Tuesday, June 30, 2009


As expected, the Ricci decision is overturned by the Supreme Court, and as expected, Republicans pounce, arguing that this shows that Sonia Sotomayor is an unqualified racist

[Alex Koppelman] Any big Supreme Court case on racial discrimination is bound to attract some attention, especially when the plaintiffs are a group of white firefighters who didn't get a promotion that test scores showed them deserving of. Add in that Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who has since been nominated to the Supreme Court, played a role and you have a hotly anticipated opinion, one that could serve as the focal point for the battle over her nomination. . . . [read on]

[Glenn Greenwald] In light of today's ruling, it's a bit difficult -- actually, impossible -- for a rational person to argue that Sotomayor's Ricci decision places her outside the judicial mainstream when: (a) she was affirming the decision of the federal district court judge; (b) she was joined in her decision by the two other Second Circuit judges who, along with her, comprised a unanimous panel; (c) a majority of Second Circuit judges refused to reverse that panel's ruling; and now: (d) four out of the nine Supreme Court Justices -- including the ones she is to replace -- agree with her.

Put another way, 11 out of the 21 federal judges to rule on Ricci ruled as Sotomayor did. It's perfectly reasonable to argue that she ruled erroneously, but it's definitively unreasonable to claim that her Ricci ruling places her on some sort of judicial fringe. . . . [read on]

[Brian Beutler] Conservatives are alleging that, in today's ruling, all nine Supreme Court justices have disputed the reasoning of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals--and therefore of Sonia Sotomayor herself--in the Ricci case. . . . [read on]

Limbaugh on Sotomayor: "The court found that she was indeed a racist"

Two can play this game: Justice Alito had a high rate of reversal by the U.S. Supreme Court, too. . . .

More: http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2009/06/misinformation-spread-on-ricci-by-dday.html









Obama’s a neoliberal – he believes in markets and competition. Strangely, the conservative opponents to health care reform don’t

[Zachary Roth] As Congress gets set to take up health-care reform, there's a crucial piece of data that hasn't received nearly the prominence in the debate that it deserves.

Defenders of the status quo on health care like to point out that a public option will destroy the system of robust free-market competition that currently exists.
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), speaking earlier this month on Fox News, called President Obama's plan the "first step in destroying the best health care system the world has ever known." A public option, Shelby added, would "destroy the marketplace for health care."

But the notion that most American consumers enjoy anything like a competitive marketplace for health care is flatly false. . . . [read on]

More: http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2009/06/bottom_line_on_public_option.php



I guess this shouldn’t be surprising. Democrats rarely think they need to respond to pressures from the left -- which means they usually end up moving further and further to the right on big issues

Senator Dianne Feinstein has already taken a hammering from Dems and health care reform advocates for casting doubts on the prospects of President Obama’s health care reform efforts. MoveOn, for instance, aired an ad against her in California, demanding she show some leadership and fight harder to get the president’s reform plan passed.

Now Feinstein has hit back at the criticism from the left in an article about lefty groups targeting Dems for waffling on key components of health care reform:

“I do not think this is helpful. It doesn’t move me one whit,” she said. “They are spending a lot of money on something that is not productive.” . . .

A milestone in Iraq


Growing tensions with Afghanistan


Quote of the day

Thomas Sowell argues that “Perhaps people who are busy gushing over the Obama cult today might do well to stop and think about what it would mean for their granddaughters to live under sharia law.”

The Village media gets amnesia

Dana Milbank wasn't the only Beltway Villager all wanked out about President Obama prearranging a question with HuffPo's Nico Pitney yesterday. On Meet the Press, David Gregory pressed David Axelrod about it, suggesting that somehow this sort of thing is anti-democratic . . .

MR. GREGORY: If President Bush had done that, don't you think Democrats would have said that's outrageous? . . . [read on]

[NB: If?]

This happens with Republicans all the time: Guess who is invited on tv to provide “commentary” on Mark Sanford’s affair, and why it isn’t such a big deal

[Steve Benen] [It’s] like inviting Barry Bonds on to discuss what should happen to a baseball player accused of steroid abuse. . . . [read on]

Watch: http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/heather/msnbc-brings-rudy-giuliani-discuss-mark-sa
[Heather] MSNBC's irony alert button is broken. . . .

GOP “holds” on Obama nominees they can't actually defeat


GOP senator calls global warming "probably the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people."


Bonus item: Hmmm . . . How does a Democratic fundraiser at a private home turn into a major police action, with eight squad cars, a helicopter, pepper-spraying guests, and an arrest?


More: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/06/busby-blames-local-residents-political-agenda-sheriffs-department-officer-in-raid-on-fundraiser.php

The Los Angeles Times reports that the San Diego Sheriff's Department is now undertaking a review of a raid over the weekend against a fundraiser for Francine Busby, a Democratic candidate for the 50th Congressional District. . . .

