Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Yorkshire Pudd'nhead Wilson

"I think of welfare reform and gay marriage as very similar ideas."

The point of this entry, if there is one, appears to be that gay marriage will civilize promiscuous homos, just as welfare reform civilized promiscuous ... you know. But, really, it's just incoherent.


I'm going to give another plug for Air America Radio, even though I won't be able to hear it broadcast and its website is (at present) underwhelming. It does appear there will be program archives at the website, which will be a very good thing if it pans out.

The premiere of the Majority Report (8 to 11 Eastern) will feature appearances by lefty bloggers, including Atrios, Markos Zuniga and the marvelous Julia of Sisyphus Shrugged. And some guys named Howard Dean and Ben Cohen.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Jack and Jail?

David Aikman may get his wish to visit Jack Kelley in the pokey after all.

[USA Today] also described questionable payments. For instance, a Pakistani translator denied receiving $3,450 for services that Kelley put on an expense report.

"Anytime you have suspicion of a fraudulent invoice, you can make an argument for law enforcement interest," said Jacob Frenkel, a former prosecutor now in private practice in Washington, adding that "ethical breaches" don't usually rise to criminal conduct.

The Apostles used to pull that exact scam in the old days.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Here's a well thought out and substantive post criticizing the New York Times for its failure to publish corrections of false claims by its editorial columnists. Guess how many of the wingnut bloggers who were pissing themselves over the Times' alleged attempts to "shut down the National Debate" will link to this critique.

Hint: None.

Faith-Based Moral Relativism, or, Blessed Are the Excuse Makers

Jack Kelley's good pal David Aikman weighs in on Kelley's misconduct. Aikman first tries an Instacracker dodge (I don't like where this story's going, so I'll feign ignorance):

First, Gegrapha takes no official position in Jack Kelley's case. The matter is still under investigation and there may be further legal proceedings. There may be many further facts that will be uncovered as various investigations proceed.

Uh, dude, there haven't been any legal proceedings so there can't be any "further legal proceedings." Kelley tried siccing his lawyer on USA Today, but the paper called his bluff, and I doubt she'll be filing any lawsuits on Kelley's behalf.

But then Aikman says Kelley's still a soul brother:

At the same time, even if Jack had robbed a bank and were arrested and imprisoned, we would not desert him as a Christian brother who is paying the price for a serious violation of the law. If, in the course of time, the allegations against Jack Kelley are borne out by further investigation, he will pay a heavy price personally and professionally. So should anyone in this position. But Jack remains a Christian brother and will need the support of Christian family and friends as he comes to terms with everything that has happened.

I wonder what transgressions Kelley could commit which would break the fraternal bond for Aikman -- Paying for an abortion? Supporting the rights of gay clergy? Hitting on his daughters? Voting for John Kerry?

Fresh Air

I haven't gotten too excited yet about the left-leaning Air America Radio, mainly because it won't be available where I live and I can't listen to the streaming audio at work.

One thing I am excited about is the number of female broadcasters in their lineup: Randi Rhodes, Janeane Garofalo, Lizz Winstead and Laura Flanders all host or co-host their own shows. At least on the question of gender equality, Air America is as progressive as it says it will be.

Compare that to right-wing talk radio. Apart from "Doctor" Laura Schlessinger, wingnut talk is dominated by men. And those men are either misogynistic (Big Pharma, Michael Wiener-Savage) or at least hostile to equality and women's rights (Hannity, O'Reilly). All the other women wingnuts on the radio are C-list losers (Ingraham, Parshall, the Bat, etc.) toiling in obscurity.

Of course, most radio formats are dominated by men. It's nice to see a network with a few less old boys.

Krugman Calls A Whore A Whore

From tomorrow's column by Professor K:

"But other journalists apparently remain ready to be used. On CNN, Wolf Blitzer told his viewers that unnamed officials were saying that Mr. Clarke 'wants to make a few bucks, and that [in] his own personal life, they're also suggesting that there are some weird aspects in his life as well.'"

Here's the original. Wolf has established his place in the sewer, next to Novak and Drudge.

FU, Pumpkinhead

This is my favorite exchange from Richard Clarke's appearance on Meet the Rove:

MR. RUSSERT: Now, when you resigned, you sent a very polite letter to the president: "It's been an enormous privilege to serve you these past 24 months. I will always remember the courage, determination, calm leadership you demonstrated on September 11. I thank you again for the opportunity to serve you. You have provided me"--was that just being polite?


MR. RUSSERT: Or are you now just being disloyal?

MR. CLARKE: No. Well, my mother taught me to be polite. ...


MR. CLARKE: Condi Rice. And I said, "Well, can I brief him on cybersecurity?" "Oh, yes, you can brief him on that." Now, you read my letter to him. Let's read his letter back to me. Maybe you'd like to read it, if you can read this.

MR. RUSSERT: Go ahead, please.

I didn't see it, and I don't think Clarke was questioning Russert's literacy. Rather, it sounds like a dig at Russert for his little trick of reading pro-Bush talking points with feigned objectivity. "Oh, yeah? Well read this, Pumpkinhead." Russert couldn't bring himself to read Bush's words praising Clarke. It's like Clarke handed Russert his own balls while asking him, "pardon me, Tim, but did you leave these at the Crawford ranch?"

Sunday, March 28, 2004

The Vision Thing

A constitutional amendment to prohibit gay men and lesbians from marrying.

Steriod-free athletics.

A manned mission to Mars.

Subsidized broadband for the Red States.
Feel the pride.
Howie the Putz explains how those humorless, ungrateful military families just can't take a joke:

I was at the Radio-TV Correspondents Dinner Wednesday when Bush did some slide-show shtick that includes some jokes about WMDs. I remember thinking this was pretty sensitive ground for the president to be trodding on, but it was in the spirit of good humor, and most people laughed. It's since become a hot talk-show topic, with some members of military families upset about the lightheartedness, even though Bush was poking fun at himself.

Did he poke himself hard enough to earn a Purple Heart, Howie?

Clowning For Cash has just completed its 2004 fundraising drive, and it reportedly has raised $150,000 in just 13 days. From the looks of the blood-splatered map, it looks most of that dosh was raised in the Blue (sic) Democratic Party states. Admittedly it's easier to sell your organs in those states, where inbreeding is less common and thus the prices remain high.

Embarrassingly, California leads the nation in both the number of Clownhall benefactors and the total amount raised, which is more than 1/8th of the total take.

And what does Clownhall do with its tax-deductible contributions? It reprints insightful and articulate commentary such as this:

The times in which we're living are darker than Rob Zombie listening to the Insane Clown Posse in Jimmy Page's dungeon… or something like that. The fact that our current cruddy culture is doing things that make demons blush takes no great insight for the honest person to perceive.

Wow. That analogy is crappier than George Bush's underwear on the morning of September 11, 2001.

Barnicle Mike The Bigot

Unreformed plagiarist Mike Barnicle -- bosom pal to Tim Russert, Chris Matthews and Don Imus -- has decided that making racist jokes is less of a career-killer than stealing the writing of others and fabricating sources.

On his radio show last week, Barnicle referred to the interracial marriage of former Republican Senator and Secretary of Defense William Cohen and Cohen's wife, Janet Langhart, as "[k]ind of like 'Mandingo.'" Barnicle's defense is that he forgot the plot of the 1975 film Mandingo involved slavery and the rape of slaves. Maybe he got it confused with The Bodyguard.

The Boston Globe points out that Barnicle pal Don Imus "refer[red] to interracial couples as Mandingos." Strangely, the Globe doesn't mention that Imus specifically referred to Secretary Cohen's relationship with Ms. Langhart as "the Mandingo deal."

Should we believe Barnicle's defense? After all, this is the guy who wrote a column filled with George Carlin jokes without crediting Carlin, then denied having read Carlin's book until a televsion clip surfaced showing Barnicle holding the book and endorsing it earlier in the year. It's not hard to believe that Barnicle stole the Mandingo insult from his pal the I-man. When you hang around bigots like Imus, the only reasonable assumption is that you share Imus's bigoted views.

(Thanks to a reader for the tip.)

Are the rats deserting the sinking ship? Last Monday, we reported that the World Journalism Institute's "May Term" journalism course had dumped scandal-plagued Jack Kelley as a guest lecturer and added Gregg Easterbrook to its faculty.

A week later, Easterbrook is off the lecturers list -- and so are Freddy Barnes, Terry Eastland, Barbara Bradley Hagerty, David Cho and Tim Goeglein. (Here's the old list.)

This seems like a bit of a bait-and-switch, dropping all the big names, without explanation, after advertising their participation in the course for weeks (except for Easterbrook).

