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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"Back in the Days of Mission Accomplished"

As Neil Young sang, "our chief was landing on the deck" and soon "the sun was setting on a golden photo-op." Here's how Chris Matthews, The New York Times and others covered it back then. And Neil's video, the most kick-ass antiwar Iraq tune yet.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

It's not easy being Greenwald

Glenn at Salon has had a couple of terrific days of rants and updates, don't miss any of it, from Jeremiah Wright to Peggy Noonan to Brian Williams to the Media Generals:

Another tragic war veteran death

Sorry about the light posting this week, just been too busy. Here is my story today, something of a scoop, on former U.S. deputy commander at Baghdad Airport in Iraq who came home and died-- his family in an obit cited "depression and anxiety," you can perhaps fill in the blanks.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Dylan parody: Stuck inside of McCain

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Are we electing a bowler-in-chief?

One would think so, given the coverage of what Maureen Dowd today called the Obama "bowling debacle." At least Eliz Edwards, in the same paper, straightened out her sister on all that. Here is my Huff Post post:

Back from the retreat...

Did I miss anything? I heard Obama threw a bowling ball that got caught on his flag lapel pin and it hit Rev. Wright in the head causing Hillary to drop out of the race. Wow!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Light posting...

I am on a retreat so not much new here for a couple of days.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Clinton wins clear victory -- race a big factor?

As some may know, I have long claimed here and elsewhere that many have underestimated the number of Democratic voters who simply won't vote for a black man -- and I said that long before the Rev. Wright brouhaha. Now we see (or at least, I see) elements of it in the results from Pennsylvania. Here is my post at Huff Post.

GOP strategists says McCain gains 15% on Obama due to racial vote

Something I've been suggesting for awhile. We'll see what Pennsylvania vote and analysis reveals later...

Outrageous coverup on soldier suicides

See my post today at DailyKos.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Obama on 'Daily Show' denies rumor...

Appearing on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" Monday night on the eve of the Pennsylvania primary, Barack Obama denied a hot rumor -- just started by host Jon Stewart -- that he planned, if elected to the White House, to "enslave the white race."
He quipped, "That is not our plan, Jon, but I think your paranoia might make you suitable as a debate moderator."

Obama, on a more serious, said he had closed the gap in the state to "6 to 8" points behind Hillary Clinton, setting himself up for a "defeat" if he does worse than that.
He also said Clinton's tough campaigning did him "a favor...She has put me through the paces." If he wins the nomination, he said, everything's "going to be old news" by the general election.

Ron Paul outdoes himself

With this ad. It even tops the Mike Gravel metal-rap video.

New Hillary 'Osama' ad in Pennsylvania

And FDR, too.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Flag this post

Bob Schieffer today on Face the Nation takes up the new, raging, flag pin in lapel issue:

Finally, today, I watched the ABC debate the other night when that question came up again about why Senator Obama doesn’t wear a flag pin in his lapel. Since no one asked me, here is my thought on all that. I think it’s a nice thing if people want to wear a flag on their lapel. But I believe it more important to keep the flag behind our lapel in our hearts. I feel the same way about wearing my religion on my sleeve. It just fits me better on the inside. When I go to see our local baseball team, I do wear my Washington Nationals baseball cap. But am I less a fan if don’t wear it to work? The truth is I have been known to wear a red, white and blue stars and stripes tie on the Fourth of July. But am I less patriotic when I trade it for my Santa Claus tie at Christmas? Patriotism is no more about signs or pins than religion is about reminding others how pious we think we are. No, the proof in these puddings is not the signs that we wear, but how we act. Wouldn’t that also be a better way to judge our presidential candidates than by the jewelry they wear?

That bombshell 'NYT' story on Pentagon/media propaganda

You have probably heard about it by now, but I have three separate stories up about it at E&P, and postings at Huff Post and Daily Kos. Here is one overview:

Sunday transcendence

We caught Andras Schiff's latest in his complete rendering of all 32 of Beethoven's piano sonatas at Carnegie Hall a few days ago, as he did #12, #13, #14 ("Moonlight") to #15 (the "Pastoral," among my favorites). Here's the great Kempff doing the final movement of #14 -- not its famous slow opening movement but one of the most dynamic pieces ever written.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Obama meets Jay-Z

Popular mashup, though I may still be more Jay and the Americans, or Joey Jay, than Jay-Z.