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com).

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Monday, June 29, 2009


Not much in the news this morning, and I refuse to say anything about Michael Jackson, so a few tidbits from the back pages:

Organizing a progressive push in Congress


Why it’s hard to get equal rights legislation through Congress, even when the people are ready for it

[Matt Yglesias] The underlying dynamic here illustrates why it’s always been a mistake to try to draw a contrast between gay rights groups’ efforts to secure equality through the courts and to secure equality through the political process. The fact of the matter is that the political process simply isn’t very friendly to minority rights claims even when the claims themselves are reasonably popular. Repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has become a majoritarian position, but the Obama administration would still prefer to avoid the headaches involved in working to repeal it. At the same time, if a court case were to order the administration to end this policy, it’s abundantly clear that there would be no critical mass of political support for trying to put it back in place.

Either way, the basic fact of the matter is that the political system is biased toward doing nothing. The mere fact that a majority is prepared to support claims of equality doesn’t mean that political leaders want to expend time and energy making our clunky legislative mechanics produce laws reflecting that fact. Under the circumstances, people with just claims to make on their own behalf are wise to pursue those claims through all available avenues including the judiciary.

Obama wants to put an end to torture. Well, he could start here


Same old, same old

Members of U.S. House Financial Services Committee snapped up or dumped bank stocks as bottom fell out of market . . .

Interesting roundtable interview

A transcript provided by the White House of a roundtable interview with President Obama, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Carol Browner, assistant to the president on energy and climate change. . . .

Mountaintop mining – the phrase “raping the earth” may be overused, but in this case it fits


Well, thank you very much for the advice

Minnesota’s Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty took aim Sunday at the high price tag for President Obama’s ambitious plans to reform the nation’s health care system.

“The president said not long ago in an interview, quote-unquote, we are out of money,” Pawlenty told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King when asked whether the country could afford health care reform right now. “With all due respect Mr. President, if we’re out of money, quit spending it,” Pawlenty added.

Gov. Pawlenty says he will approve Al Franken as senator as soon as the Minnesota Supreme Court makes the call


You know that it drives the establishment press bonkers when Obama calls on bloggers – BLOGGERS! – at his press conferences. Well, they’re going after Nico Pitney from Huffington Post, and it’s become quite the little inside-the-Beltway kerfuffle. You tell me who comes off looking worse



The ability of Matt Drudge, that self-promoting hack, to almost singlehandedly drive issues (or pseudo-issues) onto the national press agenda was inexplicable during the Bush years. Well, those days seem to be over


***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com).

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Sunday, June 28, 2009


The debate continues over indefinite detention

The White House is considering whether to issue an executive order to indefinitely imprison a small number of Guantanamo Bay detainees, concerned that Congress might otherwise stymie its plans to quickly close the naval prison in Cuba.

Under the proposal, detainees considered too dangerous to prosecute or release would be kept in confinement in the U.S. or possibly overseas, two administration officials said Friday. Otherwise, the White House could get bogged down for months seeking agreement with Congress on a new legal detention system. . . .

Reactions: http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/06/27/preventive_detention/index.html







The Obama admin’s slightly opaque commitment to transparency


Is the latest delay in the release of the CIA torture report an encouraging sign?


The crucial role of women in Iran

[Roger Cohen] From Day 1, Iran’s women stood in the vanguard. Their voices from rooftops were loudest, and their defiance in the streets boldest. “Stand, don’t run,” Nazanine told me as the baton-wielding police charged up handsome Vali Asr avenue on the day after the fraudulent election. She stood.

Images assail me: a slender woman clutching her stomach outside Tehran University after the blow; a tall woman gesticulating to the men behind her to advance on the shiny-shirted Basij militia; women shedding tears of distilled indignation; and that young woman who screamed, “We are all so angry. Will they kill us all?” . . . [read on]

In Iraq

[Juan Cole] As the dramatic events in Iran have taken the world focus off Iraq, the news that some 200 people, mostly civilians, were killed in bombings and other political violence during the past week has been overlooked by many in the West.

On Friday, a bus station in Baghdad was bombed, killing 7 persons and wounding 31.

Still, Big Oil is nevertheless getting back into Iraq . . .

More: http://www.juancole.com/2009/06/maliki-says-iraq-can-patrol-own-cities.html

Will the climate change bill die in the Senate?


More: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2009_06/018801.php

Republicans complain: We’re a shrinking minority whose policies have been overwhelmingly rejected by the public. Why won’t the Dems let us take the lead on governing?

