Josh Marshall

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One of the breezier emails on Israel ...

Over the years I have been a strong supporter of Israel's right to be. Now I am wondering.

What kind of neighbor has Israel been? Would you want to live next door?

How would you like it if your neighbor annexed your land? Locked you up? Lied to you? Periodically threw bombs at your house?

What if Israel had taken a different path? What if they had been less afraid, less brutal? What if the billions spent on fences and bombs and soldiers had been spent on making sure their neighbors had a piece of the pie?

What if Israel hadn't relied on their military might so much? What if they had been the ones to help open health clinics, provide opportunities, help people build a good life (instead of Hezbollah)?

Maybe it's time for Israel to change its ways or move on.

I'm not sure what it means when a country moves on. Where does it go?

Remember, there's more than one incumbent who looks ready to get knocked out in a primary tomorrow. The most recent poll out of Georgia 4 makes it look even more likely than in Connecticut that the incumbent is going to get dumped. Challenger Hank Johnson is pulling 53% of the vote to Rep. Cynthia McKinney's 40%. The sample is small -- 400 likely voters. But it's in line with other recent polls.

For all the other polls out in the last 48 hours check out our new Election Central Poll Tracker.

TPM Reader RB chimes in on the Joe website mystery ...

I own a web hosting company (***********.com) that uses the same software as the Lieberman site. That screenshot that the Lamont folks grabbed is a standard automated warning from a website control panel known as "Cpanel". Most large webhosts host many thousands of domains and their systems are automated. If a bill goes unpaid, or bandwidth is exceeded by a specified amount, the site gets auto-suspended and that Cpanel page replaces the index page. It's possible that the site was suspended for exceeding their bandwidth allotment as opposed to not paying their bills, but for someone like Joe Lieberman to not have his ducks in a row on the night before an election like this is quite telling.

Other knowledgeable emailers suggest the same possibility -- not that Joe folks necessarily forgot to pay their bill but that they tripped some bandwidth or server load limit and hadn't made arrangements in advance to keep the site online if this happened.

Not sure what to make of this. The night before the election and Lieberman's site is apparently out of commission. The Lamont campaign says it's for non-payment and they have a screen shot that suggests they're right.

Late Update: TPM Reader DB on early lights out for Lieberman ...

I've never known a host to put up a banner that says, essentially, the bills aren't paid. They usually just go dark.

The site is hosted at, in Dallas. Here's the site's Whois:

Friends of Joe Lieberman P.O. Box 231294 Hartford, CT 06123 US

Domain Name: JOE2006.COM

Administrative Contact: Diana Fassbender ************** Friends of Joe Lieberman P.O. Box 231294 Hartford, ct 06123 US Phone: 203-******** Fax: Technical Contact: Domain Administrator Friends of Joe Lieberman PO Box 3895 Englewood, CO 80155 US Phone: +180.14370220 Fax: Billing Contact: Diana Fassbender ************** Friends of Joe Lieberman P.O. Box 231294 Hartford, ct 06123 US Phone: 203-******** Fax:

Record updated on 2005-09-03 13:33:00 Record created on 2002-06-23 Record expires on 2007-06-23 Database last updated on 2006-08-07 22:14:49 EST

Before taking a site dark, any reputable host will send many emails to the admin and billing contacts. What does Diana Fassbender have to say about it?

Plus, unless someone there did it deliberately, it seems unlikely that a reputable host would take a sitting U.S. Senator's site dark the night before an election.

To me, as a technology professional, this doesn't add up.

I'm not quite sure what to make of this. Way back at the dawn of the net, well, a bit after the dawn in 1996, I ran a website for now-Senator Jack Reed (D-RI). It was the campaign website for his first run for senate. I don't remember exactly how we did it but I think I just had them set up on an off the rack account with some provider. If a bill wasn't paid they probably would have just pulled the plug. It was probably automated or if not then probably the person pulling the switch would have been someone who wouldn't have paid any attention to the site's content. (This was back when I made extra money designing websites when I was in graduate school.)

But that's ancient history. A website is a much bigger deal nowadays, especially this one. So it does seem a bit odd.

Anyone know any more about this?

A late Joe surge? I'll believe it when I see it. But the chatter from Lamont supporters over the weekend that the race is closer than people thought is at least somewhat borne out by the latest Quinnipiac poll which has a six point spread.

Here's a quick follow-up on my post from last night about the Israel-Lebanon war. In my post I referred to "my core belief in the Zionist project." And a number of readers have written in to ask what I mean by that.

Zionism is too multifaceted and controversial a subject to define here at TPM. And in any case what Zionism 'is' or 'means' isn't really relevant in this case. What's relevant is what I mean or meant when I identify myself with it.

Here's what I mean. I believe in the project of building a democratic and secular Jewish state in Palestine.

Some of Israel's enemies and too many of her friends and advocates use the word to mean in a Jewish state in all of historic Palestine or even, as used to be the Revisionist credo, a Jewish state on both sides of the Jordan River.

That's not what I believe.

I believe there should be a Palestinian state on the West Bank and in Gaza. Not a collection of autonomous cantons but a full state, with the border being the Green Line or some very near approximation of it. As Ben-Gurion saw from the beginning and others like Moshe Dayan realized not that long after, trying to settle the West Bank and Gaza was a terrible mistake, one born of Israeli triumphalism, fed by coalitional politics in Israel and constantly enabled by the intransigence of the Arab states.