Friday, September 30, 2005

The latest in the NYT's neverending series, "Those Wacky Brits":

Mr. Carroll is an object of national fascination in part because of his apparently pathological criminality, and in part because he represents a kind of Briton known as a chav. Chavs, whether rich or poor, tend to favor gaudy jewelry and expensive-but-tacky clothes with big logos and to behave in a way that others find coarse or obnoxious.

Male chavs wear tracksuits and baseball caps; female chavs pull their hair tightly back in buns or ponytails, a style known as a "council house facelift," from the term for public housing.


Chav behavior - outrageous spending sprees, drunken brawls, inappropriate public displays of affection, screaming matches with loved ones in bars, destruction of property, late-night stumbling and/or vomiting - provide celebrity magazines here with much of their material. Among British women, Coleen McLoughlin, the girlfriend of the soccer star Wayne Rooney, is seen as a celebrity chav.

Ms. McLoughlin - whose new house with Mr. Rooney reportedly includes its own spray-tanning booth - is rarely photographed without a variety of designer-store shopping bags and a thong showing above her pants....

Others in the greater chav universe are David and Victoria Beckham, who would hate to be considered chavs but who nonetheless wore matching purple outfits and sat on matching thrones at their wedding; and Jordan, a former topless model who recently traveled to her own wedding in a Cinderella-style carriage shaped like a pumpkin and pulled by six white horses.

It's good we don't have anything like this in the States.

Spies Like Us

During this season of treason, Scooter and the Boy Genius might want to cut their losses and see if they can get the Larry Franklin special.

A Defense Department analyst charged with passing government secrets to two employees of an influential pro-Israel lobbying group plans to plead guilty at a hearing next week, court officials announced yesterday.

Lawrence A. Franklin, 58, will enter his plea in U.S. District Court in Alexandria on Wednesday, the court said. Sources familiar with the case said Franklin is expected to plead guilty to conspiracy and possibly to other counts. He also is planning to resume his cooperation with prosecutors, they said.


Federal prosecutors declined to comment yesterday. Franklin's attorney, Plato Cacheris, said Franklin will appear in court Wednesday but declined to elaborate. "There will be some disposition,'' said Cacheris, who added that "the papers are not signed yet.''

The investigation has touched political and diplomatic hot buttons since it was publicly disclosed last year. Prosecutors say Franklin and the two former AIPAC employees, Steven J. Rosen and Keith Weissman, conspired to obtain and illegally pass on classified information to foreign officials and reporters over a five-year period.

Although no foreign government has been publicly named, U.S. government sources have identified Israel as the country at the center of the probe. The case has complicated relations between the United States and Israel, which are close allies, and angered many supporters of AIPAC, which is considered one of Washington's most influential lobbying organizations.

An Iran specialist, Franklin briefly cooperated with investigators in the summer of 2004 but has since stopped, his attorney has said. Franklin was first charged in May with disclosing classified information related to potential attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq. A subsequent indictment last month expanded the allegations to say that Franklin revealed national defense information to Rosen and Weissman.
Surely all the wingnuts who reveled in the Sandy Burglar fable (which involved neither disclosure nor destruction of classified information) should be blogging their tiny brains out over a story involving disclosure of classified information that put American soldiers in Iraq at greater risk.



Oh, Mister Ed calls Franklin a "dupe" who (presumably) was duped by real spies, and who only got a lawyer once he "discovered that he could get charged with associated crimes." Ed generously allows that he hopes Franklin won't get "completely off the hook," but should do "some real time," "regardless of the nationality of the agents involved." You're a real hard ass, Eed.

Meanwhile, The Corner is too deeply buried in Bill Bennett's well-upholstered backside to notice.

Even Howie the Putz isn't buying The Miller's Tale.

Of course, Howie has no questions about the Administration's part in the tale.

Good boy, Howie.

Please Release Me, Let Me Go

According to people briefed in reality, the Miller's Tale in today's Times is a steaming pile of manure.

The discussions were at times strained, with Mr. Libby and Mr. Tate's [sic] asserting that they communicated their voluntary waiver to another lawyer for Ms. Miller, Floyd Abrams, more than year ago, according to those briefed on the case.

Other people involved in the case have said Ms. Miller did not understand that the waiver had been freely given and did not accept it until she had heard from Mr. Libby directly.

You can avoid incarceration -- or confirm your co-conspirator's source's true intention -- with a single phone call. What do you do?

Perhaps J.F. Miller will claim her high-minded principle was that she couldn't go back and ask Libby for a waiver, because then her promise of confidentiality was something less than absolute. (That is to say, meaningless.)

Oh, wait.

Ms. Miller authorized her lawyers to seek further clarification from Mr. Libby's representatives in late August, after she had been in jail for more than a month. Mr. Libby wrote to Ms. Miller in mid-September saying he believed that her lawyers understood during discussions last year that his waiver was voluntary.

One can only bear so many hip-hop videos and loads of prison laundry in service of the First Amendment.

So it comes down to this. It was all a big misunderstanding. Judy thought that that nice Scooter didn't want to take her to the dance, so she told her friend Floyd she wouldn't go with him anyway, even if he asked. And Scooter thought Judy was swell, so he just couldn't understand why Judy wouldn't want go with him. And each was too proud to approach the other, so they exchanged long, soulful glances in the hall for over a year, until Judy's other friend Billy approached Scooter's pal, Joey, and asked why Scooter was such a jerk. "Scooter's not the jerk -- Judy's the jerk, you big dope...."

And then they all went to the ice cream shoppe.

Except Floyd.

And felonies were committed and peoples' lives were ruined and many, many thousands of people died in the war that Judy and Scooter supported.

But our right to read fairy tales, like the one transcribed Messrs. Johnston and Jehl with no apparent shame, lives on.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Bait and Switch

Lefty bloggers are responsible for the elevation of hard-line reactionary Roy Blunt to the position of House Majority Leader. Who knew they were so powerful?

It's funny but it's not: Liberals whispered gleefully all morning yesterday about Dreier's squishiness -- and some outright screamed about it. What part of the Democratic agenda this was supposed to advance is unclear, as the group that stood to benefit the most rumors [sic] about Dreier were social conservatives. Who's to say if the background noise from the blogosphere helped the wingnut's [sic] successful campaign to bump Dreier -- a moderate on abortion, stem cells, and same-sex marriage -- for Missouri's Roy Blunt, to whom the Christian Coalition has given a 92 percent approval rating and who is a protege of noted gay rights advocate John Ashcroft. It certainly couldn't have hurt. Gaybaiting is an ugly way to win; it's an even uglier way to lose.
Of course, when you're screaming about it for a joke, it's just good, clean e-commerce.

Update: More on the relative wingnuttiness of Blunt and Dreier here. It's a far bigger tragedy than anyone could have imagined.

Murphy's Blog

Mike Murphy, the monkey in charge of Dennis Miller's CNBC abortion talk show, is back at the full-time job he never left, political consultant to Arnold Schwarzenegger. And he's blogging. Badly.

Today's topic? Thank you donors. A story: I was with a rich guy the other day who offered to give a million dollars to Arnold's reform campaign. I was a little too lost in the moment... thinking about Dr. Evil and the One Milllllllion Dollars phrase and all to really reflect on it at the time but I did have a quiet minute to think afterwards, and got all sappy and well, I just want to thank our donors. (No, you cynics, it is not because we consultants are making ton of money here. We are all working away on reform drone wages. Our political consultant union bosses would be shocked at our vig, believe me.)

Show us your 1099s, Mikey.

The guy with the million bucks didn't always had a million bucks. Once, he had nothing. But he hit the American Dream. He is giving
this reform campaign money -- and their are many others like him -- because he wants a better California. He doesn't want anything from the state or from you. He doesn't want to take your tax money and spend it on something that will him richer or more powerful. He doesn't want a special break or deal or something named after him. He just wants the next poor kid like him to go a decent school, learn something, and have the same shot at the top that he did. And he knows the system is broken, and when it is broken it is the people without much money who get hurt the worst. So he wants to give a million dollars to try to make things better.

