June 2008 Archives

Freepers did the email

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The Washington Post has an article on the origin of the Obama is a Muslim email. Someone was patient enough to look under the rocks and she found freepers. WaPo tracked them down and talked to them. Kerry supporters will find a familiar name in the article as well. It seems that Ted Sampley is really getting into his role of liar and slanderer. And that really tells you all you need to know about the validity of the email. It has none.

Update: Listen to the audio interview with Dr. Allen too.

This is not a joke: Vitter and Craig sponsor Federal Marriage Amendment

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Hard to believe it but Sen. David had-a-few-sessions-with-the-DC-madam-and-her-girls Vitter and Sen. Larry I-have-a-wide-stance Craig are sponsoring the Federal Marriage Amendment. Yep, those good old Family Values supporters who believe in "Do as I say, not as I do" have stepped up to be ridiculed once again. Steve Benen has the scoop at The Carpetbagger Report.

TIME: Is Dobson's Obama Hit Backfiring?

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Amy Sullivan has a good column (digg it here) on Time.com about James Dobson of Focus on the Family and the fallout from his hit at Obama including a website that went up the next day which deserves further checking:


She also covers the changing political atmosphere and the pushback that Cal Thomas got from his highly intolerant column.

But if the grassroots reaction is any indication, the attacks on Obama have been largely self-defeating. After Thomas' column ran, dozens of regional papers that carry it were flooded with letters to the editor -- and they were hardly in liberal bastions. In places like Augusta, Georgia, and Lubbock, Texas, people wrote in to criticize Thomas' attack on Obama. "To suggest that anyone is not a Christian because they do not adhere to Cal Thomas' narrow interpretation of what a Christian should believe," wrote one Texan, "is extremely intolerant, ignorant, and downright insulting." Barack Obama couldn't have said it any better himself, and this election year he may not have to.

McCain wants to kick Russia out of the G-8

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John McCain has a pretty warped view of how diplomacy and geopolitics works. Policy of engagement? What's that?

Via Matt Yglesias:

Lurking at the end of this Reuters article on potential vulnerabilities in McCain's alleged strong suit of foreign policy is this intriguing remark about McCain's idiotic plan to kick Russia out of the G8:

He also dismissed McCain's comment last October on Russia and the G-8 as "a holdover from an earlier period," adding: "It doesn't reflect where he is right now."

Matt Corley points out that this isn't quite right. As recently as March, McCain told the Los Angeles World Affairs Council that "We should start by ensuring that the G-8, the group of eight highly industrialized states, becomes again a club of leading market democracies: it should include Brazil and India but exclude Russia."

I'm tempted to remind him of what happened when Nixon went to China. It seems that not only does McCain not get economic policy, he doesn't get foreign policy either.

From Scientific American, Just Smelling Coffee Helps

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That's right. Just opening up the coffee tin in the morning and smelling the coffee aroma helps. From Scientific American's 60-second Science podcast series.

Markos nails it: 2010 will be primary season

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Markos nails the strategy in this one.

So 2010 is going to be the year we pivot from taking control of our government, to holding out accountable. Like Al Wynn this year, the corrupt, the tone-deaf, and the reactionary within Democratic ranks will face the possibility of primary battles. The infrastructure we're building will be available for those courageous enough to take on the entrenched elite. But when we have candidates that inspire, and can develop the alternate funding sources to finance them, the combined might of the Pelosis and Hoyers won't be enough to effect change. Just ask Donna Edwards.

So you're angry about the Democratic capitulation? Don't take it out on the party. More House Democrats voted against this abomination than voted for it. The party isn't the problem, it's too many of its elected members that have forgotten who they serve and why. Hint: It's not AT&T lobbyists, it's not Steny Hoyer, and it's not access to their checks.

You want to do something? If your local congresscritter is one of the bad apples, start organizing locally. Plug into existing networks or start your own. Begin looking for primary challengers. Do the groundwork. Don't expect help from the local party establishment, they'll close ranks. So tap into alternate infrastructures. Find allies in the progressive movement. [...]

