Media Matters's "The Matthews Monitor"

It's about time!

From Media Matters:

Welcome to The Matthews Monitor

Despite his modest cable audience, Chris Matthews is an enormously influential power player within Washington's media elite. MSNBC has entrusted Matthews with a prominent role in political campaign coverage throughout the last year. This platform places Matthews in a unique position to define wider media narratives and agendas and to shape public perceptions on critical issues. If left unchecked, factual errors and distortions on Matthews' shows have the potential to reverberate throughout the media. Media Matters has created The Matthews Monitor in an effort to ensure that Matthews' coverage is solidly based on fact -- not speculation or personal animus.

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See! Media Matters doesn't only go after the loons on the right (as their detractors would have you believe). They get the sexist pigs on the left as well.


The Country Bush Inherited, The Country He Leaves Behind

From Think Progress:

A new chart put out by the House Democratic Caucus compares the state of the country when President Bush took office to the state of the country today:

(Click to enlarge)

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Fox New Stakes their Position for 08

Rudy Giuliani is "America's Mayor" apparently.

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New UK survey: Iraq Conflict Has Killed A Million Iraqis

"The survey, conducted by Opinion Research Business (ORB) with 2,414 adults in face-to-face interviews, found that 20 percent of people had had at least one death in their household as a result of the conflict, rather than natural causes.:

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Sen. Edward M. Kennedy: "Why I Endorse Barack Obama"

Here's the actual video of Senator Edward Kennedy endorsing Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States of America at American University (via TPM):

I found myself clapping like I was following the beat of a song.

This endorsement matters to the establishment. Bet on it.

And this is from The Lion's mouth afterwards explaining his reasons further (via His Huffington Post Blog):

Earlier today I endorsed Barack Obama for president, and I couldn't be more excited for the Democratic Party, the nation -- and the world.

Barack inspires me -- it's that simple. In the words of President Kennedy:

"The world is changing. The old ways will not do... It is time for a new generation of leadership."

In Barack, I see that next generation of American leadership: a figure who can transcend the divisions in this country that my family and I have fought so hard to tear down.

We were all moved four years ago as Barack told us a profound truth: We are not red states and blue states, but one United States. Since then, he has matched that rhetoric with action, traveling the country to inspire record turnouts of men and women of all ages, races, parties and faiths. Barack has forged consensus in the Senate on contentious issues such as immigration and pushed through necessary reforms like the most far-reaching ethics reform in its history.

But I'm not only supporting Barack because of what he has done. What counts in our leadership is not the length of years in Washington, but the reach of our vision, the strength of our beliefs, and that rare quality of mind and spirit that can call forth the best in our country and our people.

That's why I'm most excited about the promise of President Obama:

As president, Barack Obama will break the Washington gridlock to finally make health care what it should be in America.

He will turn the page on the old politics of misrepresentation and distortion and bridge the divisions of race, gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation that plague our country.

He will end a war in Iraq that he has always stood against, that has cost us the lives of thousands of our sons and daughters, and that America never should have fought.

He will close the door on the old economics that has written off the poor and left the middle class poorer and less secure.

He will make the United States the great leader and not the great roadblock in the fateful fight against global warming.

When Barack Obama raises his hand on Inauguration Day a new generation of American leadership will take charge and restore the hope, peace and prosperity the country so desperately needs.

Looking out from the stage today, I realized just how powerful his campaign has become. It's a movement for change -- and one that I'm proud to be a part of.

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Kennedys ♥ Obama

From Crooks & Liars:

"It’s a major coup for Barack Obama to land such glowing endorsements. "

Caroline Kennedy:

Over the years, I’ve been deeply moved by the people who’ve told me they wish they could feel inspired and hopeful about America the way people did when my father was president. This longing is even more profound today. Fortunately, there is one candidate who offers that same sense of hope and inspiration and I am proud to endorse Senator Barack Obama for President.

I am happy that two of my own children are here with me, because they were the first people who made me realize that Barack Obama is the President we need. He is already inspiring all Americans, young and old, to believe in ourselves, tying that belief to our highest ideals - ideals of hope, justice, opportunity and peace – and urging us to imagine that together we can do great things.

Sen. Ted Kennedy:

Let there be no doubt: We are all committed to seeing a Democratic President in 2008.

But I believe there is one candidate who has extraordinary gifts of leadership and character, matched to the extraordinary demands of this moment in history.

He understands what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called the “fierce urgency of now.”

He will be a president who refuses to be trapped in the patterns of the past. He is a leader who sees the world clearly without being cynical. He is a fighter who cares passionately about the causes he believes in, without demonizing those who hold a different view.

He is tough-minded, but he also has an uncommon capacity to appeal to “the better angels of our nature.”

I am proud to stand here today and offer my help, my voice, my energy and my commitment to make Barack Obama the next President of the United States.

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Barack Obama’s South Carolina Victory Speech

Another excellent, and forceful speech.

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Bob Herbert has "Questions for the Clintons"

This analysis by this regular Daily Kos blogger is powerful.

I for one, as a gay, liberal, Jewish NYer, haven't been able to get over the deep seeded rage I feel for the Clinton's, at least not enough to write anything worthwhile.

From teacherken:

"The Clinton camp knows what it’s doing, and its slimy maneuvers have been working. Bob Kerrey apologized and Andrew Young said at the time of his comment that he was just fooling around. But the damage to Senator Obama has been real, and so have the benefits to Senator Clinton of these and other lowlife tactics."
Bob Herbert of the NY Times wrote that in the middle of his column today, after having explored the remarks of both former federal legislators on behalf of the Clintons. Most know the Kerrey remark, about a "secular madrassa". IF you don't know Young's remarks, he said

"Bill is every bit as black as Barack. He’s probably gone with more black women than Barack."

This diary will explore Herbert's column.

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The only thing I know I can say at this point is I AM ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE who will NEVER vote for her. Period.

I had up until N.H. thought I'd at least would be able to hold my nose and pull the lever for her.

Not now. Not ever.

And if she is the nominee, Democrats deserve all the House & Senate losses (and further polarization) that will come with that.

Is the right right on the Clintons?

Hillary's campaign tactics are causing some liberals to turn against the couple.

People have now been reminded quite clearly how much they don't like the Clinton's tactics and win at all cost behavior. They're tired of it.

Not to mention that a nearly all Independents and even more rethugs (if that's even possible) won't EVER get over their hatred of Hillary, which she is now justifying in their eyes (and even in the eyes of some Dems).

From the LA Times:

Going into the campaign, most of us liked Hillary Clinton just fine, but the fact that tens of millions of Americans are seized with loathing for her suggested that she might not be a good Democratic nominee. We're not frothing Clinton haters like ... well, name pretty much any conservative. We just really wish they'd go away.

The sentiment seems to be concentrated among Barack Obama supporters. Going into the campaign, most of us liked Hillary Clinton just fine, but the fact that tens of millions of Americans are seized with irrational loathing for her suggested that she might not be a good Democratic nominee. But now that loathing seems a lot less irrational. We're not frothing Clinton haters like ... well, name pretty much any conservative. We just really wish they'd go away.

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Hillary's short term slash and burn of Barack was all most people needed to be sold on anyone but them again.

Memo Details Many Objections to Giuliani's WTC Command Site Choice


This is a prime example of how Giuliani's arrogance cost many lives. It' also the ONLY reason he was out on the streets on 9/11, in the dust, with the mask, walking around like a shell-shocked politician caught with his pants down. He had nowhere to go. He barely escaped from the building alive.

From The NY Times:

The New York Police Department produced a detailed analysis in 1998 opposing plans by the city to locate its emergency command center at the World Trade Center, but the Giuliani administration overrode those objections. The command center later collapsed from damage in the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.

“Seven World Trade Center is a poor choice for the site of a crucial command center for the top leadership of the City of New York,” a panel of police experts, which was aided by the Secret Service, concluded in a confidential Police Department memorandum.


“This group’s finding is that the security of the proposed O.E.M. Command Center cannot be reasonably guaranteed,” the commander of the intelligence division, Daniel J. Oates, wrote in the July 15, 1998, memo to the police commissioner.

The memo said the conclusions were based on analysis by police officials with expertise in infrastructure, building security, explosives, traffic and ventilation systems, who also consulted the Secret Service, including the agency’s New York special agent in charge, Chip Smith.

“Mr. Smith agrees with this assessment,” the memo says in its concluding paragraph, “even though his own office is in Seven World Trade Center. He acknowledges that the security of his office is a continuing concern because of the public nature of the building and the other reasons specified in this report.”

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Obama Winning Spin

Karma... meet boomerang.

From TPM:

One of the central struggles between the Obama and Hillary campaigns right now is this: Which of the two can successfully persuade voters that he or she is the fair-fighter being victimized by the other's out-of-control aggression? Which of the two can persuade voters that his or her opponent is using a steady stream of vicious, old-style attack politics to prevent history from being made?

Right now -- if media coverage, pundit opinion, and insider chatter among Dems is any guide -- it's hard not to conclude that Obama is winning this particular spin war handily.

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The Clintons’ Patronizing Tack

The only question is, how long will the media continue to just play along? It’s one thing to be a pig like everyone knows Chris Matthews is when it comes to Hillary Clinton (and women in general). It’s quite another for the rest of them to just stand there idly by, or worse, as enablers to the Clinton’s Evita tour.

From Jonathan Alter:
The last major presidential candidate from Illinois, Adlai Stevenson, was approached by a voter in the 1950s. "Governor, you have the vote of every thinking American," she said. "That's nice," Stevenson replied. "But I need a majority."

Obama's best hope is that Democratic voters aren't as dumb as Hillary and Bill Clinton think they are.

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An ‘inconvenient truth’ for GOP war on earmarks

You mean, they're lying?

Get. Out.

From Politico:

Republicans are planning another yearlong campaign to shame Democrats for failing to kill the practice of earmarking money for pet projects.

But there are two big problems with the strategy, according to nonpartisan experts who track spending. Democrats last year actually approved fewer earmarks than Republicans did when they ran Congress.


The numbers speak for themselves.

Democrats claim the total number of earmarks is down 44 percent when compared with the Republican-controlled Congress in 2006.

That number is misleading, however, because it does not represent what was actually signed into law.

The actual reduction is much closer to 25 percent, says Steve Ellis of TCS.

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ABC News Lied About Obama's "Testy Exchange" w/ Reporter

The video is quite clear. ABC sounds more like the The National Enquirer on this one. The story is more then a complete exaggeration, it's a lie. The video shows Obama didn't have a "testy exchange" with New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny.

Not by a long shot.

From TPM's The Horses Mouth:

Okay, this is really a bad one. Late yesterday, ABC News posted a story called: "Is Bill Clinton getting in Obama's head?"

The piece reported that Obama had had a "testy exchange" with New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny on a South Carolina ropeline, after Obama had been asked whether Bill Clinton was getting "in his head." The whole tone of the story implied that Obama had had a very confrontational moment with Zeleny. Here's the key ABC reporting, with the language implying confrontation in bold:

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Oddly enough, Fox Noise got it right.

935 Lies

From Yahoo:

A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The study concluded that the statements "were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses."


The study counted 935 false statements in the two-year period. It found that in speeches, briefings, interviews and other venues, Bush and administration officials stated unequivocally on at least 532 occasions that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction or was trying to produce or obtain them or had links to al-Qaida or both.


