Tuesday, February 01, 2005

In order to quash those ugly internet rumors concerning my disappearance, I am not, nor have I ever been:

Michael Jackson's defense counsel

Campaigning for DNC Chair

A member of the New England Patriots

In indefinite administrative detention

Andrew Sullivan's ghostwriter

Preparing the phonetic spelling transcript for the SOTU

In possession of the $9 billion Paul Bremer "lost"

Dead.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Snowed Under

Work, not weather.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Smarter Indeed

An interesting note at The Rittenhouse Review:

Capozzola also admits to being the author of Smarter Andrew Sullivan, a weblog published from July 2002 to February 2003.

Smarter Sullivan was a must-read in the Ailes household, but presumably not in the Sullivan household, as Sully never got any smarter. (No, acknowledging a quagmire when you're in it past the top of your "shaved" head doesn't count.)

Jim is much smarter than Sully, but the differences don't end there. As Jim says:

Sullivan is a conservative, I am a liberal; Sullivan is detestable, I am likeable; Sullivan is dishonest, I am honest; Sullivan takes August off, I don't; Sullivan publishes slipshod substitute bloggers, this site is mine alone; shall I go on?

Yes, please do.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Bitter Newt

David Corn reports that Faux News Analcyst Newt Gingrich not only dumped his first wife when he learned she had cancer, but also dumped his second wife when he found out she might have multiple sclerosis.

Marianne's lawyer said Newt knew in September 1998 - eight months before he notified her that he was ditching her - that Marianne had been diagnosed with a neurological condition that might be a "forerunner of multiple sclerosis," according to the Atlanta neurosurgeon who treated her....

Newt, 57, told Marianne, 48, he wanted to end their 19-year marriage while she was visiting his mother on Mother's Day.

Newt, 57, secretly had been having an affair with congressional aide Callista Bisek, 34, whom he plans to marry next month in Alexandria, Va. That would make the blond-haired Bisek wife No. 3 for the onetime Republican revolutionary.

Toensing said there's no doubt that Newt knew all about his wife's condition at the time she went to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and was diagnosed with possible MS in September 1998, just before Newt announced he was giving up his job as speaker of the House and quitting Congress.
Gingrich apparently denies it, according to the article cited by Corn, but the same article quotes Victoria Toensing as confirming the allegations. She wouldn't lie about something like this, would she?

Perhaps Newt and Maggie Gallagher can get together and write a book about the virtues of marriage. Or they could just hook up.

(Yes, Corn's source is a four-year old article. But bashing Gingrich never goes out of style.)

Raise your hands if this surprises you.

Former President Bush recognized an old friend from the media as he exited the Inaugural lunch. Bush went out of his way to take a detour to the press area in the Rotunda to warmly greet ABC and National Public Radio commentator Cokie Roberts.

Me neither.

When they're not stuffing government money into their socks, the honesty-impaired folks at National Review Online are busy cleaning up the messes of their resident e-clownomist, Donnie Luskin.

Donnie posted a "fact-check" piece on Social Security and, after he was widely ridiculed for the numerous errors in the piece, Luskin and/or the folks at NRO simply rewrote the piece without telling anyone.

Would you trust Foreskin with your money?

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Creepier?

Lou Dobbs' obsession with undocumented workers or Larry King's obsession with high schoolers having sex with their teachers?

Roger's Movie Minute

I haven't seen any of the Oscar nominees for best film, or any of the films in which the best actor/actress nominees appeared. I really need to get out more.

p.s. I refuse to put a "TM" next to the word Oscar. AMPAS can kiss my ass.

Another Clownhaller On The Take

The Bush Administration pisses away more of your hard-earned tax dollars, paying pundits to promote half-wit right-wing morality ploy:

In 2002, syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher repeatedly defended President Bush's push for a $300 million initiative encouraging marriage as a way of strengthening families.

But Gallagher failed to mention that she had a $21,500 contract with the Department of Health and Human Services to help promote the president's proposal. Her work under the contract, which ran from January through October 2002, included drafting a magazine article for the HHS official overseeing the initiative, writing brochures for the program and conducting a briefing for department officials.

...


Gallagher received an additional $20,000 from the Bush administration in 2002 and 2003 for writing a report, titled "Can Government Strengthen Marriage?", for a private organization called the National Fatherhood Initiative. That report, published last year, was funded by a Justice Department grant, said NFI spokesman Vincent DiCaro. Gallagher said she was "aware vaguely" that her work was federally funded.

Gallagher's defenses: I forgot I was on the take, and Armstrong Williams got paid more than me.

How many more of these right-wing leeches will be exposed? Or maybe the question should be, is there any right-wing pundit who isn't on the dole?

The Corner has BatsBoy on point for ass-covering duty. From now own, whenever you read Jonah, just picture Karl Rove with a hand up his ass, pulling Jonah's strings.

MORE: Josh Marshall and Atrios are already all over this.

Sully Loves The 70s

Sully, whose knowledge of late 20th Century American history is derived solely from VH1, writes:

Almost thirty years after Loving vs Virginia, inter-racial sex is still taboo in many parts of this country.

2005 - 1967 = 38. 38 > 30.

In the same post, Sully refers to John Madden as "aging." I hate to break it to you, Dorian, but hiding all your mirrors won't actually help.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Hard as it is to believe, Howie the Putz didn't mention the Jumana Hanna story in his online chit-chat today.

Kurtz did manage to mention Dan Rather numerous times, Donald Trump twice and Abraham Lincoln's "top hat" once. And he managed to suck up to CNN too.

The End of The Lyin

At long last, William Safire's reign of error has come to an end.

The New York Times gave him a full page today (less the space of an ad for a right-wing "legal foundation") and Safliar used it to rehash an old attack on Senator Hillary Clinton and his bogus claim to be a privacy-rights advocate (despite his history as a McCarthyite and Nixon apologist).

Good riddance.

Roger's Tribute To Johnny

Holds envelope to head

CARNAC: Nicholson, Limbaugh and Kaus.

ED: Nicholson, Limbaugh and Kaus.

Glares at Ed

Rips end of envelope

Hugh Hewitt: I Love Fisting

At least that's how I read this:

HEWITT: ...Just this weekend, Tim Blair, an Australian blogger, a very good blogger, took a "Washington Post" piece that was completely silly -- and the term is fist -- destroyed it, deconstructed it, proved that it was all spin.

I never knew Hugh had it in him.

Gonzales Tortures The Truth

Says Newsweak. According to the magazine, three Texas attorneys who were eyewitnesses to the events in question say that Alberto Gonzales lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee about his (Gonzales's) role in Bush's attempts to avoid jury duty.

It's always nice to see a prosecutor, defense attorney and judge agree on something.

Apologists For Power

Here's a story Howie "the Putz" Kurtz can't seem to ignore often enough, as it doesn't involve Dan Rather or the sex lives of bloggers.

It involves a major newspaper and a fraudulent story reported by that paper as the truth. A fraudulent story that supported the paper's political agenda. A fraudulent story that wasn't investigated properly, if at all -- as the paper was forced to admit. A fraudulent story promoted by the Administration -- and the paper --to justify the Administration's policies.

No, it's not the story of Judy Miller and Ahmad Chalabi.

No, it's not the story of Steno Sue and Jessica Lynch, or the Washington Post's pre-invasion coverage of the Administration's lies -- stories on which the Putz acted as the Post's primary apologist.

It's the story of Jumana Hanna, an Iraqi woman who found a willing outlet for her lies in the pages of the Washington Post. She told a story that the Post desperately wanted to believe -- a tale of her rape -- and the murder of her husband -- in Saddam Hussein's prisons. A story that was false, told by an individual with no credibility.

The Post doesn't even have the defense that the Bush Administration and Hanna duped it despite its best efforts. The Post reporter, Peter Finn, now admits "[t]he Post was unable to independently verify or refute her allegations of abuse." In other words, the paper had no idea whether what she said was truth, and made no effort to find out, but published her claims anyway. And the paper never bothered to examine any of the lies Hanna told that were easily discredited.

In this case, Michael Getler has been assigned the Putz role of excusing the paper's incompetence. He writes:

The Esquire piece focused heavily on the impact of the Post piece, and readers who saw the magazine late in December wrote to ask whether The Post was going to retract or correct its reporting. The initial internal reaction here, and from Finn, was to point out that many of the claims Hanna made to Solovitch that proved false had not been made to The Post....

Nevertheless, Finn said, the Esquire report that Hanna's husband was still alive and had not been shot and killed in an Iraqi prison, as Hanna had told The Post, was clearly serious and required new investigation.

The investigation took a while. Finn, a diligent and experienced reporter, had been based in Germany and was in Iraq to help cover the post-invasion period when he wrote the initial article. He has since become the Moscow correspondent....

Ultimately, The Post did the right thing in re-reporting this story and laying out all the flaws. Headlined "Threads Unravel in Iraqi's Tale," it appeared Thursday on Page A18, and there was a small reference to it on the front page. That it was well inside the paper on Inauguration Day annoyed those who were initially critical. They have a point. This was a big and powerful front-page story, with pictures, 18 months ago, and correcting the record deserved more prominence.

Could The Post have been set up to meet Hanna by the coalition or administration? Finn said he doesn't believe that happened and described how they met. As for lessons learned, Finn says, "I obviously should have done more reporting, particularly within the wider Christian community in Baghdad [Hanna is an Assyrian Christian]. That would have raised the kind of questions that would have signaled she was trouble." Then again, Thursday's story ends with an e-mail Solovitch sent Finn saying, "Now, I believe that she is at best a pathological liar, at worst a highly intelligent con artist. Jumana took advantage of all of us."

The old Putz-brand "reporting is hard work" dodge. The old "it's not my fault, she was a pathological liar" excuse. No calls for an investigation as to how Finn was duped, or whether Finn was simply pursuing the paper's right-wing agenda. And the role of the Admninistration in pushing the story is dismissed without any examination.

Read the original story -- It's clear that the Post made no effort to question -- or verify -- any of Hanna's claims. In fact, the story relied on another pathological liar, Bush stooge Bernard Kerik.

This is the kind of media story that would be right up the Putz's alley -- if he wasn't an Administration toady, that is.

Pathetic.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Hmmm ... In honor of el-Simon's former and present careers: The Blog Sleep.

Tony Blankley Signs His Own Death Warrant

Elsewhere in the Father's Rag, Tony Blankley argues that Sy Hersh is guilty of espionage, namely, violation of 18 U.S.C. section 794, subds. (a) and (b), for writing this article. The crime is punishable by death. Of course, by Blankley's own thin logic, Blankley is guilty of the same crime by quoting Hersh's article.

I urge Tony to turn himself over to authorities without incident, save the taxpayers the cost of an unnecessary trial, and cooperate with prision officials as they try to find a vein.

(Thanks to mw for the link.)

Tactless Hact

I recognize the Moonie Times is the propaganda arm of anti-American religious cult and not a real newspaper, but that's no excuse for this:

In 1997, there was grumbling that the inauguration cost too much. But Clinton spokesman Barry Toiv said at the time, "It's really a symbol to the world and has been for over 200 years, and it's worth celebrating."

This year, the inaugural committee has taken a similar tact, dubbing the events "Celebrating Freedom, Honoring Service."
The word is tack, not tact, you Moonie stoogie. Tact is not short for tactic.

Millions for Bush, and not one cent for editors.

Good Saint Nick

Nick Kristof, slave trader, is back spinning tales of his own heroism in the foreign sex trade. A year ago, Kristof

purchased Srey Neth for $150 and another teenager, Srey Mom, for $203, receiving receipts from the brothel owners. As readers may remember, I then freed the girls and took them back to their villages.

No mention of whether the Times reimbursed him for his role as the Great Emanicipator.

Not having got his money's worth from the last series of columns, Kristof is back with a progress report -- complete with multimedia! (After viewing the slideshow, ask yourself whether the Times would run the photographs of young American prostitutes.) Like last year, it's still all about Kristof:

"I'm happy with Srey Neth," said the beauty school's owner, Sapor Rendall. "She studies hard."

Ms. Rendall added that there was only one problem with Srey Neth: "She doesn't want to do massage. ... I've talked to her about it many times, but she's very reluctant."

Massages are routine in beauty shops in Cambodia and are not sexual, but for Srey Neth, they scream danger. I'm delighted.

Well, as long as Kristof is happy. A desperate young woman entered into prostitution to help her destitute family, and was so traumatized by her experience that's she terrified of non-sexual massage and deeply distrustful of men and boys in general. Thank God for trauma, or else that silly little girl might become a ho once again. She just doesn't have the common sense of her Great White Savior.

So Kristof thinks women in impoverished countries shouldn't be prostitutes, but he offers no viable alternatives or solutions to the underlying causes (or at least none which don't feature him at the center of the story). I guess we should be grateful he doesn't blame the Democrats for Third World prostitution this time.

Michelle Malkin, Paid Propagandist For The Bush E.P.A.

Oh, wait, Malkin claims that she spews her bile for free. Here, Malkin plays Betty Cracker (Warning: link to a bigot), ignoring the natural consequences of an Administration in bed with Big Toxics:

We got a few inches and the mixing bowl we put out on the deck this morning is now full. My daughter has been dying to make snow ice cream. Be back later. Here's our recipe...

Large bowl full of fresh, clean snow
1 cup of whole milk
1/2 tsp. of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of sugar

Mix milk, vanilla, and sugar until dissolved. Add to snow, stir until consistency is thick and creamy. Serve immediately.
Yeah, that's super, but snow contains more impurities (see also here) than Neil Bush's boxers.

I encourage Malkin to eat all the snow she likes. She can drink from the rain gauge, for all I care. Her daughter, however, already gets enough poison at home.

Next Time You're In Trouble, Call A Hippie

Once and future Koufax Award Winner TBogg finds this story about freepers whose pasty wideloads were saved from a beatdown by dirty, smelly hippies.

Hundreds of people gathered at both ends of Meridian Hill Park in Northwest Washington for a peace rally sponsored by the D.C Antiwar Network.

But there were interlopers: Thirteen members of ProtestWarror, supporting the Bush administration and its policies in Iraq. When the Bush supporters arrived, about 20 black-clad, self-described anarchists emerged from the crowd, shouting profanity and epithets and demanding that they leave the peace rally.

When the Bush supporters refused to leave, the anarchists tore the signs out of the Bush supporters' hands and stomped on them. When ProtestWarrior leader Gil Kobrin objected, several male anarchists knocked him to the ground, kicking him in the back and punching him. Other anarchists punched and shoved Kobrin's 12 colleagues.

After D.C. Antiwar Network members broke up the fight, the Bush supporters heeded their order to leave the park. Kobrin then called D.C. police, who are now guarding them at the entrance of the park as they hold up their pro-war signs. "We're going to hang tight," Kobrin said. "We're expressing our freedom of speech just as they are expressing theirs." --Robert MacMillan

Here's more on Gil's rescue by peace activists. I hope he thanked them.

Now that I've chased everyone away, I find I have a free day to post some comments.

Ineffectual self-promotion, thy name is Roger.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

With regret, this blog will be going on hiatus for about 8 to 10 days due to other commitments by its author.

You're welcome to stop by, to artificially inflate my visitor count, but it will just be the same stale stuff until sometime next week. (Perhaps next time I'll plan ahead and see if I can find a volunteer guest blogger.)

Anyway, there's plenty of good stuff to read on the 'net, starting with the fine blogs listed to the right.

See you soon.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

What A Hack Wants

Diminutive dimwit Mickey Kaus thinks a major problem with the Los Angeles Times is that it doesn't print enough gossip. Shockingly, not enough Times readers know about Mayor Hahn's divorce. And it's the Times' fault, because the paper's only mentioned it three times in the past eighteen months.

Kaus says Hahn's marital status is more newsworthy than the Times thinks because "[o]ur single-dad mayor has no nanny. Does rushing home to try to take care of his children rob from the energy and time he can give to his duties?" But Hahn's kids are at least 15 and 11 years old. Why the hell would Hahn have a nanny?

Of course, if the Times did have a gossip column, Kaus's constant complaint would be that the column slanted left. Every omission of a third-hand anti-Dem rumor shared among Kaus and his thigh-rubbing right-wing clique would be an excuse for Kaus to post the rumor at Slate and slam the Times for imagined bias. For proof of this premise, one need only recall Kaus's gleeful wallowing in Drudge's fraudulent Kerry smear, and his self-emasculating obsessions with Senator Kerry's hair, forehead and height.

Kaus tries to argue that political gossip would cure political apathy, as more shallow idiots like himself would be inclined to vote if the private lives of L.A. pols were made public. Of course, they'd be voting for idiotic reasons which had no rational relation to the pols' policies or plans. But Republican Kaus will take G.O.P. votes however he can get them.

A hammer, when presented with a nail, knows to do only one thing

Rock The Vote

I've neglected to mention that semi-finals voting for the 2004 Koufax Awards is now open.

Voting for the 2004 Perranoski Prizes is also open through January 31.

See, not all the elections taking place this month are a joke.

Springtime For Thatcher

You may have read about the worthless British aristo who dressed as a Nazi at a fancy dress party and was forced to apologize.

You may not have read about the worthless British aristo who tried to emulate the Nazis and was convicted of attempting to overthrow a foreign government through violent means:

Sir Mark Thatcher has left South Africa after pleading guilty over his involvement in an alleged coup plot in Equatorial Guinea.

The son of former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was fined the equivalent of US$500,000 ([265,000 pounds]) and given a four-year suspended jail term.

Sir Mark, who denies any knowledge of the plot, agreed a plea bargain and will now co-operate with investigators.

...

Sir Mark admitted breaking anti-mercenary legislation in South Africa by agreeing to finance a helicopter.

The businessman said he did not initially know the helicopter's alleged purpose - that it was to be used in the alleged coup attempt, instead believing it was to be used as an air ambulance.

But in his plea bargain statement, Sir Mark says he came to realise the helicopter was to be used for mercenary activities before the deal was finalised.

And here's the real question: Why is the Bush Administration allowing this terrorist into the United States?

Warning: This Post Contains A Link To A Talking Ass

So Hugh Jass-Hewitt and Dildo O'Reilly were lying on the teevee, as usual, but this time they were lying about bloggers.

And the simpering Republican wingnuts excuse Jass's lies with the "being on teevee is hard" defense.

Not surprisingly, Jass now admits he was lying.

What he originally said on the Dildo Factor was: "Blogging are real journalists and people like Powerline and like InstaPundit, like myself, we don't like it when Daily Kos shows up on the take of the Howard Dean campaign. Now Dailey Kos says -- this is one of the bloggers from the left -- he disclosed it, but not to the satisfaction of anyone who was watching. I didn't know. O'REILLY: Oh, this is bunk. This is bull. Nobody knew about this. HEWITT: That's right.

Now Jass says: "I certainly never knew of it and I very much doubt if the other Democratic candidates knew of it throughout the primary season." So Jass originally asserted that nobody knew about 'Kos's relationship with the Dean Campaign, but now admits he doesn't know who knew about it. That's called a lie, Jass.

Jass also says: "I don't read Kos so I don't know if he slammed any of the Democratic candidates back then, but if he did and the readers didn't know he was on the Dean payroll, that's the ethical lapse." Again, Jass admits that he made statements of fact on O'Reilly without knowing the truth of what he was saying. And he asserts that the disclosure was inadequate because he didn't know -- but he didn't know because he never read the fucking website. Every word out of his mouth was a lie.

Even a hillbilly law professor -- even one who cares more about courteous speech than the civility of telling the truth -- should be able to understand this.

It's not "hard to be nuanced" on teevee. I can say this with confidence, though I've never been on teevee. Here's how you do it: Don't bring up a subject about which you know nothing. Don't state as facts things of which you have no knowledge. If someone asks you to speak on a subject you know nothing about, say "I don't know." Maybe it won't be interesting teevee; maybe you won't get invited back. But you won't reveal yourself as a liar, like Jass did.

Simple enough for ya?

Roger Roger's Readers Get Results

WASHINGTON, Jan. 14 - The Federal Communications Commission said Friday that it would investigate whether Armstrong Williams broke the law by failing to disclose a $240,000 payment in exchange for promoting the Bush administration's central education bill on his syndicated television show.

Michael K. Powell, the agency's chairman, ordered the investigation as F.C.C. commissioners reported thousands of complaints about Mr. Williams, and as two Democratic senators called for a broader investigation into accusations that the administration was using illegal propaganda to advance its agenda.

Uh, that's peachy keen, Mikey, but Armstrong didn't pull the 240K out of his ass. You should be investigating Rod Paige, the payor.

Jonathan Adelstein, one of the agency's Democratic commissioners, said the agency had received 12,000 complaints.

A dozen, twelve thousand, who's counting?

Agency officials said the offense could cost Mr. Williams and, potentially, the local broadcasters who ran his show up to $11,000 in fines. Under agency regulations, individual broadcasters are required to disclose any payments from outside entities in exchange for promoting items on-air; local stations are also expected to disclose those payments if they are aware of them.

What did Sinclair Broadcasting know, and when did it know it?

That 11K fine must be a joke, right? If the Administration can pay Williams 240K to violate the law, and he can skate with an 11K fine, he's got no incentive not to violate the law? It should be 11K per station.

On Thursday, Mr. Paige instructed the Education Department to conduct an internal inquiry to see whether it did anything improper by arranging a more than $1 million contract with the Ketchum public relations firm, which in turn reached an agreement with Mr. Williams.

The suspense is killing me.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Full Disclosure

Hugh Hewitt is a twat.

James Capozzola paid for the removal of the banner ad on my site, and I thanked him for it on the blog.

Glenn Reynolds is a legacy hire at a fourth-rate law school and lacks the reasoning skills of a ferret. He writes, poorly, for an astroturf site, Schmuck Central Station.

Someone once offered to send me a review copy of a book. I didn't have time to read it and offered to pay for the book, but the sender declined my offer. I will read that book one of these days. Or maybe I'll give it to someone.

Mickey Kaus is a hairless hack who associates with the proprietors of bulletin boards for bigots.

A reader generously bought me a blog ad on Talk Left and I thanked her for it on the blog.

Jonah Goldberg is a halfwit doughboy, raised by a bat.

I once thought about adding blog ads, but it involved technical stuff and work, and possibly buying a hosting site for the images (I never figured that out). And I didn't have any reason to think people would buy them.

Howard Kurtz, Tim Russert and Howard Fineman are pathetic G.O.P. shills, whether or not they are paid for it.

As far as I can tell, no progressive billionaires read this website. If any do, they should send me large amounts of money. Especially today. Anyone else can just send me an e-card, if they like.

The Big Trunk? Not according to his wife.

I once worked, briefly, for a Republican politician.

Patrick Hynes would have to work his way up to twat.

I have no interest in collectively building a culture online where we figure out norms for people who both consult and write online so that readers can have the tools to be skeptical, active participants.

George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice and their respective flacks lie to you. Repeatedly. Willfully. Without remorse. And they will continue to do so. Today. And tomorrow.

That is all.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Roger Gets Results

Well, not really, but I'll take the credit anyway.

WASHINGTON (AP) - A member of the Federal Communications Commission said Thursday the agency should investigate whether conservative commentator Armstrong Williams broke the law by failing to disclose that the Bush administration paid him $240,000 to plug its education policies.

Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, a Democrat, said the agency has received about a dozen complaints against Williams.

"I certainly hope the FCC will take action and fully investigate whether any laws have been broken," Adelstein said at the commission's regular monthly meeting.

None of the other commissioners responded to his statement during the meeting. Afterward, both FCC Chairman Michael Powell, a Republican, and David Solomon, who heads the agency's enforcement bureau, declined to comment.

Generally, the FCC reviews letters and complaints before determining if there should be an investigation. Powell said he had not seen the complaints filed against Williams.

Adelstein wants the FCC to look into whether Williams violated federal telecommunication law that requires disclosure of any payment or gift for airing any material for broadcast, like a radio disc jockey being paid to play a particular recording.

Although "a dozen" certainly sounds like the total number of my readers, I'm sure it's just a coincidence. (Although the fine folks who visit here -- and not me -- can probably take credit for half of those.) I realize graft isn't as great a threat to the Homeland as Mickey Rooney's ass, but sometimes ya got to take a stand.

But, seriously, this has been plently of other places, including TAPped (where I first read about it), and on Air America. And I hope the FCC doesn't just investigate Williams; the real target should be the payor, not the payee. Williams should cut a deal and name names.

p.s. to the media -- Please send all inquiries to the fastmail address.

p.p.s. -- Yes, that is a joke.

Unless you're Howard Fineman.

You're next, Duck Boy!

(Thanks to a reader.)

Sorry about the light posting of late. I had some plumbing problems.

That's not a euphemism.

Fortunately.

It may be light tomorrow, too. It's a holiday here in the Ailes household.
TBogg takes on the delusional Peggy Noonan.

I hear that since both the Pope and Mel Gibson came out against the invasion of Iraq, Peggums' multiple personalities aren't even on speaking terms.

Well, They Were Going To Be A Fire Hazard

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Meet Your Liberal Media: Asses-R-Us Edition

Meanwhile, the so-called liberal Washington Post engages in character assassination and blame-the-victim advocacy, in an op-ed that has Victoria Toesspot trolling for clients. The right-wing mouthpiece and her co-author write:

There is even more telling CIA conduct about Plame's status. According to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's "Report on the U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence Assessments on Iraq," when the agency asked Plame's husband to take on the Niger assignment, he did not have to sign a confidentiality agreement, a requirement for just about anybody else doing work for an intelligence agency. This omission opened the door for Wilson to write an op-ed piece for the New York Times describing his Niger trip. Did it not occur to our super sleuths of spycraft that a nationally distributed piece about the incendiary topic of weapons of mass destruction -- which happens to be Wilson's wife's expertise -- could result in her involvement being raised?

Ya see, the real criminals were not the ones who violated the confidentiality laws, but the ones who didn't attempt to gag Wilson. By not engaging in prior restraint, the CIA practically forced Administration stooges to violate the law!

Bruce W. Sanford isn't an advocate for the First Amendment, he's a bought-and-paid-for clown. (A clown with a history of teaming up with Reagan Administration hacks to carry Karl Rove's water [.pdf file].)

Of course, the piece is built on a foundation of unwarranted assumptions, the most dubious being the assumption of Bob Novak's honesty.

If you parse the article, what it actually says is that if we assume that Plame wasn't really covert AND that her covert status was the subject of much gossip AND that the leakers were merely careless AND that the leakers were idealists attempting to expose wrongdoing rather partisan hacks bent on smearing truthtellers, but still acted unintentionally AND that Novak is telling the truth AND that Toensing has any credibility whatsoever, THEN maybe there wasn't a crime. Watch how the game is played by Toesspot and Sanford:

Merely knowing that Plame works for the CIA does not provide the knowledge that the government is keeping her relationship secret. In fact, just the opposite is the case. If it were known on the Washington cocktail circuit, as has been alleged, that Wilson's wife is with the agency, a possessor of that gossip would have no reason to believe that information is classified -- or that "affirmative measures" were being taken to protect her cover.

From "fact" to fantasy in zero characters.

(And the paragraph makes no sense. What the authors say, though they mean something entirely different, is that "Merely knowing that Plame works for the CIA DOES provide the knowledge that the government is keeping her relationship secret.")

Why would the Post publish this fact-free apology for potentially criminal Administration conduct? Maybe the jokers who wrote this ass-u-me article will explain in their little on-line chit chat. More likely, they'll just delete the tough questions.

Rather Pathetic

Atrios has an important story concerning a report revealing massive dishonesty and politically-motivated lying on an issue of the greatest importance. It's one you won't read about on the sites of the weenie-wagging Keyboarders, because it doesn't involve Debbil Dan Rather. And the word "accountability" will never escape the lips of the weenie waggers, unless it's in the context of the fantasy that Bush was mislead to the conclusion that he directed his stooges to reach.

Four months after Charles A. Duelfer, who led the weapons hunt in 2004, submitted an interim report to Congress that contradicted nearly every prewar assertion about Iraq made by top Bush administration officials, a senior intelligence official said the findings will stand as the ISG's final conclusions and will be published this spring.

President Bush, Vice President Cheney and other top administration officials asserted before the U.S. invasion in March 2003 that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program, had chemical and biological weapons, and maintained links to al Qaeda affiliates to whom it might give such weapons to use against the United States.

Thousands of Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis have died because of this fraud on the public. Put down your feces, Keyboarders, and say it with me: Bush lied, many thousands died.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

If they ever need someone to portray Pat Buchanan in a movie, the source of this quote's a lock:

"However, what the hell are we doing in Iraq? No one can explain to me in a reasonable manner that I can accept why we're there, why we went there, and why we're still there."

p.s. to Bill Keller: Joyce Wadler is annoying, not funny.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Rather Sad

The crybaby Keyboarders have declared war on their newest enemy: Richard Thornburgh. The wingnutosphere is crying "whitewash" following the release of the independent report analyzing the 60 Minutes piece on AWOL Bush. Thornburgh, a Republican, served as an Attorney General for Reagan and Bush. In 2002, the present Attorney General, Johnny Asscrack, called Thornburgh "a person of integrity and independent stature." The wingnut bloggers believe if they pout and stamp their tiny feet hard enough, Thornburgh will be revealed as a stooge of the Communist Broadcasting System.

As far as I can tell, the droolers' major beef is that Thornburgh and his law firm failed to attribute partisan motives to Rather and CBS, stating that there was no evidence to support such a charge. The claim of Rather bias is a favorite fairytale the 'wingers tell themselves; they accept it as an article of faith and therefore need no proof. The lesser beef is Thornburgh's refusal to make the story one of blogger heroics, another sad delusion of the Barcolounger Brigade.

In any event, the 'wingers ignore the most important truth of the story. As TBogg puts it, "Four lose their jobs...one still hasn't shown up for his."

Queer As A Five Dollar Bill

Everyone from Gore Vidal to Richard Brookheiser is weighing in on the question "Was Abraham Lincoln Gay (or Bisexual)?" Adam Yoshida has penned a subliterate essay, riddled with inaccuracies and grammatical errors, on the subject (no link), and even the Nation has a strange cartoon with Abe's head on the body of a voluptuous woman. The controversy even has loathsome homophobe John Derbyshire confessing that he has slept with men.

So: Was Honest Abe the Old Tailsplitter? Did he call his beard Mary Todd? Did he Plow-the-Speed? Given the historical record -- the absence of chat line recordings, a highly-paid chief of staff, or a sexual harassment lawsuit -- we may not find a definitive answer. And it may not matter. With today's neo-Confederate G.O.P., the outrage from the right side would be greater if we learned that Jeff Davis carried a cross-shaped torch for Robt. E. Lee.

Another Victim Of The Bush Economy

More than two months after the November 2 presidential election, FOX News host Bill O'Reilly urged viewers to find a job for Steven Gardner, a member of the discredited anti-Kerry group Swift Boat Vets and POWs for Truth, and did not challenge Gardner's dubious claims that he was fired in retaliation for his attacks on Senator John Kerry.

...


When O'Reilly pressed Gardner further on whether Millennium's decision was politically motivated, Gardner again suggested that it was, noting that the company had "heaped accolades" on his performance prior to his public criticism of Kerry. But this fact appears irrelevant, since Gardner admitted moments later that the company had told him that his termination was not the result of poor job performance but rather that, "for purely financial reasons, we had to reduce management expenses," as its statement explained.

South Carolina went for Bush by 58-41 percent. Surely an honest, hardworking veteran shouldn't have any trouble finding employment in a blue-state Bush economy.

O'Reilly would have hired Gardner himself, but Gardner's boobs weren't spectacular enough.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Roger's Media Meritocracy Award

My New Year's Resolution was to do more positive stories. So here's one:

NEW YORK The Los Angeles Times dropped the daily version of "Garfield," the most widely distributed comic in syndication.

"Garfield" has received mixed reviews in recent years, but the Times is one of the few papers to ever dare pull it. Reader reaction? "We are getting complaints," said Jennifer James, a Times editorial aide, but she declined to reveal how many.

The Times dropped the daily "Garfield" effective two days ago -- while keeping the Sunday "Garfield" -- to make room for "Brevity," a new comic by Guy Endore-Kaiser and Rodd Perry of United Media (E&P Online, Dec. 9).
Garfield is nearly as bad as Mallard Fillmore. It makes Funky Winkerbean, Drabble and Rose Is Rose look less crappy than they really are. It's the James Lileks of cartoons. It's nice to see some quality control.

More Whores?

On today's Republican Roundtable aka Press the Meat, Al Hunt suggested there are more Bush employees masquerading as journalists.

MR. HUNT: Well, I don't know what the law is. It strikes me that it's not a very good use of taxpayers' money. It's certainly as egregious a journalist violation as one could engage in. Mr. Williams' column was yanked, as it should be. I will say this. Armstrong did deliver his promise, because I occasionally worked out at a gym and Armstrong's there, and he told me several times, you know, "Why don't you write about No Child Left Behind." I don't know if I'm going to be on one of those government expense accounts or not but...

MR. RUSSERT: How many columns did you do?

MR. HUNT: I didn't do any. So I let him down. I'm sorry, Armstrong. Listen, I'll tell you this. I'll bet that there will be a great market for FOIR, Freedom of Information Requests, in the next couple weeks because I suspect Armstrong Williams is not alone. There have been other people who've been doing this.

And then Andrea Mitchell jumped in before Hunt could name names.

Maybe we should be looking for the bloggers, radio blowhards and Clownhallers who are remaining mum on this story. Avarice and idiocy aren't mutually exclusive.

The Armstrong Of The Law

Does Michael Powell really care about the rule of law? We shall see:

Section 317 of the Communications Act, as amended, 47 U.S.C. [section]317 requires broadcasters to disclose that matter has been broadcast in exchange for money, service or other valuable consideration. The announcement must be made when the subject matter is broadcast. The Commission has adopted a rule, 47 C.F.R. [section] 73.1212, which sets forth the broadcasters' responsibilities for sponsorship identification.

Section 507 of the Communications Act, as amended, 47 U.S.C. [section] 508 requires that when anyone pays someone to include program matter in a broadcast, the fact of payment must be disclosed in advance of the broadcast to the station over which the mater [sic] is to be carried. Both the person making the payment and the recipient are obligated to disclose the payment so that the station may make the sponsorship identification announcement required by Section 317 of the Act. Failure to disclose such payments is commonly referred to as "payola" and is punishable by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than one year or both. These criminal penalties bring violations within the purview of the Department of Justice....

Complaints should be sent to: Federal Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Investigations & Hearing Division, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554.
The FCC Commissioners' e-mail addresses.

My letter to the Tit-Monitor:

Dear Commissioner Powell:

Credible evidence has come to my attention that two individuals, namely, Armstrong Williams and Secretary of Education Rod Paige have violated 47 U.S.C. 508, which prohibits "payola." Please refer these matters to the Justice Department and insist that Attorney General Ashcroft or his successor prosecute these criminal acts.

Specifically, Mr. Williams accepted from Mr. Paige or his Department at least $240,000 to broadcast matter (propaganda regarding the "No Child Left Behind" Act) without disclosing the payment to the stations on which the matter was broadcast. It appears that neither Mr. Williams nor Mr. Paige disclosed this information to the stations.

Per your request, I provide the following information:

(1) The call letters of the station: According to Mr. Williams' website, the following broacast stations are involved: WTTO - Birmingham, Alabama; WEAR - Mobile, Alabama; KOVR - Sacramento, California; WTCN - Tampa, Florida; WYZZ - Bloomington, Illinois; WICD - Champaign, Illinois; WICS, Decatur - Illinois; WIWU - Marion, Indiana; KGAN - Cedar Rapids, Iowa; KDSM - Des Moines, Iowa; WDKY - Lexington, Kentucky; WGME - Portland, Maine; WBFF - Baltimore, Maryland; WNUV - Baltimore, Maryland; WGGB - Springfield, Massachusetts; WSMH - Bay City, Michigan; WUHF - Rochester, New York; WSYT - Syracuse, New York; KVWB - Las Vegas, Nevada; KEBT - Las Vegas, Nevada; WLOS - Ashville, North Carolina; WXLV - Greensboro, North Carolina; WUPN - Greensboro, North Carolina; WGME - Greensboro, North Carolina; WLFL - Raliegh-Durham, North Carolina; WSTV - Cincinnati, Ohio; WSTR - Cleveland, Ohio; WSYX - Columbus, Ohio; WKEF - Dayton, Ohio; WRGT - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; WBPH - Allentown, Pennsylvania; WPGH - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; WLOS - Anderson, South Carolina; WTAT - Charleston, South Carolina; WPDE - Conway, South Carolina; WZTV - Nashville, Tennessee; KABB - San Antonio, Texas; WRLH - Richmond, Virginia; WAZT - Woodstock, Virginia; WVAH - Charelston, West Virginia; WCHS - Huntington, West Virginia; WVAH - Hungtington, West Virginia; WMSN - Madison, Wisconsin; WVTV - Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

(2) the city and state where the station is located: See above.

(3) a tape or other documentation showing the failure to provide the required sponsorship identification: See, among other sources, U.S.A. Today, The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post. Unless Mr. Williams and Mr. Paige disclosed these payments to the above-referenced television stations (which does not appear to be the case) or the foregoing articles are inaccurate, it appears the law has been violated. I believe that, according to the FCC's definition of payola, the nondisclosure to each station constitutes a separate violation which requires imposition of a separate fine and term of incarceration.

(4) documentation (e.g., copies of agreements, memoranda or other written documents) demonstrating that the broadcast material in question was broadcast in exchange for payment to the station or to an employee of the station: See above. (Note that subdivision (b) of 47 U.S.C. 508 does not require the recipient of the payola to be a station or employee of the station.)

I look forward to your prompt, personal response to this e-mail. This is potentially a criminal matter. Given your reputation for the enforcement of broadcasting laws for the protection of the public, your failure to act on this matter could only be seen as a gross dereliction of your duties to America and its families.

Sincerely, etc.

cc: FCC Commissioners
Attorney General John Ashcroft, U.S. Dept. of Justice

Anyone should feel free to send their own copy of this e-mail to the FCC. It's WLBBWD.

(Inspired by TAPped.)

Saturday, January 08, 2005

The Sound of Irrelevance

The relative silence of the wingnutosphere on the matter of Armstrong Williams is not guilty silence, or shame. Right-wing bloggers are pissed that they weren't offered cash money for their constant servicing of Bush. But the Administration's smart enough to know that no one takes wingnut bloggers seriously, and why buy a cow when you can get the intestinal parasites for free?

I hear Mickey Kaus even offered to pay DOE and HHS to lead a series of abstinence-only seminars, and they turned him down.

Meanwhile, Instapudnut claims some people have offered him "substantial amounts of money to author opeds furthering the agenda of some people." Yeah, right. Reynolds then opines about the evils of "astroturf blogging," and (with no irony intended) links to one of his columns at Tech Central Station, a website composed entirely of artificial grass. So the Cracker Hack does engage in astroturfing, he just allows others to collect the big money for his work.

(No link for Pudnut.)

Friday, January 07, 2005

Shakedown

My favorite thing about Armstrong Williams is his constant whining about how he's a victim:

The United States now confronts a modern edition of Jim Crow. If you are born white, you may aspire to achieve greatness as a liberal, conservative, moderate, independent or otherwise. There are no intellectual no-go zones. But if you are born black, your ambitions will be crushed unless you ape black power brokers.

Or unless you lie to your readers for profit.

My second favorite thing about Armstrong Williams is that he can't write for shit.

The hallmark of a so-called authentic black was the liberalism of yesteryear -- begging for hand-outs, capitulating to claims of an inability to compete, griping over underrepresentation -- like the troglodytes resisted Copernicus by clinging to Ptolemy.

Talk about fat and lazy.


It All Comes Together

I was reading this link, via TBogg, and wondering what Clarence Thomas would need with $1,200 worth of batteries.

Today, I clicked on this link via James Wolcott's blog.

I'll bet Armstrong Williams is just green.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Recommended Reading

Roger Ailes Enemy List-er Michael Berube evicerates Thomas "Kidneys" Sowell and his anti-affirmative action tome in a Nation article.

Putzo Balls

Don't step on Howie's balls. His man has been elected President, and he wants to party.

For my part, I don't think much of the Bush-should-just-be-sworn-in-and-then-send-out-for-Chinese argument. The death and devastation in Asia remains horrible and nearly unthinkable, but the notion that the president and his supporters should therefore be deprived of their celebration seems tenuous at best. No presidential inauguration has ever been canceled (though William Henry Harrison's long speech in frigid weather in 1841 led to a fatal case of pneumonia). Not during the world wars. Not during Korea or Vietnam.

Of course, Howie's arguing against a strawman. No one has suggested the inauguration be cancelled. People are talking about the corporate-whore balls, those orgies of influence and sleaze which define vulgarity in the best of times.

Look at it this way. Even if we ignore all the too-dark Asians Howie cares little about, the estimated number of U.S. citizens who are missing or dead as a result of the tsunamis now approximates the number of Americans killed in the World Trade Center on 9/11. Howie doesn't want those losers to harsh his buzz either.

I say let the bands play on; let Howie get shtifaced on puke on his tuxedo, or his wife. It would be a fitting testament to the Administration's true priorities.

White Slavery at CNN

Midget Mickey Kaus attempts a defense of Tucker Faye Carlson -- Carlson's poor performance on Crossfire was his pimp's fault:

Yesterday, in the course of killing Crossfire and not renewing Crossfire co-host Tucker Carlson's contract--two decisions that may be perfectly defensible--Klein told the Associated Press, "I guess I come down more firmly in the Jon Stewart camp." ... So let me get this straight. Carlson soldiers on as Crossfire interviewer while the show gets worse and worse. It's expanded, it's contracted, it's moved around the schedule. He has CNN people yelling in his ear to "get mad" or to interrupt his guests. He does what he's told. (You think he necessarily likes doing that? Then why is his own show, Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered, a model of civil discourse?) Then Carlson has a guest on Crossfire, a popular liberal comedian who doesn't like CNN-style shoutfests and when challenged calls Carlson a "dick" on the air. Everybody talks about it for a week. Most of the chatterers favor the comedian. Carlson takes a PR hit for the team. So when Klein gets to choose between backing his organization's employee up or associating himself with the popular comedian, Klein ... tells the press he sides with the guy who called his employee a "dick"? ...

Yes, the oh-so-sensitive Carlson -- who lied about Senator Wellstone's memorial and joked about the fates of John Edwards's severely injured clients -- was forced by CNN to act belligerent and ignorant. And Hairless Hack knows this for a fact because his PBS show is teddibly civilized. (It couldn't be that PBS is forcing Carlson not to be a dick.) CNN execs chained Carlson to the set and threatened his kill his family if the decibel level dropped below acceptable levels, an idea they stole directly from Speed.

Might the fact that Crossfire got worse and worse be the result of Carlson's performance on the show?

Yes, we should all bemoan the firing of a pretend journalist who performs like a trained monkey and "does what he's told."

Let's hope Kaus's new masters from the WaPo agree with me that Kaus is a dick.

Monday, January 03, 2005

It's All About The Putz

Howie gets snippy because CNN thought a massive human tragedy was more important that his weekly circle jerk with National Review's girlyboys and New York Post hacks:

Columbia, Md.: I can't stand it when CNN pre-empts your show. Your show is the only thing worth watching ont he network [sic]. Seriously, was 23 hours and 30 minutes of Tsunami coverage not enough that they needed those extra thrity minutes to tell us the same thing over and over again? Your show probably would have covered the Tsunami coverage anyway, but at least we would have had a different angle to the story for thirty minutes.

Howard Kurtz: Well, thanks for noticing. CNN has gone all out on this disaster, it has the global work force to do it and its ratings have benefitted. But as I said on the air later in the day, it's awfully hard to take wall-to-wall coverage of this story, in part because relentless death and destruction is depressing. I think the network should make some time for other news stories if only to give the audience some moments of relief.

Five Ecoterrorists Indicted

Oh, sorry, that's only the headline in Glenn Reynolds' diseased brain.

L. Brent Bozell's Naughty Bits

The bearded ginger git recalls New Year's Eve at the Buckley Compound.

"...Paris Hilton inserts an entire pineapple into her vagina. A gay man in a biker vest then takes off his pants and puts the entire body of Paris Hilton up his rectum."

Hmmm... why do you think he's gay, Brent?

Sunday, January 02, 2005

C-SPAN's new Sunday night book program, After Words on C-SPAN2, is not off to an auspicious start. The program's format is a different author and different guest interviewer each week. Tonight, AEI's Norm Ornstein is fluffing serial adulterer (and fellow AEI fellow) Newt Gingrich, who remains as much as dolt as when he was run out of office. Next week, the author is Howard Friel, who blasts the New York Times' foreign policy/war coverage from the left, and the interviewer is Ken Adelman.

That's Ken "Cakewalk" Adelman.

The Friel/Adelman program (which is being promoed on the channel as a "debate") might be the more interesting format; it couldn't be worse than the Gingrich infomercial. But if you're going to do an adversarial program for a war critic, why give Newt a back seat blowjob? Leave the whoring to Pumpkinhead Russert, or give up the pretense of balance.

Clear Thinking In Blue Sky Country

Give it up for Montana State Supreme Court Justice James C. Nelson:

"In a concurring decision, Justice James C. Nelson, criticized the recent constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

"'Sadly,' Justice Nelson wrote, 'many politicians and "we the people" rarely pass up an opportunity to bash and condemn gays and lesbians despite the fact that these citizens are our neighbors and that they work, pay taxes, vote, hold public office, own businesses, provide professional services, worship, raise their families and serve their communities in the same manner as heterosexuals.'"

Justice Nelson sounds like a dangerous radical to me:

JAMES C. NELSON - Justice. Born February 20, 1944, in Moscow, Idaho. Received a B.S. degree from the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho, in 1966. Received his J.D. from George Washington University in 1974. Justice Nelson served as First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army from 1966-1969 and worked as a financial analyst with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission prior to engaging in private practice in Montana. He was in private practice and serving as Glacier County Attorney at the time of his appointment to the Supreme Court in May, 1993. Justice Nelson and his wife, Chari, are the parents of two children.

It's The Law

The Los Angeles Times has published a list of laws taking effect in California this year (and later). Here are some of the good, the bad and the ugly:

50-caliber rifles: Sale of the heavy, long-range weapons, used mostly by target shooters, is banned in California. Ban supporters argued that the weapons, capable of hitting hovering helicopters, could be used by terrorists. AB 50 by Assemblyman Paul Koretz (D-West Hollywood).

...

Ballot printouts: Electronic voting systems approved for use in California must include paper printouts so voters can check the accuracy of their votes. SB 1438 by Sen. Ross Johnson ( R-Irvine).

...

Bedroom privacy: It is a misdemeanor to film someone in a bedroom without their knowledge. SB 1484 by Sen. Dick Ackerman (R-Irvine).

...

Declawing cats: It is a misdemeanor punishable by a $10,000 fine to declaw exotic cats such as cougars, bobcats, lions and tigers. AB 1857 by Assemblyman Paul Koretz (D-West Hollywood).

Domestic partners: Healthcare providers must offer gay and lesbian domestic partners the same insurance benefits offered to the spouses of subscribers. AB 2208 by Assemblywoman Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego).

...

Female athletics: Cities, counties and special districts cannot discriminate against girls in funding athletic programs such as softball leagues. AB 2404 by Assemblyman Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento).

Force-fed birds: A ban on the force-feeding of ducks and geese to enlarge their livers to make foie gras takes effect in July 2012. SB 1520 by Sen. John Burton (D-San Francisco).

...

March primary: California's primary election returns to June after an eight-year experiment with holding it in March. SB 1730 by Sen. Ross Johnson (R-Irvine).

...

Spyware: It is illegal to intentionally install computer software known as spyware, which can collect personal information, disable anti-virus shields and otherwise disrupt a computer's function. Though the law prescribes no punishment for violators, private citizens can sue for actual damages. SB 1436 by Sen. Kevin Murray (D-Culver City).

...

Vaccines: As of July 1, 2006, it is illegal to give pregnant women and children under 3 vaccines containing more than a certain amount of mercury, which has been linked to developmental disorders. AB 2943 by Assemblywoman Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills).

You've been warned.

Sowell On Crack

This is an elaboration on a comment I made at Pandagon, but I thought it deserved a smaller audience. Clownhall.com's Thomas "Organs" Sowell wrote the following:

Marriage is not a right extended to individuals by the government. It is a restriction on the rights they already have.

People who are simply living together can make whatever arrangements they want, whether they are heterosexual or homosexual. They can divide up their worldly belongings 50-50 or 90-10 or whatever other way they want. They can make their union temporary or permanent or subject to cancellation at any time.

Marriage is a restriction. If my wife buys an automobile with her own money, under California marriage laws I automatically own half of it, whether or not my name is on the title. Whether that law is good, bad, or indifferent, it is a limitation of our freedom to arrange such things as we ourselves might choose. This is just one of many decisions that marriage laws take out of our hands.

The last paragraph is sheer idiocy. (Actually, the whole column is idiocy, but the last paragraph above is idiocy at its finest.)

Here's a statement from a State of California website which describes the basics of California community property law:

California is a community property state. This means that all property married couples acquire while domiciled in California is community property. Each spouse owns an equal share of all community property.

Separate property is all property owned separately by the husband or wife before marriage. It includes all property acquired separately after marriage, such as gifts or inheritances. Separate property also includes money earned while domiciled in a separate property state. All property declared separate property in a valid pre- or post-nuptial agreement is also separate property.

To recap:

1. If Sowell's wife buys a car with her "own money," the car is her separate property.

2. If Sowell's wife earns money during the marriage, the money is not her "own money." It is community property and the car bought with that community property is also community property.

3. The community property law does not limit the Sowells' "freedom to arrange such things as we ourselves might choose." As stated above, "All property declared separate property in a valid pre- or post-nuptial agreement is also separate property." The Sowells can arrange things however they damn please.

This is not an esoteric point of law. It's well known, in California, even by single people without Ph.D.s or make-work think tank jobs.

Sowell has impressive credentials: Harvard University, Columbia and a Ph.D. from the U. of Chicago. How can it be that he's such an idiot about his own economic rights?