"Republicans are offering common-sense solutions that will make a real difference in creating jobs, making health care more affordable, and promoting a cleaner, healthier environment, and reducing energy costs," said Boehner. "We hope our Democrat colleagues will abandon their failed go-it-alone approach and work with us to make these reforms a reality."

Republicans complain about the “coarsening” of national politics


“Coarsening,” r-i-i-i-g-h-t

Coulter, Joe the Plumber, and military chaplains' leader wish for deaths . . .

More questions about Mark Sanford’s “trade mission” trip to Argentina


The kind of people they are: blaming the “other woman” in the Sanford affair

"Like most married men, he got caught involved with a woman of ways who seduced him. . .”

"This gal is having the time of her life. She's enjoying a sexual encounter with a governer in the US . . . . WOW! Ladies and gentleman this gal is a professional COUGAR"

"She is a jaded divorcee and a gold-digger, a climber. . .”

Sunday talk show line-ups

• ABC, This Week: Senior White House Adviser David Axelrod; Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA).

• CBS, Face The Nation: Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS); Susan Rice, Ambassador to the United Nations.

• CNN, State Of The Union: Gen. Ray Odierno; Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN); Senate candidate Rob Portman (R-OH) and gubernatorial candidate John Kasich (R-OH).

• NBC, Meet The Press: Senior White House Adviser David Axelrod; Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA).

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com).

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Over there

[Juan Cole] At his Friday prayers sermon on Friday, hard line cleric Ahmad Khatami (no relation to former president and liberal Mohammad Khatami) called for capital punishment for leaders of the popular demonstrations against the outcome of the election. This call is a new and dangerous turn . . .

[David Corn] Under usual circumstances, the withdrawal of US troops from a theater of war would be considered a big deal.

Not these days. . . .

Not good

The Obama administration, fearing a battle with Congress that could stall plans to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, is crafting language for an executive order that would reassert presidential authority to incarcerate terrorism suspects indefinitely . . .

More: http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/06/report_obama_admin_drafts_memo_to_detain_terror_su.php


CIA torture report delayed (again)


More: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/26/AR2009062604187.html

New initiatives in education reform


Climate change bill passes



None dare call it tyranny (thank god for Michele Bachmann)

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) took to the House floor this evening, in order to make what may be the strongest Republican argument there is against the climate-change bill -- that it represents a full-scale takeover of "every aspect" of people's lives by a tyrannical government . . .

Yes, she said it: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/06/bachmann-speaks-out-against-census----and-government-asking-about-peoples-mental-stability.php
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) appeared on the Glenn Beck show yesterday evening, to keep on her new campaign to not completely fill out her census reform. . . .

"Does the federal government really need to know our phone numbers?" she asked. "Do they really need to know, like you said, the date and time that we leave mental stability?"

[NB: Yes, “we” indeed.]

More: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2009_06/018786.php

Is HE still around?

Joe the Plumber Wonders Why Chris Dodd Hasn’t Been Lynched, Praises Founding Fathers’ Anti-Communism . . .

Sarah Palin seems to be basing her political status on a perpetual series of aggrieved complaints and whining about how badly she is being treated. So appealing, and so appropriate in someone who aspires to national leadership


Mark Sanford invokes biblical precedents for his adultery

[T]he South Carolina governor started out by using an interesting comparison to respond to calls for his resignation. King David didn't back down after his own sex scandal, he told his colleagues, and neither will I. . . .

Sanford’s wife speaks – and, wham!

[Bmaz] AP's Bruce Smith has, through Yahoo News, put up an interview with Jenny Sanford; and it is a doozy. Do go read the entire piece, it is totally deserving. Many key questions are addressed, and Jenny Sanford puts on a tour de force.

How did Jenny find out about her husband's affair . . .

More: http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2009/06/26/jenny_sanford/index.html

More GOP playas


More: http://www.americablog.com/2009/06/roy-blunt-r-mo-and-curious-case-of.html

Dan Froomkin’s last column for the Washington Post

I started my column in January 2004, and one dominant theme quickly emerged: That George W. Bush was truly the proverbial emperor with no clothes. In the days and weeks after the 9/11 terror attacks, the nation, including the media, vested him with abilities he didn't have and credibility he didn't deserve. As it happens, it was on the day of my very first column that we also got the first insider look at the Bush White House, via Ron Suskind's book, The Price of Loyalty. In it, former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill described a disengaged president "like a blind man in a room full of deaf people", encircled by "a Praetorian guard,” intently looking for a way to overthrow Saddam Hussein long before 9/11. The ensuing five years and 1,088 columns really just fleshed out that portrait, describing a president who was oblivious, embubbled and untrustworthy.

When I look back on the Bush years, I think of the lies. There were so many. Lies about the war and lies to cover up the lies about the war. Lies about torture and surveillance. Lies about Valerie Plame. Vice President Dick Cheney's lies, criminally prosecutable but for his chief of staff Scooter Libby's lies. I also think about the extraordinary and fundamentally cancerous expansion of executive power that led to violations of our laws and our principles.

