Monday, December 26, 2005

Thhhhwappp!

A theologian folds the Washington Post Book World into the shape of a ruler, and raps Knucklesucka hard:

There is the morning -- the very ordinary sunny morning -- when her glass coffee mug shatters in her hand and produces rounded pebbles rather than shards. Noonan takes this as a sign from God, who says: "There is explosive power in what appear to be mere pebbles. There is explosive power in the Rosary, for instance. And I want you to know this." Having received a rosary from the hands of the pope, she begins saying it. All of this -- the mug, the coffee that didn't scald her, the pebbles, the rosary, the pope, God -- " feels like a little miracle ." Or maybe it was just shatter-proof safety glass.

But how does one explain the miracle of Nooner's Continuing Employment?

The chapters recounting her spiritual development and back-sliding are high on rhetoric and low on detail. Veiled allusions to challenging and painful events vanish into the wisps of spiritual counsel, drawn from her own articles and columns, which have been cut and pasted into this volume.

Let it bleed.

In the land of Cafeteria Catholics, Peggy Noonan's diet is best described as self-cannibalistic.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Happy Christmas

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.

Blow Me, Hillbilly

Glenn Reynolds says:

"I'm disturbed tremendously."

Yes, we know that.

What's that, Goober? You're not finished with your thought?

"I'm disturbed tremendously that such a suspicious story was accepted so uncritically by alleged critical thinkers."

Pardon? Could you repeat that, Ernest?

"ECOTERRORISM spreads from the West to the East."

I thought so.

Fucking idiot.

Friday, December 23, 2005

At least I've got my hair

In the unlikely event you've had trouble telling us apart, this should end the confusion:

Roger Ailes has extended his contract as chairman and chief executive of Fox News for five years in a deal that will bring him a $5 million annual salary. In addition, Reuters reported, he is to receive a performance-related bonus of at least $1 million a year. News Corporation, the parent of Fox News, said Mr. Ailes's duties also include the posts of chairman and chief executive of Fox Business Channel, chairman of Fox Television Stations and 20th Century Fox Television Syndication and editor in chief of FoxNews.com.

I have got alot of catching up to do.

P.S. The performance bonus is tied to the increase in Republican seats in Congress.

In preparation for the most eagerly anticipated event in the blogosphere ever, here are two preliminary year-end quizzes for you to practice on:

Guardian 2005 News Quiz

King William's College 2005 General Knowledge Paper

Note: I scored 30 on one of them.

Update (12/24): More here.
Joshua Marshall almost has this right:

Reading over the reportage of what happened yesterday, it seems clear that Luttig and the other two members of the panel were less perturbed about civil liberties issues per se (Luttig wrote the decision that allowed the government to hold Padilla indefinitely as an 'enemy combatant') than the administration's cynical willingness to jump from legal argument to legal argument, from one set of facts to another, as the needs of the moment dictate.

Cynical bastard that I am, I believe the motives behind the outrage were nearly as base as the Administration's. Luttig and his fellow Appellate Lords were pissed not about BushJustice's duplicity, but rather that the BushJustice wasted their time by making them hear and decide the case, all for nought. They didn't work so hard getting the ample duffs elevated to the appellate bench just to have to do more work. And they could have better spent the time taken to craft their original opinion writing Washington Post op-ed pieces demanding the end of civil liberties.

Chalabists

Defeatedist Ahmad Chalabi is claiming that the Iraqi elections were compromised by fraud. Guess that purple ink thing didn't work so well after all.

And Chalabi has called in Republican lobbyists to get results.

The firm, BKSH & Associates, is the lobbying vehicle of Republican insider Charles Black and registered with the Justice Department as an agent for the INC's Entefadh Qanbar.

Lobbyist Riva Levinson wrote in an e-mail to NBC News of concerns about fraud in the Iraqi elections. She wrote that "many parties, including the INC, are concerned about fraud with dozens of cases now being actively investigated."

