As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Saturday, February 19, 2005


"I want him dead! I want his family, dead!" -Robert DeNiro, as Al Capone, The Untouchables

OK, it's not that bad. But it is a type of thuggery we're witnessing in the Senate. Here's the story, broken by the LA Times:

WASHINGTON — The chairman of a Senate committee that oversees environmental issues has directed two national organizations that oppose President Bush's major clean-air initiative to turn over their financial and tax records to the Senate.

Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), who heads the Environment and Public Works Committee, asked for the documents 10 days after a representative of the two groups criticized Bush's "Clear Skies" proposal before a Senate subcommittee. Inhofe is the leading sponsor of the administration bill, which is deadlocked in his panel.

Now why would Sen. Inhofe do that? Maybe to intimidate regulators and experts that criticize Administration policies? This is not the first time that tactic has been tried; if anything, it's standard operating procedure. Here's a WaPo article from a few months ago about the IRS investigating the NAACP, specifically because its chair Julian Bond "made statements in opposition of the Presidency."

But this latest charge is a little different. This is an intimidation tactic against two nonpartisan organizations: the State and Territorial Air Pollution Program Administrators, which represents 48 state air pollution control agencies, and the Assn. of Local Air Pollution Control Officials, which represents more than 165 local agencies. They are experts in the environmental arena, and they were asked for their opinion of the "Clear Skies" initiative, which fails to protect air quality or punish polluters, in their opinion. The guy who testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, John Paul, is a Republican from Ohio who voted for Bush in 2000 and 2004. No matter. If you don't blindly support this President in every policy, top to bottom, big or small, you will be harrassed, you will be criticized, you will be destroyed.

Inhofe's committee chairman claims that they merely want to see where these organizations get their money. Then he said something VERRRRY interesting:

"It has nothing to do with 'Clear Skies,' " he said. "If we wanted to intimidate them, we would have done it before they testified, not after."

Sounds like they know how to intimidate.

This is so nakedly transparent it's not even funny. You'll remember that Sen. Inhofe was the man who said, in reaction to the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, "I'm outraged at the outrage." These guys are shameless power grabbers, and they'll stop at nothing to ram their wrongheaded policies through, and turn dissenters into enemies of the state.


Friday, February 18, 2005

Gannon Update

Of course, nobody's coming here to find about about the Manchurian Beefcake, as James Wolcott has taken to call him. But I think this is very interesting. Gannon was definitely getting slipped inside info, as a reward for asking softball questions in these press conferences, presumably. AmericaBlog is reporting that Gannon knew about the "shock and awe" attack on Baghdad four hours before it happened.

Plus, he seemed to know about Mary Mapes very early into the game:

Hannity just said a story will be filed later today that from sources inside CBS that the source of the documents is also the one who provided the Abu Grihab prison photos.

To: WoodstockCat; StriperSniper; Mo1; Howlin; Peach; BeforeISleep; kimmie7; 4integrity; ...

Said JEFF GANNON of TALON NEWS will be breaking a story on this soon!!!!

16 posted on 09/10/2004 12:50:27 PM PDT by OXENinFLA

It may just be SOP for this White House to reward their conservative bretheren in the media, or it may be something more sinister. It does seem to demand more investigation, though.

(There, i got through a Jeff Gannon story without saying "gay hooker"!)



No Need for That

Why is somebody tossing a shoe at Richard Perle during his debate with Howard Dean in Portland yesterday, when the only thing that should be tossed at him are barbs like these?

"Defense is a lot broader than swaggering around saying you're going to kick Saddam's butt," Dean said Thursday, drawing cheers from the crowd in this city that overwhelmingly voted Democratic last November.

I don't think the violent and angry Bush-hating is as widespread as "the party of hurt feelings" advocates like Glenn Reynolds think it is, but I do think it's unwise to let emotions reach this kind of fever pitch. I don't know anything about the shoe-thrower, (s)he could have been the parent of an Iraqi war victim for all I know. But I do think we win with tough rhetoric and bold vision, not shoe-throwing. Let the other side do that.



