Saturday, September 21, 2002

I've been informed that Tom Friedman had this or something close to it to say on an NPR-broadcast lecture:

"Day 1, we win. Day 2, the Iraqis have parades and throw rose petals at us. But no one in the government has thought at all about Day 3 or further."

At least we aren't alone.

Behind in most polls, the Bavarian governor - a hard-liner on law and order - appeared to be making a last-gasp effort to tap into fears over a link between immigration and terrorism in Europe. He told a rowdy crowd, packed into the market square of Werne, on the edge of the Ruhr district, that there were 30,000 identified Muslim fundamentalist extremists in Germany.

Mr Stoiber added: "Among these 30,000 so-called Islamists, there are 4,000 who are ready for violence. The police know that; 4,000 are known by name as being disposed to violence and are suspected of belonging to foreign terrorist organisations such as the Algerian GIA. I say to you: these 4,000 - I will expel them from the country."

Mr Stoiber made no reference in his speech to any kind of judicial process, and it was not clear how he intended to carry out the deportations under existing laws. Legislation that came into effect last December abolished a ban on the investigation of foreigners based in Germany and considered to be terrorist suspects by other states. But the law as it stands does not allow the authorities to deport anyone on mere suspicion of belonging to a terrorist organisation.

He's got a little list, you see...

While we all observed the 9/11 anniversary in our own little way, Daniel Pipes' tribute to his own career development looks like something Neal Pollack would have written. (via Bertram Online)
As this Charles Pierce letter to Medianews makes clear, there's more ethics in Sports Journalism (a lot more) than in Beltway journalism

Tickets from the enemy

Note to Al Hunt: 1) Nobody cares about you and your kid; 2) Click on all
the letters regarding Bob Greene and his great fall; 3) Scroll down to the story
about the Minneapolis sports telebimbette who helped the Twins; 4) Realize
that you're no better than either one of them -- well, you might be
marginally better than old Johnny Dickline, Reporter there. At least I might
be willing to shake your hand without spraying it first.

But, Jeebus Christmas, Al. Look at me! I got fight tickets from James Carville!

Carville happens to be the enemy, just as surely as Karl Rove is.
He's more fun, surely, and he happens to be the enemy with whom I agree most
of the time, but the function of people like James Carville, Paul Begala, and
that inexcusable twerp Stephanopolous is to lie to people like us. Special
favors from an ideological bagman? Do it covering the City Council in
Oconomowoc, and you're shitcanned by daybreak. Hell, Al, if nothing else,
boxing is replete with tickets to be had from far more honorable illegitimate
sources. Like, say, the Mob.

CalPundit has some comments on liberals, Bush, and Iraq.
Go buy Get Your War On Now!
Adam Felber weighs in on Fox's new reality show.
More on the Red State/Blue State dichotomy.
Hey, Dawn Olsen interviews Neal Pollack. (via Ken Layne)
The Bull Moose really has come around.

The Moose is a strong supporter of Iraqi regime change. But, how are we going to pay for this expanded war against terror? The Administration's in-house supply-side theologian Lawrence Lindsey told the Wall Street Journal that the war in Iraq will cost between $100 to $200 billion. Gosh, those supply-side boys really know how to round numbers! No wonder those corporations had so much difficulty with their books!

Meanwhile deficits are growing, the economy is weakening and Congress is spending like there's no tomorrow. Yet, our old buddy, Mr. Lindsey claims that the $100-$200 billion price tag amounts to "nothing."

The Moose can only exclaim," Huh"?

It is high time to repeal the Bush tax cut for the comfortable. While our brave men and women are willing to go into harm's way on the Tigris, our lame legislators are not willing to pay the price on the Potomac. The tax bill was passed at a time of peace and prosperity. While there is an argument for some growth incentives, the Bush plan is a mush of economic nonsense.

Jeralyn Merrit of the excellent Talk Left will be on Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer at 2pm EST tomorrow.
Though not a contest, my favorite submitted entry in the Bomb Iraq song was:

Fool me once.. shame on........BOMB IRAQ!!!!!!!!!!!!!


DONALD RUMSFELD: Well, I think when you say "that different," it's important to understand
that you can - when the Germans transformed their armed forces into the Blitzkrieg, they
transformed only about 5 or 10 percent of their force. Everything else was the same, but
they transformed the way they used it, the connectivity between aircraft and forces on the
ground, the concentration of it in a specific portion of the line, and it - one would not
want to transform 100 percent of your forces.

- Feb 4,2002, Newshour

Okay, that was silly.
Has the Blogosphere spent the weekend engaged in a virulent repudiation of the dishonest Cato Institute?

Thought not.
PLA on the GOP and the Mets.
TBogg on Krauthammer's latest.
One the supposed "advantages" of the Blogosophere is that we can "fact check their asses." Of course, Blogger Andy Sullivan doesn't ever let facts get in the way of a good rant against the New York Times even after he's been fact-checked. Fine, but does TNR have to publish it?

When they're on CNN, why does it always seem like Peter Beinart is desperately trying to get approval from Jonah Goldberg?
Andrew Northrup has a delightful rant on the crap peddlers that are our journalists and columnists - in particular that most loathsome of crap peddlers Mark Steyn.
BusyBusyBusy has more on Rumsfeld the Hussein-hand-shaking liar.
Brad DeLong says soldiers are not our mercenaries. And he's right. Whoever wrote the mysterious passage he quotes should be ashamed for the utter contempt expressed for our military.

Friday, September 20, 2002

Eric Alterman puts on his tinfoil journalist hat and, like, asks questions and stuff.
The Bush Doctrine.

Be very afraid.

Who is that fine looking gentleman shaking Saddam Hussein's hand?
Matthew Yglesias correctly characterizes this Washington Post editorial regarding the confirmation of Michael McConnell.

[though I don't agree with his characterization of the WP editorial board.]

Joe Conason notes that Cato has retroactively renamed its "Project on Social Security Privatization" and they now claim:

On August 14, 1995, the Cato Institute launched its Project on Social Security Choice, the largest undertaking in the organization's history. The objective of the project is to formulate a viable blueprint allowing individuals the opportunity of owning their own retirement account. The project publishes books, studies, and articles and holds conferences. The Cato Institute's experts examine the problems facing the current system, the methods that can be used to move towards a system of personal retirement accounts, and the effects that a new system would have on workers.

Conason tells us that the Wayback Machine will give the game away. But, they forgot to change something in their html:

[title]About the Project on Social Security Privatization[/title]

It does seem to be the word of the week -- LIARS.

