Friday, February 27, 2004

A Note From The Management

The management of Roger Ailes has noticed a certain ... underperformance ... from the editorial staff in the past week.

To rectify the situation, the editorial staff will be placed on a two-day unpaid suspension, effective immediately. While this is drastic measure, we feel it is necessary to ensure the high-quality content readers of this blog have come to expect.

Regular service will resume on Monday. In the meantime, please patronize the fine blogs listed to your right.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Eyeball Eating Crow = Money Shot

We usually agree with Sullywatch -- but we have to say our favorite line in Sully's review of Godsmack: The Bashin' Of The Christ was this: "....Gibson has a large crow perch on the neighboring cross and peck another man's eyes out. Why? Because the porn needed yet another money shot."

Maybe it was a Hitchcock homage.

Condi To America: Screw You

Condoleezza Rice has told the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks to pound sand. (Note: 1 page .pdf file.) Rice is refusing to testify before the Commission's public hearing on counterterrorism. So much for public service.

Spanky and The (R) Gang

William "Dice" Bennett has announced that he's got his own Morning Zoo Crew and he's ready to rock (or, at least, stone). Salem Radio Network, which already broadcasts the white noise of Mike Gallagher, Hugh Hewitt, Dennis Prager, David Lawrence and Michael Medved, has decided there aren't enough doughboy bloviators in the morning drive-time "daypart." Here's the nut from a Salem press release:

"We could not be more pleased to have Bill Bennett join the SRN team. He's an entertaining and energetic communicator with a tenacious faith in America. Bill has a lot to say and says it in a way that's never boring. He and Tom Tradup will add a new dimension of flinty conversation, humor and intellectual fire power to morning radio," added SRN's President Greg Anderson. "All indications point to Bill Bennett's 'Morning in America' being one of the most successful rollouts ever."

Morning in America is unoriginal, in a way that's very boring. I'd suggest "Spanky and The (R) Gang" instead.

Please feel free to offer other suggestions to the godly, witch burnin' folk at Salem.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Aaron Brown, Boy Genius

"So are you going to vote in November, Andy?"


And Battle Come Down

Don't worry, Sully. There's an empty spider hole for you near Tikrit. Or maybe you can trade for a cave fixer-up in TB-Town.

"Gay people will now regard [the Republican Party] as their enemy for generations - and rightly so." Whaddaya mean "now," white man?


President Bush announces he supports a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. Details soon.

Big Pharma and Neilsie Bush breathe sighs of relief. The era of homo-terrorism is over!

Terrorism Rhetoric Level: Red

The Administration's beta-testing of its 2004 campaign strategy was deemed a miserable failure when Bush Education Secretary Rod "A-Tool" Paige was forced to apologize for labeling the National Education Association a "terrorist organization."

Calls for Ed Gillespie and Marc Racicot to denounce Paige's "political hate speech" were not immediately returned.

For more on the miserable failures of Dr. Paige, read here.

Russ Smith takes the Bizzaro World edition of the New York Times:

"William Safire is certainly the most palatable voice found on the New York Times's left-wing op-ed pages. Mr. Safire's blend of conservative/libertarian commentary remains the daily's tonic to the strident anti-Republican columns of Paul Krugman, Maureen Dowd, Thomas Friedman, Nicholas Kristof, and Bob Herbert. Charitably, I'm still reserving judgment on the Times's newest pundit, David Brooks, often described as 'every Democrat's favorite conservative.' So far, in the six months Brooks has written for the paper, his columns have too often been timid and apologetic, as if he dare not present assertive opinions lest his tenure at the Times wind up as a dashed experiment."

I guess that whole "criticizing neo-cons = anti-Semitism" rant was too shy and retiring for our boy Russ.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Hackery For Dummies

Want to be a bed-wetting hack, imagining liberal bias for fun and profit? Watch and learn.

A constipated chrome-dome writes:

No Bias Left Behind! Compare the New York Times' account of a Utah meeting in which federal officials sought to calm fears about the No Child Left Behind Act ("Bush Education Officials Find New Law a Tough Sell") to the account in the local paper ("No Child Left Behind Comes Into Focus"). Somehow the Times missed this part:
Afterwards, some parents and minority advocates said they didn't want things to change too much. The law forces schools to confront weaknesses, said Karen Duffy, a University of Utah researcher who studies education issues for American Indians.

American Indians have long lagged behind their classmates, she said, and the school system has failed to solve the problem.

"This law is about the only hope they have," she said.

(Emphasis added; hackery in original)

How did de ol' debbil Times miss "this part" of the "meeting?" Well, it's just a wild guess but, maybe because "that part" happened "afterwards," that is, after the meeting. It wasn't part of the meeting.

Perhaps Ms. Duffy didn't want to talk to the Times. Perhaps the Timesman was interviewing others while the Salt Lake Tribune reporter talked to Ms. Duffy. Perhaps the Times killed her so she couldn't give them a quote prasing NCLB. Don't ask Kaus -- he's only hacking.

Liar Straights

Don't use drugs, kids, or you might end up with the kind of permanent brain damage that Rush Limbaugh has inflicted upon himself. Today, the pill-popping pig accused a lesbian couple of child abuse because they had their infant daughter treated by specialists at the neonatal Intensive Care Unit of one of the finest hospitals in Northern California.

Sayeth the pig:

The second article tells the story of a lesbian couple that [sic] left one of their twin babies at UCSF's neonatal ICU, where she had major surgery so she could breathe unaided, so they could go get a marriage license [sic]. They left this little baby in dire straits so they could put themselves first. What about the little girl in this story? What about this baby? You know, if a heterosexual couple did this, it would be called child abuse. You could almost read it that way.

And here's the real story.

Unless the mothers are accomplished neonatal surgeons or ICU nurses, they didn't leave their daughter in dire straits. Rather, they arranged for extremely sophisticated surgery which saved their daughter's life and LEFT THEIR DAUGHTER IN THE CARE OF SOME OF THE MOST QUALIFIED SPECIALISTS IN THE FUCKING UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, YOU FAT MORONIC FUCK!

Of course, none of Big Pharma's multiple sacred marriages resulted in any offspring, which would have been, by definition, child abuse.

Sunday, February 22, 2004

[Insert Photoshop of Ralph With Cubs Cap Here]

Here's someone endorsing Nader's run (or the idea of it at least):

Blaming Nader for 2000 is like blaming Steve Bartman for the Cubs failure to get in the World Series last year. Sure, if Bartman had not innocently tried to catch that foul ball headed for Moises Alou's mitt, the Cubs might have won Game Six. But if the Cubs had won four previous games, they would have made the Series. They could have come back from that freak play and still have won Game Six. They could have won Game Seven. There are lots of "could haves."

So that makes Tony Scalia what -- illegal steroids taken by the Florida Marlins?

(Disclaimer: Analogy for comedic purposes only. I'm not suggesting the Flordia Marlins use steroids. Or coke. Like Brutus Beefcake did.)

The Ralphmentum Begins

Here's Ralph Nader's Monday media schedule:

NBC Today Show - between 7 and 8am EST or check your local listings

ABC Good Morning America - between 7 and 8am EST or check your local listings

Democracy NOW, Pacifica Radio Network 8am EST, check local listings


CNN Inside Politics - LIVE Judy Woodruff, 3:30 to 4:30 pm EST

PBS Jim Lehrer - LIVE 6 to 7pm EST

MSNBC Chris Matthews - Hardball 7pm EST

CNN Paula Zahn 8 to 9 pm EST
Action Plan: Call FOX and CBS and demand they let the people hear Ralph's message of building democracy and advancing justice!

Ralph's candidacy has already strengthened the economy. You can apply for a paid position with the Nader campaign here.

A reader sent in this antidote to the idiots (see here for example) who claim the Bush Administration is a positive force for women's rights in Afghanistan. It's an article in the New York Review of Books by Ahmed Rashid, summarizing the findings of Human Rights Watch:

In two reports at the end of 2002, HRW described the horrific situation in western Afghanistan where Ismail Khan had established a dictatorial fiefdom over three provinces, ignoring the Karzai government with tacit approval from the US. In an HRW report entitled "'We Want to Live as Humans': Repression of Women and Girls in Western Afghanistan," several women described the situation under Khan as virtually similar to living under the Taliban. Local police were stopping girls in the street and forcefully carrying out virginity tests. "Herat is the worst province for women in Afghanistan," said a UN official working with women's groups in Afghanistan.

Women were allowed to study only in segregated schools, were discouraged from working, and were forbidden to ride in cars with foreigners. Those caught riding in cars with an Afghan male who was not their husband were taken off to hospitals where doctors would examine them to determine whether they had recently had sexual intercourse. Doctors said that up to ten girls a day were being tested and many girls were too ashamed even to talk about it....

