Monday, October 24, 2005

Big Time Fights Back

Biggus Dickus isn't going down without a fight.

Via Bloomberg, Defibrillator Dick sends Scooter a message:

I. Lewis Libby, Cheney's chief of staff, first learned of agent Valerie Plame's identity in a conversation with Cheney weeks before her name became public in July 2003, the New York Times reported last night, citing lawyers involved in the case.

The disclosure doesn't indicate that the vice president did anything wrong, said a senior Republican with ties to Cheney. The person declined to make a similar statement about Libby.

The senior Republican, who spoke on condition of anonymity, sought to portray Cheney as uninvolved in any violation of a 1982 law forbidding the revelation of a covert intelligence agent's identity. The official noted that both Cheney and Libby had the security clearances necessary to discuss Plame's identity.

With Dick, loyalty's a one-way street.

Whaddya know? The smoking gun is a mushroom cloud.

BIG TIME

You've already read it. But here it is again:

WASHINGTON, Oct. 24 -- I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, first learned about the C.I.A. officer at the heart of the leak investigation in a conversation with Mr. Cheney weeks before her identity became public in 2003, lawyers involved in the case said Monday.

Notes of the previously undisclosed conversation between Mr. Libby and Mr. Cheney on June 12, 2003, appear to differ from Mr. Libby's testimony to a federal grand jury that he initially learned about the C.I.A. officer, Valerie Wilson, from journalists, the lawyers said.

...

The notes help explain the legal difficulties facing Mr. Libby. Lawyers in the case said Mr. Libby testified to the grand jury that he had first heard from journalists that Ms. Wilson may have had a role in dispatching her husband on a C.I.A.-sponsored mission to Africa in 2002 in search of evidence that Iraq had acquired nuclear material there for its weapons program.

But the notes, now in Mr. Fitzgerald's possession, also indicate that Mr. Libby first heard about Ms. Wilson - who is also known by her maiden name, Valerie Plame - from Mr. Cheney. That apparent discrepancy in his testimony suggests why prosecutors are weighing false statement charges against him in what they interpret as an effort by Mr. Libby to protect Mr. Cheney from scrutiny, the lawyers said.

Your ass is burning, Scooter. Your lies convict you. Come back to court -- and jail. Until then, give up your co-conspirators.

With admiration,

Roger

Remedial Punditry

The following statements are from a man who has been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the United States Department of Education:

The damn broke, and it's President Bush's fault.

We cannot forget that Al Qaeda has replicated disease like throughout the world.

And yes, his strong stances tend to make him a magnate for criticism.

So much so, that when a damn in New Orleans breaks or a bomb explodes in Iraq, we look to blame our President.

But he's absolutely, though unintentionally, right about one thing:

This is troubling, not only because our president deserves our support, but also because the fight against terrorism remains a very real threat to our national security.
As waged by Bush, it certainly does.

What A Barone!

Michael Barone tries to top Mark Levin in the Bushlicking Sycophant Sweepstakes. His column is a lying points roadmap for the lawless right.

Shorter Barone: Indicting Rove and Libby for perjury for their secret grand jury testimony will harm the people's right to know.

I especially enjoy this bit:

Any indictment of Rove or Libby brought by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's grand jury, which is scheduled to go out of existence on Oct. 28, would in my opinion be a grave injustice. It would hurt the administration by depriving it of the services of one or more very talented and dedicated officials. But it would also set a bad precedent by creating a precedent that would obstruct the flow of information from government to the press and the people.

Enforcement of the law = bad precedent. I'm convinced.

Bring Out Your Brain Dead

Here's a fun site which seeks to find liberal bias in the Washington Post but instead reveals the idiocy of the right.

In this excerpt, the proprietor appears not to understand the differences between the U.S. military accounting for its own casualties and the military estimating the deaths of insurgents/enemy combatants.

Somebody at the Media Research Center needs to hire this genius before Accuracy in Media or AEI snaps him or her up.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Amazing Grace

How sweet the fraud/The wretch from Tennessee/He once could see/But now he lies/The scumbag G.O.P.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) was given considerable information about his stake in his family's hospital company, according to records that are at odds with his past statements that he did not know what was in his stock holdings.

Managers of the trusts that Frist once described as "totally blind," regularly informed him when they added new shares of HCA Inc. or other assets to his holdings, according to the documents.

...

In January 2003, after winning election as majority leader, Frist was asked on CNBC whether his HCA holdings made it difficult for him to push for changes in Medicare, a federal health program for seniors that added to the hospital company's revenue.

"I think really for our viewers it should be understood that I put this into a blind trust," Frist replied. "So as far as I know, I own no HCA stock." He added that the trust was "totally blind. I have no control."

Two weeks before that interview, M. Kirk Scobey Jr., a Frist trustee, informed the senator in writing that one of his trusts had received HCA stock valued at between $15,000 and $50,000.

Defending The Indefensible

If Patrick Fitzgerald indicts Libby and/or Rove and/or others, how will the wingnuts respond? Ignoring Traitorgate will no longer be an option, and not all of them can claim to be too stupid to understand the story, like Glenn Reynolds can.

The trial-balloon posts of hairless troll doll Mark Levin, written while Levin polishes his pate in anticipation of non-stop appearances on Fox, are instructive.

So far, Levin has floated the following "defenses":

Ambassador Wilson outed his own wife;

We want them to be indicted, so we can abuse the Wilsons during discovery;

and

Fitzgerald is another Lawrence Walsh (which, in Levin's pin head, is a bad thing)

Smarter monkeys, please.

Better Headline Writers, Please

"Fitzgerald Is Expected to Decide Whether to Seek Indictments"

Saint Ronnie Endorses Miers From Beyond The Grave

A week before Hallowe'en, spiritual medium Hugh Jass summons the spirit of Ronald Wilson Reagan from the grave and calls upon him to haunt those punks who are TPeeing the White House:

It is disappointing to see both Judge Bork and George Will run off the cliff in the same week, and to do so with such intemperate rhetoric. (What does Judge Bork think of
think of Justice Powell, I wonder?)

But I am certain that Ronald Reagan -- who asked George Will to prep him for debates and who nominated Robert Bork -- would have nothing of the assault on Harriet Miers. Nothing. At. All.
Nothing. Persuades. Me. Like. Hugh. Hewitt. Talking. Like. A. Robot.

Who can the anti-Miers wingnuts disinter to refute zombie Ronnie?

(Thanks to Scott Lemieux of Lawyers, Guns and Money for the tip.)
You know who would be a great Press the Meat guest? Mary Matalin.

I'm sure she and the Pumpkinhead could tell us quite a lot we don't know about Traitorgate.

Unreliable Soreasses

Only caught part of Reliable Sources. Howie first had the adults on (Geneva Overholzer, Ron Brownstein and David Gergen) to opine on Judy Miller and Traitorgate. Howie the Putz was suitably outraged at "speculation" which pointed toward Administration crimes.

At the half hour, the children's table was heard from. Two right-wing bloggers, John Hindlicker and Jeff "Fucking Moron" Jarvis were teamed with John Dickerson of Slate to say nothing of consequence about Miers and Miller. Jarvis provided some comedy by claiming he was "on the left." I guess all the real leftists from The Corner didn't return the Putz's calls.

Is there anything more absurd than Jeff Jarvis lecturing newspapers on "getting facts wrong, covering things up"? Jarvis only has credibility among those who don't know his standard operating procedure.

And the Putz is taking balance lessons from G.E. Pumpkinhead, who today balances two Republicans (Kay Bailey "Perjury Is Not A Crime" Hutchinson and George Allen) with one Dem (Charles Schumer).

Update: Transcript here.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Miserable Failure Watch

George Fwill says any Republican who would support Harriet Miers' nomination is unqualified to be president.

I could have told you that six years ago, George.

Welcome, Enemies

A long overdue addition to the Enemies List: Blanton's and Ashton's, by G.D. Frogsdong and some other folks.

More blogs will be added if I can overcome the waves of trepidation and depression which follow the thought of updating the blogroll. It sucks being your own flunky.

Too Little, Too Late

She says all the right things, and she says them well, but only when it's completely safe to do so. That's MoDo on Judith Fucking-Miller.

Selected excerpts follow.

I have often wondered what Waugh or Thackeray would have made of the Fourth Estate's Becky Sharp.
But enough about me.

This column's about Judy Miller.

Eventually.

The traits she has that drive many reporters at The Times crazy -- her tropism toward powerful men, her frantic intensity and her peculiar mixture of hard work and hauteur -- have never bothered me.
Lord, what fools these mortals be. Have I mentioned my appreciation of Shakespeare in this column?

My shallow colleagues focused on personality; I'm all about substance.

And that substance is Bill Clinton's semen.

But back to Judy.

Fifteen years ago, I wimped out and let her take my seat at an NSC briefing. (Sorry, you'll have to buy the paper for that bit.)

Today, I exact my dull revenge.

She never knew when to quit. That was her talent and her flaw. Sorely in need of a tight editorial leash, she was kept on no leash at all, and that has hurt this paper and its trust with readers.

Did I mention she's a bitch?

Judy's stories about W.M.D. fit too perfectly with the White House's case for war. She was close to Ahmad Chalabi, the con man who was conning the neocons to knock out Saddam so he could get his hands on Iraq, and I worried that she was playing a leading role in the dangerous echo chamber that Senator Bob Graham, now retired, dubbed "incestuous amplification." Using Iraqi defectors and exiles, Mr. Chalabi planted bogus stories with Judy and other credulous journalists.
Hey, I worried about it. What more do you expect me to do? Report it?

When Bill Keller became executive editor in the summer of 2003, he barred Judy from covering Iraq and W.M.D. issues. But he acknowledged in The Times's Sunday story about Judy's role in the Plame leak case that she had kept "drifting" back. Why did nobody stop this drift?

I'd love to answer that question, given my inside knowledge, but I've already spent three paragraphs on the seat-stealing anecdote and another on Judy's penchant for the big dicks.

As Bill said yesterday in an e-mail note to the staff, Judy seemed to have "misled" the Washington bureau chief, Phil Taubman, about the extent of her involvement in the Valerie Plame leak case.

You know Bill. Many call him "nobody," but I couldn't do that.

It also doesn't seem credible that Judy wouldn't remember a Marvel comics name like "Valerie Flame." Nor does it seem credible that she doesn't know how the name got into her notebook and that, as she wrote, she "did not believe the name came from Mr. Libby."
I don't care if thousands of people have already written that; I'll make my stand.

An Associated Press story yesterday reported that Judy had coughed up the details of an earlier meeting with Mr. Libby only after prosecutors confronted her with a visitor log showing that she had met with him on June 23, 2003. This cagey confusion is what makes people wonder whether her stint in the Alexandria jail was in part a career rehabilitation project.

Yes, I've confirmed Miller is toast at the Times.

I admire Arthur Sulzberger Jr. and Bill Keller for aggressively backing reporters in the cross hairs of a prosecutor.

Among other things.

But before turning Judy's case into a First Amendment battle, they should have nailed her to a chair and extracted the entire story of her escapade.

And the editorial side of the paper should have ... Oops, I've almost run out of space.

Judy told The Times that she plans to write a book and intends to return to the newsroom, hoping to cover "the same thing I've always covered -- threats to our country." If that were to happen, the institution most in danger would be the newspaper in your hands.

And then who would hire me?

(Sorry, link not available)

Update (10/22/05): (Link not available unless you go here. It's up to you.)

Friday, October 21, 2005

Witness For The Prosecution

In his wish list to Santa, Helen Keller admits he was the last one to recognize the truth:

"(In November of 2003 Phil Taubman tried to ascertain whether any of our correspondents had been offered similar leaks. As we reported last Sunday, Judy seems to have misled Phil Taubman about the extent of her involvement.)"

How can the Times possibly allow Miller to write for it again?

And how can Fitzgerald possibly believe a word of Miller's testimony?

As long as the needle's out, the Times should lance both Keller and Pinchloaf.

(Link via Atrios)

Kass On Ass

Kieran Healy has a wonderful analysis of this essay by Professor Leon Kass on why today's college woman is a slut, and isn't really happy about it. I won't even try to improve on Kieran's analysis, but here's Kass describing his thesis: "A virtue [modesty], as it were, made for courtship, it served simultaneously as a source of attraction and a spur to manly ardor, a guard against a woman's own desires, as well as a defense against unworthy suitors."

And it made mountains and mountains of fresh coleslaw.

In a footnote, Kass opines that "Readers removed from the college scene should revisit Allan Bloom's profound analysis of relationships in his The Closing of the American Mind .... Bloom was concerned with the effect of the new arrangements on the possibility for liberal education, not for marriage, my current concern." You remember, the tome in which Bloom revealed his sure-fire pickup line, comparing the campanile to a boner. That's some fine wooin'.

There's two more parts to Kass's essay, so be sure to bookmark the page.
Coming Soon to the Fox News Channel

Pop Idol, with judges Madonna, Camille Paglia and Andrew Sullivan.

I can't follow Kinsley's logic here:

"To give journalists such special privileges you have to define who is and who is not a journalist. That is harder to do in the age of the Internet. One reason for the explosion of hostility toward Miller and the Times is the resentment of the blogosphere. Blogging is, if anything, more like the kind of pamphleteering the Framers had in mind when they guaranteed 'freedom of the press' than are the New York Times or The Washington Post. But if everyone with a blog or an e-mail discussion board is a journalist, who isn't?"

People hate Miller and the NYT because they hate the blogosphere?

Frankly, very few people give a shit about the blogosphere. And it's Miller's defenders (for example, Keller, Abrams and Miller herself) who are criticizing the blogosphere for purportedly publishing lies and rumors about Miller. Further, a number of bloggers/pro-blog commentators are using the example of Miller's lies to assert a (mostly bogus) claim of the superiority of blogging, as well as the (somewhat less bogus) claim that bloggers called attention to Miller's lies.

I suppose Kinsley could mean resentment of Miller from the blogosphere or by the blogosphere is responsible for the anti-Miller explosion, but that claim wouldn't make sense in the context of the paragraph. If that's what Kinsley intended to say, he needs a better editor.

Judy Duranty

So says Jack Shafer at Slate. Perhaps a campaign to get Miller's Pulitzer revoked is in order.

Shafer also points out the obvious:

Conceding in the Times piece that her WMD reporting was "totally wrong," Miller proves she doesn't understand how journalism works when she says, "The analysts, the experts and the journalists who covered them -- we were all wrong. If your sources are wrong, you are wrong. I did the best job that I could." That is a lie. Reporters aren't conduits through which sources pour information into newspapers. And sources aren't to blame if a reporter gets a story wrong. A real reporter tests his sources' findings against other evidence in hopes of discovering the truth, something Miller was apparently loath to do.

I'd go further. When sources lie to you, their lies are the story. And when a writer colludes with sources to spread lies, that is the story.

But those are two stories the Times will never tell.

Update: Arriana Huffington, writing from the future ("10.22.2005"), piles on.

Brent Bozell Watches It All For You

There's so much filth on FOX that television addict el-Bent Bozell needs two hands to write it all down.

So what has Rupert Murdoch done to arouse Brent's ire? Well, on Family Guy, there was a reenactment of Hugh Hewitt's meeting with George Bush on the Miers nomination:

This show's lack of any dignity whatsoever is proven by a parody of the classic children's tale of Pinocchio in which Geppetto bends over with his buttocks in front of Pinocchio's nose, then tries to get Pinocchio to lie, so that his nose will grow and, viewers are led to conclude, penetrate his anus.

And, on The Buckleys Arrested Development,

Other episodes have delved into the bizarre sexual proclivities of the main characters, such as Grandpa and Grandma's revelation that they derive sexual pleasure from being strangled with a belt.

Bozell also reveals that Family Guy is the "fifth-highest ranked-show among children ages 2 to 11." How Brent got two year olds to rank their viewing preferences is anyone's guess.

More here.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

But Does He Get A 30 Second Credit For The Throw?

This sentence sounds fair:

Josh Medlin, 21, of Lynn, was sentenced Wednesday in Wayne County court to 30 hours of community service and $156 in court costs.

Autumn Is The Most Beautiful Season

As the days dwindle down to a precious few, I can't help but thinking what a beautiful month October has been.

And, on a totally and completely unrelated subject:

WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 -- As he weighs whether to bring criminal charges in the C.I.A. leak case, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the special counsel, is focusing on whether Karl Rove, the senior White House adviser, and I. Lewis Libby Jr., chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, sought to conceal their actions and mislead prosecutors, lawyers involved in the case said Thursday.

Among the charges that Mr. Fitzgerald is considering are perjury, obstruction of justice and false statement - counts that suggest the prosecutor may believe the evidence presented in a 22-month grand jury inquiry shows that the two White House aides sought to cover up their actions, the lawyers said.

Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby have been advised that they may be in serious legal jeopardy, the lawyers said, but only this week has Mr. Fitzgerald begun to narrow the possible charges. The prosecutor has said he will not make up his mind about any charges until next week, government officials say.

With the term of the grand jury expiring in one week, though, some lawyers in the case said they were persuaded that Mr. Fitzgerald had all but made up his mind to seek indictments. None of the lawyers would speak on the record, citing the prosecutor's requests not to talk about the case.
I was over at Clownhall.com today and saw an ad for TimesSelect.

Which reminded me to cancel my trial subscription.

Thanks, Clownhall.
The wingnuts who continue to make fools of themselves over the story of Joel Hinrichs are now engaging in two tactics:

1. Whining about how the "MSM" doesn't take their nonsense seriously, and

2. Making up even more nonsense.

I can't decide which is more pathetic. If these jackasses think the "MSM," FBI, OU, NPD, WSJ and Hinrichs' father are all lying to them, they should get up off their jackasses and do something to make their case instead of rehashing their fantasies about truckloads of fertilizer.

Bush Justice To Bloggers: Drop Dead

So who are the "opponents" who, per Kit Seelye, are opposed extending a federal reporter/source privilege to bloggers?

The Bush Department of Justice, that's who.

