Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Steele Pelted Radials

The Moonie Times, making shit up once again:

Of the two newspapers that have most frequently discussed the event, the Sun's reporting has been largely circumspect, typically reporting the incident as a claim made by Republicans. The Washington Times, by contrast, has more freely propagated the most incendiary version of the incident, repeatedly reporting as a given fact that Steele was "pelted" by cookies at the debate.

"This is why we as journalists have such a hard time getting the public to trust us and [getting] people to talk to us," says WTOP investigative reporter Mark Segraves, who last week broadcast a story harshly critical of Times reporter S.A. Miller's articles on the subject.

Miller was at the debate in 2002 but acknowledges he didn't see any Oreos. In neither of his two stories about Steele being "pelted" with Oreos does Miller cite his sources. "I heard it that night," the tells City Paper. "I can’t remember where I heard it. It was repeated by people on the Ehrlich campaign." Miller defends his reporting on the grounds that he has "no reason to doubt that it happened. It fits right in with everything else I know happened that night."

Kudos to Gadi Dechter for chronicling the lies and the lying Republicans -- and Moonies -- who repeat them.

Update (11/23): And kudos to S.A. Miller for disclosing the Moonies' standard for publishing smears: subjective plausibility. Because no one but a right-wing lunatic would think Ehrlich's story is plausible.

S.A. is the new J.F.

(Also, changed the headline.)

This Just In

Drudge sees eggs over Dick Cheney's face; is hospitalized following autoerotic asphyxiation attempt.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Free Advice

In the spirit of cooperation and friendship, I offer the following constructive suggestions to improve the content of "OSM.org":

Larry Franklin's Prison Diaries.

An investment advice column.

Corrections of Our Corrections of Our Corrections.

An SM advice column.

John Podhoretz's Shoeblog.

The return of Larry King's column.

Weekly launch parties, with liveblogging.

Whatever Happened To? reports on the members of the Editorial Board.

Trust Us. We're Fighting A War On Terror

Think the minions of Johnny Asscrack and Abu Gonzales are on the same team as truth and beauty?

How about now?

Once trumpeted as one of the Justice Department's significant triumphs against terrorism, the case targeting the so-called "Detroit sleeper cell" began less than a week after the attack on the World Trade Center. It was only after a jury convicted two men of supporting terrorism that the flimsiness of the government's case became clear.

As hidden evidence spilled out and the Justice Department abandoned the effort, federal investigators began to wonder whether the true conspiracy in the case was perpetrated by the prosecution.

Now a federal grand jury in Detroit is investigating whether the lead prosecutor, Richard Convertino, or anyone else should be indicted for unfairly tipping the scales.

It is a highly unusual case. No charges have been brought and many details remain secret, but information in public documents and testimony in U.S. District Court in Detroit suggest an effort by federal prosecutors and important witnesses to mislead defense lawyers and deceive the jury. U.S. District Judge Gerald E. Rosen said the government acted "outside the Constitution."

Rosen and Justice Department investigators concluded last year that the prosecution stuck doggedly to its theory in defiance of plausible explanations and advice from other U.S. government officials. Records suggest prosecutors withheld evidence that cast doubt on their conclusions, even when ordered by superiors to deliver documents to the defense.

Yes, I know Convertino was fired by the DoJ and is now suing for wrongful termination. The question is why the DoJ let Convertino act as he did for as long as he did. And why Bush Justice wants to grab unlimited powers while precluding any oversight of prosecution other than its own.

Smarter Republicans, Please

It must be hard when your best defense is that you're a moron and that defense proves you're also a liar:

Several Republicans who were on the House floor said afterward that Ms. Schmidt did not appear to know she was referring to a much-decorated veteran.

"The poor lady didn't know Jack Murtha was a Marine - she really just ran into a hornet's nest," said Representative Jack Kingston of Georgia.

Representative David Dreier of California said, "Very clearly, she did not know that Jack Murtha was a Marine."

The only problem is that Schmidt did know Murtha was a Marine, as evidenced by her statement comparing "cowards" to "Marines." If she didn't know Murtha was a Marine, why would she make the comparison?

Tbe article also suggests that her Republican constitutents don't think she's nutty enough. Ohio must be a fun place to live.

Mein Gott!

Meet a man overqualified for a job in the Bush Administration:

One CIA-led unit investigated Curveball himself. The leader was "Jerry," a veteran CIA bio-weapons analyst who had championed Curveball's case at the CIA weapons center. They found Curveball's personnel file in an Iraqi government storeroom. It was devastating.

Curveball was last in his engineering class, not first, as he had claimed. He was a low-level trainee engineer, not a project chief or site manager, as the CIA had insisted.

Most important, records showed Curveball had been fired in 1995, at the very time he said he had begun working on bio-warfare trucks. A former CIA official said Curveball also apparently was jailed for a sex crime and then drove a Baghdad taxi.

...

Jerry tracked down Curveball's Sunni Muslim parents in a middle-class Baghdad neighborhood.

"Our guy was very polite," Kay recalled. "He said, 'We understand your son doesn't like Americans.' His mother looked shocked. She said, 'No, no! He loves Americans.' And she took him into [her son's] bedroom and it was filled with posters of American rock stars. It was like any other teenage room. She said one of his goals was to go to America."
NSA? DoD? Press Secretary?

The opportunities are endless.

Blowhard Christian Soldiers

Here's Jean Schmidt's friend, Ohio Representative Danny Bubp, waxing eloquent about the importance of the Occupation of Iraq:

"Isn't it hard to believe that we are a nation at war? Whether I'm in my office in West Union or in Columbus, it is hard to tell we are at war."
Yes, whether Danny's on the telephone, smearing a war veteran, or simply sitting on the can, thinking great thoughts; whether he's looking out for Ohio's tobacco farmers or trying to impose his religious beliefs on you, it's hard for Danny to tell that the United States is at war.

It's also hard for him to tell that there are non-Christians in his Congressional District. But it's probably safer for those folks that way.

I'd guess Ralph Reed's making many trips to the bathroom this weekend, knowing that Michael Scanlon's cooperating with the feds:

Scanlon may also be knowledgeable about Abramoff's direction of tribal funds to several charitable foundations and advocacy groups and tax-exempt organizations, including one run by anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist. E-mail shows that Scanlon was intimately familiar with some of the financial dealings of anti-gambling activist Ralph Reed, former executive director of the Christian Coalition.

Reed, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor in Georgia, has acknowledged receiving $4 million in dealings with Abramoff to whip up anti-casino campaigns in the South, but has maintained he did not know the funds came from the gaming proceeds of tribes that wanted to scuttle competition.

E-mails and other documents obtained by The Washington Post, and some released by the Indian Affairs Committee, show that Reed was routinely paid with tribal funds that were sent to Scanlon's firm, then routed to an Abramoff company called KayGold, and then sent to one of Reed's Atlanta-based political consulting firms.

Watch for updates on Ralph's Blog.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Cowards Cut and Run

Ms. Schmidt: Yesterday I stood at Arlington National Cemetery attending the funeral of a young marine in my district. He believed in what we were doing is the right thing and had the courage to lay his life on the line to do it. A few minutes ago I received a call from Colonel Danny Bop, Ohio Representative from the 88th district in the House of Representatives. He asked me to send Congress a message: Stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message, that cowards cut and run, Marines never do. Danny and the rest of America and the world want the assurance from this body -- that we will see this through.

The Speaker Pro Tempore: The house will be in order. The house will be in order. The house will be in order. The house will be in order. The house will be in order. The gentlelady will suspend. And the clerk will report her words. All members will suspend. The gentleman from Arkansas has demanded that the gentlelady's words be taken down. The clerk will report the gentlelady's words.

The Speaker Pro Tempore: The house will be in order. Members pleas[e] take seats. The gentlelady from Ohio.

Ms. Schmidt: Mr. Speaker, my remarks were not directed at any member of the House and I did not intend to suggest that they applied to any member. Most especially the distinguished gentleman from Pennsylvania. I therefore ask for unanimous consent that my words be withdrawn.
Cut, and run, and lie.

(Link)

Friday, November 18, 2005

Neokarn Evil 9

Calling all bloggers! On Monday, November 21, Instapundit Glenn Reynolds will be ringmaster for a blog carnival, hosted right here on OSM.

Someone should tell OSM that circuses have ringmasters; carnivals have inbred hillbillies with outstanding warrants and missing fingers. They're called carnies. Or perfessers.

But Where's Dennis Prager?

