COLUMBUS - The politically connected chairman of a Cincinnati-based online gambling company had the ears of key decision-makers in Columbus as he lobbied the state to sell lottery tickets through his Internet business.
While Roger Ach II pushed Ohio to offer online lottery ticket sales, the chief executive officer of the financially troubled Games Inc. had power brokers working to give him "20 minutes" with Gov. Bob Taft, according to documents released yesterday by the governor's office.
Even after issuing stock to some of the most influential Ohioans - including Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Bennett and Brian Hicks, Governor Taft's former chief of staff - Mr. Ach was unsuccessful in convincing the state to put its lottery online.
The Blade first reported on Wednesday that Tom Noe, the former Toledo-area coin dealer under investigation, invested at least $150,000 of the state's money with the company.
Yesterday, Governor Taft said he met with representatives from Games Inc., but he rejected their pitch to sell lottery tickets over the Web. ...........................
Games Inc. has recently focused on gaming because online lotteries have yet to be approved by any state, a fact that company executives hoped to change by appealing to the Taft administration.
"The Company has also developed software for Internet Lottery Ticket sales," Games Inc. said in an SEC filing. "As it became evident the Internet Lottery ticket sales were going to be adopted more slowly than the Company had anticipated, the Company has focused more of its attention on the games business in general, never losing sight of its ultimate goal of being an electronic lottery retailer."
Earlier this month, Mr. Ach pitched his firm to Mr. Hayes of the Lottery Commission.
.................. Mr. Ach, a prominent Cincinnati businessman who has contributed thousands of dollars to GOP candidates, convinced a number of Republicans to invest in the company. At least one prominent Democrat, Jerry Springer, a talk show host, also invested.
Jean Schmidt, a former Republican state representative from the Cincinnati area, also appealed to the governor's office on behalf of a Web-based lottery. Ms. Schmidt is currently running for Congress against Paul Hackett, a Democrat who served in the Iraq War.
The race has attracted national attention.
In a November, 2001, e-mail, Jon Allison, a staff member for Governor Taft, complained that Ms. Schmidt "continues to bug me on Internet lottery."
One year later, her state representative re-election campaign garnered a $1,000 donation from Mr. Ach.
Ms. Schmidt said through a spokesman that she does not remember any conversations with the governor's office about an online lottery, although she does remember that this was a significant issue at the time.
"The documents indicate that she is lobbying the governor on behalf of Roger Ach," said her opponent, Mr. Hackett. "After doing their bidding, she takes a $1,000 donation. That is the culture of corruption - documented."
By MIKE WILKINSONand STEVE EDER BLADE STAFF WRITERS
COLUMBUS — Tom Noe used state money to try to pump up an online gambling company in which he and other prominent Republicans were investors, records show.
Mr. Noe invested at least $100,000 of the state’s rare-coin money into financially troubled Games Inc., which has plummeted in value in the last year as its CEO Roger Ach II, a politically connected Cincinnati businessman, sought public contracts.
Mr. Noe is among several prominent Republicans who have invested in Games Inc.
Brian Hicks, former chief of staff to Gov. Bob Taft; Bob Bennett, chairman of the Ohio Republican Party; former Senate President Stanley Aronoff, and Lucas County Republicans Patrick Kriner and Sally Perz all own shares in the company, records filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission show.
Jerry Springer, a Democrat from Cincinnati and a talk show host, is also listed as an investor.
The company operates a Web site that offers multiple gambling games. Mr. Ach has also sought contracts with state lotteries, including Ohio’s, to allow people to buy lottery tickets online using its software.
In addition to being a personal investor, Mr. Noe is quoted in a company press release touting the benefits of online lotteries. Mr. Noe, identified in the release as chairman of the Ohio Board of Regents, said an online lottery could help ease funding woes for education by making the state lottery more accessible
So it is odd how Schmidt and Noe were both lobbying for the same online lottery. But she never heard of Noe. Every prominent Republican Roger Ach could get his hands on was pimping for his lottery, yet Schmidt doesn't know Noe and can't remember calling the governor or a $1000 donation? It is one hell of a coincidence that she and Noe are connected to this lottery, pitched as a way to increase education funding, yet have no knowledge of each other? Very interesting.
Yes, I like Pretty Ricky, and here's a pack of smokes ok. Now, can I get my New York Times?
Arianna strikes again. You know, people have issues with MoDo, but they fucking hate Judy Miller. I mean her husband is swanning around the Med and she's listening to Ciara and comparing hair styles. And now the knives come out.
Ever since I started blogging about Judy Miller's role in Plamegate (and in the selling of the war in Iraq), I've been showered with tips and tidbits about the jailed reporter, whom one e-mailer from Sag Harbor ("her summer hometown") archly referred to as "the amazing Ms. Miller, intrepid girl reporter."
And since I spent the weekend in the vicinity of her summer hometown, some of what I heard was delivered by people who know her well. Together all these pieces of information now comprise my newly labeled -- and ever-expanding -- Judy File.
A recurring theme in many of the conversations and e-mails is how Judy, to the dismay of many of her colleagues, never played by the same rules and standards as other reporters. One source e-mailed to give me some examples of this pattern: "In Feb 2003, Judy was in Salahuddin covering the Iraqi opposition conclave. Iraqi National Congress spokesperson Zaab Sethna told a reporter who was also there that Judy was staying with Chalabi's group in Salahuddin (the rest of the reporters had to stay 30 minutes away in crappy hotels in Irbil), and that the I.N.C. had provided her with a car and a translator (Did the New York Times reimburse them?). The I.N.C. offered another reporter the same, but he turned it down. Judy had just arrived in a bus convoy from Turkey, big footing C.J. Chivers, who was also there covering the story for the Times. While everyone else on the buses had to scramble for accommodations, she was staying in a luxurious villa loaned to the I.N.C. by the Kurdish Democratic Party...
"Two years earlier, she was on assignment in Paris for the Times and conducted her reporting out of the ambassador's personal residence, where she was staying. Felix Rohatyn, the ambassador at the time, was out of town, but it would be interesting to know whether the Times reimbursed U.S. taxpayers for the use of the embassy while she was there on assignment. What is certain is that the Paris bureau was buzzing about this at the time, as getting too close to sources or accepting hospitality -- accommodations, meals -- is a violation of the Times's ethical standards. The feeling was that somehow Judy was able to do whatever she wanted."
For those interested in visiting Judy at the Alexandria Detention Center, one source emailed that Miller's visiting hours "are fully booked until September 15."
Another I ran into told me that the Committee to Protect Journalists is very divided over Miller: "There are those of us who feel that this is not a good case for us to be identified with. There are too many unknowns and too much that's murky here."
The AP reported on Friday that a delegation of the Committee to Protect Journalists (clearly not including those who do not believe that protecting Judy Miller is what they should be doing) visited her last week. During her meeting with the group, which included Tom Brokaw, Miller wore a dark green uniform with "PRISONER" written on the back.
According to the CPJ reps who visited her, Miller told them that while she is allowed to read and write in jail, she's been permitted to go outside only two times in the three weeks she's been locked up. I can't figure this one out. Are prison authorities worried she might get in trouble in the yard? Convince her fellow inmates that Iraq did indeed have (as she wrote in Sept 2002) "12,500 gallons of anthrax, 2,500 gallons of gas gangrene, 1,250 gallons of aflotoxin and 2,000 gallons of botulism throughout the country"?
Besides being able to read and write, she's also able to make long-distance phone calls (collect, I assume). According to a source, she used one of her allowed calls to phone her publisher pal Mort Zuckerman to complain about a Lloyd Grove column that ran in Zuckerman's New York Daily News, in which Grove reported, correctly, that while Miller is in jail her husband, "famed editor Jason Epstein," is cruising around the Mediterranean aboard the Silver Shadow cruise liner. The Grove column included a delicious riff from Chris Buckley. Miller, apparently, was not amused. Grove's piece also featured a priceless quote from Miller's attorney Bob Bennett who, when asked about Epstein's travels, replied, "We all serve our time in our own way."
