Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Here's more on Bob's old best bud, from Joe C.

Bob's Your Uncle Karl

Here's what I want to know. Why would members of the Bush administration reveal the name of a covert CIA operative to the man known to consort with a traitor who put the lives of American agents at risk?

Bob, I think you owe it to be honest with your readers in this case too. Surely you can make just one more exception. You could even make a habit of it, if you try hard enough.

Is Novak Underprivileged?

Susan at Suburban Guerilla points out that there is no unqualified reporter's privilege against compelled testimony and/or production. It's the ol' balancing test.

The U.S. Supreme Court last considered a constitutionally based reporter's privilege in 1972 in Branzburg v. Hayes, 408 U.S. 665 (1972).

Justice Byron White, joined by three other justices, wrote the opinion for the Court, holding that the First Amendment does not protect a journalist who has actually witnessed criminal activity from revealing his or her information to a grand jury. However a concurring opinion by Justice Lewis Powell and a dissenting opinion by Justice Potter Stewart recognized a qualified privilege for reporters. The privilege as described by Stewart weighs the First Amendment rights of reporters against the subpoenaing party's need for disclosure.

Thirty days in the hole might well test Novakula's loyalty to the two senior Administration officials (neither of which is Karl Rove, honest) who may have committed a crime by speaking to Novak. Heck, thirty minutes might do it.

Name That Homophobe

Who said this:

"....Wilson got his panties in a twist...."

So obvious that no link is required.

Equal Justice Under Law

So when will the DOJ issue a subpoena for Robert Novak?

I'm not saying I would support such a subpoena, or even that it would be legal; I'm saying the law should be applied equally.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Now Entering the 21st Century

Geez, what was your first clue, Howie?


Is MSNBC moving to the right? After dumping Phil Donahue and hiring former GOP congressman Joe Scarborough and the since-ousted fire breather Michael Savage, the network has launched a Saturday show with Republican pollster Frank Luntz -- who most recently worked on the effort to recall Democrat Gray Davis.

"We're asking Frank to do what he does for his clients, which is look for the truth," says spokesman Jeremy Gaines, adding that Luntz will do no political work for the duration of the show.

Except the political work he does on the show.

I guess I should cut Howie some slack. It's not like he's a media reporter or anything.


I'm well behind the curve on this one. I'll be reading Mark Kleiman, Joshua Micah Marshall and Atrios to catch up and keep up on the latest.

I won't be reading any of the worthless bloggers listed here by Hesoid, many of whom like to blow hard about the speed of the blogsphere but are completely speechless without the RNC's hand shoved up their asses to make their lips move. As Quiddity says, thanks are definitely in order to Hesiod, and to the others as well.

(I'd add that gnomish Bush apologist Little Mick is so focused on why Gray Davis is a "prick" to cover matters that actually matter. Just 'cause I'm fixated that way.)

Yes, I am back early. Didn't want to miss all the fun.


The son of the world's stupidest man writes:

Brook's highlight's what is common knowledge to every conservative journalist I know: post-grad academia is horrendously bigoted against conservatives.

Academic bias against conservatives. I can't imagine why!

That's a Saturday column. Haven't Sunday's papers arrived yet, or is Jo Jo crouching in a (not "the") corner, staring at them and shouting "La, La, La ... I can't hear you."

Saturday, September 27, 2003

But before I go, can we all agree that "my bad" should not be used by anyone over the age of 10 under any circumstances? Baby talk doesn't fool anyone into thinking that your error was of lesser significance than you're willing to admit. It just reveals the unseriousness of your arguments and inability to acknowledge your own shortcomings.
Due to the continuing decline in George Bush's job approval ratings, the other Roger Ailes is meeting with Karl Rove, R.M. Scaife, the Reverend Moon and others in a soundproof complex beneath the false bottom of an abandoned Trident missle silo to formulate plans for Electiontheft Two: The Sequel.

Me, I'm just taking weekend off. Please visit the blogs conveniently listed to the right, and enjoy the freefall.

And for all my Democratic friends in California, the news doesn't get any better than this.

Friday, September 26, 2003

Edward Said, Robert Palmer and George Plimpton. What's the link, beside the obvious one?

I'm not saying there is a link.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Yeah, California may have the recall, but we've also got 3,500 miles between us and Lucianne Jr.

Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness

Great minds think alike. Eugene Oregon at Demagogue read the same Ann Coulter column I did this morning and shot gaping holes in its bogus premise before the mid-morning coffee break, saving me a lot of work.

But I'd still like to make my own humble contribution.

Here's Coulter's second tale of Christian persecution, copied third-grade book report-style from a new David Limbaugh "book":

Thanks to the vigilance of an alert teacher at Lynn Lucas Middle School outside of Houston, two sisters carrying Bibles were prevented from bringing their vile material into a classroom. The teacher stopped the students at the classroom door and marched them to the principal's office. (Maybe it was just the sight of public school students carrying a book of any kind that set off alarm bells.) The sisters' mother was called and warned that the school intended to report her to Child Protective Services. When the mother arrived, the teacher threw the Bibles in the wastebasket, shouting, "This is garbage!"

In another display of tolerance at Lynn Lucas Middle School, school administrators snatched three students' books with covers displaying the Ten Commandments, ripped the covers off, threw them in the garbage, and told the students that the Ten Commandments constituted "hate speech." (Also, it would be insensitive to expose the Ten Commandments to students who had never been taught to count to 10.)

Ah ha ha.

Gee, I wonder why Ann didn't identify the "alert teacher" by name.

Perhaps its because, according to the Associated Press, the students who made the allegations, through a wingnut legal foundation, dropped the lawsuit in which they made the allegations.

WILLIS (AP) - A federal lawsuit accusing Willis school district teachers of confiscating and throwing away Bibles and ordering students to remove religious book covers has been dropped by the legal watchdog group that filed it.

District Superintendent Kay Karr said in a written statement Thursday the lawsuit was voluntarily withdrawn by Florida-based Liberty Counsel and that "students of Willis Independent School District have not been told they cannot bring Bibles to school, and Bibles were never thrown into the trash."

Mathew Staver, a lawyer with Liberty Counsel, said the lawsuit's withdrawal was an attempt to avoid a court battle and reach a mutually satisfying agreement between the parties involved.

The dismissal is confirmed by Laura "You Jews Let Me Down" Schlessinger, who wrote:

The lawsuit was recently dismissed as an attempt at a harmonious resolution -- so the children can return to school without fear of reoccurrence.

Yeah, right. People always dismiss their lawsuits so they can achieve a harmonious resolution. The dismissal gives them so much more leverage.

As a wise person once said, "Any fucking moron with a hundred and fifty bucks can file a 'ten million dollar lawsuit.'"

If I didn't know any better, I'd think Limbaugh just cut and pasted a bunch of b.s. from the internet and selling it to the chinless idiots who are still struggling with Tape 2 of Hooked on Phonics.

Fools And Their Money

From Townhall.com's 2003 pledge drive:

You raised over $131,000 in two weeks.

We asked for your support and nearly 2,900 of you responded. All of us at Townhall.com wish to sincerely thank you for your generosity. You gave your own contribution and you emailed your friends. Together you made a real statement for conservatism.

The blood-spattered map is a nice touch.

But seriously, if Townhall.com makes more money from its website than Roger Ailes, the terrorists have won. Send in your AFDC checks, your winning lottery tickets, those bonuses you've earned working for Big Abortion, Big Methamphetamine, Big Gay Pornography and the American Trial Lawyers Association, and the money you've gotten shaking down whitey. I'm only in this for the money.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

You'll excuse me, Reverend Moon, if I don't use your handkerchief

The current Editor's Pick at Salon.com is a must read. Writer John Gorenfeld takes a hard look at one of the Bush Administration's biggest supporters, the Reverend S.M. Moon. The Administration has returned the favor, sending almost 1/2 million dollars to support a Moonie teen celibacy club in New Jersey. Not a bad return on Moon's investment in the Bush Sr. library.

Just how big of a barking freak is Moon? Check this out:

Then, according to the instructions attributed to the [Unification Church's] American Blessed Family Department, "after the act of love, both spouses should wipe their sexual areas with the Holy Handkerchief" --referring to the church-supplied washcloth -- which must "be kept individually labeled and should never be laundered or mixed up."

Are you supposed to use the same handkerchief over and over? -- because I'm anticipating a problem here. I wonder where Mr. and Mrs. Wesley Pruden keep theirs.

The article also reveals that Jerry Falwell and his "university" are the bought-and-sold tools of Moon.

In 1995, it came to light that a debt-ridden Jerry Falwell (who told Esquire in 1978 that Moon was "like the plague: he exploits boys and girls") had quietly accepted $3.5 million from Moon's Women's Federation for World Peace IWFWP) to bail out his Liberty University.

I think this is only the tip of the iceberg -- why hasn't any journalist written a whole book exposing this right-wing bigot and his ties to the right?

Hey, Arnold. If you want to give something back to California, start by refunding the money you made from The Last Action Hero, and Jingle All The Way and the rest of those shitty movies in which you appeared.

Because you sure aren't qualified to lead the state.

The only thing that kept you from being the biggest embarassment in the debate was the participation of Stan Statham.

(I was going to solicit comment on the debate, but friggin' Haloscan is down again.)

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Ronald Reagan and Sexual Shame

No, it's not a graduate seminar by -- or about -- Peggy Noonan. It's the subject of a Sully post about his hero, Ronald Reagan. Sully finds this gem in St. Ronnie's Epistle to Penthouse Forum a comely young widow woman in Dixon, IL.

I guess what I am trying to say is that I oppose the dogmas of some organized religions who accept marital relationship only as a "tolerated" sin for the purpose of conceiving children and who believe all children to be born in sin. My personal belief is that God couldn't create evil so the desires he planted in us are good and the physical relationship between a man and woman is the highest form of companionship ...

Ooohh.... what a free-thinker. Marital sex between a man and woman for purposes other than procreation isn't bad.

According to Sully, Reagan's swingin' missive is "particularly embarrassing to the scolds who have come to monopolize much of the discussion of sex in conservative circles." It also reveals Ronnie's "candor about how damaging sexual shame and guilt can be."

I'm skeptical that Ronald Reagan felt much sexual shame when he was banging young women whose names he couldn't recall. Maybe Sully's talking about the sexual shame Reagan felt which kept him from addressing the AIDS epidemic and/or doing anything about it.

Nigel Bites

In today's New York Times, Michiko Kakutani reviews the latest anti-Clinton screed, this one written by bitter limey Nigel Hamilton and published by the once respected Random House.

Whenever I see the Times take issue with irresponsible, unsourced Clinton-bashing, I get the feeling that the Times is trying to deflect criticism from its own flawed anti-Clinton coverage.

Highlights of the review:

Though Mr. Hamilton repeatedly suggests that Bill and Hillary Clinton had a "marital understanding" about his philandering � "She would not expect Bill to be sexually faithful in their partnership, but she would expect him to observe reasonable discretion" � he does not offer any credible evidence of such an agreement.

Surely Andy Sullivan has a cause of action against Nigel for plagiarism on this theory.

Drawing upon sources like Mr. Evans-Pritchard's irresponsible book, Mr. Hamilton resurrects some of the most heinous and uncorroborated accusations made by Clinton haters, writing that "the list of beatings, suicides, and even murders of people connected with Bill Clinton would, over the years, become alarmingly long." A host of articles and books, Mr. Hamilton asserts, attest that Gennifer Flowers was not alone in worrying about the dangers of crossing Bill Clinton. "People were not only threatened," he portentously intones, "but could wind up � like the man falsely accused of raping a Clinton cousin � without testicles and in prison, or even dead, if they stepped out of line."
If Nigel's talking about this scumbag, imprisonment, genital mutilation and death are too good for him.

Kakutani acknowledges that these tales are bullshit. But her concluding paragraph is quite strange.

In the end, however, it is perhaps fitting that the prose in these pages is so melodramatic, reductive and foolish; after all, those are the very qualities embodied by this entire unfortunate book.

Huh? Is she saying: "It is perhaps fitting that these pages of the book are crap, because the entire book is crap." Wouldn't it be easier to say: "the rest of the book is just as crappy" or just "this book is crap."

Monday, September 22, 2003

More Lowlifes On The Wall Street Journal Editorial Page

Will Loony Nooner, supposed foe of racial intolerance, decry this racist comment in the pages of the Wall Street Journal:

You can either get the benign version of the American superpower, the one that comes with American values, such as a belief in self-determination even for the wogs, a version that most likely will include continued support for institutions such as the U.N. Or, amid derision and abuse, you may get the truly realpolitik version, which will be mainly about cold-bloodedly protecting the superpower's commercial interests, and will include little or no interest in the U.N. and similar platforms. Americans are patient. But they aren't punching bags.

Will Dolphina call for WSJ editor Daniel Henniger to "go," like she did Trent Lott? Don't count on it.

(Via TAPped.)

Harvest Moon

Let's not forget our old friend, the man who gives us Wes Pruden, Tony Blankley and Robert BurkeDabneyCalhoun McCain. The Reverend Moon is back, and he's loonier than ever.

Here are some excerpts from a speech given by the proprietor of the Moonie Times just last week:

Now in America several states have approved gay marriage. This is absolutely against God and the principle. If they continue this way, then humanity will perish within one generation. Many women have a very individualistic focus. Gay marriage would claim that they have human rights. But this is individualistic and not for the sake of others. How do gay people make love? How? You may know. Even animals don't do this.

Wherever you are you must protect the divine rights of heaven. You must awaken others to the divine rights of heaven. We must end the false viewpoint of human rights that is promoting homosexuality. Do you think True Mother is controlling True Father? In America many women are controlling their husbands. This is a violation of heavenly law. Many don't even want to have children. Then, though they are married they don't even have a lineage. They don't even have a family. This violates the purpose of creation.


Who cause more divorces, men or women? Women cause most divorces.

I always keep women away, at least one meter. Now some women go crazy to get close to Father. I have to be careful. Why do women want to be close to me? Because I'm the king of the family, of man and woman and all humanity. I have to be careful because some women would even like to cut off my finger, so that they could keep it for a treasure in their purse!


You must take these messages to the descendants of the Presidents. Also you must wake up the American people. This is the time for revolution.


We must have determination and commitment at this time. This is a new resolution, determination and commitment. You should bring even greater result. As long as you are doing your best you will be blessed by God.

Now, everyone is now watching over you. There are billions of spirits that are blessed who are watching over you now. You must receive a bright light in the morning. I'm Korean, yet this is the responsibility of Americans. These resolutions are burning. They will bring fire. Do not bring despair to me or despair to God.

The spirit world wants to cooperate with you. My children of filial piety, you must wake up and join this historic dispensation !!!


Yes, all the chicks dig Reverend Moon. And all the Christian wingnuts in Washington D.C. who are subsidized by the True Father dig him too.

Thanks, as always to mw, who knows more about Moon than Moon knows about himself.

Whorer Show

When you think of Howard Kurtz and K Street, perhaps the 1000 block, N.W., comes to mind. But Howard the Putz has made his dramatic debut on the HBO series "K Street," and he's even less convincing playing a journalist than he is when he's claiming not to be a Republican. (Anyone who believes the latter should ask why he featured John "Thumb" Fund in a segment bashing the Clark campaign.)

The best part, though, is that Kurtz brags about writing his own dialogue for the HBO show -- this dialogue:


KURTZ, "K STREET": Who are you shilling for today?


KURTZ: Recording industry?


KURTZ: What's the angle? Why would I want to write about it?

SLATTERY: Because these guys are caught between a rock and a hard place. This business -- the retail and record business -- the business, as they know it, as we know it, is really (ph) gone. It is going away. Every record store in the country, save maybe Wal-Mart and Best Buy, gone. The future of the business is totally online.

KURTZ: You want my honest reaction?


KURTZ: Because I'm not going to pull any punches with you.

SLATTERY : Go ahead.

KURTZ: I try to look at all sides of an issue. I think there's a reasonable case to be made here.

Howie says he didn't have a script and he was reacting like he would in "real life." I'm not going to pull any punches here either. That dialogue sucks. Big time. Ronald Reagan movies had better dialogue. If I had HBO, I would cancel it based on that dialogue alone.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

This says it all.

Damn Liberal Hollywood Elites

Partial List of Winners from Sunday's 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards presented by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences:

Variety, Music or Comedy Series: "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," Comedy Central.

Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program: "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart," Comedy Central.

Michael Medved is in the fetal position right now, and Dennis Miller's caretakers have removed all sharp objects from his dressing room.

Rich Nails It

Frank Rich strikes back at actor Mel Gibson and his defenders in today's Times. My favorite quote:

One [of the conservatives invited to screen Mel's movie] is Michael Medved, who is fond of describing himself in his published "Passion" encomiums as a "former synagogue president" � betting that most of his readers will not know that this is a secular rank falling somewhere between co-op board president and aspiring Y.M.H.A. camp counselor.

I certainly was willing to give Mad Mel the benefit of the doubt -- it's not his fault his father is a raving bigot. But the more I learn the less savory Mel gets. As Rich points out, Mel is simultaneously self-righteous, self-pitying and paranoid. And his alliance with loons like Bill O'Reilly and Nooners does him no credit.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

John Fund's Political Diarrhea

No rational person would solicit dating advice from John "Thumb" Fund, and it's doubtful any sane person would accept political advice from him either. Fund provides this tired bit of Clinton bashing in the course of an analysis of General Wesley Clark's entrance in the 2004 presidential race:

One of the challenges Mr. Clark will face will be his closeness to the Clintons. It is no secret that they are suspicious of Dr. Dean, the current front-runner, whom they fear would be trounced so badly against President Bush that he could hurt Hillary's prospects in 2008. Should Mr. Clark be elected president, the Clintons would have a strong ally in the Oval Office. If he does well but doesn't get the nomination, he may be viewed as a suitable running mate for Mrs. Clinton or some other Democratic nominee in the future.