So what's the guy's name? Mikey doesn't say.

It's not here, either.

Maybe Dennis Miller could donate some jokes to Murphy's blog. Or maybe he already has.

(Link via the new Speak Out California weblog.)

October Surprise

New York-based D.C. insiders Josh Marshall and Tiffany Midgeson are thinking alike.


House Majority Leader Indicted for Criminal Conspiracy.

Senate Majority Leader the target of an increasingly serious probe of potential insider trading.

Rumors of October Rove indictment in the Plame case.

Is this a problem yet?



De Lay indicted. Frist under a cloud. What if something happens before the end of next month on Plame-gate? Hoo boy.

There's only one word for it: Rocktoberfest!

The Three Stooges

Roy Blunt of Missouri, David Dreier of California and Eric Cantor of Virginia are now fronting for the Bugchaser.

The front frontman is Roy Blunt:

The end result puts the House in the hands of Blunt - a 55-year-old Bible Belt conservative not unlike DeLay - rather than in those of a 53-year-old urban Californian who is a reliable conservative vote on economic issues but opposed banning same-sex marriages.

"Blunt is a standard partisan, more of a DeLay Jr. Dreier would have been a little bit daring for them, a little too thoughtful, too independent. ... It's not surprising they wouldn't quite want him to have the keys to the kingdom," said Jim Pinkerton, a former GOP White House aide who is now a fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington.

Smokin' Roy Blunt, of course, is the God-fearing family man who believes in the sanctity of marriage. As reported in the Columbia Daily Tribune:

In June 2002, the congressman announced that he and his wife, Roseann, were separating after 35 years of marriage. Sixteen months later, Blunt married Abigail Perlman, a lobbyist for the parent company of Philip Morris.

Blunt declined to talk about what led to his divorce, saying it was a personal matter and was "unfortunate."

Besides causing personal pain, the turmoil has taken a political toll. Last summer, The Washington Post reported that only hours after Blunt assumed the whip's job, he quietly tried to insert a provision benefiting Philip Morris into a bill creating a new Department of Homeland Security.

(Note to F.M. "Jeff" Jarvis: No matter how you try, that one wasn't the 9/11 Commission's fault either.)

Eric Cantor is the shill who tried, and failed, to enact the DeLay Rule. Blunt and Cantor are also friends of Abramoff.

Dreier, who was originally tapped for DeLay's position, lost out when radical right fundamentalists heard that he was a "friend of Powerline."

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A Tennessee Republican Blogger Stupider Than Glenn Reynolds

Hard to believe, but it's true:

I use to play a game in the 7th or 8th grade called the 7 degrees of Kevin Bacon .The object of this game was to link by association any one in the world to movie star Kevin Bacon in 7 steps or less .It was fun and simple to do.

Now I have become Kevin Bacon and some people are doing all they can to link me to what ever they can (many times fabricating it on computer as they go along.We used to call this cheating when I played the game).

Oh well, on with the game. I might as well play along now that I have a label who can I pass the title "racist hate site" on to ????????

This moron is a state legislator.

By the way, Stacey Campfield is 37, which means he was born in 1968 or 1969. The play Six Degrees of Separation, from which the name of the game is derived, is from 1990.

I'm not surprised that Campfield was in seventh or eighth grade at age 21. I am surprised he made it that far.

Update (9/29): General Christian and his commenters were already all over this before I spotted it.

Grand Old Police Blotter: Bugger All Edition

Justice catches up with the tiny Texan bugchaser:

"A Travis County grand jury today indicted U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on one count of criminal conspiracy, jeopardizing the Sugar Land Republican's leadership role as the second most powerful Texan in Washington, D.C.

"The charge, a state jail felony punishable by up to two years incarceration, stems from his role with his political committee, Texans for a Republican Majority, a now-defunct organization that already had been indicted on charges of illegally using corporate money during the 2002 legislative elections.


"Delay's defense team will hold a press conference in Austin later this afternoon. The team includes defense attorneys Bill White and Steve Brittain of Austin and Dick DeGuerin of Houston."

Two years. It's a start. But let's fumigate the House first.

The Speed Driven Life

Remember that hour-long special on CNN about Rick Warren, whose book, The Purpose Driven Life, was credited as enabling Ashley Smith to convince the Atlanta courthouse killer to surrender? Will CNN now retract the story and give Smith's crank dealer an hour to promote his stimulant of the masses?

Ashley Smith, the woman who says she persuaded suspected courthouse gunman Brian Nichols to release her by talking about her faith, discloses in a new book that she gave him methamphetamine during the hostage ordeal.


In her book, "Unlikely Angel," released Tuesday, Smith says Nichols had her bound on her bed with masking tape and an extension cord. She says he asked for marijuana, but she did not have any, and she dug into her illegal stash of crystal meth.

I always wondered about that up at 2 a.m. to buy some smokes story.

Smith insists her ordeal was a miracle, with God giving her "one more chance." Modesty prevented Smith from saying that the killer's four victims didn't deserve another chance.

Heinie Licks Butt

Hindlicker "John" Assrocket once more demonstrates his special talent: Republican rimmer for the Bush Administration.

Unfortunately, I have a life and wasn't able to spend hours watching Brownie attempt to revise history. I do know -- and Hindlicker doesn't mention -- that Brown's appearance was before a panel of House Republicans since all but two Democrats avoided the sham hearing. (The two Democrats who appeared, from Mississippi and Lousiana, no doubt felt an obligation to confront Brownie on behalf of his victims.) So there were plenty of asses, but I doubt Brownie kicked any of them.

The clips I saw of Brown whining weren't too impressive either. Why do Republicans always play the victim card?

The Putz of Comedy

I'm already laughing:

The terrifyingly productive Howard Kurtz, "Reliable Sources" host for CNN and media maven at The Washington Post, is shopping a nearly finished satirical novel about the newsbiz, titled "Funny Is Money." Yesterday, Kurtz told me: "This is something I'm fooling around with in my spare time and we'll have to see what comes of it. The fun part is that people may recognize - or think they recognize - some major media figures." He added: "The great advantage of tackling a novel is that you don't have to bother with such annoying procedures as checking your facts."

Monday, September 26, 2005

The Huffington Post finally has hit the big time.

Today at the site, firedoglake's Jane Hamsher takes on Dan Schorr, the latest eunuch-in-residence at the Temple of Saint Judy. Responding to Schorr's claim that Miller has been jailed for her principles, Jane states:

But I assume the "principle" Schorr is referring to is journalistic privilege. And to paint Judith Miller as some pure, willowy First Amendment martyr being broken on the wheel of a rigid justice department with no regard for civil rights can only be seriously entertained by those who are snapping bongloads with Curveball.


Further, Daniel, it wasn't just one judge who decided to send Judy to the slam. It was the decision of a three judge panel, and upheld without dissent by seven judges on the full federal appeals court in Washington. Since both Karl Rove and Scooter Libby have allegedly claimed that a reporter initially told them about Valerie Plame's identity, Fitzgerald is no doubt looking to find out what Judith Miller may have told them. What part of "journalistic privilege" allows reporters to refuse to answer questions about what they told other people? Please illuminate us, because enquiring minds want to know.

With contributions from Jane (and Harry Shearer), the Huffington Post may make it after all.

Meanwhile Bill Keller is still peddling the jumbo-sized mumbo:

At other papers, editors and reporters have detected greater hesitancy among some sources to disclose information. New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller says he doesn't "think for a second this is going to be the death of anonymous source journalism." But several of his Washington reporters have noted signs of longtime sources becoming more anxious and more reluctant to speak freely on sensitive subjects. "At this point it's just anecdotal, but it's a worry," Keller says. "Some of it is just, 'I can't talk to you on the phone anymore,' and some of it is, 'I think I better lay low for a while.'"

