filtered news 7/26

One reason I'll take Obama over Clinton  In an apparent outbreak of good news for John Edwards, the Obama-Clinton spat seems to be escalating today rather than declining, with the Senator saying "First of all, what is irresponsible and naïve is to have authorized a war without asking how we were going to get out. And I think Senator Clinton still hasn't fully answered that issue. The general principle is one that, I think, Senator Clinton is wrong on. And that is, if we are laying out preconditions that prevent us from speaking frankly to these folks, then we are continuing Bush-Cheney policies, and I am not interested in continuing that."

One thing I'd note here is that the thing Clinton actually said during the debate struck me as fairly reasonable. Then again, so did what Obama said. Her campaign's behavior since then -- trying to make big political hay out of Obama's alleged weakness, seeming to reverse her on the direct talks issue, etc. -- has been pretty problematic. And it's worth saying that she actually did this before, attacking Obama after an earlier debate for having said that he would respond to a terrorist attack by first organizing emergency relief, and then second assessing intelligence to see who was responsible. According to Clinton's campaign, the "correct" answer was to immediately call for war (against whom?)

What this says about Clinton's actual foreign policy beliefs, I couldn't say. It does, however, obviously reflect a certain set of beliefs about politics -- specifically that more militarism is always better -- which happen to be the exact same set of beliefs that helped drive so many Democratic elected officials to duck and cover during the initial drive for war. To get the foreign policy right, you need on some level to have someone willing to challenge the hawkish political box. Clinton isn't just failing to do that, she's going way out of her way to re-enforce it.

Funny stuff!  Colbert on Kos

Whatever happened to a fair fight?  : "[W]hat Murdoch bullies prove whenever they try to stigmatize the citizen bloggers is how much they fear a fair (and balanced) fight."  Why is a fair fight so dangerous to the Right? Because the American people don't trust them on anything. . 7/20-22. Likely voters. MoE 2.6%

Which party do voters trust on these issues?

              Dem  GOP  Dem advantage

Nat. Security 42   40   +2
Taxes         43   41   +2
Education     41   37   +4
Abortion      42   37   +5
Immigration   40   30   +10
Economy       47   38   +9
War in Iraq   47   35   +12
Soc. Security 47   34   +13
Ethics        38   25   +13
Healthcare    50   33   +17


That's ten out of ten issues polled. Once upon a time, the Right used their media machine and their money to drown out Democratic advantages on just about all issues. Their "concern troll" schtick prodded Democrats increasingly to the Right, with little hope of back up from progressive institutions.  That's obviously no longer the case. They , and they're losing their death grip on the media.  As a result, O'Reilly, Kristol, and the rest of the merry band of right-wing propagandists are left to spew crazy as the rest of the country cringes at the sorry spectacle.

American injustice  Number of U.S. prisoners freed through DNA evidence since 1989:201
Percent who had been mistakenly ID'd by eyewitnesses: 77%
(Source: Harper's Index)

Ruh-roh    Documents show that eight congressional leaders were briefed about the Bush administration's terrorist surveillance program on the eve of its expiration in 2004, contradicting sworn Senate testimony this week by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales...  At a heated Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday, Gonzales repeatedly testified that the issue at hand was not about the terrorist surveillance program, which allowed the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on suspects in the United States without receiving court approval. Instead, Gonzales said, the emergency meetings on March 10, 2004, focused on an intelligence program that he would not describe.

There are stories being printed in The New Republic which, to me, ring a . They are accounts from an alleged soldier, who is alleged to be in Iraq, and who relates some pretty grotesque things.  You should know, if you do not, that American soldiers are indeed capable of some pretty disgusting and gross things. Accounts, such as those in E.B. Sledge's With the Old Breed (an account of the Marines in the Pacific in WWII) discuss members of "The Greatest Generation" defacing bodies and using skulls for their entertainment. It does happen.  But the stories in The New Republic sound like, well, BS to me. At least parts of them do. But what really strikes me, and should strike you, is the degree of "due diligence" that New Republic editor Franklin Foer applied before he started publishing these stories. I believe he was, probably, derelict in his duty to us, the readers.