Everything you need to know about "Judeo-Christian Values," in one paragraph:

Rabbi Daniel Lapin's nonprofit, founded with Abramoff and film critic/radio talker Michael Medved, promotes faith-based conservative politics in tandem with the religious right. Through Abramoff's considerable GOP connections, Lapin has brokered alliances with congressional and Bush administration officials as well. They include tax-reform guru Grover Norquist and consultant Ralph Reed, both of whom have been subpoenaed to appear before Sen. John McCain's Senate Indian Affairs committee, which is looking into the extraordinary lobbying fees Abramoff charged tribes and casinos, work performed mostly after leaving Preston Gates. A radio host on KTTH-AM (770), Lapin is co-chair of the American Alliance of Jews and Christians, whose board includes Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson. Lapin is involved in other religious/political alliances that worked to get George W. Bush elected and re-elected. Last year, Newsweek reported, "When fundraising began for Bush's re-election effort, Rabbi Daniel Lapin . . . urged friends and colleagues to steer campaign checks to Bush via Abramoff." President Bush recently reappointed Lapin to the U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America's Heritage Abroad, which helps preserve cemeteries, monuments, and historic buildings in Eastern and Central Europe. Donors to his charity, according to IRS tax filings, comprise the cream of the religious right, such as Lenore Broughton, the Carthage Foundation, and the Scaife Family Foundation. They have helped Lapin raise, on average, about $500,000 a year, based on filings from 1997 through 2003 -- money he uses to "educate the public through conventions, seminars, public speaking, and class studies on Judeo Christian values," he told the IRS. His religious beliefs include opposition to homosexuality. He speaks at the Eastside church of fellow KTTH talk-show host, the Rev. Ken Hutcherson, who recently waged an anti-gay-rights battle with Microsoft. But Daniel Lapin supports school vouchers, which could aid the cause of school prayer by boosting private institutions. Having splintered off into a minority movement from historically liberal Jews, Lapin has said he intends to make "my priority rolling back the epidemic of secularism that was unleashed on this country."
Good luck with that.

Grand Old Police Blotter: F'ing Gold Edition

This bastard can squeal all he wants, but he better do some time too:

Former public relations executive Michael Scanlon was charged yesterday with conspiring with former lobbyist Jack Abramoff to bribe government officials, including a congressman, and bilk millions of dollars from Indian tribes.

The government officials were not named in a court document filed by federal prosecutors in the District. But the document's description of legislative favors allegedly provided by a person identified as "Representative #1" matches the actions of Rep. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Administration Committee.

...

Scanlon, 35, is charged with one count of conspiracy. He has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, said sources familiar with the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Such cooperation from a pivotal figure in the Abramoff case is a major advance in the 18-month federal investigation into alleged bribery and corruption involving the lobbyist, members of Congress and executive branch agencies.

In the court documents, prosecutors said Scanlon, once a press aide to former House majority leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), worked with Abramoff in a scheme in which the lobbyist would direct tribes to hire Scanlon's public relations firm without telling them Scanlon had agreed to kick back half of the profits to Abramoff.

Abramoff is going to be one sorry motherf'er.

Two sources involved in the case, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said prosecutors have e-mails in which Abramoff and Scanlon discussed making contributions to the National Republican Congressional Committee that Ney could take credit for as an inducement to getting him to place comments in the Congressional Record.

In March 2002, Ney agreed to back legislative language that would benefit the Tigua tribe of El Paso, an Abramoff and Scanlon client. The lobbyists wanted Ney's help to reopen the Tigua casino, which the state of Texas had shut down.

"Just met with Ney!!! We're f'ing gold!!!! He's going to do Tigua," Abramoff told Scanlon in a March 20, 2002, e-mail made public by Senate investigators.

And you're going to do life, Jack.

(And does your pal Mikey Medved know you use language like that?)

Call me a class warrior, but I always enjoy it when a rich Republican prick goes to prison.

Scanlon worked until 2000 for DeLay, who stepped down from his leadership post in September after being charged with violating campaign finance laws in Texas. When Scanlon left Capitol Hill to join forces with Abramoff, he was still paying off student loans. Soon he was buying millions of dollars in real estate and traveling by helicopter and corporate jet.

The bigger they are, the harder they fall.

And let's hope Scanlon brings the Toxic Texan down with him.

Update: More here.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

You can't slip anything past old John McCain:

"Abramoff's requests were often paired with discussions of contributions for Federici's group. On April 3, 2003, Abramoff sent her an 'urgent alert' about an Interior policy change. 'Any way to see if this is something coming from the top?' he asked. Federici responded: 'I will definitely see what i can find out. I hate to bug you, but is there any news about a possible contribution....'

"McCain questioned whether the exchange was a quid pro quo."

Different subject: Is it only Republicans who don't have a clue about e-mail, or just older folks in general? Or it is sheer arrogance?

Arrested Degenerate

Speaking of right-wing lowlifes and prison (see post below), the Austrian government has arrested Holocaust denier David Irving, based on a sixteen-year old arrest warrant.

The writer David Irving was arrested in Austria last week, according to a statement on his Web site. Although he has not yet been charged, he is suspected of the crime of Holocaust denial.

Mr. Irving, who has written several dozen books about Germany and the Nazis, and who has said Hitler was not responsible for the Nazi campaign to massacre Europe's Jews, was arrested in Hartberg, in the southern province of Styria, Reuters reported.

Government officials told the news agency that Mr. Irving had been wanted since 1989, when a warrant was issued for his arrest in connection with speeches he had made in Vienna and in Leoben, in southern Austria. But they said they had not decided whether it was appropriate to charge him so many years after the fact. If he is tried and found guilty, he could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison, officials told Reuters.

I've got mixed feelings about this. I don't think laws criminalizing speech should exist, but Irving makes it hard to stand on one's principles. Maybe Austria could charge him with illegal entry into the country and dodge the speech issue.

After further thought: Arresting him for illegal immigration isn't a satisfactory solution if he's barred from the country either because of the original speech or for avoiding arrest based on that speech.

Grand Old Police Blotter: Black Letter Law Edition

There must be a lot of weeping and wailing at David Frum's house today. Frumpy's sugar daddy is facing serious prison time.

At Hollinger, the owner of the Chicago Sun-Times and other papers, Black and a cadre of other company officials were legally obliged "to safeguard the shareholders," U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald said at a press conference.

But instead, he continued, they "made it their job to steal and conceal."

What happened at Hollinger represents the "grossest" type of abuse by corporate officials, Fitzgerald said.

Black's transgressions extended far beyond the media concern's offices, prosecutors say. The indictment claims Black ripped off the company's stockholders by using Hollinger's corporate jet to take a personal vacation to Bora Bora in Polynesia. And it says he "fraudulently" billed Hollinger for his wife's birthday party at a high-priced New York restaurant by calling it a business-related expense.

The alleged frauds "were blatant and pervasive," said Robert Grant, head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Chicago office. "They extended from back rooms to the board room, and from Park Avenue to the South Pacific."

Black is charged with eight counts of fraud, each carrying a maximum sentence of five years in prison. From the House of Lords to the big house. Maybe Lord Archer can give him tips on how to make friends in the slammer.

Why write for free?

Oh, man!

I am out of here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Death of Legal Reasoning

The Washington Post finds an attorney who thinks Woody Deadpecker's testimony helps Scooter:

"I think it's a considerable boost to the defendant's case," said John Moustakas, a former federal prosecutor who has no role in the case. "It casts doubt about whether Fitzgerald knew everything as he charged someone with very serious offenses."
Except that has nothing to do with whether Libby lied under oath.

Other legal experts agreed.

At least they weren't stupid enough to allow the Post to use their names.

Or quote them.

Or mention them ever again.

Moustakas said Woodward also has considerable credibility because he has been granted "unprecedented access" to the inner workings of the Bush White House. "When Woodward says this information was disclosed to me in a nonchalant and casual way -- not as if it was classified -- it helps corroborate Libby's account about himself and about the administration," Moustakas said.
Does this guy know anything about the case? Woody doesn't claim Scooter is his source, so it doesn't matter whether Woody's leaker had bulging veins in his forehead or was meditating when he blabbed to Woody. That testimony's about as helpful to Irv Gotti as it is to Irv Libby.

John Moustakas must be Victoria Toensing's drag king name.
More Conflicts of Interest Than A Howie Kurtz Convention

Various other bloggers you've already read, including Jane at firedoglake, have said most everything I've wanted to say about Woody Deadpecker. Woody's journalistic crime was not withholding information, but misleading people by withholding that information while repeatedly speaking on Traitorgate and defending the Administration.

Let the severance negotiations begin.

Let A Hundred Thousand Dollars Bloom

The New York Times reports on a domestic Chalabi. One of many:

In what is expected to be the first of a series of criminal charges against officials and contractors overseeing the rebuilding of Iraq, an American has been charged with paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks to American occupation authorities and their spouses to obtain construction contracts, according to a complaint unsealed late yesterday.

The man, Philip H. Bloom, who controlled three companies that did work in Iraq in the multibillion-dollar reconstruction effort, was charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, conspiracy to launder money and interstate transportation of stolen property, all in connection with obtaining up to $3.5 million in reportedly fraudulent contracts.

