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Monday, October 31, 2005

What is Fascism?
Great post by Davis Neiwert on the attempt by the American right to conflate liberalism and fascism. It reminds me of something I once heard Rush Limbaugh say on his radio program: "Hitler was a liberal."

Friday, October 28, 2005

Paul Begala
Read the Entire Post:

With a wink and a nod [George W. Bush] told us he wouldn't cheat on Laura. And after he took office Mr. Bush and his henchmen smeared the Clintonistas, falsely accusing them of vandalism and theft. They told the press that in this Oval Office the gentlemen would wear suits, the ladies, skirts. And no more paper coffee cups. Nothing but the finest bone china. The Bushies even claimed moral superiority because of their punctuality. Everything was designed and marketed to stress the virtue of the Bushies and the vice of the Clintonians. And it worked. In the first year of George W. Bush's presidency, one major media figure told my wife and me to our faces that the difference between the Clinton crowd and the Bush team was that, "They're just better people than you are. They're more loyal to their President, more patriotic, less self-interested and ambitious. They're just better people."

Now we learn that these Better People have turned the White House into a criminal enterprise. And that the purpose of that enterprise was to mislead the country into going to war. 2,000 Americans killed. 15,000 horribly wounded. $200 billion gone. And a Muslim world -- and a non-Muslim world, for that matter -- that hates our guts. Al Qaeda is recruiting terrorists faster than we can kill them. And there is no end in sight.

But thank God there were no blow jobs. They really are Better People.

That is why this prosecution is important. No one is criminalizing policy differences. Rather, the Bush White House stands accused of hijacking the public policy process in service of a criminal conspiracy to smear, lie and obstruct justice.

The Fitzgerald probe, it should be noted, is the first independent investigation into alleged wrongdoing in the Bush White House. And it has hit paydirt. Contrast that with the dry holes of Whitewater, Filegate, the billing records, Vince Foster's suicide, the cattle futures, the Buddhist temple, and all the rest. Good Lord, Congress even spent two years investigating Clinton's Christmas card list. Just to list the trumped-up Clinton "scandals" is to recall how trivial -- and yet how destructive -- they were. Innocent people were impoverished, reputations were damaged, careers derailed. But at least history can give the Clinton team a clean bill of ethical health. No White House was more thoroughly investigated -- and more thoroughly exonerated. But it's telling that the first time anyone had the courage to scratch the surface of Bush, Inc., he found corruption.

David Horowitz Unhinged
Read my short post on HorowitzWatch. I love Fitzmas!

Donna Frye Event
Those of you familiar with this site know that I’ve been to a lot of Hollywood parties (scroll down to yesterday’s post on my exploits). The Hollywood events are phat but I prefer more down-to-earth events like today’s breakfast with San Diego mayoral candidate Donna Frye at Wit’s End—sponsored by progressive talk radio station AM 1360 KLSD. Frye was interviewed on Stacy Taylor’s morning show. As I pointed out in previous posts, I don’t tend to cover local or state politics (e.g., I haven’t even mentioned the upcoming state and local elections on November 8). However, I like Frye not just because she’s a Democrat and a surfer but also because I think she’s much more candid than her opponent Jerry Sanders about how to get the city out of its economic morass.

Because this is a quick post, this is a mishmash of things:
·I spoke to people at the event and many asked me why a film person would move from LA to SD. I like LA—it’s a great place to visit (I’ll be there this weekend), but I don’t love it. I’ve served my time. Click here for more on this.
·The event really further impressed upon me how important progressive talk radio is. I agree wholeheartedly with this past column by Robert Parry on the importance of the emergence of Air America Radio as a way to counter the right’s media apparatus (David Brock’s The Republican Noise Machine is a good primer on this phenomenon). Unfortunately, progressive talk radio has not received the kind of advertising support it needs. If you are a businessperson, think seriously about advertising on an Air America Radio affiliate. It’s a good business investment. Rates are reasonable and it’s a good way to support a progressive response to the Right’s media machine. Unlike people who watch Fox News and take it seriously, Air America radio listeners on average are highly educated and think for themselves.
·I met another blogger, Dave Chase.
·I met some people from The World Can't Wait. They gave me a button.
·I got tickets to AM 1360 KLSD’s event with Al Franken at the House of Blues November the 4th. Quick note on the House of Blues, I wanted to see Gavin DeGraw a couple weeks ago but the event was sold out.
·There’s a lot more I could discuss but I’ve got a lot of work to do.

Merry Fitzmas!!! The Best Is Yet To Come
I was at the Donna Frye Breakfast sponsored by KLSD at Wit’s End in Hillcrest (I’ll post on that event later). I’ve been listening to the wailing of gnashing of teeth on Rush’s show (Quick transcript of Limbaugh whine: “It’s just classic: the left cannot win at the ballot box. They’ve got to try to throw every Republican they can’t beat at the ballot box—getting thrown out of office via the legal/judicial system.” I’m switching between Rush and Al Franken while I watched Judge Andrew Napolitano and convicted Watergate thug G. Gordon Liddy on Faux News (click here to read a transcript of my conversation with Napolitano).

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Thoughts on Fitzmas Eve
Robert Parry had some trenchant insights on the possible outcomes of the Treasongate scandal. Parry points out that Treasongate can result in going all the way to the top like Watergate or it could be more contained like Iran-Contra in which underlings took most of the flack--even though there is now ample evidence that President Reagan and Vice President Bush were more involved than they claimed they were. What was the difference between the two scandal? Parry rightly points out that an emerging partisan right-wing media establishment was emerging at the time of Iran-Contra that didn't exist during Watergate. Also, conciliatory (that's Parry's word; I would use the word "feckless") Democratic members of Congress like Lee Hamilton helped Reagan and Bush "by largely laying the blame on a few Â?men of zealÂ? and faulting Reagan only for inattention to details. The role of the elder George Bush was left almost entirely unexamined."

That's bad news on the media front because the right's noise machine is exponentially more powerful now than it was in 1986. I have little confidence in most Democratic members of Congress--most don't know what the score is. I think bloggers should do what they can to expose the truth on this matter and fight the right wing media's lies.Itit won't be easy but if we get an impeachment, then it would not only be a repudiation of the Bush regime but it would certainly be a scenario in which Bush would regret having stolen the election which led to his selection as president. Let's celebrate tomorrow but remember that the heavy lifting is yet to come.

Party Crashing and Social Engineering
On Tuesday night, I had to spend a few hours of social engineering. Social engineering is a term that has at least a couple different meanings. The term was originally used to describe interventionist social policies. According to Webster's Collegiate dictionary, social engineering is the "management of human beings in accordance with their place and function in society: applied social science." The term was as a pejorative by the American right to describe Great Society-type programs implemented by liberals--especially during the 1970's.

That's not the type of social engineering I was engaging in the other night. Another definition of social engineering was conceived by computer hackers to refer to the act of portraying oneself as someone else (e.g., a custodian) in order to obtain information that will allow the hacker to access computer systems (IÂ?ve mentioned social engineering previously). I engage in social engineering, not to access computer systems, but to get into parties I'm not invited to. I did a lot of this in 2002 (that year alone, I was able to get past some seriously hardnosed security to get into about 15 movie premiere after-parties in LA). I've slowed down a bit because social engineering is a big hassle, takes time, and is a lot of work that often does not pan out. Tuesday night, my hard work led to success: I found out about a Halloween party this weekend that is certain to be dope.

The San Diego Reader has a column by a self-described party crasher (the column is appropriately called "Crasher") that tells readers the following: "Crash your party? Call 619-235-3000 x421 and leave an invitation for Josh Board." That's seems self-contradictory to solicit party hosts to invite someone to crash their party. Sounds like a good gig though.

One more thing: Here's a post I wrote on the ethics of crashing.

Merry Fitzmas Eve
Rove will be frogmarched tomorrow.

Recent Protests
San Diego is not a hotbed of political protest but the past couple days, I witnessed a few demonstrations. On Tuesday, when the Gropinator appeared at the Westgate Hotel, various groups—-mostly teacher and firefighter unions came out to picket him. One of the main groups there was Alliance for a Better California.

This morning I was on C Street and saw some members of Carpenters Local 1506 protesting Stock-Stephens contracting with Pacific Building Group for their new office. Apparently, Pacific Building Group uses non-union labor. Quick thought on unions: it’s going to be tough getting the vouchers I need to get into SAG if I’m not in LA but that's the price of not living in LA. I'll pay it.

