Unfortunately, I am going to be gone for a couple of weeks. So much for New Year's Resolutions.
The good news is, as I understand it, there are many other blogs on the internet nowadays. You just need to know where to look for them.
My fastmail account will probably fill up pretty fast with spam and attachments. If you want to send something now that likely won't get read until next month, try the rogerailes -at- hotmail.com address. A perfect place to send those Valentines.
As always, thanks for your patronage.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Unfortunately, I am going to be gone for a couple of weeks. So much for New Year's Resolutions.
Grand Old Police Blotter: Criminal Incompetence Edition
Former Associate Attorney General Robert Litt reports on the phoney-baloney Cisneros investigation, a boondoggle which failed to deliver for even the most sociopathic Clinton haters (scroll up). Writes Litt:
Nonpartisan career lawyers in the department's Criminal Division and in the Tax Division studied the independent counsel's application in great detail over several weeks. They met with his office, reviewed documents and interviewed witnesses. Each of them concluded that, with the exception of a single year's tax return, there were no reasonable grounds to investigate Cisneros for tax violations.
These career lawyers found that the independent counsel's submission was full of legal and factual errors. For example, the independent counsel claimed that Cisneros had failed to report over $100,000 in income during 1991, but he was unable to produce evidence that there was any unreported income at all.
The conclusions of the career lawyers were reviewed in detail by other officials including myself, up to the attorney general. Every single lawyer in the Justice Department who reviewed this matter concurred in the analysis. As a result, [David]Barrett's jurisdiction was expanded to permit him to investigate one tax year, for which there was barely adequate evidence -- although as it turned out, he never brought any tax charges.
Ironically, jurisdiction to investigate one year's tax violations in effect permitted the independent counsel to investigate all tax years. Under established legal principles, evidence of conduct in one year can be relevant to show tax evasion in another year. Everyone at the department recognized this; apparently, the independent counsel did not.
We look forward to Barrett's next enterprise, one where he can apply all of his special skills: a right-wing blog. Maybe a boutique lawblog of dishonest Republican hacks: Barrett, Reynolds, Levin & Hewitt LLP.
(Link via TalkLeft.)
Monday, January 23, 2006
I see Michelle Malice is making common cause with Robert Stacy McCain.
Maybe the McCain and Malkin families can get together and let their kids play Emmett Till and the Unjustifiably Provoked White Folks. Michelle's young enough to have more kids.
Let's just say not everyone is as gullible as the reviewer, David Kamp, appears to be. Nor do many people think of plumbers and construction workers as "the underclass" or "'white trash,'" as Kamp appears to. But then again, Kamp praises Vincent for her "lack of agenda or presuppositions" in one paragraph, while commenting on Vincent's surprise that her bowling buddies weren't full of "rage and racism" in the next. Maybe the book only seems fake if you actually read it.
Poor, Poor Pitiful Me
You know what's missing from all these articles about the Howell Movement and its backlash? The view of the reader.
Take this article from David Carr in today's New York Times. The one with the stupid title. You've got quotes from Howell, about how evil her readers are and how she shall, she shall not be moved. (Oh, and how after 50 years in the newspaper business, she's got to learn "to be very precise." What's your hurry?) And you've got various media types ("old" and "new") whinging about the vulgarity of the great unwashed masses who presume to comment on their commentary.
What you don't see is the opinions of those commenting upon Howell's movements. In the Carr article, you are assured that Howell's falsehood was "ill-chosen" and a "mistake," but you don't read any discussion about why that's not the case. (Exactly how was the "mistake" made? -- was Howell mistaken in opining on something she knew nothing about, did she err in relying on unreliable sources, did her fingers slip and accidentally type "both major parties" when she meant to type "the Republican party only?") Or about Howell's stonewalling, or the Post's mischaracterization of the deleted comments. Only one explanation is peddled; if you don't believe Howell's protestations, your view will not be heard.
Readers are portrayed by Lords Kinsley and Kaus as "paranoid" "jerks" and by Carr himself as lunatics with "personal patholog[ies]" whose only contribution is "wish[ing their victims] dead." No need to present an opposing view -- anyone who dissents is simply fucking nuts!
Carr gives out his mailing address, claiming he's "all for a robust interaction with the reading public." He neglects to mention his own blog, at the Times website. Funny, that.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
The Case Freak Project
Kudos to Senator Barack Obama for refusing to play Pumpkinhead's guilt-by-no-association game. You've already seen the Belafonte exchange, wherein Pumpkinhead tried to earn brownie points from his pal Don Imus, so let's look at another exchange:
MR. RUSSERT: You've been appointed, selected as the Democrats' point man on lobbying reform in the Senate. I want to talk about Jack Abramoff and the scandal now in terms of lobbying and potential reform. According to the Center for Responsive Politics and The Washington Post, Mr. Abramoff and his clients and his associates gave about $3 million to Republicans, about $1.5 million to Democrats. Is this a bipartisan scandal?
SEN. OBAMA: Well, I think the problem of money in politics is bipartisan. I think that all of us who are involved in the political process have to be concerned about the enormous sums of money that have to raised in order to run campaigns, how that money's raised, and at least the appearance of impropriety and the potential access that's given to those who are contributing. That's a general problem with our politics. The specific problem of inviting lobbyists in who have bundled huge sums of money to write legislation, having the oil and gas company companies come in to write energy legislation, having drug companies come in and write the Medicare prescription drug bill -- which we now see is not working for our seniors -- those are very particular problems of this administration and this Congress. And I think Jack Abramoff and the Case Freak Project, that whole thing is a very particular Republican sin.
MR. RUSSERT: No sin for the Democrats?
SEN. OBAMA: Well, with respect to how Tom DeLay consolidated power in the House of Representatives, invited lobbyists like Abramoff in to help write legislation, leveraging those lobbyists and telling them that they can only hire Republicans, manipulating the rules of the House and the Senate in order to move forward legislation that was helpful to special interests. There is a qualitative difference to what's been happening in Washington over the last several years that has real consequences. It means a prescription drug bill that doesn't work for our seniors. It means an energy policy that does nothing to help relieve high gas prices at the pump. These aren't just abstractions, these are problems that have very real consequences to the American people. And my hope is is that, on a bipartisan basis, we can come up with a solution that returns some semblance of responsiveness to Washington.
The Senator shrewdly refused to play Russert's game, knowing it wouldn't stop Russert from repeating G.O.P. lies on Abramoff (as he did in the following segment with the freak Matalin). So he addressed issues voters care about, tying Jackoff to the Bugchaser almost as an afterthought, leaving Russert to blather about inside-the-beltway stuff. Anyone viewing or reading the exchange can see Pumpkinhead got clowned.
I Stand Corrected
Earlier I predicted that Roger el-Simon and his money-losing website wouldn't touch the story of Larry Franklin, the traitor who passed classified intelligence to foreign officials and lobbyists. Well, I was wrong.
Today, Depends Media quoted a blog, written by a right-wing hack claiming to be a "former member of the U.S. intelligence community," which said the following about the Franklin conviction:
As we've said before, a democracy must protect its secrets in order to survive. There are limits on the information we can share with others--even countries that are our friends. For disclosing classified information, Mr. Franklin got what he deserved.
Fair enough. But then the Depends crew urges you to "read the rest" of the post, which continues as follows:
Or did he? One of the counts to which Franklin pleaded guilty was unlawful retention of classified national defense information. Franklin admitted that he sometimes took classified data home, to stay up to speed.
That raises an obvious question: if Franklin is getting jail time for that crime, why aren't Sandy ("Classified Docs in My Pants") Berger and John ("Secret Information on My Home Computer") Deutch in federal prison? Both got a slap on the wrist for deliberately mishandling classified information. Berger got a fine and probation for removing classified documents from the National Archives; investigators found that Deutch had over 1,000 classified files on his home P.C.--which was connected to the internet--after he resigned as Director of the CIA. A copy of the CIA IG report can be found here. Deutch eventually pleaded guilty to mishandling classified information (a misdemeanor) and paid a $5,000 fine. Berger got a $10,000 fine and lost his security clearance for three years.
Franklin won't go to jail until after the lobbyists go on trial. Federal prosecutors have also promised to press for a reduction in sentence, if Franklin cooperates against the lobbyists.
If he has any sense of fairness, Federal Judge T.S. Ellis III should drop any portion of Franklin's sentence connected to the mishandling charges. It's difficult to justify jail time on that charge while Berger and Deutch walk around free. The Justice Department needs to be consistent in prosecuting--and punishing--anyone who mishandles or leaks classified information.
So Harriet the Spy admits he knows nothing about whether any of Franklin's sentence was for mishandling documents, but nevertheless demands -- in the interest of "fairness" -- that Franklin's charges be reduced. Here's a distinction for you, Harriet: Franklin took home documents containing information concerning classified military information so he could give them to officials of foreign countries -- persons who could use them against the United States, sell them to people who could use them against the United States or give them to such people. Berger and Deutsch did not. And it's not up to you, or Brother Leeden, or Moses Whine to decide which countries deserve to have access to classified material.
By minimizing Franklin's crimes, Depends Media does worse than not publishing anything about Franklin; it continues to smear the officials who brought Franklin to justice and the judge who sentenced the traitor to jail.
The final round of voting for the 2005 Koufax Award for Best New Blog has begun.
It's not too late to make a contribution to defray the costs of hosting the awards. They're within the price of one of Trent Lott's lunches of reaching their target.
And here's an early contender for 2006's Best Post.
Separated At Birth?
Because that would be wrong.
Every Picture Tells A Story
Time magazine is reporting on photos of Jackoff and Jackoff:
In one shot that TIME saw, Bush appears with Abramoff, several unidentified people and Raul Garza Sr., a Texan Abramoff represented who was then chairman of the Kickapoo Indians, which owned a casino in southern Texas. Garza, who is wearing jeans and a bolo tie in the picture, told TIME that Bush greeted him as "Jefe," or "chief" in Spanish. Another photo shows Bush shaking hands with Abramoff in front of a window and a blue drape. The shot bears Bush's signature, perhaps made by a machine. Three other photos are of Bush, Abramoff and, in each view, one of the lobbyist's sons (three of his five children are boys). A sixth picture shows several Abramoff children with Bush and House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who is now pushing to tighten lobbying laws after declining to do so last year when the scandal was in its early stages.
Sounds like Jackoff had greater access to the White House than anyone except James Guckert on payday.
And speaking of pay for play:
Garza, the bolo-wearing former chairman of the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas, has fond memories of his session with Bush, which he said was held in 2001 in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, next to the White House. According to e-mails in the hands of investigators, the meeting was arranged with the help of Abramoff and Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. In an April 18, 2001, e-mail to Abramoff, Norquist wrote that he would be "honored" if Abramoff "could come to the White House meeting." Garza—known in his native Kickapoo language as Makateonenodua, or black buffalo—is under federal indictment for allegedly embezzling more than $300,000 from his tribe. Through his spokesman, Garza said that during the session, Bush talked about policy matters and thanked those present for supporting his agenda, then took questions from the audience of about two dozen people.
Yes, that's the same Grover Norquist who once hoped to see the federal budget knifed to death in a prison shower (I paraphrase), now arranging meetings between cashmoney influence peddlers and their bought-and-paid for Commander in Jefe.
Saturday, January 21, 2006
Now that's a true double-bagger.
The link above leads to the efforts of one Kathryn Benedict XVI-Lopez, who is outraged that folks would mock Kitty O'Beirne's book, illustrated on its cover with unflattering caricatures, by creating a fake book cover with an unflattering caricature of O'Beirne. It's beyond the pale of Rich Lowry's inner thighs, huffs Lopez.
Next thing you know, someone with better computer and artistic skills than me will review Jonah Goldberg's forthcoming tome on "liberal fascists" by photoshopping a Hitler 'tache on the Doughy Pantload.
Though my record is far from perfect, I try to avoid commenting on the appearances of others, and not only because I'm no beauty contest winner myself. Those who engage in such tactics themselves, however (I'm looking at you, Kaus, and Big Pharma), are fair game. In O'Beirne's case, her inner ugliness far exceeds her sourpuss appearance. And Lopez could never look as stupid as the things she writes.
(Link via World O'Crap.)
Friday, January 20, 2006
Okrent and Ad Nags: BFF
It's a mutual
masturbation admiration society in Harvard Square:
[Dan] Okrent said yesterday that he would spend his semester at the Shorenstein Center working on two books -- one a collection of his Times columns, and the other a longer-term project on the history of the U.S. during prohibition.And I foolishly thought it was his willingness to harass readers who dared to criticize His Majesty, Lord Nags.
Okrent started his job at the Times in the midst of "widespread skepticism" in the newsroom about the necessity of a public editor, said Adam Nagourney, a political correspondent for the paper who was a fellow at the Kennedy School's Institute of Politics this fall. Nagourney -- himself a target of a 2004 Okrent column criticizing the Times' coverage of the Howard Dean campaign -- said much of that skepticism evaporated by the end of Okrent's tenure.
"He just won people over by his honesty," Nagourney said.
As regards Jokrent's plans to "work on" a book of his NYT columns, I look forward to wiping my ass with the finished product.
Traitors In Pajamas
Why? Because the spittle-flecked powers that be Depends Media don't honestly give a shit about national security, terrorism or the rule of law.
WASHINGTON, Jan. 20 - A federal judge sentenced a former Defense Department analyst, Lawrence A. Franklin, to more than 12 years in prison today after Mr. Franklin admitted passing classified military information to two pro-Israel lobbyists and an Israeli diplomat....
Before his sentencing, Mr. Franklin pleaded guilty to three felony counts for improperly retaining and disclosing classified information in exchange for his cooperation and the government's willingness to drop three other charges against him. He will not have to begin serving his sentence until after the completion of legal proceedings against Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman, who are scheduled to go on trial in April. That could lead prosecutors to agree to seek a reduction in Mr. Franklin's sentence, government official said.
Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman were charged in an indictment in August 2005 with conspiring to gather and disclose classified national security information to journalists and an unnamed foreign power that government officials identified as Israel. Aipac dismissed the two men in April 2005.
The indictment said the two men had disclosed classified information about a number of subjects, including American policy in Iran, terrorism in central Asia, Al Qaeda and the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers apartment in Saudi Arabia, which killed 23 Americans, mainly members of the military.
Mr. Franklin worked at the Pentagon for a time under Douglas Feith, a former undersecretary at the agency. Mr. Franklin has said he developed a relationship with the two lobbyists in the belief that they had access to officials a the National Security Council and could communicate his views to senior officials there.
In addition to his meetings with the lobbyists, the government charged, Mr. Franklin also met with an Israeli embassy official and passed on secret military information about weapons tests in the Middle East and military activities in Iraq.
Tristam Shandy reminds us how the apologists in pajamas assured us that Franklin was a victim of a runaway prosecution. Here's Roger el-Simon, some fifteen months ago, slandering the team that brought a criminal to justice:
Franklin is evidently suspected of passing informaton on US deliberations about Iran to the Israelis. That's a bad thing, if true, although I would be surprised if the content of these pages differs radically from what you read on op-ed pages or Iran centered blogs. And making the case public before bringing the case to a conclusion seems almost to be an admission of failure on the part of the FBI. What appears to be going on is more of a political struggle than genuine information protection.
Hey, Rog. It's true! It's true!
We await your half-hearted, feeble condemnation of Franklin. If you can manage to write about Cyril Wecht taking the forceps home for the weekend, you could at least give us a peep on crimes against the nation.
And then there's Brother Ledeen (as el-Simon calls him), a dear, dear pal of Franklin. In a textbook case of projection, Ledeen claimed that the FBI's investigation of Franklin was either "incompetence or McCarthyism. In either case, it's disgusting."
I'm sure our neo-clown friend is at FBI H.Q. right now, begging for forgiveness.
I'll keep my eye on the Depends site, waiting for updates. But I expect Rog and Mikey won't be commenting any time soon.
Starting today, Roger Ailes will only allow vitriolic comments concerning its content at this site.
Anyone attempting to maintain a civil conservation, especially about issues that people feel strongly (and differently) about, will have their comments deleted and their commenting privileges revoked. Only vicious personal attacks, profanity and hate mail concerning your host will be permitted. Attacks on what I apparently intended to say are preferred, particularly those made in response to my assertions that my views are being misrepresented. Unprintable comments are ideally suited to this effort.
New York Times reporters interested in vague and whiny comments on this new policy may contact me via e-mail.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
E-mailing the Nutty Professor should have been your first clue.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
MR. McCLELLAN: Because we don't discuss staff-level meetings --
Q Of course you do, whenever you want to discuss staff-level meetings. And if Karl Rove, who has ties to Ralph Reed, which he does, we want to know if he has ties to Jack Abramoff, and if they met --
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I can answer that.
