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Archive for June 16th, 2008

Who Should Replace Russert?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 16th, 2008 4:41 am by HL

Who Should Replace Russert?
Over at Political Insider, I give my choice for the next host of Meet the Press.

Edwards Backs Off Veep Refusal
John Edwards “backed away from statements he made in Spain earlier this month that he would not take the vice presidential slot if Barack Obama offered it to him,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

“Still, Edwards told moderator George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week that he was not seeking the no. 2 slot on the ticket.”

Said Edwards: “Well, I’d take anything he asked me to think about seriously, but obviously this is something I’ve done and it’s not a job that I’m seeking.”


FDL Book Salon Welcomes Bruce Kluger And David Slavin: Young Dick Cheney: Great American

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 16th, 2008 4:40 am by HL

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Bruce Kluger And David Slavin: Young Dick Cheney: Great American
So here’s a puzzler: How do you write a book about a vicious, evil man like Dick Cheney without turning it into an offputting angry rant?  Well, I have read the answer, and it is called Young Dick Cheney: Great American.

Young Dick CheneySo here’s a puzzler: How do you write a book about a vicious, evil man like Dick Cheney without turning it into an offputting angry rant? Well, I have read the answer, and it is called Young Dick Cheney: Great American.

Instead of giving into their anger and being consumed by the Dark Side, Bruce Kluger and David Slavin, along with illustrator Tim Foley, re-create the style of kid-oriented biographies about the early days of great American heroes, and apply it to one of America’s great villains. The result is, not to put too fine a point on it, hilarious.

Liberally illustrated (of course), the book follows Young Dick from his frontier birth as a miniature, fully-formed, growly-voiced plutocrat through his high school years as the powerful vice president of the student council – documenting his life as he discovers his love of war, oil, guns, dark blue suits, power, secrecy, shady political machinations, and Lynn Not-Yet-Cheney.

By way of example, here’s a passage describing five-year-old Dick’s ecstasy upon receiving an Official Davy Crockett Buckaroo-Boy BB Gun for Christmas:

On Christmas morning, Dick’s wish came true. Padding down the stairs in his Wendell Willkie feet-pajamas, Dick looked beneath the tree and let out his biggest and happiest grumble ever.

“Thank you, Santa Claus!” Dick yelled, grabbing the rifle and slinging it over his shoulder, just like a genuine frontiersman. “Look at me!” he shouted. “I’m Davy Crockett! Remember the Alamo!”

Young Dick gave his father a great big hug, then shot his mother in the face.

There’s plenty more where that came from. Lots of shooting people in the face, lots of heart attacks, lots of oil, mixed in with sly references to contemporary political characters and events.

The authors honed their skills as political satirists for NPR’s All Things Considered, and conducted exhaustive research on children’s literature under the clever pretense of being the fathers of young girls – making them uniquely qualified to chair the search committee for an author to write this book. After many months of interviews and Googling, they finally named themselves, and the rest is… well, something that sort of resembles history, only funnier.

Please join me in welcoming Bruce Kluger and David Slavin to Firedoglake. As always, stay on topic and keep your comments polite and respectful (to the authors, at least – you can say whatever you like about Dick). And if you haven’t yet, please do pick up a copy of Young Dick Cheney, or I’ll shoot you in the face you’ll be glad you did.


TalkLeft is Six Years Old Today

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 16th, 2008 4:39 am by HL

TalkLeft is Six Years Old Today

TalkLeft turns six years old today. It's our blogiversary (and as Skippy would say, y.i.c.t.p. — yes, I coined that phrase.)

Six years is a long time on the internets, and since we have so many more readers than we did at the beginning, for those who are interested, here's a little history. [More…]

I started TalkLeft in 1999 as a website with political links. It was intended to be a companion to one of my other sites, CrimeLynx. Here's what it looked like. On June 15, 2002, I converted it to a blog. Here is my first post.

Our tagline since day 1 has been “The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handles” from Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues.

My first blog buddies were Instapundit, Eric Alterman (who wrote MSNBC's Altercation at the time), Steve of Vodkapundit, Markos of Daily Kos and Atrios.

A few months after I started it, Markos offered to convert TalkLeft from Blogger to Movable Type and do a complete redesign. It took him a month. Here's what TalkLeft looked like for the next few years. That daily news feed on the left hand side? I spent at least an hour a night hand selecting the articles from the next day's papers around the country. I wish I still had the time to do it now, as none of the commercial news services provide such topically targeted feeds.

Here's a basic chronology:

  • January, 2006, our Man in Hollywood, CL, who wishes to remain anonymous, begins making exclusive graphics for TalkLeft. You can view an assortment of his great work on my facebook page here.

Along the way, I got to cover the 2004 Democratic Convention in Boston and the Republican convention in New York; live-blog the Scooter Libby trial in Washington, DC; meet great people and make great friends in the blogosphere and the policy and political realms.

