Saturday, August 26, 2006

Well, You Haven't Been on My Show, Have You, Mr. Chaffee?

Mr. Atrios:

Easy Answers to Easy Questions

Greg Sargent asks:

RI-SEN: When Will Bigfoot Pundits Bemoan Laffey?


This has been another edition of easy answers to easy questions.

I don't think Chaffee has ever done MTP, the Beard's show, or Imus, so why should the Bigfoot pundit class be concerned that moderate Lincoln Chaffee, son and successor of the long-time moderate Rhode Island Republican John Chaffee is about to go down to defeat to a winger opponent in his party's primary? Chaffee's situation is totally different from Lieberman's. Lieberman appears on all the Bigfoot pundit shows, and Holy Joe's loss is seen by Big Media as a rebuke to them. Chaffee on the other hand, doesn't appear to know the Bigfoot pundits exist. And who knows, maybe this Laffey guy will be good for quotes and appearances?

Friday, August 25, 2006

Anti-Sex League Needs a Plan C to Cope with Plan B

Anti-women, pro-abortion groups finally lose out on Plan B.

Here's Amanda.

Bulworth Left Behind

As a U.S. Senator and a blogger (the latter a much more important role), I'm feeling pretty p-o'd that I was left off the invitation list for this gathering.

From the Tbogg, a "somewhat popular blogger":

Let's face it, things have gotten so bad that they have had to float leaky balloons such as Bush having read sixty books this year in an effort to stop the "idiot' talk, and we now we have a rash of Bush "extemporaneous" chats with select groups of supporters that just happen to include folks like Kathleen Parker:

This theory occurred to me not long ago at an off-the-record luncheon with Bush and a hundred or so of his supporters. I was the guest of a guest, and welcomed the opportunity to observe the president in his natural habitat.What I witnessed was revealing. Not only was the man fluent in the English language and intellectually agile, he was knowledgeable on a wide range of subjects raised during a 90-minute Q&A. Someone apparently had been slipping intellectual-curiosity tablets into Bush's cola.Toward the end, one of the guests said, "Mr. President, I think if Americans could hear you speak the way you have today, you'd have a 95 percent approval rating.''I think that's almost true. Not 95 percent, obviously, but he'd surely have a higher than 30 percent approval rating were he better able to explain what he's thinking. Bush does know; he just can't seem to say.

and Captain Corndog:

I had the opportunity this afternoon to be part of a relatively small group who heard President Bush talk, extemporaneously, for around forty minutes. It was an absolutely riveting experience. It was the best I’ve ever seen him. Not only that; it may have been the best I’ve ever seen any politician. If I summarized what he said, it would all sound familiar: the difficult times we live in; the threat from Islamic fascism–the phrase drew an enthusiastic round of applause–the universal yearning for freedom; the need to confront evil now, with all the tools at our disposal, so that our children and grandchildren can live in a better and safer world. As he often does, the President structured his comments loosely around a tour of the Oval Office. But the digressions and interpolations were priceless.

And Glenn says that Minnesota guy was there, too:

(2) This week, Hinderaker was part of a small gathering that toured the Oval Office and heard the President speak. Afterwards, he authored one of the most painfully obsequious posts ever, which is saying a lot, given that Hinderaker is the Bush follower who previously said: "It must be very strange to be President Bush. A man of extraordinary vision and brilliance approaching to genius, he can't get anyone to notice. He is like a great painter or musician who is ahead of his time, and who unveils one masterpiece after another . . ."

His most recent paean to George Bush was appropriately titled "Hail to the Chief," and Hinderaker said that being able to hear President Bush Speak was "an absolutely riveting experience"; that "it may have been the best I've ever seen any politician"; that "up close, [Bush] is a great communicator, in a way that, in my opinion, Ronald Reagan was not"; and that it was "the most inspiring forty minutes I've experienced in politics." He also shared that he is "worried about how President Bush can withstand the Washington snake pit" whose attacks "dwarf[] in both volume and injustice the abuse directed against any prior President."

Most notably by far, Hinderaker also said, with no irony at all, that Bush's "persona is very much that of the big brother." I have never agreed more with any statement. That is exactly the persona which has been created for George Bush, and the fact that it is -- to use Hinderaker's own unbelievably revealing description -- a "big brother" which Hinderaker and so many of his like-minded Bush followers want, need and crave really does explain virtually everything one needs to know about the so-called new "conservatism."

