Thursday, January 26, 2006

Why is no one covering this?

The claims are a showstopper -- a guy claiming to have been the #2 man in Saddam's Air Force says they DID have large quantities of WMD up until late in 2002.

Those stockpiles were moved to Syria under cover of providing humanitarian aid after a Syrian dam collapsed, says Georges Sada.

Shocking, game-changing claims -- and no one is covering it.

I checked the NY Times this morning -- nothing.

I did a search on Google News (a GREAT tool) -- and found two stories. One in the New York Sun and a reference to an appearance by General Sada on Fox News last night.

The guy also got a book deal with Integrity Publishing, although that doesn't mean much -- they'll fling those things at anyone with a story spicy enough to tell, truthful or not. See: James Frey.

And the Sun and Fox News are certainly not the most well-regarded news sources

I'm not saying his claims are true. For all I know they're not. He could be a wild-eyed, moonbat, nutjob par excellence for all I know.

But considering his claims of who he says he is and what he says he knows, don't you think SOMEONE would look into this -- if for no other reason than to debunk his claims?

This reminds of of the non-coverage of the Swifties and fake CBS documents prior to the 2004 election -- it appears that a lot of reporters and editors are shutting their eyes real tight and hoping this will go away because it doesn't fit their view of things.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

No visible support

I'll give columnist Joel Stein credit for one thing -- at least he's not full of crap.

Joel states definitively in the L.A. Times that he not only opposes the war but he does not support the troops. He somewhat backpedals, saying he respects the guys in uniform, and that perhaps they were duped into fighting in Iraq, but nonetheless he doesn't support them and holds them accountable for what they're doing.

And I think, "finally, an antiwar guy who can admit that he doesn't REALLY support the troops."

I'm not saying it can't be done, but it's an extremely fine line to walk. And from a moral standpoint it becomes very complex very fast. It is very, very difficult to say that the war is immoral but that they guys pulling the triggers are the good guys and aren't responsible in some way.

We didn't accept that answer from the German citizenry when after World War II they said they didn't really know that Hitler was trying to murder all the Jews.

For my part, I believe most of those who oppose the war but say they support the troops don't really mean it -- they just don't want to be seen as the ones spitting on the returning troops, like their forefathers did during the Vietnam conflict.

Monday, January 23, 2006

More television for idiots

Okay, I think we can sum this up in three words -- Skating with Celebrities.

Fox Television takes a bunch of washed-up figure skaters and pairs them with a bunch of has-been b-level celebrities for a skating competition. Has-been celebrities, incidentally, with no skating aptitude at all.

I mean, I sort of get the Dancing with the Stars thing -- I don't WATCH it, but I can see how someone, somewhere might enjoy that. Actually my daughter does, but she's a dancer.

But this? This is truly a low moment for "reality television," and that's saying a lot.

As girlie as it may seem, I'd imagine figure skating as actually pretty difficult and dangerous. So do you really want to see Todd Bridges dumping Jenni Meno on her head? Three words: massive cerebral hematoma.

From triple lutz to triple clutz. Mustn't See T.V.

I'm not a fan of this genre of television in the first place, but this has to be the worst idea in the world.

What crack-addled junkie came up with this poor excuse for entertainment? This is beneath the intelligence of chimpanzees.

What's next? Celebrity Knifefight?

Say...that might not be a bad idea...

If they're interested, I can provide a list of suggested contestants.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Osama Cries "Uncle"

In one breath, Osama Bin Laden threatens new attacks in the United States and in the next he calls for a truce, Reuters reports.

Despite the fact that I'm not an intelligence analyst, I can provide the following translation:

"Could you please get your foot off my throat? It's hard to breath that way."

A desperate plea by a desperate man.

He tried this once before, offering Europeans a truce two years ago in an attempt to drive a wedge between them and the U.S. Didn't work then either.

This by no means signals the end of Al Qaida, but perhaps the beginning of the end for Bin Laden.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Now in the "Best Idiot" category....

Through an odd confluence of events, apparently the Golden Globe awards were held on the same day as MLK Day.

Oddly, several Democratic politicians used MLK events to make totally freakish statements -- statements so odd that they deserve Golden Globe-style recognition.

So winning in the "Selective Amnesia" category, we have Al Gore saying that the Bush administration is breaking the law with its warrantless eavesdropping on terrorists. Gore conveniently forgot, of course, that the administration he served in DID THE EXACT SAME THING.

Never ceases to amaze me that the Dems don't muzzle this guy -- sticks his foot in his mouth and hurts their cause every time. Doesn't he have a television network somewhere to run into the ground?

