Saturday, July 27, 2002

Oh Jeebus. I really really need a drink.

Rumsfeld may quit Pentagon to take on top Homeland role

God help us.

Stupid Wingnuts Never Learn

They just keep peddling their brand of crap. I haven't checked, but I can already sense the waves of orgasmic pleasure spreading through Blogistan. I'm sure Musil will wax rhapsodic about it, Instapundit'll it an approving link, and some of the lesser Bloggers, whose arguments generally reduce to "but Clinton got a blowjob," finally know what they're supposed to think. They've been wandering a bit aimlessly lately, throwing plastic darts at Robert Rubin or arguing that Beelzebubba's oral adventures led those poor CEOs down the wrong path.

But finally they have the answer -- served up on a plate by two of the Right's biggest shit servers - Glassman (Dow 36,000) and Lott (Florida Election Theft Getaway Driver). You see, it is the threat of Congressional regulation that has sunk the market. If not for this, Dow 36,000 would just be an amusing memory, as we would already be approaching Dow 100K.

I read John Lott's analysis of the Florida election. I have never, ever, seen a more deliberately dishonest piece of "research" than that. Any organization that would keep him around after that stack of bought and paid for lies is completely tarnished by association.

(via Josh Marshall)
Focus on the family has spent 1.5 billion .

But, without Beelzebubba, things are drying up....

[A] movement can exist without a God but can't exist without a devil, and Focus has lost its devil in Bill Clinton.

Apparently it's all been for naught..

The ministry spends about 5 percent of its annual budget on public policy initiatives and gives support to nearly 40 local family policy councils. But Dr. Dobson says the ministry has little to show for its long-running opposition to abortion, pornography and gay rights.

There are signs, too, that the family values movement is losing steam.

He says evangelical Christians have not done their part. Fewer than half voted in 2000; still fewer believe in moral absolutes. Some studies show that they divorce at higher rates than others.

Paul Begala, from Crossfire:

So our ace researcher Josh Cowan (ph) called the head of the federal government's employee's union and got this statement from Bobby Harnage.

This is what he said in response to Ari Fleischer: "Mr. Fleischer is dead wrong. If an employee was drunk on the job and allowed a terrorist into the country he could be fired immediately as a national security risk. Notwithstanding such a circumstance, under current rules an employee drunk at work could be immediately suspended from the job, and then removed entirely from the payroll."

That's Bobby Harnage, National President of the National Federation of Government Employees.

This is only about control without oversight. Nothing else.
This letter to the Miami Herald sums things up perfectly:

Bring back Monica.



Propagandist Safire says a blogger is "some average but opinionated Joe or Josie." Well, I suppose some of us are "average." And, some of us are law professors, economics professors, film producers, Real Journalists, etc... Some of us probably may lack credentials or sexy job titles but may actually know a thing or two. And, we even count among us the current Occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
This damn bankruptcy bill has outlived its 9 lives. Thankfully, it's been beaten back once more, at least temporarily.

WASHINGTON - Republican lawmakers forced what could be a fatal delay of a landmark bankruptcy bill that would have made it tougher for Americans to dissolve debt.

The House of Representatives, working to resolve its differences with the Senate, planned to pass the compromise bankruptcylegislation Friday night before leaving for the summer, but hit a snag after an argument rose between Republicans over an abortion provision in the bill.

One of the sticking points on the legislation was a provision that would prohibit people who attack or block access to abortion clinics from declaring bankruptcy to avoid paying court-ordered fines.

Never thought I'd cheer on the pro-life crowd...

On a related note, anyone know where the homestead exemption stands in this version?
One of the consistent plot lines in the media's accepted script regarding the Clintons is that they aren't entitled to, well, anything. A recent liberal media AP report states that:

Clintons ask taxpayers to reimburse Whitewater legal bills
Fri Jul 26,11:20 PM ET

By SHANNON McCAFFREY, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Former President Clinton ( news - web sites) and his wife have asked a court to have taxpayers reimburse them for legal costs related to the Whitewater investigation, their lawyer said late Friday.

The Clintons raked in millions of dollars last year after leaving the White House. The former president earned $9.2 million on the lecture circuit, and Hillary Rodham Clinton ( news - web sites) — now New York's junior senator — received an $2.85 million advance on her memoirs.

First of all, that second paragraph has nothing to do with the first. Either they are entitled, by law, to have their legal costs refunded, or not. It isn't means tested. Inclusion of that paragraph was just done to imply that the Clintons are greedy.

Second, the term "raked" is not a neutral verb.

Sent in by reader R.

Friday, July 26, 2002

Is Sullivan Lying ?

