Friday, June 30, 2006

The party of ethics!

Culture of corruption? No doubt. Corrupt Democrats are just falling out of the trees lately: Rep. Jim Moran, for example. The old fool just starred in his very own NBC Nightly News expose.

Or how about the former governor of Alabama, a greedy liar who just won himself a ticket to federal prison.

The RNC Research Team has the easiest job in the world this year: Proving that Democrats are more corrupt than Republicans. Why, somebody could write an entire book on that subject ....


Kos: Let's pick a loser!

This is getting ridiculous. A wealthy Chicago suburb with a median household income over $70,000. Yeah, says Kos, they're ready for a mapchanger!

So, let's pick up the National Journal almanac and read the biography of the Republican incumbent, Rep. Mark Kirk: A friendly-looking 46-year-old with an exquisitely sophisticated resume. Educated at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Cornell, London School of Economics, Georgetown Law, a former aide in the British House of Commons (!), World Bank, congressional staffer, State Department, 17 years in the Navy Reserve ....

What you see, in other words, is a razor-sharp candidate, a guy with exactly the profile to represent an upscale suburban district like this, full of high-achieving professionals like himself. He's paying lots of attention to district issues, he's got key committee assignments and he's sitting on $1.3 million campaign cash.

And Kos (gross annual ad revenue, $832,000) is pumping the Democratic challenger -- a former Clinton aide -- urging other people to volunteer for this hopeless campaign. Like this Republican, an impeccably trained public-policy operative, is just going to roll over. Like the Republican Party's donors can't double or triple anything the "netroots community" can raise. Like a massive uprising of anti-war sentiment is going to cause these upscale suburbanites to vote out a local congressman who (so far as is known) has no negatives, no baggage, no real liabilities except (in the eyes of the Kossacks) that he's a Republican.

Well, anything can happen, but I just don't see a smart Republican guy like Mark Kirk getting rolled by a left-wing Democrat running his first-ever campaign. And the fact that this is one of the "key races" targeted by Kos gives you a good idea of just what dim prospects the Democrats have for '06.


DailyKos: We Hate Red (Neck) States

Gee, I wonder why Gore couldn't carry Tennessee or Arkansas, and the Dems couldn't win John Edwards' North Carolina in '04?

The commenters rave: "You last paragraph is a humdinger and dead on."

Who is he? Well, he has a blog, where he expresses interesting opinions about Republicans, and about the most popular president of the past 40 years.

And quoting noted JFK assassination conspiracy theorist Jim Garrison -- nice touch!

It's a clever political strategy:
Vote for Democrats,
Red State America, because ...

--- McCAIN

Mark Warner's Holiday Horoscope

Dan Riehl has exclusive photos of strategic planning sessions at the Warner '08 campaign headquarters.

You know, if the "icon of progressive politics" wanted to destroy the presidential prospects of the fair-haired boy of the "Lieberman-worshipping neocon" crowd at the DLC ... this might just do the trick!

Or maybe this. Or perhaps this will do the trick.

* * * * *
Speaking of tricks, what's our old friend Duncan "Atrios" Black been up to lately? Googling for dirt to smear Rod Dreher, maybe ... but never mind. Inside joke.

Dreher, the author of "Crunchy Cons," knows that my playful (and in some ways, nakedly envious) review of his Buddhist economics was meant in the gentle spirit of love and kindness, for which my hero Ned Flanders is so well known.

Go thou and sin no more, Rod. Because the wages of sin is ... $832,000 a year.

Just like Marko Moulitsas and Jerome Armstrong, I'm all about ethics:Independence Day means freedom and ...
(Well, at least on chapter's free ....)

Remember to BUY TWO and show your support for the people-powered movement of the wingnutroots community.

Well, I've got to do a bit of real work before leaving town. Given the ethical meltdown in the "progressive blogosphere," who can I trust to keep you informed while I'm away? Ah, yes! That dead-tree dinosaur, the man who put the "old" back in Old School, that "proud member of the MSM," ladies and gentlemen, he needs no introduction ....

Don Surber!
And the crowd goes wild ...

¡Va La Argentina!

And finally, since I'm about to skip out for a long 4th of July weekend, I will leave you with a thing of beauty: Right-Wing Howler's "Chick of the Week."


Thursday, June 29, 2006

Swann gaining in PA

Watch out, Big Ed: This year, the GOP's got Hall of Fame moves and lightning speed.

The latest poll in Pennsylvania shows Republican Lynn Swann gaining on Gov. Ed Rendell:
A Zogby International poll conducted between June 13 and June 19 gives Rendell a 5-point lead over Swann. In that poll of 769 likely voters statewide, 48 percent of the respondents gave their support to Rendell, while 43 percent favored Swann.
Guess that's what you can expect when Democrat machine politicians bring in Hillary Clinton to campaign in a swing state. She's not exactly an asset with moderate voters, and some of the anti-war crowd really hate Hillary.

So, Hillary hurts Big Ed, and if the Rendell machine tanks, that creates a down-ticket drag on "Little Bobby" Casey, which trickles down to longshot congressional candidates like Lois Murphy. (Please, Moonbats: Waste more money on Lois the Loser!)

To all you gloomy GOP types: Want a happy mental image? Imagine those RNC attack ads with video of Hillary & Lois together at the Rendell event ....


Kos: $832,000 a year

Ad on DailyKos: $2,000/week
x 8 advertising positions: $16,000/week
x 52 weeks:

Being a hero to the "progressive netroots community"?


Chris Bowers has gotten tired of picking cotton for the Man:
"[P]rogressive organizations view their supporters as people to be exploited ..."
Which immediately got some attention:
I'm trying not to be cynical here, but the quid pro quo in the preceding statement should be obvious to even the most fervent Kossack: Pay up if you expect us to shut up when you screw up.
Today I called Lynn to tell her about it, and Lynn -- who recently co-authored an amazing true story about what W.E.B. DuBois called "Debt Peonage" -- called the Kos system "cyber-sharecropping on the digital plantation": Bowers has been pickin' cotton for the Man, and he's gettin' mighty tired of livin' in a dirt-floor shack while Jerome and Markos are getting a six-figure ad revenue up there at the Big House.