One of the most exciting days I've had as a blogger: when Bill Clinton brings a bunch of us into New York for a get-together with him at his Harlem office.

As of today, TalkLeft has had more than 24 million visitors and 50 million page views. The average length of each visit to TalkLeft is over 5 minutes.

I had no idea when I sat at the computer one weekend in June, 2002 to create a blog that I'd still be doing this six years later. But, here we are.

A very special thanks to TChris and Big Tent Democrat who are just as much a part of TalkLeft as I am, and to CL for his graphics.

Last but certainly not least, thanks to every one of you who have read a page, posted a comment, given me a news tip, linked to TalkLeft, donated dollars (and two laptops) and befriended me. You've made it all worthwhile.


Mobility

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 16th, 2008 4:38 am by HL

Mobility
Mobility decline due to declining house prices is going to impact a lot of people, and lead to more short sales and walk aways. Areas with dropping home prices and high foreclosure rates will experience local recessions, which will cause people to want/need to move elsewhere for employment. Difficulty in selling homes will make it harder to do so.

Companies which have felt free to transfer workers will find it harder to do so, unless they bring back house buying programs big companies used to have (would buy houses at market rates when employees were transferred and then sell them, essentially taking responsibility of the transaction away from the transferred worker).

Threaded
Still moving.


CHUCK TODD FOR MTP?

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 16th, 2008 4:34 am by HL

CHUCK TODD FOR MTP?
I’m not convinced by the idea that Chuck Todd should replace Tim Russert on Meet the Press. I like Todd’s political analysis, I like Todd’s style on television, and I’ve liked him personally when we’ve talked. Todd, however, is a horseracer. He’s spent his career handicapping campaigns and gaming out political scenarios. He’s arguably the best in the business at it. But Meet the Press, in theory, is more a campaigns and politics show. It’s a public affairs show. The host talks to policymakers
—- link

LeftWord: The Best Liberal Blog Posts


Today’s Must Read

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 16th, 2008 4:33 am by HL

Today’s Must Read
VIPs — including a couple of U.S. senators — got special loan deals not available to the general public at subprime giant Countrywide….


Three likely choices unenthusiastic about VP slot

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 16th, 2008 4:32 am by HL

Three likely choices unenthusiastic about VP slot
Three likely choices unenthusiastic about VP slot


Williams Calls Hume and Kristol ?Out Of Touch? For Saying McCain?s Tax Plan Will Help Working Americans

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 16th, 2008 4:31 am by HL

Williams Calls Hume and Kristol ?Out Of Touch? For Saying McCain?s Tax Plan Will Help Working Americans
Earlier this week, the non-partisan Tax Policy Center released a paper showing that Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) tax plan “offers three times the break for middle class families” than the proposals of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), which “would steer the bulk of the benefits to the wealthiest families.” On Fox News Sunday this morning, Weekly […]

Earlier this week, the non-partisan Tax Policy Center released a paper showing that Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) tax plan “offers three times the break for middle class families” than the proposals of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), which “would steer the bulk of the benefits to the wealthiest families.” On Fox News Sunday this morning, Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol called the report “good for McCain” because it labels Obama as “a tax raiser” and he doesn’t think voters will be swayed when it’s pointed out that “it’s only a tax on the wealthy.”

But NPR’s Juan Williams strongly disagreed with Kristol, arguing that only the wealthy would view the end of the Bush tax cuts as “raising taxes.” “It’s almost like you guys are out of touch with what ordinary Americans are going through in this country,” charged Williams.

Fox’s Brit Hume responded to Williams with his usual condescending indignation, calling it “baloney” to claim that McCain wants “more tax cuts for big corporations” and “the rich to get richer off the tax code.” Watch it:

Hume’s reactive cry of “baloney” just proves Williams’s point that he is “out of touch.” As the Tax Policy Center found, Obama’s plan provides the heaviest benefits to the poorest Americans while McCain’s plan gives its most significant income increases to the wealthy.

Regarding tax cuts for corporations, $175 billion would go directly to corporations each year under McCain’s tax plan. McCain’s plan would also give $3.8 billion in tax cuts to the five largest American oil companies and $2.8 billion to the nation’s largest energy and utility companies.

Transcript: (more…)


FCC Chair To Support XM-Sirius Merger

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 16th, 2008 4:30 am by HL

FCC Chair To Support XM-Sirius Merger
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin J. Martin said yesterday that he will support a merger between the nation’s sole satellite radio operators, XM and Sirius, a decision that could remove the last regulatory hurdle in the lengthy and heavily criticized move to make the companies one.

Obama Discusses Duties of Fatherhood
Calling himself “an imperfect father,” Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) spoke of the need for more African American men to live up to their responsibilities in a Father’s Day sermon yesterday.


A Blind Eye to Terror in Zimbabwe

Posted in Main Blog (All Posts) on June 16th, 2008 4:29 am by HL

A Blind Eye to Terror in Zimbabwe
Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe