Friday, March 11, 2011

Sovereign Alaska

Teabag terrorists in Alaska:

Five people in the Fairbanks area were arrested Thursday by state and federal law enforcement on charges connected with an alleged plot to kidnap or kill state troopers and a Fairbanks judge, according to the Alaska State Troopers.

An investigation "revealed extensive plans to kidnap or kill Alaska state troopers and a Fairbanks judge," the statement said. The plans included "extensive surveillance" on the homes of two Fairbanks troopers, the statement said.

"Investigation also revealed that extensive surveillance on troopers in the Fairbanks area had occurred, specifically on the locations of the homes for two Alaska state troopers," the statement said. "Furthermore, [Francis 'Schaeffer'] Cox et. al. had acquired a large cache of weapons in order to carry out attacks against their targeted victims. Some of the weapons known to be in the cache are prohibited by state or federal law."

U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler said Lonnie Vernon, 55, was arrested for threatening to kill a federal judge. She said more information about federal charges would be released today Fairbanks Police Chief Loren Zager said the operation involved multiple police actions related to Fairbanks-area members of the "sovereign citizen" movement.


An arrest warrant for Cox was issued last month when he failed to show up for a court appearance on a weapons charge.

Cox, a vocal proponent of Americans' right to bear arms, had earlier vowed to defy what he described as an illegitimate and overbearing government.


An update posted on Cox's Facebook page at about 7:30 p.m. said: "Schaeffer has been taken into custody by the FBI. Please pray for his safety and the safety of his family." [Surely Allah will hear their prayers, no? -- R.A.]

The sovereign citizen movement is characterized by a rejection of U.S. laws and taxes. In general, participants believe that federal, state and local statutes and laws do not apply to them.

So they haven't split with the Republican Party entirely.

Francis Shaeffer Cox (not to be confused with Francis Schaeffer). Is that an Irish name?

Darrell Issa: Howie Kurtz Is A Lying Sack

Speaking to TPM on Thursday, Issa expressed doubt that anyone could confuse his voice with Bardella's.

"How much have you talked to Kurt? Ever?" he said. "Do you see any similarity in our voices?"

Issa said he had no reason to believe Bardella's [sic] acted deliberately.

"The fact is Kurt made on the record commitments for a plethora of issues every day," he said. "It's not uncommon for him to make those, he did it, and when we had hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of on the record [conversations], what purpose would it serve for him to deliberately impersonate me? I believe Howard misunderstood, but I don't see a conflict between his misunderstanding and Kurt making statements on behalf of the Congressman every day and sooner or later someone not fully paying attention to who he was talking to."

Not paying attention is an interesting euphamism.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

If the Democrats don't mention Kevin Harpham at least once every fifteen minutes during Peter King's show trials, we need new Democrats.

Or at least the old Democrats who took the Waco hearings and revealed the Republicans to be craven apologists for a mass-murdering pedophile.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Newt Gingrich: There's no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate. And what I can tell you is that when I did things that were wrong, I wasn't trapped in situation ethics, I was doing things that were wrong, and yet, I was doing them. I found that I felt compelled to seek God's forgiveness. Not God’s understanding, but God's forgiveness. I do believe in a forgiving God. And I think most people, deep down in their hearts hope there’s a forgiving God.

Oh, and God told me he forgave me, and I didn't have to stop what I was doing, and he especially told me not to ask forgiveness from the people I actually harmed, or to try to make amends, because if he loved this country as much as I do, he would've done the same thing. If not worse.

Bloody Hell

An incident in Texas, as reported by the New York Times:

The [cell phone] video led the police to an abandoned trailer, more evidence and, eventually, to a roundup over the last month of 18 young men and teenage boys on charges of participating in the gang rape of an 11-year-old girl in the abandoned trailer home, the authorities said.

Five suspects are students at Cleveland High School, including two members of the basketball team. Another is the 21-year-old son of a school board member. A few of the others have criminal records, from selling drugs to robbery and, in one case, manslaughter. The suspects range in age from middle schoolers to a 27-year-old.

The case has rocked this East Texas community to its core and left many residents in the working-class neighborhood where the attack took place with unanswered questions. Among them is, if the allegations are proved, how could their young men have been drawn into such an act?

"It's just destroyed our community," said Sheila Harrison, 48, a hospital worker who says she knows several of the defendants. "These boys have to live with this the rest of their lives."

Ms. Harrison is also quoted as saying, "Where was her mother? What was her mother thinking?" So it's not like she's blaming the 11-year-old girl entirely.

This is NOT good news for John McCain.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Bardella of Blood, Part II

Gawker and Fishbowl D.C. have picked up the story of Howie Kurtz calling Issa spokesman Kurt Bardella an imposter, a 180 from the previous fails: "Bardella didn't say he wasn't the Congressman" and "When Darrell Issa referred to himself as 'Darrell Issa,' it never occurred to me I wasn't speaking to Darrell Issa."

I doubt this will go much further, given that every MediaHo in MediaHoVille wants an invite to Howie's cable show. But at least Howie will know he's been busted, since Gawker is his favorite site for Charlie Sheen gossip.

That Magic Moment

Meegan MeeCardle:

We'd like to put in a tankless water heater, for a number of reasons: it's environmentally sound, it will lower our electricity bill, and I'd like to be able to run a nice, hot full bath.

The problem is, we don't know anything about tankless water heaters, what to look for, what brands are good, or whether they're a bad idea.

Here are several good reasons to do something I know nothing about - it's a career and a lifestyle.

When Suderman finally snaps, the New York Post headline may read "Brainless Blogger in Tankless Heater."

Sunday, March 06, 2011

In the tradition of the Gipper's appropriation of Born in the U.S.A., I give you the Palin 2012 campaign theme song:

Hacks Who Imagine Crank Calls

Howard Kurtz interupts the incest-is-best blather of PoliticHo non-journalist John Harris for some imperfect self-defense:

HARRIS: I wasn't, Howard, making kind of an abstract argument or a philosophical argument about sort of the role of journalism and what gets in the public view versus what doesn't. I was making a very specific argument in very specific circumstances to Chairman Issa, which is if you expect us to have a professional and good-faith relationship with your office, you can't be doing something that's fundamentally in bad faith.

So I was -- my concern was for the integrity of Politico's relationships and Politico's reporting. I think Jack was making it a more abstract point.


HARRIS: So you can ask him about that. I was responding in my role as editor, responsible for a newsroom of 130 journalists, many of whom do their work up on Capitol Hill, for whom a relationship of trust and good faith with people who are speaking on behalf of members of Congress is very important.

KURTZ: Well, let me mention, I had my own run-in with Kurt Bardella. I had asked for an interview with Darrell Issa, and he called and impersonated the congressman. And I said, "Thanks for calling, Congressman." He didn't correct me. I wrote him a note saying, "Thanks for getting me the congressman." He didn't correct me.

HARRIS: Right.

KURTZ: And then I made a serious mistake for which I've apologized in waiting weeks to correct the record after this sort of bizarre situation. I've never been in a situation like that.

Let's review what really happened: Kurtz "asked" Bardella to set up a call with Issa. He's deliberately vague on how he asked Bardella, presumably for the obvious reason he doesn't want to admit knowing what Bardella sounded like. Bardella then called Kurtz, and Kurtz for some reason thought that Bardella was Issa. Kurtz has never claimed that Bardella said he was Issa, or that he disguised his voice somehow. That's not impersonation; it's a making a telephone call to a dumbfuck and not correcting a dumbfuck.

Why am I so confident that Bardella did not identify him as Issa? Because of Kurtz's admission:

The earlier version also mentioned Darrell Issa's "tendency to refer to himself in the third person." In fact, that usage was appropriate because the interview was with his spokesman.

No, it was not appropriate because the Congressman does not have a tendency to refer to himself in the third person. His spokesman referred to the Congressman in the third person, and Kurtz was too fucking stupid to figure out who he was speaking to.

Let's hope that Bardella saved Kurtz's e-mails. There's got to be something there that fails even to meet the Daily Beast's next-to-nonexistent standards.

P.S. to John Harris: It doesn't take leaked e-mails to tell which politicians PoliticHo is blowing.

The FOX News Primary + The George Fwill Primary = The Null Set

The only Republicans that George Fwill thinks can win the White House in 2012 are those who don't have contracts with FOX News. Fwill's parade of pontential potentates is down to five:

Let us not mince words. There are at most five plausible Republican presidents on the horizon - Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former Utah governor and departing ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, former Massachusetts governor Romney and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty.

Fwill must've woken up with a horse's teabag in his bed, because none of those five are Tea Party darlings. (Barbour might get the racist teabag vote, but he's a lobbyist too.) They're all present or former governors, have no significant foreign policy experience (except Huntsman), and they're all bland, middle to late age white men (like Fwill).

Fwill dismisses two other Republican governors, Newt and Huckabee, even though they're as experienced, pasty and insipid as Barbour. Ostensibly, Fwill doesn't like that they're birther/other conspiracy nuts. Apparently, he believes that this will keep them out of the White House. But who will win when Romney's the Republican nominee and the Teabaggers make Sharia Plain or John Bolton or Rick Santorum their third party candidate?

Fwill likes his Republican Party like he likes his luxury skyboxes, far from the riff-raff and paid for by someone else. His party can't win without appeasing the riff-raff and siphoning their money. But it will be nice to watch them try.

Update (3/7): Newt Gingrich was not a governor, as stated above. Fwill does dismiss half-governor Sharia Plain, who is a pasty and insipid, though not as experienced, as Fwill's faves. Fwill does not mention Gov. Christie, although it's not clear whether the omission is due to Christie's claim that he will run or just because Fwill hates fatties.

World's Most Sexually Appealing Libertarian Dies

From the New York Daily News:

The nearly 600-pound man who gained fame as spokesman for the Heart Attack Grill – a Phoenix-area restaurant that prides itself in serving excessively unhealthy food – is dead at the age of 29.

Blair River's official cause of death is currently not known, but friends say he contracted pneumonia after a bout with the flu. He died on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-8, 575 pound man is being remembered as an energetic, creative, gentle giant.

"Cynical people might think this (River's death) is funny," the restaurant's founder Jon Basso told the Arizona Republic. "But people who knew him are crying their eyes out. There is a lot of mourning going on around here. You couldn't have found a better person."

At the Heart Attack Grill, scantily-clad women dressed as nurses unabashedly serve its customers high-caloric food. The menu touts its 8,000-calorie quadruple bypass burger, "flatliner fries" fried in "pure lard," a "butterfat shake," and no-filter cigarettes.

Reason's Nick Gillespie is the front-runner to fill Mr. River's role as the restaurant's spokeslardass. He's only got another thirty pounds to gain, and then Michelle Obama will be sorry!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Kausfails Again

Reduced to sleeping in Tucker Carlson's broomcloset, next to Jim Treacher's used medical supplies, Mickey Kaus continues to blather on about his pet hates. Here's his latest post on teachers' unions:

Unionism + Legalism = Government Failure: How to fire a bad Chicago public school teacher in only 2-5 years! …
What’s unclear to me is how much of this daunting procedural labyrinth is written into state law–so it would survive even if Chicago’s teachers unions were stripped of their bargaining power. …

Now Kaus may claim he's not endorsing the accuracy of the chart he links to, but he is. He doesn't say, "worrying, if true." He links to the chart without even acknowledging the possibility it's inaccurate, for the obvious reason he wants it to be true. So let's look at how inaccurate Kaus's thesis is.

First, the chart only applies to tenured teachers, a point Kaus omits. According to this link, teachers in Chicago public schools can only get tenure after three years at a particular school, and the school is not required to give tenure after three years, but can keep a teacher on probation. During the pre-tenure period, a teacher can be fired in 2-5 seconds. So what Kaus is talking about is firing teachers that already have been deemed qualified by their school.

Second, the chart describes the procedure for firing any tenured teacher, not just "bad teachers." Does Kaus think that good teachers should be shitcanned without any due process? He doesn't say. He just pretends that the process only protects bad teachers.

Next, the "2-5 year" claim is not supprted by the linked chart. The Tribune chart says the first stage, "Remediation," takes "1 year." But the "Time Frames" given by the chart for all the steps in the Remediation stage add up to 131-140 days, a little more than 1/3 of a year. The second stage is given a total time frame of "About 4 Months," but the steps only add up to 90 days. The third stage is defined in such vague phrases as "at least 1 month" and "up to 30 days" that it's impossible to give a truly accurate time frame.

