From Tena: In 1969, I was living in a big old frame house with 11 other adults, 4 children, two babies, and an assortment of dogs and cats. Instead of rent, we turned over our food stamps to the older couple who rented the place (ok – I know, but all the hippies got food stamps in the Bay Area in 1969.) They fed us on mung beans, and macaroni and butter. My boyfriend and I used to get our stamps real early on the day they came out, go down to the Coop grocery store on Shaddick Ave, buy … Continue reading thanksgiving


For Fox, Stripe, and Little Joe. For turkey and trimmings, for turkee from readers, for a hosting company that doesn’t suck. For readers in general. For Republican parents and Democratic in-laws. For a beautiful sister and a hella funneh brother. For the upstairs neighbor, Patrick Fitzgerald, and a bottle of cheap champagne. For candles on dark nights, good pens, a husband who helps find lost glasses. For a dinner table too small to hold all the friends around it. For the new back porch, just in time for the snow. For Fraggle Rock on DVD, Harry Potter, Buffy the Vampire … Continue reading Thankful

‘I’m Not Going To Lose Sleep Over It’

Scout gives Drownie as much quarter as he deserves. From his interview with Frontline: Well, I’ll tell what we’ll do. Next time there’s a really big disaster, we’ll put you in charge of it. We’ll not give you any sleep, and we’ll put you on this side of the camera. And we’ll pepper you with questions for a couple hours at a time and see how tired you are. Hey, Brown. Yeah, you, there in the clean dry shirt. I get that you had a shitty couple of days, okay? I get that it was tough deciding how much of … Continue reading ‘I’m Not Going To Lose Sleep Over It’

Blogger Ethics, Now!

Richard Perle, Henry Kissinger leave newspaper board: Frustrated shareholders of Hollinger International — which owns the Chicago Sun-Times –succeeded Monday in changing the board of directors. Now, some might push the company to put itself up for sale. Chicago-based Hollinger International said Monday six members of its board of directors would not stand for re-election in January. The announcement followed months of pressure from shareholders, who claim the board failed to oversee management, allowing former Chairman Conrad Black to loot the company. “These directors have made important contributions to the company’s significant accomplishments during the past two years,” Hollinger International … Continue reading Blogger Ethics, Now!

He’s Dead, And Life Is Possible. He Made It Possible.

Les Brownlee, 1915-2005 An African-American pioneer in mainstream broadcast and print media in the 1950s, Lester H. Brownlee became a mentor to thousands as a journalism professor at Columbia College. Mr. Brownlee’s journalism career began as a reporter for Ebony Magazine, followed by the Chicago Defender. In 1950, he was the first black reporter to join the staff of the Chicago Daily News. Over the years he also worked for several radio stations, including WBBM, and television stations, including WLS-TV, where in 1975 he won an Emmy Award for editorial writing. Mr. Brownlee, 90, the first African-American inducted into the … Continue reading He’s Dead, And Life Is Possible. He Made It Possible.

Let Us Atone For Our Screwup By Continuing It

Go read this and then come back. In other words, the pro-war Right, amazingly, is now telling us: “what is happening in Iraq now is exactly what anti-war critics said would occur if we invaded and what we vehemently insisted would never happen, and as a result, you have to keep following our pro-war path because, given the utterly heinous mess we made in Iraq, we cannot possibly leave now.” [snip] The new rationale the pro-war Right has concocted and which it is now assertively hawking for why we must remain in Iraq indefinitely can and should be used against … Continue reading Let Us Atone For Our Screwup By Continuing It

Condi Channels Chimpy

From Holden: Condi gave us the full gamut of tapdancing around Iraq — Freedom Isn’t Free!, We Mourn Every Loss!, Purple Fingers!, It’s Hard! (twice), Just Like WWII!, and Saddam Was a Bad Guy! — yesterday in China. Q To follow up on that, what Congressman Murtha also said is that the war in Iraq, as you described it, he said is not as advertised, and he said, your policy is flawed and wrapped in illusion. And you know he’s very close with the military. So what do you make of that, the fact that he thinks — SECRETARY RICE: … Continue reading Condi Channels Chimpy

The Shelflife of a Republican Promise

From Holden: Rep. Jean Schmidt’s Maiden (first) Speech on the House Floor, September 6, 2005. This House has much work to do. On that we can all agree. We will not always agree on the details of that work. Honorable people can certainly agree to disagree. However, here today I accept a second oath. I pledge to walk in the shoes of my colleagues and refrain from name-calling or the questioning of character. It is easy to quickly sink to the lowest form of political debate. Harsh words often lead to headlines, but walking this path is not a victimless … Continue reading The Shelflife of a Republican Promise