As someone once said, the plural of anecdote is pile of crap.

Do The Math

Howie the Putz proudly polishes his diploma from the Donnie Luskin School of applied Innumeracy:

Excelsior Springs, Mo.: Hi Howard --

Yesterday CNN aired all through the afternoon that war supporters had 20,000 people show up for their rally. This was hours after the actual number of 400-500 people was reported by Associated Press and other news services including The Washington Post. At 3:40 p.m. eastern, Renae San Miguel said on CNN headline news -- "About 20,000 showed up in Washington today to voice support the Iraq war". This was a bold faced lie that mislead anyone watching. My question is how long can the media continue to do the right wings bidding before the nation realizes you are a mouthpiece for the administration?

Howard Kurtz: I think you're underestimating the difficulty of doing crowd estimates. The Post and other news outlets had the same problem at the antiwar demonstration the day before, when estimates like 100,000 and higher were floating around but the D.C. police chief refused to provide an official estimate.

Yes, it's hard to tell the difference between 400 people and 20,000. Almost as difficult as telling the difference between Kurtz and a journalist.

Gonzales Ruined Our Torture Party

Writing of Abu Gonazles, enabler for the Texan Torquemada, the Midget Kaus inadvertently spills the beans about his fellow reactionaries' thought processes:

The opposition to Gonzales among conservatives I know is not ideological. It is personal and almost visceral. They think he is a mediocrity and a whiny, gutless careerist! Also a classic overpromoted affirmative action hire.

How true. But then again, the instinctive conservative reaction to any person of color, regardless of that person's policy views, is that the person is an overpromoted affirmative action hire. The instinctive conservative reaction is always personal: only I -- and those who align themselves with me -- are worthy; everyone else is my enemy. And there's no room in their tiny minds for the thought that white men are responsible for Bush's miserable failures.

That is their reality; that is Kaus's reality.

Mickey Kaus, The New Milton Berle

Except much tinier.

Kaus, September 26:

P.S.: The joint Meet appearance by three NYT columnists seemed like a marketing gimmick. (Next they're going to be given away to audience members on Oprah!)

The Onion, September 21:

Oprah Stuns Audience With Free Man Giveaway

Comedy. It's just that easy.

Sorry for the absence. I was directing the Chabad telethon this weekend.

Dennis Prager and I almost came to blows.

The highlight: The duet by Perry Farrell and Dick Van Dyke.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

More Good News From Iraq

"On their day off people would show up all the time," the sergeant continues in the HRW report. "Everyone in camp knew if you wanted to work out your frustration you show up at the PUC tent. In a way it was sport. The cooks were all U.S. soldiers. One day a sergeant shows up and tells a PUC to grab a pole. He told him to bend over and broke the guy's leg with a mini Louisville Slugger that was a metal bat. He was the cook."

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Abramoff, Tyco and Rove

The Circle of Sleaze continues to grow:

Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff bragged two years ago that he was in contact with White House political aide Karl Rove on behalf of a large, Bermuda-based corporation that wanted to avoid incurring some taxes and continue receiving federal contracts, according to a written statement by President Bush's nominee to be deputy attorney general.

Timothy E. Flanigan, general counsel for conglomerate Tyco International Ltd., said in a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week that Abramoff's lobbying firm initially boasted that Abramoff could help Tyco fend off a special liability tax because he "had good relationships with members of Congress," including House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.).

Abramoff later said "he had contact with Mr. Karl Rove" about the issue, according to the statement by Flanigan, who oversaw Tyco's dealings with Abramoff and his firm and received reports from Abramoff about progress in the lobbying campaign. Flanigan's statement is the latest indication that Abramoff promoted himself as having ready access to senior officials in the Bush administration.

A White House spokeswoman, Erin Healy, said Rove "has no recollection" of being contacted by Abramoff about Tyco's concerns.

Rove sounds more like his hero, Saint Ronnie, every day.

There's only one way to settle this. Raise your right hand, Karl.

But here's the kicker: Tommy Timmy Flanagin, mouthpiece for Tyco and almost certainly a witness in the forthcoming prosecutions of Abramoff, DeLay and Rove, is a Bush nominee for Ass. Attorney General.

Gives me confidence.

Old Bushswills

This report should be taken seriously. It's not like it came from some discredited lunatic like Matt Drudge or Powerline.

Family sources have told how the 59-year-old president was caught by First Lady Laura downing a shot of booze at their family ranch in Crawford, Texas, when he learned of the hurricane disaster.

His worried wife yelled at him: "Stop, George."

Following the shocking incident, disclosed here for the first time, Laura privately warned her husband against "falling off the wagon" and vowed to travel with him more often so that she can keep an eye on Dubya, the sources add.

"When the levees broke in New Orleans, it apparently made him reach for a shot," said one insider. "He poured himself a Texas-sized shot of straight whiskey and tossed it back. The First Lady was shocked and shouted: "Stop George!"


A Washington source said: "The sad fact is that he has been sneaking drinks for weeks now. Laura may have only just caught him — but the word is his drinking has been going on for a while in the capital. He's been in a pressure cooker for months.


The result is he's taking drinks here and there, likely in private, to cope. "And now with the worst domestic crisis in his administration over Katrina, you pray his drinking doesn't go out of control."

On the bright side, it's not like he was competent when he was sober.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Next, on a very special episode of The King of Queens.

Now Watch This Drive

The latest reports of Administration sleaze have even managed to alienate one of the G.O.P.'s core constituencies -- Golfbloggers:

Politicos continue to tarnish golf's good name


Not satisfied with polluting the golf courses of their homeland, members of the U.S. political system have now gone and drug St. Andrews through the mud.

News Brief: Bush administration official charged with obstructing federal investigation.

So it seems that one David Safavian, who resigned from his position with the Office of Management and Budget on Friday, sort of took liberties with the truth when he accepted a trip to Scotland to play famed St. Andrews a few years back. And it also seems that U.S. representative Bob Ney from Ohio was also on that flight.

So to make a long story that much longer, what happened was Safavian and Ney took the trip, and paid for most of it, except for the private jet that the lobbyist paid for. It seems the lobbyist in question -- Jack Abramoff (who only has one current fraud charge on his plate) -- was looking for some favors on a land deal.

And then Safavian, and it appears Ney, lied about it. Obviously, Abramoff is just a super friendly guy who likes ferrying people about to luxury locations in a private jet. Meanwhile, I can't even get my friends to buy me a Hot Pocket at the turn.

So what does it all mean? Well, being realistic, it doesn't mean much. The story will undoubtedly have a very short news life and Safavian will likely be named as a Supreme Court judge in the wink, nudge, handshake, keep-your-mouth-shut world that is the Bush administration.

However, the plea for poiliticos and their ilk to get out of the golf game needs to get louder. I mean, this is St. Andrews for goodness sake. What next? Prostitutes for Politicians at Pebble Beach?


Monday, September 19, 2005

Grand Old Police Blotter: Safavian Flu Edition

Call me an optimist, but I do believe this guy's got a tale to tell and he'll be happy to tell it. But where will it lead?

His wife was an OIC Ass. Prosecutor on Whitewater under Robert Ray. Might come in handy.

Grim Fairy Tales

Depends Media gets its own covert op.

It seems like the guy gives out a lot of information about himself, but I've never had a secret military job, so what do I know?

He'd tell you his identity, but then he'd have to bore you to death with a longwinded post about the insidious "MSM."

(Found via TBogg)

Ofay's Book Club

Times Select will offer video (of columnist debates, for example), expanded pieces from editorial writers and access to archives (eventually back to 1851). Among the opinion, business, local and sports columnists, Frank Rich will field questions in a blog-like forum and John Tierney will host a book club.

