Saturday, February 12, 2005

Somebody 'splain it to me!

Hot times at the MoveOn Prom

Deano raised big bucks from the "True Believers" and their billionaire buddies and did what exactly? He won the primary in Vermont (where he used to be governor - duh!) and came in last in every other one he contended except Michigan where he managed to pass John Edwards, and Maine where he passed Kucinich. In short. he got beaten like a drum by a goof like Kerry and frittered away his big bankroll. Now if you were going to pick someone to lead the Donks back from the brink, would you pick Deano? I sure would, but I'm prejudiced, and I always appreciate a good japery target.

Meanwhile Terry McAuliffe, the past DNC chair gave a rousing goodbye speech:
Press reports say Terry McAuliffe's speech to party faithful in Washington, D.C., Thursday night was a real yawner.

But the audience's bored expressions soon turned to winces of concern when the soon-to-be-retired Democratic chairman veered away from his morale-boosting message and began to attack the Catholic Church.
Ruh Oh!
Next a bitter-sounding McAuliffe turned his fire on John Kerry.

After praising Kerry for giving his failed presidential bid "everything he had," McAuliffe complained that his attacks on President Bush were too weak.

The top Dem cited Kerry's acceptance speech at the Democratic convention as a prime example.

"I think, to be honest with you, [Kerry's speech] was ridiculous," McAuliffe said.
"Reporting for duty!"
When he received the final approved draft of Kerry's convention speech, he recalled, "I just threw it in the air and said, 'Why don't we just say George Bush is a great guy?'"

"Meanwhile," the outgoing chairman griped, "[Republicans] go to New York and spend four days ripping our face off and they go up 10 points in the polls."
Well Terry, you and CBS did your best. Now it's Deano's turn in the barrel. And you really shouldn't hit the bar until after you give your speech.

Pointy Haired Boss Alert!

As expected, Howard Dean is the new DNC big. Endless entertainment for all should be the new Donk slogan.

Meanwhile, back at the Main Stream Media

Regular readers and viewers were shocked at the news of Eason Jordan's departure since there had been no inkling of trouble in the prestigious CNN family.

Eason Jordan Post Mortem

Michelle Malkin (and here), Jeff Jarvis and the Instapundit do all the work, so I get to quote the best lines.

Line of the Day from FR Poster Oldexpat:
It used to be said that you didn't get into arguments with people who bought ink by the barrel, but the Blog is turning into a great equalizer. Now these guys with ink by the barrel better start being accurate ... or they will just drown in their own ink.
Mickey Kaus notes heroes and villains:
It should also be noted that the controversy was kept alive not just by blogs, but by the refusal of a relatively liberal Democrat, Barney Frank, to sweep it under the rug in gentlemanly fashion.
The Anchoress has some sharp criticisms of Kurtz's latest effort and of the David Gergen's strange blame-the-blogs remarks, which I interpret as an attempt to assuage his own guilt that he rallied around "Eason" too late--after he rashly gave Michelle Malkin an honest interview.
But Kurtz has the sex angle (now he tells us!) which removes some of the inexplicability from Jordan's exit. I mean, no wonder Jordan had to go--all the controversy and gossip around him was stealing attention from ... the train wreck of CNN under new chief Jonathan "If It Doesn't Have A Compelling Central Character It Didn't Happen" Klein!
Sex Angle! Howie Kurtz, who was taking such a high road that you could barely smell the septic tank backing up in the valley, came up with:
Several CNN staffers say Jordan was eased out by top executives who had lost patience with both the controversy and the continuing published gossip about Jordan's personal life after a marital breakup.
Kaus thinks Kurtz's version was sanitized. I guess being a wingnut isn't as big a problem at CNN as hanky panky. Or it's more convenient.

Finally, there's a lot more where Eason came from. How about Chris Cramer, a possible Jordan replacement who is president of CNN International? I really like the way he thanks the SAS.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Buh bye Eason Jordan!

"We'll always have Davos"

Target Rich Environment Alert!

Wizbang! points out an incredible slideshow on Yahoo! covering some of our faves who turned out for the Democrat Party's big winter meeting in Washington. Drop on by to get all your raw materials for Photoshopping for the year! My (unshopped, just enlarged) favorite below is made even more poignant because it's apparently Terry McAuliffe's family who are er, so close to Bubba!

You mean kids stop picking on Little Harry!

Little Lord Harry Fauntleroy

The Donks apparently have nothing better to do than whine about the Republicans picking on poor little Harry Reid. My favorite part of the RNC missive was where Little Harry was for Social Security reform before he was against it. That sounds familiar!