Well, you be the judge. Here's his response to Joe Conason:

"I fixed a couple of typos and a date change within about ten minutes of posting. I typed enron when I meant citigroup and I confused the month when rubin left the administration with when he joined citigroup. I fixed within minutes of posting - something I do if I spot an obvious error, typo, or even sometimes just a horrible sentence after I double-check the site, and check my notes or sources. nothing nefarious. It would be stupid to post something, catch an error in it, and not immediately correct after posting if I see something wrong. That's part of the process of writing in real time with no editor or fact-checker. In this case, amended within a few minutes. Someone really eagle-eyed might have noticed if they read two versions immediately after each other in the afternoon. But the point was the same and nothing else was changed."


1) I receive email from Hesiod who makes this comment on Sullivan's original post.

This email has a timestamp of 1:30PDT or 4:30 EDT, my (and Andrew's) local time. Hesiod sent me his original correcting email to Sullivan, timestamp included, which shows that it was sent at 3:08 pm.

2) I read Hesiod's comment, and click on Sullivan's site. The original post is still there. I post about it here.

3) About 1 hour later (5:30 pm) Hesiod posts in my comments section that Sullivan has now changed his post, and he discusses it here.

4) I post an update on my weblog, commenting on this, and noting that Sully had modified a "4 hour old post.", which was approximately true as the timestamp at that time had said 12:30pm or so. Now the time stamp says 3:38. This is important as this time is AFTER his original post had been made, and the Blogger software DOES NOT change the original time stamp on an edited post. Point being is that since then he has one way or another changed the time stamp. I stand by my recollection and contemporaneous observation that he had changed a '4 hour old post.'

Only my, Hesiod's, and anyone who read but did not save the original post's recollection can attest to the fact that Sully changed more than a couple errors in that post. Obviously he changed it from a damning post premised on the notion that Rubin was in charge of Citibank at the time to a completely baseless one. It really doesn't matter - that's subjective to some degree I suppose. What I can show is that he obviously modified it more than 10 minutes later, and the timeline requires that he modified his time stamp as well (simply by, for example, later deleting and re-writing the post)..

But, who cares anyway?
Here's a story about how the New York Times wouldn't run a requested opinion piece about the Time Warner/AOL merger at the time because it didn't stick to the script. (via Ethel the Blog)

I think Bob Somerby is the one who really understands this phenomenon. Despite its many heads, the 'media' really is a single-brained beast, narrowly framing any discussion around the accepted script. Anyone who deviates radically from this script is treated as if they just tried to claim the Moon is made of Green Cheese, or that Clinton actually was a more popular president than Reagan, or some other similarly twisted idea. The occasional "contrarian" view is allowed, which is usually either not very contrarian at all or a straw man used to discredit a particular viewpoint.

Mr. Rushkof gets the last laugh.
"Journalist" Tim Noah says this: (Scroll Down)

I'm usually quick to post corrections in Chatterbox, but in this instance I see no error to correct. Rubin, as a top manager, plainly bears at least theoretical responsibility for any practices that continued on his watch. Or rather, he would, if the press were following the same standards it's applying to John Sidgmore, CEO of WorldCom, whose tenure postdates the accounting fiasco that he's nonetheless being held responsible for along with his predecessor, Bernard Ebbers. We know that Rubin was involved with Citigroup's Enron account at least to the extent that he made an unethical call to Treasury on its behalf. Doesn't this fact, at the very least, require stories about the prepay business tonmention his name? Even if Rubin is known to be totally innocent of any involvement (which I doubt), shouldn't the stories spell THAT out? The press is protecting Rubin because he's a sacred cow. That's what I thought when I saw the Times story, and it's what I still think as Rubin's name continues to be absent from the followups.

But, wait! Noah gets it wrong again...

Bad comparison
From PETER SPIEGEL: Tim Noah makes an error in trying to compare Robert Rubin to John Sidgmore. John Sidgmore is not, as Noah argues, being held responsible for WorldCom's accounting problems despite the fact his tenure postdates that of Bernie Ebbers. Sidgmore has, in fact, been a senior executive at WorldCom since his old outfit, UUNet, was bought by Ebbers in 1996 and was vice chairman of the company for at least five years. Because the accounting questions at WorldCom were so blatant and wide-reaching, it is a legitimate question to ask whether a long-time senior executive knew or should have known about what was going on.

And, while we're on Medianews letters:

Ghost story
From CHARLES PIERCE: I once met a man who was sure -- absolutely, sell-your-kids-to-bet-the-farm certain -- that several ghosts lived in the attic of his farmhouse in rural Wisconsin. He had constructed anentire alternate reality around the notion. Every owl that hooted, every branch that scraped across the shutters, every sputtering buglight down the road, took on a new and entertainingly ectoplasmic identity. I often think of that man because he obviously took a great comfort in this world he had constructed around him. Haunted though it may have been, it was a simple, peaceful place. I think he would have been happy at that conservative "journalists" training school. Let us leave aside the obvious and relentlessly shame-free hilarity from my gal Annie Coulter, who is the sole occupant of her own universe. Imagine the rest of them -- come the fall of night, every time a leaf blows in front of the porchlight, it's mad Howell Raines, coming to steal their brains. It's got to beat all hell out of learning how to do a title search.