So over the last month, the President has appointed a Secretary of State with no diplomatic experience, a Homeland Security chief with no security experience, and a National Intelligence Director with no intelligence experience.

I'm beginning to think that Alberto Gonzales was a good choice for Attorney General, because at least at one point, he was an attorney.

Like I heard on Air America last night, with this White House, it's not so much about experience as it is loyalty.


King George

Rep. David Dreier of California was on Crossfire yesterday, and the conversation was about repealing the "Arnold" amendment requiring the President to be born in the US.  At the very end, while Novakula was going to break, you can hear Dreier say, over him, "and we also want to repeal the 22nd Amendment too..."  There's no other reference to it, and while it did make the transcript, it's clear he gets cut off. But he said it.

What's the 22nd Amendment? That's the one that mandates two terms for the President of the United States.

And a diarist at Kos has noticed that this amendment has been entered into the legislative arena:

23. H.J.RES.24 : Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the 22nd amendment to the Constitution.
Sponsor: Rep Hoyer, Steny H. [MD-5] (introduced 2/17/2005)      Cosponsors (4)
Committees: House Judiciary
Latest Major Action: 2/17/2005 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

This kind of legislation may get passed around all the time, but with this President pursuing the War on Terror with an endless timetable, and all that talk about "not changing horses midstream," it's worthwhile to know that this is far more real than most Americans believe. I think it's the least of our worries (it simply takes too long to get a Constitutional amendment passed in time for Bush to run in '08), but it's important to know just what's going on up on the Hill.


Thursday, February 17, 2005

Why Are Republicans the Party of NO?

It's been a big tactic lately to label Democrats obstructionists (Minority Leader Harry Reid's line "Well, the Republicans are destructionists" was the best retort to this I've seen), that Democrats are the party of "No". They even made a truly awful spoof of David Spade's Capital One ads, starring (it seemed to me) some waiter whose entire acting resume consists of one extra part on "Still Standing."

But when the President suggested that he wouldn't rule out raising the caps on Social Security payroll taxes, which currently kick in at around $90,000, every conservative legislator in the country rushed as fast as they could to a journalist to scream the loudest two-letter word they knew.

NO! says Rick Santorum:

"I don't know too many Republicans who are interested in doing that," said Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa. "I personally see this as one of the least attractive options."

NO! says Mike Pence:

Whereas leading House right-winger, Mike Pence, said on NBC Nightly News yesterday that conservatives would consider it an “enormous tax increase” and would “oppose” it.

NO! says Grover Norquist in the most insulting way possible:

Grover Norquist, a leading anti-tax activist and adviser to the White House on Social Security, said he did not believe that Bush would agree to raising the $90,000 cap. But he acknowledged that the president's remarks would rattle some conservatives.

``I understand that it's his job to say, `Let's come to the table and have a conversation,' " Norquist said. "He's counting on the fact that once you get in the room, the American people will demand personal savings accounts, and they will not demand higher taxes.''

NO! says Tom DeLay:

REP. TOM DELAY (R-TX), MAJORITY LEADER: Well, Judy, the president is right in listening to anybody that wants to talk to him about any issue as to how to preserve and strengthen Social Security. But I, for one, am one of those that didn't come here to raise taxes. And it wouldn't do any good if you raised -- took the cap completely off.

Now, not every Democrat thinks that removing or raising the cap will help matters. And the President didn't actually say that was part of his plan (I mean, he hasn't revealed a plan), only that it's on the table, as John Snow was quick to point out to his banker buddies.

But to push back this hard, this quickly, after the mere mention of something looking somewhat like a tax increase? Why are the Republicans the party of NO?


Ahmad Rasputin

If true, this is unbelievable:

BAGHDAD, Iraq - After hours of closed-door meetings, members of the United Iraqi Alliance agreed to hold a secret ballot to choose between Ibrahim al-Jaafari and Ahmad Chalabi, most likely on Friday, said Ali Hashim al-Youshaa, one of the alliance's leaders.

