Thursday, December 07, 2006

Glenn Greenwald asks a good question

With regards to James Baker:
What possible rationale exists for listening to someone who urged us to pursue a course that is the greatest strategic disaster in our country's history? A person who said this should be shunned, not idolized[...]

If you go to a doctor for an operation and he completely botches your surgery and you lose an organ due to his abject ineptitude and recklessness, you don't go back to that doctor for repair surgery; you find another one. If you go to a lawyer who almost destroys your company through complete ignorance of your basic legal obligations, you don't stay with that lawyer in the hope that he will get you out of the disaster he created for you; you retain another one.

Yet here we are, revering and listening to and following the same dense, amoral people who could not have been more wrong about everything they recommended and asserted prior to this war, while we scorn or (at best) ignore those who were so right.

True enough. But let me say a few things in Baker's defense (much as it pains me to do so):

1) Despite Greenwald's disparaging it as "Friedmanesque," implying that career civil servant and experienced diplomat Baker was as unqualified as newspaper columnist Tom Friedman to be making such statements, Baker did in fact say (as Greenwald himself quotes):

The only realistic way to effect regime change in Iraq is through the application of military force, including sufficient ground troops to occupy the country (including Baghdad), depose the current leadership and install a successor government. Anyone who thinks we can effect regime change in Iraq with anything less than this is simply not realistic.

This position goes right along with Gen. Shinseki's statement when he estimated it would take 200-300 thousand troops to occupy Iraq. We did not have sufficient ground troops. We did not send sufficient ground troops. The administration hunted around until they found a general (Franks) who assured them that they could conquer Iraq with the troops available, and they put him in charge. James Baker didn't have anything to do with the planning and execution of the administration's Iraq strategy, what there was of it. To now go back and pillory him for the poor execution of a strategy he had nothing to do with is simply wrong. James Baker did not advocate the invasion of Iraq with insufficient troops to pacify the country.

2) James Baker is not advocating "stay the course," no matter how much Glenn and many many others would like to portray him as doing so. If he were, why would the President be spending so much time trying to discredit and dilute the ISG report? Obviously I haven't read the report and have to rely on second-hand analysis of its findings; but from what has been reported so far, it doesn't seem to me like "stay the course."

3) James Baker is not solely responsible for this report. He is the co-chair of the ISG with Lee Hamilton, another experienced and respected public servant. And while there may be a few "wildly extremist, warmongering" types in the ISG, there are also voices of moderation- and the report was unanimously submitted. Greenwald may be skeptical- to put it mildly- of the expertise of the people on the ISG commission; but they are all at least as qualified as Greenwald, and most have a lot more time in public service. Hamilton and Baker have been in government for as long as I've been alive (and, I suspect, as Greenwald has).

I hate bashing Glenn Greenwald. He is one of the brightest lights of the progressive blogosphere, and I love his work (even this trashing of Baker is well-argued and understandable). But this is one case where I think he is perhaps being a bit overzealous. It's all too easy to look at people who supported a policy that ultimately failed for whatever reasons and say "well, these are unserious people who should be ostracized." But if you do that, if you insist on 100% success as a condition of respecting someone's policy recommendations, you're quickly going to run out of people from whom to get recommendations. Look at the recommendations themselves, and judge those. That's what a Liberal does.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Blaming the victims

Billmon goes all wobbly and maudlin over our collective lack of cojones, which caused us to permit the unleashing of the horrors of genocide in Iraq:

We were all complicit. I was complicit. Because I was afraid -- afraid to sacrifice my comfortable middle class lifestyle, afraid to lose my job and my house, afraid of the IRS, afraid to go to jail.

Well, sure. I suppose what we should have done, in hindsight, is take to the streets in protest. After all, that's what our parents did in the 60's, right? Burning draft cards, holding mass rallies, Abbie Hoffman speechifying...

Brought that Vietnam War to a swift termination, didn't it? (News flash: it didn't.)

I see more and more of this now. We Americans who oppose the war but don't get out there and march in the streets and lob eggs at City Hall and pelt cops with rocks and garbage are the new "Good Germans." We are as much to blame for the deaths of 660,000 Iraqis and counting as the Sunni death squads and Shia militias who pulled the triggers, swung the swords, and knotted the ropes. All of that blood is directly on our hands.