Chuck Rosenberg, a United States District Attorney for the Southern District of Texas, spoke to the Senate Judiciary Committee to express Bush Justice's "concerns" about the "Free Flow of Information Act of 2005" with respect to cases in which the Justice Department was a party. Here's what he said:

Fifth, the Department objects to the broad definition of "covered person" in section 5(2) that, inter alia, encompasses foreign media and foreign news agencies (including government-owned and -operated news agencies), some of which are hostile to the United States and some of which can, and have, acted in support of foreign terrorist organizations (a reporter of the Qatarian news network Al-Jazeera was recently convicted in Spain for acting as a financial courier for Al-Qaeda). The mere fact that such foreign media entities and their reporters may operate primarily abroad does not mean that they do so exclusively, or that their involvement in activity in the United States that may warrant the use of Federal compulsory process against them is a merely hypothetical prospect. Extending special privilege and legal protections to such entities in U.S. criminal and civil law enforcement proceedings, as this bill does, is entirely unwarranted and inconsistent with the Department's law enforcement mission and the war on terrorism.

Such an expansive definition of "covered person" could unintentionally offer a safe haven for criminals. As drafted, the definition invites criminals to cloak their activities under the guise of a "covered person," so as to avoid investigation by the Federal government. The overbroad definition of a "covered person" could be read to include any person or corporate entity whose employees or corporate subsidiaries publish a book, newspaper, or magazine; operate a radio or television broadcast station; or operate a news or wire service. Additionally, the definition arguably could include any person who sets up an Internet "blog" or any other activity to "disseminate information by print, broadcast, cable satellite[, etc.]," as set forth in the bill.

Chuckles doesn't explain, at least in his prepared remarks, why Bush Justice considers bloggers unworthy of the privilege. But his example of the reporter/courier is laughable. A reporter, like anyone else, has a constitutional privilege against self-incrimination. So a reporter's privilege wouldn't give any additional protection to a reporter committing a crime.

I wonder how many wingnut blowhards will criticize on the Administration on this.

Grand Old Police Blotter: (You're Ralph's) Vanderwall Edition

I almost missed this tidbit about Robin Vanderwall, convicted pedophile and alleged business associate of Ralph Reed.

The Washington Post reports:

Abramoff asked eLottery to write a check in June 2000 to Sheldon's Traditional Values Coalition (TVC). He also routed eLottery money to a Reed company, using two intermediaries, which had the effect of obscuring the source.

The eLottery money went first to Norquist's foundation, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), and then through a second group in Virginia Beach called the Faith and Family Alliance, before it reached Reed's company, Century Strategies. Norquist's group retained a share of the money as it passed through.

"I have 3 checks from elot: (1) 2 checks for $80K payable to ATR and (2) 1 check to TVC for $25K," Abramoff's assistant Susan Ralston e-mailed him on June 22, 2000. "Let me know exactly what to do next. Send to Grover? Send to Rev. Lou?"

Minutes later Abramoff responded, saying that the check for Sheldon's group should be sent directly to Sheldon, but that the checks for Norquist required special instructions: "Call Grover, tell him I am in Michigan and that I have two checks for him totaling 160 and need a check back for Faith and Family for $150K."

According to the e-mails, Reed provided the name and address where Norquist was supposed to send the money: to Robin Vanderwall at a location in Virginia Beach.

Vanderwall was director of the Faith and Family Alliance, a political advocacy group that was founded by two of Reed's colleagues and then turned over to Vanderwall, Vanderwall said and records show.

Vanderwall, a former Regent University Law School student and Republican operative, was later convicted of soliciting sex with minors via the Internet and is serving a seven-year term in Virginia state prison.

In a telephone interview, Vanderwall said that in July 2000 he was called by Reed's firm, Century Strategies, alerting him that he would be receiving a package. When it came, it contained a check payable to Vanderwall's group for $150,000 from Americans for Tax Reform, signed by Norquist. Vanderwall said he followed the instructions from Reed's firm -- depositing the money and then writing a check to Reed's firm for an identical amount.

"I was operating as a shell," Vanderwall said, adding that he was never told how the money was spent. He said: "I regret having had anything to do with it."

Ralph Reed, touched by a pedophile. (According to the pedophile.)

If Vanderwall's account is true, maybe he and Ralph can work together in the prison laundry.

(Found via Raising Kaine.)

Fuck Amok

(Apologies to Chuck Jones)

Judith Fucking-Miller is such an incompetent reporter that she misquotes herself:

In a telephone interview Wednesday, Ms. Miller said this so-called nondisclosure form was precisely what she had signed, with some modifications, adding that what she had meant to say in her published account was that she had had temporary access to classified information under rules set by her unit.

How do you get temporary access to information?

In Judy's case, you pretend to forget.

Then there's this:

Ms. Miller said that under the conditions set by the commander of the unit, Col. Richard R. McPhee, she had been allowed to discuss her most secret reporting with only the senior-most editors of The Times, who at the time were Howell Raines, the executive editor, and Gerald M. Boyd, the managing editor.

Secret reporting? What is hell is that: coded shout-outs to Scooter and Ahmed? Maybe she published it in the classified ads.

And, from the same article:

Opponents [of a federal shield law] also said the definition of who would be covered is too broad, including bloggers and criminals who pretend to be reporters.

Does that mean it would apply to all bloggers, or only bloggers to who pretend to be reporters? And what about reporters who pretend to be reporters? Or reporters who are criminals? It's so confusing.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Captain Hooker

That crusty seaman wannabe, Mister Ed, has pumped out another column for the Weakly Standard Online.

It starts like this:

ONE CAN DRAW CONCLUSIONS about the values of society by the places of worship it builds and the gods they revere in them.
The man can't use pronouns consistently in single sentence. One can draw conclusions from that too.

Ancient Aztecs built temples to gods requiring bloody human sacrifices, while Zoroastrians largely concerned themselves with less murderous and more deeply spiritual centers of worship. Buddhists create peaceful areas for meditation; Christians and Muslims aspire to touch God in some manner through architectural means, giving places of sanctuary and prayer to their followers.

Having drained his reservior of deep thoughts on the subject of religious architecture, Mister Ed goes on to write about an incident in which some Minnesota Vikings players rented two tour boats for an evening cruise and allegedly invited some high-priced hookers to party with them. According to Ed, some of the players also were accused of harassing and/or abusing the ships' staff.

What moral does Ed derive from this tale? This one:

But what do we expect? When the main reason these multimillionaires get their communities to pay for their arena-temples is by extorting the desperation of other cities to host a team, why should the Golden Calf-like celebrations shock us?

Ed's just the man to melt down those prostitutes and make the Vikings drink them.

Apparently when our society abandoned the Lord to worship well-paid athletes, sexual decadence was the inevitable result. Ed opines that in the good old days, when NFL owners had to build their own stadiums, players never used obscenities or patronized prostitutes.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't seem to recall Ed making such a big deal about, say, the rapes at the Air Force Academy or the sexual abuse at Abu Ghraib. If he ever made the connection between militarism and sexual violence, I missed it. And I don't recall Ed's column positing that the generous financing of Christian churches has caused the many sex crimes and scandals in the Catholic Church and various fundie congregations.

Ed's imagined link between secularism and moral decay is absurd; his assertion that public subsidy of sport is leading to the decline of Western civilization is even more absurd.

Although I think there was a causal connection between George Bush's Kelorific stadium landgrab and Neil Bush's obssession with third-world prostitutes.

I also like the fact that the Standard has illustrated Ed's tale of degenerates at sea with an depiction of Bill Kristol and Fred Barnes on a cruise ship. Someone over there has a sense of humor (and it's not Larry Miller).

A schizophrenic poser calls Bush a Nazi:

"The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgement of his peers, is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist," - Winston Churchill, November 21, 1943, describing what is now legal and constitutional in the United States, under president Bush.

But he's wrong, of course. It's not constitutional and therefore, is not legal, no matter what Abu Gonzales and his thugs say.

An e-mail from my close personal friend, career counselor Marty Peretz:

TNR stands against a politics that is crystallized in laundry-list orations punctuated by buzz words that can mean one thing and then, too, exactly the opposite. This is a terrible time in the careers of freedom, of decency, of open societies. Demagogues from every side blur the vision of the citizenry, and we try to be clear and forthright. So we discomfort politicians and other magazines of the public business and of public ideas.

Then again, TNR stands for Fred Barnes, Morton Kondracke, Charles Krauthammer, Mickey Kaus, Jacob Weisberg, Andrew Sullivan, Peter Beinart, Michael Kelly, Ruth Shalit and Stephen Glass, so everything you've just read is a load of crap.

Sorry, Marty. You'll have to ask your wife for that extra $19.95.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

There Is Nothing New Under The Son

Why is anyone surprised by the "criminalization of politics" defense from the Administration and its lackeys?

It's the one of the oldest tricks in the G.O.P. playbook.

Think The Unthinkable

Jacob Weisberg writes:

No one disputes that Bush officials negligently and stupidly revealed Valerie Plame's undercover status. But after two years of digging, no evidence has emerged that anyone who worked for Bush and talked to reporters about Plame -- namely Rove or Scooter Libby, the vice president's chief of staff -- knew she was undercover. And as nasty as they might be, it's not really thinkable that they would have known. You need a pretty low opinion of people in the White House to imagine they would knowingly foster the possible assassination of CIA assets in other countries for the sake of retaliation against someone who wrote an op-ed they didn't like in the New York Times.

Actually, there's plenty of evidence that Rove and Libby knew exactly what they were doing -- why else would they go to such lengths to conceal the fact that they were the sources of such information? If they thought Plame wasn't undercover, why wouldn't they pass along the information without demanding confidentiality and, in Libby's case, demanding a misleading attribution.

You can say that it's circumstantial evidence. You can say that there's evidence that contradicts it (although, as Weisberg would say, "no such evidence has emerged"). You can say that, to your mind, it's not proof beyond a reasonable doubt. But you can't say it's not evidence.

Of course, as others have already pointed out, the actual evidence -- sworn testimony and subpoenaed documents -- have not been made public. How can anyone say there's no evidence of a fact when they haven't seen the evidence?

These people, Mr. Weisberg, are people who sent -- and continue to send -- Americans to their deaths based on fraudulent WMD evidence and equally fraudulent concerns about democracy and homeland security. Why should they have any greater concern for the lives of Americans working for the CIA?

Update (10/21): Howie the Putz endorses Weisberg's "important piece."

Will he have to turn in his clown shoes too?

Clownhaller Bruce Bartlett takes a bold stand: He'd rather whitewash the Reagan Administration's criminal legacy than Bush's:

WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 - In the latest sign of the deepening split among conservatives over how far to go in challenging President Bush, Bruce Bartlett, a Republican commentator who has been increasingly critical of the White House, was dismissed on Monday as a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, a conservative research group based in Dallas.

In a statement, the organization said the decision was made after Mr. Bartlett supplied its president, John C. Goodman, with the manuscript of his forthcoming book, "The Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy."

Barlett throws down in his Clownhall column too.

The rats are deserting the sinking shit.

Exporting Kleptocracy

Can we send the Keyboarders over to "Shut it down!"?

Monday, October 17, 2005

and you tell me over and over and over again, my friend/
you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction

In a move people involved in the case read as a sign that the end is near, Fitzgerald's spokesman yesterday told the Associated Press that the prosecutor planned to announce his conclusions in Washington, where the grand jury has been meeting, instead of Chicago, where the prosecutor is based. Some lawyers close to the case cited courthouse talk that Fitzgerald might announce his findings as early as tomorrow, though hard evidence about his intentions and timing remained elusive.

Ney Is Freedom Toast

Another G.O.P. scumbag feels the heat:

Rep. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio) placed comments in the Congressional Record favorable to Abramoff's 2000 purchase of the casino boat company, SunCruz Casinos. Two years later, Ney sponsored legislation to reopen a casino for a Texas Indian tribe that Abramoff represented.

Ney approved a 2002 license for an Israeli telecommunications company to install antennas for the House. The company later paid Abramoff $280,000 for lobbying. It also donated $50,000 to a charity that Abramoff sometimes used to secretly pay for some of his lobbying activities.

Meanwhile, Ney accepted many favors from Abramoff, among them campaign contributions, dinners at the lobbyist's downtown restaurant, skybox fundraisers, including one at his MCI Center box, and a golfing trip to Scotland in August 2002. If statements made by Abramoff to tribal officials and in an e-mail are to be believed, Ney sought the Scotland trip after he agreed to help Abramoff's Texas Indian clients. Abramoff then arranged for his charity to pay for the trip, according to documents released by a Senate committee investigating the lobbyist.

Ney is under investigation by Florida federal prosecutors looking into Abramoff's acquisition of SunCruz, according to sources familiar with the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Abramoff and his business partner Adam Kidan were indicted in August on fraud charges related to the purchase.

Is there any Republican lawmaker in D.C. who isn't a bought and paid for corporate whore?

Sunday, October 16, 2005

More Bad News

More bad news for the PowerAssClowns and the Bigot Malkin. The truth won't fit their "facts":

NORMAN, Okla. -- The University of Oklahoma student from Colorado who died after detonating an explosive device near a packed football stadium left a message on his computer that he was going to quit living, his father said.

The FBI read the message to the father of Joel Henry Hinrichs III on Friday, after Joel Henry Hinrichs Jr. came to Oklahoma to clear out his son's university-owned apartment.

The younger Hinrichs, 21, had a reputation as a loner and had struggled at times with his grades.

Joel Hinrichs Jr. said he understood investigators found the message on the computer screen when they arrived at the apartment.

"It was a single line of text on his computer," his father told The Oklahoman. "The cursor was still blinking at the end."

The elder Hinrichs, of Colorado Springs, said he could not recall the exact wording but said his son used profanity in the message and was obviously very angry.

"He wrote he was dissatisfied with the situation and was going to quit living," the father said.

The moral of the story: The only "truckload of fertilizer" here is that flowing from Johnny Hindlicker's orifices.

Helen Keller

He sees nothing and hears nothing.

And, unlike the other Helen, he cannot learn.

But Mr. Sulzberger and the paper's executive editor, Bill Keller, knew few details about Ms. Miller's conversations with her confidential source other than his name. They did not review Ms. Miller's notes. Mr. Keller said he learned about the "Valerie Flame" notation only this month. Mr. Sulzberger was told about it by Times reporters on Thursday.

...

Within a few weeks, in one of his first personnel moves, Mr. Keller told Ms. Miller that she could no longer cover Iraq and weapons issues. Even so, Mr. Keller said, "she kept kind of drifting on her own back into the national security realm."

Although criticism of Ms. Miller's Iraq coverage mounted, Mr. Keller waited until May 26, 2004, to publish an editors' note that criticized some of the paper's coverage of the run-up to the war.

...

The fact that Ms. Miller's judgment had been questioned in the past did not affect its stance. "The default position in a case like that is you support the reporter," Mr. Keller said.

...

It was in these early days that Mr. Keller and Mr. Sulzberger learned Mr. Libby's identity. Neither man asked Ms. Miller detailed questions about her conversations with him.

Both said they viewed the case as a matter of principle, which made the particulars less important. "I didn't interrogate her about the details of the interview," Mr. Keller said. "I didn't ask to see her notes. And I really didn't feel the need to do that."

...

"Judy believed Libby was afraid of her testimony," Mr. Keller said, noting that he did not know the basis for the fear. "She thought Libby had reason to be afraid of her testimony."

...

In August, Douglas Jehl and David Johnston, two other Washington reporters, sent a memo to the Washington bureau chief, Mr. Taubman, listing ideas for coverage of the case. Mr. Taubman said Mr. Keller did not want them pursued because of the risk of provoking Mr. Fitzgerald or exposing Mr. Libby while Ms. Miller was in jail.

To be fair, Keller did act decisively on one occasion:

On Sept. 29, Ms. Miller was released from jail and whisked by Mr. Sulzberger and Mr. Keller to the Ritz-Carlton Georgetown for a massage, a manicure, a martini and a steak dinner.

Has anyone contacted Howell Raines and Gerald Boyd for comment?

Story Idea

Since the New York Times is pretending to be in self-examination mode, I've got a story idea for it:

"I got it totally wrong."

Story: How did Times permit that to happen?

Pumpkinhead Whores

Question to Condi Rice (paraphrase):

"You wouldn't be upset if Osama Bin Laden was killed in the Pakistan earthquake, would you?"

And, yes, here it is. The Condi '08 question.

Pull your head out, Russert.

Howie's Disinformation

Howie the Putz spreads disinformation. From the toady's column today:

Her notebook from that day includes the notation "Valerie Flame," but she says the name appeared in a different section of the notebook from her Libby interview notes and that she believes it came from another source who, Miller maintains, she cannot recall.

That raises the question of whether other administration officials discussed Plame's CIA status with Miller after Libby, by her recollection, was the first to raise it. By the time she and Libby discussed Plame again, by phone on July 12, Miller said, she had talked about Wilson's wife -- her notes from that conversation refer incorrectly to "Victoria Wilson" -- with other unidentified sources. Fitzgerald lost the opportunity to question Miller about these sources by agreeing, as part of the deal that led to her release from jail last month, to ask only about conversations with Libby.
That's just B.S. As stated below, Fitzgerald limited his discussions to Scooter and the Wilson matter. And it's clear Fitzgerald grilled Miller on other sources, who Miller claimed not to remember. If she had the deal Kurtz claimed, she would have refused to confirm or deny there were other sources.

Get your facts straight, you Republican hack.

On his teevee show, Howie spent as much time with friggin' Tom Friedman as on Miller. If it's not "the Negroes stole our newsroom," Howie's interest in Times scandals is very limited.

Update: Mickey Kaus is also peddling the tale that Fitzgerald got punked by Miller. Sorry, Mick. Fitzgerald's got more brains than you, Miller and Kurtz combined.

Holes, Part One

From Miller:

On one page of my interview notes, for example, I wrote the name "Valerie Flame." Yet, as I told Mr. Fitzgerald, I simply could not recall where that came from, when I wrote it or why the name was misspelled.

I testified that I did not believe the name came from Mr. Libby, in part because the notation does not appear in the same part of my notebook as the interview notes from him.

From the Times article:

[On September 27, 2005,] Mr. Bennett, who by now had carefully reviewed Ms. Miller's extensive notes taken from two interviews with Mr. Libby, assured Mr. Fitzgerald that Ms. Miller had only one meaningful source. Mr. Fitzgerald agreed to limit his questions to Mr. Libby and the Wilson matter.

The obvious questions:

How could Bennett assure Fitzgerald that Libby was the only "meaningful source" if he only reviewed the notes from the Libby interviews?

How could Miller (through Bennett) represent that Libby was the only meaningful source when she allegedly couldn't recall where the "Valerie Flame" note came from, and denied it came from Libby?

How could either Bennett or Miller make such assurances at a time they had "forgotten" about the additional interview notes "found" in the NYT newsroom after Miller's release?

Bonus question: If the prosecutor was limiting questions to Libby and the Wilson matter, then he wasn't really limiting questions to Libby, now was he?

Saturday, October 15, 2005

The University of Spoiled Children vs. the Right-Wing Irish. Too bad there can only be one loser.

Actually, I do hate Norte Dame more.

...The Second As Musical Comedy

David Ehrenstein already has the soundtrack to The Judith Miller Story.

Brilliant.

(Though I hope they dub "Judy's" voice.)

One of The Greats

The blogosphere's loss is Ted Strickland's gain.

Jesse Taylor is one of the most talented writers, and one of the most generous individuals, on or off the internet. I wish him success and happiness and thank him for the pleasure of reading his words for last three years.

A Traitor, A Coverup, A Selective Memory and Flaming Sack of Shit

Looks like I've got a bit of reading to do.

Feel free to join me. (here and here.)

Initial impression: Shorter Queen of the Rodeo: I couldn't remember Scooter Fucking Libby, but I could remember everything that covers my, and his, ass.
Kill Bill Janklow wants his law license back. Give it back to him right after Randy Scott gets his life back.

(via BuzzFlash)
An Observation, With No Punch Line

Observing the crack-up in, but not of, the conservative blogosphere it seems to me that many of the wingnut bloggers have recognized, without admitting it, that Bush is indeed a miserable failure. And not just by their standards, but by any standard. The blogging 'nuts know Bush is a dead duck, and they're looking beyond him, to the future.

The scuffle over Miers has exposed the right bloggers jockeying for (mostly imagined) positions of power once the Bush Era has ended. In 2004, there was no leadership fight within the Republican Party -- Bush was the unchallenged (though illegitimate) incumbent. The 'nuts did not have to back one candidate or another and ride his* coattails to glory. Back in 2000, most of the 'nuts did not exist as bloggers. So 2008 will be the first Presidential election in which the 'nuts will have to select a primary candidate and battle their fellow 'nuts who choose another contender.

But, as the Miers nomination revealed, many of the 'nuts see themselves not simply as supporters, but as power brokers. And they're making their wishlists for the future. The 2008 hopefuls will have to meet the 'nuts demands on a range of issues -- judicial nominees, cabinet picks, etc. -- or face being tarred electronically as RINOs and Islamist appeasers. Their rhetoric on immigration and the GWOT will have to be sufficiently coded; their views on the homosexual question will have to be sufficiently intolerant. They will be required to suck up to the New Media and whine repeatedly about the Old. Interviews and access will be demanded.

The Miers battle is just a trial run for this ideological shakedown, and the 'nuts risk revealing their impotence if Bush's pick is approved despite their wailing. In any event, I'm looking forward to the day when the 'nuts start Swiftboating their fellow Republicans, and themselves.

Ready, aim, fire.

* Yes, his. It's the Republican Party.

Grand Old Police Blotter: The Armstrong Of The Law Edition*

Gaggle, June 5, 2006:

Panel One - Guard: Here's your prison cell. Your cellmate Mike fell through one, so you'll have to share.

Panel Two - Mike: You're pretty... Wanna get married?

Inmate: Remember, Armstrong, you're a strong supporter of the Defense of Marriage Act.

The Associated Press reports:

Now the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia is investigating whether Williams accepted public money without performing his required duties, said Dan Katz, chief counsel for Lautenberg. The attorney's office has a range of potential remedies, from suing to recover the money to possible criminal charges, Katz said.

"The inspector general wouldn't refer this to the U.S. attorney unless there was evidence of misconduct that requires further investigating," Katz said.

Channing Phillips, spokesman for U.S. Attorney Kenneth Wainstein, confirmed that his office is reviewing the matter. Phillips declined to say whether prosecutors have begun a criminal investigation.

Williams' spokeswoman Shirley Dave said the commentator had not been informed about the latest development and had no comment. She had said previously that Williams was negotiating with the department to return part of the money he was paid.

* Because this headline was already taken.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Overachiever

Finkelstein has degrees from Cornell University and Harvard Law School. He lives in Ithaca, NY where he hosts "Right Angle," a local political talk show. Finkelstein specializes in exposing liberal bias at NBC's Today Show.

Sure, I spent close to $200,000 on post-secondary education, but now I'm well-trained to catch Al Roker flashing the Black Power salute during a Donald Trump segment.

More fun here. And here.

Return Of The Screaming Babies

Oh, goody.

Many weeks more of childish infighting and self-important wankery in the wingnutosphere.

WASHINGTON, Oct. 13 - The White House said on Thursday that Harriet E. Miers would not contemplate withdrawing as President Bush's nominee for the Supreme Court seat being vacated by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, despite suggestions from some conservative commentators that she do just that.

Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary, dismissed questions about whether Ms. Miers had the stomach for a protracted, bitter confirmation battle that could hurt President Bush politically and said the news media and her critics were applying a "different standard" to her nomination than was applied to those of previous nominees.

"Anyone that knows Harriet Miers knows that she's exceptionally well qualified to serve on our nation's highest court, and no one that knows her would make such a suggestion," Mr. McClellan said in reply to a question about whether she would think about withdrawing. "And no one that knows her record and her qualifications would make such a suggestion."

Run along now, little boys and girls -- the adults know what's best for you. After all, we're doing such a brilliant job on Iraq and the economy -- you've said so yourselves. If we have to do another conference call, you won't like it.

And that includes you, Frum.

Ridicule Is The Best Disinfectant

From Vaughn Ververs' Public Eye:

Earlier we noted the lack of MSM coverage of this story and commented it was worth airing whatever the facts may be. By putting to rest some of the rumors that have been circulating, the Journal story shows exactly why it was worth looking into. The article notes that the FBI investigation is nearly complete and acknowledges that not all skeptics will be put off by "any disputing of their claims."

But it's a step toward putting much of the conspiracy talk to rest. And an example of how MSM organizations have more to gain in engaging such stories than ignoring them and letting them fester.

That's ass-backwards. Why should the national media cover an event of no national importance simply because a combination of dumbfucks and dishonest bloggers manufacture fantasies around the event? Let the Tosspots and the Malkins of this world fling their feces all they want, but why clean up after them? Correcting them will only fuel their paranoid delusions and persecution complexes, and they'll keep repeating their fanatasies as before.

If you must deal with these idiots, ridicule would seem to be a more effective and appropriate response. At least where institutionalization is not an option.

Cohen and diGenova, Solicitors at Prostitution

Although at least 78 other bloggers have taken well-deserved swipes at faux-liberal Richard Cohen for this abomination. I want to focus on one aspect of Cohen's apology for Republican criminal misconduct. Cohen writes:

I have no idea what Fitzgerald will do. My own diligent efforts to find out anything have come to naught. Fitzgerald's non-speaking spokesman would not even tell me if his boss is authorized to issue a report, as several members of Congress are now demanding -- although Joseph E. diGenova, a former U.S. attorney in Washington, tells me that only a possibly unprecedented court order would permit it.

Cohen quotes Short Joey diGs without disclosing that the runtish Republican's wife, Victoria Toerag, has been acting as a dishonest apologist for the Administration on Traitorgate. Cohen couldn't find a lawyer without longstanding ties to the G.O.P.; he had to quote the cigar-chomping Republican hack? What, was Mark Levin away from his desk when you speeddialed him, Dickie?

To top it off, Cohen's column is subliterate. Does "a possibly unprecedented court order" mean that Joey DiGs does not know whether such a court order would be unprecedented -- i.e., "It's possible such an order would be unprecedented, but I have no idea." Either an order is unprecedented or it's not. Cohen's lack of respect for the language is exceeded only by his lack of respect for the law.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

If I'm doing this right, the world's crappiest cartoon should appear immediately below.

[Cartoon removed because it was screwing with my margins. You can find it here.]

I'd like some of the crack which creates the impression that Judy Miller is a liberal and/or a media hero. Unless it causes the brain damage displayed by the typical MRC contributor.

Update: So much for continuity. In yesterday's strip, Miller was sentenced to 12 weeks, today she's got 19 weeks to serve. Maybe the gag is that Miller added seven weeks onto her own sentence once she was assigned to lesbian cellmate. Or maybe the strip's el-Bent Bozell's birthday present.
Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam scores an exclusive interview with a reclusive blogger:

The Web also furnishes a home for a subversive and amusing blogger at rogerailes.blogspot.com. This is definitely not that Roger Ailes; indeed the site includes this disclaimer: ''Not affiliated with Fox News Channel or any other houses of ill-repute." The blogger says he has ''never heard from the other RA. Or his lawyers." He continues: ''To be precise, 'Roger Ailes' is the name of the blog. The name's similarity to its author's name is a closely held secret." Color me confused.

It's a revealing and touching profile of a gentle, misunderstood genius.

Okay. Not really. That's the whole bit about this blog.

(Registration required, but is it really worth your valuable time?)

How Can You Tell When Scottie Is Lying? His Chins Are Moving.

From the NYT:

"The president has said that no one wants to get to the bottom of it more than he does," said Mr. McClellan, whose own credibility has taken a pounding because of statements he made two years ago that Mr. Rove had no involvement in leaking the C.I.A. officer's identity. "I want to get to the bottom of it. We don't know all the facts."
More bad news for the lynchbloggers:

In a meeting with The Daily, OU President David L. Boren said what the FBI has told him matches up with what Cole said he was told by the FBI.

