Tuesday, April 13, 2004

USA Toady may have gotten rid of Jack Kelley, but it didn't get any better. Here's a headline from today:

Panel maligns FBI, Ashcroft for decisions before 9/11

Here's the definition of malign:

malign To make evil, harmful, and often untrue statements about; speak evil of.

There's not a word or sentence in the article which supports the headline's claim.

Oh, and they're still cleaning up after Kelley.

Monday, April 12, 2004

Someone Offer Mark A Pack Of Smokes And Direct Him To The Self Service Island

Hairless troll doll Mark Levin explains why the PDB was wrong:

"The hijackers did not use explosives."

The smell of desperation is overwhelming.

Working for the Smackdown

Brent "Smackdown" Bozell, the ginger git, is no longer satisfied with dictating the content of the "public airwaves." Now he's demanding that Congress control and manage the content of basic cable. Says Brent:

Cable is now in nearly as many homes as broadcast TV. Most children live in homes with cable TV. We can no longer afford to ignore the rising tide of vulgar and violent programming on cable. How many new frontiers of sleaze, gore and profanity do we have to cross before the cable industry realizes the customer is right?

In his column, Bozell describes a dramatization of a sexual assault in terms more fit for Karl Rove's war room than a family newspaper. He's describing a scene on a basic cable net owned by none other than Rupert Murdoch. But don't hold your breath waiting for Bozo -- or his pals Hannity and O'Reilly -- to name and shame Rupert.

The fact that you have to subscribe to cable doesn't dampen Bozell's desire to regulate. And Bozell doesn't actually want cable companies to "realize the customer is right." He wants Congress to force programmers to offer "family-friendly programming" at a separate rate.

Don't think Bozell will stop with cable television. There are other forums for him to conquer and control.

You're looking at one.

Rebut This

The son of a bat writes:


I know Ramesh and Peter Robinson have both linked to this already but I only got around to reading it this weekend. Gerard Alexander's debunking of the liberal conventional wisdom on GOP racism is really outstanding. It's in the Claremont Review of Books, which has really taken flight in its short time on the scene. Since Alexander's piece has been out for a while, I was wondering if any serious liberals have tried to rebut it? I would love to know what Ruy Teixeira, Peter Beinart or Josh Marshall make of this. If anybody's seen a sincere attempt by folks from that crowd, please send it along.

My rebuttal:

Reply 8 - Posted by: donna quixote, 4/11/2004 6:18:47 PM

If [Muslim Americans] start flexing their power some Americans may do more than a little profiling. It's one thing to be tolerant; it's another to be a patsy.


Reply 9 - Posted by: TeacherNet, 4/11/2004 6:21:53 PM

"Muslim Americans need to come out and present themselves to the Americans.."

They did that already... on 9/11!


Reply 12 - Posted by: Bugg, 4/11/2004 6:32:07 PM


Reply 15 - Posted by: mustng66, 4/11/2004 6:48:59 PM

All it will take is one political ad to show Kerry at a Muslim rally smiling with all the towelheads with a split screen of the twin towers collapsing.

Bush landslide.


Reply 38 - Posted by: arikari, 4/11/2004 10:31:39 PM

Maybe after the next terrorist attack, we can set up internment camps again.

And this:

Reply 20 - Posted by: madkinggoll, 4/12/2004 2:43:28 PM

A Wal-Mart went up near my parents house in Lafayette and promptly drove the locally-owned and much pleasanter Adrian's (whose meatmarket excelled in providing amazingly good (homemade) stuffed and cajun-spiced meats) right out of business. It squats and spralls across what was formerly a lovely bucolic area, completely ruining the landscape. I would love to see that Wal Mart burn. Wal mart may be Mecca for white trash, but it has all the dirt and ethnicity of a 3rd world market w/out any of the charm.


Reply 21 - Posted by: Luke, 4/12/2004 2:49:54 PM

If people that shop at walmarts is called white trash, what do they call Coon-asses that shop there?


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Is that sincere enough for you, bigot boy?

And don't get too comfortable, Jnr. You may be lower down on their list, but you're still on it: "Now, that wouldn't be the baby-killing, Christian-hating Krauthammer and Safire would it?"

(All quotes taken directly from the Mickey Kaus-approved hate site, Lucianne.com.)

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Breaking News

The Moonie Times reports: Homos hate women's breasts:

"Wait a minute, it's the homosexual Fab Five, not the straight guys, who find women's breasts objectionable."
In other news, John McCaslin outs Michael Powell as GAY! GAY! GAY!

John must have confirmed this with Sully before he published it, given the Times' strict sourcing rules.

Meet Your Liberal Media: Dogma and Pony Show Edition

"BOSTON, April 11 -- Rejecting the admonitions of several national Roman Catholic leaders, Senator John Kerry received communion at Easter services today at the Paulist Center here, a kind of New Age church that describes itself as 'a worship community of Christians in the Roman Catholic tradition' and that attracts people drawn to its dedication to 'family religious education and social justice.'"

"Mr. Kerry's decision to receive communion represented a challenge to several prominent Catholic bishops, who have become increasingly exasperated with politicians who are Catholic but who deviate from Catholic teaching.

"Mr. Kerry, the presumed Democratic presidential nominee, supports abortion rights and stem cell research, both of which are contrary to church teaching. He and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, are regular worshipers at the Paulist Center, which is near their home on Beacon Hill."

A Kit Seeyle classic.

First, the church describes itself as a Christian, Catholic church. Why then did Seeyle describe it as a "kind of New Age church"?

And why didn't Seeyle address the instances where Kerry's positions are more in line with those of the Roman Catholic Church than those of his opponent, on such issues as the death penalty and the war against Iraq? (For that matter, why doesn't Seelye report on how the excommunications of Tom Ridge, Rick Santorum and Fat Tony Scalia are progressing?)

These questions are, of course, rhetorical. Seelye is intent on portraying Kerry as a Bad Catholic and a Bad Christian. And equally intent on misleading her readers.

The real question is why the New York Times allows this kind of crap in its news pages.

Update: Right after posting this, I traveled to Talk Left, who links to new blogger Cat M. at My Left Brain. Cat discusses the Bad Catholic issue in more and better detail. Her post also reminds us that we're still waiting for the mainstream media to publish anything on the ties between Bush and the man who is, according to the established teachings of every Christian church, a false god: Sun Myung Moon.

Back On The Horse

This is a few days old, but it's great news. According to David Neiwert at Orcinus, Media Whores Online is only temporarily on hiatus, and may return as soon as May. David says that "MWO hopes to return before the election, bigger and badder than ever, weighing in when it counts most."

And on that glorious day, there will be much wailing and gnashing of teeth amongst the media whores.


The problem with the Administration is that it believes its own myths.

Today, Bush, comparing himself favorably to Hercules, claimed he would have "moved mountains" if he had been given specific intelligence of an attack on New York or Washington D.C.

