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October 30, 2007


I am writing her now. I want her to know I see her and what she is doing. Let's out her little quiet compromising.

Thanks e.w without you we would never know.

Well this is disappointing; I had hoped Harman had turned the corner back to the good side. I have to say, however, I do not trust Sylvester Reyes one bit; he appears both stupid, flaky and impressionable by the Gooper Daddies.

I've been holding out hope that Harman, and Rockefeller too, were forces for good struggling to get moral clarity in the face of intentionally limited information from Bush.

But, it seems clearer all the time that Harman, in particular, threw-in with Bush and the Neocon Republicans from the very beginning - When our Civil Rights were on the table, She Acted as a Stealth Gooper.

And, she's been 'angling' to cover her complicity ever since by claiming to be a neutral 'voice of reason.'

However, while championing a bill that 'returns FISA to its lawful reporting structure,' she neglects to mention that she was Pivotal in letting that Lawless Genie out of the bottle to begin with - We need better representation than that.

Harman is too Weak to do the job with Integrity.

EW do you or anyone else here know of a website that highlights primary challengers to Bush Dog Dems and the DLC Leadership? I would really like to focus my campaign contributions on primary challengers, but I am not aware of anyone highlighting those races in particular.

emptywheel, I might be misreading you, but it seems you're taking Harman's calling Republicans on their bullshit attempts to use a sketchy terrorist threat as an excuse to push FISA amendment through seriously. At the very same time she was calling bullshit, she was arguing to have a FISA "fix" that would give retroactive telco immunity and allow for non-individualized warrants. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0907/5746.html

Harman didn't need to be terrorized to pass that bill, she was willing to give them what they got and lots, lots more without any coercion at all!

Phred - don't know about your website request, but #4, 82 yds, 6-1. Yowzah. Go Pack!

I think the dynamic with Harman's assignment to a different committee represents part of the mechanics which helped Pelosi sketch a modest movement forward strategy after the elections 2006 instead of something more readily headline capturing. While MWinograd's challenge to the candidacy of Harman in 2006 garnered a substantial minority, even with a quantifiably tardy decision by namesake 'MW' to enter that race, Harman must recognize the long developing polity in her region toward the progressive mode will replace Harman's paleocentrism which was classical for that district in decades of yore. MWinograd has helped organize the ProgressiveDemocratsOfLA for years. Although in a different part of CA, I hope she does well if tossing the hat in the ring again next election cycle; MWinograd is known as an avid participant in issues affecting modern families and individuals. I wonder how the Harman sparse comments about the serial secret G8 briefings will evolve in public; I recall that's being in the news weeks ago, and, seemingly, Bob Graham's retrospective was the most volubly critical of the administration's compartmentalization of congresspersons, as there is lots more Harman briefed into than only telco mirrored bitstreams while she was at HPSCI's top echelons in the minority contingent.

bmaz -- That pass was something, eh? Man, I love watching Favre play football!

Clinton "troubled" by Mukasey but could still vote for him.....

phred, bmaz,

Tom Brady is the new Brett Farve. I attended my first pro football game last Sunday in over 30 years. Yes Washington is not Indianapolis but their level of domination matched the level of competition.


Wowza, yes, those were two impressive throws. Over two damn good corners.

Oh stop it you Amherst alums. I have been genuflecting to the greatness of EW's team for weeks now (Lions strangely doing well also). Neil, I got news for you, Tom Brady would have to throw more interceptions and keep the games a lot closer for him to be the "New Brett Favre". What Brady is doing is simply in another world. It is hard not to love watching a 38 year old little kid having so much fun and doing so well though.... Go Pack!

How I love thee PRIVATIZE... let me count the ways

WASHINGTON - President Bush will nominate retired Army general James Peake on Tuesday to direct the Department of Veterans Affairs ... Peake, 63, is a physician and former lieutenant general who spent 40 years in military medicine and was decorated for his service in Vietnam.... He retired from the Army in 2004 after being lead commander in several medical posts, including four years as the U.S. Army surgeon general... The president will be joined in the Roosevelt Room with Peake, now chief medical director and chief operating officer of QTC Management Inc., which provides government-outsourced occupational health, injury and disability examination services... If confirmed by the Senate, Peake would lead the government's second-largest agency with 235,000 employees in the waning months of the Bush administration. AP

The VA has 235,000 employees? Not for long!