Yesterday, due to the 2000th US military death in Iraq, there was a candlelight vigil outside of Horton Plaza. One of the groups that sponsored the vigil was United for Peace and Justice, one of the front groups along with the ANSWER Coalition that exploits concerns that Americans have about Bush administration foreign policy blunders and misconduct to advance their Stalinist agenda. That’s what I find so noxious about these fringe groups on the hard left: they exploit popular issues and portray themselves as pro-peace but have a record of being pro-war—-siding with whomever is fighting the United States (click here--okay, okay, it was written by Snitchens but he's right in this instance). What the Bush gang did to lead to the war in Iraq was horrible, boneheaded, dishonest, and certainly rises to the level of being a high crime and misdemeanor but that’s not the reason why the ANSWER Coalition and United for Peace and Justice are opposed to the war. They want the United States to be defeated.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Is Plamegate Worse than Watergate?
I agree with Arianna.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Book Stuff
Today is the release date of Al Franken's The Truth (with jokes) his follow-up to Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right. I checked it at at Borders and it looks dope.

On the other hand, a really lame book titled The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought (I skimmed it at the bookstore) by Fox News propagandist John Gibson is the lame attempt to portray liberals as anti-Christmas grinches (Media Matters has the scoop on this BS). Yesterday, KLSD morning host Stacy Taylor read the following Amazon review (which turns out to have been done by General J. C. Christian):

Although I'm supportive of Gibson's efforts to defend Christmas against the forces of pagan idolatry, I was very disappointed with his failure to examine the war's beginnings. For instance, he ignores the problem of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer completely.

In was a sad day in 1939 when Rudolph made his debut and began pushing aside the more traditional, God-fearing reindeer. Today, if Donner, Blitzen and the rest are mentioned at all it is as Rudolph's persecutors, the bullies who barred him from playing reindeer games.

While many would rise to defend Rudolph by ascribing his popularity to the love Americans have for the underdog, I think there is something more sinister at work here, the siren call of homosexuality.

Think about it. Rudolph is a "flashy" reindeer, a flamboyant reindeer. His fabulously bright red nose flouts the conventions of traditional reindeer notions of propriety, more so than even Prancer's beaded buck-purse. Rudolph obviously uses it to seduce young, inexperienced bucks in the hopes of rutting them raw.

Yes, the story of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer was the first shot in the culture wars. It's a shame that Gibson failed to include it in his book.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Are We Related?
I finally had the chance to check out who my member of the House is (when I lived in Westwood until October, it was Henry Waxman). I found out it's Susan Davis.

Whipping Up The Dittoheads
Drinking game idea: surf right-wing talk radio shows and take a swig every time someone says “the criminalization of politics.” (Rush also used the phrases “criminalization of policy differences” and “criminalizing the political process”). Even though I’ve significantly reduced my exposure to right-wing talk radio (reason one: it was driving me fucking crazy; reason two: Media Matters and other people are taking up the slack), I had to listen to the various talk radio jocks do their Fitzmas Eve rants this morning. I listened to Limbaugh, and Rush clone Dennis Prager and they were basically reading off the Republican talking points: there was no crime in outing Plame; Plame was a desk jockey; Joseph Wilson is the liar, not Rover or Libby; Wilson is to blame for his wife’s outing; Republicans are victims; Peter Fitzgerald is a partisan hack; Rove didn’t know that Plame had been undercover; the press wants the Bush administration taken down; Plame got Wilson the Niger assignment; the DeLay indictment is “phony”; an indictment of perjury or obstruction would be a indictment of Democrats are the ones who go after their opponents unfairly (they must have forgotten about the years 1993-2001 and about Karl Rove’s entire career). Last Friday, I heard Hannity’s apologia over an expected perjury indictment of Karl Rove: that Rove will be persecuted over forgetting small details but that Bill and Hillary Clinton “forgot” hundreds of things when questioned about Whitewater and the Rose Law Firm billing records but were not indicted. Today, Limbaugh added insult to injury by saying that Valerie Plame--who was a covert agent without official cover, meaning that she would have dead meat if a foreign government caught her—-was “not brave.”

While witnessing these right-wing hacks having hissy fits is a great Fitzmas present, and it’s fun to hear the same people who lecture minorities against victimization politics whining their lame asses off, there is a huge problem: their rhetoric is creating a potentially dangerous atmosphere. The kinds of people who take Limbaugh seriously are angry, not-too-bright people and Limbaugh is whipping them up--big time. A case in point, today Limbaugh bellowed to the Dittoheads:

If this turns out to have indictments about these these these whatever these recollection problems, and so forth—if there’s no original crime committed here—if the purpose of this investigation shows no crime was committed and, in fact, we have so-called crimes covering up a non-crime, I am going to be livid, folks. I don’t whether this is a prosecutor’prosecutor; I don’t care whether he’s Republican or Democrat. This business of politicizing [sic] the political process and dragging people in . . .

