Monday, December 12, 2005

Busy evening. Will return tomorrow.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Uncommon Stupidity

What is it with morons at The Corner and their "blegs"? Peter Robinson, the f*cking idiot who hosted the Hoover Institution crapfest, "Uncommon Knowledge," on PBS, blegs for a holiday tree preservative reicipe he could have found in 1.3 seconds by using Google.

I bet Peter had to have Peggy Noonan unzip his fly for him whenever he needed to take a piss in the Reagan White House.

p.s. to Peter: The Clorox and aspirin cocktail was intended for you.

Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The War On Christmas: The Christmas Schlong Edition

Wingnuts blowing with their pants afire
Jackoffs yipping on their shows
Yuletide myths being spun by a liar
And Fox hosts sniffing their dil ... does
Everybody knows ...

It's time to take out the terrorists' Number 2, Mullah Oreilly.

Devout Christians might be troubled that their self-appointed spokesperson is a man who boasted that his best present ever was a vibrator "shaped like a little cock with a battery in it." I certainly can sympathize with that sentiment, and I'm happy to help them out.

Since the War on Christmas is a pacifist movement, the only way to take O'Reilly off the battlefield is to distract him. In that spirit, we are launching the first annual Toys for Clots campaign. If enough people send sexual devices and other "adult" playthings to Sick Willie, he'll be too preoccupied to take up the sword of self-righteousness ... other than to impale himself on it, if you catch my drift.

The address is:

Toys for Clots
c/o The O'Reilly Factor
FOX News Channel
1211 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036

Won't you please help a desperately needy man have the Best Christmas Ever?

(Disclaimer: I suspect if anyone did this, O'Reilly would accuse him or her with threatening him or being the anthrax killer or the like, and some unpleasant circumstances might result. Plus, it would never get past his handlers and orderlies, and would just offend some innocent folks who are already suffering due to their proximity to the noxious gasbag. So, you didn't hear this from me.)

(And my apologies to Mel Torme and Robert Wells, wherever they are.)

Roger's Reader Participation

A captioning contest:

Foxtopussy

Surely you can do better than that.

(My original caption, "The Homecoming Queen's Got A Gun," was rejected on the ground that it could be misunderstood as homophobic.)

Inspired, through no fault of his, by James Wolcott.

(Image via Barnesandnoble.com.)

Things About Which I Have No Opinion

C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia, the lion, the witch and/or the wardrobe.

Blogging Now Officially Lame

I'm sure many people already have commented upon this, but I just noticed that the New York Times has started a blog. And I'm not talking about those grudgingly written, lame-ass Times Select columnist responses to e-mail that are being passed off as blogs.

Just three days ago, the Times' David Carr started a motion picture awards blog called The Carpetbagger. (Get it? "Awards" ... "Red Carpet" ... "Two-Bagger" ... "Bagger Vance" ...) And Carr is already using the word "meme." My advice to Dave -- "pace yourself." You don't want too many posts too early about whether King Kong will take home a Hollywood Foreign Press Association Award for Original Song. You'll just end up repeating yourself.

And I've no idea whether there are intellectual property issues involved -- I'll have to consult Open Source Media Media's crack legal team -- but you'd think the Times would show a little more courtesy -- and originality -- and not tread so heavily upon The Carpetbagger Report's good name.

I mean, what reputable blogger would try a cheap stunt like that?

The Persecution of Holy Joe

"I give Operation Iraqi Crusade one thumb up!"

It's not exactly plagiarism, but the lead sentences in the NYT and WaPo front-page articles on Holy Joe are eerily similar, even for a description of the same phenomenon:

The Times:

Five years after running as the vice-presidential nominee on the Democratic ticket and a year after his own presidential bid, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut has become an increasingly unwelcome figure within his party, with some Democrats seeing him more as a wayward son than a favorite son.

The Post:

Five years ago, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman was one of President Bush's arch political rivals. Now many in his party complain that he sounds more like Bush's running mate.

Here are my problems with Lieberman and his apologists such as the Bullshit Moose, who constantly reminds, but fails to convince, everyone or anyone of his own maturity.

First, the Joe-as-victim tale is sheer farce. The "some" or "many" Dems referred to in the articles were responding to Holy Joe's suggestion that Dems were "undermining [Bush's] credibility at their own peril." (Dems undermining Bush's credibility? Talk about coals to Newcastle.)

It was Lieberman who signed his name to the Wall Street Journal opinion piece asserting his "disappoint[ment] with Democrats" for criticizing Bush and insinuating that dissent was demoralizing the troops. Were the Dems he disparaged supposed to stay silent about that libel just to create a false image of party unity? Lieberman chose to pick a fight; he and his anthropomorphic apologists shouldn't whine when he got one.

More importantly, Lieberman deserves to be criticized for his own role in Iraqi debacle and the the death and destruction he demanded. He's not just an Administration apologist, he's covering his own ass for three years of failed warmongering. Lieberman can't criticize Bush without admitting his own complicity in American aggression. That's why his piece in the Journal is filled with happy-crappy fairy tales of progress and demands for more sacrifice from others.

As for the bogus claim that criticism of the Holy Virgin Joe and/or Operation Iraqi Crusade will relegate Dems to permanent minority status, the claimants need only look to the enforcement of party loyalty (or, more accurately, loyalty to Bush) and ideological purity in the Republican Party. Rovian/DeLaian discipline may well be the Pukes' undoing in 2006 and 2008, but it sure as hell didn't prevent the Pukes from gaining control of the White House and Congress and doing immeasurable damage to the Nation. Pointing out that Bush is a miserable failure and that his war is a corrupt and disastrous adventure will harm Dems at the polls almost as much as pointing out that the sky is blue and increasingly full of carcinogens.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Charles Krauthammer Advocates Killing Dogs, Demands New Choreographer For Show Trial

Let's Talk About Sex With Mona Charen

Molna Charen has become enchanted with Modestlyyours.net, a website for the New Virginity. Founded by the non-plagiarizing Shalit, Wendy, the site apparently features a blog where modest women can talk about how modest they are while ignoring one meaning of the word modest.