I'm thinking the Army of Photoshoppers needs to get to work on this!

* * * * *
Since Democrats aren't so good with math, I will point out that $2,000 a week translates to $104,000 a year. So, each ad spot on DailyKos is worth a six-figure sum annually.

And what does a DailyKos advertiser get for that money?

Well, if the advertiser is Jon Tester ...
Like Chris Bowers said, it's all about supporting the progressive blogosphere.

* * * * *
Here is the Moulitsas worldview in a nutshell:
Both Iowa and NH expect largess and money, lots of money, from the candidates vying to compete in those two contests. It's a financial racket that would disappear overnight if other states muscled ahead of them.
Moulitsas -- a "progressive activist" whose paranoia is obvious -- is part of a scam operation. Therefore, to relieve the cognitive dissonance:
Everybody's scamming!
Entire states are guilty of scamming!

Does the word "projection" ring a bell?

"It's a financial racket" -- yeah, at $832,000 a year, Kos knows all about that.

* * * * *
Remember when I posted about "Erin in Flagstaff," one of the ultimate losers who attended YearlyKos? Some people thought I was being mean-spirited. But what share of the $832,000 revenue stream does Erin get at her blog? Hmmm?

Erin describes herself as "Kos-addicted ... working hard for the Democratic Party and the DFA."

Great for you, Erin. What do you get paid by Democrats and DFA? How much of that $832,000 annual ad revenue stream does Kos pocket after paying his (tax-deductible) expenses?


Kerry: More hype for losers

You're smart, OK? You would know I was scamming if I told you to "hurry up and BUY DONKEY CONS NOW ... while supplies last. There's a DEADLINE!"

But the people who give money to Democrats are stupid.

How stupid are they? Stupid enough to believe it when Sen. John Kerry (D-Loser) tells them there is a "June 30th deadline" to give money to the loser candidates he's pimping in the fund-raising e-mail he just sent out:
Last night, President Bush appeared at a big-ticket fundraiser for embattled GOP Senator Jim Talent in Missouri. Tomorrow, it's off to Ohio to raise funds for Mike DeWine, another GOP Senator that we have a solid chance to defeat come November.

The Republicans think they can sneak President Bush and Vice President Cheney in and out of these states under cover of darkness, and that vulnerable Republican candidates will pick up GOP special interest campaign dollars -- not Bush-Cheney baggage.

Make them pay a price for this most cynical of political calculations.

Today, we are helping the Democratic candidates Bush is determined to keep out of the Senate. As Bush heads to Ohio, please lend your immediate support to Sherrod Brown, who is running a strong campaign in this critical swing state, and other Democratic Senate candidates battling in tight races.


We can't let the Bush/Cheney fundraising juggernaut buy Republican candidates out of the trouble they're in because they rubberstamp this administration's failed policies. The President tries to travel under the radar on these trips -- rubbing elbows with well-heeled Republican donors, while the GOP candidates he's supporting try to avoid rubbing elbows with him.

But, we won't let their fast and furious fundraising turn the tide in some of the closest Senate races in the country. We're weighing in with powerful grassroots support to counter the President's fundraiser-in-chief performance. Two days ago, we got off to a good start, helping Sherrod Brown in Ohio, Claire McCaskill in Missouri and Maria Cantwell in Washington state.

Today we're adding Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey to the list of strong Democrats who need our support. In March, Cheney came to the Garden State to raise money for Menendez's Republican opponent, handpicked by Karl Rove, who offered rush-hour traffic as his excuse for arriving late and missing a photo-op with the Vice President.

Menendez is currently fighting back against a ruthless smear attack distorting his courageous actions from 25 years ago. Let's show him and Democrats around the country that we refuse to let any of our public servants be subjected to outrageous lies for partisan political gain.

With the June 30th deadline fast approaching, we need to step up our efforts to give Democrats the resources they need to fight back and win.


This is a critical test of our resolve. The Bush Republicans would like nothing better than to set our candidates back by burying them under an avalanche of Republican special interest money and distortions. But, we won't let it happen. We're standing by our candidates through thick and thin, and we're driving through to victory.

I urge you to do everything you can to impact these important Senate races. Let's show the Bush fundraising machine that we mean business.

John Kerry
Yeah, hurry up, you stupid Democrats: Throw away your money on candidates hand-picked by that loser, John Kerry. Waste your money NOW -- before the "June 30th deadline"!

One hardly knows where to begin with all the lies in that Kerry e-mail, but I think the biggest lie was "sincerely." Yeah, that John Kerry, he's notorious for his sincerity.


Free DONKEY CONS (Ch. 9)

DONKEY CONS, Chapter 9
PDF format, 144KB

If you like the free sample, maybe you should ..,

A big hat tip is owed to Peter Schweizer, whose study of liberal hypocrisy was an important resource for Chapter 9, so you should also buy his book, DO AS I SAY (Not As I Do).

You know, having spent two years researching Democratic Party corruption sure was helpful preparation for figuring out how DailyKos works. I'd love to explain, but right now, I got to work for the Man ....


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Hype for hire

* UPDATE 6/29*

In addition to Dan Riehl and Jeff's Fireworks, other people I do NOT have any financial relationship with: Lisa DePasquale and Ann Coulter.

* * * * *


I think I'm getting close to figuring out how La Blogga Nostra works. Markos, Jerome, Chris, Matt -- what a bunch of swell guys. Entirely altruistic.

If I can't figure it out, then I bet Dan Riehl's going to nail it pretty soon. DailyKos, MyDD, "Kosola," etc., etc. If you keep clicking on that link, eventually, I'm pretty sure Dan will have it all put together.

