Saturday, April 12, 2003

Buddha Statues Redux

It's hard to quite get ones head around whatever moral calculus makes some of us get a bit more upset about a few ancient pots than, say, little kids getting their limbs blown off. But, much as was the case in Afghanistan (pre-9/11), when the Taliban started detroying ancient statues, it's hard not to get a bit upset about the fact that the museum in Baghdad was looted.

We secured the oil fields, we coulda secured that, too.

Media Coverage of Leung

Some of my trolls have accused me of being interested in the Leung case because I'm somehow racist. That's quite silly. Actually, I'm interested in it partially because of the racism which was behind much of the hypocritical media-driven and, yes, bigoted coverage of both the Wen Ho Lee case and the various Clinton/Gore fundraising and 'technology transfer' "scandals." The question has now been raised whether this accused double-agent, who was involved with both the head of Lawrence Livermore Labs and a key FBI player in the fundraising investigations, tainted all of these things.

As Ailes points out, the Washington Times continues the bigot angle on coverage of these things (and sexist, and downright factually incorrect) with the headline "Chinese Mata Hari ensnares ex-FBI men." Regardless of what she may have done, Ms. Leung is a naturalized American citizen, and not Chinese.

As for Porter Goss and Christopher Cox, I'm sure they're chomping at the bit in hopes that they can spin this as evidence of the corruption of the Tubesteak Messiah. But, let us hope they put their partisan and dishonest ways behind them (unlikely, given their record) and support a genuine investigation into all of Ms. Leung's involvements.

Republican operatives enabled as usual by a willing and racist media jumped on all of these scandals, reporting them with the appropriate spin. Let's hope they don't repeat their past mistakes.

Just Say No to Affleck and J.Lo

The idea of Ben Affleck and J. Lo participating in a remake of Casablanca should make all serious right-thinking Americans cringe. So, go sign Tbogg's petition to put a stop to the devious plans by this pair of unpatriotic America-haters.

But, hey, Ben buddy, I still love ya. So, if you'd consider dropping a few hundred grand into the Eschaton tip jar instead of, you know, the tables at the Luxor, feel free...

More on Holmes

Oh, this guy is a real sweetie:

In 1980, Dr. Holmes, who would soon become a leader in the anti-abortion movement in Arkansas, minimized concerns about the effect on rape victims of a proposed constitutional amendment banning abortion. "Concern for rape victims is a red herring because conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami," he wrote in a letter to the editor of a newspaper then.


Friday, April 11, 2003

Roger Kahn

Sportswriter and true patriot.

Leung Affidavit

The FBI put it up and then took it down. But, Google has it. Haven't had a chance yet to read through it, but check out her aliases.

....and here's Smith's.

More Thugs at Yale

[instapundit] But Yalies don't do that type of thing!![/instapundit]

Students discovered a threatening message written in front of the Afro-American Cultural Center Wednesday night, prompting outrage at the incident and frustration with the Yale administration's response to recent allegations of intimidation.

The message, scrawled in black ink on the front of a crumpled anti-war flier, read: "I hope you protesters and your children are killed in the next terrorist attack. Signed F--- You." The threat comes two weeks after several male students allegedly broke into a Calhoun College suite on March 27 and left a hateful message on the whiteboard of anti-war activist Katherine Lo '05.

Stupid College Kids

This dumb little monkey at Yale condemns the horrible actions of the victim of thuggery at Yale because she hung a flag upside down. He clearly has no idea what the symbollism of that is supposed to be.

Ms. Lo, you are owed an apology by those who attempted to enter your bedroom, but you too owe an apology to the Americans, particularly those who have served, who you have insulted by your disgrace of the flag: a symbol of all that we -- as Americans -- are, have fought for, and believe in.

Yeah. you've fought real hard kid. Get this man a WarBlog!

Another FBI Agent Resigns

Was also involved with Republican activist and fundraiser, and now accused spy, Katrina Leung.

Another Wonderful Nominee

Even woke 'ole Arlen out of his slumber to give him a chance to earn his 'moderate' street cred. Methinks he's heard about his likely challenger...

One example the Democrats cited was a 1997 article that Dr. Holmes and his wife, Susan, wrote for a newspaper, Arkansas Catholic, about men, women and Roman Catholicism. The article said that "the wife is to subordinate herself to her husband" and that "the woman is to place herself under the authority of the man" in the same way that "the church is to place herself under the protection of Christ."

The same article went on to say, "It is not a coincidence that the feminist movement brought with it artificial contraception and abortion on demand, with recognition of homosexual liaisons soon to follow.

Can't they find any judges to nominate who AREN'T bigots and misogynists?


"Pro-war" rally organizer lied about past.

Don Neddo, the force behind the region's biggest pro-U.S. troops rallies, will no longer organize the demonstrations after admitting Thursday that he fabricated his combat service.

Neddo, 70, never parachuted into Korean enemy lines with the Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade during the Korean War and never suffered frostbite overseas, as he claimed in a Times Union story on March 29.

Neddo is not even a veteran."

Thug Watch

Check out this poll from the Amarillo Globe-News.

What would you do if an anti-war protester stopped you on the way home in rush hour?
Introduce them to the grill of my car!
Ignore them.
Join them.

Ah, journalists today - elevating the public discourse daily.

More on Pryor

From Sam Heldman:

While I work on a longer explanation of why you should oppose him even if your politics are much more centrist than mine, you can begin by reading the amicus brief (pdf file) that he filed (along with the AGs of Utah and S.C.) in Lawrence v. Texas, including his vigorous defense of the proposition that gay oral sex has detrimental "spiritual" effects in addition to emotional and psychological ones.

One wonders how he knows such things.

Here's the exact quote:

Texas is hardly alone in concluding that homosexual sodomy may have servere physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual consequences, which do not necessarily attend heterosexual sodomy, and from which Texas's citizens need to be protected.


Special Report with Brit Hume

Oh yes, that's going to make the Iraqis love us.

How Republicans React

They protect their own.

