Thieving Bastiches!

This latest ‘scandal’ is a real hoot:

Robert Novak, nationally known political commentator, has drawn criticism from all corners of South Dakota for racially charged remarks he made Tuesday on CNN’s nationally broadcast program, “Crossfire.”

“In 2002, (Republican candidate John) Thune would have been elected to the state’s other Senate seat, but the election was stolen by stuffing ballot boxes on Indian reservations. Now, Tom Daschle may have to pay for that theft,” Novak said in an exchange with Democratic operative James Carville.

Carville called the statement “really out there” and said American Indians are “very patriotic Americans.”

“Has Thune said that the Native Americans are election thieves?” Carville asked.

Novak replied, “No, I said it.”

On Thursday, three people demanded Novak apologize. They are state Democratic Party chairwoman Judy Olson Duhamel of Rapid City, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe Chairman Mike Jandreau and Frank LaMere, treasurer of a political action committee.

Maybe he shoujld have just called them gas station attendants– then no one would care. Whoops. Wrong Indians. More importantly, though- is Novak is a Republican and a white male.

Speaking of Hillary and her gas attendant flap- did you see her apology. Reminded me what I hated about the Clintons:

“It was a lame attempt at humor and I am very sorry that it might have been interpreted in a way that causes stress to anyone.”

She’s not sorry she said something patently racist. She’s just sorry that you are so blockheaded that you didn’t see it as a joke. How dare you interpret it that way!








One of These Days, To the Moon, Alice, To The Moon!

Color me unimpressed:

President Bush will announce plans next week to send Americans to Mars and establish a permanent human presence on the moon, senior administration officials said Thursday night.

Let’s see- bloated deficits, expanded entitlement programs, bloated education spending, amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, the hideously expensive presxcription drug give-away- I guess we were due for something like this. What, with NASA broadcasting pictures from Mars, I guess a trip to the moon is the first evidence of the conservatism in ‘Compassionate Conservatism.’

Is this really the direction the space program should be taking?








Asshole Spammers

Add this IP to your ban list:

61.94.193.111

Annoying ‘Bali’ comment spammer.








How Long?

How long before some wingnut European (or former Attorney General Ramsey Clark) declares that the publication of this photograph is a violation of Hussein’s civil rights and the Geneva Convention?

733410_saddam.jpg







Yeah- Bush is the Dumb One

I hope to hell they nominate this guy:

With a wary eye on Gen. Wesley K. Clark’s rise in national and New Hampshire polls, Howard Dean’s campaign has begun to limit his availability to the press, and the candidate himself is watching his words after several recent statements unleashed a storm of criticism from opponents.

Dr. Dean, who has spent two years campaigning as the candidate willing to say what he thinks, initially told reporters that he would be “happy” to discuss his tax policy. Then, as aides glared at him, he immediately said a senior adviser had “veto power” over what he would say.

“I’m not allowed to say I’m happy to do anything anymore,” he added.

Later in the day, the campaign released a statement saying Dr. Dean had long intended to propose “additional tax reforms.”

His new reticence came as a CNN/USA Today poll published Wednesday showed a slide in Dr. Dean’s support among Democrats nationally, with his lead over General Clark shrinking to four points within the margin of error from 21 in the same poll a month ago.








Very Cool, Indeed

I am not much of a fan of General Clark, but I think this is very cool:

The live internet chat with Wesley Clark starts at 5pm ET–now–you can access the chat here.

If you want to participate (they expect 3,000 to log on), here are the details:

Public IRC Server: irc://irc.forclark.com
Closed Read-Only Channel: #wireside
Open Discussion Channel: #clark04

We were flattered to be invited by the campaign to submit a question– and we did–we hope it’s one Gen. Clark chooses to answer. Here are the blogger participants:

Kevin Kraynick “Tooney Bin”
Ted Barlow “Crooked Timber”
Mark A.R. Kleiman “A Fair and Balanced Weblog”
Bill Scher, Executive Editor, “LiberalOasis”
Jeralyn Merritt “TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime”
Ruy Teixeira “Donkey Rising”
Digby “Digby’s Hullabaloo”

I would like to see more of these live internet chats with the candidates.








