My new Think Again column, called "History Isn’t a Dirty Word," about the incredible amnesia shown by the MSM regarding the Bush presidency is here.

My new Nation column, on Marty Peretz’s New Republic being "Bad for the Jews" is here.

This week on Moyers:

This week in 1) craziness and 2) corruption:

1) SC offering shoppers tax-free weekend on guns


South Carolina shoppers will get a second chance to buy tax-free guns.The state Revenue Department sent out a reminder Wednesday of the upcoming "Second Amendment Weekend." The 48-hour tax break begins just after midnight the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Shoppers will pay no state or local sales taxes on handguns, rifles and shotguns, which can tally 9 percent. Taxes still apply to ammunition and accessories.

 2) Flight Sale: FEC Eases Limits on Lawmakers’ Use of Corporate Jets

from Washington Wire

By Brody Mullins

The skies just got a bit friendlier for lawmakers, courtesy of the Federal Election Commission.

Today’s FEC vote largely guts rules imposed by Democrats to ban lawmakers from flying on corporate jets for cut-rate prices.

The ban had been a key element of Democrats’ pledge to break the close ties between corporate lobbyists and lawmakers. One way they tried to do that was by adopting tough ethics rules that, among other things, reduced lawmakers’ ability to borrow corporate jets and reimburse the company by paying only the cost of a commercial airline ticket for a similar route. Instead, lawmakers had to pay the "pro rata share of the fair market value of the flight," often several thousand dollars.

Just in time for next year’s midterm election, the commission today essentially struck down much of that travel rule, deciding that the rule doesn’t apply when lawmakers are traveling to campaign or raise money for other candidates or political parties.

The FEC’s move lets lawmakers return to the days of paying cut-rate prices for some flights on corporate jets.

The move left government watchdogs growling. "The FEC’s new rule illegally contradicts the plain meaning of the statute," said Paul Ryan with the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center.

Slacker Friday:



Hey Doc:

"Time, may be short or long/Any little thing can be right or wrong."

Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: "Jerry Rig" (Rev. Bill C. Wirtz) — I am close enough to New Orleans right now to shout out my love for it.

No short takes this week, because I’m visiting No. 2 son at Ole Miss and borrowing a computer from the great Greg Johnson, blues archivist at the Williams Library. (This is the 25th anniversary of the collection here and there is a gorgeous exhibit on display.) Tomorrow, I’m going to a panel discussion of the late Willie Morris’s time as editor of Harper’s and Saturday, will be tailgating in the Grove and watching the Rebs beat hell out of LSU. This already is a great trip.

Anyway, no story frosted me as much as this little one YESTERDAY (). I know it doesn’t matter much in the great scheme of things, but it is wholly indicative of the ongoing frustration I have with President Civility and his Folding Commandos. Ms. Perino’s checkered history as a hired obsfuscator has been well-documented in and around the web. (She compared the administration’s criticism of Mr. Murdoch’s Toy News Network to something "dictators" would do and this from a woman who didn’t know what the Cuban Missile Crisis was.) The president is doing Mitch McConnell a favor here. (How about doing, say, Bernie Sanders a favor?) What I don’t understand is why. Is he the only person in this country that doesn’t recognize what a clown college the Republican party is right now? Is he the only person in the country who doesn’t understand that their goal is to screw up his administration so badly that enough people stay home in 2010 and 2012 to make sure that the most unpopular political party in my lifetime, proposing the most unpopular ideas I’ve ever seen broached in public, will come back into power? What in the name of god does he expect to gain out of something like this. Early on, OK, boss, I could see it. You really do believe all that bipartisan, the people-want-results, competence-not-ideology, New Politics stuff that you talked about in every diner in Iowa in 2008. But after almost a flat year of angry petulance, lunatic opprobrium, theocratic bunkum, AND Sarah Plain’s book tour, how can you possibly believe that anything like that is possible, ever? That appointing a half-bright flack from the worst administration ever will make some sort of difference? You’re supposed to be arranging that people like Mitch McConnell can no longer afflict the nation, not doing him favors like this. Watch my lips carefully. THIS. WILL. NOT. FUCKING. WORK. They hate you. They hate us. They hate anyone who doesn’t throw them a $10,000-a-plate fundraiser. The Republican party has lost its mind, and it’s sitting within the structure of government like some sort of prion disease, eating away everything it can. Anything smacking of its success brings us all closer to a very dark place, again. They are not people of good will. They hate you because you’re black, and accomplished, and because you’re not One Of Them. They hate the rest of the country because it voted for you. They willingly marinate in wretched ignorance in front of their radios for four, six, eight hours a day, and in front of their TV’s for four hours after that. Their politicians know that this hatred is all their party has left to keep it out of the abyss. For the love of god, and the good of the rest of us, change the way you govern. Today.

And then there’s this, yesterday, from the good folks at Public Policy Polling:"PPP’s newest national survey finds that a 52% majority of GOP voters nationally think that ACORN stole the Presidential election for Barack Obama last year, with only 27% granting that he won it legitimately."


This is a party of raving paranoids that is empirically no different from UFO fantasists and the people who hear Asteroth in their fillings. If, for this reason, they were as readily ignored as, say, Dennis Kucinich–who, as the Serious People tell us, is "crazy"–we’d all be better off.

Name: Perry Fellwock

Hometown: Queens, NY

FYI, I met Peretz once at Norman Mailer’s place on Prospect Heights in Brooklyn sometime in 1975. The occasion was an anti-war/anti-CIA fund raising event and I remember that Peretz was just trying to recruit some of us to support the curious notion that the North Vietnamese fighting against America was somehow similar to the Israelis fighting against the Palestinian occupiers and that if we were against the war against that tiny little country we should be against the war against his tiny little country. Seemed like conflicted logic to me at the time and still does. The event was a bust and Mailer ended up looking foolish.

Name: Nadene Fern Goldfoot

Hometown: Gresham, Oregon

Eric, I don’t know about Marty Peretz but I disagree with The Nation, especially with Adam Horowitz & Philip Weiss’s article "American Jews Rethink Israel" and was very disappointed with our young Jewish community in being supportive of J Street. That’s the side of the fence I’m on. I’m a person with dual citizenship and am very supportive of Israel’s right to decide life for themselves. Unless you have lived there for a period of time as I have, you have no idea of what you’re talking about. I’ve lived in Israel for 5 1/2 years, have written a book that’s on, and keep several blogs about what’s happening in Israel. I’m also appalled at the lack of knowledge and little interest in Israel, why they must do what they do. Everyone’s too busy eating and watching games on TV. What I have done is join an Israel Advocacy Group so that I’m up on the latest situations in a group as well as in my own readings. It’s just a sad state to see how so many of our own people are taking the course of events so lightly. So I ask, what is your background and Marty’s to speak so knowledgeably about Israel’s position? What’s Bad For the Jews" is more than just Marty.