Saturday, March 15, 2008

My State's a 4-Letter Word

Pretty good day for Obama in Iowa.

A pretty stunning gain out of Iowa for Obama, where an Iowa Democratic official confirmed to me just now that the county convention results will translate into a 25-14-6 edge for Obama over Clinton and Edwards.

That's a gain of nine for the Illinois Senator over the results reported in January, while Clinton lost one delegate. (Edwards lost eight).

Obama gains a net of 10 delegates in Iowa, while a net of 9 delegates is what Clinton obtained over Obama with a substantial win in Ohio eleven days ago.

I don't know what that means...

Must be good news for Giuliani.

Evening Thread

Tell me you don't want one of these....

Get 'em here.

(There's Whiskey Fire ones, too.)

What now?

If I'm reading this right, a do-over in Florida wouldn't be legal.

This. Is. A. Mess.

Not Atrios

Small Enough To Drown in a Bathtub

That's how Grover Norquist memorably said the federal government should be. That the government also does useful things which would go down the drain of that mythical bathtub is often forgotten. For instance, the FDA might want to test all heparin products imported into the country, to save a few lives here and there. But the FDA needs to be a little bigger than bathtub-sized to manage that.


Boehlert on another media atrocity.

(And I hope they're going to post video of the Winter Soldier witnesses, because it's really impressive stuff.)

Not Atrios

Winter Soldier

If you haven't been watching, you're missing some of the most damning testimony about the war available.

--Molly I.

Travel Day

I'll be mostly gone until tomorrow, so you're on your own...

...Here's Media Matters from Jamison Foser.

Morning Thread

Okay, who brought the doughnuts?

--Molly I.


Rock on.

The Key Part Of This Story

LA Times:

UCLA Medical Center is taking steps to fire at least 13 employees and has suspended at least six others for snooping in the confidential medical records of pop star Britney Spears during her recent hospitalization in its psychiatric unit, a person familiar with the matter said Friday.

In addition, six physicians face discipline for peeking at her computerized records, the person said.

Staff gets fired but doctors keep their jobs... for the same offense.

Friday, March 14, 2008

"Man of the People"

Whuh? Any sensible person with money would travel by Acela from Washington to Philadelphia instead of by plane, and anyone with time pressures would travel by train instead of car.

Next up: "Man of the people" St. John McCain dines on local peasant cuisine, beluga caviar encrusted foie gras.

Deep Thought

One can survive an entire day without watching CNN.

Evening Thread

Enjoy every sandwich.

Wanker of the Day

Michael O'Hanlon.


Fresh Thread

Tucker Has Classy Friends

From an email from Save Tucker:

March 13, 2008
John Bertran


Balance and real news reporting not on ideological agenda

3 Stooges

John Bertran, the Melbourne Florida investment counselor and insurance salesman who co-chairs Friends of Tucker Carlson today blasted MSNBC for canceling the show of conservative pundit, Tucker Carlson.

Friends of Tucker was formed and posted a website last December in the wake of rumors that Carlson would be purged by Liberals at the cable news network.

"The left-wing activists at MSNBC have succeeded in limiting the voice of the one independent minded conservative they have on the air," said Bertran. "Psycho socialist, Keith Olbermann, Tim O'Neil 'butt-boy' Chris Matthews and lefty hit man Dan 'Danny the rug' Abrams are trying to limit an important conservative and libertarian voice on MSNBC," the conservative activist said.

"Joe Scarborough's praise of the Clintons in a bald-faced effort to save his job makes me want to vomit," said Bertran. "Kommissar, Phil Griffin, the MSNBC Executive, is the ideological cleanser."

Viewers should beware the pro-liberal bias of MSNBC and protest this corruption of a news organization with NBC Executives.

Besides, Chris Matthews was Tip O'Neill's buttboy, not Tim O'Neil's.

Fresh Thread



Passes House.

And apparently Harry gave them a little hell.

Oh Well

Bush last summer.

One area that has shown particular strain is the mortgage market, especially what's known as the sub-prime sector of the mortgage market. This market has seen tremendous innovation in recent years, as new lending products make credit available to more people. For the most part, this has been a positive development, and the reason why is millions of families have taken out mortgages to buy their homes, and American homeownership is at a near all-time high.

And now.

The homeownership rate has plunged back to the levels of the summer of 2001.

Why Don't Women Read The Post?

Today I could read opinion pieces from Charles Krauthammer, Eugene Robinson, Alex Pollock, Michael Gerson, and EJ Dionne.

It's truly a mystery.

The High Priest Has Spoken


The United States has entered a recession that could be "substantially more severe" than recent ones, former National Bureau of Economic Research President Martin Feldstein said

"The situation is very bad, the situation is getting worse, and the risks are that it could get very bad," Feldstein said in a speech at the Futures Industry Association meeting in Boca Raton, Florida.


According to CNBC, JP Morgan is acting as an intermediary for Bear Stearns because Stearns doesn't normally have access to the Fed discount window. Lucky for everyone, this is a nonrecourse loan! JP Morgan is using some pile of shit from BS as collateral, and if that collateral isn't worth anything JP Morgan won't be held liable if there's a default.

No worries. The Fed did this type of thing in the 30s, too.

Eschacon '08

Philadelphia. March 28-30. Be there or be square.

Say Again?

A couple of days ago:

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bear Stearns Cos (BSC.N: Quote, Profile, Research) Chief Executive Alan Schwartz on Wednesday dismissed recurring speculation that the investment bank faces a cash crunch, saying it has hefty cash reserves that have remained little changed this year.

Schwartz, in a televised interview on CNBC, also said he is comfortable with the range of analysts' earnings estimates for the fiscal first quarter ended Feb. 29. Results for the quarter are due next week.

"We don't see any pressure on our liquidity, let alone a liquidity crisis," he said.


NEW YORK (AP) -- JPMorgan Chase says that in conjunction with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York it will provide temporary funding for Bear Stearns.

The funding will be provided as necessary for up to 28 days. During that time, JPMorgan Chase will also help Bear Stearns find permanent financing.

Bear Stearns says its liquidity significantly deteriorated over the past day and the temporary funding will help it continue operating normally. The investment bank added there is no guarantee any permanent strategic alternatives will be successful.

The War Is Over And The Surge Is Awesome

St. Petraeus:

BAGHDAD, March 13 -- Iraqi leaders have failed to take advantage of a reduction in violence to make adequate progress toward resolving their political differences, Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said Thursday.

Petraeus, who is preparing to testify to Congress next month on the Iraq war, said in an interview that "no one" in the U.S. and Iraqi governments "feels that there has been sufficient progress by any means in the area of national reconciliation," or in the provision of basic public services.

The general's comments appeared to be his sternest to date on Iraqis' failure to achieve political reconciliation. In February, following the passage of laws on the budget, provincial elections and an amnesty for certain detainees, Petraeus was more encouraging. "The passage of the three laws today showed that the Iraqi leaders are now taking advantage of the opportunity that coalition and Iraqi troopers fought so hard to provide," he said at the time.

Bush SOTU, 2007:

The people of Iraq want to live in peace, and now it's time for their government to act. Iraq's leaders know that our commitment is not open-ended. They have promised to deploy more of their own troops to secure Baghdad -- and they must do so. They pledged that they will confront violent radicals of any faction or political party -- and they need to follow through, and lift needless restrictions on Iraqi and coalition forces, so these troops can achieve their mission of bringing security to all of the people of Baghdad. Iraq's leaders have committed themselves to a series of benchmarks -- to achieve reconciliation, to share oil revenues among all of Iraq's citizens, to put the wealth of Iraq into the rebuilding of Iraq, to allow more Iraqis to re-enter their nation's civic life, to hold local elections, and to take responsibility for security in every Iraqi province. But for all of this to happen, Baghdad must be secure. And our plan will help the Iraqi government take back its capital and make good on its commitments.

A Fine Republican Entrepreneur

Maybe they need to start hiring Democrats.

The former treasurer for the National Republican Congressional Committee diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars -- and possibly as much as $1 million -- of the organization's funds into his personal accounts, GOP officials said yesterday, describing an alleged scheme that could become one of the largest political frauds in recent history.

For at least four years, Christopher J. Ward, who is under investigation by the FBI, allegedly used wire transfers to funnel money out of NRCC coffers and into other political committee accounts he controlled as treasurer, NRCC leaders and lawyers said in their first public statement since they turned the matter over to the FBI six weeks ago.

"The evidence we have today indicated we have been deceived and betrayed for a number of years by a highly respected and trusted individual," said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), the NRCC chairman.

Hey, Where'd I Go?

Anyway, I'm back.

Morning Thread

Read some poetry.


And wash your neck!

--Molly I.

Morning grumpy

Keith and Rachel.

They must be planning an all-out attack on Iran, because they are denying it all just the same way they did for Iraq.

(And no one's heard from Ferraro in 20 years, so how come what she has to say is suddenly so important? Who cares? Who does this serve?)

Not Atrios


Have some links:

It's a conspiracy!