Hey, Ahmad, maybe you could get the United States to invade Iraq to restore democracy.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Shorter Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK)

"I'm Gumby, Dammit!"

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Posner Waiver

There are some who say they would sacrifice personal freedom for security from terrorism. To them I say: What's stopping you?

Just sign and date the following Posner Waiver:

I, ___________________,

hereby waive any rights of privacy in my person, property, association, thought and/or expression that I have, had or claim to have under the federal and state constitutions, statutory law or regulation of the United States or any political subdivision thereof, decisional law, common law and/or any other source of authority, real or imagined, to the extent the waiver of such rights is, in the sole judgment of any military, law enforcement or national security employee of the United States, deemed necessary to prosecute the war on terror.

This waiver applies both retroactively and prospectively.

_____________________________
(Signed)

_____________________________
(Dated)

Cut-and-paste the above waiver and e-mail it to comments@whitehouse.gov, or vice_president
@whitehouse.gov. Put "Posner Waiver" in the subject line.

James Wolcott on Daniel Pipes. A joy to read.

Line Forms To The Right

As Jack Abramoff prepares to rat on his fellow vermin, things are looking increasingly bleak for Bob Ney. Steno Sue transcribes the details:

Prosecutors have told one lawmaker, Rep. Robert W. Ney (R-Ohio), that they are preparing a possible bribery indictment against him over official acts that benefited clients of Abramoff. Ney inserted comments in the Congressional Record at Scanlon's request praising Kidan and castigating the reputation of SunCruz's then-owner, Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis, during contentious purchase negotiations.

In October, prosecutors got agreements from Abramoff, Kidan, Ney and former Ney aide Neil Volz to suspend the five-year statute of limitations while the investigation continues. Ney has said he was misled by Abramoff and Scanlon.

In Scanlon's plea agreement, he agreed to testify against Ney. Kidan's attorney has said he is prepared to testify against Ney as well.

I bet you could get Rasmey Clark to defend you, Bob.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

This is a fucking joke, right?

"The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act makes it difficult to conduct surveillance of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents unless they are suspected of being involved in terrorist or other hostile activities. That is too restrictive. Innocent people, such as unwitting neighbors of terrorists, may, without knowing it, have valuable counterterrorist information."

Intelligence Design

The schoolchildren of Dover, Pennsylvania learn an important lesson: Never allow yourself to be represented by the Thomas More Law Center.

Excerpts from United States District Judge John Jones' Memorandum Opinion in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (note: large .pdf file):

Finally, although Buckingham, Bonsell [both members of the Dover Area School Board of Directors], and other defense witnesses denied the reports in the news media and contradicted the great weight of the evidence about what transpired at the June 2004 Board meetings, the record reflects that these witnesses either testified inconsistently, or lied outright under oath on several occasions, and are accordingly not credible on these points.

...

As we will discuss in more detail below, the inescapable truth is that both Bonsell and Buckingham lied at their January 3, 2005 depositions about their knowledge of the source of the donation for Pandas, which likely contributed to Plaintiffs' election not to seek a temporary restraining order at that time based upon a conflicting and incomplete factual record. This mendacity was a clear and deliberate attempt to hide the source of the donations by the Board President and the Chair of the Curriculum Committee to further ensure that Dover students received a creationist alternative to Darwin's theory of evolution. We are accordingly presented with further compelling evidence that Bonsell and Buckingham sought to conceal the blatantly religious purpose behind the ID Policy.

...

Third, Cleaver voted for the curriculum change despite the teachers' objections, based upon assurances from Bonsell. (32:23-25 (Cleaver)). Cleaver admittedly knew nothing about ID, including the words comprising the phrase, as she consistently referred to ID as "intelligence design" throughout her testimony. In addition, Cleaver was bereft of any understanding of Pandas except that Spahr had said it was not a good science book which should not be used in high school. (32:45-46 (Cleaver)). In addition, Superintendent Nilsen's entire understanding of ID was that "evolution has a design." (26:49-50 (Nilsen)).

...

Moreover, Board members and teachers opposing the curriculum change and its implementation have been confronted directly. First, Casey Brown testified that following her opposition to the curriculum change on October 18, 2004, Buckingham called her an atheist and Bonsell told her that she would go to hell.

...

Defendants' asserted secular purpose of improving science education is belied by the fact that most if not all of the Board members who voted in favor of the biology curriculum change conceded that they still do not know, nor have they ever known, precisely what ID is. To assert a secular purpose against this backdrop is ludicrous.

The opinion is chock full of lessons, about religion, and the law, and natural selection. You could teach a course based on it.

Point of Personal Privilege

2000 miles
is very far through the snow
i'll think of you
wherever you go

he's gone 2000 miles
it's very far
the snow is falling down
gets colder day by day
i miss you

i can hear people singing
it must be christmas time
i hear people singing
it must be christmas time

Squeal and Deal

This could be the best Christmas ever.... but not for the Republican Party.

It's not too late to make your wish list.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 - Jack Abramoff, the Republican lobbyist under criminal investigation, has been discussing with prosecutors a deal that would grant him a reduced sentence in exchange for testimony against former political and business associates, people with detailed knowledge of the case say.

Mr. Abramoff is believed to have extensive knowledge of what prosecutors suspect is a wider pattern of corruption among lawmakers and Congressional staff members. One participant in the case who insisted on anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations described him as a "unique resource."

And here are some heartwarming Republican values ... two for the price of one:

Prosecutors are also looking at how some former Congressional staff members landed their lucrative lobbying positions and at the role the wives of several lobbyists and lawmakers may have had in any influence scheme, a piece of the puzzle that investigators have begun referring to privately as the "wives' club."

It gives one a warm glow.

Update: Jeralyn Merritt says Jackoff is claiming to be more broke than the troglodytes he swindled. Quick, someone send him a copy Thou Shalt Prosper: Ten Commandments For Making Money.

Blockbuster

Democracy In Iraq

Ahmad Chalabi got more purple fingers from Judy Miller than he did from his countrymen and women.

At 227 billion and hundreds of thousands killed and wounded, that's a piss poor return on investment.

As I've long suspected, vegans and Catholics are the real terrorists:

One F.B.I. document indicates that agents in Indianapolis planned to conduct surveillance as part of a "Vegan Community Project." Another document talks of the Catholic Workers group's "semi-communistic ideology." A third indicates the bureau's interest in determining the location of a protest over llama fur planned by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Wiretaps on those Catholic radicals, Opus Dei, are well in order. And they should be purged from the Supreme Court too. I know I'd sleep better.

Meet Your Liberal Media: Withhold Publication And Be Damned Edition

You can't handle the truth, according to Helen Keller and Pinchloaf:

But two journalists, who declined to be identified [sic], said that editors at the paper were actively considering running the story about the wiretaps before Bush's November showdown with Democratic Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts.

Top editors at the paper eventually decided to hold the story. But the discussion was renewed after the election, with Risen and coauthor of the story, reporter Eric Lichtblau, joining some of the paper's editors in pushing for publication, according to the sources, who said they did not want to be identified because the Times had designated only Keller and a spokeswoman to address the matter.

"When they realized that it was going to appear in the book anyway, that is when they went ahead and agreed to publish the story," said one of the journalists. "That's not to say that was their entire consideration, but it was a very important one of them."

All the news that Bush permits.

Cowards.

And failed public editor Daniel Jokrent pipes up with this particularly unenlightened comment: "You are damned if you do and damned if you don't... For the right, this information never should have come out. And for the left, it never could have come out early enough." For anyone who cares about the rule of law, this information never could have come out early enough.

Update: This is rich: The Times opines on the "Fog of False Choices." It prefers that its readers have no choices. Congress didn't give Bush the authority to spy on Americans. For the past year, the Times did.

Nonbogosity Is A Complete Defense

"An Us Weekly story that Ms Spears and husband Kevin Federline had made a sex video and were afraid it would become public was 'bogus', the action stated."