And while this wasn't as readily apparent until President Obama took office, it's now very clear that the Bush years were all about kicking the can down the road – either ignoring problems or, even worse, creating them and not solving them. This was true of a huge range of issues including the economy, energy, health care, global warming – and of course Iraq and Afghanistan.

How did the media cover it all? Not well. . . . [read on]

Bonus item: Ledes that make you want to read more (ok, maybe, maybe not)

A former mayor found sitting naked and holding a beer at a Rabun County campsite told police he wasn't the same naked man seen walking around earlier. . . .

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com).

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Friday, June 26, 2009


Iran in crisis

Ahmadinejad Slams Obama; 70 Professors Arrested; Wednesday Protest Violently Attacked . . . [read on]

[Spencer Ackerman] As best I can piece together this morning, the Iranian regime’s crackdown is halting the momentum of the opposition. . . .

[Mike Madden] Since Iranian authorities began their brutal repression of protest marches a week and a half ago, rumors have been flying that the Basij paramilitary force -- whose hardline members are fiercely loyal to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad -- has been joined in the streets by foreign partners. Iranian exiles have told Salon frequently that friends and family in the country keep encountering non-Farsi speakers at demonstrations, wielding batons and helping to put down the protest movement. The foreigners, the rumors say, are members of Hezbollah or Hamas, the terrorist groups that Iran has backed over the years, coming to repay their patrons. . . .

I suppose it’s an obvious point, but while the salacious details of Mark Sanford’s affair provide much delight – the substantive issues, which should cost him his position, are his use of public funds to travel to see her, his irresponsible disappearance from his job, and his lies and misuse of his staff to cover up the affair

Politico reports that South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) intended to be in Argentina for 10 days and only cut short his trip when questions were raised about his whereabouts.

"The bookings also cast light on the governor's recklessness, and his belief, or hope, that he could vanish from the state for well over a week without raising questions about his absence."

A statement from Sanford also indicates he will reimburse the state for a trip he made last year that was paid for with public money.

"However, while the purpose of this trip was an entirely professional and appropriate business development trip, I made a mistake while I was there in meeting with the woman who I was unfaithful to my wife with. . .”

[Politico] According to the agenda, the trade mission included meetings on sugarcane, ethanol, and other renewable fuels.

Those subjects potentially overlap with Maria Belen Shapur’s profession, according to Brazilian media, which reported that she works for an international agribusiness firm called Bunge y Born. . . .

[Jed Lewison] Think about it for a moment. Mark Sanford thought it was okay for him, as a sitting governor, to leave the country for 10 days without telling a soul what his plans were, where he would be, or how to contact him. . . .

For now, Mark Sanford is still the governor of South Carolina, and he's given every indication he wants to keep that job, at least until his term runs out at the beginning of 2011. . . .

A new poll by SurveyUSA, conducted Wednesday, shows that 60 percent of South Carolinians believe Sanford should resign . . .

Some Republican officials joined Democratic lawmakers in calling for the two-term Republican governor to resign. Sanford's security detail described their anxious and failed efforts to locate the missing governor over the Father's Day weekend and painted a portrait of an erratic politician who often preferred to be alone. . . .

Although some in South Carolina -- and nationally -- are calling for Gov. Mark Sanford to resign his office in the wake of his six-day hiatus from the state and his acknowledgment of an extramarital affair on Wednesday, a close adviser to the Republican governor told the Fix that Sanford is not considering such an option. . . .

A question of timing

[Zachary Roth] We hate to kick a guy when he's down. But as we get a clearer picture of exactly how the events surrounding Mark Sanford's admission of an extra-marital affair went down, it's seeming more and more likely that the randy right-winger was still hoping to keep things under wraps -- even just hours before his dramatic announcement.

The State has put together a pretty thorough account of the back-story that led to two-timing two-termer's teary confession. . .

So Sanford had already announced the 2pm press conference. It's possible he planned to come clean even before The State showed him the emails -- according to a source, the paper contacted both Sanford's office, and Tom Davis, his former chief of staff, who the paper had worked with before -- and made clear they had the goods on him. . . .

The people who made excuses for Sanford – before the full story broke

[Red State] First, we need to be clear on the facts -- not the media speculation:

-- Sanford did tell his staff and family where he was going.
-- Because he was traveling without a security detail, it was in his best interests that no one knew he was gone.
-- His political enemies -- Republicans at that -- ginned up the media story.
-- When confronted by a pestering media, things went downhill.
-- Again though, at all times there was no doubt that Sanford's staff and family knew where he was.