Speaking of Bennett, we had a brief but memorable e-exchange with him on Friday, when the HuffPost contacted him to ask about a tip I'd gotten that Miller was in the process of negotiating a book deal about her Plamegate/prison experiences. When asked to confirm the story, Bennett e-mailed back a lawyerly: "Where did you get this info?" Was he expecting me to give him the name, address, and blood type of my source? We replied that I had heard it through "publishing sources" -- to which he emailed back: "No Comment".
Thanks, Bob. Should we take "No Comment" to mean "yes" -- since if you'd meant "no" you surely would have said so? Unsolicited advice to Alice Mayhew, Judy Miller's legendary editor at Simon and Schuster (if she's the one negotiating with Bennett): Hold your horses or, if you can't, keep the advance very low. A reporter going to jail to protect her own ass and not a source smells like remainder to me. But what worries my Times sources the most is that it smells like the straw that could break the Gray Lady's back. A lot hinges on how much of what Judy knows Bill Keller and Arthur Sulzberger also know. Keller has been very cagey on the subject. When asked by George Stephanopoulos on Nightline if he knew who Miller's source was, he refused to say yes or no.
And no fewer than four sources have either e-mailed, called, or, in one case, run up to me on the street to tell me that what I termed Miller's "especially close relationship" with Chief Warrant Officer Richard Gonzales, the leader of the WMD-hunting unit Miller was embedded with during the war, might have been, well, very close indeed. According to one insider, Miller had emailed a picture of Gonzales to a colleague at the Times with the message "Lucky Lady".
So thanks to all those who contributed to the Judy File... which is open and ready for more. Keep 'em coming...
Maybe that's why her husband is playing 6th Fleet this summer instead of standing by his wife.
Salad nicoise so beats bologna and cheese with bug juice.
When They Knew Sources indicate that Rove may have learned Valerie Plame's identity from within the Administration rather than from media contacts By MASSIMO CALABRESI
Posted Sunday, Jul. 31, 2005
As the investigation tightens into the leak of the identity of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame, sources tell TIME some White House officials may have learned she was married to former ambassador Joseph Wilson weeks before his July 6, 2003, Op-Ed piece criticizing the Administration. That prospect increases the chances that White House official Karl Rove and others learned about Plame from within the Administration rather than from media contacts. Rove has told investigators he believes he learned of her directly or indirectly from reporters, according to his lawyer.
When Pincus' article ran on June 12, the circle of senior officials who knew about the identity of Wilson's wife expanded. "After Pincus," a former intelligence officer says, "there was general discussion with the National Security Council and the White House and State Department and others" about Wilson's trip and its origins. A source familiar with the memo says neither Powell nor Armitage spoke to the White House about it until after July 6. John McLaughlin, then deputy head of the CIA, confirms that the White House asked about the Wilson trip, but can't remember exactly when. One thing he's sure of, says McLaughlin, who has been interviewed by prosecutors, is that "we looked into it and found the facts of it, and passed it on."
You bet he did. But this goes deeper than that. Plame pissed off people in the Office of Special Plans. They made the link and decided to kill two birds with one stone.
Ohio is appalled that Jean doesn't know Schmidt about Noe
Official state documents prove candidate covered-up ties to corruption
Jean Schmidt is well known for never forgetting a face or a name. Conventional wisdom recognizes her renowned memory to the point where the Cincinnati Enquirernoted (July 31, 2005):
Schmidt knows the district very well, having almost a "file-card" memory to recall details about people, places and issues she's had experience with on the local level.
Yet on this morning's CBS 12 "Newsmakers" program, Jean Schmidt lied to the voters on ? only two days before the election. In an effort to cover up Jean Schmidt's involvement in the scandalous culture of corruption, Schmidt said she didn't know Tom Noe. Schmidt said she'd never met Tom Noe. Schmidt said she had never even heard of Tom Noe. The woman with the "file-card memory" lied.
You see, Jean Schmidt was Vice Chair of the Higher Education Subcommittee of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee. During the same period, Tom Noe was a member of the Board of Regents.
These official State of Ohio documents confirm ties between Jean Schmidt and Tom Noe.
And this isn't an isolated incident, there is a pattern of the woman with the "file-card memory" not recalling her ties to corruption.
When it came to lobbying Bob Taft for online casino gambling, she suddenly forgot everything. The Toledo Bladereported (July 29, 2005):
Jean Schmidt, a former Republican state representative from the Cincinnati area, also appealed to the governor's office on behalf of a Web-based lottery. [...]
In a November, 2001, e-mail, Jon Allison, a staff member for Governor Taft, complained that Ms. Schmidt "continues to bug me on Internet lottery."
One year later, her state representative re-election campaign garnered a $1,000 donation from Mr. Ach.
Ms. Schmidt said through a spokesman that she does not remember any conversations with the governor's office about an online lottery, although she does remember that this was a significant issue at the time.
The next day, the woman with the "file-card memory" was the focus of a Cincinnati Enquirer article headlined, Schmidt can't recall Ach favor.
It is time for Jean Schmidt to come clean about her relationship with Tom Noe, Bob Taft, Roger Ach and online gambling. The culture of corruption will continue until reporters demand that career politicians tell voters the truth.
Voters deserve straight talk, Come Clean Jean.
UPDATE: (Bob) Paul Hackett and former Senator Max Clelland are on the Courthouse Steps doing a press conference right now. The big three stations, channels 5, 9, and 12 are here. More to come.
.. Well, Bob missed one thing: Noe was chair of the Board of Regents, not just a member, making it impossible that Schmidt not only didn't know him, but that she had to have dealings with him. Such a stupid lie, so easy to check.
I'm on the education committee and I don't know the chair of the Board of Regents? What is she, a pathological liar? All she had to say is that she never took his money, that's it. But no. She had to lie that she never knew him. Wow.
Our bodily fluids, George, which is why I onlydrink grain alcohol and branch water. Have to protect those fluids
Senator Batshit becomes unglued again on TV. Some people were pissed at the way Jon Stewart talked to him, but his approach was to get the man to hang himself. People forget that Stephanopoulos is a minister's kid and knows religion real well. His father is a Greek Orthodox priest, so when the Holy Rollers come on, he knows how full of shit they are. So he went for the throat.
The whole segment is filled with crazy, but this is extra special crazy
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let?s talk about something else in the book, radical feminists. A second quote from the book, you say, Respect for stay-at-home mothers has been poisoned by a toxic combination of the village elders? war on the traditional family and radical feminism?s mysogynistic crusade to make working outside the home the only marker of social value and self-respect.
Let?s get specific here. Name one or two of these radical feminists who are on this crusade.
SANTORUM: Well, I mean, you know, you have ? you go back to, what?s her name, well, Gloria Steinem, but I?m trying to remember ? I can?t remember the woman?s name. It?s terrible. Anyway?
STEPHANOPOULOS: But it?s kind of an important point. Because you paint this broad brush: radical feminists, village elders. Name one.
SANTORUM: There?s lots of ? no, there?s lot?s of ? well, Gloria Steinem. There?s one. I mean, there?s lots of writings out there?
STEPHANOPOULOS: She?s been on a crusade against stay-at-home moms?
SANTORUM: There?s lots of writings out there, and there is an opinion by the elite in this country across academia, across the media, that stay-at-home motherhood is not adequately affirmed and respected by our society.
