Saturday, June 29, 2002

Been awhile since I've made a MoDo prediction....MoDo can be either good, evil, or ridicuolously trivial, which I lump in with evil.. I predict EVIL, with a second prediction of ridiculously trivial.


ehh, not entirely evil, but mostly pointless.

From Blogs Suck I see that Lucianne, Jr. doesn't quite understand the significance of the 14th amendment. He didn't here either.
Bill Simon is another one who embraces the Republican philosophy of personal responsibility:

Simon, 51, says he should be credited for creating jobs because his firm's money provides the fuel for expansion. But he says the managers of the companies he backs must shoulder most of the blame for bankruptcies and job losses.
I think VodkaPundit misses the point about Cal Thomas. We happily accept that 'the blogosphere' thinks he's an idiot, I just think some of us wonder why this man, who arguably is read by and influences more people than, say, Noam Chomsky, doesn't ever get a good 'Fisking.'

I'm absolutely shocked to have to admit this, but I think that Crazy Andy Sullivan gives more equal time to bashing the Right than do most of the rest of the conservative/libertarian/libertarian/conservatives in blogistan.

That damn liberal media.

You would think a close examination of Bush's behavior under duress is a relevant topic in this media moment. But Miller couldn't get a review to save his life for the hardcover edition, except for a pan in the Washington Post and a brief positive mention in the New Yorker. And now that the paperback is out, with an added 100 pages evaluating Bush's behavior post-9/11, things are even worse.

Miller is unsurprised by reviewer hostility, but says he "is more mystified" by the ongoing press blackout and virtual bookstore boycott of the paperback. Miller observes that while Bush's numbers are falling and the post-9/11 fit of anxious national conformity is long behind us, the edifice of corporate media and bookstore chains remains a giant temple of Bush-worship.

According to Miller, his publisher W.W. Norton's contact at Barnes & Noble told the publisher that a book signing for him "wouldn't draw a crowd -- this despite the fact that the paperback is selling like crazy. Norton sold out its first printing three weeks before the publication date. That's unusual for an unadvertised title, to put it mildly."

Hey Marshall, it's time to come back from the dark side of the force...

Cato Burn just repeated the "clinton lied about a blowjob and caused those moral CEOs to do wrong" line. I guess this IS their talking point. chuckle.
Why does the National Review hate America so much?


Without either constitutional or statutory authority, the administration has decided that it will set the rules, prosecute infractions, determine guilt or innocence, then review the results of its own actions. That's too much unchecked power in the hands of the executive branch — making a mockery of the doctrine of separation of powers that has been a cornerstone of our Constitution for two-and-a-quarter centuries. Even persons convinced that President Bush cherishes civil liberties and understands that the Constitution is not mere scrap paper, must be unsettled by the prospect that an unknown and less honorable successor could exploit some of the dangerous precedents that the Bush administration has put in place.

In a nutshell, we cannot permit the executive branch to declare unilaterally that a U.S. citizen may be characterized as an enemy combatant, whisked away, detained indefinitely without charges, denied legal counsel, and prevented from arguing to a judge that he is wholly innocent.

That does not mean the Justice Department must set people free to unleash weapons of mass destruction. But it does mean, at a minimum, that Congress must get involved, exercising its responsibility to enact a new legal regimen for citizen-detainees in time of national emergency. That regimen must respect citizens' rights under the Constitution, including the right to judicial review of executive branch decisions. Constitutional rights are not absolute. But they do establish a strong presumption of liberty, which can be overridden only if government demonstrates, first, that its restrictions are essential and, second, that the goals it seeks to accomplish cannot be accomplished in a less invasive manner. When the executive, legislative, and judicial branches agree on the framework, the potential for abuse is significantly diminished. When only the executive has acted, the foundation of a free society can too easily erode.


Newsweek should not have put Martha Stewart on its cover. That's freakin' ridiculous.
To follow up on my post below, I've been hunting around for poll results about vouchers. Here's the first one I found through the magic of Google. The poll claims to find a wide disparity between white and black voters on the issue. But, if one takes a closer look at the question actually asked this isn't surprising at all:

Question: Here are some ways to deal with failing schools and African American students who are not doing well in school How good an idea do you think each is? Would giving families financial aid so they can take their kids out of failing public schools and send them to private schools be an excellent, good, fair, or poor idea?

There are two things wrong with this question. First, it implies the program would only apply to African American students. Second, it implies that this is simply an additional program and not a transfer of funds out of the public schools. So, we get disparate poll results when whites and blacks are asked about what is essentially a race-targeted welfare program. Reads like a Frank Luntz special.

Even given this, only 54% of African Americans with children in schools (only 400 were polled this question) say this is an excellent or good idea.

Instapundit prints a letter from a reader who argues that WorldCom's accounting fraud only extended the life of a company with a bad business model --

No, a very bad business model that said if you keeping on growing by acquiring lousy companies, you can become one great big good company, failed (this is simply a variation of the old, we sell everything at a loss but make up for it in volume). All the bad accounting did was extend the time before these people HAD to be laid off. In other words, they were not screwed because they worked for a crooked CFO; they were screwed because they worked for a stupid company.

