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Joey Bernstein

[ 3 ] July 12, 2008 |

I feel vindicated on the whole “latte sipping Jew” incident…

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Presidential Statement of the Day

[ 4 ] July 12, 2008 |

Dwight Eisenhower, letter to Ngo Dinh Diem, released 11 July 1959:

I extend to you my congratulations and sincere good wishes on the occasion of your fifth anniversary as national leader of Viet-Nam.

The world has watched with admiration the progress made by Vietnam in the five years since you assumed leadership. It is now a country strong in its determination to preserve its freedom and active in promoting the development of its economy. We in the United States are aware of your own indispensable role in bringing about this remarkable progress. It is a task in which we are proud to have been associated with you.

I wish you, Mr. President, and the people of the Republic of Vietnam, continued success in advancing toward your goal of a better life in freedom.

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On Causation…

[ 0 ] July 12, 2008 |

Nate Silver, 6/25:

If the media believes that Barack Obama is ahead by 5 points, then if a new poll comes out next week showing him ahead by 3, it will not get any attention. But if the media believes that Obama is ahead by 12 points, that same poll would create the perception of McCain momentum, and perhaps trigger a couple of days’ worth of bad press for Obama as whatever had been going on over the past couple of days of the campaign would be taken as the cause for his polling decline. It might lead to harsher treatment of Obama’s decision (flip-flop?) on campaign finance, for instance, or if Iran had been the subject of the week, as evidence that Obama wasn’t resonating with voters on foreign policy.

Matt Stoller, 7/11:

Some Evidence FISA Hurt Obama

Obama has dropped in the latest Newsweek poll. He’s gone from 51-36 over McCain to 44-41. The most striking piece of data though is that 53% of registered voters think that he has changed his position on key policy issues to try to gain political advantage since becoming the nominee.

That is stunning. Over half of the public, though perhaps has not heard of the FISA fight specifically, believes he shifts positions for political advantage. And why shouldn’t they? He did.

I’m sure Matt would like to believe that Obama’s FISA failure is the proximate cause of the Newsweek polling change. It’s unclear to me how he could actually believe that, though; FISA (as he notes) is a high salience issue for a small number of people, and a low salience issue for a much larger number of people, and moreover the initial Newsweek poll was a substantial outlier. Silver, as far as I’m concerned, is entirely correct; the next Newsweek poll was quite likely to show regression to the mean, and pundits (some of whom, like Matt, should know better) would inevitably blame that on either the most temporally proximate event or on a favored issue.

This is not to say that Obama won’t suffer some harm from the FISA decision. I’m not convinced, but it could happen. But to say that he’s already dropped nine points in the polls is absurd.

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Friday Cat Blogging

[ 8 ] July 11, 2008 |

A barn cat from Emden, Illinois, being mauled by the heiress to my vast misfortune.

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This is awesome

[ 6 ] July 11, 2008 |

….um, so my effort to embed video evidently failed. Just watch it here

Er, it’s fake apparently, and I’m behind the curve. Never mind.

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He hates the people who loved the people for whom his blog is named

[ 0 ] July 11, 2008 |

Shorter Verbatim TIDOS Yankee:

The Copperheads of today’s Democratic Party color themselves “progressives” for championing the abandonment of a group of people (slightly lighter in skin tone than the last time) to a fate potentially as bad or worse than the slaves of antebellum, and make no mistake: the modern Copperheads care no more about “liberty and justice for all” than did their forebearers [sic].

Then as now, it was about their selfish personal desires, hopes of amassing political power, and disdain for a stubborn Republican President. Then as now, they could rely upon their friends in the media to carry forth a call for appeasement and abandonment.

There are very, very good reasons that Bob Owens remains one of the great punching bags in the blogosphere. Among them is his ability to convert authentic, 19th century limited government conservatives — people who actually called themselves “conservatives” — and transform them into hippie precursors. Because, you see, the Copperheads — I prefer the less-used “Butternuts” — opposed a Republican president who waged war against . . . um . . . a war that, if successful, would have destroyed the . . . um . . . Hmm. The Copperheads hated Republicans for making war against the states that . . . shit.

