Friday, November 30, 2007

Hostage Situation Ends; Wingnut Media's Effort to Blame Clinton For Hostage Situation Begins

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Bimbo Eruption

Will Rudy and Judi become the new Henry Cisneros and Linda Medlar?

This perhaps explains Rudy's "loyalty" for Bernie Kerik. And lends credence -- or at least plausibility -- to Judith Regan's claim that she knows where the bodies are buried.

And will Lisa Meyers become the new Judy Miller? Couldn't happen to a nicer partisan hack.

(Via Atrios, of course.)

Bonus Shorter Wingnutosphere (as one): Questions are stupid things.

Shorter Fred Barnes:

Hush now baby don't you cry
Mama's gonna make all of your
Nightmares come true
Mama's gonna put all of her fears into you
Mama's gonna keep you right here
Under her wing
she won't let you fly but she might let you sing
Mama will keep baby cosy and warm
Ooooh Babe Ooooh Babe Ooooh Babe
Of course Mama's gonna help build the wall

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What I Learned From The Republican Debate

Messicans have funny accents.

Waterboarding is a Constitutional right; the line item veto is not.

Now is not the time for gays to serve in the military; in fact, they should all go on recruiting missions to France to avoid military service.

CNN maintains its perfect record of asking Republicans the tough questions: what entitlement programs will they cut and whether they will pledge not to raise taxes.

Rudy was entitled to have the cops escort him when he went to the Hamptons, because of threats (such as "if you're going to the Hamptons to bang that tramp Judi, I swear I'll cut your dick off").

Bill Cosby's illegitimate children are the root source of crime.

It's up to the states to determine the jail sentences for those sluts who get abortions.

If elected, Ron Paul will raise $4.3 million from internet losers in 24 hours without spending a cent.

Duncan Hunter doesn't want any gays messing with his small tight unit.

Tom Tancredo wants to build a border fence on Mars.

Huckleberry Fred is on the phone right now, begging George Allen to forgive him for his tepid repudiation of the Confederate flag. (And the Florida Repuke crowd was strangely silent when Romney refused to "recognize" the old Klan Kloth.)

Bill Bennett balances out David Gergen.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Republican Family Values: Power Players Edition

Another Republican D.C. power couple has hit a rough patch. Mark Everson, Reaganite Republican family man, has been canned by the American Red Cross for his extracurricular activities:

The American Red Cross today dismissed its president and chief executive, Mark W. Everson, citing his "personal relationship with a subordinate employee." He had been in office for only six months.


Organizations, whether for-profit or not, rarely describe their reasons for firing an executive as bluntly as the Red Cross did. The most similar comparison is the Boeing Corporation, which forced the resignation of two chief executives because of ethical lapses, including affairs with employees.

Mr. Everson, who is 53, did not respond to a message left on his cellphone. In a statement released by the Red Cross, he said: "I am resigning my position for personal and family reasons, and deeply regret it is impossible for me to continue in a job so recently undertaken."

Mr. Everson's wife, Nanette, served in the White House counsel's office as the chief ethics officer during the current Bush administration and, most recently, as general counsel at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, a position she left last spring to return to the private sector. The Eversons have two children.

Back in 2005, Nanette left her phony-baloney job as White House Ethics Officer to spend more time with her family:

In recent moves of note, the top ethics lawyer for the White House, Nanette Everson, left last Friday to spend more time with her family, which includes IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson.

Nanette Everson, who joined the counsel's office after that little dust-up about counselor Karl Rove's Enron holdings a few years back, gets high marks in the White House, especially given the lack of major first-term ethics scandals.

The one exception might have been the blowup of the Bernie Kerik nomination for intelligence czar, but she's not faulted for that, since she wasn't asked to do the sex, drugs and rock-and-roll part of the vetting.

Probably just as well.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The 4/19 Truthers

When leather-clad posing-pouch libertarians feel comfortable telling bald-face lies in the Washington Post, it suggests that said libertarians can't face reality or argue honestly. Witness Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch, who write:

"When conservatives feel comfortable mocking the victims gunned down by Clinton-era attorney general Janet Reno's FBI in Waco, Tex., in 1993, it suggests that a complacent and increasingly authoritarian establishment feels threatened."

Of course, Janet Reno wasn't Attorney General in February 1993, when the Branch Davidians and their child-rapist leader, David Koresh, murdered four law enforcement officers in cold blood.

Reno was the A.G. when the remaining Davidians torched their own compound and either immolated or shot themselves and their own children. But "Reno's FBI" didn't gun down anyone, let alone Davidian "victims." ("Third, it must be remembered that the FBI exercised remarkable restraint, as it did not fire a single shot during the entire 51 days of the standoff, including the last day.")

