Archive for August 2nd, 2006

Meanwhile, Burns can’t even catch a break from his Senate buddies on the Senate Select Committee on Ethics (an oxymoron, if I’ve ever heard one):

Burns, who is in a tough reelection race and has been attacked for links to Abramoff, said he had asked the committee for a letter clearing him of wrongdoing in his dealings with Abramoff. The committee refused the request because of a Justice Department investigation, though there has been scant suggestion that Burns is a target.

(Where did this notion that Burns isn’t under investigation by the DoJ come from, anyway? What’s changed? This November report clearly suggests that Burns is under investigation. This January report has a Burns staffer admit that the DoJ is looking into the infamous Superbowl trip. When did these suggestions become “scant”?)

It looks like Burns isn’t out of the water, yet. If his buddies still don’t believe him, then you know he’s in trouble.

One of the more annoying things about this report – common to many DC pundits – is that it’s assumed Tester’s success is due largely – if not solely — to the Abramoff scandal. Um…when was the last time you heard Tester mention Abramoff? No, what’s truly remarkable about this Senate race is how little Abramoff comes up. And maybe that’s what makes this race all the more disturbing for Burns’ campaign. He’s getting walloped over his record and character. If the Abramoff scandal ever gains traction – with, say, an indictment against a staffer – you can kiss Burns good-bye, because even without Abramoff, he’s barely treading water.

And I didn’t even mention firefighters.

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So it’s official. The GOP is now attacking Tester for his association with the Daily Kos. Oh boy. The funny thing is that the link (via the NRSC) highlights a troll diary, called “LISTEN UP israel !!” A “troll diary” is one that’s been marked by the Kos community as having been written by a troll for troll-ish purposes:

…inflammatory, rude, repetitive or offensive messages designed intentionally to annoy or antagonize the existing members or disrupt the flow of discussion, including…personal attack[s]…

So…basically the NRSC fell for a prank. That is, unless they knew it was a prank, but linked to it anyway. Which is possible considering how teeny-tiny the link to the actual diary is on the NRSC web page.

And then, right on cue, Sean Hannity dutifully picks up the NRSC story-line:

Finally the Republicans have fought back against the extremists on the blog and the association with, for example, Daily Kos and some of these other groups….they’re challenging these candidates and their associations with these groups and these leaders that say outrageous things.For example, The National Republican Senatorial Committee issued a statement regarding the Montana Democratic Senate Candidate Jon Tester’s ongoing relationship with the ultra liberal group ‘Daily Kos.’

[snip]

Despite all of this hateful rhetoric, Tester continues to accept their support and use that blog to raise money. And for example, the founder of this blog, Markos Moulitsas, who runs ‘Daily Kos,’—if you remember he said about the murders of 4 American contractors who were helping to deliver food in Fallujah. He said ‘Every death should be on the front page, let people see what war is like. This isn’t an X-Box game. There’re real repercussions to Bush’s folly. That said, I feel nothing over the deaths of these mercenaries.’

You know how can liberals get away with that and these associations? You know I went to the web site for example, and we check it out now occasionally because it’s so beholden to the Democratic party. And even before Israel took on Hezbollah, you know you have these radical anti-war types like Cindy Sheehan, blasting Israel on the Web site. Quotes like: “‘You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you’ll stop the terrorism.”

Weird how when Hannity thinks he’s attacking, it actually sounds…you know…somewhat reasonable in comparison to his own rants. Sure I don’t condone Moulitsas lack of empathy for the deaths of the killed mercenaries – although it has since turned out that they might have participated in some atrocities against Iraqis, like random drive-by shootings – but everything up to that point was…well…spot on.

Here’s what I wrote about these attacks for the American Prospect:

While some feel the GOP can turn a candidate’s association with a website into a liability, it is highly unlikely to have much of an effect on the Montana Senate race. First, few in Montana — like anywhere else — actually read political blogs with regularity. (And those that do will understand the complexity and varying viewpoints of a blog like The Daily Kos.) Second, the issues that have so far affected this race have been local. Burns insulting a firefighter is a local event, because “hot shots” are ubiquitous in the state and are essential to many Montana livelihoods. Blogs are neither.

And, honestly, which of Hannity’s regular viewers were planning on voting for Tester anyway? The question is, of course, will this story gain traction with its repulsive right-wing spin on traditional media outlets? A dishonest or lazy journalist could easily cherry pick quotes and passages and make any blog look bad, bad, bad. So there is a danger.

But a quick, honest perusal of the Daily Kos and its cohorts (like yours truly) by an intelligent observer will reveal the blog ideology – even within Kos itself – runs across the entire spectrum, and blog rhetoric is a lot less shrill than you’d expect.

My take is the publicity will be good for both The Daily Kos and Jon Tester. The more people actually go and read the blogs, the more fans we’ll all have.

Links…

It turns out that Burns can’t deliver. Especially for firefighters. Who’da thunk?

Shane’s take on the latest Burns commercial. Sounds like a cross between Mr. Rogers neighborhood trolley, a Denny’s Grand Slam, and a drug-induced nightmare (NSFW, NS@lunch).

Meanwhile, Whacko Lib knows Denny Rehberg hates hunters. Vote for Monica!

Cheney coming to Idaho to campaign for Bill Sali. Ugh. Now that’s one fundraiser I won’t be at…

The Pentagon deceived the 9/11 commission.

Memo to conservatives: conventional war doesn’t work against terrorists.

Neither does torture, but that doesn’t stop the administration. Now they’re trying to cover their *sses from the War Crimes Act of 1996.

Good, Kansas Christians working hard to bring social justice to the planet…NOT!

Kossak DemFromCT analyzes the misconceptions about the Lieberman-Lamont race stemming from the insider punditry. Don’t believe the hype! Remember how wrong these same geniuses were about Montana’s Senate primary?

The Carpetbagger brings you your morale boost for the day…

Meanwhile, the Congressional Republicans demonstrate why they are so unpopular.

John at Blogenlust…and Bret Favre…think the Packers are going to win it all this year! No…I’m serious…yes, snarfing hot coffee does hurt, doesn’t it?

Others have expressed their feelings so much better than I could: Matt Singer, Big Sky Dems, and Jon Tester.

For more on Phillip Baucus, read Susan Gallagher’s excellent write-up in the Helena Independent Record.

I’m at a loss for words. What a terrible thing…




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