Saturday, August 18, 2007


The quintessential Eschaton YouTube video.

Police Your Own

Apparently if one has access to the secret decoder ring, one can determine which members in good standing of the very serious foreign policy community are experts and which ones are merely "experts." If only those rings were, say, distributed with my Washington Post. Maybe Wolf Blitzer could be given some hand signals he could use while he interviews people.

Or, maybe, if people really want there to be a "clerisy" of very serious people we're supposed to respect - a concept I reject, but at least it could be improved upon - they could stop handing out CFR and Brookings fellowships to every hack in Washington who needs a title and start having some quality control. Maybe occasionally ejecting a few for having some really catastrophically bad ideas?


Little Tommy Friedman

Digby has more.

And I don't have time to unpack the transcript right now (no link, just nexis), but if you have the stomach you can gaze on the horror for an entire hour with Charlie Rose from this past week.

Friedman's someone who advocated killing random innocent people to prove we could. Leaving aside the, uh, rather dubious morality of this and the fact that of such things war crimes tribunals are made, since we're supposed to take as given that he's a good and sincere person, let me make a separate point. This thinking, which could probably be best described as the Glenn Reynolds school of foreign policy is, aside from being evil, fucking stupid.

But he's a public intellectual!

And so is Ann Coulter.

Afternoon Thread

Rock on.

Is Tom Friedman a Bad Person?

All signs point to "pretty hideous human being, one which all good people should shun."

I think it [the invasion of Iraq] was unquestionably worth doing, Charlie.


We needed to go over there, basically, um, and um, uh, take out a very big state right in the heart of that world and burst that bubble, and there was only one way to do it.


What they needed to see was American boys and girls going house to house, from Basra to Baghdad, um and basically saying, "Which part of this sentence don't you understand?"

You don't think, you know, we care about our open society, you think this bubble fantasy, we're just gonna to let it grow?

Well, Suck. On. This.


That Charlie was what this war was about. We could've hit Saudi Arabia, it was part of that bubble. We coulda hit Pakistan. We hit Iraq because we could.

Undisclosed Location Blogging

Surf and turf with gambas rojas.

"Favorite Public Intellectuals"

Oh Jeebus.

Palate cleanser.

The Highest Form of Wankery

From the article linked below:

I’ll just come out and say it: the netroots' attitude toward professionals isn’t that different from the neocons', both being convinced that the very concept of a foreign-policy clerisy is unjustified, anti-democratic and pernicious, and that the remedy is much tighter and more direct control by the principals over their supposed professional agents.

There is a bunch of stuff here. Obviously, if the necons were so absurdly wrong one would've imagined that those in the "clerisy" would have taken a strong public stand against them. What we saw and still see, of course, are Father O'Hanlon and Pope Pollack, clerics in good standing, still carrying water for them.

But, more to the point, yes "a foreign-policy clerisy is unjustified, anti-democratic, and pernicious." Does this point even need to be argued? There isn't actually an "economic policy clerisy" or an "environmental policy clerisy" or a "housing policy clerisy." Instead we recognize that, expertise aside, there are people with competing agendas on all of these topics. Some are more honest "experts" than others, but even if we all have the same facts at our disposal we can come to widely different conclusions about what policies should be implemented. This is because we disagree about stuff.

The "foreign policy clerisy" apparently exists to close off public scrutiny of or wider debate about America's appropriate role in the world, to limit the range of options which are "on or off the table" and which are open to public debate or discussion. They exist to monopolize debate and have veto status over club members. Members of the community are clearly chosen for the ability to perpetuate this agenda, rather than for their expertise. Max Boot? Peter Beinart? Pollack? O'Hanlon? Can anybody in this gang tie their shoes?

Speaking of Wankers

Gideon Rose is aiming for the Brad Hamilton lifetime achievement in wankery award.

Wanker of the Day

John McCain.

And, regarding this:

With people like John McCain, Michael O’Hanlon, and Ken Pollack now claiming to be war “critics,” that term is fast becoming a description for people who support the war but aren’t George Bush.

It's always been this way. Even before the war, "war critics" were almost entirely limited to those who criticized the timing, or the degree to which the UN or international community generally was on board. That was the respectable position. Just saying "stop!" was not.

Until Murtha, in late 2005, there wasn't really anyone "respectable" saying "get out." And, IIRC, it wasn't until late in the 2006 campaign that this notion really had any traction with most politicians.

Our elites - press, politicians, the very serious "foreign policy community," etc - failed us and failed us miserable.

Bygones, they say!


What percent of SoCal home sales involve foreclosed homes?

Media Matters

From Jamison Foser.

Thanks, Oh Wise Old Men of Washington

20 months or so after Iraq Study Group Day, there will be as many troops in Iraq as there were when the report was released.

General Odierno said the five additional brigades added this year under the president’s troop increase were likely to be withdrawn on a timeline parallel to their arrival in Iraq. Under this timeline, which is not yet the official plan, the troop increase would end by April with the five brigades leaving Iraq one each month, with American force levels returning to the troop levels existing before the increase by next August, he said.

Central to the internal debate on a “postsurge” strategy is the extent to which American troops would be able to ask Iraqi forces to take the lead on security missions in critical sections of the country, particularly in Baghdad. Many Democrats in Congress, and even some Republicans, have demanded that Americans hand over more security missions to the Iraqis.

Although no decision has been made about the full extent of the American combat mission next year, administration officials and military officers say the troops in Iraq would shift priorities to training and supporting Iraq forces. They said the large contingent of Special Operations forces now in Iraq would continue missions to capture and kill terrorist and insurgent leaders, and to disrupt their networks.

While Bush has gotten away with many hideous rhetorical games (lies), one of the worst was when he was claiming that troop deployments were going to have to be extended to 15 months because Democrats failed to provide him funding 5 minutes after he asked for it and not simply because it was necessary to maintain the "surge." It was a lie, of course, and one which didn't even make any sense, and the only reason we found that out was because someone in the Pentagon thought it was a wee bit much to stomach.

The Sexiest Man in America

(via c&l)

To be clear, I'm not making fun of Fred Thompson, just the rather bizarre tastes of our Washington media types...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Late Night Thread

Enjoy or not. As you wish.

Evening Thread

Rock on.


I do not think that word means what Kit Seelye thinks it means.

Fixing the Internets

Finally the gang at Sadly, No! gets back to doing what they do best.

It's a very big job, but someone has to do it.