The posers make a number of valid points about Big Government Republicanism. But that doesn't excuse their fairy tales about Reno and Waco.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Garbage In, Garbage Out

The G.O.P. has long treated the United States Congress as a money machine, using it to relieve suckers of their funds and involuntarily bleeding everyone else dry. Two stories serve to illustrate this point.

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NARCOCO) is selling its losing candidacies to the highest bidders:

At this point, strategists for the National Republican Congressional Committee have enlisted wealthy candidates to run in at least a dozen competitive Congressional districts nationwide, particularly those where Democrats are finishing their first term and are thus considered most vulnerable. They say more are on the way.

These wealthy Republicans have each already invested $100,000 to $1 million of their own money to finance their campaigns, according to campaign finance disclosure reports and interviews with party strategists. Experts say that is a large amount for this early in the cycle.


Self-financed, deep-pocketed Congressional candidates are nothing new for either party, and the Democrats have their own share for 2008. But the Democrats do not have a concerted campaign to find such candidates, they say, while the Republicans describe the recruitment of these candidates as central to their plan for the 2008 elections.

Meanwhile, the G.O.P.'s current crop of congressmen are bailing out to accept corporate cash above the table for a change:

The US News Political Bulletin has learned that Lott will make the announcement today at noon. According to a knowledgeable source, Lott is resigning by the end of the year to avoid new ethics rules that double the amount of time a retired lawmaker must wait before lobbying former colleagues. The former Senate majority leader had contemplated retiring prior to his last election, and is said to be eager to begin his post-Senate career while he is still relatively young.

"Double the amount of time" means two whole years. But you can't expect the Lott-Hastert knocking shop to wait that long; the Congressional Seal condoms have been paid for already.

Worst. Christmas Song. Ever.

"Last Christmas," by Wham!

This is not a discussion starter.

It is a cold, hard fact.

Eric Alterman on Martin Peretz

Marty, on the other hand, has written no books, and owes his fame entirely to his second wife's fortune, which has allowed him to destroy much (but not all) of what's valuable in America's most important liberal magazine, but with a little bit left over for Scooter Libby's defense fund. What kind of person mocks another person in a public forum for having one of his 24 books discounted when he's never written one? My guess is one who doesn't have any real friends at all ... Friends don't let friends make total and complete idiots of themselves, every day, day after day after day after day after day ...

A fair, if sympathetic, portrait, I'd say.

Peretz's latest abomination is his charming claim that everyone who he disagrees with is an anti-semite ... even those who are Jewish. So far, it seems the Wedding Singer has limited this critique to those who disagree with his conception of Israel, but those who challenge Marty to a stare-down over a parking space should be prepared to defend themselves against similar charges.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi! Oi! Oi!

News from the land down under, where Bush blows and Cheney chunders:

SYDNEY, Australia - Conservative Prime Minister John Howard suffered a humiliating defeat Saturday at the hands of the left-leaning opposition, whose leader has promised to immediately sign the Kyoto Protocol on global warming and withdraw Australia's combat troops from Iraq.

Labor Party head Kevin Rudd's pledges on global warming and Iraq move Australia sharply away from policies that had made Howard one of President Bush's staunchest allies.

Rudd has named global warming as his top priority, and his signing of the Kyoto Protocol will leave the U.S. as the only industrialized country not to have joined it.

Rudd said he would withdraw Australia's 550 combat troops from Iraq, leaving twice that number in mostly security roles. Howard had said all the troops will stay as long as needed.

What's the Aussie equivalent of a poodle?

Jesus Saves

Here's a parable for the talentless, aka wingnut bloggers:

The 45-year-old woman, who eventually died while awaiting help, had been driving on a U.S. Forest Service road in a remote area just north of the Mexican border when she lost control of her van on a curve on Thanksgiving, Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada said.

The van vaulted into a canyon and landed 300 feet from the road, he said. The woman, from Rimrock, north of Phoenix, survived the impact but was pinned inside, Estrada said.

Her [9 year old] son, unhurt but disoriented, crawled out to get help and was found about two hours later by Jesus Manuel Cordova, 26, of Magdalena de Kino in the northern Mexican state of Sonora. Unable to pull the mother out, he comforted the boy while they waited for help.

The woman died a short time later.

"He stayed with him, told him that everything was going to be all right," Estrada said.

As temperatures dropped, he gave him a jacket, built a bonfire and stayed with him until about 8 a.m. Friday, when hunters passed by and called authorities, Estrada said. The boy was flown to University Medical Center in Tucson as a precaution but appeared unhurt.


Cordova was taken into custody by Border Patrol agents, who were the first to respond to the call for help. He had been trying to walk into the U.S. when he came across the boy.


Cordova likely saved the boy, Estrada said, and his actions should remind people not to quickly characterize illegal immigrants as criminals.