Unfortunately, there weren't any mountains within driving distance of Crawford, Texas. Too bad.

And, last week, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, the Administration's self-appointed Atlas, testified that "we would have moved heaven and earth" to prevent attacks on America. If only someone had ordered her to do it.

A little less heroic posturing and a lot more practical thinking might have been helpful.

It's time to clean out the Augean Stables.

Bill Bennett Volunteers for Military Service in Iraq

Did I read that right?

Neither Accurate Nor Truthful

Meanwhile, The Corner leaves it to Jim Robbins to put up the best defense of the Bush Administration in light of the August 2001 PDB. In full:

A CNN headline on the August 6, 2001 PDB reads "Key Document Warned of Possible al Qaeda Scenarios." But none of the scenarios were the actual plan. One dealt with AQ attacking us with explosives, another with hijacking planes to engage in hostage negotiations. Another said the window of AQ attack was early 1997 to early 2001, which had already passed by August. Yet the press still treats this page and a half document breathlessly. How very sad they think that their audience cannot read or reason for themselves. What contempt they must have for us.

Hmm... Jim doesn't link to the "Key Document."

And the words "early 2001" and "window" are nowhere in the document, nor is an early 2001 window closing suggested by the briefing. In fact, just the opposite.

How very sad they think that their audience cannot read or reason for themselves. What contempt they must have for them.

Do you suppose this is what set off John Derbyshire on his rants against "transsexual terrorists" and Home Depot?

Daniel Oliver Derbyshire, age 8, and his little friend Michael from next door, were permitted to play on the big computer in Dad's office while Dad went off to fiddle with his tree house.

When Dad came back, he found that his Ann Coulter doll had been STRIPPED TO THE BUFF.

Oh, God. I'm not going to be able to handle my kids' adolescence, I know I'm not.
A man with an Ann Coulter doll and his own tree house is well-equipped for parenting. At least as as well equipped as Michael Jackson.

On the other hand, little Michael's parents would be well advised to move.

(Thanks to a reader for the link.)

Saturday, April 10, 2004

The Where, The Who And The How

August 6, 2001 intelligence briefing:

Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US

Clandestine, foreign government, and media reports indicate Bin Ladin since 1997' has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the US. Bin Ladin implied in US television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and "bring the fighting to America."

After US missile strikes on his base in Afghanistan in 1998, Bin Ladin told followers he wanted to retaliate in Washington, according to a ... (redacted portion) ... service. An Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) operative told an ... (redacted portion) ... service at the same time that Bin Ladin was planning to exploit the operative's access to the US to mount a terrorist strike.

The millennium plotting in Canada in 1999 may have been part of Bin Ladin's first serious attempt to implement a terrorist strike in the US. Convicted plotter Ahmed Ressam has told the FBI that he conceived the idea to attack Los Angeles International Airport himself, but that Bin Ladin lieutenant Abu Zubaydah encouraged him and helped facilitate the operation. Ressam also said that in 1998 Abu Zubaydah was planning his own US attack.

Ressam says Bin Ladin was aware of the Los Angeles operation.

Although Bin Ladin has not succeeded, his attacks against the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 demonstrate that he prepares operations years in advance and is not deterred by setbacks. Bin Ladin associates surveilled our Embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam as early as 1993, and some members of the Nairobi cell planning the bombings were arrested and deported in 1997.

Al-Qa'ida members -- including some who are US citizens -- have resided in or traveled to the US for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks. Two al-Qa'ida members found guilty in the conspiracy to bomb our Embassies in East Africa were US citizens, and a senior EIJ member lived in California in the mid-1990s.

A clandestine source said in 1998 that a Bin Ladin cell in New York was recruiting Muslim-American youth for attacks.

We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a ... (redacted portion) ... service in 1998 saying that Bin Ladin wanted to hijack a US aircraft to gain the release of "Blind Shaykh" 'Umar' Abd aI-Rahman and other US-held extremists.

Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.

The FBI is conducting approximately 70 full field investigations throughout the US that it considers Bin Ladin-related. CIA and the FBI are investigating a call to our Embassy in the UAE in May saying that a group of Bin Ladin supporters was in the US planning attacks with explosives.

(Here's a photocopy version.)

And the when, without an exact date: Bin Laden's associates in this country were "prepar[ing] for hijackings or other types of attacks" on buildings in New York and were "planning attacks with explosives."

Amazingly, the NYT spins it this way on the front page of its website: "The memo, released Saturday, mentioned the threat of hijacking but did not give specifics or warn that planes could be used as missiles." The briefing didn't mention the threat of hijacking -- it was about the threat of hijacking.

The briefing was, by definition, the work of persons who distilled and summarized more detailed information. So who were those people and what source documents were they working with?

Not-So-Great Minds

This doesn't qualify as plagiarism, and it lacks the required intellect to involve theft of intellectual property, but I do notice certain similarities -- including the punch line -- in these two offerings from Gregg Easterbrook and Kitty Parker.

At the risk of being called a Saddam-loving French Islamofacist, might I point out that more measured, and rational, responses to the information Bush possessed -- like heightened precautions at airports and more careful review of existing information -- might have solved the immediate problem, whereas the responses imagined by our fantasizing friends -- "the bombing of Afghanistan" and "an all-out attack on alleged terrorist camps in Afghanistan" -- likely would not have.

He's Writing As Bad As He Can*

Midget Mickey Kaus criticizes Bob Kerry for his "inability to frame his question clearly." Yet on the same date, Kaus writes incomprehensible crap like this:

I'm not saying that the unreasonableness of expecting any more significant "compassionate conservative" initiatives from Bush is a reason to support him. Quite the opposite. But we should be accurate: It's not that didn't follow through and give us all the C.C. goodies he could have--thus governing in a different way than we'd been led to expect. It's that his "compassion" closet was always mainly--visibly--empty. The few initiatives that were arguably part of the "compassionate conservative" agenda, he's pushed.

(And it's not out of context. The whole frickin' post is incomprehensible.)

* Originally said about Abe Rosenthal, in Spy magazine.

Grand Old Police Blotter: Lifestyles of The Rich and Heinous Edition

You are not the kind of guy who would be in a place like this at this time of the morning. But here you are, and you cannot say that the terrain is entirely unfamiliar, although the details of the Raptor restructuring are becoming fuzzy. You are at a nightclub talking to an FBI agent with a shaved head. The club is either American Trash or the Voodoo Lounge. All might come clear if you could just slip out of the country and into another where they don't have an extradition treaty. Then again, it might not.

Via Suburban Guerilla, we learn that former Enron president and COO Jeff Skilling is making a bid to become the Courtney Love of the securities fraud world:

Police found Skilling at 4 a.m. at the corner of Park Avenue and East 73rd Street and determined he might be an "emotionally disturbed person," said the source, speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity.

Police did not charge Skilling with a crime. They took him to New York Presbyterian Hospital for observation. Hospital officials did not immediately return calls for comment.


Skilling was at two bars in Manhattan -- American Trash and The Voodoo Lounge -- where he allegedly ran up to patrons and pulled open their clothes, the source said.

"He was shouting at them 'You're an FBI agent and you're following me,'" the source said.

Skilling allegedly did the same thing to people on the street, the source added. He was with his wife at the time.

Skilling was described as being intoxicated and highly uncooperative when he was approached by police, the source said.

Actually, the former Republican benefactor doesn't sound crazy; he sounds like just another drunk who needs to spend a day in the drunk tank. It would be good practice, Jeff.

Cliff May Need Some Remedial Education

Cliff May, the slack-jawed yokel charged with feeding slop to the readers of National Review Online, says this:

"President Roosevelt waited until after World War II to put in place a commission to investigate what mistakes led to Pearl Harbor."

Here are the facts. I'll use bold so the typical NRO reader can follow along:


JANUARY 23, 1942

The White House

SIR: The undersigned were appointed by Executive order of December 18, 1941, which defined our duties as a commission thus:

'to ascertain and report the facts relating to the attack made by Japanese armed forces upon the Territory of Hawaii on December 7, 1941.

'The purposes of the required inquiry and report are to provide bases for sound decisions whether any derelictions of duty or errors of judgment on the part of United States Army or Navy personnel contributed to such successes as were achieved by the enemy on the occasion mentioned, and, if so, what these derelictions or errors were, and who were responsible therefor.'

The Congress speedily supplemented the Executive order by granting the Commission power to summon witnesses and examine them under oath.

The Commission held three meetings in Washington, December 18, 19, and
20, and, on the latter day, proceeded to Honolulu, T. H., where the Commission arrived December 22 and held meetings December 22, 23, 24, and 26 at the headquarters of the Hawaiian Department, Fort Shafter, and December 27, 29, 30, and 31, 1941, and January 2 and 3, 1942, at the submarine base, Pearl Harbor; and January 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Honolulu. January 10 the commission left Honolulu for Washington, D. C.; held meetings January 12, 13, and 14; arrived at Washington January 15 and held further meetings January 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23.

The Commission examined 127 witnesses and received a large number of documents. All members of the Military and Naval Establishments, and civil officers and citizens who were thought to have knowledge of facts pertinent to the inquiry, were summoned and examined under oath. All persons in the island of Oahu, who believed they had knowledge of such facts, were publicly requested to appear, and a number responded to the invitation and gave evidence."

To summarize: By executive order dated December 18, 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt appointed a commission to determine whether mistakes led to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Is it possible to be more wrong in one sentence than Cliff May is?

Incredibly, there's a more fundamental mistake in May's sentence that I haven't touched on -- one that should be evident to any junior high school student in America. What else is wrong with this sentence?

President Roosevelt waited until after World War II to put in place a commission to investigate what mistakes led to Pearl Harbor.

Walter Williams, from his entrance application for involuntary confinement and a 72-hour hold:

Fighting terrorism as well as rogue dictators requires a policy of pre-emption. During the 1930s, there should have been a pre-emptive strike on Nazi Germany. If Britain and France had the guts to do that, 60 million lives lost in World War II might have been spared. After World War II, when we held a monopoly on nuclear weapons, we should have told the Soviet Union that if it started making nuclear weapons we'd bomb its facilities. We would have avoided Soviet adventurism and trillions of dollars fighting a Cold War. Today, we should give axis-of-evil member North Korea notice to destroy its nuclear weapons or we'll do it for them.

It Depends On The Definition of History

The information on current threats in the briefing, titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.," stands in contrast to repeated assertions by national security adviser Condoleezza Rice and other Bush administration officials as recently as this week that the document is primarily historical and includes no warning or threat information.

Friday, April 09, 2004

The End of "History"

WASHINGTON, April 9 -- President Bush was told more than a month before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that supporters of Osama bin Laden planned an attack within the United States with explosives and wanted to hijack airplanes, a government official said Friday.

The warning came in a secret briefing that Mr. Bush received at his ranch in Crawford, Tex., on Aug. 6, 2001. A report by a joint Congressional committee last year alluded to a "closely held intelligence report" that month about the threat of an attack by Al Qaeda, and the official confirmed an account by The Associated Press on Friday saying that the report was in fact part of the president's briefing in Crawford.

That doesn't sound like idle chatter to me. It sounds like the where, the who and the how.

And eleven days earlier, the Justice Department confirmed that Johnny Asscrack was no longer flying on commercial airliners due to an FBI "threat assessment." Who is looking into that connection?

Did Fat Tony Order U.S. Marshals to Violate The Law?

"A federal marshal who required two reporters to erase audiotapes of a speech by Justice Antonin Scalia at a Mississippi high school on Wednesday may have violated the law, legal experts said yesterday.

Justice Scalia does not typically allow audio or video recorders at his speeches, though he often allows print reporters to attend and take notes. Imposing such conditions ahead of time for speeches in private settings generally creates no legal problems, the legal experts said. But seizing or destroying a reporter's notes or tapes afterward in the absence of an announced ban may violate a federal law and the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on unreasonable searches, they said.

The reporters involved in the incident at Presbyterian Christian High School in Hattiesburg had been invited. They openly taped Justice Scalia's speech and were confronted by a deputy marshal, Melanie Rube, during a question-and-answer session afterward.

The journalists and the United States Marshals Service, which provides security for Supreme Court justices when they travel, offered differing accounts of precisely what happened next.

Antoinette Konz, who covered the speech for The Hattiesburg American, adamantly denied having been told of a taping ban. Her tape would confirm her account, Ms. Konz said, had she not been forced to erase it.

Ms. Rube, the deputy who confronted the reporters, declined to comment.

Nehemiah Flowers, the United States marshal in Jackson, Miss., said the reporters had been advised of the ban 'intermittently, individually.'

'It is my understanding that Deputy Rube did not touch anyone and asked politely if they would erase the tape,' Mr. Flowers added.

He denied that such a request was coercive or unlawful. 'We do have that authority,' he said. 'This is a justice of the Supreme Court, and as far as we're concerned, we're following the court's orders.'

In a statement released by the Marshals Service in Washington, a spokeswoman said Ms. Rube's actions "were based on the justice's standing policy prohibiting such recordings of his remarks." -- New York Times, April 9, 2004

Will the Justice Department investigate this alleged violation of the reporters' civil rights and act of prior restraint under color of law, or does it believe that Scalia is above the law? Maybe Nino can rule on this one himself, saying that his ability to render an impartial accquital "cannot reasonably be questioned."

