Saturday, October 07, 2006

Just For Laughs

Bob Geiger: The Saturday Cartoons

Maybe Someday We'll Be Able to Stop Taking Off Our Shoes at Airport Security, Too

Patrick Andrade for The New York Times

Barriers at Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street have been removed, leaving imprints on the concrete.

NYTimes: Security Barriers of New York Are Removed

They started appearing on Manhattan streets immediately after September 11: concrete and metal barriers in front of skyscrapers, offices and museums. Some were clunky planters; others were shaped artfully into globes. They were meant to be security barriers against possible car or truck bombers in a jittery city intent on safeguarding itself.

But now, five years later, their numbers have begun to dwindle. After evaluations by the New York Police Department, the city’s Department of Transportation has demanded that many of the planters and concrete traffic medians known as jersey barriers be taken away. So far, barriers have been removed at 30 buildings out of an estimated 50 to 70 in the city.

Officials found that the barriers obstructed pedestrian flow — and, in the case of planters, often ended up being used as giant ashtrays. Counterterrorism experts also concluded that in terms of safety, some of the barriers, which building owners put in of their own accord, might do more harm than good.

RIP Buck O'Neil

NYTimes: Buck O’Neil, Negro Leagues Pioneer, Is Dead at 94

WaPo: Negro League Great Buck O'Neil Dies

The man was a great ambassador for the game, yet inexplicably, when a special panel was convened to admit as many Negro Leagues players as possible in 2006, O'Neil was not voted in. Reportedly he lost out by one vote.

His credentials:

- First baseman and later manager of the Kansas City Monarchs from 1938 until 1955 (interrupted by service in the Navy from 1943 to 1945), leading the team as manager to five pennants and two Negro World Series titles and winning a batting title in 1946.

- Career batting average of .288, including four .300-plus seasons at the plate. In 1946 the first baseman led the league in hitting with a .353 average and followed that in 1947 with a career-best .358 mark. He also posted averages of .345 in 1940 and .330 in 1949. He played in four East-West All-Star games and two Negro League World Series.

- Became a scout for the Chicago Cubs in 1956, signed Lou Brock to his first major-league contract

- First black coach in major league history, Chicago Cubs, 1962

Good article on the stupid secret process and how he was omitted:

The Tufts Daily: Buck O'Neil, 94, is rejected by Hall of Fame Committee

[The special committee] did, however, vote in Andy Cooper, who was (see if this sounds familiar) a fine player and manager for the Kansas City Monarchs. He died in 1941. []

The committee also voted in Effa Manley, the first woman inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Her credentials? She co-owned the Newark Eagles with her husband, Abe, for 14 seasons. The team won one championship. Also, she was outspoken. Also, her biographer, Jim Overmyer, was on the committee.


All his life, Buck O'Neil has had doors slammed in his face. He played baseball at a time when the major leagues did not allow black players. He was a gifted manager at a time when major league owners would not even think of having an African-American lead their teams. For more than 30 years, he told stories about Negro Leagues players and nobody wanted to listen.

Now, after everything, he was being told that the life he had spent in baseball was not worthy of the Hall of Fame. It was enough to make those around him cry. But Buck laughed. "I'm still Buck," he said. "Look at me. I've lived a good life. I'm still living a good life. Nothing has changed for me."

A few minutes later, when he was told that 17 persons had made it, he shouted: "Wonderful."

That's Buck O'Neil. Who else would respond that way to such a shameful vote? No one. I don't know what the July day will be like when 17 persons long dead - 10 of the 17 have been gone for more than 50 years - get inducted into the Hall of Fame. It's hard to believe it will be much of a celebration. Who will speak for the dead?

"I don't know," Buck O'Neil said. "I wonder if they'll ask me to speak."

Would he really speak at the Hall of Fame after he wasn't voted in?

"Of course," Buck said. "If they asked me."

They asked, and he spoke, but he should have been in the hall. Shame, shame on baseball, once again.