The complaint, unsealed in the Federal District Court of the District of Columbia, also cites two unnamed co-conspirators who worked in the Coalition Provisional Authority, the American administration that governed Iraq when the contracts were awarded in early 2004. These were the officials who, with their spouses, allegedly received the payments.

"This is the first case, but it won't be the last," said Jim Mitchell, a spokesman for the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, an independent office. Mr. Mitchell said as many as a dozen related cases had been referred to the Justice Department for possible prosecution.

Ah, the spoils of a Republican war.

$3.5 million ... you don't suppose?

The complaint says that in order to obtain lucrative reconstruction contracts, Mr. Bloom paid at least $200,000 a month to an unspecified number of coalition authority officials, including the two co-conspirators and their spouses.

If it's good enough for the Dukester, it's good enough for Bloom.

The description sounds a lot like this guy:

Bloom's instinct for business is running as strong as ever, and in 2003 GBG's considerable experience and talent were brought to bear in the Middle East, bringing the company to its current incarnation of GBG Logistics SRL, Bloom and his staff, a compact distillation of talent and energy which surpasses companies many times their size, are at the center of the Iraq Reconstruction effort, providing the utmost performance in brokering, contracting, creating and developing projects for the cream of the crop. Clients include direct contracts with the US Government and several of its Prime Contractors, the Coalitional Provisional Authority and subsequent Iraqi provisional government, and innumerable domestic vendors and service organizations throughout Iraq, Turkey, and other Middle East regions.

Of course, I can't say whether it's the same guy. We shall see.

Variations On A Theme

Here, in no particular order, are some stories that I don't have time to write about at this very moment:

Document Says Oil Chiefs Met With Cheney Task Force

Torture Alleged at Ministry Site Outside Baghdad

Broadcast Chief Violated Laws, Inquiry Says

Woodward Was Told Of Plame More Than Two Years Ago

Tide Turning in GOP Senators' War View

9-11 Changed Their Lives Forever

Here's the full list of contributors to Open Contempt Media.

Impressive? I'll say.

You won't find a larger collection of uninteresting wingnut blowhards outside of any wingnut's blogroll.

Sadly, Hugh Hewitt and the Ambiguously PowerLine Trio, who were supposedly present at the moment of conception, didn't make the cut. So there is some minimal quality control in place.

The key to the site's success will be its timeliness.

And let's give it up for the editing chair, Glenn Reynolds. Glenn assures us that he's often in control of his major motor functions: "There's a lot of stuff I tend more or less by design not to blog." You're a natural, Glenn.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Corrupt Bush crony Bernie Kerik makes the headlines again.

This guy's name should come up every time Rudy Guiliani appears on television until Rudy declares he'll never again run for, or accept a nomination to, public office.

RUI

Slate asks a bunch of famous people ... well, mostly journalists and comedy writers who aren't particularly famous ... to choose the most influential book they read in college.

The sad thing is, I can't think of one. I can remember a large number of books I enjoyed read, and some I read but didn't much enjoy, but none that really had a great influence on my life. And, really, I'm not particularly sad about this either.

Prague Crock

Eric Alterman makes the point I was going to make in response today's lead New York Times editorial, but I hate to waste a good pun.

The Times opined:

"The Bush administration was also alone in making the absurd claim that Iraq was in league with Al Qaeda and somehow connected to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. That was based on two false tales. One was the supposed trip to Prague by Mohamed Atta, a report that was disputed before the war and came from an unreliable drunk. The other was that Iraq trained Qaeda members in the use of chemical and biological weapons. Before the war, the Defense Intelligence Agency concluded that this was a deliberate fabrication by an informer."

Alone. Just the Bush Administration and one other source. The New York Times editorial page.

Let's reminisce:

EDITORIAL DESK | November 12, 2001, Monday

Essay; Prague Connection

By WILLIAM SAFIRE (NYT) Op-Ed 785 words
Late Edition - Final , Section A , Page 19 , Column 5

ABSTRACT - William Safire Op-Ed column discusses 'undisputed fact' connecting Iraq's Pres Saddam Hussein to September 11 terrorist attacks (M)
and

EDITORIAL DESK | March 18, 2002, Monday

Protecting Saddam

By WILLIAM SAFIRE (NYT) Op-Ed 737 words
Late Edition - Final , Section A , Page 25 , Column 5

ABSTRACT - William Safire Op-Ed column says disinformation technique is being used to wipe out fact of meeting between Mohamed Atta, leading Al Qaeda hijacker, and Ahmed al-Ani, Iraqi consul, five months before Sept 11 attacks in US; says Russia, certain European officials and Arab potentates downplay evidence, hoping to erase Saddam Hussein's clandestine support of international terrorism; says they do not want United States to have reason to liberate Iraqi people, and they see great profit in doing oil business with Hussein and collecting tens of bilions in debts; says meanwhile, Iraqi scientists are racing to build nuclear and biological weapons that would blackmail into impotence any power daring to unseat Hussein (M)

and

EDITORIAL DESK | May 9, 2002, Thursday

Mr. Atta Goes to Prague

By WILLIAM SAFIRE (NYT) Op-Ed 751 words
Late Edition - Final , Section A , Page 39 , Column 1

ABSTRACT - William Safire Op-Ed column questions efforts by CIA and Justice Department to cast doubt on report that Mohamed Atta, leader of Sept 11 terrorists, met Ahmed al-Ani, Pres Saddam Hussein's espionage chief, in Iraqi Embassy in Prague in April 2001; says if there was a meeting, it would demand immediate US military response (M)
(Sorry, the budget can't accomodate more elaborate flashbacks.)

We all know Safire's full of shit, Gail, but isn't calling him an unreliable drunk a bit harsh?

The real issue is why the Times' editorial page repeatedly published a claim it knew to be absurd.

And you can't begin to rehabilitate yourself unless you acknowledge your errors.

Brilliant!

You've got to hand it to them. It can't be easy to find rich suckers who can be bamboozled into buying this:

In the beginning, however, they will be somewhat dependent on that same mainstream media. The site will have links to the top news headlines of the day, as reported by the AP and other establishment news sources.

Here's the difference: alongside each news headline, Pajamas Media will link related blog posts that their editors consider to be the most interesting or insightful out there. And as the story evolves, so will the blog links. Pajamas Media's coverage and commentary will be worldwide and around-the-clock. They already have blogger editors lined up in Europe and Australia.

Corn, you get the 3 a.m. shift. Hall, 4 a.m. Cooper, get Mr. Johnson another drink.

Pajamas Media will also distinguish itself from the mainstream folks, according to Simon, with "a new method of fact-checking."

An internal instant-messaging system will link their correspondents all over the world. If there are any doubts about a report's veracity, they can call on the expertise of their editors instantly.

These editors thus far include California-based freelance journalist Jill Stewart, Tennessee-based Glenn Reynolds of the ur-blog Instapundit, and Aussie columnist Tim Blair.

aznh8tr: gr8 catch on those MD ecoterrorists, Glenn.

tncrkr: tx. yr OUIslamofascist expose is g2g.

More than that, however, Johnson and Simon consider the entire blogosphere their fact-checkers. This is a sacred tenet among many bloggers. If a blogger makes a mistake, readers will call him on it right away, either via comment or email. And the blogger is honor-bound to corect it immediately and clearly.

Stop it. You're killing me.

Johnson and Simon claim that, like most bloggers, they will not hesitate to own up to errors.

Like that whole "Lawrence Franklin is being railroaded thing."

Johnson and Simon insist that ideology will not play a role in their quest to locate the best blog posts. Both are former liberal Democrats who turned to the right after 9/11. They've made a deliberate effort to include all angles on their board of editors. For example, "you've got David Corn on one side, and Michael Barone on the other," Simon said. "And in the middle Tammy Bruce."

That's hot.

Can (another) neocon Memeorandum which relies upon the accuracy and integrity of Charles Johnson and Michael Leeden be successful? Sorry to break it to you, you deep-pocketed chumps, but Roger el-Simon doesn't give a fuck. He'll "worry later on as to whether we succeed."

Update: S.Z. at World O'Crap tells us all about Tammy in the middle.

Fully Blown

"All you have in the blogosphere is your credibility," she said. "You don't want to blow that."

Oops, too late. Bigot says:

Accordingly, I am retracting my claim that Herzig-Yoshinaga "surreptitiously shared confidential documents with" Irons. I have made a note of this on the errata page of my book. Moreover, I am directing Regnery to excise the words "surreptitiously" and "confidential" from future editions of the book.

In addition, I retract the following statements which appeared on my blog:

August 24, 2004:

Contrary to [University of North Carolina law professor Eric] Muller's assertion that the papers shared were "publicly available documents sitting in publicly available files at archives open to the public," the article makes clear that Irons did not obtain permission to receive the papers he acquired from Herzig-Yoshinaga.

