Thursday, June 30, 2005

My Favorite Things

On a regular basis, the most interesting part of this blog is the comments.

Take for example the recent thoughtful and informed dialogue about author Shelby Foote, which begins here. It's a blessing to have such contributors -- both those who agree and disagree with the proprietor. And not just those commenting on that particular post.

Not to mention the absence of trolls.

The Illustrated Dasen

As Dick Dasen awaits sentencing, the Missoula Independent has an interesting article on the case, accompanied by some rather disturbing, yet funny illustrations of the case.

My favorite is Number 3, "The Verdict Is Announced."

Meet Your Liberal Media: Incest Is Best Edition

Mr. Novak has hardly hidden from public view in the midst of the Plame case. On Thursday, he traveled to Mr. Hunt's house for a party for the end of "Capital Gang." Among those on hand were Mr. Strauss, a guest on the program's pilot episode, as well as Senators Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, and John McCain, Republican of Arizona.


Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Big Changes at Eschaton

"And, finally, number 10, Mallard Filmore will be the daily comic because there's nothing funnier than a duck reading John Stossel transcripts."

Funnier than Day By Day, the less appealing alternative to pancreatic cancer?


If the Iraq war is all about terrorism...and always was....

Aren't "Mission Accomplished" and the "end of major combat operations" even more blatant lies than under any of the previous justifications?

Current Huffington Post Blogroll Status: On

Check it out before it changes again.

The only explanation I can think of is a careless or incompetent tech person using an old template.

Or Arianna's back on the bottle.

Mark Fuhrman, Jeb Bush's Conscience?

Steve M. at No More Mister Nice blog predicted it, and now it can be confirmed.

In "his" new "book," Silent Witness, racist shitstain Mark Fuhrman directly calls on George Bush and Jeb Bush to investigate the purportedly mysterious circumstances surrounding Terri Schiavo's collapse. (It's on the second or third to last page, which I read at Target today.) The loathsome L.A.P.D. thug insinuates in the book that Michael Schiavo attempted to kill his wife.

The Shindlers, who cooperated with the shitstain, learned of the shitstain's theory from the shitstain himself.

The Schindlers learned about the discrepancy in Michael Schiavo's recollections recently as a result of a timeline reconstructed by former Los Angeles detective Mark Fuhrman, according to Schindler lawyer Barb Weller.

Fuhrman, known for pleading guilty to perjury after the O.J. Simpson trial, put together a chronology for a book he is about to release on the Schiavo case.
Two weeks ago, Jeb picked up on the lunatic theory, and asked the State's Attorney to investigate.

The only questions remaining are: Did Jeb act -- directly or indirectly -- at the urging of a lying racist scumbag? If not, where did Jeb get the lunatic idea?

p.s. -- Amazon is offering a discount for purchasers who order Ed Klein's The Case Against Hillary when they purchase Fuhrman's vile tome. Or, buy both at full price, and get The Turner Diaries for free.

Son of A Snitch

Chris Hitchens recycles.

November 11, 2002:

One hopes that the next implication is inadvertent, but the clear suggestion is that there ought not to be civilian control of the military. What—have callow noncombatants giving brisk orders to grizzled soldiers? How could Lincoln have fired the slavery-loving Gen. George B. McClellan, or Truman dismissed the glorious Douglas MacArthur? During the defense of Washington, Lincoln became the first and last president to hear shots fired in anger. Donald Rumsfeld was at his desk in the Pentagon when the plane hit, but probably is no better and no worse a defense secretary for that.

June 28, 2005:

Much more important than this, however, is the implied assault on civilian control of the military. In this republic, elected civilians give crisp orders to soldiers and expect these orders to be obeyed. No back chat can even be imagined, let alone allowed. Do liberals really want the Joint Chiefs to say: "Mr. President, I'll respect that order when you have a son or daughter in uniform"? It was a great day when President Lincoln fired Gen. George B. McClellan.* It was a great day when President Truman fired Gen. Douglas MacArthur. No presidential brat needed to be on the front line for this point to be understood.

Of course, Hitch's real insult to the reader's intelligence is his repeated claim that identifying armchair warriors who are unwilling to make any personal sacrifice for a supposedly just war is the equivalent of opposing civilian control of the military. This is pure nonsense. In particular, opposing this war means opposing the military brass's promotion of the Iraq war against the will of a growing majority who oppose this war.

Update (6/30): Retardo at Elementropy points out that Hitch's views on chickenhawkery have, uh, evolved and become more nuanced. Yeah, that's it!

Moronic Tech Writing

"When Caterina Fake arrives at the end of a plane flight, she snaps a photo of the baggage carousel with her camera phone to assure her mother, who views the photo on a Web page minutes later, that she has traveled safely."

Because using the friggin' phone to call her mother would be totally stupid, and a hassle. And because she's got a photosharing website to promote.

If Fake really cared about her mom, she'd do a podcast on the way to the baggage claim.

James Guckert's Doing It, Why Shouldn't She?

Propagandist Judith Miller has started a blog. So far, it's got less original writing than James Guckert's Talon News articles. And she says it isn't a blog, because she's got a full-time job writing for the Times. (And because some other schmuck's doing all the posting.)

According to Editor and Publisher, Miller claims she put the site up yesterday. But the "News" section contains posts dated May 18.

Oh, well. Close enough for government work.

Prediction Time

Which Republican scandal, and developments therefrom, will lead to the first (a) resignation, (b) indictment and (c) conviction? Which will lead to the most, and the highest-level, of each?

  1. DeLay/Abramoff
  2. Coingate
  3. CunningScam (per J.M. Marshall)
  4. Treasongate (Plame outing)
  5. Downing Street Memo (and other Iraq-fraud related)
  6. Other
  7. None, due to the Republicans' consolidation of power

This is only an exhibition, not a competition. Please, no wagering.

Son of Safliar

Grammar writer William Safire is back on the NYT editorial page, issuing orders on behalf of his partner in fraud, Judith F. Miller. Here's his list of terrorist demands:

1. The judge should resist the prosecutor's pressure for coercive, lengthy and possibly dangerous confinement. Judy won't crack and should not be made to suffer.

Uh, isn't all confinement coercive?

2. The prosecutor should submit an information bewailing his witness difficulties in fingering sources in false denial, but showing why no major national-security crime had been committed.

So much for the rule of law. Although I appreciate his plea for eliminating all federal prosecutions where "no major national-security crime" has been committed.

3. Mr. Novak should finally write the column he owes readers and colleagues perhaps explaining how his two sources - who may have truthfully revealed themselves to investigators - managed to get the prosecutor off his back.

Interesting. Safliar thinks that Novak's sources control the prosecution.

4. The Congress should urgently hold hearings on shield bills to conform federal practice to the states' laws based on Congress's 1975 directive to the Supreme Court to apply "reason and experience" to extending privilege - which the court did in its 1996 Jaffee decision to psychotherapists.

Uh, why does Congress need to follow its own directive to enact a shield law?

Safliar says "The contempt epidemic is spreading fast." Don't be so modest, Bill. Right-thinking people have loathed you for 30 years.

Now get the hell out of here, and take that jackass John Tierney with you before he summarizes another libertarian policy paper.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

One Foote In The Grave

Civil War historian and minor media darling Shelby Foote passed away today at age 88. A native Misissippian, Foote was known most widely for his appearances in the Ken Burns PBS series, The Civil War. He also a darling of C-SPAN, where one could watch to him speak about his love of Proust, his use of old-timey fountain pens and how he wrote in the nude.

Foote's obituaries portray him favorably as an anti-segregationist and "Southern gentleman."

Other reports portray a man who was living in the past. According to one account of a telephone interview between Foote and a writer Foote didn't realize was an African-American,

Foote defended his writings about Black soldiers, reported [San Francisco Examiner writer Noah] Griffin, and "during our phone conversation, he slipped into the Southern patois, referring to them as 'nigra,' then all the way to 'nigger soldiers.'

Griffin wrote an article based on the conversation, and an editor insisted he call Foote for confirmation on the "nigger soldiers" quote.