SANTORUM: And if you don?t believe that, get a panel of stay-at- home moms here on your show, and you ask them whether they feel affirmed by society, whether they feel affirmed by the culture.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Listen, I can go home. My wife Wendy both works and stays at home at various times. And sometimes, when she?s not working, you know, she gets upset, but it?s not some message that?s being driven by?
SANTORUM: Isn?t it?
STEPHANOPOULOS: ? specific people.
SANTORUM: Isn?t it a message for us? I mean, where does this come from? Does this come from the ether?
STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, I?m asking you. Where are these radical feminists?
SANTORUM: It comes from an elite culture, dictated, again, from academia, dictated, again, from the Hollywood culture and the news media, that says, the only thing that?s affirming, the only thing that really counts is what you do at work.
And that goes for men and women. And it?s wrong. It?s wrong to tell that to fathers. It?s wrong to tell that to mothers. And we need to value mothers and fathers spending time with their children much more than we do in America.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Hillary Clinton wrote much the same in her book, It Takes a Village. Do you believe she?s a radical feminist?
SANTORUM: Yes, I do. I mean, read her work and what she?s done on children?s rights. I mean, that?s radical. I mean, you?re talking about giving children the same ? that children have rights equal to adults. I mean, that is not a nurturing atmosphere of mothers and fathers taking responsibility for shaping the moral vision of their children. She doesn?t agree with that, at least if you look at her earlier writings.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Have you talked to her about your book?
SANTORUM: We?ve had conversations in passing about it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Tell us about them.
SANTORUM: Oh, just, you know, pass in the hallway, you know, she made a comment to me about that it takes a village, and I responded, no, it really does take a family.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So no serious debate?
SANTORUM: No serious debate. I?d love to have a serious debate.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You may have drawn her out now, calling her a radical feminist.
SANTORUM: I?d love to have a serious debate. If she?d like to have a serious debate about her view of how society should be ordered and structured ? I believe her view is one that says government and top-down. I believe my view is the view that?s held by most Americans, which means we need strong families and strong communities, and we don?t need government really dissembling those institutions, which I think her view of the world does.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let?s move on to another controversy you stirred up, the question of the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic church. You made a statement in July 2002 which has drawn a lot of fire.
You said, in a publication called Catholic On-Line, When the culture is sick, every element in it becomes infected. While there?s no excuse for this scandal, it is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm.
You?ve reaffirmed that just a couple of weeks ago. Ted Kennedy, John Kerry say you have to apologize. Mitt Romney, Republican governor, says basically you don?t know what you?re talking about.Do you still stand by that statement?
SANTORUM: Look, the statement I made was that the culture influences people?s behavior. I don?t think anyone?
STEPHANOPOULOS: Isn?t that what conservatives used to say about liberals, when they used to say they were trying to excuse criminals?
SANTORUM: I think what I?m saying is that the culture of liberal sexual freedom and the sexual revolution of the 1960s and ?70s had a profound impact on everybody and their sexual mores. It had a profound impact on the church.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you singled out Boston in?
SANTORUM: I singled out Boston in 2002. In July of 2002, that was the epicenter. We did not know?
STEPHANOPOULOS: That is simply not true. I went back and looked at all of these clips. We had stories in 1994, going back all the way to 1984 in Louisiana, in just about every archdiocese in the country.
I just don?t understand why you stick by this, because we now know it was widespread. It was in every city in the country.
SANTORUM: Well, at the time, we did not know it was in every city of the country.
STEPHANOPOULOS: We knew a lot of that.
SANTORUM: It was ? look at the press reports. It was the epicenter.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I have them right here.
SANTORUM: I think it?s taking it out of context?
STEPHANOPOULOS: Los Angeles Times, January 29, 1994, it cites instances of abuse in Santa Fe and Chicago, as well as Lafayette, Louisiana, and Camden, New Jersey. 1994.
SANTORUM: I understand that it was in other places. All I?m talking about, at the time, what everyone was focused on at the time was Boston.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you stand by it?
SANTORUM: Look, I will admit that Boston is ? that using Boston at the time was appropriate. Now, I would not say it would be appropriate. I would say that Boston right now would ? we?d say a whole lot of other cities in the country and a whole lot of problems. But if you read the article, that was one of about four or five things that I said?
STEPHANOPOULOS: I did read it.
SANTORUM: ? and I talked about the problems within the church. I wrote the article in 2002. Ted Kennedy and John Kennedy wrote no articles in 2002 criticizing this church. I went out and talked to bishops. I went out and talked to cardinals. I was very concerned. I was offended and hurt by a church that betrayed me by not doing what they should have done, and I was angered by that, and I spoke out about it, and I spoke loudly about it.
The senators from Massachusetts did nothing. They spoke nothing. They sat by and let this happen.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So you?re standing your ground
Senator Batshit Crazy said other things, but clearly, he's both stupid and a maniac. He didn't mention how he thinks birth control "harms the country" as he did on CNN. Yeah. So what will the former Senator from Falls Church do when he is out of work. I know he makes a nod at living in Pittsburgh, but come on.
And mesage to Hillary: no matter what you do, this is how they think about you.
The Ishtar Sheraton Hotel is reflected in a pool of water at a new park on the banks of the Tigris River in Baghdad in this March 21, 2005 file photo. In the months after the invasion, the Sheraton Baghdad was a veritable hive, buzzing with businessmen, politicians, journalists and the military. Now it is all but dead, a symbol of how Iraq's worsening insurgency is sucking the life out of the city
I haven't written about Iraq in a while, but I wanted to discuss why liberal warhawks are so wrong.
If you are a reader of Bill Lind. Tony Cordesman or any of the professional military experts, not ideologues like Max Boot and Victor Davis Hansen, you have concluded long ago, our war in Iraq is a folly.
We cannot establish any kind of order in Iraq, and it's not just the streets. Saddam's trial ended in a brawl, the politicians cannot make up their mind on what to call the country and the police forces are completely penetrated by the resistance.
There is nothing current US forces can do to win the war. The Iraqis can contest any ground and control most of the cities. When poligenerals say the Iraqi forces will be ready, that's a lie, a baldface lie. Half the people you need are killing Americans.
First of all, the Iraqis are little better than merceneries. Every time a car bomb blows up in from of a police station, someone gave them the info they needed. Second, the leadership is weak.
Remember, Iraqis withstood eight years of brutal warfare against Iran. There are a lot of good small unit and company and battalion leaders in the country. Just not fighting for us.
The liberals argue that we can't leave Iraq a mess.
Have they seen Iraqi politics lately? A minister wants to ban liquor sales at the airport. You can't even drive to the airport without bodyguards, yet this is his priority. Iranian agent of influence Ahmed Chalabi runs the oil ministry. Badly, but he runs it all the same.
Iraqis are far more interested in their grudges than running a country. The Kurds think they can either get their way or have their country. Sure, under the treads of Turkish tanks. It is as if we found the worst people possible to form a government, then expected them to perform.
But the liberal warhawks foolishly accept Bush's definitions and assessments, when they are highly flawed.
Rumsfeld's transformation is a disaster in the making. The US has exposed how horribly it does basic infantry tasks, as the bodies litter Iraq. They seem to think it's just a matter of adjusting a few things and fixing what is a deeply flawed policy. It isn't. From the day the first Thunder Run took place in Baghdad, the US didn't have the army to win this war.
Bush's America first policy doomed the US in Iraq from the start. Normally, Pakistani and Indian troops would have done the basic security tasks and area patrolling. But since intervention in Iraq would have meant government toppling riots, that didn't happen and the resistance filled right in.
When you hear someone like Joe Biden talk about internationalization, you have to wonder if he's been dipping into Arlen Spector's pain meds. Tony Blair has his job because everyone else is too incompetent to do it. No European government can now join us in Iraq. They would be tossed out of office overnight. Those that did are pulling back. What started out as a way to make friends with the US, has turned into a political disaster.