Not Atrios

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mo' Thread

Rock Around The Clock Thread

Late Afternoon Thread

Freakin' crack den....

--Molly I.


He's not going away forever!!! He'll be back!!!

After all, at 60 he's a "young man."

Nobody Cares What Pissypants Says

One thing I think the Democrats have failed to recognize, though maybe they're starting to, is that Bush is so unpopular that beating him on anything is almost by definition popular. They could shoot down Bush's proposal for free ice cream day and it'd probably be popular as long as the headlines said something like "Democrats beat Bush."

And Pissypants's teevee tantrums get completely drowned out by all the campaign coverage. He can't have much influence on the narrative anymore.

So just keep beating him.

Fresh Thread


Reading Habits of the Liberal Media

Chart from The Power and Politics of Blogs by Henry Farrell and Daniel W. Drezner, in the January issue of Public Choice.

More On Nerds

To be clear, there's nothing wrong with nerds. People may think I am one. Fine with me. But the point is that the stereotyping of bloggers as nerds based on the fact that ... THEY USE COMPUTERS ... given that in the year 2008 everyone except the reporter I once talked to who was typing up notes on a typewriter uses computers is at best stupid and at worst an attempt to marginalize and belittle. Bloggers use computers! Nerds!

The War is Awesome

And everybody loves it, and loves Huggy Bear because he wants it to last forever.

BAGHDAD -- The body of a Chaldean Catholic archbishop who was abducted by gunmen last month was discovered today in the northern Iraq city of Mosul, while a car bomb killed 18 people in Baghdad.


And we should remember that the second African-American governor, Deval Patrick, was only recently elected.

Why Don't Women Read the Post?

Today I could read opinion pieces from David Broder, Robert Novak, David Ignatius, Robert Joseph and J.D. Crouch II, and Tim Westrich.

It's truly a mystery.

More Stuff in Cuba

Cubans can now buy more electronic equipment, in theory anyway (most are more than a little bit poor).

I suppose with respect the Cuba, the real question is what is it that we ("we" meaning the general anti-Cuba people in our foreign policy apparatus) want from Cuba? What policies would Cuba have to enact which would lead to the US saying "bygones" and lifting travel restrictions and sanctions? Aside from "giving all the property back to the exiles and US corporations," something which isn't going to happen, what would be the step the Cuban government could take?

I've never seen anyone even attempt to answer that.

Everybody Loves The War

It is the awesomest most awesome awesome war ever, and everybody loves it and wants to stay forever just like Huggy Bear.

We're All Computer Nerds Now

I long ago stopped really caring about how those weird creatures called bloggers are caricatured in the media, but I do find one aspect of it fascinating. There is a complete inability of writers to get beyond a decades old stereotype of the "computer nerd." You know, bloggers use computers! Nerds use computers! Bloggers are nerds!

It's weird.

From the Beginning

Hunting for something else I came across this bit from a Jan. 20, 2001 Washington Post article.

"There is always a cultural infusion when a new president comes to town," said Jim Cicconi, an alum of the first Bush administration and a Texan in Washington for the past 19 years. "It's the type of thing that helps reinvigorate Washington, and frankly keeps it from going into a death spiral of self-absorption."


Asked for a Texas comparison between dad and son, Cicconi, now AT&T's general counsel, settled in for a long answer.

"George W. Bush is a native Texan, born and raised there. I think Texas is probably more deeply ingrained in George W. from birth. There is a joke about native Texans and naturalized Texans. Both are obviously welcome, but it's a mind-set. I think he exemplifies a certain Texas style. There is a discipline and a focus to him that is impressive in his conduct in public office. On the other hand, he is very engagingly human. He's had a real life outside of politics. His self-worth is not wrapped up in the office he holds. This is a man who does not derive his personal happiness and value in life from the position he holds currently. That has been far too much the case in Washington for many decades."

The reporter was not inspired to point out that actually, no, George W. Bush was not born in Texas.



A publicly traded affiliate of the Carlyle Group said yesterday that lenders were seizing its assets, sending the fund, Carlyle Capital, into insolvency.

The collapse of Carlyle Capital is the first time a Carlyle Group fund has failed and is a stinging embarrassment for the District private-equity powerhouse, which has built an international reputation with a client list that reaches around the world.

The high-profile downfall, part of the broad turmoil in credit markets worldwide, followed a week of frantic negotiations between the Carlyle Group and a number of lenders. Carlyle Group's three founders as recently as Monday were considering injecting cash into the fund as a way to usher it through the credit crisis.

By yesterday the fund had defaulted on $16.6 billion of debt and said it expected to default soon on its remaining debt. The fund's $21.7 billion in assets were exclusively in AAA mortgage-backed securities issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, traditionally considered secure and conservative investments, which it was using as collateral against its loans.

Morning Thread

I'll see your Airwolf, Atrios, and raise you.

--Molly I.

My Formative Years

I was browsing through Hulu earlier today and I came across this shining example of 80s aesthetic.

It's pretty amazing that any of us are sane.

Jan-Michael Vincent is 63.


Rock on.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Deeper Thought

Okay, now that I'm sorted a bit, a few more comments on that. Obviously there's more to the Spitzer scandal than sex. There's adultery, prostitution, some minor and stupid financial shenanigans (I mean, pretty soon every goddamn financial transaction will be in the neighborhood of $10K). But watching and reading the coverage, very quickly it becomes obvious that most of the interest and creepy fascination with it is simply ZOHMIGOD PEOPLE ARE HAVING TEH SEX!!!!!!!!

Deep Thought

I wonder why people are still surprised that there are women who have sex.

Sing it, brothers and sisters!

Bush Tied to Child Prostitution - Resignation or Impeachment Expected!

Hey, I'm there.

Not Atrios

Evening Thread

Keep talkin'.

--Molly I.

Internet Strategery


Campaigns Make Me Stupid

I appreciate that campaigns spin and that to some extent it's so expected that they spin that they have to. That is, they're assumed to be putting the best spin on whatever happens so if they get more honest for a moment it'll be interpreted to mean that things are even worse.

And a lot of spin is delivered with a bit of a nudge and a wink. You know, "I know you're not going to buy this really but I have to say it anyway because it's my job." This campaign, however, there's been a lot of completely ludicrous stuff being said humorlessly, with no nod and wink attached. It's painful.

Though Some People Had a Worse Day

So I shouldn't complain.

BAGHDAD (AFP) - A rocket attack on a US military base south of Baghdad on Wednesday killed three soldiers and wounded two in the third lethal attack on troops this week, the military said.

"There was an indirect fire incident that killed three coalition force service members and wounded two," military spokesman Lieutenant Michael Street told AFP.


Just one of those days.

Here's some noisy music.


That's on the teevee (CNN) right now. Maybe not living in New York I've missed something, but I really don't think there's much reason for media focus on her.

Fresh Thread


Yukking It Up

Chris Matthews finds a shiny penny, but will there be any follow through?

TeeVee on the TeeVee

High Def Tivo owners will soon be able to pull YouTube videos onto their Tivos and watch them on the TV.

While we aren't quite there yet, it's one more step towards the internet allowing anyone, in a sense, to use it to distribute content to televisions. No need to own a broadcast or cable channel.

(via znf)

Where's Ted Koppel When You Need Him

Shouldn't this be on nightly on, you know, Nightline or something?

BAGHDAD — U.S. authorities in Baghdad have received five severed fingers belonging to four Americans and an Austrian who were taken hostage more than a year ago in Iraq, officials here said today.

The FBI is investigating the grisly development, and the families of the five kidnapped contractors have been notified, American officials said on condition of anonymity because only Washington officials are permitted to publicly discuss the matter.

Huggy Bear's Base

Tucker Carlson writing in his book about the 2000 campaign:

McCain ran an entire presidential campaign aimed primarily at journalists. He understood that the first contest in a presidential race is always the media primary. He campaigned hard to win it. To a greater degree than any candidate in thirty years, McCain offered reporters the three things they want most: total access all the time, an endless stream of amusing quotes, and vast quantities of free booze.


I saw reporters call McCain "John," sometimes even to his face and in public. I heard others, usually at night in the hotel bar, slip into the habit of referring to the McCain campaign as "we"- as in, "I hope we kill Bush." It was wrong, but it was hard to resist.

Falling Retail

Retail sales fell in Feb:

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Retail sales fell at the fastest pace in at least five years and could tip an already fragile economy into recession, according to a private report released on Wednesday.

Retail sales tumbled 1.1 percent last month, compared with a 0.2 percent gain in January, said SpendingPulse, the retail data service of MasterCard Advisors, an arm of MasterCard Worldwide (MA.N: Quote, Profile, Research). The report excludes auto sales.

"It's definitely the biggest drop in our history," said Kamalesh Rao, director of economic research at MasterCard Advisors. SpendingPulse's retail data series started in 2003.

6 Weeks Until PA

Don't actually have any deep thoughts, but six weeks is a long time. I hope Clinton surrogates decide against having racial resentment be a key feature of campaign rhetoric. I also wish both candidates would focus on Huggy Bear McCain, but they didn't listen to me the last time I suggested that....

