Wednesday, February 28, 2007
After all, Romney was against polygamy in 2002 and again in 2005. There's simply no way he'd change his convictions just two years later. Muff's no political opporunist.
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Nonresponsive. Move To Strike.
A hack takes questions from the masses:
Anonymous: Michelle Malkin has been loud, rude and wrong on just about any topic she has ever opined upon. Any chance you will ever profile any of the bloggers who have been serious, thoughtful and correct? Also, as the right-wing already dominates AM talk radio, cable news and other media, right-wing bloggers are seemingly marginalized. In contrast, real liberal points of view (Krugman and Dionne excepted) mostly are confined to the Internet. It seems as if these "new" voices are a far more interesting phenomena.
washingtonpost.com: Michelle Malkin's Conservative Fight Has Others Coming Out Swinging (Post, Feb. 16)
Howard Kurtz: Well, let's see, I've already done profiles of Jeff Jarvis and Andrew Sullivan, and written extensively about bloggers on both the left and the right.
Yes, but the question is about "serious, thoughtful and correct" bloggers.
Between Sully's slander of liberals as fifth columnists and Weirdbeard Jarvis's assertion that the 9/11 Commission was partly to blame for the Hurricane Katrina FEMA fiasco (not to mention his phony outrage about the nonexistent outing of those Iraqi bloggers), I can't imagine a less fitting characterization of those overrated bloghards.
The only one less deserving of those appellations is Kurtz himself.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
The religious wingnuts are out in force, touting Amazing Grace as proof of the moral superiority of Christianity and, more importantly, themselves. In Friday's Wall Street Journal, Catholic bigot Charlotte Allen wrote:
It is rare that a Hollywood film takes up a subject like William Wilberforce (1759-1833), the British parliamentarian who devoted nearly his entire 45-year political career to banning the British slave trade. Alas, a lot of people watching "Amazing Grace," Michael Apted's just-released film, may get the impression--perhaps deliberately fostered by Mr. Apted--that Wilberforce was a mostly secular humanitarian whose main passion was not Christian faith but politics and social justice....
In fact, William Wilberforce was driven by a version of Christianity that today would be derided as "fundamentalist." One of his sons, sharing his father's outlook, was the Anglican bishop Samuel Wilberforce, who wrote a passionate critique of "The Origin of the Species," arguing that Darwin's then-new theory could not fully account for the emergence of human beings....
Perhaps the leading evangelical force of the day was the Methodism of John Wesley: It focused on preaching, the close study of the Bible, communal hymn-singing and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Central to the Methodist project was the notion that good works and charity were essential components of the Christian life.
This idea of slaving as sin is key. As sociologist Rodney Stark noted in "For the Glory of God" (2003), the abolition of slavery in the West during the 19th century was a uniquely Christian endeavor.
Thanks to Wilberforce, the movement's most visible champion, Britain ended slavery well before America, but the abolitionist cause in America, too, was driven by Christian churches more than is often acknowledged. Steven Spielberg's 1997 "Amistad," about the fate of blacks on a mutinous slave ship, also obscured the Christian zeal of the abolitionists.
Allow me to provide a little counterpoint to Allen's rectal-targeted smokestorm:
But you will ask me, can these things be possible in a land professing Christianity? Yes, they are so; and this is not the worst. No, a darker feature is yet to be presented than the mere existence of these facts. I have to inform you that the religion of the southern states, at this time, is the great supporter, the greater sanctioner of the bloody atrocities to which I have referred. (Deep sensation). While America is printing tracts and Bibles; sending missionaries abroad to convert the heathen; expending her money in various ways for the promotion of the Gospel in foreign lands, the slave not only lies forgotten—uncared for, but is trampled under foot by the very churches of the land. What have we in America? Why we have slavery made part of the religion of the land. Yes, the pulpit there stands up as the great defender of this cursed institution, as it is called. Ministers of religion come forward, and torture the hallowed pages of inspired wisdom to sanction the bloody deed (Loud cries of "Shame!") They stand forth as the foremost, the strongest defenders of this "institution." As a proof of this, I need not do more than state the general fact, that slavery has existed under the droppings of the sanctuary of the south, for the last 200 years, and there has not been any war between the religion and the slavery of the south.
Whips, chains, gags, and thumb-screws have all lain under the droppings of the sanctuary, and instead of rusting from off the limbs of the bondman, these droppings have served to preserve them in all their strength. Instead of preaching the Gospel against this tyranny, rebuke, and wrong, ministers of religion have sought, by all and every means, to throw in the background whatever in the Bible could be construed into opposition to slavery, and to bring forward that which they could torture into its support. (Cries of "Shame!") This I conceive to be the darkest feature of slavery, and the most difficult to attack, because it is identified with religion, and exposes those who denounce it to the charge of infidelity. Yes, those with whom I have been labouring, namely, the old organization Anti-Slavery Society of America, have been again and again stigmatized as infidels, and for what reason? Why, solely in consequence of the faithfulness of their attacks upon the slaveholding religion of the southern states, and the northern religion that sympathizes with it. (Hear, hear.)
Why, as I said in another place, to a smaller audience the other day, in answer to the question, "[...], are there not Methodist churches, Baptist churches, Congregational churches, Episcopal churches, Roman Catholic churches, Presbyterian churches in the United States, and in the southern states of America, and do they not have revivals of religion, accessions to their ranks from day to day, and will you tell me that these men are not followers of the meek and lowly Saviour?" Most unhesitatingly I do. Revivals in religion, and revivals in the slave trade, go hand in hand together. (Cheers.) The church and the slave prison stand next to each other; the groans and cries of the heartbroken slave are often drowned in the pious devotions of his religious master. (Hear, hear.) The church-going bell and the auctioneer's bell chime in with each other; the pulpit and the auctioneer's block stand in the same neighbourhood; while the blood-stained gold goes to support the pulpit, the pulpit covers the infernal business with the garb of Christianity. We have men sold to build churches, women sold to support missionaries, and babies sold to buy Bibles and communion services for the churches. (Loud cheers.)
A Voice.—It is not true.