Monday, December 19, 2005

Roy Moore, Antichrist

One Alabama fundie thinks former Chief Justice Roy Moore is about to trigger the End Times or a new Civil War or ... something:

A Christian talk show host from Mobile who sued to reinstate Roy Moore after he was ousted as Alabama's chief justice has decided not to support Moore's run for governor.

Kelly McGinley says that some of Moore's prominent supporters are "dominionists" who wish to bring about a government based on Old Testament law, which would administer the death penalty for offenses ranging from homosexuality to talking back to your parents.

McGinley said that although she loves Moore and his family and has spent a lot of time with them, she fears his election could set in motion cataclysmic events.

It would set up a showdown between the state and federal government, leading to an invasion by the feds and resistance by Alabamians, McGinley said. The conflict would serve as the pretext for a government imposition of a manmade version of Biblical law, McGinley believes.

She links Moore, the Republican Party, the Council for National Policy, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Masons in a conspiratorial web.

"It is too extreme for the likes of me," McGinley said. "It is pretty interesting that our primary is on 6/6/06."

Moore in league with the Moonies. It's a small world after all.

(Thanks to a reader for the tip.)

Bush Apologist Extra

Howie the Putz was at his most simpering in today's chit-chat:

Washington, D.C.: Could the wording of the executive order have allowed the NSA to monitor and transcribe communications between The Washington Post and its reporters in Baghdad and Afghanistan?

Howard Kurtz: I suppose it would. Although administration officials would have to have some terror-related justification beyond the fact that they don't like us.

And why would that be, Howie? Because they wouldn't do anything illegal? They already violated the law. Because they wouldn't screw someone over just because they can? Because they respect the press? Because the Post is already in the Administration's pocket?

You've come a long way, Putzie. From working for Jack Anderson for free to working for jack-booted thugs for the same rate.

Ex-welfare queen Armstrong Williams's latest column about life off of the dole:

Self Sabotage Preventing More Black Entrepreneurs

Like you would know, freeloader.

A Peggy Noonan Christmas Special

Between feedings, the Crazy Dolphin Lady thrills WaPo readers with a chat about Papa Jay Pee:

I have just had a wonderful Christmas lunch in Manhattan with close friends. We were high up in a building, on the 65th floor, and the city was spread out before us and we could see as far as Jersey. Dominating the landscape was the Empire State building, Kong-less and looking somehow...old fashioned. Like the 1930's. Like the city when I first saw it when I was a kid. Now I'm back home in Brooklyn watching the news on CNN....
Or herself.

But then some punk asks Peg about John Paul the Great Opponent of Bush's Illegal War.

Annapolis, Md.: Hi:

Why did Pope John Paul II opppose the war in Iraq?

Peggy Noonan: There is so much talk about that, I mean there has been. I'm not going to get down in the weeds in terms of 'He really was opposed', 'He really wasn't!' I took it this way: He was the Vicar of Christ in the world. What would such a person do, oppose war or encourage it? Ask for patience or violent action? It is, not to be crude, the job of a pope to oppose a resort to arms and support peacefulness. It is his job to encourage prayer and peace. So his stand as I understood it never surprised me, and did not discourage me. And I believe his public statements garnered what they deserved, respect and attention.

So Ol' Karol W. was only great when he wasn't supporting peace.

And that pedophile thing ... not his fault.

I believe John Paul simply could not imagine -- had no catagory for -- could not possibly envision -- the idea of priests of the church operating in a racket in which they sexually abuse children and when their superiors learn of it the priests are not sacked but transferred, quietly. John Paul grew up in a church in which priests were heroic. They saved lives. They risked their own lives. They resisted the Nazis and the communists. I think the old man simply couldn't imagine the way the American church was being run.

A guy that resisted Nazis and commies but couldn't imagine pedophiles... now that's greatness!

Anyway, those pedophile priests aren't going to ruin Peggy's supper.