Ironically, during his speech, the thug railed: "I am here to persuade you that our Constitution is something extraordinary, something to revere." Here's the article by Ms. Konz, a courageous American. (She has filed a complaint with Ashcroft J.D., according to this article.) Ms. Konz's e-mail address accompanies her report, should you wish to show your support.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

The Kid Is Not His Son

Innocent child dodges bullet; still faces traumatic alternative holidays.

Wingnut Literature In Review

World Nut Daily is marketing a late April Fool's Day offering:

Hillary's Secret War: The Clinton Conspiracy to Muzzle Internet Journalists

From her own "war room" in the White House, Hillary Clinton commanded a secret police operation dedicated to silencing dissent, muzzling media critics, intimidating political foes, whitewashing Clinton scandals, and obstructing justice. Hillary's operatives infiltrated every level of the news media, federal law enforcement, intelligence agencies, and the federal court system.

They looked upon the "unregulated" datastream of cyberspace as a threat to their power, potentially devastating in its ability to bypass the controlled, corporate media. For that reason, Hillary's secret police persecuted Internet dissidents with special ferocity.

Mainstream news media spiked the story of Hillary's secret war -- and of the scandals she sought to conceal. But the courageous new journalists of the Internet underground defied the odds and exposed the shocking truth about history's most corrupt presidency. This is their story.

Also by the author: Hillary's Secret Mind Control Techniques And How They Cause Me to Expose Myself to Dogs and My Skin Is Crawling With Insects in the Pay of Janet Reno

And coming in May: Spank Me, Professor, by Ben Shapiro. "Fresh and bitterly funny, this book proves that the universities, far from being a place (sic) for open discussion, are really dungeons of the mind that indoctrinate students to become socialists, atheists, race-baiters, and narcissists. " Oooh, kinky.

(Don't forget to bookmark that page so you can review young Ben's work when he finishes it.)

My recommendation: Pass on those pathetic volumes and pick up The Exception to the Rulers by Amy and David Goodman.

Update (4/9): Amy Goodman's book has jumped to 105 in the amazon.com rankings, from somewhere in the 300s when this was first posted. Never underestimate the power of Roger.* *(The power to take credit for something I had nothing to do with.) The Virgin Ben's tome, Dungeons and Reagans, is still at 2,432,357.

Also note: You can support your local independent, instead of amazon, while still shopping online.

Left Coast Air

Bay Area residents and Southbayites may be happy to learn that Air America will be broadcasting from Berkeley and San Jose by the end of the month. According to the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal:

Air America Radio, the left-leaning talk radio alternative to conservative stations, will be broadcast in the Bay Area on two radio stations so both their signals cover more of the whole market.

The talk show network will air on KVTO (AM 1400) of San Francisco and KVVN (1430 AM), in San Jose sometime in April.

Both stations are owned by Inner City Broadcasting Corp., which also owns the network's flagship station in New York City.

Because KVTO has only a 1,000-watt transmitter, it can only cover San Francisco, San Mateo and East Bay communities such as Berkeley, Oakland and Concord. KVVN's signal will cover San Jose, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz.

When Air America Radio premiered March 31 in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and other markets, the company was still in negotiations to secure a Bay Area outlet. While Air America says the network will begin airing locally sometime this month, it didn't provide a specific date. Harvey Stone, general manager of KVTO, says his station doesn't have the equipment to receive Air America's satellite feed to rebroadcast it.

Chatty Condi

I don't want to say that Condoleezza Rice's testimony before the 9/11 Commission was miserable failure but, coming home from work, I heard the local AM wingut and his guest, "Dr. History," play a clip of the following as their prime example of Rice's "excellent" testimony:

Let me read you some of the actual chatter that was picked up in that spring and summer.

Unbelievable news coming in weeks, said one.

Big event.

There will be a very, very, very, very big uproar.

There will be attacks in the near future.

Troubling, yes, but they don't tell us when.

They don't tell us where.

They don't tell us who.

And they don't tell us how.

And they didn't send an engraved invitation and a Mapquest link either.

I also heard "Dr. History" commit historical malpractice by repeating the canard (which he attributed to V.D. Hanson) that there were no commissions organized to investigate the attack on Pearl Harbor. Interestingly, the good doctor qualified his statement by saying there was no Pearl Harbor commission in 1943. (His statement was along the lines of "could you imagine if a commission was set up in 1943 to investigate Pearl Harbor?") I wonder he intended to decieve his wingnut listeners by selecting the only year from 1941 to 1945 in which there was no active investigation of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The Trees Not Shaken

A threat emerged on August 6,
While George cleared 'way the Texas brush
I read the U.S. would be attacked,
And looked away quick as I could
While George vacationed at his ranch

The briefing did not speak of threats,
It spoke of history, so I claim
Though it said "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside [U.S.];"
I gave it not a passing thought
And I'm not about to take the blame

George met face to face with CIA,
They didn't pinpoint the attack,
So I ignored it for another day!
George didn't want flies shooed away,
That's a metaphor, if you must ask.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
"The structural problem was that we did not share domestic and foreign intelligence in a way to --- make a product people could depend upon"
And that shall be my best defense.

Dumbfuck Statement Of The Week

"But put all that to the side for a moment. What if, through no fault of the United States, this turns out to be Mission Impossible?"

The current situation in Iraq is the direct consequence of the United States' -- that is, the Adminstration's -- action. How can it not be the United States' fault? "The decision to go to war in the first place" is the cause of what exists in Iraq today. You can argue that what exists now is preferable to Saddam Hussein's regime, but you can't argue that what exists now is not the result of Bush's war.

And to say it was unforeseeable is equally absurd.

Tina Brown Is Smoking Crack

If anyone needed an editor (preferably Jim Capozzola), it's Tina Brown. Her most recent issue combines her usual bad writing (which is Noonanesque in style, though not in worldview) with what is almost certainly delusional thinking:

In this atmosphere of anticipation followed by revelation, the media classes are salivating at the prospect of investigative journalist Bob Woodward's latest tome, "Plan of Attack." Talk show producers I speak to are on steroids waiting for Woodward. They have always just heard from a D.C. insider who had lunch last week with a friend who ran into Woodward at the pharmacy/ grocery store/Blockbuster and reported breathlessly that "he didn't want to say anything but I hear it's going to blow the lid off all the stuff about why we really went into Iraq/who's really making the decisions/what Powell really believes/what the real hold is that Cheney has over Bush/what Condi will never say to the 9/11 commission."

Talk show producers "are on steroids waiting for" something? They "have always just heard from?" (And this: "'It's harder for the White House to manage the author's process than it is the reporter's process,' Ron Suskind, author of the O'Neill bestseller 'The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O'Neill,' told me. " Who is the book about, Tina? I didn't catch that.)

And does Brown really believe that the author of Bush at War is set to expose "what the real hold is that Cheney has over Bush?"