Induction Transcript: Buck O'Neil
Negro League Legend speaks at Hall of Fame Induction

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum: Chairman's Message

Friday, October 06, 2006

Pray For Moochie

SI: Myernick has heart attack
U.S. men's national team assistant in intensive care

Foley Blots Out Darker Stories

This blots out this:

Condoleeza Rice WAS warned that Al Qaida planned to attack inside the US -- in July 2001. She says, incredibly, that she doesn't remember.

There's no way 9/11 happens two months later and you don't remember a meeting like that. So she's been lying about her complicity in the Bush Administration's chillingly gross negligence of terrorism prior to 9/11.

All those people dead, and she didn't have the guts to tell the truth. 343 firemen died because the Bushies were asleep at the wheel, dreaming of Iraq and Star Wars.

And all we're talking about is one Congressman who treated the Congressional page program like his own personal dating service. Well, whatever it takes to get the Cheney Adminstration out, I'll take it.

We Don't Distinguish Between The Predators and The Congressmen Who Harbor Them

Albany Times-Union Capitol Confidential Blog: "Flop Sweat"

Sad End

Some residents near the Catskill Game Farm are concerned that animals there will be shipped off to exotic game hunting camps when the farm closes on Monday. (G. Paul Burnett/The New York Times)

When I was a kid, a trip to the Catskill Game Farm was a thrill. Walking around the grounds surrounded by fairly tame wild animals (I saw no contradiction there) with a cup of feed in my hand, trying to get them to eat (or fighting off the hungry ones) are vivid memories of childhood.

New York Times: Farm’s Fate Is Certain, but the Future of Its Animals Is Not

CATSKILL, N.Y. Oct. 2 — For three-quarters of a century, exotic animals have sidled up to fences at the Catskill Game Farm here to nibble food from the hands of visitors.

Adults and children alike can slip crackers through a fence onto the waiting blue tongue of a 15-foot-tall giraffe or bottle-feed a baby goat at the park’s nursery. But on Monday, the game farm will shut its gates for the last time, the latest casualty of a struggling economy in upstate New York. And though the fate of the farm is all but certain, the future for many of the animals is not.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

My New Mantra

From an astute commenter at dailykos:

We won't distinguish
Between the predators and the Congressmen that harbor them.

PredatorGate Logo

I saw this on Suburban Guerrilla.

Oh Fer Christsake

I'm watching the press conference by the Ethics Committee announcing the House is going to investigate itself. And the Senior DEMOCRATIC Member of the Committee, Howard Berman (D-Dummy) of California just announced that the investigation is going to be nonpartisan.

Is he an idiot? It's a partisan scandal! It's a scandal about how the partisan Republican House leadership was willing to throw a bunch of high school kids to the wolves for base partisan gains! The Democrats were cut out of the loop from the beginning! All official information about Foley's predilection for young boys was kept within the Republican leadership. It's a Republican scandal. Period.

Why is this moron providing cover for the Republicans? Is he a politician or a mouse? For Christsake, if you're worried about the House, HOLD A SEPARATE PRESS CONFERENCE and say so. But why give the Republican leadership a life buoy while they're drowning?

Don't these jamokes realize that politics v. the modern Republican party is a battle to the death? That when you roll over and say you're trying to work together, they'll cut your throat and go out for a beer without a second thought?

How will the Democrats ever win anything if they don't know how to fight?


Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Not a Question Any More

Heckuva job, boys

Talking Points Memo: Had Enough?

A Limerick

There once was a Congressman Foley;
Deaf and blind to political toll, he
Text-messaged a page,
The fallout we'll gauge,
On a level with epidemic E. coli.

From Emma's Writing Center, Ithaca.