Bullscheiss. That blood is not on my hands. I didn't vote for these bastards, I didn't formulate the ridiculous plans that ignored the postwar period, I didn't lie to the American people about the danger we were in. The last time I looked, advocating armed insurrection against the United States was the very definition of treason, written in black ink in the Constitution, and the punishment prescribed is death. Surely we know enough by now to realize that mere marching in the streets would not be sufficient to change the President's mind about his Iraq policy. So short of futilely taking up arms against my own country, what do you propose I could have done to avert the catastrophe?

No, I don't accept the responsibility for this. The difference between me and the "Good Germans" is that I am not actively aiding and abetting my government in its lunacy. I am not denouncing my neighbors, I am not keeping silent in my public statements, I am not trying not to know what is going on 10 miles down the road or halfway around the world. That is a critical difference and we must not lose sight of it. If we are responsible for genocide, which I also deny, it was not instigated by me. It was perpetrated by the galactically irrational people we have allowed to be elected to run our country.

660,000 dead Iraqis is indeed a tragedy. And I don't deny that by removing the civil structures (such as they were) that had been in place in Iraq under Saddam and not replacing them with equally strong structures of our own, we left a power vaccuum that could be filled by these bloodthirsty gangs. It is South Central L.A. writ large. But in my opinion it was only a matter of time before this happened anyway. These deaths, this horror, was going to occur without our having to lift a finger. It happened in Rwanda, it happened in Somalia, it happened in Ethiopia, it is happening right now in Sudan. Armed sectarian violence occurs all the time without our involvement, and in every case there are tragedies and noncombantant deaths and stories of atrocities to chill the soul. The only difference, the ONLY difference, is that in Iraq our American troops are stuck in the middle of it. The Iraqi Shia in the south have always wanted to go after the Sunnis in the center and west. The Kurds in the north have always wanted their own autonomous state. These things were GOING TO HAPPEN. All we did with our blundering was move up the timetable a little.

Blame me as a genocide denier if you want. It's a (theoretically) free country. But our troops didn't pull the triggers (not all 660,000 of them), and they aren't swinging the swords. The genocide, if there is one, is on the hands of the Sadrists, Sunnis, and Kurds doing the killing. Not us, and not me. I am a victim of this administration's arrogant incompetence too.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Crikey, Steve Irwin's gone

Posted on Atrios' blog:

When I was young (in the 1970's) one of my favorite shows was "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" hosted by Marlin Perkins. That show was the ONLY show of its kind on the tube in those pre-cable days. Nowhere else would you see wildlife in their natural environment, or learn about the efforts of naturalists to preserve them in the face of the ever-expanding human encroachment on their habitat. That show, more than any other, made we aware of environmental issues and shaped my views in ways that still affect me today.

After "Wild Kingdom" went off the air and Jacques Cousteau's (the other great 70's TV naturalist) "Undersea World" sank beneath the waves, there were practically NO shows about animals on TV that I was aware of. Even with the coming of cable, and the National Geographic specials and TLC and Discovery, none of the shows really engaged me like "Wild Kingdom" had done.

Then I was flipping channels one day and saw this goofy Australian straight out of central casting talking about crocodiles. I was born and raised in Louisiana so I'm quite aware of their not-quite-cousins (alligators), and he seemed really excited so I stopped to watch. At the end of the show it hit me: this was the first naturalist since Marlin Perkins who really made his work INTERESTING, even fun to watch. Steve Irwin blazed a trail for the resurgence of the TV naturalist. His ability to connect with the audience and make wildlife understandable to people who may not know the first thing about King Brown snakes other than as menaces to be killed was a priceless gift. All of us, especially those of us on the left who are supposed to view the environment as something to be preserved rather than merely as a source of raw materials, have lost one of our most valuable advocates. It's not too much of a stretch to compare his loss to the natural world with JFK's loss to the United States politically, or Princess Diana's to the world, in terms of love and respect for a fundamentally decent person who tried to do their best.

The Scenic Route to 9/11

ABC is putting out this "docudrama", called "The Path to 9/11." So far everything I've read about it says that it's a Clinton hatchet-job; it's all Clinton's fault, you see, because he didn't kill Osama.

The lefty blogosphere is of course not taking this lying down. I posted my own comment to the official blog of the movie:

I bet moderating the comments here is a fun job.