Mr. Clark is no doubt running for president for many reasons. But an important, unacknowledged one is that he is the favorite candidate of the Democratic Party's two best-known figures.

Fund's dubious mind-reading aside, I don't see why a Dean loss is bad for President and Senator Clinton, if, as Fund often suggests, the Clintons always place their own interests over those of the Democratic Party. If Clark wins in 2004, Senator Clinton wouldn't get a chance to run for the White House until 2012. If Clark wins the primary but loses to Bush, it will be seen as a repudiation of the Clinton-favored Democratic candidate. If Dean loses badly to Bush in the 2004 general election, as Fund hopes, Senator Clinton would have a better shot in 2008 than if Clark either wins or loses in the general election.

Maybe this is why the Journal limits Fund's writings to the web.

Meanwhile, it's not surprising that Fund, Bob Bartley and Nooners don't figure in any of these award-winning photos. (Warning: Really ugly pink stars.)

Hortonized For Your Election

The DNC graciously has included Roger Ailes, the blog, in the blogroll of its new weblog, Kicking Ass.

This blog looks forward to being Willie Hortonized in the 2004 presidential race.

Dewey? It's Rather Moist, Actually

DUBLIN, Ohio - The nonprofit library cooperative that owns the Dewey Decimal system has filed suit against a library-themed luxury hotel in Manhattan for trademark infringement.

The Library Hotel, which overlooks the New York Public Library, is divided according to the classification system, with each floor dedicated to one of Dewey's 10 categories.

Room 700.003 includes books on the performing arts, for example, while room 800.001 has a collection of erotic literature.

For those planning to stay at the hotel, I recommend avoiding Rooms 206.76092, 616.8522, 304.02573 and 616.973.
Happy one-year anniversaries to TBogg and Mr. and Mrs. Seb of Sadly, No!

Nose Candy Aficionados, Yes; Homosexuals, No

A conservative anti-tax group on Thursday dropped an ex-legislator as president of its first state affiliate. The dismissed man said it was because he is gay, which the group denied.

The Washington-based Club for Growth had been criticized by some Arizona conservatives for its selection of former Rep. Steve May as head of the week-old Arizona affiliate.

While critics questioned May's credentials as a conservative on fiscal and school-choice issues, May told The Associated Press, "The real issue is the gay issue. It's unfortunate." -- Associated Press, September 18

May also lacked the credentials of being a cokehead or joke gubenatorial candidate which were requisite for membership, sources say.

Friday, September 19, 2003

As Howie the Putz Kurtz, Gregg Easterbrook, Sully and the rest soil themselves laughing at the Hurricane Isabel "hype," the Washington Post reports the following:
Seventeen people were reported killed in storm-related accidents, including nine in Virginia, three in North Carolina, two in Maryland, and one each in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Rhode Island. At least 20 people in the DC-area, including four police officers responding to an emergency, were treated for apparent carbon monoxide poisoning emitted by indoor generators.

Portions of Old Town Alexandria were flooded, as well as parts of Georgetown and Annapolis, and thousands of people were forced to evacuate their homes from Charles to Calvert to Fairfax counties.

(More on the deaths here.)

Meanwhile, vast sections of the blogosphere expressed regret that those killed were not French. On Fox, Brit Hume reported that more people were killed by hurricanes in the D.C. Metro area since Thursday than were killed by hurricanes in Iraq since Bush declared an end to "major combat operations."

I'll take incompetent hacks in desperate need of a copy editor for $1000, Alex

"Why would Hillary exchange a solid chance for the #1 job (in 2008, which would be put in jeapordy if Clark/Clinton gets clobbered in 2004) in exchange for an iffy shot at the #2 job?"

Thursday, September 18, 2003


"The opposition to the espresso tax, a coalition of coffee business, from Starbucks to small cafes called Joined Against the Latte Tax, or JOLT, argued that the tax would lead the city down a slippery slope of strange taxation." -- New York Times, September 17

Looks like both the opponents of the tax and the NYT reporter could have benefitted from a little more early childhood education.

Oh ... my .... ! (Drop handkerchief) (Swoon)

Well-spotted by SullyWatch.

Superfreaky! Yow!

TBogg says: "No freaks, please." He must've skipped this page.

But, seriously, I'd love to see Ms. Pawlik reconcile her thesis that starting a family "is the sole purpose of marriage" with the Adventures in Baby-Sitting Non-Traditional Marriage of her role model, Ayn Rand.

When Is A Mote Not A Mote?

"Some of the editors at that magazine call themselves Christians. Yet they gladly publish a smug, sickening bigot like this. This isn't funny. It isn't even pertinent to any broader point. It's despicable." -- Sylvester Sully, not even giving the editors of National Review the benefit of the doubt about their religious faith. Is there nothing the National Review editor haters won't accuse them of?

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Preeminent L.A. Bloggers Who Don't Stink

Rather than bashing Los Angeles for being the home of Mickey Kaus, as I did in this entry, it might be more productive to identify worthwhile Los Angeles bloggers.

Someone has already mentioned David Ehrenstein and there's Mark Kleiman and Brian Linse and Scoobie Davis and Digby. I'm sure I'm forgetting many others. Please feel free to add to the list in comments.

The NewsMax Republic?

Over at the new New Republic blog, Kausfiles Jr., Gregg Easterbrook continues to make dubious arguments seemingly designed to support predetermined conclusions.

The latest example is an entry about a settlement between Chief Charles Moose, former police employee of Montgomery County, Maryland, and the Marriott Corporation. Easterbrook claims to get his facts about the matter from an August Washington Post article, but the allegations he reports come a lot closer to a report from wingnut website WorldNetDaily.com than the story in the Post.

Easterbrook writes:

In an August story[*] that received surprisingly little attention, The Washington Post revealed last December, just after Moose became a celebrity, he essentially blackmailed Marriott, which has a division headquarters in Montgomery County, into giving him around $200,000. (The Post story built on an initial report on the mainly conservative web site WorldNetDaily.com.)

In fact, the August 2003 Post story I found doesn't state that Marriott gave Moose $200,000. The Post said that Moose wrote a letter to Marriott in which he demanded $200,000, and that the matter was settled, but does not state any settlement amount. (Of course, the article also does not mention "blackmail.")

On WorldNetDaily, however, Paul Sperry wrote on June 18 that "[t]wo sources say Moose settled out of court for $200,000, but a third source said the figure is 'exaggerated.'"

Continuing with Easterbrook:

After the sniper attacks ended, Moose and his wife took a well-earned vacation at Marriott's Ihilani resort in Hawaii. While Moose was wandering the grounds, a security guard asked to see his room key as proof he was a registered guest. Moose claims this was racism, that he was suspected because he is African American. But the Ihilani's claim to fame is a spectacular private beach, pictured here. Security personnel at this hotel routinely ask to see room keys, to keep the un-registered out of the facility. If security wasn't keeping the riffraff off the private beach, the resort would not have been worth what Moose was paying to stay there.

Here's the Post:

At some point during the Mooses' stay, sources familiar with the allegations said, the chief wandered into what the hotel managers call "the back of the house," an unfinished area reserved for employees . Moose was confronted by a hotel employee. When the chief was asked to produce proof he was a guest at the hotel, in the form of a room key, an argument ensued, the sources said.

Nowhere does the Post state that security rountinely asks to see room keys (or that Marriott claims to have such a practice). However, that contention is made by two unnamed sources in the WND article, a "police source" and "[a]n industry securities analyst who follows Marriott."

Continuing, Easterbrook writes:

Shortly after returning from Hawaii, the Post asserted, Moose wrote a letter to Marriott threatening to generate bad publicity for the company unless it gave him $200,000. This was done while Moose was still police chief of the county; Moose was threatening to harm a company he had the power to harass in many ways. That's blackmail. If Moose really was the victim of racism, he should use his First Amendment rights to say so. But justice wasn't on his mind, money was.

But that's not what the Post article says. It says:

In a letter to a top-level Marriott executive, the source said, the Mooses threatened to sue over what they considered discriminatory behavior at the Hawaii resort. In the letter, Moose asked for $100,000 for himself and $100,000 for his wife, to compensate them for "suffering" and "distress," the source said.

According to the Post, Moose threatened a lawsuit, not bad publicity. And, again, the Post never mentions blackmail, or any express or implied threat by Moose to use his position to "harm" Marriott.

Easterbrook continues:

To prevent bad press, Marriott settled for an amount believed to be slightly less than $200,000, and the company signed a confidentiality agreement, forbidding it from talking about the incident or accusing Moose of being an extortionist. Moose, in turn, is currently trying to block Montgomery County from revealing the payment on his final county-required financial disclosure form.

