The Brett Kimberlin Saga:

Follow this link to my BLOCKBUSTER STORY of how Brett Kimberlin, a convicted terrorist and perjurer, attempted to frame me for a crime, and then got me arrested for blogging when I exposed that misconduct to the world. That sounds like an incredible claim, but I provide primary documents and video evidence proving that he did this. And if you are moved by this story to provide a little help to myself and other victims of Mr. Kimberlin’s intimidation, such as Robert Stacy McCain, you can donate at the PayPal buttons on the right. And I thank everyone who has done so, and will do so.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

WTF?! Islamofascist at the Rally to Restore Sanity?!

I have been watching the Jon Stewart rally and my Tivo’s running a bit behind because I have been pausing to deal with life, but my jaw dropped wide open when Stewart introduced a man named “Yusuf.”  That would be Yusuf Islam, the man formerly known as Cat Stevens, who then played a rendition of his song “Peace Train.”

That would be the same Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens who endorsed the Fatwah against Salman Rushdie.  For instance, the New York Times reported (registration required) as follows in 1989:

The musician known as Cat Stevens said in a British television program to be broadcast next week that rather than go to a demonstration to burn an effigy of the author Salman Rushdie, ''I would have hoped that it'd be the real thing.''

The singer, who adopted the name Yusuf Islam when he converted to Islam, made the remark during a panel discussion of British reactions to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's call for Mr. Rushdie to be killed for allegedly blaspheming Islam in his best-selling novel ''The Satanic Verses.'' He also said that if Mr. Rushdie turned up at his doorstep looking for help, ''I might ring somebody who might do more damage to him than he would like.''

''I'd try to phone the Ayatollah Khomeini and tell him exactly where this man is,'' said Mr. Islam, who watched a preview of the program today and said in an interview that he stood by his comments.

That would be the same Yusuf Islam that Charles Johnson (in his sane period) quoted as saying: “The Qur’an makes it clear, if someone defames the Prophet, then he must die.”  (As of this writing, Johnson has made no mention of Stevens/Islam’s presence at the rally.  Color me surprised.)  This is the same Yusuf Islam who threatened Farrukh Dhondy:

In the first week of the fatwa against Rushdie and his book, I [Dhondy] appeared on a television panel. Among the Muslim panelists, all of whom favored condemning the book, were two zealots: the same Kalim Siddiqui; and Yusuf Islam, the Muslim convert pop singer of Greek Cypriot origin formerly known as Cat Stevens. The moderator asked if, in my role as a commissioning editor of Channel 4 UK, I would contemplate turning The Satanic Verses into a film. I said that I would judge the cinematic merits of the script, and that no other consideration would rule it out. Kalim Siddiqui and Yusuf Islam snarled, warning that the sentence of death on Rushdie would extend to all those who forwarded his book in any way.

And this asshole is in the rally to restore sanity?!

Update: Remember when Jon Stewart was against those who use threats of violence to suppress freedom of speech? Video at the link. (Thanks to Kevin M below who reminded me of that.)

Update (II): Let's not forget what Rushdie thought of Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam appearing at a "Green" event:
Cat Stevens wanted me dead 
However much Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam may wish to rewrite his past, he was neither misunderstood nor misquoted over his views on the Khomeini fatwa against The Satanic Verses (Seven, April 29). In an article in The New York Times on May 22, 1989, Craig R Whitney reported Stevens/Islam saying on a British television programme "that rather than go to a demonstration to burn an effigy of the author Salman Rushdie, 'I would have hoped that it'd be the real thing'.'' 
He added that "if Mr Rushdie turned up at his doorstep looking for help, 'I might ring somebody who might do more damage to him than he would like. I'd try to phone the Ayatollah Khomeini and tell him exactly where this man is'.'' 
In a subsequent interview with The New York Times, Mr Whitney added, Stevens/Islam, who had seen a preview of the programme, said that he "stood by his comments". 
Let's have no more rubbish about how "green" and innocent this man was. 
Salman Rushdie, New York

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

“Blazing Catfur” Defense Fund!!!

Blazing Catfur” says he is being sued by Richard Warman.  Followers of Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant’s fight with the Canadian Human Rights Commission will recognize the name.  One example of Steyn’s many columns on the man can be found here.

So Catfur says he is being sued in part...  for linking to a Steyn article.

Does that make any fraking sense to you?

Anyway, we all know that defending yourself, even from a bogus suit, costs money.  So if you are inclined to help out a guy out in need, he really could use a few bucks to help him defend himself and he tells you how, here.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

WaPo/AP Caught Revising the O’Donnell Story Without Issuing a Correction

How much did the left show its keister on O’Donnell’s alleged gaffe?  So much so that the AP/WaPo story on the subject was almost completely rewritten last night, and without an official correction.  After the break I will have screen caps and a cut and paste of the text of the article, but let’s start with just the first paragraph.


WILMINGTON, Del. -- Republican Senate nominee Christine O'Donnell of Delaware on Tuesday questioned whether the U.S. Constitution calls for a separation of church and state, appearing to disagree or not know that the First Amendment bars the government from establishing religion.


WILMINGTON, Del. -- Republican Christine O'Donnell challenged her Democratic rival Tuesday to show where the Constitution requires separation of church and state, drawing swift criticism from her opponent, laughter from her law school audience and a quick defense from prominent conservatives.

Literally I ran a document comparison in word between the original text and every other sentence is completely rewritten.

Oh, and how hard has the AP worked to correct this story?  Well, here’s a google search of the original version, which apparently the AP is disowning.  As of this writing, I got about 23K hits for that.  By comparison I got 4K hits for the corrected version.

More after the break.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Some Background on the New Medal of Honor Game

This game is getting very mixed reviews, and was in controversy for months.  But Marc Ambinder discusses some of the expert consultation in the game.  Its good to know they are investigating something over there other than Palin’s womb, and joking aside it’s an interesting piece.

The controversy, meanwhile, was over the fact that you could play in multiplayer as either the U.S. forces, or the Taliban.  Yeah, that’s right, you can pretend to be our enemies, shooting our soldiers.  I mean of course we have had that for years in other games, but never before in a live war situation.  They have since renamed them in multiplayer as the opposing forces.

But I also have to suspect that the controversy was manufactured.  I remember a few years ago the Army made a game called “America’s Army” which was exclusively multiplayer, American soldiers v. terrorists.  But this being from the U.S. Government, it was unacceptable to allow players to pretend to shoot our soldiers.  So the army came up with an eloquent solution.  If you were on team A, you were told you were in the army, and your teammates would look like United States soldiers, while everyone on team B looked like terrorists.  But if you were on team B, you were also told you were in the army, all your teammates would look like soldiers, while everyone one team A looked like terrorists.  So both sides believe they were the U.S. Army, killing terrorists.

Now these America’s Army games were a pretty big success.  Are you telling me no one at EA knew about it, and how it might be used here?  Color me skeptical.

Why the Wilson Wife-Beating Story is Probably Not Being Covered

In a follow up on a post yesterday about accusations that Rep. Charlie Wilson (D-generate) beat his wife, Geraghty asks why there is so little coverage of the allegations.  Well, one is always reasonable to suspect biased media coverage, but let me offer a potentially exculpatory explanation.  Maybe they don’t realize how credible the accusation is.

As I noted in my post yesterday, if the lawyer had misrepresented the contents of the deposition, he would have been subject to severe discipline, if not disbarment.  It was for this reason that his claim that Wilson admitted to beating his wife, with specific citations to the deposition, was so credible.  But many in the media might not know that.  So they might say, “well, let’s get verification.”  And even I wanted verification writing to people in Ohio who would be in a position to provide more information.  So far I haven’t heard back.  So who knows?  Maybe in the next 24 hours, copies of the deposition or formal findings of fact, might suddenly emerge all over the place.  That defense lasts, in my humble opinion, a week at most—because a lot of it might be in deep storage.  And after that, then, it is more than fair to conclude that the media is deliberately ignoring the story.

Also while I am quibbling with the man, Geraghty tries to distinguish this from the foibles of Jack Ryan.  I think he is making a valid argument, but I don’t agree.  To be blunt, if your senator is enough of a freak that he wants to have public sex with his wife in a swinger’s club, I think the public has a right to know and they can rightfully hold that against him.  Also, let’s remember who he was married to:

That is 7 of 9 folks, the body that launched a thousand puberties.  That’s right the man blew it with that woman by being a complete jackass.  I think the voters have every right to consider him too stupid to be their senator.  Even if his replacement was, well, this:

That’s right, Jack Ryan not only drove away that incredible hottie, but paved the way for the worst president in my lifetime.  Nice going, dick.

OMG!!! O’Donnell Compared Gay Sex to Adultery (and Other Idiocy Related to Gay Rights)

Christine O’Donnell makes an adult point about gays in the military during the debate last night.  Think progress plays the tired game of “can you believe she compared gay sex to that?”

Specifically when asked about DADT, she said (assuming Thinkprogress is not actually lying—which is not always a safe assumption with them):

The military already regulates personal behavior in that it doesn’t allow affairs to go on within your chain of command. It does not allow it you are married to have an adulterous affair within the military. So the military already regulates personal behavior because it feels that it is in the best interest of our military readiness.

So Thinkprogress argues this is “compare[ing] allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military to ‘adultery.’”  First, she was not saying allowing gays to serve openly is like the act of adultery.  Second, she was not comparing gay sex to adultery, either.  She was pointing out that the military does in fact regulate private consensual sexual behavior that the law ordinarily would not prohibit, and few would even credibly question that practice.  You can literally go to jail for adultery in the military.  And it makes the point that whatever right to privacy exists in civilian life is significantly reduced in military life.  If you can prohibit adultery in the military without a constitutional problem, it significantly undermines the argument for repealing DADT.

This is a logical and cogent argument.  And Think Progress wants to pretend that it is somehow out of bounds.  Don’t play this game, conservatives.  By the time you are done, you won’t be allowed to make any argument for your side on any subject.

Also for bonus points they denounced her belief that being gay is an “identity disorder” four years ago, explaining that it is a “position that has been universally rejected by science and psychology since the early 1970s.”

Oh, there is a consensus!  Where have we heard that before?

Well, I Think McGovern is Wrong

Update: Welcome Campaign Spot readers to the “Blog That Cannot be Named.”  (Geraghty’s description made me immediately think of Harry Potter, proving what a nerd I am.)

Enjoy your stay.  Check out the main page for various campaign-related issues and other random commentary.  For instance Jerry Brown apparently isn’t a very good attorney general—you know, if you think that attorneys general should actually know the laws they are suppose to enforce.  I also poke a hole in the claim that Christine O’Donnell created a false internet resume, here and here—which might be shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic, but oh well.  And Gerry Connolly (D-unce), running for reelection here in Northern Virginia, confesses he is not doing his job and indeed doesn’t know how to do his job.  Oh, and sixteen arguments why sex is healthy for you.  Okay, now we know what everyone will click on.

Also, watch Patterico; I may be guest blogging very soon, and even if not, they often have useful stuff.


Update: The story gets weirder.  He actually has two explanations.  The first was during the debate and that time he denied saying it, but instead claimed he said that he was saying “my friend’s” interpretation of the constitution was wrong.  I guess the charitable way to interpret it is he misspoke and literally thought he said what he meant to say, rather than what he did say.  Interesting.  But then we have the previously reported he claimed he meant to say the court was wrong.  I decided to look a little deeper and it appears to come from a blog post on the official site written by “Scottzoback” which is obviously not the candidate himself.  Of course the statement is written in the first person but who’s to say where it really came from?

Last night, Rep. Jim McGovern (D) debated Marty Lamb (R) and in the middle of it he says this, which according to Real Clear Politics was in response to a question about Citizen’s United:

We have a lousy Supreme Court decision that has opened the floodgates, and so we have to deal within the realm of constitutionality. And a lot of the campaign finance bills that we have passed have been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. I think the Constitution is wrong. I don’t think that money is the same thing as human beings[.]

