Saturday, January 5, 2008

Iowa and Onward

I've not written anything about Iowa or it's results yet. Partly the reason is because I think Iowa's importance is a bit overblown. But having said that, there did seem to be a "populist" sentiment in the vote outcome.

On the Republican side, I don't think Huckabee is going anywhere. He's a regional candidate that appealed to a strong religious right sector of Iowa conservatives at a time when they have no one else. I think he'll now fade fast. However, Romney's thumping really does strengthen McCain's hand.

On the Democratic side, I think that Kucinich and Richardson(?) torpedoed Edwards by recommending their second choice caucus voters go for Obama. Not sure why they did that, but it certainly made a difference in the outcome. The media is eating up an "Obama momentum" theme, but I think it was really an inside job on Edwards. Either way, it did the trick and Obama has momentum. For me, Obama's win was like kissing your cousin. Obama's not Hillary, but he's also not Edwards.

Oh well, onward to New Hampshuuurrr ...... where I'll predict (barring someone farts on stage during the debates tonight) a McCain win and a very very close race between Hillary and Obama.



Can you just imagine the impact of something like this on troop morale?

BAGHDAD - An Iraqi soldier allegedly shot dead two American troops while they were patrolling together north of the capital, the U.S. military and an Iraqi official said Saturday. The Iraqi official said the suspect has links to militant groups.

Three other U.S. soldiers and a civilian interpreter were wounded in the Dec. 26 attack, the military said in a statement. The shooting occurred as American and Iraqi soldiers were trying to establish a combat outpost in Ninevah province in northern Iraq.
I have nothing to base it on, but I "sense" things heating up in Iraq again.


Thursday, January 3, 2008


Maybe you've heard that Mukasey has decided to investigate the destruction of the CIA torture tapes (note: not the torture on the tapes, but the loss of the tapes themselves). And it looks like he may even have appointed someone to do the job who actually can. But frankly, I have very serious doubts that 1) anything will be done in time to matter electorally and 2) anything of any real accountable substance will come out of it .... except maybe a CIA version on Lindy England.



Is Fredricks of Hollywood a goner? Looks like it.

Except, how can you be a goner when you never were there?


Fine, Just Fine!

We all know that the Iraq was is won .... right? Except it turns out that it's won if you don't count the deaths of our little brown Iraqi brothers. Oh, and if you don't count the political situation where all sides are reloading are refusing to negotiate.


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Department Of Irony

Josh Marshall:

You know things aren't good when you see a headline about Pakistani refugees fleeing to Afghanistan.



Are they just now figuring out how they were used?

Former 9/11 Commission Co-Chairman Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton write in The New York Times today that the CIA “obstructed our investigation” when it destroyed interrogation videotapes and “failed to respond to our lawful requests” about “the kind of information that would have been contained in such videotapes.”


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

We Can Only Hope

An InsiderAdvantage tracking poll in Iowa shows a statistical tie between Sen. Hillary Clinton and John Edwards in the Democratic presidential race with Sen. Barack Obama starting to lag.

Clinton leads with 30%, followed by Edwards at 29%, and Obama at 22%, with 14% committed to other candidates and 5% undecided. The poll has a margin of error of 3.4%.

Important finding: Edwards was the second choice of 62% of those who supported other candidates that did not receive the required 15% of the vote. Clinton was the second choice of 21% and Obama of 17%.

"Using the reallocation methodology InsiderAdvantage used in 2004 – which correctly indicated a fairly comfortable win for John Kerry – our new poll reveals that, if the caucuses were held today, the reallocated final outcome would be: Edwards 41%, Clinton 34% and Obama 25%."
Then there's this interesting quote:
"If the crowd numbers are that huge, and ours are this small, and they're going to kick our ass then there's no reason to explain it. Just show up and kick our ass. It's better if you don't say anything about it. Anytime anybody starts throwing those kinds of things around, it's because they're in deep shit."

-- Edwards strategist Joe Trippi, quoted by The Nation, suggesting Sen. Barack Obama's campaign is in trouble.
Personally, my wallet is in the warm up circle. But if Edwards wins, I start paying off.


The Case

If you've been paying attention, then you likely don't really need convincing that Musharraf was behind the murder of Benazir Bhutto. But just in case you're interested, Juan Cole details the latest revelations and proof that it was a government assassination.


