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May 04, 2007



This from Coffey:

Tommy Thompson: C+. Thompson did well overall, but he had the night’s biggest gaffe, when he stood up for the right for employers to fire homosexuals merely because of their sexuality. That’s pretty regressive - after all, we’re not talking about altering a centuries-old tradition like marriage here. Some may applaud his stance here - not me.

So I asked the resident lesbian this morning what she thought of Thompson's "gaffe". She said she agreed with Thompson. She wants to be able to hire and fire whoever she wants too, and if the military can do it, private business should be able to too.

I agree but for different reasons. I always think people are dumb when they limit their options, which by default makes me smart if I don't. Altho I can't say that having a lesbian business partner has gotten me or lost me any business. I can say having the right business partner has gotten me a ton of business but that has nothing to do with who she is married to.

Other Tom

I'll quote from Michael Medved, who makes my point about the questions driving the debate (as they obviously must), and in this case the questions were inane and deliberately focused on issues Matthews thinks makes Republicans look bad. The whole format should be anandoned, and questions posed by capable people who have no public persona at all. Medved:

"A Martian who knew nothing of American politics might think that abortion and related human life issues (like stem cells and right to die) represented the chief concern of the US electorate, or at least of the Republican candidates. In point of fact, none of the candidates has stressed his position on abortion in the way that Chris Matthews obsessed on the question in the debate.

"What motivated him to ignore some of the crucial challenges of our time – like reforming public education, or confronting the upcoming collapse of social security and medicare, or freeing our economy and our citizens from predatory lawsuits – and instead to concentrate on social issues that few voters identify as their chief concerns?

"Obviously, the MSNBC 'Hardballer' asked the questions he did in an effort to marginalize the Republicans, and to suggest to all viewers that the party had been captured by the far-right, ultra-religious fringe."

At the same time, he seemed determined to flush out Giuliani for his more moderate stances on such issues – driving a wedge between the frontrunner and the purportedly intolerant fanaticism of the religious conservative base.

Cecil Turner

I agree but for different reasons.

Heh. I'd have bet good money we'd be on the same side on this one. Go figure. Seems to me the legitimate military concerns do not attend, and sexual orientation ought not to be a cause for firing.

. . . deliberately focused on issues Matthews thinks makes Republicans look bad . . .

Exactly. Not designed to further debate (or illuminate the choices), but to further Matthews's political views. Fundamentally dishonest, like much of the MSM's treatment of issues they ought to approach with more respect.


I was stunned when I heard Matthews raise the question of whether or not Libby should be pardoned. He managed to sneak that one in right before the end of the debate. I loved Romney's answer which was very JOM -like. He said there was no underlying crime and that the original leaker wasn't charged-at that point he was interrupted by Matthews-no surprise there.

Jeff Dobbs

MSNBC didn't do so well on the after-debate analysis either...

Fact-Checking MSNBC [Greg Pollowitz]

While watching the post debate coverage on MSNBC, David Shuster was called on to "fact check" the candidates. Shuster took issue with Mitt Romney's stance on abortion, especially when Romney compared his evolution on the issue to Reagan and Bush 41. Here's what Shuster had to say, "correcting" the record (at 10:51 for anyone who DVR'd it):

Actually, that's not a course at all that George H. W. Bush or Ronald Reagan took, both were consistent, George H.W. Bush particularly so on the issue. He was always pro life.

[I'll update with a link to the transcript once it's available on MSNBC.]
I would really like to see what Shuster is basing this on, because it's just not true.


Other than Paul, I thought all candidates did quite well considering the gotcha questions. When Chrissy couldn't quite ask a question that was too radical, he had his buddy from the WAPO, jim vandehei, ask them as coming from the public.

It wasn't an ideal debate as the candidates had only 30 seconds per answer, but they beat any dhimocrat I can think of.


Shuster never bases his stuff on anything but whispers in his ear from Corn or Blumenthal, h & r.

BTW here's something else to keep you cynical:
Zimbabwe is about to become head of UN's Commission on Sustainable Development.


sexual orientation ought not to be a cause for firing

WEll we aren't talking about firing "for cause", which private business isn't subject to yet (right?). We are talking about private business being able to hire and fire anyone they damn well please for any reason.

Cecil Turner

We are talking about private business being able to hire and fire anyone they damn well please for any reason.

Because the employee is Black? A woman? Catholic?

If I'm reading it correctly, a private employer with more than 15 employees--that sells, produces or affects anything that could cross a state line--is forbidden by current law from firing for any of those reasons (and it ought to cover gay people, IMHO . . . though I'm having a hard time getting excited about the subject).

Rick Ballard

Soft spoken moderate Mark Levin chimes in. It's interesting to contrast Levin's take on Giuliani's response to the Sunni/Shia question:

Unlike the new Democrat chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Giuliani knew the answer and I believe he scored points with his response, as he did on the war-related questions.
with Geraghty's:
I said watching him try to explain the difference between Shia and Sunni was as painful as watching Joe Theismann have his leg broken by Lawrence Taylor back in the 1980s. Rudy’s better than this performance; the question will be whether this really hurt him.

