Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The problem with MSNBC: Not enough wingnuts.

Cliff won't be happy 'til the network begins running "The Situation With Reed Irvine's Decaying Corpse."

God Says Don't Let Your Roast Beef Touch Your Mashed Potatoes

Dennis Prager takes a break from debating how many angels can dance on his cranium to explain why G-d hates whoever Dennis hates:

...humans are separate from animals (see part XV); and man is separate from woman. Blurring any of these distinctions is tampering with the order of the world as created by God and leads to chaos. So important is the notion of separation that the very word for "holy" in biblical Hebrew (kadosh) means "separate," "distinct."

This helps to explain one of the least known and most enigmatic laws of the Torah, the ban on wearing linen and wool together in the same piece of clothing (sha'atnez). Linen represents plant life, and wool represents animal life. The two are distinct realms in God's creation.

And that is why the Torah bans men from wearing women's clothing.

It's all so clear now.

By the same logic, men shouldn't wear clothes made from either plants or animals. Which might explain Prager's wardrobe.

Frankly, any clothing blurs the distinction between man and woman. Take off your pants, Dennis, or shut the hell up.

(Link via Pandagon)

Judy Miller Died For Your Sins

DLC Dick Cohen is the latest to install Judy Fucking-Miller on a pedestal, albeit one constructed of sand:

Before Judith Miller of the New York Times went to jail for not revealing her sources, I offered her my services. I suggested that she tell me her source and then, once she was in jail, I would reveal that I knew, and the special prosecutor would jail me as well -- but not before I told another journalist. After four score and seven of us were in the calaboose, the prosecutor would -- like the British facing the indomitable Gandhi -- collapse before our moral force and leave us to honor our solemn commitments as we have done since time immemorial. I now know my plan would have failed. Apres moi, as the late Louis XV once said, too much of the press would still be writing about how Miller deserves her fate.

The way to honor a confidentiality pledge is to betray your source to Richard Cohen. Frankly, no one would care if Cohen was locked up. And the WaPo editorial page would improve considerably.

The most oft-heard and fervent denunciation of Miller amounts to a political indictment: She was wrong about the war in Iraq. By that, these people mean that Miller wrote stories for the Times that buttressed the administration's argument that Iraq possessed fearsome weapons of mass destruction -- none of which were ever found. Miller, however, was not the only one writing such stories. It seems that much of the press, not to mention the Bush administration itself, was relying on a clique of ill-informed or outright deceitful sources who maintained that Saddam Hussein had these weapons by the barnful. Contradictory evidence was ignored.

It's possible that Miller came across dissenting arms experts or intelligence officials and failed to take notice of them. It is also possible that after the war she had a stake in perpetuating the WMD canard and failed to report that none of the weapons existed. These and other allegations have been brooded about in journalistic circles and on blogs where the usual journalistic standards of proof are for some reason suspended. I do know that Miller was not, as some irrationally insist, solely responsible for taking the United States to war -- no matter how influential her newspaper may be. Let me go out on a limb: George Bush would have gone to war without Judith Miller.

Do you mean, Dick, the usual journalistic standards of proof that Miller followed? Apparently Cohen is only bothered by half-assery (to put the most charitable spin on it) not committed by a friend and colleague.

Yes, Richard, some may be happy at Miller's fate because she was a dishonest reporter. But the reason she is in prison is that there is no journalist/source privilege. That, and not Miller's well-deserved unpopularity, is the real story.

Coming soon on the Pecker/Bosner Blog: A 4,000 word post on those jerks who leave the sports page in the bathroom stall, and how they're undermining the newspaper industry.

Monday, August 01, 2005

The Highest Compliment

Markos may disagree, but I think this ranks as one of his greatest accomplishments:

Of course it helps her, both because attacks from the left make her look centrist and because Kos is one of the few people on the planet with a personality so unappealing he allows Hillary to seem warm and enchanting!

What exactly does the demented hack hate about Kos? His success? His lucidity? His full head of hair?

I can't imagine Markos would spend two seconds with Kaus if he had a choice. Maybe the midget cornered him at one of Arianna Huffington's bashes and Kos was too polite to step over him. In any event, this is the equivalent of a lifetime acheievement award. Well done!

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Dumb As A Post

A freeper conducts a covert operation:

POST'S profile was deleted from the Web site following Friday's interview, but on Thursday night included this message: "F the Democrats! I am a former Republican Committeeman in the Town of Plattekill/County of Ulster in New York State. School Board Elect member of the Hyde Park School Board. I will eventually be a Republican Committeeman in the Town of Hyde Park/County of Dutchess in New York State."

The Hyde Park School Board must be so proud.

(Link via BuzzFlash.)

Can We Impeach This Idiot?

As a general matter, I think blog triumphalists are tools -- particularly when they're Instacracker/Jeff Jarvis types whose beliefs are fueled by liberal media fantasies. (Waiting, checkbook in hand, for that Pajamas Media IPO? Thought not.)

But Judge Dick Posner takes it to the other idiotic extreme:

How can the conventional news media hope to compete? Especially when the competition is not entirely fair. The bloggers are parasitical on the conventional media. They copy the news and opinion generated by the conventional media, often at considerable expense, without picking up any of the tab. The degree of parasitism is striking in the case of those blogs that provide their readers with links to newspaper articles. The links enable the audience to read the articles without buying the newspaper. The legitimate gripe of the conventional media is not that bloggers undermine the overall accuracy of news reporting, but that they are free riders who may in the long run undermine the ability of the conventional media to finance the very reporting on which bloggers depend.

Those accursed bloggers! Allowing blogreaders to read for free on the internet the newspapers that they'd, uh, otherwise be able to read for free on the internet.

You can thank me later.

But it's not all doom and gloom for Posner. The upside is a blogs as flypaper theory:

The argument for filtering is an argument for censorship. (That it is made by liberals is evidence that everyone secretly favors censorship of the opinions he fears.) But probably there is little harm and some good in unfiltered media. They enable unorthodox views to get a hearing. They get 12 million people to write rather than just stare passively at a screen. In an age of specialization and professionalism, they give amateurs a platform. They allow people to blow off steam who might otherwise adopt more dangerous forms of self-expression. They even enable the authorities to keep tabs on potential troublemakers; intelligence and law enforcement agencies devote substantial resources to monitoring blogs and Internet chat rooms.

The good isn't freedom of expression, the exchange of ideas or political empowerment; it's keeping the looneys where we can see them.

I know blogging keeps me and my high-powered rifle off the roof. Most of the time.

And I'm glad to learn the feds are keeping an eye on the likes of 7thcircuitpozzstud6969@aol.com.

Perhaps the real reason Poz loathes bloggers is that even unprofessional wackos like myself can kick the ass of the Posner/Becker Blog. That's gotta hurt a public intellectual. Particularly one who doesn't give too much thought about what he publishes.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

May Be The Stupidest Person Alive

We interrupt this interruption to consider Cliff May, who is working hard to beat Doughy Pantload, Tiffany Midgeson-Pantload and I.Q.-Lo. for the title of Most Cretinous Cornerite.

