Wednesday, June 27, 2007

More Lies

I've been wondering for the past couple of weeks now how it came to be that all of  sudden that the enemy in Iraq went from being "Sunni insurgents" and "Shia insurgents" to "al Qaeda." 

Why, exactly, is this important? 

In my view, when one  wages war,  prudence, military planning, common freaking sense and other factors like the History of the Known  World skew in favor of the idea that one fights best when one knows just whom it is that one is going to war with. 

Or, against.  Either is correct.  We were at war with Germany in World War Two.  Look it up.  At the same time, we were in a war against Japan.  Again, look it up.

Why do you you get a better result in those wars where you know who you've gone to war with/against?   A good example, and there are certainly many, many more, is the idea that when you know who you are fighting and hence who you are supposed to be killing, you are much less likely to kill the wrong people. 

Not killing the wrong people has the happy side effect of making it more likely that those you do kill are the  right people--the ones who are actually "at war" with you.  Both of these things, killing the right people while not killing the wrong people, are right up there (dare we say  #1 and #2?) on any well-conceived list of military objectives.

Just one of the problems we have in Iraq is that we don't have the luxury of knowing who the enemy is in this particular conflict. 

Sunni?  Shia?  Al qaeda? 

There sure as hell wasn't any al qaeda in Iraq when this war started.  We all know that. 

Therefore, what I believe is happening is what has been happening since Day 1:  we are, once again, being lied to about a fundamental element of this war.  Perhaps the fundamental element of this mindless, needless war.

 Glen Greenwald of Salon cites numerous examples of this shift in media coverage of  a war against "insurgents" to a war against al qaeda: 

 Each of these articles typically (though not always) initially refers to "Al Qaeda in Iraq" or "Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia," as though they are nothing more than the Iraqi branch office of the group that launched the 9/11 attacks. The articles then proceed to refer to the group only as "Qaeda," and repeatedly quote U.S. military officials quantifying the amount of "Qaeda fighters" we killed. Hence, what we are doing in Iraq is going after and killing members of the group which flew the planes into our buildings. Who could possibly be against that?

It's a long story, but I think an important one.

Anyway, just something I've been thinking about.  And to think I was going to write something about "The Summer of Laura." 

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The War. The News.

The War's been leading the hourly news today since  9:30: 14 more Iraq War Dead in the last 48 hours.  Operation Arrowhead Ripper, indeed:

US Military: 14 Troops Killed in 2 Days

The U.S. military said 14 American troops have died in several attacks in the past 48 hours, including five slain Thursday in a single roadside bombing that also killed four Iraqis in Baghdad.


Some of the things I've read this morning:

On the Roberts court from the LA Times:

High court has been good for business,0,3078293.story?coll=la-home-center

...In February, for example, the court threw out an $80-million punitive damage verdict against cigarette maker Philip Morris, ruling that juries cannot use a single victim’s suit to punish a company for harm done by its products to thousands of others.


On the stem-cell veto from the NY Times:

Mr. Bush’s Stem Cell Diversion

...Mr. Bush vetoed...because it would involve the destruction of microscopic entities — smaller than the period at the end of this sentence — that the president deems a nascent form of life.


And this, which sums it my complex feelings  about today's news media by Leonard Pitts Jr., who is a really good writer:

Welcome to "The News Show"

..."The News Show" is predicated on news as entertainment, news as story arc, news as show complete with theme music and cool graphics, news as everything except, you know ... news.

Notice how importance never enters into the equation. Notice how there isn't even a pretense to public interest. TV "news" has become celebrity trials and runaway brides, missing girls and sex — while foreign bureaus are closing and news budgets are shrinking and we become a people ever more thoroughly entertained than informed, even as we live through the most dangerous days in recent history.

How high a price will we pay for that luxury? As Al Gore puts it in his book, "The Assault on Reason": "The subjugation of news by entertainment seriously harms our democracy: It leads to dysfunctional journalism that fails to inform the people. And when the people are not informed, they cannot hold government accountable when it is incompetent, corrupt or both."

