Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Cold Comfort

Feel your pain? Hell, he caused your pain.

"Every time the president's come to California he's gone to parts of the state that might not have voted for him, because he's come as president of all the people,'' said Gerry Parsky, Bush's top California adviser.

"I think it's a tribute to the fact that this president cares about all Californians and particularly cares about Californians who have lost their job or have not been able to obtain a job,'' Parsky said.

Yeah, because they're the ones who will vote him out of office.

P.S. Kudos to Bob Mulholland.

Here's a good article about Attorney General Ashcroft's flagrant violations of ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct 3.6, which prohibits a lawyer from public statements having to do with "the character, credibility, reputation or criminal record of a ...witness" in a criminal proceeding where the defendant faces incarceration.

It sounds like Ashcroft has a case of "Rummy envy," that is, envy of the Defense Secretary's ability to make, without consequence, outrageous and assinine statements which are transcribed unquestioningly by a servile and cowardly press corps.

Richard Belzer, Reliable Source

Comedian/Actor Richard Belzer shows Conflict-of-Interest Kurtz how to do Kurtz' job:

"The press has become an arm of the state," Mr. Belzer said. "The whole mind-set of the mainstream press seems to be strangely muted and cowardly. I was watching the BBC yesterday, and someone asked the question, �What will the Iraqis say when people in America can�t speak out without being criticized?�


But what price glory? "These guys in the administration are sore winners," Mr. Belzer said. "They�re in power and they�re still mean. They�re vindictive and thin-skinned and humorless."

Get of your back and take some notes, Howie.

Diagram This Sentence

"I just don't remember being unable to shake those South Asia steppes in the same way I've got Mesopotamia on the mind right now." (Annoying capitalization omitted.)

And then read about the author. Jesse at has the gory details.

Update: If you follow the link, you'll see the author of the sentence also refers to a "neo-Nazi ex-congressman" on MSNBC. The neo-Nazi in question shares the precise worldview of Sean Hannity, Brit Hume, Tony Snow, Bill O'Reilly and (the bad) Roger Ailes. So he's right about something.

Shrill And Grace

I didn't watch Larry King during CNN's coverage of the War Against Iraq, but it couldn't have been any worse than his non-war coverage -- a parade of former has-beens, recovering has beens and aged news anchors pitching "their" books, etc. The bottom of the barrel is King's coverage of overhyped crime stories, where he assembles "all-star panels" of self-promoting legal hacks in a vain attempt to dignify the proceedings. Barbara Olson was perhaps the head hack before she was killed. The new number one is Nancy Grace. Grace appears again tonight, the third night in a row, to speculate about Laci Peterson.

Joshua "Josh" Marshall has Grace nailed:

Am I the only one who thinks Nancy Grace comes from another planet? Or do you think so too? Nancy Grace, of course, is the Court TV anchor and semi-permanent guest on Larry King Live whose job it is, on Larry's show at least, to be the voice of militant sentimentalism. Tonight Larry was doing his 950th segment on the Laci Peterson murder and Nancy was in classic form as what you might call the hanging dingbat. In the standard engagement, some defense lawyer will be there making a point about how the defense might make its case and Nancy butts in: BUT THE BABY! DO YOU KNOW LACI WAS ONLY 5'1?!?!? But Nancy, we're just trying to talk through how the case might be argued ... BUT THE BABY! But Nancy ... HOW CAN YOU DEFEND THAT MAN AFTER WHAT HE DID TO HIS HAIR? ... But, Nancy, we're not ... TYPICAL DEFENSE LAWYER!!! But ... Well, you get the idea.

Josh's only problem is that his characterization is too subtle.

Bob Somerby highlights some of Grace's earlier hackwork here , here and here.

A fathead writes:

"What about crimes against, you know, citizens? A bold act of deep political cynicism from freshman President [sic] George W. Bush, who has signed legislation making crimes against children -- "be they psychological, sexual or physical"--a federal issue. I'm sympathetic to the argument for federalizing everything--divide the country into 10 numbered sectors and be done with it! Life would be much simpler and law school (where complicated federal/state issues went right over my head) would be a year shorter. But if fighting crime is supposed to be a local issue then surely ordinary crime against children is part of what should be a local issue. If state and local police departments need federal money to fight crime then give them federal money to fight crime, not only to fight crime against children ... P.S: Let's see: Crimes against ethnic minorities and gays are possible federal hate crimes. Crimes against women are promoted as federal civil rights cases. Sometimes it seems as if the only local crimes left will be 'crimes against those who don't belong to a powerful political constituency or vulnerable group with tearjerk appeal.' Actually that sounds like a highly vulnerable group. Someone should introduce a federal bill to protect me... I mean, them. ..."

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Unacceptable Things

"I know they are just young girls and I know they weren't thinking that clearly, but they said unacceptable things about their president[.]" -- Jerry Falwell, April 28, 2003

Despite being widely discredited, "The Clinton Chronicles," which contained all the lurid anti-Clinton allegations of cocaine trafficking and murder, was an effective piece of propaganda. With its sophisticated production and its adept film editing, the video imitates the style of an evening news program or television documentary. The video ends with former Republican Rep. William Dannemeyer urging that President Clinton be impeached, while a message flashes across the screen warning: "If any additional harm comes to anyone connected to this film or their families, the people of America will hold Bill Clinton personally responsible."....

The video's commercial success is due in large part to its promotion on Falwell's "Old Time Gospel Hour," as well as in an infomercial for the video, which viewers could order through Falwell's Liberty Alliance.

During the infomercial, Falwell interviews a silhouetted individual whom he identifies only as an "investigative reporter."

"Could you please tell me and the American people why you think that your life and the lives of the others on this video are in danger?" Falwell asks the man. ....

During Salon's interview with Matrisciana, a reporter told him that his voice sounded familiar. When the reporter told Matrisciana that he sounded like the man in silhouette, Matrisciana acknowledged that he was the mystery man.

"Obviously, I'm not an investigative reporter," Matrisciana admitted, "and I doubt our lives were actually ever in any real danger. That was Jerry's idea to do that ... He thought that would be dramatic." --

No History Gets Out Of Here Alive

I was reading Utusan Online over breakfast today, as I do every morning, when I came across news of this contest:

Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, has established a charitable fund that will finance an annual award for the best work of history written for young people.

The James Madison Book Award will have a cash prize of US$10,000.

"I hope by recognising books that teach children and young people about our country's past, this award will encourage authors to take up this subject and publishers to seek out writers who can make American history come out alive,'' Cheney, author of the children's book "America: A Patriotic Primer,'' said in a statement Thursday.

Selections will be made by an advisory panel that includes documentary maker Ken Burns, former presidential speechwriter Peggy Noonan and historian Michael Beschloss.

"Make American History come out alive"?

Has history been held hostage, like the Presidential Papers of the G.H.W. Bush Administration?

Have Lynne and Rick Santorum decided to let history out of the closet?

Is history like a Peter Frampton double album?

I think I've got a good shot at the prize, but I can't decide to whether to submit "The Very Hungry Halliburton" or "The A-B-Cs of Iran-Contra."

Please welcome several fine additions to the Enemies List:

Suburban Guerrilla

Arms And The Man


Gary Hart

Read and enjoy!

In re Irregardless

Several readers have sent e-mails and left comments calling Roger Ailes to task for using "irregardless" in an earlier post about the ultracrepidarian Mickey Kaus. And they're right. All of the standard sources and commentaries look down upon the word.


Irregardless originated in dialectal American speech in the early 20th century. Its fairly widespread use in speech called it to the attention of usage commentators as early as 1927. The most frequently repeated remark about it is that "there is no such word." There is such a word, however. It is still used primarily in speech, although it can be found from time to time in edited prose. Its reputation has not risen over the years, and it is still a long way from general acceptance. Use regardless instead.

Michael Quinion:

It�s been around a while: the Oxford English Dictionary quotes a citation from Indiana that appeared in Harold Wentworth�s American Dialect Dictionary of 1912. And it turns up even in the better newspapers from time to time: as here from the New York Times of 8 February 1993: �Irregardless of the benefit to children from what he calls his �crusade to rescue American education,� his own political miscalculations and sometimes deliberate artlessness have greatly contributed to his present difficulties�.

But, as I say, it�s still generally regarded by people with an informed opinion on the matter as unacceptable. The Third Edition of The American Heritage Dictionary states firmly that �the label �nonstandard� does not begin to do justice to the status of this word� and �it has no legitimate antecedents in either standard or nonstandard varieties of English�. Some writers even try to turn it into a non-word, virtually denying its existence, which is pretty hard to do in the face of the evidence. The level of abuse hurled at the poor thing is astonishingly high, almost as great as that once directed at hopefully. It seems to have become something of a linguistic shibboleth.