9/11 is simply too highly charged for a fictionalized "docudrama." How many
"docudramas" were made about Pearl Harbor? "Tora Tora Tora" stuck with the
facts, and was highly acclaimed. "Midway" went for docudrama and invented a
nonexistent story for Charlton Heston's character, and was not nearly as good as
a result. The Kennedy assassination? Oliver Stone's "JFK" forsook accuracy for
"docudrama," and the real-life Jim Garrison disavowed it.

When you deal with historical events, especially those that were traumatic like
Pearl Harbor and 9/11, as filmmakers you have a duty to remain faithful to the
actual history. Any deviations in the name of "drama" are almost inevitably
going to be seen as cheap theatrics and will tarnish your effort.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Dogged Off

I got involved in the Roger Ailes/Bob Somerby dustup on FireDogLake over the past couple of days. Ailes posted a snarky screed on Joe Klein and John Harwood's weekend talk show appearances, calling Klein and Cokie Roberts (who is the daughter of Democratic Party legend T. Hale Boggs) "Republican reporters" who were supposed to balance the conservative-leaning reporters they appeared with. Somerby took Ailes to task in July 5th's Daily Howler, saying:

But Klein and Roberts aren’t “Republicans;” that’s a childish way to discuss the enduring problems with their work as pundits (problems we have discussed for years). More specifically, as anyone who watched This Week would know, that post completely misrepresents what actually occurred in Sunday’s roundtable.

I don't read all of FDL every day but I do know that it's a very popular blog on the Progressive "side" of the internets, so I wandered over there to see what the response to this accusation might be. FDL is a high-traffic blog that makes multiple posts during the day, and I figured someone must have seen this post by the time I got to it. If not, I wanted to let them know about it, because an allegation of misleading and misrepresentation shouldn't be allowed to stand on a blog that prides itself on being a leader of the reality-based community. I was a little surprised to see no mention of the Daily Howler post on the day's topics, either as a front-page article or in the comments. So I ventured onto a then-recent post that was more or less an open comments thread and posted a very mild link to the Daily Howler.

Predictably a bunch of white knights sprang up to defend their favorite blog from my perceived attack. It didn't matter that I didn't accuse FDL of anything, just passed along that they had been called to account in public; the very fact that I had posted a link to something critical made me a "concern troll" and a "Somerby shill." It truly was a bizarre mirror image of what I would have gotten had I gone onto Redstate or Free Republic and defended Al Gore or said something positive about his movie. People, if you're reading this, you have to learn how to tolerate differing viewpoints and not knee-jerkingly attack anyone who happens to disagree with you or says something critical. I know it's asking a lot, but please, we should make the effort.

Anyway, as I said it was predictable if a bit disappointing to have it actually happen. I suffered through it and kept cool, and eventually Christy Hardin Smith posted a comment that some sort of response would be forthcoming.

Today, Ailes posted his response to Somerby. And once again, it is a snarky, innuendo-filled "defense" that spends much time condescendingly explaining to Somerby (and us) how things work in the world of Roger Ailes:

Somerby says: It’s bad to characterize Klein as a Republican because he sometimes says things critical of the Republican Party in general or specific Republicans in particular.

I say: When you become a serial purveyor of fraudlent talking points concerning Democrats which are indistingiushable from Karl Rove and Ken Mehlman’s Greatest Fundraising Speeches, you deserve ridicule. And that includes the insult you earn from the content of your running commentary: Republican.

Oh, sure, I could have accused JoeK of having "Millionaire Pundit Values" or of "typing up scripts." I could have called him a "fake," or a "celebrity." Indeed, I could point out that JoeK "want[s] to trash major Democrats only," and then express the most profound bewilderment as to Joe’s possible motive for doing so.

Instead, I called him a Republican. I did it my way.

So now we know: telling the reading public that Joe Klein is a Republican (an utter falsehood) is exactly the same as saying he has Millionaire Pundit Values, or that he is a fake (DINO I assume), or that he is a celebrity (which is somehow a bad thing). Ailes buys into the wingnut strategy of making shit up about the people you disagree with; it works for them, doesn't it? Why not do the same, see how they like it.