But Dan isn't paying me to send him traffic. There is no financial arrangement at all. So you can trust me when I say that Dan's a smart guy who's about to figure out the whole thing. So you just keep clicking the links, OK?

Speaking of no ulterior motives, you should buy your 4th of July fireworks from Jeff's Fireworks in East Tennessee. Jeff's got the best prices, the best products, and he can set you up with whatever you need to celebrate our nation's independence.

You can trust me. You do trust me, don't you? I mean, Jeff's Fireworks is on the up-and-up -- everybody knows Jeff Wilson is a great guy. And I'm just part of the people-powered pyrotechnical movement.

So when I say buy fireworks from Jeff's Fireworks, it's not like I'm profiting in any way by saying that. I'm just trying to help. I'm all about winning.


StarGate no problem?

Revelations about the astrology career of Democratic Party political consultant Jerome "StarGate" Armstrong -- see Dan Riehl and Red State for the best coverage -- get a ho-hum reaction from Charles P. Pierce of the American Prospect:
"I disagree with the notion that this necessarily is a political problem."
Whatever you say, Chuck ....

Protein Wisdom
Photo: SobekPundit

I don't know about you, Chuck, but Michelle's cooking up dinner in the HotAir kitchen, and I think I smell some piping hot ....



Cannon escapes

Well, this sucks: Cannon 56%, Jacob 44% -- but I wish Bush would stay out of contested GOP primaries. The White House never should have involved itself, for instance, in the Specter-Toomey race in '04. When the president comes big-footing into a primary like that, it sends the message that the judgment of local Republicans can't be trusted.

Jacob probably lost because of a "gotcha" quote that was used by local media to make him look like a religious fanatic. So even though it wasn't a straight-up fair fight, the Rove-led amnesty crowd will still claim it as a victory for their cause. Dang it.

* * * * *
Ah, but here's a perspective that turns that frown upside down.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

How far is too far?

The umpire throws his flag, play is stopped, and we must ask that the referees confer on this question:
How often can the Kossacks play footsie with anti-Semitism before being asked to explain themselves?
I begin this discussion with a personal disclaimer:
I have met and shaken hands with Patrick J. Buchanan, who is a gentleman. I have written freelance for The American Conservative magazine and for Chronicles. I understand that one may question U.S. policy in the Middle East without being guilty of anti-Semitism. I have long regretted the bitterness and rancor of the paleo/neo feud among conservatives, since I have friends on both sides of the dispute.
That said, if any leading conservative had -- as Markos Moultisas Zuniga of DailyKos has -- applied the phrase "Lieberman-worshipping neocon" to Marty Peretz, a liberal mentor to Al Gore and editor-in-chief of the New Republic, he'd certainly have been called to account. Would Al Franken have ignored such a remark by any important Republican operative? Could Karl Rove talk that way and get a free pass?

Remember, Markos was a Dean '04 consultant and, as Newsweek reported on Monday, he "chats with Senate leadership aides several times a week and has brainstormed with Democratic operatives about the fall campaign." It's not like he's some fringe figure blogging in his pajamas: YearlyKos was attended by Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Mark Warner, Barbara Boxer ...

So in an angry moment, in a private e-mail, Markos vents his spleen against The New Republic, and personalizes the invective. That doesn't make him an anti-Semite. But then Tuesday, Markos made a point of quoting Bill "Whiskey Bar" Montague:
The Lieberman Dems don't hate and fear Kos and the Daily Kos "community" because they are too far to the left. They hate them because they represent an emerging power center within the Democratic Party that they don't control -- what's more, one that is now much closer to the public mainstream on the central issue of our time (the Iraq War) than they are.
OK, that's a bit paranoid. Montague's lengthy rant had caused me to hastily post a response -- resulting in an exchange of private e-mails in which he pointed out that I had overlooked part of his argument. My bad: I'd skimmed down and saw something that caught my attention, promptly opened fire, striking my own foot. Bad habit, but I digress ....

Dan Riehl had linked that Kos post quoting Montague, suggesting it as evidence of anti-Semitism. I didn't really see that in the passage excerpted by Kos, and so thinking I might have missed something, I kept reading down the thread until I came to a comment by "London Yankee" quoting from yet another part of Montague's rant that I'd (also) previously overlooked:

Interesting threat to the Israel lobby of DLC (8+ / 0-)

The overriding concern for the neolibs, I think, is not that Kos and the netroot activists will lead the party off to the far-left fringes, but rather that they are willing, even eager, to form alliances with conservative nationalists like Jim Webb (the Va. Senate candidate) who've been forced out of the GOP because of their opposition to the neocons and their insane schemes. From Marty Peretz's point of view, this is very bad. Left unchecked, it could even pose a threat to the sacred alliance with Israel.

It's not that Kos (or Webb, for that matter) are outspoken critics of the special relationship. Far from it. But it is clear that the constituencies they represent, or hope to represent, are much more skeptical about U.S. intervention in the Middle East than the Democratic old guard -- which, let's face it, is practically welded to the Israel lobby. Even worse, this is all happening at a time when the Iraq quagmire is making the costs of our imperial role in the region painfully clear.

For a time it was suggested that the Israel lobby would resurrect the DLC and back the Democrats as a means of ensuring continuous control and uninterrupted policies. If we are a threat to that, we will have a very ugly fight on our hands.


I have friends who were fired from their jobs at conservative institutions for less than that. And if anyone cares to poke around the DailyKos comment fields a bit, you'll find more of that sort of stuff. Not too much, but enough to be disturbing to anyone who has read Phyllis Chesler's The New Anti-Semitism.

Going back to the disclaimer with which I began, I am not -- repeat, not -- saying that Markos or Montague or "London Yank" or anyone else in the "people-powered movement" is a Nazi.