American Heritage Dictionary, 4th Ed.:

Irregardless is a word that many mistakenly believe to be correct usage in formal style, when in fact it is used chiefly in nonstandard speech or casual writing. Coined in the United States in the early 20th century, it has met with a blizzard of condemnation for being an improper yoking of irrespective and regardless and for the logical absurdity of combining the negative ir� prefix and �less suffix in a single term. Although one might reasonably argue that it is no different from words with redundant affixes like debone and unravel, it has been considered a blunder for decades and will probably continue to be so.

I blame it all on my Indiana public school education.

Monday, April 28, 2003

Hack Like Me

Kausfiles has been so pointless and tedious recently I haven't even bothered bashing it. But, as the Media Horse points out, Twisted Little Mick has hit a new low.

Kaus accuses Congressman Rahm Emanuel, a former aide to President Clinton, of a "bold act of political cynicism" by proposing a federal criminal law prohibiting abuse of the elderly. What Mick neglects to point out is that Emanuel's bold act involved the introduction of a bill identical to an existing Senate bill sponsored by 20 senators, including such bold, cynical Republicans as Orrin Hatch and Peter Fitzgerald. Somehow Mick overlooked those grandstanding, big-government-loving, yet non-Clintonian bastards from his side of the aisle.

But, wait, Mick's getting started.

Professional Victim Mick pouts that the government is discriminating against his lily white ass. Why, "[c]rimes against ethnic minorities and gays are possible federal hate crimes." What about "crimes against those who don't belong to a powerful political constituency or vulnerable group with tearjerk appeal?" It's just not fair, he whines!

But the site Mick links to doesn't support his claim. At that site, the Human Rights Campaign states that current federal law "only covers [hate] crimes based on race, religion and national origin." The HRC advocates extending the law to cover crimes motivated by the "real or perceived sexual orientation, gender [or] disability" of the victim.

Is that too hard to follow? No special treatment for ethnic minorities or gays. No discrimination against "ethnic majorities" or straights. The existing law, according to the HRC, applies to any crime committed because of the victim's race -- irregardless of the race -- and not just crimes against ethnic minorities. And the law doesn't even extend to hate crimes against gay men and lesbians.

Mick can't even be the victim he so badly wants to be. Poor, poor, pitiful Mick!

Carving Up The New Iraq

Sco'card, Get Your Sco'card Here.

He Likes To Watch

Name the writer who whipped this out with a stroke of his pen:

...Fox took the final two couples to Las Vegas for bachelor and bachelorette parties. The two "brides-to-be" enjoyed a male stripper who appeared to be licking whipped cream from between their legs. They then licked whipped cream off his nipples. Since that�s not ribald enough, the women then entertained a female stripper, which one "bride" bounced on suggestively. The other licked whipped cream off her topless chest. The alleged grooms were treated to even worse. A duo of stripping, topless sisters were whipping one of them. You�d have to see this footage to believe it.

Answer, as they say, "to come."

Update: Our winner: Atrios, who correctly identified the ginger moralist with eye-strain and RSD, Brent Bozell.

Bonus Brent: Enjoy Brent's tutorial on the finer points of the "Cleveland Steamer," the "Chili Dog," the "Rusty Trombone," and the "Manhattan Hot Platter."

Sunday, April 27, 2003

Can anyone tell me where prosperity is prognosticated in this column entitled "Prosperity Prognosticated"?

Perhaps "Unfocused Ramblings of a Supply-Side Cokehead" would be a more accurate title.

Paul Weyrich Says Santorum Story May Be A Left-Wing Media Conspiracy

Given that the writer, Lara Jakes Jordan, is the wife of Jim Jordan, the manager of John Kerry's presidential campaign and a former executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, it is worth asking whether the AP is going to review the work of this reporter.

Is Mrs. Jordan bringing bias into her reporting?


Will the AP have an ombudsman investigate to see why Mrs. Jordan highlighted Senator Santorum's quotes about a Supreme Court case, rather than concentrate more on what Senator Santorum has been saying and doing during his eight years in the United States Senate? Is there any way in which her reporting might have been conducted in a way to help Senator Kerry in his quest for the nomination or the groups that are his allies?

These are questions worth asking.

Weyrich wonders if Ms. Jordan is a tool of the "pro-homosexual special rights organizations" movement. I have no doubt that Weyrich is just a tool.

Chuckie's Last Stand

Yesterday, the N.R.A. put a rifle in the warm, live hands of a mentally incapacitated man, for old times' sake. And then they quickly took it away from him.

The National Rifle Association bid a loving farewell to actor Charlton Heston, who took the stage Saturday for the final time at the group's annual convention, and managed to briefly hold a rifle in the air, and muster up one more, "From my cold, dead hands!"

The homage to Heston put a surreal layer on this annual event, which brings together 50,000 gun owners -- nearly all of them white, and most of them ardent Republicans -- for a weekend of gadget shopping, networking and competing in everything from duck-calling championships to seats on the governing board.

Country singer Toby Keith sang Friday night. Florida Gov. Jeb Bush spoke Saturday night. There was even an NRA-sanctioned comedian, Bill Engvall, who quickly got the crowd on his side by saying what he thought of Natalie Maynes [sic] and Rosie O'Donnell for criticizing President George W. Bush.

"If you don't like the way this country runs, and you don't love who's running it, move," Engvall said.

The crowd roared its approval.

Now that's comedy!

Also on sale at the convention were bumper stickers reading "President Bush, Way to Go. Kick their Ass and Take their Gas." I'm sure they meant sarin and VX.

Skanktum Santorum

During a temporary deviation from his anti-liberal agenda, Sully elaborates on an imagined contrast between bad Republicans such as Rick Santorum with "decent Republicans like ... Jonah Goldberg." Here's what the decent Goldberg has to say:

Having laws you're not going to enforce is an invitation for capricious and arbitrary prosecution. Sodomy laws shouldn't be enforced because whatever benefit you might get from doing so would be so outweighed by the costs.

Gays are citizens and human beings; you don't have to like everything they do behind closed doors to appreciate the fact that kicking down those doors to make them stop is not the best use of our police forces. (Emphasis added)

That's surely the most decent cost-benefit analysis I've ever read. Sodomy laws are beneficial, but there are so many vile sodomites around that enforcement is too expensive. Perhaps Jonah could elaborate on the benefits of enforcing sodomy laws.

P.S. to Lucianne Jr.: "Having laws you're not going to enforce" means no prosecution, not selective and arbitrary prosecution.

Meanwhile, Sully's readers call him a "hysteric" and tell him to shut up, and he promises to obey. Is it time for another Pledge Week already?

Update: Julian Sanchez points out that Goldberg has a slightly different version of his statement at National Review Online. There he says: "And whatever moral justification for sodomy laws there may be � I don't see any, really, but I'm open to the idea that there might be some � are obviously outweighed by the moral costs of enforcing them. Kicking in doors, spying on people etc. would not only be unfair to the 'criminals' it would be destructive for the cops and the people who pay their salaries." The version of his column at is identical to the Times column quoted above. There's a difference in tone there, with Goldberg expressing skepticism that there's any valid reason for such laws (although he's still willing to be convinced its a good law). Still, he's unwilling to say unequivocally that consensual sodomy is none of the state's business. I guess being more tolerant than everyone else at is worth something; but I'm not sure what.

Surely An Oversight

Democratic Presidential hopefuls Howard Dean and Gary Hart both have blogs. Inexplicably, neither has included Roger Ailes among his links. Apparently, both candidates are more concerned with their "reputations" and their "credibility" and their "viability" than they are with promoting an obscenity-laden, mostly accurate and sometimes mildly amusing lefty blog.

Hopefully, their fellow Democrats will not be so short-sighted. Roger Ailes is prepared to give its coveted endorsement to the first Democratic presidential candidate who links to this site on his or her campaign blog.

Unless it's Joe Lieberman.

P.S. to Hart and Dean: Come on, guys, Instapundit? Really?

(Via Eschaton and Talk Left.)

Friday, April 25, 2003

It's All About Me

By the way, Roger Ailes' Iraqi playing card equivalent is Taha Yasin Ramadan al-Jizrawi, former Vice President of Iraq.

Sorry Sully

Try as I might, I just can't sympathize with Sully after his painful discovery that the leadership of the Republican Party is full of anti-gay bigots.

Maybe it's Sully's unconcealed hatred for certain religions (reflected in his use of the term "Islamofacists" and the sarcastic "Islam Means Peace"). Maybe it's his willingness to stereotype the citizenry of entire states (California), voting blocs (the "Blue States"), political parties and nations as anti-American, traitorous, immoral, hateful, etc. Maybe it's the fact that he referred to opponents of war against Iraq as "Saddamites," a pun also favored by such anti-gay bigots as Eugene Delgaudio. A man who spews such bile so freely should surely be hardened to a little bigotry thrown in his direction.