The comments below Ailes' piece again ranged on both sides, some defending Somerby and some defending Ailes. Actually very few defended Ailes per se; for the most part the anti-Somerby commenters were more interested in trashing Somerby as a has-been or never-was than in explicitly backing Ailes. One of the early comments mentioned some "Somerby shill":

27. BarbaraB says:
July 7th, 2006 at 1:26 am

Thanks for coming by, Roger. We had a Somerby shill in here on Wednesday who kept insisting that Jane and/or Christy drop everything they were doing in order to justify your piece or refute Somerby’s charges. Various members of the community (including the goddesses themselves) told the shill to take a hike, which eventually he, she or it did. Tiresome while it lasted, though.

That would have been me, BarbaraB. I would challenge little miss perfect to find one single comment where I demanded that the FDL people "drop everything they were doing." I merely suggested that some kind of response, even one from Ailes himself, would probably be a good idea; it's what I would do if it were my blog and someone made me aware of a similar thing. Apparently that's too hard a concept for BarbaraB however. Sorry I was so tiresome to you, perhaps a quick nap would help.

So that's the story so far. We'll see if it goes any further. I just felt that since comments at FDL were turned off before I had a chance to comment, I would do it here. I'm a bit irked by the experience and needed to get this off my chest.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Where's Waldo?

Yes this blog is languishing. I haven't had much inspiration lately, not sure why; it comes and goes. For the most part I've been commenting on other blogs, mostly David Brin's and Pandagon, but you might find me popping up in lots of different places.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Professional Journalists

Bob Somerby pointed out yesterday just how professional these highly-paid Washington journalists are:

A CARTOON PRESS CORPS: Only Elisabeth Bumiller could overlook the mordant humor in her presentation. At the start of this morning’s “White House Letter,” she describes the press corps’ conduct during a recent plane ride:
BUMILLER (5/22/06): Reporters en route to Arizona on Air Force One last week opted to watch the movie ''King Kong'' in the press cabin. Not so Tony Snow, the new White House press secretary and former Fox News commentator, who told reporters that he spent the flight in the staff cabin watching Gen. Michael V. Hayden's confirmation hearings to be the new C.I.A. director—on CNN.
Got milk—and cookies? While Snow watches Hayden’s confirmation hearings, the “press corps” chooses King Kong!
Of course, they're not being paid to cover the confirmation hearings; they're being paid to cover the President. But how are they going to know what questions to ask the President if they can't be bothered to keep up with such an important event as a confirmation hearing? And don't tell me that this wasn't an important confirmation hearing; this was a hearing for the man who will be in charge of this nation's premiere civilian intelligence agency, an agency that is under fire all the time now for incompentence and political infighting.

Man, I obviously went into the wrong field. I still haven't seen King Kong. (The Peter Jackson version, that is.) That would be sweet to get paid to watch movies.

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Press Corpse

Over the weekend Digby put up several excellent posts, including one on the constitutional crisis we find ourselves in due to the President's decision that "in a time of war" he has the ability to interpret the laws as he deems fit. At the end of his piece he reflects on the press corps' apparent eagerness to bash the Clinton administration endlessly on any subject no matter how minor or personal, while they seem unable to bring themselves to similarly attack the current incumbent:

"But you really have to wonder why they were so rabidly and openly anti-Clinton, to the point of trying to affirmatively help the Republicans drive him from office, while this time trying to extract promises that the Democrats won't hold Bush accountable for anything he has done."

Following is my take on this question, which I emailed to him:

Bob Somerby looked at this a while back, discussing Clinton biography "The Survivor" by the Washington Post's John Harris:

"Why did the mainstream press corps show so much disdain for Bill Clinton? He wasn’t ironic enough, Harris says—and they were jaded by Nam, of course, which had happened twenty years in the past! These explanations are amazingly bad—but they’re pretty much par for the course when members of the Washington press corps try to explain their own cohort’s misconduct. Weird explanations inevitably follow when reporters take on this vile task. (Links to examples below.)

Yes, reporters love to give strange “explanations” for their cohort’s misconduct. But there’s something they love even more at such moments—they love to make their group disappear. We weren’t there, they love to say, as they ignore their own cohort’s misconduct. And so it goes as Harris attempts to explain the Whitewater mess."

He never gets around to giving his personal opinion on why the press corps decided to (try to) torpedo the Clinton administration. In light of that, I have to give Harris' explanation (which Somerby considers "bad") credit for at least a little plausibility. I can easily believe that the Washington press corps could have become so insular that when the outsider Clinton arrived, replacing the much-beloved Reagan/Bush team that had governed for 12 years, that they would have felt some petty resentment and allowed that to color their reporting.

