April 30, 2005

"The Belt was nine feet long, eight feet wide, and it had hooks in it that would rip the meat off of ya if it ever hit ya..."

A Plymouth, MA father has been charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon after spanking his 12 year-old son with a belt.

42 year-old Charles Enloe hit his son three times with a belt as a form of discipline after his son's teacher reported to the elder Enloe that the boy had forgotten his homework assignment.

‘‘I never knew it would be considered assault with a deadly weapon,'' Enloe said. ‘‘And it shouldn't be. It shouldn't be a crime if it's discipline. I know there are parents out there that abuse their children, but I'm definitely not one of them. But police have to follow the letter of the law. My father was a police officer. I'm not angry at them, and I don't blame my son.''

Enloe said he hopes the courts will dismiss the charge after reviewing the facts. ‘‘I have no previous record,'' he said.

Police Capt. Michael Botieri said officers have more leeway about arresting a parent for domestic violence when an open hand is used for spanking.

‘‘When a parent uses an instrument to discipline, it makes it more difficult for us,'' Botieri said. ‘‘The belt pushed this over the edge.''

The incident happened at about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, and left no marks or bruises, according to police.

The boy's mother, who is divorced from Enloe reported the spanking to police, who in turn arrested Enloe.

This sounds like we've got a couple of problems here: first off, the mother has politely undermined any measure of discipline the father has been trying to enforce. Secondly, if a spanking with a belt -- three swats mind you -- is a felony, then I guess I ought to hold out my hands to the nearest cop for arrest; and if that's the case, I guess my mom and dad ought to be on death row.

The Massachusetts Department of Social Services is investigating the incident, after being informed by the police this week. Under Massachusetts law, corporal punishment is not deemed illegal so long as the child is not injured or "left with a bruise, bumps, cuts and you would also consider the frequency of the punishment."

Sounds like the police involved overstepped their authority as well.

Welcome to Massachusetts -- the nanny state.

(Linking to OTB's Weekend Traffic Jam)

Posted by mhking at 11:24 PM | Comments (5)

Chicago Alderman Tillman continues to attack supposed slave profits on modern firms

Alderman Dorothy "The Hat" Tillman -- so nicknamed because of her continuous variety of colorful hats -- is a long-standing member of the Chicago City Council. Tillman has taken on, as her personal windmill to tilt, the cause of slavery reparations based upon the descendants of older firms that profited from the trade of slaves.

Tillman has most recently gone after Bank of America, and citing it's ties to predecessor banks. The one in question -- Providence Bank -- is the target of Tillman and her cronies, even though Providence distanced itself from the slave trade.

Founded in 1791, Providence Bank is a predecessor of Fleet Boston, which was acquired by Bank of America last year.

"First, the research disclosed no evidence establishing that the Providence Bank had investments or profits from slavery. Second, there is no indication of the source of the funds used by Brown to purchase his 23 shares in the bank. Last, the evidence suggests that the bank, in fact, avoided slave-related activities of John Brown or any other bank customer," said the bank's attorney V. Duncan Johnson.

Ald. Dorothy Tillman (3rd) accused "arrogant" bank officials of providing "selective and fraudulent" information to a joint City Council committee.

Tillman said research conducted by her daughter at some of the same places Bank of America looked -- the Rhode Island Historical Society and Brown University Library -- has already produced evidence that Providence Bank made loans used to purchase ships that transported slaves.

"The whole reason the bank was founded was so that the merchants could have a bank for their money to go through. Their whole existence was slavery. They had no other existence," she said.

"They thought they could bring this lawyer in and lie and just say, 'Moses Brown [John's brother] was an abolitionist. You see, they were good guys.' The lawyer's job was to protect Bank of America -- not to get to the truth. And we won't stop until we get to the truth."

Tillman has a reputation of being a loose cannon when it comes to logic, and it appears that this case is no exception.

Oh. And before you ask, yes, Tillman is a stark, raving mad, howling, moonbat Democrat. She's also a card carrying member of the soul patrol, who seems to think that any and everyone who is even remotely conservative is the spawn of Satan. And she is one of the name-calling crowd that denigrates black conservatives every and anytime they cross her path.

Posted by mhking at 04:49 PM | Comments (2)

AJC's Tucker continues pile-on job against Rogers Brown

Atlanta Journal-Constitution and syndicated columnist Cynthia Tucker continued the whitewash job that the left has started against California Supreme Court Justice and Bush judicial nominee Janice Rogers Brown in her column for Sunday's paper.

Tucker insists that the filibuster against Rogers Brown must occur because Rogers Brown, in effect, isn't really black.

Tucker proceeds to heap plenty of praise on Rogers Brown, then lowers the boom on her.

Brown's writings showcase a brilliant intellect and literary depth. Her rulings and speeches tend to quote writers from Thucydides to Edmund Burke to John Grisham, not to mention the lyrics of popular songs such as "A Whiter Shade of Pale."

While she occasionally rankles her colleagues with barbs hurled their way, there's no doubting her quick wit. In a dissent in a 1996 anti-trust case, she wrote: "The quixotic desire to do good, be universally fair and make everybody happy is understandable. Indeed, the majority's zeal is more than a little endearing. There is only one problem with this approach. We are a court."

Brown has every right to be an ultraconservative. That's what the civil rights movement was all about — giving black Americans the opportunity to live as they desired, choosing the neighborhoods, schools, churches and political philosophies that best suit them.

Her intellect notwithstanding, she has no business on the federal bench. Her views are well outside the mainstream.

She has no respect for precedent and frequently uses her rulings to express far-reaching opinions on matters not directly before the court.

She does not belong on the federal bench.

Tucker is part of the cabal of columnists and politicians alike who are lining up to paint Janice Rogers Brown alternately as an evil minion of the Bush Administration, whose opposition to anything relating to minorities is beyond the pale; or a clueless and unwitting dupe who is so stupid that her presence on the bench would set back American jurisprudence several generations.

Let's face it. Janice Rogers Brown has demonstrated, both through her decisions from the bench and from her writings, that she has the intellectual capability to advance the legal opinions necessary. She also has become her own woman, one whose conservative opinions and logic step outside the liberal mindset championed by Tucker and others, both black and white.

Finally, would you honestly expect that the Bush Administration would nominate someone whose ideology falls outside that of the rest of the Administration? Is Janice Rogers Brown so "dangerous" that she shouldn't be accorded an honest up-or-down vote by the full body of the US Senate?

Apparently most liberals think so, and they'll do anything to make sure that she's presented that way to the American people.

Posted by mhking at 02:31 PM | Comments (1)

April 29, 2005

AARP recruiting younger folks now?

24 year-old Chris Short (Short Family Online) has received an invitation to join the AARP.

So he's going to collect the $12.50 membership fee to join and submit it, along with stating his actual age (instead of padding his age to actually get in) to the AARP. You're welcome to give him a hand with the $12.50 via donation or BlogAd.

He's planning on reporting back what they say once they see his age. Stay tuned.

Posted by mhking at 05:49 PM | Comments (1)

Indiana to enact DST next year

After more than 30 years, the state of Indiana is set to begin observing Daylight Saving Time beginning next year. A new bill, passed by the state house late last night, and pushed for by Governor Mitch Daniels, ensures that the state's counties outside the Louisville, Cincinnati & Chicago areas will join the bulk of the rest of the nation in observing DST.

In an April 11 column to constituents in his southwestern Indiana distrct, freshman Republican Rep. Troy Woodruff of Vincennes said he had received overwhelming feedback from them to fight against legislation mandating statewide observance of daylight-saving time.

"I have and will continue to always vote against this controversial piece of legislation," he wrote.

But shortly after 11:30 p.m. EST Thursday, during a second House vote on the bill, Woodruff switched his no vote and provided a 51st "yea" to give it final legislative approval and send the proposal to Gov. Mitch Daniels.

Daniels, who lobbied extensively for the proposal because he said it would eliminate confusion and boost commerce, is sure to sign the bill into law.

I'm a Hoosier by birth, and part of me feels that it brings the state back in sync with the rest of the nation. The rest of me kind of shrugs and says 'OK. What the hey.'

The move makes Arizona the only hold out in the Continental United States to Daylight Saving Time.

Posted by mhking at 12:05 PM | Comments (2)

"The Real Beverly Hillbilies" reality series got made after all!

UPN dumps Star Trek Enterprise, and what are we left with?

"Britney Loves Cletus" -- the would-be "real Beverly Hillbillies" -- shows up in the form of Britney & Kevin around mid-month.

Damn those sweeps stunts.

Posted by mhking at 11:51 AM | Comments (1)

Akbar sentence: Death

Sgt. Hasan Akbar is led from the Staff Judge Advocate Building after being sentenced to death at Fort Bragg, NC Thursday evening. (AFP/Yahoo!)
After seven hours of deliberation, a military court sentenced Army Sergent Hasan Akbar to death last night for a fatal grenade attack on his comrades a year ago.

Akbar tossed grenades and fired a rifle into tents where fellow soldiers were sleeping in Kuwait, killing Cpt. Christopher Seifert and Maj. Gregory Stone and wounded 14 others from the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, KY.

On Thursday morning, Akbar made a statement in court, apologizing for a fatal grenade attack on his comrades.

"I apologize for my actions," he said. "When I did that I felt my life was in jeopardy and I had other problems."

Bull. He knew exactly what he was doing, and should suffer the consequences for it.

Akbar will be taken to the military's death row unit at Ft. Leavenworth, KS where he will stay while any appeals are worked out, and await his fate.

Posted by mhking at 10:41 AM | Comments (1)

Love them now, cherish them always

Five years ago this week I lost my grandmother to Alzheimers' and cancer.

It was a painful experience that I know that we must endure as we grow older, but it hurts nonetheless.

Kevin Aylward's family, as he notes over at Wizbang, is enduring that same pain this week. His father-in-law is ailing and in dire straits.

My heart and my prayers go out to them in their time of sorrow.

Posted by mhking at 09:43 AM | Comments (0)

April 28, 2005

Canadian cable company offers free porn this weekend in Ontario

Rogers Cable customers in Ontario have to worry about their kids this weekend -- especially if the kids know the PIN to the digital cable box.

Rogers if offering -- get this -- three hardcore porn channels for free to cable subscribers as an attempt to boost sales.

The cable giant is offering customers free previews of three hard-core adult channels -- a movie channel, an XXX "action clips" channel and a gay-oriented channel called Maleflixxx -- from tomorrow at 8 p.m. to Monday at 2 a.m. in an effort to boost subscribers to those channels, which normally cost $19.95 each a month.

Rogers Cable spokeswoman Taanta Gupta said that the company has offered free viewings of adult channels a few times over the past four years and "have not had any issues."

She explained that unlike free viewings of Fox News Channel, Bloomberg News and MTV Canada -- which can be watched simply by tuning into the channel -- customers have to confirm that they want to watch this weekend's offerings by entering a personal identification number.

Each digital box comes with a preassigned PIN of 0-0-0-0. However, Ms. Gupta said, "We strongly encourage people to put in their own PINs."

PIN numbers must be entered on digital boxes to order pay-per-view events such as professional wrestling, new-release movies and adult flicks. Parents can also use the PIN system to block channels they don't want children to watch.

"That's what PIN numbers are for," Ms. Gupta said.

Now. How many of you know the PIN for your digital cable or satellite box? How many of you have changed it from the default setting in the first place? That's what I thought. Neither have I.

My readers up in Ontario probably ought to take a gander at your cable setups before Friday night. Otherwise, your kids may get an eyeful of something you probably don't want them to see.

Posted by mhking at 10:33 PM | Comments (0)

Al Franken erroneously claims radio ratings not available to public

Air America host (and frothing-at-the-mouth moonbat) Al Franken, during an interview with South Park Conservatives author Brian Anderson, claimed that Air America's ratings -- which are putrid in most, if not all the markets they're in -- are not available to the public.

During a testy, but polite, interview with 'South Park Conservatives' author Brian C. Anderson, Air America host Al Franken asserted that radio ratings aren't available to the public!

That apparently was Franken's way of deflecting unpleasant questions about Air America's recent poor performance. It was likely also to suggest that Anderson was using incorrect, or outright phony, data!

Anderson mentioned some specific figures, from various cities, which seemed to catch Franken off-guard.

How could Franken not be aware that radio ratings are in fact available to the public? Has he not ever seen them in the New York Daily News, Boston Globe, Chicago Sun-Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, or the dozens of other papers in large cities that publish them on a regular basis?

And is it really possible that Franken never reviews industry trade websites, even though they fawn all over him, nearly every day?

I've got the answer to Brian Maloney's question: Al Franken is clueless. He's so wrapped up in his hatred of those of us on the right, that he ignores every and anything that doesn't help him -- and if he needs it, he fabricates it. This is obvious from the claim here.

In addition to the newspapers Brian mentions, when you hit RadioAndRecords.com (website for the trade organ of the broadcast industry), there is a button top and center: RATINGS. Hit that link, and you'll get the ratings for all the major markets in the nation. Al Franken is either clueless or lying through his teeth. Which is it?

Posted by mhking at 09:44 PM | Comments (7)

NYT calls Rogers Brown "enemy of minorities"

Janice Rogers Brown is a well-respected jurist on the California Supreme Court. President Bush has chosen Brown as his nominee to the DC Circuit Court. Her name has been mentioned as a possible Supreme Court nominee. But there's one problem -- at least in the eyes of liberals -- she's extremely conservative.

The New York Times, in an effort to play the "Uncle Tom/Aunt Jemima" card, has gone out of their way to paint Brown as alternately an evil operative of the conservative right, or an unwitting dupe that doesn't deserve to sit on the bench.

Justice Brown, currently a member of the California Supreme Court, is an extreme right-wing ideologue. She is an outspoken supporter of a radical movement to take constitutional law back to before 1937, when the federal government had little power to prevent discrimination, protect workers from unsafe conditions or prohibit child labor. She has attacked the New Deal, which created Social Security, as "the triumph of our socialist revolution."

On the bench, Justice Brown - a black woman raised in segregated Alabama - is a consistent enemy of minorities and old people, and of people injured by big business.

That's pretty damn ornery of 'em.

And of course, if -- God forbid -- the Times, or any other news organ, up through and including the hated-by-the-left Fox News Channel referred to any liberal black person in such vindictive and demeaning terms, the ink wouldn't be dry on the first editions before Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Julian Bond and every other card-carrying member of the soul patrol would be on every news program screaming to high heaven about the racist smear campaign being conducted.

But when the vaunted New York Times, with "all the news that's fit to print" says the same thing about a black conservative woman, it's "OK." After all, in their minds, she's "not really black," is she?

Writers for the Times and other outlets across the land are breaking their collective necks to color the majority party -- the GOP -- and their actions as being anti-American. The Republican majority, conversely, is working to take their place as the true majority party, and work to implement their decisions -- and that includes bringing the President's judicial nominees to the full Senate for an up-or-down vote.

(More coverage from Michelle Malkin & others)

Posted by mhking at 09:21 PM | Comments (2)

April 27, 2005

Coming soon to a bank near you: A Bubba dollar?

Just imagine using a dollar coin with the likeness of former President Bubba. Or even one with President Bush on it.

Now before you click to another site in disgust (or alternately, in glee; and to coin a phrase from Paul Harvey), let me tell you the REST of the story.

While most Americans have never used one, most are familiar with the dollar coin. The head of the current gold-colored dollar coin has the face of Shoshone Indian Sacagawea, who, as a part of the Corps of Discovery, helped famed explorers Lewis and Clark cross the North American continent two hundred years ago. Though they have been minted since 2000, more than 95 percent of Americans no longer use them, relegating them to the same category as the Susan B. Anthony dollar.

Millions of the Anthony dollars, minted in 1979 and 1981 (and once more in 1999), were pushed by the US Mint as an alternative to dollar bills as well. But they, too, were relegated to the scrap heap -- or junk change drawer -- of history. Most Americans only saw them when they used automated stamp machines in Post Offices, and this, despite the fact that coinage is cheaper to produce and is far more durable than paper currency.

Enter the US Congress this week.

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives passed a bill to create a new $1 coin, which would accompany the current Sacagawea piece. The measure enjoyed enormous bipartisan support, passing by a vote of 422 to 6.

Assuming a companion bill makes it through the Senate, the nation would be on its way to taking another stab at a dollar coin.

The idea steals a page from the popular 50 State Quarters series, in which the engraving on the 25-cent piece rotates to honor all the states. That legislation was also the brainchild of Rep. (Michael) Castle (R-DE).

The subjects depicted on the dollar coins would be the U.S. presidents. The plan is to introduce four new ones a year beginning in 2007, honoring each of the nation's chief executives in the order of their service.

Based on this plan, by 2018, when Bill Clinton and George W. Bush are in their 70s, the pair would become the first living persons to be enshrined on a US minted coin.

And a word of advice -- if you want people to actually use the new dollar coins, you have to remove the dollar bill from circulation. Otherwise, the habit of slipping a buck into your wallet as opposed to a Bubba coin in your pocket will win out - no matter who is on the money.

(More coverage from Full of Crap, OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam & others)

Posted by mhking at 04:45 PM | Comments (8)

April 26, 2005

ABC set to do Idol exposé, Fox threates legal action

The May sweeps begin this weekend, and ABC is set to jump into the period with both feet next week, as ABC News plans to air a Primetime Live special, Fallen Idol, which they promise to be an exposé of behind-the-scenes sordidness on Fox's top-rated American Idol.

Reportedly, the ABC report will include stories of an affair between Idol judge Paula Abdul and season two Idol singer Corey Clark, as well as claims that Abdul supposedly cheats and picks "favorites" to nurture, which violates the rules of the competition.

In a new book proposal, Season Two singer Corey Clark reportedly claims he had an affair with Paula Abdul in her guest house and even got his cell phone bills paid by the judge so they could secretly talk. Clark ended up getting booted off the show for having a criminal record but he claims Paula promised to spend $2 million to fund a recording career for him.

Paula denies Clark's accusations, and her "Idol" judges are coming to her defense -- but "Idol" producers may have reason to be nervous if claims being made by the former contestant reported in The Globe turn out to be true.

"There's no underhandedness going on behind the scenes," Simon told us. "Paula, to be fair to her, will spend more time backstage with the contestants giving encouragement. But that's not a bad thing. I think [the accusations] are rubbish. I think this is a guy who's out there to publish a book."

Fox lawyers have threatened to sue ABC if the Primetime segment airs.
ABC has been warned in writing it could face legal fallout for airing its scathing behind-the-scenes look at FOX's AMERICAN IDOL.

FOX believes ABC has interviewed a half a dozen losing contestants -- contestants who will claim AMERICAN IDOL producers and judges somehow manipulate the show's outcome!

At the center of the questions, the IDOL source claims, are the actions of show judge Paula Abdul.

"[ABC] is trying to say Paula somehow cheats and picks favorite singers to nurture, in violation of some sort of network standards," the IDOL source, who demanded anonymity, explains.

Fellow Judge Simon Cowell will tell TV show EXTRA Tuesday evening: "Paula, to be fair to her, will spend more time backstage with the contestants giving encouragement and everything else. But, that’s not a bad thing!"

The special edition of Primetime Live, Fallen Idol is set to air next Wednesday evening on ABC.

Posted by mhking at 08:50 PM | Comments (0)

Taking Christ out of "B.C."

There is a movement afoot, primarily among academics and historians, to remove the term "Before Christ" or "B.C." from years predating the birth of Jesus Christ. Likewise, that same movement wants to change "Anno Domini," or A.D. -- literally translated from Latin as "In the year of our Lord" -- to "C.E." or "Common Era." "B.C." would become "B.C.E." or "Before Common Era."

The terms "B.C." and "A.D." increasingly are shunned by certain scholars.

Educators and historians say schools from North America to Australia have been changing the terms "Before Christ," or B.C., to "Before Common Era," or B.C.E., and "anno Domini" (Latin for "in the year of the Lord") to "Common Era." In short, they're referred to as B.C.E. and C.E.

The terms B.C. and A.D. have clear Catholic roots. Dionysius Exiguus, an abbot in Rome, devised them as a way to determine the date for Easter for Pope St. John I. The terms were continued under the Gregorian Calendar, created in 1582 under Pope Gregory XIII.

Although most calendars are based on an epoch or person, B.C. and A.D. have always presented a particular problem for historians: There is no year zero; there's a 33-year gap, reflecting the life of Christ, dividing the epochs. Critics say that's additional reason to replace the Christian-based terms.

A number of Jewish and Muslim scholars have a problem with associating the calendar with Jesus Christ -- though many seem to forget that there is a separate Hebrew calendar; under that calendar, this is the year 5765. On the Islamic calendar, it is the year A.H. 1426. Heck, everyone knows there is a separate Chinese calendar, where this is the year 4703. So what makes the BC/AD divide so contentious?

Political correctness. Of course. Would you expect anything different?

Posted by mhking at 08:07 AM | Comments (7)

DBD on guns

How did I miss this yesterday?

I love Chris' work - he always puts it all in perspective...

Posted by mhking at 07:16 AM | Comments (0)

April 25, 2005

What'd they do before Oprah went on the air?

A group of writers calling themselves Word of Mouth: An Association of Women Authors has written a rambling open letter to Oprah Winfrey, begging that she return to selecting titles for her Oprah Book Club.

The writers, who include Amy Tan, Mary Gordon, Maureen Howard and more than 150 others, claim that fiction book sales are down, and that only the return of Oprah's book club can save the industry.

(R)esearch suggests that the drastic downward shift actually happened six months after the (9/11) attacks: fiction sales really began to plummet when the The Oprah Winfrey Book Club went off the air. When you stopped featuring contemporary authors on your program, Book Club members stopped buying new fiction, and this changed the face of American publishing. This phenomenon was a testament to the quality of your programs, the scope of your influence, and the amazing credibility you possess among loyal Book Club readers.

Sales figures, in the context of the literary market, do not merely reflect profits; they are an indicator of literacy as well. A country in which ordinary people flock to bookstores to buy the latest talked-about work of fiction is a vibrantly literate country. Every month your show sent hundreds of thousands of people (mostly women, who are the largest group of literary fiction readers) into bookstores. The contemporary books you chose sold between 650,000 and 1,200,000 copies apiece.

We'd like to ask that you consider focusing, once again, on contemporary writers in your Book Club.

The American literary landscape is in distress. Sales of contemporary fiction are still falling, and so are the numbers of people who are reading.

Oprah Winfrey, we wish you'd come back.

Do you mean to tell me that there are no other avenues for legitimate exposure for authors other than The Oprah Winfrey Show?

Let's see. For the past couple of years, the Oprah Book Club has focused on classic works, including the last one chosen, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Sales of books selected for the Oprah Book Club continue to set sales records, and act as the catalyst for local book clubs and book groups across the nation. So is this letter truly a plea for a downtrodden marketplace, or is it in reality a batch of authors begging for a handout?

Posted by mhking at 12:25 PM | Comments (2)

April 24, 2005

She can probably hold out awhile

Me thinks that this lady's hunger strike can last a good while.

Diana Ponce talks on a phone in the yard of her San Pablo home Wednesday, the fifth day of a hunger strike to protest the gathering of armed volunteers, the Minuteman Project, at the Arizona-Mexico border to keep illegal immigrants from entering the United States.
Backcountry Conservative & Say Anything figure that McDonald's stock just dropped.

Posted by mhking at 05:27 PM | Comments (3)

BBC admits to sending hecklers to heckle Conservative leader

Someone at the BBC, in their infinite wisdom, has come forward and admitted that they sent hecklers to heckle UK Conservative party leader Michael Howard at a campaign appearance.

Apparently, the protestors were working for the BBC and in the process of doing a documentary, The History of Heckling, for BBC 3.

The Tories have made an official protest after the hecklers, who were given the microphones by producers, were caught at a party event in the North West last week. Guy Black, the party's head of communications, wrote in a letter to Helen Boaden, the BBC's director of news, that the hecklers began shouting slogans that were "distracting and clearly hostile to the Conservative Party".

These included "Michael Howard is a liar", "You can't trust the Tories" and "You can only trust Tony Blair".

Mr Black's strongly-worded letter accused the BBC of staging the event "to generate a false news story and dramatise coverage. . . intended to embarrass or ridicule the leader of the Conservative Party". The letter said that BBC staff were guilty of "serious misconduct". At least one of the hecklers was seen again at a Tory event in the North East, Mr Black added.

Last night, the BBC claimed that the exercise was part of a "completely legitimate programme about the history and art of political heckling" and said that other parties' meetings were being "observed". However, The Telegraph has established that none of Tony Blair's meetings was infiltrated or disrupted in similar fashion.

The BBC defended their position, even though the Conservative party has demanded a formal apology from the Beeb.
Last night a BBC spokesman said: "This is a completely legitimate programme about the history and art of political heckling. The programme observes hecklers at other parties' campaign meetings and not just the Conservatives. The hecklers were not under the direction of the BBC and their activities did not disrupt the meeting in any way. The incident at the Michael Howard meeting only plays a small part in the overall programme. However, we will be investigating the complaint very fully and will be replying in due course."
I would lay even money that Michael Moore will try similar tactics here in the US. After all, it's OK for liberals in the media to attack conservatives during campaigns -- it's only "evil" when it happens the other way around...right?

The UK general election is Thursday, May 5. The polls are open from 7A to 10P on that day across the UK.

(More coverage from Michelle Malkin & others)

Posted by mhking at 05:14 PM | Comments (0)

April 22, 2005

Terrorists down chopper in Iraq, shoot survivor; release video on internet

Terrorists have released a video showing the downing of a helicopter in Iraq, purportedly the chopper shot down yesterday. In addition, the video shows the execution-style murder of a Western man who survived the crash.

The video was released by the Islamic Army in Iraq.

Infovlad has the video (dated 4/22 - STRONG CONTENT WARNING) for your perusal in Real Media format.

In a video purporting to show the killing of the sole survivor of a downed helicopter in Iraq, a gunman orders, "Carry out God's verdict," and his colleagues open fire, riddling the man with bullets as they shout "Allahu akbar!" — or "God is great!"

The video was posted on an Internet forum used by Islamic militants and was accompanied by a written statement from a group identifying itself as the Islamic Army in Iraq (search). The statement claimed responsibility for the downing of the civilian helic six Americans, three Bulgarians and two Fijians— were killed.

The murder of the survivor was captured on the above mentioned video, as described by The Jawa Report.
Of the eleven on board, one man survived, but was severely wounded. The wounded man had apparently crawled away and was hiding in tall grass some distance from the crash. The helicopter can be seeen burning in the distant background.

Unaware of who has found him, the American says to them, "give me a hand. Give me a hand. It's broken..."

The terrorists help him up and then ask him, "CIA? CIA?" then order him to "Go! Go!" The man is able to walk. They then shoot him as he holds his hand up. He is murdered in cold blood as the terrorists yell "Allahu akhbar!" shooting him over and over.

The terrorists murder the man on the video. In a statement released with the video, the Islamic Army in Iraq says they killed the man in retaliation for the "cold blood in the mosques of tireless Fallujah before the eyes of the world and on television screens, without anyone condemning them."

Their claim is apparently tied to the video released by freelance journalist Kevin Sites while embedded with a Marine unit in Fallujah. An Iraqi insurgent was apparently shot while playing possum during a sweep of captured buildings by those Marines last fall.

The soldier in question was cleared of wrong-doing, despite the hand-wringing of Sites and others both in Iraq and here in the US.

The Marines in Fallujah ran into a number of Iraqis who played dead, only to attack US soldiers once close enough.

UPDATE - Some of the victims are being identified, per The Jawa Report and Interested Participant.

One victim identified as Jason Obert, of El Paso County, CO.

A former El Paso County sheriff's deputy was among the six American contractors killed Thursday when insurgent missile fire downed a commercial helicopter outside of Baghdad, Iraq, a Colorado Springs television station reported.

Jason Obert left the sheriff's office in February to earn extra money working in Iraq for Blackwater Security Consulting, KKTV-TV reported. The company is a subsidiary of North Carolina-based Blackwater USA.

Also identified, is Stephen Matthew McGovern, of Danville KY.
Stephen Matthew McGovern, of Danville, has died in Iraq, his family confirmed today.

McGovern was involved in a helicopter crash, according to his stepfather, who said the family was notified Thursday night....

McGovern had been a sergeant in the National Guard with the 20th Special Forces Group in Louisville.

Jim Atalifo and Timoci Lalaqila were the two Fijians killed, as reported in The Australian.

The three Bulgarians are named as pilots Lyubomir Kostov and Georgi Naidenov and board-engineer Stoyan Anchev by the Bulgarian News Network.

According to the Associated Press, Kostov is the pilot that was murdered on the video released by the terrorists.

The Americans were employed by North Carolina-based Blackwater Security Consulting, a firm that supplies security support for US diplomats.

Posted by mhking at 12:34 PM | Comments (8)

I'm ready to "believe again"....

We finally get to see Brandon Routh as Kal-El in "the suit" today.

Not bad - some might want more muscles, but what the hey. He's Superman.

Costume designer Louise Mingenbach has made a few changes to the blue and red suit for Superman Returns. The "S" insignia is smaller and higher on the chest, plus as opposed to being painted or embroidered on, the emblem is more three dimensional in nature. The colors - blue, yellow & red - are darker, with the yellow appearing more gold, and the red closer to a scarlet. The blue is more a royal color. Finally, the more stylized "S" of the insignia has also been added to Superman's belt buckle.

No extra muscle padding for 25 year-old Routh, though, according to director Brian Singer.

"I always had the general idea of the suit. However, when the conceptual art was evolving around the same time that I cast Brandon, I privately had paintings rendered with Brandon's face, which certainly brought it to life."

Superman's body is the key to his power, Singer says.

"With X-Men, although they had extraordinary powers, they also had physical weaknesses," he says. "The suits were for protection as well as costume. Superman is the Man of Steel. Bullets bounce off him, not his suit."

Superman Returns, with Routh as Superman, Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane and Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor is filming in Australia now. The film opens in theaters June 30, 2006.
(More coverage from Outside The Beltway & others)

Posted by mhking at 11:33 AM | Comments (2)

Sharpton may lose Pepsico seat over con men flap

Pepsico is reviewing the service of Rev. Al Sharpton on a minority advisory board after hearing claims by two con men that Sharpton was going to get them big bucks from Pepsico.

The two men, fast-food giant La-Van Hawkins and Philadelphia power broker Ronald White, raised plenty of money for Sharpton's presidential bid in 2004, and were overheard on a wiretap.

"Let's say they [Pepsi] probably have some minority mandates . . . We could take insurance, we could take printing, we could take their pension fund . . . If you just broke off, like, you know, 10 percent of that s- - -, man, like, you talking billions of dollars," White tells Hawkins on a March 31, 2003, tape.

A little over a week later, on April 8, Hawkins says that Sharpton has claimed he's already greased the skids to get the Pepsi president, identified on the tapes as "Donna," to invite them to breakfast.

"I said to him, 'Rev., Tuesday and Wednesday.' He came back and said Donna said let's have breakfast Monday morning . . . He's hooking that s- - - up for the president, Donna, on Wednesday," Hawkins says.

No one is sure as to who "Donna" is; the only female president within Pepsico is North American head Dawn Hudson.

The wiretaps were released as part of a corruption trial of Hawkins and others. White died last fall.

Posted by mhking at 09:46 AM | Comments (0)

April 21, 2005

Sgt. Akbar found guilty; could face death penalty

A military jury at Ft. Bragg, NC, has convicted 34 year-old US Army Sgt. Hasan Akbar of premeditated murder in a grenade and rifle attack on his fellow soldiers two years ago in Kuwait.

Akbar tossed a grenade into a tent where GIs were sleeping and opened fire on the tent, killing Army Capt. Christopher Seifert and Air Force Maj. Gregory Stone.

Prosecutors say Hasan Akbar, 33, told investigators he launched the attack because he was concerned U.S. troops would kill fellow Muslims in Iraq. They said he coolly carried out the attack to achieve "maximum carnage" on his comrades in the 101st Airborne Division.

The verdict came after 2 1/2 hours of deliberations following seven days of testimony in a court-martial -- the first time since the Vietnam era that an American has been prosecuted on charges of murdering a fellow soldier during wartime.

Defense attorneys acknowledged that Akbar carried out the attack, but argued he was too mentally ill to have premeditated it and was fueled by emotion.

"Sgt. Akbar executed that attack with a cool mind," prosecutor Capt. Robert McGovern said during closing arguments, cocking Akbar's unloaded M-4 rifle and pulling the trigger twice for emphasis. "He sought maximum carnage."

The prosecutor said Akbar planned carefully and stole grenades that would achieve maximum destruction in the brigade command section of Camp Pennsylvania in Kuwait.

Defense attorney Maj. Dan Brookhart countered that Akbar was concerned the invasion of Iraq would result in the deaths of Muslims and that U.S. soldiers would rape Iraqi women.

The 15 member jury will now consider the death penalty for Akbar. They will reconvene Monday to make that consideration.
(More coverage from The Jawa Report, Michelle Malkin & others)

Posted by mhking at 05:47 PM | Comments (2)

San Antonio mayoral candidate has twin brother stand in at parade

Julian Castro is running for mayor in San Antonio and is rather busy right in through here. Though his schedule is tightly packed, he still cannot be in two places at the same time.

Enter his brother, Joaquin.

Joaquin Castro took his place at a local parade, waving to the crowds.

As you can imagine, some folks don't like it.

Retired state appeals court judge Phil Hardberger, one of Castro's opponents, said he believes the parade appearance was dishonest and deceptive.

"If you're 18 years old and having a date, it might be a youthful prank when you swap out your brother. But when you're running for mayor of a city with 1.3 million people and sending in your brother as an impersonator ... I do see a problem with it," Hardberger said.

Castro doesn't feel that there was a problem.
Castro told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he had a conflicting event and didn't intend to deceive anyone.

