Tuesday, November 04, 2003
Saturday, November 01, 2003
Remainders of the Day
While visiting a souless corporate chain bookstore this week, I saw Savage Weiner's book remaindered for $5.99. And it didn't look like there were too many takers. Several of Bill Bennett's tomes have also been spotted for sale at rock-bottom prices, where they will sit until they are shipped to hazardous waste dumps and cogeneration facilities.
Buzzflash, Counterspin Central and Atrios have already commented on this, but it's certainly worth piling on. The persistent vegetative conservative, Kitty Parker, has accepted the torch from old Joe Stalin. Earlier today, her column read:
Miller is not alone, though some are more sanguine when it comes to evaluating the roster of contenders. Here's a note I got recently from a friend and former Delta Force member, who has been observing American politics from the trenches: "These bastards like Clark and Kerry and that incipient ass, Dean, and Gephardt and Kucinich and that absolute mental midget Sharpton, race baiter, should all be lined up and shot."
Nailed for endorsing the assassanation of nine Americans, Kitty P. changed "shot" to slapped."
There's only one word for Parker's conduct: Stalinesque.
Those who wish to see Parker slapped -- rhetorically, although Kitty would say it's okay to slap her literally -- for endorsing such vile rhetoric, can contact at Parker's home paper, the Orlando Sentinel.
Friday, October 31, 2003
Thursday, October 30, 2003
What's all this I hear about Don Luskin and stockings? If a man wants to put on some silky hose, oil himself up and fantasize about what it would be like to be a respected economist, I say it's no one's business but his own. If he doesn't want to, fine. The point is that it's his choice.
This site fully supports the rights of persons of all gender identities, and opposes any form of discrimination against such men and women. Unlike, say, Andrew Sullivan, we forcefully reject gender stereotypes. Just be yourself, Don, uh, whoever that may be.
Wednesday, October 29, 2003
In the meantime, please enjoy the fine blogs listed to your right.
Monday, October 27, 2003
PVS Would Be An Improvement For Kausfiles
Yale Law School graduate and former clerk for the California Supreme Court Robert "Thicky" Kaus, explains the law to you. And then someone explains it to him, but correctly:
Terri's husband, Michael, wants the tube removed; Terri's family doesn't. A judge ruled that the decision is Michael's. [Correction: Abstract Appeal says that Michael petitioned the judge, who made the decision.] ....
[Correction: According to Abstract Appeal, Michael Schiavo did not act as his wife's "surrogate" in deciding whether she would have wanted to exercise her 'right to die.' He petitioned a court to make that decision, and presented evidence that dying would be her wish. The judge acted as the "surrogate."]
Certainly Kaus's erroneous conclusion was the result of haste and sloppiness, and not bias. So it's okay, right?
But seriously. It looks like Joshua Micah Marshall is going to cover the New Hampshire primary in person through funds he raised on his weblog for that specific purpose. This is a brilliant idea, and Marshall's coverage is sure to surpass the joke that is newsweeklies, the clowning and whorishness of the insider media, the non-existent coverage on broadcast television, and the abomination that is basic cable. And Marshall's also to be applauded for his honesty. He easily could have kept quiet about the total and allowed twice the amount to roll in.
Plus, Marshall's not stupid enough to blow his travel wad at Priceline, break his reservation, and then whine when he doesn't get a refund.
Rusty Never Sleeps
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't this op-ed piece essentially say that Rush Limbaugh either abused his prescription or was a victim of gross medical malpractice? Of course the author, an AEIer, doesn't purport to speak about Rusty Needle's personal circumstances, but let's all read between the lines, just this once:
The problem isn't with OxyContin itself, but with deliberate criminal misuse. OxyContin is a controlled drug in the same category as morphine. Available since 1995, the medication is now the most widely prescribed narcotic, in large part because it is taken only twice a day. Other narcotic painkillers have to be taken every three to six hours, which increases their addictive potential. The 12-hour controlled delivery keeps blood levels steady, an important feature when pain is constant and severe.
But half-truths abound:
� OxyContin is very addictive.
When abused, it most certainly is. Addicts typically crush the tablet, inactivating the slow-release feature, then snort the powder or inject it with water for a euphoric, heroin-like rush. But pain patients who take OxyContin as prescribed don't require increasingly higher doses and don't feel a high.
� Long-term use for pain equals addiction.
There is a difference. Physical dependence happens to almost everyone who takes a narcotic medication regularly for about two weeks. Your body becomes used to the drug; if it is stopped abruptly, you experience withdrawal symptoms. Doctors taper pain medication to avoid this.
Addiction, by contrast, is the compulsive use of increasing doses of a substance to regulate mood. Most people who abuse OxyContin have had problems with excessive use of alcohol, heroin or other habit-forming pills. Those abusers who have not generally are struggling with emotional demons.
Narcotics are an excellent short-term salve for depression, numbing boredom, self-loathing or fear. This is why doctors should ask patients about prior problems with drugs or alcohol before prescribing potentially addictive pain medications and carefully supervise those with histories of addiction.
If that last part's true, it's a surprise all Rusty's listeners aren't junkies.
Dr. Satel insinuates that the media's at fault for promoting misperceptions about OxyContin. But don't the misperceptions Satel identifies come from Rusty's own "heroic" description of how he got hooked, and the uncritical acceptance of that description by his wingnut pals? If what Satel says is true, the media should be faulted for not looking more critically at Rush's claims and the likelihood that those claims were false.
Furthermore, it is hardly good for the morale of troops to understand that their commander is a wacko who goes around photographing Satan zooming overhead.
...what can they possibly think of Dolphins Noonan?
The movie doesn't really address why Kelly (who was tragically killed in Iraq this year) and Lane (now a Washington Post reporter) missed some obvious warning signs (such as a fabricated tale about hard-drinking, pot smoking conservatives at a conference). And there are other elements -- made-up scenes of Lane and his wife, the composite female staffer (Chloe Sevigny) who befriends Glass, the penultimate meeting with Peretz, who wasn't actually there -- that undercut the film's veracity in small ways, at least to those who know the true story.Yeah, who would ever believe a tale of conservative drunks and drug users -- it's inconcievable! Here's a tip, Howie: You've got a Rolodex full of them!
Howie also bitches that the movie doesn't include him, because Charles Lane called him after Glass was found out (except, uh, didn't Forbes break the story?). Now there's an important part of the story. And Howie wonders who would play him. Marv Albert, who else?
Roger's Media Notes
Moron Becomes A Talk Hack
Last week, KCRW had Midget Mickey Kaus hosting their Left, Right and Center talking head program, with guests Bob Scheer, Arianna Huffington and Canuck David Frum. Kaus was about as stiff and grating a radio host as one could imagine. The discussion was pretty good, actually, but Kaus didn't do much to facilitate it. (You can find the program online at KCRW's website, but I wouldn't recommend it.)
Snow Gets Blown Off
Faux's favorite wigstand, Tony Snow, is heading to Fox Radio, whatever that is. The fucks at Fox likely spotted an opening to grab some listeners when Rush the Junkie was sent kicking and screaming to the dry cleaners. Snow is claiming the change is not a demotion, but why else would Faux boot Tony's bony ass to the minors when they don't even have a replacement host lined up?
Sunday, October 26, 2003
[Barr] told those attending the barbecue that the nation's decline in social values can be blamed directly on the example that Clinton set while he was president....
As a critic of the morals and failings of others, it's only fair to subject Barr to a bit of scrutiny. For example:
-- He has eagerly identified himself as a former federal prosecutor in order to lend credibility to his attacks on others. Fact is, he never tried a case as a U.S. attorney.
-- Though he condemns others for their marital trespasses, Barr is far from a model of fidelity. He is married to his third wife, whom he dated while married to his second.
-- While accusing Clinton of improper conduct with a woman to whom he wasn't married, Barr neglected to relate the story about the time he licked whipped cream from the breasts of two women, neither of whom were his wife, at a fund-raiser.
Everyone's already seen this:
National Review, in the issue out today, runs an editorial paragraph that it did not mean to run. We had a debate among the editors--as we debate many things--about Gen. William Boykin, who recently made some highly provocative remarks about the war on terror. Some editors felt that he should be fired forthwith; others demurred. A draft editorial paragraph was prepared, stating the position that Boykin should be fired; at just about the last minute, we decided to withhold judgment--to see how the investigation into the general�s behavior proceeded, and to reach a conclusion then.