Matthews is someone whom I will never watch so I don't know who's right on that one. Does anyone who watched have an opinion?


Because the employee is Black? A woman? Catholic?

Sure. I've always thought that dumb people do dumb things and as a result are not successful. So you get two people applying for a job - one is a brilliant, hard working, loyal, gay, black, woman and the other is a lazy protestant white man. That's pretty easy math from where I sit.

People discriminate at their own peril, from my perspective. Let 'em. If you are good at what you do, and work hard you are going to get ahead in this world. Why work for a racist, sexist, anti-catholic anyway?

(I'm sure you are right about the current law. It doesn't affect my business, and I don't practice in that area.) I've been in business for 20 years and I think it is a dumb law.


I thought Rudy did fine on that. He reverted to the historical difference between Sunni and Shia, which sort of means nothing to anyone. He would have been better served to say al Qaeda is Sunni and Hezbollah is Shia, but that broad brush could have gotten him in some hot water too.

Other Tom

I just watched a feature on Your World with Neil Cavuto where the subject was the loaded--and iditotic--nature of the questions. They played a half dozen or so examples that amply made the point. The wording of the question to Rudy was pretty close to, "Joe Jones of California wants to know, what is the difference between a Shiite and a Sunni?"

Actually, Joe Jones didn't want to know any such thing. He wanted to trip up whichever guy had to respond to his question--which is why his question was selected by the moderators.

I just wish Rudy had said, "tell him to go to Google." And indeed I wish a lot of the candidates had challenged the questions (and the questioners). Poor Tommy Thompson (I think it was) got one that asked "will you support women's rights, including equal pay and reproductive rights?" The moderator added, "she wants a yes or no answer." How about, "if you want a yes or no answer, you'll have to confine yourself to a single question."

All of the candidates seem to have accepted--rather too meekly, I think--the notion that they have to stand up there and pretend that each and every question put to them is legitimate, fair, and deserving of a response. I think the first guy who challenges that crap head-on is going to do hmself and all of us a great service.

Jeff Dobbs

I thought Rudy did "fine" too. I don't think he "scored points" though.

And Jane is spot on, imo. Could use some countries in there too. Iran shia, southern Iraq too. Everyone else Sunni, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and...

Chris Matthews: Your time's up. Next question. If you were an animal, which animal would you be and would you support the female's right to choose in that species.

Other Tom

Completely off topic but nevertheless joyous enough news to get me dancing the Eagle Rock enroute to a three-Martini din-din:

"LOS ANGELES (AP) - A judge sentenced Paris Hilton to 45 days in jail Friday for violating her probation, putting the brakes on the hotel heiress' famous high life.
Hilton, who parlayed her name and relentless partying into worldwide notoriety, must go to jail on June 5 and she will not be allowed any work release, no furloughs, no use of an alternative jail and no electronic monitoring in lieu of jail, Superior Court Judge Michael T. Sauer ruled after a hearing.

"The heiress arrived at court 10 minutes late in the back of a black Cadillac Escalade and swept into the Metropolitan Courthouse with several men in suits, ignoring screams of photographers lining the route into a rear entrance. Her parents, Rick and Kathy Hilton, also came with her."

Jeff Dobbs

enroute to a three-Martini din-din:

Sure, rub it in. I'm sitting here bone dry. mrs hit and run ran out with the neighbor to do some shopping.

"Be right back" is a pretty subjective phrase...


Paris Hilton and Joe whatshisname (girls gone wild) in prison, seperately but together. All is right with the world.


Chris Matthews: Your time's up. Next question. If you were an animal, which animal would you be and would you support the female's right to choose in that species.

or the old..' if you were a tree what kind of tree would you be?'
CHRIS: Rudy..How did that terrorist act on 9-11 make you feel?

Rick Ballard

H & R,

I root for "two flavors of the same poison" but I doubt I'll be hearing it from any candidates. Sounds as if Rudy did fine on that one.

With all the time available one might think that some genius on one of the staffs would get a clue and start a series of blog debates, one issue at a time.

Cheap, much more thorough and there would be a chance for the candidates to actually prove that they can handle more than a sound bite. Let 'em sit down and knock off a response in an hour or so - by themselves and with a proctor present. If they can't type they can use a stenographer.

We might be able to figure out which ones can actually think if they tried that one.


I think the first guy who challenges that crap head-on is going to do hmself and all of us a great service.

I always wonder about that. Romney came the closest with the question about what he would say to the Bishop. His answer was immediate and reactionary - "I wouldn't say a thing, we have a separation of church and state in this country". I was still pondering the question because it seemed so silly to me. He responded straight from the gut.

It really was a big anti-right set-up by Matthews en troupe. Had someone called him on it, the left would have made hay, and we would have cheered. I think we would have had the undecideds tho. Which is pretty much the point I guess.

Jeff Dobbs

Rick, how about anonymous blog debate.

