ir America died not because of the power of conservative talk radio, but because of both liberal and journalistic incompetence.

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Rachel Maddow Rocks My World - Open Thread

Love it:

BAGHDAD -- Smiles broke out earlier this week as members of the Iraqi national baseball team tore into boxes filled with brand-new uniforms, courtesy of a Seattle-based company that donated the gear after a profile of the fledgling team by McClatchy and a national appeal by MSNBC.
The 20 uniforms were part of an outpouring of donations that followed a McClatchy news report July 13 that described the struggles of the start-up team, which at the time shared a single softball bat, a few old balls and some worn-out gloves. Uniforms were only a dream. Since the report, which gained a wider audience when MSNBC's Rachel Maddow picked it up and appealed for help, the team has received cleats, baseballs, gloves, bats, helmets and an official rule book.

Photo at McClatchy.

In the media swamp of head-on-desk Kanye yammer, this story may have actually redeemed the broadcasting profession for a day or two. Thanks Rachel.

What's on your mind tonight?

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After Base Electrocutions, IBEW Members Help Improve Safety in Mideast

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Boston Local 103 journeyman wireman Kevin Brashears was fearful of becoming another statistic: one more hardworking family man victimized by the economic free fall. But after experiencing unemployment like many workers across the country - and facing foreclosure on his mortgage - Brashears hit pay dirt in an unlikely place.

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Stimulus In Action Open Thread

Rachel, as always, breaks it down:

What else is going on tonight?

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Obama's Gregg Problem

Obama's choice of Judd Gregg at Commerce keeps getting worse. On Monday, that pesky waybackmachine revealed the embarrassing fact that in 1995, Judd Gregg actually voted to abolish the Commerce Department, the very department he's now been entrusted to run.

Now, we have this latest revelation:

The Associated Press is reporting that Kevin Koonce, who worked as legislative director in Gregg's Senate office from 2002 to 2004, was the "Staffer F" cited in a guilty plea last week by Todd Boulanger, a former deputy to Abramoff, who said he gave the staffer front-row tickets to a hockey game and other tickets to a baseball game, and in exchange received favors in spending legislation.

Robert Gibbs indicated that this issue would not derail Gregg's nomination (can we maybe change your mind on that...?) and in fact, it is the case that Gregg is neither a subject nor a target of the investigation. But still...Really...Who's doing the vetting here? Or maybe all they really needed to know about Gregg was the letter next to his name.

As usual, Rachel nails it:

Choosing Judd Gregg for Commerce Secretary does not result in the Democratic Governor of New Hampshire replacing him with a Democrat in the Senate...

Choosing Judd Gregg takes away one of the key Republican votes the White House might have been able to count on to pass the stimulus plan in the Senate.

Choosing Judd Gregg puts a conservative Republican with a 4% lifetime voting rating with the AFL-CIO in an important economy job under a Democratic president

Choosing Judd Gregg puts a conservative Republican who voted to abolish the whole Commerce department in charge of that department now.

And if the 'Staffer F' business turns out to be what it looks like in the plea deal that was filed last week, choosing Judd Gregg means we've got a new Secretary of Commerce who was unwittingly duped for years by his own Legislative Director who was ostentatiously taking bribes from the Abramoff Republican uber-lobbyist crime family.

But apparently all of this is outweighed by the very exciting fact that Judd Gregg is a Republican. That fact is so bi-partisanly politically awesome that apparently none of that other stuff matters.

Watch it:

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