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Saturday, August 05, 2006
Kudos to the Phoenix Cops--For Now

But this story may not be over yet.

Phoenix has had two separate sets of serial killings over the past year. These arrests solve one of the sets; the Baseline Killer's still out there. But there is a hint in this story that the cops may come in for some criticism on this case:

Police were tipped to the men when an acquaintance of Dieteman told a detective that he knew one of the primary suspects in the Serial Shooter case. The man told the detective Dieteman "would drive through the cities selecting random targets which he referred to as 'RV' Random Recreational Violence,' " the statement said.

The statement does not say when police learned the suspects' identities. On Friday, police also refused to say when they were first tipped off.

Gee, wonder why they wouldn't say when? Maybe it's because of this?

A three-page "probable cause" statement filed by Phoenix police laying out the case said the men used a .410-gauge shotgun in the shooting spree, including the killings of 22-year-old Robin Blasnek on Sunday night in Mesa and Claudia Gutierrez-Cruz, 20, who was shot as she was walking in the 6100 block of East Thomas Road in Scottsdale on May 2.

Seems to me somebody's going to be very interested in whether the cops were told about Dieteman before Sunday night. Not trying to rain on the parade here; it's just that aspect leaped out at me the moment I read it.
Friday, August 04, 2006
Sully Rounds the Bend

Next stop: The Bughouse. Andrew Sullivan used to be one of my favorite bloggers. But he irked us all with his endorsement of John Kerry over the gay marriage issue (never mind that Kerry claimed to oppose gay marriage as well--Sully knew that was just for form. But now Sully's gone completely bonkers, endorsing this Alex Jones fruitcake mockumentary on the Cheney shooting incident:

Sully did acknowledge Jones' nuttiness after it was pointed out by a reader, but makes the classic mistake of going on:

It's unfortunate that the guy is a crazed nut, but I'd still like to know why he's wrong in this case. One reader argued that different shotguns, even of identical manufacture, can have different dispersement, a fact that would undermine Jones' case. Maybe other readers can help debunk this theory - or not.

I'm sure if I looked over at Stormfront, I could find a persuasive video "proving" that the Holocaust never happened. What would Sully say if I tried to excuse myself by saying, "Yeah, the source is crazy, but why are they wrong in this particular case?"

Dan Riehl showed what was wrong with this video months ago.

Hat Tip: Hot Air.
Blogs for Heather Update

Mario Burgos reveals that Patti Madrid, the current New Mexico Attorney General and the challenger for Heather Wilson's congressional seat, does investigations only when she is specifically requested to.

Her office didn't have enough staff to investigate the largest political corruption scandal in New Mexico's history? What, is that like being invited to the Mayor's Ball and saying you can't go because you just don't have anything to wear?

Here's a backgrounder on the corruption in New Mexico.
Brainster on the Radio!

I will be on The World Tonight with Rob Breakenridge of AM 770, CHQR tonight at 10:05 PM Eastern Time. For those of you not fortunate enough to live in Calgary, you can listen in live here. We'll be talking about the 9-11 conspiracy theories and the new poll which claims that approximately 1/3rd of the American public believes the US government is hiding something.

We will be taking callers. The call-in numbers are 1-800-563-7770, or 403-974-8255.
The Lieberman-Lamont Saga Continues

Matt Stoller covers the nefarious doings of Lieberman supporters.

There were about 15 Ned supporters outside, holding signs and milling about. There were also some reporters, a photographer, and a bunch of journalists. Ned arrived at 5:05, and spent about 10 or 15 minutes outside before heading in to give a speech and eat a cheeseburger. He goes inside, and all of sudden the field organizer who was behind Ned heard a lot of screaming directed at Ned.

There were only four booths and six stools in the whole place, and they were basically all occupied. When Ned went in, all of the supporters ripped off their 'civilian clothes' and revealed their Lieberman T-Shirts.

The horror, the horror!

Meanwhile, it turns out that not only does Lamont own stock in Halliburton, but also Wal-Mart. Note: Lieberman apparently owns stock in a mutual fund which has Halliburton holdings as well.