Everyone posts their answers anonymously and we read them without knowing who's saying it. We can determine whose ideas we like, and not be influenced by personality or appearance or history or whatever...and then at the end, it's revealed who's who.

Would be interesting to do a poll before the reveal. And compare that to the polls of the candidates themselves.

Rick Ballard

H & R,

I was actually thinking about 'reading' (grading) ordination exams when I wrote that. That's a 'blind' process (no names on the papers). It really does help the evaluation to have just the words before you, no clutter about the "quality of mercy is unstrained" when there is no face involved.

Good idea.


What a great idea, H&R. Interesting about test grading too, Rick. This concept could solve a lot of problems--I've figured out that what the NBA needs is blind refs.

Other Tom

H&R, I sure hope that neighbor is an honorable guy. The three Martinis preceded something called "dancing scallops," which were accompanied by the least expensive Chardonnay they had. Your narrator is eminently contented at present.

I think we ought to outsource NBA refereeing to yer Hindu types. Exquisitely fair. Uncertain as to race, and indifferent about it except as concerns yer Englishman, who has yet to make his entry into the NBA so far as I am aware.

A mighty fine cigar now looms, on which I will puff whilst watching with the light of my life the underrated classic "Heaven's Gate." It was unfairly treated in my opinion. We will give it another try on this very night.

Jeff Dobbs

John Bolton: I love him

It's an acceptance speech for an award at AEI.

My favorite lines:

There are, of course, many other people I should mention. For example, I should note Senators Lincoln Chafee and Chris Dodd, who did so much to help make me eligible for this Prize. Prominent citizens of Pyongyang, Havana, Damascus, Tehran and elsewhere also pitched in, simply by being themselves.


So let me make a confession. On many occasions, during this and prior Administrations, knowingly and willfully, I have committed acts of conservatism. It gets worse. I enjoyed every minute of it.

The speech is really good. And timely - dealing with the difficulty of conservatives serving as appointees in the permanent beauracracy.

But I couldn't help but point out his humor.

Can we remove say Ron Paul at the debates and let Bolton participate in his place?


22% if your fellow Americans are idiots (Democrats in America are evenly divided on the question of whether George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Democrats believe he did know, 39% say he did not know, and 26% are not sure.

Republicans reject that view and, by a 7-to-1 margin, say the President did not know in advance about the attacks. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 18% believe the President knew and 57% take the opposite view.

Overall, 22% of all voters believe the President knew about the attacks in advance. A slightly larger number, 29%, believe the CIA knew about the attacks in advance. White Americans are less likely than others to believe that either the President or the CIA knew about the attacks in advance. Americans are more likely than their elders to believe the President or the CIA knew about the attacks in advance.)Most of the rest are more interested in Paris Hilton than public affairs, and you are debating how the debates should be conducted?


Jeff Dobbs

H&R, I sure hope that neighbor is an honorable guy.

Heh. Actually mrs hit and run called a little while ago. They went to dinner. Then, they called another neighbor to come join them. That neighbor said her husband and yet another neighbor's husband was at a local sports bar and they should stop by. So they did.

Now, she and the original neighbor are calling other neighbors and pretending to be too drunk to drive home to get them to come to the bar. And when they get there convince them to stay...

She's devious.

And I'm sober.

I'll repeat one of my answers to the debate question "what do you dislike most about America:

The lack of a beer delivery industry a la pizza.

Posted by: hit and run | May 04, 2007 at 10:26 AM


Here's what sandpaper and razor blade eating Hamsher thinks of the GOP debate

midst the noxious vapors of Ronald Reagan hagiography that were almost intolerable at last night's GOP debate, one thing became clear — wingnuts love being lied to. Their world view, their orthodoxy, their articles of faith are so convoluted and so disingenuous the average person can no longer deliver them with the kind of sincerity and zeal that makes the lizard brains feel good about themselves. Their "lower taxes" mantra may be code for the thinly-veiled racism of "don't give my money to brown people" and their unseemly fetus love may just be a good excuse to tell modern women that they really ought to be baking more pies, but they want someone to sell it to them with style. Someone who can simplify the complexities that hurt their pointy little heads because, well, their gibberish make absolutely no sense and it needs to be boiled down into short sound bites more appropriate to a sit-com than running a country. And this deep longing for well-packaged propaganda may just give professional actor Fred Thompson the momentum he needs.

On the tax issue, since I happen to be a sort of a brown person I guess...I'd say, um..yeah and white, orange and purple people too. Most importantly, I don't want my hard earned tax dollars distributed by a FILTHY RICH LILY WHITE PRIG aka the Devil in Prada - Hamsher...is more like it.

She's is so obsessed with "brown people" I am starting to think she is so uncomfortable around them and sees so few of them in her richy rich white circle she compensating with her pander because of the guilt or something


You think she never heard of tanning salons, ts?


oversight fatigue (aka bust)

The Democrats' oversight accomplishments

Are we starting to sense a theme here?

After reporting last week that House Democrats were preparing a campaign to hammer Republicans for misdeeds, scandals and other missteps during their tenure in power, the majority's message assault got off to a bit of a slow start.