Please no more Lieberdems.

Bob Kerrey has a reputation for being smart and serious in Washington, which of course means he's a complete wanker who is as dumb as a stone. Want proof? Just read this interview with that pit bull Bill Moyers.

Undislosed Location Blogging



Thousands dead don't concern him much, but don't you dare pick on his favorite costume.


Looks like Helicopter Ben did the trick today.

Sadly, FCOJ futures are in the gutter still.

Afternoon Thread

Comment here...

Or follow the live blogging of the Brooke Astor funeral (via Res Ipsa Loquitur).

I wish I was kidding.

Relaxing on the Gay Stuff

We wish you would, Bill.

Try to take it easy on the falafel stuff as well.

Poor Eritrea

A one-time member of the "coalition of the willing:"

Eritrea is one of the poorest, most war-torn countries in the world. I call the embassy to ask how it intends to show its support of the US and coalition of the willing, of which it is a member? There is a long, stunned pause before the spokeswoman says: "Can you call back tomorrow morning?"

Is being thanked for all of its service by likely being designated a state sponsor of terrorism.

Broke Tony

Tony Snow will likely leave distinguished public service behind because he's broke.

Snow earns $168,000 per year.

And I Landed on the Moon, Too

Rudy said:

"I was at ground zero as often, if not more, than most of the workers ... I was there working with them. I was exposed to exactly the same things they were exposed to. So in that sense, I'm one of them.

Rudy a bit later managed to convince
the gullible Devlin Barrett of the associated press that, once again, it's all about him:


Rudy Giuliani's experience on Sept. 11 and at ground zero propelled him into presidential politics, yet by his own admission, it may also weaken his health - a key issue for any candidate seeking the White House.

Just last week, Giuliani was criticized by some firefighter unions for suggesting he was at ground zero as much, if not more, than many rescue workers and exposed to the same health risks. He quickly backed off that statement, saying he misspoke.

"I empathize with them, because I feel like I have that same risk," said Giuliani, who was at the World Trade Center almost immediately on Sept. 11, 2001, and was onsite many times a day after that.

That assertion - made repeatedly by the former mayor over the years - could pose a different challenge in his quest for the White House, by suggesting he may not stay healthy through a presidential term that would begin in 2009.

Giuliani, a 63-year-old cancer survivor, clearly wonders about his long-term health and that of his close aides who worked with him on Sept. 11, 2001 and after.

Time Rudy spent there as mayor:

29 hours.

Helicopter Ben to the Rescue

I actually have no idea if a rate cut is a good idea, that's above my my grade, but Helicopter Ben just cut the discount rate to 5.75. The discount rate is the rate at which the Fed is willing to make overnight loans to member banks. The more widely discussed federal funds rate is an announced target for the rate at which banks will lend to each other through their Fed accounts.


Agreed, though I don't actually mind the order of the primaries so much as I mind the way reporters tend to cover these places. They sort of do this weird "I'm a better anthropologist than the candidates are" fake schtick where they marvel at the ways of Real Americans in their native habitats, sneer at the candidates for failing to be one of the people, and then laugh at the rubes later in the hotel bar.

Because Everybody Loves a Bank Run


Anxious customers jammed the phone lines and website of Countrywide Bank and crowded its branch offices to pull out their savings because of concerns about the financial problems of the mortgage lender that owns the bank.

Countrywide Financial Corp., the biggest home-loan company in the nation, sought Thursday to assure depositors and the financial industry that both it and its bank were fiscally stable. And federal regulators said they weren't alarmed by the volume of withdrawals from the bank.

The mortgage lender said it would further tighten its loan standards and make fewer large mortgages. Those moves could make it harder to get a home loan and further depress the housing market in California and other states.

The rush to withdraw money -- by depositors that included a former Los Angeles Kings star hockey player and an executive of a rival home-loan company -- came a day after fears arose that Countrywide Financial could file for bankruptcy protection because of a worsening credit crunch stemming from the sub-prime mortgage meltdown.

No Good Options

They very serious St. McCain, one F.U. ago:

Presidential contender John McCain said Saturday there aren't any good options if the buildup of U.S. troops doesn't stabilize Iraq.

The Arizona senator said during a campaign stop in Iowa that he'd be hard pressed to find an option that the public would support if the troop increase fails.

"I don't know what the other options are because if we fail here I think it's going to be very difficult to maintain the support of the American people," he said. "And when the American people don't support a war ... then we aren't able to maintain a foreign endeavor."

Wanker of the Day

Michael Gerson.



Thursday, August 16, 2007

Clean sheets

Let it be a challenge to you.

Not Atrios

Evening Thread

Rock on.

Gypsy Shit!

Eugene Hutz on Fresh Air.

Cashing Out

Any Republicans going to be left in Congress by the end of the term?

Rep. Chip Pickering, R-Miss., is announcing he's resigning from Congress to work on K Street, becoming the latest House Republican to either vacate his seat or decide not to seek re-election in 2008.

This news -- first reported by the Cook Political Report and shared with First Read -- comes after word that former Speaker Dennis Hastert and Rep. Deborah Pryce will not seek another term in office.

And They Came To That Conclusion All By Themselves

It's always fascinating when poll results sharply contradict what you find in the mainstream narratives.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A majority of Americans don't trust the upcoming report by the Army's top commander in Iraq on the progress of the war and even if they did, it wouldn't change their mind, according to a new poll.

Gen. David Petraeus confers with officers in Iraq in July. His progress report on the war is due next month.

President Bush frequently has asked Congress -- and the American people -- to withhold judgment on his so-called troop surge in Iraq until Gen. David Petraeus, the commander in Iraq, and Ryan Crocker, U.S. ambassador to Iraq, issue their progress report in September.

But according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Thursday, 53 percent of people polled said they suspect that the military assessment of the situation will try to make it sound better than it actually is. Forty-three percent said they do trust the report.

CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said he doesn't think the mistrust is directed at Petreaus as much as it is what he represents.

Holland said, "I suspect most people are hearing the words 'general' and 'Iraq' and that's what they're basing their opinion on."

He added, "It does seem to indicate that anyone associated with the Bush administration may be a less than credible messenger for the message that there is progress being made in Iraq."


With all the other news today, let us take a moment to note the emergency summit to forge a working coalition for what passes as an Iraqi Goverment, has been a failure.

