Saturday, July 24, 2004

Sometimes you have to suffer for your art

Media Upset With DNC Restroom Facilities:
BOSTON - Media members, already perturbed by long security lines, may find themselves waiting in line for something nearly as important. As the majority of the print reporters arrived Saturday at the FleetCenter for the Democratic National Convention, tongues clucked when they saw the restroom facilities that they will be using for the next week.

Twenty portable restrooms, like those used on construction sites, are lined up in front of the media pavilion to service nearly 1,200 members of the print media who will be working around the clock. That's about 60 serious coffee-drinkers per toilet.

"That's absurd," said Jim Drinkard, a political reporter for USA Today, when he heard of the ratio of toilets per media member. "This is not the type of planning you'd expect out of someone trying to be a good host."

Drinkard, who is also the chairman of the Standing Committee of Correspondents, said he was told by the DNCC, the committee in charge of planning the convention, that the lack of toilets was a move aimed at cutting costs.
Democrats cutting costs! Must not be the taxpayers' money.
Drinkard also said the quality of the toilets was insufficient.

"We were led to believe there would be trailer units," Drinkard said, referring to the restrooms used at the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia. Drinkard said that the trailers could get pretty unpleasant after a week of heavy use.

"But they are much better than Porta-Johns," he said.
Sheesh, they know the press is really full of it and the come up with the portacrapper plan. When the press ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!

UPDATE: It occurs to me that the portacrapper plan is likely for print reporters and other members of the proletariat. I'm sure the network talking hairdos have their own executive crapper arrangements. If not - someone get a snap of Dan Rather standing in the PortaPotty line!

Besides needing an urgent Botox boost (click to supersize), the Lurch campaign has some other "issues" as they traipse towards the convention.

Mickey Kaus (July 22, 6:12 PM) spots a weird one:
Kerry was so soporific and frozen-featured in his Tom Brokaw interview last night (Wednesday) that while he was talking the network resorted to running moving photographs of a 9/11 poster, a candle, a child in a field of flags, a U.S. soldier on patrol, a flag-draped coffin, etc. --instead of the traditional head shot of the candidate answering the anchor's questions. ... Maybe next time they can show film of John Edwards on the stump or sneak in an update of the box scores.
Sheesh, when was the last time the newshawks had a "big interview" and did not focus on the subject? This guy's a real lead balloon.

Anyhow, the AP's Nedra Pickler entranced us all by running with the meme that Kerry to Show Soft Side Before Convention:
As John Kerry winds his way across the country and ultimately to Boston to accept the Democratic presidential nomination next week, he'll be talking more about something he hasn't discussed much in his campaign - John Kerry.
Nedra must not be keeping up with current events.
Many Democrats say he needs to reveal more of himself if he's going to win over voters. Besides, they say, his biography may be his best asset - particularly his lauded service in the Vietnam War.
Hey, did you know he served in Vietnam? And stabbed his fellow soldiers in the back when he returned after his four month resume-enhancing drive by? Hmm, they may skip the last part.
During the convention, Kerry hopes to move beyond his Senate voting record to define himself as a husband, father, combat veteran, tough prosecutor, national security expert, outdoorsman and man of faith, according to a campaign message document.
They left out lying crapsack, but that's OK. We'll help him out. Follow the link for more heartstring tugging, but here's a sample:
This is an emotional side of Kerry that he rarely shows publicly. At campaign stops he often asks voters personal questions about their health, their age and even their income, but he doesn't reveal much about his own feelings or share personal stories. He usually leaves that duty to people who campaign with him, including his children, his wife and his former Navy crewmates from the Vietnam.
Sounds real warm to me!
Kerry communications director Stephanie Cutter said the convention and the events leading up to it give Kerry a chance to tell the voters "what's in his heart."
Gosh, he's going to share!
"By the end of the week, they'll have a sense of who the man is," Cutter said.
Then the campaign's in real trouble!

Nedra also has another high sugar update from Friday which reveals:
After the rally, the Massachusetts senator headed to Fitzsimons Army Hospital in the Denver suburb of Aurora, where he was born 61 years ago in December and lived for his first three months.

"I started making noise in here and I'm still making noise," Kerry said as he looked around the former nursery, which is now just an empty room.
Similar sounds too. And to reinforce the multifaceted John Kerry riff:
On Friday, his campaign unveiled a new television ad meant to do just that. In the ad, Edwards talks about "somethings about John Kerry you may not know."
Maybe they'll cover him meeting with the North Vietnamese in Paris for a songfest?

Closing the barn door after the horse's ass has got out

Archives Installed Cameras After Berger Took Papers

Friday, July 23, 2004

It's déjà vu!

The fat-faced punk in April:

Markos Moulitsas Zúniga and his pals

And the fat-faced punk now.

On the other hand, his mother is probably overjoyed that he'll be out of the basement for a while so she can hose it down and air it out.

Statecraft's loss could be couture's gain!

The NY Times' tendentious coverage of Sandy "Hotpants" Berger has had many low points, but I liked the observation that "some Democrats suggested on Tuesday that the episode could severely hurt his chances of becoming secretary of state."

Click for a closeup of high fashion!

More National Archives Fun! (But not in Sandy Berger's pants)

In today's WSJ, Jonathan Last tours the National Archives Shop:
Most of what you find in the Archives Shop is what you would expect in a kitschy modern museum store. Reproductions of Confederate currency are on sale next to Lewis and Clark action figures (the set includes a bonus figure--Sacagawea!) and snow globes with a picture of Nixon greeting Elvis. There are T-shirts and posters and, of course, books.

Lots and lots of books, from "The Story of the Civil War Coloring Book" to Michael Beschloss's "The Conquerors," John Keegan's "Intelligence War" and solid biographies of Jefferson, Lincoln and LBJ.

And then there are the books on George W. Bush.
And here's a surprise, they are all anti-Bush whines by the most scrofulous of the usual suspects. The 3 volumes by Chomsky might be useful in case of a toilet paper shortage, but how about Michael Mann?
"I analyze and pick apart their 'new imperialism,' armed with my general comparative knowledge of power and empires, militaries and clerics, and fanatics of all stripes."

He knows something about fanatics. Discussing America, he solemnly warns: "For the sake of the world, it must be stopped."
Much more by following the link including a chat with the shop clerk who undoubtedly aspires to an IQ rising to room temperature. Jonathan asks:
Maybe the books at the National Archives really are just telling it like it is. After all, it's possible that George W. Bush is an illegitimately installed fascist monster leading America's military-industrial complex on a nuclear crusade for world domination. But what kind of dime-store dictator can't even crush dissent at his own bookstore?
Quite true. But I want to know why the government funded National Archives has a book store in the first place.

How can you tell the players without a scorecard?

Not to worry! The Media Research Center has your Convention Media scorecard right here. Because the real players are in the booth, not on the floor.

Asymmetric warfare

As with all good bureaucratic endeavors, the 9/11 Commission report has something for everyone. The Democrat members like Richard "Hatchet Man" Ben-Veniste, Bob "Poor Impulse Control" Kerrey and Jamie "My Ass is Covered" Gorelick managed to avoid an indictment of the Clinton administration's vacuous National Security policy. The Bush administration got an acknowledgement that just maybe when some foreign nutjobs attack your country, kicking their asses is the right thing to do, albeit with a strong dose of Kumbaya.

That may rate as a fair trade in some other galaxy, but doesn't impress me. What did the Commission do to honor the sacrifice of the ordinary citizens on Flight 93? Bureaucratic backrubs aren't going to do it, folks.

He's not just a pretty face!

John Edwards demonstrated his vast grasp of foreign policy on the Larry King show last night - Edwards: Foreign leaders want Bush out. I wonder if it hurts to have your head that far up your butt?

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Today's Hoot!

Osama found in Sandy Berger's Pants:
War on Terror Over

The war on terror came to an unexpectedly abrupt end today as the al-Qaeda network kingpin Osama bin Laden was found hiding in the pants of former national security adviser Sandy Berger.

While lawmakers on both sides of the aisle celebrated the discovery of Mr. bin Laden in the former White House aide's trousers, this latest episode left Mr. Berger, once again, with much explaining to do.

The former adviser to President Clinton said that his lawyers would not permit him to divulge how, when, or why the world's most wanted man had found safe haven in his pants, but he did tell reporters, "It was an honest mistake."
More by following the link including Winona Ryder.

Hot Dang! Pistol Packing Mommas!

Michelle Malkin's USA Today column on Security Moms has started a groundswell. Don't miss the Top Ten Signs You May Be a Security Mom.

An antidote to wonkdom

Sandy "Hotpants" Berger and today's report of the 9/11 Commission provide an insight into the day to day activities in Bureaucratburg that dulls the brain and glazes the eyes, except when you realize that they're supposedly charged with protecting the rest of us. Craig at Lead and Gold provides an antidote - Credit Where Due:
Many posts and articles on the Berger matter quote Richard Clarke's verdict that the Millennium plot to bomb LAX was foiled by luck. Luck, in the sense of a fluke occurrence, had nothing to do with it. A vigilant U.S. Customs Inspector followed up on her suspicions and searched the trunk of a car trying to enter the US at the Canadian border. She expected to find drugs but, instead, found the makings of one or more big bombs.

Her name is Diana Dean and she deserves to have her name remembered and get credit for her good work.

This just isn't a matter of giving Ms. Dean her rightful credit. It also points to an important lesson going forward in the WoT. No number of principals meetings in Washington or action plans by Homeland Security will protect a single American. The rubber meets the road at the street level where alert LEOs and dedicated investigators do their job.
And the pantywaists stay the heck out of their way. More by following the link.

Good Question

Paul at Wizbang! - Where are the 9/11 Widows?
It is an obvious question really. Where are the 9/11 widows? You know, the obnoxious 4 that booed and hissed their way thru the public meetings of the 9/11 commission.

Kristen Breitweiser was a modern day Madame Defarge taking every opportunity to bash Bush for "covering up" information about what could have prevented 9/11. Yet now that a Democrat is caught stealing classified documents that might shed some light onto that topic, Mrs. Defarge and her backup singers are strangely quite.

Don't tell me they were just partisan hacks playing on their dead relatives souls to score political points. A good liberal would never do such a thing.
Heavens to Betsy! I'm sure that can't be it!
I'm also forced to wonder why the media has not interviewed them. During the public hearings, the media swooned like school girls every time the women opened their mouths.
More like, broke wind.

More fun with Sandy!

Over at The Corner, they're reporting the results of readers' clothing concealed document carry tests. Sheesh, I hadn't thought of men's garters in years.

Meanwhile, here's a hoot - Guards left Berger alone, sources say. Seems he convinced them to violate the document handling rules because he had to make a bunch of "private phone calls". He also used that shoplifting favorite, "lots of bathroom breaks." Maybe he needed something to read while he was on the throne?

The big WaPo article doesn't add that much more besides the rather confused story of Berger's professional spinners. And what a surprise, he's had 'em lined up for months:
Berger has known for months that he was in potential jeopardy. Breuer was hired in October, and in January former White House press secretary Joe Lockhart was enlisted to remain on standby if a public controversy blossomed.
The presstitutes are unified in their talking points whine about a "carefully orchestrated leak" and suspicious timing. I'm suspicious too - suspicious that spinmeister Lanny Davis is on the job and that his favorite reporter broke the Berger story:
Davis brags in his book about leaking damaging information to control the spin. And that's exactly what's occurring here and now with John Kerry accusing the White House of leaking the Berger story, and trying to take the focus off Berger and place it on the president.
Might have worked too, but everyone is rather entranced by the fetching vision of a pudgy bureaucrat stuffing documents in his "tighty whities."

Of course, what is charming in a Donk with hot fingers, would be something else in a Republican. Lileks says:
Sandy Berger, Clinton-era national security adviser and "informal" adviser on the same to Sen. John Kerry, is under investigation for cramming his khakis with classified memos and taking them out of the National Archives. Hey, it's happened to us all. You have an orange for lunch, your hands get sticky. Things happen, and besides, none of the memos could possibly have cast the Clinton team in a bad light, of course.

But let's play everyone's favorite game, "What If He Was a Republican?" Imagine Dick Cheney caught filling his socks with documents on pre-Sept. 11 security procedures. Imagine a hidden camera snapping shots of Condi Rice slipping secret memos into her foundation garments. We wouldn't be hearing about impeachment, we'd be debating the probity of rolling a guillotine toward the White House, and whether the heads should be arranged alphabetically on the fence spikes, or by seniority.
Hugh Hewitt on the same theme and also Ace of Spades HQ.

OK, so what really happened with Mr. Happy Pants?

There are lots of stories and Drudge is promising big details from the WaPo tomorrow, but the folks at FR spotted an original article in today's Baltimore Sun:
Last fall, Berger reviewed thousands of Clinton administration documents at the National Archives that were being sought by the Sept. 11 panel. Two law enforcement sources said archives officials had suspected Berger removed documents during an early visit, and made sure they secretly coded and copied records for the next time he came.
The missing documents included versions of a critique written by Richard A. Clarke, a former White House counter-terrorism chief in the Clinton and Bush administrations, on how the government responded to a 1999 plot to attack Los Angeles International Airport and Amman, Jordan, at the turn of the millennium.

A source familiar with the investigation, who refused to be identified in any way, called the missing records "a scathing critique of the last administration's handling of the millennium plot" that offered "a whole raft of recommendations on how to move forward with protecting the United States."

Accounts differed on how many documents were missing. One source said five or six early versions of the Clarke critique - ranging from 20 to 30 pages each - were missing.

Berger had previously aroused suspicions, one source said, because several reports he had looked at were missing. The staff called Bruce Lindsey, former deputy counsel to President Bill Clinton who was a Clinton liaison to the archives, to offer a chance to clear up the issue and retrieve the records, the source said. Lindsey could not be reached for comment.
Which "sort of" explains why they just didn't call the cops.
The source said the records Berger returned through Lindsey were not the same records the staff had suspected were missing, which suggested that more records were missing than the staff had realized. "That's when they started coding the documents," the source said.
That's when you call the cops. Sheesh, ole Sandy was doing a bag job on the National Archives. What a guy!

They just found the enemy

A summary of an NPR interview:
Commentator Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down, says American troops returning from Iraq are surprised to find such a pessimistic view of the war in the media.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Dang! No one told me it was fancy dress!

We don't see many of those around here. Except on Halloween.

Today's Hoot!

Ole Frank J. is having a contest:
So, Sandy Berger stuffed classified documents down his pants, and I just know there is a joke there somewhere. Put your best crack at it in the comments section, and I, the arbiter of all humor, will pick the winner.
My faves:

From "Mr. Bubble"
Sing to the tune of “She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain”:

I got Clinton’s Secret Papers down my shorts (Down my shorts!)
There’s a Post-it with a Warning down my shorts (Down my shorts!)
Got a paper-cut on my peter
From the yellow-lined paper
I got Clinton’s Secret Papers down my shorts (Down my shorts!)

From "Former Hostage":
Scene: The Kerry Campaign Headquarters.

JK: Wellllll Sandy. These papahhs will certainly help us recahp-ture the White House. I congratulate you on your sucess and bravery...just like the bravery I showed in Viet Nam. I'm certain that you, like I, felt the excitement in the danger.
SB: Thank you Mr. Future-President. Yes sir, it was certainly exciting!
JK: Yes, these papahhs are very...hmmm...what's this spot on the page? It looks like...some sort of...stain?


SB: (mumbling and glassy eyed)exciting...yesssireebob...exciting indeed....

Line of the day

From the NY Post's editorial on Sandy Berger:
Who would have thought that Sandy Berger - national security adviser under President Bill Clinton and (until yesterday) an adviser to White House wannabe John Kerry - was a fan of Chuckles the Clown from the old "Mary Tyler Moore Show"?

You know: A little song, a little dance, a bunch of secrets down my pants.
And here's their front page.

But not to worry, folks! Bubba took time out from "ministering to a troubled young person" er, his book tour to say it was no biggie and that "we were all laughing about it." Kind of sums up his approach to quite a few things, doesn't it?