Molna says certain women are to blame for today's "trash culture" -- and Lindsay Lohan's skankiness -- because they wanted equal rights. Follow along at home, won't you?

Women did this to themselves of course, by signing on to the sexual revolution in the '60s and '70s. The feminists thought they were achieving equality with men. They got something else altogether. Another blog entry on the site mentions that the writer's 16-year-old nephew gets offers of oral sex from his female classmates on a somewhat regular basis. Ah, yes, sisterhood is powerful ain't it?

Hell, when I was sixteen I was getting blowjobs from my classmates, and my teachers (the hot ones), and that divorcee down the block -- but I wasn't chatting about it with my aunt.

Thank you, feminists and sexual revolutionaries, for making it okay to have candid discussions about cocksucking with your parents' sisters!

Molna glides over the fact the women involved with the site have interesting and diverse careers and opportunities, no doubt due in part to the efforts of those fucking feminists of yesteryear. As do another hundred million women who don't give a shit what Charen thinks about their choices.

Teal: The Stupidest Color In The Rainbow

There's no stunt so moronic that a Republican staffer won't engage in it -- and fail miserably. The moral here is: Never trust a Republican with the password to your website.

A Republican operative has admitted collecting identity data from a political Web log - a practice the state Republican Party earlier had blamed on Democrats.

This week, the GOP warned state party members that someone was compiling the online identities [sic] of visitors to the Web site coloradopols.com. The site is a popular political blog that invites comments from its readers, who can post their thoughts using nicknames.

The warning pointed the finger at Democrats, but e-mail records show that Laura Teal, a Republican, and two acquaintances actually were the ones involved.

...

Teal is a campaign staffer for gubernatorial candidate Marc Holtzman. She said her efforts occurred prior to taking that post and had nothing to do with Holtzman's campaign.
The operators of the website gave Teal password access to participate as a contributor. And how did she repay them? By trying to disclose their identities.

Teal is asserting a stupidity defense:

Ultimately, Teal said, she and the others were not able to identify the blog's anonymous authors and gave up.

I knew Manny Miranda. Manny Miranda was a lying sack of shit. Laura, you're no Manny Miranda.

(Link via Buzzflash)

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Who says torture doesn't get results?

It got hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and 2,100 American soldiers killed.

Grand Old Police Blotter: College Mafia Edition

The College Republicans should be shut down as some sort of criminal enterprise.

In today's NYT, Bobo Brooks wrote (I paraphrase): When the Republican Party was the party of ideas, it attracted a lot of oddballs. Now that it is the party in power, it attracts a lot of sleazeballs. I say the Republicans attracted a lot of sleazeballs when it was the supposedly the party of ideas; they were just impotent sleazeballs until the Republicans gained control of Congress.

Case in point: Abramoff, Reed, Norquist et al. all started out as College Republicans. And then there's this.this:

Federal prosecutors have all but finalized a plea agreement with a second business partner of former lobbyist Jack Abramoff in exchange for cooperation in the ongoing criminal investigations of Abramoff, congressional aides and Rep. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio), lawyers in the case said yesterday.

Adam Kidan, a longtime confidant of Abramoff's, has agreed to testify against Abramoff in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., next month when he is to face trial on fraud and conspiracy charges in connection with their purchase of a fleet of Florida casino boats. A Kidan plea would tie Abramoff's legal troubles in Florida more closely to the Washington investigation into his lobbying practices, pressuring Abramoff to reach a deal of his own that could implicate members of Congress and other government officials, lawyers involved in the case said.

...

Kidan, who has known Abramoff since their student days when they were members of the College Republicans, has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud in connection with the purchase of the SunCruz fleet in the fall of 2000.

It's time for the next phase: Prison Republicans.

The War On Christmas: Blood Libel Edition

Bert Prelutsky, the Jewish Jim West, spills the beans on the greater threat to this country:

I am getting the idea that too many Jews won't be happy until they pull off their own version of the Spanish Inquisition, forcing Christians to either deny their faith and convert to agnosticism or suffer the consequences.

Prelutsky also reveals "the dirty little secret in America," namely, "that anti-Semitism is no longer a problem in society; it's been replaced by a rampant anti-Christianity." (Hey, Burt, did you forget that all criticism of neocons is anti-Semitic?)

Burt's right. Macy's is collecting the names of those who mention Christmas in its stores, and we're going to round those bastards up and burn 'em at the stake on the first day of Hanukkah.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Honor

Listen to this painful report from Iraq from this evening's All Things Considered.

Regime change did nothing to change this, and the new constitution won't do anything either.

Go, West, Dirty Old Man

Anti-gay homosexual Jim West, soon to be ex-Mayor of Spokane, WA, has been thrown out of office by his city's residents:

Seven months after a newspaper reported that Mayor Jim West, one of this state's most prominent conservative Republicans, was a closeted gay man who had used his city computer to troll for sex with young men, nearly two-thirds of voters here decided to oust him in a rare recall election, according to results released Wednesday.

...

"I have no regrets as far as being mayor," he said. "I do have regrets for things in my personal life. I wish those things had never occurred, and I'm embarrassed by them."

Asked to elaborate, he said, "It's none of your damn business."

No, Jimmy, it's none of the State Legislature's damn business (except for the allegations of child molestation). And if you hadn't made a platform out of your self-loathing bigotry, no one would care.

Mr. West said he had not changed his positions on any of the anti-gay stands he took while serving as Republican majority leader in the State Senate - except for one, when he backed a proposal to prevent gay schoolteachers.

Spokane like a true Republican.
Slaphead Ad Absurdum

Since I'm credited on Wikipedia with being a "noted Kausfiles critic," I feel an obligation to once again wade through Kaus's gruesome prose and examine the Midget's banal blatherings.