Congrats Jenna

To you and your new fiancee. I've sort of been half-listening to the television while working, but it appears she's marrying Jose Padilla.

Which, I have to say, is a bit of a surprise.


UPDATE: Oh, its Henry Hager, a young son of a wealthy Republican.

Water Carrier Fred Hiatt

Still carrying water. What must it be like to have such contempt for your readers, and still expect them to buy your crayon scribblings.

Margin Debt

This little factoid is likely why Kudlow and Cramer might pull a double suicide on air today. If you're someone like me with a modest amount of money in a 401K, while a tanking market isn't good news it isn't going to destroy your life.

But if you've been betting borrowed money, you have bigger problems. And a lot of people have been.

People Disagree About Stuff

And it's the job of politicians to try to get their desired policy outcome enacted. This reflexive tic of journalists to deride all disagreement as crass politics is maddening.

MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 15 — It took all of two weeks for the political unity brought on by a deadly bridge collapse here to fall apart.

Even as divers continued searching the Mississippi River on Wednesday for four people missing since the busy Interstate 35W bridge fell on Aug. 1, political leaders were dueling over plans for a replacement span.

The battle lines extended from disputed plans for light rail to suggestions that Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, was unnecessarily rushing reconstruction to impress Republican Party leaders, who will hold their presidential convention in the Twin Cities in September 2008. Mr. Pawlenty says such talk is nonsense.

There appears to be genuine disagreement about how to rebuild the bridge. That disagreement has to be resolved somehow. One way to resolve it would be for everyone to drop the David Broder special acid, at which point their third eye would open up and they'd magically have access to the "bipartisan unity consensus" that God demands. Another way is to just defer to the governor, no matter how bad his plan is. A third way is to hash out some compromise behind closed doors without any public disagreement... or public scrutiny or input. Or, fourth, they can do their damn jobs and fight it out.

#4 is fine with me. I don't know why it troubles journalists so.

Last Throes

More death is good news. Less death is good news. It's all DoublePlusGood.

Your Happy Housing News of the Day


Housing starts fell 6.1% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.381 million, the lowest since January 1997. The decline was larger than the expected fall to 1.40 million.
Authorized building permits dropped 2.8% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.373 million, the lowest since October 1996 and less than the 1.40 million pace expected by economists surveyed by MarketWatch.
Housing starts are down 21% in the past year, while permits have fallen 23%.

Wanker of the Day

David Broder.

Six Months

One F.U. ago USA Today wrote:

Just as Bush is setting benchmarks for the Iraqi government, Congress should set its own strict benchmarks for the president. By the administration's own projections, and those of the Gen. David Petraeus, the new commander in Iraq, the "surge" should show results by late summer, about six months from now. Success would be defined as a noticeable drop in the violence in Baghdad, Iraqi troops stepping up to do the bulk of the fighting and the Iraqi government taking real steps toward political reconciliation.

If by reasonable measures the surge is failing — and make no mistake, it is going to continue for now — then Congress should vote for a change of course and adoption of the phased redeployment described by the Iraq Study Group. And this time, make it binding.

The Petraeus Report

A major test of our media right now is whether this bait and switch enters the basic narrative or not.


Stock markets, not Bush's poll #s.

...adding, Roubini talks about uncertainty and the increasing lack of transparency in the financial markets. Oh, and the magical leverage fairy. This is why they're praying for Helicopter Ben:

First, you take a bunch of shaky and risky subprime mortgages and repackage them into residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS); then you repackage these RMBS in different (equity, mezzanine, senior) tranches of cash CDOs that receive a misleading investment grade rating by the credit rating agencies; then you create synthetic CDOs out of the same underlying RMBS; then you create CDOs of CDOs (or squared CDOs) out of these CDOs; and then you create CDOs of CDOs of CDOs (or cubed CDOs) out of the same murky securities; then you stuff some of these RMBS and CDO tranches into SIV (structured investment vehicles) or into ABCP (Asset Backed Commercial Paper) or into money market funds. Then no wonder that eventually people panic and run - as they did yesterday – on an apparently “safe” money market fund such as Sentinel. That “toxic waste” of unpriceable and uncertain junk and zombie corpses is now emerging in the most unlikely places in the financial markets.

Second example: today any wealthy individual can take $1 million and go to a prime broker and leverage this amount three times; then the resulting $4 million ($1 equity and $3 debt) can be invested in a fund of funds that will in turn leverage these $4 millions three or four times and invest them in a hedge fund; then the hedge fund will take these funds and leverage them three or four times and buy some very junior tranche of a CDO that is itself levered nine or ten times. At the end of this credit chain, the initial $1 million of equity becomes a $100 million investment out of which $99 million is debt (leverage) and only $1 million is equity. So we got an overall leverage ratio of 100 to 1. Then, even a small 1% fall in the price of the final investment (CDO) wipes out the initial capital and creates a chain of margin calls that unravel this debt house of cards. This unraveling of a Minskian Ponzi credit scheme is exactly what is happening right now in financial markets.

...according to an emailer, free market fairy fan Larry Kudlow was expressing a desire for Helicopter Ben to buy up subprime loan paper. Hilarious.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Late Night Thread

With crickets.

Wanker of the Day

Newt Gingrich:

Gingrich said that the "war here at home" against illegal immigrants is "even more deadly than the war in Iraq and Afghanistan."

Amuse yourselves

I just can't stand refreshing the page and seeing that picture again.

So here's a link to a blog I happen to like.

[Update: Some people have complained that this post doesn't push the picture down far enough, but I'm not linking to them because the post I would link to doesn't have a link for the source of the quotations. Nyaa, nyaa, nyaa.]


Not Atrios

"He is common sense"

Karl Rove claimed that the people criticizing Bush are “sort of elite, effete snobs who can’t hold a candle to this guy. What they don’t like about him is that he is common sense, that he is Middle America.”

Well, at least he is still manufacturing his own reality.

Stand Up Stand Up Stand Stand Down

Jim's right that civil war has basically been the policy in Iraq. The obsession with training Iraqi security forces was always weird for a variety of reasons, but ultimately we taught a bunch of people to kill each other and provided them with the weapons to do so.


I have no idea, but when they tell you something and are unable to back it up there's a reasonable chance it's not true. Still, that doesn't stop all of the Very Serious People from passing on the press release gospel.

U.S. officials say the number of civilian casualties in the Iraqi capital is down 50 percent. But U.S. officials declined to provide specific numbers, and statistics gathered by McClatchy Newspapers don't support the claim.

