Sunday, May 15, 2005

Bible Babble

(Don't read any further if you plan to do the May 14 NYT crossword puzzle.)

63 Across in Saturday's New York Times crossword:

"Anticipated Christian event, with 'the'"

Seven letters.

The answer was "rapture."

I was under the impression that most Christians, even among those who read the Bible literally, don't believe that "the rapture" will occur. I know the concept made Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins filthy, stinkin' rich, but I don't think I've met any Christian who accepts such a thing will come to pass.

Am I wrong? Is there any reliable information on how many folks buy this?

Two questions:

1. Do I have an RSS feed?

2. If not, how can I get one?

Yes, I'm a tech moron.

Spirit of St. Louis

At The Nation, John Nichols has the details on Bill Moyers' St. Louis speech.

You can listen to it here, or wait 'til tomorrow for the transcript.

I've never been Moyers' biggest fan (esp. with the Robert Bly/Gathering of Men, Bible and Jos. Campbell stuff), but these days you've got to take the truth where you can find it.

This Is What Has John Pod Van Dumb's Double Wide Y-Fronts In A Knot

"This is how liberty dies - to thunderous applause."

Update: Ooh, it's like I'm psychic.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Speaking of loons, Peggy Noonan's got another one in her series of evacuation porn stories, this one triggered by that student pilot who flew within miles of the White House.

Sadly, Nooners wasn't present and had to simulate the experience via phone. She quotes an unnamed Republican staff ass who shares Noonan's loose grip on reality:

"We're fighting a war; you're involved because you're in the Capitol."

And Bush is AWOL once again.

Media Whores Online

Recall, if you will, the fraudulent firestorm that raged when wingnut bloggers bashed Markos Moulitsas for accepting money from the Dean campaign for consulting work, even though he fully disclosed that matter. In that instance, the twisted-panties brigade was led by the Wall Street Journal and the most ethical (and dedicated) blogger ... EVER, Z. Teachout.

On the twelfth, P. O'Neill reported on a blogger who is bought-and-sold by the Wall Street Journal, and not only failed to disclose it, but lied about it when asked. Here's what went down when Arthur Chrenkoff was forced to 'fess up:

They do actually [pay me] -- a pretty insignificant amount -- I started doing it for free but they suggested they might pay me a rather a nominal amount. It's certainly not in line with what is paid for opinion pieces. . . . I do apologize, with hindsight I should have told you the truth. As I said I was a bit taken aback. I didn't see how it was relevant to the story but having said that I do apologize.

Artie was stymied not only by the word "pay" but also by the word "edit." And the word "relevant." Which makes him the intellectual and ethical equal of the Journal's resident dumbass, James Taranto. I feel your pain, James. If the WSJ editorial page didn't employ liars (and, to be fair, loons as well), you'd have have a lot of blank space.

Friday, May 13, 2005

The Ultimate Insult

Star Wars fans receive plenty of abuse, but they'll never live down the shame when they find out who hurled this insult their way:

Okay? Now move out of your parents's basements and join an Internet dating service before you lose all your hair.

Lord Of The Rings

Perhaps the most disturbing thing about Ben Shapiro's Porn Generation book is the depiction of Ben's Prince Albert on the cover.

Porn Again

Via World O'Crap, we learn how Ben Shapiro explained that stack of mags his mom found at the bottom of his hope chest. It was research.

Taking el-Brent Bozell's "I'm watching The L-Word for the children. Without my pants on" gambit one step further, the Virgin Ben has written his master work Porn Generation: The Greatest Dirty Books Ever Written. And he's got endorsements from two elderly porn-star lookalikes, Michael Medved and Ann Coulter.

With his studies at Harvard Law, how did Ben find the time to toss this off?

The Bugchaser's Ball

Almost all of the Republican Party's brightest lights bugged out when offered the opportunity to dine with Toxic Tom DeLay:

But Mr. Norquist was not visible at the dinner and seats at his group's table remained empty. Nor was there any high-powered representative from the White House at the event.

When one speaker, Bob Livingston, a former representative from Louisiana, asked current and former member of Congress to stand up, the showing was relatively sparse, perhaps two dozen.

When Ms. Mitchell called one of the scheduled speakers, Representative Scott Garrett of New Jersey, to the rostrum, he did not appear.

Jesse Helms appeared by videotape, much to the surprise of those who thought he was dead, and David Keene of the American Conservative Union was there in person. (David's convict son was not paroled for the event.) Chinless Ken Mehlman was also on hand, as were a National Republican Senatorial Committee mouthpiece and a bunch of lobbyists with an extra $2,000 burning holes in their pockets.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Freepers Denied Climax Once Again

From the New York Times:

A federal prosecutor tried to answer at least one of those questions in his opening statement on Wednesday in Federal District Court, when he told the jury, "You will hear no evidence that Hillary Clinton was involved in any way, shape or form."

Indeed, the prosecutor, Peter R. Zeidenberg, said that the fund-raiser, David F. Rosen, tried to keep Mrs. Clinton's campaign from discovering how much money was donated to cover the costs of the star-studded event at the heart of this criminal case. The reason, Mr. Zeidenberg said, is that Mr. Rosen was afraid he would be fired if the campaign found out how much money he had spent on the August 2000 event, the Hollywood Gala Salute to President William Jefferson Clinton.

So where did the money go?

But he also mentioned some tidbits about just how the costs of the gala had spiraled: $5,000 for Patti LaBelle's hairdresser and $10,000 for Paul Anka CD's that were to go in gift bags, along with other recordings, at a total cost of $50,000.

Cher requested not just a private plane, but also a certain model of plane, Mr. Zeidenberg said. Other performers, he added, wanted first-class airplane tickets for themselves and their entourages.

I'm surprised anyone bothered to convert Paul Anka records to CD.

And where was Cher flying in from, Malibu?

Current Huffington Post Blogroll Status: OFF

Bad vs. Evil

In a long-overdue exit interview, Danny Jokrent explains that Jayson's Blair's plagiarism was a larger embarassment for the New York Times than its vouching for Administration lies about Iraqi WMD. Why? Because Blair was eeeeeevil:

In Weapons of Mass Destruction? Or Mass Distraction? you wrote: "To anyone who read the paper between September 2002 and June 2003, the impression that Saddam Hussein possessed, or was acquiring, a frightening arsenal of WMD seemed unmistakable. Except, of course, it appears to have been mistaken." Do you think that the Times' prewar reporting on WMD could prove to be a longer-term embarrassment to the paper than the Jayson Blair scandal?

"I don't know if I could speak to comparative sins. It certainly was a very serious case of bad journalism. It was not, to the best of my ability to determine, a case of 'I know we're lying as I write this,' which Jayson Blair was. Here was a guy consciously plagiarising. Here was a guy who meant to break the rules. The Times did a lousy job on WMD, but I can't imagine there was anybody in the office saying: 'Let's make up some things.'

But an argument can be made that the paper's WMD reporting helped lead the country into war.

"I'm not saying it's not a significant issue. I'm saying that the WMD reporting was not consciously evil. It was bad journalism, even very bad journalism."

Okrent also can't imagine there was anybody in the Oval Office saying: "Let's make up some things." So it didn't happen.

I.Q.Lo., media critic:

BUMMER [K. J. Lopez]

Dennis Miller is off CNBC as of Friday. Someone get this man another show. I didn't always watch it -- time and life intervene -- but whenever I did, I saw it clearly worked. He's a smart, funny dude.

And I don't this H-Bomb comment [sic] is going to have him crying in his beer: "It's a shame. He could have been Bill Maher or Jon Stewart." Yeah, SNL alum and all...he could only all dream! (I say that as someone who laughs at Jon Stewart a good deal. But Dennis Miller never seemed to take himself too seriously, which is part of his attraction.)

Too busy to watch Dennis Miller every day. Now that's braggin'!

And what a life it is:


I just dialed a wrong #. (Yes, I occassionally exist off of the Internet.) It was Jerry Springer.

Quick, which one is fake:


and insulting segment on cable news. And that's saying something.

AHHHHHHH [K. J. Lopez]

I'm no longer constipated, Derbs.

Dennis Prager, Idiot, Part II

Dennis Prager explains the difference between the left and the right:

"Check out the accompanying article by Ajai Raj, a sophomore at the University of Texas who publicly kept yelling obscenities during Ann Coulter's speech and then publicly asked her, 'You say that you believe in the sanctity of marriage, how do you feel about marriages where the man does nothing but f--- his wife up the ass?'

"Just about a week earlier a leftist publicly asked Justice Antonin Scalia if he engaged in anal sex with his wife (who was present).

"These symbolize to me one of the most profound differences between the Left and the Right."

Prager, meet Hager:

"Late last October Dr. W. David Hager, a prominent obstetrician-gynecologist and Bush Administration appointee to the Advisory Committee for Reproductive Health Drugs in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), took to the pulpit as the featured speaker at a morning service. He stood in the campus chapel at Asbury College, a small evangelical Christian school nestled among picturesque horse farms in the small town of Wilmore in Kentucky's bluegrass region. Hager is an Asburian nabob; his elderly father is a past president of the college, and Hager himself currently sits on his alma mater's board of trustees. Even the school's administrative building, Hager Hall, bears the family name.


