Friday, June 30, 2006

Is Gov. Warner's Blogger A Zodiac Freeper?

(Note: I just want to make clear that this article - and past and future related articles - have absolutely nothing to do with the views, thoughts, etc. of the online news magazine that I work for...which is named elsewhere on this blog but won't be on this series...which continues here)

What are the odds that a frequent poster at Free Republic shares the same strange made-up nickname as a well-known Democratic blogger almost certainly appears to use? (for the reasons why I write "almost certainly" see near the bottom of this post)

What are the odds that a frequent poster at Free Republic would have mentioned attending a high school in the Los Angeles area not far from where a well-known Democratic blogger grew up?

What are the odds that a frequent poster at Free Republic would have mentioned going to see the Mariners play in Seattle at the same time a well-known Democratic blogger would have been living not too far from there?

What are the odds that a frequent poster at Free Republic and a well-known Democratic blogger would both be heavily addicted to political polling?

What are the odds that a frequent poster at Free Republic would be against the war in Iraq but like...hell...any well-known Democratic blogger would have no solution becaue they're too cowardly to say 'let's get the fuck out now?'

What are the odds that a frequent poster at Free Republic would write "Harris is the best, bar none, polling out fit out there, if they say it, I believe it, and your a fool to not" about a poll which puts Howard Dean only 5 points behind President Bush in January of 2004?

What are the odds that a frequent poster at Free Republic would refer to a blog entry at the Howard Dean Website written by someone who's friends with a well-known Democratic blogger and who started out blogging at that well-known Democratic blogger's website?

What are the odds that a frequent Free Republic poster would gloat about how well two politicians, including Dean, have made use of meet-ups which a well-known Democratic blogger pretty much pioneered:

Not doing too good. I don't really see how using meetup nationally will help Thune anyway, in South Dakota. You know who is using meetup effectively (besides Howard Dean) is Toomey in Pennsylvania. He's gotten over 300 in a few weeks, and if it grows at that rate to next spering, he'll have a grassroots army, and will beat Specter.

What are the odds that a frequent Free Republic poster would write that the media could never destroy a candidate that the Internet built up?

The "mainstream" media built Dean up. That's bs, the media only paid attention to HD after he'd already been built up by the deaniacs on the internet... I doubt the media will have any such affect of being able to tear down HD-- they didn't create him.

Before you go thinking that this may be some sort of "Yes Men" agent provocateur deal, perhaps you should take a look at the frequent Free Republic poster's first three postings which were all about baseball and written within a month after 9/11, a strange time to be starting some sort of insidious, inside instigator campaign (I use "insidious" because at the close of Vis Numar's Free Republic posts which concluded in 2005 there are a number of comments mocking Republicans that have been "outed" as gay).

Just who the hell is Vis Numar? And more importantly, if these coincidences add up how will this be spun by his "gravy train" friends?

'Almost certainly' reasons

1. At this list of Vis Numar posts there is a post entitled "Nov 6th, 2001 Virgina Governor Election." Click on it and check out the name of the author of the post. Then go back to the list and check some more of the older entries.

2. The following comment left at a posting on this page: "Sally, did you see Jerome Armstrong on C-Span yesterday morning? He was representing MYDD, of course, and I couldn't help but think I was looking at Vis Numar. But what do I know? hay hay - He was very impressive!!"

3. #268 on this Democratic Underground page, Vis Numar, links to MyDD in October of 2001 (and this post from November of 2001).

4. This Democratic Underground post by Vis Numar in June of 2002 links to MyDD twice (so does this Vis Numar post also from June of 2002).

5. Vis Numar at Democratic Underground slams the DLC to support Howard Dean.

If Jerome Armstrong is Vis Numar then his defending statement appears to be in error since "the early 2001 days" conflicts with the fact that Vis Numar was still doing political astrology as late as last year (at least I think it's political because it's way over my head...something about how the GOP being obsessed with "gonad politics" and how the Republicans wouldn't be able to stop Terry Schiavo's husband from pulling the plug maybe because of "Neptunian issues" and how "the republican chart represents the ideals of the US"...sure as hell got me).

Then there's this Reuters article from November 2002 which ran in at least two newspapers on the west coast and is online at Zogby's Website that conflicts with Jerome's statement that astrology "has nothing to do with what I consult with in online political strategy" just a little bit I would think:

One of the more nontraditional forecasters online is Jerome Armstrong, the braintrust behind ( After working as an options and futures trader, MyDD founder Jerome Armstrong said political forecasting was a natural extension of his interest.

Unlike the major network pollsters, he likes having his own Weblog for its flexibility and independence.

"With the Weblogs you can change your mind (often) looking at all the information out there ... You can make a quick summary of what that race looks like from the perspective of locals," he said.

Armstrong does not hide his liberal political bias or the fact he uses astrology to analyze some competitive races, but he strongly contends that the accuracy of his forecasts take priority over his personal views. For the record, he is predicting the Democrats will gain seven seats in the House resulting in a 219-216 majority while slightly increasing their tenuous majority in the Senate.

In addition, a Who Is search on reveals that Jerome Armstrong purchased the url for his Website in May of 1999 yet MyDD's archives can only be searched as far back as April of 2001, which leads me to my final question:

What the hell was at before April of 2001 and has Jerome Armstrong saved copies of the files that may have been deleted just in case there are [I'll be nice and not include the end of this sentence]?

Perhaps more solid evidence Jerome was a Freeper and worse


If this post attracts attention, then not only will I be Swift Boated by bloggers financially tied (or just plain stupid) to these two clowns, the online news magazine that I work for may also come under assault, but when Jerome Armstrong decided to use Howard Dean - a person I truly admire...unlike a certain friend of Jerome's who was backing another candidate for president at the time he was hired which no one seems to think proves that he has no convictions or ideology - in order to prop up his recently-tarnished image rather than address multiple unanswered questions that have nothing to do with his SEC case then that was the last straw.

Add to that: Markos' post about how his friends getting jobs proves "people power" works; ingenuous posts by Digby and Atrios which Swift Boat critics that have objected to Jerome's political astrology by claiming that they're just being anti-religious even though there's a difference between reading your horoscope - as I do - and using it in your work which these two acclaimed bloggers leave out as they often leave out anything that conflicts with their partisan punditry; a campaign by a number of true liberal bloggers - as opposed to the phonies at the tippy-tippy-top - to destroy a journalist who already published an apology and correction; a number of smart liberal bloggers that I've always respected who have gone on a vicious, slimey Swift Boating campaign against the few bloggers and journalists who have objected or raised questions the last few weeks (and the last few years), and one utterly, disgusting post by one Chris Bowers which implies that if politicians give him and his friends money he will shut his mouth (none of these clowns deserve links...find their doggerel by googling or technorating it if you don't believe me).

The fact of the matter is that there are two people (actually 4) that have an immense amount of power in the liberal, progressive and Democratic blogosphere, and there are many reasons to believe that they possess no real ideology and that they are only in the game to gain money and power. And it's about time the "people powered movement" wake up and find new leaders, and the politicians hiring their friends back the fuck away from all of them before even more news comes out (much of that news has already been alluded to at this blog since November of 2004 when I saw through the Matrix and is searchable through my archives).

My critics will charge me with jealousy and prior grudges...but anyone who's familiar with my work knows that I am more liberal than any of them, and that I don't let my partisanship infect my work. Some of my work has been embraced and linked by bloggers of all stripes - except by the A-list bloggers who know that I've seen through their phoniness a long time ago and have blacklisted me. If I was the kind of person to leak personal emails (or private phone conversations) I could post a number of things written by some of those A-list bloggers who have lauded my work and my knack for research, yet have never or hardly linked to me.

The truth is that I have no absolutely no desire to replace any one of these A-list bloggers. I seek the truth...not ways to get Democrats elected. If my party does wrong then I will investigate it and report it. But even though I feel less like a blogger and more like a journalist these days, I can't sit back and let a bunch of clowns plot to take over the world with the help of an even bigger clown and KINGPIN that has bankrolled them and their friends and is in the process of creating a Vast Left Wing Conspiracy to the tune of $80 to $200 million dollars (note to Jerome critics: that money is the reason why Jerome kept his job, not his friendship with a not-even-much-of-a blogger...and if you got their crappy non-ideological book then you can find the name of the KINGPIN close to page 1).

Nearly two years of research have led me to this point...and the truth is not going to be pretty for an awful lot of people on my side of the I warn all true liberal bloggers from the A to Z ranks to start backing away from these compromised characters ASAP.

To be continued.


Not everyone on this side of the blogosphere is acting like David Brooks' lambs - man i hate that cocky, unremovable smirk on Brooks' face, hardly ever agree with him, but except for confusing a lackey for the KINGPIN, he got pretty much everything right.

Marisacat linked to me pretty quick today, and she's got a plethora of posts at her site with a plethora of links to blogs and etc., covering this embarrasment that we've all allowed to fester to the point where the right will use it against all of us for ages and ages.

Speaking of the right, while there's a few right-leaning blogs that have been doing some damn good digging, I believe the evil genius who discovered the horoscope, DU, and freeper Vis Numar angles was Riehl World View, and if this blogger ever puts the amount of thought, time - as it seems he did - and work into other stuff as he has on this story then we could be in trouble.

And Donkey Cons has been relentless in his mocking attacks these last couple weeks, even if he he-thinks-ironically keeps on advertising a book that he wrote in the process.

Back to the left, Roger Cadenhead at Workbench and Drudge Retort is one of the bloggers mentioned above who has been Swiftboated the past week, one "outed" blogger notoriously known as Kos' enforcer came out of retirement to defend his friend (ha I kind of like that guy cause he's such an asshole and he is wickedly smart...but methinks he protests too much about others reporting what he should have mentioned a long time ago himself since his media outlet which raises money for candidates reaches over 2 and-a-half million readers a week) and another guy I won't mention was pretty merciless to Roger but I'd also consider him a friend or an ami and I just think he's being misled.

Thanks also to Ryan at Malkin(s)watch for linking to me and advising his readers to stop reading "Atrios, Kos, or MyDD for the next week if you can help it." I would never stop reading Daily Kos because there's so many great diaries over there, and I've been friendly in the past with and I've worked on stuff with two of the front pagers, and one of them I owe a big solid to.



Monday, June 26, 2006

'I like spit on their ugly Dum face'

I never had so much trouble picking out a title before because there is just so much wild stuff on this haloscan message thread to a post I wrote in March of 2005.

Evidently, Gore2008 objected to a post I wrote about him...then got mad when I wouldn't respond on the thread to his scribblings. The fact that he left the comments five months after I wrote the post I guess didn't give him a clue why I was silent.

Anyway here's a taste of my March of 2005 post, followed by a bunch of Gore2008's responses (like I said, it was hard to pick and choose and the ones I left out are just as quote-worthy), as it's only fair for people to read his side of the story.

Today, a diary at Daily Kos got my attention. It got a bunch of Kossacks' attention as well.

The diary, which is just a "copy-and-paste" from Wikipedia of some anti-Hillary stuff was started by a bozo who calls himself Gore2008.


Other wackadoo comments at Daily Kos and elsewhere: "By the way you Democrats are the one who has to be blamed for that.Because You are the one voted for him and elected him." "I repeat if there is no Al Gore then No one else. How do I know this?? Its the same way I knew that Kerry would loose in 2004. Believe it or Not. Miracles do happen in this world although this world is controlled by the demon's Power." " Why don't you all get real and accept the reality and deal with it instead of Fantacizing. I wish that I could leave this plannet right now and go where I am belonged to instead dealing with you all, thats not going to happen any time soon. In other words I am responsible for my own destiny and I am struct here dealing with all these Premature and Imature beings." "Dean won't goto hell, you repubs will goto to Hell 2000000%."


One primary motive behind starting the Run Al Gore Website seemed to be to spread a bunch of lies about Howard Dean: "BreadandWine you have the nerve to Tell us that you want to make AL Gore as VP for Dean, Ok why don't you call AL Gore's office and tell him that right now. You are under the influence of some kind of Narcotics may be, You are under hallucination. Bush will easily defeat him this time, may be he can run again in 2008. I am sure you can become his Chief of Staff. Here are the links for Deans Flip Flop . I got this from thingy Gephardt's web site. Have fun." (link ).

Gore2008 Says My Writing Sucks

Hey Moron why don't you get a life, Do I give a shit about you and your opinions, Soon you will be burning in hell along your buddies who listen to your crap, How come you have the IQ of 00.00

Ok I will tell you what if Hillary or any other democrats win the Primary in Iowa or New Hampshire you can call me a loser and retarded... Man I can't even believe that some of you dems are going to be very depressed and dissapointed after 2008 election for many Years, This is a curse for some of you from Heaven by the Creator of this Universe, You will make no progress in your life or anything in your life. Do you want test my spritual power... Go ahead...

...Tell you one more thing, that is not getting any where, beside wasting their time and energy in debating, Losers. I know everything exacly what will happen in this Universe and what is supposed to happen . You and your demon followers from the will get no where except to the bottom of the Hell pretty soon, and you all are going to be very dissapointed after 2008. This is a Curse from God.

By the way tell me Moron when was the last time you went to Jail??? Just curious, Do wanna go one more time???

You call your self a writer , your writing sucks, hey I learned English only 10 yrs ago and english is my second language moron Look at the way I write you Idiot ans I will be publishing best selling books and Articles in 5 yrs. By the do you think I am that stupid to put my real name on the Internet when there are thieves and culprits like you exists in this world. Moron.. If you got the guts you moron send me an Email to, by the way for the rest of the thugs and demons who like this moron go to hell along with him, and burn in hell thats what you all dem deserve. The Democrats are meant to suffer.

Hey Tell the Dailykos people that they get no where beside wasting their time and burn in hell and also I like spit on their ugly Dum face............ if they want to speak to me give them my email address.

Hey You mother Fucker you want to fuck with me Bring it on Mother Fucker 3rd grade, 3rd Class cheap Trash, Burn in hell forever .... and Go and suck the DailyKos markos dick, because I heard he has a big dick....

Vote for your favorite line! (I'm going with "Look at the way I write you Idiot ans I will be publishing best selling books and Articles in 5 yrs.")

By the way, Gore2008 writes "If you got the guts you moron send me an Email to," however I did in fact write this bizarre troll before I blogged about him but he never responded.

However, since Gore2008 knows "the beginning of the Universe and the end of the Universe," I humbly apologize for calling him a bozo, and I must have just gotten the whole thing wrong.

Somewhat but mostly unrelated

I have a new article at Raw Story called "New 'Murtha Lied' Website posts 'hateful' emails after liberal blogs start digging." I'll highlight excerpts from it tomorrow...and there will be a second part to the story soon.


Saturday, June 24, 2006

Downing Street Memo Journo to Testify

From my Raw Story article (written with John Byrne), Senate Democratic committee to hold oversight hearing on Iraq pre-war intelligence:

The Senate Democratic Policy Committee (DPC) will be holding a special oversight hearing on pre-war intelligence relating to Iraq Monday, RAW STORY has learned.


Senator Dorgan's spokesman told RAW STORY that the hearing shouldn't be characterized as a response to the delayed Senate Intelligence Committee Phase II investigation into pre-war Iraq intelligence.

"For starters there has never been a hearing on the use of pre-war intelligence, but essentially the purpose is there were clearly some problems with intelligence leading up to the Iraq war," said spokesman Barry Piatt. "There's been a lot of discussion about the quality of the pre-war intelligence but there's been almost no discussion about how the intelligence that we had was actually used."


British journalist Michael Smith, who broke the Downing Street memos story in the spring of 2005, which revealed that Blair and his ministers plotted to justify Bush's planned invasion eight months before the official start of the war, will appear as a witness via videoconference at the hearing.

"I decided to give evidence because they asked me to do so, it was clear they were genuinely interested in what I had to say, and it was part of genuine attempt to get to grips with the implications of the leaked memos," Smith told RAW STORY. "It would not be appropriate to discuss beforehand what I will be saying to the committee but it will of course go over issues that I have already written about extensively."

Two former officials slated to testify were recently featured in the PBS Frontline documentary "The Dark Side" which reported on the battle between Vice President Cheney and the CIA to control secret intelligence activities.

Read the rest at Raw Story.

(I have two biggish articles set to drop in the next few days, which also unfortunately means my follow-up Coulter plagiarism article has been pushed back. But the Coulter piece, when completed, will be quite extensively researched and it will address more than just plagiarism, so I think it will be worth the wait)


Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Grover, Ralph and Jack Show

From my article at Raw Story (co-written by John Byrne), Email shows Norquist asked Abramoff for client's donations:

According to the last page of the 373-page final report issued by Senator John McCain and his Senate Indian Affairs Committee in an investigation into tribal lobbying matters related to convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his former partners, a few nonprofit organizations may have run astray of the Internal Revenue Service.


According to the report, on February 9, 2006 "a number of relevant documents pertaining to this issue" were forwarded to the Senate Committee on Finance, recommending it to "investigate, hold hearings, and report to the Senate on its findings."


Documents referred to the Senate Finance Committee reveal Jack Abramoff's role in an unsuccessful campaign by A.T.R. against Bob Torricelli's race to replace New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley in 1996. It's been alleged that the Republican Party also assisted to stop Torricelli by donating millions to Norquist's group.


Ralph Reed, a longtime friend of Abramoff's who once served as the executive director of the Christian Coalition, also figures prominently in the documents referred to the Senate Finance Committee.

Reed, who is currently running for lieutenant governor of Georgia, has denied accepting "payments of any kind" from Abramoff.


But two newly released emails from 2000 may conflict with Reed's public statements of innocence.

Read the rest at Raw Story.


Defending Howard Kurtz Part 1,001

Once again I gotta back my man, Howie, at the Washington Post.

Instead of apologizing for speculating that Karl Rove's mother killed herself because her son is a "shameless bastard", Larry Johnson decided to pick on one of the liberal blogosphere's usual suspect punching bags at his No Quarter blog (and frontpaged at Booman Tribune):

Media pros, like Howard Kurtz, see parity between Coulter and me. Howie describes my comment as "despicable" (but does point folks to my blog, thanks Howie for the plug. And, lest you forget, remember that his wife is a Republican operative.)


And Howie calls me despicable? I find it despicable that Howie excuses Coulter's inexcusable comments.


What is truly amazing is media guys like Howie equate my comment, which attacks Karl Rove using Rove-like tactics, with Ann Coulter, who attacks Americans who simply speak up with a different political point of view.

What Howard Kurtz really wrote:

On a related matter, Hotline also notes that former CIA analyst Larry Johnson , in his No Quarter blog, had the following despicable comments about Rove and the Plame case:

What Hotline's Blogometer wrote:

The Blogometer only posts this despicable comment in hopes that major news outlets that have allowed him to speak in the past (Jim Lehrer News Hour, National Public Radio, ABC's Nightline, NBC's Today Show, and the New York Times) never provide outlet for his hate again.

Kurtz never called Larry Johnson's comments despicable. He just wrote that Hotline noted that they were.

Oh...and furthermore...

Kurtz DID characterize Coulter's comments as "despicable" on his CNN show Reliable Sources...although like with Larry he was just saying what others have said:

Are you struck by the fact that a number of prominent conservatives this time have turned to Ann Coulter and said that she went too far and that her remarks were despicable?

What's the chances of Larry Johnson apologizing to Kurtz?

I guess "no quarter" means pretending that only the "hypocritical, whiney, hysterical rightwing has melted down over my speculative comment."

(and for the record...i've never exchanged emails or phone calls or walkie talkies with there's no ulterior motives etc...i'm just amazed that so many liberal bloggers treat him with disdain...i've written about this before so search through the archives to find all the reasons why i like Howie and all the reasons why i think damn near everyone should like can start here)



Thanks to Loaded Mouth's blogger-from-the-right, Frznagn, for the crazy html code.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006 Slimed Me

FrontPage magazine (run by David Horowitz) is lying about me.

From Scott Crofut's "Raving About Rove":

In typical leftist fashion, within hours the left-wing blogs proved Rove's point for him. Personal attacks started flying on the popular blogs., Shakespeare's Sister, The Democratic and Raw all felt obliged to prove the point themselves.

"F**k you Karl Rove," was how Raw began its studied response. "We are angry and we hate you and your boss as well as the rest of the f***ed up media and crony s*#t we all see all the time in addition to what has become of a once great country going down the tubes!!!!"

That's a despicable lie. I never wrote anything like that. And my article wasn't even editorialized one bit.

That lying sack of shit is using a comment left by a reader to smear me.


Well...that was quick. Story now reads:

In typical leftist fashion, within hours the left-wing blogs proved Rove's point for him. Personal attacks started flying in the comments sections of the popular blogs. Readers of, Shakespeare's Sister, The Democratic and Raw all felt obliged to prove the point themselves.

"F**k you Karl Rove," was how one thoughtful disciple of Raw began his studied response. "We are angry and we hate you and your boss as well as the rest of the f***ed up media and crony s*#t we all see all the time in addition to what has become of a once great country going down the tubes!!!!"

I'll give credit to Front Page for correcting the story for all the other bloggers, as well, since it was the comments that Scott Crofut chose to cherry pick from a few places (I think it's perfectably fine to include comments when writing attack pieces on blogs...but not if that's all you include as Crofut did and still does...that said..."disciple" is funny...although I haven't finished my yogi or jedi training yet so it's a bit premature).

I give absolutely no credit to Front Page Rag for failing to include a correction which explains the changes.

(thanks to lukery for tipping me off to the change)


Monday, June 19, 2006

Extra, Extra! Rosen in the Post!

Jay Rosen, from a "special" article at (not that Jay's stuff isn't always special) to mark the Website's 10-year anniversary:

Why has no major news organization tried to build up credibility as the oppositional (but relentlessly factual) network the way Fox News built credibility as a Bush-friendly channel, which capably won the ratings for its coverage of the 2004 Republic National Convention? After all, the target audience -- cable watchers from "blue"America -- comprised at least 40 percent of the overall market, plus anyone from the right who would tune in for the outrage factor. Prior to the Internet, the idea that an opposition press could have value would simply have been ignored.

Read the entire article, Web users open up the gates, at


The Ghost of Joseph McCarthy

By Michael Stearns Suskind

June 18, 2006

Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?

This is the question that I heard as a litany in my childhood. One by one I watched people of great integrity being nailed on this and other questions. They were given a choice, to out their friends, or lose their ability to live and work in the United States.

Lindsey Beyerstein of Majikthise agrees with Steven Spruiell of Nat.Review.Online that outing a prominent anonymous blogger was newsworthy. She says, "I'm sorry that Armando of Kos got outed, but there was a real story there: Wal-Mart lawyer front pager at major liberal blog." However, Beyerstein notes that malicious outing is not cool: "Some bloggers, like T of M-C, have been outed for purely frivolous malicious reasons. Piss off the wrong person and put your career in jeopardy."

Ms. Beyerstein cannot see that the outing of a prominent anonymous blogger who also happens to be a partner in a law firm was a malicious smear against a person in the attempt to undermine the Yearly Kos convention and the netroots movement, and to cause divisiveness and infighting in the progressive Democratic party.

Ms. Beyerstein, a writer from New York, received her degree in Philosophy from Tufts University in 2003.

Her bio at The Heretik March 08, 2005 reads:

Who are you?

A: My name is Lindsay Beyerstein. I hold an MA in philosophyfrom Tufts and I am applying to philosophy PhD programs for fall 2005. Currently, I'm collaborating on a moral psychology experiment about ordinary speakers' use of the term "intentionally." I'm also working on a paper about Quine,snslyticity and gay marraige, a philosophicla analysis of "media bias" arguments, and some other more traditional projects. I support my contemplative lifestyle as a freelance pharmaceutical writer. Interests Analytic philosophy, liberal politics, science.

Well and good. And here's a quote from Ms. Beyerstein on the confidentiality of patient's records:

"I don't think that a doctor's prescribing records should be available to drug companies unless the doctor specifically authorizes the use of this valuable information. The A.M.A. is selling out its membership"

Ms. Beyerstein, this quotation smacks of conflict of interest. Would you care to disclose a full list of the pharmaceutical companies for whom you have written, and between the three parties: the corporations, the doctors, and the patient’s rights to confidentiality of records, just where do your loyalties lie? Are you a liberal journalist? In whose interest are you working?

Ms. Beyerstein on occasion both does and does not claim to be a journalist, but she enjoys hanging out with them talking shop. At the Yearly Kos Convention she gave them her ear while they complained about bloggers who write anonymously and gain a significant readership. The journalists work for very little money, they said, and have to bear up under the scrutiny and criticism of the public. Journalists get the shit, bloggers get the glory.

So Beyerstein's identification with Spruiell goes further than the right to out anonymous bloggers; it extends to that class of professionals who are underpaid, overworked and under-read. It was Spruiell who outed the front page blogger on June 8th to coincide with the Yearly Kos convention. Spruiell says when an anoymous blogger is revealed to be a corporate attorney who has litigated in behalf of clients like Wal-Mart, the progressive democratic left is owed that information. Furthermore, Spruiell claims that all bloggers are journalists, and that those who write on major news sites like Daily Kos should fully disclose their identities, profession, and client lists. There are 400,000 members of the American Bar Association. Following Beyerstein and Spruiell's rationale all attorneys should be outed if they write anonymously for the liberal blogging community. Beyerstein and Spruiell, an odd combination, seem to believe that any and all lawyers before writing anonymously on any subject first be required to disclose their name, law firm and client list. Would they require as well that all blogging attorneys declare their party affiliation, their voting record and any and all contributions to political and/or non-governmental organizations? The ABA as a body has petitioned the Bush administration for redress of grievances on the issues of torture, NSA spying, and the abuse of presidential signing statements. I am going to include here the full text of the letter that the President of the American Bar Association sent to George Bush on February 1, 2005.

February 1, 2005 The President George W. Bush The White House Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President: I write to renew the expressions of concern about the treatment of persons held in U.S. military custody which we expressed in a letter of September 27, 2004. Recent media reports drawn from the files of Army investigations describe hundreds of alleged incidents of torture, even including murder, practiced against Iraqi civilians in U.S. military custody. The reports are alarming to us all, particularly in that it appears many of the Army personnel involved either have not been charged with criminal conduct or their cases were closed with no action at all. If the allegations are indeed without merit, an inquiry by an independent, bipartisan commission with subpoena power would be the most practical way to set the record straight. It would send a message to the world of what Army spokespersons maintain: "the Army has aggressively investigated all credible allegations of detainees abuse and held soldiers accountable for theiractions." And if, as some have charged, the Army has not pursued these investigations appropriately, that inquiry will permit us to thoroughly and fairly bring to justice those who are responsible, and clear the good names of our military personnel who are not. The American Bar Association would welcome the opportunity to join you in urging the appointment of such a commission to prepare and make public a full account of detention andinterrogation practices carried out by the United States in pursuit of the war on terror in Iraq. It is incumbent on our nation to preserve the rule of law as the touchstone of our government and of our national honor, both at home and in the conduct of our policy abroad. It would fulfill the mandate and the destiny that you described in your inaugural address, that of spreading democracy throughout the world, if you were to make the establishment of such a commission a priority for your Administration and the Nation. Respectfully, Robert J. Grey, Jr. President American Bar Association

Now do you, Mr. Spruiell or do you, Ms Beyerstein want to ask Robert J. Grey, Jr. for the list of clients he has represented over the last 40 years to see if he passes your test for political correctness? Do either or both of you want to go digging into his background and test his integrity, or search for conflict of interest?

If the ABA is considered a conservative and stodgy professional association, there is the National Lawyers Guild with a membership of 90,000 who, as a body, called for the prosecution of George Bush on the charge of war crimes in 2003 not on the basis of the famous 16 words, but on the basis of the scarcely heard 40 words:

National Lawyers Guild Calls for Prosecution of President Bush for Role in Torture 2003 State of the Union Address Contained Implicit Admission

The National Lawyers Guild calls for the prosecution of President George W. Bush with a "command responsibility" theory of liability under the War Crimes Act. Bush can be prosecuted under the War Crimes Act or the Torture Statute, if he knew or should have known about the U.S. military's use of torture and failed to stop or prevent it. A comment in the President's January 2003 State of the Union Address contained an implicit admission by Bush that he had sanctioned the summary execution of many when he said: "All told, more than 3,000 suspected terrorists have been arrested in many countries, and many others have met a different fate." "Let's put it this way," he continued, "they are no longer a problem for the United States and our friends and allies."

Lawyers who use best practice of the law in the interest of their clients are known as good lawyers, not corporate shills, There is only one overabiding ethical rule involved with lawyers who write or speak: do not discuss your clients and do not discuss your cases.

The target of Spruiell's smear campaign amassed a large body of work over the years. For the thousands of posts, diaries and articles he wrote never did his writing compromise his professional ethics. He never misrepresented himself. His blogging life did not conflict with his professional life, and there has been shown no evidence at all, nor can there be shown, for what Spruiell calls conflict-of-interest. He never wrote about issues that affected his clients. Only once, when he was writing about the Judith Miller story did he disclose that he had a special interest in the case, which he disclosed at the time.

His writing reveals only a prejudice in favor of the law, and harsh criticism of the corruption in the legislative branch. i.e. Scalia. Likewise his critiques of Yoo, Gonzales and the concept of the Unitary Executive reveal nothing more about him than an adherence to fundamental core issues of Constitutional law. He wrote at length about Branzberg v. Hayes, a crucial decision that narrowly defined the shield laws for journalists. And he wrote about Youngstown Steel the benchmark decision that has critical importance for us today when we consider the abuse of presidential signing statements, the Constitutional Crisis, and the encroachment of an imperial presidency.

* Lawyers who use best practice of the law in the interest of their clients are known as good lawyers, not corporate shills.

* Surgeons who use best practice of medicine to operate on patients earn their reputation by their skills, not by the political persuasion of their patients.

How far do these proposed full-disclosure outing practices intend to go? Where is the line going to be drawn (see Wikipedia edit-wars) and who is entitled to draw that line? Are Spruiell and Beyerstein suggesting that doctors who have used best practice of medicine in the interest of patients we do not politically endorse should be outed too? Garbage men who pick up the garbage of republicans we detest, should be outed too? Almost all federal employees should be outed because we do not support this administration?

Our liberties are not best protected by people like Spruiell and Beyerstein. We can all thank our lucky stars that people who understand the law and revere the Constitutional provisions in the First and Fourth Amendments are working and writing and advocating in our behalf. We can thank the integrity of the community that honors the right of these people to post anonymously, as in the tradition of the Federalist Papers. Anything that would serve to silence these people, to curtail their freedoms of access, the freedom to write, or to reduce their ability to bring these issues to the public's attention to invite discourse... anything that would silence people like these I consider poisonous to our system of government and a dishonor to our history.

For more on this subject please read “Democracy Itself Is In Grave Danger;” by Al Gore, June, 2004


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Bush's 'Funny War'

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow on CBS' Face The Nation on Sunday morning:

But the president's also said it's a funny war because somebody, by a single act of violence or if in fact American -- or simply the fact that two American servicemen are missing, that becomes the big story rather than the fact that you've got almost 60,000 forces on the ground going after bad guys. We've apprehended hundreds of bad guys since Zarqawi died.

Since the White House spokesman said it on national television how come a Google News search turns up zero results for "funny war" "tony snow"?

Isn't it news if President Bush really believes that Iraq is a "funny war"?

Or is that just old news?


Op-Ed 101

It seems to me that there are too many bloggers out there that don't know what an Op-Ed is.

An op-ed is an opinion editorial...meaning...that when a newspaper publishes an op-ed that doesn't mean that that's the paper's opinion.

I'm incredibly surprised that some bloggers with journalism backgrounds seem to forget this: Exhibit A.

( Ryan points out in the comments....op-ed stands for opposite editorial...I guess I flunked Op-Ed 101, too)


Saturday, June 17, 2006

oy gevalt, Larry

Larry Johnson seems to be channeling Ann Coulter in a Thursday post written about Karl Rove:

Karl is a shameless bastard. This could explain why his mother killed herself. Once she discovered what a despicable soul she had spawned she apparently saw no other way out.

How could anyone possibly defend this as a valid thing to say? Shame on you, Larry.

As I wrote, that post was written Thursday, but I just stumbled upon it at Protein Wisdom, where Jeff Goldstein rightfully goes to town on it. According to Goldstein, Johnson originally blogged, "Small wonder his mother killed herself."

Aside from being a stunningly stupid thing to write, this news kind of ruins the planned introduction to my latest Raw Story article, "Rove: Right use Net to 'broaden our appeal,' while left use it to 'mobilize hate and anger.'"

Hopefully, Johnson will apologize for what he's written...otherwise he's gonna make Karl Rove look right:

In an exclusive interview with a New Hampshire "citizen activist network," President Bush's senior political adviser, Karl Rove, claimed that conservatives have broadened their appeal through the Internet while liberals have used it to "mobilize hate and anger," RAW STORY has found.

"I do also think that the Internet has proven to be a more powerful tool on our side than it has been for the other side," Rove told, a non-partisan Website founded by a former Ambassador who has raised and contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to strictly Republican candidates.


Instead of "focusing on good ideas," Rove opined that the "Internet for the Left of the Democratic Party" only "mobilize hate and anger."

"It has tended to sort of drive their party even further to the Left rather than focusing on good ideas that would help unite people around common goals and common purposes," said Rove.

"Instead, the Internet for the Left of the Democratic Party has served as a way to mobilize hate and anger — hate and anger, first and foremost, at this President and Conservatives, but then also at people within their own party whom they consider to be less than completely loyal to this very narrow, very out-of-the-mainstream, very far Left-wing ideology that they tend to represent," Rove continued.

"I think the Democrat focus, or at least the Internet blog world focus, if you will, is, 'How can we punish our enemies and express our anger?'" Rove added.


According to a press release promoting the Rove interview issued by, the group was founded two years ago.

"Victory NH began as a grassroots Internet effort led by Ambassador Joseph Petrone," the press release says. "Since its founding in 2004, it has grown into a network of activist groups across New Hampshire, working together to defend the principles and policies of lower taxes, smaller government, a strong national defense and a free-enterprise system; as well as protecting New Hampshire's first in-the-nation primary.


According to, Petrone has given over $300,000 in political contributions since 2000, all of it to Republican candidates and committees.

In 2000, Petrone led Bush/Cheney fund-raising efforts for New Hampshire, raising triple the money that Vice President Al Gore's campaign was able to. In 2000, Bush took New Hamshire by only a 1.27% margin of victory (link).

At a diary about my article at Daily Kos, a commenter named shpilk mentioned that New Hampshire was where the phone jamming occurred:

Yup, NH .. the State where both the Head of the GOP as well as the Executive coordinator for Bush 're-election' are convicted felons.

VictoryNH is making my spider sense tingle.

More on Rove's interview and VictoryNH at Raw Story.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Sue Cobb Sides With Diebold Again

Guest blogger: Michael Hussey

Jim Davis takes Florida Secretary of State Sue Cobb to task creating the new rule that requires county election supervisors to notify voting machine companies when equipment is tested.
“The new rule offered by Florida’s secretary of state will make it harder for local supervisors of elections to test the integrity and accuracy of voting equipment,” said Davis. “We should be making it easier for supervisors of elections to conduct free and fair elections, not making harder to independently test voting machines in advance of Election Day.”
That is the furthest thing from Cobb's mind. Remember, she threatened legal action against Ion Sancho after he tested the Diebold machines and found they could be hacked. After Sancho went public with his findings; none of the voting machine companies that had contracts with the state would do business with him. Cobb then filed legal action against Sancho for not having machines in place. Charle Crist's office issued investigative subpoenas to Diebold Inc., Election Systems & Software Inc., and Sequoia Voting Systems Inc. The investigation is still ongoing. Diebold agreed to sell voting machines to Leon County after the subpeonas and negative media and blogging attention. Sancho was vindicated.

To understand why Jeb Bush's office is so protective of Diebold is simple. Diebold gave $200.965 to the Republican party in 2000 and 2002. Diebold donated zero dollars to Democrats during that time. Former Diebold chief executive officer Walden O'Dell was quoted saying that he was committed "to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President." Diebold has refued to provide paper trail records for their machines.

If Sue Cobb wants to follow the career path of Katherine Harris then more power to her. Jeb Bush won't go to bat for her. Republicans will only give lip service to supporting you, Sue. Taking one for the team is something Republicans believe the person sitting next to them on the bench should do. Voters are tired of Florida elections being a national disagrace. Sancho proved that standing up to the Jeb Bush and Diebold juggernaut is possible. Sue, I hope you have a nice job in the private sector waiting for you.

Update: Ion Sancho is not happy.
"I simply do not see how the state has the authority," Sancho said.

Sancho accused the department of using the rule-making process to punish him for tests he conducted last year. The tests uncovered a security flaw in the Diebold optical-scan voting system that could allow hackers to skew election results. A group of Sancho supporters who gathered in an auditorium at the R.A. Gray Building for the workshop burst into applause. Sancho accused the state of ignoring his test results until they were duplicated in California.

"Not only were the test results valid, but they identified a security threat that went all the way through the traditional testing process without being detected," Sancho said.




Stay tuned...big story tomorrow.


Monday, June 12, 2006

Time's 'Bloody X' Zarqawi Cover

From my Raw Story article, Zarqawi earns Time Magazine's signature 'bloody X' cover:

A picture of Abu Mousab al-Zarqawi, the former leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq killed late Wednesday evening in a US air raid attack, appears on the cover of the latest issue of Time, sporting the magazine's signature 'bloody X' across his face, a 'tradition' that began in May 1945, RAW STORY has learned.

Adolf Hitler appeared on the first Time 'bloody X' cover before his suicide became known, and Saddam Hussein earned one in April of 2003 to mark the end of the Iraqi president's reign but before he had been captured.


For the Hussein 'bloody X' issue, TIME managing editor Jim Kelly explained "when regimes get the X."


"No one knows for sure whether the Iraqi ruler is dead or alive," Kelly continued. "But this much was clear last week: Saddam Hussein's regime had been 'X-ed.'"

However, the cover story accompanying the Zarqawi cover (Funeral of Evil) clearly indicates that, in this case, no 'regime had been X-ed.'


Scott Badenoch has a conflict of interest

[Guest post by tas]

Over on my blog, my guest blogger Mark called attention to this Wizbang post, which calls attention to an AP article, wherein a man named Scott Badenoch claims that all of the armor that's been added to our military's Humvees in Iraq have made them more dangerous, reasoning that the added weight makes them more prone to rollover accidents.

But who is Scott Badenoch? The AP article says that he's "a former Delphi Corp. vehicle dynamics expert," but what the article does not mention is that Badenoch is working for the Georgia Institute of Technology on a vehicle that's aiming to replace Humvees in Iraq.

Plagued by persistent roadside bombs in Iraq, the U.S. Marine Corps is exploring safer tactical-vehicle alternatives to its widely used Humvee.[...]

The Office of Naval Research and the Marine Corps War-Fighting Lab are funding an approximately $1.9 million project to develop the Ultra Armored Patrol vehicle and its more advanced sibling, the Ultra 3T. But critics in Congress caution that the project could risk falling by the wayside, just like hundreds of other endeavors that have never moved from the development phase to the production line. [...]

“The program has been underfunded, and to some extent it has been personally funded,” said Scott Badenoch, the institute’s principle scientist and project manager. “The money is less than a 10th that it would take to do this program at a car company,” added Badenoch, who worked at General Motors and on a NASCAR team.

Badenoch goes on to note that the Ultra program is being underfunded:

“It could have been done six months ago but did not have money,” said Badenoch. “We have the solution, and if we had 2 percent of what they put in the Humvees I could have given you vehicles in Iraq.”

There are positive and negative lights in which to view this article. One positive way could be to say that Badenoch is right, he has the best of intentions in his heart and he really is speaking out to protect our soldiers. I've never met Mr. Badenoch and I've never talked with him before, so I don't know him personally through any sustained email communications or the like. I can't say what's on his mind.

However, judging solely from the facts, what I do know is that Mr. Badenoch has a financial interest in seeing military Humvees go the way of the dinosaur. That's a huge conflict of interest if he's actively speaking out against Humvees, and maybe even obfuscating the facts surrounding their usage and safety. The AP, and all of the outlets which have published the AP story, should have let its readers know about Mr. Badenoch's employment history if they are going to base articles off his opinions.

But since the demonization of Humvees means a potential payday for Mr. Badenoch, why should I trust anything he has to say on the matter?


Sunday, June 11, 2006

zarqawi, broder: panty sniffers

(post by lukery) Ron points to a "bizarre" Reuters piece. Here are the first few paras:
"The ruins of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s house are strewn with a random jumble of wreckage -- magazines, a leopard-print nightgown, a religious slogan and a few hints at the violent career of Iraq’s most wanted man. What is left of the “safe house” where the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq lived suggests that he and his companions lived there with few luxuries. The U.S. military took reporters to the village of Hibhib, near the town of Baqouba north of Baghdad, three days after its air strike killed al-Zarqawi, blamed for the grisly beheadings of hostages and the killings of thousands in suicide bombings."
Ron thinks it is weird because there's an obscure link to FDR. I like it because MSNBC runs with the headline: "Women’s clothing found at al-Zarqawi house." If we lived in a proper universe, the headline would be "Women and child murdered by Americans" A quick look through google news shows the assortment of headlines for this story: I just wanna cry. (* n.b. this headline from India)


Saturday, June 10, 2006

Reuters Links Zarqawi to FDR

This is not a joke.

From the bizarre Reuters article Women’s clothing found at al-Zarqawi house:

There were traces of al-Zarqawi’s radical ideology. A leaflet lying in the rubble identified a radio station in Latifiya south of the capital as an apparent target.

A few feet away was a magazine picture of former President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Note that the first paragraph says "traces," thereby linking FDR to Zarqawi's "radical ideology."

(Hat tip to The Civil Engine for funniest post I've read about Zarqawi yet - haha funny as opposed to funny that the media is buying some of this shit).

More on Zarqawi in my last post. Now The New York Times is starting to ask questions (and when it's John F. Burns and PSYOPS victim Dexter Filkins asking questions that means this story ain't gonna go away so easily most probably).


Letterman feeds a wingnut some sledgehammers

[This post is by tas]

In the past, I've mentioned that David Letterman "is the voice of the conscience of normal Americans." It's important to pay attention to what Dave says because he doesn't live in the blogosphere/infoglut bubble that most bloggers and blog readers live in, so when Dave makes fun of a topic, it means that topic has become mainstream and is now on the minds of many more Americans. And many Americans agree with Dave, that's why they laugh at his jokes. (Yes, I'm sure that a more verbal, erudite, and scholarly assessment can be made of Letterman's thoughts and society at large, but that's for another post at another time.)

So when Dave slams Ann Coulter in such a brutal fashion, you know that the not-so-pretty little hate machine is in trouble.

You know anything about this Ann Coulter? She's some kind of commentator or political thing. She goes around yacking and she got herself into a lot of trouble.

She has made some crazy statements about 9/11, and coincidentally Al Gore has produced a new documentary all about Ann Coulter.

I believe it's called an 'Inconvenient Bitch.'

Here's what we know about Ann Coulter. She's blonde, she's single, and well, maybe someone will set her up with O.J.

Wow. Just wow.

I want video.


Friday, June 09, 2006

Post Calls Military Documents 'Critics'

From today's Washington Post article After Zarqawi, No Clear Path in Weary Iraq by Ellen Knickmeyer:

Critics of the U.S. military's campaign in Iraq have accused American commanders of making their own use of Zarqawi, exaggerating the foreigner's importance to suggest that the insurgency has been thrust upon Iraqi Sunnis more than it has been led by them.

If Blogger hadn't been down all last night I would have blogged about how strange that paragraph is since it wasn't "critics" that made that claim, but instead internal military documents and military intelligence officials as reported by - ummmmmm - The Washington Post in April.

From Military Plays Up Role of Zarqawi by Thomas E. Ricks:

The U.S. military is conducting a propaganda campaign to magnify the role of the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, according to internal military documents and officers familiar with the program. The effort has raised his profile in a way that some military intelligence officials believe may have overstated his importance and helped the Bush administration tie the war to the organization responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The thing that struck me oddest last night was that Ricks was also credited in today's Post article as a contributing reporter but since I couldn't blog I figured I'd dig more instead.

A source at the Post told me that it was a mistake by the Baghdad bureau who "phrased it awkwardly." Meaning that the latest Post article wasn't meant to suggest that Ricks' prior scoop was being reconsidered (not sure if a correction will be added but it's possible).

Hopefully, Ricks will follow-up that intriguing article he wrote back in April real soon (and he might want to start right here for a look at the most ridiculous story yet about the man who once had one leg. Note to Psy-Ops: It's best not to rewrite your endings after everyone's already seen how it supposedly ended in the first place.).

Postscript (or about 'the man who once had one leg' crack)

Although it was still being reported in some media outlets that Zarqawi had a leg amputated in a Baghdad hospital after a US attack in Afghanistan in 2002, a number of journalists reported a while back that this turned out to not be true. The Washington Post's mighty Walter Pincus was one such reporter who wrote that it was a false account.

As Pincus wrote in 2004:

In 2002, Bush administration officials said, Zarqawi went to Baghdad to have one leg amputated after having been wounded by a U.S. bombing attack. That account has turned out to be wrong, according to U.S. intelligence officials who have interrogated Zarqawi associates.

"It was for another ailment, but not his leg," one intelligence official said yesterday. "We are still learning about him," this official added.

Bush alluded to the hospitalization in an October 7 2002 speech just before Congress voted on the Iraq resolution:

Some al Qaeda leaders who fled Afghanistan went to Iraq. These include one very senior al Qaeda leader who received medical treatment in Baghdad this year, and who has been associated with planning for chemical and biological attacks.

It sure would be nice to find out where exactly this misinformation came from in the first place.


The Washington Post has a strong article in Saturday's edition, Zarqawi Helped U.S. Argument That Al-Qaeda Network Was in Iraq by Karen DeYoung and Pincus:

From the moment President Bush introduced him to the American people in October 2002, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi served a crucial purpose for the administration, providing a tangible focus for its insistence that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was linked to the al-Qaeda terrorist network responsible for the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.


In addition to his indisputably prominent role in the Iraqi insurgency, Zarqawi was always a useful source of propaganda for the administration. Magnification of his role and of the threat he posed grew to the point that some senior intelligence officers believed it was counterproductive.


But the U.S. psychological operation appeared to backfire, according to one military study of how it played in the Arab and American media. While some media outlets found Zarqawi ludicrous, most wondered why he was so hard to capture or kill if he was so incompetent.

Unfortunately, that story is on Page A15 while the cover story for Saturday's Post is.....ummm....more psyopsy: Death Could Shake Al-Qaeda In Iraq and Around the World by Craig Whitlock.

(Note: Here is the part of the blog post where I normally quote the best parts of the article linked...but in this case there are no best parts...since this worthless page one article adds nothing new in content - not even new or noteworthy propaganda - and it science-fictionally completely over-inflates the role of Qaeda operatives and jihadists in Iraq's insurgency. This ridiculous garbage is on the cover of the Post instead of Pincus' latest bit of magic. Unbelievable. Un-fucking-believable. How can a newspaper put such a story on its front cover based on soundbites from analysts and 'experts' when fifteen pages later an article co-written by one of the world's greatest journalists basically rips its central thesis to shreds!)

Will anyone in Vegas notice?


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

'Pending war' said to delay Bush Bust

From my latest article at Raw Story: Bush National Guard bust unveiling said postponed from December of 2002 because of 'pending war' with Iraq (long title for longer article):

The unveiling of a bronze bust commemorating President George W. Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard was postponed initially from December of 2002 due to the "pending war" with Iraq at the time, according to an assistant to the renowned sculptor commissioned for the project.


"Charles Parks completed the bronze bust of George W. Bush for the National Guard Museum in the fall of 2002," Joanne Cimini told RAW STORY. "The original unveiling was supposed to be in December of 2002."

"However, as it was stated to me, because of the then-'pending war' it was postponed until further notice," Cimini said.


On February 9, the day of the bust's unveiling, Bob Cesca at The Huffington Post wondered why the date on the green marble pedestal for the bust was left open-ended in an article entitled "President Bush Forever!"

"The inscription noting the duration of Bush's presidential term doesn't read "2001-2009," wrote Cesca. "It reads '2001-BLANK.' In other words, the statue says he's going to be president from 2001 through infinity!"


But the date on the pedestal was left open-ended because it was commissioned during President Bush's first term in office, sometime in the fall of 2001, according to Parks' assistant.


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Picking On The 'Jersey Girls'

Ann Coulter on the "September 11 Advocates," the four "Jersey Girls" who helped push for the 9/11 Commission, while hyping her 6/6/6 book on NBC's Today show in an interview with Matt Lauer (video and transcript at Think Progress):

LAUER: On the 9-11 widows, an in particular a group that had been critical of the administration: “These self-obsessed women seem genuinely unaware that 9-11 was an attack on our nation and acted like as if the terrorist attack only happened to them. They believe the entire country was required to marinate in their exquisite personal agony. Apparently, denouncing bush was part of the closure process.” And this part is the part I really need to talk to you about: “These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them, reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by griefparrazies. I have never seen people enjoying their husband’s death so much.” Because they dare to speak out?

COULTER: To speak out using the fact they are widows. This is the left’s doctrine of infallibility. If they have a point to make about the 9-11 commission, about how to fight the war on terrorism, how about sending in somebody we are allowed to respond to. No. No. No. We have to respond to someone who had a family member die. Because then if we respond, oh you are questioning their authenticity.


LAUER: So if you lose a husband, you no longer have the right to have a political point of view?

COULTER: No, but don’t use the fact that you lost a husband as the basis for being able to talk about, while preventing people from responding. Let Matt Lauer make the point. Let Bill Clinton make the point. Don’t put up someone I am not allowed to respond to without questioning the authenticity of their grief.

LAUER: Well apparently you are allowed to respond to them.

COULTER: Yeah, I did.

LAUER: So, in other words.

COULTER: That is the point of liberal infallibility. Of putting up Cindy Sheehan, of putting out these widows, of putting out Joe Wilson. No, no, no. You can’t respond. It’s their doctrine of infallibility. Have someone else make the argument then.

LAUER: What I’m saying is I don’t think they have ever told you, you can’t respond.

COULTER: Look, you are getting testy with me.

LAUER: No. I think it’s a dramatic statement. These broads are millionaires stalked by stalked by griefparrazies? I have never seen people enjoying their husband’s deaths so much.

COULTER: Yes, they are all over the news.

Two years ago, Dorothy Rabinowitz wrote a column published in The Wall Street Journal entitled "The 9/11 Widows: Americans are beginning to tire of them." Excerpts:

The venerable status accorded this group of widows comes as no surprise given our times, an age quick to confer both celebrity and authority on those who have suffered. As the experience of the Jersey Girls shows, that authority isn't necessarily limited to matters moral or spiritual. All that the widows have had to say--including wisdom mind-numbingly obvious, or obviously false and irrelevant--on the failures of this or that government agency, on derelictions of duty they charged to the president, the vice president, the national security adviser, Norad and the rest, has been received by most of the media and members of Congress with utmost wonder and admiration. They had become prosecutors and investigators, unearthing clues and connections related to 9/11, with, we're regularly informed, unrivalled dedication and skill.


Little wonder, given all this, that the 9/11 Four blossomed, under a warm media sun and the attention of legislators, into activists increasingly confident of their authority--that, with every passing month, their list of government agencies and agents guilty of dereliction of duty grew apace. So did their assurance that it had been given to them, as victims, to determine the proper standards of taste and respectfulness to be applied in everything related to Sept. 11, including, it turned out, the images of the destroyed World Trade Center in George Bush's first campaign ad, which elicited, from some of them, bitter charges of political exploitation.

Out of their loss and tragedy the widows had forged new lives as investigators of 9/11, analysts of what might have been had every agency of government done as it should. No one would begrudge them this solace.

Nor can anyone miss, by now, the darker side of this spectacle of the widows, awash in their sense of victims' entitlement, as they press ahead with ever more strident claims about the way the government failed them. Or how profoundly different all this is from the way in which citizens in other times and places reacted to national tragedy.

A month later Lloyd Grove at The Daily News reported:

Wall Street Journal pundit Dorothy Rabinowitz - who last month penned an acid assault on the "Jersey Girls," four 9/11 widows who've dared to criticize the Bush administration - received some payback yesterday at the hands of "Jersey Girl" Kristin Breitweiser.

The 33-year-old widow of portfolio manager Ron Breitweiser, who died in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, gleefully shared with the Daily News Rabinowitz's intemperate and insulting response to Breitweiser's recent op-ed submission to the Journal enumerating "systemic" problems with government efforts to meet the terrorist threat.

In a message meant for Journal deputy editorial page editor Tunku Varadarajan, but was instead accidently E-mailed to Breitweiser on Tuesday, Rabinowitz wrote: "total and complete - not to mention repetitive - nonsense from people given endless media access to repeat the very same stupid charges, suspicions, and the rest...

"but this is just an opportunity for these absurd products of the zeitgeist - women clearly in the grip of the delusion that they know something, have some policy, and wisdom not given to the rest of us to know - to grab the spotlight. again. and repeat, again, the same tripe before a national audience.

"My thoughts - we don't publish nonsensical contentions that offer no news, no insight - solely on the grounds that those who feel attacked get a chance to defend their views. For that we have the letters column."

Isn't it strange how the right frames this argument? Attacking the left for using people who "can't be challenged" to make their arguments?

Yet when they do the same it's okay?

Debra Burlingame, whose brother piloted American Airlines Flight 77, has done her fair share of shilling for President Bush and the right the last four years.

Burlingame on the Patriot Act last January, also published in The Wall Street Journal:

A mere four-and-a-half years after victims were forced to choose between being burned alive and jumping from 90 stories, it is frankly shocking that there is anyone in Washington who would politicize the Patriot Act. It is an insult to those who died to tell the American people that the organization posing the greatest threat to their liberty is not al Qaeda but the FBI. Hearing any member of Congress actually crow about "killing" or "playing chicken" with this critical legislation is as disturbing today as it would have been when Ground Zero was still smoldering. Today we know in far greater detail what not having it cost us.


The public has listened to years of stinging revelations detailing how the government tied its own hands in stopping the devastating attacks of September 11. It is an irresponsible violation of the public trust for members of Congress to weaken the Patriot Act or jeopardize the NSA terrorist surveillance program because of the same illusory theories that cost us so dearly before, or worse, for rank partisan advantage. If they do, and our country sustains yet another catastrophic attack that these antiterrorism tools could have prevented, the phrase "connect the dots" will resonate again--but this time it will refer to the trail of innocent American blood which leads directly to the Senate floor.

Here's Burlingame defending the Bush/Cheney 2004 campaign's usage of September 11 imagery in their ads:

Debra Burlingame, whose brother Charles was the captain on the plane that crashed into the Pentagon, said she supported the ads given the current foreign policy climate.

"The ads are very positive," Burlingame, a registered Democrat, told Reuters, adding, "It's a huge issue and to say that President Bush can't talk about it is preposterous. It's not like these images are being used to tear down his opponents, but to point out that this is his top priority."

A registered Democrat, no less.

Here's registered Democrat Burlingame speaking at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City:

Losing Chic on 9/11 was the most difficult thing my family's ever faced. But burden was lessened by the things that ordinary Americans did to help us. I want you to know that we were aware of what you did.

We saw the spontaneous memorials -- the cluster of candles on a front porch, the sign outside the Wal-Mart that said, "Pray for the Families."

We saw the flags on the office buildings, on store fronts and kids' bikes.

We saw the websites.

We read your letters. We received the pictures your children drew.

I'll also never forget the huge flag that was unfurled at the Pentagon, just a few yards away from where the plane went in. I especially remember it lit up against the dark sky in the wee hours of September 12th --

Burlingame didn't specifically endorse President Bush...but her presence at the RNC spoke volumes. And, as shown, she used her words to link the Bush Administration's responses with those of "ordinary Americans" in a Bushspeak sort of way.

After all, "ordinary Americans" weren't responsible for raising the flag at the Pentagon.

More from her speech:

I am deeply honored and grateful for the privilege of standing before you so that I can thank you for these tender gestures and for the endless generosity which helped us carry on.

Burlingame wasn't standing before America. She was standing before the Republican delegates in favor of re-electing President Bush and Vice President Cheney.

My point, of course, isn't that Burlingame doesn't have a right to say what she wants to say. This is America. My point is that it's a fucking monstrosity that anyone on the right would accuse the left of using 9/11 relatives to make their arguments since they've done that themselves.


Via Raw Story, here's a link to a video from the same Today show episode with comic/D-lister/pro-disser Kathy Griffin dissing Coulter in a short bit with Al Roker: link.

Also...I forgot to mention this part of the Coulter-Lauer interview:

COULTER: No, the story is an attack on the nation. That requires a foreign policy response.

LAUER: By the way, they also criticized the Clinton administration.

COULTER: Not the ones I am talking about. No, no, no.

LAUER: Yeah they have.

COULTER: Oh no, no, no, no, no. They were cutting commercials for Kerry. They were using their grief to make a political point while preventing anyone from responding.

But here's "Jersey Girl" Kristin Breitweiser guestblogging last December at Huffington Post about Able Danger:

At what time did the U.S. government have in its possession actionable intelligence regarding the identity of the terrorists who carried out the USS Cole bombing? Was that information gleaned from any alleged Able Danger analysts? When was it shared with the CIA? Was that the information used to justify the alleged "taking out of the cells" in the Able Danger operation between January 01 and May 01? If so, why did certain governmental officials in both the Clinton and Bush Administrations lie to the 9/11 Commission in stating that they did not have in their possession conclusive evidence linking al Qaeda to the bombing of the USS Cole until after the 9/11 attacks?

Hard to not-not-not believe but Coulter's wrong.


Saturday, June 03, 2006

RFK Mistake Is Slanted By Blog

RFK Jr. seems to have made one glaring mistake in his Rolling Stone article, Was the 2004 election stolen?, as noted by the right leaning blog Outside the Beltway, as linked at another post by Tristero at Digby's Hullabaloo, and as fact-checked by me:

Actually, it’s an outright lie to say that “Nearly half of the 6 million American voters living abroad(3) never received their ballots — or received them too late to vote.” Using Kennedy’s own source, here’s the truth:


[NOTE: O.T.B. has a graphic taken from the Overseas Vote Foundation report that's included in this portion of the post]

So, only 9% didn’t receive a ballot and 5% received their ballot after the election. That’s 14%. That’s bad but the reasons are manifold. First, quite a few of these people were either not registered to vote in the locality they requested an absentee ballot from, sent their request in too late, or forgot to send it and thought they had. Second, several states were unable to print and send ballots until very late in the process because of various lawsuits–many filed by Democrats–about ballot inclusion.

One gets up to a whopping 43%, though, if one adds in those 29% of overseas voters who received their ballots in the two weeks before the election. But why exclude them? All that’s required is that they be POSTMARKED by election day, not that they ARRIVE then.

First off...anyone who's calling RFK's entire report bullshit because of a few errors or so by linking to Outside The Beltway should do their homework first (NOTE: I'm not calling out Tristero directly on that...because he's not calling bullshit on the entire report like some others are just that "either a substantive counter-response or an admission of error on Kennedy's part really is appropriate"). Because although RFK Jr. and Rolling Stone may have made some almost inexcusable mistakes in regards to fact-checking and editing, this right wing blog seems to be deliberately leaving out key information in their take-down.

O.T.B. conveniently leaves out something from page 11 of the report by the Overseas Vote Foundation. Um. That would be the conclusion:

Given the realities of international and domestic postal systems, the real risk of disenfranchisement for these voters lay somewhere between 19% and 43%.

O.T.B. also conveniently leaves out something from the DoD press conference that Kerry cited for the 6,000,000 figure:

And then we have our Absentee Voting Week, which is -- we've selected October 11th to 15th. And what we're telling folks there is, you should vote during that week. That's the week you should send your ballot in if you have not already done so.

Now, this is sort of like the Christmas mailing season. We're going to tell them some dates by which they should mail that ballot in, and if they do, even from the remotest part of the world to the remotest part of the United States, the ballot materials should get back to the local voting official in sufficient time to be counted in the November 2nd election. People can vote after that. They can send in their ballots up until the day of the election, but they risk, because of the transit time, not having that vote counted. And so we're urging them during the week of October 11 to 15 to cast your ballot by absentee.

I could get all technical and add that ballots that arrive after election day even if postmarked before aren't counted anyway because unless the count is close they're not ever looked at...but enough already.

The O.V.F. report also puts the number of overseas voters at 4 million, so since RFK is including all 6 million in that part of his article then he would have to take the (what should be) as high as 43% figure down even further or change the total period.

It is entirely possible that there is a report somewhere that shows the number of overseas military voters who also didn't get their ballots in time...and if that's the case that might be where RFK got his 50% figure from...and the only mistake Rolling Stone made was not to note that and include it in their sources ('s entirely possible that the 50% figure is too low).

I haven't had time to fact check O.T.B.'s other points or those singled out in a Salon article written by Farhad Manjoo, also linked to at Hullabaloo (and approvingly by some other RFK-bashing liberal bloggers) but I'll try to get to it shortly (unless Brad beats me to it). But here's a link to a transcript of a debate between longtime election-critic-critic Manjoo and Greg Palast shortly after the election in November of 2004 where they argued about who really won Ohio. Also, I haven't had a chance to fully dissect this top-rated Daily Kos diary yet by first-time diarist Malcolm but it's called "A Semi-Comprehensive Quizzing of Manjoo's Rebuttal of RFK Jr." and it's worth taking a look at. Avedon at The Sideshow also takes a look at Manjoo and calls the title of his article ("Was the 2004 election stolen? No") dishonest.


Best Comics Are Women

The way I see it the best three stand-up comics in the country right now are women.

Margaret Cho took the crown from a mellowing Chris Rock years ago. Enough said.

Sarah Silverman stole the all star comic documentary about a joke, "The Aristocrats," when she i-think-joked that Joe Franklin raped her, and her solo feature documentary "Jesus Is Magic" is more outrageous than the best episodes of "Curb Your Enthusiasm." The former SNL cast member never got to do much on the late night NBC show, as she did on Gary Shandling's "Larry Sanders Show" years ago (24 alumnus Mary Lynn Rajskub who plays Chloe and Penny Johnson who wickedly played the late President Palmer's late wife also did well-spent time on "Larry Sanders"), and she's now finally getting some of the recognition that she deserves (not near enough, though).

Speaking of Curb, Larry David's periodic showdowns with Wanda Sykes are always the best parts of the show. A recent episode had Sykes admonishing David for taking in a dog named "Sheriff" that appeared to hate black people, and her mostly-improvised reactions were classic (the dog was looking at her like she was a t-bone steak, she cracked). Sykes, who used to work for the NSA (National Security Agency) first attracted notice on "The Chris Rock Show," and she made the little-seen-in-theaters "Pootie Tang" memorable with her bizarre gyrations and come-ons so much so that it became a cult classic.

Profiled in Friday's Washington Post, Sykes told Jen Chaney that one of her dreams was to host Saturday Night Live.

This bit on "Pootie Tang" is a riot:

"It was kind of hard to see 'Pootie Tang' in the theater [with them] because it wasn't there that long," she says, referring to the largely unseen 2001 comedy in which she co-starred with Chris Rock. " 'Come on, baby, we're going to go to the 3 o'clock show.' Then you show up and 'Hey, what happened to the movie?'"

Memo to Lorne Michaels: Margaret Cho, Sarah Silverman and Wanda Sykes should all be included in your upcoming fall line-up if you still have a trigger on what's funny these days. America can do without another Lindsay Lohan or duplicate hosted show. Cho, Silverman and Sykes would really spruce things up, especially if head writer and Weekend Update anchor Tina Fey's not around anymore.


Thursday, June 01, 2006

80 Million Reasons To Ignore RFK Jr.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. asks Was the 2004 election stolen?

Ask a crazy question like that at the top "liberal" blogs and you might find yourself banned.


Maybe because there are 80 Million Reasons To Ignore Election Fraud.

Ask not what your blog can do for your country but what your country can do for your blog...I guess.

Here are the first two paragraphs from Kennedy's must read article (and don't you dare stop here...head directly to Rolling Stone and read the rest):

Like many Americans, I spent the evening of the 2004 election watching the returns on television and wondering how the exit polls, which predicted an overwhelming victory for John Kerry, had gotten it so wrong. By midnight, the official tallies showed a decisive lead for George Bush -- and the next day, lacking enough legal evidence to contest the results, Kerry conceded. Republicans derided anyone who expressed doubts about Bush's victory as nut cases in "tinfoil hats," while the national media, with few exceptions, did little to question the validity of the election. The Washington Post immediately dismissed allegations of fraud as "conspiracy theories," (1) and The New York Times declared that "there is no evidence of vote theft or errors on a large scale."(2)

But despite the media blackout, indications continued to emerge that something deeply troubling had taken place in 2004. Nearly half of the 6 million American voters living abroad(3) never received their ballots -- or received them too late to vote(4) -- after the Pentagon unaccountably shut down a state-of-the-art Web site used to file overseas registrations.(5) A consulting firm called Sproul & Associates, which was hired by the Republican National Committee to register voters in six battleground states,(6) was discovered shredding Democratic registrations.(7) In New Mexico, which was decided by 5,988 votes,(8) malfunctioning machines mysteriously failed to properly register a presidential vote on more than 20,000 ballots.(9) Nationwide, according to the federal commission charged with implementing election reforms, as many as 1 million ballots were spoiled by faulty voting equipment -- roughly one for every 100 cast.(10)

Steve Soto at Left Coaster writes "I find it a little troubling that a half hour after this story is online, not one of the A-list center-left blogs is even posting on it. Has possible election fraud now become taboo with the larger blogs?"

A commenter noted that Digby linked to RFK. Good for Digby (UPDATE: a commenter pointed out...Tristero wrote this post not Digby).

Digby writes (UPDATE: again...not Digby but Tristero)

"Confession: I have not been following this issue closely - no particular reason other than it's impossible to follow everything. The article may be old news for some of you, but it does collect a lot of creepy stuff in one place."

This was Digby on 11/7/04:

But, as I said, my problem with flogging the idea that the election was stolen on the basis of what we know now is that I think it might end up lowering voter participation on our side if people feel the system is rigged and we can't prove it. I just don't think it works in our favor to push this kind of electoral impotence two elections in a row. If we keep our powder dry proof may emerge and maybe we can make a serious case to the public. Otherwise, I think it's best to frame this not as a stolen election but rather as a hideously run election system that must be fixed or we may be cutting off our nose to spite our face.

Yes, Digby, much of the information in RFK's article is old news. And much of it was even old news on 11/7/04.

During November of 2004, after the election, most of the top bloggers in the liberal side of the blogosphere were too busy attacking the religious right - some even broadened the attack to the religious period - based on those same exit polls which they otherwise ignored. Digby put up more than a few herself.

Digby from 11/5/04:

We should spread it far and wide that this election was won by fringe fundamentalist first time voters who now feel empowered to force their views on everyone else, including mainstream Christians.

Heck. The first link in that same Digby post already showed that that "conspiracy theory" was wrong - terrorism and fear drove the vote not religion - but that didn't stop Digby from plowing along with it. Why was attacking the religious right based on exit polling kosher while using those same polls to point out discrepancies in the election results qualify as working against "our favor?"

I will give credit to Digby for linking to Brad Blog in November of 2004. Atrios shut down his comments section in November of 2004 rather than do something "crazy" like that (although Atrios blogged "I didn't turn off the comments because I was annoyed at commenters per se").

Back to Digby's current post (UPDATE: yep...again...Tristero not Digby):

The real question, of course, is what will be done about it and NO! I refuse to give into fashionable cyncism! So yes, dear friends, I really do believe the country will focus like a laserbeam on our corrupt election practices. I have no doubt the moment there's a squeaker and the Republicans lose a big one by 2% or less, the MSM will ensure that election reform becomes the only subject worth talking about, even more than the civil rights of 1 day-old fertilized eggs! (Unless there's a missing young white woman that week, but that goes without saying.)

What exactly will it take for the top liberal bloggers to "focus like a laserbeam on our corrupt election practices?"

But even more importantly...what exactly will it take for the readers of the top liberal bloggers to "focus like a laserbeam on our corrupt election practices?"

Today Digby wrote (UPDATE: ummm Tristero again) "Plain and simple, the Republicans stole the presidential election and Kenneth Blackwell, who seems to be up to his eyeballs in the shenanigans, is quite an accomplished liar."

If Digby truly believes this then I hope Digby uses that brilliant mind and magic keypad to start "following this issue closely" and to start taking the election reform movement seriously (UPDATE: I think you can guess what the update is by now).


Cheers to Jane Hamsher for linking to RKF. Firedoglake wasn't around in November of 2004 so there's no hypocrisy involved.

Also, cheers to Jane Hamsher for including a link to BradBlog, but there appears to be a html code problem with her post.

Jane's first paragraph:

The new Rolling Stone has an article up by Robert Kennedy Jr. about GOP vote suppression in 2004. It’s one of those complex subjects to which other bloggers devote a lot of much-needed attention and cover quite well so I’ll leave it to them to do the heavy lifting and just say that I’m glad whenever it rises to the level of national debate.

As you can see, Brad Blog is embedded beneath "much-needed attention" but "cover quite well" leads to Digby (UPDATE: If I wrote Hullabaloo instead of Digby I'd still be right but I didn't so...yep...I mean Tristero). Cover quite poorly is more like it (UPDATE: ummm after all the updated corrections I had to add to this post I kind of feel like the pot calling the kettle black on that last line).


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