The number of car bombings in July actually was 5 percent higher than the number recorded last December, according to the McClatchy statistics, and the number of civilians killed in explosions is about the same.


While I'm not sure if this fact will help Democrats win any elections, it must be understood that much of the world is about 14 months from relegating the US to "crazy belligerent drunk uncle" status - a powerful and dangerous nuisance - rather than the largely benign hyperpower they were happy to pretend we were for awhile. The election of Rudy! would pretty much seal that fate.

Onward to Iran!

Will's right, this is about putting Iran under the AUMF so Joe Lieberman can pump his fists and feel like a man.

Labor Day is approaching. Time for some new product.


One of the great mysteries of the universe is where all of the conservative viral email comes from. It has no counterpart on the left. It's cranked out at a fairly regular clip. It often even seems to have style consistency over the course of years. It's been around as long as the internets it seems.

The Wise Old Men Eagerly Await the Petraeus Report

And they'll pretend to not notice that it's going to be written by the White House.

Despite Bush's repeated statements that the report will reflect evaluations by Petraeus and Ryan Crocker, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, administration officials said it would actually be written by the White House, with inputs from officials throughout the government.

Middle Part of August

Back in April, Senator Kyl thought that was a good timetable.

ROBERTS: General Petraeus has said that he won't know if it's working or not until the middle part of August. Do you think that's a fair timetable for him to ask for?

KYL: Yes, I do. I was there about six weeks ago, and there were already some early signs of success. But, as he said, you're going to have bad days and you're going to have good days.


Laura Ingraham displays a deeper understanding of politics than most in Broder's World.


BoBo Brooks, March 23:

What will happen -- what will matter is what is happening in the surge. And the surge will either be successful by mid-August, in which case Republicans and Democrats will probably want to stay, or it will be unsuccessful, and Republicans and Democrats will probably want to go.

Left out was the other obvious possibility - that contrary to all evidence, Republicans will just claim everything's working perfectly.

Today's Deep Thought

It would certainly be awful if Iraq descended into civil war.

Get'Er Done

One F.U. ago, Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Of Course) announced her new Iraq strategy, which she called "Get'Er Done."

Since then approximately 499 US troops have been killed.

Build a Go Cart

I really don't understand these people.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Very Early Morning Thread

In undisclosed location...


The awesomest JLA character.

Evening Thread

Effing Hell

In more important news, thanks for everything wise old men of Washington and your very serious foreign policy community.

BAGHDAD - At least 175 people were killed and 200 were injured in four suicide bombings targeting an ancient religious sect in northern Iraq, the Iraqi army reported Tuesday.

Elsewhere, an American transport helicopter crashed near an air base in Anbar, killing five U.S. servicemembers. Four more U.S. soldiers were reported killed in separate attacks — three in an explosion near their vehicle Monday in the northwestern Ninevah province and another who died of wounds from combat in western Baghdad.

In a separate attack, a fifth suicide truck bomber struck a strategic bridge on the main highway linking Baghdad with the northern city of Mosul, killing at least 10, police said. The span was bombed three months ago and only one lane had reopened, according to the police officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.

Remember what's really important: your reputations, your hours testifying to congress, your grant money, and of course your time on the teevee and column inches on Fred Hiatt's crayon scribble page.

Undisclosed Location Blogging

The Euro is expensive, so it's sardines on pasta.


Over there:

Five U.S. troops die in helicopter crash in Iraq

CAMP FALLUJA, Iraq -- Five U.S. service members died Tuesday when a helicopter crashed in Iraq near Al Taqaddum Air Base in Anbar province, the military said.

The CH-47 Chinook helicopter went down while conducting a routine post-maintenance check flight. The crash is being investigated, and the names of the dead were not immediately released.

20 More F.U.s

Believe it or not, I'll put this in my Friedman Unit calendar, as odds are we will stick it out for 10 more years.

"Foul-Mouthed Fem-Blog"

This is funny for so many reasons. From internet director of Susan Collins, Maine's Fem-Senator.

(via Open Left).


Over there:

A suicide lorry bomber has attacked a bridge north of Baghdad, sending cars plunging into the water and killing at least 10 people, Iraqi police said.

The Thiraa Dijla bridge in Taji lies on the main road from Baghdad to Mosul.

Earlier, US troops said they had killed four gunmen in Baghdad, but local officials said at least three of the dead were civilians.


Regarding the hack gap, it would never occur to me to try to make an issue of a reporter asking a question.

Of course, one reason for the hack gap is a tendency to play for their team sometimes.


O'Hanlon on Greenwald (Start question at 23:45 or so):

Well, I don't have high regard for the kind of journalism that Mr. Greenwald has carried out here.


I'm not going to spend a whole lot of time rebutting Mr. Greenwald because he's had frankly more time and more readership than he deserves.

Glenn Greenwald is very unserious!

Daily Kos Democrats

Hardball yesterday:

BOYER: Yes, it is. It‘s interesting. I think, in a way, Hillary has

Mrs. Clinton has gone farther down the road of convincing people that she might be an effective commander in chief than she has in convincing Democrats that she can win. And that is a real problem. Josh is right. Jim Webb was not exactly a Daily Kos Democrat in Virginia. It is a pretty thin margin in both houses. And Mrs. Clinton is—she is her own wedge issue.

Sigh. For better or for worse Jim Webb is probably the archetypal "Daily Kos Democrat." More than that, he had tremendous support from the site both during the primary run and during the general, pre- and post-Macaca. Here's what Markos wrote way back in April of 2006:

I don't have the time for a full fighting Dem write up, only to note that tonight's edition (9:20 p.m. ET) will feature Jim Webb running for senate in Virginia.

I am extremely excited about his candidacy and I'll be taking a bigger role promoting it in the coming months.

People think that because Webb was a former Navy secretary under Reagan, and because he speaks, at least rhetorically, favorably about that era, that he is somehow a right-wing Democrat. Anyone who thinks that will be pleasently surprised over the next several months. Webb is the real deal and a real progressive.

Not only can we abort the budding presidential candidacy of Sen. George Allen (who is bored of being a senator and wishes he was born in Iowa), but this seat will be essential to our chances of capturing the Senate. And it's doable.

And he was right.

Speaking of which, happy Macacaversary! It was one year ago today.

I remember getting a somewhat mysterious email (not from the campaign) about the George Allen moment which would end his career.

