Saturday, December 07, 2002

Gore needs to run if, for no other reason, then he will quickly fall of the media radar if he does not. If he feels he has something important to say and he wants to be listened to then the only chance he has is to be a candidate.

Trent Lott's Utopia: Quotes From President Thurmond - A BartCop Forum Thread

Man Sentenced for 'Burning Bush' Comment SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- A man who made a remark about a "burning Bush" during the president's March 2001 trip to Sioux Falls was sentenced Friday to 37 months in prison. Richard Humphreys, of Portland, Ore., was convicted in September of threatening to kill or harm the president and said he plans to appeal. He has said the comment was a prophecy protected under his right to free speech. Humphreys said he got into a barroom discussion in nearby Watertown with a truck driver. A bartender who overheard the conversation realized the president was to visit Sioux Falls the next day and told police Humphreys talked about a "burning Bush" and the possibility of someone pouring a flammable liquid on Bush and lighting it. "I said God might speak to the world through a burning Bush," Humphreys testified during his trial. "I had said that before and I thought it was funny."
I forget, how many months did Jess Helms get for warning President Clinton about coming to visit North Carolina?

Friday, December 06, 2002

Atrios made the following great find of an advertisement for the Dixiecrats from when Strom Thurmond was running for President:

Isn't it just a shame that failing to elect Strom resulted in the passing of anti-lynching laws?

William Burton makes some very important points in the following post:
More Politics ... I believe that FDR's appeal was not to minorities, the poor, and to union members just because they belonged to those groups (even in the 30's that wasn't enough to win elections). I believe that his appeal to them was part of his greater appeal to huge chunks of the American electorate. That appeal was more psychological than based on race or other identity. FDR spoke to and for what America as a whole was feeling during the 30's and 40's, and that is still applicable today. I'd say that FDR had two basic constituencies, with a great deal of overlap: the anxious and the powerless. Speak to those constituencies today and you win elections (a great deal of Reagan's popularity was his appeal to those who felt anxious about the future and those who felt powerless in the face of government). Whatever the drawbacks (and they're too many to list) of the era, there was a lot less anxiety in the 50's and early 60's than there is now. If you had a job assembling cars, you could be pretty sure that the job would stick around and that you'd be able to support your family with it. If you had a job in middle management at GM or at a bank, you could be pretty sure that job would be there your whole life. If your kids were in college, then you could be pretty sure that good jobs would be waiting for them when they graduated. Things were more predictable, and that made people less anxious. Compare that to the 30's and 40's, in which the Great Depression and war made everyone anxious. You couldn't be sure that your job would be there in a year. You couldn't be sure your son would be alive in a year. You couldn't even be sure that your way of life would be around much longer. FDr dealt with this anxiety by letting people know that we were all in this together, and by using the government to actively make things better. He knew that when things are bad, people don't want the government to simply step out of the way and let nature take its course (the Hoover approach); they want the government to step in and make things better. This activist approach to government is very popular and should be just as big selling point for the Democrats now as it was then. While social dislocation and unemployment is nothing close to what it was in the 30's and the War on Some Terror Funded by Some People (none of whom happen to be Saudi) pales in comparison to WWII, the public today is still quite anxious. A factory employee, a middle manager, even a professional doesn't know for sure that his job will be there in a year. If it's not, he doesn't know for sure he'll be able to replace it. He doesn't know if his kids will find good jobs when they graduate college; nor does he know what the world will be like in even a few years. This leads to a lot of anxiety, and elections will go to those who act to calm it and are willing to take steps to make things better. If both parties pretend the anxiety doesn't exist, then elections will go to the party willing to promise the biggest bribes to the most people(and that's usually the party that wants to cut taxes the most).
Democrats should not be afraid to speak to the anxieties of the American people. But neither should they only hilight those anxieties without offering any solutions (Carter's mistake with his malaise speech). Clinton did this in 92 by both repeatedly talking about the fears of the average citizen, but he also had an upbeat approach that suggested that these problems COULD be solved and that he COULD do it (and he did, to some extent).

