Saturday, July 05, 2008

Saturday Night Thread

How Dare They

Dirty fucking hippie Joe Galloway.

Early next week the U.S. Senate will vote on an extension of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, with a few small amendments intended to immunize telecommunications corporations that assisted our government in the warrantless and illegal wiretapping it has grown to love.

That such a gutting of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution even made it out of committee is yet another stain on the gutless and seemingly powerless Democratic majority in both houses of Congress.

That a majority on both sides of the aisle — not least of them the presumptive nominees for president of both political parties — intend to vote for such a violation of Americans' right to privacy and of the sanctity of their personal communications is a stunning surrender to those who want us to live in fear forever.

Afternoon Thread


A War I Can Support

It's pretty amazing that little tiny measures after decades of car-centric planning can be referred to as a "war."

The District is escalating what some suburban commuters are calling its war against workers who drive into the city.

The city has changed parts of Constitution Avenue NE from a reversible commuter artery back to a quiet side street and is considering removing the reversible lane on 16th Street NW, a key commuting route from Montgomery County.

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's administration also is studying closing the section of the Interstate 395 tunnel that connects with New York Avenue NW, expanding the use of speed cameras and increasing parking fees and enforcement. Fees for encroaching on a crosswalk would increase from $50 to $500 under a pedestrian safety proposal.


Sheryl Gay Stolberg:

The last time Republicans dealt with the passing-of-the-torch question, in 1988, the circumstances were very different. President Ronald Reagan was surging in popularity, and the big fear was that he would overshadow the nominee, the first George Bush, at the convention in New Orleans. So their aides worked out a plan intended to let Mr. Reagan “give oomph to the Bush candidacy,” without stealing the show, said Kenneth W. Duberstein, Mr. Reagan’s chief of staff.

The 1988 GOP convention was held on August 15. Reagan job approval during 1988:

Job Performance Ratings for President Reagan

Start Date: 01/30/1981
End Date: 12/27/1988

Date Organization Approve Disapprove
12/27-29/88 Gallup 63 29 8

11/11-14/88 Gallup 57 35 8

10/21-24/88 Gallup 51 38 11

9/25-10/1/88 Gallup 54 37 9

8/19-22/88 Gallup 53 37 10

7/15-18/88 Gallup 54 36 10

7/1-7/88 Gallup 51 35 14

6/24-27/88 Gallup 48 40 12

6/10-13/88 Gallup 51 39 10

5/13-22/88 Gallup 48 43 9 3021
5/13-15/88 Gallup 50 38 12

4/8-11/88 Gallup 50 39 11

3/8-12/88 Gallup 51 37 12

3/4-7/88 Gallup 50 42 8

1/22-25/88 Gallup 49 40 11 2061
1/8-17/88 Gallup 50 41 9 2109

Wanker of the Day

George Packer.


The incoherent rage-filled non sequiturs always bring a tear to my eye.

Defense Solutions

I'm sure nothing he did while he was a member of Congress made the transition to this job easy.

Former congressman Curt Weldon is helping broker deals between Russian and Ukranian weapons suppliers and the Iraqi and Libyan governments as part of his new job with a private American defense consulting firm, has learned.

Weldon, who is currently being investigated by the FBI over alleged corruption during his time in office, visited Libya in March to discuss a possible military deal, according to a letter describing the trip from Weldon to Defense Solutions CEO Timothy Ringgold. In May, Weldon, together with Ringgold and another company representative, traveled to Moscow to discuss working with Russia's weapons-export agency on arms sales to the Middle East.

Good morning, brothers and sisters!

I'm busy digging around my archives trying to remember what Cynthia McKinney said that was so outrageous that she Must Be Stopped. It appears she thought there should be an investigation of what went wrong on 9/11. The fiend!

Update: Found some.

Not Atrios

Friday, July 04, 2008

Evening Thread

Evening Thread


Media Matters

From Jamison Foser.


Thrilling tales.

Not Atrios

The Aspen Ideas Festival

Via email, a deep thought from Tom Friedman at the festival.

