Tuesday, December 31, 2002

How Real Reporters Do It

While the American press is full of sanctimonious apologists for power, their Brit counterparts have a healthy disrespect for authority and, apparently, everyone else. The following may (or may not) explain why certain U.K. newspapers are livelier and better written than their counterparts in the States.
The undisputed winners are those Observer staff, led by editor Roger Alton, who spent two days at a country house hotel in July pondering the question: where do we go from here? The assembled hacks quickly came up with the answer: straight to the bar. After many comradely exchanges � �you�re fucking pissed, you wanker!� � news editor Andy Malone punched business editor Frank Kane, who fell on to a fire grate and fractured several ribs. Malone himself then keeled over, dead drunk, injuring his leg.
A �team-building� football match the next morning degenerated into a riot of wild tackling and mud-wrestling, and left acting review editor Tim Adams with a broken nose. �Fuck fuck fuck,� Alton muttered despairingly on returning to the office. �What the fuck�s happening to this paper?�
Andy and Frank are the kind of guys I'd love to see invited to Sally Quinn dinner parties.

The Majesty of the Marketplace, Part II

The other great tax-cut tome is Wealth and Poverty, written by George Gilder in 1981. Gilder's reputation, too, has gone south recently. After winning acclaim as a tax-cut zealot, Gilder abruptly became a telecommunications autodidact. During the 1990s boom he made a fortune as a new economy evangelist--he earned up to six figures for a single speech, and his newsletter, "Gilder Technology Report," often caused stocks he recommended to jump as much as 50 percent....
The technology crash caused most of the companies Gilder extolled in his newsletter to lose virtually all their value.... Gilder had to abandon the Spectator and, according to Wired, is now broke and has a lien against his home--giving the phrase "Wealth and Poverty" an unanticipated poignancy. -- Jonathan Chiat, "Get Lucky"

Mine, Mine, Mine!

The president responded abruptly when a reporter suggested that war was inevitable.
"You say we're headed to war in Iraq. I don't know why you suggested that," he said. "I'm the person who gets to decide, not you."

Meet Your Liberal Media

This is CNN.

This too.
The day this is enacted is the day we meet Ben Shapiro's new boyfriend.

Monday, December 30, 2002

But... But ... He Called Them Evil!!

"The Bushies told the North Koreans that they either had to shape up or we'd take them out. Now the North Koreans have called our bluff. And the administration -- as signalled by Powell's comments over the weekend -- has caved, enunciating a policy which is now substantially more dovish than the Clinton policy.

"Tough talk sounds great until your opponent calls your bluff and everybody sees there's nothing behind the trash talk. Then you look foolish. That's where we are right now with North Korea." -- Joshua Micah Marshall

The Unfunny Papers

Political cartoonist Doug Marlette has made an offending statement of Trent Lott proportions, and is digging himself in deeper. He recently published a cartoon entitled "What Would Mohammed Drive?" which depicts and Arab man driving a Ryder truck with a nuclear warhead on board.

Rather than acknowledge the offensive nature of his cartoon, Marlette brags about his ability to "piss people off." He also claims his cartoon -- an alleged take-off on the "What Would Jesus Drive?" ad campaign -- is "an attack on the distortion of their [Muslims'] religion by murderous fanatics and zealots." Unfortunately for Marlette, that's just not true. There's nothing in the cartoon which even hints at the premise that the man depicted is a fanatic "distorting" the Muslim faith. The only suggestion is that Mohammed, a Muslim prophet, would drive a truck bomb, just as the ad campaign suggested Jesus Christ would drive an eco-friendly vehicle.

Marlette also excuses his cartoon by saying that he has "outraged fundamentalist Christians by skewering Jerry Falwell, Roman Catholics by needling the Pope, and Jews by criticizing Israel." But those aren't equivalents. The Christian equivalent would be a depiction of Jesus -- or even the Pope or Falwell -- molesting a child or drowning children in the bathtub. Or, to use Marlette's image, a pastor or rabbi at the wheel of a Ryder truck loaded with fertilizer and headed toward Oklahoma City. I doubt we'll see those cartoons from Marlette.

Marlette finally falls back on the argument that his critics are humorless and therefore he is the victim of intolerance. He should just admit that his cartoon isn't funny and doesn't convey the message he claims it does.

Sully Gets It

Somehow, Sully gets it right in this excellent little Paglia-esque riff:


9. Roger Ailes, for kicking media ass.
Perfect. Of course, Andy's referring to Roger Ailes' clarifying and uplifting expose of the Hate-Americans-First crowd over at the decadent Moonie Times. Unless he's just sucking up in the vain (and narcissistic) hope of getting some telly time.

Inexplicably, Sully left off the hyperlink.

In return, I'd like to given Sully the 2002 Pruden Award. For kissing media asses, natch.

Sunday, December 29, 2002

The Majesty of the Marketplace


Dear Free-Market.Net members and supporters,

We regret to announce that we have suspended operations. The Henry Hazlitt Foundation, our non-profit corporation, has always been a small organization, 'living on the edge,' and 2002 just hit our funding too hard for us to recover." -- free-market.net

They Are The N.R.A.

In Southampton, Pa., Daniel Strouss, 19, was charged in an alleged revenge-shooting months after the victim, a friend of his, purportedly gave him a "wedgie" at a concert. In Gary, Ind., Stephen D. Walker, 22, was charged with shooting a longtime friend during an argument over which of the two was the better friend. In Godley, Tex., a 20-year-old man was fatally shot as he was wrestling for a gun with a 21-year-old man. Police said the two had been aggressively debating which of the two was more likely to get to Heaven. --Washington Post, Dec. 29

Toe Suckers For Trent

Dick Morris, the human foot-in-mouth disease, equates a self-inflicted job demotion with terrorism:
Ousted because he spoke well of Strom Thurmond, who broke with Truman over anti-lynching legislation, [Lott] now swings from a tree in Washington.

Wingnut Loser of the Week

The aptly-named Brian Doltzer is a poor man's Ben Shapiro. Here's Doltzer, the protege of Biblical prophesy nut Hal Lindsey, adding his own special insights to some warmed over (and debunked) Gore-bashing:
Is it possible that Gore�s inability to keep his facts straight is due to his misunderstanding of biblical scripture? After all, it was Al Gore who claimed that the story of Cain and Abel was intended to warn us about the great danger pollution poses. [Para.] In Gore�s own book, Earth in the Balance, he states that �the first instance of �pollution� in the Bible occurs when Cain slays Abel.� Though he did not lie about anything regarding Cain and Abel, I find it somewhat odd that the media didn�t have a field day with Gore�s interpretation of Genesis chapter four and his failed attempt in divinity school....

Where was the media when Al Gore failed to identify George Washington and Benjamin Franklyn while at Monticello? (Perhaps the media was too busy salivating over the pop quiz given to George Bush by a reporter regarding the leaders of India, Pakistan, Chechnya, and Taiwan, of which Bush answered correctly only one. Of these six people, how many can you identify? Pervez Musharraf, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Aslan Maskhadov, Chen Shui-bian, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklyn.)
Someone Raptured this boy's brain and forgot to tell him.

Ship Of Fools

[T]he former president George Bush senior and former first lady Barbara, as well as their son Jeb, the Governor of Florida, and a host of minor relations and a hefty security detail are aboard the good ship Disney Wonder bound from Fort Canaveral to the Bahamas....

No comment was available from the 41st president but his son Jeb was brushing aside the medical risks. "I'm not worried at all about the health issue; I'm more worried about just being on a boat, getting along without e-mail and stuff," he said with a laugh.

Thursday night's departure of the Disney Wonder was delayed for an hour because two unidentified Bush granddaughters were late. President George W Bush's daughters Jenna and Barbara were listed on the ship's manifest, although it was not immediately known if they were the latecomers on what a spokeswoman described as a "much-deserved and needed personal family vacation". The President has flown to his ranch in Texas for a two-week break with his wife, Laura.

Although the sickness plaguing the cruise industry is far from life-threatening, it is most unpleasant. The symptoms include acute stomach pains, diarrhoea and vomiting, and can last up to a week.

The Bush clan, it is claimed, will not be enjoying any special privileges, apart from the secret service entourage. The family will be eating in the main dining room with others of the 2,500 passengers, and no part of the vessel will be sealed off.
Poppy and the grandaughters were looking for a place where they'd have an excuse for vomiting in public. The "minor relations" include Neil, Marvin and Doro. Meanwhile, Noelle was left at home, a severe blow to the Bahamian economy.
[deleted upon further consideration]

Saturday, December 28, 2002

No More Bigots In The G.O.P.

Having removed the last vestiges of bigotry from its ranks by demoting Trent Lott, the Party of Lincoln was shocked to find intolerance within the faithful in Jesse Helms' home state.
The Web site of a North Carolina county Republican organization today removed a link to another site with anti-Islamic statements after receiving criticism from a Muslim group.