Because of a production error, that paragraph--the one calling for Boykin�s head--went to the printer.
The old production error -- the mysterious curse of publishers everywhere.
So were the editors who opposed the editorial that went to print in favor of withholding judgment, or were they against canning Boykin? And which editors took which position? The NRO site contains a masthead listing numerous editors, but most of them are the chuckleheads from the Children's Department, that is, the website itself.
Let me pull a Jack Shafer: If anyone knows the real story behind the Review's waffling and weaselling, e-mail me.
Yobs and Sods
WorldNutDaily, Sully's source for disinformation about Red Ed Asner, brings us this tribute to tolerance from Ari Fleischer's press conference pal, Les Kingsolving:
Which means they will need this hockey stadium to accommodate the absolute legion of American and Canadian buggers [sic] who will gather to celebrate this notable sodomy acceptance.Yeah! Mobs of Irish Catholic baseball yobs putting the beat-down on Espiscopalian sodoms and buggers! The wet spot on Les's trousers continues to spread.
There are, reportedly, already 6,000 people who have indicated their intention of attending. What if a number of them turn out to be not only Episcopal opponents of ordaining sodomists � but very devout (and very tough) New Hampshire and Massachusetts Irish Catholics, who have heard no word from the Sodomy Lobby by way of condemning homosexual priest pederasts who have sodomized so many young boys?
Durham, home of the University of New Hampshire, was in the national news last week as Reuters reported a riot erupted in which police had to use pepper spray to disperse a mob of 2,500 who blocked a main street and climbed on roofs of buildings � to protest the Boston Red Sox loss to the New York Yankees.
And how exactly can those folks be Episcopalians and Catholics at the same time, Les?
Shit From Shinola
During that period, and especially during the Clinton wars, I gradually realized that my early support for sexual harassment laws was too crude, and that the consequences of such laws - the legal asault on privacy - were far worse than the evil they were trying to prevent or ameliorate. By that time, of course, I loathed Clinton, but I realized a limited defense of his sexual privacy (if not his perjury) was actually a truly conservative position. We all learned something in that decade, I think.
What Sully means to say is that now that his hero, the Predator, is charged with sexual assault, he will no longer pretend to be a feminist. (Not that anyone believed he was.)
Laws prohibiting sexual harassment don't involve a "legal assualt on privacy" or a threat to "sexual privacy." Sexual harassment and sexual assault involve unwanted sexual abuse, something which is never private because the victim doesn't consent to the abuse. The Jones case was a bullshit case, funded by the President's enemies, and the Starr investigation was beyond contempible, but the abuse of the legal system by unethical attorneys and judges doesn't invalidate the need for laws against sexual harassment. By Sully's standard, laws prohibiting murder "are far worse than the harm they were trying to prevent or ameliorate" because corrupt prosecutors and law enforcement officials can convict an innocent person for a murder he or she did not commit.
The only things Sully learned during the 90s was how to cover his current prejudices and biases with false front of reasoned thought, and how to convince his employers that shit was shinola.
Saturday, October 25, 2003
Give 'Til It Hurts -- The Iraqis
So at the Donor's Conference we wanted $56 billion, and got $13 billion. That's still almost a quarter. But wait, nine of the 13 bil is loans, leaving only four billion in actual cash money. That's less than 10 percent. Sure, the lender countries and organizations probably realize they'll never see the money again. But Bush has essentially forced Iraq to take out a loan while Bush decides how the money gets spent.
But it's not all bad news. Seems the the Iraqis have plenty of drain pipe.
A Mighty Fatass Is Our Pod
As noted in Howie the Putz's latest clip-job, Johnny Pod highlights a favorite fundy gambit, as expertly played by Lt. General William Boykin.
The New York Post's John Podhoretz, for the defense:
"Boykin is an evangelical Christian. That is his right. He believes that the terrorists threatening us are working for Satan. That is also his right. It is crucial to note that he was not calling Islam a Satanic faith.
"And though the use of the phrase 'Christian nation' is offensive to many non-Christians, it's hardly the sort of thing that should get a guy fired -- especially when he takes care to refer to the 'Judeo-Christian' tradition as well.
Fundies always use this little insurance policy -- when asserting that America is a Christian Nation, always throw a bone to the Jews. It's a fair bet that Lt. General Boykin and his fellow wingers couldn't describe the Judeo part of the American "Judeo-Christian tradition" if their lives depended upon it. (Hint: A big part of it is Christians saying "No Judeos Allowed.") Yet such folk feel they can baldly bash anyone of Muslim faith, or of no faith, if they pay lip service to the Jewish faith in the same breath as they declare America a Christian country. Poddy, like Boykin, knows how this corrupt game is played. And he endorses the tactic as long as he's in with the in crowd. Not surprising, but sad.
The oh-so-liberal New York Times revealed its liberal bias again today by identifying Dennis Kucinich as an Indiana Democrat on its front page. They've corrected that statement in the version of the article on their website at least.
The same front page article also features a complaint by a Lieberman campaign staffer, who says, "Take one hour, sprinkle it with nine candidates, throw in a dash of opening and closing statements and the obligatory Iraq question ... and voil�, you have a guaranteed recipe that prevents any single candidate from breaking out." If that's the problem, then get off the stage, Joe -- the sooner the better.
Today's paper also includes a puffer on the "ruggedly handsome" Charles Murray, glossing over Murray's prior bogus scholarship while allowing Murray to plug his new book about the superiority of Western culture. But he's not biased, you see, because he was in Peace Corps and was married to a woman from Thailand for 12 years. And some of his best friends are naturally mentally inferior too, I'm sure.
Friday, October 24, 2003
Try Throwing In A Tote Bag and A Set of Rick Steves Videos
The view of the world community re: the United States' destruction of Iraq's infrastructure appears to be "you broke it, you bought it."
An international donors conference for Iraqi reconstruction ended Friday with pledges totaling "more than $33 billion,'' conference officials said.
The amount was to be officially announced by the World Bank, but a senior conference official said on condition of anonymity that more than $33 billion was raised at the two-day conference in Madrid.
The total apparently included the $20 billion already promised by the United States.
Most of the $13B in new money was raised after Colin Powell wowed those in attendance with a stirring rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone."
Reading The BushMoonie Blog
The Bush blog is fast become your one-stop source for links to the publications of messianic, bigoted tax criminals. Here, the Bushblog links to Frank Gaffney's "thoughtful, substantive look at the Kay Report" in a piece for the Father's glossy rag, Insight.
Among the stunning conclusions by "Security Policy expert" Gaffney: the dastardly Hussein regime "made no appreciable effort to distinguish which contained high explosives and which were loaded with chemical or biological agents, establishing exactly what is in such facilities is a time-consuming and dangerous task." Gee, I wonder why. That cunning Saddam made it impossible for his own forces to identify the chemical and biological weapons stored in his weapons facilities so that when he wanted to use them they would have to engage in a "time-consuming and dangerous task" in an effort to find them. That's the most likely explanation, and Gaff's sticking to it.
And the Gaffer also claims that the search for WMDs is not a failure because Kay hasn't had a chance to scour every last "50 square mile" depot in the country. Such an effort easily could take us past... oh, I don't know, choosing a date completely at random... November 2004.
Gaffney, you may recall, is the well-respected pinhead who linked Saddam Hussein to the bombing of the Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City. Perhaps Saddam has stockpiled his WMDs in rural Michigan and Wyoming, or at the Branch Davidian fun-time resort in Waco. We don't know he hasn't until we search every compound and farmhouse in the blue states, do we?
Leaking Talking Penis is getting $500,000 to write a memoir about his time in the White House. The liar claims his book is not a "kiss and tell," so all the media whores who kissed the Talking Penis's ass during the past two years should be relieved. Not surprisingly, the Penis will be published by a Rupert Murdoch organ.
Meanwhile, Sean Hannity's towel boy has published a putative defense of liberalism which reportedly contains, in its large-print, wide-margined pages an entire chapter concerning the innocence of O.J. Simpson. Only a closeted wingut or a psychotic would claim that the culpability of O.J. Simpson is an issue of concern to liberals.