... —Not true! is it not? (Immense cheers.) Hear the following advertisement:—"Field Negroes, by Thomas Gadsden." I read now from The American Churches, the Bulwarks of American Slavery; by an American, or by J. G. Birney. This has been before the public in this country and the United States for the last six years; not a fact nor a statement in it has been called in question. (Cheers.) The following is taken from the Charleston Courier of Feb. 12, 1835:—"Field Negroes, by Thomas Gadsden. On Tuesday, the 17th inst., will be sold at the north of the Exchange, at 10 o'clock, a prime gang of ten negroes, accustomed to the culture of cotton and provisions, belonging to the Independent Church, in Christ Church parish." (Loud cheers.) I could read other testimony on this point, but is it necessary? (Cries of "No," and "One more.")
Is it required that one more be given? You shall have another. (Loud cheers.) A notice taken from a Savannah paper will show that slaves are often bequeathed to the missionary societies. "Bryan Superior Court. Between John J. Maxwell and others, executors of Ann Pray, complainants, and Mary Sleigh and others, devisees and legatees under the will of Ann Pray, defendants, in equity. A bill having been filed for the distribution of the estate of the testatrix, Ann Pray, and it appearing that among other legacies in her will is the following:—viz., a legacy of one fourth of certain negro slaves to the American Board of Commissioners for domestic (foreign it probably should have been) missions, for the purpose of sending the Gospel to the heathen, and particularly to the Indians of this continent; it is on motion of the solicitors of the complainants ordered, that all persons claiming the said legacy do appear and answer the bill of the complainants within four months from this day. And it is ordered, that this order be published in a public Gazette of the city of Savannah, and in one of the Gazettes of Philadelphia, once a month, for four months. Extract from the minutes, December 2, 1832." (Cheers.) The bequest I am in duty bound to say, was not accepted by the board. (Cheers.) But let me tell you what would have been accepted by that board. Had those slaves been sold by Ann Pray, and the money bequeathed to that board, the price of their blood would have gone into the treasury, and they would have quoted Chalmers, Cunningham, and Candlish in support of the deed. (Cheers.)
Not only are legacies left and slaves sold in this way to build churches, but the right is openly defended by the church. In 1836 the great Methodist Church in America, holding through ministers. and elders, and members, in their own church 250,000 slaves, said in their general conference in Cincinnati that they had no right, no wish, no intention to interfere with the relation of master and slave as it existed in the slave states of the American union. What was this but saying to the world, we have no right, no wish, No intention to release the bondman from his chains? The annual conference in the south took the broad ground of the right of property in man, asserting it in a resolution, proclaiming it in an address, preaching it in thanksgiving sermons, putting it forth in 4th of July orations, and even quoting Scripture. I could tire your patience by reading if it were required, extracts from documents, the genuineness of which has never been called in question, showing that the right is asserted by the slave holder, to property in human beings. (Hear, hear.)
Let's see. Frederick Douglass vs. Charlotte Allen. Who has more credibility?
There was nothing uniquely Christian about the abolitionist movement. In a time where only white Christian men (and a few women) are allowed to speak and deemed worthy of hearing on the Question of Slavery, you're going to have Christian abolitionists. And you'll find them opposed by a hell of a lot of devout Christian slaveholders.
To put it in slightly more modern terms, for every Reverend King there was a multitude of Reverend Wesley Pruden Snrs.
There still is.
So cram it, Charlotte. Riding Wilberforce's coattails from the safety of 2007 doesn't make you moral. Nor is the existence of Christian abolitionists an endorsement of any of your purportedly Christian pet hates. And given your eager efforts to hide the inconvenient truths about Christianity and slavery, there's absolutely no doubt which side you'd be on in 1846.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Holding Out For A Hero
The radical religious overlords of the Republican Party are getting desperate for an empty vessel into whom they can leak all of their pet hates, as they did with G.W. Bush:
The event was a meeting of the Council for National Policy, a secretive club whose few hundred members include Dr. James C. Dobson of Focus on the Family, the Rev. Jerry Falwell of Liberty University and Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform. Although little known outside the conservative movement, the council has become a pivotal stop for Republican presidential primary hopefuls, including George W. Bush on the eve of his 1999 primary campaign.
But in a stark shift from the group's influence under President Bush, the group risks relegation to the margins. Many of the conservatives who attended the event, held at the beginning of the month at the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, Fla., said they were dismayed at the absence of a champion to carry their banner in the next election.
Many conservatives have already declared their hostility to Senator John McCain of Arizona, who once denounced Christian conservative leaders as "agents of intolerance," and former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York, a liberal on abortion and gay rights issues who has been married three times.
But many were also deeply suspicious of former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts...
And some members of the council have raised doubts about lesser known candidates — Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and Representative Duncan Hunter of California, who were invited to Amelia Island to address an elite audience of about 60 of its members, and Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, who spoke to the full council at its previous meeting, in October in Grand Rapids, Mich.
"There is great anxiety," said Paul Weyrich, chairman of the Free Congress Foundation and an elder statesman of the conservative movement. "There is no outstanding conservative, and they are all looking for that."
Sounds like this group of worthies won't even let Catlicks or Mormons into their club, let alone give one an endorsement. (Although this site which attacks the CNP from the right says they do, and aren't wingnutty enough for God's tastes.) Update/Correction: Of course, Rick Santorum is a Catholic, so that's mighty white of them to extend an invite to the ex-Senator.
The Council for National Policy was founded 25 years ago by the Rev. Tim LaHaye as a forum for conservative Christians to strategize about turning the country to the right. Its secrecy was intended to insulate the group from what its members considered the liberal bias of the news media. In recent years the group has brought together a cross-section of the right from Edwin J. Feulner to Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association.Cross-section, eh? It's a regular Unibrow Coalition.
Other attendees included Gary Bauer, Paul Weyrich and Rick Santorum, as well as invitees Mike Huckabee, Duncan the Muslim Hunter and Mark Sanford. Doesn't sound like there were even any women there. And the glare must've been blinding.
Mr. Norquist said he remained open to any of the three candidates who spoke to the council or to Mr. Romney. He argued that with the right promises, any of the four could redeem themselves in the eyes of the conservative movement despite their past records, just as some high school students take abstinence pledges even after having had sex.Apparently the Virgin Johnny has put out one too many times for Grover to reconstruct the hymen.