The Guilford County Republican Party's site, guilfordgop.org, includes the usual color photographs of Senator-elect Elizabeth Dole and President Bush, and election information and meeting schedules. But among its links was one to a site called IslamExposed.com, which describes Islam as "one of the greatest evils on our planet."

"This false religion is nothing more than a barbaric occult invented by savages for savages," the site said.

Update (12/29) (via Atrios): Mark A.R. Kleiman and MWO scooped the Times by two months. Somehow, it's all Howell Raines' fault.

Postal Fraud Uncovered

From Eleanor Clift, via Atrios:

To underscore that he�s not a captive of Washington, President Bush�s Christmas card this year is postmarked Crawford, Texas, although the return address reads, �The White House, Washington, D.C. 20500.� But the record 1.7 million cards the Bushes sent were too much to handle for the Crawford post office, which is a two-person operation. To accommodate Bush�s down-home image, the post office arranged for the cards to be stamped in Austin, where a special dye was ordered to authenticate the Crawford postmark. Bush, who spent Christmas at Camp David, is apparently the first president to insist on an out-of-town postmark.
From 18 U.S.C. Sec. 503:

Whoever forges or counterfeits any postmarking stamp, or impression thereof with intent to make it appear that such impression is a genuine postmark, or makes or knowingly uses or sells, or possesses with intent to use or sell, any forged or counterfeited postmarking stamp, die, plate, or engraving, or such impression thereof, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

Tayloring His Resume To Fit This Year's Fascism

One of Ken Starr's most useful idiots is at it again, currying favor with the politically powerful and hopelessly corrupt. In a recent edition of National Journal (and Atlantic online), Stuart Taylor Jr. sings the praises of that "brainy [and] technologically adept" criminal John Poindexter and Poindexter's Total Information Awareness program. Taylor praises Poindexter as a "a well-meaning patriot cursed with abysmal judgment...."

Just how patriotic is Poindexter? Well, in 1990, he was convicted by a jury of five felonies: one count of conspiring to obstruct official inquiries and proceedings, two counts of obstructing Congress, and two counts of false statements to Congress. He destroyed documents and computer records concerning his illegal Iran-Contra activities. He first claimed that he was acting without the President's authority, but then claimed at his criminal trial that he was following orders.
His activities were summarized by Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh as follows:

-- Count One ... Poindexter conspired with North and Secord to obstruct congressional inquiries of Iran- and contra-related matters, to make false statements to Congress, and to falsify, remove and destroy official documents.

-- Count Two ... Poindexter obstructed Congress in 1986 when it was investigating media allegations that North was raising funds and providing military aid to the contras. In letters to three committees, Poindexter answered questions by repeating denials McFarlane made before Congress in 1985 of North's involvement in contra-support activities, even though Poindexter knew the denials to be false. He set up a meeting with the House Intelligence Committee in August 1986 in which he knew North would have to give false testimony, and afterward congratulated North on his performance.

-- Count Three ... Poindexter obstructed Congress in November 1986 by participating with North in the preparation of false chronologies of the secret U.S. arms sales to Iran and by making false statements to the House and Senate intelligence committees. Specifically, Poindexter falsely asserted that no U.S. official knew before January 1986 that HAWK missiles had been shipped to Iran in November 1985. The indictment stated that North as early as November 20, 1985, told Poindexter about the shipment in advance and advised him of it again after the fact in late 1985.

-- Counts Four and Five ... Poindexter made false statements about the HAWK shipment to the House and Senate intelligence committees on November 21, 1986. As in Count Three, the false statement charges were based on North's informing Poindexter about the shipment in 1985.
Now, that's patriotism.

Taylor, who is equal parts moron and hysteric, concludes that Poindexter's TIA is a great idea because: "I, for one, am a lot less worried about the government snooping through my credit card bills and psychiatric records than about being anthraxed in the subway or killed by a nuclear explosion in my downtown Washington office." Of course, if Taylor has no objections to the government reviewing his private information, he can easily drop it in a FedEx mailer and send it over to Johnno anytime he wants. What Taylor is really less worried about is the government snooping through everyone else's credit card bills and psychiatric records. Hysterical amnesia has caused Stu to forgot not only the crimes of Iran-Contra but also those of Watergate, the Hoover FBI and the Starr OIC.

What's missing from the article by the National Journal's Legal Affairs columnist (and a Harvard Law School grad)? That's right: any discussion of the role of the judicial branch of government. Poindexter's plan -- which Taylor endorses -- completely bypasses judicial oversight and constitutional requirement of probable cause. Stu either has forgotten about the Fourth Amendment, or is willing to piss it away in order to hand over power to criminals like Poindexter.

When last we saw Taylor, he was entertaining job offers from the corrupt Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr while simultaneously reporting on Starr's activities for the National Journal. (As one commentator put it, Taylor "turned down [the] Starr job offer to be his official spokesman [and] decided to remain unofficial.") There may be a job as Poindexter's official flack in Stu's future -- if there isn't one already.

Friday, December 27, 2002

Someone recently asked in the comments why I dislike Mickey Kaus -- is it because he used to be a Democrat? One reason is that he isn't much of a writer or, at least, he doesn't put any effort into his writing. For example:
Pareles also misses the most important, and highly relevant, geopolitical incident in which The Clash figures: The playing of the band's "Rock the Casbah" as the first song on U.S. Armed Forces radio in Saudi Arabia during the buildup to 1991's Operation Desert Storm -- this despite a lot of talk about the need not to offend delicate Saudi sensibilities. At the time, I remember thinking that the choice of this song --which seems to mock Wahabi repression and features the somewhat provocative line, "Drop your bombs between the minarets/Down the Casbah way" -- represented much of what's good about Americans. It was a big "F--- Y--" to Saudi censors, as in "You want us to defend your country, well you can't tell us what music to listen to, buddy!" Now I'm not so sure if gratuitously irritating strict Islamic moralists -- as if there really was no room for a culture without Britney Spears in a free, democratic world -- was such a brilliant idea.
The premise of the post -- that Kaus gives a shit about the Clash -- is a dubious one to begin with. But look at this mess as a work of writing.

"At the time, I remember thinking..." is wrong. (Are you reminiscing about reminiscing, Mick, or remembering something at the same time you're thinking it? No.) "At the time, I thought" or "I remember thinking at the time" is the proper way to express the concept.

And what's with "F--- Y--"? Even if Kaus had a legitimate reason not to write "fuck," is there any reason to censor "you" as well?

Look at the last sentence. What does it mean? 9/11 was blowback from the decision to broadcast "Rock the Casbah" to U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia? Censorship of pop music you don't like is consistent with freedom and democracy? Saudi Arabia is a free, democratic country? Kaus may think he's making a point, but his sentence is so muddled that it's entirely meaningless.

Update (12/28): Somebody get this fool an editor. Here's his latest effort at sentence construction: "Trying to balancing the budget by cutting Medicare -- aggressive!"

Update II (12/29): Kaus re-writes again! Wee Mickey has again changed a comment without noting the fact. He's modified a second to last paragraph to add a fifth option to his closing query. The added option is option (c); (d) also has been modified. But he doesn't bother to change "Trying to balancing." Another good reason to loathe Mick? You, the reader make the call!

Thursday, December 26, 2002

"First Cloned Human Being Born: 'We Call Her Eve!' Says Scientist"

One can only imagine Peggy Noonan's reaction if this is confirmed.

Update (12/27): According to the local news this morning, the child has been named Eve.

The Poll That Wasn't Was There

Liberal Oasis cites a December 17-18 Time/CNN Poll which shows Bush's approval ratings at their lowest since September 2001. Liberal Oasis reports that the poll's not online, and skepticism about the existence of the poll has been voiced in some quarters. But CNN's site does reference a poll which confirms at least one of the numbers quoted by Liberal Oasis (Bush's trustworthiness rating). The CNN link also notes that only 54 percent of respondents approve of Bush's handling of foreign affairs and only 44 percent can stomach the Bush economy.

So why isn't the whole poll online? And why is CNN leading with the approval of Bush's advisers rather than the criticism of Bush himself?

(Story via Tom Spencer at Thinking It Through. CNN link also noted here.)

Alberto "Funeralgate" Gonzales White House's Top Pick To Replace Rehnquist

That's one Hispanic person Rehnquist won't be able to stop from voting.

Sleeping With The Enemy

Former HUD Secretary and failed Democratic primary candidate Andrew Cuomo is writing a "What Went Wrong For The Democrats" book for Random House, Newsday reports. Cuomo is soliciting contributions for the book from Peggy Noonan and J.C. Watts, in addition to Democrats. He is also quoted as stating "[w]e didn't have a philosophy. ... We had a critique of the Republicans, but we didn't have a Democratic vision."