Bush led with 259 false statements, 231 about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 28 about Iraq's links to al-Qaida, the study found. That was second only to Powell's 244 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 10 about Iraq and al-Qaida.

The center said the study was based on a database created with public statements over the two years beginning on Sept. 11, 2001, and information from more than 25 government reports, books, articles, speeches and interviews.

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No Questions On Global Warming Asked At CNN’s Coal Industry-Sponsored Presidential Debates

From Think Progress:

In Democratic presidential debate last night, CNN once again failed to ask any questions about global warming. Perhaps not surprisingly, last night’s debate was sponsored by the coal front group Americans for Balanced Energy Choices (ABEC).

ABEC also co-sponsored November’s CNN/YouTube debates in Nevada and Florida, at which no questions about global warming were asked.

These debate sponsorships are part of the coal industry’s aggressive “$35 million campaign in primary and caucus states to rally public support for coal-fired electricity and to fuel opposition to legislation that Congress is crafting to slow climate change.” ABEC has spent $1.3 million alone “on billboard, newspaper, television and radio ads in Iowa, Nevada and South Carolina.”

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Rudy Giuliani was a vengeful thug as Mayor of NYC.

Rudy Giuliani was a vengeful thug as Mayor of NYC. Make no mistake about it. If elected President, the country would be in serious jeopardy of becoming a fascist state, especially with all the power the current President has usurped for the executive branch.

A Giuliani administration would take those unprecedented & illegal powers and run run run with them.

From the NY Times:

Rudolph W. Giuliani likens himself to a boxer who never takes a punch without swinging back. As mayor, he made the vengeful roundhouse an instrument of government, clipping anyone who crossed him.


After AIDS activists with Housing Works loudly challenged the mayor, city officials sabotaged the group’s application for a federal housing grant. A caseworker who spoke of missteps in the death of a child was fired. After unidentified city workers complained of pressure to hand contracts to Giuliani-favored organizations, investigators examined not the charges but the identity of the leakers.

“There were constant loyalty tests: ‘Will you shoot your brother?’ ” said Marilyn Gelber, who served as environmental commissioner under Mr. Giuliani. “People were marked for destruction for disloyal jokes.”

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Giuliani is “a dictator”; McCain is “Bush on steroids

From Crooks & Liars:

There is so much goodness in this short 2-minute clip that it’s tough to know where to start. First we see the 9/11 Express (a.k.a Giuliani’s campaign bus) taking a lap at Daytona, much to the delight of both Tweety and ESPN Radio’s Stephen A. Smith. When the conversation moves to the Republican presidential field, Smith makes it pretty clear that he won’t be donating to the Giuliani campaign anytime soon, while Pat Buchanan concedes Rudy’s foreign policy would essentially be Norman Podhoretz’s policy, but adds that he fears an increasingly “bellicose” McCain may be like “Bush on steroids” and continue a neo-conservative foreign policy.

video_wmv Download (272) | Play (382) video_mov Download (182) | Play (264)

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Punditry Kristolized

From BarbinMD:

When it was announced that William Kristol had been hired as a columnist for the New York Times, the editorial page editor dismissed critics of the move as intolerant, saying that Kristol was a "a serious, respected conservative intellectual." Well, that's one way to look at it. But I think the words of Ernest Benn provide a more accurate description of the wisdom of Mr. Kristol:

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy.

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Seven Jewish Senators Condemn Obama Muslim Smears

God, I hope this will FINALLY shut my mother's mouth.

From TPM:

The Obama campaign is really doing its damndest to puncture the false Obama-is-a-Muslim smears before they take hold. In the latest move, the Obama camp released an "open letter to the Jewish community" today from seven Jewish U.S. Senators condemning the smear.

The key is that none of the Senators has yet endorsed a candidate in the Presidential race.

"Over the past several weeks, many in the Jewish community have received hateful emails that use falsehood and innuendo about Senator Barack Obama's religion and attack him personally," reads the letter. "Jews, who have historically been the target of such attacks, should be the first to reject these tactics."

The signers are Senators Carl Levin, Barbara Boxer, Ben Cardin, Russ Feingold, Frank Lautenberg, Bernie Sanders, and Ron Wyden.

Here's the letter:

An Open Letter to the Jewish Community:

Over the past several weeks, many in the Jewish community have received hateful emails that use falsehood and innuendo about Senator Barack Obama's religion and attack him personally. As Jewish United States Senators who have not endorsed a candidate for the Democratic nomination, we condemn these scurrilous attacks.

We find it particularly abhorrent that these attacks arc apparently being sent specifically to the Jewish Community. Jews, who have historically been the target of such attacks, should be the first to reject these tactics.

We won't dignify these falsehoods by repeating them in order to refute them. Instead, we will express our outrage at these tactics, which are being used to demonize a good and
decent man and our friend and colleague. Attempting to manipulate voters into supporting or opposing one candidate or another based on despicable and fictitious attacks is disgraceful. These false and malicious attacks should not be part of our political discourse.

All voters should support whichever candidate they believe would make the best president. We sincerely hope that Americans will make that decision based on the factual records of these candidates, not false charges circulated by anonymous mass emails.


Carl Levin

Barbara Boxer

Ben Cardin

Russ Feingold

Frank Lautenberg

Bernie Sanders

Ron Wyden

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Martin Luther King: "Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam"

From Brave New Films:

Dr. King talks about "those who would equate dissent with disloyalty," and about dark times "when high level authorities will use every method to silence dissent." You will sadly hear much more ring true in what Dr. King had to say, as we have not progressed since his time but actually regressed, or at best, remained in roughly the same place.

