The NYT has an excellent article* pulling back the curtain on the supposed liberal, gay-rights group “Use Your Mandate” that is running ads against Chuck Hagel’s nomination for Secretary of Defense purportedly from the left.

But the Times traces its ad buying back to Smart Media, a GOP company that does work for, wait for it, the Emergency Committee for Israel, Bill Kristol’s neo-con group that has gone after Hagel not just professionally, but personally, by smearing him as an anti-Semite.

Smart Media also has done work for John McCain, who has refused to back his supposed “friend” Hagel.  Other clients include Christine “I’m Am Not a Witch” O’Donnell, and Jon Huntsman, Jr.  The Times couldn’t find any liberal groups or politicians Smart Media has represented in the past.

I hope Dem Senators put this pathetic, tacky sleaze on the record at the Hagel hearings.

* “Secret Donors Finance Fight Against Hagel,” Jim Rutenberg



Something Left and Right Can and Should Agree On

In the NYT Book Review, Jonathan Freedland reviews Strategic Vision by Zbigniew Brzezinski and The World America Made by Robert Kagan.  He notes that while Brzezinski approaches the topic of America’s supposed decline from the left and Kagan from the right, there is much they agree on:

“And yet the greatest surprise is how much they agree with each other, especially on what matters.  They both insist that reports of America’s decline are exaggerated.  Both note that the United States still accounts for a quarter of the world’s gross domestic product, a proportion that has held steady for more than 40 years.  Both note America’s military strength, with a budget greater than than of all its rivals combined.  As Brzezinski puts it, on every measure ‘America is still peerless.'”