"He confessed that it was 'deep in his bones,' " wrote Griffin about the conversation that followed.

I haven't read Foote's books, so I can't comment on the claims regarding his writings in the linked article. But I did read the Griffin article (in print; I can't find it online). So whatever the literary merits of his writing, I'd have a great deal of trouble taking seriously Foote's opinions on history.

Bang the Drum, Slowly

Kevin Drum and other highly principled voices have told us we must be very, very sad that the Supreme Court refused to take up the case of Judith Miller and Matt Cooper or, at a minimum, that we must take a principled stand for or against a reporter's privilege and conceal, "posthaste," our glee at the prospect of Judy "Fucking" Miller in the pokey.

Kevin links to Garance Franke-Ruta at TAPped, who manages to mangle the facts in a remarkable fashion:

KUDOS. To Armando over at DailyKos for standing up against the media-bashing hordes and decrying the Supreme Court's decision to refer the question of whether there is such a thing as reporter's privilege back to the D.C. Court of Appeals, which had ruled that there is not.

But as the article Franke-Ruta links to makes clear, the Supreme Court isn't referring anything to the D.C. Court of Appeals. It declined review and the matter goes back to the District Court. And the issue of whether there is a reporter's privilege will not be relitigated in the District Court, or anywhere else in this particular case.

I can't get too excited about the absence of a protection for journalists which no one else enjoys. If you are not a reporter and had the same information that the prosecutor seeks from Miller and Cooper, and you refused to testify, you'd face the same penalty that Miller and Cooper face. And you wouldn't have a privilege to hide behind. I'd like to hear the principled explanation of why Miller and Cooper deserve special protection you and I don't have, solely because of their profession.

(And I'm not talking about that "are bloggers reporters" bullshit. I'm talking about everyone or no one.)

Can the power to compel reporters' testimony be abused, to silence whistleblowers? Sure. But, as the Plame case illustrates, the privilege can be abused to protect lawbreakers inside the government who use leaks to harm others.

As for Miller, the glee comes down to this: if you use anonymous sources to promote lies, especially ones with deadly consequences, you don't deserve sympathy when your promises to anonymous sources (albeit different ones) put you on the horns of a dilemma. And there's no hypocrisy involved in taking pleasure at the fact that Miller doesn't enjoy a privilege which clearly does not exist under current federal law. If Miller ever believed otherwise, she got some very bad advice.


The Maxim campaign, which began as a light-hearted swipe at so-called "metrosexuality", has received huge support from men. It has become so popular that there are even souvenir T-shirts and screensavers carrying slogans such as "don't manicure the man" and "walk like a man".

Screensavers. Can you get any more butch than that?

Next thing you know, a bunch of pasty blowhards will demonstrate their masculinity on the internet by incessantly demanding the deaths of "Islamists" from the safety of their Barcoloungers.

Update: P. O'Neill directs us to this image of the masculine ideal in that wingnutosphere. It's James Taranto, serving as ballast.

Monday, June 27, 2005

The comments function is working but the counter is not recording the comments. For example, the last post already has 86,341 comments.

It's one of those mysteries of the internet.

Please feel free to comment, or not, as you like.

Update: The counter appears to be working again. Score one for the power of positive whinging.


Over at Democratic Underground, Cell Whitman suggests that the Republicans might find a billionaire more acceptable than George Soros to purchase the Washington Nationals -- the one True Father, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon.

This could only lead to scandal and tragedy, when Nats' players are caught using their Holy Handkerchiefs to get a better grip on their bats.

As Whitman also points out, the purportedly independent Moonie Times is printing Moon press releases as straight news stories. And, look, the other Moonie rag, Insight has published the same press release. Editorial independence, my ass.

The post also indicates the Moonies owned two Brazilian football clubs, and are looking to purchase up to ten more. Brazilian authorities also suspect the Moonies of tax evasion. Now, there's a surprise.

Il Duce Speaks

Today, Fat Tony Scalia candidly acknowledged his dishonest, undemocratic power grab in the case of Bush v. Gore:

"What distinguishes the rule of law from the dictatorship of a shifting Supreme Court majority is the absolutely indispensable requirement that judicial opinions be grounded in consistently applied principle."

No, of course not. Il Duce would never be so honest.

Bigots for a Free Iran

Dennis Roddy of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has a good column on Swift Boat Bigot Jerome Corsi, co-author of the novel Unfit for Command. The disgraced freeper is attempting to portray himself as a champion of an Iranian freedom movement, presumably one populated by Iranians who don't mind being called murderous, child-raping ragheads.

We encourage Mr. Corsi to travel to Iran, so he can share his views with the Iranian people.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Number Four

"We share moral responsibility for the deaths of Americans and Iraqis in Iraq by publishing the lies of William Safire and Judith Miller."

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Recommended reading:

Glenn Reynolds Out-Stupids Himself

The Armstrong Williams NewsHour
Gen Sani Abacha, the late military dictator, stole between 1 billion and 3 billion [pounds] during his five-year rule.

"We are only now beginning to come to grips with some of what he did," Mr Nwajah said.

Nigeria has scoured the world for Abacha's assets but has recovered only about 500 million [pounds].

Have they asked Mariam Abacha (Mrs.), Widow of the Late Nigerian Head of State? She's hardly been discreet about this.


Tongue Bath

Rabbi Daniel Lapin, friend to scumbag lobbyist Jack Abramoff, claims that his agreement to fabricate credentials for Abramoff was "tongue-in-cheek."

Yes, it was.

And Lapin didn't mean that he was kidding.

Also of interest: Abramoff got Lapin's brother, David, a $1.2 million contract to protect sweatshops in the Northern Marianas Islands. And G_d has declared tax rates over 20 percent "an abomination unto the Lord."

Friday, June 24, 2005

Today the New York Times published yet another of its stereotype-laden "wacky Brits" stories. The subject of this one is the outcry over BBC News's new state-of-the-art, computer-generated weather map.

In the House of Commons, a Scottish legislator, Angus MacNeil, attacked the changes as rude and insulting to Scotland, saying the new map made it look disproportionately puny (the BBC has since made it bigger again).

In the House of Lords, Lord Pilkington, a Tory peer, said he was not pleased at all. "For the past two nights a gale has been blowing outside my house, but I did not hear anything about it on the weather forecast," he said.

Other viewers are complaining that the movement of the map makes them dizzy and nauseous.

I think the identical complaints caused CNN to cancel The Capital Gang.

Armstrong Williams, Math Major

The disgraced, but not sufficiently disgraced, conservative commentator shows us why he was on the payroll of the Bush Department of Education:

"Jackson had been accused of ten charges -- four counts of committing lewd acts with a child, four counts of plying the child with alcohol, and one count of holding the boy and his family against their will. The charges carried a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail."

Maybe it would help if you put dollar signs in front of the numbers, Armstrong.

A Booty Call Mind

Roger Ebert seems like a nice enough guy, but come on:

Chaz Ebert passionately extolled her husband as "my own shining star," calling him a "great man who has enormous intelligence, wit, humor, but most important a love for humanity, justice and people of every color of the rainbow," who has made audiences sensitive to the important issues of our day.

"While Roger has done so much for independent films, for small films," she said, "he also can appreciate studio films and big-budget movies.

"One day he'll be quoting Shakespeare, the next day it's all about 'Booty Call.' He truly is a critic who is of the people, by the people and for the people."

A day seems like an awful long turn-around time. Why can't Ebert quote Shakespeare and "Booty Call" on the same day -- in the same sentence, even?

Apparently Ebert doesn't love humanity enough not to warn it not to pay nine bucks to see "Mr. & Mrs. Smith."

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Lies My Teacher Told Me

An e-mail exchange between Jack Abramoff and wingnut Rabbi Daniel Lapin, starting with Abramoff:

I have been nominated for membership in the Cosmos Club, which is a very distinguished club in Washington, DC, comprised of Nobel Prize winners, etc. Problem for me is that most prospective members have received awards and I have received none. I was wondering if you thought it possible that I could put that I have received an award from Toward Tradition with a sufficiently academic title, perhaps something like Scholar of Talmudic Studies?... Indeed, it would be even better if it were possible that I received these in years past, if you know what I mean. Anyway, I think you see what I am trying to finagle here!