We will report on the internet campaign to have Sheriff Estrada fired -- and stoned -- as it progresses.

(Via Talk Left)

Count Your Blessings

I'll admit it. I'm a bad culturejammer.

I bought three rolls of paper towels and a 2 CD set yesterday.

It was a Christmas CD, so I didn't even wage the War on Christmas. (I wandered into No-Man's Land with John Gibson and we played footie and sang Stille Nacht until his hairpiece came unglued.)

We'll never topple existing power structures and forge a major shift in the way we will live in the 21st century at this rate.

Frankly, I was just grateful that I didn't have to spend Thanksgiving with Dr. Helen and her family patients family members and patients pretending to be commenters.

Friday, November 23, 2007

A Christmas Miracle

And it came to pass that Dick, son of Oral, was cast out of the Garden of Tax-Exemption, but lo, the Institution continueth to sucketh at the golden teat of tax subsidies:

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The president of Oral Roberts University facing accusations he misspent school funds to support a lavish lifestyle resigned on Friday, officials said.

Richard Roberts' resignation is effective immediately, according to a statement e-mailed from George Pearsons, chairman of the school's Board of Regents.

Roberts and the university have come under fire since a lawsuit was filed by three former professors last month.

The lawsuit includes allegations of a $39,000 shopping tab at one store for Richard Roberts' wife, Lindsay, a $29,411 Bahamas senior trip on the university jet for one of Roberts' daughters, and a stable of horses for the Roberts children.

Roberts, son of school founder and televangelist Oral Roberts, had been on temporary leave from the evangelical university, fighting the accusations against him. In a recent interview, the couple denied wrongdoing.

The professors also alleged in their lawsuit that Richard Roberts required students in a government class to work on 2006 mayoral candidate Randi Miller's campaign.

Roberts publicly endorsed Miller, but said then that he was doing so as a private citizen and not as an ORU representative. He has denied the lawsuit's claims that he ordered students to work on Miller's campaign.

Professor Tim Brooker, one of the lawsuit plaintiffs, accused the school of forcing him to quit after he warned Roberts that requiring students to work on Miller's campaign jeopardized ORU's tax-exempt status.

In the weeks since that lawsuit was filed, others have cropped up, including one from a former senior accountant who alleged that the Robertses ordered him to help them hide improper and illegal financial wrongdoing from the authorities and the public.


Executive Regent Billy Joe Daugherty will assume the president's administrative responsibilities, working with Oral Roberts until the regents' meeting, the statement said.

Former ORU regent Harry McNevin, who quit the board in 1987 because of the misspending he alleged he witnessed, called the resignation "inevitable."

"You can't take the sacrifices of God's people and use them any old way," he said. "It's been 20 years that they've been doing the same things that I became aware of."

And I'm sure the University will be sending a check for two decades of back taxes as a show of contrition.

900 foot Jesus could not be reached for comment.

Keepin' It Real

Some Harvard and Oxford educated twit, guest blogging for the ultra-authentic Nick Kristof, tells the Democrats that they're losing the authenticity gap 'cause they aren't listening to The Wolf and The Bull and The Eagle:

In just a few minutes a day, without leaving the comforts of coastal living, you too can learn about what matters most to those hard core Bush backers and new Huckabee zealots across Midwest and South by simply tuning your radio dial from NPR, soft jazz, or rock and roll oldies to your nearest country western station, the one that still boycotts the Dixie Chicks. Country music – not jazz, hip hop or blues – is the most authentic and popular form of music in America today.

That's right, modern country western music provides the most compelling and honest insights into life in rural, homespun America. Unlike previous caricatures of country music with its hillbilly stories of hard drinkin' and cheatin' hearts, modern hits often tell more complex stories of everyday struggles that resonate powerfully with many Americans.

Scan the hit charts of a recent country countdown. There is the song about a wife struggling to keep her young family together and her composure while her husband fights in Iraq. There is the catchy tune with a poignant verse about a man trying to be a better person in the midst of losing his job and hoping to find his life's purpose. Another twangy hit describes comforting family traditions passed down from father to son and the insights that come with the passing of time and the turn of generations. Then there is the one about reaching out and putting America's boot to the posteriors of the terrorist enemies of America.

None of that inauthentic, unpopular race music for Tex Campbell.

'Cause "country western is the best place to start to learn a little something about what it means to have a family, to struggle making ends meet, to own a gun or a pickup truck, to support our troops unquestioningly, to enlist in the military and fight our country's wars and to generally be very proud of what America stands for — and to profess confusion over just what all this fuss is about when it comes to our foreign policy choices." (And elementary school is the best place to learn to edit sentences.)

Yup, only in "country western" music can you learn "love is all that matters after all" and "a hundred years goes faster than you think." And how to keep your daughter from doing what the boys do, by any means necessary. Ma and Pa Kettle are sure'n to elect Mitt "The Varmintnator" Romney and Rudy "Family Man" Giuliani over them thar silver-spoon, family hatin' Democrats, if'n their broke-down pickup don't blow a flat on the way to the polls.

P.S. - Don't tell Tex about this.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Reasons to Be Thankful, Part 3

Zero days of hospitalization in 2007

No mortgage/indebtedness

Four days with no work or travel

The Enemies List (now with Jon Swift)

The BBC, which will allow me to avoid all Black Friday coverage/advertising for the next four days

Freedom from religion (except for taxpayer subsidization of religion and "faith-based" giveways, and other illegal thuggery)


I still have plenty of things to bitch about

Watching Scotty Blow

Not for one second did I believe that Scotty McLellan would reveal the truth -- about anything -- in his book, "If Cheney Did It." He lied every day while he was in the White House; why should he start telling the truth now? It was, as I suspected, all his publisher's hype.

Turns out the lying sack hasn't even written the book yet:

Peter Osnos, the founder and editor-in-chief of Public Affairs Books, which is publishing McClellan's book in April, tells NBC from his Connecticut home that McCLellan [sic], "Did not intend to suggest Bush lied to him."

Osnos says when McClellan went before the White House press corps in 2003 to publicly exonerate Libby and Rove, the problem was that his statement was not true. Osnos said the president told McClellan what "he thought to be the case." But, he says, McClellan believes, "the president didn't know it was not true."

Osnos says the quotes which appeared on the Public Affairs Books website were part of the roll out of the book catalogues for the spring printings. And he says McClellan had not finished the manuscript for the memoir yet and was working under deadline to have the book completed for the April publishing.

It was all pure P.R. B.S.

McClellan's book, "What Happened," isn't due out until April, and the excerpt was merely a teaser. It doesn't get into detail about how Bush and Cheney were involved or reveal what happened behind the scenes.

If "It" refers to the book, that sounds like a pretty good fraud case against the publisher.

How could anyone seriously believe that Scotty would be honest after seeing him in action at press briefings? (And, on another matter, who the hell cares what the White House Press Secretary has to say about anything? Did anyone buy Ari Fleisswhore's book, "Talking Shite"?)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Close Personal Friend Writes

Dear Schlomo,

As a strong supporter of our President and our Party, I wanted to make sure you had the first opportunity to have an official 2008 RNC calendar featuring President Bush.

The images in the calendar span the entire seven years of George's Presidency. I hope they will remind you of what's great about our country and how high the stakes are for America in the upcoming elections.

To receive your limited edition 2008 RNC calendar, please make an online gift of $25 or more to the RNC today.

Schlomo, grassroots leaders like you are the backbone of the Republican Party. Your continuing commitment to the RNC is critical to keeping the White House in Republican hands and regaining our majorities in the U.S. House and Senate in the 2008 elections.


Best Wishes,

Laura Bush

I'd have to say June is my favorite month. It really does remind me of what's great about our country and how high the stakes are for America in the upcoming elections.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Starring Maureen Dowd As Blanche Maxwell

Maureen O'Dowd has been re-reading Gone With The Wind, or she is preparing material for Don Imus's triumphant return to radio, or both:

[Senator Clinton] has continued to flick the whip in debates. She usually ignores Obama and John Edwards backstage, preferring to chat with the so-called second-tier candidates. And she often looks so unapproachable while they're setting up on stage that Obama seems hesitant to be the first to say hi.

With so much at stake, she had to do it again in Vegas, this time using her voice, gaze and body language to such punishing effect that Obama looked as if he had been brought to heel.

Of course, the Las Vegas debate was where Obama said, "What the American people are looking for right now is straight answers to tough questions and that is not what we've seen out of Senator Clinton on a host of issues." But the facts don't coincide with MoDo's gin-soaked Mandingo fantasies, so the facts must yield to the fantasy.

And, yes, I'm saying MoDo is a racist. Just because she's a half-wit and tries to couch her vile views in some pathetic sexual metaphor doesn't mean she's not a bigot.

I don't think this particular Dowd dump will gain too much traction, though, as it would require Russert and his fellow G.O.P. operatives (both in and out of the media) to explain why they know so much about dominatrixes. They'll just stick with the McCain-approved "bitch."

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Scarcer Than Alan Keyes At A Republican Presidential Event

Instead of some bushwa about where I've been (long story, dicey beginning, happy ending), I'm just going to mention that I've added some links to the Enemies List, as follows:

Lawyers, Guns and Money
Fire Megan McArdle

I could have sworn Lawyers, Guns and Money was on there before, but it's not there now (until I place it back on).

