Friday, March 30, 2007


Only 9 Out of 10 Bombs Allowed on Denver Airplanes! [BoingBoing]

"Awww." Otters Rule! Solidly in the Top 10 List of Favorite Animals

How cool is this? The Erosion Sink: [Cap'n Design]

Slate assembles 10 of the Least Funny Will Farrell clips I've ever seen to show us why he's so funny. Perplexing.

"You're a Beautiful Butterfly"

John Cole's transformation is now complete. "Thank God For Chuck Schumer"

Hell, If NPR Can Bore Me With Pledge Week...

...i can try out a little banner ad. If this is annoying in any way to me (or you guys) I'll shitcan it, but I figure it's worth a shot.

God, I really hate Pledge Week. I can make my entire commute without hearing anything but NPR asking for money...

Boycott City

For Circuit City staff, good pay is a bad thing
The retailer cuts 3,400 who its says earn well above the going rate. They can apply for their old jobs -- for less pay.

LA Times | March 29, 2007

Circuit City Stores Inc. has a message for some of its best-paid employees: Work for less or work somewhere else.

The electronics retailer on Wednesday laid off 3,400 people who earned "well above" the local market rate for the sort of jobs they held at its stores.

In 11 weeks they'll be able to apply for their old positions — which will come with lower hourly wages.

[...] "It had nothing to do with their skills or whether they were a good worker or not,"[MF: that should make them feel better and work harder] Cimino said. "It was a function of their salary relative to the market."

Circuit City expects to reap $110 million in savings in the next year [...] Not everyone on Wall Street is sure the layoffs will pay off [...] The highest-paid employees can be some of the best and most experienced, and if Circuit City's customer service suffers, so may the company's fortunes against Best Buy Inc., whose reputation for high-quality help has helped make it the industry leader.

"Staff meeting for all our top sales people in the back: You're all fired. Comeback in three months and fight each other for your old jobs at way less money." Should really pay dividends...

I'm sure the brilliant executives who losing the market to Best Buy are not forced to "reapply for their old jobs at significant reductions." Way to try and make up the marketshare on the backs of the company's workers... Those $8-$13/hour wages are crazy!

I will confess that I don't spend much time or money in ANY of these stores, but when I have, I've found myself in Best Buy over Circuit City almost every time. Here's hoping Best Buy continues to eat their lunch, and I'll be sure to do my part.

[h/t Kevin Drum]

UPDATE: Thought I'd mention the others on the "boycott" list:
Wal-Mart (big surprise, right?)
ExxonMobil (Big Oil is all relative, but they are the worst. I try to go to Citgo and BP whenever possible—no Mid-East imports)
Domino's Pizza

List of companies to support.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


My wife and daughter spent some time last night on a site called WeeWorld. They created little versions of themselves, me and other friends and family. Here I am...

NOTE: I do NOT have dorky tinted lenses (or lenses that darken outdoors) in my glasses. Other than that, it's a pretty good likeness...

So how about it readers (all three of ya), ready to rip off the veil of online anonymity in favor of a crude cartoony likeness? Go create yourself and point us to the results.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Valid Question

Mark Kleiman does an excellent job on an important and valid, but uncomfortable, angle of the Elizabeth Edwards story.


Rove and his felllow White House lackeys have been eschewing their official White House email accounts in favor of RNC and personal accounts [link]. Obviously this was to avoid scrutiny, record-keeping and potential for those emails being subpeoned—but it's also illegal, and likely completely insecure. Like they care about either of those things.

But in doing that, they may have undercut any claim to executive privilege [TPM]:
White House personnel appear to have been systematically avoiding using their government emails on the job because they knew they might some day be subpoenaed.

But as we noted earlier with Karl Rove, this may have been too clever by half. If the president's aides were using RNC emails or emails from other Republican political committees, they can't have even the vaguest claim to shielding those communications behind executive privilege.

Yup. and you'll have a pretty hard time convincing me that decisions made regarding the US Attorneys conducted through RNC channels isn't political.

The other day, many were wondering under what grounds Monica Goodling would "plead the fifth." You can't plead the fifth simply because you don't want to answer a question—there has to be a crime, and you have to be avoiding being a witness against yourself. Silly, us. Of course there was a crime...
One part of the story which is coming into focus pretty quickly is the position of Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty and the coterie around Gonzales himself.

McNulty was the one who went up to the Hill and said the firings were for poor performance. But McNulty has since told Sen. Schumer that he explicitly asked Goodling and others, who were briefing him for his testimony, various questions about what had happened in the attorney firings and that they lied to him. 'Misled' him might be the term of art. But the key point from what McNulty is saying is that if he misled Congress it wasn't intentionally. It was because Goodling et al. misled him. If true, that would be a crime. And that's almost certainly the real reason Goodling will take the fifth when called to testify.

Publius at Obsidian Wings "Why It Matters"
If my critique of the Bush administration could be expressed in a single sentence, it would be this — they ignore and attack restraints on their power. This is the foundational conceptual thread that binds together so many of the scandals and controversies we’ve seen over the past few years. International law constraining your actions? Ignore it. War crimes statute limiting your interrogation methods? Ignore it (then delete it). Don’t like part of a congressionally-enacted statute? Issue a signing statement and ignore it. Pesky FISA cramping your style? Declare it unconstitutional. Geneva Convention got you down? Call it quaint. Is your habeas flaring up again? Delete it. Having problems with a special prosecutor? Lie to him. Are certain Democrats political threats? Prosecute them, or suppress their political base through fraud investigations or through not enforcing the Voting Rights Act. And if U.S. Attorneys refuse to go along? Fire them.

[...] It is inherent in the very nature of man to abuse power.

[...] It’s a lesson as old as Ulysses — to enjoy the Sirens, he first had to tie himself to the mast. Like Ulysses, we need to understand that we are congenitally incapable of policing our actions in the heat of the moment. Because passions and self-interest cloud our vision and judgment when we’re actually in the moment, we need to follow rules and laws that were adopted ex ante, when (presumably) everyone was thinking more clearly about the consequences.

[...]Here’s the point — the reason we have these restraints is to prevent abuse of power. If we ignore them, if we allow people (e.g., executive officials) to decide on the fly what they’re allowed to do, these people will inevitably abuse their power. This is the heart of why respecting restraints is more than an abstract concern — it’s necessary to prevent harmful consequences.

Don’t take my word for it – just look at the Bush administration. Name one area – one – in which they have exercised their (awesome) post-9/11 powers with appropriate restraint. I suspect you can’t. But there are tons of counter-examples. Look at the NSA program. Look at the Patriot Act and the FBI national security letters. Look at our detention policy. Look at our foreign military policy. Look at the occupation of Iraq. Look at the power given to replace U.S. Attorneys.

Again and again, in every single one of these areas, the administration abused the power entrusted to it. To be sure, some of these acts were initially motivated by good intentions (like Gandalf’s initial motivation to pick up the ring). But eventually, the ring of power wins.

Hilzoy at Obsidian Wings "No Limits"
With this administration, it's the same thing, with this one difference: that Nixon actually seemed to have some views about policy, views he cared about, while as far as I can tell this President has none, outside his peculiar ideas about the Middle East. Like Nixon, he has thrown out all the most basic assumptions that the government relies on. You can see it in the outing of Valerie Plame: someone who had made real sacrifices, and perhaps risked her life, for her country was exposed for no reason other than pure political benefit. You can see it in the President's statements leading up to the war in Iraq. I don't want to get into the question whether Bush technically lied or not; that's semantics, and it's less important than the obvious fact that he and his administration went around making a series of claims -- that there were links between Saddam and al Qaeda, that there was any remote chance that Iraq might get a nuclear weapon -- that they either knew or should have known were false. You can see it in the President's promises to rebuild New Orleans, a promise he promptly forgot as soon as the klieg lights were turned off. You can see it in this story about the politicization of the GSA. And you can see it in the US Attorneys scandal.

They know no limits at all.