While the full list of Worldcom's fraudulent accounting problems is yet to be revealed, this ignores the fact that those accounting practices also might have made it possible for the company to raise the cash to go out and buy all of those companies.

This part of the letter:

Second, the CFO was, almost for sure, not trying to defraud people in the sense of achieving any personal gain. Without any personal knowledge of this company, I can almost bet you, what he was thinking, was that if I just buy the company some time, things will correct themselves--and nobody will ever notice how I bridged this problem.

is, well, just funny.

It is surprising how long it has taken for this to appear:

Matthew Yglesias argues that religious beliefs shouldn't provide a justification for exempting people from certain laws/regulations. Though he has a point, I think what he misses is that existing laws/regulations to some degree have been written with the particular needs/beliefs of dominant religious groups in mind, directly or indirectly. In the case of the infamous woman in Florida who is arguing that she should be allowed to have her face (mostly) covered for her driver's license photo -- the fact that pre-9/11 Florida was okay with this gives her a much strong case than she would otherwise. This is often overlooked in discussions of it.
Isn't this getting a bit out of hand?

Dishwasher Busted: May Be Al-Qaeda Terrorist

Detained man once worked at the same restaurant as
another man related by marriage to an alleged associate of an unidentified Saudi national who may have been in the same town as Osama bin Laden in 1982 in Afganistan.


Towards the end of the news conference, Ashcroft was questioned about whether Khan, as a U.S. citizen apparently accused of treason, would be getting a military court martial. Pausing for a moment, Ashcroft let out a nervous laugh and giggled, "No, that would also mean he'd have to have a lawyer."

Michelle Goldberg says that "many low-income African-Americans are solidly in the conservative camp regarding school vouchers."

This may be true, but she fails to define "many" and it is therefore a meaningless statement. 1, 2, 3, several, many..

According to exit polls in California and Michigan where the voucher issue was on the ballots:

For California (proposition 38):

Yes No
White 30 70
Black 32 68
Asian 34 66
Latino 23 77

For Michigan (Proposal 1):
Yes No
White 31 69
Black 23 77

Urban voters didn't vote any different than suburban voters - 30/28 urban/suburban 'yes' in California, 27/36 in Michigan.

I really hate this kind of journalism, which is incredibly common. Take a "liberal" position. Find "some" (or "many") minority voters who take a different position. Frame it in such a way to imply that white liberals and the minority leadership are on the wrong side of the issue and conservatives are actually on the side of the minorities. Don't provide any poll data (even though in this case there is some) to support that you are talking about anything other than a minority of minority voters. Rinse. Repeat.

She does provide this paragraph:

Demore-Brown's comments underlie the fact that, despite charges that they're merely pawns of the right wing, many voucher advocates are genuine advocates for the poor and for civil rights. In fact, though leaders of mainstream black organizations tend to oppose vouchers, polls show that a majority of black people (a majority of whom are Democrats) support them.

Though I have seen polls showing a slim majority of African-Americans supporting vouchers, I have also seen the opposite. And, at the ballot box when it really matters, the above numbers speak for themselves.

Apparently the Tubesteak Messiah and l'affaire Lewinsky are responsible for corporate corruption.

Please guys, find the local CHA* chapter and enroll. The first step is admitting you have a problem...

*Clinton Haters Anonymous

Friday, June 28, 2002

Does Lloyd Grove only own one suit? I'm pretty sure the one he wore on Crossfire tonight was the same one that is in the picture I have of him below (scroll down)..
Dear Salon,
Yes, we know that Jake Tapper doesn't like Al Gore. He's spent the last few years informing us of that fact.

Best Regards,

Anyone have any reports about the Goldstein/Sullivan slugfest to share?
Welcome very new blog The Scrub Team which launches with a post about Tyco.
MWO blasts Connie Chung for her absolutely disgusting interview with "The Atheist."
Jay Manifold points out that Bush has stated his intention to violate his oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution which states:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

while Bush says:

Yesterday a court in America made a ruling that I want to comment on. America is a nation that is -- a nation that values our relationship with an Almighty. Declaration of God in the Pledge of Allegiance doesn't violate rights. As a matter of fact, it's a confirmation of the fact that we received our rights from God, as proclaimed in our Declaration of Independence.

I -- I believe that it points up the fact that we need common-sense judges who understand that our rights were derived from God. And those are the kind of judges I intend to put on the bench.

(via Brian Linse)

Betty Bowers on the POA.

Nevertheless, allow me to break ranks and applaud this secular court! The more often the unsaved spit in the face of the Lord Jesus, the more likely He is to snap, bring about the apocalypse and rapture us four or five True Christians to Glory. That is why, as America's Best Christian, I am very much in favor of being rather slipshod in stopping terrorists, scraping flint near the tinderbox in the Middle East, blandly ignoring the Pakistanis as they target their nuclear warheads and, or course, doing nothing to control guns or global warming.