It was right.


Be careful, his storm's going to New Hampshire, it's going to South Carolina and Oklahoma and Arizona and New Mexico...

(inevitable bad joke)

Why Another Round of This?

Imagine if the Bush administration had gone into Iraq, found a nuclear arsenal, the ponies had a appeared, happy fun time Democracy spread through the Middle East like wildfire, 6 months and a few billion bucks later we mostly got the hell out of there, having to wade through piles of rose petals on the way out, and a grateful Iraqi population lived happily ever after in their secular pro-Israel, pro-US Democracy.

Just imagine.

Now imagine just how marginalized all of the war opponents would have been? Imagine how none of these people would've ever appeared on the teevee again, having been proved so fucking wrong that none of them were ever welcome back as participants in our mainstream public discourse again.

Oh wait, that part isn't hard to imagine, because even though they weren't proved fucking wrong it's already the case. Despite being proved fucking right, and I don't mean Judy Miller fucking right, those people still disappeared from the teevee. No Charlie Rose for you dirty fucking hippie, we must hear from Ken Pollack again! Their temerity to poop in the punchbowl of the very serious people who failed their country made them rather unwelcome. That marginalization happened anyway. They're nowhere to be found.

Instead, war skeptics are still represented by all of these very serious people who spend more time gazing at their own intellectual struggle (yawn) trying to convince themselves that even though the hippies were right they were wrong, and who even now try to stop any effort to actually end this war. They're trying to maintain their stature and status even though they failed in their self-appointed obligations, and even now, over cocktails with Max Boot, desperately rail against the dirty fucking hippies who live under Joe Klein's bed.

It's a dangerously absurd state of affairs, and it has to change somehow.

And a Pony

While we're slapping Will Marshall around. A flashback from about a year ago:

At the end of a mostly reasonable analysis Stu Rothenberg concludes:

Lamont’s victory, however, would not be without its downside for Democrats, since it would only embolden the crazies in the party, a consideration not lost on other Democratic elected officials and strategists.

Lieberman’s defeat is likely to add to the partisanship and bitterness that divides the country and Capitol Hill, and to generate more media attention to grassroots bomb-throwers who, down the road, are likely to make the party less appealing to swing voters and moderates.

I'm not quite sure who these crazies are, but it got me thinking about what crazy is and who actually is crazy. Consider Will Marshall of the DLC.

In 2002 Marshall was involved with the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq. As Matt Taibbi wrote:

In addition to his duties as the president of the PPI, Marshall kept himself busy in the last few years. Among other things, he served on the board of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, an organization co-chaired by Joe Lieberman and John McCain whose aim was to build bipartisan support for the invasion of Iraq.

Marshall also signed, at the outset of the war, a letter issued by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) expressing support for the invasion. Marshall signed a similar letter sent to President Bush put out by the conservative Social Democrats/USA group on Feb. 25, 2003, just before the invasion. The SD/USA letter urged Bush to commit to "maintaining substantial U.S. military forces in Iraq for as long as may be required to ensure a stable, representative regime is in place and functioning."

Their web site has been disappeared, but here's their mission statement.

Five Friedmans ago Marshall wrote:

Are Dennis Kucinich and Donald Rumsfeld secret allies? You'd think the Democrats' most vocal peacenik and the GOP warlord would have little in common, but both seem to be in a hurry to get U.S. troops out of Iraq. Even with Saddam Hussein in the bag and awaiting trial, that's a bad idea.

If Rummy is from Mars, Kucinich is from Pluto. The longshot presidential aspirant wants to withdraw all our troops now and dump the whole mess on the United Nations. Rumsfeld's exit strategy is Iraqification -- drawing down U.S. troops in this election year and handing off responsibility for security to hastily trained Iraqi forces.

If the U.S.-led coalition was merely mopping up Saddam's diehards, bringing some troops home would make sense. But the Pentagon announced its force reductions back in November, which turned out to be the bloodiest month of the conflict to date as 81 Americans were killed.


America has about six months to break the resistance and give the new Iraqi government a fighting chance to survive. It would help if our leaders stopped casting anxious glances toward the exits.

So, after 9/11 he was fixated on invading Iraq. A year after the invasion he was fixated on making sure we stayed in Iraq. And now what does Will Marshall have to stay about Iraq, when he isn't busy defending Joe "lost the plot" Lieberman?

Democrats' fixation on Iraq, in at least one respect, is a boon to President Bush: It distracts attention from the administration's inept handling of the larger struggle against jihadism.

And then concludes:

It's time for America to speak to the Muslim world less in the language of war and more in the common vocabulary of universal human aspirations for freedom and justice.

And a pony.



Not so hard.

Liberal Hawkery

Ezra writes:

One other notable thing about Packer's taxonomy of war arguments (which, I should have said more clearly, detailed the arguments he saw among liberal hawks) is that nowhere on the list does he mention Iraq's threat to us, or connection to 9/11. These arguments, though central to the case for war, were utterly derided by liberal hawks, who chalked their (obviously mendacious) existence up to basic fear-mongering needed to placate the rubes.

I really don't think this is true. Certainly "scary weapons" were invoked by self-styled liberal hawks even if they weren't, in their heart of hearts, their prime reason.

Lord Weisberg:

How does war on Iraq advance our effort to combat terrorism? Not in the literal-minded sense that Saddam must be stopped from funding al-Qaida or harboring Osama Bin Laden. But merely to ask the question that way fosters a misunderstanding created by the war-on-terrorism metaphor. Sept. 11 was a catastrophic event of conventional terrorism. However, it woke the country up to a group of related security threats, including conventional terrorism, the potential use of unconventional weapons by rogue states, and the acquisition of such weapons by terrorists.

Saddam's biological weapons—and his drive to acquire nuclear ones—look to me like the most pressing of those threats. This is a judgment that involves weighing both the likelihood that Saddam will use his WMD (or enable terrorists to use them) and the scale of potential devastation that would result from that happening. To be sure, Iraq isn't the only rogue state that poses this kind of risk, but it's by far the most dangerous at the moment. The idea that because we can't fight them all, we shouldn't fight any of them is illogical. By disarming Saddam, we'll make ourselves safer in two ways: by incapacitating the most diabolical of the rogue states and by sending a strong signal to the runners-up.

