Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 14, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

THE WORST OF THE WORST....It occurs to me that I owe you all an explanation of why, earlier today, I chose Nancy Grace and Chris Matthews as our most loathsome media stars, with a bonus honorable mention for the collective id of the Wall Street Journal editorial page. So here it is.

Basically, I figure that although the general phenomenon of right-wing spewing has done serious damage over the past couple of decades, individual wingnut frothers like O'Reilly and Limbaugh, for all their loathsomeness, have limited influence these days. They draw most of their viewers from the ranks of true believers, so their tirades probably change very few minds. Their audience already agrees with them.

But that's not true of my three choices. Matthews' audience is probably mostly liberal and centrist liberal, and he convinces them that liberal politics is an idiotic clown show. Nancy Grace pulls in all types and turns them into slavering lynch mobs convinced that amendments 4 through 8 of the constitution are mere obsolete technicalities. And the WSJ editorial page is read mostly by business people who initially tend toward the right, but are then converted by the WSJ's patented brew of smarminess and intellectual dishonesty into full-time Hillary-hating, supply-side idolizing, worker-loathing zombie shock troops for movement conservatism.

Of these, by the way, the WSJ editorial page is by far the worst. I'm convinced it's done more real damage to the liberal cause than any other single source of the past quarter century. There's probably a good book in that story somewhere.

Anyway, that's that. I just thought I should probably explain myself.

Kevin Drum 7:39 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (246)

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Comments

Could you explain why Kos doesn't count? When it comes to damaging liberal causes, he did drive a Senator out of the Democratic party. On a personal loathsomeness scale, he said "Screw 'em" when four Americans got killed and strung from a bridge by terrorists. Why doesn't he count?

Posted by: egbert on April 14, 2007 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

Egbert - okay, put him in the Rush file. Believe it or not, Chris Matthews reaches a wider audience, and Kos is read mostly by true believers. But you already knew that, didn't you?

Kevin -

Yes, the WSJ editorial page is the worst. It is almost unbelievable that a paper with its influence and stature would be putting out what can only be described as a capitalist version on Pravda in its opinion pages. Loathsome, dishonest to an extent that is almost (*almost*) comical, and animated by no principle whatever save the narrowest hack partisanship.

Posted by: Dave L on April 14, 2007 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately, for professional reasons, I have to (at least) scan the WSJ daily. I assiduously avoid its editorials. Frankly, the white / black dichotomy between their reporting and reasearch and the idiotic right wing gleichschaltung on their editorial page leaves me constantly shocked.

By the way, you missed the increasinly right wingism of Barrons (Donlan) and the extreme loonyism of the Investors Business Daily.

C. Ronson

Posted by: C. ROnson on April 14, 2007 at 8:31 PM | PERMALINK

In the early 1990s, when I worked in NYC investment banking circles, I used to remark that the WSJ editorial page was the only fiction I was able (had time) to read. Before turning ugly in 1992, the WSJ ed. page was really quite entertaining fiction, but I didn't know anyone who took it seriously. I didn't think the editors who wrote the stuff did either. Later, I was amazed to find that there were people in the business hinterlands who not only took it seriously, but found it credible.

Posted by: Ben on April 14, 2007 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK

I think you're on the right track with Matthews, but the problem is that there are so many people just like him, in both the print and TV world. Richard Cohen, Joe Klein, all the straw people who go on Fox and allow themselves to be shit on in exchange for money -- if you start such a list, where does it end? What makes you decide that Matthews, who has his good moments, is worse, considered overall, than Maureen Dowd, who has almost none?

I'm going to suggest a different "worst": the Dems who have allowed these people to kick us around for the past 10 years with nary a peep of protest, even encouraging them more often than not. We are absolutely getting what we deserve, and every time someone on the left snickers at one of Klein's or Dowd's or whoever's cheap shots on a Dem, we deserve it even more.

Posted by: Martin Gale on April 14, 2007 at 8:35 PM | PERMALINK

Chris Matthews is definitely #1. Arianna Huffington is a very close #2, for all the same reasons.

Posted by: JoeCHI on April 14, 2007 at 8:35 PM | PERMALINK

This is like making a guest list for the wedding. If we invite loony Uncle Bill, then we gotta invite cousins Anna through Xerxes.

Posted by: anonymous on April 14, 2007 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

I believe this earns you a gold star from Bob Somerby.

Posted by: Matt on April 14, 2007 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

Katie Couric.

Posted by: Fred on April 14, 2007 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

You just can't stand that conservatives finally have a voice out there now, can you?

It can't help much that Fox gets better ratings, Rush rules talk radio, and Air America is hanging out to dry.

Of course, if you can't compete, you can always use a new Fairness Doctrine to wipe out the competition.

Posted by: bobwire on April 14, 2007 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

There should be a special place reserved for Bob Woodward, who has totally lost his bearings, and has become the palace scribe. Not the worst, but certainly a dishonorable mention.

Posted by: gregor on April 14, 2007 at 9:05 PM | PERMALINK

Which one has the most influence? Who knows. I do know this, however: The Journal op-ed is oftentimes contradicted by it's own news pages. When Matthews goes into one of his frequent Hillary rants, the liberals switch to CNN or a sit-com re-run, and Nancy Grace is unwatchable by anyone with a modecum of intelligence, so she has virtually no effect. The net effect, IMHO, is almost negligible.

More importantly, just think of how little liberal media there really is. Miniscule is a good descriptive word (all we have is Olbermann). And yet, Dems totally kicked butt in the last election. How can this be? Maybe the answer is in the old maxim "All politics is local" I can't think of any other answer.

Posted by: Mr. Warmth on April 14, 2007 at 9:05 PM | PERMALINK

Chris Matthews is improving. After not watching him for years, I now tune in usually before Countdown. He's angry about the disaster in Iraq and clearly lays blame on this administration. I've also seen him give quite a bit of grief to some know-nothing Repub reps and senators recently on other issues.

I don't even know the names of the talking heads or of those who do the interviews anymore. I refuse to watch any MSM media and haven't for the past four years, except for the two I mentioned. Russert, Lehrer, Blitzer and Matthews were my most disliked back in 2002 because they should have known better. But you could say that about any of the MSM at that point and could still say it today, with a slight exception for Matthews. Really laying down on the job.

Posted by: nepeta on April 14, 2007 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

Your sentence should have read: "[Chris Matthews] tries to convince(s) them that liberal politics is an idiotic clown show by using his once-a-liberal bona fides."

Matthews convinces me only that he's an idiot whose thoughts drift whichever way the wind blows that day.

Posted by: Flamethrower on April 14, 2007 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

No need for explanation. The post was fun. Stuck at home on a rainy day fun. Citizen journalists are just apt to glom onto the Hannities, Rushes and their ilk. We're opportunists!

I agree that Maureen Dowd can disappoint--I did not like that she said Senator Clinton is wielding Bill as a bludgeon on support and money...undermining her presentation...as a self-reliant feminist...if you can only win by leaning do heavily on your man for your muscle, isn't that a benign form of paternalism?

That was a low blow and a cheap shot.
It demeaned Dowd instead.

Posted by: consider wisely on April 14, 2007 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

[Kos] did drive a Senator out of the Democratic party

You have to be a member of the Wingnut Elite, First Class, with a medal for Conspicuous Lunacy in the Face of Facts, to believe that Kos drove Lieberman from the Democratic party.

You'd also have to believe that Lieberman's heart ever had a stronger connection to the Democratic Party than his lips have to Bush's buttocks.

Posted by: bobb on April 14, 2007 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

Flamethrower,

I basically agree with you, but at least he's woken up on Iraq. That's progress. Now for the rest of the agenda. You haven't noticed a slight improvement?

Posted by: nepeta on April 14, 2007 at 9:15 PM | PERMALINK

i agree with ben: i'm not sure how many readers of the otherwise excellent wsj even bother with the editorial page. it would be interesting if there was a way to find out.

as for egbert: he was stupid on the previoius version of this thread, and he's stupid on this one as well (although i notice he's removed the anti-semitic charge that he previously employed). in point of fact, of course, joe lieberman drove himself out of the democratic party, although as a functional matter, he remains: kos (like many others, including a majority of CT dems) merely noticed.

Posted by: howard on April 14, 2007 at 9:16 PM | PERMALINK

More importantly, just think of how little liberal media there really is. Miniscule is a good descriptive word (all we have is Olbermann).

This hallucination continues to be hilarious. Check out some surveys of media people sometime for their political leanings.

Unless of course your criteria for "liberal" is mouth-foaming fanatic.

Posted by: bobwire on April 14, 2007 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, their audience is old, not particularly liberal. It's an average age of 59 or 60.

Posted by: Matt Stoller on April 14, 2007 at 9:23 PM | PERMALINK

I've never actually heard Nanacy Grace, or even read the closed captions, but for some reason she is silently on TV at the gym a lot. The vicious, hate-filled look on her face is enough to make me think she must be saying something really awful.

Posted by: Steve on April 14, 2007 at 9:29 PM | PERMALINK

Howard: From personal experience, I'm pretty convinced that lots of otherwise normal (but conservative) WSJ readers do indeed read the editorial page and believe the stuff they print. It's not that it turns them into conservatives, but that it takes non-wingnuts and turns them into wingnuts.

BTW, I was mostly focused on radio/TV personalities. (Yeah, I know, that was hardly obvious since I also singled out the WSJ editorial crew.) Matthews' problem is not that he's wrong about everything, but that he seems like the biggest exemplar of the clown show approach to politics. Sure, the people who appear on his show bear some part of the blame, but he's the ringleader.

Posted by: Kevin Drum on April 14, 2007 at 9:33 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, perhaps i'm lucky in my circle of acquaintances: i know many wsj readers, and none of them takes the editorial page seriously! clearly one of us knows an atypical selection of journal readers.

speaking of wingnuts, then we have bobwire: rather than actually, you know, look at what appears in our various media, he wants to rely upon very limited polling data of personal opinions. that's why it's so hard to take right-wing arguments seriously about anything: today's rightwingers quite literally seem to have no clue about the process of logical thought, only the process of loud-mouthed fulmination, propaganda, and lying....

Posted by: howard on April 14, 2007 at 9:43 PM | PERMALINK

Nice post from Mr. Drum. Concise and true.

Posted by: luci on April 14, 2007 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

Matthews' audience is probably mostly liberal and centrist liberal, and he convinces them that liberal politics is an idiotic clown show.

I have noticed this and it bothers me. Matthews has always rubbed me the wrong way, but he really doesn't use the politics of hate like Lou Dobbs.

Posted by: Brojo on April 14, 2007 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

I agree that the WSJ editorial page is one of the worst rags I have ever seen from a major newspaper. One might expect it to be a megaphone for the billionaire wing of the Republican party -- after all, that is it's natural base. But they are also just hacks for right-wing extremists on almost all issues. One might have thought the WSJ would support expansion of funding for stem-cell research -- after all, stem-cells entrepreneurs like it and it potentially could lead to economic growth along with advancing science. Instead, they just blindly kiss Bush's ass.

Posted by: Ogre Mage on April 14, 2007 at 9:59 PM | PERMALINK

from wikipedia:
Matthews has worked for four Democratic politicians. He was a presidential speechwriter for four years during the administration of Jimmy Carter. Among his efforts was Carter's infamous "malaise" speech, though the word "malaise" did not actually appear in the official transcript.
He served as a top aide to long-time Speaker of the House of Representatives Tip O'Neill for six years. He worked in the U.S. Senate for five years on the staffs of Senators Frank Moss and Edmund Muskie before losing to Pennsylvania Congressman Joshua Eilberg in a U.S. House of Representatives Democratic primary in 1974.

Matthews was raised in a conservative Irish Catholic household. As a young man he was a Goldwater Republican who was inspired to become a Democrat by Eugene McCarthy's pro-civil rights and anti-Vietnam war platforms. Despite having worked for Democrats, Matthews has said, "I'm more conservative than people think I am. ... I voted for George W. Bush in 2000."


Posted by: consider wisely on April 14, 2007 at 10:03 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks Kevin, this is really an excellent change of pace discussion. Like you say, its pretty easy to go after the dogmatic like Fox News, Limbaugh etc, but you are right,they are preaching to the choir. It is the insidious ones that are interesting for this discussion. I think that on a lot of the big issues Chris Matthews personal, deep down, beliefs may be better than he is given credit for; but I still agree with all the criticism here of what transpires regularly on his show. I am going to nominate Norah O'Dionnell and Wolf Blitzer. Blitzer acts like he Ed Murrow while mindlessly reading and parroting whatever sinmeister bullshit the GOP machine spits out. You almost wonder if a body snatching gooper seed pod didn't take him over somewhere in his big stint in the middle east quite some time ago. Norah O'Donnell is simply ridiculous in her off the charts empty headed stenography of GOP blather; it is laughably pathetic, and delivered with almost a complete lack of basic intelligence.

Posted by: bmaz on April 14, 2007 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

I believe it was Brad DeLong that said this--
If the Wall Street Journal editorial page were to tell you that there is plenty of milk in the refrigerator, you would be well-advised to open the refrigerator and take a look for yourself before heading out to the grocery store.

Posted by: consider wisely on April 14, 2007 at 10:08 PM | PERMALINK

Oops, lets not forget the Washington Post in it's current vintage. Save for Dan Froomkin and occasionally EJ Dionne, it is hard to distinguish from the WSJ anymore.

Posted by: bmaz on April 14, 2007 at 10:09 PM | PERMALINK

CWA - Why bother to look? Just go get milk.

Posted by: bmaz on April 14, 2007 at 10:10 PM | PERMALINK

The problem isn't so much that there's a single worst person or even a short list of them, it's that there are so many and so much variety to choose from. No matter what you brand of right-wingnuttery there's a friendly place to go to get your preconceptions affirmed. The business elite have the WSJ editorial page (among other "business" publications). If you're think the (7,000 year-old) earth is an the thrall of secular humanist atheistic Darwinists, you've got Dobson (and Robertson and Fallwell and ...). If you're a grumpy old white working class guy who thinks all the foreigners are taking the good jobs, O'Riley and Dobbs are for you. You name it, they got it on the right.

But where do we far left liberal tree hugging America-hating want-the-terrorists-to-win pinkos go for our fix? The Internet - maybe a little. But the Internet requires you to go and look for it. On the Right it's in your face all over the place.