It is dark now already in Brooklyn and I am about to go have dinner. Goodnight everyone.

Goodnight, Loon.

Cato Unbound: Your Discount Source For Libertarian Whores

Looking for a principled libertarian to opine favorably about your lobbying client? Cato Unbound is the eBay for your media-access needs.

For less than 2K, you can purchase a slightly-used David Boaz or Will Wilkinson. For a thou, Walter E. Williams will debate in favor of your client or cause against a strawman who repeatedly calls him "Williams." For a Franklin, P.J. O'Rourke or Penn Jillette will perform at your kid's birthday party.

Winning the Friedman Prize will set you back a million, but you get half back after your check clears.

Further proof of the miracle of the marketplace.

Note: Doug Bandow is permanently sold out. Please make another selection.

The Ransom of Red Chief

Embarrassment has been ruled out as a cause of J.D. Hayworth's unnaturally red face.

From today's New York Times:

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, a research group in Washington that monitors the influence of money in politics, Mr. Hayworth was the largest single Congressional recipient of donations from Mr. Abramoff and his family, his associates, his Indian tribe clients and a gambling cruise ship line that he owned, with more than $101,000 going to Mr. Hayworth and his political action committee since 1999. Mr. Hayworth was also a frequent guest in sports skyboxes controlled by Mr. Abramoff and his clients, and at Signatures, a Washington restaurant owned by the lobbyist.

Mr. Mitchell said Mr. Hayworth needed to return donations linked to Mr. Abramoff if he wanted to prove that he was not involved in "all the corruption that's been going on in Washington." In the meantime, Mr. Mitchell said, the party was looking for a strong candidate to challenge Mr. Hayworth in a race that, he said, would now focus in large part on the incumbent's ties to Mr. Abramoff.

Mr. Hayworth's chief of staff, Joe Eule, said in a statement that he did not take Mr. Mitchell's threats seriously and that the congressman had no intention of returning the money.

But we now know why Signatures was operating at a loss.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Knucklesucka

The NYT Book Review diagnoses Knucklesucka Noonan:

The result is a valentine sent to a man she knew mainly from watching television, written in the idiom of spiritual gush. Typical are these lines about her efforts to get inside St. Patrick's Cathedral during his 1995 trip to the United States: "This time I really wanted to see him, wanted to rest my eyes on him; I wanted to feel the constriction in my chest when he went by." In short, "John Paul the Great" is as much about Peggy Noonan as it is about the pope - which is probably why her name is in larger print than his on the cover, and in the place where book titles normally appear.

...

Noonan devotes a meandering chapter to some of John Paul's "beliefs," and another to his social teachings. But nowhere do we read from this Republican pundit that John Paul opposed both the gulf war of the first Bush administration and the invasion of Iraq initiated by the second. A more glaring omission, especially for a woman, is the absence of any discussion of birth control. She has her chance: she extols at length John Paul's "theology of the body," a highly romantic and unrealistic view of human sexuality that he expounded in a series of pastoral conferences. But she seems unaware that these papal discourses were specifically devised to strengthen the widely rejected teaching of Pope Paul VI, who insisted in his encyclical of 1968, "Humanae Vitae," that every act of intercourse must be "open to the transmission of life." Her silence on the subject in so personal a book leaves the reader wondering just how well she understands - and accepts - the teachings of her spiritual father.

Oblivious and willfully ignorant. That's our Peg.

Bush Lied, Liberty Died

I'd bet most people (or at least most thinking people) had the same thought the second they heard or read Bush's ludicrous defense of his illegal wiretapping, namely, that disclosure of the scheme "put citizens at risk." Joshua Marshall expresses the thought eloquently:

[T]his program allowed the president to conduct warrantless wiretaps in cases where he could have conducted the same wiretaps with warrants by seeking a warrant from the FISA Court. If the wiretaps were against the "international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations" then the FISA Court certainly would have issued the warrants.

Given this obvious fact, can we really believe that Bush was using his self-appointed powers for the purpose he claims?