Back in the day, when Buckley rather regretfully condemned Pat Buchanan for having gone too far in this particular direction, many people thought Buckley was unfair and hasty. Yet we now face the question of a partisan double standard: If a respected mentor like Buchanan -- a trusted adviser to presidents -- had to suffer harsh rebuke for writing about "the Israel lobby," can a Democratic strategist like Markos Moulitsas be given a free pass?

Will Democrats not at least privately ask Moulitsas to refrain from conspiratorial talk about the "Lieberman-worshipping neocon" Marty Peretz? Won't Kos or some of his "front-pagers" initiate a discussion about the implications for their "people-powered movement" if such talk is left unchallenged?

Given that the Million Moonbat March has suffered two weeks of uninterrupted setbacks -- the last Ohio Senate poll I saw showed a net 10-point gain for Dewine from May to June -- and the hits just keep coming, one might expect to see much more of the bitterness and frustration that prompts such defensive fear-mongering among his followers. Guys, I can't blame you for being bitter and frustrated, since you're 0-for-eternity with no real hope in sight.

But if this drift toward ranting about neocon conspiracies continues, dear Kossacks, you're going to cause permanent damage to your own reputation, inflict collateral damage on the Democratic Party, and discredit all the various causes that you claim to be pursuing. All your labor then will have been wasted -- and worse than wasted, since you will have left the Democratic Party's prospects in much worse shape than when you began your crusade five years ago.

Given the obvious evidence of the onset of a bunker mentality on your part, I suppose you will ignore this advice, and demonize me for having offered it. So just keep going the way you're going, and we'll see you on Nov. 8, losers.


6/27: JeromeGate update
6/26: Dooming Democrats in '06
6/25: MSM notices Kosola
6/24: JeromeGate: Star Chart
6/23: Bad Moon(bat) rising

6/22: Chait '08
6/22: Mullah Moulitsas: JIHAD!
6/22: Lying about lies
6/21: Ko$ola/JeromeGate: Pandemic
6/21: Kosola or JeromeGate?
6/20: Kosola: The story so far
6/20: Kosola scandal goes viral
6/19: Will blog for $$$
6/19: Kos pay-for-play scam
6/12: Tin foil: The new fur
6/11: How not to win (Kos video)
6/9: The ultimate losers hit Vegas

JeromeGate update

More bloggers should be like Dan Riehl. He is an absolutely insatiable researcher. Once he starts digging into something, he doesn't quit. What it boils down to is the possibility that, under the pseudonym Vis Numar, Democratic political consultant Jerome Armstrong may have continued doing "political astrology" as late as 2005!?

But the weird (and, frankly, ironic) thing is that, if Jerome is Vis Numar, there was also a FreeRepublic poster by that unusual name, who tended to post strictly negative information at FR. And, when it was reported in September 2004 that CBS "60 Minutes" had cancelled plans for a segment about the reasons for the Iraq war, Vis Numar said this:
Who cares. It's not like we need CBS to tell us that trying to create democracy with a bunch of iraqis is stupid.
Wow. Red State has also noticed the "Vis Numar" phenomenon.

The DUmmies were all into Vis Numar. Lots more via Google.

BuckeyeStateBlog has compiled the best JeromeGate/Kosola account of what happened with the Hackett-Brown flipflop in Ohio in October '05.

BuckeyeState also notes -- perhaps some post-Zarqawi bounce? -- that DeWine's approval rating is now over 50% and the Republican Senate incumbent has now opened a significant lead against Sherrod Brown. I know conservatives who detest Mike DeWine worse than they hate Hillary. They'll be disappointed if he ends up getting re-elected because of a backlash against these left-wing Moonbat excesses.

UPDATE 1:30 a.m., Wednesday
Did I say "excesses"? Now the Moonbats have started ranting about "the Israel lobby" ....

Meanwhile, Dave Mangan calls our attention to Garance Franke-Ruta's latest take:
Markos has been complaining for some time that he believes Hillary Rodham Clinton's people have been doing research on him. All I can say after the revelations of the past week is: I certainly hope so. If Warner didn't know, when he hired Armstrong, that this kind of stuff was in his background -- the SEC settlement, the political astrology -- it's a sign his PAC failed to do its own due diligence.
Franke-Ruta espouses the predictably PC left-wing ideas you might expect of a 30-ish Harvard grad, which makes her critique of the Armstrong-Moulitsas affair all the more credible. She's been an ally and booster of the "netroots," her hopeless leftism is intact, so she can't be dismissed as either a "Lieberman-worshipping neocon" or an "enemy of the people-powered movement."

Her view is objective and pragmatic: The gate-crashers just weren't ready to sustain the scrutiny they attacted in the wake of the YearlyKos: Suellentrop's revelation of the SEC settlement, Zengerle's penetration of the Townhouse list, Markos' hysterical over-reaction, and finally Dan Riehl's astrology exposures.

From Franke-Ruta's perspective of Democratic partisanship, it's better that this happened in '06 than to have it explode in the middle of the next presidential campaign. And I suppose so, but it could have been averted -- nipped in the bud last fall -- if only someone in the national media had noticed BuckeyeState's complaints about the Hackett-Brown flipflop. After all, a Columbus Dispatch columnist caught that one in October '05. Then again, the Dean campaign apparently hadn't bothered to check Jerome's background before hiring him for the '04 campaign, so this really comes down to yet another screwup by Howling Howard.

Hindsight, of course, is always 20/20. Which brings us to Trevino's Red State comparison between the John Birch Society and DailyKos. Nice analogy, though quite unfair to the JBS.

The JBS was, at least, patriotic in its aims and, if they were paranoid, at least they had reason to be -- the Commies had stolen the bomb, recruited Hiss and other agents in influential places and had, in 1959, brought Castro to power in Cuba.

JBS actually organized some useful campaigns: Their old "Get U.S. out of the U.N." campaign looks a lot smarter in the age of Kofi and "Oil for Food," eh? And during the 1960s, when crime skyrocketed, the JBS had its "Support Your Local Police" effort.

