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      MANDOS POST Take a look at Joe Biden—he appears to have, for now at least, considerable staying power in the Democratic primary opinion polls (although, of course, this may change as the actual primaries come through). If your model of political psychology can predict a strong core of popular support for Trump without also predicting […]
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Digby Sees The Light

network-howard-beal

In reaction to the prospect of Chris “Tweety” Matthews running for the Senate from Pennsylvania, the Santa Monica blogger says:

 I honestly don’t know quite how to deal with this. Over the past year I have strained and even broken treasured friendships over the idea that allowing a Republican to win over a Democrat, no matter how bad he or she is, would be to empower the more destructive of the two parties and ultimately enable the kind of horror show we’ve seen in the past eight years.
But Matthews is a bridge too far. I could never vote for, raise funds for or in any other way help Chris Matthews become a member of the Senate and if it came down to it, if I lived in Pa, I’d probably support Specter.

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Worst Christmas Song Ever

AKA:  Why I hate Christmas reason # 167

Saturday: Merry Damn Christmas, MYIQ2XU!

Hey, you fricking Scrooge (;-)), let me tell you a thing or two.  SOME of us grew up with Jehovah’s Witnesses as parents.  We never had a Christmas Tree, presents, weren’t allowed to sing Christmas Carols and were sent to the *library* back in the day when schools used to have Christmas parties in class.  Then, when we got back from break, we had to listen to all the kids at the lunch table tell us what they got.  If that weren’t bad enough, Christmas was the only time we went to see our cousins and grandaparents, who were *normal* people with all of the trimmings.  My cousins would frolic with their toys and presents while my sister and I would sit miserably in the corner like a couple of the Cratchitt kids.  We weren’t allowed to participate.  But we were forced to watch.

Then I grew up and decided the hell with the damn JWs and their irrational fear of pagan solstice rituals .  I would celebrate.  That’s when people started to tell me that “Christmas is for children”.  Well, thanks a lot, all you grown ups who had your fun and were now over it.  Every year, I go out of my way to spoil my kids and I have learned to never expect anyone to know what I want for Christmas because I never get it. Lots of money out because as an adult, it is expected of me.  The giving is fun and satisfying but it will never take the place of all those Christmases I missed.  Even if my parents had splurged a little bit on one fricking present or put up even a cheap aluminum tree, it would have been better than nothing.

No, no, I’m not bitter.  I am PO’d to the max.  I have people on this blog who are actually complaining that once again they are forced to endure carols and decorations and demands on their time.   Shove it, guys. I apologize to all of the Jewish readers, Muslim readers, Kwanzaa readers, Wiccan readers in advance.  You may have to endure the season and you have good reason to resent all of the forced merriment and consumerism.  But for the rest of you lucky people who were at least able to participate in what might have been even a modest way, Zip it, Zip it good.

And now, a Christmas Carol:

For those of you who want to prevent another holiday casualty like myself, consider giving to the Salvation Army.  The Salvation Army comes to my workplace every year and puts up gift tags for children whose parents can’t afford or are too incapacitated to give them presents.  I take one every year and think of spreading that little bit of joy as preventative medicine.

Now, be good.  I’ll be watching.

Practice What You Preach

toensing

Victoria Toensing thinks Patrick Fitzgerald should STFU:

In the Dec. 9 press conference regarding the federal corruption charges against Gov. Blagojevich and his chief of staff, Mr. Fitzgerald violated the ethical requirement of the Justice Department guidelines that prior to trial a “prosecutor shall refrain from making extrajudicial comments that pose a serious and imminent threat of heightening public condemnation of the accused.” The prosecutor is permitted to “inform the public of the nature and extent” of the charges. In the vernacular of all of us who practice criminal law, that means the prosecutor may not go “beyond the four corners” — the specific facts — in the complaint or indictment. He may also provide any other public-record information, the status of the case, the names of investigators, and request assistance. But he is not permitted to make the kind of inflammatory statements Mr. Fitzgerald made during his media appearance.

