Monday, December 13, 2004

He's BHack

The old loathsome Mickey Kaus is back with a venegance, resurrecting his fascination with Clinton's cock. Kaus is suggesting that President Clinton pardoned Marc Rich in exchange for sex with Rich's wife, Denise. Kaus's proof? "It's hard to explain Clinton's gross error any other way."

And Slate published this.

If we credit that logic, then it is a certainty there exists in Kaus's apartment a photograph of Charlie Peters, Martin Peretz, Katherine Graham and Michael Kinsley engaged in at least three illegal acts. And Jacob Weisberg underneath Kaus's bed, locked in a steamer trunk.

If you want to start a successful weblog, like this one, Washington Post writer Mike Peed tells you how to do it.

Mr. Peed offers this advice:

And include your blog's URL in your e-mail signature. Blood says people should "associate your name with the name of your Web log."

I can't wait to read Mike's blog.

Republican Family Values: FOX Screws Edition

New York Daily News reporter Russ Buettner is smoking crack:

Former NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik conducted two extramarital affairs simultaneously, using a secret Battery Park City apartment for the passionate liaisons, the Daily News has learned.

The first relationship, spanning nearly a decade, was with city Correction Officer Jeanette Pinero; the second, and more startling, was with famed publishing titan Judith Regan.

His affair with Regan, the stunningly attractive head of her own book publishing company, lasted for almost a year.

What the ---? I'd rather sleep with Don Regan.

When Judith Regan, the bitter, moralizing Clinton-hater, was on the FOX News Channel, there was a layer of vaseline over the camera lens the density of which was not been seen since Dynasty was in production. Of course, her unattractiveness is due to her vile right-wing views, and her vanity, not her actual appearance. Which makes her the female (other) Roger Ailes. (Although the other Ailes is physically repulsive too.)

More on Regan -- who published a book about how "nightmarish materialism ... threatens to destroy America, as we pursue money, sex, and power at the expense of family life, duty, and goodness" -- here. Perhaps she had a duty to bed Bernie.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

A Patriot Named Kaus

Here's the story of a Kaus who served the U.S. during war, as opposed to a Kaus who went to college to avoid one war and spent all his time during a second war bitching about Bob Shrum, Chris Lehane and the L.A. and N.Y. Times.

No relation. Obviously.

Merry Christmas from Roger Ailes

Linda, Livin' Large

It's amazing that the so-called liberal New York Times is still spreading lies on behalf of Bush's 2000 Secretary of Labor nominee, Linda Chavez, who was an employer of illegal labor:

But what is truly remarkable is how closely Mr. Kerik's troubles mirrored Ms. Chavez's. She declined to tell the new Bush administration that nearly a decade before she had given shelter and some modest financial aid to an illegal immigrant as an act of compassion for a Guatemalan woman in trouble. She hid some details from the F.B.I. The fate of her nomination lingered for a few days, until Mr. Card and others pulled the plug. And after her nomination was withdrawn, she said that if she had to provide aid to a needy person like that all over again, she would.

Uh, Kerik claims he thought his employee was legal, and admitted he didn't pay social security taxes on her wages. In contrast, the woman employed by Chavez said Chavez knew she was in the U.S. illegally, and Chavez claimed the woman wasn't an employee. So how are those situations similar, David?

The compassionate Chavez even benefitted from paying the woman so cheaply that she had to work for other families, as confirmed in the second link above.

The best take on Chavez at the time was this one, by Josh Marshall:

But, wait ... could there be something more sinister afoot here? Let's take Chavez at her word. She had an illegal immigrant who lived in her home and performed menial chores for Chavez's family. Yet the woman was not an employee and was paid no money for performing these tasks. Don't we have a word for this sort of arrangement? Forget the IRS or the INS. This sounds more like a violation of the 13th Amendment!

Does Linda Chavez have any ties to the Southern Partisan?

Anyone Can Suck Up

In the Los Angeles Times, Margaret Carlson, overpriced and overexposed media non-talent, gripes about the absence of female network news anchors. Given Maggie's incompetence as a journalist -- here's just one example -- she's got no basis for criticizing anyone's hiring decisions.

Here's part of her idiotic analysis:

"Bloggers are like basketball fans, ready to spray beer on the stars whenever they make a mistake."

Well, there's three mistakes in one sentence:

1. You can't equate all basketball fans with beer throwers, based on a single incident involving a few fans.

2. Criticizing media stars for their dishonesty or incompetence is not the equivalent of assaulting persons with beer.

3. That's not beer.

Here's my question about media hiring. Would the L.A. Times even publish a dimwit like Carlson if she wasn't best pals with Michael Kinsley?

Eh, excuse that little outburst. Blogger has been malfunctioning all morning. But I think I'll leave it there, for the next time Blogger malfunctions.

(I've eliminated the criticism of Blogger in the previous post. The criticism remains valid, but doesn't really add anything of substance to the purpose of this blog, so I've gotten rid of it.)

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Memo to MoDo:

This is just pathetic.

WalMart -- Always Low Prices. Fuckin' A!

In the category of Republican frivolous lawsuits, we have this:

HAGERSTOWN, Md. -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which promotes itself as a seller of clean music, deceived customers by stocking compact discs by the rock group Evanescence that contain the f-word, a lawsuit claims.

The hit group's latest CD and DVD, "Anywhere But Home," don't carry parental advisory labels alerting potential buyers to the obscenity. If they did, Wal-Mart wouldn't carry them, according to the retailer's policy.

But the lawsuit claims Wal-Mart knew about the explicit lyrics in the song, "Thoughtless," because it censored the word in a free sample available on its Web site and in its stores.

The complaint, filed Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court, seeks an order requiring Wal-Mart to either censor or remove the music from its Maryland stores. It also seeks damages of up to $74,500 for each of the thousands of people who bought the music at Wal-Marts in Maryland.

"I don't want any other families to get this, expecting it to be clean. It needs to be removed from the shelves to prevent other children from hearing it," said plaintiff Trevin Skeens of Brownsville.

Skeens said he and his wife, Melanie, let their daughter buy the music for her 13th birthday and were shocked when they played it in their car while driving home.

Apparently the song is a Korn cover, and contains the word fuck, a verb popularized by Dick Cheney on the floor of the United States Senate.

As for young Miss Skeens, I doubt $74,500 will compensate her for the pain and mental suffering resulting from being the daughter of Trevin Skeens.

Help Save Christmas and Put A Smile On A Child's Face This Season

Contribute to Bill O'Reilly's Vibes for Tots program.

E-mail Bill at Oreilly@foxnews.com or contact his personal Vibes for Tots website and ask how you can participate in this worthy program.

Contributions are not tax-deductible.

S.Z. at World O'Crap has a complete rundown of Cut'N'Run Kerik's past misdeeds. Her report looks suspciously like mine, but with more detail, and better written. Purely coincidence.

Bernie was a busy boy.

What exactly did he accomplish as Police Commissioner, again?

Cut'N'Run Kerik Cuts and Runs Again

Ah, the nanny problem. Who can't relate to the problem of having to hire undocumented workers to raise your children?

Mr. Kerik, who said he had first uncovered the problem as he and his lawyers went through the paperwork required for Senate confirmation of his job on Friday, had been in contact earlier in the day with the White House counsel's office. He later called Andrew H. Card Jr., the White House chief of staff, and the phone call with Mr. Bush was arranged.

And Rudy Guiliani, Mr. Subtlety and Nuance, marvels at the complexity of modern life.

"This is a sad day for him and his family," he said. "But we all have complex lives. Sometimes it trips you up."

It's funny. You're just minding your own business, when one day an illegal immigrant places herself in your employ and forgets to fill out those 1099s, leaving you in a right mess.

Fucking frauds, both of them.

And here's the A.P., doing a story on past illegal immigrant-related confirmation problems without mentioning Linda Chavez's program to restore the self-esteem of battered immigrant women by having them clean her toilets.

(Is that article correct? I recall Guinier being dumped for writing a law review article on proportional-representation voting, not for employing an undocumented worker. And here's CBS, putting a right wing spin on Chavez, insinuating the woman she employed was merely someone "[Chavez] had given money and shelter to ... who once did chores around her house.")

Of course, this is more of a class issue than a party issue, it's just that more Republicans have no class.

But I have little use for anyone believes that other nations exist solely to provide cheap labor to maintain his or her fabulous lifestyle. I remember the Zoe Baird confirmation and how, at the time, Anna Quindlen tried to justify her own employment of a (legal) nanny by asserting Americans often employed immigrant women to care for children because the womens' homeland cultures value children and child-rearing more than ours does. (I can't find that article online.) Which is true, Anna, to the extent these women love their own children so much they're willing to work for a non-living wage to mind your squalling brats.