Monday, June 18, 2007

Father's Day Was Yesterday and It's Not Yesterday Anymore

The Child was squeamish about hugging her Father Figure this morning.  She hinted that the FF smelled.  As in (and in the interest of an accurate record we quote her here word-for-word), "You smell, dad." 

Now, another man might have been angry and another man might have been hurt.  Not me.  I just thought, "Geez!  Father's Day was yesterday.  Welcome back to the other 363."

 You get, you see, two days a year.  Unless you are not so lucky as to have gotten married and to have had a child.  If that's the case, you only get one. 

You get your birthday and you get either Mother's Day or Father's Day.  They are your days.  Enjoy 'em, don't ask for another one.

Now, unless it's her day, Laura, who I feel is quite human in this regard, which is to say she is just like everybody else, barely suffers them.  Well, let me clarify that.  She's okay with the birthdays and she's okay with the Mothers Day.  She puts up with the Father's Day.

And when it is done, it is done.  I am actually  surprised she doesn't wake me at 12:01am on the day after Fathers Day to unburden herself of the (legitimate) gripes concerning her Father Figure which may include, but which are not limited to: his crude, boorish behavior; his poor attitude; his "could-use-a-little-work" physical appearance; and, evidently, his horrific smell.  Concerns which have piled one upon the other, ever-growing in the course of Father's Day when she must, by custom and decorum, remain mute...

Rest assured that all of these are nothing more than the shortcomings she observes in the FF on any ordinary day.  What makes this different  is that on an ordinary day she would prefer to share her concerns (and, necessarily, the opportunity for the subject, me, to better himself) in real time.  That is to say,  either as such shortcomings occur or as such shortcomings first become apparent to her or as such shortcomings from any preceding time, EVER, are recalled.  These, and I am fairly certain of this, she keeps in a (large) mental file which she has titled:  "Dad!  You Are Such A Loser!" 

Well, I sniff, time will tell about that.  But about the smell thing which kicked off this dissertation, I knew she was wrong.  I don't smell.  Not badly, at any rate.

I don't, for example, smoke.  I haven't for over ten weeks.  (Pat on the back huzzah  to self). 

I'd showered only the day before.

And the golf shirt I was wearing was freshly laundered.  I'd only worn it one other day.

So, what's she talking about?  I gave the golf shirt a big whiff.  "What are you talking about?  I asked.  "I smell like shirt, not sh....oh, never mind." 

Saturday, June 16, 2007

US Open Day 3: Saturday, June 16

My favorite US Open?  Easy, 1985 at Oakland Hills: "The Year of T.C. Chen"  as it will forever be known, even if the answer to the question, "Who is the 1985 US Open Champion?" is not, in fact, T.C. Chen.   Andy North won the '85 Open.  It  wasn't his Open, that's all. 

It all started late in the day Thursday, the day of the first round of the Open, of course.  The first threesomes went off at seven in the morning and it wasn't until almost four o'clock in the afternoon that the name T.C. Chen appeared for the first time on the leader board I'd been watching in the press tent since around the time those first threesomes had begun their rounds.

 T.C. arrived in style, too.  Big time.  Buzz in the Press Tent, that sort of thing.  We looked up at that leader board we'd been looking at all day long, a board which hadn't moved too much at all, and all of a sudden the leaderboard guys were making a change at the very top.  When they were done it said, right out of the blue: T.C. Chen (-3) thru 2 holes.  -3 was leading the damn Open.  T.C. Chen, then, whoever he was, was leading the damn Open.

The "whoever he was" part was somewhat problematic since we in the media,  we and my little circle of colleagues in the media, anyway, had no idea at all in the least who this guy is and now this guy's leading the Open and I'm going to be on the radio in a few minutes and I have to know something about who he is by then. The sheer pressure of it all.   Not to mention I had a hard time finding his profile  in the PGA Media Directory I'd been issued. We would get to know all about him, though.   That name, T.C. Chen, never left the leader board again.  It was T.C. Chen's US Open for all but the first nine hours of play on Thursday until the last three hours of Sunday.   

Playing in the last group of the day on Thursday, not teeing off until after three p.m., Chen made double-eagle, (which I learned only today is also known as an "albatross") scoring a two on the par-five second.  He did it the old-fashioned way.  He mashed a three-wood which was made of natural wood (they'd probably be going at it with a six-iron today) as hard as he could, landed it short, and watched it bounce onto the green and roll into the cup.

The miracle shot, much more rare than a hole-in-one, gave Chen, as unknown an unknown as any who ever led any Open, the lead in this Open--a lead he would hold, alone, for 57 holes:  from the second hold of the first round through the first four holes of the final  round.

That's when there was another miracle shot.  This time though, it was a miracle for the rest of the field. 

More later... 

Thursday, June 14, 2007

2007 US Open: Round One


I don't know why, but the US Open might be my favorite sporting event of them all.

The Open began today and even if I did watch from 10 in the morning until 7 in the evening, I can't remember the leaders' name.  Some Brit.  Nobody will remember who he was by Sunday night, so don't give me a hard time for not remembering his name on Thurday night, 'kay?  Tiger Woods shot 71.  Par.  Even par.  He's two shots back of the Brit.  That's all you need to know, for now. 

This years Open is at Oakmont Country Club, 12 miles from downtown Pittsburgh, PA. If  Oakmont wasn't the first golf course built in the US, it is among the first, and if you have ever driven across PA on the Penna Turnpike, you have been, without knowing it, on the very course where they are playing the 2007 US Open!

Here's another Oakmont quirk as reported in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:  The ninth green at Oakmont  is so massive that only half is in play for the tournament. The other half, marked by a blue line on the turf and blue stakes on either side, is the practice green. So while Tiger Woods is finishing out the hole, a dozen players could be practicing their putting stroke a few feet away.

Players on the ninth hole can play their shot from wherever it lands, even if it runs past the blue line. If the ball happens to go into one of the practice holes -- don't laugh, it happened today -- it's considered ground under repair, and the player can take the ball out, place it and play without penalty. For players who are practicing, it's a little trickier. If their ball goes over the line, they're supposed to pick it up and return to the practice area.  Just don't hit it. That's considered practicing on the course -- and the penalty for that is disqualification.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Verlander Tosses No-Hit Gem

Justin Verlander no-hit the Milwaukee Brewers tonight (the game ended minutes ago) becoming the first Tiger to pitch a no-hitter at home since Virgil Trucks did it in 1959. At least I think he is. I'll have to look it up, but I think that's what it's gonna say. I knew Jack Morris threw the last no-hitter for Detroit (1984, early in the World Championship Season on a brutal cold, windy day at Comisky), but the last Tiger to throw one at home was Trucks, and that was 48 years ago. So, this is a special night.

And the Tigers are tied for first, since Florida beat Cleveland 3-0 tonight, thanks to this guy who plays centerfield for Florida, Amezinga or something.

He made this catch to end the 6th that made me shout out loud. As good a running catch as you are gonna see. Then he made a better grab than that, leaping up against the wall for the second out in the 9th. And he made a catch in the second which I missed but which looked about as good as the others on the replay. That grab in the 6th reminded me of “The Best Catch I Ever Saw”: Ruppert Jones of Seattle against Jason Thompson in 1978. After Thompson hit a two-iron to dead center Jones just turned his back lit out for the 440 sign at Tiger Stadium and, on a dead run, actually out-ran the ball. Trust me, it was an amazing sight. That, I think, was in the 8th, prompting to me to comment that the game was gonna stay tied and go into extra innings if things kept up as they were and Eli Zaret said, "Who just made that tastless remark about extra innings?”

Eli was right. The game went 16 or 17 innings and the Tigers won or lost. I think they won but I’d have to look it up. The Pistons had a playoff game that night and the Tigers game lasted long enough for a few of the reporters who had been covering that game to make it to Tiger Stadium before the game with the M's ended. It was the longest night I ever spent at Tiger Stadium.