The Donks are predictably most upset about a reference to Harry's luxury Washington digs. That's because they are always defensive about their perpetual claim to be part of the little people. Hey, that's modern leftism. To hear them tell it, they are just folks, but the reality is they are limousine liberal folks. Anyone spotted Streisand following her own recommendation to hang the wash on a clothesline yet?

But it doesn't mean they aren't trying to act the part. They're even taking lessons!
Ever since the November election, Democrats have known that the hottest V-word is not "veto" or "Viagra," it is "values." Now, as hundreds of the party's elite descend here to select a new chairman and chart a course for the future, Democrats are enlisting a bevy of consultants - church leaders, a marketing guru from Silicon Valley and even a linguist - to redefine themselves and discover a message that will sell at the polls.
So the use of the word "values" or value-laden phrases has proliferated on Capitol Hill these days, spinning out in a new morality play in which everything, from Social Security to the driest spending cuts, is cast in terms of right and wrong. Democrats are freely quoting the Bible, as they did in a recent letter to President Bush. Senator Harry Reid, the Democratic leader, denounced the White House budget this week as "immoral" and had earlier offered up "old-fashioned moral values" in his response to the president's State of the Union address.
In the House, the Democratic leadership last week tapped Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the son of a minister, to lead a "faith working group" to encourage lawmakers to sprinkle references to God and religion into their speeches.
Can I get a witness?

Update: David Hogberg thoughtfully provides a new logo to help them.

Chilling Effect alert!

Activist lawyers fear 'chilling effect' from verdict. Lynne Stewart gets convicted of helping her terrorist client with his schemes and the usual suspects are all upset. Why? Are they doing it too?

Help poor Lurch out!

(Via WorldNetDaily) We all know how busy Sen John Kerry is in the social whirl of Boston, Washington, and Sun Valley, so it's just possible that he might forget his promise to sign the form 180 to release his full military records. Some folks are trying to help the often forgetful fellow out:
Flood Kerry with 180's!

On Sunday, Jan. 30, 2005, during an appearance on the NBC News show “Meet the Press,” moderator Tim Russert asked Sen. Kerry (three times) if he would sign an SF 180 and release all of his military records. On the third attempt Sen. Kerry answered Mr. Russert plainly:

MR. RUSSERT: Would you sign Form 180?

SEN. KERRY: Yes, I will.

Now the battle has begun to make Senator Kerry keep his word by signing the SF 180. We, along with many others, are calling upon every Veteran, every American citizen, and every organization to send a letter and the 180 to Senator Kerry asking him to sign it, as he said.
The steps to take including a copy of form 180 and Lurch's mailing address by following the link.

Thank the Cleaning Woman, Bubba, and Mr. Peanut

That's what you get when you put mooncalves in charge.

It's a joke, right?

A reader observes that the previous post about CNN issuing an Eason Jordan "clarification" on Thursday was mostly notable in that the AP covered the story and that ABC carried the report. The AP story is on its 3rd version now and a few of their customers are carrying it. Most humorous though is al-Reuters' parallel story - CNN Executive in Hot Seat Over Iraq Claim:
NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - CNN on Thursday sought to quell the media frenzy enveloping a top executive who suggested that U.S. troops were deliberately firing on journalists in Iraq.
Have you noticed a media frenzy? Me neither.
CNN wouldn't make Jordan available for comment Thursday. Jordan is a 22-year veteran of CNN, an Emmy and Peabody winner and oversaw the coverage of many of CNN's biggest stories of the past 16 years including both Iraq wars, the Sept. 11 attacks and the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.
He also has been saying this stuff for years and was in charge of sugarcoating Saddam so CNN could remain in Iraq. I guess as ole Eason said at an earlier Davos conference:
he finds objectivity and impartiality to be outdated, tired terms.
Gosh, it must be tough being so jaded. Maybe Eason needs a long rest?

Eason Jordan should be fired.

It's time for him to go.

Hit the road, wingnut.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Eason says he's an inarticulate goof

Tin foil beanie boy Eason Jordan sort of speaks:
CNN said that Jordan was responding to a comment made by another panelist that journalists killed in Iraq were collateral damage. He had intended to draw a distinction between reporters killed because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when a bomb fell, for example, and those killed because someone mistook them for the enemy, CNN spokeswoman Christa Robinson said on Thursday.

However, Jordan did a poor job saying so, she said. He deeply regrets that he left the wrong impression, she said.

Jordan would not speak about the issue to The Associated Press, but issued a statement: "I never in my life thought or meant to suggest that the military was trying to deliberately kill journalists."
"I don't know how much more clear we can be," Robinson said. "I think the story should be moot when you read in the first accounts that he made the misstatement and he cleared it up."
No word on how come he's been making this same misstatement for years.