Bmaz & Phred - Tom Brady is playing like a clone of Joe Montana and Dan Marino right now. It is a sad thing when pro football teams have better leadership and management than the US Government. BTW, I have not seen nearly enough triumphant exultations in the comments for the WORLD SERIES CHAMPION Boston Red Sox!

I've got to give-up a hat-tip to Michigan and their fans for battling back to 7-2, tied for first with Ohio State in Conference play. That, plus the Pats having such an excellent season, just goes to show that teams play better when they have something to prove.

Now, if we could just get Congress motivated about proving the validity of the Rule of Law being the One Law for US All...

It's true, the pack is back. And of course, it's Favre not Farve.

You may have noticed my updates of the Jeffs' gridiron exploits have become rare as they failed to pass key tests against Middlebury and Tufts, the two schools tied for first place in NESCAC at 5-1. The Little Three-Amherst, Wesleyan and Williams- and Trinity are tied for 3rd at 4-2.

Middlebury and Tufts have easy contests next Saturday and finish against each other at Tufts, probably for the league championship, in the final game of the year. There is no post season football in NESCAC. It is a league run by the college presidents, not ADs. An a side note, here some news about our AD.

The four teams tied in third place play each other in the next two weeks; Amherst plays Trinity then Williams, Trinity plays Amherst then Wesleyan, Williams plays Wesleyan then Amherst.

I'm going to Amherst Saturday, Family Weekend, to watch the Jeffs play Trinity. Mom and I will park in the endzone and pack a tailgate lunch for halftime. That way if our fortunes fail, we can enjoy the beautiful weather, good food, and great company without enduring the painful final 30 minutes without ample distraction.

Go Jeffs beat Trinity!

Neil - Nice find. Peake sure sounds like a qualified dude other than the CEO of the privatizing company; I guess we pretty much have to assume that he is indeed a giant privatizer at heart, or Bush would not have put him up (because there sure is no track record for just hiring qualified guys, it has to be the privatizing). Oh well, maybe some of the former VA personnel can go to work for the Consumer Product Safety Commission; oh, thats right, they don't want new help or money....

While we are on the topic of primary challenges, it seems to me that our sports-centred talk provides an interesting metaphor. When a young Tom Brady was given the chance to replace an often-ineffective Drew Bledsoe, the result was 3 Super Bowls in four years. As Atrios says, more and better Democrats please!

Hey Neil, that isn't the Trinity team that won on the 15 lateral last second play last weekend is it?

Excellent point EW, it was indeed TWO great passes, but the second one was the one that put the smile on my face as I drifted off to sleep ;)

Neil, Tom Brady is NOT the New Brett Favre. Don't get me wrong, Brady is a great, Hall of Fame great, quarterback. Like bmaz said, the joy of watching Favre is the same as watching a 12 year old. So many pro sports stars talk about doing their job and getting it done, Brett plays like it's a game, a great fun game. It makes all the difference when you watch him play.

Ishmael, I've been trying to restrain any inclinations towards gloating about the Sox -- especially 'cause I predicted Cleveland would win the ALCS and then the Rockies would sweep them in the series. All things considered, I figure I better stick with football for any bragging rights I might claim to possess ;)


That was "Trinity University of San Antonio" as opposed to Trinity College, Hartford, CT but both are NCAA D3. I can't say which school has higher academic standards with regard to admitting athletes.

Ishmael -- Nice metaphor, lets hope our replacement quarterback has Brady's success!

Having lived in SF for some of the Montana years, I gotta say Brady's something else. Frigging machine. But boy is he fun to watch.

I was contemplating a post on all the whining about the Pats' "running up the score" on poor Joe Gibbs. I actually think my opinion on this--after having played with and around sports teams that excel in their region and get walloped nationally because they don't know how to use games against lesser opponents to prepare--has changed significantly. Call me crazy, but I sincerely believe that Belichick kept pushing because 1) he wanted to practice a couple more quarterback run plays, and 2) he wanted to make sure the Pats had practiced fourth and one a couple of times in game situations before next week's game.

