A little message mangle…courtesy of Katie Couric and friends. 

As ccmask said this morning, “MSM on a Sunday is like a big ole recycling plant that doesn’t bother crunching the cans that come in.”  Sadly, it is true far too often, isn’t it?  So, here’s a little fact-filled, analysis-rich, commentary-laden pushback against the vapidity that is Sunday talk. 

— From the Department of Honesty Is The Best Policy:  The Bangor Daily News has decided that its enormous personal connections to the Collins campaign should have been publicly disclosed up front to their readers, and that it’s close ties make things seem unseemly.  Duh.  Thanks so much for helping us shine a light on this one.  (You can contribute to Collins’ opponent, Tom Allen, on our Blue America page.  Call it a More Sunshine contribution.  Speaking of which, Howie has an update on the Brown/Doolittle race in CA.)

Glenn has great analysis on the Beltway brain versus the rest of America.  Do read this one.

The NYTimes has an article this morning on the AAEI initiative to push things forward on ending the mess that is Iraq.  It’s a bit long, but a sort of snapshot of the frustration that can be trying to herd the cats inside and outside the Beltway into some sort of remotely coherent whole.  (Welcome to my world.)  Tom Matzzie, of MoveOn.org, who stopped in earlier in the summer to chat with everyone here, is one of the hardest working people I know, and it’s good to see him get some recognition for the enormous amount of behind-the-scenes work he’s been doing along with all the other folks involved with AAEI and all the other groups pushing this issue front and center.

John Amato at C&L puts David Brooks in his place — which is on the sidelines whining and getting his facts altogether wrong.  Welcome to the way things work in Wankerville.  Here’s a thought:  you think Osama Bin Laden doesn’t research the Bush Administration and wingnut mindset, and understand that by pushing their buttons they’ll keep on doing the thing that serves his purposes best — that endless war and turmoil presents the best possible scenario for the chaos on which Bin Laden and his ilk thrive?  Jeebus, wake up and read some Sun Tzu, you morons, and stop falling for the Bin Laden propaganda manipulations.  You’re making America less safe by acting like a bunch of ninnies.  (To quote Frank Herbert:  “Fear is the mind killer.”  Stop acting out of fear.)

— I’m with Atrios and Yglesias on this one:  our “leaders” must stop waiting for the damn ponies.  The solution is ponies of your own making — stop waiting for someone else to fix things.  (And I’m including myself in that cautionary tale as much as anyone — more talk of solutions, less on problems where I can.)

SadlyNo (via TBogg) points out the sheer wattage of the arguments for staying the failure in Iraq.  Could there be a more bumbling bunch of boobery?

Digby has a rundown on the sheer mental wattage of the GOP hierarchy.  (Hint:  dim bulbs ahead.)

Taylor has a great summary of some recent rumors and ruminations.  And Chris in Paris treats an especially vapid headline with the respect it deserves.

— Just started reading John Anderson’s Follow the Money this weekend.  Anderson writes for The American Lawyer, and the book thus far is a fascinating compilation of a whole lot of corruption threads into a coherent whole.  From a review in the Austin American-Statesman today:

..Anderson develops at great length the most venal example of the mercenary politics that emerged during the past decade, the tale of Abramoff’s work for various Indian gaming interests, including the Tigua tribe in Texas. Abramoff and company created a maze of front groups that defrauded their clients of exorbitant fees. In one three-year period, Abramoff and an associate split $42 million, a good chunk of it for work they either never performed or fraudulently charged for. In one gross example of conflict of interest, Abramoff, using prominent Christian Coalition leader-turned-lobbyist Ralph Reed, engineered the mobilization of Christian conservatives to push for a ban on Indian gaming in Texas — as a service to a rival casino client across the state border. He then turned around and got himself hired by the Tiguas to reverse the ban at the federal level (in part via a scheme to bribe members of Congress). It’s hard to say who got the shortest end of the stick on this deal: Abramoff was later convicted of a felony and ordered to pay restitution to clients.

As the title advertises, Anderson takes seriously Deep Throat’s famous advice to “follow the money.” And, as in the case of Watergate, doing so leads him right to the White House….

Follow the money, indeed.

— Finally, Emptywheel has some superb questions, riffing off an article from McJoan, about the late DOJ intervention into the net neutrality question.  Would that more in the corporate media were asking them.  (Yep, wishing for more ponies again.)  More from SaveTheInternet.

What is catching your eye in the news and on the blogs today?

UPDATE:  You can e-mail Katie Couric and then report back to the folks at Move-On.org here.

UPDATE #2:  Because there has been a question raised about who got links and who didn’t in this post, I wanted to clarify something here:  I just went back through the post, and see that I linked to Howie Klein and Down With Tyranny (2,000 plus visits per day), Sadly No (6,000 plus visits per day), TBogg (7,000 plus visits per day), Taylor (not certain on Taylor’s traffic, no site meter that I could find) and Emptywheel (6,000 plus visits per day), none of whom are within the highest trafficked blogs. So I guess this isn’t exactly the one time I didn’t link to smaller blogs either. I’m just saying…

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com