A post I made in Table Talk:
Chris Andersen - 03:59 pm Pacific Time - Dec 6, 2002 <Bill Zettler 12/6/02 11:07am>:
Of course, that will end the DLC as an experiment that achieved apparent prominence only because they had Clinton as one of theirs, and Clinton would have succeeded under a variety of scenarios. Without him, the DLC starts to look like an empty balloon. Sort of like Lieberman's face, in other words.
I think you have it right Bill. The DLC did not turn around the electoral prospects of Democrats in 1992. It was Bill Clinton. Just like those who try and underestimate Clinton's impact on the boom of the 90s there are many Democrats who keep trying to discount his impact on Democratic prospects in the 90s. Clinton left office and the country went to hell. Clinton stepped down as leader of the party and the Democrats have been running around like heedless turkey's ever since.

Delay on FEC Pick Irks McCain Sen. John McCain accused President Bush yesterday of breaking a written promise to speedily appoint a Democrat to the Federal Election Commission, reigniting their roiling feud just as McCain is about to regain the post of chairman of the Senate commerce committee. McCain (R-Ariz.) said he will "assume all future assurances and promises by this administration to be quite possibly insincere." In an interview, he said the White House had delayed the appointment as part of an "orchestrated and systematic undermining" of the campaign finance legislation that he long championed and Bush belatedly and grudgingly supported. The FEC is writing regulations to implement the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law and the current commissioners have approved several loopholes. Supporters of McCain's proposed appointee, ethics lawyer Ellen L. Weintraub, say she would vote for stricter limitations. A White House official said last night that Bush plans to appoint Weintraub this morning -- less than 24 hours after the FEC finished the bulk of its work on the law. McCain called the timing cynical. "The Bush administration has broken their word on an issue that has been of transcendent importance to me, and that's hard to get over," said McCain, who ran against Bush in the Republican primaries of 2000. "It will be harder for them to do business with the Senate, since a lot of it is done by handshake."
All I can say is: what took you so long to figure it out John?

Bush will quickly nominate a successor for O'Neill and unveil a new tax-cut package, advisers said, portraying the dramatic changes as a fresh start for the economy. New unemployment figures matched an eight-year high, underscoring the economic situation.
But... But... I thought Bush's 2001 tax cut package already gave the economy a fresh start? Was I misinformed?

More from the adults are back in charge department:
The DiIulio Dilemma The flap over former Bush White House adviser John DiIulio's cutting criticisms of his former colleagues, followed by his earnest, near-groveling apology — all stemming from a still-to-be-published article in the January issue of Esquire magazine — has obscured another, perhaps more newsworthy aspect of the story. In the piece, a preview of which is available on Esquire's website, DiIulio ridicules the "Mayberry Machiavellis" in the White House, whom he defined, in a letter to the writer Ron Suskind, as the "staff, senior and junior, who consistently talked and acted as if the height of political sophistication consisted in reducing every issue to its simplest, black-and-white terms for public consumption, then steering legislative initiatives or policy proposals as far right as possible." While that is news — DiIulio is the first Bush veteran to break publicly with the White House — what is more noteworthy in the article are quotes from two unnamed, senior Bush aides who badmouth the White House staff in a way that is rarely, if ever, seen in print. One quote, attributed to a "current senior White House official," says, "Many of us feel it's our duty — our obligation as Americans — to get the word out that, certainly in domestic policy, there has been almost no meaningful consideration of any real issues. It's just kids on Big Wheels, who talk politics and know nothing. It's depressing. DPC [Domestic Policy Council] meetings are a farce." The other quote, attributed to a "senior White House official," says, "Don't you understand? We got into the White House and forfeited the game. You're supposed to stand for generate sound ideas, support them with real evidence, and present them to Congress and the people. We didn't do any of that. We just danced this way and that on minute political calculations and whatever was needed for a few paragraphs of a speech."

The GOP is very anxious to get to the bottom of what went wrong on 9/11:
9/11 Relatives Accuse G.O.P. of Blocking Panel Member Relatives of the Sept. 11 victims said today that their choice as a Republican appointee to the commission investigating the terrorist attacks was being blocked by Republican leaders and the White House, setting up an early showdown over the panel's membership. The family members said they had settled on Warren B. Rudman, the former senator from New Hampshire, as their choice for one of the five Republican slots on the 10-member commission... "Warren Rudman is the only Republican candidate for this position that all the families trust," he said. Mr. Push said the families had put Mr. Rudman's name forward to Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi, who will be majority leader in the new Congress, through Mr. McCain. But he said Mr. Lott had so far refused to agree to their request. Republican aides on Capitol Hill confirmed his account, saying Mr. McCain was supportive of Mr. Rudman but that there was an impasse with Mr. Lott over his appointment. Ron Bonjean, a spokesman for Mr. Lott, said the senator was "reviewing a list of candidates and will approve who those members will be in the near future."...