When last we met Cliff, he was telling us how President Franklin D. Roosevelt rose from the dead and reassumed his executive authority in order to commission an investigation into the attack on Pearl Harbor.

But Cliffie can top that, easy:

COVER STORIES [Cliff May]

[Pantload] pointed out in the Corner earlier that one neighbor, quoted in the Washington Times, had been told Valerie Plame was an economist.

But Joe Wilson's lawyer said in USA today that he thought she was an out of work consultant -- and though he was her very good friend he didn't know what kind of consultant. He wrote:

When I first met Joe and Valerie, I quickly got to the classic Washington question: What do you do? -- Valerie's answer was more than a little vague. She quickly said she was a consultant. As a fourth-generation Washingtonian, I have learned that when someone says, "I'm a consultant," that is a cue to back off, as it usually means the person is unemployed or "between engagements."

But in The Nation, David Corn wrote that Plame was "known to friends as an energy analyst for a private firm." The name of that firm came out later -- when reporters found that Plame had contributed to Al Gore's presidential primary campaign and had filled out a form identifying herself as an employee of Brewster-Jennings & Associates, which was quickly revealed to be a flimsy CIA front company.

And of course one of her former CIA supervisors said: "She was home for such a long time, she went to work every day at Langley, she was in an analytical type job, she was married to a high-profile diplomat with two kids. Most people who knew Valerie and her husband, I think, would have thought that she was an overt CIA employee."

Maybe there's a logical explanation for these different -- and mutually exclusive -- cover stories. If so, I'm sure someone will offer it. Or maybe the explanation is simpler: Maybe it demonstrates that Joe and Valerie weren't making a big effort -- just a little effort -- to keep her CIA connection secret.

Or maybe this is just an example of abysmally poor trade craft -- like having your shoe phone go off during a meeting with Goldfinger.
Yes, consultant, energy analyst and economist are mutually exclusive.

How could anyone think otherwise?

It's completely incredible.

It's physically and conceptually impossible.

The idea is insane.

It's inconceivable.

Barmy.

Batshit crazy.

Fucked in the haid.

Cliff May. Some say he's an odious dumbshit; some say he's a fraud; yet others say he's a twat. They're all correct.

See you next week.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

It appears I will be taking one of those sudden and unexplained absences from the blog. Looks like a week and a bit more.

The kind that burn through repeat visitors and goodwill like a hot knife through butter.

And just as I was about to break through.

My apologies.

In the interim, check out the much better blogs on the right of your screen.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Something to Offend Everyone

I never watch wrestling, but I have a fondness for the WWE after it smacked a cool million and a grovelling apology out of el-Brent Bozell for his defamatory writings. But I'm not sure I buy the WWE's explanation for this bit of business:

World Wrestling Entertainment recently found itself in the position of defending the psychological and cultural nuances of one of its characters after a particularly ill-timed episode of "SmackDown." The episode featured an Arab-American character named Muhammad Hassan, and it ran on July 7, the same day as the London terrorist attacks.

The seven-minute segment included a group of Mr. Hassan's henchmen, wearing ski masks and camouflage, who ran into the ring to beat up the Undertaker, a popular wrestler and Mr. Hassan's rival. The same men carried the body of Mr. Hassan's sidekick, Shawn Daivari, over their heads, evoking a martyr's funeral. Mr. Hassan then came into the ring and choked the Undertaker. Although UPN, the Viacom subsidiary that broadcasts "SmackDown," ran a crawl across the bottom of the screen warning viewers of the potentially offensive content, many still complained.

...

"We did everything we could to advise people that there might be material that might be offensive to some people," [WWE spokesman Gary] Davis said. "The real problem is the perception of viewers watching that segment." Mr. Hassan, he explained, is not a terrorist, but an angry, disillusioned Arab-American, embracing his roots after experiencing racism from other Americans since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. (Mr. Hassan's real name is Mark Copani and World Wrestling identifies him as Italian-American.)

Perhaps I'm too cynical, but does the WWE usually engage in such subtle cultural analyses? The guy's portrayed as a villian, and his "henchman" wear terrorist outfits. That's not exactly the kind of portrayal designed to garner sympathy for victims of racism. And wrestling fans aren't known for their discernment.

Perhaps "the Undertaker" is meant to personify corruption in the modern funeral industry, and Vince McMahon's the 21st century's Jessica Mitford.

John Gorenfeld has noted an unusual assertion by New Republic editor Michael Crowley on Slate.com. Speaking of L. Ron Hubbard, Crowley states: "Comparable crackpots-in-chief like Lyndon LaRouche and Sun Myung Moon have had almost no detectable national influence."

What influence does Scientology really have? The minds of Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Beck are pretty slim pickings, national influence-wise.

Update (7/19): Correction made re: location of Crowley article; see comments.

Soft on Terrorism

I've seen very little comment in the blogosphere, particularly from those on the right who fraudulently claim to oppose terror, about the life sentence handed down today against the second-deadliest living terrorist on American soil.

Eric Rudolph, who has confessed to the Atlanta Olympics bombing and three other explosions that killed two and injured 150, received two life sentences today for a fatal abortion clinic blast after angrily denouncing abortion and telling the federal court that "deadly force is needed to stop it."

Mr. Rudolph, a 38-year-old former Army explosives expert, pleaded guilty in April to setting off a bomb that injured a nurse, Emily Lyons, and killed a police officer, Robert Sanderson, outside the Woman All Women abortion clinic in Birmingham, Ala., in 1998.
Where are all the voices that were heard so loudly when the BBC called the London terrorists "bombers"? Can't they manage even a peep of outrage at the U.S. media's failure to call Rudolph what he really is? Aren't they disturbed that the Justice Department cut a deal with a religious fanatic whose faith is repellent to all decent humans? Have they spent one second grieving Rudolph's victims?

Back On The Chain Gang

Judy Miller is learning to share.

Keller said Miller had been trying to answer the many letters she has received "as much as she can." Her time is also occupied with reading from the prison library and watching CNN and Fox News when other prisoners do not keep the shared television on hip-hop and rap music videos. "Those seem to be the favorite of the cell block," the editor said.

At least there's one place you can still see music videos.

But how can she get messages from Novak and Rove this way?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Who's Your Daddy?

Howard the Duck Fineman pens, on bended knee, another Rove puffer in this week's Newsweak. The Duck rehashes all of the genius mythology while omitting the truth above Rove's dirty tricks past. Fineman does appear to confirm, the veracity of one Rove nickname, Fat Bastard:

Rove's father was an oil geologist, and it was perhaps from him that Rove got both his sense of history and his almost manic love of detail. You measured time in eons, but you found evidence with a magnifying glass. One of five kids, a voracious reader with a vaulting sense of ambition, Rove wanted to be president -- or at least be able to debate like one. Nixon and Jack Kennedy had squared off dramatically in 1960. Karl was only 9 but eventually became a mainstay of the debate team, carrying a box full of notecards of "research." To intimidate his foes, Rove would arrive with what looked like thousands of notecards, most of which were blank. The real ones were carefully chosen, and Rove knew how to use them.