The contrast between the two candidates is stark and reveals a division within the clergy-endorsed alliance, made up of 10 major political parties and various allied smaller groups.

Al-Jaafari, 58, is the leader of the religious Dawa Party, one of Iraq's oldest parties, known for its popularity and close ties to Iran. Although al-Jaafari is a moderate, his party's platform is conservative.

Chalabi, 58, who left Iraq as a teen, leads the Iraqi National Congress and had close ties to the Pentagon before falling out of favor last year after claims he passed intelligence information to Iran.

A secular Shiite, Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress is an umbrella for groups that included Iraqi exiles, Kurds and Shiites. Much of the intelligence his group supplied on Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction programs failed to pan out.

I guess we get what we deserve. And don't tell well there isn't a bunch of Negroponte-led neocon wrangling to get Chalabi into that Prime Minister's chair. By the way, in case you're counting, the choice is between (1) a leader of Iraq's religious Shiite party with close ties to Iran, or (2) an Iranian spy who spread disinformation and passed US secrets to Tehran.

That sounds terrific!

postscript: This excellent diary looks at some links between Douglas Feith, Scoop Jackson, SAIC, and Iran. This is an absolute must-read.


Old Ghosts

Reader Andie writes:

This new cast of characters in BUSH II should make everybody remember how we handled shit in the 80's. This seems the most cruel of get Negroponte
back on board? How about we compromise and stop training our own terrorists at the School of the Americas (or whatever the new name for it is...) and THEN we can start fighting the rest of the terrorists that we made?

Shrill, but worth posting. The facts are that this choice for National Intelligence Director has intelligence consisting mostly of turning Central America into a dirty war zone in the 1980s, including covert funding, death squad training, and arms-for-hostages deals. Negroponte is not only a hideous choice, he appears to be a hideous man, hiding in the shadows and unburdened with a conscience. It took him all of 6 months in Iraq before they started discussing "The Salvador Option." Do you want that kind of logic guiding our intelligence policy?


Wednesday, February 16, 2005


O yeah, baby! Time to bring down the MSM! We are the truth tellers!

Sorry, I haven't had my PowerLine-ectomy yet. But actually, this needs to be looked into:

James Roosevelt Jr: Hume's "outrageous distortion" of FDR "calls for a retraction, an apology, maybe even a resignation"

MSNBC host Keith Olbermann and former Social Security associate commissioner James Roosevelt Jr. examined how FOX News Washington managing editor Brit Hume and other pundits distorted a quote by Roosevelt Jr.'s grandfather, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in order to claim that the former president would have supported privatizing Social Security.

Here's the gist of the thing. Hume said this:

"It turns out," Hume said, "that FDR himself planned to include private investment accounts in the Social Security program when he proposed it. In a written statement to Congress in 1935, Roosevelt said that any Social Security plan should include, 'Voluntary contributory annuities, by which individual initiative can increase the annual amounts received in old age,' adding that government funding, 'ought to ultimately be supplanted by self-supporting annuity plans.'"

And this is how Olbermann and Roosevelt understand it:

OLBERMANN: The argument is that Mr. Hume more or less twisted this entirely around. Can you explain it in layman's terms?

ROOSEVELT: I think I can. And it's really quite an amazing distortion. What they did was that they took a very simple statement that my grandfather made, which said that Social Security, when it was enacted almost 70 years ago, ought to first of all have a part that took care of people who didn't have time to build up a Social Security account. And the government should fund that out of general revenues.

Secondly, Social Security should have a self-sustaining portion that was funded by contributions from both employers and employees. That's what we know and have known for 70 successful years as Social Security.

And thirdly, those who wanted and who needed to, as many -- almost everybody -- did, to have a higher income and retirement, should have accounts where they could pay in voluntarily, in addition to the guaranteed Social Security benefit.