Finally, the JBS was an early publisher of conservative books and its monthly magazine (now called The New American) did some useful investigative journalism.

At one point during the researching of Donkey Cons, Lynn called to ask me whether I thought we should use The New American as a source for one part of the book. This was Robert W. Lee's 1999 article profiling the Congressional Progressive Caucus and Democratic Socialists of America. (The passage involved is on pp. 95-96 of the book, with three notes, #20, #21 and #23, on p. 244.) As straight investigative reporting, it was solid work, and The New American specialized in researching left-wing groups, much as David Horowitz now does at DiscoverTheNetwork.

A lot of people who eventually went on to productive careers in conservative politics (e.g., Rep. Larry McDonald) were at one time or another associated with JBS. With its numerous activists, the JBS provided a lot of the grassroots juice in the conservative takeover of the GOP in the 1960s. This was especially true in California, where the Birchers played some part in electing Ronald Reagan governor in 1966 (good histories of this era of the conservative movement are just now being published).

So the JBS has done some good things for the conserative cause over the years and they are still around, though greatly diminished in size and influence, more than 40 years after the Buckley purge. I doubt there will still be a DailyKos site in four years, much less 40.


The F is Back in Freedom!

USMC to CAIR: Durka durka, Muhammed jihad!

And Cpl. Belile's got a record deal!

Michelle Malkin has Josh's e-mail, and LGF notices that Reuters is taking steno for CAIR.

In case anybody hasn't noticed, I have a day job in the news business. What gets me about the Reuters story -- or the somewhat less egregious Associated Press story -- is how astonishingly lazy and ill-informed these reporters are.

At 2:41 p.m., Malkin posted an e-mail from Cpl. Belile in which he frankly shares his side of the story and reports that he is planning a professional recording of the song.

Can Reuters or AP be bothered to Google "Hadji Girl"? Among the top 5 hits returned are LGF, BlackFive and Hot Air. Hey, Clark Kent, do you think that might indicate that conservative bloggers have been very interested in this story? And do you think they might have something fresh about this new development?

I wonder how many Reuters or AP reporters have DailyKos or Wonkette bookmarked on their Web browsers? And how many bookmark Malkin or Drudge or NRO? If MSM coverage is biased there must be reasons.

Chief among these reasons, I would suspect, would be a lack of curiosity: They simply don't care to learn anything about what conservatives think or say or do. This, I can't understand; curiosity would seem to be a prerequisite to a career in journalism.

Curiosity & conservatism
In early 1995, while doing research into the National Standards for U.S. History, I was looking into the biography of one of the contributors and saw her described as a "Marxist historian." I was intrigued: What is a Marxist historian? So I went home to my Funk & Wagnalls encyclopedia and spent a few hours discovering that historical materialism -- a/k/a dialectical materialism -- is the philosophical basis of Marxist socialism. I then read the FY&W biographies of Marx, Engels and Hegel, then went back to the library and spent most of a day reading various writings by and about Marxism: the Communist Manifesto, "The Poverty of Philosphy," the "18th Brumaire," etc.

It happened that the "Marxist historian" I was researching was Elizabeth Fox-Genovese who, with her husband Eugene Genovese, has since become something of a conservative. I read various books and articles by them both ... and only then did I write the series of columns that won the George Washington Medal from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge.

What I learned about Marxism during those two or three days of research had a profound effect on me. I had been a moderate Democrat, but once I understood the nature of socialism, its rationale and intellectual underpinnings, I became skeptical of the Welfare State. And once you become skeptical of the Welfare State -- once you read Hayek and understand the mirage of "social justice" -- your days as a Democrat are numbered.

Lazy liberals
It is a silly stereotype that conservatives are conservative because we are ignorant and close-minded. But I've read more Marx than the average Marxist. I've read J.K. Galbraith, I've read Greider and Ehrenreich -- and feminists! Oh, there's nothing so rewarding as slogging through the crack-brained rantings of a feminist ax-grinder like Mary Daly.

But liberals ... they seem utterly lacking in this sort of deep curiosity, the desire to know. They seem lazy and contented in their ignorance and in so much MSM reporting, it shows. I cannot think how many times I've encountered an MSM story discussing federal taxes (tax cuts for the rich!) and been amazed that reputable journalists seemed never to have heard of the Laffer Curve. If the tax rate was to be cut by X percent, the lazy liberal journalist seemed to assume that revenue would decline by that amount -- unaware that the tax cut would spur economic growth so that revenue would inevitably increase instead.

No, you cannot accuse any liberal MSM journalist having frittered away his or her time by reading Hayek or Mises, nor even something as fun to read as Thomas Sowell's The Vision of the Anointed. Why, if only they'd pick up P.J. O'Rourke's Parliament of Whores, they'd know more about market economics than 9/10ths of their peers in the press corps.

They can't be bothered to read anything. It's as if they are so smug in the quality of their education as to imagine that there is nothing left for them to learn. I've been in journalism for 20 years and am continually astonished at how seldom most of my colleagues read books. You'd think, for instance, that most educated Americans over 35 would have read Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind or Bork's Slouching Toward Gomorrah. You would be wrong. They are profoundly (and proudly) ignorant.

But I'm rambling now. This was about a Marine who just got some good news, not about the idiots who misreported the story.

Semper Fi, Cpl. Belile -- and if you're ever in Washington, look me up.


6/20: Sweater Kittenz
6/14: "Hadji Girl" decontructed
6/14: Cpl. American Idol, USMC

Kerry: Bush "sneaking into St. Louis"

This is the fundraising letter sent out by John Kerry today at noon:
President Bush will be sneaking into St. Louis tomorrow to raise money for Republican Senator Jim Talent. If it's like most GOP fundraising featuring Bush and Cheney these days, it will be a "cut and run" affair.

Republican candidates ask high dollar supporters (tomorrow's event is at the Ritz-Carlton) to cut big checks before they run from being caught in the public eye with the President or Vice President.