And then you have Peter "PNAC's Bitch" Beinart signing on to some manifesto they came up with. They failed. Why endorse them?
But what is clear and the warhawks need to realize it and come to understand that we will leave the Iraqis to their fate:
1) No one wants to fight this war. When you ask liberal warhawks to enlist, they act as if you are insane. If they won't fight, no one else will
2) Iraqis talk support, but back the resistance to a frightening degree. The resistance's intelligent net is comprehensive.
3) The current Iraqi government is not only corrupt, but in hock to Iran.
With these conditions, we will only fail in Iraq. It is time to realize that and leave.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Jeff Cunningham scored twice in the final five minutes as the Major League Soccer All-Stars' beat England's Fulham FC 4-1 on Saturday.
Cunningham came on as a substitute in the 68th minute and struck from eight yards out off a header to his foot from D.C. United midfielder Christian Gomez with five minutes left. Four minutes later, New England's Shalrie Joseph sprang Cunningham, who dribbled in and beat goalkeeper Jaroslav Drobny.
The crowd of 23,309 roared at the late goals from Cunningham, a longtime Columbus Crew standout who went to Colorado in the offseason.
The MLS struck 23 minutes in when Landon Donovan wound up with the ball following a Fulham turnover. Donovan slipped a pass into the box past U.S. national team teammate Carlos Bocanegra to New England forward Taylor Twellman, who beat goalkeeper Mark Crossley.
Drobny replaced Crossley when he was injured a few minutes later.
Donovan and Twellman nearly connected again four minutes after the goal, but Twellman's shot from the right side flew wide left.
Fulham leveled in the 36th minute when Chris Albright was whistled for knocking down Luis Boa Morte in the penalty box as Boa Morte dribbled toward goal. Claus Jensen's ensuing penalty kick caught keeper Matt Reis moving the wrong way.
That was Fulham's lone good chance of the first half, however, as the MLS side owned the midfield with Donovan and New England teammates Clint Dempsey and Joseph controlling possession.
MLS took back the lead in the 56th minute when Dallas' Ronnie O'Brien deflected a shot from Dempsey just inside the left post for the score.
Dempsey nearly put the MLS on the board in the 3rd minute, controlling a high ball with his back to the goal, then turning and firing from about eight yards out. Bocanegra stepped into an open goal mouth and cleared it for Fulham.
The MLS All-Stars blew mid-table Fulham away. If they didn't have that penalty kick in the first half, they wouldn't have scored at all.
On any given day, any team can beat any other team, but despite two former MLS players on their side, they never seemed to get their act together. No real pressure on the MLS at all, and by the end of the game, they just collapsed.
But the reason I'm posting this is that it comes a couple of days after a tight DC United-Chelsea match.
This is a good thing for US Soccer. Because I think the National team's experience is finally filtering down to MLS. That Columbus stadium was as packed as Anfield on Derby Day. But the US side, in both games, seem to play with a lot more confidence than in past years. The skill level is still pretty wide between a mid-table team like Fulham and most US sides.
I remember how the US team just collapsed in the 1998 World Cup, then came back and played harder than any American side had ever done internationally in 2002. They stunned Portugal and played the Germans hard.
What is clear from this match is two things: the US has a growing talent pool, both in league play and with the internationals. And there is an audience for soccer in the US.
It you've noticed, soccer's best teams are going to Asia and the US for their summer exhibitions. I saw Barca play Yokahama, Real Madrid play the Taiwanese national team, as well as the US matches. This is no accident. The exhibition matches get good attendence and good press. What is clear is that there is a growing audience for soccer in the US, because they understand the game. A mother who played soccer is far more likely to take her soccer playing children to these matches. The WNBA is far more family friendly than the NBA, with it's insane ticket prices and night games.
This reenforces soccer as a global sport. And appeals to many, many Americans as well. And the media is coming around as well. Soccer is no longer a footnore in SI, and Jim Rome's rantings are increasingly silly and irrelevant. The only single sport cable channel is Fox's Soccer Channel, which means there is an audience for the sport in the US.
After years of rank US soccer incompetence, it's nice to see the US building on their 2002 performance at the World Cup with solid players and a growing fan base.
SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands - By jogging at sunset on the white sands of a palm-fringed beach here, 17-year-old Audrey O. Bricia is doing more than toning up for her next try in this island's Miss Philippines contest. She is getting in shape for United States Army boot camp.
Audrey O. Bricia, 17, in the Northern Marianas, sees the Army as a way to nursing school .
To gain an edge on the competition for enlistment, she reserved a seat two days in advance to take Army's aptitude test on a recent Saturday morning here. Safely ensconced in her seat, she watched an Army recruiter turn away 10 latecomers, all new high school graduates.
"I am scared about Iraq, but I am going to have to give something in return for those benefits I want," said Ms. Bricia, a daughter of Filipino immigrants whose ambition is to attend nursing school in California.
From Pago Pago in American Samoa to Yap in Micronesia, 4,000 miles to the west, Army recruiters are scouring the Pacific, looking for high school graduates to enlist at a time when the Iraq war is turning off many candidates in the States.
The Army has found fertile ground in the poverty pockets of the Pacific. The per capita income is $8,000 in American Samoa, $12,500 in the Northern Marianas and $21,000 in Guam, all United States territories. In the Marshalls and Micronesia, former trust territories, per capita incomes are about $2,000.
The Army minimum signing bonus is $5,000. Starting pay for a private first class is $17,472. Education benefits can be as much as $70,000.
"You can't beat recruiting here in the Marianas, in Micronesia," said First Sgt. Olympio Magofna, who grew up on Saipan and oversees Pacific recruiting for the Army from his base in Guam. "In the states, they are really hurting," he said. "But over here, I can afford go play golf every other day."
Here, where "America starts its day," the Army recruiting station in Guam has 4 of the Army's top 12 "producers." While small in real terms, enlistments from Guam, Saipan, and American Samoa are the nation's highest per capita. Saipan, with a population of about 60,000 American citizens and green card holders, has 245 soldiers in Iraq.
[American Samoa, population of 67,000, has lost six soldiers in Iraq, most recently Staff Sgt. Frank F. Tiai of Pago Pago on July 17. Guam has lost three. Saipan has lost one.]
"I see yellow ribbons everywhere," Staff Sgt. Levi Suiaunoa said by telephone from the Army recruiting station in Pago Pago, capital of the territory. " 'Come home safely' signs almost litter the streets."
Despite the casualties, poverty and patriotism fuel enlistments.
"I buried at least one myself, but it hasn't stopped the number of recruits going in," said the Rev. J. Quinn Weitzel, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Samoa-Pago Pago. "They still feel like they want to do something special for the United States."
In Guam and Saipan, the letters U.S.A. are emblazoned on license plates, as if to educate tourists that these territories are American.
FARMVILLE, Va. - Warren Brown was about to enter first grade in 1959 when officials chained up the public schools in Prince Edward County rather than allow black children to sit beside white children in a classroom.
Leola Bailey, Alda Boothe, Warren Brown, Rita Moseley and Barbara Springwere among those locked out of Virginia schools in the 1950's.
Without the resources to send him away, his mother kept him at home for four years, until she found a local church offering classes to black children.
Mr. Brown graduated from high school in 1972, winning basketball scholarships from three colleges, only to turn them down because he feared the academics would have been too challenging.
"I didn't get a proper foundation," he said. "If you're not prepared, what good is the school going to do for you?"
This fall, however, Mr. Brown, at the age of 51, plans to go to college to study criminal justice.
Five decades after Virginia ignored the actions of Prince Edward County and other locales that shut down their public schools in support of segregation, the state is making a rare effort to confront its racist past, in effect apologizing and offering reparations in the form of scholarships.