You may recall Ms. Toensing from the Scooter Libby trial coverage.  She was one of the pundits who kept proclaiming that there was no crime involved.  In fact, despite the jury verdict finding Scooter guilty as sin she still claims the same thing:

What’s more, Mr. Fitzgerald is a repeat offender. In his news conference in October 2005 announcing the indictment of Scooter Libby for obstruction of justice, he compared himself to an umpire who “gets sand thrown in his eyes.” The umpire is “trying to figure what happened and somebody blocked” his view. With this statement, Mr. Fitzgerald made us all believe he could not find the person who leaked Valerie Plame’s name as a CIA operative because of Mr. Libby. What we all now know is that Mr. Fitzgerald knew well before he ever started the investigation in January 2004 that Richard Armitage was the leaker and nothing Mr. Libby did or did not do threw sand in his eyes. In fact — since there was no crime — there was not even a game for the umpire to call.

Media Matters has written extensively about Ms. Toensing, including her failure to disclose a friendship with Robert Novak while writing a column defending him in the Plame investigation, and her failure to disclose she had done legal work for CNN in the case while commenting on the Libby trial for Wolf Blitzer.

She managed to insert herself into the Lewinsky scandal too, as an attorney chasing cameras rather than ambulances.  Methinks Ms. Toensing is the one who should STFU.

Blago Blogging

A bunch of total strangers

A bunch of total strangers

Obamnesia:  When you forget you ever knew old friends, associates and spiritual mentors the instant they become embarrassing or inconvenient due to arrest or scandal.

If the Intertoobs look all spiffy and shiny the last few days it’s because Obamanation has been busily scrubbing traces of any connection between Obama and Blago, including news reports and even photographs.  That’s not exactly the behavior of someone with nothing to hide.  In criminal law the concealment and/or destruction of evidence is called “consciousness of guilt.”

Digby refers to BlagObamagate as a “trumped up scandal.”  I guess she thinks Patrick Fitzgerald just made it all up.  The complaint filed by Fitz mentions some pretty incriminating stuff, and I kinda doubt he’s lying.  Even if the evidence was illegally obtained and Blago got it all excluded from court it wouldn’t make him innocent or the charges bogus.

Is it just me or are the sippy-kup kidz from the kool-aid kingdom a little off their game since Tuesday?  Could it be a crisis of confidence?  Within hours of the governor’s arrest they rushed out to proclaim that “Obama said he had no contact with Blago since the election and Fitz exonerated him.”  First came a steady drip, drip, drip of contradictory information, including a video of Axelrod, news articles and photographs.  Then came stories linking Rahmbo and JJJ to the scandal.

Maybe they’re just lost because they can’t blame this on Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin.  They handled le affaire Favreau in classic Obamanation style, stonewalling while surrogates blamed Hillary, hoping to ride out the news cycles.  But that story was the kind single-event that could be stonewalled, especially with the frat-boy perp hidden from sight. 

The television and print media are fools for scandal but they need new developments to keep their interest,  and other than some stupid and offensive comments by Obama surrogates Gropegate didn’t have any.  But this latest Obamadrama has all the juicy elements of a good scandal except illicit sex.

Patrick Fitzgerald isn’t a partisan hack like Ken Starr and just a year ago he was the hero of Left Blogistan for successfully prosecuting Scooter Libby.  Blago makes a great villain with his big ego and hair helmet, and the corruption is easy to understand.  Rahmbo’s “no comment” stonewalling and JJJ’s cry and deny are great theater.  And with a criminal case pending the story won’t go away anytime soon.

The guy who isn’t getting much attention  is John Harris, Blago’s co-defendant.  From the news yesterday:

John Harris resigned this morning as Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s chief of staff, his lawyer said.

Harris dropped off his letter of resignation today in person and will not be going back to the office, according to his lawyer, Terry Ekl.

I don’t want to read between the lines but it would be irresponsible not to speculate on whether Harris made a deal with Fitz.  Harris knows where the bodies are buried and who buried them, and he’s the kind of little fish you let escape so you can catch the big fish.  If I was gonna roll over on my boss to stay out of jail I wouldn’t want to look him in the eye every day either.

The holidays are starting to look pretty good.  As Mawm said “All I got last Fitzmas was a Scooter.”  Maybe this year we’ll get a pony after all.

we-told-you-so1