Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Fourth Amendment Strikes Back

There is legal precedent for nature's unkind treatment of "the Chief":

Last year, in Hedgepeth v. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Roberts wrote an opinion upholding the arrest of a 12-year-old girl for eating a single French fry in a Washington, D.C., Metrorail station while on her way home from junior high school. As the court described, the "girl was arrested, searched, and handcuffed. Her shoelaces were removed, and she was transported in the windowless rear compartment of a police vehicle to a juvenile processing center, where she was booked, fingerprinted, and detained until released to her mother some three hours later." Except for the time she was being fingerprinted, the girl remained handcuffed with her hands behind her back until she was released.

Roberts concluded that the arrest and detention under a mandatory arrest policy for minors was not an "unreasonable" seizure under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, even though adults found to have violated the same no-eating-in-the-Metro ordinance were simply given citations. For obvious reasons, this decision is likely to be a point of some contention in Roberts' confirmation hearing. But of more significance than the decision itself is a part of its reasoning.

Roberts wrote that the Metro's mandatory arrest policy was not unconstitutional in part because it would not have been "regarded as an unlawful search or seizure under the common law when the Amendment was framed," that is, under the law as it stood in 1791.

Under that standard, Roberts' seizure was quite reasonable. Hell, the State of Maine could even declare him possessed by demons and clap him in the stocks until the 2007 term was over.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Ship of Tools

Says a woman who spends her time on a (presumably free) luxury cruise surfing the internet for links with which to bash presumed Democrats:

"Really, People, There Is More to Life Than Partisan Politics"

Meanwhile, cabin boy Rich Lowry takes the pulse of the 70-plus-plus vote and finds a clear victor:

"A very informal show of hands of a couple of hundred NR cruisers had Rudy in the lead pretty solidly, then Romney and Thompson close together, but with Mitt in second. I don't think McCain got one hand raised."

Sorry, Rudy, but we all know what happens when Little Richie calls a winner:

Update (7/31): First link corrected.

I'm not going to say anything negative about Chief Justice Roberts or his unfortunate medical condition.

Out of respect for his judicial philosophy, however, I do hope we get a vote on what treatment his physician is allowed to administer.

Drunken Fashionblogging

If Andre Leon Talley and Ann Althouse had a child, that child would write this blog post:

Reid's face is perfectly symmetrical. But all models' faces are perfectly symmetrical. Well, somehow, this face was more symmetrical than most. Maybe this is a hint about the fall's fashions. Just take a look and see for yourself.

Do the editors of the Times Magazine have the slightest idea of who their readers are?

There's a Dolce & Gabbana loose weave "V" neck sweater, cost $3,495, plus sales tax (something like $300.) There's what's called a "dress shirt," but it's not, at $475 and jeans for $575. The tie apparently comes for free.

Reid is also wearing (on another page) a very symmetrical cashmere coat at $2,165. Another "dress shirt" for $565, which makes the D & G a bargain. And Prince of Wales check pants for $695. The checks were not noticeable. And Reid does not look like the Prince of Wales. He has a shut mouth and no evidence of buck teeth. He looks a bit dazed actually. But, then, so does the Prince of Wales.

On the first page (all Dior Homme) of the second spread, Reid is wearing a wool jacket at $1,120, a leather vest at $1,350, a cotton shirt at $355 and wool gabardine pants at $520. If you look closely he seems to be wearing a pretty sharp belt. No price. On the other page, Reid is shown in a Raf Simons double-breasted (see what I mean, symmetrical) trench coat for "about $1,550." Is there going to be a sale already, I mean, before the season actually starts, while we are all still at the Hamptons? Raf Simons pants go for $950. Raf Simons pants fit me very well. He designs for small asses.

Do you remember Louis Vuitton? The place where your rich aunt bought all her luggage to take to Europe on the Queen Mary? Well, he's still in this business. But the heavy and hard brown suitcases with the insignia (was it the fleur de l'isle? maybe not) are not up front. Also by Vuitton (which is owned by Bernard Arnault, who is also the owner of Moet Hennesy and other jewels in the crown of the Fifth Republic), a "hand-dyed ombre sweater" at $600 and "a wool cashmere ombre gabardine jacket." At what price? "Price upon request." Is this a work of art? Aren't there too many adjectives in that description?

Now, there's a lot of "ombre" in Reid's display. A Prada very symmetrical "ombre wool jacket" at $1,630, and "ombre sweater" at $1,015 and wool pants at $550. The ombre jacket is perfectly symmetrical. Jean-Paul Gaultier, you are finished.

Another "Do you remember?" question. Do you remember Burberry? That boring raincoat store. Not any more. A Prorsum (whatever that is) nylon quilted coat for $2,995. That much money for artificial fabrics. But the most uncannily symmetrical clothes in the whole lot. A wool sweater for $595, a cotton shirt at the bargain of the whole lot $275, and wool flannel pants for $450. Where did the word "slacks" go?

Yves Saint Laurent has also dressed Reid in a wool coat with Lurex lining for $3,170, cotton fleece sweat pants with shearling patches at $1,305 and a cashmere ribbed hood for $750.

I was wrong: it's not the cotton shirt at $275 that's the least expensive. It's a cotton T-shirt. But I couldn't find it on any of the eight photos of Reid. Then there were unpriced sunglasses. They cover up almost half of Reid's finely chiseled face: Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquiere. Not free. But no price either.

Before you click on the link, guess which small-assed person wrote this post.

On the Today Show this morning, Alan Greenspan's booby prize wife artfully spun this paragraph from a New York Times article

"[Hillary Clinton] reports in one letter from October of her sophomore year that she spent a 'miserable weekend' arguing with a friend who believed that 'acid is the way and what did I have against expanding my conscience.'"
to suggest that the future senator was urging the letter's recipient to drop acid, as opposed to recounting a dispute in which her friend advocated LSD to Clinton.

I'm sure Media Matters or someone else will have more on this.

I'd probably like Senator Clinton more if she had taken acid (which even may have been legal back then). But this goes to show how the Republicans and their lackeys will grasp at anything to smear a Democratic frontrunner.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


So I was reading the latest edition of The New Republic at the public library and asking myself, how is this version different from the old weekly edition, apart from the shiny color paper? It's not bigger -- this edition clocked in at 56 pages, which surely isn't double the pages of the weekly edition of last year (or of 10 years ago). None of the articles were longer, or of greater quality than before.

But my questions are these: Do you still subscribe to magazines in print? If so, which ones?

More On Hate Crimes

Always remember that when conservative bloggers whine that hate crimes laws are only used to persecute anti-Mulsim bigots, they're lying to you.

They know they're lying to you, and they're proud that they're lying to you.

Let's look at the facts.

Illinois, July 8, 2007:

Local officials have called in the FBI to investigate whether a small fire at a Macomb church may have been a hate crime.

A neighbor used a garden hose to put out the fire at the First Presbyterian Church before dawn Friday, and it wasn't until later in the day that police discovered a swastika painted on the door and the letters "KKK" written on some adjoining bricks.
California, July 4, 2007:

A man has been sentenced to nine months in jail for pasting swastikas on the entrance of Los Angeles City Councilman Jack Weiss' San Fernando Valley office.

A city attorney's spokesman says Adonis Irwin also received three years probation after pleading no contest to vandalism, posting a swastika on private property and a hate crime charge.

Georgia, July 1, 2007:

The incidents at the three Washington County churches occurred within 24 hours and authorities believe the fires and gun shots could be related and possibly motivated by hate, said Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John Oxendine.

Holly Springs and Mount Sinai are attended by black members while Mount Moriah is attended by white members, Oxendine said.

"We are strongly considering the possibility it may be the same person or persons behind (each incident)," Oxendine said.

"We are considering the possibility it could be a hate crime," he said, adding hate crimes come in several different forms aside from race, including anger against Christianity and against religion.

It is wholly unremarkable in this country for persons to be prosecuted under hate crimes laws based on acts of vandalism (and other crimes) committed against Christians and Jews. The questions to ask are: Why are these bloggers and their followers lying, and why do hate crimes laws make them so nervous?

The Boob Tube Debate

Special Ed Morrissey has a "simple solution" (at least he's honest about his limitations) for the Republicans' refusal to participate in a YouTube-format Presidential debate on CNN: "have CNN cede the editorial/selection process to the New Media, in the form of the blogosphere."

Ed goes onto explain that when he says the blogosphere, he means only the lobotomized portion of the 'sphere, that is "primarily Republicans, but perhaps with independent/centrist representation as well." The committee would not only choose all the questions, but "would also agree to the order in which the questions would be asked," select Anderson Cooper's wardrobe and collect all the ad revenue in consideration for services rendered.

Problem solved.

In fact, why don't you make things even simpler, Ed, and hold your own fucking debate? Then you can ask the hard questions, like "Why has the MSM persecuted you by referring to your distinguished legal career as lobbying, Senator Thompson" and "If you are elected, Governor Romney, will you allow the Defeatocrats to slander our heroes at Guantanamo Bay?" And by allowing Hugh Fuckwit to pass along the questions to Mitt Romney in advance (and Assrocket to brief Huckleberry Fred, etc.), you can eliminate all the spontaneity which makes most debates so tedious. You could even have A.J. Strata proofread them for the sake of professionalism.

I'm not kidding. The Republican candidates have pandered to chuckleheads like Slow Eddie from day one. They should come out of the closet and let everyone see the kinds of clots whose votes they value above all.

Stay Classy

The latest hero of the wankersphere is one Stanislav Shmulevich, a New Yorker who allegedly exercised his right to free speech by stealing copies of the Koran from a university facility and throwing them into a crapper.

The Little Green Fascists have given Stan his own commode at their hate site, and other rightwing corporphiliacs are declaring Stan's arrest the final step on the road to reconquista sharia. The self-pitying wingnuts are also upset that the reports on the story don't identify anyone they can fantasize about harassing, beating up or burying alive with pork products.

A fitting punishment for Stan would be to have him clean the toilets on a National Review cruise.

(No links to the hate sites.)

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Mad Woman

Remember, peons, the proper way to approach Dame Peggy is to tug the forelock and speak only when spoken to. Her nibs requires complete silence while contemplating the array of elasticized-waist cargo pants on offer. Rank must be maintained.

And never, ever speak the name of a laxative aloud.

Peg fails to comprehend that these servants of custom are not, like some, paid handsomely to spew whatever tripe comes into their heads. They've been told exactly how to move the product and they do it as if their job depends upon it. Because it does. They've even been taught to how to deal with you, Peggers.

Friday, July 27, 2007


The suggestion is made that Huckleberry Fred is simply a pawn of his wife's political ambitions.

I wonder if they have a secret pact of ambition to let Fred lose in the primaries first and the missus lose in the primaries eight years later.

Grand Old Police Blotter: Bad Day At Black Rock Edition

This can't be good news for Lord Connie Black:

CHICAGO -- A Chicago medical-van driver accused of funneling money to Mideast terrorists was sentenced Wednesday to 21 months in federal prison for lying in a civil lawsuit.

Muhammad Salah, 54, also was ordered to pay a $25,000 fine and do 100 hours of community service.

"Telling the truth is the bedrock of our judicial system, and a slap on the wrist will not provide a deterrent," U.S. District Judge Amy St. Eve said in sentencing Salah. He has until Oct. 11 to begin his sentence.

Salah was convicted in February of lying under oath in a civil lawsuit concerning the murder in Israel of a teenager by Hamas terrorists.

Judge St. Eve also presided over Lord Black's trial, in which the disgraced supplier of wingnut welfare was, like Mr. Salah, convicted of one count of Scooter Libbying in addition to three counts of fraud. Perhaps Mr. Salah and Lord Black will end up as cellmates, where they can engage in spirited but civil debates concerning Middle East policy.

Fans of Scooter Libby will also note that Mr. Salah was acquitted of the charges of racketeering. I eagerly await their impassioned calls for commutation of Mr. Salah's sentence on the ground --- altogether now -- that THERE WAS NO UNDERLYING CRIME.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I'm not in the least surprised that the wankersphere is fascinated with the Scott Thomas non-story. What else would you talk about when the nation's chief law enforcement officer calls the head of Bush Justice a perjurer?

WASHINGTON, July 26 -- The director of the F.B.I. offered testimony Thursday that sharply conflicted with Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales's sworn statements about a 2004 confrontation in which top Justice Department officials threatened to resign over a secret intelligence operation.

The director, Robert S. Mueller III, told the House Judiciary Committee that the confrontation was about the National Security Agency's counterterrorist eavesdropping program, describing it as "an N.S.A. program that has been much discussed." His testimony was a serious blow to Mr. Gonzales, who insisted at a Senate hearing on Tuesday that there were no disagreements inside the Bush administration about the program at the time of those discussions or at any other time.


Doubts about Mr. Gonzales's version of events in March 2004 grew after James B. Comey, the former deputy attorney general, testified in May that he and other Justice Department officials were prepared to resign over legal objections to an intelligence program that appeared to be the N.S.A. program.

Mr. Gonzales's testimony Tuesday was his first since Mr. Comey’s account drew national attention. He stuck to his account, repeatedly saying that the dispute involved a different intelligence activity.

Mr. Gonzales described an emergency meeting with Congressional leaders at the White House on March 10, 2004, to discuss the dispute. That evening, he and the White House chief of staff, Andrew H. Card Jr., went to the hospital bedside of Mr. Ashcroft in an unsuccessful effort to get his reauthorization for the secret program.

Lawmakers present at the afternoon meeting have given various accounts, but several have said that only one program, the Terrorist Surveillance Program, was discussed.

In addition, in testimony last year, Gen. Michael V. Hayden, who was the N.S.A. director when the program started and now heads the Central Intelligence Agency, said the March 2004 meeting involved the Terrorist Surveillance Program.

Having nothing to say about the criminality in the highest reaches of the Bush Administration, the law-despising wingnuts are left to natter on about irrelevancies in a private's diaries.

And look for the deathly silence to continue concerning these crimes and coverups.

Update (7/27): Sully agrees with me the obvious (maybe he was my 3 millionth visitor!):

Oh, and, by the way, the attorney-general has clearly been fingered for perjury by the evidence of the FBI director. Here appears to be a proven untruth under oath by the attorney-general. Now do you have an idea why the entire right-wing blogosphere is frothing at the mouth about a story whose primary controversial fact has actually checked out?

Three Million

Sometime tomorrow this blog will register it's three millionth visit since whenever it was I started keeping track of visitors.

I'd like to say there will be fabulous prizes for the three millionth visitor, but that wouldn't be fair to the 2,999,999 visitors who have come here and gotten nothing out of it. As my parents say, we love each one of you equally, but you shouldn't expect anything when we kick the bucket and moving back home is out of the question.

So, with only the slightest bit of tongue in cheek, here's to you all:

We've come a long long way together,
Through the hard times and the good,
I have to celebrate you baby,
I have to praise you like I should

[Repeat annoyingly]

Dog On Mass

It appears that Kathryn Lopez's love affair with Mitt Romney has come to an end:

"Slippery Slope? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

Just a coincidence that this happened in Massachusetts?

Sherborn teen charged with bestiality

(And no I'm not equating men and dogs.)"

I hope Fred Thompson doesn't disappoint Lopez. I don't even want to read about the sick things that happen in Tennessee.

While I was drafting the above, Lopez added a second "Update" to her post, apologizing for her "bad judgment" and stating that "This was my point." Her link goes to an article condemning Lawrence v. Texas as the gateway to unfettered parental rape and bestiality, and concluding that Rick "Man on Dog" Santorum "was right." (And, of course, the article has nothing to do with either Massachusetts or the Massachusetts constitution.) What exactly is the twisted Lopez apologizing about, then? Was she afraid that she diluted her malice through the use of crude humor? Or expressing regret that she called Archbishop O'Malley a sheepshagger?

Added: The only thing to say about Lopez's apology is that it's a lie. The linked article posits that all sex outside of heterosexual marriage is equally immoral and destructive. Yet Lopez has never equated Rudy Guiliani, Newt Gingrich, Ronald Reagan or Huckleberry Fred with a sheep fucker (or their partners with sheep), and she never will. She is simply driven by hate, not faith or reason.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Grand Old Police Blotter: Impose The Maximum Sentence Edition

Usually these Blotter items involve a Republican accepting a bribe or trying to blow a cop in the crapper for a Hamilton, and good juvenile fun is had at the Republican's expense. This item is not one of those:

Michael Flory, a 32-year-old attorney from Jackson, Mich., pleaded guilty to sexual battery on the day he was to stand trial for rape.

The teary-eyed college student he overpowered in a downtown hotel room gasped and dabbed her eyes as Flory replied to Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Peter Corrigan's question, "Are you indeed guilty?"

"Sure - yeah," Flory said.

Corrigan set sentencing for Sept. 13. Flory faces a sentence that ranges from probation to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.


The plea bargain, she said, doesn't include any suggestion of leniency, and the state will seek incarceration. She also said she hopes to present evidence of several "other incidents of sexual misconduct" in which Flory took advantage of vulnerable young women.

The victim, who is 22, declined to speak after Flory's guilty plea.

She and some supporters lamented when the incident became public last winter that Flory and his followers within the Republican organization had been smearing her reputation in retaliation for accusing Flory of rape. Skutnik said she found that to be true.

"People were using every opportunity to try to trash her, on Web sites or whatever," the prosecutor said. "He's been running around telling everybody what a piece of trash she is, so she was very happy to see him plead guilty."

The defense can say little until sentencing, Hilow said.

"He would just like to put this in the past for everybody," the defense attorney said.

Flory gained some notoriety at age 18 when he gave a televised speech to the Republican National Convention in the Houston Astrodome in 1992. The Michigan Young Republicans' Web site once hailed him as "one of the rising stars of GOP politics in America" and declared that "Mike has earned a great name for himself."

Flory, the victim and other members of Michigan's delegation to the national Young Republicans convention were partying in the Warehouse District last July 6, police and prosecutors said. The victim became so intoxicated that she headed back to her hotel room. Flory escorted her.

But when she lay down to sleep, he "violently forced several sex acts upon her," Skutnik said.

Nitpicker has the details on Mr. Flory, who is a member of the Michigan Federalist Society and a Michigan Young Leader for John McCain.

While Flory spends the next five years in prison, God willing, I hope someone shines a spotlight on "the followers within the Republican organization had been smearing her reputation in retaliation for accusing Flory of rape." I'd be happy to publish any verifiable information identifying those lowlifes. (Not, of course, their addresses/contact information.)

Monday, July 23, 2007

I'd like to thank James Wolcott for linking to this blog in his recent post concerning Lord Conrad Black and his toady, Mark Steyn.

I'd also recommend for James' beach bag the finest trilogy of prison diaries ever written by a British peer, namely, A Prison Diary (Vols. 1-3) of Lord Jeffrey Archer. (Excerpts from Volume II are here.) Archer tells the inspiring tale of an honourable man forced to share a television with his cellmate, ration his Cadbury Fruit and Nut Bars and Evian, and undergo the humiliation of being called Jeff by the entire prison populations. The writing's no better than in most of Jeff's fiction, but they're more informative and the subject matter is infinitely more pleasant.

Howie, Half-Baked

The thing I love about Howie Kurtz's little chit-chats is that he posts good questions and then pretends to answer them without actually answering them:

San Francisco: Your article concerning allegations of false war reporting by a psuedonymous solider in the pages of The New Republic was interesting. The New Republic has a history of publishing plagiarists and fakers, including Stephen Glass and Ruth Shalit. I note, however, that you quoted critics of the TNR pieces who have their own questionable histories. Surely you are aware that Michael Yon, a right-wing blogger, has been reporting that al-Qaeda is engaging in forced cannibalism in Iraq. Quoting directly from Yon: "The boy had been baked. Al Qaeda served the boy to his family." (National Review Online, July 6) National Review Online and other right-wing blogs have been repeating these stories as the truth; progressive bloggers have challenged these assertions, which are inherently incredible. Why no mention of those challenged reports from Iraq?

Howard Kurtz: I made clear, and the editor of the New Republic made clear, that these challenges are coming from the right and might have an ideological motivation. That doesn't make them wrong, however, at least in this instance. Right-wing bloggers went after Dan Rather on the Memogate fiasco and left-wing bloggers went after White House correspondent Jeff Gannon. Sometimes the truth emerges from these attacks, and sometimes not.

So Howie doesn't know whether The New Republic is right or wrong, but he's supremely uninterested in the accuracy and veracity of those challenging The New Republic. If he's not going to investigate the TNR story himself, you'd think he'd want to at least look at the respective credibility of both sides.

Live Dumbass Blogging

Elderly breast fetishist Ann Althouse regurgitates some stale Kool-Aid while watching tonight's debate:

"Dodd wants to take us down to a 55 mile an hour speed limit, Jimmy Carter-style."

It's never wise to mix alcohol with "I used to consider myself a Democrat, but thanks to 9/11 I’m outraged by Chappaquiddick."* I hope I never get so old I can't remember what happened to me when I was in my forties.

* Quote appears courtesy of Michael Berube.

Topless Hedcuts In Bottomless Sewer

Is America really ready for Peggy Noonan and Dotty Rabinowitz appearing on Page 3?

Department of Easy Targets

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Harry Potter Live Blogging

Eh, I'm going to bed.

Spoiler Follows (Scroll over to read)

Over the summer, Harry reads Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion, and rejects the supernatural. During the term, Harry learns that Ron Weasley has scored with Hermonie. Twenty years later, Harry, a loud alcoholic, swears out an affidavit accusing Ron, a Lib Dem M.P., of obstruction of justice. Thirty years later, he demands that the U.K. bomb Iran, based on a speech to the U.N. General Assembly given by a talking hat.

Hey, it's the best I can do. I haven't read the books. And it's past midnight. You're lucky I could do the Scroll Over to Read thing.

Friday, July 20, 2007

I don't get Sean Hannity and Kathryn Jean Lopez saying that David Vitter should resign.

Hannity was seen consorting with notorious whore hound Dick Morris as recently as two weeks ago and, a week from now, K-Lo will be playing shuffleboard with Morris on a National Review Cruise. So they're happy to party with notorious law-breaking johns, but they don't want one representing Louisiana in the Senate?

I'd be happy to see Vitter disappear, but he should at least have the decency to take Hannity, Lopez and Morris with him.


Lord Conrad Black's dogsbody, David Frum, is back from his tour of Old Europe and ready to speak truth to power:

Prosecutors convicted my friend and former employer on four of 13 counts. They lost on their accusations of "racketeering" and on their claims of a scheme of a vast fraud involving tens of millions of dollars. They won on charges involving smaller transactions worth a total of some $3.5 million, plus one count of obstruction justice [sic]. The obstruction charge was based on videotape of Black removing boxes of papers from his Toronto office after he lost entry to those offices. Prosecutors had not yet served Black with notice to leave the papers - and nobody has ever suggested that anything in them related to this trial - but the grainy security camera footage sure looked bad.

These convictions represent bad news for Conrad Black, obviously, but something less than a resounding victory for the prosecution. Now comes sentencing and appeal.

And notice something: although the prosecution lost on 9 counts, they are asking that Conrad Black be sentenced as if they had won.

[Long-ass quote from The Star which doesn't remotely suggest that prosecutors are asking that Connie be sentenced for any count on which he wasn't convicted. The article points out that Black faces up to 35 years on the four counts he was convicted of, and the United States is only seeking 30.]

Same thing as was done to Scooter Libby: win on one thing - then demand that the judge act as if you had won on everything. Here's my question: If (as seems more than possible) Black defeats the remaining fraud counts on appeal, will a US judge really contemplate sending him to prison to punish him for removing from his office personal papers of no ultimate relevance to a criminal case?

I realize Frum is just a dumb Canuck, but even he should understand that fraud and obstruction of justice aren't "one thing." Likewise, Scooter Libby was convicted of three different things: two counts of perjury, one count of obstruction of justice in a grand jury investigation and one count of making false statements to federal investigators.

Frum also seems to believe that the judge will be sentencing Connie after his appeal is concluded, and thus will be contemplating a sentence based solely on the obstruction verdict. Doesn't work that way, Davey. (Frum's reasoning also suggests that he believes Black's conviction for obstruction will stand.)

Also amusing is Frum's apparent belief that Black's not such a bad guy because he only defrauded Hollinger shareholders of $3.5 million instead of "tens of millions" of dollars. By Frum's reasoning, a murderer should go free if the state fails to prove he's a serial killer.

We are entering in a new era, one in which conservatives consistently cry that the American justice system is biased against wealthy, well-connected white men who can actually afford a level playing field against the power of the state. In reality, the playing field isn't even level, given Bush Justice's illegal efforts to give the rich and Republican the home court advatage.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Speaking of citizen journalism, Jeff Jarvis drops trou and starts Jarvising:

I think that Yang needs a strategy to take Yahoo into the distributed web and away from the old-media model or he will fail. It's not about convincing people to come to Yahoo. It's about finding the ways to take Yahoo to the people. In other words, the question isn't whether I Yahoo. The question is whether Yahoo Jarvises.

Yes, Jerry Yang will never amount to anything unless he listens to Jeff Jarvis. (He's already bleeding money.)

Of course, Jarvis doesn't have any idea of how to take anything to the people, or else he'd be doing that with daylife. Or, as it's known by most people, "What?"

Citizen Journalism At Its Finest

Julia at Sisyphus Shrugged covers the Great Manhattan Steampipe Rupture of 07.

New Yorkers' pores have never been more open than they are at this moment.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Shite Said Fred, Part II

Remember the heady days of July 16, 2008, when wingnuts were hoping and praying Fred Thompson wasn't just a lobbyist whore, but was really and truly ONE OF THEM? Here's some particularly humorous prose from that bygone era from one wordy Pollyanna:

The National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association claimed that Thompson had lobbied the White House on its behalf in 1991. Thompson denied the charge, and John Sununu, who was White House chief of staff at the time, backed up Thompson.

Only time will tell which side eventually turns out to be perceived as being truthful by the electorate. But regardless of the truth of the allegation, its presence is remarkable at this stage of the race.

Memory does not produce a similar case where an interest group tied to one of the major political parties sought so overtly to influence the debate and outcome of the other parties' nomination fight, especially before a candidate even formally announced.

Think how unusual it would be if, for instance, a conservative group opposed to immigration reform that would allow any legalization of those here illegally claimed that Sen. Barack Obama, before he was in the Senate, had been active in anti-Hispanic activities.

Time's up!

Billing records show that former Senator Fred Thompson spent nearly 20 hours working as a lobbyist on behalf of a group seeking to ease restrictive federal rules on abortion counseling in the 1990s, even though he recently said he did not recall doing any work for the organization.

According to records from Arent Fox, the law firm based in Washington where Mr. Thompson worked part-time from 1991 to 1994, he charged the organization, the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, about $5,000 for work he did in 1991 and 1992. The records show that Mr. Thompson, a probable Republican candidate for president in 2008, spent much of that time in telephone conferences with the president of the group, and on three occasions he reported lobbying administration officials on its behalf.

Mr. Thompson's work for the family planning agency has become an issue because he is positioning himself as a faithful conservative who is opposed to abortion.

Earlier this month, Mr. Thompson disputed accounts by the group’s former president and others, saying through a spokesman that he had "no recollection" of doing anything to aid the group's efforts to overturn a rule banning federally financed clinics from dispensing information about abortion to pregnant women. At most, said Mr. Thompson's spokesman, Mark Corallo, he "may have been consulted by one of the firm's partners who represented this group."

In an order to restore his fictitious credibility, Thompson called the Kerning Keystone Kops at Powerline to prove the billing records were bogus.

Oh, wait. No he didn't. Fred appeared on Powerline to assert attorney-client privilege concerning conversations with the abortion rights client he couldn't recall representing. Memory does not produce a similar case where an undelcared presidential candidate was so dependent on shitty bloggers to explain away his rank dishonesty.

By the way, Fred's going rate to sell out his most cherished principles was $250.00 per hour (cheap!) in the early to mid 90s. Given inflation, Fred's current reputation for veracity and the sorts of bloggers he hangs out with, it's now selling at twenty.

Update: Geez, Captain Ed's been hung out to dry by his Powertool pals. He definitely didn't get the talking points from the 'Tools, was spun by his "source," and he's now got blastocyst all over his face. I almost feel sorry for him.

Update 2: Shorter Captain Ed's Update: "Lobbying for the baby-killers is okay if you do it for a friend and don't make a living off of it." ESCEU: "I'll swallow anything for a bit of access."

You'll pardon me if I don't shake hands with you

A Senator recieves a Standing O from his colleagues:

Senator David Vitter, the Louisiana Republican who admitted that his phone number was in the records of a business identified as an escort service, returned to Washington and apologized to fellow Republican colleagues at their closed-door lunch. Their applause was heard outside the room. And as he arrived on the Senate floor, several Republicans extended their hands.

It doesn't take much to get a better reception than Bush, does it?

A trend is a foot.

Datelie NBC

Chris Hansen and Dateline NBC, the sleazy geniuses behind To Catch A Predator who made pedophilia fun for the entire family as well as lucrative for their corporate masters, don't want you to know the whole story about why their hidden camera hijinx are more about ratings than law enforcement. On the Today show this morning, Hansen claimed that Texas county officials refused to prosecute following NBC's latest extravaganza because of jurisdictional issues. What Hansen didn't mention was this:

Over four days in November, 24 men were arrested at a two-story home in one of Murphy's newer neighborhoods after allegedly arranging to meet boys or girls there.


Then, last month, Collin County District Attorney John Roach dropped all charges. He said that in 16 of the cases, he had no jurisdiction, since neither the suspects nor the decoys were in the county during the online chats.

As for the rest of the cases, he said neither police nor NBC could guarantee the chat logs were authentic and complete.

As details of the suicide [of one target] emerged, Murphy's mayor, City Council and most of its residents learned that potential molesters were being lured to their city. Many were furious.

"They can chase predators all they want, but they shouldn't do it in a populated area with children, two blocks from an elementary school, " said Lisa Watson, 33, who lives down the road from the sting house.

It's a fair assumption that Hansen and NBC couldn't guarantee the authenticity of any of the transcripts, but D.A. Roach didn't even look into that issue for the allegations where no jurisdiction existed. But Hansen failed to tell his fans jurisdiction was not the only problem with his home videos. Which isn't surprising since the series was always more about voyeurism (call it Srangers with Candy Camera) than the protection of children.

Fans the of freak show needn't worry, however. Hansen has brought his women with little girl voices to New Jersey for more creepy fun, and MSNBC has enough outtakes, bloopers and practical jokes to keep the thigh-rubbing public drooling for years to come.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Potty Pablum of Podhoretz

John Podhoretz warns us about a very serious threat and tells us what we can do to protect ourselves.

The Papistry of the Peabrained

That's nothing. Pope John Paul II was a thespian.

He used to assault people with his pink staff.

Puppetry of The Penises

Lord Convict Black has fallen on hard times. He no longer afford to David Frum and Mark Steyn and has to act as his own puppet:

Other chief executives have found their sock puppetry coming back to haunt them. At the criminal fraud trial of Hollinger International's chief executive, Conrad M. Black, prosecutors introduced evidence that the former press baron had once proposed joining a Yahoo Finance chat room to blame short sellers for his company's stock performance.

When his chief of investor relations declined to post the message because of securities rules, Mr. Black wrote in an e-mail message, "don't be so strait-laced ... Get our story out." Prosecutors alleged that Mr. Black then posted the message himself, using the name "nspector."

Mr. Black was found guilty Friday of mail fraud and obstruction of justice, and he faces a maximum of 35 years in prison.

The article includes reference to Lee "Sprezzatura" Siegel but sadly omits mention of the Queen of All Sock Puppets, Mary Rosh.

Update: The article facilitates a meeting of two of America's most respected bloggers. Get a room, you two.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Man, how come I don't get in on Hillary Clinton's blogger conference calls? I've got a blog and a telephone.

That tears it. I'm voting Kucinich.

Our Man In Cabana

The Wedding Singer, March 2007:

Imagine a family of four living on $20,000 a year. The United States could do with a new immersion in egalitarianism. This is still said to be an animating idea of contemporary liberalism. But it's not at all clear to me how much this idea really does animate liberalism's high priests and priestesses, especially those from Hollywood.

The Wedding Singer, July 2007:

I've been staying at the Beverly Hills Hotel for the last few days, a truly elegant hotel with staff that is attentive (without being stiff), tasteful and capacious rooms, an atmosphere very much old Hollywood and other accoutrements, big and small, that assure you that the establishment is not owned by Ian Schrager. When I arrived in my room, I found a bottle of splendid champagne. Who was it from?

Now imagine a family of four living on $20,000 staying at The Beverly Hills Hotel. Or, more likely, attending to Marty without being stiff.

I don't believe that a wealthy pol or pundit can't be a sincere or effective advocate for economic fairness and justice. But, of course, citing egalitarianism to bash ideological foes doesn't make you a sincere advocate for economic justice in the first place. (Although I'm sure the working poor just adore Marty's catty digs at Ian Schrager.)

By the way, I don't for a minute think Marty's flaunting his wealth or angling for a discount on his room rate with his recent post. His approach is much more subtle than that.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

There Is Nothing New Under The Moon

Of course, Lord Conrad Black isn't the first foreign publishing magnate to do hard time for fraud. Connie has some quite large prison sneakers to fill.

WASHINGTON [(May 14, 1984)] -- The Supreme Court yesterday refused to review the tax-fraud conviction of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the Unification Church leader who faces 18 months' imprisonment beginning June 18 and a $25,000 fine.

The court, without dissent, rejected Moon's appeal despite an extraordinary high-powered campaign to convince the justices that the sentence raised fundamental questions of religious freedom.


The case, which stemmed from Moon's failure to pay taxes on the interest earned on more than $1.7 million, involved a "massive" and systematic effort to defraud the government and obstruct justice, including the manufacturing and backdating of documents, the government told the court.

Moon founded the Unification Church in Korea 30 years ago as a Christian revivalist religion and now claims a worldwide membership of 3 million, a US membership 30,000 and substantial business interests worth millions of dollars.

Moon and an associate, Takeru Kamiyama, were convicted by a jury in July 1982 of intentionally failing to pay taxes on the interest earned from more than $1.7 million in personal fraud.

Perhaps the Reverend Moon can give Connie some tips on how the keep his nose clean in stir.

TBogg shares Michael Yon's recipe for Al Qaeda Tots.

That would make a good cooking segment on The O'Reilly Factor.

Sundays In Hell

On today's Reliable Putzes with Howard Kurtz, fraudster Conrad Black's conviction recieved about 20 seconds worth of coverage, less time than the non-media story about Miss New Jersey's psuedo-sleazy photos.

Based on searches of Google and the washingtonpost.com, it appears that the Putz never covered the Conrad Black trial in the Washington Post, except for one mention at the end of an online column in March, when he reported on how Lady Black called a newspaper reporter covering the trial a a slut.

I'm not surprised by these facts. I'm just posting this for easy reference next time the Putz fakes outrage about the media's failure to cover substantive news in favor of celebrities and t-and-a.

Meanwhile over at the La Brea Tar Pits of punditry, also known as Meet the Press, Tim Russert had another one of his geriatric white man circle jerks, complete with a 10 minute plug of Bob Novak's latest lie-all book, The Prince of Darkness. Fellow fossil Al Hunt was happy to pimp Novak's tome, and Tim gave Novak the opportunity to repeat his lies about the Plame outing (again without mentioning his own role). Bob Shrum and Mike Murphy apparently wandered away from their caretakers and were allowed to occupy the set until someone came to retrieve them.

If it's covered with liver spots, it's Meet the Press.

Update: I rest my case:

MR. RUSSERT: Yeah. But he got to know you on, got to know you on the campaign trail. You talked about politics, sports. Then you went to a dinner party in 1981, both got drunk and had a knock-down, drag-out battle about tax policy.

MR. HUNT: Yeah.

MR. RUSSERT: You know, where I come from, we argue about women, football.

MR. HUNT: Yeah.

MR. RUSSERT: Tax policy?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Steyn In Vain

Mark Steyn sees all his dreams come tumbling down/He won't be happy without Connie around.

"It's not the crime, it's the demolishing of Conrad's life's work," said friend and columnist Mark Steyn.

"It's the knowledge that the first draft of history is going to be written by all your enemies, by all these kinds of jackals from Fleet Street who skipped the last four months but flew in here for the walk to the scaffold."

Steyn, who has known Black for 12 years and covered the trial for Maclean's magazine, said ahead of the verdict that a defeat would be "particularly devastating" to Black's wife Barbara Amiel Black.

Unlike her husband, she has found it difficult to remain optimistic throughout the trial and was subjected to intense media scrutiny for lashing out at reporters early on, calling them "vermin" and dismissing one female journalist as a "slut."
Why do we even let these criminal immigrants in the country in the first place?

Meanwhile, the New York Times says Connie could "could face up to 35 years in prison." As he's age 63, that seems pretty optimistic.

Grand Old Police Blotter: Back In Black Edition

Lord Conrad Black has been convicted on four three counts of fraud and one count of Scooter Libby:

July 13 (Bloomberg) -- Conrad Black, former chief executive officer of Hollinger International Inc., was found guilty of defrauding the newspaper publisher, becoming the last CEO convicted in a five-year U.S. crackdown on corporate crime.

Black, 62, was found guilty of three fraud charges and obstruction of justice. Jurors found him not guilty of nine charges. All three codefendants were convicted of the same fraud counts.

Black and two other men were accused of stealing $60 million from Hollinger, once the world's third-largest publisher of English-language newspapers. Prosecutors said the money was disguised as fees the men got for not competing with buyers of about $3 billion of newspapers Hollinger sold.

For those who don't know the convicted neo-con conman, he's sort of a rich man's Jeffrey Archer:

Black, 6 feet, 1 inch tall, silver-haired and barrel- chested, was raised in Toronto's wealthy Bridle Path neighborhood and owned homes in Toronto, London, New York and Palm Beach. He wielded power as a wealthy media owner and member of Britain's House of Lords as Lord Black of Crossharbour. He renounced his Canadian citizenship to become a British peer.

Black, who holds a master's degree in history from Montreal's McGill University and a law degree from Laval University in Quebec, wrote well-reviewed biographies of former U.S. presidents Nixon and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

I imagine David Frum's Diary will be particularly tear-stained in the coming weeks. Others will just be shit-steyned.


Yes, I'm in a bang
With a gang
They've got to catch me if they want me to hang
Cause I'm back on the track
And I'm beatin' the flack
Nobody's gonna get me on another rap
So look at me now
I'm just makin' my play
Don't try to push your luck, just get out of my way

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Poetry In Movement

Anthony Cartouche pens a limerick.

Shite Said Fred

Hoping to pull the wool over the eyes of the morons in the Republican Party, Fred Thompson and his pals, the Powerline Twits, attempt to justify Fred's pro-choice lobbying activities with this cynical bit of flackery:

A lawyer who is a candidate or a prospective candidate for office finds himself in an interesting position because of the nature of the legal profession and the practice of law. This is true when the practice was as varied as mine, and it's especially true when the office being considered is the Presidency of the United States.

The easiest and most generally used tactic when running against a lawyer is to trade off a general perception that most people dislike lawyers. Goodness knows that a lot of lawyers have earned disfavor but, as it turns out, folks understand our system better than a lot of politicians think they do. In my first run for the Senate, my opponent tried the old demagoguery route "He has even represented criminals!" to no avail.

A first cousin of this ploy is to associate the lawyer with the views of his client. Now-United States Chief Justice John Roberts addressed this notion during his confirmation hearings. "[I]t's a tradition of the American Bar that goes back before the founding of the country that lawyers are not identified with the positions of their clients. The most famous example probably was John Adams, who represented the British soldiers charged in the Boston Massacre."

Roberts pointed out that Adams was actually vindicating the rule of law. Every person, unpopular or not, is entitled to representation. He further said, "That principle that you don't identify the lawyer with the particular views of the client or the views that the lawyer advances on behalf of the client, is critical to the fair administration of justice."

That's just super, 'cept for one thing. Huckleberry Hound was acting as a lobbyist for pro-choice groups, not as their lawyer. Yes, he was working for a law firm when he conducted his lobbying activities. But that doesn't mean he was acting as a lawyer then, any more than he was acting as a lawyer for John Hughes when he appeared in "Curly Sue" and "Baby's Day Out."

It doesn't matter whether Huckleberry believed in reproductive rights when he was paid to advance that cause, any more than it matters whether Larry King really loves Ester-C and Welch's Grape Juice. The "best" you can say for Fred is that he hates abortion rights until someone pays him enough to love them. Or, more bluntly, that the only difference between Fred and Representative Bob Allen (R-FL) is the amount of the retainer.

And, as hard as it may be for chuzzlewits like John Hindraker and "Mister Ed" Morrisey to understand, an attorney representing a criminal defendant isn't supporting her client's "position" or "view" that murder, rape or robbery is a good thing. (Except in cases where the defendant is challenging the legality or the meaning of the law as written, the defendant's position ordinarily is that he didn't commit the crime.) The defense attorney is supporting the position that it a bad thing for a state to deprive someone of life or property without providing that person the legal process necessary to ensure, beyond reasonable doubt, that the state has a justification for imposing such a penalty.

When Fred says "Every person, unpopular or not, is entitled to representation," he surely doesn't mean that he has any obligation to provide representation for anyone who asks. Just show up at his next rally and demand that he lobby for your pet cause. Perhaps he'll represent the thugs who break your arm as they escort you from the hall.

Thompson's position on abortion rights is the same as Willard Romney's -- "What's in it for me?" And when Assrocket and Mister Ed stop pretending otherwise, maybe someone will take them seriously.

Grand Old Police Blotter: Bob, Meet John Edition

Another Republican allegedly has been caught illegally soliciting campaign contributions in a public building.

Man, this stuff writes itself:

Rep. Bob Allen
District 32 [-] Republican

City of Residence: Merritt Island

Occupation: Economic Development/Education


Education: Valencia Community College, A.A.

Religious Affiliation: Protestant

Recreational Interest: water sports

Representative Allen denies the charges.

Update: The police report says the money was offered by Allen, not requested by him.

Harry Potter and the Reconquista of Dhimmitude

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


The least surprising news of the last 24 hours:

WASHINGTON, July 10 — Former Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona told a Congressional panel Tuesday that top Bush administration officials repeatedly tried to weaken or suppress important public health reports because of political considerations.

Skip to next paragraph The administration, Dr. Carmona said, would not allow him to speak or issue reports about stem cells, emergency contraception, sex education, or prison, mental and global health issues. Top officials delayed for years and tried to "water down" a landmark report on secondhand smoke, he said. Released last year, the report concluded that even brief exposure to cigarette smoke could cause immediate harm.

Dr. Carmona said he was ordered to mention President Bush three times on every page of his speeches. He also said he was asked to make speeches to support Republican political candidates and to attend political briefings.

And administration officials even discouraged him from attending the Special Olympics because, he said, of that charitable organization's longtime ties to a "prominent family" that he refused to name.

"I was specifically told by a senior person, 'Why would you want to help those people?'" Dr. Carmona said.

The article also mentions that Dr. David Satcher was told by the Clinton Administration not to release a report on the public health benefits of needle exchange programs, and many may recall the shoddy treatment of Jocelyn Elders. The Office of Surgeon General has long been politicized, but never has it been so blatantly anti-scientific.

Roger's Pedantry Corner

Where can you see what an illiterate hack Howie Kurtz is?

Here here! (Scroll down)

(Explanation here)

Saint John Flames Out

Saint John McCain can spend money like a drunken Naval officer in support of an immoral and failed war, because it's someone else's money. Apparently, though, the Saint is a little more tight-fisted when its his own cash on the line:

An angry McCain reportedly confronted Weaver and Nelson about the campaign's operations, particularly the amount of money that was being spent even when it was clear funds were tight. The final confrontation, coming after McCain returned from a visit to Iraq over the weekend, ultimately led to their departures, according to sources.


Weaver and Nelson admitted a week ago that the campaign's assumption that McCain could raise at least $100 million this year had been badly flawed. That McCain would fall far short of that goal was apparent months ago, but the campaign reportedly was slow in making the necessary adjustments to prevent continued hemorrhaging of money in the second quarter of the year.

McCain has lost ground throughout the year, falling behind former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani in national polls and challenged by former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson, still an unannounced candidate. In Iowa and New Hampshire, McCain invested heavily in building organizations, but has been outflanked in both states by former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

McCain would have to launder money for the Coalition Provisional Authority for his campaign to see $100 million... ever.

This is the beginning of the end for the McCain myth. The corporate media groupies are moving on to prop up other G.O.P. frauds, like Muff Romney and Fred Thompson. If they can't sell the occupation, they surely can't sell the Saint.

Grand Old Police Blotter: A Vitter Pol to Swallow Edition

As we await the reveal of the identity of conservative think tank head who employed the services of Deborah Palfrey's PayPals, we must make do with news of a lesser john: David Vitter, a Republican United States Senator who, along with "his wife Wendy live[s] in Metairie with their four children, ages 13 and under, and are lectors at St. Francis Xavier Church."

Lector? I nearly swallowed 'er!

"For his work in Congress, David has received numerous awards from leading organizations such as Americans for Tax Reform, the 60 + Association, and the Family Research Council." Americans for Tax Reform? The Family Research Council? You don't suppose....

Nah, it must be a coincidence.

Vitter issued a press release claiming his activities were "a very serious sin in my past," thereby ending speculation as to whether he was banging a hooker even as he dictated the press release. In addition to his Beltway area hookers, Vitter also reportedly received constituent services from a home state ho. He refuses to consort with Mexican prostitutes, however, asserting that he is living proof that there's no job Americans won't do.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Currently on the Washington Post's homepage:

"Bush Exerts Executive Privilege"

That conjures an image of Bush straining to take a dump ... on the Constitution.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Last Word On Libby

During my vacation I was offline except for a few minutes to deal with flight arrangements. I read the paper versions of the various news websites, but didn't watch much news on the telly. I was however watching a local newscast when the anchor broke the Scooter Libby pardon story -- commutation, my ass -- and she even seemed to know who Libby was, even though Scooter wasn't waiting on line for an iPhone, driving through a submerged underpass or eating ribs.

Unsurprisingly, national television coverage was uniformly dismal, always giving equal time to the lies (Plame wasn't covert, Armitage was the real leaker, etc.) and the facts without bother to identify which were which. I suspect Olbermann was an exception, but didn't get to see him. The Clenis was invoked robotically, and often. The Sun-Times' coverage was dismal, as would be expected from Bob "Douchebag" Novak's home bunker. The paper lived up to its insipid motto, "Let's Not Get Into It."

Of course, no one should be surprised about the pardon, given the Administration's employment of Elliot Abrams and John Poindexter. The only surprise is that Bush hasn't given office space to the maggots who consumed Cap Weinberger's foul flesh.

Color Commentary Of The Day

"Whenever Vita Sackville-West is mentioned, the name of Virginia Woolf is never far away." -- From the July 8 coverage of the Tour de France, Stage One on the Versus Network

Saturday, July 07, 2007

For Those In Need Of A Bit Of A Laugh

The Now Show

Friday, July 06, 2007

The Remainder of the Day

Many have been goofing on the change of subtitle in J. Jonah Pantsload's forthcoming tome, Spank Me, Adolf. The new subtit. is now "The Totalitarian Temptation from Hegel to Whole Foods."

Sure, the publisher's long-standing description of the book said nothing about pricey, elitist organic grocery stores and their relationship to totalitarianism, but as the Pantload always says, they haven't read the book so they're in no position to critique it. And who can question Goldberg's marketing brilliance in referencing a philosopher almost noone's read and a grocery chain most have never visited.

What no one* seems to have noticed, as far as I can tell, is amazon.com's strange description of the book:

"Liberal Fascism: The Totalitarian Temptation from Hegel to Whole Foods (Foam Book)

by Jonah Goldberg (Colorist)" (Emphasis added.)

It's not clear what this means. Does each copy come pre-flecked with Goldberg's own spittle? Are the pages saturated with nonoxyno-9, or do they double as floatation devices? Perhaps it's printed on recycled packing peanuts.

And is the Pantload supplementing his income by maintaining Tommy Thompson's auburn highlights?

I expect it means that someone at amazon or Doubleday has read the book and is duly impressed.

Oh, and it also appears to have increased in size:

Product Details

Foam Book: 496 pages

That's just throwing good money after bad.

* Except this blogger

Grand Old Police Blotter: Hoosier Daddy's Boy Edition

I have a fair amount of understanding for the plight of teens who encounter the police while intoxicated or occupying a vehicle in which dope is hidden. And not all of us at that age have the ability to keep our heads about us and avoid detection and/or punishment. But I don't understand the arrogance of some who see persecution in such mundane events.

Take one David Wichlinski, the future of the Grand Old Party:

David Wichlinski, the 18-year-old Porter Township Board member, was silent Monday, less than 24 hours after his arrest for underage drinking and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Wichlinski was taken into custody about 8 p.m. Sunday by Valparaiso police after he and a friend were stopped near the McDonald's restaurant on Calumet Avenue in Valparaiso.

It's the third time in four months Wichlinski, a recent Boone Grove High School graduate and son of former Porter Township Trustee Robert Wichlinski, has had a brush with the law.

David Wichlinski avoided charges in February after he was accused of giving the middle finger to two police officers and again in April when police found a marijuana seed in his truck.

On Sunday, police were called to the McDonald's restaurant after receiving a complaint of an intoxicated driver at the restaurant's drive-through.

Police arrived and noticed a red Ford Mustang as it reversed into the restaurant parking lot and parked in a handicap parking spot.

Police stopped and talked with the driver, Ryan Kubal, 20, of Valparaiso, but David Wichlinski exited the vehicle and walked away. According to the police report, Wichlinski ignored requests to stop and acted as if he were talking on a cell phone.

Wichlinski crossed Calumet Avenue and police attempted to stop him at the Arby's restaurant, where police said he was stumbling in circles, before finally stopping him in the Premier Grill parking lot.

Wichlinski then asked the police officer why he was being stopped. The officer said he immediately smelled alcohol on Wichlinski's breath and asked him why he didn't stop, but received no answer.

Wichlinski denied drinking, but a portable breath test registered 0.050 percent.


Police searched Kubal's vehicle and found a glass smoking pipe in the glove compartment with residue of what police said smelled like burnt marijuana. Kubal told police it belonged to Wichlinski. Kubal also told police that Wichlinski had been drinking beer at a graduation party.


Wichlinski, a Republican, was elected to the Porter Township Board in November and was touted as one of the youngest, if not the youngest, elected officials in the state.

So far, no problem. Just party smarter. But young Master Davey isn't just any spotty-faced three-time loser; he's a victim. Upon resigning from his Board seat a day after the story broke, Davey stated:

I apologize to everyone whom I have disappointed and embarrassed including my family, friends, the Republican Party, our Township Board and the citizens of Porter Township.

I think it's fair to say that the press went a little hard on me, but that goes with the territory. I clearly was not prepared for such merciless scrutiny, but I guess I should have expected it given my age and my last name.

As far as I can tell from Google News, the story quoted above is the only "merciless scrutiny" that Davey's bust got before his resignation -- and it's a straightforward recounting of the arresting officer's allegations (likely taken directly from the arrest report), along with a recitation of Davey's failure to respond to requests for his comment. Davey's delusions of importance, and sense of persecution, are quite advanced for a whiny little drunk and (alleged) pothead with a do-nothing political job.

But Davey's daddy's sense of injury is even loftier. Says Robert Wichlinski:

It's apparently true that, 'people are more interested in reading about and believing the bad stuff.' Not once did anyone mention what a fine job David was doing on the Township Board, or that he graduated with honors from Boone Grove and was inducted into the academic Hall of Fame ... not even once. How disappointing is that?

Democracy in America remains an experiment; this is simply one test that did not yield positive results, but it should in no way diminish our resolve to improve and continue to innovate.

Don't worry. I'm sure Davey's tests by his probation officer will yield positive results. And we won't let your punk kid's inept partying destroy our faith in democracy.

Not even once.

How disappointing is that, Bob?

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Death Or Glory

Ted Nugent comes out against fucking.

Holy Fuck

Joe Lieberman, wrong again:

Lieberman, 65, described the 2008 presidential race as the most important election of his adult life.

In Memory of James M. Capozzola, Proprietor of The Rittenhouse Review

Like many other of Jim's admirers, I never met him, I received encouraging e-mails from him, and I envied his admirable gifts as a writer. His posts were elegant and free of profanity, and they were also pointed and fierce. Take, for example, "Land of Airheads & Steriodal Jerks," in honor of the California recall election. His eviscerations of Camile Paglia and Norah Vincent and Ruth Shalit and Dumber Andy Sullivan were rollicking fun. He wrote about his interests and his dinner companions and his bulldog, that is, about what interested him rather than just what dominated the political blogosphere at the time.

As Anothony mentioned, Jim generously paid for the permanent removal of the banner ad from this site back when those ads appeared above all the blogs hosted on BlogSpot. That act kept me encouraged when this blog was small and unknown. It is an act of kindness I'll never forget, for as long as I can remember.

P.S. Susie Madrak shares memories of Jim here.

Thank You

I'd like to thank Julia of Sisyphus Shrugged, Anthony Cartouche of Yazoo Street Scandal and Tom Hilton of If I Ran The Zoo for posting here while I was on vacation. Your kindnesses are much appreciated.

I'd also like to extend an apology to the bloggers who offered to fill in but were unable to participate because I screwed up their Blogger invites.

I'll be back to posting later today. I hope to include some thoughts about the untimely passing of the graceful Jim Capozzola.

Wednesday, Bloody Wednesday

It was a rootin', tootin', shootin' and stabbin' Independence Day in Cleveland, my home town.

The major story is this one:
Three people were killed and two injured during a shooting on Sky Lane Drive in Cleveland at 12:10 a.m.

Police said a Cleveland firefighter was arrested.

Officers said 35-year-old Terrance Hough was a neighbor who had asked the victims to keep the noise down as they were setting off fireworks. When they didn't stop, police said, he took out a gun and opened fire.

I guess that'll teach them a sharp lesson.

The online edition of Cleveland's best and only daily newspaper, The Plain Dealer, reports that there were three other separate shootings, two of which took place at or outside bars, with three victims near death. And as if that wasn't enough, there was also an incident of a woman found stabbed to death inside her apartment.

This year's was the kind of Fourth of July that makes me regard this one with nostalgia.

(Cross-posted at Yazoo Street Scandal.)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

James Capozzola, 1962-2007

You've probably already heard the news by now: Jim Capozzola, the man behind the Rittenhouse Review, died yesterday. He had been ill for a while. After he'd recovered enough to plan to return to his job, he fell and hit his head, suffering a brain hemorrhage.

Jim's friend Suzie at Suburban Guerrilla has more, including a list of links to a virtual Irish wake.

As a guest blogger at this site, it's probably presumptuous of me to speak for Roger, who will return from vacation any minute now, but I know that he always regarded Jim with affection and respect. Notice the blogroll on the right side of this page: Jim's two blogs are at the top of the list. When Blogger first arrived on the scene, they used to run ads at the top of the page of your blog, unless you paid them enough money to make the ad go away. Jim paid to have the ad removed from this blog (scroll down).

In the early days of lefty blogging, there were about four heavyweights whom I used to read daily, and I suspect that Roger read them daily too: the late, lamented Media Whores Online, BartCop, Atrios's Eschaton, and the Rittenhouse Review.

It's been said that not too many people bought the first two Velvet Underground LPs upon their release, but that everybody who DID buy them went on to form a band. It's not overstating the case by much to say that nearly everyone who was moved by one of those four blogs went on to start their own. Jim wrote with style, wit, and grace, and he will be missed, here and elsewhere.

Monday, July 02, 2007

how Scooter and Paris are different

How Scooter and Paris are different: He destroyed an intelligence network. She went to jail.

Bush cut Libby loose
President Bush Monday spared former vice presidential aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby from going to prison for 2 1/2 years for obstructing the CIA leak investigation, a White House official said.

The official said Bush "has commuted the prison sentence ... leaving intact the probation and fines handed down by the court."

"That means he is not going to jail," the official said.

Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, was sentenced to prison for lying and obstructing an investigation into who blew the cover of a CIA agent whose husband criticized the Iraq war.

You gotta wonder what the bad options were if the one Our Fearless Leader chose was pissing off the 7 out of 10 americans who want Libby to serve his sentence while simultaneously pissing off the conservatives who want him without a felony conviction on his record which will keep him from practicing law.

The Editors point out how Our Fearless Leader's boundless compassion played out when he had the chance to commute the sentences of 152 death row prisoners
I don’t believe my role [as governor] is to replace the verdict of a jury with my own, unless there are new facts or evidence of which a jury was unaware, or evidence that the trial was somehow unfair.
Remember the rule of law?

from Senator Reid's office
Washington, DC — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today after President Bush commuted the prison sentence of former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby for obstruction of justice:

"The President's decision to commute Mr. Libby's sentence is disgraceful. Libby's conviction was the one faint glimmer of accountability for White House efforts to manipulate intelligence and silence critics of the Iraq War. Now, even that small bit of justice has been undone. Judge Walton correctly determined that Libby deserved to be imprisoned for lying about a matter of national security. The Constitution gives President Bush the power to commute sentences, but history will judge him harshly for using that power to benefit his own Vice President's Chief of Staff who was convicted of such a serious violation of law."

Speaker Pelosi
"The President's commutation of Scooter Libby's prison sentence does not serve justice, condones criminal conduct, and is a betrayal of trust of the American people.

"The President said he would hold accountable anyone involved in the Valerie Plame leak case. By his action today, the President shows his word is not to be believed. He has abandoned all sense of fairness when it comes to justice, he has failed to uphold the rule of law, and he has failed to hold his Administration accountable."

What's Shakin' on the Hill

When last we checked in on our good friends at Shakesville, Melissa McEwan and company were trying to deal with a denial of service attack from parties unknown. Well, today they are back at their home site, full of grit, moxie, and attitude, and more determined than ever to provide intelligent commentary, free drinks at the best virtual pub on t3h 1n+arw3bz, and—I quote—"more feminazi cooter than you can shake a stick at." That's a program I can heartily endorse!

Ever the pithy wordsmith, Melissa has crafted a two-word message to the people who tried to shut her down (spoiler alert: the first word is "Fuck").

Visit the site. And why not take that money you were going to spend on the new Toby Keith CD and put it in the Shakesville tip jar instead? You'll be glad you did.

Wingnutty Goodness

Over the weekend, Mister Leonard Pierce, one of the cadre of intrepid bloggers at Sadly, No!, went slumming and found an especially choice example of the kind of basement-dwelling Cheetos-munching warblogger whose mission in life is to save us from the perils of Islamofascism from behind a keyboard: Foehammer's Anvil. Tuff talk, a ridiculously busy and inane page layout, and an unearned sense of intellectual superiority and moral courage—our boy Foehammer's got it all.

Were he and Atlas Juggs to make a baby, I have no doubt that said child would be the GOP nominee for president in the year 2044.