Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Smokin' Thomas

Jane Hamsher noted something significant about Gonzales v. Raich that I hadn't read anywhere else:

Sandra Day O'Connor and Rehnquist, both of whom are cancer survivors, joined Clarence Thomas in dissent. (Can we have a weak one-time only chorus of "yeah Clarence?") The uncharitable amongst us would note with irony the possibililty that one day Justices Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer and Scalia might spend their final hours hugging the porcelain and puking for their principles.

It does seem more than mere coincidence that the two justices who have first-hand experience with cancer voted in favor of patients' rights.

I also haven't seen anyone comment on the fact that the third dissenter, Clarence Thomas, was a GIANT-ASS BACO STONER 'HEAD throughout his college and law school years. The only justice with substantial dope smoking experience thought that regulation of medical marijuana was best left to the states. Thomas even abandoned Fat Tony to side with his buddy Herb.

This doesn't make Thomas a competent jurist; it just makes you wonder where Thomas would be if he had stuck with something he was good at -- something he loved -- instead of the practice of law.

Trans .... Europe .... Express

I rarely admit to being jealous, but I am jealous of Digby.

We Leak, You Clean Up After Us

TBogg critiques the incontinent journalistic stylings of the head of the Depends Media empire.

Dino, Sore

What a sore loser Dino Rossi is:

At a news conference later, Rossi said: "With today's decision, and because of the political makeup of the Washington State Supreme Court, which makes it almost impossible to overturn this ruling, I am ending the election contest."

The Washington Post reports that Judge Bridges found "there was no evidence of deliberate fraud or problems that could be pinned to partisan bias."

As the New York Times reported:

"There is no evidence in this record that Ms. Gregoire received any illegal votes," Judge Bridges said. He noted that the only illegal votes that had been proved during the trial were five cast by convicted felons; four were for Mr. Rossi, and one was for a Libertarian candidate, Ruth Bennett.

Perhaps the wingnuts will explain how Rossi was unable to prove any illegal Democratic votes, while the Democrats were able to prove illegal Republican voting. Or perhaps not:

Republicans claimed in court to have identified 754 votes cast by felons, but they could not prove that even one had cast an illegal ballot for Ms. Gregoire, largely, Mr. Foreman said, because they did not interview the felons about which way they voted.

Democrats did interview some of the felons, providing depositions from five of them, including the four who said they voted for Mr. Rossi.

Wishful thinking is not a litigation strategy, idiots.

Just apologize to the citizens of your state, Dino, then reimburse them, then STFU.

Meanwhile, the sad right-wing blogger, Mister Ed, ponders Senator Kerry's Yale transcript and squeezes out this deep thought:

"The key difference, of course, is that Bush never pretended to be a great student at college, just as he never pretended to be a war hero."

Well, Bush never saved the lives of his fellow soliders, never engaged the enemy in combat and never killed an enemy in combat. But Bush did pretend:

"I've been to war. I've raised twins. If I had a choice, I'd rather go to war."

Apparently Bush took part in a secret combat mission along with his comrades Ronald Reagan, Joe Ellis and Bill O'Reilly.

(Sorry, no link to Mister Ed. Read this instead.)

Poor Midget Mickey Kaus will now have to find a new chicken to choke.

2005 Mikey

Well, it's not the Smacky, but Nick Pistof has won the next best thing, the 2005 Mikey, an award given for the fearless pursuit of self-promotion at the expense of the truth:

Atlantic Media today announced the NYT's Nicholas Kristof as the 2005 winner of its Mike Kelly Award. The award is given in honor of the late Atlantic editor who died covering the Iraq War in 2003.

The $25,000 award, given for the second time this year, is given annually to a journalist whose "work exemplifies a quality that animated Michael Kelly's own career: the fearless pursuit and expression of truth."