(emphasis added.)  In the video, you can also hear him say after that he doesn’t believe that money is speech, and that corporations should not have the same right to speak as people.  Now Jim Geraghty is absolutely right to say it is not as per se bad as Phil Hare saying famously he doesn’t care about the constitution.  This is because congresspersons take an oath to uphold the constitution, even if they disagree with it.  So when Hare says he doesn’t care about it, he is saying he doesn’t care about keeping that oath.

But what McGovern said was still pretty bad, because he is not merely disagreeing in general, but specifically about the freedom of expression.  Freedom of expression goes directly to the heart of whether this is a republic or not.  A nation that has no freedom of expression is not a republic or a democracy, even if you have the right to vote.  I mean the syllogism is pretty direct.  The right to make a choice implies the right to make an informed choice.  The right to make an informed choice requires me to hear lots of information regarding that choice.  That means in terms of speech, that people and yes, even corporations, must feel free to express themselves so that you can get the maximum amount of information about that choice, so you can make an informed choice.  Thus the right to choose between two candidates is meaningless without the right to speak freely about them.

So disagreeing with the constitution is not per se bad, but disagreeing with free expression is.  Put simply, the right to debate should not be up for debate.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Guys Save This Url!

Sixteen reasons why sex improves your health.  You can’t argue with this, the science is settled.

And you’re welcome!

And check this one out: number 8, claims it ends zits.  Well, isn’t that a catch 22?  You have zits because you aren’t having sex.  But you aren’t having sex because you have zits.  This may be proof that there is a God and he can be a real jerk sometimes.

Then again most guys have tons of sex in high school.  Now whether there is a partner involved is a wholly different matter.

Is Charlie Wilson a Wife Beater?

Now, first, this is not the man made famous with the movie Charlie Wilson’s War, but a Democrat running for reelection in Ohio.  And so far it does not look good.  Big Government has the trial brief filed in his divorce and it states that Wilson actually admitted to the beatings in depositions.  Now you might say, well, yeah, that is the word of a lawyer.  And while lawyers are not typically more honest (or more dishonest, for that matter) than anyone else, the thing is most bar associations would seriously discipline any lawyer who made such a claim without factual basis.  I dare say it would be merit disbarment if he did it.

I have attempted to reach out to the lawyer in that case and obtain some more documentation of his claims—such as factual findings by the court or transcript of the depositions itself—but it would be so unusual to lie that brazenly, I have to assume all things being equal he is telling the truth.  But you can decide for yourself and certainly Wilson will be asked about it very soon.

That being said, how relevant is this?  Well, here I have to confess that I have had someone close in my life whom I helped to escape an abusive marriage.  Does that mean I am biased, or that I see the issue more clearly than others?  I believe it’s the latter, but that is your call, not mine.  Myself, I think there is no place for such a man in Congress unless there is powerful evidence of reform.  Besides the fact that we are depending on this man not to discriminate based on sex, I believe that people who abuse also have poor impulse control making him generally unfit for offices of high trust.  But you make up your own mind.

And if I learn more, I will keep you posted.

Russian Embarrassment Watch

Russia is now using fake, inflatable tanks and the like to make them look like they have a bigger military presence than they do.

That slapping you just heard was the sound of an entire nation doing a giant facepalm.  The only thing worse than using a bunch of inflatable tanks, is telling the whole world you are doing it.

Zoominfo Just Cancelled My Account!

I admit I actually laughed when this appeared on my Blackberry.  It had the subject line “Your Zoominfo inquiry” and the body said.

Your ZoomInfo account has been deactivated. ZoomInfo's Terms of Service require users to agree that they will not "impersonate any person or entity or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent" their affiliation with a person or entity, and our records show that you have violated these terms. You can view our Terms of Service at this link:

Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

[name redacted]

Product Support

Zoom Information, Inc.

In case this email does not fully answer your question, or you would like to contact us for any reason, simply reply to this email.
Reference number: [redacted reference number] Please use this ticket number in any correspondence with us.

Now that was completely fair.  I am not Tom Petty.  But I wrote back saying why I created the profile and then saying:

Now your company has claimed that Christine O'Donnell has verified her profile on your site.  So I am asking you to reveal enough information to prove she really verified it.  Namely, I want you to release the email address associated with that profile, and even the IP address, if that information is available.  If not to me, then to an appropriately skeptical reporter.

As it is, the only evidence that Ms. O'Donnell actually created that profile is your company's word.  Given that this sort of thing might decide an election, you have a duty to share this information.

I’ll keep you posted.

Update: Zoominfo responded sending me a link to the original press release on the subject.  I wrote back asking, more or less, why don’t you just release the email?  Again, I will keep you posted.

Update:  And this is hilarious...  The fake profile is still up, I guess twitching like a newly decapitated chicken.  Heh.

Update: Another response:

Contrary to your statement, we have not heard from Christine O'Donnell about the ZoomInfo profile in her name. You may be thinking about the public comments made regarding the LinkedIn profile in her name. ZoomInfo has no relationship with LinkedIn and the profiles were created independently on our respective websites.

ZoomInfo will cooperate with legal authorities who ask for the email address of the registrant. The ZoomInfo privacy policy reads as follows:

Disclosures under Law

We make every effort to preserve user privacy. We cooperate with legal authorities when we have a good-faith belief that such action is necessary to comply with a judicial proceeding, a court order or legal process served on ZoomInfo.

Mmm, I am 90% sure she disavowed that one too.  But I will find out.  Truly, I am treating this as open source, right now.

Update: Dustin over at Patterico points out that O’Donnell denied it well enough for press purposes, here:

"I know I never created a LinkedIn profile for myself," O'Donnell said. "I don't even know what Zoom is."

I will ask if that is good enough for zoominfo’s purposes.  It honestly might not be.  But at least we can say that, yes, that is a denial.  I love how the internet is so open source that way.

Final Update: I won’t bore you with a full quote, but the short version is that since Christine O’Donnell didn’t personally contact them, they don’t feel comfortable releasing that information.  Fair enough.  We’ll see what happens.

Jerry Brown Demonstrates He Doesn’t Know How to Do His Own Job

So they had the last debate between Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman in California and Brown was asked about his staffer saying the word “whore” in that now infamous recording.  Mary Catherine Ham has a pretty good blow-by-blow over at Hot Air.  It is pretty clear that when Brown denied that calling a woman a whore was as bad as calling a black person the n-word, that was a bad misstep, because the audience really started to boo him.  And Whitman lost points by trying to distinguish it from someone on her staff calling congress a gaggle of whores (because it is truth in advertisement?).  But I think he got the worst of that exchange.

But  let me pause for a moment to say that in all honesty I never got all riled up about it.  That’s why it never made the blog, because I was like, “meh, who cares?”  I wouldn’t do it myself, but I am not shocked and appalled by it either.  Now if women feel this is really offensive to them I ain’t gonna begrudge them of that.  And if people just feel that our discourse needs to be more civil, I can get on board with that, too.  But I am not personally all that appalled.

But what I can’t stand is bullshit, so when he said this, I started to get annoyed:

“It’s unfortunate. It was a private conversation,” Brown said. “I’m not even sure it’s legal ’cause you have to get the consent of all the parties and there’s lots of people talking, so again, Ms. Whitman, I’m sorry it happened.”

Well, Moonbeam let me break it down for you, because apparently you don’t understand the criminal law of your own state at all.

First, who caused that conversation to be recorded?  You did.  You caused a recording device to record, and failed to turn it off, but gave everyone the impression that you had, vitiating any consent.  So if it was illegal, you would be the criminal.

Second, you pathetic excuse for a lawyer, if you actually bothered to crack open your statute books, this is what you read:

Every person who, intentionally and without the consent of all parties to a confidential communication, by means of any electronic amplifying or recording device, eavesdrops upon or records the confidential communication

It goes on telling us that it is a crime and what the punishment is, but Jerry, did you notice that little word right at the beginning?  “Intentionally.”  This isn’t legal mumbo-jumbo, Jerry.  If you accidentally leave it on, you are not intentionally committing that crime and so thankfully, you can clear yourself of all wrongdoing.

Now a reasonable person might say, “well, can you really expect him to know every statute off the top of his head.”  And if he was just a regular lawyer on the civil side, sure, I would agree.  But you, Jerry Brown, are the top criminal prosecutor in the state, and I expect that issues of surveillance by police comes up all the time.  Therefore I think it is perfectly reasonable to expect you to know this law backwards and forwards.  So if you don’t know for a fact that your conduct was legal, I consider it a confession that you are incompetent at your current job.

And besides all that, there are two other things that irritate me about his comments on that subject.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What Does Zoominfo’s “User Verified” Tag Really Mean? (Answer: Not Much)

Update:  Zoominfo account terminated!  See here for details.

A few weeks ago Christine O’Donnell was accused of putting up a linkedin page with...  well, an inflated resume would seem like the kind way to put it.  She claimed it was fake and Lindedin took it down, without taking a stand on the authorship of the original.

Then another popped up using Zoominfo, and a lot was made of the fact it was “user verified.”  So I wondered, well, just how much went into user verification?

I can tell you the answer, now: pretty much nothing.  Take a look, for instance, at this profile for “Mr. Thomas Petty.”  Every word of it was written by me (leaving out web references that are automatically gathered).  I am not Tom Petty.  And it says “user verified.”  So the obviously fake profile was allowed to stay up there since September 30 and no one cares.

How did I do it?  Simple, I registered, using my address.  That's right, I used a name that very obviously was NOT Tom Petty.  That’s all the verification they required.

Does it exonerate Christine O’Donnell?  Nope.  Does it erase other problems?  Nope.  But it’s one more piece of the puzzle.

So Zoominfo, its time to step up.  Disclose the email address used to verify this account.  If not to us, at least to an appropriately skeptical reporter.  [Update: And giving us the IP address would be nice, too.]

Also screen cap after the break, in case Zoominfo decided to disappear this little embarrassment.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Forget Death Panels, in Greece They Have Amputation Panels

For the big “WTF?!” headline of the day, it’s hard to beat this one: Greek Health System Opts for Amputation as Money-Saver.

Gerry Connolly Admits He Is Not Doing His Job (And Neither is Congress)

So Gerry Connolly (D) is running against Keith Fimian (R) in Northern Virginia.  So Fimian proposes at one point that Congress get its pay cut down to $50K, but then if Congress balances the budget, they get a bonus of $250K.  Personally this strikes me as “stunty.”  You won’t get the votes for that unless congress actually supports balancing the budget.  I mean I like the principle of performance bonuses generally, but usually they are imposed by a higher authority—by your bosses, for instance; self-imposed performance bonuses seem farcical.

But then Connolly comes back with an ad saying that it was outrageous that Fimian wants Congress to get a bonus “for doing its job.”  Now Paige Cunningham suggests this is deceptive.  I don’t quite agree.  The ad in question does show enough context that we can hear Fimian’s full remarks.

But okay, so balancing the budget is doing your job, eh Gerry?  Well, then you are not doing it.  You are actively contributing to the massive spending in our federal budget, voting for stimulus payments and even earmarks for your district.  Seriously, does this look like you are doing your job?

 And let’s put that in perspective with an old but useful chart:

And let’s dig into the numbers a little here.  Connolly for instance bragged about bringing home these items in the budget...

“$64 million to the Prince William schools, saving 304 teaching positions for a year.”  That comes out to over $210K per teacher.

“$3.9 million for eight additional buses for the Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission.”  That comes out to over $487K per bus.  Hey just googling on the web, I found a pretty nice looking bus for about $32K.

“A $767,000 grant for Manassas to hire four additional police officers.”  That works out to over $191K per officer.  So apparently they are cheaper than teachers.  /sarcasm

“$790,000 for homelessness prevention.”  Hey, you know what helps prevent homelessness, too?  Tax cuts.  I have a similar criticism about his other item “$7 million in small business grants to Prince William companies.”  And that is only the low-hanging fruit.  I bet there is more waste there than that.

But the lamest thing is that Gerry Connolly doesn’t even seem to understand how to do his job.  This is an exchange with Ben Bernanke:

CONNOLLY: I’m telling you, they don’t have an open mind. They have publicly expressed that they do not favor — you know, they’re all for deficit reduction as long as anything having to do with revenue [i.e. taxes] is off the table. Can we get to serious deficit reduction — change that trajectory you talked about — if we eliminate half of the ledger sheet?

BERNANKE: Well, theoretically you could if you cut enough, but it would be very difficult to do that.

CONNOLLY: Is there enough spending to be cut?

Um, you don’t know?  I mean you are on the House Budget Committee and you don’t know that there is enough spending to be cut?  Oy vey!

I mean that is the line of bullshit they sell you when they argue that it is fiscally conservative to raise taxes.  They say, “how are you ever going to reduce the deficit, without raising taxes?”  Now conservatives like to then mention things like the laffer curve and while that point has validity, they are making the mistake of playing their game.

I mean let’s try a little thought experiment.  Let’s imagine that we do not have a deficit, but there is only $500 billion in waste in our budget.  I know, fantasy land, but let’s play pretend and keep the numbers simple.  So you could have a $250 billion tax cut, and then still cut $250 billion from the budget.  In other words, if you have enough waste, you can cut taxes and cut spending.  Not to mention that the laffer curve does show that if you cut taxes, you can increase tax revenues (because it turns out that business persons know better how to invest their money than the government—go figure!).  So to pretend we have to choose between cutting taxing and cutting spending, is just bullshit.

So bottom line, by your own terms, Gerry, you have confessed you are not doing your job.  You are saying congress is not doing its job.  And you are saying that you don’t even know how to do your job.  So why exactly should you keep your job?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Life Imitates Monty Python (Example #475)

One of the more absurd moments in Monty Python and the Life of Brian was when one of the oppressed Jews complained that the Romans was suppressing his right to an abortion.  The retort was something to the effect of, “but you’re a man!  You can’t even get pregnant!”  The pro-male-abortionist went on to say that if he could have a baby, the Romans would deny him the right to abort it, so he was being oppressed and eventually he convinced his cell of radicals to complain about that, too.

Stupid, huh?  Well, then get a load of this: Spanish fathers entitled to breastfeeding leave.  Fortunately we are talking about Spain, but the situation is so stupid its worth reading it in full:

Friday, October 8, 2010

Remember Folks, We Absolutely Cannot Let Kids Get Vouchers and Escape Our Wonderful Public Education System

Two mothers try desperately to get her child out of a completely fucked up school and the school officials fight her tooth and nail:

Since 2008-2009 school year, Edwina Meyer has been trying to get a transfer out of Scammon Elementary School, 4201 W. Henderson St. She says she feels unsafe.

“It’s terrible,” Meyer says. “It’s like so much happened in that classroom.”

She says she has witnessed multiple X-rated acts while in class.

Meyer was reportedly not alone in witnessing this behavior. Laura Flores says her daughter also witnessed the sex acts.

“My daughter was psychologically damaged by it, in the way she had nightmares, she fretted about going to school,” Flores said. “She was afraid.”

Flores and Susan Meyer, Edwina’s mother, both say that during the past two years, they wanted their daughters transferred to different schools for safety reasons. But they say school officials fought them, even though they acknowledge the sex acts occurred and fired the teacher.

Edwina Meyer says even after the teacher was fired, problems persisted. She says she was bit, inappropriately touched and she says denied access to the bathroom. Meyer says she wet herself and was forced to sit in her own urine.

Lovely.  Now maybe they are just making it up, right?  Well, let me ask you this.  If you were a parent who would you like to decide whether your daughter should be in a given school?  Some bureaucrat who might see funding to the school drop?  Or you, the parent?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Wish Frank J. Well... Update: She's born.

Over at IMAO, we learn he is in the hospital with his wife, having a baby.

Er, his wife is, I mean.

Don't say congrats yet. That will jinx it.  Say good luck.

Update: Baby born, cute pic here.  Mom looks fine but tired.

So, How is this NOT a Dog Whistle?

Of course Legal Insurrection takes on the latest thin, lame, charge of bigotry against Sharon Angle in Nevada because she made an ad against illegal immigration.  I guess the illegal immigrants should have been depicted as a multicultural group, like the “TV gangs” that Family Guy correctly sent up.  Sigh.

But meanwhile we have something that happened in New Mexico.  There Democrat Diane Denish is running against Republican Susana Martinez in the race for governor.  And now suddenly they are all saying “No Tejana Susana.”  A Tejana is literally a “Texan woman” in Spanish.  See the truth is that in Spanish, the X is supposed to be pronounced more like an H.  As I joke (with affection) Texans don’t even pronounce the name of their state correctly.  And if you are calling her that in Spanish, then that is all it means: Texas woman.

But if you are otherwise speaking in English, such as, “You should not vote for that Tejana” then there is a secondary meaning.  A Tejano/Tejana also means a Hispanic Texan.  Now its lame enough that they are resorting to this silly regionalism.  But what possible relevance is it to highlight that she is Hispanic, too?

And a quick google search reveals that this is getting very common on the left.

I mean imagine if during the 2008 campaign, McCain said, “Do not vote for the black man, Obama.”  Everyone would rightly denounce that as racist, because it was unnecessarily dragging his race into the issue.

And mind you this is not a subtle code that a lot of people might miss and innocently invoke.  I have said we have a whole generation of children who don’t understand why it is racially offensive to depict Obama as a monkey, or eating fried chicken and watermelons; they are so beyond race, they don’t even understand these stereotypes.  But everyone in that region knows what Tejano/Tejana means.  Everyone.

Brad Friedman Misstates the Law (What Else is New?)

Update: Brad revises his post slightly to acknowledge my dispute.  I think the fair way to put it is he is not sure I am right but considers my argument credible.  You can look and judge for yourself on that interpretation, of course.  He also feels it is necessary to label me a right-winger.  Actually I am a moderate, but whatever.  And for some reason he thinks my name is Andrew.

And a commenter raises a reasonable point and I respond.  My full response is at the end of the post.


The beginning of wisdom, Socrates once said, was “I don’t know.”  It meant that the moment you were willing to admit you need to learn something, you had the chance to eventually become wise on the subject.

Brad Friedman could learn that lesson, by admitting he doesn’t know anything about the law.  Apparently he has been on a multi-year jihad to prove that Ann Coulter committed voter fraud in Florida and Connecticut.  The one in Florida he says is barred by the statute of limitations, but he is still holding out hope that they will get her for offenses in Connecticut as late as 2004, because

in Connecticut, where officials [sic] complaints were filed in 2009 --- by aconservative activist --- that she also committed absentee voter fraud in the years prior to moving to Florida, when she allegedly voted illegally from her residence in New York, there is no such statute of limitations for voter fraud.

That immediately raised a red flag with me.  Really, no statute of limitations at all?  Lawyers know that typically the statute of limitations is rarely absent entirely.  The idea is twofold.  First, the older the case, the crappier the evidence.  If the case is 20 years old exonerating physical evidence is lost, memories go bad, and witnesses die—and so the quality of the trial drops off for every years that prosecution is delayed.  Second, it is generally felt that people deserved to know that they cannot even be accused of crimes arising out of an incident after some time.  The point is most crimes have a statute of limitations, except for really really serious crimes.  Like probably no state has a statute of limitations for murder.

So I did about fifteen minutes of research and discovered he was wrong.  And indeed, most of what I found was easily discoverable on the web.  First General Statutes § 54-193 deals with statutes of limitation.  You can read the text for yourself here.  Basically the only crimes that have no statute of limitations are capital felonies (that is stuff you can be executed for), Class A felonies, or a violation of section 53a-54d (Arson murder) or 53a-169 (escape).  So pretty much the only category you think it might fit into is the Class A felonies.  Were any of the crimes he accused Coulter of committing Class A felonies?  Nope.  Today, none of these offenses in the election code rise above being a Class D felony.  And back when the offenses were committed, they were generally unclassified felonies, with one or two of them rising to Class C.  So you have five years as the statute of limitations.

Now without getting into the actual facts, let’s just take Brad’s allegations as true.  I am not saying Coutler did anything he accused her of, I am just asking if you could even charge a person with a crime based on what Brad alleges to be true.  So when did the offenses occur?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Two Kick-Ass Movies

Go here and here.  They ain’t long, but they are powerful.

And the choice of an orchestral version of the song “Creep” by Radiohead is inspired.

To Be Fair to Phil Hare

Hot air has a clip from Rep. Phil Hare (famous for saying he doesn't care about the Constituion) under the headline Video: Hare calls deficit, debt a “myth”  Now as harsh as I have been to the Dems, I was reluctant to believe that he would say something so obviously untrue.  I mean that would either be proof of insanity, or a lie so unbelievably stupid, you would have to think he was nuts to think he could get away with it.

Then I read on and… I think there is a defensible (or at least less nuts) interpretation to his quote.  Here’s what he said:

And we will see a terrible price that we will pay years down the road for letting our children down when they need us the absolute most.  I’m not going to be part of that, so every minute that I have here is going to be spent debunking the myth that this country’s in debt and we just can’t spend.

So here’s where I think Hot air is going wrong.  The Myth is not just “we are in debt” but that because of it we can’t spend.  So the myth isn’t really the debt, in that sentence, but the claim it means we can’t spend.

Now of course that is wrong, but its not as batshit crazy (or as mendacious) as Hot Air’s interpretation.

Still I concur with Ed Morrissey.  Run this sound bite all across the nation.  Let us know that even as bad as things are, democrats are ready to make it even worse.  And if anyone is in the position to vote Mr. Hare out of office, please do.  No one who says they don't care about the constitution should even be allowed to hold public office.

Quote of the Day; or, How NOT to Show your Independence...

There has been a lot of questions about the representation of Gloria Allred of Nicky Diaz Santillan, the former maid of Meg Whitman.  I agree the whole thing looks bad.  I mean this woman is a mother of two children who is risking prison (for falsifying documents) and deportation (for being an illegal alien) by putting a giant target on her head.  Certainly from a financial perspective this makes just about no sense.  But I have argued with others that you can’t really file ethics charges against Allred because she has a ready defense.  She can say that the maid was so mad at Whitman and so wanted to ruin her political career she didn’t care about those potential negative consequences she would personally suffer.  Its dubious but just plausible enough that I don’t think the disciplinary board would even be interested in investigating her.

But you still have to wonder how much Allred truly pushed her in this direction.  So Allred being asked about this several times apparently felt it was time for her client to respond to the cliam that Allred or others are manipulating her.  And the result is unintentional hilarity:

Nicky Diaz Santillan, a Mexican who Whitman says used a fraudulently obtained Social Security card and California driver’s license, dismissed claims by the GOP nominee that she was part of a Democratic smear intended to damage Whitman’s standing with voters, particularly Latinos.

“I make my own decisions and I am not anyone’s puppet,” Diaz Santillan said in a prepared statement she read at the Los Angeles office of her attorney, Gloria Allred. “Nobody made me do it.”

(emphasis added).  I don’t know if the AP writer was intentionally snarking or what.  I mean the AP article goes on to mention a few other harsh facts.  But yeah, that doesn’t exactly help the case to read a prepared statement that you are not being controlled by anyone.  It’s reminiscent of that classic scene in Monty Python and the Life of Brian when the crowd says, in unison, “we are all individuals.”  And yeah, I will post a link to a video of that later.

