Thompson.

It's actually a good idea. If I were a Republican-not-named-Giuliani-Romney-McCain-etc I'd be all for it if I were thinking of improving the party's fortunes in general terms. Though I'm not a Republican so I don't expect them to agree or listen to my advice. And while excising the fourth branch of government would probably be good for the country, improving the party's fortunes in general terms wouldn't be.

Morning Thread


Lugar Flips

I admit I'm surprised.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Evening Thread

Did you know that Frank Luntz will be the analyst for PBS's coverage of the next Democratic debate in the presidential race?

They Write Books

As Jane said, Glenn Greenwald shows up every day. A simple way to pay him back is to buy his book. Not only does it help support him personally, it also potentially allows him to get additional media appearances and whatnot. Apparently, to Tweety, selling books is enough.

Book released tomorrow. Buy one.

Just Stupid


The ad touches close to the mother lode of Hillary's vulnerability among some women. When you ask them why they don't like her, they say it's because they don't understand why she makes goo-goo eyes at a guy who broke her heart multiple times and humiliated her daughter. After that, pretending to be a teenager in love makes them wonder what else she might be faking.

Which reminds me.

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

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

For which he was rewarded with this awesome exit interview.

Racists for Rudy!



I agree that the best way to get to our 3-year-old president is to start taunting him for playing second fiddle to his Uncle Dick, just like he did with dear old dad all those years before he found a new daddy figure in Dick.

Fresh Thread


George Will on George Wallace

I suppose it's nice that my capacity to be surprised is still in place.

Wanker of the Day

Emily Yoffe.

Psychological Crutch


The training concept has become, in my view, a kind of psychological crutch for US elites who don't want to face their own basic inability to improve things. The idea that you could help resolve an ongoing multifaceted conflict by introducing greater quantities of lethal weaponry and better-trained fighters is absurd on its face. At best, we're in the position of arming several sides in a multi-pronged civil war in the vague hope that whoever prevails won't notice we were also arming their adversaries and be loyal to us down the road, which seems like a really, really, really stupid bet.

Years and years of this crap because of the delicate egos of old men. The disaster they have wrought and perpetuated because of their perceived need to "save face." Our elite class is made up of a bunch of self-important children who believe lack of personal accountability for themselves is America's highest ideal.


No, they're not leaving. Leaving talk is just designed to undercut any efforts to actually cause them to leave.

We've been here so many times before.


More details on CAP's plan to get the hell out.

They're obviously very unserious people uninterested in the sweet transcendent hope one can only have while living in a war zone.

We're All Adam Yoshida Now

As a couple of people have suggested in comments here and at MY's place, it appears that the lunatic foreign policy provisions of Adam Yoshida, prime proponent of the "keep smashing the hornet's nest with a baseball bat while liberally dosing it with insecticide until the pony appears" theory of foreign relations, have now been thoroughly mainstreamed in the guise of the Very Serious Roger Cohen.

Not only is Roger Cohen serious, but he's a liberal! How do I know that? Well, he's had important and powerful positions in that most liberal of liberal newspapers, the New York Times, for quite some time.

* Media reporter (1990-92)
* European economic correspondent (Paris; 1992-94)
* Balkan bureau chief (Zagreb; 1994-95)
* Correspondent in Paris bureau (1995-98)
* Berlin bureau chief (1999-2001)
* Deputy foreign editor (2001)
* Acting foreign editor (2001-2002)
* Foreign editor (2002-2004)
* International affairs columnist for the Times and for the International Herald Tribune (2004-present)

I don't know if we can survive these people.

The Audacity of Hope

More like the audacity of lunatics.

Moving Glaciers

CAP has decided that the dirty fucking hippies are right.

The Center for American Progress will call on Monday for the withdrawal of virtually all American troops from Iraq, for the first time--including US trainers in addition to combat forces.

The new approach places CAP, a think tank with Clinton links, in conflict with the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group and most of the Democratic establishment who have supported retaining thousands of American trainers in a lower-visibility war in Iraq.

The new analysis is driven by a recognition that the United States would be training Iraqi troops in a sectarian civil war with no end in sight.

No one could have predicted that training and arming a bunch of people who hate each other and us might have led to them killing each other and us with greater efficiency.


Today's Inqy has an article about density finally arriving to certain spots out in the 'burbs, after long being blocked by zoning laws. It's important to note that most of the places discussed are early generation suburbs, originally developed around early rail lines, and they already have a slight "urban" feel along the train line and main road route. These are precisely the areas which should've added more density over time, building housing units and expanding retail/commercial districts in areas around train stations.

