Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Crime, Necrophilia Network

It's nice to see that CNN has resumed its Nancy Grace Freak Show format through this fall.

I can't wait to see the identical shouting match about polygraph tests 500 more times.

Keller on Ethics

My favorite Keller quote:

"It's a little galling to watch her pursued by some of these armchair media ethicists who have never ventured into a war zone or earned the right to carry Judy's laptop."

Shorter Bill Keller: IOKIYARIAWZ.

Jack Kelley is kicking himself right now for having picked the wrong editor to work for.

The Okrent Wimpy Show

Stand back, Danny boy, and watch a real ombudsman show you how it's done.

Michael Getler, in the Sunday WaPo:

Referring to the Sunday story, especially, one reader said: "It was PR puffery for the president based entirely on anonymous sources. I thought The Post had rules against that, especially when the officials quoted are not disclosing anything that could get them in trouble. If the White House wants to launch what Robin Wright calls a 'tightly orchestrated public relations effort' make them do it on the record." I'll vote for that.

Then, the administration hit the daily double. On Wednesday, a front-page story by reporters Susan Schmidt and Dana Priest was headlined, "U.S. Warns of Al Qaeda Threat This Summer; Agents in Country Said to Be Planning Attack." The headline and first paragraph of this quite detailed story suggested that al Qaeda has people in the United States. The second paragraph said "Attorney General John D. Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III intend to hold a joint news conference this afternoon to discuss the threat" and to ask Americans to watch out for al Qaeda operatives who "may be in the country."

The actual news conference was then the lead story in the next day's paper, Thursday, with many of the same details, including indications that terrorists want to mount an attack that would affect the upcoming election. That story, by Schmidt and John Mintz, reported the naming by the FBI of seven suspected agents -- all but one of whom have been sought for several months -- and reported that "officials said they do not know whether any of the seven is in the United States." (Emphasis added.)

That was no daily double. That was the trifecta.

But Getler knows how to name and shame, while Okrent just blows cold and cold. The reader quoted by Getler makes the same point I made here, that the Wright piece was source free and substance free.

Democracy Now! also had some good coverage of the Times' Chalabi Seconds in this interview today with Rick MacArthur and Scott Ritter.

Thanks

To everyone who e-mailed offering to help with my computer glitch. I've sent replies to all who offered assistance.

And thanks to everyone who resisted the urge to compare me to Rich "Pocket Pool" Lowry, who wrote today:

Would anyone out there know how to get data from my old Palm Pilot to my new Blackberry? Between carrying my Costanza-sized wallet, my cell phone, my Palm Pilot, and my Blackberry, I'm running out of pockets and room on my belt. Any help would be appreciated.

Yeah, very impressive, Opie. But where do you keep your keys?

On second thought, I don't want to know.

Urgent

As you read this, I don't want you to feel sorry for me, because, I believe everyone's computer will die someday.

I am having a minor technical problem with Windows, in the form of an "Explore[r]" warning message. It hasn't affected my internet access or other functions of the computer (that I know of), but it is a nuisance and recurring problem. If anyone thinks they can assist me with this (and wants to), please send me an e-mail to the fastmail.fm address and I will describe the message/problem in boring, but concise, detail.

In any event, regular insipid commentary will resume this evening.

p.s. The "Urgent" is meant ironically (or is it sarcastically?)

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Memorial Day

Roger Ailes will be spending the next four days devoting zero seconds of his time to thoughts of Howie the Putz, Sully Joe, Wankette, Big Pharma and their ilk.

I will be reflecting on those who have sacrificed for others, sleeping a lot and, I hope, getting too much sun.

My daily page views will go into the toilet... and I feel fine.

I hope everyone has a safe and pleasant weekend. If you stumble across this site in my absence, please check out the fine blogs listed to your right.

See you in June.

Make Tim Cry

Those tuning in to C-SPAN's Washington Journal tomorrow a.m. might want to put these quotes up on the screen (like this) for Pumpkinhead Russert:

Quote:

Reliable sources have informed MWO that Jack Welch and Tim Russert attended last autumn's Al Smith Dinner in New York together - and that Russert, on the back of his lapel, was cleverly wearing a Bush for President button.

Russert has reportedly tried to shrug off the incident in private, but has failed to discuss it publicly.

MWO has also been told that either during or after the campaign, Republican Welch chewed out his employee, NBC News correspondent Claire Shipman, for being too favorable to Gore in her reporting on the Vice President's campaign. And Shipman's bureau chief - Tim Russert - reportedly did not lift a finger to protect her or to protest Welch's outrageous partisan interference.

Quote:

Imus himself has referred to one African-American journalist as "a cleaning lady," another as a "quota hire," and tennis player Amelie Mauresmo as "a big old lesbo." Imus taunted another reporter as a "beanie-wearing little Jewboy," called a disabled colleague "the cripple," and has said that he picked one of his producers to do "nigger jokes." (60 Minutes, 7/19/98)

National politicians and beltway journalists have brought the "Imus in the Morning" show to nationwide prominence--the show is now carried by cable network MSNBC--by making "Imus" a regular stop on their media rounds.

One such reporter is NBC's Tim Russert--the same Tim Russert who, on his own NBC show, was unsparing in questioning George W. Bush about the candidate's appearance at Bob Jones University in South Carolina (Meet the Press, 2/13/00).

Russert wondered if Bush's appearance at a school with a history of anti-Catholic bigotry and racial discrimination was "giving affirmation to that institution." ....

ACTION: Ask Tim Russert whether his appearances on the "Imus in the Morning" show give "affirmation" to the kind of obvious racism that is featured on the program. Ask him whether the line of questioning he had for Bush applies to his own appearances on the "Imus in the Morning" show.

And, of course, "Who leaked Valerie Plame's name to Novak (and others), and why are you refusing to cooperate in the investigation of a felony which jeopardized the life of a U.S. agent engaged in the War Against Terror?"

Quote:

Two journalists, one from NBC News [Tim Russert], have received federal subpoenas to face questioning about the alleged leak of an undercover CIA weapons expert's identity, but both news
...

NBC News had said Friday night that it would oppose the subpoena issued to Russert, the first journalist known to have been subpoenaed in the investigation.

Disclosing the identity of an undercover U.S. agent is a felony.

Grand Old Police Blotter: Pardon My Molestations! Edition

Eh, what the fuck is a "secret pardon"!?!

Sexual contact with a child, indecent molestation of a child, rape and manslaughter are among the crimes secretly pardoned by former Gov. Bill Janklow, according to documents released today.

Janklow also secretly pardoned his son-in-law's drunken driving and drug crimes, records show.

Secretary of State Chris Nelson today released 218 pardons dating to 1984. Until today, the pardons were sealed from public view.

Janklow said today that he has taken worrisome phone calls from some of those who had been pardoned.

"I'm just heartsick of the hurt that I've caused people that got pardons," Janklow told the Associated Press this afternoon.

"I've been a lawyer since 1966, and I had never, ever looked at the (pardon) statutes," he said.

"All the processing and paperwork was done administratively by others," he said. "That doesn't excuse me. I bear the responsibility. I never looked at the mechanics. I looked at the substance ... on whether or not a pardon should be granted."
In addition to child molesters, rapists and relatives, Governor Thrill-Kill Janklow pardoned drunk driver "Jerus Campbell, a former chief legal counsel for Janklow who was in charge of the governor's pardons program." And Campbell's drunk-ass father.

In a related story, Randy Scott is still dead.

(Via Atrios)

Kaus Flop

I don't have the patience of people like Bob Somerby when it comes to debunking the lies of the GOP and their presstitutes. I lack the desire to lay out the factual case against an argument that isn't made in good faith in the first place.

To illustrate: Midget Mickey Kaus trumpets the latest Kerry inconsistency "reported" in this MSGOP article:

In an April 30 Fulton, Mo., speech Kerry said that if U.S. commanders in Iraq need more troops then "they should get them."

Yet last September in a debate with other Democratic contenders in Albuquerque, N.M, Kerry emphatically opposed sending more American troops to Iraq. "We should not send more American troops," he said on Sept 4. "That would be the worst thing. We do not want to have more Americanization, we do not want a greater sense of American occupation."

Shocking!

And the inconsistency is all the more inexplicable because absolutely nothing at all happened in Iraq in the intervening eight months.

And let's compare:

As part of the briefing [on November 20, 2003], Bush startled many by indicating that he could send more troops to Iraq, raising questions about Pentagon statements that the number would be reduced rather than increased in the coming year. He said he would do "whatever is necessary to secure Iraq," whether that means fewer troops or more troops.

His comment appeared to take even top aides by surprise. As the president spoke, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice glanced pointedly toward the press corps assembled inside Britain's Foreign Office, as if to suggest that there might be some clarification coming.

Later a top aide to Bush, who briefed reporters on condition that the aide not be identified, said that Bush was not announcing a change in policy and that expectations remained that troop levels would be reduced. "There is simply nothing to suggest that the number of American forces would need to increase," the aide said. "In fact, the conversations with the commanders have gone the other way."

...

Asked if he would keep a fixed number of troops in Iraq for a longer time, Bush replied: "We could have less troops in Iraq, we could have the same number of troops, we could have more troops in Iraq -- whatever is necessary to secure Iraq."

Flip to flop in 15 seconds!

Amazing Non-Discoveries

Query: Is Pumpkinhead Russert more like Jan Muller or Billy Mays?

Now that the New York Times has presumably been candid with its readers about shortcomings in its reporting on weapons of mass destruction and related issues concerning the Iraq war, will Tim Russert be candid with his viewers about accepting at face value Vice President Cheney's repeated assertions about weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein's supposed links to al-Qaida and 9/11, and Iraq's "imminent threat" to the United States?

In a handful of exclusive, one-on-one interviews on "Meet the Press" starting Sept. 16, 2001, and continuing into 2002 and 2003 (during a period when the vice president was doing no other television interviews), such assertions were made unchallenged and skepticism-free in what amounted to a series of infomercials for Bush administration war policy.

Perhaps we could be shown some video clips, a "Meet the Press" trademark, of the vice president's statements in this regard being embraced as gospel. -- Gene Kryzyznski, at Romenesko Letters

Sometimes soaking the country is the solution!

Smellin' Keller

Bill "Helen" Keller, ex.ed. of the New New York Times, is not only blind to the truth, he's tone-deaf as well. Imagine the spontaneous multiple Os from Sully, Wankette, and a certain hillbilly perfesser if this humble statement had escaped the lips of one H. Raines.

"I don't see this as an apology," he said. "I see this as an explanation. It's not a note that's going to satisfy our most bloodthirsty critics."

We published lies, and we don't care. Now fuck off.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Wankette

Midget Mickey Kaus, who couldn't get a woman to move 10 feet for him without hitting her with his Ford Focus, once again reminds us why he hasn't found that special someone.

"The end of Wonkette? 'Mr. Wonkette' is about to get a job with New York magazine. Presumably his wife will move to New York with him, leaving a gaping void in the nation's capital."

He's got all of the amino acids of Arnold Schwarzenegger, but none of charm, wit or looks.

A subtle reminder to our Attorney General

Hey, Crisco!

I got your terrorist who can portray himself as European right here.

A Critical Eye On A Whore

This Sunday's interview of Pumpkinhead Russert by H.K. Puff'nRuss was so important that the Washington Post devoted a second online chat just to that piece, in addition to H.K.'s usual weekly softsoap.

Howie was in less than top form for the second chat. Watch what happens when he can't simply dodge a vague claim with his standard "I haven't seen any evidence of conservative bias" macro (CTRL-ALT-HK):

Nashville, Tenn.: In the transcript of NBC Meet the Press on May 6, 2001, an interview on Defense Strategy with Secretary Rumsfeld, there wasn't a single question put to the secretary concerning terrorism, by Tim Russert. Later, on that program, when Senator Kerry stated, "North Korea to lob a missile at us has far more consequence than it would by attacking our subways with anthrax, by blowing up buildings in this country, by using a cruise missile they could buy on the market illegally and put a warhead on and fire from a rusty tanker in New York Harbor. ", Mr. Russert seemed surprised that their was a terrorist threat to the homeland. Russert: "And there's no defense against that?"

Apparently NBC News headquarters did not share with its field office in Washington, headed by Mr. Russert, the exclusive report on terrorism by Andrea Mitchell that had aired two days earlier on NBC Nightly News.

"It's a job former President Bill Clinton gave the Justice Department. But President Bush will put the new office under the jurisdiction of FEMA, and put Vice President Cheney in charge of planning the nation's new response to terror at home." ?. "The timing couldn't be better - terror at home is a growing threat, say counter-terrorism experts like the CIA's Paul Pillar."

Howard Kurtz: Who sent this? Al Gore?

Very pithy. And I don't mean Howie's non-response.

Does the Postie who let that question through still have a job? Kudos to Nashville.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

How The Whitey Has Fallen

Pity Trent Lott. He now has to go halfway round the world to watch Americans use dogs to terrorize dark-skinned people.

Weak As Water

The New York Times refuses to hold its reporters responsible for the Chalabification of its Iraq coverage.

But click on the links, and let the bylines speak for themselves.

It appears the Times isn't interested in credibility any more.

P.S. Don't forget the continuing fantasies of the Dipshit of Prague, whose mantra is "True? Who cares?"

In Vitro Veritas

Dear Bishop Sheridan, The Cornerites, et al.:

Please condemn Dana Rohrbacher and his wife to Hell.

That is all.

"Awww, Screw It... We're Going Right to Step 6"

Is anyone really surprised by this:

(CNN) -- Several U.S. officials said Tuesday that unnamed terrorists, possibly al Qaeda operatives, are in the United States and planning a "major attack" on U.S. soil this summer.

Officials said the attacks might take place before the November presidential election in an attempt to affect the outcome, similar to the way the Madrid train bombings influenced Spanish elections.

The FBI is likely to issue several alerts for several individuals the bureau would like to locate in the coming days, two counterterrorism sources told CNN.

Very subtle! I particularly enjoy how the officials restrained themselves from saying "...to affect the outcome in favor of Senator John Kerry."

Also please note that although the unnamed officials claim to have no idea who the terrorists are, they know that the motive of the terrorists is to influence the November elections. Nice! Oh, and even though the summer, by definition, ends well before November, these unnamed officials felt compelled to state both that the attacks are planned for the summer and that they "might take place" before the November elections.

The Miller's Tale

Whilom ther was dwellynge at baghendad
A riche lout, that tolde tales of fearsome armaments,
And of his craft he was a swindler.
With hym ther was dwellynge a poure reporter,
Withoute truthe, named Judy...

Oops. I mean:

Jack Shafer reports:

Sources inside and close to the New York Times say that the newspaper is preparing an "Editors' Note" that will reassess its pre-Iraq War coverage, particularly its coverage of weapons of mass destruction. The note is said to address the reporting failures of Times staffers, including Judith Miller, and could be published as early as tomorrow (Wednesday, May 26).

On a separate track, Times Public Editor Daniel Okrent has been calling Times staffers to discuss the WMD issue, fueling speculations that he, too, will write about the subject in his Sunday column.

Let me be the first to say it: Miller must go, and Keller too.

This will be the blogosphere's finest hour.

Opinions For Dummies

Bad news for those who thought that bookstores couldn't jam any more tat and crap into their four walls:

"Two years from now -- give or take -- Elizabeth Spiers, the founding editor of the gossip Web sites Gawker and The Kicker, will publish her first novel. Around the same time, Glenn Reynolds, who writes the political Web log Instapundit, will also have a book in stores."
400 pages of "heh," errors and other peoples' writing. Just like Dubya's memoirs, which should come out about the same time.

2020 Democrats

A group called the 2020 Democrats is holding an essay contest to select a young voter aged 18-24 to speak at the Democratic National Convention in Beantown this July. Here's the skinny:

2020 Democrats is collaborating with the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) and MTV's Choose or Lose to select a young person to speak during primetime at the Democratic National Convention. Utilizing their national network of organizations and individuals, 2020 Democrats will select the top ten finalists for Speak Out for the Future and will also select the winners of the Gavel in the Future contest. A panel of young decision-makers and influential leaders will be created to aid in the selection.

Essays from the ten Speak Out for the Future finalists selected by our panel will be posted online at MTV.com this summer, and users will have a chance to vote and determine who will get to read their essay at the Democratic National Convention.

Young leaders and politicos are encouraged to visit the DNC convention site at www.dems2004.org and submit an essay on the specific roles young people can play in the Democratic Party.

Sadly, although Roger could pass for 18-24 (in a 90210/The O.C. kind of way), he doesn't strictly meet the chronological requirements of this endeavor. I am confident, however, that this blog is huge in the 18-24 demographic, and that the winner of the contest will give a big "shout out" to rogerailes.blogspot.com from the convention podium.

Entries must be recieved by Friday, May 28, so don't delay.

Note: Contest is not open to Hipublicans or other fictional characters.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Putzapalooza

Featuring the worst of Howard Kurtz's idiotic statements in his weekly online chat, Media Jackoff.

Err Howie

Washigton [sic], D.C.: Will Air America ever get to DC? I hear Al Franken is very funny on the radio.

Howard Kurtz: That's one of their goals, but not at the present rate. They're having trouble staying on in the half-dozen cities that already carry Air America.

And by "half-dozen," Putzbag obviously means fourteen.

Tim Job

Pomona, N.Y.: Howard, just want to tell you I've been watching your Sunday show and reading your daily columns for a very long time and I was very proud of the tough questions you asked Russert Sunday. Nobody else has, and while I like him I think you did Russert and the rest of us a service. Thanks.

washingtonpost.com: In the Hot Seat (Post Magazine, May 23)

Howard Kurtz: Many thanks. I figured that Tim Russert, of all people, would understand that an interview with a major public figure is supposed to be tough.

Right. Some of the tough questions Howie failed to ask Pumpkinhead were: Why were you subpoenaed by the grand jury in the Plame investigation, and what do you know about the leaks? Why did you throw a tantrum when you ran overtime in the Powell interview? Why haven't you, in your coverage of the Iraq War, ever mentioned the NBC stringer who claims he was physically beaten by American soldiers? How do you justify NBC promoting your lame-ass book in its news programs? And why I am allowing you to use me to promote your lame-ass book?

Intrepid Howie did manage to get to the bottom of how Russert chalked the word "shit" on the sidewalk as a lad, and how he buys his own bottled water, just like the common folk do.

About A Hack

Philadelphia, Pa.: What's with all the attention to Tim Russert's book? Does anyone outside the incestuous media/pundit circle even care about "Big Russ"? There are so many important (and interesting) things to talk about -- doesn't the media have better things to do than interview one of their own?

Howard Kurtz: Well, the book is on the best-seller list, so somebody much care. It's the first book written by NBC's Washington bureau chief and the host of the top-rated Sunday talk show, which draws an audience of 5 million and which recently scored an Oval Office interview with Bush. And it's not really about Big Russ (though Father's Day is approaching). It's about the younger Russ's upbringing in Buffalo, his work for Moynihan and Cuomo, his jump to NBC, his handling of Meet the Press and so on. I'm not surprised that would get a lot of publicity. (Emphasis added)

[Howard Kurtz, May 23:] "Now the anchor has written a book, Big Russ & Me, about his father's role in his life."

Sunday, May 23, 2004

The Gospel According To Ben

Future law school dropout Ben Shapiro needs to brush up on the concept of "the hypothetical" before September. Opining on the attempt of right-wing Catholics to excommunicate pro-choice pols -- but only those who've committed the mortal sin of Democratism -- Father O'Shapiro writes:

The purpose of religion is to set a standard for values and actions undertaken by that religion's adherents. If a religion ceases to punish breaches of its moral system, that religion loses all credibility.

Take Judaism, for example. Let's say that Sen. Joe Lieberman decides to endorse abortion on demand. Now, Joe decides that he doesn't want his rabbi condemning him for contravening Jewish law. "Hey, rabbi," he says. "Let's just forget about my little abortion problem. I don't want to get excommunicated. And if you excommunicate me, and I revise my abortion ideas, all those Jew haters will say: 'Look at those Jews in Congress. They don't care about America, just about their rabbi.'"

Let's say, my spotted Irish ass. Lieberman already has endorsed "abortion on demand." And he's said his position is consistent with his faith.

In fact, Shapiro has already written about that fact. Last year, the V.B. characterized Lieberman as "saying that on-demand abortion is permitted by the Torah." So what the fuck is Shapiro talking about now?

Why doesn't Shapiro just come out for the excommunication of Lieberman instead of kibitzing on the Catholics' little fish fry? Be a man, Benny. Don't you lose all credibility by failing to demand Lieberman's bare-assed spanking, rabbinical-style?

Update (5/24): J. Shawn Landres at Religion & Society provides some clarifying details about Judaism and excommunication.

What's The Connection?

mw has sent a link to this article about Abu Ghraib civilian translator Adel Nakhla:

WASHINGTON, May 22 -- Adel L. Nakhla, an Egyptian-American computer technician, found himself at Abu Ghraib prison last fall, working as a translator for the first time in his life. ...

Interviewed by Army investigators in January, and reported in documents obtained by The New York Times, Mr. Nakhla at first said he was embarrassed for the prisoners, adding, "I tried to help them." But when investigators reinterviewed him a few days later, Mr. Nakhla amended his story and admitted that he had helped. He acknowledged holding down a prisoner who was lying on the floor during one session "so he would not run away."

Mr. Nahkla [sic] is one of several thousand Arabic translators hired in a great rush last year, under a contract the Army awarded to the Titan Corporation, a San Diego company. On Friday, the company said it had fired him.

...
Mr. Nakhla's resume, posted on a Web site for the Unification Church, does not show that he held any sort of previous job that would have given him a security clearance, although his job in Iraq was to translate as interrogators tried to extract sensitive information from detainees.

...

His resume shows that, before Titan hired him, Mr. Nakhla held at least four jobs over the previous seven years, all as a salesman or a computer technician or both. Officers from the last two companies listed declined to discuss him.

The resume shows that he held his last job, with Abacus Enterprises, a computer networking company, for 17 months, until May 2001. Whether he was unemployed after that or failed to update his online resume could not be determined.

The Army report lists Mr. Nakhla as a suspect, the same designation it gives to several of the soldiers who have been charged in the case. But the Army has no legal jurisdiction over private contractors.

Mr. Nakhla has hired a lawyer, but he has not been charged with any crime. The lawyer, Francis Q. Hoang, an associate with the Williams & Connolly firm, did not return phone calls.

Hoang was a Platoon Leader for a U.S. Army M.P. Company in the former Yugoslavia just a few years ago. Even with the good money Nakhla must have made in Iraq, it seems unlikely he can afford a Williams & Connolly mouthpiece (even a first-year associate). I haven't found any connections between Titan and W&C and the Moonies. But there's got to be a story in there somewhere.

Update (5/24): John Gorenfeld tracks down the Nakhla resume which was disappeared from the Moonie website.

Ungrateful Bastards!

"This is always the way the United States does things," Chalabi tells Time. "One of the first things they do when they come into a place is turn their backs on their friends who were instrumental in bringing them there."

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Chalabi Seconds

Will Pumpkinhead Russert put this 1998 Chalabi quote (from Senate testimony) up on the screen tomorrow morning?

"Give the Iraqi National Congress a base protected from Saddam's tanks, give us the temporary support we need to feed and house and care for the liberated population, and we will give you a free Iraq, an Iraq free of weapons of mass destruction, and a free-market Iraq. Best of all, the INC will do this all for free."
(Quote from "The Rollback Fantasy," by Daniel Byman, Kenneth Pollack, and Gideon Rose, January/February 1999 Foreign Affairs, behind the money wall.)
Eh, what the fuck is this?

"President Plans Drive to Rescue Iraq Policy
"Speeches, U.N. Action Will Focus on Future

"U.S. officials said....

"...said a senior State Department official who would speak only on condition of anonymity.

"... U.S. officials said.

"...said a White House official who insisted on anonymity.

"... U.S. officials said.

"...said the White House official.

"...U.S. officials said.

"... the officials said.

"... U.S. officials said.

"... U.S. officials said.

"... said the senior State Department official...."

Final Fantasy XXXI: Bozell vs. The Silicone Sisters

Uh oh, kids, it looks like Brent Bozell has put down the remote, whipped out his joystick and fired off a few rounds in the direction of his teevee screen. Says the bearded git:

But video-game manufacturers wouldn't mind if our kids imagined themselves as role-playing ultra-violent killers -- and now pornographers.

"Playboy: The Mansion" could be in stores before the kids crack a book again. You, too, can be a sleazy pornographer like Hugh Hefner, who in this game's vision is about 30 years younger and resembles Superman more than the dirty old man he is.

Exactly what goes on in this video game which hasn't even come out yet? According to the game's creators, there are several levels of play. First, you, the horny teenage boy, must answer the hard question -- do I want a tennis court or a bird sanctuary?

Construct the Mansion - The Playboy lifestyle begins at home. Will your home be a stately manor built for entertaining or a gadget lover's paradise? As your fame and wealth increase you'll be able to add tennis courts, game houses, aviaries, even the world-famous Grotto to your estate. Just make sure to build enough bedrooms for your girlfriends.

Then you decide which washed-up slobs you want to freeload off you -- do you prefer old schoolers: the Dick Van Pattens and Chuck McCanns, or the new breed of parasites: the Fred Dursts, Mark McGraths and Sisqos?

Live the Playboy Lifestyle - What use is a stylish pad if you can't share it with hundreds of celebrity friends? Spend the afternoon poolside with a bevy of beautiful women, and then change into your finest pajamas for an evening of decadent dancing with chart toppers, industry moguls and all-star athletes. Will you watch a movie in the Theatre Room or the Playmates on the trampoline? Life can be so cruel.

Finally (and somewhat questionably, in chronological terms), you must:

Build Your Empire - Fame and fortune don't come easy. Manage a crack editorial staff, hustle celebrity interviews and mold the magazine in response to a fickle market. Are readers suddenly interested in sports? Maybe it's time to host a tennis tournament and schmooze Boris McEngroe. And remember, people don't just read Playboy for the articles. Each month you'll invite women to stay at the Mansion, manage their Playmate training and oversee their sexy photo-shoots.
Yes, you get to decide whether showing pubic hair will lure Penthouse readers or cause established advertisers to flee. You get to write your own "philosophy" that no one will ever bother to read, and personally select the Party Jokes and cartoons.

And, finally, here's the sex part: you get to "schmooze Boris McEngroe."

Okay, I admit that is pretty sick.

The game's features include:

Hundreds of "Celebrities," including actors, athletes, authors, business executives, comedians, fashion designers, models, musicians, politicians, racecar drivers and scientists.

What spotty 12-year old wouldn't want to interact with Norman Naylor, Ronald Crump and Dr. Enrico Einsteen.

The game also teaches the rewards of long-term planning and a realistic business model:

Empire Mode - Select your own goals (fame, circulation, guests, etc) and then work over a series of months or years to achieve them.

Not to mention the benefits of having good p.r. flacks:

The Playboy Philosophy - You're rewarded for living the good life, having a positive sexual attitude and promoting tolerance and individual freedom.

No wonder Hef looks so old and tired. Wouldn't it be easier for kids just to steal a Playboy?

Perhaps the answer to this disturbing trend, Brent, is not pissing and moaning, but a counterexample which wins over young minds with persuasive reasoning. How about National Review: The Corner?

The Daily Cakewalk

The Los Angeles Times:

WASHINGTON -- Pentagon officials on Friday increased to 37 the number of detainee deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan that have prompted investigations, including at least eight unresolved homicides that may have involved assaults before or during interrogation.

Newsday:

WASHINGTON - The Defense Intelligence Agency has concluded that a U.S.-funded arm of Ahmad Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress has been used for years by Iranian intelligence to pass disinformation to the United States and to collect highly sensitive American secrets, according to intelligence sources.

"Iranian intelligence has been manipulating the United States through Chalabi by furnishing through his Information Collection Program information to provoke the United States into getting rid of Saddam Hussein," said an intelligence source Friday who was briefed on the Defense Intelligence Agency's conclusions, which were based on a review of thousands of internal documents.

The Washington Post:

Also Saturday, the Associated Press reported that military authorities said a U.S. soldier was killed and three others from the U.S. Army's 1st Armored Division were wounded in an attack on their vehicle south of Baghdad, and a Marine died in a non-hostile incident Friday near Camp Fallujah.

The New York Times:

Fighting over the last week had been edging closer and closer to the blue-tiled Shrine of Hussein and Shrine of Abbas, dedicated to two of the most revered Shiite Muslim martyrs. But early Friday morning, American forces suddenly withdrew from the Mukhaiyam Mosque, a building they had occupied on May 12 after a pitched battle with insurgents in the area.

The mosque had become a foothold for the Americans in the dense urban landscape of downtown Karbala, and the Army had lost three men just trying to defend it from snipers and mortar teams.

...

The retreat came at a time when the American military was being forced to defend itself in light of the prison scandal at Abu Ghraib and of an air attack on Wednesday near in the Syrian border in which 41 people were killed. On Friday, tens of thousands of people demonstrated in Beirut and Bahrain against the American presence in the Shiite holy areas.
Clownhall.com's Steve "Word of The Day" Fantina, in an undated review of Laurie Mylroie's latest tome, wrote:
A few of the leftist's whipping boys are shown to be truly courageous and insightful, and their efforts to see a liberated Iraq have now met fruition. The Iraqi National Congress (INC), headed by brilliant defector Ahmad Chalabi, is regularly denounced in elitist media organs as a rabble rousing group, but the author shows how diligently these expatriates have worked to emancipate their entrapped fellow countrymen. Many observers will recall Donald Rumsfeld's Defense Department butting heads with State Department administrators in trying to fund this heroic dissident organization. The author adumbrates many INC efforts and the U.S. government-sponsored red tape it encountered. Similarly Paul Wolfowitz, whose name has become a progressive's pejorative, is recognized as one diplomat who truly understood the benefits that the INC offered.

Here's a word for you, Steve: chump.

Purina's Response: We're Friggin' Idiots

The full text of Nestle Purina PetCare Company's response to my e-mail (see below):

Thank you for contacting the Nestle Purina PetCare Company regarding WRKO radio personality, Howie Carr.

Please know that we do not sponsor Howie Carr or advertise on his program. We are sorry you apparently received some incorrect information regarding our affiliation with Howie Carr. We have shared your comments with management and are fully investigating this matter to determine how this misunderstanding occurred.

Nestle Purina PetCare Company has family friendly programming guidelines in place that are monitored and nforced.

Again, thank you for bringing this to our attention, and we appreciate the opportunity to clarify the situation.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Glad To Be Of Assistance

Readers have e-mailed with Purina's response to criticism of its sponsorship of the WRKO website, which promotes bigoted WRKO broadcaster Howie Carr. Here's an excerpt from one:

Please know that we do not sponsor Howie Carr or advertise on his program. We are sorry you apparently received some incorrect information regarding our affiliation with Howie Carr. We have shared your comments with management and are fully investigating this matter to determine how this misunderstanding occurred.

Nestle Purina PetCare Company has family friendly programming guidelines in place that are monitored and enforced.

Nice guy that I am, I have endeavored to assist Purina with its enquiries.

Dear Purina,

I am advised that you are investigating how people came to understand that Purina sponsors Howie Carr, a Boston-based newspaper columnist and radio personality who expresses hate-filled views toward gay men and lesbians. I am pleased to assist you with your enquiries.

A few days ago, I posted on my weblog excerpts of Mr. Carr's Sunday May 16 Boston Herald, which included the following statements by Carr:

[Bigoted statements from Carr, quoted below.]

I also mentioned that Purina ONE is advertised through banner ads on the website of WRKO, a station on which Mr. Carr has a daily radio program.

Since that date and as recently as 7:15 p.m. today, a banner ad for Purina ONE reading "Take the Purina ONE 30-day Challenge" appears on WRKO's webpage for Howie Carr, as well as on a separate page entitled "Mug Shots" which includes photographs of Mr. Carr with various persons, and another of a young man -- apparently a subordinate of Mr. Carr -- dressed as a penis. (The man appears directly beneath Mr. Carr and Chris Matthews of MSNBC.)

I am not offended by Mr. Carr's juvenile photograph, but I am offended by his intolerant statements based on hateful stereotypes. I would imagine that a large portion of your customers -- of all sexual orientations -- likewise find those statements offensive and non-family friendly. Purina is free to spend its advertising dollars as it chooses. My only intention is to allow Purina to make an informed decisions re: spending, and to give the same opportunity to present and potential Purina customers.

I would be happy to publish, with your consent, any response you have regarding Mr. Carr and Purina's advertising on his employer's website.

Sincerely....

Thanks to the readers who sent the responses from Purina.

Bob Dole Is Fucked

"A lightly classified intelligence bulletin headlined 'Possible suicide bomber indicators' was sent electronically to 18,000 law enforcement agencies Thursday warning police to look out for people wearing heavy, bulky jackets on warm days, smelling of chemicals, trailing wires from their jackets or tightly clenching their fists to hide a detonator, the Times reported." -- Bloomberg News, May 20

Thursday, May 20, 2004

The Last Empty Measure

"Many of us are committed to winning this war, whatever it takes."

The Bermuda Rectangle

The NR cruiseship arrived back in New York yesterday. The only thing better than being in Bermuda, is being there with Jim Woolsey, Richard Perle, Midge Decter, John O'Sullivan, John Hillen, Radek Sikorski, and various luminaries from the NR crew. You still have time to sign up for the November trip.

Yes, someone actually wrote that -- it's attributed to Rich "Cabin Girly Boy" Lowry.

Funny, the last time I saw Lowry, he appeared to be under 80. And conscious.

I picture Rich wandering the decks with a bottle of suntan lotion, trying to convince passengers to include him in their wills.

Memories
Light the corners of my mind

Misty water-colored memories
Of the way we were

Scattered pictures
Of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we gave to one another
For the way we were

Can it be that it was all so simple then?
Or has time re-written every line?
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me, would we? Could we?"

Memories, may be beautiful and yet
What's too painful to remember
We simply choose to forget

So it's the laughter
We will remember
Whenever we remember...
The way we were...
The way we were...

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Meet Another Fraud

A certain 'Cracker states that freedom of the press "is unlikely to survive if a majority -- or even a large and angry minority -- of Americans comes to conclude that the press is untrustworthy and unpatriotic." He then asks, "[h]ow far are we from that point?"

Well, if the large and angry minority is made up of flatulent lardasses who can't remove themselves from their electronic teat for any length of time and are, directly or indirectly, dependent on the press for 98 percent of what they blog about, I'd say, very, very far.

(No link, you've already read this 12 other places.)

Meet The Fraud

Here's Pumpkinhead Russert expressing his outrage when a press aide to Colin Powell tried to wrap up Powell's interview with Fat Tim:

"Now, this is someone paid by the U.S. taxpayers, trying to cut off an interview with an American journalist and the American secretary of state[.]" ... "I've been in countries where staffers pull the plug on people. This is the United States of America. It really is unacceptable."

Here's Pumpkinhead Russert when Ali Muhammed Hussein Ali al-Badrani, an NBC stringer in Iraq, reported he was detained by U.S. troops, "a hood was placed over his head for hours, and that he was forced to perform physically debilitating exercises, prevented from sleeping and struck and kicked several times."














Well, I'm sure he'll get around to it, after he makes a few dozen more appearances flogging that "Big Russ and Me" book.

Update (5/20): More on the Republican fraud here.

Flaming Moe-ron

Pimping his old "new" book on gay marrige, Sully says:

One small note about media bias: it seems, sadly, that Fox News Channel won't have me on at all. They like their gays, as Homer did: easily characterized as left-wing and flaming. Oh well.

Sully has reached a new low -- misquoting a cartoon. What Homer actually said was "I like my beer cold ... my TV loud ... and my homosexuals flaming." Unlike Sully, Homer does not discriminate based on political leanings.

And, according to this column by Kevin Naff, Fox News Channel likes its gays, as Roy Cohn did: closeted and right-wing.

I hate to break it to you, Sully, but Fox News thinks you are flaming and left-wing.

(Links via Sully Watch and Eschaton.)

Reader Participation

Big Pharma, Sean Hannity, Michelle Malkin, Donnie Foreskin and hairless troll doll Mark Levin all have recorded audio clips for NRO's fundraising drive which, according to the Jonah B. Goldberg Memorial Rectal Thermometer, has raised about $13K for those nitwits so far.

Rather than listening to the clips -- does anyone need to hear Levin's grating whine? -- I'm going to ask readers to provide their transcripts of the endorsements in the Comments box below. You can speak in the voice of those listed above, or choose your own favorite wingnut. Fun for the entire family, and cheap as chips (cheaper even!)

(In case it isn't clear, I mean make them up. I don't want you to have to listen to the audio clips either.)

Meanwhile, as the unflushables in The Corner continue to dun the dumbfucks, Bigotsboy Batson gets a whole column out of Pumpkinhead Russert's tantrum about the Powell interruption. Am I the last person in America who doesn't get paid to write stupid things?

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Letter to the Editor of the Boston Herald

To the editors:

Your columnist, Howie Carr, describes gay men and lesbians who choose to marry as persons engaging in the "perversion du jour," and embarassments to the Commonwealth of Masschusetts. ("Can't Take This Gay State," May 16, 2004.)

This is the same Mr. Carr who dresses his subordinate as a penis and refers to the young man as the "son [he] never had." Mr. Carr proudly displays this photograph on the website of his other employer, making it available for viewing on the Internet by young boys and girls.

Help me out here.

Sincerely,


Roger Ailes

An Oxford Ass

On Scarborough Country, Chris Snitchens just asserted that the Vietnamese did not engage in torture during the Vietnam War.

Senator McCain will be relieved to hear that.

Update (5/19): The pertinent excerpt of the transcript, courtesy of Seb at Sadly, No!:

[Hitchens:] I think my quarrel with the media would be different from yours. I think what isn't conveyed enough is the sheer evil and ruthlessness and indeed brilliant organization of the enemy. The media cliche about the war is that it's like Vietnam. The Vietnamese were a very civilized foe and if they had had weapons of mass destruction, for example, wouldn't have used them and didn't target civilians, did use women as fighters and organizers, were not torturers and mass murderers and so forth.

The liberal reluctance I find is the unwillingness to admit how entirely hateful and unnegotiable with our enemy is and how necessary it is to defeat them not just in Iraq, but everywhere else.

Bug Chaser And Friends

Turn on the lights and watch the roaches and vermin scurry:

A Senate committee investigating millions of dollars in fees paid to powerful Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff and public relations executive Michael Scanlon also plans to examine $500,000 in contributions from Scanlon's firm to the Republican Governors Association.

The money was paid by Scanlon's firm, Capitol Campaign Strategies, to the RGA in the closing months of the 2002 election. But it was not disclosed until the association filed "amended" financial reports on April 27 of this year.

RGA officials said the failure to report the donation and thousands of dollars of other contributions was an accounting error. The two contributions to Capitol Campaign Strategies, which totaled $500,000, were the single largest contributions that went unreported.

...

Scanlon, a former aide to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), and Abramoff, a top Republican lobbyist and adviser to DeLay, are both under investigation by the Senate Commerce Committee. The panel, under the direction of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), is seeking to determine the legality of $45 million paid by Indian tribes to the pair for lobbying and public affairs work.

The FBI is also conducting a public corruption investigation of Scanlon's and Abramoff's work for the tribes to determine whether tribal leaders or staff members were provided inducements in return for signing lobbying and public relations contracts, according to government and tribal sources.

Accounting error? Well, then. Get that accountant under oath.

Howie Carr, Bigot

Howie Carr is a bigot, pure and simple. Dan Kennedy quotes Carr's filth:

Gay marriage, another mega-embarrassment for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, but what else is new? Imagine the circus this evening out on Mass. Ave. in front of Cambridge City Hall - one shudders to think of what sort of XXX-rated products the hawkers will be trying to peddle to those who once were referred to in simpler times as "brides" and "grooms."

"Hey, get your amyl nitrites here. Poppers here, poppers!"

This is the liberal credo: If it happens in Abu Ghraib prison, it's a war crime. If it happens at a rest stop on I-495, it's true love.

...

And everyone has to pretend that this will be the end of it. You will be hounded by the PC Police if you state the obvious, that if the perversion du jour is "gay marriage," then tomorrow it will be polygamy, and the day after tomorrow incest, and then the final frontier ... bestiality.

Carr's stereotypes are not only inaccurate, they're moronic. And we have yet another right-wing fuckwit who can't distinguish between rape and consensual sex.

If you want to see the depth of Carr's conviction on matters of sexual morality and public decency, click here and take a look at the third photograph down.

Lower down, Carr demonstrates his deeply-held abhorrence of "XXX-rated products" and performance-enhancing drugs.

Perhaps some of WRKO's sponsors, such as Purina ONE, would be interested your thoughts as to both Carr's opinions and the content of the site where they spend their ad dollars.

Via Ezra Klein at Pandagon, we learn that Ahmad Chalabi's gravy train has been derailed:
Mr. Chalabi's group has received at least $27 million in United States financing in the past four years, the Iraqi National Congress official said. This includes $335,000 a month as part of a classified program through the Defense Intelligence Agency, since the summer of 2002, to help gather intelligence in Iraq. The official said his group had been told that financing will cease June 30, when occupation authorities are scheduled to turn over sovereignty to Iraqis.

At least he's got embezzlement to fall back on.

Philadelphia

There are a lot of theories concerning the death of Nick Berg and the identities of his killers, and a lot of unanswered questions about Berg's time in Iraq. Sometimes the speculation gets far ahead of the available information, which makes it more important that the questions be answered.

At The Rittenhouse Review, Jim Capozzola proposes a theory about the meaning of Berg's last words, one which I would like to believe is true.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Then: Steno Sue allegedly reported illegal leaks from the special prosecutor's office.

Now: Steno Sue reports on the special prosecutor's investigation of alleged illegal leaks.

It appears that this special prosecutor is at least ethical (or smart) enough not to leak to Steno Sue. But does he have enough integrity to prosecute the leakers?

Mickey Kaus is concerned that Vanessa Kerry will tarnish the honor and dignity of the First Family that Jenna Bush worked so hard to restore.

Frankly, I'm concerned that Kaus, having seen female breasts for the first time in his life, will have an uncontrollable urge to drive to Lompoc and assault some inmates. Or at least make an ineffectual grab for Cathy Siepp.

Grand Old Police Blotter: A Killer Smile Edition

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Reuters) -- Former South Dakota Rep. Bill Janklow was released from jail on Monday after serving 100 days on a manslaughter conviction for speeding through a stop sign and killing a motorcyclist.

Janklow looked noticeably thinner as he left the Minnehaha County Jail in Sioux Falls, S.D., accompanied by his son Russell Janklow, flashing a broad smile to the throng of media covering his release.

Janklow, 64, a Republican who also served four terms as governor of the Midwestern state from 1979 to 1985 and again from 1995 to 2003, did not speak as he entered a silver sport utility vehicle driven by a long-time friend. His future plans were not known.

...

Jail warden and Assistant Sheriff Michelle Boyd said Janklow was housed separately in his own cellblock for his protection because he was a former governor, congressman and state attorney general.

Solitary confinement has a slightly different meaning when you're a Republican.

In a related story, Randy Scott is still dead.

Another Plug

Atrios is holding a pledge week. He certainly deserves support for all his fine efforts. Not only does his blog inform and entertain, but Atrios also promotes worthy candidates, causes and non-profit organizations. And he has been most generous in linking to this site's mediocre content.

Most of all, it would be nice to see him kick The Corner's ass (and asses) in fundraising efforts, as he does every day, content-wise.

Update: Another reason to contribute to Atrios -- You avoid the dinner party with Kate O'Verbite and "ALL of NRO's editors and contributers [sic]."

Ship of Tools

It's time for another National Review cruise, on the luxury liner MS We Hate Muslims and Foreigners Who Aren't Christian:

Mega-influential author and NRO Contributor Victor Davis Hanson, world-renowned Islam authority Bernard Lewis, RNC chairman Ed Gillespie, Club for Growth president Steve Moore, acclaimed author Dinesh D'Souza, syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin, NRO favorite John Derbyshire, and NR editorial stars Rich Lowry, John O'Sullivan, Ramesh Ponnuru, and Jay Nordlinger.

Prices start at just $1,549 per person (which includes port fees, taxes, and gratuities), and $1,899 for "singles." Heck --even a stateroom with a private verandah can be yours for only $2,399 p/p! How can you not come?!

Don't expect to see much of Dinesh and Ramesh, as Michelle will have them locked in the ship's brig and refuse to apologize for it.

Meanwhile, heterosexual family man John Derbyshire will leave the brats at home, after locking up his Ann Coulter doll collection.

Update: Somehow the text got garbled during the cut-and-paste process. It is now correct. Bernard Lewis is not the "NRO favorite John authority." That would be Neil Bush. My sincere apologies to Neil.

Water Is Wet

TBogg discovers that the deep thoughts of The Cornerites are even less accurate than Brainwashed, the Virgin Ben's first novel. Scandalous!

But how can The Corner be so wrong, so often? Particularly with dedication to scholarship and research such as this:

FRIDAY BOOK BLEGS [Jonah Goldberg]

1) I am in constant, longterm, search for examples of the following premise: Politicians on both sides of the aisle are unwilling or incapable of arguing that an idea is good even though it's not supported by the American people. If they propose a policy they insist that it be phrased to the public in such a way that polls show it is favorable. If social security reform is a good idea, it should be regardless of whether or not Americans support it, right? Unfortunately, we have a chicken-or-egg situation where reforms cannot be sold until they are popular and they cannot be popular until they are sold.

2) Serious critiques of Pragmatism, John Dewey, William James etc. preferably from avowed philosophical approaches, i.e. Libertarians on pragmatism, conservatives on it, Marxists, etc.

3) Any good essays that actually define, programmatically, ideologically or philosophically the American "Old Right" by which I mean the pre-WWII right. I've read quite a bit on the subject and the group still seems like a grab-bag of different personalities.

4) Contemporary and historic examples of "lying for justice" -- be it environmentalists exaggerating environmental threats, racial hoaxes on campus, etc.

5) And, as always, examples of absurd arguments ad hitlerum, i.e. arguments where the Nazis, Fascists or the Holocaust are compared to minor budget cuts, opposition to affirmative action etc.

As always, please send book-bleg responses (with appropriate subject headers) to JonahResearch [sic]@aol.com.

It's always nice to see someone arrive at a conclusion and then beg people for proof of the same. And if your work is acceptable to Bigotsboy, he may even tell you about his trip to London.

Radio Free San Francisco

Air America Radio's planned San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose stations are missing from the network's website. I guess they discovered there's not much of a market for progressive programming in the Bay Area.

The Cakewalk Report

BAGHDAD, Iraq - The head of the Iraqi Governing Council was killed in a suicide car bombing near a checkpoint outside the coalition headquarters in central Baghdad on Monday, dealing a blow to U.S. efforts to stabilize Iraq ahead of a handover of sovereignty on June 30.

Abdel-Zahraa Othman, also known as Izzadine Saleem, was the second and highest-ranking member of the U.S.-appointed council to be assassinated. He was among nine Iraqis, including the bomber, who were killed, Iraqi officials said.

A suicide bomber was responsible, the military said.

L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. administrator of Iraq, called the killing a "shocking and tragic loss."

....

"The U.S. government has told us that it needs to select some U.S. troops in South Korea and send them to Iraq to cope with the worsening situation in Iraq," said Kim Sook, head of the South Korean Foreign Ministry's North American Bureau.

A senior U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said any shift in troops from South Korea would be part of the next rotation of American troops in Iraq, set to begin this summer.

Tapping into the U.S. military force in Korea would be an historic move by the Pentagon, underscoring the degree to which the military is stretched while trying to provide enough forces for Iraq and meet its other commitments.

U.S. officials promptly resolved the crisis by calling Saleem's killer a "terrorist."

Sunday, May 16, 2004

History Of A Cakewalk

Neoconman Ken Adelman, February 2002:

I believe demolishing Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk. Let me give simple, responsible reasons: (1) It was a cakewalk last time; (2) they've become much weaker; (3) we've become much stronger; and (4) now we're playing for keeps.

Neoconman Ken Adelman, April 2003:

Predicting that the next war in Iraq would be a "cw" -- for my sake, now think "crushing win" -- my early 2002 article established the baseline: "It was a cakewalk last time," during the first Gulf War. Granted, I'm an incurable optimist, but even I could never have envisioned the coalition controlling the enemy capital within three weeks -- less than half the time, with less than half the U.S. casualties, of the first Gulf War. And with none of the above disasters happening.

Neoconman Dick Cheney, April 2003 (per Bob Woodward):

On April 10, 2003, Ken Adelman, a Reagan administration official and supporter of the Iraq war, published an op-ed article in The Washington Post headlined, " 'Cakewalk' Revisited," more or less gloating over what appeared to be the quick victory there, and reminding readers that 14 months earlier he had written that war would be a "cakewalk." He chastised those who had predicted disaster. "Taking first prize among the many frightful forecasters" was Brent Scowcroft, who served as national security adviser in the first Bush administration. Adelman wrote that his own confidence came from having worked for Donald H. Rumsfeld three times and "from knowing Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz for so many years."

Vice President Cheney phoned Adelman, who was in Paris with his wife, Carol. What a clever column, the vice president said. You really demolished them. He said he and his wife, Lynne, were having a small private dinner Sunday night, April 13, to talk and celebrate. The only other guests would be his chief adviser, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, and Wolfowitz, now deputy secretary of defense. Adelman realized it was Cheney's way of saying thank you, and he and his wife came back from Paris a day early to attend the dinner.

Neoconman Paul D. Wolfowitz, May 2004:

But no one should have expected a cakewalk and that's no reason to go wobbly now. I spend most of my time with officers and soldiers, and they're not defeatists -- not even the ones who suffered terrible wounds in Iraq.

More Lies From The Pentagon

Time magazine is reporting more Pentagon lies -- and an attempted cover-up -- about Abu Ghraib:

Meanwhile, lawmakers who last week felt blindsided by the prison abuses are beginning to feel misled as well. Knowledgeable government sources told Time that House Intelligence Committee Democrats asked the Pentagon last January about an internal Army report on dangerous conditions and poor management at the Abu Ghraib prison. The sources said Pentagon aides told the panel that no such report existed -- though it had been finished for months. A Pentagon spokesman had no immediate response.

Maybe the Pukes will have Jean Lewis look into this one.

Forget scandal fatigue, we're into scandal backlog. But there won't be accountability unless Kerry is elected (and probably not even then, if the Republicans retain control of Congress).

Saturday, May 15, 2004

A Plug

Book lovers in the North Georgia area should check out the Mountain Scholar Bookshop in Blue Ridge, GA.

Mountain Scholar Bookshop
679A E. Main Street
Blue Ridge, GA, 30513
Phone: (706) 632-1993
Fax: (706)632-7758
Email: mtscholar AT tds.net

Directions here.

Tell them that Roger Ailes, the blog, sent you and get uncomfortable stares from the store staff.

Roger's Random Notes

Seb is back and blogging at Sadly, No!. Let's hope he has better luck staying off the Hillbilly Heroin than Rush did.

Benjamin Shapiro, self-proclaimed victim of discrimination at the hands of the radical leftists who control higher education, will be attending Harvard Law School this fall. Let's hope Harvard Law is as willing to overlook shoddy and inaccurate scholarship as is WND Books. I'm sure it is.

At the recent American Conservative Union dinner, the National Rifle Association's Wayne LaPierre gave ACU President (and former NRA board member) David A. Keene a photograph of a gun. This is good news, because it means David Keene Jnr. will only be able to throw wadded up photographs at other motorists, instead of trying to blow their heads off, as he did during his last drive-by temper tantrum.

Friday, May 14, 2004

Grand Old Police Blotter: It's A Family Affair Edition

When I first read this story, I didn't remember Joe Waldholtz. But soon it all came back.

Joseph P. Waldholtz, a former Republican strategist already on parole for embezzling nearly $4 million from his former father-in-law, was sentenced yesterday to three to 15 years in prison for forging insurance and Veterans Affairs checks from his stepmother and his late father.

After a nonjury trial before Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey A. Manning, Waldholtz was found guilty Nov. 10 of three counts of theft and receiving stolen property, and four of 23 counts of forgery.

...

In November 1996, Waldholtz was sentenced to federal prison for election, tax and bank fraud. He was released in early 1999. He had been convicted in U.S. District Court of embezzling almost $4 million from the father of his wife, former U.S. Rep. Enid Greene, R-Utah, and putting much of it into her 1994 campaign for Congress.

Enid Greene Waldholtz was one of Newt Gingrich's Contract on America Pukes, who spent $1.8 million to win a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives:

Utah Congresswoman Enid Greene Waldholtz was considered a rising star in the Republican revolution that began in the fall elections of 1994. She was chosen by House Speaker Newt Gingrich for a seat on the House Rules Committee, the first time in seventy years that a freshman had been picked for that highly influential committee. She came to even greater national prominence when a scandal broke regarding the financing of her $1.8 million 1994 campaign, the most expensive House race in the country that year. One month ago, shortly after a federal investigation began, her husband and campaign treasurer, Joe Waldholtz, disappeared.

In other words, Greene made a name for herself in politics based on stolen campaign funds.

Greene did not run for reelection in 1996. But she has turned up again, like 180,000,000 bad pennies. Just last week, Utah Puke gubenatorial candidate Nolan Karras named Greene as his running mate:

Karras took a gamble, a smart one as it turned out Saturday, by picking former U.S. Rep. Enid Greene as his partner. Greene is popular among delegates who last year elected her party vice chairwoman. She is remembered by the general public for the campaign finance scandal involving her ex-husband, Joe Waldholtz in 1995. The debacle drove her from office after a single term and led to the best line of Saturday's convention: "I chose the wrong man once and I'm not about to do it again," she said to laughter and cheers from the crowd.

But will Utahn Pukes choose Greene, whose defense essentially was that she was too stupid to know that her campaign was being funded with stolen cash?

Headline from an idiot:

An Open Letter to Internet Connected People on the Occassion of Nick Berg Bringing Me an Unusual Number of Hits
No link. No comment.



Abuse and Self-Abuse

Mickey Kaus endorses this reasoning from bigot and WorldNutDaily commentator Robert Knight:

We have been flooded with porn imagery on mainstream television and in magazine ads. Where did those soldiers get the idea to engage in sadomasochistic activity and to videotape it in voyeuristic fashion? Easy. It's found on thousands of Internet porn sites and in the pages of "gay" publications, where S&M events are advertised alongside ads for Subarus, liquor and drugs to treat HIV and hepatitis.

Says Kaus, "Doesn't Mr. Knight have a point?"

Well, except for the one on the top of his hood, No.

I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that convicted wife beater Charles Graner Jr., divorced mother-to-be Lynndie England, married men Davis and Frederick, et al. aren't regular consumers of Out and The Advocate or regulars at Mr. Leather competitions. Just a hunch.

Let me also propose an alternative inspiration for the soldiers' cruelty: Finding they couldn't access internet porn sites without credit cards, the members of the 327th M.P. Company found their way to Slate, where they read a glowing endorsement of a politician known for physically humiliating subordinate men and groping and belittling women. The endorser wrote that the candidate's defects include "enjoy[ment in] toying with and humiliating others," and that "[w]ith women, there's a sexual component" to the abuse. Yet the endorser said that the candidate's "flaws are the very things that might actually help him perform better in office." Wanting to be successful and respected, like the endorser's hero, they believed that abusing and humiliating the less powerful would win them similar acclaim and respect.

It's just as plausible.

Of course, if the endorser in question is a huge-ass porn addict, Kaus could be vindicated.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Don't Look Back, Scotty Mac

You might just see your replacement.

At a certain stage, Kelley agreed to talk with the panel. Kovach: "Jack agreed to sit down with three of us, and we spent 27 hours face-to-face with him. The most gut-wrenching and depressing thing I've ever done, just taking a human being apart. But we just did an amazing process. Even when confronted with reams of data, of fraud and lying, he couldn't bring himself to admit it. He just couldn't do it, and he was very convincing in the denials. I've never run into anything quite like that."

So there was no breaking point?

"He never broke. Never broke. To the last day, when we confronted him with messages he was sending to people all over the world, asking them to lie for him. We confronted him with photographs of people who were alive, whom he had 'killed' - you know, said were dead. Confronted him with all of these things. He said, 'I'm on overload, all I can say is I never told any lies.'"
Damn, that World Journalism Institute is good! As WJI's Bob Case says, with no false modesty, "In our post-modern world, language is used not to reveal and enlighten but to conceal and deceive."
Of course, despite my hopes, people are using the Berg decapitation video to push their own agenda. The most revolting variation on the theme involves blog triumphalism: The Big Media sucks because it refuses to show the video of Nicholas Berg’s decapitation, even though many people are searching for the video on the internet.

Interestingly, the fuckwit leading the charge on this theme doesn't have video stills of the decapitation on his own blog, only a link to a link to the video. Which is precisely the same thing as a television station or newspaper reporting that the video is available on the internet -- "we're not going to show it; here's where to find it." If viewing the decapitation is so crucial, why not display the most important frames on your site? Isn't the story as newsworthy as photos of a courthouse, a signboard and a Pakistani truck? Do you lack the courage of your pretensions?

Fuckwit says that "[t]he Berg video wasn't shown on TV [sic], and ... the big media leaders seem almost desperate to keep the story on Abu Ghraib," and "[b]ut on the Internet, where users set the agenda, not Big Media editors and producers, it's different ... Nick Berg is the story that people care about[.]" Of course, parts of the video were shown repeatedly on television last night, along with reports about Berg's grieving family, why he was in Iraq, and the disputed matter of whether he was in U.S. or Iraq custody shortly before his death. And even as this statement appears on fuckwit's site, the Big Media editors of the NYT, WP, LAT, ChiTrib, Newsday, USA Today, CNN, ABC, MSNBC and CBS all have the Berg story featured prominently on their news sites. On almost all, it's either the first or second story, alternating with Rummy's visit to Iraq and/or the request for an additional $50 billion for Iraq.

But it's a lot more fun to pretend.

Sure, a lot of people want to see a beheading. And they can only see it on the 'net. Which says zero about blogs or the "new media" -- unless fuckwit is lauding al-Zarqawi as a content provider.

I'm sure those who knew and cared about Mr. Berg will be comforted to know he died so that others may crow that they're more virtuous than the big, bad editors of teevee news.

A Poepish Plot

World O' Crap reports that Hillary Clinton had Sandy Hume killed, because he had excellent G.O.P. sources on Captiol Hill.

Update: Somehow Blogger republished part of a previous post. Blogger's the one on Hillbilly Heroin, not me.

Tony or Tacky?

Remember when it was unspeakably offensive to criticize 9/11 widows?

Now it's an act of patriotism, says Dotty Rabinowitz.

A class act, that Dotty. And bright, too!

A Poepish Plot

World O' Crap reports that Hillary Clinton had Sandy Hume killed, because he had excellent G.O.P. sources on Captiol Hill. That's according to Dick Poe, in an "interview" published by his former employers, Crazy Davy Horowitz and FrontPage Magazine. Also revealed by Poe: Hillary is now trying to frame Big Pharma on drug charges. And Ken Starr was on the payroll of Communist Chinese companies.

And Random House refused to publish Poe's book for some reason.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Atrios (link bloggered, see 5/12, 6:11 p.m.) has throughly destroyed Barbara Bradley Hagerty's response to the apt criticism of her "Kerry is a bad Catholic" piece on NPR.

One additional point worth mentioning: Hagerty apparently* e-mailed the following response to one person who complained about her story:

"....And I must say that [Atrios] misrepresented one person who works at the Ethics and Public Policy Center as 'right wing' -- the Center is highly respected and follows policy issues from a Catholic, Protestant and Jewish standpoint [sic]."

Presumably, Hagerty means that Atrios "misrepresented the EPPC" rather than its employee, since she claims she never met or saw the EPPC employee before. And note the bogus assumption of Hagerty's claim, namely, that a center which follows policy issues from "a Catholic, Protestant and Jewish standpoint" can't be right-wing.

To me, this is the assertion that destroys Hagerty's credibility. As others have pointed out, EPPC's major funders are wingnut foundations. And the Center's Catholic Studies Project boasts of its ties with right-wing "world-renowned Catholic scholars and writers like William J. Bennett, Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., Robert P. George, Mary Ann Glendon, Russell Hittinger, Richard John Neuhaus, and Michael Novak." The Queen of Coincidence's claim the EPPC is not right-wing reveals an intentional bias, and demonstrates that Hagerty is not an objective observer of the groups that she is charged with covering.

You'd also think that if someone identified herself to Hagerty as a "policy analyst," due diligence would require that she confirm the woman wasn't a policy analyst for, say, the Bush Administration or the RNC. Which would lead to the disclosure that the woman was an EPPC employee.

* I do not know for a fact that the e-mail is legitimate, but it certainly reads like the later-published response by Hagerty on the NPR website.

Republican funnyman Mickey Kaus argues for the cover-up of the visual evidence of prisoner abuses with the following rationale:

"I wouldn't print the identities of CIA agents."

Oh really?

Let's see.

Why look:

"Is it an accident the Bush administration held a press conference announcing a ban on ephedra on the same day the Justice Department announced Attorney General Ashcroft's recusal in the Plame case--so that the coverage the former heavily diluted coverage of the latter? I think not! ... I deny I'm being paranoid here, or if I am it's what General Motors' marketers might call 'acceptable paranoia.' After all, the administration apparently controlled the timing of both press conferences--they'd be sort of crazy not to think about countering a vote-losing story (Plame) with a story that makes them look good, no?"

And this:

"Where is Mrs. [sic] Plame? Here she is!"

So Kaus would print the names of CIA agents, at least if someone printed them first. And then he'd just snigger about it, like it was all a fucking joke.

Kaus also says he wouldn't "wouldn't print private information (e.g. outing someone as gay, or twisted), even if it were relevant to a non-private story, if it would cause them to commit suicide." So Kaus is both highly moral and psychic -- in the fantasy world where he is also a journalist.

Update (5/13): For what it's worth, Kaus uses the word "identities" instead of "names," so I've corrected the quote above. There's no substantive difference, but I want to be accurate.

Should the additional photographs of the abuse of Iraqi prisoners of war be disclosed to the public?

I say no.

Everyone understands what they depict.

Unless ...

Limbaugh and his cohorts continue to lie about the nature and extent of the mistreatment.

If so, release one photograph for each lie.

And don't stop until they stop lying.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Atrocities And Images

I don't plan to view the images of Nick Berg, the American who was beheaded by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi or one of his followers as the event was recorded on videotape. This morning, I viewed an old photograph of Emmett Till, horrifically disfigured and lying in his coffin, which had been linked to by Hesiod at Counterspin Central. I can't stand to see another victim of an atrocity now. My sympathies are with Mr. Berg's family and friends, and I hope that Mr. Berg's killers will be brought to justice.

It's also sad to see the murder of Mr. Berg is being used to bash the media for supposed bias, to condemn by associations entire races and faiths, and to minimize the American abuses of Iraqi prisoners of war, just as Mr. Berg's killers used the abuse of Iraqi prisoners to justify the killing of a man who had no connection to those events. Neither event can justify or mitigate the other.

A few years ago, someone with intense pro-gun views took a photograph from the 1930s or 40s showing naked female prisoners being led into a pit by armed SS troopers and captioned the image "The Original Million Mom March" (or something very similar). No doubt the creator thought this was a clever and effective way to make his point, but he (or she) either didn't understand or didn't care about the meaning of his act. He took an image that was created by the women's killers, without their consent, and used it to advance his political argument. The women weren't harmed by the stunt, because they were no longer alive, and possibly none of their surviving relatives or loved ones saw the photograph used in this manner. But the use of the photograph in that manner was, to me, utter profanity.

Perhaps the images of Mr. Berg's death will serve a useful purpose, such as to help identify or locate his killers. I hope they are not used in a way that devalues his life, or the lives of anyone else who is not responsible for his death.

War Porn

WASHINGTON -- President Bush, making an unusual visit to the Pentagon on Monday, viewed still-secret photographs of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners and said Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was doing "a superb job" for which the nation owes him "a debt of gratitude."

...

The president viewed about a dozen images, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said, including photographs and still images taken from video footage, most of which have not been made public.

...

Before viewing the images in Rumsfeld's office, Bush read a 12-minute statement to a small group of reporters that praised the secretary of Defense for "courageously leading our nation in the war against terror."

...

A military official who has seen the photos said that one depicts soldiers sodomizing prisoners with chemical lights and another depicts sex between two U.S. soldiers. The official could not confirm a CNN report that said a video exists that shows guards fondling and kissing a female detainee.

"They apparently show some fooling around and some horseplay. There are some that show detainee abuse," the official said. He added that of the more than 1,200 images being reviewed by Pentagon investigators, fewer than 400 are "bad."

The hard part is deciding how to best express my gratitude to Rummy.

An Announcement of the Utmost Importance

The date/time feature on Blogger is currently malfunctioning, so I am having to manually "re-time" the entries in order to keep them in chronological order. For yesterday's and today's entries the times listed are not accurate. That is all.

Con Job

Now this is the type of guy we want investigating the events of September 11, 2001.

The New York-based investment firm [Tweedy, Browne & Co.], which owns 18 percent of Hollinger's stock, said Monday that Hollinger's independent directors, including former Illinois Gov. James R. Thompson, should be held accountable for approving hundreds of millions of dollars in controversial fees to [Conrad] Black and other former executives.

Partner Christopher Browne said he made his case to the special committee of Hollinger's board that has been investigating the payments to Black, Radler and others.

...

In its amended lawsuit, Hollinger says Black and Radler engineered deals in which companies they controlled acquired newspapers from Hollinger for as little as $1 apiece--in some cases despite six-figure offers from competing companies.

The lawsuit acknowledges that Hollinger's audit committee, led by Thompson, approved millions of dollars in management fees paid annually to Black's Ravelston Corp. But the suit says Black, Radler and others "did not reveal what was going on behind the curtain at Ravelston since they had learned how to manipulate and dominate the audit committee."

That didn't assuage Browne, who said Thompson should have more aggressively scrutinized the payment requests.

"This board didn't know how to say no," Browne said. "There's no excuse for it. Jim Thompson is not an Isuzu salesman from Peoria."

But he is a fertilizer salesman for the Bush Administration.

The first casualty of war is the fanboys.

Military Intelligence

This is not a satire:

-----Original Message-----
From: Information Services Customer Liaison, ISD
Sent: Thursday, May 06, 2004 12:45 PM
To: MLA dd - USD(I) - ALL; MLA dd - NII ALL
Subject: URGENT IT BULLETIN: Tugabe Report (FOUO)
Importance: High

FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY


AUDIENCE
All ISD Customers

SUMMARY
Fox News and other media outlets are distributing the Tugabe report (spelling is approximate for reasons which will become obvious momentarily). Someone has given the news media classified information and they are distributing it. THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS REPORT IS CLASSIFIED. ALL ISD CUSTOMERS SHOULD:

1) NOT GO TO FOX NEWS TO READ OR OBTAIN A COPY
2) NOT comment on this to anyone, friends, family etc.
3) NOT delete the file if you receive it via e-mail, but
4) CALL THE ISD HELPDESK AT 602-2627 IMMEDIATELY

This leakage will be investigated for criminal prosecution. If you don't have the document and have never had legitimate access, please do not complicate the investigative processes by seeking information. Again, THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS REPORT IS CLASSIFIED; DO NOT GO TO FOX NEWS TO READ OR OBTAIN A COPY.

Do not look upon the Gubata Report, or thou shalt surely turn to stone. Because we take criminal offenses seriously. Starting .... now! No, really. For the love of Zeus, do not go to the Fox News website, click on the link marked Butaga Report on Prisoner Abuses, having previously installed the free Adobe Reader (available here), and open the linked .pdf file.

P.S. We didn't say anything about reading the report elsewhere. And please feel free to forward this e-mail to the press.

My favorite bit, of course, "please do not complicate the investigative process by seeking information."

What was that again about openness and accountability in a democracy?

Monday, May 10, 2004

The Accountability Administration

The following bit is true, even if it is part of a bogus apology for Rummy:

The first axiom is: When there is no penalty for failure, failures proliferate. Leave aside the question of who or what failed before Sept. 11, 2001. But who lost his or her job because the president's 2003 State of the Union address gave currency to a fraud -- the story of Iraq's attempting to buy uranium in Niger? Or because the primary and only sufficient reason for waging preemptive war -- weapons of mass destruction -- was largely spurious? Or because postwar planning, from failure to anticipate the initial looting to today's insufficient force levels, has been botched? Failures are multiplying because of choices for which no one seems accountable.

...

Americans are almost certainly going to die in violence made worse in Iraq, and not only there, by the substantial aid some Americans, in their torture of Iraqi prisoners, have given to our enemies in this war. And by the appallingly dilatory response to the certain torture and probable murder committed in that prison.