And then my grandfather said that eventually, the self-sustaining portion of the guaranteed insurance would phase out the government-paid portion. That's because we would have a fully functioning Social Security system as we do today.

What Brit Hume and others have done is take portions of that paragraph and rearrange it so that it says something entirely different from what he intended.

This is a Republican talking point, promoted not just by Hume but Bill "Put It All on Red!" Bennett and John Fund of the WSJ. Is it a firing offense? I don't even know what a firing offense is anymore. But an apology would be, er, expected. Although Josh Marshall put it best on Air America yesterday: "He [Hume] was distorting the truth and misleading his viewers? Isn't that simply fulfilling his job description?"

[UPDATE] Atrios has this exactly right:

Brit Hume has no standards. Fox News has no standards. And, none of the usual suspects even tries to hold them to any standard.

So, when people ask why the "left" can't collect any scalps, that's why. You can't shame people who have no shame.


Maya Keyes and GOP Abandonment

Elaborating on what I was discussing yesterday, I posted to Kos a brief history of the Maya Keyes situation, as well as my impressions of it.

This is the difference between Democrats and Republicans.  The GOP is the party of abandonment.  They've abandoned the poor, the working class, the farming community, the elderly, disabled veterans, at-risk youth, teen mothers, and countless others.  And now, through this story, we learn that they abandon their own kids if it turns out they don't meet their expectations.  And they do it with shocking regularity.  It goes without saying that this abandonment stands in sharp contrast to the empty rhetoric of "family values."  

We do not abandon anyone.  We believe in the rights of man.  We stand with Maya Keyes, a great American, to speak out against GOP abandonment and for progressive values.  

We will not be silent any longer.


Give this guy a shot!

Eliot Spitzer is a rock star and not only will he be the next Governor of New York, he should be a serious candidate for 2008. Just look at this evisceration of Fox News' Neil Cavuto, where he makes the host look objectively pro-thievery (which all Republicans, as long as they toe the business sector line, actually are):

CAVUTO: Continuing my conversation with New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.  He talks about the criticism he faces and his ongoing battle with former NYSE boss Dick Grasso. But first, Spitzer weighs in on one of his biggest critics, Tom Donohue who heads the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

SPITZER: I think he is a shill for guilty people, and Tom Donohue has never once found a crime that he couldn't justify, as long as it was committed by one of his dues-paying members. And it is too bad. The Chamber of Commerce should rise above that sort of rhetoric.

Tom Donohue cannot show you one fact we've alleged that is wrong. And yet, if Mr. Donohue wants to be an apologist for criminal conduct, so be it.  Then he is, I think, tarnishing the reputations of many of his members who don't want that sort of voice out there saying that illegal conduct is good. It isn't.

My job has been to reveal facts, to bring the cases.  And I think if you ask any investor, if you ask any executive, do you want to live in a world where analytical work is fraudulent, where mutual funds are diluting and skimming profits, where insurance companies are bid rigging, I think they will tell you no.  The reason is that those behavior patterns cut against the market as we want it to operate.

I'm protecting the market. Mr. Donohue is protecting an ossified culture of illegality. And if he wants to be an apologist for crime, then I think his board members should consider whether or not that's the job.

CAVUTO: The feeling seems to be -- not across the board, but amongst some, that you get a little too zealous, that maybe you get too vindictive. Ken Langone, the former New York Stock Exchange director said you wanted to put a stake through his heart.

SPITZER: No, I didn't. Look, Ken Langone has been charged because he and Mr. Grasso turned the New York Stock Exchange into the piggy bank for Mr. Grasso. And Ken Langone was the chairman of the compensation committee that oversaw the distribution of about $200 million to Mr. Grasso, a case that is ongoing. The Web report that was revealed last week I think laid out the facts for many to see.


CAVUTO: You know, I know now you're running for governor, sir. The present governor, George Pataki, still isn't clear if he's going to run for a fourth term, has said that your zeal going after the financial industry is one thing, but it could chase business away from the state. He said: "It does concern me that I've had corporate and other business leaders come to me and say, 'Why should we be in New York?'"

