Saturday, January 11, 2003

Uggabugga diagrams the Pickering issue.

They key points on the cross burning trial are that Pickering approved a plea bargain that two out of the 3 defendants agreed to. He later was upset that the third defendant, who decided to go to trial, got a longer sentence than the "ringleader," despite the fact that the potability for receiving a higher sentence at trial is one of the foundations of the plea bargaining system. He was additionally upset that the juvenile "ringleader" was getting a smaller sentence because he supposedly subsequently (after the plea bargain) found out that the defendant had previously fired a gun into the house of the couple in question even though this information is present in the trial transcript during the defendant's plea. And, while you would think this would just make him regret his decision to accept the plea of a low sentence, he instead decided to somewhat inappropriately pursue a lower sentence for the third defendant.

Tavis Smiley

Speaking at the 13th annual awards banquet for the Magnolia Bar Association and the Magnolia Bar Foundation Inc. on Friday night, Smiley, 38, criticized President Bush's decision to resubmit Mississippi trial judge Charles Pickering Sr. for a seat on the federal appeals court.

"There is no way for me to say this to you other than what Mr. Bush did was the political equivalent of giving black America his middle finger," Smiley said. "He did that because he thinks he can get away with."

Yes. More like this.
CalPundit tells us about guns.

Gun enthusiasts keep telling us that what we really need to do is enforce existing laws, not create new ones. Then shouldn't we reform the BATF and give them the power and funding they need to enforce the law? Or do we only do that for laws that we like?

And here CalPundit notes that John Lott is a bit of a fraud.

Actually, I have no doubt that John Lott is a total fraud. While I haven't read "More Guns, Less Crime," I have read his work on Florida voting in election 2000 which is about the most transparently deliberately fraudulent piece of "research" I have ever seen. So, supporters of his work be warned - you are supporting a fraud.

And, the manufacturing of fraudulent research intended to obfuscate the disenfranchisement of thousands of voters, disproportionately minority, makes him anti-American and a racist, too.

Oh, and Roger Ailes has more on guns with an assist from Mac Diva.

Ailes takes on Kaus.
New Horse.
Ryan issues blanket commutation

You go girl.
Let's put one myth to bed. One of the defenses of Charles Pickering, meant to highlight his supposedly enlightened past, was that Picking testified against the Klan at a atrial. The implied assumption in all tellings of this tale is that Pickering was testifying against the Klan in a case which involved violence or other activities against African-Americans. The truth we now know (thanks to Nathan Newman) is that Pickering was testifying in a trial due to his concern about violence by one group of segregationist assholes (the Klan) against another. The violence, including the bombing of a staunchly pro-segregation newspaper, was against other members of the White establishment, segregationist to the core, who objected to the Klan's tactics and extremism (by the standards of the time), and more importantly their choice of targets, if not their basic beliefs as this passage makes clear:

It was Henry Bucklew, the mayor of Laurel and a top official in segregationist Alabama Gov. George Wallace’s presidential campaign, who had rallied the White establishment to take on the Klan, mostly for safety and economic reasons. He was quoted in one 1966 news account: “I am a segregationist but I’m not a criminal. For that reason, I’m going to accept the law.”

A group of law enforcement officials, including Jones County Attorney Pickering, issued a statement expressing the same sentiment. According to “Clear Burning,” the statement read: “…While we believe in continuing our Southern way of life and realize that outside agitators have caused much turmoil and racial hatred, let there be no misunderstanding, we oppose such activities, but law and order must prevail.”

The article also makes clear that Pickering himself has brought up the "testified against the Klan" issue to mount a defense against his opponents. Can the liberal media please stop trumpeting this as a defense of anything other than the fact that Pickering didn't want his white friends being attacked?

This truth of this story both undercuts what little defense he had, as well as demonstrates his willingess to be extraordinarily dishonest to cover up his past. Who has played the race card here?

Testy, testy...

"Journalists escorted into a Cabinet meeting on Monday were allowed just four questions. On Wednesday, the media were ushered in at the beginning of a session with congressional leaders from both parties. Bush tersely informed them that no questions would be welcomed.

"I'm going to have a statement and then we'll ask you to leave so we can get down to our business," he said. After his statement and the signing of legislation extending federal unemployment benefits, he reiterated the point. "Get out of the room as quickly as you came in," he said.

Friday, January 10, 2003

Happy Imbeciles At War

This is not a war. Iraq will not be a war. Do we understand this? We do not seem to understand this. This is heavily corporatized power brokers killing each other for oil and capital. Oh yes it is.

Let's be perfectly clear. You cannot have a war when the so-called enemy has done nothing to provoke you and is absolutely no threat to your national safety and has no significant military force and has negligible chance of even setting off a firecracker near your own overwhelming death machines, and whose only weapons of minimal destruction are the rusty short-range warheads and biochemical agents we sold him 20 years ago, and kept selling to him, even after we knew he was gassing his own people.

You cannot have a war when there is nothing to fight against, when it's essentially going to be a huge U.S. military stomping/bombing exercise, when, just like Afghanistan, we stand to suffer zero U.S. casualties (except for those we seem to kill ourselves), and we just bomb and bomb and kill and kill and shrug.

Max notes Bush's Moonie appointment as well.
Take Back the Media gives you Mr. Mean.
David Neiwert says "Americans who accuse their fellow citizens of sympathizing with the enemy merely for dissenting from the nation's war aims are objectively anti-democratic."


Click the link, there's more.
Nathan Newman tells us about Pickering's heroic testimony against the Klan, which involved concern about Klan violence against whites, not blacks.

Here is the lengthy transcript in its entirety:

Defense Counsel: Do you know of Sam Bowers’ reputation in the community?
Pickering: Yes.

Defense Counsel: Is it good or bad?
Pickering: It’s bad.

Defense Counsel: Do you know that Sam Bowers teaches Sunday School?
Pickering: Yes.

Defense Counsel: Thank you. That will be all.

Newman concludes:

For this he's supposed to get a pass on protesting desegregation in 1964 and leaving the Democratic Party?

[leaving the democratic party was part of the protest]

UPDATE: To be fair, there may be prosecution testimony as well. Or not. It isn't clear.

In any case - the major point is that this much lauded case had nothing to do with Pickering standing up for the black community, but it was instead just one bunch of segregationist assholes against another.
Damn, thanks to all the people who bought stuff for me. How cool is that?

Amazon doesn't tell me when you do, so I can't thank you personally unless you tell me...
WyethWire factchecks Andy.

Moonie Friday

I missed Moonie Monday, so let's make this Mooonie Friday with this great quote provided by Moonwatcher.

Moon teaches the doctrine of indemnity. It is the belief that only by working and providing good spiritual conditions that past sins can be erased. Moon made this reference to the Holocaust in 1974.

"By killing one man, Jesus, the Jewish people had to suffer for 2000 years. Countless numbers of people have been slaughtered. During the Second World War, 6 million people were slaughtered to cleanse all the sins of the Jewish people from the time of Jesus." (MASTER SPEAKS 2/14/74)

Now go back to your regularly scheduled Howell Raines bashing.
MWO sums up the Pickering case pretty well and time is running out on Whore of the Year!
Make sure to read David Newiert's new blog Orcinus.

Oh, and go buy his book.

$1.97 per pack cigarette tax

A $1.10-per-pack hike in cigarette taxes, up to $1.97, which would give California the largest tobacco tax in the nation. The increase would bring in $1.2 billion a year toward Davis' goal of erasing a total projected budget deficit of $34.8 billion.

Wow. I had to read 5 articles to make sure that it was "$1.10 tax hike" and not "tax hike to $1.10."

Current Moonie News

AmeriCorps has hired three top officials, with John Foster-Bey, who worked with nonprofit youth programs and more recently has been at the Urban Institute, tapped to run AmeriCorps' largest operation, the state and national program. David L. Caprara, a Bush I Housing and Urban Development Department official and Virginia state official and more recently head of the American Family Coalition, a Rev. Sun Myung Moon-affiliated group, was named director of VISTA; and Wendy Zenker, a long-time Department of Education official and most recently the chief operating officer at the Corporation for National and Community Service, takes over as head of the National Civilian Community Corps.

Here's more on David Caprara:

One key to Moon’s success is a longtime political operative named David Caprara. Caprara, a Unification Church member and former assistant secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development under Jack Kemp, is well connected in the nation’s capital and serves Moon in various overlapping capacities.

Caprara serves as president of the American Family Coalition, a Moon front group, as well as representing The Washington Times Foundation. He recently accepted an appointment to serve on an advisory council that Watts put together in advance of the GOP "faith-based" summit. The Washington Times Foundation then arranged to broadcast the event live via satellite to dozens of communities.

Caprara also runs The Empowerment Network, a public policy organization that promotes "faith-based" and family solutions to societal problems. Two U.S. senators, Santorum and Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), serve as caucus chairmen of the organization. Its "Empowerment Leadership Roundtable" lists two men who have gone to work in Bush’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives – Stanley Carlson-Thies and Don Eberly.

Through operatives like Caprara, Moon keeps a steady hand in Washington and thus in national affairs. Moon is able to open other doors through infusions of cold, hard cash when necessary. For example, many of the ministers who attended the "We Will Stand" events were given gold Christian Bernard wristwatches estimated to cost thousands of dollars apiece.
It's all about "oil security."
Hey, the Moonies still have racist bigot, avowed secessionist, and League of the South member Robert Stacy McCain

My favorite quote by Mr. McCain:

[T]he media now force interracial images into the public mind and a number of perfectly rational people react to these images with an altogether natural revulsion. The white person who does not mind transacting business with a black bank clerk may yet be averse
to accepting the clerk as his sisterinlaw, and THIS IS NOT RACISM, no matter what Madison Avenue, Hollywood and Washington tell us.

Of course, given the Reverend Moon's pro-miscegenation agenda through his mass assigned marriages, one has to ask how Mr. McCain feels about working for HIM. Ah, so confusing...

Anyway, I wonder if Mr. McCain has a new login over at the Free Republic. All his posts mysteriously disappeared...

UPDATE: A reader wants to know what's up with this "Moonie Times" thing.

Well, the Washington Times is owned by the Reverend Moon of the Unification Church. He has reportedly spent over a billion dollars since the early 80s keeping the thing afloat.

For more Moon information see here and here.
Here's what he says about the Times on its 15th anniversary..

And reports on its 20th are here, and here.

More Pickering Lies

Apparently he denied that his partner was a segregationist.

Pickering also denied that former Mississippi Lt. Gov. Carroll Gartin, who was Pickering's law partner from 1961 to 1971, was a segregationist. But Pickering changed that tune when Durbin waved copies of an old campaign ad. It showed Gartin waving a pen with which, he declares in the ad, he "will veto any effort to weaken our defenses around our Southern way of life."

Pickering said he believed Gartin was "trying to move the state forward and still stay in politics." Right. Sometimes you have to go along to get ahead.


Pickering initially decried descriptions of Gartin as a segregationist. But he admitted Gartin had made "racist statements" after Durbin waved copies of an old campaign ad showing Gartin waving a pen that he said he had used to sign Mississippi's segregation laws.

As I said before, he could have escaped his past had he tried. His lies on this subject do nothing to inspire confidence. He knows full well what his past political life was like. He's had ample opportunity to be up front about it and renounce his past associations, positions, and views. However, he's continued to obfuscate. I suppose being honest would have prevented him from moving the state forward while still staying in politics. Hah.

Damn, E.J. Dionne is waking up

Or consider the ruling of Judge John D. Bates in December declaring that Congress's General Accounting Office -- and thus the public -- had no right to learn the specifics about meetings between Vice President Cheney's famous energy task force and various energy executives and lobbyists. The same John Bates, an appointee of the current president, was an attorney for Ken Starr's Whitewater investigation and pushed hard (and successfully) for the release of various White House documents related to Hillary Rodham Clinton's activities.

"When that guy was working for Ken Starr, he wanted to go open the dresser drawers of the White House," said Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the ranking Democrat on the Judiciary Committee. "I guess it's a lot different when it's a Republican vice president." Such suspicions of partisanship in the judiciary are corrosive because, unfortunately, they are now plausible.

Saletan notes that the press keeps reporting the evidence even though there is no evidence.

101,000 jobs lost

Not to worry! Bush himself says that his stimulus plan will create 190,000 new jobs over the next couple of years!
Minute Man notes Sully has some problem with the facts.

Jesse has more.

Moonie Times says - Jews not cool!

(via Roger Ailes).
Howler notes that Bush is bold, the plan is bold, it's full of boldness, and the pundits just parrot RNC talking points. Did I mention bold?
InkDog (in comments below) says:

Mr. Lileks is certainly entitled to waste his time with irrational hatred of Mr. Barris, but I do find the remark about Saddams' killing of children juxtaposed with a dig at Hollywood actors as rather bizarre. Perhaps he should send a missive with his concerns to the Republican National Party. In the years before the Iraq attack on Kuwait Mr.’s Reagan, Bush Sr, and Rumsfield were so enamored of this "child killer" they shared intelligence info with him, give him supplies of cluster bombs through a Chilean front company, and facilitated Iraq's acquisition of chemical and biological weapons and the components to make them. Saddam was already guilty of gross human rights violations....but hey he sold us cheap oil and the unthinking hawks playing fetch’ it for big oil turned a blind eye. Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush authorized the sale to Iraq of numerous items that had both military and civilian applications, including poisonous chemicals and deadly biological viruses, such as anthrax and bubonic plague, Kenneth M. Pollack, a former CIA military analyst warned the Repukes about Saddam and were promptly ignored. Saddam could murder, rape, and gas the Iranians, the Kurds and his own people as long as repuke-ican foreign policy marched blindly forward. Reagan and Bush were both aware at the time that Saddams’ actions violated the 1925 Geneva Protocol against the use of chemical weapons, but as usual with republicans principles took a back seat to expediency. Dum Dum Rumsfeld a private citizen at the time made several diplomatic overtures to Iran, which Iran welcomed and said so publicly. Soon after these meetings the Reagan administration removed Iraq from the State Department terrorism list in February 1982.

In 1991 after the Gulf war, weapons inspectors were allowed into Iraq and found chemicals, missile components, and computers from American suppliers, including such household names as Union Carbide and Honeywell, which were being used for military purposes. Many of which were huge contributors to the Republican party. Hey the Dems got some money too, have to cover your bets. Mr. Lileks and his two-faced conservative brothers with such great senses of humor can certainly appreciate the irony when the Bush Jr. administration spokesmen have cited Hussein's use of chemical weapons "against his own people" -- and particularly the March 1988 attack on the Kurdish village of Halabjah -- to bolster their argument that his regime presents a "grave and gathering danger" to the United States; or that Vice president Cheney beginning in 1998, his company, Halliburton Oil, sold more technology to Iraq than any other corporation. Then Dick Cheney lied about it in a July 23 2000 interview with ABC and only admitted the truth after the facts leaked from his own company. In 1991, after the Persian Gulf War, Cheney told a group of oil industry executives he was emphatically against trying to topple Saddam, Dick didn't want to bomb his then business partner.

Algerian Baggage Handler Set Up

Police now believe Mr Besseghir's claims that his in-laws tried to frame him because they hold him responsible for the death of his wife in a fire three years ago.

If this had happened here, the guy probably wouldn't have had a lawyer. It isn't as if the French legal system is particularly generous to the accused, either.

Cheney says: It's MINE!

Washington -- Bush administration officials are seriously considering proposals that the United States tap Iraq's oil to help pay the cost of a military occupation, a move that likely would prove highly inflammatory in an Arab world already suspicious of U.S. motives in Iraq.

Officially, the White House agrees that oil revenue would play an important role during an occupation period, but only for the benefit of Iraqis, according to a National Security Council spokesman.

Yet there are strong advocates inside the administration, including the White House, for appropriating the oil funds as "spoils of war,” according to a source who has been briefed by participants in the dialogue.

"There are people in the White House who take the position that it's all the spoils of war,” said the source, who asked not to be further identified. "We (the United States) take all the oil money until there is a new democratic government (in Iraq).”

sick bastards.

Oliver Willis has more.
More on Hale.
Jesse channels Noonan. Priceless.

Zogby Re-Elect Poll

Slightly more than one in three voters (35%) say they would vote to re-elect President Bush regardless of who he runs against, compared to 56% who would not vote to re-elect Bush regardless of who he runs against.

(via Kos).