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Max Blumenthal: Mike Huckabee's White Supremacist Links

From Max Blumenthal via Huffington Post:

As South Carolina's Republican primary election draws nearer, Mike Huckabee has ratcheted up his appeals to the racial nationalism of white evangelicals. "You don't like people from outside the state coming in and telling you what to do with your flag," the former Arkansas governor told a Myrtle Beach crowd on January 17, referring to the Confederate flag. "If somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we'd tell them what to do with the pole. That's what we'd do."

Making coded appeals to white racism is nothing new for Huckabee. Indeed, well before he was a nationally known political star, Huckabee nurtured a relationship with America's largest white supremacist group, the Council of Conservative Citizens. The extent of Huckabee's interaction with the racist group is unclear, but this much is known: he accepted an invitation to speak at the group's annual conference in 1993 and ultimately delivered a videotaped address that was "extremely well received by the audience."

Descended from the White Citizens Councils that battled integration in the Jim Crow South, including at Arkansas' Little Rock High School, the Council (or CofCC) has been designated a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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1919 Newport sting targeted gay sailors, ended in scandal

I never heard this story before. Very interesting.

From Projo.com:

The first national gay sex scandal was instigated in Newport in early 1919, by a sailor with an ear for gossip and a hatred for homosexuals.

Before it ended, the scandal had blazed in headlines across America, embarrassed future President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and led to FDR suing The Providence Journal.

Court trials and a U.S. Senate investigation into the Newport episode exposed that the Navy had sent sailors to entrap homosexuals by having sex with them.

It's the details about how far they went that really shocked me:

They recruited handsome young sailors to be undercover “operators” to collect evidence against men who engaged in sodomy.

The operators were told to “catch them in the act.”

That was precisely where they caught them.

The operators seduced sailors in Newport and participated in numerous sex acts with them — mostly by accepting oral sex to completion. They recorded their encounters in daily reports.

Seventeen sailors caught in the sting were arrested, held in solitary confinement on a prison ship and then court-martialed. Several went to jail.

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Monsanto's Lobbying Defeated, Truth in Labeling Wins

Sometimes, the good guys do win.

From The Daily Green:

Pennsylvania resisted a lobbying push by Monsanto that sought to outlaw the labeling of milk that is free of artificial hormones.


Organic milk cannot come from cows treated with hormones.

Pennsylvania's Department of Agriculture reversed course today in deciding that consumers ought to have the right to know how the cows that produced their milk were being raised. Whatever the reason for the choice consumers make, they can't make it without a label defining its meaning.

"This is a victory for free speech, free markets, sustainable farming, and the consumer's right to know," said Michael Hansen, a senior scientist with Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports. "Consumers increasingly want to know more about how their food is produced, and particularly whether it is produced in natural and sustainable manner. There is no justification for prohibiting information about rbGH use on a milk label. Pennsylvania deserves credit for realizing that its initial regulation prohibiting such labeling was flawed, and for reversing its position."

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Michael Savage hates Muslims

This is one of the most shocking things you will ever here. Seriously.

From Brave New Films:

At Brave New Films, we have generally stayed away from engaging with the extreme right-wing fringe. However, the recent Michael Savage attacks against Muslims are so hateful and vicious, we believe it is important to respond. Not only does he engage in the worst kind of racist name-calling and stereotyping, he then compounds it by filing a frivolous lawsuit against CAIR because they dared to fight back. Really.

The video is very upsetting, and we believe after seeing it you will want to act.

You should call or write a personal letter to one of the sponsors listed. Don’t make it an attack, but let them know that the video is shocking and you are sure they would not want to be associated with such behavior. A phone call, a letter or an email to the sponsor calling attention to this action by Savage can be effective in hitting him where it hurts.

Here's the Video:

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Prosecutor from Texas Sodomy Case Embroiled In Sex Scandal

Yet another example of a right-wing, lunatic hypocrite who mind their own fucking business and stay out of other people's bedroom.

From 365gay.com.

The district attorney who defended the Texas law criminalizing homosexuality before the US Supreme Court is desperately trying to keep his job following the discovery of e-mails containing sexually explicit videos, racist jokes and what is described as torrid love notes to his executive secretary.

Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal (R) is facing a state investigation into the emails which were discovered on his office computer.

If he is found in violation of "official misconduct'' he could be removed from office. The office computer also contained evidence he had used it for political purposes.

Rosenthal who is married and portrayed himself as a "family values" candidate ended his re-election campaign last week after the sexy emails to his secretary were discovered. His current term runs out at the end of 2008.

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What comes around...


No Response from Ron Paul Campaign on KKK Organizer

This is a great follow-up to article from phenry over at Daily Kos on the KKK guy working for Ron Paul:

Yesterday I wrote about Randy Gray, the Midland County, Michigan coordinator for the Ron Paul campaign who is also a longstanding active and vocal organizer for the Knight's Party faction of the Ku Klux Klan. Before I published that diary I contacted the press office of the national Ron Paul campaign in Virginia, explained the situation, and asked if the campaign would like to release a statement on the matter. The press official I spoke to said he would look into it and get back to me. He never did.

Today I called the campaign again and spoke, I believe, to the same press official, who seemed slightly less interested in helping me than he did yesterday but said I'd get a call when he received a statement. The phone hasn't rung, and there's no trace of a statement on the campaign Web site. Meanwhile, Gray remains listed as the official contact for Midland County, Michigan on the Ron Paul campaign's Web site.

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BREAKING: Ron Paul's Klansman Kampaign Koordinator

I'm sure this is all just an innocent mistake, like Paul's names being on every pamphlet we've bee reading about all over this damn internetS.

