Saturday, December 28, 2002

Roger Ailes notes that George Bush has committed 1.7 million acts of mail fraud in violation of Title 18 U.S.C. Sec. 503.
Marc Weisblott has the Worst Bloggers Awards for 2002. You have to go look just to see if you made the list! (phew!)
Just saw the new Almodovar movie Talk to Her. Was good.
Finally, my longtime guest commentator Snotglass has his own weblog! Go and check out..... Snotglass Speaks!
My post below regarding the Honest Republican test wasn't an attempt to brand the GOP as the party of Anti-Semites. Saying that they had failed the test was saying that they'd failed the test of honesty, not that they failed to be not anti-semitic. I personally think that the Republican party has purged itself of its anti-semitic demons much more successfully than it has its racist demons, though I'm amazed that people seem oblivious to some history on this issue. The John Birch society was strongly rooted in anti-semitism, and much of their core worldview revolved around the existence of a Vast Jewish Conspiracy - later somewhat repackaged in the religious right's "new world order" conspiracy theorizing of the late 80s/90s. The JBS was instrumental in helping get Reagan elected Governor of California, though he did later distance himself from them. From that time, words and phrases like "Hollywood elite" and "New York Liberals" and others were all code words for "Jews." As much as people seem to be blind about the history of racism in this country they seem doubly blind to its history of anti-Semitism. Legal housing discrimination in particular was a huge problem for a long time. And, no, I am not making this a simple partisan issue - just pointing out that these phrases do have a history of indeed being code words, whether or not those who use them today intend them to be.

I'm flabbergasted that anyone can defend Reagan's trip to Bitburg as a simple "PR blunder." To ascribe it any other motive than putting a stick in the eye of Jews everywhere baffles me, frankly, and if not anti-Semitism then what?

UPDATE: God I screwed up that post - never post on the way out the door. Couple typos fixed - in particular the first sentence in which was is changed to wasn't.

UPDATE 2: When Bonzo went to Bitburg:

About March of 1985, the Reagan White House announced that the old man would be paying a visit to West Germany. At a press conference, Reagan said he had no intention of visiting a concentration camp site. Doing so, he explained, would only guilt-trip a nation where there are "very few alive that remember even the war, and certainly none of them who were adults and participating in any way." (At the time of this statement, anyone over the age of 60 would have been an adult during part of World War II and the Holocaust.) Weeks later, the White House noted that Reagan intended to lay a wreath at a military cemetery in Germany which contained the graves of Nazi soldiers of the Waffen SS. This spurred an outcry from the American Jewish community and others. Defending the move, Reagan told reporters that the German soldiers "were victims, just as surely as the victims of the concentration camp." Holocaust chronicler Eli Wiesel urged Reagan to cancel the Bitburg stop. Inside the White House, [Pat] Buchanan, a communications (!) aide, advised Reagan to hold firm and not be pushed around by those you-know-who's. Egged on by Buchanan -- and probably others -- Reagan refused to yield. "There is no way I'll back down and run for cover," he wrote in his diary. His White House did hastily arrange a tour of the Bergen-Belsen death camp before Reagan dropped by the Bitburg cemetery for eight minutes. During the Bitburg ceremony, he cited a letter from a thirteen-year-old girl who, he claimed, had urged him to make the Bitburg stop. (In fact, she had asked him not to go there.)

For the record annoying conservatives:

Yes we know Dick Armey said he put in the Eli Lilly provision in the Homeland Security. The question is who asked and encouraged him to do so. Your failure to understand this simple point is ridiculous as always. Certain bloggers' willingness to be obtuse to kiss up to their senators is amusing, but, well, transparent.


Okay, ONE MORE TIME. This news is not new, but peoples' willingness to play dumb, or lie, or god knows what, over this issue seems unending. I posted the Clift story because it was simply news that someone in the press was fingering Frist. Hesiod was all over this story weeks go. Here's Dick Armey himself fingering Frist and the White House on this:

ARMEY: I had listened for months to people worrying about whether or not we'd have vaccinations. So I researched it. And in1998, Teddy Kennedy brought a provision that would make it possible to get vaccines. The trial lawyers had been skirting around that. I worked with Senator Frist. I had the advice of the White House. And we worked out the...