We're going to greet this latest fast and furious Bush fundraising foray with a spirited, out-in-the-open grassroots campaign before midnight June 30th to support three Democrats locked in tight Senate races.

Contribute today: a Democratic Senate starts with these three races

Today, we're raising money for Claire McCaskill, who is running for the Senate in the Missouri race that President Bush will be personally trying to influence tomorrow.

An impressive campaigner who is eager to come to the Senate to fight for Missouri's families, Claire has just the right mixture of common sense and uncommon wisdom to help turn around the failed policies that Bush is hoping to disguise with his high-powered fundraising blitz.

We're also working to help leading House Democrat Sherrod Brown in his race against GOP incumbent Mike DeWine whom Karl Rove praised as "a loyal stalwart." Recently, DeWine scored a trifecta -- avoiding President Bush three times when he appeared in Ohio: skipping a health care event, a speech on Iraq, and even refusing to meet Bush at the airport when he came to Indian Hills to raise $1.1 million for DeWine's reelection campaign.

We can win this critical Ohio race if you give Sherrod Brown the immediate support he needs to press back against the GOP money machine.

Contribute today: a Democratic Senate starts with these three races

The third candidate on our list is a Senator who has stood with me to protect the environment and save the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Maria Cantwell.

President Bush and Vice President Cheney have both already traveled to Washington to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Maria's opponent, Mike McGavick, and for the Washington state Republican party. Not that McGavick needs any help: he received $28 million from his former employer, Safeco Insurance Company, this year after just two months of work.

We're acting today to even the odds by lending Maria Cantwell the kind of grassroots support called for by her strong unflinching record on so many crucial issues of the day.

Contribute today: a Democratic Senate starts with these three races

The June 30th mid-year federal election reports, reflecting fundraising success to date, will be especially critical. That's why I am asking you to rush generous donations, if possible, to all three of these candidates who are in deadlocked races. Maria Cantwell and I need strong Democrats like Sherrod Brown and Claire McCaskill to join us in the Senate and replace rubber-stamp Republican incumbents Mike DeWine and Jim Talent.

Let's show people that we mean business when it comes to standing up for the candidates we believe in -- and standing up to the desperate barrage of Bush-Cheney fundraising now under way.

I urge you to act before we reach this critical deadline.

John Kerry
And now, the facts:
Democrats: John Kerry is a loser. Whatever he tells you to do, always do the opposite.

By the way, isn't it nice of the profitably married Mr. Heinz-Kerry to play the class-warfare card by talking about GOP "high dollar supporters"?

Cantwell doesn't need your money: With $8.6 million in campaign cash, she's the 4th leading Senator in 2006 fund-raising. Besides, she's a millionaire, with a personal net worth of $1.3 million, after spending $10 million of her own money to buy that seat in 2006.


Occupation: Activist

Whiskey Bar says Kos has been "Swiftboated," and I don't think he means that in a nice way:
The campaign against Kos, which I'd originally dismissed as just another pissy TNR vendetta, is starting to look more and more like a coordinated effort: a Swiftboat operation. At the very least, it's snowballing into a more systematic media attack on Left Blogistan, which makes it my fight as well as Kos's.
Let me start, Mr. Whiskey Bar, by telling you that you have been misinformed. It was not TNR's Zengerle, but NYT's Chris Suellentrop, who first called attention to the party-line patterns of the DailyKos/Political Technologies LLC.

Suellentrop was miles ahead of everybody else on this story, but in fact Democrats -- real "netroots" progressive Democrats -- have been suspicious of the Armstrong-Zuniga operation since back when the MyDD Dynamic Duo were paid consultants to the Dean Machine. (A fact that Suellentrop reported in January '05.)

It was a Paul Hackett supporter, "BuckeyeState," who in October '05 blew the whistle on this Molotov-Ribbentrop deal whereby DailyKos went from pro-Hackett to pro-Sherrod Brown in about 48 hours -- right after the Brown campaign hired Jerome Armstrong.

Mullah Moulitsas can scream and threaten and cry like a baby, but he cannot erase his Hackett-Brown flipflop. And if there's a plausible explanation of that switch which does not involve the influence of Armstrong -- a man whom Markos himself called the "blogfather" -- I'd like to see it.

Given Suellentrop's report that the Security and Exchange Commission took action against Armstrong because of accusations that he was a crooked stock tout on back during the dot-com bubble, is it not a reasonable suspicion that Armstrong might be doing a similar hustle now -- except instead of getting paid to tout loser stocks, now he's getting paid to tout loser candidates?

You've come in late on the story and then missed the entire point of it.

Mr. Whiskey Bar, the reason you think "Kosola" is about who e-mailed what to who is because that's what Markos and Jerome want you to focus on, rather than asking yourself whether the whole "people-powered movement" is a hustle in which the blog bosses get paid while the "netroots" get played.

But no: Markos starts yelling about "Lieberman-worshipping neocons" and the entirety of the online Left immediately rallies round the flag. "It's about the Movement!"

Brilliant. For all your talk about "nuance," you lefties are the most naive and simplistic chumps on the planet. You remind me of those foolish old ladies who send their Social Security checks to televangelists.

*UPDATE 1 p.m. *
This is Whiskey Bar on the ethics involved:

Daily Kos is a web site for Democratic Party activists. Not a newspaper. Not a foundation. Not a think tank. What section of unwritten SCLM code of ethics forbids Kos from endorsing candidates that Jerome works for? Or, for that matter, that Kos works for?

Exactly. But this is still missing the point. The constant drumbeat at Daily Kos is "support Candidate X, who is really a winner in the 49th District," etc. Kos is the #1 political blog, on the one hand promoting issues and sharing the latest news, and on the other hand attracting a hard-core partisan audience that has proven a lucrative source of campaign cash for Democrats since the passage of the McCain-Feingold bill.