Thursday, October 23, 2003
Some very stupid people took Fox News seriously.
Andrew Sullivan and Mickey Kaus were not shunned by every sane person, despite of the content of their weblogs.
The owner of the Moonie Times was printing lies and bigoted crap in his rag.
And George Bush occupied the White House.
One person can make a difference.
Regrettably, that person is not me.
I'll just have to work harder.
Instacracker, Popularly Identified With Journalistic Fraud....
A reader letter at Atrios' Eschaton:
So I wrote an email to InstaPundit and told him that the speed limit was signed into law by Nixon and that it was law for 21 years -- only four of which were Carter years, and 14 of which there was a Republican in the White House. So what did InstaPundit do? I figured he'd take the whole column down, since it was clearly a load of hooey. But no! Without noting that he had made the correction, he changed the sentence that credited the law to Carter from "Jimmy Carter's 55 mph speed limit" to "Actually passed in 1974, but popularly identified with Jimmy Carter's 'moral equivalent of war'..." And he changed nothing else! He kept all that stuff about Carter this and Carter that. He kept the stuff about how the speed limit and CBs might have had something to do with Reagan being elected (nevermind that Reagan spent 8 years in office and the speed limit remained law the entire time).
Hey, the original text has disappeared forever -- Now, I'd call that Stalinesque!
Update: Uncle Glenn Stalin is no match for Google.
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
You Can Lead A Dick Ta Phone, But You Can't Make Him Think
I'd be livid too if someone disclosed I wrote something like this:
The questions I posed to combatant commanders this week were: Are we winning or losing the Global War on Terror? Is DoD changing fast enough to deal with the new 21st century security environment? Can a big institution change fast enough? Is the USG changing fast enough?
Does DoD need to think through new ways to organize, train, equip and focus to deal with the global war on terror? Are the changes we have and are making too modest and incremental?
My impression is that we have not yet made truly bold moves, although we have have [sic] made many sensible, logical moves in the right direction, but are they enough?
Try instead: "What further steps should we take against terrorists?" Don't get shit-faced and slur soliloquies into your Dictaphone just because you're in love with your own voice. And you're not getting paid by the word.
Tuesday, October 21, 2003
"Princess Diana claimed there was a plot to kill her in a car crash in a handwritten letter only 10 months before she died. She gave it to her butler Paul Burrell with orders that he should keep it as 'insurance' for the future.
"The princess predicted: 'This particular phase in my life is the most dangerous.' She said 'XXXXXXXXXXX is planning "an accident" in my car, brake failure and serious head injury in order to make the path clear for Charles to marry.'
"In the letter, revealed by the Daily Mirror today, Diana named who she believed was plotting to kill her. But the Mirror is not able to repeat the allegation for legal reasons so we have blanked that part of the letter out. . . .
Amazing... except that the car accident was caused by the drunken chauffuer of Diana's idiot boyfriend and photographers chasing the vehicle, not brake failure. And the fact that a letter accusing someone of a crime provides very little worthwhile "insurance" after you've sustained a serious head injury.
For the love of humanity, please don't tell Howie that Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy and Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln.
What you will see in today�s soaraway Daily Gnomegraph:
Page one: Peace comes to Iraq as bomb goes off.
Page two: Why everyone is backing IDS.
Pages three to ninety-four: Pieces by the proprietor�s wife attacking Arafat, BBC, etc, etc.
I wish you well, Mr Newbloke, and suggest you remember the old newspaper edict �Moore Means The Sack�.
Lord Conrad Gnome
The Daily Gnomegraph
Media whorespeak -- the universal language.
And (if I may engage in a bit of informed character assassination) at least some of those jokers would have "P.C." in every other sentence of their posts if the target of Easterbrook's particular rant had been Arabs, Muslims or African-Americans. Update (10/23): Apparently one of the original posters of the e-mail is saying it's not a fake, while Easterbrook is denying authorship. At this point, I say, who gives a shit I've taken down the link, which wasn't even a correct link in the first place (it was to the Bush Blog), and I can't remember what I had intended to link to.
On the other hand, my statement:
As Instacracker would say, "that's the majesty of the blogsphere... you can fabricate stuff and then delete it and whine about the French some more."
now seems scarily prescient! Heh.
Proofreading The Bush Blog
"As part of the Reading First program, third-readers are receiving intensive training in the fundamentals of reading � and parents and teachers are thrilled with the results:"
Reading First; Proofreading Last. Idjits.
Federal funding for education. I thought that was a socialist concept. Shouldn't Grover Norquist be strangling these children?
Monday, October 20, 2003
"Gays don't want to join the straights-only golf club in order to destroy the game of golf. They want to join in order to play golf."
And buy pitching wedges at the Catholic Church proshop, and drink margaritas with Paul Weyrich at the Republican 19th hole, and pee in the ballwasher with Colin Powell....
p.s. Looks like "Fisking" is too low-class for TNR, they call it deconstruction everywhere but in the hyperlink itself.
I'm nobody! Who are you?(Inspired by Atrios.)
Are you nobody soldier, too?
Then here�s a body bag � don�t tell!
They�d elect a sorry Dem, you know.
How dreary to be a solider!
How much unlike my dirty dog
The media can just shut its yap
Rot in an Iraq bog!
While the Catholic Church is less than enamored of Sully, it mightily digs Boy George's favorite-ist Justice, Nino Scalia. And there's nought that Nino likes better than a good ol' asswhipping from the Big Man himself. A rhetorical and heterosexual asswhipping, but an asswhipping nonetheless. Because God always hurts the one he loves.
Nino is such a favorite of God's that he can joke with Bill Safire about his (Nino's) grammatical constructions in Lawrence v. Texas without concern that the deity will smite him as a bigot. Safire says:
But his attempt to be a regular guy backfired. In a jocular tone, Scalia observes: ''God -- whom I believe to be a strict grammarian as well as an Englishman -- has punished me. The misquotation would have been more difficult to engineer had there been an apostrophe after 'homosexuals.' I am convinced that in this instance the A.P. has been (unwittingly, I am sure) the flagellum Dei to recall me from my populist, illiterate wandering. (You will note that I did not say 'from me wandering.')''
Har de har har har.
And Nino loves the pecking order: God punishes man for poor grammar, while man incarcerates gay men for acts of love. And all is right with the world.
Reading Sully's Sunday sermon in the Times, I wondered what he could possibly find admirable about the Catholic Church. It must be the class of people it attracts.
The World's 50 Richest and Most Vindictive MenOn newsstands October 25.
My very good friend Rik Hertzberg makes the following point:
Actually, under federal law there is no distinction between Oxycontin, Limbaugh�s reported pill of choice, and drugs like cocaine, methadone, and opiates. All are Schedule II drugs, which have medical uses but a high potential for abuse, and simple possession of any of them is punishable by up to a year�s imprisonment. Though Limbaugh may well have been introduced to painkillers via a doctor�s prescription, the suggestion that he became addicted to them under a doctor�s care is almost certainly false. So is the suggestion that he wasn�t taking them �recreationally��i.e., to get high. The prescribed dose of Oxycontin, one tablet every twelve hours, is usually sufficient to relieve severe pain. The Enquirer has Limbaugh purchasing nearly twelve thousand during a four-month period in 2001�enough to soothe his back troubles for sixteen years.
This is an important point (to the extent Assboil is important at all). Even if Flush was getting a prescription, he was abusing drugs to the extent he exceeded his doctor's instructions. Of course, it is doubtful that Flush would admit doing that, and just as doubtful his doctors would admit misprescribing medication in a way which would allow Limpballs to become an addict. Of course, if Rush originally became addicted due to his doctor's negligence, he have a hell of a malpractice suit. I don't expect to see one.
Bonus Fun: Find the most pathetic letter of deluded support from the dildoheads, at Limpballs' official site.
Bill O'Reilly Talks About Roger Ailes' Love Of "Water Sports"
My name is no longer Bill O'Reilly. It's "gasbag," "bully," "liar" and "blowhard." Those descriptions are not confined to opinion pieces but are used in hard news stories as well. There's good news, though. Never again will some news organizations be able to claim fairness or nonpartisanship. They've been exposed for all to see. Excuse me for a moment - something just went whizzing by my head.
Read the gasbag's column and see if you can find the hard news story to which the lying blowhard refers.