They have since gone on the attack with great gusto, though, releasing a catchy web ad on the campaign committee's website Thursday night and by issuing a report Friday that chronicles the majority's oversight actions so far this year.

Not surprisingly, the administration's many political scandals -- fired U.S. attorneys, campaign briefings in federal offices, etc. -- dominate the Democrats' early efforts, according to the list compiled by the Democratic Caucus office.

These inquiries have all made for good headlines during the first few months of this year, but the Republicans' own majority during the Clinton years is a good example that oversight will get a party only so far. At some point, they are going to have to start passing some legislation to talk about on the campaign trail -- even though that might not be necessary during the final months of George Bush's presidency.

oh, and this is priceless...they still have to make good on their peanut huts and spinach

Dems outline plans for Iraq bill
Rep. Dave Obey (D-Wis.) outlined a new plan for an Iraq funding bill in private meetings Thursday afternoon, congressional aides said.

The plan would split the now vetoed supplemental spending bill into two bills, one that would provide two months of funding for the Iraq war and another that would fund the agricultural programs contained in the earlier bill, aides said.

(yeah, "they are going to have to start passing some legislation to talk about on the campaign trail " -- and I am sure that peanuts and spinach will do the trick!)


I find the statistics on people watching TV during the debate very interesting. From Drudge:



FNC 2,023,000
MSNBC 1,762,000
CNN 599,000

More people watched FOXNEWS TALKING about debate than the actual DEBATE!


It's hilarious...Bush will prolly sign the pork portion and veto the 2 monther and all the DEMS have is peanut houses and spinach subsidies tied around their to campaign on (and they have to do it - they bribed their colleagues) and meanwhile Bush has compromised with them...pawned. And Hillary's trying to orchestrate a mulligan!


TS...proper terminology is pwned or pwnd. LOL


thanks. I just found out why too--WoW.


LOL. I am always yelling at fellow gamers over that(those) word(s). Really stands for "owned" - which in the case of your post was correct. But we can't let the kids show us up - we gotta be kewl. LOL


Didn't watch the debate.

I can say with 100% confidence, Fred Thompson "won".

Rick Ballard

"Most of the rest are more interested in Paris Hilton than public affairs, and you are debating how the debates should be conducted?"

Well, in defense of our common idiots, right now people with advanced degrees are debating the level of sacrifice required to propitiate Gaia for mankinds having passed too much gas.

There comes a time when the faithful remnant is sorely needed and we are much closer to that time now than we were thirty years ago. The Dionysian fruit is rotting fairly quickly. Might as well talk about the type of debate we'd like to see.


Just waiting for Fred...(the other Fred)... Well, passing the time watching Paris do her jail-house rock impression.


'm sorry, but the DC madam story is flipping hilarious... b u s t

...But when he put together last night's segment for "20/20," the network's chief investigative reporter decided against outing anyone beyond the two people who already had been identified.

"Their names won't mean anything to our audience," Ross said in an interview. "They just weren't newsworthy enough." Instead, he said, "what we really wanted to do is demonstrate the range of official Washington" involved with the escort service...

In one case, a man who told the escort service he was a White House economist turned out to have engaged in résumé inflation. He actually works across the street as an analyst for the Office of Thrift Supervision, Ross said.

"One guy swore to me up and down it couldn't have been him -- he loves his wife," Ross said. The man, a well-known member of a conservative think tank, was right: Palfrey, Ross said, had repeatedly misdialed his number by confusing the 202 and 301 area codes.

...There may be another shoe yet to drop. ABC did not push to obtain Palfrey's earlier phone records, which cover a nine-year period. But Ross said she has given them to journalists investigating the Clinton administration.

Ross should have pushed for the "earlier" phone records, he may have had an actual story had he.


Office of Thrift Supervision?



Oh I just bet no democrats or left wing media get exposed! That of course would mean nothing to us.


Steve Hayes has part two of his Fred Thompson interview posted.

Fred Thompson on Scooter

Jeff Dobbs

Uh oh. Just read tops update. Oh man, of course. I laugh and cry at the same time. And I feel horrible for that think tank dood, he almost had his life ruined over someone else's mistake.

So, my first reaction was to lol. And mrs hit and run says, "What?"

So I start in,

Me: So the D.C. Madam story.......

Her: The what story?

Me: Well, there was this madam in D.C. who had given her phone records to ABC.....

Her: Was it Clarice?

Me: ...



Boy, are your going to get thwacked.


No. He just did that to get thwacked. His punishment is NO thwacking.
TS, very funny catch!

Jeff Dobbs

¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

The plan would split the now vetoed supplemental spending bill into two bills, one that would provide two months of funding for the Iraq war and another that would fund the agricultural programs contained in the earlier bill, aides said.

Sigh. Nothing has changed. The agricultural bill is going to last longer than the two month defense bill. The two month defense bill will still damage the morale of our US Troops as we are going to continue watching the Bush Adm and the Democrats fighting against each other over these defense bills. All Congress needs to do is approve whatever Bush needs OR immediate troop withdrawal.