Anyway, that catch by Jones was the best I’d ever seen and it remained the best I’d ever seen for six or seven innings or so because later, in the 13th or 14th inning he did it again—and against the same hitter, Jason Thompson. Just as he had earlier, Thompson hit a bomb to center, a long line drive tattooed to dead center and Jones outran it, too, making an even better catch. And it’s not just me saying that. Ralph Houk said after they were among the two best catches he’d ever seen. And they came in the same game by the same guy. I’ll bet Jason Thompson remembers. I never would have remembered the name Ruppert Jones if I hadn't seen his name on an AFLAC Trivia quiz or some graphic like it during a Mariners game I was watching on MLB. Com a few days ago.

Good to see Cleveland lose. They had this kid Fausto Carmona on the mound tonight. I think he’s their ace, and I think he’s a rookie. He’d held Florida to two singles through six when, in the bottom of the 7th the Marlins scored three on a one-out bases loaded double which was more of routine ground ball that happened to take a 12-foot hop over the third baseman’s head and wound up in the leftfield corner. Olsen pitched great for Florida, allowing three singles through 7. When he didn’t come out for the 8th I got mad and went to “Gameday” to get hit pitch count was even angrier when I saw it was only 92. A three-hit shutout and you’re pulled before you’ve thrown 100 pitches? Not the way they played when I played. But whoever manages Florida was right because Armondo Benetiz comes out of the pen and gets ‘em out on 11 pitches and I think he was the guy who got the Indians out in the 9th, too.

So, the Tigers are back in first place for the first time in several weeks after falling as far as 4 ½ back of the Indians just a couple of weeks ago. And Verlander throws the no-hitter, the first (I’m guessing again, but I think this will be born out by research) ever at Comerica Park.

"My God, They Are Going To Steal the Watches Of Us All!"

Was there a conspiracy on June (what day was it again?), 2007 on a bright, sunny day on a downtown street in (what city did this happen in again?) to steal the watch of Commander Guy George W. Bush?

Does a government cover-up of the theft itself exist to this very day ?

Video available on this website suggests that the answer, contrary to the “official” version, is “yes”. Hell, yes. The CIA, the Mafia, The Cubans ™; they were all in on it. They all are. All the time.

See the video for yourself...


In the historic and heartbreaking footage, shot by dress shop owner Dërgonip Zapruder (hey, any JFK Conspiracy Buff worth his salt can tell you Zapruder was of Albanian descent so shut up) the Leader’s watch is clearly visible on his left wrist as late as Z:51 (Zapruder frame :51 from start). At Z:54, the Decider looks down and mumbles, apparently the moment he realizes he’s been hit. But it is not until Z:55, an entire second later, that the commander guy’s head, his face blank and expression-free; lifeless: a tableau to be forever seared into the collective memory of a nation, snaps back and to the right. Back, and to the right. Back, and to the right….

The Gay Bomb

You will probably hear about this soon enough as this is one of those items which, once it shows up on-line, finds its way onto the MSM in short order. Here’s the deal. There’s a story out there that our military was considering building a so-called “gay bomb”. A few of the details:

...the proposal suggested, "One distasteful but completely non-lethal example would be strong aphrodisiacs, especially if the chemical also caused homosexual behavior."

The documents show the Air Force lab asked for $7.5 million to develop such a chemical weapon.

"The Ohio Air Force lab proposed that a bomb be developed that contained a chemical that would cause enemy soldiers to become gay and to have their units break down because all their soldiers became irresistibly attractive to one another..."

As I continued my research, I found the following report which details an apparent attempt to test such a device in the late 1960’s:

I never talk much about my time in service to my country. In truth there are large periods of it which I cannot remember. The fact is that we were doing lots of experiments in my unit--a hyper-secret, cryptoQ Medicalintel detachment.