Here's one (scroll down to Dec. 3):

Tom McGuire notices a buried lede in today's NYT story indicating that those 8 pages turn out to contain nothing like that. They seem to mainly disclose information about witnesses, etc. involved in Fitzgerald's perjury case--not a case about horrible damage done to our intelligence agents or their sources. The upshot may be that, despite Joseph Wilson's dramatics, his wife's outing didn't really cause such national security damage--something a few scandal-poopers have claimed all along. ...

Those assassination attempts on President Ford? Didn't harm the big guy. The millenium terrorist plot? Nothing blew up! No harm, no foul.

Of course, Kaus knows fuck-all about what harm Cheney, Rove and Libby caused with their illegal antics. And he cares fuck-all about the harm done to Ms. Plame and her family. But, based solely on speculation that the eight redacted pages of the appellate opinion in In re Judy Fucking Miller don't detail the damage done to national security -- which isn't an element of the underlying crime being investigated -- Kaus imagines that no damage was done, and suggests the law should not be enforced.

I'm certain he wouldn't feel the same if some (non-imaginary) Latino gangbangers swung their ballbats at his hollow head and missed.

Underfunded

A U.K. wingnut surveys the sorry state of British conservatism. His solution: The right-wing need more Scaifes and Coors and Bradleys to subsidize them, just not with that unhealthy big money:

The last six months of leadership electioneering have given Britain's Conservative Party new heart but conservative ideas will struggle to prosper if the Party is their only advocate. Lord Harris recently promised to raise £100m to put David Cameron into Downing Street. That's a wonderful prospect but where are the millions to fund the British equivalent of the Heritage Foundation or George Mason University? Who will pump prime tomorrow's conservative intellectuals in the way that American investors sought out the likes of Alan Bloom? Where is Britain's Bill O'Reilly or its TownHall.com?

I'm slightly obsessive about the American model and have to guard against it. The US is not a perfect model. It depends on too many unhealthy connections with big money, for example.

That's "benevolent masters" to you, Tim.

And where is Britain's Bill O'Reilly?

He's down the High Street, shopping for a Perspex todger at Ann Summers.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Pandemic

If Asian countries have banned the importation of U.S. beef for health reasons, why are they allowing Neil Bush back in?

The War on Christmas: Santa's Mailbag

Exclusive: Roger Ailes can report that Bill O'Reilly will break, on tonight's Fox News program The O'Reilly Factor, the discovery of the following note tucked away in a manger, no crib for a bed:

Dear Babby Jesus,

I hate you.

I hope you enjoy your cruzifiction.

[signed]

An anti-American, anti-Bush, Christ killer.

p.s. Do not save the envelop.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Choose Your Illusion

Hey, I'm in the running for Best Blog No One's Ever Heard Of, in a contest sponsored by James Guckert's old escort service.

As far as I can tell, the competition includes about thirteen rightwing blogs, me, and a blog about optical illusions... although I got bored before checking out all of them.

The voting rules are strictly Republican.

If the wingnuts split their votes, there's a good chance the optical illusion blog can win. Epileptic seizures for everyone!

Update/Correction (12/6): As pointed out in comments, Needlenose is indeed a member of the reality-based community. My apologies to Needlenose.
CNN is touting Larry King's latest bi-monthly chat with "Doctor" Phil, with Phil "taking your phone calls and solving your problems as only he can."

If Dr. Phil can solve your problems over the telephone, you've got problems you don't even know about.

In Praise Of Kaus

He's thoughtful, and truthful. His writing is a pleasure to read, and he's good looking.

And he's not a weasely, faux-Dem Republican hack.

And now he's bested the Midget in the one arena where the Midget was previously unchallenged.

It's the difference between night and day.

Ol' Derby Bastard

Many bloggers have castigated Ol' Derby Bastard for his ode to jailbait while ignoring the rabid racism in his same online column. The racist writes:

In Britain, the old street-fighting, Jew-baiting National Front has morphed into a collar-and-tie party named the BNP -- that is, British National party. Nick Griffin, the BNP head, has been conducting a purge of Stalinesque ruthlessness against the old anti-Semitic National Front types. FrontPageMag's Robert Locke tells the story here. All the BNP's xenophobic propaganda is now concentrated against Muslims. Jews are O.K., on the principle that my enemy's enemy is my friend.

(I note en passant that Jared Taylor, who runs the white-nationalist American Renaissance magazine and website, is way ahead of the game here. For years Jared has been responding to questions about what he thinks of Jews with a cheery: "They look white to me!")

This stuff bears watching. The Far Right may not be your cup of tea; but they're out there, and with intelligent leadership, a tailwind of economic disgruntlement, and the dawning realization among white people in the West that they have, by foolish policies, made themselves into a minority in their own countries, outfits like the BNP might very well become a prominent force in public affairs in the 21st century.

So Derbs' white supremacist buddies have repackaged their bigotry by emphasizing their hatred of Muslims and downplaying their hatred of Jews.

Don't worry, Derbs, your pale pals are only hiding their anti-Semitism. They haven't betrayed "the white countries," as you fear.

Special Ed Gets His Message Out

Howie the Putz turns over CNN to blubbering landlubber Mister Ed to spout sheer nonsense:

MORRISSEY: Well, first off, I think that you can draw some sort of comparison with the Armstrong Williams debacle. And I done [sic] think there is anybody who is really defending the Armstrong Williams deal.

The difference is, is that I think that the Bush administration has greater hurdles in getting -- in getting their message out for two reasons. One, I think they face a more hostile media environment than the previous administration did. And the second thing is that they just don't get the message out.

They're not very good at getting the message out. And they need to -- they need to improve that.

This is -- we're going to talk maybe a little bit about George Bush's speech a little later on. And we're just not hearing enough directly from the administration on the -- on the ways in which we're winning the Iraq war and the ways in which their policies are better.

No one's buying that story anymore, Ed. The Administration is working overtime to shovel the shit. And the Administration is getting all the television time it wants -- as evidenced by Ed's own appearance to say nothing, and say it poorly. The Administration's problem is that no one -- with the exception of a credulous press -- is buying its lies anymore.

