Hey Joe, Where you goin' with that gun in your hand?

››› ››› ERIC ALTERMAN

Bloggingheads with Garance, here. (I look really wide. I dunno why.)

I'll say one thing for Klein, he's got some terrific commenters, here.

And here is what happens when warbloggers and Matt Drudge team up to try to smear a journalist in Iraq who questions rosy accounts of "progress" in Iraq. It ain't pretty.

I don't feel I've got anything worth saying today, to tell the truth. Why not take a look at the new issue of Democratic Strategist, here. It's got some really interesting stuff in it. Or Dissent.

But I did come across this Quote of the Day from Rick Warren: "I have been so busy building my church that I have not cared about the poor. ... I have sinned, and I am sorry." Here.

Oh, and speaking of Einstein (and Walter Isaacson), here is an interesting piece from Moment magazine called "Was Einstein a Jewish Saint?"

Alter-reviews:

Dead-head fixes:

The New Riders of the Purple Sage were a dream in their day. I saw them with 50,000 people in August 1974 in Central Park and the women around me all took off their shirts, making it a rather memorable show for this 14-year-old. Now, I see, they've revived and still feature David Nelson, #2 pedal steel player Buddy Cage, plus ex-Hot Tuna Michael Falzarano. There's a new double live album with some pretty fine playing on it recorded by Bob and Betty (of Workingman's Dead fame) last New Year's Eve. I also am enjoying this really strange CD by a classical violist and composer named Lee Johnson, who has composed a "Dead Symphony," based on "St. Stephen," "Mountains of the Moon," "Stella Blue," even "Funiculì Funiculà." It was recorded, to top all this weirdness off, by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra, but is available only on download for now. Look into them if you're that kind of person.

Correspondence Corner:

Name: Jerry
Hometown: Grand Forks, ND

Having abandoned the three big newsweeklies in the late 1980s as lackluster (I grew up listening to CBC radio and later bought a shortwave receiver to get BBC broadcasts) I was unaware that Woody Guthrie's alleged biographer was "that" Joe Klein that everyone poked fun at in the blogosphere. I'm not surprised "that" JK became "the" JK because I have never read a more clueless piece of work in my life. For someone who professed to love Guthrie's music, Klein is completely contemptuous of the political and social sensibilities that went into its creation. He treats the progressive musicians of that day as savants, gifted artists who were childish and deluded when it came to world affairs. Which, of course, is not a bad description of how Klein reports on progressives today.

Name: Edward Furey
Hometown: New York

Aside from general meaninglessness, the premise of the baseball piece in the NYT is also factually challenged. For much of the period since their arrival in 1962, the New York Mets were the favorite baseball team in New York, judging by both attendance and local television ratings.

Name: Victor L. Harpley
Hometown: Cromwell, Connecticut

The difference between Imus and Savage is: Would even John (Baghdad is Safe for a Stroll) McCain be caught dead on Savage's show? I would say not.

Now that Imus has gone way beyond the lines of Racism and Misogyny, I think it's time all politicians and press sycophants forgo further appearances on his show.

Name: George L Merkert III
Hometown: Los Angeles

Eric, I notice that you've mentioned Amazon in Altercation several times recently. Today (Tuesday, April 10) it was in reference to Walter Isaacson's biography of Einstein probably appearing on the Amazon bestseller list. Amazon gives a lot more money to Republicans than to Democrats according to buyblue.org. Therefore, I've started buying books from Barnesandnoble.com, Overstock.com and Costco.com because those companies donate much more to Democrats than they do to Republicans. Thought you'd like to know.

Name: Bill Skeels
Hometown: Raleigh

The White House "off books" email systems will, I believe, become a major factor, both in and of itself and as it relates to evidence about other "bad behavior."

The investigative authorities should proceed on several fronts, and not all should relate to subpoenas. Jack Abramoff is on record, upon having sent an email by accident to the White House account of a Rove assistant, sending another that said "Damn it, it was not supposed to go in the White House system." He may be getting a relatively easy pass from the federal prosecutors handling his case, but there's no reason he should get the same from the investigative committees.

Subpoena him, fully immunize him, then ask him to tell all he knows about:

1 - why his email "was not supposed to go in the White House system"
2 - his understanding of the "rules" with respect to what email went where
3 - who he learned all that from
4 - whether or not he has any documents relating to this, or knows who does

The relatively short stay in stir Mr. A is looking at depends on cooperation with all authorities, not just the relatively pliant sorts who are handling his current case. Make him earn it.

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