Friday, March 23, 2007

A Final Rant . . . For Now

Blogging has changed enormously in the four years since I started Notes on the Atrocities. In January 2003, the lefty political blogosphere was small enough that you could actually have a reasonable sense of everyone in it. I had regular conversations with Atrios, Kos, Kevin Drum and a host of other less-known or less-remembered bloggers. When the DNC started its blog, Notes scored recognition as one of about 30 blogs to be linked there. This was definitely cool, but also indicative of just how small the blogosphere was.

I traipse down memory lane not only for self-congratulatory reasons. The reason there were so few bloggers created the context for why bloggers were necessary in the first place. We were about to go to war and almost no one, from the leaders of the Democratic Party (remember kindly, compliant Tom Daschle?) to the editorial boards of the Times or Post, was willing to condemn the damn thing.

This is a remarkable fact. We were about to invade a country on a purely racist premise, having confused one group of brown non-Christians with another ("they attacked us first!"), led by a man whose father had been humiliated in this country and his group of insiders (Perle and Wolfie, where have you gone?) who had been agitating for a decade in the Weekly Standard before 9/11 to invade it. It is true that everyone assumed our erstwhile ally had WMD, but so what? Lots of countries had them, and they were, so far as anyone could tell, not "gathering threats."

So blogging seemed to be important. In any case, it provided an outlet for outrage, and for a certain segment of cranky lefties, that seemed like reason enough.

But outrage always seems to be competing with cynicism. So many of the really good independent bloggers either went pro and became party insiders (which was good for them and good for the party) or were crushed by cynicism. It's bad enough that Bush is corrupt and imperialistic and monarchal, but it's far worse that he and his GOP cohorts are stunning ideologues, who always--and I seriously mean always; it's the first play in a one-play GOP playbook--politicize decisions. Every decision is made with an eye toward how it will punish the Dems. The major scandal of the day, the prosecutorial firings, have emerged as a scandal because people can't believe that the White House would actually try to use the US prosecutors to exact revenge. But for those of us who watch, it's the least surprising thing about this scandal.

The media didn't really know how to handle this level of corruption and manipulation. It took them four years to tumble to the fact that this is SOP for the GOP, but it seems that they have finally tumbled. The Post is no-longer pro-war; Sean Hannity is no longer regarded as a journalist, and the he-said, she-said regurgitation of fake arguments for the GOP's benefit seems to be a vestige of a naive past.

Democrats finally seem to have their heads in the game. Or at least know what the game is, whether they have learned how to play it. I used to say that the Dems were in a back alley knife-fight with Karl Rove, and they thought it was a game of chess. At long last, Nancy Pelosi has handed out the Leathermans.

And bloggers? They are ubiquitous: not only are there literally thousands of good and hundreds of excellent political blogs, but now everyone has a blog--the MSM, magazines, Arianna Huffington. We even have the emergence of the blog-as-newspaper.

For the indie blogger with a readership of 50, it's far harder to imagine that you're saying anything important. Blogging has become a burden and an act of conspicuous vanity (whereas in 2003 it was virtuous vanity). Some blogs still have critical relevance--BlueOregon provides political news that would otherwise go missing--but some, like Hog, are pretty obviously redundant.

I wouldn't care so much if my outrage were greater than my cynicism, but at the moment, it's not. The scrum between the forces of truth and lightness and darkness and autocracy just makes me tired. I can't say that the outrage won't bubble up again--it always seems to--but for now it is swamped by cynicism. As a parting example, a coda, if you will, I will offer you one of the most cynical spectacles I have ever seen, courtesy of the crown prince of darkness and autocracy, Tom DeLay.

He has a new book out, the purpose of which is to give relevance to his struggle to inject ideology into all things Republican. As was the case throughout his career, nothing mattered except the supremacy of the GOP--certainly not little things like facts. In an act of mesmerizing idiocy, he tries to deny the words in his new book in an interview with Chris Matthews because they failed to suit his argument at the time.

And that's why I'm tired. Good night and good luck.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Going, Going, ...

This may not be my final post, but it's my final post for now.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Bush Outtakes

Bush's press conference last night was like performance art. I know most people can't stand to hear the man's voice, but it's worth watching a clip for the perverse entertainment value (video's here). Here are a few of the more entertaining comments. (I'd paraphrase in parody, but you really can't beat the original.)
BUSH: Michael, I'm worried about precedents that would make it difficult for somebody to walk into the Oval Office and say, Mr. President, here's what's on my mind. And if you haul somebody up in front of Congress and put them in oath and all the klieg lights and all the questioning, to me, it makes it very difficult for a President to get good advice.