How do you answer that?

SPITZER: Well, because business leaders whom I deal with want an honest marketplace.  And you would be amazed, Neil, how many CEOs come up to me every day and say, Eliot, thank you for what you're doing. Yes, you're going after the bad guys. We want you to do that. We depend on an honest, level playing field.

The honest players out there don't want a system that is rigged. They want to be able to compete, create jobs. Most of them say, you know what, a hundred years ago, a lot of CEOs didn't like it when Teddy Roosevelt went after the cartels. But we applauded that. We know what it did for the economy. It created jobs.

They say to me, we need somebody who cleans up the illegality to permit the rest of us to play fair.   That's what we approve of. It encourages investment, encourages job creation. Look at the markets these days. They're doing fine.

CAVUTO: So, you don't think, sir, that it would chase business out of the state?

SPITZER: Absolutely not.

I've had it with this notion that you have to wait your turn to be President. Woodrow Wilson was Governor of New Jersey for 2 years before being elected.  Grover Cleveland was Governor of New York for 2 years before being elected.   Cal Coolidge was Governor of Massachusetts for 2 years before being elected VP.  All three had notoriety before their election that catapulted them into the public eye.

Sounds like Eliot to me.  Draft Spitzer!


Tuesday, February 15, 2005

The Blogotics of Personal Destruction

I'm going to have to register myself on the side of those that feel uncomfortable with the "scalp-collecting" fever now on display in the blogosphere. It's more pronounced on the right than the left, of course, but left-leaning bloggers are starting to work the same tricks (for example, with regard to Jeff ManWhore--I mean Gannon--now you've got ME doing it!), and justify it by the usual methods of equivalence (can you imagine what the uproar would be if Bill Clinton let a gay hooker into the press corps?), revelations of hypocrisy (this guy wrote antigay stories, but he's a gay hooker?), and lowest common denominator (we have to get down in the mud and fight because that's where the game is played nowadays). As compelling as these arguments are, it doesn't make me want to do it any more.

I have no problem with fighting; it's what we progressives have been begging for. Fighting rhetorically? Absolutely. Using rhetorical hyperbole to mock and deride the oppponent? Yes! (I'm pretty sure it's why I was put on this Earth.) Fighting legislatively? Yessir. And we're doing that, at a level unseen in years, with a rigidity of party unity that rivals the GOP.

But when we engage in the blogotics of personal destruction, I don't think it improves our cause. That's not what interested me in blogs in the first place. That's not why I started writing one. I believe, as do many others, in the unlimited potential of blogs to be so much more than an aggregation of the villagers, lighting of the torches, and pointing in the direction of the nearest heretic to cast out of the township. Blogs are not simply a hit squad. At least they're not on the left. Blogs do so much more:

-they focus the debate like a laser: Blogs help to make sure that the stories buried on B22 get into the public sphere. The greatest example of this right now is Josh Marshall's lantern-shining on the public comments of Republican and Democrat lawmakers over Social Security.

-they vote with their pocketbook: The real story of the blogs is that they helped Democrats outspend Republicans in this election cycle for arguably the first time in history.

-they organize, organize, organize: look at the well-framed issues used in the Kerry campaign that came right out of the blogs. Look at the systematic boycott of Sinclair that brought them almost to their knees. Look at the growth of meetups and action items and organized calls to legislators and all the rest.

Not only are these some of the great benefits of blogs, they play to Democratic strengths. Mob rule and scalp-collecting play to Republican strengths. This is what they do. It's what they've done for decades. From the break-in to Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office to the hauling of people like Susan McDougal before Whitewater prosecutors (and ultimately to jail) right up to the present day, the strategy of the right wing is takedown politics, pure and simple. They've simply migrated this technique over to the blogs, supported it with a message machine infrastructure, connected the filtering process so that something can go from Drudge to Instapundit to Limbaugh to the Washington Times to Fox News to CNN in the space of one news cycle, hitting everywhere else in between, and slapping each other on the ass at the end of the day.

