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Good point. TPM Reader

Good point. TPM Reader MB asks when Accuracy in Media et al., or whatever other group Brent Bozell uses these days, will start piping in the calls to the FCC demanding a fine for Novak. (ed.note: Yes, obviously, the FCC has no authority to levy a fine since CNN is cable TV. But can't Brent Bozell still stomp up and down and say something terrible has to happen to him?)

Late Update: Novak agrees to "take some time off" from CNN.

I must say Im

I must say, I'm more than a little perplexed by what sent Bob Novak over the edge on CNN today (see post below).

Watching it a few times, what Carville said just wasn't anything out of the ordinary given the sort of verbal fisticuffs Novak normally deals in. On first blush, the fact that host Ed Henry was about to ask Novak questions about the Plame case suggests that maybe he was looking for an excuse to duck out. But that doesn't really make sense either. After all, Novak's been BSing (shall we say) about the Plame case for two years now. Why stop now?

Clearly, the sort of stuff that leads a veteran reporter like Novak to flip out on camera and march off the set doesn't necessarily work by linear, logical reasoning. He did march off, after all. So something must have been eating at him. And the Plame saga (broadly speaking) must be the dominant issue in the guy's life at the moment. But I still don't think I've seen an adequate explanation or even a solid theory.

(ed.note: Got a theory? We're discussing them here.)

Novak meltdown live on

Novak meltdown live on CNN? That's what readers are telling us. Let us know what you heard. We'll post when we know more.

Crooks and Liars has the tape.

Late Update: Wo ... I just watched the tape. And I have to say what James Carville said to set Novak off wasn't really even that pointed, at least not right on the surface at least. The jibe, as near as I could get it, was that Carville was sort of baiting Novak, insinuating that Novak was saying what he was saying because he needed to show the conservative base that he was a tough guy.

Later Update: Pains me as it does to have to rely on Drudge, Drudge says that Ed Henry, the interviewer, ended the segment by saying that he had told Novak in advance that he was going to ask him about the CIA leak case. I take it from the short note that they hadn't yet gotten to that question, thus perhaps suggesting that Novak was looking for an excuse to bolt. If you saw the segment, let us know the details.

Even Later than Later Update: MediaMatters has a clip that includes what Henry says at the end of the segment. At least that's what I'm told. I seems to go garbled toward the end when I try to view. But perhaps they're getting too much traffic.

Late(2) Update: ThinkProgress has what Henry said: “Thanks, James Carville. And I’m sorry as well that Bob Novak left the set a little early. I had told him in advance that we were going to ask about the CIA leak case, he was not here for me to be able to ask him about that. Hopefully, we’ll be able to ask him about that in the future.”

Dooing a little Or

Dooing a little? Or dooing a lot?

Rep. John Doolittle (R) is one of Congressman Free-Mealers noted in the post below. But there's also this weird story about a roadside bill board that I'd love to hear more about.

Former Congressman Pete McCloskey put together a group of moderate Republicans who call themselves Revolt of the Elders (basically an anti-wingnut group, as far as I can tell). And they raised $41,500 for a year long ad whacking Doolittle on an electronic sign at the Roseville Auto Mall.

But after a few weeks, the sign went down. Suddenly the political ad was in violation of some list of permitted uses that no one had ever heard of before.

Doolittle's Chief of Staff told the Sacramento Bee: "We did not ask the auto mall to take them down. We've had several people call who were upset by the political nature of the signs, so I could understand why the mall would be concerned about their sign being a repository for McCloskey's liberal political agenda."

Has anyone heard anything more about this? Is it another sign of creeping bamboozlepaloozaism?

Do you know the

Do you know the names of the four Congressman Free-Meals who look like they're in violation of the congressional gifts-ban because of the free dinners they got courtesy of Jack Abramoff at his swanky DC restaurant Signatures? Click here to find out.

Which Republican incumbents seem

Which Republican incumbents seem vulnerable to you next year? And why? Lots of people in DC get paid tons of money to answer this question. And generally they know what they're talking about. But some shifts in the wind are hard to sense at a distance, even with access to the best polling and census data. So let us know what you're seeing where you live. We've set up a discussion thread here. Tell us who you think is vulnerable and just as importantly, why.

I guess Katherine Harris

I guess Katherine Harris is looking for other self-mockery-memes she can launch against herself in anticipation of her run for the senate next year. On the Hannity show yesterday, she apparently claimed that all the jibes about her titanic use of make-up were unfair because all the newspapers back during the recount had graphically enhanced her make-up, thus making her look like even more of a clown than her behavior already had.

But neither she nor her campaign are coming forward with any evidence or even any specific newspapers to level the charge against. And experts quoted in the article linked above suggest that such an media-wide rouge-ifying conspiracy is highly unlikely.

Like a lot of

Like a lot of you, I saw Raw Story's piece last night on the new Vanity Fair article on Sibel Edmonds. The author mentioned that it was out so far only in New York. So I figured, hey, this living in New York thing has finally come in handy. And I went out to buy a copy.

The real stunners in the piece are Edmonds' claims -- reportedly aired before Congress -- that in the course of her work at the FBI she listened to and translated wiretap recordings which appeared to discuss Speaker Hastert receiving large sums of money from a Turkish criminal syndicate. Edmonds made no claim that Hastert's own voice was on the tapes. And thus there's no direct evidence or even corraborating evidence for what was allegedly said on the tapes outside of some highly circumstantial evidence Vanity Fair notes regarding the pattern of giving to Hastert's congressional campaigns.

For the moment I'm not quite sure what to make of it. And the mystery is heightened by the fact that the magazine itself, on the cover, in advance publicity and in the structure of the article itself seems to have made little effort to push this aspect of the story.

(ed.note: This is a revised version of the original post.)

Theres a good piece

There's a good piece in the Post today by Jeffrey Birnbaum (who's been on this beat for literally decades) about all the forms of DC corruption that are perfectly legal. And this is really the heart of the story about what's going on in DC today.

We have a piece coming later today about a few GOP congressmen who got probably thousands of dollars worth of free meals courtesy of Jack Abramoff at his swanky (and now almost deserted) restaurant Signatures.

But if you just follow the guidelines set forth it's totally fine to accept lush vacations, golf tournaments, ski vacations and more.

So hundred dollar meal from a lobbyist, terrible. Ten thousand dollar trip to Bermuda set up by a lobbyist, not a problem.

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