This is actually kind of cool - let me try it. Eason Jordan is a lying crapsack. No, wait, I really meant rose petals drop from his lips. I deeply regret leaving the wrong impression. Sounds good to me!

Ole Eason's real easy with this "explanation" because
CNN said, however, that it had no such transcript and, although a videotape reportedly exists of the conference, the meetings were held under rules forbidding participants from being quoted directly.
No Wankers Gone Wild videos?

Eason Jordan! Come out, come out wherever you are!

Senator Calls for Release of Comments by CNN News Chief. Senator George Allen of Virginia.

Today's Hoot!

Yesterday, I mentioned Ann Coulter's column on poseur Ward Churchill which appeared at WorldNetDaily under the title The little Injun that could. It looks like there may have been some negotiation involved since it appears on her own site as SITTING BULL-S***. Both are apt, but I like the latter best. Meanwhile, back here in the rocker, since ole Ward is as about as much an Indian as I am, I'm thinking I should grow my hair long and become a professor! But no paintings on velvet of Elvis and Crazy Horse playing poker.

Tabloid Newz Alert!

I must confess that I am not particularly interested in Prince Charles' upcoming nuptials beyond the fact that we'll have to hear about it endlessly in the news and even worse, have to hear about Diana.

But while we're talking tabloid heaven, how about this tangled skein?
Posing hand on hip in a cutaway dress, Drew Barrymore has an announcement to make.

She has joined the growing number of celebrities who have stopped shaving under their arms - and don't care who knows it.
Er, thanks for sharing but hold off on any other intimate grooming details, OK?
The 29-year- old Charlie's Angels star made her fashion statement at a New York catwalk event featuring designer Marc Jacobs.

With his penchant for dressing models in combat boots and army-style jackets, Jacobs is famed for his grunge-inspired look - and Drew certainly fitted in.

One of those attending the event at the Lexington Avenue Armory observed: 'She looked absolutely stunning but all people were talking about backstage were her hairy armpits.'
Well, she was cute in E.T. - when she was 7.
By going for the natural look armpit-wise, she is in famous company. In April 1999 Julia Roberts revealed her secret as she waved to the crowd at the UK premiere of Notting Hill.

A year ago Elizabeth Jagger posed, arms aloft, in a series of portfolio photos sporting an extravagant curly perm with matching accessories.

Actress Helena Bonham Carter is also known to shun the razor, as are Emma Thompson and Miranda Richardson.
Q. How can you tell the bride at a Hollyweird wedding?

A. She has the braided armpits!

But it's not all a big hairy deal:
By contrast, the macho men of Chelsea Football Club have given the red card to upper body hair.

Several stars stripped off their shirts following last week's victory over Blackburn Rovers to reveal waxed chests gleaming under the floodlights.

The trend was started by England player Frank Lampard, who was photographed on holiday last year sporting a smooth top half - including hairless armpits.
Maybe it cuts down on wind resistance?

He really does look down on the little people

Kennedy's `Swift' flight home costs taxpayers $2,490
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy - stirring memories of ex-Gov. Jane M. Swift's state police chopper boondoggle - ordered up a taxpayer-funded $2,490 helicopter ride home to Hyannisport last May after attending events in New Bedford, records show.

The 48-mile flight to Cape Cod cost U.S. taxpayers $51.87 per mile.

The senator's chopper ride home on May 21 to his family's famed compound allowed him to avoid the late Friday afternoon traffic congestion that clogs roadways and bridges to Cape Cod during the spring and summer weekends.
Gosh, I wouldn't want Ted to be late for Happy Hour! But I thought his started about 9 AM?

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Fun with poseurs!

Two security members from the American Indian Movement
stand guard behind University of Colorado Professor Ward Churchill
as he addresses students at Memorial Student Center
in Boulder, Colo., Tuesday night, Feb. 8, 2005.

Looks more like Gambino family soldiers protecting Granny!

Admittedly, a rather homely Granny

St. Ann counts coup on Ward Churchill in The little Injun that could:
By Churchill's own account, a crucial factor in his political development was "being an American Indian referred to as 'chief' in a combat unit" in Vietnam, which made him sad. This is known to con men everywhere as a "two-fer."

In addition to an absence of evidence about his Indian heritage, there is an absence of evidence that he was in combat in Vietnam. After the POW Network revealed that Churchill had never seen combat, he countered with this powerful argument: "They can say whatever the hell they want. That's confidential information, and I've never ordered its release from the Department of Defense. End of story." Maybe we should ask John Kerry to help Churchill fill out a form 180.
Two-fer indeed. On the other hand, I'm sure the lads in his Army unit had some names for ole Ward and they may have had to to do with his ancestry. Just not his "Indian" ancestry.
In light of the fact that Churchill's entire persona, political activism, curriculum vitae, writings and university positions are based on his claim that he's an Indian, it's rather churlish of him to complain when people ask if he really is one. But whenever he is questioned about his heritage, Churchill rails that inquiries into his ancestry are "absolutely indefensible."

Churchill has gone from claiming he is one-eighth Indian "on a good day" to claiming he is "three-sixteenths Cherokee," to claiming he is one-sixty-fourth Cherokee through a Revolutionary War era ancestor named Joshua Tyner. (At least he's not posing as a phony Indian math professor.) A recent investigation by the Denver Post revealed that Tyner's father was indeed married to a Cherokee. But that was only after Joshua's mother – and Churchill's relative – was scalped by Indians.

By now, all that's left of Churchill's claim to Indian ancestry is his assertion: "It is just something that was common knowledge in my family." (That, and his souvenir foam-rubber "tommyhawk" he bought at Turner Field in Atlanta.)

Over the years, there were other subtle clues the university might have noticed.
In 1990, Churchill was forced to stop selling his art as "Indian art" under federal legislation sponsored by then-representative – and actual Indian! – Ben Nighthorse Campbell, that required Indian artists to establish that they are accepted members of a federally recognized tribe. Churchill responded by denouncing the Indian artist who had exposed him. (Hey, does anybody need 200 velvet paintings of Elvis playing poker with Crazy Horse?)
An artiste too!
When real Indians complained to Colorado University in 1994 that a fake Indian was running their Indian Studies program, a spokeswoman for the CU president said the university needed "to determine if the position was designated for a Native American. And I can't answer that right now." Apparently it was answered in Churchill's favor since he's still teaching.
I'd sure bet it wasn't designated for fake Indians, but you never know about "higher education" these days. More hilarity by following the link and also Betsy's Page points to some of ole Ward's "scholarship" that is worthy of Baron Muchausen. Has this guy got a good scam or what?

C'mon Mark, release the videotape!

Gosh you'd think the World Economic Forum would want to clear up the Eason Jordan controversy. I wonder what they do with their video tapes of the big shindig? Save 'em for family home movie fests? Nah, they're probably for use when the cable goes out and they can't watch the Playboy channel.

Sheesh, I hadn't even gotten around to photoshopping him yet!

Senator Mark Dayton (Donkey - MN) is one of esteemed members of the wingnut bloc in the Senate, but he's decided not to run in 2006. This will surely be a blow to all those in the Fantasy-Based Community! Fraters Libertas has the details on his new career path.

There's lots of perks when you work for the United Nations!

Theft and Mismanagement Charged at U.N. Weather Agency:
The tempest inside the World Meteorological Organization began with a single check.
It was a dark and stormy night?
An accountant working late one night in July 2003 at the United Nations-affiliated weather agency in Geneva spotted a check that he had signed, but noticed that someone had endorsed it to an unknown third party, one L. Khalil. The accountant's curiosity was piqued, and he began nosing around.
"Someone had endorsed it to a third party" covers a multitude of sins. It would be interesting to know who it was made out to in the first place.
"Within half an hour I had found about 25 checks worth about $400,000 that had not gone to where they were supposed to go," said the accountant, Luckson Ngwira.

That led to a formal audit and a continuing criminal investigation by Swiss authorities at the sleepy agency, focusing on allegations of embezzlement of training funds by Muhammad Hassan, a Sudanese employee who controlled that money. Investigators allege in documents and interviews that Mr. Hassan stole as much as $3 million over three or four years.
Hey, what's $3 million here or there? We're talking world weather here. But the fun is just getting started:
This might be a simple embezzlement case, except that in addition to the money, Mr. Hassan is missing as well. A woman claiming to be Mr. Hassan's wife filed a death certificate, which Sudanese officials have told investigators is fake.

The investigation and the ensuing tumult has rocked an agency where excitement usually only comes with extreme weather. "This is bigger than Ben Hur," said Kathleen Charles, who was the agency's chief administrator before resigning in late 2003. "It has kept growing and growing."

The agency, which aims to coordinate and improve weather reporting around the globe, is small by United Nations standards, with just 350 employees and an annual budget of roughly $75 million.
Think how much could have been stolen if it was "big" by UN standards! But not to worry, this one has a really good plot - we're not talking some cheesy episode of Cops here:
Mr. Ngwira, 49, the Malawian accountant who uncovered the first unusual check, initially hesitated to report his suspicions.

"Hassan was very close to the man who was then our secretary general," he said, referring to Godwin Olu Patrick Obasi of Nigeria. Mr. Obasi had run the meteorological agency for more than 20 years, and Mr. Hassan had boasted of being close to him. "They were always together, so we knew that if you annoyed Muhammad Hassan, you were annoying the big man," Mr. Ngwira said.

