Thursday, March 31, 2005

Further comedic stylings of Tom DeLay

Statement on Schiavo death:

"Mrs. Schiavo's death is a moral poverty and a legal tragedy. This loss happened because our legal system did not protect the people who need protection most, and that will change. The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior, but not today. "

Wow, so many assassination options...Supreme Court? 11th circuit court of appeals? Michael Schiavo? The mind reels.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 12:21 PM

More political meddling needed in intelligence-gathering!

Oh my. I can't believe this was actually in the report on intelligence failures in Iraq.
"The intelligence community needs to be pushed," the report said. "It will not do its best unless it is pressed by policy-makers -- sometimes to the point of discomfort."

It's not as if that kind of stuff is what got us into this mess in the first place, unless, of course, you're writing a report whose main purpose is to serve as a figleaf for the Preznit.
The report implicitly absolves the Bush administration of manipulating the intelligence used to launch the 2003 Iraq war, putting the blame for bad intelligence directly on the intelligence community.

"The daily intelligence briefings given to you before the Iraq war were flawed," the report said. "Through attention-grabbing headlines and repetition of questionable data, these briefings overstated the case that Iraq was rebuilding its WMD programs."


Permalink posted by Jonathan : 9:54 AM

Hey, case closed!

Were 85 insurgents killed during a shootout outside Baghdad last week? A shootout that Agence France-Presse and The Washington Post cast doubt on? Sure, they were, says an Iraqi general.
A top Iraqi official offered additional details on Wednesday on a raid on March 22 that killed dozens of insurgents at a training camp northwest of Baghdad. The official, Maj. Gen. Adnan Thabit, who directs all the police commandos in Iraq, said 85 insurgents had been killed in the raid, the number that was originally reported by Iraqi officials but was subsequently questioned. He said the figure had been confirmed by commandos and intelligence agents on the scene. Few bodies were found, he said, because escaping insurgents removed them in boats, and some insurgents drowned in the lake.

Yes, escaping insurgents, desperate for their lives, took the burden and time of loading corpses onto a boat before beating a hasty retreat. I believe that.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 7:59 AM

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Leave it to Jesse

Mr. Jackson, drawing the completely appropriate comparison between John Paul II and Terri Schiavo [not exact]:
Well, the pope's on a feeding tube, they're not going to take it out. Why would you take the feeding tube out of Terri Schiavo?

Brilliant. Just brilliant.

UPDATE: Here's the transcript [from Lexis-Nexis]:
You know, today the Pope is now on a feeding tube. And thank God for the science and laws, his life can be sustained through a feeding tube. They're not going to pull the Pope's feeding tube, and they shouldn't. But then he's not instructive that we see the value in sustaining him through a feeding tube, and here is Terri likewise struggling to -- she needs food. She needs water. And we can give it to her, and we are not.

A lot less coherent than above, but pretty much the same.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 5:57 PM

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Social Security ‘reform’ as elaborate distraction technique?

This article steps right up to the line to suggest that Rove and Co. have created the Social Security "crisis" for the purpose of sucking all the energy out of Democrats in their effort to fight it, all the while quietly passing other, disastrous legislation:
Yet as ugly as the Social Security debate has been for Bush and the GOP, it has served—perhaps intentionally—one salutary purpose: distracting Democrats while Republicans legislate, with ungodly brio, the rest of their agenda. Class-action reform, the bankruptcy bill, drilling for oil in the Alaskan wilderness: Republicans are teeing up pet legislation and knocking it down the fairway like Tiger Woods with a brisk wind at his back. “Without Social Security,” Grover Norquist, a Rove confidant and head of Americans for Tax Reform, told me, “this other stuff would’ve been the front line of battle. Instead, Democrats are holding us up on Social Security, while we get everything else we want done.”

Is this just a convenient post hoc explanation for Republicans, or are they really that smart? I'm inclined to think that it was initially the former, but they may now have realized that the longer they persist in the Social Security silliness, which seems doomed, the easier it will be to keep ramming their most-favored bills through Congress. Not a bad political strategy.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 2:01 PM

Worst voiceover ever

Inspired by a Slate article on the changing timber of voiceovers (an idea I'd mulled over, but then completely forgotten about). Now, I'm no expert, but this has to be one of the strangest spots I've ever heard. It's from a guy called Rocky Gibbs.

The first spot in the sample goes thusly:
Just for a moment, try to imagine: You're dead. You think that's hard? Try this: You're dead, and you don't have life insurance.

Who wrote this? Ugh. And the delivery makes it even better, trust me, just listen.

Here's the guy's bio:

ROCKY GIBBS (201-892-1929, 201-451-2685) AFTRA & EQUITY. Deep resonant baritone. Vocal age range in the 50 to 55 area. Warm and friendly to strong and authoritative. Has some of the James Earl Jones quality.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 9:56 AM

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Freedom's march

Partly inspired by this article questioning what, exactly, prompted the protests in Lebanon, I and the poorly trained monkeys at Blogoland went on something of a hunt to determine whether there was some sort of pent-up need for freedom's sweet kiss, courtesy of the Americans. Following is a sample of articles prior to the Most Important Event In the History of the World, the Iraqi elections:

[LATER UPDATE: Note esp. this line in the "Middle East Review" from 2002: "It looked as if the anti-Syrian activism was actually paying off. Al- Assad ordered a redeployment of Syrian troops in Lebanon, pulling soldiers from Beirut and other highly visible parts of the country, including Christian enclaves. While the redeployment made international news, it did nothing to change the actual power dynamic in the country." Does this sound familiar?]

-- BEIRUT, Lebanon, Nov. 19, 2004 -- Thousands of mainly Christian students demonstrated in Beirut's streets Friday to protest the presence of Syrian troops in Lebanon. The march was organized to mark Independence Day. "Syria out of Lebanon," read one of the banners hoisted by the protesters who shouted anti-Syria slogans such as, "Put an end to Syrian occupation."Muslim leftist parties also staged a sit-in Friday to protest violations of the constitution and public freedoms committed by the pro-Syrian regime of President Emile Lahoud. They were mainly protesting the amendment to the constitution at Syria's behest allowing the extension of Lahoud's mandate by three years. The Syrian army was dispatched to Lebanon in 1976 as part of a pan-Arab deterrence force to end Lebanese civil strife, which continued until 1990.

-- BEIRUT, Lebanon, May 28, 2004 -- Protesters angered by high gasoline prices blocked roads with burning tires in the southern suburbs of Beirut on Friday, but both sides seemed eager to avoid the bloodshed that claimed six lives a day earlier.Hundreds of demonstrators took over streets in Hay al-Soulom, a low-income suburb, but there was no shooting or stone-throwing Friday and soldiers kept their distance from demonstrators.A day earlier, soldiers had fired on the protesters, killing five and wounding more than 30 people in Lebanon's worst civil unrest in more than a decade. A civil defense firefighter also died after being hit by gunfire.

-- BEIRUT, Lebanon, March 12 (UPI) HEADLINE: Lebanon Christians slam Syria presence --Hundreds of Christian followers of exiled Lebanese Gen. Michel Aoun demonstrated in Beirut Friday against the Syrian military presence in Lebanon.The protesters clashed with riot police in the city's business district as they chanted anti-Syrian slogans and called for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Lebanon. Police used water hoses and clubs to disperse the protesters who staged their demonstration despite a government ban.Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement issued a statement denouncing police violence against the demonstrators, mostly university students, claiming that many were wounded and arrested.Aoun, former army commander and Syria's staunchest opponent in Lebanon, has been living in exile in Paris since 1991 after he was ousted in a thrust on his headquarters in Christian east Beirut by Syrian-backed leftist and mainly Muslim Lebanese militias.The thrust put an end to the 1975-90 Lebanese civil strife.

--BEIRUT, Lebanon, March 27, 2003 (UPI) -- Thousands demonstrated throughout Lebanon Thursday, with many gathering near the U.S. Embassy to demand Arab countries expel U.S. ambassadors. A large group of anti-war protesters headed to the heavily guarded U.S. Embassy in Beirut's eastern suburbs of Awkar, shouting: "U.S. ambassador: Get out of Lebanon" and "Allah Akbar" (God is Great). The protestors, including followers of the militant Hezbollah group, set a U.S. flag on fire and raised placards that read: "Arab masses: Expel U.S. ambassadors."

-- MIDDLE East Review World of Information, October 2, 2002 -- "...Since 2000, there has been growing opposition to Syria's role in Lebanon, a role which includes the presence of 25,000 troops. This opposition originated in the Maronite community, the country's largest Christian sect. Both the Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir and Gebran Tueni, the publisher of Lebanon's most respected daily paper, An-Nahar, have called on the redeployment of Syrian troops to the Beka'a and eventually out of Lebanon in accordance with the 1989 Taif Accord, the treaty which, after two further years of fighting, ended the civil war.This call also resonated with non-Christians such as Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, whose father Kamal was murdered at Syria's behest in 1977. In May 2001, Jumblatt, along with some other 1,400 other prominent personalities - including Muslims (mostly Shi'ites) - signed a letter urging the end of the occupation. It looked as if the anti-Syrian activism was actually paying off. Al- Assad ordered a redeployment of Syrian troops in Lebanon, pulling soldiers from Beirut and other highly visible parts of the country, including Christian enclaves. While the redeployment made international news, it did nothing to change the actual power dynamic in the country. Thus, when students staged anti-Syrian demonstrations in Beirut in August 2001, the response was swift. President Emile Lahoud, who owes his office to Syria, sanctioned a security crackdown that saw the protesters beaten and hauled off to jail. Al-Assad ordered more tanks and soldiers into Lebanon."

--BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, November 23, 2000 -- On the eve of the 57th anniversary of independence, peaceful sit-ins were staged in a number of locations in Lebanon areas in which several thousands of students and other citizens participated. Most of them raised slogans opposing the Syrian military presence in Lebanon. The biggest sit-in was staged in the Al-Mathaf area at the invitation of [former Lebanese army commander now exiled in France] Michel Awn's faction and some left-wing parties. The sit-in was joined by the students of the Lebanese University, the American University, and the St Joseph University as well as students from dozens of secondary schools. The protesters, who were encircled by army and security forces, raised flags and placards calling for real independence and sovereignty and for the departure of the Syrian army from Lebanon. They stressed that the Lebanese army should be in charge of security. No incidents occurred.

UPDATE: And how could we have missed this article on the recent spate of bombings in Beirut aimed at the Maronite Christians? I'm sure the wingers will insist that everyone give Bush credit for this development, too.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 6:43 AM

Friday, March 25, 2005

The name game

Those of you watching Fox News (and why would you not be?) may have noticed one of the infobabes slogging around the media gang-bang in Florida. Her name is Julie Banderas. Or it's Julie Bidwell. Whatever. She was, until early March, a reporter for New York Fox station, but seems Ms. Bidwell's moved up to the big time. Of course, changing her name was a nice branding effort, according to this NY Observer article:
Then there’s the matter of Julie Banderas, a new WNYW reporter, whose last name has been the subject of much buzzing in the station’s newsroom. Prior to coming aboard WNYW, Ms. Banderas went by the name Julie Bidwell during on-air stints in Harrisonburg, Va., and Wilkes-Barre, Penn., among other locations. That prompted speculation among WNYW staffers that Ms. Banderas changed her name from Bidwell to Banderas to have a more ethnic-sounding surname. Ms. Banderas said that Banderas was a "family name," and that her mother and grandmother are of Colombian heritage. She also said the decision to make the change was made "together" with the station’s management.

"Her mom is Latin American and she chose to use that name to reflect that heritage, as lots of people in news do with their preferred names," said Ms. Van Allen, the Fox spokesperson. Gregg Willinger, Ms. Banderas’ agent, said: "It’s not that unusual in this business for people to have their names reflect their ethnic background, and Julie is Latina."

But when asked if she was comfortable with her new on-air name, Ms. Banderas didn’t sound particularly enthusiastic. "All I have to say is that I’ve adjusted to it," she said. "It’s an adjustment. It’s a change, I don’t necessarily want to comment as to how I feel about it, whether it’s a positive or a negative thing, I will say I have adjusted to it."

My name henceforth? Juan Diego Vallamos. Maybe that gets me a full time job.

Special note: I ran into Bidwell/Banderas on an assignment three years ago in Newark, on a story about a lottery pool gone bad. She looked pretty good in person, I have to admit.

UPDATE: Judging by my site meter, this seems to be a popular place for those seeking certain photographic materials. Sad to say, there are no pictures of Bidwell/Banderas getting her freak on here.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 6:16 PM

On 'false impressions'

From Austin Bay, who is in Iraq, and should probably know better:
Every day, coalition forces were moving thousands of 18-wheelers from Kuwait and Turkey into Iraq, and if the "insurgents" were lucky they blew up one. However, flash the flames of that one rig on CNN and, "Oh my God, America can't stop these guys," is the impression left in Boise and Beijing.

Agreed. After all, on Sept. 11, 2001, millions of buildings around America were, in fact, not attacked by terrorists piloting hijacked passenger planes. And yet, flash the flames of those three buildings, and we get all this "Oh my God what a horrible tragedy" stuff.

You know?

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 3:17 PM

This Google search took 0.19 seconds

In yesterday's Slate, Dana Stevens poo-poos the new "Office" on NBC. She then unleashes this line:
And The Office is not without merits. Steve Carell, a former correspondent on The Daily Show (he was invited back for a guest segment on that show last night, in what must have been an effort at cross-promotion), is truly funny as the hopelessly unfunny boss, now renamed Michael Scott.

To the Google-omitor!

NBC is owned by General Electric.

Comedy Central is owned by Viacom.

If that's a cross-promotion, executives at both networks need a quick dismissal.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 2:35 PM

Insty: Conservatives -- gasp! -- are hacks, too!

After maintaining relative radio silence for a number of days, InstaPundit finally comes to the conclusion that anyone with a cursory understanding of our alleged "rule of law" society has long ago concluded: The Schiavo Law passed by Congress was a reprehensible attack on everything this country supposedly stands for.
I'm quite astonished to hear people who call themselves conservatives arguing, in effect, that Congress and the federal courts have a free-ranging charter to correct any injustice, anywhere, regardless of the Constitution. And yet my email runneth over with just those kinds of comments. And arguing that "it's okay because liberals do it too" doesn't undercut my point that conservatives are acting like liberals here. It makes it.

Congrats on coming to this conclusion, and kudos for not backing down to the frothings of Hewitt. Astonishment, though? Hardly.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 10:51 AM

Pulling the plug on Malkin

Check out this rather extraordinary interview conducted by the Washington Post's Terry Neal with Michelle Malkin, who, as anyone who's been following the Schiavo case knows, has accused ABC of improperly framing a poll question to influence the results. Here's a telling exchange:
NEAL: The term ‘life support’, to me, does not necessarily mean a ventilator, it means you’re being kept alive by some sort of artificial means. And the point is, if you remove her tube, she would die.

MALKIN: Well, if you want to take that loose definition of it, that’s fine.

Or, to put it another way: Yes, Terry, I am a hack.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 10:11 AM

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Now that's fair and balanced!

Today on CNBC's Kudlow & Co! From the right, Glenn Reynolds, law professor and founder of InstaPundit. From the froth-mouthed right, John Hinderaker of Power Line. And from the messianic nutball fringe wing of the right, Hugh Hewitt, blogger and radio show host.

Take that, Fox!

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 5:46 PM

Schiavo everything

Just on Fox News, Neil Cavuto convenes a panel of distinguished economotricians to answer the burning question:

"Will the markets be affected by the Terri Schiavo case?"

No joke. Of course, this is merely a prelude for Special Report with Brit Hume, which will finally broach the subject everyone's been dying to talk about: "Terri Schiavo, the new Jesus?"

Stay tuned.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 4:37 PM

Ironic Ad Watch: Those meanie Dems don't have a SS plan!

Just saw this on CNN a few minutes ago. [QuickTime video]

[cue menacing, sad piano tones. See Bush signing bill, talking at SOTU]

NARR: “President Bush wants to rescue Social Security. He asked for all ideas to be put on the table. Can you think of any ideas that national Democrats have offered? Go.

[Show super-menacing-looking clock ticking for 10 seconds]

NARR: Democrats have no solutions for Social Security. None. Tell Congress that Social Security is too important for partisan games.”

Holy moly.

Note use of term "ideas." Nice weasel-way to get out of the fact that the President himself has acknowledged that he has no plan.
I have not laid out a plan yet, intentionally. I have laid out principles, I've talked about putting all options on the table, because I fully understand the administration must work with the Congress to permanently solve Social Security. So one aspect of the debate is, will we be willing to work together to permanently solve the issue.

Brought to you by the same nice folks who cooked up "Ashley's Story"

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 3:58 PM

Charlie Rose: Worst Interviewer Ever

I know this is tough for Charlie, but when you have the President of CNN on your show, and he's about to say something really interesting, for God's sake, don't step on what he's saying! (shaky transcription follows)

Jonathan KLEIN: Fox News tapped into the angry white male audience. People who are pissed off.

ROSE: Mrgylpyx. [various sucking-up sounds]

KLEIN: We want to be good storytellers, we have a lot of resources. We don't want to be something--

ROSE: You have a lot of resources

KLEIN: Yes. We have a lot of resources.


Permalink posted by Jonathan : 1:55 PM

Why the press refuses to report all the super-duper happy news from Iraq

A really excellent article from a guy who is a fairly consistent hawk on Iraq:
Simply put, U.S. officials in Baghdad have in the past tended not to tell the whole truth. It is of course in their interest to convey good news. They've performed their job so well, however, that no one believes them anymore. The public's exposure to this has mostly been confined to shifting reports about the numbers of Iraqi forces and other upbeat but hollow assessments put out by U.S. officials. Embassy and military officials in Iraq have told me and others, with a straight face, that the airport road is the safest road in Iraq, that Iyad Allawi will win the election by a landslide, that U.S. forces have killed more insurgents than the same officials have said even exist, and other tales too numerous to list. Dedication to the mission, career advancement, an impulse to spin--whatever the motive, the public face of the U.S. mission in Iraq has been so disconnected from reality for so long that were its assessments eventually to jibe with the whole truth, it would have no more persuasive power than the boy who cried wolf. For if the Baghdad press corps has a bias, it is a bias against bullshit.

Read it all. His conclusion? Things are going better but, of course, no one wants to be William "Light at the End of the Tunnel" Westmoreland.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 11:38 AM

Playing a lawyer in real-life

Leave it to these gents to take an issue like the Schiavo case and turn it into an opportunity to run down a rabbit-hole of idiocy. In this case, the silliness involves a memo circulated among Republicans regarding the Schiavo matter.

From the consistent and unintentional hilarity that is Power Line:
The American Spectator's Washington Prowler has picked up the scent and interviewed Republican Senate staffers: "Dirty Democrat pool." The Prowler reports: "Republican leadership staffers now believe the document was generated out of the Democratic opposition research office set up recently by Sen. Harry Reid, and distributed to some Democratic Senate staffers claiming it was a GOP document, in the hope -- or more likely expectation -- that it would then be leaked by those Democrats to reporters."

Hey, that's just great! I'm also hearing that High Times has interviewed a bunch of Democratic leadership staffers, who now believe that Republicans have recently set up a weather machine project just outside Gary, Ind., which will control jet stream movements, in the hope -- or more likely expectation -- that said machine would help flood and destroy all coastal, Democrat-loving areas.

For the record, the Post's Mike Allen stands by his sourcing on the matter. Of course, for the froth-mouths at Power Line, that is just not good enough. (must... have... scalps...) Moreover, they never actually publish what was said in the original ABC News report. For the record, here it is, from the March 18, "World News Tonight":
LINDA DOUGLASS: (Voice Over) ABC News has obtained talking points circulated
among Republican Senators, explaining why they should vote to intervene in the
Schiavo case. Among them, "This is an important moral issue and the pro-life
base will be excited." And "This is a great political issue, this is a tough
issue for Democrats."

I have searched high and low for these three sentences on PowerLine. Nowhere to be found. I'm assuming, as attorneys, they have access to Lexis-Nexis? Of course, not quoting the story accurately doesn't stop them from mischaracterizing it: "ABC first reported the memo as a bombshell that disclosed Republican strategy. Now it says that the memo "discussed a republican bill" and was "distributed to [some] repulbican [sic] senators."

Well, actually, that is exactly what the report says.

And, like the good hack he is, Hinderaker starts from an ironclad belief, and then gathers up information that would only reaffirm that belief. Here's his first post on the subject, subtly entitled, "Is This The Biggest Hoax Since The Sixty Minutes Story?":
I haven't even seen the memo yet, so I am reluctant to proclaim it a Democratic fraud. But, for the reasons stated, my suspicions are aroused. Let's hear from our readers, and let's see a copy of the "unsigned" memo, and figure out whether it's a fake or not. Either it's a fraud, or someone needs to be fired.

Now that's good lawyering!

UPDATE: Wow. And talk about running with scissors! Prof. Reynolds, amplifying a mischaracterization by Power Line writes thusly:
ABC JOINS THE LIST of networks that have broadcast bogus memos: "the network admits that it knows nothing about who authored and distributed the memo."

Really? How about reading what Power Line actually posted? Doesn't seem like that is the case at all. And can we also note that what Hinderaker received was an alleged second-hand communique from another blogger who said he was emailing ABC News. Sounds suspicious to me. Let's see the email! We demand it!

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 10:23 AM

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


This was an unbelievably horrible story -- four dead in a fire -- but nine -- NINE! -- reporters on it? That seems a bit much.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 11:19 AM

A question for the Professor

Oh well. This was a very long post with lots of links, and I had dredged up quotes from four years ago, but, of course, Blogger ate it. It's been a week now of this kind of hijinks. I'm wondering if Google still thinks it got its money's worth?

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 9:37 AM

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Taking a pass

I find it intriguing that so many right-leaning/libertarian bloggers have been stricken with a case of the non-opinions on the most important story ever in the history of the world, the Terri Schiavo matter. A sampling:
Could it be that they have an opinion, but it's not very kind to any of our leading conservative moralists?

Of course, not to be missed is the inimitable K-Lo, who offers her own hilarious "pox on both houses" routine.
The worst part about this Schiavo frenzy, besides the obvious impending death of a helpless woman, is that it’s now so much about politics. Republicans blaming Democrats for her starving. Now Democrats and everyone else blaming Republicans
for doing anything they've done just to get "pro-life" votes. It’s all so crass. This is a woman’s life we're talking about here. This is a daughter and sister her family just wants to love. But it’s become, too, the stuff of overwrought and rotten editorials and op-eds and punditry. Just seems to make a terrible situation all the most distasteful—as if that is even possible considering the life-and-death level of it all

Almost too stupid to be believed, but par for the course for her.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 11:08 AM

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Lexical gymnastics

I know, I know, this has been commented on ad nasueum, but I hadn't read Frank Luntz's piece on his defense of language torture until now, and I could feel my brain melting in real time. Read it right now if you haven't already, just to get an idea of the forces that are out there trying to warp our discourse. It is truly, deeply frightening.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 11:22 PM


So I'm not the biggest basketball fan in the world, but after Vermont shocked Syracuse Friday, I figured I'd have a shot to watch the new darlings play Michigan State today. You know, living in Northern New Jersey, regional closeness might count for something.


Oh, well, probably we'd see the Villanova-Florida game.

Well, no.

Instead, how about that marquee matchup of Southern Illinois-Oklahoma State? Lots of Saluki fans here in the tri-state area, right!


Permalink posted by Jonathan : 4:43 PM

The exclusive PowerLine interview with Jeff Gannon!

At least, this is what it would probably look like:

Q: Is it true that you are a great American?

A: Oh, yes, absolutely, I think.

Q: Don't you think that you served a valuable function battling, as it were, all the liberal, borderline traitorous shills in the White House press corps and adding some balance?

A: Sure. There really aren't enough gay male internet prostitutes connected to the Texas state GOP, at least in the White House pressroom, as far as I can tell, uh, asking fact-free questions for a fake news service. I thought I added something to the mix. Um. Wait a minute. Strike that last remark.

Q: Uh, which one? The gay thing or the fake thing or the Republican thing?

A: Maybe we should talk about that after we're done.

Q: OK. No problem. I know. Why don't we just change your answer to something like: "Those liberal mainstream media whiny-pants frogs all suck, and who are they to say who is and who isn't a reporter"?

A: That sounds pretty good. Can you put in a little something about how the Left have lined up behind the terrorists?

Q: It's already in there. OK. Moving on. Any future plans?

A: Oh, I have a lot of things I'm looking into. You know, this whole situation has opened up lots of new career paths. You heard of those VNR's? The totally factual video package things the government puts out? The CDC has been calling me a lot. I mean a lot, for some reason. I'm still thinking about it, anyway, but they said they could really use someone like me.

Q: Huh. For what?

A: You know, I'm not really totally clear on the whole thing, but they keep talking about STD's, and then they said they might need to use one of those black boxes on my face. So--

Q: Black box? You mean one of those things they put on later?

A: Yeah, you know, I'm not sure if I should be talking about this. Can we just, sort of remove that from the final transcript, too?

Q: I'm erasing the tape right now.

A: Great.

Q: Why do you think the mainstream press hates you?

A: Great question, great question. I've thought about it a lot the past few weeks, actually, when I'm not trying to sell the domain for for a couple thousand dollars. [pause] What was the question again?

Q: The press. Why they hate you.

A: Yeah, yeah. Well, look at me. I'm hot, I'm totally butch. Anyway, they all wish they were doing what I was doing, if you know what I mean.

Q: The-- What?

A: I'm just tired of the whole: "Oh, he's a gay Republican who writes gay-bashing articles and he's fake and connected to Republicans and why do they just wave him right into the press room even though he's clearly got a non-law-abiding past?" And I'm sure that's part of it. But you know what the other reason is, it's because they know they're not as hot as me. Who wouldn't want my bald head rubbing up and down them, huh? You?

Q: Uhhh.

A: Damn straight.

Q: Great. Well, I think that's all. Thanks, Jim.

A: Jeff.

Q: Right.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 2:50 PM

Friday, March 18, 2005

La-la land

Hard as it may be to believe, me and the monkeys of Blogoland were watching the Ashlee Simpson Show last night (How could I miss it? Apparently it's under contract to run on a continuous, 24-hour loop on a station formerly known as "MTV.")

Anyway, the subject matter of the day involved our eponomyous hero and her battle against the bad earpieces in her Orange Bowl halftime show.

'Oh,' you're asking, 'Is that the one that got mercilessly booed by the fans?' Why, yes. [click on Box on right-hand side to watch video]

Now, reality is a little different on Ashlee's show. Cut away to shots of her sister, Jessica: "She sounds awesome." and then back to shots of the train wreck of a performance. Here's the "capsule" of the episode from the official "Ashlee" website
Ashlee performs at the Orange Bowl half-time show without a working ear piece, making it impossible for her to hear herself. Big sis Jessica spends the entire performance worrying. She knows that even the most experienced of live performers find it difficult to sing when they can't hear themselves.

Now word on what 'big sis' thinks of siblings with no apparent crooning talents. And then the end comes. boos. No nothing. It's just edited out. In fact, don't you realize that it never happened? [When you click on this link head to the right and click on "Video Clips: the Orange Bowl" It gives you the meat of the performance and the after-whining. But no boos.]

It's the height of postmodern genius! Charting the life of an unattractive, talentless pop star, selectively editing out the reality, turning her Waterloo into a triumph. These guys should work for Bush.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 9:17 AM

Book-of-the-Month club, Kook division

Oh, lordy, can't wait for this book. And don't miss the publisher's blurb for "The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy: The Untold Story of How Democratic Operatives, Eccentric Billionaires, Liberal Activists, and Assorted Celebrities Tried to Bring Down a President--and Why They'll Try Even Harder Next Time" by Byron York:
Indeed, the Left's failure to oust President Bush in 2004 has obscured the fact that this new movement has transformed American politics. York documents the staggering scope of liberals' efforts-the record sums of money spent, the "shell game" financial maneuvers, the close coordination between "nonpartisan" groups and the Democratic Party, the revolutionary approaches to fund-raising and reaching out to voters, the pioneering use of movies and websites as campaign tools, and more.

Plus: "Al Franken rants about the evils of the right wing." No!

Rejected alternate subtitle: "How Democrats are almost, but not quite, as evil as Republicans."

Perhaps you were wondering what was next up for Mr. York? Here's the working title from his next one-hand read: "Vanquish: The untold story of how conservatives won't rest until every last Democrat is hunted down, shot in the head, and peed on."

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 7:15 AM

Thursday, March 17, 2005

John Gibson: Eat the young!

Wow. Just wow.
Gays can't have kids — other than going to the abandoned kids store and getting one or two, or borrowing sperm from someone with more sperm than brains — so by definition they're out of the marriage game.

Take it away, Wonkette.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 1:13 PM

Dept. of really bad analogies

The lead paragraph in a story from today's NYT:
Catalina Severa knows a thing or two about urban chaos. She was among those World Trade Center workers who managed to escape from the towers before they fell on Sept. 11, 2001, rushing downstairs and onto the street with hundreds of others fleeing in panic. But yesterday morning, as she and thousands of other New Yorkers coped with the shutdown of the Lexington Avenue subway line, the city's busiest, Ms. Severa said she was reminded of the crowds and confusion on that fateful day.

"It was a big mess," she said around 11 a.m. while waiting for the downtown No. 6 train to arrive at the 86th Street station in Manhattan.

That's right, 9/11 was just like the Lexington Ave. line shutdown, plus or minus three thousand dead. The "urban chaos" thing is a nice thouch, too.

And Nick, I know you're new to town, but the "everything has to do with 9/11" storyline kind of faded out around March '03.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 9:19 AM

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

The scalp that got away

Dearest fellow mouth-breathers:

It was so close you could smell it, you know?

It started out so well, too. There was the post by Patriot No. 1 Michelle Malkin, subsequently picked up with aplomb by our hawk-eyed colleagues, regarding the comments made by the managing editor of The Washington Post to a Chinese newspaper. And he said so many horrible, horrible things, he did. Things that he really should be fired for. And even if he didn't say them, he almost certainly believes them in his Kruhschev-loving heart, don't you know. A sampling of the near-traitorous utterances:

-America's leaders lie to us.
-Democracy might not be the only answer in Iraq.
-Aspiring journalists might want to actually go to China to get a great story.

And so on. But now -- and bear with me here, I'm so upset just thinking that someone could actually say these kinds of things -- I have to inform you that this might not have been what was actually said.

I know, I know. I was all set with the cake make-up and, like, BAM! my agent just got off the phone with some producer and told me that the Fox News Special, "Philip Bennett: Traitor?" had been spiked. Jerks. Clearly, they haven't been right in the head at FNC since they let Chris Wallace in the door.

Just, really, my deepest condolences, and this ironclad promise: We will not rest until every member of the mainstream media have been hunted down, shot in the head and peed on. I have yet to wipe the foam from my mouth in anticipation of the next great catch.

We'll always have Eason Jordan.

All the best,
Great American No. 1

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 8:47 PM

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Revenge of the Swifties

If you can stomach it, read through this dreck of an interview in the American Enterprise magazine with everyone's favortite kook, John O'Neill, if only to be reminded that some segment of the country really believes these guys are "heroes." It features such brilliant, non-chuckle-inducing questions like: "You didn't receive criticism from the media alone. Even President Bush criticized your group. Were you disappointed by his reaction?"

And get a load of the intro:
To their great surprise, the testimony of the Swift Boat veterans was simply ignored by a hostile media establishment. The veterans were tenacious, however, and eventually captured the attention of the alternate media, then finally the nation as a whole. That's when the media elites attacked them with icy ferocity.

Yes, "icy ferocity." Perhaps there was this ferocity because these guys turned out to be a bunch of hate-filled liars. Yes, liars. Did I mention they were liars? And not very good ones?

PowerLine is calling for O'Neill to be awarded a Medal of Freedom. Really ("There is no more deserving recipient"). Did you expect no less? Idiots.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 5:59 PM

What missing munitions?

Christopher Hitchens: This NYT munitions story is crap, because those sites weren't looted, but rather, part of a "carefully planned military operation!"

My second question is: What's all this about "looting"? The word is used throughout the long report, but here's what it's used to describe. "In four weeks from mid-April to mid-May of 2003 … teams with flatbed trucks and other heavy equipment moved systematically from site to site. … 'The first wave came for the machines,' Dr Araji said. 'The second wave, cables and cranes.' " Perhaps hedging the bet, the Times authors at this point refer to "organized looting."

But obviously, what we are reading about is a carefully planned military operation. The participants were not panicked or greedy civilians helping themselves—which is the customary definition of a "looter," especially in wartime. They were mechanized and mobile and under orders, and acting in a concerted fashion. Thus, if the story is factually correct—which we have no reason at all to doubt—then Saddam's Iraq was a fairly highly-evolved WMD state, with a contingency plan for further concealment and distribution of the weaponry in case of attack or discovery.

Ah, "carefully planned military operation." An operation, that say, secures the weapons sites that the President said we were going to war over?

Well, yes:

Supporters of the overdue disarmament and liberation of Iraq, all the same, can't be complacent about this story. It seems flabbergasting that any of these sites were unsecured after the occupation, let alone for so long. Did the CIA yet again lack "human intelligence" as well as every other kind? The Bush administration staked the reputation of the United States on the matter. It won't do to say that "mistakes were made."

Not that this subverts the rest of his thesis.

Also, I'm leaving out a longer discussion of Hitch's goofy WMD rant, you really have to read it for yourself to believe (Essentially: the NYT and other lefties said there were no WMD, but now the NYT said there might have been. But it doesn't matter anyway, because moving them would have left them mostly useless. So it's OK). And, surprise of surprises, The Corner links approvingly ("A must-read!" sayeth Jonah) to the story, but for some reason, doesn't quote the above line.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 2:34 PM

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Cup of Jonah

As many of you know by now, Starbucks struck on a brilliant plan to print on its cups the Deep Thoughts of our leading intellectuals -- you know, the likes of Ken Auletta, Keith Olbermann and the immortal Sue Bird.

The latest installment? Everyone's favorite cuddly tape peddler, Mr. Goldberg.

Here is his gem:
"Everywhere, unthinking mobs of “independent thinkers” wield tired clichés like cudgels, pummeling those who dare question “enlightened” dogma. If “violence never solved anything,” cops wouldn’t have guns and slaves may never have been freed. If it’s better that 10 guilty men go free to spare one innocent, why not free 100 or 1,000,000? Clichés begin arguments, they don’t settle them." -- Jonah Goldberg, editor-at-large of National Review Online.

Deep, dude. And probably better than "Now where did I put that man-juice-stained dress?"

Not to be missed: the exclusive extended Starbucks interview with Sir Jonah.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 5:17 PM

Monday, March 07, 2005

Kurt Andersen's weird non-disclosure

So is a "third-rate online almanac written by a herd of 500 amateurs." Apparently it also brings shame on The New York Times. Huh.

But wouldn't it have been interesting to note that the former parent of New York Magazine, the publication where Mr. Andersen was making this proclamation, actually owned this third-rate online almanac before selling it to The Times. And that the parent company, Primedia, also bought, Andersen's own brainchild?


My own disclosure: I frequently contribute to the NYT.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 9:32 AM

The continuing brilliance of Bill Walton

Halftime of the Sacramento Kings-Detroit Pistons game. Sacramento up by nine. Repeat. UP BY NINE. Back to the studio for incisive commentary.
Bill Walton: Detroit will win this game.

Host: ?

Steve "Snapper" Jones: Yup. Detroit is going to win this game.

Final Score: Sacramento 100, Detroit 85.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 8:08 AM

Sunday, March 06, 2005

George Will precis

Must find 6 year old retard to execute. And fast.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 9:57 AM

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Shorter Wingnuttery

In an attempt to exploit four gruesome deaths and fan the flames of religious hatred toward Muslims, we posted frequently and erroneously on events surrounding a murder in New Jersey. We, as responsible citizens, offer no apology on the matter, on which we were completely wrong. And while we take no responsibility for subsequent events (like, say rioting), we still reserve the right to act as self-appointed media critics on all other matters.

The Kooks

P.S. When we say "Thankfully--I guess--the crime was not religiously motivated" what we mean to say is, well, draw your own conclusions...

P.P.S. In case anyone was wondering, the big-time media are not without blame, either.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 11:09 AM

Is this what it's come to?

This was an AP story on Barry Bonds and his his ah, um, Steriods non-kind of experience:
Bonds did not say he had used steroids, and he said his head had not grown and his testicles had not shrunk in recent years. Certain hormones can cause head growth, and shrunken testicles can be a side effect of anabolic steroids.

Good news, indeed! And we end with this flourish:
"All this stuff about supplements, protein shakes, whatever, man, it's not like this is the Olympics," he said. "We're entertainers. If I can't go out there, and somebody pays $60 for a ticket and I'm not in the lineup, who's getting cheated? Not me.

"So we all make mistakes. We all do things. We need to turn the page. We need to forget about the past and let us play the game. We're entertainers. Let us entertain."

Free Barry Bonds!

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 10:01 AM

Friday, March 04, 2005

The NJ Coptic case

Well, as everyone who reads Jihad Watch knows (where words like "patsy" and "Kennedy" come up a lot) by now, there's much, much more to the story of a family of Christian Egyptian Copts being murdered in their home than the government's pallid explanation that it was two "deeply in debt" former drug dealers.

The government and those Trotskyites in the big-time media are still conspiring to cover this up, I tell you. They certainly have a lot to lose if the real story is found out, uh, right?

What say you, PowerLine, Glenn, other reasonable people who were on this case early, shining the light of truth and offering the voice of reason?

UPDATE: Reynolds does update, saying cryptically that the arrests are "a relief in a way." Er. Ok. So how does that stance square with this quote?
ISLAMIST MURDERS IN NEW JERSEY? Looks that way, though it's too early to be sure, and with a possible connection to the Lynne Stewart trial.

Ah, yes, classic Reynolds. Hold forth with an uninformed opinion, hedge, backtrack later, and then hope no one is looking.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 10:53 PM

Evil media at fault for low recruitment numbers

So says Lawrence Di Rita, the Pentagon's spokesman:
"That's a factor, that we're a nation at war," Lawrence Di Rita, the chief Pentagon spokesman, told reporters on Thursday. "If it's a young kid who's in high school and contemplating his future, what are his parents advising him?"

Mr. Di Rita added, "I mean, without question, when there's the kind of coverage that there has been about casualties - and we certainly mourn all the casualties, but they are covered, there's prominent media coverage of casualties in Iraq - parents factor those kinds of things in to what they want their children doing."

Hey, it's not enough that the media are rooting for our failure in Iraq, now they're driving young people away from the military? Scoundrels.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 1:01 PM

Limbaugh: Finally over the edge

Somehow, he's upset that people are "stealing" his soundbites (which he has already taken from other news outlets), and is now employing 'watermarks' on the audio. What does this mean? That periodically, during a quote (even from a caller) a faint "Hello?" and "Cuckoo" can be heard just under the audio.

The man is certifiably crazy.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 12:09 PM

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Revealing more than they intended

Just caught a Fox News anchor discussing the Newsweek-Martha-body-snatcher kerfuffle. He opined:
"Some people say, ‘This might not be journalism, what you’re looking at.’”

He was talking about Newsweek, right?

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 12:54 PM

Howard Kurtz's ethics-free world

What else is there to say about this line?
I would argue that nothing the White House has done has damaged the media's credibility more than what the profession has done to itself.


He [Bush] didn't force Armstrong Williams to take $240,000 from the Education Department (though paying conservative pundits is one of the administration's innovations).

It's kind of like saying the guy paying the bribe had nothing to do with the bribe! I like the ethical universe of Kurtz. Sign me up, baby.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 11:15 AM

Exciting Winger Cheesecake photos!

We always knew the guys at PowerLine were fabulous (view way, way down on the left-hand side where it informs, intriguingly, "No Equipment Required"). Still, we can't help but wondering after viewing this: Is JimmyJeff's new nom de guerre "Matt Furey?" Posted by Hello

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 10:57 AM

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Republican traitors?

Calling on PowerLine, Hugh Hewitt, and all other patriotic Americans! When will you denounce the traitorous Republican congressmen who want to deny our brave fighting men and women their $81.9 billion to keep us safe from Islamofascists? Truly, these are communists, or worse, appeasers. How do they think our military will defend itself? With spitballs?

I'm sure I'll be hearing much more from these folks on this very important issue.

Traitor Lineup

Who will join me in denouncing these shameful men who hate our military?

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 7:25 AM

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