The violence against women by Taliban members was memorable not just for their violation of genuine Islamic values but for their obsessive attention to sexual and gender detail. The same can be said about Ismail Khan today when he forbids women to wear makeup outside the house even though they must wear the burqa at all times. Men are forbidden to wear neckties or shake hands with local or foreign women....

All this has been happening while US Special Forces and diplomats and UN officials are based in Herat. When US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld visited Herat on April 29, 2002, he described Khan as "an appealing person, thoughtful, measured, and self-confident."

....These abuses are not unavoidable because many of these actors were brought to power by the US and the international community or are dependent on them now for support. In the southeast a local expression describes abuses by gunmen as happening "'right under the mustaches' of the Americans."

Hazrat Ali, the warlord in the northeastern provinces of Nangarhar and Laghman, whose forces fought alongside US troops in the Tora Bora battle against al-Qaeda, is still a favorite of the US military. He is named by HRW as one of the most prominent violators of human rights in eastern Afghanistan. His commanders and troops rob, steal, kidnap, and violate women and indulge in sexual violence against young boys. "Many of the soldiers in the military unit with Hazrat Ali are just teenagers, and the commanders use them for sex purposes," says a university student in Jalalabad.

Nobody's sad that the Taliban is gone; nobody wants to see them come back. But Bush isn't a liberator of Afghanistan's women, and no one should believe the hype.

Can anyone confirm that the reason the New York Times put someone as pointless as Maureen Dowd on the op-ed page is so it wouldn't have to hire another female columnist as a counterpoint?

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Protect Yourself

A reminder to watch out for computer viruses. I received today an e-mail with the sending address of the Washington Post Post ombudsman ( He has never written to me, and I've never written to him. The message had all the classic signs of a virus message: The subject line was "test" and it had a 31k attachment. I just deleted it without opening it. (I'm sure it's not actually from Michael Getler or the Post.)

If you've sent me a message without a personalized subject line in the past couple of months, it's probably been deleted without opening. Safety first... Because Roger cares.

Oh, and use a prophylactic too. And a seatbelt. And put a coat on.

Brutus Beefcake's Cocaine Triggers Beantown Anthrax Scare

Greatest story I've heard in a long time. I heard this on Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me and I'm surprised it's not already all over the blogosphere.

Former WWF pro wrestler Brutus "the Barber" Beefcake (aka Ed Leslie) was working as a fare collector for the Boston subway system. Someone spotted white powder in a fare collector's booth and thought it was anthrax, so the authorities ordered the Downtown Crossing station evacuated. Turns out the white powder was Brutus' "bag" of blow. Sadly, Brutus lost his job and is now in rehab.

And I always thought pro wrestling was a such clean and sober sport. Brutus' blunder is likely to give the sport a black eye.

Roger's Mailbag

Reader Philip Barnard writes:

re your Feb 19 piece on Bloch and Carlson.

I enjoy your blog generally, but I really have to object to the "University of Kansas and Bush Administration" headline! The entire university is likened to the Bush Administration because two right wingers went here (and left here! Gee, wonder why he's at Casper and not the U of Kansas....)? Really, I don't see the logic.

Obviously one can find right wing extremists at any university. Why pick on us? If you'd like to find out about the University of Kansas and the kind of intellectual work that's done here, I'd be happy to try and give you a little information. In intellectual and ideological terms you can find as many or more egregious right wingers at private, so-called "elite" institutions, if you care to go looking.

Don't public universities get enough misinformed pounding from the right in the culture wars?

I agree with you completely about these two characters, but how their extremism reflects on the U of Kansas escapes me.

Mr. Barnard is right. There was no basis for my swipe at the University of Kansas, and no reason to blame the U of K for the extremism of Bloch and Carlson. I stand corrected.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Grand Old Police Blotter: An Ass His Check Can't Keep Edition

Here's the future of the Republican Party, a young man destined to be a Senior Economic Advisor in the George P. Bush White House:

CONCORD - A 23-year-old state representative who faced possible expulsion from the Legislature resigned Thursday rather than defend himself against charges he abused his office....

"I'm very sad to leave the House. I really feel that I belong there," Kerns said afterward.

Kerns faced three ethics charges against him: passing a bad check with "State of New Hampshire" written on it; using his title to get a parking spot reserved for school officials; and threatening them when told to stop parking there.

Kerns said he felt forced to resign because he was afraid the Legislature would take up the matter before he was willing to address it. He also said he plans to spend the next few months recovering from an unnamed neurological illness and preparing to file for re-election in June.
According to this link (registration required; don't bother), the punk Puke is a top-flight constitutional scholar:

After he allegedly wrote the bad check in Salem last summer, Kerns introduced a resolution declaring "misdemeanor offenses of any kind shall not constitute probable cause under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution." It was struck down in later debate.

And a philosophe:

"I was diagnosed with a serious condition that affects my ability to do my job and has exacerbated situations with my peers," Kerns said. "I am a human being, which means I speak my mind, support independent causes and have transcended the political process socially."

He certainly looks like a Puke.

Mission Accomplished

UggaBugga points us to this article, where Ahmed Chalabi has a good laugh at our expense. It's like the ultimate episode of Punk'd (or maybe PNAC'd), but with thousands dead and wounded (so far).

But many American officials now blame Mr. Chalabi for providing what turned out to be false or wildly exaggerated intelligence about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

During an interview, Mr. Chalabi, by far the most effective anti-Saddam lobbyist in Washington, shrugged off charges that he had deliberately misled U.S. intelligence.

"We are heroes in error," he said in Baghdad on Wednesday. "As far as we're concerned, we've been entirely successful.

"Our objective has been achieved. That tyrant Saddam is gone, and the Americans are in Baghdad. What was said before is not important."

Mr. Chalabi added: "The Bush administration is looking for a scapegoat. We're ready to fall on our swords if [President Bush] wants."

"Hero" isn't the word I'd use.

Of course, once the Americans leave Baghdad, there will be a lot more folks looking for Chalabi and his cronies to fall upon the ends of swords.

When Hairfree Met Suzy

Ailes Exclusive! Top sources can reveal that two rabid Republicans -- one married! -- have been crossing state lines to swap spite in furtherance of their mutual hatred of Senator and Presidential hopeful John Kerry.

Earlier this month, Mickey Kaus was seen trying to light a fire under the fabricated Drudge smear of Senator Kerry by referencing a non-story "from the 1998 Boston Herald, to which I was steered a few weeks ago by a skeptical and unaligned feminist Democrat." (See Feb. 12.) Seasoned media observers familiar with the hairless hater suspected the "Democrat" in question was the once-respected Susan Estrich, based on this Daily Howler report which placed Kaus in the Granite State at the same time as an unnamed loudmouth "Faux Democrat."

Incomparably, yesterday's Howler reports that Estrich shopped the same smear article to Brit Hume on Fox, and confirms that a "well-oiled" and "staggering" Estrich was the loudmouth in quo.

Accordingly, we have the following scenario: Kaus living out of a New Hampshire motel room around the same time he was swapping smutty press clips with a "feminist Democrat," and at the same time the lubricated Estrich was on the loose in Manchester. Was Susy (R) the mystery "feminist?" And where was the long-suffering "Mr. Estrich" [real name withheld] at the time?

This site certainly isn't accusing Kaus and Susan Estrich of adultery. We're sure they were just delivering resumes, in the Republican sense of that phrase. And sharing tawdry fantasies about John Kerry doesn't even qualify as sex as defined by Paula Jones' attorneys.

Unless these two claim under oath that they are Democrats, it's doubtful much more will come from this sordid episode.

Still Pistof, Still Fact Free

Atrios points to this disingenuous response to Katha Pollitt from Nick "Who's Your Daddy" Kristof, self-appointed Saviour of Third World Women. Here are some points to ponder:

1. Pistof doesn't address the most important new point in The Nation article, which, not surprisingly, he also doesn't link to. If the Feminist Majority Foundation is "AWOL" on the issue of sex trafficking, as Pistof claims, why did Pistof's assistant "spend hours" on the telephone with the FMF, discussing the FMF's activities on the issue, as Pollitt claims? (Note that Christine Cupaiuolo reports that the NYT edited that salient fact out of a letter from FMF President Eleanor Smeal which was published in the paper.) If you wanted to know, say, the details of the Dannelly Air Base in the early 1970s, would you spend hours on the phone with George Bush?

2. Kristof also dodges the criticism by changing the issue. In his column, he said that the Bush Administration had "led the way" on the issue, and that "Conservative Christians have called on Mr. Bush to do more," while feminist organizations were "complacent" and "shamefully lackadaisical" on the issue. Now Pistof drops the comparison, and simply says that "mainstream feminist" groups are provincial for not focusing more on gender-based discrimination abroad. But "mainstream" Christian conservatives in the U.S. and the Bush Administration have focused much more on their domestic agenda of outlawing abortion and gay marriage, prayer in schools, etc. than they have on sex trafficking (or genital mutilation, bride burning, etc.) in the Third World. If Pistof was honest, he'd be writing "[w]hy should a conservative religious agenda put more effort on banning gay marriage and pornography than on millions of children of God around the world who are denied education, health care or even life itself?" Or at least he'd admit that his original comparison was dishonest and disgusting.