We actually did develop a successful prototype of such a device it was the Homogenerator MA-1a WMD--Weapon of Manliness Destruction (we generally referred to it as "The Gaymaker" or "The Daisychainer". We had tried it on some test subjects, several AF Band units (the results were skewed because, well, just because).

It was determined that we needed a test subject group that would be extremely heterosexual and the 111th FS of the Texas Air Nation Guard was selected . Little did we know that our future beloved pretendsident was at that time performing heroic service for country, under harrowing conditions where the beer was often closer to 50 degrees than 40 and the Peruvian Marching Powder was of less than optimal grade. I digress.

We deployed the weapon while the pilots, instructors and other officers in the unit were having a bbq at the boq. It was, actually, quite a clever method of deployment. We had a "Mariachi band" (actually members of the CIA's Covert Symphony) who set up and played a couple of sets and then brought on their "Special Guests"--The Village People (once again, CIA Spec Ops people--Black Bag & Killer Heels Brigade) who after spiking the punch with "rufies" began to sensuously serenade the young airwarriors.

They never had a chance, Sir. It was just unfair to those brave young men. We had developed a special housing for the weapon, in the shape of a 24" diameter "Disco" mirror ball. That size unit (about 20 Kilofags) was sufficient to obliterate the heterosexual tendencies not only in those present but in every creature within a 2 mile of the epicenter (dubbed "Gay Zero"). Well, Sir, I won't go into the things that transpired as the party wore on, except to say that we had seriously under estimated the amount of Astrolube (which was then under development for use on those really long, hard rockets that were used by NASA) that a squadron of suddenly gay fighter pilots could get through in an evening.

It was incredible, Sir, by 4:00 the next day, every Sew-Fro within 60 miles of the base had been stripped of fuchsia and chartreuse fabric by groups of foraging airmen from the base; the roosters on nearby farms were ignoring the hens and one Brahma bull was heard to murmur, "Milk this, Mr. Farmer".

Thank, GOD, that the device used in the test had been set to its lowest power level. Within a day or two things returned to normal, although the re-painting of vehicles, hangars and dormitories--from some truly garish color schemes--to their original AF Blue and OD took a bit longer. The men, somewhat sheepish in many cases, said "Well, what happens in Lubbock, stays in Lubbock". The livestock were, of course euthanized, no way anybody was gonna eat a gay steer ('cept maybe Richard Gere in an "Officer And A Gentleman").

All returned to normal, all except for one pilot, that is. In a development almost too horrible to contemplate, our deer leader did not come around as quickly as his fellow officers.

This is just conjecture on the part of the medical personnel who worked with him for months trying to cure him, but they posited the following in a report that was appended to his service record (and you wondered why it wasn't available) excerpted here:

" Having treated the subject with every form of aversion and conversion anti-gay therapy that we could devise, we have met with failure. It is the belief of this panel that the subject, "Pilot W", has a form of homosexuality designated as HGRH (Highly God Resistant Homosexuality). We believe that a possible explanation for his intractable condition is that, in his "sporting days" at Yale, Mr. Bush was cut from the baseball team (throws everything to the right, bats like a girl) and so, became a cheerleader because he liked to be near all of those sweating, pheromone generating young Adonises. There is no way to prove this of course, but it is our suspicion that his exposure to gayness at that time and his subsequent exposure to the "Gaymaker" was just too much for his system.

While there is no "Silver Bullet" cure, at present, in our arsenal we hold out hope for an efficacious course of treatment. In the interim we advise that "Pilot W" be relieved of duty and transferred to another unit. Maxwell AFB in Alabama has a slot and is located in an area where homophobia is a long and respected tradition. Perhaps a "tough love" approach will work where others have failed. Upon "Pilot W"'s separation from active duty it is recommended by our PsyOps people that he might pursue a role in public service where many, many homosexual men are currently living productive gay-bashing lives (we're not naming names but one guy's initials are JEH--check it out, call (number redacted) ask for "Mary".). --Report ends.

I'm sorry, Sir, but the story had to be told.

