Saturday, February 15, 2003

The Pro-War Protesters


The guy in the wheelchair is Lord of the Freep, Jim "RimJob" Robinson.

CBS Report

CBS News correspondent Jim Acosta says organizers claim the rally drew five hundred thousand people. There were certainly several hundred thousand, Acosta reports, carrying signs that read "no blood for oil" and "get the warheads out of D.C."

He's Going to Close The State Library

But Jeb has money for this crap?

TALLAHASSEE -- The state is launching a series of television and radio commercials urging residents to develop "personal security plans" for homes and businesses to cope with a terrorism attack.

The commercials, which were recorded at Orlando's Disney studios and will begin airing this weekend, include dramatic music and begin with an announcement, "Advisories are at their highest levels."

They then list tips, such as arranging a family meeting place in case of an emergency and avoiding public gathering places that might be potential targets.

Gov. Jeb Bush, who announced the campaign Friday, said he is not concerned the messages will alarm residents.

"There's no cause for panic," Bush said, adding that the messages are "not dissimilar to what we do for hurricane preparedness."

The warnings echo national alerts that terrorist threats have risen to level orange, second-highest on the federal scale, and that people should be prepared to protect their families. That has prompted some to stock up on food, water and other supplies.

Bush said families should prepare and discuss their plans together.

Bush, 50, compared these preparations to Cold War-era drills when he and other children hid under school desks to practice for nuclear attack, although he added, "Obviously, in retrospect, that wouldn't have done much good."

Looks like O. Dub was hacked..

UPDATE: I deleted the link as somone advised that the web page might have some malicious cookie-gathering powers.

U.S. to Punish Germany

Oh jeebus.


Some Reactions

Kieran Healy and Calpundit have comments.

Anyway, back in the old days the numerous (and ridiculously ignorant) comparisons of Saddam to Hitler would have allowed us appeasers to declare victory in this debate and go home.

Janeane Garofalo on Unreliable Sources Tomorrow

Let's hope she vivisects Howie again.

Guess My Estimate Was Conservative

Police say 10,000 in Philadelphia. So much for my crowd counting abilities.

PHILADELPHIA -- About 10,000 people were marching for peace in Philadelphia Saturday, joining more than 1 million people around the world protesting the threatened U.S. war with Iraq.

In Philadelphia, protesters include Quakers marched in silence, while a Korean group banged drums and students chanted peace slogans.

Penn student Lincoln Ellis, who's from Spokane, Wash., said it is important to show there are Americans who oppose the U.S. position.

Police estimated the crowd at 10,000, and reported no arrests.

The march, which wove through Center City for more than two hours, was ending at the Liberty Bell, with poetry and speakers on the agenda at a Quaker meeting house.

This Is Crazy

The first time the Tracys declined to allow their daughter to attend the two-hour, fundamental Christian services held over three days was in 1999, when she was in the fourth grade. The family had bought 11 acres in Union County because they thought the area was beautiful.

"The principal had called me to the office because mine was the only slip that said no," said India, now 14. "He asked me why I didn't want to go. He asked my religion. I told him I didn't want to talk about it and for him to call my parents."

India was the only student left in her class during the Area Wide Crusade in April 1999, so her classmates knew she hadn't gone. The crusade was begun in 1998 by a Union County Baptist pastor and is planned for this April as well.

Between 1999 and February 2002 when her parents removed her from Horace Maynard Middle School, the lawsuit alleges:

n That India was repeatedly called "Satan worshipper," "witch" and other derogatory names. She was accused of eating babies and of being a lesbian because she wasn't a Christian, the lawsuit said.

n That India was forced to attend regular Bible study classes during the school day, and urged to lead the school and her class in prayer.

n That derogatory names were written on her locker in permanent ink and the school refused to paint over the graffiti or move her locker.

n That India was repeatedly attacked as she knelt in front of her bottom-row locker. Her head was bashed at least 10 times, cutting her lip, above her eyes and bloodying her nose.

n That a teacher told India to "keep quiet because you'll get in trouble" after she wrote a paper about religious freedom.

n That a bus driver regularly asked India in front of other students if she had gone to church yet and if she'd like to come to church.

New York Times Report

On a freezing winter day in New York, a huge crowd, prohibited by a court order from marching, rallied within sight of the United Nations amid heavy security. They raised banners of patriotism and dissent, sounded the hymns of a broad new antiwar movement and heard speakers denounce what they called President Bush's rush to war, while offering no sympathy for Iraq's dictator, Saddam Hussein.

"The World Says No to War," proclaimed a huge banner over a stage on First Avenue near 51st Street, the focal point of a vast crowd that filled the avenue between 49th and 72nd Streets and spilled over into the side streets and to Second, Third and Lexington Avenues, where thousands more were halted at police barricades, far from the sights and sounds of the demonstration.

Crowd estimates are often little more than politically tinged guesses, and the police did not provide one. Organizers said that more than 400,000 people attended and, given the sea of faces extending for more than a mile up First Avenue and the ancillary crowds that were prevented from joining them, the claim did not appear to be wildly improbable.


"The grand specter of terrorism hangs over tomorrow's Daytona 500..."

CNN, just now.

What the fuck. How did we get back to this crap again?
Anyway, near as I can tell the demonstration went way over the 100,000 that was planned for. The crowds have spilled over into the neighboring streets, and the police are alternately walling them off and trying to move them elsewhere, though there's nowhere for them to go.
Hey, I'm back. Blogger was down.

Streaming Audio

Finally found something that works for me here.

Commucrap Danny Glover is talking now.

There are reports claiming the rally extends 59 blocks on 1st ave, plus spillovers on 2nd and 3rd ave.
NY1 has some audio coverage of the protests here, I believe.

CNN apparently decided to stop covering it.

Philadelphia Protest

Went and joined the march for a bit and then hopped off when it veered near my home. Anyway, I'd say a conservative estimate would be 4000 people, and growing. Was surprised there were that many people. Despite all the attempts at mischarcterization, the crowd was pretty representative cross-section of the public. Some union groups, some church groups - catholics, quakers, unitarians, some college students, some little old ladies, a small number of trustifarian types, and a lot of middle aged couples. Black, White, people of Asian descent, Latinos, the whole shebang. The signs were almost entirely on message - I saw almost no one trying to use the march for the usual assortment of lefty causes. Police seemed cooperative and everything was quite peaceful. No need for Jane Galt to get her goon squad to bash a few heads in.

Only Nixon can Go To China

And only old white rich Republicans can lend legitimacy to the anti-war protests. But, that's the way it is:

The diversity of America's new anti-war movement is etched in the furrows of an 84-year-old brow, anchored by eyes that saw both the can-do patriotism of World War II and the disillusions of Vietnam.

It belongs to John Haas, the Main-Line-bred patriarch of one of America's richest families - a clan worth more than $4 billion.

When Haas isn't lurking in the Center City offices of Rohm and Haas, the chemical conglomerate founded by his father before World War I, he's working with other local activists who are seeking to prevent a U.S. war with Iraq.

And I'm off to take part on the festivities.

Reports of Arrests in Union Square

Police not saying how many or why.

You can listen to New York reports on WBAI here.

Well beyond 500,000 protesting in London

That's according to police.

you can watch here.


Check this out:

Buried within the $397 billion spending bill passed last night by Congress is a provision that would permit livestock producers to certify and label meat as "organic" even if the animals had been fed partly or entirely on conventional rather than organic grain.

Under the provision, if the Agriculture Department certifies that organic feed is commercially available only at more than twice the price of conventional feed, then the department cannot enforce regulations requiring that livestock labeled organically raised be fed only organic feed.

Iraq Orders Fox News Reporters Out


Iran Now Part of Axis of Not Quite As Evil

The United States now distinguishes between Iran and the other countries that President George Bush lumped together in an "axis of evil" and does not plan to target the Islamic republic after the likely war in Iraq.

But wait!

Bin Laden's son, Al Qaeda Terrorists in Iran

U.S. intelligence agencies say Osama bin Laden's oldest son, Sad, is in Iran along with other senior al Qaeda terrorists, as Iranian military forces have been placed on their highest state of alert in anticipation of a U.S. attack on Iraq, according to intelligence officials.

Grownups in charge! Moral Clarity!

Friday, February 14, 2003

Scary Pacifists

Neal Pollack has a true (honest!) alert from the State Department.

Scumbuster has Duck Tape!

And lots of it!*

*Yes I know it's duct tape.

Did CNN doctor Blix transcript?

Compare CNN's to the BBC's.

This is missing from the former:

"I trust that the Iraqi side will put together a similar list of names of persons who participated in the unilateral destruction of other proscribed items, notably in the biological field.

The Iraqi side also informed us that the commission, which had been appointed in the wake of our finding 12 empty chemical weapons warheads, had had its mandate expanded to look for any still existing proscribed items.