Sounds like Cuomo's got J.F.K. Jr. disease: putting self-promotion above principle. Why would any sane Democrat solicit advice from a lunatic whose last bit of advice for the Democrats was "to get a good psychologist and a good holy man or woman...." (To add slander to insult, Nooner was claiming to speak for Paul Wellstone, one week after his death.)

If Andrew can't find a vision for the Democratic party, he might want to try this one:

[T]he first principle of our Democratic commitment ...[i]s the politics of inclusion, the solemn obligation to create opportunity for all our people. Not just the fit and the fortunate....[Para.] All the people, from wherever. No matter how recently. Of whatever color, of whatever creed, of whatever sex, of whatever sexual orientation, all of them equal members of the American family, and the neediest of them deserving the most help from the rest of us. That is the fundamental Democratic predicate. Surrender that Democratic principle and we might just as well tear the donkeys from our lapels, pin elephants on instead, and retreat to elegant estates behind ivy-covered walls, where, when they detect a callus on their palms, they conclude it's time to put down their polo mallet.
Sound familiar, Andy? Your pals Peg and J.C. call it "class warfare." Others call it economic justice.

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

I'll Take Sansovino's Loggetta For $200

For those interested in an actual test of knowledge, try the 2002 King William's College General Knowledge Paper.

Reading it through once, I was only able to answer ten questions with certainty. According to the Guardian, the average score on the paper is two (when it was last scored), which I guess means I'm brighter than the average upper-class spotty 16-year-old enrolled in English private school.

Year-in-Review Quiz

Test your recollection of the past year's events with this general knowledge quiz. You have one hour to complete the quiz. Please use a sharpened number 2 pencil -- to taunt Bill Frist.

1. Which of the following did Newsweek's Howard Fineman not write about George W. Bush in 2002:

a) "He�s the Texas Ranger of the World, and wants everyone to know it. He�s the guy with the silver badge, issuing warnings to the cattle rustlers."

b) "After questions were raised last week about ('What He Knew'), his numbers went UP, as the American people basically shouted, 'Leave him alone!' Why? For one, he�s done a good job so far as war commander, making the right decisions in the days and months after 9/11. ...[M]ost everyone else (including some Democrats) thinks he�s a straight-shooter and, more important, a rare and precious type to have found his way into the Oval Office: a regular guy with regular guy values and instincts."

c) "I'd put my integrity into a blind trust for Bush, but I don't really have any."
2. According to the FEC, what percentage of campaign contributions (including soft money, individual and PAC contributions) did Enron give to Republicans in the 2002 election cycle:

a) 50 percent

b) 78 percent

c) 94 percent

d) 110 percent, according to Arthur Andersen
3. In June 2002, George Bush said the following to Army Secretary Thomas White:
a) "Afghanstan. Iraq. What's the difference? They all look the same from here."

b) "As long as they're hitting you on Enron, they're not hitting me. That's your job. You're the lightning rod for this administration."

c) "Karl knows where your children live."
4. According to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most dangerous job in the United States is:

a) Truck driver

b) Firefighter

c) Meat packer

d) Altar boy, Boston Archdiocese
5. Who said in 2002: "My most enduring image of Ken Starr was formed in the men's room outside his office on the afternoon of Jan. 15, 1998."

a) Michael Isikoff

b) Robert Ray

c) Ted Olson

d) Lucianne Goldberg
6. Which corporation is responsible for the biggest domestic fraud uncovered in the past eighteen months?

a) Enron

b) Global Crossing

c) WorldCom

d) Random House, parent company of the publisher of Slander: Liberal Lies About The American Right
7. Match the Reverend Graham to the bigoted comment (Your choices are Billy and Franklin):

a) "The Arabs will not be happy until every Jew is dead. They hate the state of Israel. They all hate the Jews."

b) "This stranglehold [by the Jews] has got to be broken or the country's going down the drain."
8. Which is of the following is not an Andrew Sullivan comment regarding Bush's 2002 State of the Union Address:
a) "He understands that the danger is still enormous; that the risks still huge; the price of failure unthinkable."

b) "Also surprising and perhaps important: Iran was mentioned before Iraq. For those of you who remember, this is a re-emphasis I've been arguing for for a while. It was extremely encouraging to see it in the speech."

c) "This is the Bush who started a 'stickball' team at college and christened it 'the Nads,' so as to ensure that the chants from the stands would be 'Go Nads! Go Nads!'"
9. Conservative commentators found highly significant the religious beliefs of which criminal newsmaker(s) from the year 2002:
a) Andrea Yates

b) Fred J. Neulander

c) John Allen Muhammed

d) Irv Rubin

e) Clayton Lee Waagner

f) c. but not a., b., d. or e.
10. Which of the following Washington Times writers is not an apologist for the Confederacy, racial segregation and/or "scientific" theories of racial inferiority:
a) Robert Stacy McCain

b) Wes Pruden

c) Paul Craig Roberts

d) Andrew Sullivan

e) None of the above
11. According to an unnamed "expert" quoted on CNN, Osama bin Laden is:

a) Alive

b) Dead

c) Both a. and b.

d) Neither a. nor b.

e) Either a. or b., but not both
12. Which of these did Peggy Noonan not say in print in 2002:
a) "I have received not hundreds but thousands of the most personal and obscene denunciations; I have received death threats; I have been threatened with blackmail; I have been informed that I do not deserve to live."

b) "My friend sent the story because once, in conversation, I had told him I feared cloning was the key, that the big headline I feared is 'First Cloned Human Being Born: "We Call Him Adam!" Says Scientist.' I had told my friend I thought there would be few happy headlines after that one. Because, as the bible says and Sam Ervin quoted, God is not mocked."

c) "I don't care what any of you say, Ronald Reagan is the father of my son. Do you hear me?"
13. In a written statement issued in December, Trent Lott gave the following reason for withdrawing from his position as Republican Senate Majority Leader:
a) "In the interest of pursuing the best possible agenda for the future of our country...."

b) So he wouldn't have to celebrate Kwanzaa.

c) Karl Rove threatened to tell Lott's home state supporters that Lott's toupee included mixed-race hair.
14. In December 2002, Mickey Kaus revealed in Slate that blogger Atrios is actually:
a) Sid Blumenthal

b) Maggie Gyllenhaal

c) Thor Heyerdahl

d) Ten times the reporter and writer that Kaus is
15. George W. Bush's most formidible opponent in the year 2002 was:
a) Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle

b) Iraqi President Saddam Hussein

c) Mr. Salty

Monday, December 23, 2002

Roger Ailes will not be publishing on December 24 or 25.

Tomorrow night, I'm going to be haunted by three spirits. Then, on Wednesday morning, I'll run to the window, open it, and shout out "What's to-day?" to an urchin or ragamuffin loitering below. So I'm pretty booked.

Beginning on Thursday, however, there'll be more year-end crap than you can shake a stick at, including a "Year-in-Review Quiz." And a longer-than-usual comment, "America's Hitler."

God bless us, every one!

Death or Glory

"'N' every gimmick hungry yob digging gold from rock 'n' roll
Grabs the mike to tell us he'll die before he's sold
But I believe in this, and it's been tested by research
That he who fucks nuns will later join the church"

-- Joe Strummer and Mick Jones
Anyone having trouble coming up with enough candidates for Pandagon's Most Annoying Conservatives List should browse the Hardball transcripts page. In the last five shows, Tweety's guests included:
Bill Bennett, Peggy Noonan, Pat Buchanan, Bob Dornan (twice), John Fund, Armstrong Williams, David Gergen, Mike Barnicle, Janet Parshall, Christopher Shays, Laura Ingraham, Joe Scarborough (twice), Mitch McConnell, J.C. Watts, Cliff May, Terry Jeffrey, Arlen Specter, Howard Fineman (twice), Frank Luntz and Pat Caddell.
That's twenty right there; twenty-one counting Matthews himself.

Only a lunatic like Mona Charen could think that MSNBC is part of the "liberal media."

Buffalo Chickenhawk Wings

Here's Pumpkinhead's smear:
MR. RUSSERT: Cardinal McCarrick, you have a particularly delicate role as a member of the clergy, balancing support for our men and women in the armed service and also the morality of war. The Catholic bishops had a statement in November suggesting we still had not met the threshold in terms of Iraq. How do you wrestle with that? Supporting, being patriotic, and yet, the moral consequences of war. (Italics added.)
For Russert, patriotism and support for members of the armed services are in direct opposition to concerns for the moral consequences of war. Russert can't concieve that opposition to a future war against Iraq is patriotic and/or supportive of U.S. troops. Funnily enough, it doesn't appear that Little Russ wrestled much with these issues in his own life.

Sunday, December 22, 2002

A Waksal And A Wake

Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but it kinda looks like Sam Waksal was doing both Martha and her daughter.

Advantage: Kausfiles!

Senator Lott has adopted Mickey Kaus's theory: It's all Sid Blumenthal's fault.

