• Gunning for Gannon

    Digby says : As I sit here listening to two congressmen on Inside Politics drone on about how we must restore civility to politics (now that the GOP controls all branches of government) I'm experiencing one of those rare times when I truly understand why people become Republicans. It's because they have political instincts and we don't. If you are a political animal that is a very compelling trait. ... Paraphrasing a comment I read somewhere yesterday (apologies to the author) "pay no attention to the naked gay conservative male prostitute sitting in the middle of the family values white house living room." Goldberg affects a jocular dismissiveness for a reason. He knows what a real story is and he knows how they work. And he is trivializing this one because it is actually quite dangerous. Meanwhile, on the left we have much handwringing by commenters over this not being a "gay" story and how we should concentrate on the national security angle and how it's really about access etc,...
  • The Power of Christ Compels You

    The world is apparently facing a critical shortage of exorcists. Not even kidding you. So does this make Constantine a current events film?
  • The Wheels on the Bus Go Flying Off, Flying, Off, Flying Off...

    With Bush publicly considering a payroll tax hike, we're starting to get "wheels come off" stories on Social Security privatization. The LA Times, for instance, has a nice one centering on conservatives furious at the president for considering tax hikes. Considering that many Republicans were simply looking for a way out of supporting the bill, they just got their "get-out-of-jail" free card, complete with Grover Norquist's stamp of approval on it. Bush, for his part, clearly thought mentioning a tax increase would bring Democrats rushing to the table, but the ghosts of Charlie Stenholm and Max Cleland seem to have kept them in their seats. But the man is not just failing to convince Democrats, he's failing to convince everybody: That point was underscored in a national survey, published Thursday, showing that public support for Social Security overhaul has slipped since Bush began campaigning for private accounts. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that Americans supported...
  • Medicaid

    Been wondering what Medicaid is and what the issues around it are? Plumer's got you covered .
  • We're Fair and Balanced Too!

    MSNBC is hosting a panel discussion on Social Security, specifically the president's new coupling of private accounts and a payroll tax raise. The panel is: • Joe Scarborough, host and former Republican Congressman; • Hugh Hewitt, conservative radio host/blogger; • Dennis Prager, conservative writer; • Rachel Maddow, host on Air America. That's a 3 to 1 conservative advantage and, I wouldn't say this if it weren't true, Maddow is wiping the floor with them. She nailed the fiscal irresponsibility of privatization so hard that Hewitt was forced down to justifying it on the grounds that black people die sooner. Scarborough's response? "You're worried about blacks. I'm worried about blacks. But I'm worried about all Americans, and I don't want to see their taxes raised." Not only is MSNBC fair and balanced, they're humanitarians, too.
  • Finally

    My opinion on this is the same as my reaction to finding that Reid was creating a Democratic War Room: Great, but we didn't do that before!? For those who don't like following links, the move is simply the DNC granting the DCCC and the DSCC access to Demzilla, the massive computer voter database. Previously, the three had jealously competed for voters and data. Someone must have written a memo defining the terms "same team" and "one party rule" for them.
  • Hewitt Continues

    Rick Perlstein e-mailed this morning to say that he too trudged through a Hewitt book for the good of his readers. Not only do I sympathize, but I'm a great believer that authorial sacrifices like reading Hugh Hewitt mandate long-lasting rewards. So go give his review the half-life it deserves, I'm sure it'll aid his recovery greatly. For those wondering, I'm about 110 pages into the book, and it's now changed from lying a lot to talking about history a lot. In the last 30, it's morphed again and is making bizarre assertions about blog power. My favorite thus far: The blogs will move much more quickly, and with much greater authority, than the MSM. They will make or break the nominee. [P]erhaps future presidents ought to put three or four names out for collecting blog vetting before a final choice is made. The White House Counsel's Office and the Department of Justice are staffed by fine lawyers with great capacity for research and analysis. But their number and energy are finite. He'...
  • Lebanon

    I haven't said anything on the Lebanon/Syria situation because I don't know anything about Lebanon or Syria. I do, however, know enough to recommend Praktike's comments on the matter. And by the way, are you reading Liberals Against Terrorism ? Cause if you're not, you should be. Even Haggai's hanging out there now.
  • And Don't Tell Me Different

    Will the prime minister be Jafari? Chalabi? A third candidate? I don't know, but I know who to ask : A close aide to al-Sistani, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the alliance leaders will visit his office in Najaf to get his blessing for their choice for prime minister. If they cannot agree, al-Sistani will decide. You know what this doesn't sound like? Iran. Nope, not in the least.
  • Wanted: Cold-Blooded Networkers With Democratic Loyalties

    Mark Schmitt's post on the narrow missions of foundations reminded me of something Nick Confessore wrote a few weeks back in his New York Times Magazine expose of Bush's tax plans (behind the archive so no link): Within Republican circles, Norquist's job is to organize other organizations, making sure the different branches of conservatism are moving in the same direction, at the same time, to the greatest extent possible. His particular genius is for persuading one organization to reach beyond its own agenda to help out another -- for getting, say, the cultural traditionalists at the Eagle Forum to join the business libertarians at the Competitive Enterprise Institute in opposing fuel-economy standards for automobiles by convincing the traditionalists that, as Norquist once explained to me, ''it's backdoor family planning. I know lots of lefties who wonder why we lack a Grover Norquist-like enforcer, but not enough who wonder why we lack movement chieftains with his talents. A few...