That being said I have come to think that Whitman should absolutely sue Allred.  Someone needs to hold this woman accountable for her antics.  And I think the malice standard for defamation—necessary in this kind of case—is easily met.  As Greta said the other day, her reading of the facts borders on delusional.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Awesome—James Hetfield of Metallica Says is Proud They Use His Music to Make Terrorists Talk; and is O'Donnell a Headbanger?

This is an old story, but awesome:

Metallica frontman James Hetfield is rather proud his band's music was played at top volume to break down the resistance of Guantanamo detainees under interrogation. "It’s strong, it’s music that’s powerful,” he told an interviewer from a German TV network. “It represents something that they don’t like—maybe freedom, aggression—I don’t know. Freedom of speech."

But he added that he was also "kind of bummed about it" because of his belief that politics and music don't mix. Several American musicians opposed to the use of their music on Gitmo prisoners recently joined a call demanding that the federal government release documents on the practice.

Um, no, Newser, that sounds more like he is saying that the musicians should stay out of the debate.

Meanwhile, Christine O’Donnell made me think of an old Metallica song.  Her recent ad is entitled “I’m you” and like when the President said that bit about people talking about him “like a dog” it made me think of a song.  I finally remembered what the song was just a few minutes ago: “Sad But True:”

When Hacking is an Act of Patriotism

No, not talking about Stuxnet, given especially that we don’t even know which country sent it—although it might turn out to be a service to humanity.  No, I am talking about how the D.C. Board of Elections wanted to try an experiment in online voting.  Someone thought it would be possible to make that system “hack proof.”  Which is complete idiocy.

There is no such thing as hacker proof anything.  Nothing at all.  I can guarantee you that every computer in the world can be hacked, so long as the hacker can get access to it.  But these idiots were determined to give it a shot, so they tried a one week experiment where they put the system online and told hackers to go at it.  Mind you, no real votes were being cast; they just wanted to see if anyone could hack it.

Within a few days someone managed to make it so that every time you cast a vote, the University of Michigan fight song played.

Honestly, I think the city of Washington, D.C. should ask the hacker to come forward and give him a medal.  He or she showed all of them it was a waste of time to put voting online.

Now if only they could get equally smart about electronic voting machines.  Hey, any hackers want to harmlessly hack their system just to show how vulnerable it is?  Like making it play a song after every vote is a perfect example of patriotic hacking.  Someone needs to show these people you can’t trust these machines.

(Crowd) Size Doesn’t Matter, but MSNBC Still Flushes What Little Credibility It had Down the Toilet

Ed Schultz does the same, but I never gave him much credibility in the first place.

So Glenn Beck had his rally back in August, and last weekend Ed Schultz had his rally.  Fast Eddie bragged that he could match Beck’s rally and then the next day you saw an oddly defensive claim that his crowd was about the same size, via Newsbusters:

This Sunday the Washington Post reported, "More than 400 groups endorsed the Nation Working Together rally, which organizers said drew a crowd of 175,000 people - about what they expected."...

Now, conservatives want you to believe that Glenn Beck's phony religious revival was way bigger than the One Nation rally. Well, let me take you back to the day of the Beck rally on August 28th, 2010, at 6:32 P.M., proved Beck's crowd was, as I said, no big shakes. "An estimated 87,000 people attended the rally organized by radio talk show host and Fox News commentator Glenn Beck Saturday in Washington, according to a crowd estimate commissioned by CBS News. The company,, based the attendance on aerial photos it took over the rally." Now to be fair, NBC News put the size of Beck's crowd at 300,000 people. So, somewhere in between all of this, 87,000, give or take 9 grand by that company, and 300,000 is reported by NBC. Pretty much, would you say that the size of the crowd is pretty much the same? I would. I was there. The people I saw, it was packed.

Yes, so what are you going to believe?  Fast Eddie or your lying eyes?  Here’s Fast Eddie’s crowd:

 And here is Beck’s:

And notice how Fast Eddie makes his argument.  He doesn’t show you these kinds of photos.  Instead he goes by estimates.  First he claims the Fast Eddie rally drew about 175K by relying on the organizers of the rally.  You know, because they are so trustworthy.  Then when it is time to estimate Beck’s rally, he he first cites the supposedly proven estimate of not his network, or its affiliates, but CBS news.  Then he eventually he mentions the 300K estimate of his network’s affiliate.

Of course I guess you could play a game of saying, sure a crowd that looks half the size is actually “about the same size” after all, how close does two things have to be to be “about” the same size?  About is inherently a vague term.  But MSNBC should not have allowed that to air without a correction.  I expect to hear of one soon.  As they say, Fast Eddie is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts.

And all of this is silly anyway.  Demonstration is the right of the people, but honestly I have been to like one demonstration in my whole life.  Oh, right, two.  I forgot about the time I participated in a walkout because my school eliminated spring break due to Hurricane Hugo.  How many of you ever protested anything, as in a demonstration?  Not many, I believe.  I mean let’s take the larger estimate of Beck’s crowd: 300K.  Okay well there are 300 million people in the United States, so basically Beck’s rally represented about 0.1% of the American population.  And Fast Eddie’s represented like 0.05% of it, probably less.

The important thing is not to show up at Beck’s rally.  The important thing is to show up at the voting booth.  Even if you are going to vote for the wrong people, vote.  I mean I hope you vote for all the people I want to win, but hope even more fervently that you vote.

But still, important or not, MSNBC has an obligation to the truth and letting Fast Eddie’s bullshit stand violates it.  I expect a correction soon.

Update: Weasel Zippers catches the official Fast Eddie rally page using a picture from MLK's I have a Dream speech, rather than a picture of the actual rally.  Heh.

Update II: I was curious about how Grayson was doing ever since his outrageous Taliban Dan ad, (answer: not good), when I ran across this bit.  Guess who loved the Talilban Dan ad?  Fast Eddie!  I wish I was shocked.

Is this Paid-For Sexist, Homophobic, Lying, Comment Spam by the Jerry Brown Campaign?

Update: I corresponded with Patterico and long story short, it appears that this guy is a freelancer with serious OCD.  He has done this sort of thing on a myriad of causes, many of which have no obvious link, besides the fact he seems to be pretty liberal.


No sure yet, but it sure looks suspicious...

I was commenting back and forth about Meg Whitman and the nanny controversy over at Patterico, when I find a comment saying the following:

Griff Harsh, the husband of California gubernatorial candidate Nutneg Whitman, acknowledged in a statement on Thursday that “it is possible” he received and wrote notes on a letter from the Social Security Administration back in 2003, regarding the former housekeeper. The Whitman/ Harsh household then fired their housekeeper in June 2009 (after nine years of service), when Nutmeg handlers decided that she was an election liability.

Meg, Meg, Meg, where do I start, you have reportedly spent $119 million of your own money to get elected Governor but you couldn’t use some of it to get your housekeeper (after nine years of service) some legal help to get her papers, and worse you lied about it. Wow, what a WITCH, of course I meant it with a “B”.

It goes on and on, in similar mendacious fashion.  But something about this comment just set my “spider sense” off.  It just struck me as “canned.”  So I googled a specific phrase from it: “Meg, Meg, Meg, where do I start, you have reportedly spent $119” and guess what I got?  Well, take a look.  Yep, someone has repeated that exact phrase over 300 times—really more like 400 times.

Now just to show my work, let me tell you how I generated that search.  You go to google.  Then you type in that phrase exactly as I did this including the quotation marks.  The quotation marks are important because it tells google you want to find only that phrase.  The first time you hit the search key you will get 7 results as of this writing.  But then it will say at the bottom that

In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 7 already displayed.

If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included.

If you select the option to include the omitted results, then that large result is what you get.

Also if you search for a phrase that appears later in the comment “but what puzzles many is if you real cared and loved California then why not do your civic duty and vote” with a grammatical error, you get 30 results.  Interesting.  I couldn’t click on every one of the 300 results, but it appears that the comment was evolving and expanding as time went on.

Now I lack the expertise to really investigate this, but I bet if we followed the ip address, it would lead us right back to brown, or someone hired by him.

And notice some of the features about it.  It falsely suggests that Whitman could have made her maid legal.  I can tell you there is no way to do that short of congressional legislation.  The commenter calls her a bitch.  He calls her a liar, without evidence.  He refers to the republicans as the “Gay Old Party”—which is interesting, homophobia from the left.

So lying, sexism and homophobia.  Anyone interested in seeing if this can be connected to the Brown campaign?  Because like I said, I lack the expertise to figure it out.

Update: I was curious about the specifically anti-gay portion of the message.  First I searched for a large chunk of the phrase and got like four results.  I tried googling this: +montana "Gay old Party (GOP)" and this is what I got.  There are like two false positives toward the end and but every other one seems to be more cut and pasting--about 45 hits at this posting.


Sidebar: it is fair to note that I spoke out against someone investigating a commenter in the past.  But here is the distinction.  The Joe My God comment was just, as far as anyone could tell, a one-off comment which had all the appearances of being someone’s genuine, albeit stupid, opinion.  By comparison, this is someone who is either paid or OCD.  If this is in fact a paid-for message, by the Brown campaign, this would be significant.

Friday, October 1, 2010

This Friday in FAIL!

First, we have a potential fail in the making with Rahm having left the White House to run for mayor of Chicago.  One tiny problem: he is probably ineligible to run:

Odelson told Roe and Roeper on WLS Radio that when Emanuel leased out his Chicago home he could no longer claim he is a resident.

“He rented his house out in Sept 09 and has not been back since and has no residency in Chicago,” Odelson said.

Odelson says he has been involved in several residency cases in Illinois that “the law is clear.”

But the best fail of the day comes from Rick Sanchez at Cnn, having a surprising anti-semitic flame out.  He was on a radio show, attacking Jon Stewart for being prejudiced toward him as a Hispanic, and the radio host asked him what he would say to the point that Stewart, as a Jew, was a minority, too:

Please, what are you kidding? … I’m telling you that everybody who runs CNN is a lot like Stewart, and a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart, and to imply that somehow they — the people in this country who are Jewish — are an oppressed minority? Yeah. [sarcastically]

So basically the jews—er, I mean, the JOOOOOOS—run the media.

This is what identity politics leads to: bigotry.

Meanwhile, this isn’t quite a fail, but I threw up in my mouth a little reading this puff piece about the fame whore Gloria Allred.

By the way, when Whitman’s former maid is facing lawsuits for fraud and deportation, how good a friend will Allred seem to her?

Was Chris Coons a Bearded Marxist?

Patterico and I have been going back and forth on this for a while.  Let’s start with the basic facts.  Chris Coons wrote in the mid-eighties a piece called “Chris Coons: The Making of a Bearded Marxist.”

Patterico’s position is that “Bearded Marxist” was meant ironically, because his friends were mocking him as that.  My position is I don’t see it the irony.

First, for starters, you should read it yourself.  Don’t just accept our version of things.  Certainly this line, where the term “bearded marxist” comes from has an element of... if not humor then at least irony and wit:

My friends now joke that something about Kenya, maybe the strange diet, or the tropical.un, changed my personality; Africa to them seems a catalytic converter that takes in clean-shaven, clear-thinking, Americans and sends back bearded Marxists.

Now obviously there is humor there somewhere.  And there are jokes peppered throughout the piece.  He shows a picture of “a clean-shaven Chris Coons” and a picture of Africa with the words “Kenya: the ‘catalytic converter.’”

But what was the joke in the “bearded Marxist” line?  That he was a bearded Marxist?  Or something in the diet or the tropical sun made him one?  I would posit the only obvious joke in that sentence is the diet and sun part.  Where is the clear irony about Marxism?

And if I made a joke about being a “bearded Marxist” I would follow it up by saying, “which I am not.”  Or “the truth is I believe that capitalism is the best system, but flawed.  And Marxism is a failure wherever it goes.  And I shave daily.”  Or something specific to say it is not true.