Which will be the first selection: Anthem or The Bell Curve?

Howie The Putz Shills Again

Howie the Administration Apologist once again repeats the canard that his corporate masters are not to blame for misleading the public, because reporting is all hard and stuff:

"This is not a story, like whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, that was difficult to get at."

If the Washington Post is not competent to determine the truth, it should say so. How hard is it to write: "Bush's claims that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction cannot be verified, and the sources cited by the Administration have no credibility. Further, Bush's claims are contradicted by numerous persons with knowledge and expertise on the subject, and we can find no errors in their analyses."

Easier, and cheaper than hiring an apologist like Kurtz.

Grand Old Police Blotter: Dick Redux Edition

The long-awaited sentencing of Christian philanthropist and convicted child sex abuser Dick Dasen took place last week. Dasen has been given a 20 year sentence, with 18 years suspended. With time served, he'll be out in 2007, if he keeps his nose clean. Dasen was given the slap on the wrist by a judge who thinks that Dasen doesn't believe he did anything wrong and is lying about his current financial circumstances.

The ever-charitable Dasen already has forgiven his accusers:

Susan Dasen, who has been married to Dasen for 43 years and has four children with him, testified that her husband "was living a life that wasn't who he was." He has admitted having numerous affairs.

She said Dasen was relieved when he was arrested.

"He couldn't make it quit. It was a situation he couldn't get out of," she said.

She said she has "seen every picture. I've read every interview because I have to know" all the evidence in the case, she said. Her husband harbors no anger towards the women, but told her he feels "awful they feel the need to lie."

She said if they move away, no one will able to "talk him into anything" he shouldn't do.

That sack o' dildoes in Dasen's office? Planted by crack hos. The videotaped three-ways in the grandkids' bedroom? Forced entry and trespassing. Delusion, thy name is Susan.

Meanwhile, Dick's pastor, the Reverend Meathead, has joined the Depends Media revolution and placed the blame where it truly lies:

The Rev. Darold Reiner has known Dasen for 25 years through Trinity Lutheran Church.

Dasen is a godly man, he said, who has helped hundreds of people.

"He has a good heart, a kind heart ... I think he has suffered enough for what he has done," Reiner said.

He repeatedly said that Dasen had "been led into" his transgressions.

"He was led astray," Reiner said. The women came to him to ask for favors, not vice versa, he said.

"He came up to see me with tears in his eyes, confessing that he had sinned," Reiner said of Dasen after the police sting at the motel.

He called Dasen's actions "moral wrong-doing" and said "the media exaggerated" the story.

Cardinal Law couldn't have said it better himself.

Dasen himself chose to hide behind the character references of his wife and pastor.

A summary of Dasen's crimes and sleazy dealings can be found here.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Clowned and Gagged

Those who love humorless rightwing comic strips are in for a real treat.

Imagine a cartoon where the punchline involves a reporter admitting to be a dishonest, Bush-hating liberal.




Okay, you're imagining every other wingnut strip. But this one blows even more.

Imagine a cartoon which portrays Tim Russert, Chris Matthews and Wolf Blitzer as rabid liberals.

Or any kind of liberals.

Imagine a cartoon whose creator thinks height of creativity is ridiculing an elderly reporter by depicting her as saying something made her "wish [she] was eighty years younger."

(I mean, that gag was old when Ronald Reagan was in diapers.)




(The first time.)

(See how easy that is?)

Ladies and gentlemen,

I give you ...


Technical Question

A reader has asked whether the type of this blog can be made darker. I'm also wondering if there's a way individual readers can make the type darker and/or larger, for greater readability, on their own computers. Any ideas?

Note: If the solution involves me changing the blog's settings, it must be idiot-proof.

Center For Individual Freedom Demands Birth Control Vending Machines In Public Schools

Kudos to the rightwing Center for Individual Freedom for standing up to Big Hypocrisy:

"The availability of condoms does not make children unsafe; not knowing how to protect themselves does. Health and sexuality education should be part of the curriculum in public schools, so children learn to make their own choices."

"By removing choices from the schools, our children will be unprepared for the real world. If they do not learn healthy choices in school, we face a health crisis when these children become adults. Of course, the religious nannies would welcome such a health crisis as an opening to control what people can and cannot do."

"The prophylactic industry is not the enemy of public schools. Blaming it for the failure of parents and schools to teach children how to express their sexuality in a safe way avoids the problem rather than solves it," said [CFIF President Jeff] Mazzella.

I couldn't have said it better myself.

(As always, read the whole thing.)

Warning: Contains Spoilers

TFP to Columbia Pictures: Release the Script!

While The Da Vinci Code book is a nationwide bestseller with plenty of publicity, not much is known about the film version of the novel. In a measure that appears to avoid controversy, the movie company is keeping the movie script under wraps. Its web site lists no details on the set.

According to The New York Times, Sony Pictures, parent of Columbia Pictures has "dropped a scrim of secrecy over the affair, refusing to discuss anything but the barest details. The script has been closely controlled. Outsiders have been banned from the set. And those associated with the film have had to sign confidentiality agreements."

The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) and its America Needs Fatima campaign is launching a nationwide e-protest asking Columbia Pictures to lift the silence surrounding the filming. The campaign is asking that Columbia release details of the script and the film’s contents.

"By hiding the script and its contents, it seems Columbia hopes to silence opposition," Mr. Horvat continued. "The logic is that if we can't read the script, we can't discuss the film."

Under the guise of fiction, The Da Vinci Code attacks everything Catholics hold sacred – the Divinity of Christ, the truth of the Gospel, the Papacy and the holy mysteries of the Faith.

The book's author claims that Saint Mary Magdalene was really Jesus' wife who gave birth to his child and that Christ wanted her, not Saint Peter to lead the Church. He further portrays the Catholic Church as a cruel power that betrayed Christ and hid His real teachings from the faithful.

The question most people are asking is how much of the material in the book is going to be contained in the movie.

"It is ironic that the very people who say the Catholic Church has hidden the truth from the faithful now hide the truth from the public," commented TFP webmaster John Horvat, coordinator of the e-protest effort.


"All we're asking at this point is that the 'code of silence' be lifted from 'The Da Vinci Code' movie," says Mr. Horvat. "Why all the secrecy?"

Why indeed?

Depends Media

The most trusted name in insipid hysterical rumor mongering.


We soil ourselves and call it news.

Wake up, Rog, it was only a wet dream.

Grand Old Police Blotter: Idiot Son of An Asshole Edition

TBogg has the details.

Resisting arrest is now a private matter.

The little pr*ck assaulted a police officer. Quite ineffectually, of course.

Officers said he intoxicated [sic] and could have posed a danger to himself and others, said TABC Captain David Ferrero.

The family biography, in one sentence.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Cherry Picasso

One last time before he disappears behind the pay curtain, John Tierney shows us what a Libertarian assclown looks like.

Today's column, his third on Katrina, heaps praise on a private ambulance service and excoriates FEMA. I have no doubt that Acadian Ambulance service performed heroic acts, and believe that FEMA's response was criminally incompetent. But Tierney's "private enterprise good, government bad" moral isn't supported by the facts, so Tienney again minimizes those facts he doesn't like.

Tierney claims the only radio network that survived the hurricane was Acadian's private one. But he admits, later on, that both of the company's New Orleans radio antennae were destroyed in the hurricane, and that Acadian was forced to use government equipment from a neighboring parish in order to communicate. (Presumably Tierney isn't such a libertarian lunatic that he opposes the role of local governments in public safety, but he is dishonest enough to downplay the use of public assets and the efforts of local officials to weave his fable of private supermen.)