Then after: http://www.redstate.com/erick/2009/06/24/the-real-lessons-of-mark-sanfords-hike/
[Red State] Well, what I wrote yesterday was wrong. Sanford’s lies spread through his office and out to the rest of us.

The left is linking to yesterday’s post to laugh at it. What they are missing is that most of us tend to give people the benefit of the doubt — even people like John Edwards.

We live in a fallen world and we ourselves are fallen. I am disappointed in Sanford, but not angry. The default for politicians seems to be unchaste. All we can do is work for ideas and try to find men of good character to fight for those ideas. . . .

What Mark Sanford did was wrong. He needs to go in a dark hole somewhere where no one can see him or hear him and rehabilitate himself. On the bright side, I doubt his indiscretions will affect the FisCon movement. The left is going to spend the next week making Sanford into the second coming of James Dobson to smear real marriage advocates and social conservatives — positions Sanford was rarely vocal on.

Blessed is the Lord God Jehovah who brings forth bread from heaven, water from rocks, and men like Mark Sanford from the dust of the earth. His will be done.

More: http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2009/06/the_chosen_few.php



Destroying themselves . . .

[Washington Times] Extramarital affairs, gambling, alcohol abuse, prostitution and sexual pursuit of minors have taken a toll on the GOP. . . .

“An Interactive Guide to Recent Republican Sex Scandals”

. . . . but really it’s the Left’s fault

[Red State] So many hopes have devolved on the next generation, the 50-and-under Republicans, many of them in state government or in the House: Sanford, Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal, Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Pat Toomey.

Among that younger generation, Sanford stood out as the most experienced, and has compiled a strong record not only of principle but of public integrity, from leaving Washington after three terms in Congress to battling his own party back home over spending....

The Left, of course, sensing the removal of an obstacle to ever-greater social control, is ecstatic at Sanford’s downfall.

More: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/25/us/25repubs.html


Yes, the Left’s fault

On his radio show today, Rush Limbaugh offered his own explanation for the Mark Sanford scandal: That Sanford flew out of the country to have an affair because President Obama drove him over the edge . . . [read on]

More: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/6/25/746852/-Rush-Limbaugh:-Mark-Sanfords-Affair-Is-Obamas-Fault

Obama: too perfect?


Now it’s clear: if the Dems want a “bipartisan” bill on health care, they have to give up the public option – ergo, they have to give up the pipedream of bipartisanship


[Jay Rockefeller, D-WV] "There is a very small chance any Republicans will vote for this health-care plan. They were against Medicare and Medicaid [created in the 1960s]. They voted against children's health insurance.

"We have a moral choice. This is a classic case of the good guys versus the bad guys. I know it is not political for me to say that," Rockefeller added.

"But do you want to be non-partisan and get nothing? Or do you want to be partisan and end up with a good health- care plan? That is the choice."

More from the Bush Dept of “Justice”

[Murray Waas] In the fall of 2006, one day after the Justice Department granted permission to a U.S. attorney to place a wiretap on a Republican congressman suspected of corruption, existence of the investigation was leaked to the press — not only compromising the sensitive criminal probe but tipping the lawmaker off to the wiretap. . . .

More: http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2009/06/24/bush-officials-compromised-renzi-investigation-for-political-gain/

The vicious right threatens Media Matters for the gawdawful sin of revealing their lies and hypocrisy



Good news: torture critic Harold Koh finally confirmed for a senior State Dept position, despite Republican obstructionism



“No torture. No exceptions” http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2008/0801.koh.html

Bonus item: Michele Bachmann (R-MN), the crazy bag lady of the GOP, now says she will refuse to cooperate with the 2010 census – see, it has something to do with Japanese internment during WW II



***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com).

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Mark Sanford, soon-to-be former Republican governor of South Carolina, fesses up. He wasn’t in Atlanta, nor hiking the Appalachian Trail. I’m sure you’ve heard by now where he was, and why. Watch a major league meltdown in real time . . .


E-mails. E-MAILS??!!?? http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/#31533984
“You have a particular grace and calm that I adore. You have a level of sophistication that so fitting with your beauty. I could digress and say that you have the ability to give magnificent gentle kisses, or that I love your tan lines or that I love the curve of your hips, the erotic beauty of you holding yourself (or two magnificent parts of yourself) in the faded glow of the night’s light . . .

In the meantime please sleep soundly knowing that despite the best efforts of my head my heart cries out for you, your voice, your body, the touch of your lips, the touch of your finger tips and an even deeper connection to your soul.”

[NB: Obtained by a state newspaper in December, but kept quiet until now.]

Here’s what I want to know: how did the newspaper get the emails, and why did they sit on them for so long?