Like an entire generation of baby-boom conservatives, Rove's political boot camp was the College Republicans, which, in his case, was something of a misnomer, since he dropped out of the University of Utah to join them in the late '60s. They were under the aegis of the Nixon White House, a tie that may have augmented the usual adolescent urge to dabble in dirty tricks. Rove did his share -- stealing campaign stationery and inviting the world to a Democratic beer bash was one -- but the CRs were important to him for other reasons. They gave him a sense of order and belonging, which he may well have needed. His dad walked out in 1969; in 1970, he learned that he and a brother had been fathered by someone other than the man he had called Dad. (Eleven years later, his mother committed suicide.)

The slobbering Duck's fawning prose doesn't indicate whether the geologist was the sperm donor or the nominal father; most likely neither would want credit for the unfortunate spawn.

And, yes, stolen stationery and phony fliers is as far as Fineman goes with respect to Rove's sleazy and illegal conduct. Fineman portrays Rove's "dirty tricks" as an "adolescent urge," thus minimizing Rove's crimes both substantively and chronologically. Newsweak will remain weak as long as it continues to publish Rove's reports under the Fineman byline.

Mens Rea

Cooper says:

The notes, and my subsequent e-mails, go on to indicate that Rove told me material was going to be declassified in the coming days that would cast doubt on Wilson's mission and his findings.

...

....Although it's not reflected in my notes or subsequent e-mails, I have a distinct memory of Rove ending the call by saying, "I've already said too much."

Saturday, July 16, 2005

The Grapes of Ass

Who says America's not a great country:

  • Abortion continues against the wishes of many States
  • Sodomite and lesbian "marriage" is now legal in Massachusetts (and coming soon to a neighborhood near you)
  • Children who pray in public schools are subject to prosecution
  • Our schools continue to teach the discredited theory of Darwinian evolution
  • The Bible is still not welcome in schools except under unconstitutional FEDERAL guidelines
  • The 10 Commandments remain banned from public display
  • Sodomy is now legal AND celebrated as "diversity" rather than condemned as perversion
  • Preaching Christianity will soon be outlawed as "hate speech"
  • Fathers are denied equal rights under law in cases of child custody
  • Our right to keep and bear arms continues to be INFRINGED
  • Private homes are now subject to arbitrary government seizure
Sounds good to me.

The foregoing is a parade of horribles imagined by ChristianExodus.org, a group with the goal of moving religious wingnuts to South Carolina in order to gain political control of the state. (They don't even bother tacking "Judeo" to their dream of a Christian Nation, so they're slightly more honest that most fundies.)

They've got an action plan:

Initial goals:

1. 2,500 members in our Phase One counties by September 30, 2006.
2. Work several local political campaigns in 2006 (election goals set at that time).
3. Move thousands more members into South Carolina by September 30, 2008.
4. Complete Phase One by end of 2008.

Then, they're gonna secede from the Union, or as they put it, "Institute constitutional reforms returning proper autonomy to the State by 2016 regardless of illegal edicts from Washington, D.C."

South Carolina can have the lot, as far as I'm concerned.

Update 7/17): The group is, not surprisingly, the brainchild of a Neo-Confederate.

Bloody Hell

Friday, July 15, 2005

The Linkin' Dumbass Debates

TBogg has the scoop on dumbass Jeff Jarvis' latest effort to promote his ever irrelevant blog. Jarvis proposes "Let's you and him debate, for the benefit of my traffic."

Jarvis of course claims the high road. Maybe he can liven things up by accusing one or both of his conscripted debaters of outing those Iraq the Model guys and placing their lives in jeopardy. He hasn't done that in a while.

Seems there is already a debate going on, at another, most respectable, website. And since Jarvis won't be preoccupied with refereeing a Yost/Lovelady scuffle, let me invite him to debate Prof. Glenn Reynolds here at Roger Ailes. Your topic, Jeff: "Resolved: My claim not to be a conservative is more unconvincing than Glenn's." Winner takes on Mickey Kaus.

Yet another idiot reporter printing the claims of Victoria Toerag and Bruce Sanford as if they were true:

The law was meant to crack down on what the act's congressional authors called "conscious and pernicious" disclosures of agents' identities, rather than disclosures arising from casual conversation or other circumstances.

...

Congress "did not intend for government employees to be vulnerable to prosecution for an unintentional or careless spilling of the beans about an undercover identity," wrote two Washington lawyers who helped draft the law, Victoria Toensing and Bruce Sanford, in an analysis of the Plame case this year. "A dauntingly high standard was therefore required for the prosecutor to charge the leaker."

Toensing, a deputy assistant attorney general under President Reagan, sees hurdles for Fitzgerald and strongly believes no crime was committed. In an interview, she said she doubted Plame qualified as a "covert" operative, and she said the CIA was "cavalier" about protecting her status. Plame's CIA position was "cocktail circuit talk" around Washington, Toensing said.

The wishes and dreams of the spinmeisters who "helped draft the law" are entirely meaningless. They are not members of Congress; they did not vote on the law; their opinions do not reflect the intent of Congress. The staute says what it says. And it doesn't say "pernicious," or contain an exception for "careless."

Every journalist who quotes this pair is conciously revealing him or herself to be an useful idiot for the Administration. Consider the consequences of using drafters' opinions as evidence of legislative intent: Our current laws would be interpreted by taking testimony from the lobbyists for the pharmaceutical manufacturers and credit card companies who write the legislation.

This idiot also provides no specifics regarding Toerag's purported doubts and recycled blather about the cocktail party circuit. He should either provide facts or leave Toerag's uninformed wishful thinking out of the article.

Further, he might want to point out that the concepts of "cavelier" and "cocktail chatter" aren't found in the statute and aren't relevant to application of the statute. The issue is whether the U.S. is taking affirmative measures to conceal the agent's identity as a covert agent, not whether those measures succeded or were sufficiently pursued.

Then there's this:

Prosecutors have all but ignored the law. A national security law expert at Syracuse University law school, William Banks, said he could find no published legal decision interpreting the law.

Some think the law's dormancy reflects government employees' care to protect agents' identities in recent years. Others say the dearth of prosecutions shows that Congress intended to outlaw only very specific misconduct.

And yet others say their pets control their thoughts and order them to kill.

Those four sentences provide no information from which a reader could make an informed decision about whether "prosecutors," either individually or as a group, have "ignored" the law" or, if so, their reasons for doing so.

I realize journalists for daily papers have to be generalists, without expert knowledge on every subject on which they write. But you might expect them to have the minimal ability to question the assertions of a partisan hack offering opinions and unsubstantiated claims in the service of her party.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Grand Old Police Blotter: Duke's Down Edition

Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R-Calif.), a Vietnam War fighter pilot whose house was raided by the FBI this month in an investigation of his ties to a defense contractor, announced yesterday that he will not seek reelection but will serve out his term.

"I learned in Vietnam that no one person is more important than the mission, and I do not intend to forget that lesson now," the eight-term House member said in San Marcos, Calif.

Nice try. You made yourself a hell of a lot more important than the mission when you took in hundreds of thousands from lobbyists and enjoyed the rewards all by yourself. You thwarted the mission, robbed your comrades-in-arms and joined the enemy forces. Maybe the feds can go easy on you and let you do your time in Fort Leavenworth.

Of course, Cunningham's fellow Republicans think Duke was doing the Lord's work:

Friends said Cunningham and his wife, Nancy, made the decision and were not pressured by Republican leaders. Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds (R-N.Y.), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said in a statement that Cunningham's "career in Washington was defined by straight talk and hard work," and that with his announcement, he had done "for his party what he has always done for his country: He put the interests of others above his own ambitions."

Reynolds added, "And since you won't be using that donor list, Randy, mind if I take a quick peek?"

In other scumbag news, right-wing wacko Zell Miller is repaying over 100 grand in public funds he pocketed while Governor of Georgia. And Zell's a piker compared to Governor Predator. The Californian musclehead is collecting millions for "editing" muscle magazines, while vetoing laws disfavored by the magazines' advertisers.

Poor, Poor Pitiful Me

That sound coming from Las Vegas is the high-pitched whine of the Cash-Strapped Nevada Chickenhawk:

[Nathan] Taylor argues that the state's Republican delegation should have helped him fund the national Young Republican convention held last week at Mandalay Bay.

"I've got bills at the hotel I can't pay," said Taylor, a 29-year-old political science senior at UNR who said he had to quit his food service job and drop classes to plan the convention.

Taylor estimates that the convention, attended by about 600 people from around the nation, is at least $10,000 -- and up to $25,000 -- in the red.

As the chairman, he said he'll personally have to cough up the cash.

"It's a really sad day when my congressmen and my senator, who are sitting on millions, can't cut me a check for $25,000," Taylor said. "I don't think I'm asking for much."

That is sad.

I hear the Army is hiring, Nate. Given the time and effort you put into the convention and your experience in the food service industry, I'm sure your "two recent lung surgeries" won't pose any impediment to service.

If the military isn't interested, I'm sure Mandalay Bay could put you to work as a bellhop. (Lift with the knees, man!)

Meanwhile, Nathan is putting a positive spin on the convention, declaring it successful:

YRNC2005 would like to thank all of our sponsors and supporters for assisting us in hosting a successful YRNC2005.

Contributions can be mailed to:

YRNC2005, Inc.
c/o Nathan Taylor
P.O. Box 34779
Reno, NV 89533

For more information, you can email us at info@yrnc2005.com, or you can reach us by telephone at 775-741-4430.

You can show your support in the same way that Nate supports America's troops. Send Nate an e-mail stating that you either have sent, will send, or plan to send him a check, or have participated in events or projects supporting the sending of a check to him. (Note: Planning to send a check is not tax-deductible.)

Update: Jo Fish and Atrios support Nate, too.

The right's embrace of treason extends beyond its love for the treacherous Karl Rove. Clownhall.com is currently crowing that "Southern Heritage Remains at Vanderbilt" by linking to this subliterate paragraph from one Jos. Pylman:

In a victory for opponents of multiculturalism, Vanderbilt University has decided not to appeal a decision from the Tennessee Court of Appeals that bars the university from replacing the name "confederate" from a dorm room. CNN reports that in May the Court held that either the name, "Confederate Memorial Hall," be left alone or that the group that financed the building, the Daughters of the Confederacy, be reimbursed at a sum of $50,000. The administration at Vanderbilt decided to drop the matter, despite disagreeing with the outcome. This is another example of the egalitarian impulse running rampant in the South, where multiculturalists attempt to subdue Southern heritage in the name of creating "a more welcoming environment." This is a victory for those traditionalists hanging on to their heritage and progeny.
The heritage of anti-Americanism, that is.

The wanker Pylman is (or was) the editor-in-chief of the Cornell Review. And it shows in his writing.

Sowelled Out

Thomas "Kidneys on Ice" Sowell shares some profound random thoughts with us:

Usually I like four-star hotels better than five-star hotels. The four-star hotels tend to be comfortable and attractive places with amenities, but without the pretentiousness and fussiness of five-star hotels.

...

Now that Samatha Brown on the travel channel is overseas doing programs about outstanding hotels in Europe, I hope she will continue on to Asia and do a program on my favorite hotel in the world, the Shangri-la in Singapore.
Random thoughts or a pattern? Is Sowell looking for a cheap but unpretentious homebase from which to search for an impoverished kidney donor entrepreneur? Old Wing Sowell claims to feel "like an antique car that is being kept in running condition by high-priced mechanics." Nothing like some foreign spare parts to keep a clunker running.

At least Sowell managed to avoid plugging his book in this column. That seems to be SOP for wingnut pundits these days.

The rest of the column contains such gems of wisdom as

Many people are so preoccupied with the notion that their own knowledge exceeds the average knowledge of millions of other people that they overlook the more important fact that their knowledge is not even one-tenth of the total knowledge of those millions. That is the crucial fallacy behind the repeated failures of central planning and other forms of social engineering which concentrate power in the hands of people with less knowledge and more presumption.

Reading letters from liberals makes me fear that they are going to dislocate their shoulders from patting themselves on the back so much. The way they tell it, the reason they differ from others is that they are so much more compassionate, aware, concerned, nuanced, sophisticated and -- yes -- just plain smarter.

You might want to cut back on those pills, Tom.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Mouthpiece of Crap

What do we make of this?

Matt Cooper's lawyer, referencing the statements of Rove's lawyer, Robert Luskin, in the Wall Street Journal:

And in there, right at the end of the article about this matter is the following statement: "Mr. Rove hasn't asked any reporter to treat him as a confidential source in the matter," Mr. Luskin said, who I understand is Mr. Rove's lawyer. "So if Matt Cooper is going to jail to protect a source, it's not Karl he's protecting."

Luskin to National Review:

"Look at the Cooper e-mail," Luskin continues. "Karl speaks to him on double super secret background...I don't think that you can read that e-mail and conclude that what Karl was trying to do was to get Cooper to publish the name of Wilson's wife."

Yes, I know the weasel-minded distinction that Luskin's trying to make. It won't fly.

A confidential source is someone who asks for confidentiality before providing -- becoming a source of -- information. Which is what Rove asked of Cooper. Whether Rove wanted, wished or even asked Cooper not to quote him anonymously, he was a confidential source of information, and he asked to be treated as such. Even more importantly, it's irrelevant to Rove's criminal culpability.

Vacation slides from Hell.

Watching Scottie Lie

Scottie, Tuesday:

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes. Any individual who works here at the White House has the President's confidence. They wouldn't be working here if they didn't have the President's confidence. That's why I stepped back from this and talked about it in the broader context.

Now, these questions are coming up in the context of an ongoing investigation, and I stated long ago, you all will remember, that the investigation is continuing, I want to be helpful to the investigation, I don't want to jeopardize anything in that investigation, and that's why I made a decision and the White House made a decision quite some time ago that we weren't going to get into commenting on questions related to that investigation.

The New York Times, Tuesday:

"A senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the White House now says its official position is not to comment on the case while it is under investigation by a federal special prosecutor, said Mr. Rove had gone about his business as usual on Monday."

The Washington Post, today:

"No one has asked him what he told the grand jury. No one has deemed it appropriate," said a senior White House official, who would discuss the Rove case only on the condition of anonymity. "What you all need to figure out is, does this amount to a crime? That is a legitimate debate." Still, some aides said they were concerned about the unknown. "Is it a communications challenge? Sure," the official said.

Questions to Scottie: Does Bush have confidence in the White House officials who are speaking to the press about the Rove case anonymously, in violation of Bush's directive? Will he fire them?

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Cliff Kincaid wants everyone to know how incredibly stupid he is. He even shows his work:

The New York Times reporter didn't write a story about the Valerie Plame case and had a waiver from her source in order to talk about it to the grand jury. But she insisted on going to jail anyway. Speculation is mounting that Miller is protecting herself -- that Miller was herself a source of information about Plame that made it to several Bush administration officials and was then recycled to columnist Robert Novak. He, then, disclosed Plame's employment by the CIA and her role in arranging for her husband Joe Wilson's mission to Africa to investigate the Iraq-uranium link.

This would help explain why Miller didn't write a story about the case. It would be difficult for Miller to write a story when she was so deeply involved in how it developed. Disclosure of her role then or now would be extremely embarrassing.

Wilson had written a column for the Times bashing the administration's Iraq policy and it would have been natural for Miller to write something when Novak's column was published. But Miller didn't write anything. Why? Defenders of the Times have used this fact to allege that the special counsel, Patrick Fitzgerald, is out of control and that free-press rights are in danger. But there could be another explanation of Miller's behavior and why Fitzgerald wants her testimony. She could be the key to exonerating Bush administration officials of possible violations of the law against knowingly disclosing the identities of covert intelligence agents. If they were simply passing along information from Miller or some other journalist about Joseph Wilson's wife, then they can't be accused of deliberately disclosing classified information about Plame's identity.

Protecting yourself by going to prison -- it's crazy enough to work.

Kincaid doesn't clearly identify what Miller is protecting herself from. If we inhale Cliffie's crack and assume that Miller is refusing to disclose her source to protect herself from the embarassment of having providing Plame's name to innocent Administration officials -- wouldn't those officials have already told Fitzgerald that they got the information from Miller and thus weren't passing official secrets? Wouldn't such officials not only waive "the privilege," but demand that Miller testify?

And if Cliff is speaking about protection from criminal prosecution (although he doesn't identify a law under which Miller could be prosecuted), Miller could simply assert her own Fifth Amendment privilege and stay out of prison while refusing to testify.

Of all the idiotic theories advanced by the Bushlickers in re: Plame, I've yet to see one more moronic.

Contribute today to the Clownhall.com war on adult literacy:

Hundreds of Townhall readers have already started by donating. We asked them why and here's what a few of them said:

Barbara of California writes, "Because Supreme Court is a permanent position and I am especially concerned in obtaining a constitutional-minded individual."

Michael from Idaho writes, "We NEED a judge that will not politicize the Constitution, but ENFORCE it true meaning--the meaning our Forefathers intended it to mean."

Robert of Nevada writes, "I want a strict Constitutional constructionist on the Supreme Court. No more Ginsburgs, O'Conners, Stevens, et al."

Clownhall.com -- Fleecing the feeble-minded since 1995.

el-Brent Bozell Strikes Out Again

"I say this because a couple of years ago, I spent an evening plying him with liquor in a bar and still couldn't get his tongue wagging."

Next time try using a washcloth first, Brent.

In other news, the Deviant Ben lashes out at the producers of Average Joe, who so cruelly dashed his last, best hope for happiness.

Sounds Familiar

My favorite bit of chinless Ken Mehlman's big whiff of an attempt to discredit Ambassador Joe Wilson:

Vice President Cheney: "I Don't Know Joe Wilson. I've Never Met Joe Wilson.... And Joe Wilson -- I Don't [Know] Who Sent Joe Wilson. He Never Submitted A Report That I Ever Saw When He Came Back." (NBC's "Meet The Press," 9/14/03)

Anybody?

Anybody?

Hooray for Hollywood

An actual screenwriter and blogger, John Rogers, weighs in on the question of Hollywood's alleged "Blue State Bigotry." It seems like a definitive debunking to me.

Rogers also has a nice critique of Mrs. David Frum's imaginary adventures in the screen trade.

Meet Your Liberal Media: The Public Trust Edition

This, they say, is what the First Amendment is designed to protect:

A senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the White House now says its official position is not to comment on the case while it is under investigation by a federal special prosecutor, said Mr. Rove had gone about his business as usual on Monday.

Without the unrestricted right to conceal the identity of such frauds, we would no longer be a free nation.

Also note the ample space given to know-nothing Rove apologists, Victoria Toerag and Bruce Sanford, to spin their tired tale of how the law doesn't apply. The NYT could have saved the effort and simply reprinted their op-ed piece from the Times. Or their op-ed piece from the Washington Post. Or the address of the Judy Miller fan club.

Monday, July 11, 2005

The Hotline Blogometer quotes this blog, but puts scare quotes around the name.

No scare quotes around "Mickey Kaus" or "Michelle Malkin."

Suspicious buggers, aren't they?

Thinks

Scott McClellan: "I picked the wrong week to give up slapheaded whores."

Kudos to C-SPAN, for replaying the entire briefing. (Now get it posted on the website.)

The NYT has the paper trail.

P.S. to the corps: Here's your next question: "Has Rove recused himself from the selection of the next Supreme Court justice? If not, why not?"

Bigotry in Tinseltown

Michael Kinsley, the genius behind the wikitorial, has invented a new form of crap, the anonymously sourced op-ed piece.

In yesterday's edition of the L.A. Times, wingnut actor Govindini Murty, best known for her role as "Don Quixote's 'Donna'" in the Lance Peverly classic, "Tilt," and a one-off appearance in the remake of the classic Canadian T.V. series "Viper," complies the anonymous whinings of her right-wing pals, who just can't catch a break in Hollywood:

A conservative writer/director friend was developing a script last year about the Iraq war and the capture of Saddam Hussein. My friend says that after $500,000 was spent developing the project, the studio head pulled the plug because, as he put it, any movie depicting the capture of Hussein might help Bush.

...

A screenwriter friend who has written a number of big family movies described how stifling it was to sit in on story sessions and listen to executives rant for hours about President Bush. As my friend put it: "George Bush had nothing to do with the movie we were making, yet the executives would rather complain about politics all day than figure out how to make our project better." When asked why he didn't say anything, my friend responded: "If I did, I'd be fired."

No names are given for these victims of the "new Hollywood blacklist."

But the biggest victim of all is Ms. Murty herself:

And my husband, Jason Apuzzo, and I wanted to make a film that depicted the realities of Islamo-fascism. Our script featured positive and negative Muslim characters (I was to play the lead positive Muslim character), and did the rounds of various independent production companies.

The script received great feedback but encountered a stumbling block when creative executives expressed concern that our Muslim terrorists "weren't sympathetic enough." They wanted us to "explain the terrorists' motivations more."

The Apuzzo-Murtys wanted to make a film, but their script gets rejected by independent studio executives. What are the odds of that happening? Especially after the pot was sweetened with the much-demanded acting services of Govindini Murty.

And unnamed executives are quoted... in actual quotes. What more proof do you need?

I'm sure that Jason Apuzzo, Ph.D.'s Islamo-facism script was as nuanced as his unfinished 2002 student film classic, San Pedro, "the tale of a hard-boiled bounty hunter (actor John Barrett) who seeks a cursed Chinese statue that threatens to expose Gore's Chinagate connections during the 2000 presidential election."

In that epic, Murty plays the role of the "lead positive immigrant maid." (Her breakout performance earned her the following review: "I went and took a leak and when I came back she was still vacuuming!")

Dr. Jason dedicated his student flick to Rush Limbaugh and George Lucas, and is no doubt crushed by the fact that George turned to the dark side on the war on terror.

It appears that the Apuzzo-Murtys have been pedalling their sob story for over a year, on wingnut websites. Because the executives crushed their dreams, they were forced to abandon their project and make a low-budget, "hardcore" thriller in which they "ma[d]e fun of liberals, the INS, even Clinton." (That direct-to-landfill masterpiece also starred John Barrett as a bounty hunter and was funded by less-liberal backers: Apuzzo's daddy and some credit cards.)

As no one has taken interest in Murty's other scripts, "an epic set in ancient Egypt" and "a romantic comedy, a melodrama, and an epic of ancient Rome," it's safe to conclude that Hollywood liberals also hate romances, comedies, melodramas, epics and ancient Romans and Egyptians.

It's bigotry, I tell ya. And kudos to Kinsley for re-exposing it. Except for, you know, the identities of any of the bigots.

(Link via Kevin Drum)

This Just In

CNN changes its name to HHQ; Anderson Cooper changes name to Heywood Jablome.

Howie the Putz asks whether it is a conflict of interest to be paid by a cable net to cover the work of your full-time employer.

Surprisingly, the Putz says "no."

(Second story, after the advertisement for Ed Klein's book.)

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Jumping to Conclusions

Some people reading the Newsweak story aren't paying attention.

Craig Crawford:

1.) [Rove] leaks to Time's Matt Cooper in such a way that he avoids the law's intent requirement for criminal liability (today's Newsweek notes that Cooper's email shows nothing indicating Rove knew or revealed that Valerie Plame was an undercover agent, only that she worked at the CIA).

Wonkette:

Things in Michael Isikoff's piece naming Karl Rove as Matt Cooper's source that we didn't already know:

-- Rove didn't break the law: "Nothing in the Cooper e-mail suggests that Rove used Plame's name or knew she was a covert operative."

First, violation of the law doesn't require the leaker to tell the leakee that the CIA agent was undercover, it only requires the leaker to disclose the identity of the agent, with knowledge that the agent is undercover.

Second, the prosecutor isn't limited to what the leaker said to a particular leakee to prove that the leaker knew the agent was undercover. That knowledge can be shown numerous ways: from people who informed the leaker of the agent's undercover status, from other people who were told by the leaker that the agent was undercover, from documents the leaker wrote or read, pre-leak, that refer to the agent's undercover status, etc. Further, Rove may have told Cooper more than Cooper said in the e-mail to Duffy. (Which is why Cooper's testimony is needed.)

Third, it doesn't matter if Rove knew Plame's name. He identified her as Ambassador Wilson's wife. If I said George W. Bush's wife was an Oxycontin addict (and it wasn't true, etc.), Mrs. Bush could successfully sue me for defamation even if I "didn't use Laura Bush's name." Rove identified a specific individual by description, that's all that's required.

Joshua Marshall has a much better grasp of the issues presented.

On a related matter, Susan Madrak at Suburban Guerrilla points out an error in my previous Rove post -- Rove's mouthpiece would not be present during the grand jury questioning and thus lacks first-hand knowledge of Rove's testimony. Of course, he'd debrief Rove after the fact and, if he was doing his job right, would prepare Rove so throughly beforehand that Rove would be spouting the "correct" answers robotically. But he would not have eyewitness knowledge of Rove's testimony.

Update: Pint-sized Republican hack Mickey Kaus gets it wrong too, and tries to cover his wee hack ass by having it both ways:

Without identifying her by name, Rove mentioned Wilson's wife's employment but did so in order to get reporters to pay less attention to Wilson's report, not (at least on the surface) in order to blow Plame's cover or retailiate against Wilson (and "stifle dissent"). ... Does that get Rove off the legal hook? I think it should -- if Rove didn't intend the info to become public and trusted the reporters he talked with to be responsible. Rove's problem is that the statute doesn't seem to require an intent for the info to become public for there to be a crime; it only requires an act of disclosure. Specifically, it punishes anyone who "intentionally discloses any information identifying such covert agent to any individual not authorized to receive classified information." Matt Cooper would be such an individual.

Kaus tries to acquit Rove, but runs afoul of the language of the statute. But he still lacks the honesty to admit Rove's excuse doesn't get Rove off the hook. Consumers of legal services in California should be grateful that Kaus is not practicing law.

Blown Again

I truly do not wish harm to anyone, not even someone guilty of reckless stupidity. That said, is it going to take an impaling or decapitation by a flying stop sign to end the pointless spectacle of having cable "journalists" stand outside in high winds?

Hurricane Dennis has already killed 32 persons in Cuba and Haiti, according to CNN. Any voluntary additions to this death toll will not be equally tragic.

Frogmarch to the Right

Fitzgerald must proceed with the prosecution; he's got the evidence of a crime, as Newsweak reports. But what the hell is this?

A source close to Rove, who declined to be identified because he did not wish to run afoul of the prosecutor or government investigators, added that there was "absolutely no inconsistency" between Cooper's e-mail and what Rove has testified to during his three grand-jury appearances in the case. "A fair reading of the e-mail makes clear that the information conveyed was not part of an organized effort to disclose Plame's identity, but was an effort to discourage Time from publishing things that turned out to be false," the source said, referring to claims in circulation at the time that Cheney and high-level CIA officials arranged for Wilson's trip to Africa.

What the hell is this bullshit? The disclosure of Plame's identity (as the wife of Joseph Wilson) was the friggin' crime. It was disclosure of information to Cooper. Under the law, it doesn't friggin' matter (1) if there was an organized effort; (2) whether Rove intended for Cooper to publish; or (3) whether Rove's motive was to knock down a rumor. Repeat: None of those things friggin' matter. The only possible issue left is whether Rove knew Plame was a covert agent. The e-mail is silent on the matter -- although the fact that Rove didn't want his name connected to the leak strongly suggests his guilt in that regard.

This passage also illustrates the abuse of anonymous sources. If the source isn't Rove's attorney (who is quoted on the record elsewhere in the article), then there's no way he or she has first-hand knowledge of what Rove told the grand jury. So this jackass is simply providing uninformed spin - making an argument based on the language of the e-mail. Why should Newsweak give someone with no knowledge, but only spin, a promise of confidentiality?

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Grand Old Police Blotter: A Salvation Army of One

A story of a Salvation Army Major and his allies in the Bush Admnistration.

Click on the Real Player button next to Prologue. The audio is free. The punch line is at 3:14.

(Act Two is quite good too.)

Thanks to a reader for the link.

I was going to write about the Mister Ed School of Psychic Film Criticism, Fraudulent Outrage and Making Shit Up, but James Wolcott has saved me the trouble.

You can find the link through Wolcott, but it's about what you'd expect from someone who blogs wearing a Halloween costume. And so much more.

p.s. I have not cleared this post with Mossad.

Helpful Advice

The label also tells doctors to discontinue the medication "and seek medical attention in the event of a sudden loss of vision in one or both eyes."

And, most importantly, read the label beforehand.

But shouldn't the user be the one to seek medical attention?

Important Announcements

Chief Justice William Rehnquist will be announcing his retirement on Monday, July 11.

To all terrorists reading this blog: You don't scare me. Bite me!

The London bombings signaled the death of the Old Media. Move over, dinosaurs. Cameraphones are the new blogs.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Pride (In The Name of Rove)

Yesterday I read the New York Times' half-page editorial expressing "pride" in Judith Miller's refusal to obey a court order. The sum and substance of the piece: "The press" has a constitutional right to disobey such orders.

[Miller] is surrendering her liberty in defense of a greater liberty, granted to a free press by the founding fathers so journalists can work on behalf of the public without fear of regulation or retaliation from any branch of government.

...

Mr. Fitzgerald drove that point home chillingly when he said the authorities "can't have 50,000 journalists" making decisions about whether to reveal sources' names and that the government had a right to impose its judgment. But that's not what the founders had in mind in writing the First Amendment. In 1971, our colleague James Reston cited James Madison's admonition about a free press in explaining why The Times had first defied the Nixon administration's demand to stop publishing the Pentagon Papers and then fought a court's order to cease publication. "Among those principles deemed sacred in America," Madison wrote, "among those sacred rights considered as forming the bulwark of their liberty, which the government contemplates with awful reverence and would approach only with the most cautious circumspection, there is no one of which the importance is more deeply impressed on the public mind than the liberty of the press."

This is laughable. Do you see where Madison argues for the right of journos to disobey a court order? Of course you don't.

A quick check of the First Amendment reveals a reference to "no law ... abridging the freedom of speech" along with freedom of the press. Either we all have a First Amendment right not to speak in the face of government coercion, or none of us do. The Times doesn't want a privilege, it wants special privileges.

And anyone who reads Atrios will get a chuckle out of this bit of self-deluded twaddle from the editorial:

While The Times has gone to great lengths lately to make sure that the use of anonymous sources is limited, there is no way to eliminate them. The most important articles tend to be the ones that upset people in high places, and many could not be reported if those who risked their jobs or even their liberty to talk to reporters knew that they might be identified the next day. In the larger sense, revealing government wrongdoing advances the rule of law, especially at a time of increased government secrecy.

That last sentence is a paraphrase from a senior Administration official who requested anonymity on the ground that Rummy's dinner parties are really no place for shop talk.

The editorial even compares Ms. Fucking-Miller to Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jnr. and those involved in the Underground Railroad. An apt comparison, except for the fact that those folks were fighting against (or defying) unjust laws which denied equality to residents of this country, rather than for special consideration. When the NYT argues for the repeal of the laws that require you and me, as well as it, to testify before a grand jury when we really rather wouldn't, then I'll take its argument seriously.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Give 'Em Zell Lite

Slate has decided to approximate the Faux News model of fairness 'n' balance. To balance Midget Mickey Kaus, standard bearer for the Republican wing of the Republican party, they've hired Bruce Reed from the Democratic wing of the Republican party.

Reed is the President of the Democratic Leadership Council, and it seems his biggest contribution as domestic policy adviser to the Clinton Administration was -- school uniforms. He looooves John McCain. He urges Dems to give Alberto Gitmo a free pass ("Some Democrats won't be able to help themselves from going after the Gonzales torture memos") and buys into the fraudlent campaign to place distance between Gonzales and his bedfellows on the far right.

What, they couldn't afford Joe Lieberman?

Evolution No. 9

I like cruel jokes as much as the next jackass, but asking Norman Podhoretz whether he believes in evolution is beyond the pale.

Of course, the biggest talking ass of the lot is Pat Buchanan.

Bugger All

Nothing I could possibly write would provide sufficient comfort to the survivors of the London bombings or any insight into the nature of insane acts. All I can do is offer my condolences.

London Bombings

From The Guardian Newsblog:

Suddenly, the terrible scale of today's attack becomes clear. Ambulance sources, reported on Sky, suggest 23 people have been killed at King's Cross, nine at Edgware road, seven at Aldgate, two at Russell Square. There are hundreds - possibly more than a thousand - injured. We're trying to verify the numbers.

Eyewitness accounts from the BBC.co.uk website.

BBC News audio here.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Outing of Cal Thomas

A Daily News gossip column blind item:

"Which fair and balanced face of Fox News likes to trawl for much younger men at a certain trendy dive bar on W. 40th St.? Hint: It's not one of the girls."

No, it's not Cal, as far as I know. We all know who this blind item's about.

The question is: Why publish it?

If the newsworthiness is the subject's interest in much younger partners, why leave out the man's name? Items about straight men who date/hit on much younger women use the mens' names.

And if the name's omitted because the item couldn't be adequately sourced, why publish it at all?

These are, of course, rhetorical questions.

Summer Camp for Rich and Connected Dorks

Selected highlights from Camp Comatose, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer Fantasy Camp:

10:15am - 12:00pm CONCURRENT TUTORIALS:

American Experience: Law and Terrorism
Anthony Lewis

American Experience: Let's Take A Drive, a Look at American Society
David Brooks

...

12:30pm - 2:00pm LUNCH AND PLENARY SPONSORED BY E*TRADE:
Discussion: Religion and Leadership

David Gergen
Pastor Rick Warren

...

9:30pm - 10:30pm
American News Media in Crisis: Partisan or In Retreat?
David Brooks
James Fallows
Evan Thomas
Juan Williams
Moderator: Ken Auletta
Location: Belly Up

...

12:30pm - 2:00pm LUNCH AND PLENARY

A Discussion with the Powell Family
Gen. Colin Powell, Alma Powell, and their son Michael Powell
Moderator: Walter Isaacson

...

5:30pm - 6:30pm PLENARY
American Experience: Conservatism vs. Liberalism, Who is Winning in the Contest of Ideas?
Peter Beinart
William Bennett
Governor Bill Owens
Michael Sandel
Moderator: Jim Lehrer

120 Days Of Saddam

It's truly a tragic day for the United States of America, some say. The ever irreverent Wonkette "wish[es] we could be just a smidgen more glib about the prospect of an American reporter going to jail over a journalistic principle but we're sort out of glib right now." Not even an ass-fucking gag can dull the psychic pain.

As for we, we're out of sympathy right now. We'll beat the dead horse once more: Miller has exactly the same right as you and me not to testify as a witness in a criminal matter when ordered to do so -- None, absent assertion of the Fifth Amendment privilege.

Miller claimed the moral high ground, speaking from a very deep pit:

She noted that she had covered the war in Iraq, and had lived and worked all over the world.

"The freest and fairest societies are not only those with independent judiciaries," she said, "but those with an independent press that works every day to keep government accountable by publishing what the government might not want the public to know."

Said the Administration mouthpiece.

See you in October, Judy.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Julia dices the Pickler, with relish.

Chicken Pataki

It's on the menu:

"With supreme guts and righteousness, President Bush went into Iraq," Gov. Pataki told the Republican National Convention last August. The place erupted with applause. It was all very stirring.

Almost one year later, Pataki's son Teddy is, with supreme guts and righteousness, seeking a three-year law school deferment from the Marines, which last week commissioned the recent Yale grad as a second lieutenant.

The governor, who himself received a medical deferment during the Vietnam War because of poor eyesight, has said he hopes his son is granted the deferment.
(Link via skippy)

The FOO Biters

The New York Times has an article on Republican swine dining at the trough of scumbag lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Abramoff, owner of a kosher whorehouse steakhouse called "Signatures," placed bugchaser Tom DeLay and other porcine Republicans on a free food list known as the "FOO Comp" list:

For example, Mr. Abramoff wrote an e-mail message to three restaurant managers in May 2002, instructing them not to charge Mr. DeLay, his wife, Christine, and four others when they came in a week later.

"Table of 6," Mr. Abramoff wrote, "put it where I sit and remove that other table. Their meal is to be comped."

In the restaurant's early months, a customer list noted who could dine for free, according to two former managers. A copy obtained by The New York Times shows handwritten notes next to 18 names - lawyers, lobbyists and eight current or former lawmakers - designating them as "FOO Comp," for friend of owner, or "A-Comp," for associate of owner.

The article claims that Abramoff gave away $180,000 in free food and booze over at 17 month period in 2002 and 2003. An Abramoff spokestoady claims, most unconvincingly, that "[e]very restaurant tries to avoid giving complimentary meals and drinks, but it does happen at virtually every restaurant in every city from time to time." Funny how that happened.

Other pigs at the trough: Rohrabacher, Ney, Rove and Schwarzenegger.

Bribes. It's what's for dinner.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Astroturfrolling

Conflict-of-Interest Kurtz touts Conflict-of-Interest Glassman, fails to mention conflict-of-interest.

Bonus Quote 36,000: "'I do think the press has gone way overboard,' says financial commentator James Glassman. 'They're scaring people.'"

Armstrong Williams, Idiot

Armstrong Williams, disgraced former employee of the Department of Education, writes:

The government cannot raise our kids. As Abraham Lincoln observed 130 years ago: "You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn. You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man's initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."

And you cannot help an idiot who doesn't know how to do basic research.

To state the blindingly obvious, Lincoln never said any of that.

These sentiments were created by the Rev. William J. H. Boetcker, who lectured around the United States about industrial relations at the turn of the twentieth century. There is no evidence linking them to Lincoln as the author.

At one time President Ronald Reagan used them in a speech, wrongly attributing them to Lincoln. Those who are familiar with Lincoln's writings, recognize that these statements do not reflect Lincoln's "voice," nor can they be found in any authentic Lincoln literature.

(More here and here)

Armstrong says of his faux-Lincoln quote, "I herewith propose that these words receive more attention." I'm happy to do my bit, Armstrong.

Update: As "loser" and others at Eschaton observed less than 130 minutes ago, Honest Abe was dead 130 years ago.

If skippy doesn't get a million hits before July 13, then the terrorists have won.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

The Independent has an irreverent look at the Best and Worst of Live 8. The best bits, according to me:

Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, wearing a fiercely blue shirt, demonstrated a firmer grasps of the issues than of rock chic. "Some day in the future all people no matter where they are born will be able to lead a healthy life We can do this and when we do it will be the best thing that humanity has ever done."

Then he went and ruined his new credibility by introducing Dido.

...

When asked how he had fought through the crowds to get to the concert, [Elton] replied "I came in my helicopter". Revenge was delivered as Little Britain's David Walliams introduced the ageing knight as "Mr Sir Elton John".

So far, I haven't seen any comment on Tim McGraw's decision to sing "Live Like You Were Dying" at the Rome concert.

Freedom Is On The March

As we approach the Fourth of July, let's take a closer look at the Founding Fathers (definitely not "the Founders") of the United States of Iraq:

British and American aid intended for Iraq's hard-pressed police service is being diverted to paramilitary commando units accused of widespread human rights abuses, including torture and extra-judicial killings, The Observer can reveal.

Iraqi Police Service officers said that ammunition, weapons and vehicles earmarked for the IPS are being taken by shock troops at the forefront of Iraq's new dirty counter-insurgency war.

The allegations follow a wide-ranging investigation by this paper into serious human rights abuses being conducted by anti-insurgency forces in Iraq. The Observer has seen photographic evidence of post-mortem and hospital examinations of alleged terror suspects from Baghdad and the Sunni Triangle which demonstrate serious abuse of suspects including burnings, strangulation, the breaking of limbs and - in one case - the apparent use of an electric drill to perform a knee-capping.

The investigation revealed:

-- A 'ghost' network of secret detention centres across the country, inaccessible to human rights organisations, where torture is taking place.

-- Compelling evidence of widespread use of violent interrogation methods including hanging by the arms, burnings, beatings, the use of electric shocks and sexual abuse.

-- Claims that serious abuse has taken place within the walls of the Iraqi government's own Ministry of the Interior.

-- Apparent co-operation between unofficial and official detention facilities, and evidence of extra-judicial executions by the police.

Rape rooms - Under new management.

(more here)

Warning: Old Fart Music Post

Of the Pink Floyd reunion at Live 8, the BBC quotes (or paraphrases, it's not clear which) Roger Waters as saying:

It seemed like a good opportunity for reconciliation to have a small victory over rancour. Life's too short otherwise.

The Mirror proclaims, "Floyd's Feud Over." (It also claims an exclusive(!) for the story.)

NME quotes Nick Mason on the back story:

"Roger and Bob [Geldof] have enormous respect for each other, The two of them together are a bit like Hitler and Stalin with a better sense of humour, and in Bob's case, worse hair."

(Imagine the wingnut orgasms in the phoney-baloney outrage crowd if someone had said that about, say, Bill Frist and Trent Lott.)

Meanwhile, in the Moonie Times, some wanker who has issues with Waters' politics claims that The Final Cut was dismal, while The Division Bell was excellent. Talk about the dark side of the Moon.