And the circle, it goes round and round…

From Tena: Riverbend put up a post a couple of days ago about the recent discovery of another torture house overseen by the Iraqi Ministry of the Interior. The entire post definitely should be read, but one part of it jumped out at me: And another thing- you know when they say ‘men dressed in Ministry of Interior uniforms’ or ‘men in official cars claiming to be from the Ministry of Interior’, etc. when describing some horror committed by the new Iraqi security forces in the news? Here’s a thought: they aren’t ‘claiming’ and they aren’t in costume- they actually … Continue reading And the circle, it goes round and round…

After The Song

To all who donated last week during our fundraising drive, many thanks. We took the site down the last couple of days for some much-needed maintenance and switch to a new host, one which is not run by five guys named Biff in their underwear telling me the problem is that we accidentally stepped on the hamster. You helped us do that, and for that, you have my eternal gratitude. As does the talented First Draft tech guru Jack Terminal, who in addition to being a killer bongo player and pancake flipper, is also pretty good at this Interweb thing. … Continue reading After The Song

To Whatever End

Making progress in Iraq. First of all, let’s assume the senator is right. We are making progress. Toward what end, precisely? Can he tell us? Can any of his friends? What grand benchmark are we progressing toward, what finish line are we coming up on? And progress compared to what? Let’s assume the senator is right. We are making progress. Is that really something we should be so astonished by that we should ignore the death toll? We have no measurements here, we are wandering in the dark like kids playing hide and seek and these guys just keep saying … Continue reading To Whatever End


Going Titus Pullo on their asses. At one point in the emotional debate, Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio, told of a phone call she received from a Marine colonel. “He asked me to send Congress a message — stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message — that cowards cut and run, Marines never do,” Schmidt said. Murtha is a 37-year Marine veteran. Democrats booed and shouted her down — causing the House to come to a standstill. Rep. Harold Ford (news, bio, voting record), D-Tenn., charged across the chamber’s center aisle screaming that Republicans were … Continue reading Thirteenth!

Shooting the Wounded

I know I’m the fiftieth person in the blogosphere to get here, but it’s worth it, because God, Amy Alexander is a tool of the first order. First of all, I read blogs that don’t have to do with politics. I read so-called Mommy blogs and local-happenings-about-town blogs and entertainment blogs and fashion blogs (well, Go Fug Yourself, so I guess a bad fashion blog) and lots of Livejournals to keep up with friends I don’t have time to call or e-mail regularly. One blog does not fit all, and Amy’s commentary is so fact-free it’s almost not worth addressing … Continue reading Shooting the Wounded

Republicans Raise Taxes

From Holden: Hoo-boy! Senate Republicans must be feeling the heat. In just one day they voted to roll back President Lameduck’s tax cuts for the rich. Facing a stalemate over one of President Bush’s top economic policy goals, the Senate Finance Committee yesterday gave up efforts to extend deep cuts to the tax rate on dividends and capital gains and approved a $60 billion tax measure largely devoted to hurricane relief and tax cuts with bipartisan appeal. The measure, which could pass the Senate today, marks the latest in a string of legislative setbacks for Bush, who has repeatedly called … Continue reading Republicans Raise Taxes

Bush Boom Anxiety

From Holden: US workers are really worried about losing their jobs. Workers in the United States are far more nervous about losing their jobs than they were six months ago and are now among the least confident employees among the world’s leading economies, according to a recent survey. Right Management Consulting, which conducts surveys in 18 nations around the globe, found in its September and October survey that 23.8 percent of U.S. workers said it was very possible or somewhat possible that they would lose their jobs in the next 12 months. That’s up from only 19.3 percent who were … Continue reading Bush Boom Anxiety

The Final Rattle Rocks Its Empty Empty Cage

Dead bodies being found by NOLA homeowners returning to the city. You know, it’s hard to imagine anything worse than coming back to your home in New Orleans and finding it completely destroyed. But, tonight, as you’re about to hear, there is something worse, much worse. Dozens of families have returned to what is left of their homes and found, lying amidst the mold and the wreckage, a body, forgotten, abandoned. Maybe it’s their mother or their grandmother, sometimes even their missing child. The state called off searching house to house in New Orleans well over a month ago. They … Continue reading The Final Rattle Rocks Its Empty Empty Cage

The He-Man War Criminals Club

From Holden: After initially denying any use of the substance in Iraq, then admitting to some use but only for illumination purposes the Pentagon admits that US forces used white phosphorus as a weapon. Pentagon officials acknowledged Tuesday that U.S. troops had used white phosphorus as a weapon against insurgents during the battle for Fallouja last November. But they denied an Italian television news report that the spontaneously flammable material had been used against civilians. Lt. Col. Barry Venable, a Pentagon spokesman, said that although white phosphorus is most frequently used to mark targets or obscure a position, it was … Continue reading The He-Man War Criminals Club


From Holden: Chimpy ignores another war mother. Latseen Benson, in the 101st Airborne, was struck Sunday by a roadside bomb in Tikrit, north of Bagdad. Monday night, the 26-year-old he had not regained consciousness, Diane Benson said from her Eagle River home. Benson said her son’s first four-year tour was over Oct. 31 and that he was forced to extend his service under the controversial Stop-Loss Program. “My son is now fighting for his life with half a body left,” Benson said. Latseen lost his legs and possibly part of an arm on Sunday, and was in a coma Tuesday … Continue reading Disgusting

Your President Speaks!