And the tuition ain't cheap - $500 for three weeks' classroom training. On the other hand, that charge does include "shared housing" with "a complimentary USA Today." (Not complimentary of Kelley, we'd imagine.)

Also of interest: Elements of Style is considered recommended reading by WJI, while The New Thought Police by Tammy Bruce is required reading.

For more detailed info on the WJI, see Eschaton and John Gorenfeld.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Truthful Tomorrows

Mega kudos to Dr. E. Alterman, the bearded liberal, for smacking down the lie that Peaceful Tomorrows, a 9-11 survivors' advocacy group, is a front organization for the Kerry Campaign. Eric unspins the lie in one elegant paragraph:

Here are the facts: The Tides Center does provide administrative and financial services to Peaceful Tomorrows and is paid 9 percent of all the funds the organization raises in return. The Tides Foundation, which funds the center, among many other causes, made four grants to Peaceful Tomorrows during 2002 and 2003, totaling $34,665. Meanwhile, the Heinz Endowments, of which one is headed by Teresa Heinz Kerry, made grants to the Tides Foundation of $230,000 between 1994 and 1998. These were specifically earmarked to support a pollution prevention initiative and other environmentally friendly practices by industries in western Pennsylvania. In other words, there is absolutely no connection between Mrs. Kerry and the Heinz Endowments and Peaceful Tomorrows. The Heinz donations were made between four and eight years before the group even existed. They were made to support local environmental causes. And absolutely none of the money in question ever ended up in the coffers of this tiny, frugally funded organization of those who lost someone the day America was attacked.

Eric's column names the liars who spread this slander; unfortunately, these folks are beyond shaming.

Science Saturday

Joshua Marshall has a devastating post about the Administration's all-consuming yet pathetic attempts to smear Richard Clarke, who brought much-needed honor and dignity to the Reagan, G.H.W. Bush and G.W. Bush White Houses. As ever, Josh's insights are spot on. I believe, however, that Josh is wrong on one point:

"Maybe instead of being 98% water like the rest of us [Richard Clarke is] 98% wax."

Now, I'm no Ira Flatow, or even that disturbing, unitard-wearing Slim Goodbody, but is the human body actually 98 percent water? A number of sources say "no." Almost all 'net sources I could find say the human body is 50-75 water. Those are the stats from the International Bottled Water Association and the American Dietetic Association, the Yale-New Haven Hospital, UC Davis Medical Center. Tufts and, according to this site, Al Gore.

On the other hand, here's a Ph.D. who makes the 98 percent claim in terms of molecular composition.

I realize I'm giving Bill Frist all the ammunition he needs to accuse Josh of perjury and sedition, but as a kitten-molesting M.D., Frist should know this already. In any event, this site holds everyone accountable, without fear or favor.

Friday, March 26, 2004

High F-Liar

Jack Kelly was a member of the mile-high liar's club:

The management of USA Today made him their Employee of the Year in 2002 and the Pulitzer Prize Committee made him one of their finalists for best international reporting in 2001. (Kelley also spoke at a 1997 journalism conference co-sponsored by Christianity Today.) His editors gave him free rein and his publisher at one point flew Kelley on an around-the-world reporting trip in the company's jet. Critics say that editorial indulgence and the cult of celebrity cut Kelley off from accountability.


Check out this week's Counterspin, with Norman Solomon on Richard Clarke's testimony and John Gorenfeld on Jack Kelley. Plus bonus Jim Lehrer and John "Smackdown" Stossel bashing.

The Ghoul Kids

Mickey Kaus wasn't offended by Bush's Weapons of Mass Destruction gags at the correspondents' dinner.

Then again, Kaus thinks that Bush should deliver the eulogy at a servicemember's funeral as "the PR solution" to the American deaths in Iraq.

Kaus is Karl Rove, but without the tact and self-restraint.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

The Lies of The Virgin

Involuntary virgin Ben Shapiro lies like a rug in his latest column.

The first lie is in the title, which accuses President Clinton of "stealing the silverware."

The second in the first sentence, where Shapiro claims Bush was elected in 2000.

The Virgin Ben then claims that Richard Clarke is "now seeking a permanent position in a Kerry administration." Clarke's sworn testimony is to the contrary.

Private Benjamin also claims that Clarke was a Clinton appointee. In fact, Clarke "served the last three Presidents as a senior White House Advisor," and also worked for St. Ronnie.

This young man has a future in the Republican Party, perhaps as a chin implant for Ken Mehlman.

Survey Says

This past Sunday, a bought-and-sold jackass said this:

"Interviews with soldiers in Iraq, they--most are foursquare behind the president."

Here's the reality:

A slim majority of Army soldiers in Iraq -- 52 percent -- reported that their morale was low, and three-fourths of them said they felt poorly led by their officers, according to a survey taken at the end of the summer and released yesterday by the Army.

In addition, seven in 10 of those surveyed characterized the morale of their fellow soldiers as low or very low. The problems were most pronounced among lower-ranking troops and those in reserve units.

The Pentagon data on morale also appear to give official confirmation to a more informal survey conducted last summer by Stars and Stripes, the military newspaper. That survey found about half of troops who filled out questionnaires described their unit's morale as low and their training as insufficient, and said they did not plan to reenlist.

Now the Pentagon survey was taken last summer, and doubtless won't be repeated -- But does anyone believe morale has improved in last nine months?

And anyone who still believes the jackass is an objective journalist should click on the first link, and have the scales fall from his or her eyes.

Sullywatch has a great tribute to the Horse and its impact on the left blogosphere.

Update (3/27): Link corrected.

Hey, now that BloggerPro is "no longer offered," can I never post images here? Am I screwed?

(Yes, I know that was six months ago. I process information slowly.)

Nooner's preferred categories on Jeopardy!


Cliches and Bromides

Afternoon Delights

Those Voices In My Head

Potent Potables


Slandering The Dead
It's a good sign when your brother respects you, no? Well, if you go to and punch in the name of the attorney Stephen Kaus, the handsome and successful one, you'll discover he gave money to ... Kerry! ... And no one else! ... [Thanks to hack M.K.] 7:41 P.M.

Be like Steven. Give 'til it hurts ... his brother.

Howie Can't Write

What exactly does this statement by Howie Kurtz mean:

"Sure, the press is drawn to McCain because he's a maverick, which means he often disagrees with his party (but not for ideological reasons, since his positions on abortion, gun control and other social issues are generally to the left of the press corps)."

So, uh, McCain often disagrees with his party for non-ideological reasons? What does he disagree with the party about, the theme for the RNC homecoming dance?

And, uh, McCain is to the left of the "press corps" on abortion and gun control? Even if we (stupidly) assume thaat the press corps speaks with one voice on social issues, does McCain's anti-abortion position place him to the left of the press corps? Is McCain's support for modest gun regulation to the left of the corps? Is Howie saying the corps is rabidly anti-abortion and for no gun laws whatsoever?

I would guess Howie meant to write:

"Sure, the press is drawn to McCain because he's a maverick, which means he often disagrees with his party. But the press is not drawn to McCain for ideological reasons, since his positions on abortion, gun control and other social issues are generally to the right of the press corps."

Which is a whole 'nother crock of shit.

Put "learn to write logically and coherently" on your to-do list, Howie.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

John Kerry may have saved wee Mickey Kaus's life -- and five city blocks in Santa Monica -- by going on vacation at the same time Howell Raines published his 20,000 word account of his tenure as executive editor of the New York Times. Forcing Mick to choose between his pet hates could have lethal consequences.

For those who can't wait for Kaus' "Skipper Service" review of Raines, it will go something like this: "Raines was an arrogant Southern prick who destroyed the New York Times through affirmative action, and liberals suck."

Fascist Ruler's Day Off

So exactly where was Il Nino during oral arguments in Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow?

Red Flags On Parade

According to the Baltimore Sun, there were plenty o' red flags about Jack Kelley's work for USA Toady [not sic].

Like Red Square on May Day, it was.

Redder than a dump truck full o' red apples.

The similarities between Kelley and Jayson Blair continue to grow.

In 1992, The Washington Post protested that sections of an article by reporter Marc Fisher about refugees in Germany had been lifted by Kelley without attribution. Although dismissive at the time, USA Today recently has acknowledged concerns about the unattributed passages.

In 1997, as The Sun previously reported, Kelley misrepresented remarks made informally by a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross by attributing them to the organization's president. In the article about the Red Cross' record during the Holocaust, the comments were described as having been made during a heated exchange between the group's president and Kelley. Though he defended his account at the time as accurate, Kelley acknowledged in January making what he termed a "minor mistake."

In February 2002, a fellow reporter and an editor removed quotations from an article about U.S.-led efforts to capture Osama bin Laden because they could not verify the existence of all of Kelley's sources.