Well done, Mick!
Shoplifters Have All The Fun

"The most commonly stolen items in Britain last year were razor blades, cosmetics, lingerie, whisky, condoms, magazines, designer clothes, shoes, smoked salmon and radios." -- The Observer

Meet-y, Beaty, Tim and Bouncy

I only caught the latter half of G.E. Pumpkinhead's "Thoughts For The Holidays" program, but from the tone of the program it certainly looks like only one of the eleven questions below was even touched upon by Little Russ (as Maureen O. calls him). In full Bushlick mode, Tim asked Cardinal McCarrick how the U.S. Bishops "balanced patriotism" with criticism of the War against Iraq. (I will post the exact quote when the transcript becomes available.)

Yes, Pumpkinhead's "thought" for the holidays is that opposition to the Bush Administration's foreign policy is unpatriotic.

Update (12/23): The transcript indicates that Pumpkinhead did allude to the priest molestation scandal. Cardinal McCarrick interposed a Trent Lott defense, saying that the Church "handed the ammunition" to its critics. To be fair to McCarrick, I'm not aware of any molestation cover-ups in McCarrick's jurisdiction.

Saturday, December 21, 2002

Bob Novak's red sweater vest is the first sign that the dreaded "Year In Review" season is already upon us. Atrios alerts us that Pumpkinhead's annual Xmas-week snooze-fest with Laura Bush, Rudy Giuliani and Cardinal Theodore McCarrick will be broadcast on tomorrow's "Meet the Press."

Let's see how many of the following topics will be covered on the program:

1. Pedophile priests.

2. Giuliani's support for abortion rights.

3. The U.S. Bishops' opposition to a war against Iraq.

4. Giuliani's adultery.

5. Laura Bush's (alleged) support for abortion rights.

6. The U.S. Bishops' opposition to the death penalty.

7. Rudy and Judy's 15-officer NYPD security detail.

8. George Bush's failure to deliver to New York City the federal relief funds promised after 9/11.

9. Trent Lott's (and George Bush's) support for the anti-Catholic BJU.

That should fill an hour's worth of conversation.

Anything I've left out?
NPR, the so-called news organization and alleged alternative to all-wingnut AM radio, missed the Lott story almost completely. But every day this week, on All Things Considered, it had time (eight minutes plus) for a "radio comedy" called "I'd Rather Eat Pants." Yes, it was even less funny than it sounds, if that is possible. Not surprisingly, Susan Stamberg was involved. NPR is becoming, more than ever, Nothing Particularly Relevant.

Chickenhawk Down

Pat Buchanan is called on his avoidance of service during Vietnam, and loses it.
BUCHANAN: Dan you aren�t the only guy that went through this experience in one way or another. And not everybody that didn�t come to your conclusion that we ought to sabotage the war was wrong.
ELLSBERG: Pat you didn�t know many people in Vietnam.
BUCHANAN: A lot of my friends from high school were still there.
ELLSBERG: You didn�t manage to make it did you?
BUCHANAN: No, I was in the White House, that�s right.
ELLSBERG: Pardon me.
BUCHANAN: You made it and you turned on the guys over there.
ELLSBERG: It was your bad football knee, if I�m not mistaken.
PRESS: Let�s just say...
ELLSBERG: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) At 30, we�re getting a little personal here. I�ll just mention I�m the man at this table, and I don�t know about you Bill, who exposed himself to communist shot and shell in Vietnam using my former Marine background, my belief in the war, which was not unlike yours at the time, led me to Vietnam to do what I could to win it. My conclusions as to whether we could win it were gained in rice patties in Vietnam, not where you...
BUCHANAN: You helped to lose it.
ELLSBERG: By the way you weren�t in the White House during those years. You were draft age and you didn�t manage to...
BUCHANAN: That�s bull shit.
PRESS: We�ve got to go for some breaking-Daniel Ellsberg.
ELLSBERG: If I�m wrong...
BUCHANAN: You�re wrong.

It's much overdue (which I can blame in part on Blogger), but a big thank you is definitely in order.

This is the nicest thing anyone has ever said about Roger Ailes.

(Which is not meant to discourage anyone who has something even nicer to say.)

The drinks are on me, James.
Christmas With The Crackers

In the latest of its attempts to rehabilitate the traitorous South, the Moonie Times brings us a holiday tale of "the Confederates in Virginia manag[ing] to have some jolly times at Christmas even with a war under way."

I can picture Wes Pruden at home, reading this narrative to his grandchildren in front of a blazing Yule Cross.

Lies Of The Moonie Times

The lying scumbags at Amerikkka's Paper are at it again. The vile Ellen Sorokin rewrites some wire copy with this lead:
People who live in Third World countries might have a better view of the United States if Americans followed Osama bin Laden's example of being "a good neighbor so people there have a different vision of us," said U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, Washington Democrat.
Of course, what Murray actually said, in a speech to high school students, was that providing economic aid to poor nations would "cost a lot of money," but "war is expensive, too. Your generation ought to be thinking about whether we should be better neighbors out in other countries so that they have a different vision of us. It is a debate I think we ought to have."

Nothing about following bin Laden's example, or about bin Laden being a "good neighbor."

Has there ever been a newspaper so corrupt and despicable?

Helen Thomas Slaps The Talking Penis, And The Press Whores Too

The issue [of Rove's orders to dump Lott] surfaced at a White House briefing yesterday morning, when Fleischer complained to the assembled reporters about "assertions that are not backed up."

"Just because they're not backed up doesn't mean they're not true," cracked CBS's Bill Plante.

"Well, that's a heck of a standard for thorough, probing journalism," Fleischer said.

"Taking your word for it is not a standard either," retorted columnist Helen Thomas.

Segregation Bad, Public Education Worse?

Nooner's latest drivel contains a cryptic comment:
Some of us have put our reputations in jeopardy by supporting programs like the school liberation movement because we want to help people who don't have much and need a break. Or we've put ourselves in jeopardy by opposing racial preferences, or any number of other programs, for the very reason that we believe completely in our hearts and minds that all races are equal and no one should be judged by the color of his skin. And then some guy comes along and speaks the old code of yesteryear and seems to reinforce the idea that those who hold conservative positions are really, at heart, racist. We are indignant, and we have been for a long time.

In the Lott scandal our indignation reached critical mass. A lot of conservatives, many of them 50 and under, decided enough is enough, let's end this, let a new party be born. And by the way, in the particular case of Trent Lott, it didn't start yesterday. Stanley Crouch just surprised me by sending me a column he wrote almost four years ago for the New York Daily News. It was about a Lott appearance before the Council of Conservative Citizens, a white-supremacist group. I said it was springtime and it's time to throw out the garbage, and Mr. Lott should go. Go to the archives of conservative journals and see what they've been writing and thinking for a long time about race. This is a good time to get real conservative thinking out there and known for what it is.
I probably will be the seven thousandth person to point out the contradiction between Peggy's "long time" "indignation" at conservative racism and her "surprise" at learning of Lott's ties to the CCC. If prolific Peg's indignation at conservative racism is so longstanding, I guess she will have no trouble pointing us to previous examples of such moral outrage.

What's really interesting here Nooner's reference to the "school liberation movement." At first, I took it to mean that old crock of crap, "school choice" aka vouchers. In this column, Nooner refers to the school liberation movement as "the most hopeful proposal of our time to make government schools better." As an example, she cites "people like Teddy Forstmann [who] cough[ed] up their own money to make $100 million in voucher scholarships available for kids, the ambitious disadvantaged...." Now, a program involving a rich guy giving money to disadvantaged grade school children to attend private schools is the exact opposite of "vouchers," which involves taxpayer subsidies of private schools. And, of course, there is nothing whatsoever controversial about a wealthy private citizen giving his or her own money to help poor kids pay for private school. So, Nooner either (a) is blowing smoke up our collective asses about "the jeopardy to her reputation," (b) is delusional about the same, (c) or means something other than Forstmann's program when she refers to the school liberation movement.

Now, Peg has already made the case that she is both delusional and deceptive, but let me suggest a possible alternative. The term "school liberation movement" is used by groups which advocate the abolition of all public schools and all taxpayer funding of public schools. Marshall Fritz, the founder of the Alliance for the Separation of Church and State, describes the movement as follows:
Our job in the "School Liberation Movement" is to restore the conviction that parents must determine and provide for the education of their children. This means infusing into the American soul the belief that we must separate schools from politics. It means infusing this as deeply as we now hold that chattel slavery is wrong.
A search of the site does not reveal Nooner as one who signed the petition supporting Fritz's movement. (Many of the usual wingnuts -- including Randall Terry, Joseph Sobran, Marvin Olasky and Tim LaHaye -- are.) But Google searches of the phrase "school liberation movement" lead only to Fritz's organization and back to Nooner's column itself.

Peg complains about Lott speaking in code. But what code is Peg speaking in when she refers to the school liberation movement?

