Thursday, March 30, 2006
A Loose Canon
The American Bar Association's Model Code of Judicial Conduct, Canon 1:
A. An independent and honorable judiciary is indispensable to justice in our society. A judge should participate in establishing, maintaining and enforcing high standards of conduct, and shall personally observe those standards so that the integrity and independence of the judiciary will be preserved. The provisions of this Code are to be construed and applied to further that objective.
Deference to the judgments and rulings of courts depends upon public confidence in the integrity and independence of judges. The integrity and independence of judges depends in turn upon their acting without fear or favor. A judiciary of integrity is one in which judges are known for their probity, fairness, honesty, uprightness, and soundness of character.
Amid a growing national controversy about the gesture U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia made Sunday at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, the freelance photographer who captured the moment has come forward with the picture.
"It's inaccurate and deceptive of him to say there was no vulgarity in the moment," said Peter Smith, the Boston University assistant photojournalism professor who made the shot.
Smith was working as a freelance photographer for the Boston archdiocese's weekly newspaper at a special Mass for lawyers Sunday when a Herald reporter asked the justice how he responds to critics who might question his impartiality as a judge given his public worship.
"The judge paused for a second, then looked directly into my lens and said, 'To my critics, I say, 'Vaffanculo,' " punctuating the comment by flicking his right hand out from under his chin, Smith said.
The Italian phrase means "(expletive) you."
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Win A Trip To Nick Kristof's Libel Trial
Who says there's no good news?
The United States Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from The New York Times on Monday, allowing a libel suit by a former Army bioterrorism expert to go forward.
The suit, filed in 2003 by Steven J. Hatfill, accused Nicholas D. Kristof, an Op-Ed columnist for The Times, of implicating Dr. Hatfill in the unsolved anthrax attacks of 2001.
The suit was dismissed by a federal judge in Virginia in 2004. A divided three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, Va., reinstated the case in July, and the full court, by a 6-to-6 vote, declined to rehear it in October.
The trial court will now consider whether the statements were false and whether The Times was at fault for publishing them.
TimesSelect as a risk management tool. It all makes sense now.
By arguing that a devout Jackoff was offended 25 years ago by the profanity in Red Scorpion, the prosecution can point to Jackoff's more recent obscenity- and racial slur-filled e-mails.
By arguing that a 5-year old Jackoff expressed compassion for the elderly, you bring in the fact that the present-day Jackoff lobbied in favor of sweatshops and sexual exploitation in the Commonwealth of the North Mariana Islands.
By deploying a platoon of Rabbis to vouch for Jackoff, you call to mind Jackoff's impassioned defense of anti-Semitic dictators ("they pay their bills on time") and his alleged tax fraud in claiming deductions for non-existent charitiable donations.
Perhaps the prosecution has already covered that territory, or the defense is anticipating that it will. And if Jackoff wants to pay for a fantasy testimonial rather than a defense, it's his stolen money. But no sane judge is going to buy remorse from a defendant who keeps telling him/her what a great guy he is.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
Here's an excerpt from the brief (warning: .pdf file):
Unfortunately, Mrs. Abramoff's concerns about her children are not without foundation. Dr. Randi Ettner, a clinical psychologist who has been working with the children explains that "as Mr. Abramoff's difficulties escalated, and humiliation came daily with the morning news, [Levi] and the other four children began to suffer, as well. These young people are innocent victims of a steady barrage of ridicule, and they are being traumatized in subtle and obvious ways." (Dr. Ettner Ltr. of 3/13/06.) The toll of seeing their father vilified on a daily basis in the press, and the fear of the fate that awaits their family has depressed the Abramoff children's outlook on life. They are constantly reminded of their fate by the daily public assault on their father's name, including overhearing strangers' insensitivity and callousness when the word "Abramoff" is mentioned.
Whether it be a visit to the grocery store, where Mrs. Abramoff presents her credit card and receives queries as to whether she is related to the "evil lobbyist" by [sic] the same name, whether it be in front of the television for a respite from the onslaught only to hear George Clooney attack their father at the Golden Globe awards, or whether it is having to endure prying questions -- and sometimes outright taunts --of other children at school, the Abramoff family has had to endure pain most children cannot even imagine. (See, e.g., S. Abramoff Ltr.) How could proud parents endure knowing that one of their beloved sons feels such humiliation among his peers that he has sometimes claimed a different family name, just to avoid the awkward conversations that inevitably follow the mention of the word Abramoff? (D. Abramoff Ltr.)
For many of the children, this experience has shaken their confidence and even their faith. On a recent Sabbath dinner, when the Abramoff family was dining alone (which is unusual), the Abramoff children became visibly saddened when Mr. Abramoff expressed thanks to the Almighty for all they have received. As they tell the story, they wanted to know what they have to be thankful for. They explained that their life had been made a living hell, recounted what people were saying to them at school and what they had seen in the press. They reminded their father that he was going to jail. Seeing their parents devote every waking hour to charity and providing for so many; knowing that they themselves always shared their rooms, and often gave up their very beds for strangers in need; that their family was financially broken, that funds to allow them to attend college and start a life of their own were now gone; that one of their grandmothers had recently died and the others death may be quickly approaching; that their father was a crushed, broken man and no longer the dignified and elegant leader of his community -- they asked how could they possibly continue to praise G[o]d and thank Him for their bounty? What bounty?....
They explain that their father patiently listened to their justifiable complaints, and he explained that he understood how they felt and that the pain they are experiencing is not something anyone should be asked to endure, but Mr. Abramoff then reminded his children that they had a nice meal in front of them, a roof over their head and clothes on their backs. He told them they should be thankful they had each other and that they were all healthy. He explained that there are at least a billion people on this planet who would trade places with any one of them in a heart beat, and asked which of them would trade places this very night with kids their own
age, sitting, shivering, hungry, tired and confused -- children their ages who were sitting that night in the New Orleans Superdome, victims of Katrina. All their possessions gone. Their homes washed away. Members of their families missing. Nothing to eat. Nothing to wear. The stench of the Superdome shocking their system. Criminals roaming freely about them [, just like in their own home]. The Abramoff children explain that their father again asked, who would trade their lives for theirs?
The children understood, but after a pause one of them replied: "Yes, Dad, that is true. But it is also true that next year we might not have you here to teach us this lesson." At that point, the children explain that everyone in the family got choked up, everyone in the family began to cry. (Bracketed material added.)
Boo frickin' hoo. Maybe the lessons the little punks need to learn are that fraud has consequences, that their father is the sole reason for their suffering (not the media, or the public, or George Fucking Clooney) and that you can't always buy your way out of trouble no matter how many articulate lawyers you pay to lie for you.
Blogging As A Second Language
Although no one at all seems to care, Depends Media is still around.
A post today from "PJM in LA" has Roger el-Simon's writing written all over it:
During his review on Harvey C. Mansfield's Manliness, Yale at Horsefeathers recall a time when American society didn't have to think over masculinity too strenuously.
The post bears the illuminating title "Weight of the World."
Sadly, Depends doesn't have a permalinks to individual posts (a ridicule deterrent, undoubtedly); look for March 28 at 9:30 a.m. (Wrong! See comments.)
Other highlights from today's Depends: Cathy Seipp recaps her pissing match with various other half-wits in the comments at "Patterico's Pontifications," and "Confederate Yankee" bitches about how the New York Times wrote about a blogger without linking to the guy's blog. (Though the NYT does manage to spell the guy's name correctly, unlike Confederate Yankee at his own blog.)
As Dick Cheney would say, "the Old Media is in its last throes."
Update: Roger gets results! They've added an "s" to "recall." Otherwise, the sentence remains subliterate.
Yes, we pick it up right where you left it off, with Terri Schiavo, who died a year ago this Friday.
Now, whether she knew it or not, her story touched off a national conversation on death and dying, not to mention family and the law -- that conversation goes on.
Added: And Cooper's Comedy Corner doesn't end there. Oh no, my friends.
COOPER: .... They [the Schindlers] accused Michael Schiavo, living with another woman he later married and starting a new family, of abuse and neglect. But the odds were against them. Of five doctors appointed by the court to study Terri's case, only one insisted the diagnosis was wrong.