For the record, I think that one of the things that enables this sort of behavior is the fact that so many people are already convinced that all politicians are corrupt. I think we need to get better both at recognizing when this is not so, and at distinguishing different forms of corruption. That none of them are OK goes without saying. Still, there's a world of difference, to me, between someone who hires his brother-in-law to do nothing, which costs the taxpayer the brother-in-law's salary, but does no further harm; and someone, like Duke Cunningham, who gets his dubious friends contracts performing important jobs for the Department of Defense and the CIA, which can compromise our security and get people killed. And there's a big difference between either of them and someone who corrupts an entire branch of government, like the Department of Justice, which undermines the foundations of our government. We need to become better at distinguishing these things, and while we should not accept any of them, we should react to them differently.

Josh at Talking Points Memo (who really has been driving this story) [link]:
And the president is fine with all of this. Fine with the fact that the Attorney General has not only repeatedly lied to the public but has also been exposed as repeatedly lying to the public. He's fine with at least two US Attorneys being fired for not giving in to pressure to file bogus charges to help Republican candidates.

Of course he's fine with it. Because it comes from him. None of this is about Alberto Gonzales. This is about the president and the White House, which is where this entire plan was hatched. Gonzales was just following orders, executing the president's plans. This is about this president and this White House, which ... let's be honest, everyone on both sides of the aisle already knows.

And here
We all understand that politics and the law aren't two hermetically sealed domains. And we understand that partisanship may come into play at the margins. But we expect it to be the exception to the rule and a rare one. But here it appears to have become the rule rather than the exception, a systematic effort at the highest levels to hijack the Justice Department and use it to advance the interest of one party over the other by use of selective prosecution.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Fucking Outrage

Yeah, we all know about the scandals involving Catholic priests and child molestation... I grew up a Catholic, in New England, so the whole Boston archdiocese story was never too far removed from my life. But this is waaay too close to home...

This is the town I grew up in, these are churches and places I know, and my father was a firefighter in West Hartford and I spent plenty of time hanging around the station. And this fucker was at the top of his game in the mid '70s—did I mention I'm 39?—putting me smack in his wheelhouse.

This truly seems to be a case of "there but by the grace of God, go I..." *

Seems this particular fucking predator piece of shit used his stature as Fire and Police Chaplain as his angle to entice and molest young boys. Preying in particular on kids who dreamed of serving the public by becoming police- or firemen, this Foley animal always drove a specially equipped car with lights, sirens, radios, etc.
The victims all told a version of the same story - they were impressed that Foley was the state police chaplain because they could ride in his police car right up to accident and fire scenes. Along the way, Doe said, Foley plied them with Yukon Jack and Southern Comfort from a fully stocked bar he kept in the back. He even had special fire jackets made up that said "Chaplain's Assistant" on the back.

One accuser told investigators that Foley would come to his house at all hours of the night, sometimes rousing him out of bed, "under the premise of taking him to a fire scene, when in reality the reason was for some sort of sexual contact."

Others said Foley would invite them to spend the night with him at Christ the King church rectory in Bloomfield for the purpose of responding to scanner calls and but would then fondle and masturbate them.

And as you would expect, it now comes out that the church knew all about it, moved this guy around and covering the whole thing up. Eventually giving him NO parish, but allowing him to continue his duties as fire and police chaplain, and even allowing him to continue to drive his Crown Vic to this day!

There appear to be all kinds of shenanigans regarding various State Police investigations over the years of this guy, too. Obviously, they have an interest in this as well.

The fact that idealogues and people in power seem to be able to justify any action (or inaction) soley based on the cost/benefit to their interests never ceases to amaze me. There is no possible moral justification for this, yet it was a systematic problem for the church for years, and apparently remains one to this day.

I might actually have to let my fury over this story steep a little longer before I consider this post wrapped. Right now I am so angry I actually have a problem wiith my dad for still going to church.


* No, the irony of using a religious quote is not lost on me.

UPDATE: Colin McEnroe follows up:
The only thing the Archbishop has proven is that the Archbishop doesn't like being in the middle of a crapstorm. His response to a lot of bad publicity has been to do what he would have done a long time ago, if he were the hard-nosed sheriff he wants us to think he is.

[...]This is nonsense. The Archdiocese hadn't even taken Foley's Pedomobile away. So how were they controlling him?

"He was the hyper-sympathetic telepathic machine..."

The latest history lesson from the animators of "Washington."

