Saturday, January 31, 2004

Philadelphia Demon(ization)

So Bush was in the City of Brotherly Love today, with his homies, Rick Santorum and Dennis Miller. And he decided to give Sully Joe a little less weasel room:

"But during the [closed question-and-answer] session, Mr. Bush took the opportunity to clarify his position on an issue dear to some conservatives, a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, according to both Representative Marilyn Musgrave, Republican of Colorado, and a White House spokesman.

"Mr. Bush said that if necessary, he would support the version of an amendment sponsored by Ms. Musgrave, the spokesman said. The specificity of his comments moved him a small step closer to backing an amendment. But they stopped short of satisfying some of the most determined Christian conservative groups. Many argue that a Massachusetts court ruling in favor of gay marriage makes an amendment an urgent necessity, and some are holding out for stronger language banning same-sex civil unions as well."

Pistof And Fact-Free

I was going to give Nick "Pistof" Kristof a pass on his self-aggrandizing series on sex slavery in the New York Times, mainly because the subject is so tragic that bashing Kristof for indulging his ego seems beside the point. Kristof's latest column surpasses my capacity for tolerance, however.

In several columns and an online interactive feature, Kristof went into great detail about his efforts to buy the freedom of two young Cambodian women who were indebted to the owners of the brothels where they worked. In tomorrow's column, however, he tells concerned e-mailers who wanted to follow his example that purchasing the freedom of similarly situated young women "is not a long-term solution." After presenting himself as the Abraham Lincoln (or, at least, Walter Coppage) of sex slaves, he tells others they shouldn't bother trying to emulate his shining example.

More offensively, Kristof uses the issue to smear liberals and feminists. He writes:

Senator Paul Wellstone helped direct the fight against trafficking, but since his death, leadership on the issue has passed overwhelmingly into Republican hands. Likewise, most mainstream women's groups, like the National Organization for Women and the Feminist Majority Foundation, have been shamefully lackadaisical about an issue that should be near the top of any feminist agenda.

"I'm critical of my sister feminists," says Donna Hughes, a professor of women's studies at the University of Rhode Island and an expert on trafficking. "To me, the two biggest threats to women today are Islamic fundamentalism and the trafficking and normalization of prostitution. Mainstream feminists really have not been responding to these issues or active on them the way they should be."

I'd say its impossible to objectively quantify whether "the religious right" or "liberals" and "feminists" have been more active or vocal on the issue. But certainly liberals and left-leaning organizations have spoken out on the issue for many years. For example, Human Rights Watch, which is not a lefty-free zone, has been regularly campaigning against sex trafficking around the world for at least the past 10 years. Before Kristof's hero, Bush, took office, President Clinton sponsored "ground-breaking" legislation which "offer[ed] protection and an opportunity for permanent residency for victims who testify against those who enslave them."

And, hey, here's a recent article on the Feminist Majority Foundation's website about the sexual exploitation and trafficking of women and children in Nepal. (Aw, I bet they just threw that up there, in a fit of penis envy, after reading of Pistof's heroic deeds.) No, the FMF was actively working on the issue long before it made Kristof's column. In 2000,

Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal and other feminist leaders met with State Department officials to argue that sex traffickers should not be given a way out of prosecution by the inclusion of the word 'force' in proposed legislation. Smeal argues that women are often coerced into stating that they consented to their situation, and argues that sex traffickers - not women victimized by the illegal sex trade - should stand trial and face prosecution.

How shamefully lackadaisical -- and I'm not talking about the Feminist Majority Foundation!

Has NOW ignored the issue of sex trafficking in other countries? Need you ask?

Kristof presumably could have learned these facts if he made the effort. More importantly, Kristof could advocate the cause of victimized women more effectively if he'd leave the fact-free cheap shots against "liberals" and "feminists" to the half-wits at the National Review.

Friday, January 30, 2004

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted....

You know, I don't mind that the other Roger grosses eight million, several hundred thousand a year more than me. As John Stossel recently reminded us, money can't buy happiness (or, in the case of ABC News, journalists with integrity). But when I read that the Fat Fox Fuck gets the entire month of August off for vacation, I was quite crestfallen. I haven't had an entire month's vacation since... forever. I guess I can take comfort in the fact that I haven't debased the English language and inflicted a pill-popping gasbag on my fellow citizens, but I could just as easily take comfort in those achievements on a tropical island. Or at home, for that matter. Or practically anywhere other than on a boat with these idiots.

P.S. to Al: You're talking to the wrong Roger.

P.P.S.: Has NRO kicked Ed "Boat Trip" Koch off its Berumda cruise? This could be the start of a great discrimination lawsuit.


A Snitch writes:

The British government's claim that such weaponry was deployable within "45" minutes is irrelevant from both sides, since if the weapons weren't there they couldn't be used at all, and if they were there they presumably existed in some condition of readiness.

Ah. So the fact that the British government told its citizens that Saddam Hussein could deploy WMDs within 45 minutes is irrelevant because, even though Saddam didn't have WMDs, if he had had them, he could have deployed them within some finite period of time.

Makes about as much sense as the Turkish bath story. Hey, Ahmad, is that an enormous tip under your robes, or are you just happy Chris does your p.r. work for free?


Crooked Timber reports that Georgia's Superintendent of Education is proposing a requirement that state schools refer to evolution as "biological changes over time."

In honor of this development, Roger Ailes henceforth will refer to Georgia as "the state of inbred hillbillies" and its school superintendent as a "mentally challenged form of sexual intercourse."

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Here's a partial transcript of the South Carolina debate. What is it with the Washington Post and incomplete transcripts? They did the same thing with the last New Hampshire debate.

And why do I think that if it had been one of the candidates instead of Tom Brokaw who repeatedly said "Nation of Islam" it would be the most aired clip from the debate? Oh well, maybe Harry Shearer will do something with it.


In about 45 minutes of radio channel surfing this afternoon, I heard "Doctor" Laura Schlessinger read no less than three listener testimonials praising her latest book, How to Cuckold Your Husband (208 pp., photos). The "Doctor" also promoted her appearance tonight at the San Mateo, California, Barnes & Noble, where she will temporarily capture the title of San Mateo's County least desirable matrimonial partner from the current titleholder, Redwood City's Scott Peterson.

Speaking of self-promotion, at the risk of blowing my own self more than is seemly, I just saw that CNBC made Democratic Underground's latest edition of the Top Ten Conservative Idiots, for its conflict-laden employment of cue card reader Dennis Miller and Republican operative Mike Murphy. This story appeared here on January 19, and was reported by FAIR. My prediction is that Miller's show will be lower rated than much of CNBC's basement-dwelling lineup, and Miller will fade into well-earned obscurity until Tim Kazurinsky sues him for stealing the chimp idea.

Tom Brokaw scores a two-fer:

Moderator Tom Brokaw started out by saying Dean had "fired the man who brought you to this dance," and Dean swiftly disputed that.

"No, I didn't," he said.

Brokaw described Neel as a "quintessential Washington insider" and lobbyist and asked whether that didn't mark a fundamental change in Dean's antiestablishment candidacy.

Dean said Neel had "never lobbied and kept faith" with the ethics pledge he made in the Clinton administration. He then pivoted back to his bedrock campaign claim. (Emphasis added.)

Either Brokaw reads this blog or this blog has learned how to think like a whore. I don't know which possibility is scarier.

Bush 2004 Campaign Pledges To Restore Honor And Dignity To White House

Trippi Trippi Shake

The early returns are in on the shake-up in the Dean campaign. According to my unofficial tally, with 62 percent of the hacks bloviating, "Doesn't Dean know what a loser Al Gore is?" has a commanding lead. There's a strong second place showing for "Dean picks a telecom lobbyist; the so-called populist is a fraud." Surprisingly weak results for "Further proof Dean is angry and arrogant hothead" and "Trippi made Dean, therefore Dean's candidacy is doomed," although those slams may get a late surge from their traditional base, the print pundits.

Stay tuned to Unelectable 2004 for our continuing coverage.

Primary Schedule

Here's the Democratic Party's 2004 presidential primary schedule in chronological order. My hope is that the major candidates will stay in the race through at least March 2, so that the crucial Roger Ailes endorsement (i.e., vote) will have some meaningful impact.

I also hope that Joe drags his sorry ass out of the race by then, rather than holding the hope of a pity win in the Connecticut primary. C'mon, Joe, even Tina Brown has written you -- or your wife -- off. (And that's the best thing I can find to say about you).

Not Exactly A Brain Teaser

Bob Somerby poses a puzzler:

Final note from Sunday night: Which well-known "Fox Democrat" approached the comedians' table and boasted about how much money Fox pays her? (Brought it up twice!) "That's exactly what we've been saying," one mordant wag later said.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

I think of him as the slice into which Jason Biggs shoves his dick


Joellusions of Grandeur

"1/28 -- The national pundits didn't expect this, but last night the people of New Hampshire put Joe Lieberman in the ring, and that's where he�s going to stay.

