At the Risk of Being Churlish

My father died when he was 56–he was way too young to die, but he had lived a full life. And unlike Tim Russert’s family, we had 8 months’ notice that he was going to die, so we had the opportunity to put our relationships in order and say goodbye in a meaningful way.

My condolences go out to Russert’s family for this sudden and premature loss. I’m sorry.

But as to the media’ coverage of his death, I agree with John Cole

MSNBC has been running nothing but a 5 hour (and presumably it will go until 11 pm or beyond) marathon of Russert remembrance. CNN has done their due diligence, and Fox news has spent at least the last half hour talking non-stop about him.

But let’s get something straight- what I am watching right now on the cable news shows is indicative of the problem- no clearer demonstration of the fact that they consider themselves to be players and the insiders and, well, part of the village, is needed. This is precisely the problem. They have walked the corridors of power so long that they honestly think they are the story. It is creepy and sick and the reason politicians get away with all the crap they get away with these days.

Tim Russert was a newsman. He was not the Pope. This is not the JFK assassination, or Reagan’s death, or the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion. A newsman died. We know you miss him, but please shut up and get back to work.

Best as I remember, the only man or woman who died in Afghanistan or Iraq who got this kind of eulogy was Pat Tillman. Maybe. And we know that was based on a bunch of propagandistic bullshit spewed by the Pentagon (which doesn’t make Tillman’s sacrifice–or Tillman himself–any less honorable).

With about five exceptions, all the men and women who have died in George Bush’s wars have died before they turned 58–many of them at half that age. Many of them have young children they never saw grow up. Many of them never lived the full life that Tim Russert lived–except insofar as they served this country.

It seems that sacrifice–the men and women who died for this country–deserve at least this kind of tribute. 

170 replies
  1. MadDog says:

    You’ve capture my feelings/thoughts precisely. Ta EW!

    I certainly sympathize with the loss suffered by the family and friends of Tim and they have my condolences, but like you, the stark line I take away from the MSM Villagers, is a self-absorption that says “We matter, you don’t!”

  2. Rayne says:


    It has annoyed me all day that this man, who was supposed to be a journalist, became the story and far too often. Even now in death, when he was supposed to bring us the story, he’s the story.

    The last time we saw this kind of media frenzy was upon the death of his protege, David Bloom. He became the story instead of reporting it not at Bloom’s choice but at Russert’s and NBC’s election, when they focused on his death in those earliest days of the war instead of looking more carefully at why this country was in Iraq at all. At that stage of the war, we had not experienced many war-related casualties; the novelty of death consumed NBC and us as observers. But now we are heartily over this, and all these years later, it becomes really difficult not to attribute Bloom’s death to the failure of the media that rents its clothing and throws ashes today.

    To be succinct, the media indulges in auto-necrophagy to amuse itself and to change the subject. One can only wonder what news we are missing as they feast upon their dead.

  3. bmaz says:

    Bloom is interesting as an analogy. But my mind went towards Peter Jennings. Russert is getting more adulation and coverage than Jennings, and he was not 1/10th of the journalist/reporter, nor seminal media figure, that Jennings was. May he rest in peace nevertheless.

  4. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    When something happens this suddenly and unexpectedly, people behave differently than they do when they have time to ‘put their houses in order’. It’s human nature.

    That said, for the day, he is the story.
    And that says a fair amount about the times in which we live.
    Perhaps after being so appalled and revolted by the genuinely nasty, negative, demeaning conduct of Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh, I cut Russert a bit too much slack simply because contrasted with the loons at Faux, he seemed like a reasonably sane man.

    Your post, however, reflects your usual clear-sightedness and perspective.

  5. PetePierce says:

    With about five exceptions, all the men and women who have died in George Bush’s wars have died before they turned 58–many of them at half that age. Many of them have young children they never saw grow up. Many of them never lived the full life that Tim Russert lived–except insofar as they served this country.

    It seems that sacrifice–the men and women who died for this country–deserve at least this kind of tribute.

    I don’t know how you’d expect different. Less than 1% of people are involved in the fisacos in Iraq and Afghanistan. The only thing that’s ever going to stir the American consciousness about the deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan is an all out DRAFT. Congress lacks the balls for a draft and they lack the balls to stop the fiasco. Has anyone noticed the 26 permanant humongous mega-mall sized bases going up in Iraq? Only a draft is going to stir the consciousness of comatose Americans as to the problems with death by explosion (83% of them) in Iraq.

    How about the millions of displaced Iraqis (American consciousness “Yawn when is “Gossip Girl” on?) How about the thousands of Iraqi women turning tricks in Middle East countries because they can’t feed their fatherless kids? Condi Rice hasn’t lifted a Manolo Blahniqued Jimmy Chooed toe to get off her ass to allow but a handful of Iraqis refuge in this country.

    I’m sorry on a family level for Vanity Fair writer Maureen Orth, Russert’s wife, Luke Russert, and Tim Senior. As far as a journalist, despite the prattling crap of equally poor journalists on MSNBC and CNN, Russert was a failure who never asked the questions he should have.

    You can expect the memorial service to Russert to rival the lengthof time as the lulapaloozaganza that we saw for the Pope and Ronnie Raegan that dragged on for a week.

    You can learn more from the reruns of CSI Miami or Criminal Minds.

    • Leen says:

      Great points. Hell 10% of the Iraqi population has been displaced due to our invasion, over 2 million are dead due to invasions and sanctions.
      We don’t count how many have been injured. Do most Americans care? Hell No! Ir ia all too evident and this is why so many people around the world fear and hate us. They have very good reasons.

      Our country needs to join the 12 step program. Admit our wrongs, face our collective addictions and how they effect the rest of the world and try to change. Try hard. Will it happen? Only time will tell.

      I think honest history books will describe the majority of Americans the very same way that history books describe those who sat by as millions were slaughtered by the Hitler regime. People will wonder why so many American people sat idly by and let these Bush administration crimes take place.

        • Leen says:

          You bet your ass folks are wondering and fearing. Will we be next? Do we have anything the Americans want or just have to have?

      • ACitizen says:

        Well, put.

        Tim Russert was the enemy. A liar, a manipulator and a useful tool for the war criminals who lead our nation.

        From Cheney, to Bush and now to Pelosi and Dean and Obama our entire political aristocracy is rotten to it’s core and it’s paid synchophants such as Russert that help to make it all possible.

        As my mother useta, and still does, say,’

        ‘Good riddance to bad rubbish.’

          • Leen says:

            With you. Thought some of the “dancing on his grave” during EW’s last post was out of line and oh so unnecessary. But heh some of us are just peasants here trying to drift through some of the brilliant minds here. But the trashing of Russert is out of line at this point.

        • emptywheel says:

          Agree with Petrocelli

          This post was not an invitation to trash Russert. Say what you will–next year. But he was a father and a husband and he meant a lot to a lot of people–and those people deserve our respect today. I’m calling for greater respect for many more people–not calling for disrespect for Russert.

          • Petrocelli says:

            Marcy, my nephew is on his nth tour in Iraq and everytime I get a call from the U.S., I cringe.
            I don’t approve of what BushCo are doing over there, but I do wish that all our sons and daughters, nieces and nephews come home safely …

          • PetePierce says:

            I was careful to make the distinction that as a husband, father, and son and friend to many people Russert is a profound loss. As a paradigm shifting incisive news personality, the way he is desultorily being portrayed since early this afternoon on MSNBC, he certainly was not. We have prima donnas on TV for the most part, and very few real journalists or even people who have had legititmate journalism training.

            And as for the sacrifices in putting on MTP versus getting blown up in Iraq (and the reference was made in the blog), I don’t see much in the way of similarities. The real journalists who are doing sacrificing are like Richard Engel, Times, NYT, and many other media outlets’ permanat people in places like Iraq.

            What was significant in most any issue and line of questioning covered on MTP was what Russert did not ask, and none of the talking heads around the table mentioned. Mary Matlin’s blathering has been an insult to this country and an extension of Addington, Bush, Cheney and Libby for the eight years she has been on that show.

            • Leen says:

              “Yes the reference was made in the blog” And John Cole who was referenced was indirectly trahsing Russert. Thought this was a bit premature

      • PetePierce says:

        There are some similarities to the indifference. You remember of course that it took Pearl Harbor to get Roosevelt into WWII. He had Jewish cabinet members begging him to get involved with irrefutable evidence of the Holocaust and Hillary Clintonista Harold Ickes’ father blocking the way to talk to Roosevelt about saving the Jews.

        • Leen says:

          Save 6 million Jews, 3 million Poles and over a million gypsies and handicapped. Lets not forget these folks that the Hitler regime slaughtered.

          • Petrocelli says:

            I had dinner a few weeks back with some friends and met two Holocaust survivors … it was so amazing the connection between them and me that their kids remarked that we are kindred spirits …

            • Leen says:

              Remembering the Holocuast is critical and talking with Holocaust survivors is mind altering. My only objection to talking about the Holocaust is that it is so important to include all of those who were so brutally slaughtered.

              And when we take this a step forward and examine and reflect upon the many genocides that have taken place during the last century and then look at the ones taking place right now it is overwhelming and depressing.

              Did the Bush administration plan a systematic genocide of the Iraqi people (not directly at the hands of American soldiers) but indirectly knowing that Shiites would go after the Sunnis and visa versa. Did all of the mistakes (were they mistakes) the too few troops, the allowing the looting of Iraqi historical sites while protecting oil sites, the disbanding of the Iraqi army, the torture etc etc, the 4 million Iraqi refugees. Were these mistakes or a systematic way to take over Iraq?

              My friend Peggy Gish who is back in Iraq for her 7th time since the winter before the invasion believes this is true. She began to believe this after hearing so many Iraqi people say this and then watching so called mistake after mistake. Peggy’s group the Christian Peace Maker Team was the first group of individuals to interview and record detainees from Abu Gharib and family members in the summer of 2003. They took and offered these reports to U.S. military offcials early on and were sent away. Sy Hersh and others did use some of the reports written up by the CPT team early on.

              Is Iraq a present time example of a systematic genocide? I think so. Bush Cheney and their psychopathic crew need to be held accountable for their war crimes

              • Petrocelli says:

                My people (India) were enslaved within their own borders for most of the pat 2000 years, yet today, they choose democracy over any other form of governance because although it is not perfect, it is the least corruptible.
                History has seen many Holocausts and we owe it the respect of trying those criminals of our day, for their heinous crimes … are you listening, Pelosi ?

                • PetePierce says:

                  Did you catch this story? Some people I know fled India because of the cruelty and No Exit paradigm of the cast system and deplore dictators (one left because of them) who control some of the Indian states. I’ll readily admit I don’t have first hand knowledge of India but the India that Tom Friedman writes about in The World is Flat and the India where the cast system is rigid and your genes screw you to the wall are hard to reconcile.

                  • Petrocelli says:

                    The caste system is dead in large cities like Delhi and Bombay and even smaller cities.

                    Sadly, it is the uneducated, lower castes who hold onto the caste system as strongly as those who use it to keep them underfoot.

              • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

                Hey, if she writes at, I think that I’ve read some of her reports.
                They’re more chilling than I can even begin to describe.

                • Leen says:

                  You can google Peggy’s name and read about the work that she has done and continues to do as well as the work of the Christian Peace maker team. Peggy is about as close to a saint as I think I will ever meet, no ego focused on her work for others. A real “walk the talk” kind of Christian. What an example she is. You can google Peggy Gish at the Soul of Athens (can not link from this computer) and watch a video of her speaking about being kidnapped in Iraq. She was kidnapped for three days in Iraq ( we were asked by her and her husband Art Gish not to talk about this to others until she was ready to talk about it herself to the public.) At one point during her capture (after wrestling with terror and the fear of death) Peggy turned to one of her black hooded captors looked into this young mans eyes and told him that what ever happenned she would forgive him because of her belief in forgiveness and the example of Jesus (I am not churchy and if anyone could get me to be churchy it wouldbe Peggy). They let her go the next day after telling her that she reminded them of their mothers.