Monday, March 26, 2007

New Rule: Maher Rules

Fantastic rant from Bill Maher on false patriotism. Using the Plame affair as an example, in four minutes Maher perfectly distills everything wrong and disgraceful with the phoney-ass "patriots" that reside in the Administration. With just the right amount of anger and indignation, plus humor. He pulls NO punches. It is a thing of beauty.

Their Own Worst Enemy...

This is fairly depressing.
The Enemy Within
The Democrats' most dangerous opponent in '08 may be their own campaign consultants, who charge far more than GOP strategists -- and deliver far less


2008 has the makings of a banner year for Democrats. The wave of discontent that swept the GOP from Congress last November is growing, and the Iraq debacle will make it difficult for Republicans to retain the White House. But there is one group of powerful Washington insiders who have a proven ability to derail the Democrats. Working behind the scenes, these top-tier operatives humiliated Mike Dukakis in a tank, muzzled Al Gore on the environment and portrayed John Kerry -- a lifelong crusader for gun control -- as a rifle-toting Rambo. Year after year they have made sure that the Democratic message comes across as little more than a fuzzy, focus-grouped drone about child tax credits, prescription-drug plans and the "fight for working families."

And here's the depressing news: The Democrats pay them millions to do it.

As long as Bob Shrum doesn't get a penny it's an improvement, but this system is pretty annoying. We are already starting out with less money and a less-friendly media, then we have to pay more for worse strategy? Governor Dean, or someone, put a stop to this. Flat fees. No commissions. The first candidate to tell these fucking clowns to jump in a lake gets a long, hard look from me.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


TIME Magazine Unveils Redesign I'd seen the "Crying Reagan" cover on a few lefty blogs (and Slate?) as a political topic. I thought the layout was different, but didn't think much of it. Kottke directed me to Pentagram (who did the deed), which shows off the changes inside. Overall, a nice job. Definite improvement. You guys might not care, but it's what I do for a living, so I feel like weighing in.

U of Nebraska Tells RIAA to Pound Sand Or Husk Corn. Or Something. Good for them
***UPDATE: UNL actually DID attempt to comply with RIAA [link], but they were unable to because their IT dept changes IP addresses too frequently they were unable to. RIAA got on their ass about it, and UNL told them they would have to pay for the privelege of tracking downloaders. Hardly worthy of commendation. Though, at least they are sticking RIAA with the bill.

Friday, March 23, 2007


Am I the only person who wonders why anybody gives a shit about the Hillary / apple / 1984 ad? I don't find it clever or innovative, effective (as an anti-Hillary OR pro-Obama ad) and I don't even think it's particularly well-done.

Full disclosure: I also think the original apple ad is the most overrated "creative ad" ever.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Few Good Apples

I like to denegrate the entire spectrum of Republicans as worthless scum as much as the next guy, and not think twice about it. Here's a tale of a Republican that deserves a little credit...
"House Republican Leader John Boehner would have appointed Rep. Wayne Gilchrest to the bipartisan Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming -- but only if the Maryland Republican would say humans are not causing climate change, Gilchrest said.

"I said, 'John, I can't do that,' " Gilchrest, R-1st-Md., said in an interview. "He said, 'Come on. Do me a favor. I want to help you here.' " (...)

Gilchrest, who co-chairs the House Climate Change Caucus, has long been an environmental-protection advocate and has co-sponsored the Climate Stewardship Act designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 to 70 percent below 1990 levels.

He expressed his interest in the committee several times to Boehner and Minority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri, telling them the best thing they could do for Republican credibility was to appoint members familiar with the scientific data.

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, a research scientist from Maryland, and Michigan's Rep. Vern Ehlers, the first research physicist to serve in Congress, also made cases for a seat, but weren't appointed, he said.

"Roy Blunt said he didn't think there was enough evidence to suggest that humans are causing global warming," Gilchrest said. "Right there, holy cow, there's like 9,000 scientists to three on that one.""

So, the sore losers Boehner and Blunt are filling out the Repub half of the Global Warming Committee with only global warming-deniers? They should really contribute to the process, thanks. Dicks. Feeling ashamed enough with your party yet, Rep. Gilchrest? Come on over to our side, the water's great. And getting warmer.