"One fact hasn't changed: George Bush views Joe Lieberman as his most formidable opponent. And it's because the Republican playbook won't work on him. They can't call him weak on defense. They can't call him a big taxer and spender. They can't call him weak on values. And they can't call him a flipflopper.

"This isn't just a campaign - it's a cause. Joe offers a unique choice in this race -- a leader who will bring to the American people both security and opportunity."

Everybody drink a tall glass of Joe-L-Aid -- for the cause!

Actually, everybody expected Joe to get 8 percent of the N.H. vote. The real question is: Why hasn't anyone called Joe on his negative attack on his fellow Dems (see above)? Answer: Because no one takes him seriously.

Hell Nino

Speaking of diminutive, odious Italian-American intellectually-bankrupt thugs with a Napoleon complex, shouldn't someone be starting proceedings under Article III, Section I to remove Conflict-of-Interest Scalia? Of course, Fat Tony could still recuse himself from from the Cheney case. But he can't recuse himself from his past crimes.

Roger's Cheap Shot Corner

Who's hotter: Ed Gillespie or Ken Mehlman?

Meet Your Liberal Media

Gnomish Mickey Kaus reveals (or purports to reveal) that his pals in the press cwhore share his hatred of John Kerry:

Reporters dread the idea of spending the next six months covering Kerry (the expression "Shoot me now" was heard when his picture came on the screen).

If you insist.

Not revealed was the extent to which the cwhore, like Kaus, hates all of the Democratic contenders or, at least, their principles.

They Were Looking For A Foursome, But They Were Too Short

What's funnier than Denise Rich and Star Jones pole dancing? Try this:

Joe diGenova was leaving in the morning to play golf with actor Joe Pesci (and The Shadow) in Palm Springs, having been offered the use of Gene Autry's old house in Old Palm Springs by Autry's widow, Jackie.

One diminutive, odious, cigar-chomping Italian-American intellectually-bankrupt thug with a Napoleon complex playing a round with an actor who specializes in portraying diminutive, odious, cigar-chomping Italian-American intellectully-challenged thugs with Napoleon complexes. I guess with Ashcroft in charge of the Justice Department, Joey diGs can't find enough Repukes in trouble with the law to keep him occupied full-time.

P.S. It's nice to see The Hill, which employs David "Papa Thug" Keene, has a gossip column offering full service to the rabid right.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Grand Old Police Blotter: The Fighting Keenes Edition

American Conservative Union chairman and former NRA bigwig David Keene (the Elder) was the subject of a police investigation at the site of the Conservative Political Action Committee's annual Conference O' Chuckleheads in a suburb of Washington D.C.:

"Yes, something happened," ACU spokesman Ian Walters confirmed yesterday. "But there were no handcuffs, no fight, no knockdown, no charges and no escort out."

Turns out a hotel security guard made an assault-and-battery report saying Keene pushed him after he tried to block Keene from entering a restricted area. Police investigated but the local magistrate declined to issue an arrest warrant. Police would not release the name of the alleged "victim," and the hotel management wouldn't return phone calls. Keene told us he and the guard "bumped chests."

Fortunately for the security guard, Keene wasn't packing heat.

Who Says There's No Justice?

Roy Black has claimed that his proposed plea deal, offering to send Big Pharma to rehab, was revealed by the Palm Beach County State's Attorney to embarass Black's pill-popping payday client. Turns out the correspondence was released in response to a public records request by the right-wing Landmark Legal Foundation and its president, hairless troll-doll Mark Levin.

Good goin', Marky Mark! Your appearances on The Radio Factor should increase dramatically now.

The Early Returns

Those two hamlets of all-American yokelania and rusticity, Dixville Notch and Grover's Corners (yes, I know it's not Grover's Corners, it's more like Carrot Top), have given Wesley Clark an early lead in the New Hampshire Democratic primary, with a total of 14 votes.

One Joe-ker in Dixville Notch voted for Lieberman. Presumably, it was the same person who cast an (unofficial) ballot for Ralph Nader for vice-president.

The wooden ballot box in Dixville Notch was given more scrutiny by the national media than will be given to computerized voting systems all this year.

Time For Another Edition of Chris Snitchens, Saddam's Toady

Fred Kaplan on David Kay's findings:

"Iraq's weapons and facilities, he says, had been destroyed in three phases: by allied bombardment in the 1991 Gulf War; by U.N. inspectors in the half-decade after that war; and by President Clinton's 1998 bombing campaign. (Clinton's airstrikes, by now widely forgotten, were even at the time widely dismissed as a political diversion; they took place during the weekend when the House of Representatives voted for impeachment. But according to Kay, they destroyed Iraq's remaining infrastructure for building chemical weapons.) Kay adds that Saddam tried to resuscitate some of these programs, but -- due to sanctions, fear of inspections, and lack of resources -- he was not able to do so." (Emphasis added.)

Why does Chris "My Aspirins" Snitchens hate America?

The Hos Tell New Hampshire, or, The Cider House Tools

Charles Pierce, at Altercation, explains what network news coverage of the New Hampshire primaries is all about: the blathering class stroking each others' egos, insulated from hoi polloi, on the dime of their corporate masters:

Also, the Holiday Inn in Manchester seems to be the Lobby Of Horrors this time around. I mean, really, Russert, Matthews, Mark Shields, Frank Luntz AND Susan Estrich, all at the same time? There's never a damn cream pie around when you need it.

Or, as Ana Marie Cox put it, the millionaire pundit class's trip to N.H. "reminds us a lot of ancient Greece as well, because it's a bunch of stodgy old fucks blowing each other."

(Note to self: start writing funnier material, or at least commission caricature of self with a brow wax and knee boots.)

A World of Kurtz?

Interesting. On the other hand, Steno Sue still has her job, as does George Fwill.

Wouldn't the Post have to adopt some ethics standards before it could enforce them?

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Dork that I am, I've been watching at a lot of the Democratic presidential campaign on C-SPAN. Here are some observations.

-- John Edwards gives a nearly identical speech everywhere he goes. Iowa and New Hampshire, event after event. If I hear it a couple more times, I'll have it memorized too. That's not a bad thing. It's a rousing speech, and presumably the audience is different each time. But it makes me wonder if Edwards is as quick on his feet as Dean or Kerry.

-- I think Kerry's participation in the hockey match was intended to dispel fears (and smears) about Kerry's health problems. It was a brilliant photo-op as well. Too bad Kerry didn't tell Bush to make like the Dallas Stars, and get the puck out of there.

-- Even when he tones down his message, Dean still manages to demonstrate passion as well as knowledge of the issues. Dean's speech this morning was very impressive. I think that's why people like MoDo, who don't believe in anything except their own imagined brilliance, loathe Dean.

-- A number of C-SPAN callers are obsessed with John Kerry's imitation of smoking a joint while Peter Yarrow sang Puff the Magic Dragon. These callers are all middle-age sounding men. Lighten up, guys. If there's anything that would keep kids off the marijuana, it's the thought of being like Peter Yarrow.

The Shoe Fritz

Reading Josh Marshall's account of former Senator Ernest "Fritz" Hollings's remarks at a Kerry campaign event, it's not hard to see why Mickey Kaus worked on Hollings's presidential campaign in 1984.

(Scroll down to January 12.)

Swingers for Sharpton?

Yeah, baby!

FAIR on Dennis Miller and Mike Murphy.

Update: Wooo Hooo! Good going guys!

Meet Your Liberal Media: Stossel Sleaze Edition

John "Smackdown" Stossel's latest ABC propaganda fest, concerning "Popularly Reported Misconceptions," contained slams on the Democratic Party. According to ABC's web summary of the piece, Stossel claimed: "We've all heard this one during the presidential campaign. When it comes to income taxes, the Democratic presidential candidates keep telling us, the rich don't pay enough."

The program featured, in the role of putative expert, "Steve Moore," who was identified as "co-author of Things are Getting Better All The Time." (Dumbass actually got the title wrong.) Moore was not identified as the president of the right-wing Club for Growth, which ran those anti-Dean "left wing freak show" ads in Iowa.

To be sure, "Smackdown" Stossel didn't quote Moore on the tax equity issue. Moore was quoted as saying that "[m]ost families don't have to have both parents working. They do this by choice." He also criticized Republicans as big spenders. But, at least on the ABC website, Stossel presents Moore as an objective expert rather than the right-wing propagandist and political activist he is.

Koufax Awards

The finalists for the 2003 Koufax Awards are now up at Wampum. The finalists represent a truly outstanding group of activists, writers and political observers. (Caveat: I can't vouch all of them, of course -- For example, the non-liberal blogs, which I don't follow regularly, with the exception of the Talking Dog.) All of the finalists are deserving of the honor and recognition, but let me offer a gentle recommendation for two of the nominees: The Rittenhouse Review by Jim Capozzola, for best writing, and A Matter of Trust, by Susie Madrak, for best single post. Jim's writing regularly reveals the beauty of the English language, and Susie's post demonstrates how the language can be corrupted in pursuit of ignoble goals (by Bush, not Susie).

Congratulations to all the finalists!

Saturday, January 24, 2004

The Null Set

Sully Joe challenges an "enterprising journalist" to find out which wingnuts Karl Rove invited to the White House to watch the State of the Union address. Unfortunately, being a Senior Editor of The New Republic, Sully doesn't know any enterprising journalists.

Maybe your pals at the Moonie Times can tell you, Andy.

Portnoy's Complaint

Political sage Mickey "Portnoy" Kaus, reaching with his free hand to the Harvard Classics Shelf of Friction, chokes out a tortured comparison between General Wesley Clark and Uriah Heep. No, not this Uriah Heep. The one described by David Copperfield as having "damp fishy fingers" and "looking as like a malevolent baboon, I thought, as anything human could look." Give it up, Kaus. Toss in the towel. Your excessive self-love has blinded you to the truth, and caused you to project your own worst traits onto others.

30 Days In The Hole

Plus, 70 days in the hole with up to 10 hours a day out of the hole for community service, $5,400 in fines, $5,000 in costs and 3 years' probation without driving. A slap on the wrist for Republican Representative Bill Janklow, a man who thinks the rules of the road don't apply to him.

I don't think Janklow should die in prison, but maybe a year or two with nowhere to go would help him begin to comprehend the pain the Scott family has suffered. And he should never be permitted to drive again.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Rush's Latest Hallucination
"A Blogger Web Site"

Here's a couple of photo captions accompanying AP's shots of Joshua Marshall in New Hampshire:

Joshua Marshall, of a blogger Web site, looks up from his computer while listening to presidential hopeful Wesley Clark , Wednesday Jan. 21, 2004 during a campaign stop at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, N.H. His daily audience of about 45,000 is comparable to a medium-sized newspaper. That makes his blog, he hopes, as influential as talk radio.

Joshua Marshall, right, of a blogger Web site, types notes while listening to presidential hopeful Wesley Clark , Wednesday Jan. 21, 2004 during a campaign Stop at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, N.H. Web journals like Joshua Marshall's have become indispensable on the campaign trail this season: Not only do they mobilize supporters, but they also serve as a check against traditional media coverage.

Is it just me, or are these captions a little goofy?

Blogs have become indispensable to whom? And Marshall's not trying to mobilize supporters for anyone.

My daily audience of 4 or 5 is comparable to the number of Joe Lieberman supporters, and I hope my blog makes me attractive to potential sex partners and impervious to cancer.

Today's NYT's Boldface Names column caught my attention, as it did Jim Capozzola's. The quote I most enjoyed was the following:

"Never before in the history of this nation," said Mr. Cronkite, in his finest Men-Walk-on-Moon delivery, "has a president of the United States taken such a firm stand, as he did tonight, against - gonorrhea."

And it sounds like an ad lib, too. Nice.

Hey, How 'Bout That Debate?

Being in the long-suffering Pacific time zone, I missed it. I caught the post-debate spin on Faux, where, to a grey-haired white man, they were all outraged, outraged at General Wesley Clark's purported refusal to repudiate the charge that Bush was a deserter. Amazingly, none of them felt the need to explain the charge, because it was so patently ... outrageous ... that Clark's failure to repudiate it was .... outrageous.

Me, I'll wait for Bush to assert a point of personal privilege.

How To Host A Murder Party

"Seeing a potential economic windfall, San Mateo County's tourism bureau had sent a letter to the judge offering to host the trial [of Scott Peterson], which is expected to last nearly six months.

"Anne LeClair, president and chief executive of the San Mateo County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said her office was 'screaming with great excitement' upon hearing the news.

"Restaurants, hotels, car rental services and other businesses could see an influx of $8 million to $16 million as dozens of media members arrive, she said."

Homicide -- the new dot com.

(Link via TalkLeft.)

Did I Mention Fuck Civility?

Well then.

Fuck civility.

Passion Playas

While TBogg and World O' Crap quite properly have some fun at Peggy Noonan's expense, I, unable to come with anything remotely as hilarious, will address a slightly more serious point.

Hearing various Vatican fuctionaries deny that the Pope endorsed MadMel's Cruciflix, The Passion, Noonan says, "it is painful to be accused however implicitly of being the accessory to a lie." We feel your pain, Peg. But don't be so modest.

On December 17, 2003, you wrote:

(I asked the pope's veteran press spokesman, Dr Joaquin Navarro-Valles [sic], if he knew if the pope had said anything beyond "It is as it was." He e-mailed back that he did not know of any further comments.)

Today, you report the e-mail exchange as follows:

So I e-mailed Dr Navarro Valls at the Vatican telling him I wanted to write a piece for OpinionJournal and asking him about the quote. I didn't hear back and sent another: "Dr. Navarro Valles [sic], my deadline is in two hours and I do hope you'll let me know if there is anything on the Pope's reaction beyond 'It is as it was'--wonderful words, and I know you have already been in touch with Steve about them, but I would greatly appreciate it if there's anything you could add regarding general Vatican feeling on the film, any further comment from the Holy Father, etc. Best, Peggy Noonan"

I got a response. "Dear Peggy, I don't have for now any other comment on this. I [sic] anything is said in the future I will send it to you. Greetings, J. Navarro-Valls."

So JN-V didn't say "I don't know of any further comments" that the Pope made. He said "I don't have for now any further comment on this." There's quite a bit of difference between the two.

Now I don't accuse Nooners of deliberate dishonesty on this matter. More likely, it's just sloppiness in the rush to meet a deadline, or wishful thinking, or both. And JN-V's response could have been clearer, though it still doesn't say what Peg said it did. But the episode is revealing on the issue of Peg's accuracy and attention to detail in general. Call it indifference to the truth.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Man In The Mirror

A hack looks inward:

"[H]e's pompous! And humorless. And narcissistically theatrical in his staged indignation. [He can't pass] the do-you-want-this-person-in-your-living-room test."

Freedom of Choice

Here's a website and organization which deserve more attention:, a website of the International Planned Parenthood Foundation. The IPPF opposes the Global Gag Rule, an executive order of the Bush Administration which denies USAID funds to any international NGO that discusses abortion with its clients or refers clients to abortion providers, even if abortion is legal in the country which the NGO serves. The NGOs don't preform the procedures themselves, so it's not a case of Americans funding abortions. Rather, the Administration has cut off funds to NGOs which merely make referrals to providers or discuss a legal medical option with their clients. Check out the site and learn more about the issue.

A Contemptible Comment

Kathryn Lopez attributes this statement to Peggy Noonan:

"There's an old joke that Goerge [sic] Bush 41 reminds women of their first husband. Howard Dean last night reminds women of their first husband against whom they had to take out a restraining order."

Whichever one of those vile haters said this is beneath contempt.

Vows of Celibacy

Sully Joe's still pretending that Bush doesn't support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to ban gay marriage. Commenting on Bush's statement that "[i]f judges insist on forcing their arbitrary will upon the people, the only alternative left to the people would be the constitutional process," Sully asks:

What constitutional process? A State constitutional amendment? A federal constitutional amendment? The constitutional attempt to remove or elect judges? Again, who knows? And what would the president's position be if a state's legislature passed equal marriage rights? There's a majority in Massachusetts in the polls on such a matter. California has just passed a marriage-in-all-but-name civil union. Would he support a constitutional process to thwart the people's will as well? Again: who knows?

Later, Sully concludes, "Still, the good and important news is that the president hasn't endorsed the Federal Marriage Amendment."

Dream on, Sully. Bush is giving a State of the Union Address. He's talking about federal action; he's not micromanaging state politics.

More fundamentally, what difference would it make if Bush was talking about "a State constitutional amendment" or "The constitutional attempt to remove or elect judges." Would Bush's view be any less loathsome if he was urging states to amend their constitutions to prohibit gay marriage, or urging federal or state legislators to remove judges and/or oppose judicial nominees who recognized a right to same-sex marriage?

And don't forget, Sully, when Bush talks about abstinence, in your case he's talking a lifelong commitment.

Sadly, No has all sorts of good stuff up today, including:

A brutal dopeslap of Cokie Kudlow for Cokie's claim that the Edwards and Kerry victories in Iowa caused a stock market slump.

An even more brutal pimpslap of Hugo "Girl" Gurdon and his idiotic comparison of the respective revenues of environmental groups and U.S. companies.

And a completely righteous slap of Kathryn "I.Q-Lo" Lopez, who doesn't "like the president having to use the word 'sexually.'"

K-Lo's full comment is:

But I don't like the president having to use the word "sexually." There are kids listening. (The same kids who don't know who Tom Brady is and having playing cards with Iraqi Governing Council Members?)

Looks like you're another one who got left behind, Kathy. Maybe 2-year-old Ashley Pearson can tutor you after she finishes saluting the empty flightsuit.

And speaking of Ashley, K-Lo says:

I hate when people use the word "Reaganesque," but didn't that Ashley Pearson letter have to remind you of him?

If I credited K-Lo. with any intelligence, I'd read that as a subtle dig at Nooners' writing abilities. But I know it's just drivel.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

The Phrase of 2004

"Weapons of mass destruction-related program activities."