Kudos to Wells Fargo for refusing to cower before Focus of the Fascists.

DENVER -- The conservative Christian group Focus on the Family says it is withdrawing its funds from Wells Fargo because of the bank's support of gay organizations.

...

Chris Hammond, a vice president of business development for Wells Fargo & Co., the fifth largest U.S. bank by assets, said the bank provided a $50,000 grant to support the leadership counsel of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. He said it did not, however, agree to match contributions as GLAAD had advertised and Focus criticized.

That being said, we do support many communities, and we're proud to be a diverse organization," Hammond said. "We're proud of our support of the GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender) community."

Of course, the bank's contribution to GLAAD is a drop in the bucket, roughly equivalent to the fees it's charged me for my checking account over the years, but anything that pisses off Dr. Josef Dobson and his jackass thugs is praiseworthy.

And, as Pam Spaulding at Pandagon points out, Wells Fargo has a commendable history of commitment to equality.

War On Christmas: Terrorists' Number 3 Taken Out

Another victory!

The Christian (sic) terrorists' No. 3 was taken out by a direct hit from a truth missile late last week:

A similar story turned up on a Web site run by right-wing pundit Michelle Malkin. A reader there reported calling the postal service's public line and being told that religiously themed stamps were being discontinued "to avoid any legal constitutional issues."

This was startling news to Mark Saunders, a postal service spokesman in Washington. He'd just finished mailing a news release that announced the design for next year's Madonna stamp.

It's a painting by 18th-century Peruvian artist Ignacio Chacon and will arrive in the post offices in October.

All that was left was a 20 foot crater where Malkin's cave once stood and a smoldering pile of lies.

Undoubtedly this has got Numbers 1 and 2 (Gibson and O'Reilly) fortifying their bunkers.

(Link via many blogs.)

Saturday, December 03, 2005

I'm taking a much undeserved weekend off.

Here's an early Winter Solstice present for all of you.

Friday, December 02, 2005

The Two Faces of el-Simon

Roger el-Simon must be thinking of having a little work done. DependsMedia has featured not one, but two, uninteresting posts about a face transplant in as many days.

Both posts originated from Los Angeles. And they both compete for the "Most Poorly Written First Sentence" award.

Post One:

Once the subject of a fine scifi novel by Kobo Abe, a woman who lost her nose and lips to a dog attack has undergone a face transplant in France, according to the BBC.

Post Two:

The world's first face transplant, for a French woman horribly mauled by a Labrador, set off ethical debates as well as satire after Associated Press reported she regained consciousness and thanked her doctors.

Since the patient wasn't the subject of a sci-fi novel, I'd give the title to Post One. One the other hand, the transplant didn't "set off ... satire" or thank her doctors, so Post Two is nearly as craptastic.

Given that the "Los Angeles staff" of Depends is composing perhaps six paragraphs per day, most of which contain quotes or text lifted from other blogs, you'd think the staff would at least bother to write coherently. And not repeat itself.

The Hume-n Stain

The Hume-n stains over at WorldNutDaily forget idiocy, and therefore are doomed to repeat it.

This is illustrative of something, I think. That Jeff Jarvis isn't the only fucking moron on the internet, for one.

I urge all California Republicans to repair to Iraq immediately, for their own safety.

Republicans Blow Poodles, Some Democrats Say

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Ralph Reed In A Texas Prison

Actually, it sounds like the criminal penalty for lobbying without registering with Texas authorities is a monetary one, but it's still early days.

Reed bragged in an e-mail that his lobbying organization was in touch with Texas Attorney General John Cornyn to influence Texas laws:

Reed is running for lieutenant governor of Georgia, and his bid has been complicated by his connections with Abramoff. A Senate committee investigating Abramoff released e-mails in which he and Reed discuss efforts to block gambling operations in Texas. In one, Reed says, "We have talked to the AG's office," referring to the office of then-Attorney General John Cornyn.

Reed himself had to have had a conversation with a state official or employee about the casino to trigger the lobbying-registration rules, said Craig McDonald, director of Texans for Public Justice. "We don't know all the facts," he said. "There's a whole host of implications in his e-mails that he himself is making direct contact."

Perhaps Reed was lying in the e-mails. Either he's lying then or he's lying now.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Abramoff 101

Those who are new to the Abramoff scandals and would like an overview of the players may want to listen to Terry Gross's interview of NYT investigative reporter Philip Shenon, which was broadcast on today's Fresh Air. It's an excellent primer that highlights many of the major crimes as well as Abramoff's history, even though it doesn't advance the story. Gross took the time to inform herself about all of Abramoff's schemes and make them understandable to listeners, and I sensed some extra enthusiasm when she got to the bits involving Grover Norquist.

For more advanced students of Abramoffology, Jane Hamsher at firedoglake is the logical choice for breaking news and in-depth analysis. I too am optimistically hopeful that we learn Senator Cornyn has unclean hands in his past dealings Abramoff and little Ralphie Reed.

The War On Christmas Presents An Opportunity For Real Journalism

Here's a real opportunity for a real journalist. According some tool at The Corner, ethically challenged Rabbi Daniel Lapin is holding a press conference at the National Press Club tomorrow afternoon:

My good friend Don Feder's group, Jews Against Anti-Christian Defamation, will be holding a press conference on the topic, "Jews For It's OK to Say 'Merry Christmas' " at 1:30 PM tomorrow at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Don will be joined by the inimitable Jackie Mason (via telephone), Michael Horowitz of the Hudson Institute and Rabbi Daniel Lapin of Toward Tradition.

Pedestrians near ACLU offices should beware of falling objects during that time.

Perhaps a courageous journalist could attend and ask Rabbi Lapin whether it's OK to manufacture phony religious credentials to deceive people:

"I hate to ask you for your help with something so silly but I've been nominated for membership in the Cosmos Club, which is a very distinguished club in Washington, DC, comprised of Nobel Prize winners, etc.," [Jack] Abramoff wrote. "Problem for me is that most prospective members have received awards and I have received none. I was wondering if you thought it possible that I could put that I have received an award from Toward Tradition with a sufficiently academic title, perhaps something like Scholar of Talmudic Studies?"

