The World O' Crap Archive

Welcome to the Collected World O' Crap, a comprehensive library of posts from the original Salon Blog, and our successor site, (2006 to 2010).

Current posts can be found here.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

March 3, 2005 by s.z.

Perry Mason Must Be So Proud

Via Roy at Alicublog, we learn that K. Lo is not just one of our nation's foremost experts on the Brad/Jen split, but is also a legal scholar (oh, and that she really is that stupid):
There is 
a very interesting piece in the Wichita Eagle today: “Investigators -- trying to hide from Dennis Rader that they were zeroing in on him as a BTK suspect -- obtained DNA before his arrest through a tissue sample linked to his daughter's medical records, sources say.” Interesting, most especially, in light of the outrage over the Kansas attorney general trying to obtain medical records from abortion clinics in seeking to prosecute crimes.
Posted at 01:02 PM
But hey, here's another Kathryn Jean post about medical records from a few months back:
Rush's lawyer, Roy Black, 
in the Journal, on the seemingly blatantly unjust pursuit of the radio talk-show host in Palm Beach County. Here's some of it:
Over the past six months, Palm Beach County State Attorney Barry Krischer has: raided drugstores near Rush's home; seized his medical records without going through the required process enacted by the Florida legislature to protect medical privacy; [snip rest of Barry's work on the behalf of his client]  Posted at 10:23 AM
So, apparently the way it works is:

Since investigators with a warrant were able to obtain DNA linked to medical records (as the DNA was possible evidence in their case against suspected serial killer), then AG Kline should be able to seize the medical records of 90 women who had abortions, so he can see if  the records indicate that possible crimes may have been committed by some other people. 

Oh, but investigators with a warrant shouldn't be able to seize the medical records of admitted addict and suspected black-market drug buyer Rush Limbaugh (records which could be evidence that could help them prosecute him for the crime of "doctor shopping"), because that would violate Rush's medical privacy.
Next time: KLo joins the new "Law & Order" series and prosecutes serial killers and  women who have had abortions, while also exonerating conservative celebrity defendants. 

9:24:41 PM    

Jeff Gannon: So Feared By the Left That It Made Him Offer His Services to Maureen Dowd

Over at, JimJeff is really starting to get into this blogging thing.  He's even introduced a new feature:
Today's Briefing Question
While I am on hiatus from the White House briefing room, I'm going to post the question I would have asked had I been there.  It will be interesting to see if anyone else asks it.
Todays question: "Does Alan Greenspan's recent comment about the economy growing at a 'reasonably good pace' mean that Greenspan agrees that the President is a super genius with a really great bod, and that the Democrats are stinkyheads who are wrong about everything?"   
But my favorite bit is this item from today:
3:50pmTom Bevan has an great piece at Real Clear Politics, PLAYING HARDBALL WITH MAUREEN DOWD, in which he makes some good points about this gal who probably needs a bit of the old Jeff Gannon to relieve some of that pent up whatever. 
I think it's nice that Jeff has finally found a new niche in journalism for himself: servicing the Maureen Dowds, Peggy Noonans, and Sean Hannitys of the world. 
(Hey, Maureen may not be Jeff's type, but a man's gotta do who a man's gotta do.  Escorting has a code of ethics you know -- unlike journalism.) 

7:43:38 PM    

The President and His Traveling Revival Show

From the LA Times:
WASHINGTON — The Bush administration today announced a 60-day, 60-stop barnstorming tour to promote the president's plan for overhauling Social Security, amid signs that public support is slipping and congressional anxiety rising.

President Bush and Treasury Secretary John Snow said they intended to hit the road one or two days a week from now until May 1 to promote Bush's Social Security initiative.
"We'll be taking the message out," Snow said. "We will be meeting with groups of our youngest workers. We'll be meeting with our oldest retirees. We'll be meeting with everybody in between."
"And by "everybody in between," they apparently mean, "some hand-picked people, and you're not one of them."

Say, for instance, you want to get tickets for the President's meeting at Notre Dame.  Well, tough beans, because the local paper says the general public can't get any. 
Tickets to President Bush's trip on Friday to the University of Notre Dame are not being made available to the general public.

Tickets for the president's stop to promote his Social Security reform proposal are being distributed to local groups on a nonpartisan basis through the office of Rep. Chris Chocola, a White House spokesman said.
When asked whether there is any way for the general public to obtain tickets to see the president, Kochvar said, "Not right now."
Kochvar was apparently more blunt in his response to this reporter:
A spokesman for Chocola says there's no way right now that the average person will get a ticket to see the president.
Take that, average person -- you wouldn't have supported the President's privatization plan anyway!
Bloomberg has a very interesting and informative piece about the plan to sell America on social security reform.  Here are a few highlights:
The Social Security fight has all the trappings of a Rove campaign: the targeting of key constituencies; the marshalling of the Republican Party apparatus; the enlistment of allies among Democrats; and the encouragement of well-heeled outside supporters, often to mount attacks on the opposition.

``I don't think there is any question that Karl Rove is masterminding the whole Social Security strategy,'' says Stephen Moore, president of the Washington-based Free Enterprise Fund, which backs private savings accounts. ``The White House feels it can't afford to lose on this.''
So, expect that only scripted questions will be allowed in these "town meetings," that demonstrators will end up in Gitmo, and that some rich Bush supporters will fund a group dedicated to making stupid people believe that the current Social Security plan is what's keeping them bald, poor, and from being successful with the opposite sex.  (Oh, and folks, this group found that Social Security has been saying bad things about you behind your back, hangs out with Michael Moore, and likes the Dixie Chicks.)
``The White House is running this as if it's a political campaign,'' says Moore, who did not attend the Feb. 24 meeting. ``There are regular meetings the White House has with all the groups to make sure everyone is singing from the same hymnal.''
Bush traveled to nine states, from Florida to North Dakota, during a three-week period last month to lead rallies and stir up public support. He'll intensify his campaign by continuing to travel the country, including trips to New Jersey and Indiana March 4. 
Because that's what we pay the President for: to spend his term campaigning to be the President of Social Security.
Bush critics charge that the Rove-devised Social Security campaign is politically driven and may not even resolve the central funding issue facing the retirement system.

``It seems to be about selling rather than listening,'' says Paul O'Neill, Bush's first Treasury secretary. ``If it just turns out to be an athletic contest, then it's worthless.''
Hey, it doesn't matter if his resolves anything.  No, what matters is that Bush wins on the issue, thus proving to his father that he's better at presidenting that Dad was.  Plus, if he can sell the rubes on social security reform, then he automatically gets a mandate for his hand-picked successor, Condi Bush.
This part of the story was especially disturbing:
Bush backers were out in force at another rally, on Feb. 10 in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. The president spoke for 15 minutes about what he said was Social Security's path to bankruptcy, interviewed pre-selected citizens on stage who said they support him, and then called on the audience to urge lawmakers to approve the private accounts.

As during the presidential campaign, few people who oppose Bush's plans have made it to the rallies, since tickets are distributed by Republican lawmakers.

``We were told automatically to stop people that had protest signs, or any type of sign, and if they tried getting that in then we would ask to see their ticket and then rip it up,'' says Jesse Branch, a 21-year-old volunteer usher at a rally Bush held in Great Falls, Montana, which was attended by Rove.

Tough tactics are also a calling card of Rove campaigns. USA Next, a Washington-based group, plans to spend about $10 million to advertise on television and radio and to reach people through e-mail, direct mail and by telephone, Chairman Charlie Jarvis says. The group placed an ad on the Web site of the American Spectator magazine last week saying that AARP, the largest lobby for elderly Americans and an opponent of private savings accounts, supports same-sex marriage.

Jarvis denies he was working with the Bush administration. Even so, he says he's using some of the same consultants who worked with the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a group that caused a furor last August when it ran advertisements questioning Kerry's war record. The Swift Boat Veterans were financed partly by Houston homebuilder Bob Perry, a friend of Rove
Yes, your President is spending up to 20% of his time (and big chunks of your money) traveling around the country to sell you on his administration's policies.  And you aren't even allowed to attend his meetings!

Oh, and while his friends may have hired the guys behind the Swift Boat Vets to smear a few Democratic leaders or something in order to keep you from being swayed by those who claim that Social Security is okay (and could stay okay inthe future if the rich just gave back their tax cuts), this doesn't mean that his program can't stand on its own merits.  No, it just means that Karl Rove loves plotting, scheming, and dirty tricking, and George can't say no to the little dickens.

And the Wash Post's Dan Froomkin has a great collection of quotes and clips about this issue.  Here's a sample:
Over on, the other Web site I work for, an authority on the presidency today writes that Bush may actually be inventing a new political practice for a sitting president, by only speaking before screened audiences. Jeffrey K. Tulis, a government professor at the University of Texas at Austin and author of "The Rhetorical Presidency," writes that George Washington "was intent on establishing the precedent that the president was chosen to represent the whole country, not just his partisan supporters."
But see, if you have a mandate, you can tell the 49% of the country who didn't support you to go screw themselves -- and apparently George Washington didn't have a mandate, or he would have known this.
Presidents traditionally didn't stump for policy, either. And, Tulis writes, "when Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson began the modern practice of appealing over the heads of Congress to the people at large on speaking tours -- which they did to politically diverse audiences -- they both felt compelled to defend and justify their departure from previous practice."
But 9/11 changed everything.  And if George Bush doesn't stump, then the terrorists ... I mean, social security has won.

8:20:30 AM

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