Nowhere to Run, Nowhere to Hide

The White House website had the 2004 SOTU transcript up earlier, but apparently has taken it down.

I followed Atrios' link to a transcript of the speech earlier, but that link now leads to a summary. There's another link on that page which leads to a second summary.

Follow the link at, and you get the 2003 SOTU.

The speech was bad, but I didn't imagine the White House knew just how bad it was.

Update: You can read it here.

Update (9:20 p.m.): It's back again, at a new link, with "(Applause)" added, but not Bush's bungled reading.

Joshua Marshall has blogged at least four reports from New Hampshire in the past two days.

Meanwhile, Mickey Kaus sits alone in an empty motel, waiting for a booty call from MoDo.

Wow. Pledge drive went that badly, Sully Joe?
The state of George W. Bush is... brain-dead.
And he's got an imaginary friend, too. Nice.

State Of The Family

Illegal drug use? Prescription drug abuse? STDs? Disrespect for marriage?

Sounds like your family reunion, fuckhead.

"Each year, about three million teenagers contract sexually transmitted diseases that can harm them, or kill them, or prevent them from ever becoming parents.

However, they can still get lucrative consulting contracts from foreign interests seeking to buy influence with their siblings who hold government office.

"In my budget, I propose a grassroots campaign to help inform families about these medical risks. We will double Federal funding for abstinence programs, so schools can teach this fact of life."

Screw doubled federal funding -- just send Neilsie's diseased dick on a national tour of the nation's junior high schools.

Is it too much to hope that David Ehrenstein's watching the State of the Union Address again this year?
Vatican: Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness ... PEGGY!

It's unanimous! Reuters, the Associated Press and the New York Times all report that the Vatican denies Pope J.P. II praised Mel Gibson's Cruciflix, The Passion. Nooners made the contrary claim in her December 17 Wall Street Journal Online column. In fact, Nooners not only reported the claim, she claimed to have verified the Pope's thumbs-up with Papal mouthpiece Joaquin Navarro-Valls (whose name Peg misspelled). The NYT article quotes Navarro-Valls as stating, "This office never comments on the private activities of the pope." (It also quotes Papal pal Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz as implicitly calling Gibson's producer a liar.)

We eagerly await the Wall Street Journal's correction or, alternatively, call for the excommunication of the Pope and his senior staff.

A Tribute To Richard Gephardt

Dick Gephardt may be out of the presidential race, but he'll never be a miserable failure.

Joe Lieberman has received the endorsements of the Manchester Union-Leader and The New Republic. Still to come: The endorsements of the Washington Post, Zell Miller and the Bush Administration.

Update: Jim Capozzola has already made the connection.

Kaus Admires A Bigot

Mickey Kaus admits there is more than one reason he likes Lucianne Goldberg ("This is one reason I like Lucianne Goldberg"). The reason mentioned most recently was Lucianne's putative -- and bogus -- denunciation of a smear against Howard Dean. But, as The Horse reports, Goldberg's website has falsely accused Dean of being an abusive husband.

One wonders about Kaus's other reasons for liking Lucianne. Is it her racism? Her anti-gay bigotry? Her implicit endorsement of violence against African-Americans and gay men?

Or all of them?

Monday, January 19, 2004

See No Conflict, Hear No Conflict, Report No Conflict

Even though Howie the Putz Kurtz has the inside track to the Schwarzenegger Administration, he still can't get his facts straight. Watch as Howie spins for right-wing cue card reader Dennis Miller:

When conservative comic Dennis Miller launches his CNBC talk show next week, his high-profile guests will include Arnold Schwarzenegger, John McCain and Rudy Giuliani.


The bagging of the California governor and Arizona senator is the handiwork of former Schwarzenegger and McCain strategist Mike Murphy, who now has a place in the Hollywood hills and is Miller's consulting producer. Plus, Miller did some speaking for Ahnuld.

Not so fast, Putzie!

The San Jose Mercury News and the Associated Press reported on January 2 that Mike Murphy is currently co-chairing two of the Predator's political committees:

After catapulting to victory in the 2003 recall, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger launched two new political committees this week to help him fortify his stature while executing a campaign-style effort to pressure legislators and persuade voters to support his ideas.

Together, the two committees - Gov. Schwarzenegger's California Recovery Team and Californians for Schwarzenegger - will finance the governor's political priorities in the state - promoting his top legislative goals, two key ballot measures and a possible 2006 re-election bid.


Both committees will be run by the same team of consultants that steered Schwarzenegger's campaign: political strategists Wilson, Jeff Randle and George Gorton, and media operatives Mike Murphy and Don Sipple.

So Miller's producer at CNBC is a current consultant for a Republican Governor, and the producer gets his client, the Governor, an hour of friendly coverage on CNBC.

I can't imagine how Howie missed that conflict of interest.

Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away and the deep fog of misunderstanding will be lifted from our fear-drenched communities, and in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty. -- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., April 16, 1963

In an empty motel somewhere in New Hampshire, a small, bitter man weeps.

Meet Your Liberal Media

The New York Times editorial page and Gail Collins Bill Keller saw fit to commemorate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr. by running a piece attempting -- and failing -- to rehabiliate Ronnie Reagan on the issue of racial equality.

Yes, the Reagan who supported tax-exempt status for the racist bigots at Bob Jones University.

The Reagan who said in 1980 that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was "humiliating to the South."

The Reagan who said that "Jefferson Davis is a hero of mine."

That Reagan.

Correction (12/21): As reader squeaky rat points out, Gail Collins, and not Bill Keller, is the editor of the editorial page. Collins and David Shipley, editor of the Op-Ed page, are responsible for publishing the revisionist history of Ronnie. My apologies to Mr. Keller.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

An Embarrassment of Riches

Opting for coverage of the Iowa campaigns over the NFL playoffs, it struck me that any one of the top Dems (including Clark, who skipped Iowa) could serve the United States well as President. The Republicans don't need a deep bench this year, because they have Bush. But if Bush was impeached tomorrow, who would the Pukes have? Who will they have in '08? Dicky Ticker Cheney? Jeb!? Kitty Kevorkian? The Bug Chaser? Giuliani seems viable as a national candidate, but he's poison to the religious right wing of the party.

It would be interesting to know who the RNC and the various factions in the Puke party are grooming to retake the White House in 2008.

Collectibles > Historical Memorabilia > Political > US

One flightsuit, slightly soiled. No-bidding starts at $87 billion. All proceeds will be donated to the Halliburton Corporation and members of the Iraqi National Congress.

Comes with: Several men's socks, also slightly soiled.

Time left: 363 days, 21 hours

Shipping and handling: US $87,000,000,000.00.
Taxpayers pay for all shipping costs.

Joe Lieberman. He's Angry. Hot Headed. Pessimistic. Arrogant. Unelectable.

"And the mild-mannered Mr. Lieberman has seemed a bit cranky of late. He abruptly shot back 'that's ridiculous' at a man who criticized him for attacking the other candidates. Delivering a staple anecdote, he described the behavior of a woman without health insurance who cannot afford regular medical care for her asthmatic son and relies on the emergency room as 'stupid.'" -- New York Times, January 18, 2004
Fuck civility


Responding to a number of e-mailers, Washington Post ombudsman Michael Getler persuasively marshals the evidence that the WaPo and Donnie "Lucky Sperm" Graham slant the news page coverage in favor of the Bush Administration by burying the bad news and repeating personal attacks from anonymous Administration thugs.

Inexplicably, however, Gelter states he is "confident" that the paper's right-wing editorial views "have not infected the news sections." Getler doesn't offer an alternative explanation for the news page slant, such as alignment of the planets or the effects of a mind-control ray mounted on the roof of the Old Executive Building. And he doesn't provide any grounds for his confidence, apart from a page one article reporting the earth-shattering exclusive that there are no WMDs in Iraq. (Who knew?)

In fact, Getler's concluding sentence undermines his own claim of confidence by implicitly agreeing with the e-mailers' complaints, saying "[b]ut there is a lot of smoke out there, and probably a fire." Not only that, Mike, but Donnie and Downie are blowing the smoke directly up your ass.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

Those who get their knickers in a twist over the "Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation's" supposed anti-Americanism will be delighted to learn of the BBC's ten-part serialization of the latest John le Carre novel, Absolute Friends. Roger readers not living in Old Blighty can listen to the programmes here, in a somewhat inconvenient format, beginning Tuesday. More about le Carre, the novel and his views on the Administration here.

But Can He Sing?

Wesley Clark has neither Hootie, any of the Blowfish or the now-mulletless Michael Bolton, but he does have the nod of Mark A. R. Kleiman. Professor Kleiman's weblog is the best blog I've read discussing the Clark campaign and Clark's positions on the issues. And that includes Clark's own official campaign blog.

Kleiman is a Clark partisan, but he's not an uncritical supporter of Clark. It's refreshing to see a blogger offer a nuanced and informed view of his or her favored candidate, and at the same time slap around people like Instapundit who distort the candidate's views through oversimplification and mischaracterization of the candidate's statements. The support of people like Mark speaks very well for Clark's campaign.

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting has issued a press release condemning Faux News for its selective outrage at comparisons of politicians to Hitler. As FAIR points out, Faux pitches a fit when Bush is compared to Adolf Hilter, but is silent when a Murdoch rag proudly published a comparison of Howard Dean to Hitler.

FAIR did miss one of the most egregious examples of Faux's double standard, namely Brit Hume accepting an award from the denizens of, a site where the noun "Hitlery" is used more often than any other seven letter word.

WaPo Bush Suck-Up Watch

Mike Allen writes:

A day after the Iowa caucuses reset the Democratic field, President Bush will ignore the campaign as he goes before Congress on Tuesday night to deliver his final State of the Union address before he faces reelection.
What President has ever discussed the opposition party's nomination process in his State of the Union address? Try not to insult your readers' intelligence, Mike.
Well, I see that Hootie and the Blowfish has endorsed John Edwards. But Michael Bolton has endorsed Dick Gephardt.

Now I have to wait for Kenny G. to break the tie.

HoHo Gives MoDo The CoSho. Bravo!

What really hurt was that MoDo missed the first five minutes of The L Word. Now we'll never know the answers to Dowd's moronic queries.

Hey, Iowa voters. Here's what Dowd really thinks of you: "[Voters] want to know the evolution of the man, even if it's a myth." Be sure to remember that if you get a chance to serve MoDo breakfast.

Friday, January 16, 2004

Plenty of Nothing

I'm not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing, but one circumstance of having limited time to blog is that often someone else says what I want to say before I can say it.

A good example is Bob Somerby's response to the Sheryl Stolberg article on Chris Lehane in today's New York Times. The piece quotes various anonymous folks from other campaigns suggesting that Lehane is a sinister force. But, as Bob notes, the worst the article comes up with is Lehane handing reporters two articles (or one article and a synposis of one article) -- one in which John Kerry praises Lehane's candidate, Wesley Clark, and the other summarizing a Boston Globe story critical of Kerry.

Not exactly up to Karl Rove standards as dirty tricks go. Yet fools like Drudge and Kaus act as if the Times has the goods on Lehane.

A Child Left Behind

"Although it is trendy among teens like myself to pursue the opposite opinion, I admire President Bush because of his abilities to lead, and to do the right thing. He repairs the economy not by introducing new regulations and increasing business costs, but instead uses fundamental economic principles and by reducing taxes. Furthermore, his unwavering stance on terror not only makes my fellow Americans and I safe, but gives a sense of security to the world as well. Bush in '04! "

-- Derek Tam of Sacramento, CA
"Others here today, defended our interests in the mountains of Korea, or in the jungles of Vietnam, or during the decades-long vigil of the Cold War."

And some here today had other priorities.

Regrettable hack Mickey Kaus admits that he doesn't know who -- if anyone -- was "behind" the ABC News smear on Dean:

Was a certain counterproductive overspinner behind the shameful ABC "affidavit" smear story against Howard Dean? I don't know, and neither does the New York Times, though today's edition does contain this sentence:... (Emphasis added.)

So why then is Mick praising Lucianne Goldberg for her statement that Chris Lehane was behind the smear ("ABC falls for Chris Lehane lame hit job")?

When you lie down with loathsome bigots, Kaus, you get up with a lot worse than fleas.

Thursday, January 15, 2004

I don't care if Bush hates the press, insults reporters, doesn't hold press conferences, doesn't read newspapers. Those are his rights. Why should the press be exempt from Bush's general attitude of contempt for his fellow Americans? Maybe if the press did their fucking jobs instead of whining about how Bush doesn't respect them, they'd earn some respect from their readers and become relevant again.

Grand Old Police Blotter: For The Want Of A Hot Tub Edition

The Connecticut State Ethics Commission has concluded that Governor John Rowland (aka the Nutmeg Scumbag) violated state laws by accepting gifts, including a hot tub and a water heater from state employees, and other free goods and services from contractors doing business with the state.

Rowland is developing unique defense to the charges -- the Clinton defense:

The state's embattled chief executive also dismissed accusations Tuesday that he had threatened lawmakers who met with him last week at the governor's residence in Hartford.

"He talked about the consequences of going ahead with an impeachment," said Democratic Rep. Michael Lawlor, recalling a meeting last Friday in which Rowland brought up the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. "He mentioned what happened to Clinton's most vocal critics. He said when the press gets tired of him, they will start on us."

Sorry, Johnny, but you're no Bill Clinton. (Not to mention that the press still hasn't tired of bashing Clinton.)

Enjoy that water heater and hot tub while you can; your bathing options might be fewer and a lot less pleasant in the near future.

While my internet service was down and I was otherwise engaged, two people were kind enough to send me links exposing the Reverend Moon and his neo-Klan Moonie Times. They're depressing but necessary reading:

The Washington (End Of) Times

Defending Dixie

(Thanks to J. and mw for the links.)

A Small Victory

Professor Ann Little's e-mail to Media Whores Online has shamed NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin into apologizing for his dismissive view of lefty bloggers. Dvorkin has shown himself to be a man of honor. Now if Dvorkin can make life miserable for Nina Totenberg -- whose analysis of Howard Dean last Sunday was, I swear, "gag me with a spoon" and "yucky" -- I'll send him a free lifetime subscription to this blog.

Congratulations to Professor Little for taking a stand, and to everyone else who sent e-mail to Dvorkin.


By the way, the Hitchens piece in the latest Vanity Fair was even worse than I imagined. By the time Snitch got off a gag bemoaning New York's lack of anti-sodomy laws, I couldn't decide whether gouging my eyes out or reading Dominick Dunne's dispatch would be the less painful antidote...

MoDo At The HoJos With A ...

My low opinion of Maureen Dowd is already well-known, and I can't top this cogent criticism of MoDo's latest column.

My only comment is this: Why the hell did Dowd travel to Des Moines to write this tripe? There's no reporting. Dowd wouldn't have had to leave her house to write anything in this piece unless her cats pissed on the People magazine before she got to it.

Is she just in Iowa to run up a Spectravision bill and drain the city's strategic minibar reserves?

If there are any Roger readers in Des Moines, I'd love to hear about any MoDo sightings. Clearly we can rule any venues where reporting might be required.

Covered In Shame

ABC's story on Howard Dean and Dennis Madore is so vile that even the illiberal Mickey Kaus condemns it as a smear. Of course, to Midget Mick, the significance of the story is that shows Lucianne Goldberg is not a hypocrite.

Kaus "writes" (or is that 'writes'?):

Take that bus and shove it! I can't quite believe ABC ran with that Dean "affidavit" story (as Drudge tactfully calls it). There's no evidence presented that Dean knew of the actions of the former employee involved, certainly not before he filed his affidavit. Nor is it even really clear exactly what those actions were. Read it yourself. ABC (Mark Halperin, you too) should be ashamed. The network doesn't just report the story--it hypes the story (in the attempt to make it a story). If I were Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi, I'd have tried to kick ABC off the plane too. ... Hypocrisy Watch: And if Democrats had tried this sort of last-minute smear on, say Arnold Schwarzenegger, you can bet Republicans like Lucianne Goldberg would have immediately denounced it. Yet when the late hit is on Howard Dean, Lucianne Goldberg ... well, actually her site immediately denounced it. ("ABC falls for ... lame hit job.") This is one reason I like Lucianne Goldberg.

Two things Kaus conveniently omits:

1. There is a similar, but more substantive, story to be told about Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnold S. has hired and retained an alleged spouse batterer as one of his top consultants. Don Sipple was a highly-paid political consultant for Arnold during Arnold's 2003 campaign. Sipple was recently named by Arnold to co-lead two of Arnold's newly-formed political committees. Sipple was accused by two of his ex-wives of battering them. These allegations were made under oath, in court, during a custody hearing. (Sipple denies the allegations.) The allegations were well-known when Arnold hired Sipple in 2003: They were the subject widespread media attention in 1997, as well as the subject of a published 1999 California appellate court opinion affirming the dismissal of a defamation lawsuit Sipple filed against the publishers of Mother Jones, which first reported the story.

Kaus admits there's no evidence Dean knew of the allegations against Madore (who of course was a state employee, not a hand-picked and well-paid campaign consultant). Certainly there was no sworn testimony by two witnesses against Madore at the time Dean signed the affidavit. In contrast, Arnold would have to be brain-dead not to know of the allegations against Sipple in 2003. So why does Kaus suggest that a story about Arnold S. hiring an accused batterer would be "a smear"?

2. Kaus uses ellipses to shorten Goldberg's supposedly praiseworthy condemnation of ABC -- by two words. Goldberg didn't write "ABC falls for ... lame hit job." She wrote "ABC falls for Chris Lehane lame hit job." Why does Kaus omit those two words, eleven letters? It's not like Kaus doesn't loathe Lehane. (See here and here.)