Mrs. Cubin said later that she was simply trying "to make the point that stereotyping is always wrong." If so, she chose an odd way to do so. The reference to her sons, she explained, was headed in the direction of asking if they should be kept from buying guns because they look like "the children at Columbine." But to argue analogously that the amendment would have kept dealers from selling guns in the black community is true only if you subscribe to a worldview in which "African American" equals "presumptive drug user." Yet more astonishing than Mrs. Cubin's obtuseness was that when the full House considered whether to have Mrs. Cubin's words "taken down" as offensive -- a move that would have stricken them from the record and kept her from speaking for the rest of the day -- it voted in her favor, 227 to 195. Not a single Republican lawmaker voted against the remarks. Afterward, not a word of criticism from House Republican leaders. Upon being asked for comment, House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) yesterda y ventured (through a spokesman) to say that the remarks "clearly left the wrong impression." He also described Mrs. Cubin as a "sensitive and at heart a very good person." Maybe so; but shrugging off the offensiveness of her statement is no more appropriate now than when Republican leaders tried the same tactic immediately after Mr. Lott made his remark.

Proving once again that It's Okay If You're a Republican. Fine. Next time a democrat says something idiotic and bigoted I'm just going to call him/her a "good person." Take it up with House Speaker Hastert.

7 billion to Halliburton

Without even a bid.

You'd think they would, like, at least try and pretend.

The Whore Times Keeps A'Whorin

Oh it's oh so liberal. The Times, too, found its precious in the Tubesteak Messiah, and it won't let it go until someone drops Howell Raines into the Pit of Doom.

Among the thornier questions that investigators will have to examine, officials said, is whether Mr. Smith's intimate relationship with Ms. Leung — spanning nearly two decades — compromised the F.B.I.'s highly sensitive investigations in the late 1990's into allegations that Chinese officials tried to launder campaign contributions illegally to the 1996 presidential campaign of Bill Clinton and Al Gore.

Yeah, that's a thorny question - whether an FBI agent's relationship with a Republican activist and fundraiser compromised the investigation of Clinton's crotch.

UPDATE: On reading it this morning I suppose that could be read as 'compromising' either way, but the Times' whole history with "clinton scandals" has been about publishing innuendo.


You are the 2,000,000th visitor to Eschaton.

Well, probably not you exactly, but...

And, I've managed to reach (or will soon) that milestone in less than a year.

Where's Mohammed?

The last we heard Mohammed, the noble brown man who walked 6 miles uphill both ways to Save Private Jessica, was settled into a refugee camp near Umm Qasr which had Real Live Shower.

Some people were a bit skeptical about this story (as was I). And now it appears that the nice people in Palestine, W.V. are unable to track him down. I wonder why.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

A Bit Surprised

William Saletan makes a surprising observation about Bush. Not that the observation itself surprises me, but that Saletan actually made it. He's right.

Jeffrey Sachs

Has an absolutely scathing piece in the FT.

President George W. Bush is presiding over the ruin of US foreign policy. A world united against the war in Iraq is only the start, since US diplomatic failure and neglect extend to virtually every area of foreign policy.

Another stunning example lies in the Andes, where the US administration has proved to be incapable of even the simplest responses to a profound crisis engulfing the region. Venezuela's chaos continues, while Colombia's violence deepens. Most recently, the US has looked on as Bolivia, a close ally and a desperately poor, and until recently stable, Andean nation, teeters on the brink of collapse. This is in large measure because of US policies but the administration has not shown the slightest recognition of the incipient disaster it is helping to create.

Krugman has some competition. Everybody, say it with me:

I used to like his writing back when he wrote more about economics, but now he's just obsessed with bashing the Bush administration.

That Liberal Hollywood

'Hitler' Executive Producer Fired

LOS ANGELES ( - The executive producer of a CBS miniseries about Adolf Hitler's rise to power has been fired after giving an interview in which he compared the current mood of Americans to that of the Germans who helped Hitler rise to power.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gernon was fired Sunday (April 6) from Alliance Atlantis, the production company making "Hitler: The Rise of Evil" for CBS. He had worked there 11 years and was head of the firm's long-form programming division.

Neither Gernon nor Alliance Atlantis is commenting on the matter.

"Hitler" has caused controversy ever since CBS announced its intentions last summer. In an interview with TV Guide about the four-hour film, scheduled for May, Gernon compares many Americans' acceptance of a war in Iraq to the fearful climate in post-World War I Germany, of which Hitler took advantage to become its ruler.

"It basically boils down to an entire nation gripped by fear, who ultimately chose to give up their civil rights and plunged the whole nation into war," Gernon said in the interview. "I can't think of a better time to examine this history than now."


Ratings in 8pm timeslot with Donahue -1.5.

Ratings in 8pm timeslot without Donahue - 1.2.


Yglesias and Drum are off on another round of "liberals don't think anything (except homosexuality) is an inherited trait." Huh? People keep saying this, but I know lots of liberals and I've never heard any of them express something like this. If it ever sounds that way it's because most popular discussions of the role of inherited characteristics revolve around obsessions with Murray-esque group (racial) characteristics rather than individual ones, and they are largely unrelated issues.

This liberal thinks one trait in particular is entirely inherited:

I often think it’s comical.
How Nature always does contrive.
That every boy and every gal
That’s born into the world alive
Is either a little Liberal
Or else a little Conservative!

(As my commenters suggest, perhaps the Cheneys can clear this one up for us.)

Thug Watch

in Las Vegas.

Metro Police are investigating a threat made against one of Las Vegas' oldest French restaurants, and the owners of two others say they also have received a number of threatening messages since France's opposition to the war in Iraq.

Andre Rochat, owner of Andre's, at 401 S. Sixth St., has filed a police report in connection with a telephone threat received at the restaurant, which opened in 1980.

"I was worried about my customers and employees, and now the police are handling it," said Rochat, who has been a U.S. citizen for 30 years.

Daily Billboard

My contribution is up here.

Josh Marshall has some sort of related comments.

UPDATE: Chin says he was following orders:

"I was just trying my best to get the chain around his neck and put the flag on his head," Chin told ABCNEWS' Good Morning America. "Pretty much at the moment I was just doing what I was told to do by my commanding officer," he said.

Why Does Richard Lugar Hate America?

From the Newshour:

JIM LEHRER: Senator Lugar, what is your view of that, comparing this with Hitler and Stalin, and what Dr. Brzezinski just said in follow-up to that?

