Saturday, March 18, 2006

Miserable Failure On Terrorism and Homeland Security

Nooners is half-right. Bush is a miserable failure both foreign and domestic.

The latest Newsweek poll:

His image as an effective leader in the war on terror is tarnished, with less than half the public (44 percent) approving of the way he's handling terrorism and homeland security. Despite a series of presidential speeches meant to bolster support for the war in Iraq, as well as the announcement of a major military offensive when the poll was getting under way, only 29 percent of the people questioned approved Bush's handling of the situation in Iraq. Fully 65 percent disapprove.

It seems Newsweak failed to ask about censure:

The NEWSWEEK poll shows that only 5 percent of Republicans would support impeaching Bush, while 94 percent would not. Among Democrats, almost half (49 percent) support impeachment, while 48 percent oppose it.

Dim Some

A.P. writer Jennifer Loven illuminates the rhetorical cheap trick used by the miserable failure:

WASHINGTON - "Some look at the challenges in Iraq and conclude that the war is lost and not worth another dime or another day," President Bush said recently.

Another time he said, "Some say that if you're Muslim you can't be free."

"There are some really decent people," the president said earlier this year, "who believe that the federal government ought to be the decider of health care ... for all people."

Of course, hardly anyone in mainstream political debate has made such assertions.

...

The device usually is code for Democrats or other White House opponents. In describing what they advocate, Bush often omits an important nuance or substitutes an extreme stance that bears little resemblance to their actual position.

He typically then says he "strongly disagrees" — conveniently knocking down a straw man of his own making.

All true, except that Bush is such an intellectual flyweight that he doesn't knock down the strawmen himself. His speechwriters do.

(Thanks to a reader for the tip.)

Friday, March 17, 2006

Peggy O'Furniture

What's drunk and sits in the back yard all night, trying in vain to write an intelligent column?

Peggy Noonan's Thursday column wasn't the result of celebrating St. Paddy's Day a day early; it's the consequence of celebrating St. Paddy's Day 2005 for twelve months too long.

Peg O' My Failing Liver managed to type the following sentence in an article charging that President Bush spends your tax money like a drunken Wall Street Journal columnist who took an unpaid leave of absence to work for the election of Bush years after his profligacy was known to anyone not living in an alcohol-induced coma:

"Yesterday USA Today ran a front-page story that seemed almost designed to give every conservative in America a Grand Klong, a fanciful medical condition that has been described as a great onrush of fecal matter to the heart."

Uh, Peg, I think you're thinking of a Dirty Santorum, or maybe one of John Yoo's favorite forms of torture.

Somewhere someone is collecting money on a bar bet, at your expense.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Let It Bleed

Does that include the legal defense fund?

John Hindlicker, An Ad Hoc Tool

John Hindlicker, who should still be reeling from the well-deserved bitchslapping received at the hands of Wonkette (and the new Wonkette, no less!), rises to dishonestly slander Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Herr Hindlicker's critique of Justice Ginsburg's speech on that wingnut boogeyperson, consultation of foreign law, contains multiple misrepresentations. Let's focus on one:

Take, for example, the issue of homosexual sodomy. The Supreme Court recently ruled, in Lawrence v. Texas, that there is a constitutional right to commit acts of homosexual sodomy. Was this ruling informed by reference to foreign jurisprudence? If not, why not? On Ginsburg's approach, the justices apparently get to pick and choose when they will look abroad for guidance. And, if foreign guidance had been sought in the Lawrence case, would the justices have looked to the law in Muslim countries where commission of such acts is a capital crime? If not, why not? There is no coherent answer to these questions, and, Ginsburg does not offer one. In reality, reference to foreign law is nothing more than an ad hoc tool to be invoked or ignored at will by justices who want to advance a left-wing agenda.

Hindlicker, being equally aroused and terrified at the thought of executing sodomites (but only the gay ones), doesn't bother to read the part, buried in the second paragraph of the speech, where Ginsburg states:

The U.S. judicial system will be the poorer, I have urged, if we do not both share our experience with, and learn from, legal systems with values and a commitment to democracy similar to our own.

Why isn't that plain enough for the Hindlicker? Though no doubt many of 'Licker's wingnut pals wish it were otherwise, the United States is a secular Nation. (Read all about it in the Bill of Rights, Johnny.) Thus, a "Muslim country," that is, a nation governed by the laws of a religion, would not have "a legal system with values and a commitment to democracy similar to our own."

Only a lying sack of shit could conclude that Justice Ginsburg's speech doesn't answer the idiotic question Hindlicker poses.

The speech also specifically addresses the other matters on which Hindlicker professes ignorance, including whether the Lawrence court considered foreign jurisprudence.

Hindlicker states that "[y]ou really have to read it [Ginsburg's speech] to appreciate how far removed it is from American laws and traditions, and how demagogic it is in both tone and substance."

Yes, you do.

And no, you didn't, Toolboy.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Wouldn't It Be Nice

I haven't seen any other blogger comment on this article, which reveals the Angry Left's greatest fantasy: Condoleezza Rice and other Bush Administration warmongers forced to testify under oath:

WASHINGTON, March 13 -- A subpoena list identifying Bush administration officials including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as prospective defense witnesses in a federal criminal trial in Virginia was briefly posted on a computer court docket on Friday before being modified and sealed, court records show.

The trial is of two former lobbyists, Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, who are accused of disclosing classified information. Entries in a computer docket at the court in Alexandria, Va., named Ms. Rice and nine others who had been sought as potential witnesses by lawyers for Mr. Rosen and Mr. Weissman, former officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying group.

The two men, whose trial is scheduled to begin next month, are accused of receiving classified information about terrorism and Middle East strategy from a Defense Department analyst, Lawrence A. Franklin, and passing it to a journalist and an Israeli diplomat. Mr. Franklin has pleaded guilty.

...

Among other current and former Bush administration officials identified were Stephen J. Hadley, the national security adviser; Richard L. Armitage, the former deputy secretary of state; and Elliott L. Abrams, a deputy national security adviser who has focused on the Middle East.

Elliott Abrams. Now there's a witness you can trust.

Wouldn't it be lovely if the pals of Pajamaites Mikey Ledeen and Roger el-Simon brought about the downfall of the Bush Administration? Of course, Condi and her neocon undersecretaries would take the Fifth before testifying, and would tie up the proceedings with so many appeals that Bush would be out of office before a jury was selected.

But it doesn't hurt to dream.

Dick Cheney Can Pay For His Own Damn Surgery

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Concerned about politicizing her favorite charity, singer-actress Jessica Simpson on Wednesday turned down a invitation to meet with U.S. President George W. Bush, a snub that left Republicans dismayed.

The apparent final word that Simpson would be a no-show at a major Republican fund-raiser with Bush and congressional leaders on Thursday night came after a day of conflicting reports from her camp and organizers of the event.

The blond star of the film "The Dukes of Hazzard" still plans to visit Washington on Thursday to lobby members of Congress on behalf of Operation Smile, a non-profit venture offering free plastic surgery for disadvantaged children overseas with facial deformities.

There's No Fighting In The War Room

Yeah, that's the obscenity:

The [Baltimore Sun] ran this correction today: "A photograph published yesterday with an article about the court-martial of a guard at Abu Ghraib prison showed a book cover that contained an obscenity. The obscenity went unnoticed during editing and should not have been published. Publication of the photo violates The Sun's guidelines. The Sun apologizes for the oversight."

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Roger's TeeVee Guide

Not many people know this, but I am the ultimate Hollywood insider. I was coked-up and making obscene phone calls when Pat O'Brien was still a sportscaster.

One of my highly-placed connections in show business has tipped me off to the plot of next Sunday's Law and Order: Criminal Intent, which, of course, bears no resemblance to any persons living or represented by counsel:

SLAYING OF SECRET SERVICE AGENT HAS DETECTIVES SNIFFING AROUND LOBBYIST, CONGRESSMAN AND INDIAN CASINOS -- The brutal beating murder of a female Secret Service agent in her home has Detectives Logan (Christopher Noth) and Barek (Annabella Sciorra) sniffing around the many clients of her husband Jay (guest star David Alan Bashche), a well-connected lobbyist who is working both for and against an unpopular tribal Indian gaming casino on Long Island. But the detectives want to know why the victim's husband hid their laptop and shredded files soon after discovering her body -- and his curious dealings with a slippery congressman widen the police investigation to include more hidden crimes. Jamey Sheridan and Courtney B. Vance also star.

Hmm... no Adam Kidan, or "Big Tony" Moscatiello or Konstantinos "Gus" Boulis as the corpse. So much for verisimilitude.

I'll probably watch, simply because someone bothered to e-mail me, thinking I might be interested. (Thanks for the tip.) And Jamey Sheridan's a good actor.

By the way, last week's Law & Order: Original Recipe featured stand-ins for Rupert Murdoch, Wendy Deng and Rupe's two families... with Malcom McDowell as Old Rupe. Unfortunately, I didn't watch beyond the first scene, but I've a feeling they didn't go for my preferred ending: Rupe in a bowler and a pair of long johns, warbling "Singin' In The Rain" and kicking Sean Hannity in the nuts, repeatedly.

Christmas Shopping With Claude

Also according to police:

-- On the morning of Dec. 24, Allen was filmed selecting a $237 Kodak printer that he paid for with his Visa card. Hours later he obtained a refund at a Target store in Germantown for an identical printer.

-- On Dec. 30, Allen bought a $60 jacket, a $25 pair of pants, two shades worth $15 each and two unspecified items worth $2.50 each. Hours later, he received a $125.94 refund for identical items.

-- On Jan. 1, he purchased an $88 RCA stereo at a Target store in Gaithersburg. About an hour later, he was videotaped selecting an identical stereo at a Rockville Target store, and he obtained a refund using a receipt that corresponded to the one from Gaithersburg.

I'm sure Claude used all of his booty for the purpose of homeschooling his kids. ("If you spend $130.00 on purchases, and only get a refund of $125.94 when you shoplift the identical items from the store, how much has Target ripped you off?")

The most amusing part of the story is all the wingnuts, from Bush down to the idiot bloggers, moaning about how sad the Allen story is. Apparently Claude is the archetypal "good man who did a bad thing." If you're a bad person who does a bad thing, you deserve prosecution, ridicule and hellfire. However, if you espouse righteousness and damn others for their moral failings, it's merely a bummer if you don't act accordingly.

My favorite wingnut on the story is James Taranto, who simpers as follows:

Allen is said to be [sic] something of a moralist, and left-wing bloggers are, predictably enough, exultant. Typical is this comment from Daily Kos diarist "DarkSyde":

Allen was a big abstinence only crusader and led several assaults on AIDS service organizations as well. This paragon of moral values was recruited by Karl Rove.

It's a familiar theme: Left-wing antimoralists attack right-wing moralists when the latter are found engaging in some crime or sin or vice. But a moralist's own propensity for immoral behavior does not discredit his moralism. After all, the temptation to do wrong is a universal human trait. Perhaps those in whom that temptation is strongest also have a more acute awareness of the need for social restraints to prevent bad acts.

First, Taranto simpers that those who support compassion and care for AIDS victims, but oppose shoplifting, are "antimoralists." He also characterizes DarkSyde's comments as an attack, when they're merely an observation that Allen wasn't as moral as he claimed to be. (Brutal!)

But the topper is the claim we should pay heed to phony moralists because they more than anyone have divine knowledge of how depraved we are.

By Taranto's reasoning, we should look to Chas. Manson and Eric Rudolph to define the morality of killing, and Don Rumsfeld and Abu Gonzales to define the morality of torture.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Fancy Frist, the cat food for vivisected cats.
Yecch.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Grand Old Police Blotter: A Real Dog's Dinner Edition

A reader sends a link to this column, which is too grotesque to summarize.

It involves a Nixon Administration scumbag, Fred Malek, who was, in his pre-White House days, was "arrested in [an] incident, in which a dog was killed, skinned, gutted and barbecued on a spit."

A real proto-Frist, that Malek.

For What It's Worth

A bit of friendly free advice, Claude. Consider hiring a new attorney.

It's all a misunderstanding won't cut it.

This is how you do it:

"Mr. Allen was so focused on urgent national virginity matters, it is hardly surprising that he would later confuse, forget or misremember which items he picked up off the Target shelf twice."

A second bit of advice: Don't hold your breath waiting for a legal defense fund bankrolled by your former pals.

Payback's A Bitch, And So Are You

From the Washington Post:

Before that, Allen worked for the Virginia state attorney general's office and as state health and human resources secretary. In that job, he earned a reputation as a staunch conservative; once he kept Medicaid funds from an impoverished rape victim who wanted an abortion.

The Golden Arm

First there was the Smacky, right-wing journalism's most prestigious award.

Now comes the Smacky, Jr.

Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase "junk journalism."

Friday, March 10, 2006

Is Gail Norton going to spend more time with Claude Allen's family too?

Grand Old Police Blotter: Claude the Fraud Edition

Sing it, Claude A. Allen:

I've been caught stealing
Once, when I was forty-five
I enjoy stealing
It's just as simple as that
Well, it's just a simple fact
When I want something
I don't want to pay for it
I walk right through the door
Walk right through the door
Walk right through the door
Hey all right!
If I get by, it's mine
Mine all mine!

Sing it, Boyden!

Given their understanding of what a judge should do, the radical Left's criticisms of Allen are more understandable. He is conservative and unapologetically pro-family. Were he to follow their judicial model, he might well implement his own "agenda," favoring life and responsibility, just as liberal judges have happily imposed theirs.

...

Claude Allen promises not to advance a political agenda from the federal bench he has been nominated to, but to be the type of judge who buttresses the foundation of American government -- by applying the rule of law however he finds it. President Bush, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, could do much worse than Allen.

If I get by, it's mine, all mine!

Sing it, Claude!

"We could expound on and undertake a campaign against Jim Hunt's connections with the homosexuals, the labor union connection, the radical feminist connection, the socialist connection."

Subsequent reports claim that Allen's precise words had actually been: "We could go back and do the same thing with the queers[...]" But then he called the reporter back and apologized for his choice of words.

The socialist connection indeed!

He walks right through the door.

Grand Old Police Blotter: Where's The Justice (Department) Edition?

A little over a year ago, we reported linked to a story about Republican war profiteers stealing millions from the United States government.

No, not MZM and Mitchell Wade.

These Republican war profiteers.

World O'Crap has more of the details here.

Today, Atrios has the followup report from the L.A. Times:

As outlined in a Los Angeles Times story, two whistle-blowers came forward in the fall of 2003 to accuse Custer Battles of fraud. Robert Isakson and William "Pete" Baldwin eventually filed a claim under the False Claims Act, a Civil War-era anti-fraud measure that allows private citizens to file suit on behalf of the government and to receive a portion of any money recovered. In this case, the two men stand to receive as much as $3 million, with the government recovering the rest.

The False Claims Act allows the Justice Department to join whistle-blowers in the prosecution of cases. But in this case, government attorneys did not intervene. Grayson, the lawyer for Isakson and Baldwin, attributed the decision to political considerations. Battles ran as a Republican candidate for Congress in 2002, and Custer boasted of the company's ties to the administration.

Baldwin and Isakson described a scheme in which Custer and Battles inflated invoices to recover more money than allowed under the currency exchange contract. A separate trial is expected concerning the airport contract.

Among other things, the men recounted how company officials created offshore companies in the Cayman Islands, drawing up fictitious leases and other documents to justify the high costs.

The company also inflated charges for a helicopter pad, portable housing units and forklifts, which it had taken from Baghdad airport and repainted to look like Custer Battles equipment.

Note that this isn't a criminal trial, but a private action under the False Claims Act. So why hasn't the government prosecuted Custer Battles and its principals? It is because, according to Scott Custer, "[Mike] Battles is very active in the Republican Party and speaks to individuals he knows at the White House almost daily"?

It's beyond time for the Justice Department to start prosecuting.

For treason.

The Times, They Are A Changin'

Interesting (assuming you have the same interests as me) stuff about the Moonie Times. According to FishBowlDC, two former reporters are planning to write separate books about their time at the rag.

One, George Archibald, reports that management often rewrote reporters' copy to fit the Father's story line:

It is Archibald's belief that many seasoned and veteran reporters at the Times have left the paper or been pushed out "because of Coombs ill-tempered micro-management of reporters and repeated changes to their copy without consultation with the reporters, often for apparent ideological, political or other reasons at the behest of senior editors."

Of course, if Archibald put up with that crap for 23 years, he's really not in a position to complain.

"I do not like bigots and there is some bigotry that I will talk about," Archibald says. Archibald has other stories (which he may or may not include in the book) about suspiciously canned stories, tempers, egos, poor leadership from the top and the Washington Times purported losses of $2.5 billion over the years.

Bigots at the Moonie Times?!? Hell, that rag's a Burning Cross Festival.

FishBowlDC also reports (quoting Archibald) that the vile bastard Wes Pruden is hanging up his blue pencil and white hood within a year.

"Some also have told me reporters were pushed out because Coombs did not believe they were sufficiently toeing his line or sufficiently loyal to the way he wanted them to report their beat and write their stories -- or because they were senior with high-enough salaries that he could get rid of them and hire two younger "hungry" reporters for their cost who would be his loyalists -- that he is remaking the newsroom for the time he might become editor-in-chief after Wes Pruden retires in a year or so."

I'm sure Wes has a book in him, already sold to Regnery or Thomas Nelson. I'm guessing a Tim Russert-style appreciation of his dad, Grand Kleagle Wes and Me.

The article also hints at a power struggle between anti-Semite Tony Blankley and all-races-hater Frannie Coombs when Pruden leaves the editor-in-chief position.

The second reporter leaving the Moon compound is an African-American, Robert Redding, Jnr., who said that the Moonie Times policy against reporters blogging "was a tipping point" in his decision to leave the compound. Meanwhile, the Times' second or third most notorious white supremacist, Robert Stacy McCain, blogs with the Times' blessing.

You know what I'd love to see? I'd love to see Mr. Redding hook up with one of McCain's daughters. They'd make a lovely couple.

Doesn't matter which one.

Hell, I'll pay for the first date.

Dinner and a movie.

Protection, too, if they want it.

(Thanks to readers for the FishBowl link.)

p.s. -- Be sure to visit McCain's blog. He promises to add me to his blogroll if I "bring the hits." You can also e-mail Bobbie at r.s.mccain@worldnet.att.net to request a review copy of his book.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Sex Tourism With Nick Kristof

Nick Pistof is so profoundly offended by the sexual exploitation of Asian women that he uses their plight as a punchline in a promotion of his Win A Date Trip With Nick Contest.

Now I should say upfront that our lawyers are pretty boring. They've nixed the idea of us all hiking through Afghan minefields, riding a camel through Darfur, or sneaking illegally into Zimbabwe. So no war zones. And no purchases of Cambodian sex slaves this time.

The ideal candidate would be someone who's hip to Nick's shit, and willing to write about Pistof after returning from the trip. But I suppose that's too much to hope for.

Profiling

The next time some racist tells you that racial profiling is legitimate, tell them they're full of shit.

Three college students from the prosperous suburbs south of Birmingham, two of them 19 and one 20, were arrested today in the burning of nine Baptist churches in rural Alabama last month that federal officials say was a prank that spun out of control.

Benjamin N. Moseley and Russell L. DeBusk Jr., both 19 and students at Birmingham Southern College, were arrested after admitting their involvement in the fires to federal agents who had been led to them by tire tracks left behind at several of the burned churches, officials said.

Arrested a few hours later was Matthew Lee Cloyd, 20, a student at the nearby University of Alabama-Birmingham whose mother was the owner of the 2000 Toyota 4Runner that had left the tracks, federal agents said in an affidavit accompanying the criminal complaint against the three men.

The identities of the accused came as a surprise to investigators, who had speculated that the arsons were the work of people intimately familiar with the remote rural roads where the fires were set, not products of Birmingham's upper-middle class, one the son of a doctor and another of a county constable.

"This is just so hard to believe," said Alabama Fire Marshal Richard Montgomery. "My profile on these suspects is shot all to heck and back."

Yes, the article has nothing to do with racial profiling. It has to do with the prejudice inherent in any form of profiling. Good old Dick Montgomery just can't wrap his peabrain around the idea that three spoiled white boys would go around burning churches. Assuming criminality based on race is the product of similar ignorance, multiplied by one hundred.

The best part of the story is that the punks got caught because the doctor's son had special tires on the 4Runner registered in mommy's name.

Oh, and the little punks are Junior Dick Cheneys too: "[DeBusk] said the three had been out shooting deer in Mr. Cloyd's S.U.V. prior to the fires." They are the NRA!

"That's What We Get For Voting Republican"

Another Republican lightweight who can't take the heat:

State Assemblyman Peter J. Biondi, a Republican from Somerset County, recently introduced legislation that would require any "public forum Web site" to solicit the legal name and addresses of everyone who can post messages to it.

What irks Biondi, a top Republican in the state assembly, is the political free-for-all that has grown around the New Jersey Star-Ledger's discussion site at NJ.com. The site's forum for Somerset County -- that is, Biondi's home district -- is home to a slew of pseudonymous posts that tend to be less than kind to local politicians.

When news reports revealed that Somerset County Sheriff Frank Provenzano appropriated more than $5,000 from a petty cash account to pay for his dry cleaning, the NJ.com posts were not flattering. One message from "nodoubletalk" called Provenzano a "thief, plain and simple," while one from "xyzzy" quipped: "That's what we get for voting Republican."

Just like a top Republican, attacking his constituents for speaking their minds.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Pest in Show

Congratulations to Tom DeLay for his last election victory ever.

The tiny toxic Texan blames the "politics of personal destruction" for his dismal showing. (He prefers the politics of personal corruption.)

More than 1 in 3 Republicans voted against the Bugchaser in the G.O.P. primary, a result that, according to the Bugchaser, reveals the "full faith" of the voters. But will the 38 percent of the Pukes who voted against DeLay do the right thing in the general election, or will they fall behind the impotent, indicted thug?

Democrat Nick Lampson, who leads the Bugchaser by eight in Houston Chronicle poll, says "I'm looking forward to that headline on November 8th: 'No Further DeLay.'"

Podwhoresit

John Podhoretz fluffing Lorne Michaels:

A new sitcom premiered tonight on ABC called "Sons and Daughters," and judging from the two episodes shown, it could end up being the best network comedy since "Seinfeld." Clever, screamingly funny, as merciless at moments as "Curb Your Enthusiasm" but surprisingly touching at other moments, "Sons and Daughters" is made in a most unusual way. As is the case with "Curb," the cast improvises the dialogue. But the show actually films for 14 hours and the directors then pick and choose the best lines and moments from dozens of improvs -- an inspired use of improvisation, which is brilliant at moments and agonizing at others. Eliminate the agony and you can have sheer joy. Very exciting stuff. Watch it.

