Saturday, January 14, 2006

Chicken-shit journalism

Taking a page from the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, CNSNEWS has decided that the way to counter Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman John Murtha’s specious position(s) on the war in Iraq is not to offer a reasoned factual counter-argument but rather to smear him.
Murtha's War Hero Status Called Into Question
It’s crap like this that has wrecked the credibility of the New York Times and, to a lesser degree, the Washington Post. Apparently, CNSNEWS wants to join their club.

House of Commons to install litter box in cloakroom
Galloway 'cat' act sparks anger

George Galloway has been branded a "laughing stock" by a Labour opponent after the Respect MP imitated a cat on Celebrity Big Brother.

Mr Galloway, 51, went on all fours, purred and pretended to lick cream from actress Rula Lenska's hands, as part of a task set on the Channel 4 show…

He missed a Commons vote on London's Crossrail project, which would run through his constituency, on Thursday…

During a Big Brother task to see whether "humans can communicate with animals", Mr Galloway asked Ms Lenska: "Now, would you like me to be the cat?"

He crawled on all fours and then pretended to lap from her hands as if drinking cream, after which she rubbed the "cream" from his "whiskers" and stroked his head and behind his ears.

Earlier, Mr Galloway acted the role of "lab assistant" while Ms Lenska "read the mind" of a goldfish called Barry.

There’s a parody of video from the show at The Daily Ablution. (Mute the sound and it’s just creepy)

Perhaps he’s trying to build a case to plead insanity in his Oil-for-Food troubles.

Did Ahmadinejad score a new cheerleader?
Ellsberg: Exposing Secrets May Save Lives

PALM DESERT, Calif. (AP) January 13, 2005 -- Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers 35 years ago, said Friday that whistleblowers shouldn't be afraid to reveal government secrets in an effort to save people's lives, even if it means going to jail.

"Don't do what I did," Ellsberg said. "Don't wait until the bombs are falling in Iran. Don't wait until people are dying. Go to the press and reveal."
It would seem that the MSM has anointed Ellsberg, who is 75, as another of its lions in winter. Yet all they ever talk about is his 35 year old leak of the ‘Pentagon Papers.’ According to his website this is how Ellsberg has spent the last 35 years of his life.
Since the end of the Vietnam War he has been a lecturer, writer and activist on the dangers of the nuclear era and unlawful interventions.

Further perspective
Some of Ellsberg’s most recent activities:

A little over a month ago he expounded thusly:
Last Friday night [December 9, 2005], at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley, Larry Bensky of KPFA interviewed Scott Ritter and Daniel Ellsberg about Iraq, Iran, and the lessons of Vietnam. The discussion was animated and riveting. The two whistleblowers attempted to ferret out the truth about the Bush administration's intentions, and their conclusions were deeply sobering. The next war may be nuclear…

But the single most important issue, Ellsberg said, continues to be the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Iran is not currently a danger, but Israel is, as well as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and North Korea and many other nations. In fact, it is the United States that is currently the most likely nation to initiate nuclear war. It would do so because "Bush expects regime change in Iran," Ellsberg said. "That's crazy, absurd, but no crazier than his ideas about Iraq. A Tonkin Gulf–type incident would provide a good excuse."

"If Iran is attacked," he continued, "Israel could get involved. The rest of the Muslim world, too, and the result would be catastrophic. But that doesn't matter to the Bush administration." In fact, in both Iraq and Iran, "casualties, cost, stalemate—nothing matters. If Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz were ever brought before an international court, they would be found guilty."

On Thanksgiving Day Ellsberg was here:
War protesters return to Bush's ranch
Sheehan's sister, Ellsberg arrested

Crawford, Texas - Thursday, November 24-- About a dozen anti-war protesters, including Daniel Ellsberg and the sister of Vacaville resident Cindy Sheehan, were arrested Wednesday morning while camping on a roadside near President Bush's ranch in violation of a new county ordinance.