I didn't do the post because my card died. Looking for a new Fit--sorry Ford, you didn't get the new Fit competitor to the US in time...

Hhmmm....this is my district. Maybe I'll make a run against her.

bmaz -- sounds like a rugby match broke out in the middle of the Trinity football game ;)


point taken. Tom Brady does not have the joyful youthful let-it-all-hang-out approach Brett Farve has... and earned the right to have. But Brady is earning that right every year and after a few more Super Bowl rings, in waning years of his career, may decide to stay and play like Favre rather than move on to a second career. Let's hope so because if he moves on, he'll probably run for office as a right winger and ruin everything.


I'm with you on the issue about the Patriots playing full-on for 60 minutes against Washington and others. I never understood the bounds for scoring against an opponent. Who sets out to humiliate? No one I know.

As a coach, you conduct your game strategy to secure the win and devlop your team, whether that means playing reserves or playing starters in game situations and running plays successfully that improve your offense and give next week's opponent more to problems to solve.

Btw, I agree with Neil about Favre. He plays through sheer talent and love of the game--that's why he's so fun to watch. Brady is a machine, who plays through love of winning and real discipline, the kind Favre never cared for until this year.

Romo may be the new Favre, maybe Cutler. But Brady is something else.

Though it's funny. I love Brady, hate Manning. They're both machines. But I kind of like Belichick's machine better. Must be because he's a Little Three grad and Brady's a MI grad.

EW, I agree that Belichick was using the Washington game to prep for the Colts.

Neil, yep, lets hope Brady sticks to football, and while we're on the subject, Schilling stays out of politics, too.

Sparkles, why am I not surprised that Clinton may vote for Mukasey (trust me, that's a rhetorical question).

And Jim DeRosa, go for it!


While I don't like Shilling's politics, it might not be a bad thing for progressives if he did throw his hat in and secured a seat. Talk about a loose canon. I don't think he can get elected here in MA but then again he may not be here for long.

If the Red Sox don't resign him and he gets picked up by another team and has a new number, he'll have to change the name of his blog www.38pitches.com.

An execution or a reprieve?

At some point today, convicted killer Earl Wesley Berry will either die or get a reprieve. The Mississippi man is scheduled to be put to death at 6 p.m. CST, but he’s asked the Supreme Court to step in and block his execution. Berry is making an argument similar to that of other death row inmates across the country: He contends the current method of lethal injection amounts to cruel and unusual punishment, in violation of the Constitution’s 8th Amendment.

The Supreme Court already has agreed to decide whether lethal injections violate the Constitution, in a case from Kentucky. But it’s unclear what that means for the 35 other states that also use lethal injections. Some states have decided to hold off until the Court rules. Others are going forward. The Court, for its part, has sent mixed signals. It has blocked two and allowed one...

Yeah, we know a little of Schilling out here too. He is a first class jackass, and no way you want him elected to anything. However, you DO want him in your pitching staff. He is fiery and an absolute encyclopedia of knowledge on pitching and major league hitters. If I were Boston, I would keep him around for another 1 or 2 year contract. They have more good young pitchers, like the kid who threw the no-hitter, and another one supposedly coming up; Schilling can really help set them up for the future.

Phred at 14:15 - Senator Clinton has announced that she will vote against Mukasey, and she says she cannot support him for the right reasons - not just the waterboard may or may not be torture waffle, but also, and this is VERY encouraging, his refusal to state that the President is subject to federal law! Which I thought had been confirmed by the Supreme Court 33 years ago in U.S. vs. Nixon, but has apparently slipped the mind of the proposed AG.

Ishmael - I never understood the mindless fixation on waterboarding as a stand alone issue for deciding how to judge Mukasey....