Of course, this takes more than just bitching about your frustrations on a blog, damning a whole party for the actions of a minority more scared of Mr. 28% than of protecting the Constitution they swore to protect. This takes hard work. But now is the time to start.

TNH on the sham "Media Bloggers Association"

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Teresa Nielsen Hayden has posted just about everything you ever wanted to know or not about Robert Cox, the self-named president of the "Media Bloggers Association" which, despite its name, appears to represent one person. If you don't recall, Cox was the person who stepped forward to "negotiate" with the AP about their misguided quotation policy for blogs.

Girls and boys sold for sex in Baton Rouge and New Orleans

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From The Advocate and WBRZ News 2 in Louisiana:

Girls and boys are being sold for sex in Baton Rouge and New Orleans, a federally funded report released Tuesday says, even though no one yet has been charged in Louisiana under federal or state sex-trafficking laws.

The problem intensified in the days after hurricanes Katrina and Rita, with relief workers soliciting the services of the enslaved children, the report says.

This is just so wrong in so many ways. 1 - That it's happening at all. 2 - That Louisiana's laws don't recognize these children are victims forced into these actions and instead charges them with crimes.

H/T to prestochango

Mr. Ham Goes to Washington

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Darksyde and Pharyngula raise the alert.

That would be Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY. He's also the proud speaker at a prayer breakfest sponsored last Wednesday by the Pentagon Chaplain's Office. PZ points out the alarming implications:

Pharyngula -- Just let that sink in. There are people at the Pentagon who are in charge of planning where your sons and daughter and nephews and nieces and other beloved family members and friends will be sent to put their lives at risk. ... There are people there who control nuclear weapons.

It's not merely that Ham is a fundamentalist, he's a complete fraud or a dangerous crack pot, take your pick. Ham makes his living as a Young Earth Creationist by fostering and exploiting the worst kind of willful, pseudo scientific ignorance. YEC hucksters are shams through and through who literally preach the complete dismissal of biology, geology, physics, astronomy and virtually every other field of hard science.

The Guardian "uncovers the dark side of John McCain"

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Paul Harris does a fairly thorough job of reporting the things the McCain campaign would rather not have reported. I suspect he'll be persona non grata on the Straight Talk Express bus for the rest of the campaign.

It's nothing new for people who read Daily Kos, TalkingPointsMemo and Eschaton but it is all there in one article. Of course, it's British media, not US though RealClearPolitics blog did take note of it including the scary picture of McCain that the Guardian included.

Matthew Yglesias on Status of Forces Agreement

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Matt has the scoop on a conference call about the Iraq SOFA:

I heard part of a conference call the National Security Network organized yesterday about the negotiations for a Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq. Skip Gnehm, who's been ambassador to Kuwait, Australia, and Jordan as well as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, and a number of other prominent positions made a couple of provocative points.

One, he points out that "in all of my experience, there are no SOFA agreements that authorize military action." In other words, we have agreements with Germany, Italy, South Korea, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other countries governing the presence of U.S. military forces in those countries, but none of them authorize the use of military force inside the host country or against the host country's citizens. Analogies between the SOFA the Bush administration is putting together with Iraq and standard alliance relationships are, in other words, totally invalid.

Internet to run out of addresses 'within 3 years'

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From New Scientist magazine, as of May 2008:

85 per cent of the 4.3 billion available Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, which identify devices connected to the net, are already in use. Within three years they will all be used up... The report urges governments and businesses to upgrade from the current version, IPv4, to IPv6, which effectively has an unlimited number of IP addresses. IPv6 has been available for more than a decade but service providers have been slow to adopt it.