Likewise, Tierney fails to acknowledge that federal government played a significant part in the creation of that satellite technology Acadian used, and ignores the rescue efforts of those evil bureaucrats in the Coast Guard. (I'll take a wild guess that Acadian's R&D investment in actual satellites was zero.)

Although Tierney may pretend otherwise, the dividing line between competence and incompetence in response to emergencies is not a private vs. public divide. The incompetence of FEMA and DHS was the consequence of Bush appointing political cronies and other Republican parasites to leadership positions. (And he's just repeated the same mistake, with Karl Rove, if we charitably call it a mistake.) The bureaucracy is only as incompetent as the Chimp in Charge.

Farewell and good riddance, Mr. Tierney.

Weak In Review

So, I go away for a couple of days and what do I find?

George Bush is still a miserable failure.

Dick Cheney is still a desiccated clot.

Judith Miller is still in jail.

Those damn kids are still having more sex than us.

Whether the foregoing items speak to the influence or lack thereof of this blog is a question for others to answer.

Nick Kristof, Inmate No. 5433297

Speaking of Saint Fucking-Miller, wouldn't it be a hoot if Nick Kristof refused to testify in the civil suit against him and got sent to the same facility as Ms. Miller?

Two years ago, Dr. Hatfill sued the bureau and the Justice Department, saying leaks to the news media about him and the public description of him by Attorney General John Ashcroft as a "person of interest" in the case had destroyed his reputation.

He also has a suit pending against The New York Times and a columnist for the paper, Nicholas D. Kristof, saying Mr. Kristof defamed him.

This summer, Judge Reggie B. Walton, of Federal District Court in Washington, let Dr. Hatfill's lawyers begin questioning people about the reported leaks. According to a lawyer for Dr. Hatfill, Thomas G. Connolly, among the six people who have been deposed so far are Mr. Lambert, the top investigator; Brad Garrett, another longtime agent; and Ms. Weierman, the spokeswoman.

Ah, the sweet aroma of grilled Pistof. Smells like a burning rug.

Let the interrogation begin.

And it certainly can happen in the context of a civil case:

Dan Kennedy, an assistant journalism professor at Northeastern University in Boston noted that in the past, cases involving the revealing of confidential sources usually involved criminal or national security proceedings, but the Apple case is part of a frightening new trend.

"What's scary about the Apple case," he told MacNewsWorld, "is that reporters are being dragged into court and being told to give up their sources to help one or another party in a civil suit. That is a far bigger threat than something like the Judith Miller case."

Ooooh... scary!

In Pistof's case, he is a party to the civil case, which makes it all the more appropriate to jail him if he refuses to answer questions under oath. As could happen to anyone else who refused to comply with an order to testify.

Of course, I'm assuming that little Nicky isn't champing at the bit to testify. He seems like the sort you can't get to shut up, if the subject is himself.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Virgin Ben On The Non-Virgin Ben

The Virgin Ben has an interesting column today. Sure, it reads like one of his regular junior high A.P. essays, but look closer. You can see all the corrections made by his editor as well as the language from the original draft: "Painters had found it difficult to distinguish in their art in their art a rising sun from a setting sunone, he noted;" "a process whichthat has abolished slavery;" and "through the mechanism of the eElectoral cCollege."

The editor missed this bit of half-assery, though:

The American sun rises and sets with the Constitution. As Dr. Franklin also pointed out on September. 17, the Constitution itself is but a document --- it relies [sic] on the people to give it truth and life. The Constitution, Franklin stated, '"can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other.'"

In truth, Franklin didn't say that "the Constitution can only end in despotism [etc.]" What he stated (or was quoted as saying) was:

"In these sentiments, Sir, I agree to this Constitution, with all its faults, -- if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of government but what may be a blessing to the people, if well administered; and I believe, farther, that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other."

It could be worse. When I saw the headline "The Greatest Document Written by Man," I was certain V.B. was devoting yet another column to his book of pornography.

In the meantime, the Virgin Ben should heed Franklin's advice and make a play for Ann Coulter before it's too late.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Select Meets Dreck

Starting next week, the New York Times' "influential" op-ed columnists will only be available online to those who subscribe to TimesSelect for a $49.95 annual fee. (They should combine forces with for a package deal -- "keep teen masturbators off your computer and Nick Kristof on your computer for only $99.90 a year.")

It will be tough getting through the day without access to thought-provoking masterpieces like this:

I'm not suggesting that Mr. Roberts is a liar, or that anything the Democrats ask today could stop him from being confirmed. But they might at least keep TV viewers awake by trying questions like these: ....

Would you think it's cool if a professional wrestler dubbed himself Chief Justice, or would you sue him for trademark infringement?


When you were a clerk at the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Warren Burger was disliked for his pretentiousness. What nickname did the clerks have for him? Burger King?


Ashley or Mary-Kate?

If people pay for drivel like that, I might have to suss out a way to make money off my own drivel.

No more trips to Red Lobster with Bobo. No more fathead flat-earth metaphors from Tom Friedman. No more tours of Third World brothels with the Great White Pistof. No more glowing references to Tierney's neo-Klan pals. I already don't miss it.

Another Clownhaller uses her column to pimp for a Clownhall advertiser:

If you have Internet access, get a filter. According to a study by the London School of Economics, nine out of 10 children ages eight to 16 who go online have viewed porn Web sites, usually while looking up information for homework assignments. Why make your kids vulnerable to perverts? Downloading a filter takes only a few keystrokes. My family uses the awesome filter from For about $50 a year, my children are protected 24/7 from online smut. The filter has a pass-code override for parents in case a site is mistakenly blocked, and users receive a weekly e-mail listing sites folks attempted to visit while in your home. (Sadly, I found the report particularly useful after a teenaged visitor spent a few days with our family this summer. It revealed that he had tried several times to visit hard-core porn sites late at night. I'll be visiting the mother of this boy soon and have the difficult task of telling her what her son is up to.)

Or, even better, I'll write a column about it, and save myself the trip.

Shorter Dennis Prager: "I can't be full of shit; I've got a dick."

Monday, September 12, 2005

Clownhall or Klanhall?

Featured at The tolerant musings of one "Doctor" Jennifer Roback Morse, a Senior Fellow in Economics at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty and a Part-Time Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution:

It is time to say that this is wrong. It is wrong for parents to discard or abandon one another. You can mix and match your racial or gender stereotypes. As far as I'm concerned, it is just as wrong for a rich white guy to think himself cool for having a new series of kids by a new younger woman, as it is for a ghetto thug. It is just as wrong for a rich white woman to use a sperm donor, because she doesn't want to be bothered with a relationship with a man, as it is for a poor black woman to kick her child's father out of the house so she can collect welfare. Neither sex has a monopoly on virtue; no race has a monopoly on vice.

White people are self-centered; African-Americans are thugs and parasites. How egalitarian.

No contributor to Clownhall has a monopoly on bigotry; they're all racist idiots.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Chris Schenkel: 1923-2005

Rest in peace.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

(Warning: The following post is extremely juvenile.)

Hello. Do You Have Prince Albert In A Can?

No, he only comes in a condom.

Or not.

"Midway through the official yearlong mourning period for his father, just as [Prince Albert of Monaco] the bachelor prince was trying to assimilate his new responsibilities and project the gravitas expected of him as a ruler, a former flight attendant announced with rather graphic detail in Paris-Match that she and Prince Albert had conceived a son, Alexandre, who was born two years ago.

"'It was a very difficult moment for me,' he said with characteristic understatement, adding that he is still 'coming to terms' with the unintended fatherhood. When asked if he believed he was tricked into having a child, as the mother's account suggested, he was unflinching. 'Yes, I think I was set up,' he said." (link)

Let me get out the world's second smallest violin for the poor prince.

The potentate asserts that young Alexandre will never ascend to the throne of Monaco, but he may try to get him a job at Albertson's.

Frivolous Lawsuit Dismissed

Slightly old news, but I missed it.

Someone once suggested it was wrong to bear false witness against one's neighbors. In response, Stephen Williams, the "Alliance Defense Fund" and Sean Hannity, among others, said fuck that shit.

You may recall that Williams, a Christian fundamentalist, sued the Cupertino Unified School District after he was forbidden to teach students fraudulent versions of history and religion designed to prostylize them. Sean Hannity rolled into town and led a crusade against the District based on Williams' lies, and Williams' principal was harassed by right-wing thugs.

In August, the suit was dismissed, Williams has resigned in disgrace, and Williams and his attorney were forced to execute an agreement acknowledging that Williams' claims against the District had no merit. The Left Coaster has all the glorious details.

(The local paper, the San Jose Mercury-News has the same here and here, but with incredibly annoying registration required.)

It's good to see thugs lose.

For those who missed the story in the So-Called Liberal Media, that's because the dismissal got almost no coverage outside California -- except for a blatantly dishonest article on a Focus on the Family website claiming victory for the thugs.

Pacification Continues Successfully in Iraq

Good News From Mississippi

The President Takes Action

Friday, September 09, 2005

Fucking Moron 2.0

Bearded git Jeff Jarvis says that the 9/11 Commission is at fault for the failed Bush Administration response to Hurricane Katrina. No, really.

The 9/11 Commission bears some responsibility for the disaster that American disaster relief has become.... [Para.] But there was no deliberation after the commission issues its report and browbeat Washington into doing what they said. So Washington did. And FEMA is a mess. And New Orleans is a mess.

And here's his proof:

I've been trying to find how exactly FEMA's reorganization plan came: Were the details laid out by the commission or by Congress? Doesn't matter, really.

The intellectual rigor of the argument astounds.

Bearded Git 2.0 might want to use the internet he's always prattling on about to school his sorry ass:

But then, as former counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke explained in his recent book Against all Enemies, "the White House legislative affairs office began to take a head count on Capitol Hill." Realizing that the Lieberman Bill would likely pass both houses of Congress, with no credit given to the White House, in June 2002 the administration changed its tune, calling for a new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that would be even larger than the one Lieberman had proposed.

Under the administration's plan, 22 government agencies, FEMA among them, would be merged into the DHS. Analysts in and out of government warned against subsuming the emergency agency's vital functions in a new super-department. "There are concerns of FEMA losing its identity as an agency that is quick to respond to all hazards and disasters," the agency's inspector general noted in a memo to Allbaugh. Congress' Government Accountability Office judged the merger to be a "high-risk" endeavor for FEMA, and the Brookings Institution, a leading Washington think-tank, cautioned in a report that such a move could hobble the agency's natural disaster programs. "While a merged FEMA might become highly adept at preparing for and responding to terrorism, it would likely become less effective in performing its current mission in case of natural disasters as time, effort and attention are inevitably diverted to other tasks within the larger organization."

But Bush's proposal won out, and a shift in priorities from natural disasters to counter-terrorism immediately took hold. In its 2002 budget, the White House doubled FEMA's budget to $6.6 billion, but of that sum, $3.5 billion was earmarked for equipment and training to help states and localities respond to terrorist attacks.

Michael Brown, a college friend of Allbaugh's who had served as FEMA's general counsel, was recruited to head the agency, which would now be part of the DHS's Emergency and Response Directorate. When the reorganization took effect on March 1, 2003, Brown assured skeptics that under the new arrangement, the country would be served by "FEMA on steroids"--a faster, more effective disaster agency.

The reorganization took effect March 1, 2003. The 9/11 Commission Report was issued in July 2004.

But! But! What about the 9/11 Commission? It's their fault! It is! It is! It is!

And this tossbag is "conven[ing] a meeting to bring together the best of the web -- software, hardware, infrastructure, media, money -- to start to gather around needs and solutions" for future disasters. Give it up, Jarvis. Your credibility and relevance are beyond recovery.

Stay tuned for future Jarvis installments: (1) The Old Media, which is dead and just doesn't know it, is to blame for the death of every American in the past month. And they know it; (2) Kofi Annan was raping women in the Superdome; (3) The people who named those Iraqi brothers weeks after I did have the blood of Katrina's victims on their hands too.

Update: Paragraph after large block quote edited for clarity.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Michael Brown's next job, in a just world:

The report did not explain where the tiger urine had come from or how it was collected.

Hmmm... Tastes like chicken piss.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Hey, Goldberg and Derbyshire. I got your looter right here:

The Missouri attorney general, Jay Nixon, filed a lawsuit this afternoon against, the hub for a constellation of Web sites erected over the last several days purporting to collect donations for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Also named in the lawsuit, Mr. Nixon said, is the apparent operator of the donation sites, Frank Weltner, a St. Louis resident and radio talk show personality with ties to neo-Nazi organizations and the notorious Web site

The Missouri lawsuit seeks to freeze the assets of Internet Donations Inc., a nonprofit entity registered with the Missouri secretary of state's office by Mr. Weltner on Sept. 2, and to shut down the dozen or so Web sites with names like, and Those sites appear to have been hastily registered and mounted since Hurricane Katrina devastated large swaths of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi last week.

If you look at this prick's own website (no link), he is in fact raising money for victims of Katrina. Certain victims.

To hell with the lawsuit, drop this man headfirst into Lake Pontchartrain.

Update: I am moving this to the top because the sites are still active. It would be a tragedy if this ass got one cent. It wouldn't be a tragedy if something somehow happened to all of his sites.

Family Man

Serial predator A. Schwarzenegger protects the sanctity of marriage:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced Wednesday that he will veto a bill that would allow gay marriages in California.

Schwarzenegger said the legislation, given final approval Tuesday by lawmakers, would conflict with the intent of voters when they approved a ballot initiative five years ago. Proposition 22 prevents California from recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states or countries.

Well, Prop. 22 was a law enacted through the proposition process. And, since then, the voters elected legislators to enact laws. So the Assembly bill is the will of the voters.

"We cannot have a system where the people vote and the Legislature derails that vote," the governor's press secretary, Margita Thompson, said in a statement. "Out of respect for the will of the people, the governor will veto (the bill)."

If the Predator respected the will of the people, he'd vacate his sorry ass from the Governor's office. Although it will be more fun to see him vacate involuntarily.

Ode to Mountjoy

You are an asshole.

But opponents, including conservative Republicans, have argued that the law must be stopped in the nation's most populous state because it constitutes another assault on the sanctity of the family. Californians passed a defense-of-marriage act defining marriage as between a man and a woman in 2000, and the state, which mixes freewheeling Marin County with culturally conservative Orange County, has emerged as a front line in the battle over the bedroom ever since.

"Marriage should be between a man and a woman, end of story. Next issue," insisted Assemblyman Dennis Mountjoy (R-Monrovia). "It's not about civil rights or personal rights, it's about acceptance. They want to be accepted as normal. They are not normal." -- Washington Post, September 7, 2005

Here's an excerpt from Dennis's bio:

Dennis has two grown children, Tammy and Nicholas, and one grandchild, Diego. He is a member of the California Republican Assembly and the Lincoln Club. He is an avid golfer. His hobbies include fishing and hunting.

Notice anything?

Jonah Goldberg, Second Generation Racist

When you see a headline like this from the Doughy Pantload

In Katrina's aftermath, racial generalizations aren't helpful

you might think Goldberg was going to castigate his racist pal John Derbyshire for seconding the racist comments of John Tierney's racist pal, Steve Sailer. (Derbyshire's comment is quoted here.)

You might think that if you knew nothing about Jonah Goldberg, the son of a proprietor of an internet bulletin board for racists.

You might think it if you didn't read Goldberg's article, which engages in racist generalizations Goldberg at which he pretends to take offense. The Pantload writes:

The danger here is real. Tens of thousands of black New Orleaneans persevered with dignity and sacrifice in the face of Katrina. But a sizable minority of blacks - including police - behaved reprehensibly in the aftermath, shooting at rescue workers, raping, killing and, yes, looting (though no cannibalism).