Other Tom

Interesting comments by Brian Ross about the D.C. Madam fizzle. I read an article last night to the effect that Ross was very unhappy with the editorial decision not to identify a number of additonal people.

O'Reilly had Ross on with a teaser about the whole thing earlier in the week. Ross was looking like the cat with the canary, and said we'd just have to watch his report to see what was in it. I imagine O'Relly will unload some mockery now.


DEMBO the flying jackass rides again!


OT...isn't hilarious? Lefty blogs were so excited until they did the math and realized Palfrey was in business in the friend of Bill days, then they started doing therapy posts to calm each other down (in the case there was a Dem named)

Too funny -- PUNKED again.

Congress' approval rating on the slide By Andrea Stone, USA TODAY WASHINGTON — Fewer Americans approve of the way Congress is handling its job than at any time since shortly after Republicans impeached President Clinton, a Gallup Poll finds.

Only 37% of Americans gave Congress a high approval rating, down from 45% last month, the poll taken last week showed. A total of 53% disapproved, up from 48% in February.

It was the worst showing for Congress since September 1999, the year after the Republican-controlled House of Representatives impeached Clinton.

Even then, Congress had an identical 37% approval rating. It hasn't been lower since October 1997.

Meanwhile, President Bush's approval rating remained fairly steady at 52%. The number of those who disapproved of Bush's handling of his job was at 44%....

Other Tom

Photo caption from the current Newsweek:

"Can They Work Together? Pelosi has 34 percent approval ratings, slightly better than Bush's 31 percent."

Keep in mind, she's been speaker for less than four months.


Libby should have hired Fred to defend him:

...the CIA, you know, kept sending over this complaint. Which--they started the whole problem! You know, it makes me mad as the devil just to think about it. They picked this guy out to send to Niger, which is bound to go and let him come back and start making political attacks when his wife works over there! Did it ever occur to anybody that her name was going to be and he was put in play in this town? The amazing thing is that it stayed out of the papers as long as it did! So they set the whole thing up and then they said: 'Oh my goodness somebody's got to prosecute this.' And they send it over to the attorney general, leak the information, puts the heat on the attorney general. Then for some reason, Ashcroft recuses himself. This guy [James] Comey [former Deputy Attorney General] appoints his old buddy [Patrick] Fitzgerald [Thompson pronounces it FITZ gerald] and gives him authority. Now, we did away with the independent counsel law, but the attorney general's still got special counsel authority--must always have. When there's a genuine conflict of interest, you've got to have somebody come in and look at it. Hypothetical example: attorney general's brother gets it trouble, can't have the attorney general looking at it. It's common sense . . .

"This guy [Fitzgerald] has no restrictions, this guy has no supervision, this guy can do anything he wants to do. This guy, in my opinion, has more authority and power than the attorney general of the United States, for this purpose. So he's off to the races. So it's a breakdown of the CIA. It's a breakdown of the Justice Dept. And now this independent counsel, knowing there's been no violation of the law keeps digging and digging and digging--selecting some journalists that he's going to protect and make witnesses out of. Going after other people. You have a trial up there where nobody can remember their name, and there are as many inconsistent statements among the prosecution witnesses as there were by Libby. Nowhere else in America would this have occurred. And it's just not right. And so, you know, not only did I help [Scooter Libby]. I will continue to help him."



Ignatz Ratzkiwatzki

Libby should have hired Fred to defend him

He better hope he gets elected Pres.


That low approval rating is from Newsweak--Rasmussen has the President's approval rating in the low 40's--approximately where it was just before the run up to the 2004 election.


22% if your fellow Americans are idiots (Democrats in America are evenly divided on the question of whether George W. Bush knew about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in advance. Thirty-five percent (35%) of Democrats believe he did know, 39% say he did not know, and 26% are not sure.

Republicans reject that view and, by a 7-to-1 margin,
I find those numbers unbelievable in every respect...Who took that survey?
on a very small sample rate i know of no person that believes bush knew about 9-11..
Excluding Rosie...
I hate it when all dems are painted with such a broad brush..heck I hate it when Pubs are painted as war mongering wing nuts also. Methinks both parties are unfairly positioned and boxed in to simplistic views. ( and blogs really perpetuate those notions )
other than that..
Our family is excited to have our youngest boy coming home for leave in 2 1/2 weeks from the US Marines. To watch him grow from a boy to man in front of our eyes fills our hearts with pride.
So Clarice , I really enjoy reading you and H&R's posts..

Rick Ballard

Thar she blows!

Half a league due north and in full spout. Lower away boys, a guinea to the first boat to sink a lance.


Thnx , Hoosier. It's from Rasmussen, a very respected pollster:


This shows you how hard it is to speak to voters --many of them are utter idiots.

Lew Clark

I see it as a positive sign. Only 1/3 of the people who thought John Kerry would make a great president and that Pelosi and Reid are just the kind of leadership this nation needs, are falling for the "Karl Rove sent death rays from space to destroy the twin towers" story that they are being fed. I think the Dems are growing intellectually. A little more of this kind of intellectual growth and they get to ride on the big bus with no supervision.