Thursday, January 09, 2003

One does wonder if Peggy Noonan will get deep into the hearts and minds of the policemen and their tipster who went after the Smoak family as she did once before in relation to another set of individuals set upon by overzealous law enforcement after receiving a sketchy tip. Sounds like a job for Jesse.
(suggested by That Said in comments).

Obviously some people need a history lesson

Read Conason first.

Then here:

1956: Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission

The Mississippi legislature establishes the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission. According to John Dittmer in Local People, this organization was a secret police force that, "owed its primary allegiance to the White Citizens' Council." The Sovereignty Commission operated much like a "small time" FBI, placing informants and spies in civil rights groups so as to prevent any real success within the movement.


Shrouded in the rhetoric of state's rights, the act creating the Sovereignty Commission provided the agency with broad powers. The commission's objective was to “do and perform any and all acts and things deemed necessary and proper to protect the sovereignty of the state of Mississippi, and her sister states” from a perceived “encroachment thereon by the Federal Government or any branch, department or agency thereof; to resist the usurpation of the rights and powers reserved to this state and our sister states by the Federal Government or any branch, department or agency thereof.” To exercise this loosely defined objective, the commission was granted extensive investigative capabilities.
As the state's official tax-funded agency to combat activities of the Civil Rights Movement, the commission performed many duties. Although varied, these tasks can be divided into three general functions: investigative, advisory, and public relations. For seventeen years, from 1956 to 1973, the commission spied on civil rights workers, acted as a clearinghouse for information on civil rights activities and legislation from around the nation, funneled money to pro-segregation causes, and distributed right-wing propaganda.
At the meeting members approved a new policy defining the commission as a “watch dog over subversive individuals and organizations that advocate civil disobedience; as a public relations agency for the state; and as an advisor for loca communities on problems resulting from federal laws or court orders.”

In reality, it was business as usual for commission investigators, who continued to track individuals and groups who challenged racial segregation. In addition, the commission served its advisory function by recommending ways to circumvent the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Hey, it's Mister Pickering. (scan of document. Go read).

Let's see what this was about.

Who was Bob Zellner?

What is the SCEF?

Mr. Pickering can escape his past if he starts being honest about it. He hasn't.

I don’t hate James Lileks, I pity him - he’s going to die in 15 years of a massive coronary on a cold tiled bathroom floor, awash in the blasts of his emptied bowels, his autopsy photos posted to The Smoking Gun's new 3D holographic photo section.
A freeper explains the Pickering disagreement:

"Democrats like it when abortionists kill black babies; Pickering doesn't like it when abortionists kill black babies. That's all this fight is about."

Conason makes the case against Pickering.
Can someone please explain to me how "Kangaroo Jack" got greenlighted...

Oh no, it's Jar-Jaromir!

(via calpundit).
Since the most important issue of the day is coming up with new and creative ways for all of you extraordinarily generous people to send me your life savings. One way is to send me an Amazon email gift certificate! Or, send me something from my wish list to a "Mr. A. Smith."


According to four Time sources, the magazine had prepared a Person of the Year cover commemorating the partnership between Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. But it fell through after the White House balked at giving the magazine access for such a presentation. Bush aides reportedly preferred that their boss appear alone on the cover.

via Mrs. Bruce Springsteen

What a year.

Not actually a joke.
What racism?

Jendra Loeffelman thinks it's wrong for people of different races to date, marry and especially to have children.

Whether it was a firing offense for Loeffelman, 52, a teacher, to tell that opinion to an eighth-grade class at Crystal City Elementary School in Jefferson County was at the heart of a hearing that began Monday in the library at Crystal City High School.

Attorneys for both Loeffelman, of Bonne Terre, Mo., and the district agreed she made the statement on Oct. 23. She was suspended with pay the following day.

But the school district, in its bid to fire the tenured teacher, says she went much further, calling interracial children dirty and inferior. Several mixed-race children were present in her class.

"She basically said I shouldn't have been born," eighth-grader Billy Bingham told the Post-Dispatch after he testified in a closed portion of the hearing.

In more than a decade of teaching prior to the incident, administrators considered Loeffelman a "competent, effective teacher," said Maurice Watson, attorney for the district.

Chuck Ford, the teacher's attorney, told the Crystal City School Board his client was merely giving her opinion on a hot-button topic in response to a student's question.

In cross-examination of district witnesses, Ford emphasized that rather than being a racist, his client was concerned that mixed-race children may be ostracized.

The most offensive remarks attributed to her were after-the-fact exaggerations by students and parents in the district, he said.

To fire her under the statutes the district was citing, Watson would have to prove Loeffelman willfully violated policies against race harassment.

"How does answering a student's question for a personal opinion (related to) an assignment from another class constitute racial harassment?" he asked.

Loeffelman's termination hearing was scheduled to continue at 6 p.m. Tuesday.


A Jefferson County schoolteacher says she was unaware policy in her district prohibited teachers from making comments about race that might be hurtful to students in their classrooms.

She testified Tuesday that she made the statements in response to questions asked by a student who was working on an assignment for another class. The assignment required students to write an opinion paper on a controversial topic, such as abortion or interracial marriage.

Loeffelman said she declined to give her opinion on abortion because circumstances could dictate whether it was right or wrong.

Loeffelman said she told the student she was "totally against" interracial marriage and believed that interracial couples "shouldn't have children" because the children might be teased.

"I don't want to see children teased for any reason," Loeffelman said.

More here.

Can we fire her yet?

The tubes, Rice said, "are only really suited for nuclear weapons programs, centrifuge programs."

--Condi Rice, 9/2002

In a blow to U.S. hopes that inspectors would uncover a "smoking gun" showing Iraq was trying to make nuclear arms in violation of council resolutions, ElBaradei said aluminum tubes suspected of being sought by Iraq to enrich uranium for weapons were actually intended for a rocket engine program, as Iraq had claimed all along.

Centrifuges that rely on specially milled aluminum tubes are crucial to the process of separating weapons-grade nuclear material from non-enriched uranium. But the tubes sought by Iraq were not suited for this purpose, he said in a closed-door council session.

"While it would be possible to modify such tubes for the manufacture of centrifuges, they are not directly suitable for it," ElBaradei told the council, according to his speaking notes, obtained by Reuters.


You know, if North Korea gets nukes and blows up South Korea and Japan I wager this will have slightly bigger effect on the world economy than anything Iraq is likely to be able to pull off in the next few years.

For those who think hanging South Korea out to dry to get a few "broken windows" is a feature, perhaps there's a bug.

And people wonder why there's "anti-American sentiment" in the Europe and Asia, which usually comes down to a few op-ed pieces in newspapers that pale in comparison to the callous bloodlust displayed by your typical U.S. commentator. This "anti-American sentiment" is usually about as anti-American as me - you know, daring to criticize U.S. foreign policy. Which would make everyone who opened their traps during the Clinton years "anti-American" as well.

Powell Tries to Get Fired

While many senior administration officials have been critical of Clinton's 1994 deal, saying it allowed an inevitable problem to fester, Powell lauded what is known as the Agreed Framework. "The previous administration I give great credit to for freezing that plutonium site," he said. "Lots of nuclear weapons were not made because of the Agreed Framework and the work of President Clinton and his team."

Marshall has more on fact-challenged conservatives.
Beyond the Wasteland notes that all of North Korea's plutonium was manufactured between 1987 and 1991.

Disparity in Searches

When a police officer in Massachusetts pulls over a car and writes a routine traffic ticket, the officer is far more likely to search the car of a black or Hispanic driver than that of a white driver.

Nearly two years after the state began collecting information on traffic citations to measure possible racial profiling by police, a Boston Globe analysis of more than 750,000 tickets, from every police department in the state, shows a wide racial disparity in traffic tickets and vehicle searches.

Although blacks and Hispanics are more likely to be searched, whites are more likely than any other racial group to face drug charges following a search - supporting a claim by minorities that they are searched with less reason.

CalPundit has more of California's "rational racism."
Frist didn't have a very good first day. He even had to shake hands with Hitlery Klintoon.
Talk Left suggests the possibility of a link between the arrest of Matthew Hale and another arrest of some Texas inmates.

And, David Neiwert who is working his way into the Blogosphere tells us who Mr. Hale endorsed for president, and why.
McCrory's pretty good today.

Positive spin on the implications of Daschle not running for president. Hope she's right.
The Note says Ralph Reed might run for Zell's seat, with White House backing.
It's time to put a stop to overzealous cops.