"We can't help that we look like each other," said Castro, a City Council member and leading contender in next month's election.

San Antonio-based host Adam McManus will be discussing it and taking calls on his KSLR radio show at 5P ET/4P CT (AM 630 & streamed at KSLR.com).
(Linking to OTB's Beltway Traffic Jam)

Posted by mhking at 05:17 PM | Comments (0)

Project 21 lauds Senate Judiciary movement on Janice Rogers Brown

Project 21 has issued a new release commending the Senate Judiciary Committee on their move to pass along the nomination of Janice Rogers Brown to the full Senate for what I hope will be an up or down vote.

Janice Rogers Brown, nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, was approved in the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 21 by a 10-8 party-line vote. Senate liberals, however, imply resumed filibusters will keep her and other nominees from receiving a vote in the full Senate. Members of the black leadership network Project 21 demand a halt to such delaying tactics.

“The Senate has a constitutional duty to move forward with fair consideration of judicial appointees,” said Project 21 member Darryn “Dutch” Martin. “If they resume the stalling that keeps long-standing judicial vacancies open, they don’t deserve to be considered public servants.”

A single mother and the daughter of an Alabama sharecropper, Associate Justice Brown has spent 25 years in public service. She has served on the California Supreme Court since 1996, and prior to that served on the benches of other state courts. A quarter of the court to which Brown is currently nominated is vacant.

In 2003, a bipartisan group of law professors praised Brown’s “commitment to individual freedom, even when rights are asserted by unpopular litigants.” Similarly, her fellow judges describe her as "a superb judge" who is "extremely intelligent, keenly analytical and very hard-working" and a judge "who applies the law without favor, without bias and with an even hand."

Senate liberals began a filibuster of Brown's nomination in November of 2003. While only a simple majority is needed for actual confirmation, a filibuster requires 60 votes to bring the nomination to the floor for a vote.

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) implied filibusters will resume against Brown and others when he told the Associated Press nominees such as her “deserved to be rejected before… they deserve to be rejected again.” Despite the senator’s statement, Brown and other nominees were never rejected because a vote on their nominations never took place due to filibusters.

“Janice Rogers Brown is the most prolific thinker since Clarence Thomas,” says Project 21 member Lisa Fritsch. “Her broad profundity on the importance of individual rights of citizens and what must be the limited exercise of government are the very essence of our nation’s founding.”

Though I didn't get quoted this time out, I'm still happy to stand with my fellow Project 21 members in support of Justice Brown.

Though Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) and other Republicans may be reluctant to move forward, this move by the Judiciary possibly sets up a showdown on the abuse of the Senate's filibuster power by Democrats in the larger body.

Posted by mhking at 04:52 PM | Comments (0)

ACLU demands arrest of Hannity

Radio and television talk show host Sean Hannity visited the Minuteman Project along the Arizona-Sonora (Mexico) border to interview the volunteers there. Opponents to the securing of the Mexican border ambushed Hannity to raise a ruckus over the efforts there.

Brian Maloney at The Radio Equalizer is all over this.

Arizona State Rep. Kyrsten Sinema has charged the U.S. Border Patrol with having a double standard when it comes to prosecuting individuals who cross the U.S. border with Mexico illegally. During a visit this week to the Mexico-U.S. border, the ABC Radio Networks syndicated talker and Fox News personality stepped over a fence into Mexico and moments later stepped back over into the U.S. Sinema charges that action means Hannity broke U.S. law by “reentering the U.S. illegally” and that although the Border Patrol saw Hannity’s action agents took no steps against him or made any attempt to arrest him. Hannity was in Arizona this week to highlight the crisis of illegal immigration between the U.S. and Mexico.

Dennis Durband of The Arizona Conservative has an excellent account of Sinema's background of radicalism here:

For starters, Sinema supports the creation of day laborer centers in Arizona, requiring taxpayers to educate and train illegal aliens. She is endorsing law breaking and requiring taxpayers to subsidize it.

Sinema also recommends giving driver’s licenses to “undocumented residents.” Drivers licenses for illegals increase the risk of home invasions and terrorism by allowing illegal aliens to blend into American society and qualify for services that their own respective governments should provide. Illegals are costing Arizona taxpayers $1.3 billion a year.

An adjunct professor in social work at Arizona State University, Sinema opposes the Protect Arizona Now proposition and claims it is unconstitutional and there is no evidence of voter fraud in Arizona.

Sinema is also connected with the ACLU, and is using their auspices to demand his arrest.

Or, as Larry Shannon over at RadioDailyNews.com suggests, is this merely a stunt by Hannity for ratings?

(More coverage from Michelle Malkin & others)

Posted by mhking at 03:09 PM | Comments (6)

Father Roderick, podcasting from the Vatican

Father Roderick Vonhögen from the Utrecht Archdiocese in The Netherlands is the globetrotting blogger behind the podcasts of CatholicInsider.com.

And while I haven't started podcasting myself yet (though I'm diligently studying the necessary software and requirements to do so), Father Roderick was on hand in St. Peter's Square Tuesday evening as Pope Benedict was introduced to the world.

Catholic Insider's 4/19 edition takes you there, live. (MP3)

Posted by mhking at 02:55 PM | Comments (0)

Columnist whines because Arinze not elected "black pope"

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell has penned a whining column that is more worthy of a two year-old than someone you would expect to read in a major newspaper.
One of my girlfriends is a Nigerian-born immigrant and a devout Roman Catholic. I noticed she didn't say a word during the days leading up to the conclave. She seemed to have been resigned to the idea that the world isn't ready for a black pope.

...it's pretty clear, at least to this Baptist, that the Holy Spirit didn't get the final word.

All this whining is due to the fact that the Vatican Conclave, convened to elect a new Pope to replace the late Pope John Paul II, elected German Joseph Ratzinger to the throne of St. Peter, not Nigerian-born Cardinal Francis Arinze.

Mitchell -- an admitted Baptist, not a Catholic -- seems to be of the opinion that she knows better than the more than 100 Cardinals who were sequestered in the Sistine Chapel for four separate votes for the new Pontiff. Mitchell points to an Agence France-Presse article among other places to support her not-so-veiled cry of racism.

Among those speculating on who would be the next pope was a 10-year-old girl named Francesca Colonna, attending mass with her mother and father.

"At school, they said that if a black pope is elected, the sun will crash on Earth, and it will be the end of the world," the girl told the reporter.

And a German priest noted that it "would be hard for Europeans to accept a non-European pope."

Even Arinze had said in interviews that the world "wasn't ready for a black pope."

Mitchell then points to the suggestions for another non-Catholic, South African Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu, and his call for Arinze's election.

Notice that we aren't hearing these cries from the Hispanic community. The Catholic Church is growing by leaps and bounds in Latin America, and there were several papal candidates from South of the Border. We only hear the whining from people like Mitchell.

I guess in her eyes, the Catholic Church doesn't know what it needs for itself, or what it's own members want. After all, it's more politically correct to do what she says, right?

For the record, I was rooting for Cardinal Arinze - I felt that he was the most qualified person for the job, with then-Cardinal Ratzinger - now Pope Benedict XVI - a close second. I'm simply glad that the Conclave was able to come to a concensus quickly, for who they felt was the best person for the job. I wish Pope Benedict well, and hope that he can both bring glory and honor to God, along with serving his flock in his larger role as shepherd of a significant part of God's flock.

Posted by mhking at 02:40 PM | Comments (3)

April 20, 2005

Department of Redundancy Department: King Co., WA renamed King Co., WA

King County, WA, home to the city of Seattle, has been renamed King County, WA, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by moonbat Governor Christine Gregoire.

The county had been originally named after former US Vice President William Rufus Devane King, but the county council, and the moonbat masquerading as governor felt that it needed to be put into "official" effect.

Governor Christine Gregoire signed a bill Tuesday renaming King County in honor of the civil rights leader who visited Seattle in 1961.

Council members renamed the county after King in 1986, but a similar change was not made in state law at the time.

King County was established in 1852 when Washington was still part of the Oregon Territory.

The county was named after William Rufus Devane King, who was a long-tenured senator from Alabama and vice president of the United States under Franklin Pierce.

I certainly understand honoring Dr. King, as has been done with streets, government buildings and other such edifaces around the nation. But the notion of renaming King County to King County in Dr. King's name is just plain stupid.

Posted by mhking at 02:10 PM | Comments (3)

Ohio Congresscritter accepted trip money from lobbyist

US Congresscritter Stephanie Tubbs Jones (Moonbat-OH) is in hot water over taking a 2001 trip paid for by a lobbyist -- or is she?