August 25, 2004:

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

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

Those PJ Media investors might want to get fully-executed indemnity agreements and a huge-ass liability policy before they publish Malkin.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Star Parker revels in her own ignorance once again. She writes:

November has been a banner month so far in California for assaulting the traditional family. Last Tuesday, California voters rejected Proposition 73, which would have required parental notification before allowing a minor to receive an abortion. The week before, California's wacko 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that parents do not have "exclusive" right in their children's sex education.

So California assaulted the "family" by doing nothing and leaving things the way they were. How deviant of us.

And, as any idiot knows, the Ninth Circuit is not a California court, but a federal court with multi-state jurisdiction. And the Ninth Circuit's ruling had nothing to do with California law.

But Parker's written an entire paragraph without characterizing African-Americans as victims of liberals. Not even a mention of the "Democrat plantation!" She's really slipping.

Wait, here it is:

Aside from the angst that comes from watching the long-term implosion of a society, I have immediate concerns that California's assault on the traditional family is simultaneously an assault on blacks and the poor.

Of course you do, Star.

Government subsidization and protection of irresponsible behavior has gotten blacks into the social black hole in which they now find themselves. Black kids are not suffering because they need more rights. They are suffering because they are not learning, from an early age, about responsibilities and consequences.

If you make abortions cheap enough, everyone will want one.

Parker displays equal ignorance, or dishonesty, regarding the Ninth Circuit's ruling. Parker writes:

Parents sued claiming that the school had intruded on their fundamental right to "control the upbringing of their children" regarding matters of values and sex. [Para.] No, said the court. Parents have no "exclusive" right here. The school is their partner in raising their children. According to the court's Justice [sic] Reinhardt, parents have no right "to prevent a public school from providing its students with whatever information it wishes to provide, sexual or otherwise, when and as the school determines that it is appropriate to do so."

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

The court only addressed whether the parents had a federal constitutional right to dictate school policy according to their individual whims. (Read the opinion, Fields vs. Palmdale, 11/2/05, here. Warning: .pdf file.) The court specifically did not address any state law rights or claims because, in the absence of a valid federal claim, federal jurisdiction was lacking.

It would seem Parker knows that she's misrepresenting the Court's holding, since she omits the word "constitutional" which immediately precedes the language she quotes. (Of course, honesty then would require her to identify the federal constitutional right she would create for the occasion.) On the other hand, Parker could just be unnaturally stupid. It's a close call.

So What?

David Safavian's attorney is making the argument that it's unfair for the Feds to prosecute her client because Safavian's crimes were uncovered in the course of investigation of Tom DeLay's best pal, Jack Abramoff.

To recap Safavian's crimes:

Safavian was given clearance to go on the trip to Scotland after telling GSA's ethics officer that Abramoff "has no business before GSA," according to the indictment in the case. On that trip Abramoff spent over $130,000 for nine people.

Around that time, Abramoff repeatedly contacted Safavian about the possibility of leasing the Old Post Office in downtown Washington for his clients and the possibility of acquiring or leasing part of 600 acres in Silver Spring, Md., managed by GSA.

The judge isn't buying Safavian's argument:

[Safavian lawyer] Van Gelder argued that the FBI devised a plan to secure Safavian's cooperation in the grand jury probe of Abramoff, congressmen and executive branch employees.

Investigators gave Safavian 24 hours to cooperate with the probe or face arrest and also placed him under surveillance, Van Gelder said, drawing little sympathy from U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman.

"Unless you can meet the very high threshold for selective or discriminatory prosecution, then so what?" replied Friedman, who made no immediate decision on the document requests.

I'd bet the judge has made his decision; he just hasn't announced it yet.

If Safavian was smart, he'd rat out Jack Abramoff in exchange for leniency. (And ask for witness protection, just to remain on the alive side.) But, quite obviously, he's not very smart.

Scenes From An Abortion

Like Atrios, we are eagerly awaiting the launch of the Pajamas Media Service on November 16, 2005. An editorial board dominated by National Review hacks and other neocon apologists for treason editing the cream of the crap from 15-hit-a-day subliterate Cheeto-inhaling Keyboarders.

Now that's a recipe for suck-cess.

Via Norbizness, we see that Suzanne Fields has again outsourced her column to brain-damaged monkeys:

"The Sexual Revolution, abetted by the Pill and feminism, brought rage to sex; men and women remained opposites while attracting each other. They learned to overcome hostilities to take advantage of new possibilities."

You don't often see such incoherence outside of a psychiatric ward, or the pages of the Moonie Times.

Anonymous Liars

Eric Engberg has a great piece about confidential sources who lie. He cites the example of convicted criminal and current government employee Elliott Abrams, who lied to him about the operations of Lt. Crmnl. Oliver North back in the day. I wouldn't be surprised if Abrams continues to be a valued source for the reliable hacks in the Washington press corps, along with the various other indicted and as-yet-unindicted liars in the Bush Admnistration.

Of course, Mr. Engberg assumes an ethical press corps (or, at least one interested in returning to ethical standards). But when you've got reporters who conspire to deliberately mislead readers -- as in describing an Administration official a "former Hill staffer" -- it's not a case of politicians using the media, it's a case of the media abusing its readers. (How could a reporter accurately identify Abrams today: "An Administration official formerly convicted of lying to Congress"?) And if certain outlets adopted the laudable standards that Mr. Engberg proposes, the liars would still have plenty of outlets to which they could peddle their lies. Still, refusing to quote liars anonymously is a small first step toward actually exposing the Administration's lies.

Who says Josh Marshall doesn't have a sense of humor:

"Mickey and Andrew were both well-established and highly-respected journalists before they ever got involved with blogging."

(link)

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Dance, Monkey, Dance

Who said fundies don't approve of dancing? Ralph Reed calls the tune and John Cornyn pirrouettes:

In the Nov. 30, 2001, e-mail, Reed told Abramoff that 50 pastors led by Ed Young, of Second Baptist Church in Houston, would meet with Cornyn to urge him to shut down the Alabama-Coushatta tribe's casino near Livingston. He said Young would back up the request in writing.

"We have also choreographed Cornyn's response. The AG will state that the law is clear, talk about how much he wants to avoid repetition of El Paso (where the Tigua casino was) and pledge to take swift action to enforce the law," Reed wrote. "He will also personally hand Ed Young a letter that commits him to take action in Livingston."

Cornyn denied being Reed's dancing monkey, while picking fleas from his coat and eating them.

Reed's spokesperson, meanwhile, calls her boss a lying sack:

"No one should take credit for state Attorney General John Cornyn's actions and the faith community's support," Reed's spokeswoman Lisa Baron said. "Ralph Reed never has and never will."

(Link via Talking Points Memo)

On The Media

Kudos to Bob Garfield for asking tough questions of Judith Fucking Miller on today's On The Media. (Listen here, if you like.)

Garfield asked questions no one else has asked, including one calling bullsh-t on this lie I commented upon here. Miller's credibility has been so diminished she'll soon be reduced to ghostwriting blog posts for Michael Ledeen.

Delivered In A Jaguar

Roger's amazon.com Wish List.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Peak Blow

This is interesting. According to Cokie Kudlow bio at Depends Media, Kudlow's prime years as a cokehead coincided with his tenure as senior economics editor for National Review. That explains a lot about Cokie's (and NRO's) love of supply-side economics. Maybe Donnie Luskin should change his company's name to Trend Crackholytics LLC. Although the drug of choice at NRO these days is Metamucil.

Rejoice

Great news. The Rittenhouse Review by James Capozzola is back online with its literate, award-winning coverage of Philadelphia and the world. Welcome back, Jim.

Sentences Best Left Unfinished

From amazon.com (of course):

"Following in the tradition of John Howard Griffin (Black Like Me) and Barbara Ehrenreich (Nickel and Dimed), Norah Vincent..."

Judd Nelson has already optioned the film rights.

"With her buddies on the bowling league she enjoyed the rough and rewarding embrace of male camaraderie undetectable to an outsider. A stint in a high-octane sales job taught her the gut-wrenching pressures endured by men who would do anything to succeed."

Because women don't sell stuff, or work in high pressure jobs, or bowl.

She frequented sex clubs, dated women hungry for love but bitter about men, and infiltrated all-male communities as hermetically sealed as a men’s therapy group, and even a monastery."
And even the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

"Having gone where no woman (who wasn't an aspiring or actual transsexual) has gone for any significant length of time, let alone eighteen months, Norah Vincent's surprising account is an enthralling reading experience and a revelatory piece of anecdotally based gender analysis that is sure to spark fierce and fascinating conversation."

Could you try to use more adjectivally based pointless and redundant superlatives and modifier based qualifications in that sentence, Ms. and/or Mr. p.r. hack? Could you?

And God knows what actual and/or aspiring transsexuals think about gender doesn't really count.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Meet Your Liberal Media: Fully Pantloaded Edition

The Los Angeles Times has dropped Robert Scheer's column, and has picked up a steaming pantload.

On the plus side, they're also dropping David Gelernter.

Town Without Titty

A community where the drivers from Little Ceasar's will be hung from the lampposts:

A May 2004 speech by Mr. Monaghan, given at a conference on business ethics, would seem to confirm this speculation. "We'll own all commercial real estate," Mr. Monaghan declared, describing his vision. "That means we will be able to control what goes on there. You won't be able to buy a Playboy or Hustler magazine in Ave Maria Town. We're going to control the cable television that comes in the area. There is not going to be any pornographic television in Ave Maria Town. If you go to the drug store and you want to buy the pill or the condoms or contraception, you won't be able to get that in Ave Maria Town."

And the drugstore one block over will reap record profits.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

National Phundie Radio

There was a report on NPR this evening by Barbara Bradley Hagerty, which purported to document university "persecution" of lecturers attempting to pass off creationism as science. I didn't hear the whole thing, but the part I heard was incredibly one-sided, with Hagerty portraying creationists as victims of "humiliation" and harassment. I didn't hear one word about whether anything the lecturers taught was scientifically accurate. Maybe the rest of it was credible.

If anyone has a link to the piece, let me know. It's not this report.

Cliff "FDR Was President After WWII" May critiques his former employer in his Depends Media bio:

When Arthur Schulzburger was publisher, we didn't know very much about his opinions. Arthur Schulzburger Jr., we know his views. Abe Rosenthal was pretty good about keeping the paper within the 60 yard lines. I don't see that today.
May, a member of the Depends Media editorial board, also gives a shoutout to his close personal friend "Jean Kirkpatrick."

Cliffie is setting impossibly high standards for the rest of the Depends crowd to follow.

Shopchurl

Bigot/crank John Derbyshire, of the Long Island Derbyshires, posts the following:

I brought this up at the dinner table. Now, my wife sells jewelry over the counter at a large department store whose name is an anagram of "Tord and Laylor." She: "Huh! You don't know the half of it! I see the same people mooching around the store day after day. Not street people, well-dressed, middle-aged people. They spend hours in the store, just looking at stuff. Once in a while they buy something, though as often as not they return it a couple of days later. If you want to see people with no life, work in a department store."

One might wonder why Derbyshire would want the world to know his wife holds her employer's customers in contempt, especially after identifying said employer by name. I guess the employer's reputation for exceptionally friendly service is subject to certain exceptions.

If you must patronize "Tord & Laylor," don't let this woman patronize you.

Get Rich or WiFi Trying

Anybody from the San Francisco Bay Area/South Bay remember Michael Malone, the vest-wearing flatterer formerly known as "the Boswell of Silicon Valley"?

Michael has a bold prediction:

Five years from now, the blogosphere will have developed into a powerful economic engine that has all but driven newspapers into oblivion, has morphed (thanks to cell phone cameras) into a video medium that challenges television news, and has created a whole new group of major companies and media superstars. Billions of dollars will be made by those prescient enough to either get on board or invest in these companies. At this point, the industry will then undergo its first shakeout, with the loss of perhaps several million blogs -- though the overall industry will continue to grow at a steady pace.

Any prescient investors can contact me at the e-mail address above. Put either "Future Blogging Tycoon" or "Jealous Consumptive" in the subject line.

Kaus Gets Rumbled

Several Los Angeles bloggers have looked into Mickey Kaus's hackpocryphal tale of dark-skinned teens rumbling with ballbats -- and dirks and daggers and shivs and shanks -- on All Hallows' Eve. Reports are in from:

Independent Sources

L.A. Observed

8763 Wonderland

Martini Republic

In summary, no one knows what Kaus is blathering on about.

It's time for Kaus to expose the source who burned him, or lose all credibility.








Okay, I couldn't help myself.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Not All Of The Victories Are Electoral

The Chalabi Times era draws to a close:

The end of The New York Times' five-week standoff with reporter Judith Miller appears to be near. As of Nov. 8, the two sides were closing in on a severance agreement, according to sources familiar with the negotiation.

Miller's desperate bid for sympathy by claiming that Keller accused her of sleeping with Scooter won't work. That's about the only fuck-up Keller isn't guilty of.

Miller's right about one thing, though, the stain on the Times won't be removed by removing Miller alone.

"Every story I did was approved by an editor," Ms. Miller said, over coffee on the terrace outside of Black Cat Books in Sag Harbor on Nov. 5. Her black cockapoo, Hamlet, scampered under the table, sunshine glinting on his rhinestone collar. An orange sweater was draped over her shoulders, and she wore her preferred oversize tortoiseshell sunglasses. She had a Treo holstered at her right hip, and a dime-sized compass clipped to her watchband.
Must've been a moral compass.

Good thing she's got that Depends Media debacle to fall back on.

Ahnuld Annuled

The people have spoken.

It's a great day for California, and the end of the Predator's reign of error. Nice suicide, Governor.

The California Constitution was not defaced, despite the Z-list's best efforts.

A Republican midget is left to whine about a "reform" the people don't want.

And Howard the Putz is forced to pretend that California -- and negative coattails -- don't exist. Howie doesn't mention the results in the Golden State --for obvious reasons -- in reality that's what his entire column is about.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Comstock Act

It involves Republicans trying to transport obscene smears across party lines.

Babbs Comstock has crawled out from under her rock once again:

WASHINGTON, Nov. 8 - I. Lewis Libby Jr., Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, is establishing a fund to help pay for his legal defense in the C.I.A. leak case, and associates of Mr. Libby have begun soliciting money from his friends and Republican donors, lawyers and people who have been contacted about the fund said on Tuesday.

Barbara Comstock, a Republican communications strategist who has been hired to work with Mr. Libby's defense team, has pulled together a list of potential contributors and has been in touch with some of them in the last week, providing an address in Washington for sending checks, the people said.

Babbs is also a paid apologist for the Toxic Texan Bugchaser, so she's got her obstruction of justice cut out for herself. Her attempts to smear Mr. Fitzgerald will no doubt fail as miserably as her attempts to smear Mr. Earle.

Breaking News In The Oil For Food Scandal

I have just come into possession of this damning e-mail from Kofi Annan. I'm sure the PowerTools will want to analyze it in depth:

I Dr. Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, would like to ask your partnership in reprofilling funds over $250m in excess, the funds would be coming via a string of selected banks in Europe and Asia.

The Funds in question were generated by me during the oil for food program in Iraq.

I have been getting scandals/ controversy in this regards, you can read more on the links below-

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2005/apr2005/anna-a05.shtml

http://www.canadafreepress.com/2003/main042803.htm

You would be paid 5% as your management fee. Please do not write back directly to me via my official email address. All further correspondence should be sent to my private mail box (kofiannan4un@o2.pl ). As soon as you indicate your interest I will give further details.

Remember to treat this mail and transaction as strictly confidential.

I will await your urgent correspondence via my private mail box-

Dr.Kofi Annan.

SECRETARY- GENERAL

kofiannan@un.org

www.un.org

Scandalous.

The Biggest Loser

Miserable Failure or The Predator?

Bush has the early lead, but Der Gropenfuhrer can still pull it out.

Update (10:55 p.m.): The L.A. Times has called 3 of The Predator's 4 propositions as losers. A clean sweep will give the title of The Biggest Loser to The Predator.

Did Koppel and the Putz Compare Toupees?

After yesterday's pointless puffer on MoDo, Howie the Putz is back again with a superficial exit interview with Ted Koppel.

Why not be a real media reporter, Howie, and write an article on Conrad Black?

Make a Republican hack whine.

Don't forget to vote.

p.s. I'm told that black and Latino gangbangers are congregating around Santa Monica polling stations, threatening diminutive Republicans until the polls close. You have been warned.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

It's The Great Gangbang, Hairless Hack

This is amusing. Tedious press critic Mickey Kaus castigated the Los Angeles Times for failing to cover a Halloween night gang war that never happened.

Kaus breathlessly reported that "rival black and Hispanic outfits" fought it out with baseball bats and knives on the Brentwood border, culminating in the LAPD being "called to the scene in force." Kaus even assured readers that the gangstas were "teenagers," adding important factual detail to give his report an air of authenticity. Kaus was then forced to admit that no cops were called to the scene. He attempts to weasel out of his claim by stating that his source ran away from the scene due to fear for his safety, and he assures us that he believes something happened, he just can't prove it.

Kaus doesn't explain how the Los Angeles Times was supposed to cover the non-existent event. Maybe he thinks the paper's reporters should watch the video for Beat It and consume pumpkin-flavored schnapps until the story appears to them.

I'm not a huge fan of Carl Hiaasen, but I'd love to read his reporting on the Jack Abramoff trial.

I don't think he still does that, though.

Will Direct For Food

Clownhall.com is deploying the begging bowl once again.

Consider this fundraising appeal from unemployed Yale/Stanford grad turned unemployed Hollywood filmmaker Jason Apuzzo.

For conservatives, Hollywood can sometimes be a lonely place.

Attend a party, share a dinner, or take a meeting in this town with the average industry professional, and the most innocuous conversations will suddenly veer toward the ways in which George W. Bush resembles Adolph [sic] Hitler. Raise an eyebrow at this, and you'll quickly get labeled 'intolerant.'

At the same time, ask most inside-the-Beltway conservatives to name three conservatives in Hollywood, and their list (and interest) will usually stall somewhere after Mel Gibson and Tom Selleck. "Hollywood has conservatives?" they'll ask. "They must be the gaffers."

I would have said fluffers. But what does this have to do with Townhall?

Townhall regularly covers these entertainment topics ["Commander in Chief" and "24"] and others like it. When we recently held the 2nd Liberty Film Festival here in Hollywood, Townhall sent out their [sic] Associate Editor Ryan Zempel and devoted four articles to festival coverage - the only conservative publication to do so. This kind of proactive coverage keeps Townhall's readers ahead of the game, providing information that isn't always available elsewhere.

If you care about the culture, and care about conservatives having a voice within the culture, then please make an effort to support Townhall in their [sic]current fundraising effort. My own columns on Townhall are only made possible because Townhall appreciates the importance movies, TV and the arts play in our national dialogue.

That, and because you give them away for free.

Geez, you'd think that that free market thing conservatives are always banging on about would provide a solution to the problem. Instead Clownhall is forced to send Apuzzo out to panhandle for spare change. I say that if you really care about conservatives having a voice in the culture, send your money to me instead. That won't change anything, but neither will sending your money to Clownhall. And Apuzzo might have to get a real job.

Walton's Mountain of Crap

It's easy for me to boycott WalMart, since the nearest store is about 8 miles out of my way and there are thousands of stores nearer to me that sell the same things at comparable or better prices. I don't like crowds, and I don't like buying things in bulk. So my boycott of WalMart is about as much of a sacrifice as my boycotts of Jaguar and gynecologists.

In the last 15 years, I've made one trip to WalMart where I bought anything. Maybe I saved a few pennies. Upon entering the store, I was berated by an employee for entering through an "exit" (designated as such by means invisible to me). Upon exiting the store, I was asked to hand over my receipt and my shopping bag (as all customers apparently are) to confirm I wasn't shoplifting anything. The appeal of WalMart is a mystery to me.

Nevertheless, I enjoy seeing WalMart getting kicked around, deservedly, for its abusive labor practices and its phoney baloney self-promotion as a good corporate citizens (most recently, as environment-friendly company). And Robert Greenwald, who exposed Faux News in Outfoxed, seems like just the documentarian to kick WalMart. His documentary, WalMart: The High Cost of Low Price, is being screened in numerous locations beginning the week November 13. I plan to attend a local screening if my glamorous lifestyle permits.

Any documentary that gets Harvard Law grad-turned-public access cable filler Mark "Couric Watch" Finklestein's third-world-made underpants in a twist can't be all bad.

In the interest of full disclosure, the distributors of the film (or someone pretending to be them) sent me an e-mail offering a ticket to the D.C. premiere. Given the cost of an airline ticket and the fact the screening was located 3,992 or so miles farther than the closest WalMart, I declined their kind invitation. But they can count on me not to patronize WalMart or any of the Republicans that WalMart supports financially.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Administration of the Flies

Forced to choose sides, John Podhoretz asserts that Karl Rove is butcher than Scotty McClellan.

Trust

Trust me when I lie to you: I never go back on a promise and I would never ask you to release me from your promise.

OREM -- A colleague of a New York Times reporter jailed for refusing to reveal a source's identity, said journalists regularly negotiate with anonymous sources about how to reference them in stories.

"In Washington, there are deals that are made at the outset to hearing information, which are very different than deals you make when you publish," said David T. Barstow, a Pulitzer Prize-winning Times reporter who spoke at Utah Valley State College on Wednesday.

Barstow sits in the Times newsroom next to Judith Miller, who was behind bars for 85 days. Barstow said he was not at all surprised when he learned Miller agreed to refer to Lewis "Scooter" Libby, who recently resigned as Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, as a "former (Capitol) Hill staffer."

....

Barstow said he believes that had Miller written a story, she would have renegotiated the way she would have referenced Libby.

"I know there is no way Judy would have used that attribution," he said.

And this is from a supporter.

Tom DeLay, The Matchmaker of Indian Affairs

Shouldn't Tom "Bugchaser" DeLay be forced to register as a lobbyist? Before he's convicted, that is.

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Tom DeLay's staff tried to help lobbyist Jack Abramoff win access to Interior Secretary Gale Norton, an effort that succeeded after Abramoff's Indian tribe clients began funneling a quarter-million dollars to an environmental group founded by Norton.

"Do you think you could call that friend and set up a meeting," then-DeLay staffer Tony Rudy wrote to fellow House aide Thomas Pyle in a Dec. 29, 2000, e-mail titled "Gale Norton-Interior Secretary." President Bush had nominated Norton to the post the day before.

Rudy wrote Abramoff that same day promising he had "good news" about securing a meeting with Norton, forwarding information about the environmental group Norton had founded, according to e-mails obtained by investigators and reviewed by The Associated Press. Rudy's message to Abramoff was sent from Congress' official e-mail system.

Within months, Abramoff clients donated heavily to the Norton-founded group and the lobbyist and one of the tribes he represented won face-to-face time with the secretary during a Sept. 24, 2001, dinner sponsored by the group she had founded.

...

Federal and congressional investigators obtained the DeLay staff e-mails from Abramoff's former lobbying firm as they try to determine whether officials in Congress or the Bush administration provided government assistance in exchange for the vast amounts of money Abramoff's clients donated to Republican causes.
Try harder, ladies and gentlemen. That's not exactly a Saturday Times crossword.

This next bit I don't get.

The e-mails, however, weren't provided to Senate Indian Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain, whose committee held hearings Wednesday into Abramoff's dealings at the Interior department. It has drawn attention, however, among other government investigators examining whether any federal actions were taken in exchange for donations.

Did McCain's committee fail to subpoena these documents? Were they subpoenaed but withheld? Or does the committee have them but hasn't disclosed them, to spare DeLay embarassment or otherwise? How do the reporters know what the committee has and doesn't have?

This, however, is easily explicable.

DeLay's lawyer said this week his client likely didn't know about the assistance his aides gave Abramoff five years ago and does not believe his office would ever provide government assistance in exchange for political donations.

One word. Three letters.

Shortly after the e-mail exchanges, the two DeLay aides, Rudy and Pyle, left DeLay's office for private sector jobs (sic). Rudy went to work for Abramoff while Pyle went to work for the Koch pipeline company, Neither returned calls to their offices this week seeking comment.

Someone needs to put Privates Pyle and Rudy in a wringer and squeeze until the truth comes out.

More about Koch Industries here and here. There is no private sector with these people -- only crony socialism.

Play It As A Joke

Quotes from the WTF? corner:

"I don't mean to suggest that there is something inherently wrong with using one's own life in political writing. But one should use it honestly, rigorously, complicatedly, like critics such as Mary McCarthy, Rebecca West, Joan Didion, or Andrew Sullivan."

One stifles a laugh.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Welcome To The Suck

You know this piece sucks, just from the headline:

The Harry da Reid Code
By DAVID BROOKS

Tomorrow's Papers, Page B7

Brown Out

Who Said There Are No Second Acts?

Remember Norah Vincent, wingnut L.A. Times columnist and failed blogger? Let me refresh your memory. When last seen, Vincent was engaged in a ludicrous attack on Jim Capozzola of The Rittenhouse Review.

She also was, but no longer is, a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, in the heady company of Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Jack Kemp and Cliff May.

Sometime thereafter -- who cares when -- Vincent disappeared from public consciousness.

Vincent has resurfaced in the latest issue of Radar magazine. She has authored an article entitled "My Life As A Man," which is described by the magazine as follows: "Like most women, Norah Vincent wondered what life would be like as a guy. So for 18 months she became one. Scenes from an undercover journey."

The article's not online, fortunately. In it, Vincent apparently dressed as a man to write a book. During that time, she worked selling phone cards and those Entertainment coupon books. And that's about it. The article was more pointless than that MoDo excerpt in the NYT Magazine.

At least Vincent's moved up in the world.

Grand Old Police Blotter: Fox News Edition

Another Republican convict and self-pitying creep:

HONOLULU - A top Republican lawmaker said Monday he will resign from the Hawaii Legislature on Dec. 1 because he was convicted of fondling a woman on a flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu.