"Kristof linked the word 'genocide' to the ongoing persecution of black Africans in the Sudanese region of Darfur, and focused attention on the continued sexual exploitation of young women in the brothels of Cambodia. With conviction, passion, and audacity, Kristof tugged at the world's conscience, in the best tradition of Michael Kelly," the judges wrote.

Michael Kelly did a lot of tugging in print, but it wasn't the world's conscience being tugged.

Kristof's fearless labeling is a little less impressive when you consider that the U.S. House of Representatives labeled the killing in Sudan genocide almost a year ago, as did countless others. And it's worth questioning whether St. Kelly would approve the use of the word "genocide," when he has self-righteously railed against consideration of a criminal's racist motivation in assessing guilt for his or her crimes.

As for Pistof's adventures in the sex trade, I've already written about that combination of egomania, grandstanding and dishonest liberal bashing here, here and here. Looks like Pistof's investment in human flesh has paid off handsomely. Where else could you turn $353 of someone else's money and the misery of others into $25,000?

Monday, June 06, 2005

Eh. Either I've got writer's block, or all the news is uninteresting crap.

Or, most likely, both.

Technorati Profile

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Triumph Of The Blogosphere

Top this, you mainstream media bastards:

8:00: Arianna and I are at the filming of the MTV movie awards at the Shrine auditorium. Jessica Simpson had enormous brown hair, very curly, obviously extensions. I'm amazed at how short she was, even in her rhinestone high heels.

Chris Rock and Adam Sandler presented the best villain award, but we can not tell you who won because we are all sworn to secrecy until Thursday, when the show airs.
...

10:11: We were the guests of Tom and Kathy Freston -- Kathy looked so pretty in a grey silk top and jeans.

I feel so inadequate now.

Republican Lies About The Truth

The Boston Globe catches Michael Murphy, the Republican flak who gave us Governor Predator and Dennis Miller, telling the truth:

Governor Mitt Romney's top political strategist has told a prominent conservative magazine that his client has been "faking" his support of abortion rights in Massachusetts.

"He's been a pro-life Mormon faking it as a pro-choice friendly," Romney adviser Michael Murphy told the National Review in a cover story hitting newstands today titled "Matinee Mitt."

Murphy, a prominent Republican consultant, issued a statement of regret yesterday afternoon after a prepublication copy of the article circulated among political strategists and reporters and threatened to overshadow the positive exposure Romney was getting from appearing on the cover of two conservative magazines this week.

"The quote in the National Review article was not what I meant to communicate," Murphy's statement said. "I was discussing a characterization the governor's critics use. I regret the quote and any confusion it might have caused."

Mikey regrets telling the truth, and says it will never happen again.

Next thing he'll tell us Mitt's residence in Utah is actually a vacation home.

Unfelt

I try, but I haven't been able to get worked up enough to revisit Watergate. It's before my time, cognitively if not chronologically.

I realize that dishonest wingnuts are trying to unwrite Nixon's crimes, that the idiot media is enabling them in that effort and that the wingnuts are to a large extent succeeding. But that battle was lost long ago -- loathsome felons like Colson and Liddy have been treated with undue respect rather than contempt since they've exited prison, not just in the past week. (Not to mention the continuing, inexplicable love for other Nixon Administration scumbags -- Safliar, Buchanan etc. -- not directly involved in Watergate.)

I read maybe one-third of All The President's Men (or was it The Final Days?) in high school, but don't remember much of it. Maybe I should get off my intellectual duff and read Anthony Summers' The Arrogance of Power, which is sitting on my bookshelf.

But it's been such a lovely day.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Interesting Story

Which is what people always say before they tell you an (1) uninteresting story (2) about themselves.

So last Friday, the 27th, I get an e-mail from someone at MSNBC inquiring about a "possible appearance" on the channel that afternoon at 4:45 p.m. The first thing I think is that the booker must have already gone through the A- through Y-list blowhards and was getting very desperate for a warm body on the Memorial Day weekend. The second thing I think is that I'm reading the e-mail after 4:45 p.m. Eastern, so I don't have to give this much thought.

The topics on which I was possibly invited to opine were (1) the Bolton nomination and Frist's leadership; (2) the Tom DeLay comment on Law and Order; and (3) stem cell research and Bush's threatened veto. Now the gentleman who sought my participation may have failed to notice that I hadn't blogged on any of these subjects and/or that I hadn't blogged anything at all in the last week and wasn't returning until June. I'm not sure, however, how he overlooked that he knows nothing of my speaking abilities or my telegenic qualities. I realize it's MSNBC, but they must have some standards.

Not journalistic standards, I know, but at least production values.

Although I do speak publicly and extemporaneously on infrequent occasions, this isn't the kind of thing I'm good at. I don't like to pretend to know everything and I don't like to speak unprepared. And I'm not as funny in person as I am in writing. I'm happy to toil in e-print, in obscurity and anonymity. (Although, if a better offer comes along....)

Apparently they were going to pair me with a conservative blogger "to be determined." I'm not even sure what show it was, since I never watch MSNBC and it wasn't mentioned in the e-mail. If anyone was watching MSNBC last Friday at 4:45 p.m. EST, let me know who I was replaced with.

2005 Smacky

Congratulations to Claudia Rosett, winner of the 2005 Golden Contaminated Needle, otherwise known as the Smacky. The Smacky is named in honor of expired junkie Eric Breindel, and is supposed to have something to do with excellence in journalism, even though Breindel was never anything more than a Murdoch stooge with a grating, whiny voice.

Rosett, the journalist in residence at The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, has 23 years of experience writing on international affairs for such outlets as The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic and The Weekly Standard.

In accepting the plaque and a $10,000 award, she said Breindel "wrote with clarity and passion for the most vital element of a free society -- the truth."

What a guy. If he was a live today, no doubt he'd be importing reporting from Afghanistan.

P.S. The New York Post now has registration, and it's not worth the time and effort. Kind of like a Breindel column.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Field Of Dreams

"Billionaire financier and philanthropist George Soros has joined Washington entrepreneur Jonathan Ledecky's bid to purchase the Washington Nationals, Ledecky said in an interview yesterday.

"'The Soros family shares my belief that the Washington Nationals are a community trust that can serve as a positive platform for the economic development of the inner city,' Ledecky said."

Bush Lied, People Died Night.

MoveOn ads on the Jumbotron.

Weeping and wailing in the Kool Kids clubhouse.

It's brilliant.

Wonder What Those Could Be

"We're talking about privacy matters and privileged matters," Black told the judge. "The remedy is them not seeing the various procedures and medical things that have nothing do to with the items that they are investigating."

(link)

The Urge to Defecate

In honor of John Tierney, whose most successful pick-up line is "Want to see me do the Junior Jumble... IN INK?" here are some practice Scrabble racks in which John might recognize himself:

DINPICK
DIPTHIS
JACKFOF
WASPIES
MALEASS

(Well, that certainly was worth the wait, wasn't it?)

Saturday, May 21, 2005

The press of business will keep me away from blogging for the next ten days or so.

See you in June.

Please support the fine bloggers listed to your right in the meanwhile.
I'm thinking of writing a book called The Hundred Suckiest Americans and How They Blow Elephant Balls. That's just a working title.

In it, I would share some of my uncommon sense about the things that have made this country great -- and the culprits who are screwing it up. But, really, it would just be an excuse to slap together some stale stories about people I don't like and claim that these stories proved these people hate good people like you, my loyal readers. I probably wouldn't even write it myself. I could just come up with a list of names and have my publisher hire some english major to slap something together filing 320 pages with extra-wide margins. Like Michelle Malkin, I wouldn't check to see whether anything I wrote was true. I'd have my publisher start pimping the book before "I" even wrote it.

I'm sure my book would become the voice of all those Americans who feel that no one is speaking for them on perhaps the most vital issue of all: the kind of country in which we want to live.