A fourth incident, in particular, also could have served as warning sign.

On Aug. 26, 1999, Kelley wrote a front-page article on Russian money-laundering that appeared to be a scoop for the newspaper. It stated that unnamed U.S., British and Russian law enforcement officials said, "Russian organized crime figures laundered at least $15 billion through two New York banks at the direction of President Boris Yeltsin's government." The article continued: "The officials said in interviews that the money includes at least $10 billion in International Monetary Fund loans."

The latter amount represented more than half the approximately $17.5 billion loaned to Russia by the IMF from 1995 through 1999, according to IMF records that are available on its Web site.

But no other media outlet could confirm those figures, and U.S. government officials told other Washington-based USA Today reporters that the story seriously inflated the scope of the operation. Guilty pleas won later by federal prosecutors involved far smaller amounts of money. To this day, the IMF maintains that there is no evidence that any loans were wrongly diverted. Though the paper didn't print a correction of the story, its future articles largely retreated from the claims of Kelley's initial reporting.

For regular readers of Howard Kurtz's work, Jack Kelley was a USA Today international reporter who fabricated and/or plagiarized numerous news stories over the past five years, including one for which he was nominated for the Pulitizer Prize.

The Six Foot Shelf of Books

Thanks to everyone who suggested titles for the Best Conservative Book, especially the indefatigable Rev. Kenny in NY.

A True Thoroughbred

The homepage for Media Whores Online now simply reads "Out To Pasture."

The Horse is the site that inspired -- and still inspires -- the one you are now reading. It would not be wrong to say it inspired many, if not most of, the bloggers listed to the right.

I have no idea who the Horse is (or are), but I hope someday I can repay the debt of gratitude I owe the authors of the one of the first, and best, political blogs. I'm hoping the Horse has found horse heaven, and hoping even more for proof of reincarnation.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Reader Participation: The Lazy Blogger's Substitute For Original Content

The mighty TBogg directs us to The Corner, where JoJo the Dogface's Boy and Steve Hayward attempted to launch a discussion of the "Best Conservative Fiction." Upperclassman Rick Brookhiser shot them a withering look and killed the discussion rather quickly.

Actually, the finest in conservative fiction can be found here. (Cheap!)

Perhaps a more interesting discussion than the one aborted in the Corner would be: Which fiction titles should have been written by conservatives? For example:

"The Idiot," by George W. Bush

"Invisible (Wo)man," by Condoleezza Rice

"Confederacy of Dunces," by the members of The Corner (or the editorial board of Moonie Times)

Feel free to add your own literary appreciations in Comments.

If one needed any further proof that Howie Kurtz is a hack and a whore, there is this:

"Washington Monthly blogger Richard Drum wonders about the counterattack:"

It's that attention to detail and accuracy that cements Howie's reputation.

Congratulations to Kevin on being dicked by the biggest Putz in the nation's capital.

Update (1:10 p.m. Eastern): The entire column/entry for today is gone. Well, at least it's a start.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Another One Bites The Dust

Another loss for Krazy Kounsellor Klayman and his former firm, Judicial Watch. A United States District Judge in Nevada dismissed the lawsuit against George Stephanopolous and James Carville filed by Klayman on behalf of trailerless trash Gennifer Flowers. The same judge dismissed Flowers' suit against Senator Hillary Clinton last summer.

The question to which I've never gotten an affirmative answer: Has Klayman ever won a lawsuit?

The Predator Becomes The Prey

A partial victory for Rhonda Miller, the woman who claims she was libeled by Arnold Schwarzenegger's campaign aide, Sean Walsh. Miller's attorneys don't get to grill the Predator under oath, but he has to answer written interrogatories and

Also Monday, the judge ruled that documents regarding whether the [Schwarznegger] campaign performed its own investigation into sexual assault claims, and whether his staff formulated a strategy for handling negative publicity from such claims, must be turned over to Miller's attorneys.

I think we'd all like to see those documents. Remember, Predator, it's the cover up that gets you!

Shattered Stained Glass

In the tradition of Josef Stalin and Michael Eisner, the "World Journalism Institute" has disappeared Jack Kelley from history. As reported at, Mr. Kelley was on the faculty of the Institute until very recently. Interestingly, Kelley was slated to teach a May 2004 WJI course titled "Journalism In The Capital," along with other luminaries such as Freddy "the Weasel" Barnes, Terry Eastland and Betsy Hart. But now not only is Kelley gone, but he's been replaced by Gregg Easterbrook!

Charitably, neither Easterbrook nor the Weekly Standard has mentioned Mr. Kelley's hijinks in their respective venues. And the odds are very good that they never will.

Freudian Slap

Midget Mickey Kaus finds the following quote from The New York Times of great interest:

"On his first full day off, though, Mr. Kerry awoke determined to hit the slopes of Mount Baldy."

Kerry went to Mount Baldy. It's Little Mick's most fervent desire and his greatest fear.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Reliable Putzes

According to a transcript of the CNN program Reliable Sources, Howie Kurtz spent as much time today on Deborah Norville reporting an Onion gag as straight news as he did on Jack Kelley's Pulitizer-nominated lies in USA Today.

Nine-tenths of the show was conversation was an interview with Jayson Blair, who is flogging his book. Why lead with the interview when the Kelley story is current news? And why does the Putz say that USA Today has "its own Jayson Blair problem," as if Blair is the only writer caught lying? Why not call it a Mike Barnicle problem, or a Sue Schmidt problem? Or, more accurately, a Jack Kelley problem?

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Grand Old Police Blotter: Dasen Abused Edition

Richard Dasen of Kalispell, Montana, stands accused of having sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old girl. Dasen denies the charge, and has pleaded not guilty.

On Thursday, Dasen, 61, was arraigned by District Judge Stewart Stadler.

Represented by attorney George Best, Dasen confirmed who he is, pleaded not guilty and began the process of requiring prosecutors to prove their case against him.

If convicted, he faces up to 100 years in prison.

Theoretically speaking.

It is also alleged that Dasen really likes sex:

Kalispell police have said that Dasen spent $1 million on extravagant payments to women for sex over the past 20 years. He allegedly spent $140,000 in December alone.

Wow. That's Karl Rove/Ed Gillespie/Marc Raiciot money.

How on earth can you spend four grand a day on sex? In Montana?

The rape charge is based on an allegation that he paid two teenage girls to perform sexually for him and then performed sex acts on at least one of them. The rape charge was filed because one of the girls was under 16, the age of consent in Montana.

One woman, Kimberly Neise, has been charged with promoting prostitution for allegedly arranging the girls' tryst with Dasen in her home.

Police say some of the women involved with Dasen over the years will be charged with prostitution.

According to court documents, Dasen has said he can provide the names of 400 women he has "helped." The document says that "Dasen has consistently referred to having sex with females who he has provided financial aid to as 'help.'"

"I was naked, and you clothed me. Indirectly."

Dasen ran a business called Christian Financial Counseling, where he counseled and assisted people in financial straits.

Police allege that he wrote checks from the Christian Financial Counseling account and from his personal bank account to pay women for sex.
Typically, the counselling consisted of "I'm out of cash. Go and sin no more."

He also has a financial interest in Budget Finance, City Service Inc., Peak Development, 3D Investments and Dasen Corp.

According to the FEC, Dick Dasen of Kalispell, Montana (and of City Service) is a Republican contributor:


12/27/2001 500.00

You may remember Michael Taylor. He was the heterosexual not-gay straight Republican businessman who dropped out (and then back in) of the 2002 Montana Senate race after Max Baucus dug up some old footage from a local t.v. program which showed Taylor applying lotion to a man's face. Dasen's contribution to Taylor was clearly less extravagant than his alleged payments to the cash-strapped women of Montana.

A Bomb In A Bull

International sophisticate and Torquay hotelier Paul Wolfowitz tries the subtle approach to calling the people of Spain appeasers:

In an interview on PBS television Thursday, Wolfowitz said Zapatero's withdrawal plan didn't seem very Spanish.

"The Spaniards are courageous people. I mean, we know it from their whole culture of bullfighting," Wolfowitz said. "I don't think they run in the face of an enemy. They haven't run in the face of the Basque terrorists. I hope they don't run in the face of these people."
Wolfowitz continued, "you do have democrats in Spain --- unless BushCo has them all shot."

(Link courtesy of a reader; joke stolen from the Now Show.)

Friday, March 19, 2004

You've Admitted What You Are, Fat Tony, Now You're Just Haggling Over The Price

"The question, simply put, is whether someone who thought I could decide this case impartially despite my friendship with the vice president would reasonably believe that I cannot decide it impartially because I went hunting with that friend and accepted an invitation to fly there with him on a government plane. If it is reasonable to think that a Supreme Court justice can be bought so cheap, the nation is in deeper trouble than I had imagined." -- Scalia v. United States, Fat Tony Scalia (R - U.S.S.C.), dissembling.

