Tuesday, December 30, 2003
Person Of The Year
The 2003 Roger Ailes Person of the Year is:
A compassionate conservative.
A champion of law and order.
She has been vilified by the powerful and the well-connected.
She has been targeted by the haters and the partisan hacks.
And she will be vindicated.
My friends, I give you the 2003 Roger Ailes Person of the Year:
Linking Without Thinking
It must be something in the blog. Daniel Drezner fills in for Sully Joe and immediately laspes into Sully's habit of linking without reading. Drezner asserts that this Los Angeles Times article is "trying to predict the 2004 election" by "roll[ing] out th[e] fact" that since 1960, "'the party in the White House lost when the unemployment rate deteriorated during the first half of the year.
In fact, the article doesn't try to predict the election. The article is about jobless rates. It cites the fact, and then cites an author of several books who says that it's not a coincidence that the President loses when unemployment increases before the election. But there's nothing in the article predicting the outcome of the 2004 election, or even suggesting the outcome in 2004 will follow past history. The Times article doesn't say it, and it doesn't quote the author as saying it either.
Next time, Daniel, "[r]ead the whole thing -- yes, even if you need to register." And don't pick up Sully's bad habits.
"I've got some news for Howard Dean ... The primary campaign is a warm-up compared to what George Bush and Karl Rove have waiting for him. . . . He's going to melt in a minute once the Republicans start going after him."
Melt? You mean, like this:
LIEBERMAN.... I think if you asked most people in America today that famous question that Ronald Reagan asked, "Are you better off today than you were eight years ago?" Most people would say yes. I'm pleased to see, Dick, from the newspapers that you're better off than you were eight years ago, too.Yeah, that's exactly what we need.
CHENEY: I can tell you, Joe, the government had absolutely nothing to do with it. (LAUGHTER) (APPLAUSE)
MODERATOR: This question is to you.
LIEBERMAN: I can see my wife and I think she's saying, "I think he should go out into the private sector."
CHENEY: I'll help you do that, Joe.
Little Mickey Kaus, who demonstrates his intellectual cred by referencing theorist "Milton-Friedman" (you know, of the Stanford Milton-Friedmans), blasts Senator Hillary Clinton for criticizing the administration's "artificial timeline" for leaving Iraq. He then says "[i]f the timeline needs to be pushed back, it can be pushed back." But doesn't that make the timeline artificial, in the sense of meaningless or false? Sure, every timeline is artificial in the sense that it's human-made. But certainly saying that a timeline with drop-dead date is okay because the drop-dead date can be changed at will is not an endorsement of the timeline.
Kaus is also perusing Free Republic for Michael Jackson commentary. You know, Kaus and "Hillary's Lovely Legs" have never been seen in the same room together.... or maybe they are always seen together.
The Bad Prose Zone or, Who's Licking Out For You?
A reminder that the nation's leading basic cable moralist is not only a sack of crap, but crap in the sack as well. And a bad writer:
"Ashley was now wearing only brief white panties. She had signaled her desire by removing her shirt and skirt, and by leaning back on the couch. She closed her eyes, concentrating on nothing but Shannon's tongue and lips. He gently teased her by licking the areas around her most sensitive erogenous zone."
Uh, wouldn't it be more effective to lick the erogenous zone, rather than the areas around it?
Sunday, December 28, 2003
B.B. also links to Brad DeLong but, again, fails to link directly to Brad's blog. At least he's expanded his horizons from last year's trinity of tripe (Joe Sully, Little Mick and Egg Boy).
Words/Phrases of the YearEnglish is a vibrant and ever-changing language. This year, it has given us
(Of course, it's also given us the execrable "embedded," a euphamism for government propagandist.) Add your nominations for the word or phrase of 2003 in the Comments section below.
All Cretins Great and Small
Dr. Bill Frist on veterinary medicine:
The zoo has more than 2,600 specimens. The only thing most of them have in common is that they can be injured or sick, often because of old age, because animals in captivity usually live much longer than those in the wild. Not a single one can tell its caretakers what is wrong. In fact, nature teaches many animals to hide their infirmities from predators.
Shorter Dr. Frist: It's not my fault, the kittens never said "don't kill us."
Saturday, December 27, 2003
Mark Kleiman asks:
If anyone can explain to me what's behind Mickey Kaus's characterization of Clark as "creepy," I'd be grateful. (Note that Kaus doesn't bother to try to justify it, he just asserts it as fact. Dec. 24.) I think it just means that Clark is exactly the kind of Democrat Kaus keeps telling people he wants to vote for, and if Kaus couldn't detect some character flaw he'd have to think about actually voting for a Democrat, which would make him very unhappy.
Anyone? Anyone? Mr. Geldof?
They can see no reasons
'Cause there are no reasons
What reason do you need to be shown?
Actually, I doubt even Chucky Krauthammer has enough training in abnormal psychology to explain Kaus.
For the record, I could only find two Kaus entries (here and here) at Slate where Kaus even approaches a substantive critique of General Clark's opinions or positions. And there's not much substance there, just references to others' criticisms of Clark. Maybe someone could squeeze a coherent thought out of Kaus's critique of "tough doves," but it's beyond me. And since Kaus never took a position on the Iraq war, it's hard to take his analysis of someone else's positions seriously.
There is, of course, nothing in any of Kaus's Clark commentary that would explain why Little Mick thinks General Clark is creepy.
But there is one article where Kaus snidely cheapshots Clark as another pol "unexpectedly discover[ing] Jewish roots," based on the fact that Clark discussed his Jewish heritage with The Forward in January 2003. The facts are that Clark's Jewish father died when he was four, and his non-Jewish mother remarried and raised him as a Baptist. Clark learned about his heritage and made contact with his late father's family when he was in his 20s. There's absolutely nothing to suggest that Clark has been disingenuous about his past or that he is using it for political advantage. The only creepy thing about the story is Kaus's use of it to belittle Clark.
Friday, December 26, 2003
How The Jews Stole Christmas
The loathsome John Derbyshire posted this letter from a reader without any criticism of its main argument:
A reader: "Well, I'm afraid your anti-mulitculturalist credentials _are_ slipping a bit. No one doubts that Hanukkah is a real holiday, and I am glad you enjoyed the Hanukkah ceremony at your friends' home. But one of the main reasons Christmas has been marginalized and even the word 'Christmas' is disappearing from public discourse is because Hanukkah has been elevated to a position out of all proportion to its traditionally minor significance. And the success Hanukkah has enjoyed in gaining public recognition has inspired the more recent success of Kwanzaa, Ramadan, and other winter festivals in gaining prominence in America, all at the expense of Christmas.
"It is rather easy making a distinction between Christmas and all these others. As I drove into work this morning, one of our local classical stations played 'Lift Up Your Head, O Ye Gates' from 'Messiah,' one of Torelli's Christmas concerti, John Henry Neale's translation of 'In Dulci Jubilo'--'Good Christian Men, Rejoice'--and a fantasia of carols by Ralph Vaughn Williams. Neither Hanukkah nor the other winter festivals have anything to match even this very tiny portion of all the great art inspired by or associated with Christmas. However, once we admit that Hanukkah should be treated as the equal of Christmas, despite the fact that its significance in Western culture is close to zero and its significance in traditional Judaism is minor, we really cannot complain about Kwanzaa or Ramadan. And this leads us, inevitably, to 'Happy Holidays' and 'winter concerts' featuring Kwanzaa songs. Merry Christmas!"
Yeah, you hardly ever hear about Christmas any more. Unless you turn on the radio or something. And Christmas would be so much better if those Jews just stopped cramming Hanukkah down our throats.
Smells Like Steno Sue
It took four Washington Post writers to compose a relatively short article on the status of the Plame investigation. One of them was "Steno" Sue Schmidt. It's my guess that Steno Sue's entire contribution was this bit:
Capitol Hill aides in both parties said Wilson had badly hurt his credibility with his apparently enthusiastic participation in a spread in the January issue of Vanity Fair that includes a glamorous photo of him and his wife outside the White House, a scarf and dark glasses shielding her. In another photo in the magazine, she shields her face with the front section of The Washington Post as he eats breakfast barefoot on their deck with the Washington Monument in the distance.
Wilson is quoted as saying he is "appalled at the apparent nonchalance shown by the president of the United States on this." The article includes Wilson's steamy account of his early romance with Plame. Congressional aides said the article bolstered the contention of Wilson's critics that no one had done more than him to draw attention to Plame, and that the couple had eagerly contributed to their celebrity.
Of course, Joseph Wilson's credibility is entirely irrelevant to the question of which Bush staffers violated the law by disclosing Valerie Plame's identity as political payback. Wilson has no personal knowledge of who committed the alleged crimes, so he is entirely irrelevant to the criminal charges.
What reeks of Steno Sue's dirty work is the reference to "Capitol Hill aides of both parties." Who gives a fuck what Capitol Hill aides think about Wilson? (Who gives a fuck what Capitol Hill aides think about anything, for that matter?) Their opinions are even less relevant that Wilson's credibility. It's obvious that the authors had to find a nameless Dem aide (if they in fact did) to justify their introduction of an irrelevant attack on Wilson.
Most importantly, Plame's participation in the Vanity Fair article is irrelevant because Plame's cover was already blown. Once the White House outed her, the damage was done, and anything that Plame (or Wilson) did subsequently doesn't change that fact.
Mickey, The Laziest Little Hack
Amidst the unreadable prose and lame hipster pose (Mick listens to college radio!), Mick manages to mangle the written language three times in one paragraph:
This half-assery wouldn't be so noticeable if Kaus wrote coherently. But he doesn't, so it is.
Thursday, December 25, 2003
Tuesday, December 23, 2003
My Christmas present to you: The 2003 King William's College General Knowledge Paper. Good luck!
(As a courtesy, please don't post any answers in the Comments section until after the New Year.)
It's Selling Like Shitcakes
Fool readers once, shame on you, fool ... uh... won't get fooled again.
Former CBS newsman Bernard Goldberg had a big, news-making best-seller with "Bias," which argued that the news media tilt left.
"Arrogance," his sequel, appears to have fallen short of expectations.
Warner, which announced a printing of 350,000 copies before publication last month, will offer retailers a credit on post-Christmas sales designed to cut the price in half, to $13.48.
Publishers typically do this to head off the return of many unsold copies.
Recent books already at 50% off in Barnes & Noble include a few on the Kennedys, such as Christopher Andersen's unauthorized 'Sweet Caroline,' and 'Red, White & Liberal' by Alan Colmes of Fox News Channel.
Guess the book buying public expects a little more for their money than a cut-and-paste job from Brent Bozell's website.
By the way, who is the "unidentified friend" who told Flush "that if he went to the authorities, they would target him, and his political enemies would use the information against him?" I sure hope it wasn't some corpulent propagandist who presides over a pretend news network. That's all I need.
Monday, December 22, 2003
Well we all need someone we can score from
And when I need it, I can score from Wilma C.
Well, we all need someone who can bleed us
And when she wants it, well, here's some hush mon-ey
She said my drive-through drug store's always open
Baby, you can get your blues, but for a fee
And there'll always be a seller at the Denny's
When you need a little Coke and Oxy-C
Yeah, we all need someone to lay the blame on
When we refuse to take respon-sibil-ity
And we all need someone to make excuses
When we've lost that last small shred of cred-ibil-ity
I was dreaming of a White House invitation
And watchin' pornos with my good pal, Clarence T.
As I snorted in my dirty filthy mansion
I'm a jaded faded junky AM jockey
Just a hater working for the RNC
Well, we all need some Lorcet we can speed on
And I can always pay someone else to detox me
Take my back, take my hearing
Oh, baby, all I'm left with is my hypocrisy
We all need someone we can squeal on
Take my dealers, but please, please don't take me
Well, we all need something we can cut a deal on
I just hope I can still afford Roy Black's fee
Rush Limbaugh, Socialist
As an ardent believer in free markets, I am saddened and disgusted to hear Wilma Cline's alleged entrepreneurship denigrated as blackmail. As an American, Ms. Cline has an absolute right to profit from her intellectual property, including her life story. Denying Ms. Cline the opportunity for commercial expression enjoyed by Rudolph Giuliani, Hillary Clinton and Jack Welch is, in a word, socialism. If the facts are as portrayed, Ms. Cline, like many other memoirists, engaged in a competitive bidding process, and she was kind enough to offer her former employer the opportunity to bid on her work. Had I been previously employed at minimum wage to clean Rush's brimming crappers I doubt I would have been so generous.
To Limbaugh, who claims to champion capitalism, I say: if you wish to retain any credibility, you must immediately fire Roy Black and disavow Black's communist views. To Ms. Cline, I say: Let it bleed.
Reading The Interactive Bush Blog
I'm not sure what this means, but it sounds important.
Get involved today! When you sign up as a Bush Team Leader, you'll get your a personalized action center on GeorgeWBush.com where you can track your personal progress to build the President's team and spread his positive message. Sign up now!
Sounds even more exciting than selling Amway and joining the Unification Church. I've always wanted my own personalized action center.
And it says that the Bush site has its own chat rooms, but I can't find them.
For those playing along at home, Roger Ailes, the blog, will not be posting new material on December 24 and 25. There will, however, be plenty of fine content here beginning on December 26, including the Second Annual Year in Review Quiz and the First Annual Roger Ailes Person of the Year Award.
Plus, many, many fun surprises... depending on how easily you are surprised and/or amused.
For Your Consideration
After careful deliberation, we have concluded that there is only one piece of journalism this year which truly deserves the Michael Kelly Award. "The Children's Hour" by Bob Somerby represents "the fearless expression and pursuit of truth" that Kelly purportedly epitomized. Therefore, Roger Ailes nominates Bob Somerby for the 2003 Kelly.
Anyone who wishes to voice his or her support for this selection can contact Charles Green at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, December 21, 2003
Reading The Increasingly Crappy Bush Blog
The Bush Blog inadvertently discloses the ongoing lack of the coordination between the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Transportation:
Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta participates in a ceremony to sign a flight certificate allowing Santa Claus to engage in air travel on Christmas night.
But they're ready to blow his ass out of the sky if they catch him flying on Christmas Eve.
A Real American Hero
Here's an article updating the story of a true American hero, and the real "Bush haters" who have attacked him:
[Tom] Connolly is a Portland lawyer who was all too happy to share Bush's 1976 OUI arrest in Kennebunkport when it came into his hands.
Afterward, Connolly was subjected to death threats, trash was dumped in his yard and he said he was assaulted _ twice.
Other things weren't so funny, like the death threats and the time a man hopped out of his pickup truck and knocked Connolly down. Another time, he was assaulted with a shopping cart in a supermarket, he said.
Through it all, the party activist who passed out "W is for wiener" buttons at the Democratic National Convention is unrepentant over his actions in disclosing the OUI arrest to reporters.
"I was Rush Limbaugh's 'Idiot of the Year.' I hope that goes in my obituary when I'm dead," he said.
Does this mean the National Enquirer and Wilma Cline will be this year's "Idiots of the Year"?
Meet Your Liberal Media
Oh, that liberal Washington Post, trying to embarass the G.O.P. by highlighting the Reagan/Bush ties to Saddam Hussein.
The Post rose to the occasion last Sunday when news of the capture of Saddam Hussein broke, putting the full range of its reporting resources into a superb Monday paper. Readers were appreciative. But some noted there was only the most glancing reference to U.S. help for Hussein in the 1980s near the end of a long piece about his history. And there was no reference to this in a graphic headlined "History of a Dictator" that stretched over two pages. The readers pointed out that London's Financial Times had a similar timeline with the following entries: "1981-88: US exports military equipment to Iraq. Dec. 1983: Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, US President Reagan's special envoy to the Middle East, visits Baghdad to pledge support for Saddam Hussein against Iran."
Don't want to spoil the fun with a few inconvenient facts.
Friday, December 19, 2003
"Public schools now teach every and all sexual acts, from anal sex to S&M sex."
Instead of grammar, it seems.
Not only that, the classes are taught by Bill Clinton!
Why, when I was a kid we had to walk five miles in the snow to just to learn anal sex from a prostitute.
Here's an extremely well-sourced article by Bill Berkowitz at WorkingforChange.com, on the case (or lack thereof) against U.S. Army Chaplain, Captain James Yee.
Mr. Berkowitz discusses the parallels between the Yee case and the case of Wen Ho Lee. By the way, Lee's attorneys are attempting to take the deposition of Jeff Gerth, whose continued employment at the New York Times defies all reason. Gerth has refused to identify his sources, who may be employees of the FBI and/or Department of Energy.
And I never knew that Chas. Lindburgh had banged a German hatmaker and gave her three kinder. (I sure hope this doesn't lessen Armstrong Williams's opinion of Get Lucky Lindy.)
Of course, Strom and Armstrong never had any moral authority to begin with, so at least they didn't lose anything.
More Blue v. Red State Idiocy
Here's a correction published today at Slate:
The Dec. 16 "Moneybox" column reversed the states' electoral colors, stating that the blue states are areas that supported President Bush in 2000, and that the red states were terrain hostile to Republicans. In fact, it's the blue coastal states that opposed Bush, and the red states that supported him.
Once again: There are no colors for the political parties. The Democratic Party is not the "blue party" and the Republican Party is not the "red party." It doesn't make a damn bit of difference which color is assigned to which party! It's completely arbitrary! And completely meaningless! Stop it!
The Right, Before Christmas
Here's a holiday treat for all. It's a reworking of the classic poem, The Night Before Christmas (written by Major Henry Livingstone, Jr., a Canuck, and not Clement Moore), as reworked by a delusional governor's wife.
"I am late," said Santa. "My last stop took hours, all that coal I delivered down The Courant's tall towers.
"They used to be good girls and boys," Santa said. "But the poison pen's power has gone to their head.
"And I have the same problem at the media stations, they've just simply forgotten good human relations.
"Their thirst and hunger for the day's biggest story has earned them black coal for their ill-gotten glory."
"Oh Santa," I said, "that is sad, I agree. They've acted like Grinches who have stolen our tree.
"They whipped themselves into a mad feeding frenzy. They've embarrassed our children and our Mama McKenzie.
"But this is the season of joy, peace and love, and forgiveness which comes from our Lord above.
"A time for compassion to give what we can, to lift up the spirits of our dear fellow man."
"Ho, ho, ho," went Santa. "I say that's the gist. Now why don't you tell me what is there on your list."
"Dear Santa, this year bring warmth to those cold, and safety each day to the young and the old.
"Bring our soldiers home safely without any hitches, and give evildoers a kick in the britches.
"Help the lonely find love, and the lost find their faith, take the drugs off our streets so our children can play.
"Give our teenagers wisdom and courage and health. Show them family and friends are the best kind of wealth.
"And last, but not least, for the man next to me, a new year that is peaceful and refreshingly free of rumors and hearsay that do nothing but smother the positive works we should do for each other.
"This man who has given you many years of his life, who has stood tall and strong throughout good times and strife.
"He has championed our cities, our schools, and our arts. He's made sure our children are ready and smart.
"He doesn't get bullied by big union bosses who picket and whine and dwell on their losses.
"He's the man with the plan for the good of our state and he won't let press twist and turn our state's fate.
"So please, Mr. Santa, won't you grant me this plea, and tackle this list that I have drawn up for me?"
Santa stood up and gave me his hand. "That's quite a tall order, but I'll do what I can. I'll spread Christmas cheer to each city and town, to each man, woman and child, and I won't let you down."
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight/"What's with all these lunatics on the far right?"
Put away the eggnog, Patty, and start planning for those conjugal visits.
Thursday, December 18, 2003
Strom Thurmond's family has reluctantly acknowledged that a 22-year-old Strom impregnated a 16-year-old African-American minor who worked for his family, and that the pregnancy resulted in the birth of a daughter. Particularly amusing is Strom, Jr.'s acknowledgement of his half-sister, no doubt made through clenched teeth: "We have no reason to believe Ms. Williams was not telling the truth."
It's interesting that Strom's estate was only valued at $200,000, a substantial amount, yet very small for someone of Strom's position and fame. I'd like to think the estate is so small because most of the bastard's money went to his unacknowledged daughter, to buy her silence. I'd also like to think that Strom resented paying every penny, though he clearly owed his daughter much than he ever could have paid.
The most repulsive aspect of the whole story? As reported at Silver Rights, the fond recollection by Armstrong Williams (no known relation) of Strom and Armstrong joking in a vulgar manner about Strom's sexual exploits with the mother of his child.
It's nice to see some real reporting on the substance of the Telegraph/Con Coughlin claim linking Mohammed Atta to Saddam Hussein. To date, we've only seen the usual right-wing circle jerk: repeating the claim with no independent effort whatsoever to confirm it. (Yes, that's means you, Safliar and Joe Sully.) Now, someone has done some reporting on the claim.
True, the reporter is Spikey Isikoff, Lucianne G.'s well-worn marital aid, but even a right-wing whore can be right twice a day.
The premise of the article is sound: the Telegraph claim that Atta was in Bagdhad for at least three days sometime between June 21, 2001 (the beginning of summer) and July 1, 2001 (when the phony memo was allegedly written) is belied by the federal government's proof of Atta's movements in the U.S. during that period.
Earlier this week, without the resources of Newsweak magazine, I was able dig up a timeline showing that Atta was otherwise occupied during at least half that period, June 27 to July 1. The timeline also shows that investigators were able determine when Atta did leave the country in 2001 -- both before and after, but not during, 6/21 to 7/1. Kudos to Newsweak for once challenging bullshit rather than publishing it as a cover story.
And here's a quote from Con Coughlin that would bring a tear to Spikey's eye:
Contacted by Newsweek, The Sunday Telegraph's Con Coughlin acknowledged that he could not prove the authenticity of the document. He said that while he got the memo about Mohammed Atta and Baghdad from a "senior" member of the Iraqi Governing Council who insisted it was "genuine," he and his newspaper had "no way of verifying it. It's our job as journalists to air these things and see what happens," he said.Gee, Con, I sure hope some unnamed member of the Iraqi Governing Council doesn't stumble across some memos linking you to a paedophile ring.
A new journalism award. Appropriately, the award recognizes not journalists who tell the truth, but rather those who "wrote what they thought was right."
This prize will be only slightly less prestigious than the Breindel Golden Needle.
Wednesday, December 17, 2003
If the wingnuts are so convinced of the veracity of the Telegraph's claim that Mohammed Atta trained for the September 11 attacks in Iraq with the knowledge and support of Saddam Hussein, where's their outrage at Bush's plan to turn Hussein over to the Iraqis for trial?
Bush made his comments in an interview with ABC News' Diane Sawyer, and the network released a transcript of the remarks.American troops capture the man who, according to the true believers, was an accessory to the murder of thousands of Americans on U.S. soil, and Bush says, we don't want to try him, let the Iraqis decide his fate? And there's not a fucking peep from the wingnuts regarding this plan?!?
Even while expressing his views, Bush said Saddam's punishment "will be decided not by the president of the United States but by the citizens of Iraq in one form or another."
He said he doesn't see a need for an American role in Saddam's trial, a process that Iraqis are "plenty capable of conducting."
That silence speaks volumes about the difference between what wingnuts say and what they truly believe.
Tuesday, December 16, 2003
Jeralyn Merritt at Talk Left is reporting that the Iraqi Provisional Government's trial of Saddam Hussein may be televised. I look forward to the dignified cable coverage of this important event, which will no doubt include the following:
-- Nancy Grace bragging about how she never lost a war crimes trial in her career as a prosecutor, and pronouncing Saddam guilty by virtue of the fact he grew a beard.
-- Gloria Allred signing up Saddam's second wife as a client.
-- Rita Cosby petitioning Saddam for an exclusive interview, citing the support voiced for her by Uday and Qusay, and expressing her "deep concern about this possible violation of [his] freedom of speech" and her desire to make public his "many valuable insights."
-- Larry King, for the full hour, with an All-Star Panel of experts on international law, including Sylvia Browne, Linda Tripp's attorneys and that guy from JAG.
-- And Geraldo going to the rat hole in Adwar, to see if it's the one down which he pissed his credibility.
A Whore On Hollywood Boulevard(s)
I speak of David Brooks -- the right's cheap knock-off of Faith "Popcorn" Plotkin -- who seeks to portray Howard Dean as a Hollywood liberal. Hear Brooks babble:
"Howard Dean is the only guy who goes to the Beverly Hills area for a gravitas implant. He went to the St. Regis Hotel, a mile from Rodeo Drive, to deliver a major foreign policy speech, and suddenly Dr. Angry turned into the Rev. Dull and Worthy."A serious national candidate speaking on foreign policy only a mile from Rodeo Drive? Clearly it's unacceptable!
Why, none but a boob would speak of international affairs and national defense so close to a high-end retail shopping district. Any man who would do such a thing is unqualified to be president, and likely insane....
If you don't know where this set up is going by now, you've been in a coma for six months and you've never read this blog before.
Yes, that's right, on June 27, 2003, George Bush held an election fundraiser at the Century Plaza Hotel, which is a brisk 30-second walk away from the St. Regis. You'll recall that Bush's warmup act on that occasion was the washed- and sobered-up beer and satellite teevee pitchman, Dennis Miller. And Bush spoke at length on Iraq and Afghanistan to the assembled throng of Hollywood rightys who paid handsomely for the privilege of Bush's company.
And you thought the Times couldn't find anyone with less insight into politics than Maureen Dowd. Maybe Lazy Davey's job is part of Times' liberal plot to only publish conservatives who couldn't craft a solid argument if their lives depended on it.
...Does Your Conscience Bother You?
To those on the right who say that the left has shown insufficient glee at the capture of Saddam Hussein, and especially those who sing the praises of Saint Ronnie, I say: My hands have always been clean; don't expect me to applaud when you get a little blood out from underneath your fingernails.
Sunday, December 14, 2003
Grand Old Police Blotter: The Entire Fucking Connecticut G.O.P. Edition
"But the Republican governor [of Connecticut, , John G. Rowland] acknowledged last week that he did not pay for these improvements to his cottage. Instead, he relied on gifts -- of time and money -- from a prominent state contractor and several of his closest governmental aides. And he acknowledged that he lied when he claimed on Dec. 2 that he alone had paid for the improvements. ...
"Several prominent Rowland appointees have tripped into the political muck of late. Earlier this year, Rowland's former deputy chief of staff pleaded guilty to steering contracts in exchange for cash and gold coins, which he buried in his back yard. (That same former deputy helped pay for a water heater at Rowland's cottage).
"Another commissioner was forced to resign this year after evidence emerged that he had accepted gifts from businesses working with the state. And four years ago, the former state treasurer -- a Rowland appointee -- pleaded guilty to racketeering and money laundering.
"In fact, it has been a bad year for Connecticut politicians, as the former mayors of Bridgeport and Waterbury marched off to federal prison. In the latter case, federal prosecutors had investigated contract corruption in Waterbury when they discovered that Mayor Philip Giordano had forced two girls to perform oral sex at City Hall. This past June, a judge sentenced Giordano to 37 years in prison for the sex crimes."
The Post article quoted above fails to mention that girls Giordano abused were 8 and 10 years old.
Giordano should have plenty of friends visiting him soon, for extended periods of time.
Friday, December 12, 2003
The Bear Inanities
A man pretending to be a bear is outraged that certain lefty bloggers are sexually molesting Google. Or something.
Calling a certain unelectable doofus a "miserable failure" is just ruining Google for our furry friend.
"There is something fundamentally wrong about weblogs being used to such a purpose: in a medium which allows anyone to express their own ideas and logic, this isn't an argument: it's just a rude noise. Using your weblog to hack Google like this is like using a master's paintbrush to scrawl obscene graphiti [sic] on the bathroom wall. Sure, you can do it, but aren't there better uses for the instrument?"You see, Google is "mapping the territory of the internet," so if you, for example, link to a certain unelectable politician using the phrase miserable failure, you are "gaming" Google's "system" and "messing with other people's stuff."
But if Google's task is mapping the territory of the internet, then lefty bloggers are only giving Google some more territory to map. If Google is engaged in mapping or reporting or some other objective objective, then bloggers -- or anyone else who publishes anything anywhere -- aren't "messing with" or "defacing" anything. They are creating content. The fact that they are aware of (or intend) certain consequences doesn't ruin Google or interfere with its functioning.
I'm not sure that metaphor works either. If Google is the shithouse, what difference does it make what kind of brush is used to deface it? Does it hurt the brush? Is it okay to use a Made-in-Korea brush from the Home Depot to deface Google? How about a Sharpie?
The bear should have left this particular dump in the woods.
Thursday, December 11, 2003
The Koufax Awards 2.0
It's the most wonderful time of the year. Yes, it's time for the 2003 Koufax Awards, honoring progressive bloggers.
Roger Ailes is in the running for two awards this year: "Biggest Sophomore Slump" and "Most Regretted Vote From Last Year." The awards are hosted by Mary Beth W. and Dwight Meredith, at Wampum. And I hear they'll be telecast on VH1 this year.
As Dwight says, "[The awards are] a chance to say a lot of nice things about a lot of people. We hope to help build and promote a feeling of community among lefty bloggers. This is supposed to be fun for us and for you." You can offer nominations until the end of December; the voting is in January.
Meet Trevor Boswell, Clownhall idiot du jour. Trev recently sat on his ass for an hour, eating Cheetos and watching the tube, and then pinched off the following:
Jennings stumps for socialism
December 10, 2003
Considering all the hysterics who go apoplectic at the mere hint of liberal media bias, Peter Jennings and ABC didn't do much to console the emotions of the media elite's chronically offended Monday night (Dec. 8) when they ran this so-called documentary: "How to Get Fat Without Really Trying."
In a nutshell, the ABC program blamed the federal government for "contributing to obesity by giving subsidies (to farmers) to create fattening food." This is obviously as ridiculous as blaming ice for figure skating injuries, but what was most astonishing (even for a mainstream media outlet) was its complete lack of objectivity.
Surely, ever since Michael Moore proved that documentaries don't necessarily need to be based in truth to be popular, it shouldn't come as a total shock that Jennings editorialized throughout his report. But shouldn't a primetime news broadcast at least hold out the possibility that there just might be more than one cause of our current obesity "epidemic?"
Yes, you read that right. That evil, evil man, Peter Jennings, is stumping for socialism by stating that government subsidies -- you know, the redistribution of wealth -- have negative consequences. What a clever bastard.
Later, Bothwell says:
If Jennings & Co. are so concerned about government farm subsidies making us fat, why not just call for their elimination?
Uh, but wouldn't that be, uh, editorializing? You know, Trev, the thing you were against a couple of paragraphs ago?
Bothwell then suspects that what ABC really wants is "government regulation of junk food commercials to kids under eighteen." Yes, it's a near certainty that ABC wants the government to force corporations to stop advertising sugar-laden chocolate-coated crap like this so it can broadcast more of Fidel Castro's speeches, live and uninterrupted.
Perhaps realizing that coherent thought is not his strong suit, Trev pulls out an old Clownhall favorite, Clinton's hummer:
Apparently, Bill Clinton can teach second graders about oral sex and Abercrombie and Fitch can market porn to ten-year-olds, but we're supposed to believe our kids will be warped ad infinitum if they go cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.
Trev must have concentrated on oral sex in the second grade, because he sure as hell wasn't learning English. The only thing worse than the reasoning of this piece is the writing: "consoled the emotions," "in an increasingly senseless and litigious climate," "ABC practically used this program to throw its hat in the ring to advocate the Big Food lawsuits on the horizon." You get the drift.
The amazing thing is that Trevor is an instructor in English composition at a community college, according to a press release that's even more poorly written than his column. So much for standards.
Wednesday, December 10, 2003
The funniest part was Lott getting bitch-slapped by another Freeper named "Clinton Is Scum." And liking it.
And Lott's back peddling his shinola about Electiontheft 2000 to the faithful at National Review Online.
How The Righty Have Fallen
Whatever you think about National Review, you've got to feel a little saddened by the fact that it's been reduced to publishing a mathematician and the imbecile son of racist message board operator pretending to be dogs.
What do they do for an encore? Sniff each others' asses? Let Dick Morris's PayPal spank them with a rolled up issue of Commentary?
Through The Looking Glass
Here's how the British tosser, Sully, reported the arrest of the Muslim chaplain at Guantanamo Bay on suspicion of espioniage:
"THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS: Here's how the British newspaper, the Independent, reported the arrest of the Muslim chaplain at Guantanamo Bay on suspicion of espionage. In this age of terrorism, everyone is innocent except the U.S. government. Notice especially the invocation of Lynne Stewart. " (Note: Independent link is now to a for-pay article.)
And here's the tosser today:
"THE FRAMING OF YEE: The case that Muslim military chaplain James Yee was a spy for Syria or anyone else has been falling apart. It's not even clear that the documents he was carrying - the original basis for the charge - were in any way classified. For this, he was put in solitary confinement for three months. Worse, the military - having failed to make their case - subsequently used their search warrant to reveal an extra-marital affair by Yee and are now prosecuting him under military law for this indiscretion. This is called framing someone. The trial has now been suspended because the prosecution cannot prove the classification of the documents in question. This seems to me to be a text-book case of military abuse of basic standards of fairness. A Muslim-American, who may well be completely innocent of all espionage charges, may now face years in jail for having an affair."
In this age of phony wars on terror, Sully shows no remorse for pissing on the presumption of innocence. A textbook case indeed.
Tuesday, December 09, 2003
Forget Terminator vs. Predator. This is the real battle royale: Miller v. Predator and his Campaign Manager. While I have little admiration for the theatrics of publicity-hound attorney Gloria Allred, Rhonda Miller's choice of attorney is irrelevant to the merits of the suit. It looks like the Predator won't be putting his past misconduct behind him as quickly or cleanly as he would have liked.
(Link via Mark Kleiman, whose reaction was the same as mine.)
Thomas Sowell's Book Bag
Note: World O' Crap beat me to this one and is funnier to boot!
Of all the things to be thankful for at Christmas, not being on Thomas Sowell's gift list is the one for which I'm most grateful. Here's what you might get -- from Sowell's stack of review copies, no doubt -- if he likes you:
If you like big, blockbuster books on broad themes, then "Human Accomplishment" by Charles Murray is the book to read on that long trip or in installments at home. It shows how landmark performances in many fields tend to cluster at particular times and places and among particular groups. This book is a landmark performance itself.
If you like take-no-prisoners attacks against the political left, three new books of this sort are "Treason" by Ann Coulter, "Scam" by Jesse Lee Peterson and "When I Was a Kid, This Was a Free Country" by G. Gordon Liddy. These are books with devastating facts and penetrating analysis, as well as verbal fireworks.
And if the stores are sold out of these fine tomes, you can just throw battery acid in your loved ones' faces to celebrate the birth of Christ.
The Digital-Rectal Examination
Andrew Sullivan, quoting failed TV Guide filler writer Jeff Jarvis, resorts to the hoariest and most insipid of all virtue-of-blogging cliches, the digital-rectal examination:
"And we watch what we say because somebody's fact-checking our ass. And we take on the responsibilities that come with all that."
Oh, the burden. Heavy is the head that writes like a clown. It's like noblese oblige, but with a proctoscope.
Unfortunately for Sully, someone is checking his veracity. Seb at Sadly, No! informs us that the white man's burden isn't as burdensome as the white man wants us to think. Responding to Sully's claim of "tens of thousands" of words per month for his blog, Seb says:
Oh no no no no -- no no no! We shall limit our research to a single week of the Daily Dish (last week for no reason in particular.) Microsoft Word reports that it contained 7,603 words. A rough count shows that about half of that consists of quotes from articles, poseur alerts, and emails from
Sullivan's other personalitiesreaders. Once you count the part of the DailyDish Sullivan recycles into the WeeklyDish for the Washington Times, one is left with a couple of long posts on Reagan and AIDS or gay marriage, and a whole lot of linking to articles that argue the opposite of what Sullivan pretends they do. (i.e. sullivan, v. To base your argument on a source that actually argues the opposite what you claim it does. And yes, we coined that phrase!)