How did Gonzo graduate?   (5417) |  (6942)   (908) |  (979) Keith documents what has to be before a Senate Committee yet. This guy graduated from ? How embarrassing for their alumni. Gonzo couldn’t defend a parking ticket…before you’d realize it, he’d cop to vehicular manslaughter in trying to rationalize his double parking.

BillO site threatens Hillary's life  Hillary Clinton’s Communications Director for the lack of comment moderation on Daily Kos:

O’REILLY: Every respectable blog in the country does not permit this hatred. Even.

WOLFSON: Bill, even your website has things on it that you would find objectionable.

O’REILLY: That’s bull. Look, we know what you’re going to say because the Kos planted someone in there. But when we see objectionable things, we take it off immediately. They traffic in it.

BillO tried to steamroll Wolfson on this point in the transcript because he knew there are outrageous comments on his site and tried to spin it—but this one!…Well…Falafel-Boy, it’s time to heal thyself. picked up this: “If [Hillary] wins… my guns are loaded”

Note that the person has written over 1,000 posts on O’Reilly’s Web site. That means he or she isn’t new, he or she isn’t someone who just came over from DailyKos in order to impersonate a member (as O’Reilly ridiculously claimed last night). It’s a regular, and Bill clearly has had no issues with this person posting on his site in exchange for cold hard cash.

A death threat to a Democratic presidential contender and former First Lady? That sounds like a job for Fox Security…the . Or maybe we can get Mitt Romney’s phony …  asks Billo "WWJD?" Suggests Burning Down Capitol  Truly a terrorist  

  of Americans who believe the “ the international community,” according to a new UPI-Zogby poll.

Run Unka Dickey, run!  Back in April, the New York Sun ran one of the year’s , calling on Dick Cheney to put aside his feelings and run for the GOP presidential nomination. The Sun called it a “fine idea,” arguing, “[Cheney] could help settle some of the arguments about the Bush years in favor of Mr. Bush. A White House aiming to get Mr. Cheney elected could also avoid some of the hazards that befall lame-ducks — drift, brain drain, irrelevance. Such a campaign might lift Mr. Cheney ’s own standing in the polls.” (To clarify, the Sun did not appear to be kidding.)  Yesterday, the same newspaper returned to the same subject — and .

[Stephen Hayes’ “Cheney”] quotes Senator McCain as saying, “Dick doesn’t like campaigning.” Nothing in the Hayes book suggests that Mr. Cheney is about to do it — except for that the vice president spent nearly 30 hours cooperating with the author and apparently gave the okay for many of his friends and colleagues to grant similar access. The Richard Cheney described in this book isn’t vain enough to do that simply for his reputation in history. My own guess — okay, hope — is that Mr. Cheney has taken a look at the Republican presidential field and sees an opening.

If Iowa and New Hampshire Republicans start receiving copies of “Cheney” in their mailboxes, Mr. Cheney’s popularity may yet begin to climb.

The Sun draws this conclusion after noting that Cheney, according to the Washington Post’s polling expert, is “less popular than Michael Jackson after he was tried for child abuse and O.J. Simpson after he was tried for murder.” Cheney is also “less popular with Americans than Joseph Stalin is with Russians.”  If Dems ask really nicely, and promise to campaign with one arm tied behind our backs, would the Republicans nominate Cheney? Please?

Your Molly Ivins Moment:

The American press has always had a tendency to assume that the truth must lie exactly halfway between any two opposing points of view.  Thus, if the press presents the man who says Hitler is an ogre and the man who says Hitler is a prince, it believes it has done the full measure of its journalistic duty. ... The odd thing about these television discussions designed to "get all sides of the issue" is that they do not feature a spectrum of people with different views on reality: Rather, they frequently give us a face-off between those who see reality and those who have missed it entirely.  In the name of objectivity, we are getting fantasyland. ---From Who Let the Dogs In?