MoDo- Stoopid With Two O’s

I have read this Dowd piece three times, and I still have no idea WTF she is talking about. Did someone slip LSD in her brie?

*** Update ***

And, in all fairness, this Peggy Noonan psychobabble about Howard Dean is not much better.








Guilty Plea?

It looks like more convictions in the corporate crime wave of the last 10 years:

A federal judge tentatively accepted a plea agreement Thursday for the wife of former Enron finance chief Andrew S. Fastow, a move that could lead to a plea from Fastow and possibly his cooperation with prosecutors investigating other top executives in the energy giant’s collapse.

Under the deal, Lea Fastow, a former assistant treasurer at Enron, would go to prison for five months. However, U.S. District Court Judge David Hittner said he had “preliminary concerns” and wanted a presentencing investigation to determine if the sentence was appropriate before finalizing it.

The big guys can’t be too far away.








Morons on Parade

Check out the latest bit of extremism from another unviable candidate:

Democrat Wesley Clark said yesterday he would never appoint a pro-life judge to the federal bench because the judges anti-abortion views would render him unable to follow the established judicial precedent of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

The Presidential candidate also told The Union Leader that until the moment of birth, the government has no right to influence a mothers decision on whether to have an abortion.

Life, he said, begins with the mothers decision.

That is as extreme a position as anything coming out of Paul Hill’s mouth- and I am pro-choice. Clearly Clark does not understand the decision as written in Roe v. Wade, and clearly he does not mean that a woman should be able to terminate a baby two hours before passing through the birth canal. Or maybe he does- and that is simply sinister.

*** Update ***

James Joyner and Matt Stinson have a whole lot more.








A Must Read

Go check out this must read entry from the normally mild-mannered Jay Caruso.

It really is amazing, though. Do Democrats really think Republicans are evil and the enemy? I thought we shared the same general goals, we just have different routes to achieve those goals. Guess not.








I Can Not Believe It!!

I have to admit- I am as surprised as Michael Demmons that my political doppelganger, Matt Stinson, was a part of the creation of a Bush/Hitler ad. I just don’t know what to think.

And I thought I knew Matt, as we talk almost every day. I wonder what other evil he and his brother Michael are up to.








Gibbs to Coach Redskins

I would never have predicted this:

Joe Gibbs will return to coach the Washington Redskins, a team he led to three Super Bowl victories before retiring from football to focus on his Nascar team, according to a statement posted on his race team’s Web site.

Gibbs will be the sixth coach in 12 years for the floundering Redskins, who ended the season this year with a 5-11 record, missing the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year. He replaces Steve Spurrier, who resigned on Dec. 30 after two losing seasons and three years left on his contract.

Predictably, Oliver is besides himself with joy. He has a right to be on this one, methinks. My only fear is that Gibbs will put himself in an early grave- he almost killed himself the last time around.








Kucinich Again

Who says politics can’t be entertaining:

Federal spending was the topic and Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich came prepared with a pie chart to argue his point about a bloated Pentagon budget.

But although many listened to Tuesday’s presidential debate, few could see the Ohio congressman’s prop.

The debate was broadcast only on National Public Radio.

As Kucinich challenged Democratic front-runner Howard Dean for refusing to acknowledge that the Pentagon budget needs to be cut, debate moderator Neal Conan of NPR interrupted.

“Congressman Kucinich is holding up a pie chart, which is not truly effective on radio,” Conan told his listeners.

Kucinich was not deterred.

“Well, it’s effective if Howard can see it,” he replied.

(via Hanks)








Game… Set… Match

Remember the Texas redistricting that the Democrats tried to stop by fleeing the state, leaving an inadequate number of legislators necessary available for a quorum? It is now over:

A three-judge federal panel Tuesday upheld a new congressional map for Texas that the Republicans pushed through the Legislature after months of turmoil and two walkouts by the Democrats.

The decision followed a December trial on the heated redistricting issue.

Democrats currently hold a 17-15 advantage in Texas’ congressional delegation, but the new map could give the GOP as many as seven new seats.

Democrats alleged that the map weakened minority voting strength in districts in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and in South Texas.

In its ruling, the judges said Democrats “failed to prove” the plan violates the Constitution or the Voting Rights Act, which protects minority voters.

This now belongs in the dustbin of history.








Halliburton- Not Guilty

I wonder if Oliver and Kevin will take the time to issue an apology to Halliburton, KB&R, Dick Cheney, and all of the good people who work for those vital corporations:

Halliburton Co. has been cleared of any wrongdoing in a Kuwait fuel-delivery contract that Pentagon auditors allege overcharged the U.S. government by more than $100 million, according to a published report Tuesday.

The head of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Lt. Gen. Robert Flowers, said Halliburton’s Kellogg Brown & Root unit will not need to provide “any cost and pricing data” relating to a contract to deliver millions of gallons of gasoline from Kuwait to Iraq, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a previously undisclosed Dec. 19 ruling.

The paper said Flowers’ ruling came after lower-level Army Corps officials concluded that KBR had provided enough information to show it had bought the fuel and its delivery to Iraq at a “fair and reasonable price.”

In other words, you Democrats owe them an apology for calling them war profiteers.

One other quick thing- I noticed a striking difference in the description of Halliburton and KB&R in these latest stories that clear them of any wrongdoing. Let’s look at the current stories:

CNN Money

Halliburton Co. has been cleared of any wrongdoing in a Kuwait fuel-delivery contract that Pentagon auditors allege overcharged the U.S. government by more than $100 million, according to a published report Tuesday.

Matt Kelley- AP

The Army apparently has sided with Halliburton in a dispute over the company’s charges for fuel delivered to Iraq.

Reuters

The U.S. Army said on Tuesday it had granted Halliburton (HAL.N: Quote, Profile, Research) a special waiver to bring fuel into Iraq under a no-bid deal with a Kuwaiti supplier despite a draft Pentagon audit that found evidence of overcharging for fuel.

BBC

A senior US army officer has cleared the American engineering company Halliburton of any wrongdoing in relation to a contract to deliver fuel from Kuwait to Iraq, according to a newspaper report.

Very interesting- what seems to be missing? Let’s look at the accusations as they were being leveled by these same news agencies. From a few weekws ago, when facts didn’t matter:

CNN

President Bush Friday said if any company involved in Iraqi reconstruction has overcharged the government, it will have to repay the extra funds. “If there’s an overcharge, like we think there is, we expect that money to be repaid,” the president said when asked by a reporter about a Pentagon audit that may have uncovered a potential overcharge by Halliburton, the oil services company once run by Vice President Dick Cheney.

AP – Matt Kelley

A Pentagon audit has found Vice President Dick Cheney’s former company may have overcharged the Army by $1.09 per gallon for nearly 57 million gallons of gasoline delivered to citizens in Iraq, senior defense officials say.

Reuters

A Pentagon audit of Halliburton, the oil services firm once run by Vice President Dick Cheney, has found evidence the company may have overcharged for fuel it brought into Iraq from Kuwait, military sources said on Thursday.

BBC

US President George W Bush says he expects an oil company once run by his vice-president to return money if it has overcharged for services in Iraq. Dick Cheney used to head Halliburton, which is under contract to deliver fuel to the US military in Iraq.

Hey Mr. Alterman- THAT liberal media. When there is an unsubstantiated and ill-informed charge of wrongdoing, every lead sentence has Cheney mentioned. When Halliburton is cleared of wrongdoing, it magically becomes Halliburton, rather than ‘the company once run by Vice President Dick Cheney.’

You don’t even have to try hard to find this stuff.

*** Update ***

CNN Money is changing their stories, causing my left wing friends to call me a hack (incorrectly) in the comments section. No worries. I have a paratrooper on my side. Thanks, BlackFive.

Also, go read this Charles Austin post.

*** Update #2 ***

Dead Parrot says I am all washed up. He misrepresents two points- one general, one specific.

In general, I do not dislike the media- nor do most bloggers. In fact, without the media, what would I blog about?

In specific, I did not go looking for certain information- I compared the accusations from last month with the coverage in what he calls the ‘breaking’ stories. While I understand his larger point about the evolving process of re-writes in news stories, with each re-write holding (hopefully) more accurate, more detailed information. However, I still stand by my original assertion that the media, when offering negative information or possible allegations about Halliburton, the inclination is to immediately attach Cheney’s name to the story. No such inclination has been demonstrated when the reverse is true.