Thursday, March 31, 2005
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
Scouting For Boys
A message from the Boy Scouts of America, no longer on their site:
Bruce Collins is mistaken when he calls Boy Scouts a "fundamentally different" organization from the one he joined 40 years ago. ["An Eagle Scout Takes Issue With Group's Politics" July, p. 7]. Boy Scouts is the same organization with the same values and goals. What is fundamentally different, however, is our times.
Some intolerant elements in our society want to force scouting to abandon its values and to become fundamentally different. They want scouting to forego its constitutional rights, affirmed in 2000 by the Supreme Court in BSA v. Dale, and adopt fundamentally different values from the ones that helped shape the character of Mr. Collins and 106 million other young men over the past 94 years.
It bothers Mr. Collins that scouting is defending itself, even though he acknowledged that it has been "dragged into" the "culture war." He says the tone of our legal-issues web site, bsalegal.org, is defensive. The site does seek to defend our values and to inform the public about the three-decade-long legal assault on scouting. That we need a legal-issues web site is testament to the fact that our constitutional rights are under attack.
Clearly, Mr. Collins longs for a time when the Boy Scout organization could give its undivided attention to the "good stuff" of Scouting: "camping and life skills ..." So do we. Mr. Collins would do well to communicate his displeasure to those directing their discriminatory assault against his beloved Boy Scouts -- the ACLU.
Douglas S. Smith Jr.
National Director of Program
Boy Scouts of America
Welcome to the machine, Doug. I think I'll stick with the ACLU, if you don't mind.
The header on the BSA's page reads: "Preparing Young People to Make Ethical and Moral Choices Over Their Lifetime." Must be a new program.
Update: Tom DeLay was a Boy Scout too. That cinches it.
The HOTLINE and the National Press Club Present...
FEAR AND LOATHING AT THE PRESS CLUB
APRIL FOOL'S DAY IN THE NATION'S CAPITOL
Event: Fear and Loathing at the National Press Club -- April Fool's Day in the Nation's Capitol, is a night of frivolity and fun celebrating comedy's national holiday, with a special tribute to the life and work of the Good Doctor, Hunter S. Thompson.
Entertainers include Time Magazine's Matt Cooper, Fox News Channel's James Rosen, comedians Will Durst and Bob Somerby, the Nation's David Korn and others TBA.
Tickets are $20 ($5 discount for NPC members). Seats are limited. Call the National Press Club's reservation hotline at 202-662-7501 for tickets.
David does the best prop comedy in journalism.
But every day is Fools' Day in the Washington Press corps.
Amazing Stories: The Christian Right's Mainstream Violent Bigots
By skipping remedial reading class once again, my good friend Michelle Malkin finds plenty of time to wonder "why the mainstream media was ignoring some amazing stories of pro-life activists and evangelical disabled advocates who have been peacefully keeping vigil outside Terri Schiavo's hospice."
I'm happy to highlight those overlooked stories for Michelle, but someone else will have to read them to her.
The Story of Pro-Life Activists Scott and Joshua Hildreth:
NEW YORK As protests outside the hospice housing Terri Schiavo in her final days mounted last week, numerous newspaper reports, many based on an Associated Press account, mentioned or quoted 10-year-old Joshua Heldreth and/or his father, Scott Heldreth. Josh was one of several youngsters arrested for crossing police lines in Pinellas Park, Fla., in an effort to take water to Schiavo.
None of the stories revealed that Scott Heldreth, a religious activist and anti-abortion crusader, is a registered sex offender in Florida -- until The Charlotte Observer mentioned it on Sunday.
A widely published AP story on Sunday by Allen G. Breen had painted a warmer picture of the Heldreths, noting that it was young Josh who insisted that his father take him to the protests from their home in North Carolina, not the other way around. "God's with me," Josh said.
The Charlotte Observer story, however, revealed that Heldreth had pleaded guilty to sexual battery, was in jail for parts of 1992 and 1993, according to court records, and served time on probation.
“The former Naperville, Fla., resident remains listed on the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's sex offender registry," the Observer reported, “but he's not registered on North Carolina's; the N.C. equivalent applies to offenders convicted on or after Jan. 1, 1996."
Heldreth declined to discuss the specifics of the incident that led to his jail time. Online research shows that Heldreth was arrested after an incident at Ohio University and charged with two counts of rape and one count of kidnapping.
Amazing.The Story of Disability Rights Activist and Pacifist Bill Tierney, apparently profiled here, who shares some of Malkin's passions:
Bill Tierney . . . had just returned from eight months working as an interrogator for US forces in Baghdad, and had come to talk, on the record, about torture.
"The Brits came up with an expression -- wog," Tierney said. "That stands for Wily Oriental Gentleman. There's a lot of wiliness in that part of the world.". . .
After explaining his various psychological tactics to the audience, interrogator Bill Tierney (a private contractor working with the Army) said, "I tried to be nuanced and culturally aware. But the suspects didn't break."
Suddenly Tierney's temper rose. "They did not break!" he shouted. "I'm here to win. I'm here so our civilization beats theirs! Now what are you willing to do to win?" he asked, pointing to a woman in the front row. "You are the interrogators, you are the ones who have to get the information from the Iraqis. What do you do? That word 'torture'. You immediately think, 'That's not me.' But are we litigating this war or fighting it?"...
Asked about Abu Ghraib, Tierney said that for an interrogator, ''sadism is always right over the hill. You have to admit it. Don't fool yourself – there is a part of you that will say, 'This is fun.' ''
As CNN noted on March 4, 1998, Terry was named in a lawsuit -- seeking to "force anti-abortion leaders to pay for damages caused in clinic attacks" -- which was filed by the National Organization for Women (NOW) under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, and Terry settled with NOW out of court....
According to a June 14, 2003, report by the conservative World Magazine (no longer available online, but reprinted on the right-wing bulletin board Free Republic), Terry solicited donations by declaring on his website that "The purveyors of abortion on demand have stripped Randall Terry of everything he owned," but failed to disclose that the money would be used to pay for his new $432,000 house. The report noted Terry's defense: "Terry told World that he wanted a home where his family will be safe and where 'we could entertain people of stature, people of importance. I have a lot of important people that come through my home. And I will have more important people come through my home.' " World noted that the same month he paid the deposit on his new home, a court ruled that Terry, who divorced his first wife and has remarried, "was not paying a fair share of child support." In an article on his website, Terry denounced the World report as "journalistic trash, a 'hit piece' of malice and misinformation."
Terry's words and personal life have also stirred controversy. As the Fort Wayne (Indiana) News Sentinel reported on August 16, 1993, at an anti-abortion rally in Fort Wayne, Terry said "Our goal is a Christian nation. ... We have a biblical duty, we are called by God to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism. ... Theocracy means God rules. I've got a hot flash. God rules."...
According to the February 12, 2000, Washington Post report, Terry was censured by his church, the Landmark Church of Binghamton, New York, for a "pattern of repeated and sinful relationships and conversations with both single and married women." Terry denies the accusation.
And the "mainstream media" gave these peace loving, Christ-like gents plenty of warm and fuzzy coverage, while missing these stories.
(Inspired by the work of Amanda Marcotte at Pandagon.net, S.Z. at World O'Crap and the others linked above.)
Monday, March 28, 2005
Sunday, March 27, 2005
CNN = Conservative Nuts Network
And now CNN is airing live Krazy Kounsellor Klayman, the only lawyer who's lost more times than the Schindler attorneys.
The Krazy Kounsellor is now talking about his grandmother (the one he sued his mom over), Mel Martinez and little Elian. And the U.N. But mostly about himself.
Who the hell is Klayman representing?
Wolf Breaks Wind
Even as I type, Wolf Blitzer is showing a photo montage of himself in Iraq, accompanied by Bob Seger's Against The Wind.
Saturday, March 26, 2005
The tiny toxic Texan was an enemy of American capitalism... at least before his associates began soliciting illegal campaign contributions from its practitioners:
The case thrust Congressman DeLay into decidedly unfamiliar territory -- the list of plaintiffs on the front page of a civil complaint. He is an outspoken defender of business against what he calls the crippling effects of "predatory, self-serving litigation."
The DeLay family litigation sought unspecified compensation for, among other things, the dead father's "physical pain and suffering, mental anguish and trauma," and the mother's grief, sorrow and loss of companionship.
Their lawsuit also alleged violations of the Texas product liability law.
Rep. DeLay, who since has taken a leading role promoting congressional tort reform, wants to rein in trial lawyers to protect American business from what he calls "frivolous, parasitic lawsuits" that raise insurance premiums and "kill jobs."
In September, he expressed something less than warm sentiment for attorneys when he took the floor of the House to condemn trial lawyers who, he said, "get fat off the pain (of plaintiffs and off) the hard work (of defendants)."
The case was resolved in 1993 with payment of an undisclosed sum of about $250,000, according to sources familiar with an out of court settlement. DeLay signed over his share of any proceeds to his mother, said DeLay aides.
Three years later, DeLay cosponsored a bill specifically designed to override state laws on product liability such as the one cited in his family's lawsuit. The legislation provided sweeping exemptions for sellers of such products.
The story would make me have a great deal of sympathy for DeLay, if it wasn't for all the crap he's pulled since then.
Welcome Malkinthropes!I commend you for clicking on the link, which is the beginning of all wisdom. You may be a little disoriented at first, as you won't recognize the surroundings.
While you're visiting, I hope you'll click through to these fine links as well:
You can thank me later.
And may the Easter Bunny have mercy on your eggs.
(A special thank you to Auguste at MalkinWatch for pointing this out.)
The Culture Of Life: Some Exceptions Apply
It's okay. They didn't worship the Risen Christ.
WASHINGTON, March 25 - Despite recommendations by Army investigators, commanders have decided not to prosecute 17 American soldiers implicated in the deaths of three prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2003 and 2004, according to a new accounting released Friday by the Army.
Investigators had recommended that all 17 soldiers be charged in the cases, according to the accounting by the Army Criminal Investigation Command. The charges included murder, conspiracy and negligent homicide. While none of the 17 will face any prosecution, one received a letter of reprimand and another was discharged after the investigations.
To date, the military has taken steps toward prosecuting some three dozen soldiers in connection with a total of 28 confirmed or suspected homicides of detainees. The total number of such deaths is believed to be between 28 and 31.
New York Times Bestselling Books
Top 5 at a Glance
1. HONEYMOON, by James Patterson and Howard Roughan
2. THE RISING, by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins
3. IMPOSSIBLE, by Danielle Steel
4. THE BROKER, by John Grisham
5. THE DA VINCI CODE, by Dan Brown
Top 5 at a Glance
1. BLOOD BROTHER, by Anne Bird
2. BLINK, by Malcolm Gladwell
3. A DEADLY GAME, by Catherine Crier with Cole Thompson
4. PLAN B, by Anne Lamott
5. JUICED, by Jose Canseco
Top 5 at a Glance
1. YOUR BEST LIFE NOW, by Joel Osteen
2. FRENCH WOMEN DON'T GET FAT, by Mireille Guiliano
3. THE PURPOSE-DRIVEN LIFE, by Rick Warren
4. THE MONEY BOOK, by Suze Orman
5. THE SOUTH BEACH DIET, by Arthur Agatston
Friday, March 25, 2005
Here's a Tech Central Station column that's chock full of phony premises, logical fallacies, intellectual dishonesty, anti-intellectual dishonesty, old skool dishonest dishonesty, fabrication, projection, paranoia, hallucination and drivel. The thesis: The liberal "MSM" and the Democratic Party are going to conspire to change the law in order to destroy bloggers, oh yes they will, just you wait and see! This guy makes Michael Barone look honest and rational.
I don't have time at present to write more, but feel free to have at this chump in comments.
Thursday, March 24, 2005
Roger's Programming Notes
I have mixed feelings about Jerry Springer's radio program, scheduled to debut on Air America Radio next month. As Springer hasn't snorted Oxycontin, sexually harassed a subordinate, started a dodgy charity, committed felonies on behalf a sitting president or sold weapons to a theocratic dictatorship for personal profit, his qualifications for hosting an AM radio show seem somewhat lacking.
On the other hand, I have great hopes this will lead to wider glory and fortune for Pandagon.net's Jesse Taylor, who blogs for Springer's show. (The other) Roger Ailes got his start producing Mike Douglas's talk show, so who knows what could happen.
Mr. Imus and his wife, Deirdre, opened the 4,000-acre ranch, nestled in the mesa country of northern New Mexico, in 1999 to help sick children. Dubbed the "Cowboy Taj Mahal" by locals, the complex has a 14,000-square-foot adobe mansion, swimming pool, billiard hall, herds of longhorn cattle, buffalo and sheep, and a replica of an 1880s mining town. Its stated mission is to give "children with severe illnesses an opportunity to experience the life of an American cowboy."
The inquiry follows a ruling in 2000 by the San Miguel County, N.M., assessor's office that the ranch shouldn't be granted a full tax exemption from local property taxes. In its decision, the county said that since the ranch hosts kids for only part of the year, and portions of the ranch are used for personal housing, only 55 percent of the ranch is exempt from property taxes. Imus complied with the ruling. The ranch retains its federal tax-exempt status.
It has five bedrooms for the children, a library, dining hall and great room complete with a Steinway grand piano. The Imuses' master-bedroom suite, positioned according to Chinese feng shui principles, features a screened-in sleeping porch overlooking a mesa and an outdoor shower designed to look like Aztec ruins.
The sessions can be tough: Staff say that during the summer, children sometimes work in 100-degree heat pulling weeds and shoveling horse muck. There are no televisions, videogames or CD players for the kids, and their day starts with chores at 6 a.m.
Deadwood meets Neverland, minus the f-word. Actually, it sounds more like a plantation than the historical West. I can't imagine anything a dying kid would enjoy less than cleaning up an elderly Republican's shit.
I'm sure NBC will be all over this.
Wednesday, March 23, 2005
Rush Limbaugh Claims Another Victim
The unrestrained hedonism of "Rush" Limbaugh has claimed yet another victim. It's a proven fact that the simple folk emulate the self-destructive antics of celebrities whose lives are endlessly glamorized by the mainstream media. And so another young and productive Republican falls prey to the Limbaugh drug culture:
Republican media adviser R. Gregory Stevens, who was found dead in the Beverly Hills, Calif., home of actress Carrie Fisher on Feb. 26, died of an overdose of cocaine and the painkiller OxyContin, according to the Los Angeles County coroner's office.
A spokeswoman at the coroner's office read to The Washington Times portions of the report, which was completed Friday.
"Cocaine and OxyContin," the spokeswoman said when asked by phone what was the cause of death. When asked specifically whether there was a drug overdose, she said "yes."
Mr. Stevens, 42, was an associate with the powerhouse Washington lobbying firm Barbour Griffith & Rogers and had traveled to Los Angeles to attend the Academy Awards.
Mr. Stevens, with strong ties to the Hollywood entertainment community, served as the head of the Bush-Cheney Entertainment Task Force for President Bush's recent inaugural. Barbour Griffith & Rogers, one of the co-founders of which was chairman of the Republican National Committee, held a memorial service for Mr. Stevens earlier this month.
This young man was led astray by the thought that he could abuse hillbilly heroin without legal consequences and only slightly noticeable brain damage, like his broacast hero, Big Pharma. One can only wonder as to which public figure led Stevens to believe he could snort coke without consequences.
Monday, March 21, 2005
Michael Barone, author of "Big Dickhead's Almanack," claims to have spotted a new political trend.
Examining the political map of America, as I am obliged to do as I write the chapters of "The Almanac of American Politics 2006," reveals a previously unidentified segment of the American electorate, one which has been growing for some years now but has reached a critical mass and become a major force in one of our two great political parties: the trustfunder left.
A major force, you say?
Who are the trustfunders? People with enough money not to have to work for a living, or not to have to work very hard. People who can live more or less wherever they want. The "nomadic affluent," as demographic analyst Joel Kotkin calls them.
So you're talking about people who have trust funds, then?
These people tend to be very liberal politically. Aware that they have done nothing to earn their money, they feel a certain sense of guilt. At the elite private or public high schools they attend, and even more at their colleges and universities, they are propagandized about the evils of capitalism and globalization, and the virtues of environmentalism and pacifism. Patriotism is equated with Hiterlism.
Tell us more, Michael. How many people in this country live in nomadic affluence from the proceeds of a trust? And what percentage of those folks are guilty leftists?
Their loyalties, as Samuel Huntington explains in "Who Are We?," are not national, but transnational -- they are citizens of the world with contempt for those who feel chills up their spines when they hear "The Star Spangled Banner." They are taught to have contempt for the economic contribution they make to their country as investors and to feel guilty if they make no other contribution. Their penance is that they must vote left.
Yes, yes. They hate America. We get it. Now give us some facts about these people and the political power they wield.
Where can you find trustfunders? Not scattered randomly around the country, but heavily concentrated in certain areas. Places with kicky restaurants, places tolerant of alternative lifestyles, places with lots of art galleries and organic food stores and Starbucks competitors. The heaviest concentration is in the San Francisco Bay area, which, Kotkin says, has the largest percentage of trustfunders of any major metro area in the country.
Okay, you know where they live. So then you must know how many of them there are. Give us some facts, man.
The Bay area stands out in stark relief on the political map. It voted 70 percent to 29 percent for John Kerry in 2004, up from the 64 percent to 30 percent margin it cast for Al Gore in 2000. Without the Bay area's 1.15 million-vote margin for Kerry, California would have come within 82,000 votes of voting for George W. Bush.
So how many of those Bay Area voters are trustfunders? All of them? Two of them? Spit it out!
Trustfunders stand out even more vividly when you look at the political map of the Rocky Mountain states. In Idaho and Wyoming, each state's wealthiest county was also the only county to vote for John Kerry: Blaine County, Idaho (Sun Valley), where Kerry stayed at his wife's imported Cotswold farmhouse on his much photographed skiing and snowboarding vacation, and Teton County, Wyo. (Jackson Hole), where Dick Cheney has a house and where Bill Clinton took a pre-election holiday after his pollster Dick Morris reported that a trip to the mountains focus-grouped better than Martha's Vineyard.You have no idea how many there are, do you, Barone? You're just talking out of your ass. Admit it.
Speaking of Martha's Vineyard, it voted 73 percent for Kerry, and nearby Nantucket, where Kerry's wife has another house, voted 63 percent for him -- indeed, Nantucket was one of only three of the nation's 100 fastest-growing counties that did not vote for George W. Bush. Massachusetts Catholics gave their fellow Massachusetts Catholic Kerry only 51 percent of their votes, but he won 77 percent in Boston, 85 percent in Cambridge, and 69 percent and 73 percent in trustfunder-heavy Hampshire and Berkshire Counties in the western mountains.You worthless git. You don't know how many trust fund beneficiaries there are in this country and you don't know how they voted.
Where Democrats had a good year in 2004 they owed much to trustfunders. In Colorado, they captured a Senate and a House seat and both houses of the legislature. Their political base in that state is increasingly not the oppressed proletariat of Denver, but the trustfunder-heavy counties that contain Aspen (68 percent for Kerry), Telluride (72 percent) and Boulder (66 percent).So people who live off the interest of inherited wealth are not only the base of the Democratic party in Colorado, they control the outcome of that state's elections? Tell me, Mike, how many trustfunders are there in Pitkin, San Miguel and Boulder Counties, and how did they vote? And how did those who earned their wealth vote?
You can see the trustfunders' imprint as well in New York. In 56 of the state's 62 counties, the Republican popular vote margin increased or the Democratic margin fell between 2000 and 2004. Five of the six counties that moved away from George W. Bush are trustfunder havens: New York (Manhattan), Ulster (Woodstock), Columbia (trendy Hudson River country), Otsego (Cooperstown) and Tompkins (Cornell University).
Now you're saying that the number of Democratic votes increased because the number of trust fund beneficiaries increased in those counties in the last four years? Do you have any fucking idea what you're talking about?
The political map shows the trustfunders' impact. So, I suspect, would an analysis of the sources of the vast amounts of money that flowed in through the Internet first to Howard Dean and then to John Kerry and to outfits like moveon.org.
I suspect that an analysis of Michael Barone's hard drive would reveal numerous files containing nude photos of Cal Thomas and John Leo. And I've got just as much evidence for my suspicion as does Barone.
The good news for Democrats is that they have found a new source of votes and money. The bad news is that an important part of their core constituency has the characteristic that the British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin ascribed to the press, "power without responsibility, the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages."
Now that's just moronic.
I'll admit that Barone knows more about the intersection of inherited wealth and Democratic politics than I do, since I didn't marry into a family of wealthy San Francisco Democrats. And Barone certainly knows about not working very hard, as this column proves. But being a freeloader and an intellectual lightweight doesn't make Barone on expert on those topics.
Meet Your Liberal Media: We Go To War With The Lies We Have, Not The Truth Our Readers Expect Edition
Speaking of journalists who expect others to do their work for them, ladies and gentleman, I give you Judith "F'ing" Miller:
Meanwhile, ever since the fall of Baghdad in 2002, Miller has faced bitter accusations from both her peers and the public: they charge that in the run-up to the Iraq war, she was tricked by -- or worse, colluded with -- other confidential sources and the Bush administration into writing articles that strongly indicated Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. No WMDs have been found, and critics have been baying for Miller's blood for the past two years.
Miller's position, as she repeated several times during the Berkeley event and during an interview earlier that day for KQED "Forum," is "You go with what you've got." She was referring both to her WMD sources and the questionable whistle-blowers she is protecting, but it's a statement her critics ought to keep in mind. Miller may be an imperfect martyr for the First Amendment cause, but with 15 other journalists battling a secrecy-loving government over their own confidential sources, you go with what you've got. [WTF? Miller's sources were the secrecy- and dishonesty-loving government - Roger.]
In May of last year the New York Times published what many considered a belated mea culpa for its Iraq coverage. Although the paper did not name Miller, it included references to several of her stories that relied on Chalabi or other Iraqi exiles and unnamed intelligence sources. (Slate journalist Jack Shafer undertook an excoriating look at Miller's articles in 2003 and has since dogged her in several additional pieces.)
Miller argues that if she was duped by her unnamed sources, so was the Bush administration -- and she's not apologizing for believing there were WMDs in Iraq until the president does....
Ultimately, Miller said, she "wrote the best assessment that I could based on the information that I had." She attempted to tie the controversy over her WMD reporting to her current struggle by saying that she had heard after the fact -- after she returned from being embedded with an infantry division in Iraq -- that there had been people who had reservations about the WMD intelligence she was receiving.
"I wish they had come forward at the time to express those reservations," she said. "To me, this case that I am now involved in emphasizes the importance of getting as many people as possible to come forward with a dissenting view, or allegations of wrongdoing."
So -- if we accept Miller's dubious premise that she was an innocent dupe -- when Miller's unnamed sources told her that WMDs existed, it was up to persons who knew the WMDs didn't exist to correct Miller's ignorance. Presumably these contrarians were supposed to know what she was going to write before she wrote it, track her down, and refute the assertions of sources whose identities she wouldn't disclose. It wasn't her job to corroborate the claims of her sources or seek out knowledgeable others who might contradict their claims, or to inform readers of her sources' possible motives for -- and history of -- lying.
Also note Miller's claim that "if she was duped by her unnamed sources, so was the Bush administration...." Is she claiming that that sources who duped her weren't in the Administration (though of course she often quoted unnamed Administration sources), and that the Bush Administration was also duped by her sources? Does the "if" signify that she believes WMD exist but still haven't been found?
Don't worry, Judy. We don't want your apology. The self-destruction of your credibility is thanks enough.
Sunday, March 20, 2005
Two years ago, I wrote a book [sic] about my father: Big Russ and Me: Father and Son, Lessons of Life. I have now decided to put together a new book in which a wide variety of sons and daughters will have a chance to write about their fathers. I would like to invite you to be part of this exciting new project, and to spread the word among your friends.
What am I looking for? Stories, lessons, advice or even a favorite saying that made your father special. Feel free to send me a vivid memory, a funny anecdote, or the story of your father's special accomplishment. Maybe he taught you an important lesson -- either with words or by example -- about work, love, kindness, friendship, integrity, faith, or anything else. You could also send me a letter of appreciation that you sent to your father, or a letter you wish you had written. It can even be a eulogy -- or anything else that seems appropriate. What I really care about [sic] is that you wrote it.
....I'm not looking for professional writing, but for stories and lessons that useful [sic], original, moving, inspiring, or just plain funny.
It would be easiest if you sent me an e-mail letter at MyDad@BigRussandMe.com in the form of a double-spaced Word document that comes as an attachment, but if you'd rather mail it the old-fashioned way, that's fine, too.
There will be no payment if your letter is used. Instead, I will be making a contribution to The Boys and Girls Club in the name of all the contributors. If I am able to use your letter, I will also be sending you an autographed copy of the book, which is scheduled for Father's Day, 2006....
Many thanks [sic],
Typical Republican. He didn't write the first one, why should he write this one?
I think I'll write about the time I gave my dad a copy Big Russ and Me and he threw it at my head.
[I]n late 2001, Bush established the new and constitutionally questionable guideline which states that the documents of any past president may only be released to the public with the express consent of that president (if still alive) and the current president. The redactions on the documents pertaining to Clinton's pardons is just one manifestation of this policy.
Of course, the wingnuts don't need documents to bash Democrats and Democratic administrations; they just invent facts. This executive order simply keeps Bush's own misconduct (and that of his father) under wraps until Bush is beyond the jurisdiction of the courts.
Jesus Saves, Wolf Swallows
On CNN's Late Edition just now, Wolf Blitzer twice screeched "Can (or will) Washington save Terri Schiavo?"
As anyone who has read anything other than dishonest right-wing propaganda about the matter knows, Ms. Schiavo did not want to be kept alive under the circumstances she is now in. That fact was determined by a court, the determination was affirmed on appeal and all appeals contesting that determination were exhausted. The laws and procedures set forth by the State of Florida for determining such matters were all followed.
The only things "Washington" is interested in saving are Tom DeLay's corrupt ass and the Republican control of Congress and the White House.
Blitzer has no excuse.
Saturday, March 19, 2005
Roger Ailes, The Musical
And you thought watching CNN reporting on blogs was painful. Check this out:
Melding two chic cultural forms, the documentary drama and the blog, the Six Figures Theater Company has turned the online writings of Riverbend, the pseudonym of a 25-year-old Baghdad woman who has become something of an Internet celebrity, into a dramatically awkward series of readings....
While Riverbend has a fascinating voice, this production, adapted by Kimberly I. Kefgen and Loren Ingrid Noveck, never makes the case for her blog as a piece of drama. What is lost is the sense of one singular, idiosyncratic personality, which, of course, is exactly what emerges so vividly from the blog. Instead of building a character, the show includes readings of her words from three women and one man, which adds to the muddled feel.
When not speaking, the actors pace in a triangle or perform synchronized gestures that make them look like backup singers to a 1960's pop band.
No, it's not from The Onion.
Unfortunately, the photograph accompanying the article, depicting the cast standing around gaping at a glowing laptop screen, is not online.
I hope riverbend's getting a cut, although I can't imagine the production is making money.
Meet Your Liberal Media: Let Them Eat Lamb in Chile Ancho Pepper Sauce and Orange-Garlic Juice with Mezcal Infusion ($25) Edition
I'm having a little trouble identifying the premise of Maureen Dowd's latest column in the Times:
The Fiesta Americana Grand Aqua is on Cancun's main hotel strip - a Vegas-like stretch of hotels, bars, restaurants and clubs (Boulevard Kukulcan, km. 12.5, Zona Hotelera). Rates for double rooms start at $498 a night during high season (Dec. 18 through New Year's Day), $393 during middle season (Jan. 2 through April 30) and $215 during low season.
For reservations or more information, call the Fiesta Americana general reservations line at (800) 343-7821 or visit the site www.fiestaamericana.com. The direct number is (52-998) 881-7600.
Is it about free trade, third-world debt or exploitation of foreign workers?
How Many Hits Did He Get?
Prosecutors argued that [Thomas E.] Murray killed his ex-wife because he was furious about possibly losing custody. They said he gave different stories on his whereabouts and had conducted Internet searches on how to commit murder, including "how to murder someone and not get caught" and "murder for hire."
Thursday, March 17, 2005
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Weblogs of The Rich and Heinous
Did you know that Lawrence "Cokie" Kudlow has a blog, called Money Politic$? It's a freebie Blogspot blog, so I guess Kudlow isn't doing as well as we think.
Maybe he's still paying off his blow bill. Or maybe he's just a cheap mofo.
In his latest entry, CNBC's Nose-Candy Crowley applauds the verdict of the Ebbers jury:
Free market capitalism must be based on the rule of law. By enforcing the law, the twelve Ebber's [sic] jurors did far more for honest accounting and healthy, functioning markets than thousands of regulatory pages, such as the onerous Sarbanes Oxley.
(The rules of punctuation are optional.)
But if Kudlow really believed in the rule of law, wouldn't he be cleaning toilets at his halfway house right now, instead of blogging?
I'm excited about this celebrity blogging trend though: First, Sam Francis, before his superior genes failed him, and now Kudlow. If anyone spots other semi-famous hacks expanding their empires into the blogging arts, please send the link along.
We're the richest state in the wealthiest nation in human history. Yet we're 48th out of 50 states in student achievement, and we have a Governor who wants to cut 15,000 dollars out of every public school classroom. A Governor who broke a 40-year-old covenant, by telling 25,000 hungry young minds -- kids who worked hard, made all the grades -- that there was no room for them at our state colleges and universities.
We're the richest state in the wealthiest nation in human history. Yet the gap between the rich and the poor is widening. And we have a Governor who thinks it's fine to cut assistance to children, to the poor -- that somehow, if we just shower more fortune on the fortunate, the crumbs will reach the rest, like the leftovers of a Hollywood dinner party....
And I'll tell you why: unlike Governor Schwarzenegger, I don't believe in a Charles Darwin fiscal policy, and I don't believe in a Marie Antoinette tax policy. I don't believe a great state's economy should be a race to the bottom, where we reward quick profiteering at the expense of long-term growth and opportunity.
So I pushed the State's major pension funds to dump all their tobacco stocks, because it's wrong to reward companies that target and poison our kids. I led the fight against the Enron-style fraud that ransacked the hard-earned savings of millions of Americans. And I've worked to end investments in companies that use sweatshop labor and child labor. These are billions of dollars of your pension money. I want them invested in ways that make your lives better, not worse.
I've led this state to invest in our neglected communities -- because I believe we will never achieve our full potential if anyone is left behind.
I've pushed the State to invest in technologies that clean up the environment and combat global warming -- so we can be the State that sells them to the world and creates good jobs.
Schwarzenegger and his goons and apologists -- the Murphys, the Kauses and the Kurtzes -- will be on the attack soon. That will be Angelides' first test.
At National Review Online, Father Rob Johansen writes about the legal proceedings surrounding Terri Schiavo. The point I'm interested in is Johansen's contention that "[e]xpert witnesses in court are supposed to be unbiased: disinterested in the outcome of the case. Part of the procedure in qualifying expert witnesses is establishing that they are objective and unbiased." Johansen argues that an expert witness, Dr. Cranford, who testified Schiavo was in a persistent vegetative state was a biased witness because he is allegedly an advocate "in the 'right to die' and euthanasia movements." Says Johansen, "one needs to know a little about Cranford's background and perspective" in order to evaluate Cranford's opinions.
To support his argument, Johansen quotes some neurologists to whom he provided a selective account of the medical evidence and legal proceedings.
Among them, there's "Dr. William Bell, a professor of neurology at Wake Forest University Medical School." For some strange reason, Johansen doesn't think we need to know a little -- or anything -- about Bell's background or perspective. Among other things, Bell is a member of the Christian Medical and Dental Society. Although Johansen obviously thinks otherwise, you might be interested to know that the Christian Medical and Dental Society believes that "[t]he human body belongs to God," holds some bigoted psuedo-scientific views about homosexuality, and compares embryonic stem cell research to Nazi war crimes.
No bias or interest there. And I'm sure Johansen picked Bell entirely at random, as opposed to selecting him for the outcome he desires.
Then there's "Dr. Thomas Zabiega, who trained at the University of Chicago." I think we can presume that's Thomas Zabiega, M.D., Vice President for Legislative Affairs for the Catholic Physicians' Guild of Chicago. Let's keep that Father Rob's little secret, shall we?
In the article, Father Rob makes it sound as if Dr. Bell is hearing about the Schiavo case for the first time. ("I have spent the past ten days recruiting and interviewing neurologists willing to come forward and offer affidavits or declarations concerning new testing and examinations for Terri....") Yet Bell, apparently accepting Father Rob's version as gospel, has made up his mind: "It seems as though they're fearful of any additional information," "medical realities are no longer governing this case," "once a decision is made they don't want additional information." No prejudgment there either.
Father Rob is a man who likes to cherry-pick his experts and avoid disclosure of important but inconvenient facts. If we judge him by his own standard, he can't be trusted.
p.s. Here's more on the "pro-lifers" with a keen interest in the Schiavo case.
I Don't Know, But I Am Told
Wingnut hacks are getting old.
Anne Applebaum is a pure merit hire; all the rest of you are quota queens. Or so she thinks. You see, she was hired to write a column based on her glorious reporting career, but, "thanks to [Susan] Estrich," all other female writers "will have to wonder whether it was [your] knowledge of Irish politics, [your] willingness to court controversy or just [you] gender that won the editor over."
And Anne demonstrates her mad reporting skillz, too.
"I am told, for example, that there is pressure at Harvard Law School, and at other law schools, to ensure that at least half the students chosen for the law review are women. Quite frankly, it's hard to think of anything that would do more damage to aspiring female lawyers. Neither they nor their prospective employers will ever know whether they got there as part of a quota or on their own merits."
I am told that the federal government is controlled by the Jews; it must be so. That's the kind of in-depth investigative journalism that would earn Ann a job at FrontPage Magazine.
Does Apple Annie believe half the students chosen for law review wouldn't be women if applicants were judged solely on their merits? And does she believe that the prospective employers of law school graduates no longer look at grades or writing samples or references or experience to make their hiring decisions? Why, oh why, are all these inferior women trying to make Anne look bad?
After this column, we'll all have to wonder whether Applebaum got her column due to her love of right-wing cliches, her wilingness to spout conventional wisdom, or because Margaret Carlson declined Kinsley's offer.
Tuesday, March 15, 2005
Ex-bigot and ex-blogger (!) Sam Francis would be rolling over in his grave but for the fact his huge carcass is too tightly wedged in the coffin to allow such movement.
The Talmudic boner scholars at the FCC have ruled that the Monday Night Football intro which had Sam's sheets in a knot was not indecent:
We conclude that the material in question is not patently offensive, and thus, not indecent. In particular, the "Monday Night Football" segment, although sexually suggestive, is not graphic or explicit. 15 Owens is fully dressed throughout the segment, and, with the exception of a moment when her bare back is exposed to the audience, Sheridan is at all times fully covered with a towel. No sexual or excretory organs are shown or described, and no sexual activities are explicitly depicted or described. Furthermore, the scene where Sheridan drops her towel and jumps into Owens's arms is brief. Although the scene apparently is intended to be titillating, it simply is not graphic or explicit enough to be indecent under our standard.
Meanwhile, the forced dis-integration of Mr. Francis will continue unabated for the foreseeable future.
The End Of The Whine
Was there ever a bigger joke than Daniel Okrent, the constantly-whining "readers representative" who accomplished nothing during his 18 month vacation from reality?
I exaggerate. He accomplished what he set out to do: obtain another little-work, no-responsibility and no accountability academic gig for himself.
NEW YORK Nearing the end of his 18-month stint as The New York Times' first public editor, Daniel Okrent compared the assignment to a root canal -- but says he's glad he took it.
Just hours after hearing that he had successfully landed a fellowship for next spring at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University, Okrent told E&P that the Times job offered him unparalleled access to readers and editors but also some of the most difficult working conditions imaginable.
Yes, the pampered fat ass can't imagine the working conditions of farm workers, miners, humanitarian aid workers, medical caregivers, soldiers or firefighters, to name just a few.
At one point, Okrent said he changed his reading habits to stop looking at e-mails or blogs before going to bed because he would be unable to sleep. "I sleep better now," he added.
Among the biggest surprises for Okrent were issues surrounding presidential campaign coverage, he said. "It focused attention on the Times' role, and there was a constant assault from people who were inflamed by the coverage," he explained. "What was surprising was the viciousness of the attacks on the paper. The defensiveness of the paper was understandable."
Why should Jokrent have to concern his beautiful mind with readers' opinions of the Times' coverage of an important news story? It's so unpleasant.
Okrent felt the most threatened after his controversial Oct. 10, 2004, column, which he ended by mentioning a person who had e-mailed Times reporter Adam Nagourney. Okrent drew criticism after naming the man [sic -- and identifying where the man lived] and calling him a coward. "He wrote letters demanding I resign and apologize," Okrent recalls. "In the blog world, I got the s--t kicked out of me."
Sorry, Danny. If you had the shit kicked out of you, there would be nothing of you left.
One blogger threatened to post Okrent's home address, home phone number, and the location of his daughter's college campus on his blog in response to the column. "That was very unpleasant," he said.
But not as unpleasant as Okrent actually publishing the name and location of a reader, without permission, which led to exactly the type of harassment the coward Okrent thinks he alone should be exempt from.
Good riddance. Let's hope the next ass-kisser Keller hires at least has the grace not to whine about the smell.
Sunday, March 13, 2005
On The Road To Victory
Seems that shooting of an Italian journalist in Iraq resulted from additional checkpoints that were created to protect His Excellency, John D. Negroponte, who was en route to a dinner engagement with the American general in charge of military operations in Iraq, stationed at "Camp Victory." The shooting took place about an hour and twenty-five minutes or so after Negroponte passed, so it's not clear why the checkpoint was still there. As the people of Honduras know all too well, being in a country where Negroponte is ambassador can be hazardous to your health.
Ooops, I Knew I Forgot Something
Correction: I've conflated the Berkman conference with another conference on "Media, Technology and the Common Good" held at Harvard by the American Press Institute at the beginning of March. Apparently you can't throw a stone in Cambridge without hitting a conference discussing blogs (and the same people too). I apologize for confusing the two, as well for as the resulting mischaracterizations of the positions of the parties based thereon.
With respect to the issue of the gender makeup of invitees to the the conferences, however, I counted 14 women and 36 men on the invite list for the Berkman conference (link) and 13 women and 33 men at the API conference (link). So not much difference there. If there weren't "many other women in attendance" at the API conference, there weren't many other women at the Berkman conference. Why was the gender disparity so noteworthy at the API conference and not at the Berkman event? And, contrary to the MSGOP article, most of the invitees at the API conference were not "top 100 bloggers," or bloggers at all. So the point of blaming the bloggers for the lack of diversity at conference not run or controlled by bloggers also stands.
An article from MSGOP.com asks why the blogosphere is dominated by white males:
March 21 issue -- At a recent Harvard conference on bloggers and the media, the most pungent statement came from cyberspace. Rebecca MacKinnon, writing about the conference as it happened, got a response on the "comments" space of her blog from someone concerned that if the voices of bloggers overwhelm those of traditional media, "we will throw out some of the best ... journalism of the 21st century."
After the comment was posted, a couple of the women at the conference -- bloggers MacKinnon and Halley Suitt -- looked around and saw that there weren't many other women in attendance. Nor were the faces yapping about the failings of Big Media representative of the human quiltwork one would see in the streets of Cambridge or New York City, let alone overseas. They were, however, representative of the top 100 blogs according to the Web site Technorati -- a list dominated by bigmouths of the white-male variety.
Shouldn't this article be about the perpetuation of white male dominance at Harvard academic conferences, rather than while male dominance of the blogosphere?
Last time I checked, it wasn't blogs or the blogosphere that was sending out the invites to the Berkman Center For the Internet and Society's "invitation only" circle jerk. From the website, it looks like Ms. MacKinnon had something of a say in who got invited to the event. She certainly knew who was on the guest list well before the conference began. So why did she have to look around "after the comment was posted" to realize there weren't many other women in attendance? Had Jeff Jarvis told Ms. MacKinnon he was born a woman? Did she believe that Robert Cox, John Hinderaker and Dave Winer were drag kings?
Here's a radical suggestion for MacKinnon if she wants more diversity at her next blogfest: Invite more women and people of color. Until then, stop pretending that your problem and Harvard's is someone else's.
Ten Hours From TruthfulHow do you repair American credibility abroad? Appoint a pathological liar as the State Department's head p.r. flack.
President Bush will nominate one of his closest longtime advisers to a key State Department post in an effort to help repair the United States' image abroad, especially in the Arab world, a senior administration official said Saturday.
The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the announcement that Bush has selected Karen Hughes to be undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs will be made early next week, possibly as early as Monday. The position requires Senate confirmation.
The official said that Hughes, 48, will spearhead the administration's campaign to promote democracy in the Middle East....
As undersecretary, Hughes' main responsibility will be to repair the image of the United States which was badly tarnished abroad by anger over the Bush administration's decision to invade Iraq and overthrow its government.
If everything goes as planned, foreign countries will be persuaded that the United States never abused drugs and alcohol, never failed to perform required military service, and writes its own books.
Oh, and that Bush Administration gives a shit about democracy in the Middle East.
Well, at least Jerry and Robert got a reprieve.
Nick Kristof Is Wrong Once Again
In his Saturday diatribe against "tree huggers," Little Nicky Pistof confesses he was "once an environmental groupie." What he did with the pine cones, you don't want to know.
Anyway, Kristof is convinced environmentalists have lost all credibility:
"The fundamental problem, as I see it, is that environmental groups are too often alarmists. They have an awful track record, so they've lost credibility with the public. Some do great work, but others can be the left's equivalents of the neocons: brimming with moral clarity and ideological zeal, but empty of nuance. (Industry has also hyped risks with wildly exaggerated warnings that environmental protections will entail a terrible economic cost.)"
Yet apparently industry didn't lose its credibility, or at least Kristof doesn't think it worth discussing.
Kristof's proof of the "awful track record" and frequent alarmism of environmental groups? Here's his entire argument, and his best two examples:
Example one: "In the 1970's, the environmental movement was convinced that the Alaska oil pipeline would devastate the Central Arctic caribou herd. Since then, it has quintupled."Uh, "the environmental movement" meaning who? Didn't they name any names on whatever right-wing website you got this argument from, Nick?
Example Two: "When I first began to worry about climate change, global cooling and nuclear winter seemed the main risks. As Newsweek said in 1975: 'Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the cooling trend ... but they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century.'"
Not even "the environmental movement," or environmentalists, but meterologists. Purportedly talking about a trend with a 25-year impact -- the cause of which they disagreed about.
Yes, environmental groups are so frequently alarmist that the most recent examples of their incorrect alarmism Pistof can cite are 30 years old. And he doesn't mention any group by name.
Pistof also mentions Paul Ehrlich's "The Population Bomb," for the wild-eyed notion that overpopulation will cause starvation, and a book from 1959 entitled "Too Many Asians," which, as we all know, is the Satanic Bible of the environmental movement. (A classic attempt by Pistof to smear his political opponents as racists. I wonder how that out-of-print tome found a home on Pistof's bookshelf.)
After castigating screeching extremists, Pistof concludes:
"Given the uncertainties and trade-offs, priority should go to avoiding environmental damage that is irreversible, like extinctions, climate change and loss of wilderness. And irreversible changes are precisely what are at stake with the Bush administration's plans to drill in the Arctic wildlife refuge, to allow roads in virgin wilderness and to do essentially nothing on global warming."
Extinctions? Climate change? But... but ... environmentalists have no credibility on Arctic drilling or global warming! What about those caribou? And the meterologists?
I think I've got whiplash.
In summary, Kristof's column brims with moral clarity and ideological zeal, but is empty of nuance. And fact.
For Further Reading: Dave Johnson tells Kristof to read the whole thing.
It Don't Come Easy
A reader cites a prime example of the Kerfuffle Rule, which, minus the TBogg Exception, states that one should never credit the opinion of anyone who uses the term kerfuffle to describe a brouhaha, imbroglio or rowdydow.
In her Sunday column, MoDo spouts off on the underrepresentation of women writers on the nation's op-ed pages. After digressing to talk about herself for the first half of the column.
Dowd asks why people call her writings "mean." Actually, those people mean to say insipid; they're just being polite. She gripes at length about being perceived as castrating and man-hating for expressing strong opinions, and wonders why Tom Friedman doesn't get the same criticism.
May I suggest an answer, Maureen? Your column is criticized in ways Friedman's is not because it is entirely lacking in substance. It is always filled with lame insults more appropriately found in a Tonight Show monologue, labored -- and unfunny -- premises and analogies, and egocentric whining. It lacks any point of view except that its author is more clever than everyone else. It is deviod of a coherent philosophy, insight, conviction or reporting. In a word, it's crap.
After moaning that mean people called her mean, MoDo states:
The kerfuffle over female columnists started when Susan Estrich launched a crazed and nasty smear campaign against Michael Kinsley, the L.A. Times editorial page editor, trying to force him to run her humdrum syndicated column.That castrating hormonal harpy Estrich! Doesn't she know this country's not big enough for two mediocore female blowhards? I bet Estrich can't even work an irrelevant Shakespeare reference into most of her columns.
Anyway, I should've stopped at kerfuffle; it's all downhill from there.
MoDo goes on to explain why there aren't more women opinion columnists:
Gail Collins, the first woman to run The Times's editorial page and the author of a history of American women, told The Post's Howard Kurtz: "There are probably fewer women, in the great cosmic scheme of things, who feel comfortable writing very straight opinion stuff, and they're less comfortable hearing something on the news and batting something out."I think that Dowd is arguing there aren't more women on the editorial pages because she doesn't believe there presently exist enough (or any) women who are capable of expressing strong opinions or who willing to do so. "It's not my fault, or Collins's fault, that the Times hasn't hired more women op-ed columnists, it's society's fault. We looked in our e-mails; we looked at the blogs getting the most press; we looked to the places where most discerning polemicists make their names -- on cable teevee and in college sex columns. We looked far and wide across the table at the people who bought our lunch. Trust us, they're just not out there."
There's a lot of evidence of that. Male bloggers predominate, as do male TV shouters. Men I know and men who read The Times write me constantly, asking me to read the opinion pieces they've written. Sometimes they'll e-mail or fax me their thoughts to read right before I have lunch with them. Women hardly ever send their own rants.
There's been a dearth of women writing serious opinion pieces for top news organizations, even as there's been growth in female sex columnists for college newspapers. Going from Tess Harding to Carrie Bradshaw, Dorothy Thompson to Candace Bushnell, is not progress.
This job has not come easily to me. But I have no doubt there are plenty of brilliant women who would bring grace and guts to our nation's op-ed pages, just as, Lawrence Summers notwithstanding, there are plenty of brilliant women out there who are great at math and science. We just need to find and nurture them.
At least Dowd offers a solution: Bombard Dowd's e-mail account with links to your favorite women columnists, bloggers and authors, or to your own work. Constantly. And offer to buy her a steak.
She wants to help.
That's email@example.com . Use "Maureen Dowd Mentor Program" in the subject line for best results.
Fair Condi and the All White Knights
To start things off, a long-time e-mailer sends in this tale of fair maiden Condi paying a visit to the White Knights and Imperial Wizards of Moon Table. "Miss Rice" breaks editorial bread with vile racists Pruden and Coombs and anti-semite Tony Blankley and the other hoary white heads doing the Father's business.
The roundtable interview is mostly foreign policy, of course. Foreign Editor David Jones (who?) poses a question about North Korea without mentioning one of that country's most generous benefactors or the nuclear weapons development paid for with that benefactor's largesse.
Then there's this bitter laugh line:
Miss Rice: I'm never going to underestimate al Qaeda -- Never.
As the evening progresses, the conversation turns to God and Condi 08:
Mr. Sammon: Before we let you get away, we've got to talk about the fun political stuff. And that is starting with, are you would you consider running for president in 2008?
Miss Rice: Oh, jeez [sic -- Jeez].
Miss Rice: I know. I have never wanted to run for anything. I don't think I even ran for class anything when I was in school. I'm going to try to...
Mr. Pruden: But you could save us from Hillary (laughter).
Mr. Sammon: So are you ruling it out?
Mr. Pruden: Will you do a Sherman? (Laughter.)
Miss Rice Oh, that's not fair, but -- (Laughter.)
Mr. Pruden: Newspapers aren't fair.
(Editor's note: Mr. Pruden is asking if Miss Rice intends to burn down his house and Mr. Coombs' house.)
Miss Rice: Oh, that's not fair, but ... I really can't imagine it.
Mr. Sammon: Well, let me just follow up on this because that's perfectly understandable. But one of the things people are confused about and they understand your foreign policy positions, you've been very clear about those but there is some confusion about some of your domestic policy issues. And I know that's not your bailiwick, but, for example, I interviewed Colin Powell last year as secretary of state and he talked about how he was pro-choice, how he was pro-affirmative action, how he was against an amendment that would ban the burning of a flag, these kinds of social issues. I "googled" Condi Rice and abortion and I've gotten so much murky, contradictory information. Could you clear it up for us today? Are you pro-life? Are you pro-choice? What is your thought on abortion?
Miss Rice: I believe if you go back to 2000, when I helped the president in the campaign, I said that I was, in effect, kind of Libertarian on this issue, and meaning by that that I have been concerned about a government role in this issue. I'm a strong proponent of parental choice, of parental notification. I'm a strong proponent of a ban on late-term abortion. These are all things that I think unite people and I think that that's where we should be. I've called myself at times mildly pro-choice.
Mr. Sammon: That was the phrase that kept coming up.
Miss Rice: Yeah, mildly pro-choice. That's what that means. I think that there are a lot of things that we can unite around, and that's where I would tend to be. I'm very comfortable with the president's view that we have to respect and need to have a culture that respects life. This should be an issue pretty infrequently because we ought to have a culture that says that, "Who wants to have an abortion? Who wants to see a daughter or a friend or, you know, a sibling go through something like that?" And so I believe the president has been in exactly the right place about this, which is, we have to respect the culture of life and we have to try and bring people to have respect for it and make this as rare a circumstance as possible.
Mr. Sammon: The only reason I even brought it up was because there is a school of thought that says that no conservative Republican can be elected president if they are not firmly pro-life. I know you haven't ruled anything in or out but...
Miss Rice: I'm not trying to be elected.
Mr. Sammon: But it sounds like you do not wish to change the laws that now allow ...
Miss Rice: Well, I don't spend my entire life thinking about these issues. You know, I spend my time really thinking about the foreign policy issues. But you know that I'm a deeply religious person and so, from my point of view, these extremely difficult moral issues where we have -- where we're facing issues with technology and the prolongation of life and the fact that very, very young babies are able to survive now -- very small babies are able to survive -- these are great moral issues.
What I do think is that we should not have the federal government in a position where it is forcing its views on one side or the other. So, for instance, I've tended to agree with those who do not favor federal funding for abortion, because I believe that those who hold a strong moral view on the other side should not be forced to fund it.
Unlike, say, the invasion of Iraq.
Given the foregoing dance, it seems that Condi's set to do a reversal on her purported choice position should the Father's paper demand it.
Saturday, March 12, 2005
One Million Hits
The readers' choice idea was inspired by the fact that this blog has hit the 1 million hit mark. Even more impressive: I didn't start counting until ... whenever it was, but like a year after I started, I'm guessing, don't hold me to it. Surely some of those hits were by people who weren't looking for a job from that fat FOX f*ck, or me pushing the refresh button into the wee hours of the morning.
I can't thank all of my readers in person, seeing as I'm a recluse with an obsessive-compulsive fear of germs, like in that Leonardo DiCaprio movie but without the starlets, and I don't have a travel budget, and meeting people from the internet is a good way to get yourself skinned and hung from the rafters of an abandoned farmhouse, so I thought that would be a nice way to commemorate the ocassion.
I'll start blogging the reader suggestions sometime tomorrow. (And there's still time if someone wants to e-mail a suggestion of that idiot Kristof's column from today.)
Thank you for reading.
Friday, March 11, 2005
Tomorrow will be Reader's Choice Day at Roger Ailes. E-mail me a link to any story you're interested in, and I'll try to comment on as many as possible Saturday night and Sunday.
(Let me know if you want credit for your suggestion.)
Grand Old Police Blotter: Jammin', Jammin' Edition
A slap on the wrist for a Puke phone phreak:
CONCORD, N.H. -- The former executive director of the state Republican Party was sentenced Thursday to seven months in prison for jamming Democratic telephone lines during the 2002 general election.
Chuck McGee pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiring to make anonymous calls to annoy or harass. He also was fined $2,000 and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service. He faced up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
"I made a mistake," McGee said as he left court. "I'm prepared to pay for that mistake."
Federal prosecutor Todd Hinnen asked for leniency, saying McGee had cooperated.
[District Judge Joseph] DiClerico said 10 months in prison would be appropriate for the crime, but cut that to seven months.
James Tobin, the former Northeast political director of the national party committee working to elect Republican senators, also is charged in the case. Prosecutors say he orchestrated the jamming. Tobin has pleaded innocent.
McGee asked to serve his sentence promptly. He must turn himself in by April 26.
"I'll be back in 2006 to help some good Republicans get elected," he said.
So hell freezes over by December 31.
Thursday, March 10, 2005
Grand Old Police Blotter Classic: Republican Road Rage Edition
On February 27, David Keene, 21, of Washington, DC, was indicted by a federal grand jury on three counts for firing a shot at another motorist on the parkway on December 1, 2002. Keene was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon; using, brandishing and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence; and making a false statement in connection with the acquisition of a firearm. Keene and another motorist were heading north on the parkway last December when Keene fired a round from his .40 caliber pistol through the rear window of the other vehicle. The bullet lodged in the back of the driver's seat. Keene continued north on the parkway while the other motorist called police and reported the shooting. Keene also provided false information to a federally-licensed firearms dealer when he purchased the pistol in August, 2002. Arraignment has been set for March 7. Detective Todd Reid and the USPP Criminal Investigation Branch investigated.
Watch out, George Will. There's a new jocksniffer in town -- Townhall, that is. Townhall.com guest sports columnist Ak'Bar Shabazz waxes eloquent on the National Pastime, 'Roids, Federalism and the Tenth Amendment:
"As an avid sports fan and a true conservative, I detest Congress' intrusion in this arena. I'm sure that Bug Selig and other sporting commissioner and their fans feel the same way. The last thing that sports needs is a congressional official running on a football field to throw a flag or some Senator calling the press box during a game to call a penalty. Sports are entertainment. It is a sacred cow that doesn't require government manipulation.
"This is not China or Cold War Russia. Government doesn't belong in sports. Subpoenaing athletes, swearing them in and forcing them to testify at their kangaroo hearings do the public no good. It only serves the egos of media starved politicians. Congress should be concerned with more meaningful changes and let the public decide what they want to watch."
We can only hope Mr. Shabazz is able to pen more paeans to free enterprise before his fellow Clownhallers, Michelle Malkin, John Leo, Mona Charen and Frank Gaffney, demand his transportation to Gitmo and subsequent fatal sodomization. Or, in light of the last sentence, before el-Brent Bozell does the job himself.
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
So of course I have to do another Dick Dasen story. (I'd pay good money to see a Law and Order episode based on Dick Dasen, provided it was written by S.Z. of World O'Crap.)
For those unfamiliar with my Dick Dasen obsession, he's a Montana businessman/Christian fundamentalist who once donated to a Republican congressional campaign; he's charged with statutory rape and soliticing prostitution, based on allegations he spent over $1 million paying numerous poor and/or drug-addicted women to have sex with him.
Anyway, it appears Dick is attempting to dazzle the Flathead County justice system with some high-falutin' legal manuevering:
[Dasen's attorney, George] Best hired E.B. Eiselein, who has with [sic] 37 years' experience in conducting scientific surveys. Court documents say Eiselein designed and directed a telephone survey of 408 randomly selected registered votes [sic] from Feb. 21-23. It excluded attorneys and their employees.
Eiselein concluded that 82 percent of registered voters in Flathead County "have been following the charges against Dick Dasen Sr. in the local media."
Although most of them admitted they couldn't really follow the story, due to all the typos.
Further, 81 percent have a presumption of innocence or guilt regarding the charges; about 79 percent feel he is guilty and about 3 percent feel he is not.
The remaining 19 percent are currently screwing Dasen in exchange for crank money.
The survey has a statistical variation of 5 percent, Eiselein said.
He surmises that only 11 potential jurors out of a panel of 300 expected to be called would not have had dealings with Dasen or a presumption of his innocence or guilt. To find 44 qualified jurors, it would be necessary to call 2,000 potential jurors, he found, considering that some would be unable to serve for the expected trial duration of four to six weeks.
Especially this time of year, during the annual crystal meth harvest.
Best also refers to a group called Mothers Against Dick Dasen and Meth, a group he says is vocal and is led by a woman whose sworn statement "reflects the aggressive venom directed at Defendant."
Call them MADDAM.
Best also moved to have the charges against Dasen dismissed for lack of speedy trial. Stadler agreed to Best's request to postpone a January trial date. Best argues that evidence has continued to come in to him from prosecutors, causing delays while he researches witnesses and other information.
When last we saw Dick, he was living in Arizona in a luxury vacation home. But he wasn't getting any. So justice delayed is justice denied.
As a side note, it turns out E.B. Eiselein isn't some Dr. Phil-meets-Frank Luntz jury consultant/pollster fraud, but has a Ph.D in anthropology. (And he believes "Arbitron is bullshit.")
While the cable nets fixate on the Michael Jackson trial, right-wing terrorism spreads across the land, virtually unnoticed.
CHICAGO, March 8 - A lawyer for Matthew Hale, the white supremacist convicted last year of plotting to kill a federal judge whose husband and mother were slain last week, said on Tuesday that Mr. Hale's mother called him a few months ago and asked him to pass on an encoded message to one of Mr. Hale's supporters.
"She said she didn't know what the message meant, but she was going to read it to me verbatim because Matt made her write it down when she visited him," the lawyer, Glenn Greenwald, said in an interview. "It was two or three sentences that were very cryptic and impossible to understand in terms of what they were intended to convey."
Mr. Greenwald, who has represented Mr. Hale and his organization in several civil cases and said he did not believe that his client had anything to do with the recent killings, said he told federal agents last week about the conversation with Mr. Hale's mother, Evelyn Hutcheson. Ms. Hutcheson previously said that agents investigating the killings peppered her with questions about encoded messages, which she denounced as "the dumbest thing I've ever heard of."
Ms. Hutcheson, in an interview Monday, said that her message to Mr. Greenwald was about someone her son thought should testify at his April 6 sentencing, and that any coding was only to keep the federal monitors of their conversations from figuring out his legal strategy.
This woman is lying through her teeth, and is abetting a convicted criminal/terrorist. It's time to throw her lily-white ass in jail too.
Grace and Disgrace
Ms. Nancy A. Grace
600 Third Avenue - 3 Floor
New York, NY 10016
Admit Date: 06/14/1984
Law School: Mercer Univ-W.George L.S
Status: Active Member in Good Standing
(From the Georgia State Bar website, emphasis added)
How can those two be reconciled?
(Link via Atrios)
Monday, March 07, 2005
When Kinsley joined the L.A. Times last year, replacing a woman, Estrich started pressing her old Harvard Law "friend" to run more pieces by women -- including her syndicated column -- over dinner and through a series of letters. "ONE LAST CHANCE BEFORE I GO PUBLIC," she warned in early February.Final score: Estrich, negative 25. Kinsley, negative 22.
-2 for Estrich -- self-promotion. Have you read her column? It's crap.
What really pressed Estrich's buttons was a Feb. 13 Times opinion piece by Charlotte Allen of the conservative International Women's Forum [sic] headlined "Feminist Fatale: Where are the great women thinkers? Thinking so much about women has shrunk their minds." Estrich, who teaches law at the University of Southern California and wrote the book "Sex and Power," called Allen "a feminist-hater I have never heard of."
-3 Kinsley -- running a pig-ignorant column from an IWFer
-1 Estrich -- U.S.C.
When the correspondence leaked to Washington's new Examiner newspaper, Kinsley, a former editor of Slate and the New Republic, told the paper: "I think it may be possible to be a woman even if Susan Estrich has never heard of you. . . . If Susan wants to boycott media institutions that don't adequately reflect her progressive feminist values, maybe she should start by resigning from Fox News, where she is a commentator."
-2 Estrich -- Faux Democrat; faux feminist
-1 Kinsley -- The New Republic
But the rhetoric started escalating even before the leak. On Feb. 14, Estrich told Kinsley she was surprised at his "rudeness" and "blatant hostility" in not getting back to her. On Feb. 15, Estrich wrote that "for a smart guy, you seem to have a real Larry Summers problem," referring to the Harvard president who questioned whether women are less adept at math and science.
-1 Estrich -- egomania
Kinsley, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, wrote Estrich on Feb. 17 that her "mischaracterizations" of his position were "farcical" and her supposed concern for his health, expressed in one letter, was "disgusting." Her response: "You are being a bigger fool than I thought. . . . You are digging a grave for yourself. . . . People are beginning to think that your illness may have affected your brain, your judgment and your ability to do this job." She copied Internet gossip Matt Drudge on a similar letter.
-3 Estrich -- Rush Limbaugh style attack on Parkinson's sufferer.
-10 Estrich -- Associating with Drudge, whose feminist cred lies somewhere between that of Dick Dasen, Snr. and the BTK killer.
That same day, Estrich sent Kinsley a letter signed by dozens of other women, and said if it didn't run she would launch a Web site, LATimesBias.org, the next day. Kinsley wrote back: "We don't run letters from 50 people, and we don't succumb to blackmail." He said she could submit her own letter in two or three weeks. Instead, Estrich told women in a mass mailing to urge advertisers to complain about the paucity of female columnists.
-1 Estrich -- lame website idea
On Feb. 18, Times Editor John Carroll wrote Estrich to complain about "the extravagant malice of your comments about Mike Kinsley." Estrich responded by accusing him of "constitutionally impermissible libel" and said her attorney would contact him.
-3 Estrich -- frivolous threat of litigation
Kinsley says in an interview that "she is the one firing rockets" and he has sent few e-mails. "There should be more women" on op-ed pages, he says, and he is adding more, including Time's Margaret Carlson. But, he says, "this counting is a little silly. We've already gotten into Talmudic discussions about whether a co-byline counts as one or two. . . . If you're looking for women, blacks, Latinos, people from Southern California, it's a familiar argument that this discriminates against white males. The unfamiliar argument is that every time you add a category, it hurts the other categories, even the ones you're trying to help."
-10 Kinsley -- paying lip service to the idea of women writers on the op-ed page, but what has he really done since joining the Times?
-8 Kinsley -- Margret Carlson? Really, Mike? What the hell are you thinking? Does the L.A. Times really need a talentless Beltway hack spouting Republican C.W.? Your reputation is for deflating flatulent thinkers, not hiring them.
Estrich says that she never intended for the correspondence to become public and that "it's not personal" against Kinsley: "This isn't about egos. My only concern is that the L.A. Times opinion pages, unfortunately like too many in this country, are dominated by men, and I'd like to see that change." Saying that there aren't enough good female opinion writers is, she says, "a self-fulfilling prophecy."
-2 Estrich -- When someone says it's not about her ego...
Estrich advances to the next round, where she takes on the bitter diminutive Republican, Mickey Kaus.
Enemies Of The Site
Welcome enemies old and new -- the latest additions to the Roger Ailes enemies list.
Back in business in is:
And the newest enemies:
Enjoy. Your money back if you're not completely satisified.
Sunday, March 06, 2005
Democrats should acknowledge that at times the left's understandable anger over Vietnam degenerated into a lack of respect for the military. And they should make amends in very practical ways -- most significantly, as the Progressive Policy Institute's Will Marshall has pointed out, by shaming America's colleges and law schools into letting the military recruit on campus. Liberal students, faculty and administrators have the right to criticize the Pentagon's discriminatory policies toward gays and lesbians. But it is outrageous for them to treat the U.S. military -- especially in a time of war -- as a pariah. And Howard Dean should go to the college towns where his most stalwart supporters reside and tell them so.
Wrong, Beinart. It's time for the U.S. military -- especially in a time of war -- for the U.S. military to stop treating gay men and lesbians as pariahs. "The left" opposes a policy which prohibits Americans who want to serve in the military from doing so. That's not disrespect for the military -- it's respect for those who respect the military so much they want to be a part of it.
More fundamentally, "the military" only deserves respect to the extent it does things deserving of respect. Beinart is engaged in the old con of conflating the Bush Administration with the military. Surely Beinart isn't so ignorant that he forgot the last election, when so much of the disrespect for "the military" came from the right, as evidenced by the unceasing attacks of the wartime service of Senator Kerry, Senator Cleland and anyone else who served in the military but questioned Bush's policies and practices (such as the torture of prisoners of war). Perhaps Beinart can refer me to some of his past columns decrying that lack of respect.
But I doubt it.
Saturday, March 05, 2005
At least that's what I'm assuming, since I don't subscribe to the magazine.
(Good likeness though.)
Grand Old Police Blotter: Dick's No Cheney Edition
It's been a while since we visited with our friend, the G.O.P. superstud and Christian philanthrope, Dick Dasen, Snr., age 62.
Here, the Daily Inter Lake brings us some highlights of the prosecution's case against Dick:
In a document filed Monday, [D.A. Dan Guzynski] lays out more testimony he plans to introduce.
He will call one woman who will testify that Dasen told her he would give her $1,000 per week, provide her with schooling, a car and a business, as long as she provided him with sex. He also told her that he would pay her if she brought friends who would have sex with Dasen to him. The document lists seven such women she introduced to him.
Another woman will testify that she engaged in sex with Dasen for money and that she brought a woman to meet him so he would pay more money. She will also testify that the woman she introduced to Dasen alleged that he choked her during the sexual encounter.
A third woman will testify that she introduced an acquaintance to Dasen, who said he would pay more to see them together.
Also, Guzynski will introduce at trial a police interview with Dasen in which he allegedly named 11 women he had sex with and was paying money to. Checks will be exhibited for all of the women.
Dasen is not specifically charged with the acts named in the document, but Guzynski said those acts are part of the overall body of evidence in the case.
The actual charges against Dasen involve "prostitution, promotion of prostitution, aggravated promotion of prostitution, sexual intercourse without consent and sexual abuse of children."
Love, Red-State Style!
People Are Imperfect
Especially the idiots who voted for this ass:
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, asked about detainee abuse yesterday on CNN's "Wolf Blitzer Reports," said he was not surprised. Gonzales said that he presumed the military used lawful interrogation techniques but that "sometimes people do things that they shouldn't do. People are imperfect . . . and so the fact that abuses occur, they're unfortunate but I'm not sure that they should be viewed as surprising."
They're not surprising because you validated the authorization of them, you unfortunate dickwad.
Via Atrios, we learn once again that the blogging anti-Muslim haters are full of shit. Mithras names and shames some of the shit-filled haters: Michelle Malice, Hindelicker, Adam Yoshida, Charles Bird, Junkyardblog, Silent Running and American Jihad. Other haters: Jihad Watch and Daniel "Crack" Pipes. (No links to those scumbags.)
Here's the story:
JERSEY CITY, N.J. - The upstairs neighbor of an Egyptian Christian family found slain in their home in January was charged along with another man Friday in the killings, and authorities said the motive was robbery, not religious fanaticism, as some had feared.
Edward McDonald, 25, who rented a second-floor apartment above Hossam Armanious and his family, pleaded not guilty to four counts of murder, as did Hamilton Sanchez, 30. Both men were ordered held on $10 million bail....
Armanious, a 47-year-old Coptic Christian; his wife, and their two daughters, ages 8 and 15, were found bound and gagged with puncture wounds to their throats....
But Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said the killings took place during a robbery by the two men, who owed someone a large sum of money.
"I'd like to make one thing perfectly clear: The motive for these murders was robbery. This was a crime based on greed, the desperate need of money," DeFazio said.
Authorities said thousands of dollars were withdrawn from Armanious' bank account using his ATM card in the days after the slayings.
Each of the above-refenced bloggers was advancing the theory that the killings were an anti-Christian hate crime, perpetrated by Muslims, despite the absence of evidence. Sorry, bigots. The love of money was the root of this evil, not religion.
Religion is, however, the root of the haters' evil. In the haters' collective tiny mind, Muslims killed the Armanious family because the haters wanted it to be so--very, very badly. Call it faith-based bigotry.
An NYT article discusses the religious tensions the bloggers were praying would erupt into a holy war. Of course, this humiliation won't cause any of these idiots to reconsider their irrational hatred, it will simply cause them to hate with more blind (religious) conviction.
Even more painful for the haters: One of the alleged murderers is caucasian. So Malkin and the rest are denied the solace of fixating on the Hispanic surname of the other suspect.