I will continue to follow this developing story and will update you as necessary.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Watching Baseball

I wonder what Pete Sark would think. Pete was an old sportscaster who used to sit at the end of the press box at Tiger Stadium and listen to as many out-of-town games as he could through a single earphone he had attached to a small, portable radio. Since the press box was 90 feet in the air, Pete could pull in a lot of those AM signals and he could keep track of a lot of games. He'd call out updates for our benefit throughout the night. He'd say, "(Jim) Rice just homered so the Red Sox are ahead 4-0 in the 6th." Things like that. So we'd know the score in the pressbox faster than anybody else since it would take a five minutes for the score to come across on "SportsTicker" and ten or fifteen minutes more for the updated score to appear on the center field scoreboard. In fact, one of Pete's claims to fame is that on the September night the Tigers cinched the pennant in 1968, he was the first person in all of Detroit to know the Tigers had won the pennant, scoring a "beat" of fifteen minutes or so over anybody else at the stadium. Tigers fans will remember Don Wert singled in a run in the bottom the 9th that night to complete a Detroit comeback over the the Yankees and win the game which gave the Tigers their first American League pennant since 1945, but few remember (if they even know this bit of trivia at all) that Wert's hit was, in fact, anti-climatic. Heading into play that night, either a Tigers win or a Baltimore loss meant a pennant for Detroit. Well, Pete was listening to that Orioles game that night on that little radio of his and he knew that the Orioles game (they lost) had gone final while the Yankees were batting in the top of the 9th, a fact which rendered the outcome of the Detroit game moot. The Tigers won the pennant just as soon as the game in Baltimore was over, not when Wert singled home the game-winning run. Pete told the boys in the pressbox, so they knew too, but the Tigers elected not to post that final on the scoreboard, lest fans rush the field in celebration before the game in Detroit was over.

I think about Pete--he died two or three years ago and was buried holding a regulation American League baseball in his hands--on nights like this when I'm sitting at my computer watching baseball. They've got this deal where for fifteen bucks a month you can watch the games, all the games , live on your computer. Pete would be in heaven. Of course, I hope and trust that's precisely where he is now, but he would just love this setup. As do I.

Right now I've got the Cleveland at Cincy game on the computer (the Reds, starting some teen-aged phenom in what's being billed as the biggest debut for a Cincinati pitcher since Tom Seaver's first-ever game in 1977, lead 3-2 in the 6th which is good because the Indians are the team the second-place Tigers are chasing in the AL Central) and I've got the Tigers-Mets game on the TV with the sound muted as usual since I am not a big fan of the announcers here and, as such, have not had the volume turned up during a Tigers game for at least the last two years. It is not a problem for me. I know as much about the game as they do, so why go through the aggravation of listening to them?

Now, a little later, I'll switch over and catch the Dodgers game in LA or the Giants game in SF. In a bit of a paradox, since I can't stand to listen to the broadcasters in Detroit, it's an absolute treat for me to listen to Vin Scully call the games in LA. He may be the best of all time. What amazes me about Scully is that he works alone. No color guy at all. No mindless, inane chatter like you get with the announce crews here in Detroit, and, unlike here in Detroit, there is no cheering for the home team. I can't stand the cheer leading. It's why I keep the sound down. It is so unprofessional. If you want to root, root, root for the home team, fine. Grab yourself a pom-pom and go sit in the goddamn stands. Cheer your ass off. Just get the f--- out of the pressbox. You don't get the rah-rah crap from Scully and it's the way baseball should be broadcast. I think sometimes in the back of my mind that I could do that job when Scully retires and he's bound to sometime. He's been in the booth for the Dodgers since they were the Brooklyn Dodgers. I mean, I can easily sit there and talk for two or three hours by myself--especially if there happens to be a baseball game going on. It is not a problem for me.

People have been asking me, of course, what I think of the Wings getting knocked out of the playoffs, rendering still another 100+ point season a complete, total, and utter waste and I tell them, invariably to their surprise and chagrin, that I was delighted to see Detroit eliminated. I did not want to see Todd Bertuzzi's name on the Stanley Cup. That, to me, would be a blasphemy. It was Bertuzzi who ran that guy Steve Moore of Colorado from behind and broke his neck in March, 2004. It remains the most gutless, the most chickenshit hit in the history of the NHL. Moore has not played a shift since. While I don't think the NHL should have banned Bertuzzi for life, I do think they should have prevented him from playing until Moore could return to the ice. If Moore could not come back--and it looks like he will never come back--too bad for Bertuzzi. So, I say screw him and screw the Detroit Red Wings for signing him. I saw Moore interviewed on the CBC a while back. Remember the weepy press conference Bertuzzi gave a couple of days after sending Moore to the hospital? "That's (sob) not me. I'm (sob) soooo (sob) sorry. (Sob), etc..." In that CBC interview, Moore said Bertuzzi has never called him to apologize in person. He never once reached out. So, like I said, screw Todd Bertuzzi.

Denny McClain has a new book out. It's called, I Never Told You I Was Perfect. Give me a break and do us all a favor and f--- off, okay, Denny? You never told us you were an asshole, either. But you are. You have to say this, though. It's been 39 years since anybody won 30 games in a season like McClain did in '68 and there are precious few baseball records of any kind that last for 39 years, so you have to tip your cap to the guy in that regard. But he screwed over a lot of people in his time, a lot. He's a thief and he's a felon. And that's a bigger deal than winning 30 goddamn baseball games.

Peace out.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Libby Guilty as Sin

So there’s this guy who wrote a book (which you can buy on, no b.s., sir) in which a little girl--a little girl being trained for a life of forced prostitution in 1903 Japan--is forced to have sex with a bear. What kind of a sick bastard would dream that up? The author, as many of you know, is I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the guy who was convicted on federal charges of perjury and obstruction of justice and sentenced today to serve 30 months in federal prison for his crimes.

Libby was the Chief of Staff for Vice-President Dick Cheney who lied his ass off to the FBI and to investigators from the Office of Special Prosecutor and to anyone else, reporters mostly as it turned out, who would listen (the latter, we should note, not being a crime, but the former—lying to the FBI—being a felony) about just how it came to be that the name of a covert CIA Operative, Valarie Plame showed up in a Chicago newspaper column written by right wing death-merchant Robert Novak. Making public the name of an American spy is of course, treason. Now, Libby was not found guilty of committing the treason, but rather he was convicted of lying to investigators about who (Dick Cheney)committed the treason.

The right wants “Scooter” to get a pass on this. I think it was Fred “My Daughter is Four Years Older Than My Wife” Thompson I heard saying the day before yesterday that Libby should get a free and full pardon.

Jeffery Toobin was just on the radio saying he was surprised at the "stiff" sentence given Libby’s status as a “man with a family” and his "lack of a prior criminal history". (Toobin, a reporter and leagal analyst may have been upset about his sentencing prediction being incorrect. He said Libby would get 6 months, putting him 5x off the mark).

I wanted to include for you the bear-on-girl sex scene from Mr. Libby’s novel we mentioned earlier, because I want you to know the kind of person Libby is.

I love me these internet tubes.

It took about a minute to find it. The blog’s author is excerpting an article from The New Yorker which, if you know anything at all about The New Yorker, runs articles, though they tend to be on the "high-brow" side, about bears screwing underage females on a weekly basis, pretty much.

The article from The New Yorker is italicized. The direct quote from “The Apprentence” by Lewis Libby is in bold typeface just like this...

…Other sex scenes are less conventional. Where his Republican predecessors can seem embarrassingly awkward—the written equivalent of trying to cop a feel while pinning on a corsage—Libby is unabashed:

At age ten the madam put the child in a cage with a bear trained to couple with young girls so the girls would be frigid and not fall in love with their patrons. They fed her through the bars and aroused the bear with a stick when it seemed to lose interest.