So: Candidates want favorable treatment by Daily Kos, and they want to tap into the "netroots" fund-raising honey pot. But the success of Daily Kos is dependent upon Moulitsas' reputation as a sincere and insightful provider of information.

If Candidate X hires Armstrong and then suddenly Kos starts hyping that candidate, how do the Kossacks know that they aren't getting scammed? Answer: They don't.

If Candidate X is paying Armstrong, and Kos' readers are giving money to Candidate X -- who may also be advertising on Kos' site -- then what should the Kossacks make of DailyKos' backing of Candidate X?

The point, however, is this: Armstrong earns his living as a Democrat. That's how he pays his bills. He is a professional activist. If he went Green or Libertarian, he would no longer have the #1 audience in the political blogosphere. And having the #1 audience is what gives him the #1 ad revenue.

This would be cool -- perhaps a bargain to the Democratic Party -- if Kos had a solid record of wins. But he doesn't. He's a loser. Before you get all indignant about that fact, I remind everyone once again that we are now just a little over 4 months from Election Day.

By Nov. 8, dear Moonbats, you'll either be winners or losers. But remember that Markos gets paid even if Democrats lose: It's a win-win for him and Armstrong.

They got paid by Dean in 2004. So even though Dean was a loser, Armstrong-Zuniga LLC was a winner. And they've since parlayed that win into two (entirely separate) careers, Armstrong as Political Technologies LLL and Moulitsas as Kos Media LLC.

What is missing from DailyKos is any suggestion of caveat emptor, any hint of skepticism about the nature of the transaction. Think about the reaction of Kos to recent criticism -- "It's an attack on the Movement!" You must believe. To doubt is betrayal.

Anybody up for a game of three-card monte?

To borrow a phrase from George Lakoff:
Don't think of a scam.


Monday, June 26, 2006

Roundup: Get along little bloggies!

Wild night in the blogosphere. Rush Limbaugh gets busted for Viagra, and the Kossacks get a rise out of it -- nearly 400 comments (including the predictable prison rape jokes) in the first 3 hours. This reminds me, for some reason, of the Democrats' latest agenda, Nude Erection for America. There's video from AP (h/t OTB).

Speaking of Viagra, Don Surber's kissed and made up with Ann Coulter.

Debbie Schlussel has an interesting post about Katherine "I Was a Runaway Teen Jihadi" Lester. Seems the girl's creepy father is (a) continuing to allow Katherine to chat with "Abdullah Psycho," and (b) enjoying his 15 minutes a bit much, jetting off to Manhattan for an ABC interview. (Video here.) Katherine and the 20-year-old Palestinian "Psycho" (that was his MySpace name) are "still deeply in love," we're told. Ick.

The new Lamont TV ad that morphs Lieberman into Bush? Hotline sez:
"If Lamont wins this thing, this ad will become legendary."

Yeah. And "if" is a mighty big word.

Let's see: Who's on Ned Lamont's side? DailyKos, Jerome Armstrong,, Arianna Huffington and Dick Morris. Joe-mentum, baby!

Hillary Goes Bloggy

Meanwhile, as Dan Riehl points out, Hillary figures if John Warner can do Rent-a-Moonbat, why not hire herself some bloggage?
Perfect, absolutely perfect - what a move. Hillary Clinton has hired Peter Daou. Here is Daou's announcement. ...

Let's look at what just happened - The New Republic, Newsweek and others just finished softening up the preeminent Liberal blog, DailyKos. Perhaps Marcos Moulitsas wasn't so far wrong when he suggested that Hillary's camp was at least partly behind some of the current hits he's been taking.

Yeah, I know that's my whole motivation: Whatever makes Hillary happy, I'm on the job, because if Hillary's not happy, nobody's happy. (Just ask Hernandez of the New York Times. Look at that lede. Man, the fear just leaps off the screen, doesn't it? Hillary's the Soup Nazi of the Senate: You don't play it her way, you don't play at all, baby.)

Ace does the math: Was Daou on the "Townhouse" list?

I just sent Daou a note of congratulations and told him, y'know, if Hillary '08 ever needs a Red State right-wing perspective .... well, the ambassadorship to Argentina might be nice (¡Va La Argentina!).

Ooo-ee! Wouldn't that be something? I swear, Hillary: The GOP is wide open on their right flank. Just ask Tom Tancredo or Brian Bilbray ... or John Jacob, who might just defeat a sitting GOP congressman in Utah today. Even if Cannon holds on, for a Republican incumbent to have to pour money into a GOP primary is almost unheard of.

Kos, but no cigar?

Instapundit points to a lesson in how to pronounce "Kos." I'll do my redneck imitation (which I'm told is pretty good):
Yeah, boy, ya wouldn't have 'at problem if you'd get yourself an Amuhrk'n name. "Mark Mullet," see? Sumpn' like 'at. ... "Zoo" what? Boy, you'd best jes' drop that part altogether 'round here. One them fellers hears you talkin' like 'at, you gone be in all kinds o' trouble ....

Hitch on anti-Semitism

Amazingly versatile Christopher Hitchens, who writes about ... uh, souffler in the July issue of Vanity Fair, several years ago made a fascinating observation about anti-Semitism in a fascinating book review for The Forward:
Societies that have expelled or ostracized the Jews have historically been condemned to all the consequences of their own stupidity and cruelty. But one element in the litany of accusations against Jews — that they are rootless cosmopolitans — deserves not to be repudiated. The worst anti-Semites did not so much hate the observant and docile shtetl types; they didn't really even hate the moneychangers they couldn't do without: They hated and feared the skeptical, scientific, artistic, secular, intellectual and discontented Jews whose names we all know. Of this virus, even if one can doubt that it's really in the genes, one could be proud to be a carrier.
Did I ever mention that my mother's grandfather was named David Elisha Moses? Maybe I'm one of those "Lieberman-worshipping neocons," after all!