Remember the recent fuss about the cost of Kerry's haircut?
Bush's Suits Cost $2,000 to $14,000 A BUZZFLASH READER COMMENTARY Here's some trivia for you I saw on the internet. While the press focuses on how much Sen. Kerry's haircuts cost, check out how much President Bush's suits cost. Certainly, if Kerry's haircuts are a story, doesn't this deserve a mention if it's true? Highlights: - "But Bush's past style lapses are forgivable because, since his inauguration he's been wearing some of the best tailored garments -- Oxxford suits." - "This guiding principle ensures Oxxford continues to create top-notch garments for a price --$2,000 to $14,000 --that loyal customers are willing to pay." - "Mr. Bush was so pleased with the fit of his tuxedo, suit, and topcoat and trousers that he immediately ordered six more garments."

Courtesy of The Note:
Here is what Senator Trent Lott, Republican of Mississippi, said yesterday at Senator Strom Thurmond's birthday party, according to ABCNEWS' O'Keefe. "I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president we voted for him. We're proud of it. And if the rest of the country had of followed our lead we wouldn't of had all these problems over all these years, either."
Let's see... Thurmond ran on the Dixiecrat ticket, a third party that broke away from the Democratic Party when it changed its platform to support civil rights. So, what exactly does Lott think would be better about this country if the Dixiecrats had won?

A chilling story, if it proves to be true:
PHOTOGRAPHER ARRESTED FOR TAKING PICTURES OF VICE PRESIDENT'S HOTEL An amateur photographer named Mike Maginnis was arrested on Tuesday in his home city of Denver - for simply taking pictures of buildings in an area where Vice President Cheney was residing. Maginnis told his story on Wednesday's edition of Off The Hook. Maginnis's morning commute took him past the Adams Mark Hotel on Court Place. Maginnis, who says he always carried his camera wherever he went, snapped about 30 pictures of the hotel and the surrounding area - which included Denver police, Army rangers, and rooftop snipers. Maginnis, who works in information technology, frequently photographs such subjects as corporate buildings and communications equipment. The following is Maginnis's account of what transpired: As he was putting his camera away, Maginnis found himself confronted by a Denver police officer who demanded that he hand over his film and camera. When he refused to give up his Nikon F2, the officer pushed him to the ground and arrested him. After being brought to the District 1 police station on Decatur Street, Maginnis was made to wait alone in an interrogation room. Two hours later, a Secret Service agent arrived, who identified himself as Special Agent "Willse." The agent told Maginnis that his "suspicious activities" made him a threat to national security, and that he would be charged as a terrorist under the USA-PATRIOT act. The Secret Service agent tried to make Maginnis admit that he was taking the photographs to analyze weaknesses in the Vice President's security entourage and "cause terror and mayhem." When Maginnis refused to admit to being any sort of terrorist, the Secret Service agent called him a "raghead collaborator" and a "dirty pinko faggot." After approximately an hour of interrogation, Maginnis was allowed to make a telephone call. Rather than contacting a lawyer, he called the Denver Post and asked for the news desk. This was immediately overheard by the desk sergeant, who hung up the phone and placed Maginnis in a holding cell. Three hours later, Maginnis was finally released, but with no explanation. He received no copy of an arrest report, and no receipt for his confiscated possessions. He was told that he would probably not get his camera back, as it was being held as evidence. Maginnis's lawyer contacted the Denver Police Department for an explanation of the day's events, but the police denied ever having Maginnis - or anyone matching his description - in custody. At press time, the Denver PD's Press Information Office did not return telephone messages left by 2600. The new police powers introduced by the USA-PATRIOT act, in the name of fighting terrorism, have been frightening in their apparent potential for abuse. Mike Maginnis's experience on Tuesday is a poignant example of how this abuse is beginning to occur. It suggests that a wide range of activities which might be considered "suspicious" could be suddenly labeled a prelude to terrorism, and be grounds for arrest. We will continue to post updates to this story as we learn them.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

And here's another guy who took up the challenge: using MapQuest to retrieve aerial views of Poindexter's house: Subject: Total Information Awareness Demonstration for Poindexter

God I wish I were imaginative to come up with an idea like this:
Calling All Yahoos
Worried about what John Poindexter's up to as federal information czar? Call his home number and ask. While the dawning of the New Amerika may be old news to the rest of you, up until last week I had no idea things had gotten so bad. I arrived in San Francisco after 16 days spent vacationing in the State of Jefferson (the name locals give the swath of mountains and lakes straddling the California-Oregon border), shocked to find Republicans had taken over all federal governance, the country was moving even faster toward pre-emptive war, and the future portended massive deficits, attacks on civil liberties, environmental rollbacks, and free rein for corrupt corporations. Worse, I learned, Iran-Contra conspirator Adm. John Poindexter had been made head of a Pentagon division that would compile a vast database of every financial, medical, employment, school, credit, and government record for every American, so that law enforcement and spooks might better spy on us. Still, there's always a bright side: Perhaps Adm. Poindexter may be able to also use his new database as a force for good, to divine exactly why America has gone so terribly, terribly wrong. Optimistically, I dialed John and Linda Poindexter's number -- (301) 424-6613 -- at their home at 10 Barrington Fare in Rockville, Md., hoping the good admiral and excused criminal might be able to offer some insight. A pleasant-sounding woman I think might have been Linda, the former Episcopal priest and now effusive Catholic, answered the phone. "John's not home right now, but can you call me in about 10 or 15 minutes?" she said. "I'm on the other line." But henceforth I only reached the Poindexters' answering machine.

Lying Media Bastard describes how a promo of "Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers" on "The Charlie Rose" show turned into a five minute discussion of the failings of Bush foreign policy. I wish I had seen it. Click the link to see the picture described.
Return of the King There's this little move trilogy called the Lord of the Rings. Maybe you've heard of it. Two of the movies' stars and its director were on America's dullest talk show, Charlie Rose this evening for a half-hour to talk about it. The guy on the far right is actor Viggo Mortensen. In the Lord of the Rings movies, he plays Aragorn, a noble warrior who is reluctantly assuming his country's throne. Check his t-shirt in the photo. It says "No More Blood for Oil".

Courtesy of The New Republic: MYSTERY SOLVED: Yesterday, we racked our brains trying to figure out what kind of pressure the White House had brought to bear on former faith-based policy adviser John DiIulio to get him to recant the damning quotes he gave to Esquire reporter Ron Suskind. Having now perused Suskind's soon-to-be published article, we have a much clearer picture of what must have been involved. This passage in particular stands out:
Eventually I met with Rove. I arrived at his office a few minutes early, just in time to witness the Rove treatment, which, like LBJ's famous browbeating style, is becoming legend but is seldom reported…. I squeezed into a chair near the open door to Rove's modest chamber, my back against his doorframe.

Inside, Rove was talking to an aide about some political stratagem in some state that had gone awry and a political operative who had displeased him. I paid it no mind and reviewed a jotted list of questions I hoped to ask. But after a moment, it was like ignoring a tornado flinging parked cars. "We will fuck him. Do you hear me? We will fuck him. We will ruin him. Like no one has ever fucked him [emphasis in original text]."

'Nuff said.

Clinton may have come up with the best tack so far on the Democrat's problem with the media:
Mr. Clinton said the Republicans were benefiting from the support of an "increasingly right-wing and bellicose conservative press," which he contrasted with "an increasingly docile establishment press."
That's a good way to put it that doesn't outright accuse the mainstream press of being the pocket of the right wing (though they might as well be) and doesn't sound whiny in the way Daschle and, to some extent, Gore did. Perhaps Clinton realizes that winning over the "establishment press" will require firming up their backbones as much as the backbones of the Democratic leadership itself. Both are jello right now. But only one is being made to suffer for it.

I wish there were no 22nd amendment. As do many frustrated Democrats. But, here's an interesting test of this desire: Imagine the worst case scenario of Dubya getting elected in 2004. Soon afterward, various right-wing circles start pushing for the idea of repealing the 22nd in order for Dubya to run for a third term. Would you still support its repeal? I would. Just consider the possibilities: George W. Bush vs. Bill Clinton in 2008. Wouldn't that be fun?

Twenty-Five Rules of Disinformation - The Politicians Credo Keep this list handy the next time you watch members of the Punditburo. You and your friends could even turn it into a drinking game!