With a $1 million donation from the billionaire media investor John Kluge and a matching amount from the state, Virginia is providing up to $5,500 a year for any state resident, like Mr. Brown, who was denied a proper education when public schools shut down. So far, more than 80 people have been approved for the scholarships, and the number is expected to rise. Several thousand are potentially eligible, many of them now well into their 60's.
Rita Moseley, 58, was about to go into the sixth grade when the schools were closed. Her mother sent her more than 120 miles away to Blacksburg, Va., to live with an elderly woman and her daughter - "total strangers," she said - just to attend a public school willing to accept black children.
Currently a secretary in the high school she would have been barred from attending, she plans to use her scholarship to study business management.
"A lot of us still feel hurt, anger and bitterness," Ms. Moseley said. "I've talked with grown people, now 50, 60 years old. Some have been able to move on. Some haven't. Some are still trying to figure it all out."
And many, she said sadly, will never have the chance.
Most of the applicants who have come forward still live here in Prince Edward County, deep in the Bible belt of southern Virginia, where an important chapter of America's struggle with civil rights played out. A 1951 lawsuit challenging segregation was consolidated with four others to become the 1954 landmark case Brown v. Board of Education, which said separate but equal education for blacks and whites was unconstitutional.
Officials here largely ignored the decision, emboldened by state law passed in 1956 known as "massive resistance" that created a voucher program to allow white children to attend private schools. The Farmville Herald, the local newspaper, said in a March 20, 1959, editorial, describing efforts by outsiders to enforce Brown, "It is all part of the diabolical Communist plan to disrupt American life and reduce the white race to impotency."
In June 1959, the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors withdrew all financial support of public schools as a way to close them and skirt the order of the Brown decision. Intended for black children, it was a decision that affected white families as well. Even with the state vouchers, not all of them could afford tuition at the private schools, which makes whites eligible for the scholarships as well.
Enough to close the public schools rathet than have their kids educated with blacks
Posted Jul 28, 2005, 1:40 PM ET by Jason Calacanis
Jerry Michalski broke it down for me years ago. I was hosting a brunch for him at my loft in New York after he had moved out West. Over some H&H bagels we talked about happiness, something he always seemed to have in abundance. He told me that we humans were simple creatures at the end of the day: we just wanted to make a living doing something we loved.
Wow. That stuck with me.
WIN's outward facing business model?the one the public experiences-is as a long tail publisher. We've got a bunch blogs, a bunch of bloggers, and a bunch of advertisers. We surf Chris' long tail to profitability. Case closed, you can file us away in your dotcom history books as the latest evolution of the AOL Greenhouse, GeoCities, and About.com breed.
However, the truth is that what we are creating has nothing to do with publishing. What we're creating is a lifestyle for passionate people that *results* in our outward facing business model.
These days we don't spend time saying asking ourselves how can we make better blogs, we spend our time saying how can we support our bloggers better?
Our bloggers work for a couple of hours a day and magically a check arrives every month (100+ checks last month). Every couple of months the check gets a little bigger and the blogger's love and knowledge of their topic grows deeper. The blogging becomes easier and more rewarding the more bloggers blog. The community gets more involved and their jobs get even easier and more rewarding.
We give them raises when they don't expect it. We send them to trade shows they always wanted to attend, but never had a chance too. We have a total blast when we go to these trade shows-it's a party!
The dream is to have hundreds of people working for a couple of hours a day about a subject they love without having to answer to a boss. Without being filtered. If someone loses their passion for a subject they cn simple glide over to another subject in the network and become inspired all over again. If they have two or three passions in their life they blog about all of them as much-or as little-as they want.
No filters, no politics, no commute, and no office.
And when you go to college, it will be easy to get laid.
Let me tell you a story about the writer of this horseshit, Jason Calacanis.
First, so there is no misunderstanding, I have always thought he was full of shit. He's always had money to fuck around with. He had a magazine, tried to do some shit with VC's and is now trying to set up some kind of blog empire.
Ok, so Jen, the Netslaves guys and I are at a conference of online writers. With us is John Lee. John is an old school hacker and the smartest guy I know. He's also a big fucking guy. He really hates Calacanis because of some shit. So, on stage, John says he basically wants to smack the shit out of him. Calacanis blanched. Because John is old school Brooklyn as well, and he's not into idle threats.
No violence occured, but John just ripped into him.
It was fun to watch.
Now it's my turn.
In yesterday's Salon, there was a long article on snake oil salesman Kevin Trudeau. Calacanis is an online snakeoil salesman.
Everything he wrote is bullshit.
Easier? Maybe with his canned blogs, but in my world, this gets harder every day. Yesterday was libel law day. Like the SEALS say, the only easy day was yesterday
He thinks this is some kind of utopia? Bullshit. If his bloggers are working a few hours a day, their blogs aren't very good. He compares it to those lame ass projects like About.com when it isn't anything like that.
This guy has been on the make for years and this doesn't surprise me.
But his blogs are dull and uniform and the writing didn't stop me in my tracks.
But let me explain something: any asshole calling himself chief happiness officer is going to fuck someone over at some time. Writing is hard work. It isn't easy and it isn't always fun. He likes the hype of being a blog impresario but he isn't so worried about the quality of his content. That's the hard part.
It isn't all parties and fun, trust me on that, and spouting that shit, and how easy it all is, pissed me off, because it's a crock of shit.
He was a dotcom failure and with his pollyanna attitude, blog failure is next.
If you no longer marvel at the Internet's power to connect and transform the world, you need to hear the story of a woman known to many around the globe as, loosely translated, Dog Poop Girl.
Recently, the woman was on the subway in her native South Korea when her dog decided that this was a good place to do its business.The woman made no move to clean up the mess, and several fellow travelers got agitated. The woman allegedly grew belligerent in response.
What happened next was a remarkable show of Internet force, and a peek into an unsettling corner of the future.One of the train riders took pictures of the incident with a camera phone and posted them on a popular Web site. Net dwellers soon began to call her by the unflattering nickname, and issued a call to arms for more information about her.
According to one blog that has covered the story, "within days, her identity and her past were revealed. Requests for information about her parents and relatives started popping up and people started to recognize her by the dog and the bag she was carrying," because her face was partially obscured by her hair.
Online discussion groups crackled with chatter about every shred of the woman's life that could be found, and with debate over whether the Internet mob had gone too far. The incident became national news in South Korea and even was discussed in Sunday sermons in Korean churches in the Washington area.Humiliated in public and indelibly marked, the woman reportedly quit her university.
It was the clarion call of one well-known blogger, for example, that led to answers about the dubious press credentials of Jeff Gannon, who attended White House news conferences and asked questions that favored President Bush and attacked Democrats.
But the mob went further, reporting and speculating on aspects of Gannon's private life.
The problem was that the whole thing exploded because she violated a social norm, which is cleanilness. Which was a major deal
So being a whore with online ads is now private life? I doubt that they can use that argument in Anacostia"It's none of your business who's dick I suck for money."They would laugh as they shoved her in the paddy wagon
What happened to this girl is excessive. There was no need to expose her parents. But Guckert is a horse of a different color.
On the Web you'll find the Infinite Cat Project but no Infinite Dog. My Cat Hates You is big on the Web, but there is no site named My Dog Hates You. (Dogs Hate Bush exists, but then so does Cats Hate Bush.) As any good Web hound can tell you, Rathergood.com is filled with crazy crooning cats. But where, oh where, are the singing dogs? (New Guinea singing dogs, a real breed, do not count.)
Cats are the Web's it-animals. They're everywhere. When you look up Devil Cats, you'll see comics about cat owners who love too much and the cats that cheat on them. Look up Devil Dogs, and you'll be offered apparel for the Marine Corps and information about Drake's cakes. Under the heading "Animal Antics," ifilm.com has four "Viral Videos" of cats, none of dogs. There are tons of badly drawn cats at www.tiddles.co.uk, but there's no such site for dogs.