This is supporting our troops   The Senate passed legislation today to and increase troop pay by for members of the military. The pay raise would take effect at the beginning of 2008. Read Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV)

Great moments in oversight from the House Judiciary Committee hearing this morning, where Republicans opposed citing Miers and Bolten with contempt. Their mind-bending rationale? Opposing the White House's claim of immunity from Congressional investigations might eventually create an "imperial" presidency.

Your neocon media at play Eric Boehlert has an that we can only hope political reporters read.

When a prominent group of New York City firefighters Rudy Giuliani’s handling of the September 11 terrorist attacks, and when they online puncturing what they called the “urban legend of America’s Mayor,” the political press knew what to do — it anointed the first responders as this election cycle’s Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Newsweek, Time, MSNBC, the New York Daily News, and scores more all agreed that the firefighters were just like the Vietnam veterans who targeted the military service of Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) during the 2004 presidential run.

But that’s the king of phony comparisons. And by making it, the press, once again, is letting the lying Swift Boat Vets off easy.

As Boehlert , “For the Beltway press, Swift Boat has simply become a catch-all phrase to describe coordinated, negative campaign attacks that try to take a candidate’s perceived strength and turn it into a weakness.” For those who saw what the right-wing lies did to tarnish the record of a war hero, we know the phrase means a lot more.

Another day, another story of how Cheney is dragging this country closer to 1930s Germany…  :

A man walked up to Dick Cheney, calmly told him he thought his Iraq policy was reprehensible, and walked away. A few minutes later he was arrested by the Secret Service, in front of his 8-year-old son, for “assault”. When he asked what would happen to his child, the Secret Service said, “He can be sent to Child Services.” Luckily, the boy found his mother and was safe. But the citizen who practiced his free speech spent a few hours in jail before he was released. that was just told byon Thom Hartmann’s radio show.

You can purchase Matthew Rothschild’s new book, here.

The bloodbath in Iraq  Check out Zeyad Kasim's in Baghdad -- the city has become substantially segregated by now, as every occasional massacre prompts a larger number of people to move before they become the next victims.  That's the state of play right now with 160,000 American troops in the country and with a policy decision made to station a larger proportion of US forces specifically in Baghdad than had been the case earlier. So, yes, it's true that terrible things will happen if we have the military leave Iraq, but terrible things are happening right now and our military can't stop them.

  Eco-justice theologian Karen Baker-Fletcher interprets the Bible from an environmental, African-American, and womanist perspective. In her book Sisters of Dust, Sisters of Spirit: Womanist Wordings on God and Creation, she celebrates both traditional nature and urban nature as part of God's creation. "We are responsible for giving life back to that which has given us life -- God and the elements of our planet," she writes. Baker-Fletcher is associate professor of theology at the Perkins School of Theology of Southern Methodist University, and was keynote speaker at this year's Interfaith Creation Festival, co-sponsored by Earth Ministry.

Beg your presidential pardon?   Tim F. of Alberto Gonzalez's seeming penchant for defying his constitutional obligations with regard to testifying before congress (as Josh Marshall notes this , it's illegal for him to just refuse to answer) in a full and accurate manner, draws my attention to :

George Mason, a distinguished Virginian who refused to sign the Constitution because of its lack of a bill of rights, noted that “the President of the United States has the unrestrained Power of granting Pardon for Treason; which may be sometimes exercised to screen from Punishment those whom he had secretly instigated to commit the Crime, and thereby prevent a Discovery of his own guilt.”