Some have suggested that Kerry, who has a reputation for appearing dour, needs to go to charm school before running against Dubya. Big mistake. We don't need more politicians pretending to be happy-go-lucky glad-handers when that is not there natural state of being. Bush can pull it off because he IS a happy-go-lucky glad-hander (who just also happens to be a mean-ass son-of-a-bitch whenever he is crossed). We should not fall into the trap that the Punditburo does of calling on any Democratic candidate to alter his personality to be more like Bush because (1) said candidate has to demonstrate that Bush's personality is actually a net-negative in a President and (2) the pundits will just turn on anyone who does this and claim they are engaging in fake populism. If Kerry is the kind of guy who doesn't smile all that often then he should just continue being the kind of guy who doesn't smile all that often. One thing I think Gore did right during 2000 was to address the "wooden" issue by playing up to the charicature instead of trying to deny it. He could then go on to say that being "wooden" is not as bad as being ignorant. Unfortunately, he didn't always succeed in delivering that second message.

"We don't have to be more liberal," he said. "But we do have to be more relevant" Bill Clinton addresses the failure of the Democrats in the last election in today's NY Times. I agree with Clinton that the Democrats have made a serious mistake in ceding the issue of national security to the Republicans. They have avoided confronting Bush on what is commonly perceived to be his strongest issue. Yet I am increasingly convinced that he is strong on this issue ONLY because no one attacks him on it. In other words, Bush's foreign policy is his glass jaw. However, I think Clinton makes a mistake in criticizing the desire to "go left". You see, just as the Democrats are timid on foreign policy, their desire to not be perceived as "to left" also makes them timid on the issue of economic policy. They have to be strong on both fronts, and if "going left" is part of that then they should embrace it. Furthermore, one of the main reasons the Democrats are afraid to "go left" is that it might scare off their corporate contributions. But this just indicates that the Democrat Party is an addict strung out on a line of crank provided by Republican front-men via those same corporate contributions. As long as the Democrats live in fear of losing their supply they will NEVER be able to confront the Republicans head on about corporate corruption (especially in the news media).

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

"When people feel uncertain, they'd rather have somebody that's strong and wrong than somebody who's weak and right" -- Bill Clinton Leave it to the man to put it all in a nutshell.

Gary Trudeau sings the praises of Dubya's leadership ability:
Trudeau actually knew George W. Bush when they were students at Yale and served on a social council together. ''George Bush showed great leadership qualities during those meetings,'' Trudeau said, his face deadpan. 'If we said, `Well, [we] think we should order X amount of beer,' and he said we should order Y amount of beer, we went with Y . . . He knew his beer.''

Howard Kurtz on what the pundits think of John Kerry:

Early Reviews Not Good for Kerry
John Kerry, it seems, is like one of those Rorschach ink blots: Everyone sees what they want.

Innovative thinker or cliched Massachusetts liberal. Vietnam War hero or foreign-policy waffler. Senator of stature or distant patrician.

This was dramatically demonstrated after Kerry's appearance with Tim Russert on Sunday. ... Some viewers undoubtedly saw an articulate, experienced man challenging Bush on a variety of issues. But others – including just about every pundit who has declaimed on the subject – saw a slippery, calculating human being.

Once again it comes down to what the Kool Kidz think. Notice how Kurtz avoids putting himself in that category by talking about them in the third person. Who's being slippery now?

To put it mildly, Kerry has a warmth problem. He recites his positions but doesn't tell any folksy stories, doesn't connect, doesn't seem to be speaking from the heart. His super-serious demeanor gave way to one half-smile and one laugh only at the very end of the 40-minute interview.

He doesn't smile enough! He doesn't tell cute folksy stories! Of course, when Democrats do that, the Kool Kidz criticize them for "fake folksiness". C'est la vie!

There are serious problems facing us every day (terrorism, corporate corruption, poverty, poor health care, crumbling education systems, etc). But that stuff is just such a bummer. Can't Kerry talk about the kind of things Bush talks about? Why does he have to be so serious!

Even when talking about the impact of his Vietnam ordeal, when he was wounded three times, and his affection for his comrades in arms, Kerry seemed to be delivering a speech he has given before rather than showing real emotion.

So Kurtz and the rest of his buddies in the media have set themselves up as the arbiters of the proper reaction to war-time experiences. It makes me wonder: What battles did you fight in Howie? How many times were you wounded Howie? How many of your buddies did you see blown into little bloody bits Howie?.

Well, after all, these are the same people who tsked-tsked the Wellstone Memorial. It's okay to grieve in public, but only if you do it in a way that meets the pundit seal of approval.

And his split-the-difference stands are sometimes odd: He opposes the death penalty for murderers and everyone else – but makes an exception for terrorists.

And this is odd because...?

This is how the Kool Kidz operate: they will criticize someone, but they won't do so in a fashion that is specific enough to be refuted. If Howied had specifically explained what was odd about Kerry's distinction on this point then Kerry could respond to it. As it is Kerry would be reduced to simply wondering how to respond to this without looking as clueless as the question that was asked.

The Kool Kidz are as slippery as the slimiest politician.

They are also cowards.


But it's becoming clear, for those who pay attention to such things, that Kerry's personality will be an outsized issue. Voters support candidates who make them feel comfortable. And the media, in their collective, elitist wisdom, have decided that John Kerry is for now outside their comfort zone.

Howard admits that the media is elitist. They have put themselves forward as the first voice in deciding who it is that the voters will feel comfortable with. And if the voters don't agree with their wisdom (as they did in 98 when they overwhelmingly supported Clinton and in 2000 when they gave Gore the majority of the votes) then there must be something wrong with their judgement.

Kurtz is one of the most interesting of the Kool Kidz because he has a habit of admitting to the elitism of the media without admitting that this might skew their observations. To Kurtz and his buddies, their provincialism is purely a problem for those who come to suffer their disapproval (typically Democrats). It is the rest of the world that has to adjust to their line of thought.

Is it any wonder that they like Bush so much?.

It's an old story, but still an important one, especially for any of the prospective nominess for the Democratic party in 2004. Bob Somerby of The Daily Howler puts it all in one nice neat-little package: the press corps pushed wholesale the RNC spin that Gore lied about his role in the development of the internet. INVENTING INVENTED THE INTERNET! No one said Boo about Gore’s remark. Then, the RNC spin-points arrived John Kerry and the rest MUST pay attention to this because they will be subjected to the exact same kind of lies and spin as Gore was in 2000. The RNC and their willing allies in the press managed to turn someone who was almost universally ackonwledged to be a descent guy, Al Gore, into a charicature of a serial-exagerator. Kerry has already been subjected to HairGate 2. He better be prepared for worse.

Monday, December 02, 2002

There's a great post over on the Bartcop forum that describes an encounter the poster had with Chris Mathews:
Ho boy, youse guys are gonna be proud of me nailing Tweety ... So this leads me to my question. I direct it to Chris, after acknowledging her. I say I want to ask about how ratings affect his approach to political discourse. I say I have noted, as have many others, that there is a certain disjuncture between the kinds of positions and tone he brings to discussion on his television show, Hardball, and the positions and tone he brings to his syndicated column or his appearances on other shows. I cite, as an example, how a study on media bias in election coverage done by the Project for Excellence in Journalism attributed a full 17% of all negative characterizations of Al Gore in the last election to Hardball. And yet, according to the same article in the Columbia Journalism Review, when he appeared on Charlie Rose in the post-election period, he had nothing but praise for Gore. Who did that study? he yelled! Did you watch my coverage? Yes, I responded, I watched you in part. And how did you think it was? I said I thought he was throwing some red meat to a particular base. He quieted. Look, I said, what I'm saying is: you wrote a column for the San Francisco Chronicle earlier this year on John Kerry that was very thoughtful, especially about his energy policy. But on Hardball, are you going to talk about that or about his haircut like everyone else has been doing today? Well, he mumbled, his $150 haircut, mumble mumble. And he laughed. His wife was shocked. She said, is THAT what they've been talking about today? Then she turned to him and asked if he would actually change the content of his positions to respond to a particular television audience. Look, he said, turning to me. (And I am quoting here! I wrote it down!). "You're a very smart woman. You got me." And he went on to say, look, yeah...the audience for cable is very right wing, they feel they've been left out and have nowhere else to go. Charlie Rose is not going to make it on cable. ...
Correct me if I am wrong, but it looks like Mathews just admitted that he has sold out his opinion for a good paycheck.

Hey, Lucky Duckies! by Paul Krugman ... An even better example is the failure of Congress to provide adequate funds for the State Children's Health Insurance Program. The details of the legislative maneuvering are complex, but what it comes down to is that conservatives showed no interest in maintaining adequate funding for this highly successful program. The sums involved are not large, by Washington standards. But the results will be dramatic: according to Office of Management and Budget estimates, 900,000 children will lose health insurance over the next three years. We are, of course, now living in what George W. Bush has called the "era of personal responsibility": if a child chooses to have parents who can't afford health care, that child will have to accept the consequences. But there may also be political calculation involved. Again, the government mustn't do anything good, because then people might not realize that government is bad. Understand?
Oh I understand Paul. I figured it out quite some time ago. I wrote as early as 2000 that many people were under the naive impression that Bush was a centrist who only did certain wacky things in order to appease the right-wing of his party. I kept on asking people why they wouldn't consider an alternate explanation: that Bush is as right-wing as they come, but he knows how to PRETEND to be a centrist so as to fool others (like John DiLulio) into believing that he actually cares. Bush may, in fact, THINK he cares about people. But he just doesn't care about them enough to do actually do anything to help them. That's the reality of Bush's compassion. More...
Some people — moderate Republicans who aren't ready to admit what has happened to their party, and Democrats who think their party can appease the right by making its own promises of smaller government — still don't get it. They imagine that at some point the right will decide that it has gotten what it wants. But the right's ambitions have no limits, and nothing moderates can offer will appease it. Eventually the public, which actually benefits from most of the programs the right is determined to abolish, will figure that out. But how fast voters figure it out depends a lot on whether moderate politicians clearly articulate the issues, or try to escape detection by sounding like conservatives.
Amazing. Someone actually finally gets its. I think it took Krugman a while to wake up to the reality of just how the Bushies operate. But he is a true-believer now. Glad to have you on the team Paul.

I just got through reading Dilulio's letter to the Esquire author. It is an interesting example of a man's inner-struggle to resolve a contradiction between what he wants to believe and what his senses tell him is the truth. He wants to go on pretending that the Bushies are truly likable. He goes to great pains to sing the praises of Bush and Rove and the others. Yet he still can't resist the temptation to make snide comments about their attitude towards policy matters. I suspect that Dilulio is not yet ready to admit that there really is something wrong at the heart of the Bush administration. He sincerely wants to believe there is a Santa Clause in Bush/Rove's heart but he is finding it increasingly difficult dealing with the contradiction presented by their behavior. You know, I think the problem that DiLulio and others is that they make an assessment of Bush that says, "he is a nice guy who really does care about people, he just isn't very good at showing it" (DiLulio's general take on the Bushies problem with discussing policy instead of PR). Bush seems sincere to them (as I'm sure Ted Bundy must have seemed sincere to his friends). But DiLulio just can't figure out how to explain the disconnect between that impression of Bush and what Bush actually does. Remember that this is a guy who spent a lot of time with Bush (comparitively). Is it any wonder that many avergage American's have a difficult time acknowledging that there is another possible explanation for what is going on?

More Drudge:
**Update: Kerry Confirms Cristophe Hair Cut Late Monday; But Salon Claims Men Shampoo and Cut Only Runs $75, not $150.
Oh... Never mind then. This is SOP for the right. Spread a smear, then quickly run away when it is revealed that it isn't as bad as originally suggested, then come up with a new smear to distract attention away from the refutation. Gore went throught his repeatedly in 1998, 1999, and 2000. If Kerry doesn't respond hard and fast then he is toast.

It is as I have said many a time, Democrats will not get anywhere until they realize that ANY of them that achieves national prominence will be subject to the same level of smear that was thrown at Clinton and Gore. Case in point...
XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX MON DEC 02, 2002 11:02:49 ET XXXXX CASH AND COIF: KERRY HAIRCUT COSTS $150 **Exclusive** Democrat all-star John Kerry of Massachusetts is positioning himself as a populist politician while he takes the first step for a White House run... But the self-described "Man of The People" pays $150 to get his hair styled and shampooed -- the cost of feeding a family of three for two weeks!
HairGate 2: The Return Of the Costly Coif! Wake up people!

Ex-Aide Insists White House Puts Politics Ahead of Policy WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 — A former member of the Bush administration says in a magazine interview that the White House values politics over domestic policy, lacking both policy experts and an apparatus to support them, and has failed to achieve a "compassionate conservative" agenda. John J. DiIulio Jr., a domestic affairs expert and professor at the University of Pennsylvania, was appointed by President Bush to lead the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives in the second week of the new administration. He quit in August 2001 amid struggles with Congress and Christian conservatives over the direction of the president's plan to give more federal money to religious charities. In an interview with Esquire magazine, Mr. DiIulio said: "There is no precedent in any modern White House for what is going on in this one: a complete lack of a policy apparatus. What you've got is everything, and I mean everything, being run by the political arm. It's the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis."
Ah what does Mr. Dilulio know about it. He's just another whining Democrat.