..."Indeed, it would be even better if it were possible that I received these in years past, if you know what I mean."

The rabbi, conservative radio host Daniel Lapin, gave his blessing. "I just need to know what needs to be produced," he wrote. "Letters? Plaques?"

Or perhaps she or he could ask Lapin if it's OK to call Native Americans "monkeys" and "troglodytes."

Or if the Rabbi is a member of "Jews For It's OK to Whack A Rival Casino Owner."

Or, perhaps, what the Baby Jesus thinks of gambling money and influence peddling:

Rudy's wife, Lisa, was also drawn into Abramoff's orbit. She was paid fees by Toward Tradition, the Seattle-based Orthodox Jewish foundation that often allies with the Christian right on social issues. The foundation is headed by longtime Abramoff friend Rabbi Daniel Lapin and the lobbyist served as chairman of the board.

Toward Tradition was issued a $25,000 check dated Aug. 24, 2000, by eLottery. A copy of the check was obtained by The Post. Daum, the former eLottery official, said he could not remember the check but said all funds Abramoff directed him to spend were intended to defeat the Internet gambling bill.

Lapin said in an interview that he could not remember a check from eLottery but that the company could have made donations to his foundation. He said that any such donation would have been separate from his foundation's hiring of Liberty Consulting, a political firm founded and operated by Lisa Rudy.

It would seem that if anyone has reason to fear a beatdown from a supernatural being with traditional values, it's Rabbi Lapin.

Ugly. Butt Ugly.

Limey bigot John Derbyshire comments upon the difference between the sexes:

NO FAIR [John Derbyshire]

A Reader, on the cosmic unfairness I noted in today's column: "Mr. Derbyshire --- I always liked this apt description of the unfair advantage men have over women when it comes to aging: As a man ages he starts looking like Sean Connery. As a woman ages she starts looking like, well, Sean Connery."

Yes, this John Derbyshire.

Depends Media Comes Out Of The Closet

If you thought that Depends Media was going to be anything other than a dishonest right-wing circle jerk, click here and admit that you've been dumbfucked by a neocon dumbfuck cabal.

The Depends crowd is leaking all over itself in response to a fantasy that Harry Reid "disclosed confidential information" to a Nevada teevee station that Osama bin Laden was killed in the Pakistan earthquake.

The circle jerk was started in motion by John "Thumb" Fund, who is quoted on an RNC website. Fund refers to unnamed "intelligence analysts" (Larry Franklin? Fund's therapists? Who knows?), but never claims -- or presents any evidence -- that Reid disclosed confidential or classified information.

But dimwits must speculate, so the Depends "staff in Barcelona" -- I forget who that schmuck is -- complied links to all the wingnut bloggers who are rubbing their thighs together at the thought Reid disclosed "top secret" information.

Of course, none of the bloggers has any evidence of Reid's supposed security breach, but that won't stop them from wagging their imaginary weenies in front of all the neighbors. They're incapable of not doing it.

Even more pathetic, Fund and some of the bloggers speculate that authorities unknown are keeping Osama's demise on the QT as some sort of cunning trap. You see, we had no idea where bin Laden was when he was alive, but we somehow found out he was killed without his compatriots -- those who did know where he was -- finding out! One can only imagine the size of the brain tumor which causes such derangement.

Update (12/1): Howie the Putz characterizes The Thumb's column as "John Fund spanks Harry Reid," but then admits that Fund's smear by insinuation is bullshit because the Bush Administration would promptly announce Osama's demise. Apparently the Putz thinks pulling bogus claims out of one's ass constitutes a "spanking."

And the rightwing circle jerk and subliterate hackery continue.

Abramoff's Apostles

We're still trying, in our usual half-assed manner, to nail down the Abramoff Twelve.

An October article on the O.C. Weekly's website refers to "the Abramoff 6," although not in the context of potential indictments:

Rohrabacher has so stridently defended Abramoff that good-government blogger Ellen Miller has included Dana as one of The Abramoff 6. Other teammates are Reps. DeLay, Bob Ney (R-Ohio), Conrad Burns (R-Montana), Dave Vitter (R-Louisiana) and Tom Feeney (R-Florida).

The O.C. Weekly also reports that Rohrabacher's longtime pal, Abramoff, used Rohrabacher as a reference when he was seeking funding to buy SunCruz Casinos. When asked about the reference, Rohrabacher reportedly stated that Abramoff was "a very honest man."

For a Republican.

Access Hollywood

Meanwhile, today's NYT refers to Rohrabacher's ties to one of a fictional endangered species, the Hollywood Republican. Rohrabacher accepted 23,000 USD and a contract from movie producer Joseph Medawar for a script Rohrabacher wrote. Medawar also was developing a Bush-friendly television series about the Department of Homeland Security, and he quite publicly touted Rohrabacher as providing him with access to the DHS, the White House and the California State House. Medawar's now been indicted for fraud in connection with the project.

Rohrabacher now is understandably distancing himself from his Hollywood sugar daddy. Rohrabacher claims that "Whether [Medawar] is a flamboyant incompetent or he's a con man will be determined by the jury." But who will make that determination about Rohrabacher?

Roger el-Simon is promising that Osama's Pajamas will stop sucking within three weeks.

Of course, Roger also promised that Larry Franklin was a victim of political persecution.

This can only mean one thing: Osama's Pajamas will plead guilty to espionage within a year.

The War On Christmas: Painless Denny's Tree Edition

A setback in the War on Christmas. Corpulent gym coach Denny Hastert, looking to divert attention from the debacle in Iraq, the destruction of the American economy and the corruption of his master, Tom the Bug Chaser DeLay, has renamed the Congressional Holiday Tree a "Christmas" tree.

We shall not retreat. I'm taking up a collection of $199 in unmarked bills to convince Denny Boy to change his mind once again. Once I purchase the branding rights, the spruce will be known as the "Miserable Failure Bush."