And now a question: Is the intersection between Alan Keyes' nutty followers and Ron Paul's nutty followers a null set, or are there some demented souls who long for a Paul/Keyes '08 ticket? (U-Nutty '08, perhaps?)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Grand Old Police Blotter: One Down, Countless to Go Edition

Representative Bob Allen is the latest Republican to flush his career down the toilet while looking for love. The Florida Republican plans to appeal on the ground that the jury was comprised of scary-looking black men.

And in the on dick circle, Glenn Murphy Jnr.:

The former chairman of the Clark County Republican Party was charged yesterday with criminal deviate conduct, a Class B felony that could land him in prison for six to 20 years if he is convicted.

Glenn Murphy Jr., 33, is accused of performing oral sex on a sleeping man following a July 28 party at a home in Jeffersonville.

Murphy turned himself in for an initial hearing in Clark Superior Court yesterday and was later freed on $25,000 bond. Judge Vicki Carmichael set a trial date of April 1.

Murphy, who was also chairman of the Young Republican National Federation, resigned from both posts when the allegations were made public in August.

Jury foreperson: "We find the defendant, Glenn Murphy, not guilty."

"April Fools!"

Mr. Murphy will not make the most convincing or articulate witness on his own behalf:

The affidavit states that on the tape, Murphy tells the man he thought the man had been "coming on" to him and that the following exchange took place between the two:

"I thought that you were awake. It's my fault," said Murphy. "I'm not laying this off on you. I'm trying to explain what happened."

"I don't know, dude," the man replied. "Yeah, I don't know how you can possibly think that it was OK to do that, honestly."

Murphy said, "Dude, I wasn't in my right mind. I wasn't thinking."

Remembrance Day

If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori. -- Wilfred Owen

Friday, November 09, 2007

Yeah, Right

The super observant and abundantly qualified Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement speaks:

The employee wore dreadlocks, dark makeup and prison stripes. [Julie] Myers and two other managers awarded him "most original costume" and Myers posed for a photo with him.

"Although I was not aware at the time of the contest that the employee disguised his skin color, I believe that it was inappropriate for me to recognize any individual wearing an escaped prisoner costume," Myers said.

Of course, this is utter bullshit. Meyers couldn't tell the guy was a white guy wearing makeup and fake dreadlocks, even though she was close enough to pose for a photograph with him? She must be damn confident that all traces of the photo have disappeared forever. And what precisely is an "escaped prisoner costume," as opposed to a prisoner costume? Meyers was able to make that (non-existent ass-covering) distinction but too stupid to suss out the guy's race?

Meyers is lying.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Founder Of Spike TV Says Chicks Dig A Guy With A Mullet

The pinheads at Newsbusters and various other remedial reading holdbacks are wetting themselves over the news that "the founder of the Weather Channel" !!! is a global warming denier. Here's Coleman's powerful and persuasive pitch:

By John Coleman

It is the greatest scam in history. I am amazed, appalled and highly offended by it. Global Warming; It is a SCAM. Some dastardly scientists with environmental and political motives manipulated long term scientific data to create an allusion [sic] of rapid global warming. Other scientists of the same environmental whacko type jumped into the circle to support and broaden the "research" to further enhance the totally slanted, bogus global warming claims. Their friends in government steered huge research grants their way to keep the movement going. Soon they claimed to be a consensus [sic].

Environmental extremists, notable politicians among them, then teamed up with movie, media and other liberal, environmentalist journalists to create this wild "scientific" scenario of the civilization threatening environmental consequences from Global Warming unless we adhere to their radical agenda. Now their ridiculous manipulated science has been accepted as fact and become a cornerstone issue for CNN, CBS, NBC, the Democratic Political Party, the Governor of California, school teachers and, in many cases, well informed but very gullible environmentally conscientious citizens. Only one reporter at ABC has been allowed to counter the Global Warming frenzy with one 15 minute documentary segment.

It's a safe bet that the wingnut chumps touting this poorly-written screed wouldn't know who John Coleman is if his toupee came along and bit them on the ass.

Coleman was the wacky weatherman on Chicago's WLS-TV infotainment newscasts in the late 70s. He coined kooky terms like "thorms," used nutty props, engaged in inane banter, and stood in front of (or walked through) a green screen while the Happy Talk news team threw things at him and tried to make him crack up. In short, he was the original Steve Doocy-type performing monkey.

Coleman might give himself credit for "founding" The Weather Channel, but, by his own admission, he wasn't bright enough to keep from getting screwed out of his interest in the channel. The channel was dismal failure when Coleman was in charge.

He also was a Perot supporter.