3. Pistof then says that NOW is "a bit like a civil rights organization in New York in the 1960's saying: 'We're basically a New York organization with a local agenda, so we won't worry about the civil rights struggle in the south.'" Ignoring the dubious claim that New York State was a civil rights paradise in the 1960's, if one to were use Pistof's standard, one would criticize the 60s civil rights activists for focusing on the American South because there were places on the globe with fewer freedoms and poorer education, health care and living conditions than those available to African-Americans in Selma or Birmingham. And, of course, American feminists might be able to devote more time supporting the causes of their foreign sisters if the Bush administration and the religious right weren't devoting most of their time to denying reproductive rights and civil rights here at home.

4. As always, the real subject of any Pistof writing is how wonderful Pistof is. Pistof chides Pollitt (who he won't stoop to name) for not being like him and "actually going" or "actually traveling" to foreign lands and meeting women who are abused. Maybe Pollitt can afford such a trip, even if she can't get the New York Times to fund it, as Pistof did. But most American feminists don't have an underwriter or the spare cash (and time and lack of other obligations) for such an adventure. And he again pats himself on the back for "rescuing" the two Cambodian women with cold, hard cash, even though he previously told his readers that they shouldn't try to do the same thing. Only a worthy like Pistof is allowed that special privilege.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Bloch Head

Legal reasoning, University of Kansas and Bush Administration-style:

Scott J. Bloch, the agency head [of the Office of Special Counsel], said he ordered the material removed because of uncertainty over whether a provision of civil service law applies to federal workers who claim unfair treatment because they are gay, bisexual or heterosexual.

"It is wrong to discriminate against any federal employee, or any employee, based on discrimination," Bloch said.

That kind of nuanced analysis could get you a full professorship at the University of Tennessee.

Here's more on Scott Bloch, student of philosophy:

Casper College instructor Robert Carlson has been offered a position in the Office of Special Counsel to President George W. Bush, Carlson said Tuesday.

Carlson would serve in Washington, D.C., under Scott J. Bloch, who heads the office. Carlson met Bloch in the late 1970s at the University of Kansas, where Bloch was a student in a class Carlson taught as a graduate student.

If he takes the post, Carlson, who currently teaches literature and philosophy at CC, will be charged with providing counsel to Bloch on ethical issues.


Prior to his recent appointment as special counsel, Bloch headed up the Task Force for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives in the United States Department of Justice. He was able to choose two special assistants -- one of whom could be a philosopher.

"He thought of me," Carlson said.

In 1998, Carlson and two other Casper College instructors introduced an anti-gay program at the school called Anchor. The instructors touted the program, part of SoFAITH, the Society of Families Anchored in Truth, as pro-family values.

Carlson and the other instructors, Jay Graham and Mike Keogh, created the Anchor program to counter the Safe Zone program, created in 1997, which promoted acceptance and understanding of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people.

The Anchor program was denied endorsement by Casper College because of what President LeRoy Strausner described as Anchor's anti-gay agenda....

You'll fit right in, Bob.

More On Pistof

Does Katha Pollitt read Roger Ailes? Undoubtedly not. But she did read Nick "Pistof" Kristof's sleazy columns diminishing the work of feminists on the matter of sex trafficking, and had the same reaction as Roger:

I'm reminded of these good people because the New York Times's Nicholas Kristof is once again accusing American feminists of ignoring Third World women and girls. Last spring, he discovered obstetric fistula in Africa--the tear between the birth canal and the lower intestine that can happen during protracted labor and that, unless corrected, condemns a woman to a lifetime of physical misery and social ostracism. Kristof profiled Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia and wondered why "most feminist organizations in the West have never shown interest in these women." Perhaps, he wrote, "the issue doesn't galvanize women's groups because fistulas relate to a traditional child-bearing role." Right, we all know that feminists only care about aborting babies, not delivering them safely. The Times got a lot of letters (and published some, including one from me) pointing out that feminists, in fact, were behind numerous efforts to combat fistula and other maternity-related health problems in Africa, including the work of the UNFPA, praised by Kristof, whose funding was eliminated by the White House to please its right-wing Christian base.

You'd think he'd learn. But no. Now Kristof is complaining that American women's groups such as NOW and Feminist Majority don't care about sexual slavery and the trafficking of women and children for commercial sex. In a series of columns, he describes his efforts to "buy the freedom" of two Cambodian teenage prostitutes living in a sleazy brothel in Poipet and to get them home to their families. Evangelical Christians, he argues, care about girls like these; feminists are too busy "saving Title IX and electing more women to the Senate," he observed in a Times online forum. Right, why should American women care about equal opportunities and electing to office people who think contraception is as important as Viagra? Never mind that putting more feminists in the Senate--not more "women"--would mean more help for the very causes Kristof supports!

And here's another article telling Kristoff to piss off, with a very revealing detail:

In case you missed it, here's Eleanor Smeal's response [to Kristof's column], which the Times published Feb. 7. The letter was abbreviated; it does not mention, for example, that FMF provided plenty of documentation of the organization's past and current involvement in this issue to a NYT fact checker who called FMF the evening before the column ran. None of the information was included.

It like there wasn't room to fit both the globe-trotting egomanic's immense self-regard and the facts in the same column.

Camp Follower

Stunted right-winger Mickey Kaus isn't fooling anyone by claiming to be a Democrat, but he's now admitted he's a Bush camp whore.

Kauspiles, January 13, 2004:

Kerry advisor: "Everything is on the table. Everything." Heh.

Kauspiles, January 18, 2004:

"Everything is on the table" was immediately used by the Bush camp to depict Democrats as ready to smear.


Meanwhile, here's a political thug quote for the runtish Republican:

"We will fuck him. Do you hear me? We will fuck him. We will ruin him. Like no one has ever fucked him!"

Who said that one, Mickey?

It Is Ass It Was

These are trying times for Peggy Noonan. Her best boyfriend is no longer talking to her, and numbers two and three are squabbling.

"[Hutton Gibson] even belittled the Pope's reported endorsement of 'The Passion,' recounting how Mel referred to the pontiff as an 'ass.'"

Now boys, don't force Nooners to choose between you.

Hutton also opined in a radio interview that Alan Greenspan should be hung, that Hitler's concentration camps were work camps and that Jews are anti-Christian "by being a Jew."

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Talk To The Hand

Dr. Alterman asks:

But if it's ok to pry into Kerry's sex life because Clinton lied about sex, what is to stop us from prying into Mickey's?

The gag reflex, Eric.

Bob Somerby says:

We know that the woman in question hadn't "recently fled the country," as the dick-tugging dirt-bag falsely reported.


Monday, February 16, 2004

Time For Some Accountability

A woman who has been the subject of rumors linking her to Sen. John Kerry denied Monday that she ever had an affair with the Democratic presidential candidate.

Breaking her silence four days after the allegations surfaced on the Internet, Alexandra Polier issued a statement to The Associated Press, saying, "I have never had a relationship with Senator Kerry, and the rumors in the press are completely false."

Kerry already has denied reports that he had an extramarital affair. On Monday, his campaign said he would have no further comment.

Polier's statement was released to the AP in Nairobi, where the 27-year-old freelance journalist is visiting the parents of her fiance, Yaron Schwartzman, an Israeli who was raised in Kenya. She previously worked as an editorial assistant for the AP in New York.

"Whoever is spreading these rumors and allegations does not know me," Polier said, appealing to the media to respect her privacy and the privacy of her fiance and his family.

Polier also took issue with reports that referred to her as a former Kerry intern.

"I never interned or worked for John Kerry," she told AP over the phone.

In a separate statement, Polier's parents, Terry and Donna Polier of Malvern, Pa., dismissed the "completely false and unsubstantiated" allegations about their daughter.

"We love and support her 100 percent and these unfounded rumors are hurtful to our entire family," the statement said. "We appreciate the way Senator Kerry has handled the situation, and intend on voting for him for president of the United States." -- AP, via

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Presidents' Day (Observed)

In honor of Presidents' Day, Roger Ailes, the blog, will be AWOL tomorrow.

Not that I would ever call Bush that.

President, I mean.

Enjoy the fine blogs listed to your right in the meantime.

All I'm Gonna Say

I'd hate to be Brent Bozell's calcified arteries when Brent does tomorrow's New York Times crossword puzzle.

Update (2/16): 24 Across: Pale, aging president (12). (Answer in Comments)

Andrew Sullivan Explains The Difference Between A Breast and a Flatulent Horse

SULLIVAN: And it isn't like a flatulent horse, which is a silly bad joke. It's actually a part of the anatomy that we don't allow people to display on the streets, that we do restrict to privacy, and it's out there for anybody and everybody to see. And I think the lawmakers are grandstanding, but they have a point.
Sully goes on to assert that "there's a difference between throwing a football in a tire, and showing an actual naked boob."

Sully did not expound upon whether a flatulent horse is similar or dissimilar to throwing a football in a tire.

Josh Marshall points us to Peggy Nooner's piece in the Washington Post. It reads like the dolphins are once again sending messages directly to her fillings:

The Republicans, meanwhile, have been out there all alone, looking for a lift. They just wanted to get home, have macaroni with the kids, watch a little TV. Even though when they did watch, when they turned on a cable TV news-talk show, what they were likely to see was an Inside Political Hotspot Beltway Hotbuzz segment that began with questions like, "Bush: Madman or Moron?" Or "Scooter Libby: Evil Force or Waning Power?" Or "Dick Cheney: Will the Bush White House Replace Him . . . or Kill Him?"

Now I haven't seen many of these cable shows recently. Hell, Nooner's probably been on more of them than I've seen. But can anyone point to a single instance of these programs where they ran even a non-exaggerated version of these topics? On Faux, MSGOP, CNGOP? Please.

Trent Lott called. He wants his hair back.

Trent Lott called. He wants to hire Bush for his re-election campaign:

What started as a mostly civil contest turned ugly when the Blount campaign edited a Sparkman radio interview to make it appear that he favored mandatory busing, an explosive tactic in a state still struggling with great racial divides and the legacy of segregation. The Democrat's campaign team eventually found an unedited version of the interview and used it in the race's final days against Blount.

Sounds like something a Bush family friend would do.

Instant Parma, or, Lee Stoops to Rancor

Parma - Lee Stoop, the city's Republican leader, thought she was forwarding an immigrant-bashing poem to a few close friends for laughs.

But she inadvertently sent it to a much wider audience that included dozens of local officials and even New York Sen. Hillary Clinton. On Friday, few people in Cuyahoga County's largest suburb found it funny.

The poem describes turban-wearing immigrants flocking to America to collect welfare and goes downhill from there.
E-mail, the mortal enemy of idiot Republicans everywhere.

(Via the generous Buzzflash.)

She Wants A Guy Just Like Dad

The parallels are eerie. I predict years of therapy. Unless, of course, she runs Fabio over with her car first.

First Daughter Barbara Bush's dirty-dancing partner has been hot-footing it from the law.

Gotham gadabout Fabian Basabe - pictured in a hip-lock with Babs on the front page of the Daily News yesterday - is wanted on three warrants in California.

The social climber has been busted for speeding, driving under the influence and trespassing. He even jumped bail in one case, court records show.

Other court files show a string of infractions - but no open warrants - in Virginia, North Carolina and Florida, including two collisions.
The final word on the Hutton Report.

Saturday, February 14, 2004

We [Heart] John McCain (On This Issue)

This is the man the Pukes adore -- Ted Sampley. If you see any blogger, or hear any Puke on radio or television, citing "Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry" with approval, know that those persons are praising a convicted thug and, according to Senator John McCain, a fraud who preys on the survivors of men killed in the service of the United States.

Here's the story:

WASHINGTON, Feb. 13 -- Senator John McCain came to the defense of a fellow Vietnam War veteran, Senator John Kerry, on Friday by attacking the credibility of a North Carolina veteran who has dedicated himself to defeating Mr. Kerry in his campaign for president.

Mr. McCain, an Arizona Republican, called the man, Ted Sampley, "one of the most despicable people I have ever had the misfortune to encounter."

Mr. Sampley, a businessman from Kinston, N.C., has gained some attention in recent days for operating a Web site devoted to attacking Mr. Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, for his opposition to the war in Vietnam after his military service. The Web site, www.vietnamveteransagainstjohn, includes pictures from the 1970's showing Mr. Kerry at antiwar protests. One shows Mr. Kerry at a rally, sitting several rows behind Jane Fonda, who was so outspoken against the war that she was labeled a Communist by her political opponents.


In 1993, Mr. Sampley was convicted of misdemeanor assault and sentenced to 180 days' probation for attacking a legislative aide to Mr. McCain.


Mr. Sampley once called Mr. McCain, who was held captive for five years in North Vietnam, "the Manchurian Candidate," a reference to a 1962 film in which a Communist-controlled candidate nearly becomes his party's candidate for president.


In defending Mr. Kerry, Mr. McCain --who has campaigned for President Bush this year -- said of Mr. Sampley: "I consider him a fraud who preys on the hopes of family members of missing servicemen for his own profit. He is dishonorable, an enemy of the truth, and despite his claims, he does not speak for or represent the views of all but a few veterans."

Mr. Sampley is not the only person actively seeking to discredit Mr. Kerry. In recent days, a picture showing Mr. Kerry at a podium with Ms. Fonda has circulated on the Internet. But the picture is a hoax, according to the photo agency that owns the original, Corbis. In the original photo, Mr. Kerry is alone at the podium.

Curb Your Bushthusiasm

From a man who didn't go AWOL.

Love Is Never Having to Say You're Sorry

"The truth is George Bush came to Alabama. He asked for weekend drills with us. He was assigned to me," said [Alabama Air National Guard Officer John] Calhoun, who was in Florida on Friday for this weekend's Daytona 500. Calhoun said he saw Bush sign in at the 187th Tactical Reconnaissance Group in Montgomery eight to 10 times for roughly eight hours at a time from May to October 1972.

"He showed up. He sat in my office. He signed in," Calhoun said. "He was very determined to be there. He was in uniform and he did what he was supposed to do."

However, Calhoun recalled Bush in the unit in the summer of 1972 when the documents indicate that he had not yet applied to serve there.

The records, for example, show Bush was not paid for any service during more than five months in 1972, from April 17 to Oct. 27. He was paid for two days in late October 1972, four days in mid-November 1972 and no days in December 1972.

Bush's letter requesting duty at the 187th is dated Sept. 5, 1972.

Calhoun said Bush's activities included "reading safety magazines and flight manuals in an office as he performed his weekend obligations." As World O'Crap reports, Calhoun told the Washington Post that Bush would "sit on my couch" and read those materials, and "[h]e never complained about coming."

No complaining from the couch? Mission accomplished!

Amazon Love Letters

Damn, it would have been good to have had access to this -- I have a huge list of authors whose reviewers I'd like to see revealed.

Close observers of noticed something peculiar this week: the company's Canadian site had suddenly revealed the identities of thousands of people who had anonymously posted book reviews on the United States site under signatures like "a reader from New York."

The weeklong glitch, which Amazon fixed after outed reviewers complained, provided a rare glimpse at how writers and readers are wielding the online reviews as a tool to promote or pan a book -- when they think no one is watching.

Too bad Tim Lambert didn't know about it either. (Couldn't somebody have put this to good use? I mean, who gives a shit about what Dave Eggers said?)

Oh, and here's the lame tie-in to today's "love" theme:

The New York Times reports that well-known discount erotic model and expert on loving families, "Doctor" Laura Schlessinger "used a call about an anonymous letter to vent her distress over some of her Amazon reviewers, who she described as 'scummy, creepy people.'" Hmmm... I can't believe Dr. Laura used to curse her mother with that mouth!

Grand Old Police Blotter: Defense of Marriage Act Edition

Love is all about protecting those you love. And Mike O'Neal (R - Okla) is the personification of love. O'Neal believes that heterosexual-only marriage is "unique relationship" and a "really valuable foundation."

GOP members of the Oklahoma House have offered three measures opposing gay marriages. House Joint Resolution 1042, by Rep. Mike O'Neal, R-Enid, would submit to a vote of the people a proposed change in the Constitution that states "only the union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Oklahoma."

O'Neal said making a change in the state Constitution would prevent the Oklahoma Supreme Court from taking action like that of the Massachusetts court.

"That's the way you deal with courts and the politically correct environment," O'Neal said. "You put all your really valuable foundations in state constitutions. And the unique relationship of marriage is one of those foundations."

So adamant is O'Neal in his belief that heterosexual marriage is a really valuable foundation that he's willing to expound on the subject to women in hot tubs, but only if they are appropriately attired. According to the Enid (OK) News & Eagle, on Tuesday night, O'Neal

introduced himself and presented a business card to a group of people from Tulsa who had journeyed to Oklahoma City for a conference in the hotel.

[He] then told one of the women in the group to get into some boxer shorts and a T-shirt and meet him in the whirlpool, according to the report. The woman declined and left.

Unable to reason with that woman, O'Neal approached another victim of the courts and the politically correct environment, and whispered to her, "Heterosexual marriage is an institution, but the warden's back in Enid so...."

He then sat on a sofa and began a conversation about marriage with the female victim, according to the report. The suspect, who reportedly was intoxicated, allegedly leaned over and asked the female victim an obscene question, according to the report.