America has a problem and the world has a problem. America has lost its way in recent years; bad habits have weakened our society’s ability and willingness to take on big challenges. The world also has a problem. It’s becoming hot, flat, and crowded. I am convinced that the best way for America to solve its big problem and the best way for America to gets its groove back is for America to take the lead in solving the world’s problem.

Afternoon Thread


What Is The Washington Post Op-Ed Page For?

It isn't to inform, so it must serve some other purpose. What exactly is it?


Deep Thought

Amazingly, on every single issue there is, both political parties get it wrong but Peter Beinart gets it just right.

A Lot Of Semolians

All not well in Europe, either.

July 4 (Bloomberg) -- European banks may need to raise as much as 90 billion euros ($141 billion) to restore their capital after the U.S. subprime mortgage collapse caused credit markets to seize up, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
European banks have already raised $115 billion from investors to replenish capital after reporting $134 billion in writedowns, Goldman analysts led by Christoffer Malmer said in a note to clients today

Extra Holiday Thread

Just because.

The McCain Campaign Strategy


For the McCain campaign to put out a memo to reporters claiming that Obama has adopted McCain's policy only shows that his advisors believe that a sizable percentage of the political press is made up of incorrigible morons. And it's hard to disagree with the judgment.

And it just might work!

OK Then...

Ed Koch in a thong!

Overnight Thread

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Patriotic Post

Celebrate America: picture Trent Lott in a star-spangled Speedo.

Evening Thread

Do the patriotic thing and run over a baby seal with your hummer.

Oh Well

That didn't happen.

And if you'd been reading me, instead of Mike Allen, you would have known that at the time. Me, in October 2005, a month before Mike Allen told the country that Bush was going to start leaving Iraq:

We are not going to see significant troop withdrawals in '06, '07, or '08 absent a major rebellion by Republicans in Congress, which I can't see happening. Even a Democratic sweep in '06 won't help end this thing.

All the talk of benchmarks, timetables, withdrawal, whatever is somewhat moot. There's nothing which will cause Bush to call for withdrawal. It's his mission, his purpose, his raison d'etre. It's all he's got, and he's not going to let go no matter how many people die.

Wanker of the Day

Doug Feith.

The Republican Establishment

It's difficult to know precisely how The Villagers decided the rampant presidential lawbreaking was just peachy and started going about defending it in utterly dishonest ways. My only theory is that the Republicans have held the executive for so much of the post 40 years that the Washington Establishment is almost indistinguishable from the Republican Establishment. They're practically one and the same, and its members protect their own. It isn't entirely new, of course, as the Iran-Contra situation was quite similar.

It's difficult to fathom that warrantless wiretapping with no oversight whatsoever is condoned by the leading members of our elite press, and that it's a dirty fucking hippie position to think otherwise, but that's where we are.

Good Stuff

All across the internets Darcy Burner has raised $85,000. Of that, about $7000 came from you my dear readers.

Holiday Schedule

Over the next couple of days. Go grill some flesh and blow some fireworks up!

Doesn't Matter

Let him stick to tee-ball.

Some of President Bush's allies tell the Political Bulletin they are embarrassed and angry that the White House seems to be wasting Bush's time on frivolous events when much of the country is suffering through economic hard times. "Look at the schedule for Monday," says an outside Bush adviser. "A highlight of his day was witnessing a tee ball game. ... He is being reduced to child's play." The adviser says Bush also signed a supplemental appropriations bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on Monday, but he adds that it didn't get much coverage and that the tee ball game set the wrong tone. There is growing concern among Bush allies that the Democrats will effectively portray the President and GOP candidate John McCain as out of touch. Some GOP insiders now predict that the Republicans will lose at least five seats in the Senate and 15 to 20 in the House, and it could get worse if gasoline prices continue to soar and the public remains in a disgruntled mood.

Stay The Course

That's basically McCain's message on the economy.

Good luck with that.


On one hand, given that Bush won Montana by 20 points in 2004 should make us a wee bit surprised that a poll shows Obama up there. On the other hand, while no one was paying attention, Montana got themselves a Democratic governor and two Democratic senators.

Thursday Is New Jobless Day

Ouch. 404K new lucky duckies. That's a lot!

