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Step off, old man!
Saturday, 5 June 2004
OJ next to stump for Bush?
I'm a big boxing fan. I've always been amazed by the ability of promoter Don King to keep everyone off balance with his motor mouth and vocabulary. In some ways, King uses his mouth like Ali used his jab.

There are numerous tales of King screwing over fighters. Boxing is a tough business and King is a shrewd and tough guy, even now in his 70s. Don't let the hair, mouth, and flag-waving fool you. Under the carnival barker exterior lies the heart of a hitman.

Did you know that King has killed two men? He was convicted of manslaughter for stomping to death a numbers runner who was holding out on him. That's when King was big with the Cleveland mob. Then, he killed another guy who tried to steal King's money. That one was called justifiable homicide.

I bring this up because King has been stumping for GW Bush with Ed Gillespie, Republican National Chairman. Now, I have nothing against King per se, but doesn't that strike anyone as a little odd?

A late update: Actor Robert Blake has already vowed to hit the campaign trail with Cheney later this summer if he is cleared on his murder charge.

Posted by brettdavey at 8:51 PM EDT
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Faith Popcorn was right!
About 10 years ago, I worked as a reporter for a business newspaper. There was a marketing guru named Faith Popcorn who predicted a trend known as "cocooning." (As an aside, I can't believe Faith Popcorn is her real name. Since she is a marketing expert, it appears she picked a name that is eminently memorable. I say that because I have a terrible memory for names and I can remember hers.)

Anyway, cocooning was the trend towards people locking themselves down in their homes and becoming less involved in the world around them. With the advent of high speed internet access and digital cable, there has become even less reason for people to travel outside their homes. Just visit a Home Depot on the weekend and you'll see the white suburban male buying stuff to make his fortress even more impenetrable. It looks like a scene from a disaster movie where characters are preparing for an assault from a killer tornado or an armada of aliens.

I bring this up because I went car shopping today. Probably 3/4 of the vehicles for sale were SUVs. I think it's an extension of the cocooning theory. People want to feel safe in their vehicle, while keeping as much distance between themselves and their fellow citizens.

Hence, the rolling home known as the SUV.

Posted by brettdavey at 8:43 PM EDT
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Thursday, 3 June 2004
Michael Savage snaps
I turned on the radio last night for the Red Sox pre-game show and caught the last few minutes of the Michael Savage show. My first question is: how could any reputable radio station carry such a hate-filled psycho? My second question is: when did Savage turn on Bush? He was referring to him as a louse on the same level as Kerry.

It might be an act, but I swear, he seemed about two minutes away from coming completely unhinged.

Posted by brettdavey at 7:39 AM EDT
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Good stuff from daily kos
A couple posts from that are worth reading.

1) Anthrax Coulter charges Democrats with "treason" for things like, uh, opposing tax cuts and stuff. I wonder how she feels about Republicans who sell out CIA agents and pass secrets to Iranian spies.
Since I doubt we'll hear her say it, let me -- The Bush Administration is guilty of treason.

So they're getting lawyered up as the Justice Department closes in on the traitors who surrendered a CIA agent for political gain, at the same time as our intelligence agencies realize with dawning horror that Chalabi the spy, Friend of Bush, tipped off the Iranians that we had broken their code.

For the record, there is no higher intelligence success than breaking an enemy's code. And there is no greater intelligence failure than tipping off that enemy that we have their code.

Treason. Traitors.

There is nothing ideological in this accusation. This administration sold out our intelligence services to political expediency and ideological loyalty to a convicted felon. The facts are clear on the matter.


2) Update: Post Enron scandal, Bush pretended he had no clue who that Kenny Boy character was. When asked about Ken Lay, Bush responded with something like, "Oh, that's the guy who backed my opponent for governor, Ann Richards!'

Well, he's now pulling the same trick with Chalabi.

Q Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. Chalabi is an Iraqi leader that's fallen out of favor within your administration. I'm wondering if you feel that he provided any false information, or are you particularly --

Q Yes, with Chalabi.

THE PRESIDENT: My meetings with him were very brief. I mean, I think I met with him at the State of the Union and just kind of working through the rope line, and he might have come with a group of leaders. But I haven't had any extensive conversations with him. ...

As usual, the buck stops somewhere else in this administration. Atrios has the pictures and quotes proving George a liar. Again.

Posted by brettdavey at 7:36 AM EDT
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Friday, 28 May 2004
Bill Clinton duped by Iran, pardons child molester
Just imagine if Bill Clinton was president and he was duped by an Iranian spy like Chalabi into starting a war with Iraq. Then imagine he pardoned a couple convicted sexual molesters and his son-in-law. What would that make him? A Republican, apparently.

This comes from a news article about Republican Rep. Bill Janklow, recently freed from prison after a vehicular manslaughter conviction. Turns out old Bill Janklow pardoned a bunch of people, none of whom was apparently responsible for what they did.

Notice the typical Republican spin. Not one of the people involved says they're sorry for what they did; instead, they're all sorry that the news got our about what they did.

The party of personal responsibility strikes again!

Oh and look out for the "the vicious sharp-tailed grouse." HA!

Here it is:

"Sexual contact with a child, indecent molestation of a child, rape and manslaughter are among the crimes secretly pardoned by former Gov. Bill Janklow, according to documents released today.

Janklow also secretly pardoned his son-in-law's drunken driving and drug crimes, records show.

Secretary of State Chris Nelson today released 218 pardons dating to 1984. Until today, the pardons were sealed from public view.

Janklow said today that he has taken worrisome phone calls from some of those who had been pardoned.

"I'm just heartsick of the hurt that I've caused people that got pardons," Janklow told the Associated Press this afternoon.

"I've been a lawyer since 1966, and I had never, ever looked at the (pardon) statutes," he said.

"All the processing and paperwork was done administratively by others," he said. "That doesn't excuse me. I bear the responsibility. I never looked at the mechanics. I looked at the substance ... on whether or not a pardon should be granted."

The release of the pardons comes three weeks after the state Supreme Court ruled that the pardons must be made public.

The case began when the Argus Leader requested names of all people pardoned since 1995 after Janklow said he signed an undetermined number of the documents.

Included in the list is Dallas Wayne Thomas, a Tabor man whose 1984 pardon erased a conviction for indecent molestation of a child.

"I guess I can go find my pardon in the drawer and tear it up and throw it away," said Thomas, 55, who served six months in the South Dakota State Penitentiary more than 20 years ago for molesting his family's 15-year-old female baby sitter.

"My family has suffered, and we thought this matter had been put behind us. A lot of these people (on the list) have businesses, lifestyles, grandchildren - and they've tried to get on with their lives."

Thomas said he quit drinking after the incident, which occurred while he was driving the baby sitter home.

"I was under the influence, but I didn't actually molest her," he said. "I quit before it went that far. A light came on and I realized, OThis is wrong.' "

Still, Thomas was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison.

In April 2002, Janklow authorized a pardon for another man arrested on Aug. 4, 1980 for sexual contact with a child under 16 in Davison County, according to one of the pardons released today. Other details are not included in that man's pardon.

They are among nine sex crimes that were erased by Janklow's pardons.

Also among the records released today is Janklow's July 17, 2002, pardon of William Gordon Haugen II, who is married to Janklow's daughter, Shonna.

Haugen was cleared of drunken driving in Brookings County in 1983. The pardon also cleared him of a 1993 Lyman County marijuana possession conviction and a 1997 Minnehaha County drunken driving conviction.

Janklow told the AP that he pardoned Haugen after he promised that he would go straight.

"My son-in-law did things when he was a younger person that he paid for. He came to me and asked if I would clean things up because he wanted to go to law school. I said, `Is this all behind you?' and he said, `So help me God, it's behind me.' I said, `Are you ever going to embarrass me or anybody else?' He said, `Never,' and so I did it, and he's just finished his first year in law school and is a very good student."

One of the most notable names on the list is Jerus Campbell, a former chief legal counsel for Janklow who was in charge of the governor's pardons program.

Campbell, who works for Valley Bank in Sioux Falls, was pardoned for two separate offenses.

He was convicted of driving while intoxicated in Hand County in 1981 and of disorderly conduct in Tripp County in 1997.

