Archive for April 10th, 2007


Baucus to support government negotiation for prescription drugs for its Medicare patients?

Montana Headlines – in reply to Jeff Mangan’s urging of Senate Republican leadership to compromise – says the burden of compromise should rest on Senate Democrats. (And you wonder why nothing’s getting done in Helena?)

And then MH comments on the “hot partisanship” in Helena. I’m not sure I’d blame both sides equally in this fight. After all, it was Scott Sales who started this session with a declaration of war. And why split the budget bill – HB 2 – into six, seven, or eight (I forget exactly) separate bills? That was just a thumb on the nose. Democrats are showing strong resistance, but I think that kind of unity is just what’s called for.

The Chamber of Commerce blog – Montana Main Street blog – objects to the Good Guv’s veto of the wireless tax bill. Jeff Mangan clarifies the Good Guv’s veto.

Wulfgar! mulls the server-exemption for minimum wage, guns, and the Pickle Barrel brouhaha.

Moorcat mulls the guns that you should have.

Wait! I thought there was supposed to be a debate between Gingrich and Kerry on climate change…but didn’t Gingrich acknowledge the reality of the problem and call for green conservatism to help curb carbon emissions? It ain’t a debate when both sides agree, is it?

Princeton Professor Walter Murphy’s presence on the watch list might have been by chance, not intent.

So far, if crowd size is any indication, Democrats are in for a big year in 2008.

Alberto Gonzalez subpoened.

The WaPo gives Bill Mercer little lovin’. (Hat tip to Matt Singer.)

Why it’s not likely the Bush administration would win a court battle over executive privilege and the prosecutor purge.

Navy vet and private contractor and former Bush supporter David Vance tells the story of his torture at the hands of US officials: “If they can do this to a former Navy man and an American, what is happening to people in facilities all over the world run by the American government?”

Matthew Yglesias on David Broder’s column, which calls for Congressional Democrats to “compromise” with Bush on Iraq war funding: “the Democrats should basically give in to Bush’s demands, in exchange for which Bush will continue to implement Bush’s war policy absent formal fetters but will suddenly start doing so in the manner of a mature, serious person rather than, say, George W. Bush.”

Iraqi official pens book on all of the missteps made in Iraq by the US.

And now the cost of the war is filtering down to the states.

Tens of thousands of Iraqis take to the streets to protest US occupation.

Jon Stewart on John McCain’s stroll through Baghdad.

Surprise! This isn’t the first time Imus went after a black woman.

Obama appears on Letterman.

The Notorious Mark T chips in on the future of blogging.

Iraq: Why the media failed.

The BBC has made a documentary of the Westboro Baptists. Interesting watch, highly recommended.

Johnny Hart dies, twenty years after his comic strip.

by Jay Stevens

Sorry to hit you with a topic on the bloggers’ code of conduct so quickly after the last one, but digby – as usual – wrote a smash-up post on the code, comparing traditional media’s attitude to blogging with its stance on AM talk radio, mulling specifically Don Imus’ recent racist comments.

First, I discovered this after I posted this yesterday, the bloggers’ code of conduct made the front page of the frickin’ New York Times:

“That is one of the mistakes a lot of people make — believing that uncensored speech is the most free, when in fact, managed civil dialogue is actually the freer speech,” he said. “Free speech is enhanced by civility.”



So what’s up with this? The blogosphere is admittedly an uncivil place. Nobody disputes that. But it is comprised of a bunch of disparate individuals who are arguing amongst themselves with varying degress of seriousness and talent as part of the national (and international) dialog. There is a corner of it that is despicable and revolting, as the misogyny that set off this latest debate clearly demonstrates. But for inexplicable reasons it’s the liberal blogosphere that is being particularly attacked for our alleged incivility by the mainstream media. (I suspect it’s the fact that we drop the “F” bomb too much, which is simply shocking in American life)

However, for almost two decades now, talk radio has been spewing vile racist, misogynistic and eliminationst spew — and their stars have been feted and petted for it among the highest levels of the capital cognoscenti….

Dick Cheney appearing on Rush Limbaugh, anyone? Why the V-P has eluded criticism for appearing on Limbaugh escapes me. He’s legitimized one of our country’s worst hate mongers and enemy of civil discourse.

Digby speculates on why DC insiders and national media types disparage blogs out of one side of their mouths, then praise uncivil radio mavens like Limbaugh or Imus out of the other. (Is it a shared worldview? The legitimacy that money lends the shows? Or just that they’re all employees of the same big media companies? I’d argue that it’s because the blogs are spontaneous, dynamic, beyond corporate control, and not making anybody any money. That is, they’re scary, intellecutally.)

Already Newsweek’s Howard Fineman and cartoonist Tom Oliphant have made strong statements in support of Imus, but in doing so, have showed how subtle racism pervades the institution of big media.


The discourse that everyone is so shocked to see is now uncivil and “nasty” was polluted decades ago by a bunch of rich, white businessmen who saw that they could make a very nice profit at exploiting the lizard brain of the American rightwing and help their political cause at the same time. The media thought it was all in good fun (and good for their bosses) just as they do today.

We bloggers didn’t make this toxic, fetid environment, we just live in it. And toxic and fetid it is. At some point the prim and proper MSM are going to have to put down the smelling salts over the uncivil blogosphere and deal with the fact that the world they enabled with their convivial chuckling and snorting at Rush and Imus over the years has brought us to this place. The rest of us are little busy fighting off the neanderthal thugs they helped create.

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