Radio daze

I've done a few in recent days, including Newsweek On Air today, and one from a couple of weeks back, with Errington Thompson. Here's the link to Newsweek (find button for April 20 show) and the Thompson.

'Suck on this'

Atrios loves to re-run, every few weeks, this priceless video of Tom Friedman on Charlie Rose Show defending the attack on Iraq. Ten "Friedman Units" have followed...

Me and the media

My critical comments on the ABC debate this week drew massive attention online and in print the past few days, with quotes from my pieces prominent at nearly every top news site and in newspapers, AP dispatches, top blogs, even in the first line of a MoveOn.org mass email to members. I've done Olbermann, Warren Olney on radio and other shows, a Newsweek radio coming today. Good to see that so many shared by view.

Obama gains nods in Pennsylvania

I have a special link to Pennsylvania, or "Pennsyltucky" as we used to call it (why?). My mom was born and raised in Lock Haven, in the central part of the state and I spent many weeks there growing up. I even went hunting went I was about 10. Anyway: While Beltway pundits and others in the national press have alleged that Barack Obama is clearly out of touch with most Pennsylvanians, leading newspapers in the state seem to disagree.

In recent days he has picked up the endorsements of the vast majority of these papers in Pennsylvania. Papers endorsing Obama include: The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia Daily News, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Allentown Morning Call, The Patriot News of Harrisburg, the Scranton Times-Tribune and Bucks County Courier. Hillary Clinton's endorsements have been far fewer, such as the Daily Pennsylvanian,--the U of Penn paper -- though more may appear on Sunday.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Great Colbert show -- and I am "on"

Stephen wrapped up his week in Philly with cameos by Hillary, John Edwards (jet-ski fetish), and Obama (put "distractions" on notice). But highlight was Stephen commenting on last night's debate, which concluded with hi, noting that some people dared to criticize it, as four or five clips were shown on the screen -- including my very own E&P slam. You rock, sir!

The woman who asked the flag lapel pin question

In debate last night. Will Bunch at Attytood has full story.

*She wasn’t chosen at random but found after she raised the issue in a NYT article, which means that ABC was eager to find a “typical voter” to make it look like they weren’t the ones raising the flag issue.

*Her incredibly sad story of not being able to find work or get health insurance is the whole “bitter”/wedge issue brought to life.

*The NYT story she was plucked from was about RACE – and the strange reasons that white Pa. voters are citing to not vote for Obama. Her “flag pin” issue was the lead-in to the story.

So, ABC’s contribution to the difficult conversation about race and wedge issues was to validate the use of wedge issues. Is this a great country or what?


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Here's video of my appearance on Countdown tonight

And behind the camera: I almost didn't make it. The sound in the first studio was dead, so 5 minutes from airtime I had to be hustled by an intern to a different one on a different floor at 30 Rock. Settled into my seat just in time. Meanwhile, I had met Olbermann in the lobby and we had our makeup done together --then he headed to his regular studio while I went remote, from across the street! Seems his set is quite small and they had another in-studio guest and they don't like more than one a night. Wild.

Debate and switch: the aftermath

My post last night here, at Huff Post and at E&P struck some kind of nerve, with massive interest in reprints, links at major news sites and blogs, radio and TV interviews. Howard Kurtz called this morning, I am booked on Warren Olney's radio show in a few minutes and on Olbermann tonight. Glad to see so many others just as critical of ABC. Here is TPM's video summary:

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A shameful debate

In perhaps the most embarrassing performance by the media in a major presidential debate, ABC News hosts Charles Gibson and George Stephanopolous focused mainly on trivial issues as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama faced off in Philadephia.

Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the health care and mortgage crises, the overall state of the economy and dozens of other pressing issues had to wait for their few moments in the sun as Obama was pressed to explain his recent "bitter" gaffe and relationship with Rev. Wright (seemingly a dead issue)and not wearing a flag pin, while Clinton had to answer again for her Bosnia trip exaggerations. Then it was back to Obama to defend his slim association with a former '60s radical -- a question that came out of rightwing talk radio and Sean Hannity on TV, but delivered by former Bill Clinton aide Stephanopolous. This approach led to a claim that Clinton's husband pardoned two other '60s radicals. And so on.

More time was spent on all of this than segments on getting out of Iraq and keeping people from losing their homes. Yet neither candidate had the courage to ask the moderators to turn to those far more important issues.

Reuters cameraman killed -- on camera

In Gaza, he showed Israeli tank firing and then the tape went blank. Watch it here:

Springsteen: Runnin' on the Barack streets

New column up at E&P on the political Boss backing Obama -- and my memories of his apolitical nature back, oh, 35 years ago....

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tim Robbins -- no 'Bull'

The actor's keynote speech to the National Association of Broadcasters' meeting is all the rage on the Web. It's angry but also at times tongue-in-cheek, as here: "Let's stay focused on Sex Scandals. Stop with the in depth reporting that gets outside of the sound bite. More sex scandals! Surely with a little more prying, a little more effort we can find more sexual deviants. And trust me, sexual deviancy is something we can all agree on. It's deliciously intoxicating to watch unfold. It's titillating." Here's most of it at Huff Post:

Race and the race

Good to see Bob Herbert hit the nail on the head today and, by the way, backing up my long claim that racism plays a much bigger part in the Democratic primary voting than most admit. Remember that I backed Ed Rendell in his much-lamented recognition that, hey folks, racism (even among Democrats, especially Reagan Democrats in many states) is still very much with us. Here's Bob today on Obama and his "bitter" remarks: "One of the main problems, of course, is that he hasn’t generated as much support as he’d like among white working-class voters.

"There is no mystery here. Except for people who have been hiding in caves or living in denial, it’s pretty widely understood that a substantial number of those voters — in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and elsewhere — will not vote for a black candidate for president.

"Pennsylvanians themselves will tell you that racial attitudes in some parts of the state are, to be kind, less than enlightened. Gov. Ed Rendell, Hillary Clinton’s most powerful advocate in the state, put it bluntly last February: 'I think there are some whites who are probably not ready to vote for an African-American candidate.'”

A Harry experience: Bush sets record

From ABC News: "At 39 months in the doghouse, George W. Bush has surpassed Harry Truman's record as the postwar president to linger longest without majority public approval. Bush hasn't received majority approval for his work in office in ABC News/Washington Post polls since Jan. 16, 2005 — three years and three months ago. The previous record was Truman's during his last 38 months in office."

Joe's low blow: Barack Marx the spot?

My Huff Post story today about Joe Lieberman hinting there might be something to Bill Kristol linking Obama to Karl Marx after all....or was it Groucho?

Monday, April 14, 2008

"Baracky," starring Obama as Hillary's punching bag....can he fly now?

The videos gets more creative and and fun and, yes, stranger -- check out this one.

Kristol blew persuasion

Mr. Bill compares Obama to Karl Marx and other amusing aspects of his latest New York Times column, via my Huff Post post, posted, post-haste:

Obama hits back at Hillary on 'elitist' charge

Punch and counterpunch all day, and now for 9 more days until Pa. primary. Stay tuned for gun play imagery until the summer....Believe it or not, I went hunting in Pennsylvania -- when I was eight.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

McCain, Hillary, Petraeus on "SNL'

Not exactly har-har but they are treating Clinton more negatively now.

Another mysterious U.S. death in Iraq

My latest post at Huff Post on the latest "nonhostile" fatality in Iraq.