Mr. Ngwira said Mr. Hassan had told him that he had helped re-elect Mr. Obasi as head of the agency by defraying travel expenses for representatives of national weather services when they went to Geneva, one of Europe's most expensive cities. Those representatives elect the agency's secretary general.
It's the UN way! Of course, it was our money doing the defraying.
Soon after his arrival at the agency, Mr. Ngwira said, Mr. Hassan asked him to be host to "one of our brothers from Africa" who had arrived in Geneva. When Mr. Ngwira declined, saying he and his family were still unpacking, Mr. Hassan said he was making a mistake.

"He said, 'Look, if you do something like this for the secretary general, he will never forget you,' " Mr. Ngwira said Mr. Hassan had told him. " 'People here get promoted not because of their work, but because they're nice to the powerful people here. This is an opportunity for you. If you don't take it, don't be surprised if you don't get promoted.' "
It's that UN work ethic in action!
Mr. Ngwira was not promoted, although agency officials said this week that he would be rewarded for pursuing the signs of fraud.
I'd suggest a job search anyhow.
Ms. Charles, the former administrator, said she understood why some might have feared Mr. Obasi. "The secretary general's personal style was very reserved, and hierarchical," she said. "I liked and respected him, but many people were afraid of him."

As evidence of financial misdeeds bubbled to the surface in 2003, Mr. Obasi, who was preparing to retire, suspended Mr. Hassan without pay, said Carine VanMaele, an agency spokeswoman. Mr. Obasi could not be reached for comment, and agency officials said they had no address or phone number for him.
Where are they sending his pension check? As for Hassan:
Eventually auditors found evidence that Mr. Hassan had skimmed at least $3 million, or more than one-fifth of the agency's training budget, Ms. VanMaele said in an e-mail message. The criminal investigation is continuing, according to Daniel Zappelli, the prosecutor overseeing the inquiry.

But the subject of the investigation is nowhere to be found. Mr. Hassan was dismissed in late 2003. A month later, agency officials said they received a letter indicating that he had suddenly died. A woman purporting to be his widow then presented the agency with a Sudanese death certificate supposedly authenticating his death, seeking to claim his pension, according to agency officials and a State Department cable.

"But she didn't get the money," said Joachim Muller, who last year became the agency's director of management resources. "We stopped that."

Not only have officials been informed that the death certificate is not authentic, but Swiss investigators have determined that the supposed widow may not even have been Mr. Hassan's wife.

Although investigators have not found Mr. Hassan, they have learned more about him. Swiss investigators discovered that he had "numerous businesses in Switzerland," including two restaurants in Geneva and an export-import company, according to a State Department cable. He had also used his position at the agency to obtain at least three "laissez-passers," or service passports, allowing free passage between countries. Before he left Switzerland in the fall of 2003, he emptied his bank accounts.

According to State Department cables, investigators are examining whether some officials in meteorological offices around the world, who received training fund checks, may have colluded with Mr. Hassan. In addition, one cable said that as many as 10 to 15 officials at the agency could be found to be negligent in the case.
I love a good plot! And it even has a happy ending:
According to one State Department cable, the legal adviser, Iwona Rummel-Bulska, recently told American diplomats in Geneva that "while bad," the weather agency's internal procedures were "not the worst seen in the U.N. family of organizations."
No, this is not Scrappleface.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

And speaking of Eason Jordan, that boy sure has issues!

Via a commenter at LGF we find some primo wingnuttery via the President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, in Thabo on Davos:
During Davos 2004, Eason Jordan, Chief News Executive, CNN News Group, USA, said news organisations face difficult decisions about which stories to cover. He said, "We don't do everything right. We make mistakes." He said that no matter what story a news organisation covers, its bias is reflected in its choice and in the language it uses. As such, he said he finds objectivity and impartiality to be outdated, tired terms.
Well there's a surprise. Of course, ole Thabo's no slouch in the the wingnut department himself, so he was eating this stuff up.

Davos transcript revealed!

The wusses at the World Economic Forum may not be releasing the transcript of Eason Jordan's delusional ravings, but Iowahawk has dug one up! What Happens In Davos, Stays In Davos:
Jordan: Thank you Arsenio, and thank you delegates. It’s a real pleasure to speak to you today. I originally intended to center my remarks around building global news market share, but as we have all seen, this is becoming increasingly difficult in our fragmented media world. On the one hand, we have see the welcome emergence of ethical competitors like Al-Jazeera [applause], but we have also seen an infestation of sleazy fly-by-night operators like Fox [boos] ...and unregulated blogs [boos] ...who have spoiled what once was a golden goose for many of us.

While it would certainly be wonderful to regain share, ultimately we need to focus on the bottom line. At CNN we have paid close attention to carefully containing costs, but in such a way that does not impact our news product. For example, we achieved significant cost savings by accelerated depreciation of Larry King’s suspenders, and outsourcing our teleprompter feed to the Democratic National Committee. And, while we certainly didn’t support the invasion and occupation of Iraq, it allowed us to cancel our bribe contract with Ba’athist officials — freeing up essential bribe budgets for our other stations in the Mideast. As they, say, every cloud has a silver lining.

But, I don’t want to be blithe about our the challenges we face. For example, if we don’t get some control on the US Military deliberately targeting and shooting our field reporters, we are certainly going to face some steep increases in health care premiums for our employees. Second... umm, yes? Congressman Frank?

US Congressman Barney Frank: With all due respect, Mr. Jordan, what the f-ck? I mean... what the f-cking f-ck!?

Jordan: Excuse me?
Much more by following the link including Arsenio's monologue.

He's BADD!

Matt Margolis:
Bill at INDC Journal proposes a pledge that while meant to [be] applied to ODub (who Bill appropriately labels “blogospheric version of Carrot Top") specifically, probably can be applied to almost any liberal blogger whose usual arguments boil down to cliche liberal talking points like “Bush is a moron,” “Republicans are racist,” “Halliburton,” “Enron,” mixed in with a nostalgia for the days when Bill Clinton was President.

Generally speaking, his idea appears to be a good one. While all bloggers, by the nature of their act of blogging, desire attention, however, ODub is one of the worst, suffering from delusions of grandeur during his constant struggle for relevancy in the blogosphere. One might say ODub suffers from Blogospheric Attention Deficit Disorder.
And from Bill's post:
Oliver loves links. He loves attention. These things give O-Dub a wee pelvic pup-tent quicker than a Redskins cheerleader skin-mag coated in delicious twinkie filling.
That's two more reasons besides resembling a snail without a shell that his keyboard is all sticky! Gosh, I must have taken the Ace pledge too. Of course, if you want real smackdown fun, leave it to Steve to trash ole "Like Kryptonite to Cupid" as well as a host of the usual suspects.

Howard Kurtz in "The Mutt That Did Not Bark"

The reviews are in on this pungent thriller!

Roger Simon:
Breaking a curious ten-day silence on the most important recent story on his beat, WaPo media analyst Howard Kurtz has written a carefully crafted, linguistically bland semi-defense of CNN News chief Eason Jordan against charges he accused US troops of "targeting" 12 journalists.
Mickey Kaus:
If you were worrying that WaPo's conflicted Howie Kurtz would bend over backwards to be tough on his own CNN bosses, you can stop now.
But the performance was better than the preview:
I find it unsatisfying. It's almost as bad as my parody.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Now it's ecoweenie angst!

From Felicity Barringer in the NY Times comes Paper Sets Off a Debate on Environmentalism's Future:
MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - The leaders of the environmental movement were livid last fall when Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, two little-known, earnest environmentalists in their 30's, presented a 12,000-word thesis arguing that environmentalism was dead.
That'll put a crimp in the funding stream!
It did not help that the pair first distributed their paper, "The Death of Environmentalism," at the annual meeting of deep-pocketed foundation executives who underwrite the environmental establishment.
Even worse!
But few outside the movement's inner councils paid much attention at first.

Then came the November election, into which groups like the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters poured at least $15 million, much of it to defeat President Bush, whose support for oil drilling and logging, and opposition to regulating greenhouse gases have made him anathema to environmental groups. Instead, Mr. Bush and Congressional champions of his agenda cemented their control in Washington at a time when battles loom over clean air and oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Now a debate about the future of environmentalism is ricocheting around the Internet about the authors' notion of, in Mr. Shellenberger's words, "abolishing the category" of environmentalism and embracing a wider spectrum of liberal issues to "release the power of progressivism."
Gosh! It wasn't about sucker fish after all!
Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club, began things in the fall with a bristling 6,000-word denunciation of Mr. Shellenberger's and Mr. Nordhaus's paper. An online magazine,, has started a forum to debate their ideas and their assertions that environmentalism has become "just another special interest."

One writer called the paper "ridiculous and self-serving." Another wrote simply, "I'm not dead."

Others have embraced the paper. "The article articulates exactly my feelings about the environmental movement," one enthusiast wrote.
No word on group counseling.
Mr. Nordhaus, 38, is a pollster, and Mr. Shellenberger, 33, is a strategist and the executive director of the Breakthrough Institute, a new organization that advocates putting progressive values to work to solve problems.
Ah, the fantasy-based community!
They are receiving an increasing number of speaking invitations like the one that brought them here to Middlebury College in central Vermont recently, where they spoke at a conference on rethinking the politics of climate.

The election results may not have been the only reason they have struck a nerve. Other nagging concerns abound, like worries about the effect of repeated defeats on morale and concerns about image; a recent survey conducted for the Nature Conservancy suggested that the group use the term "conservationist" rather than "environmentalist."
Bwhahaha! And Lurch spent Christmas in Cambodia and opposes gun control.
"To a large extent, most of us in the environmental movement think most people agree with us," said Bill McKibben, a scholar in residence at Middlebury College and the author of "The End of Nature," a 1989 book on global warming.
It's one of the tenets of the fantasy-based community.
But Mr. McKibben, who called Mr. Shellenberger and Mr. Nordhaus "the bad boys of American environmentalism," said their data showed that the kind of political support the movement had in the late 1970's had come and gone. "The political ecosystem is as real as the physical ecosystem so we might as well deal with it," he said.

Their paper asserts that the movement's senior leadership was blinded by its early successes and has become short-sighted and "just another special interest." Its gloomy warnings and geeky, technocentric policy prescriptions are profoundly out of step with the electorate, Mr. Shellenberger and Mr. Nordhaus say.
You can only claim the sky is falling so many times before you attract yawns.
"We have become convinced that modern environmentalism, with all of its unexamined assumptions, outdated concepts and exhausted strategies, must die so that something new can live," they wrote. As proof, they cite the debate on global warming and the largely unsuccessful push for federal regulation of industrial and automobile emissions.
Why not just take up a hobby? Knitting is nice.
They avoided making tactical prescriptions, but they did chide the movement for its limited efforts to find common ground with other groups, like labor and urged their compatriots to tap into the country's optimism.

Mr. Nordhaus, who works at Evans/McDonough, an opinion research company, told the student-dominated conference at Middlebury College that environmentalists "have spent the last 25 or 30 years telling people what they cannot aspire to." Given the can-do spirit of the country, "that isn't going to get you very far," he said.
Ya think? Anyhow, the big ecolobbies and ecodonors aren't buying it:
The observations have rippled through the environmental movement to the anger of some of its leaders and foundation executives and to the applause of a scattering of younger or less visible environmentalists.
"The environmental movement is probably the strongest social movement we have in this country," said Joshua Reichert, director of the environment division of the Pew Charitable Trusts, a major source of financing for environmental causes.
Mr. Reichert, his counterparts at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and scores of other foundation members who support organized environmental activity were the intended audience of the paper. It was underwritten by Peter Teague, the environment director of the Nathan Cummings Foundation. Perhaps the most scathing response came from Mr. Pope of the Sierra Club, who said the paper mischaracterized both the interviews with him and the state of the environmental movement.
Deb Callahan, president of the League of Conservation Voters, said that the movement had been changing even before the paper was written. "I think what we are looking at is the rebirth of environmentalism, examining constituencies, messages and focus and going beyond what we've been comfortable with," Ms. Callahan said.
Bureaucratese is her native tongue.
But she agreed that success was not at hand as she and her colleagues confront "the most hostile federal government we've seen in the history of the environmental movement," she said.
The decision by Mr. Shellenberger and Mr. Nordhaus to pick global warming as Exhibit A of their argument, Mr. Pope said, was unfair. "Since global warming is our hardest problem, and we brought to bear our weakest tool, expertise, it's hardly surprising that we are getting our worst results," he said.
They don't call it expertise when they have to shovel it out of the stable.
Mr. Pope also took a dig at his adversaries' motives. "Given that the chosen audience of the paper was the funders," he wrote, "it will be hard for many readers to avoid the suspicion that the not-so-hidden message was, 'Fund us instead.' "
Ah, a feline fight over the cream. This could get nasty!

Today's Hoot!

Iowahawk takes us on a trip down memory lane in TV Classics: "Chutch":
Still reeling from Vietnam, and with Watergate and OPEC looming on the horizon, 1972 was a turbulent time for America. Nowhere was the zeitgeist more reflected than on ABC Thursday nights, with the debut of "Chutch." Starring Jan-Peter Bronston in the title role, the fast-paced action series centered on the adventures of a mystic, Indian-like professor at fictional Boulder University. Based on the rugged hippie anti-hero Bronston portrayed in a skein of popular low budget drive-in biker films (including 1968's "Tenured Losers" and 1970's "The Angry Ones"), Chutch battled against injustice and The Man with a lethal arsenal of martial arts, mystic dialog, dirt bikes and his faithful mountain lion, Zapata.
Ah, the good ole days!


