Saturday, June 24, 2006

Two pieces worth reading

Diana West's Deluded America and Heather Mac Donald's National Security Be Damned: The guiding philosophy on West 43rd Street.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Priceless

Kerry was against cutting and running before he was for it!

The junior senator from Massachusetts tried pushing back his deadline for a slow surrender but only the senators carrying the Angry Left’s water were with him.

Bias so transparent as to be asinine

UPI takes a page from the AP playbook.

Question: What’s the surest indicator that a political corruption scandal involves a Democrat? Answer: The MSM report on said scandal makes no mention of the party affiliation of the politician(s) involved.
San Jose mayor accused of misconduct

San Jose, Jun. 23 (UPI) — Ron Gonzales is the first San Jose, Calif., mayor arrested for alleged misconduct in office after an obscure garbage contract became a major scandal.

Gonzales was accused in a grand jury indictment of accepting a bribe as part of a conspiracy to help Norcal Waste Systems win a lucrative trash hauling contract.

The indictment does not say whether the mayor allegedly received any money or favors from Norcal, the San Jose Mercury News said.

Also named was the mayor's chief budget aide, Joe Guerra. They were released on $50,000 bail.

I wonder if the Democratic Leadership Council will continue to promote Gonzales’ San Jose: State of the City Address speech which failed to mention bribe-taking in the “to-do” list the mayor touted in his oration.

Parent’s choice: Protect our teenage daughter or display her on Good Morning America

Guess what they chose.
Teen: I'll Marry Man I Met on MySpace.com

GILFORD, Mich. (AP) -- A teenager who flew to the Middle East to be with a man she met on MySpace.com said Friday she intends to marry him.

"I love him very much," 17-year-old Katherine Lester said of Abdullah Jimzawi, 20, who works in his father's business delivering goods to West Bank convenience stores.

Lester appeared on ABC-TV's "Good Morning America" with her father and stepmother. Jimzawi also spoke with ABC during a taped portion of the segment, describing how the pair "can't live without each other."

After hearing what Jimzawi said, Lester began weeping.

"It's true," she said. "I love you. That's all I can say."

The two first encountered each other about seven months ago on the social networking web site but have never met face to face.

Lester, who turned 17 on Wednesday, was en route to Israel earlier this month when she was intercepted in Jordan by U.S. authorities who seized her passport and put her on a flight back to the United States.

Jimzawi has told The Associated Press that the two planned to marry and that Lester planned to convert to Islam. Lester, a Christian, declined to say Friday whether she intended to convert.

The two have resumed communication online since she returned home.

"Our initial reaction was to isolate her, to lock her up and just keep her safe here in America," said her father, Terry Lester. "But that's unrealistic because you can see the love they have for each other." [Ed. – Realitywise - it would seem the proverbial apple didn’t fall far from the tree]

Authorities filed a runaway juvenile petition against Lester earlier this week, and a judge ordered her to give up her passport and undergo counseling. If the judge finds that Lester was a runaway, she could be placed under court supervision until she turns 18.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The magical mystery tour is waiting to take her away
CBS to Send Couric on Tour to Meet Viewers

NEW YORK (AP) -- CBS said Thursday it is sending incoming evening-news anchor Katie Couric on a tour of several cities to meet informally with viewers this summer and hear what they're interested in seeing on the news.

One "town hall forum" is set for July 13 in Denver. Another meeting is planned for San Diego; CBS is not identifying other cities because plans are still in the works…

"It's an attempt to hear from regular folks on a whole broad range of things that will help us make decisions on how we can better serve our viewers," said Rome Hartman, executive producer of the "CBS Evening News."… [Ed. – Who knows, somewhere in the American netherworld (i.e., not Manhattan), among the great sea of unwashed “regular folks,” Katie could run across an idiot savant newscast producer]

The meetings will not be filmed and reporters won't be allowed in to cover them, Hartman said. Denver CBS affiliate KCNC-TV, in a news release issued Wednesday, invited people to fill out a questionnaire if they are interested in participating. One hundred people representing a cross section of the community will be invited, the affiliate said.

"People are not performing for us," Hartman said. "This was Katie's idea to have a really honest, informal dialogue."

Couric will also participate in a charity fundraiser in each city she visits. In Denver, it will be a luncheon benefiting the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center Foundation…

Couric is also embarking on a campaign of sorts. The "CBS Evening News" has long been in last place behind NBC and ABC in the ratings, and part of her job will be convincing people to give her broadcast a try…

Ozzie Guillen – a class act
White Sox Manager Fined for Slur

NEW YORK (AP) -- Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was fined Thursday by commissioner Bud Selig and ordered to attend sensitivity training for making derogatory comments about a reporter this week.

In a separate penalty, Guillen was also suspended Thursday along with White Sox pitcher David Riske after the reliever threw at Chris Duncan of St. Louis on Tuesday night.

Before that game, the outspoken Guillen went into a profanity-laced tirade against Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti and called him a number of names, including a derogatory term that is often used to describe someone's sexual orientation…

"I shouldn't have mentioned the name that was mentioned, but I'm not going to back off of Jay," Guillen said, using another profanity to describe Mariotti.

"The word I used, I should have used something different. A lot of people's feelings were hurt and I didn't mean it that way."

Mariotti recently was critical of Guillen's handling of rookie pitcher Sean Tracey, who could be seen distraught in the dugout last week in Texas after Guillen became angry when the White Sox didn't retaliate for catcher A.J. Pierzynski twice being hit with pitches. Tracey was later demoted to the minors.

Riske was suspended three games by the commissioner's office for intentionally throwing at Duncan, and Guillen got a one-game ban. He and Riske were each fined an undisclosed amount by Bob Watson, vice president of on-field operations for Major League Baseball.

Riske's suspension was scheduled to start with Thursday night's home game against the Cardinals, unless the reliever appeals. Guillen was required to serve his penalty Thursday - there was no appeal process available for him.

Both were ejected in the seventh inning of Chicago's 20-6 victory Tuesday night after the right-hander hit Duncan with a pitch.

The benches had been warned in the bottom of the sixth after St. Louis pitcher Sidney Ponson plunked two White Sox batters with the bases loaded.

Guillen, who led the White Sox to their first World Series title in 88 years last season, has gotten into trouble several times with his comments.

In spring training this year, he apologized to Alex Rodriguez for comments he made in a Sports Illustrated article in which he criticized the Yankees' star for waffling on his choice of countries for the World Baseball Classic.

In his first season, Guillen called umpire Hunter Wendelstedt a liar. Later in the season, Guillen sarcastically referred to Buck Showalter of the Rangers as the best manager in the history of baseball and the guy who invented the game - all after Showalter questioned Guillen's knowledge of the rules.

Guillen also went off on a profanity-filled tirade last season against former teammate and fellow Venezuelan Magglio Ordonez, who left the White Sox and joined the Detroit Tigers.

AP: Masters of the 'nuanced' lead-in
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The GOP-controlled Senate Thursday rejected Democratic calls to start withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq by year's end, as the two parties sought to define their election-year positions on a war that has grown increasingly unpopular…
Reading the Associated Press’ opening paragraph, the reader is led to believe that the dastardly Senate Republicans (all 55 of them) hammered through the rejection. But two paragraphs later we learn:
In an 86-13 vote, the Senate turned back a proposal from some Democrats that would require the administration to withdraw all combat troops from Iraq by July 1, 2007, with redeployments beginning this year. No Republicans voted in favor of the plan.

The amendment that would have established a withdrawal timetable was offered by Sens. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts; Russ Fiengold, D-Wisconsin; Barbara Boxer, D-California; and Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont… [Ed. – The cream of the Senate’s crop]

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Well, isn't that special?
Al Gore's Documentary Wins Special Award

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Al Gore documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" will receive a rare recognition from the Humanitas Prize, which honors screenwriting that helps "liberate, enrich and unify society."

"An Inconvenient Truth," which chronicles Gore's quest to draw attention to global warming, will receive the organization's first Special Award in over 10 years, president Frank Desiderio announced Wednesday.

"It's a very important film," he said in a statement. "We want to shine a light on it." [Ed. – As opposed to the non-stop hype the film received for weeks on every conceivable MSM venue]

The documentary's director, Davis Guggenheim, said he was "thrilled" with the recognition, adding that Humanitas "supports the achievements and sacrifices of filmmakers trying to change the world."

Since 1974, the Humanitas Prize has presented awards and grants to TV and film writers whose fictional work reflects "the positive values of life." Documentaries are occasionally recognized with Special Awards. The last such honors went to Bill Moyers and Judith Davidson Moyers in 1995 for their documentary "What Can We Do About Violence."

Just for drill, see if you can find anywhere in the 44 paragraph, 1,373 word Humanitas Prize mission statement a coherent train of thought, much less any mention of PowerPoint presentations brought to film.

Slooooooooooooow news day in Australia
Naomi Watts Arrives for Kidman Wedding

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- Actress Naomi Watts jetted into Sydney early Wednesday for her longtime friend Nicole Kidman's hotly anticipated weekend nuptials to country music star Keith Urban.

The Oscar-winning Kidman is set to marry Urban in a lavish wedding this weekend. Details have been carefully guarded, but local media have widely tipped Sunday night for the big event.

Watts - who was born in Britain but raised in Australia - is a close friend of Kidman, who she met when the pair were young actresses in Sydney. The "King Kong" star arrived on a flight from New York early Wednesday wearing a gray sweater and black pants, her hair pulled back with a purple head band... [Ed. – Apparently, the AP reporter was on deadline and hadn’t the time to inquire as to the underwear Ms. Watts’ had chosen to round out her ensemble. Information sadly lost to the ages.]

Connie Chung’s swan song

For those who harbor the illusion that Connie Chung has a talent for anything, get a load of this.
Connie Chung's Serenade Gag A Web Hit

…But the act came off as strange and almost creepy, leaving many unsure of its intent.

“Wow, this is a joke right? Or meant to be slightly humorous?” wrote one poster on Youtube.com. Another exclaimed, “Was there no producer on set?? Where was Maury??” Several posters assumed she was drunk.

Chung assured the New York Times that she was stone cold sober. “I should have had a drink before I went on,” she laughed...

Qui êtes-vous pour m'appeler un lâche ? Vous Paon.
French PM Apologizes for His Outburst

PARIS (AP) -- France's prime minister apologized Wednesday for calling the opposition Socialist leader a coward in parliament a day earlier during an outburst over financial problems at the parent company of Airbus.

Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin grew visibly agitated after Socialist leader Francois Hollande accused the government of irresponsibility and questioned him about problems at European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co., which has seen its stock tumble after Airbus announced delays in its much-touted A380 superjumbo jet and questions surfaced about top executives selling off shares.

"Mr. Hollande, I denounce your facile approach - and I will even say this looking you in the eyes - the cowardice in your attitude," Villepin said Tuesday. "I'll say it again: cowardice."

Outraged left-wing lawmakers in France's National Assembly responded by jumping from their chairs, booing and shouting, "Resign, resign!" The unusual uproar caused the body's president to interrupt the session.

"If some words personally injured you, I regret them and I take them back," Villepin told lawmakers Wednesday during a question-and-answer session in the National Assembly, with Hollande looking on.

The apology was as uncharacteristic for Villepin as the initial outburst. He was often praised for his polish and eloquence before a series of crises this spring battered his reputation.

French media made much out of the name-calling, with television and radio stations repeatedly running clips of the incident. Although outbursts are frequent in the National Assembly, the intensity of Tuesday's was rare.

Villepin called Wednesday for "respect" and "dialogue," and Socialist lawmaker Jean-Marc Ayrault acknowledged the apology.

Villepin's approval ratings have been sliding since he tried to push through a youth jobs plan this spring, sparking huge street demonstrations and student strikes at many universities.

The Franco-German showcase company EADS is one of the premier symbols of European industrial cooperation.

During the debate on the company, Villepin pledged to review EADS' French-German ownership and management structure. The French government, which owns 15 percent of EADS, is likely to seek changes to the shareholder pact underpinning the company, he told lawmakers. After that announcement, the company's stock rose sharply.

Pressure has been mounting on Noel Forgeard, French co-CEO of EADS, since it was learned he was among six EADS executives who exercised stock options just weeks before management ordered an internal assessment of production hitches for the A380 superjumbo jet...

Poor old Dominique, it’s bad enough that France is overflowing with recalcitrant workers, unions, students, and “youths” but to have the “Franco-German showcase company” circling the porcelain bowl…

Perhaps another of de Villepin’s polished and eloquent dialogues will do the trick this time.

Democrats: As we have no shame, let’s use the mutilated bodies of American soldiers as political steppingstones
Troop 'redeployment' sought by Democrats

Democrats said yesterday that the United States must start "redeploying" troops from Iraq, calling the recovery of the mutilated bodies of two U.S. soldiers a "grim reminder" of why withdrawal should begin soon.

Republican leaders called the proposal for withdrawal a "cut and run" that would embolden terrorists.

The Senate is expected to spend at least five hours today debating two competing Democratic proposals to start pulling U.S. combat troops out of Iraq.

The killings are "a grim reminder of the price we're paying for a failed policy in Iraq," said Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the Democratic whip. "It's time for Iraqis to stand up. When will this end?"…

Sen. Carl Levin, Michigan Democrat and ranking member on the Armed Services Committee, and Sen. Jack Reed, Rhode Island Democrat, have sponsored an amendment that calls for "phased redeployment" to begin by Dec. 31. The nonbinding amendment would require the Bush administration to submit a schedule for continued troop withdrawal.

Democratic Sens. John Kerry of Massachusetts and Russ Feingold of Wisconsin have a binding amendment calling for all combat troops to be redeployed by July 1, 2007. A similar measure offered last week was overwhelmingly defeated in the Senate.

Mr. Kerry and Mr. Feingold -- potential presidential candidates in 2008 -- sent a joint e-mail to Mr. Kerry's 2004 campaign supporters saying that withdrawal will lead to a more effective war on terror…

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said Democrats agree that there "should be a redeployment starting sooner rather than later," and downplayed the difference between the Levin and Kerry amendments.

"Even though we have at least two positions, I think if you look at them closely, they are both basically the same: that there should be redeployment of troops. It's a question of when," the Nevada Democrat said. [Ed. – the dim bulb from Searchlight speaks!]

Mr. Levin and Mr. Reed insisted yesterday that their amendment is not "cutting and running," and that it sets no pace or speed for combat troops to leave Iraq. [Ed. – Perhaps Levin, Reed, Kerry, and Feingold should call it ‘slow surrender’]

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Kerry postpones his cut-and-run deadline
Now pushes 2007 as year to remove US soldiers from Iraq

WASHINGTON -- Senator John F. Kerry is pushing back by six months the deadline he wants to set for removing combat troops from Iraq, as he seeks to build support in the Senate for his plan for troop withdrawal.

The proposal to be offered by Kerry today would require President Bush to remove nearly all US troops from Iraq by July 1, 2007. The Massachusetts Democrat's initial plan -- to remove troops by the end of 2006 -- received just six votes in the Senate last week, and the later date is intended to build support for the proposal, said April Boyd, a Kerry spokeswoman.

“Every vote for a deadline withdrawal is Congress saying to President Bush that we will not accept war without an end policy in Iraq," Boyd said.

Yet the concept of any deadline for troop withdrawal remains controversial among Democrats. Prominent Democratic senators, including Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, have rejected the idea of setting a time frame for bringing home troops.

Hoping to build cohesion among Democrats, party leaders yesterday introduced a nonbinding resolution that calls on the president to begin a "phased withdrawal" of troops by the end of this year but does not set a deadline for complete removal.

That resolution, expected to get the votes of most of the Senate's 44 Democrats, would not set any deadline that would force the hands of military leaders, said Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee...


"I would rather be a coward than brave because people hurt you when you are brave."
E. M. Forster, as a small child

Gunga Dan* gets the boot from CBS News
CBS News Says Dan Rather Leaving

By DAVID BAUDER
AP Television Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Dan Rather, the hard-charging anchorman who dominated CBS News for more than two decades but whose final months were clouded by a discredited story on the president's military service, is leaving CBS after 44 years, the network announced Tuesday.

The 74-year-old Rather has complained of being virtually forgotten at CBS Corp. since his exit as anchor last year, six months after the story on President Bush's military service aired. He has said he is considering an offer to do a weekly show at the HDNet high-definition network…

Rather apparently hadn't even seen the report questioning Bush's Vietnam-era National Guard service before introducing it on the air in September 2004. When CBS News couldn't substantiate the story following questions about its sources, Rather became a symbol of the incident even as he escaped official blame… [Ed. – I wonder how many times Rather and Bauder tried ‘the dog ate my homework’ lie while in school]

I beg to differ with Mr. Bauder. Rather may not have "seen" the video compilation prior to its airing but he had intimate knowledge of the report’s contents well ahead of time (pdf of the report from CBS' internal investigation is here)

Other of my posts about Rather and ‘Memogate’ are here, here, and here.

* - ratherbiased.com

Monday, June 19, 2006

The U.S. should definitely spend billions to preserve this snake pit
National Guard Asked to Patrol Big Easy

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Mayor Ray Nagin asked the governor Monday to send National Guard troops to patrol his city after a violent weekend in which five teenagers were shot to death and a man was fatally stabbed in argument over beer.

"Today is a day when New Orleanians are stepping up. We've had enough," Nagin said. "This is our line in the sand. We're saying we're not going any further." [Ed. – Funny how whenever New Orleanians ‘step up’ it always falls on someone else to do the heavy lifting]

Nagin said the weekend's slayings were unspeakable and he wouldn't allow criminals to take over at a time when it's trying to rebound from its worst disaster. He said he had spoken to the governor about his request for as many as 300 National Guard troops and 60 state police officers to patrol the city.

The governor's office had no immediate comment Monday. [Ed. – There’s a surprise]

City leaders convened a special meeting to voice outrage after the killings Saturday in an area near the central business district. [Ed. – It was an emergency session of the Indignant and Inept Committee]

The shootings Saturday - plus the fatal stabbing Sunday night in an argument over beer - brought this year's murder toll to 53, raising fears that violence was back on the rise in a city that was plagued by violent crime before Hurricane Katrina drove residents away last year.

Crime has been creeping back into the city: 17 killings in the first three months of 2006, and 36 since the start of April.

At least three other people, ages 16 to 27, have died from shootings in the same area as the killings early Saturday. The five teenagers were in an SUV together when they were caught in one of the bloodiest attacks in this city's turbulent history; the last killing with that many victims was in 1995.

In addition to Nagin's request for troops and state police, the City Council said it would consider increasing overtime for police to put more officers on the street. It also called for a "crime summit" within two weeks…

"We have to deal with it now," Councilman Arnold Fielkow said. "If we don't make people feel safe in their homes, nothing will happen. Let's make this priority Number One."

Cynthia Willard-Lewis, who represents predominantly black eastern New Orleans, said a big part of the solution will be getting young people off the streets and into caring environments such as schools. [Ed. - Yeah, whatever you do, keep them away from their parents and personal responsibility]

She suggested opening schools after hours but didn't say how that could have prevented Saturday's 4 a.m. shooting, which police have said apparently was either prompted by drugs or revenge… [Ed. – Even the bleeding-heart AP recognizes that NOLA’s ‘leaders’ are, at best, morons]