Saturday, January 25, 2003

The Horse is trumpeting some falsehoods in the book review of Susan McDougal's new book. Mentioned by the Horse, and in the review, is the book Blood Sport. Throughout the whole Whitewater affair, there were various moments of press coverage that were so egregioiusly bad that you couldn't help but realize the entire press corps had taken the red pill on this one. One of the biggest ones was Jeff Greenfield's cut-and-pasting of footage of an interview with Hillary Clinton which deliberately turned what she had said upside down. Another was the surreal moment on Nightline when James Stewart, who had just written this breathless tale of Arkansas corruption, was asked the $64,000 dollar question by Ted Koppel (on the March 11, 1996 show):

TED KOPPEL: What then, do you conclude, that- I mean, try and give it to me in a broad sense. What is it that you would say if you were obliged, in 15 or 30 seconds, to summarize what is troublesome about Whitewater and what will still come back to haunt the Clintons?

So, the man was given the opportunity to say concisely just what the Clintons had done wrong - legally, ethically, morally, whatever. The *worst* thing.

What does he come up with?

JAMES STEWART: Well, I think the Whitewater investment and the story of that is important because it shows many things about the Clintons. It shows their willingness to hold themselves to the standards that everyone else has to meet. It shows their willingness to abide
by financial requirements in obtaining mortgage loans. But I think, most of all, it shows their willingness, while in Arkansas, to accept the favors of people who were regulated by the state. Their attitude to this, which bordered on the negligent in the beginning, clearly
indicated a mindset which said, 'Somebody else will take care of us because of our power as highly elected officials in the state of Arkansas.'

TED KOPPEL: In a sense, Jim, that's a negative way of saying the same thing we heard Mrs. Clinton say at the beginning of this broadcast. In other words, let somebody else take care of this. She put, in a more positive sense, i.e., 'We had nothing to do with this. If Jim
McDougal came and said, 'You owe so-and-so-much in interest,' we paid it, but we never saw documents, we never had an active role in this Whitewater affair.' To which you would say what?

JAMES STEWART: Well, that simply isn't true. I think it may have been true in the very beginning of the investment, when there were still high hopes that this would make money and the McDougals could handle everything, but by 1986, when the McDougal empire was
crumbling, it was not true. At that point, Mrs. Clinton essentially took, singlehandedly, the control of this investment. She was the one who negotiated the loan renewals with the bank that held the mortgage. She was the one who handled all the correspondence. She was the
one who went over all the numbers. She had possession of all the records.

TED KOPPEL: It is your contention that she vastly inflated the value of the Clintons' interest in Whitewater.

JAMES STEWART: That's correct.

TED KOPPEL: Correct?

JAMES STEWART: As I'm sure anybody who has ever applied for a mortgage knows, you have to disclose your assets in such a financial disclosure statement, and there are warnings on these forms to be honest about this, to be accurate, to be careful, not to use uncertain
judgments, because to inflate that can be a federal crime. And yet Mrs. Clinton valued Whitewater at $100,000 on a 1987 financial disclosure document, right after the bank itself had visited the property and concluded the most generous estimate for their half-interest would
be $52,000.

TED KOPPEL: So when you're talking about a $100,000 evaluation, you're not talking about the value of the whole property, but the Clintons' half-interest?

JAMES STEWART: They valued their half-interest at $100,000.

TED KOPPEL: I ask you this question advisedly, reminding our viewers that you have some experience as a lawyer. Is that a crime?

JAMES STEWART: It is a crime to submit a false financial document. In fact, their partners, the McDougals, are on trial in Little Rock this week for having submitted false financial documents to financial institutions. But to prove a case like that, a prosecutor would have to
prove that it was knowingly a false submission. We haven't heard an explanation from either Mrs. Clinton or the President about that document, and that ultimately would be a question for a prosecutor and a jury to decide.

A supposedly fraudulent loan application. So, a few hundred page book gets distilled down to a fraudulent loan application.

Which, of course, we know was only "fraudulent" because James Stewart was missing a page.

As Conason says:

As it turned out, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author had simply failed to notice that the loan document had two sides -- a back and a front –- and that Mrs. Clinton had completed the document without error, let alone fraudulent intent. Stewart's revelation was merely another of
many, many ominous but ultimately phony insinuations that stoked public suspicion.

Don't forget to order Eric Alterman's new book. Although, it could suck - some not too savvy marketer didn't send a review copy to the Middle 'C', but I'll promote it anyway...

You know, I'm pretty sure that the kind of people who would get upset about Serena Williams sitting on a flag are the same people who attached flags to their automobiles in violation of any protocol, then let them get shredded in the wind and rain until they flew off on the highway only to be run over and pulverized into the ground by an oncoming truck or 50.

First thing we do, let's..

Jeanne D'Arc points us to some truly insane prosecutors.

Prosecutors... were going to great lengths to skirt Ryan's order, in some instances searching for technical legal glitches -- the kind they usually lament for freeing the guilty -- in the hope of sending some who received clemency back to death row. They were combing old records to see if perhaps sentencing papers had not been signed or otherwise properly processed, on the theory that if an inmate had not been legally, technically, sentenced to death he could not be granted clemency from that sentence.

Digby sez:

I do look forward to Rush Limbaugh and all of his imitators, the entire Barbizon School of Dyed Blond Former Prosecutors, the editorial board of the New York Times and the Washington Post, William Safire, Maureen Dowd and every other columnist, Lucianne Goldberg and her coven of hideous bitches, AND EVERY OTHER REPUBLICAN WHO SAID THAT CLINTON WAS A CRIMINAL, to now prostrate themselves at the feet of Bill and Hillary for the despicable, cruel and outrageous lies they spread from the years 1992 through the present.

If I've got to apologize publicly for posting one inaccurate article, the entire Republican establishment will be spending the rest of its natural life trying to find the time to eat and sleep in between confessions of guilt.

Better get started, Kids. I suggest that you begin with the false allegations of holding up Air Force One with a haircut, go on to the bogus accusations of influencing Beverly Bassett on Madison Guarantee (and ALL Whitewater related smears for that matter.) Don't forget Vince Fosters much investigated "murder", through Safire's "scoop" that Hillary was about to be indicted and just keep going until you hit Clinton's illegitimate love child and the phony White House trashing story.


The Horse reminds us of how the press's treatment of Dubya is increasingly resembling their treatment of Reagan - first, falsely pretending that he was incredibly popular, and the second using that popularity as their reason for laying off him, or being On Bended Knee as the book is titled. His Alzheimer's was also an open secret among the media for years . Contrast that with their treatment of Clinton, who was truly popular - with both his average and top Gallup poll rating exceeding Reagan's.

The invaluable PollKatz gives us this Gallup Poll comparison chart. The interesting thing is how closely Clinton's poll numbers track Reagan's up until about 5 1/2 years in, when Reagan's drop substantially and Clinton's surge. For a good third of his presidency, Reagan's numbers were essentially in the 40s. It really is a sharp contrast the media's portrayal of Reagan as an exceedingly popular president. He wasn't.
We can't let the John Lott saga go without mentioning that his next book is scheduled to be published by that noted academic press, Regnery.
Stephen Phelps has written a column about astro-turf here.