When it comes to media, we're just outnumbered and outgunned. Given that, I think it's a testament to the reasonableness of the average voter that we still win elections.

aa

Posted by: aaron aardvark on April 14, 2007 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

A Aardvark's comment made me think of a voice that I really miss. Although he wasn't an uber-liberal, he was certainly progressive, intelligent and honest. Aaron Brown, last seen in the anchor chair at CNN

Posted by: bmaz on April 14, 2007 at 10:20 PM | PERMALINK

excellent article about WSJ's shortcomings:

http://slate.msn.com/id/2086691/

Posted by: consider wisely on April 14, 2007 at 10:33 PM | PERMALINK

In case anybody's Interested, my take on the Imus collision:
http://homepage.mac.com/petergillis/iblog/
Oh, and a really bad latin pun.

Posted by: pbg on April 14, 2007 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

Well I'll go a long ways for a bad Latin pun! See ya there!

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 14, 2007 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

David Brooks, Thomas Friedman & Christopher Hitchens. All 3 for pretty much the same reason. They are all smart enough to know how damaging, dishonest & enabling they've been in support of the whole bait & switch neo-con-job. They're all serious enough to know the vast repurcussions of the greatest foreign policy disasters by the most craven, incompetent administration in US history. And all 3 even now continue to justify, rationalise, evade responsibility & wilfully dissemble.

When Brooks very recently said, yet fucking again, on the Newshour that Joe Wilson's CIA report supported the Niger yellow-cake fiction, I don't think I've ever loathed a media commentator more. It wasn't just the lie. It was that he repeated it knowing it was a lie, to cover his longstanding, eye-rolling dismissal of Plame-gate as a Beltway brouha-ha, a teacup tempest, which was unavoidably neither with Libby's conviction. (I also resnt the hell out of Mark Shields for being such a bumbling, blustering, ineffectual voice for what's jokingly referred to in the US as the "left")

Chris Matthews, by contrast, is a terminal lightweight, buffeted by man-crushes & mean-girl-grudges, who dishes politics like it's celebrity gossip. If politics is "showbiz for ugly people", Matthews is it's porcine Mary Hart. Similarly, Coulter, Malkin, Limbaugh, Grace & the entire staff at Fox are doing schtick. They are paid provacateurs, play-acting outrage, confecting controversy, sneering their hate-filled invective because, like car wrecks & bar fights, verbal violence draws a big crowd.

Other ostensibly serious, & seriously vile, commentators like Novack, Kristol, Krauthammer etc., I loathe less (than Brooks, Friedman & Hitchens) because I suspect they are credulous & zealous enough to actually believe the fact-free polemic they peddle. They escape worst-ever status through the startling sincerity of their stupidity.

Posted by: DanJoaquinOz on April 14, 2007 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, I'm going to vote for the New York Times here as doing more damage to the national discourse than the WSJ.

Even Henry Maier was aware of the wreck their editorial page was, and he's been deceased since the summer of 1994.

Posted by: Lettuce on April 14, 2007 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK

Since bmaz brought up the Washington Post, what is going on there these days? Are they turning into the Washington Times II? This seems to be a relatively recent development. That unsigned "Pratfall in Damascus" editorial on Nancy Pelosi's Mideast trip was a sign of how much things have changed. The fact that the editorial was unsigned is significant and carries more weight. Traditionally, an unsigned editorial is supposed to reflect the view of the editorial staff as a whole rather than just the writer. In the past, I could certainly have seen the Post running a signed editorial blasting Pelosi, reflecting the individual columnist's view. But the fact it was unsigned was striking.

Posted by: Ogre Mage on April 14, 2007 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

Egbert, DailyKos is one of the Web's most active sites, with more than 100,000 active members and millions of hits per month. It represents the whole range of Democratic and Independent thought, and actually allows people to (gasp!) post opinions, even dissenting ones, something your heroic conservative sites tend to shy away from. (See how fast Free Republic bans you if you post an opinion counter to theirs.)

Kos apologized about his angry reaction when four American mercenaries were killed in Iraq. (Did you, egbert, ever say or post something when you were angry that you regretted later?) It's just that he grew up in Central America, and he saw what brutality mercenaries and "contractors" are capable of.

Kos helps raise millions of dollars and stir up thousands of volunteers for Democratic campaigns. He helped bring Jim Webb, Jon Tester, and Claire McCaskill into the Senate, helped Barack Obama win the Illinois Democratic Senate primary in 2004, and has generally become a terror for the conservatives--like you. And egbert, don't you dare talk about loathsomeness when you cheerfully support the most viciously criminal Administration in American history.

Posted by: Joseph A. Miller on April 14, 2007 at 11:05 PM | PERMALINK

Peggy Noonan is a cult leader like Ann Coulter so I doubt WSJ has any real impact on anybody other the redneck - stupid people, who only read the WSJ for op-eds.

But it's been the mainsteam media that has fallen the lowest. Like that stupid editoral about Valerie Plame, and all the outright lies - so a piece had NO business on the editoral pages of that newspaper.

Lee Iacocca is right and something else about these words:

We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car."

And this: "Thanks to our first MBA President, we've got the largest deficit in history, Social Security is on life support, and we've run up a half-a-trillion-dollar price tag (so far) in Iraq. And that's just for starters."

It's sounds Republican.

Whatever happen to real conservatives?

On the CNN, I heard that more voters are independent now but dollars to donuts - I be willing to bet it's not liberals going INDY but Repugs going "Indy". The GOP did everything Bush wanted them too ONLY because, in return, the GOP got whatever pork or cushy job for themselves and the their friends - the GOP forgot their constituency even mattered, and NRO, WSJ isn't the voters.

CASE in point - look at Ezra Klein blog today:


More Thompsonian Economics
By Ezra

From a bit later in his (Fred Thompson) op-ed:

This issue is particularly important now because massive, unfunded entitlements are coming due as the baby-boom generation retires. We simply cannot afford higher taxes if we want an economy able to bear up under the strain of those obligations.

Perchance Fred Thompson is hoping that baby-boomers will still vote for him but really, I don't see it. The GOP was so busy kissing Bushie's liar ass they forgot they had a constituency, and I think those baby-boomers just want "Indy" AND WILL NOT vote GOP?

Fred Thompson is stupid, yes!

Almost as dumb as McCain.

Posted by: Cheryl on April 14, 2007 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

Good post, Kevin. Let us raise a toast to centrist liberal pundits everywhere who, until the November election, maintained that the big problem was that the Democrats didn't have clue.

Posted by: Walter Crockett on April 14, 2007 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

Jeebus:

Howard: From personal experience, I'm pretty convinced that lots of otherwise normal (but conservative) WSJ readers do indeed read the editorial page and believe the stuff they print. It's not that it turns them into conservatives, but that it takes non-wingnuts and turns them into wingnuts.

Gee, that would be speculate that the mostly college educated people that purchase the WSJ – to keep up with the stock market, don’t have any critical thinking skills. I'd give the readers alot more credit than that does Kevin and his gullibility factor.

Be interesting to run a poll - How many people reading the WSJ actually ever listen to Rush Limbaugh? And what areas does the WSJ sell best in, NY and CA? Certianly I would doubt that WSJ sells much to those folks in the heartland of the redneck village people red states.


Posted by: Cheryl on April 14, 2007 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

I have nothing to say other than that I completely agree with you, Kevin. I think you articulated what I have felt for a long time, but lacked your eloquence to express.

Rock on.

Posted by: chuck on April 14, 2007 at 11:54 PM | PERMALINK

From Pew Research, Mar. 8, 2007: Today's Journalists Less Prominent Fewer Widely Admired than 20 Years Ago. An excerpt on today's favorite journalists:

Looking at the list of most admired journalists, no individual news person is named by more than 5% of the public. In fact, the differences among the top 3, Katie Couric, Bill O'Reilly, and Charles Gibson, are not statistically significant. In 1987 Dan Rather stood out among his colleagues with 11% of the public naming him as their favorite journalist.
Some of today's top journalists appeal to distinct constituencies reflecting the nature of their audiences. For example, Bill O'Reilly tops the list of most admired journalists among Republicans – 10% name the Fox News Channel talk show host. Only 2% of Democrats and Independents name O'Reilly. Much of Katie Couric's support comes from women: 7% of women name Couric as the news person they admire most compared to 2% of men. And Jon Stewart, host of the Daily Show on Comedy Central, is popular mainly with young people. Among those under age 30, 6% say Stewart is their favorite journalist, making him along with O'Reilly the top pick among this age group. This compares with less than 1% of those over age 30, who admire Stewart most.
And for a look at news media trends, see the fourth annual report on the state of U.S. journalism by the Project for Excellence in Journalism... that shows TV news audience losses in 2006 for the first time in years. For the full report, go to The State of the News Media 2007 starting with "Major Trends" and check the other research category links.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 15, 2007 at 12:01 AM | PERMALINK

From the posts above: Russert, Lehrer, Blitzer and Matthews; Andria Huffington; Ann Coulter; Malkin, Limbaugh, Grace & the entire staff at Fox; Mary Hart; Norah O'Dionnell (and Wolf Blitzer); Richard Cohen, Joe Klein, Maureen Dowd ; Lou Dobbs ; David Brooks, Thomas Friedman & Christopher Hitchens; Novack, Kristol, Krauthammer.
Wow! Quite a list. And you know what? I don't listen to or read the majority of these ignorant opinionated turds on any regular basis. I'm not quite sure why Lehrer is in the list because he is a news guy, not opinion. Of those I have seen or read at any time (Russert, Blitzer, Huffington, Coulter, Limbaugh, FOX (as a generality), Klein, Dows, Brooks, Friedman, Novack, Kristol, Krauthammer, although I might like to hear their views for counterpoint, I would not give 2 to get their opinion as its worth. In fact. most of them could be run into the ground just on their fact base. So what's an opinion based on falsehoods? Lies upon lies. But that's not what it is about, is it? Lies work. Or, at least do damage.
But, just like Imas, it is those of you, anyone who reads or listens to this trash, that support it.

You know, if your main interest is providing your own prejudiced opinion, rather than facts and considered balance, it's not news or information. It's propaganda.

Posted by: notthere on April 15, 2007 at 12:12 AM | PERMALINK

"the WSJ editorial page is by far the worst. I'm convinced it's done more real damage to the liberal cause than any other single source of the past quarter century"

Forget about the liberal cause, what about the damage they've done to the COUNTRY?

Posted by: Peter Principle on April 15, 2007 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

It says a lot, none of it good, that Jon Stewart is considered a journalist.

Posted by: craigie on April 15, 2007 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

BTW, Roger Ailes on Peggy Noonan:

A Noonan Flashback

I missed the fourth anniversary of this Peggy Noonan Classic:


Weeks later, after all the news--the invasion, Saddam gone, more al Qaeda arrests--the president of the United States had a meeting that he'd been looking forward to. It was in the Oval Office. It was early evening and the lamps seemed to light it with a golden glow. The door opened, and in marched the men who got Osama. The Ranger crew, the Screaming Eagles who guarded them.

The president gave them great medals and thanked them on behalf of a grateful nation. Then he asked for the Rangers who'd stormed the hideout. They stepped forward. Bush said he was sorry their names would have to stay secret but it was best under the circumstances, too much still going on, didn't want to let them be a target for some nuts.

"But when the time is right," Bush said, "your country will be told who you are, and what you did. And then -- better get ready for the sculptors and all the statues."

--posted by Roger

Noonan dear, Bush is such a nasty guy, there is no way in hell he let anybody get a statue unless it was him alone that was getting one.

I mean, as I recall, "heck-of-job" Brown got the axe, and Bush expects loyality be he doesn't give loyality to anyone except his two bosses Dick Cheney and Karl Rove.

Posted by: Cheryl on April 15, 2007 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

As bad as the WSJ editorial page is, by your metric it isn't nearly the worst. It's just SO over the top that I expect that it influences primarily the already insane. And then there is the contrast between the editorial page and the reporting mentioned by many previous commenters. The reporting undermines the editorial page to such an extent that I think it largely nullifies its harmful effects. (I tend to think that on the whole the reporting in the WSJ is better for liberals than the reporting in the NYT. Certainly it was in the run up to the Iraq war.)

And then one must consider, as you do, the audience. I'm not going to argue for a second that they represent an intellectual elite by any means, but generally they are of average or somewhat better intelligence. Smart enough to see the contrast between the editorial and news pages, and smart enough to therefore discount the editorial pages by about 80%.

Posted by: LarryM on April 15, 2007 at 12:17 AM | PERMALINK

DailyKos is one of the Web's most active sites, with more than 100,000 active members and millions of hits per month. It represents the whole range of Democratic and Independent thought...

Lately that "range" is about five millimeters wide on the political spectrum.

Posted by: rnc on April 15, 2007 at 12:22 AM | PERMALINK

And I'd echo the comments regarding the Washington Post. Virtually as pernicious as the WSJ editorial page, yet with (sadly and unjustifiably) infinitely more (unearned) credibility than the WSJ editorial page.

Posted by: LarryM on April 15, 2007 at 12:23 AM | PERMALINK

The thing to remember about Matthews is that he worships power. When Bush appeared strong, Matthews was in love. Now that Bush appears weak, Matthews is skeptical. There's really not much else going on.

Posted by: Kimmitt on April 15, 2007 at 12:23 AM | PERMALINK

Lately that "range" is about five millimeters wide on the political spectrum.

How wide is the spectrum of thought at Redstate, FreeRepublic or LGF?

If Kos is five millimeters, those would be measured in angstrom units. Kos entertains a lot of wide ranging thought, and you sound like someone who has read ABOUT DKos, but hasn't actually participated, because you obviously do not know anything about the site.

And why do you suppose that reader comments are so unpopular among nutwing sites?

Posted by: Repack Rider on April 15, 2007 at 12:30 AM | PERMALINK

rnc, I have to respectfully disagree. Read through about 100 diaries and 200 comments on DKos sometimes and you'll see everyone from conservative Blue Dogs to the true Lefties represented. Pro-gun and pro-life Democrats are heard from frequently. And no one criticizes the shortcomings of the Democrats more than DKos and its readers. The thing that unites all of us, however, is the horrendous damage being done to our beloved country by Bush, an increasingly delusional Cheney, and an utterly unprincipled Rove.

Posted by: Joseph A. Miller on April 15, 2007 at 12:33 AM | PERMALINK

RR - rnc is an ineducable crank.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 15, 2007 at 12:34 AM | PERMALINK

Daniel Henninger ought to be wormed.

All kidding aside, what I find most enraging about the WSJ Ed. Page is the smarminess: relentless, brazen, and total. It does not lie some of the time. It does not lie most of the time. It lies ALL of the time. In the face of all evidence, despite even the most withering scrutiny. (We need not waste time here discussing its quite novel approach to "corrections" when readers it has smeared point out the numerous lies and distortions published.) Iraq, U.S. Attorneys, Al Qaeda, NSA wiretapping, the Clintons, the Democrats, conservatives, liberals, taxes, economics . . . One has no choice but to wonder: Do they really believe

Posted by: TT on April 15, 2007 at 12:35 AM | PERMALINK

If the New York Sun was a much larger and influential paper, it'd be right up (or down) there with its upscale right-wing Israel uber alles approach. Too bad, because in some areas, notably the arts and even occasionally sports, the Sun is a decent newspaper and a nice alternative to the tired Post vs. Daily News brawl.

But I sense the New York Times and Washington Post, fearful over the decline of the print press and somewhat unsure over how to handle their online alter egos, are editorially hedging their bets in order to stay in good with corporate America and not lose any additional significant advertising accounts. Remember, these papers have traditionally been more Establishment than "liberal," despite what the right-wing punks may have you believe.

Posted by: Vincent on April 15, 2007 at 12:44 AM | PERMALINK

Ever catch the WSJ editorial writers on TV? They used to have a show on one of the cable channels and MAN, are they a creepy looking bunch of people. If a Hollywood producer set out to cast a central committee for some Orwellian totalitarianist dystopia, I doubt they could have round up a group that would make your skin crawl more by design. I'll bet they start to smolder if exposed to direct sunlight.

Posted by: CalD on April 15, 2007 at 12:50 AM | PERMALINK

maybe it's just me but i'm skeptical about how influential any of these clown are, for good or for ill. the wsj editorial board is in the same category as limbaugh or o'reilly. they're so rabid, so intellectually dishonest i doubt even family members take them seriously. i doubt they believe themselves. i do however agree that maureen dowd is dangerous, not for any of her ideas — she has few — but rather for the cynicism she views the world, especially the left.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on April 15, 2007 at 1:02 AM | PERMALINK

RNC,
If DKos is just a left wing site, why does Jim Webb get such strong support there?

Posted by: This Machine Kills Fascists on April 15, 2007 at 1:21 AM | PERMALINK

The recent furor over Don Imus's comments has led me
to conclude that the MSM isn't very capable of delving deep into society's ills.

Yes, racism and sexism are awful, but so is war and the vast machinery that supports it.

What if the energy that was expended over Imus was directed towards the Iraq mess?

Think about it.

We only have energy for "fluff" and neglect real problems.

While the bball fiasco merited some MSM covergage, what about the murder rate in, say, Philadelphia?

Now that's a real problem, one that demands far more action than the response we saw to Imus's vitriolic language.

The WSJ = an entity that must cherish the notion that our country is best when (as now) run by a government for the rich and nothing but the rich so help us god!

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on April 15, 2007 at 2:00 AM | PERMALINK

I believe Nancy Grace is Mark Levin in a really bad wig and falsetto voice.

Has anyone ever seen them together?

Posted by: Roger Ailes on April 15, 2007 at 2:09 AM | PERMALINK

If DKos is just a left wing site, why does Jim Webb get such strong support there?

Jim Webb's only function was to knock out George Allen, and Kos would have supported George Wallace if that's what it took to do that.

Is any of that support you mention recent?

Posted by: rnc on April 15, 2007 at 2:11 AM | PERMALINK

No way can you mention Matthews and leave Timmeh off the list.

Posted by: Mary Contrary on April 15, 2007 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

Brojo writes:

I have noticed this and it bothers me. Matthews has always rubbed me the wrong way, but he really doesn't use the politics of hate like Lou Dobbs.

I agree absolutely about Lou Dobbs, but out of all the media personalities mentioned, Chris Matthews is the most entertaining and watchable. I disagree that his show is an idiotic clown show. He's at least geniune, unlike Lou Dobbs, who latches on to whatever isolationist flavor-of-the-month topic, with his faux outrage. Clearly, Lou Dobbs is the worst of the worst. And although I agree with Olbermann's message, he seems a little to self-righteous, and his diatribes are a little too convoluted, which makes me want to turn the channel half-way through the same way you want to walk away from someone who talks about a topic for far too long at a party.

Posted by: Andy on April 15, 2007 at 3:44 AM | PERMALINK

rnc:

is three weeks ago recent enough for you?

Daily Kos: Yeah, he had a gun.

Posted by: Mary Contrary on April 15, 2007 at 3:50 AM | PERMALINK

Journalist Michael Tomasky's reviews included the WSJ, Wapo and others...as captured in the Slate article

[W]hile the pages are more or less equally partisan when it comes to supporting or opposing a given presidential administration's policy pronouncements, the conservative pages are more partisan—often far more partisan—with regard to the intensity with which they criticize the other side. Also … conservative editorial pages are far less willing to criticize a Republican administration than liberal pages are willing to take issue with a Democratic administration."

Tomasky's method was to review 510 editorials that ran during the Clinton and Bush administrations.

Posted by: consider wisely on April 15, 2007 at 4:34 AM | PERMALINK

There is no dispute that Matthews is a loudmouth and he often blows with the political wind, but his aggressive style does lead to tough questions of pols who often are getting their asses kissed on other programs.

Most importantly Matthews does pick up on good stories. The best evidence of this in the recent past is after Joe Wilson's article in the NY Times, it was Matthews who was chasing the story to the VP's office. Matthews was the one harping on the fact that Cheney would receive a report. This was such a hassle to the VP that he sent his pitbull Libby to harass Tim Russert (a call that landed Libby in jail).

Grace is disgusting for her attempt to convict three innocent guys in the media. The Journal is ridiculous and I never read it, but Matthews serves his purpose. The media is never going to be perfect and television is full of people in love with themselves. You have to take this shit for what it's worth and then find out the truth yourself.

Posted by: Noah on April 15, 2007 at 4:54 AM | PERMALINK

No CONTEST: The Washington "Moonie" Times has to be the worst. This is a radical and fanatical right wing rag that is read religiously by all Republicans in DC; and even by the MSM people. In the circa late 70's to early 80's the Korean cultist ,criminal, and tax frauder Rev. Moon established the Washington Times to influence DC Politicos, media, and America. Since that time his paper lost close up to two billion dollars. That is $2,000,000,000; with no profit to show. And he is not even a fucking American. And if you do not think that Moon has power. Just look back a couple of years ago when he had himself coronation in the US Capitol. By a Dem at that. Them read his rag. It will make you puke. Especially the extra large editorial page. This man knows mind controll.

Posted by: DaveA on April 15, 2007 at 5:46 AM | PERMALINK

I like Chris Matthews and can't believe you're saying he's as offensive as Grace. I think his show is probably the best left on TV today.

Looking at all the shows on a given Sunday morning, there will be maybe 10-15 good tough questions asked by the hosts to the variety of guests on that day -- but every Matthews weekday show is almost entirely comprised of great and tough questions, albeit often to the regular guests like Buchannon.

What about O'Reilly and Carlson, Hannity and Colmbs, and the other Faux news spoofs that really actively mislead the public?

Posted by: kim on April 15, 2007 at 7:00 AM | PERMALINK

I cry myself to sleep every night about the damage that pushing Lieberman out of the Democratic party did to liberal causes.

Posted by: derek on April 15, 2007 at 7:22 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin: "Of these, by the way, the WSJ editorial page is by far the worst. I'm convinced it's done more real damage to the liberal cause than any other single source of the past quarter century. There's probably a good book in that story somewhere."

While the subject of racism in media remains in the public spotlight, thanks to Don Imus -- bear with me, you'll see the relevance -- I'd like to offer readers this little gem by the Wall Street Journal's John Fund, from his May 22, 2000 editorial "Hawaii's Gray Politics", which excoriated the islands' then-Gov. Ben Cayetano, an American of Filipino ancestry (and a Democrat, of course):

"Here's hoping that Hawaii can say goodbye to its bamboo-republic status and become a hospitable place not only for tourists but also for independent thinkers."

Fund was chastising Gov. Cayetano for supposedly removing the Republican chairman of the Hawaii State Tax Commission, ostensibly for purely partisan motives.

However, the truth of the matter was that not only had this same Republican resigned his post voluntarily, he had actually done so four months prior to Cayetano's election as governor!

Fund and the Journal never printed a retraction or correction, nor did they ever see fit to apologize to the people of Hawaii -- 64% of whom are non-white -- for Fund's blatantly racist "bamboo republic" slur.

Quite frankly, as long as the Journal's editorial board continues to offer opinions that resolutely underscore its members' collective need for anti-psychotic prescription medication, the entire paper will risk embodying the very caricature with which John Fund once slandered my adopted home state -- that of an inhospitable place for independent thinkers.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on April 15, 2007 at 8:12 AM | PERMALINK

Kudos for the WS JOurnal Editorial selection but the WAPo Editorial page should received an honorable mention for vigor and effort at twisting the facts at least. I would like nominate the Drudge Report and the NOte given their consistent form of misinforming and confusing the MSM. They both play a role in dummying down the media and their followers by leasing on what event are meaningful and just what that meaning might be.

Posted by: Kevin Shandig on April 15, 2007 at 8:16 AM | PERMALINK

Could you explain why Kos doesn't count? When it comes to damaging liberal causes, he did drive a Senator out of the Democratic party. On a personal loathsomeness scale, he said "Screw 'em" when four Americans got killed and strung from a bridge by terrorists. Why doesn't he count?

Letsee... A Democrat who didn't vote with Democrats on any of the dividing issues...

...Americans? What, we have to be up in arms because they were paid by Americans? Not because they were armed thugs? So everything they did is swept under the rug because they were born in the US?

These don't seem to be very important issues of the day. Heck, so far the Democrats have been winning the votes in the new congress without that 'Democrat's vote. And those four guys? Where were you when the last (I don't know how many but it's more than four) non-Iraqi civilian contractors were killed?

Ugh.

Honestly, I don't know how the WSG gets away with printing some of the tripe it does, or even what Chris Matthews is on.

Posted by: Crissa on April 15, 2007 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK

derek: "I cry myself to sleep every night about the damage that pushing Lieberman out of the Democratic party did to liberal causes."

Why do you believe that Sen. Lieberman was still entitled to his party's nomination last year, given that he not only repeatedly espoused personal views that were clearly at odds with mainstream Democratic opinion in Connecticut, but also never missed an opportunity to publicly deride the majority of Democratic voters for being out of step with him?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on April 15, 2007 at 8:35 AM | PERMALINK

I think they are all bad. I mean, I can listen to the liberal ones and grin sometimes, but what all these folks essentially do, whether liberal or conservative, is drive wedges between people who truly should be talking to one another. Someone once said that listening only to people who think like you do typically results in an "incestuous amplification" of your own opinion. And we have seen how THAT is true by watching the George W. Bush administration going flying off into the wild blue yonder of behaviors thinking they are sooooooooo right. (Pun intended.) Everybody who disagreed with this administration's power players was ejected from their playing field. So I think ALL of the people you all mentioned deserve condemnation for radicalizing us at a time when we should be acting in a thoughtful, prudent, AND effective manner.

Posted by: Bobbi on April 15, 2007 at 8:40 AM | PERMALINK

Annoyingly, the WSJ editorials are often quoted by either those who trust the WSJ name - or didn't have time to read the news articles.

That it was printed in the WSJ is enough for most people. They just don't know that it appeared on the funnies page and not the news page...

Posted by: Crissa on April 15, 2007 at 8:48 AM | PERMALINK

I suspect the WSJ would regard this, "it's done more real damage to the liberal cause than any other single source of the past quarter century" as a copmpliment.

It would be more to the point to have said, "it's done more real damage to the honest discussion of issues than any other single source of the past quarter century"

Posted by: BroD on April 15, 2007 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK

he said "Screw 'em" when four Americans got killed and strung from a bridge by terrorists.

Since you cut and pasted from the other thread, "egbert," I note you didn't answer my question as why you omitted the fact that your "americans" were mercenaries. Reduces the propaganda value of your complaint, doesn't it?

As for Lieberman, your contention that Kos drove him out of the party is ludicrous on its face, but no more so than your claim that it's damaging to Democrats. Lieberman's Fox News Democrat act was what was damaging; now that he can't be represented as a spokesperson for the party, his influence is limited.

Tool.

Posted by: Gregory on April 15, 2007 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

"Since bmaz brought up the Washington Post, what is going on there these days? Are they turning into the Washington Times II?"

More like "Washington Times Lite."

Posted by: BroD on April 15, 2007 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

I'm not going to argue for a second that they represent an intellectual elite by any means, but generally they are of average or somewhat better intelligence. Smart enough to see the contrast between the editorial and news pages, and smart enough to therefore discount the editorial pages by about 80%.
Posted by: LarryM

It suffices to point out that rdw reads the WSJ editorial page as Gospel. That gives us a readily identifiable base-line of witless credulity divorced from any intelligence whatsoever.

Posted by: MsNThrope on April 15, 2007 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

There were 2 "liberal" reporters -- their names escape me -- one for the NYTimes and one for the Washington Post -- who in 2000 decided that they hated Al Gore and set about cooperating with the right wing noise machine about Al Gore's "lies". They're the ones who legitimized the crap and set in motion The Gangster Bush's election. They're #1s.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on April 15, 2007 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

Jeffrey Davis,

Do the names Elizabeth Bumiller, Kit Seelye and Maureen Dowd ring a bell?

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 15, 2007 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

"done more real damage to the liberal cause "

I'd say the damage has been done NOT to the liberal cause, but to the United States. America has suffered because of the WSJ propaganda machine.

Posted by: richard on April 15, 2007 at 10:42 AM | PERMALINK

I've done two editorial board meetings with the WSJ: progressives should take a lesson from the WSJ editorialists.

Basically, not being 'their sort', I can only observe. But it looks to me like the WSJ writers start with a perspective: they will write the conservative take. So they're not 'independent', in a strict sense, they're ideological -- or as they might put it, principled.

That means (I think) they recognize that there are so many ways to talk about about any particular political or economic event, so they see their role as writing it up from an exclusively and aggressively conservative perspective. Let somebody ELSE try to be fair, or objective, or sort through the facts: that's not their job.

But that's not all of it. The WSJ is effective because they ALSO define their mission beyond, er, 'principle', to EFFECTIVE support for conservatives.

Pat Buchanan's example is doubly instructive: during the Iran-contra hearings, Buchanan famously attacked Congressional Republicans for missing the call to action -- 'when they come for your President,' he said something to this effect, 'it isn't the time to start investigating, it's time to start firing from the upper floors.'

And yet -- it was the WSJ among others who led the way in more or less writing Buchanan out of the conservative movement.

I'm not defending ANY of these particulars, but I am noting that they're all effective.

Where is the comparably effective progressive editorial page?

Where are the progressives who responsibly (cuz what I described above really IS responsible, within the conservative movement as the WSJ leads it) lead progressives the way the WSJ leads conservatives?

It's not enough to mutter, 'well, WE'RE different', cuz in many ways that's simply an excuse for being ineffective.

Right?

Posted by: theAmericanist on April 15, 2007 at 10:49 AM | PERMALINK

Sadly Kevin, you just encourage them (WSJ) when you write "it's done more real damage to the liberal cause than any other single source..."

Posted by: martin on April 15, 2007 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

> Could you explain why Kos doesn't
> count? When it comes to damaging
> liberal causes, he did drive a
> Senator out of the Democratic party.

Using a mind-control ray on all those Democratic Party primary _voters_ no doubt.

Cranky

Now we can talk about the nominal "Democrat" who did not accept the decision of his nominal party's most dedicated voters and stabbed said party in the back...

Posted by: Cranky Observer on April 15, 2007 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

Fascinating thread, Kevin. The comments are hilarious. Fortunately, you folks will never be in power so the Republic is safe. Rahm Emmanuel was too smart to recruit lefties to run against Republicans last year so we are not going to see radical policies no matter what Nancy does. The Republicans in Congress acted like Democrats so a lot of Republican voters stayed home last November. We'll see what 2008 brings. Personally, my money is on Rudy.

Posted by: Mike K on April 15, 2007 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Is it not apparent to all that all the "liberal" media people who are damaging the liberal cause are not liberals at all? These people are those who at one time were Democrats, but who now are very wealthy and completely out of touch with the Democratic constituency. Look at Matthews. What kind of Democrat could he be? He worked for Tip O'Neil who, despite his vaunted reputation, set the precedent and tone for Democratic surrender during his Speakership and who was the man who put Tom Foley and Dick Gephardt in line for succession. What kind of a basis is that experience for being a strong liberal? Only now is the House recovering from the horrible legacy of Tip O'Neil's years and Mathews was an integral part of all that rottenness.

Posted by: oleeb on April 15, 2007 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

I doubt the WSJ editrial page is the worst. The rich guys who make up their primary audience are already voting Republican.

Its assholes like Chris Matthews who are considered by some to be liberals who do more damage.

But, as Bob Somerby always points out, its not just Matthews but the New York Times and the Washington Post who have seriously harmed progressives. Ask Al Gore.

Posted by: The Fool on April 15, 2007 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

Is it not apparent to all that all the "liberal" media people who are damaging the liberal cause are not liberals at all? These people are those who at one time were Democrats, but who now are very wealthy and completely out of touch with the Democratic constituency. - oleeb

Just so.

'The real threats to their living standards are the growing inequality that could leave most of them worse off, a dysfunctional health care system that is responsible for the huge projected deficits that so bother the Post, and of course global warming. But, addressing these problems would require attacking powerful interest groups, so the Washington Post would rather publish columns telling baby boomers to kill themselves.' - -Dean Baker

Posted by: MsNThrope on April 15, 2007 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

Where is the comparably effective progressive editorial page?

Progressives have a little problem there. It's not in our DNA to engage in massive, chronic, and fully deliberate lying. It makes us, well, uneasy and red-faced.

Conservatives, you see, just have certain natural advantages in politics. But it's not working out so well for them when it comes to actual governance, is it? They've got everything licked but reality.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 15, 2007 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Fat White Guy, everyone is entitled to their own opinions. no one is entitled to their own facts.

the wsj editorial page lives to break that rule.

Posted by: howard on April 15, 2007 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK


mike k: Personally, my money is on Rudy.


Did you know....Rudy Guliani's first wife was his cousin. And they say a New Yorker can't win in the South.

Posted by: Bill Maher on April 15, 2007 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

To me, one of the most interesting questions is, in the wake of the Bush/Republican/right wing debacle, what's to come of the WSJ, Fox News, and other propaganda organs for wingnut ideology?

It's almost hard to remember how popular and credible those sources became after 9/11. But where do they possibly go from here? Who but the most recalcitrant of fools might ever take them seriously again?

Once upon a time, the Conservative movement was mostly regarded by the larger public as a fringe, bizarre segment of the populace without a shred of plausibility -- pretty much the popular opinion held of the movement back in the days of Goldwater. I guess I mostly expect that it will be shrunk back to that status after Bush and all he represents is fully digested by the American public.

I'd expect that the WSJ editorial page will simply track that movement back down to its absurdist roots. But it will be interesting to see how it does in fact respond to its own extraordinary loss of real influence on American political life.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 15, 2007 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Oleeb bleats about " Tip O'Neil who, despite his vaunted reputation, set the precedent and tone for Democratic surrender during his Speakership..."

I wanna speak up for Tip.

O'Neill was one of the first of the oldline Democrats, the old-fashioned blue collar Joe Sixpack reps, to realize the war in Vietnam was a disaster. And his reasoning was important -- he had contacts in the missionary community (the Maryknollers who had taught Diem), which made him seek out CIA briefings, and he realized that first LBJ and then Nixon had simply lied.

He did the same thing during Reagan's Central American adventures.

So it's a bit much to tag him with 'surrender'.

What really cost Democrats control over the House and the national dialogue in general wasn't O'Neill -- specifically targetted as a metaphor for Democratic control of Congress, 'fat, bloated and out of control', and yet we didn't lose the House on his watch.

What cost Democrats the House as much as any other factor (and more than most) was the inability to stand up to majority-minority redistricting forced by the Voting Rights Extension in the late 1980s. The CBC tripled in size, and moderate southern Democrats essentially vanished.

Do the math, folks. It wasn't that O'Neill was too liberal, nor that he wasn't enough of a fighter.

But there IS something to oleeb's fantasy: during a floor debate over the nuclear freeze, an amendment was offered by Democrats to undercut Reagan during his nuke negotiations with Gorbachev. O'Neill did a very unusual thing as Speaker -- he took the floor himself for a speech, in which he ROARED that the reason he was against the amendment was because "I am a patriot!"

The House endorsed the freeze, but the amendment to undercut Reagan lost.

We need more of that, not less.

Posted by: theAmericanist on April 15, 2007 at 12:54 PM | PERMALINK
Could you explain why Kos doesn't count?... eggbutt at 8:16 PM
No TV show. No radio show. No newspaper column.
You just can't stand that conservatives finally have a voice out there... bobwire at 9:03 PM
You have all the voices out there. What's your beef?
Unless of course your criteria for "liberal" is mouth-foaming fanatic. bobwire at 9:18 PM
Nah, that's a description of conservative.
...LATimes that prints opinion as news ... Posted by: Fat Angry Guy at 7:44 AM
Too bad events don't always fit into your need to have your believes reinforced by rightist propaganda.
you folks will never be in power so the Republic.... Mike K at 11:01 AM
The republic is much safer with Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid. No wonder Republicans lose elections.

More and more, the news media is fluff and puff entertainment with pretensions of presenting both sides of issues: right and far right with the occasional stooge thrown in for comic relief.
David Gergan once responded to a Matthews question by asking "the way you're supposed to be a Democrat?" to which Matthews blushed. He should blush for his dishonest framing, constant interruptions, misogyny, obsession with Clinton's sex life, and fatuous man crushes on authoritarian figures. When Bush wore his flight suit, Matthews and Liddy were practically giddy over his 'manly package.'
Matthews made millions lying about and smearing Clinton and Gore, which he does to this day. No one outside of Fox News and the Heathers worked harder for the election of George W. Bush.


Posted by: Mike on April 15, 2007 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

The WSJ Ed. Page's perniciousness DOES NOT stem from its influence on right-leaning businessman and financiers who read the paper's news pages. Not at all. It stems from the fact that right wing conservative politicians, policy makers, and activitsts treat it as a rallying point, one from which to base political arguments and on which to base legislation, policy, etc. Remember, it was Bob Bartley and Ed. Page ally George Gilder who arguably did the most to convince the Reagan campaign to embrace supply side economics. Bartley's singular achievement was to make kookiness -- sleazy, mendacious, destructive kookiness -- appear eminently reasonable. Conservatives in Congress, the executive branch and elsewhere have been taking signals from the Ed. Page since at least the late '70s, even earlier (Nixon thought about hiring Bartley as a press secretary).

Posted by: TT on April 15, 2007 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

just FYI:

Lieberman got reelected with Republican money and Republican votes.

That makes him a defacto Republican.

No one "drove" him to do anything.

Posted by: lina on April 15, 2007 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

I actually still think O'Reilly and Hannity et all are still the worst. Working from home Kevin, you may be underestimating their water cooler effect, which seeps their garbage from the wingers into the merely ill informed.

Posted by: AJ on April 15, 2007 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Whenever Bush wanted political cover for his aggression in Iraq, and the disaster it has become, he could always turn to Lieberman as a clear example of "bipartisan" support for his decision.

Whom does he turn to nowadays for such support, with Lieberman routed out of the party?

Why, no one. His choice to continue to pursue the Iraq adventure is now a purely right wing, non-Democratic decision and catastrophe. And THAT is why it is an extremely fine thing to have Lieberman officially off the rolls of the Democratic party.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 15, 2007 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

Mike K: We'll see what 2008 brings. Personally, my money is on Rudy.

Hey, Mike K. I got 10,000 US says Rudy can't win the nomination. If you want I'll go another 10G's on the democrat in the general election.

You're money looks awfully good to me.

Posted by: obscure on April 15, 2007 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK
Liberals fear the WSJ editorial page because that page deals with economic facts.

Indeed. Facts like, "We're selfish, we're scared and we don't like people. Get away from me, and keep your government aid to the underpriviledged out of my wallet. I prefer a gated community. With armed guards."

Posted by: obscure on April 15, 2007 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

Good intentions about "equality and social justice" led to states like the Soviet Union and paradises like Cuba with its universal health care.

A very persuasive argument. Twenty years ago, I mean.

Got anything fresher? That one's already turned.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 15, 2007 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

I suppose he doesn't count as a media "star" but people like George Stephanopoulos have been incredibly damaging. Passing himself off as a liberal while being the first to say that Clinton's actions were impeachable --- what might we have been saved but for him?

Posted by: catherineD on April 15, 2007 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

It's hard to choose between genuine mendacious bastards like O'Reilly, Hannity, and the WSJ ed board, and concern trolls like Klein, Matthews, Lieberhack, and the Washington Post ed. board.

One is just flat balls out insane, while the others are key to undermining liberal thought by trying to be 'sensible', which usually equates to 'liberals and democrats are doing it all wrong, and they'll pay for their mistakes unless they act more like republicans'.

Posted by: Kryptik on April 15, 2007 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

My nomination more most loathsome media personage would have to go to Fred Hiatt, hands down. The WSJ editorial page is so over-the-top, chock-ablock with clownage, one can't even bother. But for us liberals, the Ben-Bradlee Post once was the paper that we thought, no matter what, was going to always be our responsible 4th branch of government. The great reputation the Post once had has been exploited by Hiatt and his cronies on the editorial board, the respectability of the paper lending their opinions a gravitas that they just don't deserve.

Anyway, Fred Hiatt, what you have done to the Washington Post earns you my most loathsome media figure of the Bush era.

I suppose that Hiatt might be somewhat of a marionette for even more loathsome behind-the-scenes figures at the Post, but he's the face of the fall of journalism in this country to me.

Tom

Posted by: Tom Hamill on April 15, 2007 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

no, mhr, the wsj editorial board doesn't state economic facts; it twists them. the editorials are laughable. actually, they would be much more influential, much more of a force if they adopted more of a principled conservative stand than reflect a partisan republican view.

as for equality and social justice, they're quaint ideals espoused in the declaration of independence, in the preamble to the constitution, embraced by abraham lincoln at gettysburg, cited countless times by republicans and democrats.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on April 15, 2007 at 2:03 PM | PERMALINK

"more of a principled conservative stand than ... a partisan republican view..."

That's why I noted the two aspects of what the WSJ does. It's not just that it gives the 'conservative' take on whatever is going on, which necessarily means arguing these facts are important and those aren't (or don't exist).

The WSJ editorialists also see it as part of their mission to promote Republican candidates, especially those of a particular type: AND the Journal does have a contrarian streak, pointedly printing dissenting pieces that, oddly enough, tend to reinforce its own position if only by contrast.

My point is that these are all very effective techniques: where is a similarly effective progressive voice?

Posted by: theAmericanist on April 15, 2007 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Your use of the terms 'liberal' and 'centrist-liberal' ought to be singled out as a paradigmatic instance of Orwellian language. Who the hell are you talking about?

Posted by: scudbucket on April 15, 2007 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

---individual wingnut frothers like O'Reilly and Limbaugh, for all their loathsomeness, have limited influence these days. They draw most of their viewers from the ranks of true believers, so their tirades probably change very few minds. Their audience already agrees with them.==

Unbelievable, you are making the same stupid mistake liberals have made for twenty years.. "Oh no one is listening" .. "oh, only crazy people would listen to them."

Unbelievable how so called moderates or liberals who are "supposed" to know politics still have no clue, none. Just keep watching them kicking you in the nuts and act like they aren't there or "they don't make a difference." How damn blind can you get?

Posted by: m on April 15, 2007 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

m, actually, i think kevin is probably correct: do you have some actual basis for assuming open-minded people listen to limbaugh and then become idiots? or are you just so proud of your holier-than-thou attitude?

Posted by: howard on April 15, 2007 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Would respond to M, but after reading his first two paragraphs, have decided to take a crash course in reading comprehension.

Kevin does make a legitimate argument about Hardball - Matthews cons those on the left that he is a Democrat - He claims the party left him years ago - If the truth be known, he left the party after his gig for Tip O'Neill was finished. He stacks his panels with right wingers, especially during elections - He fawns over Bush as a fellow with whom he would love to have a few beers. The only leftists and moderates who like him apparently fall for his anti-Hillary rants. Loved the last election in November, when he appeared with Olbermann for election results - He kept up his "But, I'm really important" while Olbermann was burying him with intelligent comments.

And now back to Reading Comprehension 101.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 15, 2007 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Josh, over at TPM, says that the orders to fire David Iglesias came directly from Bush himself. Gear up the impeachment machine – It’s time to bring down another Republican president!!! Yee-e-e-ha-aa-a!!!

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on April 15, 2007 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

Worst of the worst of the worst....