Sunday, October 19, 2003
Is That George Gilder or Rick Starr Singing "My Way"?Interesting article in today's New York Times about George Gilder and, tangentially, about the folks who lost their life savings following his advice on tech stocks. This paragraph is interesting:
Yet when he opens his mouth to rail against "idiot" American economists, corporate lobbyists and the perniciousness of taxes ("the power to tax is the power to destroy") and government regulation, the mild manner evaporates and Mr. Gilder might be mistaken for a glassy-eyed nut case on the University of California at Berkeley's Sproul Plaza shouting random invectives at passers-by.
Is Gilder claiming credit for that line about taxes? I hope not.
Blogs I'm Glad I'm Not Linked To, Part One
Update: I've deleted the link to this blog, per the comment of Charles in the Comment box. For the curious, it was a Blogger blog named "Genital Warts" that linked to a bunch of other blog with similar titles.
The President is in Thailand for the first day of an official state visit to the Asian nation. While in Thailand, he will attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders Conference in Bangkok. At APEC the President will discuss our shared goals for free trade and open markets with APEC's leaders.Hey, George, I bet Neilsie can hook you up with a little somethin, somethin during your visit. Or at least someone who can. And it's free trade (for you) too!
"The ADL has a financial self-interest in accusing Gibson of anti-Semitism, as the organization raises money using this charge. There's plenty of actual anti-Semitism to fight in the world. But anti-Semitism accusations against a Hollywood star--how better to get publicity and pry open checkbooks?"
According to Rutten, Easterbrook has said "that neither those remarks [regarding the ADL] nor those to the New York Times were meant 'to suggest a conspiracy or anything like that. I was simply making a statement of fact.'"
Is Easterbrook claiming he has factual evidence the Anti-Defamation League is not making the charges against Mel Gibson in good faith but rather is knowingly making a spurious charge against Gibson simply to raise money? If so, I'd like to see those facts.
My point is not that Eisner or the ADL or anyone is above criticism for what they do or say. Rather, my criticism of Easterbrook is that he frequently ascribes base motives to anyone he doesn't like -- such as the "greedy" 9/11 survivors and the "financial[ly] self-interest[ed]" ADL. If I was in the habit of telling Anglo-Saxons how to be good Christians, I might tell Easterbrook that the principle of Christian charity requires one not to assume the worst of others. (At least I assume it does.)
Bashing The 'Bishop
Will hackery never cease?
Sully is aghast that an interviewer would persist in getting an answer to a question from a public figure who had spoken publicly on an issue of monumental public concern. According to a transcript of the interview, a BBC Radio interviewer asked the Archbishop of Canterbury about an advertisement he had previously signed opposing war in Iraq on grounds it was "immoral." The Archbishop tried to dodge the question, saying the statement had been made before the war began, so the interviewer asked him pointedly if he now thought the war was immoral ("Was it immoral?")
The Archbishop reportedly hesitated for 12 seconds before answering, then danced around the question and some follow-ups.
To Sully's twisted mind, the exchange reveals this:
The BBC interviewer wants another anti-war headline from the archbishop, who doesn't want to go there. So he persists. The campaign by the leading media to distort and denigrate the liberation of Iraq continues.
This is beyond assinine. The Archbishop earlier made a public pronouncement on the war, and the interviewer asked him whether his position had changed. When the Archbishop refused to answer, the interviewer persisted. The nerve of a journalist to ask a tough question after an interviewee doesn't "want to go there!" Is that what passes for professionalism nowdays?
Plainly, the interviewer wasn't arguing against the war. He was asking questions, and not even leading questions. He was giving the Archbishop the opportunity to state his views on the war -- a subject on which the Archbishop had previously spoken publicly. The interviewer did not distort or denigrate the war in any way; he offered no opinion whatsoever.
And Sully fudges the key facts. He claims "[i]n a radio interview with the Archbishop of Canterbury [sic], there was a prior agreement that the question of the Iraq war would not be raised." But the Guardian reported "[w]hen the interview was over, Dr Williams said he believed there had been an agreement not to talk about the war." The CofE apparently refused further comment, stating that it was "not offering our version of events." The BBC's position according to the Guardian:
The BBC said: "The archbishop insists that he agreed to the interview only on the understanding that it would be confined to the single subject of this week's Lambeth conference.
"The Today programme accepts that the archbishop thought the interview would be on the single subject, so in the interests of fair dealing, decided not to run that section of the interview which went beyond its main purpose."
So the article hardly confirms that there "was" a prior agreement not to talk about the war. Perhaps there was an agreement, perhaps there wasn't. But the article Sully cites doesn't say there was.
One suspects that if the interviewer had grilled the Roman Catholic Cardinal-designate for Scotland in a similiar manner, seeking clarification on his views (and apparent shift) on matters of morality, Sully would have had high praise indeed. But when it comes to the beloved liberation, even asking someone to state or clarify his position on the war evinces a revolting anti-war bias. Sully embarasses himself with his delusions of pro-war persecution and his refusal to state the facts correctly.
Saturday, October 18, 2003
Oh, and there's this -- Instapundit, fresh from calling Ed Asner a Stalin-lover and then beating a hasty retreat, now compares ESPN to Comrade Stalin for sacking the Tuesday Morning Quarterback column. Seems that removing content from your website without comment is morally equivalent to masterminding a reign of terror involving the murder, torture and imprisonment of millions.
It's a shame Glenn lacked the fortitude to compare Mike Eisner to Hitler. I blame P.C.
p.s. Has anyone other than the Cracker ever cared what Jeff Jarvis said?
p.p.s. CalPundit invokes Uncle Joe too. Geez. Stalin isn't the only historical figure to surpress speech or attempt to rewrite history. And I don't recall anyone invoking Stalin when the Chicago Trib took Bob Greene's columns out of its pay-per-view archives. Easterbrook has at least three other gigs and an office at Brookings; he's not lying in an unmarked grave with a bullet in his brain.
Shattered Easter Eggs: Random Thoughts On The Media
Hope for Gregg Easterbrook. Bob Greene has a piece on today's New York Times editorial page.
The makers of Shattered Glass -- ethnicities unknown -- are advertising their film heavily on The New Republic website. The film is the story one of the magazine's biggest embarassments -- not counting Fred Barnes. Does this mean the owners and editors of TNR worship money above all else?
Which gives me an idea: Jayson Blair does a NYT Sunday Magazine cover piece following Rush Limbaugh as he goes through rehab.
Don't Mess With Shrek
Atrios reports that Gregg Easterbrook's Tuesday Morning Quarterback column has disappeared from ESPN.com, just days after Easterbrook bashed Michael Eisner of Disney. It's hard to choose who to root against in such a battle.
Meanwhile, environmentalists are dissing an Easterbrook op-ed defending Bush's environmental record.
It's a good thing that Easterbrook still has his gigs at Brookings, beliefnet, the Atlantic Monthly, Washington Monthly and TNR to fall back on.
Update (approx. 2 minutes later): Things happen fast. Atrios reports that ESPN has given Easterbrook the heave-ho.
Reading The Bush BlogToday, Scott Stanzel (pictured here looking like a young, non-roided version of Sully) highlights Bush's lack of accomplishment during his first term:
After a morning of discussing grassroots organizing, the state leadership team held a press conference. Leaders like Rosanne King and Tamara Scott spoke about the President's plan to create jobs for every American who wants to work and the historic No Child Left Behind Act. Veteran Curly Hultman spoke about the President's commitment to protecting Americans from terror threats and Coach Dan Gable rallied the assembled crowd of supporters with his comments about the progress that can be made for our country during President Bush's second term. Check out coverage of the Iowa Team on the evening news tonight and in papers throughout the state tomorrow!
It's a shame they couldn't get Rosanne King and Tamara Scott to show up. And could someone please upgrade Dan Gable to Business Class?
Friday, October 17, 2003
David Kay's Original Salad Dressing
WASHINGTON � A suspicious sample of biological material recently found by U.S. weapons hunters in Iraq probably was purchased legally from a U.S. organization in the 1980s and is a substance that has never been successfully used to produce a weapon, experts said.Did anyone seriously expect the public to believe this was a WMD? It's been in the guy's home fridge for 10 years! You don't keep food in your refrigerator 10 weeks because it might go bad. You certainly don't keep something you might accidentally pour on your Corn Flakes when you wake up in the middle of the night. John Fund's underpants are more of a biohazard than that stuff.
