Friday, July 29, 2005

DomiNoe Muthafucker

The DomiNoe effect has started with Brian Hicks and Cherie Carroll each pleading guilty to a misdemeanor ethics charge. They'll each pay a $1,000 fine. Attorney Jeff told me last night that if they were his clients he would have jumped at this deal. What we don't know yet is whether the prosecutors got anything from them in return for this deal, or simply had to beat the clock. Today was the last day Hicks could be charged before the statue of limitations ran out.

Negotiations for this deal went into last night. I would like to think Hicks had to give up all pertinent e-mails, etc. about the BWC scandal.

Bill Frist

Bill Frist has flip-flopped his position on stem cell research. I really can't bash him because it is the right thing to do. We are in dire need of more stem cell lines to use in research. I've seen the right bashing him and that's to be expected. I'm a little curious about his motive. Perhaps he believes this will help him in the 2008 presidential race.

I'm going to say it right here, right now. Bill Frist has zero chance of being president. Why do you ask? Because he's their Al Gore. He's their John Kerry. In short, the guy is a fucking stiff, and George Bush has proved twice already that even dumb beats stiff. It's like I'm watching a bug eyed robot when he is on TV. Since the beginning of the era of televised presidential races stiffs have lost every general election in which they participated.

Sometime in 2008 some jackass on CNNMSNBCFOX will point back to the stem cell issue and knowingly say "It cost him the chance to be president." Dopes.

Slow Start

I've been on the road most of the day, so I haven't really been able to catch up on today's events yet. While in the car though, I did hear The Diane Rehm Show for the first time. Pretty good.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Gun, Meet Mouth

If this story in USA Today is true, I might as well go ahead and check out now. Insomnia gets worse as you age? That sucks. OK, I already sleep as poorly as humanly possible and still be functional. Four hours is pretty much a long sleep for me now, and that is after a long night visiting one or more of the many quality local purveyors of spirits.

Hope I die before I get old.

Geek Stuff

I have site meter installed on this site. I find it very interesting. You can find out what referred people to this site. That is how I found commenter V&S's site. I've been getting a lot of Gigi Graham hits lately as she has recently beat her husband and is now apparently getting a divorce. I wrote about her thoughts on religion and politics a couple of months ago.

That brings me to this. This is the funniest Google search that ever landed someone on this site. I'm pretty sure this visitor didn't find any useful information. This will make you laugh overtly so be prepared. Check out the keywords

Middle Finger

Click here to check out Bush giving the press the middle finger.

What To Do, What To Do, What To Do

I'm somewhat open to suggestions.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Dumbfounded

Occasionally, I read a quote so stupid that I simply sit dumbfounded. Right now, I don't know whether to be angry, or sad, or sick. I truly wonder whether or not America can continue to exist when people with thoughts this idiotic not only freely walk the streets, but get quoted in the New York Times. I normally would now write an obscenity laden rant ripping the guy, but today I'm going to take a different route. The following is from today's NYT article on the upcoming OH-02 race between Paul Hackett and Jean Schmidt.

At the Warren County fair, where Ms. Schmidt bought a 230-pound pig from a 9-year-old girl and watched a demolition derby, Charles Hartman, a Democrat turned Republican, agreed.

"It's a positive thing for him," Mr. Hartman, a substance-abuse specialist with a nonprofit group, said after meeting Ms. Schmidt. "But we're not at war here." [Emphasis mine]
Hmm, I have to admit, I don't follow Warren County politics very closely, but I'm pretty sure that it would have came across my radar screen if Warren County, Ohio had seceded from the United States of America. No, that hasn't happened. If Mr. Hartman can be believed, by using common logic, I can assume we're not at war here either. Unfortunately, I know that not to be the case.

Now, it is true Charles that there are not any tanks in your front yard, and you probably didn't encounter any IEDs on your way to wherever you work today. By the way, if you go around saying things this dumb, I think its safe to say you're committing the crime of theft every Friday when you pick up your paycheck. Don't feel too bad, your learning curve is only a little bit behind Jessica Simpson's, who now gets it.

Since you are choosing to support Jean Schmidt in next Tuesdays special election for Congress, perhaps you should secure the following two demands from her. First, you need to get her to refund all the taxes you paid that went to the Iraq war because we're not at war here. Secondly, you should ask her for do overs for the seventy Ohio servicemen that have given their lives in Iraq. After all, we're not at war here. I'm guessing you will not obtain these promises.

Seriously, how can people walk around with this sort of disconnect from reality?

Back Door Bribes

The Washington Post tells the tale of former lawmakers going into the lobbyist business. This is a relatively recent development. Why? I'll get to it. I believe The Post draws an erroneous conclusion to explain why this is happening. They think that former lawmakers help provide much better access to current members of Congress. That may be true, but its not what has caused this trend.

Those big lobbyist dollars don't need any grease to get though the door. It is silly to even think that. These are simply back door bribes, repayments for the sweetheart deals former congressmen got their clients. Hell, Billy Tauzin didn't even wait until he retired to announce he was taking a lobbying gig with the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America shortly after helping craft the new prescription drug law.

So, what is really causing this trend that took off in the mid-nineties? In 1992, Congress changed a campaign law that allowed retiring lawmakers to simply convert their campaign war chests to personal accounts. In other words, the bribes were overt. You made a campaign contribution and the lawmaker took it home with him on the way out the door.

I don't understand how the Post missed this aspect of the story.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Cincinnati Post Endorses Hackett

The Cincinnati Post has endorsed Paul Hackett for the OH-02 special election. Hackett definately has the momentum in this race, we'll have to see if he can run down Schmidt in the homestretch is this highly republican district. He has a large advantage of cash on hand, should be interesting.

Even if Hackett falls short, I think this race gives us an idea of the damage recent republican scandals have caused. A close race or a win by Hackett should definately send shivers down the republicans spine for 2006. Some wishy washy challengers might get cold feet, and incumbants will have to prepare for tighter races than they have grown accustomed to easily winning.

Too be honest, this race is already a victory for the Democratic party. Jean Schmidt is a weak candidate at best, and it will be a few years before the republicans can use this safe district for some bench building. A Hackett victory would simply be gravy.

If you want to toss Hackett some last minute coin, go here.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Arnold Cuts Tie With Classic

Arnold Schwarzenegger has cut financial ties with the Arnold Classic. His spokesperson says he will continue to attend the event, but will no longer take an appearance fee. We'll have to wait and see how long that lasts. He was forced to give it up due to the supplements veto scandal.

One question that begs to be asked. Is the Arnold Classic big enough now that it doesn't need him to draw the crowds it does? I think so. Not many of the attendees actually get to see Arnold anyway. It could be a moot point in a couple of years if Arnold's poll numbers keep "Tafting."

The AC pumps about $75 million into the local economy.

Santorum Today

Rick Santorum took part in a WAPO live chat today. Mainly softball city, but he did say he would not seek the presidency in 2008. From WAPO

Senator Rick Santorum: Well, I will be honest with you. I have six children ages 4-14. And the idea of coming off a race of the intensity that I am engaged in at this point and turning around and running another two year campaign for president is not something that I believe is in the best interest of my family, which I say in the book, and I believe in my heart it's my principal responsibility. I can't speak for other politicians but I can speak for me, and my intention is not to run in 2008.
Hopefully, Rick will be looking for something in the private sector next year.

Weather Stuff

The heat here in Ohio has finally reached the unbearable threshold. It was 83ยบ when I left for work this morning at 6:30AM. The should break in a couple of days though. I was watching CNN this morning and they were talking about the remnants of a Saharan sandstorm preparing to hit Florida. This sand has blown all the way from Africa to the US. It's supposed to create great sunrises and sunsets.

At 6:15 CNN went to a live shot from a local tower cam and it was still pitch black. I have to admit I was a little puzzled. It was light outside here and Miami is black. It turns out Miami is only about 180 mile east of Columbus. I thought it was much farther. Their sunrise was about twenty minutes behind us today.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Day One

So many scandals, so many drums to beat. Tom "Short Change" Noe started stealing money from the Ohio BWC day one. Noe wired $1.375 million from the coin fund to his business account the very same day he received BWC's first investment to cover about 40 bounced checks. This theft continued until the last day he operated the fund taking another $600,000.

I gotta think even a cursory backround check would have prevented Noe from ever getting his hands on BWC money. A few questions need to be asked of BWC about this. Did they do a backround check of Noe, and if so what did it show? Either they didn't do one or someone at BWC ignored the results. If the results were ignored, was it due to incompetance or pressure from the governor's office?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Coming Soon To A Riot Near You

The Army plans to put into service next year a weapon called the Sheriff. It is a 95 gigahertz directional microwave that cooks whoever it is aimed at. It supposedly causes unbearable pain within five seconds. Longer exposure causes, well, you get the idea.

London Punked?

Coming out of London this morning are reports of "incidents" on the underground. These "incidents" mirror the bombings of two weeks ago. I think this is a prank. One eyewitness reported that after the "bomb" went off the "bomber" said, "Oh fuck."

UPDATE 10:00AM: The current story floating on this is that this was a terrorist attack and that the plastic was a bad mix. Only the detonators went off. Armed police, rare in London, have entered University Hospital, possibly to secure an injured bomber. I don't have a clue if this is true or not, just passing on what I hear on British radio.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Blogs, The Internet And Campaigns

Here a great example how blogs and the internet can help out a candidate. Tim Tagaris wrote a great piece on Daily KOS about Paul Hackett which was read by Kevin Kefgen, a video producer in Las Vegas. Kevin offered his services to produce a commercial for the Hackett campaign. You can view it here.

Elsewhere in the blogosphere, a fundraising effort was launched by some of the larger blogs and DFA. Hackett raised over $100,000 in just a couple of days and will now be able to make some media buys. If you want to toss Hackett some coin, go here, or here.

Odd side note, I think I went to high school with Kevin's sister. Small world.

Coming In September


Coming to ABC this fall on Tuesdays at 9:00, Its Synchronized Dancing For Dickheads. Watch this pair perform a powerful, yet controversial dance guaranteed to cause you to lose control of your uterus.

Having Some Posting Problems Today

I think Blogger, my ISP, and Hello are conspiring against me.

John Roberts Is Nominee

Well, I was wrong about that. Both with my first prediction, as well as what I was hearing yesterday. No biggie, you can't always be right and it is fun to guess.

One thing that struck me last night while watching the nomination. It has to suck to be that intelligent, achieve that much, and to reach the highest echelon of your profession you have to rely on one moron picking you over your peers.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

India And Nukes

I wonder how loud the collective gasp was from our other four allies in the upcoming 6-party talks concerning North Korea's nuclear program. Yesterday, president Bush agreed to share civilian nuclear technology with India. This will certainly bolster their nuclear weapons program. While I think this is a good idea long term, this is poor timing on the part of the Bush administration. Having a more powerful India is a good regional check to China's military buildup.

But, how can we expect China to be a full faith negotiator in the North Korean talks when we are helping their close by enemy improve their nuclear capabilities? Most of India's nuclear missiles are aimed at China, not Pakistan. I think China would now be foolish not to try to sabotage the Korean talks to keep the US tied up with this mess. After all, North Korea's nukes aren't pointed at China, but our allies Japan and South Korea.

The deal also allows India to buy the Arrow Missile System which is a high altitude anti-ballistic missile defense system developed by Israel. Think of a shorter range version of our Interceptor anti-missile defense program, only this thing actually works.

Supreme Court Nominee

Arlen Spector was called to the White House last night to discuss who Bush's Supreme Court nominee would be. An announcement will come today, tomorrow or Thursday. It appears that the nominee will be Edith Clement of the 5th Circuit Court. I don't know much about her, not many people do. She has said in the past that Roe v Wade is "settled," so we will have to see if the fundies blow up over her nomination.

UPDATE 10:32AM: Announcement imminent, it's Clement.

UPDATE 2:00PM: Announcement now at 9:00PM

Monday, July 18, 2005

Shifting, Shifting, Shifting

George Bush shifted the goalposts today on the Plame outing, changing the language he has used in the past to allow Karl Rove to stay in the White House after he is indicted. Bush now says that anyone who committed a crime will be fired. Previously Bush had stated that anyone who was involved would get canned.

Three quarters of Americans believe Rove should be fired if he leaked classified information according to an ABC News poll released today.

Freedom On The March, Backwards

The latest meme for the Iraq war has now been debunked. Freedom is on the march in the Middle East, on the march out of town. Trudy Rubin has the story in yesterday’s Philadelphia Inquirer. Even democratic dissidents in the region are now taking a “freedom, but at what price?” attitude towards democratizing their countries. All it took was one look at the unfolding civil war in Iraq. From the Inquirer:

President Bush contends that Iraq will inspire democratic change in the region. But far from being an inspiration, Iraq has turned into a bogeyman. It is the nightmare example cited by authoritarian Arab regimes as proof of the looming chaos if they open their systems too fast.

Even Arab democrats no longer talk of the January moment when millions of Iraqis voted. In Syria, political dissidents told me they don't want swift "regime change" in their country lest it lead to Iraq-style chaos. In Lebanon, leading members of the newly empowered political opposition worry Iraq will unsettle the region.

In Egypt, government officials warn that rapid political change will enable Islamists to take power. As proof, they point to the victory of Shiite religious parties in Iraqi elections.


These people are, in fact, correct. The handwriting was on the wall for what Iraq was going to become before we lobbed the first smart bomb at Saddam Hussein. You can’t destabilize a country by creating a void of power at the top without having various factions make aggressive, sometimes violent, power grabs to fill that void, especially when that country is sitting on trillions in oil revenue.

You really only have to look at recent history to see this in action. Consider the tortoise and the hare that are China and Russia respectively. Russia threw their doors open to immediate all encompassing democracy and it turned out to be a disaster. Rampant crime and corruption quickly became the norm, sound familiar? Russia is now slowly inching back towards totalitarianism. China on the other hand went the slow route towards democracy and is now poised to be the economic super power of the 21st century.

The sad thing is that the neo-cons that planned this fiasco are supposed to be experts on Russia. How could they not see this coming?

Bye, Bye NRA

The NRA just announced that they will move their convention out of our fair city to another location. I say good riddance. Charleton Heston can take his cold dead hand right on down the road. There is plenty of time to replace them with another convention. Look, I like guns as much as the next guy, but the leadership of the NRA is simply a bunch of conservative political hacks.

I'm actually kinda surprised that the NRA pulled the convention, its not their style. With a mayoral election next year, I thought they would use their convention to try to exert some influence on it. Looks like the right is writing Columbus off as a lost cause.

Friday, July 15, 2005

The Duke Is Done

Duke Cunningham, R-CA will not seek re-election following a federal raid on his house and office. The duke is accused of selling his house to government contractor Mitchell Wade for well over its value and living for free on Wades yacht in Washington, DC. Wade's share of the pentagon pie shot up dramatically after these transactions. Cunningham sits on the powerful House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Cunningham also says he will sell his current house and donate a portion of the proceeds to three charities. Sound to me like the duke is trying to get real liquid, real fast. May I suggest retirement in Belize?

Rehnquist Vows To Die On The Job

Well, not really. He did announce yesterday that he's not going to retire anytime soon, though he is likely to expire soon. Rehnquist, 80, has been battling thyroid cancer since October. I'm glad Rehnquist made this announcement because it puts Bush and several conservative Senators in a sticky position. It’s hard to appease both big business and big-box Jesus with a single nomination, and no one is going to be conservative enough for the likes of James Dobson, save Dobson himself.

I really think Bush is going to piss off the religious right with his nomination. While he pays lip service to them, he's not actually one of them. He comes from the thievery corps of the republican party and it is big business that is going to be filling his pockets after his term is done, not the Christian right.

I imagine Bush will be sitting on quite a few executive boards whose meetings he never attends after his presidency. At least, those corporations had better hope he doesn't attend.

Rove's Shifting Defense

The right wing noise machine is throwing out a different defense for Rove every day now. Everything from he didn't do it to he did it but it wasn't a crime to Bob Novack did it. Maybe he plans to use Schizophrenia as the basis for his defense. Seriously though, expect more of this day after day. This is standard flypaper politics, the thinking is that if you throw out enough lame brained half ass ideas something will resound with people and you press the one that sticks.

Look for a lot more of this in the coming days.

MMMM Morels

Because life can't be all politics, all the time. here is a link to an in depth interesting article on commercial morel mushroom harvesting in Alaska that ran in yesterday's LA Times.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Jail Bob Taft

Bob 17% Taft has refused a subpoena for him and five others to testify before the Ohio Supreme Court citing executive privilege. Taft instead offered up Kate Barttler his chief policy director to testify. This is ridiculous, does Taft really think that he can pick and choose who testifies before the OSC. I hope Alice Resnick jails the whole lot of them to compel them to testify. Of course, this is just a chance to drag Taft though the mud one more time. I assume he would assert his 5th amendment right, but Taft asserting that right would be the lead virtually everywhere.

I have never in my life seen corruption so rampant at the state and federal levels of government. Jesus, you almost have to be a lawyer to keep up with it all. I think a huge backlash is coming at republicans in 2006. Even some of their evangelical voters are starting to recoil from the antics of the GOP.

At Least He Stays Bought

Two days before being sworn in as governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger accepted an $8 million dollar consulting job from American Media Inc, a publisher of various health and fitness magazines. California law allows elected officials to keep side jobs. The contract only asks that Arnold make himself available after the regular workday or on weekends. Not a bad part time gig.

A considerable amount of the ad space in these magazines are filled by performance enhancing supplements, so you can guess what happened when legislation landed on his desk that would have regulated these supplements. He red-lined it. You see, if supplement peddlers make money, AMI makes money, so Arnold makes money. A quite nice little circle jerk, and as for the kids, fuck 'em.

Like the title says, at least he stays bought.

Eating Their Own

Wow! The young republicans have thrown Nathan Taylor over the boat with an anchor chained around his neck. Taylor, chairman of the Nevada young republicans, is up to $25,000 in debt after the national YR convention in Las Vegas. Remember, what happens in Vegas, stays on Nate's tab.

All but three members of the Nevada YR chapter resigned before the convention claiming Taylor was mismanaging money forcing him to drop classes and quit his food service job to plan it.

Taylor's pleas to Nevada's Congressional delegation for money have gone unanswered except for this don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out type money shot comment from Jon Porter campaign consultant Mike Slanker.

"I wish him well in his future after politics."

Found via Atrios

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Paul Hackett

Tim Tagaris has a very good piece on the differences between Paul Hackett and Jean Schmidt, the candidates for OH-02. Go read it here. To donate money to Hackett's campaign (the only federal race on the ballot in Ohio this year) go here.

SUSA Polls The Governors

SUSA has its latest tracking poll of the 50 governors out and Bob Taft now has a, are you ready, drumroll please...........17% approval rating. That's 14% below the next lowest rated governor, Frank Murkowski of Alaska. With a full 76% now disapproving of the job Taft is doing, he now sits at a net negative -59%.

It is going to take a cleaning crew months to get the stench of failure out of the governor's mansion before the next governor (Coleman) moves in.

North Korea

North Korea has come back to the bargaining table to take place in six-party talks over their nuclear program. If any past administration were running this country, I would say the best way to solve the crisis with North Korea would be to enter into bi-lateral talks directly with them, but with Bushco running the country I'm not really sure we should even be at the six-way talks. We're the reason the DPRK left the talks the last time.

Seoul has pledged rice and energy to the north if they get serious about halting their nuclear program. We should let South Korea and Japan take the lead on this because they have the most to lose should Kim Jong Il decide to start lobbing nukes. Also, unlike Condi Rice, they seem to understand diplomacy. All we need to do is promise that if the six-party talks succeed that we will recognize North Korea as a sovereign nation and enter into a non-aggression pact which will, in reality, be written on toilet paper.

Ebbers Gets 25 Years

Bernie Ebbers received a twenty five year sentence in the Worldcom scandal. Things haven't been going so well for Bernie lately as he was forced to hand over $45 million earlier in the week. Oh well he is not going to need any of that money where he is going. To be honest, this sentence seems a little extreme to me compared to what others have recently received. At his age 25 years is a life sentence.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Guard Misses Mark Again

The Army National Guard missed their recruiting goals for the ninth month in a row, and for the seventeenth time in the last eighteen months. They missed their June recruiting goal by 14% and are now over ten thousand recruits behind their 2005 goals.

This isn't going to change anytime soon. The Army guard is racing towards a tipping point with many reservists coming up on their twenty four month maximum call up. Without proper replacements the Guard will not be able to meet it's commitment. So, what do we do?

I have a feeling that in a country of nearly 300 million, if president Bush would issue a call to arms for Americans to pitch in by joining the Guard we could easily make up the deficiencies in recruitment. There is such a disconnect between most Americans and this war that a good many who would join up in a pinch don't do so because they don't know they're needed. This presents a problem for Bush, though. If Bush were to issue such a plea, it would be a de facto admission that his war plan was a failure. These guys never admit failure, even if it means the country suffers.

Look for more of the same.

London Bombers Dead

The BBC just reported that the London police believe that the all four bombs were suicide bombs and that the bombers were British nationals of Pakistani descent.

Snubbing The Brits

The Bush administration has once again shown it's resolve. That is, it's resolve to refuse to understand diplomacy. Saturday, after George Bush left the G-8 summit, he signed the bombings condolences book, in Washington DC. He was in the British Isles. You would think he would go to Number 10 Downing to offer support.

Secondly, it comes out today that the US military had banned its personnel based in England from going to London, although this ban has since been lifted after heavy criticism.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Eating Crow

It just came to my attention that last week The Ohio Society Of Professional Journalists gave Doug Clifton, the editor who is sitting on two stories of "profound importance", an award. What award did the oh so brave Clifton receive? It was the Best Defense of the First Amendment award.

Egg, meet face.

Crystal Ball

After seeing the transcript from today's White House press briefing where Scotty got roughed up for changing his tune on Rove from not involved to no comment, I though I'd peer into my crystal ball to see what future briefings hold. Ah, I'm getting something.

Question: Now that Karl Rove has been indicted, will the president fire him?

Scotty: You know, indicted is not the same as convicted. The president believes that a person is innocent until proven guilty. It's one of the freedoms that the president believes is important to all Americans. Beyond that, it would be improper to comment on an ongoing trial.

And yet even further into the future

Question: Now that Karl Rove has been convicted, will the president fire him?

Scotty: The president doesn't believe the jury made the correct decision and as you know Karl Rove has appealed the decision. It would inappropriate for the White House to comment on this case while litigation is ongoing.

And even further into the future.

Question: Now that the Supreme Court has refused to hear Rove's appeal, will the president fire Karl Rove?

Scotty: The president believes that with only a few months left in his term it would be a disservice to the American people to bring in an inexperienced political advisor with the War on Terror still ongoing and a transition to the next president upcoming.

And finally.

Question: Why did the president choose to pardon Karl Rove?

Scotty: In case you haven't figured it out by now, accountability is something the administration was never about, so fuck off, we're out of here.

Eliot Cohen

Eliot Cohen is the latest pre war supporter to hop on the "How could I have known they'd fuck it up" bandwagon. These people are at best idiots and at worst liars. How could anyone think credibly before the war that the PNAC crew wouldn't fuck this up. Was Cohen reassured by the fact that the administration ignored the advise of those who had successfully fought previous wars in this theatre? Perhaps Cohen was comforted by earlier images of Donald Rumsfeld doddering around in the yard at the Pentagon on 9/11.

Cohen also wants those running the war to stand up and give the administration honest assessments about the progress in Iraq. That will simply never happen. This administration is honesty challenged to say the least. They have lied to us from day one and they're not about to stop now.

I wonder if Cohen would have ever stepped up to face reality if not for the fact that his son is preparing to ship off to Iraq.

Plain Dealer

The Cleveland Plain Dealer stories are apparently of a local and state level so I don't see why they are not running them. The Miller case has to do with a federal investigation so state shield laws don't apply. This makes me think that Clifton is simply ginning up publicity before he runs the stories.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Miller And Cooper, Chickens Already Home

This is why Miller and Cooper fucking matter. The Cleveland Plain Dealer has quashed two major investigative stories of "profound importance" in light of the Miller jailing. The PD's corporate lawyers have concluded that the newspaper would certainly find itself in a Time magazine situation if the stories based on illegal leaks were published. From E&P

Lawyers for the Newhouse Newspapers-owned PD have concluded that the newspaper would almost certainly be found culpable if the leaks were investigated by authorities.

"They've said, this is a super, super high-risk endeavor, and you would, you know, you'd lose," Clifton said in an interview Friday afternoon.

"The reporters say, 'Well, we're willing to go to jail, and I'm willing to go to jail if it gets laid on me,'" Clifton added, "but the newspaper isn't willing to go to jail. That's what the lawyers have told us. So this is a Time Inc. sort of situation."
Now, Ohio has a shield law to protect journalists. Its Ohio Revised Code § 2739.12 and it states:

No person engaged in the work of, or connected with, or employed by any newspaper or any press association for the purpose of gathering, procuring, compiling, editing, disseminating, or publishing news shall be required to disclose the source of any information procured or obtained by such person in the course of his employment, in any legal proceeding, trial, or investigation before any court, grand jury, petit jury, or any officer thereof, before the presiding officer of any tribunal, or his agent, or before any commission, department, division, or bureau of this state, or before any county or municipal body, officer or committee thereof.
Therefore, these two stories must be of a federal nature. What could it be? Iraq? Gitmo? Plame? Sadly, we just don’t know, yet. I have a feeling we will. Otherwise, why would Clifton mention this at all? Doesn’t he open himself up to obstruction of justice charges by doing so? Jeff, help me out here.

We now have to take a look at Clifton’s motives for speaking to E&P. Take note of Clifton saying “but the newspaper isn’t willing to go to jail.” Corporations don’t go to jail. They pay fines and being unwilling to pay the fines to tell important stories definitely contradicts this Columbia Journalism Review article about “The Newhouse Way” which is defined as “Freedom to shape a paper without measuring everything against the bottom line.” Newhouse claims to take a very hands off approach to its editors, I should note that the CJR article is pre-Patriot Act, so I don’t know if this is still the prevailing view.

While it is possible Newhouse told him to shut it down, Clifton may be just trying to gin up some publisity prior to taking a running leap off the cliff. I hope this is the case. If it isn’t, let’s hope the reporters covering these stories bring them to the blogosphere. Hell, I’ll do the time, I could use a vacation.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Thinking Out Loud

Thinking about the London bombings yesterday, I keep coming to the same conclusion, all four bombs were planted by a single individual. I know cell phones don't work in the tube so a timing device had to be used and I believe that he simply ran out of time blowing himself up on the bus.

This is how I think this went down. A co-conspirator gave the bomber four explosive devices weighing less than 10 pounds each. The bomber was told that the bombs had timers set to go off in a series and told to place them in subway cars. The bomber then got on the Circle line and starts placing bombs. Sometime between first and fourth explosion the Circle line stops running. This is supposedly not terribly unusual. The bomber then gets on the #30 bus to find another location to plant the last bomb, but runs out of time and the bus blows up.

Does this sound possible to you, because London's Police Commissioner says it isn't .

Oh, and a scramjet may be involved. (very inside joke)

UPDATE: A new more accurate timeline put out by the London police pretty much kills this argument

Why do Tornadoes Hate Hillbillies?

Perhaps we have been wrong all along to think that tornadoes are attracted to trailer parks. I beginning to think that they instead simply hate hillbillies. Want proof? A tornado spawned from tropical storm Cindy destroyed the Atlanta Motor Speedway Wednesday night causing $25 - $40 million dollars worth of damage.

The National Weather Service says that the bowl shape of the speedway actually helped the tornado form. That seems kind of silly to me, but what the hell do I know about tornadoes.

No hillbillies were harmed at the track and racin' is expected to resume in time to allow them to be gouged by the Pro Bass Shops MBNA 500 on October 30.

Funny spellcheck item. Blogger offered to replace hillbillies with helplessness.

Good News From The Ohio BWC

Hooray! Allegiant Asset Management only lost $71 million of BWC's investments in the past two years. That's good news in light of recent events, it could have been a lot worse. That puts the current losses by BWC at $298 million dollars by my count. Ouch.

So, what is the Bureau going to do with its investments now? Are there any Taft cronies not currently under investigation left to mismanage/steal/lose the Bureau's money?

Getting Hard To Tell The Crooks Apart Without A Scorecard

Things get a little more interesting in the OH-02 race today as the Dispatch reports that republican candidate Jean Schmidt is facing an ethics probe. Schmidt failed to report that lobbyist Richard Colby representing Chiron Corp. of Emeryville; CA took her and five other republican lawmakers to dinner at Nicola’s Ristorante and then to a Monday night Bengals game.

It is illegal in Ohio for lawmakers to accept gifts of over $75 from lobbyists. Schmidt has repaid $644 dollars to Colby.

The other lawmakers who didn’t report this were Jim Raussen of Springdale, Diana Fessler of New Carlisle (repaid $1,388), and Michelle Schneider of Cincinnati (repaid over $1,300).

The only way you forget something like this is when it is so commonplace that it just blurs in with the others.

Information Overload

I've got a lot to sort out today. Ethics probes, more lost BWC money, terror stuff, and rumors that both Rehnquist and Stevens will retire today.

Polling

I'm not sure what polling firm did the poll for ohio republicans but here are some highlights.

501 Republicans voters polled on Republican candidates

Fav Unfav Would vote for
Montgomery 49% 39% 44%
Petro 42% 46% 40%
Blackwell 44% 50% 43%

501 Independents and Swing voters polled on Republican candidates.

Fav Unfav Would vote for
Montgomery 46% 42% 26%
Petro 54% 33% 42%
Blackwell 22% 60% 23%

Head to head polling all voters.

Strickland (D) 58
Blackwell (R) 36

Coleman (D) 49
Blackwell (R) 42

Strickland (D) 50
Kasich (R) 41

Coleman (D) 43
Kasich (R) 45

Strickland (D) 51
Petro (R) 44

Coleman (D) 44
Petro (R) 44

Strickland (D) 52
Montgomery (R) 39

Coleman (D) 48
Montgomery (R) 42

No dates or trends on this, if you have any info on this poll drop it in the comments.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Judith Miller Jailed

Judge Thomas Hogan has remanded Judith Miller to an Alexandria, VA jail for failure to testify before a grand jury in the Valerie Plame case. While I detest Miller, I do admire her for standing up for freedom press. I firmly agree with the need to protect confidential sources.

That being said, Judy, do us all a favor. Shut the fuck up. From the Washington Post:

"I know that the freest and fairest societies are those with a free press . . . publishing information that the government does not want to reveal," she said. She compared her effort to that of U.S. troops risking death in their fight for freedom in Iraq: "If they can do that, surely I can face prison to defend a free press." [Emphasis added]
No, Judy, your situation doesn't compare in the least bit to the kids that were forced to go to Iraq to be maimed or killed based on the lies you helped mule to the American public. Go fall on your sword, and shut up.

By the way, despite what I said earlier, I'm willing to wager that Ms. Miller doesn't go the distance on her jail term. She doesn't look like the type willing to give up two or three percent of her life for anything.

London Bombed

There were a series of explosions in London's Underground today and one on a bus. The London police are keeping very tight lipped on the number of casualties. I doesn't appear to me that the number of fatalities should approach the number in the Madrid bombings. The eyewitness reports I've heard so far seem to indicate that these were smaller than the explosive devices used in Madrid.

I just heard a doctor from one of the hospitals quoting a figure of ten dead. As BBC Radio 4 passes on more information I'll post it here.

UPDATE #1 8:50AM: There were three bombs in the Tube, one on a bus. The bus bomb was possibly a suicide bomber.

UPDATE #2 9:00AM: President Bush tells Americans to be "extra vigilant" on their way to work today. Don't know what that means, perhaps you should shoot anyone with a backpack.

UPDATE #3 9:27AM: From what I can piece together there are now twelve fatalities and about 150 seriously wounded. The English divide the wounded into critically wounded, seriously wounded, and walking wounded.

UPDATE #4 9:36AM: The Guardian now reports at least 41 fatalities. The breakdown is 23 at the King's Cross, 9 at Edgware Road, 7 at Aldgate, and 2 at Russell Square.

UPDATE #5 10:09AM: Sky News reports at least 45 dead according to a reliable, but unofficial source.

UPDATE #6 10:21AM: Got to give it to the Brits, the tube is expected to reopen for the evening rush hour minus the King's Cross station.

UPDATE #7 10:30AM: MP George Galloway says: "We argued, as did the security services in this country, that the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq would increase the threat of terrorist attack in Britain. Tragically Londoners have now paid the price of the Government ignoring such warnings."

I don't agree with Galloway about Afghanistan, but he is right about Iraq. I'll go into this further at a later date.

UPDATE #8 10:49AM: Head of the London Underground Tim O'Toole has confirmed that "the system is now clear."

UPDATE #9 11:50AM: From the looks on TV that tube reopening story was a bit overblown.

UPDATE #10: The death toll is now at 50 and expected to rise.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Miller Holds, Cooper Folds

Matthew Cooper decided today that he will testify before a grand jury after his source sent him "in somewhat dramatic fashion" a release allowing Cooper to identify him. What the hell does "in somewhat dramatic fashion" mean?

Was it smoke signals? A plane pulling a banner? The Goodyear Blimp? The Jumbotron at RFK? A Monte Python arrow with a note? A Gorillagram?

Use the comments below to tell me about how you send a message in somewhat dramatic fashion.

He Does Know It's TV, Right?

President Bush announced today that the guy from Law & Order will guide his Supreme Court nominee though the Senate confirmation process. Now, you and I both know that Fred Thompson is a former Senator from Tennessee, but does Bush. God knows, that show is on more often than C-Span (C-Span runs 24hrs a day, but only on three channels), is it possible that Bush doesn't know that it is make believe?

I doubt that is the case. I think this has to do with giving the American people someone they trust to lead Bush's nomination though confirmation. If that is the case, this is a potentially brilliant political move, using a warm but stern fatherly type figure that gets beamed into the average American household more often than sunlight. This could signal that a total nut job is on the way.

Criminal Intent

Lots of goodies from the legal file today. Let's start with Rush Limbaugh. Circuit Judge Thomas Barkdull III has finished reviewing Limbaugh's medical files and at a hearing yesterday put them in evidence bags. I'd forgotten about this case, in fact, I thought the case was dead. This should put the case back on the fast track. Rush Limbaugh, convicted felon, has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

Also yesterday, special proscecutor Patrick Fitzgerald again urged Judge Thomas Hogan to jail both Matthew Cooper and Judith Miller. I guess Time didn't get Cooper off the hook. The Washington Post suggests that some reporters outed Plame to government officials, not the other way around.

But, the biggie of all biggies I'm hearing today is that Karl Rove will be indicted this week or next. Froggie start a marching.

Poor Duke Cunningham's impending indictment is back page material these days.

A couple of more years of republican rule and we are going to have to concede the fact that they are right. We do need more prisons.

Who Am I? Why Am I Here?

James Stockdale has died. Stockdale was Ross Perot's running mate in 1992. Hopefully someone will show video of the Vice Presidential debate in which he participated. He opened by saying "Who am I? Why am I here?" It went downhill from there. He repeated couldn't hear the questions because he kept losing his hearing aid. The other highlights of this debate were the several times Stockdale looked at the camera with with a confused look and yelled "gridlock." The only term that accurately described his performance is trainwreck.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Rick Santorum

CapitalBuzz has some excerpts from Rick Santorum's forthcoming book It Takes A Family. Apparently the book details Santorum's hatred of women. Check out these quotes courtesy of CapitalBuzz.

"In far too many families with young children, both parents are working, when, if they really took an honest look at the budget, they might confess that both of them really don't need to, or at least may not need to work as much as they do... And for some parents, the purported need to provide things for their children simply provides a convenient rationalization for pursuing a gratifying career outside the home." (It Takes a Family, 94)

"Many women have told me, and surveys have shown, that they find it easier, more "professionally" gratifying, and certainly more socially affirming, to work outside the home than to give up their careers to take care of their children. Think about that for a moment... Here, we can thank the influence of radical feminism, one of the core philosophies of the village elders." (It Takes a Family, 95)

"The notion that college education is a cost-effective way to help poor, low-skill, unmarried mothers with high school diplomas or GEDs move up the economic ladder is just wrong." (It Takes a Family, 138)

I had already thought that Santorum was toast next year, but giving Bob Casey this kind of ammo in book form should cement it.

ABC Cancels Welcome To The Neighborhood

ABC has decided to pull the plug on the horribly bigoted show Welcome To The Neighborhood. Good, this piece of crap had families competing to win a house with three white, conservative Christian families that live in the cul-de-sac choosing the winner. The catch to the show was that each family was in some way "different," from the families already living there, or as ABC put it, diverse. The differences were mostly racial, with a gay couple thrown in to make sure bigotry of all sorts was represented.

Really, judging from the promos ABC might as well renamed the show Who Whitey Gonna Let Bring Down Their Property Values? Appropriately, the show was protested by several organizations including the conservative Family Research Council. I assumed the FRC was protesting the fact that a gay couple was to be shown on TV. I was dead wrong. They were protesting because they were "worried that conservative Christians would appear like overly judgmental buffoons." Well guess what, they are.

The winner will still get to keep the house (the filming of the show is already complete), but ABC has failed to disclose the winner. I'm guessing the one with the stripper mom.

Great Line

Chip Elliot had a great line in Sunday's dispatch about Bob Taft. From the Dispatch

If the golf glove fits, you can't acquit.
Funny and true.

For Your Amusement


Here is a picture of Bush looking ridiculous. Provide your own captions in the comments.

Found via Digby

The Supreme Court

It kinda surprises me that the right is out bashing Alberto Gonzales. He's a partisan hack, much like Scalia, that doesn't stand on principals, but is simply a yes man for the right. He seems like the perfect candidate for the right. The conventional wisdom floating out there is that Gonzales will be put forward to try to help republican make further inroads with Latinos, but the problem is that he is not trusted by both the left (torture) and the right (abortion). With Bush's approval rating in the tank, I think a few republican Senators now fear the Dobson crowd more than Bush and it is not clear that he could win an up or down vote on the Senate floor.

I personally don't think he will get the nod. As Bush's speech last Tuesday proved, this all politics all the time administration is a one trick pony. That's why I think Ted Olsen will be the nominee. His wife was killed on the flight that crashed into the Pentagon and this would give the republicans yet another opportunity to bash the Dems over the head again with 9/11. It's really all they have.

Monday, July 04, 2005

I'm Gonna Live Forever

It's said that the only two things that are certain in life are death and taxes. Well, if 5650 of the top 2% of incomes in this country paid no taxes in 2002, the death/tax continuum must be broken. Ergo, I should be able to live forever.

Seriously, on top of that,162,000 (6.5%)members of the top 2% of earners paid less than 15% in taxes. That's fucked up. I paid a higher percentage than that and I have an accountant that's a fucking shark.

It will suck to watch all of my friends die, but fuck it, I'm gonna live forever.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Red Rover, Red Rover, Send Karl's Fat Ass Over

The contents of the e-mails Time magazine turned over to special prosecutor Fitzgerald seem to implicate Karl Rove as the leaker of Valerie Plame's identity. Rove has already testified before the grand jury so he may be facing perjury charges as well as violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act.

Most of us pretty much suspected Rove all along, but I do find it surprising that he appears to have gotten his own hands dirty with this. There are literally hundreds of toadies that would have died to mule this info for Rove.

Hopefully, Rove will make the trip from the White House to the Big House bringing a happy ending to this fiasco.

Friday, July 01, 2005

The Dam May Be About To Break

In a surprise move, Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement from the Supreme Court today. Her retirement will be effective the day a replacement is confirmed. This could be the first of three SCOTUS judges to resign during Bush's second term.

This could lead to a radical remake of the rule of law in the US. A stacking of conservative judges on the bench is something we must oppose at all costs including risking making the republicans invoke the nuclear option. I don't understand why conservatives want to nominate judges that try to move us back to the 19th century. Can't they just go live with the Amish?

Hey, I Get A Mention In Slate Today

How about that. Here is a link. You can click on it, go to the Slate article to click on their link back to me. A virtual circle jerk. As far as I know, this is the widest read publication that has linked to me. That's kinda cool.