I've missed Ferret's post so much I would like to miss them some more


I had trouble posting for a while and emailed ts and TM to report that. I'm okay now. It seems if you address Ferret by his new name you can't post.

Rick Ballard

"This shows you how hard it is to speak to voters --many of them are utter idiots."

Not hard - far too easy. The pols had good reason (personal reason, at any rate) to embrace universal suffrage.

PT Barnum made a damn good living out of that group, why shouldn't the Democrats?


Unless,of course,you are Ferret.


Rick, for that very reason it is impossible to empanel a sentient jury on trials involving technical product liability and financial cases. Engineers and economists cannot sit for months and if they could defense counsel would bounce them/ The jury is made up of The View and 60 Minutes watchers at best.


Mr Ballard,
The Democrats being,I presume the Egress Party?


Hillary promised us last July that if we voted the democrats into power they would make sure gas prices would fall. So why are we now paying the highest prices in history?


There are two articles that are both repeated every year about this time--some cockamamie thing about how a housewife's economic value is so high that in the market place she deserves a salary of ($ make up whatever preposterous shit you want in this space) AND a shocking report that gas prices are rising but probably will be going down by July 4 (never mentioning this is the problem with a refinery shortfall made even worse by the mixes required by various state laws and the need to repair the refineriws which by now are surely held together with bubble gum and baling wire).

Other Tom

Sounds like Rosie O'Donnell or Jane Hamsher being quoted above. The author must be genuinely distressed to see that Hillary leads B. Hussein Obama handily, and Rudy leads Hillary by nine. So The Surge will continue, and we will transition to another Republican who will be able to replace the brain-dead Stevens and, in all probability, the rapidly failing Ginsburg. We could end up with a Court pretty much after my own heart in a very few years.

Clarice, what's really fun is a three-month antitrust trial in front of a jury of one's peers. By day two every eye is glazed and drooping.


“It was truly just an incredibly ugly, dirty kind of vicious killing that would have gone on here by al-Qaeda,” General Caldwell said. “Somebody had clearly taken and planned to take this school, a place of learning for these young children and turn it into a death trap.”

Much better to pull out the troops,leaving Iran and al Qaeda to dictate thre future of the Middle East.
Israel pulled back from her borders,all that retreat earned was a war in the Lebanon with a more powerful foe.
"This way to the Egress".

Other Tom

Even the Frogs are catching on:

"In an interview released by the French daily Le Parisien on its Web site late on Friday, right-winger Sarkozy said his Socialist rival's warning there might be violence if she lost the election was a sign of desperation.

"'This warlike language is the negation of basic democratic rules,' said Sarkozy, adding it was an unprecedented attack.

"'No doubt it's because she's demoralized,' he added. Royal trailed by 10 points in the last polls published on Friday ahead of a pre-vote embargo."

So the Left is demoralized on both sides of the pond, as The Surge continues unabated.

Rick Ballard

Mr Uk,

Yup. The Dems are definitely the Egress Party. Dem party members are wondrously like geese who awaken to a whole new world each and every morning. Toss them a little feed and they buy the ticket to the egress every evening. Simple souls. Very, very, very simple souls.

What's up with those council elections? Good news? Bad news? I read Blair's blarney about Labour making a comeback in time to keep control in Parliament. He definitely sounds like a man whistling as he walks by a graveyard at 2 AM.

A Sark win in Fwance and Labour out in the UK is rather cheering news. I wonder what Sark's specialty is in the perfidy line.


Mr Ballard,
The local council elections are still trickling in.The basci view is that Labour got a kicking in the South of England but just managed to hold on with fewer seats in the North.Interestingly this has devolved into a two horse race,many of the smaller parties being squeezed out.In Scotland the Scottish National Party is now the second largest party,a threat to Labour.
Sadly England labours on under the Scottish Raj,the Labour Party is a minority party,but by some legerdemain,whereby it takes fewer voters to elect a labour MP than others in Scotland,the latter returns more MPs to Parliament.
It is quite clear however, that the electorate has taken this opportunity to give Blair's government the bird.It bodes ill for the incoming Gordon Brown.


I'd take more pleasure in that, PUK, if the Tories weren't such twits, too.



On Bush's job approval numbers, I think his current standing is about what it was heading into the 2006 election.
In 2004, Rasmussen had Bush's job approval at 52% on election day.


Perle via insty

What does this remind you of? Hint: He can't she was misquoted or attributed, but...

On the very first page, he constructs an elaborate anecdote to show the pervasive and bad influence of the neoconservatives. The story is that Richard Perle, chairman of a Defense Department advisory board, was at the White House for an early-morning meeting on Sept. 12, 2001, even before Mr. Tenet arrived to brief the president. As Mr. Tenet was entering the West Wing, Mr. Perle, exiting, tells him: "Iraq has to pay a price for what happened yesterday. They bear responsibility." Note that Mr. Tenet puts the word "yesterday" within the quotation marks. He also describes where the two of them were standing as he thought: "Who has Richard Perle been meeting with in the White House so early in the morning on today of all days?" Note "today of all days."