Update (3/20): Corrected, see comments.

Smears of the Clowns

Remember when a bunch of slimy right-wing thugs insinuated that Muslim U.S. Army Chaplain James Yee was providing aid and comfort to alleged Islamic terrorists? favorites Michelle Malkin, Mona Charen, John Leo and Frank Gaffney sure hope you don't.

MIAMI (AP) -- Citing national security concerns, the Army on Friday dropped all charges against a Muslim chaplain accused of mishandling classified documents at Guantanamo Bay, which houses suspected terrorists.

U.S. Army Captain James Yee will be allowed to return to his previous duty station at Fort Lewis, Wash.

Capt. James Yee will be allowed to return to his previous duty station at Fort Lewis, near Tacoma, Wash., said the U.S. Southern Command, which oversees the detention center in Cuba.

"Chaplain Yee has won," his attorney, Eugene R. Fidell of Washington, said in a statement late Friday. "The Army's dismissal of the classified information charges against him represents a long overdue vindication."

Maybe it's time to sent columnists to Gitmo.

Burning Down His Father's House

Commenter Ricky West says that a comparison of USA Today to NYT as respects their respective lying reporters is comparison of "apples to dumptrucks." He further guesses that "the fact that several editors of the NYT knew about Blair's lying & he was kept on anyway isn't of importance, eh?" to your correspondent.

I say the similarities outweigh the differences.

What did the NYT know, and when? According to the paper,

The Times inquiry also establishes that various editors and reporters expressed misgivings about Mr. Blair's reporting skills, maturity and behavior during his five-year journey from raw intern to reporter on national news events. Their warnings centered mostly on the errors in his articles.

His mistakes became so routine, his behavior so unprofessional, that by April 2002, Jonathan Landman, the metropolitan editor, dashed off a two-sentence e-mail message to newsroom administrators that read: "We have to stop Jayson from writing for the Times. Right now."

After taking a leave for personal problems and being sternly warned, both orally and in writing, that his job was in peril, Mr. Blair improved his performance. By last October, the newspaper's top two editors -- who said they believed that Mr. Blair had turned his life and work around -- had guided him to the understaffed national desk, where he was assigned to help cover the Washington sniper case.

By the end of that month, public officials and colleagues were beginning to challenge his reporting. By November, the investigation has found, he was fabricating quotations and scenes, undetected. By March, he was lying in his articles and to his editors about being at a court hearing in Virginia, in a police chief's home in Maryland and in front of a soldier's home in West Virginia. By the end of April another newspaper was raising questions about plagiarism. And by the first of May, his career at The Times was over.

Blair's now-known fabrications went back to July 2000, nearly three years from when he was caught.

And what did the USA Today know, and when? According the paper,

Kelley's work first came under scrutiny in May [2003] after [Executive Editor Brian] Gallagher received an anonymous note that questioned whether Kelley was fabricating or embellishing stories. The note triggered a review of Kelley's work but eventually became only a peripheral issue.

Kelley was investigated by USA Today for seven months, and then resigned after admitting lying in the investigation (but not in his reporting). Kelley's now known fabrications go back at least to 2000, three years before he was first confronted by his employer.

In each case, there were red flags many months before the reporter was confronted proof of lying and then resigned. The Times claims that Blair's red flags were thought to be mistakes rather than lies or plagiarism. The Times does not admit that any of Blair's editors knew Blair was lying. (Anyone with facts to the contrary should feel free to interject them into the comments below.)

Should the Times have continued to employ an error-prone reporter? Probably not. Did its editors know Blair was fabricating information weeks or even days before Blair was forced to resign? I'm not aware of any facts that they did.

Putzie Buries The Lede

Reporter Jack Kelley stands accused by his former employer, USA Today, of making shit up on a global basis. The paper reports:

Seven weeks into an examination of former USA TODAY reporter Jack Kelley's work, a team of journalists has found strong evidence that Kelley fabricated substantial portions of at least eight major stories, lifted nearly two dozen quotes or other material from competing publications, lied in speeches he gave for the newspaper and conspired to mislead those investigating his work.

You have to read the whole article (and all the sidebars) to grasp the extent of Kelley's misdeeds, which occurred over a period of years. Kelley is not yet ready to confess his sins, and has unveiled a Marion Barry defense: "I feel like I'm being set up."

Atrios comments that:

I'm sure the brothers Hack, Glenn and Mickey, will spend weeks discussing how this guy's race and religion allowed him to get away with things that other journalists couldn't get away with.

That appears to be sacrasm.

The nation's preeminent media reporter, Howie Kurtz, has already decided this story is not particularly newsworthy. In his Media Notes Extra column, Kurtz buries the Kelley story beneath a number of long, stale excerpts of Kerry bashing. (It seems Kerry took a vacation, which disqualifies him from being president.) So instead of headlining a story which is actually a media story (journalist fabricates news), the Putz gives top billing to a bunch of worthless clips on a non-media story (Hugh Hewitt slimes Kerry -- now that's newsworthy!)

Remember, Kurtz is the man who "ha[d] to" take time away from his honeymoon to report on the calls for Howell Raines's resignation in the aftermath of the Jayson Blair scandal. According to the Washington Post's online archives, Kurtz wrote at least 12 stories in which Blair was named in and/or the subject of the article's headline, not including the multitude of stories about the resignation of Howell Raines in the aftermath of the Blair revelations. A cynic might wonder if the fact that Kelley's a white evangelical Christian writing stories generally favorable to the Bush Administration instead of an African-American working for the supposedly left-wing NYT has anything to do with Kurtz's lack of interest in the Kelley story.

Don't worry, though, this blog will shine the spotlight on the misdeeds of Kelley and continue to dog the fraudlent media reporter, Kurtz.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Richard Perle Libel Watch, Part Deux

Listeners to NPR this morning heard neoclown Richard Perle assert that Spanish Prime Minister-elect Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said "Iraq was better off under Saddam Hussein." (A paraphrase, looking for the exact quote.) The NPR reporter said that Zapatero had made no such claim, and I haven't been able to find such a statement on the internet so far. Zapatero said the war and occupation of Iraq are "a disaster," which of course is not the same thing.

Perhaps Perle will get his libel suit after all, only as a D rather than a P.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

The Guardian has a good Jonathan Freedland column on the presidential election in Spain, and the Asshats of Evil: Brooks, Frum and Sully.

Accentuate The Positive

Although the style of this blog tends toward simplistic insults and carping, we try not to be all negative. In that spirit, I'd like recommend the website of an advocacy group that is both progressive and positive:

The organization's priniciples are listed here. Some of the principles seem a tad ambitious, but the goals are very important. For example, TrueMajority seeks to significantly increase funding for primary and secondary public education. That should be a top priority for the Kerry Administration, right after repealing the No Child Left Behind fraud. (The site is endorsed by the National Head Start Association.) TrueMajority also opposes paperless computer voting.

TrueMajority posits that its agenda is revenue neutral, to be paid for by cuts in military spending. It explains its position in a very clever short animation featuring a cartoon Ben Cohen (who started the organization).

Anyway, I've signed up to recieve their e-mail alerts. The site's definitely worth checking out for the animation alone.

Shout Out To My Homes, David Brooks

So I caught this blogad for "Newz Crew -- A Global Youth & NewsHour Youth Circle." (Yeah, they don't know what it means either.) The Newz Crew appears to be some sort of funky fresh news (sic) website for yoot which is affiliated with PBS's Newshour with Jim Lehrer. Yo.

The site's content is supposedly provided by high school students, but it's got a strong whiff of earnest middle-aged dogooder:

"What is the Newz Crew?

"This project is an innovative, online program by and for youth using the Internet and news media to develop and promote media literacy and youth engagement in the democratic process.

"Come again?"

And it's being promoted through "ad banners on political Web sites, including Washington Monthly and American Conservative," the favorite internet hangouts of teenz everywhere.

Scrilla for the venture is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, the Surdna Foundation and the Time Warner Foundation. And viewers like you.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Whora! Whora! Whora!

Matt Yglasias sinks the U.S.S. Crotchfruit. Could anyone be stupider than JoJo?

Remember, Kids, Alcohol Kills Brain Cells

Chris Hitchens writes, with a shaky hand:

I can remember when I was a bit of an ETA fan myself. It was in 1973*, when a group of Basque militants assassinated Adm. Carrero Blanco.


Correction, March 16, 2004: Adm. Luis Carrero Blanco was killed in 1973, not 1975 as this article originally stated. (Return to the corrected item.)

I remember it as if it was yesterday, rounded off to the nearest year or two.

