Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Chris Hitchens, man of letters, endorses the Autobiography of a Flea Circus:

"The White House under Bill and Hillary Clinton was a moral and political slum, where a decent woman could be molested in the Oval Office and defamed and harassed when she complained. It's shocking to think that the crooked partnership could ever be allowed back into our Executive Mansion and Kathleen Willey has done a great service by reminding us so vividly of what it was like last time"

Christopher Hitchens, author of No One Left to Lie To: The Values of the Worst Family

And don't miss Kathy, Hitch and I: A Reunion, coming soon on a very special edition of Hardball.

Fox and Fluffers

Lickspittle Carl Cameron gives Huckleberry Fred a friendly tug:

Trying to encourage his studio to hurry up so an interview could start, Carl Cameron of Fox News said into his microphone: "The next president of the United States has a schedule to keep." Standing beside him, a deadpan Mr Thompson interjected: "And so do I."

As some Thompson aides looked bemused and others cringed, a taken-aback Mr Cameron, Fox's chief political correspondent, exclaimed: "You can't do that kind of stuff!"

No wonder Huckleberry spends so little time campaigning. He's set up his front porch in the Faux News studios.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Dumbpowder Plot

If it takes a egomanical Texan with a bunch of drooling nutjob followers to get a Democrat back in the White House, so be it.

Historians and British schoolchildren remember Guy Fawkes as the Roman Catholic, anti-Protestant rebel who on Nov. 5, 1605, tried to assassinate King James I by blowing up the Parliament. Supporters of the Republican primary campaign of the libertarian Representative Ron Paul may remember Fawkes as a wildly successful fund-raising gimmick.

On Monday, a group of Paul supporters helped raised more than $4.07 million in one day — approaching what the campaign raised in the entire last quarter — through a Web site called ThisNovember5th.com, a reference to the day the British commemorate the thwarted bombing.

It's also nice to see so many prizewinning chumps fleeced of their hardly-earned dollars. The Republican Party will never let an anti-war candidate get anywhere the nomination. Big War calls the shots, boys, and you just ask "how high." If you want any return on your investment, third party is the only way to go. Do it for the country.

It's Guiliani Time

Rudy Guiliani is tough on crime ... to a point.

If you're a pal of Rudy's, your crimes are not his concern.

Link

A cascade of questions followed about [Kerik's] judgment as a public official, not least that he had inappropriately lobbied city officials on behalf of Interstate Industrial, a construction firm suspected of links to organized crime. Mr. Giuliani defended Mr. Kerik, a friend and business partner, whom he had recommended to the Bush administration. But he also tried to shield himself from accusations that he had ignored Mr. Kerik's failings.

"I was not informed of it," Mr. Giuliani said then, when asked if he had been warned about Mr. Kerik's relationship with Interstate before appointing him to the police post in 2000.

Mr. Giuliani amended that statement last year in testimony to a state grand jury. He acknowledged that the city investigations commissioner, Edward J. Kuriansky, had told him that he had been briefed at least once. The former mayor said, though, that neither he nor any of his aides could recall being briefed about Mr. Kerik’s involvement with the company.

But a review of Mr. Kuriansky’s diaries, and investigators' notes from a 2004 interview with him, now indicate that such a session indeed took place. What is more, Mr. Kuriansky also recalled briefing one of Mr. Giuliani's closest aides, Dennison Young Jr., about Mr. Kerik's entanglements with the company just days before the police appointment, according to the diaries he compiled at the time and his later recollection to the investigators.

The additional evidence raises questions not only about the precision of Mr. Giuliani's recollection, but also about how a man who proclaims his ability to pick leaders came to overlook a jumble of disturbing information about Mr. Kerik, even as he pushed him for two crucial government positions.

"Rudy can fall for people big time, and sometimes qualifications are secondary to loyalty," said Fran Reiter, a former Giuliani deputy mayor who now supports Hillary Clinton. "If he gets it in his head he trusts you, he is extremely loyal."

Link

Giuliani employs his childhood friend Monsignor Alan Placa as a consultant at Giuliani Partners despite a 2003 Suffolk County, N.Y., grand jury report that accuses Placa of sexually abusing children, as well as helping cover up the sexual abuse of children by other priests. Placa, who was part of a three-person team that handled allegations of abuse by clergy for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, is referred to as Priest F in the grand jury report. The report summarizes the testimony of multiple alleged victims of Priest F, and then notes, "Ironically, Priest F would later become instrumental in the development of Diocesan policy in response to allegations of sexual abuse of children by priests."

Five years after he was suspended from his duties because of the abuse allegations, Placa is currently listed as "priest in residence" at St. Aloysius Church in Great Neck, N.Y., where close friend Brendan Riordan serves as pastor, and officially lives at the rectory there with Riordan. In addition, Placa co-owns a penthouse apartment in Manhattan with Riordan, the latest in a half-dozen properties the two men have owned in common at various times since the late 1980s.

Placa has worked for Giuliani Partners since 2002. As of June 2007, he remains on the payroll. "He is currently employed here," Giuliani spokeswoman Sunny Mindel confirmed to Salon, adding that Giuliani "believes Alan has been unjustly accused." Mindel declined to discuss what role Placa plays with the consulting firm, or how much he is paid. Says Richard Tollner, who testified before the grand jury that Placa had molested him, "[Giuliani] has to speak up for himself and explain himself. If he doesn't, people shouldn't vote for him." Adds Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, which tracks suspected priest abuse, "I think Rudy Giuliani has to account for his friendship with a credibly accused child molester."

Link

When Rudolph Giuliani appointed a task force on police-community relations last summer, you didn't have to be a seer to know it was a spin. He wanted to take some of the heat off himself in the horrified wake of what happened to Abner Louima in the 70th Precinct.

Having now pushed the commission to disband, Giuliani--as a New York Times headline put it -- "sneered" at the commission's mild majority report. Surprised at the backlash to his arrogance, he said later he could have been more gracious in his response to his vassals.

But as usual, Giuliani has had his own way. The commission is dead, and he will continue to fight any attempt, including by the City Council, to allow the existence of an independent review board over the police. Giuliani deeply believes that only the police can credibly make the police accountable for brutality and corruption.

Being tough on crime is the easiest thing in the world. Being tough on your cronies' crimes is another matter. And Rudy is weak as water when it comes to his cronies' crimes.

And that's where the problems lies. We currently have an Administration that's tough on crime, except for the crimes committed by the Administration, its advocates and its allies. With Rudy, it will be worse. In a Guiliani Administration, Rudy will be his own Abu Gonzales.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Roger's Hollywood Minute

A new film, Before The Devil Knows You're Dead, is getting uniformily rave reviews. Here's a representative critique from Roger Ebert (and one that doesn't give up too much of the plot, unlike the NYT review):

Sidney Lumet's "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" is such a superb crime melodrama that I almost want to leave it at that. To just stop writing right now and advise you to go out and see it as soon as you can. I so much want to avoid revealing plot points that I don't even want to risk my usual strategy of oblique hints. You deserve to walk into this one cold.

Yet that would prevent my praise, and there is so much to praise about this film. Let me try to word this carefully. The movie stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke as brothers -- yes, brothers, because although they may not look related, they always feel as if they share a long and fraught history. Hoffman plays Andy, a payroll executive who dresses well and always has every hair slicked into place, but has a bad drug habit and an urgent need to raise some cash. Hawke plays Hank, much lower on the financial totem pole, with his own reasons for needing money; he can't face his little girl and admit he can't afford to pay for her class outing to attend "The Lion King." Hank looks more like the druggie, but you never can tell.

Andy suggests they solve their problems by robbing a jewelry store....

...

And it doesn't simply go wrong, it goes wrong with an aftermath we care about. This isn't a movie where the crime is only a plot, and dead bodies are only plot devices. Its story has deeply emotional consequences. That's why an actor with Albert Finney's depth is needed for an apparently supporting role. If he isn't there when he's needed, the whole film loses. As for Hoffman and Hawke, so seemingly different but such intelligent actors, they pull off that miracle that makes us stop thinking of anything we know about them, and start thinking only of Andy and Hank.

This is a movie, I promise you, that grabs you and won't let you think of anything else. It's wonderful when a director like Lumet wins a Lifetime Achievement Oscar at 80, and three years later makes one of his greatest achievements.

A film that's not based on a toy, or a cartoon, or a cartoon about a toy. One that doesn't star Angelina Jolie as Grendel's mother or Vince Vaughn as Santa's brother. One that has scenes from a mall but not a crappy screenplay.

And here's the best part: One of the producers is Brian Linse, proprietor of the Ain't No Bad Dude blog. Here's hoping that the movie is a success beyond Brian's wildest expectations, and that he lets me hold his Oscar (TM -AMPAS).

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Alternative Clue for Today's New York Times Crossword

44 Across: Kaus blows it

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Wingnut Blogger Makes Good

Former Reason hack and failed blogger RiShawn Biddle has parted ways with the Indianapolis Star following an eloquent denunciation of Democrats:

The newspaper's editor, Dennis Ryerson, removed the posting by RiShawn Biddle Wednesday and apologized to readers.

Then, at 5:30 p.m., Tim Swarens, editor of Opinion and Community Conversations, sent this one-sentence note to the staff of the Gannett newspaper:

"Effective immediately, editorial writer RiShawn Biddle is no longer employed by The Indianapolis Star."

Riddle's blog entry was titled, "The Indianapolis Black Democrat minstrel show."

It was originally called "Coons for Power," judging from the Web address for the blog entry, which uses those words, and according to the Indianapolis blogosphere.

One blogger wrote that the piece originally compared the council president to "Zip Coon, a derogatory, racial slur on black men dating to the days of slavery."

Return to the wingnutosphere, Mr. Biddle. You'll soon be rolling in links from Instacracker and his pals. And thousands of comments about how unfair it is that white folks -- and conservatives -- just can't use some perfectly good words.

Looks like I've got a tough choice to make. Bill Bloomfield has sent me a desperate personal plea via e-mail, asking if I can resuscitate John McCain's moribund campaign.

Can you invest eight weeks of your time to make history?

We need you at one of our offices in Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan or South Carolina.


If you can relocate to one of the early primary or caucus states, please reply to this e-mail or send your contact information to: volunteers@JohnMcCain.com

Thank-you!

Bill Bloomfield, Director of Volunteers

You're-entirely-welcome-Bill! I've already e-mailed you my fee schedule and my bank account information.

So: November and December in Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan or South Carolina. A very tough choice. Any recommendations?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Grand Old Police Blotter: G.O.P.py Hallowe'en Edition

Cap'n Ed wonders why all the girls are dressing like "skanks" for Hallowe'en instead of, say, dressing as pretend naval officers.

The answer: They're emulating their favorite bigoted Republican lawmakers:

Newly released police investigative reports allege a state representative dressed up as a woman and engaged in an oral sex act at a Spokane Valley adult bookstore before later rendezvousing at a downtown hotel for another sexual encounter with a man now under investigation for extortion, according to today's edition of The Spokesman-Review.

Here's more from today's Spokesman-Review story:

The suspect in the investigation, identified in police and court documents as 26-year-old Cody Michael Castagna, of Medical Lake, told detectives he was offered $1,000 to have unprotected sex with State Rep. Richard Curtis, a Republican from La Center, which is near Vancouver.

Castagna, a part-time porn model, has been featured in explicit photo shoots posted on some members-only gay Web sites.

Curtis, who was in Spokane for a leglislative trip, earlier spoke with an editor of The Columbian and denied having had sex with a man and said he was not gay.

According to court documents, Curtis and Castagna met shortly before 1 a.m. last Friday at Hollywood Erotic Boutique in Spokane Valley where Castagna was watching porn videos, police investigative reports say.

An employee at the porn store told detectives Curtis has been in the business three times in the last month and is called "the cross-dresser" by employees. The same employee said she was told by Curtis he is gay and likes to dress in women's underwear.

During questioning by Spokane Police detectives, Castagna said he saw a man later identified as Curtis in Hollywood Boutique early last Friday "wearing long red women's stockings and black sequined lingerie." Castagna later told detectives he saw a 40-ish man with a cane performing oral sex on the legislator, according to the police reports.

Later, the legislator gave his phone number to Castagna before leaving the adult bookstore at 9611 E. Sprague, the reports say.

Curtis then went to Northern Quest Casino in Airway Heights before getting a phone call from Castagna. The two agreed to meet at the Davenport Towers where the legislator, visiting Spokane on legislative business, had a room.

Once the two arrived in the legislator's hotel room, "Curtis gave the male $100," before the two engaged in sex acts, the police reports say.

Detectives seized pillowcases and bed sheets from the room and surveillance video from the hotel's lobby, the documents say.

Cody Castagna apparently is not related to Malkin enthusiast/anthrax terrorist Chad Castagana, as they have different last names and different hazmat evidence collection protocols associated with their activites.

Meanwhile, perhaps Cap'n Ed can urge impressionable young women of his acquaintance to select more wholesome and decorous role models, such as his friend Pam Oshry.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Mellon Scaife Rent Boy Tells The Truth While Touting Anti-Semite

In a post demanding tolerance for Nick Griffin, the anti-semitic leader of a British white supremacist party who is currently touring America as the guest of campus right-wingers, Newsbusters' Timmy Graham inexplicably tells the truth:

Another example is the hacking of our friend Jonah Goldberg. His forthcoming book "Liberal Fascism" was hacked at Amazon.com, reports Editor and Publisher. The working subtitle is "The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning." The hacker changed it to "The Totalitarian Temptation from When I Got My Advance Until I Finally Hand in the Manuscript in 2011." It was still carrying the joke subtitle when I just checked.)

I think Jonah would admit that's mildly humorous. His book has had several subtitles, and he didn't enjoy one that included Hillary Clinton. (Brent Bozell asked to the change the subtitle of our book Whitewash, and Crown Forum has delayed its release several times from its original date in September 2006, so book buyers should know it's a collaborative process with the publisher.) But the hacker is making Amazon look as bad as Goldberg does.

Nothing can make Amazon look as bad as its continuing characterization of Goldberg's bat-droppings as a "book."

Regarding Griffin, the Young Americans for Freedom invited the New Right Nazi to the Michigan State campus knowing he is a Holocaust denier. Graham links to an article pointing out that fact, but pretends not to notice. Funny how Graham promotes a true conservative fascist while pimping the Pantload's fairytales.

Update: More about Tim Graham and Nick Griffin's pale pals at YAF Watch.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Hipublican Ink

Via TBogg, I see that someone is given Megan McArdle a run for the title of most insipid blogger named Megan.

That person is Meghan McCain, who tries to whip up flaccid Young Republicans with a right-wing body art contest.

Says Meghan:

I have a confession to make, I have a tattoo. A small star on the corner of my right foot. I know... very rebellious and scandalous. One of my favorite shows is LA Ink (Kat Von D, you've got wicked style) and I have always been drawn to people with tattoos. So here's the deal, I want to see your best political tattoo. Anything related to politics in anyway (obviously extra points if it's somehow John McCain-related). We'll go through them and post our favorite. The winner who shows us their best political ink gets a $50 iTunes card.

Instructions:
Send your JPEG, GIF or PNG file (100k file limit) to ink@mccainblogette.com by November 21, 2007. Include your name, e-mail, hometown, and one other way to contact you (phone or mailing address will do) and your image.

Submissions Disclaimer:
The McCainBlogette.com invites you to share your photo with us. McCainBlogette.com has the sole discretion to decide what photos will be published. Please understand that by submitting your photograph, you will release publishing rights of the image to the McCainBlogette.com. The McCainBlogette.com claims all rights to the usage of your photograph on printed and digital material. You release McCainBlogette.com, its affiliates and assigns from any and all liability, claims, or damages arising out of or relating from the submission. All photographs submitted become the property of McCainBlogette.com and will not be returned to you.

Shorter disclaimer: If you're stupid enough to get John McCain's puss etched into your shoulder for an iTunes card, you can't sue us when you lose.

If anyone actual read Megh's blog, she'd be receiving a lot of e-mail from skinheads and Prince Albert aficionados right about now. I wonder if she knows about the large "Charles Keating" in Old English script across his dad's buttocks.

Megh is following the old man around the country with her own version of the Five Brothers, the Four Unnatural Blondes. Negotiations with VH1 and Fred Durst Productions are already underway.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.

Imagine a boot stomping on a human face -- forever.

Oh, wait. That's the "before" photo.

(Photo via IP.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Death Of The Sixth Amendment

At first glance, this article seems to provide grounds for celebration during the Orwellian-themed "Islamofascism Awareness Week."

DALLAS, Oct. 22 -- A federal judge declared a mistrial on Monday in what was widely seen as the government's flagship terrorism-financing case after prosecutors failed to persuade a jury to convict five leaders of a Muslim charity on any charges, or even to reach a verdict on many of the 197 counts.

The case, involving the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development and five of its backers, is the government's largest and most complex legal effort to shut down what it contends is American financing for terrorist organizations in the Middle East.

Proving that even Texans aren't complete shits-for-brains like David Horowitz, Chris Hitchens and Marty Peretz.

But not so fast.

Instead, the prosecution said [during the case], the foundation supported terrorism by sending more than $12 million to charitable groups, known as zakat committees, which build hospitals and feed the poor.

Prosecutors said the committees were controlled by Hamas and contributed to terrorism by helping Hamas spread its ideology and recruit supporters. The government relied on Israeli intelligence agents, using pseudonyms, to testify in support of this theory.

Witnesses using pseudonyms? Doesn't anyone remember something called the Confrontation Clause? Sixth Amendment, anyone? Has the right to cross-examine one's accusers been completely abolished? How can you confront a witness you know nothing about? How can a court swear a witness in and then allow the witness to lie about his or her own fucking name? Where are all the phony fucking libertarians on this one?

If this story has been reported correctly, U.S. District Judge A. Joe Fish should be impeached.

Monday, October 22, 2007

They Call Me ... MISTER Dick

The Washington Post has tawdry tales of Dickie Mellon Scaife, the hourly patron saint of the American Spectator:

In December of that year [2005], Scannell followed Richard Scaife to nearby North Huntingdon, home of Doug's Motel, a place where the TVs are bolted to the furniture and rooms can be rented in three-hour increments, for $28. (It's now under new management and renamed the Huntingdon Inn. Head east on Route 8, then east on Route 30.) There, according to Scannell, Scaife spent a few hours with Tammy Sue Vasco.

Why a billionaire would shack up at Doug's Motel, of all places, is a mystery. Ditto his choice of companions. Vasco is a tall, blond 43-year-old mother who in 1993 was busted in a sting operation after showing up at a Sheraton hotel and offering to have sex with an undercover cop for $225, the Post-Gazette reported.

Social Register material she is not, but Vasco and Scaife seemed to have a relationship that went beyond the purely professional. The two usually met each other twice a week, for months, at the motel, says an employee of the motel. Scaife would show up in a chauffeured car, dressed in a suit, wearing cuff links, always bearing flowers. Vasco would be waiting in same room every time, Room 5 on the ground floor, facing the parking lot, said the employee. Mr. Dick, as he was known at the motel, would stay for two hours or so, then get back in the car, which had been waiting, and leave.

Will the wingnut welfare queens abandon Mister Dick in his hour of need (a pricy divorce), or will they follow in the (presumably metaphorical) kneepads of R. Emmett Tyrell and start renting Room 5 by the hour?

Update: Timmy -- not Tammy -- Graham of the MRC is already kneeling. He only wishes Dickie paid him $28 for three hours.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Shorter Meet the Press

Transcript for October 21, 2007:

MR. TIM RUSSERT: Our issues this Sunday: Barack Obama challenges Hillary Clinton on the Iraq war.

MR. RUSSERT: .... But first, the race for the White House heating up; the primaries and caucuses just 10 weeks away. Here to put it all in perspective, an extraordinary group of ladies.

Welcome, all.

MS. JUDY WOODRUFF: Thank you.

MS. KATE O'BEIRNE: Thank you.

MS. SALLY BEDELL SMITH: Thank you.

...

MS. SMITH: Well.

MS. WOODRUFF: (Unintelligible)

MS. SMITH: (Unintelligible).

MS. O’BEIRNE: (Unintelligible)

MS. WOODRUFF: But we’re not normal.

The thing speaks for itself.

In Days Of Old

The New York Times takes aim at an easy but deserving target, the medieval-themed restaurant:

Things were different then, said Rich Brostowski, 37, the bar manager at Lyndhurst, whose shoulder-length hair and eagerness to demonstrate fighting techniques suggest that he has not completely forgotten his 13-year tenure as a knight. Many of the knights in those early days, he said, read fantasy novels, studied period movies and joined role-playing groups like the Society for Creative Anachronism.

"To me a knight is here," Mr. Brostowski said, pointing to his head. "This place was never just a job for me. I am a knight. That's who I am."

Over the next 10 years the Lyndhurst castle came to have some of the longest-serving knights in the Medieval Times empire. "It was a tight-knit group," said Stephanie Keil, 23, who has been a serving wench for five years. "They were revered and respected and feared." (Later, revealing that she is engaged to Mr. Brostowski, Ms. Keil added with a smile: "I'm a lucky wench.")

Just wait 'til you find out the drawbridge is always down, Steph.

Around 2000, in a phase that a Lyndhurst manager referred to as "corporatization," the company, which is privately held, began tightly standardizing the fight choreography, so one knight could smoothly substitute for one another. (Injuries are not rare.) Personal battle flourishes were curtailed and, under the training of the new corporate head knight, all combat, Tino-style and otherwise, achieved conformity. The knights of Lyndhurst adapted. But eventually discontent arose among the ranks. Two of the castle’s most senior knights, like the disaffected barons of 13th-century England, drew up a list of grievances and began persuading the squires and the other knights to take on the actors' and stagehands' unions as their bargaining representatives.

But 'twas the advent of warblogging that took the hardest toll on the industry.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Achtung, Tikkun

TBogg has more on the latest attempts to rework Jonah Goldberg's fan fic tome, I Married A National Socialist, into acceptable form. The newest title of the book is "Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning."

As one of TBogg's commenters notes, the new title suggests Jonah's decades of research uncovered the fact that Il Duce spent a number of years as a Peace Studies Professor in Madison, Wisconsin.

I suspect the next thing to be replaced is the cover. Expect an illustration of that infamous fascist, Michael Lerner, swinging from a meat hook by his heels.

Creep With A Video Camera

Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog notes that D.C. Lobbyist Rick Santorum is again exploiting his daughter for political purposes.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Thank God We Live In A Meritocracy

Commentary magazine has named its first female editor in its six decade history. (Not right away, mind you.) Congratulations, Tiffany!

We are delighted to announce that John Podhoretz has been named to succeed Neal Kozodoy in the position of COMMENTARY's Editor as of January 1, 2009.

Mr. Podhoretz will join the COMMENTARY staff this November. In the interim role of Editorial Director, he will assume particular responsibility for the development and expansion of our online editorial activities. Our blog, inaugurated less than a year ago, has become an important daily source of thought and opinion for readers around the world, and online operations will play an increasingly significant role in COMMENTARY's growth.

Mr. Podhoretz, who upon his accession in January 2009 will become the fourth Editor in COMMENTARY's six-decade history, brings long and varied experience as an editor, columnist, writer, and blogger. He has held executive positions at several publications, including the Weekly Standard, which he co-founded, Insight, and the New York Post. The author of three books about presidential politics, he is the lead political columnist of the New York Post, has served as the regular film critic of the Weekly Standard since its inception, and is a daily contributor to "The Corner," National Review’s group blog. He was a regular on CNN's "Reliable Sources" and is now a frequent on-screen contributor to the Fox News Channel. In government, he was a speechwriter to Ronald Reagan in 1988.

Mr. Podhoretz, forty-six, lives in New York with his wife and two daughters. He is the son of Norman and Midge Podhoretz.

Yes, Commentary's blog is quite impressive. So impressive that the magazine has forgotten it actually has three blogs.

But I digress. After years of being propped up by family friends Sun Myung Moon and Rupert Murdoch, our Tiff has finally struck out on her own. Leaving the nest at 46 is always big step, but we wish you only the best.

One piece of friendly advice: When you practice your formidable editing skills on such articles as "The Case For Bombing Iran," remember that a light touch works best. You're not a trained psychiatrist, and it's never too late to change the will.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Enemy of His Enemy

I stand second to no man -- except Himmler, of course -- in my opposition to cruelty toward animals. That said, the question of whether or not Mickey Kaus blows goats is one best left to state regulators, the U.S.D.A. and the investigative unit of Cattle Fancy magazine.

I'm more disturbed -- but not surprised -- by Kaus's blowing of the white racist website VDARE.com, with which the hairless hack has found common ground in the loathing of immigrants. (Scroll down to October 13, 6:04 p.m.) That's not a one-off link, either. And Kaus recently shared the stage at the Hudson Institute with VD's intellectual midgets and fellow immigrant-haters.

Just remember, Mickey -- when push comes to shove, the VDARE folks aren't all that fond of your pale ass, either.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Who are the Values Voters?

In addition to some of the G.O.P. Presidential Candidates (but not Alan Keyes), guests scheduled to speak at the 2007 Value Voters Summit later this week include:

Roger Hedgecock:

In 1985 he was forced from office after being convicted on one count of conspiracy and 12 counts of perjury involving improper campaign contributions. Hedgecock failed to report over $350,000 in illegal contributions from Nancy Hoover, David Dominelli, and the J. David Company. The perjury charges were later overturned due to an erroneous jury instruction taking the issue of materiality, an element in every perjury charge, from the jury's domain as well as jury misconduct. Later, in a deal with prosecutors, Hedgecock pleaded guilty to misdemeanor money-laundering. After a year on probation, the charges were dismissed (the norm in California for first time misdemeanants).

Rabbi Daniel Lapin:

The Washington Post reported on October 16, 2005, that Toward Tradition received a $25,000 donation in 2000 from online gambling company eLottery, a lobbying client of Jack Abramoff and his employer, Preston Gates Ellis, despite Lapin's professed opposition to gambling. Some or all of the money received by Lapin was then transferred to a company run by the wife of Tony Rudy, an aide to Tom DeLay who was instrumental in killing an antigambling bill that eLottery and Abramoff were lobbying against. In a follow-up article published by the Washington Post on January 9, 2006, it was alleged that Toward Tradition was the "non-profit entity" referred to in Abramoff's plea agreement in relation to a $25,000 contribution made by Magazine Publishers of America which had hired Abramoff for a campaign against the postal rate increase. In March 2006, Tony Rudy pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy relating to the money his wife had received via Lapin.

And Tony Perkins:

Four years ago, Perkins addressed the Louisiana chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), America's premier white supremacist organization, the successor to the White Citizens Councils, which battled integration in the South. In 1996 Perkins paid former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke $82,500 for his mailing list. At the time, Perkins was the campaign manager for a right-wing Republican candidate for the US Senate in Louisiana. The Federal Election Commission fined the campaign Perkins ran $3,000 for attempting to hide the money paid to Duke.

Also slated to appear are convicted Watergate conspirator Chuck Colson, family man Newt Gingrich. thumb-headed playboy John Fund and anti-Semitism apologist Ben Stein.

Attendees would be well advised to leave their wallets in their hotel rooms and their children in another state.

Insert Something About A Blogger Ethics Panel Here

Howie "the Putz" Kurtz spent the first segment of his CNN program this morning plugging his book, Canker Sores. To return the favor, Kurtz then ran a commercial for Time magazine in the guise of an interview:

KURTZ: Even on TV there was a lot of pundits talking about whether Giuliani or Romney had won that exchange, but again, not much on who was actually right or wrong. Mark Halperin, you mentioned the role of the new media. When you were at ABC News, you wrote something called "The Note," which was sort of an insider's guide to politics. Tomorrow you are going to debut a new Web page called "The Page" at time.com.

Tell us a little bit about that.

HALPERIN: Well, "The Page" is for people who want to know what's going on in the presidential race all the time, 24/7. We are updating it all the time. Time colleagues overseas as well. So while we sleep here on the East Coast, the site is being updated. The Web page is thepage.time.com. It has got everything, the best reporting from Time magazine but reporting from around the whole country, local papers, local television, national television, cable, all consolidated on one page.

So if you're interested any time in knowing what's going on in this race, "The Page" is where people are going to look, I think and I hope.

KURTZ: Just briefly, do you think we're drowning in information on the Internet? And are you trying to sort of organize it?

HALPERIN: Even my colleagues -- our colleagues who cover this day to day, even the campaigns, there is so much to read, there is so much good journalism being done, watching on television, listening on the radio. Our idea is to consolidate that, to aggregate it all in one place. So if you are busy and you can't read every paper or watch every TV show, "The Page" is the one place where it is all going to live all the time on one page.

Jaysus. The product placement is more subtle in a Rob Schneider movie.

Howie then went back to plugging his book.

Halperin, of course, is the former ABC News political director who proudly takes his marching orders from internet slander merchant Matt Drudge. (And yet he claimed today that he was interested in honesty. Imagine that.) Fortunately, Time doesn't have a reputation which can be tarnished.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Has There Ever Been A Bigger Group of Shits Than The '80s/Early '90s New Republic Crew?

Ezra Klein reminds us that before hairless hack Mickey Kaus started his blog, Letters to Human Events Forum, Kaus either had some integrity or, more likely, a justifiable loathing of Andy Sullivan.

Of course, Kaus tossed off his integrity a long time ago. Now, he's pretending to find a significant difference between "false," "untrue" and "made up." While covered in Vaseline.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Coarsening The Discourse Since 2002

Sometime this month, Roger Ailes the blog will celebrate the fifth anniversary of its very first post. Thanks to Blogger's latest "upgrade," which screwed up the archives, I'm not certain of the exact date. But it doesn't really matter. Who needs an excuse to drink reflect on this amazing milestone?

And to those who say this humble blog has had no impact on the vital issues of the day, I respond, "read 'em and weep":

COLBERT: Why are you making me think, Larry?

The book is -- the book is like the show. It's -- the show is an extension and an amplification of pundit shows.

KING: All pundit shows?

COLBERT: All pundit shows.

KING: So when they say you're just doing O'Reilly, that's wrong?

COLBERT: No, no, no, no.

KING: You do all pundits.

COLBERT: I'm also Hannity.

KING: Russert?

COLBERT: Well, Russert is less of a pundit and more of a pumpkin.

Yesssss!!

But Hitler Started It!

You've probably seen that the Doughy Pantload's publisher has pushed back the release date of the 'Load's masterpiece, Dearest Adolf: A Love Story. It now comes out on Elvis Presley's birthdate, (and will probably die on the toilet much soon than did the King).

Of more interest is the new publisher's description of the Pantload's tome:

Contrary to what most people think, the Nazis were ardent socialists (hence the term "National socialism"). They believed in free health care and guaranteed jobs. They confiscated inherited wealth and spent vast sums on public education. They purged the church from public policy, promoted a new form of pagan spirituality, and inserted the authority of the state into every nook and cranny of daily life. The Nazis declared war on smoking, supported abortion, euthanasia, and gun control. They loathed the free market, provided generous pensions for the elderly, and maintained a strict racial quota system in their universities [How Nazi is that!?! -- R.A.] — where campus speech codes were all the rage. The Nazis led the world in organic farming and alternative medicine. Hitler was a strict vegetarian, and Himmler was an animal rights activist.

The Nazis also hated homosexuals, atheists, women's equality, the right to privacy, contraception, diplomacy, immigrants, communism and the Soviet Union, and loved the military, nationalism, enhanced interrogation techniques, invading other countries and long walks on the beach. The Nazis conducted research into the causes of cancer, too. The party was controlled by of a bunch of white, Christian, heterosexual men. The party's American supporters hated Roosevelt, the New Deal and immigrants. And Hitler owned a dog and bored people senseless talking about it.

Wait, what were we talking about again?

We often forget, for example, that Mussolini and Hitler had many admirers in the United States.

Oh, no. I never forget a Bush.

Fascism was an international movement that appeared in different forms in different countries, depending on the vagaries of national culture and temperament. In Germany, fascism appeared as genocidal racist nationalism. In America, it took a "friendlier," more liberal form. The modern heirs of this "friendly fascist" tradition include the New York Times, the Democratic Party, the Ivy League professoriate, and the liberals of Hollywood. The quintessential Liberal Fascist isn't an SS storm trooper; it is a female grade school teacher with an education degree from Brown or Swarthmore.

Now it becomes clear. The 'Load is still licking his wounds from all the times he was shot down in his community college days, but he'll show those stuck-up bitches.

Apart from the blatant faslehoods in the publisher's synposis (undoubtedly derived from the 'Load's book), it seems the Pantload's argument boils down to "anything I don't like is fascism, and here's a reference to Hitler I found on the 'net which proves it." I'm sure the 'Load would claim his analysis is more nuanced, but his own publisher doesn't seem to agree.

Goldberg hasn't forgotten what fascism is; he never knew.

Update (10/13): As commenters have reminded me, I failed to include the abolition of labor unions, domestic spying, patriarchy and the nuclear family as Nazi "turn-ons." Thanks also to Alex of Martini Revolution, filling in at Crooks and Liars, for the link.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Segregation Now, Segregation Forever

I'm surprised that more hasn't been said about the GOP's Whites Only debate policy.

I hope Ambassador Keyes will abandon the party of segregation and join the Dobson Party.

Mickey Bates Is Back Again

Some say Mickey Kaus hasn't been able to achieve sexual fulfillment since he left his parents' home forty years ago, even though the Mainstream Media assiduously refuses to confirm those rumors. The hairless hack tried some thigh rubbing back in 2004, when his fellow deviant, Drudge, phoned him with a dirty story involving John Kerry. Impotence -- and the truth -- got the upper hand, however.

Undaunted, Kaus has pulled the wetsuits, nylon rope and Ann Coulter doll (as he calls it) out of the closet and is trying again, just three years later:

"The National Enquirer claims to have enough of the Edwards cheating-on-cancer-stricken-wife story, including 'bombshell' e-mails, to run with. ... P.S.: They 'met in a bar.' Sounds familiar! ... You read it here first. ... OK, you read it on HuffPo first. ... HuffPo 's Sam Stein now has lots of background material. ... P.P.S.: When I ask friends they split roughly 50/50 on whether, if true, this is a legitimate story. The MSM seems to be strenuously trying to not report it. Given how Edwards' campaign has tacitly and effectively used Elizabeth and her struggle, etc., I think if true it's scummy behavior on his part that Democratic primary voters should know about. His campaign is denying it. ..." (Emphasis in original.)

The idea of a man with hair and a loving marriage is eating Kaus alive. I'd suspect Kaus's smear was coordinated by his replacement mother figure, Ann Coulter, but the hairless hack is slimy enough to post it without explicit marching orders.

Update: p.s. to the hack: Big changes are expected of you. Better start preparing.

He Just Wants to Hear Some Rhythm

Why I love Eric Alterman:

"I know the statement is unsupportable by anyone, but in my own experience, not only is Springsteen the greatest performer in the history of rock 'n' roll, he's a better rock 'n' roll performer than anybody has ever been at anything."

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Search Engines for Dummies

Howard Kurtz actually wrote this shit:

That's right, what if people are actually gorging on the silly and salacious stuff that they tell pollsters they don't want in their media diet?

But how could we know if that was the case? Hmmm. Let me think!

Aha! How about their online searches? The purest expression of their inner id, their secret curiosity, their lust for certain knowledge?
I didn't come up with this idea but was struck by what Slate dug up in examining the online behavior of the masses. And let me just say, they're not looking for details on eligibility for S-CHIP:

" Wives matter: People want to get to know Elizabeth Kucinich. When you type 'dennis kucinich' into Google Suggest, you learn that more people are searching for 'dennis kucinich wife' than 'dennis kucinich for president.' What do they want to know about her? According to the suggestion results for her name, people are looking for 'pictures,' 'photos,' 'age,' 'hot,' and 'tongue.' (It's pierced.) The Republican field has a woman of choice, too: Three of the top 10 search queries after 'fred thompson' are wife-related. The query 'joe biden wife,' however, doesn't appear until the candidate's 10th result. Ouch.["]

This argument is patently dishonest.

If you go to Google Suggest and type in "dennis kucinic," you see that there are 1.98 million results for "Dennis Kucinich," 1.67 million for "Dennis Kucinich for President," 1.53 million for "Dennis Kucinich 2008" and .486 million for "Dennis Kucinich wife."

You also learn that Google Suggest doesn't tell you how many people are searching for any of those phrases.

If you then pull your head out of your ass, and go to Google Trends, you find that a considerably larger number of searches are performed for "Dennis Kucinich" than for "Dennis Kucinich wife." And, of course, you realize that most intelligent people searching for information on Kucinich's presidential run will simply type in Kucinich's name, rationally assuming that Dennis Kuchinch for President website will be the first hit.

This is what you get if you compare "Dennis Kucinch for President" to "Dennis Kucinich wife."

Yes, there are plenty of people who enjoy trivia, and would do so even if hacks like Howie didn't wallow in it for fun and profit. But there's no need to resort to dishonest search engine games to make the point.

Coming Next: Ass Shots On The Internet Again

Remember the days of Charles Murray and Camilia Paglia and Betsy McCaughey and Stephen Glass? It's no longer the 90s, but Andy Sullivan still hasn't given up his Clenis hatred, or his inability to distinguish fact from fiction:

But to argue that the Clintons were innocents - or didn't give their enemies enormous and needless ammunition - is far from the truth. Read Bernstein's book. Or "Primary Colors" again.

If you want the truth, read a novel written by a man who lied about writing that novel to protect his job.

(For more, read here.)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

THE IDIOCY OF THE RELAGUS RIGHT

The story of Richard Roberts' chit-chat with the Almighty just got even better. Last night, CNN showed Roberts' speech/sermon in which he claimed that God assured him that the lawsuit against Oral Roberts University was a frivolous one. Roberts read God's pronouncement off a small sheet of paper, and pronounced litigious as LIT-A-GUS. It appeared for all the world that Roberts had never heard the word, even though God had spoken it to him.

Apparently omnipotence doesn't extend to either grammar or pronunciation.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Remainder of The Day

Amazingly, some people are easily amazed. Take Rachel Sklar:

There's been barely a whisper leading up to Howard Kurtz's new book, released tomorrow — it's been embargoed, hushed, and kept under wraps for months, it's title and cover even kept off Amazon. The book is called Reality Show: Inside The Last Great Television News War, and it chronicles the saga of the latest — and possibly last — generation of Big Three Anchors: Brian Williams, Charlie Gibson, and Katie Couric. Amazingly, Kurtz and his publishers were able to keep the details of the 480-page book from leaking — impressive considering the number of people he obviously spoke with across all three networks — and today is the first day that details from the book have been made available.

Perhaps that lack of excitement has something to do with the supremely uninteresting subject of the book: the Network Anchor Wars. Network nightly news is only of interest to the NewsBusters crowd, which monitors the shows to see if Charlie or Brian is slipping some Socialism into Granny's glass of warm milk. It's a fair guess that Kurtz makes the topic even more boring by reprinting the long and tedious gossip of middle-aged teevee executives and talent who are even more irrelevant than How himself.

And, frankly, who wants to read about dullards who think (or write) like this: "For Williams, it all went back to Sept. 11, 2001. As a citizen, he thought on that fateful day, thank God that Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell were on the team." We already know that Brian's a talking wigstand. Do we need to know the styrofoam's infested with silverfish, too?

The good news is that Kurtz has a blog to promote his book, since How apparently doesn't rate the full plug-and-play treatment his employer lavishes on Boob Woodward. Stop by and welcome Howie to the neighborhood, if you're so inclined.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

A Critical Lens On The Putz

Here's a bit about the woman Howie Kurtz believes is an expert on media standards and ethics:

If her name seems familiar, however, it is not likely to do with any piece of commentary she may have written. In 1996, while attending Simon Fraser University near Vancouver, [Rachel] Marsden alleged the school's swim coach had raped her. In 1997, following an internal SFU inquiry, the coach, Liam Donnelly, was fired.

He was soon reinstated, however, after putting forward evidence that cast doubt upon Marsden's credibility. Marsden admitted to having frequently sent Donnelly gifts and sexually explicit e-mails. She claimed they were intended to draw him into a discussion of his alleged sexual harassment. According to Donnelly, Marsden had been stalking him for months.

It was a dark episode in SFU's history. The school's president resigned over it, citing depression.

(SNIP)

About her work, then: Biographical information posted on various Web sites notes her "writing has appeared in Macleans magazine and the National Post.

That's a stretch. Marsden once had a letter to the editor published in the National Post. She once had a letter to the editor published in Macleans. And that's it.

Marsden's various biographies note she "has worked at BCTV News (Global TV’s national flagship station) in Vancouver." Technically, yes. Years ago, while pursuing a college degree in broadcast journalism, Marsden spent a month at BCTV as a volunteer student researcher.

Then there is the widely distributed claim that Marsden once worked with ABC Television News in New York City as an assistant to former anchor Connie Chung.

"Nobody by the name Rachel Marsden has ever been employed here," says an ABC News spokeswoman. "She might have been an intern, but she was not on our payroll. She is not in our data base."

Marsden ignored queries about her contributions to Macleans and the National Post. Regarding ABC News, Marsden wrote that her "official title was 'Production Assistant,' which included assisting then-anchor Connie Chung at one time."
Or, as the Putz described her on today's Reliable Sources program, "Rachel Marsden, columnist for The Toronto Sun."

The Putz also left out this tidbit from 2004 (via Wikipedia):

Ms. Marsden harassed the victim mainly by repeated telephone calls and e-mail messages. There are aggravating circumstances. By a trick, Ms. Marsden obtained copies of e-mails that the complainant was sending to other people and therefore had knowledge of how he was responding to her harassment. She used this information to involve some of these other people. She continued with her harassment even after she was aware that police were involved.

...

The consequences to Ms. Marsden for committing this offence have been significant. She was arrested and held in jail for over 24 hours before being released on strict conditions of bail. The police issued a press release concerning the charge and as a result Ms. Marsden received very considerable adverse publicity. It may be argued that Ms. Marsden seeks such attention but there is no question that it has come at a high cost. When her employer in Washington, D.C., learned of the charge, she lost her employment. In the future, prospective employers will likely be concerned about her lack of judgment and her irrational response in this matter.

Marsden was 27 when this went down, according to Judge Kitchen. Perhaps Howie's listeners might have found this information of some value when assessing Marsden's opinions on the instability of Britney Spears.

I'm only surprised Howie didn't give her a slot on the Clarence Thomas segment. Mike Medved seemed to lack experience on the topic.

The Thief of Bad Gags

The New York Times, which didn't want people reading Nick Kristof and David Brooks for free, is now running a blog stealing quoting verbatim previously televised gags from the employees of Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, etc.

If the Writers Guild of America goes on strike, the paper will be reduced to quoting Maureen Dowd and Tom Friedman.