Here, the Post does cite unnamed Marriott executives who said they wanted to settle to avoid a "public relations debacle," and that there was a confidentiality agreement in the settlement documents. But the article doesn't say that Marriott believed Moose to be "an extortionist" or accused him (or wanted to accuse him) of being such. The article doesn't state whether the hotel chain wanted the confidentiality clause either. And, again, the Post doesn't mention "an amount believed to be slightly less than $200,000."

Easterbrook then writes:

It turns out that when Moose was police chief of Portland, Oregon, his wife Sandy Herman Moose, who worked for the police department, accused another department employee of sexual harassment. Maybe this really happened, though it seems hard to believe anyone in a police department would be so incredibly stupid as to mess with the chief's wife. The Mooses received an undisclosed amount of money, in return for not making public accusations against Portland.

Easterbrook gets it wrong yet again. The article quotes a former Portland employee as saying Sandy Moose's settlement with the city was for $10,000. (Easterbrook attributes a $200 K settlement figure to the article which is not in the article, yet ignores the $10 K settlement figure which is in the article. I wonder why.) Also note: (1) the article does not state that the settlement was "in return for not making public accusations" and (2) the article says the $10 K went to Mrs. Moose, not "the Mooses," as EB claims.

After some more general bashing of Moose, Easterbrook asks:

And why, with Charles Moose enough of a story for the cable news universe to broadcast hundreds of hours of his face, has his sideline as an extortionist not been widely reported?

Easterbrook repeatedly calls Moose a "blackmailer" and an "extortionist" for reaching a perfectly legal settlement with Marriott. The Post article doesn't suggest that Moose did anything illegal or improper in either case, and it doesn't discuss the merits of the Marriott case, beyond stating that Moose was asked to show his key and "an argument ensued." Yet Easterbrook is so confident that Moose's claim was unmeritorious that he accuses Moose of committing crimes and abusing his office, without any substantiation.

So what do we have here?

First, Easterbrook attributes statements of fact to the Post which are not in the only Post article I could find on the subject.

Second, some of the allegations not in the Post article appear to come from WorldNutDaily, which Easterbrook mentions but does not identify as a source.

Third, Easterbrook jumps to conclusions -- including calling Moose a blackmailer and extortionist -- which are not supported by Post story I found.

To sum up, Easterbrook misreads or misrepresents the Post story numerous times to come up with his favored conclusions, namely, that Moose is a racial shakedown artist and the liberal media is refusing to report that fact.

Is this the best the New Republic can do?


* Because Easterbrook does not link to the Post story or identify it by its exact date (or authors or headline), it is not possible to determine whether the Post article I found is the same one to which he refers. His post suggests there was only one such story ("the Post buried its own story in the Metro section"), and this was the only August Post story I could find on the subject.

Monday, September 15, 2003

What he said.

"Sir, with all due respect, that claim is based on the claim of a single uncorroborated informant to Czech intelligence. President Havel informed President Bush that the meeting had almost certainly not taken place. Moreover, when the high-level al-Qaida leader, Abu Zubaydah, was finally captured in March 2002 in Pakistan, he informed his captors, according to a New York Times report, that bin Laden had personally rejected the idea of any kind of alliance with Saddam Hussein. Zubaydah�s explanation was later corroborated by testimony from high-level al-Qaida agents captured later in the spring, including one of the key planners of the Sept. 11 attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. Farouk Hijazi, a former Iraqi intelligence operative who U.S. officials allege met with al-Qaida operatives and perhaps bin Laden himself in the 1990s, also has denied any Iraq-al-Qaida ties, according to U.S. officials. Meanwhile, U.S. military forces also captured Samir al-Ani, the very man in question, in July, with no word on any meeting. Do you have any new evidence, Secretary Cheney, or are you simply trying to perpetrate yet another lie on top of all those already perpetrated since you and President Bush planned this ruinous war? �

V.D. Day

A fitting tribute in this rather incoherent V.D. Hanson article in National Review:

Here at home questions were raised in the last two years that would have been equally inconceivable on September 10, 2001. Do images of those fighting on the peaks of Afghanistan or in the desert of Iraq, when juxtaposed to the rallies on our elite campuses, suggest that a populist military is doing a better or worse job than our privileged universities in training our youth to be educated, well-spoken, and rational? Is Marin County's Johnny Walker Lindh, seeking to find himself among the Taliban, or Middle America's Johnny Span dying to protect us from the primordial henchmen of Afghanistan, a metaphor for us all, so increasingly at a crossroads at the millennium?

No, I don't know what it means either. It would have been nice if V.D. had bothered to get Mr. Spann's name right, though. I suppose it doesn't matter if you value people based on whether they advance your agenda, rather than as human beings.

Is It Possible To Be Allergic To People Who Refuse To Pay For Crappy Writing?

Is anyone surprised by these relevations in this pointless puffer by a Kaus crony?

Kaus, a longtime N.Y./D.C. policy wonk before he moved to Venice because of his allergies a few years ago, is a household media name even to old-fashioned journalists who remain generally out of touch about the blogosphere. ...

Kaus explained at the time. �What about � I�d ask this to myself when I was alone, in the middle of the night � what about making some money and using it to buy consumer goods?� ....

He doesn�t mind fretting aloud about things like food additives, smog levels, or pool chlorine, and the first or second time I met him, I invited him to a party and he said, �OK, if I don�t have a colonoscopy scheduled that day.�

Sounds about right.

The author of this drivel is a pal of the bitter, tiny hack, although she makes it abundantly clear she wouldn't touch Kaus with a 10 foot pole. She calls him "L.A.�s preeminent blogger." Which explains a lot about L.A.

Grand Old Police Blotter: Crank, Weapons and Whorin' Orrin Edition

A convicted Republican methamphetamine manufacturer has been arrested for purchasing firearms in violation of federal law.

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- One of the owners of the diet supplement company Metabolife has been charged in California with 12 counts of weapons violations.

The U.S. Attorney's office in San Diego said Monday Michael Lee Blevins and his wife, Danica, were charged with buying a rifle, shotgun and a handgun along with 500 rounds of ammunition using someone else's name.

Prosecutor Phil Halpern said the federal Brady Act prohibits former felons from purchasing firearms. Blevins has a 1988 conviction for manufacturing methamphetamine.

The defendants were released on a combined $1.1 million bond pending further proceedings.

In addition to his felony conviction, Mr. Blevins is a proud contributor to the Republican Party. In 1998, the FEC says (enter name here), Mr. Blevins contributed $500 to Utah Senator Orrin Hatch and $1,000 to a California Puglican, Brian Bilbray.

Will Whorin' Orrin, a former prosecutor, stand by his little crank buddy in his time of need?

Congratulations To The Winner Of The 2003 Dan Burton Breeder's Cup, Mr. Theodore Nugent

Paternity has not been acknowledged but, if it is, Ted will have to update this page on his website.

If you can't afford support, Ted, at least send some of that "Nuge Kids Klothing" -- maybe a "Huntin' With Dad" Camo Hat.

(Link via Democratic Underground.)

Sunday, September 14, 2003

Why We Need Universal Mental Health Coverage

Reading the latest Salon, we learn that Tucker Carlson claims to be the victim of harassment by two mentally ill women. One is an midwestern accountant who alleged that Carlson raped her, then claimed it was someone impersonating Carlson. The other wrote "A Charge To Keep."

....Karen Hughes accused me of lying. And so I called Karen and asked her why she was saying this, and she had this almost Orwellian rap that she laid on me about how things she'd heard -- that I watched her hear -- she in fact had never heard, and she'd never heard Bush use profanity ever. It was insane.

I've obviously been lied to a lot by campaign operatives, but the striking thing about the way she lied was she knew I knew she was lying, and she did it anyway. There is no word in English that captures that. It almost crosses over from bravado into mental illness.

Okay, Tucker, but tell us something we don't know.

Comedy Premises I've Wasted Too Much Time Thinking About, With No Hope Of A Payoff

What if, instead of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez breaking up, it was Ben Shapiro and Kathryn Lopez?

Man, do I need a vacation.

Right-Wing Suck Up Watch

C-SPAN2's Book TV had its annual Fall Book Preview this weekend, which I missed because the cable's still out. The program's guests included some yutz from the Claremont Review touting the latest offerings from Charles Murray and John R. Lott, Jr., contradicting the channel's claim that it only features non-fiction.

But, I'm crestfallen that I missed the basic cable debut of The Corner's Kathryn Jean Lopez, who also appeared on the program. The highly-literate K.Lo. illustrates how she manages to keep her job with her reading suggestions:

Kathryn Jean Lopez (National Review Online):

�Legacy,� Richard Lowry (Regnery)
Bush vs. the Beltway,� Laurie Mylroie (ReganBooks/HarperCollins)
"The National Review Treasury of Classic Children's Literature" (Selected by William F. Buckley Jr.)
"Classic Children's Literature" in the sense of one hundred-year-old magazine stories now in the public domain. And highly moral as well. Don't expect to find "Christopher Has Been Screwing Two Mommies" in this anthology.