And after the war:

The first was humanitarian: Saddam was (is) a genocidal butcher on an epic scale, and I wanted to see Iraq freed from his grip. The second was Saddam's seemingly incorrigible pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons. March 2003 was not the time of my choosing—I would have gone in back in 1993 (when Saddam tried to assassinate former President Bush), or in 1998 (when he slammed the door on the U.N. inspectors*), or waited for a genuine emergency and a more propitious moment to reassemble an international coalition. But when George W. Bush chose to finally act, I supported him despite serious reservations about timing and method because I wanted the job finished at last.

The liberal war critic Michael O'Hanlon:

Are inspections of Iraqi weapons facilities a viable alternative to war? Or are they so certain to fail that further efforts to resume them are pointless, and war the only practical option for addressing the threat posed by Saddam Hussein?

The very liberal Kenneth Pollack (could cite numerous examples, including that little book he wrote):

The doves, meanwhile, are right about Iraq's not being a good candidate for a replay of Operation Enduring Freedom, but they are wrong to think that inspections and deterrence are adequate responses to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs.

Tommy Friedman, 12/2002:

But this leads to the second issue, which is a deeper moral question. Is there an Iraqi Andrei Sakharov? Is there just one Iraqi scientist or official who wants to see the freedom of his country so badly that he is ready to cooperate with the U.N. by submitting to an interview and exposing the regime's hidden weapons?

Peter Beinart:

I think Bush is right about preemption. For one thing, we aren't containing Saddam now--he's been free to build up his chemical, biological, and nuclear arsenal for almost four years now.

The argument may have just been for the rubes, but they were making it. And, sure, they weren't claiming Saddam was going to destroy the United States with a massive ground invasion, but they were making the evil bad dictator with scary weapons argument even if they were wrapping that little toffee center in a cherry candy happy humanitarian shell.

They wanted war. They'd constructed a little world in which that made sense, and most weren't above invoking the specter of weapons of mass destruction, which reasonable people consider a "threat," directly or indirectly. They may not have being saying "we must invade Iraq before Saddam nukes us!" but they were certainly invoking those weapons. And the rubes heard them loud and clear.

Silly rubes.

Any Club...

Clearly only the most serious people, like Max Boot, get to join very serious clubs like the CFR.

Will They Ever Learn?

A big chunk of our media is willing to present the truth as choreographed, rather than the actual truth, at least if it serves a particular agenda. Bill Kristol is as much of a "war critic" as Michael O'Hanlon, and both are very serious people.

So, really, we're the ones who need to learn.



Monday, August 13, 2007

Late Night Thread

Rock on.

Evening Thread

Rock on.

Even More Fun

I love these guys and their inability to recognize my obvious deliberate contrast between advocating spitting on an image and advocating on false pretenses for a war in which hundreds of thousands have died. Truly, incivility in American political discourse is a greater humanitarian emergency than the deaths of lots and lots of people.

Self-parody indeed.

David Letterman: The Hard Left?

Who Knew?

They were discussing the Iraq war. O’Reilly in his usual abrasive way asked Letterman “do you want the United States to win in Iraq?” To my surprise (and dismay), Letterman appeared totally unable to answer the question and paused, as if really having to ponder the options. O’Reilly then added that “it’s an easy question.” Letterman, in what may have seemed like a good response to daily Kossacks but in my mind was rather pathetic, replied “it’s not easy for me because I’m thoughtful.”

I’m all for nuance and embracing complexity since most things in life are not, in fact, black and white. But, come on! Do you want the US to win in Iraq? What answer could you possibly give but “yes.” Letterman’s response captures all that is wrong with the hard left’s approach to foreign policy. It’s reactionary, simple-minded and all too often descends into laughable self-parody. Moreover, if I was living in some Red State watching Letterman doing his best John Kerry impression, I would probably freak out and pull the lever for the Big Red (elephant).

Yes, I dislike O’Reilly just as much as the next liberal, but let’s not lose sense of what’s at stake here. The Iraq War is not about scoring points against conservatives – it’s about trying to do what's best for the Iraqi people who deserve and demand more than the spectacle of disaffected liberals using Iraq as an excuse for reactionary Buchanesque forays into foreign policy.

What's reactionary, simple-minded, and laughable self-parody is the concept that we can describe any kind of decent outcome in Iraq as wanting the "United States to win in Iraq." It ain't ours to win and never was.

Party Loyalty

The mockable one writes:

Instead of attacking a Democrat like Will Marshall, maybe he should attack the people who actually took us to war, ran the war, and blundered the war; the people refuse to ban torture, insist on undermining the constitution, cheerlead warrant-less wiretapping, and promote a "unitary executive" - they're called Republicans, and it seems Atrios has forgot about them. Atrios, instead, would like to purge the Democratic Party of dissenters and create an internal civil war where none should exist.

First, Marshall was one who took us to war. Then, in 2005 he said:

Of course, as the opposition party, Democrats have a responsibility to hold the White House accountable for the painfully high price we've paid in Iraq, the thousands killed and wounded, and the billions of dollars spent. But they must do so in a way that makes it clear they are rooting for America to succeed in Iraq.

As they catalogue the administration's many mistakes, Democrats should also attend to the other side of the balance sheet. That side shows that our forces and their allies have toppled one of the world's most odious tyrants; upheld the principle of collective security; liberated a nation of 24 million; made possible Iraq's hopeful experiment in representative self-government; and changed the strategic equation in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

These are considerable, and noble, accomplishments, but they could all be squandered if we give up and come home too soon. Just as the Bush administration has made itself look foolish by its relentlessly upbeat assessments of a supposedly waning insurgency, progressives shouldn't leap to the premature conclusion that we are doomed to failure in Iraq.

which qualifies as helping to blunder the war (any rhetoric which helped maintain the status quo - and this more than satisfies that requirement - does).

Will Marshall on Move On:

Such attitudes aren't likely to allay voters' doubts about Democrats' resolve to make them safer from terrorist attacks. Neither are demands by left-wing Democrats and the anti-war group,, that the United States withdraw its troops from Iraq. Rather than offering fresh fodder to Karl Rove, the party would do better to heed Sens. Joe Biden, John Kerry, Evan Bayh, and Hillary Rodham Clinton, who have set an example for responsible, progressive patriotism. They have balanced blunt criticism of the Bush administration's blunders with concrete suggestions for relieving the strain on U.S. forces in Iraq, broadening international support for the Iraqi government, and speeding up the pace of reconstruction.

