• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    MsMass on He knew he was a looooose…
    riverdaughter on He knew he was a looooose…
    jmac on He knew he was a looooose…
    Propertius on He knew he was a looooose…
    Propertius on He knew he was a looooose…
    William on Thanksgiving Week Wordles
    William on He knew he was a looooose…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on He knew he was a looooose…
    riverdaughter on He knew he was a looooose…
    riverdaughter on He knew he was a looooose…
    Propertius on He knew he was a looooose…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on He knew he was a looooose…
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on He knew he was a looooose…
    Beata on Thanksgiving Week Wordles
    William on Thanksgiving Week Wordles
  • Categories

  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    January 2010
    S M T W T F S
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

  • Top Posts

Saturday Morning News and Views

Good Morning Conflucians!!! There’s a lot happening in the world today. I’ll share the stories I’ve been reading, and you can add your own links in the comments.


The situation is very desperate in Haiti. Tensions Mount in Haiti as Situation Grows Desperate

Haiti’s capital is now devoid of a functioning police force. When the earthquake struck, it destroyed the city’s prison, allowing thousands of inmates to escape.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton travels to Haiti Saturday to get a first-hand look at relief efforts, days after tens of thousands of people were killed, and many other left homeless.

Clinton plans to meet with Haitian President René Preval and other officials, along with members of the U.S. government team on the ground.

Clinton said she will limit her visit to the confines of the airport so as not to disrupt relief efforts. Secretary Clinton said she planned to take relief supplies with her and that later, the same aircraft will carry Americans and others being evacuated.

Haiti earthquake: President Preval says country like a war zone

Haitian President Rene Preval said: “The damage I have seen here can be compared to the damage you would see if the country was bombed for 15 days. It is like in a war.”

The 7.0-magnitude earthquake that devastated much of the hilly coastal city on Tuesday also collapsed the elegant presidential palace and his own home.

Authorities in Haiti, already the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, are saying they believe the death toll will be between 100,000 and 200,000 and that three-quarters of the city will need to be rebuilt.

I’ve been listening to CNN on XM radio, and I have to say I have new found respect for Sanjay Gupta. He and his CNN crew were at a hospital last night when all the UN doctors and nurses were ordered to leave because of security concerns. Gupta stayed and worked on injured people through the night, then cancelled his show this morning in order to keep working.

The anchors filling in for Gupta had Gen. Honore on–he was instrumental in the Katrina efforts. Gen. Honore said the UN needed to “suck it up” and realize that saving lives is more important than security in this critical time. He also said that dropping bundles from helicopters would be better than nothing for now. He seemed disgusted that the UN is so risk averse.


I saw this story yesterday, and I just didn’t know what to think. Well known writer and former U.N. Weapons inspector Scott Ritter was caught in a child sex sting and was arrested in November, but the news has just come out. He had been caught in a sting in 2001, and liberal bloggers blew it off as the Bush administration trying to shut Ritter up. But he was caught again a couple of years later, and again now. So apparently, the guy has been fooling around with teenage girls on the internet all this time. People are really strange.

Former Chief U.N. Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter Nabbed in Teen Sex Sting

Ex-U.N. Weapons Inspector Is Charged in Child-Sex Sting

Cop who catches perverts

Here is a blog post by Justin Raimondo after Ritter was arrested for the second time in 2003

Scott Ritter, the former UN weapons inspector who quit in 1998 and now says the U.S. is intent on manufacturing phony “evidence” of arms violations as a pretext for war, is the victim of what may be the sleaziest set-up job in recent history, a smearing so foul that it makes the Clinton crowd look like a bunch of amateurs. The news that he may have been arrested, in June 2001, as the result of an internet sex sting, in which an undercover cop posing as a sixteen-year-old girl lured him into “sex chat” over the internet, came to light in a very strange way. A local newspaper, the Daily Gazette, of Schenectady, New York, was first to pick up the dirt, which apparently came to light when an assistant district attorney was fired for settling the case and not informing the D.A. According to the Gazette:

“Police and prosecutors have declined to discuss the case, which involved at least one class B misdemeanor, because it was adjourned in contemplation of dismissal and ordered sealed by a Colonie Town Court justice. The Daily Gazette’s request for access to the arrest report was denied by the Colonie town attorney’s office, which ruled disclosure was barred under the state Freedom of Information Law.”

So the police just happened to conduct a “sex sting” operation against the one man who had exposed the lies of our war-mad rulers from the inside. On the eve of war, as hundreds of thousands protest in the streets, this staunch Republican and solid family man who has become one of the War Party’s most formidable enemies is suddenly “exposed” as a child molester.

Apparently, sometimes the person caught in a sting is actually guilty, even if he is a famous person who spoke truth to power. As I said earlier, people are strange.


The Democrats brought out the big guns–including Bill Clinton–for Martha Coakley yesterday, and now she seems to be embracing the Kennedy legacy that she avoided during the primary.

Martha Coakley waves as Bill Clinton hugs Rep. Jim McGovern

Coakley hopes for historic win in Kennedy seat bid

For much of her campaign, Martha Coakley steered clear of the Kennedy mystique, methodically crafting a low-key campaign to fill the late Edward Kennedy’s U.S. Senate seat the way the seasoned prosecutor would build a case in court.