In light of the Scooter Libby matter, obviously, such things need to be taken seriously. There have been some inappropriate pardons in the past, but pardoning your own subordinates for official misconduct undertaken in support of your political goals has opened up a whole new can of worms. Gonzalez and anyone else can lie, stonewall, refuse to comply as much as they like, secure in the knowledge that not a single person will serve a single minute in prison for anything they do on George W. Bush's behalf.

Accidental truth  Rick Perlstein Ann Coulter accidentally telling the truth about the Republican Party’s “news” network.

Ann Coulter’s latest claims that “New York cabbies’ compliance rate on daily bathing” is less than 48 percent; dilates upon the reporting in the “Treason Times“; and reflects, “Fox News ought to buy a copy of Monday’s Democrat [sic] debate on CNN to play over and over during the general election campaign,” because the only people it could possibly convince to vote for a Democrat are “losers blogging from their mother’s basements.”

Really? Why would a fair and impartial news network, with no interest in helping one political party or another, want to do that? Or, as Rick put it, “[W]hy ever would Fox care about electing Republicans, given that they’re a news organization in the business of ‘fair and balanced’?”

Sweet home Alabama my ass   Solid evidence indicating that lethal injection is cruel and unusual has executions in several states over the past two years, but Alabama's not one of them. The constitutionality of the state's lethal injection protocol will be challenged in federal court this October, however Darrell Grayson, a black man convicted of robbing, raping, and killing an 86-year-old woman by an all white jury in 1982, doesn't have time to wait. He's scheduled to die at 6 p.m. today.

Grayson, who admits he doesn't remember whether or not he committed the crime because he was, well, wasted, recently filed an unsuccessful challenge to lethal injection. The 11th Circuit Court, which rules over Alabama, dismissed it because Grayson waited too long to file his appeal. Grayson has also petitioned to have DNA testing performed, but the courts have denied that request as well despite evidence that points to Grayson's . Two men claim Grayson was passed out in another location at the time of the crime and his co-defendant mysteriously asked for Grayson's forgiveness before he was executed in 1999.

Grayson's request to delay the execution is pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, but things aren't looking good. Alabama Attorney General Troy King argued yesterday that "justice has been delayed too long." Ironically, justice will be denied forever if Grayson is killed before his DNA is tested and the challenge to Alabama’s lethal injection procedure is resolved.

Neocon media Anyone who reads newspapers with any frequency recognizes the trend: reporters love to talk about what powerful women are wearing. You'll never hear about the cut of Robert Byrd's suit or where Harry Reid got his shoes, but, boy, does Nancy Pelosi look good in that . And that Condi Rice . know that talking about cleavage is a meaningless (not to mention sexist) distraction from the issues, so we'll take care to try to point out some of the more egregious examples we come across.  From the Washington Post:

[California Rep. Loretta] Sanchez, ... resplendent in a black outfit with silver sparkles.

"Resplendent"? Really? Give me a break.

Banned by BillO  All I can say is, thank God for screensaves, because I just received an email from the staff of billoreillydotcom:

Due to violations of the Terms and Conditions of attributed to your account, your Premium Membership is hereby terminated effective as of the date of this notice. The termination is final and any attempt to use the site or to renew membership either directly or indirectly will similarly result in termination and/or blocking use of the site.

Terms & Conditions User Agreement:

You agree that you will conduct yourself in a mature manner that lends itself to civil discourse, and that you shall use for lawful purposes only. You also agree that you will provide true, accurate, current and complete information about yourself as prompted by the registration process. You also agree to update that information as necessary to maintain its accuracy. If your behavior leads to complaints from other users, is deemed in the discretion of the employees, management or staff of to be harassing or objectionable or you provide any information that is untrue, inaccurate, not current or incomplete, or if has reason to believe such information is untrue, inaccurate, not current or incomplete, has the right to suspend or terminate your account and refuse you any or all current and future use of any of the Site, or the services offers, without any further obligation to you.