Does the Pantload have any proof that any African-Americans shot at rescue workers, raped and killed people "in the aftermath?" Does he have any proof that a sizeable minority of African-Americans shot at rescue workers, raped and killed people? Does he have any proof that any -- or a sizeable minority -- of African-American police officers shot at rescue workers, killed and raped people? Because he unequivocally makes every one of those assertions. Perhaps he confused the facts with a particularly violent episode of Star Trek.

Goldberg is a racist, pure and simple.

Monday, September 05, 2005

And The Bigots Played On

Rebecca Hagelin asks why the poor don't have the courtesy to shut up and drown, like the underclass passengers in steerage on the Titanic did.

Hagelin can't help but think -- if you can call it that -- "that if the tragic natural disaster in New Orleans had occurred in a culture that had daily practiced the Golden Rule, rather than the Gangsta Rot, we would have seen more scenes of neighbors helping neighbors and far fewer scenes of neighbors preying upon neighbors." That never would have happened on the Titanic, Hagelin huffs:

The harsh reality that dreadful day in 1912 is that most of the passengers would die, and they knew it. Yet, amid the panic and impending doom, the accounts of survivors remind us of a time when civility and honor were more important to many than survival itself.

So how is that in fewer than 100 years we have digressed to [sic] a society where, when disaster strikes, the story is marked by a display of the worst side of human nature rather than the best?

How is it? Perhaps because you and your story are full of shit, that's how.

On the Titanic:

The orders, if they came at all, were sent down to the lower decks after most of the lifeboats with less than capacity had left. By that time and the fate of these people were sealed. They were basically left to shift for themselves. Some managed to save themselves, but most just milled around helplessly about in their quarters-ignored, neglected, forgotten.

There were some Third Class passengers that did not wait for White Star personnel to escort them. They struck out on their own and faced many locked entry ways and gates. The myriad of hallways and stairs in Titanic made the trip from steerage to the boat deck an almost insurmountable challenge. Any entrance through First Class was met with locked doors or a White Star crew member that refused entrance. Some of the more resourceful third class passengers crawled along the crane from the well deck aft while others climbed vertical ladders to escape the well deck forward.

Sound familiar, Becky?

And why not compare Katrina with history which is quite a bit more relevant, by the way? No gangsta rap in 1927 either.

I know this part of the Titanic story will ring a bell for you:

With this lost world went some of its prejudices-especially a firm and loudly voiced opinion of the superiority of Anglo-Saxon courage. All the brave and heroic passengers were white, English speaking people. While the ones that mobbed the lifeboats and pushed women and children out of the way were "Armenians", "Italian", or just "foreigners." Even when Harold Bride in his testimony, told about the man that broke into the radio room and tried to steal his life jacket, some newspapers made the man "Negro" for better effect. (Just as a sidelight, there were no African-Americans on board the Titanic.)

Sadly, those prejudices, and those loudly voiced opinions, haven't gone at all. They've just digressed to

Ad Nags

Some revisionist history in the NYT:

Mr. Clinton has been engaged in a campaign to establish himself as a respected force in American life after a rather messy departure from the White House, using his foundation for prominent work in the fight against AIDS in Africa.

The only thing messy about President Clinton's departure from the White House was the debacle known as Electiontheft 2000. Clinton played no role in that. And, of course, the impeachment farce was concluded before the President completed his second term.

Oh, wait. Maybe Ad Nags is talking about the fictitious trashing of the White House. Or maybe Marc Rich, the rich man's Cap Weinberger and Eliott Abrams (or the poor man's George H.W. Bush).

Clinton was always respected by many and hated, virulently, by a prominent many in the SCLM. Which brings us back to Nagourney.

[Clinton] is also trying to be less polarizing than he was when he left the White House, an effort to become less of a political weight if, as expected, Mrs. Clinton runs for president, friends said. The presence of Mr. Clinton next to Mr. Bush will make it that much harder, some Democrats said, for Republicans to attack the Clintons.

What? Lanny Davis and Dick Morris didn't want to see their names in the paper? There's a first time for everything.

Or is Nags talking about his friends, like Jodi Wilogren and Judith Fucking-Miller?

And there is nothing which will make it harder for Republicans to attack the Clintons, which Nags knows as well as he knows his speed dial number for Karl Rove.

Lie and Order

Harry Shearer has been blogging with a skeptical eye about all the rumors of looting, assault, shooting at aircraft, desertion and general lawlessness in New Orleans. Not to say that such things haven't happened, just that they often get reported when there's no credible proof or particulars.

It's a welcome antidote to people like Kaus, who never met an anecdote reflecting poorly on African-Americans he didn't link to -- along with an accusation that "network TV" is covering up such purported uncontrolled group savagery.

Of course, Shearer is actually speaking with people on the ground and monitoring local television stations and the print press. But that shouldn't deter Kaus -- they're all in on the conspiracy too. He knows they're all out to make him look bad.

Shelter From The Storm

In this time of national crisis, a lot of people have been asking, "Where's Dick Cheney?" Well, he's been engaged in finding shelter for people:

ST. MICHAELS, Md. -- They've grown used to having a secretary of defense in their midst -- the way his weekend estate is tucked behind a bend in the road, how he takes casual walks tailed by dark SUVs. Now, residents of this Eastern Shore retreat are preparing for someone even bigger to buy a house down the road: the vice president.

"I'd heard it was going to close either Tuesday or Wednesday of this week," Carroll Hurley, a funeral home owner, said Saturday, seated with his breakfast gang at the Carpenter Street saloon and restaurant.


Whether it's true -- that Dick and Lynne Cheney are buying an estate here -- could not be confirmed. Those closest to the deal -- Cheney's office, the purported sellers, the listing agent -- aren't talking. Hurley admits he's not certain: "All I have is hearsay. It wouldn't stand up in court."

Still, a nosy visit here leaves a person with one of two possibilities: Either the Cheneys are coming or a lot of people have bad information. Police Chief Ed Henry -- who breakfasted along with Hurley -- even referred to the lot in question as "Cheney's house."

The house, listed at $2.9 million, backs up in spectacular fashion to an inlet of the Chesapeake Bay. "Right out by [Defense Secretary Donald H.] Rumsfeld's," said Charles Mangold Sr., whose Benson & Mangold agency brokers high-end estates in the area. "It's under contract, but he hasn't settled yet."

The estate goes back to 1930 and was said to be built by one of Thomas Edison's daughters, according to Robert Snyder, the Coldwell Banker agent who is listing the property.

The nine-acre lot includes extensive gardens, ornamental pools and spectacular views of the water behind it. Deer and osprey can be seen.
Okay, so the people he's helping to find shelter are Dick and Lynne Cheney, but have you ever bought a multi-million dollar third home?

It's hard work.

It takes time

Sounds like Dicky Ticker's possible new estate is located in an area susceptible to hurricanes such as Isabel. Maybe he could tour the Gulf Coast in order to get some retrofitting tips for his latest manse from the Army Corps of Engineers.

More On Kerik

Of course, my criticism of Bush's selection of Kerik isn't an endorsement of the gross incompetence of Michael Chertoff who, while obviously a more intelligent man than Kerik, was tapped to head the DHS because of his work for the Republicans against Clinton and because he was "clean" in all the ways Kerik is dirty.

But Kerik's failings go far beyond favoritism, self-dealing, and association with scumbags and Judith Regan. Kerik has a record of failure in matters of public safety and disaster response, as the Center for American Progress discussed last December:

KERIK ABANDONS CRITICAL POST IN IRAQ TO TAKE A VACATION: The Washington Post reports that Kerik's track record on issues of national security is "spotty." Appointed by President Bush to train a new Iraqi police force in 2003, "Kerik came under criticism for inadequate screening of recruits as U.S. authorities rushed to deploy the force. It has been plagued by desertions and by allegations that insurgents have infiltrated the ranks." Worse, Kerik "quit four months into his six-month tenure in Iraq, telling New York reporters later that he needed a vacation."