Boren confirmed that Hinrichs did not buy a football ticket from the ticket office.

He also said the FBI informed him that Hinrichs' roommate, Fazal Cheema, and his family were investigated and cleared of suspicion by the day after the explosion.

Update: Factchecking the asses. This link's apparently a Wall Street Journal story, mistakenly credited to the AP. The radical Islamists have inflitrated Dow Jones!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Inside Nick Kristof

A Roger Ailes Special Investigation Into TimesSelect, Part 3

Nick Pistof's blog, called "On The Ground," has a few more entries than does Tierney's, and it has some video that I haven't watched.

There's not much substance, as this entry reveals:

I'm headed off in a few hours to Niger in West Africa, so I'm not sure how much I'll add to this in the next week. But I'm traveling with Naka Nathaniel, my partner in multimedia columny, and he'll be preparing some video and sound presentations from Niger.

By the way, since everybody looks blank when I say Niger, it's properly pronounced Nee-jair, the French way, not as if it were Nigeria with the last two letters lopped off.

Oh, and if I find any of Saddam Hussein's agents in Niger, looking for uranium, I'll be sure to tell Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson, not to mention the Veep. Now that would be a fine column.

Oh, you kidder.

And if I find anthrax in my mail, I'll be sure to tell Steve Hatfill.

Pistof seems a little pissed about his extra duties: "....I'm not filing much for 'On the Ground.' My apologies. I've been bouncing over roads all day, and the only way to get an Internet connection is with a satellite phone. And that means sitting around outside at night when the malarial mosquitoes are most active.If I get malaria again, I'm going to sue 'On the Ground.'"

Two words, Nick: workers' compensation. And one more: STFU.

Pistof includes Talking Points Memo, TPM Cafe, Juan Cole and Beliefnet in his blogroll. And the U.S. Naval Observatory Clock. And he claims that he's currently reading nine different books. Yeah, right.

Bonus Tidbit: Fans of Atrios and Daily Kos may find it interesting that BoBo Brooks has the Bull Moose Blog in his blogroll. And National Review Online.

The Tosspot Chronicles

Are there any real journalists at the Heritage Foundation's Center for Media and Public Policy?

Hell no.

The Republican Party Has Joined the MSM/FBI/OU Islamist Conspiracy

Bad news (link now dead) for professional hate-monger Michelle Malkin:

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., said Tuesday he spoke to Salvador Hernandez, FBI special agent in charge of the bureau's Oklahoma office, about Joel H. Hinrichs III, an engineering student who died Oct. 1 when his bomb went off about 100 yards from the football stadium during the second quarter of OU's night game against Kansas State. The student was sitting on a campus bench.

...

Cole said he also asked the agent specifically whether the FBI found the student intended to get inside the stadium.

"He said, 'We may never know. We have no evidence of a plan to do that, but we also couldn't tell you definitively he didn't try to do it and was rebuffed. We just simply don't know,"' Cole said.

Cole said the agent also told him the FBI found nothing indicating Hinrichs attended the mosque.

Cole said he asked the agent specifically whether jihadist material was found in the apartment, which was widely reported on Internet sites. "He told me there was absolutely none -- nothing that would suggest links to terrorist groups."

Cole also said the agent told him, "The roommate thing seems to be purely coincidental. ... No connection there whatsoever."

Cole said the agent "really went out of his way to establish that, I think, because he knows there's a legitimate concern and he doesn't want people who are innocent of any wrongdoing to be suspected of any wrongdoing."

He said the agent praised how the Islamic community cooperated with the FBI probe.

Nothing to see here. Move along. Malkin is sane and honest, and not at all consumed by hate. Stop insisting on those damned facts.

Representative Cole deserves great praise for helping to expose the Web of lies spread by Malkin, the Power Tools, Mark Tosspot, Inaccuracy in Media, et al. Mr. Cole apparently believes that he owes a duty to all his constituents, not just the white, right and intolerant.

Update (10/13): First link (to KOTV) is now dead.

All That You Can't Leave Aside

In today's column, Howie Kurtz illustrates what's wrong with most of the newspaper and television coverage of the New York Times' role in Traitorgate, including Kurtz's:

"Leave aside the criticisms of her WMD reporting."

The newspaper's purported coverage of WMD and Miller's relationship with the White House are inextricably intertwined. Miller's dealings with the White House and her agenda cannot be separated.

Howie can't seem to understand why the Times' reporting on its own reporter is so weak. He mentions the obvious conflict of interest, but doesn't address the equally obvious fact -- that the paper knew how corrupt Miller was and ran her articles anyway.

The paper either knew Miller's unnamed sources in the Administration and the INC, and published her articles anyway, or it published Miller's propaganda without knowing. In either case, the paper knowingly permitted Miller to lie to its readers. And that's why the paper's coverage of Traitorgate is not only weak -- it's non-existent. The paper can't publish the truth about Traitorgate without exposing its own role in the scandal and the parallel scandal of its own reporting on Iraq. It can't report the truth of Traitorgate and simulataneously maintain the fiction -- illustrated in the article quoted below -- that it was misled by the Administration and self-interested Iraqis and therefore can't really be faulted for its faulty reporting.

And that's why you can't "leave aside" Miller's WMD reporting when you consider the Times current coverage of Traitorgate.

Howie is smart enough to understand this -- why he doesn't credit his readers with the same intelligence is an interesting question.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The repressed childhood memories start coming back, like a flood.

JELL-O [Jonah Goldberg]

I have to confess, I've been disgusted by Jell-O for many years now. I loved it as a kid until I found out that it will congeal without benefit of refrigeration. I always assumed that Jell-O was related to ice cream but it just "froze" at a warmer temp. Once I found out that its gelatinous wiggliness is its natural state I could no longer eat it. I think it tastes fine, but it just grosses me out.

It's going to get much worse before it gets better, Jo-Jo.

Ironic

New York Times, October 12, 2005:

It's a complicated story involving a large cast, and it has required a meticulous reporting effort - in part to chase down and debunk some of the myths kicked up by the rumor mill," Mr. Keller said.

You mean this meticulous, myth-busting reporting, Bill?

Articles based on dire claims about Iraq tended to get prominent display, while follow-up articles that called the original ones into question were sometimes buried. In some cases, there was no follow-up at all.

On Oct. 26 and Nov. 8, 2001, for example, Page 1 articles cited Iraqi defectors who described a secret Iraqi camp where Islamic terrorists were trained and biological weapons produced. These accounts have never been independently verified.

On Dec. 20, 2001, another front-page article began, ''An Iraqi defector who described himself as a civil engineer said he personally worked on renovations of secret facilities for biological, chemical and nuclear weapons in underground wells, private villas and under the Saddam Hussein Hospital in Baghdad as recently as a year ago.'' Knight Ridder Newspapers reported last week that American officials took that defector -- his name is Adnan Ihsan Saeed al-Haideri -- to Iraq earlier this year to point out the sites where he claimed to have worked, and that the officials failed to find evidence of their use for weapons programs. It is still possible that chemical or biological weapons will be unearthed in Iraq, but in this case it looks as if we, along with the administration, were taken in. And until now we have not reported that to our readers.

On Sept. 8, 2002, the lead article of the paper was headlined ''U.S. Says Hussein Intensified Quest for A-Bomb Parts.'' That report concerned the aluminum tubes that the administration advertised insistently as components for the manufacture of nuclear weapons fuel. The claim came not from defectors but from the best American intelligence sources available at the time. Still, it should have been presented more cautiously. There were hints that the usefulness of the tubes in making nuclear fuel was not a sure thing, but the hints were buried deep, 1,700 words into a 3,600-word article. Administration officials were allowed to hold forth at length on why this evidence of Iraq's nuclear intentions demanded that Saddam Hussein be dislodged from power: ''The first sign of a 'smoking gun,' they argue, may be a mushroom cloud.''

Five days later, the Times reporters learned that the tubes were in fact a subject of debate among intelligence agencies. The misgivings appeared deep in an article on Page A13, under a headline that gave no inkling that we were revising our earlier view (''White House Lists Iraq Steps to Build Banned Weapons''). The Times gave voice to skeptics of the tubes on Jan. 9, when the key piece of evidence was challenged by the International Atomic Energy Agency. That challenge was reported on Page A10; it might well have belonged on Page A1.

On April 21, 2003, as American weapons-hunters followed American troops into Iraq, another front-page article declared, ''Illicit Arms Kept Till Eve of War, an Iraqi Scientist Is Said to Assert.'' It began this way: ''A scientist who claims to have worked in Iraq's chemical weapons program for more than a decade has told an American military team that Iraq destroyed chemical weapons and biological warfare equipment only days before the war began, members of the team said.''

The informant also claimed that Iraq had sent unconventional weapons to Syria and had been cooperating with Al Qaeda -- two claims that were then, and remain, highly controversial. But the tone of the article suggested that this Iraqi ''scientist'' -- who in a later article described himself as an official of military intelligence -- had provided the justification the Americans had been seeking for the invasion.

The Times never followed up on the veracity of this source or the attempts to verify his claims.

You'll pardon me if I don't swallow, Bill.

(Second quote from "From The Editors; The Times and Iraq," NYT, May 26, 2004.)