A Post I Wish I'd Written

The News Blog: Leadership

They couldn't protect us on 9/11

They can't protect our troops in Iraq

Now they can't even protect our kids in the halls of Congress

Mark Foley: Giving Alcoholism a Bad Name

WaPo: Foley Lawyer Cites Alcohol, Childhood Abuse
Attorney Says Lawmaker Never Tried to Have Sex With a Minor

Foley Acquaintances Question Alcoholism

Steve Lopez, LATimes: Foley on the Prowl: 2 Creepy 2 B 4Gotten

After getting caught hitting on congressional pages with lurid shorthand e-mails and instant messages, the Florida congressman first blamed his keyboard adventures on alcohol, insulting alcoholics everywhere.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Again .... Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww

ABC News: New Foley Instant Messages; Had Internet Sex While Awaiting House Vote

Former Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL) interrupted a vote on the floor of the House in 2003 to engage in Internet sex with a high school student who had served as a congressional page, according to new Internet instant messages provided to ABC News by former pages.

ABC News now has obtained 52 separate instant message exchanges, which former pages say were sent by Foley, using the screen name Maf54, to two different boys under the age of 18.

This message was dated April 2003, at approximately 7 p.m., according to the message time stamp.

Maf54: I miss you
Teen: ya me too
Maf54: we are still voting
Maf54: you miss me too

The exchange continues in which Foley and the teen both appear to describe having sexual orgasms.

Maf54: ok..i better go vote..did you know you would have this effect on me
Teen: lol I guessed
Teen: ya go vote…I don't want to keep you from doing our job
Maf54: can I have a good kiss goodnight
Teen: :-*

The House voted that evening on HR 1559, Emergency War Time supplemental appropriations.

According to another message, Foley also invites the teen and a friend to come to his house near Capitol Hill so they can drink alcohol.

Teen: are you going to be in town over the veterans day weekend
Maf54: I may be now that your coming
Maf54: who you coming to visit
Teen: haha good stuff
Teen: umm no one really

Maf54: we will be adjourned ny then
Teen: oh good
Maf54: by
Maf54: then we can have a few drinks
Maf54: lol
Teen: yes yes ;-)
Maf54: your not old enough to drink
Teen: shhh…
Maf54: ok
Teen: that's not what my ID says
Teen: lol
Maf54: ok
Teen: I probably shouldn't be telling you that huh
Maf54: we may need to drink at my house so we don't get busted

Email excerpts

Rehab - The Last Refuge of the Truly Unrepentant

Disgraced Representative Mark Foley (R-NAMBLA), purportedly in 'rehab' in Florida, signed onto a chat room three hours ago using his AOL chat name Maf54.

Raw Story: Foley still logging into chat account with screen name linked to scandal

Blogactive: A word of advice... (with screen capture)

Howie My-Wife-Is-A-Republican-Operative Kurtz: Despicable Victim-Blamer

Howard Kurtz, your presstitute of the day.

Mr. Sherri Annis contributes this vile opinion to Predatorgate:

WaPo Media Notes: Cone of Silence

Among the many depressing aspects of the downfall of Mark Foley--who has now done the inevitable checking-into-rehab thing--is that a number of young people could have blown the whistle on this deceptive congressman in recent years, but didn't.

The Washington Post tracked down a couple of them. Former page Patrick McDonald said that at a 2003 reunion he learned of sexual messages that Foley sent three or four ex-classmates and thought, "if this gets out, it will destroy him."

Matthew Loraditch says he has known for years about the "creepy" messages the Florida Republican sent three of his 2002 classmates. But no one wanted to come forward. "You take down a Congress member, and you can't end up trying to do something later," Loraditch said.

Now I don't want to come down on 16-year-old kids (though some are now as old as 21) who must have been intimidated by the whole thing. Indeed, the power imbalance between a big-shot member of Congress and a lowly page is part of what makes this infuriating.

But did they really think that if they told the outside world that the co-chair of the Exploited Children's Caucus was sending them, or their friends, graphic sexual messages, that their future careers would be ruined? That they would be washed up in politics? Isn't it more likely that they would be hailed as brave for doing the right thing?

You fucking sheltered moron, they would be humiiated in the eyes of the world as the targets of a sex predator. All their friends asking, why did he target you? And some of these kids may be gay, and that may be why Foley with his practiced gaydar targeted them. Maybe they're not ready to talk about that yet. Look at Lindsey Graham. He's been in the military and the U.S. Senate, and he's still not ready to talk about being gay.

Howard Kurtz makes me sick. Who could write such drivel? Doesn't he have an editor? Oh, that's right, he works for the Post.

Frist Has Friends

Check out my post on Bill Frist (Frist!) below.

A purportedly anonymous commenter posted Frist's CYA statement from his blog in full in comments.

Sitemeter is a wonderful thing, because sometimes you're not as anonymous as you seem. The post by 'anonymous', at 10:53:56 a.m., came from


Why is the American Council of Life Insurers trying to save Bill Frist's political bacon?

The Party of Values

From Americablog:

Hastert, Boehner and Bush to help fundraise for GOP congressman whose mistress says he strangled her

The October Surprise

Looks like Commander Codpiece is going to wag the dog to save the Republicans on election day. This is, of course, madness. The madness of King George. He's already started and lost two wars. Solution? A third war. It is so insane that I don't know what to say other than that this is certifiably nuts. Our president is insane.

Crooks & Liars: Retired Col. Sam Gardiner says we’re in Iran right now

Global Researcher: The March to War: Naval build-up in the Persian Gulf and the Eastern Mediterranean.

dailykos: 20,000 Sailors Go To War - Massive US and Allied Naval Deployment


Bill Frist could be the worst politician in the history of politicians. I'm serious. The man has the instincts of an inanimate object. He put a fork in any presidential ambitions last night:

Washington Post (AP): Frist: Taliban Should Be in Afghan Gov't

QALAT, Afghanistan -- U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Monday that the Afghan war against Taliban guerrillas can never be won militarily and urged support for efforts to bring "people who call themselves Taliban" and their allies into the government.

The Tennessee Republican said he learned from briefings that Taliban fighters were too numerous and had too much popular support to be defeated on the battlefield.

"You need to bring them into a more transparent type of government," Frist said during a brief visit to a U.S. and Romanian military base in the southern Taliban stronghold of Qalat. "And if that's accomplished, we'll be successful."

So, I guess all that rhetoric over the last five years about how 9/11 changed everything, and any group that harbors terrorists will be treated as terrorists, and all that other Bush-neo-con-Rethug bullcrap, has been exposed as utter bullcrap. As you can imagine, the wingnuts are beside themselves. Some have even pledged to vote Democratic in November! Tee hee.

Apparently someone in Frist's camp smelled the defeatism and pulled back; too little, too late:

VOLPAC: America will Never Negotiate with Terrorists or Support their Entry into Afghanistan’s Government

Dead Man Blustering

Washington Times: Resign, Mr. Speaker

House Speaker Dennis Hastert must do the only right thing, and resign his speakership at once. Either he was grossly negligent for not taking the red flags fully into account and ordering a swift investigation, for not even remembering the order of events leading up to last week's revelations -- or he deliberately looked the other way in hopes that a brewing scandal would simply blow away. He gave phony answers Friday to the old and ever-relevant questions of what did he know and when did he know it? Mr. Hastert has forfeited the confidence of the public and his party, and he cannot preside over the necessary coming investigation, an investigation that must examine his own inept performance.

Of course, being the Moonie Times, they call on the House to appoint Henry Hyde (D-Hypocritical Adulterer) to take his place.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Tony Snowjob Says They're "Simply Naughty Emails"

Apparently Tony thinks he is still at Faux News. This snow job won't work.

ThinkProgress: Snow on Foley Scandal: ‘Simply Naughty Emails’

This morning on CNN, Soledad O’Brien asked Tony Snow why “any communication between a 16-year-old and a congressman” didn’t “raise red flags — major, massive red flags” with Speaker Dennis Hastert and others who have known about the communications for months.

Snow responded, “I hate to tell you, but it’s not always pretty up there on Capitol Hill. And there have been other scandals, as you know, that have been more than simply naughty e-mails.”

Hastert's CYA Letter

Did you hear that Denny Hastert (R-Denial) has asked the Justice Department to investigate the Foley scandal? He hasn't. He's asked the DOJ to investigate who leaked the scandal to the media.

Look over there! Don't look at me!