The discovery of the hidden vial of C. botulinum Okra B, which was revealed in an Oct. 2 interim report by chief U.S. weapons hunter David Kay, was highlighted in speeches by President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and other senior administration officials as proof that President Saddam Hussein's government maintained an illicit bio-weapons program before the war....
The single vial of botulinum B had been stored in an Iraqi scientist's kitchen refrigerator since 1993.
It's Action Verb Friday at the Bush Blog. Instead of the usual anonymous contributor, today we get a named drone, Jennifer Millerwise, and her insect metaphor-laden prose:
Michiganders from across the state showed up in East Lansing on a perfect, crisp fall day to lay the ground work for an aggressive grassroots effort. After spending the morning learning about current and future Bush-Cheney '04 plans in the state, attendees anxiously milled around the press conference site prior to the Michigan Leadership team announcement. Votes in the House of Representatives on the President's request for $87 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan held B-C '04 Chairwoman Rep. Candice Miller in D.C., but that didn't stop her from calling in to radio shows and doing satellite interviews with local TV throughout the state -- including all three networks in Detroit. The press conference, led by Campaign Chairman Racicot, focused on the President's leadership on important issues like education and Homeland Security. After the press conference, local media swarmed around key Leadership Team Members conducting one-on-one interviews, while other Team Members buzzed around campaign staff sharing their strategy and planning ideas.
Nice try, but it's still not interesting.
Millerwise previously was an assistant press secretary to Dicky-Ticker Dick, giving the nation the VP's line of bunkum on such matters as Halliburton and his own life expectancy.
Of course, the diminutive partisan will claim he doesn't hate the members of the groups listed, just the "pandering" of the DNC. But -- even if you swallow that one -- what does he make of this equivalent page, which lists women's, Hispanic, Jewish, youth, gay, urban, environmental, and numerous other single-issue interest and advocacy groups as either official affiliates or endorsed links?
No clearer proof is needed that the Hack doesn't hate "special-interest politics" but rather only politics which don't align with his right-wing views.
Maybe if they run out of time, they can whine about the persecution of Christians and pass around a bottle of Christian Brothers '03.
20 Minute Man
Now if Easterbrook only would apologize for the rest of the crap he writes.
And I'm not sure that Easterbrook wants to point us to his Mel Gibson post, which contains this quote:
The ADL has a financial self-interest in accusing Gibson of anti-Semitism, as the organization raises money using this charge. There's plenty of actual anti-Semitism to fight in the world. But anti-Semitism accusations against a Hollywood star--how better to get publicity and pry open checkbooks?
Actually, it appears that imagining greed in others, rather than anti-Semitism, is Easterbrook's primary obsesssion. The 9/11 victims suing the airlines, Chief Moose, the ADL: money-worshipping shakedown artists all.
Don't expect a forced apology to any of those folks however.
Update: Edited to add link directly to the Gibson post.
Thursday, October 16, 2003
I am testing firstname.lastname@example.org as this site's main e-mail address for the next few weeks. I will still check the Hotmail address, but less frequently. Even with the spam filter at the highest level, the spam at Hotmail exceeds the number of legitimate messages.
Wednesday, October 15, 2003
Reading The Bush Blog etc.
The illiterate Bush Blogger demonstrates why Bush lost California and will lose it again.
President Bush makes remarks on the economy and the war on terror in San Bernadino, CA at 9:30 a.m. Make sure to check the cable news channels for the live remarks. The President will also meet with the Governor-elect of California.
Those of you who weren't legacies will recall that there are two "r"s in San Bernardino.
Make sure to hire smarter flunkies, George!
Making New Enemies
I've been working on keeping the Enemies List current and adding new Enemies. I actually did about a half-hour's work on this Monday night before I accidentally refreshed the screen and not only lost the updates but also caused the template to disappear for most of a day.
I'm adding new blogs that I've come across (many of which have already linked here) plus I've been making note of blogs that have been mentioned in the Comments section or emailed to me. I've haven't just blown off the emails I've received, it's just that updating the template is less exciting than cleaning the closet. Bear with me. And if I missed your blog, let me know.
Techniques of the Right Wing Blogosmear
And speaking of right-wing monkeys, why are Instacracker and Sully blaming Kevin McCollough for their repetition of the smear on avuncular old Ed Asner? McCollough didn't force them to link to his bogus column at WorldNutDaily. Shouldn't adults -- not to mention professional journalists and lawyers -- know better than to repeat undocumented crap from unreliable hate sites?
The Predator and his flunky, Sean Walsh, played the monkeys of right-wing radio and internet like the fools they are:
Schwarzenegger's campaign, frantic to deflect the latest sexual harassment allegation on the eve of last week's recall election, issued a memorandum to select California media outlets. Signed by Schwarzenegger spokesman Sean Walsh, the memo read:Strangely, Little Mick, who was fascinated by the idea of media bias during the recall election, has not mentioned this story, not even to praise the Predator's brilliant campaign tactics. Someone should change all the accusers' names to "Bob Mulholland" and see if he bites.
"It has come to our attention from the media that you can access court documents from the following web site: www.lasuperiorcourt.org/Criminal. You will have to pay a $4.75 online charge to access/search the site. Once you have accessed, the site, type 'Rhonda' in the 'first name' field, and 'Miller' in 'last name' field."
In went Miller's name and out came the record: prostitution, narcotics, forgery. John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, two LA radio talkers whose commitment to fair play has extended to hosting a Schwarzenegger rally, read from the Miller "record."
Matt Drudge, the nation's slanderer general, posted a headline: "ARNOLD ACCUSER'S STORY FALLS APART . . . " It linked to a discussion thread on the FreeRepublic.com Web site. There, correspondents described Miller as "the ape woman" and "crack ho." ...
"We did not make any allegations," Walsh told me. "I wrote that memo myself. I wrote it very, very carefully."
"We simply said that this name was available on the web site and encouraged reporters to do their research and do their due diligence," Walsh said.
Drudge deleted his link to the FreeRepublic threads by Tuesday morning. But in Los Angeles on election night, Kobylt and Chiampou were in full throat. Allred phoned the show to tell John and Ken they had slandered her client.
"Yeah, well, you jump in the mudbath, things like that are gonna happen," one of them replied. Allred suggested an apology was due. But John and Ken weren't ready to concede that the Rhonda Miller on the court computers was not her client.
"We are checking that out," he said. Ordinarily, that is what someone does before calling a woman a check-forging hooker, but John and Ken pride themselves in their sense of populist rage and every uprising needs an innocent victim to spice the bonfire.
Hideous indeed. When Allred went on MSNBCs "Scarborough Country" talk show, conservative talk show host Kim Serafin announced she had learned of Miller's record en route to the studio.
"She has 17 convictions, 16 prostitution convictions, six drug charges convictions. She's been convicted of theft, of felony."
The allegations turned up on Fox News channel. Rush Limbaugh gave passing mention to John and Ken's discovery of the accuser's curious past....
Tuesday, October 14, 2003
As Martin Luther said when he threw the Pope's jockey shorts onto the front lawn of the Wittenburg Cathedral, "Take it elsewhere, Buster!"
Nino Scalia should recuse himself from a lot more cases, if you ask me. But he still deserves substantial criticism for his conduct in the compulsory Pledge of Allegience case. Followers of judicial hypocrisy will recall Scalia's position on judges who oppose the death penalty on moral grounds.
Scalia, who insisted he was �judicially and judiciously neutral� toward capital punishment, said that he did not find the death penalty immoral. �I am happy to have reached that conclusion,� he continued, �because I like my job and would rather not resign.�
Earlier Scalia had said, �In my view, the choice for the judge who believes the death penalty to be immoral is resignation rather than simply ignoring duly enacted constitutional laws and sabotaging the death penalty.�
But Scalia is guilty of the same misconduct as the hypothetical judges he criticized.
From today's New York Times:
The Supreme Court's action today had several unusual elements that could have an impact on the eventual outcome. One was the decision by Justice Antonin Scalia not to participate in the case, an evident if unacknowledged response to a "suggestion for recusal of Justice Scalia" that Mr. Newdow sent to the court last month.