I'm not unsympathetic to the concerns of existing residents. We can all be NIMBYs. But in the Philadelphia area, at least, there's been a failure to exploit the potential benefit of existing rail routes because of the various barriers to redevelopment.


Over there:

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A suicide bomber killed 12 people in the lobby of a busy Baghdad hotel on Monday, and the U.S. military said six tribal leaders opposed to al Qaeda were among the dead.

It was one of four separate bombings across Iraq in which 40 people were killed.

Police said a bomber wearing a vest packed with explosives blew himself up after walking into the lobby of the Mansour Hotel, where Sunni Arab tribal leaders from western Anbar province had gathered for a meeting.

And, yes, the language creep is here. All insurgents are now al Qaeda.

... CNN: "a suicide bomber was able to get through several layers of security..." Odds are, the bomber was a part of that security.

No Politics

I, too, yearn for a world of rainbows, Matlock reruns, and the regular soothing voice of David Broder whispering the word "comity" in my ear, but any political commentator who imagines that politics would just magically stop if only the right person were to be elected president fails to understand that the reason we have combative politics in this country is that people genuinely disagree about stuff. That is unlikely to change simply because the country elects a Broder-approved independent who claims to be able to rise above that stuff.

Broder's lack of interest in the actual contents of policy is astounding.

Morning Thread

He's surrounded by women, oh no! Atta J. Turk

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Rock On

Dick the Dementor

The dude managed to demonstrate that maybe even Torture Yoo had a vestigial conscience.

The vice president's lawyer advocated what was considered the memo's most radical claim: that the president may authorize any interrogation method, even if it crosses the line of torture. U.S. and treaty laws forbidding any person to "commit torture," that passage stated, "do not apply" to the commander in chief, because Congress "may no more regulate the President's ability to detain and interrogate enemy combatants than it may regulate his ability to direct troop movements on the battlefield."

That same day, Aug. 1, 2002, Yoo signed off on a second secret opinion, the contents of which have never been made public. According to a source with direct knowledge, that opinion approved as lawful a long list of specific interrogation techniques proposed by the CIA -- including waterboarding, a form of near-drowning that the U.S. government classified as a war crime in 1947. The opinion drew the line against one request: threatening to bury a prisoner alive.


Evening Thread

I hear this chick is kind of snaky.

--Molly I.

(h/t trifecta)

Fresh Thread


Johnny Got His Gun

This is indeed truly awful.

(via lg&m)


It's one thing to project misogyny onto the public-at-large and question whether they're willing to support a woman for president, it's quite another to question whether the mere presence of women makes one unfit to be president.

Lies and the Lying Liars

Saint Rudy, Mayor of AMERICA, edition.

Hating Michael Moore

I think Amanda has a good take on the negative reactions Michael Moore gets from people across the political spectrum.

I find people react to Moore the way they act to an outsider. That is, in the sense that I can criticize my family but you can't. But Moore certainly doesn't see himself as an outsider, or an omniscient critic floating above the muck below. Whether one likes his movies or not - your mileage may vary - all of them have clearly been learning experiences for him. His perspective, and ultimate point, always evolves throughout the course of the movie. They're never prewritten find-the-facts-to-fit-the-narrative polemics.

Truly Depressing Things I Suppose You Should Read

But which depress me too much.

Everybody bad is now dubbed "al Qaeda" by the court stenographers.

And Dick's an emperor.

Fresh Thread



I can't handle the thought of an expanding wanker caucus.

Bob Kerrey is once again playing the political flirt.

The former Nebraska governor and senator is showing just enough skin, and making all the right moves, to give supporters hope that he will return to the state and run for U.S. Senate.

The triumphant return of Senator Kerrey could actually make us all have some warm fuzzies for Lieberman.

Sunday Bobbleheads

Document the atrocities.

ABC's "This Week" — Sens. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., and Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.; actor David Hyde Pierce.
CBS' "Face the Nation" — Former New York Mayor Ed Koch; political consultant Ed Rollins; actor Sam Waterston.
NBC's "Meet the Press" — Former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan; Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill.
CNN's "Late Edition" — Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet; Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, and Ron Wyden, D-Ore.; Dennis Ross, former U.S. Mideast envoy; Egyptian Ambassador Nabil Fahmy; Israeli Ambassador Sallai Meridor.
"Fox News Sunday" — Sens. Trent Lott, R-Miss., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Cal Ripken Jr., former Baltimore Orioles shortstop.

Wanker of the Day

It's 12:04, after all. Melinda Henneberger.