The Fix Is In

I was going to compose a post yesterday speculating that various wingnuts have already composed their columns and blog entries praising Condoleezza Rice's testimony later this morning as masterful, definitive, a bold refutation to the treacherous allegations of Richard A. Clarke, etc., because that is the only acceptable outcome in their desire to elect Bush. Given that Rice is only slated to appear for two hours with a twenty-minute opening statement, and that her testimony is not only rehearsed but already leaked to the press, it's nearly impossible that Rice will say anything unscripted or provide any information helpful to the Commission's mandate. All that the 'nuts would need to do is plug a couple of Rice's canned soundbytes into their scripts, and press enter. For the Pumpkinheads, Finemen and 'Crackers of this world, the outcome of this morning's testimony is not (and cannot be) in doubt.

Lest anyone think this view is too cynical, I give you Peggy "Deep Throat" Nooners as Exhibit "A".

And if the testimony doesn't go well, watch for the pre-packaged "Democrats are racist" macro to appear.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Point of Personal Privilege

I know most television is crap, but -- a contest in which the winner is determined based on the personal preferences of a cretinous germophobe? And people watch it?

Hate and Hale

The trial of white supremacist Matthew Hale, which begins this week in Chicago, has gotten surprisingly little publicity.

Hale first gained national attention when the Illinois State Bar refused Hale a law license because of his racist beliefs and violent rhetoric. In 1999, a follower of Hale and member of Hale's World Church of the Creator shot five non-white individuals in a multi-state shooting spree. As a result, the FBI infiltrated Hale's organization. At the same time, Hale was involved a civil trademark lawsuit involving a dispute of the name of his organization. After an unfavorable ruling in the civil suit, Hale allegedly solicited an undercover FBI agent to murder the District Judge who ruled against him.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Hale's conversation with the agent was taped:

The tapes, expected to be played for the jury at trial, were made by the FBI informant a few weeks after Lefkow's order in the trademark case.

Prosecutors say Hale, in an email to the informant 10 days after that hearing, quoted "The White Man's Bible," written by his group's founder, as saying that if the government interfered with them, "they then are obviously the criminals and we can treat them like the criminal dogs they are and take the law into our own hands."

He later asked the FBI informant for the addresses of Lefkow and three attorneys involved in the case, and then met with the informant, who secretly taped the conversation, prosecutors say.

On the tapes, the informant asks: "Are we gonna exterminate the rat?"

"Well, whatever you want to do, basically," Hale says.

As the article suggests, the issue is whether Hale solicited a murder or acquesieced to participation in a crime actually suggested by the FBI agent. There's also an obstruction of justice charged based on the allegation that Hale urged his father to lie to the grand jury investigating the solicitation allegation.

I don't know why this case hasn't gotten more attention. As far as I can tell, Hale hasn't become a hero to the black helicopter crowd, ala Weaver, Koresh and McVeigh. The issues certainly are more interesting those in most of the front-page crime fodder these days.

Friedman States The Obvious

April 8, 2004 -- .... From the start, this has always been a Karl Rove war. Lots of photo-ops, lots of talk about "I am a war president," lots of premature banners about "Mission Accomplished," but totally underresourced, because the president never wanted to ask Americans to sacrifice. The Bush motto has been: "We're at war, let's party -- let's cut taxes, forgo any gasoline tax, not mobilize too many reserves and, by the way, let's disband the Iraqi Army and unemploy 500,000 Iraqi males, because that's what Ahmad Chalabi and his pals want us to do."

From the day the looting started in Baghdad, it has been obvious that we did not have enough troops to create a secure framework and to control Iraq's borders. As a result, local militias began to spring up everywhere. If you turn on your TV, you can see how well armed they became while Donald Rumsfeld was insisting we had enough troops there to control Iraq.

That's "elected wartime president" to you, Tommy.

"Perfect Rice Every Time."

Bob Somerby just keeps getting better.

Tonight's Majority Report on Air America Radio features the Mighty Atrios, Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Joyce Riley of the American Gulf War Veterans' Association and Space Ghost. I'd like to hear Atrios take Space Ghost down a peg or two.

Of course, I'll have to imagine it, since Air America still isn't broadcasting in my neighboorhood yet. But it should be good.

From the same article:

"Ashcroft, a religious man who does not drink alcohol or caffeine, smoke, gamble or dance, and has fought unrelenting criticism that he has trod roughshod on civil liberties in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, is taking on the porn industry at a time when many experts say Americans are wary about government intrusion into their lives."

This calls for a dance mix of Let The Eagle Soar, complete with a sample of Elvira from the now-defunct Singing Senators.

Porno For Rangers

Cable television, meanwhile, which has found late-night lineups with "adult programming" highly profitable, is unlikely to budge, and such companies have powerful friends.

Brian Roberts, the CEO of Comcast, which offers "hard-core" porn on the Hot Network channel (at $11.99 per film in Baltimore), was co-chair of Philadelphia 2000, the host committee that brought the Republican National Convention to Philadelphia. In February, the Bush campaign honored Comcast President Stephen Burke with "Ranger" status, for agreeing to raise at least $200,000 for the president's re-election effort.

And they left out Rupert Murdoch, whose holdings include a satellite television network offering a wide variety of (hetero-only) porn.

I guess this is understandable, since the "adult entertainment" business is capitalism in its purest form.

The Pot Calling The Toe-Sucker "Hack"

Mickey Kaus calls Dick Morris's unsolicited advice to George Bush on Iraq "deeply cynical." And who can argue with the proposition that Dick Morris is a scumbag? But Kaus's own advice to Bush on soldiers killed in Iraq is equally, if not more, cynical and scummy:

The PR solution for Bush seems obvious: He should go to the memorial for a soldier killed in Iraq, take the pulpit and deliver a eulogy about why this was a sacrifice worth making. ... Elegies are easy! Bush's doesn't have to be the Gettysburg Address or touch the face of God. If it's memorable at all it will help Bush immeasurably and put an end to the Kerry camp's latest victimhood play. (First the 9/11 families get painted as Bush victims, now G.I.s.) ... And if the eulogy's not memorable ... well, it won't be remembered! A can't-lose proposition. ...

A can't lose proposition except for the dead soldier and his or her family and friends -- but all up-side for Bush's campaign P.R. Of course, Kaus wouldn't know sacrifice if it bit him on the ass.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004


This doesn't sound like civil war... It's much worse:

BAGHDAD, April 6 -- On the streets of Baghdad neighborhoods long defined by differences of faith and politics, signs are emerging that resistance to the U.S. occupation may be growing from a sporadic, underground effort to a broader insurrection by militiamen who claim to be fighting in the name of their common faith, Islam.

On Monday, residents of Adhamiya, a largely Sunni section of northern Baghdad, marched with followers of Moqtada Sadr, the militant Shiite cleric whose call for armed resistance was answered by local Sunnis the same afternoon, residents said.

Like complaints about home searches that leave Iraqis feeling defiled and humiliated, disappointment with the Governing Council is a grievance that binds many Iraqis. The panel is widely condemned as dominated by exiles such as Ahmed Chalabi, the Iraqi National Congress leader far better known and loved in Washington than in Baghdad. The complaint gained new energy when Shiite clerics began a campaign against sections of the basic law the council produced with U.S. oversight as a basis for a constitution.

War Stories

The Toledo Blade's Pulitzer Prize-winning series on the Tiger Force unit in Vietnam is very important reading. Not because there are parallels to between the events reported in the series and the current military activities in Iraq. But because it demonstrates that American soldiers are not always virtuous because they are American, that the American government often does not tell the truth about the wars it fights, that secrecy leads to abuses, that dehumanizing others leads to inhuman acts, and that questioning the conduct of the military and its civilian leaders can be an act of patriotism.

(Link via Altercation.)

More Clowning From Kaus

The wingnuts are usually on the lookout for a supposedly liberal press misquoting the beloved Bush. In his latest drivel-filled epistle, however, mental midget Mickey Kaus bashes the press for quoting Bush accurately.

The question asked of Bush -- which Kaus omits -- was this:

Mr. President, in regard to the June 30th deadline, is there a chance that that would be moved back?

Bush said this:

THE PRESIDENT: No, the intention is to make sure the deadline remains the same. I believe we can transfer authority by June 30th. We're working toward that day. We're, obviously, constantly in touch with Jerry Bremer on the transfer of sovereignty. The United Nations is over there now. The United Nations representative is there now to work on the -- on a -- on to whom we transfer sovereignty. I mean, in other words, it's one thing to decide to transfer. We're now in the process of deciding what the entity will look like to whom we will transfer sovereignty. But, no, the date remains firm.

The Washington Post, which Kaus criticizes, used the following headline to summarize Bush's remarks:

Transition Date Still Firm, President Says

To recap: Bush states the June 30 transfer date "remains firm." In response to the question of whether there is any chance that the June 30 deadline would be moved back, Bush says "No." The Post reports that Bush said the "transition date still firm." Seems entirely accurate to me.

The pint-sized pundit, however, disagrees. He thinks Bush's words mean that Bush is "considering postponing transition." Kaus sees equivocation because Bush used the words "intention" and "I believe we can" in his answer. He ignores the first word out of Bush's mouth -- "no" -- and the last words --"no, the date remains firm." And there's really no contradiction: A person who "intends" to stick to a deadline and "believes" the deadline can be met can state, without contradiction, that the deadline is firm.

Of course, the other alternative is that Bush is "flip-flopping," that is, he knows the deadline is bullshit and intends to weasel out of it without clearly saying so. But Kaus would never impute such actions to his fearless leader.

The Post chose to report Bush's actual words, while Kaus plays a mind-reading game where he can divine that Bush meant the exact opposite of what he said. And some people actually respect Kaus.

Regrettably, and through no merit of his own, Kaus isn't the biggest embarassment on Slate this week. The honors go to Tim Noah, who devotes an entire column (and was presumably paid for writing it) to the question "Why did Jenna Slosson read her book upside-down?" (Answer: She didn't, and Noah is an idiot.)

Monday, April 05, 2004

Frum Smear to Eternity

Howie Kurtz permits David Frum to smear Richard Clarke by innuendo on CNN's Reliable Sources.

FRUM: It [administration criticism of Clarke] was prolonged but it was not intense. There were a lot of things that they could have said that they did not say.

KURTZ: What are you suggesting by that?

FRUM: I'm not going to say. But you can imagine....

(Bracketed material added.)

No follow up from the Putz, demanding that Frum either explain or retract. Maybe it has something to do with the unique nature of the relationship between Howie and Frum, which I'm not going to elaborate on.

Use your imagination.

The Loosest Slots on Your A.M. Dial

For those of you dying to wake up with former Minnesota Congressman Vin Weber, have I got a radio show for you. It promises "important guests, high production values and non-stop fun!" And Vin Weber.

World O' Crap reports that Big Bill Bennett is bringing his highly selective morality and dangerously clogged arteries to a radio too close to you. His guests today include/included Rummy, Big Pharma, Pumpkinhead Tim, the old ball-and-chain, Bill Clinton's underperforming defense counsel (Bennett's brother), the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mario Cuomo and Pat Sajak. Tomorrow is Vin Weber, Naomi Judd and "attorney Bob Barnett," (aka Bill Bennett's own attorney).

The gaming industry's loss has become the gain of every Beltway righty who can't hear himself speak often enough.

My advice to Bill: don't burn through your Rolodex so fast. You'll be interviewing your hairdresser by Week 5.

But the "News" link to Drudge is very smart. You can never have too much insurance.

"Many times, President Bush and Vice President Cheney were in the room together during much of the events, much of the briefings, much of the lead-up that the commission is looking at. And so I think it's appropriate that they appear together and discuss how they saw the events leading up to September 11." -- Karen Hughes, Meet the Apologist, April 4

Top Five Other Things That Bush and Cheney Can Do Together

5. Play Keep Away from Colin Powell.

4. Tandem cycling on Cheney's cardiac stress test.

3. Joint going away party, January 2005.

2. Two words: Santorum sandwich.

1. Finish each others' (prison) sentences.

(Thanks to a reader for the link.)

Sunday, April 04, 2004

According to Plan

WASHINGTON - Despite escalating violence that killed 10 U.S. service members over the weekend, the Bush administration is sticking with its timetable to turn over power in Iraq. The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Sunday raised the prospect of extending the Bush administration's June 30 deadline for turning over power in Iraq, questioning whether the country would be ready for self-rule.

Sen. Dick Lugar said security is a shambles in some cities, and Iraqi police forces are not prepared to take over.

"The United States and our coalition partners are continuing to work closely with Iraqi leaders and the Iraqi people on our plan to meet the June 30th deadline," White House spokesman Brian Besanceney said Sunday.

Under current plans, Iraq would no longer be under U.S. political control on June 30, but more than 100,000 American troops would remain in the country. U.S. officials have said the Army is assuming it will have to keep roughly 100,000 troops in Iraq for at least another two years.

White House spokesman Besanceney said Sunday: "The United States will stay in Iraq until the job is done and there is a free, peaceful and democratic Iraq for the Iraqi people. A free and peaceful Iraq is critical to bringing about greater stability in a dangerous region of the world."


Lugar, who plans committee hearings on Iraq this month, said there remain far too many questions about what will happen after installation of an interim government, whose composition has yet to be decided.

He said the administration has not told his committee its plans for an ambassador, who the 3,000 embassy staff will be and how they and the embassy will be protected.

"This is a huge new exposure of Americans," Lugar said. "At this point, I would have thought there would have been a more comprehensive plan."

So does this mean 100,000 U.S. troops will be under the control of the Iraqi government in less than three months? A government that doesn't even exist yet (except perhaps on paper, in Karl Rove's office safe)?

Okay, Isaiah is right, Democrats are immature

It takes a better person than me to ignore this sentence:

"But we can say this: Deep Throat was an answer, and ... alas, Noonan beat Woodward to the buzzer."

I'm sure she did.

Roger's Sneak Previews

Now this is the kind of movie I want to see:

In addition, this film's script portrays General Sam Houston, the military victor at the Battle of San Jacinto which allowed Texas to gain its independence from Mexico, as a venereal diseased drunkard; Colonel William Barret Travis, commander of Texan forces at the Alamo, as a dead beat dad and serial adulterer; Colonel James Bowie, the Alamo defender famous for his knife fighting skills, as a land swindling, slave trader; and Davy Crockett, the king of the wild frontier, as a war criminal, who participated in a My Lai style massacre in the Creek Indian War and was captured and executed at the Alamo. By contrast, Manuel Castrillon, a Mexican General who attacked the Alamo, is portrayed as a flawless, noble, and brave hero.

It's funny that a group called "The Freedom Alliance" is apologizing for slaveholders. And that it considers these folks "American heroes" when Texas wasn't a part of America in 1836. The Freedom Alliance even generously upgrades one of William Travis's slaves to the status of "African-American," even though he was considered chattel at the time, both by "American hero" Travis and the United States Constitution at the time.

When it comes to history -- and war -- some people just can't handle the truth.

From the New York Times' somewhat blog-like Times on the Trail feature, we learn that most Americans are unimpressed with the leadership of G.W. Bush:

Mr. Bush's overall job approval rating has teetered around 50 percent for months now, and in the latest CBS News poll it was 49 percent. Only 37 percent of those polled said they approved of his handling of the economy, 42 percent approved of his handling of foreign policy and 44 percent approved of the way he is handling Iraq, down from 49 percent in early March.

In the recent Los Angeles Times poll, Mr. Bush's overall job approval was 51 percent. And in the Gallup poll taken a few days earlier, it was 53 percent.

The public has growing doubts too about the Iraq war. Just 37 percent of the respondents in the CBS News poll said the war had been worth the loss of American lives and other costs, while 54 percent said it had not. Only 36 percent said the United States was more safe from terrorism as a result of the war against Iraq; 22 percent said the United States was less safe; and 38 percent said the war had made no difference.

These numbers -- especially the ones on the economy and Iraq -- are likely not going to change no matter how many feel-good ads Bush buys with his record warchest. If Bush wants to be elected in November, he's either got to (1) do something right or, more realistically, (2) go negative and attempt to smear Kerry as even a more of miserable failure than he (Bush) is.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Wingnuts Without Irony

World O'Crap has unearthed a motherlode of wingnuttery: Alan Keyes' Renew America website. The worst of the worst right-wing columnists (or, more accurately, wannabe columnists) can be found there.

The wingnut without irony in the title of this post in one Kaye Grogan, who proposes the following legislation:

There needs to be a law passed where any person who disrespects the "Office of the Presidency" by making false accusations and spreading deliberate rumors about the president, should be charged with a felony or at the very least a high misdemeanor.

Hey, make it an ex post facto law -- as long as we're fucking with the Constitution -- and I'll sign on.

And here's another of Alan's Renewed Americans Isaiah Z. Sterrett:

I guess you can't expect much maturity from the party of Lyndon Johnson, who revealed his surgical scars to reporters, or Bill Clinton, who revealed his, well, Johnson, to half the girls between Little Rock and D.C. Still, you'd think being at war would evoke some seriousness in Democrats.

Hey, wait. President Clinton didn't reveal his Johnson to half the girls between Little Rock and D.C. -- that's a false accusation and a deliberate rumor. It's off to prison for you, Isaiah. We'll try to get you an upper bunk in Mark Levin's cell.

Isaiah says says he can prove that Dick Clarke's a big nobody:

"Clarke wasn't important enough to appear in the index of Sean Hannity's first bestseller, Let Freedom Ring; Ann Coulter's second bestseller, Treason; Bob Woodward's 2002 book Bush At War; or Bill Sammon's 2002 Fighting Back: The War on Terrorism from Inside the Bush White House. Dick Cheney told Time Magazine, 'I don't know the guy that well.'"
I guess that proves it: If you're not in the index of some wingnut's book, your 30 years of public service don't mean a thing.

Hmm... turns out Isaiah is only only 15. So we'll have to stick him in juvie with Kyle Williams.

"You are Maureen Dowd! You like to give people silly nicknames and write in really short, non sequitur paragraphs. You're the columnist without testicles, and rock-headed to boot. You are often accused of being pointless and frivolous, but only because it's true. You tend to focus on style over substance. Hell, who are you kidding? You never write about substance. But you keep the Times from having to hire an intelligent woman columnist. Plus, that photograph becomes more and more unbelieveable every day."

Which New York Times Op-Ed Columnist Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla (and bastardized by Roger Ailes)

(Via John Gorenfeld, who is Bob Herbert)

The Radio Station That Time Forgot

A reader of Eric Alterman's Altercation advises that WRXT in Chicago now has streaming audio at its website. It appears the station hasn't changed its talent lineup or format at all in the last 15 years. I suppose that's a good thing. Eric's reader claims XRT is "quite possibly the best rock station in the country," but right now they're playing Fleetwood Mac.

One, two, three, look at Mr. Lee/Three, four, five, look at him jive....

In other radio news, BBC4 has turned the Linda Tripp tapes into a radio play. (The previous week's offering is not the autobiography of Lucianne Goldberg.) We urge Sully to listen for hints of liberal bias.

Friday, April 02, 2004

Pistof To Third World Children: Get Your Worthless Asses Back To Work

I doubt Nick "Pistof" Kristof sends his own children to work in sweatshops, but he's okay with having kids who don't look like his slave away producing consumer goods for the West. He tries to justify his position based on economics, but fails to make the case.

Pistof writes:

In 1993, when Congress proposed the U.S. Child Labor Deterrence Act, which would have blocked imports made by children (if it had passed), garment factories in Bangladesh fired 50,000 children. Many ended up in worse jobs, like prostitution.

Then there was the hue and cry beginning in 1996 against soccer balls stitched by children in their homes (mostly after school) in Sialkot, Pakistan. As a result, the balls are now stitched by adults, often in factories under international monitoring.

But many women are worse off. Conservative Pakistanis believe that women shouldn't work outside the home, so stitching soccer balls is now off limits for many of them. Moreover, bad publicity about Pakistan led China to grab market share with machine-stitched balls: over the next two years, Pakistan's share of the U.S. soccer ball market dropped to 45 percent from 65 percent.

These examples don't make Kristof's point. When ball-stitching switched from children to adults, the jobs still went to job seeking Pakistanis. And if some jobs went to China, they went to job seeking Chinese citizens. If the Bangladesh factories fired children, they either hired adults or shut down, in which case the jobs went to other factories. In neither case does Pistof claim there was a net loss of jobs or a net increase in poverty when children were no longer employed.

So here's my challenge to self-righteous Pistof: Instead of spending your energy justifying the exploitation of children, why not put your brats to work and have them send their earnings to places like Toukoultoukouli?

Update (4/4): Nathan Newman has a similar response to Kristof's column.

Thursday, April 01, 2004


Actually, don't hold your breath on that one.

Here's some interesting Moonie propaganda. The Father's wire service, UPI, has published the following report:

WASHINGTON, April 1 (UPI) -- Fully half the voters surveyed in a new poll said allegations made by former U.S. national security staffer Richard Clarke were a partisan attack.

And here's what the poll cited actually says:

Why Is Clarke Making Accusations Now?

Help John Kerry 17%
Sell Books 33%
Tell the Truth 39%

So "partisan attack" isn't even one of the choices. If you equate "Help John Kerry" with partisan attack, you still get less than 17 percent, not one-fifth.

I've never heard of the pollster, Rasmussen Reports. Its site says that the president of the company, "Scott[,] and his father founded ESPN, the cable television sports network." Here's a bit more on the senior Rasmussen's later career.

Enough of that... I was starting to want to deny due process to someone, or have someone else invade a country for me while I crammed Cheet-Os down my gob.

It's good to be back.

The Shame of Ohio

As if we needed further proof that liberals are entirely devoid of ideas: read this. This hollow man has the temerity to mock Professor Glenn Reynolds and journalist Mickey Kaus.


Terry A. Dalton sets the record straight on journalist and victim of the left Jack Kelley:

.... Kelley never had any trouble communicating with -- indeed, inspiring -- college students. I know this because I witnessed it, both during field trips with my McDaniel College students to USA TODAY from 1998 to 2002 and especially at a remarkable talk that Kelley gave to an overflow audience on my campus in September 1999.

At his newspaper, Kelley not only was a compelling speaker on three occasions, but also a journalist who seemed to genuinely care about what was on the minds of the students.

At every session, he was gracious, polite to a fault and unfailingly inspirational.

During his multimedia presentation on the McDaniel campus, his message was so moving and passionate that some students were in tears and most others were in awe.

In nearly 20 years of bringing professional journalists and college students together, I never have witnessed a more convincing or effective speaker than Kelley. Students talked about him for weeks after his 1999 visit, and many of them even kept in e-mail contact with him.

Read David Limbaugh's meticulously researched book, people. It's all in there.

Ben Shapiro is on fire with a blog entry about John F. Kerry's hypocrisy.

Shapiro quotes the Massachusetts liberal as blasting President Bush's self-deprecating humor:

"[KERRY PRESS RELEASE:] That's supposed to be funny?

If George Bush thinks his deceptive rationale for going to war is a laughing matter, then he's even more out of touch than we thought. Unfortunately for the President, this is not a joke.

585 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq in the last year, 3,354 have been wounded, and there's no end in sight. Bush Turned White House Credibility into a Joke George Bush sold us on going to war with Iraq based on the threat of weapons of mass destruction. But we still haven't found them, and now he thinks that's funny?

But Ben quickly reveals just what a fraud Kerry is:

"Well, Senator Kerry, if it's so tasteless and unfunny to joke about the failure to find WMD, why didn't you say that to Dennis Kucinich? In your Jan. 11, 2004 Iowa Black and Brown Forum Debate with the other Democratic candidates, Rep. Kucinich said this (from the Washington Post transcript):

KUCINICH: You know, first of all, I've been wondering why the president would, while we're still in Iraq, talk about gong to the moon and going to Mars. Maybe he's looking for the weapons of mass destruction still.



Here's video of the offensive incident. How did you react Senator Kerry? You certainly didn't tell Kucinich that missing WMD were no laughing matter. In fact, it looks to me as if you're laughing when Kucinich makes that joke. But how could you laugh about that? It's SOOOO offensive!

Ben's brief against Kerry is logically airtight.

The biggest mistake the Bush campaign has made to date is not putting Ben on the payroll.

And don't miss this Kevin McCollough column recommended by Ben: "Massachusetts Burning: 'Gay Marriage' Leads to Incest," which tackles the Massachusetts Supreme Court's opinion in Commonwealth v. Rahim (available here.) I think we've found our new Antonin Scalia.

The eloquence of Ross MacKenzie is once again on display in his latest column, "Better Batten Down And Head For The Hills":

"Imagine the sleepless nights of Kerry and his handlers as they lie awake worrying about the quivering protoplasm to which, as president, Bush well might reduce the real thing."


Please welcome the newest member of the Roger Ailes blogroll, Hugh Hewitt.

Mr. Hewitt debunks John Kerry's unmistakable charge that President Bush "caused the terrorists." No wonder that Ken Mehlman knows that Hewitt is the "go-to" guy when he needs to get President Bush's message past the media filter.

Collegians for Bush

If there's anything today's youth love more than watching college basketball, it's President George W. Bush. Meet your future Senators and Congressmen:

Over 200 Pennsylvania student leaders from 25 schools gathered in Hershey to plan for the fall campaign -- the largest such gathering in the Keystone State in over a decade.

Arizona Students for Bush got together for a Bush-Cheney '04 training session. School colors from across Arizona were much in evidence.

Students from Butler University in Indiana send in this tabling photo.

Finally, students in Minnesota were inspired to get together to celebrate their triumphal come-from-behind victory in the Sweet Sixteen -- grabbing hold of the standard of their vanquished foe and a life-size cutout of President Bush.

Anyone fearful for the future of this great land doesn't know this diverse group of scholars slash Gopher lovers.

There are, however, still decadant enclaves of fifth-columnists on campus:

This year at Yale University, Valentine's Day was far from ordinary. Instead of making plans for a special date (or bemoaning the lack thereof) students at Yale were preoccupied with the popular events of "Sex Week at Yale." Organized by Yale senior Eric Rubenstein, using Yale funds and with the full support of Yale faculty and administrators, Sex-Week was devised in order to allow students "to explore sex in a safe and open environment."

Events at Sex-Week were varied but consistently vulgar. One Yale professor gave a lecture on the "History of the Vibrator." Students gave talks on the secrets of great sex, hooking up, and how to be a better lover. At "Sex Toys 101," people who admitted to never having used a sex toy were given miniature vibrators.

This is a campus where our President is shown less respect than a miniature dildo. Is it any wonder President Bush preferred Yale as a same-sex institution?

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

Clownhall.com 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 Fundrace.org 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.