Unclaimed Territory: Hastert's letter to the DOJ advances the cover-up and worsens the scandal

The premise of Hastert's letter is that the only issue worth investigating is whether someone specifically knew of the more explicit IMs, and that anyone who did not know of those IMs by definition has done nothing wrong, even if -- as is true for Hastert -- there was ample other information they knew of regarding Foley's conduct. This is how Hastert defines what ought to be investigated (emphasis added):

Unlike the first communication, the second communication was a set of instant messages that contained sexually explicit statements and were reportedly generated three years ago. Last week, ABC News first reported these sexually explicit instant messages which led to Representative Foley's resignation. These sexually explicit communications warrant a criminal referral in two respects.

Hastert has defined the relevant issues in such a way as to ensure that he and his House allies would be excluded from the investigation just as long as they managed to avoid learning about the IMs specifically.

But the scandal here is that Hastert and friends deliberately avoided investigating the glaring signs that Foley was sexually pursuing pages.


Mark Foley (R-NAMBLA) has announced he's going into rehab. He's going into rehab like Mel Gibson went into rehab. Like alcohol causes someone to be a predator. Like alcohol causes someone to hate Jews.

Not gonna fly.

AP: Ex-Rep. Foley Checks in to Alcohol Rehab

WaPo: Ex-Rep. Foley Checks Into Rehab

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Clemens a 'Roider?

Roger was already in the twilight of his career when he left the Red Sox (yes, that's a Dan Duquette joke), but I always did think Clemens was suspicious because he got really big after he left the Red Sox. (Now many Red Sox fans will say he got real big during his last year with the Sox, but those were 'get out of Boston' fat pounds, not muscle.) And after he met Andy Pettite, remember all the stories about how Clemens introduced Pettite to his 'workout' routine, how Pettite all of the sudden put on 20 pounds and bulked up? And then Pettite was basically on the DL for the next two years. So I'm not surprised that their names have surfaced in a steroids probe.

LATimes: Clemens Is Named in Drug Affidavit
The star pitcher and five other players used performance-enhancers, according to a former teammate who took steroids, prosecutors say.

Roger Clemens, 1986

Roger Clemens, 2006

Lying About 9/11

WaPo: Two Months Before 9/11, an Urgent Warning to Rice

NYTimes: 9/11 Panel Members Weren’t Told of Meeting

WASHINGTON, Oct. 2 — Members of the Sept. 11 commission said today that they were alarmed that they were told nothing about a White House meeting in July 2001 at which George J. Tenet, then the director of central intelligence, is reported to have warned Condoleezza Rice, then the national security adviser, about an imminent Al Qaeda attack and failed to persuade her to take action.

PredatorGate Expands

Foley's conduct as revealed to date goes back to at least 2001. The Republican supervisor of the Republican pages warned them about Foley in 2001; the Democratic pages got no warning. 16-year-old boys left hanging in the wind by the Rethugs.

Hastert was caught lying about what he knew; now he admits he knew about the first set of emails.

Thomas Reynolds (R-NY), the National Republican Campaign Chair, who was the second Republican member of the House to learn about Foley's inappropriate emails, gave Foley $5,000 after he learned of them, then accepted $100,000 from Foley into the NRCC war chest.

I think Hastert will be the first casualty; even some right wing bloggers have called for him to resign.

ABC News: GOP Staff Warned Pages About Foley in 2001

A Republican staff member warned congressional pages five years ago to watch out for Congressman Mark Foley, according to a former page.


Several Democratic pages tell ABC News they received no such warnings about Foley.

ABC News: FBI Opens "Preliminary Investigation" of Foley

Daily News Politics Blog: Reynolds Knew, But Gave?

Reynolds's personal PAC, TOMPAC, wrote Foley a check for $5,000 on May 10, 2006.

According to the AP, Reynolds was told of the allegations against Foley "sometime this spring."


UPDATE: Also: On July 27, 2006, the NRCC, which Reynolds chairs, accepted an unusually large contribution of $100,000 from Foley. Hard to imagine something of that size just slipping past the chairman.