Mr. Newdow cited news reports of remarks the justice made at an event in Fredericksburg, Va., last January that was co-sponsored by the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic organization that a half-century ago played a leading role in persuading Congress to add "under God" to the pledge. According to the reports, Justice Scalia's speech at "Religious Freedom Day" pointed to the Ninth Circuit's decision in this case as an example of how courts were misinterpreting the Constitution to "exclude God from the public forums and from political life."
Mr. Newdow, who is a lawyer and medical doctor who has represented himself in the litigation, told the court that the remarks indicated that Justice Scalia was not just expressing general views on the Constitution but had formed a conclusion about the case itself, providing grounds for disqualification. The code of judicial conduct and a federal law that incorporates it both provide that judges "shall disqualify" themselves in cases where their "impartiality might reasonably be questioned."
Scalia knew that the Ninth Circuit case might -- and likely would -- come to the Supreme Court when he spoke those words. Despite that knowledge, he chose to criticize the Ninth Circuit ruling at a Catholic event. By his conduct, Scalia disqualified himself from being able to review the law applied by the Ninth Circuit. When Scalia was faced with the choice between speaking out on an issue of importance to him and fulfilling his judicial duty to rule on all cases to come before the Supreme Court, he opted for the former. He didn't resign, as he suggested other judges must do in such circumstances, he gave himself a pass for just one case. (Could not anti-death penalty judges opt to recuse themselves from death cases and draw their salary hearing antitrust and tort cases instead?)
Scalia and his supporters might claim that he is doing the right thing because he certainly would have voted for compulsory inclusion of God in the PofA, and is willing to put an impartial resolution above his own personal desire as to the outcome. To which I would respond: bullshit. Scalia knew what his job required when he accepted it, and deliberately chose to act in a matter which would required recusal. He committed misconduct when he spoke, and his later recusal doesn't change that. If he was unwilling to give up his right to prejudge cases he shouldn't have taken the job. And if he voluntarily places himself in a position where he cannot fulfill all of his job duties, he should resign.
Monday, October 13, 2003
Ripped From Today's Headlines
"Law-enforcement sources tell NEWSWEEK that Limbaugh�s exposure as a pain-pill addict began when Wilma Cline, 42, who had worked at Limbaugh�s $30 million Florida estate from 1997 to July 2001, showed up at the Palm Beach County state attorney�s office late last year eager to sic the cops on her former boss."
Limbaugh says he is still addicted. So who sold Rush his drugs between "late last year" and earlier this month? Does Rush's cooperation mean he's going to turn in his suppliers?
Reading the BushBlog So You Won't Have To
Today's pine-scented pearl of wisdom:
The Rocky Mountain News editorial board weighs in today with a piece urging Congress to pass legislation to grant the federal government additional tools to address the problem of unnatural fuel buildup in our forests. President Bush�s Healthy Forest Initiative focuses on reducing the risk of catastrophic fire by thinning dense undergrowth and brush in priority locations.
"Unnatural fuel buildup?" Is Bush saying that God is committing unnatural acts -- like a sodomite? Shades of Reagan's polluting trees!
The President believes that Healthy Forests is an American issue that requires consensus to do what is right to preserve and protect our national forests.
Geez, talk about dense undergrowth. That is one bloated and borderline incoherent sentence. Someone needs to clear out the deadwood who's writing the BushBlog.
Don't Fear The Hacker
Now that the Predator has been elected Governor, surely Mickey Kaus has something to live for. Yet Kaus makes this creepy confession in his blog:
A second NYU student has died after jumping off the 10th floor blacony of the Bobst Library's dramatic internal atrium. When I lived in New York, I was terrified of using Bobst for just this reason--fear of succumbing to the urge to jump (or worrying that others would succumb). It's now clear that this isn't just an eccentric phobia--the space is an invitation to suicide, a form of architectural malpractice. To construct such a space on a college campus filled with moody and inebriated kids seems particularly negligent. It's all the more inexcusable because there's a model for a skylit atrium that doesn't create such risks--the historic Bradbury building in Los Angeles....
I hate to tell Mick this, but there are probably 70 million places -- bridges, windows, balconies, roofs, etc. -- in New York City from which a person could jump to his or her death. And many more ways to kill yourself without jumping. Closing down structures that Kaus is afraid of is not the way to lower the suicide rate. Certainly a man so enamored of "tort reformers" like the Predator and Bush would never endorse litigation against architects who fail to make their buildings suicide-proof.
And Mick reveals his fear of "blacony"s -- is that a Kausian slip?
Sunday, October 12, 2003
Lott Sacked Again
The Moonie Times has picked of Johnmary Lottrosh's National Review buffoonish piece on media coverage of quarterbacks by race. The Moonies even corrected the typo I pointed out.
Interestingly, another professor has done a more comprehensive study on the issue and found no bias based on a QB's race. As described, Professor Niven's study sounds much more reliable, as it involves a whole season's worth of coverage (rather than four weeks) and none of the idiotic cherry-picking of Lott's study, which only looked at articles containing one of 23 "positive" and/or one of 23 "negative" adjectives to describe the QB. It doesn't appear that Niven performed his study in response to Lott's, but it sure looks like he sacked Lott anyway. Perhaps Lott can waste a few thousand more hours having his flunkies demonstrate that his approach was superior to Professor Niven's.
Another Limbaugh Under The Influence (Of Stupidity)
When Ann Coulter praises a book as "copiously researched," you can bank on a story like this to follow:
Author David Limbaugh apologized for mistakenly including a Tupelo school in his new best-selling book about incidents he calls anti-Christian.
In his book "Persecution: How Liberals are Waging War Against Christianity," Limbaugh describes the removal of explicitly Christian references from Christmas songs at an unidentified Tupelo elementary school, and students being led in chants of "Celebrate Kwanzaa."
Limbaugh's source was a November 2000 news release from the Tupelo-based American Family Association Center for Law and Policy. It carried a Tupelo dateline "and I mistakenly inferred the incident occurred in Tupelo," Limbaugh said in the letter.
In fact, the news release was about a dispute in State College, Pa. The American Family Association had asked an appeals court to reinstate a lawsuit alleging that a 1999 holiday program at State College's Corl Street Elementary School presented Christmas as a "celebration unworthy of respect."
Limbaugh, an attorney and columnist who is the brother of radio commentator Rush Limbaugh, apologized for the error in a letter published in Thursday's edition of the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.
As predicted by this site weeks ago, Limbaugh's "research" involved rewriting press releases from various wingnut organizations and, as it turned out, not even bothering to read them, much less determine their accuracy. Shoddy research is the hallmark of the Limbaugh brothers. And poor, persecuted Davey can't even blame it on the household staff.
It's nice to see that the folks running the Bush Blog are as capable as the man they work for. Today's offering starts:
The Alameda Times-Star (CA) editorial board takes a look at the economy today and concludes that all signs point to a strong recovery.
And the link actually says:
Scripps Howard News Service Editorial.Close enough for Republican work.
Check back later in the week as the Bush blog quotes Auto Trader on Bush's mastery of foreign policy and The Pyschic Connection on Bush's vision for the future.
Office of the Attorney GeneralThe interesting part is Asscrack's assertion that the White House has the authority to conduct its own investigtion into the identity of the leaker(s), and is not required to turn the investigation over to the Justice Department, particularly before the leaker(s) are identified. So if Bush truly "place[s] deterring, detecting, and punishing unauthorized disclosures of U.S. national security secrets among our highest priorities," why has the Administration simply turned to matter over to the Department of Justice with a lame promise to "cooperate fully"?
Washington, DC 20530
October 15, 2002
The Honorable J. Dennis Hastert
Speaker of the House of Representatives
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Mr. Speaker:
The President and I place deterring, detecting, and punishing unauthorized disclosures of U.S. national security secrets among our highest priorities, at all times, but especially in this time of war against terrorism of global reach. There is no doubt and ample evidence that unauthorized disclosures of classified information cause enormous and irreparable harm to the Nation�s diplomatic, military, and intelligence capabilities. They impair, especially, the Intelligence Community�s ability to provide essential support to U.S. national security policymakers and our military�s ability to provide for the national defense. We need an effective Government-wide program to curtail these damaging disclosures and to hold the persons who engage in unauthorized disclosures of classified information fully accountable for the serious damage they cause to intelligence sources and methods, military operations, and to the nation. Those who would break faith with the American people and disclose classified information without authority to do so will face severe consequences under the law.