Ishmael, thanks for the update -- that is indeed very encouraging. Lets hope the issue of Presidential authority becomes a more central fixture in the campaign.

bmaz and Neil, it will be interesting to see whether Schilling returns next year, and if not where he goes next... And Neil, I agree, if he did run he would be bound to say things that would get him in all kinds of trouble, best really for him to stay out of the ring and remain the admirable ball player that he is.

Neil - I hope that Berry gets his reprieve - the capital punishment debate regarding the use of lethal injections got me thinking about the parallels to the torture debate. Lethal injections were proposed as a way of making the killing of prisoners more palatable to the public than hangings, shootings, beheadings, disembowellings, or any of the other ways designed to kill prisoners and at the same time terrify the rest of the population - this is the form of "deterrence" that death penalty supporters really want. As society became more progressive, lethal injection was promoted as "humane", like putting a dog or a horse down that was unmanageable or defective. The "debate" about whether Gestapo- and KGB endorsed tactics such as waterboarding or sleep deprivation are "really" torture, as opposed to Iron Maidens or the rack, or branding with hot irons, seems to me to be the same type of false distinctions. Lethal injection or hanging, both are designed to kill - waterboarding or turns on the rack, they are both designed to break a person through psychological and physical pain, with the bonus of terrifying into compliance those who are not (yet) in the death chamber or torture chamber.


You may be right about keeping Shilling in the Sox rotation. Pitching (defense) wins world championships. They didn't sign him before the season. Does that mean they have to match qualified offers to keep him?


Did you catch Ben Cherrington's romantic shout out to Wendy during the post game 4 celebration in Denver? Sweet! I wonder how that would come into his thinking when other MLB clubs come knocking to inquire about his interest in their GM spot.

Neil - To the best of my knowledge, he is just a free agent and can sign with anybody, for whatever he wants, including the Sawx. By the way, couple of months ago he made noise about going to Tampa Bay is he couldn't sign with Boston again; why he would consider Tampa Bay is beyond me. Who is Ben Cherrington and Wendy?

Tony Romo is the "New Brett Favre"

the gut's a fricken Three Stooges act behind center

he's running into linemen, trying to jump over people, dropping the ball

I half expect Romo to use the eye poke or the line slap next

and he WINS

without the wins, Romo is just the next rex grossman

with the wins, Romo is the QB who is the most fun to watch

Favre isn't the best, but he sure is fun to watch

what was the topic of this thread again ...

Ishmael -- You make an astute observation on the parallels between the torture and death penalty discussions. The death penalty clearly isn't a deterrent, which puts it squarely in the retribution camp. I would prefer not to be a murderer simply by being a member of a society that finds execution acceptable. Same goes for my opposition to torture. I would not do it, therefore I resent my government doing it in my name.

freepatriot -- I'm on the Packer Fan website aren't I? You know, the one with the Brady trolls ;)

Oh bmaz - I see Mukasey as emblematic of the entire sorry story of Torture under Bush the UE.

We've signed Treaties that explicity outlaw 'Waterboarding' as Torture. Bush the UE ignored all that and had Memos Drafted that "Fit the Definitions to the Policies." Waterboarding wasn't Torture in the Bush System because it didn't 'shock the conscience.'

Finally, Congress passed the Dec 04 declaration that 'Torture is Abhorrent.'

Bush the UE ignored all that and had Secret Memos Drafted that "Fit the Definitions to the Policies" in 05. Okay, you insist that Waterboarding is Torture? Then we'll use Simulated Drowning, instead.

So, Bush doesn't Torture with Waterboarding - that would be illegal. Bush uses 'Simulated Drowning' instead - which, by his own definition, is legal.

See how it works? Not shooting someone, but a simulated bleeding-out - they're different by definition. If you choose the right definition, it's legal.

Mukasey on Day 1 (speaking without reference to notes) - Three Co-equal Branches of Government and Torture is Un-Constitutional.

Mukasey on Day 2 (referring to his *new* foot-long talking points sheet) - Bush may not be subject to Federal Statutes and I don't know if Waterboarding is Torture.

Day 1 - The Constitution and Human Dignity.
Day 2 - The UE and Torture.

It's all in the definitions - and in the evening after his Day 1 performance, Mukasey was told that Bush is the Definer-er.

