Saturday, June 26, 2004

Mikey's Keeping Busy!

The LLama Butchers have the dish on Michael Moore's next film project - Fahrenheit 12/7. And while you're there, check out the Fahrenheit cast party! Who knew that Nancy Pelosi would paint up so nice?

Ruh Oh!

What's the old line about a "woman scorned"? Well Monica is cranky and she has tapes:
"That's not how it was," she said. "This was a mutual relationship, mutual on all levels, right from the way it started and all the way through."

What's more, she claims she can prove it with tapes of messages Clinton left on her telephone answering machine and gifts he gave her, all of which she kept.

"If I was just something he used 'because he could,' why call me?" she said. "Why fake all the emotions and the looks and the tenderness?"
Monica still doesn't get it, but she should definitely release the tapes - we all want to hear the Sinkmeister's smooth technique.

One place where you won't hear the tapes is Bubba's new and improved presidential library web site, although they have everything but the Oval Office sink:
Bill Clinton's presidential center unveiled its new and improved Web site Friday, offering visitors a chance to browse White House archives, look at videos and revisit speeches.
The Web site includes 20,000 publicly released documents, with more than 400 categories and 125,000 entries organized by subject, category and key word.

It also houses an extensive collection of audio and video clips, as well as hundreds of photographs from Clinton's eight years in the White House.
Be still, my heart!
"I look forward to devoting a substantial amount of time and energy in building and interacting with this online community as one way to create shared goals, values and responsibilities," Clinton said.
Maybe they have chat rooms?
The site also promised "real time connections" with Clinton through instant messaging, virtual town hall meetings and Q&A sessions.
Woohoo! Careful there, Bubba. "SweetTeen16" may turn out to be a cop in Buffalo, NY and Hillary will be really surly!

Friday, June 25, 2004

And speaking of people who shouldn't be let out without a caretaker

Streisand's Election Version of 'People':
Barbra Streisand sang a special 2004 election version of her hit "People" at a Thursday night fund-raising concert for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

Here are the lyrics:
I'll spare you from the full horror, but here's a sample:
Bush sees a

Lotta Condoleeza

They're dividing the planet's oil

According to Richard "Poil"
Yikes, that needs a lot of help. How about:
There's still nothing new

From the big-nosed shrew
Kiss, kiss, Babs!

"Just like old times with Bill and Al"

Wesley Pruden has some fun with our national reprobates:
Bill Clinton and Al ("I am Gorrrrrrre, hear me rooooaaaarrr") Gore are back, and it's just like old times.

Bill is wistful and a little forgetful, waving an ominous cigar and reminiscing about his women, at least the ones he recalls. Al is just a guy in from the street and off his meds.
Damn! I hate reruns!

I did like one of Big Weird Al's lines though:
Gore also accused the Bush administration of working closely "with a network of 'rapid response' digital Brown Shirts" who try to pressure reporters and editors who criticize the administration, intimidating them with accusations that they are "undermining support for our troops."
Hmm, I wonder if I qualify? My shirt is plaid and I'm slowing up a bit, but cynically undermining our troops in the war with terrorists for petty political gain seems like a pretty bad thing to me, so I'll continue to call 'em like I see 'em. Pop over to Power Line for a trip down memory lane to when Big Weird Al wasn't so pally with Saddam and the terrorists. Why the big change, Al?

Here's a laugh

BBC to challenge Al Jazeera:
The British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) wants to start a 24-hour BBC Arabic television service that would rival Arabic channel Al Jazeera.

The media outlet is developing a proposal after a request from the British Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO).

"The FCO asked the BBC World Service to develop a proposition for a BBC Arabic television service of news, information, discussion programs and documentaries," the BBC said in a statement released Thursday.

The new BBC Arabic channel would compete directly with Al Jazeera, the Arabic channel known for playing tapes from terrorist Osama bin Laden.
Must. Control. Gales. Of. Laughter. On the other hand, maybe it's a sneaky Foreign Office plot to undermine Islamofascist propaganda with something even more risible.
Al Jazeera is not worried that the BBC will steal viewers.

"They might be a competition, but I think that Al Jazeera is strong enough to solidify its position. We are very popular in the Arab world — our audience trusts us," said Hussein, a journalist for Al Jazeera who declined to give his full name.
Think again Monkey Boy. Who can do anti-Western, pro-wingnut propaganda better than the BBC? Hey, they taught Al-Jiz the trade:
BBC World Services has attempted an Arabic channel in the past. Funded by Orbit Communications, which was controlled by the Saudi royal family, BBC Arabic Television lasted two years. It was forced to shut down in April 1996 when Orbit backed out over editorial disagreements.