Even more resourceful than the characters who populate the Bible are those of us who keep a copy in our purse. Conservative Americans have embraced inventive revisionism with alacrity. After all, it is rather inconvenient to acknowledge that the men who forged our wonderful democracy were products of the Enlightenment and viewed the Bible with alarming skepticism. Indeed, Thomas Jefferson had the temerity to refer to that lovely leather-bound book as a "dunghill." (Oct 12, 1813 letter to
John Adams.) And John Adams wrote: "This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!" (April 19, 1817 letter to Thomas Jefferson.) Frankly, who can forgive Adams for signing the Treaty of Tripoli, which provides in Article 11 that "The Government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion"?


Peggy Noonan has made a busy vocation out of turning Ronald Reagan, a divorced man who didn't speak to his children and was almost impeached for Iran-Contra, into her mascot for "character." Our current President is assisting Peggy's wistful efforts by banning the disclosure of all the Reagan administration documents, which threaten to intrude on God's Own Party's gilded recollection of Reagan's magnificence. You see, contemporaneous photocopies are rudely annoying in their niggling refusal to conform to more pleasing after-the-fact regalements of what occurred.

Avedon Carol has a good run-down on the various bad arguments against the 9th Circuit's decision.

I agree with Max and Tapped about this Cal Thomas comment:

On the eve of our great national birthday party and in the aftermath of Sept. 11, when millions of us turned to God and prayed for forgiveness of individual and corporate sins and asked for His protection against future attacks, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco has inflicted on this nation what many will conclude is a greater injury than that caused by the terrorists.

And, yes, as Max says, the Right currently holds the King Stupid trophy. Though, Max should realize that in blogger-speak it is the "King Idiotarian" trophy.

In addition, let's be clear just which side thinks this is the most important thing ever, and which side doesn't.

Randy Andy expresses his deep belief that it is pefectly okay to exploit religion and patriotism for political gain.

Hey, Andy, don't forget racism. Him and Poppy were pretty good at that too!

Crappy Headline Department

From Mistah Kurtz .

Headline sez:

E-Mail Deriding Katherine Harris Costs Editor's Job

Story sez:

The Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune recently ran a 4,400-word, 2 1/2-page spread on Republican congressional candidate Katherine Harris. And when one reader
complained that Democratic candidates were getting short shrift, Managing Editor Rosemary Armao responded with a remarkably candid e-mail -- one that wound up
costing her her job.

"Katherine Harris is an international figure, like her or not," Armao wrote of the woman who became a central player in the presidential recount in Florida. "She's going
to be the next congresswoman from this area, like it or not. . . . I have no intentions of covering each of the Democratic candidates to the same extent."

Armao added: "I do not intend to vote for Harris. . . . I blame the Democrats for not finding a better candidate . . . and I blame our culture for craving as its public
figures, women like Katherine who are very pretty, hard-working and without original ideas that I can find."


"The recount transformed her into a Republican Party hero and role model for women," the story said. "Critics knock it as the latest break for a politician they consider
intellectually shallow, ethically shady and easily manipulated by power brokers. Harris is a lightning rod for angry Democrats, who count her as little more than a
wealthy opportunist. . . . To supporters, she is sincere, upright and astute, a relentlessly hard worker who is charming and outgoing, yet politically tough."

The article drew an e-mail complaint from Florida attorney Dennis Plews, who wrote another Herald-Tribune editor: "The one-sided puff piece on Kathryn [sic] Harris
was beneath the dignity of an independent newspaper." Armao sent him the controversial response.

In an interview earlier this week, Armao said: "I don't as a journalist feel I have to balance the Republican candidate -- an international figure, whether you like her or not
-- with the Democratic candidates." She said the Democrats competing for the primary nomination are "complete unknowns" and simply "won't get as much space."
Referring to a recent Herald-Tribune piece about a mixed-breed canine running for the seat, Armao said: "The dog is not looking too bad."

Thursday, June 27, 2002

Ah, here's the boozing twins story.

I guess the Lloyd Grove bone is connected to the.... Drudge bone. How else would he get these 'scoops'?

Of course, I've heard fundies claim T.J. said this:

"I am a Christian."

Which he did, though the full quote is:

I am a Christian in the only sense in which he [Jesus] wished anyone to be: sincerely attached to his doctrines in preference to all others, ascribing to himself every human excellence, and believing he never claimed any other.

Sorta like them out of context movie reviews....

I am ... averse to the communication of my religious tenets to the public; because it would countenance the presumption of those who have endeavored to draw them before that tribunal, and to seduce public opinion to erect itself into that inquisition over the rights of conscience, which the laws have so justly proscribed. It behooves every man who values liberty of conscience for himself, to resist invasions of it in the case of others; or their case may, by change of circumstance, become his own. It behooves him, too, in his own case, to give no example of concession, by answering questions of faith, which the laws have left between God and himself. Letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush, April 21, 1803

--That guy who wrote the Declaration of Independence.
That Drudge is such a tease:


David Neiwert puts the smackdown on Bush for his rOVe-constructed trifecta crap
You know, it is possible to believe that the 9th Circuit Court's decision is both correct and not the most important thing in the world simultaneously. The latter does NOT, contrary a vague consensus I seem to be inferring from the Blogosphere, nullify the former. It is an indictment of the shrill response from those who object to the decision, not the judges who made it or the guy who brought suit.
Media Research Center proves that conservatives get more play in the media than do liberals.

Thanks guys.
I'm with Digby (in the comments below).

Chandra! Sharks! Blake! Skakel! Please come back! I'm sorry I ever dissed you!

"[The country needs] commonsense judges who understand that our rights were derived from God."

-Guess Who

be careful what you wish for, folks..
I understand, and to some degree grudgingly support, Democrats' attempts to out-jingo the Republicans on this whole pledge issue. However, when Joe Liberman says that he can't remember a worse court decision..

I can think of at least ONE recent court decision that should upset him a teensy weensy bit more...
Why does Lou Sheldon hate America so much?

From yesterday's Crossfire:

SHELDON: Like you have today, national Christian booksellers. You have the national religious broadcasters that meet every year with thousands of people attending. There is a stronger feeling. Now, do more people attend church today than then? No, I think the attendance has pretty well stayed the same. Membership has pretty well stayed the same, but there is a difference. Look what happened on 9/11. Has this judge, Republican or Democrat, libertarian or whatever he is, reform party, whatever he may be, have they forgotten what happened to us on 9/11? Do we have to go through another, hey, God says I'm going to get your attention.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wait a minute ...


BEGALA: Do you believe that God caused or condoned the attacks of September 11?

SHELDON: I'm telling you that God uses anything that man does to give glory to himself. And you think that this thing that they've just done is going to be left undone. Listen, this is like Pearl Harbor on December the 7th.

Be careful what you wish for.

Brian Linse has a bunch of good stuff up.
For religious vouchers supporters -- be careful what you wish for.
Tapped points me to this bit in the NYTimes:

The administration has proposed that information that companies voluntarily turn over to the government about the vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure not be subject to public disclosure. It also wants corporate officers to be able to serve as advisers to the department and not be subject to the same screening as permanent government employees. .

Mr. Leahy complained that the department would be able to set up private advisory committees that could operate in secrecy and be "staffed by outside corporate officers with financial interests in the outcome giving recommendations to the new department."

is it okay to say "creeping fascism" now?

Charles Kuffner correctly objects to my sloppy assertion that the gender gap in college is driven by the gender-race gap. My own back of the envelope calculation (which, pre-coffee, took me way too long to do...) gives me a white gender gap of 54.5/45.5. It still leaves open the question of whether recent increases have been driven by this, but in any case I think the real point is:

Unless one truly believes there is some sort of institutional discrimination against men in education this isn't cause for any concern. It's worthy of study, but not panic.
Supreme Court upholds school vouchers for religious schools.

If voting doesn't work, vote with your feet. This is a travesty.
And, Vanity Site has some fun with Michael Kelly.

Fat-cheeked, owlish Michael Kelly is almost always indignant about something, and he is not afraid to say so in the strongest of terms. His purported admiration for George Orwell notwithstanding, he has raised the art of heavy sarcasm to heights attained before only by Stalinists. His apprenticeship in indignation science was spent on the rather unpromising Monica Lewinsky panty-raid scandal, and indeed, many think that he damaged his credibility somewhat by his performance there.

The problem is that during the assault on Clinton, which is now recognized to have been a hysterical concoction of libel, slander, rumors, smut, and trivia, Kelly (who doesn't seem to have recovered from the shock of learning how babies are made) turned his patented Spinal Tap dudgeon knob all the way up to eleven. This left him with nothing in reserve for issues which are actually worthy of adult attention. He's been enraged ever since he found out what Monica and Bill did with the cigar, and nothing that happened after that could possible have made him any angrier. Kelly is one of those who keep on explaining to us that everything changed on 9/11, but for Kelly nothing really changed. That fine Havana cigar was Kelly's Twin Towers attack.

I kinda wish that if we all just ignore it that it will go away, but Scoobie Davis takes a fun whack at Ann Coulter's latest book 'o lies. Actually, Ann sounds a lot like Instapundit, who has yet to support his claim that lefties have any affection for Fundamentalist Islam.

The most startling revelation is that Ann Coulter considers Frank " Je m'Accuse! Bruni a pal.


Oh, and Salon swats that fly too.

UPDATE: choice quote:

Getting mad at Coulter is exactly the reaction she sets out to provoke. Debating her on her "ideas" does about as much good as kicking a retarded puppy. She has no ideas and she's not a thinker.

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Ethel the Blog has a bunch of good stuff up.
Look on the bright side, my ignorant monkey friends, this decision will probably ensure Republican control of Congress.*

ah well.

*The fact that the judge who wrote the opinion was appointed by Nixon in 1971 will of course be overlooked.
For all you Theocrats laboring under the notion that devout Southern Baptist Reverend Thomas Jefferson, together with Deacon Benjamin Franklin, found the Pledge of Allegiance on a tablet of gold after a two week speaking-in-tongues session:

The Pledge of Allegiance was written by Francis Bellamy, who though Baptist minister, was a Christian Socialist. His cousin was socialist author Edward Bellamy.

Its original form was:

'I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.'

In 1954, Congress added the words 'under God' after a campaign from the Knights of Columbus.


9th Circuit overturns 1954 law inserting 'Under God' into the socialist-penned Pledge of Allegiance.

Nice job.

Can we just all agree that Kaus is a GOP shill and move on?

Max Sawicky notes that Kaus approvingly cites an American Prowler article (cue laughter) which laughably claims that a 910K powerpoint presentaion can't fit onto a single disk.
Hey, thanks to the very Christian person who is responsible for filling my mailbox with crap from ChristianCyberMinistries.

Jeebus is proud.
The Right Wing comes out in favor of reconstructed memories:

Hey, guys, this is a RovE-constructed memory. How about them apples.

Will they ever tire of trying to make excuses for this ignorant, lying, evil son of a bitch?

I'm embarassed for you all. Really. I'm sure some of you are quite intelligent.

UPDATE: I shouldn't have referred to Cogent Provcateur as Right Wing. I didn't actually mean to - I was referring to Instapundit's nodding approval of the theory. Of course Instapundit claims not to be a Right Winger either. Whatever.

Daily Pundit discovers astroturf letter-writing, but he's got nothing on this letter from GOPTEAMLEADER (sign up! Send letters! Get a free hat!):

President Bush nominated Miguel Estrada in May of 2001 along with 11 other qualified candidates for federal appeals court. The President has moved quickly to nominate well qualified judges in an effort to address the current crisis at the circuit court level. Just recently, Senate Democrats dismissed a nominee in committee who was well-qualified, according to the American Bar Association, and had the support of a majority of senators. Miguel Estrada may be next.

His confirmation is stalled in the U.S. Senate because Democrats are putting partisan politics before the stability of our court system. Miguel Estrada personifies the American dream.

At the age of 17, Mr. Estrada immigrated to the United States, taught himself English, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia University and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School.

If confirmed, Mr. Estrada would be the first Hispanic to serve in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. That, in turn, would leave him well-positioned to become the first Hispanic appointed to the Supreme Court.

As Dallas Morning News columnist RubĂ©n Navarrette, Jr., wrote, "For those loyal Hispanic Democrats out there, this is your cue to ask why former President Clinton — ineight years — didn't make it a priority to break either barrier."

I am sick and tired of the Democrats playing partisan politics with the judicial branch of our government and they shouldn't be allowed to get away with it.

which, according to Maia Cowan over at FailureIsImpossible, has appeared with minor variations in the following newspapers:

1.Iowa City Press-Citizen, Iowa City IA, 06/04/02
2.Greensboro News Record, Greensboro NC, 06/03/02
3.Springfield Union-News, Springfield MA, 06/02/02
4.Advocate, Baton Rouge LA, 05/20/02
5.The State, Columbia SC, 05/16/02
6.Pantagraph, Bloomington IL, 05/14/02
7.Albuquerque Journal, Albuquerque NM, 05/13/02
8.Mobile Register, Mobile AL, 5/12/02
9.The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City OK, 05/08/02
10.Norwich Bulletin, Norwich CT , 05/01/02
11.Greensboro News Record, Greensboro NC, 05/01/02
12.Ann Arbor News, Ann Arbor MI, 04/30/02
13.The Daily Advertiser, Acadiana LA, 04/29/02
14.Jacksonville Daily News, Jacksonville NC, 04/27/02
15.The Wausau Daily Herald, Wausau WI, 04/25/02
16.Danville Advocate-Messenger, Danville KY, 04/24/02
17.The Record, Bergen County NJ, 04/24/02
18.Toledo Blade, Toledo OH, 04/22/02
19.South Bend Tribune, South Bend IN, 04/21/02
20.Foster’s Daily Democrat, Dover NH, 04/19/02
21.Herald & Review, Decatur IL, 04/18/02
22.Des Moines Register, Des Moines IA, 04/17/02
23.West Hawaii Today, 04/17/02
24.Charleston Daily Mail, Charleston WV, 04/15/02, pg. 4.A
25.The Tribune, St. Lucie FL, 04/15/02
26.Herald, Rock Hill SC, 04/15/02
27.Tallahassee Democrat, Tallahassee FL, 04/14/02
28.Newsday, Long Island NY, 04/12/02
29.Dayton Daily News, Dayton OH, 04/12/02, pg. 11.A
30.The Patriot Ledger, Quincy MA, 04/11/02; pg. 12
31.Roanoke Times & World News, Roanoke VA, 04/12/02, pg. A.14
32.The Jersey Journal, NJ, 04/09/02
33.Journal and Courier Online, Lafayette IN, 04/09/02
34.Courier-News, Elgin IL, 04/09/02
35.Herald-Sun, Durham NC
36.El Paso Times, El Paso TX, 04/08/02
37.Hattiesburg American, Hattiesburg MS, 04/07/02

Rosie O'Donnell is upset that someone lied when asked by the media about his sex life.

Take it away, Musto...

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Matt Weiner (in my comments) points out the obvious thing that was missed by all the people who didn't actually read the Washington Post article:

The gender gap is even greater among Hispanics -- only 40 percent of that ethnic group's college graduates are male -- and African Americans, who are now seeing two women earn bachelor's degrees for every man.