And here’s the Iran that “is not currently a danger.”
Iran Unseals Nuclear Enrichment Facility

TEHRAN, Iran – January 10, 2005 Iran broke U.N. seals on its nuclear enrichment facility Tuesday, pledging only to conduct research, but the international nuclear watchdog said Tehran also planned small-scale enrichment of uranium — a process that can produce fuel for nuclear weapons.

The reopening of the Natanz facility drew an outcry from the U.S., Europe and Japan as the move was seen as defiance of demands that Iran maintain a freeze on its nuclear program and could provide justification for it to be hauled before the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions.

Don't be silly

There is no truth to rumor flying around Qwest Field that the visiting players’ entrance has been upgraded and a supply of moisture absorbing material has been laid in with special instructions issued from the league for its use by the Redskins' trainers.
Trial of Redskins safety Taylor delayed

MIAMI - The trial of Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor for allegedly pointing a gun during a dispute was postponed Friday so it won't interfere with his availability through the NFL playoffs.

Prosecutor Michael Grieco told Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Mary Barzee that Taylor should not be treated differently than any other defendant, many of whom have to miss work to attend court, and his trial should begin as scheduled Tuesday.

He also pointed to Taylor's ejection from last Saturday's playoff win over Tampa Bay for spitting in the face of Buccaneer running back Michael Pittman.

"Mr. Taylor has not been a model citizen," Grieco said.

But Taylor's attorney, Edward Carhart, told the judge that would create a hardship for Taylor and the Redskins, who play the Seattle Seahawks on Saturday. If they win, they would play Jan. 22 in the NFC championship game. Carhart also said he still needs to interview some witnesses.

Barzee agreed with Carhart and moved the trial to March 20. The trial had originally been scheduled for last October, but was delayed so Taylor would not have to leave the team. Taylor was not at Friday's hearing.

Taylor, a former University of Miami standout, was allegedly among a group of people who got into an armed confrontation over an all-terrain vehicle. Prosecutors say Taylor pointed a gun during the dispute and is charged with aggravated assault with a firearm and simple battery.

Taylor, who has pleaded not guilty, faces up to 16 years in prison if convicted. Taylor signed a seven-year, $18 million contract after being drafted by the Redskins in 2004. He is free on $16,500 bond.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Only the laying-on of hands remains to be done

And there’s speculation that might happen as early as Monday’s show.
Memoirs May Not Change After Frey Debacle

NEW YORK (AP) -- Now that Oprah has spoken, and forgiven, don't count on any major changes in James Frey's "A Million Little Pieces" or in how publishers ensure the accuracy of memoirs.

With the force of a Supreme Court ruling, Oprah Winfrey phoned in to "Larry King Live" this week, at the end of an hour-long interview with Frey, and reaffirmed her support for his memoir of addiction.

She declared that the allegations that Frey had fabricated some parts - including a three-month prison stint that apparently never happened - were "much ado about nothing" and that the book should be judged by its redemptive power…

Pick one:
  • An addled mind
  • Hypocrisy
  • Partisan hack
  • Aggressively stupid
  • All of the above

Alito expected to be confirmed

All week, Democrats had grilled Judge Alito about his membership in the defunct group, which was formed to oppose the admission of women at the university.

In the final hours of Judge Alito's testimony, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy demanded in a dramatic exchange with Mr. Specter that more records about the group be subpoenaed.

Democratic staffers, meanwhile, whispered to reporters that the records contained plenty Republicans wouldn't want revealed about their nominee.

But instead of resisting Mr. Kennedy's request, Mr. Specter sided with it but secured the records without all the drama of a congressional subpoena. They were housed in the Library of Congress just across the street.

By the time the hearings reconvened, the issue of Judge Alito's membership in Concerned Alumni of Princeton had all but evaporated.

"Judge Alito's name never appeared in any document," Mr. Specter said at the start of yesterday's hearings.

Throughout his testimony, Judge Alito disavowed a magazine published by the group that contained essays pejorative of women and minorities. He said he had no recollection of joining the group and assumed that he must have done so after his ROTC program was kicked off Princeton's campus, a move opposed by the group.