The question was "you don't support obscene gay marriages, do you?"

In fact, the courageous O'Neal was so adamant about the value of heterosexual marriage that he reportedly attempted to restrain the woman after she threatened to vote against his marriage amendment.

Telling police later she "was in such a shock" that she got up and was attempting to gather some friends to join her in leaving when the suspect allegedly grabbed her left buttock and squeezed it tightly, according to the report.

Sensing that the will of the people was in peril, O'Neal pursued the matter even further.

The victim told police she was scared and left the lounge area, running with another friend to the elevator. As the elevator was closing with the victim and friend inside, according to the report, the suspect reportedly stuck his arms through the opening and spread the doors apart. The victim and friend ran underneath his extended arms. The victim called hotel security from her room and later was treated for a sprained ankle suffered when she ran away from the suspect, according to the report.

Well done, Mike! That's one woman who will never again question the sanctity of heterosexual marriage.

Asked about his heroic feats by the News & Eagle, O'Neal modestly stated, "I just can't talk about it right now, OK?"

A special debt of gratitude is owed to O'Neal by his wife, Jennie, and children, Katie, Dennis and Tricia, whose marriage and family have been strengthened immeasurably by O'Neal's defensive tactics.

According to the News & Eagle, O'Neal also introduced a bill in January 2003 limiting the use of incompatibility as a reason for divorce. You might want to put that bill on the fast-track, Mikey.

(Link via Buzzflash.)

Update: It's almost as if Mikhaela Blake Reid predicted this. Heh.

Update 2 (2/15): Added Enid News & Eagle link and updated official bio link. Mikey's a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives' "Wildlife Committee," so he may try to claim legislative immunity. And it's got an e-mail address for those wishing to discuss the uniqueness of marriage with O'Neal.

Isn't It Romantic

Love is even better the second time around, say those who have screwed up their first relationship. Among that group might be the neocon essayist who, although undoubtely a major embarassment to his parents, managed to find his way home due to the luminescent quality of his skin (or at least the large expanse thereof on top of his head).

Query: Which prolific, prizewinning Puke penned the following tribute to the woman generously willing to overlook his obvious defects?

[Name omitted]'s ease and calm had already gifted me with a wondrously new sense of comfort in my own skin. As we wandered about the Cape in a green VW bug on a night so dark no stars showed themselves, we made our own light. And when we turned round the Orleans rotary and knew the way home at last, I knew I had found my way home for the remainder of my days.
In honor of the festival of commercialized love (but not the Neil Bush kind), Roger Ailes today is all about love. To start things off, what's not to love about this?

"Across the Net, all the lonely people -- the Wonkettes and wonkette-linking Kauses -- are stroking their pale, unloved thighs this day. Once again, they've found the way they can make blood rush all through their pale, unloved bodies.


MAN-OR-MOUSE KAUS: Incredible, isn't it? This is what Mickey Kaus cuts-and-pastes with thigh-rubbing glee.


"Kaus offers no reason to think that’s untrue, but runs to cut-and-paste it anyway. Blood rushing mightily to the 'front lines,' he then excuses himself for a few moments."

As usual, Bob Somerby gets to the heart of the matter, with plain-spoken eloquence. That's tough love, Bob -- but it's in service of a lost cause.

Who Was Saint Valentine?

Tradition tends to favour the Roman Valentinus, a priest who died in the year 270, as the origin of the feast day, which, incidentally, was dropped from the Catholic calendar in 1969.

According to one version of the tale, he defied the emperor Claudius II by continuing to marry young couples long after marriage had been outlawed by imperial decree, Claudius having got it into his head that the shortage of recruits to the army was due to the fact that married men made reluctant soldiers.

Very timely, as modern couples now marry in defiance of emperor Bushiass II (self-proclaimed "wartime emperor" and reluctant solider), who seeks to outlaw marriage by constitutional decree.

Friday, February 13, 2004

Watching Scotty Blow

Chuuby-faced liar Scott McClellan doesn't like it when the press questions his boss. According to this report at Washingtonian magazine's online site, Scotty almost blew his stack when Helen Thomas asked whether Bush was performing mandatory community service in his TANG days:

Thomas had gotten a tip that Bush might have been absent from duty in Alabama because he was performing court-ordered community service in Texas in 1972. She asked McClellan if that was accurate.

According to reporters in the press room, McClellan got red-faced and became so angry, it looked to some as if he were ready to pounce. He characterized the question as coming from "gutter politics."

Thomas, who has covered every president since Dwight Eisenhower and now writes a column for Hearst, was not fazed. "I think they are getting pretty nervous about this," she said Friday afternoon. "I've learned over the years that when you put out records, it often leads to more questions."

Give'm hell, Helen.

A Pickle, Not A Pickler

Let's hear it for a true law-and-order conservative, U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms William Pickler. Mr. Pickler, a former Secret Service agent, refuses to let thugs from the majority party escape justice. An A.P. article written by Robert Gehrke (not Gherkin) states:

There is "no doubt" that Republican staffers acted improperly in accessing Democratic strategy memos on judicial nominees, the Senate's sergeant-at-arms said Wednesday, as he defended his investigation into the incident.

"There is no doubt that what was done by certain people was certainly improper. There is no way of getting around it," Sergeant-at-Arms William Pickle said in an interview with The Associated Press.

When the Repukes and their allies are whining that the investigation by Pickle consitutes government waste, they fail to mention that patriot Pickle was picked for his post by that pickled peckerwood, Bill Frist.

And watch for Manny Miranda in an upcoming edition of the Grand Old Police Blotter.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Scoobie Davis reports that Alan Colmes (unlike Kaus) has a sack. Watch for an update.

Replacing The Chimp With Kaus Won't Help, Dennis

The Chicago Tribune reports:

"Miller's disconcertingly flaccid attempts to meld jokes on the news, serious political commentary, conservative hero worship and the chimp were greeted by a huge-by-CNBC-standards initial audience of 746,000 viewers, but they seem to be plummeting.

Week one averaged 540,000 viewers for the first airings of new shows; week two pulled in less than half, just 261,000."
Flaccid. That sounds about right.

Or, as Dennis might say, if it was written on a cue card in front of him: "Flaccid? The Exxon Vald-eez full of Cialis and a piece of steel rebar shoved down my urethral opening couldn't revive my tired schtick at this point!"

Who Is Maria Goodman?

And why does Kaus lack the stones to print her name?


Eric Alterman says that the first time he saw Ann Coulter on CNBC (or MSNBC, same difference) she was spewing bile at a disabled veteran of the Vietnam war. It's no surprise that she hasn't evolved. TBogg points out that, contrary to Coulter's lie, Senator Max Cleland was the victim of a grenade dropped by a fellow solider, not a victim of his own error. I could not agree more with Tom's statement:

Ann Coulter shouldn't even be allowed to speak Max Cleland's name. And she shouldn't be allowed to get away with smearing him in order to prop up a lying fratboy coward who hid out in the National Guard and then couldn't even bother to show up for work. There's no bravery in lying about a man who showed up to do his job and paid the price that Cleland did. And it's too bad that Cleland doesn't have a leg left to kick Coulter's skinny ass back to Connecticut.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

The Last Detail

Atrios already has this one too:

Bush moved to Alabama unit without Air Force permission


New York Daily News

NEW YORK - (KRT) - George W. Bush left his Texas Air National Guard assignment and moved to Alabama in 1972 even though the Air Force denied his request for a transfer, according to his military records.

In fact, Bush did not even ask for an official transfer until nine days after he moved to Alabama in May 1972.

The Air Force quickly rejected Bush's request, saying the fighter pilot was "ineligible" to move to the Alabama unit Bush wanted - a squadron of postal handlers.

But they were shark-infested mailbags!

Newspapers With Blogs has a new blog entitled "White House Briefing," written by Dan Froomkin. Froomkin says "Check here weekday mornings for a quick look at the most interesting items about the president and his staff from major newspaper, magazine and broadcast Web sites and weblogs."

Inexplicably, however, he links to this post at Roger Ailes. Look out "Dean" Broder, your reign as king of cliche and stale conventional wisdom is almost over!

(Thanks to John Dillinger (the reader, not the deceased bank robbed shot to death while exiting a Chicago movie theater)).

The Moonie Times also has a new blog, Insider (username:; password: prudenbigot). Here's a representative sample:

Some Republicans are already worrying about President Bush's at-times detached demeanor during his Sunday "Meet the Press" interview. Is he heading down the same road as his father, who many complain didn't try hard enough during his re-election campaign? It's hard to believe Karl Rove would let that happen.

Whoa! Now that's inside! It's like being present in the White House, yet dead.

The Moonie-Sampley Connection

Today's Moonie Times quotes Sampley:

"If you mention Jane Fonda's name to a Vietnam veteran, it's a lightning-rod reaction," says Ted Sampley, publisher of the U.S. Veteran Dispatch and staunch opponent of Mr. Kerry. "She was supposed to be antiwar, but she clearly sided with one of the belligerents, which precludes her from being antiwar. She was a partisan."