UPDATE, 6/28: Linked by Pecking Order, who is puzzled by the seeming contradictions in Hitch's resume. I profess that I've never been able to get a fix on the guy, except that his prose is brilliant and is the most amusing raconteur I've ever met. Just keep the whiskey coming -- Johnny Walker Black, straight up -- and Hitch will never run out of funny things to say.


Moonbats &

Criticize Mullah Moulitsas and his Moonbat Jihad, and you're a "Lieberman-worshipping neocon."

Anti-Semitism? No. Just what passes for logic in the "people-powered movement,” ruled by the Ayatollah Kosola, the 12th imam of Kosistan.

Did some infidel say "Lieberman"? Here's the latest fund-raising e-mail from (a/k/a
Pop quiz: Who was the first senator to speak against the Democrats and their exit plan in last week's big Senate debate on Iraq? If you guessed Joe Lieberman, you're right.

Every time leaders like Russ Feingold stand up and fight, Joe Lieberman undermines them with Republican talking points. It's infuriating.

That's why we're endorsing Ned Lamont, the businessman who's running neck-and-neck with Lieberman. There's a note from him to you below. Can you chip in just $20 to help Lamont and other candidates before the deadline?

MoveOn members voted to endorse Lamont recently but he faces a critical deadline. Candidates will report their campaign finances to the Federal Election Commission June 30th. They need to show they've got support. Can you help?

Tom Matzzie Political Action
Monday, June 26, 2006
You see, no Democrat can sincerely disagree with the Surrender Now crowd. According to the Moonbat moocher Matzzie, Joe Lieberman cannot really believe (a) that a stay-the-course posture in Iraq is in the best interests of the United State, or (b) that the anti-war extremism of the Left is damaging to the Democratic Party's political prospects. No, Lieberman is merely spouting "Republican talking points." So much for "bipartisanship," I suppose ...

Anyway, the fund-raising link provided by Matzzie -- a former AFL-CIO hack -- has some "netroots" blather that's unintentionally hilarious:
The political consulting class in Washington tells many candidates to pander to conservative votes on Iraq. These candidates wouldn't think of it. Each one of them is a champion pushing to hold accountable incumbents who have rubber-stamped the war in Iraq for George W. Bush. When they win we can stop the Bush agenda and start moving forward. Let's help them look strong before the deadline.
Here, Matzzie appears to be attacking the "political consulting class," like the "icon of progressive politics" -- an expert on Ixion, Quaoar and the Kuiper Belt -- who (allegedly) sold out Paul Hackett in Ohio, and subsequently got paid to pimp DLC puppet John Warner at Moonbats Over Vegas. (Sweet deal, huh?)

So if Matzzie's busting on political consultants like Jerome Armstrong, does that mean that is raising money for Lamont in order conceal the fact that Matzzie is also a Lieberman-loving neocon like Marty Peretz?

Wait until the Kool-Aid crowd at DailyKos figures this out: FEAR THE KOS!

* * * * *
OK, it's official: Ned Lamont is insane. Why else would he approve an ad morphing Joe Lieberman into the president of the United States? Whatever the mood among Connecticut Democrats, this is just tactically and strategically wrong in so many ways.

Lieberman is a familiar and beloved figure in Connecticut, and will certainly be able to ju-jitsu this to his advantage. This ad will, I predict, be used in the future as a textbook example of how not to attack an opponent.

* * * * *

Politburo Diktat argues with lefties. Never argue with lefties, Commisar. Mock, ridicule, denounce, confute -- but don't argue. It's like arguing with a mule: You only waste your breath and annoy the mule.

Dan Riehl notices that the DNC and the "netroots" seem to have agreed to a political suicide pact for Nov. 7, with Jerome Amstrong as the broker:
The argument can be made that, just as he sold people on bad stocks and silly astrological charts, Armstrong found an unrealistic co-believer in Howard Dean, because they share a common Leftist ideology the majority of Americans simply don't want.
Steve Verdon at Outside the Beltway has this comment on The Reality Astrology-Based Community:
Given the Left’s histrionics about the “Right’s War on Science” I have to admit this is indeed rather amusing.
Steve, please tell James Joyner that Spacy Stacy said: GO BIG GOCKS!

Wonkette notices that Dick Morris predicts defeat for Lieberman and -- as when Arianna Huffington endorsed Ned Lamont -- realizes that this makes Joe a lead-pipe cinch:
Lieberman can’t lose. Easy victory in the primary and comfy cruise to reelection. Dick Morris has spoken, place your bets.
Which, I guess, means Wonkette's just another Lieberman-worshipping neocon, right?

OK, Dan Riehl discovers Jerome "Carnac" Armstrong's astrology hustle, and then Wizbang catches an apparent effort to scrub the archives and, according to "Celtic pagan" Brenda Daverin, this amounts to Jerome's "admission that he dabbled in astrology." (Like Robert Downey Jr. "dabbled" in coke, I guess.) But then Daverin goes on to do a moral-equivalence thing between astrology and Christianity:
It's perfectly possible to dismiss astrology as hokum after studying it for a while. Assuming it's hokum from seeing the sloppiest form of it is rather like assuming all Christians are evil because of people like Pat Robertson.
Astrology? Hokum. Celtic paganism? ...

Proverbs 22:29

6/26: Dooming Democrats in '06
6/25: MSM notices Kosola
6/24: JeromeGate: Star Chart
6/23: Bad Moon(bat) rising

6/22: Chait '08
6/22: Mullah Moulitsas: JIHAD!
6/22: Lying about lies
6/21: Ko$ola/JeromeGate: Pandemic
6/21: Kosola or JeromeGate?
6/20: Kosola: The story so far
6/20: Kosola scandal goes viral
6/19: Will blog for $$$
6/19: Kos pay-for-play scam
6/12: Tin foil: The new fur
6/11: How not to win (Kos video)
6/9: The ultimate losers hit Vegas