But with the wheels threatening to come off the campaign and a double-digit lead eroding to a dead heat in the polls, Coakley, the state’s attorney general, is banking that a deep-seated loyalty to Kennedy among Massachusetts Democrats will be enough to propel her to victory.

Coakley has publicly accepted the endorsement of Kennedy’s widow, Vicki Kennedy, and nephew, the former U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy. Vicki Kennedy has also made a fundraising appeal and cut a television ad on Coakley’s behalf.

The Republicans responded by trotting out Rudy Giuliani to stump for Scott Brown: Rudy Giuliani joins Scott Brown, slams Martha Coakley on terrorism

Former New York City mayor and GOP stalwart Rudy Giuliani hammered Attorney General Martha Coakley on terrorism during a raucous campaign stop in the North End today where he revved up Scott Brown’s surging campaign.

“His election, I believe, will send a signal and I believe a very dramatic one, that we are going in the wrong direction on terrorism,” Giuliani said of Brown.

Coakley has come under fire from the opposition for comments she made about terrorists deserting Afghanistan for Pakistan and Yemen during Monday’s debate.

Coakley is opposed to President Obama’s plans to increase troop levels in Afghanistan. Brown supports the troop build-up and has sharpened his focus on terrorism in recent days

Democrats countered that Brown voted against giving financial assistance to 9/11 rescue workers.

This morning, nearly every website I’ve clicked on has Scott Brown ads at the top. His campaign has reportedly raked in $1 million per day every day this week.

Tomorrow, President Obama is coming to Massachusetts to help Coakley–at least she hopes he will help. It’s hard to know, because some of the people he needs to shore up support with are working class independents who voted for Hillary Clinton in the Massachusetts presidential primary.


Here’s one more strange story. It seems that Obama’s chief of Information and Regulatory Affairs Cass Sunstein wants to stop Americans from speculating about conspiracies. Here is Joseph Cannon’s take on this story.

Legal scholar Cass Sunstein is Obama’s Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. In 2008, he co-wrote an odd and disturbing paper on conspiracy theories, which you can read here. Here’s the gist:

The existence of both domestic and foreign conspiracy theories, we suggest, is no trivial matter, posing real risks to the government’s antiterrorism policies, whatever the latter may be.

“Government agents (and their allies) might enter chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine percolating conspiracy theories by raising doubts about their factual premises, causal logic or implications for political action.

Of course, it never occurred to this nitwit that using conspiratorial methods to fight conspiracy theories is a lot like fighting a house fire by spraying it with gasoline.

Glenn Greenwald also commented on the story yesterday

In 2008, while at Harvard Law School, Sunstein co-wrote a truly pernicious paper proposing that the U.S. Government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-“independent” advocates to “cognitively infiltrate” online groups and websites — as well as other activist groups — which advocate views that Sunstein deems “false conspiracy theories” about the Government. This would be designed to increase citizens’ faith in government officials and undermine the credibility of conspiracists. The paper’s abstract can be read, and the full paper downloaded, here.

Sunstein advocates that the Government’s stealth infiltration should be accomplished by sending covert agents into “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups.” He also proposes that the Government make secret payments to so-called “independent” credible voices to bolster the Government’s messaging (on the ground that those who don’t believe government sources will be more inclined to listen to those who appear independent while secretly acting on behalf of the Government). This program would target those advocating false “conspiracy theories,” which they define to mean: “an attempt to explain an event or practice by reference to the machinations of powerful people, who have also managed to conceal their role.”

So what are you reading?


Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

150 Responses

  1. I’m not following Haiti coverage on TV but I read a comment Dr. Gupta was stepping over dead/injured as he was reporting. doesn’t make for a pretty picture if so.

    • Maybe you should watch the coverage before you judge. I have to say, I’ve been very impressed with him.

      • Not judging, just asking.

        • Actually, when he arrived he would have had to assess before determining who needed immediate help and help that you can provide. Remember, once you start, you have to follow through and he may not have had the equipment and later on did at a make shift hospital.

          I placed the triage colors below so people can see what they mean and in case someone spots someone they know. I am using the coverage to learn as it is firmly believed that if we have one here in the states we will be on our own for the first 72 hours.

          Gupta has done good and he has brought a sense of calm to many just to know there is a doctor looking at assessing the needs, which provided essential first hand information so that other countries could send more help.

          Any one, see the UK surgical unit in yet…I heard they were going to set up an all surgical unit capable of handling 60 operations a day.

          Questions are good, and we all learn from them, including me…I am DAK’s on-line student. 😉

          • Gupta was there as a reporter. He pitched in when he could. When an entire hospital full of patients was abandoned by the UN, he worked all night to help people. I have to give him credit for that, whether I like him or not.

      • I am watching Dr. Gupta and the man looks as if he is ready to cry. He has no supplies, one nurse and his camera crew and looks tired and very worried about his patients. The UN doctors were ordered to leave for safety reasons.

        I once volunteered to monitor gunshots (don’t ask why) with another volunteer and all we had were little hard hats (they don’t stop bullets) and cell phones. Yes, we did our job, because it had to be done for science sake and no we didn’t run. At the time I had a toddler and I did risk my life and so did others that night, but that is why you sign up, to better other people’s lives.