Update (12/22): penalcolony has a critical (in both good senses) analysis of my comment here.

Norah! Norah! Norah!

A petty little tail-gunner goes down in flames.

Lott Must Go

Why, look, he's still there.

And so the little P.R. exercise of the right has concluded. The man so vile he could not lead the Republicans -- but is perfectly qualified to serve with them and vote with them -- has surrendered his leadership position. Problem solved. Closure. The Republican Party is racist no more.

My opinions are not meant to disparage anyone who criticized Lott or who was offended by his statements. That criticism is well deserved. But Lott's racist views were well known for years. So if you didn't condemn Lott during the first century of Strom Thumond's life, you're a little too late to the party now. Particular credit is due to those on the left who emphasized (and in some instances unearthed) Lott's past transgressions, aborting Lott's attempts to pass off his recent remarks as offhand or unthinking comments. My criticism is for those in the Republican Party and on the right who think taking away Lott's leadership title changes anything. It doesn't.

And Senator Lott will remain in the Senate until his one-hundredth birthday, should he choose to do so and should he live so long.

Friday, December 20, 2002

Blogger's archive feature has disappeared in part (look right), making it impossible to link to certain items on on other blogs. I will be linking again when service has been restored.

Meanwhile, "blog" and "Blogger" are the only words listed here which Roger Ailes will be using from this glossary, except in cases of severe ridicule.

Well, I guess I will keep using "wankers" as well, but only in its original usage. (And along with appropriate modifiers, "chronic," "pathetic," "spotty," &c.)

(Found via the immensely talented Quiddity Quack.)
Domino's introduces its newest pizza, the "Justice Thomas with everything."

Thursday, December 19, 2002

Lichter? He Drooled All Over 'Er

Poor Chickenhawk Kelly. He never saw it coming.

Rest in Peace, Chickenhawk

Update: More piling on.

Update II (12/21): Now fortified with a direct link to TBogg's comments.

Personal Responsibility At Its Finest

David Keene has severe emotional problems.

He was institutionalized numerous times, beginning at age 8.

He has poor emotional control.

He has an exaggerated belief that he is in danger.

So, of course, his parents did what any loving parent would do: Gave him a BMW and a gun.

Oh, and his fiance claims she was trying to grab the gun from him -- which he was brandishing while driving -- and it "accidentally" went off.

Sounds like they haven't quite settled on a defense yet.

David's daddy happens to be the president of the American Conservative Union. And Daddy has just named another mentally-disturbed individual with poor emotional control and poorer weapons-handling abilities to the ACU's "21st Century Chair for Privacy and Freedom." Yes, it's Former Congressman Bob Barr.

He's Got The Beat ... Off

From PacMan to "Fast Times At Ridgemont High" (recommended if Sean Penn's recent visit to Baghdad got on your nerves) to the Go Go Girls and Flashdance, it's been a warm bath in pop-cultural reminiscence. I'd forgotten that there was once a sitcom, "Small Wonder," where the star was a young girl who was actually a robot. I forgot that pale blue jacket I wore in 1985, how racy "Porky's" was, how cool Chevy Chase used to be, and how some of my first erotic fantasies were built around the "Dukes of Hazzard" (don't ask).
Dude, she wasn't actually a robot.
I Want David Edelstein's E-Mail Address

From a review of The Two Towers:

"If I have misspelled or mischaracterized any of the above, please send corrections to eatme@Idontgiveashit.com."

Roger's Remedial Reading Course

As a public service for those whose wit fraction is well below one half, Roger Ailes, in association with Dictionary.com, is proud to introduce a new feature which focuses on the fundamentals of the English language.


v. pla�gia�rized, pla�gia�riz�ing, pla�gia�riz�es
v. tr.

To use and pass off (the ideas or writings of another) as one's own.
To appropriate for use as one's own passages or ideas from (another).

v. intr.

To put forth as original to oneself the ideas or words of another.

A false publication, as in writing, print, signs, or pictures, that damages a person's reputation.
The act of presenting such material to the public.
The written claims presented by a plaintiff in an action at admiralty law or to an ecclesiastical court.


Full disclosure: This happened to me when I integrated four words from a Jackson Browne song into a piece I posted on my blog. Another blogger accused me of plagiarism, and the unmerited charge spread across the Web at frightening speed.

As any conspiracy theorist knows, falsehoods take on an authority all their own on the Internet. So when bloggers willfully defame those with professional reputations to defend, that is a serious breach for which they should be held accountable.

Blogging is one of the best things that has ever happened to freedom of expression and the press, and we should make every effort to protect its scrupulous practitioners. But freedoms come with responsibilities. Common journalistic standards of accuracy and fair play exist for good reasons, and bloggers, like the rest of us, must abide by them. By drawing attention to libelous Web content, the Australian case may force them to. -- Norah Vincent, the latest self-identified victim of a hate crime
Ms. Vincent also remarks that the "blogosphere" is full of "vengeful ravings of half-wits who will say anything, especially about established journalists and writers, just to attract more attention to their sites."

It's Norah's pyschosis, we just live in it.

At least it's nice to see that Norah is in favor of integration.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Hate Crimes

Conservatives have discovered hate crimes.

They've also discovered that they are the victims of those crimes.

Pat Buchanan declares Trent Lott "the victim of a hate crime."

Paul Craig Roberts declares Confederate soldiers and their descendants the victims of "a hate crime." Because, you know, the Confederacy wasn't about persecuting and torturing blacks, and "free blacks had fewer rights than slaves in the South."

Pat and Paul want so badly to be persecuted you can't help but hope their wishes come true.

My Advice to MSNBC

Drop the "News Channel" gag. As long as you have Tweety, Imus and Barnicle on your roster, no one's going to buy that line anyway.

Reality television is the rage, and you've already got your next star on the payroll. I can picture it now:

Fade in - Music: Santa Monica, by Everclear.

Fade in - Exterior: A southern California split-level

Fade in - Title: The Dornans

Like their infamous father, the Dornan kids are class acts. When Bob lost his rematch with Loretta Sanchez in 1998, the entire family shined. On TV, an angry Bob branded Sanchez a "serial adulterer." Daughter Kate and her thug boyfriend made a derogatory remark about Republican Senate candidate Matt Fong and then got into fistfights with tiny, old, Asian Republican onlookers. Although she smelled like booze, we�re sure Kate was her naturally pleasant self when she screamed from the stage, "It�s not over yet, Loretta. We�re coming after you bad. Do you hear me?" Bob�s namesake, Bob Jr., later took a long gulp of his Budweiser and told a Weekly reporter that the Asian Republicans didn�t understand "class" like the Dornan family. Said Junior Dornan, "I told them, �Man, you aren�t nothing but low-class assholes, so shut up.�"

Roger's Mail Sac

The readers of Roger Ailes are so smart that they could write this blog by themselves and improve it many-fold. Here are excerpts from just a handful of the e-mails I've received that didn't come with an offer of a university diploma.

The Scarlet Pimpernel (not that one) offers the timely reminder that "War is good for the economy like cannibalism is nutritious." Certainly more Bartlett's-worthy than anything that's come out of Geo. Bush's mouth since ... forever.

Ripley from the old MWO boards calls our attention to Tucker "Faye" Carlson indulging in a bit of code-talking to his fellows in the white people's party:

CARLSON: Don Opasik (ph) of Pittsburgh writes, "I was devastated by the news that Al Gore has withdrawn from the 2002 (?) presidential race. The Republcian Party has lost a significant contributor to George Bush's reelection. I guess that leaves Al Sharpton." [Para.] You know, it always goes back to Al Sharpton, and I'm glad it does.
Meanwhile, mw keeps the pressure on that Confederate cracker, Robert Stacy McCain, by pointing us to a series of peevish e-mails sent by McCain to a webbloger who challenged him on his smears of anti-war activists. Freeper McCain now has been MIA from the Moonie Times website for almost three weeks, since November 29, for those keeping track.

skippy the bush kangaroo carbon copies us on his corrective epistle to Howard Kurtz, reminding Howie that "it was atrios and his blog echaton who broke, rode, and reported the lott story, far ahead and far more than any conservative blogger." I sure hope Howie doesn't go Steno Sue and e-mail "my" employer, Rupert Murdoch.

And, finally, a reader named SPERM teases us with a reference to "that well-known Washington folklore about what the baseball bat on Thurmond's desk was for." I must admit I've never heard that legend. Spill, oh wise seed.

Dick of the Week

Congratulations to B-1 Bob Dornan, whose apparent motto is "Beatin' Beats Cheatin'":

DORNAN: Chris, there�s a double standard at play here that I accept as a compliment. When Jesse Jackson says �Himey Town�, when any of them do something that should be apologized for, has Clinton really apologized for Monica
Lewinsky? Not really. No matter what they do, they get this-they get a free ride. I accept our double standard. Adultery...


