Friday, July 12, 2002

MWO appears to have caught the Shrubbery's press hack Ari Fleischer in a self-contradiction, comparing a recent statement with one in February 2001 regarding politicians talking down the economy. Seems to have claimed then that it was impossible, but that Democrats are doing it now when talking about Shrub's lack of moral authority in calling for corporate reform.

But catching that contradiction, fun as it is, misses the real point of Fleischer's current remarks, which have been very consistent with the Shrubbery's position from the start. Let's quote that again...

MR. FLEISCHER: The President looks at this as a time for people in Washington to come together and demonstrate confidence in the economy, confidence in our system of Congress and the administration working together to fix the problems. It's very easy in Washington for politicians, if they're interested, to point fingers and place blame and work against the interests of the nation.

Never mind the lie that the Shrubbery has any interest in doing any real work with the Congress. The real point in the final sentence is merely the pig, "Americans should watch what the say," with an extra layer of lipstick glopped on. C'mon, he's saying that criticizing the Shrubbery is damn near treason. Did you really expect them to waver from that well-worn party line?

Thursday, July 11, 2002

Julie Hiatt Steele for the Senate? I'd go for it.

And now we are left to depend on Larry Klayman (you overlooked one, he sued the White House, the FBI, the President, the President's entire legal team, and Salon to name a few, in behalf of Kathleen Willey in September, 2000) to fix it for us!?

Please say it isn't so!

You mean Klayman (R-unhinged) didn't sue Cody Shearer for being in San Francisco when Faire Willey claimed he was in Richmond?

Media Whores Online puts up an awful lot of good new stuff every day, considering that they're on vacation. F'rinstance, they do a piece on Crossfire's ratings rising 57% since Begala and Carville came aboard last April.

Will Walter Isaacson learn from this that there's more money out there than the almighty dittomonkey dollar he feels his network must get?

We take time out from examining Shrub's not-so-stellar business record to bring you some Swedish power chords.Arch Enemy is now touring the U.S. in their first full U.S. tour with their new vocalist, the lethal Angela Gossow. I saw them with their previous vocalist (the growly but reserved Johan Liiva), and they put on a good show. Word on the street is that Angela is orders of magnitude stronger on stage, so you shouldn't miss if they're coming near you.

07/11 Cardi's - Houston, TX

07/12 Steamboat - Austin, TX

07/13 Canyon Club - Dallas, TX

07/15 Bash On Ash - Tempe, AZ

07/16 Galaxy Theater - Santa Ana, CA

07/17 The Key Club - Hollywood, CA

07/18 Brick By Brick - San Diego, CA

07/19 The Pound - San Francisco, CA

07/20 Meow Meow - Portland, OR

07/21 Graceland - Seattle, WA

07/23 Bluebird Theatre - Denver, CO

07/25 The Lab - St. Paul, MN

07/26 Milwaukee Metal Fest XVI @ the Milwaukee Auditorium - Milwaukee, WI

07/27 Harpo's - Detroit, MI

07/28 Agora Ballroom - Cleveland, OH

07/30 Showplace Theater - Buffalo, NY

07/31 Birch Hill - Old Bridge, NJ

08/01 Saratoga Winners - Cohoes, NY

08/02 The Chance - Poughkeepsie, NY

08/03 The Palladium - Worcester, MA

08/04 The Trocadero - Philadelphia, PA

08/06 The World - New York, NY

08/07 Jaxx West - Springfield, VA

08/08 Ziggy's - Winston-Salem, NC

08/10 State Theater - St. Petersburg, FL

08/11 Culture Room - Ft. Lauderdale, FL

The Daily Howler makes a pretty persuasive argument that Shrub really did not benefit from inside information when he sold his Harken stock. This was a result of the examination of SEC documents obtained in 2000 by a Freedom of Information Act request on the 1993 investigation. To quote the law professor who examined the SEC documents, Stephen Gillers of NYU, "We’re dealing with investigators here who are not political appointees." [emphasis mine] I have to emphasize that part because several (including, unfortunately, Smokin' Joe Conason) have been saying quite the opposite about the SEC's investigators.

All in all, the insider trading finding has nothing to do with what happened with the funny business with Aloha Petroleum that Paul Krugman wrote about.

There's something ironic about all this, though. If the FOIA request had been made on the SEC documents after Shrub was installed in the White House, the request may just have been turned down by the Shrubbery, as many FOIA requests regarding W have. To extend that, we'd just have the memo that was out long ago saying that Bush was not exonerated by the SEC probe, and nothing in the public record would contradict that.

In case the Shrubbery wanted to know, this is a true example of people who can rearrange their priorities in an instant to do something more important. Too bad our so-called leadership can't do the same for the country.

Long live Toumai!

An article in the most recent issue of Nature details the finding of a possibly 6 or 7 million year-old hominid-ish skull found in Chad in Central Africa. This is about a million years older than any other hominid fossils that have been found, and also about 1500 miles away from the Great Rift Valley in East Africa, where hominids were thought to have gotten their start.

I can't really speak about the age, as the research group couldn't radiodate the skull directly. But just the fact that the skull is so far away from the Rift Valley is a huge leap in possibly understanding origins of the lineage of the great apes, of which humans are part. Toumai, as the skull has been nicknamed, should get paleoanthropologists looking in the region between a hypothesized Mega-Lake Chad (a tropical forestland that has since become desert) and Kenya.

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

By now, I'm guessing that most of you have seen Nino Scalia's words about the death penalty and the movements for abolishing it. Many in the center-left web world seem to be getting up in arms about it, but that only seems to be the case because the source is Nino Scalia.

Consider the exact same statement coming from a European advocate for death penalty abolition. Would I think that advocate had ingested some kind of wacky evangelical PCP? No, I'd think that person was issuing an indictment (earned) of organized Christianity in the United States. I'd see it as a criticism of the USA and a compliment toward Europe.

So Scalia made a true statement about the death penalty and its opponents. It just doesn't mean what he thinks it means.

Mickey Kaus has been getting a pretty thorough beatdown (figuratively, of course) from several corners for some of his sillier comments. One set regards his "concerns" that the rude (and loving it!) people at MWO are going to incite violence among the monolithic left that is only left and monolithic because it's not as stump-stupid as the Limbaugh family and all of their multiple ex-wives. I'm guessing that the mocking coming from Atrios at Eschaton will make Kaus claim that he's right because they inflicted viowence on his widdle feewings. This'll bring a second round o' mocking, of course.

Then he goes and claims that Little Annie Fannie Coulter won her argument with Katie Couric, which is getting picked up at the renewed and energized Daily Howler. (Read more of that later for more of their incomparable analysis of media silliness.) Seems like a sign of desperation from the RW fool camp, cuz I get the impression that if you can't hold your own with perky apolitical morning show hosts, you don't belong on TV anywhere. Reading his comments, damn, but he's desperate to rescue his fwiend by seizing on a real minor point while overlooking (intentionally) the bigger picture that Coulter is an unemployable idiot, someone with a law degree who claims a whole load of expertise but has never bothered practicing law. You'd think that's what someone who claimed to be an attorney would do, eh?

Monday, July 08, 2002

Is someone willing to buy me a plane ticket to Portland?

The AAA ball club Portland Beavers are holding "Arthur Andersen Appreciation Night" on July 18. Parts of this promotion involve free admission for anyone named "Arthur" or "Andersen" (don't know about "Anderson" or "Andersson"), shredding stations around Portland General Electric Park for old documents, and the first person named "Arthur Andersen" gets a luxury box for 80 people one night.

In other minor league news, the owner of the Charleston (SC) Riverdogs, the always-wacky Mike Veeck, is sponsoring "Nobody Night", where they will lock the gates and have a party outside in order to get an official attendance of zero.

The majors might have a "Nobody Night" in the near future, but it won't be because of any promotions.

Mr. Filthy doesn't like Men In Black II. I had only wanted to see it for how they got Tommy Lee Jones to get his memory back from when Will Smith erased it. Sounds like I shouldn't even bother with that.

I go away for a week or so and what happens? The media finally picks up on the Harken Energy double-dealing by W over 10 years ago. Actually, they haven't. Paul Krugman did devote his last two columns (here's the latest one) to it, but the rest of the media will actually print that W is really being sincere this time about his outrage towards the sleazy corporate accounting practices that became standard during the Reagan administration.

Well, those of us who bothered to be informed on W's crooked bidness history already knew about this. Meanwhile, the mainstream media will go on talking about important things like Al Gore's clothes.

Sunday, July 07, 2002

I woke up one morning to see in the paper that the economy had expanded at an annual rate of 10 percent over the most recent period for measuring such things.

Oops. That was the Canadian economy and it was the paper for Windsor, Ontario. The corruption of US corporations has, of couse, sent our economy into a tailspin.

OK, so I'm back now. No little side trips into Kinko's for any need-to-blog sessions while on the road.

So anyway, seeing as I was in Ottawa for Canada Day and the U.S.A. for the Fourth, I was thinking of writing something about the divine right of kings that the conservatives in this country seem to be hell-bent on restoring. Hey, great idea for something that might take shape later.

But then I heard something today on my radio that just infuriated me. It was a paid political ad by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce about the need for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site, demanding (it wasn't a polite request) that listeners thank Senator Kit Bond (R-Backstabber) for supporting the Yucca Mountain site and standing up to "environmental extremists." That's their words, not mine. It was just loaded with the red meat that the Vulgar Pigboy's brainless slaves can't get enough of. And Jean Carnahan simply didn't exist.

Thing was, it was just two days ago that I had been driving through Vermont when I heard pretty much the same ad tailored for a Vermont audience. First of all, there wasn't a speck of that red meat anywhere. (I get the feeling that just wouldn't play in Vermont.) Second, the tone of the ad made it seem like it was pro-environmental to ship nuclear waste by train across the country to a site on an active fault. That is, it would be very good for Vermont's environment to have that waste in Nevada. I had wondered if the "Alliance for Sound Nuclear Policy" was a front group for someone. Well, if I had read the Las Vegas Sun article on the ads that the paper had put out a little over a month ago, I'd have known then. Thanks to the really ham-fisted ad on our local station, it seems pretty clear to me who's lining that Astroturf group's pockets.

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