But beyond that, we have the Right-Wing Noise Machine constantly hammering away at Clinton's credibility and character; how many members of the mainstream media were regular listeners of Rush Limbaugh, even if only on drive-time radio? How many of them were closet conservatives or simply subscribed to the "where's there's smoke" line of reasoning that all these right-wing radicals couldn't possibly be making EVERYTHING up? And what was the role of the emerging consolidation of media into large conglomerates? Conglomerates run by people who might themselves be right-wing conservatives, or at least people sensitive to the endless and raucous charges of "liberal bias" if they attempted to defend the President? Was there pressure, subtle or otherwise, to emphasize stories critical of the President and downplay stories supportive of him? Was this a sort of "payback" for the destruction of Nixon, the Iran-Contra coverage which tarnished Sainted Reagan, the "Borking" of Bork and the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings?

It's all pieces of the puzzle. They didn't like Clinton the outsider, the uppity, arrogant hayseed from Arkansas. A new generation of reporters were replacing the Watergate era crew as those reporters advanced, retired, or moved on to other projects. They didn't like the fact that he was getting laid by interns and they weren't, or they simply knew that sex sells and lurid, illicit sex sells a lot. Perhaps they felt bad on some level for tarnishing earlier administrations, people they had known and worked with for 12 years. They lost sight of their ethical responsibility to REPORT the news, not CREATE the news (assuming they even knew that they had such a responsibility, and that blowhards like Limbaugh did not and were not in fact journalists). As a group, they simply decided they were going to punish Clinton and they proceeded to do it. And it was so much fun, and they did so much business because of it, that they decided to continue it with Al Gore (and for a short, critical time, Howard Dean).

Not only do we face a constitutional crisis; we face a crisis in the role of the press in society and the concept of jounalism itself. We have arrived at a time where we need to question just what it is that we are working towards as Americans, how our institutions should operate in pursuit of that goal of a more perfect union, and even what those institutions ought to be.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Will Pryor is running for Congress my district, TX-32. This is a "safe Republican" district created by Tom Delay's gerrymandering scheme a few years ago. Nevertheless, I think that a strong Democratic candidate could win here, especially if incumbent Pete Sessions' involvement in the Jack Abramoff scandal and a shady California defense contracting deal turns out to have been more than just coincidence. At least, I hope that enough Republicans are rational enough to see that Sessions has supported disastrous policies and should be replaced.

But I'm not sure Pryor is that strong Democrat. If you go through his campaign web site, everything you see points to an accomodational, "consensus-building" style. I understand that and it's even admirable- in the right situation. If the political opposition were capable of being persuaded by logical argument, or if they were willing to work with you on some sort of quid-pro-quo basis, then reciprocal flexibility and cooperation is appropriate. But when the opposition is NOT so inclined and instead continually votes against any initiative from your side on strict party-line votes, being flexible and trying to work with them is just being a sap. And when the policies they fight so hard for are in fact counter to the ideals this country was founded on, and harmful to the long-term interests of the United States, then you not only have reason to object strenuously, but you have a duty to fight just as strongly against their misguided positions. So far, Pryor has not expressed a willingness to do this.

I will support Will Pryor, by default if for no other reason; and I will do what I can to help him find the strong voice he will need in order to represent me in the manner in which I would like to be represented. I have already sent him several e-mails pointing out changes I think he should make and positions I think he needs to explain more fully; and he has promised changes to his website soon.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Oh, now I get it

So THAT's why abortion should be illegal:

Commenting on illegal immigration, [Georgia State Senator Nancy] Schaefer said 50 million abortions have been performed in this country, causing a shortage of cheap American labor. “We could have used those people,” she said.

From Jesus' General. Can't make this stuff up.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Heckuva Plan

Heckuva Job Brownie testified to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee this morning. Watch it here.

I posted this on digby's blog afterwards:

According to their lame-ass, overly complicated National Response Plan, what's supposed to happen is that someone gets named Principal Federal Officer on the scene- in this case, Brown. The PFO is supposed to drop whatever responsibilities he traditionally has (such as being head of FEMA) and take over being in charge of the response effort; he is to establish a command center, gather the requirements of local and state officials, and pass that information up the line to DHS through the Homeland Security Operations Center (HSOC). HSOC then passes the information to Secretary Chertoff and coordinates the various federal agencies to respond to the requests.