Rep. Galen Fox, former House minority leader, said he had been living with the consequences of his arrest, which went unreported for more than 10 months, and believes the people of his district should be represented by someone "unclouded by a conviction such as the one I now carry."

Fox's decision to resign came after a meeting Monday afternoon with fellow Republican, Gov. Linda Lingle.

"It is your decision to make," the governor told Fox, according to her spokesman, Russell Pang. He said she added: "But I think it would be appropriate if you resigned. But again it is your decision to make."

Fox, first elected to the House in 1996 to represent Waikiki and nearby neighborhoods, was convicted Oct. 20 in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles for groping a woman as she slept on a United Airlines flight on Dec. 18 last year. The 27-year-old woman said she awoke to Fox fondling her crotch under her blanket.

Fox appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Margaret Nagle in January. He was convicted in a non-jury trial of abusive sexual conduct, a misdemeanor offense that carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail.

"The woman testified that she was asleep, and she woke up and Mr. Fox's hand was in between her legs and the zipper of her pants was down, and that's essentially the gist of the case," said Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the Assistant U.S. Attorney's office in Los Angeles.

...

"She said things about what I did that were just absolutely untrue. And I said, you know, what I thought had happened. And the judge ruled in her favor," Fox told television station KITV.

...

"I lost. From now on in my personal life, I will have to bear the consequences of that loss," Fox said.

...

Lingle said in a statement that she felt badly for Fox and all the parties involved.

Other parties, Linda? Do you mean the victim? How caring of you.

It's nice to see Lingle apply the Bush standard for criminality and public office: Would you like to resign because of your crimes? It's really up to you. And please don't let me rush you; you've already been through enough.

Let's hope the consequences that Mr. Fox has to live with include six months' imprisonment. For a start.

Sucknblow

TBogg links to an interesting expose of Jay Sucknblow, Messianic mouthpiece and Fat Tony Scalia's personal flight attendant. The most interesting bit involves Sucknblow's former practice:

A review of publicly available tax and court documents, as well as interviews with several former employees, paints a stark portrait of Sekulow as a hard-charging man who emerged from bankruptcy and allegations of securities fraud in the late 1980s to build a complex network of personal, business, and nonprofit entities. At times, those financial dealings have alienated employees and been criticized in court.

Sekulow, 49, has always been an oddity on the evangelical landscape. Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Jewish parents, Sekulow still describes himself as a "Messianic Jew," meaning he believes Jesus Christ is the Messiah. He says his Jewish faith never caused him trouble among Christian evangelicals.

...

It was in that capacity that Sekulow argued his first case before the Supreme Court, a 1987 dispute involving the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners, which tried to stop Jews for Jesus adherents from distributing leaflets at LAX. Sekulow said he was nervous when his name was called....

At the time of his successful Supreme Court debut, Sekulow was also dealing with a trial of another sort. His private practice, which focused on creating tax shelters and financial deals for the renovation of historic buildings in Atlanta, collapsed when investors sued him for securities violations related to the renovation deals. He and his firm filed for bankruptcy protection in 1987, and more than a dozen creditors filed suit. A later story in the Atlanta Constitution said he left a trail of angry investors and employees. "God brought Jay to his knees then," a former employee told Legal Times.

But Sekulow bounced back up, in part by creating a new nonprofit, Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism (CASE), which still exists today and serves as an important conduit for funds that finance Sekulow's activities. "I almost feel like God raised me back from the dead," Sekulow told the Atlanta paper in 1991. "It was a spiritual rebirth."

According to the article, Sucknblow is now living high on the hog. And off the suckers who fund his non-profits.

One wonders if Sekulow has followed Matthew 5:42 with respect to the creditors, investors and employees his firm screwed over.

God also brought Jay to his knees in the service of Fat Tony Scalia:

In 1998, Sekulow's high-flying ways brought him in close contact with Justice Scalia, who was scheduled to give an address at Regent University in Virginia Beach on the occasion of its 20th anniversary.

Sekulow offered Scalia the chance to travel from Washington to the event on a jet then owned by CASE. Was it appropriate to give a free ride to a Supreme Court justice before whom Sekulow and the ACLJ regularly argued? Sekulow says the jet was leased to Regent University, the host of the event, for that trip as well as for other occasions -- a fact he says was made clear to Scalia. Sekulow, however, declined to provide a copy of the lease document.

Asked about the ride, Scalia said through a spokeswoman that "I honestly cannot remember" the episode. Pat Robertson also said he could not recall the details but added that it is "common" for the university to share transportation resources with related organizations like the ACLJ and CASE.

Another Fat Tony conflict of interest -- what a surprise. At least Nino has learned from Scooter Libby's experience.

This is also interesting: Sucknblow's "other son, Logan, has a late-night comedy show that airs on Christian television networks and is sponsored by CASE." For those who care, Logan's dream car is a "Deloreon" and he's a fan of Hanson.

This Just In

Joel Hinrichs III is still not a terrorist, a Muslim or an "Islamofascist."

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

More Republican Sleaze

Tom DeLay's pal and favorite racist lobbyist, Jack Abramoff, is again the subject of Senate Indian Affairs Committee investigation into Republican corruption and criminality.

At the hearing, the panel is expected to release copies of emails between Mr. Abramoff and his clients and administration officials. According to people who have read them, the emails document that the lobbyist sought to have his American Indian clients make donations to Ms. Norton's former organization in an attempt to influence the Interior Department. The emails are said to show how the current head of the organization -- the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy -- relayed information about decision-making on the proposed casino between Mr. Abramoff and senior Interior Department officials. The council is a business-backed Republican group that works on conservative solutions to environmental issues. The council once launched a pricey campaign to defeat legislation offered by Mr. McCain to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses.

...

To help persuade the Interior Department, Mr. Abramoff asked the Coushatta tribe to make donations to the council, which Ms. Norton, a conservative activist and former attorney general of Colorado, helped organize in 1997. The Coushatta tribe gave the group a total of $150,000, according to Jimmy R. Faircloth Jr., a lawyer for the tribe.

After initially siding with Mr. Abramoff's client in 2002, the Interior Department reversed course in December 2003 to endorse the new casino. Last year, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco blocked the rival casino because she is opposed to expanding gambling in Louisiana.

Jack Abramoff's e-mails: The gift that keeps on giving.

Meanwhile, the FBI has a new top four for its Most Wanted List.

Crush The Predator: A Rogertorial

At least three of the four Schwarzenegger propositions (Propositions 74 through 77) are likely to lose. But that's not enough.

Momentum is important. Radical rightism with a botched facelift must go. These initiatives must be crushed, so that Schwarzenegger, Mike Murphy and their corporate paymasters are driven out of Sacramento for good.

The anti-choice Proposition 73, which would deface the California Constitution, should be rejected as well. Why follow the example of the Land of the Miserable Failure.

Frist Is Pissed ... Upon

The United States Senate has been hijacked by the Democratic leadership," said a livid Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.). "They have no convictions [....]"
That's true. But you'll have one or more once the SEC is through with you, Fristy.

We're Winning

Are There No Warehouse Stores?

The Bush Labor Department charged WalMart with violating child labor laws for using children under 18 to operate dangerous machinery in its stores. On 85 occasions.

Bush Labor then cut a deal with WalMart -- to give WalMart 15 days notice before inspecting stores for further violations.

The Labor Department's inspector general strongly criticized department officials yesterday for "serious breakdowns" in procedures involving an agreement promising Wal-Mart Stores 15 days' notice before labor investigators would inspect its stores for child labor violations.

The report by the inspector general faulted department officials for making "significant concessions" to Wal-Mart, the nation's largest retailer, without obtaining anything in return. The report also criticized department officials for letting Wal-Mart lawyers write substantial parts of the settlement and for leaving the department's own legal division out of the settlement process.

The report said that in granting Wal-Mart the 15-day notice, the Wage and Hour Division violated its own handbook. It added that agreeing to let Wal-Mart jointly develop news releases about the settlement with the department violated Labor Department policies.

...

Wal-Mart settled the investigation by agreeing to pay $135,540, but it continued to deny any wrongdoing.

In addition to allowing the 15-day notice, the agreement lets Wal-Mart avoid civil citations and fines if it brings a store into compliance within 10 days of when the department notifies it of a violation.

...

Department officials say that giving 15 days' notice helps to ensure that Wal-Mart will come into compliance.

Call it the Leave No Child Unexploited Act.

Waiting For Hell To Freeze

E.J. Dionne writes:

The Fitzgerald indictment makes perfectly clear that the White House misled the public as to its involvement in sliming Wilson and talking about Plame.

Bush needs to tell the public -- yes, the old phrase still applies -- what he knew about the operation to discredit Wilson and when he knew it. And he shouldn't hide behind those "legalisms" that Republicans were so eager to condemn in the Clinton years.

Dionne is living in fantasyland if he thinks Bush will do anything like that.