The man is a crank who reads the weather forecast off a TelePrompter. He doesn't offer any science -- or even any "science" -- to support his position, nor does he offer any proof to support his conspiracy allegations. And the lemmings in the wingnutosphere follow him over a cliff simply because he "founded" a basic cable teevee station. I look forward to their similar deference to Ted Turner, Mark Cuban and Vice President Al Gore.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Grand Old Police Blotter: It's Kerik Time Edition

Rudy Giuliani's right-hand bagman is about to get 9-11 years in the federal pen, if there's any justice:

Federal prosecutors will ask a grand jury today to indict Bernard B. Kerik, the former New York police commissioner, on charges that include tax fraud, corruption and conspiracy counts, according to people who have been briefed on the case.

The grand jury, convening in Westchester County, has heard evidence about Mr. Kerik for about a year as part of a broad federal inquiry into a variety of issues, including his acceptance of $165,000 in renovations from a contractor who was seeking a city license.

Prosecutors are also seeking to charge Mr. Kerik, 52, with failing to report as income more than $200,000 in rent that they say was paid on his behalf to use a luxury Upper East Side apartment where he lived with his family around the time he left his city post, the people briefed on the case said.

Kerik previously served the Bush Administration by training Iraqi police in the finer points of accepting bribes, disposing of bodies and running away.

But how hard can prison be, compared to sleeping with Judith Regan? If you cut a deal now, Bern, maybe you can bunk with George Ryan and Connie Black.

Serial Fabricators For Rudy

Rudy has wasted no time in endorsing Marion's fairy tales. From the Rudy campaign site:

After graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington and Lee in 1950, Robertson served as the assistant adjutant of the First Marine Division in Korea.

Oh, really?

In the same year, he transferred to Korea, "I ended up at the headquarters command of the First Marine Division," says Robertson. "The Division was in combat in the hot and dusty, then bitterly cold portion of North Korea just above the 38th Parallel later identified as the 'Punchbowl' and 'Heartbreak Ridge.' For that service in the Korean War, the Marine Corps awarded me three battle stars for 'action against the enemy.'"

However, former Republican Congressman Paul "Pete" McCloskey, Jr., who served with Robertson in Korea, claimed that Robertson was actually spared combat duty when his powerful father, a U.S. Senator, intervened on his behalf, claiming that instead Robertson spent most of his time in an office in Japan. According to McCloskey, his time in the service was not in combat but as the "liquor officer" responsible for keeping the officers' clubs supplied with liquor.

More on Marion's bar service here and here.

Perhaps the endorsement will prompt media investigations of Marion's fabrications, prophesies and plain old bigotry.

Yes, I'm being facetious.

Marion The Barbarian

Rudy Giuliani, who is running for President of 9/11*, has picked up the endorsement of the man who agreed that the terrorist attacks were retribution for America's acceptance of "pagans, abortionists, feminists, gays, lesbians, the American Civil Liberties Union and the People For the American Way."

The question is simple: Does Giuliani agree with Marion G. Robertson that God destroyed the World Trade Towers and the thousands of men and women inside them? Judging by this photo, Rudy is perfectly happy with the idea that the thousands who perished in his city be remembered as Holy Road Kill.

Says Rude: "I am very encouraged by Pat's support ... His confidence in me means a lot. His experience and advice will be a great asset to me and my campaign."

Well, here's some valuable advice from Marion:

On January 2, 2007, during the 700 Club show, Robertson said that God spoke to him and told him that "mass killings" were to come during 2007, due to a terrorist attack on the United States. He added "The Lord didn't say nuclear. But I do believe it will be something like that."

Oh, if only we could get Alan Dershowitz to torture God to prevent that ticking time bomb. And if we can't find God, we'll just have to beat His secret location out of Marion.

* Rudy as President of 9/11 appears courtesy of The Onion.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Chris Hitchens, man of letters, endorses the Autobiography of a Flea Circus:

"The White House under Bill and Hillary Clinton was a moral and political slum, where a decent woman could be molested in the Oval Office and defamed and harassed when she complained. It's shocking to think that the crooked partnership could ever be allowed back into our Executive Mansion and Kathleen Willey has done a great service by reminding us so vividly of what it was like last time"

Christopher Hitchens, author of No One Left to Lie To: The Values of the Worst Family

And don't miss Kathy, Hitch and I: A Reunion, coming soon on a very special edition of Hardball.

Fox and Fluffers

Lickspittle Carl Cameron gives Huckleberry Fred a friendly tug:

Trying to encourage his studio to hurry up so an interview could start, Carl Cameron of Fox News said into his microphone: "The next president of the United States has a schedule to keep." Standing beside him, a deadpan Mr Thompson interjected: "And so do I."

As some Thompson aides looked bemused and others cringed, a taken-aback Mr Cameron, Fox's chief political correspondent, exclaimed: "You can't do that kind of stuff!"