As Kaus might say, "there's no evidence presented for" Goldberg's charge of Lehane's involvement. (The ABC story cites Jerry Diamond, "a Dean supporter and former Vermont attorney general who was the lawyer for Madore's wife," as a primary source.)

Goldberg's denunciation is only praiseworthy if the entire sentence is true. Otherwise, it's another last-minute smear and right-wing hit job, albeit one directed at a Dem other than Dean. Kaus should either endorse Goldberg's entire statement or leave the hideous hater and her racist bulletin board out of the discussion altogether.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Founder's Day

Roger Ailes' ISP failed miserably during yesterday's narrow window of opportunity for blogging. And today is a very special holiday in the Ailes household.

Regular programming will return on Thursday. In the meantime, please enjoy the fine blogs to your right, as well as the ones I've meant to add to the Enemies List, with the best of intentions. (Admittedly, you'll have to guess at those.)

For no extra credit, read the following stories -- January 7, January 8, January 11, January 12 and January 14 -- and this one, and consider the question: Did Howie get spun?

Monday, January 12, 2004

Eric Boehlert makes a compelling case at Salon for Pumpkinhead Russert as Whore of the Year. (Although I think the competition is over.) At page 2 of the article, Boehlert recounts how Pumpkinhead was fed phony numbers by the Bush Treasury Department to discredit Dean's position on taxes.

Just Say No to Kaus

Mickey "Misdemeanor" Kaus, a one-man involuntary abstinence movement, writes:

Is the 'chastity' movement and "abstinence" education all that widespread--especially outside the South?

Can anyone explain the use of single quotation marks around the word chastity and the double quotes around abstinence? Can anyone explain the use of any quotation marks in that sentence?

I don't want to brag about how well I did on Madeleine Kane's Second Annual Dubya Quote Quiz, but I'm confident that I outscored Bush himself.


Two new group blogs -- polyblogs -- have just started publishing: The Liberal Coalition and The American Street. Both sites feature some of the best individual left bloggers around -- including many listed to your right -- who continue to publish at their own sites as well. Read them -- after you come here and find nothing of interest, of course.

Bill Never Bet On The Monthly Number Of Drug Fatalities Or Where His Ghost-Written Books Would Rank on The Best-Seller List

William "Dice" Bennett takes Charlie Hustle over his knee and administers a li'l punishment:

Virtues Czar Bill Bennett, who ran into a spot of bother last year over his multimillion-dollar gambling habit, slammed Pete Rose's gambling during a speaking trip to New Hampshire last week.

"I think it's an open question whether any adult should gamble," Bennett told me. "It's an absolutely closed question whether a baseball player should gamble on baseball."

Put a Pony cap and a graying Beatle wig on Bennett and you couldn't tell the two apart.

How about buying bucketloads of dope from your household staff, Bill: open or closed?

(Thanks to a reader for the link.)

Why Do They Hate America?

Name the anti-American, multi-culti, vile Bush hater who wrote this, and where it was written:

Uncle Sam going it alone in Iraq -- while jingoist newspapers and networks called those who refused to follow Donald von Rumsfeld cowards -- added fuel to the anti-American bonfire. Coward is a dirty word worldwide, and the only thing I can add are a few statistics. Between August 1914 and November 1918, one and half million French soldiers died in battle. This is three times more than all Americans who have died in every foreign war between 1776 and today. Over 120,000 French soldiers died in six weeks in the spring of 1940. Some 3,250,000 German soldiers died in two world wars, and close to five million Russians. The Brits lost something like two million in the two wars. A tiny country such as my own has lost nearly a million soldiers since the turn of the 20th century. We Europeans need no lessons in dying for our countries from Americans. What we do need is a better American understanding of our cultural differences and of the fact that we cannot be like the Americans because we, sadly or otherwise, happen to be Europeans.
Good For The Jews

Jewish American voters haven't gotten Julia Gorin's memo that the Democratic Party is the party of anti-Semitism. And Private Benjamin will be dismayed to hear that those liberal, inauthentic, demographic, played-for-fools Jews have his self-defined cohort outnumbered by at least two to one.

Brooks and Dumb

The pathetic Putz is at it again:

New York Times columnist David Brooks was poking fun last week at those who see some of his friends as part of a dark "neocon cabal." He defended "the people labeled neocons (con is short for 'conservative' and neo is short for 'Jewish')."
Sorry, Howie, but that should read "David Brooks claims he was poking fun...." I've seen no evidence, including the Brooks column itself, that Brooks' thrice-repeated charge of anti-Semitism by those who oppose Bush policy was nothing but a gag.

In fact, Brooks's "apology" describes his effort as a "mixture of a crack with a serious accusation." Which means that Brooks wasn't actually joking at all.

Update: I swear I didn't steal this from Bob Somerby.

I didn't consider Paul O'Neill's statement, "I can't imagine that I am going to be attacked for telling the truth," a sign of naivete. I consider it a preemptive strike: "If they attack me, they're lying sons-of-bitches." Subtle, but effective. Like an aluminum bat to the nuts of Scott McLellan.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Will's Swill

In September 2003, Terry at Nitpicker called George Fwill on his lies about General Wesley Clark, but was unable to get any response from either Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt or Post ombudsman Michael Getler. Getler has now weighed in on Fwill's undisclosed ties to Conrad Black, and even furrows his troubled brow slightly at Fwill's nondisclosure. Hiatt, on the other hand, bends over backward to brownnose the bow-tied blowhard. And Getler seems unaware of Fwill's more recent misconduct over the past three decades.

Friends and Family

I have nothing to add about the latest bigoted statements of the Reverend Moon. But everyone should be reminded, at every opportunity, of what a contemptible person this friend of the Bush family is.

TNR Cheapshot

The New Republic's blog ad for its Lieberman endorsement issue reads as follows: "The editor's choice for a renewed Democratic party. Plus, the cases for each of the other candidates...." (The ad can't be linked, but it's at Talking Points Memo, and a bunch of other sites.)

In fact, TNR only makes the case for half of the other Democratic candidates, and doesn't make a case for Kerry, Kucinich, Moseley Braun or Sharpton. Certainly, the viability of these omitted candidacies can be argued, but to claim that "each of the candidates" doesn't include these folks is a petty cheapshot. Particularly since Kerry and Kucinich are outpolling Lieberman in Iowa (where Lieberman's not running) and Kerry's well ahead of Lieberman in New Hampshire.

If TNR can't find anything good to say about those contenders, fine. But it should say that, and not pretend they don't exist.

Update (1/12): As Wilgoren Watch points out, one poll has Sharpton pulling 5 percentage points ahead of Lieberman in South Carolina. (That's one point beyond the poll's margin of error.)

This Is CNN

Another proud moment from CNN.

While CNN and much of the media robotically repeat the charge that Howard Dean is a loose cannon, making unsupported allegations, I've not seen this story reported anywhere (until I found it a Democratic Underground). On Crossfire, last Tuesday, Bob Novak charged Democrats with stealing the 2002 election for the U.S. Senate in South Dakota:

NOVAK: Not a happy week...


NOVAK: ... for Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle. He won't have a free run for reelection in South Dakota this year.

The state's most popular Republican, former Congressman John Thune, announced he will run against Daschle. That promises a tough race for the Democratic leader, with the Republican ticket topped by George W. Bush, who collected 60 percent of the state's vote last time against Al Gore's 38 percent. Actually, Daschle should have been saved the trouble of opposing Thune.

In 2002, Thune would have been elected to the state's other Senate seat, but the election was stolen by stuffing ballot boxes on the Indian reservations. Now Tom Daschle may have to pay for that theft.

CARVILLE: That's pretty...


CARVILLE: That's -- that's pretty out there. Has Thune said that the Native Americans are election thieves?

NOVAK: No, I -- I said it.

CARVILLE: Well, no. Is that the Republican -- is that the party line here?

NOVAK: No, it's my line.

CARVILLE: That Native Americans are election thieves, that they can't be trusted to vote? You hear that, my friends out in South Carolina? Tim Johnson won that race.


CARVILLE: They're Native Americans, Bob.

NOVAK: I call them Indians.

This exchange occurred immediately before Ed Gillespie and Terry McAuliffe appeared on the program to discuss the contest entry "ad" that appeared on the site. McAuliffe said the "ad" was "[d]espicable. It should be nowhere in the discourse of politics." Gillespie then prattled on about "political hate speech." But neither McAuliffe nor Gillespie said anything about Novak's despicable false charge.

Where's the SCLM's outrage at Novak's bogus allegation? A Google News search using "Novak" and "Daschle" turns up only three stories: (1) the DU item; (2) the article in a South Dakota newspaper to which DU linked; and (3) a Friday posting on Big Pharma's site which references Novak's statement and the debunked article from Byron York which was pushing the bogus claim.

Those interested in the truth should read Joshua Marshall's reporting from December 2002, which can be found here. (Scroll down for several entries.)

Update: 1/12 In comments, Mustang Bobby points out that Novak backed down from his previous statements last Saturday, presumably at the direction of his employer. Novak now only claims that there were "serious voting irregularities" and denies any bias against Native Americans. The weasel-worded non-apology came on Capital Gang, not Crossfire, and the Prince of Dogshit still offers no proof of voting irregularities.


