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Saturday, April 08, 2006
 
Iran Amok?

Seymour Hersh, who's seldom right on anything, is probably right that Iran is moving to the front burner.

The officials say that President Bush is determined to deny the Iranian regime the opportunity to begin a pilot program, planned for this spring, to enrich uranium.

American and European intelligence agencies, and the International Atomic Energy Agency (I.A.E.A.), agree that Iran is intent on developing the capability to produce nuclear weapons. But there are widely differing estimates of how long that will take, and whether diplomacy, sanctions, or military action is the best way to prevent it. Iran insists that its research is for peaceful use only, in keeping with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and that it will not be delayed or deterred.


Predictably, the wailing has started on the Left side of the blogosphere:

Mahablog:

Our President, George W. Bush, has a messiah complex and is convinced that “saving Iran is going to be his legacy.”

Our Leaker in Chief may have no credibility left, but his chutzpah remains intact, armed and loaded for bear. Now can we censure him? Because nothing short of bringing him to account, making him realize he's not king, will stop this megalomaniac from moving from Iraq to Iran.

Honestly, the liberals are like little children on a long trip in the car. "Can we censure him now, Dad? Can we?"

The part that seems to be drawing the most attention is the possible use of nukes against Iran.

One of the military’s initial option plans, as presented to the White House by the Pentagon this winter, calls for the use of a bunker-buster tactical nuclear weapon, such as the B61-11, against underground nuclear sites. One target is Iran’s main centrifuge plant, at Natanz, nearly two hundred miles south of Tehran. Natanz, which is no longer under I.A.E.A. safeguards, reportedly has underground floor space to hold fifty thousand centrifuges, and laboratories and workspaces buried approximately seventy-five feet beneath the surface. That number of centrifuges could provide enough enriched uranium for about twenty nuclear warheads a year. (Iran has acknowledged that it initially kept the existence of its enrichment program hidden from I.A.E.A. inspectors, but claims that none of its current activity is barred by the Non-Proliferation Treaty.) The elimination of Natanz would be a major setback for Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but the conventional weapons in the American arsenal could not insure the destruction of facilities under seventy-five feet of earth and rock, especially if they are reinforced with concrete.

Dan Riehl points out that some of the folks writing on this topic have sort of skipped over the bunker-buster tactical part and started writing "Bush is going to nuke Iran!"

Some smaller blogs:

Blogbrief:

The myopic irony of even considering the fantastic phantasm that some kind of "good outcome" could somehow issue from attacks on Iran--given the delusional rhetoric that led to our current posture in Iraq and our dismal stature in the world community--is staggering. It is truly disturbing that the horrid inhumanity of initiating such a crime as preemptive thermonuclear warfare is even being considered. Then again, the Bush Administration believes that it creates its own reality.

Not finding a good, small conservative blog with a take on this story. Anybody? Bueller?
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Impeachment Watch Update

Just in case you forget why we've got to retain control of the House and Senate:

Leaders of the state Democratic Party voted Saturday to urge Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against President Bush.

The vote makes Vermont's Democratic Party committee the fifth to do so, following New Mexico, Nevada, North Carolina and Wisconsin, party officials in Vermont said.
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Good Point

Our buddy Chris at Lucky Dawg gets mentioned in a Sporting News article on the Dateline/NASCAR story. I haven't covered it here, but Dateline was looking for people to dress up as Muslims and attend a NASCAR event in the hopes that they would encounter hatred and prejudice.

I don't agree with the writer's take on the story:

I see where these guys are coming from, but I don't totally share their outrage. The premise of the story -- NBC sent people dressed like Muslims to the race at Martinsville to see how fans would react -- really doesn't bother me all that much. It's annoying and everything, but it's hardly an illegitimate way to gather news.

The part that galls me the most is the idea that, oh, Muslims at a NASCAR event would be more likely to experience prejudice than, say, white guys in Harlem, or Jews in Gaza. But you know how it is, those experiences wouldn't offer Dateline the chance to lecture white America on how racist it is.

He does make one very good point:

Maybe there's no way for Dateline's story to be 100 percent legitimate. Clearly, there's more to the story than an honest attempt to gather news. According to luckydawgnews.com, a person who appears to be Dateline's contact in the Muslim community sent out emails looking for Muslim participants:

They are looking for men who actually "look Muslim". They want a guy with no foreign accent whatsoever, a good thick beard, an outgoing personality, and someone willing to wear a kufi/skullcap during the filming.

They also want someone who is fairly well accomplished and has contributed to American society at large in some meaningful way.


Because racism isn't bad if you do it to some schlub. But disrespect a doctor and you're a real menace.

Exactly. They're trying to throw a little classism into the piece as well; they probably buy the image of NASCAR fans as blue-collar on a red neck. So not only would they be exposing prejudice by whites against Muslims, but also blue collar against white collar.
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Out for a Couple Hours

Why don't you go check out John Bush's wonderful blog, My Take on Things?
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The Silly Focus on the "Leak"

Get this from a supposed "news" article--not labeled opinion or analysis:

The revelation that President Bush authorized former White House aide I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby to divulge classified information about Iraq fits a pattern of selective leaks of secret intelligence to further the administration's political agenda.

Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and other top officials have reacted angrily at unauthorized leaks, such as the exposure of a domestic wiretapping program and a network of secret CIA prisons, both of which are now the subject of far-reaching investigations.

But secret information that supports their policies, particularly about the Iraq war, has surfaced everywhere from the U.N. Security Council to major newspapers and magazines. Much of the information that the administration leaked or declassified, however, has proved to be incomplete, exaggerated, incorrect or fabricated.


Lots of fish in that barrel; get me my gun! First, note that VP Cheney has reacted angrily to "unauthorized" leaks; plainly if the president approved the leak, it does not qualify as unauthorized.

Second, was the leak of Joe Wilson's being recommended for the trip to Niger "incomplete, exaggerated, incorrect, or fabricated"? No, so it does not fit any "pattern" that the writers claim to see.

The article is a masterpiece of slanted, biased reporting. Get this bit:

Robert Hutchings, the chairman of the National Intelligence Council from January 2003 to February 2005, said there was nothing improper about Bush's reported actions.

However, Hutchings said, "The decision to put in the public domain classified information, whether through a leak or through the formal authorization" shouldn't be done for "political convenience."

"There should be some higher purpose," he said.


Now you can imagine how that interview went. First they asked him if there was anything wrong with what Bush had done. Disappointing response. Are there any circumstances where you would not approve? Yeah, if it's done for political convenience. Bingo put the two together and it sounds like criticism.
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Friday, April 07, 2006
 
Fat Man Walking Update

I linked to this guy last summer; an ex-marine walking across the entire country in order to lose weight. At that time, he was just at the beginning of his trek, not even out of California yet.

Amazingly, he's still going, and he's now in West Virginia, about 400 miles from his goal, New York City!
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Nathaniel R. Leoncio, Hero



And Bronze Star recipient:

The Navy petty officer third class was on patrol with Marines in southern Ramadi on Oct. 4 when they were struck by a series of roadside bombs. The explosives killed one Marine and seriously injured three other men, including Leoncio.

At least two of the bombs detonated under the 6-ton Humvee that carried Leoncio, flipping it upside down and on top of him, severing his right leg just below the knee.

Although his right thighbone was shattered and he was bleeding internally, Leoncio refused to be evacuated. He ignored his wounds and cared for a severely injured Marine, likely saving the man's life.

Lt. Bradley Watson, who was riding with Leoncio and would later write the recommendation letter for the corpsman's medal from his hospital bed, said: “It was one of the most outstanding combat actions I saw, if not the most outstanding. I saw my two combat tours of Iraq. I have no hesitation in saying that.
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Elliott Floundering--Updated

This is getting pretty funny. Yesterday I did a post on the HuffPo's Stephen Elliott, who had the gall to call Congresswoman Heather Wilson, an Air Force Academy graduate, Rhodes scholar and the only female veteran in Congress, evil. After putting up my post, I got a little cocky and decided to comment on Elliott's post, letting him know that her opponent, Patricia Madrid, would probably not appreciate his efforts.

Well, Elliott decided to try to cover up his tracks. He deleted the "evil" comment. Unfortunately for him, I had done a screen cap to prepare for just such an eventuality. So I put another comment (the first one had been deleted at the HuffPo), letting him know I had him.

This morning, I surfed over there again, and he's now done a coverup of the coverup, restoring the original post and deleting both my comments! Oh, what a tangled web he weaves!

Here's the end of the post as it looked yesterday afternoon when I first wrote on it:



(Click 1-2 times to Enlarge)

Here's the end of the post as it appeared last night:



Here's the way it looks as I'm writing this (it will probably change again):



Update: Now he's back to version 2.0, with my second comment restored!

Update II: Now he's back to version 3.0 with all comments closed on that post! I checked and the comments are not closed on other posts made yesterday.
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The New York Times' Selective Amnesia

Tom Maguire points out that the New York Times, like everybody else on the Left, seems to have forgotten some key facts.

Wow. The editors seem to have forgotten what Joe Wilson actually wrote, and what he actually reported. I have more detail in this post, but the gist is, Wilson did not report that Iraq had not *tried* to buy uranium from Niger; in fact, he reported on a 1999 Iraqi approach which appeared to be exactly that. He did report that he did not believe such a sale was consummated, which is a different matter. One might expect the Times editors to be aware of this distinction.

They also appear to have forgotten that he lied to Nick Kristof, as the Senate Intelligence Committee reported.

Terrific blogging by Tom. He's been the go-to-guy on the Plame case.
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Thursday, April 06, 2006
 
Brainster's Gets Results--Elliott Tries To Take Back "Evil" Part of Post

Hey, whaddaya know. Stephen Elliott tries to pull back his chips.

Oh, such a shame that I took a screen capture of his post--and the one where the girl commented that she woke up with unexplained bruises and thought of Steve Elliott.

Coming tomorrow on Brainster's Blog!
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S&M Author Stephen Elliott Calls Congresswoman Heather Wilson Evil

Okay, this one got me angry. Noted S&M author Stephen Elliott calls Congresswoman Heather Wilson evil!

And with events scheduled all over the country we're going to raise significant money to support progressive challengers against incumbents who we consider evil. Did I just say evil?

Yes, in fact you did. One of the progressive challengers Elliott is supporting is Patricia Madrid:

Patricia Madrid came to San Francisco after the reading. She invited me to breakfast and we had silver dollar pancakes. We talked about maybe getting some of the authors to come to New Mexico, do a voter registration reading. It was time to get organized.

So it's pretty clear that this twerp thinks Heather Wilson is evil. Let's take a little look at her biography:

Congresswoman Wilson is the first woman since Georgia Lusk in 1948 to serve in Congress from New Mexico. Wilson is the only woman veteran currently in Congress, and the first Air Force Academy graduate in Congress. Her district is centered in Albuquerque, and includes Bernalillo and Torrance counties and parts of Santa Fe, Sandoval and Valencia counties.

A distinguished graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1982, Heather was a Rhodes Scholar and earned her masters and doctoral degrees in international relations from Oxford University in England. As an Air Force officer she worked with our NATO allies and in the United Kingdom. After leaving the Air Force in 1989, she became Director for European Defense Policy and Arms Control on the National Security Council staff at the White House.


Yep, that's the woman that this lick-spittle lib calls evil. As for Elliott, it appears that he gets his jollies beating up women. He admitted being into S&M here:

I've been practicing BDSM my entire sexual life and I'm still waiting for my handbook to arrive in the mail.

Okay, so is he into giving or getting pain? This post reveals a bit:

The Euchre Report

Guest Writer—Susan Steinberg

I saw mysterious bruises on my body this morning. Which made me think of Steve Elliott.


Or is he into receiving pain? Consider this snippet from an Amazon review:

He knows Maria from their years growing up together in a state institution, where Theo landed after his abusive father was killed and his mother died from multiple sclerosis. After Maria leaves Theo for someone who will hit her harder (" 'I want you to hit me and you want me to hit you. This is terrible' "), Theo drifts into relationships with women who are willing to abuse him.

At any rate, it's plain that this twisted little man has got some nerve calling Heather Wilson "evil".
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Iraqi Ba'athist Criminal to Speak in Tucson?--Updated!

Interesting email today:

Calling all Iraqi War Veterans, Patriotic US Citizens and Anti-Saddam
Iraqis:

Eman Ahmed Khamas (sometimes spelled "Khammas") worked for Saddam Hussein's government in the "General Federation of Iraqi Women" department, according to an interview she herself gave at one time. Now she denies her employment, however, since it has been revealed by Amnesty International that GFIW representatives were present at pre-war torture sessions and killings. Eman Khamas will soon speak in Tucson to falsely accuse America of atrocities. She is claiming our troops deliberately bombed homes and schools, shot women and children from minarets, tortured all prisoners, etc, etc. Khamas seems to be saying life was better under Saddam. The event is sponsored by the notorious radical left-wing organization "Code Pink" which is most
well known for supporting Fidel Castro and other Communist dictators, protesting wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington DC and sending $600,000 of cash and supplies to the "other side" in Fallujah during the major conflict there. Code Pink was even caught recently faking a publicity photo for their website and had to change it.

Who will speak up for America and Free Iraq? You can. Patriotic veterans, Iraqis and US citizens can and should be there to document and counter these lies in the question and answer period after Eman Ahmed Khamas speaks. Join them to help defend America, Free Iraq and our troops from baseless charges. If you have first hand knowledge of Iraq you are especially invited to come and help set the record straight about Saddam Hussein, US Forces and Free Iraq. If you know any Iraqi war veterans please give them this flyer. Bring a video camera or recorder so the meeting / Q & A session can be recorded, also any printed research materials you have or can dig up. Please email protestliberals@excite.com if you will be there. Attached is a flyer in .pdf form.

PS: Here are some sites for research and printouts to bring:

http://www.defendamerica.mil

http://www.worldthreats.com/middle_east/talk_tikriti.htm

http://www.avot.org/article/20051127135000.html

Place and Time:
Code Pink presents Eman Ahmed Khamas
Tuesday, April 11th 7p.m.
Goddard Hall, Unitarian Universalist Church
4831 E. 22nd Street, Tucson, Arizona


I was able to confirm that the General Federation of Iraqi Women was indeed accused by Amnesty International of being present at executions of women:

In 2000, women were publicly beheaded in a campaign against prostitution. Men suspected of procuring women for the purposes of prostitution were also said to have been beheaded. In October 2000, dozens of women were beheaded in Baghdad and other cities. They had been arrested on suspicion of prostitution and ill-treated in custody before their execution. Members of Feda’iyye Saddam, a militia created in 1994 by ‘Uday Saddam Hussain, used swords to execute the women in front of their homes. Several of the killings were reportedly carried out in the presence of representatives of the Ba’ath Party and the General Federation of Iraqi Women.

And that Eman Ahmed Khamas, the speaker at the Code Pinko event, did indeed admit to being a member of the General Federation of Iraqi women:

Under Saddam Hussein I had a good job with the General Federation of Iraqi Women. Even though it was a fa?ade (sic) for the Ba-athist Party it was a good place for women to work and it did many good things for Iraqi women.

Here's some interesting video of a Protest Warrior countering the propaganda of the Code Pinkos (strong language).

Update: She will be speaking in Tempe on April 10 as well.
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HuffPo Irony

As I have remarked in the past, it is becoming increasingly hard for anybody to parodize the Left, because they do such a marvelous job of self-parody that it's almost impossible to exaggerate their nuttiness. Justin Frank provides an excellent example:

One "F" word that is not used nearly enough these days is fascism. It was first addressed by a psychoanalyst in 1933 at the dawn of Nazi Germany. There is no doubt in my mind that the US is heading down a road similar to that traveled by the German people and their leaders between 1933 and 1938.

This is not the case in current American politics. Members of Congress seem unable to reach across the ever-widening chasm between Democrats and Republicans. That division has become a gulf and is the root of the most dangerous gulf war of all - that between large segments of our population. And it is fanned by unanswered expressions of hatred from the right wing. This is also typical in the rise of fascism. Demonizing becomes the norm and somehow is tolerated by fellow Republicans who simply, for example, turn Tom DeLay into a victim as when Rep. Reynolds (R-NY) said "you won't have Tom Delay to kick around anymore". Demonizing persists and is tolerated even by those who are its wrongful victims. And the longer Democrats continue to tolerate the intolerable; they are giving permission for the demonizers to proceed.


Now isn't that amazing? Dr Frank (he's a psychoanalyst, or should I say psycho analyst) compares the current situation in the US to Nazi Germany, and then has the gall to complain that Republicans are demonizing their opponents?

Was it a Republican who said this:

"I hate the Republicans and everything they stand for."

Why no, it was Howard Dean, current chairman of the Democrats. While we're on the Vermonster, here are some of his other thoughts:

Dean has suggested that they are "evil." That they are "corrupt." He called them "brain-dead" during a stop in Toronto -- and while the Terri Schiavo case was still in the news. He has tagged Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) as a "liar." Last week, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that he mimicked a "drug-snorting Rush Limbaugh" at an event there.

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We Don't Need No Stinking Academic Freedom



Here's a column decrying the attempt to remove indoctrination from the classroom.

Just hearing about all this is taking me back, way back, to Brookfield Central High School in the 1960s. In a closet somewhere at home, I have a report card that shows I took a social studies class so rife with one-sided political raving, it would make Overland geography teacher Jay Bennish look mealy- mouthed.

The reading material was primarily John Birch Society pamphlets but also included "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill. At least a couple of times a week, the teacher put a film on the projector and left the room. Among his favorite flicks were promotional films from "Up With People" and films about the threat of communism, complete with images of mushroom clouds and chilling depictions of life in America after the bomb.


But she had a "better" experience with another teacher:

I have no idea what Mr. Prescott's political philosophy was - he never mentioned it - but he engaged everyone in one of the most hotly debated political issues of 1963: the Vietnam War.

We were required to keep scrapbooks of newspaper and magazine stories about the war. Each day we would talk about what we'd read or seen on TV. We found Vietnam on the map and learned about the war with the French and the Buddhist monks who were protesting by self-immolation in the streets of Saigon.

By the end of the school year, we knew all about the jungle, the Viet Cong, the Domino Effect and the mounting casualties. Most of us didn't know what to think about the war and whether it was right, but at least we had a lesson in how to inform our future opinions. It was an extraordinary educational experience.


In 1963? She's either remembering the year wrong, or completely changing the situation. Vietnam was not a hot political issue in 1963 by any means. Mounting casualties? In 1963 there were 118 US troops killed in Vietnam; in 1964 there were 206.
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Houston, We Have A Problem

The American Scratchpad examines a flyer handed out by an ESL teacher on the recent immigrant rallies.
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Good Numbers From Iraq

My Election Analysis analyzes the data and concludes we're winning but the media is burying the story.
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Wednesday, April 05, 2006
 
Does Eric Muller Really Blog At Is That Legal?

Let's consider the evidence. I reviewed his posting for the last several days, and a suspicious pattern emerges.

He posted four posts today, one at 8:06 PM, one at 2:33 PM, one at 2:26 PM, and one at 7:51 AM. Yesterday he had only two posts, but of course one was a doozy, posted at 2:16 PM while the other was a short one at 12:23 PM. On April 3 he had one short post at 7:23 AM. The prior day he also managed but one post at 9:22 PM.

You can see where I'm going with this, right? Let's compare his posting frequency with other law-school professors. Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, had posts today at 9:21 PM, 8:06 PM, 7:06 PM, 6:58 PM, 6:52 PM, 4:48 PM, 4:02 PM, 3:52 PM, 3:30 PM, 1:08 PM, 12:49 PM, 12:18 PM, 11:15 AM, 11:09 AM, 10:43 AM, 9:59 AM, 9:57 AM, 8:27 AM, 8:17 AM, 7:58 AM, 7:55 AM, 7:44 AM, 7:36 AM, 6:42 AM and 6:34 AM.

Ann Althouse has eight posts so far today, eight posts yesterday, nine on Monday. Eugene Volokh? Only two today (not counting other posters, but five yesterday, and an additional five on Monday.

So I have proven conclusively that either Eric Muller is not a law professor, or he's not blogging at Is That Legal. And apparently his wife is not filling in for him either.
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The Amazing Race: A Slice of Sicilian

One thing I like to do is note the starting times of the various teams to see how honest the show was the week before. In this case the Hippies start at 2:29 AM and the Frat Boys at 4:11 or so, so it's pretty obvious the Hippies had a big lead. Either those statues took a lot longer to put together last week than we were led to believe or there's no way the Frat Boys arrived at the amphitheatre just as the Hippies were stepping onto the mat last week.

Speaking of amphitheatres, the next stop is at yet another in Catania. What, the whole island of Sicily to play with and two of the locations have to be amphitheatres? Catania's a big city, so there's an opening time of 8:30, which means that the Hippies and the Frat Boys get bunched together. BJ and Tyler try a cute little trick of putting up a sign-in sheet which says "teams will enter the amphitheatre in the order they arrived" but Eric & Jeremy realize it's a fraud. The two teams enter the amphitheatre together, but the Frat Boys get the clue first.

It's a very simple task, count the decorative heads on the fence surrounding the site. The answer is 41, disappointing all the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy fans. Nobody really seems to have trouble with the counting part, although Lake initially gets it wrong, but Michelle corrects him.

The next task is a Detour: Big Fish or Little Fish. In Big Fish, teams must carry two swordfish from a fish peddler 1/3rd mile to a fish market. In Little Fish, they go directly to the market and try to sell four kilos of a sardine-like fish. All teams except the older couple decide that Big Fish sounds easier. The selling part looks pretty dull, but Big Fish delivers good gross-out factor from the smell of the fish and their tendency to bleed all over the contestants. Still, all teams seem to leave here in roughly the same order they arrived.

Next it's on to Siracusa (aka Syracuse). The Hippies and the Frat boys agree to travel there together, but when BJ and Tyler take a little too long, Eric and Jeremy bolt. It's a fairly long drive, and when teams arrive it's the Roadblock. One of the players must play in a kayak polo game and score a goal for their team. The game itself looks fairly cool, but they allow players to just throw the ball into the net rather than having to bat it with their paddles. There's some "I can't believe how long this is taking" stuff, but it really doesn't seem like a long time. Amazingly, Michelle decides to do the kayak polo, apparently on the assumption that it will not involve anything nude other than the ball.

From there it's a run/walk to the mat. The Frat Boys retain their lead over the Hippies and win something or other. Joseph and Monica finish third, while the older couple, Fran and Barry take fourth. Then come Lake & Michelle, and Ray and Yolander (as Phil calls her). David & Lori, the dating couple from Kansas, are Phil-liminated.

Viking Pundit is off this week, drinking French beer.

Next Week: Greek athletics, which should suit BJ & Tyler and Eric & Jeremy.

Others:

Ransackery does a nice rundown of the episodes focusing on the individual teams instead of the show as a whole.
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Carnival of the Clueless is Up!

Getcha red hot links!
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Moron Duke Lacrosse Rape Story

This young man sounds like a real charmer:

In the e-mail, addressed "To whom it may concern," the player says he has "decided to have some strippers over" to his dorm room, "however there will be no nudity."

"I plan on killing the bitches as soon as the walk in and proceding to cut their skin off," the author of the e-mail says, adding in vulgar terms that he would find the act sexually satisfying.


Believe it or not, his lawyer thinks this email exonerates his client:

"While the language of the e-mail is vile, the e-mail itself is perfectly consistent with the boys' unequivocal assertion that no sexual assault took place that evening," said attorney Robert Ekstrand. The e-mail "demonstrates that its writer is completely unaware that any act or event remotely similar to what has been alleged ever occurred."

It also demonstrates a willingness to commit assault on a stripper.
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Feingold Comes Out for Gay Marriage

Making it marginally more likely that he will win the Democratic nomination but substantially more likely that he'll lose in the general.
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Best Video of the Week

A guy plays the piano with his balls (don't worry). Really cool!

Hat Tip: Viking Pundit
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The Real Scoop on DeLay?

Pat Hynes found out what really happened with DeLay's resignation, which was planned in advance.

This makes quite a bit of sense when combined with this from Time:

DeLay said he is likely to leave by the end of May, depending on the Congressional schedule and finishing his work on a couple of issues. He said he will change his legal residence to his condominium in Alexandria, Va., from his modest two-story home on a golf course here in the 22nd District of Texas. "I become ineligible to run for election if I'm not a resident of the state of Texas," he said, turning election law to his purposes for perhaps on last time. State Republican officials will then be able to name another Republican candidate to face Democrat Nick Lampson, a former House members who lost his seat in a redistricting engineered by DeLay

Obvious conclusion: DeLay had previously checked out under what circumstances he could withdraw from the race after the primary. Second obvious conclusion: DeLay didn't want one or more of his primary opponents getting his seat.
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What A Maroon!



Michelle Malkin linked to this post questioning the times of her blog posts.

At 7:16 a.m., she posted that she was "back from vacation."

Sizeable posts followed at 8:00 a.m., 8:46 a.m., 9:31 a.m., 10:16 a.m., 10:52 a.m. (a short one), 11:25 a.m., 11:37 a.m., 12:37 p.m., 2:09 p.m. (subsequently updated), 4:06 p.m., 7:45 p.m., 8:01 p.m., 8:19 p.m., 10:36 p.m. (subsequently updated), 5:49 a.m., 6:05 a.m., 8:00 a.m., 8:25 a.m. (subsequently updated), and then 12:31 p.m..

In that last message, Malkin explains that she is in Minneapolis, where she'll be giving a speech at 12:00 noon. Controlling for the one-hour time difference between the East Coast and Minnesota, I infer that she posted this update a startling 29 minutes before her noontime speech.

One wonders: when did she drive (or get driven) to the airport, fly at least three hours (if non-stop) to Minnesota, and then drive (or get driven) to her Minneapolis destination? And is there a red-eye from the DC area to Minneapolis?


Well, let's see, it looks to me like she drove to the airport between 6:05 AM and 8:00 AM, did a couple posts while waiting to board the plane, then flew to Minneapolis. I'm sure it's startling to the professor that somebody could compose a post a mere 29 minutes before giving a speech.

Confronted with this, he doubles down:

But don't they make you turn it off on the airplane? Where in the last 36 hours are the 3 or more hours of airplane travel? They couldn't have been between 8:25 a.m. and 12:31 p.m., because you updated the 8:25 post sometime after 8:25 and before 12:31. And you can't fly from Washington to Minneapolis between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. Somebody's occasionally posting for you, Michelle, and maybe even occasionally writing for you too. Why maintain the false "Insomniac-Techno-Superwoman" schtick? Why not just admit that you have a co-blogger, and share the credit?

Yes, of course, she could not possibly have flown between 8:25 and 12:31, because she also updated one post in that same time frame (he assumes). Writers in the comments section point out that the flight is 2 hours and 45 minutes; that leaves her plenty of time to post an update or two. He acknowledges this in an update and apologizes for the error, but then compounds the mistake by insisting that he was just following up on what others have suggested.

Other reactions:

Sacramento Republicrat: I will admit that while I may not agree with Michelle 100% of the time (probably in the 90's), she certainly does not deserve this kind of attack.

Political Pitbull: Without getting into the substance of Muller's post--or more appropriately, the lack thereof--liberal bloggers rightly deserve credit for uncovering gross inpropriety in the case of Ben Domenech. But, as the saying goes, one rotten apple does not a spoiled bunch make. A word of advice to liberal bloggers: don't let the victory go to your heads.

Tech in Black: Well, have fun boys. She may look innocent and nice but I do not doubt Malkin could roundhouse you and then crosscheck you in the same sentence.
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Blogger of the Year: Captain Ed

A well-deserved award.
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Tuesday, April 04, 2006
 
There Are No 14-Year-Old Girls Who Want to Meet You for Sex

Sheesh, is this dumb or what?

Brian J. Doyle, DOB 4/7/50, the Deputy Press Secretary for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Office of Public Affairs in Washington, D.C., was arrested this evening at his residence in Silver Springs, Maryland, on 23 Polk County charges related to the use of a computer to seduce a child and transmitting harmful materials to a minor.

On March 12, 2006, Doyle contacted a 14-year-old girl whose profile was posted on the Internet, and initiated a sexually explicit conversation with her. The girl was actually an undercover Polk County Sheriff s Computer Crimes detective. Doyle knew that the girl was 14 years old, and he told her who he was and that he worked for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. During future online chats, Doyle gave the undercover detective posing as a 14-year-old girl his office phone number and his government-issued cell phone number, so that they could have telephone conversations, in addition to their online chatting.


Glad they caught the idiot; he was a security risk as well as a pervert. As was Scott Ritter, not that any of the liberal blogs linking this story will make that connection.
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Medals for Flight 93

Rick Moran takes up the cause. I was under the impression that they had already received medals but according to Wikipedia that is not the case. I'm completely on board with honoring the courageous men and women on that flight.
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Scamming Jack Bauer

The only reason this guy's still alive is that Jack doesn't feel like burying him.
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More Moonbattery from Cindy Sheehan

The gift that keeps on giving:

In the Q&A session that followed, Sheehan said she thought the actual death count was a good deal higher than the official death count.

Yes, of course, because nobody who'd lost a family member would ever look them up to see if they were listed.



Time to get out the butterfly nets!
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Quick Hits

In the Right Place has a good one-liner.

Danny Carlton has a story that will make you laugh.

Separated at birth? Check out Passionate America.

Pam has more on NBC's attempt to prove rednecks hate Muslims.
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This Coming Sunday

Pat Hynes reminds us that Sunday is the third anniversary of the liberation of Iraq. Will the MSM cover this anniversary like they have others? Be sure to click through to sign the letter!
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The Amazing Race--New Day and Time--Updated

CBS has moved the show to Wednesdays at 8:00, 7:00 Central, so there will be no TAR update tonight.

Update: Are hippies teh gay? (Moderately raunchy photos).
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I'll Be Surprised If It's Not Fatina Abdrabboh



Michelle Malkin points to an NBC search for a Muslim-looking man to go to sporting events and other outings in the hopes he will experience discrimination/negative comments. But get this part:

We already have a hijabi sister who will be filmed there but a Muslim is also needed to join her.

The only question left is whether Al Gore will be there to save her.
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The Canary Just Slumped Over--Updated!

DeLay the Hammer to step down.

Rep. Tom DeLay, whose iron hold on the House Republicans melted as a lobbying corruption scandal engulfed the Capitol, told TIME that he will not seek reelection and will leave Congress within months. Taking defiant swipes at "the left" and the press, he said he feels "liberated" and vowed to pursue an aggressive speaking and organizing campaign aimed at promoting foster care, Republican candidates and a closer connection between religion and government.

There's no way to sugar-coat this. If DeLay's stepping down it's gotta be because his internal polling is looking bad, and that probably means we Republicans are in big trouble elsewhere. Hugh Hewitt predicted on the radio last night that the GOP will lose both the House and the Senate.

John McIntyre says DeLay's retirement may help the Republicans keep his seat, and a few others.

Don Surber points to a top DeLay aide's recent plea bargain and speculates that the step down is because of legal concerns, not political ones.

Kos isn't celebrating; he points out that DeLay is using a legal maneuver to make sure that the Republicans can replace him on the ballot.

Hugh points out that the six seats the Republicans picked up in Texas when DeLay got the redistricting done may just be the margin of victory in November.

Okay, so maybe my spot analysis was off. There is certainly some high-fiving going on in the Left-Wing blogosphere, but not much doom and gloom on our side.

Update: If you want to know why the Democrats are unable to capitalize on the Republicans' apparent disarray, check out the email I receieved this morning from Democracy for America:

Democracy for America has dogged DeLay for years. With TV commercials and billboards, at rallies and online, DFA has been on the front lines of the battle to clean up Congress. But we didn't think DeLay would "cut and run" like he did.

If he did nothing wrong -- as he claims -- then Tom DeLay shouldn't be afraid of a re-election campaign in a district he drew for himself. But he is quitting by mid-June.

Let's help send Tom DeLay the rubber chicken award he so richly deserves:

http://contribute.democracyforamerica.com

For every $50 Democracy for America raises today, we'll send Tom DeLay an authentic rubber chicken for his mantle. It'll be our goodbye present.




Yep, a rubber chicken.
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Monday, April 03, 2006
 
Let Us Know When He Volunteers to Be Part of the 90%

Proving once again that there are some things so stupid only an intellectual could believe them:

A University of Texas professor says the Earth would be better off with 90 percent of the human population dead.

"Every one of you who gets to survive has to bury nine," Eric Pianka cautioned students and guests at St. Edward's University on Friday. Pianka's words are part of what he calls his "doomsday talk" - a 45-minute presentation outlining humanity's ecological misdeeds and Pianka's predictions about how nature, or perhaps humans themselves, will exterminate all but a fraction of civilization.


This is of course is a flavor of misanthropy. And the depths of his idiocy are revealed here:

To Pianka, a human life is no more valuable than any other - a lizard, a bison, a rhino. And as humans reproduce, the demand for resources like food, water and energy becomes more than the Earth can sustain, he says.

I seem to remember one of the PETA kooks claiming that a dog is a pig is a rat is a boy, which obviously raises the question of what he would think if somebody killed his son.

Pharyngula is concerned that there are death threats, and hastens to clarify:

The accounts from people who were there agree that Pianka was not encouraging the "unleashing" of viruses on people, but was warning of a likely natural result (and apparently, mentioning that this would be a great thing for the biosphere as a whole, despite its dire consequences for us).

By the same logic, if somebody were to kill Pianka, it would be a great thing for the biosphere as a whole, despite its dire consequences for him. (Kidding!)

The blogger cited in the article who approved of Pianka's lecture is here.

Dr. Pianka's talk at the TAS meeting was mostly of the problems humans are causing as we rapidly proliferate around the globe. While what he had to say is way too vast to remember it all, moreover to relay it here in this blog, the bulk of his talk was that he's waiting for the virus that will eventually arise and kill off 90% of human population. In fact, his hope, if you can call it that, is that the ebola virus which attacks humans currently (but only through blood transmission) will mutate with the ebola virus that attacks monkeys airborne to create an airborne ebola virus that attacks humans. He's a radical thinker, that one! I mean, he's basically advocating for the death of all but 10% of the current population! And at the risk of sounding just as radical, I think he's right.
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Cynthia McKinney: You're Busted!--Updated!

Looks like she's going to be charged:

Capitol Hill police on Monday asked a federal prosecutor to approve an arrest warrant for Rep. Cynthia McKinney for her role in a scuffle with a police officer last week, the prosecutor's office confirmed.

Capitol Police had no immediate comment so it's not yet known whether the intent is to file felony or misdemeanor assault charges against McKinney, a DeKalb County Democrat.

Coz Carson, a spokesman for McKinney, said the requested warrant should be dismissed if "this is a prosecutor who's not a politician."


Say what?

Update: Passionate America has located a childhood photo of McKinney. He'll probably take some crap for this, but it is an interesting side-by-side comparison and funny!
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More Ado About the Duke Lacrosse Team

Media Matters tries to drum up a little controversy about Rush Limbaugh:

Summary: On his national syndicated radio program, Rush Limbaugh referred to the alleged victim of a rape by members of the Duke University lacrosse team as a "ho[]."

Perhaps not the best phrasing on what's supposed to be a family-friendly show, but the comment seems reasonably accurate:

The victim, reportedly an N.C. Central University student who worked as an escort and exotic dancer...

And this:

The accuser had worked for an escort company for two months, doing one-on-one dates about three times a week.

"It wasn't the greatest job," she said, her voice trailing off. But with two children, and a full class load at N.C. Central University, it paid well and fit her schedule.
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The Problem With the Left-Wing Blogs

Is that they lack nuance and sophistication. Consider this moronic post by Matt Stoller at MyDD, pointed out to us by Rick Moran.

There's a discussion over at The Moderate Voice about whether the Jill Carroll affair damages the credibility of bloggers. I find this discussion irritating, because it cuts to a basic problem with the nonpartisan new media blog pontificators who don't want to deal with the fact that the right-wing movement is populated by creepy racists. As such, they ignore the AM talk radio circuit and mainstream conservative publications, as if they weren't part of the charge on Carroll, and pretend like this episode reveals something about 'the blogs'. It doesn't.

So let me spell it out. The Carroll thing is a fairly standard storyline that predates blogs. Right-wingers tend to hate a free media. Right-wingers tend to say creepy and racist things. Right-wingers tend to hate reporters who say that all isn't apple pie in Iraq. This is true on the AM talk radio circuit, at the RNC, in the Oval Office, and on right-wing blogs. I mean the GOP.com blog even has a tag 'good news from Iraq'.

This has NOTHING to do with blogs. Zero. This has to do with a flat-out racist and warmongering right-wing movement that doesn't like a woman whose survival cuts against their narrative. So please stop lumping progressives like me in with the right-wing just because we both use a similar web-based publishing platform.


In the course of three paragraphs, Stoller levels the racist accusation three times, despite the rather obvious fact that there is no racial angle to the Jill Carroll story that I can see:



Stoller does have one point (aside from the one at the top of his head): A lot more people than bloggers jumped on the Jill Carroll story with both (left) feet.

Right-wingers tend to hate reporters who say that all isn't apple pie in Iraq.

Ah, and Left-wingers are oh-so-tolerant of reporters who say things they disagree with?

Here's a picture of Matt Stoller for future reference:

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Robert McCartney Update

It's been awhile since I covered this case. His sister Paula had a baby boy, which she named in memory of Robert. The bar outside which his murder took place has been sold and may change its name. Background on the case can be found here; I see no indication that any trial is moving forward.
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Jill Carroll Redux

Frequent commenter Paul undoubtedly feels I owe Jill Carroll an apology over this post. I'm kinda torn on the issue; in my defense I linked to two articles on the controversy from ABC News and the Washington Post. Paul's apparently upset at the title:

Mujahedeen Jill Carroll?

But of course that question mark is there to indicate that I don't know, but that was what she was being accused of by others. Anyway, the controversy is now brewing hard over the reactions of bloggers.

Mark Coffey's "apology" to Debbie Schlussel seems just a tad ironic:

So yes, I’ll apologize. I’m sorry I assumed you knew that the right to dissent is one of the most basic rights a citizen of a democracy has…and I’m really sorry you couldn’t wait one day to start tearing down Jill Carroll - one lousy day, to celebrate the freedom of an American captive. And I’m sorry you feel the need to misrepresent my work.

Schlussel responds with both barrels:

Over the last few months, since Jill Carroll was kidnapped and upon her release, I posted her REAL views (here and here). They remain her views, and she has NOT denied or disavowed them. I never once cited a video that was made in captivity, as others did and as others are now claiming I owe an apology for. I do not. They owe me an apology for projecting the video onto my work. And for pretending to be able to read, when clearly they cannot.

Schlussel does indeed seem to be basing her opinion of Carroll on previous statements and not on the video tape.

Right Wing Nuthouse delivers a more temperate message.

I will not name names nor link to bloggers who thought the worst of Miss Carroll. They and their readers know who they are and I trust they will be suitably chastised. And if they have an ounce of integrity, they will write a public apology.

I do think it was probably premature to comment on the story last week, although I certainly did not attack Ms Carroll the way some others did, but linked to the controversy. My apologies to my readers if anybody was misled by the headline into believing I had taken any official position on the situation.

But let me say also that the calls for apologies here seem just a trifle disingenuous. At times we rush to judgment and others just as rapidly rush to nonjudgment, and then it rapidly degenerates into "I was right and you were wrong". Let's all take a couple deep breaths and see what the next few days bring us.

Meanwhile, Art Levine writes about some of the Lefty bloggers who used Carroll for their own purposes.

For instance, Think Progress, a normally insightful outlet of the Center for American Progress, attacked The New York Post's John Podhoretz for raising the possibility of a Stockholm syndrome. Instead of assuming that something was indeed amiss -- such as Carroll being forced to make a statement -- the Think Progress blogger responded to Carroll's passionate anti-Bush attacks in a positve way, because it matched the vituperative terms we on the left often use. He concluded, " This is a day that we should celebrate Jill Carroll's courage. She put herself in danger to try to give the world a more accurate picture of Iraq. It is totally inappropriate to assume that her description of how she was treated is motivated by anything other than a desire to tell the truth." (Boldface in original)

It never occurred to him, apparently, that as a working journalist who writes for a mainstream publication, The Christian Science Monitor, she would never voice such pro-terrorist views publicly(see again what she said about her captors) or lavish praise on her treatment if she had been allowed to speak freely. Those sorts of public statements are totally out of character for a professional journalist, even under the highly unlikely circumstances she actually held those beliefs.
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Sunday, April 02, 2006
 
More Globaloney

George Will says be worried, be very worried. About global panic from the news media.

Recently, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer flew with ABC's George Stephanopoulos over Glacier National Park's receding glaciers. But Schweitzer offered hope: Everyone, buy Montana coal. New technologies can, he said, burn it while removing carbon causes of global warming.

Stephanopoulos noted that such technologies are at least four years away and "all the scientists" say something must be done "right now." Schweitzer, quickly recovering from hopefulness and returning to the "be worried, be very worried" message, said "it's even more critical than that" because China and India are going to "put more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere with conventional coal-fired generators than all of the rest of the planet has during the last 150 years."


Well, if four years is too late....
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What Can Be Done?

Here's a good article:

I recently ran across the text of a letter, penned by liberal historian and former Secretary of the U.S. Navy George Bancroft, about the president of the U.S.

In it, he wrote: "How can we reach our president with advice? He is ignorant, self-willed, and is surrounded by men, some of whom are almost as ignorant as himself.

"So we have the dilemma put to us. What to do when his power must continue for two years longer and when the existence of our country may be endangered before he can be replaced by a man of sense. How hard, in order to save the country, to sustain a man who is incompetent."


If you're smart enough to read this blog, you can probably guess what comes next:

This respected commentator on not-so-current events wasn't writing about Bush.

He was writing in 1863 about a guy named Abraham Lincoln.
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Steyn On the Money

This is one of the classic columns, where I want to clip every single paragraph because it illustrates things that I've said before much (but of course much less eloquently than the master).

Well, OK, half the anti-war crowd aren't meant to be in the country either, if they'd kept their promise to move to Canada after the last election. But my point is there's no mass anti-war movement. Some commentators claimed to be puzzled by the low turnout at a time when the polls show Iraq increasingly unpopular. But there are two kinds of persons objecting to the war: There's a shriveled Sheehan-Sheen left that's in effect urging on American failure in Iraq, and there's a potentially far larger group to their right that's increasingly wary of the official conception of the war. The latter don't want America to lose, they want to win -- decisively. And on the day's headlines -- on everything from the Danish cartoon jihad to the Afghan facing death for apostasy -- the fainthearted response of "public diplomacy" is in danger of sounding only marginally less nutty than Charlie Sheen.
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Brainster in the Media

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Hugh Hewitt: KerryHaters was on this story a long time ago. How could the elite media not have asked these questions before now?

Ankle-Biting Pundits: Our friends Pat and Kitty at Kerry Haters deserve the blog equivalent of a Pulitzer for their coverage of Kerry's intricate web of lies regarding Vietnam.

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Lefty Bloggers on Gay Witchhunt (linked by 16 blogs including Instapundit)

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