Stephanie Tubbs Jones, an Ohio Democrat who sits on the House ethics committee, took a 2001 trip to Puerto Rico that was paid for by a registered lobbyist firm — an apparent violation of the chamber's ethics rules — according to documents that she filed with the House clerk.

A spokeswoman for Mrs. Jones disputed those records yesterday, saying "human error" led a staffer to list the name of D.C. lobbyist firm Smith, Dawson & Andrews as having paid the $3,366 tab for Mrs. Jones and her husband to travel to the Puerto Rican island of Vieques in the Caribbean.

The irregularities with the trip are not unlike those facing House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who is the butt of many calls for investigation and other punitive measures in recent weeks. There have even been calls in the press for him to resign.

Time will tell if those same voices will be raised in concern regaring Jones' miscues, let alone any calls for her resignation.

I'm not holding my breath though. After all, she's "only" a Democrat, and a member of the Congressional Black Caucus on top of that. It's politically incorrect to challenge her, and will be seen as (c'mon, let's say it together) "racially motivated partisan poiltics."

Posted by mhking at 01:18 PM | Comments (0)

April 19, 2005

P21: Black Activists Criticize NAACP for Filibuster Flip-Flop

A new release from Project 21 criticizes the NAACP for their apparently partisan position on the "nuclear option" in the US Senate.

Members of the black leadership organization Project 21 are criticizing the NAACP for endorsing filibusters against Bush Administration judicial nominees, calling the NAACP endorsement contradictory to the group's past position, when filibusters halted the progress of civil rights bills.

"For decades, the NAACP was vehemently against filibusters because they were employed to oppose and counter civil rights legislation. But the NAACP has now switched position," notes Project 21 member Michael King. "NAACP head Julian Bond has aggressively made verbal attacks on the Bush Administration. Though Bond and the NAACP leadership vociferously deny charges of partisanship, Bond's actions and the silence of the membership implies that partisanship is the order of the day. By virtue of its actions, the NAACP has forfeited any opportunity to provide a reasonable voice to this discussion."

Current filibuster rules require the votes of 60 or more senators to bring something up for consideration on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Then only a simple majority is needed for passage or confirmation. During President Bush's first term, Senate liberals employed prolonged filibusters against appeals court nominees for the first time ever. Senate leaders are assessing a rule change - dubbed the "nuclear option" by its opponents - to reduce the number of votes needed to schedule a floor vote as a filibuster progresses.

In a March 16 "Action Alert," NAACP Washington Bureau director Hilary O. Shelton called the filibuster "a respected method of ensuring that the most ardent concerns of the minority party... were taken into consideration" and an "accepted parliamentary maneuver." The alert suggests people contact senators to support retaining the existing Senate rules.

Between the 1930s and 1960s, the NAACP was outspoken against filibusters. For example, anti-lynching legislation was never enacted despite three popular bills because of filibusters. The NAACP's fair employment proposal suffered a similar fate. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was unsuccessfully filibustered.

"While the NAACP has filled its coffers and built a reputation fighting the presentation of the Confederate Battle Flag, they are now celebrating a tactic used by former Confederates and segregationists to impede the fight for civil rights," said Project 21 member Kevin Martin. "The black community should be alarmed that the NAACP now supports the same filibuster that kept lynchings legal."
I really wish the NAACP would come on out of the closet and finally admit that their agenda is a partisan one. But then again, to do that, they'd have to give up their tax exempt status.
(Mroe coverage from LaShawn Barber & others)

Posted by mhking at 04:10 PM | Comments (0)

Habemus Papam! Pope Benedict XVI

Bells are ringing in St. Peter's Square, along with white smoke coming from the Sistine Chapel's chimney, signaling the election of a new pope.

We'll get our first glimpse shortly.

UPDATE - 12:45P ET - 78 year old Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany has been elected Pope by the College of Cardinals. He has taken the name of Pope Benedict XVI.

The new Pope, previously the Dean of the College of Cardinals, is considered a conservative traditionalist, and is expected to continue the work of his friend, Pope John Paul II. This is the second straight non-Italian Pope after the Polish John Paul II.

At 78, most anticipate that Pope Benedict XVI's reigh will be notably shorter than Pope John Paul II's, but many pundits point out the apparent good health of the new Pope.

Posted by mhking at 12:11 PM | Comments (1)

My UJ Name is The Hand Grenade of Courteous Debate; what's yours?

As seems the norm, I'm late to the party on this one.

Jon Carroll's piece in the San Francisco Chronicle follows up on an e-mail making it's way across the web (at least if your SpamBlocker hasn't blocked it).

Greetings to the Imprisoned Citizens of the United States! Too long has your attention been waylaid by the bright baubles of extremist thought. Too long have fundamentalist yahoos of all religions (except Buddhism -- 14-5 vote, no abstentions, fundamentalism subcommittee) made your head hurt. Too long have you been buffeted by angry people who think that God talks to them. You have a right to your moderation! You have the power to be calm! We will use the IED of truth to explode the SUV of dogmatic expression!
So, much as the Islamic badguys want to do, these folks (with tongue firmly planted in cheek, of course) want to convert all of us. One of their first tasks is to change our Christian names.

Thanks to the wonder of the internet, you can find our your Unitarian Jihad Name.

I ran it, and have been dubbed The Hand Grenade of Courteous Debate.

Works for me. Head on over and get yours, and let me know here what you have been dubbed.

Posted by mhking at 08:52 AM | Comments (8)

April 18, 2005

Monday Night Football moving to ESPN in 2006; NBC gets Sunday Night Football

Monday Night Football, the second-longest running prime-time series in television history, moves from ABC to ESPN as of the start of the 2006 season. Only CBS' 60 Minutes has been on the air longer, by two years.

ESPN's Sunday Night Football franchise that they inherited from TNT in the late 90s will move to broadcast television on NBC. NBC has not broadcast the NFL since CBS took the AFC package from them in 1998.

ABC, where MNF originated is co-owned by ESPN parent Disney. ABC will be left without pro football for the first time since the opening 1970 MNF broadcast of the New York Jets and the Cleveland Browns.

As part of the deal, NBC will carry the 2009 and 2012 Super Bowl broadcasts. NBC is paying $600 million for the deal.

Posted by mhking at 06:39 PM | Comments (1)

Tribal Council begins in the Vatican

115 cardinals are entering the Sistine Chapel this morning to begin the Conclave that will select the new Pope.

The cardinals are sequestered inside the Chapel complex, completely cut off from the outside world in order to participate in a centuries-old process that will see three or four votes per day until a new Pope is selected. The complex has had all radios and televisions, all cell phones and Blackberries, all internet access and any other access to the outside world removed.

Representing 52 countries, the 115 crimson-robed "princes" of a church stung by priest sex-abuse scandals and an exodus of the faithful celebrated a midmorning Mass at St. Peter's Basilica before sequestering themselves in the Sistine Chapel late Monday afternoon.

There, seated atop a false floor hiding electronic jamming devices designed to thwart eavesdroppers, they were to take an oath of secrecy, hear a meditation from a senior cardinal and decide whether to take a first vote or wait until Tuesday.

If there is a vote this afternoon, smoke will rise from the chimney at the Sistine Chapel sometime during the 1PM (ET) hour.

Black smoke would signify that no concensus vote had been reached, while white smoke, coupled with the ringing of bells in the Vatican would signify that a new pontiff has been chosen.

Several names have been posited by network news people as the supposed "front-runner," but many point out the old Vatican adage, "He who enters a pontiff, exits a cardinal." That implies that no "front-runner" has ever won the two-thirds vote necessary to become pope.

The networks all have their reporters ensconced in strategic locations around St. Peter's Square, and will (of course) go to wall-to-wall "Pope-o-vision" when events warrant.

UPDATE - 5P ET - Black smoke spewed out of the Sistine Chapel's chimney shortly after 2P ET, signalling a "No" vote among the cardinals sequestered for the Conclave.

Tribal Council continues tomorrow, with the next "chimney sign" taking place sometime after 6A ET.

Posted by mhking at 07:55 AM | Comments (0)

April 17, 2005

ABC -- bringing you the news shaken, not stirred

According to The Drudge Report this evening, ABC News is testing several concepts to replace Nightline once Ted Koppel steps down in December. One of the concepts was -- believe it or not -- a nightclub, complete with white linen table cloths, candles and a fog machine.

According to Drudge, more info will be revealed in Monday morning's New York Times.

Posted by mhking at 09:01 PM | Comments (1)

April 15, 2005

Recall of Fulco Sheriff Myron Freeman gaining ground

A new website has popped up, RecallFreeman.com, that demands the recall of Fulton County Sheriff Myron Freeman. Freeman's handling of the Fulton County Courthouse shootings last month are at the center of the recall effort.