Hic!th may still qualify for the G.O.P. Team Leader Points, though. The title of Chris's article refers to "appeasement," although he manages to avoid the word in the article itself. I recommend the Joe McCarthy highball glass set, Chris (only 2,000 dignity points -- cheap!)

Speaking Of Your Liberal Media

The ultraleftist National Public Radio saw fit to broadcast Mickey "Wankette" Kaus's ravings on Senator John Kerry:

Mickey Kaus shares another late-night musing -- this time, Kaus thinks the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry may be responding a bit too rapidly to some Bush campaign attacks. Listen to the segment.

No, you listen to the segment.

I'll wait for Day-to-Day to broadcast Charles Manson's late-night musings -- this time, Manson decries the prosecutorial overreaching of Vincent Bugliosi.

Meet Your Liberal Media

The ultraleft New York Times Opinion page ran essentially the identical piece twice. David Brooks called the citizens of Spain appeasers and Edward N. Nutsack Luttwak wrote the same column. Which one copied the other's paper?

Of course, this is just a dry run for The Three Tenors of Untruth (Rove, Racicot and Gillespie). In the coming weeks, Kerry voters will be smeared as appeasers, unpatriotic, traitors, fifth columnists and al-Qaeda apologists. As the Dems have been for the past 30 months.

Twin Streams And A Dental Dam

It's official. Republicans are as bad at writing about sex as they are doing it:

"How well her words describe our love - or the way it would be if we could remove all impediments, leave this place, and join together ... Then our union would be complete. Our lives would flow together, twin streams merging into a single river."

No wonder Dick spends so much time by the microwave.

Republicans Give America The Finger

The Heffelfinger.

The U.S. Attorney for the State of Minnesota, Tom Heffelfinger, is attempting to subtitute the federal government for speeding killer Rep. Bill Janklow (R-SD) in the civil lawsuit filed by the survivors of Janklow's victim, Randy Scott. Heffelfinger claims Janklow killed Randy Scott in the course of his employment for the United States House of Reprsentatives. According to, if such is the case, taxpayers foot the bill for Janklow's lethal joyride and Scott's heirs can't recover punitive damages from the death-dealing Puke.

CNN also reports that Janklow was heading home for a campaign event. It appears South Dakota has the "going and coming rule," a principle of law which provides that "the employment relationship is ordinarily suspended from the time an employee leaves his job to go home until he resumes it." So how is the federal government liable for Janklow's dangerous antics while he was speeding home?

It appears that Heffelfinger is a Republican and former GOP mouthpiece. Janklow is worth between $2.2 and 7 plus million. Heffelfinger is working hard to ensure that Janklow has a very comfortable retirement.

Something is rotten in the State of Minnesota.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Meeting of the Minds

"Print pool reporter Chuck Lindell of the Austin American-Statesman reported to his colleagues that he saw a tuxedo-clad president plant kisses on the cheeks of singer Patti LaBelle and recording artist Jessica Simpson."

And it happened at Ford's Theater. Sometimes there's just too much material to work with.

My threatened expose, Mickey "Wankette" Kaus, the Wonder Years will not be published, as it turns out nobody is willing to admit knowing the diminutive crank during the 1960s. (Or maybe it's because nobody is willing to admit reading this blog.) My apologies.

Whores On Terror

Atrios caught the same Wan Juilliams quote I heard this morning on NPR. Wanny's not the only one conflating the invasion of Iraq with the "War on Terror." Howie the Putz did the same thing during his little chit-chat today:

I'm not accepting the premise of your question, that Bush is using 9/11 for political gain. How could a president not talk about the biggest single event of his term and the issue on which he's expended the most political energy? The election results raise serious questions for Spain - a prime minister who appeared headed for reelection is defeated because of terrorist attacks for which he somehow bears the blame? And obviously, having been closely associated with Bush's war on terror is not necessarily an asset for leaders of countries that were highly skeptical about the Iraq invasion.

I'll give Karl Rove this much: He keeps the dupes on message.

Morons Crush

It's amusing to watch all the wingnut bloggers sprouting self-righteous wood over the New York Times' cease-and-desist efforts regarding The National Debate's fake NYT Columnist Corrections page. Instacracker, for instance, whines like a wounded animal about the Times trying to "shut down The National Debate."

I'll make it simple for you simpletons. The Times is objecting to the TND's wholesale copying of its visual images and webpage format (which is, apparently, a literal cut-and-paste job). It doesn't give a rat's ass about TND's content. The point that the Times doesn't publish corrections for its columnists' errors has been blogged many times, many ways. Not a single one of those bloggers heard from the Times' attorneys. It did not happen. Bob Somerby fillets David Brooks, Bill Safire and Lizzy Bumiller in today's Howler -- will he get a letter from NYTCo.'s high-priced mouthpiece? No. Did Sully Joe or Donald Foreskin or Midget Mick or Tennessee Dim ever get a letter from the Times threatening legal action because of their incessant Times bashing? Hell, no. Have I been subject to service of process for pointing out the fabrications of Nick Pistof and Bill Safliar? Fuck, no.

Would it be asking too much of idiots like Hillbilly McInbred to give up just a bit of their limitless self-regard and stop pretending that Times is trying to "crush dissent" in the blogosphere? No. But what would they write about then?

Sunday, March 14, 2004

What A Barone!

The Bush blog is highlighting this quote from conventional wisdom bore Michael Barone:

What is remarkable about our occupation of Iraq is not that it has gone badly but that it has gone so well. Last week, crude oil production was above target level, the central bank signed up for the payment system used by central banks internationally, and 140,000 Iraqi police and law enforcement officers were on duty. A new Iraqi currency is circulating, and schools are open. Wages are rising, interest rates are falling, businesses are opening and hiring. Millions of Iraqis are buying cellphones, TVs, and satellite dishes.

Barone must be paying Ahmed Chalabi for his information, because it's not quite accurate:

After years of wars, sanctions and mismanagement, Iraq's gross domestic product hovers around $1,000 per person, according to the 2004 Iraq budget - about the same as North Korea's or Mozambique's. (The United States' GDP is about $37,600 per person.) That means most Iraqis live hand to mouth, with few luxuries.

Unemployment is down - but from 60 percent to a still-whopping 28 percent, according to the planning ministry.

Underemployment is chronic. Iraq may have the world's best-educated taxi drivers and waiters.

"All I want is a job in my field," said Musadeq Mohammed, 28, a chemical engineer, who makes $200 a month working 10-hour shifts, seven days a week, waiting tables at Baghdad's Saj al Reef restaurant.

The consumer boom, while real, is the province of a relatively tiny elite. Iraqis who make the typical wages of $150 a month are not buying 36-inch TVs and $20 boxes of Swiss chocolates being sold in Baghdad's Karada neighborhood.


Glistening new storefronts selling newly available cell-phone service have sprouted around Baghdad, but there are only about 300,000 cell phones in use in a country of 25 million people, according to the Coalition Provisional Authority, the postwar U.S.- and British-led caretaker administration of Iraq. Mohammed, for one, cannot afford the $200 up-front cost.

Maybe they're buying the phones, but using them as paperweights.

Interestingly, the Bush blog left out the very next sentence from Barone:

Attacks on Americans have greatly diminished, and attacks on Iraqis are likely to turn them against terrorists rather than against us.

Not even Bush blog readers would swallow that one.

Update (3/15): Inky link no longer hinky.

Update (3/16): See comments.

Sullywatch makes an important point about the American public's response, or lack of it, to the terrorist bombings in Madrid.

If The Cable's Shit, You Must Acquit

O.J. Simpson is being sued in a Miami civil court for $20,000 amid claims that he used pirating devices to pilfer satellite TV broadcasts at his Miami home. DirecTV says Simpson used two "bootloaders" to decrypt its signals. The devices were removed by the feds from Simpson's house during a search way back in December 2001. Simpson attorney Yale Galanter could not be reached for comment.

Very disillusioning.

Johnny Ashcroft is coming home from the hospital today. Time to subpoena those medical records. Surely Johnny doesn't think he's got a right to privacy for those records.

Saturday, March 13, 2004

The Great Divide

Of the top 10 books on the New York Times non-fiction best seller list, at least seven are partisan political books. On the left/anti-Bush side, Ron Suskind, Kevin Phillips, Al Franken and Michael Moore; on the right, Hannity, Savage Weiner, "Smackdown" Stossel. There's also a book of photographs from Mad Mel's Cruciflix which likely has implicit socio-poliltical undertones. The other two books are a science book and a book on the C.I.A. in Afghanistan (political leanings, if any, unknown).