Digby, who needs to get his own #%@#$@#% Blog, says:

[I]t has become clear that the immaturity and inexperience of our President is becoming a real danger. He is caught between two competing philosophies, one the realist internationalist philosophy of his father and the other the extremist philosophy of certain advisors who have a radical global agenda. This important battle is taking place in public with the President extolling both philosophies simultaneously despite the fact that they are incompatible. Apparently, he doesn't realize that he must make a choice.

I predicted a week ago that the neocon hawks would not give up this fight and they certainly have not. They are zealots and they will do whatever is necessary to advance their cause. According to the Washington Post that includes lying to the President and the public about intelligence and military preparedness.

This is the most dangerous thing I believe we've learned recently. They are underestimating the costs, both financially and militarily, to accomplish their goal of overthrowing Saddam and completely ignoring the subsequent costs of occupation. This betrays a form of magical thinking that will lead this country into graver trouble than we have ever seen. It's one thing to coldly and pragmatically propose an invasion. It's quite another to rely on wishful thinking to accomplish the task.

These people are starting to believe their own lies.

Daily Howler has the final piece which demonstrates what I was pretty sure of all along (although I probably didn't post this particular prediction so I can't really claim credit).

NOVAK (9/17/02): Mr. Choudhary, why did you blow through the toll gate on I-35 without paying a toll?

CHOUDHARY: Actually, I wasn’t the driver of the car.

NOVAK: Who was the driver?

BUTT: I was driving the car.

NOVAK: Well, why did you blow through the toll gate?

BUTT: I didn’t blow through the toll. Actually, I stopped at the toll, paid it, paid the lady. I noticed that she was very
nervous. I noticed there was a squad car almost at the corner of the toll booth waiting for us. Paid the toll, pulled out and
within about five to 10 miles, we got pulled over.

NEWKIRK: You will actually see proof of this very soon. We’ve been in conversations today, David Kabiliun, my partner in
Miami, Florida, I was in conversations with Sheriff Hunter who claims that he has copies of the tape from the toll booth, but
he just hasn’t had time to review them yet. I think we’d all like to see that tape.

It seems pretty clear that the cops got the toll booth operator to manufacture the "blew through the toll" story to give them an excuse to pull them over.

Chickenhawks among us.
I hate when I can't tell if things are parody.

And yes, to all who asked, Neal Pollack is parody.
Despite the rather cynical and mocking tone I've taken with respect to the whole Iraq thing lately, the truth is that all along I've had a rather Marshallian view of the issue (Josh, not Alfred). Though I wasn't convinced by the Washington Monthly article he wrote, I suppose that I, like him, was quite open to being convinced. I have been open to all of the possible justifcations for invading Iraq - humanitarian, national security, realpolitik, defense of Israel, etc... But, for me, all of them have fallen completely flat. Josh lays out one reason why:

But let me discuss with you for a moment what I find the most difficult about this debate. The more ardent supporters of regime change lie a lot. I really don't know how else to put it. I'm not talking about disagreements over interpretation. I mean people saying things they either know to be false or have no reason to believe are true. Perhaps the word 'lie' is a very slight exaggeration. Perhaps it's better to say they have a marked propensity to assert as fact points for which there is virtually or absolutely no evidence. How's that?

From the desperate attempts to link 9/11 to Saddam, to the repeated claims that he's a "bad man who gassed his own people" (with our support and our gas, essentially), to the misrepresentations of analyses of his potential for nuclear capability, to the knowingly false claim he "threw out the inspectors" (a failing process, admittedly), etc... etc... Not one element of this debate from the Hawks has been, by any stretch, honest.

I could have even lived with that, perhaps. But what I can't live with is that combined with the *zero* effort (And I Mean *ZERO*) to present (or formulate?) any conception for what Step 2 would be. No description of what an occupying force would be like - size and length. No description of plans for transition to a new government. Nothing.

The only guide we have are the collected writings of his advisors. And those are scary.
Finally TBogg has a blog. (I guess just calling it 'TBlogg' would have been too easy).

Thursday, September 19, 2002

In Arguendo on the Liberal Media continuing to ignore the report that billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife has requested to have his "Whitewater" legal fees reimbursed
Andrew Sullivan, who earned a Masters from the Kennedy School of Government, offers his view of Democracy:

i'm sorry but i pay for those soldiers to fight in a volunteer army. they are servants of people like me who will never fight. yes, servants of civil masters. and they will do what they are told by people who would never go to war. that's called a democracy.

(from MWO)

SullyWatch responds to reasonable concerns raised by Sketch and Ted Barlow regarding criticism of Andy Sullivan.
Charles Dodgson objects to the comparison with the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" with good reasons. Criticism taken.
Welcome Nasty RiffRaff to Blogistan.
Unmedia has an informative post on the topic du jour. And Demosthenes points out The Obvious Thing That Needs to be Pointed Out Over and Over for some reason -- that the SDBs of the world are giving Osama precisely what he wanted.
Man, all this talk of cultural genocide is so serious. Let's have some fun! Add your own verse! Tom Tomorrow starts us off , with subsequent contributions by d.x.m.

UPDATE: verses added thanks to contributors:

If you're happy and you know it, bomb Iraq (clap clap)
If you're happy and you know it, bomb Iraq (clap clap)
If you're happy and you know it,
And you really want to show it
If you're happy and you know it, bomb Iraq

If your equities are falling, bomb Iraq
If your equities are falling, bomb Iraq
If your equities are falling,
and your losses are appalling
If your equities are falling, bomb Iraq.

If the euro keeps on climbing, bomb Iraq
If the euro keeps on climbing, bomb Iraq
If the euro keeps on climbing,
put your trust in W's timing,
If the euro keeps on climbing, bomb Iraq

If the GDP is shrinking, bomb Iraq,
If the GDP is shrinking, bomb Iraq,
If the GDP is shrinking,
And W's back to drinking,
If the GDP is shrinking, bomb Iraq,

If my polls are falling, bomb Iraq,
If my polls are falling, bomb Iraq,
If my polls are falling,
and Congress is stalling
If my polls are falling, bomb Iraq.

If the GOP is hurtin' , bomb Iraq
If the GOP is hurtin' , bomb Iraq
If the GOP is hurtin'
And November looks uncertain
If the GOP is hurtin' , bomb Iraq

If the talk has turned to Harken, bomb Iraq,
If the talk has turned to Harken, bomb Iraq,
If the talk has turned to Harken,
and that Krugman-dawg is barkin',
If the talk has turned to Harken, bomb Iraq!

Are they checking Halliburton? Bomb Iraq

Are they checking Halliburton? Bomb Iraq
If they're checking Halliburton
Cheney's rep will soon be hurtin'
If they're checking Halliburton, bomb Iraq

If your brother is a turkey, bomb Iraq
If your brother is a turkey, bomb Iraq
If your brother is a turkey
And Florida's goin' bazerk-y
If your brother is a turkey, bomb Iraq

If the pundits call you "moron," bomb Iraq
If the pundits call you "moron," bomb Iraq
If the pundits call you moron
Then it's time to get your war on
If the pundits call you "moron," bomb Iraq

If Noelle gets caught with crack...bomb Iraq
If Noelle gets caught with crack...bomb Iraq
If Noelle gets caught with crack
and the twins drop booze for smack
If Noelle gets caught with crack...bomb Iraq

To divert public attention bomb Iraq
To divert public attention bomb Iraq
To divert public attention
From the doings of your henchmen
To divert public attention bomb Iraq

To get drilling in the Artic, bomb Iraq,
To get drilling in the Artic, bomb Iraq,
You can run us out of oil,
With the Middle East aboil,
To get drilling in the Artic, bomb Iraq.

Add your verse now!
haha, more Neal Pollack..

And isn't it interesting that the New Jerk Times is now reporting that the government knew about the potential for September 11 all the way back in 1998? If you recall, like I do, the Times spent most of that year defending President Clinton against charges of immorality, sodomy, and liberalism, and calling for massive cuts in our defense and intelligence budgets. I quote Supreme Left-Wing Fifth Columnist Maureen Dowd, from July 7, 1998: "President Clinton is like Ally McBeal, without the dancing baby. He's Mark McGwire at the bat. The star of his own sitcom. Everybody Loves Bill." Why didn't she use that space to break the September 11 story instead? But that's Dowd for you. Fiddling complicitly with instantly dated pop-culture references while her own Rome prepares to burn.

Zizka reads (And mocks) Michael Kelly so we don't have to.

Wow, go to bed and a debate breaks out. Actually, the back and forth in the comments in this post is actually quite good - a lot of interesting things being said. Worth a read.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

I'm still waiting for the various reports about early warnings of possible plane hijackings to raise the question of Ashcroft's decision to stop flying commercial last summer.
Well, this should help.

By DAVID ROYSE Associated Press Posted September 18 2002, 5:29 PM EDT

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida asked the U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday for its help in preventing another election mess in November.

In a letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft, Florida Secretary of State Jim Smith said confidence in the state's efforts to reform its election system has been shaken by the problems in Miami-Dade and Broward counties during last week's Democratic primary for governor.

Just lovely.

Toll Plaza videos shows med students paid toll.

Why does the Onion only survey bloggers for its "man on the street" commentary?
A letter to MSNBC:

I consider every Muslim I see a terrorist until proven innocent. I am not ashamed of that opinion. Deal with it.

Jason Wunneburger

Denver, CO

Get this man a Blog! Quick!

Or at least introduce him to Mr. de Beste, who as Hesiod has just noted, has just written the Protocols of the Elders of Islam, and issued his plans for the Final Solution.

Now that we've been attacked, we are ourselves compelled to force them to accept those cultural changes, because that is the only way short of actual genocide to remove the danger to ourselves. This war will end when they change, but not before.

And, no, I don't consider my (and Hesiod's) statements hyperbole.
This New York Times story is pathetic.

The Bush administration showed not the slightest indication to heed entreaties from Russia and France — each with veto power over any Council resolution — and Arab countries to take Iraq's offer at face value. Pressing his argument with Americans, Mr. Bush set the tone by warning schoolchildren in Tennessee, "You can't be fooled again."

I look forward to Kaus discussing it tomorrow.
As Joe Conason notes, Rice is a liar too (my word).
THE DAILY WORD -- Learn it, use it, spell it


ursine \'er-'sn\ adjective [L ursinus, fr. ursus bear - more at arctic] (ca. 1550)
1) Of or relating to a bear or the bear family (Ursidae)
2) Suggesting or characteristic of a bear

Usage example: And Dick would pop the Viagra and suck a big whiff of the official White House amyl nitrate and
don the big furry ursine costume and drop down to all fours and stagger around the room, crashing into furniture
and growling, and Lynne would stumble in, blindfolded, reeking of tequila and Crisco, on the hunt, proctology
glove moistened and at the ready.

(from SFgate's "morning fix" email).
Rittenhouse Review on the cutely named "Campus Watch."
Haha. Sent to the loyal followers of Newsmax:

Sept. 18, 2002
News Alerts and Special Offers from

War With Iraq Could Mean 1,200%
Profits for You!

Saddam's number is up... but his terrorist buddies may have one last
up their sleeves. Oil prices could quadruple overnight! Prepare your
portfolio now and you could see gains of 1,200%. Click here for details.

Pigs and Fishes says:

Anyway, Diane closes her piece by describing how she didn’t sit next to a young black man on the subway soon after the Central Park jogger incident, even though she didn’t think he was actually dangerous, just because he was young and thin and black, though she feels justified in having done so because an elderly black man acted the same way. Racism? Nah, just another form of bigotry that we currently don’t have a specific name for, but which has the same essential nature — assigning a sort of moral contagion on the basis of a few surface characteristics.

If this isn't racism, what is? As I've said a few times before, it seems we've set the standard for racism so high that unless it involves lynchings or gas chambers it doesn't count. A corollary to this is that given this high hurdle, the accuser ends up being tarred the racist rather than the accusee.

Saying that something someone said has racist overtones, or that their behavior betrays a degree of racism, or that they're engaging in racist behavior is not accusing someone of eating babies or advocating genocide. Since we don't have a word for this other "form of bigotry that we don't have a specific name for" why don't we stick to the old one -racism. Like many things it comes in various degrees and magnitudes. Sometimes "good people" do and say things out of ignorance, fear, and plain malice which should be called what they are -- Racist.

I see plenty of people screaming anti-semitsm at the slightest transgression. Actually I count myself among these people much of the time. But, I often wonder why analogous standards don't seem to apply to other forms of bigotry. I suppose this is in a similar vein to Signorile's column which I've linked below about Cuomo and McCall.

Note: despite our having jousted in the past, I really don't mean this to be an attack on Diane -- I haven't even read the original message that inspired this -- I'm just interested in the broader issue.
From the "Well, Duuuh" files:

California Energy Crisis A Sham

State officials say California's energy crisis -- its blackouts and sky-high power prices that cost California billions -- was manufactured by key power companies that hoarded energy supplies to make more money, reports CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales.

Overall, the companies kept more than 30 percent to 50 percent of their power off the market. During some of the worst moments of the crisis, they held back even more -- anywhere from 55 to 76 percent of production -- all in an effort, whistleblowers told CBS News more than a year ago, to cut the power supply and drive up prices.

But the companies denied allegations of manipulation.

"It's preposterous. It never happened," said Duke Power Company's Tom Williams in June 2001.

And they're still denying it today.

But CBS News obtained records showing federal regulators have power plant control room audio tapes that prove traders from Williams Energy called plant operators and told them to turn off the juice. The government sealed the tapes in a secret settlement and still refuses to release them.

Now, tell me again how hard price caps wouldn't have solved this problem...

Here's what Bush said at the time:

"The California crunch really is the result of not enough power-generating plants and then not enough power to power the power of generating plants." —George W. Bush, Jan. 14, 2001"

Larry Lindsey, Bush Administration Official, says war would be good for economy:

"When there is a regime change in Iraq, you could add three million to five million barrels [per day] of production to world supply," he said. "The successful prosecution of the war would be good for the economy."

Let's remind ourselves what the lunatics running foreign policy have in mind. I remember some Warbloggers cheering similar ideas a few months back, of course. Chris Nelson says:

'New methods of attack -- electronic, 'non-lethal', biological -- will be more widely available ... combat likely will take place in new dimensions, in space, cyberspace, and perhaps the world of microbes ... advanced forms of biological warfare that can 'target' specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool'."

You may want to read that again. "advanced forms of biological warfare that can 'target' specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool."

They're talking about weapons of targeted genocide, people!


WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration is expanding on and in some cases contradicting U.S. intelligence reports in making the case for an invasion of Iraq, interviews with administration and intelligence officials indicate.

Administration officials accuse Iraq of having ties to al-Qaeda terrorists and of amassing weapons of mass destruction despite uncertain and sometimes contrary intelligence on these issues, according to officials.

In some cases, top administration officials disagree outright with what the CIA ( news - web sites) and other intelligence agencies report. For example, they repeat accounts of al-Qaeda members seeking refuge in Iraq and of terrorist operatives meeting with Iraqi intelligence officials, even though U.S. intelligence reports raise doubts about such links. On Iraqi weapons programs, administration officials draw the most pessimistic conclusions from ambiguous evidence.

UPDATE: Sketch notes that TNR (regreq blah blah) has more on this.

In any case, if they're stacking the science committees to give them the answers they want they may as well do the same to intelligence.

Why does Jude Wanniski hate America so much?

Though this "the president has been misled" stuff is chuckle-worthy.
Haha, I know my Neal Pollack plugs are coming daily but until you've all bookmarked him I'll keep doing it..

Is it, Mike? Is it really? Why? Does a man have to behave in private as he commands others to behave in public? Isn't morality fungible, after all? And, let's face it. I'm a celebrity. If I put out a call on the Internet looking to get my balls sucked by willing men and women, don't you think I'm gonna get a lot of steamy offers? What would you do, Mike? Would you be an exemplary rock of celibacy, or would you squirt hot jizz into 100 willing mouths? These are stressful times. The threat of war looms over us like a looming cloud. I think a little teabagging, for someone who has an important public-opinion-shaping job like mine, is just what the midwife ordered.

People like Michelangelo Signorile, who I call "Al-Queda sympathizers," had better watch their targets carefully. I still believe American men should spend more time with their families, Mike. It's their duty as men, and as Americans. We haven't slurped the last hair off this teabagging debate, but remember that my right to privacy trumps your right to criticize. And if you think I'm wrong, you're a terrorist.

hahaha..make him stop...
"Cooter" smacks the NRA. (permalink broken, scroll down if necessary).

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

I agree with the Rittenhouse Review.

Give until it hurts to McBride.
Free Pie on Bush's late discovery of misogyny in Afghanistan.
You pay him for this?

OH jeez.
When I started reading this Signorile column about Cuomo's rather racist take on his primary saga I thought he was overstating the case a bit. But, by the end I was pretty convinced.

"The negative here," the former Clinton HUD secretary told Herbert, explaining why he did so badly in the polls and why he eventually pulled out of the race against New York State Comptroller Carl McCall, "is that I was running against the first African-American. It was his turn."

In other words: He was a white victim of a kind of political party-driven affirmative action–even though McCall has a resume a mile longer than that of Cuomo, who has never held elective office. If anything, McCall was for a while the victim of nepotism on a grand scale, running against someone whose entire career has been about trading on his famous father’s name. Wayne Barrett in the Village Voice makes the interesting assessment that Al Sharpton and others quietly threatened that if Cuomo went hard on McCall and McCall lost, they’d do to him what they did to Mark Green in the 2001 mayoral election: take their support over to the Republican in the general election and rail that the Democrat was racially insensitive. In that scenario, Cuomo, who has ambitions for 2006, pulled out early rather than be tarred for the future. Whether or not that is true, however, Cuomo’s arrogance, like Green’s, is still his greatest downfall: by making these statements, rather than bow out quietly and gracefully, he’s tarred himself.

But, even if you don't like that part stay for the end and some healthy all-American Noonan bashing.

Talk Left has a lot of good stuff up. In particular, a lot of info in the Buffalo 8. But, to add to that Skippy notes this story which states that Bush personally ordered the arrest.

I have to say that if the suspicions about these guys' future activities were a concern, wouldn't it have made sense to keep up the surveillance until they actually had something? ANYTHING?

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says, "fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me" -- you can't get fooled again. You've got to understand the nature of the regime we're dealing with.

Damn, he even screwed up the Who quote.
UPDATE: MWO has an audio link.

Sept. 17, 2002 | HEBRON, West Bank (AP) -- Israeli police and Palestinian officials in the West Bank said they believe extremist Jewish settlers planted two bombs in a Palestinian school
yard Tuesday. One device exploded, injuring five children.

Yehoshua Mor-Yosef, spokesman for the Jewish Settlers' Council, said the bombing was an "immoral and illegal act."

Israeli military officials said the explosion occurred near a water cooler in the courtyard of the Ziff junction secondary school south of Hebron. The second bomb was found and safely
detonated. The Israeli military controls the junction, a remote region populated mainly by Bedouins.
Hahaha. Charles Murtaugh sends all us fans of Ann Coulter to Dan Savage's latest.
Dear Random Jottings,

You say:

We tried to find the June Washington Times column to which Krugman referred in which Kudlow supposedly argued for an invasion of Iraq to raise the Dow

The Kudlow article you are referring to was indeed (re)-published in the Washington Times, which Google is kind enough to make available for us.

The article was originally publishe in NRO and then later in the Wahington Time It includes these paragraphs which quite clearly state what Krugman said he had.

A couple of weeks later a final assault on Baghdad can take place. A small war, to use Wall Street Journal editorialist Max Boot's lexicon, led by fast-moving special forces and leather-toughened Marines [ed: a bit fetishistic, don't you think? A.: yep. Not sure what leather-toughened means, actually...], and assisted by high-tech precision bombs and air cover, can get the job done. All-out war mobilization is unnecessary. Iraq will fall with much less. At the same time, U.S. Special Forces must conduct a similar sweep to root out bin Laden and the al Qaedas along the Pakistan/Afghan border.

In his key war speeches thus far — the axis of evil designation before Congress, the first-strike / pre-emption speech at West Point, and this week's Palestine-directed statement of institution-building through the principles of freedom — Mr. Bush has kept democracy and a market economy central to solving this world terrorism crisis. But statements of principle only go so far. The spirit and security of the United States now require the instrument of war.
The shock therapy of decisive war will elevate the stock market by a couple thousand points. We will know our businesses will stay open, that our families will be safe and that our future will be unlimited. The world will be righted in this life-and-death struggle to preserve our values and our civilization. But to do all this, we must act.

The shock therapy of decisive war will elevate the stock market by a couple thousand points. We will know our businesses will stay open, that our families will be safe and that our future will be unlimited. The world will be righted in this life-and-death struggle to preserve our values and our civilization.But to do all this, we must act.

Love & Kisses,


UPDATE: in my snark-fueled haste I left off the final important paragraph. Apologies.

Union busting in academia. Pathetic.

On Tuesday morning, we watched in disbelief as the Yale-New Haven Hospital police arrested four women for criminal trespassing. Their alleged crime? Handing out leaflets to fellow workers at the entrance
to the Yale Cancer Center.

"But I thought the hospital can't interfere with leafleting," one woman protested.

"We work here -- we have a right to be here," another insisted.

Douglas Doyle, the police chief of Yale-New Haven, acknowledged that the hospital had entered into a settlement with the National Labor Relations Board that allowed workers to leaflet on hospital grounds.
The settlement was in response to unfair labor practice charges by hospital workers -- they had been threatened with arrest for attempting to leaflet.

These arrests were different though, according to Doyle. He claimed that the settlement only protected workers employed by the hospital.

True to form, Yale-New Haven police did not interfere with the hospital worker who was leafleting alongside the other four who were arrested -- two medical school employees and two graduate student
researchers. It did not seem to matter that these four work every day in hospital buildings alongside hospital employees.

Doyle justified this distinction with a technical response. Due to complicated leasing arrangements, the hospital was effectively "condominium-ized." By this, he meant that employees who work down the hall
from each other cannot communicate freely -- at least if the subject is unionization.

D-Squared on those silly Europeans and their silly overegulated financial markets.
I really don't know what to say about this Washington Post article about the Bush administration stacking the science committees. Sometimes you just raise the white flag and give up. But, Ted Barlow and Sisyphus are on it.
Ampersand, in my comments, raised the question of whether Betsy Hart was actually Jewish. I suppose she could be, but she used to co-host Christian Coalition Live and seems to spend a lot of time writing about Christianity.

Who knew Marshall Wittman used to work for the Christian Coalition, too...Learn something knew every day.

But, as ampersand made clear - NOT EVERYONE WHO WRITES FOR JEWISH WORLD REVIEW IS JEWISH. That includes accused anti-Semite Ann Coulter.

Nathan Newman on Sweden.

I stayed out of this discussion, but was rather amused by it. I think Newman hits on a key point here:

So the key comparison number is really what a person can earn per hour in each country. And here's where you see a fun rightwing ideological trick. When discussing the horrors of the Swedish welfare state, conservatives will bemoan the poverty and low wages of the Swedes. But when discussing regulatory and employment policy, conservatives will argue that hourly compensation costs are destroying business competitiveness in places like Sweden. ie. their workers make too much money and benefits. Sort of odd that such a poor people make more per hour than US workers.

Most recent unemployment figures I could find were about the same as ours, so that isn't a consequence either.
Neal Pollack continues to put the rest of us to shame.
Josh Marshall says just about what I've been saying from the beginning.

But this latest decision should focus us again on the
recurring and as yet unanswered question: just what
are the rules here? The rule of law is principally a
matter of there being rules. What the rules are is
often much less important than that there be rules
and that they be followed. Thus far war on terrorism
jurisprudence hasn't so much been draconian or lax
as it has been a rather comical
make-it-up-as-you-go-along affair.

John Walker Lindh, a US citizen, gets a
straightforward civilian trial. Zacarias Moussaoui, a
French citizen, gets a straightforward civilian trial.
Jose Padilla, a US citizen, is held indefinitely and
without counsel as an enemy combatant. Yasir
Hamdi, another US citizen, is also an enemy
combatant being held indefinitely, but he may get a
lawyer. The folks down in Guantanamo, well, who

A military tribunal, civilian trials, various sorts of
detention -- cases can be made for each method of
proceeding. But the essence of the rule of law is
having rules in place for how you're going to deal
with people before you catch them, not making them
up afterwards.

We can debate about what the rules should be and when, but most importantly there should be rules. When talking heads get on TV and say with a straight face that the government should choose this system of justice over another one because it would be easier to get a conviction that way, our justice system has become a complete farce. If only it were funny.

More fun with Norah.

Monday, September 16, 2002

Ha ha ha, speaking of Clinton's Cock no longer being the cause of all the world's ills... I spoke too soon!

Order yours now!
Robert Musil has some fun with my posts today. Anything for hits I suppose.

"Of all the 9/11 conspiracies...?" Atrios writes as if his readers will know what this means. Could he be refering to al Qaeda? Was al Qaeda one of "the 9/11 conspiracies" on which Atrios' thoughts and private language revolve here?

Okay, change "conspiracies" to "conspiracy theories" and my words should be clear to Musil as they were to everyone else who read what I wrote. Meaning speculations about possible alternative explanations to the official one, none of which I have endorsed as the statment "of all the 9/11 conspiracies, I think the 'flight 93 was shot down' one is the most credible given available evidence (and lack of)" makes clear. Nor have I endorsed this particular one.

Maybe Atrios went out and had himself - in words he chooses to describe a woman commentator with a rather conservative Jewish viewpoint - "a good cockpunching" to his head, and these are the thoughts that filled his head in the afterglow. Maybe it was her writing in her column about her own "soon-to-be third and first-graders [who] are looking forward to starting school in a couple of weeks" that he feels justifies his helpful observation.

I suppose this is a not-so-thin-veiled accusation of anti-Semitism, laughable for a variety of reasons but most notably because I wasn't even aware that Betsy Hart was Jewish. As for the "cockpunching" comment, it was a reference to this Onion "infographic" which can be found here.

As for what I was referring to, as far as I can remember I have never actually read one of her columns and know nothing about how many children of hers are about to start attending school. But, I didn't specify what I was referring to so Musil's entitled to his fantasies. What I was talking about was her hysterical appearance on CNN during which she argued that if the 3 Florida medical student "terrorists" were unfairly treated they had no one to blame but their fellow Muslims. I'm hoping this line of reasoning isn't increasingly employed, but I suppose it was about time to start blaming something other than Clinton's Cock for all the world's ills.

As for:

Also, Atrios finds "the Lackawanna Terrroist story is a bit...thin." To Atrios it may be one of "the 9/11 conspiracies" that's not as "credible" as the "flight 93 was shot down" one.

See above.

As he explores his deepening suspicions about this "most credible" conspiracy and the need he feels for certain women who have come into his consciousness to get themselves "cockpunched", Atrios may want to remember: Haloperidol is indicated in the management of manifestations of acute and chronic psychosis, including schizophrenia and manic states. It may also be of value in the management of aggressive and agitated behavior in patients with chronic brain syndrome and mental retardation and in the symptomatic control of Gilles de la Tourette's syndrome.

Projection is a typical part of standard conservative mental illness. While Gene Expression would no doubt argue it was genetically based and therefore ripe for cure by genetic engineering, I've always assumed it was due to a lack of dates at key moments in their lives.

Shouldn't the "Skeptical Hawk" being doing a cost-benefit analysis on the cost of the possible Iraq war and consider how the money could be better spent?
Dwight Meredith on libel law.
You'd think the hospital where the med students were supposed to do their training would be more concerned with alerting law enforcement to the numerous disturbing threatening messages they've been receiving (you know, REAL terrorist threats), than obeying them.

ah well.
Betsy Hart needs a good cockpunching.
The Lackawanna Terrroist story is a bit...thin.

I assume there's more we don't know about? As Hesiod notes, it's odd they were under investigation since before 9/11. Anyway, save the email and comments about how I'm soft on terrorism blahblahbla - I'm just a bit confused by this one. Mac Thomason also finds that odd.

Update, the CNN reporter just said something like "The FBI says that have no information about any plans or terrorist activities that these men were allegedly planning to do." huh?
From Today's Papers:

The WSJ fronts an estimate from Bush's chief economic adviser, Lawrence Lindsey, that a war with Iraq would cost the U.S. between $100 billion and $200 billion. (Lindsey actually told the WSJ that the "upper bound" of the cost would be between 1 percent and 2 percent of the gross domestic product; the paper extrapolated the exact figures.) That is significantly more than the $50 billion estimate that Pentagon officials have privately been shopping around to members of Congress. Lindsey, though, describes that amount as "nothing."

The burning question of the day is, of course, which "sad brainless blogger" referred to Norah Vincent as a "bitch?" (See norahvincent at blogspot dot com.)
Josh Marshall on those who Sully the debate. He's right of course - Bush did submit to his critics, domestic and international, and it's ridiculous to pretend otherwise. That doesn't mean he's given in to a caricature of his critics being swatted around which has them being against war in Iraq under any circumstances. There are those people, of course, but they aren't the ones who are really a part of this public debate. And, sure, some people really don't think we should be going to war might be using the U.N./inspections issue as a cover. But, on the whole, most critics, from Kissinger on one end to Ritter on the other, have said we need to involve the international community, we need to push for inspections, and when all else fails perhaps war is necessary.

To paint a picture of Bush snookering his critics requires making the point that Bush himself is being dishonest - that war will happen regardless, and the rest is just show. That might be true, but it isn't exactly an impressive portrait.
Of all the 9/11 conspiracies, I think the "flight 93 was shot down" one is the most credible given available evidence (and lack of). This article doesn't exactly do much to counteract that perception.

THE FINAL three minutes of hijacked United Flight 93 are still a mystery more than a year after it crashed in western Pennsylvania - even to grieving relatives who sought comfort in listening to its cockpit tapes in April.

A Daily News investigation has found a roughly three-minute gap between the time the tape goes silent - according to government-prepared transcripts - and the time that top scientists have pinpointed for the crash.

Several leading seismologists agree that Flight 93 crashed last Sept. 11 at 10:06:05 a.m., give or take a couple of seconds. Family members allowed to hear the cockpit voice recorder in Princeton, N.J., last spring were told it stopped just after

The FBI and other agencies refused repeated requests to explain the discrepancy.


The broader significance is that the three-minute gap points to how little is really known about how and why Flight 93 crashed - even as the saga of the doomed jetliner and cell-phone calls from some of the 40 passengers and crew continue to captivate the nation.

"That's part of the whole war aspect - we don't want to tell about what we did and didn't do," said Vernon Grose, a former National Transportation Safety Board member who says he still has questions about the Flight 93 crash. He said he doubts there will ever be "a nice, open public hearing with eyewitnesses telling what they saw."

But the three-minute gap is certain to fuel ongoing debates on the Internet over how Flight 93 really crashed, and whether the plane could have been shot down by military jet fighters that were sent aloft as the Sept. 11 hijackings unfolded. The government insists there was no shootdown.

Numerous witnesses in the Shanksville area have told the Daily News and other publications since last September that a mysterious, low-flying unmarked white jet, military in nature, circled the area at the time of the crash. The FBI has claime this was a business jet that had been asked by air-traffic controllers to inspect the Flight 93 crater.

The debate has also been driven by the wide debris field from Flight 93 - including papers found eight miles away - and by conflicting accounts over whether a 911 caller reported an explosion and white smoke on board.

Grose, the former NTSB member, said he doubts the entire story of Flight 93 will ever be told.

"I don't think so," he said. "It's like David Crockett at the Alamo. We need heroes."

Bill Safire is a nattering nabob of nincompoopery who deserves life imprisonment for addictive abuse of alliteration for this quote:

the White House is relying on Baghdad to show not merely consistency in recalcitrance, but an insufferable, infuriating intractability in intransigence.

As for the rest of the article -- Unless someone can explain why August was too early, December is too late, but October is just right, it's clear that the administration is playing politics with Iraq. In fact, Andy Card has admitted as much. (via Just One Minute).

Sullywatch on Norah's history of digging for dirt. Apparently her money-begging quote is gone. Advantage Blogosphere!
Frankly, I wish there was an Islamic/Muslim/Arab-American (not all the same thing, of course) and Democratic connection. I would consider that to be a *good thing.* They is Amurikans too, after all! However, this is nutty, stupid, race-baiting, and wrong. Ever major Arab-American organization I can find endorsed Bush in the election. One estimate has him garnering 72% of the Arab-American vote. Grover Norquist's attempts to court this group are well documented. But, present day "race"-baiting continues. Whigging Out's Instapundit approved comments are along the line of "Daschle is caving into his ARAB CONSTITUENTS, not that there's anything wrong with that, but how dare he put our national security at risk to do so!." (my paraphrase).

Whigging out also manages to conflate Blacks and Muslims to just give us One Big Group to Hate. It makes things easier that way. You see, as he says "Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and the American Muslim community should have ZERO sway right now, and I mean on anyone in public office." I'm not sure how he managed to do that, but it's quite a trick. Daschle isn't just doing the bidding of Arab-Americans, and Muslims, but BLACKS as WELL, and as we all know none of them have a clue about what's really important to *OUR* country.

And people wonder why I'm a Democrat.

See also my post below regarding the claimed politicization of OKC, the utter misrepresentation of Clinton's brilliant speech, and more lies.

Sunday, September 15, 2002

I'm in the mood to sample lots of music from my favorite file sharing network so I can go out and buy the stuff I like. In the mood for something new, so please feel free to make some suggestions in da comments. Anything at all.
The dumb thing about this Sunday Herald article is that the "secret document" it unearthed can be found here, or at least it could have been found there until a few hours ago. Sneaky bastards. (UPDATE: it appears to be back now.)

The real story is that Bush's 'humble foreign policy' was going to be run by a team of lunatics who had broadcast their insanity for the public to see and the media played along.

Digby on the latest historical revisionism by Instapundit et. al.:

Gosh, as I recall, the criticism of the right after McVeigh wasn't about tax cuts it was about guys like Tom DeLay calling the FBI "Jack booted thugs" and G. Gordon Liddy saying that people should use pictures of ATF agents for target practice. Some people thought that might have indicated that some prominent members of the GOP were violently opposed to the federal government and that maybe McVeigh and his ilk could have gotten the wrong idea when they heard those comments.

How silly. The reason those craven Dems criticized the right after Mcveigh was because of their stand on the capital gains tax. Of course.

But, all we have to do to connect al Qaeda to the Democratic party is google for all of those quotes by Dick Gephardt calling for Holy Jihad. You know they're out there...

It doesn't matter what toesucker Morris or backstabber Stephie said, here is what Clinton said after Oklahoma City. It was misrepresented at the time, and it is still being misrepresented now. And that still pisses me off.

We must always fight for the freedom of speech. The First Amendment, with its freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of worship, is the essence of what it means to be an American. And I dare say every elected official in this room would give his or her life to preserve that right for our children and our grandchildren down to the end of time.

But we have to remember that that freedom has endured in our nation for over 200 years because we practiced it with such responsibility; because we had discipline; because we understood from the Founding Fathers forward that you could not have very, very wide latitude in personal freedom until you also had, or unless you also had, great discipline in the exercise of that freedom.

So while I would defend to the death anyone's right to the broadest freedom of speech, I think we should all remember that words have consequences. And freedom should be exercised with responsibility. And when we think that others are exercising their freedom in an irresponsible way, it is our job to stand up and say that is wrong. We disagree. This is not a matter of partisan politics. It is not a matter of political philosophy. If we see the freedom of expression and speech abused in this country, whether it comes from the right or the left, from the media or from people just speaking on their own, we should stand up and say no, we don't believe in preaching violence; we don't believe in preaching hatred; we don't believe in preaching discord. Words have consequences.

If words did not have consequences, we wouldn't be here today. We're here today because Patrick Henry's words had consequences, because Thomas Jefferson's words had consequences, because Abraham Lincoln's words had consequences. And these words we hear today have consequences -- the good ones and the bad ones, the ones that bring us together, and the ones that drive a wedge through our heart.

We never know in this society today who is out there dealing with all kinds of inner turmoil, vulnerable to being pushed over the edge if all they hear is a relentless clamor of hatred and division. So let us preserve free speech, but let those of us who want to fight to preserve free speech forever in America say, we must be responsible and we will be.


UPDATE: Regarding the politicization of OKC, Leah says in comments:

Steffie doesn't say, in his book, which I found on a remainder table for $5.00, which is about five times what it's worth, that Morris was behind anything that Clinton said or did after the Oklahoma bombing. He mentions only that among a stream of ideas spilled out for George at his first lunch with Morris, Dick wanted to mount a campaign against domestic terrorism, i.e., go after the militia groups. Nothing Morris suggested in this regard was ever acted upon.

Clinton was roundly, and unfairly criticized for his statement, especially by true blue liberals like Mark Shield's, who said it was such a rank and unfortunate misstep on Clinton's part, almost ruining his otherwise beautifully Presidential response to Ok.City; most editorial writers followed suit, and as always, the Gingrich Republicans were shocked, shocked to find themselves once again victimized by the evil Clinton. Sack cloth and ashes? Hardly.

Drudge claims Al's running. I'm sure he is, whether or not Drudge knows.

Go Al Go!

First Norah Vincent, then Mark Steyn. I look forward to Steyn's claim that he had been listening to Bruce Bawer on Tape before he wrote and therefore his column was an unintentional homage...
Matthew Yglesias says about what I would've said in response to one of Instapundit's occasional lapses into Coulterism and also has stuff on the "multiculturalism" issue.

Update: Apparently Instapundit has decided to go Full Coulter tonight.
It's almost become accepted historical fact that the 'Ruby Ridge' incident somehow involved Janet Reno and the then governor of Arkansas. In fact, the Washington Post still says as much.

So, just as an occasional public service announcement - If you have any issues with the Ruby Ridge incident, take it up with the ATF and Justice Departments which were at the tail end of 12 years of being under Republican administrations.

This person thinks Janet was involved.

This person thinks Janet was involved.

This person thinks Janet was involved

This person thinks Janet was involved. thinks Janet was involved.

As quote by Media Research Center (top one), Newsweek thinks Janet was involved.

James Ridgeway of the Village Voice seems to think Janet was involved.

Carole Simpson at ABCNews thinks Janet was involved.

Accuracy in Media seems to think that Janet was involved.

Deroy Murdock of Cato implies, though doesn't quite state, that Janet was involved.

As do the numerous people who constantly say Waco, Ruby Ridge and Clinton and/or Reno in the same breath.

UPDATE: The point of my post was not to rehash the whole Ruby Ridge thing, or to discuss Janet Reno's after the fact involvement - merely to point out that it has become accepted fact that she was AG at the time it actually happened. But, David Neiwert said this in my ocmments:

Jay Caruso:

I realize that some people think some separatist old coot with a shack somewhere in the mountains of Idaho is a clear and present danger to the national security of the United States, but nobody was killed until they were descended upon Lou Horiuchi and his merry band of snipers.

This is factually false. Bill Degan was part of a Marshals Service surveillance team that was trying to find out why video cameras placed near the Weaver property weren't working. Weaver had been arrested once before without incident (thanks to an ingenious ruse) and they hoped to repeat the trick. Instead, it blew up in their faces when Sammy Weaver's dog Striker detected their presence.

The rest is history, of course. But Horiuchi and the rest of the FBI paramilitary team did not arrive until the next day. And that, of course, is when the affair blew even further out of control.

And while it's true that Randy Weaver himself didn't pose much of a threat to anyone's security. However, some of his friends were a different story; the reason he met that ATF informant is that they had been hanging out together at Aryan Nations, and they subsequently got together with a third friend who was plotting to kidnap Barbara Walters' daughter (no shit) and devote the proceeds to the race-war cause. Finally, the only reason the ATF wanted to squeeze him for info was that they had reason to believe Weaver's friends the Trochmanns were running guns over the Canadian border. They wanted Randy to inform for them, so they tried to squeeze him. Obviously, it didn't work.

Ruby Ridge was a gigantic clusterfuck, but don't paint Randy Weaver as the aggrieved innocent, please. As someone who lived in the neighborhood for many years, I can tell you the criminal activity that exuded from the compound at Hayden Lake fully deserved every bit of the law-enforcement scrutiny it got.

What was inexcusable was the FBI's miserable failure to assess the actual threat level correctly and to respond accordingly; instead, it let its SWAT team call all the shots, with the full backing of some very arrogant high-level bureaucrats (especially Potts), which was a recipe for disaster.

Finally, Janet Reno was not part of any "whitewash." She basically rubber-stamped Louis Freeh's internal investigation, but she also insisted on punishment for Michael Kahoe, Danny Coulson and Potts, and got it.

You shall have no other gods before Me.
You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.
You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth
generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

ah, fuck'em -- Our Christian President!
Kathy Kinsley writes on terms that have lost their meaning.

Recently (in my lifetime), people calling themselves "multiculturalists" have hijacked the word. They are now using it to mean that each culture should stay to itself, have nothing to do with its neighbors and reject any trading with or merging with other cultures.

I'd actually like to see a single example of this, as I never have. Perhaps we read different things.

The term racism used to describe the idea that another race was inferior, and to be hated or despised. It applied to anyone who judged people only according to race. It seems, nowadays, to have degenerated to mean "you don't like me". Racism, in the original sense, does exist, and should be fought. But, if I think your culture sucks bigtime, it isn't racism.

Fair enough, but the problem comes in when people start linking people to a culture because of their skin color, other cleary identifiable racial/ethnic features, or known country of origin. This is still 'racism,' if a slightly broadened version of it.

Anyone who thinks certain things should be banned to any woman or man because of their sex is a sexist. So is anyone who thinks standards should be lowered to include one sex or the other. We should start calling a sexist a sexist.

It really isn't clear what examples of this one can come up with. Perhaps there are changes in physical requirements for training programs in certain professions - military, fireman, etc. In these instances one must distinguish between physical requirements that are genuine requirements for the job and physical requirements which are simply designed to be boot-camp style physical challenges for their own sake.

Poor O'Reilly is going to hell.

NEW YORK (AP) -- There's nothing unusual about pugnacious talk show host Bill O'Reilly being in a fight. The real surprise this time is who he's fighting.

In the past two weeks, O'Reilly has come under attack from the right, from the same ideologues who helped make the Fox News Channel personality one of the most popular figures on cable television.

Earlier this month on "The O'Reilly Factor," he had a riveting confrontation with Bible-toting Stephen Bennett, a Connecticut minister who speaks out against the adoption of children by gays and lesbians.

After O'Reilly called Bennett a "religious fanatic," two conservative groups, Concerned Women for America and the American Family Association, urged its members to protest.

"I got 100 e-mails telling me I'm going to hell," O'Reilly said. "That's a little personal."

Last week, The Wall Street Journal -- normally friendly "Factor" territory -- published a column by its chief editorial writer, William McGurn, who called O'Reilly "unhinged" for his behavior toward the writer as a guest. His headline: "The Blowhard Zone."

Looks like it's "how much taxpayer money is going to be spent defending the foreign interests of our oil companies?" day.

ARAUCA, Colombia -- Under pressure from Los Angeles-based Occidental Petroleum and the U.S. government, the Colombian military has redeployed its forces to protect a key oil pipeline, leading to an explosion of violence in the undefended countryside.

The army has reassigned the majority of its troops in this war-torn province to patrol the pipeline, which is jointly owned by Occidental and the Colombian state oil company. Leftist guerrillas battling the government shut down production for a total of eight months in 2001, but this year the number of attacks on the pipeline hasplunged.

Civilians in Arauca, the province that surrounds the pipeline, have paid the price. In the absence of any sustained military presence since late last year, Colombia's violent right-wing paramilitary squads quickly moved in, unleashing a campaign of murder and terror with impunity.


Until now, U.S. aid has been limited to fighting drug trafficking. But as early as next month, the first U.S. instructors will arrive to launch a controversial training program to help Colombian soldiers program to help Colombian soldiers better protect the pipeline. The U.S. is also planning to send helicopters and improve intelligence sharing with the Colombian army.

Critics charge that the plan forces U.S. taxpayers to provide security for a private company, Occidental. And human rights groups say the local Colombian army unit, the 18th Brigade, has aided the paramilitary advance, meaning that U.S. trainers may become complicit in human rights abuses.

U.S. and Colombian officials defend the training plan, saying it will protect oil flow along the pipeline, which provides an important source of revenue for the Colombian government. The additional income from the protected pipeline will allow the Colombian government to step up efforts to combat the rebels and paramilitaries, the officials argue, as well as the drugs that flow to U.S. streets.

But once here, the U.S. troops will be stationed in barracks that suffer frequent attacks from the guerrillas.

What's the point of a show on media criticism (Howie's crapfest) which concludes that if people don't like it they should just turn it off?
Woah! I can fly!

The Matrix rocked, but...Superman?

Mebbe it's just 'cause the similarity between the names Reeve and Reeves provides some continuity..