I wonder why. (Actually, I don't.)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Daisy Chain

Today is the publication date of a book so important that it has forwards from both Newt Gingrich and Ed Meese. The reviews are unanimous:

"This remarkable book is one of the most important to be published in this or any other year." -- Newt Gingrich, from his Foreword

"A timely and timeless read. Getting America Right looks back to identify the core values, enshrined by the Founding Fathers, that set America on the path to greatness. And it looks forward, outlining how to get back on the freedom trail blazed by the Founders." -- Sean Hannity

"An eye-opening, at times shocking look at how far our government has moved away from the core values and principles that have guided us throughout most of our history." -- Edwin Meese III, former attorney general, from his Foreword

"This outstanding book provides a valuable compass for conservatives to confidently lead America forward. Adhering to principles and lessons from history, we the people of the United States can secure our freedom in a true land of opportunity for all." -- Senator George Allen

"A unique, insightful handbook on civil obligations good for the next fifty years." --William F. Buckley Jr.

"An acute and inspiring analysis of the means of achieving the right balance between government intervention and individual self-reliance. It reminds us that the greatest nations are those rooted in a moral core of belief, from which policy and action subsequently flow." -- Baroness Margaret Thatcher

"Ed Feulner is a visionary and great advocate for beseiged regimes founded on traditional values, and good value for money too. Ed personally assured me that no kikes were involved in the publishing of this book." -- Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad

And I'll bet at least one of them has read the book.

Wal-Mart: The Low Cost of Rightwing Blogwhores

Wal-Mart, fine purveyor of labor law violations, union busting and crap merchandise, doesn't pay any more than it has to for anything. Which is why it pays full value for rightwing bloggers: Nothing.

Brian Pickrell, a blogger, recently posted a note on his Web site attacking state legislation that would force Wal-Mart Stores to spend more on employee health insurance. "All across the country, newspaper editorial boards -- no great friends of business -- are ripping the bills," he wrote.

It was the kind of pro-Wal-Mart comment the giant retailer might write itself. And, in fact, it did.

Several sentences in Mr. Pickrell's Jan. 20 posting -- and others from different days -- are identical to those written by an employee at one of Wal-Mart's public relations firms and distributed by e-mail to bloggers.But some bloggers are also defensive about their contacts with Wal-Mart....

When they learned that The New York Times was looking at how they were using information from the retailer, several bloggers posted items challenging The Times's article before it had appeared. One blog, Iowa Voice, run by Mr. Pickrell, pleads for advertisers to buy space on the blog in anticipation of more traffic because of the article.

The genius behind this scheme brags about how he gets the conservawhores to post his items for free. And the article quotes Instacracker, who brags about how he turned down a visit to Wal-Mart HQ that he would have to pay for himself. Glenn's exclusive to the RNC, and very ethical.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

8.41 p.m. --

Mister Ed, the ultimate show-biz insider cum call center stooge cum pretend pirate, looks to the future:

"When David Letterman bombed at the Oscars, he had a multimillion-dollar contract at CBS to cushion his fall. Will Jon Stewart survive this disaster? Should he survive it? To me, this just demonstrates how overrated Stewart is. Remind me again why the Academy had to settle for a cable-talk-show host, considering the talent supposedly represented by the AMPAS."

Yeah, too bad Stewart doesn't have one of those multimillion-dollar CBS contracts to cushion his fall. He'll be lucky to get a job in Mister Ed's Kings of Komedy Call Center.

8.19 p.m. -- Brent Bozell is flopping around on top of Krauthammer. Yes, in that way.
8.18 p.m. -- Ang Lee wins Best Director.
8.15 p.m. -- That Ronald McDonald statue Ann Coulter was blowing just appeared in a commercial.
8.08 p.m. -- Best Dark Adapted Screenplay: Brokeback Mountain.

(Boy, I thought it would be easier being funny. Larry McMurty doesn't look like I expected. Lar gives a shoutout to the book.)

7:58 p.m. -- Reese Witherspoon wins. Thanks T-Bone Burnett.
7.47 p.m. -- Philip Seymour Hoffman wins Best Actor for Capote, for those without a television.
7.40 p.m. -- I don't usually go in for blegging, but if anyone can help a brother out and introduce me to Ziyi Zhang, that would be super.
7.33 p.m. -- No Theo Van Gogh in the In Memoriam clips! Cue the phoney-baloney outrage.
7.24 p.m. -- Excellent performance of "It's Hard Out Here For A John" by Neil Bush, Dick Morris and Dick Dasen Snr.
6:56 p.m. -- Oscar Math: Truman Capote x (J. Edgar Hoover - Joseph McCarthy) = Nancy Grace.
6.53 p.m. -- Does Barbara Walters have a special on after this? I can't imagine any other reason for dragging this thing out so long.
6:39 p.m. -- In addition to biographical films, Hollywood apparently also makes films noir and political films.
6:34 a.m. -- James Wolcott does it better, and with a Norman Podhoretz anecdote.

Update: James speaks truth to filler: "Enough with the montages!"

6.19 p.m. -- Norman Corwin wins an Oscar.
6.09 a.m. -- Charles Krauthammer continues to flop about on the floor.
6.08 p.m. -- Rachel Weisz wins for her role in The Constant Gardener.
6.01 p.m. -- Technical awards. Heading to the bathroom.
5.51 p.m. -- Apparently real people have been the subject of motion pictures.
5.47 p.m. -- Bruce Tinsley says that men don't watch the Oscars. I'd like to see him say that to John Podhoretz's face.
5.40 p.m. -- True. But this sucks even worse.
5.30 p.m. -- The Oscar for biggest pile of shit goes to Glenn Reynolds, in King Kracker:

"The press had better hope we win this war, because if we don't, a lot of people will blame the media."

(Via Washington Monthly; no link to the cracker.)

5.21 p.m. -- Charles Krauthammer falls out of his chair.
5.20 p.m. -- George Clooney wins a Oscar.

Blogging-The-Oscars-In-Real-Time

5.15 p.m. -- Not much happening so far.

Another Illusion Shattered

Thomas Kincade is a wild-and-crazy guy, allegedly:

In sworn testimony and interviews, they recount incidents in which an allegedly drunken Kinkade heckled illusionists Siegfried & Roy in Las Vegas, cursed a former employee's wife who came to his aid when he fell off a barstool, and palmed a startled woman's breasts at a signing party in South Bend, Ind.

And then there is Kinkade's proclivity for "ritual territory marking," as he called it, which allegedly manifested itself in the late 1990s outside the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim.

"This one's for you, Walt," the artist quipped late one night as he urinated on a Winnie the Pooh figure, said Terry Sheppard, a former vice president for Kinkade's company, in an interview.

...

"I think it was Roy or Siegfried or whatever had a codpiece in his leotards," Dandois testified. "And so when the show started, Thom just started yelling, 'Codpiece, codpiece,' and had to be quieted by his mother and Nanette."

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Sad news. Linda Smith of BBC Radio 4's News Quiz has died of ovarian cancer. She was 48.

You can listen to some of her work here.

The 2005 Koufax Awards

Voting has opened.

I'll be blogging them in real time too.

I hate to sound intolerant, but I have no sympathy, no empathy and no use for any of the people in this article.
A revolution in the blogging arts

In order to make up for the lack of content lately, I've invented a concept that will revolutionize blogging as we know it. It involves blogging a live event as it happens. I call it: blogging in real time. As far as I can tell, it's never been done.

This is going to be big, my friends. Big!

To start out slowly, I'm going to blog-in-real-time (or "birt") Sunday night's Oscar telecast. The Oscars may seem far afield from this blog's core mission -- whatever that is. But every "C" list wingnut has offered a curdled opinion on the proceedings. Every one. Every one. etc. (Warning: Links contain spoilers. And whiners.) el-Bent Bozell already has the baby oil, the baby wipes and the baby defibrillator at his bedside in case anything homosexual wins. So there is a tie-in.

What will make this event even more revolutionary is that I haven't seen a single 2005 movie, either in theaters or on DVD. That's at least two less than TBogg. I am less qualified to have an opinion on 2005 films than anyone on any subject, with the exception of Michelle Malkin on any subject.

Come Sunday night, Roger Ailes will be the place to be for cineastry. (Hey, that's a new word!) The Governor's Ball will be unattended, except for Mickey Kaus begging for a job of some sort, and Swifty Lazar's no longer with us. The Vanity Fair party was canceled due to Prop. 65 violations.

For added excitement, I'm going to use the word Oscars without the permission of AMPAS. Bite me, AMPAS!

Don't miss it.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Once again my parents have failed me:

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones/AP) - The New York Times Co. paid Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. a salary and bonus of $1.6 million for 2005.

The New York-based media company also said he received options on 150,000 shares and got a grant of restricted stock units valued at $817,500.

That works out $25,000 per worthless David Brooks column, or $2.00 per Judy Miller-martyr reference. Or half the fees of Floyd Abrams and Bill Bennett.

Bad Column Writing

Can one graduate from Harvard with the writing skills of Kaye Grogan? Michael Kalin makes the case:

Throughout his formal education, Goldberg stayed up-to-date on national politics through nightly coverage on "The Daily Show" and even led a petition to protest the genocide in Darfur.

Led a petition?

The tragedy of this portrait is not that investment banking corrupts young souls (although one could argue otherwise), but rather that the students who abandon politics out of a naive self-consciousness often represent our country's most idealistic minds.

That's Abe Rosenthal bad!

Observers since the days of de Tocqueville have often remarked about America's unique dissociation between politicians and citizens of "outstanding character."

You just can't shut those observers up once they get started on that topic.

Although Stewart's comedic shticks may thus earn him some laughs Sunday at the Oscars, his routine will certainly not match the impact of his greatest irony: Jon Stewart undermines any remaining earnestness that liberals in America might still possess.

I hate it when shticks undermine earnestness.

Stewart's daily dose of political parody characterized by asinine alliteration leads to a "holier than art thou" attitude toward our national leaders.

Hmmmm... this almost sounds like a parody.

Of a Stanford grad.

Sadly, No! has more.

Update: One of the commenters at Sadly, No! already made the Grogan comparison. Advantage: Commentosphere!

I Bought It On (R)Bay!

The U.S. Department of Justice has announced the opening of the largest internet auction site in history. The site is called (R)Bay, and it will feature auctions of the ill-gotten gains of convicted Republicans.

Randy "Duke" Cunningham's ill-gotten French antique commodes and other furnishings will be auctioned off in three weeks, authorities said yesterday.

The commodes -- a type of chest of drawers -- drew snickers from late-night comedians when the former congressman pleaded guilty to conspiracy and tax evasion last fall.

The furnishings were among the more than $2.4 million in bribes that the former congressman admitted taking from defense contractors.

Dozens of pieces of furniture and rugs that once stuffed his Arlington, Va., condominium and later were moved into Cunningham's Rancho Santa Fe mansion were turned over to the government as part of his guilty plea.

They are scheduled to be auctioned off March 23 at a warehouse in Rancho Dominguez, near Long Beach, with prospective buyers able to preview them two days earlier and on the Internet now.

"The only people who are restricted from bidding on this are Congressman Cunningham or anyone acting on his behalf or any of the other defendants," said Britney Sheehan, a spokeswoman for auctioneer EG&G Technical Services.

Although experts have estimated the value of the items, she said she couldn't reveal that because she didn't want it to affect bidding.

The proceeds will go to the agencies that investigated Cunningham. They are the FBI, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation branch and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service.

Bidding on the Ney and DeLay collections begins later this spring.

(And coming this fall to RNCAmerica: "Plea Bargain Hunt," "Graft In The Attic" and "The Hammer Under The Hammer.")

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Fair Enough

Jack Shafer says The New Republic has become Joe Lieberman Weekly. Shafer appears to mean it as a compliment.

I think I'd rather subscribe to The New Lamont.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Kneel and Moon

It's the end times. Dogs and Santorums, living together in sin. Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media linking to John Gorenfeld. Cliffie writes:

The skirting of the law has enabled critics of the deal, such as Lou Dobbs of CNN, to suggest that Bush family ties to the UAE are involved. CNN reporter Christine Romans did a report on Dobbs' show alleging that the President's brother, Neil Bush, has reportedly received funding for his educational software company from UAE investors. Neil Bush, however, is a loose cannon in the Bush family, and recently showed up on a tour with controversial Korean cult leader Sun Myung Moon after going through a messy divorce. It's hard to believe that this black sheep of the Bush family would have that much influence. If there is a connection between Neil Bush and the deal, the controversy could quickly turn into "Portgate."
(Link to Gorenfeld's alternet article in original.)

The laughable premise here is Cliffie's suggestion that Kneel is the only Bush with ties to Moon. Ha!

The Nation Speaks As One

"Miserable failure," it says:

Mr. Bush's overall job rating has fallen to 34 percent, down from 42 percent last month. Fifty-nine percent disapprove of the job the president is doing.

For the first time in this poll, most Americans say the president does not care much about people like themselves. Fifty-one percent now think he doesn't care, compared to 47 percent last fall.

Just 30 percent approve of how Mr. Bush is handling the Iraq war, another all-time low.

By two to one, the poll finds Americans think U.S. efforts to bring stability to Iraq are going badly -- the worst assessment yet of progress in Iraq.

Even on fighting terrorism, which has long been a strong suit for Mr. Bush, his ratings dropped lower than ever. Half of Americans say they disapprove of how he's handling the war on terror, while 43 percent approve.
On the bright side, over 80 percent of al-Qaeda members approve of Bush's handling of the war on terror.

And there's good news for Dead-Eye Dick:

In a bright spot for the administration, most Americans appeared to have heard enough about Vice President Dick Cheney's hunting accident.

And this:

Still, the incident appears to have made the public's already negative view of Cheney a more so [sic]. Just 18 percent said they had a favorable view of the vice president, down from 23 percent in January.

The Dick is still more popular with the public than pedophiles and Tom DeLay. So that's encouraging.

My favorite bit of William F. Buckley's ballyhooed column on the miserable failure's miserable failure.

"It would not be surprising to learn from an anonymously cited American soldier that he can understand why Saddam Hussein was needed to keep the Sunnis and the Shiites from each others' throats."

Buckley lacks the balls to attribute that opinion to himself, so he puts the words in the mouth of a hypothetical soldier. And tortures the language to do so. The truth is, it wouldn't be noteworthy to learn of a solider having such an opinion. (Nor can you learn a fact from an opinion.) But if any serviceman or woman expressed that belief, the NR crowd would demand the punishment of that soldier for criticizing the Commander-in-Chief.

Go ahead Bill, say "I understand why Saddam Hussein was needed to keep the Sunnis and Shiites from each others' throats." Don't be such a coward your whole life.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Checking out NewsMeat for other famous people who have made party-directed political contributions, we see the following:

Exclusively Democratic:

Sherwood Schwartz (over 125k)
Christie Brinkley
Michael Douglas
Michael Crichton
Bob Saget
Albert Brooks
Roy Horn
Ron Silver
Harold Ramis
Nancy Sinatra

Exclusively Republican:

Bob Barker
Sammy Hagar
Dean Koontz
Bobby Knight
John Elway
Alex Rodriguez
Mario Andretti
Al Michaels
Curt Gowdy
"Dr." Phil
Wink Martindale
Vince McMahon
Lou Pearlman
Merv Griffin
Jack Abramoff
7,100:1 Pro-Republican Ratio
Steve Forbes (The sole D recipient was named Forbes)

Nader Supporters:

Noam Chomsky
Danny Goldberg
Ben Stein
Shorter Cathy Seipp: Little faggot bookstore clerks need to learn their place and show deference to normal people for the freedom we allow them.

The original:

Strangest of all is the scenario of such a person disliking an author for defending Western civilization against radical Islam -- when one of the first things those poor, persecuted Islamists would do, if they ever (Allah forbid) came to power in the United States, is crush suspected homosexuals like him beneath walls.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

A moron says what?

"If ricin was packed into a roll of quarters unknowingly,... Wouldn't you think that would be considered a terrorist act?"
Geez O'Petes! Who or what do I have to screw to get a book deal?

What's next, Kaye Grogan's Hands Off My Caftan, PETA?

Don Knotts (1924-2006)

Don Knotts died Friday night in Beverly Hills of pulmonary and respiratory complications. He was 81.

The actor, who played landlord Mr. Furley on TV's Three's Company, won five Emmys in the 1960s for his portrayal of deputy Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show.

Former costar Andy Griffith was at Knotts's bedside when he died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, as were his third wife, Francie, and his children, Thomas and Karen.

I always liked Don.

(Unnecessary political tie-in. This too.)

Roger Reviews: The Professors

I was at Borders today and spotted Crazy Davy Horowitz's latest tome, The Professors. I spent a little bit of time scanning it, but don't have a laptop so I couldn't make detailed notes. Thus, the following is from memory.

From what I gleaned, many of the professors on the list were guilty of criticizing Bush and his war in Iran or saying something offensive (to Davy) about 9/11, the U.S. or Israel. Having a history with the Black Panthers and/or being a 60s radical are also a big no-nos, unless you're the author of the book. Teaching queer theory or feminism or black history is beyond the pasty pundit's pale. And I didn't see a lot of discussion about what actually transpired in the professors' classrooms, although there were a few references to syllabi and test questions.

A few of the alleged quotes from the profs were genuinely distasteful, but a lot more seemed to be selectively edited and many more than that seemed right on the money.

As I am unfamiliar with many of these professors or their alleged quotes, it's hard to tell how accurate the book is. The endnotes are often worthless, referencing an entire book without a page cite or citing to one of Crazy D's earlier books rather than an original source. (Not that I'd waste my time checking the cites.)

One example I am familiar with makes me suspicious about the accuracy of the entire book. In "his" piece on Orville Schell, Dean of the Berkeley J-School, Crazy Davy tells how the U.C. search committee refused to even interview an unnamed "qualified conservative" candidate for the position that went to Schell. Passing over the qualified conservative led to a lawsuit against U.C. by Crazy Davy's Individual Rights Foundation, until the qualified conservative bailed on the lawsuit.

Of course, that tale has nothing to do with Schell's qualifications for the job, but Davy's got pages to fill. But why doesn't Davy name the qualified conservative? Because that man is Michael Savage, the lunatic racist who even Bobo Brooks calls a "radio hatemonger." Savage isn't qualified to clean the crappers in the Bear's Lair.

If the rest of Horowitz's book is as dishonest as that particular passage, then ... well, really, it's nothing new.

The book also has Regnery hallmark of shoddy editing. Dinesh d'Souza is identified as "Dinesh n'tsouza" and the phrase "captured Taliban fighters who were captured...." is used. In one of the pieces, Crazy D refers to himself in the third person, as if someone else had written the entry. I expect it will be a few months before stacks of The Professors sit next to stacks of Bernie Goldberg's Arrogance, going unsold at $3.99.

Rating: No Stars

Retarded

Here's a quote to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of National Review:

"In the Deep South the Negroes are, by comparison with the whites, retarded. . . . Leadership in the South, then, quite properly, rests in white hands. Upon the white population this fact imposes moral obligations of paternalism, patience, protection, devotion, sacrifice."

How little has changed.

(via George Fwill, of all people.)

Here's some more Klanuttery from today's Moonie Times:

It is just as well Harriet Beecher Stowe knew nothing about Mary Chesnut.

The child of fervently puritanical parents and driven by her abolitionist beliefs to write "Uncle Tom's Cabin," Stowe created an incredibly successful and influential novel although she had no firsthand knowledge of her subject. It was serialized in the National Era in 1851, in the year before it appeared in book form.

Stowe was convinced that all slaveholders were brutish oppressors (as some undoubtedly were), but what would she have made of Mary Boykin Miller, who as a young girl taught slaves on two plantations to read and write although this was strictly forbidden in South Carolina? Both she and the man she married were opposed to slavery.

Yes, the Chesnuts were so opposed to slavery that they taught the slaves they owned to read.

Because I'm opposed to violence, I'll drive Peter Cliffe to the hospital after I beat the shit out of him. And then I'll do it again.

Hyatt Riot

Looking for an upscale space for your next Klan rally, Stormfront soiree or MalkinCon? Hyatt hotels has got a deal for you!

McLEAN, Va. -- The Hyatt hotel chain has come under fire for agreeing to host a conference this weekend sponsored by a white supremacist group.

The conference in the Washington suburb of Herndon is sponsored by the Oakton, Va.-based New Century Foundation, whose leader says the white race is losing its identity in the United States because of multiculturalism and immigration.
...

Hyatt spokeswoman Lori Armon said the opinions of those at the conference do not necessarily reflect those of the Hyatt Corp. "However, we do not discriminate against any of our guests or organizations with which our guests are affiliated," she said.

That's mighty white of you, Lor. I guess that's what Hyatt calls diversity.

The event promises to be the largest ever -- and that's just counting the contingent from the Moonie Times.

The keynoter at this year's event will be Charles Krauthammer, who will speak on "The White Man's Burden, The White Man's Solution."

(Tnanks to a reader for the tip.)

Friday, February 24, 2006

Interesting campaign for the film version of Chris "Baby Daddy" Buckley's comic novel, Thank You For Smoking.

One of the lame gimmicks at the film's website is a series of "Great Moments In Spin" e-cards, including the following one:

There's also a banner ad running that reads: "President Bush says he's presently surprised by how good New Orleans looks these days. That's coming from the man who thinks things look great in Iraq too."

Certainly these are cynical uses of current events to promote a film rather than a sincere condemnation of Bush's high crimes, foreign and domestic. (And it worked, since I mentioned the film.) If anything, the campaign's disrespectful of the victims of Bush's crimes.

But it's certainly not an example of liberal Hollywood. The film's directed by the son of Ahnold apologist Ivan Reitman (making it an all-nepotism production). And the promoters include a Clinton gag card as well.

One might expect the Bush part of the ad campaign to be met with squeals of horror from the phony outrage pimps on the Fox News Channel, but the film's producer is Fox Searchlight. And with Ol' Dirty Buckley's ties to the project, Cousin Itt Bozell will be gagged as well. (I also see Dennis Miller's got a bit part "as himself," portraying an unfunny talk host.) Expect not a peep from the pimps.

Delusions of Persecution

The voices in Peggy Noonan's head are cross...and they're going to make Peggy pay.

Yesterday, TBogg linked to Peggy Noonan's latest self-pitiful exercise in nailing herself to the cross, in which all the nasty lumpenfolk bruised Old Peg's sensitive feelings by "yelling" at her. But the abuse was all in her broken head.

Check out Peg's choices of verbs and adverbs: "curtly," "barked," "yelled at," "yelling," "yelled," "snap," "impatiently," "yelling," "yelling," "yells," "shouts," "twisted in anger." I understand that everything sounds louder and everyone seems meaner when you've got a constant hangover and you're jonesing for another cig, Peggy, but those people are just doing their jobs.

Now read the article with Peg's victimhood omitted:

A woman in an airport security uniform patrolled on the left, professionally instructing us to move to the right. A cleaning crew on the right requested, "Coming through, move please!" We stood nervously wherever we wouldn't be in the way. No one tried to help us, to calm the fears of those about to miss their flights. There was a lot of requests intended to expedite the process -- "I need your ID open and faced forward! No, you must put that in the bin!"

I know it's a bitch when janitors speak to you without leave and you've got to queue with the unwashed who so brutally ignored your last book, but you've got to face the fact that air travel can't be delivered to you like a case of Ancient Age.

So how do I know for a fact that every single working peon in two airports wasn't rude to Old Peg? The same way I know that Holy Dolphins aren't possessed to perform miracles on command.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Konservative Komedy Korner

Over at Clownhall.com, Hollywood insider Cheryl Felicia Rhoads is touting the comedy stylings of far-right funnyman Evan Sayet. Sayet has been tapped to headline at David Horowitz's rescheduled Restoration Weekend, where he will "entertain the likes of Michael Barone, Tammy Bruce and Phyllis Chesler to name just a few."

Sayet's "also a popular blogger and lecturer" (who isn't!) and he's generous enough to share some of his "A" material on the 'net.

Here's Evan on the Moslem:

The folks at the Times, et al, know that if the people actually saw the silly, innocuous cartoons then the Moslem would be, yet again, exposed as exceptionally dangerous and willing to commit the most exceptional of crimes because of their exceptional viciousness. This cannot be allowed. And THIS is the reason the Antique Media refuses to provide their readers/viewers with salient and vital information.

It's the funny because its the true.

Evan on the Demonrats:

Democrats ALWAYS Side With Evil/Wrong and Failed

If you don't know the Democrats' position on any particular issue simply ask yourself "what's the worst option" and that will be the Democrats'.

Anything that's successful -- Wal-Mart, Israel, America, etc. -- they are against. Anything that is failed -- Tookie Williams, ebonics, the Palestinians -- they are for.

Evan could use a few writing tips from ebonics; but at least he's cutting-edge topical.

Evan on the destruction of civilization:

This idea of "living for today" is what is behind the left's arguments for homosexual marriage -- something that may well destroy civilization TOMORROW but for today, well, it feels good. And it explains why the left's ideological brethren in France would refuse to get up from their Chablis to go check on their parents during a heatwave that saw 15,000 of their moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas suffocate to death two summers ago.

Zing!

Why is Evan only charging $10 a head for this comedy gold? And why isn't he on CNBC?

Evan on the lighter side of death:

(In fairness, while the socialists in places like Canada and France have offered not a single scientific advancement of note in a long, long time, there are American scientists whose computer models suggest that one is expected by around the turn of the twenty-fourth century -- about the same time that the first person is expected to die from second-hand smoke and the first non-intravenous drug-using heterosexual in the Western World is expected to contract AIDS.)

I'd like to see Jerry Seinfeld or Jon Stewart get as many laughs out of a "die, fags" routine.

Rhoads informs us that "the formerly liberal Sayet switched his political allegiances after September 11th, 2001." Yes, Sayet's another el-Simon wingnut: "I used to consider myself a Democrat, but thanks to 9/11, I'm outraged by Chappaquiddick."

But Evan's not just a comedian, he's an historian too:

From the light bulb to the television, from the personal computer to the internet, virtually every scientific innovation of the last century has come from the religious folks in America. If it were up to the French, the Swedes or the Spanish the "enlightened" would quite literally still be sitting in the dark.

Or maybe that's part of his comedy routine; I'm not sure.

I hope Crazy Davy Horowitz, Michael Barone and Tammy Bruce enjoy Sayet's gags about dying faggots and Frogs, dem illiterate Negroids and the bloodthirsty Moslem race. The culture wars will still be there to fight after the warm glow of laughter fades away.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

All The Rage

This David Ignatius column makes me so mad that I can't see straight:

A second explanation of the connectedness paradox comes from Charles M. McLean, who runs a trend-analysis company called Denver Research Group Inc....

McLean argues that the Internet is a "rage enabler." By providing instant, persistent, real-time stimuli, the new technology takes anger to a higher level. "Rage needs to be fed or stimulated continually to build or maintain it," he explains. The Internet provides that instantaneous, persistent poke in the eye. What's more, it provides an environment in which enraged people can gather at cause-centered Web sites and make themselves even angrier. The technology, McLean notes, "eliminates the opportunity for filtering or rage-dissipating communications to intrude." I think McLean is right. And you don't have to travel to Cairo to see how the Internet fuels rage and poisons reasoned debate. Just take a tour of the American blogosphere.

The connected world is inescapable, like the global economy itself. But if we can begin to understand how it undermines political stability -- how it can separate elites from masses, and how it can enhance rage rather than reason -- then perhaps we will have a better chance of restabilizing a very disorderly world.

Oh, for the good old days -- pre-1990s -- a time when our sectarian wars and riots and lynchings and genocides were civilized affairs, based on pure, sweet reason. Oh, paradise lost!

I'd like to apologize personally to David Ignatius and Tom Friedman and Francis Fukuyama and Thomas P.M. Barnett and, most of all, to Charles M. McLean, who runs a trend-analysis company called Denver Research Group Inc., for coarsening the discourse. It was wrong of me to think that my opinions might be worth consideration even though I knew I didn't have a book contract. Clearly, it was my rage that blinded me to the fact that I was poisoning reasoned debate and undermining political stability and separating elites from masses.

And I was such a nice fellow before October 2002; really, I was.

Let the healing begin.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Face Time

An inbred hillbilly who pretends he's not a conservative writes:

"If you want to start on that, you might take a look at PorkBusters Hall of Shame Grand Prize Winner Ted Stevens (R-AK) and ask if he's the best face for the Republican Party. Because right now, he is the face of the Republican Party."

(Italics in original, no link to the inbred hillbilly.)

Yes, neither the President of the United States nor the Vice President nor the Senate Majority Leader nor the Speaker of the House nor the House Majority Leader nor the soon-to-be-convicted former House Majority Leader is the face of the Republican Party. The face of the Republican Party is a senator from Alaska whose face and name wouldn't be recognized by 1 out of 20 Americans.

But what else would you expect from a fake libertarian who earns his daily bread and subsidizes his blog by sucking at the public teat?

All Access Bribe Pass

I saw Josh Marshall's link to this article concerning the Abramoff/Mahathir Mohamad connection about a hour and 15 minutes ago, and was going to comment on the Malaysian regime's ties to Ed Feulner and the Whoritage Foundation.

But Matt Yglesias and Atrios already have it covered.

The questions remain: How much of the $1.2 million made it into White House hands, and whose hands?

More Feulner fun here.

Bonus Fun:: A link to a different version of the A.P. article is up at Whoritage's purported spin-off, Clownhall.com. (And dig the Freudian reference to "two confessional trips to Malaysia.") I wonder how long it will take Clownhall to scrub that link.

David Irving and Deborah Howell: Separated at Birth

David Irving pleads guilty, concedes 'I made a mistake'

Monday, February 20, 2006

Kausphobes

Mickey Kaus goes bobbing for apples at his favorite racist bulletin board, Lucianne.com, and surfaces with two pet hates clenched between his teeth.

The stunted blogger writes:

Harmonic convergence of right-wing isssues: Gay marriage becomes immigration loophole in UK. ... "Immigrants face less rigorous tests if they seek to gain British citizenship through a civil partnership," notes the Sunday Times--though I doubt the additional "consummation" requirement for heteros is rigorously enforced. ... Isn't the problem simply that a gay-union loophole multiplies the number of possibilities for sham marriages (and probably by more than a factor of 2, because it's less of a psychological effort for heteros to room with a same-sex pal for two years than to feign marriage with an opposite-sex pal)? ... [via Lucianne] 12:23 P.M.

Wasn't it just last week that the diminutive one was, in his latest slam of Brokeback Mountain, telling us how all straight-thinking heterosexual straights like himself were filled with innate revulsion for all things gay?

If you think the visceral straight male reaction against male homosexual sex has effectively disappeared--look at Plano, etc.--you won't spend a lot of time trying to figure out the possible deep-seated, even innate, sources of resistance to liberalization, and you'll tend to be surprised and baffled by their persistence.

Of course, Kaus blows hot and cold on his fascination for the gay. Days earlier he was chastizing the Los Angeles Times for leaving out the details of a same-sex encounter between a bisexual film director and a cop:

Why We Are Still Not Willing to Pay 50 cents for the Los Angeles Times in Los Angeles: The director of the James Bond movie "Die Another Day,"--as well as "XXX: State of the Union," "Mulholland Falls," and "Once Were Warriors"--is arrested "after allegedly dressing as a woman and offering sex to an undercover Los Angeles police officer in exchange for money." (Apparently he's selling, not buying!) The mighty local monopoly paper gives it ... two sentences buried in a news roundup on page B4. Too interesting! People might talk about it.**

P.S.: The New York Daily News, operating on an East Coast deadline, managed to generate a whole page on the busted director.