Our great strengths include the fight for civil rights, women's rights, and gay rights. Nonviolent resistance. Screaming into the wind "You're wrong" and doing it every single day until the wind changes direction (and it always does). These blog tactics are the personification of that.

Digby's starting to turn me around on this issue, and I think the Gannon-Whore story is legitimate and deserves plenty of attention and yelling. That doesn't mean it makes me exactly comfortable that this is where we've gone in American politics. I'm reminded, of all things, of the Nixon speech where he says, "Other may hate you, but don't hate them, because then you lose yourself." I just think we should step boldly once we get the facts, but very carefully. I think the outing of Maya Keyes during the Illinois senate campaign was pretty brutal and destructive to someone who ended up being a shining voice for gay rights and conservative hypocrisy about family values. We open ourselves up to charges of hypocrisy just by pursuing the Gannon hooker angle. I can see the "I thought blowjobs didn't matter" blog posts now. I wrote a while back that you have to get on the playing field before you can move the goalposts, so I guess digging a tunnel into the field is OK.

One thing we can do is compartmentalize, which the Republicans have done quite well. The vitriol comes from talk radio, and the columnists are more measured (even if they're saying the same thing), for example. The truth-squadders on the left need to feed out to our media in a way that deflects the "blogotics of personal destruction" label. I do agree, however, that the best way to deal with a bully is to punch him in the nose. I just don't see a way back once you do that, a way to turn politics away from professional wrestling and back to helping people help themselves.


Family Values: The Shame of Alan Keyes

I wish I didn't have to blog this story. I wish that those who preach hate would actually recognize their tragic faults when it hits so close to home. But you do have to say this about Alan Keyes: he's consistent. He hates the gays, even if it means hating his own daughter:

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland (AP) -- The daughter of conservative Republican Alan Keyes referred to herself Monday as a "liberal queer" and urged support for gay and lesbian young people who have been deserted by their families.

Maya Marcel-Keyes, 19, addressed a rally sponsored by the gay-rights group Equality Maryland, saying she was motivated to speak out because of her rocky relationship with her parents and the recent death of a friend who had fallen ill after being thrown out of the house by his family.

Marcel-Keyes told several hundred supporters that her sexuality had created a rift in her relationship with her parents.

"Things just came to a head. Liberal queer plus conservative Republican just doesn't mesh well," she said. "That was making my life a little bit turbulent."

As soon as Maya's gayness went public (which it did in a very public way during her father's Senate campaign), Alan Keyes and his wife kicked their daughter off his political campaign, kicked her out of their house, kicked her out of their lives. I don't like how Maya was forced to go public by bloggers (arguably; she did post comments suggestive of her sexual orientation on a public website that bloggers merely called to the attention of a larger group of people), eager to play the blogging of personal destruction (more on that later). But as soon as she did, she was welcomed into a commuinity of like-minded souls. Her father disowned her, and continued to put forward policies that would make her a second-class citizen.

Maya's comments at yesterday's gay-rights rally briefly touch on this shameful behavior, but cast it in a larger context:

The worst part is that he isn't the only one. This past summer I read in the International Herald Tribune something that anyone who has much to do with homeless kids has probably already noticed – approximately 40% of homeless youth were LGBTQ.

For 3-10% of the population to make up 40 per cent of street kids – think about that.  I have known a lot of street kids; and I have known a whole lot of queer street kids, kids who were cut off by their parents solely because of who they are, kids who’d done absolutely nothing to deserve the treatment they were getting.  I've seen these kids struggle out there and I’ve seen these kids die out there – kids like Shymmer, who passed away this Friday – and I have seen far too much silence about the reality of this problem.

I won't be silent any longer.