Dick Cheney

Cheney: Democrats Will Back Down on Iraq

By BEN FELLER
The Associated Press
Sunday, April 15, 2007; 1:39 PM

WASHINGTON -- Vice President Dick Cheney says he is "willing to bet" that Democratic lawmakers will back down and approve a war-spending bill that doesn't call for U.S. troops to leave Iraq. Top Democratic leaders shot back that Cheney has lost all public credibility.

With President Bush and Congress in a stalemate _ he plans to veto legislation that orders U.S. troops home, which the House and Senate plan to send him _ both sides are looking ahead. In an interview broadcast Sunday, Cheney predicted the Democrats will blink.

Not his time Dicky, I just don't see it pal... there IS no incentive to blink this time. I mean the Dems are getting a lot milage out of this, so why then give up a good thing - why not play it forward till 2008?

The power of the purse is stronger than loyalist shit and political spin - I mean coupled with all those polls that show the loyal Bushies are WAY deep in the toilet these days.

Senator Carl Levin is right, it sucks when nobody likes you.

Smell ya later Cheney...or not as the case may be.

Posted by: Cheryl on April 15, 2007 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

It can't help much that Fox gets better ratings, Rush rules talk radio

First, Fox gets better ratings than what? Other cable news channels? Yay for the world's tallest midget. If Fox is so great, why do so many people watch network news?

The radio is actually ruled by Infinity Broadcasting's news services, which are about the same as Rush's. 1010 WINS, the news station that everyone in the NYC listens to, more than Rush in that same area. Shocking, I know, but NYC-metro-area traffic and news has a larger audience than Rush.

Fox and Rush have a singular appeal to a select fringe demographic and are able to monopolize that demographic. The wider question of "what do Americans want to watch in news?" is answered by generally rather generic

Posted by: Constantine on April 15, 2007 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

... news and information sources.

Posted by: Constantine on April 15, 2007 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

If the Wall Street Journal editorial page were to tell you that there is plenty of milk in the refrigerator, you would be well-advised to open the refrigerator and take a look for yourself before heading out to the grocery store.

Alternately, you could check the news section of the WSJ, which would be likely to indicate that, in fact, you were almost completely out of milk, except for the remains of a quart which has already gone bad.

I subscribe to the Financial Times-- all the good journalism and reporting of the WSJ without having to indirectly support lunatic right-wing causes on the editorial page.

Posted by: Constantine on April 15, 2007 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

"m, actually, i think kevin is probably correct: do you have some actual basis for assuming open-minded people listen to limbaugh and then become idiots?"

When Rush sneezes the ENTIRE right wing noise machine catches cold and infects the entire body politic. Trying to convince yourself people like him are uninmportant to the bigger scheme of things is blind and stupid. People who DO NOT listen to Rush are affected by him. Thinking otherwise is as stupid as thinking since the Washington Times has a small circulation it hasn't played a major role in the rise of the freak world we see around us.

Posted by: m on April 15, 2007 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

When Rush sneezes the ENTIRE right wing noise machine catches cold and infects the entire body politic.

Rush is just a conduit of the right-wing talking points. He rarely originates them himself, outside of coining schoolyard names for his political targets. He's important because he's a large mouthpiece, not because he's a "thought center" for the right-wing noise machine.

Posted by: Constantine on April 15, 2007 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Okay... so here's the deal:
Josh Marshall threw down the gauntlet weeks ago. According to his thesis Purgegate is about fake voter fraud. It's all about controlling elections by stopping certain folks from voting. You know: disenfranchisement:

Purgegate is all about massaging the law to prosecute democrats for VOTER FRAUD. All so that Rove's guys have a better chance of getting elected.

Today Marshall continues to push the point...

Question:

Has any major tv networks have approached the thing from this angle?

Question:

Has any major blogger, other than Marshall, approached the thing from this angle?

Question:

Is Marshall correct in his analysis? Or is everyone in agreement that we should pretend he is not?

Question:

You want to know who reeks like shit in American media?

Let me answer that one:
EVERYONE WHO IS NOT NAMED JOSH MICAH MARSHALL.

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on April 15, 2007 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

m, you appear to agree: rush speaks to the true believers.

this was kevin's point.

he noted they change very few minds.

you don't disagree.

so your real problem is reading kevin accurately, which thethirdpaul already diagnosed.

PS. the right-wing noise machine has a large number of spokespeople. ask yourself this: suppose everyhing else in today's media existed other than rush. would anything be different?

and if the answer is no, you've again confirmed kevin's point.

Posted by: howard on April 15, 2007 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Where's little Kevin today? Hiding from all the positive developments in Iraq?

My prediction is that we start hearing from him less and less and the surge becomes more and more successful. He had a field day for a while, but now that the good news stories from Iraq are too good for the MMS to cover up, lot's of liberals are going to start looking like they hoped on the wrong bandwagin.

Violence in Bagdad is down 80% since Jan!

Posted by: egbert on April 15, 2007 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Egbert,

Perhaps you should do more than just read headlines in MSM before making stupid remarks:

"McClatchy estimates that 289 Iraqis were killed or wounded in political violence on Saturday. This passage is extremely important to understanding the sentiments of the Shiites of the South, among the main victims of the violence:

' Aqeel al Khazaali, the governor of Karbala, blamed the Baghdad Security Plan for the attack inside the relatively safe southern city. Karbala is about 50 miles south of Baghdad. "The Baghdad crackdown and the tribes in Ramadi are forcing the terrorists to leave their cities," he said. "Now Karbala is under fire from terrorists, and the central government has to take the necessary steps to help us to protect the holy city." '

Reality

Posted by: nepeta on April 15, 2007 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

matthews is the correct choice and I won't quibble with the WSJ editorial board and NG is irrelevant.
That said, matthews has always been against the Iraq war. It's almost enough to make me like him. Almost.

Posted by: TJM on April 15, 2007 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

speaking of people entitled to their own opinions but not their own facts, we have egbert's fantasy at 3:48! awesome work, buddy! rock on....

Posted by: howard on April 15, 2007 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Egbert, you drooling, mendacious fucktard, if things are so wonderful and the futures so bright the Iraqi's need shades, get your yellow ass to a recruiting office and sign the fuck up.

You. Are. A. Feckless. Craven. Coward.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 15, 2007 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

egbert is a chickenhawk COWARD. He is willing to spill the blood of others - and then lie to justify it.

Worst of the worst?

Egbert.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 15, 2007 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

BGRS -

I have other prioriteis at this time.

Posted by: egbert on April 15, 2007 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

Like being a craven chickenhawk coward, with no dignity, and no prayer of ever even sharing a zip-code with "honor."

You are a waste of skin.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 15, 2007 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

I sure hope one of those priorities is sterilization before your genetically defective ass breeds.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 15, 2007 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

[annoyed here.].

--tinkerbell

Posted by: egbert on April 15, 2007 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

You bluster and curse alot, BGCR, but notice how no one's disproved my talking points.

Iraqi Civilian Deaths Up in March BBC News

Sunday 01 April 2007

Iraqi figures estimate civilian deaths in violence across the country rose by 13% last month, despite the security crackdown in Baghdad.

Data compiled by several ministries put civilian deaths in March at 1,861 - compared with 1,645 for February.

Now go away turd.

Posted by: trex on April 15, 2007 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

40 Americans killed last week alone

More dead Americans in March than dead Iraqi security personnel.

Two bridges taken out by suicide bombers.

A bombing inside parliament itself.

Refute those facts, bitch.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 15, 2007 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

I'd nominate Norah O'Donnell and Matt Lauer. Because they're sneaky enough not to be noticed much, they can be unmentionably insidious, by their mere presence they pervert any situation.

Though I admit, if I had the choice, dropping Nancy Grace out of an airplane would be hard to resist.

Out of an airplane into a pit of starving intestinal parasites.

Posted by: cld on April 15, 2007 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

Matthews can't win. My oldest brother, who is a staunch conservative, can't stand him because he sees Matthews as pandering to the left.

You, a progressive, can't stand Matthews because you think that he panders to the right.

I know that he is sometimes obnoxious,and interrupts way too much, but he usually has interesting guests and a good show. I don't think that he deserves such scorn.

Posted by: Susan on April 15, 2007 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

egbert, I will heretofore refer to you as Bob Ford, as that name is synonymous with craven, opportunistic, cowardice.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 15, 2007 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

The WSJ is unnecessary -- the F.T. serves just as well. Other than the thouroughly loathsome Christopher Caldwell, their editorial pages are balanced. I haven't read the WSJ since the late 90s.

Posted by: onomasticator on April 15, 2007 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

Here's an article on how McCain and the Great Decider gave nearly identical speeches in Virginia.

Again I have to ask, what do they have on him? If he's trying to run as the candidate of 'yet four more years' it could only work if things were going really well, like Old Bush in 1988. Even Republicans know that's a loser this time around.

Over the past four years McCain has been roped in closer and closer. We have to ask, what do they have on him?

Posted by: cld on April 15, 2007 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

Matthews can't win. My oldest brother, who is a staunch conservative, can't stand him because he sees Matthews as pandering to the left.

You, a progressive, can't stand Matthews because you think that he panders to the right.

Posted by: Susan

I don't think you've been paying very close attention, either to the discussion or to Matthews' show. The point isn't that he "panders to the right," but that he's a nominal "liberal," who attacks the left at least as much as he does the right, often using silly, invented "facts" to do it.

As for your brother's opinion, well, there's someone up thread who thinks the L.A. Times is a "lefty rag" or something to that effect, so I'm not sure why anyone should give much weight to one person's opinion, even if that person is your brother. Most people on the right these days have been so brainwashed by Rush and Sean and the gang that any media source to the left of the average Fox personality is some kind of commie agitator in their view.

Posted by: Martin Gale on April 15, 2007 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

CLD: Here is another article, where McCain admits there is no "Plan B" if (when) the Splurge fails.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 15, 2007 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

Nobody, and I mean nobody, has ever made me want to blow up my television the way Nancy Grace can. Good thing I'm so damn lazy.

Posted by: Trickster on April 15, 2007 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

Saying there is no Plan B is like saying 'if you guys just hold out a while longer we'll be out of here'.

“I have no Plan B,” Mr. McCain said in an interview. “If I saw that doomsday scenario evolving, then I would try to come up with one. But I cannot give you a good alternative because if I had a good alternative, maybe we could consider it now.”

And these people complain about benchmarks!

He's promising both more of the same, and, resigned to defeat, that we'll shoot our way out, and take as many of them with us as we can.

He's trying to assume George's legacy while taking the burden of history off him, as if the gas of bloated corpses will float it up like helium.

What does he think he'll achieve?

The other Republicans all support the surge, but they're not walking down the aisle with it, and the more he's sucked into the White House spin cycle, the faster his campaign tanks.

He can't be unaware of this, and he doesn't seem to want to try and change course. It's like they planted a chip in his brain.

So, what do they have on him?

Posted by: cld on April 15, 2007 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

Egbert--regarding your imaginary rosy scenario:

"Despite the deployment of thousands of additional US and Iraqi troops, bombers continue to get past check points and even have infiltrated the capital's fortified Green ZOne. Military officials acknowledged that the security focus in Baghad has driven insurgents to areas outside the capital where large scale attacks have occurred.

Maj. Gen. Wm B Caldwell told a military briefing Wednesday that CIVILIAN DEATHS HAVE GONE UP NATIONWIDE SINCE JANUARY."
international reporting by Tina Susman

Posted by: consider wisely on April 15, 2007 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

The differences between the news articles in the WSJ and the editorials in the WSJ have always been a source of amusement to me.

Would like to point out that most of the people who read the WSJ are involved in business. They read the articles in the WSJ to get data on the business world around them. If the news articles were "slanted" (i.e., wrong) as much as the editorials, their readers would get pretty annoyed awfully quickly. The WSJ knows it can't get away with playing perky Pravda with regards to business information.

Guess that facts do have a "liberal-leaning slant"....

Posted by: grumpy realist on April 15, 2007 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

The differences between the news articles in the WSJ and the editorials in the WSJ have always been a source of amusement to me.

They're totally different staffs with no crossover. Until recently they worked in different buildings.

Posted by: rdw on April 15, 2007 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

Come on. If your metric is who has hurt the liberal cause the most, surely you cannot mention the WSJ without also mentioning the NYT. The WSJ may have done damage from outside, but the NYT has done much more damage from the inside.

Posted by: Disputo on April 15, 2007 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

The "success" of the surge in Baghdad is like the success of pushing in an inflatable ball in one spot, only to see it expand in others.

It's a classic heckuva job.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 15, 2007 at 6:32 PM | PERMALINK

Bill Maher: "Did you know....Rudy Guliani's first wife was his cousin. And they say a New Yorker can't win in the South."

Maybe his campaign theme song can be Dueling Banjoes ...

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on April 15, 2007 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

[This thread won't be hijacked by you and your repetitive echolalia]

Posted by: rdw on April 15, 2007 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

egbert: "Where's little Kevin today? Hiding from all the positive developments in Iraq?"

(Sigh!) I assume that you're referring to the following story from Baghdad, via today's :

"At least 34 people were killed in Baghdad on Sunday in another day punctuated by car bombings and suicide attacks on civilian targets of the kind that the two-month-old American security crackdown has so far been unable to restrain."

Or perhaps this, via Reuters:

"The political movement of fiery Iraqi Shi'ite cleric and militia leader Moqtada al-Sadr said on Sunday it would withdraw from the government on Monday to press its demand for a timetable for a U.S. troop withdrawal. Officials from the movement, which holds six ministries and a quarter of the parliamentary seats in Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shi'ite Alliance, said the formal announcement would be made on Monday at a news conference. The move is unlikely to bring down the government, but it could create tensions in Maliki's fractious Shi'ite-led government of national unity at a time when it is trying to heal sectarian divisions that threaten to tip Iraq into civil war."

That's really great news, putz.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on April 15, 2007 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

Oops. The first story I referred to in the above post was from the New York Times. I don't know why that got dropped from my post -- probably my mistake.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on April 15, 2007 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

egbert: "Violence in Bagdad is down 80% since Jan!"

Great! When are you heading over there? Seriously. Are you packed yet?

Posted by: Kenji on April 15, 2007 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

Well Donald, it did come from Baghdad. Last I heard tho, the body-count was 54.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 15, 2007 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

"Of these, by the way, the WSJ editorial page is by far the worst. I'm convinced it's done more real damage to the liberal cause than any other single source of the past quarter century. "

Thanks for the tip. I'll be sure to check them out.

Posted by: FrankH on April 15, 2007 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

Good humor is the secret of broadcast success in 2007 and forward. It is why Franken failed so miserably, but why conservative talkers thrive and grow, and indeed why O’Reilly and Hannity run rings around their cable competitors, why Larry King is still going strong, why Anderson Cooper and Larry Kudlow are gaining and why Brit Hume and his merry “Fox news all stars all” continue to dominate: They are generally and genuinely happy people. Their teeth do not grind at night. They are not consumed with paybacks and venom venting. They would no more particularize their political agenda into the comparison of a one of the country’s greatest legal minds to a Nazi mass murderer than they would abuse the Rutgers women basketball team. Sure, they play hardball –politics ain’t beanbag, as Mr. Dooley noted. (Look it up Keith, look it up.)

From Hugh Hewitt.

Posted by: rdw on April 15, 2007 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

[This thread won't be hijacked by you and your repetitive echolalia]

Awwwwww!

Posted by: rdw on April 15, 2007 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

MARK STEYN

I was at LaGuardia the other day. Nothing out of the ordinary. Just the usual four-hour delay brought on by yet another of these April snowstorms Al Gore has arranged as a savvy marketing gimmick for his global warming documentary. Anyway, as always when you're at the gate for hours on end, there's nothing to do but watch CNN. I gather air traffic delays now account for 87 percent of CNN's audience.


As Hugh explained humor is critical and that's why Rush is #1 and Franken is unemployed and why Fox has a larger audience than all of it's cable competitors and why Bill Bennett passed Imus (before he was canned) in less than 4 years.

Now the liberals have lost Imus as an outlet and have foolishly tried to embarrass Fox by cancelling debates. It does nothing of the sort but limits their own audience reach.

CNN didn't interview Steyn for his bestseller America Alone but Fox did, several times, and it is a bestseller.

Posted by: rdw on April 15, 2007 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

More good news from Iraq:

We could have paid for Social Security indefinitely plus complete National Health Care for all US Citizens for over 40 years with the money that we have already spent on the Iraq war.

I'm all from throwing Bush, Cheney, egbert, et. al. into Iraq without a key...

They wouldn't be missed at all.

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on April 15, 2007 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

The other day Glenn Greenwald said something to the effect of 'the childish playacting of people who pick out some local instance of cold weather to pretend it contradicts global warming is as if they were waiving the obituary page to prove the world population is decreasing'.

Posted by: cld on April 15, 2007 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

Like being a craven chickenhawk coward, with no dignity, and no prayer of ever even sharing a zip-code with "honor."

I must disagree with you here, BGRS.

Please replace the word "zip" with "area."

Posted by: Mary Contrary on April 15, 2007 at 8:23 PM | PERMALINK

Good point,. I will modify future aspersions cast toward egbert.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 15, 2007 at 8:27 PM | PERMALINK

Ladies and Gentleman,

I just thought that I would pass this along. You guys can rant and rave about Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Chris Matthews, Nancy Grace, etc. But are any of them stars in their own Comic Book?!?!?!

http://www.accstudios.com/

Yes everyone, our story is set in a post apocalyptic world 20 years from now. Under the Democrats (of course), the U.S.A. has merged with the U.N. U.N. Secretary General Jacques Chirac introduces Ambassator Osama Bin Laden, where he is given a full tour of the White House by President Chelsea Clinton and Vice-President Michael Moore. And from here, Osama plans to bomb the U.S.

How insidious!!! But which few "freedom loving" Americans are fighting to stop all of this? Led by Ollie North, G. Gordon Liddy, and a bionic Sean Hannity (he has a bionic right arm that has all the sense of a regular right arm...I guess this is so he can jerk off quicker), a group of patriots fight to bring America back to the glory that it once had.

Anyway, I thought that I would just share this with you for a laugh, considering how brave and heroic Sean Hannity is...

Posted by: adlsad on April 15, 2007 at 8:43 PM | PERMALINK

I must say that I'm rather disappointed that nobody has mentioned the nation's storytelling grandfather, Paul Harvey. His conservative creed which is masked by his folksy charm has had the Midwest dancing his tune for years. You have NO idea the influence he has in the red states. The guy is practically a deity. Unfortunately, his charming stories spin the facts (if you can call them that) to the right every time.

Posted by: MNDante on April 15, 2007 at 9:00 PM | PERMALINK

just when you think mark steyn can't get stupider, he does! (and, of course, it takes the supreme ignorance of rdw to quote the likes of hugh hewitt and mark steyn in the first place....).

as glen greenwald noted, the fact that you might get a snowstorm in april is about as pointless a response to the reality of global warming as reading the obituaries every day is to the fact that global population is growing.

the utter insanity is breathtaking (and hewitt calls this "happy!").

Posted by: howard on April 15, 2007 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

John Stoessel

Posted by: MaxGowan on April 15, 2007 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

(**Slapping Forhead**) MNDante just revealed The Master!!! It's so frickin' obvious. (Like that Buffy reference.)

Toasting you with a beer and breakin' out the Obviousman comics because I obviously need to brush up.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 15, 2007 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

This last winter was the warmest on record worldwide.

2006 was the warmest year on record for the U.S. and many other countries, and sixth warmest for the planet.

2007 is forecast to be the warmest year in recorded history.

rdw's forecasts for a Republican landslide in 2006 were 100% off. That should tell both you and him something about his knowledge of both the weather and the political landscape.

Posted by: trex on April 15, 2007 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: the WSJ editorial page is by far the worst. I'm convinced it's done more real damage to the liberal cause than any other single source of the past quarter century.

I ememplify Kevin's point. The WSJ editorial page played a big role in my conversion from liberal to conservative.

Posted by: ex-liberal on April 15, 2007 at 9:33 PM | PERMALINK

I ememplify Kevin's point. The WSJ editorial page played a big role in my conversion from liberal to conservative.

Actually, that's one instance in which the WSJ actually helped the liberal cause, believe me.

Posted by: trex on April 15, 2007 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

Bob Ford, you are a loathsome toad. I despise you. If you stood for anything I would despise it too, on spec.

And look upthread. I got my chain yanked a bit too.

Now, FOAD, won't you?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 15, 2007 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

trex - I owe you a package of Zingers! Raspberry okay?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 15, 2007 at 9:43 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know what a Zinger is but if they don't come in Guiness or coffee flavor then raspberry is fine, thanks.

Posted by: trex on April 15, 2007 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

Lemme issue a Republican style apology:

egbert, I am sorry if you were offended by my attempts to find some useful purpose you could fulfill.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 15, 2007 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

I guess that's a local thing - Dolly Madison bakery makes these really yummy decadent little creme-filled cakes. They are yummy, and the best flavor is raspberry.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 15, 2007 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

drooling mendacious fucktards like you, who lie at will to push an agenda and to whom the troops are toy soldiers make me angry and I will not apologize for that, and I am not sorry I have that level of loathing for you and your ilk.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 15, 2007 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

Plight of the Poor

Posted by: Suzie-Q on April 15, 2007 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

I'm surprised you aren't trembling or something at the coarse language and open loathing. What's that yellow stain? Oh - that's just your natural pall.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 15, 2007 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

When you finally come up with a comeback, Bob Ford, make sure to use correct spelling and homonym. Otherwise I will hand it back for correction and resubmission. We have entered a high steaks era here.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 15, 2007 at 10:12 PM | PERMALINK

[Handle Hijack]

Posted by: egbert on April 15, 2007 at 10:24 PM | PERMALINK

Mocking you, dipshit.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 15, 2007 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

Iraq is crucial to the course of the rest of this century. THe steaks are too high to fail. Posted by: egbert on January 10, 2007 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 15, 2007 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of yellow elephants, yellow stains, and yellow eggplants....

Check out the rig that one of the 101st fighting keyboarders here uses to post with:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v442/iftk/05/1176375069_84184_92139.jpg

Awesome dude!
You really are quite the warrior...

Why if I had a rig like that and thought the war in Iraq was vital... why... I wouldn't want to go serve my country over there either.

Crikey.
With a rig like that you've got better things to do for sure...

Posted by: ROTFLMLiberalAO on April 15, 2007 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

Oh. Hey Henery. It all goes double for you.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 15, 2007 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

Katie Couric is a suspect. She evidently wants to bolster the right wing, but she's not particularly efffective. I mean, if evil intent is coupled with lack of competence, is it really evil? Or something else?

Posted by: Romney on April 15, 2007 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

George Bush is both evil and incompetent.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 15, 2007 at 11:32 PM | PERMALINK

I ememplify Kevin's point. The WSJ editorial page played a big role in my conversion from liberal to conservative.

You might have done better to read, you know, the news section. The WSJ is very good at understanding value. That's their job. Notice that the columns on the opinion page are free to read online, while the actual news you have to pay for.

Posted by: Constantine on April 16, 2007 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

Well, egsmell. Signed up yet? It's safe as Indiana over there. Let's get a move on, soldier!

Posted by: Kenji on April 16, 2007 at 2:07 AM | PERMALINK

I haven't found Chris Matthews saying anything that would attract a liberal audience in over ten years. What is the basis for the claim he attracts mostly a liberal audience.

By Kevin's reasoning the worst would have to be the Washington Post editorial pages. The paper has a liberal reputation and then you read the editorial pages and find it is as bad as the WSJ editorial pages and more influential in Washington.

Posted by: Gary Denton on April 16, 2007 at 2:13 AM | PERMALINK

In the dev world you are presented with this choice:
On Time,
On Spec,
On Budget.

Pick two out of three.

People get stuck in this left vs right dichotomy and limit their options. Government is good for projects like infrastructure, such as freeways. Sure they'll cost twice what you were supposed to pay, but that's politics. However there are many more options for getting projcts done, making the dichotomy useless.

Posted by: bago on April 16, 2007 at 3:55 AM | PERMALINK

Martin Gale said:

I don't think you've been paying very close attention, either to the discussion or to Matthews' show. The point isn't that he "panders to the right," but that he's a nominal "liberal," who attacks the left at least as much as he does the right, often using silly, invented "facts" to do it.
__________________________________________________

As a matter of fact, I watch Hardball pretty often. I think that what you're talking about is Matthews' attempt(and sometimes it is feeble, I'll grant you) to be even handed. Everyone knows that he worked for Tip, but he doesn't want to be seen as having an obvious bias.

Posted by: Susan on April 16, 2007 at 6:07 AM | PERMALINK

I still think y'all don't get it. Consider the sheer competence of today's WSJ editorial on the World Bank: "Mr. Wolfowitz could be forgiven for concluding that bank officials insisted he play a role in raising Ms. Riza's pay precisely so they could use it against him later...."

Just SHOW me even one f'r instance of progressive spin that's as good.

Posted by: theAmericanist on April 16, 2007 at 7:49 AM | PERMALINK

trex,

The warmest year in record is a meaningless statistic when the record covers less than .00001% of the history of weather.

That 2006 was the warmest year in the USA is also meaningless. The warmest year globally, another very weak statistical measure, was in the latter 90's. Global Temps have been stable since.

The Goracle's claim Manhatten will be under 20 foot of water is laughably stupid even without the UNs forecsst of a sea level rise of less than 21" in the next 100 years which was down 25% from the UN's prediction of 5 years ago.

Give it another few years and they'll hace sea levels dropping.

If you want good global warming info go to the NationalReviewOnline and unde blog row select Planet Gore. There's also Timblair.com and a dozen other sites dedicated to the mocking of this religious movement.

For example we can expect a great deal of debate over the huge amount of pollution created by holding these GW 'awareness' concerts to fly the stars from their various mansions to their long limo's and back again etc., etc. Not that any ego's are involved. We really need these concerts because no one knows about global warming.

Will this drive Al's energy bill even higher?

Posted by: rdw on April 16, 2007 at 8:28 AM | PERMALINK

"CANARIES" THRIVING
USA Today, back in May 2005:

Gray wolves could emerge as a “canary in the coal mine” of global warming by suggesting how climate change will affect species around the world, researchers say ...

"Because gray wolves are so intensively studied, they may give us very good data on the effects of climate change,” says ecologist Mike Phillips, executive director of the Turner Endangered Species Fund in Bozeman, Mont.


Let’s see how our coal mine wolf-canaries are coping:


The wolf population has, on average, grown by about 26 percent a year for the past decade. The latest estimates, which summarize counts completed at the end of 2006, show they aren’t slowing down.

Posted by: rdw on April 16, 2007 at 8:29 AM | PERMALINK

For a really satifactory evisceration of Tom (Pollyanna') Friedman - easily in my Top Ten Worst of the Punditatariat:

http://jameshowardkunstler.typepad.com/
clusterfuck_nation/

Tom Friedman, celebrated New York Times columnist and author of The World is Flat, riffed on (or around) the issues of climate change and energy in that newspaper's Sunday Magazine this week ("The Power of Green"), and managed, in the process, to misunderstand just about every implication these conjoined problems present. Friedman's specious thinking is symptomatic of exactly what is wrong with our public discussion of these matters generally, and their presentation in mainstream media in particular.

I'm fond of saying that if America could harness the power it wastes blowing smoke up its own ass, we could magically escape our energy-and-climate-change predicament. I say this repeatedly to counter the increasing volume of lies we tell ourselves in order to maintain the illusion that we can continue living the way we do. Like so many other commentators suffering from cranial-rectosis, Friedman believes that we can keep on running our Happy Motoring utopia if we just switch fuels.

Friedman gives no indication that he understands the fundamentals of the global oil situation. He writes:

'People change when they have to -- not when we tell them -- and falling oil prices make them have to. That is why if we are looking for a Plan B for Iraq -- a way of pressing for political reform in the Middle East without going to war again -- there is no better tool than bringing down the price of oil.'

This is a fascinating statement. It's predicated on the idea that the US can achieve "energy independence," which is itself predicated on the further idea that we can accomplish this by switching out gasoline for ethanol. This is such an elementary error in thinking that it would be funny if it wasn't the lead story in the flagship of the mainstream media. As a Pennsylvania farmer put it to me in February: "It looks like we're going to burn up the last remaining six inches of Midwest topsoil in our gas-tanks." Friedman's statement also ignores the facts that running cars on ethanol would make no material difference in the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, or that ethanol is 20 percent less efficient than gasoline, meaning we would have to produce and use that much more of the stuff just to stay where we are."

Posted by: MsNThrope on April 16, 2007 at 8:39 AM | PERMALINK

Notice that the columns on the opinion page are free to read online,

That's because the WSJ understands their role and, as Kevin Drum stated, their influence. Kevin could use a math lesson. In saying the last 25 years he neglects their most important work. That's getting Reagan elected and supporting supply-side economics.

The NYTs also seems to understand their value in putting their columnists behind a firewall. It limits the mocking of Maureen, Paul, Bob and friends.

The WSJs readership of 2M is grossly understated because more read them online. This the 2 to 1 advantage of the WSJ versus the NYTs doesn't begin to measure the difference in influence.

For example long time liberal icon John Kenneth Galbraith died last year but was barely celebrated thanks to the WSJ and their long time mocking of his anti-supply-side positions as well as his regular pronouncements that Soviet style socialism was a viable alternative to capitalism. The WSJ proved him a fool and publizied the fact. The NYTs could do nothing to refute it. John mocked Reagan regularly. History mocks John.

Posted by: rdw on April 16, 2007 at 8:46 AM | PERMALINK

Dimwit.

Posted by: MsNThrope on April 16, 2007 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

The NYT's value in putting their columnists behind a firewall is that the news section of the NYT doesn't provide anything unique. It's a tacit admission that their news section isn't really that important. If the news section of the NYT was behind a firewall, then people would just read similar news stories elsewhere.

Similarly, if the WSJ's opinion section (which provides no value) were behind a firewall, people would just read similar-sounding opinions on townhall.com.

At issue is the value proposition involved-- the WSJ realizes that its opinion pages do not provide any tangible value, so they're free. Meanwhile, the news section provides quantitative value, and so the WSJ charges readers for it.

Consider also the consequences of each section-- if someone says something inaccurate in the news section, the readers who make decisions based on it lose money, and the writer gets fired. On the other hand, if some guy from the heritage foundation makes some lunatic claim on the opinion pages, who cares? No opinion columnist got fired for saying that everything was going well in Iraq, and they never will.

Speaking of worthless, the opinions of a cranky old man from Pennsylvania are less than worthless when it comes to his opinion on environmental issues. Ditto for the think tank "fellow" who majored in history and political science. So spare us, rdw.

Posted by: Constantine on April 16, 2007 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

The wolf population has, on average, grown by about 26 percent a year for the past decade. The latest estimates, which summarize counts completed at the end of 2006, show they aren’t slowing down.


Mr. rdw, you are proof that there should be limits placed on who can post here. I support the efforts of the interns to moderate your comments--you are a blight on the conservative cause and do more harm than good to the Republican Party.

Any idiot knows that radiation issued by cellular telephones is causing the wolves to become more powerful. It is not cellphone radiation that is causing the bees to disappear; this is bunk. Cellphone radiation is causing the wolves to eat EVERYTHING in order to sustain their population growth. They are eating the polar bears, the bees, certain sapling trees, even people and they are doing this because they know there is a dire climate emergency around the corner. They are putting on fat for the coming meltdown and they are getting prepared.

A wolf that starts to put on fat becomes an eating machine. It has heightened awareness of food sources and begins devouring everything. Throughout Europe, the middle ages have literature that tells of wolves that become ravenous and insane and begin eating entire villages, one person at a time, and no one knows why. Radiation from the sun arriving in cycles, perhaps?

Wolves are the ultimate natural predator and they know how to prepare for calamities. I don't know if I believe in this thing called Global Warming; I truly believe that radiation is everywhere now and it could very well be causing large predatory animals to become more aggressive against the population. I would hasten to add that man had better come up with a plan to defend his settlements on the northern tier throughout Canada and the northern states against packs of radiation-crazed wolves and perhaps against a new species of wolf that is immune to bullets or metal projectiles.

I have read where certain Indian tribes are beginning to see agressive wolves that fight to the death rather than submit to being trapped or shot. Some of them are fifteen feet in length and can weigh over 800 pounds.

So please--hush, and let those of us who know science do the debating.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 16, 2007 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

So please--hush, and let those of us who know science do the debating.
Posted by: Norman Rogers

ROFLMOA

Posted by: MsNThrope on April 16, 2007 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

Ready to go, eggy? We're all waiting to see when you ship out.

Posted by: Kenji on April 16, 2007 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

the WSJ realizes that its opinion pages do not provide any tangible value, so they're free.

apparently Mr Drum disagrees.

Of these, by the way, the WSJ editorial page is by far the worst. I'm convinced it's done more real damage to the liberal cause than any other single source of the past quarter century

Kevin is quite correct. It's a source of such rich and detailed information in addition to logical opinions. Just today Ari Fliesher has an informative chart showing the percentage to total taxes paid by the top 1% of earners increasing from 20% in 1979 to almost 40% today. It's a fantastic chart proving progressivity increased dramatically with Reagans supply-side marginal tax rate cuts.

Kevin probably doesn't even remember the 1978 -1980 election cycle when the WSJ was Reagans primary supporter, nor the WSJs various campaigns during the 80's supporting various tax cuts nor the 1st two years of the Clinton Presidency uncovering the various scandals especially as regards Web Hubbel.

The contrast between the WSJ and NYTs could not be more obvious. The WSJ has 2x's as many subscribers, none of whom buy it for the sports pages, and millions more readers on the internet. The New York Times won't review Mark Steyns "America Alone" but Mark will get priceless exposure via a WSJ Op-ED and make the NYTs bestseller list quite easily.

Posted by: rdw on April 16, 2007 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Dimmest. Giving morons the world over a bad name.

Posted by: MsNThrope on April 16, 2007 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

the opinions of a cranky old man from Pennsylvania are less than worthless

I'm not that old!

My opinions are dead on. For example my point about John Kenneth Galbraith. It's the WSJ that did such a good job using search engines to reproduce the many gems the liberal intelligencia were coming up with to attack Reagan for attacking socialism. Time has proven supporters of socialism to be worse than airheads. JK Galbraith was one of those aggressive supporters with especially and timing proclaiming up through 1989 the Soviet economic model was a viable competitor to the US model.

The WSJ didn't wait until after 1989 to mock JKG and the other fools. One of Editor Bob Bartley favorite quotes was George orwell, "Some things are so dumb only intellectuals will believe them" when referring to JKG and the then conventional wisdom in liberal academia.

The internet and search engines have been their worse enemies because the record is so very public.

To further reinforce my point note that Walter Isaacson, the editor of Time magazine when Gorby was selected it's Man of the Decade for the 80's is now properly humiliated at the selection. Nothing more than a silly, vain attempt to see Reagan would not get credit for winning the Cold War the cover today merely mocks the fools at the magazine. Walt was dumb enough to really believe he was writing the 1s draft of history.

Not quite!

Posted by: rdw on April 16, 2007 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

So please--hush, and let those of us who know science do the debating.

That was from TimBlair.com and he wasn't debating. He was mocking. Tim is from Down Under and fortunate to have a steady stream of material provided not just by Al Gore but their own twits.

Why is it those most likely to be the biggest energy pigs are the most likely to lecture everyone else to lower their usage?

Posted by: rdw on April 16, 2007 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

rdw, I noticed you didn't TOUCH the fact that my statement referred to your worthless opinions about the environment and climate change.

Your opinions about science are merely a form of social identity. Lacking any basis in fact, you choose scientific beliefs on the basis of your hope that it will help you fit in with the tribe to which you have attached yourself. That's why I consider them worthless.

Posted by: Constantine on April 16, 2007 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

MsNThrope

You've got to admit the 80's were a disaster for liberals making the agrument the USSR was a viable system. You will be quite amazed at the number of lefty's making that claim many quite aggressively. The academic left was of course the worst and the most humilaited by the passage of time.

Think what it must be like to know your old positions were so horribly wrong and are now so visible. They can't hide. They can only keep a low profile and hope no one remembers.

Posted by: rdw on April 16, 2007 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

It says a lot, none of it good, that Jon Stewart is considered a journalist.
Posted by: craigie on April 15, 2007 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

In a Nation were everyone lies all the time, only the court jester can speak the truth.

Posted by: Nemesis on April 16, 2007 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Brad DeLong (http://www.delong.typepad.com/)does the best job of deconstructing the WSJ clowns, and he knows what he's doing.

Posted by: Neil B. on April 16, 2007 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

rdw - you are a lying fool. Liberals did not say the USSR was viable in the 80s, only a few true leftists up until around the 60s and a very few oddball diehards. Your dishonesty is typical of your ideological cohorts. You and yours are the ones who should hope that no one remembers anything, that being disastrous to your cause and your slanders.

Posted by: Neil B. on April 16, 2007 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Again, rdw - the rich paid a higher percentage of taxes later in the 80s because they were "earning" so much more money, not from any inherent increased progressivity of the code (altho some loopholes were closed, and Reagan's idea to keep top rates not really high while cutting loopholes was OK in principle.)

Posted by: Neil B. on April 16, 2007 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

You've got to admit the 80's were a disaster for liberals making the agrument the USSR was a viable system. You will be quite amazed at the number of lefty's making that claim many quite aggressively. Posted by: rdw on April 16, 2007 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK
Why is it so damn hard for right wing thinkers to understand the difference between a liberal and a marxist? It's like comparing rocks and socks.
Then it hits me. You need to link the liberal with the marxist in order to keep the liberals ideas from being chosen by the american voter over conservative ideas. You can't defeat liberals on the merits so you have to smear us by association with marxism.

It must be very comforting to live in a world where whatever you believe is true becomes so for you. Unfortunately for the rest of America, your fantasies are not affordable anymore. Reality will not be denied. And you guys call us the dreamers. Ha.

Posted by: Nemesis on April 16, 2007 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

rdw wrote: You've got to admit the 80's were a disaster for liberals making the agrument the USSR was a viable system. You will be quite amazed at the number of lefty's making that claim many quite aggressively.

Then I'm sure you won't have any trouble naming three of them, dimwit.

Posted by: Gregory on April 16, 2007 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK
You've got to admit the 80's were a disaster for liberals making the agrument the USSR was a viable system.

The only thing we have to admit is the fact you're too stupid to know the difference between Communism and Socialism, much like your inability to distinguish between weather and climate.

Of course, what the holy fucking hell your comments on this thread have to do with the topic at hand is a mystery to all ...

Posted by: Mark D on April 16, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

That was from TimBlair.com and he wasn't debating.

It would probably be smart of you to not mock the fact that the wolves are getting bigger, more aggressive and are ranging further and further south. We have spotted wolves just to the north of where I live, and quite a few cattle have gone missing.

One day, it's bees. Then it's cattle. When people do nothing, and make a mockery of the scientific evidence, they wake up one day and see their neighbors being torn to pieces by wolves. And who will be laughing when that happens, sir? Not me. I'll be reloading.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 16, 2007 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

rdw wrote: You've got to admit the 80's were a disaster for liberals making the agrument [sic] the USSR was a viable system. You will be quite amazed at the number of lefty's making that claim many quite aggressively. - dimwit


Whereas those of us living in the real world knew that there were at least 15 armed separatist movements (all those various 'Stans' - in possession of oil - plus the Baltic states plus Georgia et al) which a Soviet Army debilitated and depleted by that costly little adventure in Afghanistan were completely unable to deal with...

Posted by: MsNThrope on April 16, 2007 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

I would like to recommend Tim Russert and the NY Times for the list of most loathsome. Russert is hailed as the epitome of ethical journalism, but he allows conservatives like Cheney to get away with blatant lying -hence the designation as g0-to guy for the White House to get its propaganda out. The NY Times bears a lot of blame for allowing reporters such as Jeff Gerth (Whitewater and Wen Ho Lee bogus scandals)and Ahmed Chalabi's honey Judith Miller to report with no supervision. I would include David "the Dean of Washington journalists" Broder, but I don't think he has much influence anymore.

Posted by: BernieO on April 16, 2007 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Nomination of Tim Russert is accepted but Tom Friedman still ahead in the balloting.

Posted by: MsNThrope on April 16, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK
.... keep a low profile and hope no one remembers. rightist dim wit at 1:37 PM
Every day in every way, the Republican ideology is proven false, authoritarian, anti-American, and anti-middle-class while its shameless promoters are proven to be more disconnected from reality. Posted by: Mike on April 16, 2007 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

gregory: Then I'm sure you won't have any trouble naming three of them, dimwit.

good luck with getting an answer....

in another thread...

rdw said clinton left an intifada in place...

so i asked him to name ONE thing g.w. bush did to fight terror more effectively..

BEFORE 9-11...

just one thing...

and rdw couldnt come up with even

one..

Posted by: mr. irony on April 16, 2007 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

Every day in every way, the Republican ideology is proven false, authoritarian, anti-American, and anti-middle-class while its shameless promoters are proven to be more disconnected from reality. Posted by: Mike

But, Mike, Wooten's got a THREE CAR GARAGE!

Psst: What GM gets away with today, AT&T will do tomorrow. That means your pension and health insurance, Wooten. Have a glance at the real world at pensiontsunami.com

Posted by: MsNThrope on April 16, 2007 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

Well, as Sly said, "Different strokes for different folks."

For my money, I find the NYT editorial page unreadable, and for the most part, the letters to the editor in the Times are even worse than the editorials. Who could believe there are so many clueless people in the world?

Take today's NYT editorial on the AMT, for example. Because the AMT is not indexed for inflation, a tax that was supposedly "aimed" at 23 millionaires with lots of tax deductions when it was enacted now reaches tens of millions of upper middle class Democratic voters in high-tax states like NY and California. (N.b. the original income tax was also only supposed to hit the "rich" -- does anyone notice a pattern here?) Who's fault is it that the AMT now hits lots of people who are not by any stretch of the imagination rich? According to the NYT, it's President Bush's fault for cutting marginal tax rates. If there's a logic there, it escapes me, aside from the NYT's view that everything bad in the world is Bush's fault.

I am pleased, however, to see that Kevin thinks the WSJ's editorial and op-ed pages are so influential. That is very gratifying.

Posted by: DBL on April 16, 2007 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

DBL: The absurd and supposed AMT 'crisis' is easily solved.


Repeal the Bush tax cuts except the 10% bracket at the bottom of the scale. Restore the caps on deductions such a mortgage interest so that they decline as income rises.

Poof! Crisis gone.

This is one of the most dishonest boondoggles out there. Currently the only people being hit with the AMT make on average $350k. Their average 'hit is less than $2k.

The AMT is not victimizing 'ordinary middle class taxpayers'. At worst it's diluting the full effect of the Bush tax subsidies in the capital gains/dividends classes of income.

I agree that the AMT needs to be fixed to stop tax avoidance at the top of the scale. But the people causing all this ruckus aren't 'middle class'.

Posted by: MsNThrope on April 16, 2007 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

MSNT - The problem with the AMT is that it subjects taxpayers to higher taxes than they would pay under the ordinary system of income taxes. You are suggesting that the cure for the too high taxes of the AMT is to subject affected taxapayers to even higher taxes under the ordinary system. Maybe there's a method to your madness, but I don't see it.