No wonder Huckleberry spends so little time campaigning. He's set up his front porch in the Faux News studios.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The Dumbpowder Plot

If it takes a egomanical Texan with a bunch of drooling nutjob followers to get a Democrat back in the White House, so be it.

Historians and British schoolchildren remember Guy Fawkes as the Roman Catholic, anti-Protestant rebel who on Nov. 5, 1605, tried to assassinate King James I by blowing up the Parliament. Supporters of the Republican primary campaign of the libertarian Representative Ron Paul may remember Fawkes as a wildly successful fund-raising gimmick.

On Monday, a group of Paul supporters helped raised more than $4.07 million in one day — approaching what the campaign raised in the entire last quarter — through a Web site called, a reference to the day the British commemorate the thwarted bombing.

It's also nice to see so many prizewinning chumps fleeced of their hardly-earned dollars. The Republican Party will never let an anti-war candidate get anywhere the nomination. Big War calls the shots, boys, and you just ask "how high." If you want any return on your investment, third party is the only way to go. Do it for the country.

It's Guiliani Time

Rudy Guiliani is tough on crime ... to a point.

If you're a pal of Rudy's, your crimes are not his concern.


A cascade of questions followed about [Kerik's] judgment as a public official, not least that he had inappropriately lobbied city officials on behalf of Interstate Industrial, a construction firm suspected of links to organized crime. Mr. Giuliani defended Mr. Kerik, a friend and business partner, whom he had recommended to the Bush administration. But he also tried to shield himself from accusations that he had ignored Mr. Kerik's failings.

"I was not informed of it," Mr. Giuliani said then, when asked if he had been warned about Mr. Kerik's relationship with Interstate before appointing him to the police post in 2000.

Mr. Giuliani amended that statement last year in testimony to a state grand jury. He acknowledged that the city investigations commissioner, Edward J. Kuriansky, had told him that he had been briefed at least once. The former mayor said, though, that neither he nor any of his aides could recall being briefed about Mr. Kerik’s involvement with the company.

But a review of Mr. Kuriansky’s diaries, and investigators' notes from a 2004 interview with him, now indicate that such a session indeed took place. What is more, Mr. Kuriansky also recalled briefing one of Mr. Giuliani's closest aides, Dennison Young Jr., about Mr. Kerik's entanglements with the company just days before the police appointment, according to the diaries he compiled at the time and his later recollection to the investigators.

The additional evidence raises questions not only about the precision of Mr. Giuliani's recollection, but also about how a man who proclaims his ability to pick leaders came to overlook a jumble of disturbing information about Mr. Kerik, even as he pushed him for two crucial government positions.

"Rudy can fall for people big time, and sometimes qualifications are secondary to loyalty," said Fran Reiter, a former Giuliani deputy mayor who now supports Hillary Clinton. "If he gets it in his head he trusts you, he is extremely loyal."


Giuliani employs his childhood friend Monsignor Alan Placa as a consultant at Giuliani Partners despite a 2003 Suffolk County, N.Y., grand jury report that accuses Placa of sexually abusing children, as well as helping cover up the sexual abuse of children by other priests. Placa, who was part of a three-person team that handled allegations of abuse by clergy for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, is referred to as Priest F in the grand jury report. The report summarizes the testimony of multiple alleged victims of Priest F, and then notes, "Ironically, Priest F would later become instrumental in the development of Diocesan policy in response to allegations of sexual abuse of children by priests."

Five years after he was suspended from his duties because of the abuse allegations, Placa is currently listed as "priest in residence" at St. Aloysius Church in Great Neck, N.Y., where close friend Brendan Riordan serves as pastor, and officially lives at the rectory there with Riordan. In addition, Placa co-owns a penthouse apartment in Manhattan with Riordan, the latest in a half-dozen properties the two men have owned in common at various times since the late 1980s.

Placa has worked for Giuliani Partners since 2002. As of June 2007, he remains on the payroll. "He is currently employed here," Giuliani spokeswoman Sunny Mindel confirmed to Salon, adding that Giuliani "believes Alan has been unjustly accused." Mindel declined to discuss what role Placa plays with the consulting firm, or how much he is paid. Says Richard Tollner, who testified before the grand jury that Placa had molested him, "[Giuliani] has to speak up for himself and explain himself. If he doesn't, people shouldn't vote for him." Adds Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of, which tracks suspected priest abuse, "I think Rudy Giuliani has to account for his friendship with a credibly accused child molester."


When Rudolph Giuliani appointed a task force on police-community relations last summer, you didn't have to be a seer to know it was a spin. He wanted to take some of the heat off himself in the horrified wake of what happened to Abner Louima in the 70th Precinct.