Stupid Young White People

Please just shut up.

Deep Thought

What the world really needs is Camille Paglia's thoughts on this election.

Stupid Old White People

Please, just shut up.

Spitzer to Resign

So sez the NYT. And they're never wrong!

Morning Thread

Now, with more Hitler!

--Molly I.

Here's your problem....

Too sane for Bush. Okay, yeah, I know, that's about 77% of the population, but still.

Not Atrios

Rim Job

I guess this is that objective journalism I keep hearing about.

And over the years, Fumo boasted with considerable justification, he got a legislature hostile to Philadelphia to give the city $8 billion.

Fumo did it all by dint of his intelligence, his political genius, his crack staff, his skill at forging alliances and his network of allies, protégés and patronage moles seemingly placed everywhere.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Rock on.

Oh My

This won't mean anything to non-Philly folks, but it is a Big Deal.

State senator Vincent Fumo, one of the leading powerbrokers in Pennsylvania politics for the last generation, plans to give up his reelection bid and retire from the legislature at the end of the year.

Fumo, 64, still recovering from a heart attack 10 days ago, plans to announce his decision this morning at a press conference at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, according to an informed source. At Fumo’s side will be Gov. Rendell, who said last week that he would support Fumo for another term if the senator asked for his endorsement.

Fumo faces three challengers in the Democratic primary on April 22, and perhaps a more difficult test next September, when he is scheduled for a federal trial on a 139-count corruption indictment. Even if he survived the primary, he’d have to endure a general election campaign with daily headlines coming out of his federal trial, revolving around charges that he benefitted personally from the operations of a non-profit community group called the Citizens Alliance for Better Neighborhoods.

Go Anne!

The Unbearable Whiteness of Being

Sucks to be The Man.


Obama wins Mississippi.


Paint the States blue.

People Vote Too Often

Apparently there's another one of these contest things in Mississippi. Polls close at 8 Eastern, I believe. Off to drink liberally but I should be back around then.

Serious Wanking

Greg Mitchell tiptoes through the horror that was.


McClatchy - because they didn't have access.

Not Atrios

Ruh Roh

Admiral Fallon is resigning as chief of Centcom sez CNN.


Last December, when the National Intelligence Estimate downgraded the immediate nuclear threat from Iran, it seemed as if Fallon's caution was justified. But still, well-placed observers now say that it will come as no surprise if Fallon is relieved of his command before his time is up next spring, maybe as early as this summer, in favor of a commander the White House considers to be more pliable. If that were to happen, it may well mean that the president and vice-president intend to take military action against Iran before the end of this year and don't want a commander standing in their way.


Because it's fun on the way up, too!

O'Hanlon Everywhere

He is the most important man in America.

The thing is, his op-eds always say exactly the same thing. Things aren't great, but they're probably getting better, and we have have to keep trying.

That's very serious!!!

Tragic Flaw

The Vonnegut quote is one we should all remember. You do pretty much have to be insane to want to be president.

Non-Iraqi Banks

Yes what is all that Iraqi money doing in non-Iraqi banks? Waiting for a rainy day, I guess.

Let's remember that those "non-Iraqi" banks include... American banks which were a bit scared that it might be withdrawn.

Congressional Democrats accused President Bush of giving in to a threat from the Iraqi government to withdraw all of its assets from US banks.

"We understand that the president is bowing to the demands of the Iraqi government, which is threatening to withdraw billions of dollars invested in US banks if this bill is signed," said Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in a joint statement.

The Previously Unknown Clinton/KKK Connection

This op-ed piece is really pretty absurd. I think there's been some troubling racial subtext in this campaign, deliberate or not, and it's also the case that sometimes things which in one context would be perfectly innocent take on another meaning when they intersect with race, but comparing the telephone commercial with Birth of a Nation is really a hideously stupid thing to do.

The Overwhelming Advantages of the American Black Male

Unless I missed it he hasn't resigned yet, but it sounds as if he will.

(CNN) -- If New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigns, Lt. Gov. David Paterson stands to become the first African-American governor of the state and the fourth in U.S. history.

Paterson, 53, is legally blind, and although documentation is scarce, it is widely believed that he would be the nation's first blind governor.

Paterson was first elected to the New York State Senate in 1985, where he represented the 30th District, encompassing Harlem, East Harlem and the Upper West Side.

Good Behavior From House Dems?

Could be.

It's a frustrating process because it's hard to see inside the sausage factory and it's hard to get over suspicions that this is base-placating theater which will be ultimately undone by a bill ping-ponged from the Senate.

But we'll see...

Wanker of the Day

Michael O'Hanlon.