H/T to David Brin

Bloomberg weighs in on smearmail as well

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Ben Smith reports on Mayor Bloomberg's speech to a Jewish audience in Boca today:

One thing Judaism always welcomes is a debate. It's one of the great tenets of our faith: to not accept things as told - but to question; to seek answers; to explore. But as we do that, let's make sure that we, as Jews and as voters, keep the conversation focused on the facts and not let it descend into false rumor and innuendo.

Unfortunately, we've already seen that happen. As I'm sure many of you know, there are plenty of emails floating around the Internet targeting Jewish voters and saying that Senator Obama is secretly a Muslim, and a radical one at that. Let's call those rumors what they are: lies.

There's more. He really got into the topic.

Huckabee blogs from Japan - Cut out the smearmail

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Huckabee is on a trip to Japan but took the time to clarify a comment he made the other day on his blog about ignoring internet driven drivel.

What I am saying is that we need to challenge Obama on the basis that his ideas are the wrong ones--not attacking him personally. If people spend their time repeating a bunch of internet driven drivel about his middle name (he didn't choose his anymore than I chose mine), or his race (I do sincerely celebrate that our country has moved to a place where a person's race doesn't limit him from aspiring to the highest office in our land, but I just believe that due to his proposals and lack of substantive experience, he's gone far enough--not because of his race, but because of his sincere, but misguided proposals), or his church (there are far more important reasons for us to elect Senator McCain than where Obama went to church). [...]

Elections ought to be about elevating the best ideas and exposing the worst ones--not engaging in character assassination with half truths, innuendoes, and disputable "internet facts."

H/T to Ben Smith @ politico

Mars Phoenix Tweets: "We Have ICE!"

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Wired has the details and some pictures. The Mars lander Phoenix has sent this message home:

We have ICE!

TPM: Blackwater Brings Sharia Law to America!

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Josh highlights the truly absurd situation thus:


I know various wingnuts go on about how Muslims or various left-wing freaks are going to bring Sharia law to America and make us into an Islamist theocracy. But I think we may have the first case of a defendant actually asking a US federal judge to apply Sharia law, not American law, to a case.

And the defendant is Blackwater.

Doesn't it make you wonder a little bit about the long-term goals of that company and its CEO? Especially when you consider their recent purchase of fighter jets. What are they up to?

TX Republicans show their "true colors"

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It's made it around the progressive blogosphere fairly rapidly. The Dallas Morning News reported on it first. Then Americablog, TPM, ThinkProgress, and BlueMassGroup among others. ThinkProgress's story notes that they also had a sexist button on display.

But I think I liked Chris Bower's summation at OpenLeft best.

Every time I go on C-Span, and I've been on five times now, I get asked about race by callers on both sides. And while I try to make the point that the Republican Party is pretty racist on an institutional basis, the regular Republican activists are just so much more eloquent at expressing this point themselves.

News Flash: US Nuke Weapons Parts Missing

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This is in addition to the mis-shipment of nuclear bomb parts to Taiwan that were cited in Sec. Gate's decision to fire the top Air Force brass. The Financial Times is reporting:

The US military cannot locate hundreds of sensitive nuclear missile components, according to several government officials familiar with a Pentagon report on nuclear safeguards. [...]

According to previously undisclosed details obtained by the FT, the investigation also concluded that the air force could not account for many sensitive components previously included in its nuclear inventory.

One official said the number of missing components was more than 1,000.


H/T to Johnny Venom

Obama Announces Senior Working Group on National Security

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Sam Graham-Felsen's blog at barackobama.com includes a list of who has been selected to serve on Obama's Senior Working Group on National Security.

Senator Obama's Senior Working Group on National Security includes:

* Secretary of State Madeleine Albright
* Senator David Boren, former Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
* Secretary of State Warren Christopher
* Greg Craig, former director of the State Department Office of Policy Planning
* Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig
* Representative Lee Hamilton, former Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee
* Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder
* Dr. Tony Lake, former National Security Advisor
* Senator Sam Nunn, former Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
* Secretary of Defense William Perry
* Dr. Susan Rice, former Assistant Secretary of State
* Representative Tim Roemer, 9/11 Commissioner
* Jim Steinberg, former Deputy National Security Advisor


Guess Who's Blogging for the National Press Club?