DR. WILLIAM HAMMESFAHR, NEUROLOGIST: She did respond to me, when I saw her. And, apparently, she still is responding to people. You know, she looks at you. She focuses on you.
President Bush's pardon of Caspar Weinberger and other Iran-contra defendants undermines the principle that no man is above the law. It demonstrates that powerful people with powerful allies can commit serious crimes in high office -- deliberately abusing the public trust without consequence.
Weinberger, who faced four felony charges, deserved to be tried by a jury of citizens. Although it is the President's prerogative to grant pardons, it is every American's right that the criminal justice system be administered fairly, regardless of a person's rank and connections.
The Iran-contra cover-up, which has continued for more than six years, has now been completed with the pardon of Caspar Weinberger. We will make a full report on our findings to Congress and the public describing the details and extent of this cover-up.
Weinberger's early and deliberate decision to conceal and withhold extensive contemporaneous notes of the Iran-contra matter radically altered the official investigations and possibly forestalled timely impeachment proceedings against President Reagan and other officials. Weinberger's notes contain evidence of a conspiracy among the highest-ranking Reagan Administration officials to lie to Congress and the American public. Because the notes were withheld from investigators for years, many of the leads were impossible to follow, key witnesses had purportedly forgotten what was said and done, and statutes of limitation had expired.
Weinberger's concealment of notes is part of a disturbing pattern of deception and obstruction that permeated the highest levels of the Reagan and Bush Administrations. This office was informed only within the past two weeks, on December 11, 1992, that President Bush had failed to produce to investigators his own highly relevant contemporaneous notes, despite repeated requests for such documents. The production of these notes is still ongoing and will lead to appropriate action. In light of President Bush's own misconduct, we are gravely concerned about his decision to pardon others who lied to Congress and obstructed official investigations.
Howie The Putz Demands Affirmative Action
Howie has answered my open letter (not literally) by demanding affirmative action for conservatives, as a remedy for decades of discrimination:
A second major issue was whether hiring a conservative activist as a blogger was a reasonable stab at "balance" when there was no self-proclaimed liberal blogging away, as opposed to left-leaning journalists. I think that's a fair point, but I don't want to see washingtonpost.com or any other MSM outfit abandon efforts to include voices from the right.I hope that the hallucinogens Howie is taking are not habit forming.
And that brings me to the larger question: Do the hiring practices of big newspapers, magazines, networks and Web sites tilt toward people of the liberal persuasion, thereby requiring hand-wringing about intellectual diversity? ...
I hope that more people with conservative, free-market or libertarian viewpoints decide to go into mainstream journalism to balance those of more liberal persuasions. But we can't force that to happen if that's not their goal.
Kurtz cites not a single instance of a supposedly liberal journalist writing straight news with a liberal slant. Nor does he identify any "left-leaning journalists" writing tainted news in the pages of the Post, or on the post dot com. Nor does he present any evidence of any paper hiring reporters based on their political bias.
(Kurtz does cite the idiots at RealClearPolitics, who assert that the Washington Post and New York Times regularly publish the sloppy seconds of The Washington Monthly and The New Republic. Why, yes. Charles Krauthammer, Michael Kelly, Midget Mickey Kaus, and Jimmy "the Turf" Glassman come immediately to mind.)
And he completely avoids mentioning the right-wing spew living large on the Post's editorial pages and opinion columns.
At bottom, Kurtz's argument is dishonest because he ignores all of the "MSM" outlets with openly right-wing agendas and/or right-wing hacks posing as reporters: the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, the New York Post and the rest of Murdoch empire, NBC/MSNBC, U.S. News and many more. By defining "the MSM" as including only the New York Times and WaPo -- and pretending those papers skew left -- Kurtz assumes a media bias that doesn't exist and then demands affirmative action for his pals on the right. A hacktacular display!
p.s. -- Stop bothering Kurtz about Red Sonja; he's bored silly already.
Update: Someone very close to Kurtz also wants to see more "right-leaning journalists" "join the mainstream press."
Largely invisible to the public, he is best known beyond the Beltway probably for his cameo role on Sept. 11, 2001, informing Bush that a second hijacked plane had struck the World Trade Center in New York. Bush at the time was reading a children's book to students in a Florida classroom. As the cameras recorded the moment, Card calmly approached Bush and whispered in his ear. "A second plane hit the second tower," Card told Bush, according to later accounts. "America is under attack."
Resignation is long overdue.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Oh, what a surprise. Katherine "the Grate" Harris lied to Sean Hannity and the Fools Who Watch Faux:
Campaign spokeswoman Morgan Dobbs said Thursday that Harris will sell her existing assets rather than rely on money from her father, a bank executive who died in January.
"It is my understanding from her statements that she does not plan to use inherited money on the campaign -- rather, money from liquidating her personal assets, which she says total $10 million," Dobbs wrote in an e-mail to the Orlando Sentinel.
"I think I am being pretty clear."
However, Dobbs' explanation is at odds with the message Harris has been delivering for more than a week.
The announcement was the centerpiece of her appearance on Fox News, where Harris reaffirmed her commitment to the race.
"I'm going to take his legacy that he gave to me, everything I have, and I'm going to put it in this race," she told Sean Hannity. "I'm going to commit my legacy from my father -- $10 million."
A moment later, Hannity asked, "This is money from your father?"
"Yes," replied Harris.
Katy lied in 2000, repeatedly, and we've been suffering ever since.
Fossils On Parade
Meanwhile, on Press the Meat, Elizabeth Bumiller claims that "Bush was careful not to jump on the bandwagon" when that wife of an Army information officer claimed at the Bush West Virginia Loyalty Rally "it seems that our major media networks don't want to portray" the good news from Iraq.
Lizzie, there is more spontaneity in the audience of a Ron Popeil infomerical.
Beating The Dead Whores
Howie the Putz, 10:53 a.m. Eastern, live on Reliable Sources:
"Domenech denies plagiarizing." (paraphrase)
p.s. - It was nice to see Bill "Dice" Bennett acknowledging his ties to the leather community.
Update: Exact quote: "He has denied plagiarizing, but there are certainly a lot of instances that you and others have dug up."
Saturday, March 25, 2006
I look forward to your endless stream of chin-pulling articles and teevee appearances explaining how the hiring of unqualified conservatives is harming the Washington Post and the newspaper industry in general.
Please be sure to prattle on incessantly about "the perception, at least, of a double standard" at the Post for hiring a plainly unqualified white man.
Please wonder aloud, ad nauseam, if a "50 year old hack" who was African-American would have been given a job over a "promising young white" blogger.
Ask whether Mr. Domenech was an "affirmative-action hire" every chance you get.
These matters demand your full attention.
For the next three weeks, minimum.
"I want to apologize to National Review Online, my friends and colleagues here at RedState, and to any others that have been affected over the past few days. I also want to apologize to my previous editors and writers whose work I used inappropriately and without attribution. There is no excuse for this - nor is there an excuse for any obfuscation in my earlier statement.
"I hope that nothing I've done as a teenager or in my professional life will reflect badly on the movement and principles I believe in.
"I'm deeply grateful for the love and encouragment of all those around me. And although I may not deserve such support, it makes it that much more humbling at a time like this. I'm a young man, and I hope that in time that I can earn a measure of the respect that you have given me.
"The principles I believe in."
I love that gag.
You didn't use the work of your previous editors without permission. You slandered them. You know, by falsely claiming that they inserted the work of others into your copy.
It's nice to see that you didn't apologize to the Post. It got what it deserved.
Now shut the fuck up until you apologize to the children of Dr. and Mrs. King, and their friends and supporters.
Friday, March 24, 2006
Phony Consolation Post
Don't feel bad, Benjy. You still have your job at Regnery. You're extremely well qualified for that job.
And just remember, you'll have to work very hard, for many years, to achieve anything half as sleazy as your fellow fabricator, Michelle Malkin:
On page 123 of my book, In Defense of Internment, I wrote that Aiko Herzig-Yoshinaga, a research associate for the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians, "surreptitiously shared confidential documents with" attorney and now-retired law professor Peter Irons. In subsequent comments on my blog, I stated that Irons had been explicitly denied permission to copy the documents and had engaged in similar activities before. It has come to my attention that these statements are in error.
The disputed sentence in my book and my subsequent comments on my blog were based on the following passage in an article by Cal State Fullerton professor Thomas Fujita-Rony in the April 30, 2003, issue of Frontiers: A Journal Of Women Studies:Irons was not allowed to copy any of the memos and letters he had found detailing this set of actions. The official responsible for screening records for public use was unavailable due to illness, and in the absence of clearance, permission to duplicate these vital documents was denied. Irons called Herzig-Yoshinaga, who, as a researcher for the commission, had the right to access any nonsecret document related to the CWRIC's work. She immediately copied all the documents, which provided proof for the first time of Justice Department misconduct in the cases that upheld the exercise of presidential war powers under the Constitution.
Although Fujita-Rony did not explicitly say that Herzig-Yoshinaga behaved "surreptitiously" or that the documents in question were "confidential," I believe these were reasonable inferences on my part given what he wrote. I clearly cited Fujita-Rony's article as my source in my book and on my blog. I did not contact Herzig-Yoshinaga or Irons directly. The passage, as Bruce Ramsey notes, was not central to the thesis of my book.
In response to inquiries from Irons and me, Fujita-Rony now says the passage he wrote in 2003, which he acknowledges he failed to footnote, is erroneous. He has written a letter of retraction to the editors at Frontiers. Here is his e-mail to me:Dear Ms. Malkin:
I was in error. I am retracting the assertion that Professor Irons was at any time denied access to the archival materials in question. I am "attaching" and inserting below the text of the letter I am sending to the editors of Frontiers. I hope this will clarify matters.
Thomas Y. Fujita-Rony
Accordingly, I am retracting my claim that Herzig-Yoshinaga "surreptitiously shared confidential documents with" Irons. I have made a note of this on the errata page of my book. Moreover, I am directing Regnery to excise the words "surreptitiously" and "confidential" from future editions of the book.
In addition, I retract the following statements which appeared on my blog:
August 24, 2004:
Contrary to [University of North Carolina law professor Eric] Muller's assertion that the papers shared were "publicly available documents sitting in publicly available files at archives open to the public," the article makes clear that Irons did not obtain permission to receive the papers he acquired from Herzig-Yoshinaga.
August 25, 2004:
As I noted, these records, however, had not been cleared for public use, and Iron's request to copy them had been explicitly denied. By the way, this was not the only time Irons engaged in these sort of shenanigans.
I apologize to Irons and Herzig-Yoshinaga for the errors [sic].
You only made a complete ass of yourself. Malkin smeared others while making a complete ass of herself.
The Confections of Stain Augustine
By the way, Howie allows Red Sonja to signal his base that he was pissing in his readers' faces with his untruthful "Mea Culpa":
"I regret using the term because I think it's been way overblown," Domenech said. But he said King worked with organizations affiliated with communists in the 1950s and 1960s. Brady called it "a silly comment" but said he is satisfied with Domenech's admission of error.
I'm not sorry I made the statement; I'm sorry I got caught. And let me repeat my Klanish smear again, to show you I wasn't mistaken.
Howie To The Rescue!
Kurtz is on the kase, providing kover!
Late yesterday, the liberal Web sites Daily Kos and Atrios posted examples of what appeared to be instances of plagiarism from Domenech's writing at the William & Mary student paper. Three sentences of a 1999 Domenech review of a Martin Scorsese film were identical to a review in Salon magazine, and several sentences in Domenech's piece on a James Bond movie closely resembled one in the Internet Movie Database. Domenech said he needed to research the examples but that he never used material without attribution and had complained about a college editor improperly adding language to some of his articles.
Now, I'm not a journalist, much less a beloved media critic who rubs shoulders first-nicknames with the media elite on a daily basis. Far be it from me to suggest that Howie's appetite for fecal matter is endless.
But here's a suggestion for you, Howie: Get the name of that college editor, and ask her (or him) to respond to the suggestion that she repeatedly slid paragraphs into Bendover's reviews over 'Dover's protestations. Then, get on the blower to National Review and do the same thing.
Update: I give Howie my best advice, and he just ignores it. Pity.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Ben, Caught Stealing
Original lyrics by Ben Domenech:
I've been caught stealing
Once, when I was twenty-four
I enjoy stealing
It's just as simple as that
Well, it's just a simple fact
When I write something
I don't want to work for it
So I take your work, for free
Take your work for free
Hey, all right
If I get by, it's mine
Mine all mine
(Yes, I recycled this gag from my earlier Claude Allen post. Fitting, ain't it?)
Update (3/24): Roger Caught Stealing! I just noticed the title to this post is identical to the Sadly, No! post I linked to below. Caught red handed! I'm firing my ass from my lucrative blogger gig. Someone else will have to take over.
The Banality of Banality
We Must Attack.Excuse me, but I've got to go chant "the 'Internationale.'" Be back later.
It was Hannah Arendt who introduced us to the banality of evil. There was more to this thing called "evil" than grainy newsreel footage of delirious chanting of "Sieg Heil" or the "Internationale." Rage and hatred were not the first steps toward convincing seemingly normal people to go along with totalitarianism. First, repression had to seem normal. Domestic enemies were not hated -- they were dehumanized. In the eyes of their countrymen, their souls were emptied of any qualities extraneous to Political Man. They were the imperialist/capitalist running dog/Jew/Trotskyite -- and that was all.
In 2006 in America, we see perfect replicas of Stalin's drones at work in response to about the only decent thing said about the Domenech affair on Daily Kos. It is an exquisite performance right out of the two minutes hate.
I'm back. I forgot to read the whole thing. Gavin M. has this quote from the full post:
Michelle. Hugh. Rush. Glenn. This is the moment. Where will you stand?
Kurtz Kountdown Klock
Howie the Putz bragged about how he interrupted his honeymoon to report on the Jayson Blair plagiarism scandal.
So how long will it be until he reports on his own paper's resident plagiarist, Red Sonja Domenech?
The clock is ticking, Howie.
It ticks for you, too, National Review Online. Radish Pornmumu is objectively pro-plagiarist!
Bitch Set Himself Up
Red Sonja's already making excuses for calling Coretta Scott King a Communist.
You know, just like those bloodthirsty Commies in Bendover's favorite action fantasy, Red Dawn.
Taking a page from Debbie Howell, the little prick claims his slander was simply a "mistake."
What you said, you little prick, was wrong.
Despicable. Contempible. Inexcusable.
But it definitely was not a mistake.
It was a slander, although you conveniently waited until Mrs. King was dead to avoid the consequences publishing such a slander.
A mistake is when you do something inadvertently, without thinking. Your slander of Mrs. King was premediated, cold and calculated. You were showing off to your pale pals in the Right to White Life movement.
You'd do it again, you snivelling shit, if you didn't have a paycheck to protect.
You can run, but you can't lie convincingly.
The only question remaining is whether the Washington Post will continue to endorse your Klanish slanders.
For more on the white-hooded Red American, read Jane Hamsher and Steve Gilliard. And, per Gilliard's link to Howie the Putz, isn't it about time for Kurtz to convene a roundtable of Instacracker, Hindraker, Hugh Hewjass and Jeff Jarvis (for balance!) to condemn the treachery of the left blogosphere on this matter?
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Regular blogging will resume tomorrow. My computer time has been limited.
There's an inevitable tension between posting to keep readers and posting things that are worth reading. There's always time to post things like this:
"I know it's not the war on terror, but face it, nothing is compelling American attention these days more than American Idol. So I will herewith make the following prediction two months before the final: The competition will come down to Chris Daughtry, Katharine McPhee and Mandisa. Chris will win and become a major star. Katharine will get a lead role on Broadway, and Mandisa will do just fine as well."
For me, however, less is more.
More or less.
I'll be back to bash Red Sonja, Warblogger Queen, tomorrow night.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Friday, March 10, 2006
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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!
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.'"
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
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
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.
(Boy, I thought it would be easier being funny. Larry McMurty doesn't look like I expected. Lar gives a shoutout to the book.)
"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.)
5.15 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
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
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.")