Sure, there are dog sites aplenty, including fanciers' sites, funny sites and even an occasional hoax site, like thedogisland.com. But most don't have the buzz of Infinite Cat or Rathergood.
Why cats and not dogs?
Perhaps mycathatesyou.com will provide a clue. This site, founded in 2000, offers what it calls "the largest collection of sour-faced, indignant felines on the Internet." There you can see a squinty-eyed, snaggletoothed cat named Guapo, who appears ready to tear someone's head off. If you posted a picture of a dog as scary as that, no one would laugh. They would send for the dogcatcher.
Now take a look at Litterboxcam.com, where a live camera is trained on the litter boxes of two cats, Grey and Black. Every 60 seconds the image is refreshed. Counting down to zero and waiting for the cats to come into the frame is strangely and annoyingly suspenseful.
But if you Google poop and dog, you'll be led to a site called smellypoop.com/photogallery.html, which is more disgusting than funny. Or you may find the story of the "dog poop girl," also known as the "puppy poo girl," or in Korean "gae-ttong-nyue," which, believe it or not, is also not funny.
This is her story. Last month a woman let her dog relieve itself on the subway in Seoul. She was caught, by a cellphone camera, doing nothing about it. Within days, her picture, her identity, her family's identity and her past were revealed to the world on the Web. She quit her university in shame. The Washington Post and The Columbia Journalism Review weighed in. On Wikipedia there's already a "dog poop girl" entry logged, and a movement to delete it.
Because cats are inside animals and it's a lot easier to get a decent cat shot than a dog shot.
SAN FRANCISCO, July 29 - It was with great fanfare that Hewlett-Packard announced in January 2004 that it would begin selling Apple's digital music player, the iPod, in a deal that was cast as a major step forward for both companies.
Earlier this week, however, Hewlett-Packard quietly retreated from that deal when it informed Apple it would stop selling the iPod. A spokeswoman for Apple suggested that the move hardly mattered given how minor a role Hewlett has played in the spreading popularity of the iPod.
In the quarter that ended June 30, Apple sold 6.16 million iPods, said Katie Cotton, a spokeswoman for Apple. Hewlett sold fewer than 500,000 units during that three-month period, Ms. Cotton said, accounting for just under 8 percent of all iPods sold that quarter.
"H.-P.'s iPod sales have counted for on average for 5 percent of all iPods sold since the deal was originally struck," she said.
Ross Camp, a spokesman for Hewlett, did not dispute those numbers, but added that "in general our Apple iPod sales met and exceeded our expectations." Asked why the company had stopped selling the iPod, Mr. Camp said, "basically we determined that reselling the iPod did not fit within our current digital entertainment strategy, but we're not providing any other details on that decision right now."
The decision, four months into the tenure of Mark V. Hurd, the company's chief executive, represents the pulling of the plug on yet another program begun by Carleton S. Fiorina, the former chief executive who was fired by the board in February.
By LARRY ROHTER and JUAN FORERO Published: July 30, 2005
RIO DE JANEIRO, July 29 - As he campaigned for the presidency in 2002, Luiz In�cio Lula da Silva boldly pledged to clean up the sordid politics of Brazil. His, he vowed, would be an ethical, honest and moral government the likes of which Brazil had never seen.
President Luiz In�cio Lula da Silva of Brazil promised an honest government, but a party functionary was caught smuggling $100,000.
That pledge helped him win the votes of more than 50 million Brazilians and a sweeping mandate. But now, in a gloomy echo of what has happened time and again across Latin America, Mr. da Silva's government is mired in the biggest, most audacious corruption scandal in his country's history.
A congressional inquiry has heard testimony that the governing Workers' Party paid dozens of deputies from other parties a $12,500 monthly stipend for their support. This month, a party functionary was detained at an airport with $100,000 - stashed in his underwear - which he claimed to have earned selling vegetables.
Mr. da Silva's chief aide has been forced to resign, as have the president, secretary general and treasurer of the Workers' Party. While Mr. da Silva has not yet been accused in the scheme, speculation that he could face impeachment is widespread, and the first street demonstrations against him, small but indignant, started this week.
Brazil's scandal is just the latest reminder of the unremitting corruption that has marked Latin American politics since colonial times, when absolute rulers regarded newly conquered realms in the New World as their personal property. The important difference today is that popularly elected governments now hold sway, and corruption has emerged as one of the gravest threats to the hard-won democratic gains of the last 20 years.
Across the region, these second-generation democrats have proved a disappointment, and their ineffectiveness and low standing have allowed political instability and economic disparity to grow. Opinion polls routinely cite corruption as a top cause for a dangerous disillusionment sweeping the region. The disaffection has led to violent popular outbursts, including the lynching of public officials in Peru, and has helped force out eight heads of state in five years.
"This is the great problem, and there simply has not been a break from the past," said Edgar Villanueva, a congressman who is leading one of several investigations of the government of President Alejandro Toledo in Peru. "What has happened in Latin America is we have not been able to get good people into power. The person in power always maintains ties to his small power base, and they forget the people, they forget their promises."
Mr. Toledo, too, came to power with similar pledges to clean up past corruption, succeeding a government under Alberto K. Fujimori, whose byzantine networks of bribery and extortion seemed to set a new standard for the region.
Today more than a dozen of Mr. Toledo's relatives, including his wife and brothers, are accused of using their influence for personal gain. Opinion polls give him among the lowest ratings of any Latin American leader, and his government has been bled by nearly constant media sniping over the scandals. Similar accusations in Ecuador contributed to the fall of President Lucio Guti�rrez in April.
Farther north the story is nearly the same. In Mexico, President Vicente Fox came to power in 2000, sweeping out the notoriously corrupt and authoritarian Institutional Revolutionary Party that governed for more than seven decades. But he has failed on almost every front to reverse corruption's course, from police departments along the increasingly violent border with the United States to scandals in his own administration.
Not only have Mr. Fox's efforts to prosecute former government officials suspected of funneling state oil money into political campaigns come to naught, but it has come to light that his own campaign fund, Friends of Fox, took illegal contributions. His wife, Marta Sahag�n de Fox, is embroiled in a series of scandals over the use of millions of dollars flowing into her charity organization, and her sons have come under congressional scrutiny for contracts they won to build public housing.
Why do Mexicans move to the US, well, this is one reason.
Postage Stamp Honors B-24 Liberator Shot Down Just Short of WWII Victory
Sixty years after the Black Cat bomber was downed over Germany, the B-24 Liberator is commemorated on a postage stamp. Ten of the crew died in the crash just before the end of the war in Europe, including Howard Goodner, kneeling second from right; and pilot Richard Farrington, standing third from right
By Neely Tucker Washington Post Staff Writer Saturday, July 30, 2005; Page C01
Howard Goodner plunged out of the Black Cat, the last American bomber shot down over Germany in World War II, early on the morning of April 21, 1945. The B-24 Liberator was hit at 22,000 feet and broke into pieces.
Goodner, just 21, had no parachute. He came down in a free fall alongside bombs and oxygen tanks, spinning toward the Bavarian village of Scharmassing.
He landed in a field outside town, his body striking the earth so hard that it left a crater nearly six inches deep.
Maria Wittig, then 19, saw him there. He was athletic looking, fair-skinned, handsome. Long fingers.
"I can see him before me," she told an interviewer, a half century later, so clear was her memory. Shown a picture of the entire crew, she picked out Goodner immediately. "That's him," she said, her voice breaking.
The story of Goodner, the Black Cat and Maria Wittig is 60 years old. Other wars have come and gone, but the story has never really died, living on in the small shadows of the greatest generation.