Mystic flute and chime music; soft focus lens shot of a young Chutch standing in candlelit sweat lodge of his Tribal Master, Marcuse

MARCUSE: Are you ready for your final test, Angry Turtleneck?

YOUNG CHUTCH: I am ready, master.

MARCUSE: Then try to snatch the grant proposal from my hand.

Chutch deftly grabs the binder from the wizened master.

MARCUSE: With this ankh medallion I now grant you the ultimate power, Angry Turtleneck -- a Master's degree from Sangamon State University. I pray you will use it wisely.
Of course, Ethnic Studies departments are a sad and silly story, but how did Churchill get hired in the first place? He makes most of the Ethnic Studies charlatans look like geniuses.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Today is Super Bowl day!

What are you gonna do for halftime this year, rip off SpongeBob's square pants?

Which reminds me - Registered has discovered proof that SpongeBob isn't gay.

Now if the media can only find someone who says he is. On the other hand, I'd watch him around banks.

It's a quagmire!

Pre-election guerrilla attacks kill three police officers, teenager

In Acapulco, Mexico.

They really do have a death wish

Deano as DNC chairman is a good start and now A cultural disconnect in Dixie:
DURHAM, N.C.--The hundred or so Democratic activists gathered in an auditorium at North Carolina Central University on a January weeknight to meet with state party bigwigs have each been given two paper flags--one green, one red. When someone says something they agree with, attendees are supposed to wave green flags; if they disagree, they wave the red. Plenty of the proposals elicit green flags, like withdrawing from Iraq. Then a member of the state party's executive committee suggests reaching out to NASCAR dads. "We have churches and values," she says, "and we have to make that clear." A wave of red flags ripples across the room. Grumbles activist Don Esterling, 62: "We don't need to be Republican light."
Right on, Don!

Speaking of North Carolina - Two vie for soul of party in N.C.:
Gov. Mike Easley, fresh off such a decisive re-election that he's being mentioned as a presidential candidate, may be in danger of losing control of his own party.

In an echo of the debate over the direction of the national party, North Carolina Democrats are in a donnybrook over who will be their state chairman.

The race has several potential implications. It could indicate whether pro-business moderates or progressives are the state party's dominant voice; whether Easley will be challenged on such issues as his opposition to a death penalty moratorium; and perhaps whether Easley will have a role in national politics.

Easley's candidate is Ed Turlington, a Raleigh lawyer and lobbyist, who has been a right-hand man for such party heavyweights as former Sen. John Edwards and former Gov. Jim Hunt. Most of the party establishment backs him.

He is fighting an insurgency by Jerry Meek, a Fayetteville lawyer, who lacks big-name endorsements but says he has commitments from a majority of the 560 members of the state Democratic Executive Committee who will elect a new chairman in three weeks.
Easley has prospered by being a moderate Democrat which is raw meat to the leftoids:
But Easley has been less engaged in party politics than most governors. He rose as an independent, corruption-busting prosecutor who never enjoyed traditional party politics. He rarely engages in patronage and has a reputation for not returning calls from key backers.

He declined to campaign last fall with the national ticket, which included Edwards as the vice presidential candidate, and he skipped the Democratic National Convention in Boston.

Although Meek has been careful not to criticize the governor, he has tapped into discontent in the party -- those who want to send Easley a message, those who think the state party ignores local Democrats and liberals who think the party is too pro-business, too conservative and too tied to monied interests.

"You are seeing the beginning of an ideological divide," said Lorrin Freeman, 33, a Raleigh lawyer who is chairman of the Wake County Democratic Party and backs Turlington. "Some believe the Democratic Party needs to move back to its liberal roots. Others think we have espoused the moderate position and that is the route we need to stay on."

A lot of Meek's supporters in Wake, Freeman said, are backers of former presidential candidate Howard Dean who are playing an increasing role in party activities.
Some Easley supporters worry that if Meek, a trial lawyer, becomes chairman, business contributions to the party would dry up. And they are concerned that liberal party activists would press Easley to address hot-button cultural issues, such as a death penalty moratorium or gun control, that can be politically toxic in North Carolina.
Now we're talking! And don't forget gay marriage!

Ruh Oh!

N. Korea Wants Czech Ban of 'Team America'
PRAGUE, Czech Republic - North Korea's embassy in Prague has demanded that the film "Team America: World Police" be banned in the Czech Republic, saying the movie harms their country's reputation, a report said Saturday.

In the film by "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, a team of marionettes rushes to keep North Korean leader Kim Jong Il from destroying the world, reducing world capitals to rubble along the way.

"It harms the image of our country," the Lidove Noviny daily quoted a North Korean diplomat as saying. "Such behavior is not part of our country's political culture. Therefore, we want the film to be banned."
They're kidding, right? Truth is stranger than fiction.