Fox News misidentifies Sanford as a Democrat (again)

[Logan Murphy] I think it's just automatic now. When a high-profile Republican gets into trouble, Fox News steps in to mislead their viewers by labeling them as Democrats.

Here's a short list . . . [read on]

Sanford condemns himself – some quotes from his past


More: http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2009/06/24/inglis-to-gop-lose-stinking-rot-of-self-righteousness/
South Carolina Rep. Bob Inglis made a name for himself in the late 1990s as one of Bill Clinton’s most zealous pursuers, an impeachment “manager” who attacked the moral failings of the president with a gusto that earned him a devoted following in the staunchly conservative “Upstate” of conservative South Carolina.

But with his governor now felled by similar temptations, Inglis sees an opening for the Republican Party, a chance to “lose the stinking rot of self-righteousness” and “to understand we are all in need of some grace.”

More questions for Sanford



Jenny Sanford gets her revenge


Good news for John Ensign (R-NV) – this drives his story off the front pages. But of course we’re not ready to let it go

[Zachary Roth] The Las Vegas Sun reports that Fox News received Doug Hampton's bizarre letter -- about the affair between Hampton's wife Cindy and Sen. John Ensign -- three days earlier than the right-wing news channel had previously acknowledged. . . .

Of course, the main significance of the news, as the paper notes, is that it raises the likelihood that someone at Fox, or in touch with them, tipped Ensign to the news, prompting the Nevada senator to come clean. Fox senior producer Tom Lowell has previously denied telling Ensign about the letter, but Lowell declined to comment for this story.

This could get even more interesting...

More: http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/06/revealed_the_sanfordensign_connection.php
Revealed: The Sanford/Ensign Connection . . .

The fight over the “public option” in health care reform – and why it matters

[Matt Yglesias] [M]y take is that we’ll either get a very strong progressive bill or we’ll get a real legislative train wreck. . . . [read on]

More: http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/06/24/robust_health_care_reform_is_the_moment_of_truth_f/
Robust Health Care Reform is the Moment of Truth for Obama and the Democrats

Why the Critics of a Public Option for Health Care Are Wrong

Sebelius: Health Care Legislation Must Lower Costs--And It's Hard To Do That Without A Public Option

The Pillars of a Robust Public Option

What Should a Public Health Plan Option Include?

Putting The Public Back In Health Care Policy

A Public Plan Might Not Be The Panacea...

Total war against the public option



Bad press coverage (of course) – they just don’t know how to cover policy issues with any sense of accuracy or depth. It’s so much easier to put on talking heads spinning the political pros and cons

CBS and ABC Help the Private Insurers Misrepresent the Public Health Option; NYT Then Makes Up Obama Claim He Didn’t Make

More: http://mediamatters.org/research/200906240029

Vitter, Ensign, Sanford, all still in office – but the GOP spin machine rolls on. . .

[Politico] For the first time since their 2006 election drubbing, top Republicans see signs -- however faint -- of a political resurgence over the next year. . . .

Good news for Mitt Romney?


The curse of 2012: http://theplumline.whorunsgov.com/democratic-national-committee/msnbc-and-dems-agree-sanford-destroyed-by-gop-curse-of-2012/

Sarah Palin remains wildly popular among Republicans – but not with anybody else


***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com).

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


What next in Iran?

[Juan Cole] Iran's Guardianship Council, a sort of clerical senate on Tuesday ruled out any cancellation of the results of the recent presidential election, as called for by the opposition. The official outcome gave incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad a second term. The vote tallies for Ahmadinejad have struck large numbers of Iranians as wholly unbelievable. So the Supreme Leader has spoken and the Guardianship Council has spoken. . . . [read on]

[Roger Cohen] Iran’s 1979 revolution took a full year to gestate. The uprising of 2009 has now ended its first phase. But the volatility ushered in by the June 12 ballot-box putsch of Iran’s New Right is certain to endure over the coming year. The Islamic Republic has been weakened. . . . [read on]

[Charles Lemos] A news report from Al Arabiya and analysis from EurAsiaNet suggests that a power struggle may be occurring behind the scenes in Iran. The battle seems to be centered on control of the Assembly of Experts, or the Majlise Khobregan. The Assembly of Experts has 86 Islamic scholar members. Candidates are chosen from the ulema. All Assembly of Experts candidates are vetted by the 12-member and appointed Guardian Council. Candidates are elected by direct public vote. They are charged with electing and removing the Supreme Leader of Iran and supervising his activities. It meets for at least two days, twice annually.

The current chairman of this assembly is the former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, considered a pragmatic conservative and the strongest rival to the Supreme Leader, the Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. . . .

More: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2009/jun/23/khamenei-rafsanjani-iran-qom





Fascinating: how Internet surveillance works in repressive states


Why won’t NPR call torture “torture”?