By Day 2, it was obvious on Torture alone, that Mukasey was in the bag - too weak to stand on principle, and brought to heel cravenly before Power with his talking points leash.

When it comes to standing up for human rights - Our Rights - Mukasey is more clever with words and concepts than Gonzo - but just as spinelessly obedient to Bush.

Lot's of people were waving US off of Mukasey even before the hearing, but I think he told US all we needed to know about him with how he mis-handled Torture in front of the SJC.


Don't see that anyone answered your initial question about Bush Dogs. The good folks at Open Left (http://www.openleft.com/frontPage.do)invented that term, and they are tracking the races closely. Look in the far right column for a list of links to the Dogs and their current races.

mamayaga -- thanks so much for the link, that is exactly what I've been looking for...

Phred, Howie Klein over at DownWith Tyranny also pushes for more and better. Right now he's pushing for better. Has great links and personality profiles for primary challenges.


And I see Mamayaga also provided a different link.

And Jim De Rosa, please go for it!

Hot off the press:


WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Bush's pick for attorney general, Judge Michael Mukasey, called the interrogation technique known as "waterboarding" a "repugnant" practice Tuesday, but again refused to say whether it violates U.S. laws banning torture.

Thanks DeeLoralei!

Well now radiofreewill, Mukasey has thrown down his glove. Will the SJC have the sense for once to defend themselves?

phred - That ought to do it for Mikey. He was about as qualified to be AG as Harriet was for SCOTUS, and they both had the same fatal flaw - they were dazzled senseless by the Power, and thereby self-rendered useless for the People.

At least Miers withdrew her nomination before being humiliated with a vote...

If Leahy can poll the Dems on SJC and guarantee a Down vote on Mukasey, then he should consider announcing it tomorrow. Then we'll see if the Goopers advise Mukasey to quietly withdraw and save face, or insist on a For-the-Record vote that has the Repubs endorsing Mukasey's enablement of Bush's Torture and 'Above the Law' Theory.

If Leahy can force the issue, then I think we can expect Mukasey to withdraw, and walk-off to the dust-bin of political foils who lost their principles when they got near Power - he's clearly not the man of the hour. He doesn't have the 'right stuff' to preserve Our Republic in its time of peril.

Text of today's Mukasey letter, which includes his 'methodology' for arriving at a decision regarding whether a specific interrogation technique would be considered Torture, or not:


Tom Brady is overrated.

All his Super Bowl rings came on lucky wins with alot of help from the refs and Coach Belicheat's unique "insticts", IOW he knew what the other team was going to do.

We'll see if he can keep this up for a full season, but if he doesn't, he'll still just be Tommy Tuck Rule to me.


Ben Cherington is a top three guy in Red Sox Baseball operations. Wendy Nix is Weekend Sports Anchor and reporter during the week on NBCs channel 7 in Boston. They're married-I didn't know that until just now.

Thanks Neil. I think I have seen her on ESPN a couple of times recently; don't know if it was the Sawx, BC or the Pats she was reporting on (guest role I take it; maybe she freelances for them). She does pretty good work it appears.

You argue Brady's/Patriot’s three Super Bowl rings were lucky wins. I agree they were close games but that's the point, if you can keep your team close, you put them in a position to win. Then if someone can make a key play, you're world champion.

In highly competitive sports, you make you own luck. I don’t think three Super Bowl wins can be discounted as luck. One: maybe. Two: no. Three: please.

This year after an 8-0 start, Brady is completing 74% of his pass attempts, 11% of which were TDs, 0.7% were intercepted = qty 2.

What is it that you want in a quarterback that Brady doesn't have? He's the first player at the razor in the morning and the last one to leave. He learns what his opponent is doing and learns his options to defeat it.

Harman loses it over a well-researched diary at dkos by drational:


"What rubbish! For those like me who insist that the President’s domestic surveillance program must comply fully with the Constitution and the 4th Amendment, the only way for Congress to get there is with a veto-proof majority. That's why I'm working with Republicans. Got a better idea?"


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Mally's Deontic Logic

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