Interestingly, the only books with the bulk sales dagger are the Passion and Afghanistan books. I doubt the Weiner or Stossel tomes will stay on the list for over 20 or 25 weeks, like Moore and Franken.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

As the Ashcroft Justice Department demands the medical records of women who have undergone abortion procedures, the Salt Lake County district attorney is prosecuting a woman who refused a cesarean procedure against the advice of a doctor.

The unspoken issue raised by this article is why aren't charges being brought against the people who invaded the woman's privacy. The article states that a nurse told police about the woman's privileged conversations with medical providers. The police allegedly have a copy of a consent form that the woman signed which warned of the possibilities of refusing the procedure (which undoubtedly was given to her by the hospital to protect it from civil liability). How did the prosecutors get that privileged document? (And if the woman is guilty of a crime, why isn't the hospital guilty of failing to report a threatened crime to the police?)

There's a lot of information that hasn't come out about this story. But it seems like the right is developing a new weapon in its war against women.

Clean and Sober

Buzzflash is headlining a speech for International Women Week's in which Bush praises women reformers, and mistakenly refers to male Libyian official as "she." My question is: what is Laura Bush doing in a speech on women reformers? Does telling Bush to sober up count as an act of courageous reform?

Friday, March 12, 2004

F%@#! C-SPAN

A few days ago, I read this article linked from Romenesko which said that C-SPAN was considering using a delay on its call-in shows. The author, Tim Cuspirin, made it sound as if there was a sudden upsurge in "obscene" callers, or at least that C-SPAN viewed things that way, and that C-SPAN was the originator of the idea:

For the first time in its nearly 25 years, C-SPAN is considering a delay on its phone lines to avoid an unacceptable comment slipping out during call-in shows.

"We're actually having some serious problems in the last month that worry us," says Brian Lamb, president and CEO of the network of three public affairs channels supported by the cable TV industry. "And if it doesn't stop, we're going to have to get a delay."

But this article from David Corn suggests that "serious problem" is not callers, but the Senate Commerce Committee's insane threat to impose decency standards on basic cable:

Another threat to C-SPAN materialized just days ago. On March 9, in a narrow vote--12 to 11--the Senate commerce committee barely beat back an effort to extend the decency standards that now apply to broadcasters to all cable programming (with the exception of premium and pay-for-view channels). How could this harm C-SPAN? After all, it's not as if it airs Howard Stern. But C-SPAN routinely shows events--campaign rallies, protests, and press conferences--where occasionally words deemed "indecent" by the FCC are uttered. That's what happens in real life. And there have been times when C-SPAN has covered a march or demonstration when a Janet Jackson-like moment has occurred. Lamb's guiding editorial philosophy has been that viewers in their living rooms should be able to see and hear exactly what they would see and hear if they were sitting in a hearing room or standing on the Washington Mall. But an indecency standard applied to C-SPAN could destroy its commitment to a showing events unedited in their entirety. "We don't want to edit and pixilate," Collins says.

If that's the "serious problem" Lamb was talking to Cuspirin about, Cuspirin needs to learn some basic journalism principles.

And where the hell does the Senate get the authority to regulate cable content? Fuck the Senate!

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Now Headlining At The Laugh Fakery

Via Atrios, we learn just how funny Dennis Miller is. He has to pay people twice the minimum wage just to show up for the taping of his show. And that's just the cover; he has to buy them each two drinks as well. Don't forget to tip the waitresses, Dennis.

Just think how funny this blog would be if I paid you fifteen bucks to read it.

A Temporary Setback For Gay Marriage, But A Defining Moment For Howie the Putz's Career

SAN FRANCISCO, March 11 -- The California Supreme Court on Thursday ordered city officials here to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, bringing at least a temporary end to a monthlong experiment that had thrust San Francisco to the forefront of a national debate on gay marriage.

"Effective immediately, we are stopping the issuance and recordation of same-sex marriage licenses," the city's assessor-recorder, Mabel S. Teng, announced at a news conference after receiving word of the court's unanimous decision.

Mayor Gavin Newsom said the city would continue to challenge the constitutionality of the state's ban in court. The city filed a lawsuit Thursday in San Francisco Superior Court raising some of its concerns.

"I believe confidently that when we get to the constitutional question, I will prevail," Mr. Newsom said at a news conference. "But I wouldn't be surprised if there weren't other setbacks in this process. This is the beginning of a struggle, hardly the end."

And, here's Howie Kurtz, a week ago Monday, demonstrating his remarkable insight and accuracy:

Instead, regardless of whether you believe [Mayor Gavin Newsom] he is leading a great cause, he chose to openly defy that law by ordering the granting of the licenses. (The law in question, by the way, is one that was approved by Californians through the initiative process.) Moore ultimately lost his job, and rightly so, for defying subsequent court orders to remove the 10 Commandments display. Presumably, the mayor will defy the courts if he loses the legal battle.

Presumably, the Post doesn't care how big an embarassment the Putz is.

I Resemble That Remark

Denny Hastert doesn't like it when John Kerry calls Illinois Republicans crooks and liars:

Q. Sir, Senator Kerry is on the Hill today, and yesterday he was --

Speaker Hastert. In Chicago, I believe.

Q. -- calling what sounded to be Republicans crooked and a lying group ...

[Hastert]. Well, not only did he say that, he said that in my home State. And, you know, I have tried to serve my tenure -- I am one of those Republicans in Illinois. If he wants to describe me as being crooked and a liar, I think he will have his comeuppance coming. You know, I think that is a wrong way to step forward in this campaign. I think the President went overboard in congratulating him on his nomination. If he wants to step off and start the campaign on this type of a note, you know, that is too bad. ...

Q. Coming out of the Congressional Black Caucus meeting a couple minutes ago, he said that I wasn't talking about the Republicans in that comment. He said, I was talking about the attack dogs. Do you accept that?

Speaker Hastert. No. He said Republicans. He clearly said in that statement Republicans. I am one of those Illinois Republicans, and I take great umbrage at that statement.

Dumpy Den's got a point. Calling Illinois Republicans crooks and liars is clearly the job of the United States Attorney's Office.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Krazy Kounsellors for Christ

You take your eyes off a wingnut for two second and look what happens: Krazy Kounsellor Klayman is no longer with Judicial Watch. He's running for the U.S. Senate and is allegedly hitting up cash-strapped creationists for million-dollar loans to a direct mailing list company. His campaign is in the toilet, but he's talking about running for President some day. And he's being sued by a former aide who says Triple K has some rather unorthodox religious beliefs:

In December Paul Jensen, that former campaign aide, sued Klayman, charging him with slander. In his complaint, Jensen says that he quit the campaign because Klayman would not pay him and that after he threatened to sue Klayman for back pay, Klayman paid him but then told others Jensen had stolen from the campaign. The complaint also maintains that Klayman--who has called himself a Jew who believes in Christ--told a Palm Beach Post reporter he was Jewish but informed prominent Christian conservatives he was a Christian, and that Klayman instructed Jensen "to lie, if the subject came up, about the fact that Klayman had recently been divorced from his wife." Another person close to the campaign says Klayman told campaign aides to avoid mentioning his divorce and that campaign workers discussed among themselves Klayman's practice of offering different descriptions of his religious beliefs.

And, as far as I know, he's never won a single one of those lawsuits he was involved with. (That makes him the anti-Edwards!)

Meet Your Liberal Media

Well, I'm hung like an intellectual fire hose, and I didn't even get a callback.

Here's a flashback, showing the hose writing at full pressure.

Ultra Deep Field

Very cool.

Topic Zed

I finally saw a bit of Topic A, the CNBC chat show hosted by Jim Capozzola's arch-nemesis, Tina Brown.

Tina was conversing with Jeanine Pirro, Stanley Crouch, some lawyer in a pink suit and some other person about the Martha Stewart verdict. And it was even worse than it sounds.

The show reminded me of the Faux News atrocity with Judith Regan and the vaseline-saturated camera lenses.

Next Sunday, Tina's five pound sack holds Willie Brown, David Bossie, Ken Auletta, Tim Robbins, Susan Cheever and Rocco Landesman. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Bummer. It looks like I missed the cut on James Wolcott's article on blogs in this month's Vanity Fair. (Warning: Link goes to site of failed TV Guide filler writer Weirdbeard Jarvis.)

I'm sure James meant to include me under the heading of "personal diarists doodling on the laptop, hoping someday to get laid...." Hey, I'm not proud.

Congrats to SullyWatch, TBogg, Brad DeLong, the mighty A and the rest!

Der Fraud Ohne Schande

Sully Watch has the goods on Sully, who reveals he knows as little about opera as I do. The L.A. Opera's website contains a synposis and an article by a prof which essentially confirm the interpretation of Sully Watch's correspondent. To be sure, the opera doesn't include a recreation of an abortion procedure or a literal debate about the morality of abortion. It's not clear whether the "unborn children" are unconcieved as well; maybe the work is a polemic against contraceptives. But L.A. Weekly's reviewer also noted that the opera "accomplishes the feat of delivering messages of comfort and joy both to readers of Betty Friedan and to bombers of abortion clinics."