DORNAN: ... counts in the Republican Party, and when one of us says something that can be twisted like this, he�s got to make a clear apology...

Just The Facts, He Lied

Q Were you able to follow-up on the New York Times story that you have a new disinformation campaign going on, or being planned against the allies?

MR. FLEISCHER: I've looked into this, and let me say to you there is widespread recognition throughout the administration that the United States has an important role in the world in better communicating America's message of hope and opportunity. It is important that it is a message that is shared throughout the world, in friendly nations and other places, as well. The President has an expectation that any program that is created in his administration be based on facts, and that's what he would expect to be carried out in any program that is created in any entity of the government.


Q Ari, what's the President's reaction to former Vice President Gore announcing that he's not going to run?

MR. FLEISCHER: Well, this is an internal matter for the Democratic Party, and somebody will emerge from the Democratic field who will ultimately seek to raise taxes on the American people, but that's a decision that the Democrats will make as they select a nominee.

Q He didn't have a personal reaction at all, I mean, when he heard yesterday? What did he say?

MR. FLEISCHER: No, I think the President is rather busy, focused on the job that he was elected to do by the American people.

And, yet, Ari is still employed.
A heart-warming story for those who enjoy a chuckle every time John Muhammad's membership in the Nation of Islam is mentioned.

Loathsome Dunne

The loathsome Gary Condit has sued the loathsome Dominick Dunne over comments he made on the radio show of the loathsome Laura Ingraham. The Fresno Bee reports.

Remember when this was important?

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Illiteracy, The Silent Shame

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Now we are going to take you live to the Roosevelt Room at the White House, where every year President George Bush and, of course, the first lady read holiday stories with children at the White House. Let's listen in.


GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Have you ever heard this one? It starts with "'Twas the night before Christmas?"


G. BUSH: ... night before Christmas, when all through the house -- not even a mouse. Nobody was stirring. Kind of quiet, wasn't it?

You better read that, because I can't see.
Hesiod points out that Bush's father awarded Strom Thurmond the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1993.

The four freedoms: Freedom to segregate. Freedom to hate. Freedom to terrorize. Freedom to lynch.

Her Invitation Must Have Gotten Lost In The Mail

Remarking on the idiocy of Frank Luntz, Joe C. reminds us that "the unexpurgated Thurmond biography, 'Ole Strom,' by Jack Bass and Marilyn Thompson, ... revealed the energetic politician's paternity of a black daughter out of wedlock many years ago."

So that's why Strom was so concerned about the integration of swimming pools.

Mickey Two-Fer Tuesday

Little Mick has done a complete one-eighty on the Lott story. Last Friday, he credited Sully and Instapundit with "taking the lead" on Lott's tribute to Strom Thurmond. Later the same day, he rewrote his comment to include Atrios and Tim Noah, without telling his readers about the rewrite. Now Mick says, "It was a string of pro-Democrat bloggers -- Atrios, Josh Marshall, Tim Noah, to name three -- who immediately started whaling on Lott. (The conservative bloggers -- Sullivan, Frum, and Goldberg -- began pummeling Lott a day or two later)."

Kaus's dishonesty is astounding. After his lie is pointed out, he reverses his position, covers up his original claim and now argues the exact opposite.

Kaus also has an actual article on Slate. It's all about cars and nostalgia for high school sex. If you buy a 'piece and play your cards right, Mick, you can get Bob Greene's old job.
Atrios joins the rank of other famous Sids:

Sid Vicious

Sid Dithers


Sid and Marty Kroft, and

Sid Downanshutthefuckup

Congrats, Sid!
It's official. Hardball is no longer a television show, it's a lunatic asylum. On Monday, the patients in group therapy were Frank Luntz, Pat Caddell, Howard the Duck, Nooner, Bill Bennett and Pat Buchanan. Except for Mario Cuomo, they're all certifiable head cases.

Take Frank Luntz, identified by Matthews as an "anal cyst...." er ... "analyst of public opinion." His conclusion: If Strom had been President in '48, we wouldn't have "the moral decay of the country" we have now. None of that "acceptance of certain types behavior" so rampant nowdays. Luntz wasn't even talking about what Lott was thinking, he was voicing his own opinion.

MATTHEWS: ... because you�re an analyst of public opinion. We�re going to have a poll in a few moments about what�s going on here. He was asked by Ed Gordon, a very effective, I thought, interviewer tonight on Black Entertainment Television. What problems were you talking about when you said we wouldn�t have them if we�d voted for a segregationist back in �48. What do you believe he thinks those problems are that we�ve avoided or that we�ve incurred because we didn�t vote racist back in �48?

LUNTZ: It has to do with problems that we�ve had over the last eight or nine years. I don�t want to speak...

MATTHEWS: He said we wouldn�t have these problems if we had voted for Strom Thurmond in �48 for president, a segregationist who ran against Harry Truman. What is he talking about there?

LUNTZ: I think that some of the issues that he�s talking about, quite frankly, and I don�t know if he would agree or disagree, but I think some of it has to do with Bill Clinton and the things that happened in the 1990s, the moral decay of the country. The acceptance of certain types of behavior. If...


LUNTZ: ... you-if you...


MATTHEWS: He said it in the context-this is why the man is in deep trouble and probably...


MATTHEWS: ... will lose his leadership job. He said we wouldn�t have had all the problems over the years. That�s a long-term statement about the direction of American social life and racial existence, all the way back to 1948 because of that vote.

LUNTZ: But he was making-it wasn�t the issue of the problems. It was the issue of a compliment. He was trying to say something nice to a 100-year-old man. Chris, this is Washington. You know how tough Washington is. Washington isn�t hardball. They are-the meanness and the partisanship and the negativity in this town, you know, is damn rough...


MATTHEWS: And you believe he�s clean on the charge of racialism?

LUNTZ: Without a doubt...


LUNTZ: One hundred percent.
Unlike the South, the lie about Strom will rise again. In fact, it already has.
Has Sully been reading his own work?

"Some of the sanctimony is now beginning to bug me.... And the blithe assumption of moral superiority is equally galling."

Meet Your Liberal Media

Hardball guests, Friday, December 13, 2002, "David Gergen, Howard Fineman, Carl Jeffers, Terry Jeffrey, Joe Scarborough, James Woolsey, Mike Barnicle, Bob Dornan."

Now there's a group of guys Trent and Hootie wouldn't have any trouble showering with.

A Hot TP

According to the NYPD, those inventive folks at the right-wing New York Sun have found another way to manufacture news:

A CRIME reporter for the New York Sun has been arrested for setting two rolls of toilet paper on fire in a Greenwich Village bar. According to a criminal complaint, cops said a witness saw William Mauldin run out of a bathroom after the fire was set at Caf� Creole on MacDougal Street near Minetta Lane at around 3:30 a.m. Saturday. Mauldin was charged with attempted arson and reckless endangerment.
As if New York's Finest didn't have enough on their hands with John Fund.

Monday, December 16, 2002

Snitch Gets It (No, Not The D.T.s) Chris may be a disgrace on matters of the 21st Century, but he's got the Confederacy dead to rights:
The Confederacy, under the leadership of Jefferson Davis, schemed to destroy the Union. It openly solicited the military support of foreign powers in order to do so. It attempted to assassinate a Republican president and may eventually have succeeded. It issued arrogant and disgusting orders for the execution of prisoners of war, without discrimination as to shade or color. It instated censorship, and it instated mandatory (if sectarian) religion. There isn't a "white" person in the country who should not spit upon its treasonous and hateful memory. There would be no such place as "America" if the bloody stars and bars had carried the day.

Spit It Out, Frank, And Move On With Your Life

Joshua M. Marshall caught this gem on Hardball:

Basically, [Pollster Frank] Luntz said that the "problems" Lott was talking about, which voting for Strom Thurmond would have avoided, were Bill Clinton's moral and sexual lapses. If ever there was a statement so ridiculous that the speaker deserved to be laughed out of three dimensional space, buddy, this is it.
(For those playing along at home: Remember, Frank Luntz is the "independent" pollster; Pat Caddell is the "Democratic" pollster.)

Also, be sure to read Marshall on the South Dakota Vote Fraud story, where the fraud turns out to be false and perjured affidavits submitted by Republican operatives after the election.
The Moonie Times is running a "Nobles and Knaves of the Year" contest. Not trusting its readers' ability to think independently, the paper is only allowing votes for persons and organizations who have already received the award in its weekly column of the same name.

What if you don't think that Hootie Johnson is noble for "defending tradition and privacy at Augusta National Golf Club," or that Nickelodeon is knavish "for airing a special on homosexual parenting"?

Well, I guess you can always nominate the Reverend Sun Myung Moon for his view that "the country that represents Satan's harvest is America" or Robert Stacy McCain for putting a positive spin on slavery.

Send your votes to crousseaux@washingtontimes.com with "Nobles Contest" in the subject line.

But hurry, "Entrees must be received by Dec. 28." You can wait until Jan. 4 to submit a main course or dessert.

Fucking illiterates.

Meet Your Liberal Press

Suck-up-to-conservatives-at-the-expense-of-the-truth-week continues with this drivel from The New York Times:

Conservatives Led the Way in Criticizing Lott's Remarks
The lie is now officially received wisdom.
Debra Saunders Develops Sullivan-Kaus Syndrome

A Daily Howler take-down of a most deserving target:

Meanwhile�yes, we quoted Debra Saunders accurately in last Friday�s HOWLER. The San Francisco Chronicle subsequently changed the on-line version of her column without noting that a correction had been made. Many readers went to the link and thought that we had doctored her quote. Sorry�that�s the sort of thing Saunders does.
The original quote:
The second result was political. Then-Sen. Al Gore, and later an independent campaign supportive of then-Vice President George Bush, ran TV spots on Horton during the 1988 presidential election. Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis lost.
The doctored one:
The second result was political. Then-Sen. Al Gore used the furlough program against Dukakis in the 1988 presidential race. Later an independent campaign supportive of then-Vice President George Bush ran spots on Horton. Dukakis lost the presidential race.
A journalist lying and then covering up. At least as reprehensible as a politician stealing newspapers, one might say.

Saunders, the Bay Area's biggest embarrasment, has written a book on Gore. Is this lie in there too?

12/17 -- Somerby's Update: Saunders invokes a ridiculous "I ate my own homework" defense.

(For the clinicians who first discovered Sullivan-Kaus Syndrome, click here.)

Grand Old Police Blotter, Pee Wee Thurmond Edition

The state Senate is not considering any action to remove Sen. Jerry Thomas, R-Franklinton, arrested this week during a raid on an adult video and book store in New Orleans, Senate President John Hainkel said Thursday.

Thomas was arrested Tuesday and charged with lewd conduct, which can include exposure of genitals, intercourse, masturbation, urination or defecation in a public place or where the act is likely to be seen by another person, according to the municipal code.

[Lousiana] Gov. Foster said Thursday that Thomas "is a good man who was in the wrong place. It is totally out of character. He's a decent person as far as I stand."
The Governor obviously was standing far outside shooting distance.
Monosyllablic Mick Little Mickey Kaus proves he's as competent at counting syllables as he is at reporting. Which is to say, not at all.


Howie Kurtz is an abomination. In an article aptly titled "A Hundred- Candle Story And How To Blow It," Kurtz blows it:

It wasn't until Lott apologized last Monday night that such newspapers as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today took note of the matter. In the meantime, Lott was pummeled by a number of online Weblogs -- particularly by conservatives who agree with him on many issues -- in a way that helped force the story into public view.

By Monday, with the mainstream press still largely snoozing, Web writers were leading the charge. Andrew Sullivan: "Either they get rid of Lott as majority leader or they should come out formally as a party that regrets desegregation and civil rights for African-Americans." Joshua Micah Marshall: "The real question is why this incident is still being treated as no more than a minor embarrassment or a simple gaffe." National Review Online's David Frum: "What came out of his mouth was the most emphatic repudiation of desegregation to be heard from a national political figure since George Wallace's first presidential campaign."

Says Glenn Reynolds, the Tennessee law professor who jumped on the story in his InstaPundit column: "The guy's majority leader. Reporters, as opposed to bloggers, depend on him for access. The hinterlands are full of bloggers who don't care whether Trent Lott is nice to them or not. That makes them different from the Washington press."
For those wishing to ask the Washington Post to hire a real reporter:



Update: Sorry, but the higher-ups at the Post, such as Len Downie, don't like to be bothered by you common riff-raff. That's the best I can do.

On The Cutting Room Floor

As interesting as what Vice President Gore did on Saturday Night Live is what he didn't do. In addition to rejecting a sketch about farting, Gore
rejected material that could be interpreted as disrespectful to former president Bill Clinton. He also dismissed a joke about Mr. Bush and cocaine as "unfair."
It's a shame Gore won't be restoring honor and dignity to the White House in January 2005.

Sunday, December 15, 2002

Gore Will Not Run in 2004; Press Scrambles To Manufacture Lies About Other Democrats

Meet Your Liberal Press

"Lloyd Grove: I think [Senator Trent Lott] is not so much bigoted as culturally sheltered--odd in a man with such a wordly job."

The Early Reviews

"In my professional opinion, Al Gore's mental illness is rapidly worsening. He now displays full-blown schizophrenia. For several minutes, Gore actually believed he was Republican Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott." -- Charles Krauthammer, M.D.

"As an entertainer, I can say Al Gore is a complete bomb as an entertainer. Not once did he refer to Tom Daschle as "Puff" or "that anti-American traitor." He never called Walter Mondale "Mondull" or called himself "Algore." That is pure comedy gold, my friends." -- Rush Limbaugh

"Gore's racist caricature of Trent Lott was a carefully-crafted ruse designed to hide the facts that Al Gore, Sr. was a leading segregationist and that Gore himself had sexual relations with several of his father's slaves." -- The Washington Times, Sean Hannity and about thirty others

Saturday, December 14, 2002

Wes Pruden Discovers That Glenn Reynolds Is A Tool Of Jesse Jackson
Mr. Lott, who has a gift for putting his foot in his mouth, spoke the evil words at Strom's birthday party on Wednesday.... But nobody in Washington noticed or cared until Jesse Jackson read about it in the Chicago papers and went gleefully to work.
Phase II Bonus Points to Wes for the "Abe Lincoln was a racist too" defense.

p.s. Yes, I know Reynolds isn't in D.C.
Here is the Bush quote that Sully wants in Bartlett's:

Every day our nation was segregated was a day that America was unfaithful to our founding ideals.
And which ideal was that, Dubya -- The Three-Fifths Compromise?

Yes, I know the arguments that the Founders' rhetoric of liberty and equality provided an intellectual foundation for civil rights movements, that MLK called upon the nation to put the ideals of the Founders into practice, etc, etc.

But instead of -- or even in addition to -- recalling the more ancient generation which did not practice what it preached, why not recall the generation of activists and average citizens -- many still living, some gone and some killed for their troubles -- who, unlike the Founders, fought the Thurmonds and Lotts of this country to end segregation.

If Bartlett's needs a quote, the pure and undiluted original serves much better than Dubya's pale copy:

When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. ... But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt....

Update: Edited per this comment.

Naming and Shaming

As Twisted Little Mick says "Always announce bad news on Friday." He might add the corollary, always change your blog entries on Friday night, when no one's looking.

Without comment or admitting error, Mick has rewritten the P.P.S. to his Friday morning entry. It now reads:

"The only downside I can see to Lott relinquishing his leadership post is the revival of 'blogger triumphalism' that will follow. Though blogs (e.g. Atrios, Josh Marshall, Tim Noah, Sullivan, and Instapundit) took the lead in blasting Lott -- while the NYT 's Guilty Southern Liberal Howell Raines, hilariously, was asleep at the switch when a real 60's-style civil rights controversy came along -- wouldn't Lott eventually have gotten into big trouble for his remarks even if the Web didn't exist?" (Emphasis added.)
Atrios and Noah weren't there yesterday morning, as I noted in yesterday's comment. Now they are.

Mick also adds an "update" which quotes John-John Podhoretz' column, which properly credits Atrios. But we all know the real reason for the change: Kaus reads Roger Ailes and does Roger's bidding.

Like the mighty Howell Raines, who can make cabinet officials withdraw from country clubs that have earned his wrath, the mighty Roger Ailes can make "journalist" Mickey Kaus rewrite his "files" to reflect the truth.

Now that's blog triumphalism ... nay, blog transcendence ... at its finest.

Friday, December 13, 2002

It's nice to see that his son's attempt to murder someone hasn't distracted American Conservative Union President David A. Keene from kibitzing on the new Bush economic team.

Says David, "you'd have to have a hole in your head to select Stephen Friedman head the NEC.... Bush must be crazier than my kid with a loaded handgun during rush hour."

Keene also has also taken up Dick Armey's crusade against video surveillance of intersections, and is making like a civil libertarian. Wonder why?

Idiot Of The Week

Despite all of the coverage Sen. Trent Lott has received, nobody has raised the obvious question: What kind of president might Strom Thurmond have been? My guess is that he would have kept us out of the Korean War, thereby sparing the lives of 50,000 young Americans. As president, he would have had little to say about racial segregation on the national level. That was still essentially a state and local matter in 1948.
Perhaps he will run for the office again in 2004. He is still eligible.

Burke, Va

Hank Yankers

"This is a moment of disappointment for me, of course," [Kissinger] wrote. "My hope is that by the decision to step aside now, the joint commission can proceed without further controversy."

For you and nobody else, Henry.