Maybe if they keep picking on white people, and killing their dogs, something will be done.
Anyway, the whole dividend tax cut thing is a bit more complicated than we were first lead to believe.

Time for the real tax accountants/lawyers to step in here. But, it looks as if dividends are tax free only to the extent that a company pays federal taxes. As in, pay $100 million in taxes and you can pay $100 million in dividends. Also, there's this deemed dividend thing which means that any amount pay as corporate taxes can be reinvested instead of paying paid out, but then the basis by which the capital gain on the stock would be later calculated is adjusted upwards...too confusing for me.

White House says stimulus will create 190,000 jobs?

WASHINGTON, Jan. 8 — A White House estimate shows that administration officials are expecting President Bush's tax plan to generate only 190,000 jobs in 2003, a small number when compared to the 1.5 million jobs that have disappeared over the past two years.

So, for $100b in tax cuts or so this year, that comes out to about $500,000 per job.

UPDATE: workerbee adds "Someone should ask the White House how the nation is doing in creating the 300,000 jobs that President Bush said the terrorist insurance bill was going to create..."

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Lott's Revenge?

Screw that, it's Bush's revenge.

The nation didn't have to wait long to find out if President Bush's impassioned denunciation of Trent Lott's racial views last month presaged a new approach to the selection of federal judges. It didn't. That became clear on Tuesday evening when the White House decided to renominate Charles Pickering, who failed to win confirmation from the Democratic-controlled Senate last year. Judge Pickering, a Mississippi trial judge and a protégé of Mr. Lott, was rejected largely because of his insensitive handling of civil rights cases. The Senate should once again refuse to confirm Judge Pickering, and should carefully scrutinize the 30 other nominees the
administration is putting forth.

The Judiciary Committee was particularly troubled by Judge Pickering's handling of a case against a man convicted of burning a cross at the home of an interracial couple with a young child. Judge Pickering tried to prevent prosecutors from asking for a five-year sentence and, in a highly questionable move, called the Justice Department to complain.

As a trial court jurist, Judge Pickering has also expressed skepticism about the way in which the Voting Rights Act has been applied. His record on racial issues in the past, while not as extreme as Mr. Lott's, raises serious questions of judgment. At his Judiciary Committee hearing, he said he regretted having declared in 1964 that Mississippi had been "humiliated" when its all-white delegation to the Democratic Convention was challenged. And he disavowed his decision as a state senator in the 1970's to ask Mississippi's Sovereignty Commission, whose job it was to defend racial segregation in the state, for help in monitoring labor unrest.

During last month's firestorm over Mr. Lott, Republicans tried to have it both ways on race. They appeased the majority of Americans, who were outraged at Mr. Lott's sympathetic words about segregation, by pressing him to resign as the Senate Republican leader. At the same time they winked at Mr. Lott's supporters by having prominent party members stand by him. More recently, they announced plans to award Mr. Lott a new position of honor by making him chairman of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee.

Throughout the zigging and zagging it still seemed possible that the party would heed the advice of Bill Frist, the Senate's new G.O.P. leader, who said one of his priorities would be "ensuring that our agenda is inclusive of all Americans." That hope evaporated with the renomination of Judge Pickering and several other jurists with dubious records on racial issues. Senator Charles Schumer of New York, among others, has declared that he will use every weapon at his disposal to defeat Judge Pickering. Other Democrats should join in, as should moderate Republican senators, who insisted last month that Mr. Lott's views had no place in their party.

Sanctimonious backslapping bloggers, too.
Josh Marshall gets a bit snarky.
Reader MR sent this casting call to me:

Hey guys, FastDater is pleased to forward this information to anyone who might be interested in this. Contact information is below. PLEASE DO NOT respond to this e- mail as it will not be recognized. SEE BELOW.



*The premise of the show is one lucky eligible man will travel around the world on a private jet in order to meet the love of his life. His journey will begin in New York City. There he will meet 20 fabulous single women from around the United States. He will select several American women to continue on the journey with him as he travels to other romantic international cities. In each local he will be introduced to other women who will compete for his love. Five finalists of his choosing will return to the states with him for a final decision and they will share Prize money as they continue their relationship.


Those interested should bring a non-returnable picture.

20 W. Hubbard, Suite 2E
No appointments will be scheduled. It’s first come, first served.
Please be prepared to wait.


(emphasis mine)

While there are times when race neutral casting isn't appropriate, this wouldn't appear to be one of them. That is, while one likely wouldn't hire a black man to play David Duke except in some weird postpostmodern production of "Duke of the South," because race would be an intrinsic part of the basic presentation, in a "reality" show one has to ask why it's relevant.

I'm not naive, I know the answer.

David Neiwert says:

Anyone who wants a factual and realistic rundown on the extent to which right-wing extremists like Matt Hale play a role in the mainstream conservativism's electoral efforts, try this report, from the Center for New Community:

Party Crashers: White Nationalists and Election 2000

Of course, this report came out before Buchanan selected a black woman as his running mate, a decision that sent virtually all of his support among white nationalists fleeing to the mainstream GOP. Note, for instance, that Matt Hale, Don Black and David Duke all wound up endorsing George W. Bush.

(oh, and you can buy his great book here).

My graph reading skills may be a bit off after a glass or two of wine, but doesn't Kevin's Drum's very beautiful picture show a tax system which is quite clearly regressive and not, as he says, "barely progressive at all?"

UPDATE: Oh, duhh, it's just state and local. Silly me.
The Horse seems to be netscape compatible again...eagerly awaiting the Whore of the Year!
Having been mean to the poor Virgin Ben I feel I should make amends by suggesting we all write to the New York Times and lobby for him to be a replacement for that disgusting pervert Frank Rich.
David E. writes in:

The Bush White House has an "opinion" line for you to call about the war, so if
you have a minute, take advantage of this democratic "service."
The line only accepts calls from 9-5 EST., Monday thru Friday. Just call the
White House at 202-456-1111. A machine will detain you for only a moment and
then a pleasant live operator will thank you for saying "I oppose our going to
war with Iraq, or anybody else!" It will only take minutes.

Note that the weekends are closed for calls. The president has said that he
wants to know what the American people are thinking. Let him know.

Time is running out.


David E.

White Supremacist Matt Hale Arrested

White Supremacist Matt Hale was arrested in Chicago Tuesday allegedly for soliciting the murder of a United States District Court judge.

The East Peoria leader of the World Church of the Creator was at the federal courthouse in Chicago to appear at a contempt of court hearing on an infringment lawsuit. Federal agents arrested him when he entered the building.
Zell not running for re-election in 2004. wuh?
Calpundit asks how we can counter the "seniors get the benefits " meme. Carville-Soundbite wise, I think his suggestion is pretty good. For a more solid suggestion, perhaps calculating the percentage of seniors who would stand to gain more than, say, $500 per year from this.
Check out this fascinating analysis of state taxes. The top 10 most regressive states, as measured by the ratio of taxes as a percentage of income paid by the poorest 20% to that paid by the top 1% are Washington, Florida, Tennessee, South Dakota, Texas, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Alabama. The results are similar if you compare the top 1% to the middle 60%.
d-Squared has posts on Michael Moore and the Two Meanings of the Word Investment.

via Ted who should be read today as well, particularly for pointing out some honesty from John Derbyshire.

All American politicians are liars and hypocrites about race, from Democrats like Hillary Clinton posing as champions of the downtrodden black masses while buying a house in the whitest town they can find, to Republicans pretending not to know that (a) many millions of nonblack Americans seriously dislike black people, (b) well-nigh every one of those people votes Republican, and (c) without those votes no Republican would ever win any election above the county level. [emphasis mine]

[oops, I already revealed the answer- but you can still go take the Mark Kleiman quiz.]

Fun Howler.

As we noted last year, it’s clear that Goldberg cut-and-pasted Vile Liberal Quotes from the archives of the Media Research Center—perhaps not realizing how absurd and phony the MRC’s work often is. We noted one of Goldberg’s most ludicrous entries (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 1/12/02); at one point, he bitterly complained about a quote by Natalie Angier of the New York Times, seeming to think that the vile Angier had disrespected us hard-working men. The problem? Angier is a science writer, and the quote in question came from a piece about insect reproduction. The quote had nothing to do with politics or the gender wars; indeed, it had nothing to do with people! But the MRC had placed it on its site, and it found its way into Bias, too. On Monday, Franken gave us the latest case where Goldberg couldn’t explain his own rantings.
Hundreds A few people have let me know that the amazon tip box has been blocking payments to me. Apparently, Amazon limits the number of transactions per month for reasons I was unable to fathom, and I hit my monthly quota due to some generosity during the Trent Lott fun. So, everyone take a break from sending me your kids' inheritance for a few days, and if anyone knows of another way to receive payments and maintain my anonymity let me know.
Dwight Meredith has more on dividends.

Oakland's Reeves Rips GOP Racism

He said "the time has come" for Republican leaders to understand what he has had to endure.

"When I travel to speak at Republican conferences and events around the country, wandering through hotels, convention centers and social clubs, as I approach the rooms where I'm to speak, I am often told by Republicans that I must be in the wrong place," he wrote.

"As a Bush delegate at the 2000 convention in Philadelphia, I proudly wore my delegate's badge and (Republican National Committee) lapel pin as I worked the convention. Regardless of the fact that I was obviously a delegate prominently displaying my credentials, no less than six times did white delegates dismissively tell me (to) fetch them a taxi or carry their luggage."

Obviously he's just playing the race card for personal gain. /sarcasm
Lambert Strether (in comments) points us to this quote:

Today, a senior administration official confirmed that the government would not change the rules and that stock dividends earned in 401(k) plans would indeed be taxed as ordinary income when it is withdrawn.

"They didn't get taxed when it was going in," said the official when asked about the issue today. "It all works out in the end," she said. "Trust me."

Let's be clear on this. When you put money in your 401(k) or 403(b) plan that income is not taxed. However, it is taxed as income when you withdraw it. So, while people who have dividends outside their 401(k) plans will pay no taxes on them, people with 401(k) plans will still continue to pay income taxes them.

Apparently Steven de Beste of the Clueless has admitted that emotionally he just wants to "kill them all." I'd like to take a different view of him than his critics and praise him for maybe, just maybe, starting down the path of having empathy. Given Mr. de Beste's presumably comfortable life which is little affected by the I/P situation in any direct way, aside from impelling him to spend time writing thousands of furious words about it, perhaps he can begin to understand the also often misplaced rage and actions of people who are actually in the middle of that mess.

And, no I don't have any sympathy for people who strap on explosives and blow up buses with children in them, and definitely none for the people who convince them to do it and aid their actions, but I do have some sympathy for their situations before they went down this hideous unexcusable path, and some empathy with the twisted rage and emotions that sent them there. Perhaps Mr. de Beste does now as well.
Talk Left gives us a blast from the past in which she argues with an Instapundit column and concedes that conservative judges may be good for privacy rights. I actually didn't see where in Glenn's column he really made that suggestion, although I have to admit I stumbled a bit when I read the word "un-freedom," but I'll get back to that in a minute.

Someone please explain to me how a dedication to the evisceration of established protections under the 4th amendment, as well as to trying to declare that the uteruses of more than half the population (the half that possesses them) public property, demonstrates an appreciation of privacy rights.

But, back to the Fox News Column. If we should have learned anything from the Trent Lott flap it's that not every restriction of the federal government's powers is good for individual liberty as Glenn suggests here. In any case, I think Reynolds is living in fantasy land if the "conservative" judges Bush is appointing are going to be against limiting state tort awards due to their principled devotion to federalism.

Since we're throwing away "double taxation," why don't we throw away limited liability too. Seems fair, and sounds like a proposal libertarians should love, though I don't hear them bring it up too often. Pointed out by Dwight Meredith in the comments here on this post.
Talk but not negotiate, negotiate but not compromise....

As James Carville said last night, it's starting to look like this administration doesn't know what the meaning of the word 'is' is.

Reminds me of the time apologizing to the Chinese wasn't really apologizing.

UPDATE: CalPundit notes that the "negotiation bad" crowd is now saying "negotiation good."

This is what happens when we embrace the binary world of moral clarity and the foreign policy of buzzwords.
Digby tells us about Dick Nixon's love of blacks, Mexicans, and gays.

And liberals get accused of revisionism..

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

KARL: There was a very interesting moment involving Trent Lott, who is the person that Frist helped oust as Republican leader here in the Senate. Lott had come to the well of the Senate with fellow Mississippian Thad Cochran for his swearing in.

As he walked back, Daschle was standing next to Frist to shake everybody's hands. Senator Lott went over to Tom Daschle. They shook hands, they embraced, they shared a laugh and then Senator Lott walked right by Bill Frist without giving him so much as a handshake. It was a very chilly moment. You could actually feel the chill up in the spectator's galleries in the Senate -- Judy.

Does this mean Lott will give Frist the smallest office?
Buffy Season 3 DVDs are shipping. Get'em while they're hot!

Pickering's back...

Priscilla Owen is back...

Gene Lyons' New Column

Arkansas readers close your eyes.

Riding into town on his trusty golf cart, the Texas Ranger of the World allowed as how that bunch with the mustaches and black hats down at the Baghdad Saloon had best saddle up and clear out. Come sundown, Cowboy Dubya was fixin’ to come looking for evildoers.

Actually, Newsweek scribe Fineman’s bathetic hero-worship notwithstanding, it’s a cliché to mock President Junior’s drug store cowboy act. The role itself was already threadbare when Ronald Reagan played it. Besides, the average Clint Eastwood western is rich with nuance compared to the two-dimensional melodrama of Bush foreign policy. (In “Pale Rider,” the villain is a claim-jumping, strip-mining tycoon who’d be a GOP donor in 2003.) Melodramatic clashes between pure good and absolute evil are more apt to be found on the fantasy and science fiction shelf these days—films where the bad guys aren’t even human.

Which may be a clue about where Junior got his idea about how to deal with North Korea, the most dangerous member of his celebrated “axis of evil.” The White House can’t have imagined they were dealing with actual human beings. If so, they might have realized that U.S. policy toward that benighted land couldn’t have been better calculated to produce the crisis they have blundered into.

Some warned that Bush’s “axis of evil” metaphor was reductive and dangerous. Mostly they were shouted down by ideologues whose first response to the 9/11 catastrophe was to stifle dissent and promote orthodoxy. Defining your antagonists as evil may be politically advantageous and psychologically satisfying, but it can also make you stupid if it means blinding yourself to their point of view altogether.

One of Junior’s first acts as president was to publicly humiliate South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, who visited Washington in March 2001 seeking an endorsement of his country’s “sunshine policy” of reconciliation with its communist neighbor. Instead, Bush sneeringly dismissed what he implied was a Clintonian fantasy—even though German reunification, following the implosion of an East German communist regime almost as dogmatic as North Korea’s, happened during his father’s presidency.

“One cannot see the modern world as it is unless one recognizes the overwhelming strength of patriotism, national loyalty,” Orwell argued in 1941. “[A]s a positive force there is nothing to set beside it. Christianity and international socialism are as weak as straw in comparison with it.”

By all accounts, North Korea is a madhouse. Koreans north and south, however, feel themselves to be one people with a shared language, history and culture. On both sides of the DMZ, Bush’s disrespect was seen as a bitter insult, weakening our alliance with the democratic Republic of South Korea.

Next came the “axis of evil” speech, then Junior’s West Point address threatening “preemptive strikes.” Reading from a script, Bush declared that containment was “not possible when unbalanced dictators with weapons of mass destruction can deliver those weapons on missiles or secretly provide them to terrorist allies.”

The threat couldn’t have been clearer. According to Bob Woodward’s book Bush at War, Junior appeared to believe his own rhetoric: “’I loathe [North Korean dictator] Kim Jong Il!’ Bush shouted, waving his finger in the air. ‘I've got a visceral reaction to this guy, because he is starving his people ... It is visceral. Maybe it's my religion, maybe it's my—but I feel passionate about this.’”

Kim got the message. Exactly when North Korea began to experiment with enriched uranium weapons with Pakistan’s help isn’t clear. It was some time after 1998, giving Bush apologists a semi-plausible way to blame Bill Clinton. But it won’t wash. At worst, North Korea could make maybe two bombs some years hence by that method. The scary part is their re-starting a nuclear reactor shut down in 1994 and capable of making enough weapons-grade plutonium to start a production line within months.

Taking advantage of U.S. preoccupation with Iraq, the communists called Bush’s bluff. Unless he wants another Korean War, there’s not much he can do about it. So now the White House has taken to leaking word that North Korea’s inclusion in the “axis of evil” was merely speechwriter’s flourish, stuck in lest Junior appear to be threatening only Muslim states. If anything, that makes Bush look even more ridiculous.

“The lesson of North Korea for other Third World dictators,” Zbgniew Brzezinski told the Washington Post “is to go nuclear as rapidly as possible, and as secretly as possible, and then act crazy so as to deter us

They’ll call it something else, but the big-talking Texas Ranger of the World has little choice but to negotiate. The doctrine of preemption lasted, what, six months?

I like the last paragraph

Looking for a few fabulous men..

CalPundit notes that the Democrat's plan for this year is actually bigger. I look forward to the Democrats being accused of being fiscally irresponsible for posing such a big plan and timid and ineffectual for posing such a small plan simultaneously [That's an assignment for you, Mickey! No one else could manage...]
Poor Mickey.

(from Ted, who gets some digs in too.)
According to CNN the median adjusted gross income in the U.S. $66,619 (numbers taken from the Tax Foundation)

According to the White House, the median household income (not quite the same thing) in 2001 was $42,228.

Can anyone explain this to me?

(update: I accidentally misread that the numbers were from the Tax Policy Center. They're from the Tax Foundation, which is a whole other ball of wax...still looking into this...)

Okay, due to suggestions from various people, particularly reader s.v., it seems that what the Tax Foundation is doing is using the median income figure for 2 earner households. Then, they're strangely switching over from household income to household adjusted gross income. The effects of the first switch are obvious, and since AGI is always a bit lower than actual income, they're calculating the tax benefits for people with much higher actual incomes.

Let's see if I can say that simply:

They're taking a two-earner family which has an adjusted gross income (AGI) equal to the median income of the two earner households, and calculating their tax benefit assuming they have two children. This skews the value of median household income value upwards (fine, but they should be more clear), calculates the tax benefits for families that have actual incomes even higher than this, and then throw in the mandatory two kiddies.

I think.

In other words if you're a two earner house hold with two kids making $66K gross income, your tax benefit isn't going to be as high as they're claiming.

If only this were like a game of musical chairs...

FRIDAY, JAN 3, 2003


looks like Matthews would be out.

Washington Post says:

Of the $674 billion package, all but $3.6 billion comes in the form of tax breaks; those funds are for $3,000 accounts that unemployed workers can use to find new jobs.

So much for rumored extra transportation money, or money to help states with fiscal problems.

Last night's Donahue wasn't a perfect show, but it was consistently funny from start to finish. Go read the transcript, and if you missed it just try and imagine Bernie Goldberg's face when a caller said this:

DONAHUE: Billy from Tennessee. You waited. I thank you for your patience. What did you want to say?
CALLER: Phil, thank you. I think the main thing I wanted to say is I’m sad that the conservatives you have on tonight have done a poor job of articulating our conservative argument, which I think is another bias of the press is that you always pick very smart, astute liberals, like Al Franken, who are very articulate, and then you have conservatives who scratch their heads and can’t come back with something.
DONAHUE: Oh, well...

I'm pretty sure the caller continued a bit longer where it says "crosstalk," but you get the idea..
As Hesiod points out, the ricin found in London has no links to Iraq. It's derived from the castor bean plant, has been around for many years, is completely unsuitable for anything other than an assassination attempt or a very bad way to try and hurt a small group of people.
O. Dub notes the liberal media only broadcast a few seconds of the Democrats' response to Bush's speech.

Makes me miss the good old days when the Clinton News Network would devote every morning to the Gingrich press conference...

UPDATE: People are saying the Dems had good coverage yesterday.

Where is the outrage?

Seriously, there are times when little partisan me just doesn't get it. I really really can't comprehend why at least a couple of people other than some idiots with websites like me aren't just a wee bit pissed off at this latest fake terror alert. Some guy in custody in Canada says some obvious nonsense about 5, or was it 19, guys sneaking across the border. The Canadian authorities, just to be prudent, hand it off to the FBI. We get a full media press - including a statement from the president - about these guys. We get word that the president has mobilized law enforcement to look for them, presumably diverting them away from other more productive terror-fighting activities. The media can't keep straight if these guys are Arabs or Pakistanis, or who the hell cares what's the difference anyway... Some members of our fine citizenry start calling the cops on randon brown people they spot on the bus. The FBI posts up pictures of who the hell knows who which are still up on their web site. Then, to top it all off they throw in a bit of Indian bashing just for good measure.

This one can't even charitably be called a bungle. This is an outrage.
Daschle not running.

Novakula Speaks

While Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says publicly that the U.S. can fight at the same time in the Persian Gulf and Northeast Asia, nobody in the military is ready for a disastrous second Korean War even without fighting in Iraq. Certainly, nobody in the Bush administration wants one. Even without nuclear weapons, the North can launch a brutal attack on Seoul using conventional arms. Accordingly, the president's jeremiads against the "axis of evil" now look like posturing.
"We're not going to reimplement a draft. There is no need for it at all. The disadvantages of using compulsion to bring into the armed forces the men and women needed are notable. The disadvantages to the individuals so brought in are notable. If you think back to when we had the draft people were brought in, they were paid some fraction of what they could make in the civilian manpower market because they were without choices. Big categories were exempted - people who were in college, people who were teaching, people who were married - it varied from time to time but there were all kinds of exemptions. What was left was sucked into the intake, trained for a period of months, then went out. Adding no value, no advantage, really, to the United States Armed Services over any sustained period of time."

Donald Rumsfeld, today.

"Any comparisons between today's force and the Viet Nam force would be dramatic."

General Myers, today.
Musings tells the Virgin Ben to put on a yarmulke and watch his evil tongue.

(via Digby).

UPDATE: TBogg discovers what Ben really thinks of sex.
New York Times gives impact of removal of dividend tax:


Income Percentile: 0-20
Income Range*: $0-9,964
Average Change in Tax: -$6
Percentage of Total Income Tax Change: 0.4%

Income Percentile: 20-40
Income Range*: $9,965-21,349
Average Change in Tax: -$20
Percentage of Total Income Tax Change: 1.3%

Income Percentile: 40-60
Income Range*: $21,350-37,834
Average Change in Tax: -$47
Percentage of Total Income Tax Change: 3.0%

Income Percentile: 60-80
Income Range*: $37,835-68,329
Average Change in Tax: -$168
Percentage of Total Income Tax Change: 10.7%

Income Percentile: 80-90
Income Range*: $68,330-98,053
Average Change in Tax: -$304
Percentage of Total Income Tax Change: 9.7%

Income Percentile: 90-95
Income Range*: $98,054-133,858
Average Change in Tax: -$622
Percentage of Total Income Tax Change: 9.9%

Income Percentile: 95-99
Income Range*: $133,859-316,894
Average Change in Tax: -$1,777
Percentage of Total Income Tax Change: 22.7%

Income Percentile: 99-100
Income Range*: $316,895 and up
Average Change in Tax: -$13,243
Percentage of Total Income Tax Change: 42.3%

*Adjusted gross income on tax return

Not online. (thanks samela)

UPDATE: Ted Barlow has comments on the impact of this on municipal bond rates (they'll fall...err, I mean rise)

UPDATE: Here's the source of the data, from the Tax Policy Center.
Brad DeLong's always been pretty defensive about Hubbard's role in the Bush maladministration, now he tells him it's time to get out.
BusyBusyBusy explains the 5 scary brown men situation. (Yes, I know one of them is actually more a scary purple, and one doesn't look all that brown...)

Saddam Plans to To Defend Against US Attack

How evil is that?

Monday, January 06, 2003

Please check out Nick's Crusade. And Pax Liberalis.

The New Traditionalist Manifesto

Welcome scumbuster to the world of blogging. Him and Snotty have a lot in common.
Tonight's Donahue is hilarious..
5 scary men alert was a hoax by a guy in detention trying get himself let out.

Interesting Monstah has more. In particular, notes the FBI still has pictures of the mythical scary brown people up.

Wow. I hadn't read the original Slate article before, David E. takes on Slate's racism.
Even I had a hard time believing that the "liberal" Washington Post would have actually published this essay by Bill Lind. I checked. They did. My god.

It begins:

The triumph of the Recovery was marked most clearly by the burning of the Episcopal bishop of Maine.

She was not a particularly bad bishop. She was, in fact, quite typical of Episcopal bishops of the first quarter of the 21st century: agnostic, compulsively political and radical and given to placing a small idol of Isis on the alter when she said the Communion service. By 2037, when she was tried for heresy, convicted and burned, she had outlived her era. By that time only a handful of Episcopalians still recognized female clergy, and it would have been easy enough to let the old fool rant our her final years in obscurity. But we are a people who do our duty.

I well remember the crowd that gathered for the execution, solemn but not sad, relieved that at last, after so many years of humiliation, the majority had taken back the culture. Civilization had recovered its nerve. The flames that soared about the lawn before the Maine statehouse that August afternoon were, as the bishopess herself might have said, liberating.

(thanks to Farmer)
Max has two great posts - first his O'Reilly talking points and second an analysis of the Democrats' stimulus proposal.

Fineman Speaks the Truth

CHRIS MATTHEWS, host: Howard, did the Republicans have this thing completely knocked in this town? Is George Bush completely in control of Washington right now?

Mr. HOWARD FINEMAN (Chief Political Correspondent, Newsweek): Well, the interesting thing, Chris, is he's not just in control of the political apparatus, he's in control of the press, he's in control of the sort of social atmosphere of the city in a way that I haven't seen in quite some time.

(thanks to penalcolony for the catch)
I put a little checkbox above to force the links to open in new windows. However, comments won't work when checked - anyone have a clue how to modify this code to have them work even when checked?
Nathan Newman informs us that corporations that pay no taxes can't be double taxed while reader Andy X tells us:

Here's an article which looks at IRS data to see exactly how many people in which income groups reported dividend income (although they don't say which year the data is from). It's an interesting view of the situation:

"Figures from the Internal Revenue Service illustrate that point. The 15.2 million tax returns that reported adjusted gross incomes of less than $50,000 had a total dividend income of $26.9 billion, according to the IRS. Fewer people -- about 10 million -- reported adjusted gross incomes of between $50,000 and $100,000, but they had more in dividend income -- $27.1 billion.

The 4.8 million returns that indicated adjusted gross incomes between $100,000 to $200,000 had $23.8 billion in dividends, and the roughly 200,000 filers reporting more than $1 million in adjusted gross income had about $25.4 billion in dividends, the IRS says."

Using these numbers, we find the average dividend income per filer for each group:

under 50K - 15200000 - 26900000000 - $176.97 per filer

50k-100k - 10000000 - 27100000000 - $2710 per filer

100K-200K - 4800000 - 23800000000 - $4958.33 per filer

Over 1000K - 200000 - 25400000000 - $127000 per filer

Regardless of the charges of "class warfare", it is obvious that as one moves up the income ladder, the returns for this type of income play a much larger role in one's income. Looking at the midpoint of the lowest group, the $176.97 represents less than 0.8% of the total income that someone in that group made that year.
Likewise with the other groups, at the midpoint, the share of total income is:
50K-100K - 3.6%
100K-200K - 3.3%

For the over $1 million set, using the lowest number (hard to find a mid-point on an open-ended set) the figure is 12.7%.

One can make different arguments about various assumptions, but the basic point, backed up by the numbers, is that this DOES help the wealthier more than other people - regardless of how Ari wants to spin the numbers.

UPDATE: Just wanted to add that though it does say it, I hadn't noticed that these numbers exclude the zeros which presuambly bias the bottom numbers upwards quite a bit and the top numbers not so much. That is, this is the set of tax returns for which the Dividend Income box is greater than 0.

Democratic Veteran has some more.
Archpundit gives us the full scoop on the Lind/Weyrich connection discussed by Joe Conason.

And, one can't bring up Lind, Weyrich, anti-Semitism, and Jewish World Review without this blast from the past from Stanley Crouch about the Evan Gahr affair.

Since we're riffing here, that road leads us to Mona Charen, who TBogg is having fun some with.
Go check out Thinking it Through who says "advantage: blogosphere!" for pushing this story:

This time, Beth Osborne Daponte will be leaving her calculator off.

A senior researcher at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University, Daponte was the Census Bureau demographer who postulated in 1991 that 158,000 Iraqi men, women and children died during and shortly after the Persian Gulf war. In return, she was reprimanded by her government, and saw her report rewritten and her career sidetracked.

Today, with another war in Iraq a possibility, Daponte says she has no intention of trying to estimate Iraqi deaths again. Revealing finely tuned cynicism, she wonders whether it would be worth the stress.

Clearly she should have been reprimanded for drawing a moral equivalence between dead Iraqis and the innocent premature babies that were ripped from the incubators by Iraqi soldiers.
Replace the word average with the word 'median' and please redo all the figures in this article, oh supine press corps.
Reader C.C. emails in with:


I am re-reading Fear and Loathing: On the Campaing Trail '72, and ran across the following that I think explains media "bias" better than anything else, and actually fits the Occam's Razor principle since it is the most obvious/easiest explanation :

"This was one of the traditional barriers I tried to ignore when I moved to Washington and began covering the '72 presidential campaign. As far as I was concerned, there was no such thing as 'off the record.' The most consistent and ultimately damaging failure of political journalism in America has its roots in the clubby/cocktail personal relationships that inevitably develop between politicians and journalists -- in Washington or anywhere else where they meet on a day-to-day basis. When professional antagonists become after hours drinking buddies, they are not likely to turn each other in . . . especially for 'minor infranctions' of rules that neither side takes seriously; and on the rare occasions when Minor infractions suddenly become Major, there is panic on both ends.

A classic example of this syndrome was the disastrous 'Eagleton Affair.' Half of the policital journalists in St. Louis and at least a dozen in the Washington press corps knew Eagleton was a serious boozer with a history of mental breakdowns -- but none of them had ever written about it, and the few who were known to have mentioned it privately clammed up 1000 percent when McGovern's harried staffers began making inquiries on that fateful Thursday afternoon in Miami. Any Washington political reporter who blows a Senator's chance for the vice-presidency might as well start looking for another beat to cover -- because his name will be instant Mud on Capitol Hill."

I'd say plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose - except, there's one problem with the idea that this is simply the rules of the game. They weren't the rules during the Carter administration, the Clinton administration, or the Gore presidential campaign.

Monkey Mail

hey, it's been awhile.

From: xxxx
Subject: Blogging for Stalin?

OxBlog thinks you may really be Kim Jong Il. Hmm, it sort of makes sense.
Mark Morford explains why republicans are twice as likely to participate in online surveys:

Republicans are far more likely than Democrats to participate in online surveys, mostly because such surveys are usually broken down into simplistic good-vs. evil binary choices and nifty multiple-choice answers and cute pretty pie charts that are much easier for them to understand than actual issues and political stories that might be, you know, complicated or messy or remotely nuanced, according to a poll. Among those who go online to catch up on politics, almost half of Republicans, 46 percent, said they like to register their opinions in online surveys, whereas only 28 percent of Dems did so, preferring instead to participate in sad little online chat rooms where they coddle each other and sigh heavily and lament about the lack of true Dem leadership and note how the party has devolved into a bunch of emasculated apologist wimpheads, all scared Uncle Cheney is gonna smack them upside the head if they say something naughty about Shrub's War. "Me like click pretty buttons hee hee yay," giggled one Repub, giddily clicking little surveys on the USA Today site. "Um, we sort of disagree with Article 123.5 in the latest national budget sub-clause of Section 772.2, maybe," whined one Dem leader, sheepishly, before being smacked upside the head.

(via email, click the link to sign up)
South Knox bubba gives us the 2004 election preview.
The Note, which *really* deserves all the credit for "breaking" the Lott story,* has returned.

*And not Crazy Andy who, contrary to current myth, didn't say a thing for 3 days .
Racism taking another one down...

Though, like Lott, he won't fall far I'm sure.

Clinton Library Causes Downtown Revitalization

Anoint me, dude.

Washington Post Ombudsman notes praise, and criticisms because they were big meanies to Trent Lott. Did not address this issue.

Sunday, January 05, 2003

Welcome Skyedreams to the blogosphere.
Just to put it simply - a guy who covered up for pedophiles, was responsible for Operation Ill Wind, and deep into the Tailhook scandal is Just the Man to Involved With a 9/11 Investigation.
The Moonies have taken up the Chavez-terrorist connection.

(thanks to Jim Henley for sending it in )

Jerry Falwell said after Sept. 11 that abortionists, feminists, the gays and lesbians who promote homosexuality as a natural lifestyle, the American Civil Liberties Union and all those who try to secularize America (in short, the PC crowd) bear some responsibility for Sept. 11.

While his statement may have been unpopular, it was true, at least in the larger sense. If we pillory those who defend traditional moral values, we seem weak. Why would any terrorist fear a country that treats the Boy Scouts like the KKK? If we treat the moral as trivial, if we make it seem as though our lives have no value, how can we expect others to respect the value of our lives?

The Virgin Ben, obsessing about the sexual habits of others.
Hey Jay, apparently we never root for the same team.

nelson Ha Ha! /nelson

Freaking Lovely


UPDATE: Let me just add this is a total outrage and a big extended middle finger to the victims of 9/11, their families, the country, truth, justice, the American way, and everything else one can think of.

Lehman was Navy secretary from 1981 to 1987 and presided over Ronald Reagan's buildup to a 600-ship Navy. But Lehman also presided over one of the worst cover-ups in the Navy's entire 227-year history.

Long before the Roman Catholic Church pedophile scandal, the U.S. Navy experienced one of its own. It involved at least one U.S. Naval Academy graduate, P-3 Orion naval pilots with access to nuclear weapons (the P-3 Orion is an anti-submarine warfare aircraft), personnel with top-secret clearances, and officers in leadership positions of trust akin to those of clergymen.

The Navy's pedophilia scandal broke in the quiet and serene Oregon coastal town of Coos Bay on Sept. 11, 1982, when the commanding officer of the U.S. Naval Facility, a classified submarine tracking station, was arrested by local police for involvement in child pornography and lascivious acts with minors, including sodomy. The arrest followed a 2-month-long investigation involving the FBI and the Naval Investigative Service.


A team of Navy counselors, chaplains, and child psychiatrists from Bethesda Naval Hospital, who were alerted to fly to Oregon to treat and offer assistance to the young victims and their families, was abruptly ordered to stand down.

And before long, the Navy acted as if the incident never even occurred. The potential for damage to the Navy's reputation was evident as reports surfaced of other Navy pedophile rings at Moffett Field Naval Air Station near San Jose, Calif., and U.S. naval bases in the Philippines and at San Diego.

Some senior naval officers, allegedly including one flag rank officer, were quietly and quickly retired. According to one NIS investigator, the Coos Bay arrest opened up a Pandora's box of pedophile cases in the Navy and, according to a number of federal law enforcement officials in Portland, Seattle, and Washington, the cover-up of the incidents "went right to the top" - and the top at the time was John Lehman.

The Navy also pressured the state of Oregon and Coos County not to investigate independently the Coos Bay incident any further, saying that its investigation never turned up any evidence that civilian children in Oregon were victimized. Throughout the next few years, Navy public affairs officers were ordered to stonewall reporters.

In many respects, John Lehman was no different than Boston's Cardinal Bernard Law in covering up an incident later described by a senior naval officer as among the top 10 most damaging incidents in the history of the U.S. Navy. However, unlike John Lehman, Cardinal Law had the decency to acknowledge the scandal and ultimately resign his office over the church's pedophilia scandal.

Rewarding an arch-cover up artist like John Lehman with a seat on the Sept. 11 investigation commission is a disservice to the families of the victims of the terrorist attacks who are seeking answers to why it happened and closure to their horrific tragedies.

More on this hideous excuse for a human.


The Virgin Ben.


As the Goblin Queen says:

For the record, I don't think there's anything wrong with being a virgin, either by choice or because it just hasn't happened yet. It's when people let their sexual frustration become openly expressed contempt for another gender that I have a problem.

Or contempt for people of another sexual orientation, let me add. But, if the Virgin Ben wants to resort to Onanism and/or those regrettable nocturnal emissions, who are we to judge..
If I were the horse, I'd say here are the names and email addresses of everyone in the best little whorehouse in D.C. But, I'm much more polite than that (ha ha), so here's your chance to communicate with the noble and honorable Washington press corps. All of them.

Take back the media says:

It's time to remind the Washington Press Corps that they're there to do a job, not make best friends with the administration that they're supposed to be covering objectively. We at Take Back The Media urge you to email, fax or phone these correspondents and let them know that their utter lack of hard work is not going unnoticed. Tell them that the way to get information out of Ari is to stand up to him, not to let him obfuscate. Tell them that they're supposed to be covering the White House, not trying to befriend those who work there. Tell them that their journalistic ancestors are watching their actions with horror and disgust.
Not enough of you are buying Neal Pollack's new book. Buy it here. I think if he sells about 30 million more copies he'll have to pay me the $5 million he promised me if I plugged it. Otherwise it seems I'll get nothing.

Or, you can buy his old one here.
oooh. Drudge has a world exclusive coming... I wonder if this former Bush speechwriter beats his wife? Or gets a little on the side? So many possibilities..

Looks like Mr. Danielle Crittenden (well she didn't take his name as she has advised so many women to, so perhaps he should have taken hers, no?) has written a nasty book. My bet is there's practically nothing in there to upset the White House, but let's hope they make a big stink and try to destroy him like they did DiIulio.

Oh no, he calls him 'tart.' naughty naughty!
Ailes says Sullivan is a humorless git, and he also points us to this fascinating article in another Moonie Magazine (one Andrew Sullivan doesn't write for) about North Korea.
Interesting Times compares Bush/Clinton poll numbers for comparable periods of crisis (though obviously very different crises).
Pundit Pap is up.
More on the five men we aren't looking for.
Here's a fair use snip from This Week. Watch Gingrich get busted on his lie about when the recession starts and hilariously try to blame the Democrats for criticizing a proposal they haven't seen because the proposal that was floated on Friday has already been changed.

(thanks to Charles Eicher)
So explain to me why on the local ABC Sunday morning news they prominently feature a story, complete with video footage, of an alleged link between Hugo Chavez and al Qaeda which as far as all of my interns and I can find, has not been taken up by any newspaper or wire service and can only be traced back to the web site of the organized opposition to Chavez.

I hear an organ playing...

I thought Krugman's performance against Newt Gingrich on This Week was pretty good. Though how anyone can go up against Newt Gingrich and manage to resist the temptation to say "serial adulterer" is beyond me...

From Fools for Scandal

Enter now investigative reporter L.J. Davis, who came to Little Rock in early 1994 for The New Republic to look into alleged conflicts of interest involving former Governor Clinton and his wife. The result of Davis's investigation became the magazine's April 4, 1994, cover story, entitled "The Name of the Rose."

..."With the stroke of a pen and without a visible second thought," Davis wrote, "the-Governor Bill Clinton...gave life to two pieces of legislation inspired by his wife's boss [i.e., the Rose Law Firm] -- revising the usury laws and permitting the formation of new bank holding companies."

In fact, Arkansas usury laws were revised as follows: In 1982, Republican Governor Frank White got the legislature to place a constitutional amendment on the general election ballot replacing the state's restrictive 10 percent interest limit. He campaigned for it vigorously. Every bank, car dealer, and large retail merchant in the state supported the change. Needing the support of organized labor, which opposed the change, White's opponent, Bill Clinton, sat on the fence. Clinton won the election, but the amendment passed without his help...

Davis also wrote darkly of a 1985 law permitting state-chartered banks to open branches in more than one county. "Worthen [National Bank]," he wrote, "could not have been brought to life without [Clinton's] Government." Clinton, The New Republic alleged, also favored Worthen by making it a "major depository of the state's tax receipts," in gratitude for which Worthen awarded the Rose Law firm its lucrative legal business.

But Worthen existed as a federally chartered bank holding company called FABCO (First Arkansas Bankstock Corporation) long before Clinton took office. Nor did the governor award Worthen state deposits : then the state's largest bank, Worthen had been the major depository since before Bill Clinton was born. (State law apportions such deposits among competing institutions.) As for the Rose Law Firm, it had been Worthen's chief counsel for fifty years.

Davis's main focus of the conspiracy is the mighty Stephens Inc. investment banking empire and Clinton's role in stuffing its coffers with illicit bond money.... But for The New Republic, a magazine by the way which employs no fact-checkers [emphasis mine], to assert that Bill Clinton made the Stephens family rich makes about as much sense as arguing that Chase Manhattan's David Rockefeller owes it all to Mario Cuomo.

Need I remind you who the editor of the New Republic was during these glory days?