Indeed he did. "Mazel tov, the Cosmos Club is a big deal," Lapin replied. A few days, later the rabbi wrote again:

'Let's organize your many prestigous awards so they're ready to 'hang on the wall.'... I just need to know what needs to be produced. Letters? Plaques? Neither?

"Probably just a few clever titles of awards, dates and that's it," Abramoff replied.

More here.

Would it surprise you that Lapin is a mentor of that self-professed pillar of morality, Michael Medved? Me neither.

Lapin and his family relocated to Washington State in 1991, where he hosts a nationally syndicated weekly radio show.... Michael Medved also moved to Washington State around the same time as Lapin and hosts his own syndicated talk radio show based out of the same AM station in Seattle. Both Medved and Lapin promote conservative political principles, inter-mixed with traditional religious observance. Lapin was one of the Jewish voices in support of Mel Gibson's movie The Passion of the Christ, and was a strong supporter of Terri Schiavo's parents efforts to keep their daughter alive. He has declared that the Anti-Defamation League and its allies were "dangerous organizations, organizations that are driving a wedge between American Jews and Christians." ... Lapin believes the United States of America is the most Jewish-friendly state in history and that it is better for Jews to promote shared Judeo-Christian values with the majority. Lapin also rejects the idea that the Jewish left (which can be secular or even anti-religious) represents Judaism.

In fact, Medved sits on the Board of Directors of Toward Tradition, along with Jack Abramoff. He's just too modest to mention it nowdays, I'm sure.

This story should make Medved flip his toupee again, like when he called Hans Reimer a liar with no basis for doing so. It may also make him grimace more than usual.

I'm sure the righteous Medved will call for Lapin to be fired from his radio gig -- and turned out of Toward Tradition -- for fabricating unearned awards and honors.

There's more fun to be had at the Toward Tradition site, where you can buy the "Ten Commandments for Making Money" (Commandment No. 1: Thou shalt use the phone rather than e-mail when communicating with sleazebag lobbyists, dumbass) and read about the "Ethical Capitalism Project." You can also e-mail a question "you'd like to hear answered on Rabbi Lapin's radio or TV program," such as "how much for a 1992 degree in Talmudic Ethics, 9 by 12, and suitable for framing?"

We Have A Wiener

A Mr. D. Pantload of The Corner asks:

"Why shouldn't Bush go out there and say we need judges who appreciate that property rights are just as valuable as any other right, that the state shouldn't be able to seize your home to reward political contributors? He already has a lot of talking points about how owning a home is the ticket to the American dream."

Why indeed, Jonah. Why indeed.

I pray that some Bush supporter in the White House press corps asks Bush his thoughts on this important constitutional issue.

Update: Great minds (TBogg's) and mediocre minds (mine) think alike.

Just remember. When you read all the Bushlicking bloggers piss and moan about the New London decision -- They're all frauds.

In 1993, while walking through the stadium, Bush told the Houston Chronicle, "When all those people in Austin say, 'He ain't never done anything,' well, this is it." But Bush would have never gotten the stadium deal off the ground if the city of Arlington had not agreed to use its power of eminent domain to seize the property that belonged to the Mathes family. And evidence presented in the Mathes lawsuit suggests that the Rangers' owners -- remember that Bush was the managing general partner -- were conspiring to use the city's condemnation powers to obtain the thirteen-acre tract a full six months before the ASFDA was even created.

In an October 26, 1990, memo from Mike Reilly (an Arlington real estate broker and part owner of the Rangers), to Tom Schieffer, Reilly says of the Mathes property, "... in this particular situation our first offer should be our final offer.... If this fails, we will probably have to initiate condemnation proceedings after the bond election passes."

The Mathes memo reveals a sharp contrast between Bush's public pronouncements in defense of property rights and his private profiteering. While running against Ann Richards, Bush said, "I understand full well the value of private property and its importance not only in our state but in capitalism in general, and I will do everything I can to defend the power of private property and private property rights when I am the governor of this state."

Yet Bush and his partners used Arlington's powers to condemn the land for the stadium, and relied on taxpayers to repay the bonds sold to build the Ballpark -- receiving what amounts to a direct $135-million subsidy. Now, after tripling the amount they paid for the Rangers, Bush and his partners won't re-pay the city a measly $7.5 million.

(More here)

Peggy Noonan Reviews Her Own Book

All of them, actually, but The Case Against Hillary Clinton in particular:

The book is poorly written, poorly thought, poorly sourced and full of the kind of loaded language that is appropriate to a polemic but not an investigative work.

It is at it was, Peggums.

But, seriously, she does admit her own book is a pile of small, unserious and unthinking crap:

What is needed is a big and serious book by respected reporters who can dig, think and type, and whose sourcing standards are high and unimpeachable. Will that happen? It would be big if it did.
Yes, and it sure wasn't your unhinged screed, Peg.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Governor Goodhair Says "Adios, Mofo," Not Motherfucker, Motherlover, Motherfrigger or Mickificki-er"

We await Dennis Prager's demand for Perry's resignation.

And the interview with Perry's mother.

Correction: See above, and comments. I apologize to Governor Perry's mother, although she's probably got bigger worries right now.

(Via Buzzflash)

Estrich Marks

Via James Capozzola, we read Susan Estrich's pathetic defense of the other Roger Ailes.

Oh, if only I had so much cash to engender such loyalty in my employees.

The piece is actually a defense of the work of Neal Cavuto and Brian Wilson. Estrich has a fairly easy time defending Roger's boys, since logical consistency is a concept alien to Estrich.

Follow along, if you will.

Estrich claims that Neil Cavuto was unfairly bashed for failing to challenge the Republican Party's leader:

So Cavuto didn't use the opportunity either to beat up on the president or to let him say something we'd heard a hundred times. Instead, he asked him questions he didn't know the answer to, where he might get an answer he hadn't already heard.

For this, he's been summarily beaten up by the press corps - the same one that still can't figure out why it got it all wrong about those weapons of mass destruction that justified the war.

On the other hand, Estrich claims that Brian Wilson was unfairly criticized for challenging a Democratic Party leader:

This is precisely what congressional leaders and Dean agreed Dean wouldn't do when he became party chair. He was supposed to leave the message to them. Because Dean hadn't done so and had been criticized for it by two possible presidential candidates - neither of whom is even a conservative - Sen. Harry Reid was trying to put a perennial good face on a bad situation, while Brian Wilson was trying to puncture it.

And that's what the press is supposed to do.

It all makes perfect sense. The press is supposed to challenge a pol who gives a canned answer, unless the pol is a Republican.

No wonder Roger likes to keep Estrich around.

Hitchens Fixes His Lips Around Administration Policy

I would never accuse Chris Hitchens, the Snivelling Snitch, of spouting conspiracy theories. They're more accurately called lies.

In his latest Slate piece, Chris claims that far-right Republican Representative Walter B. Jones is demanding a pull out in Iraq because of the Downing Street Memo. Specifically, Chris claims:

The outrage about the nondisclosures in the Downing Street memos has led Congressman Walter Jones of North Carolina to demand that we tell the al-Qaida forces in Iraq exactly when we intend to give up.

I think not.

Jones claims he first began questioning the war against Iraq in April 2003, while attending a military funeral. The Downing Street memo first appeared in the (London) Sunday Times over two years later, on May 1, 2005.

Jones' official House website doesn't publicize the Downing Street Memo or make any claims about it.

In the May 15, 2005 News & Observer, Jones is described as urging constituents to read the James Bamford book, A Pretext for War, which was published in June 2004. For those who can't guess from the title, the book asserts that "After 9/11, ... the Bush administration used the attacks as a pretext for a long-planned invasion of Iraq; a Defense Department intelligence unit was set up to tout trumped-up evidence against Saddam, which, Bamford says, CIA analysts were pressured into endorsing."