Q Oh, great. Well, before you said --
MR. McCLELLAN: No, I mean, about if he knows -- yes, he knows -- he knows Mr. Abramoff. They are both former heads of the College Republicans. That's how they got to know each other way back, I think it was in the early '80s. And my understanding is that Karl would describe it as more of a casual relationship, than a business relationship. That's what he has said.
Yes, and Karl also has said he never leaked Valerie Plame's CIA employment to reporters. Haven't you learned anything, Scottie?
p.s. to Steno Sue: You've got your marching orders!
More Oreo Lies
In a piece touting Ken Blackwell as the new Ronald Reagan -- which should come in handy if Blackwell's ever indicted -- a City Journal hack repeats the lie that Lt. Governor Michael Steele was pelted with cookies:
Though Blackwell has yet to suffer the kind of indignities of Maryland's Steele -- pelted with Oreo cookies in his campaign appearances -- black Democrats have dismissed him as an opportunist for joining the GOP and accused him of trying to "disenfranchise" blacks to help elect George Bush president.
Michael Steele has yet to suffer "the kind of indignities of Maryland's Steele" -- it's a fucking fabrication.
At this point, Steven Malanga or anyone else repeating this discredited lie is acting in bad faith and cannot be trusted about anything.
I wonder if Sully refers to Mickey Kaus in private as Arnold Rimmer.
Secretly filmed tirades against Muslims and Asians by the leader of the British National party, Nick Griffin, were described to a jury yesterday, including claims that rape and paedophilia against non-believers were countenanced by the Qur'an.
At private party meetings, the Cambridge graduate who has immersed himself in far-right politics for nearly 30 years described parts of Britain as "multiracial hellholes" targeted by a supposed Asian Muslim plan for global conquest.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Earlier today, for about three minutes, I had the following quote up under the headline "Howard Kurtz Is A Pedophile." But that was too subtle for my tastes.
Fort Washington, Md.: Reporter Sue Schmidt and ombudsman Deborah Howell have both asserted repeatedly that Jack Abramoff gave money to Democrats as well as Republicans. The FEC shows no record of any Democrat getting any money from Abramoff, period. Some Indian tribes who were among Abramoff's victims contributed funds to some Democrats, but suggesting that that somehow is a donation from Abramoff defies logic. How does the Post justify passing on what appears to be nothing but GOP spin as fact?
Howard Kurtz: Howell's column Sunday said that a number of Democrats "have gotten Abramoff campaign money." That was inartfully worded. I believe what she was trying to say, and I have not discussed this with her, is that some Democrats have received campaign cash from Abramoff clients, and that this may have been orchestrated by the convicted lobbyist. That's why you have a number of Democrats (as well as many Republicans, now including Denny Hastert) giving back the tainted dough or donating it to charity. Even National Review Editor Rich Lowry says this is basically a Republican scandal -- we are talking about a Bush fundraiser and Tom DeLay pal -- but where the tangled web has extended to Democrats, we need to mention that too.
And I believe Howell's statement was very artfully worded. It was a fucking masterpiece.
Also, for those playing along at home, the BBC World Service is repeating the same GOP lie about Abramoff's contributions.
Sunday, January 15, 2006
Ready, Aim, Fire
"Ayres, one of the state's best-known Republican consultants and pollsters, said the best way to determine Reed's political future would be to 'ask Jack Abramoff. Only [the former lobbyist] and some prosecutors know what he has to say about Reed.' Pichon, the Dawson County Republican, said: 'If Reed ends up winning the primary, we might be at the point where we blow our brains out over that issue.'" -- Washington Post
Actually, a gentle breeze could accomplish the same thing.
Meanwhile, Ralph Reed has turned from agnostic to true believer in his results-oriented defense of his scumbaggery. A month ago, Reed asserted:
"We will never know how many marriages and lives were saved, or how many children were spared the consequences of compulsive gambling."
Since then, according to the WaPo, he's received a divine revelation:
"Many marriages and lives were saved" and "many children were spared the consequences of gambling because of the work I did."
(Post story via firedoglake)
We, the undersigned, having failed to convince anyone to ignore the Republican Culture of Corruption by ignoring it ourselves, will now pretend that we give a rat's ass about ethics. We'll still support sleazebags like DeLay and lie about Democrats in order to deflect criticism from our party, and we'll label a traitor anyone calling for transparency, accountability or openness in the Bush Administration. And we'll suck up to you especially hard if you pretend to take us seriously, because no one else does.
Various Self-Important Chuckleheads
The Doughy Pantload defends the illegal strip search of 10-year-olds by defending a mass-murdering pedophile and kidnappers:
Lastly, I keep getting charged with supporting government power so long as it's my guy in office. But George Bush has nothing to do with the issue of warranted searches of drug dealers (or their children) and anybody who read my column when Bill Clinton was in office will find that I'm perfectly consistent on these sorts of issues. But, speaking of Bill Clinton, it would be nice to know how many of these holier than thouers were upset -- even remotely -- by Janet Reno's assault on the Branch Davidians or the seizure of Elian Gonzales.
Let's review the facts: The Branch Davidians brutally murdered four federal agents executing a lawful search warrant of the compound of a pedophile cult leader/armed terrorist before Janet Reno became Attorney General. After Reno became A.G., the Branch Davidians set fire to their own compound, murdering their own children and killing themselves (the latter being no loss whatsoever).
Janet Reno's lawful rescue of Elian Gonzales from those who were holding him illegally -- that's kidnapping -- involved neither a search nor a seizure of Gonzales.
No assault. No seizure.
Keep digging, Pantload. You're about to reach the depths of your mother's racist bulletin board.
Update (1/16): Oops. It looks like I stole this from TBogg.
Friday, January 13, 2006
Full Of CAP
(This is a bit stale, but still uninteresting. Was unfortunately sidetracked. I see I missed the death and resurrection of al-Zawahiri too.)
ABC News's Jake Tapper offers this apparently serious apology of Princetonian bigots:
First off, D'Souza says, one of the two stories from Prospect that Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-MA, read this week at the confirmation hearings was intended as a satire.
The 1983 essay "In Defense of Elitism" by Harry Crocker III included this line, read dramatically by Kennedy: "People nowadays just don't seem to know their place. Everywhere one turns blacks and hispanics are demanding jobs simply because they're black and hispanic..."
The essay may not have been funny, D'Souza acknowledges, but Kennedy read from it as if it had been serious instead of an attempt at humor.
Ah, yes. Satire. The use of humor to expose or attack folly or other human vice.
As we know from Mallard Fillmore, Day-by-Day, Gaggle and other efforts at humor by right-wing hacks, attempted satire can be very unfunny.
But exactly what human folly was CAP exposing? Was it ridiculing the bigotry of its wealthy, right-wing benefactors? Doesn't sound like it to me. Tapper certainly doesn't identify the butt of CAP's purported joke.
Racists and sexists and homophobes can attempt satire just like anyone else -- satire premised on their bigoted stereotypes. Emphasizing the "joke" in "racist joke" is not a defense to racism. Tapper should be smart enough to understand that.
p.s. to Tapper -- Don't give Kevin Trudeau your credit card number.
John J. Miller, one of the lesser-known Corner nimrods, opines:
"I've seen commercials in recent weeks for a new show on ABC called In Justice, whose basic plotline, every episode, appears to revolve around ordinary folks who've been cheated by the criminal justice system -- innocents behind bars, etc. Maybe it's a great show. (I have my doubts, but I haven't seen it.) Personally, I'd prefer a program that focuses on what is probably a much bigger problem -- people behind bars who claim they're innocent, even though they're lying."
Screw those innocents who have lost their liberty, their families and their dignity through wrongful conviction -- we need to do something about those guilty persons who are in prison!
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Depends Media mogul Michael Barone is a dishonest sack of shit. Here's Barone, presenting his latest lie:
"So much for democracy
Here's James Risen, the New York Times reporter who coauthored the paper's December 16 story on NSA surveillance of foreign terrorists [sic], flogging his new book on the Today show. He presents an interesting theory of governance.
"Risen: Well, I -- I think that during a period from about 2000 -- from 9/11 through the beginning of the gulf -- the war in Iraq, I think what happened was you -- we -- the checks and balances that normally keep American foreign policy and national security policy towards the center kind of broke down. And you had more of a radicalization of American foreign policy in which the -- the -- the career professionals were not really given a chance to kind of forge a consensus within the administration. And so you had the -- the -- the principles -- Rumsfeld, Cheney and Tenet and Rice and many others -- who were meeting constantly, setting policy and really never allowed the people who understand -- the experts who understand the region to have much of a say.