Campbell's father, Ron, a lawyer in Miller, also received a pardon from Janklow. He was convicted of DWI in Hand County in 1982.

In December 2002, Charvin Harper Dixon was pardoned for a disorderly conduct charge he was sentenced for in Tripp County on May 9, 1995.

Dixon, 49, was the lawyer for the South Dakota Board of Medical and Osteopathic Examiners for 17 years. He resigned in April of 2004 shortly after an Argus Leader investigation that found the board rarely disciplines doctors. Gov. Mike Rounds called for a review of how the board does business. Dixon did not cite a reason for his resignation. He resides in Brandon.

Many of the people on the list said they never requested a pardon from Janklow or anyone else.

More than 60 of the pardons were for drunken driving, and 61 were drug charges.

Some of the crimes could be considered minor ones. Those include a 1985 pardon issued by Janklow for Gregory A. Kleinsasser, a farmer, for operating a combine after dark.

Another man was pardoned by Janklow for shooting a Hen Pheasant during the 1982 Governor's Invitational Pheasant Hunt.

Thomas Theobald mistook the pheasant for "the vicious sharp-tailed grouse and upon which he fired in what could only be described as self-defense," his pardon states.

Janklow also pardoned Carolyn Sue Haddenham, who was elected mayor of Box Elder in April.

Haddenham's pardon was for possession of a controlled substance in 1998.

"I wasn't part of it. I was just charged with it," Haddenham said of the crime.

"This is stuff that happened in my home that had nothing to do with me directly," she said during a telephone interview today. "I had some people renting a room here."

She said she didn't know Janklow.

Ronald Wesley Wheeler, who was was both commissioner of the Governor's Office of Economic Development and the state transportation secretary under Janklow, was pardoned for drunken driving.

Wheeler was arrested in December 2001 after a breathalyzer test showed a blood-alcohol level of .14, over the legal limit of .10 at the time, documents state. He was pardoned in November 2002.

The pardons released today are those that were issued by the governor but did not go through the Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Janklow sealed the most pardons - 91 - in 2002 during his last term as governor, records show. Sixty-one of those pardons came in his last four months as governor.

450 pardons were filed with the Secretary of State during this time period. 232 of these pardons will remain sealed as allowed by law and ordered by the governor who issued the pardon. Those are pardons that followed the proper channels of public notification when they were signed.

Earlier this month, Janklow completed a 100-day jail sentence for second-degree manslaughter in the August traffic death of a Minnesota man. Janklow resigned from the U.S. House in January after the conviction.

Posted by brettdavey at 9:20 AM EDT
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Thursday, 27 May 2004
It wasn't the rain; it was the Coors
This was an e-mail sent to

"From the White House press release:

"President Bush took a spill during a Saturday afternoon bike ride on his ranch, suffering bruises and cuts that were visible later on his face just two days before he was to deliver a major prime-time speech on his Iraq policy.

The president was nearing the end of a 17-mile ride on his mountain bike, accompanied by a Secret Service agent, a military aide and his personal physician, Richard Tubb, who treated him at the scene, said White House spokesman Trent Duffy.

"It's been raining a lot and the topsoil is loose," Duffy said. "You know this president. He likes to go all-out. Suffice it to say he wasn't whistling show tunes."

Soooo... it's been raining a lot in Crawford, we are told. Here are the recent precipitation levels from Crawford:
May 22: 0"
May 21: 0"
May 20: 0"
May 19: 0"
May 18: 0"
May 17: 0"
May 16: 0"
May 15: 0"
May 14: 0.03"
May 13: 2.79"
May 12: 0"
May 11: 0.15"
May 10: 0"
May 9: 0"

May 13th saw some serious rain, but other than some sprinkles on the 14th, Crawford saw nothing but sun. In the last week alone, the temperature was in the high 80s the entire time.

So rain on the 13th and (barely) 14th was blamed for a Bush fall on the 22nd. As everything else, it wasn't Bush's fault. Nothing is Bush's fault. Ever.


This is our leader. A man whose mortal enemies include a pretzel and a bicycle.