Gilbert and Sullivan

Mr. Perle has recently reported, however, that he was not at the White House that day. He was in France. Mr. Tenet was asked on television this week about Mr. Perle's refutation. He said that he must have gotten his dates mixed up. But the date is essential to the story. In any event, Mr. Perle says that nothing like that exchange ever occurred...

Literary Flair seems to be about one thing CIA can do well, doesn't it?

Rick Ballard

"Literary Flair seems to be about one thing CIA can do well, doesn't it?"


Hey, the ability to promote both incompetents and incompetence on a continuous basis should count for something.


Correction, it's Feith...you know this really is a "read the whole thing"

Rather we said that the CIA's analysts were not giving serious, professional attention to information about ties between Iraq and al Qaeda. The CIA's assessments were incomplete, nonrigorous and shaped around the dubious assumption that secular Iraqi Baathists would be unwilling to cooperate with al Qaeda religious fanatics, even when they shared strategic interests. This assumption was disproved when Baathists and jihadists became allies against us in the post-Saddam insurgency, but before the war it was the foundation of much CIA analysis.

Mr. Tenet's account of all this gives the reader no idea of the substance of our critique, which was that the CIA's analysts were suppressing information. They were not showing policy makers reports that justified concern about ties between Iraq and al Qaeda. Mr. Tenet does tell us that the CIA briefed Mr. Cheney on Iraq and al Qaeda in September 2002 and that the "briefing was a disaster" because "Libby and the vice president arrived with such detailed knowledge on people, sources, and timelines that the senior CIA analytic manager doing the briefing that day simply could not compete." He implies that there was improper bullying but then adds: "We weren't ready for this discussion."

hmmm...CIA **analytic manager** doing the briefing that day simply could not compete....hmmmm

hmmm...and whose view described paragraph 1 of this blockquote mirror almost exactly?



I was just going to post that, ts.

Elliott, I was taking about the pre-election period--you know, before they started the afterburners. Bush was in the 41-44% range IIRC then, too. And I think that is perfectly normal for a President after a couple years in office..by the middle of the second term it dips even more.

Let me suggest if we still had three terms, he'd still smash the Dem frontrunners. When push comes to shove that is.

Jeff Dobbs

I know better. I really do. Yet, I'm in a WTH mood, so, WTH.

Now that he can't use them for shopping...his new outift

Other Tom

Once again, the right-wing nuts at Newsweek give ordinary Americians cause for great cheer:

"Clinton’s lowest rating during his presidency was 36 percent; Bush’s father’s was 29 percent, and Ronald Reagan’s was 35 percent. Jimmy Carter’s and Richard Nixon’s lows were 28 and 23 percent, respectively."

And unlike any of those others, Bush II has a unique opportunity to continue his campaign of genocide in Iraq. Sure, genocide has its downside, but there's nothing quite like it for keeping troop morale high.


Clarice...boy, wouldn't be interesting to find out who the "the senior CIA **analytic manager** doing the briefing that day" who "simply could not compete."?


Yes, ts--Even better..who was the dimbulb who sent Wilson to Niger. And the shmuck who pressed Tenet to push for the investigation of the "leak"..Note the role played by Libby in this humiliation of the CIA"analytic manager"
Can you imagine how much we would have known if the CIA were half as good at its real job as it is in domestic oup attempts?


You can always look through the polling data reagarding the President's job approval through the entirety of his presidency at realclearpolitics.com. They didn't start archiving representative (I suppose) Rasmussen numbers until March of 2004.

I didn't really pay too much attention to Rasmussen prior to 2004 (he was so far off the mark in 2000,) but I've not had any problem since 2004 with his numbers. The composite has been on the high side of the spread, but it's almost always been because the somewhat (rather than the strong) has been in the President's favor and there's nothing to suggest that's out of line with what other pollsters would find if they asked the question in the same way.


I found some of the old Rasmussen stuff through webarchive.org. From Rasmussen:

During all of 2004, the President's Job Approval ranged from a high of 57% in early January to a low of 48% on May 17.

Meanwhile, Gallup had Bush at 51% among likely voters in their last pre-election poll and at 49% in a poll before the Democratic Convention in July.

Bush is polling 6 to 10 points worse now than his worst rating in 2004. As he won the election that year by a considerably narrower margin, I don't think he would be likely to win against any of the three Democratic frontrunners in 2008 if he could run again. I also wonder whether he would chose to run again.

Lew Clark

Take heart PUK,
No matter what the outcome of the British elections, there will not be "blood in the streets" like there will be in France, if the kind and gentle Socialists get defeated.


How disappointing,I had promised Clarice a front seat in the knitting enclosure.


I love knitting, PUK. If your little theater group needs a Madam DeFarge, I'm available,


How many balls of wool would it take for this lot?


