Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Connecticut, Etc.

It's over. Lamont took out Lieberman (52%-48%). Lieberman will run as an independent in November. Lefty reaction here and here(language warning on the second one).

In my earlier post I said Lieberman is a liberal/progressive on most issues other than Iraq. According to Andrew Sullivan he's to the right of a few Republicans on the war. Come to think of it Lieberman has tried to portray himself as more of a centrist on some issues, such as that Plan B contraception thing the lefties got so worked up about (Rape Gurney Joe). I seem to remember, however, that his overall voting record as a Senator is something like 90% liberal. I'll have to do some research on the specifics, but it seems likely that his run as an independent will be more clearly centrist because he'll want to pick up moderate Dems and Republicans. I saw the Republican guy (Schlessinger) on TV the other day. He seemed to be just going through the motions of running. The last time I looked at Connecticut polls he registered at about 8% in a race between Lieberman as independent and Lamont as Democrat in the November. Hot Air has video of Lamont's victory speech (which I can't get to work).

Cynthia McKinney is out in Georgia. Surprisingly, in her concession speech she implied the election was stolen.

I'll have more later on what is now being called "fauxtography" as the wire photo scandal continues to widen. Jeff Goldstein gives an indication of just how quickly this is taking off, in the blogosphere if not the MSM.
Took a brief nap this afternoon, and while I was asleep an entire propaganda war waged by “photojournalists,” stringers, caption writers, and bureau editors unraveled like a cheap sweater snagged on a bit of twisted metal infrastructure.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

More Reutergate Fallout

Beth over at My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy has a lot more information coming out about what appears to be a growing media scandal. She also has links to Dread Pundit Bluto and Rusty at The Jawa Report with more.
Says Beth:
Bastards. This stuff really pisses me off. There’s no way every single piece of news coming out of there (or Iraq, for that matter!) could possibly be analyzed, and they know it.

Lieberman Web Site Hacked?

I'm really not surprised if this is true. Jeff Goldstein says sarcastically:
But you know how Jews are—always trying to guilt you into giving them sympathy. Or a good deal on a used Lincoln Towncar.
Michelle Malkin has more.

Lamont, McGovern, and McCarthy

Today is the day in Connecticut. We'll see if Lieberman is able to pull off a last minute comeback or if the Lamont insurgency pays off. There have been two editorials recently from the pro-Lieberman side in the Wall Street Journal (how ironic is that?). One is from Martin Peretz, editor in chief of The New Republic, and the other by Lanny Davis, former special counsel for Bill Clinton.

Peretz' piece compares the Lamont campaign with that of a previous "peace candidate", George McGovern, who was famously trounced by Nixon in the presidential election of 1972, and more obliquely, through McGovern, to Henry Wallace, who served as FDR's vice president before being dropped from the ticket and replaced with Truman and who ran for the Democratic nomination for president in 1948.

I'm not so sure the comparison with Wallace is fitting because the political climate was different in 1948. For one thing, the Democratic party then had not only split on the liberal side, but there also was a conservative, reactionary offshoot in the form of Strom Thurmond's "Dixiecrats" who opposed Truman's liberal domestic reforms, not the least of which were efforts to end segregation and Jim Crow laws in the south. Wallace and the Progressive party (who Peretz claims was formed by Stalinist agents in the US), also favored more sweeping social reforms than Truman along with a more conciliatory approach to the USSR. While it's true that both Lamont and Wallace can be considered dovish in foreign affairs, other important political considerations were on the table in 1948 that make for a weak analogy.

The McGovern analogy is more appropriate because both McGovern and Lamont can accurately be called "one issue" candidates. Yes, I know McGovern was for a more robust welfare state than Nixon, but let's face it; the big issue of the day was Vietnam, and Nixon was pretty liberal himself with his domestic agenda. McGovern wanted unilateral withdrawal, much as Lamont is calling for now in Iraq. On other foreign affairs issues it appears Lamont is simply issuing platitudes and empty rhetoric such as this bit dealing with Iran pointed out by Peretz:
"We should work diplomatically and aggressively to give them reasons why they don't need to build a bomb, to give them incentives. We have to engage in very aggressive diplomacy. I'd like to bring in allies when we can. I'd like to use carrots as well as sticks to see if we can change the nature of the debate."
Geeze. That sure is reassuring. And how about his domestic agenda? What does he offer for Connecticut other than the lame campaign promise that he won't spend as much time in Washington as Lieberman(!)?