Many of its staff members joined the upstart Al Jazeera station, which began broadcasting in November 1996.
In a rational world there would be missiles homing in on Al-Jiz facilities as I type. Or they would already be craters.

Do Over Alert!

The New York Times, which last Sunday published a scathing front-page review of Bill Clinton's "My Life," has alerted subscribers that another, much kinder and gentler review is coming July 4 in The New York Times Book Review.

Entitled "Confessions of a Policy Wonk" and written by the novelist Larry McMurtry, the prominently placed review calls the book "the richest American presidential autobiography," and says that the former president is a better writer than Reagan, Ford, Nixon or Lyndon Johnson.
Ole Larry didn't mean writer, he meant novelist.
Unlike Michiko Kakutani, the author of the June 20 review, who called Clinton's book "eye-crossingly dull," McMurtry evokes authors from Dreiser to Fitzgerald to Balzac — if not in comparison to Clinton, at least in reference to him.
Baudelaire, Larry Flynt, and Baron Munchausen would be good too.
It is not unusual for the Times to publish two reviews of the same book, or for one review to be positive and the other negative.

What is unusual, however, is for the paper to make a critique available 10 days before it will appear in the paper.
Wouldn't want to rain on Bubba's parade, would they?

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Kool-Aid Overdose Alert!

Jeff Jarvis goes to the movies:
Take this scene: Moore shows dead American soldiers in Iraq, many of them, the more blood the better. Then he says we need to replace them and he asks where they'll come from. He takes us to his favorite man-of-the-people populist playground, Flint, MI, and says that we'll find soldiers "in the places that had been destroyed by the economy." He focuses on poor black men as Bush's next victims -- not even acknowledging that virtually every soldier he has just shown -- and ridiculed -- in the film is white. It's all so convenient: anti-war-pro-poor-multi-culti-heartland. The rhetoric is as obvious as the gut on the guy.

But as I leave, I hear an older woman behind me, with a voice as loud at New York traffic, saying to someone who's passing her on the escalator, obviously a stranger: "Don't you sign up, now! Don't you join!" I turn around. She's saying this to a black man, just because he's black: After all, Michael Moore said those people are all conservative cannon fodder, didn't he? The man and the woman with him are polite enough to wait until they're out the door before they laugh and then sadly shake their heads.

Hoo boy.

Who knew?

Tim Graham - Oprah, better than Rather:
I don't think anyone could argue that Oprah Winfrey was tough on Bill Clinton yesterday, but she was tougher than Dan Rather. Or to be more precise, she was more curious than Dan Rather. She asked him about the whole "sleeping on the couch" thing, and he suggested the Lincoln Bedroom and the Queen's Bedroom in the White House were "too formal" for him to enjoy. (?)
As I recall, the Lincoln bedroom was where his Hollywood pals liked to jump up and down on the bed. Yup, too formal, fer sure.
She also pushed for more detail on Clinton's story of day-long counseling sessions after the Monica story broke, which he then claimed weren't really day-long for him, but for three to five hours. When she asked where they were held, he wouldn't say, claiming the counselor wouldn't want to be "outed." That would suggest the sessions were outside the White House, eh? These aren't political questions, and the answers seemed to demand more questions, but Oprah is advancing the personal story of Clinton better than Rather did.
Maybe ole Dan's nose was buried too deeply in Bubba's posterior for him to challenge even the more obvious bloviations.

George Soros has a shortage of Kool-Aid drinkers

But not to worry - he has another source of troops - Felons Paid in Voter Registration Drive:
A Democratic group crucial to John Kerry's presidential campaign has paid felons - some convicted of sex offenses, assault and burglary - to conduct door-to-door voter registration drives in at least three election swing states.

America Coming Together, contending that convicted criminals deserve a second chance in society, employs felons as voter canvassers in major metropolitan areas in Missouri, Florida, Ohio and perhaps in other states among the 17 it is targeting in its drive. Some lived in halfway houses, and at least four returned to prison.

ACT canvassers ask residents which issues are important to them and, if they are not registered, sign them up as voters. They gather telephone numbers and other personal information, such as driver's license numbers or partial Social Security numbers, depending on what a state requires for voter registration.
A review of federal campaign finance and state criminal records by The Associated Press revealed that the names and hometowns of dozens of ACT employees in Missouri, Florida and Ohio matched those of people convicted of crimes such as burglary, forgery, drug dealing, assault and sex offenses.
"Hi kids! Is your Mommy home?"
Although it works against the re-election of President Bush, ACT is an independent group not affiliated with Kerry's campaign - federal law forbids such coordination. Yet ACT is stocked with veteran Democratic political operatives, many with past ties to Kerry and his advisers.

Allison Dobson, a spokeswoman with the Kerry campaign, said there is no coordination with ACT, and of the policy: "We're unaware of it and have nothing to do with it."
We believe ya, Allison! And Bluto will be dropping by your house tonight. He just wants to know if you are registered to vote.

Chilling effect alert!

Democrats Try to Destroy Nader:
Anti-choice Democrats don't want the people to have the option of voting for Ralph Nader. So they're trying to toss him from the ballot.

Jano Cabrera, a spokesman for the national party, said Democrats would start in Arizona with a challenge to the validity of thousands of signatures that landed Nader on the ballot.
Stu Rothenberg, editor of Rothenberg Political Report, told the Christian Science Monitor: "I think Nader is scaring the bejeebies out of the Democrats. They have nightmares of 2000 all over again."

Nader noted that the attacks against him had "a lot of mischief potential" because "there are very partisan Democrats" in the Arizona secretary of state's office.

"If this becomes a pattern of harassment in other states, we will ask John Kerry to disown and disapprove of these anti-democratic tactics," said Nader, who still hasn't learned that "democratic" is all too often an antonym for "Democratic."
But wait there's more!
Meanwhile, black Democrats in Congress had a nasty row Tuesday with Nader when he rejected their demands that he quit the race.

"Shouts could be heard from inside the meeting in the basement of the U.S. Capitol with more than a dozen Congressional Black Caucus members, including Nader's voice, in what proved to be a rancorous session. One female shouted, 'You can't win,' to which Nader shot back an inaudible response," AP reported today.
The hapless Nader, who has colluded with Kerry and boasted that he will help defeat President Bush, shrugged off the shouting match as an "exciting exchange" between two anti-Bush forces.
Nader's running mate, Green Party activist Peter Camejo, had condescending words for the black Democrats. He said he was "surprised by their lack of understanding of the growing trend towards independent action. It's a new phenomenon they're confronting."
I should have titled this 'When Wingnuts Fall Out".

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

That about sums it up

More "Shites for Kerry"

Still a lying crapsack, eh Mikey?

Rep. Kennedy no fan of Michael Moore film ad:
Rep. Mark Kennedy, a Republican, is a little annoyed at leftist film maker Michael Moore after an edited version of an interview between the two appeared in the trailer for Moore's upcoming U.S. release of the film "Fahrenheit 9/11."

"I was walking back to my office after casting a vote, and all of a sudden some oversized guy puts a mike in my face and a camera in my face," Kennedy said. "He starts asking if I can help him recruit more people from families of members of Congress to participate in the war on terror."

Kennedy said he told Moore that he has two nephews in the military, one who has just been deployed in the Army National Guard. But to Kennedy's annoyance, his response to Moore was cut from the trailer, which was released Thursday. His response was also cut from the film, according to a spokeswoman for the movie.

"The interesting thing is that they used my image, but not my words," Kennedy said. "It's representative of the fact that Michael Moore doesn't always give the whole story, and he's a master of the misleading."
I hear Mikey is going to sue people who label his latest excretion a steaming pile of cow flops. I hope he gave his lawyer a really big retainer. On the other hand, Christopher Hitchens has already delivered the ultimate bitch slap to the pendulous pundit. But the more the merrier, just like Mikey in a donut shop.

Pardon my snickering!

Rare Kerry appearance causes uproar in Senate. It's kind of like bird watching when some poor befuddled specimen gets blown across an ocean and the birders turn out in droves to view the wonder.
On the Senate floor, Democratic minority leader Tom Daschle accused the majority leader, Bill Frist, of saying that Kerry should not be allowed to ''parachute down and have a vote" after so much time away on the campaign trail.
He also was able to sit for a ''class picture" yesterday afternoon of the full Senate; had he not been there, Kerry aides said, Republican media strategists would have had a photo at their disposal of all but Kerry present on a day when senators were debating veterans' benefits and Pentagon spending.
I'm glad Lurch takes the people's business seriously.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Who was that French-looking guy in the Senate chamber?

From Ipse Dixit:
Well, wonder of wonders! John "Weeble" Kerry actually showed up for work today, casting two whole votes (bringing his total for the year to 16/134), including one in favour of a tenfold increase in FCC fines for "indecent" broadcasters.

No word yet if Howard Stern has retracted his endorsement.
Don't be a stranger, Lurch!

Today's Hoot

Michael Graham delivers Sex with Friends:
The Washington Times reports that a former writer’s assistant from the NBC show “Friends” is suing because “she was subjected to harassment in 1999 by the frequent sexual banter of the writers while they discussed ideas and developed story lines for the show.”
Note that she wasn't the target of the jokes. She's just complaining that she had to listen to 'em.
Now, any regular “Friends” viewer will tell you that sex is rarely a part of the show’s subject matter. Jennifer, Matthew and the gang would sometimes go, oh, five or six seconds without a sexual reference or double entendre. Taking a job on “Friends” and complaining that they talk about sex is like working for the Clinton administration and complaining that you were lied to by your boss.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Pratfalls with Lurch

A Few Obstacles Don't Keep Kerry From Seaside Break:
Thwarted by fog, a flat bicycle tire and a tricky wind, Senator John Kerry spent most of a shortened Father's Day weekend secluded in his wife's seaside retreat here in one of the nation's most exclusive summer playgrounds.

His Boeing 757 campaign plane was grounded in Washington on Friday night when the weather prevented landing at Nantucket's airstrip, which has seen only one jet of such size before. Arriving late Saturday morning, his planned bicycle ride around the island was aborted after he discovered a bubble on his back tire. And on Sunday morning, he sped out to a remote beach in his stepson's powerboat in hopes of kite-surfing, a new extreme sport, only to return home after half an hour without even zipping up his wetsuit.

"The wind died," Mr. Kerry, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, told reporters as he cruised by on the 32-foot Contender, a gentleman's fishing vessel said to cost about $150,000.
At least it wasn't the fault of some Secret Service agent.
Mr. Kerry and his family did dine out Saturday night at the Pearl, where sautéed yuzu-dusted day boat sea scallops go for $36, with his fellow senator from Massachusetts, Edward M. Kennedy, his wife, Vicki, and her parents. But on Sunday afternoon, he canceled a beachside brunch at one of the island's most expensive restaurants, with aides explaining that his two adult daughters preferred a quiet meal at home.

Over all, Mr. Kerry's first visit here since he clinched the Democratic presidential nomination this spring made barely a hiccup in the hubbub, as Nantucket's summer season, when the population swells from 10,000 to more than 50,000, opened with a film festival that drew Jim Carrey, John Irving and Cynthia Nixon. Other than people who saw his red, white and blue plane parked at the airport many here did not even realize Mr. Kerry was in their midst.
Poor baby! And I hope everyone was careful to keep their distance from Teddy while he was chowing down as well as making sure he didn't get his hands on the keys to the cars or the boats.
Mr. Kerry has been coming here regularly since at least 1995, when he married the ketchup heiress Teresa Heinz at the three-story, five-bedroom house she owns on Brant Point, where the clothing designer Tommy Hilfiger also has a home and H. Wayne Huizenga, the owner of the Miami Dolphins, recently sold one. Valued at $9 million in 1995, the house - like nearly every other one here in the tightly controlled historic district, weathered gray cedar shingles with white trim - has a large screened-in porch, decorative columns, and a green-and-white love-seat swing on its sandy front lawn.
Though some Democrats were concerned about the image of their wealthy candidate frolicking among the fabulously wealthy here on an island where the average home sells for $1.4 million, Mr. Kerry insisted not only on coming, but also on trying to kite-surf, a dangerous combination of waterskiing and parasailing with basic equipment costing about $2,500.

"Let Kerry be Kerry," said David Wade, Mr. Kerry's press secretary. "It's a place he and his family have been coming to for years. He loves to be out on the water.''

"He'll be America's most active president since Teddy Roosevelt," Mr. Wade added.
Actually, it seems fairly obsessive - more like the caged hamster on a treadmill. But at least this time there weren't any bizarre wardrobe snaps. As for being a "man of the people," that schtick was getting pretty old.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

All Bubba, all the time

I'm mostly skipping the Bubba fest including his bogus, self-serving stories (e.g. Book: Clinton Recalls Sleeping on Couch, Clinton: I told Bush of bin Laden and he changed the subject, and 'Hey, I Tried to Get Osama'), but here are a couple of tidbits that I couldn't pass up.

Bubba Bares Double Life:
BILL CLINTON says he's led a dual existence his entire life, with conflicting personalities that collided in ugly and spectacular fashion during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Woohoo! It's "The Two Faces of Bubba" just like on TV and in the movies! Maybe there were some other personalities buried in his troubled psyche as well! But it's not really as cool as it sounds - Bubba mostly says his bad childhood made him do bad stuff. Zzzzz.

Monica flees NY, stung by Bill's cold words. Actually that's not too surprising, but down at the bottom of the article:
Mr Clinton reportedly also writes that he attributes problems during his upbringing as contributing to a self-destructive streak that tends to act up when he's tired, angry or feeling alone.
Dang, not that again! I meant this:
On Friday, the promotional juggernaut lost some of the sizzle it had built up during the week when AOL online released the first audio excerpt from the memories.

Those who tuned in expecting deep dish were treated to a folksy anecdote from Clinton about the "amazing moment" he shook President John F Kennedy's hand in 1963. "I'm sure he was aware that everyone would be looking for the racy bits, and he wants to come out of the gate first as a statesman-like figure," said Stan Baker, editor of Publisher's Weekly. Further AOL extracts, such as tomorrow's, entitled "Marriage remains", may draw higher ratings.
Golly! I hope he goes back to when he "had a life" and covers the part about the Astroturf in his El Camino! That could be hot!

Then there's the "oxygen" factor or as Mark Steyn phrases it - Clinton still has 'heat' - but it's the Democrats who are getting burnt. Mostly, I think its nostalgie de la boue by the usual suspects in the media, but Mark is eerily prescient:
This would be bad news for Kerry, except that he's such a terrible candidate people like him more the less they see of him. He took a week off as a mark of respect for the late President Reagan and his numbers inched up. If he had taken another week off as a mark of respect for the late Ray Charles, he could have opened up a clear lead. If he took the summer off as a mark of respect for the late Sir Peter Ustinov and the late Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, he would be heading for a landslide. So Clinton sucking up Kerry's oxygen is the best news there is for the Senator.
So where's Lurch during the "oxygen shortage"? He's on vacation - Kerry takes island break from VP search:
In a place where the masses travel by ferry and foot, and the elite by private jet, John F. Kerry yesterday came to Nantucket Island with the biggest plane of all, but a purposefully low-key presence after touchdown.

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, taking a Father's Day-weekend break from the campaign trail, breathed in some salt air at his wife Teresa Heinz Kerry's seaside home on Hurlbert Avenue before heading into town for dinner with her.
The Massachusetts senator had been scheduled to arrive on the island late Friday, but bad weather prompted a postponement to yesterday morning. At 10:30 a.m., his chartered Boeing 757 touched down and slowly traversed the Nantucket Airport's narrow taxiways. Handlers parked the plane, only the second visit by an aircraft that large, in a row of private planes, including four Gulfstream jets. The red-white-and-blue behemoth drawfed them all.
Heinz Kerry did not travel with her husband, instead taking her own jet from Washington. Joining the couple was Kerry's younger daughter,
Don't think "yet another vacation in some watering hold for the idle rich". Think "bumping your poll numbers"!

More on the newspaper circulation scandals

I mentioned the latest scandal last week, but the NY Post has more - Bad Circulation:
The circulation scandals that roiled the newspaper industry last week are only a symptom of larger problems, experts say.

On Thursday, Newsday admitted to fudging its circulation figures by as much as 9 percent. Just two days before, the Chicago Sun-Times copped to overstating its numbers, although it didn't disclose by how much.

Newspapers are desperate to keep advertisers even as readers flee, and the group responsible for checking the numbers — the Audit Bureau of Circulation — admits it can't always spot fraud.
Aside from the coupons, most large newspapers exist to provide paychecks for politically correct scolds. There's still interest in local news, but who would trust them or their wire services on anything national or international? Anyhow:
Without proper oversight, analysts predict more circulation scams, as well as the class-action suits from advertisers and distributors that are sure to follow.

Angry Newsday advertisers already are suing the paper for $100 million, saying the paper defrauded them by goosing its circulation. Chicago Sun-Times advertisers also are taking legal action.

In Texas, a group of newspaper distributors are suing the Hearst Newspaper Partnership for "constant pressures and demands" to inflate sales, said plaintiff lawyer Jerry Payne.

"These scandals are going to affect the whole industry," noted one newspaper executive, predicting that the lawsuits clams will reach "massive numbers."

As the inquiries widen, negligent newspapers face the possibility of criminal charges as well. On Friday, the Nassau County District attorney said it opened an investigation into Newsday's number pumping.

Newspapers base their advertising rates in part on the number of paid subscribers. When they don't make the guaranteed audience numbers, they give advertisers a "make good" in the form of free or reduced-price advertisements or, on rare instances, a refund.

But Joseph Giaimo, an attorney representing the Newsday plaintiffs, said the standard payback isn't good enough.

He's suing under a federal racketeering statute and holding out for triple damages.

And observers expect more legal action to come. "This is a dream case for class-action lawyers," the newspaper executive said.
"Newspaper circ is really, really shady."
Woohoo, sounds like party time. And all along, I thought they were paragons of virtue!