More: http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2009/06/examining-runes-by-digby-greenwald-has.html


The fight over health care and the “public option” heats up







Obama channels Spock: http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/archives/2009/06/obama-attacks-illogical-opposition-to-public-plan.php
OBAMA: Why would it drive private insurance out of business? If private insurers say that the marketplace provides the best quality health care; if they tell us that they’re offering a good deal, then why is it that the government, which they say can’t run anything, suddenly is going to drive them out of business? That’s not logical. . . . [read on]


Are we going to get a climate change bill?



Quote of the day

[Barack Obama] "I know everybody here is on a 24-hour news cycle. I'm not. OK?"

More: http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/06/the-bachmann-comic-our-review.php

Mark Sanford, governor of South Carolina, still MIA. And the conflicting stories about where he ran off to get more and more outlandish

[Jed Lewison] 1. His wife said Sanford had left to get away from his children and do some "writing" -- but now we're told he was hiking the Appalachian Trail, not writing.

2. His wife said she didn't know where he was -- but now they say they knew all along.

3. His staff initially said Sanford was attending to some projects he had neglected -- but now they say they knew he was hiking all along.

4. The Lt. Gov.'s office said Sanford had been contacted and was doing fine -- but that turns out to have been false.

5. Sanford's staff said they knew Sanford would be "difficult" to reach -- but it turns out that it was impossible to reach him.

6. We learned that Sanford took his journey using a taxpayer-funded, publicly-owned state vehicle, but he clearly wasn't available for any official state business.

Gov. Mark Sanford went missing Thursday and hasn't been seen since. Fact 2: His staff has since told us that the governor has been hiking the Appalachian Trail. Fact 3: Sunday was "Naked Hiking Day" on the Appalachian Trail. We kid you not. . . .

[WYFF] On Tuesday, sources told News 4's Nigel Robertson that a state vehicle is missing and was tracked down, not to the Appalachian Trail, but to the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta. . . .

CNN reports that the state security Chevy Suburban that Gov. Mark Sanford drove off in last Thursday has turned up. At the airport. But not Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta, where Sanford had reportedly been seen. They found it at Columbia Metropolitan Airport, the airport in the state capital. . . .

This is really weird stuff. I mean, mind-boggling kind of weird . . .

Meanwhile, his wife is pissed: http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2009/06/23/sanford_update/index.html
[I]t turns out she still hasn't heard from him. "I am being a mom today,"Jenny Sanford said. "I have not heard from my husband. I am taking care of my children." . . . [read on]

And so is his Lt. Gov: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#31514948


The pliant press seems to think that now that Sanford has been “found” the story is over. But of course the story is his habit of disappearing like this, the conflicting stories and lies, and the sheer irresponsibility of it all – in a man who thinks he can be President



[SP] Whatever Sanford has actually been doing, he's just made "hiking the Appalachian Trail" a euphemism for mysterious disappearances as a result of illicit activities.

Come home after a weekend blackout bender? Hey, honey, I was just hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Boss wants to know why you were out of the office for two hours while screwing a co-worker at a nearby hotel? Just a quick hike on the Appalachian Trail. . . .

John Ensign (R-NV): his problem is bigger than the affair now





BTW, an interesting tidbit here is that for days no one could find a photo online for “the other woman.” Now they have


Kick ‘em when they’re down

Dems To Push GOP’s Historic Unpopularity As Key Talking Point . . .

In for a penny, in for a pound, I guess – having lost the Hispanic vote over their race-inflected opposition to Sonia Sotomayor, the GOP apparently figures they have little left to lose


More: http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2009/06/tpm_alum_greg_sargent_has.php

Another fat old white guy who thinks he can become the GOP’s savior


Bonus item: Michele Bachmann (R-MN) lampooned in the only format that makes sense: a comic book


***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com).

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


We’re going to learn something about Obama in the upcoming health care fight. How prepared is he to put Democrats on the hot seat?

[Digby] Indeed, if Obama still wants to emulate the great "game changer" himself, Ronnie Reagan, that is exactly what he would do. Reagan used his personal popularity to get rank and file Democrats to support his policies. And he rhetorically always framed his policies as the common sense policies of the everyman out in the country, and then they backed it up with polling that showed that the people trusted him.

Obama can pass health care with Democrats and then legitimately call it bipartisan by citing public support. But he has to not care that David Broder and David Brooks have a hissy fit over it. They do not speak for Americans; they don't even speak for Republicans on this one.

This is what the bully pulpit is all about. He can take his case directly to the people and if he backs a real plan, with real teeth, he can get it passed, I don't have any doubts. The party grassroots and the public at large, including a large number of Republicans, are with him. The only people standing in the way are the insiders in the ruling establishment who want to protect the status quo. . . . [read on]

[Michael Tomasky] What time is it? Simple. It's time this week for Barack Obama to start banging some heads in Congress. . . .

More: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2009_06/018725.php







Polls: http://theplumline.whorunsgov.com/senate-republicans/poll-centrist-position-on-health-care-is-to-back-public-plan-with-higher-taxes/


Until we get the actual CIA Inspector General report, we still have Emptywheel to tell us what’s in it

Much of the focus on the now-delayed but upcoming release of the CIA IG Report on torture has been on whether the six page section on "Effectiveness"--the section that most challenges Dick Cheney's claims--would be released.

What people seem to be oblivious to, however, is that much of this section has already been released . . .

More: http://emptywheel.firedoglake.com/2009/06/22/the-cia-ig-reports-other-contents/

Gee, I guess this is what happens when you fire career professionals for partisan reasons and replace them with lackeys and mediocre graduates of Christian bible colleges

How Bad Was It In Bush DOJ? . . .

The weirdest story of the day: Mark Sanford, SC governor and putative presidential aspirant, has a strange habit of disappearing from time to time, without disclosing his whereabouts or how to reach him. Really




Watch: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#31497153

On the Appalachian Trial? http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2009/06/sanford_story_takes_more_serious_turn.php

The GOP just can’t get traction in trying to block Sonia Sotomayor. The “controversy” isn’t even helping them raise money




Another GOP Senator has more important things to do than meet with the Supreme Court nominee


Inside the Republican Bubble

[Andy McCarthy] "The fact is that, as a man of the hard Left, Obama is more comfortable with a totalitarian Islamic regime than he would be with a free Iranian society. In this he is no different from his allies like the Congressional Black Caucus and Bill Ayers, who have shown themselves perfectly comfortable with Castro and Chavez . . .”

[Marco Rubio, Senate candidate in Florida] “I have a feeling the situation in Iran would be a little different if they had a 2nd amendment like ours.”

More: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2009_06/018721.php

And then there’s Michael Steele, who seems to be perpetually in his own little bubble

STEELE: So if it's a cost problem, it's easy: Get the people in a room who have the most and the most direct impact on cost, and do the deal. Do the deal. It's not that complicated.

If it's an access question, people don't have access to health care, then figure out who they are, and give them access! Hello?! Am I missing something here? If my friend Trevor has access to health care, and I don't, why do I need to overhaul the entire system so I can get access he already has? why don't you just focus on me and get me access?

[Eric Kleefeld] This sounds kind of like Kenan Thompson's "Fix It!" routine from Saturday Night Live last fall, explaining the solution to the financial crisis. "Take it one step at a time: Identify the problem -- fix it! Identify another problem -- fix it! Repeat as necessary until it's all fixed!"

The Fox News “All-Stars”? Or the Washington Generals?


Shepard Smith came out a couple of weeks ago to express concern about the unhinged hatefulness of emails he was getting at Fox News. That REALLY got them angry . . .


Bonus item: Obama’s inner nerd revealed


***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com).

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***

Monday, June 22, 2009


Uhhhh . . . ooops?

Iran's Guardian Council has suggested that the number of votes collected in 50 cities surpass the number of people eligible to cast ballot in those areas. . . .

"Statistics provided by the candidates, who claim more than 100% of those eligible have cast their ballot in 80-170 cities are not accurate -- the incident has happened in only 50 cities," Kadkhodaei said.

Kadkhodaei further explained that the voter turnout of above 100% in some cities is a normal phenomenon because there is no legal limitation for people to vote for the presidential elections in another city or province to which people often travel or commute. . . .

The spokesman, however, said that although the vote tally affected by such issues could be over 3 million and the council could, at the request of the candidates, re-count the affected ballot boxes, "it has yet to be determined whether the possible change in the tally is decisive in the election results" . . .

“Massive ballot fraud” http://www.juancole.com/2009/06/chatham-house-study-definitively-shows.html

Mousavi speaks

In these days and nights, a historical crossroads is taking shape in the history of our nation. People ask each other, and they ask me, as to what should be done and what path should be taken. . . . [read on]

More: http://attackerman.firedoglake.com/2009/06/20/moussavis-message-of-reform/

What next?






Fox News is shocked and appalled that the President of the United States is getting so much press coverage


Bonus item: Our fair and balanced media

Poll: Obama down, Cheney up . . . [read on]

***If you enjoy PBD and support what we are doing, you can help by forwarding a copy of this issue to your friends (using the envelope link below) or by sending them a copy of its URL (http://pbd.blogspot.com).

I don't get anything personally out of this project, except the satisfaction of doing it (I don't run ads, etc). The credit really all goes to the people whose material I copy and redistribute. But if I do have a "mission," it is to get this information into the hands of as many people as I can.***