OK. Here’s Bob, explaining it in better terms than I’m capable:


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The Russians are Apparently Not Idiots

[ 7 ] July 11, 2008 |

I hate to show weakness in front of the Russians, but it’s hard to argue with this:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said the results of Iran’s missile tests prove that US plans for a defence shield in Europe are unnecessary. Mr Lavrov said the tests confirmed Tehran had missiles with a limited range of up to 2,000km (1,240 miles)…

Repeated assurances from senior figures in Washington have failed to convince Moscow that the proposed shield represents no danger to Russia. Mr Lavrov told reporters on Friday the tests showed that “a missile defence shield with these parameters is not needed to monitor or react to such threats”. He said Moscow was convinced that what he called the imagined nature of the Iranian missile threat was a pretext for the missile shield. “We believe that any issue related to Iran should be resolved through negotiation, through political-diplomatic means… and not through threats,” he said.


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Clinton’s FISA Vote

[ 22 ] July 11, 2008 |

There seems to be some debate about whether Clinton’s laudable vote against the FISA bill was politically motivated or not. Obviously, this is unknowable, although I suspect that she would have voted differently had she won the nomination. Josh Patashnik, however, makes the more important point: it doesn’t matter. Trying to figure out whether Clinton’s FISA vote was sincere or not is as irrelevant as figuring out what John McCain really thinks about abortion rights. Responding strategically within a given environment is what politicians do. And if Clinton responds to the fact that her political power base will be in the Senate rather than the White House to be a leader in checking the growth in executive power, great. It’s not as if there aren’t plenty of member of Congress who have remained supine against assertions of executive power.

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The Constitution Matters Until it Doesn’t

[ 0 ] July 11, 2008 |

Senator John McCain might not actually be technically eligible to be President.

But it’s only a little thing called the Constitution. Which is only, it seems, important to the GOP when you can use it as a sword to restrict people’s rights or expand those of corporations.

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A Thousand Times Yes

[ 19 ] July 11, 2008 |

I can’t agree with this strongly enough:

I keep hearing that Nutsgate is a “Sister Souljah moment” for Obama. Frankly, it’s annoying me. First – it’s not a Sister Souljah moment at all. Second – I’m sick of that term. It’s time to retire the Sister Souljah label altogether. It’s inaccurate, and even borderline racist.

Right. How often is the object of a “Sister Souljah” moment a powerful white person? And are Republicans ever required to have “Siser Souljah” moments?

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Fanfare For the Common Woman

[ 15 ] July 11, 2008 |

Via Jesse Auguste, the late Clinton campaign’s turn to reactionary populism has produced a hilarious denouement courtesy of inevitably moronic PUMAs. A Clinton fundraiser claims on (natch) Fox News:

This is a hard decision for me personally because, frankly, I don’t like [Obama]. I feel like he is an elitist. I feel like he has not given me reason to trust him.

The fundraiser’s identity?

Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild

OK, well maybe she’s a black sheep Rothschild down on her luck?

Sitting down with her on a recent afternoon in the new pad–an 18th-floor duplex in River House that was previously owned by Carter Burden and Libet Johnson–it’s hard to begrudge her the excess of good fortune, thanks to her affability and occasional self-deprecations. (The Chateau Lafitte she pours–“the family wine,” as she calls it–and the heaping bowl of beluga don’t hurt, either.)

Jeez, and I thought turning Crown Royal into an uber-populist beverage was bad…anyway, if McCain starts serving Waygu beef and truffles with Cheval Blanc on the Straight Talk Express I’m sure that will turn into a populist meal too. Maybe Lady Lynn can whip something up for him…

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Where Are All The Women Bloggers?

[ 22 ] July 11, 2008 |

Here, for instance.

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