"Couric: You suggest there was a lot of power grabbing going on."
Because he thinks you're morons, Barone tells you that that Risen was describing how democracy should work -- a "theory of governance," if you will.
Of course, the gasbag is lying to your face. That's what he does.
That's all he does.
Here's what Risen said, in context, and with the preliminary questions that Barone omitted, to decieve:
COURIC: And, in fact, he [an Iraqi sent by the Administration] claimed that the nuclear weapons, or the WMD, had been destroyed during the first Gulf War during the bombing strafe, right?
Mr. RISEN: Yes, right. And then it had been abandoned right after the war. And that's...
COURIC: So they came back and reported what they had found. How many people, by the way, were dispatched in all?
Mr. RISEN: Roughly 30.
COURIC: So they came back. They reported that there were no weapons of mass destruction. Were they listened to?
Mr. RISEN: No. They were basically ignored. In fact, the CIA believed--they came to believe that, well, these people are just being told what--what these guys, you know, are being ordered by Saddam to say, that this is dis--disinformation, and so they ignored it.
COURIC: Meanwhile, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George Tenet do not come across very well in this book.
Mr. RISEN: Well, I--I think that during a period from about 2000--from 9/11 through the beginning of the Gulf--the war in Iraq, I think what happened was you--we--the checks and balances that normally keep American foreign policy and national security policy towards the center kind of broke down. And you had more of a radicalization of American foreign policy in which the--the--the career professionals were not really given a chance to kind of forge a consensus within the administration. And so you had the--the--the principles--Rumsfeld, Cheney and Tenet and Rice and many others--who were meeting constantly, setting policy and really never allowed the people who understand--the experts who understand the region to have much of a say.
As Barone knows, Risen is explaining why the Administration's WMD lies were lies (although Risen soft-pedals it) and why the Iraq debacle happened. He's not suggesting that the government should be run by the career professionals; he's showing how and why the Administration fucked up through willful ignorance.
The Surgeon General should declare Barone the leading cause of rectal cancer, given the malignant properties of the smoke he blows up your ass on a daily basis.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
I'm Sorry I Got Caught
James Wolcott's post "Big Tears Mean Nothing" isn't about the phoney-baloney contrition of Jack Abramoff or even Duke Cunningham's dry heaves poised over his $3,000 commode. It's about this fascinating expose of James Frey, some author I'd never heard of (though I've seen his tome in bookstores). The Smoking Gun expose posits that Frey turned his extremely boring white-bread youth into a best-selling junkie memoir, called The Preppie Basketball Diaries or some such nonsense, by making up all the good parts.
Next thing you know, we'll come to find Toni Bentley only took it somewhere in the vicinity of the ass, that Kat Harrison and her dad are just good friends, and that Dave Pelzer isn't everything it claims to be.
Wolcott says, "I'm just automatically suspicious of every tale of woe that's peddled as a tale of redemption." Like Paul Bremer's new novel, Receipts, My Ass.
Frey has been scheduled for Larry King's program for tomorrow. I hope he can withstand the gruelling cross-examination, if only so Lar doesn't bring him back for some gang therapy by Dr. Phil and Rick Warren.Update (1/11):More here.
Monday, January 09, 2006
Speaking of friends in high
crimes places, Rolling Stone reminds us of the Abramoff-Rove connection:
In 2001, Karl Rove needed a Gal Friday, someone to help oversee the "strategic planning, political affairs, public liaison, and intergovernmental affairs efforts of the White House." He chose Susan Ralston, who came highly recommended from a friend: Jack Abramoff. Ralston performed similar duties for the Don of K Street -- that is until Abramoff realized she'd be far more useful embedded in the West Wing. (Ralston had also previous worked for Abramoff and Rove's fellow College Republican crony Ralph Reed.)
Installing his top assistant as Rove's gatekeeper appeared to pay dividends. In 2003, Abramoff was hired by scandal-ridden Tyco to help the corporation secure lucrative federal contracts despite its being incorporated -- for tax-evasion purposes -- in Bermuda. According to the Washington Post, Abramoff later bragged that he'd been able to lobby Rove directly on the issue. The article targets Ralston as the only likely conduit.
The friends of Jack don't know Jack any more.
Lobbyist Jack Abramoff funneled money through a Mercer Island religious foundation as he tried to influence a top aide to Republican congressional leader Tom DeLay, according to his guilty plea last week to corruption charges.
Rabbi Daniel Lapin confirmed Sunday it was his foundation, Toward Tradition, that took $50,000 from two Abramoff clients and, at Abramoff's suggestion, used it to hire the aide's wife to organize a conference for the group.
Lapin said he and his board had no idea the money was part of Abramoff's vast scheme to influence Congress and, in this case, stop bills to raise postal rates and ban online lotteries.
"I know noth-ink, NO-THINK!" exclaimed Lapin. "How could I know that the man for whom I forged credentials would be involved in something dishonest?" Lapin added, "Buy my video from the TBN network, and get my tapes on how to 'Unlock Judaism's Unique Approach to Wealth Creation.'"
How friendly were Jack and Dan?
There are other ties between Lapin and Abramoff, who worked for the Seattle-based law and lobbying firm Preston Gates from 1994 to 2000. Abramoff served on the board of Toward Tradition, including a stint as chairman, and donated the $10,000 or so a year expected from board members, Lapin said.
One year Abramoff met that commitment by sending a check from the Capital Athletic Foundation, an organization he controlled that has become a key piece of the corruption investigation.
And Michael "the Oil Companies are Anti-Semitic" Medved also distances himself from his fellow Toward Tradition board member:
In an interview Sunday, Medved said he has met Abramoff only a few times, shared three meals with him, and added, "Jack's not a part of my life, thank God."We'll wait for Abramoff's version of that friendship, Mikey.
"I certainly do wish I had never met Jack and Jack had never met any friends of mine," Medved said.
And you might want to stop payment on that $10K check for this year's seat on the Toward Tradition board. That stock is plummeting, ethical capitalism-wise.
Meanwhile, Dana Rohrabacher is modifying his defense of Jackoff: "They're portraying Jack as a monster. I see him more as a good person who's done bad things and has to be punished for doing bad things." As opposed to a bad person who's done bad things, I guess.
And the New York Times notes that Jack's claim of contrition is a fraud on the court:
In public and in private, Mr. Abramoff has said he feels "profound regret and sorrow" for the acts acknowledged in his plea. He has also expressed remorse for using degrading terms to describe his Indian clients, saying his language was sloppy. But in conversations with people he considers sympathetic, he has insisted that his practices were Washington business as usual.
Let's not forget that at sentencing time.
Thanks to Atrios, Kos, Crooks & Liars and firedoglake, World O'Crap (and others), my traffic has temporarily tripled -- so I should get busy posting before I burn off all that goodwill. Strike while the iron is hot, so to speak.
Speaking of which, Anthony LaPaglia should sign up for the Abramoff biopic before Alec Baldwin gets the role.
Sunday, January 08, 2006
Studied IgnoranceNo wonder Pumpkinhead Russert and Jon Meacham were attempting to have Howard Dean institutionalized last week. Via Atrios, we learn once more that talking head hosts can't handle the truth:
BLITZER: Should Democrats who took money from Jack Abramoff, who has now pleaded guilty to bribery charges, among other charges, a Republican lobbyist in Washington, should the Democrat who took money from him give that money to charity or give it back?
DEAN: There are no Democrats who took money from Jack Abramoff, not one, not one single Democrat. Every person named in this scandal is a Republican. Every person under investigation is a Republican. Every person indicted is a Republican. This is a Republican finance scandal. There is no evidence that Jack Abramoff ever gave any Democrat any money. And we've looked through all of those FEC reports to make sure that's true.
BLITZER: But through various Abramoff-related organizations and outfits, a bunch of Democrats did take money that presumably originated with Jack Abramoff.
DEAN: That's not true either. There's no evidence for that either. There is no evidence...
Why that's just -- presumably -- crazy talk.
But what does this have to do with the Pumpkinhead? He was reading from the same fax as Wolfie this a.m.:
MR. RUSSERT: Senator Harry Reid, the leader of the Democrats in the Senate, received $60,000 from Jack Abramoff, says he won't give it back. Why not?