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A Feulner and His Money

I have no idea whether Bruce Bartlett was speaking of The Heritage Foundation's Edwin Feulner when he blasted "so-called think tanks [that] have also abused their tax-exempt status to pursue political agendas and personal profits for their executives."

More importantly, I have no idea whether Clownhall.com, a Heritage spin-off, thought Bartlett was thinking of Feulner when it failed to publish Bartlett's column containing that blast. Still, Clownhall does look a little defensive by declining to publish that particular column.

I do recall this article in the Washington Post about Feulner:

For years, the Heritage Foundation sharply criticized the autocratic rule of former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, denouncing his anti-Semitism, his jailing of political opponents and his "anti-free market currency controls."

Then, late in the summer of 2001, the conservative nonprofit Washington think tank began to change its assessment: Heritage financed an Aug. 30-Sept. 4, 2001, trip to Malaysia for three House members and their spouses. Heritage put on briefings for the congressional delegation titled "Malaysia: Standing Up for Democracy" and "U.S. and Malaysia: Ways to Cooperate in Order to Influence Peace and Stability in Southeast Asia."

Heritage's new, pro-Malaysian outlook emerged at the same time a Hong Kong consulting firm co-founded by Edwin J. Feulner, Heritage's president, began representing Malaysian business interests. The for-profit firm, called Belle Haven Consultants, retains Feulner's wife, Linda Feulner, as a "senior adviser." And Belle Haven's chief operating officer, Ken Sheffer, is the former head of Heritage's Asia office and is still on Heritage's payroll as a $75,000-a-year consultant.

Hmm... Sound familiar?

Leo The Lyinblogger

Mort "the Tort" Zuckerman, editor-in-chief of U.S. News & World Report, has taken a lot of grief for suggesting recently that bloggers "repeat[] and report[] without fact checking."

But he's undoubtedly right in one case.

I give you the Leo Blog.

According to Ad Age, U.S. News has demoted professional P.C. victim John Leo from columnist to blogger. So Leo's slanders, like those against Army Chaplain James Yee and other Muslims serving in the American military, will now be blogged instead of printed on shiny paper. And Leo's off to a wingnutty start, whineblogging about purportedly unflattering photos of Bill Buckley and Ann Coulter. He even repeats, without fact checking, the bogus claim that that "X" over Dick Fucking Cheney's snarling puss on CNN was an act of deliberate "tampering."

Perhaps Morty consigned Leo to blogging as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Lost

There's a Bruce Bartlett column dated November 29 that's already appeared on a couple of wingnut sites. (No link, you can find it at Human Events (humaneventsonline.com), among other places.) The most important passage is this:

"Sadly, it has been my observation that other so-called think tanks have also abused their tax-exempt status to pursue political agendas and personal profits for their executives."

Bartlett and his piece are not on Clownhall.com's front page list of Columnists or its Columnist sidebar, although the site regularly publishes Bartlett's column.

Discuss.

Another Santorum Bites Dog story from Reuters, in the New York Times.

The Vatican must tire of saying, "No, no we really are desiccated old bigots. We've never pretended otherwise. How many times must we reaffirm this before you listen?"

Monday, November 28, 2005

Meet Your Liberal Media: Jack Off Edition

I just saw Anderson Cooper demonstrate, without embarassment, his ignorance of the correct pronounciation of Jack Abramoff's name. It was evident Cooper knows nothing about the Abramoff story or Abramoff's co-conspirators in Congress and the Bush Administration.

Anyone who thinks CNN is a liberal network is willfully ignorant.

Update (11/29): From the transcript:

And remember, Jack Abramoff? The lobbyist at the center of an investigation into bribery, corruption and perhaps even more - is it Abramoff? What is it? Abramoff. There you go. I'll get it right by tomorrow.
As Bill Bennett shoves another blueberry pie down his gob and looks for an excuse not to wash his fingers, his allies in the Iraqi government are busy modifying other body parts.

The New York Times reports:

Hundreds of accounts of killings and abductions have emerged in recent weeks, most of them brought forward by Sunni civilians, who claim that their relatives have been taken away by Iraqi men in uniform without warrant or explanation.

Some Sunni men have been found dead in ditches and fields, with bullet holes in their temples, acid burns on their skin, and holes in their bodies apparently made by electric drills. Many have simply vanished.

Some of the young men have turned up alive in prison. In a secret bunker discovered earlier this month in an Interior Ministry building in Baghdad, American and Iraqi officials acknowledged that some of the mostly Sunni inmates appeared to have been tortured.

I think Iraqis are bit more worried about bullets in their skulls than where (else) an obese gambling addict sticks his finger.

Update (11/29): The L.A. Times also takes a piss on Bennett's parade -- assuming, for the sake of metaphor, that Bennett doesn't enjoy such things.

U.S. officials have long been concerned about extrajudicial killings in Iraq, but until recently they have refrained from calling violent elements within the police force "death squads" — a loaded term that conjures up the U.S.-backed paramilitaries that killed thousands of civilians during the Latin American civil wars of the 1970s and 1980s.

But U.S. military advisors in Iraq say the term is apt, and the Interior Ministry's inspector general concurs that extrajudicial killings are being carried out by ministry forces.

Probably makes Bill mist up and think of St. Ronnie.

A Not So Cunning Plan

San Diego Congressman Randall Cunningham shows us how the Republican Party works:

SAN DIEGO -- Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham pleaded guilty Monday morning to conspiring to take bribes in exchange for using his influence to help a defense contractor get business.

He also pleaded guilty to one count of income tax evasion.

U.S. District [Court Judge] Larry A. Burns scheduled Cunninghman's sentencing for Feb. 27.

Cunningham, an eight-term Republican congressman, had been under scrutiny for months for his ties to defense contractors and their officials.

Federal officials launched investigations after The San Diego Union-Tribune and Copley News Service reported in June that a defense contractor who won tens of millions of dollars in Pentagon contracts had taken a $700,000 loss after purchasing Cunningham's Del Mar house.