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

It takes a big man to fill those pants!

Sandy Berger's Socks

You can't have more fun than this with your pants on!

Lurch dumps Sandy "Pantload" Berger:
FOX and CNN's Bob Novak are reporting that Sandy Berger has left his position as an advisor to the Kerry campaign.

Fox's "Campaign" Carl Cameron reports Democrats were pressuring Berger to separate from the campaign, charging that he risked creating political embarrassment for the campaign. "Much to-ing and fro-ing behind the scenes."

Berger was an unpaid advisor. Justice officials are sticking by their story that Berger stuffed notes into his socks, despite Berger's allies' vehement denials today. Top Democrats acknowledge there's no way Berger didn't know the rules about handling classified information. "For Berger to plead ignorance is a pretty big leap," Cameron said — not clear whether he's quoting Democrats or paraphrasing.
And just who are the "Berger allies"? Why, it's Bubba's Pants Protectors, our ole pals Spinning Joe Lockhart and Leaping Lanny Davis. Not to mention brown nosing David Gergen.

I also thought it was a nice touch that when the National Archives staff noticed there was a problem with ole "Pantload", they called old Clinton Deputy White House Counsel, Bruce Lindsey. Gee, I would have called the cops. And who's ole Sandy's current attorney? Why is former White House Special Counsel, Lanny Breuer. Break out the party hats, it's a reunion!

Update: It must be bad - they called in Gutterball Chris Lehane.

Update 2: Steve has the first Photoshop I've seen plus much more.

Time for a poll!

From Howie Carr:
Have you ever mistakenly shoved top secret documents down your pants and taken them out of the National Archives?

Not me! I stuff 'em in my socks!

Today's Hoot!

From the NY Daily News Entertainment column (scroll down):
CBS News President Andrew Heyward said yesterday that he tried to be good-natured when the Television Critics Association decided to give Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" - a comedy series - the award for best news and information program Saturday night.

But the more he thought about it, he said, the more it bothered him.
Maybe he was embarrassed that the networks' highly paid spinners aren't succeeding in getting the talking points out?
The greatest wrong of all, he said, was not to acknowledge that "there are people around the world who literally now are risking their lives, risking death to bring back today's story from Iraq."
Aside from some embedded reporters during the initial military campaign, I wonder who he can be thinking of? Either it's the ones going along with terrorists on missions or the ones risking falling off their chairs in the hotel bar.
It would have been better, he said, to have declared no winner at all.

The award from critics points to a larger issue, said Heyward, about what is and what isn't news.

"We have to accept that there is a broad array of news, pseudo-news, ersatz news, meta-news, and one of our roles over time is going to be to sort through all those things and actually say, 'Okay, what are the facts?'"
He meant "Okay, what can we spin to further the liberal agenda?" If you're going to peddle fiction, don't be surprised when real fiction shows you up.

The Sandy Berger story just gets better

It was bad enough when it was just his pants, but now we discover:
Berger and his lawyer said Monday night he knowingly removed the handwritten notes by placing them in his jacket, pants and socks, and also inadvertently took copies of actual classified documents in a leather portfolio.
In his socks? Sandy, you're a tad confused. If you're going the Al Gore route, you have to roll up the socks and then put them in your pants.

Teletubbies Boffo in Vegas!

(Click to "supersize")

Ronstadt Praises 'Fahrenheit,' Gets Booed
Ronstadt's comments drew loud boos and some of the 4,500 people in attendance stormed out of the theater. People also tore down concert posters and tossed cocktails into the air.

"It was a very ugly scene," Aladdin President Bill Timmins told The Associated Press. "She praised him and all of a sudden all bedlam broke loose."
In an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal before the show, Ronstadt said "I keep hoping that if I'm annoying enough to them, they won't hire me back."

Looks like she got her wish.
Don't let the garage door hit you on your wide load, Linda!

To be a fly on the wall...

And see Sandy Berger stuffing classified documents in his pants.

Hey Sandy! Is that a top secret report on terrorists or are you just glad to see us?

Monday, July 19, 2004

Potemkin Village Alert!

I mentioned the Donk "front porch campaign" previously. Now it's in action and as expected, Democrats Choreograph Front-Porch Events.

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - The front porch conjures up images of rocking chairs, lazy summer afternoons and icy drinks. But not in election-year politics as Democrats John Kerry and John Edwards use the setting to reach out to voters in choreographed events with miked candidates and hand-picked audiences.

"The most important thing you can do as a political leader is not to talk, but to listen," Edwards said Monday from the front porch of the split-level home of Durham's Democratic mayor, Bill Bell.

It might have looked as though Sen. Edwards just stopped by for a folksy chat in this leafy, upper middle-class neighborhood in his home state.

But the neighbors and friends were hand picked. A large camera stand stood on the lawn. Satellite trucks lined the street. Electrical cables snaked everywhere. Dozens of reporters and photographers were present. A man pushing a lawnmower was stopped by police from getting any closer.
Well, darn! I was hoping that the weasels might show up at my place, so I could tell them to get the heck off.

I missed the big anniversary party!

MARY JO KOPECHNE • Accident Victim
On 18 July 1969, Kopechne attended a party on Chappaquiddick Island, a short ferry ride off the island of Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. Edward Kennedy and Kopechne left the party together; a short time later, their car plunged off the Dike Bridge into a pond, where it overturned. Kopechne died in the car. Kennedy swam ashore but didn't report the accident until the next morning, later claiming he had been dazed by the crash.
Maybe they'll have a moment of silence at the big Kennedy Fest next week.

And speaking of Congress and pond scum

Did you catch this beauty last week? Call for U.N. to monitor vote rejected:
The idea of asking United Nations monitors to observe the 2004 presidential election, a proposal embraced by some Bay Area Democratic House members, was rejected in a House debate so heated that one member was disciplined for her rhetoric.

By a 243-161 vote, the House passed an amendment Thursday to the $19.4 billion foreign operations appropriations bill that would ban using federal funds to request U.N. monitors.
Only 33 Democrats agreed that federal funds should not be used to invite UN twinkies to observe our elections.

But wait, it gets better:
The highly partisan issue, a direct outgrowth of President Bush's disputed, razor-thin 2000 victory in Florida, reflects a continuing move by liberal organizations to enlist lawyers and other observers for the 2004 election to prevent a repeat of what they say was the huge disenfranchisement of minority voters in many states four years ago.

Republicans rejected the charge that the party manipulated the vote four years ago in Florida, pointing out that most of the counties where the biggest problems were reported were in the hands of Democratic election officials. They also say that Congress and the president have created the Election Assistance Commission and set aside $3 billion to help states modernize their elections and make sure every vote is counted.
Of course, it's a complete fairy tale, but that doesn't stop the Kool-Aid drinkers from constantly repeating it.

Skipping some of the garden variety bloviations we get to the scummiest:
But Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., brought proceedings to a temporary halt when she accused Buyer and other Republicans of conspiring to steal the 2000 election from then-Vice President Al Gore.

"I come from Florida, where you and others participated in what I call the United States coup d'etat. We need to make sure that it does not happen again. Over and over again, after the election, when you stole the election, you came back here and said, 'Get over it.' ''

At that point, Republicans asked that Brown's words be "taken down,'' a parliamentary request for her to be ruled out of order and forbidden from speaking on the floor for the rest of the day. The Republican in the chair, Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, ruled her out of order.

"Members should not accuse other members of committing a crime such as, quote, stealing, end quote, an election," Thornberry ruled.

Brown appealed, and Buyer moved to table her move, entailing a roll call vote on the request to rule Brown out of order.

The Republicans won, in a party line vote 219-187.
She's nuts, but they'll stand by her. Must be some powerful Kool-Aid.

It's that Cynthina McKinney wingnut again

So, 94% of McKinney’s individual donors are “non-constituents,” 85% of them are from outside of Georgia, and 70% of them appear to come from people with Arab names.

Are any of these things illegal? Of course not.

They’re indicative.
Hmm, where's Pappy McKinney? It's about time for a rant about them "evil Joos!"