        Dr. Sanjay Gupta has small children too, and a wife and he is staying put with the sick injured patients. He is a true volunteer and a humanitarian and I salute him for staying to serve under the harshest condition and for doing his best given the conditions.

    • Link? I saw the footage of him where he’s treating a 15 day old baby.

    • I was watching the coverage and saw Gupta give a tour of the injured saying that this person had a broken bone that needed set and this person had injuries that if not cleaned up could be deadly. This was on Thurs night on Anderson Cooper 360. It was shocking. I even sent an email to CNN and told of my shock of seeing a doctor walk by such injured people and not do something. I even stated that having him tend to the wounded would actually make for better TV. But watching a clean and scrubbed Sanjay Gupta blithely tour the streets telling us the gory details was disgusting. I think CNN must have gotten other emails to that effect. Last night he was not as scrubbed and actually doing some doctor stuff. Although the circumstances seem a bit suspect. I am too cynical anymore, but how can one help it.

      • Please comment above. The logistical information he provided, will help to save lives as it activated many doctors in other countries to begin the trek out to help. Doctor Gupta, was the best one to relay that assessment information of gravity of injuries/medical needs and was doing the best he could. Those that he could help, he did.

        • Thank you. Sanjay Gupta attracts a lot of negativity online. It’s nice to hear an appreciative comment for a change. I know he’s not perfect, but I don’t think he’s the caricature that he was painted out to be by the left during the Surgeon General trial balloon.

        • Oh, give me a break. The logistical information…..in a city with the devastation all around, doesn’t need logistical information. While watching his report with ACooper he seemed above it all. As a doctor, he was required to help, in my mind. Anderson Cooper could do the tour stuff, Sanjay needed to get in touch with his medical side. And apparently CNN must have given him orders to do just that. He has changed doing what he was doing before. CNN must have gotten some big time static for cruising around the disaster giving tours. I applaud Gupta or CNN for seeing the error of their ways early on. It was reprehensible. See if you can see footage of the Thursday Night AC 360 show. I doubt it will be available.

          • I know it is hard, but the first thing you are told to do is to assess and once you gather the information, get that information out. Then you organize (find a safe place) where you are going to set up, is there a stable building, or put up your tent (where you will put your supplies and make into an aid station), then see who can work with the First Aid tent (you have to see if there are others qualified to help) and then you are also responsible for organizing the rescue teams (see if you can send a First Aid Trained person with each team).

            The Leader is responsible for those working in the rescues and must see that they are competent and usually a trained rescuer is the lead, which also can be dangerous is you loose the leader in the rescue.

            Keep in mind he is one person and he did relay out information about not having the needed supplies to stabilize patients with fractures and when the US military arrived they had spent time making splints out of plastic and other materials knowing that they didn’t have enough supplies prior to their arrival. I believe this was do to Gupta’s assessment of the injuries (type) and medical needs and that information did serve to save lives.

            I am watching to see what I can learn and also to pay attention to the role cultural differences play in the implementation of the plans.

          • I saw him *during the day Thursday* treating a 15 day old baby. He was giving care.

          • I can tell you, and am humble enough to admit, I wouldn’t have had the expertise to assess the need for the splints and the type needed as he did.

            He did good, trust me, as having a training surgeon doing the assessment was more valuable to saving lives and once the dust settles it will be clear. He also, stayed put and continued to work on patients when other doctors were told to evacuate due to safety/potential violence. Gupta is committed to caring for those in need, and that has been clear to me.

  2. For those who are turned off by Obama coming to MA to stump for Coakley (and I agree it’s a mixed bag) – just remember Martha came out early for Hillary, and stuck with her right through the convention. If Hillary were allowed to campaign for others, I have absolutely NO DOUBT that she would be right there beside Martha.

    There are many reason I am voting for Martha, she will be a strong voice in the senate for womens rights, gay rights, children’s rights. Although in the primary I voted for Martha, I really wouldn’t have had too much trouble supporting any of the democrats that ran in the general election. But Scott Brown’s record is abysmal. Please, please people from MA who are reading this. Don’t vote for Brown (or stay home and not vote for Coakley) without doing some research into both their records. What little Brown has done in the MA senate goes against everything I believe. We’re never going to find the perfect candidate, it’s always just a matter of looking at the alternatives, and she is a much, much better choice than Brown IMO.

    And as much as I personally dislike Obama, hopefully his appearance here on Sunday will help with the GOTV efforts that could really help Martha. Hopefully Tom Menino is able to help Martha also, as he helped Hillary do much better in Boston that she was expected to.

    • We are quite familiar with Martha’s record. We have followed her and posted on her activities ever since there was any suggestion that a Senate seat would be available–beginning with rumors of Kerry getting SOS.

    • he’s just a vote in the senate that has a huge dem majority. And he’ll be up again in 2012 if he wins.

      but fyi to the people who want obama gone in 2012, a brown win could make it much more likely.

  3. Re: Scott Ritter. A popular “progressive” radio host in SF was nabbed in the same scenario. It was shocking when the details came out about what he was doing when he wasn’t “speaking truth to power.”