I've got a brutal index-finger hangnail and a bit of a cough, but I'm blogging from my sickbed, no matter the personal consequences. Thanks for all the e-mails.

Now send me some money, dammit.

Con's Game

Not surprisingly, the Chicago Tribune is all over the sleazy tale of Hollinger International and Conrad Black. Here's two stories from today's Trib: one on Hollinger board member Big Jim Thompson and one on Babbs "Deal" Amiel.

Meanwhile, George Fwill, the Black Hand, is pimping Gregg Easterbrook's new book. I didn't know Gregg had 25 grand to spare. Maybe Fwill can get Easterbook to advise Con and Babbs "on how to redress the imbalance many people feel between their abundance of material things and the scarcity of meaning that they feel in their lives."

Dammit, I Told You To Get A Dictionary

On the homepage:

Fox Struggles for Relevence

Mexico's president seeks key policy boost on eve summit of the Americas.

-- Kevin Sullivan

A proofreader would help too.

Update: As of 12:03 a.m. Eastern, they've fixed the typo, but not the missing preposition or the missing capitalization. You don't think they read this blog, do you?

Saturday, January 10, 2004

The lists of nominations for the 2003 Sandy Koufax Awards is up at Wampum. Dwight Meredith and Mary Beth deserve lifetime achievement awards and probably also workers' compensation benefits for carpal tunnel for all the work they've put in on the project.

I'd like to thank everyone who nominated me for an award. It's nice to know that people are reading and enjoying this blog.

TNR Endorses Bush

The New Republic's endorsement of Senator Joe Lieberman reads not so much as an endorsement of Lieberman but as the setup for its endorsement of Bush in the fall.

The editorial speaks of "the apparent absence of an ongoing Iraqi nuclear program," as if the editors are still hoping to find nuclear material in the next spider hole. It whines about "the teacher's unions" and "Hollywood," using the Republicans' fraudulent definition of what's wrong the country. And, after charging Governor Dean with helping to "create this mood of self-righteous delusion" in the Democratic Party, how can the magazine endorse Dean if he becomes the nominee?

Since Lieberman doesn't stand a snowball's chance in Florida of earning the party's nomination, I suspect the magazine's real endorsement already has been written. It starts: "We didn't leave the Democratic Party, the party left us."

Survey Says

I haven't written much on the Scott Peterson case because I don't care about it. But this is worth noting:

MODESTO, Calif. (AP) - A survey a judge cited in his decision to move Scott Peterson's capital murder trial out of Modesto contained made-up information, criminal justice students who conducted the survey told a newspaper.

The 10-county survey suggested that more jurors without bias could be found in the San Francisco Bay area or Southern California than in Stanislaus County, which includes Modesto, home town of Peterson's slain wife, Laci.

But several of the California State University, Stanislaus students who compiled the report told The Modesto Bee they used a lot of fake information because it had been too hard to gather all the data properly. The students requested anonymity, the paper said.

"We falsified the info,'' a 20-year-old criminal justice student said. "The stuff we submitted wasn't true.''


Not all students said they'd faked their results, which accounted for 20 percent of their grade. But six students - all seniors - told the paper they had made up all of their answers because they had no time and no money for the dozens of lengthy long-distance phone calls that were required.

On the bright side, kids, you all should be able to land jobs at the American Enterprise Institute.

My venue recommendation: Modoc County or, better yet, Nicaragua.

Haloscan has started adding small text ads with links to the bottom of the comments boxes. Needless to say, I'm not making anything off that enterprise and am not endorsing anything linked there. Most likely I will stay with Haloscan unless the ads become more obtrusive.

Junkie Justice

The leaders of the Flordia G.O.P. don't seem to share the view of Whoraldo and Susan Estrich (or should I say the view of Whoraldo's employer) that the crime of doctor shopping involves a bunch of retirees looking for a better doctor.

The Palm Beach Post reports in an editorial that the G.O.P. leadership is pushing for legislation that will track doctor-shopping.

On Wednesday, the very conservative Republican who is Florida's attorney general urged the Legislature to create a computer network that he believes will allow the state to better track abuse of prescription painkillers.

On Wednesday, the very conservative Republican state senator who is sponsoring the bill urged the Legislature to do the same.

On Wednesday, the state's drug czar -- who was appointed by the very conservative Republican governor -- urged the Legislature to do the same.

It's time for Big Pharma to put down the crack pipe, stop making excuses for his crimes, and either turn himself into authorities or, at least, flee the country. I think France would grant him asylum.

(Via Buzzflash again.)

Not On The Bush Blog

CBS News reports:

[Ron] Suskind says [former Treasury Secretary Paul] O'Neill and other White House insiders he interviewed gave him documents that show that in the first three months of 2001, the administration was looking at military options for removing Saddam Hussein from power and planning for the aftermath of Saddam's downfall -- including post-war contingencies like peacekeeping troops, war crimes tribunals and the future of Iraq's oil.

"There are memos," Suskind tells Stahl, "One of them marked 'secret' says 'Plan for Post-Saddam Iraq.'"

A Pentagon document, says Suskind, titled "Foreign Suitors For Iraqi Oilfield Contracts," outlines areas of oil exploration. "It talks about contractors around the world from...30, 40 countries and which ones have what intentions on oil in Iraq," Suskind says.

O'Neill, who was asked to resign because of his opposition to the tax cut, says he doesn't think his tell-all account in this book will be attacked by his former employers as sour grapes. "I will be really disappointed if [the White House] reacts that way," he tells Stahl. "I can't imagine that I am going to be attacked for telling the truth."


CBS News Correspondent Mark Knoller reported Saturday that, as the White House sees it, O'Neill's remarks are those of a disgruntled former official, and it should not have come as a surprise to O'Neill that the U.S. advocated Saddam's ouster.

In fact, a senior administration official tells CBS News it would have been irresponsible not to plan for Saddam's eventual removal.

As for the charge that there were early plans to invade Iraq, Knoller says the official calls that "laughable." Suggesting that O'Neill doesn't know what he's talking about on this matter, the official told CBS News O'Neill had enough problems in his own area of expertise.

Another senior administraiton [sic] official told CBS News Saturday, "No one ever listened to the crazy things he said before, why should we start now?"

(Link via Buzzflash.)

Reading The Bush Blog

We read that Bush has the radical feminist vote locked up. Squeezed in between the weekly announcement of Ken Mehlman's appearance on the Hugh Hewitt radio program and an ever-informative "Did you know?" feature, the Bush Blog links to Crazy Davy's Frontpage e-rag. The link is to an article by Phyllis Chesler, a "radical feminist" according to the Bush Blog, and an author, who I don't know a whole lot about.

In her article, Chesler throws her support to Bush because:

"....I still possess enough common sense to understand that life is better for women in (far-from-perfect) America than it was for women under the Taliban."

The long and short of the article is that Chesler believes Bush "is a man of both faith and action who has committed our country's money and troops to a vision of democracy and women's rights in the Islamic world." Oh, so that's what Bush is doing in Afghanistan.

Chesler also uses a Crazy Davy favorite, smearing "the left" without citing any evidence for the smear:

My colleagues on the progressive and feminist Left lead relatively safe and privileged lives in the West. Perhaps this is why they are romanticizing and glorifying illiterate, suicidal killers, new Noble Savages; they want "action," they are incapable of fomenting any, (although their ideas of revolution have actually fomented quite a lot of death in the past). Do they think to expiate a false, liberal guilt in this way? Yes, I say. Is this a form of contempt, masked as compassion for the wretched of the earth? Yes, again.

Having criticized their own country and civilization almost to death, do such ideologues now want that civilization to literally die? I fear they do. I hope I am wrong. Does human imperfection--and human resistance to ideological perfection--so offend them that they wish to see it all blown up, cleansed? Yes, again.

That's right -- progressive, leftist feminists want civilization to die and all human imperfection blown up. (Or they want America all blown up, or civilization or something. Chesler could use an editor.) I fear that the dimwits running the Bush Blog take this kind of drivel seriously.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Roger's Mail Sack

I've been pretty lax in responding to my e-mail recently (meaning since at least November), but I resolve to try harder this year.

As long as you don't send me crap like this, that is:

Dear Sir/Madam,

We are pleased to inform you of the result of the Lottery Winners International Programm held on the 20th of October, 2003. Your e- mail address attached to ticket number 27522465896-6453 with serial number 3772-554 drew lucky numbers 7-14-18-31-45 which consequently won in the second category. You have therefore been approved for a lump sum pay out of 500,000 Euros (Five Hundred Thousand Euros) Only.

CONGRATULATIONS! Due to mix up of some numbers and names, we ask that you keep your winning information confidential until your claims has been processed and your money remitted to you. This is part of our security protocol to avoid double claiming and unwarranted abuse of this program
by some participants. All participants were selected through a computer ballot system drawn from over 30,000,000 individual email addresses and names from all over the world. This promotional program takes place every three years. This lottery was promoted and sponsored by eminent personalities like Mr. Bill Gates and the Sultan of Brunei, we hope with part of your winnings you will take part in our next years 50 million Euros international lottery.