BUSH: They serve at our pleasure. And yet, now they're being held up into the scrutiny of all this, and it's just -- what I said in my comments, I meant about them. I appreciated their service, and I'm sorry that the situation has gotten to where it's got. But that's Washington, D.C. for you. You know, there's a lot of politics in this town.

BUSH: If the Democrats truly do want to move forward and find the right information, they ought to accept what I proposed. And the idea of dragging White House members up there to score political points, or to put the klieg lights out there -- which will harm the President's ability to get good information, Michael -- is -- I really do believe will show the true nature of this debate.
Screw you, you little pissants! I'll show you kleig lights--I'll ship your candy asses down to Gitmo! You all serve at my pleasure! Yeaaaahhhhh....

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Bush: He's Got Confidence in Me

Bush gave (or is giving?--I'm watching it on webcast, anyway) an amusing press conference today wherein he was aggressive about defending Gonzales. Really amusing. He was seriously pissed, and he clearly thinks this is a witch hunt designed to "score political points."

Transcript selections forthcoming.

Sullivan on the War

Andrew Sullivan offers some insightful analysis about war support then and now:
The real question is: if we knew then what we know now about the caliber, ethics, competence and integrity of the president and his aides, would we have entrusted them to wage this war? Would we have trusted their presentation of pre-war intelligence? And the answer to that, I venture to guess for my friend as well, is: no. If we had known that war meant sending Iraq into a vortex of uncontrollable violence; if we had known that proving Rumsfeld's theories would turn out to be more important than providing basic law, order and security for the invaded country; if we had known that this president would unleash torture indiscriminately throughout the conflict and destroy America's moral standing in the world; if we knew that there was no post-invasion plan; if we had known all of this - would we still have supported the war? Of course not.

Some of this was our own fault - our own psychological captivity to the trauma of 9/11, our own excessive trust in a president many saw through already, our own good intentions with respect to Iraqis' suffering taken to levels where self-delusion was involved. But some of it, we now know, was also a function of being misled. Quite how we were misled and how consciously is still not entirely clear. But that we were misled is indisputable. Why more war-supporters are not angrier about this deception escapes me.

Four Years Later: No New Lessons

I have been pondering what to say on this fouth anniversary of Bush's Folly. On the first day of the war, I wrote about why it was a bad war:
This war is a bad war because it has no clear foundation, no clear objectives, and puts into place policy priorities that American citizens should be loth to follow.
A year later, I argued that it had been not only a bad war, but an illegal one:
The doctrine of pre-emption was the justification of this war. And by its own definition, it failed to meet the criteria. Pre-emption is: 1) a doctrine developed to combat terror; and 2) a doctrine that depends on immanent threat, even if the threat isn't immanent enough to qualify under accepted rules of war. But Iraq was not a terrorist state (or in the language of the Pentagon, not an "exporter of terror"), nor was there any threat to the US.
Then last year (having taken a year off), I more or less repeated the first two years. Hell, even before the war, I argued, mostly accurately, why the war was bad, illegal, ill-advised, and a grave danger to the US.

It's like a bad nightmare we just keep revisiting every year. On the eve of this dark anniversary, Bush sent yet more troops into Iraq on the same delusional beliefs that fueled the invasion and all the subsequent catastrophic decisions (torture, black sites, renditions, secret spying . . . ). The lessons didn't even need to be learned--they were self-evident to anyone not blinded by fear and arrogance who cared to look. And yet still, after four long years, here Bush is, ever the poor student, failing his homework assignment. (Another lesson: giving an arrogant, ignorant, incurious, rich kid the keys to the Pentagon may have shortsighted.)

The consequences get worse, though: 100,000 dead, at least double that number maimed and wounded; millions displaced. The civil war begat by this folly promises tens of thousands more bodies, perhaps hundreds of thousands more refugees.

I have no great hope that on the anniversary of year five I'll be writing something different: as long as the country and the Congress indulge Bush's delusions, we'll keep coming right back to this place.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Ides of March

As writ by Shagsbere, Bard of Stratford:
Who is it in the press that calls on me?
I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music,
Cry "Caesar"! Speak, Caesar is turn'd to hear.

Beware the Ides of March.

What man is that?

A soothsayer bids you beware the Ides of March.

Set him before me; let me see his face.

Fellow, come from the throng; look upon Caesar.

What say'st thou to me now? Speak once again.