So, if Snitch is to be believed, sometime between May 1 and May 15: Jones read the Downing Street Memorandum (despite the lack of American press coverage), researched the matter, found and read the Bamford book, made copies of the key passages, and started pressing copies of those passages on his constituents -- because he never thought of opposing the war until the nasty Downing Street Memo corrupted his gullible mind.

Oh, and the same article states:

But Jones now says we went to war "with no justification." He has challenged the Bush administration, quizzing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other presidential advisers in public hearings. He has lined the hallway outside his office with "the faces of the fallen."

Again, Snitch would have us believe these hearings all occurred between May 2 and May 14, when the Downing Street Memo caused Jones to lose faith in Snitch's One True Saviour.

In short, there's no evidence that the Downing Street Memo caused or contributed to Jones's opposition to the war or his recent statements regarding withdrawal of the occupying U.S. forces. I realize it's only Slate, but you'd think Snitch would make some effort to get the facts right.

As for Jones, the above-referenced articles and his own website make it clear he's a far-right extremist on most subjects. I'd never vote for him, but even he deserves better than Snitch's smears.

The White Man's Burden

Edgar Killen will die in jail, if there's any justice. But the authorities in Misissippi still don't have a clue about justice, according to this sickening account of their victory lap:

"For so long we have borne the burden of what was done here by a handful of people 41 years ago. Today we showed the rest of the world the true character of the people in Neshoba County," said District Atty. Mark Duncan. "We won't be known throughout the world by a Hollywood movie anymore."

Sorry, Mark. It's not about you or your county's reputation. I'm sure the burden of being alive the past four decades is overwhelming, but you're about 40 years and a murder conviction short of redemption.

If the white community of Neshoba County had any character, Killen would have been convicted -- by a state jury -- a long time ago. The stain does not go away.

The murderer, Edgar Killen, is a Baptist preacher. Bet you won't hear him referred to as that. Or as a terrorist. But that's exactly what he is.

Monday, June 20, 2005

25 Years of Bigotry

The burning cross is being passed at the Moonie Times, as racist editor Wesley Pruden announces his plan to hand over the editorship to fellow racist Fran Coombs:

For fans and even foes of the scrappy and conservative Washington Times: Editor Wes Pruden recently told C-SPAN that he's leaving in a couple of years after 13 plus at the top, a period that saw the paper's influence expand as it paved the way for other conservative media like Fox News. But don't worry about the Times 's tempering its aggressive style when Pruden departs, around the paper's 25th anniversary in 2007. That's because it looks as though Managing Editor Fran Coombs will take over. His motto: "Journalism is war."
And like Pruden's beloved Confederacy, the Moonie Times and Coombs will continue to get their racist asses kicked by the forces of truth and equality.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting has not yet responded to my e-mail inquiry regarding Kenny Boy Tomlinson's $10,000 contract with G.O.P. lobbyist Brian Darling.

Boy, this investigative journalism is hard work.

But I'll keep on it.
TNR brings us some highlights of Master Ben's Virgin-a Monologues.

It seems Ben's reportage involve probing oral examinations of fellow Harvard men:

Shapiro's quasi-sociological examination of his peers is especially preposterous. It seems the only twenty-somethings he interviewed were his classmates at Harvard Law School, and many of the stories he recounts are hard to believe. The thought that young men might exaggerate tales of their sexual exploits apparently never dawned on Shapiro.

Especially Harvard Law men.

Ben also horns in on Mike Gallagher's schtick, ethnic dialect humor:

John Kerry "had to bus' a few caps in Vietnam, you know, to protect the bruthas and all"

The reviewer concludes:

The day is coming when the Shapiros of the world will have to criticize the Republican Party or surrender any claim to intellectual honesty.

Surrender? The boy gave it away when he was thirteen.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Here's a suspected terrorist who will never harm another American:

Later, officials conceded that he was treated for injuries suffered when a five-man MP "internal reaction force" choked him, slammed his head several times against a concrete floor and sprayed him with pepper gas.

America, Fuck Yeah!!!!!

And for the love of your own political viability, never, ever suggest that a Nazi soldier might do something like that.

The Greatest Generation: The Next Generation

According to a childless Administration spokesperson, the occupation of Iraq has now become, as it ever was, a generational commitment.

In 30 years' time, those who failed to enlist in the service of that commitment will feel a deep sense of guilt, at least when their failing's raised during a debate or they have a deadline and can't think of another column subject. We must prevent such suffering.

That's why I support General J.C. Christian's Operation Yellow Elephant. The General's program puts the "sac"s back in sacrifice.

There's something else you can do, I think. The next time you read a David Gelernter or a John Hinderaker speak of the Iraq war with patriotic pride, fill out this form on his behalf so he can help his offspring make the ultimate sacrifice in time for next Father's Day.

As for Dr. Rice, she may wish to consider adoption.


Shorter David Brooks: Didn't I write a piece on Bill Frist a couple of years ago? Ah... here it is. I'll slap on a couple of references to Schiavo and... it's nap time!

The ever-brilliant J. Wolcott watches Faux News so we don't have to:

This morning on Cashin' In, part of Fox's Saturday morning business/investment block, the first topic was (I kid thee not) "The Prison at Guantanamo Bay: Good for the Stock Market?"

Opening up the mental-midget debate for the panel, host Terry Keenan asked, "If we 'cut and run' from there, isn't it all bets off for the market?"

Yeah, if we close Gitmo, everyone's going to sell Google and into the black hole goes the stock market: real smart thinking there, Terry.

Jane Hamsher also does the Lord's dirty work in her post about Big Babyhead Cavuto and the All-You-Can-Eat Umbrage Buffet.

Out With The In Crowd

I'm pleased to report this blog has no pull with Beltway Insiders. Because I've seen those jackasses, and you couldn't pay me enough to pull them.

Washingtonian magazine, a specialist publication dealing in real-estate pornography, has listed the winners in an "informal poll" of the the favorite blogs of D.C. journalists. Not surprisingly, several lunatic right blogs are listed among the media elite's faves, including Instacracker, Kausfiles, Powerline, Mister Ed and Little Green Bigots. The mag also lists Free Republic as a blog which discusses "pudgy-people prejudice." (No doubt they're against it.)

So much for the myth of the liberal media.

The article's author, Harry Jaffe, displays his own biases, calling the Instacracker "eclectic" and Midget Mick an "iconoclast," while labeling Atrios "potty-mouthed" and TAPped a Dean apologist. He also appears to believe that Amnesty International has called for the arrest of Bush and Rummy.

I guess when your bread-and-butter is sucking up to the wealthy, you write what Republicans want to hear. Everybody's doing it, why not you too, Harry?

Update: I'm not on Alan Colmes' favorites list either. I guess Alan's a one-Roger man.

The Corrupt White Duke

The F.B.I. has opened an investigation into the corruption of Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham (R - San Diego), the man who accepted a bribe exceptionally generous offer on his home from a defense contractor. Cunningham defended his G.O.P. credentials, saying he loves all his wealthy friends equally:

Cunningham denied that he is a particularly good friend of MZM owner Mitchell Wade, saying last week, "No more than I am with (Qualcomm founder) Irwin Jacobs or (Titan Corp. founder) Gene Ray or any of the other CEOs."

However, Wade is the only benefactor who has given Puke Duke his own yacht:

However, Cunningham has been living aboard a 42-foot yacht at the Capital Yacht Club along the banks of the Potomac River. Wade owns the yacht, named the Duke-Stir, according to U.S. Coast Guard records. The name appears to be a play on Cunningham's nickname.

Cunningham has promised to produce receipts showing he paid rent on the yacht, or that he doesn't some marijuana, or something.

If there's any justice, Duke may find himself in stir for a long, long time.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Clod and Man at Yale

Michael Kinsley proclaims the L.A. Times' first wikitorial a great success. Of course, he's also the frickin' idiot who publishes David Gelertner.