SEN. RICHARD LUGAR: Well, of course the enormity of the wars involving Hitler and the Stalin situation are very, very different in many ways but I agree with Dr. Brzezinski that the critical point is the political future of the country, and the political future of the neighborhood, and really our future with regard to relations with all the countries around. The military execution has been brilliant.

And I think our prayer is that that will be matched by equal brilliance in terms of both the interim humanitarian aid for a lot of people who are suffering and will continue to suffer and for democracy building in an area that is not very hospitable to this. That will require careful, thoughtful planning. It may be occurring somewhere but I haven't seen it. I don't think many members of Congress have. We're going to have to see it because we're talking, I believe, about a long period of time, very substantial investments of money by this country and diplomacy that will be extraordinary in bringing other countries into the situation the proper way.

JIM LEHRER: You have already said - you have already weighed in on this, Sen. Lugar, that you thought it was brilliant but let's pick up on your point that - in fact, you issued a statement today which you said, pretty much what you just said, that if the Bush administration's explanation of its post war plans for Iraq were "not good enough" is what you said. What do you mean not good enough? What is it you do not know and the American people don't know that they need to know?

SEN. RICHARD LUGAR: Well, specifically, situations of regime change have not led in recent history to democracy following. They have usually led to some fallback to a regime that was before the one being overthrown. To get into democracy at this point requires at least, I believe, a plan for how the Iraqi leadership is to be identified. Who specifically will select the leadership, how it will be integrated with General Garner and the Americans who are over there offering some interim assistance - how, in fact, we legitimatize the revenues that might come from the sale of assets or from the oil wells and some budget as to how this fits at all the needs of not only replenishing the problems or revamping the oil wells but also the needs of the Iraqi people to be fed and all.

I just don't see at this point the budget, I don't see the plan of identification of leadership that seems very satisfying. And I hope we will see it soon.

Baseball HOF

I've received a lot of emails about the fact that the baseball Hall of Fame cancelled the celebration of the 15 year anniversary of Bull Durham due to the anti-war stance of its stars.

The weekend affair, planned months ago, also was to feature "Bull Durham" actor Robert Wuhl and Ron Shelton, who wrote and directed the 1988 film.

Instead of commemorating the movie, the Hall canceled the celebration in a letter Tuesday sent to the scheduled participants.

"In a free country such as ours, every American has the right to his or her own opinions, and to express them. Public figures, such as you, have platforms much larger than the average American's, which provides you an extraordinary opportunity to have your views heard -- and an equally large obligation to act and speak responsibly," Petroskey wrote.

"We believe your very public criticism of President Bush at this important -- and sensitive -- time in our nation's history helps undermine the U.S. position, which ultimately could put our troops in even more danger. As an institution, we stand behind our President and our troops in this conflict."

Note the objections by Petroskey, a former Reagan administration official, are about criticisms of Bush. It's wartime, can't criticize the president! Some of these people need to go read up on what Republicans were saying during World War II, Korea, Bosnia, etc...

Contact these idiots and let them know what you think:
Toll-free number (888) HALL-OF-FAME or 888.425.5633
FAX 607.547.2044


Thanks to the many people who contributed following my little car incident. It wasn't quite enough for me to fix up my beach house like Andrew Sullivan (or have a beach house), but it should cover the deductible...thanks!

More Bigot Eruptions

via Big Media Matt, we get this lovely quote from Barbara Cubin (R-Wyoming)

Cubin, who supports the bill, was complaining about a failed Democratic amendment that would have banned gun sales to drug addicts or people undergoing drug treatment.
“So does that mean that if you go into a black community, you can’t sell any guns to any black person?” she asked.

Eric Muller offers a (possible) gentler interpretaton of this. Look, even if that interpretation is correct (I don't buy it) I still put its level of boneheadedness at about the Moran level.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Moonie Times

Moonie World gives us some choice quotes from the man who writes Andrew Sullivan's paycheck:

Homosexuals and fornicators are like dirty dung eating dogs."
"There are many homosexuals and lesbians in America. How can they do that? What kind of organ do they use to make oneness? Through the anus? This is very shameful. Even insects do not do this."
"It is like homosexuals. They both stand on one foot and the two of them limp along like this. [Father demonstrates.] It is like a three legged race. That is the life of homosexuals."
"Therefore, we can understand why love affairs between people of the same sex are not healthy. What if this room were full of homosexuals and lesbians? Even though they might not like it, they would have to admit that what I am saying is truthful."
"Homosexuality is a perverted form of love and it is the enemy of universal law. Spirit world does not accept homosexuality at all. Anything which violates the basic law of nature requiring beings to improve themselves from generation to generation is dishonest and dangerous. The Unification Church is not only adamantly against homosexuality but we will treat it as a sickness and cure it."
"Homosexuality, which all major religions hold to be an abomination, is assaulting the position of the traditional family."

Chi-Coms! Chi-Coms!

Oh Boy.

A retired FBI agent who allegedly had an affair with a suspected Chinese double agent while he was in charge of the FBI's Chinese counterintelligence operation in California is under arrest, charged with gross negligence, federal officials said.

The former agent, identified as James Smith, allegedly had a sexual relationship with Katrina Leung, a Republican Party activist in California, sources said. Smith, 59, who retired from his job in the bureau's Los Angeles office in 2000, had been in charge of the office's China counterintelligence squad and was Leung's primary "handler" in her work for the United States, law enforcement officials said.

Law enforcement officials said when the couple met, Leung allegedly went through Smith's briefcase and made copies of often-classified material, including the names of FBI agents investigating allegations of Chinese espionage. Court records suggest the copies were made without Smith's knowledge, even though he left them where she had access to them.

But the court documents also said Smith knew Leung had inappropriate contact with representatives of the People's Republic of China, but nevertheless continued the relationship.

Court documents also allege that Leung had sexual relations with another senior FBI official, this time in San Francisco.

During his time in the FBI, Smith's office played a major role investigating Clinton-era campaign finance allegations, which centered on suspicions that the Clinton White House accepted political contributions from foreign governments, particularly China.

More on Pryor

From Uggabugga and Sam Heldman.