And I forgot about the holiday and therefore forgot to make my monthly payroll bet. I would've gone with the under, and won, as the number of jobs shrunk by 62,000 this month.


Village idiot Joe Klein:

2. There was broad consensus in the Congress that if a suspicious pattern of communications is found and a U.S. person is targeted, there needs to be approval granted by the FISA court. And, as Nancy Pelosi insisted, it needed to be established that the FISA law was the only way to legally wiretap an individual--in other words, under this law the Executive can't just go ahead and do it.


WASHINGTON — A federal judge in California said Wednesday that the wiretapping law established by Congress was the “exclusive” means for the president to eavesdrop on Americans, and he rejected the government’s claim that the president’s constitutional authority as commander in chief trumped that law.


“Congress appears clearly to have intended to — and did — establish the exclusive means for foreign intelligence activities to be conducted,” the judge wrote. “Whatever power the executive may otherwise have had in this regard, FISA limits the power of the executive branch to conduct such activities and it limits the executive branch’s authority to assert the state secrets privilege in response to challenges to the legality of its foreign intelligence surveillance activities.”

Grumpy thread

You know, they all think we're stupid.

I need more coffee.

Not Atrios


So far about 125 of you have contributed almost $6000 so that Darcy Burner can get her life back together and still keep the campaign going.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Night Thread




Where'd That Bush Boom Go

It isn't over here.

American Airlines expects to cut nearly 7,000 employees by the end of the year, or about 8 percent of its worldwide work force, as it reduces flights and grounds aircraft because of high fuel prices, the airline told employees Wednesday.

The job cuts, which appear to be twice as big as those announced so far by any other carrier, could include as many as 900 flight attendants.

Making Shit Up

Andrea Mitchell edition.

Evening Thread


Not Just Transit

Proposal for more density in Northern California.

The Sebastopol City Council kicked off deliberations of a controversial redevelopment plan Tuesday with a majority of members voicing support for higher-density buildings as the most environmentally sound approach.


The redevelopment plan would allow 300 residential units and nearly 400,000 square feet of new business and civic space between the Laguna de Santa Rosa and downtown.

Density makes transit possible, but more importantly it makes walkability possible as sufficient residential density provides demand for local goods and services and a sufficient number of establishments makes walking possible and desirable. Walkability in turn makes transit possible as you can head to a town center and then, you know, walk around.

(ht my)

Inland Empire Ghost Town

Not very pretty.

A financial analyst fresh from a tour of construction sites in the Inland Empire is warning Wall Street of a "ghost town" where finished homes sit vacant and additional homes are still under construction.

"At several properties, there were a significant number of fully built homes sitting vacant along with a large number of additional homes still under construction," Sandler O'Neill & Partners analyst Aaron Deer wrote today after touring developments in Corona and Ontario. "At one master plan community, the entire development appeared to be vacant -- with the exception of crews working on new construction, it was a ghost town."


According to the Associated Press, oil hit a new record above $144 today. tanks.

Even More Bad News

I don't know Brian Beutler very well personally - we only met a couple of times - but needless to say he's not having the best of days today.

Let's hope for a speedy recovery.


75 readers of this site have given close to $4000 to help support Darcy Burner's campaign while she recovers from the fire and has more important things to do than spend time fundraising.


Ruth is talking about terrorist enablers, and not only that, but her comments are working, so y'all can go and socialize there.

Not Atrios

Afternoon Thread

Out for a bit.  Just in case one is needed and haloscan is working.


I assume Jeevan will work his magic and fix it eventually.

The Only Way To Win Is Cheat

Nice try:
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Fugitive hedge-fund manager Samuel Israel surrendered to police in Massachusetts, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday in its online edition, citing the Justice Department. Israel has been on the run since June 9 when his sport-utility vehicle was found abandoned in New York's Westchester County with the words "suicide is painless" scrawled on the hood.


Happy Bring'em On Day. 5 years already? Time does fly.


Trust fund scumbag Matthew Yglesias reacts in horror to the modest reduction in affirmative action for wealthy white people.