Gelernter starts his latest column with a paragraph of bullshit, follwed by an anecdote:

Not knowing history is worse than ignorance of math, literature or almost anything else. Ignorance of history is undermining Western society's ability to talk straight and think straight. Parents must attack the problem by teaching their own children the facts. Only fools would rely on the schools.

My son told me about a high school event that (at first) I didn't understand. A girl in his English class praised the Vietnam War-era draft dodgers: "If I'd lived at that time and been drafted," she said, "I would've gone to Canada too."

I thought she was merely endorsing the anti-war position. But my son set me straight. This student actually believed that if she had lived at the time, she might have been drafted. She didn't understand that conscription in the United States has always applied to males only. How could she have known? Our schools teach history ideologically. They teach the message, not the truth. They teach history as if males and females have always played equal roles. They are propaganda machines.

There's nothing from Gelernter's recounting of the anecdote which indicates the student believed women were drafted during the Vietnam War. The student reportedly stated what she would do "if" she had been drafted. She also stated what she would do "if" she had been living during the Vietnam War. Does Gelernter also believe the student thought she was alive in the 60s and 70s?

More importantly, do Gelernter, Michael Kinsley and the Los Angeles Times expect its readers to believe that Gelernter knows jack shit about what "our schools" are teaching? Has Gelernter spent one second investigating what all schools (or any schools) teach about the Vietnam war or the history of conscription? This tosser takes one dubious anecdote about one unnamed person at one unnamed school and extrapolates the existence of ideological indoctrination throughout all the schools in the land. It would be as if I declared the intellectual bankruptcy of Yale based on the evidence of one defective professor.

After this bogus opening, Gelernter engages in some dishonest and ahistorical Durbin-bashing -- one might call it "an astonishing, obscene piece of" deliberate slander -- and then demands that schools teach intellectual pablum which will allow Gelernter and his offspring to sleep undisturbed by facts:

There is an ongoing culture war between Americans who are ashamed of this nation's history and those who acknowledge with sorrow its many sins and are fiercely proud of it anyway. Proud of the 17th century settlers who threw their entire lives overboard and set sail for religious freedom in their rickety little ships.

So they packed their entire lives onto ships, then threw their lives overboard before setting sail? Wouldn't be easier just to leave their entire lives on the dock? And who was steering the ships after all this?

Proud of the new nation that taught democracy to the world. Proud of its ferocious fight to free the slaves, save the Union and drag (lug, shove, sweat, bleed) America a few inches closer to its own sublime ideals.

Damn those evil bastards who snuck slaves into to the country, the Constitution and the Founding Fathers' slave quarters when no one was looking.

Proud of its victories in two world wars and the Cold War, proud of the fight it is waging this very day for freedom in Iraq and the whole Middle East.
Someone send the Army Gelernter Jnr.'s address and phone number. Sounds like he's a hot prospect. Or, better yet, Daddy should drag, lug, shove, sweat and bleed Junior's ass down to the recruiting station. We can't count on the schools to do it.

Schools do need to teach American history, just not Gelernter's sanitized version of it. Otherwise, your children might mistake Gelernter's lies for the truth.

What Europe Really Needs Is A Good Spanking

So says Paul Johnson in the Wall Street Journal online edition.

Money quote from Johnson: "Thank you, Sir. May I have another?"

Damn, I Need to Get TiVO

Or at least reconnect my VCR. I missed this exciting eposide of the Cokespoon Chronicles.

"Best of the Tube Today

"We're scheduled to appear on 'Kudlow & Co.' this afternoon, along with blogger Mickey Kaus, to discuss current politics. The program airs from 5 to 6 p.m. Eastern Time, and we're told our segment will begin around 20 past the hour."
Kudlow, Kaus and Taranto. A true hack trick. I imagine they discussed Senator Durbin's remarks and then stuck their fingers down their throat in unison.

(Thanks to P. O'Neill for the link. I think.)

Thursday, June 16, 2005

An Alleged Victim You'll Never See on Cable News

As you may know, Republican family man Don Sherwood has been sued for assault by his former lover, Cythia Ore. But don't worry, Ore will not be the cable 'nets victim of the week, because Sherwood's a Republican:

WASHINGTON -- A woman who accused Rep. Don Sherwood, R-Pa., of trying to choke her during an encounter at his Capitol Hill apartment last fall is suing him for $5.5 million.

Cynthia Ore, 29, of Rockville, Md., alleges in the suit filed in Superior Court that during her five-year relationship with Sherwood, he brutally assaulted and struck her on several occasions.
Sherwood, 64, in a statement Thursday from his attorney, "emphatically" denied that he had ever abused Ore.

"The lawsuit is plainly intended to extract a lucrative and unjustified settlement through the threat of inflicting personal and political damage on Congressman Sherwood and his family," the statement said. "As Ms. Ore's lawyers have already been advised, these tactics will fail."

Sherwood is a four-term Republican congressman. He is a married millionaire with three daughters.

And Sherwood's ready to spend a shitload of money on a high-priced Republican mouthpiece to prove his non-culpability. Was Tom Meserau unavailable?

But this article says that Ore's lawyer's no chump, either. Bring it on, family man!

Krugman Does Coingate

In other words, Ohio's state government today is a lot like Boss Tweed's New York. Unfortunately, a lot of other state governments look similar - and so does Washington.

Since their 1994 takeover of Congress, and even more so since the 2000 election, Republican leaders have sought to make their political dominance permanent. They redistricted Texas to lock in their control of the House. Through the "K Street Project" they have put lobbying firms under partisan control, starving the Democrats of campaign funds. And they are, of course, trying to pack the courts with partisan loyalists.


These efforts have already created an environment in which politicians from the right party and businessmen with the right connections believe, with good reason, that they have immunity.

Heh. Read the whole thing. Indeed. Donald Luskin just shat himself a steaming pantload of trend macrolytics. Today's must read. Ouch....

Hat tip: Myself.

Thick As Thieves

The New York Times reports that the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Public Broadcasting Service, paid $10K to lobbyist Brian Darling. The article implies, but does not explicitly state, that the payment was authorized by Ken "Kenny Boy" Tomlinson, CPB PBS chairman. The Times author, Stephen Labaton, did confirm in an NPR interview this evening that Kenny Boy cut the check, without the board's knowledge.

The Brian Darling in question is:

- The Brian Darling who, as mouthpiece for Mel Martinez, trumpted the political benefits of using Terri Schiavo's incapacitated body.

- The Brian Darling who worked for the Bugchaser's spiritual guru, Ed Buckham, and has ties to the Bugchaser's secular benefactor, Jack Abramoff.

- The Brian Darling who worked for Bush/Cheney's Electiontheft 2000.

And what does it take to earn 10K in taxpayer funds from CPB?

Well, Tomlinson and the Bush administration were opposed to legislation giving local stations greater representation on the CPB board. Darling "was paid $10,000 for his insights into Senator Conrad Burns, a Montana Republican who sponsored the provision."

I'd love to see that work product. "Our research shows that Senator Burns cannot be bought with a golf outing to Scotland or a 'Neil Bush's Malaysia' tour package. We recommend a whisper campaign portraying him as a enthusiastic member of the Culture of Death, and enclose a list of trustworthy publications, websites and blogs who can assist in that endeavor, along with an estimated budget for our further services. Please find enclosed our invoice in the amount of Ten Thousand Dollars, payable upon receipt."

I've written to CPB and requested a copy of that work product, so I can see how close I came.

Update (6/18): Corrected per Yasminah's comment. No response yet from CPB.

Meet Your Liberal Media: Infomerical Journalism At Its Finest Edition

NBC News brags about the highest and best use of its resources: an interview with disturbed individual Jennifer Wilbanks:

NBC News spokeswoman Allison Gollust said the news division never pays for interviews. "This was a 'get' by Katie," she said. "It takes a lot of work. You talk to a lot of people. We put our best people out there."

Having witnessed the work of NBC News, I have no doubt that's true.

According to two sources familiar with the negotiations, Wilbanks's spokesman, Andy Parsons, told people that an exclusive interview with Couric was part of the negotiations with ReganMedia. Parsons asked at least one other network to bid for a combination of the interview and television movie rights but was turned down, the sources said.

p.s. to the Putz: Nice use of anonymous sources.