As for Kerik, I suspect there are much bigger skeletons he wanted to keep in the closet.

Friday, December 10, 2004

The management would like to recommend The Mountain Scholar Bookstore for all your book buying and reading needs. You can shop there in person, if you're in Blue Ridge, Georgia, or online, via the foregoing link. Books make the perfect gift, as they're easy to wrap and you can borrow them from the recipient.

In the spirit of full disclosure, this blog receives no compensation whatsoever from the Mountain Scholar Bookstore, the DNC, the DLC, the NDN, CBS, TBN, MSGOP, John Thune, George Soros, Richard Mellon Scaife, Conrad Black, Conrad Hilton, Moveon.org, the John T. and Catherine C. MacArthur Foundation, the "Doctor" Laura Schlessinger Foundation, Dr. Greg Cynamon, Worldwide Pants or anyone else. The good and great James Capozzola of The Rittenhouse Review was kind enough to pay for the upgrade to remove the advert at the top of the page. Otherwise, this is a labor of love.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Onward, Christian Slavers

Atrios has a great story about the bigots at Cary Christian School in Cary, North Carolina, where ninth graders were taught that slavery in the American South was biblically sanctioned. As soon as the News and Observer exposed the school's bigoted curriculum, the school went into full false witness mode, publishing this pack of lies on its website:

As you may be aware, today the News and Observer published a rather negative article about Cary Christian School and our use of a small booklet supplement entitled, "Southern Slavery, As It Was". Within the article it stated, "the booklet has received criticism from a number of historians and that it has been pulled from publication because of faulty footnotes and citation errors."

We were unaware of these findings and as a result have already pulled this booklet from our curriculum. Let us reiterate that it is always our goal in the secondary grades to present two sides of an argument. At no time has slavery ever been condoned in our curriculum. As Mr. Stephenson stated within the article, "Slavery is wrong, that's not debatable. The South was wrong about the slave trade."

We apologize for this oversight and covet your prayers for our school.
Interesting choice of weasel words: We were unaware of the faulty footnotes and citation errors. We pulled the booklet because of those errors. So, between the time the article was published and the time the press release was drafted, the school confirmed the "faulty footnotes and citation errors." Right. Pull the other one. I guess that means they were okay with the main text, only the footnotes and cites were problematic.

The problem with the school's denial is that it contradicts what Principal Stephenson said earlier.

In the News and Observer piece, Stephenson "said the school is only exposing students to different ideas, such as how the South justified slavery. He said the booklet is used because it is hard to find writings that are both sympathetic to the South and explore what the Bible says about slavery." But the booklet says the Bible "allows" the ownership of slaves. So if Stephenson believes slavery is wrong, how can he say the booklet "explore(s) what the Bible says about slavery?" Surely he's not having a Huck Finn moment, renouncing the Scriptures and condemning himself to hell.

And if Stephenson was previously of the opinion that slavery is wrong, why is he only withdrawing the book for "faulty footnotes" he was allegedly ignorant of until today?

The article also notes that Stephenson is as thick as thieves with one of the authors of the racist booklet, being affiliated with the bigot's church and "accredited" by the bigot's organization, and having invited the bigot to speak at the school's graduation. Are Stephenson and the school going to cut those ties and rescind the invitation?

There's only one word for the school's press release: dishonest.

Oh, and see if you can find an African-American pictured anywhere on the Cary Christian School website. I couldn't.

There He Goes Again, Confusing The Founders With His Scumbag Buddies

I thought this was an interesting account of Hannity and Colmes' road trip to Godless California. My favorite bit:

Alan Colmes either doesn't bother with homework (he did mention the Treaty of Tripoli, which says "The Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion"; Oliver North responded that that was because they were writing a treaty to get some hostages returned, so I guess it's ok to renounce your religion on a case like that)....

Well, Lt. Crmnl. North should know. I hope John Adams got some money transferred to his Swiss bank account and a home security system out of the deal.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Assedrophysics

I'll admit I've never taken a physics course. Perhaps one of the many Roger readers with a Ph.D in physics can explain the principles at work in the following explanation:

Q: Yes, Mr. Secretary. Our soldiers have been fighting in Iraq for coming up on three years. A lot of us are getting ready to move north relatively soon. Our vehicles are not armored. We're digging pieces of rusted scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass that's already been shot up, dropped, busted, picking the best out of this scrap to put on our vehicles to take into combat. We do not have proper armament vehicles to carry with us north.

SEC. RUMSFELD: I talked to the General coming out here about the pace at which the vehicles are being armored. They have been brought from all over the world, wherever they're not needed, to a place here where they are needed. I'm told that they are being -- the Army is -- I think it's something like 400 a month are being done. And it's essentially a matter of physics. It isn't a matter of money. It isn't a matter on the part of the Army of desire. It's a matter of production and capability of doing it.

I think Rummy was expecting one of those pre-screened Republican audiences from the election. Fat chance of finding G.O.P. operatives in a combat zone.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Richard Cohen, Bearded Git

Every time I see another column whining about the absence of a reporter's privilege, I become more convinced that jail time for certain journalists should be not only a possibility, but mandatory. The latest idiot to weigh in on the topic is that tired-ass Broder-with-a-beard, Richard Cohen. Cohen's column is both illogical and ill-informed. He writes:

Outing an undercover agent is against the law. It could be dangerous for the agent.

It turns out, though, that it has been much more dangerous to the press. Plame, at last report, was doing splendidly, posing for pictures in Vanity Fair and otherwise not running for her very life.

Well, since she hasn't been killed yet, and she's only lost her career, let's just forget the whole thing. Let's do away with that silly crime of "attempted murder" while we're at it. When has that ever hurt anyone?

The special counsel, the Justice Department's own Patrick J. Fitzgerald, has either questioned or attempted to question all manner of reporters, but two stand in special jeopardy -- Matthew Cooper of Time and Judith Miller of the New York Times. What distinguishes them is that neither had anything to do with the leak to Novak. Still, they both face jail terms (as much as 18 months) for refusing to reveal their sources.

As any dumbfuck besides Cohen can tell you, the potential crime was disclosing Valerie Plame's identity to anyone, regardless of whether that anyone subsequently wrote about it. Disclosing the identity of a covert operative to Cooper and Miller would be separate crimes, so it's irrelevant whether they knew about the leak to Novak (or "had anything to do with" it).

At the moment things are a bit spooky. It's not clear why Cooper was subpoenaed. It's not clear why Miller was subpoenaed. It's not clear if Novak ever was or, if so, what he did about it. What is abundantly clear is that somehow a targeted investigation has gone wildly off track, with reporters apparently being asked to account for stories they have not even written.

Follow that? Cohen says, I know nothing about the grand jury investigation, but I know that it's gone wildly off-track.

Congress, the epicenter of leaks, had better set some rules to protect journalists who protect their sources.

Congress had better ... or what? Cohen will write more crappy columns condemning them for not doing so? That will bring them to their knees.

In the meantime, the press ought to remember never to call for a special prosecutor. The trouble with them is that they are, as designed, above politics -- which too often means common sense and compromise. Maybe if Fitzgerald were a politician, like Ashcroft, he would appreciate the value of a leak and how it has become an intrinsic part of our democracy.

Poor Bill ... a special prosecution without a blowjob to liven things up. Politicians -- and reporters should be above the law, unless there's a hummer involved.

Despite the best efforts of former New York City Deputy Police Commissioner Frederick Patrick, it's clear that Bill O'Reilly is still the man to beat when it comes to phone sex expenditures, both on per minute and per annum bases.

And, if this offends you, Bill, well, you can always move to Bumfuck, Egypt.

Wicked Pisser Christ

Here's the perfect Christmas gift for the right-wing Roman Catholic on your holiday gift list: Send one of these to Joseph Donahue, Kitty J. Lopez, Rudi Guiliani -- even Pumpkinhead or Chris Matthews. See if they get as upset as when John Kerry took communion.

I'd also like to see the owners of the site try to enforce their claimed copyright, given that their creation consists of a work in the public domain and bits of photographs for which the original photographers presumably hold the copyrights.

(Thanks to a reader for the link.)

Annie Jacobson Freaks Out

At Pandagon.net, Jesse Taylor is taking nominations for the Twenty Most Annoying Conservatives of 2004, which is always a high point of the year. I predict Jesse will top last year's classic Jonah Goldberg/Wonder Woman graphic novella.

Reading the nominations in comments brought back fond memories, including some of Annie Jacobsen, who's still at it with her "Lunatic In The Skies" series. Jacobsen is trying her best to make a career out of her ongoing delusions, and she's now got two columns at a website no one reads:

We're excited about our new virtual home and we think you will be too. We'll continue to bring you content favorites such as Ask Jane Dough, Annie Jacobsen's "Safety in the Skies" series, and of course, Daily Cents. We have also been introducing new writers to the site and will continue weighing in on timely issues and how those issues affect women.

We'll also be introducing new columns, such as TaxMama, Frankly Financial and Annie Jacobsen Speaks Out.

I confidently predict that Annie Jacobson Freaks Out will be the most read and beloved online column since Coultergeist.

Correction (12/9): I inadvertently changed of Annie's column in the Women's Wall Street quote from "Annie Jacobsen Speaks Out" to "Annie Jacobsen Freaks Out." That's now been corected. "Ask Jane Dough" and "TaxMama" are, all too sadly, actual titles.

Monday, December 06, 2004

1-800-Rikers

Via Talking Points Memo, we learn that Bernie Kerik's got his own Dick Dasen problem(*):

There's also Kerik's never-fully explained role in the 1990s as head of a New York City Corrections Department foundation that was secretly funded with roughly $1 million of tobacco company rebates from departmental purchases of cigarettes using city funds. Kerik's hand-picked treasurer for the foundation, Frederick Patrick, is now serving a one-year prison sentence after admitting in court that he pilfered nearly $140,000 of the foundation's money to pay for collect-call phone sex from inmates.

Inmate phone sex. It just sounds so Republican.

I couldn't find out much more about Patrick, except that he was a deputy police commissioner as recently as February 2003. Maybe he can become Deputy Director of Homeland Security if he gets out before 2008.

* Dick Dasen is a Wyoming Montana businessman and Republican party donor accused of paying numerous women millions of dollars for sex.

The Non-Separation Of Church And Hate

So do wingnuts really believe that religion is an appropriate subject for public school classrooms?

To a point.

As Daniel Pipes detailed in the Nov. 24 issue of FrontPageMagazine.com, the 15th tip in a list of "18 tips for Imams and Community Leaders" from the Islamic Web site www.SoundVision.com is "Establish a parents' committee to monitor public schools." The committee, Mr. Pipes says, is to "arrange for Muslims to deliver talks about Islam and Muslims" in the schools.

Mr. Pipes summarizes other suggestions from www.DawaNet.com, including: "Lobby to include Islamic dates on the school calendar;" "Add books and magazines about Islam... to the school library;" and "Incorporate Islam into class projects. For example, if students are required to give a speech in class and they can choose any topic, an Islamic subject should be selected. Similar opportunities can be created in history, social science, writing and other classes."

So, while the history and faith of our own country is being erased and a spiritual vacuum created, Islamists are rushing to fill that vacuum with the history and faith of another country.

The point that is on their heads, and their headgear.

Meanwhile, eRiposte has the true story behind Pouting Thomas's favorite fairy tale.

Uncle Log's Cabin

On his blog, Sully discusses "the gay version of 'Step'n'fetchit'."

No, not that one.

He's speaking of a man "who refuses to say publicly that he's gay."

No, not that one.

Or that one.

It's an actor.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Mission Accomplished

The WaPo's ombudsman reports, because the Post won't:

The story that didn't appear in The Post is about a 102-page report by a task force of the Defense Science Board, a federal advisory committee composed of academic, think tank and private-sector representatives who provide independent advice to the secretary of defense. .... Now comes the Pentagon's advisory board with a sharply critical report that says U.S. efforts to separate "the vast majority of non-violent Muslims from the radical-militant Islamist-Jihadists . . . have not only failed . . . they may also have achieved the opposite of what they intended."

Here are some of the key points:

-- "American direct intervention in the Muslim World has paradoxically elevated the stature of and support for radical Islamists, while diminishing support for the U.S. to single-digits in some Arab societies."

-- "Muslims do not 'hate our freedom,' but rather, they hate our policies. The overwhelming majority voice their objections to what they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights, and the longstanding, even increasing support for what Muslims collectively see as tyrannies, most notably Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan, and the Gulf states."

-- Since Sept. 11, 2001, "American actions and the flow of events have elevated the authority of the Jihadi insurgents and tended to ratify their legitimacy among Muslims. What was a marginal network," the report said, is now a community-wide "movement of fighting groups."

-- "Muslims," the board says, "see Americans as strangely narcissistic -- namely, that the war is all about us . . . no more than an extension of American domestic politics and its great game." The critical problem for American public diplomacy, the section concludes, is "a fundamental problem of credibility. Simply, there is none -- the United States today is without a working channel of communication to the world of Muslims and of Islam."

No wonder Rummy got the vote of confidence.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

It's The End Of The Year As We Know It

Actually, for most of us, it's work as usual. Those in retail will be working additional hours; those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan will get no breaks. But for the pundit class December 3 signals the end of the working year. The last three weeks of 2004 will be filled with corporate-subsidized feasts, lobbyist goody bags and foreign vacations. The white mens' burden will be braving the traffic between Chris Matthews's Nantucket home and Tim Russert's Nantucket home while celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Year-In-Review columns penned in September and updated in mid-November will be downloaded or e-mailed to syndicates by personal assistants. The paeans to George Bush are already penned.(Unavoidably, some television must still be done, as self-promotion never rests and there's always someone else who wants what's rightfully yours.) Every other article will be "The Best Books Written By Our Friends" or "The 100 Best Things That Our Advertisers Sell." The newsfotainment programs will be filled with merchandising tie-ins that make the product placement on The Apprentice look virginal.

Who are we to question the divine order of things? It's what God wants.

And keep rowing. You're lucky you've got a job.

James Wolcott can make even pre-procedure cleansing funny.

Even the pre-colonoscopy purging, which everyone warned me would be like a bad night in a Turkish cell, wasn't so dire. I spend much of my day in the bathroom anyway--I moved the paperback library in there--so this became an opportunity to spend additional quality time in the Fortress of Solitude. Unfortunately, the batteries in the toilet-paper-dispenser radio died, and I neglected to replace them, depriving myself of Leonard Lopate's in-depth interviews when I most needed them.

"I Am Biscuitbarrel"

It appears that Live Journal has seen fit to delete the journal of Mrs. Tarquin Biscuitbarrel, who posted the entire text of Lynne Cheney's not-that-queer frontier novel, Sisters.

Perhaps the solution is to host chapters, or smaller parts thereof, from the novel on different providers' sites, with a link to the following pages at each site, so as to thwart the censors. I'd be willing to do my bit.

Hey, it worked really well for Napster.

Roger's Wingnut Poetry Corner

Roger is proud to share the crapulent couplets of Dr. Tommy Craft, beat poet of Cedar Shoals High School in Athens, Georgia. These verses were first broadcast over his school's public address system:

Now I sit me down in school

Where praying is against the rule

For this great nation under God

Finds mention of Him very odd

If Scripture now the class recites

It violates the Bill of Rights

And anytime my head I bow

Becomes a Federal matter now

Our hair can be purple, orange or green

That's no offense; it's a freedom scene

The law is specific, the law is precise

Prayers spoken aloud are a serious vice.

For praying in a public hall

Might offend someone with no faith at all

In silence alone we must meditate

God's name is prohibited by the state

We're allowed to cuss and dress like freaks

And pierce our noses, tongues and cheeks

They've outlawed guns, but FIRST the Bible

To quote the Good Book makes me liable

We can elect a pregnant Senior Queen

And the "unwed daddy," our Senior King

It's "inappropriate" to teach right from wrong

We're taught that such "judgments" do not belong

We can get our condoms and birth controls

Study witchcraft, vampires and totem poles

But the Ten Commandments are not allowed

No word of God must reach this crowd

It's scary here I must confess

When chaos reigns the school's a mess

So, Lord, this silent plea I make:

Should I be shot, my soul please take!

snap! snap!

Timing is everything. If Tommy had read the poem at the school's JagFest, he would've won hands down.

(Thanks to Roger's Blue Ridge, GA correspondent.)

No Justification

As you may have read, former Labour M.P. George Galloway has won a 150,000 pound ($288,000) libel judgment against the conservative U.K. rag, the Daily Telegraph. The Telegraph falsely asserted that Galloway, an anti-war M.P., had taken secret, illegal payments from Saddam Hussein's regime prior to the war against Iraq. It based its claim on documents it purportedly found in a bombed-out government building in Baghdad.

Some have been downplaying the importance of the judgment, saying, among other things, that the amount of the judgment was not substantial. I'll happily agree with that argument -- with anyone who sends me $288,000. This argument also ignores the fact that under the British rule, the Telegraph has to pay Galloway's attorneys fees and costs, reported to be $2.33 million (1.2 million pounds). Assuming the Telegraph paid its own attorneys a similar amount, the Telegraph is out some five million dollars.

At his blog, Sully Joe sniffs that "the libel verdict (sic) won by Saddam-supporter George Galloway does not depend on the notion that Galloway's ties to Saddam were disproven." Well, that's true, sort of, but only because the Telegraph never asserted that the allegations were true.

At trial, Galloway denied the allegations under oath. It was the Telegraph that took the issue of accuracy out of the case, as this account reveals:

In one of the liveliest clashes, Mr Galloway objected to Mr Price's remark that documents "suggest and amount to strong evidence" that he was receiving money from his campaign and asking for more.

Mr Galloway replied: "If it's strong evidence, why aren't you pleading justification?"

Mr Price: "Because we have not suggested, or sought to say, that the documents are true. We merely say we have found them."

Mr Galloway: "You've just said they are strong evidence."

Mr Price: "They are."

Mr Galloway: "Then why aren't you pleading that they are true?"

Mr Price: "Because that's not what the Telegraph said. They said they were genuine and should be investigated."

Mr Galloway: "A blind man in a hurry might have concluded that from the coverage over those two days. Virtually everyone else in the country and the world concluded something quite different - that you were saying they were true but have not had the guts to plead that in this case."

Sully says that "Such a judgment wouldn't stand a chance in an American court - but then Britain's libel laws are far tougher than America's." Well, it's true the countries' procedural laws are different, but that's irrelevant under the facts of this case. Under U.K. law, the Telegraph would have to rebut the presumption that its allegations were false. Galloway denied the allegations and the Telegraph presented no evidence to support them. (The contents of the documents themselves are of course hearsay, and thus inadmissible to prove the truth of the matter asserted.) Even if Galloway had the burden of proof, as in the U.S., the evidence presented would support only one conclusion -- that the paper's allegations were false.

(Of course, an American plaintiff -- if a public figure, like Galloway -- would also have to prove the defendant's malice, but Sully is addressing only the truth of the allegations, not the defendant's state of mind.)

The judgment was not based on the fact that the Telegraph didn't give Galloway enough time to respond, as Sully claims. The Telegraph's defense was a "neutral reporting privilege," which means it was simply reporting the fact of allegations made by others. But the Court found otherwise, concluding that the paper went beyond reporting the contents of the documents and in fact endorsed the authenticity of the statements made in the documents:

The judge also decided the tone of the Telegraph's coverage was "dramatic and condemnatory... it went beyond the documents and drew its own conclusions".

When it came to the Telegraph's defence of its leader articles - which the paper justified as being fair comment on the allegations - the judge again dismissed the paper's defence.

He said the articles - entitled "Saddam's little helper" and "Galloway's gall" - made assertions that were not restricted to comment.

"I accept the leaders are defamatory of Mr Galloway and that their 'sting' is factual rather than comment. It is the difference between tentative comment and a rush to judgment," Mr Justice Eady said.

In short, the Telegraph admitted that it couldn't prove the allegations against Galloway and Galloway, through his own testimony established the allegations were false. No matter how much Sully -- and Conrad Black's Canuck toady, David Frum -- wish otherwise, the Telegraph libeled Galloway and Galloway proved the paper a liar.

Friday, December 03, 2004

::::Derbyshire::::Pencilneck::::Twat::::

John Derbyshire is the latest wingnut to spontaneously orgasm at the clever bigotry of Tom Wolfe's confessional novel, I Am Richard Simmons. Here's Derb's money shot:

Among the characters in I Am Charlotte Simmons are basketball players named Treyshawn, Dashorn, Cantrell, Vernon, and Andre. Would you care to hazard a guess as to what color they are? A Jewish student, trying to get out of trouble with a Jewish professor, makes sure "to let it be known that his family was Jewish, by packing his great-grandparents, pogroms in Eastern Europe, fear of being forcibly dragooned into military service in Poland, Ellis Island, the Lower East Side, and sweatshops into a single sentence, without losing track of the syntax...." For goodness' sake, Tom, don't you know you're not supposed to notice this stuff?

Ixnay on the ibaltray ewJay onspiracykay, Tom. Don't you realize I've got to work with those devious whiners?!

Derbyshire also consults his source in the academic/jock/frat world, who advises that 30 precent of Ivy girls are sluts, while a full 100 percent of community college girls are slappers. Don't worry, Derbs, when your daughter hooks up with Malik -- or, better yet -- Esther, in a few years' time, we'll pretend not to notice.

Mickey Kaus has a post with which I have no disagreement whatsoever.

I was going to link to it, sans insult, but Kaus doesn't have permalinks and I don't want to be misread as approving anything else the diminutive hack has written.

So instead I'll link to this Fred Kaplan piece on Cut And Run Kerik.

(p.s. -- The Kaus post is not the one on Kerik, although Kaus is suitably unimpressed with him too.)

Spectator Sport

S.Z. at World O'Crap (quoting the Washington Post) has the latest rogering recap from the U.K. Spectator:

Extramarital affairs that turn excruciatingly public seem to be an ongoing theme at the Spectator. Recent newspaper reports revealed that the magazine's editor, Boris Johnson, a Conservative member of Parliament who is married and has four children, had conducted a long-running affair with columnist Petronella Wyatt. Meanwhile, Rod Liddle, 44, an associate editor, left his wife for Alicia Munckton, a 23-year-old receptionist at the magazine. Liddle, Munckton and Liddle's estranged spouse, Rachel Royce, 42, have all written extensively about these affairs in various newspapers.

That's why blogs will never replace the mainstream media: No one to screw.

And, of course, nothing like that went on the American Spectator, unless you count Emmett Tyrell constantly deflating and reinflating the pneumatically-correct H.L. Mencken blow-up doll.

P.S. to S.Z.: The actual explanation for Mark Steyn's disappearance is that Conrad Black has sold him to some Saudi Arabian businessmen as part of his efforts to pay off the George Galloway judgment.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

43 Shots

It's often said that Bush values loyalty over compentency. In the case of his new Director of Homeland Security, Bernie "Cut-and-Run" Kerik, he's got neither:

As for Homeland Security, let's reiterate Kerik's Iraq credentials. Back in 2002, he signed on for six months in Baghdad to train the Iraqi police.

Neither he nor his top aide, John Picciano, were returning phone calls yesterday, perhaps because they were trying to come up with a credible story for why Kerik bugged out of Baghdad after only three months with no explanation.

(More here.)

Perhaps that's a bit harsh. Kerik's shown plenty of loyalty to Bush, if not to the job he was hired to perform. And Bush certainly can't find fault with someone who goes AWOL.

So those embarassing patdowns by airport security will be replaced by forced sodomy and execution of the unarmed. But only for certain passengers.

Unfortunately, Schumer's already in the tank for this schmuck. And I fear Hillary Clinton will be as well.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Believe me, I'm trying to take shots at Mickey Kaus, but his output has been so tedious and/or inconsequential of late (polling! L.A. Times-bashing! local radio!) that it's not worth the effort of reading the crappy prose. Eric Alterman had a good one today, so I'll quote him:

Quote of the Day: Mickey Kaus[:] "Black Hawk was a highly effective movie that provided a reasonably realistic idea of what modern urban combat is like for the U.S. Army." Tomorrow, Mickey draws on his longtime experience in life after death and pronounces Warren Beatty’s remake of "Here Comes Mr. Jordan" to be "a highly effective movie that provided a reasonably realistic idea of what angel work is like for those who have died and gone to Heaven but have not yet earned their wings to become full-fledged angels... ."

Martyr Complex

According to Sully, slain Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh was/is "a martyr," "a fearless liberal critic," who "expos[ed] the misogyny" of Islam and "represent[ed] freedom of speech. Sully says that "there is a difference between [Michael] Moore's anti-Western lies and van Gogh's pro-Western truths."

That would be the Theo Van Gogh who regularly referred to immigrant Muslims as "goatfuckers" and said of a female historian who criticized him: "I suspect that Ms Gans gets wet dreams about being fucked by Dr Mengele."

Well, Van Gogh certainly loved free speech, but he doesn't sound much like a liberal or a champion of women's rights. Of course, Sully may have different definitions of liberalism and feminism. And there's nothing pro-Western or truthful about Van Gogh's views.

But I suspect that it's just more of Sully's usual half-assery, a combination of laziness and deliberate disregard for inconvenient facts. In this post, Sully claims that Van Gogh was killed by "a gang of Islamists" and "thugs," while the article he links to repeatedly refers to a single assailant. So it's not surprising Sully refuses to comprehend Van Gogh's bigotry and intolerance.

Needless to say, violence is not a legitmate response to speech, no matter how vile. But Sully needs to find a new posterboy for tolerance if he wants anyone to take his little crusade seriously.

Ben On Film

Since his move to Massachusetts, the Virgin Ben has developed a new passion: gay cinema. He's up on the box office receipts of every gay-themed film in the past decade, and he's got his eye on the homoerotic major studio releases for 2005. Plus, he's got all the best bits of Alexander flagged so Brent Bozell can fast forward through the battle scenes.

Of course, Ben disapproves -- really! -- of gay-friendly filmmaking. His love of the Lord of the Rings trilogy had nothing to do with the muscular warriors, the smooth, tiny, young hobbits or Ian McKellan's large staff. And America shares his loathing, says Ben:

Unfortunately for the critics -- and Stone -- the cultural pendulum has begun to swing toward traditional morality again. The five films that beat "Alexander" to a pulp were: "National Treasure," "The Incredibles," "Christmas With The Kranks," "The Polar Express," and "The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie." These films were rated, respectively, PG, PG, PG, G and PG. ... These are all family friendly fare. That's what Americans want to see nowadays.
Yes, what else could explain the relative box office success of animated features with half the running time over a five-day school holiday weekend?

Don't tell Ben that SpongeBob is gay -- who knows how he'll handle it.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Most of this firm's seasonal white-collar employees work only four months of the year.

It Ain't Necessarily So

Seeing The Forest has the story of Steven Williams, the litigious public grade school teacher who claims that his school's administration forbade him from discussing the parts of the Constitution referencing Mr. Williams's personal deity.

Other teachers at the school say Williams is full of it, according to the local television news:

Some of Williams' colleagues say they don't have similar restrictions, and they don't need them.

"I talk about these things in my classroom without problem," said Sarah Beeten, another 5th grade teacher at Stevens Creek. "He does not present it as history. He presents it as personal opinion."

The video at the link shows a second teacher who claims Williams is bearing false witness.

What's next: Jerry Falwell exposed as a lying bigot?

Monday, November 29, 2004

The Wide World Of Putz

My lack of knowledge of professional basketball is rivaled only by my lack of interest in the sport. So I've had nothing worth saying about the Pistons-Pacers fracas until Howie "the Putz" Kurtz began spouting off some foul lines on the subject.

Let's go to the idiotape:

KURTZ: Mike Wise, I happened to be watching the game and was as stunned as everyone else. But if you look at recent years -- Latrell Sprewell chokes his coach, comes back, he's treated like a star. Jayson Williams shoots a limo driver, he's acquitted, he's treated like a star. Kobe beats the rape rap. He's now back to stardom.

Jayson Williams treated like a star? He doesn't have a friggin' contract.

And Williams (who was acquitted of aggravated manslaughter and aggravated assault but will be retried on a count of reckless manslaughter) asserts that the gun discharged accidentally. He's never been found criminally responsible for the man's death. Tell us, Howie, how should Williams be treated? Like accidental killer Laura Bush or accidental shooter Bob Barr?

Howie says Kobe Bryant "beat the rap." Do you have some inside information of Bryant's criminal culpability you'd care to share, Howie?

Haven't the media failed to blow the whistle on some of these thug players?

I seem to have missed the Reliable Sources blowings on Frank Francisco and Todd Berzutti. Or, as Howie would call them, "Who?"

KURTZ: But he is a professional athlete making $6 million a year. It's very different for him to go into the stands than for you and I to get into a street fight.

Less slapping, would be my guess.

KURTZ: Drew Sharp making the point that professional athletes have heard yes their whole life, because they're favorite people, and so it's easy for them to blame everyone else.

Let's pull the camera back a bit, Mike Wise. The tattoos, the fights, the drug busts, the occasional instances of domestic violence. Are the media helping the NBA market this as a kind of an in-your-face, hip-hop sport?

Ah, domestic violence. Where was Howie's outrage when Arnold Schwarzenegger hired a media consultant who was accused of spousal abuse by both of his ex-wives, testifying under oath? Is Howie more concerned about alleged thugs who are hip-hop athletes than those who are G.O.P. operatives?

You make the call.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

How To Impeach Your Own Witness

What does the pitiful Sully have to say about the "important, thorough and debunking" ABC News report on the death of Matthew Shepard after its airing?

Nothing.

Let's look at the important, thorough and debunking "new evidence" in the piece, as set forth in the online version of the ABC report. (I didn't see the program, so if ABC left some important details out of its online version, well, that just shows what a half-assed news organization it is.)

1. The killer who delivered the fatal beating, McKinney, denies the killing was motivated by anti-gay bias. When he said that before, he was just lying, as a trial tactic.

2. A number of people say McKinney and Matthew Shepard were social acquaintances before the crime. McKinney says he never met Shepard before.

3. A limo driver says that McKinney was bisexual, and engaged in a three-way with him and a woman. McKinney says he's never had sex with a man.

There you have it. McKinney is a liar on points 2 and 3, according to all the people interviewed on those points. Therefore, he has enormous credibility on point 1, except for the part where he was, you know, he was lying about it.

To be fair, 20/20 also asserts that Shepard used crystal meth as well. And, of course, you can't be the victim of a bias-motivated crime if you use drugs.

And here's more from David Ehrenstein and Doug Ireland.

p.s. Between this story and the Dick Dasen saga, is there anyone in Montana or Wyoming who's not on crank?

Mistakes in the Washington Post Other Than Howard Kurtz

Headline on washingtonpost.com website:

Students Demand Pay from Pink Floyd

From the linked article:

Rowan said the money would come from a music royalties society and not Pink Floyd. He expected the 23 pupils to receive about 200 pounds each.

Carcajou, Mrs. Robinson

Some enterprising folks have posted the entire text of Lynne Cheney's novel, Sisters, at this site. (I assume it's an accurate reproduction, but can't vouch for it.)

Beyond the historical importance of this semi-autobiographical work, Sisters should provide encouragement to inspiring writers who believe that the publishers do reject manuscripts based on poor quality. From Chapter 1:

"Horror engulfed her, counterpointed instantly by a paroxysm of terror running up her forearms like an electric current, seizing the muscles of her neck, forcing her head up to what she already knew was there. Gleaming animal eyes. Black lip curled back to reveal white fang. Carcajou! Carcajou! Spawn of the devil. Destroyer of life. The animal screamed, and she called out its name: Carcajoooouuu!"

Black lip curled back to reveal white fang. Destroyer of life. You don't suppose this was penned during a rough patch in the Cheney marriage.

(Second link via DU.)

Calendar Churls

Via World O'Crap, we learn that the Clownhall.com member Claire Booth Luce Policy Institute is offering hard-core intellectual pornography for a tax-deductible contribution:

Make a $25 or more secure online donation to the Luce Policy Institute and you'll receive our 2005 Great American Conservative Women Calendar featuring Ann Coulter, Dr. Laura, Michelle Malkin, Condoleezza Rice, Shemane Nugent and many more prominent conservative women. Click here to make your secure and tax-deductible donation today.

So Laura Schlessinger is a doctor, but Condi is not. Some not so subtle bigotry there.

"It is an honor for me to be included in the 2005 Great American Conservative Women Calendar. To be highlighted among women who feel and believe that it is within the context of traditional values that a woman enjoys the most respect, opportunities, and happiness possible." -- Dr. Laura Schlessinger

Unless you're Schlessinger's mother.

Or Shemane Nugent.

Roger's Blogads

Roger unreservedly recommends, without remuneration, the following fine independent bookseller, located in Blue Ridge, Georgia, and now online:

The Mountain Scholar bookstore

The store specializes in regional, nature/outdoors and Native American titles, but I'm sure you can get The DaVinci Code there, if you really want to.

Check them out for your holiday shopping.

No Sleep 'Til Bethlehem

Hey, Reuben Vollrath of Athens, Georgia. Boy, is your Christmas gonna suck:

To clear space in their S.U.V.'s for more purchases, buyers jettisoned giant cardboard boxes from 27-inch televisions. "I can't believe they'd do that," grumbled one clerk, stacking up the empty boxes. "I think they need these if they want to return them."

Others headed to shops where they could buy a broader range of things. In Athens, Ga., Ruth Vollrath was headed to a Target.