[h/t Hilzoy]

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Cue David Gregory...

I want somebody to ask Brer Tony about this:
Tony Snow - Op-Ed - St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 29, 1998 :
"Executive Privilege is a Dodge"

...Evidently, Mr. Clinton wants to shield virtually any communications that take place within the White House compound on the theory that all such talk contributes in some way, shape or form to the continuing success and harmony of an administration. Taken to its logical extreme, that position would make it impossible for citizens to hold a chief executive accountable for anything. He would have a constitutional right to cover up.

Chances are that the courts will hurl such a claim out, but it will take time.

One gets the impression that Team Clinton values its survival more than most people want justice and thus will delay without qualm. But as the clock ticks, the public's faith in Mr. Clinton will ebb away for a simple reason: Most of us want no part of a president who is cynical enough to use the majesty of his office to evade the one thing he is sworn to uphold -- the rule of law.

All the usual loudmouths shouting from the other side of the fence have statements like that on the record from the Clinton Era, but Snow is the only one in the unique position of facing reporters and working for a boss pulling the same "dodge."

[via Glenn Greenwald. Read the whole thing, he breaks down the legalese better than most.]

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Um, no thanks...

Members of the media and the Hualapai tribe take a preview walk on the Skywalk, billed as the first-ever cantilever-shaped glass walkway. It extends 70 feet from the western Grand Canyon's rim more than 4,000 feet above the Colorado River on the Hualapai Reservation at Grand Canyon, Arizona.

Heard about this on NPR this morning, and had to see what they were taking about. I'm not embarassed to say I might not be able to walk out on that thing, and if I did, I'd probably crap my pants.

MORE: No fucking way. Look at this:

I've flown into LaGuardia over Manhattan and been closer to the buildings than that. The only way I go out on that thing is wearing a parachute. Oh, and what's the over/under on people hopping that railing?

From WBEZ in Chicago, er, Showtime Presents...

Slate has a four-minute preview of the Showtime version of "This American Life." Looks like the incomparable Chris Ware is responsible for the animation of this segment.

While I find it interesting that they are trying a televised version of the brilliant NPR weekend hit, I'm never going to get Showtime, so I won't see it, and, really, an immeasurable amount of the show's appeal for me is the fact that it is an aural (only) experience. It allows your imagination to fill in the blanks, and also allows you to be driving, doing work or just sitting on the couch enjoying what is an all but extinct experience—truly listening to the radio.

Here's a link to the radio show's website, where you can listen to all of the broadcasts once they're a week old... I promise you won't be disappointed.

UPDATE: Preview from a collaborative DVD by Ware and TAL host Ira Glass.

Friday, March 16, 2007

I Like Your Style...

New addition for the links sidebar:

Colin McEnroe's To Wit. This guy writes for the Hartford Courant, the paper I grew up reading. He's not that old, but he's been around long enough that I remember him as the sardonic guy with the column on the "Lifestyle" section (or whatever). Anyway, he came to my attention again last year after he penned some great take-downs on Lieberman. Sometimes Nutmeg State-centric, but worth reading.

Not ready to add to the sidebar yet, but worth checking out:
Two Glasses [via Mike]
Clusterfuck Nation by Jim Kuntstler [via Two Glasses]

UPDATE:Ah, hell. Two Glasses, you're in. A Reckoning and the Bacon Blogging put you over the top.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sully “Shoots tha Dep-yu-tee...”

Mr. Sullivan really has it in for the Vice President these days...
Kicking the Sheriff's Ass
12 Mar 2007 03:38 pm

A reader writes on why we went to war:

The fact is: we relied so heavily on the weapons of mass destruction argument because it was the easiest rung on which to hang our hat. Everyone knew that Iraq had stockpiles of at least chemical weapons. And once we got in there, who knows what we'd find on the biological weapon or nuclear weapon front?It wasn't even a question in anyone's minds, us or other foreign intelligence services. So we relied on that rationale, because it's hard to make an argument that "we need to go in there and knock heads." Even if that is what needs to be done.

Obviously, the strategy of relying on that justification was a horrible mistake. We've now lost total control of the narrative.