SEN. SCHUMER: Well, he hasn't received any money from Jack Abramoff. In fact, I talked to Harry Reid.
MR. RUSSERT: Well, tribal clients. I mean...
SEN. SCHUMER: Well, but the tribal clients are sometimes different. I mean, lots of senators, Democrat and Republican in the West, have relationships -- particularly in the West, have relationships with the Indian tribes. And let me say this: The issue here is not simply receiving contributions. The issue is whether services were rendered in return. That's what the Justice Department is mentioning. The Justice Department has mentioned the names of a group of people -- John is certainly right; it's not everybody, but every single person they mentioned was a Republican. Harry Reid's name was not mentioned. He's a person of integrity and I don't think the two are at all the same.
I expect it will be a few days before Blitzer and Russert try that trick again. But they will.
Russert also was particularly gentle with Senator Cornholyo, not asking any follow-ups on Ralph Reed's claim that Cornholyo was in the right front pants pocket of Reed and Abramoff. Wouldn't want to put that one up on the screen, eh, Tim?
Roger's Year In Review Quiz: The Answers
1. Harriet Miers; 2. George Bush; 3. Nick Kristof; 4. also Nick Kristof; 5. Randy "Duke" Cunningham; 6. John "Assrocket" Hinderaker; 7. James Guckert; 8. Pat Robertson; 9. Doughy Pantload; 10. Dennis Prager; 11. Bill Frist; 12. Scooter Libby; 13. Michelle Malkin; 14. Barbara Bush; 15. John Midgeson Podhoretz; 16. Michael Brown; 17. Susan Estrich; 18. Jeff Jarvis; 19. Jack Abramoff; 20. Condoleezza Rice.
1. ongoing investigation; 2. Sunday; 3. black people; 4. drink-soaked former Troskyist popinjay; 5. Run Amok; 6. white women; 7. terrorists; 8. Nowhere; 9. bullshit; 10. last throes
1. m; 2. g; 3. f; 4. j; 5. a; 6. l; 7. k; 8. p; 9. b; 10. c; 11. n; 12. r; 13. s; 14. i; 15. h; 16. d; 17. t; 18. e; 19. q; 20. o
Status as of 12/31/05: Accused: Bush, Ney, West, Sherwood, Williams; Indicted: Safavian, Libby, Black, Noe, Abramoff, DeLay; Convicted (including guilty pleas): Cunningham, Kidan, Taft, Dasen, Franklin, Fox, Tobin, Greene, Scanlon
1. f; 2. i; 3. b; 4. e; 5. j; 6. g; 7. d; 8. a; 9. h; 10. c
1. e; 2. c; 3. d; 4. d; 5. a; 6. b; 7. d; 8. d; e. 9. c; 10. c (it's gone up a couple of billion since the question was posted).Update: Click on the title (open in a new window) to see the questions.
Update II (1/9/05): Corrected as per comments.
Saturday, January 07, 2006
Grand Old Police Blotter: Pastoring Edition
Please join Southern Baptist Convention executive committeeman Lonnie Latham and turn to page 69 in your hymnal.
Do you wanna ride?
Let me tell you
I've been watching you
See you dancing in my dreams
Feel you heartbeat inside of me
So if you feel it coming on
Catch me getting in the mood
I'll give you anything
Cruising's all you have to do
Do you wanna ride in my Mercedes, boy?
Tell me what you're gonna do with me
'cause if you wanna ride in my Mercedes, boy
There are so many things that I'm gonna do to you
Friday, January 06, 2006
Mooned and Gagged
Son of A Bigot Wes Pruden has announced a new policy concerning blogging by Moonie Times writers:
"Any staff member who sends an e-mail or written correspondence or posts an item to a blog or other electronic posting service must always avoid comments that would reflect adversely on The Washington Times generally or the staff member's professionalism."
I'd say the memo had something to do with the racist ravings of Moonie Times reporter R.S. McCain on FreeRepublic, but that was more than three years ago and Pruden and Coombs no doubt think McCain's comments reflect positively on McCain's professionalism.
Dear Pruden also says that "[a]t a minimum, editorializing about a topic or person can reveal an employee's personal biases, if he or she has any." McCain's bias in favor of burning crosses was certainly revealed by his blatherings at Freeperville.
The question now: Will Pruden allow McCain to maintain his site in light of this new directive, or will the site disappear? If it remains, it must have the blessing of Pruden and Coombs.
Alternative scenario: Somebody at the Moonie Times posted some dirt about the One True Pappy in a blog's comments section, and the paper tracked the comment back to a Times computer.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
Mister Ed's History Lesson
Fresh from imploring the Nation's most influential blogger to "kiss [his] entire ass," Mister Ed Morrissey demonstrates that his knowledge of American history is, to be charitable, nonexistent.
Special Ed argues that he is the Cheeto-stained descendant of Patrick Henry, who, Ed says, was merely a flatuent chickenhawk, much like Ed himself. Writes Ed:
"Of course, that slur [chickenhawk] would be ludicrous to use on Patrick Henry. Instead of picking up a gun and commanding an army, Henry relied on his better skills and went into politics and rhetoric [sic] to fight for freedom. He urged the armed uprising as one of the leading pundits of his age [sic], from his seat in the Virginia Assembly and as governor of the independent Commonwealth of Virginia. His proclamation for liberty or death did not mean that he intended on grabbing his pistol and run out [sic] into the nearest battle he could find.
The incident began on April 20, 1775, a day after the Battle of Lexington and Concord, an event with some parallels. Lord Dunmore attempted to remove the gunpowder where it was stored in a magazine in Williamsburg, Virginia to an armed British ship in the James River. Dunmore saw rising unrest in the colony and sought to deprive Virginia militia of supplies needed for insurrection. The Second Virginia Convention had elected delegates to the Continental Congress. Dunmore issued a proclamation against electing delegates to the Congress, but did not take serious action. Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty or give me death" speech at the Second Convention and the accompanying resolution calling for forming an armed resistance made Dunmore think "think it prudent to remove some Gunpowder which was in a Magazine in this place.".... Dunmore gave a key to Lieutenant Henry Colins, commander of H.M.S. Magdalen, and ordered him to remove the powder.
On the night of April 20, royal marines loaded fifteen half barrels of powder into the governor's wagon before they were discovered. Local militia rallied to the scene, and riders spread word of the incident across the colony....
As word of the incident spread, militia from Hanover, Albemarle, Orange, and, under the advice of George Washington, Fredericksburg, began to move on Williamsburg. These militias learned of the events in Lexington and Concord at about the same time they began to march. The Hanover militia, led by Patrick Henry, reached Williamsburg first, arriving outside of the city on May 3. That day Dunmore's family escaped to the H.M.S. Fowey and the governor sent a request for reinforcements to Boston.
For several days, a standoff ensued. Henry waited outside Williamsburg with between 150 and 500 militia while Dunmore threatened to destroy Williamsburg and have the Navy fire on Yorktown if there was an attack. Carter Braxton negotiated a resolution to the Gunpowder Incident by agreeing to have £330 in royal funds transferred from the accounts managed by his father-in-law, Richard Corbin, Deputy Collector of the Royal Revenue in Virginia, as payment for the powder. The militia left, and Henry joined the rest of Virginia's delegation at the Continental Congress.
So Patrick Henry did pick up a weapon, did lead an armed militia, and did engage a well-armed enemy. Not to mention that he faced a serious risk of death or physical injury in retaliation for his rebellious speech.True, Henry never faced death by choking on a Ring Ding while beating off three Romulan warriors in online fantasy battle, but times were different then.
Give Ed ignorance, or give him death. Just don't bother him with facts.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
The House Speaker, tripped up by a botched conspiracy to dine 'n' dash?
WASHINGTON -- The guilty plea by lobbyist Jack Abramoff could bring renewed scrutiny of a letter sent by House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois to Interior Secretary Gale Norton urging her to block an Indian casino opposed by rival tribes represented by Abramoff just one week after the lobbyist hosted a fundraiser for Hastert's political action committee.
Many in official Washington, Republicans and Democrats, were scrambling Wednesday to try to distance themselves from Abramoff -- Hastert among them -- fearing that they could be tainted by even the appearance of an association with the now disgraced lobbyist.
Abramoff pleaded guilty this week to corruption charges and agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors in a broadening investigation of bribery in Washington, which Abramoff admitted included the exchange of campaign contributions and other favors for official assistance to his clients. As part of his plea agreement, Abramoff is expected to help investigators determine whether others, including elected officials, broke any laws.
Indian tribes represented by Abramoff donated more than $20,000 to Hastert around the time of the fundraiser, which was held at Signatures, a Washington restaurant owned by Abramoff. Hastert's campaign committee did not pay the tab for the June 3, 2003, luncheon fundraiser until last year, following media inquiries about the unpaid check.
Here's hoping Hastert turns up on Abramoff's menu.
Down Around The Ankles
That's where Osama's Pajamas aka Pantload Media aka Depends Media* has fallen.
Most of the posts are now simply links to other blogs, where you can "Continue reading" Michelle Malkin's deepest thoughts about Bill O'Reilly or join in a "Rose Bowl Game Day Open Thread."
Did you know Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered another stroke? Yes, but did you know Roger el-Simon has some thoughts about it?
They're barely pretending any more.
* Gotta use these all once more, before it's too late.
At The Corner, Jonathan Adler vouches that his pal Doug Bandow is a high-class ho:
"On a personal note, I've known Doug for many years, and I certainly hope he lands on his feet. While taking money from Abramoff was dumb, there's no question that Doug is a man of principle who would not change his opinions for small amounts of money."
Oh, when times get tough enough, I except we'll see Doug by the freeway on ramp, opining for spare change.
(1/4/06, 12:54 PM; link's not working for me, and it's not worth the effort.)
Meanwhile, the Doughy Pantload's bored with the Abramoff story, but manages to yawn out his belief that "K-Street corruption" stories were more plentiful under the Clenis. Bats' Boy should be renting out his head as storage space.
"Whoops, that means he still might be able to reproduce, which is not exactly a boon to the gene pool.
"A woman angry with her boyfriend, who was trying to leave her, convinced him to let her tie his arms to the bed during sex; she then cut of his penis and flushed it down the toilet. Utility workers recovered it, and doctors reattached it."
Deadly assault = comedy gold at the expense of the victim. Stick to PG&E bashing, Timmy.
Sums Of The Pioneers
George Bush is giving away a whopping 6 percent of the filthy lucre with which Jack Abramoff greased his palm.
Abramoff raised more than $100,000 for the Bush-Cheney reelection [sic] campaign, making him an honorary Bush "Pioneer." But the campaign is giving up only $6,000, which came directly from Abramoff, his wife and one of the Indian tribes the lobbyist represented. The money will be donated to the American Heart Association.
(The so-called liberal NYT fails to even mention that fun fact, merely mentioning the 6K and not the additional 94-plus.)
If Bush-Cheenee '04 had invested 94K in, say, KBR or Google, since the 2004 election cycle, it would have cleared a nice profit from the use of Abramoff's Pioneer payola. It probably would have broke even with a 17-month CD.
Meanwhile, Kerry-Edwards had nothing to return or give away.
And the hunt is on for photos of Abramoff slipping Bush some Hanukkah gelt at any of the three Hanukkah receptions Jackoff attended at Bush's invitation.
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
"Your honor, words will not be able to ever express how sorry I am for this, and I have profound regret and sorrow for the multitude of mistakes and harm I have caused," a contrite [sic] Abramoff told Huvelle in court today. "All of my remaining days, I will feel tremendous sadness and regret for my conduct and for what I have done. I only hope that I can merit forgiveness from the Almighty and from those I have wronged or caused to suffer. I will work hard to earn that redemption."May God have mercy on your soul, Jack. And may United States District Judge Ellen S. Huvelle send your ass to prison for the next 30 years of your remaining days.
Wide World of Denial
Let's check the reax to the Abramoff plea across the Republican wingnutosphere.
Depends Media: "It may be just another wave of a rumor that has been swirling for some time, but the Los Angeles Times writes in its predictions for 2006 that Google will make a big announcement next Friday at the CES computer show in Las Vegas."
Mister Ed: "...Markos can kiss my entire ass."
InstaCracker: "THE WSJ LAW BLOG has an Abramoff guilty plea roundup."
BrokebackLine: The usual delusional crap; nothing about Abramoff.
Hugh Fuckwit: "The Abramoff scandal is a big DC story and even a potentially national story...."
Michelle Malice: "The Democrats are somehow involved, though I can't explain how." (paraphrase)
Roger el-Simon: Too busy researching Swiss banking and extradition treaties to blog today.
The Corner: "BABY NAMES [Kathryn Jean Lopez] This is a cool site."
Kudlow's Nose Candy Politic$: Lists line up for teevee show, nothing about Jackoff.
But here's my favorite, from NewsBusters.Org:
Matthews Calls Abramoff "Satan", Uses Phrase "Republican Culture of Corruption"
Posted by Ian Schwartz on January 3, 2006 - 15:38.
In an appearance on MSNBC today just after 1 PM Eastern time, Chris Matthews didn't accuse Jack Abramoff of being in the "Republican culture of corruption", but still uses the term:MATTHEWS: He's cut a deal. The deal means he has to talk and that means if he's plead guilty to bribery that means he's bribed people. (Editor's Note: Thanks Chris for telling us the meaning of bribery) That means he's going to tell people who he bribed and that could be a half-dozen Congressman, it could be more, we've seen reports of more than 20 people involved here, including staffers. Mostly Republicans, not all Republicans who've figured in this story so far. I think it's going to be a big, sleezy story. I'm not sure it's partisan. I'm not sure people are going to see him as part of any Republican culture of corruption.Matthews then went on to describe Abramoff's looks -- which was kind of scary -- and called him "Satan."
Tweety spins for the G.O.P., dismissing the concept of a Republican culture of corruption, and Ian still gets his knickers in a twist. Keep all sharp objects away from Ian.
Monday, January 02, 2006
Welcome To The Grand Illusion
Welcome to the Grand Illusion
Come on in and see what's happening
Pay the price, get your tickets for the show
The stage is set, the band starts playing
Suddenly your heart is pounding
Wishing secretly you were a star
Pay no attention to the man behind the guilty plea, says Cliffie Kincaid. It's just a Grand Illusion:
The Washington Post is in its scandal mode, hoping to hype the Jack Abramoff affair into something that will threaten Republican control of the House in the 2006 elections.
But because the names of Abramoff and DeLay were linked in the same article, the impression was created that there was something sinister going on. This is the name of the game -- create a lot of smoke and hope the authorities light the fire by pressuring Abramoff to plead guilty to something. Then we can anticipate countless more stories about the Abramoff affair right up to election day.
Nothing to see here, move along.
But don't be fooled by the radio
The TV or the magazines
They show you photographs of how your life should be
But they're just someone else's fantasy
Look, over there! It's George Soros!
This is one reason why you seldom read anything critical of George Soros. He funds some of the "watchdog groups" that supposedly monitor this "problem" of campaign financing for the public and the press."Watchdog groups!" "Problem!" "Quotation Marks!"
So if you think your life is complete confusion
Because you never win the game
Just remember that it's a Grand Illusion
And deep inside we're all the same.
And deep inside, Cliff's just insane.
But the new book, Media Cleansing: Dirty Reporting, documents how the fingerprints of the Soros network were all over the rationale for the U.S./NATO military operation in Kosovo. It was an operation conducted without the approval of the U.S. Congress or even the U.N. that Soros loves so much. The book by veteran journalist Peter Brock thoroughly documents how the Clinton Administration waged an illegal and unconstitutional war on Serbia for the benefit of radical Muslims in league with Osama bin Laden.Look, Osama's giving Clinton an Islamofascist blowjob!
You're a troubled old man, I can tell, Cliffie.
Someday soon we'll stop to ponder what on Earth's this spell we're under
We made the grade and still we wonder who the hell we are
The Wall Street Journal's First Smear Of The New Year
In its first edition of the New Year, the Wall Street Journal allows a Republican hack to smear a generous Democrat.
Ted Hayes, a recent Republican convert who imagines himself a homeless activist, writes:
Here's how the situation played out. Recently, I was invited to address a local Republican Women's Club; my landlord read an article in the local paper reporting on the event. Soon after, I received a notice raising the Dome Village rent from $2,500 a month to $18,330. Shocked, I inquired as to the seriousness of the change, and the property owner blurted out that the cause of our "eviction" was "because you are Republican." He said that as a Democrat, he was tired of helping me and the Dome Village. In other words, let the homeless be damned.
And people think the Democrats are the party of compassion and tolerance.
Here's the facts, which the Journal understandably omits:
Mike Sidley, the attorney for the limited-liability partnership that owns the land, and son of Milton Sidley, confirmed the rent increase but vehemently denied it had anything to do with politics.The owner subsidized "Hayes"'s project for 12 years, and the ungrateful douchebag Hayes thanks the owner by putting the words "let the homeless be damned" into his mouth.
"For 12 years, they've allowed [Dome Village] to remain there at below-market rent," Mike Sidley said Saturday. No one has ever come forward to attempt to purchase it at a market value and donate the land to Dome Village, he added.
Sidley said his clients were upset that Dome Village was announcing the rent increase close to Christmas, placing his clients in a bad light.
"When no one else would step up to the plate [to help Dome Village], my clients did. But there was never a thank you. Never a Christmas card. Nothing," he said. "No one in the city of Los Angeles ever stepped forward."
Even more egregiously, Hayes attempts to smear the owner by suggesting he is racist. Hayes lards his article with alleged (and to the extent specifics are mentioned, bogus) claims of racist slurs against African-American Republicans. Yet there's no evidence, or even an allegation, that the owner spoke such slurs against Hayes or anyone else, or that the owner is in any way racist. Hayes and the Journal are the true bigots, by equating the owner's conduct with the alleged biased statements.
Hayes ends his article with the standard Republican lies about "Democrats persecuting black Republicans" and African-Americans "[who] have ourselves curtailed the freedom of political expression through the threat of retaliatory consequences." Here we see the Journal admit, by its actions, that it doesn't have much use for the free market, private property, private charity or freedom of expression. But it loves the G.O.P.
Sunday, January 01, 2006
Roundtable For Five
The incest on today's Meet the Press was thicker than on a Tennessee family tree.
Father Tim gave not one but two plugs for Nooners' book, Pope Friction, though Nooners didn't appear on the show. He gave as many plugs to Doris "the Scrivener" Goodwin's Lincoln book. Goodwin didn't disappoint those expecting her obligatory "L.B.J. told me...." anecdote. After the panel fondled John Paul the Late's loafer a while, Jon Meacham mentioned the spectre haunting the roundtable: "Michael Beschloss, our great friend, historian Michael Beschloss."
Then John Meacham labelled Russ Feingold "a sane Howard Dean basically," and they all laughed. And laughed.
Then Pumpkinhead vouched that the entire table was reading Goodwin's book, Goodwin mentioned her priest, Pumpkinhead mentioned his dad, Goodwin called Pumpkinhead "kiddo," and Gene Robinson and Goodwin mentioned as an afterthought that New Orleans is gone.
Then they all had a smoke.
Saturday, December 31, 2005
It's New Year's Eve and a lot of balls will be dropping.
And not just at midnight.
I'm talking about the ones attached to Congressional Republicans:
WASHINGTON -- Federal prosecutors and lawyers for Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff are putting the finishing touches on a plea deal that could be announced as early as Tuesday, according to people familiar with the negotiations.
The plea agreement would secure the lobbyist's testimony against several members of Congress who received favors from him or his clients.
Everything changes on New Year's Day.
Happy New Year's everyone.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Bill Safliar is back on the Times' op-ed page, and the paper's not even bothering with the pretense that anyone would pay to read him. It's his prediction column, in which he touts Norah Vincent as "the new Steinem."
Judy Miller is the new Roy Cohn would be more like it.
The Power Broker
Finally, my immense influence over party politics has been recognized:
We have two great parties in America. One is in thrall to big money. The other is under the control of left wing "new politics," upper middle class, and highly educated activists. The primary domestic objective of the contemporary GOP is to comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted. However, the primary objective of the National Democratic Party is not to address the anxieties of the middle class or poor working Americans but rather to relieve the fevered anxieties of the ACLU, Hollywood funders and puerile bloggers.
As an anxious middle class puerile blogger, it sounds like a wash for me.
But I suppose I should use my new-found clout.
Dean, Reid, get this rightwing tosspot out of my party. Pronto.
Call Western Union
I spent some more time wondering why Dana Rohrabacher would say the following, given the undisputed evidence of what a scumbag Jack Abramoff is:
"I think he's been dealt a bad hand and the worst, rawest deal I've ever seen in my life. Words like bribery are being used to describe things that happened every day in Washington and are not bribes."
Then I thought, what a stupid question.
School For Scandal
And while we're flogging Steno Sue (and her co-author and researcher), much to the consternation of Kitty Parker, what's up with this claim:
"[Abramoff] was a generous patron in his Orthodox Jewish community, starting a boys' religious school in Maryland?"
Generous like this?
Capital Athletic Foundation, a charity run by disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff now at the center of an influence-peddling investigation on Capitol Hill, told the IRS it gave away more than $330,000 in grants in 2002 to four other charities that say they never received the money.
The largest grant the foundation listed in its 2002 tax filing was for $300,000 to P'TACH of New York, a nonprofit that helps Jewish children with learning disabilities.
"We've never received a $300,000 gift, not in our 28 years," a surprised Rabbi Burton Jaffa, P'TACH's national director, told the Austin American-Statesman. "It would have been gone by now. I guess I would have been able to pay some teachers on time."
"Oh, but we only meant he was generous to one particular school. You know, the one he sent his own kids to, not the one for that kind of kids."
Internal records state, for example, that Abramoff and his wife, Pam -- who are listed as the foundation's sole directors -- spent more than 70 percent of its revenue from 2001 to 2003, or $4.03 million, on a Jewish school that Abramoff founded in Columbia. The Eshkol Academy operated for two years and schooled two of his sons before closing this spring with unpaid bills, faculty members said.
By that time, the Eshkol Academy had leased office space to use for classes and enrolled several dozen students, some of whom paid annual tuition of more than $12,000. The Capital Athletic Foundation contributed more than $1.85 million to the academy that year, enough to pay a handful of teachers and a dean. The school also bought two Zamboni ice-cleaning machines, even though it did not own a hockey rink.
E-mails at the time showed Abramoff pushing for more money for his enterprise. He sent an e-mail to Scanlon in February 2003 stating: "Please make sure the next $1M[illion] from Coushatta for me goes to Eshkol Academy directly. Please tell them that we are 'using the school as our conduit for some of activities.' " The e-mail added that "if that won't fly with them, use CAF," referring to the Capital Athletic Foundation, or the National Center for Public Policy Research.
Abramoff repeated the request in e-mails in March and April. The Eshkol Academy "is our front group," the first e-mail said. The second said: "I really need to get those funds into Eshkol asap. Let me know what we have to do."
Abramoff founded a school involved in money laundering; one that stiffed its employees (who Jackoff calls ingrates) and its creditors and screwed its tuition-paying students out of a diploma. What a mensch.
"[DeLay and Abramoff] forged political ties, but the two men never became personally close, according to associates of both men."
Whether or not the Bugchaser and Jackoff enjoyed family barbecues together or held each others' dicks in the clubhouse shower after 18 holes is, of course, irrelevant.
But what's pathetic is that Steno Sue repeats the "associates"' claim as fact without bothering to question, or test, that assertion.
Old stenographers never die, they just spin away.
Also of interest is Dana Rohrabacher's defense of Jackoff: "Words like bribery are being used to describe things that happened every day in Washington and are not bribes." That quote should be nailed to Rohrabacher's forehead every day, and the Justice Department should haul Rohrabacher in for a debriefing under oath, ASAP.
Update: It gets even worse.
Peggy Noonan must've gotten that longed-for 50-gallon drum of Ancient Age 'neath her Christmas tree:
But history moves quickly. His people hit reseat; he announced a refocus. The economy is an almost unnoticed triumph. Christmas spending is up 10%. Iraq votes yet again, amid pictures of purple fingers. Mr. Bush's numbers go up. He is dinged but not done. All will hinge on Iraq. History will say Bush was a dramatic and consequential president who broke through the wall of history and successfully reordered the most dangerous part of the world, or a dramatic and all-too-consequential president whose decisions yielded disaster. It's like looking at Woodrow Wilson in 1919 and wondering, How is this going to go?
Are you a pessimist? Then you're thinking Eccliastes: "Vanity, all is vanity."
That's what people are saying about your Pope book, Pegaloon. Now dry out and learn to proofread.
Speculation has it that the owners of the Wall Street Journal's publisher will sell the rag to the highest bidder this year. One can only hope that the new owner will sweep out the freaks -- Nooners, John Thumb Fund, Taranto and Dotty Rabinowitz, to name a few -- as a first step to restoring the paper's credibility.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
TBogg has passed the "four" thing to me, so get ready for an emotional roller coaster ride as I bare what passes for my soul.