Chapter one will feature a man who would do or say anything for another 15 minutes on Hardball.

The Criminal On The Cross

James Watt nails himself to a cross, then TBogg yanks Watt down, slaps him around and makes him do it again, the right way.

And he nails the non-homosexual Hindlicker, friend to criminals, too.

Roger's Film Notes

Now here's an "Episode Three" I'm really looking forward to:

"Left Behind: World War III," scheduled for release later this year, is based on the last part of the book "Tribulation Force" by LaHaye and Jenkins. It picks up a year and a half after millions of people have vanished off the face of the earth, and the world is now controlled by Nicolae Carpathia (Gordon Currie), a self-proclaimed Messiah, and his One World Government. Like most of America, the president of the United States, as played by Louis Gossett Jr., wholeheartedly supports Nicolae’s global leadership. But after an attempt on his life, the president begins to suspect this new world order.

Journalist Buck Williams (Kirk Cameron from "Growing Pains" fame, reprising his earlier Left Behind role), who became a born-again Christian toward the end of the first film, believes that Nicolae is actually the prophesied Antichrist. With the aid of Buck and militia spy Carolyn Miller (Jessica Steen), the president uncovers this new government's horrific plans for genocide and quickly joins the very resistance he had sacrificed so much to destroy.

The producers of the film, the LaLonde brothers, say they got some financing from Sony Pictures, so the film will be more polished than the previous two installments in the series, and that Kirk Cameron has grown into the role of "Journalist Buck Williams," the man who brings the President of the United States to faith. (As opposed to Old Grandad, the man who brought George Bush to faith.)

But shouldn't that be "Blogger Buck Williams," since bloggers are the new, less incompetent journalists?

Actually, the most interesting bit of the story is that those chumps Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins -- if you can call men who made multi-millions from poorly written books "chumps" -- sold the movie rights before they realized the books would be so popular. LaHaye and Jenkins sued the production company on a breach of contract theory to get their rights back ("Use the courts, Tim. Use the courts"):

Among other charges, the creators of the books, which are inspired by biblical prophecies, were dissatisfied with the distribution techniques Cloud Ten was utilizing.

And they got their asses handed to them, presumably by men in black robes who are out to destroy people of faith. LaHaye and Jenkins will have to settle for getting the LaLondes kicked off the Rapture invite list.

(Thanks to cinophile "mw" for the link.)

My Thoughts On Revenge of the Sith

Don't have any.

Not going to see it.

Don't really care.

Verdict's In!

The jury has spoken in the Dasen trial. It looks like Dasen was acquitted on the most serious charge, rape, which presumably involved statutory rape of a minor. He was convicted of sexual abuse of a minor, and four out of nine counts of prostitution.

Here's how the AP reports it:

Dasen, 62, was found guilty of promotion of prostitution, sexual abuse of children for taking pornographic photographs and four counts of prostitution, the first being a misdemeanor.

Jurors acquitted him of rape, aggravated promotion of prostitution involving a minor and five counts of prostitution. One count of prostitution was dropped during the four-week trial.

Dasen's family cried as the verdicts were read.

District Judge Stewart Stadler ordered Dasen taken into custody and set his sentencing for July 18. Dasen had been free on bail while awaiting trial.

The Daily Interlake reports that he faces up to $71,000 (the cost of approximately fifty to seventy "Dasen-dates") and 126 years in prison (the lifetimes of approximately seven to eight Dasen-dates).

All in all it seems like a reasonable verdict.

Friday, May 20, 2005

el-Brent's Cartoon Watch

In his latest column, L. Brent Bozell excoriates Michelle Malkin for publishing a book chock full o' falsehoods and reckless, unresearched smears.

Okay, actually, he writes about supposed religious bigotry in cartoons shown on the FOX Network and elsewhere. Shockingly, The Simpsons portrayed "Homer and Bart join[ing] everyone else in Catholic heaven doing the Riverdance." And a bunch of cartoons made Mel Gibson/Nazi jokes, even though Mel is the fourth member of the Trinity. Why do cartoons hate America's God?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Braveheart Bunnypants

Bush is going to Scotland for the G-8 in June.

Maybe he can return the fire of Scotsman George Galloway and give some kilt-raising testimony about the War on Iraq before the Scottish Parliament.

The Dick Dasen Trial: Who Would Jesus Do?

Dick Dasen realized there were limits to Christian Charity. Rule No. 1: No Fat Chicks:

Most of the women came to him through his Christian Financial Counseling business, telling heartache stories of homelessness and abject poverty.

One woman who testified Wednesday, Kristen Anderson, said she also went to Dasen with her situation. She was a single mother, living in a camper trailer with her children, credit cards and medical bills pressing on them. She didn't match the physical profile of the other women whom Dasen helped and she found no help from him.

"He told me that my problem was that I wasn't married. There was nothing he could do for me," she testified.

"I've wronged a community I've loved for 35 years," said Dick. "'Cept of course those lyin' hos ... I mean, girlfriends, and when I say 'girl,' I mean adult womenfriends with two forms of i.d., who I was helping for purely altrustic reasons."

Dasen's fate is now in the hands of twelve Montanans.

Meet Your Liberal Media: Voice of The Common Man Edition

Further proof of Communist infiltration of the the fourth estate:

HELENA -- A University of Montana dean has been directed to apologize for releasing a letter from a media foundation that said it would not give money for a new journalism building until Montana attitudes about nonresident landowners improved.

UM President George Dennison confirmed Wednesday that he instructed Dean of Journalism Jerry Brown to apologize to James C. Kennedy, chairman of the Atlanta-based media company Cox Enterprises Inc. and vice president of the James M. Cox, Jr. Foundation.

...

"Many Montana residents are making it known that they are not happy with nonresident landowners in their state," the Cox foundation letter said. "In addition, stream and river access issues are also being raised. Until these issues are resolved and our presence in the state is more appreciated, we have decided not to make any further contributions in Montana."

The letter was signed by a secretary but expressed the views of Kennedy, whose Montana property includes land along the Ruby River, a prized trout stream where public access to the water is controversial. Kennedy later said a donation to the university was denied chiefly because Cox does not have businesses in the state.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Little Mickey

Mini-blogger Mickey Kaus praises the Bush Administration for its "gutsy move" in arresting a Cuban terror suspect accused of blowing up an airplane and its 73 occupants. Only a lazy-ass mofo like Kaus would consider doing your job a gutsy move. Particularly after the scumbag in quo bragged that U.S. officials weren't interested in him.

The line distinguishing Mickey Kaus from James Guckert continues to blur.

In a separate post, Kaus divulges his fantasy about Maureen Dowd's balls.

And while he bitches about the NYT's plan to charge $50 a year for online access to the Times' op-ed columnists, Kaus happily pays $49.95 to become a Rush Limbaugh 24/7 Dildohead.

Is there anyone who's not a crackhead or Michelle Malkin who thinks Kaus isn't a rabid Republican?

James Wolcott says the NRO rectal thermometer was between $20,000 and $25,000 when it disappeared.

Once again I have underestimated the stupidity of the American public.

The Dick Dasen Trial: Big Dick Swings For The Fences

What's the all-time favorite staple on those trial-watching "news" programs? Even more popular than the perennial "polygraphs are not admissible" shouting match? That's right, it's "should the defense attorney let his or her client take the stand" debate. It's cliche Nirvana.

And we've got our own home version of the game right here, because Multi-Millon Dollar Dick has decided to take the stand.

Turns out Dick's quite the ladies' man.

Prosecuting Deputy County Attorney Dan Guzynski wondered at the fact that so many women would spontaneously decide they wanted to have sex with Dasen, many within minutes of meeting him to discuss their financial problems.

"Why are they interested in you?" Guzynski asked.

"Because I had money," Dasen said. And, "I was under the impression that they wanted to have sex with me."

He said he let himself believe that he was known as "some sort of extraordinary lover."

After sexual encounters with the women, "I was flattered when I left, in almost every case. I was shocked to hear the things they're saying now," Dasen said.

And here's some snappy dialogue for Dick Wolf to steal:

Dasen testified that the girls lied to him about their age. Guzynski asked why, instead of taking the word of young-looking girls, Dasen didn't ask for identification to prove they were of legal age. One of the girls had no ID, Dasen said. Then Guzynski turned it around.

"Do you think there's a problem when you're 60 years old and have to ask the girls you're having sex with for ID?"

Dasen let his softer side show through:

A 16-year-old girl convincingly told him that she was 19 and gave him a fake name, Dasen said. When he found out her true age, "I couldn't sleep for two days," he testified, through tears.

And then there's this long-stare-then-cut-to-the-verdict moment:

Guzynski questioned Best's characterization of Dasen as an old man who "can't say no" who had been duped, broken, and beaten by girls as young as 15. "You had no trouble standing up to me," Guzynski remarked.

"I can stand up to anybody," Dasen replied.

D'oh!

This may explain the snappy pace of the defense case:

Once so wealthy he reportedly doled out as much as $200,000 to one woman, Dasen now faces several lawsuits and the same financial worries he said he had tried to protect others from.

"I'm insolvent, broke," he said.

Dick's been drained.

Antagonistic and Reckless Reporting

Dismayed and outraged over antagonistic and reckless reporting? Then you should be repulsed by the reporting of Michelle Malkin.

For the sake of accuracy, I'll let Michelle describe her own reckless conduct:

"On page 123 of my book, In Defense of Internment, I wrote that Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga, a research associate for the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, "surreptitiously shared confidential documents with" attorney and now-retired law professor Peter Irons. In subsequent comments on my blog, I stated that Irons had been explicitly denied permission to copy the documents and had engaged in similar activities before. It has come to my attention that these statements are in error."

Hmm... that sounds pretty antagonistic and reckless ... but I'm sure Malkin wouldn't print something like that without contacting her targets directly.

"I did not contact Herzig-Yoshinaga or Irons directly."

Oh.

Well, but I'm sure Malkin wouldn't repeat the assertion after she was informed it was false.

"August 25, 2004:

As I noted, these records, however, had not been cleared for public use, and Iron's request to copy them had been explicitly denied. By the way, this was not the only time Irons engaged in these sort of shenanigans."

Tell us more about those other times Mr. Irons engaged in that sort of shenanigans, Michelle:

"I apologize to Irons and Herzig-Yoshinaga for the errors."

BONUS FUN FOR ARMCHAIR ETHICISTS

Compare Michelle Malkin's false reporting to the work of 60 Minutes II.

Compare Michelle Malkin's antagonistic and reckless reporting to the work of the "MSM" on the Larry Franklin case

Compare Michelle Malkin's failure to directly contact the subjects of her book to the recent actions of Spikey Isikoff.

Compare Michelle Malkin's abject apology for her false statements to this L.A. Times editorial. Well, that one's a stretch, I guess.

Will Michelle Malkin's apology for her false claims be a tipping point for her publisher, Regnery?

I'm sure Michelle wants as many people as possible to read her apology. Share the link.

(Link via Atrios)

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Dick Dasen Trial - Yes, It's Still Going On

The prosecution has rested in the Dick Dasen trial after presenting a witness who testifed that Dasen cut over $3 million in checks for sexual encounters. Which makes sex with Dick Dasen the fifth-largest source of revenue in Montana's economy.

The defense case presents Dick as a man who can't say no. First up, Dasen's wife:

Attorney George Best began Dasen's defense by calling Susan Dasen to testify on her husband's behalf.

"He's a man that can't say 'no,' " she said, to people's pleas for monetary help or for him to serve on the boards of a charitable organizations.

Susan Dasen said she hadn't known about her husband's extramarital affairs. The couple have been married for 43 years and plan to stay married, she said.

Earlier, the prosecution showed a videotape on which Dasen said:

"My wife spends winters in Arizona, and frankly, I like sex... They started coming to me for help, a long time ago, and it evolved into this sex thing."

Who says long-distance relationships don't work?

The defense followed Mrs. Dasen with a parade of witnesses who testified that Dasen gave them money but never bedded them. One witness, who worked at a Dasen hotel, recieved loans from Dasen for car and furnace repairs, and repaid the loans. Dasen's (male) business associates also testified Dasen never screwed them.

The Honorable Member from Bethnal Green and Bow speaks his piece to Senator Goodteeth.

Who Are You?

You're a drink-soaked former-Trotskyist popinjay. Your hands are shaking. You badly need another drink.

Update: The answer is here.

Exactly How Short? Mickey Kaus Short?

Apparently even NRO readers know the true value of The Corner:

Many thanks to all of you who so generously supported our fundraising effort. We fell a bit short of our goal, but with your continued support and encouragement we will strive to improve and expand and to move ahead with our plans to fulfill our goals and justify your faith in us. I also want to thank those who didn't have the opportunity to contribute but support us by continuing to visit NRO. Traffic is especially important in our never-ending quest to attract advertisers. Again, thank you all. Everyone at NR and NRO is grateful.

Just how short? Last time I checked, the NRO fundraiser thermometer was at $13,000.00 out of an expected $100K. Now it's disappeared. I guess no one wanted it back after they found out exactly how John Derbyshire used it to "take his temperature."

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times will start paying people $49.95 a year to read David Gelernter, Max Boot and Margaret Carlson.

I, Pod

John Podhoretz, half-wit:

"Following up on the Nightline post below, check out today's New York Times, which rehearses every unsubstantiated charge made against American interrogators at Gitmo while telling the story of Newsweek's retraction: 'In fact, complaints from released inmates that the Koran had been thrown into a toilet go back at least two years.'

"Gee. Allegations that Jews put the blood of Christian children into Passover matzah go back at least eight centuries. Clearly, then, according to the logic of the Times, Jews are to blame for the blood libel."

That's some mighty fine logicin', John Boy. Any allegation that has been made over a period of time shouldn't be reported (or quoted), even as an allegation, because repeating that allegation means you accept the truth of the blood libel. Michael Jackson's been accused of diddlin' kids over the last ten years, you say? Why do you hate the Jews? Prisoners claim they were beaten at Abu Ghraib but they don't have photos, you say? How come you're not sporting your "I Heart The Holocaust" t-shirt, you anti-semite?

I'm sure the next time someone publishes an unsubstantiated charge against, say, George Galloway or Hillary Clinton in the pages of NRO, Midgette will squeal "blood libel!!!!" just as loudly.

Truth and Incontinence

You'd think that if Depends Media poo-bah Roger el-Simon wanted to flatuate about the superiority of the blogosphere, he'd make half an effort to get at least some of his facts right.

The blogosphere had something to do with Jayson Blair's firing? No.

"Riots ensued across the Islamic world and people died because of what one reporter wrote"? Bullshite.

Johnny Cochran? Actually, it's Johnnie Cochran.

el-Simon needs to get a grip. On the facts.

You can be certain Depends Media will be equally loose with the truth.

Even more pathetic is el-Simon's "lifelong left-liberal" claim. Although it could be true if he died before he started blogging.

Which seems about right.

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."
(link.)

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:

WHAT ARE THE ODDS? [K. J. Lopez]

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

Quick, which one is fake:

THAT IS CONSISTENTLY THE MOST INNANE [sic] [K. J. Lopez]

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."

(link)

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 espn.com. 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

Kingpinheads

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.