The War On Christmas: The Inter-Faith Alliance Brigade

I'd like to give a shout out to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for helping me persecute Christians during the holidays.

While some try to smear the mayor as Christian-tolerant, I've found this first-hand report of Mayor Bloomberg's persecution of Catholics:

On the first Sunday after Thanksgiving 2005 I visited Manhattan to go to Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral and to see the displays in the front windows of two famous Fifth Avenue department stores, Lord & Taylor and Sax [sic] Fifth Avenue.

The windows were artistically decorated, but certainly not for Christmas, which celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, not children's fairy tales or general concepts.

...It was the same at Sax, where the windows focused on concepts like unity, harmony and beauty. Nothing about Christmas.

...

Manhattan is where Michael Bloomberg, New York City's recently reelected Mayor resides. He bans creches, but not menorrahs [sic] (or holiday trees) from New York City's public schools. (He's Jewish, not Christian.)

Horace Saks and Andrew Gimbel would be very proud of you, Mayor. The ADL too, and those Jews who persecuted Mel Gibson.

(You thought we'd stop with Mel Gibson? You're next, John. And then Henry, and Charlie, and Bob, and Debbie, and Hoot, and Henrik! You're all goin' down.)

I'm even cutting Mayor Bloomberg slack for allowing St. Patrick's to remain open. It makes them easier to hunt down, ya know.

(Link found via TBogg)

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Grand Old Police Blotter: The Twelve Days of Fitzmas Edition

The Democrats retake Congress. Gitmo is cleared out to make room for all the convicted Congressional Republicans. Joseph "Short Joey DiGs" DiGenova becomes the wealthiest criminal defense lawyer in the District of Columbia without winning a single acquittal.

That's how 2006 is shaping up:

U.S. News has learned that the conduct of at least a dozen representatives and senators is now being scrutinized by a small army of federal prosecutors and FBI agents. According to sources familiar with the inquiry, a federal task force, which includes investigators from the Interior Department -- which has authority to regulate Indian reservations -- is examining the relationships between lawmakers and Scanlon and Abramoff. A key question is whether the lawmakers took official actions after receiving campaign contributions, free trips, or other gifts from the lobbyists, the sources say.

Ney, of course, and I've seen references to John Dolittle and Conrad Burns. But who else?

Osama's Pajamas

Osama's Pajamas takes a bold and brave stand: It will only link to bigots and racists who meet with its approval.

Very principled.

LGF Watch identifies the color of those pajamas.

Meanwhile, Osama's Pajamas demonstrates that its style is as impressive as its substance: "it's a fasicinating [sic] perv; but a technorati search for the band's name reveals a truly disturbing number of blogs singing the bands [sic] praises--extremely off key."

And this paragraph is incomprehensible:

Quoting a firewalled article in the New York Post, Gawker muses that this will be "a test for new Time Inc. EIC John Huey." And a test for mainstream and online media in general. There's plenty of hate speech to be found across the wild and wooly blogosphere, which is a publishing medium [sic], not a publication; but mainstream media needs to answer to a different set of rules, and here's why, according to the Global Ethics Institute's Ethics Newsline, in a soothsaying story from 2000 called "Can Journalism Ethics Survive the Time-Warner Merger?": "In this age, information is understood to be power. That's new. Prior ages thought power lay in land, or armies, or political ascendancy. They didn't see that those things produced power because they created the means to obtain and control information. Today we understand that raw fact: Information and power are one."

Well, that explains it.

This combination of delusional thinking and ineptitude can't be maintained indefinitely. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Mother Cour-Midge

Glenn Greenwald reports on a Smear Boat Veteran and his non-Oedipal fixation on Norm Podhoretz's baby mama.

Coming next: A tribute to "Uncle" Rummy.

Winter Solstice Books

The year's end signals the time for self-serving Year in Review/Holiday book lists which feature the publisher's promotion of its own/employees' books. This year, 5 of the 61 nonfiction titles on the NYT's "Most Notable Books" list are written by curent or former Times staffers. Who knew the Times' staff was so friggin' literary? (The Greenhouse and Eichenwald books actually might be worth reading.)

And, of course, National Review Online's holiday list has more plugs in it than John Derbyshire's toy chest.

I don't have my own book to plug this year (Grand Old Police Blotter: The Encyclopedia, Vol. 1 comes out in time for Father's Day, 2006), but I'd be happy to plug any tomes written by my readers. Just let me know in comments or via e-mail.

If you don't have your own book to flog, feel free to recommend a title you enjoyed or would like to find under the Festivus Fir.

Another week, another appearance of Glenn Reynolds' pinched puss on Reliable Sources.

Howie, cut out the middleman and just hold up Chinless Ken Mehlman's press releases to the camera.

The War On Christmas: Oy, Tannenbaum Edition

As we all know, an upside down cross is the symbol of Satan.*

Accordingly, my work to destroy Christmas has taken another great leap forward.

Meanwhile, Matthew Staver, president of one of the last fundamentalist outrage groups not exposed as a front for laundering money for Jack Abramoff, offers the following analogy:

Christmas Tree is to holiday tree as menorah is to _____________.

Answer here.

But Staver's not merely a moron, he's a litigious moron who threatened to sue the City of Boston if they called a tree a "holiday tree." Only Staver can name a tree.

We await Mr. Staver's suits against Congress and Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. The proceedings will resemble Miracle on 34th Street, except that Staver, acting as his own attorney, will lose the case and be committed because of his manical tendencies.

*Warning: link plays cheesy electronic music; do not click on it unless you're Peggy Noonan.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

You Don't See That Every Day

Headline on latimes.com website:

Lottery Winner Found Dead In Geodesic Dome
As Cuyahoga Falls, So Falls Cuyahoga Falls

The Washington Post highlights the decline and fall of the Ohio G.O.P., where Convict-Governor Bob Taft seeks to be the last scumbag standing:

If the Democrats get traction on the scandal issue in Ohio, it likely will be because of the dealings of Noe, an entrepreneur who parlayed his political ties into the chairmanships of the Ohio Turnpike Commission and the Ohio Board of Regents.