Obama's Hispanic Problem

The fact that we've been hearing about it for months doesn't actually make it, you know, real.

Another narrative down, until its zombie form returns to feast on all of our brains.


Sometimes the world intervenes in a bad way. Darcy Burner had a bad day yesterday.


She probably has more important things to do right now than sitting at the phone raising money. Hopefully we can plug that hole a little bit.

Paying Money To Kill People

John McCain's pals.

The co-host of a recent top-dollar fundraiser for Sen. John McCain oversaw the payment of roughly $1.7 million to a Colombian paramilitary group that is today designated a terrorist organization by the United States.

Carl H. Lindner Jr., the billionaire Cincinnati businessman, was CEO of Chiquita Brands International from 1984 to 2001, and remained on the company's board of directors until May 2002. Beginning under his tenure, Chiquita executives paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (known by the Spanish acronym AUC), which is described by George Washington University's National Security Archive as an "illegal right-wing anti-guerrilla group tied to many of the country's most notorious civilian massacres."

Following a Justice Department indictment last year, Chiquita admitted to illegally funding the paramilitaries and agreed to pay a $25 million fine. Chiquita's payments to the AUC began in 1997 and lasted seven years; roughly half of the funds came after the group was designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. State Department in 2001.

Narrative Down

The Associated Press tells me that 52% would prefer to have Obama come to their cookout, versus 45% for McCain.

Of course we know who the Villagers want to go to a BBQ with.


Obama got a 30 year fixed rate mortgage at the low low rate of... 5.625%. In 2005.


And it harms no one, do what thou will.

Not Atrios

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Bush's Muse

She's purty.

WASHINGTON — The military trainers who came to Guantánamo Bay in December 2002 based an entire interrogation class on a chart showing the effects of “coercive management techniques” for possible use on prisoners, including “sleep deprivation,” “prolonged constraint,” and “exposure.”

What the trainers did not say, and may not have known, was that their chart had been copied verbatim from a 1957 Air Force study of Chinese Communist techniques used during the Korean War to obtain confessions, many of them false, from American prisoners.

The Summer of War

It was like groovy man.

Regular Folks

Brown people don't bother to apply.

Deep Thought

I wonder if John McCain has stopped crying yet.

Extra Thread

Just in case.

Evening Thread

Off to drink liberally.


Expanded just a bit too fast.

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Starbucks Corp (NasdaqGS:SBUX - News) said on Tuesday it plans to close another 500 underperforming stores and eliminate as many as 12,000 fill- and part-time positions.

The company, which now plans to close a total of 600 underperforming stores, will take related charges totaling more than $325 million.

The Consumption Possibilities Set Is Not Convex

While making fun of Rod Dreher, Roy brings up a point that some people miss which is that you can't live in the middle of nowhere and have all of the benefits of more densely populated areas. This true even if you have very large amounts of money, though obviously large amounts of money can help ameliorate the downsides of wherever you live and improve the upsides a bit.

Good policy can also help tip the scales quite a bit, but ultimately there are going to be some downsides to living in densely populated areas. Different people will of course have different preferences and that's why I'm going to make you all move to Manhattan people live in lots of different types of places (recognizing that choices are constrained by budgets and other things). But hopefully high gas prices will spur a bit of better urban policy which has been lacking in most places for so long due in large part to disproportionate representation of nonurban people at various levels of government.

...adding that the reverse is true obviously. You can't live in a big city and have the benefits of living in the middle of nowhere. The point is you can't just pick out the best bits that you like from each and try to combine them, though I think decades of suburban development has in large part been a failed attempt to do just that.


It's a shame we have a malevolent dictator, because a benevolent one would see this was a good opportunity to repair some infrastructure.

The worst Midwest flooding since 1993 has generated images of swamped towns, cracked roads, washed-out bridges, overwhelmed dams, failed levees, broken sewage systems, stunted crops and water-logged refugees.

The losses are in the billions of dollars and still mounting, as the costs of crop losses alone send shocks through the inflation-wracked world food system and threaten insurers.

The disaster has reminded policymakers of the decrepit state of U.S. infrastructure, stirring concerns similar to those following the deadly Minneapolis bridge collapse in 2007 and the flooding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Everybody's Waiting For The SUPERTRAIN

So they aren't buying cars.