Monday, December 31, 2007


Let's hope the country is done with this kind of crap:

On NBC’s Meet The Press this morning, host Tim Russert asked former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee if he believed “people are born gay or choose to be gay?” “I don’t know whether people are born that way,” responded Huckabee, “but one thing I know, that the behavior one practices is a choice.”
Ok. So it doesn't matter if they're born that way, right? So what does he expect if they are? I wonder if Huckabee would be willing to have given up sex his whole life?


Quote Of The Day

"You can’t nice these people to death. You’d better send somebody into that arena who’s ready."

-- John Edwards, quoted by the New York Times, referring how Sen. Barack Obama would deal with insurance companies and drug companies.
I don't think there's much dispute that having a personal injury attorney, a successful one at that, would be a good choice to go into negotiations with insurance companies. Here's hoping his rise in the polls is Edwards peaking at the right time.


A Breakthrough .....

.... or a venture capitalists press release?

The holy grail of renewable energy came a step closer yesterday as thousands of mass-produced wafer-thin solar cells printed on aluminium film rolled off a production line in California, heralding what British scientists called "a revolution" in generating electricity.

The solar panels produced by a Silicon Valley start-up company, Nanosolar, are radically different from the kind that European consumers are increasingly buying to generate power from their own roofs. Printed like a newspaper directly on to aluminium foil, they are flexible, light and, if you believe the company, expected to make it as cheap to produce electricity from sunlight as from coal.


Sunday, December 30, 2007

Make Nice My Ass

Digby has written another great post on how the village elders think the Democrats should all make nice with Republicans. I have no further comment other than to totally agree with Digby's point of view.

One portion of the post features this chart of filibusters that is astounding:

I knew it was bad. But historically it's really bad. Have you seen any of the village elders getting up in arms about the obstructionist Republicans? How can the likes of David Broder look at himself in the mirror when he writes such drivel about getting along?


The Times Is Stupid

Where do you start?

First off, the NY Times has now hired Bill Kristol to do op-ed's. The liberal blogosphere is peeved about it, but not for the reasons you'd think. Bill Kristol has a right to his opinions just like anyone else, and a right to write about it in major newspapers. But why does he remain so "respected" as an "intellectual" when he's so consistently wrong (see: war, Iraq)? The guy gets a promotion and raise after being thoroughly wrong, over and over again.

Then the Times writes a supposedly nice piece about a blogging pioneer who died recently. Except they get a lot of it wrong. Did Matt Bai even talk to Steve's friends?

The Times has become a sloppy information source constructed by lazy elite journalists. Too bad. And they wonder why they're dying on the vine?

Added: Could it be said (and documented) any more clearly?

All of you aspiring pundits out there take note. The key to reaching the pinnacle of your profession is, apparently, to be 1) catastrophically wrong about everything, 2) utterly unwilling to acknowledge error, 3) willing to repeatedly lie and mislead your readers, and 4) completely batshit crazy.

In all seriousness, it would be difficult to find anyone who has been more consistently and embarrassingly wrong about everything over the last six years than Bill Kristol. When Kristol got his most recent gig at TIME Magazine, I actually went to the trouble of compiling a highlight reel of Kristol's past pronouncements. It didn't take long. Virtually every column he had written since 2001 had some mortifyingly embarrassing passage. And I didn't even start to search through the comments he'd made during his countless television appearances.


I'll leave you with my favorite Kristol quote. He wrote this on the eve of our invasion of Iraq:

We are tempted to comment, in these last days before the war, on the U.N., and the French, and the Democrats. But the war itself will clarify who was right and who was wrong about weapons of mass destruction. It will reveal the aspirations of the people of Iraq, and expose the truth about Saddam's regime. It will produce whatever effects it will produce on neighboring countries and on the broader war on terror. We would note now that even the threat of war against Saddam seems to be encouraging stirrings toward political reform in Iran and Saudi Arabia, and a measure of cooperation in the war against al Qaeda from other governments in the region. It turns out it really is better to be respected and feared than to be thought to share, with exquisite sensitivity, other people's pain. History and reality are about to weigh in, and we are inclined simply to let them render their verdicts.
Yep. The verdict is in. And no matter how wrong you are, you get a new gig!