"It's called secondary virginity," he said. "It is a big movement in high school and also available for politicians."
Let's help out pale pals, and nominate a right-winger who fits all their qualifications. Leave your suggestions in comments here, and I'll forward them to Grover, or send them directly to the new and exciting Friends of Americans for Tax Reform blog.
Friday, February 23, 2007
COLUMBIA, S.C. (May 16, 1997 12:25 p.m. EDT) -- A state Board of Education member, talking Tuesday about displaying the Ten Commandments in public schools, had a ready suggestion for groups who might object to it.
"Screw the Buddhists and kill the Muslims," Dr. Henry Jordan said during the board's finance and legislative committee meeting. "And put that in the minutes," he added.
The remarks made Tuesday were expunged from the written minutes, but were recorded on tape. The (Columbia) State obtained the tape under the Freedom of Information Act.
Jordan, a surgeon who failed in a bid to get the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor in 1994, said Thursday he thought the meeting was over and members were engaged in private conversation.
Later this month, Hunter will provide wooden crosses and lighter fluid to all registered Republican voters in South Carolina.
Expect the media firestorm over Hunter's hire to begin right about never.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Is anyone surprised that Joe Lieberman lied to the voters of Connecticut to retain "his" Senate seat?
Connecticut Democrats who voted for Lieberman should hang their heads in shame, either for their stupidity or for their disloyalty.
Yes, I know Lieberman hasn't become a Republican yet. He may never become one, if it's not in his own best interest to do so. But the fact he is considering it when nothing has changed proves he knew he was lying when he gave his "word" to caucus with the Democrats.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
The Last Empty Gesture
Kaus to American troops: Drop dead.
That's not a paraphrase. In the course of bashing Hillary Clinton, physical and mental midget Mickey Kaus shows that he's not afraid for American servicemen and women to die in the war he loves. The hairless hack writes:
P.S.: It's not too early to say that Hillary's performance in the opening weeks has been impressively unimpressive. It's pretty clear in retrospect, that the war with Iraq, however it comes out, was a bad gamble. A mistake, in other words. But now that we've made the mistaken gamble, it also seems clear--to Mohammed at least--that the surge might do some good. The correct position, by these lights, was War No, Surge Yes. It would be selfishly callous, in a stereotypically American way, for us to invade Iraq, make a mess, and then not be willing to pay any extra price to help fix the mess we've made. (Murtha's demand that the troops be given "a year at home" -- and the heck with what happens to Iraqis like Mohammed -- only emphasizes this self-interested perspective.)What price is Kaus willing to pay to help fix the mess he's made in Iraq? Well, he's at least willing to sacrifice another 3,200 American lives, more if need be. And he's willing to extend the troops' tours for as long as it takes -- and the heck what happens to those men and women and their families.
Sorry, Kaus. I didn't invade Iraq and make a mess of it. Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld did. And Bush supporters/apologists like you did. And yes, the Members of Congress like Senator Clinton did. So get back to me after you get your fat ass out of your comfy condo and contribute something -- anything -- to the war effort or the Iraqi people whose lives you destroyed.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Gravel to Gravel Coverage
I expect I'm not the only one who read the list of Democratic hopefuls scheduled to debate tomorrow and said Mike Gravel Who?
Here's Gravel's campaign website, and here's his bio.
I was going to make a joke that Gravelanche will be this year's Joementum, but there's no comparison between Senator Gravel and the lickspittle from Connecticut.
Gravel is best known (although not by me) for taking on Nixon on the Vietnam war:
In 1971, [Gravel] waged a successful one-man filibuster for five months that forced the Nixon administration to cut a deal, effectively ending the draft in the United States. He is most prominently known for his release of the Pentagon Papers, the secret official study that revealed the lies and manipulations of successive U.S. administrations that misled the country into the Vietnam War. After the New York Times published portions of the leaked study, the Nixon administration moved to block any further publication of information and to punish any newspaper publisher who revealed the contents.
From the floor of the senate, Gravel (a junior senator at the time) insisted that his constituents had a right to know the truth behind the war and proceeded to read 4,100 pages of the 7,000 page document into the senate record. The Supreme Court ultimately ruled that Senator Gravel did not have the right and responsibility to share official documents with his constituents.
He then published The Senator Gravel Edition, The Pentagon Papers, Beacon Press (1971). This publication resulted in litigation, Gravel v. U.S., resulting in a landmark Supreme Court decision (No. 71-1017-1026) relative to the Speech and Debate Clause (Article 1, Section 6) of the United States Constitution.
Lieberman, of course, would say that Senator Gravel wanted the Vietnamese terrorists to succeed. Or send his Bullshit Mooseboy out to do it for him.
Monday, February 19, 2007
Free Your Minds
Of all the reasons to despise Politico.com, perhaps the greatest is that the site's writing staff is so male dominated. All of their "name" writers are male, with the exeception of gossip columnist Anne Schroeder. And as if to differentiate between male seriousness and female frivolity, Schroeder's column is called SHENANINGANS. (Emphasis in original.)
Most of the female writers' bylines on the homepage have been fluff pieces, like the "Barchelle" article comparing Barack and Michelle Obama to celebrity couples.
Come on, guys. It's not like there aren't plenty of women just as unqualified as Mike Allen and Roger Simon: Susan Schmidt, Deborah Howell and Nedra Pickler spring to mind immediately. Hell, Judy Miller must be desparate for a job about now. Hackery isn't confined to one gender.
In Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys, Fat Charlie's father tells his son that children who attend school on Presidents' Day dressed as their favorite President recieve a bag of candy. Fat Charlie goes to school dressed as Taft.
1. What's wrong with Gaiman's premise?
2. What's your favorite President's Day memory?
Political Coverage Is Best Left To The Professionals
Yes, everyone makes mistakes, including your humble correspondent. And yes, it's just an e-mail press release. But the following doesn't give one much confidence in the professionalism of The Mouse Network, whose credibility is already undermined each day by the existence of The Note:
Washington, DC/ Carson City, NV – ABC News, ABC News Now and C-SPAN will produce the AFSCME forum in Carson City, Nevada on February 22, 2007 at 3:00pm EST, moderated by George Stephanopoulos.
ABC News Now will offer it live via the pool switch feed in Washington, DC. C-SPAN will carry the forum live on cable nationwide.
Candidates confirmed to attend, as of publication, in order of appearance at the forum:
(as determined by lottery)
United States Senator Chris Dodd, D-CT
United States Senator Hillary Clinton, D-NY
Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, D-IA
Former United States Senator John Edwards, D-NC
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, D-NM
United States Senator Joe Biden, D-DE
United States Congressman Bob Kucinich, D-OH
Former United States Senator Mike Gravel, D-AK
I probably won't get credentialed after this. Oh well.Update: ABC also sent out a correction that "THE FORUM IS ON WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 21st--- NOT FEBRUARY 22nd."
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Saturday, February 17, 2007
So much for the myth of the liberal school librarian:
Yet there it is on the first page of "The Higher Power of Lucky," by Susan Patron, this year's winner of the Newbery Medal, the most prestigious award in children's literature. The book's heroine, a scrappy 10-year-old orphan named Lucky Trimble, hears the word through a hole in a wall when another character says he saw a rattlesnake bite his dog, Roy, on the scrotum.
"Scrotum sounded to Lucky like something green that comes up when you have the flu and cough too much," the book continues. "It sounded medical and secret, but also important."
The inclusion of the word has shocked some school librarians, who have pledged to ban the book from elementary schools, and re-opened the debate over what constitutes acceptable content in children's books. The controversy was first reported by Publishers Weekly, a trade magazine.
I suppose now they'll defrock Laura Bush for telling a joke about her husband and another horse's dick.
One of the censorious librarians approached the scrotum from this angle:
Ms. Nilsson, reached at Sunnyside Elementary School in Durango, Colo., said she had heard from dozens of librarians who agreed with her stance. "I don't want to start an issue about censorship,” she said. “But you won't find men's genitalia in quality literature."
"At least not for children," she added.
On the upside, this will keep The Bible out of the hands of the kiddies.
Doctor, It Hurts When I Do This
From the apparently editorless front page of the New York Times On The Web:
Ugandans have flocked to see "The Last King of Scotland," which depicts an era they would like to forget.
Grand Old Police Blotter: Shut Down The Blood Alcohol Count Edition
Is lawlessness heredity? Is the daughter of someone drunk with power the child of an alcoholic? Will a sitting Supreme Court justice pervert the court of justice for his own family, or does he only do that for his party?
Following the example of the men her father installed as President and Vice President in violation of the law, the adult daughter of Nino "Fat Hands" Scalia has been arrested for Driving While Tinsleyed and child endangerment:
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's daughter was arrested on drunken driving charges Monday night in Wheaton, police said.
Ann S. Banaszewski, a Wheaton resident, was arrested Monday around 7:30 p.m. at the intersection of Gamon Road and Longfellow Drive after someone reported seeing a possible drunken driver near the McDonald's at 2030 S. Naperville Road, according to a police press release.
Banaszewski's three children were also in the car, a 1996 Ford Ecoline van. At her request, the children were dropped off by police at a family friend's home, Wheaton Deputy Police Chief Tom Meloni said.
In addition to the drunken driving charge, Banaszewski was charged with endangering the life of a child. She was processed on both charges at the Wheaton Police Department and was released on a recognizance bond.
Meloni would not reveal the children's age, but said all three were under 17 years.
Marty In His Pants
Marty Peretz's marbles continue to clatter loudly on the floor in the virtual pages of The New Republic.
In this edition of The Spine, Peretz takes his arch-enemy, imaginary Nazi collaborator George Soros, to task over JetBlue's failure to deplane passengers during an ice storm:
I don't mean to be picking on George Soros. Particularly because it's not exactly his fault. But it's his money behind Jet Blue, and he must have had some say in the management....
The worst was a flight scheduled to take off for Aruba at 8:10 am. Let's say most of them boarded at 7:45. They were finally taken off the plane at 6:30 pm. In captivity: 10 1/2 hours. Passengers on other flights that had arrived but didn't disembark prisoners for eight to nine and a half hours [sic/wtF?].
They were also starving. The only "refreshments" served on Jet Blue are water, soda and crackers.
For the last few days I've been counseling Soros to get out of the foreign policy business. Maybe he'd due [sic] well to get out of the airplane business, as well. Jet Blue is not good for his reputation. Actually, pretty much like foreign policy.
Soros is a minority shareholder (9.7 percent) in JetBlue, not an operational manager or executive. He has nothing to do with the daily operation of the airline; nor do the owners of the other 91.3 percent (except for employees receiving stock as compensation). Only a lunatic would imagine that's how any airline is run.
Using the same analogy, you could make a (much better) case that Marty is personally responsible for every piece of crap in TNR written or edited by Andrew Sullivan, Lee Siegel, Fred Barnes, Stephen Glass and Ruth Shalit. Perhaps Peretz would dew/deux/dü well to get out of the magazine business, if TNR's former readers don't make that decision for him first.
But you've got to hand it to Marty for his use of rhetoric: "prisoners," "captivity" and "starving." Not subtle, but it gets his message across.
Meanwhile, what the hell is up with this post? Peretz wrote a piece for the McCarthyite Wall Street Journal in which he used the term "Democrat Party" to slander Dems. After he was called on it, he claimed that the phrase "crept" its way into his piece and "It was clearly not my intention for this construction to appear in the article." What Spinnin' Marty doesn't say is that he didn't write the words, or that someone at the WSJ changed his words. The only way for the words to creep in was for the creep to write them. Or maybe Marty could blame his stenographer.
(And you've got to love the sensible progressives who subscribe to TNR and thus have the keys to Marty's chat room: "Michelle Malkin is wrong to describe Joe McCarthy as some sort of saint. At best, he was a very flawed man who dared to take the Democrat(ic) Party traitors to task.")
Friday, February 16, 2007
I actually thought the "BO" magazine joke [about Senator Obama] was funny. The only funny bit. People here didn't seem to get it though. It's making fun of Oprah's "O" mag, and making a pun at the same time.Of course, we all know Joel Surnow's favorite mag is Every Day with James Earl Ray.
(Comment at 2/15, 3:35 p.m.)
What The Last Post Was About
Howard Kurtz has a storyline and he's sticking to it: The media is giving Senator Barack Obama a free ride. The corollary and equally bogus claim from the Putz is that Willard "Muff" Romney is under attack by the biased press:
The press seems downright excited at the prospect of the first female president.
The idea of the first black president has journalists all but giddy.
But the first Mormon president? Whoa! That's a different matter.
The skeptical tone toward Mitt Romney's announcement has been impossible to miss. And the major reason is his religion.
"Will Mormon faith hurt bid for White House?" said USA Today's front-page headline on the day that the former Massachusetts governor announced.
Try to imagine a headline that said, "Will Jewish faith hurt bid for White House?"
I'll take that challenge.
Hmmm.... here's a query from the Putz's CNN colleague Paula Zahn, speaking to Holy Joe Lieberman immediately following his campaign announcement in 2003: "Do you believe the United States is ready for a Jewish president?"
Give me a hard one, Howie.
And let's not pretend that the media didn't run the exact same story about African-American and women presidents, and continue to do so, over and over again.
Now, try to imagine that Kurtz wrote an honest media criticism column.
This is all kinds of creepy and ten varieties of stupid. Patrick "F" Fagan, another right-wing sex obsessive at National Review, offers the following:
Meanwhile, their non-virgin sisters who married after they had given their virginity to someone other than their husbands were all by no means doomed to divorce, but the data indicate the majority was [sic]. From Steve Nock's research on Virginia divorces, we know that roughly two thirds were initiated by the wives. Extrapolating from Rector-Johnson's research I bet most of the wives in Nock's sample did not come to their husbands as virgins, but before marriage were already used to rejection and rejecting and to moving on to another man. This is just a hypothesis and it may be proved wrong, but checking it out will make for a very interesting study.
Apart from the sheer illiteracy of this statement -- I believe Fagan means to write the "most of the wives in Nock's sample who initiated divorces," but he's not clear -- there's the utter stupidity of the paragraph. Why is only the wife's virginity relevant to the success of the marriage? Why is the identity of the spouse initiating divorce relevant to the cause of the divorce? A wife initiating the divorce could be doing so because the husband was unfaithful -- or a hundred other reasons not involving her wanting to have sex with another man (or a woman). And many an unfaithful spouse has no interest in leaving the marriage. The identity of the spouse initiating the divorce tells us nothing about why the marriage ended.
Of course, the creepy part is that Fagan is "very interested" in studying the virginity history and sex lives of married and divorced women. Beware of phone calls from heavy breathing researchers at The Heritage Foundation.
(On the other hand, National Review has seen fit to sell advertisements accompanying Fagan's article which promise "A complete and informative guide on the art of cheating to perfection" and "Learn[ing] how to have the ultimate discreet love affair." It's nice to see free market conservatism trump "family values" conservatism for a change.)
Thursday, February 15, 2007
The Prattle of York-Clown
Politc-ho Mike Allen tells us that Byron York's crayon scribblings on the Scooter Libby trial are a "must read." And if you have an interest in flaccid reasoning, York's column has much to recommend it.
The floppy-haired twit believes that it's a defense to a charge of perjury that, althuogh you repeatedly lied about material facts under oath, the prosecutor asked other questions which you answered correctly. It doesn't work that way, Yorkie, and if Libby's defense attorneys have to make such an argument to the jury, Scooter might as well turn in his belt and shoelaces right now.
Grand Old Police Blotter: Ossified Limited Hang Out Edition
Another Grand Old Pervert from Pennsylvania:
(CBS/AP) A former U.S. congressman from Pennsylvania was accused Wednesday of exposing himself to at least two women at a Florida beach resort.
Joseph M. McDade, 75, was issued a summons on a charge of "exposure of sexual organs," a misdemeanor that carries up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
McDade was seen "masturbating on the beach and by the pool area of the hotel" by three witnesses on one day last month, according to police reports.
The Naples (Fla.) News reports that three police complainants detailed similar scenarios. The first witness said she saw McDade masturbating 10 to 15 feet away from her. The second said McDade followed his wife from the beach while masturbating, while the third said McDade watched her leave her lawn chair at the beach, and proceeded to follow her while masturbating, according to reports.
The third witness "thought Mr. McDade was a mental patient," according to reports.
McDade, a Republican, served in the House of Representatives from 1963 to 1999. He did not seek re-election in 1998.
Mac Dade-y has had other brushes with John Law: "He was the longest-serving Republican in the House when he was indicted in 1992 on charges he accepted gifts from defense companies in exchange for helping them win lucrative contracts." McDade, a graduate of Notre Dame, still works as a lobbyist. His clients include "Lockheed Martin Corp., Teledyne, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman Corp. and Raytheon, among many others."
It remains to be seen whether McDade is still able to secure votes on a handshake.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
(It's) Slammer TimeCan it be? Will Scooter's defense team close its case without calling the witness that pretend lawyer Glenn Reynolds believes is the key to Scooter's freedom? On Sunday's Reliable Republicans, Glenn perfessed as only a great legal mind can:
I'm really kind of curious as to why we're not hearing from Andrea Mitchell, who I gather the defense wants to bring out but for some reason the prosecutor has been resisting that. And I'm a little hazy on exactly why the prosecution is resisting that.Well, I Am Curious (Glenn) is a little bit hazy on anything law-related. But the defense will reportedly rest today without calling Ms. Mitchell.
And, in a crushing blow for A.Q. Strata, the defense won't be calling Dick Armitage for his blockbuster testimony that absolutely everyone knew about Valerie Plame and her covert status.
Why, oh, why won't Libby's defense team listen to wingnuttia's finest legal minds? It's like they want to lose.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Who's The Bigger Dumbfuck, Frank Gaffney, Jnr. or A.J. Strata?
When a wingnut quotes Abraham Lincoln, the quote is almost certain to be bogus.
Frank Gaffney Jnr. starts today's column in the Moonie Times with the following:
Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged.