Sunday transcendence

Continuing our weekly feature: The immortal Glenn Gould plays part I of Beethoven's immortal Sonata 31, about five minutes long (part II, another seven minutes, also available at YouTube). Tip for NYC area fans: Missa Solemnis on channel 13 tonight at 10:30.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Springsteen, Tom Joad, Rage, 'High Fidelity'

Correspondent Ron Brown tips me to Tom Morello coming on stage to help Springsteen in a blistering version of "Tom Joad" in Anaheim the other night -- there are versions on YouTube. For some reason this led me to that little scene in High Fidelity with cameo by Bruce.

Obama explains "bitter" remark

Obama responded last night to real or fake uproar over his poorly-stated "guns and religion" remarks about certain middle-class voters.

Too much Condi is no good for you

Was interesting to see reaction last night on Bill Maher's HBO show when he raised question of Condi testing the waters for a VP run, perhaps to "blacken up" the ticket. Richard Clarke said she had been horrid and our hero, Dana Priest, usually publicly restrained in such matters, seemed to agree with him that she may have been one of the worst secretaries of State ever (quite a distinction) -- and also the worst National Security adviser, a double dishonor.

If I ever have the time, I will dig up media coverage of the Bush "dream team" from 2001, hailing the utter skill and competence of Rummy, Condi and all the rest, based on nothing -- they were all blatant mediocrities. Of course, we are seeing the same thing today in regard to John McCain and his "foreign policy" credentials. Here is my new post on this at Huff Post:

Friday, April 11, 2008

Incredible Murdoch video -- 'slick' spoof

Enjoy, but not sure what sparked it or where it came from, beyond Gawker. I love the line about getting "Roger" -- obviously Ailes -- "on it," and ordering the burning of every copy of "my" WSJ. Gawker calls it incredibly "slick" for a "spoof" but then seems to wonder if it is real, after all. News Corp. confirms to us that it is fake.

'Daily Show' gets Foxy

I don't really dig John Oliver but he did a funny two-part take on Fox News last night. I'll work on posting the video here, but it is in two parts and you might want to go to the Comedy Central site to watch the whole thing more easily...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

It's academic

First review of my book in a real academic setting....

U.S. colonel killed on a treadmill -- enough symbolism for you?

A U.S. colonel and a major were killed the other day -- we now learn -- while exercising in a health club in the Green Zone, in a mortar attack. As usual, the news emerged from a local paper, not the Pentagon. And then there's much more. Here is my E&P story:

Funniest comedy sketch ever?

Not by a longshot, but it is the choice of a new Nerve.com/IFC project, which ranked the top 50 ("Who's on First?" finished second):

Premature ejaculation

Five years ago today the media, and administration officials, happily celebrated "victory" in Iraq. "We're all neo-cons now," Chris Matthews declared. But already looters were running wild in Baghdad and a few warnings were raised. Here's is my E&P piece:

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The torture team

From ABC News tonight: "In dozens of top-secret talks and meetings in the White House, the most senior Bush administration officials discussed and approved specific details of how high-value al Qaeda suspects would be interrogated by the Central Intelligence Agency, sources tell ABC News. The so-called Principals who participated in the meetings also approved the use of 'combined' interrogation techniques -- using different techniques during interrogations, instead of using one method at a time -- on terrorist suspects who proved difficult to break, sources said.

"Highly placed sources said a handful of top advisers signed off on how the CIA would interrogate top al Qaeda suspects -- whether they would be slapped, pushed, deprived of sleep or subjected to simulated drowning, called waterboarding....At the time, the Principals Committee included Vice President Cheney, former National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Colin Powell, as well as CIA Director George Tenet and Attorney General John Ashcroft."

Surge -- in U.S. deaths -- shows results in Iraq

(AP) "Five U.S. soldiers died in Iraq, including three killed in roadside bombings in Baghdad and north of the capital, the military said Wednesday.That raised to 17 the number of U.S. troop deaths in Iraq since Sunday."

Jon Stewart's comment tonight on the Petraeus testimony that we can't leave if things not going well and can't leave if things going well or else we will lose ground: "A Catch-22 (billion dollars a month) statement."