Instead of waiting for hell to freeze over, Dionne should encourage his employer to find out what Bush knew and what steps he took to cover it up.

That's nearly as unlikely -- like hell reaching the low 40s.

Maybe Dionne should get off his ass and do it himself.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Scalito's Way

Eggfucker Matt Drudge is claiming that "Before Judge Samuel Alito was even officially announced as President Bush's next Supreme Court nominee, he met a wave of racial discrimination from numerous corners of the mainstream media and the Democrat Party." How? They've referred to Alito as Scalito, in light of his Scaliaesque judicial philosophy.

Let's recall what racist turds Drudge's fans are.

(Sorry, no link to the eggfucker.)

Overkill

Day Three after the announcement of the first Traitorgate indictment, and Howie the Putz is already bored.

Over 100,000 men, women and children killed and wounded in Iraq. Howie calls it overkill because he's over it already.

Glenn Reynolds, the new host of CNN's Reliable Sources with Glenn Reynolds, has joined with Christian Right publisher Thomas Nelson to publish "An Army of David Bossies: How Technology and Lies Empower The Unstable to Smear Democrats, Enviromentalists and Non-Christians Without Consequence."

It's due out in March 2006, so the 'Cracker still has five months to write slap together his cut-and-paste job.

The cover is here and here:

It would seem that the artist has confused Goliath with Gulliver, unless those white lines are intended to illustrate Glenn's commitment to his Second Amendment right to assassainate his ideological enemies. (The absence of a head shot suggests such is not the case.) Although Glenn certainly qualifies as a Li'lputzian.

Alito, whoa-ho-ho-ho
He's for the moneyed, he's hatin' Roe
Nino's waitin' for his bro'
Alito, whoa-ho-ho-ho
Bush say one more 'nut ought to get it
No mo' rights, just forget it
Dems better say ... hit the road

Sunday, October 30, 2005

If I ever hope to increase my blog traffic, I'm going to have to publish more news you can use.

Restoration Comedy

A mysterious note on the front page of Crazy Davy's FrontPageMag reads:

Restoration Weekend Cancelled.
Rescheduling Information Available Shortly.

No explanation is posted.

What happened? Why did the October 27-30 meeting of the damned not go off as planned?

It can't be Davy's health -- I should say his physical health -- since Davy was posting this on his blog on the 28th:

Scooter Libby was obviously trying to protect his president from a rogue CIA operation which, in conjunction with the French and Saddam were attempting to sabotage America's war effort and restore the fascist Ba'ath Party and its Islamic terrorist allies to power.

Obviously.

So what happened? Weren't appearances Big Pharma, John Ashcroft, Joe Scarborough and Tammy Bruce incentive enough to fleece the sheep this year?

Anyone have the scoop on the death of Restoration Weekend?

A Kaus Hackula Halloween

SoCal's tiniest media critic demonstrates his inferior NYT bashing skills:

"Doubts have been expressed about the big front page NYT scoop of yesterday -- the one that said George Tenet told Cheney about Plame's status, and that Cheney then told Libby. Obvious Problem #1: If Tenet was such a key figure, wouldn't he have testified before the actual grand jury? Obvious problem #2: Would Libby really have been dumb enough to contradict his own notes (which the prosecutor has had from the start) under oath? ... If the Times story falls apart, will reporters Johnston, Stevenson and Jehl get fired like so many people think Judtih Miller should be fired (given that her WMD stories fell apart)? What if Jehl's big front-page Able Danger scoop turns out to be a crock too? That would be two big strikes against Jehl! Hey,what do you have to do to get fired at the New York Times? ... This principle of actually holding reporters accountable for the accuracy of their stories could get out of hand. ..." (Links from original; some links omitted.)

Doubts have been expressed -- if I may use the passive-aggressive voice -- about Kaus's ability to read.

Kaus misstates the Times story to make his point. You're just as shocked as I am, I know.

The authors of the Times piece don't claim that "George Tenet told Cheney about Plame's status." They wrote that sources told them that Libby produced allegedly contemporaneous notes which reflect that Cheney told Libby that Cheney got that information from Tenet. There's a big difference, as even a dolt would understand.

And Kaus's link at "prosecutor has had from the start" does not state that Fitzgerald has had this particular note, or all of Libby's notes, from the start. It doesn't address the subject. (Does Kaus really believe that the assertion "They [grand jurors] have sifted through the day planners of White House aides" confirms that Fitzgerald had all of Libby's documents from the start?) The Times article says that Libby's notes are "now in Mr. Fitzgerald's possession." (Emphasis added.)

As to whether the Times account of the note is accurate, read paragraph 9 of the indictment. It states that on June 12, 2003, Cheney told Libby he got the information on Plame from the CIA. Since Libby testified he didn't get the information from Biggus Dickus, according to the indictment, that means Fitzgerald got the information from either (1) Libby's notes of the meeting or (2) Cheney himself, during the unsworn interview. So the Times report is consistent with the allegations of the indictment.

No wonder Kaus is terrified by the concepts of accountability and accuracy. The real question is, what do you have to do to keep your job at Slate?

Miserable Failure

Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling his job as president? Do you approve/disapprove strongly or somewhat?

10/29/05

Approve

NET -- 39
Strongly -- 22
Somewhat -- 17

Disapprove

NET -- 58
Strongly -- 45
Somewhat -- 13

No opinion -- 3

Nearly half of the respondents -- 45 percent -- think that Bush is a miserable failure. Who am I to argue with the wisdom of the American people?

Saturday, October 29, 2005

What the hell is the point of this?

Update (10/30): Sorry. What I meant to say was "What the hell is the point of this?" It's the article accompanying the photo which is pointless.

My apologies.

More Corner Bashing

How creepy is this? (Perhaps he's referring to this, but it's still just creepy.)

Reasons According to Jim sucks, No. 478.

I'm thinking of applying for the NeoConWatch Editor position for the Pajamas Media Service. Wish me luck.

Let's see.

As for the Blog News Service, a lot of work needs to be done and a lot of questions answered. An editorial board consisting of Glenn Reynolds, PowerLine, Lawrence Kudlow, Hugh Hewitt, Marc Cooper, Wretchard of the Belmont Club and Tim Blair, as well as the founders, is already in place with other bloggers in many countries having signed on as contributors.

This is no way meant to be exclusive. We invite you all to join us. On the advertising end, any blogger -- whether political or not -- is welcome. We would be delighted to place ads on your blog and pay you for them. You may find out more and, we hope, join by simply emailing us at join@pajamasmedia.com.

Hmm... There may be a trapdoor under that Welcome mat. Professional standards and quality assurance, I'm sure.

Oh, well. It looks like PMS screwed Hugh Hewitt and the PowderPuff boys out of their seats as well.

p.s. -- It looks like I'm making as much money off of advertising as Roger el-Simon right now.

Two Years Before The Mast

Another one of the talking points from Big Pharma, Instacracker and the like is "Two years! And only one person indicted! What's the big deal? Special prosecutor run wild."

There are two immediate responses to this bit of diversionary nonsense:

1. A year's delay was created by Cooper/Miller fighting the subpoenas and Miller refusing to testify for three months after the appeals were exhausted. I'm certain there was other work done during this time period, but Fitzgerald had an obligation not to go forward before all the discoverable evidence was presented to the grand jury. As Fitzgerald said, "I would have wished nothing better that, when the subpoenas were issued in August 2004, witnesses testified then, and we would have been here in October 2004 instead of October 2005."

2. More importantly, the completion of the investigation was delayed because Libby lied to the grand jury. Had Libby told the truth, Fitzgerald wouldn't have had to spend all that time untangling Libby's lies. The same applies to Karl Rove and his (alleged) multiple attempts to walk back his lies after Cooper finally testified. Had Bush's operatives done what Bush supposedly wanted them to do (cooperate fully with special counsel) they could have started serving their sentences already and be looking forward to their 2025 release dates.

"In our system, each individual is presumed innocent and entitled to due process and a fair trial"*

* Void where prohibited by the PATRIOT Act.

All those lame excuses the situational legal ethicists at the Corner are making for Irving "Lieass" Libby might be worth some consideration but for one simple fact:

Irving was and is a lawyer who formerly worked for not one but two prominent D.C. law firms. He was a managing partner for the second firm, now Dechert LLP.

Libby was not some shoeless rube who wandered into the Grand Jury room without a clue about the law, his obligations under the law or the consequences for his violation of the law. There is no one who could be more prepared by education, training and experience to understand and meet his obligations to the grand jury. Libby knew the stakes and he decided to bet the House.

Some of the dumber Corner monkeys -- I'm looking at you Ledeen, May and Levin -- might want to rethink the bamboozlement defense. (Leeden's "why didn't Tate coach Libby to have a convenient memory lapse" is both particularly amusing and sleazy.) Listen to Andy McCarthy before refilling your dumbass prescriptions, boys.