Having now pushed the commission to disband, Giuliani--as a New York Times headline put it -- "sneered" at the commission's mild majority report. Surprised at the backlash to his arrogance, he said later he could have been more gracious in his response to his vassals.

But as usual, Giuliani has had his own way. The commission is dead, and he will continue to fight any attempt, including by the City Council, to allow the existence of an independent review board over the police. Giuliani deeply believes that only the police can credibly make the police accountable for brutality and corruption.

Being tough on crime is the easiest thing in the world. Being tough on your cronies' crimes is another matter. And Rudy is weak as water when it comes to his cronies' crimes.

And that's where the problems lies. We currently have an Administration that's tough on crime, except for the crimes committed by the Administration, its advocates and its allies. With Rudy, it will be worse. In a Guiliani Administration, Rudy will be his own Abu Gonzales.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Roger's Hollywood Minute

A new film, Before The Devil Knows You're Dead, is getting uniformily rave reviews. Here's a representative critique from Roger Ebert (and one that doesn't give up too much of the plot, unlike the NYT review):

Sidney Lumet's "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead" is such a superb crime melodrama that I almost want to leave it at that. To just stop writing right now and advise you to go out and see it as soon as you can. I so much want to avoid revealing plot points that I don't even want to risk my usual strategy of oblique hints. You deserve to walk into this one cold.

Yet that would prevent my praise, and there is so much to praise about this film. Let me try to word this carefully. The movie stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke as brothers -- yes, brothers, because although they may not look related, they always feel as if they share a long and fraught history. Hoffman plays Andy, a payroll executive who dresses well and always has every hair slicked into place, but has a bad drug habit and an urgent need to raise some cash. Hawke plays Hank, much lower on the financial totem pole, with his own reasons for needing money; he can't face his little girl and admit he can't afford to pay for her class outing to attend "The Lion King." Hank looks more like the druggie, but you never can tell.

Andy suggests they solve their problems by robbing a jewelry store....


And it doesn't simply go wrong, it goes wrong with an aftermath we care about. This isn't a movie where the crime is only a plot, and dead bodies are only plot devices. Its story has deeply emotional consequences. That's why an actor with Albert Finney's depth is needed for an apparently supporting role. If he isn't there when he's needed, the whole film loses. As for Hoffman and Hawke, so seemingly different but such intelligent actors, they pull off that miracle that makes us stop thinking of anything we know about them, and start thinking only of Andy and Hank.

This is a movie, I promise you, that grabs you and won't let you think of anything else. It's wonderful when a director like Lumet wins a Lifetime Achievement Oscar at 80, and three years later makes one of his greatest achievements.

A film that's not based on a toy, or a cartoon, or a cartoon about a toy. One that doesn't star Angelina Jolie as Grendel's mother or Vince Vaughn as Santa's brother. One that has scenes from a mall but not a crappy screenplay.

And here's the best part: One of the producers is Brian Linse, proprietor of the Ain't No Bad Dude blog. Here's hoping that the movie is a success beyond Brian's wildest expectations, and that he lets me hold his Oscar (TM -AMPAS).

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Alternative Clue for Today's New York Times Crossword

44 Across: Kaus blows it

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Wingnut Blogger Makes Good

Former Reason hack and failed blogger RiShawn Biddle has parted ways with the Indianapolis Star following an eloquent denunciation of Democrats:

The newspaper's editor, Dennis Ryerson, removed the posting by RiShawn Biddle Wednesday and apologized to readers.

Then, at 5:30 p.m., Tim Swarens, editor of Opinion and Community Conversations, sent this one-sentence note to the staff of the Gannett newspaper:

"Effective immediately, editorial writer RiShawn Biddle is no longer employed by The Indianapolis Star."

Riddle's blog entry was titled, "The Indianapolis Black Democrat minstrel show."

It was originally called "Coons for Power," judging from the Web address for the blog entry, which uses those words, and according to the Indianapolis blogosphere.

One blogger wrote that the piece originally compared the council president to "Zip Coon, a derogatory, racial slur on black men dating to the days of slavery."

Return to the wingnutosphere, Mr. Biddle. You'll soon be rolling in links from Instacracker and his pals. And thousands of comments about how unfair it is that white folks -- and conservatives -- just can't use some perfectly good words.

Looks like I've got a tough choice to make. Bill Bloomfield has sent me a desperate personal plea via e-mail, asking if I can resuscitate John McCain's moribund campaign.

Can you invest eight weeks of your time to make history?

We need you at one of our offices in Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan or South Carolina.

If you can relocate to one of the early primary or caucus states, please reply to this e-mail or send your contact information to:


Bill Bloomfield, Director of Volunteers

You're-entirely-welcome-Bill! I've already e-mailed you my fee schedule and my bank account information.

So: November and December in Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan or South Carolina. A very tough choice. Any recommendations?