That Wacky Stern

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: I want to immediately go to "Newsweek"'s Melinda Liu. She's in Baghdad. She's been watching all of these dramatic and historic developments in the Iraqi capital. Melinda, if you can, tell us once again where you are, what you ar seeing, what's going through your mind right now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is an amazing thing that has happened this morning, very prevalent to a signal to the Iraqi people that the American people are here to help. And there's even talk of replacing the Iraqi minister of information with Howard Stern.

BLITZER: I think we have the wrong connection over there, unfortunately.

More Theocracy

Oy my head hurts.

Rod Paige: America's education evangelist
Apr 7, 2003
By Todd Starnes

"All things equal, I would prefer to have a child in a school that has a strong appreciation for the values of the Christian community, where a child is taught to have a strong faith," said U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige. "Where a child is taught that, there is a source of strength greater than themselves."

Appointed by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2001, Paige is the country's seventh secretary of education and the first African American to serve in the position.

Quality education can -- and should -- be modeled on religious values,Page said. "Religious values are wonderful values that we should embrace in our daily lives. I think it's even more important that we embrace those values in our homes. We would have a much calmer, compassionate society."


As for those who disagree with his position that religion has a place in the nation's public schools, Paige replied, "I would offer critics my prayers."

Another Theocratic Judge Nominated

Oh Jeebus. Just go to demagogue for the details. It's too depressing.

Army Chaplain Update

Via Off the Kuff I see that the Army Chaplain with the 500 gallon pool of water is being investigated.

Civil Disobedience

If Biden's Rave Act manages to pass, than Neal Pollack's suggestion is enticing. We should all go down to the offices of our favorite politicians and light up in their restrooms. Hey, we'll be arrested, but so will they...

Helping the Iraqi People

Via Soundbitten, I see that Instapundit says:

Meanwhile, I wonder where all those celebrities who seemed to care so much about the Iraqi people when they were opposing the war have disappeared to now that it's won. Shouldn't they be organizing benefit concerts or something? Or was it all just posturing?

Um, why is this statement limited to those people who opposed the war? I mean, lots of people have claimed to care about the Iraqi people?

But, frankly, at this point I don't think private charity is really relevant. Our government now has the responsbility to help the Iraqi people with our tax dollars. That's what they signed us up to do. Private charity is great, but it shouldn't be necessary. Though, Bono is still one step ahead of him... No word yet on the charitable activities of Darryl Worley.

Nice Firm Breasts

This testimony from a doctor regarding malpractice insurance is unbelievable. He should lose his license over this - not because of his callous remarks about aesthetics, but because he seems unaware that a woman's breasts are more than just eye candy for people like him. Feeling and function can't be restored, and if a practicing physician doesn't realize that...

Casualty Count

Chris over at Back-to-Iraq, reporting from Iraq, is reporting that 5 U.S. Special Forces members were killed in the recent "friendly fire" attack on a Kurdish convoy. This hasn't been reported anywhere else as far as I know. If true - one wonders how much undercounting is going on theater-wide.

(via hesiod)

Spines Stiffen

I think I just fell in love with Harry Reid.

U.S. Senate Democrats refused on Tuesday to clear the way for a confirmation vote on President Bush's nomination of Priscilla Owen....

...Republicans asked Democrats on Tuesday to agree to six or 10 more hours of debate before holding a vote.

After Democrats objected to both offers, Sen. Robert Bennett, a Utah Republican, asked "if any number of additional hours would be sufficient."

"There is not a number in the universe that would be sufficient," replied Senate Democratic Whip Harry Reid of Nevada.

It was unclear on Tuesday if Republicans could muster such [the necessary 60 votes to force a vote on Owens' nomination]. Regardless, they said they were not ready to try.

Alterman in the Observer

George Gurley has a rather interesting profile of Eric Alterman in the NYObserver.

Rather cruel, especially compared to his recent fawning over Ann Coulter, but that Eric sure does sound like a jerk. And, besides, he's never invited me over for one of his monthly "Salons."

Josh Marshall has a Modest Proposal

Nice idea, but as a wise woman once said "when pigs fly!"

Prove me wrong, please.

Yale Thug Watch Update

Here's the article in the Yale Daily News as well as an update from OxBlog.

As horrible as this is, I have to admit I was even more shocked by the fact that people were, well, shocked. This isn't my usual round of "let's have fun shooting fish in the Instapundit barrel," I actually mean this quite seriously. Glenn's response is essentially (begin WASPish stick-up-the-ass accent and intone with outrageous incredulity) "Yalies don't DO that type of thing!!?!?" It's fair to be skeptical about these stories until the facts come out, but this went deeper than that.

First of all, students at elite schools, like everywhere else, do all kinds of stupid/brutal/criminal/racist things. Ivy League students occasionally steal things, rape people, commmit murder, get drunk and get in car accidents, commit assault, etc... Neither elite academic performance nor a life of privilege prevents this.

Secondly, I also have no doubt that if this had been an episode of anti-Semitism then Glenn's reponse wouldn't have been "Yalies don't do that type of thing?!?!?" Instead, it would have been "Look at all the anti-semitism on those Leftist college campuses!!!!" If true, then Glenn's original reaction isn't actually that Yalies don't do that type of thing, it's that conservative Yalies don't do that type of thing (implying also a false equivalency between anti-Semitsm and liberalism, of course). There are racist incidents on campuses - including elite campuses - all the time.

Dinesh D'Souza and Laura Ingraham went to Dartmouth, remember...

Freepers Discover the Bush Economy

The joys of unemployment insurance, complaining about jobs, age discrimination, etc...

Almost feel for some of them.

Voices of Light

I agree with CalPundit. Go get yourself a copy of Richard Einhorn's Voices of Light. I'm a classical music fan, though I have to admit I've never really developed much of an ear for choral music. But, I really have been enjoying this CD.

Tuesday, April 08, 2003

Bad Timing

Oy. Just scraped the side of my car rather badly. Not something I can afford right now. If anyone had been meaning to click one of the friendly buttons on the left but hadn't gotten around to it, now would be a good time...

UK Says "Not Dead"


Powerful Poster

Via Matthew Yglesias, I discover Instapundit has found a "powerful poster" which compares the EU to Nazi Germany and the USSR.

This is pretty powerful, too.

More generally, I've never quite understood the conservative-liberatarian/libertarian-conservative objection to the existence of the E.U. I mean, one can find plenty of fault with it as an institution, but their objections seem to go deeper than that in ways I have never understood. They seem to object to the idea of it, and not simply the details. I do miss all the cheering when the Euro toppled from its initial high of about $1.17 to about $.83 which was proof of something (not sure what). What happened to that?

Phase 2

While one can't be sure when Phase 1 of this war is over, Phase 2 is already beginning in parts of the country. There is essentially no law enforcement in the 'liberated' areas, as the BBC is reporting. People are looting, and the army isn't interfering as they want to been perceived favorably. I hope they have a cunning plan to deal with this issue.

Ha Ha Geraldo

He'd better wash those hands...

Say what you will about Geraldo, a self-aggrandizing cartoon, an action junkie, you name it: The guy is in no danger of living a small, gray, forgettable life.

Staley went on to say, "A handful of troops here wanted pictures with G and autographs. A few shook his hand. Others here wanted to harm him, were disgusted with him, thought he should have been sent home in a Humvee (a 40-hour drive south through the desert).

"We later found out a few who shook his hand had put those hands in unmentionable places prior. Army justice?"


Hotel hit 'deliberate': French TV
April 09, 2003

FOOTAGE filmed by France 3 television of a strike on a hotel which killed two journalists in Baghdad today shows a US tank targeting the journalists' hotel and waiting at least two minutes before firing.

The journalist and film editor who filmed the attack, Herve de Ploeg, who filmed the attack, said: "I did not hear any shots in the direction of the tank, which was stationed at the west entrance of the Al-Jumhuriya (Republic) bridge, 600 metres north-west of the hotel.

The tank's turret is seen moving toward the Palestine Hotel, where foreign reporters have set up shop, and the gun carriage lifting and waiting at least two minutes before opening up.

The French TV channel had positioned two cameras in two rooms facing the bridge as of 6.30am (11.30pm AEST).

"It had been very quiet for a moment. There was no shooting at all. Then I saw the turret turning in our direction and the carriage lifting. It faced the target," said De Ploeg.

"It was not a case of instinctive firing," he said. The firing took place at 11.59am (5.59pm AEST), said France 3 reporter Caroline Sinz.

"I'm very specific because I was due to go on air," she explained.

The incident killed a cameraman for the Telecinco Spanish television station and another for the British news agency Reuters. Three Reuters staffers were also wounded.

The Spanish cameraman was named as Jose Couso, 37. The Reuters cameraman was named as Ukrainian Taras Protsyuk, 35.

A US commander said the tank fired a single round at the hotel.

"The tank was receiving fire from the hotel, RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) and small-arms fire, and engaged with one tank round. The firing stopped," said General Buford Blount, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division, speaking at Baghdad's international airport.

A reporter for the Arab satellite television Al-Jazeera died earlier today and a cameraman was injured after the station's offices in Baghdad were hit in a separate attack that the Qatar-based channel charged was a deliberate
US strike.

Agence France-Presse in the News

In the Guardian.


Here. I'll say what I always say when Krugman writes a column:

Another shrill column from the increasingly partisan Krugman. I used to like his writing back when he wrote more about economics, but now he's just obsessed with bashing the Bush administration.

The Objectives

Rumsfeld: March 21:

Our goal is to defend the American people, and to eliminate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, and to liberate the Iraqi people. Coalition military operations are focused on achieving several specific objectives: to end the regime of Saddam Hussein by striking with force on a scope and scale that makes clear to Iraqis that he and his regime are finished. Next, to identify, isolate and eventually eliminate Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems, production capabilities, and distribution networks. Third, to search for, capture, drive out terrorists who have found safe harbor in Iraq. Fourth, to collect such intelligence as we can find related to terrorist networks in Iraq and beyond. Fifth, to collect such intelligence as we can find related to the global network of illicit weapons of mass destruction activity. Sixth, to end sanctions and to immediately deliver humanitarian relief, food and medicine to the displaced and to the many needy Iraqi citizens. Seventh, to secure Iraq's oil fields and resources, which belong to the Iraqi people, and which they will need to develop their country after decades of neglect by the Iraqi regime. And last, to help the Iraqi people create the conditions for a rapid transition to a representative self-government that is not a threat to its neighbors and is committed to ensuring the territorial integrity of that country.

Torie Clark, March 29:

MS. CLARKE: (In progress.) Good afternoon everybody. Significant progress continues in the coalition campaign in Iraq. Let me take just a couple of minutes to remind everyone of the eight mission objectives of Operation Iraqi Freedom, as Secretary Rumsfeld described just a week ago.

First, end the regime of Saddam Hussein; second, capture or drive out terrorists sheltered in Iraq; third, collect intelligence on terrorist networks; fourth, collect intelligence on Iraq's illicit weapons-of-mass-destruction activity; five, destroy the weapons of mass destruction, the systems and the facilities; sixth, secure Iraq's oil fields and natural resources for the Iraqi people; seven, end the sanctions and immediately deliver humanitarian relief; and the final objective, to help the Iraqi people transition to a non-threatening, representative form of self-government that preserves the territorial integrity of Iraq.

Emergency Fed Action

Wow, this is like panic mode. The article says they're talking about this stuff openly to restore confidence, but I think it might have the opposite effect.

Little LuLu

Michelle Malkin gets a well-deserved takedown here.

Back then she wrote, "The media snobs are at it again. Wrinkling their noses at flag pins and patriotic ribbons. ... Hey, newsies: Get off your high horses. Impartiality is no excuse to behave like four-star ingrates." She blasted news managers who seem "lethally allergic to red, white and blue. Do they plan on boycotting the Fourth of July, too?"

Ms. Malkin concluded that piece with this evocation: "There will be no 21st century Ernie Pyles in our war on terrorism because modern journalists wouldn't be caught dead in a foxhole, wearing a military uniform, bravely recording and communicating the hopes, fears, dreams, anger and pride of the American soldier."

On the day after Michael Kelly's death, I think that Ms. Malkin, from the comfort of her own chair, owes the embedded journalists an apology.

Aside from that, what is it with conservatives in the media who talk about "the media" as if they aren't even a part of it? I can't pick up a newspaper without reading Malkin's latest anti-immigrant screed. Bill O'Reilly has the highest rated cable "news" show on TV, and as Greg Beato has pointed out here, he's admonishing "the media" for not covering war in the way he would like - when he himself isn't following his own advice.

Weird people. Sometimes I think that the Reptilian Invasion theory makes more and more sense every day.

Competitive Schompetitive

Who needs competitive bidding?

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A Republican leader in Congress is proposing drastic changes in Pentagon procurement that would allow defense companies to win contracts of up to $200 million apiece without competitive bidding and other safeguards.

The current limit is $7.5 million.

Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., a committee chairman who for the last four years led the GOP's fund-raising efforts in the House, is circulating draft legislation that could sharply expand the number of contracts that are not subject to stringent government oversight.

The longtime safeguards were put in place after Pentagon contracting scandals in the 1960s.

Monday, April 07, 2003

Thug Watch

Mickey, say it isn't so?!

C'est la vie? Fearing an anti–France backlash because of the French government's strong stance against the U.S. in the Iraq war, Disney is quietly increasing the security presence around the France pavilion at Epcot, and reassigning some of the young French nationals with French-speaking Italians and Canadians. Based on the behavior of some visitors to the area, unfortunately, park officials seem justified in having serious concerns. One MousePlanet staff member recently witnessed a group of rowdy American men storm through the pavilion as they shouted epithets and made obscene gestures at the cast members.

Na Na Na Na

Sources claiming Saddam may have been whacked by a recent bombing. It was apparently 4 bunker busters in a residential neighborhood. Well, if they didn't get him they sure as hell got a lot of other people...

Of course, I may be Sidney Blumenthal, too. We'll see. Sooner this all "ends" the better.

Christian Bauman on Aaron Brown

Novelist and Vet Christian Bauman is going to be on Aaron Brown (CNN 10pm, assuming he doesn't get bumped) tonight for a few minutes discussing various things. He's an occasional contributor to Neal Pollack's site, and pops up in the comments here too occasionally. Oh, and he wrote this book which I'm just about finished reading...

Rave Rave Rave

You know, I just don't understand what the hell this anti-Rave bill is about, in the sense of why the hell is anyone so convinced this is such a necessary thing that they keep trying to ram it through. In this case, it's that useless bloviator (As opposed to the useful bloviator) Joe Biden who is trying to sneak this one in.

I don't know why he wants it. It's a nasty piece of legislation which will have the unfortunate effect of making John Ashcroft look good by comparison. So, go to Talk Left and find out how to take action.

Deep Throat

One of the more interesting theories about the identity of Deep Throat I've heard is that it was none other than George Bush the Elder. Not being one who ever followed the various theories I have no idea how credible or incredible this idea is, though it's still quite an amusing possibility. In any case, the fact that the Watergate Papers of Carl Bernstein and the late Bob Woodward are going to the University of Texas does bolster that particular theory...

The Size of My....

Well, everyone else does it so I'll brag about my 600,000+ "visits" in March.

Fun With Photoshop

Fox News throughout history.

There are a lot of good ones.

(via the back from hiatus Ted Barlow)

Pulitzers Announced


For some reason they left off my two favorite categories: Most Overrated Hack, and Most Obvious Sycophant.

Nominees in comments...

and, congrats to Colbert King.

More Intimidation

I received this email:

I live in Greeley, CO and am a student at Greeley Central High School. Last week some students at our school staged a walk-out to protest the war in Iraq.
Not only did we consult with our teachers, but we also consulted with our principal who met with us to go over how to conduct such a protest in a non-disruptive manner. We chose to stage our walk-out during a mid-day open period, and did so with out incident.

Now the yahoos in Greeley (a very conservatice town) are up in arms, not only that we walked out of school to protest the war, but that our school's administration knew about it. Our teachers, who simply were teaching us the subtle processes of partcipative democracy, have been hammered in local op-eds and letters to the edit.

In other words, this was more of "mock" walkout than any actual disruption - during a free period.

Go take the poll at the Greeley Tribune and tell them what you think.

Chicago Dem Offices Bombed


(Chicago) -- The West Side office of Ald. Danny Solis (25th) was bombed early Monday morning.

A "small explosive device" was thrown through the window of the office, at 2439 S. Oakley Av., and blew a small hole in the floor when it exploded, according to Marquette District Capt. Fred Konet.

Solis shares the office with State Representative Edward Acevedo. Both are Democrats.

The front windows and door of the two-story brick building were also damaged by the force of the explosion.

No injuries were reported and there was no description of an offender or of any vehicles which may have been used, Konet said. The bomber struck just before the snow began to fall, about 3 a.m., so there were no tracks left for police to discover.

Blitzer Time


The Name of the Rose

One of Andrew Sullivan's many contributions to the honorable tradition of yellow journalism was presiding over the publication of a factually-challenged article about Hillary Clinton and the Rose Law Firm, complete with the catchy title "The Name of the Rose," while he was editor of The New Republic.

Crazy Andy is currently upset by Kerry's use of the phrase "regime change" in reference to his campaign for election. Apparently since Saddam has a "regime," referring to a Bush regime is somehow equating the two. Of course, back in 1994 as editor Sullivan had no objections to the word "regime":

From the article, by L.J. Davis:

After seven years under the Clinton regime and with tens of millions in issued loans, adfa had created just 2,700 jobs, many at wages significantly below the national standard. This anemic showing obscures the fact that adfa had yet another purpose: its generosity was returned in the form of campaign contributions for William Jefferson Clinton.

David Neiwert has more examples.

God Protects Journalist

By having the bullets hit soldiers instead. Where do they get these people?

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- The soldiers were there for a reason.

The logical, rational explanation is that they were there because their tank caught fire and had to be destroyed. So, without a ride, they jumped onto the armored personnel carrier with me.

I prefer to believe it was the hand of God that put them there, one behind me, one to my left. They were there to protect me.

Had they not been there, I most likely would not be now typing this.

Less than 30 minutes after the two soldiers joined me, both were wounded by bullets that could have hit me


A few inches more, and it would have been me flying off on those helicopters, my blood staining the stretcher. Instead, I was unscathed, thanks to those two soldiers. I will forever be indebted to them.

Thanks also, I believe, to the hand of God.

Jeebus H. Keerist. I bet the families of these soldiers are going to be thrilled to find out their kids/spouses/parents were the God-appointed personal human shields of journalist Ron Martz.

(via Ailes)

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan...

Remember that place?

Special Forces in Civilian Outfits

I'd wondered about this previously, and apparently they've been doing it.

And we're putting troops in schools, too.

War is dirty, blah blah blah. I'm just tired of the fake moral high ground in all of this.



Actually, it's just pesticide.

Sunday, April 06, 2003

The Final Word on Michael Kelly

by Neal Pollack.

No Charges, No Bail

You know, I get tired of people saying some of us are too paranoid about civil liberties. Right now an American citizen is being held without bail, without charges being filed, with everything about the case completely secret, and with a gag order on his lawyer. What more do you want?

No Catchy Title

Couldn't think of one that wasn't too insulting:

The Army major general who commands Fort Bragg's training center for special operations forces has invited a group of predominantly Southern Baptist pastors to the base this month to participate in a military-themed motivational program for Christian evangelists.

The unusual collaboration is the result of a friendship between Maj. Gen. William G. Boykin, commanding general of the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, and the Rev. Bobby H. Welch, a Southern Baptist minister in Daytona Beach, Fla., who has started an evangelistic campaign called FAITH Force Multipliers.

Hundreds of ministers received an invitation last month from Mr. Welch saying that participants would observe weapons demonstrations, sleep overnight on the base and "go with General Boykin and Green Beret instructors to places where no civilians and few soldiers ever go!"

But the marriage of military and ministry offended one Baptist pastor invited to attend. That minister, who said he did not want to be identified for fear of his colleagues' ire, informed Americans United for Separation of Church and State, an advocacy group in Washington.

[...] Reached at his church in Florida, Mr. Welch, the minister who runs the FAITH Force program, said he was a Vietnam veteran, who trained at Fort Bragg and sought to apply military principles to evangelism.

At first, he spoke openly about the coming session at Fort Bragg. Then he asked not to have it made public because "I'll get in trouble."

"I don't want to do anything that sounds as if we're connected to the military," he said. "That would be an error." He said the Fort Bragg event, which had drawn applications from 50 to 70 ministers, was no different from one he conducted at a race track in Daytona Beach.

He also volunteered that a previous FAITH Force session of 70 pastors was held at Fort Bragg last year, at General Boykin's invitation.

Pastor Welch has spoken at graduations at the special operations school the general commands, Major Kolb said. And General Boykin gave a speech in the pastor's church in Florida in April last year.

"Bin Laden is not the enemy," General Boykin told the packed sanctuary, according to an account on the church's Web site. "No mortal is the enemy. It's the enemy you can't see. It's a war against the forces of darkness. The battle won't be won with guns. It will be won on our knees."

Thug Watch

at liberal Yale. Note to wannabee jackboots - a flag hanging upside down is a sign of distress, not a sign of disrespect, so if you're gonna bring out the 2X4's at least direct them at a more "deserving" target of your wrath.


(via Odub)

Out All Day

Many movies to see at the Philadelphia film festival.

Apocryphal Quote

Liberal Oasis has informed me that the Trent Lott quote above (I'll leave it up for a bit anyway), may be apocryphal. OKay, here are a couple of others:

"US troops will be deployed in Bosnia no matter what the Congress does," said Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pennsylvania. "Congress should support the troops without endorsing the president's policy."
"I deplore the action of the president, but it is his decision and I will abide by that decision and support it, but, know well that it is a tragedy about to unfold," said Rep. George Gekas, R-Pennsylvania. "
Sen. HANK BROWN, (R-CO): We should not send young men and women to their death without being fully resolved that what they might die for is worth the price. I don't believe that the mission that's been outlined is worth that price.
Rep. WALLY HERGER (R-CA): Why should you ask blood be spilled for a cause that is not in the interest of the American peopl
PAT BUCHANAN: Well, I don't support the policy so much as I support the troops.
BOB EDWARDS, Host: On the eve of the signing of the Dayton peace accord a reluctant Congress gave President Clinton only partial support for American involvement in the NATO mission to implement the agreement. Late last night the Senate
approved the deployment of American troops to Bosnia; the House expressed opposition, voting only to support the troops.
CANDY CROWLEY: Senator Gramm says he does not believe that the old adage 'politics should stop at the water's edge and that when it comes to foreign policy the president should be given the- the benefit of the doubt' work anymore in this post-cold war era. Senator Gramm intends to vote to cut off the funds for U.S. troops as well as for an amendment which will support the troops but not the mission, although the Democratic leader in the Senate says that is a distinction to him without much difference.
Just because President Clinton has made a decision and the troops are already landing, Mr. Lott said, "I'm not going to endorse a wrong decision after the fact."
Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, who angered many Republicans by backing the peace enforcement mission, made it clear that last night's vote was a show of support for American troops, not for Clinton.

"It would be wrong," he said, "to make our young men and women bear the brunt of a decision not made by them."

"We don't support the president's decision," he said. "We do support the troops."

Michael Kelly

I pulled down the posts about Michael Kelly out of respect for his family. I was concerned about the very small possiblity that in searching for news and information about him they would accidentally stumble across this site. However, since doing so the degree to which people had posted over-the-line comments is being greatly exaggerated by some of my blogger pals on the other side of the aisle. Very few posts were over the line by any measure, and fewer still were far over the line.

I didn't think much of Kelly when he as alive, and don't feel obligated to think much of him now that he is dead. However, I'm a bit annoyed that people who openly mocked the death of Rachel Corrie - a woman with no position of influence who died while using non-violent means to pursue her cause - are now somehow claiming the moral high ground when it comes to appropriate expressions about the dead. The same bunch of people dragged the Wellstone family through dirt in the most disgusting political operation I have ever witnessed.

I don't read Indymedia, which is populated by a motley group of greens, liberals, anarchists, trolls, commies, anti-semites, etc... but I do glance over a variety of other leftie sites, and nowhere have seen the kind of bile spewed about Michael Kelly's death that what was on display at The Free Republic following the death of the great journalist Lars Erik-Nelson (not for the squeamish). For fairness, here's the Democratic Underground thread on Kelly. I won't deny that there are some tasteless things being said - as tasteless of some of the posts on Free Republic - but the majority of people posting there object to such expressions.

...and, I just wanted to add that I felt free to bring this up as the Right - Sullivan, Noonan, etc... - have chosen to use Kelly's death to advance their political agenda. The latter's obit was 75% about Clinton's penis, and the former's was about how Kelly was a true liberal because, you know, he was a conservative.

Tennessee Taliban

School Board forces science teachers to teach creationism.

(via SKB)

Public Enemy #1

September 12, 2001

September 12, 2002

March 12, 2003

April 12, 2003

April 12, 2004??

Is O'Reilly anti-American?

Greg Beato thinks so.

Intimidation Watch

From Rolling Stone:

But first, on March 16th, across the country in Boston, the mother of the group's human beatbox Radioactive received a visit from two plainclothes Army officers.

"She'd spoken in an interview about her daughter who has been deployed in the Gulf, and her son who is in this band Spearhead," says Spearhead frontman Michael Franti. "They showed her a picture of her son wearing a t-shirt that said 'Unfuck the world' on the front, and 'Dethrone the Bushes' on the back. They told her that was an un-American statement. She said, 'That's free speech,' and they said, 'Well, things are changing these days.'"

The men who visited the frightened woman told her that her daughter's CDs had been confiscated, and that her son had recently taken two flights to Japan. "Why would he do that?" they asked her, according to Franti.

The men then showed her a list of names of people who worked in Franti's management office in San Francisco and a photograph of her son performing with Spearhead at the peace rally one day prior. "It kind of put a scare into all of us," says Franti. "The fact that people would be paying this close attention to what we're doing as musicians is a bit freaky. We're human rights workers -- we don't believe that people should be killed. We're not about wanting to overthrow the government, but we want to speak out. It's made us deepen our belief in what we do and work that much harder."

The Other Victims

While much attention (well, relatively speaking...not too much has been paid, really) is paid to those soldiers who die in this conflict, we shouldn't forget that many of the wounded - of which there are indeed many - are going to have life-altering wounds, including brain injuries, missing limbs, paralysis, etc.

I support these troops. I support restoring the cuts to their Veterans Benefits, which were requested by the anti-troop Bush administration. I support the humble resignation of Saxby Chambliss, anti-American bigot who questioned the patriotism of his single-limbed veteran opponent Max Cleland. I support the resignation of anti-troop Tom DeLay who supported these cuts and who proved himself a Chickenhawk and a bigot when he claimed that he didn't participate in the Vietnam war because all of them minorities had taken all the positions.

Operation Snipe Hunt

I had to laugh when the British troops had named one of their Afghanistan missions that, but now it's apparently officially the Bush Doctrine:

MARK SHIELDS: One cynical former military person said to me, you know, you've been around enough city police departments, they always find the cigarette in the suspect's raincoat or the illicit substance. No, I mean, I think Jim, probably the most disturbing report I got all week is that the Pentagon now is working on a contingency plan for the invasion of Syria and that the argument is that the weapons of mass destruction, one of the rationalizations is that the weapons of mass destruction have been transported to... across the border.

JIM LEHRER: Have you heard that, David?

DAVID BROOKS: I've heard talk of that but I really not get too alarmed about that. There has been talk for months that somehow these wild guys in the Pentagon are going to attack one country after another there. Is anger at Syria. There's no question about that. Syria is playing both sides of the fence here. On the one hand they've restrained Hezbollah from bombing northern Israel. On the other hand, they really have done some things to help the Iraqi regime. But I really do not think there is any... I have not heard from people in the administration any hunger to do another country.

Weird Quote of the Day

xgordy informs me that one of CNBCs resident Generals said something like this just now:

'I don't mean any disrespect, but the situation is just like what our gay friends say. Our troops have arrived in downtown Baghdad and shouted, "We're Here, we're Queer, and you're just gonna have to deal with it!"'

From Conspiracy Theory to Accepted Truth

in one short month. I'm not the only one who has noticed that since just before the war started, the idea that Iraq was the first, not the last, conflict has gone from being crazy conspiracy theory to conventional wisdom. Well, almost - The Capitol Gang was still in denial earlier, but I'm sure they'll come around soon.

Late Night Food for Thought

First, from No More Mister Nice Blog:

I've been worried about this [Iran] ever since I saw the following on page 276 of David Frum's Bush White House memoir, The Right Man:

The war on terror, by its very nature, yielded few spectacular victories. For the most part it looked like a combination of police work and counterinsurgency in remote corners of the earth: Mindanao, Yemen, Kurdistan. Yet Bush kept at it. As he promised in his September 20 speech to Congress, he did not relent -- and neither did he succumb to the temptation to lunge into rash adventures in pursuit of a triumph for the cameras. His strategy in Iraq and Iran was judicious, deliberate, unhasty -- and certain. (emphasis mine)

"In Iran"? What does that refer to? What did Frum know (he published his book in January) that we don't?

And, from the New York Times:

WASHINGTON, April 5 — Shortly after Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld issued a stark warning to Iran and Syria last week, declaring that any "hostile acts" they committed on behalf of Iraq might prompt severe consequences, one of President Bush's closest aides stepped into the Oval Office to warn him that his unpredictable defense secretary had just raised the specter of a broader confrontation.

Mr. Bush smiled a moment at the latest example of Mr. Rumsfeld's brazenness, recalled the aide. Then he said one word — "Good" — and went back to work.


Yet this week, as images of American forces closing in on Baghdad played on television screens, some of Mr. Bush's top aides insisted they were seeing evidence that leaders in North Korea and Iran, but not Syria, might be getting their point.

"Iraq is not just about Iraq," a senior administration official who played a crucial role in putting the strategy together said in an interview last week. It was "a unique case," the official said. But in Mr. Bush's mind, the official added, "It is of a type."

Digby has some comments too.