Instead what happened is that Brown, never a big fan of the NRP in the first place, decided to try to handle everything himself and didn't establish a command center, didn't contact HSOC, and then discovered whenever he went to a federal agency to get some response that they were all waiting to hear from HSOC and didn't want to hear from him. HSOC tried to contact Brown after they started getting reports on Monday that flooding was occurring, but since there was no command center for them to contact and he was still trying to be head of FEMA they couldn't reach him. HSOC instead got some number two guy, who only knew FEMA procedure was to give two daily reports to DHS and refused to do anything else. Rather than try some other means to contact Brown or taking their own initiative to confirm the flooding and getting the response rolling themselves, HSOC decided to follow the plan and wait for Brown to contact them. Meanwhile, Brown contacted the White House several times telling them about the flooding and asking for help; but I bet the White House contacted Chertoff to get confirmation, Chertoff didn't know anything was wrong (since HSOC hadn't contacted him), so the White House decided not to bother the President. And so no one expected the levees to fail.

(end post)

See the oh-so-simple National Response Plan here. Read the 114-page "base plan" for the highlights, or the 426-page "full version" if you're a policy wonk. Then come tell me how you expect a 426-page plan to work smoothly in a stressful and chaotic situation.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Oh my

“Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, And waste its sweetness on the desert air”

-Thomas Gray

I first heard this one, as probably many of my legion of readers did, in Bull Durham. I think I'll have it written on my tombstone.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

We write letters

Sent to Washington Post editor Jim Brady, who just hosted a blogger ethics panel because of the Deborah Howell affair:

Mr. Brady-

I've watched this tempest rage back and forth for the past few days and I must say I think you've missed the most important lesson to be understood. If you allow public comments on your blog, the public is going to comment.

I was a participant in the online world of USENET back when it was only accessible to university students, professors, researchers, and similar professionals who had access through big institutions. All the newsgroups (well, most of them) were filled with high-value posts and lots of excellent, thought-provoking debate went on. Then in the late 80's/early 90's, large public-access companies such as Compuserve and (most notoriously) AOL began providing their subscribers access to our precious newsgroups. Can you imagine the shock and horror we felt as our clean, erudite, oh-so-high-level discourses were suddenly invaded by uneducated, loutish, often unruly members of the hoi polloi who thumbed their noses at our "netiquette" and flamed away however they felt? I think you can: because I am seeing you make the exact same statements with regard to the recent unpleasantness as we made then. How dare they, these ruffians, come in and slander our highly-regarded, experienced, professional reporters and editors? Didn't they learn any manners, why can't they post in a civil way without resorting to invective and profanity?

No, Mr. Brady, they didn't; or rather, they don't choose to. These are the REAL Americans out there. They watch NASCAR, professional wrestling, and Bill O'Reilly, and in their minds when someone says something disagreeable you don't go online and say "I say, with all due respect, I disagree with you"; no, what they have learned to do is say "you're a complete moron, how could anyone be as stupid as you to say what you did, you should be shot as a favor to future generations" and so forth. The general public are simply not interested (note I don't say they are incapable or uneducated) in playing nice with people they disagree with.

So you and the Post are going to have to decide whether you want to allow public comments and just accept that people are going to say whatever they are going to say, or just leave them turned off and accept that you are publicly declaring that journalism is a one-way conversation just as it always has been. Or you can try to find some middle road. But never forget that your readers are not all debate-club members who follow Robert's Rules of Order. In fact, I think you'll find that few of them are.

One comment on the panel today: it was a missed opportunity. By adopting the format you did, it became not so much a panel discussion as a weird sort of mutant Q & A. It wasn't really a discussion at all, and the questions often didn't seem relevant to the theme you wanted to pursue. It failed as a chat because it wasn't really a chat, and it failed as a Q & A because the panelists didn't all get to answer every question. It also failed a bit because you lost your cool with Jane Hamsher when you apparently couldn't answer her technical questions about the deleted posts; but I'm sure you recognize that.

Rob Woodard
Richardson, TX

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

What he said

Glenn Greenwald let us know just what the rules are for having a dignified political discourse.

Guess what? No response to my missive to Sessions. Surprise surprise.