KERIK CRITICIZED BY CONSERVATIVES FOR POST-9/11 OPERATIONS: A prominent Republican member of the Sept. 11 commission, former Navy secretary John F. Lehman, sharply criticized Kerik "for failures of leadership during the terrorist attacks" of 9/11. Lehman said that Kerik allowed turf battles with the Fire Department to "hamper rescue efforts" and called Kerik's leadership at the time "not worthy of the Boy Scouts."

As Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Chertoff would make a great defense attorney for Duke Cunningham, Jack Abramoff or Karl Rove. Regretably, the forces of nature aren't susceptible to a well-crafted line of bullshit.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

As if further evidence of Bush's incompetence was needed: If Bush had his way, Bernard Kerik would be in charge of the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina.

Karl Rove and Voter Fraud

It's not just a job, it's a lifestyle too:

Anyway, Rove is now registered to vote in Kerr County, about 80 miles west of Austin in the Texas Hill Country. He and his wife, Darby, have owned property there, on the Guadalupe River, since at least 1997, according to county property records.

But as far as the locals know, the couple have never actually lived in either of two tiny rental cottages Rove claims as his residence on Texas voter registration rolls. The largest is 814 square feet and valued by the county at about $25,000.

"I've been here 10 years and I've never seen him. There are only, like, three grocery stores in town. You'd think you'd at least see him at the HEB" grocery, said Greg Shrader, editor and publisher of the Kerrville Daily Times.


Down in Texas, when you register to vote in a place where you don't actually live, the county prosecutor can come after you for voter fraud, said Elizabeth Reyes, an attorney with the elections division of the Texas Secretary of State. Rove's rental cottage "doesn't sound like a residence to me, because it's not a fixed place of habitation," she said. "If it's just property that they own, ownership doesn't make that a residence."

Still, under state law, the definition of a Texan is really pretty loose, Reyes said, even for voting purposes. So someone would have to file a complaint.

Any Texan readers of Roger Ailes who like to complain? I'm bitter enough (just ask those who e-mail me), but I'm not a Texan.

Maybe the Astroturf Center for Voting Rights can look into this. If Karl's checks bounce.

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

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The Tierney of The Moronity

Watch as John Tierney once again tries to cram every conceivable facet of human existence into his tiny intellectual framework:

"Why is New Orleans in so much worse shape today than New York City was after the attacks on Sept. 11?

"The short answer is that New York was attacked by fire, not water."

And you thought New York City was attacked by terrorists.

Of course, if he wanted to address reality, the latest installment of Mr. T's bi-weekly exercise in intellectual onanism would have petered out before the third sentence.

If we took Tierney seriously -- and why should we start now -- then the country should have disbanded the military after 09/11/01 and let those interested in the protection of the Big Apple from fire form the Homeland Security Assurance Co. of New York, N.Y. Why should Montanans subsidize the protection of the big city fire-traps, since they've got nothing worth flying into? If New York Citian developers had to pony up for civil defense premiums, they'd stop building such gigantic targets. (And/or, as Tierney would have it, their insurance companies would pressure cities to enact stronger aircraft-resistant building codes -- apparently, it's bad for citizens to join together to demand government-enforced restrictions on property owners for the sake of public safety, but it's good for citizens to form corporations that demand government restrictions on property owners for the same purpose.)

The most bizarre aspect of the column is that Tierney didn't need to invoke 9/11 to make his dullwitted points; he just made himself look more foolish by trying to compare two entirely dissimilar tragedies.

Perhaps we should be grateful Tierney hasn't called upon his pale pal Steve Sailer to teach us the biological and anthropological lessons of Hurricane Katrina.


Friday, September 02, 2005

A Hurricane of Hate

A certain wingnut blogger -- who shall remain unlinked to by me -- watched the tragic events unfold in New Orleans and along the Gulf of Mexico this week and expressed disgust. Not disgust because of the suffering of the survivors or the deaths of the dead, but rather disgust at the fact that Bush tapped the disgraced and impeached President Clinton to assist in fundraising activities.

How much contempt for humanity does it take to obsess about the Nasty Man and His Vile Organ while human beings are needlessly suffering and dying?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Summary Judgment

What the hell is it with these wingnuts and their insatiable bloodlust? Death-crazed lunatic Mona Charen writes:

No doubt there were some desperate residents of New Orleans who took to theft simply to get food and water from stores bereft of clerks and electricity. But most of the looting is not of that character. As good people within the city struggle to help the sick who lack functioning hospitals, the thousands who lack basic food and shelter, and the unknown number still waiting to be rescued from flooded homes, the psychological blow looters are dealing to the city (and the country) is dramatic.

How does Charen know who's looting what? Answer: she doesn't. It seems logical that thousands of people who lack basic food would be looting simply to get food and water they can't get anywhere else. And how much more of a psychological blow would looting cause to people trying to survive without basic food and shelter? I'm sure the thought of summary executions gives Charen a warm feeling, but the idea of law enforcement separating the "good" and "bad" looters from shooting distance should give sane people pause.

A Vacant Lott

Trent Lott was one of the people who lost his home to Hurricane Katrina:

An oak tree may be all that is left of the home where Sen. Trent Lott raised his family and joined other political leaders for a rocking-chair view of the sea.

Lott, a Mississippi Republican, learned from neighbors and relatives that the storm surge from Hurricane Katrina, rising as high as 30 feet, leveled his Pascagoula home along the Gulf Coast near the Alabama border.

Of course, if you read all the way to the end of the article, you learn

Lott has a second house in Jackson, Miss.

So Lott's suffering isn't equal to that of most other affected Mississippians and, most fortunately, neither he nor any of his family was harmed. I'm sure his home was fully insured, and that whatever insurer he has will bend over backwards to provide good service to a rich and connected Republican. (That would go double if it's the federal flood insurance that's triggered.)

Someone less liberal than me might suggest some divine hand was at work. But I don't share Pat Robertson's theology.

Someone less tactful than me might suggest that Lott's house would have survived had he built it out of the same material as his toupee. But I wish the Senator well.

Another Victim

You've got to wonder if Howie the Putz Kurtz is embarrassed that the Washington Post left up this bit of snivelling during his month-long -- and running -- vacation in August:

Melting Down

Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 29, 2005; 9:00 AM

Note: Howard Kurtz is currently on vacation.

I had no electricity Wednesday night.

Neither, apparently, did 149,999 other people in the Washington area.

What happened to plunge the nation's capital into sweltering darkness? It rained.

This is a common summertime occurrence. Then some trees and branches fall and knock down the wires. And then you have no power.

Which, I can tell you, makes it difficult to blog.

And to sleep, after a 98-degree day.

The local utility, which does a lousy job of dealing with such matters -- thousands of homes may not get power back until tonight -- always promises to do better, but never does. Once a summer hurricane knocked out power to much of the area for a week. Terrorists couldn't pull that off in their dreams.

I hope the Red Cross has airlifted supplies to the Putz by now. And that the power company has been invaded and its leaders executed.

Judy Died For Our Sins

"When I'm not spending time in jail on behalf of the First Amendment, I live in lower Manhattan," [Judith Fucking-]Miller wrote. "I would very much like to have been at the opening of your show, but unfortunately, under the circumstances, that might not be possible."

By the way, this article has J. F.-M. using a computer in the prison library. You don't suppose her claim of writer's cramp from the burdens of longhand was as fact-free as her WMD reporting, do you?

Update: Jane Hamsher at firedoglake and TBogg already spotted this.