George Bush is the "big brother" which John Hinderaker wants and needs, and for that, he really loves the President. That might be unpleasant to think about, even creepy and rather disturbing, but that dynamic is indispensable in understanding the mindset fueling so much of the Bush movement.

With all the reading the president is supposedly doing these days, you think he'd at least browse my blog, and give me an invite to one of these chillin with the homies roundtables he does for the faithful and compliant.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

They Said It

From the NYT:

WASHINGTON, Aug. 23 -- Some senior Bush administration officials and top Republican lawmakers are voicing anger that American spy agencies have not issued more ominous warnings about the threats that they say Iran presents to the United States.

Offered without comment.

Alaska for Murkowski!

Despite coming in third in Tuesday's primary in Alaska, embattled Republican governor Frank Murkowski is taking a page out of Senator Joseph I. Lieberman's (I-CT) playbook and is refusing to accept the verdict of the voters:

"With all that's at stake in Alaska and around the country, I cannot and will not let these results stand," said Murkowski, who captured 19 percent of the vote in his bid for a second gubenatorial term.

Promising to continue running as an independent Republican, Murkowski pledged to make this a "people's campaign".

For the moment it's unclear what provisions exist for allowing Murkowski to continue his campaign and whether new petitions and signatures supporting his new independent campaign have to be gathered.

Nevertheless, Murkowski, who before being elected governor in 2002, was elected to four terms in the U.S. Senate remains unbowed:

I'm staying in this race because I want to keep working for the things that matter to you and help meet the critical challenges facing our state and country...

I have always followed a different path. My 30 years of experience has been about bringing people together and solving problems...

That is what my campaign will be all about building a new politics of unity and purpose and delivering results for the people of Alaska.

I hope you will join me in this cause, no matter your political persuasion, to secure a brighter future for our state and our country.

Meanwhile, other endangered incumbents across the country are considering similar strategies to keep their jobs.

In Rhode Island, U.S. Senator Lincoln Chaffee faces a challenge from his party's conservative wing, Cranston mayor Steve Laffey, and trails his presumed Democratic opponent, Sheldon Whitehouse, in recent polls.

"It's a tough issue, no doubt about that", says an anonymous aid. "The Lieberman and Murkowski defeats certainly give us pause. At the same time, those elected officials' promises to fight on also give us encouragement in case the voters vote us out, too. We'll be watching their campaigns closely for clues as to how we might stay in this thing if the elections don't work out", said the aid.

Other embattled U.S. Senators, such as Rick Santorum, Conrad Burns, and Mike DeWine are trailing in their re-election bids. But the moves by Lieberman and Murkowski may encourage defeated incumbents, even in general elections, to fight on and repudiate the will of the voters.

The fear of incumbents is so wide spread that even some not on the 2006 ballot are re-considering their options when term limits and other technicalities threaten their political futures.

President George W. Bush, for instance, received a welcome bit of cheer from a totally spontaneous visit by Rockey Vaccarella, an average citizen from the Katrina-striken gulf coast who thanked the president for his FEMA trailer and expressed his hope that Bush could be persuaded to run again for a third term, even though the Constitution prohibits it.

Bush's aids soft-pedaled talk of an un-Constitutional third term, but sources close to the Vice President expressed their interest in foregoing the next election on account of the "war on terror". The aids believe that a little known idea known as the unitary-executive theory may exempt the current administration from the 22nd Amendment and allow President Bush to run again in 2008.

While aids to President Bush and other embattled incumbents are wary of public reaction to their attempts to maintain hold over their entitled offices, others are confident the news media, particularly cable television, will provide the popular cover they need.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


I don't know about you, but I'm already tired of the John McCain Administration.

At least Bush II--or his handlers--spared us an innumerable amount of press conferences and television appearances.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Energy Shortages and High Gas Prices in Iraq

Gas is about $6 per gallon in Iraq and the electricity is on for about only four hours a day there.

The result is increasing prices for almost everything, with most people in Iraq having very little income to pay for what they need.

But that isn't the worst part.

The worst part is there is at least one area in Baghdad and across Iraq that has all the fuel and energy anyone needs--and an array of creature comforts to go with it. That area is the heavily fortified Green Zone.

The meager existence of regular Iraqi's is all the more torturous given that their American overlords are not likely doing without. Besides everything else that's wrong in Iraq, this disparency is among the most problematic, and can only result in greater opposition and anger towards the occupation.