Now cough, Mr. Sullivan.
Monday, December 08, 2003
The Blogsphere's Biggest Tool
Take this December 6 post from Yoshida, quoted in full here:
Schizophrenics for Dean
The perils of having too many supporters:
hope that you will see fit to visit this blog over the course of the campaign to hear the voice of the mentally ill, which is so often ignored in our society. As you will see, the voices of the mentally ill, from New York City to Los Angeles, are lined up behind Governor Howard Dean!
posted by Adam at 15:35 PM
Get it? Schizophrenics support Howard Dean! You'd have to be mentally ill to support Dean! Ahaha!
If you check out the linked site, you'll see the post quoted by Yoshida was created just 16 minutes before Yoshida's post. It takes an eagle eye to find new sites so quickly. And look! The author of the Schizophrenics for Dean site is also named Adam! What are the odds of that?
Without consulting my esteemed colleague, Doctor Krauthammer, I'm unable to identify the syndrome which best describes the kind of nut who would create a fake website and then mock the fictitious author of that website and the presidential candidate supported by the make-believe author. Or the one describing the jackass who thinks the nut "has some interesting observations" on anything.
But didn't another Harvard man start out this way?
(And don't tell me it's meant to be a gag. It's got to be funny to be a gag.)
Meanwhile, On JAG....
"What does it mean to have a sexual relationship?" Colonel Trimble asked. "We had sex together," she said, estimating that the couple had done so about 20 times, at his quarters and hers. She said that she knew he was married because he had told her.
Captain Yee's wife, Huda, who was born in Syria and wore a Muslim head covering today, left the courtroom and began sobbing on a bench. When she saw Lieutenant Wallace walk out shortly afterward, she pursued her with her daughter, Sarah, in her arms. "You happy now," Mrs. Yee shouted at Lieutenant Wallace. "Destroying a family?"
As she turned away, Lieutenant Wallace stepped toward her, lightly touched Mrs. Yee's arm and said: "You know what. You need to speak with HIM." Mrs. Yee responded with a mild epithet.
Yes, the Muslim serviceman who caused Mona Charen, Michelle Malkin, Frank Gaffney, Jnr. and John Leo to fear for their worthless lives stands accused of ... copulation in the first degree.
The real question: why is the military pursuing charges against Yee when it granted Wallace immunity for the same conduct?
More On The Politics of Personal Responsibility
From the Washington Post:
Janklow has long been an unapologetic speeder, as witnessed during a 1999 speech to the Legislature.
"Bill Janklow speeds when he drives -- shouldn't, but he does," Janklow said then. "When he gets the ticket he pays it, but if someone told me I was going to jail for two days for speeding, my driving habits would change."
In one well-known instance, two reporters were riding with Janklow when he made a 99-mph mad dash, through heavy smoke, down a mountain highway in the Black Hills during a raging forest fire in 2002. Janklow had tried to go faster, but the computer in his sport utility vehicle kept the engine from going past 99 mph.
Janklow received 12 speeding tickets from 1990 to October 1994. He was elected to a third term as governor a month later and never received another ticket in the state.
The jury was not allowed to hear about the tickets, but the prosecution was granted permission to present evidence of a close call at the same intersection where Scott died.
Jennifer Walters said a speeding white Cadillac ran the stop sign and missed their pickup by mere feet last December. She called 911 to report it and Moody County Deputy Sheriff Tony Aas said that about 10 minutes later he stopped the Cadillac. Janklow was the driver and he was doing 92 mph, though the officer locked his radar on at 86, he testified.
Walters said she did not pursue charges against Janklow because he was governor at the time. On the stand, Janklow denied running the stop sign.
Ten and ten should do it.
Grand Old Police Blotter: Speed Kills Edition
"FLANDREAU, S.D. -- A South Dakota jury has found Rep. Bill Janklow guilty of all charges against him in a manslaughter trial.
"The jury foreman read 'guilty' to each of the four counts: speeding, running a stop sign, reckless driving and second-degree manslaughter in the death of a motorcyclist.
"The last is a felony and carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine."
Apparently, it takes an enormous amount of work -- around the clock, day in, day out -- to pull boners like these (all from the last 24 hours):
red-bloeded Englishmen and women
We have no idea at his point in history how this will or will not work out.
an Iraqi colonel who claims he was the3 source
And don't forget "95 percent of all our income comes from you. ....and you're our only means of support." (By the way, if you're reading this, Crackhammer, note the proper use of ellipses.)
Sorry, Andy. I expect a little more effort and pride of authorship for my Jacksons.
A Half-Point To Howie the Putz
Below, I wondered aloud whether any wingnuts would raise the issue of Charles Krauthammer's smear of Howard Dean. Well, one has, sort of.
In today's online chit-chat, Howie Kurtz actually permitted a participant to criticize Quackhammer's misrepresentation of Howard Dean's words. (See below.) Typically, however, Kurtz followed up with a weaselly non-response: It "would have been better" if Krauthammer hadn't lied. So kudos to Raleigh, N.C. (and Bob Somerby, who first raised the issue), and half-kudos to Howie.
(Of course, Howie then loses his half-point by suggesting that John Kerry was pandering to Rolling Stone readers by saying fuck.)
Raleigh, N.C.: Charles Krauthammer recently wrote in a column,
"Chris Matthews: Would you break up Fox?
Howard Dean: On ideological grounds, absolutely yes, but...I don�t want to answer whether I would break up Fox or not...what I�m going to do is appoint people to the FCC that believe democracy depends on getting information from all portions of the political spectrum, not just one."
This looks pretty awful, but those of us aware of the mendacity in modern journalism are drawn to the ellipsis. So we go to the online transcript and find,
MATTHEWS: Would you break up Fox?
MATTHEWS: I�m serious.
DEAN: I�m keeping a...
MATTHEWS: Would you break it up? Rupert Murdoch has �The Weekly Standard.� It has got a lot of other interests. It has got �The New York Post.� Would you break it up?
DEAN: On ideological grounds, absolutely yes, but...
MATTHEWS: No, seriously. As a public policy, would you bring industrial policy to bear and break up these conglomerations of power?
DEAN: I don�t want to answer whether I would break up Fox or not, because, obviously
MATTHEWS: Well, how about large media enterprises?
DEAN: Let me-yes, let me get...
DEAN: The answer to that is yes.
I would say that there is too much penetration by single corporations in media markets all over this country. We need locally-owned radio stations. There are only two or three radio stations left in the state of Vermont where you can get local news anymore. The rest of it is read and ripped from the AP.
MATTHEWS: So what are you going to do about it? You�re going to be president of the United States, what are you going to do?
DEAN: What I�m going to do is appoint people to the FCC that believe democracy depends on getting information from all portions of the political spectrum, not just one.
Now, when an op-ed writer uses the ellipsis to completely change the meaning of an exchange and (unintentionally ironically) calls into question someone else's mental stability, can you tell my why I should ever trust the writer again? Or why a presumably reputable paper (why, look here, WaPo Writer's Group!!) would employ him?
I just don't think should be my responsibility, as a reader, to fact check on that level.
Howard Kurtz: Some ellipses are justified, but it probably would have been better if the joking nature of the break-up-Fox answer had been mentioned.
Meanwhile, Bob Somerby has more on the disgraceful doctor Quackhammer.
Disgrace In Media Award Winner
Howie the Putz Kurtz continues his un-distinguished service for Bush Administration. Today, Kurtz turns over his column to Joe McQuaid of the Manchester Union-Leader, where McQuaid praises Bush and bashes most of the Democratic candidates. What a surprise. And this is newsworthy for what reason, Putz?
Truth In Media Award Winner
Reuters ruins the Freepers' playtime:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A company that sells foot-tall "action figures" of President Bush has added a new "Top Gun" model sporting a fighter pilot's flight suit in time for Christmas.
The new doll comes with helmet and visor, goggles and oxygen tank, recalling the president's May 1 landing on the flight deck of a Navy aircraft carrier when he declared an end to major combat operations in Iraq.
Since then, 190 U.S. service personnel have been killed in action in Iraq.
Saturday, December 06, 2003
A Lott Of Time On His Hands?
Tim Lambert suspects that "a reader from Swarthmore, PA USA" posting anonymous reviews at amazon.com is one John R. Lott, Jnr. There are six reviews on Amazon with that identification, including one posted using Lott's full name, one ostensibly written by a pro-gun-controller, one bashing Michelle Malkin (who previously bashed Lott), one by an author who Lott has debated, and one bashing an AEI-er (where Lott is a "scholar"). Very interesting.
I suppose there is one other possibility: someone other than Lott wrote all six and falsely claimed to be Lott in the last one. But there's an abundance of coincidences here.
The AEI-er, Kevin Hassett, co-authored at least one National Review article and one New York Post op-ed (note: .pdf file) with John Lott. Also, Hassett's a graduate of Swarthmore College (where Lott, a resident of Swarthmore, spoke in September), and Lott shows up a lot on Tech Central Station, which is the astroturf-cyberrag fronted by Hassett's "D'oh 36,000" co-author, Jimmy "James" Glassman.
What does it all mean? Beats me.
Weekly Standard: Clinton Haters Are Liars
The Weekly Standard has a piece by Andrew Ferguson (reprinted here by the oh-so-liberal CBS News) on "Bush bashing books." The article serves quite well to illustrate the difference -- in truthfulness, substance and tone -- between the anti-Clinton books and the books addressing the Bush Administration.
Ferguson admits that the anti-Clinton books were full of lies:
It's true that for sheer fantasy, none of these anti-Bush books contains anything to rival such Clinton-era classics as Terry Reed and John Cummings's "Compromised," which asserted that Clinton had been installed as president on the say-so of Ronald Reagan's CIA director William Casey, or Ambrose Evans-Pritchard's "The Secret Life of Bill Clinton," which implicated Clinton in drug-running and even murder. Still, the anti-Bush books I've been reading through are undeniably . . . overdone. Pick one up, turn it over in your hands, and you can hear, if you listen closely, the faint sound of veins popping.
Ferguson fails to mention many anti-Clinton liar-authors: Gary Aldrich, Babbs Olson, Chris Ruddy, the Weekly Standard... you get the idea.
More significantly, here's the best Ferguson can do in critiquing the anti-Bush books:
Paul Krugman used a similar phrase in his introduction and in one of the columns collected in the book. And he's become shrill.
Jim Hightower's index is anti-Bush, so I don't even have to read this one.
Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose use a lot of statistics and charts, yet they write about real people too. And if Bush had done something different, they'd criticize that too.
David Corn says Bush is a liar, yet he undercuts his own thesis by admitting that presidents other than Bush have lied! So there's no reason for his book.Geez, if that's the best Fergie can do.... At least Ferguson (who is often better than this) maintains the perfect correlation between bow-tie wearing and stupidity.
Half-Assery At Its Best
It's nice to see someone doing even more of a half-assed job with his blog than I am. Gregg Easterbrook not only posts an incredibly lame gag in response to the Air Force One/British Airways story, he sloppily attaches the explanation of his gag to the end of an entirely different post. And if you have to explain a joke, how funny can it be?
The point of his post is incoherent too. Is he saying the White House should have stayed with a "too good to check" version after people did check and confirmed it was a lie?
Hack Like Mickey
Bobby Kaus is up to his old tricks again:
The L.A. Times is still living in its anti-Schwarzeneggerian alternative universe. Here's the hopeful lede of a November 20 story by Gregg Jones (whose name seems to be on all the most egregiously blindered pieces) and Evan Halper:
SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's ambitious legislative agenda bumped into political reality on Wednesday as Senate Democrats thwarted a quick repeal of a law that would give driver's licenses to illegal immigrants and Republicans raised concerns over his proposal to borrow up to $15 billion to address a projected budget gap.
Kaus crows that license law was repealed on December 1. But as the article clearly states, the Times reporters were reporting on a specific event that happened on Wednesday, November 19 -- they weren't trying to predict the future. Only an idiot like Kaus would call reporting facts "anti-Schwarzeneggerian."
And Kaus fails to mention that the other piece of the Predator's legislative agenda addressed in the article -- his $15 billion borrowing plan -- has, as Jones and Halper suggested, gone down the crapper. And quickly.
Like Kaus's credibility.
Friday, December 05, 2003
Thursday, December 04, 2003
"From March to September , Limbaugh picked up 1,733 hydrocodone pills, 90 OxyContin pills, 50 Xanax tablets and 40 pills of Kadian -- time-release morphine, search warrant records show. The court documents indicate that sometimes less than a week would lapse between him getting different doctors' prescriptions for the painkillers."
Join Roger's Crusade To End Censorship
"By Daniel J. Wakin
"In October, a film student at New York University pitched an idea for her video-making class: a four-minute portrayal of the contrast between unbridled human lust and banal everyday behavior.
"Her professor approved. The student, Paula Carmicino, found two actor friends willing to have sex on camera in front of the class. The other students expressed their support. But then the professor thought he should double-check with the administration, which immediately pulled the plug on the project.
"In Ms. Carmicino's view, the university was censoring a work about how people censor their own behavior. She said her video, titled "Animal," was supposed to depict the contrast between public and private behavior: 'The whole concept of it was to compare the normal behavior of people in their everyday lives versus the animalistic behavior that comes out when they are having sex.'
"She planned to intersperse 30-second clips of passionate sex with scenes of the couple engaged in more mundane activities, like watching television and reading a newspaper.
"Simulating the sex would have defeated her purpose, she said. 'That's censoring the sex part. My thing is how we censor ourselves during the day when we're not having sex.'"
That's one interpretation. I see it as a thing about how we censor ourselves during the day when we have sex instead of simulating sex. Others might see it as a thing about how we censor ourselves by filming others having sex instead of filming ourselves having sex.
Meanwhile, Carmicino's fellow auteur, Lisa Estrin, was greenlighted on a clearly derivative work "showing simulated sex between two stuffed toys, Minnie Mouse and Lamb Chop." If that doesn't simultaneously arouse and disgust Brent Bozell, nothing will.