Ms. Vollrath, who has three children and is married to a pastor, said she planned to spend less because the family had had "some financial setbacks" during the year. So she checked out the discount stores' circulars. "I'm excited about the digital cameras there, the Norelco electric shaver for my husband and a luggage set for my 12-year-old son Reuben."

Friday, November 26, 2004

Meet Your Liberal Media: Stinking Animals Edition

MSGOP apologizes -- and does nothing else -- after being caught airing a racist for the past 10 years.

MSNBC, the network that telecasts Don Imus's rollicking radio show, has issued an apology for what it called "unfortunate" recent remarks on the program about Arabs and Muslims. In shows earlier this month, sports anchor Sid Rosenberg referred to Palestinians as "stinking animals" and an unidentified guest doing a George S. Patton parody characterized a dead Iraqi insurgent as "a booby-trapped raghead cadaver." Responding to protests from the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, the network issued a statement this week saying, "We sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by these remarks."

Regrettably, not only media whores -- Greenfield, Fineman, Pumpkinhead -- but also Democratic politicians -- including Senator John Kerry -- appear on this unfunny bigot's show. Let's hope that stops now.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Kentucky Republican Guilty of Santoruming, Judge Says

Sorry, it's not that.

The fact that Stephenson bought a home in Jeffersonville, Ind., registered and voted there and got an Indiana driver's license meant that she was not a resident of Kentucky, Willett ruled.
Boris Johnson Lookalikes

(Via Private Eye)

I've lost a few posts in the last few days due to Blogger malfunctioning, including my three-part series on my battles with nighttime gastroesophageal reflux disease.

My apologies.

The Who Sell Shout

I've got to feel sorry for the generations before me. Every one of their songs has now either been included in a lame "musical" or used to advertise a discount retailer or a GM car.

(Yes, I'm watching that paradfomerical, brought to you by MSGEGOP News. No balloon-induced fatalities so far.)

Update (11/26): fatalities, not facilities.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Those Who Can't Do

Phoning in another of his boilerplate "Democrats are playing the blacks" columns (macro alt+sowell/elder/armstrong), Walter Williams endeavors to make the case for Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State:

First, let's look at a few of Dr. Rice's credentials. She holds a doctorate from the University of Denver. While senior fellow at the prestigious Hoover Institution, she taught courses in Stanford University's political science department. Later, she served as the university's provost. Dr. Rice is a recognized expert in Soviet and Eastern European countries, and she's fluent in Russian. She landed her job as national security adviser not because President Bush was trying to pay off a black constituency and not because Bush had an affirmative-action policy; her qualifications got her the job.

Notice anything missing?

That's right. Any mention of Rice's government service. In either Bush Administration.

Read the whole column. There's nothing else. Rice's credentials are that she's a bilingual academic/college administrator. And that she was selected by Bush.

Of course, this is not an oversight. Any discussion of Rice's accomplishments would necessarily exclude mention of the last four years.

Williams also mentions the strongest argument against Rice's elevation: She would be fourth in the line of presidential succession. That alone is reason enough to oppose her appointment.

"We Didn't Land On Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock Landed On Us"

Probably not the quote that the Bush Virtue Warriors were thinking of when they named the latest feel-good offensive designed to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people, one way or the other.

More than 5,000 US-led forces are sweeping through lawless hotspots in an area south of Baghdad known as Iraq's "triangle of death".

US, Iraqi and British troops have been conducting house-to-house searches and setting up vehicle checkpoints.

Renewed violence has hit Iraq's Sunni Muslim heartland in recent weeks.

The upsurge in attacks follows the large assault on Falluja earlier this month, which aimed to stabilise the country before elections in January.

The joint operation, dubbed "Plymouth Rock", began in the village of Jabella, 80km (50 miles) south of the Iraqi capital on Tuesday, where 32 people were arrested.

I guess Operation Fuck the Fourth Amendment was too sarcastic.

It was brilliant of the Administration to use a symbol of a traditionally Christian holiday to remind us why we're in Iraq. When Bush makes this year's pilgramage to deliver plastic turkeys to the American troops, I'm sure he'll remind non-puppet Prime Minister Allawi what happened to those who opposed colonization after the First Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Drop Kick These Idiots

The punters down at the Air Force Acamedy throw a Hail Mary pass, and get intercepted:

The Air Force Academy's longtime football coach has agreed to remove a Christian banner from the team's locker room after school administrators announced they would do more to fight religious intolerance.

Coach Fisher DeBerry agreed Friday to remove the banner, which displayed the "Competitor's Creed," including the lines "I am a Christian first and last ... I am a member of Team Jesus Christ."

DeBerry put the banner up Wednesday to encourage the team, which has experienced one of its worst seasons in recent years, academy spokesman Lt. Col. Laurent Fox said.

Hey, DeBerry, Jesus called. He wants nothing to do with you, loser. Maybe you could try threatening the squad with a tour in Iraq instead.

Crazy Davy Is The New Reed Irvine

Crazy Davy Horowitz has penned a touching tribute to the late Reed Irvine. Davy fondly recalls the evening in the early 90s when Irvine repeatedly phoned Davy, pestering him to call into Larry King's show and confront "fellow-traveller" King and his guest, Carl Bernstein, the son of a commie. Davy finally phoned in, and got hung up on. Nevertheless, says Davy, "I have no regrets about making the call."

Should've saved that one for the funeral, Davy. That's pure anecdote gold.

The best part of Davy's reminiscence:

So unlike a reign of terror was McCarthyism that when Bernstein the younger told Ben Bradlee his editor at the Washington Post about his father's Communist Party membership, Bradlee kept him on the Watergate story and the hunt for President Nixon. As far as the Washington Post was concerned it was okay for the son of a Communist to bring down a sitting American President in the middle of the Cold War.

Bec1ause if McCarthyism had been an actual reign of terror, 20 years after it ended, Bernstein, Bernstein's father, Bradlee and Larry King all would have been swinging from lampposts instead of bringing down Nixon by exposing his Administration's crimes.

Some people say that Irvine passed the torch of drooling lunacy to Horowitz the fateful day when Davy called Larry. I say Davy was a fruitcake long before then.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Mel, 6:5-6

And when ye p.r., ye shall not be as the hypocrites, for they attendeth the synagogues and taketh full pages in the industry sheets. Verily I say unto you, they corrupteth the awards. But thou, when thou p.r., enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, sendeth thou out thy spokesperson with a press release about how ye pander to the Academy in secret, and how ye are therefore morally superior to those who buyeth space in the trades. And the wingnuts, who are gullible dolts one and all, shall prattle on about thy integrity and shall increase thy free press five-fold.

Thus endeth the epistle.

No Justice, No Peace

Brian Linse has the appropriate response to Jeff Jarvis's assertion that Dems should work to unite the country and "heal wounds" by making nice with Bush following the election:

Listen, bro, you know that I think you are one sweet cat, and that you have been one of my blog heroes right from the start, but this "Peace Pledge" thingy that you are on about now is really fucking pathetic.

You also ask your fellow Democrats to acknowledge Bush as "our president" and to "push him", but to use "honey" to do it... or something like that. I'm sure you are getting lots of link- love from the Right for this noble, and no doubt sincere effort. But trust me, Jeff, they are clicking over from the Right and laughing at you. Anyway...

Well, Jeff, to paraphrase Michael Corleone, "My offer is this: nothing."

The country won't heal if Bush continues to exploit, divide, infect and destroy it for the benefit of his benefactors. Opposing Bush is the only way to help the country.

Big Game Hunting

Why are the so-called liberal media in large part ignoring the biggest story of the week? I speak of University of California's resounding thrashing of that dark satanic diploma mill, home school of Condoleezza Rice and the Hoover Institution, Leland Stanford Junior College.

"Bears' tailbacks J.J. Arrington and Marshawn Lynch each rushed for more than 100 yards for the second straight week as Cal beat Stanford for the third time in a row. Cal last won three straight Big Games in 1958-60. It also made Cal coach Jeff Tedford 3-0 in Big Games, and the last Cal coach to win three straight was Pappy Waldorf, who won his first three Big Games in 1947,'48 and '49.

"The crowd of 72,981 represented the first Big Game sellout since 1997. The Bears, whose only remaining game is Dec. 4 at Southern Mississippi, ended up averaging 64,019 in home attendance, a Cal record."

You gotta love it when Blue beats Red.

Lou Dubose has a whole lot more on Tom DeLay's throughly corrupt buddies, Jack Abramoff and Mike Scanlon.

Are there any former Young Republicans who aren't morally bankrupt scumbags?

Update: Link fixed.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Another One Bites The Dust

Finally -- finally! -- an obituary that mentions some of the unpleasant truths about Reed Irvine:

Ideologically, [Accuracy in Media] paved the way for the tide of conservative talk shows, Web sites and news programming that would follow decades later. And while AIM occasionally lived up to its name, it also spent much of its time pursuing conspiracy theories.

In recent years, for example, Mr. Irvine turned his attention to such speculative topics as whether the death in 1993 of Vincent W. Foster Jr., the deputy White House counsel in the Clinton administration, was really a suicide. He also challenged the government's explanation of the crash in 1996 of T.W.A. Flight 800, alleging that it had been caused by a rocket.

Irvine also pimped the theory that the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was the work of al-Qaeda.

Yes, Irvine had no respect for the survivors of tragedy -- or for the truth.

So, ideally, the most fitting tribute to Irvine would be to insinuate that he was killed during an erotic encounter with Dicky Mellon Scaife.

Grand Old Police Blotter: Republicans Lawyered Up Edition

Texan scumbag Tom DeLay's cronies are as scummy as DeLay himself. One of the bugchaser's former staffers, "public relations executive" Tom Scanlon is the subject of grand jury and Senate investigations into influence peddling.

Just imagine how big of a crook you have to be to be the Republican subject of a graft investigation by the Republican-controlled Senate.

The WaPo reports:

A Texas Indian tribe desperate to reopen its shuttered gambling casino paid two Washington insiders $4.2 million to try to persuade Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) and Rep. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio) to slip crucial language into a bill, according to documents released at a congressional hearing yesterday.

The language did not end up in the 2002 Election Reform Act, but the tab for doing business in Washington came due anyway for the Tigua tribe of El Paso. The millions went to lobbyist Jack Abramoff and public relations executive Michael Scanlon, who are embroiled in investigations by Congress and a federal grand jury over the $82 million in lobbying and public relations fees they collected from six tribes that operate gambling casinos.

...

Scanlon, 34, a former aide to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), was subpoenaed to appear before the committee. Like Abramoff, who appeared at a hearing in September, he declined to answer questions on the grounds that they could incriminate him [sic].

...

The Washington Post previously reported that Abramoff and Scanlon quietly worked with conservative religious activist Ralph Reed to help persuade the state of Texas to shut down the Tigua casino in 2002, then persuaded the tribe to pay the $4.2 million to try to get Congress to reopen it.

... Documents released yesterday show that when the Tiguas were out of money in 2003, Abramoff came up with a plan to provide term life insurance to tribal elders, who would make their beneficiary a Jewish school Abramoff founded in Wheaton. The school would pay Abramoff's lobbying fees at the firm of Greenberg Traurig, from which he was ousted earlier this year.

The tribe also was asked to pay $50,000 for Ney and several others to accompany Abramoff on a golfing trip to St. Andrews, Scotland. According to testimony yesterday, however, two other tribes ultimately paid $50,000 each for that trip. Among those who accompanied Abramoff and Ney was Reed.

It's great to see men of different faiths working together.

As this article indicates, Abramoff and Scanlon are lawyered up with Plato Cacheris and Abbe Lowell, respectively. Did Short Joey DiGs and Brendan Sullivan have conflicts of interest? Pretty soon all of the D.C. criminal bar will be on retainer to G.O.P. operatives.

The key here is ex-Christian Coalition mouthpiece Ralph Reed, last seen working for the Bush-Cheney campaign. It's time to put Reed under oath, and make him squeal. Put your money where your mouth is, McCain.

p.s. As the last link indicates, there's a Grover Norquist connection here too. It sounds like Norquist might have some relevant testimony. At a minimum his cries of "witch hunt" might provide comic relief for the committee.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Sail Away

The Weekly Standard is the latest magazine to sponsor a cruise featuring its lineup of editors and subscription processing clerks as guest speakers. For only $1,675 per person (single occupancy), you can sail the open seas for 7 days and 6 nights with William Kristol, Fred Barnes, Terry Eastland, Claudia Winkler and Victorino Matus.

And Hugh Hewitt's head will be used as the anchor.

Reservations are on a first-come, first to get a refund when the cruise is cancelled due to a lack of interest basis.

A Fool And Her Money

Bob Somerby at the Daily Howler eviscerates Anne Applebaum's unbelievably idiotic column dismissing those who demand a voting machine paper trail as irrational, paranoid, conspiracy-minded kooks. No, seriously. She says that.

Here's her reasoning:

When the ATM asks whether I want a receipt, I usually say no. When a Web site wants my credit card number, I usually say yes. When I pay bills online, there is no paper record of the transaction. In my failure to demand physical evidence when money changes hands, I am not very unusual. Most Americans now conduct at least some of their financial transactions without paper, or at least sleep happily knowing that others do. Yet when it comes to voting -- a far simpler and more straightforward activity than electronic bank transfers -- we suddenly become positively 19th century in our need for a physical record.

Would anybody do business with a bank that didn't offer reciepts for every transaction? Has ATM ever been built which doesn't print receipts? Is there any legitimate online business that doesn't have receipts which can be downloaded and/or printed, except in Applebaum's feeble mind?

Only an upper-class nitwit can afford to be so careless with her money. No one can afford to be so careless with democracy.


Monday, November 15, 2004

M.P.s Behaving Badly

The Conversative Party in Britian has been rocked by a political scandal involving weathly people having sex with each other. Well, not rocked, exactly.

Lady Verushka Wyatt is said to have been incensed by the way [Tory M.P. Boris Johnson] treated her only daughter, Petronella.

Reports that he quibbled over the price of an abortion infuriated her further.

Lady Wyatt leaked news of an abortion which Miss Wyatt underwent after sleeping with the Spectator editor. Father-of-four Mr Johnson last week rubbished reports of an affair but, after Lady Wyatt said the allegations were true, he was fired as the Tory opposition's arts spokesman.

Yesterday, Lady Wyatt, the widow of Tote boss Woodrow Wyatt, said she had no sympathy for the disgraced MP.

Speaking from the $7.2 million London house she shares with Petronella, she said: "I've no views on his dismissal. It's none of my business, really."

...

Mr Johnson has been married to barrister Marina Johnson for 11 years.

The couple began seeing each other while Mr Johnson was married to socialite Allegra Mostyn-Owen, who he left when his new girlfriend became pregnant.

Add a corpse and you've got a P.D. James novel.

Johnson is a blubbery toff who looks like Darrell Hammond impersonating Tweety Matthews. He was the Tories' Shadow Secretary for the Arts, a position which involves licensing the images of Rodney and Del Boy on tea towels. Or so I'd like to think.

Last week, Johnson called allegations of the affair "an inverted pyramid of piffle." And yet British newspapers describe him as "a wit."

Johnson is also the editor of the Spectator, where Petronella "Petsy" Wyatt is a columnist. Her current column offers some advice for working mums such as Ms. Johnson.

The upshot of all this is that the woman who has nothing to occupy her but family matters can end up in the most distressing of positions: by being a dutiful housewife she eventually loses the love of her family. Women thinking about giving up their careers should think again. It is understandable that they should not wish to work long hours in the City or in a solicitor's office, but even a part-time job can do wonders for their long-term felicity.

Apparently there is no Anglican equivalent of James Dobson.

(Story via SullyWatch and Best of Both Worlds.)

David Brooks, Victim of Oppression

Lazy Davy Brooks identifies the real evil of slavery: Coming up with two ideas a week.

Q. You've been an author, newspaper reporter and magazine writer. Is it different writing a column for the New York Times?

[Brooks:] It's totally different. I always swore that I would never agree to be a columnist because it's like slavery. You've got to come up with an idea every three or four days. So I finish my column on a Monday night, and 15 minutes after I'm done I have to think about the next one. That's a challenge.

Pathetic.

Hopefully, the Times will manumit Brooks. That, or beat him to death.

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Powell Movement

There won't be a wet eye in the Ailes household when Colin Powell relieves himself of the burden of avoiding responsibility and starts collecting those six-figure speaking fees. General Powell's legacy won't be the "Powell Doctrine," it will be his United Nations Power Point presentation, the one presenting a fictitious case for invading Iraq.

No evidence for the weapons has been found, and Mr. Powell is said to have been dismayed that he made a case for the administration based on faulty information.

Not as dismayed as the Iraqi citizens and American soldiers killed and maimed in Desert Sham, of course. Maybe a little pang of regret when he wakes up in the middle of the night to take a piss.

No, I won't miss Colin, the man who wasn't there. He claimed to have principles but was never seen applying them or standing up for them. His commitment to affirmative action extended only as far as getting his otherwise unemployable son, Michael, a patronage job as America's tit monitor. His devotion to integration of the military was only skin deep. Powell once may have had integrity, but he's long since cut it off and killed it.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Grand Old Police Blotter: Lift Every Face Edition

Republican Linda Schrenko, who in 1994 became the first woman elected to a statewide office in Georgia (!) and advocated the teaching of creationism in Georgia's schools, has been indicted (registration required on most links) on allegations she helped herself to over $500,000 of the people's money.

Not just the people of Georgia's money. That wouldn't be right. In true Republican fashion, Schrenko is accused of redistributing money from the Blue States to her own personal account.

Former Georgia School Superintendent Linda Schrenko, whose groundbreaking political career dissolved into erratic behavior and defeat, was indicted Wednesday on federal charges that she stole more than $500,000 in taxpayer money and spent part of it on cosmetic surgery.

Schrenko, 54; her close friend and chief assistant Merle Temple, 56; and Alpharetta businessman A. Stephan Botes, 47, were named in an 18-count indictment that alleges they were involved in a scheme to steal federal education funds and secretly funnel about half the money to Schrenko's failed 2002 campaign for governor.

In addition, the indictment charges the Republican school superintendent used $9,300 of the money to pay for cosmetic surgery.

Schrenko allegedly filched the funds from programs for deaf students.

The federal funds purportedly were used to purchase computer services for two state schools for the deaf and the Governor's Honors Program, but officials say the services weren't delivered.

I guess we can leave some children behind for the sake of Republican politics and a more youthful appearance. Why waste money on the handicapped?

Fortunately, God is on Schrenko's side.

On Wednesday, Rusty Paul, former chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, said he listened in disbelief to news reports of Schrenko's indictment.

...

"She had a lot of support from the Christian conservatives in the Republican Party, both in her gubernatorial run and in her tenure as school superintendent," he said.

I'm sure she did.

A former teacher and principal whose only prior campaign was a losing race for school superintendent of Columbia County, Schrenko was first elected to head the $6 billion state Education Department in 1994, running a down-home campaign and with a 100 percent approval rating by the Christian Coalition. Once in office, she put personal friends on the DOE payroll, including her pastor and his wife.

Schrenko was popular with the fundies because she advocated teaching the Bible and creationism in Georgia's public schools.

The government alleges that Schrenko issued eleven Department of Education checks, ranging from $45,000 to $49,900, to companies controlled by Botes -- fifty K being the magic number requiring state Board of Education approval. Botes then allegedly funnelled the money back to Schrenko and her election campaigns, with the company hand-delivering checks to Schrenko's bagman. "In one instance, the government says, Temple met Botes and another company official for breakfast at an Atlanta hotel, and the Schrenko aide left with an envelope filled with $32,000 in cash." After an audit began, the govermnent claims, "the conspirators created backdated contracts to cover more than $500,000 in Department of Education payments made to Botes' companies." Schrenko denies the charges.

Give that woman a Darwin Award!

(Thanks to Roger's Blue Ridge, GA correspondent.)

Iris Chang, author of the Rape of Nanking and other non-fiction history books, died last Tuesday at age 36 under tragic circumstances. (More here.)

Perhaps someone at amazon.com can explain amazon's advertisement on the Google homepage:

"Buy the late Iris Changs' novels at Amazon, big savings!"

Special Pleading

Earlier this week, some commentators ridiculed David Brooks -- and rightly so -- for using his New York Times opinion column to promote his worst-seller, On Remainder Tables On Paradise Drive. At least Brooks was upfront about his shameless -- and probably fruitless -- self-promotion.

Yet, the following day, another Times columnist engaged in some self-interested writing without disclosing his apparent conflict of interest. And he hasn't been called on it.

In a column published on November 10, 2004, Nicky "Pistof" Kristof decried court rulings ordering journalists to identify confidential sources and threatening contempt sanctions for disobedience. He calls these orders "an alarming new pattern of assault on American freedom of the press." The pissy one wrote as follows:

But now similar abuses are about to unfold within the United States, part of an alarming new pattern of assault on American freedom of the press. In the last few months, three different U.S. federal judges, each appointed by President Ronald Reagan, have found a total of eight journalists in contempt of court for refusing to reveal confidential sources, and the first of them may go to prison before the year is out. Some of the rest may be in prison by spring.

Pistof takes up the cases of Judy Miller and (apparently) the New York Times reporters in the matter of Wen Ho Lee.

Then there's Patrick Fitzgerald, the overzealous special prosecutor who is the Inspector Javert of our age. Mr. Fitzgerald hasn't made any progress in punishing the White House officials believed to have leaked the identity of the C.I.A. officer Valerie Plame to Robert Novak. But Mr. Fitzgerald seems determined to imprison two reporters who committed no crime, Judith Miller of The New York Times and Matthew Cooper of Time, because they won't blab about confidential sources.

...

Then there's a third case, a civil suit between the nuclear scientist Wen Ho Lee and the government. Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson held five reporters who are not even parties to the suit in contempt for refusing to reveal confidential sources.

And Pistof mentions a third case involving the NYT.

In yet another case, the Justice Department is backing a prosecutor's effort to get a record of telephone calls made by two New York Times reporters - uncovering all their confidential sources in the fall of 2001.

Kristof's punchline: "But when reporters face jail for doing their jobs, the ultimate victim is the free flow of information, the circulatory system of any democracy."

Of course any journalist who relies on confidential sources has a self-interest in maintaining the confidentiality of sources. But Pistof may have more of an interest than most.

In July 2004, Pistof was sued by Steven Hatfill for writing columns allegedly insinuating that Hatfill had some connection to the 2001 anthrax mailings. (More here and here.) Kristof's columns were based on the allegations of "authorities" speaking "privately." Kristof doesn't name the authorities, and it's unknown whether Kristof promised them confidentiality (although the word "privately" is a bit of a hint).

Which brings us to this October 22 article in the Baltimore Sun:

Justice Department employees involved in the investigation of biological weapons expert Steven J. Hatfill will be asked to sign a form waiving any confidentiality agreements with reporters, a move proposed by his attorneys to help determine the source of government leaks identifying him as a suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks.

U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton, who has criticized government officials for leaks about Hatfill, agreed to the unusual request in court yesterday.

"I am not prepared to leave this at a status quo," Walton said. "I believe Dr. Hatfill has a right to his day in court."

Hatfill's attorney, Thomas G. Connolly, would not say how he plans to proceed once the waivers are circulated, except that he hopes to narrow the list of 100 or more Justice Department officials and journalists they might want to interview. He would not say whether he plans to call journalists to testify.

Hatfill, who worked at a biological warfare lab at Fort Detrick in Frederick, has never been charged and has long denied any involvement in the anthrax mailings, which killed five people and paralyzed the Postal Service. He is suing Attorney General John Ashcroft and other government authorities who publicly named him as a "person of interest," saying his career and reputation were ruined. Hatfill also has filed a libel suit against The New York Times related to opinion pieces written by Pulitzer-Prize-winning columnist Nicholas D. Kristof.

Under Walton's order, Hatfill's attorneys will make a list of news stories that they want to question FBI and Justice Department officials about, and the government will then circulate the list among employees associated with the Hatfill case, allowing them to sign the waiver if they wish.

(The NYT reported on these waivers here, in a patently defensive news story.)

So Hatfill's case is proceeding in much the same way the Plame investigation is proceeding. Either the FBI/Justice officials agree to talk about their "private" discussions with journalists such as Kristof, or they refuse to sign the waiver and Hatfill requests an order compelling the journalists to identify their sources. It doesn't take an Oxford education to see where this is heading. Surely Kristof knew when he wrote his column that Hatfill's attorneys are seeking to discover purportedly private communications between authorities and journalists concerning Hatfill. And surely he anticipates that Hatfill's lawyers intend to question him about his sources for his anthrax articles, either in their case against the government or in the defamation action against him. Any rational person in Kristof's place would be concerned about the possibility of being ordered to testify about his "private" conversations, and about being held in contempt for refusing to do so.

Apparently none of these facts darkened Pistof's spotless mind when he penned his stirring tribute to journalistic self-interest and exemption from the rules of law applicable to the rest of us. Otherwise, he surely would have mentioned them. Right?

(As a postscript, I have no opinion on the merits of Hatfill's claims against Pistof, or the case (if any) against Hatfill with respect to the anthrax killings. The point here is Kristof's failure to acknowledge his significant self-interest in his column about the purported "assault" on a free press.)