In the "Tin Ear" category, Hillary Clinton declared at an MLK event in Harlem that the U.S. House of Representatives is "run like a plantation." The gross insensitivity of that remark to anyone who ever suffered under the lash of true slavery was lost on Ms. Clinton and to most in the audience, many of whom applauded her remarks -- to their collective shame.

So once again, as the orchestra music swells the Divine Ms. H steps to center stage, misses her cue, sings a flat note and trips on the hem of her skirt. But hey, Hillary in 2008! Best recipe I can think of to guarantee another Republican administration.

Finally, in the "Best Portrayal of Nutjob Pat Robertson," New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin -- the guy who left all those poor black people stranded after Hurricane Katrina -- declared that the Big Easy is a black city by divine right and that God is mad a America and specifically at black people.

Ray is up for re-election in March -- THAT'S gonna be fun to watch.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Tapping King

Hard to believe, but it's true.

Federal agents operating without a warrant bugged the phones and offices of the Rev. Martin Luther King , Jr. with the approval of a Democratic administration.

Nicholas Deb. Katzenbach, who served in senior Justice Department roles under presidents Kennedy and Johnson, discusses the decision at length in the LA Times.

Katzenbach tries weakly to justify the taps, but when you read the intent of the FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and of the dirty tricks that followed, it's hard to swallow any justification.

I mean, it's not like the guy was talking to terrorists or something.

Happy MLK Day -- a visionary and a geniune, if personally flawed, American hero. I always liked that part in his "I have a dream" speech about judging someone by the content of his character, not the color of his skin.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Alito 1, Dems 0

With Senate hearings winding down, it looks like the Democrats couldn't lay a glove on prospective Supreme Sam Alito, try though they might.

Through 18 hours and 700 questions, they accused him of everything from a racism to kicking the dog, but Alito wouldn't bite. His answers were thoughtful and scholarly, but he refused to walk into any of the traps they set for him.

Oh, they did manage to make his wife cry though. Nice.

John Kass over at the Chicago Tribune has some thoughts on that and on the character of a good marriage.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Unrestrained Executive Power

On February 19, 1942, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, beginning the forced internment of Japanese-Americans.

Without any due process and in flagrant violation of the Constitution, the U.S. Government stripped 110,000 people -- including women, children and the elderly -- of their livelihoods and property, and imprisoned them in concentration camps simply because of their ancestry.

Talk about the dangers of unrestrained executive power...

By comparison, the current administration has shown incredible restraint in the face of global conflict.

Despite all the hoopla about the presidential wiretapping orders after 9/11, which are consistent with actions by prior presidents and with earlier court rulings, unless you're a member of Al Qaida or talking with one regularly, you stand very little chance of having your phone bugged. And much less of a chance of being confined as an enemy combatant.

Generally speaking, better to be a Muslim-American now than a Japanese-American in 1942.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Kennedy calls kettle black

Senator Edward Kennedy said today that Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito's record "troubles me deeply" during confirmation hearings today, according to the Washington Post.

Heck, Kennedy's record on, say, driving while intoxicated and vehicular manslaughter troubles me deeply too. But we still let him be a U.S. senator.

This guy has no business questioning anyone's record. On anything. Ever.

Friday, January 06, 2006

The Year In Media Blunders

"Holy Shiite"? "Jew Jersey"? "Beef Panties"?

Yup, Crunk's got 'em, over at Regret The Error.

From tragic typos to flubbed corrections to just plain bad reporting, you'll find it here.

You'll laugh until you cry.

Reminds me of the time a newspaper colleague of mine wrote a story on a trial where he wrote that the defendent was charged with several counts of sexual assault.

Except he left the "o" out of "counts."

Not good.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Drunk idiot with "suicide bomber" in journal on plane

The first official stupid act of the year. Sure to be followed by many more, no doubt.

Who does this?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Dems on Abramofff -- First Stone Territory

Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff has taken a plea in his corruption trial, and politicians are doing the usual running and hiding and fingerpointing.

The Bush administration and Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert donated their Abramoff booty to charity.

Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean says Bush should give back more, but he might look to his own party first.

The Washington Post reported last year that Republicans weren't the only one's benefiting from Abramoff's largesse. A short list of Dems taking money from him includes:

Tom Daschle
Harry Reid
Dick Gephardt
Patrick Kennedy
Patty Murray
Byron Dorgan

Money lobbying is a dirty business, and Washington will be better without Abramoff. But for anyone to think that this unseemly conduct is confined to one side of the aisle is naive at best and delusional at worst.