To file for your claim, please contact our fiduciary agents: Mr. Inze King (Jnr) of GLOBAL FUNDS MANAGEMENT, U.K. Telephone number: +44-709-2030655, Fax Line: +44-709-2031452, Email: . Remember, all winnings must be claimed not later than 30th of December, 2003. ...

Sincerely yours,

Carla Johnson(Co-ordinator)
Unfortunately, Carla didn't send me this until January 7, so FAT LOT OF GOOD YOU DID ME CARLA!

Perhaps that's why you're not the sole ordinator, Carla.

(Edited because no one wants to read all this shit anyway.)

I've got to agree with Ezra Klein, MoDo is a waste of space, whether on the page or in three dimensions. Here's her pithy analysis of the newest national craze, lesbianism:

Long regarded as the least glamorous of all minority groups, lesbians are now cover girls.
Evidently, I missed all the national surveys ranking the relative glamorousness of minority groups.

Wait! Didn't I just read that neoconservatives were the least glamorous of all minority groups?

Meet Your Liberal Media

So, I'm listening to Marketplace on public radio and on comes a commentary by Jonah Goldberg. Goldberg shouts the whole damn commentary. And his deep thought? Immigrants who come to America and work hard: good; Immigrants who come to America and receive public assistance: bad. Very informative.

Think I'm exaggerating? Don't say I didn't warn you.

P.S. To The Washington Post: Buy A Dictionary, And Use It!


A Rhetorical Question

So Colin Powell says there's no concrete evidence of a link between Saddam Hussein and terrorists.

And 400 WMD hunters are coming home from Iraq empty-handed.

So remind me: why Howard Dean is crazy to say that Americans aren't any safer than they were before Saddam's capture?

Revenge Of The Duck

Howie Fineman's pissed that he got nailed misrepresenting Dean's internet supporters, and is now lashing back. Take that, you 'net losers, I'm Howie and I'm not going to put up with any of your backtalk!

"I get the sense sometimes that the Deanies live in their own world -- call it Dean World -- and that if it is OK with the Blog, then they think they are fine. It's true that no single "gaffe" hurt Dean much, and, for the most part, their importance was dismissed by the chatterers on his various Web sites. But there is a larger universe out there, not just in the Democratic Party, but in the country, and it's clear that the small cuts have added up to some loss of blood. The campaign was born on the Blog, but it can't sustain itself there. Trippi knows that, which is why he is so nervous."

Nice ending there, with the Duck reading Joe Trippi's mind. But which is he, Howie, oblivious or panicked?

Howie's showing his status as a true whore -- contradicting himself in a single paragraph.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

At this point, Pumpkinhead has to be most concerned about complacency and the "inevitability backlash". He may have peaked prematurely. I'd advise him to work on securing some big-name endorsements, including past winners Howie Fineman and Bob Woodward. He doesn't have this one sewn up by any means, even if he goes another full hour with Cheney.

Who's Lying: The Vatican Or Nooners?

It seems we've got a situation on our hands here: Either the Pope's spokesman is lying or Peg Noonan is.

Here's Nooners on Mel Gibson's cruci-flix, The Passion:

John Paul II, who even with the challenges of his current illness has more good sense than many of his cardinals, knew of the controversy surrounding Mr. Gibson's film, and wanted to see it. Producer Steve McEveety, who had flown to Rome uninvited to show the film to as many Vatican officials as he could, gave the DVD to Msgr. Dziwisz on Friday, Dec. 5. The monsignor and the pope watched it together. Where did they watch it? I asked Mr. McEveety in a telephone interview this week. "At the pope's pad," he laughed. In the papal apartments. "He had to watch it late in the evening," Mr. McEveety said of John Paul. "He's pretty well booked. But he really wanted to see it."

Afterwards, Msgr. Dziwisz gave Mr. McEveety the pope's reaction. The pope found it very powerful, and approved of it. Mr. McEveety was delighted. Msgr. Dziwisz added that the pope said to him, as the film neared its end, five words that he wished to pass on: "It is as it was." The film, the Holy Father felt, tells the story the way the story happened. A week later Mr. McEveety was marveling at what he felt was the oracular quality of the statement. "Five words. Eleven letters." (I asked the pope's veteran press spokesman, Dr Joaquin Navarro-Valles [sic], if he knew if the pope had said anything beyond "It is as it was." He e-mailed back that he did not know of any further comments.)


I'm glad the Holy Father chose to see it; I'm glad he has spoken; I'm glad his judgment was, "It is as it was." If this ends the controversy, or quells it, and I believe it should, that would be a beautiful gift to everyone this holiday season. (Emphasis added.)

Here's the Catholic News Service:

Although Pope John Paul II watched at least part of Mel Gibson's film, "The Passion of the Christ," he made no comment about the film, said a senior Vatican official close to the pope.

"The Holy Father saw it, but he made no comment. He watched in silence," the official told Catholic News Service Dec. 24.

"The Holy Father does not comment, does not give judgments on art," the official said. "I repeat: There was no declaration, no judgment from the pope."

The official was replying to a request for clarification after numerous newspapers reported that the pope had watched the film and said, "It is as it was."


Another well-informed Vatican official, responding Dec. 24 to an e-mailed request for information, said, "The Holy Father saw this film, but did not express any opinion about it."

The pope's spokesman, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, has refused to confirm the supposed papal quote, which was relayed to reporters by the film's co-producer, Steve McEveety. (Emphasis added.)

One word, three letters.

It's a sin to tell a lie.

(Story via Pandagon.)

You Can't Make This Shit Up

Eric Alterman points us to a column in the online Wall Street Journal which contains this quote:

"Today, the very fact that the Jewish-ish contenders have chosen the Democratic Party within which to realize their ambitions-- a party where anti-Semitism is troublingly common and includes pandering to anti-Jewish Arab-American groups -- is telling.

The author? Julia Gorin. The Journal says: "Ms. Gorin is a contributing editor of Jewish World Review and a comedian starring in the monthly show 'Republican Riot.'"

Click on the link.

Now read the caption in the browser frame.

"Jewish World Review: Cal Thomas, Thomas Sowell, Kathleen Parker, Dr. Laura, Walter Williams..."

Yes, this Cal Thomas.

(Doctor Laura's a big fan of the Jews too, you'll recall.)

Now that's comedy.

Roger Ailes, Kingmaker

I'd like to take credit for boosting Kevin Phillips' book American Dynasty from 112 to 12 in the sales rankings in less than 24 hours. (And it's 17 at

I'd be full of shite if I did, though, since the book has been promoted during that time in many more prestigious and well-trafficked locations, including on C-SPAN and at Buzzflash and Eschaton. I'm sure Phillips has been doing his part too.

So instead, I'll take credit for liberating Iraq. You're welcome.

Update: Now number 10 at amazon; 12 at Barnes & Noble. Tremble before me (and C-SPAN, Atrios et al.), puny earthlings!

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

I Hear And Obey, Oh Master

The Horse is reporting (scroll down to the last story) that weaselly NPR ombudsman, Jeffrey Dorkin, is accusing folks who've e-mailed in criticism of Wan Juilliams and M'hora Liasson of taking orders from Atrios.

I don't want to brag, but I've been reading Eschaton for well over a year and I've never even thought of buying that damn Buffy DVD. Now that's willpower!

I do have over 20 "Preznit Giv Me Turkee" beer steins, but I really wanted to buy those.

Update (1/7): Here's part of Dorkin's self-described mandate: "The Ombudsman is the public's representative to National Public Radio, empowered to respond to significant queries, comments and criticisms regarding NPR programming." So it's part of Dorkin's mandate to insult NPR's critics! (And here's his latest report to NPR managment, which suggests that his job duties are limited to counting e-mails.)

What's interesting is that Dorkin unprofessionally insulted Professor Little for raising a issue -- NPR reporters who moonlight as pundits -- which he wrote on at length less than two months earlier. On October 23, 2003, Dorkin wrote:

There is a danger whenever NPR reporters appear in other media that do not have the same standards of journalism. NPR risks its own reputation by lending its own legitimacy to any media that may practice a different standard of journalism....

NPR journalists should be speaking, as well as writing and appearing, in other media. It is good for NPR and for its journalists, but when they do it, they should maintain NPR standards.

Some inside NPR might construe this as restricting their ability to engage in outside work. NPR may need to reinforce with its journalists that they have a choice between outside punditry or inside reporting.

Of course, Dorkin was writing about supposedly liberal reporter Nina Totenberg at the time, and was responding, in servile fashion, to a "Media Alert" from Brent Bozell's group. (I haven't heard of any MRC e-mailers who were repeatedly abused by Dorkin.)

So why is the Dork so defensive and unwilling to listen when it comes to NPR employees whoring for Faux? Does he believe that Faux "practice[s] the [same] standard of journalism" as NPR? His e-mail responses certainly reflect the same standard of professionalism as Faux's.