No wonder they want him out. He was "Cleaning up the World Bank"

Wolfensohn left the bank last year and was replaced by Paul Wolfowitz, the for mer No.2 official in the Defense De partment, who was a leading advocate for invading Iraq and removing Saddam Hussein from power. Wolfowitz quickly picked up the anticorruption torch. In his 10 months at the helm, he has made it clear that those who cheat and steal from the bank will be caught and pun ished, both on bank-funded projects overseas and among its workforce of 26,000 staffers and consultants. Sub-Saharan Africa, Wolfowitz says, is his primary target. Corruption "is an incredibly crippling factor on countries' efforts to develop,'' Wolfowitz says, diverting valuable resources from those the bank is try ing to help—the world's desperately poor. Some 300 million people in sub-Saharan Africa live on less than $1 a day, Wolfowitz notes, adding that across the globe, that number is a staggering 1.2 billion.

In two lengthy interviews, Wolfowitz disclosed that he had ordered a sweep ing review of a major African program known as agetip after U.S. News uncovered evidence showing that the bank had failed to investigate serious allegations of theft in the program during the late 1990s. Wolfowitz wants to know what went wrong. Bank investigators have called in Stuart Eizenstat, a former senior American official who helped draw up the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, to direct the inquiry.

Rick Ballard

Three thousand extra riot cops to Paris for the victory carbecues.

Perhaps it will be a 'no rubber bullets' day in honor of Sark.

AFP sucks worse than AP - that's no mean feat.


***thwick**the sound of an anonymous blogger stealing "carbecues"...Great neologism ,RIck.


Forget grading the debate, yes.

Grade the questions, absolutely!

My grade: "Bad, bad" to whomever let the questioners take center stage. Ugly.

Did the RNC know about that in advance? If they did, what were they thinking!?


I duuno--maybe we now won't have to deal with Matthews or Vander hei later on when people are watching..and, as a bonus, we can further let Chris destroy himself..


Yes, ts--Even better..who was the dimbulb who sent Wilson to Niger. And the shmuck who pressed Tenet to push for the investigation of the "leak"..Note the role played by Libby in this humiliation of the CIA"analytic manager"

Puts a whole new spin on the concept of Cheney and Libby bullying CIA agents, doesn't it? "Boo-hoo hoo, they...they KNOW stuff!"
No wonder Valerie felt free to make up the crying staffer in her office when the VP's office dared to call.


One of the reasons that the CIA didn't know anything is that it is a paper shuffling bureaucracy,like all bureaucracies it goes through the motions until asked a question by their political masters,then they run around like all denizens of dark places when the stone is turned over.
Fundamentally all bureaucracies rely on the "bullshit baffles brains" action plan,after all they are the "experts" so no politician is going to know the first thing about the departments doings,oops!
The more of this that comes out the more the Plame Affair looks like a CIA CYA,she was expendable,nearing transfer to the DOS,she could take one for the team.


Sub-Saharan Africa, Wolfowitz says, is his primary target.

As a sponsor of three existing infrastructure funds in emerging markets, AIG already plays a significant role in mobilizing private capital for investments dedicated to infrastructure. Other leading shareholders of AIF are Midroc, the company owned by international investor Sheikh Mohammed Al-Amoudi with $50 million; the African Development Bank with $50 million, Development Bank of Southern Africa with $25 million; and several other international investors and development agencies, including the European Investment Bank and Proparco, which is the private sector arm of Agence Française de Développement of France.

300 million people in sub Saharan Africa live on less than $1 a day while MDB's finance the lavish lifestyles entertained by brutal dictators leaving their impoverished citizens deeper in debt.

Other Tom

Good God in heaven. Get this little tidbit about the respondents to the latest Newsweek poll:

"When the NEWSWEEK Poll asked more than 1,000 adults on Wednesday and Thursday night (before and during the GOP debate) which president showed the greatest political courage—meaning being brave enough to make the right decisions for the country, even if it jeopardized his popularity —more respondents volunteered Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton (18 percent each) than any other president. Fourteen percent of adults named John F. Kennedy and 10 percent said Abraham Lincoln. Only four percent mentioned George W. Bush. (Then again, only five percent volunteered Franklin Roosevelt and only three percent said George Washington.)"

Jeez--I'm a big admirer of W, but one point below FDR and one above Washington? JFK was more politically courageous than Lincoln?

I would love to have seen a follow-up question, such as, "for each of the following presidents, name the most courageous thing he did." But that would be unfair. Sort of like requiring them to read and write.


make the right decisions for the country, even if it jeopardized his popularity

When a president acts with courage and jeopardizes his popularity, the generation whose popularity is jeopardized (deliberately sabotaged actually) are not objective enough to appreciate the courage.

My prediction is that history will be much kinder to W.


There were several Clinton policies I agreed with, several I didn't. But I am wracking my brain trying to think of what the man ever did to jeopardize his popularity.
*Everything* he did was to maintain popularity, unless you count having sex with interns or loading up the UHaul with WH knicknacks on the way out of town.

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