Will Marshall on Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib... you know, torture, etc:

Democrats should also bring a sense of proportion to the prisoner abuse scandals at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay. These sickening deviations from America's core principles have damaged our country's moral reputation around the world. True patriotism demands not denials and whitewashes, but a thorough, independent investigation, punishment of those responsible, and clear policies to prevent a repetition.

Yet the revelation that some U.S. troops aren't saints should not come as too great a shock, at least to grownups. By dwelling obsessively on U.S. misdeeds while ignoring the far more heinous crimes of what is quite possibly the most barbaric insurgency in modern times, anti-war critics betray an anti-American bias that undercuts their credibility.

Amnesty International likewise stumbled into the quagmire of moral equivalence in a report that absurdly analogized Guantanamo Bay, where 500 prisoners remain, to the Soviet gulags, where millions perished. The usually level-headed Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) was forced to apologize after falling into the same trap. Activists rationalize such witless hyperbole by saying it's the only way to get Americans to pay attention to what their government is doing wrong. But this is the political equivalent of a compound felony: insulting voters' intelligence while offending their patriotic sensibilities.

Will Marshall helped take us into war, Will Marshall helped to quell criticisms of the worst abuses of the Bush administration, Will Marshall regularly attacked the Democratic party for being too hard on these things, etc.

Most importantly, of course, is that Will Marshall helped take us into war. Will Marshall is, of course, a very serious person who was very active in helping to cause the biggest foreign policy and humanitarian debacle in memory. That there is no accountability for such things, because they would be, you know, partisan, perfectly captures everything which is wrong with the "Foreign Policy Community."


In Will Marshall's war:

- Police found ( 18) dead bodies in the following neighborhoods in Baghdad : ( 8 ) were found in west Baghdad ( Karkh bank) ; 3 in Saidiyah , 3 in Amil and 2 in Bayaa. While (10) were found in east Baghdad ( Risafa bank) ; 4 in Sadr city , 1 in Rashad , 1 in Zayuna , 1 in Kemb Sara , 1 in Qahira, ,1 in Bub Al-Sham and 1 in Karrada

Speaking of ... Well, Things I Didn't Actually Speak Of

But when someone writes:

I like Will Marshall...

You know that they can be ignored, if not laughed at and mocked, by all sentient beings until the end of time. Marshall was one of the prime "Democratic" forces behind the invasion of Iraq, has nontrivial responsibility for the hundreds of thousands dead, and someone who, along with Bill Kristol, should have his image spat upon by schoolchildren during their "moment of quiet reflection" for generations to come.

Note how I made it "nonpartisan" or "bipartisan" or whatever by throwing Bill Kristol in there. Advantage: me!

More on Tweety

Digby takes a more serious look at Tweety's issues. It's important. It's easy to mock the guy when he's going on about big beefy men, fire hydrants, and ramrods, but those people are generally politicians and public figures over which he has no supervisory role or other job relationship. The thing on Friday was completely inappropriate. Just be glad no falafels were involved.

Moira Speak

You listen.


Hastert to announce whether or not he's running again on Friday.

Who's betting no?

Afternoon Thread



Please, someone, get this man some help.


They really are silly people.

Why Would Harold Ford Help Promote an Anti-Semitic Site?

Either Harold Ford doesn't really believe Daily Kos is a seething hotbed of anti-Semitism, or he's just agreed to help promote an anti-Semitic site next year by attending the successor to Yearly Kos.

You can draw the obvious conclusion yourself. Still, with awesome leadership like this on the most important issue of the day:

Ford: I don’t know who’s been right about this war all along…

Colmes: Sure you do…

Ford: That’s open for dispute.

Colmes: You don’t know who’s been right about the war all along?

I can certainly understand those who dream of a party run by people like him. It'd be tough and very serious!

Anne "Seinfeld Campaign" Kornblut

At the WaPo live now. Submit your questions.

Winning is Fun and Makes You Strong

One of the things Rove always understand is that. The most fun the Democrats had in this entire decade is when they stood firm on Social Security, not only refusing to support some version of the non-existent Bush plan, but also refusing to put up an "alternative" so that some middle ground compromise could be found which was 90% what the president wanted. They defied the pundits, they stood together, they beat Bush and the Republicans. As Josh Green explains in his Atlantic Monthly article about Rove (no link sorry), out now at a timely moment, killing Social Security wasn't just a plan to kill Social Security, it was a key part of the plan to destroy Democrats. Miraculously, they didn't let themselves be destroyed. Sadly, they seem to have forgotten how fun that was.


I'll let others speculate on the "real" reasons for his leaving, but I agree with Will that it's infuriating that the Democrats often fall for his games even after he announces them long in advance.

Continuing a theme

To Save America, we need the Black Death

Not Atrios

Bye Karl

Holy crap. Turd Blossom taking his ball and going home.

Karl Rove, President Bush's longtime political adviser, is resigning as White House deputy chief of staff effective Aug. 31, and returning to Texas, he said in an interview with Paul Gigot, editor of The Wall Street Journal's editorial page.

(ht lemming)

Tomentum No More!

We won't have Tommy Thompson to kick around anymore.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sunday Evening Thread


Free Market Fairies

These people are morons:

BAGHDAD, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Years of economic policy mistakes after the fall of Saddam Hussein left unemployed young Iraqis easy targets for recruitment by al Qaeda and other insurgents, a U.S. Defense Department official said on Sunday.


Brinkley said early economic planners had made the understandable mistake of assuming that a free market would rapidly emerge to replace what he described as Saddam's "kleptocracy", and create full employment.

This mistaken assumption led to a series of decisions which "sowed the seeds of economic malaise and fuelled insurgent sympathies" after industrial production collapsed and imports flooded in to replace locally made goods.

Understandable? Lordy...

Screw Jumbos

Okay, I'm a bit tired of reading stories about how rich people can't get no-doc loans at low interest rates anymore.

...adding I swear I read an earlier version of this article which made clear that the poor chap with the 13% rate needed a no-doc loan because he lacked income documentation. In any case, it doesn't seem that jumbo loan rates of crept up much, just no-doc jumbo rates, which doesn't seem all that unreasonable.

Wishful Thinking

Steve Benen:

Expect to hear quite a bit more of this in the coming weeks, after Thompson makes his announcement.

One of the major choices journalists get to make is whether they present the show as it was intended to be seen, or whether they peel back the curtain to provide the right "personal anecdote."

We know how things work.