It doesn't make D'Souza's point any less relevant though. The problem is not that the United States went into the bar to rough up some thugs and show that there was a new sheriff in town. The problem is that if you are the sheriff, you can't go into the bar and get your ass kicked.

Walking into that bar is about demonstrating your power and credibility. If you get beat up, you've only demonstrated how weak you are, even if you are eventually victorious. If the sheriff manages to beat the local thugs into submission, but suffers a broken nose and cracked ribs and has to take the next few days off recuperating, then he's lost all credibility both with both the thugs and the townsfolk.

This is basically the situation we are in now and why, instead of victory, we’re fighting for a narrow loss.

And it's why the architect of this strategy is now sounding more and more hysterical. When Dick Cheney looks weak, when he has made the U.S. look weak, we are in trouble. Weakness invites attack. If and when the next attack comes, Cheney's failed strategy will be partly responsible. He hasn't just undermined the soft power of the U.S. He has deeply undermined American hard power.

Just go to Sullivan's blog The Daily Dish (now part of The Atlantic) and just scroll and enjoy. It could have been written by me! Well, except that it is well-written. And timely. And less reliant on foul language...

Monday, March 12, 2007

"Suck it Up, Soldier!"

If Walter Reed was the frying pan, than this is the fire...

The Army is ordering injured troops to go to Iraq
At Fort Benning, soldiers who were classified as medically unfit to fight are now being sent to war. Is this an isolated incident or a trend?

March 11, 2007 | COLUMBUS, Ga. -- "This is not right," said Master Sgt. Ronald Jenkins, who has been ordered to Iraq even though he has a spine problem that doctors say would be damaged further by heavy Army protective gear. "This whole thing is about taking care of soldiers," he said angrily. "If you are fit to fight you are fit to fight. If you are not fit to fight, then you are not fit to fight."

As the military scrambles to pour more soldiers into Iraq, a unit of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Ga., is deploying troops with serious injuries and other medical problems, including GIs who doctors have said are medically unfit for battle. Some are too injured to wear their body armor, according to medical records.


Master Sgt. Jenkins, 42, has a degenerative spine problem and a long scar down the back of his neck where three of his vertebrae were fused during surgery. He takes a cornucopia of potent pain pills. His medical records say he is "at significantly increased risk of re-injury during deployment where he will be wearing Kevlar, body armor and traveling through rough terrain." Late last year, those medical records show, a doctor recommended that Jenkins be referred to an Army board that handles retirements when injuries are permanent and severe.

A copy of Jenkins' profile written after that Feb. 15 meeting and signed by Capt. Starbuck, the brigade surgeon, shows a healthier soldier than the profile of Jenkins written by another doctor just late last year, though Jenkins says his condition is unchanged. Other soldiers' documents show the same pattern.

One female soldier with psychiatric issues and a spine problem has been in the Army for nearly 20 years. "My [health] is deteriorating," she said over dinner at a restaurant near Fort Benning. "My spine is separating. I can't carry gear." Her medical records include the note "unable to deploy overseas." Her status was also reviewed on Feb. 15. And she has been ordered to Iraq this week.

They are so desperate for bodies for this stupid "surge" and to deploy "at full strength" in numbers (or appearence) that they are deploying soldiers nowhere near full-strength. They are sending people over there that cannot protect themselves or their fellow soldiers.

But it's "the Democrats who don't support the troops."

Hell ain't fucking hot enough for these goddamn Bushies.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

TiVo Alert

The best show ever on television is now back on television. Homicide: Life on the Street re-runs are on the new(ish) Sleuth channel. Total fluke that I even found this—Sleuth is right below the Noggin and Nick Jr zone on the DirecTV menu—and while looking for something for Ruby to watch at 8:00 a.m., there it was... She's lucky I didn't make her start the day with Pembleton in "The Box."

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Links or Patties? Links, please.

Just because I'm hardly blogging these days doesn't mean I haven't been reading. I meant to expand on some of these, and may yet, but in the meantime, here are some of the better things I've read over the last week or two...

No Decency, No Shame
Hilzoy at Obsdian Wings writes the definitive piece (with the help of two links) on the veteran's health care / Walter Reed fucking fiasco.