Star Parker Does the Freak

In defending Bill Bennett -- and chastising those who allegedly take statements out of context -- Clownhall.com's Star Parker smears the authors of Freakonomics. Parker writes:

So we have it with the recent almost-too-ridiculous-to-discuss incident with Bill Bennett's alleged racist remarks on his radio show. The remarks, taken out of context by those attacking Bennett, are being used to make the exact opposite point of his and brand him a racist.

A listener called in suggesting that abortion might be an explanation for our Social Security crisis (with more adults around paying Social Security taxes, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in). Bennett replied that such a hypothesis is as absurd and repugnant as the suggestion made in a best-selling book called "Freakonomics" that aborting more black babies would lead to a lower crime rate. (Emphasis added.)

You see, it wasn't Bill Bennett who made the repugnant suggestion that aborting African-Americans would lower the crime rate, it was Steven Leavitt and Stephen Dubner.

Except it wasn't.

And not even Andrew "Dice" Bennett claimed it was.

Star, ask yourself, when you write, do you truly know what you're talking about? Are you just pulling stuff out of your ass? Did you even read the fucking transcript or were you just kissing Bill Bennett's ass to advance your own worthless career? How many of us casually slander someone just because they can't be bothered with reading, or thinking, or the truth?

Parker also sucks up to Bill Bennett's wife, for her supposed charitable work with the Best Friends Foundation, which runs abstinence "programs for teenagers, largely black." You may recall that the Foundation's true colors were displayed most prominently when Bill O'Reilly, hosting a Foundation fundraiser, quipped that he hoped the Foundation's alleged beneficiaries "[were] not in the parking lot stealing our hubcaps."

Bill and Bill think alike.

Oh, you're missing something alright.

Quite a few things.

Journalism. It's Hard Work.

The New York Times gets burned by a source once again:

Corrections ...

An article on Saturday about the status of the investigation into the disclosure of a C.I.A. operative's identity misstated the date of a conversation between the New York Times reporter Judith Miller and I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff. It took place on June 23, 2003, not June 25.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Fun In The Morgue

RogerSelect: A Special Investigative Report, Part II

One good thing about TimesSelect, at least when you're not paying for it, is the opportunity to search the archives (but only back to 1981) for free. (It's certainly more useful than reading John Tierney's latest piece, a media bias wheeze based upon the spittle-flecked theories of Crazy Davy Horowitz.)

I found interesting this little tidbit from an October 16, 2004 (time flies!) David Johnston article entitled "Bush Aide Is Said to Have Testified in Inquiry"*:

Mr. Cooper had previously agreed to speak with the prosecutor about his conversations with I. Lewis Libby, chief of staff for Mr. Cheney. A lawyer for Mr. Cooper, Floyd Abrams, said the agreement was based on Mr. Libby's explicit waiver of any confidentiality agreement he had with Mr. Cooper.

Mr. Abrams said that Mr. Cooper gave a deposition discussing his conversations with Mr. Libby but that Mr. Cooper did not talk about any matters related to any other official like Mr. Rove. Earlier, Judith Miller, a reporter for The New York Times, was held in contempt by Judge Hogan for refusing to testify about her sources in the case. Mr. Abrams, who also represents Ms. Miller, said the two reporters had sought to consolidate their appeals.

So Count Floyd was representing both Cooper and Miller, and secured an explicit waiver from Scooter for Cooper but not Miller. How could that happen? More circumstanial proof that Miller's jailhouse capitulation did not arise from a change in circumstance.

I hope I'll be able to put the archives to good use for the next 12 days. If anyone has suggestions for particular articles or searches which might prove interesting, let me know.

* The titular tit in Johnston's article is Rove, not Libby.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

R: Roger Select

A Special Investigative Report

As an attempt at investigative/consumer reporting, and because I'm bored, I've decided to sign up for the NYT's free 14-day trial of Times Select and see what readers are getting for their $7.95 per month. I've already put a big circle on the calendar for October 23, to remind myself to cancel before they run my credit card.

Here we go.

After confirming the purchase, I'm taken directly to "John Tierney's Book Club," though I didn't click on a Tierney link to begin with. Not a promising start.

Tierney's Book Club is actually a blog; the page is captioned "John Tierney's Web Journal." The idea of the NYT forcing Tierney to blog is amusing.

The first selection in Tierney's book club is "Radical Evolution" by Joel Garreau, which Tierney describes as being "packed with telekinetic monkeys, Schwarzenegger mice 'built like steers, with necks bigger than their heads,' a man who can send e-mail with his thoughts, vaccines that guard against acute pain for a month at a time, and memory and longevity pills." Oh, brave new world, that has such monkeys in it.

Tierney's most recent post, dated the 4th, is about genetic enhancements. No mention of Steve Sailer yet. Tierney asks: "Some of the possible tweaks we could make to our children's brains would be simple and temporary ­memory pills, or short-term pain vaccines. Others would be permanent and life-altering­ gene doping and brain implants. How far would you go with your own child? How far would you want to permit others to go with theirs?" These are rhetorical questions, apparently, since you can e-mail Tierney with your comments, but can't leave comments for others to read.

Tierney does share some hard hitting and thought-provoking e-mails, like the following:

"Your choice of 'Radical Evolution' as your first book club reading is an important and relevant one. As a retired science teacher, it greatly perturbs me that so many intelligent, well-educated people, many of whom are in positions of power and influence, have so little knowledge and understanding of science principles, and of how scientific investigation works. If we are to make informed choices as a concerned citizenry, we must be scientifically literate. Only in this way will we understand, and act wisely on, the choices before us."

Tierney's not afraid to court controversy.

Tierney's blog links are relatively safe, generally libertarians, real (Reason) and fake (Instapundit, SchmuckCentralStation), establishment wingnuts (Kaus and Sully) and snore inducing faux-public intellectuals (the Becker-Posner blog). No link to VDare. Cm'on, John, you know you want to.

That's about it. Five posts since September 22, two of which are comprised of reader e-mails, and a blog roll. It's like a DVD that counts the cover art and shrink wrap as extras.

I had better pace myself; this may not take all 13 days.

Tomorrow: Something else.

Roger Ailes readers are the most discerning, enlightened, compassionate, honest, generous and sexually gifted readers anywhere.

Jihad Your Hair Smells Terrific

For those following the wingnut fantasia on whiteboy Islamists, Mark Tosspot's got a column at Clownhall.com where he continues to display his mad detecting skillz:

Here's another hole: Hinrichs registered his car in Oklahoma in June of this year, but only for nine months ending in February 2006. The June registration could be explained by his going to summer school, but the February expiration date would fall in the early weeks of what would have been his spring semester at OU. Did he know months ago that he would not be around by the time February rolled around next year?

There's only one explanation: the Oklahoma Tax Commission is controlled by jihadis!

How much a stickler for truth is Tosspot? He writes:

We knew as well that two days before he blew himself up, Hinrichs tried to buy ammonium nitrate from a local feed store. The store owner, who became suspicious when Hinrichs couldn't give a satisfactory answer for why he wanted the fertilizer that was a main ingredient in the bomb that destroyed the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City April 19, 1995, prevented him from doing so.
Thinking quickly, the store owner prevented Hinrichs from buying a product that his store doesn't carry.

Speaking of inaccuracy in Wingnuttery, Accuracy In Media is on the trail of al-Hinrichs and his intentional beard.

Oh, and my joke about Jayna Davis? I can't make this shit up.

Reliable Whores

When you want intelligent commentary on story of national importance, who do you call upon? If you're a rightwing whore like Howard Kurtz, you call upon some who "do[esn't] prentend to understand the story."

For the second time this month, Howie the Putz has invited Glenn Reynolds to appear on his CNN program, Reliable Sources. Today, the Putz invited Reynolds to opine on Treasongate.

Here's Reynolds displaying his deep understanding of the story just three months ago:

The Plame story is a strange one. Somebody may or may not have revealed that Valerie Plame, wife of flamboyant Bush critic Joseph Wilson, may or may not have held a covert position with the CIA, which may or may not be a crime. (For lots more background, see this timeline by Tom Maguire.) I don't pretend to understand the story, but I notice that the Times and Time, which were all for a criminal investigation when the affair first started, are now arguing that no crime was ever committed. Since they presumably know the leaker, and the leak, that may well be true.

As the foregoing illustrates, Reynolds admits that he ignorant of both the Plame story (an explicit admission) and the media's coverage of it (an implicit admission).

Why ask someone so proudly ignorant of the facts to opine on Treasongate? Why ask why?

(Transcript link to be added later.)

Update: Transcript link.

He's Just Not That Into You

Stephen Bainbridge, a professor of law at UCLA, the SMU of the UC system and conservative blogger, wonders why the Bush Administration doesn't take conservative bloggers seriously. The answer is simple.

Why should the Bush administration be different than anyone else?

With respect to the Miers nomination, which inspired the pedagogue's post, it's not clear what Bainbridge's beef is. Most of the nominee acceptable to the wingnutosphere were also being pushed by non-bloggers, who were equally "slighted" by Bush's pick. And surely Bainbridge doesn't believe that Bush would reconsider his choice simply because the wingnuts threw a mass tantrum. The Miers nomination reveals nothing about the G.O.P.'s view of righty bloggers, and everything about the righty bloggers' delusions of grandeur.

The Bush machine is happy to have conservative bloggers endlessly prattle on about kerning and repeat the Swift Boat lies they generate. You never turn down unpaid help, particularly help you can distance yourself from when they get too nutty. Or pushy. But respect is another thing. It must be earned.

Steve, if you want the Bush Administration to take you seriously, the solution is simple. Though it may hurt a little bit.

(Idea stolen from Atrios, cheap shots copyright Roger Ailes Blogco Co., LLC.)

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Meet Your Liberal Media: The Judy Miller of Defiance, Ohio Edition

Salon reports on a G.O.P. hack masquerading as a reporter, and his alleged attempt to cover up the crimes of the Ohio Republican Party:

But Bush's reelection may have been made possible by a [Toldeo] Blade reporter with close ties to the Republican Party who reportedly knew about Noe's potential campaign violations in early 2004 but suppressed the story.

According to several knowledgeable sources, the Blade's chief political columnist, Fritz Wenzel, was told of Noe's potential campaign violations as early as January 2004. But according to Blade editors, Wenzel never gave the paper the all-important tip in early 2004.

Wenzel says that he heard allegations of Noe's misdeeds only in spring 2004 and that he promptly informed his editors of them.

...

But Blade editors deny that Wenzel ever informed them about the allegations. The Blade's special projects editor, Dave Murray, who was Wenzel's assigning editor at the time, says Wenzel would have come to him with any such information about Noe. But, Murray says, "he never came to me, and, as far as I know, he never came to other Blade editors." Speaking for the other Blade editors, assistant editor LuAnn Sharp says no one recollects Wenzel turning over any such information.

Let's hope the Lucas County Prosecutor is taking lessons from Patrick Fitzgerald.

Word 2.0

The Word Network's blogad on left-leaning blogs no longer carries a photo of Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr. or a quote from Dr. King. It now contains a faux caption from its lawsuit against Sirius Satellite Network. The ad on wingnut blogs remains the same. Interesting.

One wonders how apt the comparison between Doctor King and the Word Network is in light of this article, which originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal and was reprinted in the San Francisco Chronicle in November 2003. Among the allegations made in the article:

  • The Adells, the white, majority-ownership owners of The Word Network, promised African-American clergy ownership interests in the corporation and failed to deliver those interests. The clergymen sued and the matter was settled out of court.
  • The Word Network, a non-profit, tax exempt corporation, pays to another Adell corporation the lesser of 95 percent of the network's programming revenues or the other corporation's costs (including salaries and legal fees) related to tranmitting the network to DirecTV.
  • The network sells the time to the religious broadcasters who appear on the network (which would explain the slots for the phony faith healers).

  • One of the Adells improperly attempted to force the company which built his home into involuntary bankruptcy; the company was awarded $6.4 million in damages, apparently including punitive damages, against Adell for a wrongful involuntary bankruptcy filing.

The article's nearly two years old and I don't know what's happened in the corporation in the interim. And, of course, I've got no independent verification of the accuracy of the article's reporting. If we credit the article, however, the Word Network (or its owners) seems more profit-driven than prophet-driven.

Is it possible to get a psychosomatic case of the bird flu?

Posting may be light here for a couple of days, but I'll put up a couple of works in progress at least.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Hotline, which purports to be a reputable publication, should be ashamed of this shit, published in on its blog:

TERRORISM: Sooner Or Later, Cable News Will Have To Pick Up On This

The bombing suicide of OU student Joel Hinrichs looks curiouser and curiouser: Gateway Pundit details a few reasons why suspicions are growing: "Joel attended the Islamic mosque near his apartment, possibly the same mosque as Zacarias Moussaoui attended. His Pakistani roommate has not been seen by neighbors since the incident. The very volatile explosive Joel used is the same chemical that Shoe Bomber Richard Reid tried to use before his arrest. It is very rarely seen in the US and is called "Mother of Satan" by Islamic extremists. Perhaps the best roundup of MSM reports and blog speculation is at CA-based non-blog ZombieTime. Michael Wright of Bellacio argues that ex-Sen./OU pres. David Boren, "widely known as the mentor and patron of George Tenet, seems very interested in undermining the investigation. He is sending a strong signal to the police that he will not tolerate any conclusion that terrorism was involved." Righty Karol Sheinin points out that so far, the nat'l media has ignored it, perhaps because they can't "find a 'blame Bush' angle." She notes, a Google News search for Joel Hinrichs' name produced 207 results, whereas a Technorati search "finds 198 blog posts about him. And, for most of us, this isn't our job."

Pathetic.

Eric Alterman writes:

Stupid on Purpose: If Times Select were a smashing success, does Mickey Kaus really think a number would be sufficiently significant to affect the media conglomerate's stock price, or is he just being stupid on purpose? ... I think "Stupid on Purpose" is a good new Altercation category, reserved for people who can't possibly believe the nonsense they spout, but do so in the service of some larger ideological or political goal.

I don't like to ascribe motive where it's not evident from a person's words or actions, so I'll just agree with the "Stupid" part. "On Purpose" gives Kaus credit for intelligence not demonstrated by his writings, and excludes the possibility that both genuine stupidity and dishonesty are at work.

Ledeen Scream

Not surprisingly, the Cornerites have been quiet about Larry Franklin's guilty plea, in which Franklin admitted to passing classified defense information to Israel and AIPAC. Perhaps they're embarassed for their pal, American Enterprise Institute "scholar" and neoclown Mikey Ledeen.

Here's a flashback to Leeden's defense of his pal Franklin, in which Ledeen employed the lame device of a conversation with dead CIA scumbag James Angleton:

ML: Don't you believe the stories about a mole hunt in the Pentagon?

JJA: Of course there are mole hunts. That's what CI people do. But they're supposed to be secret. Once you go public with the story, you've alerted your targets, and sabotaged your own investigation.

ML: So you're not impressed with all the news stories?

JJA: Look, as you've said, if the FBI has a real case, they don't go whispering to the press about it. They go to the grand jury. They don't leak, they indict and prosecute.

ML: Plus, they promised their media agents -- I mean the journalists -- that there would be arrests, and pronto. Nobody's been arrested, and some of the latest stories even quote the "sources" as saying that the Pentagon target -- my pal Larry Franklin -- may well be exonerated. That's quite a turnaround in a couple of days, isn't it?

JJA: It's embarrassing. At this point, given the state of the "news stories," you'd have to conclude that the CI folks in the bureau are either incompetent or McCarthyites. Either they leaked information that should have been kept secret -- if there is indeed any case against Mr. Franklin or others -- or they are trying to smear him and some of his friends and colleagues. Including you, I might point out.

ML: Thanks for noticing, but it's same old, same old. But maybe it's not the bureau. Apparently people on the intelligence oversight committees were briefed on the investigation, so maybe they're the leakers.

...

JJA: Yes. Conversely, if there were no such approval, it would suggest that they don't have much of a case. I'd be interested in knowing specifically how many wiretaps were approved or rejected. For example, I'd be quite astonished if a court approved a wiretap of AIPAC -- which, according to the stories, is the alleged intermediary of the "classified information" Franklin is supposed to have passed to the Israelis.

ML: What's your gut reaction?

JJA: I can't really tell, because the "story" doesn't make any sense. What do we know about Franklin? The main fact is that he's an intelligence professional. He spent his career in the DIA. Like everyone else who handles classified material, he knows the rule by heart: You cannot disclose such information to "unauthorized persons." So if a professional decides to do that, he's always going to do it very carefully. You've read enough spy novels to know the methods: dead drops, secret writing, codes, the whole nine yards.

...

ML: But countries, even friendly countries, certainly spy on one another, so theoretically there might be friendly espionage operations in Washington.

JJA: There are certainly espionage operations here, from all our friends and enemies. But Israel is one of the countries least likely to recruit agents in the American government.

ML: Because of Pollard, right?

JJA: You bet. That damn near wrecked the relationship, and they don't want a repeat. And I keep coming back to the professionalism question. If someone in the U.S. government were passing secrets to Israel, I just can't imagine that it would take place in a restaurant, or that AIPAC -- which knows it has endless enemies in the counterintelligence community -- would do such a thing.

ML: So what do you think an AIPAC guy would do if somebody walked up to him in a restaurant and said "Here, I've got some interesting documents for you about American policy debates on Iran."

JJA: The AIPAC guy would run away as fast as he could. Are you kidding?

ML: I agree. And I also agree that we're dealing with incompetence or McCarthyism. In either case, it's disgusting.

...

ML: Let's come back to the journalists for a second. Aren't they culpable too?

JJA: That's a bit more difficult, but they certainly haven't covered themselves with glory. Whenever they're approached with a story like this, they should ask the FBI: If you've got such a strong case, why haven't you obtained indictments from a grand jury? And if there aren't any indictments, and if nobody's been arrested, then why are you asking me to do your dirty work for you?

ML: So put up or shut up, right?

JJA: Amen, brother. Put up or shut up.

ML: I'll get back to you if there are further developments.

We await your further reports, Mikey. Put up or shut up.

More on the Ledeen/Franklin/Feith connection here.

And let's not overlook the stellar work of clownhall.com's Joel Mowbray, who crowed in April that "[s]tories on Larry Franklin, dual loyalties, and espionage for Israel look more far-fetched with each passing day." (And attempted a little ass-covering in May.) I expect Mowbray will be silent in October.