Watching CNN today it's clear that the new Austin Powers movie is a Warner Bros. production. The joys of big media.
Robert Rubin is responsible for what went on at Citibank before he joined them. Dick Cheney isn't responsible for what went on at Halliburton while he was there. Oh, and Clinton/Reno were responsible for Ruby Ridge. (Still there, guys, how many times do I have to email you about this?)

Here's Doonesbury.
I think Matthew Yglesias misses the point about the President's desire to exclude standard civil service protections from the Homeland Security Agency. Last I checked, he also wanted to exclude it from FOIA and Whistleblower Protection. Let's consider the powers and budget this agency would have, combined with the complete lack of public oversight or whistleblower protection for its employees, exemption from FOIA, the classified nature of just about everything it does, and a domestic rather than international jurisdiction.

Call me cynical, but...

UPDATE: Here is the forgotten link.

Also, I just wanted to make clear that I think this has nothing to do with the conservative knee-jerk reaction to employee protections, and everything to do with simply having complete control of a domestic spying agency without concern for leaks or reprisals.
This column by Dr. Charles Krauthammer, M.D. in The Washington Post reads like one of those dumb "you know you're a liberal if..." emails.

Thursday, July 25, 2002

Hey, Andy gives Krugman an assist:

Here, too, Mr. Bush's past is prologue. I reported in an earlier column the story of Utimco, the University of Texas fund that, while Mr. Bush was governor and the current secretary of commerce, Donald Evans, headed the U.T. regents, placed more than $1 billion with private funds, many with close business or political ties to Mr. Bush himself. Among the beneficiaries were the Wyly brothers, who later financed a crucial smear campaign against John McCain.
("Bush reveals his poisonous colors" was the headline of a piece about that campaign, written by the online pundit Andrew Sullivan.)

UPDATE: Forgot to give credit to Diana over at Letter from Gotham for being the likely inspiration for Krugman's reference to Andy's article.

This, to me, is the potential power of Bloggers- to occasionally push up to the surface an article or fact or idea that would otherwise be overlooked.
Another Noah Smackdown:

From RUTHALICE ANDERSON: Timothy Noah's criticism of the Journal and other papers who neglected to tar Robert Rubin with the Citigroup-Enron scandal demonstrates most of the faults of today's blogging -- a suitably ugly word for that ugly imitation of real journalism. The real journalists at the Journal, etc. noticed that Rubin didn't join the board until six month's after this chicanery was completed and therefore, correctly, assumed that he was not part of the prepay agreement. Noah, in the best of blogging tradition, clearly just cruised a few sites, obviously including the Andrew Sullivan site (a popular blog, but not because it's got a reputation for accuracy). Sullivan, as he usually does, rushed out commentary attacking the papers for not going after Rubin. He later changed his text, though he did not acknowledge his previous error. Noah, like altogether too many bloggers, merely rehashed Sullivan's point. I notice that Noah has not corrected his error or acknowledged his mistake.

That this terrible excuse for journalism got referred to you is just more of the same. Folks are reading the erroneous attacks on the Journal, etc. and not reading the original articles to see that the magpies Sullivan and Noah haven't a leg to stand on. That's what's wrong with blogging, it's not self-correcting; it's self-perpetuating.

While I disagree that "blogging" is intrinsically any more or less reliable than what passes for "real journalism," the ability to have your ass fact-checked and face the consequences is diminished when, like Sully, you edit your 4 hour old posts without comment.

My snarky response below aside, I have to say that I found the below post disturbing for so many reasons. I don't actually know where to begin.
Nick Denton says, and Instapundit approves of, this:

Let's turn the system around. In the West, it is the Muslims who are the dhimmis, the tolerated minority; they should be free to practice, so long as their Islam is a diluted Episcopalian version, expressed in a sabbath on Fridays, holidays at unusual times of the year, traditional names for children, and an annual parade through Brooklyn.

In other words, Western governments should make clear that the toleration of Muslim minorities is conditional. The West is a package deal: the prosperity that has attracted Muslim immigrants is a function of the Western tradition. Fundamentalist Islam is not, as the morally ambivalent would have it, as valid as any other system. Here's the Western dhimma: accept the supremacy of Western humanist values -- equal rights for women and sexual minorities, freedom of speech, and family law -- or leave.

Leave? Isn't that a bit harsh? Well, according to the Moroccan jurist al-Wansharisi, it is the duty of an orthodox Muslim to emigrate rather than remain under infidel rule. Bernard Lewis writes: "If the infidels were tolerant, this made the need to depart more rather than less urgent, since the danger of apostasy was correspondingly greater. Even Muslim tyranny, says al-Wansharisi, is better than Christian justice."