Maya Keyes deserves the admiration of everyone in this country. Alan Keyes, in my view, deserves nothing but scorn. But he is not alone. There are thousands and thousands of abandoned street kids who don't have the advantage of a high-profile father, who live on the streets, who die on the streets, with no help from their families. This is what we call "family values." Just who do we think are abandoning these gay kids? "Liberal queer plus conservative Republican doesn't mesh well." That statistic about the sheer numbers of homeless kids should send shock waves through all decent Americans.

We've grown and matured as a country from the Purtianical days of sending homosexuals to the woods to be put out of sigh, out of mind. At least some of us have. As for Maya Keyes, who didn't deserve the initial intrusion into her personal life (and I'd say it was an intrusion, and it clearly did have consequences), she's an eloquent champion for human rights, someone whose hand I would be proud to shake.


Monday, February 14, 2005

Contribute to Our DNC!

At the bottom of the page, there's a "contibute now" link to give to the DNC. It looks like this:

  Contribution amount:

Now that the DNC has listened to its constituents rather than right-wingers and media bobbleheads, and elected a real Democrat to lead the party, we should all reward good behavior. This is a blog-wide effort that has yielded $99,000 at last count.

The DNC should be commended for turning over the reins to a fighter, and scaring the bejeezus out of the Right, who is clucking their tongues that "this is just what we wanted" but gasping under their breath.

Give if you can.


What is this strange think you speak of called... blogs?

I love when Judy, Howie and the usual gang of idiots talk about blogs, which have been around for years, as if they were invented yesterday.  They always name-check the Lott and Rather-like "takedown" stories as if that's all that blogs can do.  As if they're not just citizens talking about the politics and the government they own.

So all this week, Inside Politics is talking about "the impact of blogs."  Howie is looking at the mouse like it's a moonrock.

I'll update as this goes.

Update [2005-2-14 16:21:51 by dday]: Howie seems to be solely interested in the speed of blogs. Not the content, not the relative accuracy, but "I was on CNN, and then Instapundit reviewed my story in under an hour!" Oh goodie! They're listening to me!

Update [2005-2-14 16:24:20 by dday]: It is a little interesting to see CNN talking about Maya Keyes, the Gannon site pictures exposed on AmericaBlog, and Kos' Dean-DNC fundraising. And the bogus North Korea/Iran nuclear plant pics on CNN story!

Update [2005-2-14 16:22:23 by dday]: Judy just chimed in with a brilliant quote: "Can we figure out how many people are reading the blogs?" No, Judy. You don't think the InterWeb is able to keep all them there numbers straight, do ya? It can't actually keep a running count of people logging on to websites! That'd be insane! Think of how big the numbers are! I don't have enough fingers and toes to keep up!


Congratulations to Iran

...for winning the Iraqi elections. It was a tough campaign, but I think it was the "Abu Ghraib Veterans for Truth" ads that really did in the US-backed Allawi slate.

I'm sure we'll hear that this is a great day for democracy, and that the Iraqis decided to choose their own leaders, and anyone thinking this election was stage-managed by the US can just look to the results. Funny, because that's not what Don Rumsfeld was saying last week:

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld also said Sunday he doubts Iraq will model its government after Iran's. Such a move would be "a terrible mistake," Rumsfeld said, while still acknowledging that Iraqis will establish their government on their terms.

Rumsfeld said other countries with predominantly Muslim populations include their faith without having it dominate. He said it is unlikely that Iraq will end up with a government like Iran's, "a handful of mullahs controlling much of the country."

"I think it would just be an enormous mistake for that country to think that it could succeed with all of its opportunity - with its oil, its water, its intelligent population - to deny half of their population, women, to participate fully, I think just would be a terrible mistake," he said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Well, 70% of the votes are for the 2 slates closest to Tehran. And many people have noted the revival of shrouds and burqas in Iraq, when prior to the invasion Western-style dress was the norm.

I guess it'll take a number of years before we know whether or not we've just created a Shiite superstate in the Middle East, and put the two most fearsome geopolitical powers in the region in direct cooperation with one another. But, um, guys, that's what it looks like.

I'd like anyone to tell me anything the neocons got right about this war...