Stupid Laws

A friend of mine yesterday described a somewhat sad scene of a new mother taking home a newborn on a city bus (the presence on the bus wasn't the only thing which made it a sad scene). I asked if the child was being carried in a child car seat, and she thought and realized the answer was yes. I haven't figured out of this is explicit in PA law or if it is just how hospitals have universally interpreted their responsibilities given the general car seat requirements, but in any case hospitals require proof of possession of a car seat as a condition of discharge for mother/newborn. In Philadelphia, this is pretty silly as lots of people don't actually own cars and wouldn't necessarily travel from the hospital in one.

"Deadliest Day For American Troops in Six Months"

I don't think this is an especially important metric, but that's what CNN just told me about yesterday and it isn't true.

9 US troops were killed on January 9th, just 3 2 months ago.

Sweet Sweet Crude

One of the weird usually unstated but prevailing assumptions in our discourse is that people with links to the oil industry would have an interest in keeping oil prices down when, in fact, the opposite is of course true. I'm sure this will hapen.

WASHINGTON: With oil soaring to a record $108 a barrel amid mounting signs of U.S. economic turbulence, President George W. Bush said Monday that he was sending Vice President Dick Cheney to the Middle East to raise concerns about oil prices and to press Israeli and Palestinian leaders to move toward peace.

Cheney, who leaves Sunday, will meet with King Abdullah in Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil producer and the de facto leader of OPEC.

"Obviously, we want to see an increase in production," said Dana Perino, an administration spokeswoman. "The president does want OPEC to take into consideration that its biggest customer, the United States - our economy has weakened and part of the reason is because of higher oil prices. We think that more supply would help, and I don't anticipate that the vice president would have any other message than that one."


In Michael O'Hanlon's lovely war.

BAGHDAD (AP) — The U.S. military said Tuesday that three American soldiers were killed the day before by a roadside bomb north of Baghdad, bringing to eight the number of troops who died that day.

In southern Iraq, meanwhile, a roadside bomb hit a bus that was traveling from Basra to Nasiriyah, killing at least 16 civilians on board, according to a Nasiriyah policeman who spoke on condition of anonymity as he wasn't authorized to release the information.

At least 22 others were wounded in the attack, which took place about 50 miles south of Nasiriyah.


I agree with Barry that this whole "words speak louder than actions" stuff is getting old.

I have no idea how much this is a feature of the Bush administration or how much of it is a feature of our elite class generally, but so often I see the idea expressed that if only we could get the right people into the room and get them to say the right things then ponies would appear.

It's weird.

Helicopter Ben to the Rescue

Mo money!

March 11 (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve will hold auctions to lend as much as $200 billion in Treasury securities and increase swap lines with two foreign central banks to try to ease renewed turmoil in credit markets.

The Fed said in a statement it is establishing a new Term Securities Lending Facility to, through weekly auctions, lend as much as $200 billion of Treasuries to primary dealers for 28 days, instead of overnight as it currently does. The loans may be secured by collateral including agency and private mortgage- backed securities, the Fed said.

Straight Crap Talk

The extent to which John "Long Pause" McCain simply has no fucking idea what he's talking about is more than a little alarming.

Lucky for him, he's half a nut smarter than Tim Russert, on a good day.

Deep Thought

What we really need to do is built a different kind of Washington with outside experts from many different fields talking about the transformative changes happening in technology, the global economy, the historical shifts in world power - and giving their big ideas about what people in politics could do about it.

Monday, March 10, 2008



Deep Thought

Battlestar Galactica has the most brilliant marketing people working for it.


Why are they wiretapping prostitutes? Did they think they'd find bin Laden, or what?

Update: Hmmmm....

Not Atrios

Evening Thread


Deep Thought

Highlight below to see, don't highlight if you're concerned about very minor Wire spoilers.

That Wire storyline about the newspaper fabulist and the editors who looked the other way sure was unrealistic.

Late Afternoon Thread

What a disappointing day.

We believed in you, Elliott.*

--Molly I.

PS. You can preorder shirts now.

*Of course I speak only for myself. YMMV.


Fox reports Spitzer will resign at 7. You decide. does CBS2.


Surprising me at least Spitzer hasn't resigned.

Not yet being sure of all the details I haven't yet determined whether I, personally, think that in an ideal universe this should be an automatic resignation offense, but in the universe we live in I kind of expect it to be one.



But how exactly is it that someone who makes it his business to bust the chops of big wall street titans uses prostitutes? TPM HQ is in Chelsea. And I'm expecting the streets to deluged at any moment now by joyously rioting stock brokers coming up from Wall Street. We do know that this financial industry honchos all have big 'security' offices and have tons of PIs who work for them. I'm frankly shocked they didn't smoke him out before this.