Fair enough.

Atrios says:

They should be free to practice, so long as their Christianity is a diluted Episcopalian version, expressed in a sabbath on Sundays, the usual holidays, Apostles' names, and a few annual parades.

In other words, Western governments should make clear that the toleration of Fundamentalist Christian minorities is conditional. Accept the supremacy of Western humanist values -- equal rights for women and sexual minorities, freedom of speech, and family law -- or leave.

UPDATE: As Zarquon notes in my comments, the silver lining is that this means the Texas GOP will just have to go. From their platform:

Homosexuality – The Party believes that the practice of sodomy tears at the fabric of society, contributes to the breakdown of the family unit, and leads to the spread of dangerous, communicable diseases. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans. Homosexuality must not be presented as an acceptable “alternative” lifestyle in our public education and policy, nor should “family” be redefined to include homosexual “couples.” We are opposed to any granting of special legal entitlements, recognition, or privileges including, but not limited to, marriage between persons of the same sex, custody of children by homosexuals, homosexual partner insurance or retirement benefits. We oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality out of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values.

Hauser on Blogger (and Kaus) self-importance.
Hesiod, who reads Slate so I don't have to, notes that Tim Noah is on the Rubin case and that he also fails to point out that Rubin joined the company AFTER the "Enron deal" was reported to have taken place.
As far as I could tell, in the Ashcroft hearing today he was basically saying 'you authorized the president to use any force necessary, and that includes enough force to detain people as necessary.'

Rhinoceri indeed.
Oh this Andy Sullivan flashback is absolutely priceless.

I write this a day before the results of the South Carolina primary are known. If Bush has prevailed, it is a pyrrhic victory. The ugliness of his tactics, his willingness to consort with the most unsavoury characters in a notoriously unsavoury state and the sheer vacuousness of his message have revealed him to be not merely hollow but also malicious and unwise.

In his first bout with adversity, Bush called in the boys and told them to nail his opponent's head to the floor. If that is "compassionate conservatism", let's forget it. And to what end? By panicking in South Carolina, Bush has essentially wrecked his candidacy. His rationale to begin with was that he was a moderate who could appeal to centrists and Democrats, that he represented a clean break from the Republican past and he was so well organised and well financed that he was unstoppable.

Those claims are now gurgling down the plug-hole. Moderate? He began his campaign in South Carolina by addressing the rabidly anti-Catholic college that made Ian Paisley a "doctor" and bans dating between people of different races. A break with the sleaze of the past? His tactics make his father's ruthless dismemberment of Michael Dukakis seem namby-pamby. Unstoppable? He has spent more in four primaries than Bob Dole spent in his entire campaign, and has been trounced in his only big competition with his poorly funded opponent.

You have to read the whole thing..
Whopper of the week:

John Ashcroft: "Not only have I not proposed amending the constitution but I have no desire to do so." (Approximate)

He meant during his tenure of Attorney General, in fairness, but as a Senator he expressed his desire to amend the constitution by proposing to do so 7 times.
I wonder if Time Warner executives really feel good about the fact that AOL came to them and said "if you give us $20 billion we'll take your company off your hands for you..." and they believed this was a good deal.*

*numbers approximate.
Snotglass's pal, Bob Boudelang, has his TIPS snitch forms all filled out...
Here's a fun one for the tinfoil hat crowd, from Fortune.

"That for a small company like Harken to be involved in foreign drilling operations getting concessions from foreign governments, things just didn't add up. A lot of people had suspected that this was a CIA front." That particular point, of course, is just a rumor.

Even without the "rumor" part, this is a key point.

(via Letter From Gotham)

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

One thing the Clinton administration always could be counted on was making very realistic - in fact TOO conservative - revenue and expenditure forecasts. Gene Lyons tells us w hat Mr. Daniels is up to:

Last week, the administration was forced to admit that the U.S. budget is now $165 billion in the hole, 60 percent worse than it predicted. Budget director Mitch Daniels also distributed a dandy Enron-style chart duly reproduced on the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette front page. It showed deficits
morphing magically into surpluses in 2005--that is, after the next presidential election.

For that to happen, Daniels forecast corporate profits rising a preposterous 70 percent, government expenditures shrinking even as the White House presses for sharp increases, and tax revenues rising 25 percent just as the costliest of Bush's save-the-billionaires tax cuts kick in. Oh yeah, and a runaway bull market on Wall Street. There's a better chance of the fun-loving Bush twins,Jenna and Barbara, entering a convent.

He also reminds us of the good old days...

Kerrey's vote brought the U.S. Senate to a 50-50 tie, enabling Vice President Al Gore to cast the decisive vote. The Clinton plan passed without a single Republican vote amid GOP predictions of disaster. Newt Gingrich said the tax increase would cause "a job killing recession." Rep. Robert Michel of Illinois called it "a silent, greedy destroyer of family budgets, a dreadful virus in the economic bloodstream of our nation."

Instead, the exact opposite happened. Clinton Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin summed it all up in the Washington Post on July 19: "Unemployment fell from over 7 percent to 4 percent and was under 5 percent for 40 consecutive months; private investment in productive equipment grew at double-digit rates for eight years; annual productivity growth more than doubled by the end of the period; inflation was low; GDP growth averaged roughly 4 percent per annum, and 20 million new private-sector jobs were created." Budget deficits vanished, surpluses appeared, and prosperity spread.

And now for the other side, by guest conservative commentator Snotglass:

Our President, George W. Bush, has been waging war against the evil forces of foreign terrorism that attacked us on September 11th. Under his leadership and despite the desperate hand-wringing of the socialist left, the war has progressed well, with victories that bring us within measureable distance of its end.

Economically, the President has enacted bold policies to end the excesses of the Clinton administration. Research conducted by the prestigiuos Robert Vesco School of Business Ethics at the American Enterprise Institute has conclusively demonstrated that the recent business scandals are directly attributable to the immoral permissiveness of the Clinton years. Noted economist Jonah Goldberg has also released findings that indicate poor Presidential leadership impacts directly on marketperformance.

Many uninformed Marxist liberal ideologues have criticized SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt's recent request for additional compensation. Unfortunately, this criticism is unsound and merely a typical liberal knee-jerk reaction to market economics. Government service must be made financially attractive in order to obtain top-flight talent from the private sector. Chairman Pitt has the unique mission to downsize a wasteful governemnt bureaucracy, and he should be rewarded by passing the savings realized into his personal compensation package.

This is the time-tested executive compensation model that has proven itself effective in the private sector, and it should be adopted by Federal government. You liberals should support our fine publc servants.
Someone has to explain Harvey Pitt's request to get a raise and a cabinet position to me...

No snoopy telephone repairman is gonna get all Deputy Dawg on my bookshelf!
Krugman on Kaus. And many others.


I don't know how many people have read or seen Eugene Ionesco's   Rhinoceros , a parable about conformity and the authoritarian impluse. It tells of a town in which people begin turning, one by one, into rhinoceri - yet few are willing to acknowledge what's happening. The most memorable scene is one in which the hero's friend (famously played by Zero Mostel) begins making excuses for his neighbors - maybe it's not so bad to be a rhinoceros, after all - and, as we watch, turns into a rhinoceros himself.

What reminded me of the play was a visit to my old publication  Slate .  I've pretty much restricted my blog reading to  Brad DeLong  and  Josh Marshall  - but I couldn't help noticing that Zero Mostel had nothing on Mickey Kaus.

Meanwhile, some of us refuse to ignore the rhinoceri running the country.

But Paul! Steve Earle Wrote a Song! And Teens are having sex! Or Not! And Rubin made a phone call! And Chomsky said something!

Mickey Kaus silent since Sunday. I wonder if the Horseheads got to him...
Moose&Squirrel provides us with a nice anagram of Ann Coulter. In case the kiddies are reading, I'll just say the first word is "A" and the last word is "Loner."

Can Michael Kelly write a single column without mentioning the Tubesteak Messiah?
TAPPED links to a Townhall column which seems to sum up the conservative spin on accounting scandals -- SEC rules were bad. Bad rules caused accounting scandals. Therefore all rules are bad and we should get rid of them all.

Josh Marshall discovers that the Bush administration really has a cunning plan.

Near as I can figure it out, it involves travelling around the country with more of those exciting backdrops along with demanding fast track trade authority.

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Sully's been caught modifying his posts before. The Rittenhouse Review nabbed him (see here and here.)

I have my own loose policy on modifying posts. Roughly, anything up for less than 10 minutes is fair game for any modification, deletion, etc... This gives me time to see what the post looks like, fix typos, change a word here or there, and very very occasionally nuke a post I decide is, for whatever reason, crap.

Between 10-20 minutes I still feel free to fix spelling mistakes, typos, and do minor edits that don't in any way change the meaning. Over 20 minutes I'll put "UPDATE" to make it clear I've changed it, unless it is just fixing typos.

This is not a firm policy, of course, but a rough guide I try to follow.

I'd never wait four hours and change and/or delete the substance of a post without mentioning it.

UPDATE: links fixed.
To all you idiots beating the Robert Rubin drum


Mr. Mucilage says this:

* To knowingly and willfully falsify, conceal or cover up by any trick, scheme or device any material fact.

* To make any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation.

* To make or use any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or entry.

Punishment for a violation may include fines and imprisonment for up to five years.

The False Statements Act applies to every matter within the jurisdiction of every executive, legislative and judicial agency of the U.S. government.

So the False Statements Act probably applied to Robert Rubin's bizarre and notorious telephone call to Peter Fisher, in which Mr. Rubin reportedly asked Mr. Fisher to pressure the bond rating agencies to delay the then-expected downgrade of Enron debt. It applies to any statements Mr. Rubin has made regarding his knowledge of Enron to federal bank regulators or to the Securities and Exchange Commission or to Congress

Can anyone explain how even in our quality-less pal's most extreme late night fantasies what he saysRubin did even comes close to meeting any of the 3 definitions he lays out?

But, in any case, it sounds like an EXCELLENT basis for prosecuting just about everybody involved in the energy trading business who communicated with FERC during 2001.

UPDATE: haha, Musil says I'm "hostile to business." Admittedly "just about everyone involved" was of course deliberate hyperbole, but it's clear where Musil's priorities are - still chasing the Tubesteak Messiah in any way he can - and where mine are - prosecuting some actual criminals, and not just some guy who made a phone call which neither knowingly and willfully falsify, concealed or covered up by any trick, scheme or device any material fact, nor made any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation nor made or use any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or entry.

I love a good conservative cat fight.

Do you think Grover's just upset that the Crisco Kid locked up all his friends?
Avedon Carol finds a letter to the Times which corrects Yet Another Continuously Repeated Lie by our liberal media about the fact that the crazy liberal 9th Circuit Court has the highest rate of reversals:

To the Editor:
Re "Court That Ruled on Pledge Often Runs Afoul of Justices" (front page, June 30), about the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit:

In the calendar year 2001, the Ninth Circuit terminated 10,372 cases, and was reversed in 14, with a correction rate of 1.35 per thousand. The Fourth Circuit, reputedly the most conservative circuit and the circuit with the second-largest number of cases reviewed by the Supreme Court, terminated 5,078 cases and was reversed in 7, making a correction rate of 1.38 per thousand.

U.S. Circuit Judge, 9th Circuit
San Francisco, July 1, 2002

So much for the 9th Circuit having the record for reversals.

I hate when I forget to read the Sideshow for a couple of days.

I guess honesty is the hobgoblin of small glutes as well. Hesiod finds some factual errors in Sully's latest tirade against Rubin.

Poor Sully just can't help going after anyone who has been anywhere near his precious, the Tubesteak Messiah.

Dame Andrew combines his attempted smear of Rubin with his now daily (or more frequent) tirade against the New York Times who, unlike him, has done their homework.

All the news unfit to print indeed.

UPDATE: Public Nuisance has proven his prescient abilities. (via The Sideshow)

UPDATE 2: Sully completely re-writes his 4 hour old post without bothering to tell us. It is now factually correct (I believe) but completely ridiculous. How dishonest of him.
I have to say I might actually miss Bob Barr. Though it would be a huge exaggeration to claim he was a consistent civil libertarian, he was at least more out front on some of these issues than some of his colleagues on either side of the aisle were.

Besides, he has a face that can launch a thousand fundraising letters....

(via Ed's Daily Rant.)
While Dick Armey deserves kudos for (apparently) trying to kill TIPS, the administration is still strongly behind it (and shame on those who try and pretend otherwise):

WASHINGTON - The Justice Department is forging ahead with establishing a network of domestic tipsters - despite being dealt what may be a deathly blow to the plan: House Majority Leader Dick Armey, R-Texas, inserted last week a ban on the program in the bill to form a new Homeland Security Department.

"The administration is continuing to pursue Operation TIPS. We're continuing with that course of action," Barbara Comstock, spokeswoman for Attorney General John Ashcroft, said in an interview Friday. That was the same day Armey's committee approved the bill. "We believe the program represents an important resource and that it's been misrepresented to date."

Operation TIPS, short for Terrorism Information and Prevention System, is one part of President George W. Bush's volunteerism initiatives. It aims to recruit millions of American workers to be alert to "suspicious" activities they encounter in their workday routines - and report them to a toll-free, federal hot line. The government is looking for "truck drivers, bus drivers, train conductors, mail carriers, utility meter readers, ship captains and port personnel," according to the program's Web site. Armey's impetus for banning Operation TIPS? "To ensure that no operation of the department can be construed to promote citizens spying on on another," he wrote in his summary of the bill. The Republican leader's opposition was the politically weightiest in a weeklong series of statements against the program, set for launch in August.

The American Civil Liberties Union declared last Monday that the program could turn utility workers into "government-sanctioned peeping Toms." Then on Wednesday the Rutherford Institute, a conservative think tank that promotes privacy and religious rights, weighed in.

"What this means for the average citizen is that whatever you read, eat or do -- in the privacy of your home or out in public - will now be suspect in the eyes of your cable repairman, postal carrier, meter man or others who, by way of the services they provide, will have access to your home," said John W. Whitehead, founder and president of the Virginia-based institute.

It isn't a coincidence that they desire what amounts to government infiltration of the nation's vital "infrastructure industries" - utilities and transportation.