Finally, note that "The teacher is fired" comes before the last step in the third stage, before the "2 to 3 year" final phase. The fourth phase involves the teacher filing a civil action for wrongful termination, in which the teacher must prove that the termination was arbitrary, capricious or against the manifest weight of the evidence (a pointless endeavor unless the teacher was terminated for improper reasons). This is like the civil suits terminated workers who are not union employees and who are not teachers and/or public employees can and do file against their former employers all the time.

In summary, the chart does not apply to all teachers, it does not depict a "2-5 year" process before the teacher is fired (according to the chart itself), and the chart's numbers do not add up (according to chart itself). If you accept and add up all the given numbers for the period before the firing, they add up to 306, less than one year.

Maybe Kaus thinks that school districts should be able to sack incompetent, non-performing deadweights as easily Newsweek magazine can (that is, in 4-5 months). But that's how it works in the Chicago public schools too! And Kaus forgets his Wingnut 101, which teaches that public adminstrators (principals, superintendents, etc.( are also evil, parasitic bureaucrats. Are schools better served by a system where administrators have total power over firing, or one which places checks on that power? Don't ask Kaus. He hasn't found an inaccurate chart to answer that question for him.

Davidiayns At The Movies

David Koresh's unrequited lover, Matt Welch, gives Atlas Tugged, Part One two thumbs up his ass:

My five-word movie review as someone who hasn't read the book is that lovers, haters will both enjoy (for different reasons, obviously). You cared about the story and the protagonists, the look and sound were mostly (and surprisingly) handsome, Dagny in particular and Hank were good, and there are some pretty awesome capitalism, bitches!-style moments. Felt a bit like they were speeding through the material, and so characters (and ever-present cable news shows that cared deeply about the construction of rail lines) did a lot of heavy expositional lifting that didn't much resemble dialogue or news broadcasts.

If Welch hasn't read the book, how does he know that they were speeding through the material? Perhaphs the same way he "knows" that "Janet Reno's FBI" gunned people down in Waco in 1993. He doesn't, and he doesn't give a shit.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

But He Was Really Hoping For A Tug

Via R Porrofatto in TBogg's comments section:

Meade says he joined the standing ovation at this point, and that Scott Walker looked at him and gave him: 1. a smile, 2. a nod, and 3. a wink. Meade was quite pleased about that!

Scott Walker is The One!

Why the chinless Governor of Wisconsin would single out one particular elderly man from a crowd for such public displays of affection is beyond me.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Birthers And Those Who Blow Them

Dave Weigel confidently declares that Mike Huckabee is not a Birther. But he links to an Media Matters article where Two-Buck Huck in quoted as saying the following:

"The only reason I'm not as confident that there's something about the birth certificate, Steve, is because I know the Clintons [inaudible] and believe me, they have lots of investigators out on him, and I'm convinced if there was anything that they could have found on that, they would have found it, and I promise they would have used it."

Huck's only slightly less confident that Obama is a furriner than he is about other made-up shit, including that Obama grew up in Kenya and hates Winston Churchill and Old Blighty. So what does that make the Huckster, a questioning Birther? a 90 percent Birther? a Flat-Birther?

Either you're a dumbass or you're not. Perhaps Huckabee's pretending to be a Birther to pander to the Republican base. If so, he's not only a dumbass, he's a lying dumbass.

I can't wait for Huck's grovelling response when some Body Counter asks him why the Clintons didn't have Obama killed.

Bonus Question: Now the Huckabee has acknowledged that the President spent part of his childhood in Indonesia rather than Keyna, will he accuse Obama of returning the bust of Pieter Gerbrandy?


They Heart Huckabee-ess

The Beltway Inciders [not sic] have looked into Huck's heart and find it pure as the driven snow. PoliticHo's Ben Dover Smith:

Mike Huckabee, who has never indulged paranoia about Obama's birth -- and who has generally chided vitriolic attacks on the president and First Lady -- pretty clearly misspoke in a radio interview today, prompting a boomlet of outrage.

Ben Dover goes onto acknowledge that Huck's story of the Churchill bust was pure bullshit, and ignores Huckabee's vitriolic attack on a former President and First Lady. But Ben's still willing to give Huck the full John McCain Experience (or, as they say on Craigslist, "JME"). Who knows, Huck might need an official stenographer someday.

Pastor Grant's Wank

Not to be confused with.