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Poblano found it. The most absurd thing I've heard in awhile. Jeff Gannon -- yes, that Jeff Gannon -- is blogging for the National Press Club. Poblano has more.

Why on earth would an organization like the NPC have anything to do with a faux journalist who compromised and damaged their standing as journalists?

Sounds like time for some new management at the NPC.

The collapse of SOFA

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Smintheus has a thorough update on the collapse of SOFA negotiations. Don't know what SOFA is? He's got the background on that too. In short, it's the ultra-secret "Status of Forces Agreement" that the Bush administration has been trying to force on the Iraqis. The one that could commit the US to Iraq in perpetuity. The one that's so secret, Congress hasn't been informed about any of it. Don't know about it? Well, that would be the US media at work. Foreign media, on the other hand, has been on the job. Smintheus has the details. Go read.

How A Midwest Flood Can Drag Down A Nation

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Dkos diarist SlyDi has a fascinating look at how the floods in the midwest affect our nation and the difference between the impact in the 1970's vs current-day. The discussion in the comments is thought-provoking.

Frank Rich does some number crunching

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Frank Rich does some number crunching and it pretty much blows away a lot of the CW spouted on the various talking head shows about the different splits in the electorate and who's voting for whom. Well worth a read. H/T to teacherken who provided some of his usual brand of thoughtful analysis on the column as well.

UPDATE: DemFromCT did some further analysis on Rich's column and added some material from other sources... go read it here.

The Court rebukes Bush / Cheney overreach

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mcjoan highlights some of Justice Kennedy's statements in the Boumediene vs. Bush decision and then some of emptywheel's reasoning on how this decision has implications for other Bush / Cheney constitutional missteps. Good reading though recommended only for after you've had your first cup of coffee in the morning.

Patrick Ruffini got it right

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Patrick Ruffini sets his fellow right-wing bloggers straight about user-generated content on mybarackobama.com.

McCain's faux "town hall" on Faux News

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Karendc has the inside scoop on just how false the so-called town hall that Fox News will be featuring. Just think of Bush's appearances where everyone was screened for proper credentials. As they say, McCain is running for Bush's 3rd term and seems to have adopted his campaign tactics as well.

Obama's Fight the Smears website

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It's sad that it had to come to this but I'm glad to see it done. Barack has created a website specifically focused on fighting all the smearmail. It's designed for ease of use in sending to people who've sent smearmails to you.

An Honest Response

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Jacki Schechner interviewed JK and inquired about his interest in a position as Obama's VP. He gave an honest response.

Surveillance and FISA Update

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As Sully put it, "If you're like me, your eyes glaze over after a few paragraphs. Which is why Marty Lederman exists." Marty's post brings us up-to-date on the intelligence surveillance - FISA issues.

Blog Strategy: Obama vs. McCain

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Andrew Romano of Newsweek's Stumper blog has an interesting post comparing Obama and McCain's official blog strategies.

Here's his conclusion:

And that's precisely McCain's problem: while the Obama campaign is even bigger and savvier than George W. Bush's legendary presidential juggernauts, Team McCain is still stuck in its default mode: scrappy insurgent. Of course, the Arizona senator doesn't appear to have much of a choice. Obama can afford to launch a massive 50-state voter registration drive because he's raised about $300 million to date. McCain's receipts? About $118 million. Without Obama's resources, Team McCain has concluded that the only way to stay competitive is to stay lean and "human" and hope that the candidate's accessibility and charm earns him free coverage. But there's no doubt that Obama has--and will continue to have--sizable advantages in every area that matters: field organization, voter outreach, television spending, message control. Is this enough to win the election? We'll know in November. Until then, McCain underestimates the power of Obama's ruthlessly efficient operation at his own peril--even if his blog is more fun to read.