This is what's driving the gender gap. Over to you Instapundit.

Following up on the whole college men are oppressed bit, along with Adam Magazine: I was a graduate student at an institution that would probably be near the top of most people's "P.C. Haven" lists right around the time when such a phenomenon was at the peak of its power. And, while there were some shrill voices on the Left which (very) occasionally translated into some wrong-headed student disciplinary actions, I too never heard or read much "all men are rapists" rhetoric. In fact, there seemed to be a healthy amount of sex going on which people were much more open and comfortable with than was the case at my very non-P.C. undergraduate institution.

And, the degree to which very real inappropriate (criminal) behavior by well-connected male students and members of the important sports teams was swept under the rug by the administration far outweighed the impact of any P.C. witchhunts. By and large, boys had license to be boys, date rapes and other assaults against women happened and were covered up or "smoothed over," and these were in no way counterbalanced by unfair actions in response to unreasonable or fraudulent accusations.

As for fraternities - I agree that they are sometimes unfairly targeted by universities. Mostly it is just part of the universities' attempts to wash their hands of any "sanctioned" events involving alcohol, and not part of some sinister gender politics-inspired plot.

Besides, I think it's Tom DeLay who is trying to take the fun and sex out of college, not fantasy man-haters. But, I guess we'll continue ignoring the real threats to personal freedom and keep talking about the mythical ones. It'll make us all feel better 'till the rapture comes.

Tom Delay flashback:

According to a tape recording made without DeLay's knowledge, the House majority whip criticized the two universities after an audience member asked him for advice on where to send children to college.

The questioner lamented that creationism is not taught at major Texas universities, even though, he said, "here in Texas, primarily it's conservative compared to the rest of the world."
"Don't send your kids to Baylor," said DeLay, a 1970 graduate of the University of Houston.

"And don't send your kids to A&M," he continued to loud applause. "There are still some Christian schools out there -- good, solid schools. Now, they may be little, they may not be as prestigious as Stanford, but your kids will get a good, solid, godly education."

DeLay presumably focused on A&M and Baylor because they are generally regarded as two of the most conservative universities in the state, and they draw many students from predominantly white suburban areas.

At Friday's gathering, DeLay said his daughter attended A&M and was appalled to discover that students have sex in dormitories.

"Texas A&M used to be a conservative university," he said. "It's lost all of its conservatism, and it's renounced its traditions. It's really sad. My daughter went there, you know, she had horrible experiences with coed dorms and guys who spent the weekends in the rooms with girls, and all this kind of stuff went on there. It's just unbelievable."

Looks like Worldcom is in the crapper. Overstated earnings by over $3 billion. Shares down to 36 cents in after hours trading.
Remember in that movie A Few Good Men the climactic scene in the military tribunal... You know, where Jack Nicholson is all "YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH"...

Then remember when Tom Cruise finally pushes the naughty Colonel over the edge...and then Cruise is all "THE ACCUSED HAS RIGHTS! THE ACCUSED HAS RIGHTS!"

What a weenie liberal that Rob Reiner is.
Matthew Yglesias correctly (IMHO) observes that the recent Supreme Court case regarding juries and the dealth penalty (Ring v. Arizona) has nothing to do with any trend in attitudes towards the death penalty. It was simply about being consistent with a similar recent decision which also had nothing to do with it. On the other hand, that other capital punishment case, which I was fortunate enough to hear Michael Savage discuss in a calm and rational manner, is at least a step in that direction, though also not necessarily signalling any greater trend.

Dow down a bunch, and he DID make the Trifecta joke today, though without actually using the word.

I liked Minority Report better than Mr. Filthy did, but his criticisms are right on target. Oh, and funny and profane too.
Glenn Reynolds thinks that the fact that 57% of college degrees are received by women is proof of sex discrimination in higher education.

This allows me to state that the fact that women receive 78 cents or so for every dollar men earn is proof of sex discrimination in the labor market.

Is it just me or is Glenn morphing into Andy Sullivan really quickly? Someone get a peek under his shirt - is he sporting nipple rings?

Adam Magazine has more on this.

Those damn French and their anti-semitism...
Just in case you haven't had a chance to see what kind of flame warrior you are...
Paul Crouch sounds a lot like John Ashcroft.
Holy crap, someone bought out my ad banner. I'm usually pretty oblivious to things - my landlord painted a bunch of stuff while I was on vacation once and I didn't even notice. My wife informs me she thinks it has been gone for awhile. Thanks kind stranger.

Monday, June 24, 2002

This week's Economist says the deficit for the year will likely hit $160 billion.
The Rittenhouse Review believes Martha. I'm not sure I do, but it is important to acknowledge one basic thing - Martha is getting far more attention than she deserves, relative to other white collar "criminals", even celebrity ones, especially considering the amount of money involved.

But, as we learned with all the fake Clinton scandals, it's the small amounts of money that people can understand -- the billion dollar scandals never quite seem to catch on...

I'm impressed with Sitemeter. Though their interface was down all day, it seems as if their counter system was still ticking away in the background. Since I don't pay them anything, at least I can give them a plug.
Sadly, the Bud-I, master pasta sauce chef, and very colorful mayor of Providence, RI, was convicted on one count of racketeering conspiracy.