I don't fault Sully on this one, though. It must be hell for him to come up with cultural commentary which passes the Father's muster over the Moonie Times.

Where Were You In '68?

Mickey Kaus has made much of the story of one (of ten) of Sen. Kerry's men in Vietnam who didn't like his C.O. The man, Joseph Gardner, is a Republican, like Kaus himself, although his hatred of Kerry is mild in comparison to Mick's.

But since Kaus holds that this is an important test of character, perhaps we should hold the wee hack to the same standard. Kaus was in college at the same time Kerry was in Vietnam, so any tales of Kaus's leadership will only involve the leadership of the Beverly Hills Young Republicans.

If any Kaus's roommates, fellow YAFers or stalking victims have any tales to tell about the 1968-1969 model Kaus, please send them to us at Because character counts.

Only verifiable stories, please; no Cornerish "and then John Kerry ate the last slice of pizza, my cousin said" fables. (Pictures would be funny too!) And feel free to use obscenities without the dashes.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Four Weddings And A Veneral Disease

It's the Brady Bunch meets the Corleones, with STDs.

Was it the generous pouring of Dom Perignon or the romantic music of the string quartet? Perhaps it was the frequent puppy-dog nuzzling of the newlyweds.

Whatever the inspiration, the toasts flowed with uninhibited warmth Saturday night as 150 guests from Houston and around the world celebrated the marriage of Maria Andrews and Neil Bush.

Former President George Bush, with champagne glass raised high, welcomed his new daughter-in-law. "We love Maria," he said. "This is a very happy day in the life of the Bush family."

The groom's 17-year-old son, Pierce, pulled at the heartstrings when he dedicated his toast "to one of the finest examples of two people in love" who set "a fine example for their kids to follow."


The petite bride wore a pale pink Ungaro gown and Badgley Mischka evening shoes. Standing with Maria were her older children -- Elizabeth, 12, and Pace, 10. Her youngest, Thomas, who soon turns 3, was on the sidelines with Maria's mother, Martha Manness.

Neil Bush, wearing a dark suit, was joined by Pierce and daughter Ashley, 14. Lauren, his oldest child and a student at Princeton University, did not attend.


Other family members unavailable for the wedding were Neil's brothers -- President George W. Bush, who was occupied with Mexican President Vicente Fox, and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who was said to have had pressing business in his home state.

The Chronicle did not state whether the Saudi guests were named bin Laden.

Who Not To Trust

The grand jury investigating the Plame leak has subpoenaed White House records concerning administration contacts with various journalists and whores. Here's the list:

Robert Novak, "Crossfire," "Capital Gang" and the Chicago Sun-Times

Knut Royce and Timothy M. Phelps, Newsday

Walter Pincus, Richard Leiby, Mike Allen, Dana Priest and Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post

Matthew Cooper, John Dickerson, Massimo Calabresi, Michael Duffy and James Carney, Time magazine

Evan Thomas, Newsweek

Andrea Mitchell, "Meet the Press," NBC

Chris Matthews, "Hardball," MSNBC

Tim Russert, Campbell Brown, NBC

Nicholas D. Kristof, David E. Sanger and Judith Miller, The New York Times

Greg Hitt and Paul Gigot, The Wall Street Journal

John Solomon, The Associated Press

Jeff Gannon, Talon News

Given the paranoid style of governing in the current administration, it's safe to say that the folks listed are people who have demonstrated their loyalty to Bush and Rove. (There may be some exceptions, but not many.)

So it's no surprise to see Pistof Kristof and Judy Miller on the list. The same goes for Evan Thomas, Gigot, and the NBC whores. It was clear even before the list came out that those men and women are administration mouthpieces, and nothing more.

Once the records are produced (or shredded), it would be good to see these folks recieve their very own subpoenas.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Congratulations to talented and thoughtful Kevin Drum on being named the Washington Monthly's official blogger. The Monthly's been a birthplace for the careers of a number of great writers. It's also turned out a number of hacks who shall remain talentless, but Kevin isn't one of those, we've known him all these years.

Meanwhile, if the good folks at Fish 'n' Grits are looking for a blogger to add prestige to their publication, they shouldn't hesitate to contact me.

Shall We Gather At The River

Apparently intolerant fundies aren't all that strict about abstinence, at least when the subject is alcohol consumption. In this report on Nino Scalia's appearance at a dinner sponsored by the anti-gay Urban Family Council, we learn that the Lord loves as lush:

According to Devlin, the event made no money. He said he didn't recall how much was collected. If all 125 attendees bought tickets, it would have brought in $18,750.

"It was a wash," he said, adding that the bill for the open bar was higher than expected.

That's $150 per person, but no profit because of all the boozing. Yeah, I know there were other expenses too. But the event was budgeted to make a profit, and would have done so but for all the drinking done by the pro-family moralizers in attendance.

Meet Your Liberal Media

Bet you didn't know this. (See 3/8, 1:44 p.m.) I certainly didn't.

Shame on Tim Russert and "Meet the Press" for failing to make full disclosure about their lead-off guest, Sunday, March 7, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

While Giuliani spent 20 minutes defending or lauding President Bush, and occasionally needling Sen. John Kerry, Russert didn't mention that Giuliani's hugely successful consulting firm has a $1 million contract from the Bush Department of Justice (New York Times, Feb. 22).

Revealing it would've allowed viewers to decide just how objective Giuliani is about the upcoiming [sic] presidential candidates.

Hell, if Meet the Press cared about conflicts of interest, Russert would be managing a Burger King in Buffalo.

Coming Tomorrow: Bob Somerby gives David the halbfinger. Should be good.


I've added a number of new (to me) good blogs to the Enemies List: edwardpig, Three Dog Blog, Futurballa Blog (with excellent Bay Area photography!), Schadenfreude, and BottleofBlog. They are all definitely worth reading. (BottleofBlog has a series of very important posts on Ahmad Chalabi.)

And here's a first: The first physicist's blog on the Enemies List (that I know of). Preposterous Universe is authored by Sean Carroll, a physicist at the University of Chicago. Sean was on Science Friday last week. Very cool.

Howie the Putz Concerned Over Revelations He's A Gigantic Whore

Today's Media Notes Excrement entry is headlined: "Kerry Concerned Over Flip-Flop Image." Of course, Kurtz never quotes Kerry or anyone associated with his campaign as saying Kerry is concerned about "a flip-flop image." Howie then writes:

"Unfortunately from the Kerry camp's point of view, one narrative taking hold in the press is that of Kerry as Flip-Flopper, which just happens to coincide with the 'says one thing, does another' line being pushed by the Bush team."

Is it a concidence? -- the Putz offers no evidence for that assertion. Tomorrow, Howie will "report" that it's a coincidence that the sun rose on Tuesday approximately 24 hours from when it did today.

The Putz also reports on two plagiarism stories (and manages to work in the race of one of the accused) but gives the Boston Herald a complete pass for hiring known plagiarist Mike Barnicle.

Lou's Cannon

Dick "Big-Time" Cheney gave the Washington Press Cwhore its gold star for its toothless reporting since September 2001.

From the hour our country was attacked on September 11th, up to the present, American journalism has produced some of its finest work ever.

Obsequiousness has it privileges. And Tim Russert won't need a Cialis for months.

Just imagine how much Washington journalism would change for the better if someone had hired Chi-Chi's to cater the Gridiron Dinner.

p.s. -- The title refers to the Cheney speechwriter who can't spell the name of St. Ronnie's biographer, and the Weekly Standard editor who published the remarks without proofreading them.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

The Wedding Cake in the Shape of a Giant Valtrex Was Beautiful

HOUSTON - Presidential brother Neil Bush, who divorced his wife of 23 years in a messy split last year, has married a former volunteer for former first lady Barbara Bush.

Bush married Maria Andrews on Saturday night in Houston in the mansion of longtime Bush family friends Rania and Jamal Daniel, the Houston Chronicle reported in its Sunday editions. They became engaged in December after Bush proposed in a French chateau.

Close to 150 guests joined the newlyweds after a small family ceremony that included former President George H. Bush and Barbara Bush. President Bush and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush did not attend.

We have no information as to where Neil, Maria and the weeping sores are spending their honeymoon.

Let The E-Mail Soar

Like the Gridiron Dinner, the motto of Roger Ailes, the blog, is "singe, but never burn." (Unlike the Gridiron Dinner, this blog's unofficial motto is not "suck up to an Administration that hates you.")