Let me chime in here. Aside from taking an amusing swipe at 'the other side,' let me explain why the whole astro-turf issue is a bit more than that. A lot of people have said that all political parties and interest groups regularly issue various "action alerts" including sample letters to send to various people. This is true, but most of the time the "click here to send this form letter under your name" systems are directed not at newspapers for the purposes of publication but for congressional representatives. As such, they are more like signing a petition. I've sent a few of those and I've never expected the recipients to assume it was a letter written in my own words.

In addition, GOPTeamLeader allows the user to send the identical letter simultaneously to up to 5 media sources - which is a bit indecent.

But, really, the main issue about this astroturf was that so many editors published it even though it was so obviously a piece of astro-turf. In fact, one editor communicated to one of my readers that they published it knowing full well that it was astroturf "as a courtesy" to their many GOP readers.

Make sure to listen in to Johnny Wendell today from 12-13pm PST on KFI out of LA (streaming) . KFI is like this black hole on the AM dial, sucking everyone's radio tuner to it - huge audience. He's one of the few, but hopefully growing, number of liberal hosts on the radio - and tuning and and sending positive comments to management could help.
Ampersand brings to our attention the non-impact of affirmative action on white admissions rates to elite schools.
The Hamster lays into the ridiculous Alan Colmes. Eric had corresponded with Alan Colmes previously about his ineffectiveness.
No need to teach 1960s history anymore, we're repeating it for the kiddies:

Saturday, January 25, 2003 -Federal authorities have begun enlisting campus police officers in the domestic war on terror, renewing fears among some faculty and student groups of overzealous FBI spying at colleges and universities that led to scandals in decades past.

On at least a dozen campuses, the FBI has included collegiate police officers as members of local Joint Terrorism Task Forces, the regional entities that oversee counterterrorism investigations nationwide.

Some officers have been given federal security clearance, which allows them access to classified information. Their supervisors often do not know which cases these officers are working on because details cannot be shared, officials said


Distrust of the FBI runs high among some faculty who remember the counterculture demonstrations of the 1960s. Under J. Edgar Hoover's 15-year COINTELPRO program, the bureau engaged in broad and questionable tactics aimed at monitoring and disrupting student activist groups.

FBI agents infiltrated leftist antiwar and civil rights groups with informants, tapped into radio frequencies to disrupt protest plans, stole membership rolls and compiled dossiers on student political leaders. The FBI even produced bogus student newspapers, one conservative and one liberal, to spread inaccurate information and sow dissension among student groups. The COINTELPRO program was halted in 1971.

At the University of Toledo, police chief John A. Dauer said that one full-time and one part-time officer are assigned to the FBI terrorism task force based in Cleveland. Although he is not privy to the details of his officers' work with federal agents, Dauer said the arrangement gives him a better handle on possible terrorist threats on campus than he previously had.

"We have a large Arab population between here and Dearborn that they are concerned about, and a considerable international population on campus," Dauer said. "Having the detectives work with them helps us be more proactive in terms of information. Without that, we'd probably have very little information at all."

Wonder if they've interviewed Max Klinger yet...

The MinuteMan has a few words about Sully's blame deflection regarding the Confederate Wreath issue.

He links to someone who says that the career of the reporter who did the Time story is probably on thin ice. If only that were so. This is Micahael Weisskopf we are talking about, one head of the two headed Ken Starr lie dissemination hydra known around these parts as the Scheisskopf (the other head of this filth spewing monster being 'Steno' Sue Schmidt.)

Interesting Times notes the whole story may have started with this press release on a confederacy site.
Thanks to everyone who has been sending me nice gifts through amazon! I may waste the weekend watching my Lord of the Rings DVDs..

So, this is where we are

BROWN: All right. Back to Iraq and a couple stories that brought a chill today. The State Department warned all Americans living abroad to be prepared to be evacuated. A senior official not denying that the possibility of war triggered this most unusual worldwide advisory.

Also today, we learned the FBI is trying to get a handle on Iraqis who are living in the United States; living here legally or otherwise. For more on this, we go to Washington and CNN's Kelli Arena -- Kelli, good to see you tonight.

ARENA: Hi there, Aaron. Well the FBI is very busy trying to locate and interview as many as 50,000 Iraqis currently living here in the United States. Now, officials say that agents are searching for everything from potential terrorist cells to individuals who may be able to provide information that would be helpful if the U.S. goes to war with Iraq: for example, someone who may have a relative that's still in Iraq who may be able to contact people that are interested in defecting or providing information to the U.S. military.

Now, agents have been interviewing Iraqis in their homes, at work, in mosques. But it is a very delicate balancing act. They need cooperation from these communities. And when FBI agents come sniffing around, especially these days, Aaron, law enforcement sources say that people tend to clam up, especially if they're here illegally.

Now, separately, sources say that there are as many as 600 to 1,000 individuals under constant surveillance here in the United States, some of them Iraqi, but definitely not all of them. And these people, sources say, may be capable of doing harm to the United States. So, that is what's going on, at least on the domestic front, as we approach a possible war, Aaron.

BROWN: If you know, when the FBI contacts people who are here illegally and seeks their cooperation, are they told that they'll get a pass from immigration or not, if they cooperate?

ARENA: Not always. Not always. It really is done on a case-by- case basis.

Sources have said that, in some cases, the threat of deportation does make people cooperate in some instances. But headquarters has sent out a very clear message, Aaron. They have said: Look, we're looking from cooperation from these communities. Do not go out there and use a heavy-handed approach. Do not go out there and intimidate. People can come forward voluntarily. We want them to come forward voluntarily. So, let's not go out there and smash people with this. We want to make sure that we get cooperation now and in the months ahead, when it's going to be really crucial.

BROWN: And just as perhaps a matter of common sense, while it's certainly possible -- I don't know if it's likely, but it's certainly possible there are Iraqi bad guys in the United States. One would think that most of the Iraqis who found their way to the United States were desperately trying to get out of Iraq, because it's not a very pleasant place to be, necessarily.

ARENA: That's right.

BROWN: And they're more happy to be here, legal or otherwise.

ARENA: That's right. That's right.

And FBI officials do point out that the majority of Iraqi nationals living here, they have absolutely no evidence to support that they're here to do any harm. But they are very concerned about possible terrorist cells that may have been sent here after the first Gulf War by Saddam Hussein, waiting to be ignited, waiting to be put into action.

Now, I have to underscore, Aaron, that officials say that they have absolutely no evidence of any Iraqi cells or any terrorist cells in general that they've been able to locate. But it is a concern. And they want to get as much information, intelligence-wise and military operation-wise, as they can.

BROWN: Thank you, Kelli Arena -- and one more sign of how the country is preparing at least for the very real possibility that war could come.

Thank you, Kelli Arena.
Dan Kennedy raises the right questions regarding Scott Ritter.

I never considered Ritter to be a particularly effective spokesman against the war. I think his critics tended to twist his words to exaggerate the contradictions in his positions, but there were nonetheless some unresolved issues there. But, as Dan Kennedy says:

There has still barely been a word about this in the national media. But the fact remains that someone leaked sealed court documents about a leading (if misleading) critic of the White House's Iraq policy on the eve of a likely military invasion. Is anyone in the media going to get to the bottom of this?

This even more relevant now that the Feds have apparently gotten ahold of the case and are considering filing charges.

(via Interesting Times, who has some information about one of the involved Judges).

Listen to Rush's great hit song!
All hail Suckful!
MWO gets it exactly right:

When Bush is through with the courts, the most serious charge possible in a case like this will be "defacing government property."

Friday, January 24, 2003

Well, this is fascinating...