CARVILLE: I understand. But did the White House put it in?

ARMEY: There were members of the White House that wanted it. Well, you know, you really have to say it was my bill, I wrote it, I put it in. But I put it out in consultation with Senator Frist, the most well-respected doctor in Congress and the White House

CARVILLE: But the White House put it in, though. Because when you said, "it was something the White House wanted," that was true?

ARMEY: Well, it is true.

CARVILLE: It is true? The White House wanted this provision? OK. But then you said no prodding from the pharmaceutical industry or the White House. They just wanted it but they didn't prod you?

ARMEY: Well, that's right. I mean they agreed that the proposition was necessary. Now this is very important. One of the criticisms of this thing that bothers me is that it has nothing to do with homeland security. It does, in fact, have to do with us having the vaccinations that we need to protect us from the kind of insidious forces that would be brought against us. And...

CARLSON: I'm just curious, and I don't want to spend the whole show on it. How did it get in there? Was it like the immaculate conception? Or you put it in or you dropped it in?

ARMEY: I put it in.

CARVILLE: All right. I just wanted to...

ARMEY: And I never said that's not. The point is, I have had no conversation with Eli Lilly.


ARMEY: It was about the vaccinations. It was about getting...


CARVILLE: OK, that's good.

ARMEY: And I consulted with the White House.

I suppose it depends on the meaning of "in consultation with Senator Frist." Or, whatever.
Eleanor Clift fingers Frist definitely as the Eli Lilly bandit.

Photographer Herb Ritts' pneumonia was likely at least indirectly a result of his HIV+ condition. It ain't over.

Friday, December 27, 2002

Cultural Santa and Traditional Santa.

Digby sez to John:

John -

Most people don't recoil in disgust at the sight of an intelligent civil rights leader like Wade Henderson following up on a pledge from Senator Frist who said in his acceptance speech:

"We must dedicate ourselves to healing those wounds of division that have been reopened so prominently in the last few weeks," Frist said in his acceptance speech.

"I committed to work with him [Daschle], to work with members of the Democratic caucus, and I should also add independents as well, to make this Congress . . . to be one that is positive, that brings people together and that is productive."

I saw Wade Henderson on the news today and he wasn't offensive in any way. He spoke in measured tones, merely setting forth his priorities and asking for a hearing. He had some very high praise for President Bush's remarks in Philadelphia in which he said:

We must also rise to a second challenge facing our country. This great and prosperous land must become a single nation of justice and opportunity. We must continue our advance toward full equality for every citizen, which demands that a guarantee of civil rights for all.
Any suggestion that the segregated past was acceptable or positive is offensive and it is wrong. Recent comments by (Mississippi) Senator (Trent) Lott do not reflect the spirit of our country. He has apologized, and rightly so. Every day our nation was segregated was a day that America was unfaithful to our founding ideals.

And the founding ideals of our nation and, in fact, the founding ideals of the political party I represent, was and remains today the equal dignity and equal rights of every American.

And this is the principle that guides my administration: We will not and we must not rest until every person, of every race, believes in the promise of America because they see it in their own eyes, with their own eyes, and they live it and feel it in their own lives.

That you and others react with such extreme emotional (and rather obviously crude) rhetoric to something as innocuous as black leaders responding to these words in a serious way is the very reason that the Republicans are in deep shit on this issue. Wade Henderson doesn't sound like the shrill, unreasonable, mau-mauing overreactor. You do.

Interesting Times posts a scan of the missing (online) CNN-Time poll.
While searching for some other things I found this statement by League of the South president Michael Hill regarding 9/11:

"In part, these events sprang from an 'open borders' policy that has for the past four decades encouraged massive Third World immigration and thus cultural destabilization. ... This is America's wake-up call to forsake its idolatry and to return to its true Christian and Constitutional foundations."

The League of the South is the organization with which Washington Times Assistant National Editor Robert Stacy McCain is involved. I wonder if Andrew Sullivan, Moonie Times contributor, should say something about this.

Civil Rights Groups Press Frist

on..Civil Rights!

WASHINGTON -- A coalition of leading civil rights, religious and labor groups plans to ask the new Senate majority leader, Republican Bill Frist of Tennessee, to translate his party's pledges of inclusiveness into policy changes. That could trigger a backlash from Republicans who want the party to stay its conservative course.


The group wants Frist to:

* Oppose five of President Bush (news - web sites)'s 15 federal judicial nominees who were left in limbo when Congress adjourned in November: Charles Pickering of Mississippi, Priscilla Owen of Texas, Carolyn Kuhl of California, Terrence Boyle of North Carolina and Jeffrey Sutton of Ohio. They have ''records of deep hostility to core civil rights principles,'' the Leadership Conference contended. Supporters of the five say they are being opposed because they are conservative.

* Support legislation that would encourage federal investigations and prosecutions of hate crimes -- acts believed to have been prompted by race, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation or disability. Most Senate Republicans have opposed the hate-crimes legislation on the grounds that all violent crimes are heinous, regardless of the motivation.

* Support funds for election reform. In October, Bush signed legislation that requires states to improve their voting procedures. So far, however, none of the $3.8 billion needed has been approved. ''That's a real betrayal of a commitment,'' Henderson said.

Sounds about right to me.
Josh Marshall proposes the Honest Republican Anti-Semitism Substitution Test.

What Josh doesn't realize is that they were all failing that test for years. The CCC to which Lott and Ashcroft have links isn't tops on the ADL's list either, given their association with Christian Identity and other anti-semitists. Conservatives all ran for cover when Paul Weyrich made his "Jews Killed Jesus" comment, and lined up to join the metaphorical firing squad against Evan Gahr. Similarly, when John Ashcroft spoke at Bob Jones University and claimed that "we have no King but Jesus," he didn't stop there

“My mind thinking about that [phrase, “no king but Jesus”] once raced back a couple of thousand years when [Roman governor Pontius] Pilate stepped before the people of Jerusalem and said, ‘Whom would ye that I release unto you? Barabbas? Or Jesus, which is called the Christ?’ And when they said, ‘Barabbas,’ he [Pilate] said, ‘But what about Jesus? King of the Jews?’ And the outcry was, ‘We have no king but Caesar’.”

In the Bob Jones speech, Ashcroft then contrasted this supposed outcry of the Jews of Jerusalem with the supposed principle behind the American Revolution. Ashcroft said:

“There’s a difference between a culture that has no king but Caesar, no standard but the civil authority, and a culture that has no king but Jesus, no standard but the eternal authority. When you have no king but Caesar, you release Barabbas – criminality, destruction, thievery, the lowest and the least. When you have no king but Jesus, you release the eternal, you release the highest and the best.”

The anti-semitism in Bush's campaign was also widely ignored. Taped calls were made attacking Warren Rudman in ways he considered to be anti-Semitic. Marvin Olasky, a Bush regular, referred to Jewish journalists as followers of the "religion of Zeus" with "holes in their souls." Bush himself is reported to have quipped that upon arriving in Israel he would tell all the Jews they were going to hell. And, of course we cannot forget Reagan's laying of the wreath at a memorial for Nazi Soldiers at Bitburg.

Great, Faith-Based Medicine

and, why does it always seem to be "wimmen's problems" that require faith-based help...

WASHINGTON — A physician who has been criticized for his views on birth control was named to a Food and Drug Administration panel
on women's health policy.

Dr. W. David Hager, a University of Kentucky obstetrician-gynecologist, was among 11 physicians appointed Tuesday to the FDA's Advisory Committee for
Reproductive Health Drugs.

Hager has sought to reverse the panel's 1996 recommendation that led to approval of the abortion pill, RU-486, has condemned the birth-control pill and acknowledges he is anti-abortion.

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America on Tuesday called the appointment of Hager and other doctors on the panel a "a frontal assault on reproductive rights that will imperil women's health."

It said Hager and his wife, Linda, have recommended "specific Scripture readings and prayers for such ailments as headaches and premenstrual syndrome."

More on this lunatic misogynist:

With his wife, Linda, he wrote "Stress and the Woman's Body," which puts "an emphasis on the restorative power of Jesus Christ in one's life" and recommends Scripture readings to treat headaches (Matthew 13:44-46); eating disorders (Corinthians II, 10:2-5) and premenstrual syndrome (Romans 5:1-11, "Tribulation worketh patience.")

To exorcise affairs, the Hagers suggest a spiritual exercise: "Picture Jesus coming into the room. He walks over to you and folds you gently into his arms. He tousles your hair and kisses you gently on the cheek. . . . Let this love begin to heal you from the inside out."

Grab a cup of coffee, and head over for the long-promised Top 20 most annoying conservatives list.
Sam Heldman on Marion Berry.

In those days in Alabama, and I would infer that the same was true in the state of Tennessee next door, Marion Barry was not a bad Mayor; he was a bad Black Mayor. There was a glee in white discussions of him that you simply won't find today in Alabama in a discussion of the white Mayor of Providence or the white Jim Traficant even if you can stir up a conversation about those guys. In the South in 1994 -- and to a large extent in the South today -- Marion Barry was joyfully exuberant code for "I told you so! Can't trust 'em! Whatchoo gonna say now, Mr. Liberal?" Anyone who tells you otherwise is either unfamiliar with the local dialect, or is trying to make excuses.

Yes. On a related note, just what do people think OJ mania was all about, anyway?

Cry me a river....

U.S. Fights Request by Former WorldCom Official to Move Trial


Prosecutors asked a federal judge in Manhattan not to transfer the securities-fraud trial of Scott D. Sullivan, the former chief financial officer of WorldCom, to another location, disputing his claim that he could not afford to defend himself in New York City.

Mr. Sullivan is accused of orchestrating a multibillion-dollar accounting fraud that drove WorldCom, the nation's second-largest long-distance company, into filing for bankruptcy protection. Prosecutors urged the judge to deny Mr. Sullivan's request to transfer the case to Washington. An assistant United States attorney, David Anders, disputed Mr. Sullivan's claim that a Manhattan trial would impose a financial hardship.

In court papers, he cited Mr. Sullivan's $19 million pay package in 1997 and $45.3 million that he received from selling shares of WorldCom.

"Sullivan's financial means are far from modest," Mr. Anders wrote in papers that contested a request to move the trial. He is building a $15 million, five-building compound, with a movie theater and swimming pool, in Boca Raton, Fla., Mr. Anders said.
Matthew Yglesias fisks the fiskers. Do they ever tire of looking foolish?
TAPPED says that it's wrong for the NAACP et. al to turn every issue they support into a civil rights issue. I say the Republicans mobilize opposition to all of these issues by covertly making them about race. If they're going to do that, now is a good time to call them on it. It's silly to pretend these things aren't about race when they are. Or, the CBC and NAACP can do their best to be invisible in an attempt to neutralize this element of the Southern Strategy.

No one's advocating screaming "racist" every time someone opposes the NAACP agenda. However, contrary to what TAPPED says, most of these issues are actually civil rights issues.

After a cup of coffee and reading what they wrote again - I think there's less actual distance between us. But, emphasis in these things matters. I find it absolutely maddening that in the wake of the Trent Lott affair so much ink is spilt on the issue of whether the NAACP, the CBC, and the Democrats in general are going to "overplay the race card." Screw that - it's time to point out the obvious - the Republicans have been overplaying the goddamn race card for years. The media has ignored it. Most Democrats have ignored it. It's time to yell it from the rooftops. Let's spend some time wondering when the Republicans are going to stop playing the race card. Let's spend some time wondering when any right wing politician or pundit is going to demonstrate even the slightest degree of moral and intellectual consistency and denounce John Ashcroft, whose record is far worse than Lott's. Let's stop pretending the confederate flag issue - and the entire neoconfederate movement behind it - isn't mostly about extending a giant middle finger to the African American community. Let's stop playing into the fake notion that Democrats are always exploiting race. Democrats are always desperately running from racial issues - and they should stop.

Thursday, December 26, 2002

Avedon Carol discusses The Good Guys and the Rising.
Drudge says first clone has been born. And it's a girl. At least that rules out this:

War Liberal discovers the right flank of the fifth column.
Liberal Oasis notes there's been a big drop in W's approval numbers in an oddly ignored Time/CNN poll.

One of the reason I believe the spiritual door was opened for an attack against the United States of America is that the policy of our government has been to ask the Israelis, and demand it with pressure, not to retaliate in a significant way against the terrorist strikes that have been launched against them.

-Senator Inhofe, March 2002
Zizka has a variety of interesting stuff up that I've neglected to link to.
I have to admit this is funny.
Justice, Ken Starr style.

She started out at the Faulkner County Jail in Conway, Ark., where she says the only book she was allowed was the King James Bible, she had to sleep on a mat on the floor, and the food was almost inedible -- but that was the best she would ever have it. Transferred to a federal medical prison in Fort Worth, she says, she was housed on a floor reserved for patients with mental illness. When she asked why, she writes, she was told that "the authorities apparently feared that if I was put in the prison camp, I would be more susceptible to a helicopter rescue!"

Then she went to the Sybil Brand Institute for Women in Los Angeles, where she was told she was getting assigned to the "high-profile" wing. She found herself on Murderers' Row, placed on lockdown status, which meant she was only allowed out of her cell for one hour a day. The explanation she says she was given? "It's for your own protection."

She was kept there for eight months, then moved to a Los Angeles County jail called Twin Towers. There, still on lockdown, she was kept in a plexiglass cell that was soundproof, so she could watch the other prisoners go about their lives, but could not hear anything except her own voice. She says she was let out for one hour a day, but not allowed to mingle with the other inmates. Guards sometimes forgot to bring her meals, she says, and ignored her when she pressed the buzzer that was her only way to contact the outside world. She remained there three weeks.
Take the Roger Ailes year in review quiz.
For me, the Patty Murray flap just adds a bunch more people to my "too stupid and/or dishonest to bother with" list. Tom Spencer has some comments.

But, isn't it interesting that Reynolds hasn't commented on the Tulia situation. For someone nominally opposed to the drug war, it's fascinating that google searches of his current and old websites for "tulia" found nothing. What can we conclude from this omission?*

*Deliberate Glennuendo.

Herbert Gives us a Tulia Update

Remember this story? Some shithead cop decided to frame a big chunk of a town's black residents? (over half of the black adult population were arrested)

Here's some background in case the 24/7 coverage of this by the afro-centric media didn't reach you.



But, work to do! Must write Fox News column on how individual gun ownership can prevent government tyrrany.

UPDATE: Charles Kuffner has more.
Talk Left has much to be annoyed about on Boxing Day.

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

Scheer pounds Dr. Laura

Merry Xmas All.

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Well, at least she apologized..

KNOXVILLE (AP) -- The Tennessee Republican Party chairman says she has apologized to Buddhist and Hindu organizations for a piece of party campaign literature.

The mailer was intended as an attack on Governor-Elect Phil Bredesen and carried the headline, "What's Next? Sacred Cows?"

It criticized Bredesen for second-grade public school curriculum adopted when he was mayor of Nashville. The lessons include a mention of Hinduism and Buddhism. Bredesen represented Tennessee values.

Not from the Onion

MONTGOMERY Gov.-elect Bob Riley's inauguration festivities feature special events for women and children and pays homage to heroes of the civil rights movement and the Civil War.

(via War Liberal).
I made the post below when I was annoyed and on my way out the door. Not that I don't completely stand by the sentiment expressed therein, but it could use a bit of explanation.

The ideas expressed by Tapped and Hesiod to me represent the worst kind of paternalistic liberalism that Democrats are often accused of. They presume to tell an interest group when it should pursue its agenda and what that agenda should be. While good advice can be just that - good advice - in this case it sounds like the kind of advice some of our right-leaning friends regularly give democrats generally. You know, "if only the democrats would pursue *these* policies, in *this* way, then maybe I would like them."

In addition, I wonder if those dispensing the advice really have a clue what, say, the NAACP's agenda is. One of the big myths in politics - widely disseminated and believed by those on the left and right - is that all organizations such as the NAACP are concerned with are affirmative action type programs. This is the story our media peddles. In fact, if one looks at the NAACP legislative scorecard, the one referred to in the Washington Post article, to see why Senators such as Lott and First receive an 'F,' one realizes that the NAACP agenda is pretty much the agenda of most in the Democratic party. Votes the NAACP used to make the scorecard included the Ashcroft confirmation, Title I funding for poor schools, reducing class sizes by providing federal money to hire teachers, school construction money, forcing full Pell grant and Head Start funding, the Senate Patients Bill of Rights, the confirmation of Robert Gregory, the extension of unemployment benefits, various election reform proposals, and increases in global AIDS funding.

These issues aren't exactly on the fringes, and nor are most of them explicitly about race - and definitely not explicitly about race-based affirmative action or quotas or anything like that. But, how they are about race is that many of the issues are ones in which there are current racial imbalances in public policy and spending. If the moment when the Senate Majority Leader steps down due to his embrace of the racist segregationist Thurmond campaign isn't the time for black politicians and the NAACP to point out that minorities are getting shafted disproportionately by imbalances in education funding, by election shenanigans, by inequities in the health care system, and by recent increases in unemployment (up from about 7.6% to 11% among African-Americans compared to 6% average) - when exactly is that time?

Both due to actual racism and simply the diminished political power of the less economically advantaged generally, the interest group the NAACP represents is getting shafted. Part of the reason they're getting shafted is that certain politicians link support of those policies with support of giving handouts to African-Americans, while pushing the apocryphal notion that the federal government is taxing the hell out of Mississippians to pay for Head Start programs for black kids in Chicago. Ditto unemployment benefits. Ditto medicaid. These politicians are the ones who make these issues about race, not the NAACP or the CBC .

And, rather than hiding in the back waiting to be called up to the podium, they should stand up and fight without expecting to be tut-tutted by the liberal punditocracy.
TAPPED tells black politicians not to get too uppity.

Durable Goods Orders Fall

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. durable goods orders fell unexpectedly last month as demand weakened for a wide range of long-lasting manufactured goods, the government said on Tuesday in a report that underscored businesses' reluctance to spend.

Orders for durable goods -- costly items intended to last three years or more -- slid 1.4 percent in November after a revised 1.7 percent October rise, the Commerce Department said.

The report, which showed drops in orders for most categories of durable goods, was much weaker than expected on Wall Street, where economists were looking for a 0.7 percent gain. The dollar dropped on the data.

not good.
Dwight Meredith teaches about Republican tolerance.
Mark Kleiman has some further comments on Frist's book.

Monday, December 23, 2002

Politics in the Zeros has the latest on the INS shenanigans. They've hit Houston and Cleveland too. The ACLU is pretty panicked - and though I'm not surprised they're on "this side" you usually don't see them being quite this alarmist.

WASHINGTON – In a development that confirms the American Civil Liberties Union’s initial fears about a controversial immigrant fingerprinting and registration program, the Immigration and Naturalization Service is apparently using the program as a pretext for the mass detention of hundreds of Middle Eastern and Muslim men and boys.

"Given the evidence, there is no alarmism in saying this is a round-up," said Lucas Guttentag, Director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. "Attorney General Ashcroft is using the immigrant registration program to lock up people who already have provided extensive information as part of their green card applications," he said. "Therefore the purpose is clearly not to get information but rather to selectively arrest, detain and deport Middle Eastern and Muslim men in the United States."

(via Talk Left.)
Interesting. Bill Schneider just said that Eli Lilly had purchased thousands of copies of Frist's book to distribute to their clients.
Mormons cut hundreds of jobs.
A table everyone should read.
From Newsmax's email:

NewsMax Washington correspondent Wes Vernon cites well-sourced information that movers and shakers in the GOP told Lott that if he resigns from the Senate in an act of petulance over losing his leadership post, he can forget about offers of cushy corporate jobs in private life.

Usually, a former United States senator can write his own ticket after he leaves. Some were determined to deny that option to Trent Lott if his departure resulted in a Democrat Senate.

Jeebus, even Newsmax thinks we're in a corporatist plutocracy.
Those bastards at Dell actualy sent me a new power supply pretty quickly...back to the 'ole laptop. Now my Blogs will be back at Full Strength.

And, yes I know they're an evil republican company, but I didn't buy the thing..
Wal-mart guilty.


And JP Morgan has some problems...

In a potentially pivotal court ruling, a federal judge in Manhattan will allow the insurers to introduce into evidence a series of email messages in which a J.P. Morgan executive refers to its dealings with Enron as a "disguised loan."

The judge's decision is a major blow to J.P. Morgan, because the insurers' main contention has been that the bank deceived them into writing a $1 billion insurance policy for the transaction, which was the subject of a heated congressional hearing this summer.

The insurers have refused to honor the policy, contending a series of so-called prepay oil and gas transactions involving J.P. Morgan, Enron and offshore company called Mahonia were really "disguised" bank loans to Enron and not actual contracts to transfer energy shipments.

And the emails that U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff is going to permit the insurers to present to the jury -- which began hearing evidence in the case two weeks ago -- would seem to be devastating to J.P. Morgan's legal position.

"A reasonable juror could find these emails highly probative of the defendants' central contention that Chase knew the prepays here in issue, when coupled with other aspects allegedly not disclosed to the defendants ... were really loans that were being disguised," the judge said in a 10-page ruling, issued prior to the resumption of testimony in the trial.

In one of the emails, a bank executive writes: "Legal says don't list it as a loan." In another, the financing deals with Enron are described this way: "I have asked for a thorough review of disguised loans. I know Commodities, under the heading of'prepaid' has a whole bunch." The person writing the emails was Donald Layton, a senior bank executive, who may be called to testify if the emails are introduced into evidence.

Josh Marshall gives the Mickster a good spanking.

And they said chivalry was dead...

Lisa McNulty writes to the Rittenhouse Review.

Rove gets a Fineman

This bit is interesting, however:

Rove doesn’t need a picture to prove his ties to George W. Bush. He’s been at his boss’s side since 1973, the “boy genius” strategist who masterminded Bush’s rise to the top and whose job it is now to keep him there.

1973 is Bush's "lost year." He didn't enter politics until 1978.
Cleveland Plain Dealer on Christian Reconstructionist Ahmanson.

I wrote about this guy here.

Public Eye has some more.
Top 10 things the Sunday Shows ignored about Bill Frist.
Neo-Confederate secessionist supporting racist Robert Stacy McCain has an article in the Washington Times today.

Sunday, December 22, 2002

Alas, A Blog gives us another INS roundup update. (I swear, I try to find these stories but only Ampersand seems to have them...) Short version is not that many men are left in detention, though there are still "conflicting reports"(lies) about how many had actually been arrested in the first place. The good news is, as Charles Dodgson points out, that INS seems to be acting a bit embarrassed by the whole thing.

Either Michael Medved Wrote This...

Or I've had a hell of a lot to drink tonight.

Meanwhile, Sean Hannity on his Fox News program reminded viewers: "We have back in October of this year, William Jefferson Clinton, in Arkansas saying wonderful things, what a remarkable man J. William Fulbright, former senator from Arkansas is, a known segregationist. He gave him the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award, a known segregationist, one of 19 senators who issued a statement entitled 'The Southern Manifesto,' condemning the '54 Supreme Court decision of Brown vs. Board of Education, defending segregation. Why hasn't anyone condemned Bill Clinton for doing far worse than what Trent Lott has done here?"

The answer to that question is easy – because Clinton's praise for his former mentor, Fulbright, never emphasized or even cited his segregationist record, but stressed his better known service as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. No one objected to Clinton honoring Fulbright, just as no one protested Lott's praise of Strom Thurmond, the man. In fact, many Democratic senators offered their own fulsome tributes to their elderly colleague, and expressed overall respect for his long career. But only Trent Lott specifically endorsed Thurmond's disgraceful third-party presidential adventure, and expressed the wish that a segregationist had captured the White House.

Military Pay Hike Rollback

The director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., recently asked the Defense Department to lower the 2004 pay raise from its expected 3.7 percent to 2 percent. Daniels also wants future raises tied to inflation, rather than basing boosts on what civilians doing comparable jobs in the private sector might make.

Slick Willie, come back...

I do not presume to speak for the military, but I am now speaking to them,” Cheney said. “To all of our men and women in uniform, and to their parents and families: Help is on the way!” - during the '00 campaign

Gary Farber's back after a semi-hiatus.

Brief movie reviews

Saw Star Trek Nemesis. You feel like if someone with half a brain had spent 15 minutes doing some script doctoring it would've actually been a really good movie. But, since we never really know why any of the characters do anything that they do, the whole thing feels pointless.

Two Towers was great - though the first 15 minutes were confusing and clumsy, but after that it was impressive. Never seen CGI/live interaction handled as well as they did with Gollum.
provide your own caption

(real one here)
Lott's a martyr.

Asked in an interview with The Associated Press whether he was disappointed in a lack of support from President Bush in keeping his post, Lott said:

"I don't think there's any use in trying to say I'm disappointed in anybody or anything. An inappropriate remark brought this down on my head."

However, he said there were those who had been gunning for his resignation.

"There are some people in Washington who have been trying to nail me for a long time," Lott said. "When you're from Mississippi and you're a conservative and you're a Christian, there are a lot of people that don't like that. I fell into their trap and so I have only myself to blame."

He wouldn't say who those political enemies were.

Talking outside his home here, Lott again said his comments at Sen. Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday party were not malicious and he repeated his pledge to turn the experience into positive action as he finishes his term in the Senate.

"I feel very strongly about my faith. God has put this burden on me, I believe he'll show me a way to turn it into a good," Lott said.

David Broder thinks blowjob=advocating segregation. Ah, that liberal media.
I don't think I've made clear why the Frist/HCA/abortion issue is, well, an issue.

First, it's clear that Frist is no ideological anti-choicer, he's an opportunistic one. This is another way of saying he lies about it. Fair enough. As a pro-choice person that could be a good thing, but it also mean he's willing to play politics with women's health issues which is rather repugnant.

Second, to the extent that he's advocated for government restrictions on abortion (and he has adopted the morally unsound position that it's only okay in case of rape, incest, or the when the life of the mother is in danger), this is another example of public morality differing from private morality. It frankly isn't much different than advocating a legal anti-choice position, then driving your wife to the abortion clinic. For the First family business to be, partially, an abortion provider without him taking a public stand on the issue implies he puts profits over his morality. While I am glad that Columbia hospitals will do abortion procedures unlike, say, Catholic hospitals, this doesn't change the inherent moral cowardice, from Frist's supposed perspective.

On balance, I'd rather have a fake pro-life senate majority leader than a real one, but the anti-choice movement has had much success in recent years. In some states there are only one or two abortion providers - which means it is almost impossible for most women to obtain real health care. The rhetorical legitimization of this position, especially from someone who is essentially lying about their moral stance, is in itself damaging.
I notice many of you have been doing your holiday shopping at the last minute...naughty naughty... but, thanks for throwing a few nickles my way by using the amazon link.

There's no place on earth that Amina Budri would rather be than America.

Against the altered political landscapes of her Afghan homeland and that of her chosen land – and despite the uniform welcome that the rest of her family received here – federal immigration authorities in North Texas are poised to banish the 29-year-old to a nation long foreign to her and a culture hostile to solitary women.

Ms. Budri, alone among nine siblings in failing to secure political asylum in the United States or Canada, was granted a temporary delay Thursday from immediate deportation.

She remains under order to return to Afghanistan, however, unless she wins a new review of her case, including evidence of her family's Afghan political ties that apparently was never considered by an immigration court.

If someone sees the follow up to this, make sure you bring it to my attention please.

(via Alas, a Blog)

Where I used to live there were a large number of immigrants - legal - from Cape Verde. A problem was that some of the younger ones - who had been in the U.S. since they were small children and were now young adults - were being deported back to Cape Verde after committing minor crimes. Many of them spoke no Portugese.
Wartime speech codes have apparently been instituted by decree from Tennessee.

Whistleblowers "Man"of the Year

NEW YORK (AP) - The FBI agent who wrote a scathing memo on FBI intelligence failures and women who blew the whistle on corruption at corporate giants Enron and WorldCom were named Sunday as Time magazine's Persons of the Year.

The magazine's editors chose Coleen Rowley, Cynthia Cooper and Sherron Watkins "for believing - really believing - that the truth is one thing that must not be moved off the books, and for stepping in to make sure that it wasn't.