The Lanny Davis piece is more directly related to the blogosphere and the "netroots" Lamont advocacy. He gives examples of comments from lefty blogs such as Daily Kos and Huffington Post, which he describes with this rather dramatic comparison:
This kind of scary hatred, my dad used to tell me, comes only from the right wing--in his day from people such as the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy, with his tirades against "communists and their fellow travelers." The word "McCarthyism" became a red flag for liberals, signifying the far right's fascistic tactics of labeling anyone a "communist" or "socialist" who favored an active federal government to help the middle class and the poor, and to level the playing field.
The quotes provided by Davis, as well as things I've heard from his boosters around the blogosphere seem to imply he is right about the tactics of the Lamont brigades. It's a bit strange to hear someone like Lieberman, who until now has been considered a liberal/progressive Senator, being called a neocon and Bush shill. Not only that, but the words "reasonable" and "sensible" are regularly being tossed out as epithets and centrist Democrats who worry the party make be moving too far left and express such opinions on lefty blogs are called concern trolls.

Of course it's still too early to tell what the Connecticut race means for national politics; as of this writing nobody even knows who will win. Some have suggested that it means very little because Connecticut is already such a blue state that it can't legitimately be characterized as a microcosm of the national stage. However, I can't help but feeling that a Lamont win will energize the progressive netroots for the upcoming elections in November, and depending how well their candidates do then, we may end up in 2008 with a McGovern redux.

Update: Ace of Spades also has a post commenting on the Lanny Davis piece. Responding to Davis:
Welcome to the party, Pal. And I don't mean that in a nasty way. I just mean, well, yeah, you are finally getting a taste of what so many others have been seeing and documenting for so long.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

More Suspicious Photos from Adnan Hajj

This picture on the right is something Hajj just happened to stumble upon after and Israeli bombing raid. That's right, it's a Koran burning. What are the chances of him finding something like that to photograph? More than likely it's staged. I don't see how that's any better than photoshopping smoke. Is it really reporting on events when the photographer himself creates the news? (h/t Ace)

Left, another that's suspected of being one of his smoke tricks. The trails coming from the flares seem to have repeating sections, much like the photoshopped smoke over Beirut that got this mess started. It appears that smoke tricks may be one of this guy's specialties. h/t The Jawa Report

Reuters Wire Photos Under Fire

Beginning yesterday, it came to the attention of various bloggers such as Little Green Footballs, Ace of Spades, Michelle Malkin, and others, that something just wasn't right about a photo from the Reuters news wire posted on Yahoo!. That's the picture up top. Well, after all the commotion in the blogosphere, Reuters finally "killed" the picture and explained that is had done so because "photo editing software was improperly used. Which, naturally, makes me wonder just what the proper use is. Hopefully that just means getting bugs off it or something. There are more updates coming in and the blogs are still buzzing so I will be updating as necessary. You can see a before/after animation here.

Update: Ace now reports that Adnan Hajj, the photograher responsible for the hideous photoshop, claims the reason he did it was to remove dust marks and he was also working in bad lighting conditions. Yeah, that's believeable.
LGF calls it the "worst excuse of the decade" and says this about Reuters:
Notice they don’t accept any of the blame themselves, even though any competent editor should have noticed the fraudulent nature of this photograph long before it reached the newswires.
Dan Riehl has found even more photos from Mr. Hajj that are mighty suspicious.

Bilby's Debut

Well, I've finally taken the plunge into the blogosphere. After spending a couple of months reading what other people have to say on their's it's only fitting that I now join in the conversation. I don't know yet how it will work out. Some of the things I've observed out there leave me a bit wary. I just hope I can keep it fun and interesting.