Although there is no single statute that provides criminal penalties for all types of unauthorized disclosures of classified information, unauthorized disclosures of classified information fall within the scope of various current statutory criminal prohibitions. See United States v. Morison, 844 F.2d 1057 (4th Cir. 1988). It must be acknowledged that there is no comprehensive statute that provides criminal penalties for the unauthorized disclosure of classified information irrespective of the type of information or recipient involved. Given the nature of unauthorized disclosures of classified information that have occurred, however, I conclude that current statutes provide a legal basis to prosecute those who engage in unauthorized disclosures, if they can be identified. It may be that carefully drafted legislation specifically tailored to unauthorized disclosures of classified information generally, rather than to espionage, could enhance our investigative efforts. The extent to which such a provision would yield any practical additional benefits to the government in terms of improving our ability to identify those who engage in unauthorized disclosures of classified information or deterring such activity is unclear, however.
Regardless, the vital need in protecting national security secrets must include rigorous investigation of unauthorized disclosures of classified information to identify the individuals who commit them, and vigorous enforcement of the applicable administrative, civil, and criminal provisions already available.
The responsibility for correcting the problem of unauthorized disclosures of classified information falls squarely upon the shoulders of all Government officers and employees who are privileged to handle classified Government information. Department and agency heads have substantial authority to address the problem of persons who engage in the unauthorized disclosure of classified information within their own organizations through suspension or revocation of clearances and procedures to terminate employees in the national security interests of the United States. They have limited authorities with respect to unauthorized disclosures outside their own organizations. In most of the few cases in which a person who engaged in an unauthorized disclosure of classified information has been identified, the sanctions applied have been relatively inconsequential in comparison to the damage caused as a result of the unauthorized disclosure. In most cases, identifying the individual who disclosed classified information without authority has been difficult, at best.
The risks of unauthorized disclosures of classified information associated with the large numbers of people with access to such classified information must be managed intelligently, appropriately, and effectively. Managing this risk requires strict enforcement of the principle that no individual should have access to a particular national security secret unless the person has the requisite security clearance and access approval and needs to know the secret to perform the individual's official duties. Discipline with respect to the extent of dissemination of particular classified information will help reduce the opportunities for faithless individuals to engage in unauthorized disclosure of classified information, and will underscore for individuals who have the privilege of access to classified information that they have personal accountability and legal liability for the protection of the information.
First, the Executive Branch must activate a wide range of administrative measures to significantly improve our capacity to stem the practice of unauthorized disclosures of classified information.
Second, all departments and agencies that originate or handle classified information must take aggressive steps and use all appropriate means at their disposal � individually and collectively � to identify and impose sanctions on those who reveal classified information without authority.
Third, policy and legal officials in the Departments of Defense and Justice, and the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) for the Intelligence Community, must work together to improve enforcement of existing laws. Likewise, these officials must work closely with Congress to ensure that we have the necessary legal authorities to enhance our ability to deter such unauthorized disclosures and to identify and hold accountable those who, without authority, reveal classified information, both for violations of their duty to the United States and for any violations of law. Until those who, without authority, reveal classified information are deterred by the real prospect of productive investigations and strict application of appropriate penalties, they will have no reason to stop their harmful actions.
Thus, specifically, I recommend that:
Departments and agencies that originate, disseminate, or handle classified information should continue to use their authorities to undertake immediate and aggressive investigations of unauthorized disclosures of classified information utilizing all appropriate and available investigative tools and techniques to identify the perpetrators.
Departments and agencies should continue to report these crimes to the Department of Justice under established reporting requirements, and should not delay their internal investigations pending the Department�s prosecutorial decision on the matter, unless the Attorney General directs otherwise in a particular case.
Upon identification of a person who engaged in an unauthorized disclosure of classified information, the agency concerned should refer the matter to the Department for a prosecutive decision.
The Department of Justice will be prepared to prosecute all cases where the evidence and circumstances warrant, and, as appropriate, provide regular status reports to the affected departments or agencies.
Departments and agencies should promptly notify the Department of Justice when a current or former employee or other person with a contractual or other legal obligation to the Government to protect classified information engages in an unauthorized disclosure, and the Department of Justice should vigorously pursue civil enforcement actions against such individuals.
The Executive Branch should continue to engage Congress, the media, and the American people, to increase awareness of the damage to national security resulting from unauthorized disclosures of classified information and the need to improve the federal government�s classified information security practices and enforcement of laws concerning unauthorized disclosures.
The non-disclosure agreements signed by all persons who are granted access to classified information should be amended to include a provision that sets out liquidated damages, when appropriate, based upon a judicial finding that the person breached that contract by having engaged in an unauthorized disclosure of classified information; and to require that the individual, upon request of a duly authorized official during the course of an unauthorized disclosure investigation, execute a certification under penalty of perjury that he or she has not engaged in a specified unauthorized disclosure of classified information.
In sum, to protect its diplomatic, military, and intelligence capabilities, the Nation must combat unauthorized disclosures of classified information effectively, through aggressive administrative enforcement of current requirements, rigorous investigation of unauthorized disclosures, and vigorous enforcement of the criminal laws that make such disclosures a Federal crime. Clearly, that only a single non-espionage case of an unauthorized disclosure of classified information has been prosecuted in over 50 years provides compelling justification that fundamental improvements are necessary and we must entertain new approaches to deter, identify, and punish those who engage in the practice of unauthorized disclosures of classified information. Although there may be some benefit from a new comprehensive criminal statute, such a statute standing alone would be insufficient in my view to meet the problem of unauthorized disclosures of classified information in its entirety. Accordingly, I am not recommending that the Executive Branch focus its attention on pursuing new legislation at this time. Should Congress choose to pursue a criminal statute that covers in one place all unauthorized disclosures of classified information, however, the Administration would, of course, be prepared to work with Congress.
The Office of Management and Budget advises that there is no objection to the submission of this report from the standpoint of the Administration�s program.
cc: The Honorable Dick Cheney
President of the Senate
United States Senate
Rule of Law Hall of Fame
In light of the Limbaugh allegations of illegal drug use, which Limbaugh has all but confirmed, and the right's continuing support and apologies for Limbaugh, I thought it would be a good time to compile a roster of wingnut icons who symbolize the right's fraudulent claim of dedication to the rule of law.
A final conviction is not necessary for a spot in the Hall, nor is proof beyond a reasonable doubt, although something more than a mere allegation is required. (For example, Bush's DUI/DWI qualifies him for entry into the Hall as a full Janklow Fellow; his desertion of National Guard service is sufficiently documented to warrant inclusion in the UCMJ Wing; but his alleged cocaine use is not sufficiently documented, to my mind, to qualify him for entry.) Inclusion also requires continuing adulation or acceptance by right-wingers after the criminal act was committed; thus, since Republican Mayor and Senate Candidate Joseph Giordano no longer enjoys popular support among his fellow right-wingers, he does not qualify for a seat.
Starting with the Excrement In Broadcasting Wing of the Hall, we have Lieutenant Criminal Oliver North and G. Gordon Liddy.
And the Reverend Moon award for Unsurpassed Excellence in Criminality and Hypocrisy goes to .... the Reverend Moon.
More to come.
Saturday, October 11, 2003
Here's an golden oldie from 1998:
Nevertheless it was charm, not politics, that kept [Jonah] Goldberg's media stock running high. "He's an honest, straight-ahead guy," says Newsweek contributing editor Mickey Kaus. "And he's undissembling, even at the risk of saying, 'I made a fool of myself.'"
Diplomats and other officers of the former Ba'athist intelligence apparatus claim that the return to active duty of members of Saddam's security services extends to the former head of the mukhabarat himself, Tahir Jalil Haboosh.
They are not the only apparatchiks deemed worthy of rehabilitation. Almost all of the bureaucrats at the information ministry have done very nicely for themselves since the war. The government minders who spent their days reporting to the intelligence services on foreign reporters or doing their best to obstruct their work have gone on to well-paid jobs - for the same foreign news organisations they once hounded.
The second-in-command at the information ministry, who spent his days reading the reports the minders wrote about visiting foreign journalists, has been employed by Fox News.
