WELCOME TO DAYBOOK, our daily collection of media and politics hits/misses from a wide variety of sources plus fun videos and (and at the bottom) musical picks. Return for updates all day. Keep up with fresh items via @gregmitch at  Twitter.  E-mail: epic1934@aol.com. To increase type size hit the middle "A" above right.


Christopher Hitchens returns–with smackdown of Mel Gibson as religious righty.

Excellent Frontline video for the giant Wash Post "Top Secret America" series here…. Coming up in that  series: “Tuesday’s article describes the government’s dependence on private contractors. Wednesday’s is a portrait of one Top Secret America community.” It has its own Twitter feed @PostTSA … In rare move, NYT urges its readers to check out the Post.…. Good collection of links to blog reactions here. 

Despite the Top Secret attention #1 most read story at Post site today–the flap over Palin’s  pathetic coining word "refudiate" and then she had to nerve to compare herself to Shakespeare.  One wag comments:  "To suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous liberals /  or to quit halfterm, and by opposing, rake in speaking fees."

Democracy Corps polling publishes Special Report on the Tea Party Movement …   Mad hatter or hater? Rep. Michele Bachmann’s proposal to create a Tea Party caucus in the House has been officially approved.

Fox rejects Vote Vets ads… BBC:  Halliburton, despite oil leak and other woes, reports 83% gain in profits over last year.

I wll be on GritTV today–talking George Shultz, Dana Priest, 65th anniversary of The Bomb–watch for video up here at the site later. 

Mother Jones: Who is better for environment–vegetarians or carnivores? 



DO YOU WANT TO KNOW  A SECRET?  Much-awaited Dana Priest bombshell (with Bill Arkin) just up at Wash Post: "Top Secret America."  Includes a separate online data base, site and video. Plus locator map. The two-year Post probe, with two dozen staffers on it,  the intro says, "discovered what amounts to an alternative geography of the United States, a Top Secret America hidden from public view and lacking in thorough oversight. After nine years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that the system put in place to keep the United States safe is so massive that its effectiveness is impossible to determine." 

PALIN COMPARISON  Sarah Palin drew wide mockery on Twitter when she asked New Yorkers to "refudiate" the proposed mosque at Ground Zero.  She then tweeted, comparing herself to The Bard: "English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!"

PAUL MAULS  Krugman column: "The Pundit Delusion." Obama listening too much to them when it’s really just "the economy, stupid."  In blog post he then names a culprit: Clive Crook of The Atlantic:  "And right on cue, Clive Crook tells us that Obama’s big mistake was refusing to ‘disown the left.‘"

HONEST, ABE   Mark Williams kicked out of Tea Party after mock letter from “Colored People” to Abraham Lincoln.

‘INCEPTION’ RECEPTION  Interesting Roger Ebert blog post on disagreements about whether such-and-such film is "great"– inspired by much debate about Inception. And who knew that Shawshank is currently ranked #2 as greatest film ever on IMDB.

JERRY BROWN’s THIRD ACT  Wash Post with lengthy profile of "once and maybe future" California guv Jerry Brown:  "In this age of anti-incumbency rage and the demonizing of career politicians, Brown — ever counterintuitive — is emphasizing his four decades of public service, stretching through two terms as governor, eight years as mayor of Oakland and to his current perch as the state attorney general." … WSJ: Could GOP actually win the Senate? 

BUT LET"S GIVE THEM EQUAL COVERAGE  Study finds only about 2% of top climate scientists do not believe in man-made global warming. Will media care?

GORGEOUS GEORGE?  PBS ombud Michael Getler strongly critiques that fawning series about George Shultz, and PBS,  partly inspired by piece  I wrote about it week here — as creator smacks me in response…. And my followup today here.  


With Mad Men debuting in another week, it’s time to see the re-visit   "Meshugene Men."  



Somehow, given the current (and seemingly never-to-end) heat wave in the East the only apt tune for today is the massive Spoonful hit from 44 Julys ago, "Summer in the City."