A number of sources close to the council said the Thacker nomination was pushed by the council's controversial executive director, Pat Ware, an African American woman allied with the Family Research Council and other conservative Christian groups and a vocal proponent of abstinence as an AIDS prevention method. Ware referred media calls to the White House.

A member of the council said Ware has made several comments to gay members of the council suggesting that gay white men are responsible for infecting the African American community with AIDS. Others confirmed that Ware and her allies among conservative Christian groups have promoted that theory.

"It is very clear that increasingly people within the Christian right and in the conservative movement are seeking to blame gay white men for the spread of the epidemic," said A. Cornelius Baker, executive director of the Whitman-Walker Clinic in Washington, an AIDS treatment organization. "Not only that, they are seeking to blame white gay men for the plight of African Americans in this disease. It is unacceptable.

"As an African American, I find this whole attempt to create division and wedges in our community one that is intolerable. It is a lie, and it is a lie that we cannot buy into."

Now, what on Earth could encourage this bunch to appoint a black woman who blames gay white men for the problems of African Americans.....

Oh Jeebus. Looted again.

The federal agency that insures the pensions of some 44 million Americans has been pounded by a succession of big corporate bankruptcies and has burned through its entire $8 billion surplus in one year.

The agency, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, provides protection to retirees in case of a failure, much as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation protects depositors when a bank fails. Though it can continue to make its current payments, the agency is expected to disclose a deficit of $1 billion to $2 billion at the end of this month.

Its soundness is likely to deteriorate further in the coming months, as more bankrupt companies find themselves unable to fulfill their promises to tens of thousands of present and future retirees. US Airways, United Airlines and Kmart are among the companies struggling to emerge from bankruptcy protection under the weight of large underfunded pension plans.
Been busy...more later/tomorrow...
Bose has stopped purchasing ads on Limbaugh.

I look forward to Norah Vincent's condemnation of this. Any attempts to pressure corporate sponsors are, in her eyes, unconstitutional.

Wampum Blog has the Best Post Ever. Make sure to read to the end.

More Lott

The man with the super long permalinks, Arch Pundit, tells us about the cost of doing a survey, and has some other comments on survey methodology as does Ted Barlow.

Tim Lambert continues with the daily update, including giving us the revelation that Mary Rosh posted Lott's "new survey questions" on usenet, despite him having promised not too. Make sure you check out "Lott of the Rings" at the Bottom.

[do you have an obsession with guys named Lott?-.ed. Perhaps!]

Generally a good way to make the head of an economist explode is to ask him or her "is a weak dollar good or bad for the economy?" Partially it's because it isn't quite the right question, and partially because there isn't a simple answer. But, in any case, it is definitely bad for the price of European Vacations. $1.08 per Euro. Wow.
I posted a version of this in the comments at Hit and Run here, but I'll repeat:

It is weird how there's this cabal of Bellesiles worshipping gun control fetishists out there who are obsessed with finding revenge. I mean, I haven't met one. I haven't read one. I was never invited to the meeting.

I'm not saying they don't exist, but I would like them to be, well named. As far as I can tell most of the people who are looking into the John Lott situation are former supporters.

My own objections of Lott have not much to do with caring about the gun issue, and nothing to do with Bellesiles. It's all about exposing a huckster who has leveraged his supposed credibility into other areas.

Kierhan Healy has more:

I picked the brains of a few people who know more about sampling methods than me about this topic. In each case, I had trouble getting to the weights issue because they were laughing so much at the background information. Lott says he has no dataset, no paper records of any kind, no memory of the precise wording of questions in the survey instrument, and no recollection of the names of the students involved in the data collection. He did not apply for any funding, paid for the survey out of his own pocket, and did not collect the data via a phonebank. Instead, "one of the students had a program to randomly sample the telephone numbers by state. My guess is that it was part of the [marketing] CD [he obtained from an unknown source and no longer has], but on that point I can't be sure." Lott claims that he had two students on the job, working from their own phones, and they "had also gotten others that they knew from other campuses from places such as I think the University of Illinois at Chicago circle (but I am not sure that I remember this accurately)." Did they all get copies of the CD and its "program"? Did Lott do anything to oversee the data collection and coding? How was it all collated? Phone surveys have low response rates. Getting 2,424 respondents would have meant the RAs made at least twice that number of calls. That's a lot of long-distance calls to be making from your dorm room.

From Betty Bowers.

They're giving your tax money to Bill Clinton!!!

Tim Dunlop has come up with the best way to argue against the tax cut.
For the life of me I couldn't figure out what the hell William F. Buckley was trying to say in his New York Times op-ed the first time I read it, and I wasn't going to waste any more precious moments of my existence reading it again. But, Jeff Hauser has this to say about Buckley (in email):

ONE CHARACTERISTIC OF MODERATES IS TO ACCEPT RIGHT WINGERS AS PEOPLE TOO: HOWEVER, THOSE WHO A) OPPOSED CIVIL RIGHTS AND B) HAVEN'T BEEN 100% CONTRITE SINCE SHOULD C) BE PUBLICLY VERBOTEN. Heck, I'd be okay with getting rid of the contrition exception (i.e., how bad is Robert Byrd's presence as a leader in the Dem caucus), but let's take the first step and worry about even greater purity down the line.
Anyway, the NYT publishes an op-ed by William F. Buckley. . . on racial preferences vis-a-vis legacy admissions?


William F. Buckley, Jr.

In 1955, a few short years after finishing college, William F. Buckley founded the National Review, which continues to be an influential journal of conservative opinion. Buckley's opposition to federal civil rights measures, including the 1964 Civil Rights Act, has remained unchanged. In a recent debate this year on his television show, "Firing Line," he was questioned by ACLU president Ira Glasser:

Glasser: In 1961, you said you were "not ready to abandon the ideal of local government in order to kill Jim Crow."

Buckley: That's true.

Glasser: You ought to be ashamed of that now. Are you?

Buckley: No In order to advance them [blacks], certain cultural changes, including education, had to be done Whether it should have been turned over to the federal government, in my judgment, it ought not to have been."

Yes, perhaps someone can correct me - but I'm not aware that Buckley has ever disavowed his explicitly racist pro-segregationist views of the past. Why the hell would the N.Y. Times allow him, of all people, to write an op-ed on the subject? Damn that conservative Howell Raines!

Neal Pollack has an advance copy of the State of the Union.
Oliver may have found Iraq's secret Weapon of Mass Destruction.

Get this...



Don't forget to give poor Wolf Blitzer his daily stress..

Thursday, January 23, 2003

I'll follow Josh Marshall's lead and acknowledge that the Time story about the confederate wreath may be a wee bit bogus. Oops, just went to check - apparently it IS definitely bogus. I'm not sure why some people have accused me of lacking credibility for daring to link to a Time story. But let this serve as a lesson to us all - never trust a goddamn thing written by Michael Weisskopf.

Oh boy, wasting money to buy drug ads during the Superbowl. Well, after a 6 pack or so I'm sure they'll be good for a giggle.

"This is the worst president ever."

-Helen Thomas.

(via Orcinus, which you should go read.)
Tom Spencer gives some more on John Lott, and Tim Lambert has a daily run-down.

I just want to point out that the mysterious gentleman, David Gross, who came forward to confirm his participation in John Lott's phantom phone survey is a very strong concealed gun-control advocate, a member of this organization, and practitioner of some rather dirty, if legal, tactics:

May 5 Update -- The Minnesota Gun Owners Civil Rights Alliance (GOCRA) just took exclusive ownership of the corporate names of the two biggest anti-gun groups in the state: Citizens for a Safer Minnesota and Citizens for a Safer Minnesota Education Fund.

Not only are those wonderful names for new organizations that would truly make Minnesota safer -- by enlarging gun rights, not destroying them -- the anti-gunners who spent a lot of time, money and energy building up those names can no longer use them. Nor can they use signs, stationery or other materials using those names.

That shut down the groups’ operations at a political convention this weekend and promises to give a great deal of grief to the groups, their officers, and their contributors.

Further, anyone who has contributed in the last three years to the IRS 501(c)(3) tax-deductible CSM Education Fund may have to file an amended tax return -- including American For Safe Government Andrew McKelvey and his personal anti-gun group, a heavy contributor to anti-gunners across the country.

The Minnesota anti-gun organizations had failed to file their annual non-profit corporation registration so their corporations had been automatically dissolved by the Secretary of State's Office. That terminated the existence of their corporate entities and made the business names available for the taking.

GOCRA took the name of the lobbying organization by incorporating a new subsidiary corporation with the now-available former name of the anti- gun group. That required only a one page fill-in-the-blank form available from the Secretary of State's Office and a $135 filing fee. The form was downloaded from the SOS web page.

The gun organization also got the name of the anti-gunner's tax- deductible foundation by forming another corporation which they intend to qualify under Internal Revenue Code Sec. 501(c)(3).

While they were at it, the pro-gun group reserved for 12 months other names they thought the anti-gunners might want to adopt (which costs less than incorporating).

The founders of GOCRA, David Gross and Joe Olson, both lawyers, were close friends and allies on the NRA Board until we were purged in the post-Heston era. But they’re very much still in the fight; I attended an meeting with Joe and other grass roots activists last week during the Reno NRA meetings.

Now, it's quite possible that this guy remembers taking part in a phone survey five years previously from some college kid at the "University of Northwestern" and just coincidentally happens to be a very active gun advocate. Anything's possible.

(thanks to Mac Diva for the catch).

And Guy Cabot tells us about Theodore Fiddleman.

Neo-Confederate Bigot Robert Stacy McCain writes about the Lott controversy in the Moonie Times.

No mention of Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary...Has Insty mentioned that yet? Wonder if he's ever gotten a mash note from Ms. Rosh.
Now let's look at the other horrible specimens Bush has appointed to this commission:

Tom Coburn, Co-Chair

Former Rep. Tom Coburn (R-OK) received a 0% Congressional voting rating in all three of his terms from the Human Rights Campaign. In addition to his poor record on issues of concern to the gay and lesbian community, Coburn consistently voted against needed HIV/AIDS legislation. Coburn also called for the firing of the Director of the Centers for Disease Control because the CDC promotes condom use to prevent transmission of the HIV virus. Rich Tafel, Executive Director of LCR, has called Coburn’s past votes "morally wrong and politically dangerous." (Washington Blade, May 07, 1999)

Louis Sullivan, Co-Chair

Dr. Louis Sullivan was HHS Secretary for President George Bush. Sullivan is known for addressing HIV/AIDS issues in communities of color, and for supporting needle exchange efforts. However, as HHS Secretary, Sullivan extended the Bush Administration’s ban on allowing HIV-positive people, and gays and lesbians, from entering the country. Sullivan also encouraged HIV-positive people, and gay men, to stop having sex. As HHS Secretary, Sullivan argued for guidelines that would have prevented HIV-positive surgeons and dentists from operating, and he repressed a government study on suicide among gay teens so that it would not be linked to the Bush Administration. Sullivan’s relationship with a scam artist, who claimed to have a vaccine for AIDS, was used to swindle millions out of investors before Sullivan realized that the vaccine did not exist.

Pat Ware, Executive Director.

Ware’s appointment is disturbing due to her advocacythat undermines safe-sex education and that shifts away money from prevention efforts in the gay community.

Ware has been associated with anti-gay organizations such as the Family Research Council and is most closely linked to her work with Americans for a Sound HIV/AIDS Policy (ASAP), which has since changed its name to the Children’s AIDS Fund. ASAP was an abstinence-only organization opposed to most HIV/AIDS education and prevention measures. ASAP also lobbied against including HIV and AIDS in the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Ware herself is a strong abstinence-only proponent, lobbying against any effort that promotes education and protection over abstinence. Ware is also opposed to condom use. Pat Ware has advocated that the government shift away funds from groups that serve gays and towards abstinence-only education. At the 2000 Republican Convention in Philadelphia, Ware referenced the "innocent babies" infected with HIV, a comment that implied that others are "guilty" victims of the epidemic.

Joe McIlaney

Dr. Joe McIlaney is the founder and director of the Medical Institute for Sexual Health (MISH) in Austin, Texas. MISH is an abstinence and anti safe-sex organization. Dr. McIlaney is most noted for his repeated attacks against the idea of using condoms to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Among his books, McIlaney co-wrote The Myth of Safe Sex with James Dobson, president of Focus on the Family (which runs a prominent ex-gay ministry). McIlaney frequently interprets medical statistics for his own liking, and those interpretations are often used by anti-gay groups. On November 15, 2001, McIlaney testified before Congress to promote abstinence. McIlaney also enjoyed influence over the state health curriculum while George W. Bush was Governor of Texas.

Anita Smith

Anita Smith is the co-founder of the Children AIDS Fund (formally Americans for a Sound HIV/AIDS Policy). Smith has stated that her organization "believes abstinence is the only true prevention." (Family Voice,July/August 2001). Smith’s organization lobbied against including HIV/AIDS status in the Americans With Disabilities Act. The organization has also pushed to take money from prevention efforts in the gay community and reassign it to less effective efforts. Smith has also worked extensively to promote abstinence-only programs.

Smith has appeared in articles by the Concerned Women for America, who have lobbied to keep gay men off the council. Referencing potential appointments to the council, Concerned Women for America stated:

"What we have here, frankly, is a power struggle between homosexual white men who have used all the government AIDS programs fundamentally to fund their subculture and political activities, versus the other dominate demographic group who’s suffering from AIDS, - namely, black women." (Battle Underway of AIDS Panel, Family News in Focus. October 29, 2001).

Joseph Jennings

Joseph Jennings is a motivational speaker, and former gang leader, who travels the country speaking to children about drugs and violence. Jennings’ background in HIV/AIDS comes mostly from telling teenagers to abstain from sex. Jennings is a frequent speaker for Acquire The Fire youth conferences. Acquire The Fire, organized by TeenMania Ministries, promotes among other issues, religious conversion as a cure for homosexuality and sexual abstinence until marriage.

These aren't a couple "cultural conservatives" - this is a entire gang of fringe right bigots. This is sick.


(via Polstate)

Tom Tomorrow tells us about Bill Mauldin.

Thacker Withdraws

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Christian activist chosen by the White House for a presidential AIDS advisory panel is withdrawing his name under pressure after characterizing the disease as the ``gay plague,'' along with other anti-homosexual statements.

The administration had chosen Jerry Thacker to serve on the Presidential Advisory Commission on HIV and AIDS. He was to be sworn in along with other new commission members next week by Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson.

On Thursday, however, Thacker was sending a letter signaling that he would not accept the appointment, administration officials said.

White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, while neither confirming nor denying the withdrawal, issued a stern rebuke of Thacker's statements.

Hey, we win again.

(sent in by the Liquid List.) (Link fixed)

MWO I think gets Sully here:

Sully calls upon all gay members of the panel to quit if Thacker is appointed.

Say, what? What's this identity politics all of a sudden from Andrew Sullivan, of all people.

MWO calls upon every member of the President's Advisory Commission on HIV and AIDS -- gay and straight, Republican and Democratic (if there are any of the latter) -- to quit if Jerry Thacker is appointed, including the commission's co-chairman, Dr. Louis W. Sullivan, who served as Secretary of Health and Human Services under Poppy.

Not because of their sexuality -- but simple as good Americans who stand against bigotry in every form.

It's not surprising that the minute that Sully embraces Identity Politics he gets it wrong. The "identity politics" came over the past few days when members of the gay community recoiled in shock and horror, uncovered what this guy stood for, noted the cover up, and tried to force ths issue into the media. The "identity politics" came in when, once again, a pissed upon minority group has to go into overdrive to try and defend its own while the rest of us have to be dragged along. Once it hits the Washington Post, it has little to do with identity politics and everything to do with the rejection of bigotry.

Charles Kuffner suggests some perfectly fair questions for reporters to ask the Bush administration.

And No More Mister Nice Blog has more on Astroturf.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003


The Bush administration has chosen Jerry Thacker, a Pennsylvania marketing consultant who has characterized AIDS as the "gay plague," to serve on the Presidential Advisory Commission on HIV and AIDS.

Next week, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson is scheduled to swear in several new commission members. They include Thacker, a former Bob Jones University employee, who says he contracted the AIDS virus after his wife was infected through a blood transfusion.


In his speeches and writings on his Web site and elsewhere, Thacker has described homosexuality as a "deathstyle" rather than a lifestyle and asserted that "Christ can rescue the homosexual." After word of his selection spread among gays in recent days, some material disappeared from the Web site. Earlier versions located by The Washington Post that referred to the "gay plague," for instance, were changed as of yesterday to "plague."

It's interesting how Bob Jones University is scrubbing for this guy. This is what they have on their webpage now from which the September 25th entry is gone. This is google's version which contains that day:

Mr. Jerry Thacker of Fleetwood, Pennsylvania, spoke today on homosexuality.

When he and his wife discovered in 1986 that they had contracted HIV, the most horrible thought was that it was a disease connected with the sin of homosexuality. They didn't want anyone to think they were homosexual because they knew what the Bible said about homosexuality.

The media has programmed us to think a certain way about this sinful lifestyle or, as Mr. Thacker calls it, "deathstyle." Romans 1:16-32 tells how we should think about homosexuality. This passage shows a nation setting itself up for all kinds of bad things to happen, one of those is homosexuality.

Our nation has pushed away the truth, taken the Ten Commandments out of school, prohibited praying at school and athletic functions, and cast God out of public facilities. Many people believe that AIDS is the judgment of God on our nation, but Mr. Thacker believes that homosexuality is the judgment of God on America.

Here's his own personal website now:

Before 1986, Jerry Thacker was probably a lot like you. He had a beautiful family, a good church, and a rewarding ministry. He knew vaguely about the plague known as AIDS , but it seemed a distant threat. AIDS was something that bad people had to worry about. Not Christians. Not the church.

And recently:

Before 1986, Jerry Thacker was probably a lot like you. He had a beautiful family, a good church, and a rewarding ministry. He knew vaguely about the "gay plague" known as AIDS , but it seemed a distant threat. AIDS was something that bad people had to worry about. Not Christians. Not the church.

Sometimes, silence says everything.

UPDATE: Slacktivist has excerpts from his book. And, The Hamster and I think alike.

It seems as if this guy has devoted his entire life since discovering he was HIV+ to differentiating people like him, sin-free people who got the disease BECAUSE OF OTHER SINNERS, and THOSE NASTY HOMOSEXUALS, who brought the plague on themelves and POOR INNOCENT GOOD CHRISTIANS LIKE HIM.

This is hideous.

This is the best Rice can do?

Apparently we're going to go to war over plagiarism.

Oops. Meant to post this earlier. Tim Dunlop explains hunger to Rush Limbaugh and the rest of us. Lots of good information, but I'll post the snarky money quote:

Why the hell isn't laughing about hungry children in this country unAmerican?

More bad good poll news.

THE POLL of 1,025 adults, sampled for opinions between Jan. 19 and 21, showed the president’s approval numbers moving steadily downward over the past seven weeks. The data indicate that Americans are increasingly dissatisfied with important aspects of Bush’s performance in the Oval Office. The president’s overall approval rating slipped to 54 percent, down from December’s 62 percent and a dramatic decline from his January 2002 rating of 82 percent — the highest approval rating of any U.S. president since Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose approval rating reached 84 percent after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.
Charles Pierce wins paragraph of the day:

Bad day for the increasingly embarrassing Howard Kurtz. First, the incomparable Howler tees him up for swallowing the RNC’s hook on the University of Michigan’s affirmative action program, and then he opens fire on his own metatarsals with a silly, quasi-”objective” take on Paul Krugman, wherein somehow finds Krugman’s domestic status relevant, and quotes that noted conciliator Andrew (Rock my fifth column, baby!) Sullivan as to Krugman’s uncivil attitude towards people who disagree with him. (Kurtz also pretends that TV blowhard Lawrence Kudlow is a real economist — roughly akin to asking Dennis Franz about police procedures.) if he keeps this up, somebody’s going to put a jockey suit on poor Howard and stand him in White House lobby.

It looks like Mary Rosh is posting here now..(slight adult content)

And Soundbitten has some fun...
Another day, another Wolf Blitzer poll...

hoo boy

Capitol Hill Blue has learned the Joint Chiefs of Staff are split over plans to invade Iraq in the coming weeks. They have asked Secretary of State [sic] Donald Rumseld to urge Bush to back down from his hard line stance until United Nations weapons inspectors can finish their jobs and the U.S. can build a stronger coalition in the Middle East.

“This is not Desert Storm,” one of the Joint Chiefs is reported to have told Rumseld. “We don’t have the backing of other Middle Eastern nations. We don’t have the backing of any of our allies except Britain and we’re advocating a policy that says we will invade another nation that is not currently attacking us or invading any of our allies.”

Intelligenced sources say some Arab nations have told US diplomats they may side with Iraq if the U.S. attacks without the backing of the United Nations. Secretary of State Colin Powell agrees with his former colleagues at the Pentagon and has told the President he may be pursuing a "dangerous course."

An angry Rumsfeld, who backs Bush without question, is said to have told the Joint Chiefs to get in line or find other jobs. Bush is also said to be “extremely angry” at what he perceives as growing Pentagon opposition to his role as Commander in Chief.

“The President considers this nation to be at war,” a White House source says,” and, as such, considers any opposition to his policies to be no less than an act of treason.”

But conversations with sources within the Bush administration, the Pentagon, the FBI and the intelligence community indicate a deepening rift between the professionals who wage war for a living and the administration civilians to want to send them into battle.

Sources say the White House has ordered the FBI and CIA to “find and document” links between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

“The implication is clear,” grumbles one longtime FBI agent. “Find a link, any link, no matter how vague or unproven, and then use that link to justify action against Iraq.”

God I wish this were a crappy Michael Bay movie. When will Bruce Willis save us?

p.s. quick posted this as I was running out the door. Obviously it's a less than mainstream source...Should read more carefully. But, hey, good for giggles..

Tom Spencer has some more on Lott (what is with guys with that name anyway...)

And, Tim Lambert has the complete rundown, including this review of Lott's book by his alter ego on Amazon.

Haha, why am I not suprised that Lott loves that steaming pile of crap by the Scheisskopf twins, "Truth at Any Cost."

Oh so much irony...


There's still uncertainty about the economic future of this country," Bush said. But he added: "I'm confident they (lawmakers) will hear the voices of the people ... to immediately get money in your pockets and into the economy."

Bush delivered his message in front of a fake wall of cardboard boxes stamped "Made in U.S.A." The real boxes, set to Bush's side, had their "Made in China" stamps blotted out.

The White House said it did not intend to cover up the markings on the boxes. "It appears it was an overzealous volunteer. We'll take it up with the appropriate channels," White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan said.

Caption:"President Bush (news - web sites) stands in front of a painted canvas backdrop that depict boxes that are stamped Made in America as he addresses a group of local officials and small business owners at the JB Logistics shipping company in St. Louis, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2003. Bush was in the gateway city to push his economic plan and to highlight its impact for small business. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

President Bush (news - web sites) makes remarks on the economy during a visit to St Louis, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2003. Bush touted small-business tax cuts as a tonic for the ailing economy Wednesday, firing back at critics as a new poll found most Americans think his economic growth plan mostly benefits the wealthy. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Bush wants poor single mothers to work more.

I hear Mickey Kaus popping the champagne cork.
Ooof. Tapped goes for David Kopel's jugular.

Let's sum up: Kopel wants us to believe that the ATF today has a "pervasively flawed institutional culture" and can't be allowed the authority to adequately enforce gun laws because in 1979, a paid consultant to the NRA claimed before a congressional subcommittee that the ATF recommended too many non-felons for prosecution in a few cases in two whole states?

Foodstamping our way into obesity...

Rush Limbaugh says we're encouraging overconsumption.

Steve Forbes Won

(via Calpundit)

So, a flat federal income tax would..

Lott Self-Suckup Watch I

I had him for a PhD level empirical methods class when he taught at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania back in the early 1990s, well before he gained national attention, and I have to say that he was the best professor that I ever had. You wouldn't know that he was a "right-wing" ideologue from the class. He argued both sides of different issues. He tore apart empirical work whether you thought that it might be right-wing or left-wing. At least at Wharton for graduate school or Stanford for undergraduate, Lott taught me more about analysis than any other professor that I had and I was not alone. There were a group of us students who would try to take any class that he taught. Lott finally had to tell us that it was best for us to try and take classes from other professors more to be exposed to other ways of teaching graduate material.

(thanks A.C.)
Mary Rosh blast from the past:

If you are interested in Belleslies [sic] book, you should read the devistating review of it by Strassel in the Wall Street Journal. I have reprinted it below, but among the amazing things is that Belleslies has lost his data so that no one can replicate his results.

Of course that doesn't excuse Bellesiles and nor am I equating them, but it's still funny.

Belfast? Is that near Penzance?

The Erin Isle: Irish singer Josie Walker says President Bush asked if she was from Ireland when he met her shortly after she sang at his inauguration.

*Say whaaa? When she told him she was from Belfast, Dubya asked, "So are you British or Irish?"

*Quoth Walker in hindsight: "Oh, dear, bring back Bill"--as in Clinton.
Lott confirms he's Mary Rosh.

Everyone go search google groups and find the funniest Lott suckup quote by his alter ego.

That Liberal Raines...

It wasn't long before Krugman started ripping the Republican presidential candidate, though he says Raines barred him from using the word "lying" for the duration of the campaign.

No one ever accused Al Gore of lying, of course.

Anyway, it's Kurtz's take on Krugman which is relatively decent, at least once factoring in the soft bigotry of low expections for Toady Kurtz.
Some arguments perceived as begin 'slippery slope' arguments aren't that at all. Some are actually just the logical consequence. Take the case of abortion rights. When the president of Planned Parenthood, Gloria Felt, says "In a realistic worst-case scenario, we could lose not only our right to abortion, but even our right to birth control," I don't believe she is being unduly alarmist at all.

If Roe v. Wade were overturned, and all abortions made illegal - either federally or in individual states (some of which still have the laws on the books and would therefore be able to begin enforcing them immediately) - then the State will have effectively declared that womens' bodies, when pregnant, are subject to its control. While birth control pills are not actually abortifacients, the usual suspects obsessed with controlling womens' reproductive decisions claim that they are.

Another worst case scenario, which I would have added, is the mass exodus of doctors out of the OBGYN business. This is one area where threat of malpractice appears to have genuinely been an issue, but that is nothing compared to the threat of criminal prosecution for something as simple as a botched invasive pre-natal procedure, or the possible need to get a Judge's approval for certain procedures.

New Get Your War On

It really is incredible. I actually have people arguing that when Rangel said "poor and minority" he really meant black, and therefore the USA Today article which demonstrated that elite combat troops and navy pilots were disproportionately not black sure did show him!


My copy of Beneath the Axis of Evil arrived today. I haven't yet read it, but I know it's brilliant. How do I know this? Because it smells like the smell of brilliance. It smells just as I imagined Neal would smell, and so I know it must be good.
Hey, it looks like "President Bush should be applauded for taking a courageous stand against Saddam..."

I swear these letters all sound as if they'd been written by Snotglass. Maybe he *is* the GOP Team Leader.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Does Dr. John Lott have an internet sock puppet?

This one's hilarious, just go read....

(sent in by Electrolite)

UPDATE: Ailes adds the obligatory snark.
Rummy apologizes.
Anti-dotal swears a bit at all the right people. Great rant, but chock full of information too.
$70 million to investigate the activities of Clinton's penis.

$3 million to investigate the attacks on September 11.

I originally started typing up this post by saying 'I'm a bit confused by something..." but I'm not confused by anything anymore.

Here's the story. Charlie Rangel says:

A disproportionate number of the poor and members of minority groups make up the enlisted ranks of the military, while the most privileged Americans are under-represented or absent....

USAToday says:

Though Rangel is right that blacks and lower-income Americans still serve in disproportionate numbers, that fact misses another significant trend. While blacks are 20% of the military -- compared with 12% of the U.S. population -- they make up a far smaller percentage of troops in combat jobs on the front line.

In a host of high-risk slots -- from Army commandos to Navy and Air Force fighter pilots -- blacks constitute less than 5% of the force, statistics show.

First of all, this is a very very narrow tally of what is a dangerous job. Second, this quote is trotted out to somehow "refute" Rangel's assertion:

''If anybody should be complaining about battlefield deaths, it is poor, rural whites,'' says Charles Moskos, a military sociologist at Northwestern University in Illinois.

All well and good, if true, but what did Rangel say?

A disproportionate number of the poor and members of minority groups.

Advantage Rangel!

Let's not forget the fact that the study only looks at black and white, ignoring the rest of the minorities..
Torturing Wolf Blitzer is fun. Go take the poll.

hahah. Some days it's the little things:

(thanks Blah3)
Josh Marshall has the scoop on former Reagan admistration official and current Bush insider the neo-confederate Richard Hines.
Andy X proposes limiting punitive damages to $125,000 per wrongfully removed testicle.

Sounds about right.
Oh god this gets old. Over and over again feminists or some other liberalish groups scream about some issue for years and years and years. Then the Right discovers it, usually not out of humanitarian concerns but simply as a stick to beat somebody else with, and they get the added bonus of sanctimoniously declaring that feminist groups should be enlightened as they are.

Ampersand tells us more.
Max and Jim give us the last words on Answer.
Does Andy get the joke? Can't quite tell...

BLACK PEOPLE LOVE US! A liberal white couple celebrates their own tolerance. At least, I think so.

Your tax dollars at work...

LUBBOCK, Tex. -- The day's guest instructor had spiked blond hair, tight black jeans and a propensity for street slang.

"You have been lied to, lied to by the media, lied to by celebrities," Ed Ainsworth told the 120 squirming eighth-graders at Smylie Wilson Junior High School. "Will this condom protect your heart?" he asked, flashing a glossy Trojan ad on a giant screen. "Will this condom protect your reputation? Go ahead and use a condom. You'll still be known as a slut."

This is sex education, Texas-style, where the only safe sex taught since 1995 is no sex outside marriage. That is when George W. Bush, who was then governor, signed a
law making Texas the third state requiring schools to follow an abstinence-only sex education curriculum.

Now President Bush is promoting abstinence-until-marriage programs nationwide, a shift in health policy that has sparked an emotional debate over how to keep young people healthy. Abstinence-only proponents say that teaching young people about birth control is simply inviting them to have sex; advocates for comprehensive sex education say that withholding detailed information leads to dire medical consequences. Lubbock's situation illustrates the limitations of abstinence-only programs.

In the seven years since their schools began teaching abstinence-only, young people here have been anything but abstinent. Teen pregnancy rates in the state remain above the national average, and Lubbock County consistently has one of the highest rates in the state. In addition, the number of Texas youths with sexually transmitted diseases has risen steadily.

You know, maybe if they mixed a bit of this with Joycelyn Elders' suggestion, they'd be on to something...
Here are some more pictures and good descriptions of the SF rally/march.
Neal Pollack interviews Glenn Reynolds.
$125,000 per breast?
Hey, the astro-turf letter was GOP Team Leader spam. I looked there but never managed to find it.

(Thanks to -r for the catch).

Monday, January 20, 2003


Whenever people start talking about Orwell too much, I just re-run this for giggles (originally by The Horse):

Andrew Sullivan says on his site today how much he adores Hitch. Andrew also says he loathes David Irving. Andrew says David Irving is a "looney rightist" with a mind warped into bile. But Hitchens says David Irving is a great historian. David Irving says Hitch is his friend. Andrew nominates the "repulsive" David as the English Gore Vidal. Gore Vidal nominated Hitch in Hitch's new book as the English Gore Vidal. John Banville said Hitch shouldn't be Vidal and nominated him to be Orwell. But Andrew nominated himself to be Orwell. Hitchens loves Freepers and hates Clinton. Freepers hate Clinton and love Hitchens, Andrew, and Timothy McVeigh. Gore Vidal loves Timothy McVeigh.

Bush and first lady Laura Bush were warmly received at a Baptist church in Landover, Maryland, where the president spoke.

This Landover Baptist Church?

Anyway, I wonder if the Bushes read CapAlert before letting their daughters go to the movies...

Joseph Farrah explains the REAL Martin Luther King, Jr. to us.

Apparently he was a libertarian Moonie, or something.

Here's the current up-to-date list of the number of known (to me) newspapers that have published the letter to the editor which begins with 'President Bush has demonstrated genuine leadership...' (thanks to t.a. - this is a follow-up to the post here):

Santa Barbra News Press, 1/17/2003

Galveston County Daily News, TX, 1/17/2003

Arizona Daily Star, Tucson AZ, 1/16/2003

South Bend Tribune, 1/16/2003

The Port Arthur News, Port Arthur TX, 1/16/2003

Rutland [VT] Herald, 1/15/2003

Santa Cruz Sentinel 1/15/2003

The Star Press, Muncie IN, 1/15/2003

Wausau Daily Herald, Wausau WI, 1/14/2003

Press Democrat,CA, 1/14/2003

The Sonoma Index Tribune, Sonoma Valley CA, 1/14/2003

Colorado Springs Gazette, 1/14/2003

The Courier News, IL 1/13/2003

Herald and News, Klamath Falls OR, 1/13/2003

Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 1/12/2003

Columbia Daily Herald - 1/12/2003

Green Bay [WI]Press Gazette 1/12/2003

Boston Globe, 1/12/2003

The Daily Mining Gazette, Houghton MI, 1/11/2003

Santa Barbara News Press, 1/10/03

The News Sun, IL, 1/10/2003

Sun-Star, Merced CA, January 9, 2003

Tucson Citizen Jan. 9, 2003

Financial Times, London (UK), Jan 9, 2003

International Herald Tribune, Paris, Jan 9, 2003

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution January 9, 2003

The Jersey Journal, NJ, January 09, 2003

The Press - Enterprise, Riverside CA, Jan 9, 2003

The Manhattan [KS] Mercury, Jan 8, 2003

WHEC-TV CH10, Rochester NY, January 8, 2003

The Lynchburg Ledger, VA

Note the Santa Barbara News Press liked it so much that they printed it twice.
Law professor Jack Balkin tells us about originalism (which I believe is about the same as that 'strict constructionism' thing) and the secret history of colorblindness.
Jonah Goldberg proves that conservatives are just hilarious.

Jonah Goldberg Flashback!

Rod, Mike, I agree with you guys that Jackson’s a boob, Flannery O’Connor is great and that yanking books just for PC hysteria is a bad idea. However, since I’ve been cast in the light of NR’s Comstock, I thought I’d point out that even Mark Twain himself wanted his book banned from some libraries.

Both Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer were removed from the Children's Department of The Brooklyn Public Library in 1905. They were designated "bad examples for ingenuous youth." A librarian who opposed the ban wrote to Mark Twain seeking his support. Twain sent the following letter:

Nov. 21, '05.
Dear Sir, -- I am greatly troubled by what you say. I wrote Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn for adults exclusively, & it always distresses me when I find that boys & girls have been allowed access to them. The mind that becomes soiled in youth can never again be washed clean. I know this by my own experience, & to this day I cherish an unappeasable bitterness against the unfaithful guardians of my young life, who not only permitted but compelled me to read an unexpurgated Bible through before I was 15 years old. None can do that and ever draw a clean, sweet breath again this side of the grave.
Most honestly do I wish that I could say a softening word or two in defense of Huck's character since you wish it, but really, in my opinion, it is no better than those of Solomon, David, & the rest of the sacred brotherhood.
If there is an unexpurgated in the Children's Department, won't you please help that young woman remove Tom & Huck from that questionable companionship?
Sincerely yours,S. L. Clemens.
I shall not show your letter to any one -- it is safe with me.

Now, I'm not in favor of pulling Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn from libraries, but let's at least give a small nod to the fact that some material actually can be banned from libraries without the sky falling.

The fact that Jonah didn't request that they delete that post and all references to it is evidence he might have SOME sense of humor...
Mark Kleiman:

So (1) the Washington Post published a story attributing views and actions to a senior official without ever interviewing that official, (2) the story got that person's views and actions substantially wrong, but (3) no apology is called for. Nor does the reporter reveal the name of the person who (one must assume) deliberately misled him, and led him to mislead the country. It is well understood as a matter of journalistic ethics that the identity of a source speaking on background can be revealed if it turns out that the source was using anonymity in the service of an effort to deceive. It is also understood as a matter of practical politics that any reporter who burns Karl Rove in that fashion is toast.

This event will not, of course, damage the position of the Post as one of the “liberal media” in the world of right-bloggic demonology. That it put the President's National Security Advisor in a thoroughly false position is evidently of no concern to Rove & Co.; after all, it's not as if we were at war or anything.

I is no high-falutin journalist, but I've always understood that if your sources lie to you then you're pretty much free to reveal them.

With liberal media like this, who needs a conservative media.

Uggabugga flowcharts the SCV "Heritage violation" reporting procedure.
Neal Pollack explains ANSWER.

Letter From a Birmingham Jail

Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial "outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.

You deplore the demonstrations taking place In Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations. I am sure that none of you would want to rest content with the superficial kind of social analysis that deals merely with effects and does not grapple with underlying causes. It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city's white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative.


I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm
acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fan in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with an its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.


Sunday, January 19, 2003

Where Alabama goes...

A judge appoints a lawyer to represent the uterus. Lovely.

Bush Continues to Push Separate But Equal

So, smart guy, if race shouldn't be a factor in admissions why should it be a factor in funding decisions?

Marc Racicot gives us the RNC's MLK, Jr. Day message:

"Our country is indebted to him for his tireless work on behalf of the civil rights movement. His vision of a colorblind nation is a pillar of our society. Under the leadership of President George W. Bush, the Republican Party remains committed to empowering all Americans by affording equal access to a good education, economic opportunity, and the promise of a stronger and safer country."

You make me sick.

Look Away, Dixieland

George W. Bush issued a stern rebuke to Senator Trent Lott in December for his praise of the segregationist 1948 presidential bid of Strom Thurmond. But Bush has revived a practice of paying homage to an even greater champion of the Confederacy—Jefferson Davis.

Last Memorial Day, for the second year in a row, Bush's White House sent a floral wreath to the Confederate Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery. Six days later, as the United Daughters of the Confederacy celebrated Jefferson Davis' birthday there, Washington chapter president Vicki Heilig offered a "word of gratitude to George W. Bush" for "honoring" the Old South's dead.

Bush has quietly reinstated a tradition dating back to Woodrow Wilson that his father had halted in 1990. The elder Bush was weary of infighting among various Confederacy groups, so his White House quit participating altogether. The current Bush White House denies any change in policy. But John Edward Hurley, head of the Confederate Memorial Association in Washington, says, "No one saw a wreath from 1990 until George W. Bush got elected," and other participants in the annual event support his account.

It's not clear why, after more than a decade's lapse, the current Bush White House resumed this symbolic tribute to the Old South. But one of the organizations connected to the ceremony is the Sons of Confederate Veterans, whose "Chief Aide-de-Camp" is Richard T. Hines, a politically active lobbyist from South Carolina. In that state's brutal 2000 Republican primary, Hines reportedly helped finance tens of thousands of letters blasting Bush rival John McCain for failing to support the flying of the Confederate flag over the state capitol.
Hines declined to comment.

DeRoy Murdock puts Hines in context.

Instapundit, channeling Peggy Noonan, divines my reasons for posting the article below about his father's civil rights and war activism. I posted it essentially without comment, so I guess that's fair, but it had nothing to do with thinking "it's funny that [his] father protested a different war." Vietnam is not Iraq, Iraq is not Vietnam, and Instapundit is under no obligation to be his father.

I posted it because I had remember reading it months back after Glenn linked it, and was struck by his father's commitment to the cause despite the negative consequences and associations, and its illustration of the difficulty of striking the right balance when protesting.

But, to follow up on Glenn's comments, I find the attempts to confuse the message with some of the messengers quite cheap. I also think it's a shame that the protest was organized by ANSWER, but mostly because it just provides ammunition for those who would like to discredit the movement by branding them as unpatriotic, "objectively pro-Saddam," or by marginalizing them.

Charles Reynolds didn't cancel his protest because one idiot insisted on carrying a North Vietnamese flag - one idiot who, for all we know, was one of the FBI's many plants. They had a habit of doing such things. I listened to maybe half of the speakers on Saturday, and I thought the degree to which everyone brought in their "pet loony lefty causes" or other irrelevant issues was surprisingly small, despite the assertions of many. The crowd was overwhelmingly filled with apparently "normal folks" -- if anything it seemed to disproportionately lean towards white middle aged America more than Trustifarian Anarchists or those who had piggy-backed the I/P issue onto the Iraq one. And, judging by the crowd pictures from San Francisco the same could be said for them.

The fact is hundreds of thousands of mostly average folk went out to protest this sadly inevitable war. Everything else that is said about them is a disingenuous attempt to discredit the message. Pretty sad, really. Glenn's doing about what the Freepers did to noted communist sympathizer Jim Henley as he walked by - chanted "Your Red Roots are Showing" despite the sign he was carrying. It's obvious this war movement isn't about supporting Stalinism, or wanting Saddam to "win" (win what?) or anything else. People heard there was a protest against the war, they went.

(Edited slightly)


Navy veteran Robert McHaney of Reno made a sign, “Vet for peace: I served. Bush deserted.”

“We have a president of the United States who didn’t serve his time in Vietnam. He went to the Texas Air National Guard and disappeared,” McHaney said. “If he didn’t have his daddy in place, he would have been arrested for desertion and gone to jail.”
While the op-ed pages and gab shows have occasional contributions from "experts," or at least people claiming to be experts (think Norah Vincent being a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, terrorism think tank), primarily, the public pontificators are simply pundits who don't know much about anything but who feel free to present their uninformed opinions on everything under the sun. It is quite hilarious when one of these pundits slips for a minute and attacks someone else's foray into opinion writing by arguing that it is the height of arrogance for them to imagine that anyone would care what they think. They've forgotten that their careers are built on the fact that they are ready to provide an opinion on just about anything, whether they are qualified to give it or not. They are Pundits! Watch it, James Lileks, you're going to argue yourself out of a job.
My email seems to be down at the moment, so..
MyDD notes that the Bush disapproval rating in the latest Time/CNN Poll is 41%.


Who said this?

I can't imagine that anybody would say, We're going to war because there are 11 empty warheads, probably left over from 10 years ago. These warheads are not the nuclear weapons we've been warned about. They travel about 12 miles.

But this is being used as a pretext for a decision that's already been made at high levels of the U.S. government to change the government in Iraq. It has nothing to do with, boy, we're -- we are really worried about these little chemical warheads that's going to cause a holocaust in the Middle East.

Most disturbing thing is that Secretary of State Powell, a lot of people were relying on to keep some sanity, played the good soldier this week and said that at the end of the month, there would be more evidence. If there's more, if there's evidence, why not put it out now?

But the last thing that the hawks inside the administration, and their friends outside the administration, want is a coup d'etat that would replace Saddam Hussein. They want a war as a manifestation of U.S. power in the world and as a sign that the United States is capable of changing the balance of power and the political map of the Middle East.

There's no question that the last thing they want is Saddam Hussein put on a plane and taken away.

Talking to a senior official, and he said to me, he said, Well, if we don't hit in Iraq, where are we going to hit? And they -- it's a desire that the United States, the superpower, is going to manifest its authority to the rest of the world.

Listen, I just feel that this potential -- this war, I just trust it comes off easily. But I have trepidation that it won't be easy, and there's going to be a terrible consequences from it.

Whoever it was deserves a Sontag award.