'Grounds for recall' means:

(A) That the official has, while holding public office, conducted himself or herself in a manner which relates to and adversely affects the administration of his or her office and adversely affects the rights and interests of the public; and

(B) That the official is guilty of a failure to perform duties prescribed by law...

Many fault Freeman for not addressing security issues in the Fulton County Courthouse complex.

Brian Nichols is accused of begining his murderous rampage last month at the Fulton County Courthouse, thanks to the lax security there. Four people died during the Nichols crime spree.

The other thing that I've said is that Freeman needs to be kept as far as is humanly possible away from any and all microphones. His verbal presence is lacking, and that's putting it mildly.

Posted by mhking at 11:12 PM | Comments (11)

FL state Senator's hand slapped for begging to pay for S. Africa trip

Florida state Senator Mandy Dawson (Moonbat-Ft. Lauderdale) was formally reprimanded by the state Senate yesterday after soliciting funds from lobbyists to pay for a trip to South Africa. Dawson also was stripped of her membership of the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee.

The reprimand is one in a long string of troubles for the veteran politician, who was first elected to the Florida House in 1992 and then to the Senate in 1998. She was chastised in 2000 for missing an excessive number of votes and in 2002 was arrested on a charge of altering a painkiller prescription to receive more pills. She avoided a felony charge after completing a yearlong, court-sponsored drug-rehabilitation program.

Thursday's proceeding took about five minutes, with Dawson looking down while the charges against her were read. She then got up and gave a rambling speech, where she talked about a dog she once adopted and how she ran for office to help babies born to cocaine-addicted moms and to deal with AIDS.

One aspect lacking in her remarks: a clear statement of contrition.

Instead, Dawson qualified her one mea culpa with an ``if.''

''I hope you will accept my humble and sincere apology if my actions have in any way compromised the integrity of this body,'' Dawson said. ''Please know I hold sacred and respect the integrity of the Senate and its rules.'' Referencing the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, Dawson pledged ''reconciliation'' with the Senate and the citizens of Florida. But she suggested that she won't suffer any further political trouble.

''I truly believe in my heart of hearts that although my path into this body is different, my constituents see my values and continue to support me. And for that I am eternally grateful,'' she said, closing with a Zulu phrase that she said translated as ''great happy day'' and ``go in happiness.''

An investigation by the Miami Herald a month ago revealed that Dawson had sent a letter to a number of lobbyists asking for $2500 to fund an economic development trip to South Africa. In the letter, according to the Herald, Dawson asked that the monies be sent to the Florida's Legislative Black Caucus. Two people sent donations.

The Legislative Black Caucus paid for Dawson and a male companion to go on the ten-day trip. Seven other Florida state legislators also went on the trip, but those officials paid for their trips either from unused campaign dollars or out of their own pockets.

A subsequent Senate investigation found that Dawson violated state law by accepting a gift in excess of $100, and by soliciting monies from lobbyists. She also violated Senate rules by failure to "maintain the integrity of the office."

Anyone want to take bets on how long before she (or someone close to her) starts screaming "racism?"

Posted by mhking at 09:17 AM | Comments (0)

April 13, 2005

CafePress selling "Kill Bush" t-shirts

CafePress.com is the leading site on the web that sells shirts and other novelties for users, with their own designs on them.

One user, in his/her infinte wisdom, carries the username "Kill_Bush" (not to be confused with "KillBush420", but we'll discuss that in a bit).

Said user took the blood-spattered poster image from Kill Bill and came up with a shirt that said -- you guessed it, "Kill Bush."

CafePress has yanked the product from their site, but the shirt's order page still exists through the marvel of Google's cache.

And though the one user is gone, there is another one, using the CafePress username KillBush420, that has merchandise that is equally inciteful.

Also (and while we're on the subject)The Secret Service is investigating an artist, whose work is part of an exhibit called "Axis of Evil: The Secret History of Sin" at Chicago's Columbia College.

The work, by Chicago artist Al Brandtner, is entitled "Patriot Act," and depicts President Bush's head with a pistol pointed toward it in the form of a postage stamp.

Curators of the exhibit are afraid of the inquiry and what it means to free speech rights.

The exhibit's curator, Michael Hernandez de Luna, said the inquiry "frightens" him.

"It starts questioning all rights, not only my rights or the artists' rights in this room, but questioning the rights of any artist who creates — any writer, any visual artist, any performance artist. It seems like we're being watched," he said.

Threatening a sitting President is considered a crime and is punishible by jail time.

Oh, and for the sake of complete disclosure, I sell my own t-shirts and mugs 'n stuff from CafePress, which you can find here or on the left rail.

Posted by mhking at 02:47 PM | Comments (7)

Rudolph pleads guilty and remains arrogantly defiant

Eric Robert Rudolph stood defiantly in a Birmingham courtroom this morning, and pleaded guilty to bombing an abortion clinic there in 1998. Rudolph insisted that the government's case was flimsy at best when questioned by federal Judge Lynwood Smith.

Asked by the judge whether he believed the government had enough evidence to prove his guilt, Rudolph replied, “Just barely, your honor.”

After prosecutors read a summary of the evidence in U.S. District Court, Smith told Rudolph that he understood he might dispute some of the prosecution’s claims.

“But let me just cut to the chase: Did you plant the bomb that exploded at the New Woman All Women clinic?”

“I did, your honor,” Rudolph said.

The bomb was placed in a flower pot and authorities believe it was detonated by remote control.

Smith asked Rudolph whether he detonated the bomb.

“I certainly did, your honor.”

“Are you in fact guilty?” Smith asked.

“I am,” replied Rudolph, 38.

Asked whether he understood that he was pleading guilty to the 1998 bombing in exchange for a life sentence in federal prison, Rudolph nodded and replied: “Correct.”

“Are you satisfied with your attorneys?” Smith asked.

“Yes. I am your honor. They’re very, very good. Superlative attorneys,” said Rudolph, who eluded authorities for 5 1/2 years after the Birmingham blast by hiding in the mountains of western North Carolina.

The 50-minute proceeding ended with Smith pronouncing, “The defendant is now adjudged guilty.”

By admitting guilt, Rudolph now faces life in prison, and avoids the death penalty. The next step is a repeat performance in federal court in Atlanta, where Rudolph pulled off three bombings, including the Centennial Olympic Park bombing during the 1996 Summer Olympics here.

Rudolph's plea deal comes in exchange for his disclosure of where more than 250 pounds of explosives were hidden in the mountains of North Carolina - where he hid from federal authorities for more than five years before his capture.

Posted by mhking at 12:10 PM | Comments (0)

SFGate caption on Bush an attack?

Is this SFGate.com photo caption over the line?

That corral's where we keep the liberals: President Bush shows off his Crawford, Texas, ranch to the Israeli prime minister -- coincidentally on the same day that the media report the president's iPod playlist includes "My Sharona."
Personally, I don't quite think so, but I'm sure there are some folks who might get a little upset at it.

Posted by mhking at 11:40 AM | Comments (3)

Bad guys show American hostage on Al Jazeera

An American citizen, taken hostage in Iraq, was seen on a video broadcast on Al Jazeera today, begging for his life.

The tape on Wednesday showed a man sitting behind a wooden desk as three men pointed their guns towards him.

He was holding what looked like a passport and a photo identification.

The US embassy spokesman in Baghdad - Bob Callahan - confirmed the captive's name as Jeffrey Ake and that the pictures appeared to be consistent with his appearance, but declined to give further details.

Aljazeera did not air the tape's audio, but said Ake had asked the US government to start a dialogue with the Iraqi resistance.

Ake was kidnapped Sunday in Iraq.

I'll link to the video once it becomes available.

(More coverage from Outside the Beltway & others)

Posted by mhking at 11:12 AM | Comments (1)

Day of the Moonbats: Stop Caterpillar

Moonbats far and wide are protesting heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar today, in the name of flattened protester Rachel "Our Lady of the Royal and Blessed Pancake" Corrie.

Corrie was run over by an Israeli Defense Force bulldozer when she stepped in front of it to attempt to prevent a Palistinian house from being demolished. The house was the residence of a suicide bomber. The IDF has a practice of demolishing the homes of suicide bombers.

On April 13, join groups all over the world in opposing Caterpillar sales of home-crushing bulldozers to Israel. That day, Caterpillar shareholders will meet in Chicago and will discuss a resolution on sales of bulldozers to Israel. We're calling on groups to organize local demonstrations at CAT-related locations, such as board of directors' offices or CAT dealerships, to send a strong message that cooperation in human rights abuses is unacceptable.