Beware the Ides of March.

He is a dreamer; let us leave him. Pass.
Merry Ides, one and all.

[Update: if you replace "CAESAR" with "GONZALES," this exchange has a different, but no less tingling-with-doom, feeling.]


With my one free eye (the blogging eye), I'm mostly watching the NCAA Tourney (hang in there, Old Dominion!), so I don't have a lot of time for posting. However, I've been meaning to complain for some time about the -gate suffix. Can we retire it? Seriously. "Purgegate" is about as far from meaningful as you can get.

While I'm whingeing (foul on ODU, they're tanking...), something else: "momentarily" means "for a moment." Not "in a moment." It's an adverb, much like "hopefully"--another lost cause. So, when, for instance, a media conglomerate puts up a message on their online basketball stream (for example) reading, "Please stand by, your game will resume momentarily," they have misused the word. Unless they mean that it will resume sporadically in momentary bursts for an undefined period of time. (Unlikely.) There's no reason to forswear "in a moment" for "momentarily," either. It's like using "impact" as a verb. It gains us nothing since we already have "affect."

I do not mention this hopefully--I recognize that corporate America has forever ruined the word's proper use. Ah well.

Oh, for the love of Mike, ODU has missed eight in a row . . .

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Not an official ad:

Biggest Crime?

Question: is the White House orchestrated firing of federal prosecutors the biggest crime Bush is accused of?

Answer: Yes.
The White House suggested two years ago that the Justice Department fire all 93 U.S. attorneys, a proposal that eventually resulted in the dismissals of eight prosecutors last year, according to e-mails and internal documents that the administration will provide to Congress today.

The dismissals took place after President Bush told Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales in October that he had received complaints that some prosecutors had not energetically pursued voter-fraud investigations, according to a White House spokeswoman.

Gonzales approved the idea of firing a smaller group of U.S. attorneys shortly after taking office in February 2005. The aide in charge of the dismissals -- his chief of staff, D. Kyle Sampson -- resigned yesterday, officials said, after acknowledging that he did not tell key Justice officials about the extent of his communications with the White House, leading them to provide incomplete information to Congress. . . .

Sampson sent an e-mail to Miers in March 2005 that ranked all 93 U.S. attorneys. Strong performers "exhibited loyalty" to the administration; low performers were "weak U.S. attorneys who have been ineffectual managers and prosecutors, chafed against Administration initiatives, etc." A third group merited no opinion.
The test of a real democracy is the independence of its judiciary. Bush sought to subvert it for purely political gain. Watergate looks like a fraternity prank by comparison.

Tripartite Iraq?

Joe Biden continues his novelty campaign outside the harsh glare of media lights, national attention, or voter recognition. He's gotta be running for Secretary of State, because I've got a better chance of being President. Despite that, he's got the only serious plan for dealing with Iraq. According to Biden, who appeared on Bill Maher's show three weeks ago, we have three choices in Iraq: occupation, a Saddam-style strong man, or:
". . . a federal system where you let people control the fabric of their daily lives. Local police forces, their laws relating to marriage, education, those issues that affect their everyday life. And a federal government that controls and army, the borders and currency and the distribution of natural resources. There’s never been any other, other than those three alternatives."
The major problem with how the Iraq war was conceived and implemented, and the major problem confronting us in the civil war, is that every politician in Washington has treated it as a domestic policy issue.

Bush and Cheney got warm and tingly thinking about how they'd be received in Boston when the Army was greeted with flowers in Baghdad. Later, Bush was unwilling to alter the course because he couldn't stomach the idea of what the New York Times would write. The Democrats have, sadly, been no better (with the sole exception of Russ Feingold): during the run up to the war, they were sufficiently cowed by the administration and didn't want to risk what meager power the GOP meted out to them. Then came the horrific Kerry period of voting against it after they voted for it. Finally, the get-the-hell out phase, which rests on the sole, dubious belief that our mere presence is what causes the violence.

Democrats aren't picking up on Biden's plan for domestic policy reasons, too. It's clear that a tripartite Iraq requires international oversight and ongoing support--something the Dems don't seem to have the will for. When I first started blogging, I constantly railed at the Dems, who employed politics as if they still had power, instead of recognizing they were in a back-alley knife fight with Karl Rove. The opposite appears true now--they're so concerned with getting back into power, they're not thinking about how to govern when they do.

Ultimately, someone's going to have to be a grown-up and take responsibility for Bush's mess. There are no reasonable plans on the table except Biden's. Having done the math, I'm prepared to go with it.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Hagel Out

Chuck Hagel, won't be running for president. He made the unlikely statement this morning, underscoring why I was worried about his candidacy: everyone assumed he was announcing his candidacy, because no one calls a press conference to announce that there's nothing to announce. Hagel is the true maverick in the party, and that's why he was the one candidate who was dangerous to Dems. But it's a good-news, bad-news thing; his straight-talk candidacy would have given the GOP a scant margin of credibility back, but it would have also made things more interesting. Now it's back to the old-man, cross-dressing, Mormon circus. Ah well.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Gonzales and the Beleaguered Judiciary

As the recent news about eight fired prosecutors has unfolded, I've pretty much kept my mouth shut and listened. The implications are obvious--no need for me to add anything. Then came word that the motivation for firing them wasn't merely punitive--thanks to a Patriot Act provision, Bush could replace the fired prosecutors with appointees with "interim appointees"--stooges who didn't have to go before the Senate. And, since this only bolstered the obviousness of the first point, I again had no reason to comment. I mean, a coup's a coup, right?

The latest information comes from Paul Krugman (via Andrew Sullivan) about the Bush assault on the judiciary:

Donald Shields and John Cragan, two professors of communication, have compiled a database of investigations and/or indictments of candidates and elected officials by U.S. attorneys since the Bush administration came to power. Of the 375 cases they identified, 10 involved independents, 67 involved Republicans, and 298 involved Democrats. The main source of this partisan tilt was a huge disparity in investigations of local politicians, in which Democrats were seven times as likely as Republicans to face Justice Department scrutiny.

How can this have been happening without a national uproar? The authors explain: "We believe that this tremendous disparity is politically motivated and it occurs because the local (non-statewide and non-Congressional) investigations occur under the radar of a diligent national press. Each instance is treated by a local beat reporter as an isolated case that is only of local interest."

And let's not forget that Karl Rove's candidates have a history of benefiting from conveniently timed federal investigations. Last year Molly Ivins reminded her readers of a curious pattern during Mr. Rove's time in Texas: 'In election years, there always seemed to be an F.B.I. investigation of some sitting Democrat either announced or leaked to the press. After the election was over, the allegations often vanished.'

Today the Post reported that US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales agreed to quit packing the court with toadies; he was forced by GOP Senators who could no longer bear the public outrage of the firings and their culpability in rigging the Patriot Act.

And with this news, I finally have an observation to add. Back when Bush had the opportunity to appoint a replacement for Rehnquist and later O'Connor, some thought he might select his old friend from Texas. But now we see why that was never in the cards. Bush had his man on the inside. Gonzales was far more valuable to him as a judicial bagman than a court appointee. Recall that before this flap, two of the hits on Bush's top ten crime list have Gonzales' fingerprints on them: blowing off the FISA courts to spying on Americans and torturing suspected terrorists, an act based onGonzales' "torture memo."

It's no wonder Bush ushered John Ashcroft out the door. While his first AG was an evangelical and huge supporter, he was apparently independent. Gonzales was not. But in the end, we may have gotten lucky--at least Gonzales can be fired (and may be on his way); had he become a Supreme Court justice, we'd have him around another forty years.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Oregonian Gets Two Pulitzer Noms...Probably

Say what you will about the Oregonian, but it manages to stay among an elite crowd of papers who regularly score Pulitzer nominations. Leaks out today have them up for a couple, in Breaking News and National Reporting:
National Reporting
1. Chicago Tribune - Death penalty
2. The Oregonian - Charity investigation
3. The Boston Globe - Signing statements

Breaking News
1. The Oregonian - Lost Family
2. The Denver Post - Blizzards
3. Not yet confirmed
These are leaked, not official, results. So caveat emptor (you get what you pay for). I just pass along the rumors, I don't start 'em.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Time For Congressional Hearings

The best result from the Scooter Libby trial would not be seeing Scoot sit in the pokey. Americans may want a pound of flesh for the crimes, lies, and guile of the administration and its incredible con job about Iraq, but we don't want it from Lewis Libby. Until this scandal broke, no one even knew his name. He may be the highest official convicted of crimes in modern American history, but that doesn't mean he's a significant player in the larger drama. In fact, the whole Plame affair turned out to be a distraction and a proxy battle for the investigations that should now ensue:
  • Did the Bush administration commit any crimes when it rigged the evidence to support an invasion of Iraq?
  • Were crimes committed when the administration farmed out its war in no-bid contracts to major donors (and past employers) of the White House?
  • Did the administration break laws in its covert torture efforts (Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, secret rendition, black sites)?
  • Did the administration illegally spy on Americans?
The current case about fired prosecutors is instructive. Respected judges were fired because they failed to carry the White House's water:
The White House approved the firings of seven U.S. attorneys late last year after senior Justice Department officials identified the prosecutors they believed were not doing enough to carry out President Bush's policies on immigration, firearms and other issues, White House and Justice Department officials said yesterday. . . .

Since the mass firings were carried out three months ago, Justice Department officials have consistently portrayed them as personnel decisions based on the prosecutors' "performance-related" problems. But, yesterday, officials acknowledged that the ousters were based primarily on the administration's unhappiness with the prosecutors' policy decisions and revealed the White House's role in the matter.
Normally, the vacancies would be filled by nominees approved by the Senate, but the White House had managed to subvert this via the Patriot Act, that grab-bag of executive giveaways:
Democrats say the administration is exploiting a little-noticed provision slipped into the Patriot Act that allows the attorney general to select new federal prosecutors without getting Senate confirmation. Critics say the Justice Department targeted those who did not bend to the demands of either the White House or top GOP lawmakers.
The White House has used its office, a compliant GOP Congress, and the bombings of 9/11 to subvert the law at every opportunity. Hell, Bush admits as much in his 600-plus "signing statements," in which Bush approves a law but exempts himself from it.

The rule of law functions in the US because we have checks on branches of power. Scooter Libby's conviction means little in the scope of administration malfeasance, but it could become a powerful symbol that the other branches still protect the Constitution. The Congress should use this moment--and the Libby conviction--as an opportunity to begin holding serious hearings to find out what actual violence the Bush administration has committed against the Constitution.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Libby Guilty; Pokey in Future?

We won't have Scooter Libby to kick around any more; he was found guilty today on four of five charges:

A federal jury today convicted I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby of lying about his role in the leak of an undercover CIA officer's identity, finding the vice president's former chief of staff guilty of two counts of perjury, one count of making false statements and one count of obstruction of justice, while acquitting him of single count of lying to the FBI.

The verdict, reached by the 11 jurors on the 10th day of deliberations, culminated the seven-week trial of the highest-ranking White House official to be indicted on criminal charges in modern times.

Question: will he serve a day for this, or is his Presidential pardon all but guaranteed? Probably guaranteed--but wouldn't a pardon indicate presidential complicity? Maybe Bush doesn't care.

Nancy Pelosi, who has a blog (who knew?), piled on:
This trial provided a troubling picture of the inner workings of the Bush Administration. The testimony unmistakably revealed – at the highest levels of the Bush Administration – a callous disregard in handling sensitive national security information and a disposition to smear critics of the war in Iraq.
Good news, I suppose, but what will we all talk about now?

Monday, March 05, 2007

Hate Speech

Blogospheric navel gazing is low political art, but I don't think I can stomach a post on Iran or the Hillary-Obama scrum for black voters. So it's off to a minor rebellion in the blogosphere, where righties are rallying forces against Ann Coulter.

At the Conservative Political Action Conference [CPAC] in 2006, Coulter referred to Iranians as “ragheads.” She is one of the most prominent women in the conservative movement; for her to employ such reckless language reinforces the stereotype that conservatives are racists.

At CPAC 2007 Coulter decided to turn up the volume by referring to John Edwards, a former U.S. Senator and current Presidential candidate, as a “faggot.” Such offensive language–and the cavalier attitude that lies behind it–is intolerable to us. It may be tolerated on liberal websites but not at the nation’s premier conservative gathering.

It concludes with a request to CPAC to banish Coulter from future events. Righties have begun, reluctantly, to admit that she may not be so hot for the party anymore. (It appears they don't actually disagree with her or disapprove of her words--they were great back when the GOP was attempting a soft coup of the government--but now they appear gauche, and so she's gotta go.) Of course, righties, forever aggrieved, paranoid, and thin-skinned, want to point out that while Coulter is indeed nasty, she's a teddy bear compared to lefties.

This is GOP 101 (aka, the five-year-old's strategy): no matter how great the crime of a Republican, some Dem somewhere has committed a greater atrocity. This is, of course, a further manifestation of the paranoid and thin-skinned personality of a party who has called John Kerry and Max Cleland a traitor, Michael J. Fox a liar, and the Democratic Party traitors and treasonists. But let us examine these charges, just because it's a slow day and it's an amusing diversion. Blogger Patterico prepares a rap sheet, among which are these dandies:
Comedian and (former) talk show host Craig Kilborn [Caption under footage of George W. Bush]:
Snipers Wanted
Comedian Chris Rock:
If President Clinton would pardon me I would whip Starr’s ass right now. I will get a crew from Brooklyn and we will stomp him like, like, we’re Savion Glover. We’ll stomp him like it’s bringing da noise.
You see, Chris Rock and Craig Kilborn--this is the kind of material had had to offer. In fact, scanning through all the horrible things all the Democrats and liberals have ever said, he managed just a single Democratic party A-lister, Howard Dean, whose devastating comment was? "I hate Republicans and everything they stand for." Yeah, that's the equivalent of calling John Edwards a fag (a deeply bigoted comment meant to question Edwards' masculinity and--bonus!--offend gays).

Dems have had their racist comments, as Patterico documents, but when Jesse used the word "Hymie," he was held to account by liberals. But he must cite Louis Farrakhan four times, highlighting the central absence of racism within the liberal orbit.

In fact, Patterico accomplishes something he didn't intend: Dems and liberals, he illustrates, almost never say the kinds of things Coulter does. And, when one does, it is some obscure character like an Alabama Representative or a British pundit (!). Furthermore, by demonstrating that these are isolated cases, he shows that there is no movement approval, as is the case with the very clubby right-wing smear machine (from the Fox pundits to Limbaugh to the attack ads of Rove and coordinated PACs like Swift Boats).

Finally, Patterico highlights the different nature of the attacks and the different ways in which the parties handle racist/offensive language. First, the nature of the attacks. On the one hand, Coulter (for whom gay is a them): "I don't know if he's gay. But [former Vice President] Al Gore -- total fag. ...Everyone has always known, widely promiscuous heterosexual men have, as I say, a whiff of the bathhouse about them."

Now, let's take one of Patterico's "hate speech" examples, from Nina Totenberg, discussing Jesse Helms: "If there is retributive justice [Sen. Jesse Helms] will get AIDS from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it."

In the first case, Coulter launches an ad hominem attack on Gore based on who he is (or in this case, isn't). Totenberg, whom I assume was talkign about a Helms effort to block AIDS legislation, makes an admittedly harsh comment about Helms based on his actions. Big difference. Except with the racist commments Patterico details, that's the case with all his comments.

And then there's the way the parties handle things. When a Democrat makes a racist comment, as Jesse did, there's a firestorm and he's forced to apologize. When righties attack, they are given key posts in the Bush administration or fat raises by Fox News. In fact, Patterico unwittingly drives this point home with regard to the current Coulter flap: note that no one's asking her to apologize; they're just hoping she'll go away.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Creepy Right-Wing Bloggers

Andrew Sullivan sussed out an interesting survey of right-wing bloggers. 240 were sent an eight-question survey, and 63 responded. The results were . . . bizarre.

1) Do you think the surge should go forward?

Yes (61) -- 97%
No (2) -- 3%

2) Do you think that a majority of Democrats in Congress would like to see us lose in Iraq for political reasons?

Yes (53)-- 84%
No (10) -- 16%

4) Do you think mankind is the primary cause of global warming?

Yes (0) -- 0%
No (59) -- 100%

Some of the responses weren't as unhinged--but they were interesting:

7) If you were grading George Bush on his foreign policy for his presidency so far, would you give him an:

A or B (35) -- 56%
C (18) -- 29%
D, E, or F (10) -- 16%

8) If you were grading George Bush on his domestic policy for his presidency so far, would you give him an:

A or B (17) -- 27%
C (26) -- 41%
D, E, or F (20) -- 32%

By way of assessing how nutty these views are, here's some polling data on similar questions:
  • 31% - In favor of the surge (61% oppose) (Pew)
  • 47% - Americans believing global warming is caused by humans (Pew)
  • 31%, 46% - Americans approving of Dubya's handling of the war and terror (WaPo)
  • 43% - Americans approving of Dubya's handling of the economy
Analysis: right-wing bloggers are paranoid, scared of both the larger foreign world and Democrats, and they don't understand science. (Probably they're paranoid about it, too.)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Interesting Polling by Region

My ride is about to leave, so I'll have to update this later, but Time has an interesting poll out that details candidate strength by region. Hillary enjoys a big lead in the Northeast and South, but is tied or trailing Obama in the West and Midwest. Who'd a' thunk Hillary would be the candidate to bring North and South back together again.