From phenry over at Daily Kos:

As voters in Michigan go to the polls to vote in today's primary, volunteer coordinators for the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates are working hard across the state. One of these is Randy Gray, a 29-year-old resident of Midland, Michigan whom the Ron Paul 2008 Michigan Campaign Web site lists as the Midland County coordinator for the Ron Paul campaign. Gray's campaign profile page, a cached version of which can be seen here, doesn't go into much detail; there's a picture of Gray with the candidate, along with Gray's statement that "I support Ron Paul because he is in the fight for freedom." The page contains no mention of one of Gray's other roles: organizer with the Knight's Party faction of the Ku Klux Klan.

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Former Republican indicted for terrorist fundraising conspiracy!

But he's a RETHUGLICAN! How can THIS be?

Dems are the ones giving aid and comfort to the terrorists. Not a guy who MUST BE patriotic simply because he's a Rethug!

I know! He must be a secret liberal Democrat who plotted this when he ran as a Rethug, just like Barack Obama is plotting to give this country over to Bin Laden the second he gets into office because he's really a secret Muslim.

From Crooks & Liars:

A former congressman and delegate to the United Nations was indicted Wednesday as part of a terrorist fund-raising ring that allegedly sent more than $130,000 to an al Qaeda and Taliban supporter who has threatened U.S. and international troops in Afghanistan. The former Republican congressman from Michigan, Mark Deli Siljander, was charged with money laundering, conspiracy and obstructing justice for allegedly lying about lobbying senators on behalf of an Islamic charity that authorities said was secretly sending funds to terrorists.

Siljander, who served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to serve as a U.S. delegate to the United Nations for one year in 1987…read on

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The Cruise Indoctrination Video Scientology Tried To Suppress

Tom Cruise is Nuts. No, seriously. Not jump on Oprah's couch nuts, delusional nuts.

From The Gawker:

You have to watch this video. It shows Tom Cruise, with all the wide-eyed fervor that he brings to the promotion of a movie, making the argument for Scientology, the bizarre 20th-century religion. Making the argument is an understatement. The Hollywood actor, star of movies such as Mission Impossible, is a complete fanatic. "When you're a Scientologist, and you drive by an accident, you know you have to do something about it, because you know you're the only one who can really help... We are the way to happiness. We can bring peace and unite cultures." There's much much more. Let me put it this way: if Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah's couch was an 8 on the scale of scary, this is a 10.

This video's been passed around privately by reporters and writers investigating Cruise's ties with Scientology. Most reporters have been wary of taking on the Scientologists, because they have a history of both litigation, and the harassment of critics. The publication of Andrew Morton's biography of Tom Cruise, which claims he is the second most powerful person in the cult, has seems to have opened the floodgates. Several indoctrination videos were available on Google Video, on Sunday, and showcased on Gawker, before being removed by the person who had originally posted them. Yesterday, for a few hours, the clip of Tom Cruise discussing his beliefs as a Scientologist appeared on Youtube, and was republished by Radar and Defamer. That video is no longer available, most likely after the Church of Scientology sent in a copyright infringement notice. Gawker is now hosting a copy of the video; it's newsworthy; and we will not be removing it.


StumbleUpon My StumbleUpon Page


Bill Kristol's Fairy Tale

From Daily Kos' BarbinMD:

When it was announced that the New York Times had hired William Kristol to peddle his neocon fantasies to a wider audience, editorial page editor Andy Rosenthal defended the move saying:

The idea that The New York Times is giving voice to a guy who is a serious, respected conservative intellectual — and somehow that’s a bad thing. How intolerant is that?

Leaving aside the fact that Kristol is respected only within the walls of the White House, Fox News and the like, one wonders if it occured to Mr. Rosenthal that that "intolerance" isn't because of Kristol's conservatism, but his record. That Kristol's beating of the drum for war with Iraq, writing nearly 30 columns advocating the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in the year between September 11th and the AUMF vote, with claims of WMD, anthrax attacks in the U.S. and of course, Iraq's involvement in September 11th itself, may have caused that mistrust. And that the nearly five years of claims of "turning points," "pivotal moments," and "happy days," in Iraq make it impossible to take his intellect seriously. Or, we're intolerant.

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MSNBC's Chris Matthews problem

I refuse to vote for Hillary (in the primary). That said, Chris Matthews IS sexist pig obsessed with Hillary and his behavior borders on insanity.

From Media Matters:

I do not care which person is your candidate. I don't care what you think of Hillary Clinton as a potential president. What is being done in the press is akin to a pack of rabid 7th graders trying to haze the nerdy girl in school simply because they can. It has nothing to do with her qualifications -- it has to do with gender, and these lemming pundits think that it's perfectly acceptable because everyone is doing it, including women like Andrea Mitchell and Anne Kornblut.
-- Christy Hardin Smith, Firedoglake


The behavior Christy Hardin Smith describes has its epicenter on MSNBC's Hardball, where rarely a day goes by without host Chris Matthews sputtering and shouting about Hillary Clinton, often in terms that would give Bobby Riggs pause.

Put simply, Matthews behaves as though he is obsessed with Hillary Clinton. And not "obsessed" in a charming, mostly harmless, Lloyd-Dobler-with-a-boom-box kind of way. "Obsessed" in a this-person-needs-help kind of way.


Matthews has referred to Clinton as "She devil." He has repeatedly likened Clinton to "Nurse Ratched," referring to the "scheming, manipulative" character in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest who "asserts arbitrary control simply because she can." He has called her "Madame Defarge." And he has described male politicians who have endorsed Clinton as "castratos in the eunuch chorus."

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NYT Public Editor: Hiring Kristol "A Mistake"

From The NY Times Public Editor:

Of the nearly 700 messages I have received since Kristol’s selection was announced — more than half of them before he ever wrote a word for The Times — exactly one praised the choice.


I’ve heard all the arguments against Kristol — he is “wrong” on Iraq, he is overexposed as editor of The Weekly Standard and a regular commentator on Fox News with nothing new to say, he is an activist with the potential to embarrass The Times with his outside involvements — and one of them sticks with me:

On Fox News Sunday on June 25, 2006, Kristol said, “I think the attorney general has an absolute obligation to consider prosecution” of The New York Times for publishing an article that revealed a classified government program to sift the international banking transactions of thousands of Americans in a search for terrorists.

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No shit.

79% Say Change = Rejecting the Bush Agenda.

79% percent of Americans “say the next president should set the nation on a new course rather than following the direction in which Bush has been leading,” including two thirds who “feel that way strongly.”

“For the first time this is even more than said so about Bush’s father, 75 %, the summer before he was voted out of office.

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Democrats For Romney

This is too funny.

Markos from Daily Kos is calling on Michigan Democrats to do what Rethugs have done time and again in the Michigan primaries of the past: Vote for the one person who can put a kink in the Presidential plans of the other's side candidates.

This video is ones mans perfect answer to Markos' call to arms!

From AndyCobbonUTube:

Democrats of Michigan, on January 15th you have a unique and wonderful opportunity to screw over the Republican Party. For more on why voting for Romney in your primary--however counterintuitive it may be to vote for that flip-flopping, say-anything-to-get-elected, neocon-of-convenience hack--isn't such a crazy idea.

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Mitch McConnell: I Am The ‘Godfather Of Green’

From Think Progress, comes this gem:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has released a new ad for his 2008 re-election campaign, heralding himself as a “Godfather of Green” and an “environmental champion.”


...McConnell had a zero percent rating from the League of Conservation Voters during the 109th Congress, and has earned only a 7% lifetime rating.

A look at some of his actions that have earned him such a dismal rating:

– McConnell helped to pass the 2005 Energy Policy Act, a bill the League of Conservation Voters called “the most anti-environmental piece of legislation signed into law in recent memory.”

– McConnell led the fight to block the renewable electricity standard and the green tax package from the 2007 energy bill, calling them “millstones.”

– McConnell has repeatedly voted to allow drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

– McConnell has repeatedly voted against Senate bills recognizing global warming, including a “sense of the Senate” amendment expressing “the need…to address global climate change through comprehensive and cost-effective national measures and through the negotiation of fair and binding international commitments.”

– McConnell helped notorious global warming denier Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) try to block Al Gore’s “Live Earth” concert in Washington, DC, by raising an objection to the resolution allowing the concert to take place on the capitol’s West Front.

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Baghdad embassy's fire-fighting system is defective

Ah, no-bid rethuglican contracts at their finest.

From McClatchy:

The fire-fighting system in the massive new $740 million U.S. Embassy in Baghdad is defective, according to documents obtained by McClatchy and U.S. officials, who allege that their concerns were ignored or overruled in a rush to declare the complex completed.

"As far as I know, nothing's been fixed," said one State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared retaliation for speaking to the news media. "The lives of the people who are working in that building are going to be at stake" if the complex doesn't meet building codes, he said.

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Stewart vs Matthews: "That guy is insane"

Gotta watch this great video (from Huffington post). John Stewart really rails against Tweety's crazy behavior when it comes to Hillary Clinton:

Last night on "The Daily Show" a writerless Stewart played a clip of MSNBC's Matthews and sidekick Keith Olbermann making Lawrence of Arabia metaphors to describe Hillary Clinton the night of the New Hampshire primary. He then mocked it with a metaphor of his own. If you can't watch the clip, know that it ends with Stewart saying of Matthews, "That guy is insane."

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Bill O’Reilly’s Goons Ambush GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt

It seems Billie is going after the wrong people on this one.

It isn't GE / NBC in bed with the bin Laden family, it's the Bush family, Rudy Giuliani & all his shady businesses, Mitt Romney, and Dick & Haliburton Cheney. Not one to let the facts get in the way, Billo may finally have gone too far, all because he can't confront Kieth Olbermann head on, like a man.

Billo/Fox's action are no different then them calling themselves Fair & Balanced or someone else hateful. It's most certain that the opposite is true.

From Crooks & Liars:

Nicole predicted that O’Reilly would come after NBC after the Bill O’Reilly Puppet Theater earlier this week. On Thursday, O’Reilly went one better and upped his long-standing obsession with NBC to their parent company, General Electric, by ranting about a former NBC correspondent’s allegations that G.E. has ties to the bin Laden family and is doing business with Iran (I don’t know but wouldn’t be surprised if the allegations are or were true...[snip]

video_wmv Download (110) | Play (191) video_mov Download (150) | Play (75)

When GE CEO/Chairman Jeffrey Immelt did not respond to his show’s questions regarding the matter, Billo got his falafel in a bunch and did the same thing he has done so many times before and sent his goons out to ambush him. This time, they caught their victim while he was seated at a table having dinner and the minions (apparently taking lessons in bully journalism from Billo) have to push and shove their way in past the restaurant staff so they can poke the mic and camera in his face.

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Britain passes US in living standards. Thanks George.

By George, I think he's killed us.

From The Australian:

LIVING standards in Britain are set to rise above those in the US for the first time since the 19th century, according to a report by the respected Oxford Economics consultancy.

The calculations suggest that, measured by gross domestic product per capita, Britain can now hold its head up high in the economic stakes after more than a century of playing second fiddle to the Americans.

It says that GDP per head in Britain will be pound stg. 23,500 ($53,000) this year, compared with pound stg. 23,250 in the US, reflecting not only the strength of the pound against the dollar but also the British economy's record run of growth and rising incomes going back to the early 1990s.


Although many people will be surprised by the figures, Americans have long complained that average incomes have been stagnant in their country. One often-quoted statistical comparison suggests that in real terms the median male full-time salary in the US is no higher now than it was in the 1970s.

Oxford Economics says that while the comparisons are affected by the pound's high value against the dollar, they also reflect longer-term factors.

"The UK has been catching up steadily with living standards in the US since 2001 - so, it is a well-established trend rather than simply the result of currency fluctuations," its report says.

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Giuliani Sinks to Fourth in Florida

So much for his big state strategy.

Mr. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. is in FOURTH PLACE.

From the Political Wire:

A new Datamar poll in Florida finds Mike Huckabee leading the Republican presidential primary race with 24% support, followed by Mitt Romney at 20%, Sen. John McCain at 18% and Rudy Giuliani now back in fourth place at 16%.

Two months ago, Giuliani led the GOP race. With little chance of winning the other early states, he has been campaigning nearly non-stop in Florida for several weeks.

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After what happened in New Hampshire, I'm not going to sleep better with this news until I see him pull out of the race.


Giuliani invokes 9/11 when asked about Hillary’s tears

9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11. 9/11.

From Think Progress:

"The reality is, if you look at me, September 11 — the funerals, the memorial services — there were times in which it was impossible not to feel the emotion."

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Mike Huckabee: Radical Cleric

Spot. On.

From Max Blumenthal:

The "campaign ad" Mike Huckabee doesn't want you to see. This latest creation of Max Blumenthal and Thomas Shomaker presents Huckabee as the radical cleric he literally is.

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Ron Paul supporters chase Sean Hanity of Fox down the street

Couldn't happened to a more deserving scumbag. You know he peed a bit in his pants, right? LOL.


Ron Paul supporters see Sean Hanity of Fox news on the street and follow him to his hotel, chanting "Fox News Sucks". Fox refused to allow Dr. Paul in the debates it sponsored prompting the NH Republican party to remove it's endorsement of the event. Hanity has also shown great personal animus and disrespect for Dr. Paul on TV.

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Crooks & Liars has more.

David Shuster Calls Bill O'Reilly 'Jerk' and 'Buffoon'

My only question... what took so long?

Via governsleast:

David Shuster calls Bill O'Reilly a "jerk" and "such a buffoon" in the wake of an incident involving the Factor host at an Obama event this weekend.

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Bill O'Reilly Goes 5150 In Nashua, Unnerves Secret Service

I liked this writer's snark factor, no pun intended.

OK. OK. Pun intended.

Form the Huffingfton Post:

Petulant celebrity blowhard Bill O'Reilly went nuthouse at an Obama rally earlier today, shoving an Obama aide while trying to get the Illinois Senator's attention, no doubt to ask him if he had any "M-Fing iced tea." As a result, O'Reilly earned himself a talking-to from the Secret Service, and will probably lose any shot at gaining custody of Britney's children as well.

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Bill O’Reilly in screaming confrontation with Obama staffer

Olbermann's going to have a field day with this on Monday!

From Crooks & Liars:

Bill O’Reilly rules the world! The king of the sandbag technique tries to hassle Obama.

Bombastic Fox News host Bill O’Reilly got into a confrontation with an Obama aide after O’Reilly started screaming at him as he tried to get Barack Obama’s attention following a rally here.

The incident was triggered when O’Reilly–with a Fox News crew shooting–was screaming at Obama National Trip Director Marvin Nicholson “Move” so he could get Obama’s attention, according to several eyewitnesses. “O’Reilly was yelling at him, yelling at his face,” a photographer shooting the scene said.

O’Reilly grabbed Nicholson’s arm, said “move” and shoved him, another eyewitness said. Nicholson, who is 6′8 said O”Reilly called him “low class.” Secret Service agents came after O’Reilly pushed Nicholson and the agents flanked O’Reilly…read on

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Can you say, Lithium?


Third Place Hillary got almost twice as many votes as Huckabee

This really says something about the wave that's coming in 2008.

From AmericaBlog:

Huckabee won Iowa with nearly 36,000 votes.

Hillary lost Iowa, and came in 3rd, with 29% of the vote. A projected 220,000 people turned out to vote in the Democratic caucuses, meaning Hillary got 29% of those voters, or an estimated 63,800 - nearly twice the number of votes that Huckabee got. (Actually, the Des Moines Register's latest numbers show Hillary getting just over 67,000 votes, so I was right.)

So our 3rd place candidate beat their first place candidate by almost a factor of two. Not sure what it means, but it's funny as hell.

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McCain’s lobbyist army

From Crooks & Liars:

John McCain’s website tells visitors, “Too often the special interest lobbyists with the fattest wallets and best access carry the day.” It sounds like a compelling sentiment from a one-time reformer, and might even be impressive, just so long as you don’t peek behind the curtain.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) took a break from the presidential campaign trail in March to fly to a posh Utah ski resort, where he mingled with hundreds of top corporate executives assembled by J.P. Morgan Chase for its annual leadership conference.

McCain’s appearance at the Deer Valley event, arranged by J.P. Morgan Vice Chairman James B. Lee Jr., a top McCain fundraiser, put him in a room with the chief executives of companies such as General Electric, Xerox and Sony. It was, Lee said, “a chance for him to let them see him for who he is and possibly decide to support him.” The effort paid off: J.P. Morgan executives have donated $56,250 to McCain’s campaign, two-thirds of which came after his Utah appearance. And his visit there was quickly followed up by dozens of smaller private meetings with corporate executives in New York City arranged by leading Wall Street figures. […]

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Not to mention he is now the Swift Boaters nominee of choice as it were and they are going to be "supporting" him. And we all knows what that means....

And John Kerry isn't happy about it:
More than three years after John Kerry's bitter defeat, at the dawn of what looks like a far more promising campaign cycle for the Democrats, the party is still haunted by the specter of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. Once upon a time, "Swift boat" denoted an obscure military vessel, but thanks to the activities of this group it has come to represent movement conservatism's penchant for ruthlessly (and effectively) smearing any and all political opponents, from a sitting senator and war hero to an 11-year-old boy with a cranial fracture.

Abstinence Poster Child, Jamie Lynn Spears

Someone seems to have gotten the irony with the new Spears child pregnancy:

From Susie Bright:

Jamie has carried two difficult secrets: not only is she pregnant, but she's been knocked up by a TV executive who's old enough to be her GRANDFATHER, from the set of her Nickelodeon Kiddie TV show. They're canning her, now that her image is "ruined," but no one's mentioned the future of Mr. Wonderful. He's just publicly shunning her.

Yeah, the father isn't her cute dirt bike-riding Missisisppi homeboy, as the family first reported. They gave that young man a check to stand in for the paternity ride, while they try to avoid the statutory rape mess inspired by the original conception.

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Muddle-Headed, Fear-Mongering, BushCo Shills

Another GBCNYTimes letter in response to their hiring of Bill Kristol. Blowback's a bitch.

Here are 3 of the main paragraphs:

Given my attachment to the Times over the years, I have to say that I even forgave them for Judith Miller, difficult as that was. But after the advent of Bill Kristol on the editorial page next week, that's it for the Times and me.

I cannot imagine why the Times has hired Kristol. Kristol is not merely some rightwing loose cannon like David Brooks or even William Safire, and his hiring by the Times is not a free-speech issue. Kristol has plenty of opportunities to speak, and if he didn't he could blog, like the rest of us. Kristol is a war-monger and a hate-monger, and his lies have been exposed over and over in the last four years. If you think that the Iraq War is a crime, as I do, it is bad enough that he was one of the primary cheerleaders for it, even after every single one of the reasons that the Cheney/Bush/right wing gave for the attack was exposed. But he is worse than that. Until the NIE report, he was actively advocating bombing Iran, preferably with nuclear weapons, even though the civilians in Iran who would be bombed have nothing at all to do with whatever the Iranian government is doing, or as it turns out, not doing to develop nuclear weapons. In Iraq alone, Kristol has the blood of hundreds of thousands on his hands. He is unrepentant and eager for more.

William Kristol is a man whose time has come and gone. There was a moment, in, say 2002, when some of his arguments sounded prudent, if not reasonable. Now, he only sounds crazy. NOTHING has turned out as Kristol said it would, and the process of finding this out has cost the American people a great deal, and not only money and lives. Why the New York Times would hire such a person boggles the mind to think of. The announcement even made no sense, pointing out, as it did, that "Mr. Kristol, 55, has been a fierce critic of the Times. In 2006, he said that the government should consider prosecuting the Times for disclosing a secret government program to track international banking transactions. In a 2003 column on the turmoil within the Times that led to the downfall of the top two editors, he wrote that it was not 'a first-rate newspaper of record,' adding, 'the Times is irredeemable.'" Why would the Times hire such a person? Stockholm Syndrome? Some kind if inside-the-beltway joke? An attempt to lure that bloc of American newspaper readers who listen to Rush Limbaugh? Earth to Times! Maybe they can't read!

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Froomkin's Polemics More Popular Than Broder's Centrism

From The Horse mouth comes this great observation:

Over the weekend The Washington Post published a list of its top ten most popular opinion pieces of 2007, ranked by page views. It was gratifying to note that three of these were written by Dan Froomkin, while exactly none was written by David Broder (or David Ignatius, for that matter).

Mushy, platitudinous sermons about centrism just don't get people clicking the way hard-edged, and yes, partisan polemics do, it seems. In a sane world this might inspire WaPo's editors to listen to their paper's readership, rather than their own ideological leanings, and consider giving Froomkin a platform rivaling Broder's in the dead-tree edition of the paper one of these days. Not that he needs it.

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TPM´s Great List of Scandalized Administration Officials

This is some list. It reads more like a list of scandals from every administation since Washington and these are just from Bush, and just from 2007!

From TPM:

Boy, was it time for an update.

Late last year we decided to take stock of all the Bush Administration officials who'd been accused of corruption and/or resigned in the face of scandal. Although we had fun doing it, we altruistically started the project in order to help our friends at Powerline, who professed an inability to think of any Bush officials beset by scandal.

This year´s result, which built on Justin Rood´s original gem, is, like our catalog of the administration´s efforts to disappear information, a staggering monument to the Bush Administration. And it wouldn't have been possible without TPM's research hounds, Adrianne Jeffries, Andrew Berger, and Peter Sheehy.

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A Man's Farewell F/U To The NY Times For Hiring Kristol

A great goodbye GBCNYTimes letter from a Huffington Post journalist Husband, who is also a journalist:

"I have read the Times for over three decades, have many times been a home subscriber, and have been a premium internet subscriber since you offered the service. Many times, I have emailed friends and associates with interesting Times articles. Many years, in many places, such as Connecticut, Manhattan and California, I subscribed to the paper edition of the Times.

As a former journalist, I admired the Times immensely. As a corporate communications professional for many years, I worked with the Times on numerous occasions, and in the last 15 years have been very disappointed to see the slippage in the quality and objectivity of your reporters.

I accepted, even occasionally admired, William Safire. I accepted David Brooks.

All that said, if you hire William Kristol, it will be the final cut. You will have betrayed everything I have ever admired in the Times. I am serious about this. I will terminate my email and any premium subscription. I will no longer purchase the Times or the Herald Tribune at newsstands. My interest in the success of your publication will cease, and I will get all my news from elsewhere. Any regrets I may have will be assuaged by my knowledge that your hiring of that arrogant, blockheaded, smirking, war-mongering scumbag proves you have finally lost your way."

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