-- President Abraham Lincoln
Gullible chuzzlewit A.J. Strata then humps the "wonderful quote" like a mad dog, asking "Now who is going to argue with Abraham Lincoln?" and stating "Alliances and connections to our brothers in the South were not a big surprise or limited, so Lincoln's comments must be seen in his desire TO END the war quickly to stop the bloodshed." (Whatever the fuck that means.)
But, of course, Lincoln didn't speak or write like a third-rate blogger with his pants around his ankles after watching 24. The quote is entirely fabricated, and it originated in another Moonie rag, Insight. And these morons didn't even spend the two seconds needed to confirm the quote is bogus.
But the facts don't really matter to these types. They lied to start the war, they lie to keep the war going and they'll still be lying after the war is ended.
Grand Old Police Blotter: Twofer Tuesday Edition
SAN DIEGO – Poway defense contractor Brent Wilkes and former high-ranking CIA official Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, childhood friends from San Diego who got entangled in the Randy "Duke" Cunningham corruption scandal, were indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury.
U.S. Attorney Carol Lam announced the indictments at an afternoon press conference, called the charges against the two men "breathtaking in scope."
The jury returned 11 counts against Foggo and Wilkes that include conspiracy, wire fraud, conflict of interest and money laundering. It charges Foggo with using his seniority and influence within the CIA to direct the awarding of contracts to Wilkes, his lifelong friend.
A second indictment, which included 26 counts, names Wilkes and New York-based mortgage banker John T. Michael, who co-owned a mortgage company that provided loans to Cunningham. It charges Wilkes with conspiracy, wire fraud, bribery of a public official and money laundering.
Court documents allege that Wilkes provided more than $700,000 to Cunningham in exchange for the former congressman corruptly influencing the appropriation of funds and the execution of government contracts to benefit Wilkes' company, Poway-based ADCS Inc.
Michael, 35, is charged with a single charge of obstructing justice, accused of trying to influence and impede a federal grand jury investigation by providing misleading and false testimony regarding Wilkes' role in paying off the $500,000 second mortgage on Cunningham's Rancho Santa Fe home.
The indictment alleges that Wilkes paid bribes to Cunningham in the form of cash, checks, lavish meals, trips, lodging, corporate jet travel, boats and prostitution.
The indictment says that on two occasions Wilkes provided prostitutes for himself and the congressman on two consecutive evenings on a lavish Hawaiian trip.
Foggo accepted tens of thousands of dollars in meals, gifts and vacations, and a standing offer of a senior executive position with ADCS. Foggo disclosed none of this to the CIA, according to the indictment.
Wilkes was a big contributor to Republican lawmakers who developed a series of businesses that specialized in landing federal contracts, with ADCS as his flagship.
Corruption, war profiteering and whores. Foggo and Wilkes are the embodiment of today's G.O.P.
Monday, February 12, 2007
Rape For Thee, But Not For Me
Does Professor Steven Bainbridge care about prison rape, or just about prison rape when the victim is a privileged endomorph like himself?
an issue on which I have been writing for some time, as it is an important factor in evaluating the accelerating criminalization of agency costs.
In other words, prison rape should be considered in determining to whether prosecute CEOs, because a corporate head who's merely negligent or greedy but didn't defraud shareholders might be convicted and thereafter raped. Bainbridge also bemoans the fact that "when it comes to corporate executives, many people seem to see prison rape as an appropriate sanction."
Perhaps the Professor is equally concerned about the rape of dope dealers or burglars or of those falsely accused of crimes who are convicted because they can't afford competent counsel or they're a victim of corrupt cops. But I haven't seen that post. (The other posts the Prof links to criticize the prosecution of executives rather than the proliferation of prison rape.)
What I have seen is this:
Put bluntly, Dennis Kozlowski faces spending the rest of his life worrying about prison rape.
If we were confident that prosecutors could tell the difference between corporate criminality and mere bad corporate governance, and we were confident that prosecutors would content themselves with going after only the former, we might not care if the Kozlowskis of the world spent their days looking over their shoulders (so to speak). Yet, as the Kozlowski story illustrates, it's very hard to tell the difference between criminality and bad governance.
Indeed, as corporate law has long recognized, it can be difficult to tell the difference between good and bad corporate governance. As corporate law also has long recognized, there are serious costs associated with imposing high sanctions on executives.
So Bainbridge isn't really concerned with prison rape itself as much as the indirect economic consequences caused by risk-averse CEOs who place their own interest in not being raped ahead of the bottom line. And if you're not a top exec, whether guilty or innocent, don't hold your breath waiting for the Professor to champion your cause.
The Hack Strikes Back
From deep in the bowels of his online column (keep scrolling down), the Howie the Hack strikes back:
By the way, the Air Pelosi story seems to have crashed of its own weight. Once I found out that the House sergeant-at-arms had requested her plane--and I don't know why she didn't get that out right away--I agreed with Tony Snow that the whole thing was "silly." For those who wonder why I quoted two new and obscure bloggers as criticizing the speaker--along with David Frum, who kind of defended her--I often try to look for average bloggers in their pajamas (or dorm rooms or wherever) rather than just stick with the top 100. That doesn't give them the same weight as Instapundit or Kos or Power Line or the HuffPost, but it's another way of taking the cyberpulse.
You say that:
Once I found out that the House sergeant-at-arms had requested her plane -- and I don't know why she didn't get that out right away -- I agreed with Tony Snow that the whole thing was "silly."
Maybe you should read your own hackery, How. Because on Friday morning, you wrote:
Pelosi has gone on the offensive, saying that Pentagon officials leaked the dispute for partisan reasons and that the negotiating was done not by her but by the House sergeant-at-arms. The flap made the network newscasts last night, although Tony Snow pointedly declined to pile on, calling the story "silly."
I don't see any agreement with Snow there, Howie. After you already knew that the Sergeant-at-Arms had requested the plane, and after Pelosi had gotten that fact out. (The Sergeant-at-Arms' statement had been out at least 14 hours by the time Howie's column went online.)
It's hard out there for ho, what with the internets and all. But just keep on lyin', and we'll keep on calling you on your lies.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Shut Up, Memory
Can't get your expert witness's testimony into evidence at trial? Well, then just get it into the Washington Post and hope for the best.
I have no trouble with a newspaper reporting on events of relevance to an ongoing trial, even if those matters are inadmissible at trial. It's up to the judge to ensure that jurors don't read extraneous material and up to the jurors to follow the court's instructions. But perhaps the Post's readers should be told that the court found the defense's purported expert memory testimony to be a waste of time after the prosecutor demolished the expert's credibility. Perhaps Linton Weeks just forget that.
Friday, February 09, 2007
Why We'll Never Have A President Named Jack, Bill, Dick, Jerry, Jimmy or Abe
The rest home for aging male Beltway dead-enders known as "The Politico" is taking the G.O.P.'s anti-Obama talking points out for a test drive, and putting them in the mouths of nameless "Democratic" blowhards:
Even his name offers fodder for the critics. When he was growing up, his family, friends and teachers called him "Barry." Then as a young man, he started insisting on "Barack," explaining in a memoir published in 1995 that his grandfather was a Muslim and that it means "blessed" in Arabic. His dad, who was Kenyan, had gone by "Barry" -- probably trying to fit in when he came to the States, his son figured.
What's in a name? A way for Mike Allen to pad a particularly pathetic -- and phony -- tale of Democratic infighting and dirty tricks. Somehow Abe Lincoln and Dick Nixon managed to overcome the earth-shattering relevation that their family and friends had nicknames for them, but they nevertheless chose to use their given name in professional matters.
Apart from such stupidity, the entire piece is a fraud. The title promises to take the reader "Inside the Coming Effort to Dismantle A Candidate," but the article doesn't even try to do that. The piece quotes nameless "top Democrat[s]," "Democratic strategists" and jes' plain ol' "Democrats"1 who aren't sure Obama can go the distance, and it maps out Obama's perceived weaknesses (with no new revelations). Yet the piece contains not one word about an actual effort or plan by an actual Dem rival to attack Obama on the grounds outlined in the piece. In other words, not one inside detail. Perhaps any or all of the Democratic candidates have $12 million budgeted for a series of Barry-centric attack ads2, but, if they do, you won't learn about that -- or any other actual Dem's strategy in Allen's piece.
More significantly, the piece contains not one word about the real and ongoing campaign by the G.O.P. media to portray Obama as an anti-American, radical Muslim indoctrinated at a madrassa and a phony Christian. The effort isn't coming; it has already started. Only Allen pretends not to notice.
1 Genuine Democrats who bear no resemblance whatsoever to Joe Lieberman toady Marshall Wittman, Pat Caddell and Mickey Kaus, respectively. Really.
2 My suggestion: Still shots of Obama, Dave Barry, Barry Sadler, Barry Manilow and .... dissolve to ... Barry Goldwater. Ominous VO: "Can America trust its future to a President to named ... Barry?" If you're a Republican, replace Goldwater with Barry Bonds and Marion Barry, and film in black and white.
Update: Feck! Via Atrios, I see someone has stolen my patented and wholly original idea of making fun of hacks. And backing up their ridicule with linguistic research, just to make me look lazy. These Berkeley profs. will make my life miserable until the day I die.
Howie Kurtz, G.O.P. Bitch
Writing about the fraudulent Pelosi air travel story, fraudulent journalist Howard Kurtz spins for his masters:
Here's some typical blog reaction. Radiant Times:
"With all the fuss about global warming nowadays, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is complaining that she cannot have a huge jet to traipse across the country with her immediate family and political supporters. Does she realize what a huge government jet would cost the taxpayers? Maybe not, and maybe she does not care - who knows?"
"What has happened to the democrats, now they want Pelosi to be treated like a queen? She and her band of freaks are starting to sound less and less like the peoples' choice to lead the country. If the plane isn't big enough then don't go to California, or better yet pay your own damn fare on a commercial jet. Silly [rhymes with witch]!"
How typical is this "blog reaction?"
Well, Political Retch is a blog with one -- that's one -- post. The one Kurtz quotes. The blog apparently didn't exist until yesterday morning at 8:38 a.m. If you do a Google search with "Politcal Retch" in quotes, it doesn't even show up. Yet Howie the Putz somehow managed to find the blog and promote it with no trouble whatsoever. The Lord works in mysterious ways.
And Howie manages to sanitize "Bobby G.'s" quote to make it more palatable for his G.O.P base. The Putz removes the word "bitch" from the post so the author looks like less of a bigoted cretin, and also removes the even more moronic middle of the post without using ellipses.
The other blogger, Radiant Times, is "a choral director specializing in working with singers with changing voices" who began blogging on February 1, 2007 and currently has a total of 93 pages visits, 30 of which are from today.
So, according to the Putz, "typical blogger reaction" to the Pelosi slander is uniformly negative, and comes from bloggers who have blogged a total of 9 days. For Kurtz, the typical bloggers -- and the only bloggers worth quoting -- are ones who spout uninformed right-wing opinion, not ones that actually searched for the facts and challenged the fabrications of the Moonie Times.
That's why you can't spell Howie without [colloquial abbreviation for a prostitute].
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Spread Too Thin
I worry that our cable networks lack sufficient resources to cover both the death of Anna Nicole Smith and the diaper-wearing astronaut story at the same time.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
I've got to admit that the almost-never right Sully Joe got this one right:
Mickey Kaus accuses Joe Klein of having it both ways on the Iraq war. I'd say that's better than having no coherent position on the war at all, except fathomless bitchiness toward anyone who ever had the balls to take a stand. But that's Mickey - circling the drain of his own irrelevance. And bitchily attacking anyone who's trying honestly to do better.Except that's not a drain, and we don't call it "circling" here in the United States. And Klein's as worthless as Kaus, except in writing skills. But those are minor quibbles.
The latest ploy from the hairless hack (Kaus, not Sullivan, or Klein) was to wonder who would suffer politically if the surge succeeded. Kaus's fantasy was that Dems (and Chuck Hagel, who took Kaus's spot in Vietnam) would suffer. Of course, no concern was expressed for those who have suffered pre-surge or those who would suffer because of the surge.