From Holden: Chimpy done got him a plan. Q Thank you, sir. Sir, as you probably know, the Senate rejected earlier today measures that would have required a timetable for withdrawal in Iraq, but a Republican resolution was overwhelmingly passed that called for more information from your information to clarify and recommend changes to U.S. policy in Iraq. So is that evidence that your party is increasingly splitting with you, sir, on Iraq? And is it an open challenge to you — is that open challenge to you embarrassing while you’re traveling abroad? PRESIDENT BUSH: I, first of all, appreciated … Continue reading Your President Speaks!

All The President’s Fluffers

From Holden: So, what did we learn overnight regarding the Plame case? That Bob Woodward’s credibility is making that slurpy-rattlie noise your straw makes when you reach the end of your Icee? Well, yes but who really cares? What strikes me as most interesting about this latest unfolding of the Plame drama is the investigation continues in earnest. Far from tieing up loose ends before closing up his shop, Patrick Fitzgerald is still taking witness depositions. The fat lady has not even arrived at the stage door. Who was this unnamed official who somehow just remembered telling Bob Woodward that … Continue reading All The President’s Fluffers


Three years ago, I’d never heard of a blog. I was a lonely liberal at the conservative dinner table, wondering if the whole country had gone mad and I was the only one who noticed. Two years ago, I was commenting over at the crack den, meeting Holden and Tena and pie and other people so smart it made my head spin. One year ago, we were turning this site into a group blog, dreaming of getting any readers at all, even if it was just a troll or two. Today, every day, hundreds of us get together here and … Continue reading Fundraising

Dear Bill

A-L-L-I-S-O-N H-A-N-T-S-C-H-E-L I wanted to make sure you spelled it right, you pencil-dicked peddler of phony outrage and factesque poli-porn. Oh, and send me a couple of copies, wouldja? So I can show it around. I’d like to frame it and hang it in my office next to a copy of my first lawsuit. I might send it to my mom to paste it into my scrapbook next to all the poetry I wrote when I was seven and the picture of her I painted with my fingers. I know for damn sure I’m gonna want to hold onto it … Continue reading Dear Bill

More News from the GOP Crime Blotter

From Holden: Yet another Republican crook. The former chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting broke federal law by interfering with PBS programming and appearing to use political tests in hiring the corporation’s new president, internal investigators said Tuesday. Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, a Republican, also sought to withhold funding from PBS unless the taxpayer-supported network brought in more conservative voices to balance its programming, said the report by CPB inspector general Kenneth A. Konz. [snip] Specifically, the report said Tomlinson violated the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 and ethical standards by dealing directly with one of the creators of the … Continue reading More News from the GOP Crime Blotter

Buh-Bye Scottie

From Holden: I’ve been fruitlessly predicting for some months now that Scottie McClellan would resign with the excuse that he is needed to rescue his mom’s flagging gubernatorial campaign. Now it looks like I’m not the only one making pseudobrave predictions. A White House correspondent, who asked not to be identified, predicts McClellan, who replaced Ari Fleischer as press secretary in summer 2003, will soon be leaving his post. “I’m expecting very big changes,” the correspondent says. Continue reading Buh-Bye Scottie

New Orleans’ Forgotten Dead

From Holden: Shame. More than a month after the official search for victims of Hurricane Katrina ended, the death toll in Louisiana has jumped by 104 as returning families in the New Orleans area continue to find bodies. Many of the newly discovered victims are elderly people who sought refuge in attics and upper floors from the rising waters throughout New Orleans’ devastated 9th Ward, said Frank Minyard, the coroner in greater New Orleans. “Some people are just now getting back to their homes and to the homes of their relatives,” Minyard said. “The bodies are still coming in.” Continue reading New Orleans’ Forgotten Dead

You Can’t Trust Sam Alito

From Holden: Sam Alito wants you to trust what he is saying now, not what he said in the past. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., an abortion rights supporter and the only woman on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said she asked the conservative judge about a document released Monday showing Alito in 1985 telling the Reagan administration he was particularly proud to help argue that “the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion.” “He said first of all it was different then,” she said. “He said, ‘I was an advocate seeking a job, it was a political job and … Continue reading You Can’t Trust Sam Alito