Sorry Excuse

Michelle "Bugs" Malkin is sorry. She's one sorry ass excuse for a journalist.

Via World O'Crap, we learn that Malkin has apologized to Barbara Walters for putting words in Walters' mouth.

Last month, Malkin was compelled to apologize to two men she slandered in her hate tract, Lock Up Those Dirty Japs, and Muslims Too:

Accordingly, I am retracting my claim that Herzig-Yoshinaga "surreptitiously shared confidential documents with" Irons. I have made a note of this on the errata page of my book. Moreover, I am directing Regnery to excise the words "surreptitiously" and "confidential" from future editions of the book.

In addition, I retract the following statements which appeared on my blog:

August 24, 2004:

Contrary to [University of North Carolina law professor Eric] Muller's assertion that the papers shared were "publicly available documents sitting in publicly available files at archives open to the public," the article makes clear that Irons did not obtain permission to receive the papers he acquired from Herzig-Yoshinaga.

August 25, 2004:

As I noted, these records, however, had not been cleared for public use, and Iron's request to copy them had been explicitly denied. By the way, this was not the only time Irons engaged in these sort of shenanigans.

I apologize to Irons and Herzig-Yoshinaga for the errors.

Will the dishonest Malkin now apologize for her vile work on the Schiavo case:

Imagine how the poll results might have turned out if ABC News had made clear to participants that Terri is not terminally ill. Not in excruciating pain. Capable of saying "Mommy" and "Help me." And of "getting the feeling she's falling" or getting "excited," in her husband's own testimony, when her head is not held properly.

Imagine how the poll results might have turned out if ABC News had informed participants that in a sworn affidavit, registered nurse Carla Sauer Iyer, who worked at the Palm Garden of Largo Convalescent Center in Largo, Fla., while Terri Schiavo was a patient there, testified: "Throughout my time at Palm Gardens, Michael Schiavo was focused on Terri's death. Michael would say 'When is she going to die?' 'Has she died yet?' and 'When is that bitch gonna die?'"

Yes, Malkin was pimping the worthless claims of Iyer as fact.

In all these cases, Malkin's defense is that she's just repeating the claims of others. Garbage in, garbage out.

Everything Malkin writes is garbage.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

A Freudian slip from Oedipus the Doughboy:

"He can solve pie to the 8 billionth place in the blink of an eye, but he can't set up a little internal algorythmn or protocal that says 'it is = it's'? Arrrrrrgghhh!!!!!" (Illiteracy in original)


The Virgin Suicides

Finally, some truth and humor in one of Ben Shapiro's columns.

Sure, he stole it from TBogg, but it's a start.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Phyllis Schafly's He-Man Woman Haters' Club

Phyllis Schafly proves that women are liars ... by making shit up.

Actually, I can't prove that, because I don't have access to the materials/quotes Schafly almost certainly mischaracterizes. But it seems clear from this unhinged screed that Schafly is misrepresenting quotes to prove a premise for which she offers no evidence, namely, a feminist conspiracy to deprive children of fit and loving fathers. Here's a sample:

The Final Report of the Child Custody and Visitation Focus Group of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges admitted that "usually judges are not required to make a finding of domestic violence in civil protection order cases." In other words, judges saddle fathers with restraining orders on the wife's say-so without any investigation as to whether it is true or false.

The report says one thing, and Schafly interprets it to say something entirely different. First, the sentence quoted says nothing about the gender of the complainants. More significantly, the quoted sentence says that judges aren't required to making a finding of domestic violence; it doesn't say what judges must find in order to issue a restraining order. The sentence certainly doesn't say that judges don't assess the credibility of the parties. (People get saddled with all sorts of things -- restraining orders, evictions, money judgments, criminal sentences -- every court day based on the say-so of someone. It's called evidence.)

The late Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn., a big advocate of VAWA, admitted, "Up to 75 percent of all domestic assaults reported to law enforcement agencies were inflicted after the separation of the couple." Most allegations of domestic violence are made for the purpose of taking the custody of children away from their fathers.
Again, even assuming Schafly is accurately quoting Wellstone, Wellstone is talking about when complaints were made, not the motivation for the complaints (or even whether the couples had children) . He certainly doesn't say that most (or any) of allegations of domestic abuse are made up.

The June issue of the Illinois Bar Journal explains how women use court-issued restraining orders, which Illinois calls Orders of Protection, as a tool for the mother to get sole child custody and even bar the father from visitation. In big type, the magazine proclaims: "Orders of Protection are designed to prevent domestic violence, but they can also become part of the gamesmanship of divorce."

A cover headline stating that something "can become part of" something else is hardly an "explanation" of anything, and the headline is gender neutral. (The article is here, but only available to bar members.) Schafly continues:

The "game" is that mothers can assert falsehoods or trivial marital complaints and thereby get sole custody orders that deprive children of their fathers. This "game" is based on the presumption, popularized by VAWA and the domestic-violence lobby, that fathers are inherently guilty and dangerous.

Of course, mothers can lie to get sole custody of children just as fathers can lie to deny mothers' attempts to get sole custody, or to get joint custody, or to get sole custody themselves. Schafly doesn't cite any law which presumes that fathers are guilty or dangerous or unfit parents.

If Schafly has any proof of any of her claims, she doesn't cite it. She doesn't even cite anecdotal evidence. But she's not about to let the absence of facts get in the way of her deranged hatred of women in general and feminists in particular.

Dorm of the Dead

From a well-appointed dormitory in our nation's capitol comes a tale of oppression and severe mental cruelty, told by a true victim:

Ms. Seidenschnur, 21, a senior at Washington and Lee, found herself in a political minority as early as high school as she worked in three Republican clubs.

"I was sick of being ridiculed by my teachers for being a Republican: 'Oh, here comes the Republican[.]'"

Oooh, snap! Just brutal.

Get that whiner a blog.

Another junior ideologue is more candid about the shortcomings of his upbringing:

"Being raised a Christian, with family values, I want to make sure I have a solid philosophical footing[.]"

But some of the more savvy youngsters know exactly what game is being played:

Katherine Rogers, a junior at Georgetown, is spending the summer in the Keith and Lois Mitchell room.... Ms. Rogers's father is a longtime Heritage donor, and she is working in donor relations, which she thinks will be useful in her intended career as a pharmaceutical lobbyist.

Rogers hopes to bribe her first Majority Leader before she's 25, and to become Rush Limbaugh's dealer by 30.

I just pray Heritage does something about the ungodly comingling of the sexes which is rampant in their dormitory. In their case, dormcest would be a crime against humanity.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Julia says it all:

Our nation's editorial boards. Like prep school with a paycheck.

The Housing Bubble Has Burst

A timely lesson for California homebuyers: don't factor an illegal bribe into your bid:

WASHINGTON -- A defense contractor with ties to Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham took a $700,000 loss on the purchase of the congressman's Del Mar house while the congressman, a member of the influential defense appropriations subcommittee, was supporting the contractor's efforts to get tens of millions of dollars in contracts from the Pentagon.

Mitchell Wade bought the San Diego Republican's house for $1,675,000 in November 2003 and put it back on the market almost immediately for roughly the same price. But the Del Mar house languished unsold and vacant for 261 days before selling for $975,000.

In his defense, the corrupt politican stated, "My whole life I've lived aboveboard. I've never even smoked a marijuana cigarette. The Lindburgh baby ... never met him. I couldn't mail anthrax to anyone if my life depended on it."

It's a renaissance for American conservative literature.

Ben Shapiro comes out next week. Well, not Ben, but his book, Me And My Prince Albert. And, in addition to Edward Klein and Rick Santorum, this summer we can look forward to Mike Gallagher:
[R]egular listeners will expect -- and enjoy -- attacks on familiar targets: Bill Clinton, Michael Moore, the Dixie Chicks, animal-rights groups, Hollywood liberals, parents who won't spank their kids and immigrants who don't or can't learn clear English ("Heh-yo, Hoppy China, yoh ohrduh peez?").