Posted by brettdavey at 4:56 PM EDT
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Suspicious timing
This came from Keith Olberman's "Countdown" last night. It's the kind of news you wish you could get from the major outlets but of course, you can't.

"And speaking of time, if you are of a suspicious mind, you will have already noticed the timing of today`s announcement in the context of developments in Iraq and the president`s declining poll numbers. That is all speculative. But, one timing question may be a lot more substantial. Though he was not at the Mueller/Ashcroft news conference this afternoon, Homeland Security director Tom Ridge had already taken center stage this morning, fielding questions about the new alert on all the major talk shows. But, during the midday White House news conference, and Bruce--news briefing, rather, one reporter had noted that the secretary had yesterday attempted to get himself booked--unsuccessfully attempted to get himself booked as a guest on those very morning shows. Whether or not the logical fallacy is in play here, the chronology is unquestionable. The morning shows turned Mr. Ridge down, Tuesday afternoon. The leak about the credible threat hit the wires literally, Tuesday evening and the secretary wound up on the morning shows this morning."

Why teach an old dog a new trick when the old one works just fine?

Posted by brettdavey at 2:17 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 26 May 2004
The Onion rocks
This story comes from I'm sure the person who doesn't think Jon Stewart is funny won't think this is funny either, but The Onion does rock.

Bathroom Too Disgusting To Shit In
AUSTIN, TX--The men's bathroom at area rock club Emo's was declared too repulsive for the emptying of concertgoer Max Risdy's bowels Saturday night. "The floor was covered with water, there was toilet paper and garbage everywhere, and it smelled disgusting," Risdy said, wincing at the memory Monday. "It was really not the kind of place you want to leave a big pile of digested food matter after squeezing it through your rectum from the depths of your bowels." Risdy added that the area near the music venue's stage was too loud and crowded.

Posted by brettdavey at 2:53 PM EDT
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United States of Iran
The more I think about the Chalabi mess, the more sick I get. Why isn't this the story of the year?

You had Cheney-Rumsfeld-Wolfowitz dying to attack Hussein.

You had Chalabi providing them with false information.

You had the previous group acting as compliant stooges for Chalabi, willing to accept any excuse to attack.

You had Chalabi acting as a spy for Iran, a country that wanted nothing more than to see Hussein deposed.

The US attacked Iraq because certain members of the Administration were willingly duped by a guy who was not only acting on behalf of Iran, but was also being paid more that $300,000 a month of your money to make up these lies.

So, in the end, US soldiers were carrying out a mission for Iran. No problem.

Four more years, right?

Posted by brettdavey at 7:54 AM EDT
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The prison scandal is Monica's fault!
Every Monday, has its list of Top Ten Conservative Idiots of the Week. Here's what they said about Rush, who made number 7 this week.

"Does Rush Limbaugh really have complete and utter contempt for the intelligence of his audience? I guess so! Rush claimed last week that the Abu Ghraib torture scandal is all the fault of - hold on to your hats - Bill Clinton. You just knew that was coming, didn't you? On his radio show the vulgar pigboy said, "the Democrats are claiming this is a chain-of-command thing, and they're trying to get this linked all the way to Bush ... If Bill Clinton were still in office, I could accept the notion this might come from the top and, in fact, depending on the age of these soldiers over there they may in fact be. How many stories have we had lately, oral sex is a great way to stop teen pregnancy? That oral sex is a great way to have safe sex, just had one this week. Who popularized oral sex for the nation? And who was defended day in and day out royally for doing so? Bill Clinton. And who defended him? The Democrats who now find all kinds of atrocities in these photos coming out of Abu Ghraib prison." Lord almighty, does Rush really believe that his listeners are this stupid? Bill Clinton "popularized oral sex?" You're kidding me. But there's more: "the very people who have defended the sexual revolution and have championed the so-called sexual revolution, who defended any kind of sexual perversion in the Oval Office when it was going on there when Bill Clinton was - those same people are now the ones who are raising holy hell themselves about how sick this is and how disgusting this is and how perverted this is." So there you have it. And now if you'll excuse me, I have to go bash my brains out."

Posted by brettdavey at 7:48 AM EDT
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