Roger's Book Sack
I'm not a fan of most historical fiction. Often the author is mediocre at best and the historical figures are, as characters, are so underdeveloped and wooden that the book is painful to read. Take Jeff Shaara, for example. Or Colleen McCullough and her Caesar books.... John Jakes.... You get the idea. If the writing is deadly, it doesn't matter how good -- or interesting -- the history is. (On the other hand, if the history's off, I don't care so much because I know it's a novel.)
Mark Kleiman's recommendation/review of Neil Stephenson's Quicksilver, along with a profile I read concerning the author, has gotten me interested in that book. The size of the book (given my lack of spare time) still intimidates me, as does the fact that it's part of a planned trilogy, but it sounds like it's worth the effort.
If anyone has any favorite historical fiction titles, let us know.
For The Birds
Turns out it's an homage to Hitchcock. Or maybe John Waters' Pecker.
One of the defenses to the alleged anti-Semitism in Mel Gibson's Passion is that Gibson's film was faithful to the biblical text. (Here's a somewhat contradictory version of that argument from Fredo L.) In other words, "Don't blame me, blame God."
But now that persons other than drooling wingnuts have seen the film, that defense is falling apart. Not only is there that table scene with Kitty Lopez gets (and again. and again), but there's this:
Hallinan also questioned the depiction, during the crucifixion, of Gestas, the bad thief, having his eyes plucked out by a crow after he questions Christ's divinity.
Cool! There's not enough eyeball plucking in the original.
Based on a story by St. John, with additional dialogue by Wes Craven.
Wednesday, December 03, 2003
Correction: There are so many wingnut publications that it's hard to keep track of them. World magazine is not a Moonie rag. Moon's glossy rags are The World & I and Insight magazine. Thus, Marvin Olasky is not a willing tool of the Moonies (unlike so many other fundies). Although no one (yet) has written to correct me, I don't want to associate Olasky with a bigoted, delusional tax criminal. I'm sure Marvin would join me in condemning Moon and all those who take his money.
Hey, the Reverend Moon's got a blog, presided over by Marvin Olasky. I wonder if Marvin knows that Moon's God (himself) says he can beat up Marvin's God.
And it's got a Comments section! Those inclined to elevate the discourse might want to add their comments on Holy Moonie Matrimony (or Moon's thoughts about American women) at the end of this post on gay marriage and polygamy.
"Listen to Gov. Clinton and Ozone Man," Bush shouted at one campaign stop. "This guy [Gore] is so far off in the environmental extreme, we'll be up to our neck in owls and out of work for every American. This guy's crazy. He is way out, far out. Far out, man."
Bush added, "My dog Millie knows more about foreign affairs than these two bozos."
That's just a taste. The link highlights many of the other dirty tricks and smears of Bush/Quayle 92.
The G.O.P.: A Big Top, Not A Big Tent
Clownhall.com is rockin' with stupidity today.
Bozo Jay Bryant demonstrates his ignorance of democracy while explaining how Geo. "Out of the Loop" Bush sowed the seeds of his own defeat in 1992 by introducing Willie Horton in 1988.
The Democrats remember how, by screaming the words "Willie Horton" in 1992, they intimidated Bush the Elder's campaign into avoiding any serious negative messages, a prime cause of his loss that year.
Marxist scholar Gary Flub-a-Dub Aldrich shows his determination to be the last wingnut to let go of the Clenis:
I hate the sickness that takes over a woman�s mind, allowing her to snatch every opportunity to misuse her moment in time, to keep that kind of hate alive.
But I cannot hate the persons of Hillary or Bill Clinton. I feel sorry for them. They have been especially privileged and lucky, and now they are especially rich, having sold books they did not write � and I would posit, never could write.
And yet they remain unhappy. They want to tear down this country. They support an ideology that will eventually destroy Democracy and Capitalism, if not stopped now.
And, of course, Krusty-Ben Shapiro, plays a lively round of "Jew/Not-A-Jew":
But for most liberal Jews, authentic Judaism is an afterthought. These Jews are born Jewish, but they don't think Jewish, and they certainly don't act Jewish. When American Jews are identified as a demographic group, observers should note that the vast majority of them do not practice authentic Judaism -- they practice secularism....
Liberal Jews may not like what they hear, but Ann Coulter is right. The Democratic Party has played the demographic Jewish community like a gefilte fish. If liberal Jews want the right to start screaming anti-Semitism, they need to start acting in concert with authentic Jewish values first.
What a bunch of freaks.
Tuesday, December 02, 2003
With Bush, Kaus's criteria is not whether Bush is lying, but whether his lies are good for the country. With Hillary, Kaus's criteria is not whether her views are good for the country, but whether he can bash the Senator without the effort involved in considering the merits of her views.
Being a fucking moron: It's just that easy.
Anatomy Of A SmearNow I wish I had retyped my entire comment on Geoff Metcalf. It seems Metcalf was not a lone, mustachio-waxed wacko when he pegged Senator Clinton as a traitor for stating that the military outcome in Iraq is not assured. Rather, Metcalf was just a foot soldier in an army of lying wackos.
Bob Somerby at the Daily Howler details how the Hillary-is-a-traitor smear is spreading through the right-wing media like a case of herpes. Bob also points out that Metcalf, like Hannity and the other lying liars at Fox News, is claiming that a statement Senator Clinton made to the Associated Press was actually made to U.S. troops.
Another perfectly executed play from Koach Karl's playbook.
Nooners or K.Lo.? -- You Make The Call
It�s just a great, humanizing scene (a good relief point in a brutal film, too) which ends with the mother and son joking around. It shows Christ--who we would otherwise only really see in the context of his suffering and death--as an attractive guy who can work with his hands, has a great sense of humor, and loves his mother with a deep and abiding gratitude. And she is a women (sic) who adores her son. While the table isn�t in the Bible, it�s just a great scene. That�s subjective, of course, but it is one of the many signals from Gibson that he truly gets it. It�s the kind of thing I want a priest to get.
And then there's this:
No one in the theater I was in could sit still. You felt it. And again. And again. Which, considering the subject matter, seems quite appropriate.
Update: Yes, it's Special K.
Yes, the organ donor bureaucracy hates the poor so much it is willing to prevent them from selling their kidneys.
I kid you not.
There's good news and there's bad news: The good news is that "[t]hree economists have estimated the cost of buying an organ in a free market at a price well within most people's budgets." The bad news is that the economists are Donny Luskin, Cokie Kudlow and Thomas Sowell.
Monday, December 01, 2003
I had a lengthy post on bulbous, small-time radio hack Geoff Metcalf and his fatuous accusation that Hillary Clinton is a traitor for supposedly stating that the outcome of the war in Iraq is not certain. You can read Geoff's crapulent commentary here.
Something happened with Blogger and I lost the post, and I really don't feel like retyping the whole thing. Anyway, the real point was to call Metcalf a "failed circus ringmaster." And so I have.
Alternate Hed: Morgan Smith's brother, yes, Mounds, no.
Correction of the Month
The New York Times: "The article said that Morgan Smith died of testicular cancer and that his brother, in response, had his own testicles removed. That account was given to The Times by a friend of both men. It should not have been published unless it could be verified and attributed. After the obituary appeared, Monica Smith, the daughter of Morgan Smith, told The Times that her father had had prostate cancer and that her uncle did not have his testicles removed."
Or maybe they had him confused with the Times under Bill Keller's leadership.