It is important to note that he was innocent of all specific charges against him, and that the judge has left the door pretty open for the possibility that he'll set aside the conviction.

Buddy is a mayor who loves his city, one filled with all of the small city corruption cliches, including the mob. He has quite the interesting past - having been mayor previously, but having to resign after he had his bodyguard (a policeman) drive him to where his ex-wife's (whose name was, get this, Nancy Ann Cianci...say that a couple of times) lover was, and then he proceeded to assault him with a fireplace log.

But, nonetheless Buddy really did manage to transform a dump of a city to a thriving one during the 90s. I'm still pulling for him.

Instapundit thinks that the possibility of Egypt obtaining nuclear arms justifies a return to colonialism. Or, maybe it justifies continuing some of the Clinton administration's very active policies designed to prevent nuclear proliferation.

I agree with Eric Alterman about Joe Conason's column in Salon. I had been thinking much the same, but he beat me to it.

It isn't clear to me that an independent commission is the best way to look into the 9/11 events. It could be a complete whitewash, as Alterman reminds us the Tower commission was. I'm not sure that a Congressional investigation is more prone to be a useless exercise in CYA. Those wishing to score partisan points might be more likely to get to the truth than a bunch of gray haired paternalistic has-beens who believe they are entitled to determine what is or isn't good for the country.

I've finally found Andy Sullivan's fifth column!!!!! It's run by Pat Buchanan!

Patrick Buchanan, former presidential candidate and political commentator, recently argued that Americans need to address the sources of resentment and anger toward the United States. "Evil though they may be," he said, "Islamic killers are over here because we are over there. They are not trying to kill us because they dislike our domestic politics, but because they detest our foreign policy."

Take it away warbloggers! Give 'ole Pat the sound Fisking he so righteously deserves..

Hey, the Supremes, or at least the small-gluted ones, show some consistency and overturn 150 death sentences.

While we're on this, why is that Libertarians who fear the powers of big bad government also often seem all-too-willing to grant that evil government the ultimate power to kill its own citizens?

Just askin'....

Damn, Dow sinking again. Did Bush make his damn trifecta joke today?
Vaara discovers multiculturalism in the axisofevilarabislamicworld.
MWO responds to a disturbingly offensive letter from St. Ralph's campaign manager. What is with the Greens? I swear they all sound the same. Worse than the dittoheads.
Demosthenes has an interesting post stemming from, but not only about, the I/P issue.
Interesting article in The Chronicle about the lack of Asian-American public intellectuals.

Sunday, June 23, 2002

I'm impressed that Brad DeLong can get through an entire Lawrence Kudlow article. He does, and finds Kudlow's reasoning abilities lacking:

For example, I was reading a piece by Lawrence Kudlow in National Review Online. It rang the changes on Kudlow's standard notes: (1) That those who worry about demand being insufficient are fools. (2) Praise of the early nineteenth-century French economist Jean-Baptiste Say. (3) What nonsense it is to say that aggregate demand can be lower than aggregate supply because ""business creates production, production creates jobs, and wages for jobs create income. And when producers take time off to become consumers, they use their incomes to spend on goods and services." (4) Praise of Ronald Reagan for worrying not about demand but supply (with, somehow, not a mention of how the Reagan deficits reduced investment and proved, over a decade and a half, a much bigger drag on the growth of America's productive potential than high tax rates had been). (5) How Jean-Baptiste Say would "laugh at demand-side economists" who fear that uncertain consumer confidence may lead to stagnant consumer spending and slow growth this year. (6) The assertion that "gains in the supply of production will soon lead to increases in the volume of consumption."

But then, in the next paragraph, comes the whammy: "In addition, the Fed is feeding more cash into the economic pipeline, removing the deflationary constraint on production."

What is this "deflationary constraint on production" that the Federal Reserve is removing? It is the possibility that low liquidity--too small a money supply--may keep firms from buying capital equipment and consumers from buying goods and services, and so push aggregate demand below aggregate supply. We do not need to worry that aggregate demand is too low because the Federal Reserve is watching over us. Thus, when push comes to shove, Kudlow believes--at some level--that aggregate demand is not automatically kept in balance with aggregate supply by the dazzling theoretical clarity of Say's Law, but by something else.

While many (including myself at times) scream anti-Semitism at those who deliberately or sloppily equate Jews/Israel/Zionism/etc... it's time for such people to stop equating Palestinians/Islam/Arabs in much the same way.

Finally, my long-promised review of The Attack Queers, by Richard Goldstein.

It seems indisputable to me that many minority and underrepresented goups - in particular African-Americans, women, and homosexuals - are disproportionately represented in the media by conservative members of those groups. The conservative Independent Women's Forum is frequently given more than equal time to present their anti-feminist viewpoint against a counterpart from NOW. Prominent Conservative/Libertarian (or Libertarian/Conservative?) African-American pundits such as Stanley Crouch, Robert George, Walter Williams, Deroy Murdock, Alan Keyes, and others, are ubquitous, while their liberal counterparts, such as Clarence Page, Cynthia Tucker, and even Julianne Malveaux, are likely "to the Right" of median political orientation within the African-American community. Tavis Smiley, a more representative voice, was let go from BET after it was purchased by Time Warner.

Over the past 10-20 years, prominent gay and lesbian voices in the media have been limited to Camille Paglia, Andrew Sullivan, and more recently Norah Vincent. There are other gays in "straight journalism", and there are plenty of excellent liberal gay voices in the alternative and gay press, but as the results of my recent challenge to my readers supports, there are effectively no liberal gay voices in the mainstream media opinion-shaping echo chamber. This is subjective determination, but the pundit who most closely met the standards I set, requiring some mainstream prominence and occasionally writing specifically on gay and lesbian issue, was syndicated columnist Deb Price, who this media junkie had never heard of before.

As a straight white male, my own interest in this and gay/lesbian issues more broadly stems partially from my belief that the current state of gay/lesbian civil rights can be something of the "canary in the coal mine" warning for the successful ascent of the religious right and their theocratic assaults on individual liberties. 'At first they came for the queers, and then they came for me...', so to speak. This is not my only reason, of course.

There are various theories for the gross imbalance in media representation of opinions in the political spectrum. For those like myself who find it laughable that the media, taken as a whole, even approaches "liberal," it is tempting to put the blame on the increasing corporate media consolidation. I have no doubt that this is part of the story. In a recent column in the Nation, Eric Alterman argues it is because it provides an affirmative action two-fer -- that is, editors and publishers wishing to appease critics on the Left looking for minority representation and those whiners on the Right demanding even more conservative voices get to satisfy both with a single hire. I don't really buy this story, as I argued in this post here, but it might play some small role.

Richard Goldstein submits a third theory, which is also likely a partial explanation, but one which anyone who considers themselves to be even somewhat left-of-center should consider seriously.

The subtitle of Goldstein's book is Liberal Society and the Gay Right . Despite the fact that his analyses center around libertarian/conservatives Sullivan, Vincent, and Paglia (don't bother writing to tell me that Paglia is a Democrat), the real thrust of his book is directed at the self-described liberals who enable and support them.

In Goldstein's view, the bizarre spectacle of these individuals is not (entirely) a conservative corporate plot, an unintended consequence of newsroom affirmative action, or tendency to automatically bestow legitimacy onto contrarian opinion, no matter how ridiculous, but rather a consequence of straight white liberal paternalism.

One doesn't have to be overly perceptive to notice how non-minority liberals are eager to define what the political concerns of minority groups should be, and to offer opinions on what is or isn't racism or homophobia or misogyny. Salon's Joan Walsh is an example of this type of "liberal" in that her articles frequently try and dictate what should or shouldn't be the gay liberal agenda.

While being a member of minority group X does not automatically elevate one's opinions to the level of Truth, I find it quite absurd that often it is less rather than more weight that is given to minority viewpoints on minority issues. In Goldstein's view, Sullivan, Vincent, Paglia, and others, each with their own variation on their desire for "normalcy," their tendencies to blame the gay community for their exclusion, are given voice because of their ability to confirm and exploit liberal, rather than conservative, conceit and bias. That they may help promote a conservative agenda is consequence, not cause.

The book really is not so much an indictment of the homocons, but rather of the liberals who enable them. The response of those like Matt Welch (who admittedly is responding to the less well written (and poorly titled) Nation article), supports Goldstein's contention.

Goldstein's book is too short. I wish he had written a more comprehensive discussion of this broader issue - I think there is still much more to be written. And, I admittedly let too much time pass between reading the book and writing this review. But, it is still highly recommended reading. And, for those straight white male liberals like myself, I suggest you do read it with the open minds that we all like to think we have. You may disagree with Goldstein's assessments, but don't make the additional mistake of dismissing him.

UPDATE: I just noticed my intended link to Matt Welch's site didn't go through and now I can't get to his site for some reason. Will fix link when I can.

Also, what I wrote doesn't bother to praise any of the delicious prose in Goldstein's book -- worth a read just for that.

Rittenhouse Review asks its readers to make a donation to help out the fashion-challenged Lloyd Grove.

(Lloyd Grove with girlfriend and VRWC member Amy Holmes)

UPDATE: Their permalinks aren't working for some reason, so just go here and scroll down.
Added two new links over to the left, assuming Blogger doesn't send them into the black hole:

Instapunditwatch says it "Fact checks Instapundit's ass, because he doesn't bother to."

And, WarBloggerWatch does a pretty good job highlighting what happens when a bunch of armchair warriors are afflicted with PTSD.
A few months back Fat Tony Scalia made an interesting legal argument:

Judges opposed to the death penalty should step down because they're not committed to enforcing the law.

Fair enough.

Let's apply that logic to abortion and the executive branches of federal,state,and local governments, which are actually charged with law enforcement.

I look forward to W.'s resignation in the morning.
America's premier forum for compassionate conservatives is very upset because only 25% of Americans would support a nuclear first-strike against a country harboring terrorists.

One poster says that after 9/11 he would have taken out 20 cities, though he doesn't specify which ones. My bet is he doesn't know.