October 13, 2006

Lipscombing, Part trois:
"MacPherson, a former staff writer for the Washington Post and a past Pulitzer nominee, devoted more than a decade to creating this biography with exceptional rigor, devotion and fairness."
--Joe Conason, reviewing Myra MacPherson's biography of I.F. Stone in Salon. This website seems to imply that she was "nominated" for having written the 1984 book, Long Time Passing, but the Pulitzer website does not indicate she was a nominated finalist in either 1984 or 1985. (See here and here for other examples of this sad form of journalistic resume-padding)
Not All Wars: Mad Max grants Jews absolution for Biafran conflict and the War of Jenkins' Ear.
Air America goes double touthpix.

October 11, 2006

Kos is right about this. Transfering title in real property between yourself and an LLC you control is routine, and it's hard to decipher what the point of this piece was supposed to be.
For want of an "L"....

October 10, 2006

A good, if somewhat credulous, look at the GOP GOTV (that's "Get Out the Vote") effort in California. Schwarzenegger's election is in the bag, in large part because he metamorphed into the most liberal governor the state has had since Pat Brown. In reality, it's because after last year's debacle, he has been the weakest governor the state has had since Goodwin Knight, a caretaker celebrity pol who is essentially the sockpuppet of the State Legislature. After a dreadful, stupid four months of campaigning, Angelides seems to be recovering a little at the end, with a good debate performance last Saturday and a nice ad (finally) giving the base a positive reason to vote for him. But he'll lose, and most Democrats won't lose sleep over having a weak lame duck in the governor's mansion for four more years, especially if it means electing Villaraigosa (or Newsom) to a term when redistricting will be on the docket.

The most recent polls show some close races downticket, but no GOTV effort is going to elect Republicans to the other offices without a dramatic change in the political dynamic, and none of the factors that made it so pivotal in Ohio in 2004 are present here. Their one chance is to hope liberals aren't motivated to vote this year, a vain hope that probably vaporized when Mark Foley sent his last I.M.
Between 420,000 and 790,000 655,000 Iraqi dead, according to the Lancet.
The visual effects at the beginning are real disturbing, as you might expect, but here's a classic one shot group from forty years ago:
What is it about Joe Lieberman that turns the lefty blogosphere into the world's most petulant W.A.T.B.'s? Hat's off to Saint Joseph, if he ends up winning this thing; he's turned the anger and rage of his enemies into his greatest strength (although this is a nice ad). It helps, obviously, to be able to campaign against an opponent whose an empty suit. Expect to see more post-primary rematches in the future, especially in solid Blue or Red States.
Our long national nightmare is over.
Little Green Futbols
After a brief exile, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist (and former blogger) Michael Hiltzik is back covering hard news at the LA Times. I still think his future is on the Op-Ed page. [link via Brady Westwater]
The best rundown on Foleybate comes, unexpectedly, from John Podheretz:
THIS column is directed entirely to the sleazy, scuzzy, unprincipled and entirely Machiavellian Democratic political operative who helped design the careful plan resulting in the fingerprint-free leak of Mark Foley e-mails:


This whole Foley business is one of the most dazzling political plays in my or any other lifetime - like watching an unassisted triple play or a running back tossing a 90-yard touchdown pass on a double-reverse.

For reasons having to do almost entirely with funding the war in Iraq, I am profoundly concerned about the consequences of a Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives. But as a close student of American political gamesmanship, I so admire what you've accomplished that I almost have to root for a Democratic landslide in November.
He goes on to list nine reasons why. (link via Scoobie Davis)

October 09, 2006

Ouch !!! Al Martinez takes on a local nutjob:
In the beginning, there was the word, then there was the newspaper, then television, then e-mail and today, lo, the blog.

When I first heard the term, I thought it defined a loathsome place of brackish water and quicksand where little children and lost drunks were swallowed up in the gooey mess, never to be heard of again.

One suspected that trolls could be seen around blogs, sneaking in and out of the surrounding underbrush, delighting in the agony they were witnessing.

Since then I have learned that, with some notable exceptions, blogs are largely the habitat of unemployed writers, enraged misanthropes, retired teachers, aging journalists and people who normally pass their time doodling or making obscene telephone calls.


And then there is my old colleague Ken Reich.

He is proprietor of a blog he calls "Take Back the Times," which has to do with events that relate to journalistic and political issues, including whatever occurs at the newspaper that once employed him. Recently, he e-mailed me and sent along a posting he was planning to use that involved imaginative conversations with me and with filmmaker and antiwar activist Oliver Stone.

Stone doesn't require my representation in Reich's quaint but disquieting effort at satire, so I'll just leave him out of it and concentrate on the proposed blog's attitudes toward me. For instance:

"Q — What would you have done after 9/11?

"Martinez — Complimented Osama bin Laden on a well-planned operation and started trying to win him over by being nice to him


"Q — And what would you have done on Dec. 7, 1941, when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor?

"Martinez — Stood down the remaining ships of the U.S. Navy and offered Hirohito Hawaii as a personal possession in hopes the Japanese would be mollified


"Q — Coming to the present day, what do you think of Saddam Hussein?

"Martinez — I like him personally

You get the idea.

Generally a pretty good reporter, Reich can be a little flaky sometimes, but this seemed over the top to me. He was implying that I would have applauded a murderer responsible for orchestrating the deaths of 3,000 human beings in the attack on the twin towers and the Pentagon, and of "liking" a man on trial for genocide. I e-mailed Reich to the effect that he was way off base.

Acknowledging my "unhappiness," he altered my responses in the final blog, the first quote changed to say, "I'm not fond of Osama bin Laden, but I wouldn't have confronted him in Iraq. Maybe, he'd be more pleasant if we were nicer to him."

And on Saddam Hussein: "I do not like him, personally. But I'm convinced, as Bob Woodward now apparently is, that the Iraq war was a mistake."

In my "answer" to the Pearl Harbor question, he becomes the narrator and concludes, "as far as the past is concerned, Martinez is not such a pacifist after all."

Although I appreciate Reich's effort to "soften" my fanciful responses, it would be wiser of him to offer his opinions in a form more in keeping with his style of bluster and to avoid satire; in other words, return to the bludgeon and leave the stylus to those more adept at using it.