  4. This headline was enough to call my family in MA and ask them to go out and vote for Coakley:

    Rudy Giuliani joins Scott Brown, slams Martha Coakley on terrorism
    That creep Rudy Giuliani, who made money off of 9-11 and wanted to ride that tragedy to the White House is till playing the same old tired card.

    I think I’m joining the people who say “Dammit it sucks, but you have to vote for Coakley”

  5. This is a miscalculation by Bill. No one is “discouraging” people from voting. Millions of people are just disgusted with both parties, and trying a variety of strategies to express their dissatisfaction. Why are pols so disconnected from the reality on the ground? Insulting people that are protesting—for whatever reason–is not a winning approach. The anger IS about abuse of power—corporate-owned government and media power.

    Clinton fights for Martha, rails against ‘Tea Party’

    Clinton used the forum to rail against the so-called Tea Party movement of grassroots organizers who oppose federal government initiatives.

    “There is a mass national effort to discourage progressive independents from voting and to discourage disappointed liberals from voting,” Clinton said.

    “I came here to tell the people of Massachusetts this: This country’s revolution was born in Massachusetts. The Revolutionary War was first won here. The war was over here years before it was finally finished. It started with the Boston Tea Party, and the right wing Republicans have appropriated that on the premise the tea party was against government.”

    Clinton added, “What they were against was abuse of power.”

    He sought to frame the race as a battle between those who will fight for the powerful and those who will fight for the powerless.


    • I don’t think it’s a miscalculation. Overall, Mass. residents aren’t so hot on the Tea Partiers, and he was talking to a fairly Boston-centered crowd. And we are pretty proud of that whole Revolution thing. The number of people drawn to Brown isn’t all that large, it’s just that they’re a lot more likely to vote than everyone else.

      Maybe it wasn’t such a great idea for Big Dawg to come at all, but once he did, what was he going to say? The Democrats haven’t given him much to work with, and Coakley tied herself to them by supporting the health insurance bill.

      Also, I’ve been wondering about some of the polls. The other day I got a robo-poll call that was obviously a pushpoll (I think that’s what it’s called) for Brown. I wonder if it’s that sort of thing that’s being ‘leaked’ as internal campaign poll results.

      • I think a lot of the polls being cited by both camps are really just the push polls but the most recent Suffolk Poll giving brown a 4 pt. lead (within margin of error) wasn’t a push poll.

        • Coakley’s own internal polls show her behind; it’s why the “big guns” are coming in to help.

          • Well, that’s the rumor leaking to the media, anyway. One reason I’m suspicious about some of the polls, esp. the ‘internal’ ones for which we don’t get to see the actual numbers, crosstabs or methodology data, is that it is in both parties’ interest to make this seem like a close race.

            Both groups have money pouring in from all over the country, and the Democrats are (or think they are) ginning up support for the stupid hc bill by turning it into a big us vs them thing. Republicans are doing the opposite.

            Suffolk, on the other hand is a legit polling outfit, but their polls also tend to very wide swings and high MOR. They’e not very accurate over time, and this election is all about gotv in a low turnout situation, the hardest to accurately gauge. All I’m saying is that while it’s likely Brown has made some upward movement, I’m not sure it’s as 1111!!! as both campaigns are making out.

          • ARG, on the other hand, has a good record of accuracy, and that poll reinforces the Suffolk information. Suffolk is no longer a so-called “outlier;” it was just the first to show the trend.

          • Mary — oops, I just saw the ARG poll. You’re right. Well, I guess Dems have some work to do if they want to save their butts then.

    • Yes, I saw that earlier. I read it as Bill threading his words to help Martha (maybe) but not necessarily Obama. There were some other things he said which sounded off key too. Not one of his full throated endorsements.

  6. Political Wire:

    “A new American Research Group poll in Massachusetts finds Scott Brown (R) leading Martha Coakley (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 48% to 45%.”

    Carolyn Kay

    • I have no doubt that this election is a referendum on Obama and, more significantly, the healthcare legislation and how its being pressed through. If Coakley loses, and even if she wins a close race in Mass., Democrats sitting in their House seats today will be in a whole lot of trouble after the healthcare legislation is voted upon, and they all know it. Those who plan or planned to run for relection in 2010 may just rethink their votes or future occupations.

  7. Ha!Ha!Ha! Bringing Giuliani! This 3 ring circus was missing just that – a splash of 9.11 – no attacks during W-disconnect!
    As long as the GOP makes the HCR the subject of this election, Brown voters will show up, the others will stay home.
    On yesterday’s news – but found the right cartoon

    • I think obama coming may just do more harm than good for coakley. He may get some more democrats to show up but seeing him plastered all over the local papers, tv and media will only push more independents over to brown by just reminding them about the HCR, that’s how it played here in NJ. I think making that union deal prior to the election was also a big mistake for the democrats.

  8. Clinton added, “What they were against was abuse of power.”

    I adore Bill Clinton but I think the tea party people of today believe they are fighting against the same thing, abuse of power, whether one agrees with them or not, misguided or not.

    • Yeah, yeah, yeah, tea partiers are all wonderful people, patriots, etc, etc.