Yesterday at a ceremony in Vienna, the Black Cat was immortalized on a U.S. postage stamp, that diminutive marker of historical American moments large and small.
Part of a series of 10 commemorative aviation stamps, this one shows the Black Cat still intact, still in flight, over the pastoral fields where it would crash. Nothing on the stamp denotes the plane's tragic end.
"The plane being shot down at the very end of the war -- it has haunted my family for so many years, and I finally went to Germany and found the crash site," says Thomas Childers, Goodner's nephew, whose 1995 book, "Wings of Morning," chronicled the story of the plane and its crew. "This farmer started scratching around in the dirt, and he pulled out a 50-caliber machine gun bullet. I was speechless. Every year when they plow, parts of the plane come to the surface."
"My family just never got over it," says Robert Layton in a telephone interview from Indianapolis yesterday. He is the cousin of the doomed plane's pilot, Richard "Dickie" Farrington.
"There's still a lot of resentment against the Axis side. I won't drive a German or Japanese car to this day. My aunt, Richard's mother, never could move out of her house until the day she died a few years ago.
"She wasn't mental, but she just couldn't get it out of her head that Dickie might have been in an institution all these years. She thought he'd come home and she would have moved. He'd never be able to find us."
By Robin Wright and Ann Scott Tyson Washington Post Staff Writers Saturday, July 30, 2005; Page A01
Uzbekistan formally evicted the United States yesterday from a military base that has served as a hub for combat and humanitarian missions to Afghanistan since shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Pentagon and State Department officials said yesterday.
In a highly unusual move, the notice of eviction from Karshi-Khanabad air base, known as K2, was delivered by a courier from the Uzbek Foreign Ministry to the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent, said a senior U.S. administration official involved in Central Asia policy. The message did not give a reason. Uzbekistan will give the United States 180 days to move aircraft, personnel and equipment, U.S. officials said.
If Uzbekistan follows through, as Washington expects, the United States will face several logistical problems for its operations in Afghanistan. Scores of flights have used K2 monthly. It has been a landing base to transfer humanitarian goods that then are taken by road into northern Afghanistan, particularly to Mazar-e Sharif -- with no alternative for a region difficult to reach in the winter. K2 is also a refueling base with a runway long enough for large military aircraft. The alternative is much costlier midair refueling.
Ooops. We should haven't said anything about the boiling
McGruder, stop drawing those subversive cartoons and put your hands up before we come get your black ass.
Fat piece of shit Bernie Goldberg has the new enemies list. If I was on it, Bernie would be sued for defamation of character so quick his ass would spin before his head. Liberals take this shit way too fucking lightly. You want to say I'm ruining America, you better be prepared to do so before a jury.
Why? Because every time someone says this, it gives credence that the only loyal Americans worship dear leader and support conservatives, while we're all commies in waiting.
Win or lose, I don't play that shit. You want to defame my character, you better have some fucking proof or a good lawyer.
There's a new right-wing book out called 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America. Markos makes the list at #52, James Wolcott at #64, and Katha Politt at #74. Go bloggers, but I have to say I am disappointed I failed to make it (maybe someday). By the way, that makes Markos and Wolcott greater threats than David Duke according to the author. I have included the list in the extended entry.
Anyway, its counter-list time. List off as many names of people who you think are "screwing up" America. Remember--they don't just have to be political,a nd they don't have to just be Republicans.
My list: bitter ex-CBS employee, fat piece of shit Bernie Goldberg. Maybe he and Ed Klein should rent an office and think up of ways to attack more liberals. Maybe grab a drink with the whisky-sodden Chris "Kim Philby" Hitchens
Jim, I am not happy with this. I thought you had Frist by the balls.
Master is displeased.
Focus Action founder says Senate majority leader's position a "betrayal" of values voters
Colorado Springs, Colo. -- Focus on the Family Action founder and chairman Dr. James C. Dobson issued the following statement today after learning that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., had come out strongly in favor of increased federal funding for destructive embryonic stem-cell research:
?It is an understatement to say that the pro-life community is disappointed by Sen. Frist's decision to join efforts to void President Bush's policy limiting the funding of embryonic stem-cell research. Most distressing is that, in making his announcement, Sen. Frist calls himself a defender of the sanctity of human life -- even though the research he now advocates results, without exception, in the destruction of human life.
"Sen. Frist argues that under the Bush policy, there are insufficient stem-cell lines to maximize what he calls the 'promise' of embryonic stem-cell research. That statement continues the common misconception that embryonic stem cells hold the greatest potential for human healing and therapy. In reality, recently published studies demonstrate that some adult stem cells can form most, if not all, body tissues, just like embryonic cells may be able to do. Furthermore, there will never be a sufficient number of new stem-cell lines to satisfy the sometimes unquenchable thirst for federal money to fund pet projects of researchers. A morally sound line must be drawn at the beginning of this journey into stem-cell research: that no human life is sacrificed for possible or proven scientific gain ? period.
"The media have already begun speculating that Sen. Frist's announcement today is designed to improve his chances of winning the White House in 2008 should he choose to run. If that is the case, he has gravely miscalculated. To push for the expansion of this suspect and unethical science will be rightly seen by America's values voters as the worst kind of betrayal ? choosing politics over principle.
"We urge Sen. Frist to reconsider his position in light of the values he has espoused during his career in public service."
But the miracle metamorphosis didn't happen. Ayad thought he was going to get a new eye; instead he got a contact lens. And the laser surgery that was promised to erase his facial scars will only lighten them, unless he can receive follow-up treatment in the United States or another modern country, which is highly unlikely once he leaves behind the silky sheets and first-class hotels for his mud hut.
Just the sight of an Iraqi flag yesterday, at the Iraqi mission to the United Nations, jolted his father back to reality.
"Can't I stay here and work?" he asked Ambassador Samir Shakir M. Sumaida'ie, Iraq's permanent representative to the United Nations.
When the ambassador gently shook his head, Ayad's father covered his face and cried.
Ayad arrived in New York on July 13, and soon began skin laser treatment by Dr. Tina Alster, a dermatologist in Washington, who zapped 2,500 ugly blue freckles on his face. His most recent treatment was on Monday, which is why his face is now so sore.
Ayad also saw a number of eye doctors in Baltimore. But he was unable to get the cornea transplant that was needed to restore his full vision because the optic nerve in his right eye was destroyed. Instead, doctors gave him a specially made cosmetic contact lens that turns his milky blue eye back to brown. He quickly lost it, though his sponsors hope to send him a spare.
A tiny piece of shrapnel was found near the retina of his good eye, which at first was thought to require surgery. But a retina specialist determined that the shrapnel was not hurting Ayad's vision and that it would be too risky to remove it.
Then came the V.I.P. treatment. Ayad and his father met Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, who has worked to increase financing for civilian casualties.
Mr. Leahy told Ayad that he is blind in one eye, too.
"If I can be a senator with one eye, you can be prime minister," Mr. Leahy said. Ayad beamed.
They had lunch at the Pentagon with Robert Reilly, a Defense Department adviser who helped smooth the way for the visit. Ayad saluted a picture of the president, saying in English, "Bush, very, very good."
Meanwhile, his father was boiling inside. During an interview with an Arab television network, he went into a tirade about being promised money and gifts.
"I demand to face George W. Bush, and I have some things to say straight to him," he said.
On Wednesday afternoon, the two were more somber. They were scheduled to leave New York on an 11 p.m. flight for the Middle East and the sight of their suitcases stuffed with new clothes, cameras and Herbal Essence shampoo depressed them.
"I thought the Americans could do everything," Ayad's father said.
I can't decide how cruel this is, but God is it cruel.
The more I'm reading about Judy Miller and her actions leading up to and during the early days of the war, and then through the unfolding Plame-Rove-Libby-Gonzalez-Card scandal, the more I'm struck by the special access and relationships she enjoyed with many of the key players in the Iraq debacle (which, at the end of the day, is really what Plamegate is all about).