Meanwhile, Billmon points out that Lamont is supportive of Israel, which means he's going against the nutbar base of the party.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Brainster on the Radio!

I'll be on the radio next Tuesday morning at 7:10 AM Central, 8:10 AM Eastern, and 5:10 AM my time (groan) with my buddies Allman and Smash in the Morning, 97.1 FM. For those of you not fortunate enough to live in the St. Louis area, you can listen in here.
Qana Story Bogus?

A Washington Post blogger named Jefferson Morley posits that the Right-Wing blogosphere is manufacturing its own equivalent of the 9-11 conspiracy theories.

At a time when American and Israeli public opinion of the war diverge radically from the world opinion elsewhere, the emergence of a right-wing equivalent of the Sept. 11 conspiracy theories is worth noting.

The Qana "conspiracy theory" poses this question: If Israeli shells landed near the building that collapsed between midnight and 1 a.m., why didn't reports of the collapse emerge until about 8 a.m.? One site pushing this question on Tuesday was the Israeli Insider, published by a Tel Aviv company that bills the site as a "an independent, nonpartisan online publication that aims to provide an 'inside perspective' on the latest news, analysis and commentary from and about Israel."

Our buddy Rick at the Real Ugly American takes on Morley. Turns out, for starters, he's got the wrong death total:

So can you please explain why your number is almost double that of the Red Cross and Human Rights Watch? Perhaps you are citing Lebanese security officials like this ABC report?

I have not had the time to look deeper into this story, but I know that a lot of people who have are concluding that it's a bunch of BS spread by Hezbollah. Comparing legitimate inquiry with the tinfoil hattery of the 9-11 Deniers is not helpful to anybody, Mr Morley.

Arutz Sheva has a lot more. It's an Israeli newspaper, so take it with a grain of salt.

Update: Granddaddy Longlegs has been all over this story.
Ned Lamont, Dylan Avery and Jane Hamsher

I don't know whether this post is going to make a lot of sense, but I'll take a stab at it anyway. Dylan Avery is the writer, director, and narrator of the film Loose Change, which posits a giant conspiracy by elements in the Bush Administration that actually was behind the events of 9-11.

The 9-11 Denial Movement certainly appears to be growing. But like any movement, it's having growing pains at the same time. Part of the problem is inherent in any movement that aspires to national status. How do you encourage new people to join up, while at the same time tempering the fanatical base who will turn people off?

Some will argue the "big tent" theory, which certainly worked well in the Reagan era. This appears to be the model for the 9-11 Deniers nowadays. Everybody's welcome as long as they believe in some of the story, no matter what their background. This is natural for a fledgling group--beggars can't be choosers.

But as the group gets larger, inevitably some people must be pushed out of the tent. And here's where we get into Ned Lamont and Jane Hamsher. When Lamont was a nobody talking about taking on Joe Lieberman, he desperately needed people like Jane Hamsher. He needed more people inside the tent. But now that he's got an excellent chance of winning in the primary, he needs to show her to the exit. It's his "Sister Soljah" moment.
Bukkaked With Stupid

Here's a terrific video on the Loose Change guys:

(Warning: Strong language and graphic pictures)

Be sure to watch at least through to the scene about Bernard Brown; if that doesn't get your blood boiling, nothing will.

There are four more videos in this series by Markyx. Markyx also is the writer of the webcomic Chronicles of Garas. I will post them here over the next couple of days, but if you're interested in watching the rest now:

Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Feminist Nutbars Have Problems Recruiting

Here's a terrific article by a young college student on her experiences at a "Young Feminist" gathering:

It was painfully apparent that at the Young Feminist Summit, a majority of attendees were at least well into their 50s. I would argue that young women like me, a 19-year-old Bucknell University sophomore, aren’t turned off by the political aspect of feminism. Many college students are actively involved in politics, but we are reluctant to join a movement dedicated to bashing men, degrading our bodies, and obsessing with sex.

Amidst NOW’s “soap opera of feminism,” which included braless women, booths with banners declaring “I love female orgasms,” women who used to be men, current and former prostitutes, open displays of intimate affection, people referring to NOW President Kim Gandy as “my leader,” and an affirmative reply to a question asking if clothing is optional, the “veteran feminists” just couldn’t seem to figure out what was scaring off young people.

The “I’m Not a Feminist, but…” Workshop was designed to explore feminist stereotypes. The audience determined that the average person thinks feminists are butch, sex-crazed, pro-abortion lesbians who never want to get married or have babies. If NOW members want young women -- and the rest of the world -- to respect them and their ideas and not accept these stereotypes, they ought not to perpetuate them.

Based on my exposure to feminists at Bucknell, the Conference, however, was exactly as I expected it to be. Women with spiked hair and tattoos walked around clad in tee shirts reading “I love my vibrator.” They detailed inane grievances, like the fact that men get more magazines than women get in prisons. Many also showed their age by expressing anger that back in the '60s, everyone did drugs and that generation turned out fine, but now people spend years and years in jail for using illegal substances.
Hamsher's Blackface Gag

This woman is so stupid! How stupid is she? She puts up a picture of Joe Lieberman in blackface. Not on her own blog, but on the Huffington Post! It's gone from there, of course, but lots of people saved the pic, including Charles over at LGF.

Michelle Malkin notes that there will be nobody in blackface in the Righty Blogosphere. She's got that right. The Left doesn't seem to have any sort of sense that "Gee, maybe this is going a bit over the line." Maybe that's because there is no line?

We see this kind of "rules don't apply to us" all the time from them. We hear the casual slurs about how Republicans are so gay (anybody remember the "butt-boy" comment from Paul Begala?) all the time. They have to know that they're expressing what they call homophobia, and it's almost like they expect a get out of jail free card because they're attacking Republicans, not gays.
Iraqi Forces Take Down Death Squad Terrorists

Kudos to CentCom and to the Iraqi army and security forces responsible:

Iraqi army and security forces conducted four early-morning raids in Baghdad on August 1, capturing three primary suspects associated with ‘death squads’ in an ongoing effort to stem activities of these organizations.

The precision operations, conducted by Iraqi forces accompanied by coalition force observers, occurred in three areas, all in the western part of Baghdad.

In the Ashulla area of northwest Baghdad, Iraqi army forces captured two individuals, including one known high-level insurgent leader. This ‘leader’ controls several smaller cells that allegedly conduct improvised explosive device attacks against coalition forces, traffic weapons, and kidnap, torture, and murder Iraqi citizens and Iraqi soldiers. It is believed that one of his ‘punishment cells’ kidnapped and murdered 14 Iraqi soldiers in May as he looked on.
This will surely raise the temperature in the fever swamps, but it's not the smoking gun that the 9-11 Deniers have been looking for.

For more than two years after the attacks, officials with NORAD and the FAA provided inaccurate information about the response to the hijackings in testimony and media appearances. Authorities suggested that U.S. air defenses had reacted quickly, that jets had been scrambled in response to the last two hijackings and that fighters were prepared to shoot down United Airlines Flight 93 if it threatened Washington.

In fact, the commission reported a year later, audiotapes from NORAD's Northeast headquarters and other evidence showed clearly that the military never had any of the hijacked airliners in its sights and at one point chased a phantom aircraft -- American Airlines Flight 11 -- long after it had crashed into the World Trade Center.

Maj. Gen. Larry Arnold and Col. Alan Scott told the commission that NORAD had begun tracking United 93 at 9:16 a.m., but the commission determined that the airliner was not hijacked until 12 minutes later. The military was not aware of the flight until after it had crashed in Pennsylvania.

These and other discrepancies did not become clear until the commission, forced to use subpoenas, obtained audiotapes from the FAA and NORAD, officials said. The agencies' reluctance to release the tapes -- along with e-mails, erroneous public statements and other evidence -- led some of the panel's staff members and commissioners to believe that authorities sought to mislead the commission and the public about what happened on Sept. 11.

Let's see, is any of this about how there weren't any hijacked planes on 9-11? Is any of it about how there was a "stand-down" order, or that a missile was fired into the Pentagon?

Nope it's about folks who covered up the fact that they weren't as alert as they should have been, that signals got crossed on that day, and that a lot of people were confused and made mistakes.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
McNinney Down 15

Looks like the Andrew Young endorsement isn't going to put her over the top.

A new InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion poll for the Democratic primary runoff in Georgia’s 4th Congressional district shows challenger Hank Johnson maintaining his lead over incumbent U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney by a full 15 percentage points as the runoff election looms closer.

McKinney’s totals moved up from the last poll late last week, but she still sat well behind former DeKalb County Commissioner Johnson.

Hank Johnson – 49 percent
Cynthia McKinney – 34 percent
Undecided – 17 percent.

Kudos to Johnson, now bring it home!
Introducing RightRoots

Some of our buddies in the conservative blogosphere have started a new fundraising site for Republicans in critical races. For now, they have endorsed 14 congressional candidates and four Senate aspirants. The people in charge of this effort are as smart as they come on our side of the aisle:

John Hawkins - Right Wing News
Robert Bluey - Human Events Online
Mary Katherine Ham - Townhall
Erick Erickson - RedState
Patrick Hynes - Ankle Biting Pundits
Ed Morrissey - Captain's Quarters
Lorie Byrd - Wizbang

So when you see their selections, you know they've done the hard work of identifying solid candidate with a good chance of winning. I'm a little disappointed that they missed Heather Wilson, but with about 470 races, somebody's gotta get left of the list.
Define Key

As in "Key Republican Breaks With Bush On Mideast".

Yep, it's Chuckie Bagels.

"The sickening slaughter on both sides must end and it must end now," Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel said. "President Bush must call for an immediate cease-fire. This madness must stop."

The Bush administration has refused to call for Israel to halt its attacks on southern Lebanon, joining Israel in insisting that Hezbollah fighters must be pushed back from the Israeli-Lebanese border.

Chuckie knows what it takes to get press. Key Republican? No, just another "what's in it for me" jerk.
Monday, July 31, 2006
Stand By Iran

I have gotten some attention for my song and poetry parodies before, but this is terrific!

Sometimes it's hard to be a mullah
Always waiting for the 12th imam
You back Hezbollah
In the name of Allah
Blowing up every Jew you can

Great job, Teflon! Be sure to read it all--funny and true at the same time.
Least Favorite Republicans?

John Hawkins has his annual list of the least favorite Republicans of a selection of center-right bloggers. I was polled for this but like an idiot started the list and then forgot to finish it.

Here are the people I would have chosen if I'd remembered to email the piece:

Pat Buchanan
Ann Coulter (Tired of defending her; I still love her books)
Lew Rockwell (More a libertarian than a Republican but still plenty annoying)
Ron Paul (Ditto)
Andrew Sullivan
Chuck Hagel

I would have left John McCain off the list this year, although I included him last year.
Mel, Mel, Mel

Hmmmm, maybe those complaints of anti-Semitism in Passion of the Christ weren't all just over-sensitivity. Gibson reportedly uttered some anti-Jewish slurs during his DUI arrest over the weekend.

Gibson's reported criticism of Jews, contained in a leaked police report detailing his arrest early on Friday morning, included the phrase: "F*****g Jews. The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world."

And they probably poured those Fosters down his throat, eh, Mate?

But this causes me some concern:

Calling for a criminal investigation into the Oscar-winning actor and director's remarks, Abraham Foxman, the national director of the US Jewish Anti-Defamation League, said: "We believe there should be consequences to bigots and bigotry."

I agree there should be consequences, but those consequences for what is nothing more than offensive speech should be scorn and derision from people of good faith. If Gibson did and said what he's claimed to, then he's a buffoon.

After Gibson was pulled over, a bizarre melee ensued that apparently involved Gibson trying to escape, his alleged propositioning of an arresting officer with lurid, explicit suggestions and claims that, while handcuffed in the back of a police car, Gibson threatened a deputy, saying he "owns Malibu" and will spend all of his money to "get even" with the officer.

He also allegedly asked an arresting officer if he was Jewish.

Gibson was taken to a police station in Malibu, where he allegedly threatened an officer, smashed a payphone and attempted to urinate in a cell.

The odd thing about this is that Gibson apparently blew a .12, as compared to California's legal limit of .08, which does not strike me as all that drunk. Yet Gibson's escapades attest to somebody profoundly out of control.
Sore Loserman Continues

Well, it appears that now we know when an election can be certified as official and done with; when the Democrat wins. Bradblog reports that Francine Busby is contesting her run-off loss for California's 50th District.

The election between Francine Busby and Brian Bilbray was marred, as reported in detail by The BRAD BLOG over the past two months, when the Diebold optical-scan and touch-screen voting machines used in the race were sent home with poll workers on so-called "sleepovers" for days and weeks prior to the election. That breach in security was in contravention of new state and federal security mitigation requirements enacted just months ago after dozens of severe vulnerabilities were recently confirmed in those specific voting systems.

According to the new state and federal security requirements, such breaches of security effectively decertify the systems for use in California. The election contest, to be filed on behalf of several CA-50 voters on Monday will charge the votes cast on those decertified machines are, in fact, illegal votes. The casting of illegal votes in one of several ground under which a contest may be filed in California state court.

I don't know what the real story is here; the story of "sleepovers" seems quite bizarre. And if you check the Bradblog story where this was revealed, it's sourced to on unnamed person in the "media office" of the San Diego County Registrar's office. Hmmm, exactly how big is the media office of a registrar?

But I do know one thing; contesting the election at this point is incredibly stupid politics. Busby is running again for the seat in November, so in all probability the next election will be decided by the time this lawsuit winds its way through the courts.

We have seen this become a principle with the Lefty bloggers; if the election was close (and they'll define close) it was stolen by the Republicans, and they'll point to the most ridiculous stuff (the suspicious rural Ohio Counties, for example) in order to prove it.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
End of July Baseball Report

Now it gets serious.

American League:

Best Team: Detroit. It's not even close; they're seven wins ahead of anybody in the majors. Yeah, I'm stunned that it's happened, but 104 games into the season it's silly to deny the obvious. This is a 100-win team and maybe a 110-win team. They're having the lightning-in a bottle season like 1984 and 1968, although with those teams it was more a case of hanging around among the good teams then suddenly putting it all together for a year.

Best Player: David Ortiz seems to have separated himself from the pack as a hitter, but he's of no value defensively. Among the rest, there's very little difference, with Manny Ramirez probably the best otherwise.

Best Pitcher: Johan Santana. He's done it consistently every year and he's doing it again this year. Like the position players there are a lot of guys right around Santana, so this could change by the end of the year.

National League:

Best Team: The Mets. They're as good as the Cardinals are at home, but they win consistently on the road whereas the Cards are .500 away from St. Louis.

Best Player: Pujols got all the attention early, but this is a dogfight. I'd pick Chase Utley based on production this year--hits like a slugger and fields second base.

Best Pitcher: Brandon Webb. He's doing everything right. He's got the best ERA in the league despite playing in an extreme hitter's park.
Save Us, Al Gore!

Sheesh, this is an embarrassing article.

Oh, I don't mean the alpha-male wanna-be, that scripted, stiff, uninspired candidate for president in 2000. I mean the self-effacing movie star with man-of-steel conviction from An Inconvenient Truth, who is trying to shake this country by the shoulders over the dire consequences of global warming. From the ashes of his overhandled "be everything to everybody" campaign rose the real Al Gore, a confident, wonkish, accessible intellect who has a supremely important question for inhabitants of Earth : How long can you tread water?

This is the man, with his charts and facts and rising seas message, that the Democrats should enlist in 2008.


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Brainster in the Media

Howard Kurtz's Media Notes: May 27, 2005

Slate Today's Blogs:

March 16, 2005

May 9, 2005

June 3, 2005

Cited for Breaking the Christmas in Cambodia story (at Kerry Haters):

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.

The Weekly Standard

Les Kinsolving

Greatest Hits

What If the Rest of the Fantastic Four Were Peaceniks?

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

Kitty Myers Breaks Christmas in Cambodia

Brainster Shows Brinkley Says No Christmas in Cambodia

Explanation of the Blog's Name

Power Ratings Explained

blog radio

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