In Toledo, he chaired the Lucas County Republican Party, as did his wife, Bernadette, and contributed generously to GOP candidates at all levels. He was so anxious to honor his pledge to the Bush-Cheney campaign, prosecutors said Oct. 27 in issuing a three-count indictment, that he funneled money through friends, including local elected officials.

Noe was later named one of 19 Ohio "Pioneers," those who had raised at least $100,000 for the president's successful reelection. There is no evidence that Bush-Cheney officials knew of the alleged laundering operation, investigators said. A total of $6,000 contributed directly by the Noes to the presidential campaign and the Republican National Committee has been donated to charity, said RNC spokesman Aaron McLear.

So what about the other ninety-four thousand?

Friday, November 25, 2005

Naivete Scene

Vaughn Ververs on the wingnutosphere:

"A good many bloggers had no problems theorizing about the intentions, motivations and connections of Joel Hinrichs in the days after he blew himself up outside of a University of Oklahoma football game. But they have been strangely silent since FBI documents relating to the incident were made public last week. The young man was clearly troubled and had a dangerous fondness for explosives, but the evidence doesn't appear to go beyond that.

"It may seem anti-climactic given all the talk about a possible connection between Hinrichs and terrorism, but those who engaged in that discussion should acknowledge this. After all, isn't it just that accountability they demand of the MSM?"

You've got a lot to learn, Vaughn.

The War On Christmas: First Strike

I am pleased to report that the first mission of the War on Christmas has been a complete success.

Several weeks ago, I led a ragtag, unarmed band of radical Islamojihadofascists, atheistofascists and Hebrewiofascists in a daring nighttime assault upon the main printing facility of the United States Postal Service in Baltimore, Maryland. After penetrating the highly-guarded compound, we broke into the USPS computer system and digitally replaced the visage of the Christ child on this year's Xmas stamp with the equally iconic countenance of a midget with five o'clock shadow chomping on a stogie. As a consequence, the Postal Service was forced to scrap its entire 2005 run of religious holiday stamps.

I'm equally pleased to report several feebleminded casualties of the first strike, including Darleen Rube, purported law professor Ann Althouse, and Spotty the Wonder Teen. Perhaps these chuckleheads are worried that their White Christmases will be a bit too swarthy if they're forced to use a Hanukkuah or Kwanzaa stamp to post their holiday hatemail. Or maybe they're just morons.

The battle continues. We'll plant that Winter Solstice flag in John Gibson's flabby ass or die trying.

Flashback

21 19 years ago today:

Washington, Nov. 25--President Reagan said today that he had not been in full control of his Administration's Iran policy, and the White House said that as a consequence up to $30 million intended to pay for American arms had been secretly diverted to rebel forces in Nicaragua.

At the same time, the President announced that two men he held responsible--Vice Adm. John M. Poindexter, the national security adviser, and Lieut. Col. Oliver L. North, a member of the admiral's staff -- had left their posts.

...

"The President knew nothing about it until I reported it to him," Mr. Meese told reporters in the packed White House press room. "I alerted him yesterday morning."

...

Mr. Reagan devoted less than four minutes this morning to his surprise disclosure, and he left Mr. Meese to take the questions.

Mr. Reagan, following his statement, refused to answer questions. He seemed tense, almost angry. Asked if anyone else in the Administration would be dismissed, he curtly replied: "No one was let go. They choose to go."

And no lessons were learned.

Update: Corrected, per comments.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A Programming Note

This blog won't be publishing new content tomorrow.




What, you think the War On Christmas plans itself?




I will return on Friday, to kick off Buy Nothing Month. Man, I hate crowds.

World O'Crap has the latest on Peggy Noonan, father-botherer.
Fuck all this. None of you are worth living with. You can all kiss my ass.

That's the message found on Joel Hinrichs' computer after he blew himself up one beautiful Saturday in Norman, Oklahoma. Not exactly "Allahu Akbar," now is it, children?

Among other highlights of the FBI's investigation:

According to the FBI, OU student Lawrence R. Kincheloe III told agents Hinrichs liked explosives, frequently experimented with building and detonating explosive devices and once showed off a detonator.

Kincheloe and Hinrichs were members of the Triangle Fraternity, an organization of engineers, architects and scientists

"Kincheloe told the agents that Hinrichs would drive out to remote areas to try to detonate bombs, but that he never accompanied Hinrichs," the FBI reported. "Kincheloe stated Hinrichs did show him the remains of some ... devices he detonated, which Kincheloe described as pieces of plastic soda bottles."

Not exactly the acts of a wily sleeper Jihadoislamofascist, eh?

But ... but ... but ... he was carrying a crescent wrench when he blew himself up! Don't you see? A crescent wrench! You blind, ignorant fools!

The real victim in all this is Hinrichs' roomate, who was made Exhibit A in the wingnut bloggers' guilt-by-association case of Hinrichs-as-Jihadi:

OU student Fazal Cheema told agents that Hinrichs had responded to his Internet advertisement for a roommate, and said the two didn't socialize.

Cheema said Hinrichs was quiet and kept to himself and that he wasn't aware of Hinrichs' interest in bombs.

I wouldn't hold your breach waiting for an apology or a retraction from the online haters brigade, Mr. Cheema. Don't hold it against the sane.

Meet Jonah Goldberg's Art Directors

The freckled twins from Bakersfield, Calif., call nonwhites "muds" and play a video game called "Ethnic Cleansing." They wear tartan plaid skirts and Hitler smiley face shorts - and croon songs that glorify the Third Reich.

Now that's what I call Hipublican!

Update: As Tom Hilton notes in a comment, Matt Yglesias spotted the moronic convergence of Goldberg and the bigot preteens over a month ago. (And Tom's got a spot-on parody of Goldberg's research techniques in a comment to Matt's post.)

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.