Gallagher's new book also promotes his Fathead Racist Diet: How I Lost 70 Pounds By Being A Hate-Filled Twat.

The Show Must Go On

"Veteran rock band Pink Floyd have been added to the list of acts appearing at next month's Live 8 concert in London.

"Roger Waters will be reunited with band-members Dave Gilmour, Nick Mason and Rick Wright for the show." --, June 12

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Coming Attractions

Look for another terrorism arrest, or at least another missing white woman, to be announced Thursday at 8:00 a.m.

"John Conyers, the Democratic congressman who drafted the letter to Bush, has now written to Dearlove asking him to say whether or not it was accurate that he believed the intelligence was being 'fixed' around the policy. He also asked the former MI6 chief precisely when Bush and Blair had agreed to invade Iraq and whether it is true they agreed to 'manufacture' the UN ultimatum in order to justify the war.

"He and other Democratic congressmen plan to hold their own inquiry this Thursday with witnesses including Joe Wilson, the American former ambassador who went to Niger to investigate claims that Iraq was seeking to buy uranium ore for its nuclear weapons programme."

(Link via BuzzFlash)

Tomorrow's headline today: Okrent Accuses Krugman of Plagiarism

The Dick Dasen Trial: Where Are They Now?

It was a simpler time. Gasoline was sold at $2.45 a gallon. Iraq was occupied by American forces, and no one seemed to care. Civil liberties were being violated. And the trial of Republican philanthropist Dick Dasen, Snr., captured the imagination of four, maybe five, of this country's citizens.

But that was then.

Now, Dick Dasen sits, and sleeps, in a Kalispell jail cell, awaiting sentencing.

Prosecutor Dan Guzyinski is still a prosecutor.

Dasen's attorney, George Best, remains in private practice.

District Judge Stewart Stadtler has not retired from the bench.

Montana continues to be one of the 50 United States.

Life goes on, but one small town in the West has been changed... forever.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Philosophe Steel Cage Death Match Throwdown

The BBC programme In Our Time is running a contest to select the Greatest Philosopher Ever. Out of the 20 they selected, that is. 20 DWMs enter, 1 DWM leaves.

2 have written 3 of the 10 Most Dangerous Books of the 19th and 20th Century. George Bush's favorite did not make the shortlist.

Limp Dick

Midget Mickey's fellow far-right freak, Dick Morris, pretends to have principles:

"But Byrd needs beating for a host of other reasons. His defense of the filibuster was natural, since it was he who conducted a lonely 14-hour attempt to kill the 1964 Civil Rights Act by talking until he almost dropped."

That's mighty white of you, Dick.

For those paying attention, that's the same Dick Morris who toiled tirelessly for Jesse Helms (R-KKK), who remains a proud segregationist to this day.

(Helms link via Atrios)

Shut It Down (Media Notes, That Is)

Howard Kurtz is the laziest and stupidest right-wing media columnist ever, with the exception of Brent Bozell and that new blogger at NRO. He writes:

The campaign began nearly two weeks ago with this Tom Friedman column (no link because it will cost you $49.95 to check out NYT columnists).

Sorry, Putzy, but that's not so. You can buy the article for $3.95. Just like the pay-per-view archive system the Washington Post has. The TimesSelect program won't launch until September. And you can also get the column for free, here.

I predict Howie will cause his erroneous claim to disappear, without comment, once someone -- an editor, perhaps -- calls it to his attention.

The Putz also quotes Sully Joe as saying "Neil Cavuto seems to have conducted this interview [of Bush] with knee-pads on." When it comes to Bush and kneepads, Sully's your go to guy.

To Live and Lie In Lodi

The Bush FBI claims incompetence, which is certainly possible, but that doesn't explain why the FBI was more interested in a public relations offensive than it was in performing its job:

SACRAMENTO -- Attorneys for a Central Valley father and son arrested in connection with a broad FBI terrorism probe plan to challenge the government case in court today over significantly differing versions of the affidavit used to charge the two men.

The first version of the affidavit released to media organizations Tuesday by the Department of Justice in Washington said potential terrorist targets included hospitals and stores and contained names of key individuals and statements about the international origins of "hundreds" of participants in alleged Al Qaeda terrorist training camps inside Pakistan.

Those details -- among the most alarming in the case -- were widely reported in the press but then deleted in the final version filed with the federal court in Sacramento on Tuesday.

Federal prosecutors blamed the problem on confusion inside the bureaucracy as different versions circulated between federal offices.

An FBI flack in Sacramento said the information was deleted because it was "not relevant or not accurate in context" (well, which one?) but it certainly was relevant enough to feed to the press in advance of Bush's Patridiot Act Tour. An unnamed FBI source was quoted as saying the FBI didn't want to panic the public -- a most convincing explanation for leaving the scary bits in the press handout and deleting it from the court filing.

Just another reason not to give these idiots expanded powers -- I have no desire to disappear for 10 years because of "[a]n unfortunate oversight due to miscommunication."

Don't Be That Tosser

Midget Mickey Kaus refuses to stop choking that chicken. He continues to flog the Kerry military records non-story, and links to his favorite right-wing and bigot blogs in the process.

Kaus also bangs on the highchair about the Los Angeles Times' failure to run a car chase story on A1. David Ehrenstein quickly dissects Kaus's "latest connipition fit."

Thursday, June 09, 2005

On the bright side, those 25,000 workers General Motors lays off will still be able to get the employee discount if they buy a G.M. car.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Smokin' Thomas

Jane Hamsher noted something significant about Gonzales v. Raich that I hadn't read anywhere else:

Sandra Day O'Connor and Rehnquist, both of whom are cancer survivors, joined Clarence Thomas in dissent. (Can we have a weak one-time only chorus of "yeah Clarence?") The uncharitable amongst us would note with irony the possibililty that one day Justices Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer and Scalia might spend their final hours hugging the porcelain and puking for their principles.

It does seem more than mere coincidence that the two justices who have first-hand experience with cancer voted in favor of patients' rights.

I also haven't seen anyone comment on the fact that the third dissenter, Clarence Thomas, was a GIANT-ASS BACO STONER 'HEAD throughout his college and law school years. The only justice with substantial dope smoking experience thought that regulation of medical marijuana was best left to the states. Thomas even abandoned Fat Tony to side with his buddy Herb.

This doesn't make Thomas a competent jurist; it just makes you wonder where Thomas would be if he had stuck with something he was good at -- something he loved -- instead of the practice of law.

Trans .... Europe .... Express

I rarely admit to being jealous, but I am jealous of Digby.

We Leak, You Clean Up After Us

TBogg critiques the incontinent journalistic stylings of the head of the Depends Media empire.

Dino, Sore

What a sore loser Dino Rossi is:

At a news conference later, Rossi said: "With today's decision, and because of the political makeup of the Washington State Supreme Court, which makes it almost impossible to overturn this ruling, I am ending the election contest."

The Washington Post reports that Judge Bridges found "there was no evidence of deliberate fraud or problems that could be pinned to partisan bias."

As the New York Times reported:

"There is no evidence in this record that Ms. Gregoire received any illegal votes," Judge Bridges said. He noted that the only illegal votes that had been proved during the trial were five cast by convicted felons; four were for Mr. Rossi, and one was for a Libertarian candidate, Ruth Bennett.

Perhaps the wingnuts will explain how Rossi was unable to prove any illegal Democratic votes, while the Democrats were able to prove illegal Republican voting. Or perhaps not:

Republicans claimed in court to have identified 754 votes cast by felons, but they could not prove that even one had cast an illegal ballot for Ms. Gregoire, largely, Mr. Foreman said, because they did not interview the felons about which way they voted.

Democrats did interview some of the felons, providing depositions from five of them, including the four who said they voted for Mr. Rossi.

Wishful thinking is not a litigation strategy, idiots.

Just apologize to the citizens of your state, Dino, then reimburse them, then STFU.

Meanwhile, the sad right-wing blogger, Mister Ed, ponders Senator Kerry's Yale transcript and squeezes out this deep thought:

"The key difference, of course, is that Bush never pretended to be a great student at college, just as he never pretended to be a war hero."

Well, Bush never saved the lives of his fellow soliders, never engaged the enemy in combat and never killed an enemy in combat. But Bush did pretend:

"I've been to war. I've raised twins. If I had a choice, I'd rather go to war."

Apparently Bush took part in a secret combat mission along with his comrades Ronald Reagan, Joe Ellis and Bill O'Reilly.

(Sorry, no link to Mister Ed. Read this instead.)

Poor Midget Mickey Kaus will now have to find a new chicken to choke.

2005 Mikey

Well, it's not the Smacky, but Nick Pistof has won the next best thing, the 2005 Mikey, an award given for the fearless pursuit of self-promotion at the expense of the truth:

Atlantic Media today announced the NYT's Nicholas Kristof as the 2005 winner of its Mike Kelly Award. The award is given in honor of the late Atlantic editor who died covering the Iraq War in 2003.

The $25,000 award, given for the second time this year, is given annually to a journalist whose "work exemplifies a quality that animated Michael Kelly's own career: the fearless pursuit and expression of truth."

"Kristof linked the word 'genocide' to the ongoing persecution of black Africans in the Sudanese region of Darfur, and focused attention on the continued sexual exploitation of young women in the brothels of Cambodia. With conviction, passion, and audacity, Kristof tugged at the world's conscience, in the best tradition of Michael Kelly," the judges wrote.

Michael Kelly did a lot of tugging in print, but it wasn't the world's conscience being tugged.

Kristof's fearless labeling is a little less impressive when you consider that the U.S. House of Representatives labeled the killing in Sudan genocide almost a year ago, as did countless others. And it's worth questioning whether St. Kelly would approve the use of the word "genocide," when he has self-righteously railed against consideration of a criminal's racist motivation in assessing guilt for his or her crimes.

As for Pistof's adventures in the sex trade, I've already written about that combination of egomania, grandstanding and dishonest liberal bashing here, here and here. Looks like Pistof's investment in human flesh has paid off handsomely. Where else could you turn $353 of someone else's money and the misery of others into $25,000?

Monday, June 06, 2005

Eh. Either I've got writer's block, or all the news is uninteresting crap.

Or, most likely, both.

Technorati Profile

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Triumph Of The Blogosphere

Top this, you mainstream media bastards:

8:00: Arianna and I are at the filming of the MTV movie awards at the Shrine auditorium. Jessica Simpson had enormous brown hair, very curly, obviously extensions. I'm amazed at how short she was, even in her rhinestone high heels.

Chris Rock and Adam Sandler presented the best villain award, but we can not tell you who won because we are all sworn to secrecy until Thursday, when the show airs.

10:11: We were the guests of Tom and Kathy Freston -- Kathy looked so pretty in a grey silk top and jeans.

I feel so inadequate now.

Republican Lies About The Truth

The Boston Globe catches Michael Murphy, the Republican flak who gave us Governor Predator and Dennis Miller, telling the truth:

Governor Mitt Romney's top political strategist has told a prominent conservative magazine that his client has been "faking" his support of abortion rights in Massachusetts.

"He's been a pro-life Mormon faking it as a pro-choice friendly," Romney adviser Michael Murphy told the National Review in a cover story hitting newstands today titled "Matinee Mitt."

Murphy, a prominent Republican consultant, issued a statement of regret yesterday afternoon after a prepublication copy of the article circulated among political strategists and reporters and threatened to overshadow the positive exposure Romney was getting from appearing on the cover of two conservative magazines this week.

"The quote in the National Review article was not what I meant to communicate," Murphy's statement said. "I was discussing a characterization the governor's critics use. I regret the quote and any confusion it might have caused."

Mikey regrets telling the truth, and says it will never happen again.

Next thing he'll tell us Mitt's residence in Utah is actually a vacation home.


I try, but I haven't been able to get worked up enough to revisit Watergate. It's before my time, cognitively if not chronologically.

I realize that dishonest wingnuts are trying to unwrite Nixon's crimes, that the idiot media is enabling them in that effort and that the wingnuts are to a large extent succeeding. But that battle was lost long ago -- loathsome felons like Colson and Liddy have been treated with undue respect rather than contempt since they've exited prison, not just in the past week. (Not to mention the continuing, inexplicable love for other Nixon Administration scumbags -- Safliar, Buchanan etc. -- not directly involved in Watergate.)

I read maybe one-third of All The President's Men (or was it The Final Days?) in high school, but don't remember much of it. Maybe I should get off my intellectual duff and read Anthony Summers' The Arrogance of Power, which is sitting on my bookshelf.

But it's been such a lovely day.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Interesting Story

Which is what people always say before they tell you an (1) uninteresting story (2) about themselves.

So last Friday, the 27th, I get an e-mail from someone at MSNBC inquiring about a "possible appearance" on the channel that afternoon at 4:45 p.m. The first thing I think is that the booker must have already gone through the A- through Y-list blowhards and was getting very desperate for a warm body on the Memorial Day weekend. The second thing I think is that I'm reading the e-mail after 4:45 p.m. Eastern, so I don't have to give this much thought.

The topics on which I was possibly invited to opine were (1) the Bolton nomination and Frist's leadership; (2) the Tom DeLay comment on Law and Order; and (3) stem cell research and Bush's threatened veto. Now the gentleman who sought my participation may have failed to notice that I hadn't blogged on any of these subjects and/or that I hadn't blogged anything at all in the last week and wasn't returning until June. I'm not sure, however, how he overlooked that he knows nothing of my speaking abilities or my telegenic qualities. I realize it's MSNBC, but they must have some standards.

Not journalistic standards, I know, but at least production values.

Although I do speak publicly and extemporaneously on infrequent occasions, this isn't the kind of thing I'm good at. I don't like to pretend to know everything and I don't like to speak unprepared. And I'm not as funny in person as I am in writing. I'm happy to toil in e-print, in obscurity and anonymity. (Although, if a better offer comes along....)

Apparently they were going to pair me with a conservative blogger "to be determined." I'm not even sure what show it was, since I never watch MSNBC and it wasn't mentioned in the e-mail. If anyone was watching MSNBC last Friday at 4:45 p.m. EST, let me know who I was replaced with.

2005 Smacky

Congratulations to Claudia Rosett, winner of the 2005 Golden Contaminated Needle, otherwise known as the Smacky. The Smacky is named in honor of expired junkie Eric Breindel, and is supposed to have something to do with excellence in journalism, even though Breindel was never anything more than a Murdoch stooge with a grating, whiny voice.

Rosett, the journalist in residence at The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, has 23 years of experience writing on international affairs for such outlets as The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic and The Weekly Standard.

In accepting the plaque and a $10,000 award, she said Breindel "wrote with clarity and passion for the most vital element of a free society -- the truth."

What a guy. If he was a live today, no doubt he'd be importing reporting from Afghanistan.

P.S. The New York Post now has registration, and it's not worth the time and effort. Kind of like a Breindel column.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Field Of Dreams

"Billionaire financier and philanthropist George Soros has joined Washington entrepreneur Jonathan Ledecky's bid to purchase the Washington Nationals, Ledecky said in an interview yesterday.

"'The Soros family shares my belief that the Washington Nationals are a community trust that can serve as a positive platform for the economic development of the inner city,' Ledecky said."

Bush Lied, People Died Night.

MoveOn ads on the Jumbotron.

Weeping and wailing in the Kool Kids clubhouse.

It's brilliant.

Wonder What Those Could Be

"We're talking about privacy matters and privileged matters," Black told the judge. "The remedy is them not seeing the various procedures and medical things that have nothing do to with the items that they are investigating."


The Urge to Defecate

In honor of John Tierney, whose most successful pick-up line is "Want to see me do the Junior Jumble... IN INK?" here are some practice Scrabble racks in which John might recognize himself:


(Well, that certainly was worth the wait, wasn't it?)