Don't get me wrong. I see no reason to do anything at all with the AMT. In another few years, it will result in a de facto flat tax of 26% for the entire tax-paying portion of the public (leaving aside the 40% of American workers who do not pay any income tax at all), which would suit me just fine.

Posted by: DBL on April 16, 2007 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK


dbl....(leaving aside the 40% of American workers who do not pay any income tax at all)

you seem to be good with numbers...

any guess as to how many of the dead americans in iraq were in that percentile?


Posted by: mr. irony on April 16, 2007 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

and rdw couldnt come up with even

one..

Of course I did! The Fence!

Posted by: rdw on April 16, 2007 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

The only thing we have to admit is the fact you're too stupid to know the difference between Communism and Socialism,

A difference without a distinction in the real world.

Posted by: rdw on April 16, 2007 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

have to do with the topic at hand is a mystery to all ...


Giving an example of the power of the editorial page of the WSJ which Kevin correctl identifies as thr worst thing that's ever happened in liberalism. They've been intense in their opposition to the various lefty religions of the last century including communism, socialism, global warming, French, etc.

Posted by: rdw on April 16, 2007 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

...leaving aside the 40% of American workers who do not pay any income tax ... DBL at 4:58 PM
They do, however, pay a 6+% FICA flat tax, and on examination, most of those workers are low wage poverty level people. You are welcome to join them any time you feel those lucky duckies are getting away with it.

...Wooten's got a THREE CAR GARAGE!...MsNThrope at 3:49 PM

Wellll... I didn't know that.... and Normie has a finished basement. Is there no end to capitalist greed?

Posted by: Mike on April 16, 2007 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

blockquote>... the editorial page of the WSJ... rightist dim wit at 5:55 PM
So when rightist ideology is opposed by global climate change science it's religion. That is some strange world you live in chum; nothing but dark shadows of the hyper-imagination of the liars at WSJ Opinion Pages
WSJ and Fox: Selling ignorance .

Posted by: Mike on April 16, 2007 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK
...The Fence! ...A difference without a distinction in the real world. rightist dim wit at 5:52 PM |
As pointed out previously, Israel's fence is illegal and nothing more than another land grab. Your sympatric statements show you complete lack of a moral core or any ethical standards. The difference between socialism and communism is real and important. It's analogous to the difference between Fascism and Conservatism, not that you would recognize the difference in either pair. Heil Bush!, right? Posted by: Mike on April 16, 2007 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

Israel's fence is illegal and nothing more than another land grab

It's never illegal to protect your citizens from butchers. It's your responsibility. In this case it's also smart politics. The fence may or may not have been misplaced making it all the more important for the Palestinians to give up terrorism and negotiate for peace. The jews are not going to agree to suicide. After more than 50 years of failed negotiations Israel had little choice.

Posted by: rdw on April 16, 2007 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

So when rightist ideology is opposed by global climate change science it's religion.

No, that's not it. To believe in global warming as defined by the libs is to have faith because there's no proof. Much worse here is the so-called solutions offered are silly if not bonehead stupid. The Goracle is a high priest and about as far away from science as it gets. His presentation was just dumb. I especially liked the part about Manhatten under water.

This is not science. Science is not polls. This is religion. It's for fools.

Posted by: rdw on April 16, 2007 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

The difference between socialism and communism is real and important.

The difference is purely theoretical and it's not at all important. It's a religion from the last century responsible for over 100M deaths. Aside from a few boneheads like Castro and Chavez and the Harvard Faculty it's a dead religion. Check out the differences in the EU between France and Ireland. 20 years ago Australia lagged France in per capita income by 20%. Today France ranks 31st and will soon lag Australia by 20%.

There will always be socialism. The world will never be without morons.

Posted by: rdw on April 16, 2007 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

To believe in global warming as defined by the libs is to have faith because there's no proof.

What is stunning is how the Republican party has become the party of fundamentalist anti-science fanatics. It's only because you have a fanaqtical hatred of everything that trhe Democratic party accepts as real (eg, evolution and climate change) that you are against it. You've abdicated your faculties of critical thought over the the WSJ editorial page and =put more faith in wide-eyed fanatics and ignoramuses in the republican party than actual scientists.

Which is fine by me, because it means that science and scientists will stay far, far away from the Republican party for generations to come. Anyone who studies the sciences will forever view the republican party as "the stupid party." and that's fine by me.

Posted by: Constantine on April 16, 2007 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

Minute Man

"A peace agreement between Israel and Syria could be reached within 35 minutes, former U.S. president Bill Clinton told the Lebanon-based Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper in an interview published Sunday," reports the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz.

Bill Clinton was president for 4,207,680 minutes, which is enough time to broker more than 120,000 35-minute peace agreements. Granted, a man has to sleep and tend to other basic necessities of life, and the president has tons of responsibilities, so eight years isn't as much time as it sounds like. But Clinton's time wasn't that tight. Consider these footnotes from the Starr report:

Posted by: rdw on April 16, 2007 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

Republican party has become the party of fundamentalist anti-science fanatics.

Except it isn't. The GOP isn't against evolution but it is against the Gore.

Think John Travolta made a valid point last week about the need for you and I to reduce our carbon footprint? Just before he flew his private 707 jet home from the UK?

So when do you expect to go surfing down broadway? I use Al Gore to teach my kids just how stupid the entire 'science' is.

Posted by: rdw on April 16, 2007 at 7:37 PM | PERMALINK

this is why the WSJ is so influencial.

Gigot: Welcome to "The Journal Editorial Report."

I'm Paul Gigot. The millions of Americans struggling this weekend to decipher their complicated tax forms may find is hard to look on the bright side when it comes to the American tax code. But earlier this week I spoke with renowned economist Arthur Laffer and asked him if we do, in fact, have a better system now than we did than in decades past.

Laffer: It's much better, Paul. We've dropped the highest rates quite dramatically and we've broadened the tax base. Even though we have a long way to go, it is a lot, lot better than it was back then--miles. Unrecognizably better.

Gigot: Better for incentives, business incentives, investor incentives? Is that what you mean, the economic growth part. Because it's certainly not less complicated.

Laffer: No, no, it's not less complicated, but the incentives are much better. You know, it's amazing. When Kennedy came into office, Paul, the highest federal marginal income tax rate was 91%. And that was on all income; I mean, it wasn't just unearned or whatever. just think of how high that is. I mean, Kennedy cut it from 91% to 70%, but now it's 35%. It probably should be a little bit lower, but it's well in the range of reasonableness.

Posted by: rdw on April 16, 2007 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

the rest of the Hollywood airheads.

Funny then that the Hollywood "airheads" defer to the judgment of scientists while it is wild-eyed fanatics like Sen. Inofe in the Republicans party blathering that global warming is some sort of conspiratorial hoax.

I use Al Gore to teach my kids just how stupid the entire 'science' is.

While I defend the right of consulting adult Republicans to commit whatever intellectual perversions they choose in the privacy of their own home, we do have to protect the children, who should learn real science, not the cult--like ravings of the Republican party.

Posted by: Constantine on April 16, 2007 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

Tim Blair is priceless. Check out the last line

CHILDREN TERRIFIED

Young children are easily scared, which makes them particularly vulnerable to the politics of fear peddled by apocalyptic earth doomers. The Washington Post seems to get off on this:


The boy has drawn, in his third-grade class, a global warming timeline that is his equivalent of the mushroom cloud.

"That’s the Earth now,” the 9-year-old says, pointing to a dark shape at the bottom. “And then,” he says, tracing the progressively lighter stripes across the page, “it’s just starting to fade away."

Alex Hendel of Arlington County is talking about the end of life on our beleaguered planet.


What sort of parent would decline to intervene at this point? Alex’s, apparently:


Looking up to make sure his mother is following along, he taps the final stripe, which is so sparsely dotted it is almost invisible. “In 20 years,” he pronounces, “there’s no oxygen.” Then, to dramatize the point, he collapses, “dead,” to the floor.

Alex would be in therapy if he’d drawn a graph illustrating the increase in Islamic terrorism and staged a similar “death”.


For many children and young adults, global warming is the atomic bomb of today. Fears of an environmental crisis are defining their generation in ways that the Depression, World War II, Vietnam and the Cold War’s lingering “War Games” etched souls in the 20th century.

At least they’re not bothered by 9/11. Maybe they’ve never been taught about it.


Parents say they’re searching for “productive” outlets for their 8-year-olds’ obsessions with dying polar bears.

Why not productively explain that the ursine hulks aren’t dying?


Teachers say enrollment in high school and college environmental studies classes is doubling year after year.

I’d have enrolled myself, if I’d had the chance, back in the day. Easiest courses ever.


And psychologists say they’re seeing an increasing number of young patients preoccupied by a climactic Armageddon.

Great. We’re raising a generation of jittery little Gore muppets. Stock tip: invest in bed-wetting medication and rubber sleepwear.


"For, like, the whole history of the environmental movement,” begins David Bronstein, 19, a freshman at St. John’s College in Annapolis, “we’ve been saying: ‘Do it for your children. We have to protect the Earth for them.’ But that argument has shifted. I’m fighting for my future."

The destruction of Annapolis is imminent!


[Child psychologist Mark] Goldstein adds: “In my practice, they bring this up. Some of the kids are scared, and it’s interesting, because I’ve seen an evolution ... Kids used to have fears of war and nuclear annihilation. That’s dissipated and been replaced by global warming."

Thanks to the Washington Post, among others. Can an entire generation file a class-action suit?


It’s not just a U.S. phenomenon: A United Kingdom survey, by the Somerfield supermarket chain, of 1,150 youngsters age 7 to 11 found that half felt anxious about global warming—and many were losing sleep over it, convinced that animal species will soon die out and that they, themselves, will be victims of global warming.

Yeah. They’ll possibly develop a slight tan and resistance to rickets.


After 8-year-old Mollie Passacantando, daughter of Greenpeace USA’s executive director, read a story about polar bears in class this year, the Fairfax County youngster and her friends spent recess marching around the playground with signs reading, “Stop global warming. Save the polar bears."

Seems the natural market for global warming hysteria is in the sub-teen demographic. Well, not all of it:


A classmate taunted, “You can march all you want, but you’re not going to save a single polar bear."

And then, hopefully, he stole her lunch.


That riled Mollie up. With her father, John Passacantando, she started a blog to get the polar bear put on the endangered species list.

"I have heard from friends and work colleagues around the country,” says Mollie’s mother, Lisa Guide, “that global warming is a subject that can be stressful to children. Mollie was so concerned ... we really felt it was important to help her do something constructive."


It might have been constructive to point her towards a creature that actually is endangered - sane children, for example. Over at Sherwood High School, the environmental club is booming:


Just under 10 teenagers were active last year; 90 have signed up this year, an increase helped by an aggressive marketing campaign and Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.” Gore is this generation’s Bob Dylan; “Truth” is its “Blowin’ in the Wind."

How many bears must the arctic support, before we know they’re alive? (By the way ... just under 10? Is that some WashPost fancy-talk for “nine”? Speaking of which ... )


Nine-year-old Alyssa Luz-Ricca’s mother returned from a business trip to Costa Rica with a T-shirt of a colorful frog and the words “Extinction is forever.” Alyssa looked at the T-shirt and, she says, “I cried."

She did? Really?


"She cried very hard,” clarifies her mother, Karen Luz of Arlington.

That explains the rising seas, then.


"I don’t like global warming,” Alyssa continues, her eyes huge and serious behind her glasses, a stardust of freckles across her nose, “because it kills animals, and I like animals."

So do I, little one. That’s why I own a barbecue.

Posted by: rdw on April 16, 2007 at 8:00 PM | PERMALINK

the Hollywood "airheads" defer to the judgment of scientists

Like the Goracle promising 20 foot waves down broadway? You and Al, the twit twins, perfect together.

Posted by: rdw on April 16, 2007 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

Like Gore promising 20 foot waves down broadway?

Please cite.

As I said, it is a matter of fact that the Democrats and the "hollywood airheads" are the ones deferring to the judgment of scientists while the Republicans have flown off into bizarre conspiracy theories advanced by Sen. Inofe that global warming is a hoax. Well, who are you going to trust? Scientists or freaky right-wiung lunatics who are obsessed with supporting bush on iraq? I know who's more trustworthy.

And the least person whose opinion on science I would value is a cranky old man who thinks that voting Republican makes him smart.

Gore's the advocate of science. Republicans are the advocates of fairy tales and conspiracy theories. Which is fine with me because it makes the environment in laboratories much more intellectual for everyone. I mean, if republicans started going into science, we'd be stuck with, "I'm going to agree with the research of the guy who i'd like to have a beer with."

Posted by: Constantine on April 16, 2007 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

Mike - You are of course quite correct about payroll taxes. The bottom 40% pays payroll taxes even though they do not pay any income taxes. My suggestion would be to eliminate payroll taxes altogether and move to a single flat rate income tax with no deductions or credits of any kind. I haven't done the math and don't know what the distributive effects would be, but such a system would have at least two salutory effects: (1) everyone would be in the same boat and would have the same incentives and disincentives. No one would think that they could propose some government program that someone else would pay for because everyone would pay for everything. One for all and all for one. (2) We'd save somewhere north (perhaps far north) of $200 Billion/year that currently goes towards tax compliance. Not to mention that the economy would run much more efficiently, leading to higher growth.

Downside: The Democrats would have to give up the fiction that Social Security is an "insurance" or "funded pension" program of some kind and just deal with the reality that it's an income transfer (i.e., welfare) program. This should not be too hard to deal with, and indeed the Democratic Party seems already to be moving in this direction with its calls to lift the cap on the income subject to FICA.

Posted by: DBL on April 16, 2007 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

Constantine,

Of course science matters. Scientists differ on (a) the extent of global warming, (b) the extent to which it is caused by industrialisation, (c) the effect it will have on future global temperatures and (d) whether those effects will be benign or malign. It would help to tone down the hysteria a little bit and focus on the science.

Speaking of which, I find it hard to credit a man who got Cs and Ds in his only science classes in college (that would be our former vice president) with any kind of scientific expertise or judgment. Why should I listen to him rather than to Prof. Lindzen of MIT?

Posted by: DBL on April 16, 2007 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

FWIW
One of my standards for whether or not a publication, blog, newscast or even personality/opinion shows (Matthews, Olbermann, Scarborough, etc) is legitimate is if they regularly offer retractions and/or corrections. Real sources of information will always do this.
DK2

Posted by: DK2 on April 17, 2007 at 1:26 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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