Maybe it was the cowboy part that repulsed Kaus. He can't enough of a story about blowjobs between urban male professionals.

Kaus might explain his apparent contradiction if he believes scheming foreigners don't share his clear-minded, genetic revulsion to all things gay. But Kaus himself doesn't claim that -- He imagines a universal psychologically-based preference for same-sex platonic roommates.

Perhaps Kaus's next post can address the rampant proliferation of phony same-sex pairings at companies offering benefits for gay domestic partners, such as, say, Kaus's employer, The Washington Post Company. If Kaus doesn't believe there's a tie between national origin and benefits fraud, surely he must believe that unmarried American heteros have been pairing off with same-gender friends in recent years to reap lucrative partnership benefits.

I'd give Kaus the benefit of the doubt on the immigration angle, except for the fact he frequents (or at least promotes) the bigot's bulletin board.

"History Is Like A Constantly Changing Tree"

And David Irving is like a pyromanic in a forest.

Some good reporting from the Associated Press, which isn't afraid to call David Irving what he is: a right-wing British historian:

VIENNA, Austria -- A right-wing British historian said Monday he would plead guilty to criminal charges of denying the Holocaust as his trial opened in Vienna.

David Irving, 67, told reporters he now acknowledges that the Nazis systematically slaughtered Jews during World War II. "History is like a constantly changing tree," he said as an eight-member jury and a panel of three judges prepared to hear charges that could put him behind bars for up to 10 years.

Irving has been in custody since his arrest in November on charges stemming from two speeches he gave in Austria in 1989 in which he was accused of denying the Nazis' extermination of 6 million Jews.

A verdict could come later Monday.

Irving's trial comes amid new - and fierce - debate over freedom of expression in Europe, where the printing and reprinting of unflattering cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad has triggered violent protests worldwide.

I'd oppose the criminal law on principle, but I've got no sympathy for Irving. He could've stayed clear of Austria, but chose to return to the country to spread his propaganda, knowing the consequences.

Perhaps his time in prison will allow him to finish his memoir. It did wonders for his fellow right-wing fraud, Jeffrey Archer. (Not so much for Judy Miller, though.)

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Dick Cheney IS The Beerhunter

"Go fuck yourselves, you hosers."

And, thanks to Bruce Webb, here are the Blogger-deleted comments to this post:

Eh eh. Indeed.

ahab 02.17.06 - 5:19 pm

...

Funny, Lynne actually looks like a slab of Back Bacon.

Pechorin 02.17.06 - 6:39 pm

...

On the twelfth day of Christmas

Dick Cheney gave to me

a buttload of birdshot for free

(pause)

And a beer.

Jo Fish Homepage -- 02.17.06 - 6:46 pm

...

Beerhunter.

LOL! Those fools at the Wyoming State Legislature gave the Beerhunter a standing ovation. For what, exactly?

Cybelle 02.18.06 - 12:23 am

...

Marksmanship.

doghouse riley Homepage 02.18.06 - 1:18 am

...

Kooooo Loo Koo Koo Kuu Koo Koo Koo!

CHENEY: G'day; I'm Dick Cheney, this is my friend Harry --

WHITTINGTON: Good Day, eh. Hey, that Lynn's a looker, eh. A 'good-time' girl, you know?

CHENEY: Okay; so, like, we're here -- we've got a six and whole buncha backbacon; and like I'm running the country, eh.

WHITTINGTON: I mean, like, I'm old, so it really takes some serious coal to get my Canadian Great Northern train runnin', eh. And what was that ambassador doin' with her hand down your pants, eh?

CHENEY: TAKE OFF!!! Okay. So I want to show you this new game to play; I call it 'The Beer-Hunter'. Okay; so its gotta be close to gettin' dark, eh -- and I like chug back this whole six, eh -- and you go stand over there --

WHITTINGTON: Like, over here?

CHENEY: No -- go long, eh!

WHITTINGTON: Here? Whatchoo doin' with that shotgun, Dick, eh?

CHENEY: Okay, just stand still, eh! Itz da game, eh... [Burps]

WHITTINGTON: Hey! Whataya gonna do with that gun, eh, you hoser?

CHENEY: [Burps] I'm Master Of The Universe, Eh !! I faked out everybody to invade Iraq! I'm runnin' the War On Terror; I'm like pissin' on the whole country; I'm untouchable, eh!! I'm a mighty BEER HUNTER!!! And you like think Lynn is hot, eh? TAKE OFF YOU HOSER!!!

[Shotgun discharges]

Nominal Chtulu 02.18.06 - 2:19 am

...

"I was the last one left after the nuclear holocaust, which I had caused, eh. The whole world had been destroyed, thanks to me. Fortunately, I had been offworld at the time. There wasn't much to do. All the quail and old lawyer had been destroyed. So's I spent most of my time looking for beer."

s.z. 02.18.06 - 4:19 am

...

From the same movie:

Dick Cheney: Fleshy-headed mutant. Are you friendly?

Tom DeLay: No way, eh? Radiation ... and corruption have made... me an enemy of civilization.

s.z. 02.18.06 - 4:24 am


I write letters:

Finally, the comments have returned.

Use of foul language is inappropriate under any circumstances. The Post is a family newspaper. Members of the Graham family would never resort to vulgarity to express themselves. I applaud the paper's use of profanity filters.

Cooler heads have prevailed, yet the Post still refuses to admit its fabrications.

Knowing that the Post refuses to do so forces one to question everything that is printed in the paper. The Post cannot re-earn its readers' trust if it will not admit wrongdoing.

Journalists must be completely candid when they are called on misstatements; Deborah Howell (who, admittedly is not a journalist) has not been.

I made a mistake, Howell claims. But she did not make a mistake. Her writing was deliberately false.

Mistake connotes an inadvertant or unintended error. When one writes, however, every word the deliberate product of one's mind, as is the decision to omit every word not used. Further, the decision to submit the finished product for publication is a second, deliberate act.

Because words have meanings, when one says that "Jack Abramoff gave campaign contributions to Democrats as well as Republicans" one means that Jack Abramoff gave campaign contributions to Democrats as well as Republicans. That statement simply is not true. Whether the statement is true or false, making the statement is a deliberate act, not a mistake. When the statement is false, one of two things happened. Either the writer knew the statement was false, and wanted to convey false information, or the writer didn't know the statement was true, and committed it to print without any regard (that is, reckless disregard) as to whether the statement was true or false.

Regardless of which occurred in Ms. Howell's false statements about Abramoff, causing the statement to be published was an act of dishonesty on Ms. Howell's part. Her actions were no better (and no worse) than those of Jayson Blair, Jack Kelley or Mr. Abramoff himself.

As the Post refuses to acknowledge that what Howell did was not a mistake, it cannot be trusted. Of course, Howell alone is not responsible to the paper's lack of credibility. Responsibility must be shared by Bob Woodward (who failed to tell his readers the truth about his role -- and his conflicts of interest -- in the Plame investigation) and Susan Schmidt (who tells us that Jack Abramoff was a benefactor to his religious community even though he used his religion to steal from his fellow Jews). I could go on, but those examples suffice.

Deborah Howell has been given a two-year contract as ombudsperson, and the Post must honor that contract, for both legal and moral reasons. A bad bargain is still a bargain.

Yet the Post is under no obligation to actually publish Howell's falsehoods. And when it does, it ratifies them. So the Post does allow Howell to speak for it.

I love that gag.

(Note: recreated from yesterday's Blogger-deleted post.)

Testing. Testing.

Anyone see the rightwing roundtable on Press the Meat? Prunella and Giglot vs. MoDo. What the hell was that?

We'll see how many posts this one removes.