      I keep hearing people say that, but I keep seeing lunatics waving signs calling Obama a socialist.

      • no, of course they aren’t all wonderful people, yes there are lunatics waving signs and calling obama a socialist but i think many, sign wavers and non sign wavers, do believe that what they are rallying against are government abuses. I don’t think Bill is going to get out the vote for coakley in Mass by trying to persuade voters that a vote for coakley is a vote against tea partiers. It might have been a good campaign strategy if the democrats hadn’t been so confident they would get the vote with no trouble at all, but I don’t think it’s going to do any good a few days before the election.

        • This isn’t a tea party blog. People have been trying to convince us for nearly a year now to join up with the Mad Hatters but it ain’t happening.

          AFAIC the Big Dawg can bash ’em night and day ’til the cows come home.

          • Sure he can, but the tea partiers aren’t the reason Coakley’s behind, and they’;re not the point.

    • Clinton has nothing to lose by saying that–by and large the tea partiers aren’t Clinton fans–going against the tea partiers is Bill trying to reach the populist left, not trying to reach the tea partiers.

      • yes, but I think it’s too late for that in this election.

        • The “populist left” is not disillusioned by the tea partiers. They’re disillusioned by the corporate Dems in the White House who sold out in secret deals behind closed doors, and gave the banksters everything they wanted.

          • No, but the populist left are disaffected voters who are NOT tea partiers either and they are looking for a leader who speaks to accountability rather than just “no government takeover! socialist! blehhh!”

          • THAT is the abuse of power keeping the “populist left” home in disgust.

            If Obama comes and says, as he did in his robocall, “Coakley will be my ally,” she’s toast.

          • Obama’s robocalls are about getting the Obot vote out. I don’t think that’s a great strategy but that’s what the Ds want to do. But Obama saying Coakley is his ally is separate from what Clinton said– his remarks were about reframing the anger out there to be about accountability rather than “government is the problem, not the solution” which is what the tea party message is about. Tea partiers don’t talk specifically about abuse of government, they say all government is bad. And, therein lies the distinction between the anger/disaffection on the right and that on the left. Both sides are mad at the oligarchy, but moderates and liberals still think government can actually solve things if held accountable.

            I agree that it may very well be way too late to make that appeal in this particular race, especially with Coakley’s flip on healthcare being the elephant in the room, but Bill Clinton is making about the only case there is to be made at this point:

          • 😯

          • From Bill’s point of view, the populist left may be the “progressive” Obots, so why spin his wheels there. He cares more about the large group of independents and the disaffected middle – that they not be appropriated by the tea party conservatives in mass.

  9. Here’s an interesting poll(news report) from Mass which has Brown in the lead and 51% against HCR.
    Also, the Kennedy endorsements hurt more than helped

    • kennedy and obama endorsements won’t sway independents, the only thing they can do is perhaps get more democrats out to vote, but I have a feeling rather than vote for coakley, many will just stay home.

  10. “Government agents (and their allies) might enter chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine percolating conspiracy theories by raising doubts about their factual premises, causal logic or implications for political action.”

    Sounds like astroturfing to me.

    • We had a name for such operatives back in the day.

      Pig provocateurs.

    • Hemmm, looking around??? What is that song, ‘Somebody’s Watching Me?’. 😯

    • Paid for by our taxes.

    • It’s more proof that DINOcrats are just Republicans who don’t get bent out of shape about abortions and gay sex. 😛

      DINOcrats are just like the GOP when it comes to the distribution of wealth and power in this society, and the use of that power to stifle opposition to corporate plutocracy at home and abroad. 👿

      • Correction: they don’t care for abortion or gay sex anymore either.

        • I didn’t say they liked it, just that they don’t get bent out of shape about it the way the Elephascists do. The GOP contains a much larger contingent of people who think the Deity has nothing better to do than to obsess over what consenting talking apes do with their genitals than the DINOs do.

    • “Sounds like astroturfing to me”–Teh Evil Klown

      Yep, from a BFF of President Astroturf himself.

      Dammit, our elites are pure parasites these days. They produce nothing but confidence schemes of one sort or another. The old-style industrial robber barons were evil in many ways, but at least they produced useful things that had real purposes in the real world. 👿

      Of course our economy is dying. What do we make in this country any more but bull$#!+? Metaphoric BS, that is–at least literal BS has a practical use as fertilizer. 😡

      • Just imagine how much of that federal astroturf budget will be outsourced to “Friends of Axelrod” in Chicago.


  11. Dave Weigel:

    Rep. Vic Snyder (D-Ark.) announced his retirement today, mixed–but mostly dire–news for Democrats, who were hopeful that he could hold on and defeat his likely, scandal-tainted GOP opponent Tim Griffin. One of the possible reasons for the retirement? A poll conducted by SurveyUSA, paid for by the progressive blog Firedoglake, which tested negative messages about the health care reform bill and whether it made voters sour on Snyder.


    The question, raised by Nate Silver and others: Is Firedoglake trying to scare vulnerable Democrats into retirement in order to kill health care reform? All indications point to “yes.” I’m hearing that FDL will conduct more polls in vulnerable Democratic districts, based largely on this chart of the “top 20 Democrats who could lose their seat over health care vote[s]. Snyder was at the top of that list, posted by FDL’s Jane Hamsher on Jan. 6. (One irony: Snyder is a fairly progressive member of Congress, and not a member of the Blue Dogs.)