This was welcomed.

A second commission, we learnt, has now been appointed with the task of searching all over Iraq for more documents relevant to the elimination of proscribed items and programmes.

It is headed by the former minister of oil, General Amer Rashid, and is to have very extensive powers of search in industry, administration and even private houses.

The two commissions could be useful tools to come up with proscribed items to be destroyed and with new documentary evidence.

They evidently need to work fast and effectively to convince us, and the world, that this is a serious effort.

The matter of private interviews was discussed at length during our meeting.

The Iraqi side confirmed the commitment, which it made to us on 20 January, to encourage persons asked to accept such interviews, whether in or out of Iraq.

So far, we have only had interviews in Baghdad. A number of persons have declined to be interviewed, unless they were allowed to have an official present or were allowed to tape the interview.

Three persons that had previously refused interviews on Unmovic's terms, subsequently accepted such interviews just prior to our talks in Baghdad on 8 and 9 February.

These interviews proved informative. No further interviews have since been accepted on our terms.

I hope this will change. We feel that interviews conducted without any third party present and without tape recording would provide the greatest credibility.

At the recent meeting in Baghdad, as on several earlier occasions, my colleague Dr ElBaradei and I have urged the Iraqi side to enact legislation implementing the UN prohibitions regarding weapons of mass destruction.

In a letter just received two days ago, we were informed that this process was progressing well and this morning we had a message that legislation has now been adopted by the Iraqi National Assembly in an extraordinary session.

This is a positive step.

Mr President, I should like to make some comments on the role of intelligence in connection with inspections in Iraq. A credible inspection regime requires that Iraq provide full co-operation on "process" - granting immediate access everywhere to inspectors - and on substance, providing full declarations supported by relevant information and material.

However, with the closed society in Iraq of today and the history of inspections there, other sources of information, such as defectors and government intelligence agencies are required to aid the inspection process.

I remember how, in 1991, several inspections in Iraq, which were based on information received from a government, helped to disclose important parts of the nuclear
weapons programme.

It was realised that an international organisation authorised to perform inspections anywhere on the ground could make good use of information obtained from
governments with eyes in the sky, ears in the ether, access to defectors, and both eyes and ears on the market for weapons-related material.

It was understood that the information residing in the intelligence services of governments could come to very active use in the international effort to prevent
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

This remains true and we have by now a good deal of experience in the matter.

International organisations need to analyse such information critically and especially benefit when it comes from more than one source.

The intelligence agencies, for their part, must protect their sources and methods.

Those who provide such information must know that it will be kept in strict confidence and be known to very few people.

Unmovic has achieved good working relations with intelligence agencies and the amount of information provided has been gradually increasing.

However, we must recognise that there are limitations and that misinterpretations can occur.

Intelligence information has been useful for Unmovic.

In one case, it led us to a private home where documents mainly relating to laser enrichment of uranium were found.

In other cases, intelligence has led to sites where no proscribed items were found.

Even in such cases, however, inspection of these sites were useful in proving the absence of such items and in some cases the presence of other items - conventional munitions.

It showed that conventional arms are being moved around the country and that movements are not necessarily related to weapons of mass destruction.

The presentation of intelligence information by the US secretary of state suggested that Iraq had prepared for inspections by cleaning up sites and removing evidence of proscribed weapons programmes.

I would like to comment only on one case, which we are familiar with, namely, the trucks identified by analysts as being for chemical decontamination at a munitions depot.

This was a declared site, and it was certainly one of the sites Iraq would have expected us to inspect.

We have noted that the two satellite images of the site were taken several weeks apart.

(thanks mt)

People Are Morons

I guess we do deserve the leaders we have.

WINSTED, Conn. (AP) _ Paul West didn't take the federal government's terrorism alert lightly.

By Wednesday, half his entire 19th century farmhouse was covered with plastic to protect his family from a chemical or biological attack. He planned to finish the job

West paid $250 for 3,500 square feet of plastic and other supplies Wednesday morning.

"Why wait?" West said. "If there is an attack, how are you going to get the plastic?"

West said he had a hard time finding enough plastic for his Platt Hill Road home. He initially wanted to make a "safe room" using plastic.

"It's an 1800s house so there's no modern insulation and it has the original windows too," West said. "I thought it would be best to cover the whole thing."

NYT Book Review Gets a Letter

From Susan McDougal.

Whitewater Revisited
To the Editor:
I appreciated the correction that appeared in The Times on Feb. 2 regarding Beverly Lowry's review of my book, ''The Woman Who Wouldn't Talk'' (Jan. 26), in which she had said that Kenneth Starr convicted me ''on charges of obstruction of justice and criminal contempt.'' In fact, the jury refused to convict me on any of these charges, and this outcome was a clear rebuke to Starr. But I would like to respond to several other statements in the review.

Lowry wrote of Bill Clinton that ''the future president was governor and the McDougals owned a bank and a savings and loan'' at the time of the investment in Whitewater. Actually, Bill Clinton was not then governor, and Jim McDougal and I were not then in the banking business. The latter point might have passed without comment had she not gone on to state that ''the Clintons took part in Whitewater and irrefutably they and the McDougals trampled on some rights.'' I am baffled by the reference to ''trampled on some rights,'' and wonder if Lowry has discovered something that Ken Starr, backed by tens of millions of dollars of prosecutorial power, could not.

Finally, Lowry described the embezzlement charges brought against me in California by Nancy and Zubin Mehta. However, she neglected to mention that I was found not guilty on all counts. Indeed, after the trial, jurors expressed outrage that the case had even come to court.

I wrote my book in hopes of showing the public what really went on during the Whitewater investigation, and to give voice to the often voiceless women I met in prison. It is in the same vein that I appreciate the opportunity to set the record straight.
Susan McDougal
Camden, Ark.

No More Mr. Nice Blog has some comments. Gets a Letter

From the White House.

(while you're there, don't miss this).

Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll

Sounds good to me.

Right Wing Terrorism Watch

Federal authorities said a man who is pictured in a Ku Klux Klan Web site as the group's leader planned to attack abortion clinics with hand grenades and bombs.

David W. Hull, 40, was charged with giving a disassembled pipe bomb to someone who is cooperating in a federal firearms investigation.

Hull was arrested Thursday at his home in Amwell Township, Washington County on the charge, filed in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

A Web site calling itself the home page of the order of the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan includes a photo of Hull holding a gun in front of a Confederate flag, his address, and calls Hull the group's "Imperial Wizard."

Bettysue Feuer, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League office in Cleveland, said Hull is the leader of the White Knights of Pennsylvania. The ADL tracks white supremacist groups.

Blitzer Time


Stinky Cheese seems to be working now.

Coup in Pakistan?

Could be on the way....

Agonist explains.

Oh boy.

Viacom Won't run Anti-war Ad


Mickey Kaus discusses Likudniks

So, now the Right Side of Blogistan can go rush over and call him an anti-Semite.

(note that I don't think that's what Reynolds is doing, he's just raising the issue).

Farmer Writes to MSNBC

Ok, I'm no network program exec, but......
Listen up MSNBC,
Please keep up the good work.
I really enjoy the weekend "news" stories. Especially the exposes on fat people who aren't fat anymore.
Please make more dieting documentaries. For instance; I'd like to see Al Rocher's arms and legs surgically removed on television. Is that feasible?

Also..... I would like to see more stories about cats. Any kind of cats will do. (Enough with the pretentious inbred dog shows.) And more car chases ....with car chases, you can't go wrong.

Here are some more subjects/ideas I think MSNBC should consider.
Especially on weekends, when there is no actual news because everyone goes home and stops making up news.

1- More shows about designer penis enlargement medications like the old ones starring Bob Dole. I know, prostate surgery is in this season. But I miss the hearty old time bounders.

2- More shows about prostitutes and strippers. Especially child prostitutes. America loves child prostitutes!
Doesn't really matter about the kinds of strippers or prostitutes actually, America likes them all. Housewife prostitutes?
Strippers for God? Obese lesbian prostitutes on diets! You know what I mean? Fancy Lady stories. More Fancy Lady stories.

3- More celebrities gone bad shows. Like those former child-star exposes about once popular and beloved personalities who grow up into rogue adult miscreants and prostitutes. America likes celebrity prostitutes too. People are sick of Michael Jackson. People are begining to think that you are paying Michael Jackson to act weird just so you can report that Michael Jackson is acting weird. Its getting old. Whats Gary Condit up to? Can't you go bother Gary Condit some more. Does Gary Condit know any prostitutes?

4- Any story that can possibly involve the name 'Kennedy' and the word 'criminal' or 'drunk' in the same sentence. I think you know what I mean here. Big market for this in the hookworm and Bible belt.