A Correction

Digby has pointed out significant flaws in the chronology provided by my previous comment. My chronology underemphasizes the leading role of Atrios in uncovering the Lott story, and also misstates the timing of Atrios' reporting. These facts are significant, and there is never a good excuse for inaccuracy. I apologize for these errors, and am rewriting the comment accordingly. (And also to correct the numerous typos.)

Wheels Go 'Round and 'Round In The Circle (Jerk) Game

The second most offensive thing about the Lott story is the rush of right-wing bloggers to orally copulate themselves and their cohorts for "breaking" and "leading" on the Lott story. This is utter shite, and it's all over the web: Some jackoff named Ken Layne claims that "right-wing bloggers were all over this, immediately." Twisted Little Mick claims that Joshua Marshall, Sully and Glenn Reynolds "took the lead," but the story would have been covered in the traditional press anyway. And Sully uses the story to raise some quick cash (or lolly, as they say back home), by publishing some snivelling synchophant's comment that "you and Josh Marshall have been leading the discussion" (See below.)

Of course, with the exception of crediting Joshua Marshall, who did real reporting on the story, these are all lies.

The chronology goes like this: Lott made the speech on Thursday, December 5, which was aired by C-SPAN. ABC (via The Note) published it on Friday, December 6, and Tim Noah in Slate linked to The Note the same day. The Washington Post provided extensive coverage on Saturday. (The Moonie Times, meanwhile, covered the story on Friday by whitewashing the event, omitting any mention of Lott's racist remarks. NPR, on Weekend Edition, also broadcast an excerpt from Lott's speech without mentioning the racist statements.)

Among weblogs, Atrios had the story first, on December 6. Joshua Marshall commented on the story a couple of hours later, without mentioning a source. "Instapundit" then came along and simply agreed with what Marshall and Atrios said. The usual wingnut circle jerk then began, with Instapundit's toadys linking to him, him linking back to them, and none of them adding any substance. (They all admitted legal segregation was bad, though, bless their little hearts.) Sully didn't get around to the story until early Monday morning, long after practically everyone else with a blog, left and right, had said something about it.

So righty bloggers did not break the story. They jumped on a moving train, driven by portions of the major media and many liberal bloggers.

But have righty bloggers led the charge since then? As Al Gore, Sr. said to Strom Thurmond, "Hell No!"

Atrios provided more than a half dozen links to the Dixiecrat platform and Lott's history and ties to the CCC. Marshall found Lott's amicus brief on behalf of Bob Jones "University." Real reporting. Sully's first comment was about how moral he is because he beat the New York Times and Bush in condemning Lott. (He failed to mention that the liberal blogs -- and ABC, CNN and the Washington Post -- were all way ahead of him.) Instapundit did his usual half-assed job of linking to other bloggers who were merely re-posting the story. Neither Sully nor Instapundit did any reporting whatsoever.) The wingnut blogs have since moved on to their true concerns, damage control for the Republican Party and ensuring that the Pubes don't lose their slim Senate majority.

There you have it. Little Mick, Ken Layne and Sully's reader are lying sacks of shit. You heard it here first.

Update: JB Armstrong of the comprehensive MyDD also reported the Lott story very early on the 6th. As JB correctly states here, the most important thing is not which left/liberal blogger noted the story first. But I wanted to make the correction for accuracy's sake, particularly because my original comment was inadequate in detailing Atrios' role apart from the timing issue/non-issue.

Update Update: I had the Update in the wrong place, so I've updated the Update by moving it. Stay tuned for further Update developments.

Wheels Go 'Round And 'Round In The Circle (Jerk) Game

The second most offensive thing about the Lott story is the rush for right-wing bloggers to orally copulate themselves and their cohorts for "breaking" and "leading" on the Lott story. This is utter shite, and it's all over the web: Some jackoff named Ken Layne claims that "right-wing bloggers were all over this, immediately." Twisted Little Mick claims that Joshua Marshall, Sully and Glenn Reynolds "took the lead," but the story would have been covered in the press anyway. And Sully uses the story to raise some quick cash (or lolly, as they say back home), by publishing some snivelling synchophant's comment that "you and Josh Marshall have been leading the discussion" (See below.)

Of course, with the exception of crediting Joshua Marshall, who did real reporting on the story, these are all lies.

The chronology goes like this: Lott made the speech on Thursday, December 5, which was aired by C-SPAN. ABC (via The Note) published it on Friday, and Tim Noah in Slate linked to The Note the same day. The Washington Post provided extensive coverage on Saturday. (The Moonie Times, meanwhile, covered the story on Friday whitewashing the event, omitting any mention of Lott's racist remarks. As did NPR, on Weekend Edition.)

Among weblogs, Joshua Marshall had the first mention of the story I could find, on December 6. Atrios also had the story then. "Instapundit" then came along and simply agreed with what Marshall and Atrios said. The usual wingnut circle jerk then began, with Instapundit's toadys linking to him, and adding nothing of substance. Sully didn't get around to the story until early Monday morning, long after practically everyone else with a blog, left and right, had said something about it.

So righty bloggers did not break the story. They jumped on a moving train, driven by the major media and liberal bloggers.

But have righty bloggers lead the charge since then? As Al Gore, Sr. said to Strom Thurmond, "Hell No!"

Marshall broke Lott's amicus brief on behalf of Bob Jones. Atrios provided more than a half-dozen links to the Dixiecrat platform and Lott's history and ties to the CCC. Real reporting. Sully's first comment was about how moral he is because he beat the New York Times and Bush in condemning Lott. Instapundit did his usual half-assed job of linking to other bloggers who were merely re-posting the story. The wingnut blogs have since moved on to their true concerns, damage control for the Republican Party and ensuring that the Pubes don't lose their slim Senate majority.

There you have it. Little, Ken Layne and Sully's reader are lying sacks of shit. You heard it here first.

Another "Augusta" For The Moonie Times

Thursday, December 12, 2002

Joshua Marshall has an informative post about the virulently racist Council of Conservative Citizens' amicus brief in Commonwealth v. Black, the cross-burning case. Perhaps the most disturbing news is that the author of the brief, one Edgar Steele, is licensed to practice law in the State of California. Should being a contemptible prick disqualify an otherwise qualified applicant from becoming a member of the Bar? Perhaps not. Maybe, though, a little publicity about Mr. Steele's views will cause him to feel unwelcome in the Golden State, and send him back to Idaho faster than a flaming crucifix up the ass.

What A Fool Believes

But this story gets out on the blogs - I think you and Josh Marshall have been leading the discussion - and now it is impossible to stop. The blogs give legitimacy to the other papers. They create the momentum, and the big boys can jump on. Do you think that the NY Times would be running articles on this if InstaPundit had not?
The Dems have chosen a safe but solid line-up for their seats on the 9-11 commission. TBogg reports and comments:

For the Democrats, Mitchell's replacement by Lee Hamilton was a good choice, as were their other choices of :

retiring Rep. Tim Roemer, D-Indiana, who spearheaded the creation of the independent commission; outgoing Sen. Max Cleland, D-Georgia; former Clinton Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick and prominent Democratic lawyer Richard Ben-Veniste.

What remains to be seen is who Bush and the Republicans choose as their additional committee members. John Danforth is their usual "go-to-guy" If the names Ed Meese or James Baker come up, you might as well flush the report right now.

Hamilton, Cleland and Ben-Veniste are beyond reproach; Gorelick will undoubtedly be the target of wingnut smears just for being within 5,000 miles of the Clinton Justice Department. But one can't hope for much from the commission with Kissinger in the chair and a Republican veto on every decision.

I'd like to see Danforth on the commission in one of the Republican slots, just to piss off the wingnuts who hate him for his Waco report. But the Administration can do a lot worse than Meese or Baker (who would probably think working with others on a commission was beneath them, anyway). Think Joe DiGenova, David Bossie, Chris Ruddy. Think Dick Armey. Most likely, Bush will pick five noncontroversial nobodies to keep the commission off the front pages as much as possible. But the game is rigged, and there's no way Bush can lose.
Roger Ailes is not a major follower of organized sports, but nevertheless recommends this column on the loathsome Charlie Hustle.

Another Southerner

SEN. BILL FRIST (R), TENNESSEE: "He's not a racist. I've known Trent well the last eight years. The spin to this and the interpretation of this, I think, is abhorrent."

(Link via David Ehrenstein, at Eschaton.)

John Fund, In Phase I

Mr. Lott's remarks will be a bludgeon with which to beat the Republican Party mercilessly. Morton Kondracke made this clear on Fox News Channel. "This will be endlessly repeated and used to increase the base vote, the black vote in elections from now on," he said. Adds Newsweek's Howard Feinman, appearing on CNBC: "I spent a good bit of last week in Louisiana, where the African-American vote really turned out to re-elect Mary Landrieu. The black politicians are feeling a sense of empowerment now, and they see an opening here with Lott, and they're going to drive it. -- Abuser John "Thumb" Fund
"Damn you, Lott! You've empowered black voters!"