Vlad the Impaler

Congratulations to the Chernenkos, and good luck to little David.

Amazing Graft

Taking money from gambling casinos to shut down the casinos' competitors has made Ralph Reed a better man:

But the fact that his campaigns were secretly fueled with gambling funds has raised the ire of many religious groups, which Reed said he regrets.

"I cannot change the past, but I can certainly learn from it," Reed said. "I am a better man and a better leader as a result."

And Jimmy Swaggart's encounters with a prostitute made Jimmy a more sensitive and responsive lover.

The Tough Questions

Marvin Olasky isn't afraid to ask the tough questions:

"Why is Thomas Kinkade's art so popular?"
My answer: Why is Marvin Olasky taken seriously?

My alternate answer: Four words: volume, bodily fluids and fundies.

And here's Kinkade's own answer:

There are artists who set fire to themselves or urinate on the canvas, but they aren't as controversial as me! I've only done one thing, and I've done it well. I create romantic images that are warm and welcoming. What I paint provides comfort and hope to some people, and that's why I do it.
Here's more on the Intense Herpes in Ten² Cities Asian Tour, headlined by Sun Myung Moon and Neil Bush.

Abu Gonzales Tortures The Language

"Let me just say that winning the war on terror requires winning the war of information," Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales told reporters. ". . . And so we will be aggressive in obtaining that information, but we will always do so in a manner that's consistent with our legal obligations."

In the war against information, the loss of freedom is collateral damage, the Bill of Rights is a terrorist manifesto, and you are the enemy.

The Glittering Prizes

The Gucky

Apparently some wingnut blowhards are yammering about the lack of coverage of recent election results by left-leaning blogs.

To squarely address their phoney-baloney concerns, I am pleased to announce that Roger Ailes was voted the winner of the James Guckert Escort Agency Prize -- aka the Man Hooker Prize and the Gucky -- for "Best of the Top 501-1000 Blogs," or, more accurately, "the 501st Best Blog."

Did I mention I once won a Koufax Award?

Anyway, I'd like to thank the James Guckert Escort Agency for sponsoring the contest, and everyone who voted for me (or the one person who voted for me 1,676 times). The Gucky will come in handy when I remodel the bathroom next spring.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Great Expectations

From the NYT:

At Cato and similar institutions, adjunct scholars are not always prohibited from accepting outside consulting roles. But at Cato, said Mr. Dettmer, and at the American Enterprise Institute, said a spokeswoman there, rules require scholars to make public all their affiliations, and there is an expectation that scholars will not embarrass the institution.

Really?

The home of Jimmy "the Turf" Glassman?

Newt Gingrich?

Michael Ledeen?

Dick Perle?

John "Waterboard" Yoo?

John "Mary" Lott?

Charles Fucking Murray?

The AEI cannot be embarrassed.

Grand Old Police Blotter: Corruption Fatigue Edition

The main problem with chronicling Republican corruption is finding the time needed to catalog the criminality.

Here's a holiday sampler of what's happening this week.

Let's start with James Tobin, the G.O.P. operative whose criminality has been underwritten by the RNC:

A jury convicted a former national Republican official of two telephone harassment charges for his role in a phone-jamming plot against New Hampshire Democrats on Election Day 2002.

...

Tobin, 45, of Bangor, Maine, was regional political director to the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee in the 2002 election, the year of a closely watched Senate race between Democrat Jeanne Shaheen and Republican John Sununu. Sununu defeated Shaheen, 51 percent to 46 percent. Tobin was President Bush's New England campaign chairman last year, but resigned when the allegations became known.

He faces a maximum seven-year prison term and $500,000 in fines when he is sentenced in March....

Separately, state Democrats are pursuing a civil lawsuit, which they hope will expose knowledge or approval of the scheme by GOP officials higher than Tobin. Republicans have insisted it was conceived and executed at the state level.