"Back at Asbury, Hager cast himself as a victim of religious persecution in his sermon. 'You see...there is a war going on in this country,' he said gravely. 'And I'm not speaking about the war in Iraq. It's a war being waged against Christians, particularly evangelical Christians. It wasn't my scientific record that came under scrutiny [at the FDA]. It was my faith.... By making myself available, God has used me to stand in the breach.... Just as he has used me, he can use you.'

"According to [Hager's ex-wife, Linda Carruth] Davis, Hager's public moralizing on sexual matters clashed with his deplorable treatment of her during their marriage. Davis alleges that between 1995 and their divorce in 2002, Hager repeatedly sodomized her without her consent."

Yes, that is quite a difference, Dennis.

Dennis contiunes:

"Universities and museums were morally worthless in Weimar and Nazi Germany as they are now in America and Europe."

Well, Asbury College, maybe.

"So I have a primal fear of the moral chaos that follows the breaking down of America's real moral foundations, such as Judeo-Christian values, public decency, freedom of speech, and the military."

Not so much the freedom of speech, really, but, uh.... you know.

"I see in this student who screams obscenities at a conservative speaker and all the students who joined or supported him, our version of the Hitler Youth, our barbarians."

Mr. Raj, we look forward to your papacy.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Dennis Prager, Idiot

"In no country except the United States have Jews felt fully a member of the national group in which they lived."


The Dick Dasen Trial: The Romenesko Angle

Reporting on the Dick Dasen Trial was temporarily suspended here when I ran out of articles to cut and paste. Here's the reason why:

Chery Sabol, the reporter who has covered the Richard A. Dasen sex crimes case for Kalispell's Daily Inter Lake, has been subpoenaed by the defense as a witness in the case, and Judge Stewart E. Stadler has refused to throw out the subpoena. In what appears to be a highly unusual ruling, Stadler stated that because Sabol was named as an "informant" in the case by the Kalispell Police Department, the so-called "shield law" that normally protects reporters from having to testify about their information or sources does not apply.

However, Kalispell Police Chief Frank Garner told New West on Monday that he did not consider Sabol to have been an informant and expressed surprise that she would be characterized that way in Stadler's order. Garner said that at one point during the Dasen investigation Sabol had forwarded him an email she had received relating to Dasen and asked Garner to comment on it, and that email had been provided to the defense as part of the discovery process.


Sabol, who has worked the Dasen story extensively for the paper since Dasen's arrest early last year, is not covering the dramatic trial that's now underway -- apparently as a result of being under subpoena. Sabol has not returned calls seeking comment.

The article appears to leave out some key information -- whether the e-mail anonymous and what it says. Does Sabol even know who the author is? The reporter's privilege issue is irrelevant unless Sabol has information that's not in the e-mail.

Unless and until the Daily Interlake assigns a new reporter or the some other news outlet steps up to the plate, coverage here may be sporadic. If the women weren't drug users and Dasen wasn't a Republican Christian, CNN and Faux would be all over this story.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Blogging Through The Tears

I'm devastated. This morning I was in the pantheon of immortals, rubbing shoulders with the likes of such worthies as Charles Johnson, Richard Poe, Robert George and Adam Curry. This evening, I'm a nobody once more.

For a brief shining moment, a link to this blog was wedged between "Rock the Vote Blog" and "Roger L. Simon" on the nascent Huffington Post blogroll. Ah, but those hours are gone. I have disappeared like one of Stalin's generals or a Gregg Easterbrook column on Was it all a mistake? My low hit count? Did someone finally get around to reading this blog?

I will try to carry on.

I must.

Grand Old Police Blotter: Alte Cocker Edition

The aged Republican mayor of Blue Ridge, Georgia has been charged with wagering on cockfighting (registration required, but not really worth it):

The GBI Thursday charged five people, including the mayor of the North Georgia town of Blue Ridge, in connection with an illegal cockfighting operation in Fannin County.

GBI spokesman John Bankhead said arrest warrants were executed Thursday morning charging the four organizers, Wayne Rogers, 55, Tommy Rogers, 53, Milton Thomas Ross, 37, and Clyde Bent Gray, 71, all of Mineral Bluff, with commercial gambling, keeping a gambling place and cruelty to animals.

Blue Ridge Mayor Robert Greene, 83, was charged with gambling, Bankhead said. Attempts to reach Greene Thursday afternoon were unsuccessful.

Bankhead said undercover GBI agents attended cockfights on property near the North Carolina line on five occasions.

Don't call it commercial gambling, call it a "Voluntary Retirement Account." And he wasn't gambling, he was holding the money for Bill Bennett.

I'm sure his constituency is very proud.

(Link via a reader)

Sunday, May 08, 2005


How goes the war on terror? Just peachy, if you're not too detail oriented.

THE capture of a supposed Al-Qaeda kingpin by Pakistani agents last week was hailed by President George W Bush as "a critical victory in the war on terror". According to European intelligence experts, however, Abu Faraj al-Libbi was not the terrorists' third in command, as claimed, but a middle-ranker derided by one source as "among the flotsam and jetsam" of the organisation.

The suggestion is that the Administration confused al-Libbi with Anas al-Liby.

If Scooter Libby and Liddy Dole turn up missing, check Guantanamo Bay.

On second thought, don't.

A former close associate of Bin Laden now living in London laughed: "What I remember of him is he used to make the coffee and do the photocopying."

Yeah, but so did Colin Powell, and they called him third in command too.

One American official tried to explain the absence of al-Libbi's name on the wanted list by saying: "We did not want him to know he was wanted."

"Otherwise, he'd just take us for granted."

Do Tell

Sully Joe speaks:

"But the Roy Cohn syndrome of closeted gay men persecuting others is, alas, a real one. And it reaches far beyond Spokane into the highest echelons of the Republican party."

And who might those high men be, oh fearless truth-teller?

(link via Sully Watch)

Wild, Wild West

By the way, the G.O.Playa rules apply equally to same-sex relationships, but you can own a foreign car and your date can pay for dinner.

When Republican Fundies Mate

Blah, Blah, Blah

Thankfully, the New York Times -- the proud employer of Judith Miller, David Brooks and the semi-retired William Safliar -- has decided to give bloggers the benefit of its wisdom on the matter of blogger ethics. The job falls to Adam Cohen (not to be confused, with "Randy Cohen, The Ethicist," the NYT's full-time, irrelevant ethics columnist). Adam Cohen writes:

"But more bloggers, and blog readers, are starting to ask whether at least the most prominent blogs with the highest traffic shouldn't hold themselves to the same high standards to which they hold other media."

Oh. High traffic bloggers.

Never mind.

"Many bloggers make little effort to check their information[....]"

You mean information like "more bloggers, and blog readers, are starting to ask whether at least the most prominent blogs with the highest traffic shouldn't hold themselves to the same high standards to which they hold other media?" How exactly did you quantify that, Ad-man?

"[They] think nothing of posting a personal attack without calling the target first - or calling the target at all."

"Hello, Mister Cohen, I'm thinking of calling you a hack and a twat. Care to comment?"

"They rarely have procedures for running a correction."

Here's my procedure, in full: "Like many aggressive bloggers, particularly bloggers who deal with contentious subjects, I have sometimes stepped on toes, but that is hardly grounds for rebuke. That was my assessment of myself when I worked with myself before, and nothing I have published on this blog since I became executive editor has caused me to think less of myself. It's a little galling to watch myself being pursued by some of these armchair media ethicists who have never written a blog or earned the right to carry my laptop, if I owned a laptop. So piss off."

"The wall between their editorial content and advertising is often nonexistent."
What's that you say, Melinda and Melinda Cohen?

"And bloggers rarely disclose whether they are receiving money from the people or causes they write about."
Fair enough. I'm not getting a cent from Dick Dasen. You couldn't pay me to accept money from him.

Forgive me, Adam, but I haven't found Miller's 1099s -- or yours -- on the NYT website. E-mail me copies and I'll send you mine by return e-post.

How To Be A G.O.Playa

A 10-step program.

Step 1: Be white and wear old lady glasses:

"I saw Don as a small-town all-American," Ore said, smiling. "He has that pink, rosy skin. When I first met him he had those big glasses."

Step 2: Get an American-built ride.

"Guys in D.C. are players," said Ore, who speaks with a slight Spanish accent. "Guys in D.C. try to be so suave. They drive Bentleys and Ferraris. Don has a truck."

Step 3: Use the right bling to signal your availability:

Ore, 29, said he wore a college ring instead of his wedding ring when she first met him. Ore said dating someone much older or younger is not a big deal in her culture.

Step 4: Select dating venues which offer the AARP discount:

"We went to movies, dinners," Ore said. "He is very charming, very gentleman. The wine and roses -- that got me."

Step 5: Choose a virtuous lady:

"I'm not someone to sleep around. With Don, it was exclusive."

Step 6: Take chondroitin sulfate supplements to ensure maximum joint flexibility:

Ore said she was saddened by the "acquaintance" comment. "He always said you're my No. 1," Ore said. "He got on his knees many times just to kiss my hand. He called me his angel."

Step 7: Call in favors from the Bush Administration:

She said Sherwood also tried to get her an internship in the White House.

Step 8: Always plan ahead:

She said her parents own two homes in Gaithersburg, Md. -- her younger brother lives in one -- and two in Peru. They were building a home for her nephew, a professional tennis player, on the night of the incident, she said.

"Don knew they were away," she said.

(I have no idea what any of that means.)

Step 9: Don't forget special occasions and holidays:

She said the congressman contacted her on Valentine's Day. "He said to keep quiet and don't talk to police" about the Sept. 15 incident.

Step 10: Keep it on the down low:

Sherwood has not returned several phone calls seeking comment since April 29, when he tried to convince a Times Leader editor not to publish a story on Ore's contentions.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

The Dick Dasen Trial: Weekend Update

After a full week of testimony in the Dick Dasen trial, one thing is clear: Dick Dasen, Snr. was one horny bastard. Here, one of Dasen's beneficiaries details the time spent with the man who ran a "Christian credit" business:

"Most of the time during our meetings I was naked, and I had bad [needle] track marks running up and down both arms," said Holly Rose on Friday. "I honestly don't know how he could miss that."

"Did he ever counsel you about budgeting or how you used your money?" Guzynski asked.

"No," she replied.

Charity begins at the Kalispell Motel 6.

Enemies, Foreign and Domestic

Two new enemies have been added to the blogroll: firedoglake and Echidne of the Snakes

Also, Suburban Guerrilla has changed urls.

I'd like to add more furriners to the B-Roll, beyond Best of Both Worlds and The Sideshow. If you're located outside the U.S. and want to join the blogroll, drop me an e-note.

TBogg Says It All

"For those keeping score at home, Larry Klayman is now 0-for-infinity."

Friday, May 06, 2005

Hate The Sin, Hate The Sinner

Bugchaser Tom DeLay declares himself a sinner; respectfully refuses to identify his sins upon the advice of counsel and pursuant to his rights under the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Yes, the Hammer is trying to nail himself to the cross to maintain his only remaining supporters -- fundamentalists who condone violations of up to four of the ten commandments in pursuit of political power.

I caught a bit of the Bugchaser's speech to Jim and Shirley Dobson's National Day of Prayer rally on C-SPAN last night. The most vomit-inducing moment was DeLay's paraphrase of the JFK quote re: Thomas Jefferson, when DeLay declared that the room contained the greatest collection of the faithful and pious since "my wife, Christine, prayed alone." (I'm looking for the exact quote.)

So apparently that Pope's funeral thing was attended by a bunch of infidel bastards.

Update: Sloppy reference changed from "paraphrase of that Thomas Jefferson quote" to "paraphrase of the JFK quote re: Thomas Jefferson."

Squit While You're A (Talking) Head

USA Today has canned that old Clinton-bashing hand, Tom "Squit" Squitieri, for lifting quotes without attribution in his Pentagon reporting.

Details of Squitieri's disreputable history during his anti-Clinton glory days are here, here, and here. No mention of it here, natch.

And Squit's gotten himself lawyered up -- with one of Paula Jones's old legal hacks, Joseph Cammarata.

Seems accuracy and honesty weren't as important back in the 90s. I'm sure the firing had nothing whatsoever to do with the subjects of Squit's reports: the Bush war dead and the Administration's grossly negligent preparations for war.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

The Returns Of The Day

Well, the Guardian election weblog has caused my computer to freeze three times tonight, so I guess I'll wait 'til tomorrow to read that coverage.

The BBC live stream is here (click through "Watch BBC News In Video" to the live feed), and it's not f---ing up the computer. The 3D graphics seem unnecessary, but the coverage is more substantive than you get from gits like Brit Spume or the Conservative News Network.

It sounds bad for the poodle.

p.s. If anyone can land me one of those tasty U.K. blogging gigs, let me know.

We Have A Winner

If anyone cares about the results of the Roger Ailes favorite columnist survey, here's how I counted it.

1. Peggy Noonan
2. Michelle Malkin
3. Cal Thomas
4. Thomas Sowell
5. David Brooks
6. Charles Krauthammer
7. Debra Saunders
8. David Broder
9. Linda Chavez
10.John Fund
11. Kay Grogan
12. Christopher Hitchens
13. Bill O'Reilly
14. Ben Shapiro
15. Ann Coulter

Congratulations to Pegaloon, who, in today's installment, is approached by a pleasant gay man at a wedding and wonders "why a total stranger thinks I want to know what he wishes to do with his genitals?"

I'm sure Peg has the same thought when a total stranger mentions his wife.

Or maybe she does want to know.

Bugs In The Attic

Michelle "Bugs" Malkin, who was recently sniggering about fingering, is a born-again virgin when it comes to jokes about horsejacking.

She's also delusional, as evidenced by this claim:

"center-left journalist Mickey Kaus"

What's next? Intellectual David Horowitz? Thoughtful Glenn Reynolds? Non-bigot Michelle Malkin?

Ravings Of A Limey Loon

Chris Hitch sells an otherwise marginally sensible opinion piece to the Wall Street Journal's loathsome op-ed page with a calculated slander:

"A large tranche of the once-secular liberal left has disqualified itself by making excuses for jihad and treating Osama bin Laden as if he were advocating liberation theology."

What a sorry sod.

The snivelling snitch invokes the real and imagined patriarchs and matriarchs of the Republican Party: Lincoln, Goldwater, and those modern intellectuals, Ayn Rand and Leo Strauss. You forget Ken Starr and Babbs Olson, Hitch.

The Dick Dasen Trial: Further Testimony From Dasen's Accusers

One of the underaged accusers testified that she needed money for Christmas presents. Hal Herring of New West reports:

"This agreement was that V and I would do things with each other. This next time we went to Mr. Dasen's house." The visit was complicated because V's car broke down on the way, Ms. K explained, but V called Dasen and he came and picked them up and drove them to the house. After undressing, she said, Mr. Dasen asked if it would be alright with them if he got the camera. "I didn't think it was a good idea, but V did, she said we could get more money for it."

The photos that resulted were passed out to the jury, while Guzynski continued his questions. "Where in the house did this occur?"

"In his grandchildren's bedroom."

"How did you feel about that?"

"Awful, because you shouldn't do things like that in the grandchildren's room."

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


"The blogs entertain, they provoke, and they are not constrained by journalistic standards of truth telling."

On the other hand, I don't incessantly beg for cash.

Or whore myself for WalMart.

To tell you the truth.

But I'll work harder to reach those journalistic standards. Maybe a regimen of deep knee bends.

Another Victim of Gay Marriage

A Republican family man just wants to get back his job: legislating morality and codifying discrimination:

WASHINGTON -- Three days after it was reported he was involved in a domestic dispute that triggered a 911 call from a 29-year-old woman in his Washington apartment, U.S. Rep. Don Sherwood apologized for causing his family and supporters "pain and embarrassment."

"I'm truly sorry. Now, I have work to do. I'm going to continue to work hard for the people of the 10th Congressional District, and to begin the healing process with my family."

That's beautiful. I'm all choked up.

The woman, Cynthia Ore of Rockville, Md., says Sherwood has been her lover since 1999.

"When I met him he told me he was getting a divorce," Ore has said.

So that's why Republicans oppose quick divorces -- they inhibit their ability to get laid. This also explains their love of the Young Republicans -- it's the perfect source for fresh meat.

While the Tunkhannock Republican has hardly led the conservative charge on social issues, GOP leaders in the House have come to rely upon his vote when bills pertaining to "traditional family values" come to the floor.

The Christian Coalition of America, which touts itself as "the largest and most active conservative grassroots political organization in America," gives Sherwood an 84 percent rating for voting with the coalition's positions on legislative issues. The American Conservative Union rates him at 88 percent.

The American Family Association gives Sherwood a perfect 100-percent rating.

Ms. Ore gave him a O percent rating for honesty, and 5 percent for technique.

Among the votes that helped earn Sherwood his 100 percent rating with the family association was his support of the Marriage Protection Act of 2004, which would limit the federal courts' jurisdiction over the issue of whether a ban on same-sex marriage is constitutional. Sherwood also voted in favor of a failed proposal to amend the U.S. Constitution to define marriage as an institution between a man and a woman.

....and another, much younger woman who really understands me.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Dick Dasen Trial: The Alleged Victims Testify

The report of Friday's cross-examination of witness Leah Marshall suffers from sidescroll, and I was waiting for it to be fixed. So far, no fix.

On cross-examination, Best challenged Marshall's testimony that she didn't have a local dealer, asking how she managed to blow the $2,650 Dasen gave her on drugs without a local connection.

