Being right would be more fun if thousands of people weren’t dying

and the planet wasn’t going to shit and the anti-sex cretins hadn’t taken over South Dakota.

But there’s a least a grim chuckle in the Nation’s recap of “David Horowitz’s Restoration Weekend, a traditional gathering of the right-wing tribes” by Marc Cooper:

But here’s the serious part: there’s a lot of fear and trembling going on among Republicans. A rich sampler from this weekend’s panel discussions:

Conservative Arizona Congressman Jeff Flake: He pleaded with fellow conservatives to take the high road of liberalized immigration reform in the escalating debate and not go down the immigrant-bashing path. “I encourage Republicans to not repeat what happened in California in 1994,” he said referring to GOP support for Prop 187. “It works for one cycle and then you pay a price for a decade.”

Former Congressman Pat Toomey, current head of The Club for Growth: “We have to acknowledge we have a President who is not popular… The war in Iraq is the 800 lb. gorilla in the room and a major downturn could drown anything we do… We won in 1994 because we promised small government and going into the 2006 elections this is key idea we have abandoned.”

They’ve made this bed, and it’s not so comfortable, I am guessing. However, like I said, I’d be happier about it if it hadn’t come at such a ghastly price.

Hat tip, btw, to Agent Little Bird.

I can answer this one, professor Black!!

Atrios sez:

Still, when/if the time comes it’ll be incumbent on journalists figure out how to respond to such actions by the Bush administration. America’s Most Famous Journalist, Bob Woodward, is in a prime position to take the lead. As a recipient of classified information from the top levels of the Bush administration he’s the one who is uniquely able to get on TV and call bullshit. Will he?

Er….

Lemme shake the Magic Eight Ball here….

Let’s see, it says “FUCK NO.”

Cheering for the stick

Mrs. Dog has been blessedly and comfortably out of the loop on this whole cartoon riots thing. It came to her attention for the first time yesterday when I was telling her about the Bennett/Dershowitz column (and TBogg’s excellent post about the same.)

And she said “I get the feeling that there are commentators and pundits who, y’know,if you were to poke a muslim with a sharp stick, they’d cheer for the stick.”

I think she’s on to something.

I believe the words you’re looking for

are “spinning out of control.”

Iraq’s most powerful Sunni Muslim party quit talks to form a new government Thursday after reprisal attacks for the bombing of an important Shiite mosque.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani called on his countrymen to extinguish the “flames of division” and President Bush denounced Wednesday’s mosque attack as “an evil act.” A U.S. military spokesman said the bombing clearly bears “the signature” of al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Amid reports of more than 100 killings since the attack — with many Sunnis among the dead — the Sunni Accord Front announced it is leaving political unity talks after meeting with Talabani and Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari.

Seven US soldiers killed since yesterday, and, according to which news report you read, either 47 or 100 civilians have been killed in reprisal killings.

Juan Cole has the most detailed coverage,

Shiites came out in the thousands all over the Shiite south on Wednesday to protest. Quoting Sunni Arab spokesmen, the wire services are saying 75 Sunni mosques have been attacked, with two burned to the ground and 3 Sunni clergymen assassinated, with 6 Sunni Arabs dead altoghether in the violence.

In the southern city of Kut, AP says, 3,000 protesters came out to rally against the United States and Israel.

AFP says that 10,000 people in East Baghdad converged on the office of Muqtada al-Sadr, chanting against “Wahhabis” and America.

AP also describes some of the other violence:

‘ Large protests erupted in Shiite parts of Baghdad and in cities throughout the Shiite heartland to the south. In Basra, Shiite militants traded rifle and rocket-propelled grenade fire with guards at the office of the Iraqi Islamic Party. Smoke billowed from the building.

Shiite protesters later set fire to a Sunni shrine containing the seventh century tomb of Talha bin Obeid-Allah, companion of the Prophet Muhammad, on the outskirts of the southern city. Police found 11 bodies of Sunni Muslims, most of them shot in the head, in two neighborhoods of Basra, police Capt. Mushtaq Kadhim said. Two of the dead were Egyptians, Kadhim said.

Protesters in Najaf, Kut and Baghdad’s Shiite slum of Sadr City also marched through the streets by the hundreds and thousands, many shouting anti-American and anti-Israeli slogans and burning those nations’ flags. ‘

The hardline Shiite Mahdi Army has come out of Sadr City and is all over Baghdad. They are clashing with Sunnis in Basra.

What a smashing little war.

The view from a local:

No one went to work today as the streets were mostly closed. The situation isn’t good at all. I don’t think I remember things being this tense- everyone is just watching and waiting quietly. There’s so much talk of civil war and yet, with the people I know- Sunnis and Shia alike- I can hardly believe it is a possibility. Educated, sophisticated Iraqis are horrified with the idea of turning against each other, and even not-so-educated Iraqis seem very aware that this is a small part of a bigger, more ominous plan…

Several mosques have been taken over by the Mahdi militia and the Badir people seem to be everywhere. Tomorrow no one is going to work or college or anywhere.

People are scared and watchful. We can only pray.

Bedtime for Benzo

I have been debating about whether or not to write this post all day, but I think it’s worth mentioning. Several people who I respect have commented on how wacky Mary Matalin was on Tim Russert’s show last weekend, but at least one person was very specific about what he thought was wrong with her.

Arianna had this to say:

And then there was the black Asian pajama top to match the black eye makeup and the scarlet red nails to match the scarlet red lips. It was impossible to watch her without thinking of Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty. And then there was her manner, which was so incredibly nasty that it was hard to focus on her ludicrous talking points.

I certainly noticed all of that, but my friend, who I will dub Agent MercedesBenzo, said “Did you see the balloon hands?” I didn’t know what he was talking about, so he explained it to me. Agent MB is a recovering person- he has recently gotten clean of drugs, and he was particularly fond of prescription meds. He told me today that people using benzodiazepines will often make fairly distinctive hand movements- sort of fluttery and floaty. From the article linked to above about Benzos: “The benzodiazepines are a class of drugs with hypnotic, anxiolytic, anticonvulsant, amnestic and muscle relaxant properties.” They include Haclion, Xanax, Valium, Atavan and Klonopin, among others.

Behavior of persons under the influence of Benzodiazepines are described as slurred or erratic speech patterns, lack of inhibition and impaired judgement, and in certain users, aggressiveness, irritability, hostility, impulsivity and increased excitement. (and, according to Agent MercedesBenzo, balloon hands.)

From Arianna:

to get the full effect, you had to see not just what Mary said, but how she said it. She was dripping with contempt and sarcasm, parroting anything said by the other panelists in a teenage sing-song imitation complete with the liberal use of air quotes.

Agent MB watched some of Matalin at Crooks and Liars and said “Holy cow, that woman’s on drugs. I couldn’t watch the whole thing. It made me want to climb the walls.”

Well, isn’t that interesting?

Who’s the pinhead now?

Fascinating.

Bill O’Reilly suggested that the United States “hand over everything to the Iraqis as fast as humanly possible” because “[t]here are so many nuts in the country — so many crazies — that we can’t control them.” O’Reilly has previously called those advocating immediate withdrawal from Iraq “pinheads” and compared them to Hitler appeasers.

I am sure that the Magnificent Bloviator will find some way to rationalize both his change of heart and his derogation of Cindy Sheehan. Fucking putz.