When a demagogue like Limbaugh engages in such inflammatory rhetoric to the mouthbreathers, it isn’t just bombast--it’s a call to action. Mark my words; right-wing violence will result from this kind of irresponsible rhetoric—especially if Rove and/or Libby are indicted.

Lost in Translation
This goes to show that I no internet whiz: when I find a web site in Spanish, how do I get it to translate to English?

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Guess Who Said This And Was Applauded?

They're always accusing us of repressing their speech. I say let's do it. Let's repress them. . . Frankly, I'm not a big fan of the First Amendment.

Answer here. Quick, someone write a book titled Treason.

Friday, October 21, 2005

DeLay Smiled During Booking Because He Felt “Peace and The Joy”
I heard and recorded the last part of Tom DeLay’s interview on Sean Hannity’s radio program. DeLay, who was behind the star chamber-like “evidence room” prior to the Clinton impeachment vote--referred to his indictment as part of the Democratic leadership's strategy of “the politics of personal destruction.”

Here are a few more howlers:

Prior to my recording the interview, I heard DeLay use the Fox News talking points phrase “criminalization of politics.”

I laughed when I heard Hannity’s suck-up to DeLay. This isn’t the first time he's done that with a GOP politician (I reported in 2002 when Hannity provided cover for Trent Lott’s racist past).
HANNITY: How long, congressman, do you think this is going to take for you to be able to clear your good name here?
DELAY: I don’t know.
HANNITY: Did the lawyers give you any sense of that?
DELAY: They sort of think that if things go well—I’ve asked for a speedy trial—that’s one of the motions we’ve done and if things go like they should be and we get a fair judge, we ought to be at least in trial by December but these charges are so outrageous and so over-the-top that I feel pretty confident that a fair judge will throw them out

I wonder who are the “good Democrats” DeLay was referring to here: Zell Miller, Tammy Bruce, Dick Morris, Pat Caddell or one of the other Fox News Democrats? DeLay once again, without proof, blames the “Democrat leadership” in his troubles:
HANNITY: . . .I have never in my life—and I mean this sincerely—seen a case of such abuse in my life and I wish you well in this because it is transparently political here and I hope even our Democratic friends see this for what it is.
DELAY: Well, many of them do quite frankly and good Democrats that [sic] honestly believe in what they’re trying to do have come up to me and expressed sympathy for what’s going on and they don’t like what’s happening [CROSSTALK] but the Democrat [sic] leadership is driving this; we all know that.

DeLay talks about his grinning booking photo:
HANNITY:. .We were just down in Houston, by the way. We had a great time. We wished you could have joined us and maybe the next time I’m down there--
DELAY: Well, you could have watched me get booked.
HANNITY: [LAUGHS] All right. One last question: you definitively went in with a strategy to smile. That wasn’t by accident, was it?
DELAY: That was not by accident. [HANNITY LAUGHS] I’m not going to let them see any—but I gotta tell you: that picture reflects the peace and the joy that I feel right now. I’m not down about this. I really feel good about what I believe in and I know that I’ve done nothing wrong and I’m not going to let them get me down.

Good Strategery
Great idea I just heard from Joe Conason on The Al Franken Show today. Tom DeLay put on a shit-eating grin for his mugshot so that Democratic congressional candidates couldn't use a scowling DeLay mugshot for campaign commercials next year. However, Conason suggested Dems could do a little political jujitsu that by airing ads with the mugshot and have an announcer ask, "What is this man smiling about?"

Great idea with one minor change: have the announcer say, "Why is this man smiling?" It not only doesn't end a sentence with a preposition but would remind urban sophisticates of Esquire magazine's annual Dubious Achievement Awards issues that showed a picture of Nixon with the caption, "Why is this man laughing?"

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Got Chick Tracts Today
I walked out of the San Diego Public Library and there was a pickup truck with Bible verses and yucky anit-abortion photos. The woman on the passenger's side handed me a boring anti-abortion tract. I asked if she had any Chick tracts and she said. "Sure." She gave me the anti-Mormon tract "The Visitors," "Are Roman Catholics Christians?", and one of my favorites, "The Death Cookie."

Go RedHawks
I was in the supermarkert checkout stand and noticed on the cover of Star Magazine was a picture of Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson. Nick was wearing a Miami University RedHawks ballcap (Miami U. is my alma mater). Nick went there too. I didn't know him.

Shocking Must Read
Robert Parry on the "patriotic" reporters who have little interest in their readers or the national interest:

One early turning point in the switch from “skeptical” journalism to “patriotic” journalism occurred in 1976 with the blocking of Rep. Otis Pike’s congressional report on CIA misdeeds. CIA Director Bush had lobbied behind the scenes to convince Congress that suppressing the report was important for national security.

But CBS news correspondent Daniel Schorr got hold of the full document and decided that he couldn’t join in keeping the facts from the public. He leaked the report to the Village Voice – and was fired by CBS amid charges of reckless journalism.

“The media’s shift in attention from the report’s charges to their premature disclosure was skillfully encouraged by the Executive Branch,” wrote Kathryn Olmstead in her book on the media battles of the 1970s, Challenging the Secret Government.

“[Mitchell] Rogovin, the CIA’s counsel, later admitted that the Executive Branch’s ‘concern’ over the report’s damage to national security was less than genuine,” Olmstead wrote. But the Schorr case had laid down an important marker.

The counterattack against the “skeptical journalists” had begun.

In the late 1970s, conservative leaders began a concerted drive to finance a media infrastructure of their own along with attack groups that would target mainstream reporters who were viewed as too liberal or insufficiently patriotic.

Richard Nixon’s former Treasury Secretary Bill Simon took the lead. Simon, who headed the conservative Olin Foundation, rallied like-minded foundations – associated with Lynde and Harry Bradley, Smith Richardson, the Scaife family and the Coors family – to invest their resources in advancing the conservative cause.

Money went to fund conservative magazines taking the fight to the liberals and to finance attack groups, like Accuracy in Media, that hammered away at the supposed “liberal bias” of the national news media.

Read the entire article.

The Criminalization of Politics or The Politics of Criminality?
Recently I noticed the phrase “criminalization of politics” has been used by the right to describe how law enforcement, prosecutors, and the media at long last has taken a look at rampant corruption, thuggery, and nihilism of the modern Republican Party. The Center for American Progress reported that the phrase has been used by several Fox News operatives on that channel—possibly spurred on by the notorious Fox News daily memo (If you’re not familiar with the Fox News daily memos, watch Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism).

These Fox News operatives want us to believe that the indictment of Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff, the forthcoming indictments in the Plame Treasongate investigation, and the scrutiny of Bill Frist’s finances are part of a plot to discredit the right. William Kristol’s recent article in the Weekly Standard is the epitome of this pathetic reasoning.

Actually, it isn’t an issue of the criminalization of politics; no, the issue is that the modern Republican Party is the institutionalization of The Politics of Criminality. The GOP’s criminality has theological roots: members of the American right believes that God is on their side and since they are the elect, whatever they do—no matter how noxious, despicable, and underhanded--is okay.

This mindset explains many Republican behaviors. It explains why George W. Bush called a hopped up thug who said that liberals secretly cheered the Madrid terrorist bombing as "a great American. " It explains why Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris would knowingly and illegally scrub valid voters from the voter rolls. It explains why Tom DeLay and others would send thugs to assault people and disrupt the vote counting at the Miami Dade vote counting center. It explains why Rove would—among other things—start a whisper campaign that a political opponent who protected children was in fact a child molester. It explains why Jerry Falwell would bilk his flock out of their hard-earned money by selling them fraudulent videos via phony infomercials claiming that President Clinton was involved in murder and drug smuggling (and also why Sean Hannity would defend Falwell’s actions). It explains why Limbaugh, Hannity, and their talk radio clones lie on a consistent basis. It explains Ann Coulter’s fraudulent book that incredibly claims that the breakdown in political discourse is “all liberals’ fault.” It would explain why Rove and Scooter would engage in treason to get back at critics. In sum, contemporary Republican ideology/theology emboldens horrible people who are even worse Americans.

Their theology and ideology are wrong and their actions are worse. Another theological concept is now in play: karma. When I think about lowlifes like Rove, I pray that karma exists. The only problem with karma is that it often comes into play after the person leaves this life. When I saw the film Bush’s Brain, I took to heart what one of the interviewees had to say: that possibly one day, Rove will find it impossible to sleep at night. It looks increasingly like that might be happening soon—not so much due to a guilty conscience (Rove doesn’t have a conscience), but because adjusting to a prison cell might be difficult.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Will Cheney Pull An Spiro Agnew?
Word is that he will resign. That would be so cool--and fitting. The two of the three worst Vice Presidents, Agnew and John C. Calhoun, resigned. Cheney's resignation would be a trifecta.

I'm trying to figure out what to wear for Halloween. A couple years ago, I went to the garment district of LA and got some fabrics for a Duffman costume but that will take too much time to make. Any ideas?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Think Progress is on Top of Things
They have a story on a media phenomenon I noticed a few days ago: how Fox News and other pro-Republican media people are attempting to frame the investigation into who was responsible for neutralizing someone who was protecting this country from WMDs is "the criminalization of politics." So treason is just politics as usual but investigating treason bad.

Also, They have a story on how Pentagon communications aide Allison Barber is suppressing Ed Schultz's radio program from Armed Forces Radio Network. If Armed Forces Radio Network can have on its schedule a pillhead who impugns the patriotism of half the country, then it can have a patriot who talks common sense like Schultz. I've been listening to Schultz since I got to San Diego and he is phat.

Joseph Wilson and Valerie Plame May Sue Bush and Cheney
Please do it. The sight of Bush and Cheney squirming when they testify alone would be worth it.

The Debasement of Journalism
Robert Parry gives us the why:

As embarrassing as the Judith Miller case is for the New York Times, the fiasco underscores a more troubling development that strikes near the heart of American democracy – the press corps’ gradual retreat from the principle of skepticism on national security issues to career-boosting “patriotism.”

Miller – and many other prominent Washington journalists over the past quarter century – largely built their careers by positioning themselves as defenders of supposed American interests. Instead of tough reporting about national security operations, these reporters often became conduits for government spin and propaganda.

In that sense, Miller’s prominence at the Times – where she had wide latitude to report and publish whatever she wanted – was a marker for how the “patriotic” journalists had overwhelmed the competing “skeptical” journalists, who saw their duty as bringing a critical eye to all government information, including national security claims. [For more on that broader history, see Secrecy & Privilege or Lost History or Part II of this series.]

For her part – both in the credulous reporting about Iraq’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction and protection of a White House source who sought to discredit a whistleblower about a key WMD lie – Miller has come to personify the notion that American journalists should tailor their reporting to what is “good for the country” as defined by government officials.

Indeed, at this point in her career, the 57-year-old Miller seems to have trouble distinguishing between being a journalist and being part of the government team. Note, for instance, two of her comments about her grand jury testimony on the White House outing of CIA officer Valerie Plame, who was the wife of the WMD whistleblower, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson.

Read the rest and part two later in the week.

Monday, October 17, 2005

An Inquiry Answered
I received a reader inquiry. The upshot is that I have done some interesting blog and non-blog things in the past (as indicated by a Google search of “Scoobie Davis” and by the sidebar that has the transcripts of phone calls--mostly to right-wing whackos and blowhards. However, the thoughtful person, pointed out, my more recent stuff is mostly far from cutting edge and a lot of it is local stuff that deals with stuff I’m personally doing and not the larger issues of politics, culture and society.

The way the person found out about me was the interview with David Brock with CJR Daily during the launch of Media Matters for America. In the interview, Brock lumped me together with Atrios and The Daily Howler.

Let me explain with the following points:
•One of the reasons I allow myself to coast is the very emergence of web sites like Media Matters, Crooks and Liars, and The Huffington Post. These sites have the time, personnel, and resources to address media misconduct on a consistent and ongoing basis.
•I’m working on a couple media projects that I can’t disclose at this time. I hope to soon.
•I occasionally cover a news event that wasn’t caught by others. This site, of course, is not the type of site you read every day to get the latest political developments—Atrios and Kos are two good sites for that—it’s the type of site you read occasionally—but read it occasionally. For instance, yesterday, I called Fox News Democrat Tammy Bruce and pulled her leg (unfortunately the tape recorder malfunctioned but I can give details in the addendum).
• I believe in having this blog a blend of analysis and personal experience. Some people like reading about Hollywood and other parties that I crash. Some people like reading my wise-ass insights on the media. Skip over what doesn’t interest you.
• In recent weeks, I’ve been focusing on finding a steady gig. The bills don’t pay themselves.

In sum, I would like to make this site a better site than it is. Put me on your bookmarks and check out what I write. Once I’m settled in San Diego, I can devote more time to the blog. Projects are in the works.

Addendum: Yesterday’s smart-ass remarks on Tammy Bruce’s radio show. As I have written previously, Bruce is a completely treacherous person and sellout (go to the "Phone Calls" sidebar on this site and click on the ones listed for Bruce for more info on her). She’s also a really lame person—if you don’t believe me, listen to her radio show. The art of being a wise ass to wing-nuts talk radio jocks involves pulling the mark’s leg by acting like you’re one of the typical mouthbreathers in their audience and then waiting until they realize that you’re being sarcastic.

Anyhow, yesterday when I got home to watch the rest of the USC/Notre Dame game, I was also surfing the SD radio stations and found that the local AM station KOGO carries Bruce’s show. Bruce was discussing the successes in Iraq and how the mainstream media was biased in their reporting on the Bush Administration’s successes in the region. When she got to my call, I got on and said that one thing that wasn’t being focused on was the masterful political strategy that led to the war with Iraq and that the media was shortsighted for focusing on how Bush’s operatives outed a CIA agent responsible for protecting us from weapons of mass destruction. What’s a little treason? “You can’t make an omelet,” I quipped, “without breaking a few eggs.”

By the time I finished with the last sentence, she realized I was mocking her. She went into right-wing talking points mode and said that Plame was a desk jockey who drove her car to CIA headquarters and that she wasn’t undercover. I told Bruce she was regurgitating right-wing talking points and that she was wrong. She then absurdly told me that the photo of Plame appeared in Vanity Fair before she was outed. I told her that wasn’t true. Somewhere around this point in the conversation, Bruce potted down my audio and I was disconnected.

After the commercial break, incredibly Bruce told listeners that I was a hack and that people like me were the real hacks. Go figure. However, Brude made the prediction that mirrored the prediction made by William Kristol on Fox News Sunday yesterday: that there probably won’t be any indictments based on the Espionage Act or security violations but that there will probably be some based on charges like perjury, obstruction of justice, or making false statements to FBI investigators. If people like Bruce and Kristol make such pessimistic predictions, then one should take them seriously. Rove's ass is grass. While I would prefer to see Rove’s evil ass frog-marched out of the White House based on an indictment for the violation of the Espionage Act, a charge of perjury or obstruction will do--I’ll take it.

One final thought, a cavalier attitude toward treason on Bruce’s part doesn’t surprise me. She takes a paycheck from admitted violator of the Espionage act, David Horowitz (click here to read Horowitz's rant against me when I called him on it).

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Friday night at the Gaslamp Quarter
My plans were derailed by a cancellation so I hit the Gaslamp stag Friday night. I went to the Cuban Cigar Factory for a celebratory cigar for my move to SD (it was a hand-rolled Vanilla Sweets cigar. There were some bible beaters on the corner of 5th and G. They were from the Lighthouse Baptist Church in Lemon Grove. They had Chick tracts and they gave me “The Little Princess” and “The Devil’s Night”-—both Halloween-themed tracts (since the guy was nice enough to give me two tracts, I didn’t bring up why I love Halloween (click here and scroll down to 6/26 "Misc. Religious Stuff"). I didn’t crash any parties that night but on Saturday night, I spotted what I thought was a slammin’ event. I bypassed some rather elaborate security to get to a dud of a party. I can’t complain. There was giving out cans of Monster Energy drink out of a pickup truck on Fifth Avenue. The hostesses at Trattoria La Strada asked me to get them cans—which I did and they gave me a card to get 10 percent off lunch or 15 percent off dinner—I’ll use it once I get a steady gig.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Ohio state 34, Michigan State 27
UPDATE: Was I close or what? Actual score: Ohio State 35, Michigan
State 24

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Busy, Busy, Busy
Gotta find a gig.

Monday, October 10, 2005

I don't mind if yinz guys from Pittsburgh hang out in SD and watch tonight's Monday Night Football game against the Chargers--but don't make a mess.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

That is how it feels for the first time in years to have spent an entire week in a city that does not suck. Note to those of you not familiar with this blog: I moved from LA to San Diego about a week ago. When I lived in SD in 1998, I wondered why all the San Diegans slammed LA. When I moved to LA, I found out why.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Ohio State 34. Penn State 14. Sorry Papa Joe.
UPDATE-- Actual results--Penn State 17, Ohio State 10. Ouch!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Rove Is In Big Trouble
Read Lawrence O'Donnell

Hide The Salami?
Earlier today when I check my Sitemeter stats, I noticed that someone came to this site based on a Google search of "hide the salami chris matthews." Since the term "hide the salami" is slang for sex, it made me cringe since it made me think about Chris Matthews having sex--yuck!

Today when I listened to Ed Schultz's radio show, I found out the reason: when Howard Dean was on Matthew's Hardball, he used the term to describe executive privilege:

MATTHEWS: Do you believe that the president can claim executive privilege?

DEAN: Well, certainly the president can claim executive privilege. But in the this case, I think with a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, you can't play, you know, hide the salami, or whatever it's called. He's got to go out there and say something about this woman who's going to a 20 or 30-year appointment, a 20 or 30-year appointment to influence America. We deserve to know something about her.

That answered that. I tried to listen to Schultz when I lived in LA but, as I pointed out the other day, reception for the station he's on was bad in my apartment. Now that I live in SD, I can listen to him. This guy knows his shit. Today Schultz called LA talk radio stuffed shirt Dennis Prager on his false claim that Schultz refused to debate him. Give 'em hell, Ed.

This Lawsuit is a Loser
Right-Wing hack and Moonie apologist Carlton Sherwood is suing John Kerry for defamation for allegedly directing people to call him an "extreme right-wing activist." Truth is a defense in defamation suits. Kerry will prevail.

If You Can't Stand the Heat
Ann Coulter hauls ass.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Air America Radio in San Diego
The radio signal for the Air America Radio station when I lived in LA (KTLK 1150 AM) was always too weak (I lived in an apartment building in which is was difficult to tune into the radio). In San Diego, I listen to AAR on KLSD 1360 AM and the signal is great.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Who's Afraid of Media Matters for America?
On The O'Reilly Factor tonight, the "Unresolved Problems Segment" was titled, "Political smear sites abound." I got a little excited. I was sure host Bill O'Reilly was going to expose NewsMax (click here, here, and here) for what it is. Darn, that's right. O'Reilly himself is a NewsMax columnist.

Then I found out that one of the guests for the segment was Jed Babbin of the American Spectator magazine. Then I thought, "Cool, O'Reilly's going to rake him over the coals for the Spectator's part in the shameful Arkansas Project and other dirty tricks campaigns (e.g., this). Alas, that wasn't the case. O'Reilly didn't bring up these episodes to Babbin.

Nope, the main "smear site" O'Reilly took on was Media Matters for America, which far from being a smear site, monitors the hard right's media operatives and smear merchants. Bill O'Reilly has received a great deal of well-deserved scrutiny from the site. For instance, Media Matters caught O'Reilly fibbing about his voter registration form. They have that man's number.

O'Reilly commented that several unnamed people were afraid to appear on the show lest Media Matters will write about them and they'll get deluged with e-mails. What wussies.

UPDATE: Media Matters has a report on O'Reilly's segment.

Great News
(Via Josh Marshall) Paul Hackett is going to challenge Mike Dewine for his Senate seat next year. Hackett is the type of guy America needs in the Senate.

Compendium of GOP Family Values
When I confronted Sean Hannity about Republican sexual hypocrisy (which is like shooting fish in a barrel), I was planning to devote a web site to the subject but I never got around to it. That's okay because Bryan Harris took up the slack. He wrote The Sanctity of Marriage Handbook : The Ultimate Guide to Marriage--Between a Man and a Woman--Featuring Those Who Cast the First Stone. I checked it out at the Borders at the Gaslamp Quarter after I left Rally Monday. The title speaks for itself. The book is thorough; it mentions Sun Myung Moon's Holy Handkerchief. Buy it.

Go Padres!
No, I'm not a big baseball fan and probably won't watch any Padres playoff games but I made sure to make a trip to Rally Monday at Petco Park last night(wanting to see the inside of Petco Park was a big motivation). I had a great time. They had live music.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Light Blogging
I moved to San Diego on Saturday and I'm busy. I will post when it's convenient. Having a great time.