In August, the Republican National Committee acknowledged it had spent more than $722,000 to provide Tobin with lawyers from a high-powered Washington law firm. Party officials who said they ordinarily would not discuss such matters said they underwrote Tobin's defense because he was a longtime supporter and assured them he had committed no crimes.

If the RNC incurred nearly three-quarters of a million dollars in attorneys fees well before trial started, the bill through trial must be twice or three times that. One wonders if the RNC will abandon Tobin if an appeal is contemplated. And which will cost more, cutting Tobin loose or keeping him in the fold.

Then there's Crime Lord Conrad Black, master of toady David Frum, an aristocrat done in by technology best known for capturing petty theives at the Seven-Eleven:

A seven-month-old videotape showing Conrad Black, his chauffeur and his personal assistant taking 13 boxes of documents out the back door of his company resurfaced yesterday as U.S. prosecutors laid four new charges against the media tycoon.

...

Originally charged last month by the U.S. government with eight counts of fraud, Black faces the prospect of much more prison time if convicted on the new charges. They add a maximum 55 years to the potential 40-year jail sentence Black, 61, was already facing.

The new obstruction-of-justice charge relates to the removal of boxes on May 20 from the 10 Toronto St. office of Hollinger Inc., the holding company Black used for years to control Hollinger International.

...

According to the indictment returned yesterday by U.S. District Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, Black, his assistant Joan Maida and chauffeur John Hillier loaded the boxes into the limo, which was then driven away by Black's driver.

Black "corruptly concealed, and attempted to conceal, records, documents, and other objects with the intent to impair their availability for use in official proceedings, namely the (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission) proceeding against Black, the criminal investigation of Black by a federal grand jury and the pending criminal proceeding against Black before a judge and court of the United States," the indictment charges.

Nailed like a punk slipping a forty-ounce into his Celtics windbreaker.

And don't forget the pride of the College Republicans, Adam Kidan. He, too, is guilty, guilty, guilty:

In August, Mr. Kidan and Mr. Abramoff were named in a six-count federal indictment charging conspiracy, and wire and mail fraud in connection with the purchase of the casino boat company, SunCruz Casinos.

Under the new agreement, Mr. Kidan said he was guilty of lying to lenders, with Mr. Abramoff, to qualify for a $60 million loan to buy the $147.5 million fleet.

The Abramoff in question is philanthropist, op-ed puppeteer and lessee of Conrad Burns' soul, Jack Abramoff.

Messrs. Tobin, Black and Kidan: Coming soon to a federal prison near you.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Josh Marshall is now working blue.

I view this as a positive development.

Roger's Business Section

Whenever you read about the various sleazy dealings about former AIG Chief Executive Maurice Greenberg, make a mental note that the full title is "former AIG C.E.O. and Bush Pioneer Maurice Greenberg." That tidbit never seems to make it into the news reports.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Mickey Kaus will be announcing tomorrow that the Land Rover is too gay for a straight heterosexual woman-liker such as him to enjoy driving.

I, on the other hand, will be happy to purchase a Jaguar ... at a reasonably generous discount.

Well done, John Aravosis and allies!

The Old Burning Cross

Thomas Nelson Publishers is a Christian book publisher. Its mission is "to honor God and serve people." And to "spread God's Word around the globe."

How does Thomas Nelson fulfill its godly mission? By publishing books like this:

The co-author of this godly tome is Robert Stacy McCain, an assistant national editor for the Moonie Times. Nelson describes the contents of the book as follows:

The corruption of the Democratic Party is so pervasive, so routine that each crime in itself is often a mere footnote on the evening news. But taken together, the party's history points up a criminal breeding ground, more than a century old, that incubates corruption, nurtures blind loyalty, and spawns policy decisions rooted in the subversion of liberty and the rule of law.

And how does Robt. Stacy define crime? Here's how:

In an Internet discussion group, McCain had written that Lincoln was a "war criminal" who should have been tried for "treason." On DixieNet, McCain -- using his own name -- had even concocted a mock "Wanted" poster for Lincoln, whom he described as the "1st RULER and TYRANT of the AMERICAN EMPIRE" and a perpetrator of "Murder, False Imprisonment, and numerous HEINOUS crimes against the SOUTHern states and AMERICANS in general!"