Four jobs you've had in your life: Bagboy, pizza delivery boy, kitchen worker, research intern. (Two of the four were union jobs.)
Four movies you could watch over and over: Local Hero, Dr. Strangelove, The Graduate, Monty Python's Life of Brian.
Four places you've lived: hrmfmrrhm, Indiana, umhurmurm, Illinois, Oakland, Calif. and mumblemumble, Calif.
Four TV shows you love to watch: Love is too strong a word, but Jeopardy!, Mystery, C-SPAN II's Book TV (except when they show wingnuts) and any infomercial starring Billy "Sometimes Soaking Is The Solution" Mays.
Four places you've been on vacation: Philadelphia, Penn.; Toronto, Ont. (Canada); Mendicino, Calif.; Los Angeles, Calif.
Four websites you visit daily: Tbogg (of course), World O'Crap, the New York Times Crossword Puzzle page and [insert your blog's name here].
Four of your favorite foods: Spinach ravioli, grilled salmon, orange juice (no pulp) and chocolate-covered raspberries in a raspberry sauce.
Four places you'd rather be: Right here, right now there is no place I'd rather be. But, as if the cost of living wasn't high enough already: London, Edinburgh, Tokyo and Ho Chi Minh City.Four albums you can't live without: London Calling, Brutal Youth, Amused to Death and Dvorak: Three Great Symphonies (Cleveland Symphony Orch., George Szell, Conductor). I'll pass this on to Doctor Biobrain , just because.
I was going to ignore Kitty Parker's column about the pernicious influence of blogs. Parker is, after all, the columnist who quoted with approval a friend who advocated the assassination the 2004 Democratic Presidential primary candidates, and then attempted to cover up the quote and lie to her readers about it. So she should know about integrity and accountability.
The column is so vague as to be meaningless, and was no doubt phoned in weeks ago so Kitty could take another week's vacation at year end.
But I was curious about Kitty's own cred. Turns out she works as a flunky for the Buckleys, at something called the Buckley School of Public Speaking and Inbreeding. The mission of the school can be gleaned from the dribblings of its senile founder, Reid Buckley:
Have you ever grieved to see decent, gifted, hard-working people humiliated in public by jackasses? Have you been one of them?
In 1984, a toxic gas leak in Bhopal, India killed nearly 3000 [sic] people. The tragedy was terrible. So was the seeming incompetence of so many high Union Carbide functionaries, who where [sic - so much for standards] paraded before the camera. They appeared never to be able to get their stories straight.
As Reid Buckley watched these decent men squirm and fumble, he thought how unnecessary that humiliation was. He began testing a workshop to teach executives how to express themselves with poise under duress. The result four years later was the opening of the Buckley School.
Pity the poor executives, whose humiliation was at least as tragic to Reid as the asphyxiation, blindness and sudden death of thousands of Indians exposed to clouds of deadly poison in their own homes. And to be humiliated by poor, non-Anglo, non-Christian corpses, no less. I guess Kitty considers helping corporate killers get their stories straight to be of more value to society than blogging.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
ROGER'S YEAR IN REVIEW QUIZ 2005
It's time for the annual Roger Ailes year-in-review quiz, commemorating the highlights and lowlights of the past 361 days. (Trust me, nothing important is going to happen in the next four days.) Taking the quiz will allow you to achieve closure and put the past behind you once and for all.
Answers will be posted next year.
Part I -- 20 Points
Who Said It?
The premise explains itself.
1. "You are the best governor ever -- deserving of great respect!"
2. "But that's not how [Social Security] works. You pay your payroll tax; we pay for the people who have retired, and if there's any money left over, we spend it on government. That's how it works. And what's left is an empty IOU, a piece of paper. "
3. "Massages are routine in beauty shops in Cambodia and are not sexual, but for Srey Neth, they scream danger. I'm delighted."
4. "Ambitious, high-achieving women are still a turnoff in many areas, particularly if they're liberal and feminist."
5. "My whole life I've lived aboveboard. I've never even smoked a marijuana cigarette."
6. "There is no evidence that this memo came from the Republicans."
7. "Why should my past prevent me from having a future?"
8. "We have the ability to take him [Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez] out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability.
9. "Cool. The tsunami may have uncovered an ancient city."
10. "In no country except the United States have Jews felt fully a member of the national group in which they lived."
11. "She certainly seems to respond to visual stimuli."
12. "Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them. Come back to work -- and life."
13. "It has come to my attention that these statements are in error.... I did not contact Herzig-Yoshinaga or Irons directly.... I apologize to Irons and Herzig-Yoshinaga for the errors."
14. "And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them."
15. "Now move out of your parents's basements and join an Internet dating service
before you lose all your hair."
16. "I got it at Nordstroms .... Are you proud of me? Can I quit now? Can I go home?"
17. "People are beginning to think that your illness may have affected your brain, your judgment and your ability to do this job."
18. "The 9/11 Commission bears some responsibility for the disaster that American disaster relief has become.... But there was no deliberation after the commission issues its report and browbeat Washington into doing what they said. So Washington did. And FEMA is a mess. And New Orleans is a mess."
19. "[W]e need to get some $ from those monkeys!!!!"
20. "I'm never going to underestimate al Qaeda -- Never."
Scoring: One point for each correct answer.
Part II -- 20 Points
Dr. Phil In The Blanks
Like regular fill-in-the-blank, but with a huge misshapen melonhead.
1. "Again, I'm not going to comment on an ______________ ______________."
2. Justice ______________
3. "George Bush doesn't care about ______________ ______________. "
4. "You're a ______________ ______________ ______________ ______________. Your hands are shaking. You badly need another drink,"
5. Miss ______________ ______________
6. "Where the______________ ______________ at?"
7. "Whether [the truth] will continue to be submerged by a wave of ______________ by the Enron Task Force will be determined by former Enron employees."
8. The Bridge to ______________
9. "Well, I think that's ______________, and I hate that. Just let it go."
10. "I think they're in the ______________ ______________, if you will, of the insurgency."
Scoring: Two points for each correct answer.
Part III -- 20 Points
Grand Old Police Blotter: The Year In Republicrime Edition
2005 has been an embarassment of riches on the Republican crime beat. I was able to come up with 15 off the top of my head. The problem was who to keep off the list. (You dodged a metaphorical bullet, Bill Frist.)
And unlike those yobbos in Michelle Malkin's tales of pie throwing, sign-removing, misdemeanoring nobodies, nearly everyone here is a big-time player convicted or accused of felonious conduct.
Match the Republican:
1. Randy "Duke" Cunningham
2. Adam Kidan
3. Robert Taft
4. George W. Bush
5. David Safavian
6. Dick Dasen, Snr.
7. Lawrence Franklin
8. Irving Libby
9. Galen Fox
10. Robert Ney
11. Conrad Black
12. Jim West
13. Jack Abramoff
14. Don Sherwood
15. Armstrong Williams
16. Tom Noe
17. James Tobin
18. Robert Greene
19. Tom DeLay
20. Michael Scanlon
To his crime(s):
Note: All Republicans are innocent until proven guilty.
a. Lying, obstructing a criminal investigation
b. Abusive sexual conduct during airplane flight
c. Accepting bribes
d. Laundering presidential campaign donations
e. Gambling on cockfighting
f. Violation of ethics laws
g. Wire fraud, conspiracy
h. Failure to disclose payment recieved in exchange for broadcasting material
i. Sexual assault
j. Violation of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
k. Conspiracy to pass national defense information to people not entitled to receive it.
l. Sexual abuse of children, prostitution and promotion of prostitution
m. Accepting bribes from defense contractors, tax evasion, conspiracy
n. Racketeering, obstruction of justice, wire fraud, money laundering
o. Conspiracy to bribe public officials
p. Obstruction of justice, perjury and making false statements to investigators
q. Money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering
r. Offering government jobs in exchange for sex
s. Wire fraud, bank fraud, fraud fraud, defrauding clients, bribery of public officials, conspiracy to commit bribery, making illegal gifts and campaign contributions, you name it
t. Telephone harrassment
Scoring: 1 point for each correct answer. Five bonus points for correctly identifying the status of 16 or more criminals -- accused, indicted or convicted. (Bonus available if status is correctly identified, whether or not the crime is also correctly identified.)