Okay, it doesn't say that he's been hired as a correspondent. Maybe he'll be a Fox News Analyst instead.
Reading the Bush Blog So You Won't Have To
Big news from the Bush Blog.
[October 10, 2003] Campaign Manager Ken Mehlman will discuss the latest campaign developments at 5:05 PM eastern time today on the Ken Hamblin Show. Click here to listen live in Windows Media.
Ken Hamblin is still alive?
Is anyone still list'ning?
Just nod and keep on drooling.
Is that a freeper on line one?
Come on, friends.
You say that I'm a felon.
Can't you feel my pain?
And the doctors are to blame.
I'll spread disinformation first.
Just like all the hacks.
Reading Karl's last blastfax.
There is no deficit, no soldiers bleeding.
Your glorious leader's smart and brave.
All you junkies should be jailed.
You want to shoot up smack yet you can't afford Roy Black.
When I was eighteen I had an anal cyst.
My ass blew up like two balloons.
Now I got that feeling in my brain.
I can't explain; I'd be in jail.
And Roger Ailes won't make my bail.
I have become....
I'm just a rightwingprick.
You can still tune in --- O'Reiiiiilllly!
But you may feel a little sick.
Can you FedEx me a thousand?
I do believe they're working. Hee.
They'll keep me going for the show.
Though my hearing's bound to go.
There is no bigotry, no soldiers dying.
Your glorious leader is not lying.
You should be grateful, you wage slaves.
You can't afford health care, but I've got drugs enough to spare.
When I was a child I had a conscience,
Though it was smaller than a fly.
But now I have an agenda.
I cannot get my conscience back.
Because I sold it for some crack.
I have become ....
Friday, October 10, 2003
More Crap from Easterbrook
Gregg Easterbrook continues to embarass himself. In Slate, Dahlia Lithwick tears to shreds Easterbrook's comment on rape and sexual consent. And Easterbrook is still letting his hatred of Police Chief Charles Moose get in the way of rational thought. He writes:
Key datum on the latter: After federal investigators deduced the license plate number of the Caprice, they wanted to release it immediately and appeal to the public to watch for the car. They felt that, since news channel helicopters were hovering over John Muhammad's firing range outside Tacoma, it would be only a matter of hours until he realized he had been fingered and abandoned his car; thus the license-plate info had to be used immediately. But Moose wanted to keep the information quiet, perhaps until he concocted a story in which he got the credit. Apparently federal agents released the plate number over Moose's objection; it went out at about 11 p.m. on newsradio, and 90 minutes later the Caprice was spotted. Had Moose gotten his way, Muhammad and Malvo might have seen the reports from their firing range before the license number was released, and left the Caprice in the woods somewhere.Now which is more likely to lead to Muhammed abandoning his Caprice, a description of the Caprice and its plates or news that the FBI found his house in Washington State? Both pieces of information tell him the Feds know his identity. And if both pieces of information are public, it's almost impossible Muhammed would hear one and miss the other, since they're both part of the same story. But only the car identification story tells Muhammed they know what vehicle he's driving. If the Feds don't release the car story, Muhammed wouldn't know whether they've identified his car.
Was releasing car information to the public (and to Malvo) a good idea or a bad one? I don't know. But it certainly wasn't a good idea for the reason Easterbrook claims.
Notice also that Easterbrook assumes, based on zero evidence, that Chief Moose's motive was impure: Moose wanted to withhold the car information "perhaps until he concocted a story in which he got the credit." Easterbrook is actually suggesting that Moose had a unconscionable disregard for human life. And why would Moose think he could take credit for i.d.ing Muhammed when he knew that the Feds had discovered the Washington State residence and the Caprice? Easterbrook attributes not only malice but also extreme stupidity to Moose, without any basis whatsoever.
Another reason to disregard the new new New Republic.
The Democratic nominee would do well to consider Somerby for a position as a senior media consultant (or higher). No one cuts through the B.S. like Bob. Each Howler is like an incisive legal brief, only actually brief. And funny. Somerby is probably too independent to consider such a gig, and not willing to be dragged into endless debates regarding the state of the Dem's shirtsleeves with the media whores.
Whatever Bob does, it will be incomparable.
"This Medicare legislation says that everybody will get free drugs, and somebody is going to be paying for it."
"I'm disgusted by the large number of congressional Republicans who support this massive new government-run entitlement, the prescription drug bill, and I've said so in the past. The whole thing makes me mad." -- Rush "No Generics, Wilma" Limbaugh, October 9, 2003
People who can't afford prescription medications can suffer and die. Sounds like rehab's gonna be a bit more pricey than someone thought.
Toad to JoyCamp follower Rich Lowry expresses some girlyboy-style enthusiasm over his proximity to members of the Marine Corps.
"Anyway, it's always a joy to be around the Marines (the only thing like it is speaking to a Young American Foundation audience or any audience in Texas). They gave me a Marines hat and t-shirt ("pain is weakness leaving the body"), and many NR fans in the audience had kind words. Special thanks to great patriot and wonderful guy Major Jerry Wiffler for inviting me. (I mention him every year because it gives him a thrill and make his little brother Dan insanely jealous...)"
Rich only refrained from joining the Marines out of fear he would overdose on joy.
Enquiring Minds Want to Know
So who are the fill-in hosts: Tony SNOW? Michael MEDSved? PILLis Schlafly? Will they read from a SCRIP or make do without, as Rush did? Maybe Matt DRUGS can POP in with the latest DOPE.
When will the folks who smeared Wilma and David Cline as unreliable witnesses apologize for their gutter tactics?
Who have you prayed for recently, Rush?
But, seriously -- here's a question. If what Limbaugh claims was true, he originally was prescribed medication by a doctor. This means either (1) Limbaugh reached a point where he couldn't get a doctor's prescription or (2) he was buying unprescribed medication in addition to the prescribed medication. Which one was it? Either way, he had to know that he was engaged in life-threateningly dangerous behavior -- the use of medication without the benefit of proper medical advice. Not too smart.
I'll Pay Back
What a surprise! Who turns up on the Predator's transition team but the Predator's second biggest apologist, Susan Estrich.
And his third biggest apologist, Tammy Bruce. That's right, two out of the 65 members of the Predator's transition teams are outspoken apologists for the Predator's decades of vile misconduct. Also: Ivan Reitman, of Ghostbusters fame.
Keep your chin up, Mickey, maybe the Predator will get you a job at the DMV for all of your fine service.
A major scandal is delevoping. George Bush is paying bloggers .... to post crap like this.
Matalin on Imus Now
Mary Matalin is currently on Imus in the Morning on MSNBC and local radio. Be sure to tune in!
Posted by GeorgeWBush.com at 08:46 AM
I'll get right on that.
The New Holocaust
Grover Norquist's meme is spreading. (Am I using that right?) Welcome Judson Cox or, as I like to call him, the Hillbilly Virgin Ben. Young Judson has seen persecution, and has paid a heavy price:
"First they came for the movement conservatives, I did not speak out because I was an establishment republican. Then they came for the evangelicals, I did not speak out because I was a libertarian. Then they came for the neo-conservatives, I did not speak out because I was a paleo-conservative. Then they imposed speech codes and banned conservatives from college campuses, I did not speak out because I was not a college student. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me."
And then I pasted together a column full of bogus allegations from right-wing websites, and I became "one of the most popular and influential voices of his generation."
So how do you get to be the victim of persecution and one of the most popular voices of your generation at the same time, Young Master Cox? This dimwit probably thinks he's persecuted because he hasn't already gotten a syndication deal and a slot on MSNBC.
Hillbilly Ben is modest too:
His fiercely independent style and pugilistic wit make for a column that is always entertaining, often inspiring and frequently "laugh out loud" funny. With a humor akin to P.J. O'Rourke and Dave Barry, and a plain spoken southern wisdom that matches Charlie Daniels, his confrontational style lies somewhere between Ann Coulter and Merle Haggard.
Yee-haw! Somewhere between Ann the Man and the Okie from Muskogee lies.... Obsession.
But someone should tell him that Merle's not drinking the Kool-Aid anymore.
I will admit that "Cox" "is" "'laugh out loud'" "'"funny."'"
(Thanks to mw for the link and the VB comparison.)