Blogs

John Fogerty's Back

| Fri Nov. 30, 2007 4:45 PM EST

It's still amazing to me that Creedence Clearwater Revival, a late-60s, early -70s Bay Area band, was so good at playing Louisiana swamp blues; but they were. And John Fogerty, the band's controlling but visionary leader, was largely the reason why (proof below).

At 62, Fogerty, despite a legacy of post-band-breakup lawsuits with record labels and band members, is back with a new solo release, Revival.

The album might as well be called "What's Done is Done. Let's Rock." There's an air of openness and self-awareness to album; sort of a second (or third) wind for Fogerty. Songs range from simple blues/country ("Don't You Wish It Was True") to reflective nods to the old days ("Creedence Song") to straight-up political rock and roll ("I Can't Take It No More").

Check out a good Q&A with Fogerty on Pitchfork.

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Clinton Workers Taken Hostage; Rightwingers Fast To Exploit the Crisis

| Fri Nov. 30, 2007 3:28 PM EST

This afternoon, Hillary Clinton's Rochester, NH, campaign office was taken hostage by a man claiming to have a bomb duct-taped to his chest. He is demanding to speak to Senator Clinton, who is supposed to speak here in Virginia, but has canceled her appearance. We all hope it is resolved quickly with everyone safe.

It certainly would be tasteless for anyone to exploit this event. But that hasn't stopped the nutcase commentors at the rightwing Free Republic. Here are some of their responses to this:

- "Oh this should be good............."

- "Someone trying to get their testicles back?"

- "popcorn...check... coffee....check..."

- "Staged?"

- "I wonder what nutjob they paid to pull this stunt.... like all the people who they get to hang nooses to make people think conservatives are radical haters"

- "Could be a CNN plant..."

- "From the latest Fox poll, she is leading in New Hampshire, so it would be stupid for her to have anything staged at this point. OTOH, I don't put anything past her."

- "Pray it's a Ron Paul supporter."

And that's just in the first five minutes of the posting thread. It goes on and on and on.

Creationism Kerfuffle Forces Texas Science Curriculum Head to Resign

| Fri Nov. 30, 2007 3:15 PM EST

Texas' director of science curriculum has been forced to resign over an e-mail she sent. What was in the offending message ? Trash talk about colleagues? Porn? Nope—it was about (drumroll, please) an upcoming lecture. The horror! Read more on the Blue Marble.

Matt Taibbi Hearts Seymour Hersh

| Fri Nov. 30, 2007 3:09 PM EST

hersh-taibbi.jpg

If you like name-calling hyperbole, Matt Taibbi has always been your guy. He's a great and refreshing read and has an insightful wit, but he's also vicious. (Just in case you think he's the anti-Broder, keep in mind that Taibbi is an equal opportunity hater—he rips milquetoast Democrats as often as he hits right-wing Republicans. He's like Broder's mirror image or something.)

But in a new interview on Campus Progress (done by MoJo intern Justin Elliott), Taibbi has something nice to say about someone. Specifically Sy Hersh:

He's old school. He's the kind of guy who sits and pores over the newsletters of all these minor government agencies to see who retired that week so he can approach that person to see if he's got any stories to tell on his way out of service. There are a few guys like that who are still out there, but they're all holdovers from a lost age.

Wow. Respect.

Mother Jones did a 2005 interview with "The Bad Boy on the Bus." Check it out.

Texas Science Curriculum Director Resigns Over Creationism Kerfuffle

| Fri Nov. 30, 2007 2:29 PM EST

creation190.jpgThe science blogosphere is abuzz (here, here and here, for starters) with some juicy creationism news from Texas. According to the Austin American-Statesman, Chris Comer, the state's director of science curriculum, was pressured into resigning this month. Her crime? Forwarding an e-mail about an upcoming talk by creationism expert Barbara Forrest. (Now mind you, by "creationism expert," I don't mean "creationist." Barbara Forrest testified in the Dover trial, and according to Pharyngula blogger PZ Meyers, she had creationists shaking in their boots.)

Anyway, long story short, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) had a fit. A TEA memo obtained by the Statesman said, "Ms. Comer's e-mail implies endorsement of the speaker and implies that TEA endorses the speaker's position on a subject on which the agency must remain neutral."

Now, never mind the fact that the neutrality for which Texas strives on the subject of creationism pretty much amounts to bad science. Even if neutrality is your goal—heck, even if you're the biggest creationist ever—you might still be interested in hearing what this Barbara Forrest has to say. And if you're a teacher, you're ostensibly interested in open forums, free exchange of ideas, etc. Tough luck for you if you're teaching in Texas. Talk about a hostile learning environment.