So at least he's bipartisan.

And here's McCain professing his Christian love for his fellow man:

"[T]he media now force interracial images into the public mind and a number of perfectly rational people react to these images with an altogether natural revulsion. The white person who does not mind transacting business with a black bank clerk may yet be averse to accepting the clerk as his sister-in-law, and THIS IS NOT RACISM, no matter what Madison Avenue, Hollywood and Washington tell us."

McCain is also an apologist for the murderers of Emmett Till.

Thomas Nelson publishing a Neo-Klansman. Glory be to God in the highest!

Whether Christ would commission a treatise by a lynching enthusiast is a question I'll leave to the pious management of Thomas Nelson. I will, however, comment on the lyncher's credibility. McCain is credited by his publisher with the following quip:

"The Democratic Party is like the Gambino mob with matching federal funds."

If McCain would take his sheet off for long enough to do some research, he'd learn that the political links to Gambino crime family are Republican ones:

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....

Abramoff and Kidan were indicted in August by a federal grand jury in Fort Lauderdale on five counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy relating to their $147.5 million SunCruz purchase. Prosecutors alleged that Abramoff and Kidan faked a wire transfer of $23 million -- the down payment they had agreed to put into the deal. The $23 million became the subject of a dispute between the Abramoff group and Boulis.

Boulis was killed in a gangland-style hit in Fort Lauderdale on Feb. 6, 2001. Three men -- Anthony Moscatiello, Anthony Ferrari and James Fiorillo -- were charged last month in the Boulis murder. Kidan had hired Moscatiello and Ferrari to provide catering and surveillance services to SunCruz.

Moscatiello, identified by authorities as a former bookkeeper for the Gambino crime family, asserted after his arrest that Ferrari had admitted to him that he and another man killed Boulis after getting a call from Kidan, according to court filings. Conway declined to comment on the Moscatiello assertions.

If you want to read a real book about the intersection of politics and crime, wait until Grand Old Police Blotter: The Book is published (and written).

Brokehack Mountin'

Midget Mickey Kaus makes a rather embarassing public pronouncement about his sexuality in explaining why he won't be viewing Brokeback Mountain before it comes out on DVD. An entire gender shudders at the revelation.

P.S. Earlier Kaus whines that "I'll go see it, but I don't want to go see it." (Emphasis in original.) What kind of idiot goes to a movie he doesn't want to see?

P.P.S. If Kaus followed his own logic, there's only one film he's enjoyed in the last 50 years.

Funny. You never would have guessed that someone who spoke of his love for Kurt Waldheim at his wedding would have such a crabbed view of redemption.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Grand Old Police Blotter: Boiled Ass Edition

Another victory for law and order and another loss for criminals and terrorists. CNN reports:

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida (AP) -- Prosecutors can subpoena Rush Limbaugh's doctors as part an investigation into whether the conservative radio commentator illegally bought painkillers, a judge ruled Monday.

Judge David F. Crow ruled that Florida laws do not prevent doctors from talking with prosecutors if the discussion is relevant to the prosecution of a crime.

The decision gave prosecutors permission to subpoena doctors and their staff, but it also protected confidential material in Limbaugh's medical records.

The judge noted that Florida law prohibits the discussion of a patient's medical condition and information disclosed by a patient during treatment.

Actually, press accounts about the ruling are of the "both sides claim victory" variety. I'd like to see the actual ruling to determine who won what.

However, Big Pharma is clearly a big loser, since he didn't get the subpoenas quashed, which is what he asked for, and undoubtedly Roy Black is building his third or fourth home with the proceeds of the junkie's legal fees.

As for CNN, I'd recommend a Sunday night special, cohosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Daryn Kagan. Call it "Rush, Portrait Of A Washed-Up Junkie."

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?