The group records that Mr. Kennedy had wanted to subpoena included canceled checks for magazine subscriptions, but none from Judge Alito. It also contained lists of board directors and contributors.

"The files contain minutes and attendance records from CAP meetings in 1983 and 1984 -- just before Samuel Alito listed the organization on his job application -- but Samuel Alito did not attend any of those meetings," Mr. Specter said. "He's not even mentioned in the minutes."

From that point forward, the issue had lost all momentum. When Mr. Kennedy raised one final time yesterday, it was almost by way of a compliment.

"I was pleased that Judge Alito distanced himself from its repulsive, anti-woman, anti-black, anti-disability, anti-gay pronouncements," he said.

Lo, and behold…
Kennedy belongs to exclusive club

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy belongs to a social club for Harvard students and alumni that was evicted from campus nearly 20 years ago after refusing to allow female members.

According to the online membership directory of the Owl Club, the Massachusetts Democrat updated his personal information -- including the address of his home, which is in his wife's name -- on Sept. 7.

The club has long been reviled on campus as "sexist" and "elitist" and, in 1984, was booted from the university for violating federal anti-discrimination laws, authored by Mr. Kennedy...

Kennedy spokeswoman Laura Capps said there is "absolutely no comparison" between the Owl Club, a social group, and an organized effort to "exclude women from getting an education" at Princeton.

"It's a social club. It's like a fraternity," she said. "He has been fighting to break down barriers for decades."

Ms. Capps said she doesn't know how many minorities are members of the Owl.

But the university views organizations such as the Owl -- called "final clubs" -- quite differently from fraternities and sororities, which are considered a form of housing and therefore not coeducational.

In 1984, "Harvard disassociated itself from the nine all-male clubs in accordance with Title IX of the 1972 Education Act, which prohibits federally funded institutions from discriminating on the basis of sex," according to a 1986 article in the Harvard Crimson, a student newspaper…

Student opposition to the Owl Club -- even after it had been expelled from campus -- was so strong that involvement in it was fodder for scandal.

Our an omen of our destiny, and the more integrity we have and keep, the simpler and nobler that destiny is likely to be*
An Appeal from Center-Right Bloggers

* - George Santayana

One man that has a mind and knows it can always beat ten men who haven't and don't*
The brainbox and the blowhards

* - George Bernard Shaw

(hat tip: powerline)

Thursday, January 12, 2006

OMG! His people didn’t tell her people, nor did her people tell her people

But apparently she did tell an “aid worker.” Can you believe it?
Rep: Aniston Wasn't Alerted to Pregnancy

"All the reports about phone calls between Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie are all made-up lies*," [Aniston's publicist Stephen] Huvane told "Extra."

* - as opposed to self-generating lies

Examine who speaks in assessing what is said

Intellect, integrity, history, responsibility, commitment to the rule of law?
How Many Dems Could Be Confirmed?

Some one of these fools drove the little circus clown car to the courthouse and then they all tumbled out, their big feet flopping and their red bulbous noses blinking, whilst they piled into the building
Official's driving charge dissolves
Prosecutors missed DUI court date

The former chief administrator for the Southern Nevada Department of Parole and Probation will not be prosecuted on a drunken driving charge after prosecutors missed a court date in the case.

In a decision announced Wednesday morning, District Judge Donald Mosley affirmed a lower court's ruling that Edward G. Henderson cannot be prosecuted by the city of Henderson.

"I'm obviously disappointed," said David Mincavage, the city of Henderson's assistant city attorney, who asked Mosley to overturn the prior decision of dismissal by Henderson Municipal Judge Ken Proctor.

"I wish we had a chance to try the case on the merits instead of handling it this way," Mincavage said.

Edward G. Henderson, 53, was the top administrator for Southern Nevada parole and probation officers when he was arrested in October 2004 after police were called to a two-car accident at Warm Springs Road and Stephanie Street. Officers noticed Henderson walked with "an unsteady gait" and "had bloodshot eyes and appeared to be sleepy," according to police reports.

Henderson, who told police that he had not been drinking and had not taken any medication, failed three roadside sobriety tests. He was placed under arrest for driving under the influence and was released from jail after about 4 1/2 hours.

The arrest was the second traffic-related incident involving the parole and probation official in two years. In 2003, he was involved in an accident that also took place in the city of Henderson. In that case, police responded to an accident involving the official's vehicle and a bus, yet he could not be located at the scene.

He later pleaded no contest to a charge of following the bus too closely, paid a fine and attended traffic school. Charges stemming from the accident were reduced to the equivalent of parking violations.

In his most recent arrest, the prosecution of Henderson originally was scheduled to be performed by the Henderson city attorney's office. But private attorney Bill Taylor was selected as a special prosecutor for the case in early January 2005 after Henderson City Attorney Shauna Hughes determined that her office had a conflict of interest. Her chief investigator formerly worked with Edward Henderson, and the investigator's wife was working for Edward Henderson at the time.

Taylor testified last year that he wrote a letter to the city attorney's office indicating he needed to postpone Edward Henderson's case. He did not contact Edward Henderson's attorney, Bill Terry, or the Municipal Court to let them know of a need for a delay.

Taylor said he wrote another letter in mid-February of last year indicating that he no longer could serve as special prosecutor because he had been hired by an insurance company.

Terry said no one notified him that a special prosecutor had been selected, and no one told him about the need to delay the trial date. He showed up in court in March for Edward Henderson's trial with witnesses ready to testify.

No prosecutor showed up, and Proctor said neither he nor Terry had agreed to continue the trial.

When defendants don't show up for trial, Proctor said, they can be arrested and put in jail. When defense attorneys fail to show up, he said, they can be held in contempt. The only sanction for prosecutors who fail to show up is to bar them from prosecuting the case, Proctor said.

The case was dismissed with prejudice, meaning it could not be refiled.

Mincavage argued to Mosley that the case should not have been dismissed with prejudice because Edward Henderson already had waived his right to a speedy trial. Also, the city attorney's office did not show a willful failure to comply with procedural rules, and state law allows a city attorney to dismiss such a misdemeanor complaint voluntarily, then refile it.

Mincavage said his interpretation of Mosley's ruling Wednesday was that the District Court judge didn't want to overturn Proctor's ruling simply based on second-guessing the lower court's judgment.

"He did not want to (substitute) his judgment for the judgment of the lower court," Mincavage said.

“We’ll take what we can get”*

* - Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY)
January 12, 2006
Alito nomination hearing

A panel of federal judges just testified today in Alito’s behalf.

I caught most of their testimony on a stream from C-Span.

I don’t know how much of America was tuned in nor how the MSM will report the judges’ testimony and their answers to questions posed by the members of the judicial committee present. But the Democrats can be sure that video and written transcripts of what the panel said will soon be available on the Internet.


It’s time to turn out the lights in the Senate hearing room, hopefully after Senators Kennedy and Schumer clean up the spittle pools around their places, and bring Alito’s nomination to the Senate floor for an up-or-down vote.

If the Democrats don’t insist on that, but instead go forward with their horror show, they are beyond stupid and do deserve everything they get.

Differently differently-authentic*
Winfrey stands behind 'Pieces' author

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- The author of a best-selling memoir enthusiastically endorsed by talk show host Oprah Winfrey answered accusations Wednesday night from critics who say parts of the book are fabricated or exaggerated.

James Frey's "A Million Little Pieces" describes his life as an alcoholic, drug addict and criminal -- in graphic, bloody language.

Winfrey, in a phone call to CNN's "Larry King Live" show Wednesday night, said she still supports Frey and the book. Frey was King's guest on the show.

"I am disappointed by this controversy [Ed. – here’s thecontroversy] surrounding 'A Million Little Pieces,' because I rely on the publishers to define the category that a book falls within, and also the authenticity of the work," Winfrey said.

"But the underlying message of redemption in James Frey's memoir still resonates with me, and I know it resonates with millions of other people who have read this book."

"What is relevant is that he was a drug addict who spent years in turmoil from the time he was 10 years old drinking and tormenting himself and his parents, and stepped out of that history to be the man that he is today [Ed. – which, if what SmokingGun says is accurate, is what exactly?] and to take that message to save other people and allow them to save themselves."

"To me, it seems to be much ado about nothing," she added. [Ed. – I think that is precisely SmokingGuns’ point]
* -

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

How about calling them ‘Sniksder CD’

You’d have to be pretty backward to find that offensive.
Waiting to 'XL'

To avoid insulting native American heritage, the Seattle Times decided to limit severely the use of the term Redskins in the paper -- even if a team with that name will dominate news coverage this week. The Times will not use the moniker in headlines or captions. Reporters can use it only once, as a first reference, in all stories. The Redskins will be referred to almost exclusively as Washington -- which could get a little confusing for local readers who also live in that state.

Wanted: Adult supervision, no demagogues need apply
Plan Could Let All of New Orleans Rebuild

Commission members were invited to think big when dreaming up ideas, with little regard for the price tag. That will be dealt with later, when New Orleans and other parts of the Gulf Coast divvy up the $29 billion in federal aid designated for hurricane recovery and reconstruction…

Urban League Warns on New Orleans Plan

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The National Urban League and likely other civil rights groups would oppose any New Orleans rebuilding plan that would do away with the neighborhoods most heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina, the league's president said Saturday…

Supporters of those concepts say they would allow for flood control and would avoid large tracts of blight between rebuilt sections…

"Decency, a respect for those who have suffered, fundamentally requires that everyone be given the chance to retain their property," [Marc Morial, a former New Orleans mayor] told about 250 people gathered at an eastern New Orleans church, where generators were used to power lights and a yellow line marked where flood water sat in the building for weeks following Hurricane Katrina.

The neighborhood remains largely abandoned even four months after the storm struck as residents struggle with enormous piles of once-soaked debris, and utilities remain turned off.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Hey, at least it’s not Goofy
Ex-Disney Chief Will Host of [sic] CNBC Show

NEW YORK (AP) -- Michael Eisner, former chief of the Walt Disney Co., will become host of his own CNBC interview program that will be seen once every two months [Ed. - quick, set your TiVo], the network said Tuesday.

"Conversations with Michael Eisner" [Ed. – good to see that Michael is holding his ego in check] will be an hour-long, prime-time show where Eisner speaks with business, entertainment or political leaders. His focus will be on creativity and innovation, he said….

"I am very excited that in my circle of life, I am returning to the same NBC studio where I was a page for the `Tonight Show' with Johnny Carson in the 1960s," [Eisner] said.

‘Circle of life,’ is that anything like a crop circle?

Monday, January 09, 2006

Alice in Wonderland racism

I was not qualified for the job and they’d have known that if I was not black says Sgt. Leslie Turner of London's Metropolitan Police. The department agreed with the police officer and gave him $70,000 for his troubles.
Camilla's protector paid out

NFL bans another performance-enhancing drug
NFL, Levitra Marketers Set to Part Ways

Steal enough technology and use can downsize the horde
China cuts military by 200,000

Beijing, Jan. 9 (UPI) — China, which has world's largest standing army, says it has cut the size of its People's Liberation Army by 200,000 to 2.3 million.

The cuts mean that the ratio of ground forces has dropped to its lowest point in PLA history, but the ratio of navy and air force personnel, and the Second Artillery Force, have increased, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

China announced in 2003 it would cut its troops by 200,000 in three years to improve the quality and structure of the forces and improve troops' combat readiness, the report said.

In the 1980s, the PLA's strength totaled more than 4.2 million.

When it comes to spying, Beijing likes to flood the zone

Outstanding staff work, astute editing
Sen. Kennedy to Publish Children's Book

NEW YORK - Meet the latest children's author, Sen. Ted Kennedy, and his Portuguese Water Dog, Splash, his co-protagonist in "My Senator and Me: A Dogs-Eye View of Washington, D.C..."

I suppose it could have been worse, they could have named the dog ‘Mary Jo.’

Winter getaway

TV Reporter: “I’m standing outside the presidential palace of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez where, with others, American actor Danny Glover, Princeton University professor Cornel West, and American singer and activist Harry Belafonte have just concluded a six hour meeting with Chavez. Glover and West declined our request for an interview but Mr. Belafonte is here with me now.”

Reporter (turning to Belafonte as the camera zooms out to a wide shot that includes her and Belafonte, with the palace steps as background): “Mr. Belafonte…”

Belafonte (interrupting and smiling): “Please, call me Harry.”

Reporter: “Very well. Harry, your delegation spent six hours with President Chavez, what did you talk about?”

Belafonte: “We wanted Chavez to know that millions of Americans support el gran presidente and his socialist revolution here in Venezuela.”

Reporter: “Mr. Chavez has said some very unfriendly things about President Bush. Did you discuss why Chavez dislikes Bush and his policies?”

Belafonte: “I didn’t have to.”

Reporter: “Why?”

Belafonte: “Because Bush is the greatest terrorist in the world. Hugo already knows that.”

Reporter: “Chavez said that?”

Belafonte: “No, I just said that. What’s wrong with you, woman?”

Reporter: “Excuse me?”

Belafonte: (stepping closer to the camera and looking directly into it; cocks his head and starts singing): “Work all night and a drink a rum. Daylight come and me wanna go home.”

Reporter: (off camera): “What? I don’t…”

Belafonte: “Stack banana till the mornin come. Daylight come and me wanna go home. Come mister tally man tally me bananas. Daylight come and me wanna go home. Lift six foot seven foot eight foot bunch! Daylight come and me wanna go home.”

Reporter: (still off camera): “Thank you, Harry... Okay, cut. Cut, cut.”

Cameraman (walking with the reporter to their van): “What the hell was that?”

Reporter: “I don’t know. My eighty year old grandfather used to get that same goofy look a lot.”

Belafonte (still at the steps, but raising his voice): “Day me say day me say day me say day o. Daylight come and me wanna go home.”
In Caracas, Belafonte Calls Bush Terrorist

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Pelosi: You see one fruit, you’ve seen ‘em all
How to Stay Out of Power
Why liberal democrats are playing too fast and too loose with issues of war and peace

The release of [San Francisco Democrat and House Minority Leader Nancy] Pelosi's letter last week and the subsequent Times story ("Agency First Acted on Its Own to Broaden Spying, Files Show") left the misleading impression that a) [National Security Agency director General Michael V.] Hayden had launched the controversial data-mining operation on his own, and b) Pelosi had protested it. But clearly the program didn't exist when Pelosi wrote the letter. When I asked the Congresswoman about this, she said, "Some in the government have accused me of confusing apples and oranges. My response is, it's all fruit…"

But these concerns pale before the importance of the [NSA signal surveillance] program. It would have been a scandal if the NSA had not been using these tools to track down the bad guys. There is evidence that the information harvested helped foil several plots and disrupt al-Qaeda operations.

There is also evidence, according to U.S. intelligence officials, that since the New York Times broke the story, the terrorists have modified their behavior, hampering our efforts to keep track of them—but also, on the plus side, hampering their ability to communicate with one another…
All this from Time Magazine’s Joe Klein, not exactly a rabid conservative.

The Washington Loogies fail to loose
Redskins defense saves day

TAMPA, Fla. -- They couldn't run or throw, and one of them couldn't keep his composure [Sean Taylor was ejected for spitting in an opponent's face]. But the Washington Redskins had their defense, as usual, and a little luck, and as a result they are moving on in the playoffs.