                  Peggy has gone back to Iraq twice after that. She is there now.

          • IntelVet says:

            It was over 20 million slaughtered in concentration camps alone, of which 6 million, about a third, were Jews. Read Mein Kampf to see the real horror, the classification of those from eastern Europe, gypsies as well as Jews as sub-human. Those concerned with the extermination of the Jews many times appear to want the attention on themselves, when it was the wholesale extermination that should cause grave concern. It is the apparent unwillingness to believe something so horrific could be practiced by their own government, just like the US treats the “rag-heads” in the Middle East as something sub-human, whose deaths are not even worth a second look. It is the way the warmongers of Israel treat the Palestinians, just a simple step away from the way Nazis treated Jews.

            It is not over.

            • PetePierce says:

              The vast majority of Israelis since 1948 have never chosen to be war mongers and it is way off the mark to characterize Israel as Israeli warmongers although I don’t think your intent was to paint Israel with broad brush strokes.

              Any time you can tell me why Arafat had the opportunity to advance his people constructively and chose only to enrich the coterie of his homies, please be sure to inform me. This includes his slut of a wife whose behavior was reprehensible, particularly when he died, blackmailing people for access to the idiot’s body so she could shop in luxury Ritz Carlton as she had been doing for many years.

              A book that does an excellent job of capturing the crisis between the Israelis and Palestinians as well as being a compelling who done it is Richard North Patterson’s Exile.

              • PetePierce says:

                “blackmailing people for access to her husband’s body so she could shop in luxury on Rue de Honore in Paris, and play with her boytoys in the Paris Ritz Carlton as she did for years.”

                Arafat had a chance to develop education for his people, and while there are a number of very educated people who are Palestinians the vast majority of them wallow in squallor where Arafat left them and Hummas and Hezbollah embed/entrench them still.

                The vast majority near 99.99999% of Israeli strikes are in response to Palestinian bombs–always have been and always will be.

                • IntelVet says:

                  The vast majority near 99.99999% of Israeli strikes are in response to Palestinian bombs–always have been and always will be.

                  Believe what you want. I have lived there and would beg to differ, seeing a back and forth never even implied in the apparently sanitized American press.

                  and, you do not have a right to judge Arafat, or his wife. With all due respect, sir, you seem to be imposing your possibly inappropriate values on others. Let those ruled judge their own rulers. If Arafat had to power to befuddle Israeli “negotiators”, well, maybe Israel should get better negotiators.

              • Leen says:

                Comparing the Israeli leaders to Hitler is way out of line. But some of the methods being used to oppress the Palestinian people do reflect a systematic strategy similar to Apartheid. Yes Arafat fucked up but so have many Israeli leaders. (Sharon encouraged the expansion of illegal settlements) Israel does not seem to really want Peace. Otherwise they would agree to get back to the 67 border, sign the Non Proliferation treaty, share the water rights, atop the continued expansion of illegal settlements, share Jerusalem, build the wall on recognized Israeli territory etc etc.

                Many nations have recongnized Israel according to the 67 border.

                If Israel ever honored the Internationally recognized border. If this ever happenned and Palestinians continued to bomb the Internationally recognized country of Israel I would be all for the International punishing the Palestinians. But as it is I don’t believe Israel wants Peace, I belive they are obly after expanding their borders and influence at all cost.

                • IntelVet says:

                  Somebody actually “gets it”.

                  Thank you…

                  and, I have yet to see anyone compare Israeli leadership to Nazi. I do think they are one step away, however.

                  • Leen says:

                    Former President Jimmy Carter really gets it. AS well as NOrman Finkelstein and Bishop Tutu. Have you read Carter’s latest “Palestine Peace; Not Apartheid”? Worth the time

                    • IntelVet says:

                      Indeed. Excellent.

                      Like Bill Clinton, Jimmy seemed dissed by the village from the outset, yet I have always thought Jimmy was one of the very few who always put other people first, taking great pleasure only when fellow team members distinguished themselves. A true leader.

                    • PetePierce says:

                      The systemically inaccurate premise of Carter’s book so enraged his long time Carter center Middle East Advisor and longtime close friend of Roslyn and Jimmy that Ken Stein who helps head up Israel and Middle Eastern studies at Emory University resigned from the Carter Center staff. About 50 history/ply science/Middle Eastern experts who are proffs at Emory took out full paged adds in major newspapers detailing the panoply of inaccuracies in Carter’s book.

                      Carter Book on Israel ‘Apartheid’ Sparks Bitter Debate
                      Scholar Resigns From Atlanta Carter Center

                      a href=””>Ken Stein, William E. Schatten Professor of Contemporary Middle Eastern History and Israeli Studies, Director, Middle East Research Program Emory University

                      Institute for the Study of Modern Israel
                      of Emory University

                      A large number of professors resigned from any connection with the Carter Center on publication of the grossly inaccurate book.

                    • IntelVet says:

                      As many posters have been saying all along, many times it is hard to handle the truth, to find your core beliefs a lie.

                      It is also a part of human experience to experience denial, react and, eventually, come to terms with their new reality.

                      Taking “sides”, in this case, will be found to be a mistake, one of many we all make as we grow. Gently nudging all parties to a eventual solution is all we can expect. Demonizing any party will only delay a solution.

                      I have usually found that terrorist activities arise almost always when someone feels disenfranchised in some way. Find a way for them to re-enfranchise themselves, to “own” something worth protecting, be it a daughter/son, a family, a city or country. Make it something they can be proud of, that will demand non-violent behavior.

                      I have always said, force Israel to set up solar panel manufacturing plants and by extension, solar energy plants in Palestine and make Israel buy energy from the Palestinians. Give Palestinians something adult to be proud of and they will be your best friend, they will go out of their way to police those tending to violence. A much cheaper way to security.

                    • PetePierce says:

                      As I said, get back to me when you’re read the Richard North Patterson book you can pick up for 6 bucks. I’ve spent considerable time following Israel-Palestinian relations for years.

                      Let me know how you’d handle s missle directed into the epicenter of your next cocktail party or your kid’s school as Israeli’s have had to handle for years and years unprovoked.

                      The Palestinians have had multiple invitations to shake free of parties like Hamas and Hezbelloah who keep them down and they have continued to decline.

                      You might consider going to Gaza and living though, if you think you know how to fix things.

                    • PetePierce says:

                      Nobody has the right nor can make Israel do any of this. They are a soverign nation same as yours is if you live in the Bannana Republic US.

                      Arafat squandered all opportunities and selfishly spent the money that could have educated his people and established Rule of Law. We don’t have Rule of Law in the US either and haven’t for a long time. It was pissed away by chickenshit pricks and prickesses in the DOJ.
                      And it’s very easy for you to calmly Rx for Israel because no one is lobbying bombs and missles into your shopping centers, your kid’s school, your friends’ weddings or public transportation in your city.

                      I’d work on getting the Arab nations like Jordan and Saudi Arabia and the oil rich kingdoms to get off their collective asses and broker peace.

                    • IntelVet says:

                      You, sir, have no idea where I live. Admittedly sporadic explosions and gunfire is a part of my locale.

                      Rocket attacks in Israel are considered a nuisance by residents and propagandized externally as a great burden. F-16s violating Palestinian airspace cause most to dive for cover, each time, whether shooting or not.

                      Who is the terrorist?

                    • Leen says:

                      Lots of reports at Amnesty Interantional and other recognized organizations that support what Carter claimed in his book.

                      Here is a report (can not link from this computer) from the U.S. State Dempartments website ” Israel and the Occupied territories” Feb26, 2005

                      The Government generally respected the human rights of its citizens; however, there were problems in some areas. Some members of the security forces abused Palestinian detainees. Conditions in some detention and interrogation facilities remained poor. During the year, the Government detained on security grounds but without charge thousands of persons in Israel. (Most were from the occupied territories and their situation is covered in the annex.) The Government did little to reduce institutional, legal, and societal discrimination against the country’s Arab citizens. The Government did not recognize marriages performed by non-Orthodox rabbis, compelling many citizens to travel abroad to marry. The Government interfered with individual privacy in some instances.

                      # Keep in mind that this is one of the reports that the U.S. Dept was willing to post at their website. There are far more serious and devestating reports that I have read put out by the UN and Amnesty INternational that factually slam Israel for what is taking place in regard to the Palestinians.

                      These reports often confirm much of what I hear from a dear friend Art Gish who has traveled to Israel at least 15 times
                      and spent a great deal of time (months) when he is there living with the Palestinians. He has personally witnessed outrageous and criminal treatment of Palestinian children and adults.

                      As Former President Jimmy Carter, Professor Finkelstein, Bishop Tutu presently repeat and many others have said in the past. Until the U.S. deals with this situation in a more fair and balanced way the violence in the middle east will continue and grows.


                    • PetePierce says:

                      Next time in a bookstore grab Carter’s book and take 120 seconds to skim his chapters mischaracterizing Israel.

                      You’re uncharacteristically over-reacting to a comment I made when someone praised Carter’s book advancing Israeli apatheid. I know Carter and his wife and I appreciate many unselfish things they’ve done. I’ve been at a number of his gatherings and turned him onto Bill James the baseball legend who isnow a Red Socks staff member and gave him his first of many Bill James books. Carter is a huge baseball fan. I just don’t happen to agree with his book, and neither does every Middle Eastern expert who were longtimes staffers helping him collect and context exhibits for the Carter center (which is a great collection of history that a lot of people miss).

                      So you disagree with comments often, and sometimes I do but that doesn’t mean I’m on a crusade.

                      It will be interesting to see however if the Clintons ever unpack that suitcase of

                      2007 tax returns
                      Foundation financials and contributors
                      Library contributors

                      I’m betting they never do, and I think that it hurt them and will continue to diminish the influence and careers of both hundred millionaire Clintons. I don’t expect Hillary to be anything like the impact that Teddy Kennedy has been on the Senate, and she certainly is not going to be majority leader for the next 15 years if ever.

                      Russert never went into it, but at least he and KO were making what I just referenced above a fixture on their shows without dwelling on it. They at least made passing reference to these items, that are among the great uninvestigated stories of contemporary American journalism.

                      I expect some books will get into it the way Todd Purdom, Dee Dee Myers husband, started to in this month’s Vanity Fair.

                      The Comeback Id: Bubba Trouble

                    • bobschacht says:

                      “Next time in a bookstore grab Carter’s book and take 120 seconds to skim his chapters mischaracterizing Israel.
                      You’re uncharacteristically over-reacting to a comment I made when someone praised Carter’s book advancing Israeli apatheid.”

                      This is an unfortunate statement. I admire Carter enormously for having the courage to say that most people are afraid to say because of the spectre of A*P*C. I don’t think he mischaracterizes Israel at all. And I find “Carter’s book advancing Israeli apatheid” rather astonishing. Carter is not by any means advocating apartheid; he chose his words quite carefully and, I think, appropriately. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, and so I think he knows something about the matter.

                      Anyone who looks honestly at what Israel has done to slice and dice the Palestinian homeland into tiny segments cut off from each other deserves the characterization of apartheid in exactly the terms Carter used.

                      I hope that Obama reads Carter’s book, and listens carefully to him.

                      Bob in HI

                    • PetePierce says:

                      Hamass and Hezbelloh are to blame for the slicing and dicing and crushing of the Palestinians. They have both professed to wanting to annihilate the jews. The characterization of apartheid was by Carter’s 35 year friend Ken Stein who along with several others of Carter’s long time friends who are middle eastern scholars resigned from the Carter Center and severed their ties with Carter and denounced his book.

                      They know a bit about the Middle East having made a life of being distinguished professors of Middle Eastern studies and having written their own books.

                      The Nobel prize is often political and over rated, particularly when it comes to politicians in contrast to scientists who actually do work long hours day in and day out for many years to get there.