Judicial Follies

| Fri Nov. 30, 2007 12:15 PM EST

Was this guy Hitler in a previous life?

Dwayne Dail served half his life, 18 years, in a North Carolina prison for a rape he didn't commit. Given that his childhood sweetheart was pregnant at the time, he ended up spending his son's entire life so far in jail; the boy grew up without him. Free for three months now and awarded what seems to the casual observer a paltry $360,000 for what he rightly calls not wrongful incarceration but 'kidnapping', this unlucky guy is back in court. For what, you ask? His baby mother is suing him for the back child support he never paid while imprisoned and while she raised their son alone. Said Dail, "Everybody wonders why I'm not mad. Well, I'm mad now."

Again, bad cases make bad law but there is a real issue here: should settlements such as these be considered income? The judge is still pondering this doozy of a case.

Only the mother knows why she filed this suit without first asking Dail for a chunk; her son, now just getting to know his dad, reports being traumatized by all this. First his dad was a pedophile rapist (the victim was 12). Now he's not. He's out of prison, they've just met, and the mother he loves has Dad back in the place he fears most, a court room.

You gotta read to believe.

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Hillary Hatred on Display

| Fri Nov. 30, 2007 11:54 AM EST

I'm at the DNC's fall meeting in Vienna, VA, today. I'll hear all the Democratic presidential candidates speak and then write something up for your consumption.

On the way here, though, I got into a conversation with my cabbie about politics. We saw Hillary Clinton signs lining the road up to the meeting's venue. "I hate that woman," he said. I laughed uncomfortably. "I don't think she'll win the nomination," he said. "Too many people hate her. Even Democrats. But I think the Democrats are in a box. If they are against her, they look like they don't like her because she's a woman. And if they are against Obama, it looks like it's because he's black."

I asked for a reciept. He reached for one. As he turned to hand it to me, he said, "And then there's the fact that he's a Muslim."

I stopped. "No, he isn't. He belongs to a Christian church in Chicago." I explained that the media had investigated the rumor and proved it false. He didn't looked convinced. "What's with the funny name?" he asked. So that Muslim controversy still has legs.

But what I want to focus on is the hatred of Hillary. It is widespread and nasty, more than the media is usually willing to mention. So is she going to be a drag on the Democrats in down-ballot races? Will she hurt the Dems in Senate races, House races, local races? Democrats in conservative states say that she will, but it remains an open question.

Rudy the Fibber

| Fri Nov. 30, 2007 11:19 AM EST

Love this from Michael Cooper at the NY Times:

In almost every appearance as he campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination, Rudolph W. Giuliani cites a fusillade of statistics and facts to make his arguments about his successes in running New York City and the merits of his views.
Discussing his crime-fighting success as mayor, Mr. Giuliani told a television interviewer that New York was "the only city in America that has reduced crime every single year since 1994." In New Hampshire this week, he told a public forum that when he became mayor in 1994, New York "had been averaging like 1,800, 1,900 murders for almost 30 years." When a recent Republican debate turned to the question of fiscal responsibility, he boasted that "under me, spending went down by 7 percent."
All of these statements are incomplete, exaggerated or just plain wrong.

It goes on. That's excellent, awesome journalism.

Bush's Shaky Line on Attorney Firings, Leahy Needs to Read Between the Lines

| Thu Nov. 29, 2007 9:06 PM EST

I just want to add to our take on the slow-but-steady progress of the U.S. attorney firings investigation. Today, Senator Patrick Leahy ruled illegal Bush's claim that executive privilege allows him to withhold documents related to the firings. The Senate Judiciary Chairman pointed out that if the President didn't have anything to do with the case, as the White House has repeatedly claimed, his privilege is irrelevant. The White House turned Leahy's statement on its head, saying the whole case should be invalidated: If Leahy says the President had nothing to do with it, they contend, the investigation is essentially kaput.

Au contraire. If Bush wasn't involved, why would he bother claiming executive privilege in the first place? If anything, the White House's eagerness to close the case signifies that it's far from over. Call me crazy, but methinks the Decider doth protest too much.

—Casey Miner

A Good Question for Peter Osnos

| Thu Nov. 29, 2007 9:05 PM EST

Bob Fertik of Democrats.com has a very good question for Peter Osnos. Osnos is the widely-respected head of Public Affairs, the publisher of the book by former White House spokesman Scott McClellan coming out next year.

Last week, Public Affairs put a section of McClellan's book-to-be online. It included this, regarding the outing of Valerie Plame: