Rudolph W. Giuliani told a grand jury that his former chief investigator remembered having briefed him on some aspects of Bernard B. Kerik’s relationship with a company suspected of ties to organized crime before Mr. Kerik’s appointment as New York City police commissioner, according to court records.
Mr. Giuliani, testifying last year under oath before a Bronx grand jury investigating Mr. Kerik, said he had no memory of the briefing, but he did not dispute that it had taken place, according to a transcript of his testimony.
Mr. Giuliani’s testimony amounts to a significantly new version of what information was probably before him in the summer of 2000 as he was debating Mr. Kerik’s appointment as the city’s top law enforcement officer. Mr. Giuliani had previously said that he had never been told of Mr. Kerik’s entanglement with the company before promoting him to the police job or later supporting his failed bid to be the nation’s homeland security secretary.
In his testimony, given in April 2006, Mr. Giuliani indicated that he must have simply forgotten that he had been briefed on one or more occasions as part of the background investigation of Mr. Kerik before his appointment to the police post.
He said he learned only in late 2004 that the briefing or briefings had occurred, after the city’s investigation commissioner reviewed his own records from 2000. To this day, Mr. Giuliani testified, he has no specific recollection of any briefing or the details of what he was told. But he said he felt comforted because the chief investigator had cleared Mr. Kerik to be promoted.
Lumped in with Lurita Doan and Kyle Sampson's stellar performances this week, it would seem that memory, all alone in the moonlight, is not a Republican strong point. In Giuliani's defense, an Italian hearing that someone is mobbed up is about as common as leaving the gun and taking the canollis.
OK you think you got a pretty face But the rest of you is out of place You looked all right before
Well it can't be drunken law professors all of the time (although if anyone has video of Glenn Reynolds putting the moves on a lady robot, I'm your man) ...
Novocaine For The Soul (Live) - Eels with Strings What Your Soul Sings - Massive Attack Atmosphere - Son Volt Beware - Deftones Green Arrow - Yo La Tengo I Hate Myself For Loving You - Joan Jett Under Smithville - For Squirrels Fox On the Run - Sweet How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) - Marvin Gaye Last Ride Together - I Love You But I Have Chosen Darkness Bonus #11: Bloody Oil - Medeski, Martin, & Wood
Nothing new this week and we're waiting on the new camera (yay) so it's time to dip into the outtakes, which includes Beckham from his green period*
Beckham looking churlish
...and Satchmo looking saintly
*For those seated after the movie started: Beckham went in to have his, um, package pruned, and well, he was wearing an e-collar so he wouldn't chew on his stitches, and there was this old green Mexican blanket on which he was sleeping and it kind of reacted with basset drool and next thing you knew...Beckham O'Basset.
San Diego FBI chief Dan Dzwilewski, who was rebuked by superiors for publicly defending ousted U.S. Attorney Carol Lam, has announced his retirement.
Dzwilewski, who has been at the helm of the San Diego office since July 2003, sent an e-mail to his agents and staff Wednesday saying he planned to take a post as director of security at Sempra Energy. His last day at the bureau is to be April 30.
Some colleagues found the timing of the announcement curious. On Tuesday, FBI Director Robert Mueller acknowledged during testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee that one of his subordinates, John Pistole, told Dzwilewski that his statements on Lam were inappropriate and that he should keep quiet.
Dzwilewski had said Lam's firing was political and would adversely affect ongoing corruption cases.
However, some people familiar with Dzwilewski's plans said he was ready for a change after 27 years with the bureau and had been job hunting for months. Dzwilewski, who had held numerous assignments in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., San Diego and Honolulu, had made it clear he planned to get off the FBI career ladder and retire in San Diego, they said.
Officials declined to say whether Dzwilewski's retirement was forced as a result of his comments on Lam.
I think he was ready to jump and the Lam smackdown made it that much easier to say "I'm outta here" and there are worse places to retire than San Diego as opposed to being reassigned to Drunktank, MN.
This is actually taken from the comments over at Right Wing News and, like open comments at all blogs, should not reflect on the specific blogs proprietor, John Hawkins, who has enough embarrassment on his hands having attached himself to the campaign of never-gonna-be-President Duncan Hunter.
The reason I post the following comment is because I think it is an illustrative example of what might be called Bush Cargo Cult Self-Hypnosis. For context, this was in response to the Bush Administrations withdrawal of the ambassadorial nomination of businessman Sam Fox after it appeared that Fox wouldn't get enough votes due to his affiliation with the Swift Boat Liars.
You see, it was all part of a great shaming of Fox who apparently failed to tithe properly. Enjoy:
I think Bush played it smart on this one. He set Fox up, hung him out to dry and then dropped him like a hot potatoe. The message: In the future, don't try to buy an ambassador appointment from the GOP on the cheap. We will make an example of you and cut you off at the knees. What could be more embarrassing than to be nominated, then have to go through a rigorous Senate hearing which opens up your private life (warts and all) to the public, only to be abandoned and left drifting in the wind by the President who put you in that position in the first place. Politics is ruthless at times.
Bow down before the one you serve. Youre going to get what you deserve. - Head Like A Hole
Focus on the Family founder James Dobson appeared to throw cold water on a possible presidential bid by former Sen. Fred Thompson while praising former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is also weighing a presidential run, in a phone interview Tuesday.
"Everyone knows he's conservative and has come out strongly for the things that the pro-family movement stands for," Dobson said of Thompson. "[But] I don't think he's a Christian; at least that's my impression," Dobson added, saying that such an impression would make it difficult for Thompson to connect with the Republican Party's conservative Christian base and win the GOP nomination.
While making it clear he was not endorsing any Republican presidential candidate, Dobson, who is considered the most politically powerful evangelical figure in the country, also said that Gingrich was the "brightest guy out there" and "the most articulate politician on the scene today."
Gingrich recently appeared on Dobson's daily Focus on the Family radio program, carried by upward of 2,000 American radio stations, where he made headlines by discussing an extramarital affair he was having even as he pursued impeachment against President Bill Clinton for his handling of the investigation into the Monica Lewinsky affair.
Now there is a part of me that likes to imagine James Dobson locking himself in a bathroom with Newt Gingrich and beating the bejeebus out of Newt with a belt, driving Satan from his body, leaving Newt bleeding and whimpering, his flayed body curled around the base of the toilet. But then I remembered what the wise man said:
But I believe in this-and its been tested by research That he who fucks nun will later join the church
General Services Administrator Lurita Doan testifies before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee this morning, finally getting her chance to face Chairman Henry Waxman (D.-Calif.) about the "allegations of misconduct" he's ginned up in the press.
Doan has put together a comprehensive defense -- her opening statement totals more than 6,000 words -- and has said for weeks she welcomes the opportunity to set the record straight. Having met Doan earlier this month, I think Waxman will have his hands full this morning. This woman means business.
One can't help but remember a time when these same people thought that Iraq would be a "cakewalk".
Maybe it's about time that the Republicans drop the elephant mascot and break down and license Wile E. Coyote to represent them.
Rick Stengel was invited on the Chris Matthews Show because he is the managing editor of Time, not because he's some common-sense midwestern housewife who wants to get a few things off of her chest to Rush while she folds the laundry. But when he said,
"I am so uninterested in the Democrats wanting Karl Rove because it is so bad for them."
How far will the West be pushed? For decades, Iran has embraced a strategy of carefully feeling its oats, prodding at the West, testing our mettle in inches. Now, like Germany in 1938, Iran is beginning to realize that the West will do nothing to stop it. Crippled by a pathological aversion to war, America and Britain sit by silently as Iran develops nuclear weapons, fosters terrorism in Iraq and targets Western interests for total annihilation.
Thank G-d or J--b-s or even the Fl--ng Sp-gh-tt- M-nst-r that, at at time when America and Great Britain are "crippled by a pathological aversion to war", Young Ben is not hamstrung by an aversion to pointing out that others are not doing their part to stem almost certain total annihilation.
Such courage on his part (while attending fancy lawyer school) is, if not commendable, at least worthy of notice.
One of my fellow employees just got back from New York City where he spent every waking hour combing through old record stores on Bleecker Street looking for mint quality, good old American vinyl. Today's conversation turned to album artwork, an art that all of us feel has suffered with the advent of the CD. Favorites included the eponymous Santana album, Sticky Fingers (the original with a working zipper was more gimicky than good, to my mind), and The Clash's London Calling, which rips off an this old Elvis cover.
As might be expected, some of the choices seem to be influenced more by a preference for the music inside, rather than what was wrapped around it. And like all art, beauty is in the eye of the beholder even when it comes to what is essentially packaging. Some bands take a great photo and make it their own, while others like Little Feat (who used Neon Park) or Yes (Roger Dean) became identified with their artist and vice versa. I was a big fan of the cover of Neil Young's On The Beach mainly because the lettering was done by Rick Griffin who was an icon in the local surf culture that I grew up in. Having said all that, my favorites include Jackson Browne's Late for the Sky
...because it evokes the street that I grew up on (Law St. in Pacific Beach) in late spring when the street lights would come at dusk and we could stay outside just a little bit longer. You can read more about how this cover was composed here. It also had Rick Griffin lettering, I should add.
My other favorite is one that some consider the gold standard, Steely Dan's Aja
Which was helped immensely by MCA's decision to print the art on heavier than usual stock with a first class gloss coating. Photography by Steely Dan's Walter Becker. Album design by the late Phil Hartman, who you may remember as Troy McClure.
You may now haggle amongst yourselves in comments, keeping in mind that you are all wrong, and you are all correct.
(Added) As a side note, this is a fun if not definitive book on albums. Noticeably missing is anything by Tool yet it includes three albums by Jack White, which is three albums too many if you ask me.
She was going where no Republican wanted her to go, so they put her on a "short leash":
Two weeks after then-U.S. Attorney Carol Lam ordered a raid on the home and offices of a former CIA official last year – a search prompted by her investigation of now-imprisoned former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham – higher-ups at the Justice Department privately questioned whether they should give her more money and manpower.
“There are good reasons not to provide extensive resources to (Lam),” Bill Mercer, acting associate attorney general, wrote to Kyle Sampson, who was chief of staff to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales until he resigned a couple of weeks ago.
E-mails released last week by the Justice Department shed light on an interesting series of events that led to the firings of Lam and seven other U.S. attorneys.
First came the May 11, 2006, exchange between Justice Department officials suggesting Lam's removal, the day after she notified them she would serve search warrants on former CIA Executive Director Kyle “Dusty” Foggo.
It was a week later that Mercer revealed in an e-mail that Lam's situation “now has Frist's attention” – referring to then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, a Republican struggling to ensure his party retained control of the Senate in the upcoming November elections.
HEART OF THE MATTER
Two weeks after that, Mercer questioned the wisdom of giving Lam more resources.
The day after this Mercer missive, Sampson directed Mercer in an e-mail to have a “heart-to-heart” with Lam about “the urgent need to improve immigration enforcement in San Diego.”
“Put her on a very short leash,” Sampson wrote. “If she balks – or otherwise does not perform in a measurable way by July 15, remove her.”
A month later, Justice Department higher-ups were referring to Lam derisively, saying she “can't meet a deadline” that her production was “hideous” and that she was “sad.”
Watergate is starting to look like a high school prank gone awry compared to where this is going.
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales faced a weakening of Congressional support over the weekend, as Republican lawmakers joined Democrats in questioning his credibility, pointing to new evidence that conflicts with his statements that he played little role in the deliberations on the dismissal of eight United States attorneys.
Not one of nine senators of both parties appearing on television news programs today offered unqualified support. Even Mr. Gonzales’s strongest defenders, like Senator Orrin G. Hatch, a conservative Republican of Utah, expressed doubts about the Justice Department’s handling of the matter, even while saying the attorney general deserved a full hearing.
Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, said that if Mr. Gonzales did not come across as candid and truthful in a “make-or-break” appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 17, then “that’s a very compelling reason for him not to stay on.”
Another Republican member of the committee, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, said on “Face the Nation” on CBS that Gonzales had been "wounded"; and Senator Chuck Hagel, Republican of Nebraska, agreed on “This Week” on ABC that Mr. Gonzales had a credibility problem.
Democrats went further. “I believe he should step down,” Senator Dianne Feinstein of California said on “Fox News Sunday,” after earlier having withheld judgment.
“I think he’s lost his credibility,” said Senator Bill Nelson of Florida on CNN. And Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, the majority whip, said on “Meet the Press” on NBC, “I don’t believe he enjoys the confidence of the American people or of Congress.”
Mr. Bush, in his Saturday radio address, again defended Gonzales, his longtime friend and adviser. “I strongly support the attorney general in this decision,” he said.
I think that this should finally lay to rest the mystery of who exactly it is that owns those pictures of young George W. Bush snorting horse tranquilizer off of a teenage Mexican hookers ass.
Voted YES on declaring Iraq part of War on Terror with no exit date. Voted YES on approving removal of Saddam & valiant service of US troops. Voted YES on authorizing military force in Iraq. Voted NO on enlisting
Amid the sea of square jaws and swept-back gray hair in Congress, Representative Adam H. Putnam, a tousled redhead whose cherubic appearance still causes Capitol police to stop him occasionally, appears a bit out of place.
But Mr. Putnam, 32, a Florida Republican, has become the unlikely mouthpiece for the beleaguered minority in the House, taking over as chairman of the Republican Conference, the third-ranking post behind the minority leader and whip, as his party struggles to right itself.
Mr. Putnam, something of a political wunderkind who at 26 was one of the youngest members of Congress in decades when he was elected in 2000, has taken on the role of attack dog over the last three months.
Combining agility on the issues and controlled partisan outrage, he has helped lead Republicans in the debate over the war in Iraq, lambasted Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her use of a military jet to fly across country to her home district, and generally tried to eke out political points at every opportunity.
“I think in the minority, the challenge is to get noticed,” Mr. Putnam said in an interview. “In a presidential election cycle, the novelty of a new Democratic majority, the historical nature of a woman speaker, it becomes very hard to be heard above all the noise.”
How agile is he? Glad you asked (from the same article):
He quickly ran into controversy when he waged a full-throated attack against Ms. Pelosi’s use of a military transport jet — larger than the plane used by her predecessor, Mr. Hastert — to fly between California and Washington, accusing her of “an arrogance of extravagance.”
It turned out that the House sergeant of arms, not Ms. Pelosi, had asked for the plane because of the distance involved. Mr. Putnam remains unapologetic, saying he was only responding to news reports. “I always thought it was reporters’ jobs to confirm their stories,” he said.
Obviously Congressman Opie was set up by the liberal MSM and so he can't be held responsible. Oh, then there was this:
If yesterday was any indication, the 110th Congress will be highly entertaining, if not terribly productive. So far, it's hard to tell which will be a larger impediment to Democratic leaders: the McHenrys or the Sheehans.
The day began when House Republican Conference Chairman Adam Putnam (Fla.) led fellow House GOP leaders to a news conference in a Capitol basement hall. At 32, he is a year older than McHenry, and several inches taller, but no less outraged by Democrats' refusal to bestow on Republicans the rights that Republicans refused to bestow on Democrats.
"We are disappointed," protested Putnam, whose fair skin was covered with a layer of makeup.
"We're clearly disappointed," seconded Roy Blunt (Mo.).
"I'm disappointed, as are some others," added Kay Granger (Tex.).
"I am very disappointed," concurred David Dreier (Calif.).
It fell to CNN's Dana Bash to point out the awkward truth. "You can play back, almost verbatim, Democrats . . . saying almost exactly what you all just said," she said. "So is there a little bit of hypocrisy in you saying that you want minority rights?"
"This is a missed opportunity to really change the way that the House does business," Putnam offered, citing Democrats' campaign promises for "a new way of doing business."
"What stopped you from taking that opportunity when you were still in the majority?" inquired Rick Klein of the Boston Globe.
"Well, I'll let Chairman Dreier speak to that," Putnam ventured.
Which is to say, when confronted with an ugly truth... he punted.
But it was an 'agile' punt.
But here is what I like about Congressman Opie who made his fortune by being born into a ranching and farming family:
Voted YES on $167B over 10 years for farm price supports. (Oct 2001)
Homer Simpson: Are you saying you're never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon? Lisa: No. Homer Simpson: Ham? Lisa: No! Homer Simpson: Pork chops? Lisa: Dad, those all come from the same animal! Homer Simpson: Heh heh heh ... ooh ... yeah ... right, Lisa. A wonderful ... magical animal.
The other element that stuck out was more troubling. Rather than looking to accommodate Muslim intolerance being professed to the many by some few, we should be rejecting it and telling the intolerant individuals to either adjust to a free and open society, or hit the road.
The basic principle here is that the right of the People to buy and consume bacon shall not be infringed, whereas women should just learn to keep both their mouths and their lady parts closed. And while they're at it, they should get their bitch-asses out in the kitchen and whip us up a couple of BLT's.
The Federal Trade Commission is putting the final touches on a follow-up to its September 2000 report on the marketing to children of violent movies, music and video games. The first such assessment in three years, it will examine the selling practices of a mainstream entertainment industry that in the interim has become increasingly dependent on abductions, maimings, decapitations and other mayhem once kept away from studio slates.
Seven years ago the film industry narrowly avoided federal regulation of its advertising practices, as politicians, in the wake of the Columbine High School killings, called executives before a Congressional committee but eventually agreed to let Hollywood police itself.
The effectiveness of the resulting marketing guidelines is now being tested by rougher movies, competitors not bound by strictures that apply to the trade association’s major studio members, and a flourishing Web culture that has driven big openings in the last three years for harshly violent films like “Saw” or “Hostel” without much concern about the age of viewers.
If the new study were to find that the industry has violated or has outgrown its voluntary standards, it might kick the issue back into the political arena ahead of a presidential election. There it could trigger fresh calls for regulation, or even kill a gory source of relatively easy money.
At which point Hillary Clinton will clutch the cause to her bosom in an effort to firm up her centrist street cred, particularly among the overly-protective scared-of-a-loud-noise distracted-suburban-mom demographic. You can also expect the smarmy face of Joe Lieberman to pop up on your TV screen for this one; Joe doesn't like death, violence, maimings, and torture unless it's real, happening to others, and thousands of miles away.
What is going on here is as old as the Comic Code (adopted 1954):
* Crimes shall never be presented in such a way as to create sympathy for the criminal, to promote distrust of the forces of law and justice, or to inspire others with a desire to imitate criminals. * If crime is depicted it shall be as a sordid and unpleasant activity. * Criminals shall not be presented so as to be rendered glamorous or to occupy a position which creates a desire for emulation. * In every instance good shall triumph over evil and the criminal punished for his misdeeds. * Scenes of excessive violence shall be prohibited. Scenes of brutal torture, excessive and unnecessary knife and gunplay, physical agony, gory and gruesome crime shall be eliminated. * No comic magazine shall use the word horror or terror in its title. * All scenes of horror, excessive bloodshed, gory or gruesome crimes, depravity, lust, sadism, masochism shall not be permitted. * All lurid, unsavory, gruesome illustrations shall be eliminated. * Inclusion of stories dealing with evil shall be used or shall be published only where the intent is to illustrate a moral issue and in no case shall evil be presented alluringly, nor so as to injure the sensibilities of the reader. * Scenes dealing with, or instruments associated with walking dead, torture, vampires and vampirism, ghouls, cannibalism, and werewolfism are prohibited. * Profanity, obscenity, smut, vulgarity, or words or symbols which have acquired undesirable meanings are forbidden. * Nudity in any form is prohibited, as is indecent or undue exposure. * Suggestive and salacious illustration or suggestive posture is unacceptable. * Females shall be drawn realistically without exaggeration of any physical qualities. * Illicit sex relations are neither to be hinted at nor portrayed. Violent love scenes as well as sexual abnormalities are unacceptable. * Seduction and rape shall never be shown or suggested. * Sex perversion or any inference to same is strictly forbidden. * Nudity with meretricious purpose and salacious postures shall not be permitted in the advertising of any product; clothed figures shall never be presented in such a way as to be offensive or contrary to good taste or morals.
There is nothing new here that hasn't gone on before, which means that we'll have one of those "kleig light show trials" that George Bush has been nattering on about for the past week, and then there will be promises made and campaign contributions offered and it will all go away as soon as the last ballot is counted. Or until the next campaign/shakedown cycle begins.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales approved plans to fire several U.S. attorneys in a November meeting, according to documents released Friday that contradict earlier claims that he was not closely involved in the dismissals.
The Nov. 27 meeting, in which the attorney general and at least five top Justice Department officials participated, focused on a five-step plan for carrying out the firings of the prosecutors, Justice Department officials said late Friday.
There, Gonzales signed off on the plan, which was crafted by his chief of staff, Kyle Sampson. Sampson resigned last week amid a political firestorm surrounding the firings.
The five-step plan involved notifying Republican home-state senators of the impending dismissals, preparing for potential political upheaval and naming replacements and submitting them to the Senate for confirmation.
Claimed little involvement in firings The documents indicated that the hour-long morning discussion, held in the attorney general’s conference room, was the only time Gonzales met with top aides who decided which prosecutors to fire and how to do it.
Justice spokeswoman Tasia Scolinos said it was not immediately clear whether Gonzales gave his final approval to begin the firings at that meeting. Scolinos also said Gonzales was not involved in the process of selecting which prosecutors would be asked to resign.
On March 13, in explaining the firings, Gonzales told reporters he was aware that some of the dismissals were being discussed but was not involved in them.
“I knew my chief of staff was involved in the process of determining who were the weak performers — where were the districts around the country where we could do better for the people in that district, and that’s what I knew,” Gonzales said last week. “But that is in essence what I knew about the process; was not involved in seeing any memos, was not involved in any discussions about what was going on. That’s basically what I knew as the attorney general.”
Alberto Gonzales may go down as the most inept toady in history.
When last we checked, Jesus or possibly Michelle Bachmann's press secretary, was exhorting (there's a word we don't use every day) Congresswoman Glossolalia's (that would be another one that doesn't come up often) constituents to write letters to the editor explaining to the good citizens of Minnesota that Jesus Bachmann is just alright with them.
A second letter to the editor has been written in response to a plea from Michele Bachmann's staff, and this time, the letter is not from a GOP staffer. Instead, the letter was written by St. John's University student Ben Harper, son of Barbara Harper, who serves as Bachmann's director of constituent services.
Ben Harper's letter appears to have been inspired by an email sent from Bachmann press secretary Heidi Frederickson's congressional email account. The email had asked Bachmann supporters to write letters to the editor focusing on a number of potential topics, including focusing on "Michele as a mother (5 biological, 23 foster kids) and wife."
Harper's letter stated that, "From a little background information, I've learned that this congresswoman is not only working on behalf of her constituents, but she is a mother of five biological children and 23 foster children." His letter did not disclose that his mother's role in Bachmann's office is to work on behalf of Bachmann's constituents.
Only one other letter to the editor has been written since Frederickson's letter requesting support was sent last week. The other letter was written by a GOP state Senate staffer.
Bachmann received 151,962 votes to win office in November so either these people are are smart enough to vote, yet not smart enough to write, or it's the biggest case of buyers remorse ever seen.
Bush appeared at the White House alongside veterans and family members of troops to accuse Democrats of staging nothing more than "political theater" that delays the delivery of resources to soldiers fighting in Iraq.
Hmmm. "Political theatre" Sorry. In that last one he was ad-libbing.
I've been waiting for this I have been waiting for this All you people in TV land I will wake up your empty shells
I'm late because I was invited to the Grey's Anatomy experience by the lovely and talented Casey who lives and breathes for it. Not too bad even though I had no idea regarding each characters relationship to another which can be deadly in a soap opera.
Playhouse - TV On the Radio 303 - Kula Shaker Genius of Love 2002 - The X-Ecutioners The Mighty Ship - The Housemartins Family Snapshot - Peter Gabriel I Think It's Going To Rain Today - Norah Jones* Wichita Lineman - Cassandra Wilson Hour Follows Hour - Ani DiFranco Ziggy Stardust - David Bowie Trouble - Voxtrot Bonus #11: Little John of God - Los Lobos
*The Norah Jones cover of Randy Newman's I Think It Going To Rain Today came from a benefit CD for the victims of Hurricane Katrina and it's stunning.
"For sheer cultural illiteracy and intellectual vacuity, nothing can top the debate over the meaning of marriage taking place in the United States of America in the early years of the 21st century." So says David Blankenhorn in his striking new book, "The Future of Marriage", and he should know.
For 20 years, David Blankenhorn has been at the forefront of our national conversation about marriage. His first book, "Fatherless America", named a new problem: When adults embrace for themselves the right to choose any family form they want, children lose their fathers.
"The Future of Marriage" can be read as a cry of frustration at how gay marriage has hijacked the marriage debate. (Full disclosure: David was my boss for a decade.) Gay marriage appears to make even very smart people pretty stupid about marriage itself. In a court brief recently, 30 professors of history and family law told judges that marriages are "committed, interdependent partnerships between consenting adults". Gee, how does that definition differ from, say, a law firm? Or a co-op, for that matter?
Oh let's just stop right here and ask the obvious:
How does a gay man "marrying" another gay man somehow deprive a child of a father? Is there some kind of National Sperm Reserve that is dangerously low and threatens Michelle Duggar's ability to crank lil Duggars like a Baby Pez dispenser? Have we hit Hubbert's Sperm Peak because we have been wasting literally gallons of baby batter in bad online porn fiction, particularly the ones where husbands take their wives out dancing and they meet handsome rugged manly men named Dirk or Lance or Cock O'Plenty ?
One thing is for sure, gay marriage does make even very smart people pretty stupid.
You can't write if you can't relate Trade the cash for the beef for the body for the hate
According to Michael Medved, you might be a "loser" if you are one of the following:
...homeless, single mothers, "people of color," homosexuals, AIDS patients, feminists, convicted criminals, Native Americans, atheists, immigrants and many more
Oh yeah, and it looks like these guys are pussies too:
In fact, the recent hearings about the shabby treatment of wounded veterans at Walter Reade (sic) Medical Center represented a concerted effort to transform America’s military into a victims group worthy of liberal sympathy. John Kerry's notorious and derisive comments about kids who do poorly in school getting "stuck in Iraq" complemented this ongoing effort to portray active duty personnel as oppressed and hapless losers, rather than formidable and willing warriors.
...who actually love being neglected and then tucked away in moldy decaying soon-to-be-abandoned motels when they "break" fighting in a neocons war.
Me: Frankly, I find Tim Noah to be a bore and a fairly nasty and humorless fellow. And he's been whining about me ever since I called him a journalistic hall monitor years ago.
But I will say this. He has absolutely no idea what he's talking about, which he basically admits. His assertion that the book's delayed for marketing reasons would be a flat-out lie if it weren't flat-out conjecture. As my wife, various friends and colleagues and sundry others can attest, the book is delayed because it's not done yet. The reasons for that have to do with any number of things (revisions, work distractions, my father's death, the birth of my child, etc etc) and, as far as I'm aware, marketing isn't even on the top ten. Noah, who hasn't read it, is invested in a theory and simply imagines facts to substantiate his usual sneering schtick.
But look: If I could be done with this whole process tomorrow even if it meant releasing the book on the day after Hillary Clinton cured cancer, walked on water and saved a box of puppies from a fire I would leap at the opportunity. My book isn't like Dinesh's latest book. It isn't like any Ann Coulter book. It isn't what the Amazon description says or what the Economist claims it is. Or what Frank Rich imagines it is. It is a very serious, thoughtful, argument that has never been made in such detail or with such care. [my emphasis]
'Oh-oh!' Jonah thinks. 'Did I just promise to shake the very foundations of political discourse with my bold and penetrating prose? I better get cracking....right after Battlestar Galactica and then they're running that Simpsons Marathon on channel three and....Jesus, suddenly I'm really sleepy. I shouldn't have eaten that whole turkey. Maybe a nap, I can Tivo BSG...Mmmmmm. Turkey.......zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz'
Mark Halperin "steps down" as ABC News Political Director. The stated reason is to give him more time to write...like this "baby take me back, I swear I'll always love you" mash note to Hugh Hewitt:
I really enjoyed our radio talk and I appreciated the opportunity to appear with someone I respect so much.
I have gotten a lot of positive feedback, mostly from conservatives, including this reaction on Powerlineblog.com.
But, as I have said to you privately, I am beginning to think you are intellectually dishonest on a few points. It seems strange that someone who seems to be trying to bring truth to people would do such a thing, but I can't really explain your behavior any other way. As I said on the show, you and I agree on almost everything we discussed. On most of the points of disagreement, I respect your position and accept our disagreement. . . .
As for your repeated insistence that you could reach no other conclusion but one that says that I am "very liberal," I'm sure if you think it over, you will reconsider. You went to a liberal school and you appear to not be liberal. And I am sure you have heard of people having different political views than their parents.
Again, I respect much about you, but I am mystified by your determination to lump me in with others. Acknowledging the liberal bias that exists in the Old Media -- as John Harris and I do in The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008 doesn't necessarily prove that I am not liberal, but I would think you would be open to giving me the benefit of the doubt, when you have no actual evidence to the contrary.
The letter ended: "And I'm still waiting for the offer to appear again on the show. Thanks so much, Mark Halperin."
Give him credit for not ending his post, "Hopelessly devoted to you, - MH + HH 4evah!".
GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENT-ELECT: I told all four that there were going to be some times where we don't agree with each other. But that's OK. If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator.
Just got done watching President Petulant Pissypants throw a snit on national TV where he did a marvelous job of hitting his marks: "reasonable proposal" "partisan" "show trials" and "Doing this for generations of President yet unborn". The obvious point of contention is this:
Bush said his White House counsel, Fred Fielding, told lawmakers they could interview presidential counselor Karl Rove, former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and their deputies — but only on the president's terms: in private, "without the need for an oath" and without a transcript.
The president cast the offer as virtually unprecedented and a reasonable way for Congress to get all the information it needs about the matter.
"If the Democrats truly do want to move forward and find the right information, they ought to accept what I proposed," Bush said. "If scoring political points is the desire, then the rejection of this reasonable proposal will really be evident for the American people to see."
Jesus on Jeopardy, not even Doug Feith is that stupid.
One thing that is fascinating about George Bush is how little he has grown in office. No, that's not right. It's not that he hasn't grown, he has gotten smaller; less Presidential, more sad little man watching his paper boat circle the drain. After six years of playing The Decider he should at least have a thin candy shell of gravitas as opposed to coming across like one of those guys on Peoples Court who not only has an unshakable belief that people won't see through his bullshit, but that no one will notice his artful comb-over either.
As bad a president as George W. Bush has been (and lets face it, not only is he the worst ever, he's actively lobbying to be considered worse than at least the next five, possibly six presidents, and that includes President Patrick McHenry [warning: video] who will come to power following the Great Munchkin Uprising of 2021. You don't want to know...) he is a worse person and it shows whenever he is under pressure; he melts down into a greasy little puddle of glares and smirks and incipient panic. But tonight was special. Tonights performance lays to rest any notion other than the fact that he's not a very bright man who has nothing but contempt for a world that refuses to dumb down for him.
Rep. Jean Schmidt wrote in her weekly column sent out to reporters on Monday that stories about horrible conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center were "overblown."
Schmidt, a Clermont County Republican, decided to take "several hours" to travel to the hospital in Washington, D.C., to see the situation "first hand."
"I found the situation at Walter Reed to be overblown by both politicians and the media."
Schmidt wrote that in her tour of all four outpatient housing facilities, she was "pleasantly surprised to find that three of the buildings contained clean living spaces, updated television and computer access, and full access to cooking units or cafeterias."
She also inspected Building 18, the focus of the Washington Post stories exposing conditions at Walter Reed.
"While I believe that this building is beneath the standard of what is acceptable, I think it is wrong to suggest that mold found behind an air conditioner somehow is an excuse to say that all of our veterans are receiving substandard medical care.
" It is important to remember that the building in question is an apartment building, not a medical facility. Further the building was scheduled to be torn down within two years.''
Surprisingly Schmidt failed to call the wounded vets "pussies" and urge them to "suck it up."
Two weeks ago, the Roanoke Times published an online database of registered concealed handgun permit holders in the paper’s community under the sanctimonious guise of “Sunshine Week.” The database included both the names and street addresses of some 135,000 Virginians with permits to carry concealed weapons. Columnist Christian Trejbal patted himself on the back for making it easy to snoop on the neighbors: “I can hear the shocked indignation of gun-toters already: It’s nobody’s business but mine if I want to pack heat. Au contraire. Because the government handles the permitting, it is everyone’s business.”
After an uproar among gun-owners, including domestic violence victims licensed to carry, the Times finally decided to yank the database. Trejbal seems not to feel much remorse: “Did we make it easier [to obtain the information]? Yes. But it’s still a public record.” Let’s review: He published a list he knew contained inaccuracies. His paper admits the decision endangered gun owners. He compiled a convenient shopping list for criminals — and smacked law-abiding gun owners in the face with his comparison of their choice to exercise their rights with sex offenders.
Public disclosure of concealed carry licenses varies from state to state. Eighteen states protect permit holders’ privacy from public view. Virginia is one of 17 states that make licensee records public. If information is public, does it make it right for a newspaper to publish it? The media exercise discretion all the time in withholding the names of minors or rape victims. Why should the privacy of law-abiding concealed handgun permit holders be treated with any less concern?
Moonbat sympathizer Bob Fitch posted more photos on Indymedia, including one of tolerant left-wing radicals blocking access to military recruitment tables and another of Capt. Griffin being escorted out of a campus building by university police.
The unhinged group behind the anti-troops movement at UC Santa Cruz is "Students Against War." The leaders on campus, according to a SAW press release, are:
Sam Aranke - 714-458-2471 - email@example.com David Zlutnick – 805-698-6228 - firstname.lastname@example.org Janine Carmona - 707-496-3530 - email@example.com
UPDATE: SAW has removed the contact information from its press release and is now lying about the fact that it made the info publicly available on the Internet. I am leaving it up. If you are contacting them, I do not condone death threats or foul language. As for SAW, my message is this: You are responsible for your individual actions. Other individuals are responsible for theirs. Grow up and take responsibility.
UPDATE II: SEE HERE NOW.
The capitulationist chancellor's contact info:
Denice D. Denton Office of Chancellor 200 Clark Kerr Hall University of California Santa Cruz, California 95064
Assistant to the Chancellor: Jessica Fiske Bailey Phone: (831) 459-2058 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
But it was quite alright to publish this type of information because it was public , no matter that it was meant to incite people and led to death threats against the students and, oh yeah, this:
Michelle Malkin has responded to my post on UC Santa Cruz Chancellor Denice Denton's suicide. Quick recap: Malkin called Denton a "capitulationist chancellor" after Denton failed to expel or punish students who angrily protested and kicked military recruiters off campus. She posted Denton's office address, number and email (the latter were her assistant's, and all of this was available online) and encouraged readers to "take a stand" and contact her. Late last month, Denton killed herself. I summed up the situation and said this:
While no one is suggesting that her readers pushed Denton over the edge, Malkin has said nothing about the chancellor since her suicide. It might become her to apologize for smearing an academic, and directing people to direct their outrage to her office, in what were the final troubled months of her life.
Making Malkin angry is like shooting orca in a barrel, and lo and behold, this made her angry.
The blog of the libertarian magazine "Reason" is titled "Hit and Run."
They can run, but they cannot hide. And I'm not going to let them get away with their latest hit.
This sounds eerily similiar to what John Kerry said about the Swift Boat Vets. Malkin's rebuttal, if possible, is even lamer than Kerry's was.
Weigel accuses me of "smearing" Denton because I simply asked people to take a stand and quoted from a San Francisco Chronicle article reporting that the capitulationist administration knew about the anti-military activists' plans weeks in advance and had hoped that they would be rained out.
I'm convinced that Malkin misses the irony here. She didn't smear Denton - she merely called her a capitulationist. In her mind, implying that Denton wanted to bring down our military and welcome the terrorists to Santa Cruz with open arms and carrot juice is a perfectly neutral characterization. Why else would Malkin use it again in an an attempt to rebut the charged that she "smeared" Denton?
Weigel accuses me of throwing around charges of "treason" and "traitors," neither of which I used in any of my blog posts on the anti-recruiting brigade at Santa Cruz. "Seditious," yes. Treasonous, no.
That's a clever bit of parsing. Malkin didn't use the T-word in her Santa Cruz posts. (She reserves that eloquent phraseology for the New York Times). She accused UC Santa Cruz (the whole school) of "hating our troops," characterized the anti-war students being part of an "anti-troops movement," called the actions "sedition," and, yes, called Denton a "capitulationist." How in the world did I peg Malkin as a "reckless labeler"?
Weigel attacks me for not saying anything about Denton's suicide. Crikey. If I had said anything, his ilk would have jumped all over me for not having the compassion to keep quiet about her various scandals and corruptocrat ways and let her loved ones mourn in peace.
I was unaware I had an ilk. Perhaps that's the terminology you pick up writing for VDare.com.
I can't speak for my ilk, but I suggested Malkin should apologize because, for that brief, frantic moment when the terrorists almost took over Santa Cruz, Malkin thought Denton was worth going after. She blogged it for two days; it was a fairly important story, and you'd think crack correspondent Michelle Malkin was following it. It seemed strange that one of the villains of the story could kill herself and Malkin wouldn't care. But apparently she'd stopped seeing UC-Santa Cruz as a threat to America; she'd moved on to fresh outrages. Like any good hit and runner (the auto vehicular type, not the Reason type), she heard the bump under her tires and hit the gas pedal.
Trejbal Malkin seems not to feel much remorse. Anyone surprised? Anyone?
U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald was ranked among prosecutors who had "not distinguished themselves" on a Justice Department chart sent to the White House in March 2005, when he was in the midst of leading the CIA leak investigation that resulted in the perjury conviction of a vice presidential aide, administration officials said yesterday.
The ranking placed Fitzgerald below "strong U.S. Attorneys . . . who exhibited loyalty" to the administration but above "weak U.S. Attorneys who . . . chafed against Administration initiatives, etc.," according to Justice documents.
The March 2005 chart ranking Fitzgerald and other prosecutors was drawn up by Gonzales aide D. Kyle Sampson and sent to then-White House counsel Harriet Miers. The reference to Fitzgerald is in a portion of the memo that Justice has refused to turn over to Congress, officials told The Washington Post, speaking on the condition of anonymity because Fitzgerald's ranking has not been made public.
At the time, Fitzgerald was leading the independent probe into the leak of the identity of a CIA operative, which led this month to the perjury conviction of former vice presidential aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Fitzgerald, the U.S. attorney in Chicago, had also recently brought a corruption indictment in Illinois against former Republican governor George H. Ryan.
A Justice Department official yesterday sought to play down the importance of Fitzgerald's ranking, saying the chart was "put together by Sampson and is not an official department position on these U.S. attorneys."
Sampson resigned as Gonzales's chief of staff last week, and his attorney declined to comment yesterday.
Mary Jo White, who supervised Fitzgerald when she served as the U.S. attorney in Manhattan and who has criticized the firings, said ranking him as a middling prosecutor "lacks total credibility across the board."
"He is probably the best prosecutor in the nation -- certainly one of them," said White, who worked in the Clinton and Bush administrations. "It casts total doubt on the whole process. It's kind of the icing on the cake."
Apparently, the guy who successfully prosecuted Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and who convicted Illinois Governor George Ryan of bribery, was considered a middling prosecutor by Kyle Sampson. I wonder if it had anything to do with that prosecutor’s pending prosecution of Scooter Libby (which also resulted in a conviction)?
But then, we already knew that Sampson was a dishonest bonehead, didn’t we?
Programming Note: You will notice that we are now officially abandoning the blue lettering for the block quotes in deference to my obviously aging and cranky readership. Ooooo, look guys! Jill St. John!
A Hot Air commenter mentioned this last week: It seems Matt Drudge–Internet pioneer, New Media godfather, and tech entrepreneur–has a grudge against little ol’ Hot Air. He made some bizarre, disparaging remarks attacking this site and me on his radio show last weekend.
Just ugh. The things I want to say right now. But we’ve got an FCC. The things I want to say. Maybe we’ll do, uh, uh, a commentary on the Internet like Michelle Malkin. Maybe I’ll stand in front of like a blue screen and hold a banana and start talking into the Internets. (Sneering tone) ‘This is Matt Drudge reporting on Hot Air.’ Agggh. You know. It’s ridiculous. Looks like, you know, Captain Kangaroo time, Michelle. Get real.
“Get real?” Got whine?
We at Hot Air certainly don’t have the resources to look like the slicksters at CNN or the dinosaur networks. We don’t have multi-million dollar sets, graphics, and wardrobes like Katie Couric. We put substance first over bells and whistles. (You would think someone with a website design circa 1980 might appreciate our priorities.) That said, folks in the broadcast industry have had nice words about our production values and I’m proud of what our team has accomplished in less than a year. In fact, we’ve had broadcast network engineers and producers ask us how we do it.
I'm curious how many of the Vietnam vets who participated in the Milling Around of Old Guys this weekend ever considered that they were indulging in the same kind of flag-waving America-Love-It-Or-Leave-It pride goeth before the fall chest-thumping that we saw during the Vietnam war that resulted in over 50,000 dead and 300,000 wounded.
Probably fewer than the amount who walked up to Michelle Malkin to ask if she was their daughter. Nice hat. Did it come with a free bowl of soup?
I have a great fondness for the unintentionally hilarious on teh internets because it gives me great material with which to work. In fact, were it not for the collection of essays I wrote on America's Worst Mother™, Meghan Cox Gurdon, I couldn't have aced William Vollman out of that MacArthur Fellowship and now who's sitting knee-deep in $500K worth of CornNuts®, eh Bill. Hunh? Hunh?
Anyway...where was I?
Oh yeah, teh funny.
While looking for the hippie picture below, I stumbled upon this post that I had to read several times because I really wasn't sure if it was a parody or not. It's not and that is what makes it so darn good. Here it is in all of it's original glory:
If I could have dated an album, I would have been going steady with Coldplay's Parachutes
ERICA: Greg and I went to see Coldplay this weekend and I cried. It was an eighth grade, passing notes in class, TLF kind of moment, but I cried nonetheless.
Five years ago I moved here to NYC from LA and made my way to the east coast with two friends on a crazy cross country trip. We brought a ton of music with us, but wound up basically listening to Coldplay's Parachutes album on a constant loop for six days. Some people get super duper sick of an album after that much listening, but I swear if I could have dated an album, Coldplay and I would have been going steady for shizzle. I spent the next six months trying to find a job, an apartment and some friends...and the whole time I continued listening to Coldplay like it was my mission in life. As silly as I feel admitting this, Coldplay sort of got me through it all.
I had a really magical moment at the meadowlands this weekend. The band started to play one of my favorite songs from that first album, and it just hit me all at once: How all of the things I was looking for 5 years ago have managed to find their way to me in spades...every single one of them.
Dear God or whoever you are, Thanks for reminding me that all of this wedding planning BS is about a 10 on a scale of 1-10 of things that are pretty unimportant in life. And also for reminding me how lucky I am to have a wonderful family, a whole new career and to have found such a groovy guy and a cute puppy dog.