                      The choice to trash the Palestinian people has always been self inflicted, perpetuated by Hamass, Iran, Syria, and many Arabs in the Middle East.

                      In the last eight years, the trend has been perpetuated by two morons, Bush and Rice.

                    • bobschacht says:

                      “Hamass and Hezbelloh are to blame for the slicing and dicing and crushing of the Palestinians. “

                      This is a bit like saying that Saddam Hussein is to blame for the U.S. invasion of Iraq, or that the Comanche and Apache are to blame for the Indian Wars that led to the confinement of Native American tribes to reservations.

                      I won’t bother to debate any more with you on this subject, because your mind is made up and it seems clear that you have little knowledge of Palestinian life. I’ll just share one more thing: Back during the presidency of LBJ, I spent 3 months living in a Palestinian village in Occupied Jordan, on an archaeological dig. I also spent time with an Israeli friend of my brother who was on the faculty at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I am quite familiar with vehemence on both sides of the fence, and that was long before the situation deteriorated to the present state of affairs. I don’t care to participate in debates where there is no listening or genuine dialog.

                      Bob in HI

                    • PetePierce says:

                      This is a bit like saying that Saddam Hussein is to blame for the U.S. invasion of Iraq, or that the Comanche and Apache are to blame for the Indian Wars that led to the confinement of Native American tribes to reservations.

                      Not even remotely, Bob, and trying to evoke absurdities and ascribe them to me does little to advance your cause. I’m going to assume no one is lobbying missles into your weddings and schools in Hawaii, and the closest danger comes to you there is on the set of LOST.

                      I listen despite your claims I don’t, and I butress my posts with facts. I’m amazed at the ignorance of Americans as to Roosevelt’s chickenshitted stance for about 6 years and their claims that the Jews are at the root of the ignorance, squalor and destructive demeanor of those in power who control Palestinians.

                      I don’t think it’s escaped you, but your idiot Administration has done a lot to exacerbate the situation that has fucked the Palestinians.

                      I never cease to be amazed at the people who think Israel is instigating violence.

                      Again, I urge you to read the fictional book that will help remind you of what you learned when you were in the occupied village in Jordan. BTW I haven’t seen any constructive efforts towards resolving peace between Israel and Palestinians from the King of Jordan and his trophy wife who allow their people to rot in absolute squalor while they command billions.

                      Correct me if I’m wrong, but this Royal Blood doesn’t seem to either behave differently as to oxyhemablobin dissociation nor do the RBC’s have corpuscles with fucking little crowns on them.

                    • IntelVet says:

                      Isreal is responsible for splitting up Palestine into little units, not Hamas nor Hezbelloh. While extremists have made comments about “death to jews”, the organizations themselves simply want regime change, considering the Jewish religious group to be brothers. The Israeli state could learn a lot from their brothers.

                      You should try living in Palestine some time. Seeing it from their eyes, for once. Walking in their shoes. Learn about Hezbelloh (your spelling). From knowledge comes freedom from fear. It sounds like you have a lot of fear.

                      about the “missiles”. The average Israeli has a much greater chance of dying from an auto accident than even being close to a “missile” impact. The Israeli government’s stance on this will guarantee no winners, ever.

                    • Leen says:

                      Was well aware of Kenneth Stein’s resignation at the time, he received a disproportionate amount of air time for that resignation (hmmmm). During one of his interviews on NPR this is what he said in response to a question of Apartheid and the Palestinians situation

                      Q: A layman might look, though, at some of the facts, and let’s emphasize some of the facts, here, and say, “well we’ve got this area, it’s under Israeli occupation (that’s the United Nations definition), you’ve got barriers, you’ve got segregated communities, you’ve got segregated highways connecting those communities to one another, why not call it ‘apartheid’?” A layman might ask that question.

                      A: A layman would have every right to ask that question. But that doesn’t mean, if it looks like a duck and it smells like a duck and quacks like a duck, that it’s a duck.

                      #### Pete it’s a “duck” no matter how many times Stein and others in chosen denial want to call it something else.

                      If it loolks like apartheid and it smells like apartheid and quacks like apartheid…it is more than likely apartheid.

                      #####by the way Stein was one of 14 who resigned out of 200 board members. That means 186 stayed.

                      Carter was relentlessly attacked by Abe Foxman, the Camera and many other right wing radical Jewish groups who do not want an honest dialogue about this issue. Campus Watch (rhe right wing radical Daniel Pipes orgnaizataion) did everything they could to keep Jimmy Carter from speaking on college campuses. They were successful in some instances

                      Real Democratic

          • PetePierce says:

            You’re right; not one of the casualties should be forgotten nor the many compelling stories of the morbidity in the wake of what happened for the dead, and those surviving these long tragic parts of their lives.

            • Leen says:

              And for 50 years our media only mentions Jews who were brutally murdered. this is a dis-service to all of the others who were brutally murdered by the Hitler criminals

              • PetePierce says:

                You’ll certaily get nothing but agreement from me on all these posts. I have a collection of excellent books analyzing WWII, and the development of the atom bomb, and with everything else going on I try to make myself revisit them.

        • Sara says:

          “There are some similarities to the indifference. You remember of course that it took Pearl Harbor to get Roosevelt into WWII. He had Jewish cabinet members begging him to get involved with irrefutable evidence of the Holocaust and Hillary Clintonista Harold Ickes’ father blocking the way to talk to Roosevelt about saving the Jews.”

          Pierce you are nuts. FDR was not indifferent. The first evidence we have for his circle having first reports on the Holocaust date to late February and early March of 1942, and these were unconfirmed. Remember Wannsee was in mid December of 1941, a few weeks after Pearl Harbor. Wannsee is the decision point.

          Ickes the Elder, FDR’s Secretary of Interior for 12 plus years. Prior to that, Progressive going back to Cousin Teddy’s Bull Moose Party, when he organized Chicago on those terms. Co-Founder of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom with Jane Addams. Yes let’s really misrepresent progressives of the past. No — Ickes did organize the Japanese Internment Camps, because they were put in national Parks or other lands he controlled through his department, but he always opposed the policy. Only Cabinet Member who wrote a diary every day of his life –easy to discover what he thought of the Japanese internement policy.

          But back to the claim that FDR was indifferent. Like Hell…

          FDR managed to use about 80% of the existing Austrian/German Quota for Jews between 1937 and 1941. He did not ask for an expansion of the Quota or a change in immigration law because he was a pragmatist — if the law was opened up to amendment, it would become more restrictive in that 80% of the American Electorate wanted no quota and/no migration. Congress looked at the voters. Between the Quota and those getting access over the Quota, about a third of German/Austrian Resident Jews as of 1933 had migrated to the US by 1940. There were no American or Palestianian Jewish Groups as of the late 30’s or early 40’s which supported FDR attempting to change the law or the Quota, as they understood the risk of loss of the existing quota, (and over the Quota systems) which in 1940 was about 40 thousand per year, once you factor in the over the Quota cases. And FDR was not all that interested in Fu&*ing the Constitution as to who made law.

          If you need references, read Robert N. Rosen’s “Saving the Jews: Franklin Roosevelt and the Holocaust” 2006, and William D Rubinstein, “The Myth of Rescue: Why the Democracies could not have saved more Jews from the Nazi’s” Routledge, 1997. In Fact, FDR did everything he could do within the confines of American Law and the Constitution, and then he stretched it in places. The FDR Indifference Claim is Right Wing Hooey, and Arthur M Schlesinger has some interesting comments on this tendency in his Journals which were recently published.

          FDR had been attempting to engage against Hitler since 1937. He led a country that was isolationist and neutral. He won the vote to keep the draft in place (so as to have an army) by one vote in the late summer of 1941. In August 1941 he won a vote to extend Lend-Lease to Russia by a handful of votes, with about half the congress (mostly Republicans) absent.

          Look at the actual history, and then do your indifference dance.

          • PetePierce says:

            Pierce you are nuts. FDR was not indifferent…But back to the claim that FDR was indifferent. Like Hell…

            Actually Sara I don’t need your flawed, patently false references, and I don’t need your fake M.D. that enables you to diagnose with a 2 second keyboard and mouse degree.

            Thanks for your references Sara, and I’m always in awe of seasoned M.D./clinicians like yourself who have treated thousands of patients over the years. Some of us had to earn the M.D., do the residency years, and see patients for years the hard way. You got your M.D. on the cheap with a keyboard and a mouse in a couple seconds.

            Documents that Presidential historian Michael Beschloss accumulated, including those from the FBI and the Soviet Union that he spent years collecting as a Roosevelt and Presidential scholar belie your on the fly claims.

            No doubt your clinical acumen extends to the Roosevelt experts who wrote the books below I read, most of whom were Guggenheim fellows and have been distinguished profs in political science or history at well known universities.

            I know I need to read more Sara, but work gets in the way. If you had to read just one book while you’re claiming your amature M.D. and clinical experience diagnosing nuts, I’m going to help you.

            The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler’s Germany, 1941-1945 (Hardcover)

            Drawing on thousands of previously unreleased documents, secret audio recordings, private diaries, and other information recently made available, Beschloss details the complex diplomacy between the Allied leaders, including their differences over whether to demand Germany’s unconditional surrender; how, if at all, to divide Germany after the war; and how to effectively punish Germany without creating the kind of resentment that led to the rise of Hitler.The book also deals with Roosevelt’s reluctance to deal with Germany’s systematic extermination of the Jews, and the role that his old friend and Treasury Secretary, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., played in pushing the President into action.

            Chapter 5 of Beschloss’ Book: The Terrible Silence

            Franklin Roosevelt began receiving information as early as 1942, under the veil of “secrecy” that Hitler was carrying out threats “to annihilate the Jewish race.”…One might have expected Roosevelt to have gone on radio and told Americans in stirring language exactly what his government was learning about Nazi death camps…But Roosevelt made no such speech…Instead through at least the early months of 1944, the President’s refrences to the subject were vague and seldom.

            When Wise (Rabbi Wise the President of the American Jewish Congress) asked Roosevelt to tell the world about Hitler’s war against the Jews, and stop it, Roosevelt replied that while his government knew many of the facts, it was hard to know what to do.

            Pearl Harbor helped jog his memory.

            Although Roosevelt had seen concrete evidence of what the scholar Walter Laquer has called “Hitler’s terrible secret”, like many other Americans, like many other Americans including some Jewish leaders, he could not comprehend this was a crime unlike any other in world history, the systemic effort to murder an entire people…

            You’re certainly entitled to your psychiatric evaluations as well, and I’m sure your extensive clinical experience seeing patients for years every day helps butress the legitimacy of your diagnoses. I’m in awe of your medical prowess, and know if I needed help with 5 GSW’s hit the doors ole Sara would be ready to dig in with aplomb.

            While I was not a member of Roosevelt’s staff, or born then, I have taken a lot of time to read and collect decent books that centered on FDR prior to WWII, during it, and after.

            It seems that the authors of these books, and everyone of my history profs and poly sci proffs agreed with my assessment and my high school history teacher first introduced me to the situation.

            So Dr. Sarah, “M.D.” has a lot of “nuts” diagnoses she? can float.

            The fact remains however that the United States and FDR were holocaust deniers for years and the other fact remains that if we go into a Borders, Barnes and Noble, or the university book store of your choice Sarah, let’s make it a good sized one like the one Marcy has in Ann Arbor, I can start whipping books off the shelf and they will all agree
            with me.

            So Dr. Sarah, “M.D” can use her extensive clinical experience to label them with a DSMIV diagnosis of “nuts” as well.

            I’d up the quality of your library or reading list Sara. A big comfortable chair at a Borders while they are still a company can do it.

            Here’s some help. Be sure to write the publishers and the authors and tell them they are nuts, and many of them who have spent their adult lives as Roosevelt scholars will be grateful for your clinical insights.

            Amazon these Sara–I don’t have time to link them right now. I’m Raid Arraying a box. I’m also looking at these right now and every one of them contradicts directly what you just claimed.

            The Conquerors: Roosevelt, Truman and the Destruction of Hitler’s Germany, 1941-1945 by Michael Beschloss

            Michael Beschloss, NBC News Presidential Historian

            A New York Times bestseller, The Conquerors reveals how Franklin Roosevelt’s and Harry Truman’s private struggles with their aides and Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin affected the unfolding of the Holocaust and the fate of vanquished Nazi Germany.

            With monumental fairness and balance, The Conquerors shows how Roosevelt privately refused desperate pleas to speak out directly against the Holocaust, to save Jewish refugees and to explore the possible bombing of Auschwitz to stop the killing. The book also shows FDR’s fierce will to ensure that Germany would never threaten the world again. Near the end of World War II, he abruptly endorsed the secret plan of his friend, Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, to reduce the Germans to a primitive existence — despite Churchill’s fear that crushing postwar Germany would let the Soviets conquer the continent. The book finally shows how, after FDR’s death, President Truman rebelled against Roosevelt’s tough approach and adopted the Marshall Plan and other more conciliatory policies that culminated in today’s democratic, united Europe.

            Kenneth S. Davis, Life Long Roosevelt Scholar Diagnosed “Nuts” by Sarah and her newly acquired M.D.

            Davis was awarded the prestigious Francis Parkman Prize in 1973 for his book FDR: The Beckoning of Destiny, which was also a nominee for the National Book Award. In addition, his next two volumes on Roosevelt were both chosen as among the ten best books of the year by The New York Times. Davis was also a Guggenheim Fellow in 1974.

            Sara decided to try her new amature M.D. out and diagnosed Davis nuts on 6/14/08. The world is abuzz.

            After the Darkness: Reflections on the Holocaust
            By Elie Wiesel

            FDR The War President by Kenneth S. Davis

            FDR Into the Storm 1937-1940 by Kenneth S. Davis

            Dwight D. Eisenhower: Soldier of Democracy (ISBN 0-7567-6051-8, 2004) (reissue)
            FDR: The Beckoning of Destiny, 1882-1928 (ISBN 0-9650867-6-3, 2004) (Francis Parkman Prize Edition)
            FDR: New York Years (ISBN 0-394-51671-0, 1985)
            FDR: The New Deal Years (ISBN 0-394-52753-4, 1986)
            FDR: Into the Storm, 1937-1940 (ISBN 0-679-41541-6, 1993)
            FDR: The War President, 1940-1943 (ISBN 0-679-41542-4, 2000)

            A Time for War by Robert Smith Thompson

            A Long Days Journey Into War December 7, 1941 by Stanley Weintraub

            Roosevelt’s Secret War: FDR and WWII Espionage
            by Joseph E. Persico

            A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II by Gerhard L. Weinberg

            Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Rpiv Friendship by Jon Meacham

            The New Dealers: Power Politics in the Age of Roosevelt by Jordan A. Schwarz

            The Borrowed Years 13-1941 America on the Way to War
            Richard R. Ketchum

            The Story of World War II: Donald L. Miller and Henry Steele Commager

      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        People will wonder why so many American people sat idly by and let these Bush administration crimes take place.

        Leen, on the previous thread @ 16, JThomason makes a comment that, IMHO, is absolutely brilliant — in a technically complex society, regulatory law came to overshadow legislative law.

        In my state (Washington), we have two main types of law: legislative and administrative.
        RCWs: Revised Code of Washington — created via the legislature
        WACSs: Washington Administrative Code — ‘laws’ created via state agencies, and overseen by the governor.

        This separation into ‘two kinds of law’ is consistent at every city, county, state and federal government that I’m aware of. But with rare exceptions, the media only cover ‘legislative law’ — only in rare exceptions, like the Torture Memos and Siegelman prosecution — do we get a peek behind the curtains of government to see what kinds of ‘administrative laws’ have been created in the dark, outside the view of most of the public and the media.

        IMHO, this is partly due to the visual nature of teevee.
        It’s also due to the naivete of most reporters, and their lack of solid knowledge about the scruffy details of the processes, procedures, and personalities that actually enforce government regulations.
        … and then we have that other category, “Not. Regulated.” (mortgages, commodities markets, ’securitization’)…
        To restate my point: least a Congressional hearing “looks like” people talking; in pathetic contrast, an administrative law would “look like” someone sitting at a computer keyboard… How’s that gonna sell laundry soap and toothpaste?
        It isn’t.
        So it’s not presented in the news.
        So it’s invisible to most Americans.
        (And IMHO, it’s also ‘invisible’ to 80% of the reporters in the US, but I digress…)

        Yet for most businesses, the ‘action’ is in the regulations.
        Businesses don’t have to meet the specific, detailed criteria of a piece of legislation.
        Business have to comply with regulations.
        So that’s what they care about.

        They care who the mayor, the county executive, the governor, the preznit will be.
        Because those executives appoint the regulators.

        I’ve met biz guys who don’t give a rat’s ass what their legislators do.
        But they’ll flatten you to get closer to a county executive or a governor, and the golden tickets for them are: commission positions, and also influence on appointing department directors. That’s what they care about most of all.
        Because that’s who creates the rules they actually have to worry about meeting.

        Corporate interests care about regulatory structure far more than they care about other areas of government, and ideally they want the executive to be beholden to them and seek their advice in filling committee and commission positions — and department directors. Consequently, their dream is to control the executive branch — and its lock on administrative law. They’d be quite happy to subvert both the legislative and judiciary forms of power, because they don’t want to be hauled into court and they don’t want to have to testify in public.
        They like private meetings, private breakfasts, and private fundraisers.
        The HATE the media, unless it’s favorable to them.
        Otherwise, they absolutely abhor the idea of being in the media UNLESS it’s associated with a charitable event.
        The only branch of government they want to deal with is the executive branch, and they put in plenty of energy to make sure they’re as influential with that branch as possible.

        Any exec worth a damn can undercut their legislative branch; it happens every single day.
        And I have to hand it to Cheney (and even Bush) on that score. They have well and truly subverted the legislative branch, and have no qualms about also subverting the judiciary.

        JThomason @16 and LabDancer’s @35 on the previous thread are absolutely brilliant.

        I say that as someone who has watched environmental regs be gutted via the executive functions and administrative regs. The time, money, and energy required to oppose those kinds of ‘laws’ can be exhausting.

        Sorry if you know all this — and IIRC, you’ve worked in government. I don’t mean to patronize! Writing it all out helps me think a bit more clearly.

        But BushCheney are obviously ‘invested’ in telling the courts that they can’t even review the constitutionality of administrative laws.
        And Roberts, Scalia, Alito, and Thomas enable that corporatist agenda.

        What does any of this have to do with Russert and the press?
        Mostly that they cover the wrong damn topics.
        It takes a ton of skill and knowledge to do a good job of covering regulators, agencies, and regulations. That is extremely challenging work.
        And too little of it gets done.

        They gravitates toward the ‘visual’ — candidates kissing babies, ribbon cutting, ‘press conferences’, people exiting from airplanes, grown men strutting on aircraft carriers… meanwhile, somewhere in the bowels of a building, some bureaucat is deciding whether 1ppm of a pesticide triggers a ‘warning’, or whether 5 ppm will trigger it. Either way, if it’s a known carcinogen heading into the food supply… well… this is a long way of saying the press covers the bullshit and misses the story.

        That said, I’m still mawkishly sentimenal about Russert’s sudden passing. sigh…
        But the bottom line is that there’s too damn little reporting about regulatory appointments and activity — unless you read biz journals, or professional publications. And even then…

        Those comments on the prior thread are amazing.
        Sorry to rattle on at such appalling length here…

        • Leen says:

          Great points. Just wonder would the American people care about what is taking place in Iraq if the Russerts, Matthews etc really gave people the news straight up? I don’t know. Somehow the American people seem different more complacent, apathetic, comfortable than during Vietnam, although I did witness hundreds of thousands( millions accumulatively) before the invasion.

          Are we different or do people feel more beat down or are we closer to being spiritually and morally bankrupt than we were 40 years ago?

          • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

            No clear answers.
            I am, however, a huge admirer of George Soros.
            In his 2005 book, “The Age of Fallibility”, he points out that Americans since Reagan seem to assume that government would lie to them, and were seemingly untroubled.

            IMHO, much or our problems come down to too much info; the issues are so complex, events happen so fast, there is far more to learn/do/see/read in any given day than we can possibly hope to master that people feel overwhelmed and it shows as ‘passivity’.

            People kind of short circuit.
            And people with no experience making decisions and taking responsibility in a work, church, civic, or other social environment seem to feel ‘powerless’. The more people feel empowered, or experience responsibility, the louder they seem to be calling ‘bullshit!’.

            At least, that’s what I see.
            Which means that all Obama’s work in helping empower people may be having a transformative effect. If that’s the case, then that is yet another story the media is missing, and it has to do with personal growth at an individual level, but I don’t expect any clarity for another six months or more.

            I’ve seen this strikingly in several places: firedoglake, ew,, VoteVets, and the Obama campaign. And there’s no organizational coordination among most of those groups.

            (Obama’s campaign empowered individuals; Hillary’s, not so much.)

            IntelVet, thx for insight and calm phrasing.

        • bmaz says:

          You know, I saw that comment by JT on the previous thread and was taken by it as well. I have been saying for quite a while that the new administration is going to need some apparatchik/technocrat/bureaucrat masters to deal successfully, heck to deal at all, with what they are going to face. I don’t know if any incoming new administration has ever been handed a government so cheapened, broken, corrupted, corroded and lethally infused with mechanisms for even further destruction. It literally appears as if there is no facet that has not been so affected.

          This is also exactly why I have harped on the critical importance of who is appointed Attorney General. If there is a nationwide functioning nerve center of any presidential administration, it is the justice system and Department of Justice, if for no other reason than the fact that the FBI and US Attorneys are everywhere in every jurisdiction. Trust and efficiency must be restored there. And the things you, and JThompson have expanded on are all present in spades in the DOJ; I have heard things from folks in USA offices and the Bureau that, to my mind, indicate that things may be worse than even what we commonly discuss here. Mostly because these institutions have kind of historically propagated and renewed themselves from within with generations training and mentoring the next generation etc. There is now effectively a two generation gap that is missing and/or devoid of competence in the career ranks. The good people that were there before either left in disgust or were marginalized out of relevance, and the new generation (may be getting close to two at this point) are incompetents and Regent type plants. The very substrate we will need to turn it around is missing; and with civil service law, this will be very hard to remedy without a blow up fight with Goopers.

          It is for these reasons that I keep hawking Janet Napolitano; I am absolutely convinced that she has more of the experience, knowledge of bureaucracies, and people skills to overcome these deep set issues, and by a pretty big margin, than any other person on the radar for the job. I have watched her, known her in passing and seen her do the job quietly, efficiently and exceptionally with huge bureaucracies here. If it was a normal situation, it would not be so critical. Things at DOJ are not normal. Just having someone that is good on the issues, or thinks like we do, or that we admire, is not nearly enough right now. It is going to take that AND the ability to institute it top to bottom in a huge bureaucracy, and the people skills to quietly inspire their subordinates to get it done. Just a name or a vision ain’t going to cut it.

          • PetePierce says:

            I don’t know if any incoming new administration has ever been handed a government so cheapened, broken, corrupted, corroded and lethally infused with mechanisms for even further destruction. It literally appears as if there is no facet that has not been so affected.

            While many agencies are badly damaged, I don’t know of any more difficult and bigger task than the monumental need to repair Main Justice and it’s many sub-agencies in D.C. and vermin like this scumbag Rove tool Leura Canary this lying vindictive tool of Karl Rove Alice Martin.

            The Remarkable Recusal of Leura Canary

            Career Prosecutors Opposed Siegelman Case

            If Conyers hasn’t subpoenaed these two skanks and SJC hasn’t I don’t know why not.

            • bmaz says:

              I thought there was something being discussed with one or the other of the committees to do just that. What happened to that? Was it to be at the same time as Rove and just is in limbo?

          • MarkusQ says:

            Ditto on Janet Napolitano. I’d pretty much endorse her for any position in the next administration. Or anywhere else for that matter. Look what she did for the AZ executive branch (and to get the full impact, start by looking at what her predecessors had done to it).

            If you ever find yourself on the Titanic with Napolitano, getting her appointed captain ASAP is probably your smartest move.

            – MarkusQ

            • bmaz says:

              And she ran the AZ Attorney General’s Office and US Attorney’s Office just as well. I am not sure what “it” is, but she has got “it” when it comes to calmly and quietly getting all kinds of unruly forces to get into line and get going. Tough as nails ruthless efficiency coupled with charming, disarming warmth and compassion all in the same little package. I can only only hope that Obama has the sense to appoint her (and she did give him an extremely important early full endorsement that really helped him immensely) or not, but, I swear, if there is a human built to take on that overwhelming job, it is her.

              • MarkusQ says:

                I am not sure what “it” is, but she has got “it” when it comes to calmly and quietly getting all kinds of unruly forces to get into line and get going.

                In her case it seems to “find the facts, get a firm grip on them, and never let go.”

                Just like the old saw “you can’t cheat an honest man” it seems to be very hard to bamboozle someone who puts the facts first and lets everything else fall in line behind them.

                – MarkusQ

                  • strider7 says:

                    I don’t remember remembering to forget that I forgot to remember remembering it, right?
                    classic gonzo cyclical crypto bulshit

          • strider7 says:

            I sure do admire the way you can spot that one glittering grain of sand in the dung heap of this gov.

          • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

            If it was a normal situation, it would not be so critical. Things at DOJ are not normal. Just having someone that is good on the issues, or thinks like we do, or that we admire, is not nearly enough right now. It is going to take that AND the ability to institute it top to bottom in a huge bureaucracy, and the people skills to quietly inspire their subordinates to get it done. Just a name or a vision ain’t going to cut it.

            One of the (many) reasons that I find Mr. Soros’s writing so useful is that he pays special attention to what he calls ‘far from equilibrium situations’. And DoJ is a stellar case right now.

            I don’t have anything like your legal contacts, but those I have are communicating a kind of deep outrage, dismay, and degrees of contempt that I’ve never seen before (and have known a couple of these contacts over 20 years).

            In so many respects, I think that we all grew up — and were taught — the sort of Conventional Civics About How Government Works: Constitution, Three Branches, yadda, yadda.

            Well, in fact FDR saved the nation (and American democracy) in the 1930s, but look at all the other shifts.

            Electromagnetism wasn’t identified until the mid 1800s, and the light bulb isn’t much older than 100 years. Some of my relatives were building dams on the Columbia less than 100 years ago, and my (recently deceased) aunts could still talk with delight about their first indoor toilets in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s (depending on whether they lived in town, or out in the rural regions).

            Follow electromagnetism to: the light bulb (1890s), the radio (1920s), the telephone (1930s), the television (1950s), the supercomputer (1960s), the ‘personal computer/workstation’ (1980s), the cell phone/Blackberry (1990s).

            To simplify, I’d point out that most of the ‘rules’ or ‘laws’ surrounding electric utilities, electrical standards, production and distribution and consumption of electricity, and standards of compliance for electrical consumer products are 95% in the realm of ‘administrative law’.

            The ‘legislative laws’ have much less influence on most technologies than the ‘administrative laws’. And our lives are based on technologies — interacting with them, managing them, supporting them, inventing them, producing them…

            When the US was founded, most of life could be ordered by legislation.
            That hasn’t been true for several generations; certainly not since the 1960s.
            Today, our lives, our work, our possessions, are primarily in the domains of administrative law. But that type of law is almost invisible in today’s news reports — again, partly because that type of reporting is tremendously difficult.

            So if our ‘civics’ classes reflected the world as we experience it, we’d start with agencies, then work backward to executive positions, and then eventually give a few kind words to our legislatures.

            But as I see it, ‘administrative law’ has its roots in notions of corporate organization that are historically very recent.
            This type of law really was born in the 1930s, and was still in its early stages in the 1960s.
            But legislative law is about PROTECTING PUBLIC RESOURCES AND COMMON GOODS.
            Whereas administrative law is about ENABLING PRIVATE, CORPORATE POWER.

            So these two types of power are in fundamental contradiction to one another, and with increasing frequency — as I think that both JThomason and LabDancer allude to — administrative power subverts ‘legislative power’.

            And administrative power, although it is exercised by organs of government, is fundamenally ‘about’ protecting private, non-government, shareholder value — controlling mineral rights, granting permits, protecting copyrights… in short, extracting wealth from other people’s materials and labor. It’s power that’s been co-opted by corporate interests in the name of returning shareholder value, and any social responsibilities be damned. It’s asking government to protect and perpetuate economic inequalities that fundamentally contradict the values stated in the Bill of Rights.

            So here is this vast ‘elephant in the room’ — a type of power that is invasive, pervasive, and almost invisible. And the media don’t even acknowledge it, let alone cover it (!).

            So where is the need for ‘justice’ in that scenario?
            In a world shaped by assumptions that ’shareholder value’ are far more important that social justice, the FBI is useful if it protects corporate interests… and if the FBI objects, then the logical corporatist response is to ‘privatize’ and employ private security. DoJ is an expense that is valued only if it protects corporate profits. Otherwise, it’s an impediment.

            What’s deeply worrying, as you point out, is that we have a generation of people (or two) whose values are shaped by ideas that in many respects don’t make a lot of sense going into the future — the ‘I’m Number One’ just isn’t going to cut it if the resource and environmental statistics are accurate.

            The logic of BushCheney is fundamentally corporatist – it’s all about controlling the regulatory structures and dismantling any restrictions on the movement of capital. And that is fundamentally NOT about equality, it is NOT about recognizing social obligations. It is inherently dehumanizing, so it’s not at all surprising that justice was a key fatality. I think it’s kind of inherent in the ‘market fundamentalist, corporatist’ operating system of thinking that justice would be among the first, PRIMARY fatalities of such an administration.

            They couldn’t achieve their objectives if the DoJ actually functioned to deliver justice. In order to achieve their objectives, they HAD to subvert the DoJ. And boy, howdy, that did that in spades!

            (And yeah, it took me far too long to recognize all of this, but hey… I don’t get paid to think about this kind of thing, if that’s any excuse…)

            From what I can tell, the best and brightest probably fled DoJ (except for a few rare close-to-retirement types?). But that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t return to clean up the mess if they had some decent leadership that could be trusted.

            It really is 85% about leadership.
            Which requires trust.
            Which, as we see more clearly every day, is rooted in integrity.

            No integrity, no trust; no trust, no leadership.
            That’s the dirty little secret the corporatist, ‘market fundamentalist’ theories missed; a fatal oversight, and a costly one.

            … hmmmmmm… maybe I should have gone out to see a movie tonight, rather than ramble on at EW’s… sigh….

            • bmaz says:

              Remember the discussion back at the Next Hurrah about corporate personage and corporate reform? I think that could go a long way itself, and very far hand in hand with administrative law tweaking/reform to correct a whole lot of ills.

              • MarkusQ says:

                I’d say corporate demi-personhood is the biggest challenge facing us today.

                Demi-, because they get some of the rights and some of the responsibilities but there’s no logic apart from history and basic logistics behind the mix. No attempt to balance things, so far as I can see, or even a mechanism to plug that into. Corporate personhood is a wart on our legal system that is that way ’cause it just sorta grew that way.

                And the funny thing is, we need something like corporations very badly; some way to build a structure that will outlive its creators and can attempt things no one of us could achieve alone. We need something smaller than a government but bigger than a family. Something big enough to build a cathedral or cure a disease, but not large enough to wage war or oppress the masses.

                But like Dr. Frankenstein we must be very sure we know what we are doing or we will end up getting what we possibly deserve instead of what we desperately need.

                – MarkusQ

                P.S. G’night, I’m off to join the snorers.

              • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

                I do remember it! (Wish I’d bookmarked it, in fact.)

                I’m busy on projects till the end of July, but after that… we should email. Cause as you see, this whole topic is not only still on my mind, I continue to see it pop up in unexpected places.

                And the costs of this kind of anti-social behavior continue to rise. It’s becoming more obvious by the week that Bush and Cheney are the logical result of this philosophy, and seem to personify its logical ends: privilege without merit, secrecy, and contempt for existing institutions that seek to enforce equality or fairness. Administrative, regulatory power is what they seek to control; legislative power is something they hold in contempt.

                The governing infrastructure will need to put more resources into entities like the FBI that can focus on financial conduct across state and national borders.

                The regulatory mechanisms are broken.
                That benefits thugs and criminals everywhere.

  6. trianarael says:

    As you rightly suggest every man, woman, and child who has been killed or maimed by this filthy war far more deserves to be memorialized. We need to give faces to those we simply count and then forget.

      • PetePierce says:

        Luke Russert has been in harm’s way hosting a sports talk show with James the Carville. Talking media heads’ kids don’t do Iraq. They do dorms and luxury. But given the stupidity of it, the parents and kids have a point.

        Iraq will be the forgotten deaths and maiming of about 1% of the US forgotten population for many many years to come.

        About 1% of Congress will have their children and grandchildren over there. Viet Nam was bigger, but it gave away nothing as to the stupidity of its existence to Iraq.

  7. Leen says:

    Ew I am sorry for your loss at such a young age. This is going to be really tough on the Russert family. Losing someone suddenly like this is shocking. Russert did a piece about his father and what he meant to him it was one of Russerts best news pieces.( going to be really tough on Russerts father, we know your kids are not supposed to go before you) During this special I learned that Vets could receive economic help with their assisted living (my dad 81 year old Vet). Thanks Tim! ( I have criticized Russert plenty in the past no need to do it now)

    Not even the Pope deserved the endless coverage when he died, it was out of control. We know Reagan did not deserve it. But Jesus Mary and Joseph the guy just died. May he rest in peace! Prayers for his family!

    • yonodeler says:

      Thanks for the reminder about financial aid to veterans and veterans’ surviving spouses who reside in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. I need to get after trying to set it up for my mother. I’ve heard and read that the bureaucratic obstacles are formidable.

  8. selise says:

    thanks marcy, well said. would like to propose one change though:

    With about five exceptions, all the men and women Americans who have died in George Bush’s wars have died before they turned 58–many of them at half that age.

  9. earlofhuntingdon says:

    You are, of course, not being at all churlish, EW.

    For him and for those who knew him personally, Mr. Russert’s untimely death is a tragedy. But multi-hour long televised “pre-wakes”, the New York Times calling him a “towering figure”, are sad hyperbole. They get him, his place in the news, and the place of the news, wrong.

    Indeed, they have it backward. It is as if Ed Murrow and not the London Blitz were the story, Walter Cronkite and not Kennedy’s assassination or Vietnam. The Iraq and Afghan wars have been exceptionally deadly for all news gatherers, especially photo-journalists and their local staff who chose to forego being “embedded” and sought out un-predigested news from multiple perspectives. Those wars remain so dangerous for newsies that few of them now cover it. Unlike our men and women in the military, who are there in record numbers and suffering frequent, if not fatal, casualties.

    With all due respect to Mr. Russert’s personal life, his professional life epitomized much of what is wrong in today’s corporate news room. That should be as much a topic of his remembrances as his origins in Buffalo, his unparalleled financial success, and his decidedly mixed record at filtering out the important from the sensational.

  10. ffein says:

    I feel bad for his family. But, it gives cable news yet another reason to spend an entire day and night not talking about the things that should be talked about. I agree that Peter Jennings was a bigger loss for us.

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The parade-like adoration of Mr. Russert could be seen as the corporate, sensationalist press giving itself a Roman triumph. It is about adoring themselves and their newfound importance to the body politic. The news they cover? Gone in a cycle. But they remain. QED.

    • JohnJ says:

      Reminds me of when a cop gets shot. The whole police force drops all the unimportant citizen cases to go after the ultra dangerous “cop killer”. The excuse is that “if someone would kill a cop, who know what else they are capable of”. (That’s bullshit on so many levels). Did you ever notice how many bullets from how many guns it takes to bring down a “cop killer”?

      One of their’s dies, it is important, the rest of us are just the day to day stuff. Cases for the police, or stories for the villagers.

      This is a statement of their (the villager’s or law enforcement’s) self importance.

      My condolences to the Russert survivors.

      But dying also doesn’t change how you lived.

    • Mauimom says:

      My reaction was that the “Russert-a-thon” reflected the MSM’s belief that what’s important to them must be important to the American public. There was also a lot of “Tim was such an ‘Everyman’,” “Tim thought of himself as ‘Everyman’,” “Tim thought his job was to ask the questions ‘Everyman’ would want asked,” and they believe this crap!!

      It just shows the extent of the MSM’s delusional thinking.

      • PetePierce says:

        What’s important to them is them. And of couse we all recognize the loss and pain to family and friends. I just question that if every TV in America were magically disappeared in a nanosecond, if it’d be much of a loss to anyone talking head and newswise.

        Everyman Tim and Everyman Tweety live(d) in multimillion dollar homes in D.C. and Nantucket Island.

        The Tweetster’s Nantucket crib is a $4.3 million plus crib.

  12. trianarael says:

    The MSM and it’s debased language and motives is not capable nor interested in conveying the reality of what is happening on the ground where our imperial forces are deployed. As in so many instances throughout history the truth is best conveyed by novelists and poets.

  13. merkwurdiglieber says:

    Russert bought into that Danny Pat Moynihan shift of the northern
    working class, e.g. Catholic , away from Democratic party to the
    Republicans in the 1970’s. That became to so called center of American
    politics and news coverage by NBC among others. It had a comforting but
    deleterious effect upon journalism and politics that is the main hurdle
    in politics today. This campaign could hve seen him outgrow that mold,
    he seemed on the verge, at times, of seeing another politics just as
    deserving as his own, sad for his family, and wonder what this will
    mean for NBC in this most important political season for us all. Pace.

  14. Petrocelli says:

    “Whenever you share truth it must be with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected” – Gandhi

    This is the essence of teaching as I know it.

  15. bonjonno says:

    Thank you EW for putting my feelings into great words that I could never come up with. You are such a breath of fresh air when so much is stifling.

  16. WilliamOckham says:

    Every death is a tragedy, every life precious. Sudden, unexpected deaths are especially hard to deal with. I don’t really begrudge MSNBC their maudlin, overblown coverage of Russert’s death. He was a friend and mentor to the on-screen personalities there. This stuff is far less dangerous than, say, the wall-to-wall Anna Nicole Smith binge. Heck, it may even be better than the typical Friday night fare on MSNBC. In the larger scheme of things, I’ll save my outrage for the war criminals who infest our political caste. I’ll save my tears for the innocent victims of our military misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention those around the world who lost husbands and fathers to our worldwide secret gulags.

  17. Leen says:

    Thanks ew thanks all of the fdl crew for helping us with a place to expand our understanding of the law and what has been taking place in our country under the control of the brutal and morally bankrupt Bush regime and a place to share ideas and discuss important issues.

    I am going to light a candle for Tim and more than likely shed some tears for his family. (an no I do not think he was a great journalist). And many candles (my own personal voo doo from growing up Catholic) and many tears for those who are losing their lives in this brutal and unnecessary tragedy in Iraq, Namaste folks Namaste

    Yeah churcy applies sometimes.

  18. MarkusQ says:

    I’ll see your risk of being churlish, and raise you.

    You could make a case for this being a suspicious death:

    The sudden unexpected death of a potential witness to a crime (the Plame outing) that could bring down the president’s cabal.
    Coming right after Scotty’s book heats things up again
    Despite the “why bother” meme being pushed the last year or so, there could still be real consequences for the key players even if they aren’t nailed until after Bush / Cheney leave office.

    This may sound like a conspiracy theory (because it is) but the fact is that your chance of death from all causes (accident, heart failure, suicide, drowning, and even hunting incidents) do go up if you become a potential witness to a crime committed by a powerful person or group of people*. While some baseline level of deaths are undoubtedly nothing more than they appear to be, the remainder are just as surely homicides.

    So I wonder, will all the Vince Foster die hards start screaming that Tim obviously Knew To Much?

    – MarkusQ

    * e.g. Clifford Baxter, Dr. Brandy Britton, Athan Gibbs, Tony Giambelluca, James Hatfield, Jake Horton, Steve Kangas, John Kokal, Raymond Lemme, Jonathan Luna, Deborah Jeane Palfrey , Charles Rice, General James Rose, Paul Sanford, Michael Todd, Paul Wellstone, Gus W. Weiss, Dr. Don C. Wiley, and on and on…

      • MarkusQ says:

        PR flacks tend to escape the curse by virtue of being intentionally kept out of the loop from the get-go. The real high risk category is (IIRC, from and NPR story years ago) is gay lovers of Very Important People. They seem to die at the drop of a hat.

        – MarkusQ

  19. MarkusQ says:

    bmaz –

    I’m sorry we didn’t manage to connect when I was down in AZ; I suspect we could have had some interesting discussions. I’m up in OR now, immersed in chaos, and only getting on-line for an hour or so when the rest of the family is soundly snoring (unless of course I drop first).

    – MarkusQ

  20. MarkusQ says:

    bmaz –

    Life happens. As it turns out, I was swamped myself. If you’re ever up in the pacific north west, drop me a line.

    – Markus

  21. masaccio says:

    Totally Off Topic, which I figure is fair game when the rest of you are thinking about sleep or are there.

    From Guangzhou, I now have a working definition of “tons of rain”. It means that the air is so wet that new rain has to work to get through it, and it does, at so great a pace that it wakes up people on ambien in rooms on the 11th floor as it pounds on the window.

    Yesterday I walked from the Hiazhu Bridge to Shamian Island, and got to see the White Swan hotel area. I was too tired and disgustingly wet to go in, but the area is surrounded by shops featuring cute baby stuff, including wonderful Chinese traditional outfits that the kid will refuse to wear, and t-shirts with “made in China” embroidered on the front, with sequins and stuff.

    Today, the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees, which turns out not to be a tourist trap, but a functioning monastery, complete with a hall named Dispensing of Dharma, and we heard a part of a service of chanting and what sounded like the whirling of prayer wheels….

    I am still reading Kennedy’s opinion, and skipped ahead a bit to see what exactly our ideologue CJ thought. I guess he thinks the average winger reader isn’t aware of the actual facts of the matter. Or he doesn’t care. Maybe it improves farther in than I got so far.

    • PetePierce says:

      I enjoy your accounts of China a lot. I wonder if you’re running into those wooden boxes that have all kinds of compartments that you have to slide carfully hidden panels to open that have a lot of hidden compartments. My friend and I used to get those from his parents when they went to China and I still love those today. Cheney has a mansized box with hidden compartments from China engraved with the inscription

      “You and Bush owe the Republic of China trillions that will accumulate interest when your great great grandchild the progeny of the secret father will have to repay.”

      • Leen says:

        Cheney “so”

        There is no fucking excuse for what has happened to the Jews and yes they deserve a homeland. But were these two issues connected. No. Do I agree with the way Israel came about? No. Did the Palestinians deserve to be violently pushed our of their villages during the 40’s. NO. Do the Palestinians deserve to be treated like shit. No. Do Israeli citizens deserve to have rockets and mortars lobbed at them in the Internationally recognized borders of Israel. No. Do the Palestinians have the right to fight what is legally their’s? Yes.

        Should our congress pass legislation (Ros Lehtinen, Lantos, Lieberman) cut off humanitarian aid to the Palestinans after they had a fair election and voted for Hamas. No.

        Do I support Israel based on the Internationally recognized borders YES!

        Pro Palestine
        Pro Israel
        Pro Peace

        Namaste Pete

        • PetePierce says:

          Do the Palestinians deserve to be treated like shit.

          You meant it as a question. As long as they continue to suicide bomb and lob missles into Israel along with Syria and Iran, they will continue to do damage to themselves and their cause so I’d work on getting them to stop.

          The Yom Kippur War, Ramadan War or October War, מלחמת יום הכיפורים‎, caused the loss of territory for Palestinians as well as the Six Days war.

          On a tactical level, the end of the war saw Israel with territorial gains in the Golan Heights and the encirclement of the Egyptian third army. Some believe the cease fire prevented Israel from landing its harshest blow, as a USMC report asserts: “They were now in position to threaten the rear administrative and supply areas of the entire Egyptian Army. Largely due to the efforts of the Soviet Union, which was fearful of the possibility of a serious Egyptian defeat, the U.N. Security Council imposed a cease-fire effective 22 October.”[49]

          The Six Days War resulted in major loss of territory for the Palestinians.

          Egypt amassed 1000 tanks and 100,000 soldiers on the border, closed the Straits of Tiran to all ships flying Israeli flags or carrying strategic materials, and called for unified Arab action against Israel.[4] In response, on June 5, 1967, Israel launched a pre-emptive attack[5] against Egypt’s airforce. Jordan, which had signed a mutual defence treaty with Egypt on May 30, then attacked western Jerusalem and Netanya. At the war’s end, Israel had gained control of the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. The results of the war affect the geopolitics of the region to this day.

          As Syria, Palestine, and Iran continue to foment unprovoked aggresian on Israel, and the Arab middle eastern countries sit passively by like Jordan where a “King” and “Queen” live as billionaires and ignore the squalor and ignorance of the majority of people, the demise and loss of land in Palestine will continue exponentially.

          Ball is in Palestine, Hamas’, Hezbollah and the passive kingdom’s court. I don’t burn my neighbors homes and they don’t take my land. We live in peace and continue to try to help make each other’s lives better. Works for me.

  22. yellowdog jim says:

    excellently expressed.
    eulogy is an art.
    what they’ve done is an obscenity.

    even in the low regard i held russert,
    doing this to him mocks his spirit.

    their prideful show of their insider pandering to each other, as if that was their concept of journalism: they cluelessly display all the entrails of their incestuousness

    perhaps it is their grief that motivates
    their shamelessness.

    i’ll miss the ol’ potato head.

  23. skdadl says:

    rOTL @ 43 and subsequent exchanges with bmaz:

    Leen, on the previous thread @ 16, JThomason makes a comment that, IMHO, is absolutely brilliant — in a technically complex society, regulatory law came to overshadow legislative law.

    If for some time and to a degree that arrangement just “came to be” through some kind of internal institutional logic, a lot of it is now intentional. That’s a description of most of the international arrangements being made under NAFTA, eg. The whole point of the North American Competitiveness Council (32 reps from the most powerful corporate interests in the three countries — 10 each from Canada and Mexico, 12 from the U.S.) is to manage regulatory changes through administrative agreements, most of the process kept secret until the changes and treaties are a done deal, never having been run past anyone’s legislature. The corporate guys meet with the bureaucrats, get the work done, and then “advise” the PM and the presidents on what needs doing — in other words, they set the agenda, and they are doing an end run around our legislatures. On purpose.

    And the regulatory changes are almost always a degradation of standards, given who’s making the decisions, except on the turf of “security,” where of course everything is being ramped up.

  24. FrankProbst says:

    So is anyone watching the media’s coverage? Any honest account of Russert’s life is going to have to include the Libby trial. Is this at least being talked about?

    • al75 says:

      Frank, I agree with you: while I feel for Russert’s family and have no wish to be churlish, the salient fact for me of Russert’s career is that he was the preeminent Washington reporter of his time; the same time that the Bush/Cheney regime achieved a stranglehold on the press, and turned our 4th estate into a propoganda outlet.

      Russert was seduced or coerced into serving as the “platform” for Cheney’s most outrageous and important lies. Material was leaked to Judy Miller in the morning, and pounded in by Cheney in the afternoon.

      Russert had to know what was going on – but he rarely posed even one question.

      I’m sure he was a great guy – but as journalist, he was a failure at the time when our democracy needed him most.

      • Leen says:

        Agreed abd he has since allowed a list of unsubstantiated claims about Iran to be repeated on his program without challenging them. MSNBC owns him and his line of questioning

  25. al75 says:

    A poster at kos linked to this WaPo story from last year that summed up Russert’s special relationship with Cheney:

    In Ex-Aide’s Testimony, A Spin Through VP’s PR

    Flashed on the courtroom computer screens were her notes from 2004 about how Cheney could respond to allegations that the Bush administration had played fast and loose with evidence of Iraq’s nuclear ambitions. Option 1: “MTP-VP,” she wrote, then listed the pros and cons of a vice presidential appearance on the Sunday show. Under “pro,” she wrote: “control message.”

    “I suggested we put the vice president on ‘Meet the Press,’ which was a tactic we often used,” Martin testified. “It’s our best format.”…..51_pf.html

    It’s not my intention to knock Russert when he’s just died, but the facts of a public figure’s career is relevant to the discussion when that person pasess on.

    • Leen says:

      Thanks for that. Sure always seemed that Russert allowed Cheney and the rest of the Bush administration to run on about unsubstantiated claims about Iraq etc. “it’s our best format” Creepy

      Maybe Brave New Films or Media Matters or some other qualified group will put together clips of Russert allowing this hogwash to be repeated.

      A Reality Program about Russerts news career

  26. brat says:

    I also found the news coverage just a bit over the top (almost like a bad SNL skit from the late 1970s). Russert was a reporter, spinner and “spinnee” (It’s why Cheney loved going on MTP). Yes, his death is a shock to friends, colleagues and family. But this is NOT a national tragedy. The country is the same today as it was yesterday.

    Thanks for the insightful post EW. It’s much appreciated.

    • MarieRoget says:

      News coverage of Russert’s death will probably continue in this vein for several days, wknd @ least. The eyebrow headline for online Wa Po op-eds (also the title of Todd Gitlin’s piece) sums up why- “A Death in the Family.” Of course that would be the Village Family, not our national family who have sacrificed to the number of 4,098 as of last Thursday.

      Furthermore, it seemed pretty damned pathetic late last night (when returning from a short business trip) to have to go to the Weather Channel to get coverage of the horrific Iowa flooding lasting longer than 10 secs. CNN et al. were much more interested in rehashing their 24 hr. canonization of Russert.

      I’d like to think NBC can come up w/someone a little more on the ball to do MTP that Russert was, someone who isn’t Andrea Mitchell or David Gregory. I’d also like to think the FedEx envelope I’m about to open from the collected mail here on the desk contains a million $$$.

  27. BayStateLibrul says:

    Great post.
    Hadn’t heard anything from Tweety, is he on vacation.
    Could Tweety be the next Meet the Presser?
    I was surprised that Mike Barnicle was so friendly with Russert,
    he named his son “Timmy” for him…
    Russert seemed to be a decent and truthful chat.
    Yet, what became of his Democratic ideals?
    He must have held mucho info in confidence (confidentiality),
    but I thought he should have come clean with the Plame affaire.

      • PetePierce says:

        Tweety’s in Paris with Kathleen and the something he is doing is vacationing after recently purchasing a $4.3 million dollar home in Nantucket where Tim Russert also had a multimillion dollar home with his wife the Vainty Fair writer Maureen Orth who had been vacationing with him in Rome.

  28. wavpeac says:

    Wow. Reading through the posts I am always struck by patterns. Whereever you see black and white, dichotomous thinking, use of judgements, name calling, know that you are dealing with emotions. Some people are very adept at using intellectual arguments and logic to “cover” the bias. We have a bias in our culture that “mean” and “intelligent” are synonomous.

    When this occurs in a dicussion, when there is no ability to see the polar realities of life, it helps me if I know what I am dealing with.

    This type of thinking occurs as a result of:

    1) chronic trauma
    2) chronically invalidating environments
    3) Any “ism” or addiction
    4) internalized power and control.

    Seek the dialectic, that is, the recognition that polarities of good and bad, right and wrong, righteousness and injustice exist in every single aspect of life. There is no one true innocent victim and no one true valid perpetrator.

    This is the single greatest cognitive distortion regarding middle eastern conflict resolution. It must be “treated” because it will continually impair any and all efforts at peace. Why? Because peace comes from the truth. People must develop the skill and ability to recognize the truth in opposing view points or peaceful solutions will not be long lasting and cogntive distortions will be supressed but not resolved.

    • PetePierce says:

      As to isms antisemitism is the one that is rearing its head in the thread above, along with a whole lot of wasps who aren’t used to having deadly missles being lobbed into their shopping centers, schools and buses, every day for the last 30 years.

    • PetePierce says:

      How do you “treat” missles and the many suicide bombers that blow up your markets day to day while a nation that freaked the fuck out so much after 3 million people were burned up in their buildings at the Southern border of Tribeca–Hudson street to be specific–has helped drive up fuel to $4 a gallon that will soon be $8 a gallon and then $12 a gallon with milk and other groceries tracking the exponential price explosion, where the people in the bannana republic are freaking and their schumck of a Supreme Court Justice Scalia whines in a dissent that giving constitutional protection to people who were rounded up without so much as charges and held for years is going to result in people being killed?

      How do you treat a bunch of wasps who call someone nuts when the predominant FDR scholarship and documents Michael Bechloss uncovered prooves irrefutably that FDR completely ignored pictures and concrete evidence of gassing and burning at Auschwitz and only went after Hitler when he realized that Hitler was trying to put a bomb in Roosevelt’s ass?

    • Petrocelli says:

      Thanks, this was very well said. I especially liked, “People must develop the skill and ability to recognize the truth in opposing view points or peaceful solutions will not be long lasting and cogntive distortions will be supressed but not resolved.”

  29. Leen says:

    If folks are truly interested in what is going on in the occupied territories read the reports at Amnesty International and at the UN’s website. If Americans Only Knew, Muzzlewatch and Tikkun are other great websites for info on this issue.

    • PetePierce says:

      I know pretty well what’s going on in one occupied territory and that occupied territory is Iraq, and the occupiers are from the Bannana Republic the US and generals were hired to go on the American TV stations to lie to the people because most of them are uneducated intellectually lazy airheads like their President.

      Currently the occupier, the US has 50 megasized permanant bases going up or haven’t you noticed the activities of the occupier that has never enjoyed the hate of so many millions throughout the world and continues to foment exponential hate every day?

      Despite the importance of this issue, the White House is refusing to divulge details of its position. But according to Iraqi leaders, who went public with their complaints this week, Washington has been insisting on keeping more than 50 long-term bases in Iraq. The Iraqis also say that Washington is insisting that American forces have a free hand in launching military operations when and wherever they want.

      If true — and a lot of this sounds disturbingly plausible — the Iraqis are right to object, and so should Congress and the American public.

      These steps appear calculated to keep American troops in Iraq indefinitely — exactly the wrong course for both countries. Any talk of long-term basing rights, in particular, will only feed popular resentments. And the suggestion that America is prepared to continue the war indefinitely will, once again, relieve Iraq’s leaders of any pressure to take responsibility for their own security or their political future.

      Meanwhile, back in the US the TV and print media continues to mourn the passing of King Russert, while not making a scintilla of a mention of the 15 soldiers who have been blown to bits in a sensless occupation this month that the gutless Congress has no intention of stopping and 99% of Americans are fond of sending the other 1%’s husbands, children and very rarely wives and daughters to be blown up where the occupied country has balked at making any significant political progress for six years.

      The legacy will be plopped right in the center of the Obama adminstration like a big pile of shit from an angry dog in the living room.

    • PetePierce says:

      A Moment of Charity in Bagdad

      But according to Iraqi leaders, who went public with their complaints this week, Washington has been insisting on keeping more than 50 long-term bases in Iraq. The Iraqis also say that Washington is insisting that American forces have a free hand in launching military operations when and wherever they want.

      Bannana Republkic US Pisses Billions Away in Pakistan

      The effort must go far beyond that. Since 9/11, the United States has poured $10 billion into Pakistan, mostly for former general Musharraf’s army. But it has not crushed Al Qaeda or shut down Taliban safe havens.

      Seven years later, the administration still needs a comprehensive plan — integrating diplomacy, intelligence, law enforcement and economic aid. That is the only way to help stabilize Pakistan, and tamp down anti-American furies. It is also the only chance of truly enlisting its support in the long fight against terrorism.

  30. skdadl says:

    O/T: Have people noticed that yesterday (nighttime in Afghanistan), close to 400 prisoners at the Kandahar jail broke out after a well-planned assault on the main gate and, I believe, a suicide bomber at the back. The jail is essentially emptied, as I understand it. That was a mix of “insurgents” originally apprehended by ISAF (NATO) forces (mostly Canadian and now U.S. in Kandahar province) and handed over to Afghan authorities, along with the general prison population.

    The Globe and Mail this morning has a hed on that story that reads “Taliban strike frees hordes from prison.” I have written them a stiff note.

  31. MrWhy says:

    At the risk of being churlish, I’d like to point out that life isn’t fair.

    For TR’s family, yesterday was tragic. The television coverage of Russert’s death was reverential. I can forgive this indulgence because it isn’t mean-spirited, and I avoided it completely.

    But EW was wondering why TR’s death was treated so differently from American casualties in Iraq or Afghanistan. And I didn’t get the sense in this thread that anyone answered her question.

    Most of the deaths of American civilians and soldiers aren’t national stories in the sense that TR’s was. They deserve a mention, they deserve extensive coverage in their home towns, maybe they deserve a national profile, but that is not usually an immediate decision to be made in the hurly burly of the day’s big stories. That Ted Koppel’s attempt to honour US casualties on Nightline was controversial is telling. Koppel wasn’t doing news with those episodes, he was doing commentary – perhaps art – with minimal overt news content. He was attempting to honour the sacrifice of the individuals by recognizing that they aren’t anonymous, but we haven’t the time to recognize everyone for the contributions they’ve made, we haven’t the time to grieve everyone’s loss, we haven’t the time to comfort everyone’s friends and family, we haven’t the time to think of what they might have done with their lives.

    Their country asked these people to put their lives on the line, and they did. But none of them, not even Pat Tillman, was Tim Russert, the face of Meet the Press.

    • PetePierce says:

      This country suffers from full blown pandemic narcissism. What we don’t have is a fucking draft that will make us focus on the deaths of people in Iraq that Marcy referenced who have been blown up (the predominant cause of death in over 80% of them).

      Russert’s son arrived back from a luxury vacation in Rome. He was not stationed in Iraq. He was stationed at Boston College where there are no road side bombs or IEDs.

      Luke Russert has been fighting his battles on his X Box and trying to use his facebook site to share bufallo wings with a “hot bitch.”

      The Children of the Media Elite: Luke Russert’s Facebook

    • skdadl says:

      That Ted Koppel’s attempt to honour US casualties on Nightline was controversial is telling. Koppel wasn’t doing news with those episodes, he was doing commentary – perhaps art – with minimal overt news content.

      Yes, and I suspect that that gesture reminded a lot of the hawks and the neocons of the famous photospread in LIFE magazine in 1969 called “One week’s dead” — just the photos of every soldier who had died that week (28 May–3 June). People of a certain age remember that as one of the turning-points, one of the effective shocks to public consciousness in the U.S. — and of course the stab-in-the-backers have resented it ever since, will try to put a stop to anything that looks like that.

    • Leen says:

      And they have not died for their country they have died for the Bush administrations radical agenda. Did Russert or anyone else cover the Winter Hearings or the most recent Iraq Veterans against the War hearings. Hell no. No one touched it. Incredibly disrespectful and another example of the poor job that the MSM continues to do to truly inform the American public

  32. emptywheel says:

    Pete and Leen

    Please take your conversation off line–it’s a conversation between the two of you at this point, and I don’t care for my blog to be hosting your debate.


      • MrWhy says:

        Not at all. From the first paragraph of the same article:

        Taliban militants pulled off a stunning and well-organized prison break at Kandahar city’s massive jail last night, freeing close to 400 fellow insurgents, along with hundreds of murderers, kidnappers and common criminals.

        • skdadl says:

          Don’t you just love the Grope? One of life’s major disappointments …

          EW @ 131: One of the pickles that we have ourselves in in Afghanistan is precisely this story, what we do with the prisoners our guys take. We don’t have the capacity to keep them, but there have been tales of abuse ever since the invasion in 2001, about what was happening when we handed them over, either to the U.S. (early on) or to local Afghan authorities (ever since).

          Now more U.S. troops are heading into Afghanistan, and there is talk of them taking over the prisoners, building a new prison at Bagram, etc. I’m not sure that is a better solution, for all the reasons we all know.

          Quel mess.

          • Leen says:

            Have heard some horrifying stories from my friend from Aghanistans family. They have described torture taking place that is not making it into the U.S. MSM. The situation in Afghanistan according to them (they live there) has gotten very serious.

  33. PetePierce says:

    If you haven’t learned to read, Mica Dumbrinsky will read the NYT to you selectively. She has no idea the editorial page talks about the 50 fucking permanant bases in Iraq nor do her many callers. She has no idea that the Gitmo lawyers are planning to challenge the continuation of Military Commission trials that hold people in conditions she couldn’t tolerate for five minutes.

    She is concerned about the gaping hole at NBC news rather than the gaping hole in the families of thousands of dead and mamed American soldiers and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.

    America the “Gossip Girl Britney Reality Show nation rolls on eating its pablum.

  34. yonodeler says:

    Greats and near-greats (judged subjectively) do get their foibles, in real time and retrospectively, don’t they—even when their individual conduct contributes to needless slaughter. Little folks get to pay the price of their own mistakes and the mistakes of those they should be able to trust.

  35. voicevote says:

    In a way John Cole’s points are sad ones, but they are 100% valid, depressingly valid and important to make with respect, which Cole has done, in my opinion.

  36. cboldt says:

    The scope of the media’s coverage is a reflection of how Tim Russert fit into that circle of friends and associates. In that group he surely was distinguished.

    The scope of observer interest in and criticism of the media’s mourning is a reflection of how the media fits into the observer’s world.

    I don’t begrudge the media’s “excesses” on the demise of one of their own. It’s a big loss to them, personally, to be sure – and of course to his family. I’ll miss Tim Russert’s contributions too, FWIW. I also have the hope that faith that he and his family will be reunited by their shared belief in a savior.

    At any rate, back on earth and riffing from Mr. Cole’s observation, I didn’t count on Tim Russert to lead an exchange that resulted in my being fully (or even honestly) informed. A substantial part of the problem is the extent of public care, trust, reliance – and otherwise unrealistic expectations – about the media as an institution. The upside to the media’s immersion its heartfelt grief is that it can’t simultaneously spread its usual crap.

  37. bmaz says:

    Cboldt! Where you been? I was hoping you would show up for the FISA discussion several days ago. Am interested to hear your thoughts on the brilliant new “compromise fix” that appears to have been engineered for our, um, benefit. I know you will be shocked to hear this, but I am not so thrilled.

    • cboldt says:

      I’ve been lurking about. I tend to avoid commenting “here” unless I have a clinically technical point to make. That is, some places I don’t mind airing my righty bent (or lefty bent, when I don’t excoriate SCOTUS for its Boumidiene decision), but I don’t want to harsh on the general buzz of any website.

      From the rumors I’ve heard about the Hoyer/Bond “compromise,” my impression is that it’s an attempt to use legislative sleight of hand to obtain the administration’s wishes. Same game as McCain claiming a win in the “no cruel or inhuman” battle with the WH. He got rolled.

      My preference on the FISA issue is that the courts and the executive do battle face to face, on “state secret” grounds. I don’t object to attempts to craft legislation that aims to track Article II power, but I fear Congress is all willing to pass legislation that crosses fourth amendment lines, as long as it (Congress) can pass the buck in the event of a terrorist hit.

      • bmaz says:

        Well, you are welcome in my book. My nutshell is that if this is what Hoyer was going to come up with, what the hell has all the posturing been about over all these months? Might as well just call it full immunity and not waste time with a court process that gives lip service a bad name.

        • Petrocelli says:

          My take is that Steny & Friends were hoping we’d lose interest so they could sneak this by … that and making sure this capitulation won’t lose them their precious seats …

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          Yeah. And we’re all supposed to show up at the polls and vote for the guys who sold us down the river simply because we’re more appalled by John McSame…

          Could work.
          Then again… it’s awhile till November.
          But I didn’t expect to be so “Curse on both your houses!” in June.

        • cboldt says:

          My nutshell is that if this is what Hoyer was going to come up with, what the hell has all the posturing been about over all these months? Might as well just call it full immunity and not waste time with a court process that gives lip service a bad name.

          It’s all about fooling the public. Hoyer didn’t come up with anything except smoke and mirrors, and those might have been suggested by the administration.

          The rationale for immunity — “good faith” deviation by telecoms is “okay,” and disclosure of the scope of surveillance will tip off the terrorists — SHOULD result in an appeal for repeal of the civil and criminal penalties (50 USC 1809 and 1810).

          Courts might pierce the charade at some point. That’s why I prefer the battle to be on the grounds of “state secret.” Congress is just a noisy rubberstamp for whichever way they think the wind is blowing. That is, Congress is utterly VOID of principle.

          • phred says:

            Our Congress??? Void of principle??? Surely you jest ; ) Good to see you cboldt and fwiw I always enjoy your point of view — even the righty bits ; ) A good friend of mine is a fan of Ron Paul, I realize that sends certain corners of the lefty blogosphere into spasms of derision, but I have to say the political discussions I have with him are the most fun and informative political discussions I have off-line. His bent is a civil libertarian one and he is disinclined to trust the federal government using its power wisely. I have to admit after the past 7 seven years I find the “state’s rights” and distributed power arguments much more persuasive than I used to.

            • cboldt says:

              after the past 7 seven years I find the “state’s rights” and distributed power arguments much more persuasive than I used to.

              I don’t trust any government to use its power wisely. Or better yet, I think wisdom ought to have narrow power. The accumulation of rules, power and money to some central location makes that location a more attractive target for cheats and shysters.

              What are you gonna try to cheat, a one man doctor office that disburses 100,000 dollars a year, or a government bureaucracy that disburses 100,000,000,000 dollars a year?

              I’m not per se against centralized power, but I’m a HUGE advocate of personal and community independence. In my dream world, we don’t care who wins the presidential election, because the president has little affect on our household and community. In the real world, I have a strong aversion to Democrats. And so, we drink bier instead of talking politics

              • phred says:

                I’m more in the blended economies of scale camp myself. I think there are things done best on small scales, others best on large scales, sort of a fractal view of the world really. I like distributed systems, whether related to food or energy production and distribution in particular, or related to economics and politics in general. Extremes, as in total federal or local control are both ripe for corruption and abuse. Blended systems tend to be more efficient, robust, and resilient. Clearly what we currently have isn’t working, but I’ve never been convinced the anarchist, no hierarchy approach has an hope of success at all.

  38. TheOtherWA says:

    Lat week a BBC reporter was kidnapped and found shot a day later. His name was Abdul Samad Rohani, and the BBC World Service story took about one minute to tell. Then they went on with the rest of the news.

    Granted, Russert died at work, so it’s easy to see why NBC employees would have a hard time thinking about anything else. CNN covered nothing else all afternoon. I stopped watching after that.

    Journalists are supposed to cover stories, not be the story. Yes, he was on tv for a long time, and there’s lots of video of him to use. There will be a large part of MTP devoted to his career and death tomorrow. After that, I hope they just carry on reporting the news.

    • cboldt says:

      Yeah, well, my guess is we could all get along fine doing both [drink bier – talk politics] concurrently.

      You and I could, I’m pretty sure of that. My comment was meant in a more general sense, some subjects ignite strong emotions, and politics in general is such a subject. I just wish politics was less relevant. The politicians have too much power.

  39. PetePierce says:

    A Year Reshapes Hamas and Gaza 6/15/08

    One year ago, gunmen from Hamas, an Islamist anti-Israel group, took over Gaza, shooting some of their more secular Fatah rivals in the knees and tossing one off a building. Israel and the West imposed a blockade, hoping to squeeze the new rulers from power. Yet today Hamas has spread its authority across all aspects of life, including the judiciary. It is fully in charge. Gazans have not, as Israel and the United States hoped, risen up against it.

    It ain’t Israel doing this and it sure ain’t purty.

  40. 4jkb4ia says:

    The Israeli news story I saw about the students in Sderot perhaps not being able to take their matriculation exams there was not propaganda, and described something more than a nuisance.

    • PetePierce says:

      Well State relenged and they are now on their way to their studies in the US.

      Condi will leave the national spot light having contributed zero positive, killed a lot of people with her lies, one of the coverup liars in the Libby/Bush/Cheney et. al Plame CIA leak case. She did on the substantive side of the ledger though help to turn thousands of Iraqi refugee women into widows who are now prostitutes in the non-supportive Arab Middle East where no Arab state will allow them work permits. Talk about slackers.

      • PetePierce says:

        relenged was an accident but I guess I could apply for a patent for a contraction for reniged and relented. 2 birds with one as it were.

  41. cboldt says:

    Lawmakers Near Deal On Surveillance Bill” – Carrie Johnson (WaPo)

    Not updating the 30-year-old Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act could cause investigators to miss important clues to thwart terrorists, administration officials say. …

    Telephone and Internet service providers say they received written assurances that the warrantless wiretapping program was legal at the time they agreed to participate.

    If the government provided written assurances in 2001-2005 (and later, before FISA was changed by the PAA in 2007) that the warrantless wiretapping orders were legal, and those assurances were sound, why couldn’t the SAME assurances be produced NOW? How is it that investigators would miss ANY important clues if Congress fails to again update FISA? Simply issue fresh legal orders, just like before.

    And what’s up with the “30 year-old” label? FISA was amended in 2001 by the USA PATRIOT Act, and by the Homeland Secrity Act of 2002. How about this formulation, “Not repealing the 219 year-old Fourth Amendment to the Constitution could cause investigators to miss important clues to thwart terrorists.”

    • phred says:

      “administration officials say” — would those be the same ones who said Iraq had WMD? the same ones who say Iran is building nuclear weapons? the same ones who say China is drilling for oil in Cuba? the same ones who say we do not torture?

      Suffice it to say if one is looking for a true statement, administration officials are not the ones I would quote. The question is, after all this time why does the WaPo still bother to ask administration officials what they think?

      And further more, if the telcos have their written assurances, then they can produce them in court and receive the indemnification they already possess. Either they don’t have them or they are protecting those who gave them worthless bits of legally dubious paper — why choose? It’s probably both.

    • PetePierce says:

      Yes perfect. I’d sure like to see those written assurances and a nice group picture of all the participants who crafted those assurances. The reporting by Wapo and Putlitzer winner for NYT Eric Lichtblau their so-called terrorism/legal reporter author of Bush’s Law that I’m reading now has been pathetic. Lichtblau and the WaPo sure have done some hard core shilling for “Bush’s Law.”

      Great to have your input here Cboldt–I’ve been relying on your site to try to figure out what’s being done on this but they sure are playing 3 card Monte with it.

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