The case resumed this week with more key witnesses, including two girls who were underage and the woman, Kimberly Neise, who allegedly procured one of the girls for Dasen. The defense elicited several important admissions, including the fact that Dasen never made explicitly linked the sex to cash payments. One of the girls testified that the Neise told the underage girls to lie about their age if Dasen asked, but he never asked. Dasen took photos of the girls, and those snaps might be the crucial pieces of evidence as to whether Dasen knew they were underage.

It's all very depressing, but perhaps John Tierney could wring a wacky column about red state virtues out of it.

Mark A.R. Kleiman has a devastating post on Jeb Bush's true beliefs regarding law and order.

Grand Old Police Blotter: You've Got To Be Choking Edition

U.S. Representative Don Sherwood (R-Pa) was engaged in some constituent service when things all went horribly wrong:

Cynthia Ore, 29, of Rockville, Md. locked herself in a bathroom and called 911 from her cell phone on the afternoon of Sept. 15, saying Sherwood "choked her for no apparent reason" while giving her a backrub in his apartment on D Street, according to a police report.

Sherwood, 64, told police he was giving Ore a backrub when she "jumped up" and ran to the bathroom, the report stated.

Police in Washington said they saw no visible injuries on Ore's neck and had trouble getting to the bottom of the story.

"Based on interviews with both parties and no physical evidence of injury to (Ore), there was no probable cause to make an arrest or reasonable cause to believe (Ore) was assaulted," the incident report stated.

Don "Magic Fingers" Sherwood allegedly met Ore when she was 23 or 24 and involved with a group of juvenile delinquents.

Ore said she met Sherwood at a Young Republicans meeting in 1999 and has had an ongoing relationship with him. Sherwood would not get into specifics about the relationship.

Sherwood is a family man, Army veteran and Dartmouth grad:

Don and Carol (Evans) Sherwood have been married for 33 years. They have three daughters: Jesse, Dana and Maria.

He apparently has no ties to Don Sherwood Golf & Tennis World.

(link via AmericaBlog)

Monday, May 02, 2005

Meet Your Liberal Media: Putz on Crack Edition

Los Angeles, Calif.: A few weeks ago, some press outlets reported on 3 women being kicked out of a Bush event in Denver by someone apparently posing as a CIA agent [sic]. Have there been any updates to this story? And why hasn't the press been more critical of the President's invitation only event model, since these are being paid for by taxpayer dollars?

Howard Kurtz: It's been getting more attention lately. The Post did do a story on it. I wrote a short piece earlier about some folks, including a liberal radio host's producer, being excluded from a Bush event in North Dakota. It's hard to understand why the administration and its local minions feel the need to do this, since Bush is perfectly capable of fielding difficult questions.


Meet Your Liberal Media: Whores of A Feather Edition

As a correspondent for the now-defunct Web site Talon News, says the forthcoming issue of Vanity Fair, Gannon was hammering Tom Daschle during the South Dakotan's campaign to hold onto his Senate seat. Daschle aides traced an e-mail -- ostensibly from a constituent who wanted reaction to one of Gannon's stories -- to an Internet profile of Gannon, wearing only dog tags and boxer shorts. "The Daschle campaign spread the word, but no reporters bit," the magazine says.

Gannon doesn't deny advertising online as a $200-an-hour gay escort, but describes himself as the victim of "a full-scale jihad" by liberals. Vanity Fair says he falsely told friends he had been a Marine -- Gannon says he displayed military paraphernalia and "didn't disabuse anyone of that notion" -- and owes nearly $21,000 in back taxes. Gannon believes God bestowed a White House assignment on him so that he could atone for past transgressions, Vanity Fair says.


Sunday, May 01, 2005

What Will The Family Research Council Say?

"In an otherwise not very illuminating brief appearance, Gannon also addressed this week's eyebrow-raising report that he had visited the White House more than 30 times when no presidential press briefings were being held. The reason? He attended other briefings, stopped in at the t-ball games on the lawn, and the like."
(link, via AmericaBlog)

Bullshit Acronym of The Day

Uttered by Andrew Card this morning, while being digitally maniuplated by Wolfie Blitzer and Pumpkinhead Russert:


It's the new acronym for privatizing Social Security.

The Bugchaser's Buddy

Republican Jack Abramoff, the man who will sell Tom DeLay to federal prosecutors for a mess of pottage, speaks:

Abramoff also seems to see himself as an innocent victim. "Of course, I have made mistakes," he told me. Yet it's not quite clear what he thinks those mistakes are. Abramoff insisted that his hunger for riches was driven by charitable impulses. "I have spent years giving away virtually everything I made," he said. "Frankly, I didn't need to have a kosher delicatessen. That was money I could have bought a yacht with. I don't live an extravagant lifestyle. I felt that the resources coming into my hands were the consequence of God putting them there." And he has a ready explanation for much of his behavior. When asked, for instance, how a religious man who reportedly loathed Hollywood profanity could send e-mail messages playfully calling Scanlon a "big time faggot" or declaring, apropos one intransigent tribal client, "We need a beautiful girl to send up there," Abramoff suggested that he dumbed down his words to motivate Scanlon. "I didn't have a lot of time to articulate things," he said. "Sometimes I would find myself speaking to people in the language that they speak." He likened himself to the Biblical character Jacob, who dressed in his brother Esau's clothes. Jacob did this, Abramoff told me, as "a more effective means of communicating with Esau." (In fact, Jacob's goal is to deceive his father.)

And the racism implied in calling tribal leaders "monkeys" and "troglodytes"? Abramoff responded: "That's probably the thing that hurts me the most about all this. It's just so opposite of who I am."

[Abbe] Lowell interjected: "When he uses the word 'monkey' to describe one part of a faction, he is referring to an opponent, not Native Americans in general."

And when I use the phrase "lying turd" to describe Abbe Lowell, I mean Lowell is a lying turd.

And yet Abramoff only seems ready to embrace his faith more fully. He said he wants to have another try at making movies -- this time "for the audience that was rediscovered by 'The Passion.'" He has already written a few treatments, he said.

Uh, Jackoff, the audience rediscovered by The Passion thinks you killed their Savior.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

No Comment

The Dave Matthews Band has agreed to pay $200,000 (105,000 [pounds]) after their tour bus dumped human waste on a boatload of tourists in Chicago.


The Dick Dasen Trial: Weekend Edition

Yesterday, I twice heard on the radio a commercial for that evening's Entertainment Tonight. According to the spot, the show planned to broadcast segments with Dr. Phil counselling Pat O'Brien: "Pat, whuut the hyell were yew thankin'?" and Mary Kay LeTourneau's advice to her kids: don't have sex before marriage.

I first thought it was a parody.

It wasn't.

Which brings me to the Dick Dasen trial. The commercial made me question whether I was spending too much time on a lurid story with little or no relevance to politics, society in general, or the lives of anyone I know.

But I decided I want to be a real media player and, therefore, I need to expand my Dasen coverage. I'm thinking reenactments -- not just of the trial, but of the events described in testimony; expert commentary from batshit rabid former prosecutors demanding justice for Dasen's alleged victims (referred to on a first-name basis, of course) and current and former crank addicts, johns and 16-year-olds; and multiple Dick-cams, trained 24 hours a day on the entrances to the Flathead County Courthouse and stately Dasen Manor. It could be brillant.

While I work out the funding for my ambitious plans, however, you'll have to settle for cut-and-paste reporting.

On Wednesday, the State opened it case with testimony from a police officer who described how Dasen came to the department's attention. Detective Kevin McCarvel then described how the police set up an encounter between Dasen and one of his intended beneficiaries:

With video and sound surveillance equipment in a room at the Blue and White Motel, officers saw what transpired. McCarvel said the informant was partially dressed when Dasen entered the room. There was discussion about her "financial needs," then Dasen rubbed the woman's feet and he started to get undressed.

When it appeared Dasen was reaching to remove the woman's underwear, McCarvel said, officers entered the hotel [sic] room and arrested Dasen.

Later, some physical evidence was introduced:

Also introduced as evidence were sexual "aids" and toys, about 30 computer disks, and a personal computer tower that were all recovered from Dasen's office on March 3.

Best questioned officer Timothy Falkner, the evidence technician who collected the items from Dasen's office.

He asked who put the sex toys in Dasen's office. When Falkner said he didn't know, Best asked, "Can you tell me whether or not it was a member of your search team?"

Objection. Asked and answered.

More on the physical evidence here. (Search for "disconcerting size")

On Thursday, the prosecution presented the testimony of the aforementioned informant, Leah Marshall. Ms. Marshall offered a tragic account of her life as a drug addict. She first did crystal meth at age 12 and abused drugs with her mother, who also was an addict. Marshall claims that Dasen gave her large sums of money in exchange for sex, although he never articulated the concept of an exchange. Later, she claims, Dasen paid her for recruiting other women for similar transactions.

Dasen's attorney was set to cross-examine Marshall on Friday, but that's not yet online.

Friday, April 29, 2005

The Fifteenth Column

I'm sworn to secrecy about the reasons, but I've been asked -- in my capacity as a blogger -- to identify one to fifteen of my favorite columnists, in order of preference. Since this blog really is all about you -- the Roger Ailes community -- I think you should have the final say in this effort. I'll select my faves, but all votes will be equally weighted.

Here's my list so far:

Peggy Noonan
David Horowitz
Kaye Grogan
el-Brent Bozell
The Virgin Armstrong

What, you were expecting Paul Krugman?

I'll take nominations in comments until 6 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, May 2.

Remember, they have to be regular columnists, not bloggers or plumbers or whatever Mickey Kaus is. You don't have to rank them, since that would make things too complicated for me and I'd just ignore it anyway. Don't vote more than once, although how would I know? And no voting for yourself -- that means you, Dr. Quackhammer and Ms. Malkintent!

Thanks for your help.

Simple Simon

There's a word for this post. Genius. Read it.

Peggy Noonan is running a contest:

"I here invite all readers who work in government to give, in one paragraph, their memory of Most Obnoxious Hissy Fit by or Most Appalling Style of any unnamed government official with whom they have worked, and what they learned from it."

Whatever you do, don't e-mail her paragraph six of this article.

Pest of the Web

James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal isn't the sharpest tool in the jumbo-sized chest of very dull Republican tools. He accuses Max Blumenthal "play[ing] at [sic] the age-old political sport of guilt by association" by reporting that the Family Reseach Council's Tony Perkins paid white supremacist and felon David Duke $82,000 for Duke's mailing list. The guilt is paying a Klansman eighty-two thousand for a mailing list of his fellow racists. That's guilt by action, pure and simple.

Oi, Taranto. What'chu think you're playing at, sunshine?

Thursday, April 28, 2005

James Guckert Gets Pissy

April 29, 2005 -- DISGRACED former White House reporter/male escort Jeff Gannon can't believe no one has invited him to tomorrow's White House Correspondents Dinner. "It seems to me to be odd to exclude the one person who has brought more attention to the White House press corps than anyone else in years," Gannon tells PAGE SIX's Jared Paul Stern. "Probably many who would want to extend such an invitation already assume I will be in attendance." Gannon, whose real name is James Guckert, quit his job with the conservative Talon News earlier this year after his fake name, lack of journalistic qualifications and male escort connections came to light. The dinner usually features several stars and sensational guests such as Paula Jones to liven things up. The sub-par star lineup this year includes Robert Duvall, Burt Reynolds, Randy Quaid, Ron Silver, Patricia Heaton and Anne Hathaway.

If only the Powerline boys had a table and a spare $200.

The Dick Dasen Trial - Opening Statements

Dick Dasen's attorney revealed his theory of the case in his opening statement on Wednesday.

Best told jurors they'd hear about Dasen's good works, his charity that has helped the Flathead Valley's poor pay for housing, medication, food, utilities, day care, "generally every sort of charitable cause."

But, he said, "there's no fool like an old fool. Mr. Dasen was duped and acted foolishly."

Dasen, Best told jurors, "committed adultery, and he did it often."

That lapse, Best said, already has destroyed Dasen's personal life and self-esteem.

But, Best said, there was no crime. Dasen had "affections" for the women, Best said, and "truly felt for all the people with whom he was involved."


Best also questioned whether Dasen was manipulating the girls and women, or whether it was the other way around. "Before it's over," he predicted, "you'll wonder who had control."

Interesting. The women not only forced Dasen to give them money, they forced him to have sex as well. One cannot imagine the depths of his suffering.

This seems an odd strategy. Defense counsel's admitting the sex and the payment of money. (Probably because he has no choice.) Dasen's alleged charitable motive for exchanging money for sex would seem irrelevant to the elements of the crimes. And if he's arguing the absence of a quid pro ho - that giving money and the sex were unrelated transactions -- there's no manipulation or control involved; Dasen and his partners were just friends with benefits.

Best hit several times on the fact that Dasen's personal life is in ruins, hinting, perhaps, that the defendant had already paid the price.

So he's not getting any, anymore.

Thank goodness for the presumption of innocence -- it's about all Dasen has going for him right now.

Justice Thursday

Despite its faults, Florida has some very sound jurists.

Investigators should be able to examine the medical records of conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh, Florida's Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

In a 4-3 vote, the court declined to review Limbaugh's appeal from a lower court, where he argued that a seizure of his medical records violated his privacy rights.

Thursday's decision may bring prosecutors one step closer to charging Limbaugh, if they determine he illegally bought prescription painkillers.

It's nice to see a majority of strict constructionists on the Florida high court.

"This is a quintessential ACLU case," said Howard Simon, executive director of the group's Florida branch. "If you look beyond the central figure, the celebrity of this case, what it boils down to is diminishing the privacy of medical records for everyone in the state of Florida."

"Boils." Heh.

Roy Black, the Miami lawyer who is representing Limbaugh, issued a written statement Thursday afternoon promoting his client's innocence.

"I have said from the start that there was no violation of the . . . statute, but that Rush Limbaugh should not have to give up his right to privacy in order to prove his innocence," Black wrote.

In a separate statement, Black billed Limbaugh a cool thou for the first statement.

Daryn Kagan soon may have some formidible competition for Big Pharma's affections.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Dick Dasen Trial -- Day Two

Actually, jury selection didn't go that slowly.

A jury of five women and seven men will hear opening arguments Wednesday in the case of a prominent Kalispell businessman accused of numerous sex crimes.

Here are the charges:

Dasen faces one felony count each of rape, for engaging in sexual relations with a child not old enough to grant her consent; sexual abuse of children, for photographing sexual encounters with underaged girls; aggravated promotion of prostitution, for compelling at least five underaged girls to become, in effect, his personal prostitutes; and promotion of prostitution, for leading women of all ages into a lifestyle of prostitution.

Dasen also faces one misdemeanor charge of soliciting a prostitute, and nine felony solicitation charges.

If true, Dasen's not just a wealthy john, he's a cretin of astounding proportions.

"I just wonder how this man got himself into such a pickle," one [prospective juror] said as the questions continued Tuesday. "It just seemed from the newspapers that it just got to be a real mess."

Yes, it's quite a pickle.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Tony Perkins, Man of God

Max Blumenthal shines the spotlight on Tony Perkins, Family Research Council President and Friend of Frist. Blumenthal writes in the Nation:

Four years ago, Perkins addressed the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), America's premier white supremacist organization, the successor to the White Citizens Councils, which battled integration in the South. In 1996 Perkins paid former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke $82,000 for his mailing list. At the time, Perkins was the campaign manager for a right-wing Republican candidate for the US Senate in Louisiana. The Federal Election Commission fined the campaign Perkins ran $3,000 for attempting to hide the money paid to Duke.

Would Jesus pay 82K to a Klansman?

Sounds like Perkins has less of a problem with white robes than he does with black ones.

(Link via Buzzflash.)

Dick Dasen Trial: Day 1

Jury selection has begun in the criminal trial of Christian philanthoprist Dick Dasen. It's going slowly.

And here's an interesting tidbit from the local press:

About that same time, at least one witness became shy, saying he was "concerned for his own personal safety." One of Dasen's "girls" had turned up dead in a motel room, strangled with Dasen's semen beneath her naked body.

Police have been careful not to tie Dasen to the murder, but witnesses were hearing rumors about "Dasen 'having things done' to people who threatened him and/or posed a threat to him," the record states.

Armed with that evidence, police asked one of "Dasen's girls" to place a recorded phone call to Dasen. She set up an "appointment" for the first week of February 2004, and police rented two adjacent motel rooms - one for the cops and one for the "appointment."

The sting came off without a hitch; Dasen was arrested wearing only his underwear and socks.

I had thought the murder victim had no connection to Dasen, but just happened to be killed in a motel room Dasen had allegedly previously used.

After his arrest, Dasen provided his attorney, George Best, with the names of 400 females "who he has 'helped,' " the affidavit states.

That's a lot of help.

The Old Stomping Grounds

Northwest Indiana. It's San Diego for ugly people:

Longtime Democratic operatives have only themselves to blame for not cleaning their own house and embracing reform. They could have been heroes. Instead, they are looking sheepish and have alienated the people who will be the party's future. When George Pabey, a Puerto Rican candidate, challenged Mayor Robert Pastrick of East Chicago, the longest-serving head of a political machine in America, Mr. Pabey seemed to have won - until absentee ballots were counted. Hispanics, who make up some 52 percent of the city, were enraged, believing they had been robbed. The state's highest court agreed and nullified Mr. Pastrick's victory. He lost in a rematch and Mr. Pabey became the city's first Hispanic mayor.

Mr. Pastrick himself has not been charged, although several close associates and his son Kevin received prison sentences. But it is unseemly that the former mayor continues to hold sway in the state party. The mayors of Gary, Hammond, East Chicago and Whiting distanced themselves from him and signed on to a good government initiative. One, Scott King, the 10-year mayor of Gary, went further. Citing the Democrats' problems and their lack of real leadership, he quit the party last week. "I haven't lost my mind," he told me. "I'm an Independent. Not a Republican." Still, it is the first time in generations that someone who is not a Democrat has been mayor of Gary. The constituents don't seem upset, Mr. King said.

Just like old times.

New Voices Emerge

I, for one, look forward to Arriana Huffington's new blog.

The "MSM" has for too long silenced the voices of Jann Wenner, Barry Diller, Walter Cronkite and Norman Mailer.

Tony Blankely for too long has been denied a platform to slander George Soros.

Where else could Conrad Black's dogsbody, David Frum, find a space to suck up to his beleaguered master?

Where else would Michael Medved find an wide audience for his completely sane theory that "oil companies are always anti-semitic."

Where would the malnourished John Fund find a buffet that hasn't blacklisted him?

And where but such a blog could Mort Zuckerman publish his thoroughly researched, scholarly papers on tort reform?

I haven't been this excited in ages.

Crazy Davy Gets Out His Crayons

I've got a new post at Horowitz Watch about David's latest version of reality.

For more Horowitzian fun, read his latest at It's got everything: paranoia, paranoid speculation, self-pity, inconsistency and, best of all, really, really bad writing. For example:

In fact to propritiate [sic] the backlash was the only reason the university itself put up a modest honorarium for my speech.

Sometimes a conservative in my audiences will not be able to contain their distress at the presence of a political opponent and let their hostility be seen.

There is only one conservative in Professor Hiller's department, of course, and it was he who was pointing the finger at me.

I try to fathom what kind of teacher would do a thing this to his students?

This is the real mission that drives them not the academic filler.

This man -- I will call him Crazy Davy -- writes like an subliterate twelve year old, yet wonders why he couldn't get a job as a professor.

Monday, April 25, 2005

By the way, if midget Mickey Kaus loathes the Los Angeles Times so much, what was he doing at the Times' Book Festival? (Link to my earlier post; why bother?)

It's not like he's an author. And there's not much evidence that he reads anything besides right-wing blogs and online newspapers linked to by those blogs.

Maybe he was there to beg MoDo to write a book about her ailing mother. Was he there to mooch a twenty from Mike Kinsley? Or was he Hugh Hewitt's waterbearer?

Howie the Unreliable Putz

Speaking of dishonest, overheated rhetoric, Howie the Putz channels el-Brent Bozell and Nooners in an embarassing performance claiming the SCLM has been biased against Benny the Rat.

The Putz announces his bogus premise as follows:

Pummeling the pope. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger gets a hero's welcome in Rome and rough treatment in the press. Are the media giving him a tough time because of his conservative views, or properly scrutinizing the world's newest religious leader? A 1,000-year tradition meets the 21st century media.

Apparently pointing out that the pope has conservative religious views constitutes pummeling.

Fortunately, E.J. Dionne tells Kurtz that he's full of crap:

I am so tired of -- any coverage of somebody who is conservative that is not adulatory, a whole bunch of guys get on television and attack the press for not being adulatory. It's the same story that they are regurgitating about the coverage of Cardinal Ratzinger as Pope Benedict as they would about George Bush.

If you look at the leads of all the stories in the major newspapers, I talked to reporters in Rome who said that their newspapers actually pushed down some of the critical commentary, precisely because they didn't want to come out of the box in the first five paragraphs of their stories saying these critical things. Yet this choice was controversial, that's a fact.

You've been pummelled, Howie.

Shorter John Leo: I've found some right-wingers more dishonest and given to overblown rhetoric than even myself.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

So Long At The Fair

James Wolcott sketches out some of the fun I missed at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books:

I actually had no idea [James Atlas] was going to be at the Fest until I read the program that morning. Who else did I play chattycakes with? Well, there was the tireless Harold Evans; David Ehrenstein, whom I had the pleasure of meeting for the first time; Ken Auletta; Mickey Kaus, though we actually only stared at each other, for fear an untoward remark might make it on one of our blogs; Patricia Bosworth; Jonathan Schell; and fiery-haired goddess Arianna Huffington, who told me my "blowjob" post was a big hit out there. I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Blowjobs, as I'm sure many of you are aware, are a vital industry in LA. High price call girls charge up to a $1,000 for the service, awarding the john afterwards with a certificate of authenticity and a cute little keychain as a parting gift. Well, you really should get something extra for spending all that money.

Speaking of which:

I won't recount the panel discussion, except to say that blogger Hugh Hewitt, whose high opinion of himself gleams like ice, is the only pundit I've ever seen who can sip water superciliously. He must practice in front of a mirror in his private chapel. The audience got rowdy when some blunderbuss hogged the microphone during the question period (this stout individual had filibustered at an earlier panel, and I gather has been making himself a general nuisance), and Arianna's comments drove one quavering soul from the balcony. Yes, mystery writer and illiterate blogger Roger L. Simon, there to cheer his pal Hugh, soon got his fill of her lefty oratory.

Good times.

Next year for sure.

Update: You can see Hugh sip and simper next Sunday evening at 5 p.m. EST, on BookTV.

A Happy Anniversary

"Five years ago I returned to my dad," he said. "That was the happiest day of my life."

Nutbag Annie Flies Again

Whackjob Annie Jacobson and her series, Pope John Paul Terror in The Skies XIII, are back with an unbalanced vengeance.

According to the dimwit Jacobsen, the DHS agents who interviewed her were complete blabbermouths, telling her everything she needed to confirm her suspicions:

They continued to ask my husband and me question after question but, in the course of the morning, here are some additional details I gathered -- things that I didn't otherwise know:

-- The Northwest Airlines flight attendants interviewed for the investigation would only speak to federal agents with lawyers from the airline present. (One agent remarked to me, "Northwest Airlines wishes flight 327 never happened.")

-- There were 27 airports between Detroit and Los Angeles where the pilot could have landed flight 327 yet didn't.

-- Because the men were from Syria -- which the State Department lists as a terrorist-sponsoring nation -- each man was interviewed individually by Customs and Border Patrol when he entered the country. Once in the United States, they traveled back and forth across the country several times using one-way tickets, for which they paid cash.

-- Two months prior to the flight, the FBI issued a warning that, based on credible information, terrorist organizations might try to hide their members behind P visas --cultural or sports visas -- to gain entry into the United States.

-- The Syrians entered the United States on P-3 cultural visas, which they overstayed; the visas had expired by the time they boarded flight 327.

-- While being interviewed at Los Angeles Airport (LAX), none of the federal law enforcement agencies involved noticed that the men's visas were expired.

-- At LAX, the FBI interviewed only the two "leaders" of the group; 11 of the Syrians on flight 327 were never asked a single question by law enforcement.

-- The Syrians were allowed to leave even before the FBI interviewed me and my husband.

-- The Federal Air Marshal (FAM) supervisor at LAX took statements from my husband and me on the back of an envelope, later borrowing a notepad from another FAM.

-- Another passenger from flight 327 indicated to the agents that he did not see any musical instruments in the baggage claim area, including the oversized baggage area.

Amazing, isn't it. Super-observant Annie was interviewed by a Federal Air Marshal who was writing on the back of an envelope, yet she didn't know that 'til the FBI told her.

Earlier in the article, Nutbag Annie claimed "[n]aturally, the agents 'were not at liberty' to tell me anything about the 13 Syrian men aboard flight 327." But then she claimed that the agents told her how the men entered the country, what visas they had, when the visas expired and whether the men were interviewed at LAX. So which is it?

Finally, Annie claims the DHS agents revealed to her that the men had expired visas, and that none of the federal agencies involved at LAX after the flight were aware of that. Apparently, Annie forget that she knew this back in July 2004. Annie also apparently forgot -- or didn't care to mention -- the fact that "[t]he expiry date indicates the date after which that visa may no longer be used to travel to the U.S" and thus is irrelevant to whether the men were in the country legally and traveling legally.

Not very detail oriented, our Annie.

Whaddya Mean Us, Fat Man?

MR. RUSSERT: Continuity. Father John McCloskey, who was also an Opus Dei with you, was on this program. He has a Web site where he predicted basically in 2030 that the number of Catholics would go from 60 million to 40 million; almost a smaller and purer church. Is that, do you think, the vision of our pope?

He's your pope, Pumpkinhead, not mine. I can think for myself.

The American Express Card - Don't Buy A Bugchaser Without It

The Texan Bugchaser was bought and paid for with plastic:

The airfare to London and Scotland in 2000 for then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) was charged to an American Express card issued to Jack Abramoff, a Washington lobbyist at the center of a federal criminal and tax probe, according to two sources who know Abramoff's credit card account number and to a copy of a travel invoice displaying that number.


The documents obtained by The Washington Post, including receipts for his hotel stays in Scotland and London and billings for his golfing during the trip at the famed St. Andrews course in Scotland, substantiate for the first time that some of DeLay's expenses on the trip were billed to charge cards used by the two lobbyists. The invoice for DeLay's plane fare lists the name of what was then Abramoff's lobbying firm, Preston Gates & Ellis.

Multiple sources, including DeLay's then-chief of staff Susan Hirschmann, have confirmed that DeLay's congressional office was in direct contact with Preston Gates about the trip itinerary before DeLay's departure, to work out details of his travel. These contacts raise questions about DeLay's statement that he had no way of knowing about the financial and logistical support provided by Abramoff and his firm.

It's subpeona time!

And the first one sworn in and grilled should be a wingnut blogger.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

What's Grover Hiding?

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs has subpoenaed ur-scumbag Grover Norquist in connection with its DeLaygate investigation.

WASHINGTON - Senate investigators probing how Indian tribes were fleeced by lobbyists with ties to House Majority Leader Tom DeLay have requested the financial records of two prominent conservatives who got tribal contributions.

The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs has asked for records from Ralph Reed, former head of the Christian Coalition, and from Grover Norquist, who heads Americans for Tax Reform. Both men profited from Indian tribes who hired lobbyists Jack Abramoff and Michael Scanlon to push the tribes' gambling interests in Washington.


"As part of the committees oversight function, we are examining instances of potential defrauding of Indian tribes," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who chairs the committee.

Reed, who is running for lieutenant governor of Georgia, said through a spokeswoman that he would turn over all records to the committee.

Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform said it would not release all the documents requested by the Senate committee, including lists of donors.

"In the past, ATR's donors have been harassed and abused when their names have been made public, and the organization has no intention of allowing this to happen again," said spokesman Christopher Butler. A subpoena was issued for the records that ATR has refused to release, McCain said.

Norquist's ATR received six-figure donations from Abramoff's Indian clients, according to published reports.
If John McCain can pop open that donor list, I'll vote for him in the next presidental race.

Provided his opponent is Joe Lieberman, that is.

Hey, It's More Reliable Than Private Accounts

According to the President's Office of National Drug Control Policy, "pill ladies" is the street term for "female senior citizens who sell OxyContin."

So you can't say the Administration isn't looking out for the elderly.

I Have Arrived

Roger Ailes, the blog, gets a link from Bob Boudelang, Angry American Patriot.

I love that guy.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Reviewing Books I Haven't Read

I admire Representative Nancy Pelosi, but her kid seems sort of worthless. Former NBC News producer Alexandra Pelosi, who was responsible in part for crappy network coverage of Presidential races, now deigns to tell us what's wrong with the media's coverage of Presidential races. For $25 bucks, over 280 large print pages.

Here's Pelosi's publisher, quoting Pelosi from her new book, Sneaking Into The Media Circus:

"Every election cycle journalists defy the theory of evolution, living sequestered on a bus, with no sleep, few showers, and tons of junk food, going town-to-town listening to the same speech over and over. You're stuck in this dysfunctional relationship between the news organization that has you there to do their bidding and the campaign that is trying to co-opt you."


And herein lies Pelosi's driving point: politicians and journalists don't trust each other, and so, in election coverage and in politics in general, the press is utterly hamstrung. Since the candidates never say anything unscripted and the journalists have to make nice in order to maintain access, modern presidential campaigns have become little more than media events. Politicians and journalists alike are going through the motions, and the voters have no idea who the candidates really are.

Boo frickin' hoo. Those nasty news organizations trying to get their employees to do their bidding, and those bastard pols trying to get favorable publicity.

Here's a hint: If you don't want to do the bidding of a news organization and you don't want a candidate to try to co-opt you, don't follow a fucking candidate around on a bus and don't accept employment from a news organization that wants you to follow the fucking candidate. Instead of writing a book rehashing the supposed horrors of the campaign circus, do some reporting and tell your readers all the things about the candidates you think they need to know. If you're not just blowing smoke up our asses, that is.

Maybe it's the three-page chapters, the full-page Britney Spears quotes, and the reference to Congressman "Barnie Frank" on page 3, but I suspect that Pelosi neither knows nor cares who the candidates really are, and doesn't care whether voters do either.

To be fair, the Index indicates that Pelosi spends four pages discussing the Swift Boat Liars and only three pages each on two slightly less important campaign issues, "Abu Ghraib prison" and "Starsky & Hutch premiere party." And she apparently addresses the influence of press baron "Rupert Murdock" on the last election.

I have no doubt this book reveals a great deal about the current state of political journalism -- just not what the Free Press and Pelosi believe it does.

For Further Reading: Greg Beato already has performed a magnificent beatdown on Pelosi's prior work.

The Hitler Discount

This quote is more than a little unclear, but it sounds like Ratzinger was saying he didn't like the Hitler Youth and only joined to avoid paying full tuition.

"When the Hitler Youth was established, my brother was forced to become a member," Cardinal Ratzinger said in an interview in 1997. "I was still too young, but later, when I entered the seminary, I also joined. But as soon as I had left the seminary, I never went to see them again. And this was difficult, because in order to be entitled to get a discount on the tuition fee, which I urgently needed, one had to prove that one was a member of the Hitler Youth."

Not exactly a profile in courage. All it takes for evil to triumph is to offer good men the opportunity to save a few marks.

Benedict? Howie Still Is One

A putz writes:

"Does anyone else find it annoying that this guy has registered the domain names of Benedict XVI and its many variations, along with five other papal names, saying he couldn't resist having 'some skin in the game'?"

No, it's just you. Ever heard of initiative, Howie?

I've got a strong feeling this is why Howie's whining about this.


Some clever wags are calling the new Pontiff B16, in honor of the holiest of Catholic sacraments, bingo. I suspect some dullards, like the Corner's Kathryn Lopez, will run that nickname into the ground before they even get the joke.

I'm still mulling things over, but right now I'm leaning toward Benny the Rat.

Meanwhile, Peggy Noonan gives Benny the Rat a virtual knuckle job:

Those who are pursuing John Paul II's canonization, please note: his first miracle is Benedict XVI.

We are living in a time of supernatural occurrences. The old pope gives us his suffering as a parting gift, says his final goodbye on Easter Sunday; dies on the vigil of Feast of the Divine Mercy, the day that marks the messages received by the Polish nun, now a saint, who had written that a spark out of Poland would light the world and lead the way to the coming of Christ. The mourning period for the old pope ends on the day that celebrates St. Stanislas, hero of Poland, whose name John Paul had thought about taking when he became pope. We learned this week from a former secretary that John Paul I, the good man who was pope just a month, had told everyone the day he was chosen that he wanted to be called John Paul I. You can't be called "the first" until there is a second, he was told. There will be a second soon, he replied.

It is an age of miracles and wonders, of sightings of Mary and warnings, of prophecy, graces and gifts.

Jay-P died on the vigil of Feast of the Divine Mercy. Ooh, that is supernatural. You should send a treatment to Wes Craven, Peggy.

And shouldn't that be "the vigil of the Feast..."? Just axin'.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

A Bony Jayson Blair?

If Mitch Albom's fictional column is big news in the media watch world, this allegation of a columnist writing fiction should be big news too. Either the District Attorney is lying in in this article or Coulter is lying in her column.

Where are all the usual yammering wingnuts who claim to care only about the truth?

(Links via TBogg.)

The Father and Papa

Veteran Vatican-watchers at the Moonie Times have a unique vantage point from which to observe Catholic politics and policy -- the inside of The Father's ass. Witness the Moonie rag's witless prediction concerning the papal selection, published on April 18, before the Cards' first vote:

The College of Cardinals meets today to pick the 265th pope of the Roman Catholic Church. Because John Paul II was the first non-Italian pope in 455 years, speculation is high that church fathers may break new ground again -- perhaps by picking a non-European, an African or the first Latin American to be pope. The media constantly states that the only certainty is that this supposedly conservative college will pick a conservative pope. This prediction is unlikely because the cardinals are actually very liberal.


... Overall, John Paul II's cardinals are poised to take the Catholic Church leftward.


By the way, what happens what the Reverend Moon kicks the nut-bucket? Beside the world becoming a better place, that is. Do the Unification Church and the Moonie Times deserved die with the felonious Moon? Or is there some ritual whereby Moon's sucessor is chosen by his flunkies and white smoke comes billowing off of Wes Pruden's flaming cross to signal the selection?

(Thanks to a reader for the link.)

A reader e-mails a preceptive comment to a classic bit of Kaus hypocrisy:

"Thursday, April 14, 2005

"The New Phrenology: WaPo's Robin Givhan argues that John Bolton's haircut shows he lacks 'respect for the job' of U.N. ambassador. She does not seem to be joking. ... P.S.: It could have been worse: Bush could have nominated Bill Gates. ... 11:58 P.M."

Uh, didn't we go through an entire election cycle with Kaus complaining about Kerry's hair?

Yes. Yes we did.

I can only add that for someone who's always harping on the LAT's lack of a gossip column, Kaus is mighty humorless about a tongue-in-cheek commentary from a fashion writer. Imagine how much fun Givhan could have analyzing Kaus's soiled sweatsuit.

