As Steve Benen says, Steven Hayes is clearly insane. That said, is Hayes more insane or less insane than Tim Russert, who decided that Bob Woodward, David Brooks, and Steve Hayes would be a good balanced panel to discuss the news? What kind of stupid stuff do I need to write before I get to go on Meet The Press to promote my book?
Margaret Talev reports for McClatchey Newspapers on the GOP’s unprecedentedly frequent use of the filibuster. This chart, though, kind of says it all:
It’s really pretty surprising to see this kind of record being broken at the present time. Abstractly, you’d think that the most filibustering would happen at a time more like 2005-06 when 40-odd Senators might see their use of the filibuster as the only possible way to stop legislation. Alternatively, you might see a lot of filibusters aimed at preventing a first term president from needing to veto legislation, as Senators agree to take the hit in order to help their president secure re-election.
It seems, though, that the GOP has decided that if they use filibusters to obstruct congressional action that the press will keep reporting this in a “congress fails to do X” kind of way rather than a “GOP obstructionism” kind of way, which makes filibusters a win-win for Republicans. Be that as it may, the filibuster is a bad idea and should be done away with. Given how hard the Democratic caucus whined about the “nuclear option” just a couple of years ago, they couldn’t do it without being called hypocrites, but that’s just further evidence of what a bad idea the “Gang of 14″ deal was.
A Phoenix fan puts together a decent case that corrupt ref Tim Donaghy may have fixed Game 3 of the Suns-Spurs playoff series in San Antonio’s favor:
The case would be stronger, however, if the fan had actually restricted himself to calls (or non-calls) Donaghy made, instead of throwing in the kitchen sink. That said, we’re obviously going to need to know more about this. One hopes that the FBI investigation will produce a reasonably definitive account of which games Donaghy was bending.
Has the world gone mad? Katherine Jean-Lopez points out that Rudy Giuliani is taveling to the UK where he will “seek Baroness Thatcher’s blessing when he delivers the inaugural Thatcher lecture organised by Atlantic Bridge, a think tank, in London in September.” Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson have already been to visit with her.
Planet Gore has dug up “a leading international geologist and former expert IPCC reviewer,” Tom V. Segalstad, who is quoted as saying:
The IPCC postulates an atmospheric doubling of CO2, meaning that the oceans would need to receive 50 times more CO2 to obtain chemical equilibrium. This total of 51 times the present amount of carbon in atmospheric CO2 exceeds the known reserves of fossil carbon — it represents more carbon than exists in all the coal, gas, and oil that we can exploit anywhere in the world.
Ooh. Looks like all the leading climate scientists in the world made a simple, stupid mistake. Gosh, guess we can all go out and build all the coal plants we want — not!
The key to this nonsense is the worlds I have boldfaced. To paraphrase Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, “Tom, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in chemical equilibrium any more.”
That’s the whole point — we are spewing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere much faster than the oceans and other sinks can take them up. It takes thousands of years to reach equilibrium with the oceans — the planet will be cooked (and the near-surface ocean nearly lifeless) long before then. I’ll provide one of the many sources you can find on the Internet for this genuine fact below; as we’ll see, the real story — the ocean sink appears to be saturating — should actually make us more worried about global warming, not less.
Let’s call this PG Disinfotainment Watch #41 and #42 (for not bothering to use Google to find the truth). And let’s strip Tom (pictured here) of his doctorate for making a mistake that would get an undergraduate geology student a failing grade.
Number of Iranians the United States has accepted into the country in the past nine months. In contrast, the United States has admitted just 825 Iraqi refugees since 2003, “many of them backlogged applicants from the time Saddam Hussein was in power.”
In Stephen Hayes’s upcoming biography on Dick Cheney, he writes that the current Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell appears to side with “those who believe that the administration manipulated intelligence on Iraq for political purposes before the 2003 invasion.”
McConnell reportedly said he had “serious reservations” when asked by President Bush to become the DNI because of the Pentagon’s manipulation of intelligence in the lead up to the Iraq war. Today, Meet the Press host Tim Russert previewed the relevant portion of the book:
McConnell was honored to be asked [to be DNI], but he had serious reservations. He had been unimpressed with many aspects of the Bush administration and its conduct of the war on terror, particularly what he felt was a politicized use of intelligence in the lead-up to the Iraq war. [...]
“My sense of it is their political faith and convictions influenced how they took information and interpreted [it], how they picked up and interpreted outside events. … I’ve read much more about the current set of players and they did set up a whole new interpretation because they didn’t like the answers. They’ve gotten results that in my view now have been disastrous,” [McConnell said].
McConnell decried the “secondary unit” established within the Pentagon to “reinterpret information” prior to the war. An internal Pentagon investigation released in February revealed that former Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith utilized the Counter-Terrorism Evaluation Group within the Pentagon to create and promote false links between Iraq and al Qaeda.
Specifically, then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz “asked Feith’s analysts to ignore the intelligence community’s belief that the militant Islamist al-Qaida and Saddam’s secular dictatorship were unlikely allies.” Subsequently, Feith “disseminated alternative intelligence assessments on the Iraq and al-Qaida relationship…to senior decision-makers.”
McConnell stated, “The way you do intelligence is all sources considered. You have to factor one issue against the other and balance it.” Four years later, this administration is still reinterpreting intelligence.
It’s an odd little world we live in. By any reasonable standard, in 2002-2003 Michael Gerson, in his role as White House speechwriter, helped outline a foreign policy approach that, whether you liked it or not, was certainly audacious and new — taking some strands that had long existed in US political culture and taking them much further than they’d ever gone before. If all this had gone well, Gerson could have left his government job and become a pillar of the Washington Establishment. Since it turned out to be a tremendous failure, instead he got a Council on Foreign Relations fellowship and a Washington Post column.
And now he’s being savagely attacked by Michael Ledeen and Mark Steyn for being insufficiently enthusiastic about broadening the war to include attacks on Syria and Iran. “No surprise, then, that Gerson has no stomach for forceful action against the Syranians. He’s for sanctions-plus-hard-bargaining.” Sanctions! Hard bargaining! Ha! “I don’t believe the President thinks of Syria and Iran as mere ‘accelerants,’” writes Steyn, “But it’s unnerving that someone so close to him these past six years does.”
On the Chris Matthews Show this morning, NBC White House correspondent David Gregory said that Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) will need to have “her ‘Sister Souljah’ moment” and distance herself from the “hatred over Iraq” on “the left.”
“The left” needs to “think about how they’re going to engage the war on terror in a very serious and tough way,” said Gregory. Watch it:
Gregory is echoing the conventional, but deeply flawed, thinking that it is only the “angry left” who want to change course and redeploy from Iraq. In fact, 68 percent of Americans support withdrawal from Iraq within a year.
Gregory suggests that progressives have not been thinking seriously about how to transition responsibly out of Iraq. In fact, the Center for American Progress introduced such a plan in 2005, and has recently adapted the plan to respond to the deteriorating situation in Iraq.
Once again, Gregory is demonstrating his fundamental misunderstanding of the current political dynamics in America by describing left-leaning positions as out of touch when they are actually held by the majority of mainstream Americans.
Transcript: Read more
Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) now claims that “we had the wrong plan for three years” in Iraq, and the current escalation is working. Glenn Greenwald writes, “That being the case, one would expect that Kit Bond spent the last three years protesting our war strategy, lamenting our lack of progress, and demanding that we change course. Needless to say, he did exactly the opposite.” Bond spent the last three years claiming the U.S. was winning in Iraq.