For Those Who Missed It

Darcy Burner:

More, and most importantly, better Democrats.

High Fives

Who knew our reporter class took sides in these things?*

*saracasm, obviously.

Don't Deserve Any Help

Of all the caves, this one was the worst one. Whether it was deliberate, fear, laziness, stupidity, a mistake, whatever, I do not know. But unlike all of the caves which happened during Republican control, we're in a period where...the leadership, especially in the House, can kinda control these things.

They fucked up, and maybe if I thought there was any chance they'd really let the thing sunset in 6 months I'd be more forgiving.

Prove me wrong.

Undisclosed Location Blogging


Not Quite So Unusual

Apparently Fed action last week wasn't quite as unusual as media reports suggested. We'll see what happens next week...


At least the word "lie" is in there.

Iraqi and American military officials say incidents of sectarian "cleansing" in Baghdad have decreased since a U.S. military clampdown began in February, but what is happening in Amil and neighboring Bayaa belies the claim.

Since May, Iraqi police say, more than 160 bodies have been found in Amil and Bayaa -- men without identification, usually shot and bearing signs of torture, hallmarks of sectarian death squads.

On many days, the number of corpses found in the two neighborhoods account for half of those picked up across the capital. Before the war, Amil and Bayaa were middle-class neighborhoods where Sunnis and Shiites lived easily among one another. Now, not only are they mainly Shiite, but they have become prime territory for Shiite militias looking to expand into the surrounding Sunni-dominated areas.

It's important to remember also that the administration has taken to referring dumped murdered bodies as victims of sectarian violence, while bombings tend to be attributed to an insurgency or al Qaeda [in Iraq]. This has the advantage of letting them talk about things separately, pointing to "good news" in one category or another if they can claim it exists. Also it makes all of those killed by bombs as victims of "bad guys everyone agrees must be killed" rather than part of a civil war in which taking sides is a rather problematic issue.

The Community

Genuine "scholars" don't actually talk like this.

Just because they have a mutual backscratching society in which they tell themselves are all wise, noble, experienced, intelligent, impartial, and honest doesn't make it so.

Have a thread

Another gift for our dial-up Atriots.

Not Atrios

Stu Bykofsky's Dream

More like this, please! Says Stu.

Happy Housing Market News of the Day


Major lenders are repossessing homes in Southern California much faster than they can sell them, a development that could set off a downward spiral of price cuts and more foreclosures.

At some point -- maybe this fall, maybe in 2008 -- the lenders' inventories will grow so large that they will have no choice but to start aggressively cutting prices, many agents and analysts predict.

That, in turn, will put more pressure on individual sellers, who will have to reduce their own prices if they want to find a buyer.

As values fall, more people could lose their homes, which would swell the lenders' inventories anew.

"The Good War"


Just about the only place in the United States where you saw substantial opposition to the Afghanistan War back in the day was on college campuses. That, conveniently enough, is exactly where I was at the time, so I got to participate in a lot of arguments on this subject. One thing I'm fairly sure absolutely nobody ever pitched to me was "well, don't you see that if we invade Afghanistan we're just going to wind up failing to achieve any of our key strategic objectives because the administration will divert crucial resources and attention to invade Iraq instead?"

That's true in the specific but not true in a more general sense. Opposition to the war in Afghanistan, to the extent that it existed, was premised on the notion that we'd go kill a bunch of people, not help the country afterwards, and ultimately not achieve any strategic goals. Perhaps no one predicted that it would be Iraq that would be the shiny new object which would divert resources, but it certainly wasn't unreasonable to imagine that for a variety of reasons the Bush administration's commitment to reconstruction and aid in Afghanistan would be less than complete.

I'm sure that in the aftermath of 9/11 most people who were less than enthusiastic about the war had a somewhat different body count calculus than those who supported it, placing a wee bit more emphasis on the lives of potential innocent civilian casualties than was allowable in our elite discourse at the time, but the point is that with hindsight it's rather clear that such people should have been listened to a bit more.

Discussions of the utility of the conflict always took a backseat to the perceived moral righteousness of it. Yes we were attacked. Yes that gave us the "right" to do "something" and perhaps something which involved civilian casualties. But, ultimately, we must look back and ask: what did we achieve? At what cost (to us and to others)? Was there a better way?

As has been the case for some many things these past years the choices were never "nothing" or "Pony plan." The choices were always "nothing" or "George Bush's plan." The failure to comprehend that simple fact has prevented members of our very serious crowd of pundits from listening to or admitting to the validity of criticism of so many things. Years later, opponents of the Iraq invasion are almost entirely absent from our mainstream our discourse even though they were the ones who were pointing out what was going wrong in real time even as the Weekly Standard cheerleaders were simply telling us that hope was a plan and that clapping louder was the best thing we could do.

For years it's been a verbal tic of many Iraq war opponents to assert "I supported the war in Afghanistan..." as a necessary prophylactic to charges of "unserious peacenik dirty fucking hippie!" The question is dangling, however... "should you have?" At the very least, shouldn't you have tried to open the door to critics who were less than supportive, not because they hate America, but because they were concerned that George Bush would fuck the whole thing up? Because it was hard to imagine that they'd actually go in and rebuild the place?

Wanker of the Day

Anne Kornblut.

President Bush came to office after the so-called "Seinfeld" election -- the mindless campaign of 2000, a race filled with chatter but fundamentally about nothing, like the hit television show.

The mindless chatter was coming from you and our very serious journalists. Thanks for Iraq, Anne.

Sunday Bobbleheads

Document the atrocities.

NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Guests: Harold Ford Jr., chairman, Democratic Leadership Council; Markos Moulitsas, founder, DailyKos Web site.

•“Fox News Sunday,” Guests: Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican, and his wife, Ann Romney.

•ABC’s “This Week,” Guests: Sen. Sam Brownback, Kansas Republican; Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Ohio Democrat; Leonardo DiCaprio, actor.

•CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Guests: Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a Republican.

•CNN’s“Late Edition,” Guests: Mahmud Ali Durrani, Pakistan’s ambassador to the U.S.; Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican; Rep. Joe Sestak, Pennsylvania Democrat; former Sen. Jim Talent, Missouri Republican, campaign adviser to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney; Rep. David Dreier, California Republican, campaign adviser to former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani; former Gov. Buddy Roemer, Louisiana Republican, of Sen. John McCain’s campaign; Transportation Secretary Mary Peters.