    • Good to hear Jane is careful and using logic in who she targets. /snark

      • Oh, Jeebus. Shouldn’t some kind of third party apparatus, or maybe some kind of concrete plan for viable primary challenges come BEFORE the slash and burn tactics? It kind of seems like, if all Democrats who have anything going for them at all are replaced by, say, slimy, disingenuous scary-stupid right wing cretins (just as a for instance, no one in mind there), then either the country moves farther to the right, or the voters will be so damn desperate to free themselves from the Republican that we’ll vote for any Democrat, including one of the many who are pretty unredeeming and who proliferate in the party. Once again trapping us in the endless downward spiral. Do they have any kind of plan at all?

    • FDL has polled another Dem that looks to be losing.

      Driehaus announces retirement in 3, 2, 1 …

      Ohio Democrat Steve Driehaus Losing To Steve Chabot

      A new SurveyUSA poll sponsored by Firedoglake shows incumbent Democrat Steve Driehaus substantially behind former Republican Congressman Steve Chabot in Ohio’s 1st congressional district. If the election were held today, Chabot would beat Driehaus in a head-to-head match up, 56% to 39%

      Believing that an FDL poll caused a congress critter to retire or decide to not run for re-election is really stupid. These guys have access to tons of polling data. Nate Silver needs to get a clue.

  12. Hillary Clinton has landed in Haiti with supplies, humanitarian workers etc. It’s nice to see some real leadership.

  13. Another poll – internal of Coakley shows Brown 3 points ahead
    Interesting B0bot comment

    Coakley leaked the bad end of her polling spectrum

    to make sure Obama shows up. It’s that simple.

    • I think Obama may have to rethink his visit, won’t look too good if he loses another major election.

    • Sorry, but this one is almost certainly a push poll like I got a few days ago. It may actually be the one I got, since they didn’t identify themselves.

      • Read the questions. There’s no push in it.

      • But the number of GOP voters at 20% seems high for MA. I don’t think they weighted it either.

        • Interesting fact I didn’t know by reading that thread: 52% of Massachusetts voters are “unenrolled,” meaning Independents.


    • It is risky, but Coakley can play the woman card. There are only 17 women in the senate. She can be number 18. The first woman from MA.

      • This is from Wednesday

        She graduated in the first class at Williams College to accept women. She was the first woman to be elected Middlesex district attorney and the first woman to be elected attorney general of Massachusetts. And though she is well positioned to make history again next week, she seems intent on not letting this overshadow the campaign.

        “To me, it’s secondary,’’ she says with a shrug.

  14. sorry if this was already discussed, will the Senate call no backsies?

    January 15, 2010
    Nelson seeks deletion of Nebraska Medicaid deal
    The Associated Press
    Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska is asking Senate leaders to eliminate a controversial Medicaid deal for his state in the health care bill.

    The moderate Democrat, who provided the crucial 60th vote for the Senate health care bill, has been criticized because Nebraska was exempted paying any cost of a proposed expansion of Medicaid.

    All other states would have to pick up a portion of the tab after the first few years.

    Nelson’s been arguing ever since that he never wanted a special deal for Nebraska and that he wants all states protected from burdensome new costs.

    That didn’t quiet the controversy so Nelson took it one step further on Friday and asked for the deal to be withdrawn and replaced with a provision treating all states equally.

    • I posted that last night. Maddening isn’t it? Nelson must think the electorate was born yesterday.

      • But the “new” electorate was. Didn’t you hear, those born before yesterday have been thrown under the bus. Those one day olds and older are part of the old collation and just have no place in the shiny new one. /snark

  15. RE: Scott Brown –

    I see it this way, it would be better to elect Scott Brown now and defeat the so called “heathcare reform” bill that (to the American people) now represents all of the dirty backroom dealing, midnight voting, secretive process of Obama politics at its worst.

    Obama cares nothing about the Democratic party and doesn’t care that democrats stand to loose big time in november over his brand of strong arm politics.

    • Just out of curiosity, do you live in Massachusetts?

      • How many of the union members holding signs for Coakley in Massachusetts are actually FROM Massachusetts?

        How many of the union members attending local townhalls were actually FROM those districts?

        Pick a rule, and apply it to both sides.

        • I don’t know, why don’t you ask them? I’ve been attending Democratic events since I could walk, and I’ve never actually seen anyone bused in for a local event. Even the dreaded union members, ooh, scary. We have lots and lots of union members right here.

    • In which case they opt for reconciliation, for which they need only 51 votes, and the Senate gains yet another right wing religious fanatic who opposes women’s and LGBT rights.

      That means we get to keep the health care mess but lose on DADT, DOMA, equal pay and a number of other measures where Coakley’s vote could be vital.

      • …and they won’t do reconciliation to get us a better bill either, they’ll keep the mandate and keep out the competition.

        • Reconciliation only works for the spending measures though. Creating the exchanges etc requires legislation which I do not believe can be passed by reconciliation. At least according to what I’ve been led to believe about the reconciliation process in the past.