If anyone caught the program, please feel free to fill in the details.

He Wouldn't Advertise Any Book Club That Would Have Him As A Member

Hey, remember when the New York Times website was running advertising links for ephedra while at the same time condemning the drug in some of its sports columns? No? Well, that doesn't matter.

Instead, let's see what we can find when we follow Sully's advertising link for the Conservative Book Club.

Marriage: clear, straight talk about why it just isn't possible for homosexuals -- based on simple reasoning[.]

After 20 years of vigorous, sophisticated, and relentless political action by committed Christians, America has sunk even more deeply into the pagan mire. The homosexual agenda continues its relentless march forward.

From the dramatic rise in illegitimacy, divorce, cohabitation, and single parenthood to the call for recognition of "gay marriages," the traditional family is being radically challenged and undermined in American society -- along with the moral and legal consensus that once supported it. Now, William J. Bennett exposes the devastating effects of this development, weighs its "enormous ramifications" for future health of our society -- and outlines a positive strategy for reversing the damage.

Liberals who blame celibacy for the Catholic Church's pedophilia scandals are missing the real cause: seminaries that actively encourage homosexuality, moral laxity, and theological dissent all in the name of post-Vatican II "renewal." In Goodbye, Good Men, Michael S. Rose demonstrates that such seminaries are by no means rare. All over the country, gay priests and liberal nuns energetically recruit for the priesthood gay men and others of questionable moral character - while turning away heterosexual orthodox men.

How homosexuals, sex maniacs, and psychopaths came to be considered normal (and what society must do to regain sanity)[.]

"Hendershott's insightful account of the contemporary treatment of serious social problems ranging from mental illness through homosexuality and teenage sex to date rape and suicide is a powerful call to a renewal of sociology - and much public policy - as we head into the 21st century." - Christopher Wolfe, Marquette University

Why allowing homosexuals to marry will not rein [sic] in their promiscuous, self-destructive behavior[.]

And then there's Sully's link to conservativemall.com, an Accuracy in Media affiliate where you can pick up this helpful self-help tome by the prolific historian Scott Lively:

7 Steps to Recruit-Proof Your Child

A parent�s guide to protecting children from homosexuality and the �gay� movement. Any child can be recruited into homosexuality and, once recruited, more than half never recover. Many parents help the �gay� movement to recruit their children without even knowing it. Your child may be more vulnerable to recruitment that you ever imagined.

At least these fine conservative sites offer their members the chance to buy Sully's books. What? Oh, never mind.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

Sully's E-Mail of The Day: Proofreading and Historical Knowledge Not Required

"I'm not sure how the 'Flypaper' strategy strikes most readers, but to me it looks like the latest variation of a strategy dating back millennia to Sun Tzu where I believe it was described as taking something of great value from your enemy and holding it. Julius Caesar employed it in a campaign in Asia Minor were his army aggressively took control of the local food and water supply and switched to the defense and ultimately slaughtered a desperate enemy. In our own history, the Confederacy's last hope at Gettysberg was broken when Lee with little choice attempted and failed to take the Little Round Top, a hill he could not permit the Union forces to hold. ...

"Perhaps among your readers there is someone with amore expansive knowledge of military history who can expond in more detail."

I wouldn't count on it.

The Skanks Of The Wabash

As Indiana loses a great leader, it employs a great dickwad at its IU School of Business.

On the site -- supported by the IU server and with an IU address -- Eric Rasmusen, an economics professor in the Kelley School of Business, contends gays aren't suited for certain jobs, such as teaching, preaching and elected posts, because these are "moral exemplars."

He also states that gay men "are generally promiscuous" and are more likely than heterosexuals to molest students.

Rasmusen said he keeps the site -- not so much for others to read, but as a journal to record his thoughts.

"I think the reaction is extreme because some university people do not have much exposure to people of differing opinions," he said.
Here's some of Professor Dickwad's scholarly thoughts:

A second reason not to hire homosexuals as teachers is that it puts the fox into the chickencoop. Male homosexuals, at least, like boys and are generally promiscuous. They should not be given the opportunity to satisfy their desires. Somewhat related is a reason not to hire a homosexual as a doctor even though you would hire him as a lawyer: you don't mind if your lawyer has a venereal disease such as HIV or hepatitis, but you do mind if your doctor is in a class of people among whom such diseases are common.

Likewise, you would not want to hire a bigoted fool to teach at your School of Business, because you would not want people to confuse intolerance and mental diarrhea with scholarly thought.

And how about this logic from Professor Make-Shit-Up:

Homosexuality violates both natural and divine law. It is universally abhorred (yes, I know it is tolerated in some cultures, but so is cannibalism and murder-- but those are exceptional cultures), and it is condemned both in Romans and Leviticus. Thus, not surprisingly, conservatives and churches oppose it, and oppose the even more unnatural concept of homosexual marriage.


Homosexuality, on the other hand, is an obvious enough evil that it does not require special teaching. Indeed, special teaching is required to make people believe homosexuality is not a bad thing, and that is one reason why there is so much agitation for official approval from homosexuals.

Professor Rasmusen's anti-intellectual hatred is not limited gay men. Razzy is evidently an admirer of Charles Murray and fan of The Bell Curve.

And, for "News," he links to Glenn Reynolds, the "Volokh Conspiracy" and Matt Drudge. (Apparently web gossip columnist/fabricator isn't a "moral exemplar" kind of job.)

Frank O'Bannon (1930-2003): Leader, public servant and father. My condolences to Governor O'Bannon's wife, Judy, his family and the entire State of Indiana.

Messages of sympathy can be sent to the family through this site.

Friday, September 12, 2003

Hero Journalist Fired

The National Enquirer has laid off the reporter who broke the story of Dick Morris paying hookers to suck their toes.

As part of the cutbacks, yesterday morning, National Enquirer veteran Richard Gooding was handed his walking papers. He was the reporter who broke the scandal about then-Clinton adviser Dick Morris and his toe-sucking trysts with a hooker. He was alleged to have let the hooker listen in on a call to President Clinton.

The Washington Post should get rid of their incompetent dead weight -- like "Steno" Sue Schmidt -- and hire Gooding to replace her.

The No-Spine Zone

Bob Somerby illustrates how "tough" and "independent" Bill O'Whorely went into the tank for nut-filled-condom impersonator Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Mississippi Republican Party Seek To Identify Its Base

The party that gave the country Trent Lott continues to embrace its Neo-Confederate base:

The Mississippi GOP is making telephone calls to identify voters who support the Rebel flag, a move some Democrats say is designed to market Republican candidates to those voters.

There is no issue on the ballot for November about the state flag, which has the much-debated Confederate emblem in one corner. But Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck spoke in favor of the Confederate symbol this summer during the Neshoba County fair. Her Democratic opponent, state Sen. Barbara Blackmon, is seeking to be the first black person elected to statewide office since Reconstruction.

No surprise here. What do you expect from a party with Neo-Con Haley "Whorehouse" Barbour as its candidate for Governor?

CalPundit has snagged an interview with Paul Krugman, author of The Great Unravelling. Kevin has previously published interviews with Eric Alterman and Joshua Marshall.

Linda Evangelista, if you're reading this....

Meanwhile, James Wolcott cites bloggers' derision of the Savage Weiner in this month's Vanity Fair. Wolcott's article singlehandedly makes up for last month's Royalty Issue.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Greed or Stupidity?

I haven't followed Gregg Easterbrook's glorious career, but I have a vague recollection that it included stints at Washington monthly and the Atlantic, as well as the New Republic. I can't be bothered to confirm that, so I won't attack Easterbrook's whole career. I will, however, attack the following entry on his new blog at TNR.

Easterbrook's basic premise is this: the 911 victims' survivors who don't opt in to the federal compensation fund are greedy bastards --- and it's time someone called the ungrateful fuckers on it. Says Gregg:

Yesterday a federal judge said they can. Set aside the logic of the judge's decision, which in effect held that American, Boeing, United, and the landlords of the World Trade Center all could have reasonably foreseen that 19 suicidal fanatics simultaneously would seize four large airlines and use them as guided missiles. Gee, lots of people foresaw that, didn't they? What's going to happen now is that at least some fraction of the 60 percent of families who have not filed for federal payments will sue.

Which means: some 9/11 families are getting greedy. It's time this was laid on the table.

First of all, they've already sued. That's usually how you get a judge's ruling. But are those families greedy?

Families who have taken the federal compensation have, so far, received average awards of $1.6 million, tax-free. Families of the United States personnel murdered by Al Qaida in the Kenya and Tanzania terror attacks of 1998 received, on average, nothing. Families of the several hundred United States military personnel killed in Afghanistan fighting to destroy al Qaida, and killed in Iraq fighting at least in part against terrorism, received, on average, $9,000, taxable.

Let's leave aside the fact that other sources differ on the facts, such as what percentage of survivors have received federal payment. Let's also ignore that fact that the victims of 9/11 didn't volunteer for military service, like soldiers who know what their job entails. The fact the 9/11 survivors may get federal benefits doesn't make them greedy.

Now some 9/11 families are saying $1.6 million isn't enough. Set aside whether they should be receiving anything from taxpayers, given the myriad other circumstances in which Americans die in various horrible events every bit as traumatic and devastating to their families, who receive nothing at all. Assume for the sake of argument that something about 9/11 justifies offering victims' estates a very large special payment. Yet some 9/11 families are saying very large is not large enough. This is greed; it is employing the memory of lost loved ones for gold-digging.

Here's where Easterbrook starts to lose his mind. The families he speaks of are rejecting the $1.6 million (and in many cases, much more) by opting to sue third parties. Turning down $1.6 million -- how avaricious can you get? And note that Easterbrook doesn't call the families who take the $1.6M greedy, even though they are getting millions more than the victims of Al Qaida in Africa and U.S. military casualties. No, it's the only the ones who refuse federal compensation who are grasping bastards.

Easterbrook just can't help himself, though, he's on a roll.

But we need a lawsuit to find out the truth, some families say. Every single person in the world already knows the central truth of 9/11, that United States airport and airplane security was poor. There isn't any hidden secret about how knives got through shoddy security checks, or flimsy cockpit doors were kicked in. We were all going through those checkpoints and riding on those planes, all as a society sharing the risk--including the federal judge who himself was getting on those planes though he now says it could have reasonably been foreseen they would be crashed into buildings. How odd he himself didn't foresee it.
Well, which is it, Gregg -- foreseeable or not foreseeable? Everyone knows how easy it was to hijack an airplane, because the airlines' security sucks so bad, but the judge was wrong to rule that a hijacking was foreseeable. And we because we all knew it was simple to hijack a plane, we all implicitly agreed to "share[] the risk" of a hijacking -- even those who weren't on the planes and may never have flown in their lives. By that logic, those injured by drunk drivers are greedy for suing, because every single person in the world knows that its simple for drunks to get behind the wheel, and therefore we share the risk of occupying the same highways as the drunks.

But we need a lawsuit because the federal awards aren't high enough for high-income victims, some families say. Actually, the federal fund is paying more to high-income victims, itself a debatable policy--why aren't all lives worth the same? Survivors of low-income workers have gotten as little as $250,000, survivors of high white-collar managers as much as $6.1 million. No amount of money brings a loved one back. The families complaining about the high-end awards are essentially saying, "Okay, then if we can't have him or her back, we want money, money, money." One American in eight lives in poverty. For 9/11 families receiving millions in special payments, some of it drawn from the taxes of the poor, to complain that millions is not enough crosses the line into greed.
Are the individuals are suing the same ones who want more from the federal fund? Easterbrook offers no proof.

In any event, the people who are suing are giving up their rights to the federal award, and taking a considerable risk they can meet their burden of proof in a civil lawsuit. (And, again, the ones who are suing are the ones who aren't taking tax money from the poor.) The families who sue may end up with nothing -- except a significant cost bill from their opponents. For instance, if the families can't prove the hijackers broke into the cockpits -- a difficult burden since no direct physical evidence and no eyewitnesses remain -- they can't prevail against Boeing. And if they do win, they'll only get compensation -- the value of their decedent's support, companionship, aid and comfort, not a windfall.

Finally, Easter-egghead tips his hand:

But we need a lawsuit to work out our grief, some families say. I can't disagree with this because each person works through grief differently. For many it would seem that the unprecedented federal offer is very kind in this regard--receive a payment without years of litigation and legalisms taking over your life, and move on. But maybe there are those for whom years of legalism, hearings, and somber recitations would have some therapeutic value. It's a legitimate concern.

But that concern pales against this concern: The airlines must stay in business. "Assume for the sake of argument that something about 9/11 justifies offering victims' estates a very large special payment." What justifies the special payment, and was the underlying reason Congress passed the unprecedented 9/11 compensation act, is preventing lawsuits from bankrupting American, United, and perhaps Boeing. Such bankruptcies would harm far more than 3,000 families. Such bankruptcies would achieve an Al Qaida objective, damaging the American economy.

If the families for whom $6.1 million is not enough persist in their avaricious desire to sue--and if the lawyers who would get shares of court awards, but get no shares of federal fund awards, persist in their ghoulish desire to encourage such suits--the country's two largest airlines, and largest aircraft manufacturer, may fail. This will cause significant harm the United States. And it seems unlikely that the dying thoughts of the noble victims of 9/11 were, "I hope my survivors really screw the United States for money." (Emphasis added.)

So Easterbrook's not a cold-hearted bastard after all -- the plight of airline executives out in the snow, begging for alms in their ragged clothing, brings a tear to Gregg's eye. There are folks who deserve six million --people like Don Carty and Glenn Tilton -- but not a bunch of whining widows, widowers and orphans.

It's all quite simple -- people who are declining generous government payments -- ones Easterbrook doesn't think they deserve -- are greedy. In fact, says Gregg, by rejecting federal compensation, they're "screwing the United States for money." They may deserve compensation for their losses, but the shoring up unprofitable air carriers and their millionaire executives and directors is much more important.

The perfect name for Gregg's blog: Kausfiles Jr.

Do You Have What It Takes To Work For Frank Luntz?

Have you ever plagiarized a term paper, or denied sending a threatening e-mail to your ex-girlfriend? If so, you may have what it takes to work for pollster Frank Luntz.

Ernie Fletcher's deputy campaign manager and congressional press secretary has resigned after the Kentucky congressman learned that the aide, while attending college four years ago, was found responsible by a university board for threats sent to the school's newspaper editor.

In an interview Sunday, eight days after his departure, Nicholas Mirisis maintained his innocence but said he resigned to prevent embarrassment and distraction for Fletcher, the Republican nominee for governor.

While a student at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Mirisis admitted plagiarizing a term paper, which set off events that led to his suspension.


Actually, Mirisis completed his term as student-body president in spring 1999. That summer he resigned from the presidency of the association of UNC student governments.

That resignation came after the Charlotte campus newspaper revealed his academic fraud and the newspaper's editor, a former girlfriend of Mirisis, accused him of sending an e-mail that threatened her with sexual torture and death and had pornographic images attached.

A university board found Mirisis responsible for the e-mail and suspended him, although no criminal charge was ever filed. Mirisis has denied sending the threat and says he filed an appeal of the university board's finding, but the university did not deal with it after he transferred to North Carolina State. University officials, citing privacy rules, declined to discuss the matter.


Mirisis said he did not tell Fletcher or Groves about his academic fraud and suspension because "I had moved on" and had been successfully employed by Frank Luntz, a Washington pollster.

Fletcher hired Mirisis after knowing he had worked for Frank Luntz. That's the real scandal.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Lying Does Not Skip A Generation

Romensko reports that Bush Administration Press Secretary Scott McClellan, successor to first talking penis to hold that office, comes from a long line of fabricators. Well, at least a short line. Scotty's dad has proven that Lyndon B. Johnson was the man who killed John F. Kennedy. (It wasn't you and me, after all.)

Here's the publisher's blurb on McClellan pere's explosive tome:

The plot to assassinate President John F. Kennedy has been shrouded in secrecy and deceit, leading most Americans to doubt the veracity of the Warren Commission's findings. Now, after forty years, Barr McClellan exposes the secret, high-level conspiracy in Texas that led to Kennedy's death and L.B.J.'s succession as President. Utilizing court documents, insider interviews and even the findings of the Warren Commission, Barr McClellan reveals the complex maneuvers, payoffs and power plays that changed the history of the 20th Century. If absolute power corrupts, then blood, money and deception are its allies. This powerful book represents the very best of investigative journalism, with independent corroboration of all key points, and is compelling, convincing and historically significant. (Emphasis added.)
Barr's good, but he's no Ari Fleischer.

MEChA Envy

Haitians, Jamaicans -- they all look the same to Sully. He apparently thinks they're all Islamofascists too.

Malkin-like, yet lazy, Sully practically begs his readers for a translation of "Jaspora" which reveals Howard Dean to be an anti-Semite.

I sure hope that some unscrupulous leftist, claiming to be former Democrat who saw the light after Bush liberated Iraq, doesn't e-mail Sully an inaccurate translation. Because that would be wrong.

Grand Old Police Blotter: Glisan? He's Sweating Like A Pig Edition

The first Bush-buddy at Enron has been sentenced to five years at a Club Fed.

Fired Enron Treasurer Ben Glisan on Wednesday became the first executive sent to prison for his role in the scandal that brought down the energy giant and launched an unprecedented wave of corporate crackdowns.

Glisan, 37, pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy and was sentenced to the maximum of five years in prison. Ten other former Enron executives have pleaded not guilty to criminal charges and face trial.

The non-virgin Ben is not cooperating with federal prosecutors, the article says. That may work to the prosecutors' advantage, as Glisan loses his immunity and the Enron defendants can't portray him as cutting a deal in exchange for favorable testimony.

But wait, you say that the article doesn't identify Benny G. as Republican? Well, the FEC does:


09/15/2000 10000.00 20036111251


03/31/1999 500.00 99034441189


08/15/2001 1800.00 22990150222


07/31/2000 200.00 20990185746


08/15/2000 200.00 20990208664
08/31/2000 200.00 20990208664
09/15/2000 200.00 20990226222
09/29/2000 200.00 20990226222
10/13/2000 200.00 20990233586
10/31/2000 200.00 20990253414
11/15/2000 200.00 20990253414
11/30/2000 200.00 21990017295
12/15/2000 200.00 21990017295
12/29/2000 200.00 21990017295

Total Contributions: 14500.00

See ya in 60 months, Ben.

Will Bush and the Repugs give the $10,500.00 back to those Glisan stole it from?


"We" are still waging war. Except for physical peril. And sacrifice. And the month of August.


Blogger (the cheap version) now has spell check... so their's no excuse for any more errors on this sight.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Brian Linse shares some personal memories of his friend, Warren Zevon.

Very Very Funny!

Couldn't You Have Mentioned This Before The War?

Joe Lieberman says:

The president, obviously, when he took us to war, which I supported, did not have a plan for what to do the day Saddam Hussein fell. We have a right to demand a plan today, how to get international peacekeepers in, how to get our allies in to help in the rebuilding of Iraq.

Thanks a million, Joe.


Readers have castigated this blog, both in comments and e-mail, for finding similarities between Bush's foreign policy and flypaper. Apparently flypaper works, rendering the comparison inapt. My sincere apologies to flypaper.

Call It "Whoring Whores and The Conflicted Whores Who Whore For Them"

The Daily Howler reports:

Finally, a note on The Founder. At one point, Kurtz explains why only four news shows were studied. �CNN and MSNBC were not included for budgetary reasons,� he says. But just a couple of paragraphs later, he dishes the skinny on Lichter:

KURTZ: �Special Report� aired the least combat footage and 47 percent fewer images of civilian casualties. Lichter recused himself from the research because he is a paid Fox commentator.

Amazing, isn�t it? Lichter�who earns his living rating the networks�is paid by one of the networks he studies! And wouldn�t you know it? MSNBC and CNN, his net�s two competitors, didn�t make it into his report!
We�ve tried to tell you, again and again: Your pampered, perfumed, overpaid pundits have long since ceased to be serious people. Brit Hume engaged in some ludicrous clowning. But Robert Lichter had his hand in the till.

And Dr. A decides:

Howie Kurtz, right-winger, passes along the conclusions of the conservative Center for Media and Public Affairs, about Iraq coverage, with his patented �gee whiz, I don�t have a brain� tone. It finds �fair and balanced� coverage. A FAIR study, unreported by Howie and using entirely respectable standards, found that nearly two-thirds of all sources used by the networks were pro-war. The percentage pro-war U.S. guests was 71 percent. Anti-war voices made up just 10 percent of all sources, and only 3 percent of U.S. sources. In other words, the ratio of pro-war American sources to anti-war was 25 to 1. Of a total of 840 U.S. sources drawn from a pool of ex- or current officials, a grand total of four could be deemed to be anti-war opinions. Of these, two were on PBS and two were on Fox. None at all appeared on any of the major broadcast networks. As for non-officials, anti-war percentages ranged from 4 percent at NBC, 3 percent at CNN, ABC, PBS and FOX, and less than 1 percent � one out of 205 U.S. sources � at CBS.

Monday, September 08, 2003

Unreliable Sources

When last we saw Sue Schmidt, she was spreading the lies of anonymous government sources to fabricate a story about Private Jessica Lynch. Now, what is the lesson any rational person would take from that experience?

So let's look at the sourcing in Steno Sue's latest fairy tale article:

European, American and Arab intelligence sources

Arab intelligence sources

one Arab official who is familiar with the intelligence and who spoke on condition that he not be identified by name or nationality

the intelligence officials

One European source


both U.S. and Arab officials

A U.S. military official

an Arab official from a country that borders Iraq

Arab intelligence sources

the U.S. government

Someone I just made up (oops -- she doesn't admit that ... yet)

I could go on, but the point is that Steno Sue and her co-stenographer don't identify a single source by name. Nor do the duplicitous duo make any effort to determine the veracity of the claims made by these anonymous individuals.

We already know that Steno Sue is ready, willing and able to print total fabrications peddled by the Bush administration. So why believe her now?

As the object of Steno's affection would say, "Fool me once, shame on me.... uh ... won't get fooled again."

(Inspired by commentary on KPFA.)


Flypaper is the perfect analogy to describe Bush's Iraq policy. When is the last time you saw flypaper? Never, most likely. Nobody uses flypaper anymore. Why? Because it doesn't work. It's useless. It's a waste of money. It's a friggin' joke. I'd bet it's almost impossible to buy unless you travel to some inbred hillbilly surplus store in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Rot In Zell

"Sen. Zell Miller, Georgia Democrat, has written a soon-to-be-released book that laments the downfall of the Democratic Party, arguing that it no longer represents the perspectives and values of a vast segment of the nation.

"In the book, 'A National Party No More: The Conscience of a Conservative Democrat,' Mr. Miller examines what he call the growing chasm between the American heartland and the national Democratic Party over such issues as abortion, welfare, gun control, the environment, the arts, education, immigration and national security.

"Through an analysis of the campaigns of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, Mr. Miller questions whether the Democratic Party can any longer field a serious presidential challenge."

Hey, Zell -- Who won the last three Presidential elections?

Continuing with the audience participation portion of our program, who said this?

"Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision that he makes and we should just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens."

Answer will be published after a correct guess.

Answer: Michelle Malkin's role model, Britney Spears.

Richard Nixon: "I've Got A Pitchfork With His Name On It, And I'm Raring To Shove Where The Moon Don't Shine"

Howie "I may be a whore, but I'm not religious nut" Kurtz reports:

In exclusive interviews carried by the Washington Times, George Washington says he is "deeply moved" to learn "the identity of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon" and that he is "the Messiah." Thomas Jefferson urges Americans to "follow the teachings of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon." Abraham Lincoln calls Moon "the True Parent of humanity," while John F. Kennedy says, "All of humankind and the U.N. . . . have to accept his leadership and guidance."

The forum for the 36 late presidents -- "from the vantage point of heaven" -- was a two-page ad last week taken out by Moon's Unification Church, whose members own the paper. This has caused some cringing at the Times, which usually limits itself to interviewing politicians who are alive.

....[Rev. Phillip Schanker, a cult spokesman] says the church -- which has claimed to have received messages from the likes of Jesus, Buddha, Karl Marx and Joseph Stalin -- hopes to place such ads in other newspapers.

The real scandal is what the present occupant of the White House and his father, a living President, have said about the tax criminal cum deity.

Of What Was It Illustrative?

On Aug. 26, [Brit] Hume reported that "U.S. soldiers have less of a chance of dying from all causes in Iraq than citizens have of being murdered in California, which is roughly the same geographical size." California has 6.6 murders a day, he said; U.S. troops have been incurring about 1.7 deaths a day. The problem: California has 34 million people, but there are 145,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq. "Admittedly it was a crude comparison, but it was illustrative of something," Hume says.

It's Not Television, It's KarlRove'sBO.

My cable's out, and I don't have the time right now to schedule a whole day of waiting for the cable company to show up and claim it was my fault so they can bill me for a service call. And I don't have Showtime anyway. Jesse at Pandagon.net has the blow-by-blow on the Bush 9/11 movie, starring George Takei as Norm Mineta and Scott Alan Smith as the Talking Penis.

I like this blurb from Showtime:

Eschewing their own feelings and healing process, the President and his team instead tended to the needs of a wounded country.

Eschew-se me, but what the fuck does that mean?

From Jesse's review, it sounds like they should have shown Penn & Teller: Bullshit! as the Democratic response.

It's too bad they couldn't get Zalman King to direct the film. That I would have paid to see.

Brent Bozell Takes on Masturbation in Hollywood, Single-Handedly

Mad Thrax

In an interview to be published in the New Yorker, toned-ass theologian Mel Gibson displays some Christian (or at least Coulterian) charity to Frank Rich:

Gibson also lays his lash on New York Times columnist Frank Rich. Responding to remarks about the Holocaust made in The Times by Gibson's father, Hutton Gibson, Rich accused the actor's camp of using "PR spin to defend a Holocaust denier."

Mel Gibson says of Rich, "I want to kill him. I want his intestines on a stick. ... I want to kill his dog." (Rich told us, through a Times spokeswoman, "I don't have a dog.")

I wonder if Linda Chavez, Bob Novak, Cal Thomas and the rest of Gibson's cheering section will renounce that particular vision of Christianity.

P.S. to InstaPundit: Here's your big chance to call Cruz Bustamante an anti-Semite. C'mon, Glenn, you know you want to!

A Critical Black Eye On The Media

Hmm.... Howard Kurtz gets insights about the Democratic presidential candidates' first campaign ads from Arnold S. advisor and Republican non-serial-wife-beater Don Sipple. Seems Howie's not one to pull his punches, at least where Dems are concerned.

Bush To Call For Sacrifice

After you, George.

Rutten Through The Trash

Midget Mickey Kaus is touting the latest anti-Bustamante drivel from the Los Angeles Times' Tim Rutten. Kaus dubs Rutten's column as "excellent, calm [and] non-hysterical," even though it relies almost exclusively on the mistranslated slogan than Kaus was forced to correct. Folks like Brian Linse have long ago discredited this smear against Bustamante and misrepresentation of MEChA.

Rutten even outdoes Kaus and lowers himself into the InstaSewer by insinuating that Bustamante's views lend support to "the few Latino loonies who believe this stuff and use it to rationalize their anti-Anglo and, increasingly, anti-Semitic, rants."

You also might wish to learn the difference between "rational" and "rationale," Timmy. Otherwise you're just another bilingual illiterate.

Friday, September 05, 2003

Bush Family Paternity Tests, On the next Montel

I'm not sure I get this -- the alleged statements question whether Andrews is the father of his ex-wife's child because his wife was screwing Neilsie at the time. Where's the defamation?

(Via Buzzflash.)

Pollard's Life Sentence

My insightful post on the Jonathan Pollard case, which I'm too lazy to retype in full, was based on this statement:

Pollard's life sentence was the most severe prison term ever given for spying for an ally.

Of course, life imprisonment is always the most severe prison term ever given for any crime. I think Gearan means to say that Pollard is the only one who has received a life sentence for spying on/against the United States on behalf of an ally. But my question is: how many people have been convicted of spying on the U.S. on behalf of an ally? Is it really a meaningful comparison? I know Pollard's supporters say he got railroaded by that sleazebag Cap Weinberger, who presented evidence to the court that Pollard never got to see (at least during the trial), but I still can't manage any sympathy for him.

I don't want to blow my own horn or anything, but I used the name "Governor Gang-Bang" a full week before Slate. Damn, I'm clever.

Give That Man A Gap Ad

Who knew that Stephen Glass was such a babe magnet? For that matter, who knew the New Republic hired women?

I think that the dark-haired woman is supposed to be pug-nosed plagiarist Ruth Shalit (or maybe Monica Lewinsky), but who is the blond woman supposed to be?

Sully and Sullibility

One of my favorite Andrew Sullivan bits is where Sully prints anonymous e-mails as though they contain the truth. Here's a good one today:

In the early 1990's, I watched a good friend of mine grab a 600 grand a year 'grant' from her friend, and fellow JFK Schooler, in the EPA. For the next ten years, my friend got 600 grand annually, (disbursed thru Las Vegas, aptly enough) for doing ... absolutely nothing. I mean nothing.

At the end of ten years, my friend had spent all the money, and had produced a series of annual reports, each one approximately 40 pages long, filled with pseudo-scientific booshwah so ridiculous that even her friends couldn't help smirking when they read it.

$600,000 times 10 is $6,000,000. That's a pretty big chunk o' change. Shocking!

70 percent of the money was spent flying to 'conferences' with other JFK grantors (always in gorgeous locales) where they gave 'papers' and mostly networked with each other to find more grants.

70 percent of $6 million is $4.2 million. That's some mad expensive airfare! It must have been first class and then some!

I know this sounds like miniscule potatoes - but multiply this 100,000 times, and over a thousand agencies... And she was never listed as a Federal employee!

$6 million times 100,000 times 1,000 -- that's $600,000,000,000,000! Damn, that's a ... uh ... a ... lot of money!

For the good of the country, Sully needs to forward this courageous e-mail to the White House, every member of Congress and every major news organization today! You've blown this scandal wide open, Sully -- now run with it!!!

Spies, Lies and Allies

Frickin' Blogger has now twice eaten my post on Jonathan Pollard. So just read the link and pretend I had something intelligent to say on the subject.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

The makers of Shattered Glass have dedicated the film to Michael Kelly. They must have read his columns about Vice President Gore.

Meet The Newest F-Lie Girl

"Why would anybody listen to him?" Mr. O'Reilly said, angrily. "He says he's a satirist. If Franken's a satirist then I'm JENNIFER LOPEZ."

Mr. O'Reilly is ready for his blowjob, Mr. Smith.



"THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER LANDING: Can we all now agree that that was the dumbest political gesture of the last two years?

"No, that would be the Iraq invasion. The carrier landing is the second dumbest."

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Rush Limbaugh Is Now An Even Bigger, Fatter, More Dishonest Idiot

Here's a story about the man with brains on loan from a dust mite:

Not everyone ignored it: Rush Limbaugh, for instance. �There�s a piece in the World Tribune today�one of the papers in the United Kingdom�exactly as theorized on this program early on,� he said on his radio show. �It�s unconfirmed, but it�s a story that many of the weapons of mass destruction are at present buried in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon.� Fox News, catering to a similar demographic, enlisted a military analyst that evening to discuss potential ramifications�military intervention in Lebanon?�on �The O�Reilly Factor.� According to the story, the weapons were probably delivered to the Bekaa Valley, a Hezbollah stronghold, in a caravan of tractor-trailers that was spotted leaving Iraq in January, two months before the war began, as part of a multimillion- dollar storage deal between Saddam Hussein and the Syrian government.

In fact, the World Tribune is not published in the United Kingdom, nor is it, to be precise, a newspaper. It is a Web site produced, more or less as a hobby, in Falls Church, Virginia, and is dedicated to the notion, as its mission statement explains, that �there is a market for news of the world and not just news of the weird.�

Also of interest: The World Tribune is a Moonie e-rag: "Its editor and publisher, Robert Morton, is an assistant managing editor at the Washington Times and a former 'corporate editor' for News World Communications, the Times� owner and the publishing arm of the Unification Church, led by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon." Could it be that when Moon says jump, Rush and O'Reilly say, "yes, Father."

Arnold S. proves he is ready --- for another supporting role in a Batman movie.

General Wesley Clark, Patriot

Why Mickey Kaus Won't Renounce The Slogan "Incest Is Best"

Mickey Kaus is illiterate in two languages. The bitter blogger -- who proudly links to the racist messageboard Lucianne.com -- whines that the "one thing [California Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante] didn't do is renounce the slogan, 'For the race everything. For those outside the race, nothing.'" Of course, Bustamante never endorsed the slogan and, as Kaus was forced to admit, the language he quotes is a gross and presumably deliberate, mistranslation of the language found on some MECha websites. One can't renounce a position one never held.

Mark Kleiman has brilliantly eviscerated the fraudulent arguments of Kaus and his little friends on this issue. (Although I think Bustamante's ideal response to the questioning from the smear artists on FOX -- had he not been blindsided by the cheap shot -- would have been "you couldn't translate Spanish accurately if your life depended on it, isn't that right, you lying sack of guano?" Spoken in Spanish.)

Jon at San Diego Soliloquies also goes remedial on Mick's lily-white ass.

Monday, September 01, 2003

The Era Of Personal Responsibility

A new low for right-wingers who bleat about personal responsibility: Blaming the cough syrup.

A Critical Eye

Don't forget to join Howard "The Putz" Kurtz for his live chat tomorrow, noon Eastern Time. I'm sure Howie will welcome your respectful questions about his shilling for Schwarzenegger on CNN, his humorless rant against Al Franken, and his family ties to the National Review. He's a man of integrity, you know.

Cracker Logic

1. Link Person A to his membership in an organization 30 years ago.

2. Quote Person B, who belongs to an entirely different organization, saying something in 2003.

3. Have no evidence of any of the following:

(a) That Person A knows Person B,

(b) That Person A knows what Person B said,

(c) That Person A endorsed Person B's statement,

(d) That Person had any association with Person B's organization at any time, or

(e) That Person A holds the view expressed by Person B.

4. Make no effort to determine Person A's actual views.

5. Attribute Person B's views to Person A.

Perhaps it's time the ABA reviewed its accreditation of a certain law school.

Corrente is Italian for "current." Or, according to Mickey Kaus, it's Spanish for "Kill Whitey!"

Actually, corrente is an excellent blog by Atrios's four guest bloggers, Leah, Lambert, Tresy, and the Farmer. Read and enjoy.

Brit For Shains

As reported at Take Back The Media, Faux News' Brit Hume recently appeared to be pained and scandalized that people on the internet would compare George W. Bush to Adolf Hitler.

Yet Brit was quite honored to accept an award from the cretins at Free Republic, a site whose participants use the name Hitlery more frequently than they use soap or toilet tissue.

MWO pointed out that when Brit met the Freepers, he asked them "what [their] reaction would be if George W. Bush were to do something wrong and Fox News started to hit him hard with negative reporting." It's so cute when Brit feigns integrity.