In that spirit, won't you join me in sending John Ashcroft one of these cute e-cards with a get well message. Send those best wishes to

The No Facts Follies

Ever wonder why the Washington press corps is less potent than Viagra marketed through e-mail? One reason is that the corps is in bed with the officials they cover. And one of the most notable examples of this incestuous relationship, the Gridiron Dinner, occurred this weekend:

Dressed as Wilson in top hat and cutaway coat, Novak sings of himself: "Novak had a secret source ... so he outed a girl spy the way princes of darkness do. ... Now John Ashcroft asks Bob who and how, could be headed to the old hoosegow."

It's funny because Novak knows that Administration officials committed a crime, and nothing will ever come of it.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Orrin X

What did Senator Hatch know, and when did he know it?

According to the report, Lundell said Miranda told him that it was common knowledge that staff could access each other's files. "Furthermore, Mr. Lundell recalled that Mr. Miranda had told him that Sen. Hatch wanted the staff to use any means necessary to support President Bush's nominees," the sergeant-at-arms reported.
Is Whorin' Orrin as shocked about his staffer's actions as he'd like us to think?

Roger Goes Postal

Roger Ailes, the blog, takes a bold step forward into the 5th century B.C. with the announcement that it will establish a postal mailing address beginning next week.

Several times in the last year (approximately four), readers have kindly offered to send a review copy of recently-published or soon to be published book on various subjects of interest in history, politics and public affairs. I've kindly declined these offers, with regret, because I didn't have a mailing address and wasn't comfortable giving my out my home address. Anyway, I've arranged to get an address where I can receive mail related to this blog.

I'm not asking anyone to send me anything because, if there's one thing we can all agree upon, I'm not worth it. But I'm always willing to comment on and promote the work of people who deserve wider publicity -- and that's not you, John Podhoretz -- whether they be authors, artists, owners of luxury resorts, or friendless eccentric millionaires.

If you want to contact me by post, just e-mail me and, if you seem harmless, I'll send you the address.

Meet Your Liberal Media

Here's a heartwarming "as-told-to" story from yesterday's New York Times about a young girl and her Cadillac Escalade EXT. Stick a gay wedding announcement or two between the articles on the waiting lists of Ferrari mechanics and $1,200 handbags and you're practically Karl Marx.


For those not inclined to read the link, here's the money shot, -- the (mother's) milky load as it were -- on Mannygate:

Although Miranda denied to investigators that he solicited Lundell for poached documents while he worked for Frist, the report includes March 2003 e-mails in which Miranda asked Lundell to "undertake a discreet mission" to send copies of the Democrats' files to the Committee for Justice so the conservative activist group could "build relationships with the press."

"Of course I would be happy to assist in this covert action," Lundell replied. "The question is: exactly how much should I provide? You know we have loads on[sic] information."

It's always the coverup.

United States v. Miranda and Lundell

Now that we've convicted Martha Stewart, let's get the Justice Department to work on some more serious crimes:

If the Committee were to refer this report to the Justice Department, prosecution might be considered under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

The provision of this law most likely to apply in this case is 18 U.S.C. section 1030(a)(2)(B). It provides:

(a) Whoever -

(2) intentionally accesses a computer without authorization or exceeds authorized access, and thereby obtains -

(B) information from any department or agency of the United States;
shall be punished under subsection (c) of this section.

For purposes of 18 U.S.C. section 1030:

- the term "exceeds unauthorized access" means to access a computer with authorization and to use such access to obtain or alter information in the computer that the accesser is not entitled so to obtain or alter; 18 U.S.C. section 1030(e)(6).

- the term "department of the United States" means the legislative, or judicial branch of the Government, or one of the executive departments enumerated in section 101 of title 5; 18 U.S.C. section 1030(e)(7).

When Congress amended 18 U.S.C. section 1030 in 1996 by adding section (a)(2)(B), it meant to address a gap in the law's coverage. The legislative history states:

The second gap is the significant limitation on the privacy protection given to information held on Federal Government computers. Specifically, the prohibition only applies to outsiders who gain unauthorized access to Federal Government computers, and not to Government employees who abuse their computer access privileges to obtain Government information that may be sensitive and confidential. Senate Report 104-357, 104th Cong., 2d Sess., August 27, 1996, p. 4.

The legislative history also indicates that section (2)(B) was meant to cover government employees who "obtain information" by merely reading it. Id.
18 U.S. C. section 1030(a)(2)(B) is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine and/or not more than one year imprisonment. A referral to the Department of Justice could be made by either contacting the United States Attorneys' office for the District of Columbia or the Criminal Division's Computer Crimes and Intellectual Property Section. A prosecution under this section could result in litigation involving the article I, section 6 of the Constitution (speech and debate), the First Amendment (freedom of the press issues), the Fourth Amendment (issues relating to the search of computer records), and the definition of "unauthorized access" under the statute. And, while a criminal investigation could commence upon referral to the Department of Justice, a Senate Resolution would be needed to introduce documents or testimony into a Grand Jury or at trial. See Senate Rule 11.

In informal briefings prior to the issuance of this report, Committee Members asked about the possibility of pursuing a false statement case against Mr. _____ for being untruthful with investigators. The relevant statute, 18 U.S.C. section 1001, provides:

(A) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully -

(2) makes any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation;
shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

The statue specifically addresses false statements in the context of legislative investigations:

(C) With respect to any matter within the jurisdiction of the legislative branch, subsection (a) shall apply only to -

(2)any investigation or review, conducted pursuant to the authority of any committee, subcommittee, commission, or office of the Congress, consistent with applicable rules of the House or Senate.

To be fair, we shouldn't let Manny "Mr. Blank" Miranda hog all the glory. Jason Lundell deserves some credit too.

To Your Health

Steve Gillard is coming home and doing better. And Jeralyn Merritt is recuperating from surgery. Sadly, Seb at Sadly, No! is in the hospital for a few weeks. We wish him the best.

These matters highlight what should be the first priority of the Kerry Administration: Universal health care for lefty bloggers.

As for rightwing bloggers ... well, let them buy their own medical savings accounts from Bush's Pioneers. Or let them eat cake.

The Noose Tightens

WASHINGTON -- The federal grand jury probing the leak of a covert CIA officer's identity has subpoenaed records of Air Force One telephone calls in the week before the officer's name was published in a column in July, according to documents obtained by Newsday.

Also sought in the wide-ranging document requests contained in three grand jury subpoenas to the Executive Office of President George W. Bush are records created in July by the White House Iraq Group, a little-known internal task force established in August 2002 to create a strategy to publicize the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.

And the subpoenas asked for a transcript of a White House spokesman's press briefing in Nigeria, a list of those attending a birthday reception for a former president, and, casting a much wider net than previously reported, records of White House contacts with more than two dozen journalists and news media outlets.

Some enterprising reporter should get a copy of the AF1 passenger lists for the first week of July 2003.

Pancreatitis is sounding like a good exit strategy... I wonder if it's contageous.

And I wonder who that former President could be.

Update: Newsday says Gerald Ford is the birthday boy.

Friday, March 05, 2004

Born Again

Charles Krauthammer went to see The Passion of The Christ and he's been born again. No, he hasn't converted. He's come out against "mak[ing] stuff up." That's not the Quackhammer we know and lo -- uh -- know. In fact, Krauthammer was objectively pro-libel when it came to Howard Dean. Now he's realized that libel is a bad thing.

The psychiatric treatment must be working. Just keep repeating, Charles, "Each day and in every way, I am becoming better and better."

Lott and Blogs: A Look Back

The Kennedy School has published a case study on the role of blogs in the coverage of Trent Lott's praise of Strom Thurmond's segregationist past. (Note: The article is a 25-page .pdf file.)

The study properly credits the lead roles of ABC's The Note, Atrios and Joshua Marshall, gives Instacracker too much credit (and allows the 'cracker to pat himself on the back) and points out that attempted credit-grabbers like Sully were late to the story (later than this blog even!) It also quotes prats like Dave Winer, who had nothing to do with the story.

Meanwhile, Lott is still a senator.

Update: Error corrected (see comments).

Well, Then, The Lawyer Is An Ass

Failed attorney Mickey Kaus, who may be the most embarassing issue of a state Supreme Court justice since the Revolutionary War, takes a breather from his Hate-Kerrython to weigh in on Justice Blackmun, author of Roe v. Wade:

Has there been a more riveting media event than the reverential, non-stop NPR/PBS/NYT coverage of Justice Harry Blackmun, a nice, very dull man who wrote what may be the least convincing major Supreme Court decision since the Civil War? ... I know I can't get enough of this guy!

On the other hand, Kaus found Plessy v. Ferguson unassailable, Lochner v. New York quite persuasive, and Korematsu v. United States logically airtight.