And, finally:

He asked if they should f--- the deer.

The answer, reader, is yes.

So, how does Libby stack up against the competition? This question was put to Nancy Sladek, the editor of Britain’s Literary Review, which, each year, holds a contest for bad sex writing in fiction. (In 1998, someone nominated the Starr Report.) Sladek agreed to review a few passages from Libby. “That’s a bit depraved, isn’t it, this kind of thing about bears and young girls? That’s particularly nasty, and the other ones are just boring,” she said. “God, they’re an odd bunch, these Republicans.”
— Lauren Collins

BTW, If you want to buy Scooter’s book…

But I think you'd like mine better...

Monday, June 4, 2007

Todays Must-Reads

Here are the two most important articles I have read today but it is still early.

Rolling Stone on Rudy Giuliani:

This is the dirty little secret lurking underneath Rudy's 9/11 hero image -- the most egregious example of his willingness to shape public policy to suit his donors. While the cleanup effort at the Pentagon was turned over to federal agencies like OSHA, which quickly sealed off the site and required relief workers to wear hazmat suits, the World Trade Center cleanup was handed over to Giuliani. The city's Department of Design and Construction (DDC) promptly farmed out the waste-clearing effort to a smattering of politically connected companies, including Bechtel, Bovis and AMEC construction.

The mayor pledged to reopen downtown in no time, and internal DDC memos indicate that the cleanup was directed at a breakneck pace.

Although respiratory-mask use was mandatory, the city allowed a macho culture to develop on the site: Even the mayor himself showed up without a mask. By October, it was estimated, masks were being worn on site as little as twenty-nine percent of the time. Rudy proclaimed that there were "no significant problems" with the air at the World Trade Center. But there was something wrong with the air: It was one of the most dangerous toxic-waste sites in human history, full of everything from benzene to asbestos and PCBs to dioxin (the active ingredient in Agent Orange). Since the cleanup ended, police and firefighters have reported a host of serious illnesses -- respiratory ailments like sarcoidosis; leukemia and lymphoma and other cancers; and immune-system problems.

"The likelihood is that more people will eventually die from the cleanup than from the original accident," says David Worby, an attorney representing thousands of cleanup workers in a class-action lawsuit against the city.

Indeed, Rudy has had little at all to say about the issue. About the only move he's made to address the problem was to write a letter urging Congress to pass a law capping the city's liability at $350 million.

Did Giuliani know the air at the World Trade Center was poison? Who knows -- but we do know he took over the cleanup, refusing to let more experienced federal agencies run the show. He stood on a few brick piles on the day of the bombing, then spent the next ten months making damn sure everyone worked the night shift on-site while he bonked his mistress and negotiated his gazillion-dollar move to the private sector. Meanwhile, the people who actually cleaned up the rubble got used to checking their stool for blood every morning.

Now Giuliani is running for president -- as the hero of 9/11. George Bush has balls, too, but even he has to bow to this motherfucker.

(by) Matt Taibbi Posted May 31, 2007 8:59 AM

Note: I am so sorry about the use of "m---------er", the "Magic Word", so-named because it will get you run from any Major Leauge League game you happen to be playing in or managing if you call an umpire one 'cause, so it seems, ain't nobody loves his mama like an umpire but he could be jivin' too (Jim Bouton, Ball Four, 1970 but it's Rolling Stone (for f's sake)so what are can you do? Here's the link to the full article:

This, meanwhile from the Sunday NY Times, lays out just what it is we are up against in Iraq as well as anything I've ever read, ever:

At church yesterday the Second Reading yesterday was excerpted from Paul's Letter to the Romans. It made me think. Who do you address that envelope to, exactly? Of course, if he'd been doing his evangelical works today, our scripture lesson would have been in reference to "Paul's Blog Post to the Romans."

I love being Lutheran. I was telling a friend at church yesterday that I've heard us described as "Catholic lite." "We're almost Catholic," I declared to him. "Of course, to our Catholic friends all this means is that we are almost going to go to Heaven."