Since I gave completely accurate information when registering and I never made a post, uncivil or otherwise, I can only assume that I committed the unpardonable sin of exposing hate speech on his website.  Which of course, according to Bill-O himself, means hate speech that O'Reilly agrees with and endorses.  He's angry that we're not going to let this purveyor of hate hide his beliefs behind closed doors anymore.

And it's funny that Bill O'Reilly, who he controls what's on his website, only chooses to act against those who show what exactly it is that he endorses.  Because the hateful calls for violence and bigotry that I about earlier are still on his website.  

Meanwhile BillO's site drips with hate  Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly has embarked on a smear campaign to marginalize the netroots through a full frontal assault on the Daily Kos site. First, he was able to into distancing itself from the upcoming YearlyKos convention. Now, he is focused on from attending the conference next week.

Last night on the O’Reilly Factor, he labeled Daily Kos a “hate website.” His guest, Howard Wolfson — a political adviser for Sen. Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign — as a community of people “participating in our democracy.” O’Reilly responded by cherry-picking a few comments that were demeaning and derogatory towards Clinton, prompting Wolfson to note that O’Reilly’s own site contains similar garbage:

WOLFSON: Bill, even your website has things on it that you would find objectionable.

O’REILLY: That’s bull. Look, we know what you’re going to say because the Kos planted someone in there. But when we see objectionable things, we take it off immediately. They traffic in it.

Yesterday, ThinkProgress perused the (available only to paid subscribers) to examine the contents of the comments posted there. We found Bill Clinton referred to as “cow manure,” Hillary as “the she devil,” Obama as “the anti-Christ,” and other derogatory remarks. Contrary to O’Reilly’s claim that “objectionable things” are taken off immediately, these comments are still on the site this morning:

I thought that Bill Clinton was a piece of cow manure, but he still was the President of the United States. [posted by vvatc, 7/23/07, 8:23 PM PT]

Yeppers, the she devil is the smart one. A turn towards the right does that for people. She’s crafty! [posted by Martha Wells, 7/24/07, 3:11 AM PT]

Obama may well be the anti-Christ for the way the media builds him up as the savior for all of the ills in the country. [posted by Mike Piche, 7/19/07, 5:56 PM PT]

RE: Illegal immigrants worth fighting for??? they breed likes rats 100 make 1000 in 9 months [posted by bullpen, 7/16/07, 11:16 AM PT]

My daughters looking through it the other day, sees Chertoff, says, “is that the guy in charge of our homeland? He looks like a Nazi mom.” I concur. [posted by Debra Sanders, 7/15/07, 9:48 AM PT]

Aravosis has more and .  Previously, O’Reilly blasted ThinkProgress as “hired guns” who are “.” He also suggested that the best way to deal with the blogosphere is to “.”   Lane Hudson has .


FOX Nutwork at it again  I showed you how the continually makes the "mistake" of misidentifying criminal or inconveniently oppositional Republicans as Democrats, and even switching the party identifications in polls where Democrats are beating Republicans.

Well, they're still at it. "Accidents" will happen. Over and over and over and over and over, apparently. Nutwork "anchor" Brit Hume sets up reporter Jim Angle,

BRIT HUME, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Next on SPECIAL REPORT, Attorney General Gonzales tells his side of that late night hospital meeting. Remember that? And ends up being called untrustworthy and a liar by Senate Democrats.

Who's saying Gonzales is untrustworthy and a liar? Well, only Democrats would do that, right? Democrats like... Sen. Arlen Specter, a Republican, of course.

Ridiculous. This is a web transcript. It can be corrected in an instant. But it hasn't been. And even if it is, the damage is done. FOX Nutwork viewers, in addition to thinking that Saddam planned 9/11, now thinks every Senator who criticized Gonzales is just a partisan Democrat. We showed you the screen capture of the "accidental" misidentification on Tuesday. On Thursday, their web transcript still sits uncorrected. Because they're not a news organization. They're America's Tokyo Rose.


July 26, 2007 - 11:33am