Sullywatch, whose authors hang out in AndyLand so the rest of us don't have to, highlights a frightening quote from the Borg Queen which really shows how he really thinks.

Another terrorist strike will focus people again on the real menace.

I rarely send my readers to AndyLand, but as that quote comes in the middle of Sully's wishlist for how the Democrats will lose and Bush won't be "screwed," it is scarier in rather than out of context.

"What I'm telling you is, I understand that these changes won't be easy for some in Congress, but for the sake of the security of the American people, Congress needs to give up some of its turf, and recognize turf is not nearly as important as security for the people -- security for the American people. We're in new times, folks. We're in a different world."

--Guess Who

All the K00l Kidz are perpetuating the story that this is just a "turf war" between those greedy Congressmen and the altruistic President.

Letter from Gotham nails Kaus.

If this is a defense of George Bush, then Kaus has his head so far up his own butt he can't figure out whose he is sucking. Bias is bias. Conservative bias is every bit as vexing as liberal bias.

Oh, and may I ask Kaus this:

You've noticed that Osama bin Laden is the scion of a moneybags family. Does capitalism cause terrorism?

I've also had it with this schmuck's smirking tone. Another clueless dipshit for the garbage can, along with Andrew Sullivan.

I couldn't have said it any better myself.

(via Ted Barlow)

Kaus has been doing this for years. I'm glad his recent attempt to conquer some of Andy Sullivan's rhetorical territory has made a few other people sit up and notice.
Brian Linse nails the issue which has driven the right wing WarBloggers further into self-parody territory - Steve Earle. Once upon a time, John Walker's "Hot-Tubbing Marin County Liberal Parenting" was blamed for his actions by our pals on the other side of the aisle. It sounds like Earle agrees with y'all:

I don't condone what he did. Still, he's a 20 year-old kid. My son Justin is almost exactly Walker's age. Would I be upset if he suddenly turned up fighting for the Islamic Jihad? Sure, absolutely. Fundamentalism, as practiced by the Taliban, is the enemy of real thought, and religion too. But there are circumstances. Walker was from a very bohemian household, from Marin County. His father had just come out of the closet. It's hard to say how that played out in Walker's mind. He went to Yemen because that's where they teach the purest kind of Arabic. He didn't just sit on the couch and watch the box, get depressed and complain. He was a smart kid, he graduated from high school early, the culture here didn't impress him, so he went out looking for something to believe in."

Linse says:

Is it just me, or does this sound more like the right-wing bloggers, led by Andrew Sullivan, blaming Johnny T on his "Marin County upbringing", than an America-hating Lefty?

There are plenty of REAL things to get upset about these days. Though, I suppose it is much more fun to just MAKE STUPID SHIT UP to get your panties all in a bunch about and keep yourself focused on the real enemy - LIBERALS!

Monday, July 22, 2002

Shots fired into another Planned Parenthood Clinic.

For those keeping score (me!) - it's one smoke grenade POSSIBLY set by environmentalist nutballs, and two clinic shootings. Righties 2, Lefties 1.

UPDATE: link to story sent in by Chilicheeze.
CNN just stated that WorldCom has $41 billion oustanding debt. What I want to know is how they went from $30 billion in May to $40 billion now. Who the @$#%! would lend them money?
This guy thinks the Left needs to distance themselves from some singer-songwriter I've never even heard of.

You guys are getting more ridiculous every day. Of course, Instapundit links approvingly.

As for this statement "If Anyone Still Thinks that no one on the Left identifies with every enemy of America..." Well, I'm sure there are people who identify themselves as Left, Right, Center, and Martian who have just about every opinion imaginable. But, we all knew that.

Are you clowns ever going to stop this game?

To put it another way: Who In Jeebus's name is Steve Earle and why the hell should I give a rat's ass what he says about anything? And why the hell should I be obligated to comment anytime he opens his mouth?

UPDATE: After reading the Post article, I concur with what Tresy says in my comments. What this song actually sounds like (Although unless I can see the full lyrics I have no way of knowing) is the kind of first-person character lyrics that many singer-songwriters use -- you know, singing AS a John Walker lover, or singing AS someone involved in incest, or singing AS someone who has just killed their wife. Or it may not be -- who knows? Who cares? It has nothing to do with me.

All of this is actually irrelevant to my comments above as there is no need for me, or anyone, to comment anytime someone says something that the right wing morons in Blogistan like to trot out as evidence of Andrew Sullivan's fifth column (making themselves look more and more ridiculous), but it does say a lot about the desire of those right wing morons writing for the Post who are attempting to do the same.

Oh no! First SullyWatch and now SmarterAndrewSullivan!

I can’t let this one pass by. Andrew Sullivan, apparently an accomplished scholar of Greek, mocks former U.S. senator and presidential candidate, Gary Hart, for his purported stance as a poseur.