5- Spring Break coverage. Doesn't matter if Spring Break is long over with or not. Watching moronic teenagers drinking draft beer from plastic cups and showing their titties is always a weekend crowd pleaser. Even during Thanksgiving!

6- Shark attack stories! Where are the shark attack stories?! Especially if the sharks are eating moronic drunken teenage prostitutes!

7- Serial killer stories. (Yes, the old reliable serial killer yarns). Unfortunately we need some new serial killers. At least one with a new flashy gimmick or new tantilizing modus operendi. America is bored with the same old serial killer with the hacked up prostitutes in the barrel in the garage and the sneaky satanic cults and the frustrated cop who has been working on the case for 16 years and so on.... know what I mean? Maybe work the name 'Kennedy' into a few more of these serial murderer stories. Eh?

8- More tawdry and salacious British royalty stories and bios. (self explanatory) Perhaps focus on Spanish royalty? (is there any Spanish royalty these days?) ... or some Monte Carlo sex-capade gambling stories!... some French fiddle faddle might be just the ticket! Or some steamy avante garde Iraqi playboy auto theft sex ring of virgin prostitutes for Allah investigation story! Very chic.... very current. Very MSNBC.

9- Jack Welch "Regular Guy" stories and interviews! What happened to the Jack Welch regular guy stories and interviews? Ya know.. maybe some interviews with Jack and his regular guy buddy/neighbor pals telling us all about what a regular buddy neighbor guy Jack is. Like his neighbor Bud, the auto-body paint shop guy, who hangs out on weekends and plays horseshoes with regular guy Jack. Or Marsha, the cashier at WalMart who greets Jack each morning when hes out on the sidewalk with his GE leaf-blower, or out tending the marigolds planted around the base of his ceramic virgin Mary lawn ornament.
How 'bout an afternoon with regualr guys Jack Welch and Brain Williams as they reseal the a driveway or go shopping for a new neckties? Well?

10- How about an honest serious investigative news report about the collapse of Argentina's economy or Dick "Pink Puffer" Cheney's locked box of energy task force secrets curries and favors. Especially the "secrets" concerning Iraq's oil boodle. (Heh, you ain't fooling just anybody ya know.) Ha - Just kidding!..... scared ya didn't I?

11- Asteroid scare stories.... what happened to the asteroid hitting the earth stories.... or did I miss something? And how bout all those live helicopter car chase feeds MSNBC runs. (weekdays only) Why not on the weekends?
Don't they have freeway car chases in LA on weekends? We never do get to find out what exactly those were all about or why they were being chased.... But who really cares...they sure are fun to watch and that Lester Holt guy and that Rick Sanchez guy sure know how to anchor an afternoon LA freeway chase!

(how come only LA has all the cool car chases? Now there's an "investigation" for you.)

12- Stories about rich guys in air-balloons being shot out of the sky by the North Korean Air Force. Boy, that would be something.... especially considering all the edge of the chair white knuckle news video that usually accompanies rich guys in hot air ballon stories!

13- Here's an idea.... how about assigning a film crew to follow around the Bush twins and their cousins while they get drunk and try to buy expensive reefer during this years Spring Break. So they aren't in college anymore. Who cares, this is a time for sacrifice! I'd like to see some nice wet T-shirt Bush twin booby closeups with that too. And draft beer. Don't forget the draft beer.

14- How about a little help with a segment that includes Lynn Cheney hurling dodge-balls at lazy senior citizen layabouts in Sarasota! Can someone please run over Dennis Miller in a car? I'll buy the gas and cigarettes. Whatever, anything you want MSNBC.

I have more ideas.... but until I get my own corner office with a window and an employee handgun you're gonna have to settle for shitty ratings and whatever neo-nazi you can pry away from the Free Congress Foundation.

call me MSNBC.... you need me.

(from comments)


Spot Searches on Trains

You've got to be kidding.

MTA police conducting spot checks of commuter trains
By Associated Press, 2/14/2003 01:11
GREENWICH, Conn. (AP) The nation's heightened terrorism alert has prompted Metropolitan Transportation Authority police to conduct spot searches of commuter trains and stations.

Until then, Metro-North train conductors will be making announcements on all trains that passengers and their belongings could be subject to search by police and bomb-sniffing dogs.


Tom Spencer will explain.

Thursday, February 13, 2003

It Can't Happen Here

Tbogg notes Sully is discussing "prescient historical novels." Tbogg suggests It Can't Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis. I've never read it, but since the first casualty of the Iraq War was Andrew Sullivan's book club, maybe we should have a Tbogg book club.

Poor GOPTeam Leader

Help President Bush
Call Them Out!

Last week, the paper announced that it would no longer publish letters to the editor sent through GOP Team Leader and its letters editor admitted that letters “that just say ‘George Bush is a great guy’ – will be a red flag.”

Every week, thousands of Team Leaders get involved using the tools at But the Boston Globe seems to believe that because you use our online tools that your opinion doesn’t matter. Write the Boston Globe and let them know that your opinion does matter!

Click here to write them today!

Did you complete this action? If you contacted the media outlet via telephone, regular mail or fax, click here to tell us about it and report you GOPoints.

New MSNBC nightly lineup

Uggabugga has it.

Do Not Call

Just to cover something less important - I'm glad they're doing this national do not call list. They did this here in PA, thankfully. After I first moved here I swear I got about 5-6 calls per evening as soon as I moved in (I bet the phone company was selling new number lists). Since I got on the no-call list, there have been almost no calls.

Terra! Terra! Terra!

Oops. Never mind.

But, hey, a skeptical press. Whoulda thunk it possible?

Sweeps Month

So, it's Februrary which is the sweeps month for ratings. NBC? Showing repeat. FOX? Showing repeat.

0 Money for Afghanistan?

The United States Congress has stepped in to find nearly $300m in humanitarian and reconstruction funds for Afghanistan after the Bush administration failed to request any money in this latest budget.

One mantra from the Bush administration since it launched its military campaign in Afghanistan 16 months ago has been that the United States will not walk away from the Afghan people.

President Bush has even suggested a Marshall plan for the country, and the Afghan leader, Hamid Karzai, will visit Washington later this month.

But in its budget proposals for 2003, the White House did not explicitly ask for any money to aid humanitarian and reconstruction costs in the impoverished country.

New Poll Numbers

U.N. support would provide critical cover for many allies who've pledged to join a U.S. war against Iraq, but a new CBS News/New York Times poll found Mr. Bush is wise to seek it, too. With his job approval at its lowest level since 9-11 (54 percent),nearly two-thirds of Americans (63 percent) say they want the president to wait for his allies before declaring war.

UPDATE: Here's the actual poll article.

Talk Left has a chat with Gary Hart

Read about it here.

Quotes From Two Brilliant Legal Minds

One is quoting the other:

Indeed, even if it were possible to select judges who did not have preconceived views on legal issues, it would hardly be desirable to do so. 'Proof that a Justice's mind at the time he joined the Court was a complete tabula rasa in the area of constitutional adjudication would be evidence of lack of qualification, not lack of bias.'

Go here to find out which ones.

(thanks Rea)

Inflate the debt away?

Now there's a scary thought.

Mr. Greenspan said that "there should be little disagreement about the need to re-establish budget discipline." But it is always easier to cut taxes than cut spending.

What will happen if nothing is done? If deficits continue to accumulate, the temptation to print money to pay our debts will become almost irresistible. Inflation is all too tempting as an "easy" way to avoid the political pain associated with tax increases or budget cuts.

All a president needs is a pliable Federal Reserve Board, and this can probably be arranged sometime in the next 10 or 15 years. Inflating away the debt is not pretty, but it may well end up being the most politically expedient solution to the burden of accumulated deficits.

(via Brad DeLong).

Support Independent Journalism

This guy, an experienced reporter, wants to go to Iraq and risk getting his ass shot off to hopefully bring us some news not produced by the pentagon propaganda department. So, take a break from giving your millions to me and go throw a nickle towards the cause.

(you could still buy me a present or two)


Because of an editing error, a front-page article yesterday about diplomatic developments in the Iraq crisis misidentified the Bush administration official who said about the weapons inspectors in Iraq, "At some point it will become obvious that it's time for them to go." It was an administration official speaking on condition of anonymity, not Condoleezza Rice, President Bush's national security adviser.

O'Reilly Wetback Eruption

It ain't the first time.

Freeper-Types Harassing French Cheese Seller

What is with these idiots.

Anyway, go to and buy some tasty tasty cheese.

September 10th? What The...

Andrew Sullivan Today:

JITTERS: Suddenly, September 10 again. Friends calling from New York City, asking if I have a spare room. Nervous glances up at the TV screens in the gym. Greta van Susteren declaring a specific cyanide alert in New York City, where none existed. Duct tape jokes. Tanks at Heathrow. It is a war, isn't it? It reminds me that the anti-war protestors are not in fact trying to prevent a war. They cannot - because one has already broken out. They merely want to give up on one critical front. The trouble is: our enemies won't.

Andrew Sullivan, September 10, 2001:

WHAT A DRAG: I dropped by the kind of drag show in Provincetown last Friday night I would never usually attend: a drag show for straight people. It was called "Guys As Dolls," and featured Barbra and Marilyn look-a-likes and brought lots of appreciative oohs and aahs from the largely hetero crowd. The gay guys in audience, I'd say, found it tedious (although one of the performers was pretty great as Susan Lucci in her final Emmy acceptance speech). In fact, there are clearly two kinds of drag shows now around: celebrity imitators for straights and a much different form of theater for gays. Drag for gays these days actually eschews trying to pass off as women, instead caricaturing the way in which our culture promotes and rewards crass diva-dom. The uglier and crasser the impersonation the funnier. In many, there's a whiff of misogyny as well, but it's saved by equal doses of sympathy for the way in which straight women still contort themselves for the pleasure and amusement of straight men. But my point is that this newish kind of drag is ironic, amused, detached, self-mocking. It's post-drag, if you will. And what this goes to show is that drag is changing as the role of gays changes. Gay men do not need to pretend to be women any more to win attention; we can merely play at being men playing at being women. Within a couple of decades, I think, even this may dissipate some, as the whole conflation of homosexuality with gender-transgression fades, and as gay men and lesbians reclaim more fully their respective genders. Drag may eventually disappear altogether - which will be a shame in one respect, since it's a glorious and wonderful tradition. But I won't be sad to see the days pass when gay men had to pass as effeminate or almost indistinguishable from women to gain a foothold of recognition or acceptance. If drag collapses because gay freedom thrives, then it will be a worthwhile trade-off.

¿Entiendes, Estrada?

Ted and Matt wonder why Republicans are enjoying screaming 'racism' about Estrada. It's ridiculous and you know it, guys. But, keep on doing your best to expand the 'big tent.' Your relentless hostility towards real victims of racism, combined with this fake charge, shows us what you are.

What Liberal Media

Can anyone remember all the coverage all the blocked Clinton judges got?

Me neither.

Eric Alterman is interviewed in Media Bistro.

Neo-Confederates Harass Man Over Lincoln Statue

After half a century living in the former capital of the Confederate States of America, Robert Kline figured he had established his Southern bona fides. Even if he did hail from Illinois, he was, after all, the guy who raised $1 million to build a Museum of the Confederacy in the late 1960s. Kline was a respected advertising man in Richmond, a booster who married a Virginia native and makes his living selling, among other historical tchotchkes, Robert E. Lee figurines, plates and books.

But these days, Kline is the object of angry petitions, sizzling e-mails, abusive phone calls and big plans for street protests. His offense: After thinking about it for 20 years, Kline decided the time was right for Richmond to erect a statue of Mr. Abraham Lincoln. Kline's U.S. Historical Society, a nonprofit that produces statuettes, stained glass and other knickknacks for museum gift shops, has commissioned a life-size bronze sculpture of the Great Emancipator and his son Tad as they may have appeared on April 4, 1865, the day of their visit to Richmond.

Also (no link):

WWBT-TV Channel 12, Richmond - 5:30 News, Feb.4, 2003 - Robert Kline and U.S. Historical Society (Inc.) are under hostile attack by people coming through their front door and into his office. As a result people are screened before opening their front door. The U.S. Historical Society is also under computer virus attack, but Kline said they have it under control.

The Moonie Times helped to whip this up by putting forth allegations that the non-profit Historical Society was really a for-profit company and thus questioning Mr. Kline's intentions (And the legality of fundraising efforts). This website with potentially defamatory information tries to smear a bunch of other companes by labelling this whole thing a scam.

The whole campaign is being pushed by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, an organization which was recently taken over by unreconstructed bigots and modern day secessionists. And, of course, the Moonie Times, also pushing this "angle," has its own in-house neo-confederates.

National Review Goes to Germany

But..I thought Germany was bad?

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Liars and Hypocrites

Was out for the evening, but did catch a bit of Senator Hillary "Satan" Clinton during the filibuster earlier. Was fun watching her throw their own words back in their faces. They just lie without shame, and their supporters cheer them on.

No morality.

Jesse tells us where to learn about the history of this stuff.

Ding Ding Ding Ding!

Should hit 1,000,000 visits since April 18 at 9 am or so, roughly. Yay me.

[If each one had given you 5 cents? -ed. I know, I know...]

Ashcroft Seeks New Autopsy Authority

WASHINGTON, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Attorney General John Ashcroft may use proposed changes to the USA Patriot Act to ask Congress for new authority to conduct autopsies on U.S. victims of terrorist attacks.

The Justice Department has quietly drafted proposed changes to the October 2001 USA Patriot Act that the department says are designed to improve the government's authority to battle terrorism at home. Critics have said the draft proposal, first obtained by The Center
for Public Integrity last week, would further limit public access to information, expand spy powers and hurt civil liberties.

But tucked inside the 87-pages of revisions is new authority for the Justice Department to authorize autopsies to learn more about terrorist perpetrators.

"Autopsies of the victims of terrorist attacks and other deadly crimes, as well as other persons, can be an effective way of obtaining information about the perpetrators," according to the recommendations drafted by the Justice Department Office of Legislative Affairs. "In
addition to revealing the cause of death, autopsies sometimes enable law enforcement to retrieve forensic evidence (such as bomb fragments) from the deceased body."

The department suggests that Congress, "create federal authority, in the attorney general, to conduct autopsies when necessary or appropriate in the conduct of federal criminal investigations. This authority is not limited and may be delegated to others."

The primary need for the new authority comes in cases outside the United States, according to the Justice Department. The draft also says the department will not hire new armies of forensic pathologists to handle the next terrorist attack, but rather "the autopsies will be
performed by local coroners, private forensic investigators, or the Armed Forces Medical Examiner and his staff."


Nick of Nick's Crusade just won a crucial victory!

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - A quadriplegic who was due to lose vital home care services provided by Medicaid this month has won a reprieve, along with up to 29 other severely disabled Alabamans.

The case of Nick Dupree, a college student in Mobile, has become the focus of a national protest over Bush administration policies affecting seriously disabled Medicaid recipients. Dupree mounted a campaign he dubbed "Nick's Crusade," and more than 1,900 people signed a petition at his Web site supporting the waiver.

Under Medicaid rules, Dupree's 16-hours-a-day home care would have ceased on his 21st birthday, Feb. 23. For Dupree, who has a rare form of muscular dystrophy and requires a ventilator, wheelchair and home nursing care, that could have meant having to move into a nursing home 195 miles away in Louisiana.

The waiver was announced Monday night. Dupree and his lawyer learned about it Tuesday. Dupree said he's pleased with the waiver but has no plans to rest.

"I plan to keep working on this the rest of my life to make sure that everyone can be safe and live in their community and not locked away in a faraway nursing home, but be involved in their community," he said.

More on NPR.

I've chatted online with Nick a few times. Nice guy. Glad the nice guys win sometimes.

Op-Ed on Coble

By Eric Muller who also has a blog.

Bigotry Okay

Mike Savage gets own show on MSNBC.

What Liberal Media.

Goddamn it.
(sent in by nomoremisterniceblog)

Anyway, I'd like to jump up and down and scream and start a crusade against it - but, fuck it - he's your guy, Right Wingers, if you want him out there making you look good every weekend, you just keep quiet about it and continue bitching about the liberal media. Savage is a poisonous bigot - and he's your poisonous bigot. Will do wonders for Republican efforts to enlarge the big tent I'm sure.

Blitzer Time

You know what to do.

Guardian on Voting Machines

Even gives 'ole Bartcop a mention.

Chris Matthews

On Jesse Ventura- ""If the crowds hear him as libertarian, they'll like him. If they hear him as a liberal, they won't" says the man who regularly lost to Donahue in the ratings.

Line of the Day

From Charles Dodgson:

Meanwhile, Tom Friedman continues with his current project --- trying to make Steven den Beste look like a deep thinker.

Duct Tape Blues

Maybe this is where they got the idea.

You say your world has gone to pieces -- Things just fell apart
You want to put things back together -- But you don't know where to start
Well I got your solution -- The stuff you need to use
It's a thing called Duct Tape -- There ain't nothing it can't do

The world has gone to pieces - What's a poor boy 'sposed to do
I'm just holding things together - singing the DUCT TAPE BLUES

I tell you duct tape is the answer - in a little silver roll
It can mend the widest crack - patch the deepest hole
I put duct tape on my sneakers when they start to fall apart
Since my baby left me - I'm wearing duct tape on my heart

The world has gone to pieces - What's a poor boy 'sposed to do
I'm just holding things together - singing the DUCT TAPE BLUES

Now the Supreme Court got together and ate democracy for dinner
They took the guy that came in second and made HIM the winner
The system is broken - I can tell you how to fix it
Send some duct tape down to Washington and show 'em where to stick it

The world has gone to pieces - What's a poor boy 'sposed to do
I'm just holding things together - singing the DUCT TAPE BLUES


I'm going down to the Pentagon, gonna help my country out
Tell them five star generals just what it's all about
Show 'em my roll of Duct Tape, explain what it can do
Tell 'em "It's only 99 thousand dollars, this week special -- just for you"

The world has gone to pieces - What's a poor boy 'sposed to do
I'm just holding things together - singing the DUCT TAPE BLUES

I think it's time for a new verse.
MP3 available here.


Sam Heldman tells us more.

We really need to know more about this guy

Texas Teen Shot by DEA Dies


The teenage daughter of a man charged with selling cocaine was mistakenly shot once in the back of the head by federal drug agents, authorities said.

Ashley Villarreal, 14, died Tuesday after she was taken off life support, family members said.

The girl was shot Sunday when Drug Enforcement Administration agents mistook her for her father, Joey Angel Villarreal, a three-time convicted drug offender. Joey Angel Villarreal turned himself in and was charged with cocaine trafficking Monday.

(title fixed...wrong agency..oops)

An Unsung Hero

You guessed it - the Reverend Moon.

Fair Comment
An Unsung Hero of Freedom
Posted Feb. 11, 2003

By Paul Gottfried
As the United States heads toward war against a member of President George W. Bush's "axis of evil," it might do well to consider a newly released, two-volume biography of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon -- Messiah, Volume I (2001) and Volume II (2002). Originally written in Korean by his devoted disciple, Bo Hi Pak, and now available in English, these volumes have a value beyond being a testimony to nearly 60 years of Moon's public ministry. An accomplished writer and longtime career officer in the South Korean army, Pak tells the inside story of the founding of the Washington Times in 1982, the year Pak assumed the mantle of publisher. He reveals for the first time myriad facts about until-now unheralded projects of the Rev. Moon that helped Ronald Reagan and other Cold War conservatives toss the Evil Empire onto the ash heap of history.

Pak has played a leading role in Moon's American enterprises since the mid-1960s, when he was sent here to establish the American Unification Church. In the 1970s, when his leader moved to the United States or began to spend considerable time and money here, Pak expanded his informational and organizational activities. He became publisher of The News World daily in New York in 1976 (later renamed the New York City Tribune) and founder of both the Unification Church-supported World Media Association and a vehicle for academic outreach, CAUSA (in 1980). Such efforts helped create centers for the dissemination of views thematically connected to the church's millenarian focus, the age of peace and spiritual unity that Moon expected to usher in after the passing of a century of war.

Pak's repeated contention that his subject is an "unsung hero of Soviet liberation" is axiomatic. Even more noteworthy, Moon sank more than $1.5 billion dollars into a Republican-leaning newspaper published and distributed in a left-wing Democratic stronghold and gave the bulk of his support to the Washington Times during and after his conviction and imprisonment.

It is inconceivable that other foreign patrons of American newspapers would have made a similar sacrifice after such unkind treatment by their host country. In 1996 the Washington Times endorsed for president the Republican politician who had gone after its founder 20 years earlier. The continued refusal of Beltway conservatives publicly to acknowledge their steadfast patron is, of course, scandalous.

Paul Gottfried is a professor of humanities at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania and the author of After Liberalism.

(via Moonie World)

Midas Says No to Rush

So everyone go buy a new muffler.

UN Protection Areas

Tim Dunlop notes that British government has an appallingly horrible plan for dealing with its numerous asylum seekers.


Turkey and the Kurds

This could get nasty.

SULAYMANIYAH, Iraq, Feb 11 (Reuters) - An Iraqi Kurdish leader said on Tuesday that neighbouring Turkey, which plans to send troops into northern Iraq if there is a war, should stay out or risk dragging other
regional powers into the country.

The United States has told the Kurds that Turkey would set up a buffer zone inside Iraq along the length of its border to control any flow of refugees who might try to flee a possible conflict.

"The best thing the neighbours can do is to stay out as any country entering Iraq could draw in other neighbouring countries and complicate the transition to democracy," said Barham Salah, prime minister of one half of the breakaway Kurdish region that has been self-governing since the Gulf War.

OBL Transcript

Mark Kleiman posts it up with some comments. He also attempts to decipher Instapundit.

Final Conversion

SullyWatch puts very succinctly something which should have been rather obvious but which I never saw expressed:

This just goes to show the creeping influence of Christian end-times theory on the whole of conservatism, even someone as far from its influence as Smalltown Boy. Very soon after 9/11, they seemed to think that the “conversion of the Jews” moment had arrived ... the moment when the Left saw the light and embraced their philosophies in toto, all to join together as the Children of Light.

They had always believed such a moment would come. When it did, and the leftists didn’t convert en masse, they experienced a moment of doubt. Then they lashed at the left for not doing what their theory said it would.

Someone Has to Do It

Tbogg is reading Andrew Sullivan, Michael Kelly, and the Virgin Ben so we don't have to.

Andy has brilliant ideas about how to motivate the troops. Lord help them.

The Dean

Josh Marshall notes that mucking up all of our international relationships, particularly NATO, isn't actually a good thing (why is it even necessary for someone to point this out?).

But, who cares about that. Let's talk about David Broder, the moral center of the Washington press corps who, as Josh reminds us:

Back in 1998, in a notoriously fatuous article, Sally Quinn quoted David Broder saying, "He [Clinton] came in here and he trashed the place."

Josh leaves off the end of the quote. It's more telling in its full version:

"He came in here and he trashed the place and it's not his place"

That liberal media.

Scumbuster Not Happy

Poor guy.

Stories Without Context

He's a patriot, he's a Christian...

GAINESVILLE, Mo. - A southwest Missouri man can have Jesus Christ as his attorney, but only one licensed to practice Missouri law will be allowed to speak for him during trial on charges he tampered with a judge.

Defendant Richard John Adams, who described himself as a patriot and a Christian, told the Ozark County judge presiding over his case that under that ruling, he was "being restricted to the devil."

Adams, of Branson, said he refers to lawyers as "devils" because he believes the Missouri Bar Association "created the Federal Reserve (news - web sites) through their unconstitutional statutes and case laws."

Adams formerly associated himself with a militia and Christian Identity movement but has since said he's not a member of any group.

You'd think this reporter would tell us what Christian Identity is.

By reinterpreting the biblical story of creation, practitioners of Christian Identity believe they have discovered a cosmic justification for modern-day racism. According to this reinterpretation, the origins of the Asian and African races lie in biblical "beasts of the fields" beings of an order lower than humans, whose existence predates God's creation of Adam "in his own image." Adam was not the first man, but the first white man. As the Christian Identity version of the Creation story unfolds, the serpent, disguised as a white man, gets into the Garden of Eden and seduces Eve, who bears the devil — a son in the form of Cain. That's how the Jews get into the picture. Demonizing Jews has a lengthy history in Western culture, but for contemporary racis ts, Christian Identity provides the ultimate proof that Jews are indeed the "spawn of Satan." Their evidence is even more convincing than the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the faked 19th-century document which purported to be proof of a worldwide Jewis h conspiracy. Identity followers draw their antisemitism and racism from the Bible.

OBL Translation

Finally, Neal Pollack provides one.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

New Conason Book!

Hell, I have no idea what it's about, but you can pre-order it here:

Big Lies.

Is Ann Coulter the Chupacabras?

All signs point to yes.

Asked, but Not Answered

Signorile gives us an underreported unanswered line of questioning by Estrada:

It’s hard to disagree with Sen. Chuck Schumer’s characterization of Estrada as a "sphinx-like candidate" when the guy won’t even answer questions on whether or not he believes such landmark Supreme Court decisions as Roe v. Wade and Romer vs. Evans were decided properly. (Romer vs. Evans overturned a Colorado antigay amendment.) Under Senate Judiciary Committee questioning, Estrada claimed not to have read the briefs or listened to the arguments in those cases, so he couldn’t offer an answer. But as journalist Joshua Marshall noted on his website, Talking Points Memo, Estrada worked as a Supreme Court clerk for the pivotal Justice Anthony Kennedy when Roe v. Wade was challenged in 1989. He certainly had to have read the briefs.

Schumer asked Estrada about a report in The Nation that suggested antigay bias on Estrada’s part–another question Estrada waffled on. According to the article, a potential applicant for a clerkship at the court was told by Estrada not to even apply: "When I asked him why I was being ruled out without even an interview, Miguel told me his job was to prevent liberal clerks from being hired. He told me he was screening out liberals because a liberal clerk had influenced Justice Kennedy to side with the majority and write a pro-gay-rights decision in a case known as Romer v. Evans, which struck down a Colorado statute that discriminated against gays and lesbians."

Another good reason the Democrats are, for the moment at least, "delaying."

Great Moments in Logic

If anyone can decipher this, let me know:

HOW CONVENIENT. Personally, I think this is evidence that Osama is dead, and that the CIA is supplying these tapes for purposes of its own. (Not that there's anything wrong with that).

But now that he's admitting a "partnership" with Iraq, it's going to be tough for people who've been saying "you can't even catch Osama" to deny this evidence. Heh.

posted at 11:49 AM by Glenn Reynolds

I don't have a clue.

Alterman on O'Reilly Tonight

Poor guy. The things one must do to try and sell books.

Make sure to read CalPundit's interview with him.

Democrats Vow to Delay Vote

Until he actually answers a couple of questions. Sounds reasonable to me.

New MSNBC Report


THE STATEMENT also calls Iraqi President Saddam Hussein an “infidel,” but stresses that the paramount battle for Muslims is with the United States and its allies.
(An initial, extemporaneous translation mistakenly quoted the speaker as calling on Iraqis to overthrow Saddam Hussein.)

Mebbe someone can get the original audio.
Torture Wolf Quick!

Goddamn Liars

In an interview with al-Jazeera aired after the tape, U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the recording shows that Iraq and al-Qaida ``are bound by a common hatred.''

``He threatens everybody in the Arab world except Saddam Hussein,'' Boucher said. ``We are saying Iraq is giving a haven to this group.''


The speaker on the tape said nothing about direct ties between al-Qaida and the Iraqi government - saying his followers only share a common interest with Iraq, even though he denounced Saddam's secular, socialist al-Baath party as ``infidels.''

And, someone did send me the MSNBC screenshot:

(thanks JPD)

The story so far...

Near as I can figure out:

Powell announces al-Jazeera has a tape which demonstrates a nexus of al Qaeda and Saddam. al-Jazeera says they don't. Then Powell claims they'll have the tape soon. They get the tape. They run it. Far from it demonstrating a link between OBL and Saddam, OBL says they should overthrow Saddam.

that about right?

Bin Laden Loves Saddam!

No, wait, hates Saddam! Oh God I can't keep's like Ross and Rachel all those years...

THE SPEAKER on the tape, aired on the al-Jazeera Arab satellite station, described al-Qaida fighters in Afghanistan withstanding heavy U.S. bombardment by hiding in trenches. “With all the might of the enemy, they were unable to defeat us and take over that position. ... We hope that our brothers in Iraq will do the same as we did,” said the voice. The speaker said the United States was waging a psychological war against Iraq and urged Muslims to stage suicide attacks on Americans. At the same time, the message also called on Iraqis to rise up and oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, who is a secular leader.

So, there you go. Bin Laden hates Saddam and wants the Muslim world to rise up against the US.

In other words, no news.

UPDATE: MSNBC has now removed the sentence "At the same time, the message also called on Iraqis to rise up and oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, who is a secular leader" from the story. (noticed by Matts).

God I need a drink.

Preacher George

by Notes on the Atrocities.

Hey, AP Story has Changed

Now it reads:

Al-Jazeera chief editor Ibrahim Hilal told The Associated Press late Tuesday that his office had just received an audio tape with bin Laden's voice. He said he and the station's board were listening to the tape and would make a decision on when to air it.

A headline at the bottom of the screen during regular programming Tuesday night read, "Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden calls on all Muslims to unite to defend the Iraqi people, in an audio message Al-Jazeera will broadcast later.

Holy crap! Apparently Osama Bin Laden is alive and he wants to unite the pan-Arab world against the US!!

Who knew that was his dastardly plan?!?

UPDATE: Uh-Oh, The Horse has the siren running!

Playing the Race Card

Since Republicans are claiming that Democrats are opposing Estrada because he's Hispanic and not because of his Teller imitation during his confirmation hearing, why aren't the usual suspects screaming that they're "playing the race card?"

(link fixed)

What Liberal Media?

(there's a working link for you, Mr. Harden, so you can go buy the book).

Kerry the Jew

Is having prostate surgery on his Jewish prostate tomorrow. If only he'd known "who he was" previously maybe he would've known he was in a higher risk group.

I assume this is what Josh Marshall is referring to.

Let's hope it goes well and Kerry returns ready to fight the idiots in the press.

LINK - might be no biggie, relatively speaking. Good.

NY Parade Permit

Jim Henley takes a close look (and actually makes phone calls!) at what's going in New York. It seems that NYC has been banning all political parades, but not all parades, and they are therefore claiming that because they aren't discriminating between political groups they aren't actually doing content-based discrimination. This is rubbish - political speech is what is most protected. A country/city which prevents all political marches while allowing, say, the 100,000 strong "Coalition of People Who Love Kittens" to march has problems over and above this particular one. I'm sure the kitty coalition could march in Havana, too.

(via Hesiod)


Somerby is good today.

Powell's Peddling Debunked Rumors Now

Maybe he should start checking Snopes first:

WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) told a Senate panel Tuesday that what appears to be a new statement from Osama bin Laden (news - web sites) shows why the world needs to be concerned abou Iraqi ties to terrorism.

Powell said he read a transcript of "what bin Laden — or who we believe to be bin Laden" will be saying on the Al-Jazeera Arab satellite station later Tuesday, "where once again he speaks to the people of Iraq and talks about their struggle and how he is in partnership with Iraq."

"This nexus between terrorists and states that are developing weapons of mass destruction can no longer be looked away from and ignored," Powell told the Senate Budget Committee.

But Al-Jazeera chief editor Ibrahim Hilal told The Associated Press his station has no such tape.

I think they're starting to believe their own propaganda. Scary.

More on John Lott

In the WaPo.

Nothing really new.

Dog Bites Man

Eugene Volokh, to his credit, notices that the Moonies, David Horowitz, and their usual followers (gasp!) misquoted Cynthia McKinney and wonders why nobody got too excited about it. Well I think Mark Kleiman is right:

I would offer a different explanation, which I know to be correct in my case: the story wasn't unimportant, but it wasn't surprising either. My eighth-grade journalism teacher taught me that a dog biting a man isn't news; it's only news if a man bites a dog. Lying by David Horowitz and the Washington Times seems to me so routine as to hardly be worth any comment. (In my particular case there were the further considerations that I had nothing to add to the story -- except to say, for the thousandth time, that Eugene is a sterling fellow and much too good for the political company he keeps -- and that I assume that most of my readers check the Volokh site routinely.)

I would have thought that the natural interest in this story would be on the right side of the blogosphere, where the revelation of lying by the semi-official organ of the Washington Republican establishment might be expected to seem surprising. That means that the silence on the right is what calls for an explanation. One possibility is that Eugene's concern for truth-telling and willingness to call a foul against his own side aren't widely shared on the right.

The Moonie Times and the rest of the right wing press regularly lies, misquotes, and smears various Democrats. When the Big Cynthia McKinney Controversy came out awhile back, she was also being misrepresented and/or misquoted (it was possible to take issue with what she did say, but even that was being twisted). There are a steady stream of lies coming out of the right wing press, and the SCLM (see Howie below), and a smear like this is normal. Noticing that they're lying is like noticing water is wet, and McKinney, as a former Congresswomen, just isn't worth making a fuss about.

David Horowitz is a bomb-throwing propagandist. The Moonie Times houses neo-confederate revisionist bigots, as well as a steady stream of garden variety homophobes. The National Review keeps cute Uncle Derbyshire, proud unapologetic racist, around to push his 'racial realist' pals.

It should be a total embarassment to the respectable Right. If they gave a crap.

Tucker Gets Smacked With Some Facts

Fascinating exchange between Ken Pollock and Tucker Carlson:

POLLOCK: Well, Tucker, remember, we're not blameless in this either.

CARLSON: Have we done that?

POLLOCK: Well, we sold Saddam the anthrax and we kind of looked the other way.

CARLSON: Is there any evidence that anthrax was ever turned into a biological weapon, any at all? Any evidence of that?

POLLOCK: Did they weaponize it? Yes, absolutely. They put it into missiles.

CARLSON: The anthrax they received from the United States?

POLLOCK: The anthrax string that they have came from the United States. You know, through the 1980s, Tucker, I think you can make an argument it was important for the United States to give...

CARLSON: Well, wait, are you saying that the United States government knew that that anthrax was going to be used for biological weapons?

POLLOCK: I think that we were turning a blind eye to what Saddam was doing.

BEGALA: Which is essentially what Ken Adelman, who served President Reagan in arms control, said Friday night when he came on this show.

CARLSON: Wait a second. To say we -- I want to know who. I mean, what American government official allowed anthrax to go to Saddam Hussein? I mean, that seems to me you ought to be in prison for that?

How can people so stupid be responsible for managing our public discourse.

What Liberal Media

Howard Kurtz, once again, repeats the lie:

Democratic presidential candidates don't usually have any problem beating up on each other. Al Gore and Bill Bradley went at it (Gore called Bradley a quitter), as did Bill Clinton and Bob Kerrey (who predicted the Republicans would crack Clinton open like a soft peanut), as did Gore and Michael Dukakis in '88 (with Gore the first opponent to raise the Willie Horton issue).

Email Kurtz at and remind him that while Al Gore did bring up a very legitimate complaint about the prison furlough program in Mass., he didn't raise the Willie Horton. He didn't mention him by name. He didn't use him as an example. He didn't produce an ad with his image designed to stoke racial fears.

Tell Howie to stop lying. Tell Howie that not everything he reads in the RNC faxes he receives is true. Tell Howie to read Eric Alterman's book - if he had, he'd know this.

(thanks Jeff Hauser)

Need More Kool-Aid

I obviously haven't drunk enough to be comfortable in this acid trip of a media universe we're currently residing. The volume is off, but CNN is on with the Larry King repeat. On the left of the screen I see "TERROR ALERT HIGH." In the center, I see "LACI'S DUE DATE TODAY." And, I have this strange feeling that making a Jonestown Kool-Aid reference is going to lead to Instapundit accusing me of religious bigotry...

Oh God Just Make It All Stop.

Monday, February 10, 2003

Dumb and Dumber

It's interesting that certain people condemn innocent " arabophilia of Prince Charles" while ignoring the FundamentalistIslamicophilia that sits proudly in the living room next to the elephant:

Rohrbacher with Afghan rebels, 1988
Photo courtesy Congressman Dana Rohrbacher

(zizka has more)

I'm no fan of any of the governments in that region. And, if one wants to condemn Arabophilia of this sort it starts and ends with the la familia Arbusto. But, it's one thing to condemn the governments, another thing to shoot your spitballs at the "culture," particularly when you're shooting said spitballs at a man in an interesting hat. One is valid political criticism, one is just adolescent bigotry.

The U.K. has a surprisingly multicultural society - one which doesn't mirror our own multiculturalism, but diverse in its own unique way. Brits should be thankful that Prince Charles can bring them out of bad old days of the regular racist gaffes of Prince Philip and attempt - in word and deed - to acknowledge and embrace that diversity. One day he'll be King of a population that has changed immensely since the last coronation. The more recent arrivals are no less British than the previous ones, and a monarch who recognizes that and attempts to represent all Britons should be commended.

I'm no fan of hereditary monarchy, but as long as it is there any attempts to bring it up to date and transcend exclusionary politics should be praised, not mocked.

Joe Millionaire or Cspan?

I avoided the former until now, but it's the finale so what the hell. There is apparently a very good Town Hall about Iraq on Cspan now.

oy. Who told me this was the finale? you mean I have to watch this crap again?

Town Hall meeting is on again now.

Mr. Blotchy Returns

Isn't anyone ever going to ask?

Andy Being Shrill

Brad DeLong notes Crazy Andy owes Krugman an apology.

Rittenhouse Review in What Liberal Media

Jim gets quoted!

Missile Strike in Afghanistan

During visit by the German defense minister.

Sorta Weird

Wampum Blog notes that Iraq's DNS is run by a company in Texas.

Threat Levels

Noah Schachtman tells us about them.

I still can't believe all the cable news nets had the 'terror level high' ridiculous can these buffoons get?


Charles Donefer has some comments on today's NYPOST, which I'm sure is doing wonders for international diplomacy.

Cheese-eating surrender monkey was funny the first, say, 3000000000 times I heard it...ENOUGH ALREADY

NPR on Voting

Here's a link to where you can listen to NPR's computer voting segment, as promised.

Tin Ears

Once upon a time I wrote that right wing types, even well meaning ones, tend to have a very tin ear when it comes to understanding what is or isn't racism. Mark Kleiman comments on one of those issues that made the blogosphere rounds which pretty much proved I was correct.

Bush is Objectively Pro-Bigot

Bush has gone to speak to the National Association of Religious Broadcasters. I'll be sure to link to what people are reporting is a truly frightening speech when the trancsript is out, but let's consider what the organizers of the event are saying:

Nashville, Tennessee-AP -- As Muslims wrap up their annual pilgrimage, the chairman of the National Religious Broadcasters has called Islam "a pagan religion."

UPDATE: More statements from the head of the organization (thanks to fusion)

Because this was a national call to prayer by the President and because our dear brother and NRB member, Billy Graham, was slotted to preach during the service at the National Cathedral, I made the decision to air the entire service on our network’s TV stations. I became not only concerned, but also mildly alarmed when I learned that an Islamic Imam was on the rostrum and invited to the pulpit of this Christian church to invoke the name of "Allah" (which he did).

While I do not mean to sound intolerant or confrontational, biblically speaking, Islam is a pagan religion. We must resist every attempt to neutralize our distinctives; we must not allow Christianity to be placed on equal footing with Islam.

These are the people Bush supports. These are the people whose views he is legitimizing with his presence. These are the people he is planning to give lots of money to while exempting them from anti-discrimination laws.


Who do we love?

Gallup has a "which countries do we like?" poll. Go take a look - it's interesting if mostly meaningless.

One does wonder how North Korea has a 12% favorable rating...must be all them ANSWER commies.

(via Silt)

Moonie Monday

Today's Moonie Monday will be handled by Moonie World.

Howie Sucks up to O'Reilly


And the NYT softpedals, but at least mentions, his wetback comment.

Kerry the Jew

I'm really quite surprised that there hasn't been more reaction to the anti-Semitic scrawlings of Joan Venocchi. The Daily Howler, Dan Kennedy, Joe Conason, and The Horse all discuss it. While it perhaps makes for an interesting biographical detail, Venocchi tries to turn it into something sinister. The original column was bad enough, but her response to Dan Kennedy was even more pathetic:

When you think of all the profiles that have been written about the man over the last 15 years, by local and national political reporters, it is quite obvious that he did not routinely present the full picture of who he is. Before you or anyone else starts accusing me of anti-Semitism, let me stress that I am not making any value judgment about the "full picture." I am simply saying that in the past, he made no real effort to set the record straight. Only now, as a presidential candidate, is he visiting synagogues in Florida.

You know, my paternal grandparents were Jewish too. I have never considered myself to be Jewish because of that. I have never identified myself as Jewish. If I were running for president I assume that biographical articles of me would mention that information - fine - but to then go on to link that with my visiting - or not visiting - Synagogues would be truly bizarre.

Electronic Voting

I didn't hear the NPR segment yet - archives not posted - but apparently the guests mentioned the fact that some New Jersey precincts reported 0 Republican votes in the recent election. There - Democrats are trying to steal elections with rigged voting machines. Now will some of the right wing get upset about this? Please?

What Liberal Media

Eric Alterman has a brand spanking new book about the media out, and he gets 20 or so minutes on MSNBC up against ditto monkeys. On Wednesday, Chris Matthews has Bernie Goldberg, the author of the universally derided and year-old book "Bias," for an hour solo.

Buy the book.

Contact Chris Matthews at and politely suggest he have Eric Alterman on his show.

Contact Charlie Rose and politely suggest he have Eric Alterman on the show.

Contact C-Span's book notes ( and politely say how nice it would be to have Eric Alterman on the show.

Neal Conan at Talk of the Nation ( and politely say how nice it would be to have Eric Alterman on the show.

Diane Rehm at the Diane Rehm show and politely say how nice it would be to have Eric Alterman on the show.

Click and Clack at Car Talk and politely say how nice it would be to have Eric Alterman on the show (hey, why not? The loathsome Kaus has a car blog..)

Todd Mundt at the Todd Mundt show and politely say how nice it would be to have Eric Alterman on.

On the Media ( and politely say how nice it would be to have Eric Alterman on.

Contact the Connection and politely say how nice it would be to have Eric Alterman on.

Contact Wait Wait Don't Tell Me ( and politely say how nice it would be to have Eric Alterman on. Oh, and go bother Adam Felber about it to - maybe he has some pull.

Contact Michael Feldman from Whaddya Know and politely say how nice it would be to have Eric Alterman on.

Contact All Things Considered ( )and politely say how nice it would be to have Eric Alterman on.

UPDATE: Here's a convenient cut and paste into your email,,,,,,,,

UPDATE: Eric Alterman has been booked to be on Fresh Air at some point, so no need to bother them anymore.

Allow the March

Reader DKNJ sends this in:

New York City has always been an icon, standing for some of the Best and some of the worst about the US. The best included things like Ellis Island, Broadway, Madison Ave., Macy Thanksgiving Day parade, Times Square, the World Trade Center (before 9-11) and others. The bad things included things like muggings, rapes in Central Park, and a few more items.

After 9-11, the WTC was held up as an icon of the US, to show the rest of the world , that Americans could come together to triumph over adversity. People from all over the US came to help out, and the people of the world showed their support for New Yorkers.
Firefighters, Police, EMT’s, and others were held up as Heroes, and New York City showed just how good it could be.

Now, unfortunately, they are showing their bad side. The Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly and NYPD Chief of Department Joseph Esposito, have decided that they can do away with one of our Rights given to us under the 1st Amenment, specifically the right to protest. There is an Anti-War rally scheduled for February 15th, to march by the UN, to show the dissatisfaction of some Americans with this upcoming war. The Mayor, Police Commissioner and Police Chief, have refused to let these demostrators get a permit to march, even though the organizers have followed every rule and law necessary to obtain the permit.

Whether or not you agree with what the demonstrators have to say, I think all Veterans will agree, that under the US Constitution, which we all swore to uphold, these demonstrators have the right to a peaceful protest. After all, wasn’t that one of the things we were all willing to sacrifice and fight for?

How can the Mayor and company, not allow this to happen in a democracy like the US? What gives these politicians and political appointees the power to take away our hard earned Rights?

Tell Mayor Bloomberg, Commissioner Kelly and Chief Esposito, that this is still the United States of America, and it’s people have the Constitutional Right to Protest, and that they should issue not only a Permit, but an apology to all Americans.
General Petition

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg -City Hall New York, NY 10007 (212) 788-9600 FAX (212) 788-2460 E-MAIL

Commissioner Kelly

Bribing Our Way to War

Even part of the axis of evil is getting money.

Feb 10- Last week the US stepped up its policy of talking tough while carrying a big cheque book. Even as Bush told the council to "make up its mind soon" over military action, diplomats were promising everything from increased economic and military aid to moderate Arab states, to a share of Iraq's oil reserves to fretful Europeans.

Diplomatic sources suggest that the US will be spending like a lottery winner in the coming weeks to try to secure the support, or at least the non interference, of key Arab states.


Indeed it emerged over the weekend that White House officials have been meeting secretly with Iranian leaders seeking guarantees that Tehran will not allow members of the National Guard to seek refuge in Iran or aid the Iraqis in any war against the US. It is understood that the US has offered Iran -- which Bush labelled a member of the 'axis of evil' a year ago -- generous offers of aid if it agrees not to hinder the American war effort.

White House and Department of State officials declined to comment, but a UN source said it is understood that the Iranians were 'receptive' to proposals put forward by US diplomats. Meanwhile, Egypt, keen to take advantage of the latest bout of US largesse in the region, is demanding additional aid, which it says is needed to defray the expected costs of a possible war and is also stepping up its appeals for a bi- lateral free-trade package. Egypt is one of the largest recipients of US military and economic aid in the region. But it is demanding that the US also factors in the cost of war on its tourism industry, which accounts for 15% of Egypt's gross national product, and that it increases the $1.3 billion (£812.5m) in military aid that has been proposed in this year's budget.

Other countries are also merrily making hay while the sun shines. A free- trade agreement between Jordan and the United States was recently ratified and the US has agreed to provide the moderate Arab state with a dozen F-16 fighter planes. Turkey is getting in on the act, demanding $14bn in aid in exchange for its support. Israel has demanded an additional $2bn in military aid. Buying off your friends, never mind your enemies, doesn't come cheap. But will it all prove to be little more than a costly sideshow that will do little to increase the security of the American people?

Sunday, February 09, 2003

Outrage Overload

Eric Alterman The Bearded Liberal goes into outrage overload.
Alterman should be coming up on KFI out of Los Angeles soon.

Oh, and go buy the book. All the kool kids are!*

*Various people have expressed regret for buying the book not through the link but through their independent bookseller or whatever. No problem! I'm pushing the book to push it - not because it'll get me rich. If you buy it through the direct link I get about 2 bucks or so, and great, but feel free to buy it through your preferred vendor.

Voting Machines

Rebecca Mercuri and Peter Neumann, experts in computer voting, will be on NPR probably tomorrow for Morning Edition. I'll make sure to link to the segment when the archives are put online.
Quick! Watch MSNBC!

Racial Bias in Media Reporting of Terrorist Activity

David Neiwert just suggests it, but I think it's impossible to not come to that conclusion. This arrest of the white supremacists should be major news in a terrorism-obsessed country. The FBI says this is major and that the information they stole and distributed poses a serious threat.

Davila had told the FBI that he took home boxes of secret documents to study. Up to 15 boxes of security documents — some involving chemical, nuclear and biological-warfare strategies — are missing, federal agents say.

Deborah Davila, a teacher, is believed to have collected at least $2,000 for mailing more than 300 documents to addresses in North Carolina, Texas and Georgia, according to court documents.

Deborah Davila told agents she was told by "a mysterious man" in a phone conversation that one thick envelope of secret papers would reach Kirk Lyons, a North Carolina lawyer who has represented such groups as the Ku Klux Klan, the White Patriot Movement and the Posse Comitatus.

Deborah Davila attended Lyons' wedding, which was performed by the Rev. Richard Butler, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ-Christian and founder of the Aryan Nations. According to federal court documents, Davila lied about knowing Lyon.

Lyon has denied he received the documents and also denied being an adherent to extremist beliefs. He has not been charged with a crime.

Rafael and Deborah Davila remain in federal custody to face espionage charges. A federal magistrate on Friday refused to release them on bail because they are a flight risk.

The FBI has said that the missing documents pose a "huge threat" to the security of the United States and that they would be worth millions of dollars on the black market.

Not knowing where the documents are now, acknowledged FBI Special Agent in Charge Charlie Mandigo, makes the threat even more disconcerting.

Dumb Dittomonkey of the Day

I read the Feb. 2 article, "Rosa Parks shares day with symbol of movement," and was intrigued to learn the actual name of the driver of the bus. Much has been written about Parks' courage in refusing to relinquish her seat. But with all due respect to Parks, shouldn't the driver of the bus (James Blake) also be recognized as a hero during Black History Month? After all, where would the civil rights movement be today if he had not ordered her to give up her seat?
Peter Wolf

Techno Terror Video

It's amazing how far we've come when some music star making a music video possibly objecting to war is actually possibly going to be big news, and worthy of more than 4 seconds of discussion.

I remember when Genesis, hardly a political band, did their video of a half-aware puppet Reagan leading the world to nuclear war. I think it got a few murmurs, but it ran 24/7 on MTV for years. I wonder if that same MTV will refuse to show Madonna's video on the ground that it's too political. I mean, who knows what's in it - I'm just going from Drudge's description.

O'Reilly Sucks on the Pepsi Boycott

Even Fox News ran stories about O'Reilly calling for a Pepsi Boycott.

Haha. What a liar.

John Podhoretz + Ayala Cohen

Lucky Duckies!

Congratulations to John Podhoretz and Ayala Cohen of Brooklyn, NY, winners of the Enchanted Moment Contest. After the couple's October 13th wedding, Bloomingdale's will fly them to Hawaii where they will enjoy an all-expense paid 11 day/10 night honeymoon at the Westin Maui. John and Ayala, who registered with Bloomingdale's and wrote an essay to enter the contest, charmed the judges with their story of finding love while getting lost together on Cape Cod. Our best wishes to the happy couple!

The Reviews are In

Calpundit posts his review of What Liberal Media?

I haven't finished it yet- but I agree with Kevin that Alterman is too quick to concede the supposed liberalism of journalists on "social issues." The only way that conservatives win this argument is by defining 'liberal' as 'not conservative.' While I do think journalists bring their biases into their reporting (of course) on such things as abortion, gun control, and gay rights - as for the first two, the biases they display are very centrist or even slightly right-leaning. A solid majority of Americans favor legal abortion. Of that solid majority, there's a centrist portion who would curtail abortion rights around the edges. This is where the bias of journalists is - right in that center. Similarly for gun control.

So, on social issues I think Eric needlessly ignored what he'd written elsewhere, that what is considered to be 'liberal' has been successfully redefined by the Right.

And, as for gay rights issues - while journalists might pretend to be more sympathetic than perhaps the center on this issue, the coverage of these issues is way to the right of the political center of the gay community. The "pro-gay bias" of journalists manifests itself as basically agreeing with Andrew Sullivan on all of these issues, which is why for so long he's been the point man in the media for gay issues. The only one.

Happy Birthday To Me

Well, not today but sometime this month. The exact date is highly classified. It's also the month that I'll reach a million visits, so there should be much rejoicing.

What Liberal Media

Anyone been enjoying the scathing satire aimed at George Bush on Saturday Night Live?

Me neither.

I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that one of the producers just married John Podhoretz.