Josh Marshall

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Huhhh. The Lieberman website still has a pretty flat accusation up on their site claiming that their "political opponents" hacked their website and calls on Ned Lamont to "make an unqualified statement denouncing this kind of dirty campaign trick and to demand whoever is responsible to cease and desist immediately." But our reporting on this throughout the day at Election Central and TPMmuckraker raises real question about whether any hacking even took place at all. And Lamont's campaigned categorically denied having anything to do with it.

What really blows me away though is that Paul Kiel got Lieberman's Internet consultant Dan Geary to concede that Lieberman was apparently running his whole website on an off-the-rack amateur web host account. The sort of thing you might use if you were posting pictures of the grand kids. Geary told Kiel the account the campaign used cost "a bit more" than $15 a month.

So, what? $25 a month? $50 tops?

Now, I know a bit about running websites on the cheap. I ran this one on a shoestring for the first three years TPM was online -- though even then when I was scraping enough for food and rent I was still paying more money than the Lieberman camp apparently was. And the thing is when you have that kind of account you really don't get enough information from the provider to have any clear idea what happened if your site goes down. And you certainly have no guarantee it can hold up under any kind of serious traffic -- especially not the kind these sites were going to get in the last 48 hours.

I don't know if they got hacked or caught under a crush of traffic. But from what we know it seems clear they were doing the equivalent of running their Internet camp with the equivalent of a bicycle when they needed an 18-wheeler.

Damn. This could be a squeaker. 76.87% reporting. Lamont 51.76%, Lieberman 48.24%. And Lamont lead has been slowly narrowing. Anyone who knows just what precincts are out probably has a good feel where this is going.

It's Lamont. But not by a huge margin so far. With 56% of precincts counted, Lamont 52.17%, Lieberman 47.83%.

Chris Bowers at MyDD has the most up-to-date running totals.

At TPMCafe Stirling Newberry reports from Lamont HQ.

Early reports have Johnson crushing Cynthia McKinney in Georgia. But my Georgia election expert tells me those early numbers are all from the whiter and more Republican parts of the district. So they don't mean much yet.

Consultant to WA.GOPer McGavick on campaign tactics: "There are times you chop people's heads off and there are times when you don't. I've done both. This is not a formulaic business. This isn't chemistry."

Full Circle: Dennis Miller joins Fox News as contributor on Hannity & Colmes. Remember way back when before he was a whack?

TPM Reader AC ...

Perhaps this is just a matter of semantics, but I’m wondering whether or not the people who “feel that Israel is committing criminal acts” feel that Hezbollah is also committing criminal acts.

One can argue that “an eye for an eye makes the world blind.” One can also argue that “the difference between war and genocide is the presence or absence of shooting back”. (Personally I don’t think the two ideas are mutually exclusive.) What is important to note from an objective standpoint is that Israel is using an organized, identifiably uniformed military force, the IDF, to combat an organized, largely non-uniformed paramilitary force that has chosen to operate within a civilian population, Hezbollah. On the other side of the conflict Hezbollah, in addition to engaging in combat against the IDF, has opted to launch hundreds of rockets on a daily basis aimed squarely at civilian populations (including areas with Israeli Arab and Christian populations). Zionism doesn’t make that true. Those are facts.

Whether or not you or I or anyone else embraces Zionism is beside the point. Hezbollah has quite clearly targeted Haifa, Tsfat, Kiryat Shmona and other Israeli cities as a strategic consideration. Zionism isn’t forcing Hezbollah to embrace asymmetrical warfare. Zionism isn’t forcing Lebanon to have a nationalized army which is either unwilling or unable to undertake the task of disarming Hezbollah. Zionism isn’t forcing the citizens of Lebanon to embrace Hezbollah or provide them the legitimacy conferred by inclusion in a democratically elected government. Zionism didn’t force the Bush Administration to sit on their hands for weeks before sending Secretary Rice to the region with no clear goals, objectives or guidance. Zionism isn’t forcing the Lebanese government to disregard U.N. Resolution 1559. Zionism didn’t force Hezbollah or Hamas to enter Israeli territory and kidnap IDF soldiers who were not engaged in combat operations against them. Those are also facts.

We can debate the merits of Zionism until the fatted calves come home. I know plenty of Zionists who have philosophical issues and deep personal and spiritual conflict with Zionism as a notion and in execution. But to conflate the merits of Zionism with the facts of this conflict as it has existed for the last month is irresponsible at best, whether or not one has a high blood alcohol content and whether or not one is engaging in that discourse with the Malibu Police Department. Until we (we meaning EVERYONE) embrace the fundamental principle that a life in Baghdad is equivalent to a life in Beirut is equivalent to a life in Bethesda is equivalent to a life in Bezet, we won’t get very far in our efforts at conflict resolution.

I've thought for a while, and considered posting on it, that for all the discussion of how targetted or not targetted Israel's attacks in Lebanon are, there's pretty little discussion of the fact that all of Hizbullah's rockets are intentionally aimed at civilian areas. Every one.

More generally there's little to be accomplished talking about the finer points of Zionism at this point. My point in raising the issue is simply to do what I've always tried to do with this site, which is give you my honest opinion on key matters at the given moment. That's where I stand. And it's a basic position that, as I told you yesterday, rises to the surface in me as I field various emails scoping out and evaluating the different parts of the world the Israelis should be deported to. For reasons I'm not quite clear on there seems to be a particular focus on Wyoming as the place they should all be shipped to. But that's another matter. Many readers have pointed out that 'Zionism' has become a very loaded word, fraught with the potential for misunderstanding and provocation. I recognize this. And yet, there it is. We can't run away from it. Certainly, someone in my line of work cannot. It's a broad historical movement with a history and myths, glories and victims. And I've told you where I stand on it.

In any case, all that is happening right now confirms in my mind the central importance for Israel of coming to a settlement with the Palestinians not in the distant future but now. Very soon. Both as a matter of justice and self-interest. A full state, based on the green line, with access to water and the sea. With all that has happened over the last six or seven years it may not be able to be a warm peace at first or perhaps for some time. But it has to happen, both, as I said, as a matter of simple justice, but also as a matter of basic self-interest for Israel and the United States. The Palestinians themselves have never been an existential threat to Israel. That was clear as far back as the 1948-49 war. But some of her neighbors and particularly those in the wider neigbhorhood very much are. And the running wound of the occupation only inflames and complicates defending against those threats.

Now really is the time for those who believe in a just two-state solution in Israel-Palestine and a deescalation of the warfare threatening to tear the entire region (and US power along with it) apart to make themselves heard. Someone has to shout above the recrudescent Jew-haters on the one hand and the worshippers of force and militarism on the other.