My book in 'Vanity Fair'

David Friend, the magazine's creative director and author of a very fine book on the meaning of 9/11 photography, weighs in with a swell review of So Wrong for So Long today. Follow the link. The "Dharma and Greg" reference has to be a personal first.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Petraeus debacle

Tom Ricks, as usual, offered great insight on the hearings today, via his Washington Post live blog, you can see it all here:

The 'country' goes for Obama

Homemade video resurrects classic Hank Snow "I've Been Everywhere" to boost Barack in Pennsyltucky (as used to say in my mom's hometown of Lock Haven, Pa.).

And things that go "bump" in the night

More expert analysis that the Colbert bump actually exists. If only I could get on there with my book. And after all I've done for him...

Will this end up as the most famous quote of war?

I have a new piece up at E&P looking back at a 2003 quote by a then-little known Maj. Gen. named David Petraeus that might some day be called the most revealing statement of the first years of the war: "Tell me how this ends," he asked a reporter. Apparently, he still doesn't know.

Petraeus: No 'tunnel' vision

Pressed by Sen. Evan Bayh today, Gen. David Petraeus finally admitted that maybe he, and some of the Republicans, might have been overstating the success of the "surge" to date, especially given recent developments in Iraq: "It's why I've repeatedly noted that we haven't turned any corners, we haven't seen any lights at the end of the tunnel. The champagne bottle has been pushed to the back of the refrigerator. And the progress, while real, is fragile and is reversible."

Monday, April 7, 2008

The great Steve Coll in this week's 'New Yorker'

Coll, the former Washington Post reporter, Pulitzer winner for Afghanistan book, author of new book on the Bin Ladens (and mentor to one of my friend's sons), writes, among other wise things: "There is, of course, empirical evidence of declining violence in Iraq, which has coincided with Petraeus’s command. The additional troops he requested have certainly been a factor, but not even Petraeus can say how much of one. At best, during the past year he has helped to piece together a stalemate of heavily armed, bloodstained, conspiracy-minded, ambiguously motivated Iraqi militias. Nobody knows how long this gridlock will hold.

"A war born in spin has now reached its Lewis Carroll period. ('Now here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.') Last week, it proved necessary for the Bush Administration to claim that an obvious failure—Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki’s ill-prepared raid on rival Shiite gangs in Basra, which was aborted after mass desertions within Maliki’s own ranks—was actually a success in disguise, because it demonstrated the Iraqi government’s independence of mind."

Don't think twice, give him a Pulitzer nod...

Our friend Will Bunch at the Philly Daily News knew it was slam dunk for a link here when he wrote his piece at his Attytood blog pointing out that the Pulitzer committee had just awarded a special citation to an accused plagiarist....Mr. Bob Dylan, who borrowed (ahem) rather liberally in his recent, overrated Modern Times CD. Anyway, Will and I both love Dylan, so this is just tough love. Following link, collection of snippets of classic Dylan video, from the Warhol screen test to "Celebrity Death Match."

Surge protectors: How the media helped get us into the current mess

My commentary today at Huff Post, as Petraeus prepares to speak/bamboozle again:

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Bush: worst of the worst?

Yes, even Millard Fillmore is no longer safe. Scott Horton at his Harper's blog observes the latest: "A Pew Research Center poll of 109 leading historians found that 61 percent of them rank Bush as 'worst ever' among U.S. presidents. Bush’s key competition comes from Buchanan, apparently, and a further 2 percent of the sample puts Bush right behind Buchanan as runner-up for 'worst ever.' 96 percent of the respondents place the Bush presidency in the bottom tier of American presidencies. And was his presidency (it’s a bit wishful to speak of his presidency in the past tense–after all there are several more months left to go) a success or failure? On that score the numbers are still more resounding: 98 percent label it a 'failure.'"

Why did soldier kill herself--after protesting torture?

My latest post up at Huff Post, sort of a Part II to an earlier account of the death of Alyssa Peterson, again drawn from my book:

Sunday transcendence

Continuing our weekly tradition: Some, such as Andras Schiff, consider this, the closing movement of No. 30, the greatest movement in all of Beethoven's 32 piano sonatas, here courtesy of the legendary Glenn Gould:

No shock: Study reveals stress on soldiers

More than 25 percent of U.S. Army combat troops who have been deployed to Iraq more than once are suffering from anxiety, depression, or acute stress, the New York Times reports today. The problem increases with each tour of duty, and some have served four of them. The paper reviews an Army survey of 2,295 anonymous Iraq veterans and additional interviews with soldiers who served in combat brigades.

Since the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, about 513,000 active-duty soldiers have served in Iraq, and more than 197,000 have deployed two or more times, the newspaper reports. For soldiers who have gone to Iraq more than once, the study showed that 27percent of noncommissioned officers exhibited post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms. "Lengthy and repeated deployments with insufficient recovery time have placed incredible stress on our soldiers and our families, testing the resolve of our all-volunteer force like never before," Army vice chief of staff Gen. Richard A. Cody, told a Congressional committee last week, the Times reported.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Pregnant with meaning: The Colbert bump

From a forthcoming article by James Fowler in PS: Political Science and Politics: "Stephen Colbert, the host of Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, claims that politicians who appear on his show will become more popular and are more likely to win elections. Although online discussions cite anecdotal evidence in support of his claim, it has never been scrutinized scientifically. In this article I use 'facts' (sorry, Stephen) provided by the Federal Election Commission to create a matched control group of candidates who have never appeared on The Colbert Report. I then compare the personal campaign donations they receive to those received by candidates who have appeared on the program’s segment 'Better Know a District.' The results show that Democratic candidates who appear on the Report receive a statistically significant “Colbert bump” in campaign donations, raising 44% more money in a 30-day period after appearing on the show. However, there is no evidence of a similar boost for Republicans. These results constitute the first scientific evidence of Stephen Colbert’s influence on political campaigns."

If you think you've seen everything...

Think again...an elephant painting a self-portrait? It's actually better than the one Dylan did for his Self-Portrait record.

Beethoven and Jamie Foxx?

Yes, we know he played Ray Charles, who was black and blind, but could he handle Beethoven, who was white and deaf? Well, not exactly, but he is appearing as a black street musician in the new movie, still shooting, by the director of Atonement. It is based on stories by L.A. Times columnist about the musician who went to Julliard with Yo Yo Ma and ended up on the streets. Robert J. Downey, of course, plays the slightly crazed reporter. A statue of Beethoven in a park plays a key role. I've written a column about it, see link, and then the conclusion of a program about Beethoven featuring Peter Ustinov.

What I told Moyers about Iraq 5 years ago this weekend....

I appeared on his PBS show exactly five years ago as our troops neared Baghdad--but signs of not being greeted as "liberators" appeared. I offered a few prescient words about media coverage and what might come next -- predicting that we were only at the start, not near the end of this adventure. Link:

Friday, April 4, 2008

5 years ago: When media spread "lie" about Jessica Lynch rescue

My new piece up at E&P:

McCain heckled at MLK Jr. speech

He speaks in a Memphis and admits he voted against the King holiday. The crowd does not particularly accept this. He keeps on smiling. Follow this link for videos:

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Did 'NYT' publisher overturn board to force Hillary endorsement?

Finally, a full denial, in my Huff Post post today:

If you want to find out what I ate for breakfast today...

And more truly personal things, check out Q & A with me today at the popular media bistro site, Fishbowl DC. When was the last time I cried? Who inspired me to get into journalism? And who is the mysterious BB (Hint: the wife.)

Eric Alterman covers my book....

and issues it raises about Iraq and the media at:

Ann Coulter compares Obama book to 'Mein Kampf'

In her latest column, see E&P link:

Race and The Race

As some may know, I have beena nut on the "race" issue in the Democratic campaign going way back to the days when most said it was a non-factor. Here's a TPM video today on some current aspects:

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Candidate for president does 'Helter-Skelter'

Yes, it's new Libertarian standard bearer Mike Gravel, doing the Beatles' "Helter Skelter." Well, it inspired Manson -- and we don't mean Marilyn.

Hillary makes it clear

But why? Is this another race card? ABC reports tonight: "Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and former President Bill Clinton are making very direct arguments to Democratic superdelegates, starkly insisting Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., cannot win a general election against presumptive Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
Sources with direct knowledge of the conversation between Sen. Clinton and Governer Bill Richardson, D-N.M., prior to the Governor's endorsement of Obama say she told him flatly, 'He cannot win, Bill. He cannot win.'

"Richardson, who served in President Clinton's cabinet, disagreed. At a rally in Oregon, standing next to Obama, Richardson insisted, 'My great affection and admiration for Hillary Clinton and President Bill Clinton will never waver,' but he added, 'It is time, however, for Democrats to stop fighting among ourselves and to prepare for the tough fight we will face against John McCain in the fall.'"

Not playing the blame game

I have a new Huff Post (similar to my recent Mother Jones article) on how for the 5th anniversary the media pointed fingers of blame everywhere -- except at themselves.

Yoo dirty rat

As I have advised previously in regard to other subjects, just stop everything and follow the link to Glenn Greenwald's take on the release of John Yoo's "torture memo" (thanks to the ACLU). Here is a brief video that boils down Yoo's views to a couple of sentences.

No joy in Mudville

Larry King, an elderly Little League manager, made a scene at out of his son's game recently. I know a little about this, as a former longtime manager and author of the book Joy in Mudville: A Little League Memoir (which was optioned by Tom Hanks for movie, that has not, obviously been made, or I would be retired in Taos or some such). Here is part of the New York Observer's report: "CNN fixture Larry King’s 9-year-old son Chance Armstrong King plays Beverly Hills Little League. King père is the coach of Chance’s team. On Monday, March 10, during a heated game, the suspendered talk show host apparently got into a confrontation with one of the league’s umpires. '[Mr. King] was making a fool out of himself as a manager on the field, talking in the middle of the field in the middle of plays,' reported a source close to the action. According to this source, Mr. King was told by the umpire in question to 'regroup' and calm himself, and he did not respond well to this. Rather, the informant said, he continued arguing and was then relegated to the bleachers, where he continued to make noise, and was finally forced to watch the game from the outfield’s periphery." But the Observer adds that another eyewitness "contradicted this account somewhat," saying King had not actually been banished.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Letterman and McCain trade (mock) insults

The transcript of the opening of the candidate's visit, courtesy CBS via NYT, with Letterman starting with his putdowns of McCain before he arrived: “He looks like the guy at the hardware store who makes the keys. He looks like the guy who can’t stop talking about how well his tomatoes are doing. He looks like the guy who goes into town for turpentine. He looks like the guy who always has wiry hair growing out of new places. He looks like the guy who points out the spots they missed at the car wash.’’

Then Mr. McCain walked out on stage. “Hi, Letterman,’’ he said. “You think that stuff’s pretty funny, don’t you? Well, you look like a guy whose laptop would be seized by the authorities. You look like a guy caught smuggling reptiles in his pants....You look like the guy who the neighbors later say, ‘He mostly kept to himself.’ You look like the night manager of a creepy motel.’’ And so on.

Dream team...a fantasy?

David Kurtz at TPM points out on the Democrats' dream ticket, "it is interesting to see that Gallup has polled on this question and that Dems greatly prefer Obama as her VP to Hillary as his VP. Gallup explains that the vast majority of Obama supporters would rather him pick someone else as VP, rather than Hillary, whereas Hillary supporters are generally favorably disposed to her tapping Obama as VP. The question is phrased in such a way that I think it reduces the concern that the result is a reflection of supporters of either candidate not being ready to concede defeat. It's certainly more fodder, too, for the debate over which candidate is likely to lose more opposing Dems to McCain or to indifference in the general election."

Gen. Petraeus linked to high-level suicide in Iraq

It's a story featured in my new book but there is an update. Col, Ted Westhusing, a West Point man and ethics instructor, shot himself in the head in 2005 after leaving a suicide note that implicated Gen. Petraeus (his boss) and another officer in contractor corruption and abuse of Iraqis. Some claim he was murdered because of what he knew. I did a lengthy post about this at Huff Post today and here is link: