ACTUAL JOEMENTUM. Ah, folks? You folks in Connecticut?. This poll is really bad news for you. (And there's even worse news elsewhere.) It's not fatal -- not with Weepin' Joe Lieberman (I-Green Room) fastening that part of his hindquarters not glued to the Iraq War to the survival of that legislative titan, Dennis Hastert. This is going to be the Nobody-Knows-Nuthin' election of all time, at least until the one in 2008, which should have all the cool logic of those elections they used to hold in the Philippines.
THE ARMY AND IRAQ. Although it almost certainly comes too late and with too little material support to affect operations in Iraq, this New York Times article (which Blakeflagged this morning) highlights the fact that the response of the Army to the conflict in Iraq has been radically different than its reaction to failure in Vietnam.
PLUS, I DON'T LIKE OPERA. I think Peter Beinart's TRB this week deserves a response. The editorial focuses on the lack of (online) liberal outrage after the Deutsche Oper yanked the opera Idomeneo, which features Muhammad's decapitated head, out of a desire to avoid controversy. The liberal blogs said nothing. Not so with the conservosphere, which erupted in outrage. Many liberals," Beinart writes, "seem unable to conceive of a struggle in which the Republican right is not an enemy but an ally. But there are such struggles, and, without today's activist liberals, they will be harder to win.
DOW HYPE.Paul Krugman takes a swing at both Wal-Mart's move to shift more of their workforce to part time and the NLRB's new, heinous decision revoking the organizing rights of millions of low-wage "supervisors" in his column today; but his opening graph concerns the Dow and echoes what Ezrasaid earlier in the week. Writes Krugman:
HARD TIMES AT THE LA TIMES. A couple weeks ago, Los Angeles Times publisher Jeffrey Johnson became a hero to journos and Angelenos alike when he stood firm with the paper's editor in resisting The Tribune Company's requests for further firings at the paper. This week, he himself was fired, replaced by a longtime Tribune employee with more fealty to business concerns.
AFGHANISTAN BLINKING RED. In case you aren't worried enough about Iraq, you should start worrying about Afghanistan, because the Bush administration is screwing that up, too. Big time. That was the thrust of this Timespiece by David Rohde from this past weekend.
CLARIFICATION. The House ethics committee is launching an investigation into the institution's handling of information about Mark Foley; you may be hearing about Bill O'Reilly's involvement in this subcommittee probe (as you may have heard ranking Democrat Howard Berman's remark at yesterday's press conference about having "a great deal of confidence in Bill O'Reilly"), but that's in reference to the staff investigator and not to, um, this guy.
THE HARD PART. All due respect to the Reverend Schenck, but this is more than touching. This is the one of the most purely Christian acts of public Christianity since Himself blew town. For almost 30 years, we've had to put up with reactionary politics and retrograde social idiocy gussied up in Scripture. We've had to pretend that the near-sedition that the crackpot Richard John Neuhaus and the Pharisaical crowd down at Crisis Magazine were preaching was worthy of something more than ridicule and contempt.
WHITHER THE PRICE OF OIL?Newsweek's Leonardo Maugeri seems pretty confident that oil prices are staying down for the time being, even as OPEC is discussing possible cuts in supply (there are conflicting reports about this, but there will at least be a meeting to consider the possibility).