How Dick Cheney Helped Al Qaeda
Hunter over at Daily Kos penned a fantastic piece a couple weeks ago about Cheney—ripping him for his false bravado and abject failure in the War on Terror. One of the best thing I've read at Kos in a long-ass time.

This Week’s KSK Mock Draft:
TV Characters We’d Like to Murder

Yes, that's exactly what it sounds like. Mike and Otto Man do yeoman's work in the comments. Since I was the 85th commenter, I was pleased to find that Chaka had slipped that far.

Privitization Kills
Tim F. at Balloon Juice has a great post on Walter Reed and how fucked-up, Bush "conservative" ideology trumped caring for wounded soldiers. Money quote:
Let this sink in for a moment. Iraq, the singular focus of this administration’s obsessive attention, was run in such a way as to practically guarantee failure. Successfully doing the job unambiguously ranked lower on the priority list than preserving the maximum possible ideological purity.

Read it.

While you're at Balloon Juice, check out this thread on the U.S. Attorney flap, The Credibility Gap, where I just pummell frequent troll/nemesis Darrell in the comments. (If I do say so myself...)

In Front Of Our Nose
An older (pre-verdict) column by Andrew Sullivan on Cheney and Libby. Still worth checking out.

And Salon's honorary Oscar goes to... Alec Baldwin! I got no problem with that. Baldwin has long been one of those pleasant surprises in films (and SNL) for me. no longer a leading man (if he really was one) he has sort of become this era's premiere character actor. What I've seen of him on "30 Rock", which admittedly is just YouTube, is pure genius. An of course, there's always "PUT. THAT. COFFEE. DOWN..."

Don't Stop with Libby

Good enough to lift in its entirety, photo and all. Andrew Sullivan...
After Libby
Something is rotten in the heart of Washington; and it lies in the vice-president's office. The salience of this case is obvious. What it is really about - what it has always been about - is whether this administration deliberately misled the American people about WMD intelligence before the war. The risks Cheney took to attack Wilson, the insane over-reaction that otherwise very smart men in this administration engaged in to rebut a relatively trivial issue: all this strongly implies the fact they were terrified that the full details of their pre-war WMD knowledge would come out. Fitzgerald could smell this. He was right to pursue it, and to prove that a brilliant, intelligent, sane man like Libby would risk jail to protect his bosses. What was he really trying to hide? We now need a Congressional investigation to find out more, to subpoena Cheney and, if he won't cooperate, consider impeaching him.

First read that a few days ago, and I just came across it again. Sullivan is one of those guys who is very frustrating. He is such a good writer, and he seems to get it much of the time, but, unlike say, John Cole, he is unwilling to completely abandon the party that has long since abandoned him.

Scooter Had it Coming

[via Kevin Drum] Dismantling the argument that the Libby trial was a witchhunt, and that Patrick Fitzgerald only went after Libby for perjury because he had nothing seems Libby was busy perjuring himself long before Fitz took up the case:
The indictment dates the first instance of lying to the [FBI] investigators on October 14, 2003. Patrick Fitzgerald was not appointed as Special Prosecutor until December 30, 2003. Investigators had already spent three months speaking with witnesses who contradicted Libby's account.

....Fitzgerald didn't go on a hunt for administration blood. He did not lay perjury traps. He walked into an office and was immediately presented with some damning facts about a possible crime. He would have been derelict in his duty if he did not pursue this matter.

It's also worth reminding people that Fitzgerald didn't create this case out of whole cloth for his resumé. It was underway and the Bush DOJ appointed him to the case. Now that he has finished his work and there is an Administration scalp on the wall, expect Fitzgerald to join the ranks of the recently "retired" U.S. Attorneys. The fact that Fitzgerald performed upheld his oath to the Constitution and the Law and pursued the case vigorously goes along way to explaining why Bush wants U.S. Attys in office who swear an oath to him.

As to the argument that "there was no crime..." only perjury. First, perjury is a crime. And so is Obstruction. Second, because of the perjury and the cover-up any crime cannot be determined. If Libby and Cheney committed no crimes, why cover it up and lie under oath? We'll never know, because they decided having one of them go to prison for lying about it was preferable to telling the truth.

UPDATE: More at TAPPED and from Mark Kleiman