But the bottom line is line is that I can't take seriously Sully's argument Bush's support for Santorum "is beginning to make it simply impossible for gay people and their families - or any tolerant person - to vote for the president's party."

In the year 2000, at the Republican National Convention, a large group from George W. Bush's Texas delegation turned their backs on Jim Kolbe -- a long-time G.O.P. Representative, military veteran and gay man -- and prayed in protest of his presence at the convention. Bush was silent then as he is silent now. And let's not forget that Bush, as Governor of Texas, did absolutely nothing to repeal the law criminalizing gay sex which prompted Santorum's comments. While Sully was smearing Vice President Gore in 2000, every tolerant person -- and every intolerant person as well -- knew exactly where Bush and his party stood on gay rights and gay tolerance.

There hasn't been much coverage on this little turd recently, but I want to keep him up on the radar screen until he's sent away (and/or pardoned by Bush):

On February 27, David Keene, 21, of Washington, DC, was indicted by a federal grand jury on three counts for firing a shot at another motorist on the parkway on December 1, 2002. Keene was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon; using, brandishing and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence; and making a false statement in connection with the acquisition of a firearm. Keene and another motorist were heading north on the parkway last December when Keene fired a round from his .40 caliber pistol through the rear window of the other vehicle. The bullet lodged in the back of the driver�s seat. Keene continued north on the parkway while the other motorist called police and reported the shooting. Keene also provided false information to a federally-licensed firearms dealer when he purchased the pistol in August, 2002. Arraignment has been set for March 7. Detective Todd Reid and the USPP Criminal Investigation Branch investigated.

For those not familiar with the story, David is the namesame and demon seed of one David A. Keene, President of the American Conservative Union and proud member of the N.R.A.'s leadership. Davey Jr. is a lot like John Walker Lindh, except dangerous to Americans.

Ten of Diamonds, Baby!

This is simply brilliant!

Who is that ugly pink imposter on the Ten of Diamonds?

I think I got promoted too. Early today, I swear I was only a seven of clubs, on the same level as Bugs Malkin. Now I'm the moral equivalent of Opus Dei Scalia, Half-Nelson Hastert and Irv's Biggest Mistake. And Bugs is stuck under Sully, which is no doubt her definition of hell!

If Quiddity Quack sells these cards, I'm down for five decks, minimum.

Election Theft 2003: Baghdad Edition

So the surviving Iraqis get to choose their own government, they just don't get to choose who their choices are. So says Rummy:

Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld is ruling out an Iran-style religious government in Iraq as well as any attempt by Syria and others in the region to influence Iraq's future.

"If you're suggesting, how would we feel about an Iranian-type government with a few clerics running everything in the country, the answer is: That isn't going to happen,'' Rumsfeld said.

You know, this could be a good thing for the Iraqis. Look what happened to us when we got an unelected President who decided he was chosen by God to lead the nation.

NewsMax on Delgaudio: What's So Bad?

Okay, so they weren't talking about his child porn collection.

More on Richard A. Delgaudio (R - Kelly) from WBAL, on Delgaudio's "Legal Affairs Council":

In 1996, the Legal Affairs Council also held a fund-raising dinner for Laurence Powell, the ex-policeman from Los Angeles who was convicted of civil rights violations against Rodney King.

What a humanitarian.

Also of note: Delgaudio raised funds for Ronnie Reagan and Jesse Helms, and allegedly brought "school girl's clothing" to the motel where he photographed his victims. And he's a frequent visitor to Panama, according to his NewsMax pals. Hope the judge took his passport.

Update (4/26): Edited to clarify that this post refers to the racist convicted pornographer, Richard, and not his anti-gay bigot brother, Eugene.

Crash and Bernstein

Carl Bernstein is becoming as big a hack as his former colleague and co-author, MWO Whore of the Year 2002, Woody Doobush. Here's the story:

Washington - The Illinois journalism program that had students try to find the identity of the Washington Post's "Deep Throat" informant "should be disaccredited" and the teacher who oversaw the project "should be spanked," said Carl Bernstein, one of the reporters whose stories on the Watergate scandal led to President Nixon's resignation.

"The last thing students in a journalism class should be doing is trying to find out who other reporters' sources are," said Bernstein, a contributing editor at Vanity Fair magazine who broke the stories with colleague Bob Woodward. "They should be learning how to protect sources."

Why is the anonymous source of another journalist's story not a legitimate source for journalist enquiry? To take one example: Why are Ken Starr's leaks off-limits? Why are Steno Sue and Spikey Isikoff above criticism when they spread lies or rumors designed to further Starr's adgenda? (And the same questions apply to any other story, regardless of the politics of the writers.) Moreover, don't such investigations keep journalists honest, by helping to ensure that they don't fabricate or misrepresent their sources?

J-school should teach prospective journalists how to protect their sources, but it should also teach journalists how to uncover information for any legitimate source of investigation -- and those legitimate targets include other journalists and publication. And doesn't the Watergate exercise teach journalists how to protect sources, by revealing possible errors (or non-errors) made by W&B which could lead to the discovery of their source?

When large segments of the media, including parts of Bernstein's old paper, have been overrun by agenda-driven whores, isn't critical inquiry into the media's hidden sources an exercise in the finest tradition of a free press?

Thursday, April 24, 2003

Grand Old Police Blotter: Oh, Hypocrite, Where Art Thou Edition

Atrios has featured the child pornography conviction of Richard A. Delgaudio, friend of Ollie North, Cap Weinberger and Bruce Fein. At Salon, Joe C. points out that Dickie D is the brother of Eugene Degaudio, Executive Director of the anti-gay activist group, Public Advocate of the United States ("PUS").

PUS takes a dim view of child pornography, according to its web site:

Public Advocate of the United States, a pro-family group based in Northern Virginia, announced today that they are mailing postcards to Arizonans alerting them of Attorney General Janet Napolitano�s frightening record in regards to prosecuting child sex offenders. ... The card also encourages voters to contact Napolitano to ask her to prosecute all sex offenders, regardless of sexual persuasion.

But PUS is willing to make exceptions. When asked about his brother's guilty plea on child pornography charges, the head of PUS said "It doesn't sound like him."

Fein v. Fein

Meanwhile, Delgaudio's lawyer, Bruce Fein, distinguishes himself by spouting the same rhetoric on behalf of his cilent that he denounces as claptrap in the press:

Fein in the Moonie Times, last month:

The Great Society euphoria of the 1960s brought forth the ill-conceived idea that criminal behavior was more a treatable medical malady than an evil in need of deterrence or incapacitation. Rehabilitation was touted as the North Star of criminal justice.

Moral denunciation of the loathsome was taboo. It mattered not that recidivism remained at frightening levels and that the incidence of crime leaped to unprecedented peaks. The usual suspects were summoned to exonerate rehabilitation's stark failure: too little money for psychological counseling and too much poverty and social injustice.

Fein on behalf of Delgaudio:

"[He] acknowledges the acute moral shortcomings of his conduct and he will continue intense self-examination, and professional and spiritual counseling."

How special, Bruce.

All we need now is Dave Kopel stating that Delgaudio was abused by a Super 8 movie when he was a kid.

Delgaudio also said he will donate $5,000 to "young mothers who are in distress and in need." Fifty dollars at a time, no doubt.

Addendum: Delgaudio is also a Clinton-hater. What a surprise.

Where Are They Now: Rogan's Zeroes Edition

Once a powerful House impeachment manager, now a soulless bureaucrat and president of the Bad Rug Club for Men.

And check out Judge Rogan's official bio, where he retroactively elevates himself to the position of Superior Court Judge, not making it clear that the muni courts were consolidated with the superior courts years after his service.

Actor Alan Thicke Struck by Hockey Puck

Luckily, the puck sustained only minor injuries.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Lives In The Imbalance

The ultimate devaluation of human life, straight from the mouth of a "pro-life" grotesque:

MATTHEWS: Peggy, do you think we're going to another country?

Ms. NOONAN: It is 2003, we have a presidential election in 2004. Let's not forget it. The administration just did something huge. It was a gamble. They put their own life on the line. They just won. Now they have to deal with what they've won. Iraq is going to have to be governed. A leader of Iraq is not--we're not going to be able--as the United States, from far away--to--to impose a leader on Iraq. It will--a leader will have to emerge. It's going to take time. It's going to take a million things. They have enough on their plates.

mw, who kindly pointed us to this item, personally witnessed Peg's latest trip to the ether as it was broadcast. mw reports:

Looks like the administration has more guts than I thought. I was under the impression that all the chickenhawks in the administration were safe in their beddy byes when the killing was going on. ...

No big deal, but....well, you should have seen Peg tossing her head around when she said this. You know, like when you can tell she still has the scent of Ronnie's foot and it makes her extra dizzy. Added proof Peg was having another Ronnie foot fog flashback was by the way she went into a complete babble after she says, "They put their OWN life on the line."

And, if you're so inclined, ask Rick Santorum his opinion about the minimum appropriate prison sentence for Neilsie and Maria.
Congratulate Neilsie on his new ... ok, newish ... girlfriend!

I hear Neilsie particularly enjoys receiving and sending e-mail.

Good News Of The Day

From Talk Left:

Former Congressman Bob Barr is dropping out of the race to return to Congress. The reason: He no longer has "the fire in his belly." We'd love to hear the real reason.

Mother's Little Helper, Jonah Goldberg, is whining that he wasn't recognized for "his efforts" in quoting a phrase authored by the writers of The Simpsons.

Lucianne needs to give him a time out.

Even the Liberal Weekly Standard

"Even Bill Kristol has publicly said he opposes anti-sodomy laws."

That's mighty het of you, Bill.

I just hope Sully doesn't try to marshal a Coalition of the Willing from his conservative pals to take on Santorum. That will truly be an Army of One.

(Link via Atrios; Update: homonym assistance by PG.)

And By "You," They Mean George Bush

Jeri Flood, director of marketing at The Post, said the newspaper is also switching its tagline. "If it's important to you, it's important to us" replaces "If you don't get it: you don't get it." Ms. Flood explained that the newspaper phased out the old tagline "because research showed it was exclusionary." The Post's last TV spots ran in early 2002, Ms. Flood said.

"If it's important to you, it's important to us." Now there's a groundbreaking slogan! And headshots of Len Downie too. That's a license to print money.

Meanwhile, the Moonie Times is set to unveil its latest campaign, "If it's important to neo-Confederate, heterosexual anti-Muslim bigots, it's important to us."

Journalism For Fun And Profit

US Customs officials confiscated a large painting that a Boston Herald reporter, Jules Crittenden, brought back as a souvenir from the war in Iraq, but the artwork is not valuable enough to merit prosecution, a law enforcement official said yesterday.

Crittenden, who was embedded with the US Army's Third Infantry Division to cover the war, arrived from Kuwait on Saturday at Logan International Airport. He declared several souvenirs to Customs officials, and was searched, according to a statement released by the newspaper.

Of interest to Customs agents was a 5-foot painting that was rolled up in a tube, according to a law enforcement official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Ornamental kitchen items were also confiscated. Crittenden told the agents he got the painting from a building on the grounds of one of Saddam Hussein's presidential palaces.

''He didn't think it was a big deal,'' the official said of Crittenden. ''He said all the embedded reporters were doing it.'' -- The Boston Globe

And if all the embedded reporters were jumping off the Saddam Bridge, would you do that too, mister?

(This item and the last, via Romenesko)

George Gurley, Steno Sue of New York

George Gurley, the N.Y. Observer profile writer who was so offended by Eric Alterman's table manners that he sought out people to bash Alterman anonymously, now takes dictation from non-murderous, right-wing family man and basic cable's next failed spittlemonger, Joe Scarborough. In a puff piece involving zero -- actually, minus-zero -- reporting, Gurley quotes the object of his affections:

"Have you seen I�m a murderer?" he said. "Do a Yahoo search, and this will tell you why I don�t want to get back into politics. The second and third sites will say that I got a staff member pregnant and killed her�that I was cheating on my first wife, got her pregnant and I killed her. That�s why I was getting out of Congress. Comparing me to Gary Condit. And I�m a big boy, but after reading that you�re a Nazi for five years while you�re eating cereal, you learn to go, �O.K., well, I wonder if the Braves won.� And all that came from the 2000 election. I think I was up there probably in some of the ugliest years."

First, Scarborough's Yahoo search claim is, of course, not true.

Second, contrary to Scarborough's suggestion, there is no evidence that Gary Condit killed anyone.

Third, Scarborough did not, as Gurley claims, "pack his bags" and leave the House in May 2001; he did not resign until September 2001.

More importantly, though, Gurley is so incompetent that he didn't question Scarborough on the death of Lori Klausuits. Nor does Gurley point out that at least some of the sites addressing Klausuits' death did not accuse Scarborough of killing her, but simply wanted information about the facts of her death and the alleged mishandling of the investigation by the Medical Examiner. Instead, Gurley simply prints Scarborough's strawman argument/non-denial denial as a fact, and without even explaining what it means.

Also of note: Scarborough says that MSNBC staffers call him "Little O'Reilly." Must be in the Little Elvis sense.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Why shouldn't they try to emulate their commander-in-chief?

Reynolds Calls John Lott Disinglennuous

Make that "disingenuous." How dare that sleazy Lott not read Instapundit instead of just looking for a correction attached to the original article.

And get this:

"Personally, I think it's entirely proper to look into the makeup of important policy panels of this sort, and I still think that -- entirely aside from Levitt, who was hardly the subject of the article to begin with -- there is reason for concern where this panel is involved."
Personally, I think that publishing unfounded attacks by a "scholar"/accuser too cowardly to reveal his or her identity is not the same thing as "look[ing] into the makeup of important policy panels." In fact, I think it's the exact opposite. Nice bit of lawyerly -- or is that professorly -- misdirection, tho.

(Via TBogg)

The Least Fun You Can Have Without Mutilating Your Genitals

William F. Buckley, Jr. has written a romance novel. And it makes Barbara Cartland sound sexy:

Two college students, Woodroe Raynor and Leonora Goldstein, meet in the fall of 1960. They embark on separate paths: Woodroe goes to work for the indiscriminately anti-Communist John Birch Society, while Leonora becomes a novitiate in the libertarian-objectivist cult of novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand. But a singular romance blooms as they make their way through a tumultuous era, navigating the political fault line that would change American history.

Oh baby! If that's not a cure for erectile function, I don't know what is.

Buckley is churning out this crap (histo-fic novels about Joe McCarthy, Elvis and now this one) faster than his son pumps out illegitimate grandkids. Is there actually a market for this drivel?

Buckley's latest is published by Regnery, wing-nut publisher of such literary titans as Gary Aldrich and Mona Charen.
Mac Diva has more on the unholy Regnery family.

Women with a fetish for bald, uncharismatic toadies for the Bush Administration.

Little Mick would be eating his heart out, if he had one.

The New New Federalism.

In Arcata too!

It's almost enough to restore your faith in California.

The original Palm Pilot.

(at Charles Eicher's Disinfotainment)

Sunday, April 20, 2003

The Enemies List is almost completely recreated, to the best of my ability.

If I've left your blog off, please accept my apologies and e-mail me to let me know.

The Fetus Did It

Headline from the idiot Drudge:

"NOW objects to murder charge against Laci's baby; case tied to Roe debate..."

"Find Me Some WMD!"

The Pentagon dispatched an entire brigade�3,000 troops�to the search and offered $200,000 bounties for any weapons of mass destruction (WMD) uncovered. Local officers were authorized to make payments of $2,500 on the spot. "The White House is screaming, 'Find me some WMD,'" says a State Department official, adding that the task is one of many suddenly facing the department. Members of the Administration must feel a new bond with Blix, since they are now the ones arguing that these things take time.

Blog May Have Known Half-Wit, Too

Super sleuth Steve den Beste (think Nero Wolfe, but without the orchids) offers a solution to the mystery of blogger Salam Pax and his disappearance last month. Inspector Clue-less has sussed it out with only a single piece of evidence:

The site "Where is Raed?" was last updated on March 24.

On March 25, Raed Rokan Al-Anbuge was arrested in New York and has been held by US authorities ever since: [Para.] A former Iraqi diplomat's son accused of aiding Iraqi spies was actually helping the United States and plans to seek asylum, his lawyer said Tuesday.

See, because they both have the name "Raed" .... and .... uh ...

Why oh why hasn't Bill Mueller tapped this national treasure at a time when our national security is at stake?

But maybe denny is onto something. Let's try out his process of deduction:

The site "TBogg," which originates from San Diego, was last updated on April 17.

On April 18, Scott Peterson was arrested in San Diego and has been held by Modesto, California authorities ever since: A former fertilizer salesman was accused of killing his pregnant wife but claims he was fishing on the date of her disappearance....

The man's a genius! A genius I say.

Update: Edited slightly.

Update 2 (4/23): Edited again.... Damn, people actually read this crap! More work for me.

Life Imitates Movie Cliches

The Washington Post reports:

But I.C. Smith, a former FBI counterintelligence official who was part of a 1990 trip to China that Leung allegedly compromised, said James Smith could be "kind of an arrogant guy."

"He had that L.A. attitude," said Smith, who is not related to the suspect. "He was the kind of guy who never wanted to wear a tie, wanted to follow his own rules, that sort of thing."

Starring Mel Gibson as "James 'J.J.' Smith," Reginald VelJohnson as "I.C. Smith" and introducing Karin Anna Cheung as "Katrina Leung."

Saturday, April 19, 2003

"[Jon] Stewart has a keen eye for Bush's hypocrisies. After Baghdad had fallen, he showed excerpts of Bush's television address to the Iraqi people. 'You are a good and gifted people,' the President intoned unctuously. 'You deserve better than tyranny and corruption and torture chambers.' Stewart, sticking out a cocked forefinger as if he were chucking a toddler under the chin, cooed in a high voice, 'Yes you do, yes you do, you're a very good country, ga, ga, ga, goo goo.'"


The Truth, Kurtz

Two updates on Conflict-of-Interest Kurtz:

1. Howie appears to admit that he bashed President Clinton for his recent New York speech without hearing the whole thing. He cites an e-mail quoting parts of the speech he failed to mention, including portions where the President praised Bush and Rumsfeld. Howie whines argues that it's all a matter of timing: "Another week or two and few would have blinked at Clinton slapping Bush around, except for those who believe ex-presidents should play golf and stay quiet." But the only people who have bashed Clinton for his remarks are wing-nut idiots who bash Clinton for everything he says anytime, anywhere. And Howie wasn't quoting others bashing Clinton, he was bashing Clinton. Did someone change Howie's job title from Media Critic to Arbiter of Ex-Presidential Appropriate Timing?

2. Could it be that Howie got his facts wrong on the "Bloommobile?" As reader John Hendry notes here, USA Today reports that the Bloommobile is not a customized tank, but a modified Ford pickup with a domed satellite in back. The reporter does not ride in the truck, but rather travels with U.S. soldiers in a tank.

My own comment, below, on David Koresh pales in comparison to the eloquence of this statement by Dominion, who actually had the misfortune of meeting Koresh and whose compassion for the victims of Koresh is evident. I hope everyone will read it.

To elaborate on what I wrote before, there is plenty that the federal agencies and the Justice Department can be faulted for, including underestimating the depravity of Koresh and his followers and trying to cover up some of their poor decisions (although made in good faith, under deplorable circumstances). My comments are not about defending the federal agencies, or the Clinton administration or even the Bush admissions, which was in charge when the ATF plan was first conceived. But the only persons morally responsible for the death of innocents are Koresh and the adults who chose to follow him. Any hostage situation can go wrong because the authorities are poorly trained to handle the situation or act out of ingorance or arrogance. But the blood is only on the hands of the hostage takers, who put the hostages in danger and can spare the hostages' lives at any time. In Waco, the only responsible parties are Koresh and the Davidians, who set fire to their own home and burned "their" children alive.

Four Kings

This news won't be a big help in ending the looting in Iraq:

A huge cache of United States currency that American soldiers found hidden in one of Saddam Hussein's palaces could be as much as $656 million, senior officials said today.

Koresh And Burn

On the tenth anniversary of the day David Koresh and his followers murdered scores of children and took their own lives, I'm linking to an old article from Glenn Reynolds' one-time writing partner, David Kopel. It's a twisted little epistle.

Kopel blames all of the deaths at Waco on the federal authorities, making such claims as the ones that "the FBI's "Hostage Rescue Team," ... was holding hostages, rather than rescuing them" and that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms "launched an unnecessary machine gun attack on a children's home for publicity purposes." Kopel even compares the FBI to Hitler's SS ("As with the children at Auschwitz, incineration followed the gassing"), a particularly classy touch.

The fact is -- which even Kopel is forced to admit -- is that the ATF agents had valid arrest and search warrants, lawfully issued by the federal judiciary. Koresh had no right to resist arrest or the search of the Davidian compound, let alone murder four federal agents in cold blood. And after the initial standoff, Koresh and his followers had no right to do anything except surrender and release their hostages. They certainly had no right to use children as human shields.

Also interesting is Kopel's half-apology for Koresh: Sure Koresh molested pre-teenage girls, but "girls of such age have often been brides in other cultures or other eras." Sure Koresh viciously beat children, but the Texas authorities never prosecuted and, besides, "[a]ll of these incidents occurred long before the BATF attack [sic]. Besides, Koresh had been molested and abused himself. I'd love to see Kopel make those arguments to the children David Koresh raped, beat and prepared for their own deaths. Kopel concludes that the rabidly pro-gun Koresh "probably" could have been convicted of child abuse, but says the federal agents involved were the "most eggregious child abusers."

So much for individual responsibility, morality and respect for the law.

Finally, some dead civilians we can care about.

Friday, April 18, 2003

A lot of electronic ink has been spilled over the latest episode of the John Lott Follies. Tim Lambert reports on the latest brouhaha from a micro perspective, while Mac Diva analyzes Lott's gun writings in the context of his larger body of work.

The micro story is that Lott, in his latest book, quotes an anonymous source from a National Review article by Glenn "Instapimp" Reynolds and Dave Kopel; the source is suspected to be Lott himself. Maybe its the fact that Lott has already torpedoed his own credibility, but it's the conduct of Reynolds and Kopel that interests me more.

Reynolds and Kopel wrote, concerning the members of a National Academy of Sciences panel on gun issues, "Most of them have reputations as being antigun. Steven Levitt, [sic] has been described as 'rabidly antigun.'" Reynolds and Kopel decline to name the "describer," stating that he/she wishes to remain anonymous. I don't care who the accuser is. The real question is: at the time Kopel and Reynolds described Levitt as "rabidly antigun," what evidence did they have of that fact? Mr. A. Non. didn't force them to print the allegation. Either they took A. Non's word for it or they independently verified the charge. If they have proof that Levitt is "rabidly antigun," they can vindicate themselves by citing the proof without disclosing A. Non's identity. (And they've now had close to 2 years to gather evidence for the claim.) And if they can't, then they've established that they're willing to publish claims from someone unable and/or unwilling to back them up.

Also of interest: Reynolds made the claim that Levitt was an "ardent supporter of gun control" on his blog on August 16, 2001, 13 days before the stated publication date of the National Review article. (Which was written first: who knows?) In the original August 16 blog entry, Reynolds doesn't attribute the "ardent supporter" characterization to a third party. In the NR article, Reynolds and Kopel just say that Levitt "has been described" as rabidly antigun. On August 29 (apparently after the NR article was published), Reynolds states on his blog that he was quoting "a scholar" in the NR article. In the same post, Reynolds denies any personal knowledge of Levitt's gun views ("I don't know Levitt personally; I've read some of his work (which is good) but on topics other than guns"). If Reynolds hadn't read any of Levitt's writings on guns and didn't know him personally, why was he asserting -- as an indisputable fact and without citing a source -- just two weeks earlier that Levitt was "ardently" anti-gun? (And isn't the 8/29 blog entry and admission that Reynolds hadn't independently verified Levitt's views on guns before submitting the NR article?)

Reynolds claimed last September that Levitt wasn't the "point" or the "main point" of the NR piece. However, without question, the main point of Reynolds' August 16 blog entry ("How To Stack A Panel") was that the panel was biased because it was stacked with "ardent" anti-gunners, as evidenced by the presence of Levitt on the panel.

But I'm not a scholar; what do I know?

Now There's A Man Who Knows Demographics

The blog Palmetto Journal reports:

One of our Greenville readers alerted us to the fact that, while listening to Sean Hannity on WFIS AM (1600) in Fountain Inn, she heard an ad for The Redneck Shop in Laurens (pictured at left.)

The ad featured an announcer, apparently from the radio station, talking about the selection of American flags for sale at the shop with The Star Spangled Banner playing in the background. We have no further information that indicates the ad ran during other time slots but that is not beyond the realm of possibility. One Upstate broadcaster told us that he would not solicit The Redneck Shop for advertising and that the only way he would sell to them would be if they walked in and paid prime rate in advance. It is not known whether WFIS actively solicited this business.

The proprietor of the Redneck Shop, John Howard, is Emperor of the Invisible Empire of the International Knights of the Ku Klux Klan based in Enoree, SC.

This is a third-hand report, but it sounds legit. The links all pan out on the Palmetto Journal site, including one to the store's home page, which features the word "Klan" superimposed over an American Flag. (The selection of American flags appears to be a recent addition to the store, since the ratio of anti-American flags to American flags in photos of the store is at least 500 to 1.) The station shows up on a find-a-station search at Hannity's website (by entering the zipcode 29644). The station apparently doesn't have its own website.

My guess is that Hannity doesn't know about these ads, if they're in fact running. Whether he knows of the mentality of his supporters is another question.

Note: Links to bigots deliberately omitted.

Are You Sure About That?

The Washington Post reports:

Prosecutor Sure Laci Peterson Found

The county prosecutor in Modesto says he believes "pretty strongly" that the body of a woman that washed up on shore this week is the missing Laci Peterson.


"I feel pretty strongly it is" Peterson, said Brazelton, whose jurisdiction includes Modesto. (Emphasis added.)

(Via Talk Left.)

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Glad Tidings of Great Joy

There are people who say, "Roger, you are too negative. Why don't you ever talk about what's good about America?" This is for those rude people:

David Duke Begins 15-Month Prison Term

BIG SPRING, Texas - Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke turned himself in to a federal prison Tuesday to begin a 15-month sentence for mail and tax fraud.


Duke pleaded guilty to falsely reporting a gross income of $18,831 in 1998, rather than the actual $65,034, and to bilking supporters. The mail fraud charge grew out of what prosecutors described as a scheme between 1993 and 1999 to swindle thousands of followers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars through a direct mail campaign.

I wonder if Duke is regretting that plastic surgery right about now.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this article saying that NBC correspondent David Bloom died because he insisted upon covering the war in a tank he customized himself and christened the "Bloommobile"?

Family Man, Eh?

April 17, 2003, 5:57PM....

The president's younger brother and his estranged wife signed an "amicable, irrevocable" mediated divorce settlement ending 23 years of marriage, Neil Bush's lawyer said today.

"The settlement agreement has been signed by both parties and their attorneys, is irrevocable and effectively concludes this matter," Flowers said in a statement. "For the benefit of the minor children, Neil Bush requests that his family's privacy be respected."

Hiding behind the kiddies. I thought only Iraqi soldiers did that.

BTW, the minor children are named Pierce and Ashley. Very Texan. And what boy doesn't want to be named after his grandmother?

Merry Frickin' Xmas

"It's like getting one of those cards announcing that instead of a Christmas present, someone has made a contribution in your name to some charity you aren't interested in. 'Dear American Taxpayer: We are pleased to inform you that in gratitude for all the billions you're going to be pouring into Iraq, the U.S. government has made a sweetheart deal on your behalf with a company you've never heard of.' Eighty billion dollars�the size of just the first expense report the Bush administration has submitted to Congress�works out to about $1,000 that needs to be kicked in by each household in the United States. Of course we're putting it all on the credit card, to be paid for in the future, with interest."-- Michael Kinsley

Casualties of War

The horrors of war have come home to Little Mickey Kaus:

If you're like me (or Instapundit), you're now caught in a vicious postwar bind. You're completely sick of the war -- sick of watching cable, sick of reading the paper.

Inexplicably, the irresponsible mainstream press has focused on the suffering of the families of dead G.I.s and, to a much lesser extent, dead Iraqi civilians and maimed and homeless Iraqi children. And those Baghdad residents, with their incessant bitch bitch bitching about the lack of power, medicine and law and order. Is there no one who has compassion for the true victims of this war? Innocents like Mickey suffer for hours, if not days, searching in vain for Lou Dobbs Moneyline or a long feature article about Gary Condit or welfare mothers. Not to mention the fact television and newspapers have become malevolent living beings and have forced the Neocon Slaphead to consume their content every waking second.

The Vietnam War lasted for years. How did Mickey survive those long years of boredom, sitting around his dorm room and his parents' rec room with no hope in sight for a speedy resolution to the conflict?

All I can say is, thank God I'm not like you (or Instapundit), Mick.

Buyer The Liar

The Hill reports:

[House Republican Steve] Buyer [(R-IN)], too, has served his two weeks of required training overseas. �When I was in Kosovo, I carried a general�s bag,� he said, although he corrected himself and said he had not been in Kosovo but in Bosnia, Germany and Hungary.

He said he was disappointed that he did not get the chance to join Operation Iraqi Freedom, and blamed the media, CNN specifically, for publicizing his impending departure. He said that caused the civilian leadership in the Pentagon to reconsider mobilizing him.

A source with close ties to Pentagon officials said Abell, Rumsfeld�s aide, vetoed Buyer�s prospective deployment because he viewed the congressman�s willingness to serve as �purely for political reasons,� such as burnishing his image so he can run for the Senate in the event Indiana�s senior Republican senator, Richard Lugar, decides to retire.

Kosovo. Yeah, that's the ticket. And I liberated the concentration camps with Ronnie Reagan too.

A Republican lying about his military service. Now that's leadership material. Set your sights higher, Steve-o.

(p.s. - I know his name doesn't actually rhyme with "liar.")

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

The Bushy Bunch

Kelley added: "[Sharon Bush] is very frightened about her future. She told me she spent her whole life being a wife to Neil Bush and a mother to their three children, and now he wants to marry another woman. She told me he's only offering $1,000 a month in support -- take it or leave it. She was crying when she told me this. She said that when she told Neil she needs more to live on, Neil Bush said, 'Just get remarried.' Sharon was sobbing as she told me, 'Kitty, I just won't sell my body!' "

Colasuonno confirmed much of Kelley's account, as well as reports that Neil filed for divorce in the midst of a long-term extramarital affair with Maria Andrews, with whom he has been seen at society events in Houston and Austin, where Neil, a software entrepreneur, relocated after moving out of the family home last summer. Andrews, the mother of an 18-month-old boy, was divorced in October from her third husband, Houston oilman Robert Andrews.
Nice values, Silverado!

Neil and Maria each have three children from their previous, non-adulterous relationships. It's like the scumbag version of the Brady Bunch.

And they met while Maria was working for Grandma Brady... er, Bush.

Brain Teaser

Find the media criticism in the following media criticism column:

Bill Clinton is back on the warpath.

You have to wonder about his timing.

Just days after the American victory in Baghdad, one might expect the 42nd president to let his successor have his moment.

After all, Clinton, despite some occasional potshots, supported Bush's tough stance against Saddam. It was Clinton who signed a 1998 law making regime change the official policy of the United States � even though he did little, other than dropping a few bombs, to bring it about.

Not that Clinton can't play the role of constructive critic. But the timing of his latest blast suggests that he just can't stand being off the stage for long.

Frankly, in light of the stunning military victory in Iraq, his comments sound a bit churlish � even though he makes some valid points. Shouldn't the former commander-in-chief be congratulating America's soldiers?

Don't give up now. Keep looking!

Bonus credit if you can determine whether the media critic in question actually read a full transcript of President Clinton's remarks.

UPDATE (4/17): As bodily predicted here, Conflict-of-Interest Kurtz has indeed won a coveted Whorey for this non-media column. It's only the weekly prize, but it qualifies him for WOTY trophy.

UPDATE (4/18): Yes, I did predict it bodily. With my largest organ. A bold move, don't you think?

Grand Old Police Blotter: Victimless Crime Edition

From the Cincinnati Enquirer:

Boehner says his treasurer took money In what could be one of the largest cases of campaign embezzlement ever, the former treasurer for Rep. John Boehner's re-election fund has been accused of stealing more than $400,000 to pay for a gambling habit, the congressman announced Tuesday.

The West Chester Republican mailed a letter to 8,000 supporters Monday to alert them to "disappointment and bad news."


Boehner is chairman of the House Education Committee and a major GOP player in Washington. He typically raises and spends more than $1 million on each re-election despite only token opposition.

The biggest Boehner in the Republican House since Newt Gingrich left in disgrace.

Who said there's no good news anymore?

(Many thanks to Roger Ailes' Buckeye correspondent, Nancy)

Cable TV's TNN Changes Name to Spike

Girlfriend Changes Albie Hecht's Nickname to Lil' Smoky

An interesting story also featured at Talk Left:

An impoverished Mississippi county is suing the State to provide more funds for the defense of indigent criminal defendants. The County's current annual budget for indigent criminal defense fees and costs is $32,400.00. (The Mississippi A.G.'s office says $38K.)

Here in Quitman County, on the other hand, two lawyers are paid $1,350 a month each to represent every indigent defendant who comes along. In the first nine months of 2002, there were 45 cases involving serious charges; in all of 2001, there were 20; in 2000, 35. The fee is to cover trials, appeals, investigators, experts and every kind of overhead.
So that's $540 to $1,620 per case. Although more detail would be nice (what kinds of crimes are involved, whether court fees are waived for the criminal defendants, etc.), its clear that the accused are not getting much of a defense in Quitman Co. And the flat fee structure certainly doesn't give the defense counsel any incentive or reason to spend much in preparing a defense.

Interestingly, Arnold & Porter is representing the County in their suit. 40 years ago, that firm represented Clarence Gideon, the indigent criminal defendant in the historic Gideon v. Wainwright case, in which the Supreme Court held that the Constitution "guaranteed all persons accused of a serious crime in a state court the right to counsel regardless of ability to pay."

Not surprisingly, Arnold & Porter is representing the county pro bono.If it were any other way, the County would blow through $1,350 at Arnold & Porter regular hourly rates before the first morning was over.

The hard questions: Can you determine the competency of a defense as a dollars and cents proposition? Paying more to appointed defense counsel won't necessarily ensure that counsel puts more effort into the case. On the other hand, government oversight and approval of expenses doesn't seem to a solution, since its the county that's trying to convict and save money in the first place. (It could also lead to disclosure of defense strategy.) And a judge can't allocate money the County hasn't budgeted.

The Mississippi A.G. says the County should hire a full-time Public Defender. An annual caseload of 20 to 35 cases might be managable for one attorney (depending on the seriousness of the cases), but could you get anyone competent to fill the job for $32K minus necessary expenses?

I have no solution, but its abundantly clear that the current system doesn't work.

Bonus Quiz Question: What was Clarence Gideon's crime and what was the ulitimate outcome of his case?

Rittenhouse at 1

I have neglected to mention the first year anniversary of The Rittenhouse Review, the award-winning blog of my generous benefactor, fellow tax-filing procrastinator and future senator of Pennsylvania. The Review celebrated its first full year of publication on April 14.

In mitigation, I often forget to acknowledge the birthdays and anniversary of close friends and relatives as well. (Which accounts for the level of my popularity, I guess.)

Anyway, I now owe Jim not only a drink but also a clock made out of paper.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Racist O'Reilly Slimes Again

Fox News bigot Bill O'Reilly has a new routine. No long satisfied with calling Mexicans "wetbacks," O'Reilly is now humorously slandering inner-city school children as thieves.

Emceeing Saturday night's Best Friends rock-and-roll gala at the Marriott Wardman Park -- which raised $800,000 for the 15-year-old charity benefiting inner-city schoolchildren -- the Fox News Channel star was trying to fill dead air during a lull in the entertainment.

Members of the "Best Men," as the sixth-to-eighth-grade boys in the program are called, were delayed getting onstage to perform a lip-synced rendition of the Four Tops standard "Reach Out (I'll Be There)." O'Reilly ad-libbed: "Does anyone know where the Best Men are? I hope they're not in the parking lot stealing our hubcaps."
O'Reilly's defense: "Everybody was happy." Given that the "everybody" was a group of overwhelmingly white Republican politicians, fat cats and socialites, I wouldn't doubt that for a second.

But those Republicans are running to distance themselves from O'Reilly. Grove's column insinuates that everyone in attendance -- except Bo Derek -- was miraculously struck deaf at the precise second O'Reilly revealed his true self.

Perhaps the bigger scandal -- the one that the Groveler carefully avoids -- is the nature of the "benefit" that "inner-city schoolchildren" recieve from Best Friends:

Best Friends is a youth development program with a character building curriculum for girls in grades 5-12 with messages of abstinence from sex, drugs and alcohol. Best Friends is an in-school program conducted during the school day by educators who serve as instructors and mentors. Throughout the school year, each participant receives at least 110 hours of guidance and instruction.

One of the Best Friends programs, for adolescent girls, "provides study, employment and social tips, including proper table manners...." (The Best Friends website also says, somewhat incomprehensibly, that "Participants are not self-selected but receive the curriculum, with parental permission, as part of their school curriculum.")

There you have it. A program designed to socialize immoral and ill-mannered "inner-city school children" and discourage them from reproductive activity. (As one young, not-self-selected participant put it, it's all about "how to respect women and how to control our attitude.") The focus of the instruction is not academics, but Elayne Bennett's hobby-horse, abstinence.

And, if they're really really good, participants can create a white-washed version of the pre-Civil Rights era in song and dance for their corpulent and decaying benevolent patrons.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Grand Old Police Blotter: Criminal-In-Justice Edition

No one is above the law, except Republicans:

WASHINGTON - Janet Rehnquist, the inspector general at the Department of Health and Human Services, received a government handgun and law enforcement credentials even though she was not legally entitled to them, an internal investigation concluded.

The daughter of Chief Justice William Rehnquist was guilty of "administrative failures," the investigation found. The Justice Department reviewed the findings and said it would not prosecute.


Rehnquist told investigators she had the unloaded gun in her office less than a day. It was taken away from her by officials responsible for HHS firearms and replaced by a laser gun, which required no permit, the report said.

She also wrongly obtained the law enforcement credential that allowed her to enter her government building without going through security, according to the report.

The report found as well that Vicki Shepard, deputy inspector general for investigations who obtained the gun and credentials for Rehnquist, also had an unauthorized weapon. Everson, the White House official, suggested that HHS officials consider whether action should be taken against Shepard.


Shepard told investigators the IG was not authorized to carry a firearm but said she defined "carrying" as physically carrying a loaded gun. Since Rehnquist's gun was never loaded, the IG never "carried" the weapon from her office, Shepard said.

Rehnquist told the investigators she thought she could use the firearm to practice discharging the clip and for sight alignment. She did not recall requesting the firearm and believed she had it less than 24 hours.

The report added that Shepard insisted that credentials be given to Rehnquist even after being told she was not entitled to them. Shepard said her boss needed them to access special areas "in the event of a terrorist incident," the investigation said.

Rehnquist's arrogance and disregard for the law are breathtaking. And so is his daughter's.

Answer: Apparently Everything

Yesterday, I asked why the FBI was characterizing the LAX gunman, Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, as a "terrorist" even though he acted alone and there was no evidence he intended to effect political or societal change or cause widespread fear through his actions. Perhaps the answer can be found in this article from today's Salt Lake Tribune:

Hatch's amendment to make permanent Patriot's expanded law enforcement authority to wiretap, electronically eavesdrop, monitor personal Internet use, require Internet Service Providers to disclose subscriber information and allow greater access to financial records was to be attached to the so-called "lone wolf terrorist" bill now pending in Congress.

Currently, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) only authorizes FBI surveillance or physical searches of noncitizens when there is probable cause to believe he or she is an agent of a foreign government or an international terrorist organization.

Hatch said he supports amending FISA to allow surveillance of suspects not associated with an organization or country, but opposes allowing the new provisions, like the Patriot Act, to expire in 2005.

"As everyone knows, I opposed including the sunset in the Patriot Act and I oppose applying that same sunset to this provision as well," he said in a statement. "If enacted, [it] will only serve to jeopardize legitimate law enforcement and intelligence agency efforts to disrupt terrorists and protect our country."

It certainly sounds like the FBI is lobbying Congress to expand the "Patriot Act" to alleged crimes where no link to terrorist organization groups exist. If no proof of a tie to a terrorist group or foreign country is required, almost any premeditated crime could be considered a "terrorist act." Shouldn't the Congress be investigating numerous abuses and failures of the F.B.I. rather than writing the F.B.I. a blank check?

Saturday, April 12, 2003

And did we tell you the name of the game, boy?
We call it riding the gravy train.


Cheetah is 71.

Bob Novak is 72.

Just so you can tell them apart.

What Is A Terrorist Act?

More importantly, why did the FBI label that July 4, 2002 LAX shootings a terrorist act? The shooter was shot and killed himself during the incident, so there was no reason to classify the shooting for purposes of criminal prosecution.

The A.P. reports:

An Egyptian immigrant who opened fire inside Los Angeles International Airport committed an act of terrorism, but he did it alone and was not tied to any terrorist organizations, federal officials have determined.

Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, 41, killed two people at the ticket counter of El Al, Israel's national airline, and wounded several others in the Fourth of July attack before he was fatally shot by an airline security guard.

The Department of Justice had withheld characterizing the shooting while federal agents launched a worldwide investigation. They determined it was terrorism related to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, said Matthew McLaughlin, an FBI spokesman in Los Angeles.

"The investigation developed information that he openly supported the killings of civilians in order to advance the Palestinian cause," McLaughlin said.

The question is: what makes this a terrorist attack? The FBI says that Hadayet supported pro-Palestinian violence, and Hadayet attacked people at the ticket counter of an Israeli airline. But clearly Hadayet's views were not known to anyone he encountered during the incident, and he left no public statement about his actions or his motive for them. There's nothing to suggest that Hadayet believed his actions would have any political or societal consequence.

So why did the FBI feel it necessary to label Hadayet's actions? Is it to establish a broad definition which could be used to label more crimes as "terrorist," so as to broaden the scope of federal jurisdiction? Maybe to increase the availability of the death penalty, or to deny other criminal suspects due process rights?

Under the F.B.I.'s definition, the killer of Dr. Barnett Slepian is a terrorist because he previously voiced anti-abortion views and then killed a doctor who performed abortions. Will the Justice Department apply the F.B.I.'s definition of terrorism to such cases?

Moonie Times hed:

Chinese Mata Hari ensnares ex-FBI men

This may be a record for the Father's Paper, at least outside a Bill Sammon article.

In a mere six words, the Times manages not only to be racist and sexist but also to get three important facts wrong. Leung is a naturalized American citizen of Chinese descent, not "Chinese." (Identifying Leung as Chinese is as accurate as identifying Reverend Moon as "an American criminal" just because he served time in a U.S. prison.) And the gentlemen in question were not "ex-FBI men" at the time of their alleged sexual involvement with Leung. And, of course, there is no evidence or allegations that Leung "ensnared" either man into anything.

Inexplicably, the normally-thorough Times failed to mention Leung's extensive ties to the Republican Party, her work as a Republican fund-raiser or her ties with Bush-endorsed candidates Bill Simon and Dick Riordan.

Dancing With Himself

In addition to confirming that Michael Kelly was the wrong person to invite to your wedding, William Powers of the National Journal also reveals, inadvertently, that the tiny dancer was a tiny fraud:

"[Kelly] drove people crazy. In his Washington Post columns, he settled into a style one might call the scorched-earth polemic, in which he made it clear that anyone who disagreed with him on the subject at hand was not just wrong, not just misguided, but deeply, irredeemably corrupt. Yet he had a mild, tolerant personality, and his own political views were more complicated and interesting than he ever let on in those columns. I know, from countless liquid conversations in the Madison Hotel bar, that his political pantheon included such names as Roosevelt and Moynihan and that some of his views had a decidedly old-liberal cast. But he mostly kept those ideas to himself, didn't take on those issues or use them to modulate his fierce public persona. Why? Because he didn't want to be just another media smoothie, one of those who clip and trim their arguments in order to remain in the club.

Amazing. Powers asserts that Kelly, who was in fact a prosperous member of the media "club" because of his mastery of the simplistic, vitrolic argument was really more intelligent than he let on. However, Kelly deliberately kept his complicated and interesting arguments out of print because he "didn't want to be just another media smoothie." In other words, Kelly "clipped and trimmed" his arguments in order to appear less complicated and more of a wing-nut than he really was. So he could appear to be outside of the club in which he was a prominent member.

Powers inadvertently confirms MWO's Kool Kids thesis, stating that Kelly "was in some of the media's best clubs." (Meaning, of course, the same ones Powers is in.) But Powers also asserts, schizophrenically, that Kelly wasn't "of" those clubs, and was an "outsider," even though those clubs "rewarded and even cherished him." You can't have it both ways.

In the end, Powers is saying his friend Kelly was a fraud and hypocrite who thought his readers were too stupid for a complex argument, and who maintained a right-wing persona just to stay in with the Kool Kids.

Well, if you say so, Bill.

O'Reilly's Dittospanks Bark Like The Trained Poodles They Are

From OC Weekly:

Those who don�t read the [Orange County] Register might be shocked to learn that the paper�s editorial writers�usually lockstep defenders of anything Republican�have bravely opposed the war in Iraq. Steven Greenhut, for example, has described the U.S. invasion as "nuts," bashed President George W. Bush for "treating the war in such a simplistic way," and fired back at fellow right-wingers�O�Reilly included�who say it�s un-American to speak against the war.

"Criticism of the war, while bombs are flying and coalition troops are under fire, makes me a �bad� American, according to a certain blow-hard commentator whose idea of tough journalism is badgering guests with comments such as, �Come on, Mr. So and So, you really don�t believe blah, blah, blah,�" Greenhut wrote in a March 30 column.

The Fox commentator�s Orange County fans were not pleased.

"As you might expect, the O�Reilly people are irrational," Greenhut told the Weekly. "Their phone calls and e-mail tirades accuse me of being un-American and [tell me] to shut up."

And here's Murdoch's own Monica, issuing his "Talking Points" to his moronic minions (via MWO):

Once the war against Saddam Hussein begins, we expect every American to support our military, and if you can't do that, just shut up.

Americans, and indeed our foreign allies who actively work against our military once the war is underway, will be considered enemies of the state by me.

Says O'Reilly: "Good doggies! Now go and buy my book. Fetch!"

Friday, April 11, 2003

Mickey Kaus' Pickup Lines For Neocons

"Even bad sex is fun."

And he's got eyewitnesses to prove it.

Little Mick also links to a story at AutoWeek Online.

Auto Week --- isn't that what his father's friends call Mickey?

(Inspired by a true story at TBogg.)

Tax time is always a busy time for Roger Ailes. And frustrating too. Do I declare Whorealdo as a dependent or as a theft loss? Do I get an oil depletion credit for all the Vaseline smeared on the camera lens during the Judith Regan show? Would it be tax fraud to describe Fred Barnes as a journalist on my return?

Roger will return to full-fledged blogging on Saturday morning. And during my next absence I'll post a somewhat funny story about interrupting Eric Clapton while he ate lunch at the Del Taco in El Cajon. I'm sure you'll all enjoy it.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Mac Diva has a very interesting post on the racist blog Gene Expression. I read her comment while thinking about the recent Supreme Court decision in Virginia v. Black, the "cross-burning case."

Although I consider myself a First Amendment absolutist, I agree with the majority of the Court that a state can criminalize the act of burning a cross with an intent to intimidate.

(Justice O'Connor's opinion for the Court even manages to mangle the Court's intended holding. O'Connor says "the First Amendment permits Virginia to outlaw cross burnings done with the intent to intimidate because burning a cross is a particularly virulent form of intimidation." That should read "The First Amendment does not prohibit....," since the amendment prohibits rather than authorizes certain government actions.)

I disagree with Sandy O. when she says "a burning cross is not always intended to intimidate." In American society and tradition, the only expressive meaning of a burning cross displayed in public is a threat. The closest parallels I can think of are brandishing a weapon or making a slit-your-throat gesture, although even those actions -- unlike burning a cross -- could have "innocent" meanings (brandishing in self-defense; the gesture as a non-violent joke or comment).

My fear was/is that Justice Scalia and like-minded jurists could use the Court's holding as an excuse to expand restrictions on expressive speech they don't like, such as flag burning, which may offend but does not threaten. But thugs like Scalia don't bother with justifying their actions. (See Bush v. Gore, 121 S.Ct. 525 (2000).)

They went in Betas, and came out Master Betas.

But seriously -- They take these 'dexters on a two-day road trip to Springfield but they can't cross the fucking road to find a restaurant? Someone needs to help Superintendent Hardt with his ass-covering skills.

But I'm sure it was a nice opportunity for the kids to meet their Illinois State Representatives.

(Via TBogg, to whom I would have just linked, but Blogger won't allow me.)

Monday, April 07, 2003

The Insect Fog Of War

Does this mean that Saddam's supplier for Weapons of Mass Destruction is Chemical Tom D?

Could that be why Chemical Tom D refuses to identify his profession in his official bio?

If You Seek His Monument, Look At His Columns

Bob Somerby and Scoobie Davis make the important point that the true measure of Michael Kelly, at least for persons who care about the integrity of journalism, is the content of his work. By that measure, Kelly came up very short. Kelly may have been a charming man when he was sitting around gossiping and swapping Clinton cock jokes with MoDo and P.J. O'Rourke. But, as Somerby and Davis point out, his public legacy is one of rabid, bitter and inaccurate screeds against President Clinton and Vice President Gore.

Half-Assery In Academia

Speaking of dumbasses at NRO, TAPPED catches this giant boner by National Review contributor Candace de Russy. De Russy complains about some supposedly wack liberal theory which is "gaining prominence" at Princeton's law school. The only problem is that Princeton doesn't have a law school.


Maybe while De Russy is fighting liberal movements at phantom schools she could take some time and clean up the corruption at the no doubt intellectually diverse Air Force Academy, where she sits on the Board of Visitors.

"Justice Scalia Is Clearly Bent...."

You said it, Bill, not me.

This is a bit old by now, but I haven't seen any comments on William F. Buckley's call for the repeal of Texas's law criminalizing gay sex (aka sodomy). It's clear from the piece that Buckley's main motivation is the fear that the Supreme Court will recognize a fundamental privacy right for gay men and lesbians to engage in sexual activity. And his view of Texas law enforcement is certainly delusional idealized. But the old lizard does say that "the facts of the matter weigh against Texas" and "it's hard to defend what the Texans did."

I picture much wailing and gnashing of teeth among the Bigot Brigade -- Goldberg, Dreher, Derbyshire and Lopez -- at NRO's Corner. But did any of them have the courage to slam the old man for his objectively pro-sodom stand?

Sunday, April 06, 2003

Why Michael Kelly really went to Iraq: To get away from MoDo's incessant whining.

Meet Your Liberal Media

Tired of maintaining its pretense of non-partisanship, GENBC discloses that it is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the G.O.P.:

"Erstwhile Washington political pollster Frank Luntz got a rude awakening while traversing the globe to conduct focus groups on the Iraqi war."

"Mr. Luntz's focus sessions on behalf of NBC in Egypt, the West Bank and Israel went off without a hitch, but the pollster wasn't so lucky in Turkey, where he suddenly found himself 'embedded' with antiwar demonstrators." (Emphasis added)