The economic slowdown and the high gasoline prices hit the carmakers hard in June.

Sales fell 28 percent at the Ford Motor Company, 21.4 percent at the Toyota Motor Company and 18 percent at General Motors in June the worst month yet in a miserable year for the automobile industry.

Sales at Honda Motor Company and Volkswagen rose about 1 percent. Those two automakers are less-dependent on pickup and sport utility vehicles.

Hissy Fit

Does the McCain campaign every stop crying?

Jeffrey Goldberg Speaks For Islam

Of course it makes perfect sense.

In his previous incarnation he advocated a war "profound act of morality" which would result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of practitioners of Islam.

Sad News

Darcy Burner's home destroyed in fire. Everyone's okay, fortunately.

Everybody's A Critic

One thing about blogging during the campaign is that you end up pissing people off on all sides. There are those who, understandably, think it's vitally important that Barack Obama be elected and so important that asshole bloggers like me should refrain from any and all criticism lest my mighty blog powers cause Obama to fail. And there are those that get mad because I'm completely in the tank and don't criticize Obama enough. And everyone in between.

I actually think all perspectives, except the crazy people who imagine the Obama campaign is funneling lots of money to me, have merit. It is vitally important that Obama win this election, and the importance of that towers over most day to day stuff But I'm inspired to criticize at times when I think Obama (and Kerry before him) is engaging in bad politics.

Mostly I just do whatever it is I do on this sucky blog without thinking too much about it. Still I try to distinguish between actions (what Obama does as a senator) and campaign rhetoric which doesn't matter nearly as much. Obama isn't trying to win my vote and the campaign isn't going to be aimed at me. There are ways a campaign approach can narrow options after victory, but mostly a campaign is about winning. Hope is not a plan, but let's hope they actually have a plan to do that.

Faith Based

I don't actually have a problem with money going to church-linked organizations as long as they aren't exempt from oversight or anti-discrimination laws and don't proselytize. Early Associated Press reports incorrectly stated that Obama would allow such organizations to discriminate in hiring based on religion, but that apparently is not the case.

As with all of these things the devil is in the details, but there's nothing wrong with supporting good programs.


In the previous oil crises there were supply disruptions, and in the first one price controls. You can have increasing prices without supply disruptions, which is what we're experiencing at the moment.

Speculation is probably causing some oil price volatility, but count me among those who don't really see it as the underlying cause of high prices. Though the dollar decline has of course played a significant role.


It's true, I suppose, that there can be temporary market conditions such that "fair value accounting" might give an inaccurate picture, but the financial and mortgage lending crisis we're in isn't temporary. Those foreclosures are real, those loans aren't being paid back, and all of the investors who bought CDOs are going to be getting a bit less than 100 cents on the dollar.

There's really no chance that the housing market will suddenly rebound, that prices will appreciate 30%, that people trapped in mortgages they can't repay - some due to crazy lending terms, some simply because they have big mortgages they could never afford - will cease to be underwater and be able to refinance or sell.


Conservatives are so funny. I mean, except when they're running the world and stuff.

Obama's Packer Problem

And ours, too, really. I'm not really sure why people who have helped cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of deaths in a pointless and stupid war are to be listened to, but for some reason people keep listening.

Hat Trick

And, as expected, the Clinton rules of journalism have become the Obama rules of journalism.


This has been cracking me up for days.

Not Atrios

Monday, June 30, 2008


Rock on.

Getting A Clark Mancrush

Statement from Wes Clark:

"There are many important issues in this Presidential election, clearly one of the most important issues is national security and keeping the American people safe. In my opinion, protecting the American people is the most important duty of our next President. I have made comments in the past about John McCain's service and I want to reiterate them in order be crystal clear. As I have said before I honor John McCain's service as a prisoner of war and a Vietnam Veteran. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands and millions of others in Armed Forces as a prisoner of war. I would never dishonor the service of someone who chose to wear the uniform for our nation.