Mickey Kaus to Homos: Stay Off My Basic Cable

Mickey Kaus purports to describe a "Coming Culture War Over Gay TV," and it's no surprise which side he's on.

Kaus writes that "Viacom plans to launch Logo, a gay-oriented basic cable channel at the end of June" -- his emphasis -- and evisions a "likely" "huge culture-war battle this summer over whether to regulate Logo (and other gay networks)."

While Kaus claims to be an objective observer of the battle, his italicization tips off his point of view -- the idea of programming designed to entertain and inform gays you don't have to pay extra for is just one step too far.

And Kaus really tips his hand with this explanatory comment, added after the original post: "Gay characters and gay Showtime dramas are one thing. An entire network celebrating and validating homosexuality pumped into every home with basic cable service might be too much for many people to tolerate."

Which people might those be, Kaus? Anyone you know? Kaus stamps his tiny feet and cries, "tolerance has gone too far!"

The Today Show is an infomercial.

Doesn't everyone already know that?

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Thoughts on The Oklahoma City Bombing

The 168 murders committed by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols are among the most repugnant crimes committed in recent history. Although I oppose the death penalty in almost all circumstances, I believe the execution of McVeigh was justifed. But the McVeigh and Nichols cases demonstrate why the need for the government-funded defense of indigent persons accused of crimes is necessary for the continued existence of a free country. We should never get to the place where the government doesn't have the highest possible burden in proving criminal guilt in a truly adversarial proceeding. The fact that McVeigh and Nichols recieved the best possible legal representation, at significant public expense, is the only means of ensuring that the constitutional protections afforded criminal defendants have real meaning. Unfortunately in many cases, indigent persons accused of crimes (including capital crimes) do not receive anything approaching the level of representation the terrorists and mass murderers received in Oklahoma City Bombing cases. And the convictions of such persons are far less trustworthy because of it.

McVeigh and Nichols were hate-filled bigots who imagined themselves as warriors opposing a tyrannical federal government. They got far better treatment from that government than they deserved. But not affording them -- and everyone else -- such constitutional protections permits the government to punish and harm the innocent as well as the guilty.

Achtung, Benny

Pardon me if I'm not ready to accept Benedict the Sixteenth's self-serving version of events during WWII. I'm not saying it's false; I'm saying just because he says it doesn't make it so:

Though his family made no public show of opposition -- in fact, one of his great uncles had written a series of crudely anti-Semitic books -- Ratzinger has described his father as opposing Nazism, largely as an outgrowth of his faith. "My father was one who with unfailing clairvoyance saw that a victory of Hitler's would not be a victory for Germany but rather a victory for the Antichrist," he wrote in his 1998 memoir, "Milestones."


Ratzinger entered a seminary in 1939, following in the footsteps of his older brother Georg, who also became a priest. But in 1943 he was conscripted along with his entire class into the antiaircraft corps and sent to defend a factory that made aircraft engines. He told Time magazine in 1993 that a badly infected finger prevented him from ever firing a shot.

Guess he's not ambidexterous.

Since I'm not Catholic and don't believe the Holy Mother Church's mumbo jumbo, it doesn't matter to me if their Pope is a war hero or a war criminal.

As Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center said, "Membership in the Hitler Youth doesn't disqualify someone from being pope." Can't argue with that.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Time Magazine Commemorates The Tenth Anniversary of The Oklahoma City Bombing

"Collateral damage" -- Timothy McVeigh on the children he murdered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building." -- Time magazine heroine Ann Coulter

Update: Atrios has already made this point.

Here's some good news. Mike Barnicle, plagiarist, fantasist and good friend to Republican talking heads Pumpkinhead Russert, Chris Matthews and Don Imus, is being dumped by the Boston Herald. Barnicle is playing the story as if he's taking the ax to save the job of some less deserving -- but more truthful -- employee at the paper. It will soon be revealed that George Carlin made the same claim when his FOX sitcom was cancelled in the 90s.

Talk To The Hind

Meanwhile, Howie's favorite, the Hindlicker, claims to be receiving obscene phone calls from journalists.

John Hinderaker, the conservative Powerline blogger who hammered away at the reporting on the memo, said it was clear "that we were guessing or drawing an inference or expressing an opinion. I questioned whether there was a single Republican staffer dumb enough to have written that memo. Turns out there was. So I was wrong."

He says the mainstream media have a "liberal tilt" and that "when I criticize a news story or a particular journalist . . . I don't think I tend to personalize it." In fact, says Hinderaker, "you talk about shrill -- you should see what they say about us," including "obscene phone calls."

How could we see obscene phone calls? Does John transcribe them?

Junk Science Indeed

Another Jimmy Glassman-style bought and paid for whore emerges on the right.

ExxonMobil has funneled money to 40 organizations that have either challenged scientific evidence on global warming or are linked to skeptical scientists who do so, says the forthcoming issue of Mother Jones.

Take Steven Milloy, who writes columns for, the Washington Times and the New York Sun. ExxonMobil has given $40,000 to the Advancement of Sound Science Center and $50,000 to the Free Enterprise Action Institute, two groups where he is a director and which are registered to his home address in Potomac.

Milloy, who runs the Web site and is a Cato Institute scholar, wrote one column for Fox headlined "Polar Bear Scare on Thin Ice." A 2001 column for USA Today was titled "Does Global Warming Really Matter?"

I guess Cato wants to the be the libertarian version of The Whoritage Foundation.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

The Creative Process

"An artist who randomly vandalised nearly 50 cars for a project said the owners should be happy they were part of his 'creative process'."

"Mark McGowan, 37, will exhibit pictures of himself scratching the vehicles' paintwork in London and Glasgow.

"He said he had 'keyed' 17 cars in Glasgow's West End in March and 30 in Camberwell, south London.

"The Met police said the act was criminal damage and if allegations are made they will be investigated.

"Mr McGowan added: 'I do feel guilty about keying people's cars but if I don't do it, someone else will.

"'They should feel glad that they've been involved in the creative process. I pick the cars randomly."

The man's a genius.

As someone who recently had the windshield wipers on his car bent, randomly, I wouldn't blame any victim who decided to engage Mr. McGowan in his or her own "creative process."

Onward Christian Fraudsters

The G.O.P. is having its own St. Ralph troubles:

"You know that song about the Rhinestone Cowboy, 'There's been a load of compromising on the road to my horizon,' " Mr. Robertson said. "The Bible says you can't serve God and Mammon."

I was thinking Midnight Cowboy, but that works too.

In Georgia, Mr. Reed's rival in the Republican primary is playing up his links with Indian casinos to try to revive longstanding criticism from conservative Christian purists that Mr. Reed has sometimes put his own ambitions ahead of their goals. At the meeting near Atlanta, for example, his opponents were doing their best to sow doubts in the crowd.

"The Christian Coalition, they may have some shady background," said Robert McIntyre, the treasurer of the Spalding County Republican Party, who still wore a Ralph Reed sticker on his lapel. "I was being loyal to Ralph Reed, but since now some things have come up, I need to listen. I am now wavering."

But Ralph's still got some support:

Bill Paxon, a former Congressman turned lobbyist who worked closely with Mr. Reed on Republican Congressional campaigns, said Mr. Reed was a man of many dimensions: a heartfelt Christian, a limited-government conservative and a canny political street fighter. "He was always all of the above," Mr. Paxon said.

Bill Paxon? Is that the best you can do, Ralph?

Soon after he left the organization in 1997, it nearly imploded as financial problems came to light. Mr. Reed's successors said that the Christian Coalition had exaggerated the size of its grass-roots network, had spent far too much of its income on raising new funds and had fallen $3 million in debt.

Exaggerated? As in fraud, exaggerated?

In Georgia, some conservative Christians were troubled by Mr. Reed's consulting work for Mitch Skandalakis, a losing candidate for lieutenant governor who ran advertisements portraying one rival in racial stereotypes and another as a drug addict. (Mr. Reed said afterward that he opposed racially divisive tactics.)

Some? Not all?

After a Texas court ruled against the Tiguas' casino on Feb. 11, 2002, Mr. Abramoff wrote to Mr. Reed in a celebratory e-mail message: "I wish those moronic Tiguas were smarter in their political contributions. I'd love us to get our mitts on that moolah."

But racially divisive e-mails are hunky dory.

As the Senate committee and a federal task force in Washington investigate Mr. Abramoff's lobbying activities, Mr. Reed has said little publicly about his role in the casino campaign. He recently retained Neil Eggleston, a lawyer for the Clinton White House, to represent him.

Smart move.

In Georgia, Mr. Reed's primary opponent, State Senator Casey Cagle, criticized him last week for inviting at least three lobbyists whose firms have worked for gambling concerns to a Washington fund-raiser tomorrow.

"Ralph has a lot of things he has got to answer for, like this gambling situation," said Joel McElhannon, a consultant to Mr. Cagle's campaign. "It strains believability that somebody hands him $4.2 million and he doesn't know where that money came from."
Miracles do happen.