          • Correct, Ralph. They can’t use reconciliation for everything in the bill.

            Besides, if Coakley loses hugely, the Dems up for re-election won’t be looking to do anything risky.

          • It was my understanding that theoretically (emphasis on theoretically) a public option could be passed through reconcilation and that they’d have to pass the mandate, exchanges, etc. separately.

          • A strong public option would come with a stiff pricetag, so that would mean other subsidies in the bill would have to be removed. I think.

      • If the Democrats can’t do anything without 60+ votes in the Senate they are incompetent.

        • Exactly. and they should be shown as the inept fools that they are, or learn to get the job done. That’s why I hope Brown wins.

      • The man in the White House opposes women’s and LGBT rights. What’s the diff?

        • srsly. Obama is NOT going to put through equal pay, that will NEVER happen. He can get republican votes on Doma. DODT as well. AND Brown will only be in until 2012. btw, Brown is not a right wing religious fanatic. That is what the dems are trying to paint him as, I hope it doesn’t work. Don’t fall for that, seriously.

        • The man in the White House doesn’t vote on legislation.

          So your argument is that as long as we already have x number of misogynist religious right bigots, one more won’t make any difference? And women and LGBT’s should just quietly step to the back of the bus and make way for others’ agendas–for the thousandth time?

          You know, I am so over that. You’re telling us that your desire to poke Obama in the eye–which I share, by the way–is more important than the civil rights of around 57% of the population (52% women, including Lesbians and bisexuals; and 5% gay man).

          No, thank you.

          • Wish in one hand. Pee in the other.

            Obama doesn’t give a damm about your issues.

            Sorry if that hurts your feelings.

          • I’m well aware that Obama doesn’t care about my issues. If you’re female, though, they’re also your issues.

            Coakley cares about those issues and has a track record to back her up. Brown doesn’t give a damn about them.

            Sorry if that hurts your feelings, but by all means continue to insist that others prioritze your pique over real issues in their own lives.

          • Coakley doesn’t give a damm either. She cares about working within Obama’s party machine and gaining power.

            She already threw those issues over, dear, for her own personal gain in DC.

            No, thank you.

          • I agree Okashi-track records count.

            No sense in making it, a let’s send a message to the WH kinda election, when they aren’t listening . That’s just a classic way to ignore Brown’s track record.

            They’ll just spin it as Martha was a weak Emily’s list kinda candidate.

          • Exactly, laurie. “Send a message to the White House” is a futile strategy. All it does is give conservatives and Republicans one more vote–which is, I suspect, the real motive behind much, if not all, of the ballyhooing of Brown. I haven’t seen anyone arguing for him who has consistently taken liberal/democratic (note small d) positions on The Confluence or elsewhere.

            This race is important to all of us, not just residents of Massachussetts, because Senators vote on national issues and federal legislation. The Obots ignored BO’s lack of a track record in order to further their personal agendas over the needs of the country. The Brownbots ignore his track record for the same reason.

      • Reconciliation is just another slimy political trick that could drive Americans further away from the Democratic party. I doubt even Hary Reid has the balls to pull that manuever.

        Defeating Obamacare = Obama on the defensive and the Repubs more willing to work with Democrats for meaningful legislation like DADT and DOMA.

        Senators like Graham and Snowe can help get those things through in a true bipartisen way. In general, Repubs would be more willing to work with Democrats to show Americans they too have “compasion”.

        Rahmbo for Chicago Mayor………..goodbye and good ridence

        • They have the balls to pull any maneuver -(by they, I mean Rahm/BO/Axelrod/Insurance industry).

          If Coakley fails, Snowe will move over and help them, no problem with all that insurance lobby money greasing the wheels.

  16. I live in MA — every person I’ve spoken to who is voting for Brown tells me unprompted that the reason is to kill the health care bill. It’s unbelievable to me how many democrats are HAPPILY voting (by absentee ballot) for Scott Brown. No one I’ve talked to dislikes Coakley, they simply want to slap obama,reiid, pelosi.

    shocking, really.

    • It’s not really that shocking – we predicted it.

      Unfortunately for Martha she’s become the messenger.

    • Yep. That’s the bottom line, and it has been for months.

      This White House missed it completely. Arrogant fools.

    • Makes sense. This isn’t the healthcare plan the American People were sold in the General. Obama lied to them about EVERYTHING. and has failed at everything.

    • Yes. I figured that. People from Massachusetts are savvier than the rest of us about healthcare bills – having one that will ultimately be better than the national one. It was pure idiocy to lean on Marta to run on that!

    • And Obama is coming up to MA to say, we need Martha to win because we need this HC bill to pass. Great pitch.

  17. BTD:

    What is beyond comprehension is the political malpractice of Democrats for the last year on most every issue. They are staring at a debacle in Massachusetts on Tuesday and one in November because Rahmbo and Axelrod have blown it.

    “Last year?” The political malpractice began in 2007 when Nancy Pelousy announced that impeachment was off the table. Then it went into hyperdrive when the 2008 primaries were rigged. Last year was actually something of an improvement.

    • I guess BTD’s theory that being the “media darling” was enough, was pretty shallow—-which we tried to tell him, too.