Monday, February 05, 2007
Part I -- Grand Old Police Blotter: The Year In Republicrime
a. Bob Ney -- 6. Conspiracy, making false statements
b. Chad Castagana -- 2. Terrorist threats
c. Jeff Skilling -- 4. Fraud, conspiracy, false statements and insider trading
d. Ted Haggard -- 7. Solicitation, methamphetamine use
e. Jack Abramoff -- 8. Bribery
f. Bruce Tinsley -- 5. Drunk driving, public intoxication
g. Bernard Kerik -- 10. Ethics violations (accepting/failing to disclose gifts)
h. Tom Noe -- 1. Embezzlement
i. Ann Coulter -- 3. Voting illegally
j. Randy "Duke" Cunningham -- 9. Fraud
1. "Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know - fiction!" Steven Colbert
2. "And he [Jack Abramoff] had made substantial campaign contributions to both major parties." Deborah Howell
3. "i always use lotion and the hand" Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL)
4. "Voters know it's hard to do a risky thing like define marriage as a legal entity that can take place only between an adult human male and an adult human female." Peggy Noonan
5. "You may end up with a different math but you are entitled to your math and I'm entitled to the math." Karl Rove
6. "Considering that all of this happened almost eight years ago, and that there are no files or notes that I've kept from that brief stint, it is simply my word against the liberal blogosphere on these examples. It becomes a matter of who you believe." Ben Domenech
7. "As the hobbits are going up Mount Doom, the Eye of Mordor is being drawn somewhere else." Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA)
8. "And again, the internet is not something you just dump something on. It's not a big truck. It's a series of tubes." Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK)
9. "I'm not Lee Siegel, you imbecile. If you knew who I was you and your n + 1 buddies would crap in your pants." Lee Siegel
10. "I didn't kiss him back." Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT)
1. Which one of the following moronic statements by a blogger is fake:
c. "All women with large breasts are sluts." -- Ann Althouse
2. Which of the following Senators voted for the cloture motion which allowed the nomination of Samuel Alito to go to a vote of the full Senate?
a. Robert Byrd (D-VW)
b. Joe Lieberman (D-CT)
c. Maria Cantwell
d. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
e. All of the above
3. On his low-rated radio show, Matt Drudge offered the following defense of Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL):
b. "The kids are egging the Congressman on."
4. Which of the following drunks sought treatment before his high-profile scandal in 2006?
a. Charles Kennedy (Lib Dem -- Ross, Skye and Lochaber)
5. Which of the following Presidential hopefuls supported Bush's invasion of Iraq? (Choose all applicable names):
a. Sen. Joseph Biden
b. Sen. Hillary Clinton
c. Sen. Chris Dodd
d. Sen. John Edwards
6. The biggest loser, percentage-wise, in the November 2006 elections was:
b. Sen. Rick Santorum
7. The following author/s and book were featured on Meet the Press with Tim Russert:
a. Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, co-author, Crashing the Gates
8. Which 2008 G.O.P. presidential hopeful once said "Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because her father is Janet Reno."
d. Sen. John McCain
9. In the November 2006 election, the Democrats gained how many seats in the U.S. House of Representatives?
10. As of December 2006, the cost of Bush's invasion of Iraq is:
a. At least 354 billion dollars in U.S. expenditures
b. At least 3,000 U.S. soldiers' lives
c. At least 52,000 Iraqi civilian lives
d. Not one second of George Bush's sleep
e. All of the above
1. "I'm the decider, and I decide what is best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the secretary of defense."
2. Willard Mitt Romney.
3. Backdating options (2006-2007 business scandal)
4. "This fellow here, over here with the yellow shirt, macaca, or whatever his name is."
5. "It's Hard Out Here For A Pimp."
6. Saparmurat Niyazov, also known as Turkmanbashi
7. Loans for Peerages scandal
8. Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid
9. "What do you think you're looking at, sugar tits?"
10. "John McCain, what a maverick! Somebody find out what fork he used on his salad, because I guarantee you it wasn't a salad fork."
1. Dubai Ports World
2. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act
3. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
4. Open Source Media (Open Sores Media or Herpes L. Simonplex II will also be accepted)
5. International Atomic Energy Agency
6. Voice-over internet protocol
7. Six Party Talks
8. Iraq Study Group
9. Whiny-ass titty baby
10. American Israel Public Affairs Committee
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Having spent the last twenty minutes trying to sign into Blogger (a common occurrence with the "new" Blogger), please note:
1. The answers to the Year-In-Review Quiz will be posted tomorrow; and
2. Yes, Tom DeLay was House Majority Leader. I'm a moron.
Oh, and: Blogger sucks.
Roger's Super Bowl Prediction
I confidently predict that I won't be watching the Super Bowl this year. I haven't seen an entire Super Bowl since XX, when Mike Singletary and Sweetness led the Chicago Bears in 46-10 rout of the New England Pats. My interest that year was primarily in someone else who was attending the same viewing party, and only Tony Eason's 0 for 6 completions kept me from being the biggest loser of January 26, 1986.
I don't even know which network it's on this year. So I'll probably spend the time writing scathing letters to my HMO or (finally) posting the results of the 2006 Year-in-Review Quiz.
Not In This Dick's Armey
How low has Tom DeLay, the tiny toxic Texan, sunk? Well, now even Dick Armey thinks he's a scumbag:
I have my own understandings and feelings about Tom DeLay. ... I don't believe he's a good person, and I don't believe he ... should have been in public office.
Thanks a wad, Dick, for letting us know before DeLay became Speaker of the House.
(Link via Talking Points Memo.)
Thursday, February 01, 2007
It's Not About The Putz
Yesterday, Howard Kurtz wrote about Judy Fucking-Miller's appearance under subpoena at United States v. Libby trial on Monday:
"The last person Judith Miller probably wanted to see yesterday was me."
Let's see. Prosecutor who imprisoned Miller for violating the law vs. annoying, egomanical yutz with a bad rug. Who would Miller rather not see?
And another question: Who's paying malpractice artist Bob Bennett since the New York Times canned Miller? A competent reporter would find out, but the Putz was too busy having daydreams of grandeur to do any reporting. The greasy-wigged hack must have been covering arrivals for the TV Guide Channel, because he spent the entire day at the trial and didn't report a second of the proceedings in the column.