“John McCain is running his campaign on his experience and how his experience would benefit him and our nation as President. That experience shows courage and commitment to our country - but it doesn't include executive experience wrestling with national policy or go-to-war decisions. And in this area his judgment has been flawed - he not only supported going into a war we didn't have to fight in Iraq, but has time and again undervalued other, non-military elements of national power that must be used effectively to protect America But as an American and former military officer I will not back down if I believe someone doesn't have sound judgment when it comes to our nation's most critical issues.”

Evening Thread


A Moment of Sanity?

Rachel Maddow hosting MSNBC this hour...and the panel includes 2 nominal liberals, one "straight reporter" and Tony Blankley. It's like opposite hour on cable news.

No We Can't

Getting close to 7 years later and still not much happening very fast at the WTC site. I don't have any strong opinions about what should be built there, but big empty lot doesn't seem to top the list.

The Hissy Fit Horror Show

It's all just so predictable.

Afternoon Thread


Pony Power

Even the most optimistic aides can't predict a Bush bounce above 50.

In normal times I'd assume that there would be, as there was with Reagan, some end of presidency sentimentality modestly boosting poll numbers. I doubt it'll happen this time, and certainly not all the way to 45.

Deep Thought

Someone just lost a bar fight.

The Village Idiots

Today the Village Idiots have all agreed to be united on a completely absurd premise, and are willing to crop and flat out lie to continue to bolster that premise.

Gonna be a long election season.

What Went Wrong

ABC has an article up about what went wrong with the anthrax investigation.

Interestingly, though it does say a leaky investigation is a bad investigation, it doesn't bother to mention all of the links ABC received which connected anthrax to then-Hitler of the week Saddam Hussein.




According to the Associated Press, Iraq hasn't signed oil contracts and the reason, according to the oil minister, is that "they refused to offer consultancy based on fees, as they wanted a share of the oil."

Deep Thought

Matt Drudge has been less likely to peddle crap than MSNBC this election season.



As a fellow Middle American, let me step up and say this: if you believe that Obama is a Muslim, unpatriotic, a terrorist, not born in America, any of the various rumors floating around about him, you are an ignorant, bigoted asshole giving in to the worst temptations of society, no matter how coddled they are by people unwilling to offend you lest they seem like the sort of elitist who doesn’t obsess over whether or not Negroes with funny names are going to kill you in your sleep. Facts don’t seem to work, so I’m more than willing to try abject shame for being unrepentant dumbassery.

Once upon a time in blogland, which was 3 million years ago in blogtime, back around the time when Howard Dean was ANGRY and all of his supporters were possessed by BUSH DERANGEMENT SYNDROME, completely blinded by irrational hatred and anger, there was a lot of talk about how assholes like me needed to be nicer and sweeter in order to reach out to those nice Midwestern folks who didn't read my sucky blog anyway. But the fact is that much of our politics has for some years been unrepentant dumbassery, even if much of it comes out of the mouths of leading mainstream media figures like Brian Williams and Maureen Dowd. There's no reasoning with it, no being nice to it. It isn't useful to simply throw up an argument or competing narrative.

So Stupid

I'm finding this all a bit hard to take. Maybe some coffee will help.

The road not taken

Pierce remembers:
In 1990, while I was in the employ of a now-defunct all-sports daily newspaper, I went to Atlanta to work on a piece about Evander Holyfield, who was preparing to fight James (Buster) Douglas for the heavyweight champeenship of the woild (!). Anyway, one night, my hotel was hosting a fundraiser for a guy named David Worley, a lawyer who was running against Newt Gingrich. What the hell, I thought, maybe the hors d'oeuvres are good. I went down to the ballroom and, in the course of extensive freeloading, I talked to a number of people from the Worley campaign who were absolutely convinced that their guy could take Gingrich down. They were extremely frosted at the Democratic National Committee, which barely bothered to return their phone calls. By the end of the evening, they even had me convinced. Turns out they were right.
Not Atrios

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Deep Thought

Everyone who was ever in the military is uniquely qualified to be president.