      Experience, wisdom, a resume??? Not important for our ole BTD.

      It’s not beyond comprehension. It’s just beyond his own ego to admit it.

      • I just actually read that BTD thread. They’re not cutting him any slack at all for claiming “It’s not Obama’s fault. He just has bad advisors.”

        I found it amusing.

    • BSD (not a typo) has been seriously wrong on virtually the entire political spectrum for the past 2 years. Media Darling, my sweet ass that sure worked out well.

  18. I normally don’t read over there, but I stumbled across a meltdown in progress at


    (includes a totally unscientificbut interesting poll):

    Who will win the special election for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts?

    Martha Coakley (Weak Tea)
    34% 129 votes
    Scott Brown (Strong and Bitter Tea)
    47% 178 votes
    No matter who wins, Massachusetts will lose.
    18% 71 votes

    • Is Martha’s campaign watching? She should run on a campaign to piss off Daily Kos.

      • I’m reading that Martha called Curt Schilling a Yankees fan in a radio interview.

        Oy vey.

        • What’s worse is that her spokesman tried to spin it as a “very very deadpan joke” but I heard the clip and that did not sound like any joke.

    • Okay, see this comment on that thread.

      “And if you want to blame somebody for nominating Coakley, blame Emily’s List, not Mass Dems. The three guys running against her got 60 percent of the primary vote.”

      Sad. It’s the fault of the women.

      • Gosh, I didn’t see that coming… /snark

      • Capuano was pushed by progs and the 3 other candidates running against him got 71% of the vote.

      • I knew they’d blame the woman.

        What are they trying to do-blast female candidates off the face of earth?

        • Yup, they didn’t hear Hillary right when she said;

          As we gather here today in this historic, magnificent building, the 50th woman to leave this Earth is orbiting overhead. If we can blast 50 women into space, we will someday launch a woman into the White House.

          and many are helping to TAKE OUT THE WOMEN CANDIDATES like Richie Rich FORD in New York.

        • it’s more likely Obama is the problem, looks like all was not forgiven after the Beer Summit

          …In dig at Coakley, Cambridge Police Patrol Officers union endorses Republican Brown in Senate race.

          • Wasn’t just Cambridge. Several statewide police unions endorsed Brown.

            It does make one wonder, given that she was AG following through on their arrest cases.

          • It certainly does make one wonder. Police unions endorsing Republicans proves that miracles do occur.

          • There’s a first time for everything.

          • Very liberal paper The Cape Cod Times just endorsed Scott Brown.

            There IS a first time for everything. 🙂

          • Yes–this may be the first time the Cape Cod Times has endorsed Brown for Guv, but that’s because he’s never run before. It’s sure not the first tiime they’ve endorsed a Republican. Kerry Healey, for starters. Like many smaller papers, there’s been an overall slight conservative bent, even before they were acquired by NewsCorp. Though that was after the Healey endorsement–Rupert didn’t own them then. But then, the Cape has sometimes been regarded as one of the more conservative leaning parts of the state.

            But if Gail Huff, Brown’s wife, endorses Brown, we’ll move from merely miraculous to truly unprescedentex.

        • In a word–yes. But this guy should rest easy. A woman loses Kennedy’s seat, it’s pretty much game over from here on in. Unless maybe Ann Coulter does a Ford and moves here to become Governor. 🙂

      • hmm, since Coakley won with 47% of the vote, I think some folks need to revisit 2nd grade math class.

        Coakley polled amazingly well against all three primary opponents individually, and in the one polls that asked about second choices, she won the the second-choice spot against each of her opponents.

        It’s pretty clear that Mass. Dems did want Coakley, at least until she specifically aligned herself with Obama’s hc plan and reversed herself on its restrictions on abortion.

  19. I just wanted to add a few reasons for dems and pumas to think about voting for Brown. I’m in MA right now volunteering, oh goodness I hope he pulls this off. *prays*. I was pretty coflicted for a long time, but now I am working as hard as I can to help Brown win. Here are a few reasons why.


  20. if Ihaven’t said so lately, I am very glad to have this place to come to.
    There is always great conversation and info sharing…. it’s making this time in exile bearable.

  21. …(and their allies) might enter chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine percolating conspiracy theories by raising doubts ….

    isn’t this what the OBambibots do already and did heavily during the campaign? I just would not have believed Axelrove would be dumb enough to them on a Taxpayer payroll!

  22. Sorry, Sanjay could probably get alot done without the cameras rolling. Lets please not put another on-air personality on a pedastal while ordinary Joes are working right along side there doing who knows what heroically without the cameras or need for fame.
    That Cass piece is very intriging. I think we already have seen him in action as paid bloggers for Obama”s campaign worked night and day infiltrating other’s blogs propping up Obama and dissing Hillary. He’s was heavily involved already I bet.

  23. CNN just reported that Haiti still doesn’t have enough doctors for the injured, and that they are going to ask the temporary one to relocate the patients. Only problem is that there isn’t anywhere to relocate them, they did mention that the Israelis have set one hospital up and have done two surgeries.

    Any word on the UK doctors (surgery hospital group) yet?

  24. UN confronts ‘worst ever disaster’

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: