I did a BloggingHeads.tv episode with Bill Scher that's up this morning here. We talk mostly about what's up with the Democrats.
The phenomenon of Joe Klein is a mystery to me, as I believe I've mentioned before. I won't go into it again, except to note that before Arianna demonstrated for all the world to see that Klein is as dishonest about himself as he is about most things -- even when his history is on the record -- Klein originally came to the world's attention on the basis of his own dishonesty about himself. Recall that when New York magazine hired a linguist who outed him as the "anonymous" author of Primary Colors, instead of owning up to his (incredibly effective) publicity stunt, Klein attacked the character of said linguist and continued to deliberately mislead everyone, including his colleagues, his producers, and his editors. This was truly a man without honor -- and yet in our culture, it mattered not a whit. I wrote something about Klein later on and went to see him speak at Barnes & Noble. When he falsely claimed that no one was hurt by his dishonesty, I noted, from the audience, his attack on the character of the man who caught him. Again he refused to take responsibility for his behavior, and again he attacked the man's character. Amazingly, sadly, and pathetically, this travesty of a reporter was until recently the most liberal columnist at Time and the most liberal regular panelist on ABC's This Week. A better illustration of the degraded state of our political discourse would be hard to imagine.
P.S. Klein responds to Arianna with character assassination, per usual, here.
P.P.S. This is admittedly trivial, but on Swampland recently, where Klein was happy about my fight with the teacher's union blogger, he wrote that he was "certain" that I had attacked him for his position on the union in the past. He should be more careful with his words. I have never written anything about Klein and the teacher's union and had written almost nothing about the teacher's union, period, before this recent hassle, which is one reason (of many) that fellow looked so silly doing all that research about my alleged "obsession."
Example #1: "One of the losers in the weekend oratorical marathon was retired Gen. Wesley Clark, who repeatedly invoked the West Point motto of 'Duty, Honor, Country,' forgetting that few in this particular audience have much experience with, or sympathy for, the military."
Example, #2: "The larger disaster was the long harangue of former Alaska senator Mike Gravel, a strident critic of almost everything and promoter of a folly -- a national initiative process -- that not even a deranged blogger could love."
Oliver Willis [disclosure: Willis is a member of the Technology and Online Community Department at Media Matters for America] has more here. So do our sponsors, here. (I wrote a longish piece about Broder once, but I can't find it online, and I don't exactly remember where I published it.)
John Edwards put out his plan for universal health insurance on Monday. I don't follow health care policy that closely, but Jonathan Cohn and Ezra Klein do. And they seem to like it. I like Edwards, you know, but I'm really concerned by the way he sucked up to AIPAC last week, making Hillary's refusal to do so look damn impressive.
Quote of the Day (remember this one): "I don't see anyone getting the Republican nomination who is not pro-life and a staunch defender of traditional marriage. . . . We may not be a large enough group to elect a president, but social conservatives can keep someone from getting the nomination." Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council (WSJ, $)
Kristol continues to get paid to lie about, slander Democrats, here.
Chris Matthews has a new man-crush, here.
Marty Peretz should be shunned, a fine Jewish custom, here.
Shorter Marty Peretz: All Arabs smell bad, but Palestinians smell the worst.
BUSH PROPOSES STEEP CUT TO PBS FUNDING [SOURCE: TVWeek, AUTHOR: Ira Teinowitz]
President Bush is reopening the fight over government support of public television, unveiling a budget that would cut federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting by nearly 25 percent. There was some confusion on how to tally the exact cut, but public TV and congressional sources said at least $114 million of the $460 million CPB budget for the fiscal year that starts in October would be cut. The Association of Public Television Stations said the total impact could be $145 million when cuts in related programs are added, including a program to upgrade radio station satellite facilities. A CPB analysis of the budget said the cuts include the $50 million already appropriated by Congress for next year, elimination of additional funding for digital conversion of public TV stations and a slight decrease in the Ready to Learn program. In addition to the cuts, the traditional advance funding for future years' programs would disappear, potentially making it harder for public stations to commit to future TV programming. A spokeswoman for PBS said that the cuts would be "disastrous" for public TV stations.
- Reaction from Rep Ed Markey (D-MA): Rep. Markey said of the cuts to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, "In a 24-7 television world with content often inappropriate for young children, the public broadcasting system represents an oasis of quality, child-oriented educational programming. We owe America's children and their parents this free, over-the-air resource."
Fore more see --
- Press Briefing by OMB Director Rob Portman on the President's Fiscal Year 2008 Budget
- Bush seeks more war funding: President Bush asked Congress to approve defense spending of $622 billion -- much of it for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- as he unveiled a $2.9 trillion budget request for the 2008 fiscal year.
- Bush budget plans cuts to education, other grants
BUSH SEEKS SPENDING INCREASES IN RESEARCH, SURVEILLANCE [SOURCE: CNet|News.com, AUTHOR: Anne Broache]
President Bush's proposed $2.9 trillion budget for next year calls for increases in some scientific research funding, along with boosts for counterterrorism surveillance and screening programs. The president's plan includes beefing up spending for his American Competitiveness Initiative, which aims to ensure that the United States keeps up with its global competitors in the science and technology realm. Under the proposed budget, the National Science Foundation would receive $6.4 billion in funding, a 6.8 percent boost from last year. Of that amount, about $5.1 billion would go to "research and related activities," which in the past "has contributed to the development of the Internet and Internet search engines, fiber optics, color plasma displays, magnetic resonance imaging, and other advances that now help each of us in our daily lives," according to the president's budget breakdown for that agency. That number includes $390 million -- an increase of 4.5 percent from last year -- for NSF's nanotechnology research arm, and $994 million -- a 10 percent boost -- for its Networking and Information Technology Research and Development program. Some tech-centric agencies could experience cuts. The National Institute of Standards and Technology, for instance, saw an increase in budget levels for its core research activities. But its Advanced Technology Program, which is designed to explore "unproven, early stage technologies," appears to be on the way out. Its proposed funding plummeted from about $79 billion this year to zero dollars for the next fiscal year. NIST representatives did not respond immediately to requests for clarification.
To Mr. Connolly's points --
The issue for Libby is obstruction of justice. He lied to investigators and stifled the investigation. If the mob makes a witness to drug-smuggling disappear, they can be prosecuted for such action without the motivating crime/cover up being proved.
Ken Starr was tasked with investigating Whitewater and wound up investigating perjury in a civil suit by Paula Jones. Fitzgerald was tasked with finding who leaked the identity of a covert operative and is trying a man who impeded that investigation.
Leaks are supposed to be about wrongdoing, they are not supposed be the wrongdoing. Can Mr. Connolly see the difference between leaking a CIA operative's name for political motives versus leaking the existence of an illegal secret prison program. Was there anything wrong about Valerie Plame being a covert agent? What did the public need to know? Nevertheless, more whistleblower statutes would be great to protect those actually doing a public service.
Finally, Eric, is there evidence of the "chill" he speaks of?
To Peter Connolly:
A distinction needs to be made between a "leak" involving information about a crime that was committed that is being covered up (say, Whitewater) and a "leak" involving information that is used specifically to undermine political enemies and is a crime in and of itself (say, Plame). Do we really need to explain why this distinction is important?
If a crime has been committed, it (generally) shouldn't be a crime to report on it, especially if the only way the crime will be prosecuted is due to the report.
But if a crime has been committed and you stonewall the investigation of the crime, that is obstruction of justice. Leaking Plame's name was a crime. Everyone involved knew it was. And yet, everybody has been lying and covering up what happened. The crime was the leak of Plame's name to the press. For the press to decide that it isn't going to help the prosecution of a crime that was committed right in front of their eyes and directly involved them under some guise of "protecting sources" is disingenuous at best. If I tell you that I'm going to rob the store, do it right in front of you, and then hand you the items that I just stole, you're involved in the crime even if you drop the stolen goods.
With regard to Libby, he isn't being tried for leaking Plame's name and status as a CIA operative. He is being tried for lying to the grand jury that was investigating that crime. That's very different. Fitzgerald was unable to get at the underlying crime of exactly who leaked Plame's name because everybody involved has been lying and stonewalling the investigation. We haven't managed to get that far, yet. That's why Libby is different from Novak: Novak cooperated with the prosecutors (and then lied up a storm in his column). Libby lied to the grand jury and that is what he is being prosecuted for.
By your logic, if I commit a crime and lie about it to the authorities investigating, the fact that you can prove that I lied but not prove that I did it is sufficient to let me go with no consequences for obstruction.
And Clinton was not found guilty of perjury. Take a look at the conviction against him. "Perjury" is not one of the charges.
I've always been partial to:
"Jesus rides beside me
He never buys any smokes"
In addition to the entirety of "This Land is Your Land" -- a nomination I heartily second -- there is this gem from Woody's "Pretty Boy Floyd":
Yes, as through this world I've wandered
I've seen lots of funny men;
Some will rob you with a six-gun,
And some with a fountain pen.