Mile 26

I realized recently that the problem with blogging during the McCain candidacy is that it's just repetition. The media coverage of McCain is so predictable, and it's all been described in this blog and others over the past few years in excruciating detail. It's like one long "I told you so - go read the archives." You even get the sense that the media have an awareness of what's wrong with how they cover McCain, but they don't actually give a shit.

long hard slog

That Didn't Happen Either

Maliki, November 2006.

WASHINGTON --Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said Thursday that his country's forces would be able to assume security command by June 2007 -- which could allow the United States to start withdrawing its troops.

"I cannot answer on behalf of the U.S. administration but I can tell you that from our side our forces will be ready by June 2007," Maliki told ABC television after meeting President Bush on Thursday in Jordan.

Oh well.


Sy Hersh says the scary thing.

Not Atrios

I Don't Think This Is Likely To Happen Either

From June 9, 2007.

This goal, drawn from recent interviews with more than 20 U.S. military officers and other officials here, including senior commanders, strategists and analysts, remains in the early planning stages. It is based on officials’ assessment that a sharp drawdown of troops is likely to begin by the middle of next year, with roughly two-thirds of the current force of 150,000 moving out by late 2008 or early 2009. The questions officials are grappling with are not whether the U.S. presence will be cut, but how quickly, to what level and to what purpose.

Oh Well

So much for that. June 8, 2007:

WASHINGTON - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi predicted Thursday that there would be “a drastic reduction in troops” in Iraq by the middle of 2008, saying Democratic opposition to the war had “changed the debate on Iraq in our country.”

In an interview airing Friday on MSNBC’s “Hardball,” Pelosi, D-Calif., told host Chris Matthews that while Democrats may have failed for now to force President Bush to agree to a timetable to withdraw U.S. troops, their agitation for disengagement from Iraq had backed the president into a corner.

Wanker of the Day

Bill Kristol.


I usually think the "candidate doesn't know the price of a gallon of milk" type of stories are pretty stupid. But the price of gas, today, is a different issue. Unlike milk and similar, the price of gas is pretty much a staple of the news these days. Glance at a newspaper or flip on teevee news (local, cable, network, whatever), and you'll get the daily update of the price. This isn't just about a presidential candidate who obviously and understandably doesn't fill up his gas tank very often, it's about a presidential candidate who just isn't paying any attention to what's going on in the world.

I Hope They Sell Booze On The SUPERTRAIN

Not everybody drinks, of course, but lots of people do. And lots of the lots of people who drink don't live within reasonable walking distance of a drinking establishment. That has long mystified me.

Afternoon Thread

Moving-related program activities never end.

Why Not A Pumpkin

The fondness of certain elites for undemocratic regimes where the normal people have limited freedom but elites get to play and are treated very well never ceases to surprise me for some reason.

More Infrastructure

While I recognize that there's a lag time between authorization and the potential for actually spending the money to repair bridges and build SUPERTRAINS, it would have been pretty nice if instead of a dumb "here's some money" stimulus authorized months ago we'd embarked on a massive infrastructure repair and building project. Since we failed to do that "free money for people" will again be a bit faster but it's also a bit short-sighted. And, hey, happy to do both. Whatever. Just give me my SUPERTRAIN.

Sunday Bobbleheads

Document the atrocities.

ABC's "This Week" — Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill.; Gov. Tim Pawlenty, R-Minn.; Ralph Nader, independent presidential candidate.
CBS' "Face the Nation" — Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn.; retired Gen. Wesley Clark.
NBC's "Meet the Press" — Govs. Arnold Schwarzenegger, R-Calif., Dave Freudenthal, D-Wyo., and Bill Ritter, D-Colo.
CNN's "Late Edition" — U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker; Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; Govs. Jon Corzine, D-N.J., and Bobby Jindal, R-La.; Terry McAuliffe, campaign chairman for Hillary Rodham Clinton.

"Fox News Sunday" _ Gov. Ed Rendell, D-Pa.; former Rep. Rob Portman, R-Ohio; Bob Barr, Libertarian presidential candidate.

Sunday Morning

The thing about McCain and computers is not just about age. It's also about privilege. He has people to print out his email and highlight the important stuff, or, for that matter, read it to him slowly. Here's a stupid illustration of the same principle.