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Saturday, February 12, 2005
 
I Gotta Stop Reading Andrew Sullivan--Updated

Tonight he points me to this article in the NY Times with a frenzied cry:

Yet another harrowing account of a terror detainee tortured in a secret prison by Pakistani and American soldiers.

(Article snippet)

These are now the values of the United States of America. The president continues to lie about what he is sanctioning and has sanctioned. The least we should demand is an honest public debate: what techniques are now permissible for the CIA and other agencies? Do they constitute torture?


Now let's go to the article:

Mamdouh Habib still has a bruise on his lower back. He says it is a sign of the beatings he endured in a prison in Egypt. Interrogators there put out cigarettes on his chest, he says, and he lifts his shirt to show the marks. He says he got the dark spot on his forehead when Americans hit his head against the floor at the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Well, of course, and I got this here bruise on my knee when John Kerry ran into me on the ski slopes the other day. I swear it! He even called me a son-of-a-bitch!

But let's get to know Mr Habib a little better, shall we?

There is a part of his experience that Mr. Habib will not address, the months before the Sept. 11 attacks when Australian intelligence officials say Mr. Habib trained at two camps for Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. The officials also said Mr. Habib told his wife in a phone call just days before Sept. 11 that something big was going to happen in the United States. Mr. Habib said he planned to sue the Australian government for not protecting him, and then, "I will answer every single question in a court."

American officials said he admitted to training some of the Sept. 11 hijackers and to having prior knowledge of the attack, but they never charged him. Mr. Habib said any confessions he made were a result of torture and were not genuine.


Ah, so he's an Al Qaeda operative who may have been involved in 9-11 training. I bring that up not to say he deserved whatever he got (however much some of us may feel that way), but to point out that he's hardly a credible source to anybody except Andrew Sullivan and the New York Times.

And the torture he describes also strains credulity:

Mr. Habib said he was taken to a room with hooks on the wall and a barrel, set sideways like a roller, on the floor. His arms were stretched out, he said, and each wrist was handcuffed and fastened to a hook on the wall. By his description, the only way not to be left hanging was to stand on the barrel; an electric wire ran through it. Mr. Habib said he believed the interrogators in that room were Pakistani.

Mr. Habib said that when he refused to confess to being part of a 1995 terror plot, one man turned on the current. He lifted his feet to avoid the shock, he recalled, and he was suspended from the wall.


"I lost everything," he said. He doesn't know how long he was unconscious, but he said that when he came to, he again refused to confess to terrorism.

Run that by me again, Mamdouh. Your hands are handcuffed to hooks on the wall and when you lifted your feet you lost consciousness why? I don't deny that it sounds painful to hang that way, but so painful that you blacked out?

Or how about this:

Three or four times, he said, when he was taken to an interrogation room, there were pictures doctored to make it appear that his wife was naked next to Osama bin Laden. "I see my wife everywhere, everywhere," he said.

That's actually pretty funny. Hard to believe, certainly, but pretty funny nonetheless.

But the coup de grace comes later:

He said that during one interrogation session, a woman wearing a skirt said to him, "You Muslim people don't like to see woman," he said. Then she reached under her skirt, Mr. Habib said, pulling out what he described as a bloody stick. "She threw the blood in my face," he said.

Oh, yeah. She pulled out a Kotex and spattered him with it? I suppose we have Lynndie England to thank for the fact that it's even conceivable.

Look, this is 2005. If we want to get information from people there are all sorts of methods, tortuous and otherwise that we could use. Gravy for the brain, as a movie of a decade ago put it.

I'm not defending torture here. I'm saying that this man is not particularly believable on balance unless you start from the standpoint that Bush is evil and so is the United States and its military.

Update: More incredible charges from Habib here.
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Gannon Update: Looks Like the Lefty Bloggers Came Up Empty

This interview in E&P knocks over some of the justifications the lefty bloggers and commenters here have offered in defense of their swarming on Jeff Gannon:

Guckert said that contrary to many press reports, he was never subpoenaed by the special prosecutor and has never testified before a grand jury in the case. But he said he was interviewed by two FBI agents in his home for about 90 minutes last year.

So much for the "treason" charges.

"I requested clearance each day via an e-mail to the White House Press office the night before. I gave them my professional name, my legal name, my social security number, my address and phone number, and the news service where I worked," he said. "I assumed that there was some kind of cursory check that they do, but did not know what. They never asked me for more information." He said he usually went to press briefings there “at least once a week," or more.

On those days, he said, "I would go to the guard gate and show my driver's license with my legal name, and they looked me up on the computer and let me in." He said he would receive a day pass, which has no name -- Gannon or Guckert -- on it.


So much for obtaining press passes under an assumed name.

You know, I wonder if at the end of the day, all they're going to be left with is that he's gay and he set up some gay porn sites. Also note how outcoming Gannon has been, giving interviews on NPR, TV and to E&P.

Bill Ardolino at InDC Journal has a look at Gannon's involvement in the Plame affair and comes to the same conclusion.

Tom Maguire's on the same beat.

Now, for a bit of bonus hilarity, Intrepid Reporter Jeff Gannon also asked Amb. Wilson about a Nick Kristof column written on Oct. 11; this appears in the Kos timeline at Nov. 3, 2003.

These lefty bloggers seem to be about as good as CBS News at sniffing out the truth.
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Easongate Post Mortems

Michelle Malkin got up a great post last night covering the entire history of L'affaire Eason

The shock waves that have overwhelmed CNN started with a single blogger and reverberated worldwide. I agree with Rony Abovitz that there should be no joy in watching Eason Jordan's downfall. But there is certainly great, unadulterated satisfaction in seeing the collective efforts of the blogosphere--citizens and professional journalists among them--produce the one thing the MSM has for too long escaped in its walled-off world: accountability.

I concur with her comment about not celebrating Eason's demise so much as celebrating the successful defense of the honor of our fighting men and women. Indeed, I look at this as something of a continuation of the Stop Kerry campaign. Why did Vietnam vets hate Kerry with such a passion? Because he impugned their integrity.

Captain Ed has so much content that it's a bit counterproductive to highlight one single post. Just keep scrolling; there's lots there.

La Shawn Barber gets a mention in today's Day By Day cartoon!

Easongate says, Mission Accomplished!

Congrats to all the bloggers whose hard work brought down the man who slandered our troops, especially Rony Abovitz, whose post at the World Economic Forum blog launched the scandal, and Peter Cook at Slubblog, who I believe is the one who located earlier remarks by Jordan that helped to establish that this was a pattern of behavior by the CNN head honcho, not just an isolated incident. When the book is written of this event (as inevitably it will), Peter's contribution will be considered key.

And, just so we don't turn this into a right wing-only party, let's remember that two very liberal Democrats, Senator Christopher Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank were among the very first to protest Jordan's remarks. We may not always be on the same side in other battles, but they did an honorable job here!

Molten Thought has a great picture that sums up what happened.
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Friday, February 11, 2005
 
Tortured Logic?

This story in the New Yorker about the supposed outsourcing of US torture is getting a lot of play. But read this part from the Q&A that accompanies the story:

Amy Davidson: You begin your piece with something President Bush said recently—that “torture is never acceptable, nor do we hand over people to countries that do torture.”

Jane Mayer: President Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales all made similar statements last month, asserting that not only does the United States condemn torture, it also does not send U.S.-held suspects to other countries for torture. In reality, the record appears to be quite different. Beginning around 1995, the Central Intelligence Agency inaugurated a form of extradition sometimes referred to as "extraordinary rendition," in which captured foreign terrorism suspects have been transported by the U.S. to third countries for interrogation and prosecution. The former C.I.A. director George Tenet estimated that between the time the program started and 2001 there were some seventy renditions. Most experts suggest that since the Bush Administration launched the global war on terrorism after the attacks of September 11, 2001, that number has grown dramatically. Present and former officials involved in these renditions, including several whom I quote on the record in this week's New Yorker, suggest that, from the start, it was suspected that many of the rendered persons were tortured abroad. Certainly, in three cases where the suspects have emerged publicly to speak about their treatment—the cases of Maher Arar, Muhammed Zery, and Mamdouh Habib—they have alleged that they were tortured after the United States rendered them to other countries.

Lots of bones to chew on there. First, note that this practice began in 1995. That's back in the first Clinton term. But of course at that time, we had not even had the provocation of 9-11. So if this practice of extraordinary rendition is so awful, and it started under Clinton, then isn't the gripe with him?

Second, note the "most experts suggest... that the number has grown dramatically" BS. Who are these experts? What did they do to gain their expertise? And what is dramatically?

Third, note that the stated purpose of turning them over to other countries is "interrogation and prosecution". Are we shocked to learn that in some other countries, interrogation involves torture?

Fourth, and I hate to keep harping on this, but note the phrase "...from the start, it was suspected that many of the rendered persons were tortured abroad." You mean that Bill Clinton's administration was turning over persons to countries where he new they would be tortured? I'm shocked, shocked, I tell you!

And here's her first case (from the actual article):

Maher Arar, a Canadian engineer who was born in Syria, was surprised to learn of Bush’s statement. Two and a half years ago, American officials, suspecting Arar of being a terrorist, apprehended him in New York and sent him back to Syria, where he endured months of brutal interrogation, including torture.

Oh, I see, we turned him over to Syria and said, "Could you torture him for us a bit and let us know what he tells you?"

And later, our unnamed experts return:

Critics contend that the unstated purpose of such renditions is to subject the suspects to aggressive methods of persuasion that are illegal in America—including torture.

Then we get the news on the number of these extraordinary renditions:

Scott Horton, an expert on international law who helped prepare a report on renditions issued by N.Y.U. Law School and the New York City Bar Association, estimates that a hundred and fifty people have been rendered since 2001.

Okay, so about twice as many people have been subjected to rendition in the last three years as had been in the prior six years; an increase fourfold in the annual rate. Would it shock you to learn that our government was a little more diligent in expelling terrorist suspects in the last few years than during the Clinton Administration? But wait, there's more: Guess where these terrorist suspects are being expelled to?

The most common destinations for rendered suspects are Egypt, Morocco, Syria, and Jordan, all of which have been cited for human-rights violations by the State Department, and are known to torture suspects.

Well, hush mah mouth! Why would we be sending them to those countries? Could it possibly be that those are four of the states where terrorist suspects are likely to have come from? I do wonder about the fact that Saudi Arabia is not on that list though.

After an obligatory bash at Guantanamo (helped along by a quote from Jamie "The Wall" Gorelick), the article then proceeds to go into the long background of this practice, which remember was in place for about 6 years of the Clinton Administration.

Incredibly, the only time Clinton is mentioned is in this passage:

He recalled, “We went to the White House”—which was then occupied by the Clinton Administration—“and they said, ‘Do it.’”

The article is full of such snark that it's surprising it got past the New Yorker's editors. Get this:

The Bush Administration’s departure from international norms has been justified in intellectual terms by élite lawyers like Gonzales, who is a graduate of Harvard Law School.

Jeez, why don't you just hold up a sign exhorting the audience to boo and hiss?

I'm sorry, but this is not a serious article, it's just another attempt to bash the Bush Administration.
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FLASH--EASON JORDAN QUITS

Wow!

After 23 years at CNN, I have decided to resign in an effort to prevent CNN from being unfairly tarnished by the controversy over conflicting accounts of my recent remarks regarding the alarming number of journalists killed in Iraq.

Congrats to Captain Ed, La Shawn, and the gang over at Easongate! And to Hugh Hewitt, who once again flogged the blogs to keep on this story!
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Another Ward Churchill Update

Well, turns out that he was a Vietnam veteran, but:

Using his own sources and calling upon the investigative skills of FOX News Channel’s Rita Cosby, Mr. Newman was able to verify that Professor Churchill, despite his public claim (in a 1987 Denver Post interview) of having been a paratrooper (Airborne qualified) who conducted long-range reconnaissance patrols (LRRPs; extremely dangerous missions conducted by some of the most elite soldiers in the US Army) hunting North Vietnamese in Vietnam during and after the Tet Offensive of 1968, and despite his claim that he was a point man in an infantry combat unit, was in fact trained only as a jeep driver and projectionist (he was trained to operate film-strip machines and movie projectors), according to official documentation from the National Personnel Records Center, the US repository for military records.
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Major Blogroll Update

I'm going through Technorati and checking who's blogrolled me, and adding them to my blogroll. I'll try to introduce them individually over time, but for now, let me welcome some old friends to the blogroll:

Christian Conservative: Mike Gallaugher has a very thoughtful blog on religion and politics. Highly recommended even for those who are not devout.

Airborne Combat Engineer: ACE covers the intersection of the military and politics. Superb "real man" blog, one of our old favorites at Kerry Haters.

Small Town Veteran: Bill's a Vietnam Vet who gave us numerous leads on stories at KH. You have to scroll down a bit to get to the latest posts as Bill has a couple favorite posts always atop his blog. Through the power of the blogosphere, Bill, with a teeny, tiny assist from me helped to reunite some family members who had been separated by the death of Sgt. Jack Gell in Vietnam. I've had some thrills blogging, but that tops them all.
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Your Ten Favorite Movies?

The jabronis who run Ankle-Biting Pundits put up their personal favorites list. Here's mine:

1. The Great Escape (Best real-man movie)
2. Animal House (One of two movies I paid to see more than once in the theatre)
3. Field of Dreams
4. Star Wars (The other multiple theatre visit movie)
5. A Shot in the Dark
6. The Incredibles
7. Spiderman II (Idiosynchratic choice)
8. El Cid
9. Lord of the Rings Trilogy
10. Band of Brothers/The Longest Day/Saving Private Ryan (I'm a fanatic about D-Day)

Caveat: I'm listing them based on how I felt about them the first time I saw them; haven't seen El Cid in about 35 years.
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Gannon Update

Brian Montopoli of Columbia Journalism Review hits the some right notes here:

There's nothing that enrages partisans more than a hypocrite, and, in their zeal to take down an apparent first-rate one like Gannon, many liberals were blind to the ethical issues of exposing his private life. Gannon has every right to be gay and to aspire to become a pornography peddler (as some of the domain names he registered suggest) while serving as a GOP shill responsible for pseudo-journalism with an anti-gay undercurrent.

Brian gets the privacy/ethics issue right.

Of course, most of the folks who get enraged by hypocrites are Democrat partisans; I am trying to recall the last time I accused a Democrat of hypocrisy and not coming up with anything right now. And the hypocrisy charge seems a little hard to justify.

Most of the lefty bloggers writing about the hypocrisy issue focus on this article. But reading it, it's hard for me to see the "anti-gay undercurrent" (ignore the snide comment at the top, which was added by the poster). This is a touchy subject, but it seems to me that one can oppose the liberal gay agenda while being gay oneself (much as one can be black and oppose affirmative action). I remember a few months ago, Hugh Hewitt only took phone calls from gays for an hour on the subject of gay marriage. Of course, Hugh has a largely conservative audience, so they were mostly Republican gays. Almost to a man (don't recall if any women called in), they said they opposed gay marriage and supported civil unions.

Hat Tip: Wizbang, which has a very good post on the work of Duncan Black and Media Matters in outing Gannon.
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Dean's Ascension

Jim Pinkerton suggests maybe it won't be as good for Republicans as it seems.

Deborah Orin says there's a silver lining for Hillary.

The San Francisco Chronicle fantasizes Dean may do for liberalism what Ronald Reagan did for conservatism. (!)

And Byron York looks at outgoing DNC honcho Terry McAuliffe.
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Condi on the Social Issues

As I commented over at Roger L. Simon's, Dr. Rice's positions on social issues are currently unknown, and so some people seem to be reading her as supporting their positions. John Hawkins isn't satisfied with that, so he did some digging.

As an aside, I should mention that my experience with Affirmative Action is quite a bit different from most people. When I got out of college and started my business career, my first supervisor was black, his boss was black and his boss was black. They were all extremely bright and talented people who assisted me along the road of life in many ways. The company I worked for practiced what I consider "old-style" affirmative action: They went out and found the most talented minorities who maybe in the past had been overlooked. That's the kind of AA I support.
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Thursday, February 10, 2005
 
Instapundit Gooses Wonkette?

You'll notice that you can't see his left hand.
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I Wish I'd Thought of That

Ace of Spades has the Top Ten Conservative Reactions to the news that liberal bloggers got Jeff Gannon.
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Thanks to Hollywood

Heh.
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Mucho Updates--Updated

Ward Churchill's been getting beaten like a red-headed stepchild. He's not a real Indian (when did we revert to that term?), and he's not a real scholar.

If you're looking for updates on the Eason Jordan scandal, check out La Shawn Barber, Captain's Quarters, or Easongate.

Meanwhile, evidence continues to pour in that there is no liberal media bias. Jeff Gannon, reporter for the tiny Talon News only appears in 124 news stories on Yahoo News as of this writing. Eason Jordan, who heads up the news at CNN, appears in 46 stories.

Update: Write Winger (good name, eh?) has a follow-up on the Gannon tale.
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And We're Gonna Compete In Texas, and Alabama, and Ohio! Eeeeyyyyyyyaaaaaahhhhhh!



With Dean running the show, they may have trouble competing in Massachusetts.
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The Next Gannon?

Professor Shade has a shady past.

In a similar spirit of disclosure, I should mention here that I receive frequent emails from cheating housewives, and that I lie compulsively about my sex life (claiming that I have one). I have no current connection with the website studmuffin4u.com; I just set it up for a friend.
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Leave It to the Ankle-Biters--Updated!

During the presidential campaign we were often amazed at how well the dynamic duo over at Crush Kerry managed to predict events with astonishing success. Well, they've moved over to Ankle-Biting Pundits and are still beating the pants off the press. Yesterday the Bulldog Pundit predicted that Al Franken would run for the Senate from Minnesota to replace retiring chicken Mark Dayton. Today, a local TV station has the news.

Just one day after U.S. Sen. Mark Dayton decided not to run for a second term, comedian Al Franken may be throwing his hat into the ring.

Tomorrow's news today: that's what you get when you read Ankle-Biting Pundits!

Update: Looks like Franken's staying put at Dead Air America.

"I believe in honoring my commitments," Franken said Thursday. "I agreed to do two more years on Air America radio."

Afterwards, though, Franken admitted the truth to his mirror: "I'm not good enough, not smart enough, and doggone it, people don't like me!"
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AIDS Lesson for Kindergartners

Laura Berman has the details:

Carolyn Cohen, a Farmington Hills lawyer and mother of three, was surprised when her son, Alec, 6, came home from kindergarten carrying a note. The note said that as part of its health curriculum, students would get information about AIDS, but that parents could choose to keep their children out of the day's lesson.

But it's okay:

Here, in fact, are the four key points of the one-lesson health curriculum: 1) AIDS is a new disease, uncommon in children. 2) Health helpers are working hard to stop it. 3) Sick people need caring and concern.

The final point of this four-point program is essentially amusing: The kids learn that "teacher aides" are not the same as the illness AIDS.


In other words, the "AIDS curriculum" at the kindergarten level amounts to an acknowledgment that kids might hear the word AIDS on TV or elsewhere. It delivers some very basic, essentially reassuring, information about a bad disease and the good people trying to stop it.

Uh-huh. What is the cancer curriculum for kindergartners? And the heart attack curriculum?
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Teddy Takes the Chopper

This is rich:

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy [related, bio] - stirring memories of ex-Gov. Jane M. Swift's state police chopper boondoggle - ordered up a taxpayer-funded $2,490 helicopter ride home to Hyannisport last May after attending events in New Bedford, records show.

The 48-mile flight to Cape Cod cost U.S. taxpayers $51.87 per mile.

The senator's chopper ride home on May 21 to his family's famed compound allowed him to avoid the late Friday afternoon traffic congestion that clogs roadways and bridges to Cape Cod during the spring and summer weekends.


Of course, when one considers the cost of police divers and a crane to get the Senator's car out of the water, ol' Splash can always say that he saved the taxpayers money.
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Gannon Update II

CNN runs with the story. It's funny how left-wing bloggers can get their stories into the media rapidly, whereas the Eason Jordan story is still slowly bubbling out.

James Guckert, who reported from the White House for the Talon News Service under the name "Jeff Gannon," announced he was quitting the business "in consideration of the welfare of me and my family."

Okay, so it looks like there are some questions to be answered by the White House in terms of how this guy got press credentials under an assumed name.

A good deal of the column is devoted to the softballs that Gannon/Guckert supposedly lobbed towards the administration; no mention is made of the fact that he just balanced out Helen Thomas. The CNN column does not go into the gay issue, or the websites, or the supposed "treason" charges that the lefties are tossing around.

John Hawkins took a peek over at DU and found out that the moonbats are on the wing, suggesting that President Bush will have Gannon killed.

The Chicago Tribune covers the story as well, with an oblique reference to some of the more salacious details:

Jeff Gannon, who had been writing for the Web sites Talon News and GOPUSA, is actually James Dale Guckert, 47, and has been linked to online domain addresses with sexually provocative names. He has been under scrutiny since he asked Bush how he could work with Senate Democratic leaders "who seem to have divorced themselves from reality." The information about Gannon was posted on liberal sites including Daily Kos and Atrios.

Hat Tip: Kitty Litter
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Wednesday, February 09, 2005
 
More On Gannon

Okay, lot of comments on that post from the left. Why don't I care about Gannon's treason? Why don't I care that he got press credentials under an assumed name? Why don't I care about his prostitution business? Why don't I care that the GOP funded his employer?

The answer to all of those questions, and more is "because I don't know what's fact and what's fiction". The lefty bloggers who have blogged on Gannon's connection with the Plame affair have seized on the fact that Gannon was reportedly subpoenaed by the grand jury, but of course being asked to testify does not mean you're the guilty party.

As for the press credentials, it is far from proven that Gannon is not his real name. If it turns out to really be a pseudonym then there should be an investigation as to how he got security clearance. Ditto with the supposed prostitution business. And the evidence for the GOP funding his employer, Talon News is about the same as the GOP funding the Swiftees; yes the individuals involved appear to be Republicans, but no, there is no evidence that the national party is involved.

Amusingly, one the lefty commenters dropped this turd on my post about coming down with the flu (which is awful, thank you):

Good. It's probably G-d finally striking back at you people.

Well, hey, I mean there you have it. Another proud member of the reality-based community who thinks God makes people sick to punish them.
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Blogging Will Be Light & Feverish

Looks like that flu bug that has laid waste to Hugh Hewitt and Hindrocket has hit here as well.
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New Blogs to Check Out

The Globalization Institute has a new blog. They're in favor of globalization, as am I (free trader all the way). Looks like a professional, intelligent blog as this post reveals:

It's a common fallacy to assume that because rich countries consume, others are getting poorer. When we consume, we engage in trade with others. When we buy clothes made in a poor country, we give employment to workers in that country. If instead we chose to live simpler lives - like the supporters of "new economics" propose - we could also end up hurting those in currently poor countries. Cutting our consumption is a misnomer.

If you want all Eason Jordan, all the time, then Easongate is the blog for you.
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What Dean Means

Ankle-Biting Pundits lays out the future of the Democratic Party:

2. A disastrous strategy to "campaign in all 50 states" In a speech to the DNC Dean pledged to "campaign in all 50 states". Now while some of that may have been pandering to the lone liberal DNC member in Idaho, many Democrats actually think they need to get out their message to all 50 states to regain power. That sounds great in theory, but then that damn reality smacks you square in the face. That being the fact that not all 50 states will respond to the message. Just as it would be foolish for a national Republican to waste time and money in New York or Vermont, one has to wonder about the sanity of the Democrats thinking they can have a winning message in Alabama or Texas.

Yep. I do think it's a pro forma pledge; as we covered a long time ago, Kerry pledged to campaign in Texas, but never did. Great article by H-Bomb. (Oops! Looks like the other half of the writing team over there (Bulldog Pundit) did the work on that one! Sorry, BDP!)
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Tuesday, February 08, 2005
 
Lefty Bloggers on Gay Witchhunt--Welcome Salon & Daily Kos Readers (I suppose) and Definitely Welcome Men's News Daily, Sondra K, Chrenkoff, Right Wing News, InDC Journal, Instapundit, Polipundit & Ankle-Biting Pundit Readers (Whew!)

(Thanks for visiting! If you like what you read here, you may also enjoy Lifelike Pundits, where I am a contributor. Also, consider bookmarking this blog's home page. Lots of interesting new posts here daily!)

The big story in the lefty blogs today, getting easily as much attention over there as the Eason Jordan story on the right part of the blogosphere, is the supposed revelation that Talon News Reporter Jeff Gannon is gay. Don't have a clue as to whether it's true or not and couldn't care less. IIRC, I did link to Talon News once or twice over at KH, but I didn't kid myself that it was anything more than a seat-of-the-pants operation, and I don't particularly care what Mr Gannon (or whatever his name is; there is some dispute over that as well) does in his spare time or who he does it with.

Kos explains why it's important:

So in addition to the "hyprocrisy and sex" thing, we've got the "hypocrisy and gay" thing.

Not that there's anything wrong with that:

I, along with most liberals, couldn't care less if one of our colleagues or employees is gay.

But if he's not a colleague or employee, screw 'im, eh?

Media Matters covers it as well.

Talon News "reporter" Jeff Gannon's softball questions often steer White House press secretary Scott McClellan away from more difficult inquiries raised during White House press briefings; on several occasions, McClellan has turned to Gannon for his questions after other press corps members have asked pointed questions on controversial topics.

Atrios contributes a list of websites that are supposedly owned by Bedrock Corporation, who is supposedly controlled by Gannon, who supposedly is really named Jim Guckert.

Wonkette somehow misses referencing anal sex in this snarkathon post about Gannon.

I mean, seriously. We hear constantly about how our side is gay intolerant. But who on our side would be interested if it turned out that some minor lefty or righty blogger/journalist turned out to be gay? I've heard rumors about various Republicans, but you know why? Because I read the lefty blogs. This may shock the left, but we really, really don't care who's gay. Letting us know won't change our opinion of them.

What it's really about? The liberals like to claim that it's hypocrisy, but you know how that goes; if you're a liberal gay journalist people would be horrified at the notion of "outing" you to the world like this, but if you're a conservative gay journalist it's quite alright. This is not about gay or straight, this is about liberal or conservative.

And who are they fired up about being gay? No offense to Mr Gannon, but he's a nobody. Hey, so am I for that matter. So if you're a little guy, and you're gay, and you're conservative... well, according to the tolerant left, you're fair game. And not only that, but worthy of being swarmed by the biggest bloggers on the left for signs of homosexuality.

Update: Gannon has resigned his position with Talon. The Lefty bloggers have gotten their witch.

To reply to some of the comments:

I guess it's fair to say that his supposed running of gay porn sites makes it a little different than him just being gay. Not that there's anything wrong with either, right?

Some have focused on his supposed shilling for the President. I can see why that makes you dislike him; I still can't see what it has to do with him being gay. And although he was able to ask questions at White House Press Conferences, it's not as if his resignation is going to suddenly going to clear that room of any reporters sympathetic to the administration.

This is crap. You people care and you care deeply. It is an article of faith with you that Homosexuality is bad and that homosexuals deserve no protection from your bigoted storm-troopers. Yet gay people are at the very top of your party.

Sort of disproved the theory that we don't like them, yourself, there, didn't you? For the record here, I oppose gay marriage because it isn't marriage. But, I recognize that the call for gay marriage is in response to legitimate grievances that gay couples have (e.g., being able to visit a partner in the ICU). I absolutely believe that we should redress those grievances, and that some form of civil union may be the best way to accomplish that.

Update II: Emailer Chuck responds to the criticism of Talon News, and Charlie Quidnunc has a podcast (with text version as well) of the story.

Charlie put a longer snippet of the Kos post on his site, which demonstrates that, at least for Kos, it's a gay issue:

In case this isn't clear enough, those last three are gay sex-themed names. Suddenly, his picture looks appropriately in character.

John Hawkins has more including the fevered fantasies of the DU crowd.

Update III

For those of you claiming it's not about Gannon being gay, you'll just have to agree to disagree with the sainted Kos:

Asked if digging into someone's personal and business activities was proper retaliation, Moulitsas said: "If that's what it took to really bring attention to him, it's one of those unfortunate facts of reality in the way we operate today. It's sex that really draws attention to these things."

I rest my case.

Hat Tip: Wizbang
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Babbling Brooks

My goodness, this is the "conservative" voice at the Times?

Under one version of KidSave, the government would open tax-deferred savings accounts for each American child, making a $1,000 deposit at birth, and $500 deposits in each of the next five years. That money could be invested in a limited number of mutual funds, but it couldn't be withdrawn until retirement.

Over decades, it would grow and grow, thanks to the wonders of compound interest, so that by the time workers retired, they would each have a substantial nest egg, over $100,000, waiting for them.


This is, of course, a variation on the proposal offered in The Stakeholder Society, a book which got a lot of attention in the lefty media outlets briefly, although the authors proposed to give $80,000 to everybody on the occasion of their 21st birthday.

Look, people who first become acquainted with compound interest invariably make the mistake of assuming that it's something miraculous. And inevitably they make these ridiculous proposals that involve putting away a pittance now, in return for mucho dinero in the future. And you can see that Brooks really hasn't though this through:

We'd have to take care of today's 20-somethings, who are already too old to benefit from the new accounts, but this proposal would lead to less red ink than the president's current plan.

Why don't the 20-somethings benefit from those accounts? The answer, of course, is that they do, but they have 20 fewer years left for the compound interest to do their "magic".

Update:

Alright, I'm an idiot. I should have done the numbers. Looking at Brooks' proposal after running it through the spreadsheet, it appears that he's projecting a 5.5% return. Which is certainly not agressive, although he does not explain if these are inflation adjusted dollars. But supposing he is (which would surely horrify Krugman), if $100,000 is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, I'm a little under-impressed. So the notion that this proposal would somehow move us away from Social Security is absurd.

I rebuke the NY Times' most partisan Democrat pundit over at Lifelike.
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Jordangate Hits the MSM

Unfortunately Howard Kurtz, who has a show on CNN, alibis for his boss:

Two other panelists backed Jordan's account. David GergeTwo other panelists backed Jordan's account. David Gergen, editor at large at U.S. News & World Report, said he "sort of gasped" when Jordan spoke of journalists being "deliberately killed," but that Jordan "realized, as soon as he said it, he'd gone too far" and "walked it back." Jordan then expressed "a very deep concern about whether our soldiers on the ground level are using as much care as they should" when journalists are involved, said Gergen, who moderated the discussion.

The tiny New York Sun covers the story better.

In an interview with The New York Sun, [Congressman Barney] Frank said Mr. Jordan discussed in detail the plight of an Al-Jazeera reporter who had been detained by American forces, was made to eat his shoes while incarcerated in the Abu Ghraib prison, and was repeatedly mocked by his interrogators as "Al-Jazeera boy."
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Monday, February 07, 2005
 
American Culture Won't Take Over the World

Mark Steyn mentioned this column (see my previous post) by Martin Jacques, about how American values and culture won't necessarily be adopted by the rest of the world.

The pastoral concept of the Chinese state, for example, its obligation to take care of the people, that dates back to the responsibilities of the emperor, and is also related to the concept of the extended family, is likely to become an increasingly familiar idea. There is the Chinese concept of min jian, not easily translatable - either linguistically or culturally - but which might be described in shorthand as the expression of Chinese tradition, from superstition to folklore, in everyday life, which remains a potent force in all Chinese societies to this day. More obviously, the very different notions of the family in Indian and Chinese culture are likely to become globally familiar; indeed, in a limited way, they already are.

Amusingly, Jacques includes his email address at the bottom of the page: martinjacques1@aol.com. That's right, his email is not from China Online.
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Steyn in Rare Form

Kitty picked up on this rather amusing story about a man who peed his way out of an avalanche thanks to his abundant supply of beer, but Steyn uses it to hilarious effect:

I read that item on January 29. The next day Iraq voted and, scanning the coverage from Toronto to Sydney via Dublin, London, Paris and Berlin, I had an eerie sense of déjà vu. The Western media appear to have decided that any good news out of Iraq is one almighty neocon snow job and the only thing to do is emulate Mr Kral and urinate all over it.

Worth the full read.
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Abu Guantanamo

Bob Herbert has tales of the horror:

We know that people were kept in cells that in some cases were the equivalent of animal cages, and that some detainees, disoriented and despairing, have been shackled like slaves and left to soil themselves with their own urine and feces. Detainees are frequently kicked, punched, beaten and sexually humiliated. Extremely long periods of psychologically damaging isolation are routine.

Okay, the kicked, punched, beaten and sexually humiliated sounds bad; not sure the extremely long periods of psychologically blahblahblah are a problem.

Still it is not hard to see the intent of this stuff: to somehow prove George W. Bush is ever bit as intolerant of minorities as Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Except of course that Bush never authorized mass internment of people by virtue off race or religion, only by whether they were allowed combatants by the rules of warfare.

So we are stuck for the time being with the disgrace of Guantánamo, which will forever be a stain on the history of the United States, like the internment of the Japanese in World War II.

It always amuses me that liberals like Herbert are happy to denounce the US for the Japanese internment without ever recognizing that it was the liberal of the century who signed the order.

As for Herbert's point, here is the obvious rebuttal. Roosevelt interned American citizens by the hundreds of thousands because they happened to be Japanese. Are there American citizens at Guantanamo?
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Sunday, February 06, 2005
 
Great game by both teams. I picked the Patriots to win, but thought Philly would keep it close. Obviously everybody will question tomorrow whether the Eagles should have kicked away after the touchdown. Westbrook was an idiot for catching that ball over the middle, and the Eagles did a horrific job of recovering from that, taking 24 seconds off the clock.

New England moves into rarified territory; only Dallas has won three Super Bowls in four years. Aikman started his postseason career 7-0; had the Cowboys not self-destructed in the first five minutes of the 1994 NFC Championship, he might have been 12-0 with four consecutive Super Bowls.

Still, two consecutive 14-2 regular seasons capped by 3-0 runs through the playoffs and Super Bowl, put the Patriots at the very pinnacle. They have now won 34 games in the last two seasons, which I believe is a record. Four losses in two seasons? Definitely nobody's compiled that kind of record in the 16-game era.

On the other hand, the Patriots are the first team to win three Super Bowls without blowing out at least one of their SB opponents. Every single one of their Super Bowl victories has been by a margin of three points precisely.

Still, Brady moves into the inner circle of NFL QBs, and younger by far than the guys who preceded him. He must be considered a candidate for the greatest player of all time; not based on what he's done so far entirely, but on where he is on the list at a very young age.

(Crossposted at Lifelike Pundits)
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Blogger Roundup

Kitty says, "Can I do it 'till I need glasses?" Be sure to click on the links.

Young Pundit is blogging up a storm. Keep scrolling.

Little Bit Tired, Little Bit Worn blogs on Linux versus Windows.

Michael King says take the Eagles, but take the points too!
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Cracks in the Wall of Silence

Eason Jordan hits the Toledo Blade today, in a Jack Kelly column.

The scandalous remarks of Eason Jordan, CNN's top news executive, last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and the failure of the major media to report them suggest the distortions are deliberate.

Mr. Jordan told a panel that the U.S. military had killed a dozen journalists in Iraq, and that they had been deliberately targeted. When challenged, Mr. Jordan could provide no evidence to support the charge, and subsequently lied about having made it, though the record shows he had made a similar charge a few months before, and also earlier had falsely accused the Israeli military of targeting journalists.

Mr. Jordan's slander has created a firestorm in the blogosphere, but has yet to be mentioned in the "mainstream" media.


The Riverside Press-Enterprise also has a look at the scandal.

Jordan's words matter because CNN is, in the eyes of much of the world, the "voice of America." If its news chief is reporting fabrications to global leaders at elite summits, it's another blow to media credibility at home, and to the United States' reputation abroad.

Hat Tip: Captain's Quarters.
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