Mr. Sampley first saw the photograph Monday on the Internet and purchased it for his online newsletter. He saw it pop up elsewhere, and he soon began receiving e-mail messages from readers who had seen the photograph.

The enemies of truth are pulling out all the stops. Bring it on!

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Hypocrite Watch

Will any of the wingnuts offended to the brink of hysteria by the the Palm Beach State's Attorney's subpoena of Big Pharma's medical records raise a peep about this?

A move by U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft to subpoena the medical records of 40 patients who received so-called partial-birth abortions at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago was halted -- at least temporarily -- when a Chicago federal judge quashed the information request.

The ruling is the first in a series of subpoenas by the U.S. Justice Department seeking the medical records of patients from seven physicians and at least five hospitals, Crain's sister publication Modern Healthcare has learned. Besides Northwestern, Mr. Ashcroft is seeking patient records from University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers in Ann Arbor; Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia, owned by Tenet Healthcare Corp.; Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medical Center of New York Presbyterian Hospital both of which are part of the New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System; and an unidentified San Francisco-area hospital.

Of course, unlike in Big Pharma's case, there's no probable cause to believe that any these patients were involved in a crime.

This should be front-page news, not buried in a regional business publication. And if the Cyst-kissing hypocrites address this abuse at all, it will be to praise the Crisco Kid and deny the existence of a right to privacy. Kudos to District Judge Charles Kocoras for protecting these patients' rights!

(Link via TAPped -- Pass it on!)

Lunatics Make Strange Bedfellows

A month or so ago, slaphead Armstrong Williams was writing that "[i]n a culture that is increasingly vain and materialistic, [Michael] Jackson's rise and fall is a signpost for our great moral task: the need to carve out an immutable foundation that will help us quell the savagery that is innate to human beings." Today, Williams says to Jacko, "You rock my world."

[Armstrong] Williams denied he is now an official spokesman [for Michael Jackson] but appeared on two news shows yesterday with a new take on the man whose makeovers and child sleepovers he has slammed.

"I was more surprised after speaking to him," he told ABC's "Good Morning America." "I always perceived him as someone feeble and weak and soft-spoken. I was stunned at the strength of character."

The Daily News did not disclose whether Armstrong sent Jackson an autographed copy of his slender volume, Letters to A Young Victim.

Sampley Disgusting

Scoobie Davis also points us to a Joe Conason column on Ted Sampley, the scumbag behind the Vietnam Veterans Against John Kerry website. Here's how Sampley smeared John McCain, a Vietnam P.O.W. when McCain ran against AWOL Bush:

"Sampley ... accused McCain of being a weak-minded coward who had escaped death by collaborating with the enemy. Sampley claimed that McCain had first been compromised by the Vietnamese, then recruited by the Soviets.

"To those who know McCain and are familiar with his behavior in captivity, the charge is ludicrous. McCain resisted his captors to such a degree that he was isolated in a special prison for troublemakers. He repeatedly refused special favors, including early release, and emerged as a spiritual and religious leader for other prisoners. Nonetheless, Sampley was persistent enough in his claims that the press in McCain's home state of Arizona picked up on the KGB story."

In 1992, Sampley wrote a long article that portrayed McCain as a "Manchurian candidate," who had betrayed America to the North Vietnamese and then enlisted as a secret Communist agent. But it wasn't until seven years later that the celebrated Navy pilot and ex-POW found out how much damage such smears could inflict. After McCain declared his presidential candidacy in 1999, Sampley revived the "Manchurian candidate" smear as a convenient weapon for the Senator's political enemies. Some of them, including the prominent conservative Paul Weyrich and Richard Mellon Scaife's Newsmax Web site, didn't hesitate to pick up the slimy stuff generated by Sampley. The fringe assault on McCain, amplified by the likes of Weyrich and talk radio, caused grave injury to his campaign during the pivotal South Carolina primary.

Conason points out that Kerry defended McCain against these smears, calling Sampley a stupid ass. I hope McCain will return the favor.

In the meantime, expect other stupid asses and chinless idiots to link to Sampley's scumbag website.

Update (2/11): A reader e-mailed a link to a page reprinting the chapter on Sampley from the book Prisoners of Hope by Susan Katz Keating. (Conason links to this site as well.)

Regular readers of Roger Ailes undoubtedly are sick of my tirades against Howard Kurtz and his whorish "media column." But before I give it a rest, I feel compelled to point out that today's Media Notes Extra is particularly grotesque.

Howie's column isn't really about the media at all, but rather a selective rehash of a ten-month-old Boston Globe series on John Kerry. He starts out inauspiciously:

The Boston Globe revisited the era in its seven-part series on the Massachusetts senator last year, and I've slogged through it again so you don't have to. The series also casts a slightly different light on Kerry's Vietnam heroics.

And you can't slog through it, Howie fails to provide a link.

While Howie claims the series "casts a different light on Kerry's Vietnam heroics," he mainly avoids the part of the series which actually addresses Kerry's time in Vietnam and, with one exception, quotes entirely from Part 3, which addresses Kerry's activities in the United States after serving after Vietnam. Howie cites cheap shots from Tricky Dick and his criminal crew: Charles Colson, H.R. Halderman and Spiro Agnew.

Most offensively, Kurtz claims that "Kerry had testified that some U.S. soldiers had raped, mutilated and randomly shot at civilians, shot cattle and dogs for fun and otherwise behaved abominably." This lie -- which has been repeated by lowlifes like Mark "Shite" Steyn and Sean Hannity -- has been exposed by bloggers Scoobie Davis, who quotes what Kerry actually said. On this point, it must be said that the Boston Globe article is no better, misquoting Kerry as well. But Kurtz doesn't mind repeating a smear if he can attribute it to someone else, including convicted criminals like Colson and admitted felons like Agnew.

Band of Brothers

John Kerry has appeared at numerous campaign events with the fellow veterans who served along side him in Vietnam (and made it home alive).

Anyone seen Bush's band of brothers?

Me, neither.

And neither has Scott "Tissue of Lies" McClellan:

Q. Scott, when Senator Kerry goes around campaigning, there's frequently what they call "a band of brothers," a bunch of soldiers who served with him, who come forward and give testimonials for him. I see, in looking at our files in the campaign of 2000, it said that you were looking for people who served with him to verify his account of service in the National Guard. Has the White House been able to find, like Senator Kerry, "a band of brothers" or others who can testify about the President's service?

MR. McCLELLAN: All the information that we have we shared with you in 2000, that was relevant to this issue. And all the additional information that has come to our attention we have shared with you. The President was asked about this in his interview over the weekend, and the President made it clear, yes, I want all records to be made available that are relevant to this issue; that there are some out there that were making outrageous, baseless accusations. It was a shame that they brought it up four years ago. It was a shame that they brought it up again this year. And I think that the facts are very clear from these documents. These documents -- the payroll records and the point summaries verify that he was paid for serving and that he met his requirements.

Q. Actually, I wasn't talking about documents, I was talking about people -- you know, comrades-in-arms --

MR. McCLELLAN: Right. That's why I said everything that came to our attention that was available, we made available at that time, during the 2000 campaign.

Q. But you said you were looking for people -- and I take it you didn't find any people?

MR. McCLELLAN: I mean, obviously, we would have made people available. And we -- Mr. Lloyd, who has provided a statement to put some of this into context for everybody, made some public statements during that time period to verify the records that the President had fulfilled his duties. And he put out an additional statement now to put this into context. He's someone with some technical expertise and someone that understands these matters, because he was in the National Guard at the time.

Q. Scott, can I follow on this, because I do think this is important. You know, it might strike some as odd that there isn't anyone who can stand up and say, I served with George W. Bush in Alabama, or in Houston in the Guard unit. Particularly because there are people, his superiors who have stepped forward -- in Alabama and in Houston -- who have said in the past several years that they have no recollection of him being there and serving. So isn't that odd that nobody -- you can't produce anyone to corroborate what these records purport to show?

MR. McCLELLAN: David, we're talking about some 30 years ago. You are perfectly welcome to go back and talk to individuals from that time period. But these documents --

What? Did Bush perform his duties in solitary confinement? Was he testing a top secret Flightsuit of Invisibility? He can't remember the names of anyone who he served under, or who served with him?

The United Halliburtons of Bin Laden

Josh Marshall quips:

Given the president's record as a businessman, and since he's now run the country hopelessly into debt, isn't it about time he sells the country off to some rich friends who will swallow the loss so he can move on to greener pastures?
Judith Miller is to Ahmed Chalabi as Sue Schmidt is to Ken Starr

Judy Miller, transcriptionist for the Iraqi National Congress and its fabulists, admits she makes shit up ... in e-mails:

The Times's Judith Miller has been the subject of harsh criticism. Slate, The Nation, Editor & Publisher, the American Journalism Review, and the Columbia Journalism Review have all run articles accusing her of being too eager to accept official claims before the war and too eager to report the discovery of banned weapons after it Especially controversial has been Miller's alleged reliance on Chalabi and the defectors who were in touch with him. Last May, Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post wrote of an e-mail exchange between Miller and John Burns, then the Times bureau chief in Baghdad, in which Burns rebuked Miller for writing an article about Chalabi without informing him. Miller replied that she had been covering Chalabi for about ten years and had "done most of the stories about him for our paper." Chalabi, she added, "has provided most of the front page exclusives on WMD to our paper."

When asked about this, Miller said that the significance of her ties to Chalabi had been exaggerated. While she had met some defectors through him, she said, only one had resulted in a front-page story on WMD prior to the war. Her assertion that Chalabi had provided most of the Times's front-page exclusives on WMD was, she said, part of "an angry e-mail exchange with a colleague." In the heat of such exchanges, Miller said, "You say things that aren't true. If you look at the record, you'll see they aren't true."


I asked Miller about her December 20, 2001, article about Saeed al-Haideri, the Chalabi-linked defector who claimed that Saddam Hussein had a network of hidden sites for producing and storing banned weapons -- sites said to include the ground under Saddam Hussein Hospital. In a subsequent piece about the Bush administration's use of defectors, Miller had stated that al-Haideri's interviews with US intelligence had "resulted in dozens of highly credible reports on Iraqi weapons-related activity and purchases." Yet neither UN inspectors nor the Iraq Survey Group was able to confirm any of those reports. Al-Haideri, Miller acknowledges, "might have been totally wrong, but I believe he was acting in good faith, and it was the best we could do at the time."

To this day, neither Miller nor the Times as a whole has reported on the failure to confirm al-Haideri's claims. ...

Looking back at her coverage of Iraq's weapons, Miller insists that the problem lies with the intelligence, not the reporting. "The fact that the United States so far hasn't found WMD in Iraq is deeply disturbing. It raises real questions about how good our intelligence was. To beat up on the messenger is to miss the point."
The stupidity defense. Remember it whenever you see Miller's byline.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Howie's Spin Cycle

Konflict of Interest Kurtz puts words in the mouths of unnamed "liberals":

Bush is getting bashed from both sides of the spectrum, but liberals are more likely to skewer Russert as well, saying he wasn't aggressive enough in the Oval Office setting. Although I wonder whether they would have been satisfied with any interview that didn't end with Bush admitting error and begging forgiveness.

Bullshit. First, I haven't seen any liberal saying Russert "wasn't aggressive enough in the Oval Office setting." The setting is irrelevant. Kurtz is the only one with the delusion that tough questioning inside the Oval Office is "rude." If a journo can't ask tough questions in the Oval Office, she or he shouldn't set foot inside it. All the liberal/left critiques of Russert I've read have given specific examples where Russert left a false statement unchallenged. Surely one can expect Russert to conduct a competent interview without expecting Bush to admit his incompetency.


Just read it.

(This too.)

Free Advertising

The Book on Bush by Eric Alterman and Mark Green. Buy it before the November election sends it to the remainder bins.

Know the enemy.

Update: You can buy it here as well.


David Corn has the best analysis of the Bush interview (i.e., the one I agree with the most). Corn says:

I waited for Russert to pounce on Bush. But no pounce came. Russert asked Bush why he insisted on cutting taxes in wartime (when every other wartime president since the Civil War has raised taxes). Once more Bush had the chance to pull out one of his stock lines: "I believe the best way to stimulate the economic growth is to allow people to keep more of their own money." Haven't we heard this before? Unfortunately, that could be said about much of what came out of Bush this hour.

Meanwhile, Howie the Obsequious Putz argues for a double standard:

But [Russert] did not cut off the president the way he would any other long-winded guest. Perhaps that would have seemed too rude. The result was more like a press conference, where each question was followed by a long, discursive answer.

Rude? Heaven forfend!

In his online column, Howie usually quotes his right-wing pals (NRO, Peg) on an appearance like this. Today he doesn't, not surprisingly.

Putzie does have a good item on Bill O'Reilly lying about his book sales and Sen. Clinton's.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Top Fun

While Pumpkinhead was choking the chickenhawk yesterday, the following ejaculation was heard:

"I served -- I flew fighters and enjoyed it, and provided a service to our country."

War is fun, said the wartime president. That explains a lot.

Of course, Big Russ knew not to ask the follow up:

"Mr. Bush, after you refused to take a physical in 1972, and were grounded by the National Guard, what service did you provide to our country?"
Why didn't you put that document on the screen, Big Russ?

Saturday, February 07, 2004

His approval number isn't the only thing that's shrinking.

(I'd do a caption contest but I can't post graphics. Anything suggested here couldn't be more inaccurate than the actual caption.)

From everything I've read so far, the predictions of Pumpkinhead's dive were spot on.

Request for Assistance

I'm looking for idiot-proof assistance in the form of instructions on how to (1) narrow the gray band on the right side of the screen and (2) increase the font size for the text. When I started the blog someone (I believe it was skippy) kindly offered some instructions on how to narrow the gray margin, but at the time I decided to play it safe, recognizing that I am a tech moron. Preferably, the instructions would include advice as to how to return to the present settings if I screw up the template with the changes. Also, if Blogger won't allow me to make these changes, it would be appreciated if someone could let me know that. Please send any advice to the address.

As a show of appreciation, anyone who offers advice will receive a free lifetime subscription to Roger Ailes, the weblog.

Not Much There

A nice way to start your Saturday.

The New Republic slaps its one of its nominal editors, Sully. Linking to the Annenberg Center "analysis" on the AWOL issue, Sully says:

THE DESERTER CHARGE: Here's a useful primer. Not much there.

Of the Annenberg Center report, TNR says today:

But Bush supporters might want to think twice before citing that study, which is but a slight paper showing about the level of rigorous analysis you'd expect from a White House press release. For starters, it merely compares different media accounts, ignoring the fact that the Globe's investigation drew on hundreds of records and numerous interviews with military officials, whereas other news stories counted the rebuttals of Bush's staff as heavily as military documents and testimony by his commanding officer. Indeed, the only original research the Annenberg folks seem to have done is an interview with, of all people, White House spokesman Dan Bartlett, who dodges the entire question by saying that "the bottom line is he met his minimum requirements for that year." Absurdly, the report presents this as proof that Bush never skipped town, even though Bartlett was talking about what Bush did in 1973, when what's in question is what he did in 1972. But the report's biggest idiocy is its premise that, just because Bush did not technically desert or go awol, the criticisms of his military record are somehow irrelevant. But no one believes that Bush fled combat--he was never even in combat. Rather, critics charge--and, Bartlett notwithstanding, the evidence concurs--that Bush didn't fulfill his military obligations during a time of war. Needless to say, if the Annenberg study is the best dog the GOP can muster, then the DNC chairman has picked the right fight.

Choose one of the following:

(1) Indeed.

(2) Heh.

(3) Ouch.

(4) Advantage: TNR!

(5) Think twice? Sully don't play that!

Friday, February 06, 2004

Quarterhack Sack

At, Gregg Easterhack gripes about how District Court Judge Shira Sheindlin's decision in the Maurice Clarrett case will "harm pro football," and raves about how great the NFL is. (Especially compared to the sucky NBA.) He doesn't mention, however, that he's an employee of the NFL. TNR doesn't mention it either.

Undoubtedly many people know Easterbrook's connection to the NFL; maybe even most of the people who bother to read an item about the NFL. But surely many people don't know it. So why hide the conflict of interest?

Easterbrook claims to write as a champion of young athletes, "most of them African American," who he thinks will be harmed by the decision. He says high school athletes who go directly to the pros will make big money, but won't learn the fundamentals, as they would in college. But you'd think that if the pros are paying large sums for winning athletes, they might actually want to maximize the return on their investment by teaching their highly-paid players the fundamentals. For that matter, if 19-year-olds are inherently inferior to college-trained players, why does Easterbrook fear that the 32 "divisions" of his employer -- all of whom purportedly "hav[e] a shared interest in keeping product quality high" -- will irrationally opt to throw money at the less-qualified youngsters?

Easterbrook also worries that high schoolers who go pro might lose out on their one chance for a free higher education. Well, maybe so, but those educations will go to other student-athletes, including some who might want them a little more. (And the ones who go pro will earn enough to cover tuition if they want a higher education later. You can still get through four years of Stanford on $11.9 million, right?)

It's a complex issue, and I'm sure there are some athletes who would benefit more in the long-term by deferring entry into the pros. But Easterbrook doesn't offer a particularly nuanced -- or objective -- look at the matter.

Patriots Gamed

Who will Larry Silberman blame for the so-called intelligence failures: career government employees or the political appointees in the White House?

Oooh, the suspense is killing me.

Bonus question: Which of his fellow commission members will Silberman threaten to punch out first?

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Press The Meat

Pumpkinhead is in the Oval Office for the Bush interview. The Democratic Party's nominee will want to bookmark this page for future reference.

Look for (1) "hard questions" phrased in such an open-ended manner that Bush can answer them in any way he likes ("you're a fiscal conservative, but what about the deficit?," "is this country really safer since 9/11?"); (2) no gotcha quotes, unanticipated topics or facts and figures; (3) ample opportunity to either bash the Dems or claim the high road ("I'm too busy protecting the country to pay attention to what the Democrats say").

Only Fred Flintstone on crack would think Russert will rough Bush up. How's Russert going to "play[] those you-said-this-in-1999 clips" when the Administration won't allow a television monitor in the Oval Office, Putzie?

Update (2/5): The interview will be taped on Saturday, and Bush has already announced his agenda (intelligence and the "pursuing the war on terrorism"). We will get a real-time interview or Karl Rove's director's cut?

Easterhack, The East Coast Kaus

Here's some pretty definitive evidence that Gregg Easterbrook can't read. Following some introductory ass-kissing of Joe Lieberman, Easterbrook writes:

Over on "Larry King Live," Howard Dean was asked why his candidacy seemed to lose steam beginning around the time Al Gore endorsed him. Here is Dean's answer:
Because the establishment in Washington really realized that I might be the nominee and they did not like that. The media folks didn't like it, the other folks in the race didn't like it, and they did everything they could to make sure we weren't [successful].
This is a fairly loopy conspiracy theory. The big change since about the time of the Gore endorsement is that voters have begun to speak. Rightly or wrongly, voters are choosing Kerry and Edwards. Before actual voting began, Dean's campaign was all ephemera--polls, media attention, Internet action. Then voters weighed in, and the voters are picking someone else. Does Howard Dean seriously believe that "the establishment in Washington" somehow secretly controls the way people vote? If so let's hear the evidence, please.

Of course, Dean said nothing about a conspiracy, or about Washington "controling the way people vote." Dean declaring that the other hopefuls "did everything they could to make sure we weren't [the nomineel]" is such a non-controversial statement that it's banal. And certainly alot of Washington insiders and media types attacked Dean -- and those attacks increased at the time of (and in part because of) the Gore endorsement. What Dean doesn't say is that the insiders and the media and the other candidates conspired against him. Either Easterschmuck can't read or he's deliberately pretending that Dean said something he didn't.

(Here's the transcript -- which Easterbrook doesn't link to -- for context.)

If it's possible to win a Koufax with just four words, these are the words:

"owner of a fivehead..."


Dennis Prager, An Obscene Joke

My close personal friend, Jeff Jacoby, delivers a solid b-----slap to that lying f---head, Dennis Prager. You'll recall Prager the Prat penned the following:

To the rest of America, however, when a man who runs for president deliberately uses the f-word in an interview with a national magazine, it is cause for concern. Nearly all non-liberals and even some liberals would regard such a person as one who has a different understanding of what preserves our civilization.

...The issue here is the public use of expletives.

But if [Kerry] uses the f-word in public in an interview, that is the public's concern. Many people do not understand this public-private distinction. That is why some callers to my radio show objected that I had never criticized President Bush's use of the word "a--hole" to describe a New York Times reporter. I explained that the president used the word only in a private remark to Dick Cheney when he assumed there was no microphone present.

The difference between using an expletive when you think no one can hear you and when you want the world to hear you should be obvious to everyone. But in part due to the unprecedentedly large number of people who have attended college, the obvious often needs to be explained.

If you are a Democrat and it troubles you that General Clark is proud to have Madonna's endorsement, that celebrates by having a curse-in, and Senator Kerry uses the f-word in a magazine interview, you might want to reconsider your party affiliation. The Democratic Party has earned a reputation as a poor defender of our civilization against external threats. In fact, it has become a poor defender of our civilization. Period.

The dips--t following that column with this one:

That is why I am not troubled to learn that President Bush once used the f-word privately when speaking about the monster known as Saddam Hussein. Frankly, I am somewhat relieved to know he is real, not a saint (saints shouldn't be presidents -- I suspect that Jimmy Carter, a particularly poor president, never used such language), and to know that he really hated a man worthy of hate. However, had the president deliberately used the word in an interview and not immediately apologized, I would question his commitment to the rules of decency that make our civilization better. That is why what Sen. Kerry did frightens me....

We who are not on the Left think public cursing is a big deal, because we believe that people can pollute their soul, their character, and, yes, their society, just as they can pollute their rivers and their air and their lungs.

My friend Jeff reminds us of the following:

George W. Bush (in 1999) to Talk magazine: "They think it's like a high school election. . . . They've lost their f[uck]ing minds."
And then there's this:

"'What do rich businessmen say when the man they just given money to tells them that getting rich isn't a noble pursuit? Bush doesn't even wait for me to finish the question. 'I don't care. I really don't care. Does anyone ever say 'Fuck you'? I don't care if they do,' he barks."

Hey Dennis.... F--k you! And keep up the good work, Jeff.

A Roger Ailes Declaration of Principles

A troubling rumor is spreading through the blogosphere like wildfire: It appears there are people who publish blogs who don't use their real name when writing. Can you imagine?

As I understand it, this is wrong because while you can debate these bloggers on the substance of their writings, you can't ridicule their mothers or poke fun at their fish-belly complexions and romantic and social faux-pas.

I hope that all my readers are as shocked and disgusted as I am by this phenomena.

(And remember: You can only trust a blogger who reprints anonymous e-mails under his or her real name.)

If UPI's Plamegate report holds up, the most overused phase of 2004 will be:

"The criminalization of policy differences"

Shhh.... If you listen closely, you can hear them practicing now.

Who Are Scooter and Hannah?

Talk Left links to a UPI report that two of Dick Cheney's men, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and John Hannah, are the focus of the FBI's investigation of the Plame leak. (Warning: link is to the Moonie rag, Insight.)

Federal law-enforcement officials said that they have developed hard evidence of possible criminal misconduct by two employees of Vice President Dick Cheney's office related to the unlawful exposure of a CIA officer's identity last year. The investigation, which is continuing, could lead to indictments, a Justice Department official said.

According to these sources, John Hannah and Cheney's chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, were the two Cheney employees. "We believe that Hannah was the major player in this," one federal law-enforcement officer said. Calls to the vice president's office were not returned, nor did Hannah and Libby return calls.

The strategy of the FBI is to make clear to Hannah "that he faces a real possibility of doing jail time" as a way to pressure him to name superiors, one federal law-enforcement official said.

Who are these two men?

On Libby:

Libby and Cheney, in highly unusual moves, visited the CIA several times before the war, in what many observers saw as an attempt to pressure analysts to produce more damaging assessments about Saddam Hussein's arsenal or any connection with al-Qaida.

According to a Washington Post report on Monday, Cheney and Libby continued to press the story about 9/11 hijacker Mohammad Atta's meeting with an Iraqi spy in Prague long after the intelligence community had dismissed it. The two even insisted, on the eve of Secretary of State Colin Powell's presentation to the United Nations Security Council last February, that the charge be included in Powell's indictment of Iraq defying the council's resolutions.

On Hannah:

For months, Cheney's office has denied that the veep bypassed U.S. intelligence agencies to get intel reports from the INC [Iraqi National Congress]. But a June 2002 memo written by INC lobbyist Entifadh Qunbar to a U.S. Senate committee lists John Hannah, a senior national-security aide on Cheney's staff, as one of two "U.S. governmental recipients" for reports generated by an intelligence program being run by the INC and which was then being funded by the State Department. Under the program, "defectors, reports and raw intelligence are cultivated and analyzed"; the info was then reported to, among others, "appropriate governmental, non-governmental and international agencies." The memo not only describes Cheney aide Hannah as a "principal point of contact" for the program, it even provides his direct White House telephone number. The only other U.S. official named as directly receiving the INC intel is William Luti, a former military adviser to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich who, after working on Cheney's staff early in the Bush administration, shifted to the Pentagon, where he oversaw a secretive Iraq war-planning unit called the Office of Special Plans.

On both:

Both administration officials said members of Cheney's staff, including chief of staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby and John Hannah, the deputy assistant for national security affairs, had worked closely with aides to Rumsfeld to promote the ideas that Iraq had hidden chemical and biological weapons, maintained ties to al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations, and posed an immediate danger to the United States and its allies.

Busy boys. And they might get a whole lot busier.

Via Pandagon, we see that Nooners is asking the big questions:

Justin Timberlake: Evil or Retarded?

I'm particularly gratified to see that Nooners and I have singled out the same assinine quote from Mickey Kaus: her for praise, me for ridicule. Such validation is a true honor.