Bloggers chew out a fellow blogger for posting a blackface photo of Joseph Lieberman, discuss warnings by top Pentagon generals that Iraq may be devolving into civil war, and chronicle Katherine Harris' latest campaign snafu.
Meet Joe Blackface: Blogger Jane Hamsher, who writes at Firedoglake and who has been covering the Ned Lamont-Joe Lieberman Senate primary race at Huffington Post, posted a photograph doctored to show Lieberman in blackface alongside President Clinton. Hamsher and other Lamont supporters had taken umbrage with the Lieberman campaign for distributing flyers near black churches that disparaged Lamont's civil rights record. The photo was removed at Lamont's request, according to an apology posted by Hamsher.
Mark Coffey at Decision '08 posts a stern open letter to HuffPo proprietor Arianna Huffington chastising her for failing to explain why the photo was removed without a correction or explanation on the original post. "What standards of journalism would allow such dishonesty? What person of integrity would try to brush such an incident under the rug, knowing full well that tens or hundreds of thousands of people had seen the evidence?" he asks.
Lamont has reportedly said he doesn't "know anything about the blogs" and does not endorse the opinions of bloggers who support his campaign. Indignant righty Tom Maguire at Just One Minute calls bullshit and lists Lamont's associations with Hamsher. "Look, Lamont knows darn well who Jane Hamsher is, and has been working with her closely. One wonders whether the press will give him a pass on that little fib," Maguire writes.
Liberal Dean Esmay at Dean's World has some advice for the big liberal blogs: "You use your blog to raise money for a candidate? Perfectly acceptable. You say or do filthy hateful things, or let others run around on your blog doing so? Expect your beloved candidate to be asked why he accepts your checks or your friendship. ... The siren song of easy money and the illusion that blogs are merely idealistic grassroots action is going to cause some people to crash hard on the reefs of reality."
At Hullabaloo, liberal Digby notes that Lieberman has bigger problems, namely, next week's primary. "Oh, and by the way, somebody had better loosen Joe's corset strings and get out the ammonia—according to the latest poll, Lamont now leads Lieberman 54-41. No wonder he's feeling lightheaded."
Here's more on Hamsher's blunder.
Infighting in Iraq: Gen. Peter Pace and Gen. John Abizaid acknowledged the possibility of civil war in Iraq during testimony Thursday before the Senate armed services committee. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld weathered a strong rebuke from Democratic Sen. Hillary Clinton, who told him, "Under your leadership, there have been numerous errors in judgment that have led us to where we are in Iraq and Afghanistan."
The generals' gloomy predictions prompted Faiz Shakir at Think Progress to question Rumsfeld's strategy. "Just four months ago, Abizaid was asked a similar question by Sen. Levin, and he responded that that Iraq remained 'a long way from civil war.' ... Accepting Abizaid's evolving statements, Iraq has descended 'a long way' into more and more chaotic violence in just the last four months."
"We either need to increase our military capability to match our strategic plan, or we need to modify our strategy to reflect our military capability. Ignoring the problem and hoping for the best just won't work any more," writes moderate blogger Sean Aqui at Midtopia.
Libertarian Adam Roberts at The Metropolis Times suggests that the United States get out of Dodge. "The New Iraqi Army has only 116,500 personnel compared to the US's 133,000 currently in Iraq. We're probably under a moral obligation to train and equip more Iraqi government forces, but we shouldn't spend our military lives and dollars fighting someone else's religious civil war," he writes. And Gordon at the lefty military blog Alternate Brain agrees with Hillary about Rummy: "He needs to be removed from office NOW and held accountable for his egregious mishandling and subsequent destruction of the military, his roles in the bungled occupation of Iraq as well as in the decision to criminally invade and occupy Iraq in the first place."
Here's more on Rumsfeld.
Another Harris controversy: Members of Florida Rep. Katherine Harris' Senate campaign staff are jumping ship because she did not tell them that she'd been served with a federal grand jury subpoena. Harris isn't talking about the subpoena, but her former chief of staff and other defectors are.
Harris-obsessed political blog Wonkette chastises the congresswoman for overshadowing her last controversy before the site could squeeze it dry. "We're upset with her because the day after we exclusively broke news that she's flagrantly violating election law out in Florida, she has to go and hide a grand jury subpoena from her entire staff, thus upstaging our only allotted attempt at reporting this month."
"In the karma is a bitch department, the Katharine Harris campaign for Senate in Florida ... continues to go down in flames. And in the latest news, she has clearly gone insane, as more and more of her staffers quit in disgust," notes Scootmaroo at Cabana Boy Scoot. Of four campaign workers who quit recently, one reportedly left for National Guard duty in Iraq. Indy Voter at CHT's Senate Page is suspicious. "I'm sure Baghdad is a much more unpleasant place to be right now than the Harris campaign, but I can't help but wonder if the guy volunteered for the Guard just so he could get away from this wretched campaign."
Here's more on Harris.