Sometimes you click on a newspaper site and see an unexpected large headline.

ALBANY - Gov. Eliot Spitzer has informed his most senior administration officials that he had been involved in a prostitution ring, an administration official said this morning.

Mr. Spitzer, who was huddled with his top aides early this afternoon, had hours earlier abruptly canceled his scheduled public events for the day. He is set to make an announcement about 2:15 this afternoon at his Manhattan office.

Obama, Get Thee To Kaplan

It's your only hope.

Oh Boy

David Gregory to replace Tucker.

This Is Excellent News For Republicans

For once... maybe not?

An Evil Instrument

I think I enjoyed chatting with girls when I was 13 or so, but since then I've pretty much hated the phone.

Deep Thought

Is the commander-in-chief test administered by the Educational Testing Service?


Perhaps "Michael O'Hanlon" is just an elaborate piece of performance art, a version of the Yes Men. Would be fascinating if not for all the death and destruction.

Column Weirdness

Below I wasn't claiming that the WaPo had disappeared Cohen's column, just that I couldn't find it (clicking through previous links from this blog, clicking through a google search pointed to the column, searching on the Washington Post site for the column). A reader points me to this link, which works, though it's identical to the link Google gives me and it doesn't work when I click through google.

All very strange.

...actually the link doesn't work, unless you reload it after you click through. Must be a weird technical thing at their site.


Dana Rohrabacher? Really?

Not Atrios


Over there.

BAGHDAD, March 10 (Reuters) - Five U.S. soldiers were killed and three others wounded in a bomb blast in central Baghdad on Monday, the U.S. military said, in the worst single attack on U.S. forces in Baghdad in months.

An Iraqi interpreter was also wounded in the explosion, which hit the soldiers while they were on foot patrol, the military said in a statement.


It isn't as if we didn't know this, but Bush said war was "inevitable" as he was saying otherwise publicly.

This matters because the entire public debate about the Iraq war happened on completely fraudulent terms. It was based around the idea that the AUMF was a vote for diplomacy, that the UN and inspectors could somehow avert war. That was the "dove" side, anyway. The dirty fucking hippie side was that the whole thing was bullshit. But we were just a focus group. Then, of course, there was the Richard Cohen side.

The evidence he presented to the United Nations -- some of it circumstantial, some of it absolutely bone-chilling in its detail -- had to prove to anyone that Iraq not only hasn't accounted for its weapons of mass destruction but without a doubt still retains them. Only a fool -- or possibly a Frenchman -- could conclude otherwise.

Oddly I can't find that column on the WaPo site anymore.

In The Tank And Proud


Aides believe that doing so makes Mr. McCain less likely to be the subject of what they call “gotcha” journalism, and not merely because he tries to develop a rapport with journalists, whom he has jokingly called “my base.” They believe that giving journalists access to the candidate, and the chance to hear about his positions at length, will make them less likely to jump on statements taken out of context.

That seemed to be borne out last week, when Mr. McCain briefly tripped over the name of the new Russian president, Dmitri A. Medvedev. Reporters, who have been known to quiz candidates on the names of foreign leaders, did not pounce.

Ana Marie Cox:

KURTZ: You've spent a lot of time with McCain. He spends hours and hours answering reporters' questions.

COX: It's worth pointing out that Bumiller is actually relatively new to the campaign.

KURTZ: Right. Is there a downside to his policy of nearly unlimited media access?

COX: Well, you just saw it. It's true that he can -- especially -- it's almost always someone who has not -- who hasn't been with the campaign, you know, through it all that's going to make a call that makes him look bad. I remember the lightsaber moment from 2000. That was from someone -- when he said he was going to be -- you know, fight Darth Vader.

KURTZ: But that suggests that the people who have been traveling with him regularly...

COX: Yes.

KURTZ: ... become part of the bubble, part of the team?

COX: Become part of the bubble, and also, I mean, I think what happens is that you -- if you've been covering him for a long time, there's a sense that, well, he does that all the time, it's not worth reporting, because he does -- he's a cranky old man. I mean, to be quite frank.

You know, like, and also, I've gotten much tougher terseness than Bumiller got just there. And...

KURTZ: But the cameras weren't rolling.

COX: But the cameras weren't rolling. And also, we wrote it off to, like, you know, he hadn't had his fifth cup of Starbucks today.

Ah, journalism.

Deep Thought

Do you think that sometimes campaigns act as if they think voters are really stupid?

Well, that's a relief!

You can quit holding your breath, now - Tucker has been cancelled.

But fear not, we will continue to export freedom.

Not Atrios

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Creepy Ass Story Of The Day

uh, whuh?

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) -- A man who was found with a woman's body packed in dry ice in his hotel room told a newspaper that her death may have been in some way connected to religion.

''Everything that happened was for religious reasons,'' Stephen David Royds told The Orange County Register on Sunday.

Royds spoke to the newspaper in a brief interview from jail. He repeated the statement four times but did not elaborate.

Detectives found the body of Monique Felicia Trepp, 33, fully clothed inside a large Rubbermaid container late Thursday after arresting Royds at the Fairmont Newport Beach for investigation of selling and possessing cocaine, police Sgt. Evan Sailor said.

The Wire

That's over. Next good teevee show?

Evening Thread

How can you all be blogging? Hot Fuzz is on!

--Molly I.



Deep Thought

The people of Spain have once again voted for the return of the Caliphate.

Spain Results

Exit polls show Zapatero's PSOE retaining power, likely increasing their majority.

Really Terrible

I like the idea of the Really Terrrible Orchestra. There are some areas of the arts in which amateurs are encouraged to dabble, and some areas which are for some reason thought to be out of bounds.

Deep Thought

Isn't "dancing in the streets" a pretty good way for al Qaeda members to spend their time?

People Vote Too Often

Now they're voting in Spain.

Had drinks with an actual Spanish person the night of Zapatero's win a few years back. I remember attempting to explain that Spain was about to become an even greater "enemy" than France to the lizardbrains, and that conservatives would claim that Spain was "surrendering to terrorists." Which of course happened. The truth was that people were pissed that the Aznar government lied to them, putting the blame on ETA when they knew it wasn't true. They even used state TV to help them:

Voters said they were enraged not only by the government's insistence that the Basque separatist group ETA was responsible, despite mounting evidence to the contrary, but they also resented its clumsy attempts to quell antigovernment sentiment.

For example, the main television channel TVE, which is state-owned, showed scant and selective scenes of antigovernment demonstrations on Saturday night, just as it ran very little coverage of the large demonstrations against the war in Iraq last year. It also suddenly changed its regular programming to air a documentary on the horrors of ETA.

LA Transit

Amazingly, people ride it!

Even more amazingly, LA has a large population of people who don't own automobiles. Shocking, but true. It'd be nice if they didn't have to pay for parking places.

Bad Policies

LA is going to have to break free of this, though it isn't unique to LA of course.

One reason housing prices are so high is a requirement that newly built multiunit dwellings (and condo conversions) provide at least one -- usually two or three -- parking space per unit. This inflates the cost of each apartment and discourages construction of smaller, more affordable units because developers would be required to provide even more parking.

"The fixation on parking in Los Angeles has driven up the price of housing and increased congestion on our streets," said Donald Shoup, a professor of urban planning at UCLA. He said including two spaces with a unit can add about $45,000 to construction costs.

One solution would be to waive the parking requirement for smaller apartments, thus creating an incentive for developers to place more such units on the market. And because there'd be no parking cost built into the rent, such units would (in theory) be cheaper than apartments that come with extra room for vehicles.

Some parking is necessary and it's understandable that neighborhoods would be wary of new construction projects which don't provide enough of it. Still, requiring multiple parking spots be built for each apartment unit is often absurdly unnecessary. In addition to raising the effective price of the apartment units, without giving potential tenants any choice about whether they actually want to pay for a parking spot, that much parking reduces neighborhood density making it difficult to create walkable communities.

Planning needs to take into account the need for cars and parking, but in places as dense as LA (especially the denser bits) it needs to stop being centered around the automobile issue.

Deep Thought

There's no way Obama could win California in the general election since he didn't win the primary there.

Sunday Bobbleheads

Document the atrocities.

Fox News Sunday Guests: Democratic National Committee member Debbie Dingell; Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., and Mike Pence, R-Ind.

Meet the Press Guests: Gov. Ed Rendell, D-Pa.; former Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D.

This Week Guests: Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean; Gov. Charlie Crist, R-Fla.; Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.

Face the Nation Guests: Dr. Dean; Sens. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and John Kerry, D-Mass.; Republican strategist Ed Rollins; Democratic strategist Joe Trippi

Late Edition Guests: National Urban League President Marc Morial; Sens. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and Bob Casey, D-Pa.; Garry Kasparov, Russian opposition leader and former chess champion

Good morning, children of the future!

If you haven't been to Cab Drollery lately, you're missing some really good stuff.

Not Atrios