H/T to Sully

Daily Kos: Major evolution observed in a lab

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ShawnGBR fills us in a report in NewScientist that evolution has been observed under laboratory conditions along with a primer on what evolution is. Check it out.

The Daily Mail's scoop on McCain's character

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The Daily Mail has done some digging on McCain and the picture isn't pretty. Check out the comments by Ted Sampley and Ross Perot (yes, that Ross Perot) about McCain's actions and character. Tells a little bit different story than the one we usually hear from US media.

H/T to LiegarDestin

"This is why Afghans have come to hate Americans,"

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Taonow at dailykos highlights an article about an incident in Afghanistan which illustrates one of the issues that arise with how an occupation of a country is managed. Both the diary and the original article are worth reading.

Hunter made me laugh

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Hunter nails the right-wing smear machine in this one.

Halperin's 15 things that McCain underestimates

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Mark Halperin has put up his list of 15 things that John McCain underestimates about Obama and the upcoming contest.

Among my favorites on his list:

1. The astonishing enthusiasm that Obama inspires in his supporters -- and how much it contrasts with the respect, but not passion, McCain enjoys from his own backers. (And the size of Obama's crowds...)

2. The "Major League vs Little League" difference between Obama's infrastructure and his own.


6. How many voters (even Republican stalwarts) dread the idea of a virtual third Bush term.


12. How old he looks when he is acting "presidential" on the stump - and how incongruous it makes his message of change appear.

13. How powerful debates might be when the allegedly inexperienced Obama of allegedly questionable judgment goes toe-to-toe with McCain, even on national security, and is therefore deemed of sufficient strength and stature to be president by many.

Go see which ones you agree or disagree with.

Why we need more Dem senators

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The NY Times report on what happened in the Senate yesterday perfectly illustrates why we desperately need to replace certain Republican senators in November. Talk about Roadblock Republicans ... yet another illustration of the same.

Michelle's Dap

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Ta-Nehisi Coates waxes eloquent about Michelle and Barack's fist-bump aka dap before his speech last night, identifying it as both a post-racial and post-feminist symbol. H/T to Ballonjuice

John Cole at balloonjuice also references a NYT article about Reggie Love, Barack's body guy, which mentions a close-fisted high five. I remember reading that and wondering what on earth they were talking about. Evidently that was NYT's attempt at referring to a dap.

Graciously Pretending to Win

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I think that Dana Milbank's title editor caught more truth in the title of Dana's column than he realised.

In Defeat, Clinton Graciously Pretends to Win

It's a good accounting of what happened in the Clinton event of last night.

Daily Kos: I Witnessed History (Photo Essay)

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Kayakbiker took his telephoto lense to the Excel Center in St. Paul for Obama's announcement. Check them out.

That's what you get for living in the last wholly-owned non-represented colony of the United States, folks

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Aw, shoot, never mind that pesky PTSD stuff anyhow

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Hmm, hmm, hmm.

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Make of it what you will:

"Campaigning in South Dakota, the senator from New York said at a restaurant in Rapid City, 'I'm just very grateful we kept this campaign going until South Dakota would have the last word.'"

http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics/story/646548-p2.html

Requiescat en pace, Steve Gilliard

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Steve died one year ago today, way too soon, at the tender age of 42. He changed the face of political blogging in many ways for many people, myself among them.

Here's cooking at you, kid.


(P.S. -- If you have to ask, you don't know -- at least not yet -- but Kathy G. can explain it all for you, right here...)

What would Gilly do?

Why does Blackwater need fighter planes?

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From USA Today via Thoughtcrimes, comes news that Blackwater, a private security firm that contracts with the US government, has purchased a fighter plane. A FIGHTER PLANE? WTF?

Check out the picture of it on the Thoughtcrimes site.

Booman's Painful Post

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Booman has posted what was a painful post to write by his account. I've wondered the same thing about what's being said in certain quarters.