I am ... [still] comfortably numb ...

››› ››› ERIC ALTERMAN

Well, this is interesting: "Most Americans oppose fully funding President Bush's $190 billion request for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a sizable majority support an expansion of a children's health insurance bill he has promised to veto, putting Bush and many congressional Republicans on the wrong side of public opinion on upcoming foreign and domestic policy" I don't mean it's interesting in the sense of "new" or "different." I mean it's interesting in the sense that provides yet another brick in the wall of evidence that the insider debate in Washington is completely and totally divorced from its alleged moorings in the populace. But does Washington care? Not at all, insofar as I can tell.

Lookit how the information is dealt with in The Note this morning (and ABC did the poll):

At least the GOP can feel good about the battles in Washington -- right? Wrong, says a new ABC/Washington Post poll, which finds just 27 percent of the public wanting full funding for the Iraq war to continue, while 72 percent want extra funding for children's health insurance -- the bill President Bush is set to veto this week.

It's "a guns-and-butter battle that's helping to keep President Bush at his career-low job approval rating," writes ABC polling director Gary Langer. "Bush, moreover, is presiding over a significant drop in the number of Americans who identify themselves as Republicans -- down from 31 percent on average in 2003 to 25 percent on average this year, the fewest since 1984."

But never mind that, let's go back to a world where MoveOn ads are more important than preventing our soldiers from dying in a dishonest war that has already been lost ...

Well, which is it?

New York Post's Charles Hurt: "OBAMA CASH FLOW SLOWS"

The Boston Globe's Brian C. Mooney: "Obama fund-raising blazes 3d-quarter trail"

It's fine to take money from a group and then tell them to go f**k themselves. From a political standpoint, people actually insist that's the way that our system works, which is why it's OK for rich people to fund elections and poor people to get the shaft. Still the vote against MoveOn was political cowardice, pure and simple and I doubt it convinced anyone. Here are the name of some of the cowardly Democrats who voted for that stupid resolution, and shame on Harry Reid for his Willie Randolph-like incompetence in allowing the anti-MoveOn bill to the floor. Sure the ad was stupid, but these guys are supposed to be pros.

"A federal judge yesterday invalidated part of a 2001 executive order by President Bush that gives former presidents and vice presidents the right to review executive records before they are made public under the Freedom of Information Act.

"The Bush order added layers of review to the process of releasing presidential records, giving sitting presidents the right to delay their release indefinitely while extending review authority to former presidents, vice presidents and their families. It also removed the previous 30-day window for former presidents to review documents before they are made available to the public."

Hooray for what remains, for now, an independent judiciary.

Pigs fly? Hillary pisses off AIPAC. You go, girl ...

"Is there anything that Bill Kristol says that won't eventually find its way into Christopher Hitchens Mouth?" Here.

Clarence Thomas: A leopard ... doesn't change his spots.

Plain Old Quote of the Day:

"When I look back, my biggest regret now is anything I did that stood in the way of the rights of black people." -- Harry Dent, founder of the Republican Party's "Southern Strategy" (and grandfather of a beautiful woman with whom I danced as Lee Atwater played guitar in a bar in Columbia, South Carolina, in 1989).

Zeitgeist Quote of the Day:

"Today, a megayacht is indispensable," said Olivier Milliex, head of yacht finance at the Dutch bank ING. "It's not like 15 years ago, when a yacht was a luxury item." Here.

Dylan Quote of the Day: Oh, who will take away his license to kill?

Marty Peretz Quote of the Day:

Marty Peretz, 9/29/06:

According to a Reuters dispatch in Haaretz online today, Hamas massed a huge rally in Gaza earlier today to "denounce the state of Israel and declare that they would never recognise its right to exist." So what else is new? "We ask God to punish the so-called Israel and the allies of Israel ... We vow to God that we will never recognize Israel even if we would be all killed." In the case of the last contingency, of course, no one would care. This is the rhetoric of nutcases, although I know that since their passions emerge from Muslim religious belief I should treat them with respect. I can't. OK, why don't you try?

[...]

In any event, this demonstration was not really against Israel. What does Israel care if thousands of Gazans scream themselves hoarse? So long as they're not firing Qassam rockets into Israel! Actually, the Friday mobilization was mounted against Fatah, Mahmoud Abbas's party, which has been holding protests against the Hamas government. And why against the Hamas government? Because it is has not been acting like a government at all. Actually, there has been no functioning government in Gaza (or, for that matter, in the West Bank either) for eons.

At any rate, who is recognizing whom? Israel doesn't need Hamas' recognition. It--thank God, or whatever power you thank for these sorts of things--is a real nation, unlike most Arab peoples, whether they have a state or not. It has its army, and its liberties and its social services, and its independent courts, and its intellectually open universities, and its dazzling sciences, and a truly functioning advanced economy. ...

Posted by M. Duss

Correspondence Corner:

Name: Sean
Hometown: currently Mililani, HI

Eric,

I'm aware that you write what you know, and I've read a lot here about neocon and neoliberal Jews. As a reformed Christian (read atheist), I'm more worried about the many right-wing Christians who just eat up what the groups like Freedom's Watch are serving.

These are people who think they are duping Zionist Jews because they think the savior won't come back till Israel's restored. While they are being duped by Zionist Jews who just want Israel restored and know the Christians' real intent (and how crazy they are).

I guess I'm more scared of Christians because their are so many of them (and, you write what you know).

Name: Col. James Bradley
Hometown: Arlington, VA

Eric,

Parents cannot volunteer their children for service in the Armed Forces. Just so you know, and don't make the same mistake, the United States does have a volunteer army, not a draft, but the volunteering must be from the able bodied recruit, not the parents. Maybe someday parents can force their kids into the army, but not yet.

Eric replies: Fair enough, but still....

Name: Ben Miller
Hometown: Washington, DC

Mr. Alterman --

Just to follow up on an e-mail I sent the other day about the lack of coverage on Romney's ties to Blackwater. CNN.com right now continues to have nothing on this story, but it does have a story and a video segment about Hilary Clinton's laugh being cackle-like. Thank god that is being covered, because it sure is important to her ability to run this country.

Name: Jim Celer
Hometown: Omaha

As a fan of the Chicago Cubs who knows they were the better team in 1969, and who has put up with a lot of gloating ever since -- I understand how the Mets must feel, and would be very sympathetic were it any other team in any sport.

Name: Nick A
Hometown: Trenton, NJ

...the Mets finally get the back page!

Name: Barb Goldstein
Hometown: Albany, NY

Would a round of kaddish be appropriate? Oy. maybe we should have prayed before. in either case.... I'm done watching baseball until March.

Name: Joe Raskin
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

With regard to Don Collignon's comments: would a World Series between the Cubbies and the Indians bring us even closer to Armaggedon?

Name: David
Hometown: Brooklyn

As Bunk Moreland would say, happy now, bitch?

Eric replies: I specifically did not mention Sunday's tragedy because I wanted to see what transpired here unbidden. David of Brooklyn's comment reminds me of what the great John Stuart Mill said of conservatives and stupid people, "I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it." Similarly, I never meant to say that all Yankee fans are assholes, but ...

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