Friday, March 31, 2006

Clarence Thomas visits Limbaugh's home

I'm sure he felt quite at home with the nasty, bigoted, junkie hatemonger.

Yesterday I flew the "24" contingent that was at the party down here to Palm Beach. We had a blowout dinner party last night at my house, it ended at three a.m. At 1:30 this morning a bunch of us are out by the pool, and Surnow comes in, “I want some bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches.” We just finished eating at ten o'clock. So we hustled up some bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches. Listen to the guest list. I had Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and his wife, Ginny, last night...

And, yes, the producers of "24," apparently are huge Rush fans and were on the program yesterday.

UPDATE: Found this on regarding a book on Thomas:

Foskett also unearths a few curious facts about Thomas. His favorite movie is "The Fountainhead," based on the Ayn Rand novel about a fiercely independent architect who dynamites his own building rather than see his ideas compromised; each year Thomas hosts a required screening of the movie for his law clerks.

Also, Foskett reports that among the things that cheered Thomas during his recovery from his confirmation battle was discovering Rush Limbaugh. "He listened for hours on end to the conservative commentator blast the liberal media and excoriate the Democrats on Capitol Hill," Foskett writes. "Limbaugh's rants gave voice to his own anger."

"The Fountainhead" as required viewing? Frightening.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 11:55 AM


You know, one of these days the Keyboard Kommandos are going to wake up and realize that calling themselves things like "conscripts" in the Galactic Conflagration on the Boogeyman is really a terrible character flaw.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 10:22 AM

Thursday, March 30, 2006


Thank the heavens Jill Carroll has been released. I had been very gloomy about her prospects, and am utterly relieved she has been spared.

And yet, for reasons only he can explain, John Podhoretz feels the need to add his own sick Insta-analysis:

It's wonderful that she's free, but after watching someone who was a hostage for three months say on television she was well-treated because she wasn't beaten or killed -- while being dressed in the garb of a modest Muslim woman rather than the non-Muslim woman she actually is -- I expect there will be some Stockholm Syndrome talk in the coming days.

What a contemptible idiot.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 1:15 PM

On film

Is there nothing better than Turner Classic Movies? As a newbie fan of old-time movies, I have become obsessed with this channel (which is commercial-free, a plus), and have been able to catch a lot of the classic Billy Wilder films I'd missed before (Sunset Boulevard, Double Indemnity, Foreign Affair), along with fantastic movies like Bridge on the River Kwai, The Lady Eve, tons of Hitchcock I'd been dying to see, Marx Bros. films, and on and on. And a Miyazaki celebratoin, to boot!

Still, I'm concerned that TCM plans to add a "TCM 2" toward the end of the year, billed as the channel showing the "core" library like Casablanca and White Heat.

As for tonight? Jason and the Argonauts. 10 PM.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 12:32 PM

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Hugh Hewitt, Terror Warrior

The third-tier talk show host strapped on his kevlar helmet and bravely reported from the front lines of the terror war while interviewing Michael Ware, a Time Baghdad correspondent:

MW: Let's look at it this way. I mean, you're sitting back in a comfortable radio studio, far from the realities of this war.

HH: Actually, Michael, let me interrupt you.

MW: If anyone has a right...

HH: Michael, one second.

MW: If anyone has a right to complain, that's what...

HH: I'm sitting in the Empire State Building. Michael, I'm sitting in the Empire State Building, which has been in the past, and could be again, a target. Because in downtown Manhattan, it's not comfortable, although it's a lot safer than where you are, people always are three miles away from where the jihadis last spoke in America. So that's...civilians have a stake in this. Although you are on the front line, this was the front line four and a half years ago.

I am in awe of Mr. Hewitt's bravery. And just a few days ago, we hear, Hugh actually got on a PATH train that went RIGHT THROUGH Ground Zero. Somehow, some way, he survived.

As funny as the above exchange is ("I'm on the front lines, too!") it opens a useful window onto the soul of the Keyboard Kommandos. See, when Hugh Hewitt is ensconced in a cushy office in the Empire State building, he actually imagines himself as a brave soldier on the front lines in the Universal Conflict Against the Evildoers. When he is on the airplane, he is an intelligence officer against fanatical Islamofascists. When he is on the shitter, he is a grunt in a conflagration against the fanatical jihadis who want to subjugate us all under their Islamic caliphate.

God bless the terror hero, Hugh Hewitt. You, sir, are a great American.

UPDATE: I don't want to let this pass by, but Hewitt suggests that Ware, an Australian, is a traitor for reporting behind the lines of the insurgency and strongly hints that he should be "recalled" by Time. Read the entire interview with Ware and more here if you must.

ALSO: Welcome, Eschatonians and many, many, many others.

MUCH LATER: Hewitt responds, sort of. He actually takes aim at CJR Daily (which picked up this post) and attacks with what can only be described as bluster and misdirection:

Transparent idiocy of this sort usually doesn't get a reply from me, but the point I was making to Mr. Ware bears repeating: The front lines of the war change, from NYC, to Bali, to London, to Beslan, to everywhere the jihadists want to strike. Mr. Ware has special knoweldge of the precincts around Iraq, but not of the jihadist threat, and he cannot trump critics of his coverage by arguing he's in harm's way.

Soak that in. See, when Hewitt makes a point of interrupting war correspondent Ware in the exchange excerpted above to state that he is sitting in the Empire State Building, he is really just saying that the "front lines" are everywhere: not just where people are getting blown up on a daily basis. Can't argue with that logic. Erego, if Hewitt were in, say, Southern California, where he normally broadcasts, he might say something enlightening like: "One second! Just one second! I'm broadcasting from a basement in a nondescript building next to a Taco Bell. It is a central front in the War on Terror."

And no one would laugh at that, either.

ALSO: This is one of my all-time favorite Hewitt posts on why reporters were directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of New Orleans residents.

MUCH LATER: Old link to Hewitt interview dead. New link better.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 8:32 AM

Freedom in Kurdistan?

I had seen this story a few days ago, buried along with the daily round-up of car bombs and bodies found in the street. Kamal Sayid Qadir, an Austrian national now living in the Kurdish north of Iraq, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for writing web articles critical of Massoud Barzani, the Kurdish leader and former ally of Saddam Hussein. He had initially been sentenced to 30 years.

Another Kurd is facing prosecution on similar defamation charges.

Freedom and democracy, baby.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 6:51 AM

Somebody tell Ralph Peters

Civil war? Pshaw! Where are the tent cities? Where are the internally displaced refugees?

Here they are.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 6:40 AM

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A serious person

Professor, public intellectual and deeply serious pundit Glenn Reynolds roots through his archives and re-runs one of his greatest hits on Francis Fukuyama: "I've never taken Fukuyama all that seriously," the man decress. Fukuyama is "not a serious person." He is "naive." He is "ill-informed." Oh, and he is a man of "intellectual sloppiness and rash pronouncements."

In other news, Keanu Reeves has announced he will be giving Anthony Hopkins acting lessons.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 2:32 PM

Limbaugh selectively quotes himself

Well, what else would you expect? He slams a 16-year-old golfer for being a "triumph of marketing," and then shucks-and-jives on his program to explain that what he was really saying should be considered a *snort* "compliment."

LIMBAUGH: TIME Magazine's Ten Questions with Michelle Wie and asked her what she thought of what I had said. Well, the problem is, what I said was not totally reported. They asked me about Michelle Wie and I said, "Well, she's a triumph of marketing right now. She hasn't won anything. It's time to get some wins under her belt. If she wants to play the male tour, if she wants to play the PGA Tour, get some wins." It was assumed, though, when you just take the first thing that I said, which was "she's a triumph of marketing," which she is, and it's not a put down!

Click the link. Always click the link. Here's what Rush actually said:

It's a triumph of marketing. If she really wants to play with the men, it's
fine. Let her try for a tour card. But now it's a marketing tool they're using
to build her to up to a level much greater than her actual accomplishments
. At some point, she has to get some wins.

That's a shade different from how he "quoted" himself. He's essentially saying she has accomplished nothing whatsoever, and the only reason she's well-known is through spin and marketing. Hm. Let's see, you've essentially called someone a fraud, a phony and a product of marketing. Ah, but see, it's a compliment!

Still, the best part of the Time interview is Wie's response to the Limbaugh slam:

Q. Rush limbaugh reportedly said something about you recently [calling her a "triumph of marketing"]

WIE: Huh? Who's that?

Q. You don't know who Rush Limbaugh is?

WIE: Uh oh. He's on the radio. I don't listen to the radio much.

Hilarious. She barely even knows he exists, which for a narcissist like Limbaugh, must burn worse than the noon-day sun.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 12:36 AM

Monday, March 27, 2006

Insane Quote of the Day

I found this pearl of wisdom from a site called Big Lizards, which garnered an approving nod from Larry, Curly and Moe over at Power Line:

Virtually every problem facing America today is either caused or at least exacerbated by the madness of the mainstream media

That is so true. Not too long ago, I was reading something by Hugh Hewitt, who quite astutely noted that the media "ended up killing hundreds of Americans" in New Orleans. Pens without caps, notebooks with exposed coil and spiky tape recorders were involved, we hear. Oh, when, oh when, will the Evil Lords of the Media be tracked down and executed?

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 4:56 PM


But what of all the good news in Iraq? Well, perhaps we should turn to the Iraqi bloggers, who as everyone knows by now, provide an unfiltered lens on Mesopotamia that is an antidote to those negative nellies in the big time media: [via Belmont Club]

Someone shouts: “drag the Wahhabi,” while another describes him as a “bastard.” They pause a moment to search for a wire, then they dump him on the side of the road. Another militiaman suggests they bury him. “What do you mean bury him?” the gang leader snaps back with indignation. “Leave him here to the dogs.” Then they joke about his underwear and cover the corpse with a cardboard.

Note that life looks absolutely normal in the surroundings. You can see children running about, stores open, religious holiday flags and even a traffic jam. Perhaps Ralph Peters will happen to drive by with an American army patrol and enjoy the scene of children cheering for the troops, while wondering where his civil war is, dude.


Permalink posted by Jonathan : 10:55 AM

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Civil War or no, Prof?

Obviously, Prof. Cole is a great deal more learned than I on matters Middle Eastern, and has provided some interesting, if pessimistic analysis of our adventure in Iraq, but I think there's a contradiction in what he's been writing recently and what he'd written as recently as three months ago.

Cole on March 25, 2006:

Year Four of Iraq Civil War: 51 Killed

Cole on December 27 2005:

[MYTH] 8. Iraq is already in a civil war, so it does not matter if the US simply withdraws precipitately, since the situation is as bad as it can get. No, it isn't. During the course of the guerrilla war, the daily number of dead has fluctuated, between about 20 and about 60. But in a real civil war, it could easily be 10 times that. Some estimates of the number of Afghans killed during their long set of civil wars put the number at 2.5 million, along with 5 million displaced abroad and more millions displaced internally. Iraq is Malibu Beach compared to Afghanistan in its darkest hours. The US has a responsibility to get out of Iraq responsibly and to not allow it to fall into that kind of genocidal civil conflict.

So...The country wasn't in the midst of a civil war in December, but now, only three months later, is indeed in the midst of a civil war and has been so for the past three-plus years. Uh, perhaps a word of explanation is in order?

Let me just add that I have no clue as to whether Iraq is in a "civil war" a "low-grade civil war" a "deepening cycle of sectarian violence" or some other such designation. I'm just sitting here in America reading what I can. Still, it would be interesting to get the Professor's take on why he's changed his mind, and retroactively declared the last three-plus years a "civil war."

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 9:40 AM

Friday, March 24, 2006

The MSM straw dude

Jay Rosen, in the midst of a meditation on the Ben Domenech-Red America flap, lets slip this astute comment:

But in fact there is no MSM. No one answers for it. It has no address. And no real existence independent of the dreary statements in which it is bashed. Therefore it is not a term of accountability, which is one reason it’s grown so popular. No one’s accountable; therefore all rants can be right. If you’re a blogger, and you write things like, “The MSM swallowed it hook, line and sinker,” you should know that you have written gibberish. But you probably don’t, for to keep this knowledge from you is the leaden genius of MSM.

I'd never thought of it that way. Genius.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 6:22 PM

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Subtle stab-in-the-backery

I think President has been getting coaching from those semioticians in the righty blogosphere:

BUSH: ...In spite of the bad news on television -- and there is bad news; you brought it up. You said, How do I react to a bombing that took place yesterday? It's precisely what the enemy understands is possible to do. I'm not suggesting you shouldn't talk about it. I'm certainly not being -- please don't take that as criticism. But it also is a realistic assessment of the enemy's capability to affect the debate, and they know that.

They're capable of blowing up innocent life so it ends up on your TV show. And, therefore, it affects the woman in Cleveland you were talking to.

That's almost complete incoherence.

I don't think Bush even knew what was going on in Iraq today. This was an allusion to a daring prison break led by 100 insurgents which wound up killing 18 people and releasing dozens of -- well, how to put it? -- terrorists who are hellbent on blowing up innocent life. Bush believes that reporting on this and discussing this somehow erodes our resolve to fight and gives succor to our enemies.

I'm sure the rightie blogosphere will rejoice.

AND, how could we miss this with regard to the Feingold-censure resolution:

I think during these difficult times -- and they are difficult when we are at war -- the American people expect there to be an honest and open debate without needless partisanship. And that's how I view it. I did notice that nobody from the Democratic Party has actually stood up and called for the getting rid of the terrorist surveillance program. You know, if that's what they believe, if people in the party believe that, then they ought to stand up and say it. They ought to stand up and say, The tools we're using to protect the American people shouldn't be used. They ought to take their message to the people and say, Vote for me. I promise we're not going to have a terrorist surveillance program. That's what they ought to be doing. That's part of what is an open and honest debate.

Uh, that answer is dripping with rank dishonesty. Feingold himself, on the floor of the Senate said that he supported wiretapping, but that he did not support the President's apparent illegal swerve around the law.

No one questions whether the government should wiretap suspected terrorists. Of course we should, and we can under current law. If there were a demonstrated need to change that law, Congress could consider that step. But instead the President is refusing to follow that law while offering the flimsiest of arguments to justify his misconduct.

That is what every single critic has said. It's sickening that the President would completely mischaracterize Feingold by saying that he is calling for the abolition of the program. Par for the course, though.

UPDATE: I should add that it's fairly obvious what Bush is doing here, throwing down the gauntlet in an election year and trying to define the type of debate that will dominate the lead-up to November: questioning the legality of the spy program means you don't want to win the war. It'll be interesting to see if the Democrats back down in the face of this.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 12:48 PM

Monday, March 20, 2006

Look, the war may be lost. But fighting it was the right thing to do!

That's about the upshot of this sentiment, no?

History, ultimately, will prove those of us who supported the strategy of the Iraq campaign as part of a larger war on Islamic terror correct in our principles—and this regardless of the outcome. [emphasis in original]

Put that on a plaque and hang it over your toilet.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 8:09 PM

Sunday, March 19, 2006

He said what?

From today's "Face the Nation" with Bob Schieffer, Dick Cheney provides the lasted installment for our ongoing series, Great Moments in Vice Presidenting (Part XVIII):

SCHIEFFER: I know Secretary Rumsfeld once offered to resign. Have you ever thought of that? Or would you think that would be something that would be helpful to the president?

CHENEY: Well, I made sure both in 2000 and 2004 that the president had other options. I mean, I didn't ask for this job. I didn't campaign for it. I got drafted. And delighted to serve. And it's been the highlight of my career, to be part of this administration. I've now been elected to a second term; I'll serve out my term.

And that's absolutely true! Because, you see, he didn't ask for the job. He got drafted. By himself.

In the spring of 2000, Cheney’s two worlds—commerce and politics— merged. Halliburton allowed its C.E.O. to serve simultaneously as the head of George W. Bush’s Vice-Presidential search committee. At the time, Bush said that his main criterion for a running mate was “somebody who’s not going to hurt you.” Cheney demanded reams of documents from the candidates he considered. In the end, he picked himself—a move that his longtime friend Stuart Spencer recently described, with admiration, as “the most Machiavellian fucking thing I’ve ever seen.”

POSTCRIPT: I wasn't sure I heard this right, but turns out I did. Earlier in the interview, Cheney had this to say about our allies in the Middle East:

We'll use our intelligence and our military services very aggressively. And we have. We did it in Afghanistan, we've done it in Pakistan, we're working with the Paks, we captured or killed hundred of Al Qaida.

We're working with the "Paks"? The Paks? It may not be as bad as, say, "Paki" but still, holey freakin' moley.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 5:06 PM

Friday, March 17, 2006

I said move those goalposts. Now.

Some wise heads in the blog-world have come to inform us that we simply won't know whether our adventure in the Levant will be the stunning success it is destined to be until we're, well, dead:

In truth, we likely won't know whether the Iraq war was a success or a failure, a good idea or a bad idea, for another twenty or thirty years, when the consequences of the effort not only in Iraq, but throughout the region, become clear. For now, we can only guess.

Yes, we can only guess. I wonder why someone would take that perspective?

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 10:56 AM

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Fred Barnes, Soothsayer

The executive editor of the Weekly Standard apparently just finished filling out his tournament brackets and on Brit Hume's show yesterday turned his powers of prediction to everyone’s favorite game, Iraq:

There is not going to be a civil war. I think the chances of a civil war are nil. And the Iraqis didn't come to the abyss. They got nowhere near the abyss. They weren't looking into the abyss.

Chances are nil? I'll take the over on that bet.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 12:24 PM


I'll leave aside the claims of reportorial dastardliness from Ralph "My Tour in Iraq Included Speaking With Exactly Zero Iraqis But I'll Make Claims About What The 'Average' Iraqi Thinks, Anyway" Peters, and instead I'll highlight this absolute gem of barely concealed racism:

Much could still go wrong. The Arab genius for failure could still spoil everything.

See, we tried to bring Democracy to those backward A-rabs, but they're just too durn stupid to make it work.

OK, fine, read this howler of a "myth," too.

Reconstruction efforts have failed. Just not true. The American goal was never to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure in its entirety. Iraqis have to do that.

Really? Huh. Well, I suppose after we pull out in a year or so, God or Jesus or Allah or something will make everything fine in Babylon.

[Link courtesy of an apparently approving InstaPundit]

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 10:45 AM

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