Now, writing about Andrew Sullivan and Gary Hart in the same story does make me seem a bit behind the times, what with both of them having peaked some time back in the 1980s, but Sullivan’s remarks are so stupid they deserve scrutiny.

Click for the rest..

The Hauser Report also weighs in on this one.
Digby on Kaus (from Max's comment section):

I agree with the contention that the central reason for Mickey's rather dizzying embrace of right wing paranoia is that he has found himself in the uncomfortable position of being completely wrong and is loathe to admit it.

He did originally posit the "work ethic" "welfare reform" strategy as a way to realign the Democrats with the working middle class after Reagan. He believed that by moving to the right on cultural and some economic issues that the Republicans would find themselves without a leg to stand on. Instead, it's become clear that when you give the Republicans an inch, they will take a mile. The strategy was a complete failure and Kaus looks like an idiot.

His recent writings evidence either a complete change of philosophy which he has not adequately explained, or he is trying to save face by pretending that what he originally proposed as a strategic maneuver for the Democrats is actually a deeply held belief in conservatism.

This latest laughable attempt to cover his ass on his stupid contention that liberals today are more prone to violence that the right is pathetic. He would be wise to just drop this one and move along to another form of liberal bashing that is harder to disprove. He's being used by Freepers and looks foolish for it.

Sounds about right.

Hey, the Moonie Times discovers that the number of high schoolers who are virgins has jumped from 54.3% to...


um, this is news?
Thanks Ted Barlow for demonstrating the foolishness of finding isolated messages on anonymous message boards to find evidence for the potential of violence.

Finding a message board FILLED with such messages might, um, raise an eyebrow or two, however.
I haven't seen much comment on the guy who opened fire on the helicopter filled with "terrorists."

Ah, the benefits of eternal vigilance.

Operation Enduring Poll Numbers is IN THE HOOOUUUUSE!

Sunday, July 21, 2002

French say we're going in, and the campaign victory speech has already been written.

The U.S. operation to topple Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein will take place in the coming months, even before November's Congressional elections, according to high-level sources in the French government following talks with American decision-makers and professionals in Washington.

The French assessment is based, in part, on what National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice told new French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin this month. Rice emphasized U.S. President George W. Bush's determination to topple Saddam "soon,"
according to the French sources.

Frequent media reports about difficulties in deploying American troops and completing preparations for the operation are meant, according to French government experts, as disinformation to achieve tactical surprise with regard to the timing, place and method of the assault. This will partly make up for the lack of strategic surprise given Bush's declared policy and Saddam's preparations to absorb an attack.

Reports and analysis based on official sources in Washington reiterate the assumption that the operation will take place this winter, so that any failure will not reflect badly for the Republicans at the polls. But the French regard that as a strategy to lower Saddam's guard in the coming three months, while Congress is in recess and the election campaign heats up. Paris won't be surprised if the blow comes in the middle of August, while Bush is seen vacationing at his Texas ranch, in the form of a special forces raid backed by the CIA and precision air attacks.

It's going to be another fun Autumn.

Hey Mickey, are you listening?

To: cynicom

"Even better take Ridge to the woodshed or fire the man."

Tie him up, put him in the wood shed, and then burn it down!

27 posted on 7/21/02 10:18 AM Pacific by dalereed
< To 19 | View Replies >

Hesiod over at Counterspin Central discusses the amusingly obvious point - if Al Gore is hated by all and the worst possible Democratic candidate, why does the right wing media talk about him so much?

Apparently Ann Coulter says the liberals she admires most are Mickey Kaus, Andrew Sullivan, and Christopher Hitchens.

Mickey's in good company.
How did we go back in time this quickly?

FBI Targets Black Muslims in Anti-Terrorist Watch

"The general, Ralph E. Eberhart of the Air Force, said he had no specific changes in mind, but added in an interview here, "We should always be reviewing things like Posse Comitatus and other laws if we think it ties our hands in protecting the American people."

Just lovely.

via War Liberal

Chris Caldwell channels Molly Ivins.

What kills the President is that every time Harken comes up, Democrats get to retell the story of how he made his money. And this, basically, is the story of the spectacular unfairness with which moneymaking opportunities are lavished on the politically connected. It is the story of a man who has been rewarded for repeated failures by having money shot at him through a fire hose. It is the story of a man who talks with a straight face about having "earned" a fortune of tens of millions of dollars, without having ever done an honest day’s work in his life.

and then he channels Paul Krugman:

There is nothing protecting the President from electoral vulnerability except the fact that we’re at war. And this is where Bush’s sale of Harken stock takes an interesting twist. The important issue might not be when he sold it but who bought it. This is information that Senate Democrats are seeking desperately; Bush refuses to reveal it, and it is not even clear if the Securities and Exchange Commission knows the buyer’s identity from its insider trading investigation. If they know, they haven’t released it.

Face it Chris, you signed onto the wrong team. Better scurry away quickly!