For starters, of course, we have her still unfolding involvement in the Plame leak. Earlier this month, Howard Kurtz reported that Miller and Libby spoke a few days before Novak outed Plame -- and I'm hearing that the Libby/Miller conversation occurred over breakfast in Washington. Did Valerie Plame come up -- and, if so, who brought her up' There is no question that Miller was angry at Joe Wilson' and continues to be. A social acquaintance of Miller told me that, once, when she spoke of Wilson, it was with 'a passionate and heated disgust that went beyond the political and included an irrelevant bit of deeply personal innuendo about him, her mouth twisting in hatred.'
Miller's special relationships go much further than Scooter Libby, Richard Perle and the rest of the neocon establishment. Take her involvement as an embedded reporter during the war with the Pentagon's Mobile Exploitation Team (MET) Alpha -- the unit charged with hunting down Saddam's WMD. As extensively reported by both Kurtz and New York Magazine's Franklin Foer, Miller's time with the unit was highly unusual.
First, there was the fact that she landed the plumb assignment in the first place. It would give her first dibs on the biggest story of the war' the hoped-for reveal of Saddam's much-touted WMD (with much of the touting done by Miller herself and her special sources). Was this the reward for her pro-administration prewar reporting'
Foer cites military and New York Times sources as saying that Miller's assignment was so sensitive that Don Rumsfeld himself signed off on it. Once embedded, Miller acted as much more than a reporter. Kurtz quotes one military officer as saying that the MET Alpha unit became a 'Judith Miller team.' Another officer said that Miller "came in with a plan. She was leading them" She ended up almost hijacking the mission.' A third officer, a senior staffer of the 75th Exploitation Task Force, of which MET Alpha was a part, put it this way: "It's impossible to exaggerate the impact she had on the mission of this unit, and not for the better."
What did Miller do to create such an impression' According to Kurtz, she wasn't afraid to throw her weight around, threatening to write critical stories and complain to her friends in very high places if things didn't go her way. 'Judith,' said an Army officer, 'was always issuing threats of either going to the New York Times or to the secretary of defense. There was nothing veiled about that threat.'
In one specific instance, she used her friendship with Major General David Petraeus to force a lower ranking officer to reverse an order she was unhappy about. (Can we stop for a moment and take the full measure of how unbelievable this whole thing is')
Miller also had a special, ten-year relationship with Ahmed Chalabi, which led to the MET Alpha unit, which had no special training in interrogation or intelligence, being given custody of Saddam Hussein's son-in-law, Sultan. Miller was even allowed to sit in on the initial questioning of Sultan -- a turn of events that didn't go down well with some Pentagon officials.
Miller apparently ended up developing an especially close relationship with Chief Warrant Officer Richard Gonzalez, the leader of the MET Alpha unit. Along with puffing him up in some of her dispatches -- once describing his 'meeting tonight with Mr. Chalabi to discuss nonproliferation issues' -- Miller took the unusual step of taking part in the ceremony where Gonzalez was promoted, actually pinning his new rank to his uniform (has the bizarreness of all this hit you yet').
Later, when Miller's reporting came under serious fire, Gonzalez was only too happy to return the favor, writing an impassioned response to the Times' Iraq reporting mea culpa. 'We have been deeply disturbed,' Gonzalez wrote in a letter to the Times that was co-signed by a pair of his colleagues, 'by the mischaracterizations of the operation and of [Miller's] reporting' We were particularly disturbed by the recent New York Times editor's note apologizing for having been 'taken in' by WMD 'misinformation' and citing one article she wrote while embedded with our unit' We strongly disagree with that assertion and remain firmly supportive of the accuracy of her accounts of the events she described, as well as other articles she wrote while embedded with our unit.' Wow. I'm kinda surprised he didn't sign it 'JM + MET Alpha, N.A.F (Now and Forever)'.
But Gonzalez and his pals seem to be the only ones standing behind the accuracy of Miller's reporting. Even the administration is no longer barking up that tree, with top weapons hunter Charles Duelfer closing his investigation this spring saying that the search for WMD 'has been exhausted' without finding any -- while at the same time dismissing the Miller-touted claim that WMD had been shipped to Syria just before the U.S. invaded.
So the WMD investigation has ended. But the investigation into Judy Miller's role -- both in the WMD fiasco and the Plame scandal -- is just beginning.
Oh, and in a promotion ceremony, usually the person pinning the new rank on you is VERY close to you, like a wife, parent, you get the hint, right.
Maybe that's one reason her husband is sunning himself in Spain while his wife dances with Negroes.
What prompted the committee's entry into the Schmidt-Hackett race was a comment made by Hackett in a USA Today article published Thursday. Hackett, talking about his service as a marine in Iraq, is quoted as saying, "I've said I don't like the son-of-a-b--- that lives in the White House. But I'd put my life on the line for him."
Because Hackett said that, Forti said, "we decided to bury him."
So remember, the GOP want to bury Hackett, something the Iraqis couldn't quite pull off. Because he spoke badly of dear leader.
Isn't it nice to have the GOP help spur fundraising? :)
Can we sue to get the Republicans to stop using us as their logo? We're not small minded and cruel, are we mom?
After reading Joe Braun's silly letter, I think I can conclude he's a stupid man.
I mean, why would you use the same e-mail for sex and politics? What? Was he too lazy to use another addess? And now to threaten a libel action because his own carelessness was exposed? Come on. Was he asleep in class when they explained the discovery process? Sue, and his entire sex life becomes fair game.
But that letter was sent to scare someone who didn't know better, kids.
We are not kids.
Most of us have had other careers and are adults. We aren't just out of college and we know a little about how the world works.
The image of bloggers is of young, bright guys. Well, there are those who fit that model, Matt Stoller, Big Media Matt, the Pandagon folks, but others of us are old and crusty and know how to gauge threats. And if someone wants to have me debate their sexlife in open court, fine. It's stupid beyond words, but if you want to examine the details, fine.
But it goes beyond silly letters from a troubled campaign.
A lot of Dem campaigns want online money, but they kiss our asses, not listen to us.
We are expert in what we do. We know how the medium works.
Let's be blunt, Paul Hackett would be limping along and his staff unable to do much without that $300K we collectively gave him. We, not his staff, turned the race from a forlorn hope to a winnable race. This isn't to say that I have a problem with them, I don't.I've sent them money and urge you to do the same But, as someone asked me, what are we getting for that money?
In this case, to demonstrate we can lead the way in races, and create buzz. The DCCC, the House funding arm, should take their lead from blogs in the sense that bloggers are betting their money and the money of their readers on these candidates. Not just shuffling other people's money around.
But it isn't an open spring. You just can't ask for money without a sound reason.
Campaign staffs have not really adjusted to the online world well, and Mr. Braun's idiotic letter demonstrates that he doesn't fully get that he's not dealing with A person, but a community. We stick up and help each other. In a few hours, his name, past writings and membership in the bar became known. Not from bloggers, but from readers. People in the street. We are not just a few people working alone. There are many unseen and unackowledge hands helping us.
And I think some Dems better realize that as well. If you burn one of us, a lot of us are going to stand up for that person. If you want our help, you have to realize we're not an open bank. There better be a good reason to give you money and support your candidacy.
We aren't just a spigot to pay your bills. Nor are we gullible kids.
I'm not talking about a movement or anything like that. Just the practical reality that the online world is a useful tool in politics, but to get the most out of it, you have to understand it is moved by ideas and consensus.
And we aren't your lackies. You don't order us around like the staff. We help because we choose to and we can choose to help other people and spend our time in different ways.
We are here to help, if we can. But not for any one and not at any price.