The Caterpillar Corporation has been in the business of war profiteering, profiting from the violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people and from the escalating cycle of violence between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Like I said, the moonbats are doing their thing all over the globe. I'm sure they're going to sue AT&T for letting the IDF use telephones, or perhaps Sony for letting them listen to the radio next.

To hear them tell it, all of Caterpillar's products have minds of their own - kind of like the old ABC Movie of the Week and Theodore Sturgeon science fiction story Killdozer.

What's next, to insist that Bob the Builder is evil because he uses a bulldozer?

(More coverage from Little Green Footballs & others)

Posted by mhking at 10:41 AM | Comments (2)

Crazy Al: Racism behind fund-raising investigation

Al Sharpton insists he did nothing wrong in terms of fundraising for his Presidential campaign.

"I assure you that everything handed to us was properly filed," said Sharpton, referring to $140,000 in donations collected by two shady businessmen who later were caught by a wiretap speculating that Sharpton had not reported most of that money to the Federal Election Commission.

"It is very suspicious that we have a pattern here," Sharpton said yesterday, citing both the FBI's secret videotape and bugging surveillance of a 2003 meeting he had with the fund-raisers and an FBI microphone found in the office of Philadelphia Mayor John Street, who also is black.

"People understand what this smells like," Sharpton said at a press conference outside The Post, which detailed the federal probe yesterday in a front-page story.

"I know that there were irregularities in Mr. [John] Edwards's [presidential campaign] . . . I know there were questions about John Kerry's mortgaging his house for his campaign. I don't know of any of them being wiretapped," Sharpton said.

What is this, the line of the day -- former candidates surfacing to cry racism? Just this past weekend, John Kerry implied racially offensive tactics behind the Ohio results. Who's next? Dennis Kucinich tossing paper airplanes?

Posted by mhking at 09:00 AM | Comments (0)

Gibson to film John Paul biopic?

It looks like one of Mel Gibson's next projects will be a biographic movie of the life of Pope John Paul II.

Gibson, a 'devote' Roman Catholic, got a jump start by sending a production crew to Rome to film the Pope's funeral last Friday.

Mel's "The Passion Of The Christ" was one of Hollywood's biggest box-office hits last year and he's already been talking about doing further religious themed movies such as "The Revolt Of The Maccabees", the story behind the Jewish holiday Hanukkah.

No word from the Catholic Church one way or the other, but given the love that everyone has for the late Pontiff, I'd have to figure that they'd all love the idea.

Posted by mhking at 08:53 AM | Comments (0)

April 12, 2005

Ketchup Boy fooled by The Onion

John Kerry showed up Sunday whining about "voter intimidation" of minorities citing an old adage that says that Republicans should vote on Tuesday, while Democrats should vote on Wednesday.

Kerry even cited "evidence" (though he could not produce said "evidence") that fliers were passed out to that effect.

Kerry cited examples Sunday of how people were duped into not voting.

"Leaflets are handed out saying Democrats vote on Wednesday, Republicans vote on Tuesday. People are told in telephone calls that if you've ever had a parking ticket, you're not allowed to vote," he said.

What Kerry apparently didn't realize is that the joke is much older than this election - I recall hearing it as far back as the Reagan administration - and that the source of it for this election cycle looks to be from The Onion, the satirical newspaper and website produced in Madison, WI.

In other words, it was a joke. Whether Kerry figured that out or not is still up for debate.

(More coverage from Michelle Malkin, The Jawa Report, Opinion Journal & others)

Posted by mhking at 04:22 PM | Comments (7)

April 11, 2005

MJ asks his parents to raise his kids if he goes to jail

Michael Jackson has reportedly asked his aging parents to take custody of his children, 8 year-old Prince Michael, seven year-old Paris and two year-old Prince Michael II, in the event of his conviction and imprisonment.

The house is Jackson's childhood home where he allegedly suffered physical and verbal abuse under his father, Joe Jackson.
Despite the star's reported unhappy relationship with his father, Joe has been at his son's side in court throughout the trial.

However, Jackson's ex-wife and mother of his two eldest children, Debbie Rowe, is so unhappy with the decision she is fighting for custody.

Rowe signed away her parental rights in 2001, telling a judge: "I had the children for him to be a father, not for me to be a mother."

But she launched a legal battle to retract the ruling after hearing Jackson was charged with child abuse and his parents were to be her children's guardians.

As witness after witness tied to decade-old accusations surfaces, pundits say that the likelihood of Jackson's conviction continues to grow.

Or is he planning to move in with Roman Polanski in Europe?

Posted by mhking at 10:45 PM | Comments (2)

Tiger on the 16th at Augusta. Unbelievable!

By now, you've seen Tiger Woods' incredible birdie shot on the 16th at Augusta National in yesterday's final round of The Masters. But for those of you who simply have not seen it, the incredible shot has already been turned into a Nike commercial by marketing guru Joseph Jaffe. Of course, you can see the commercial in 30 and 60 second forms at Jaffe's site.

Posted by mhking at 09:03 PM | Comments (0)

Justifying The Brotherhood

The Conservative Brotherhood's expansion (that I mentioned last week) was noted this weekend by Wizbang (among other places), and appears to have caused a bit of a dust-up (at least in the comments on their entry). The predictable bitching and moaning is coming from both of the expected places - those who whine about the notion of a collection of "black" conservatives versus a collection of "white" conservatives, as well as the soul patrol regulars who are so enamored with the term "uncle tom" that they toss it at us with mindless abandon.


(More from Cobb, Uncle Sam's Cabin, Baldilocks & others)

Posted by mhking at 08:55 AM | Comments (7)

April 09, 2005

Prince Charles shakes hands with thug dictator Mugabe

Prince Charles has caused a bit of an uproar by shaking hands with thuggish Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe yesterday at Pope John Paul II's funeral.

Prince Charles was sitting one space away from Mugabe, and was caught unawares during the portion of the mass when the members of the congregation "exchange the peace," a time of mutual reconciliation and greeting.

A Clarence House spokesman said the prince "finds the current Zimbabwean regime abhorrent" and "was not in a position to avoid shaking Mr Mugabe's hand".

The spokesman added: "He has supported the Zimbabwe Defence and Aid Fund which works with those being oppressed by the regime.

"The prince also recently met Pius Ncube, the Archbishop of Bulawayo, an outspoken critic of the government."

A Foreign Office spokesman said seating arrangements at the funeral were made by the Vatican.

But Labour MEP Glenys Kinnock, who has called for the EU to get tougher with the Mugabe regime, said shaking his hand was not "sensible".

She added: "I am sure that by now Prince Charles regrets shaking Mugabe's hand.

"However, this is yet another failure of the establishment, of people with power and responsibility in the international community, to be sensitive enough about how to respond to this man."

MEP Richard Corbett said Prince Charles should have refused to shake Mr Mugabe's hand.

He said: "This was a golden opportunity to deliberately and very visibly refuse to shake hands with this man.

"To fail to do so was, frankly, stupid."

Mugabe sidestepped an EU ban on travel in order to attend the Vatican funeral service. Mugabe was able to travel because the Vatican is a soverign state, separate from the European Union.

Posted by mhking at 12:58 PM | Comments (4)

April 08, 2005

Eric Rudolph pleads guilty to all charges in exchange for life instead of death

Eric Robert Rudolph, accused of the Centennial Olympic Park bombing nine years ago, along with two other bombings in metro Atlanta and one in Birmingham, has agreed to plead guilty to all the charges against him in exchange for a life sentence.

Rudolph has signed agreements with the U.S. Attorneys' Offices in Birmingham and Atlanta in which he agreed to plead guilty to the three Atlanta bombings and the Birmingham bombing and agreed to waive all appeals. The plea agreements provide for multiple life sentences for Rudolph without the possibility of parole.

"The many victims of Eric Rudolph's terrorist attacks in Atlanta and Birmingham can rest assured that Rudolph will spend the rest of his life behind bars," said Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales. "The best interests of justice are served by resolution of this case and by the skillful operation that secured the dangerous explosives buried in North Carolina."

Rudolph is scheduled to plead guilty to the Northern District of Alabama indictment Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Lynwood Smith at the federal courthouse in Birmingham. On the same day, the U.S. Marshal's Service will transport Rudolph to Atlanta, where he is scheduled to plead guilty before U.S. District Judge Charles A. Pannell, Jr., at the federal courthouse in Atlanta.

Pursuant to the plea agreements, Rudolph disclosed to the government the existence and locations of more than 250 pounds of dynamite buried in several locations in Western North Carolina. Three of the locations were relatively near populated areas, including one location where Rudolph buried a fully constructed dynamite bomb with a detached detonator, the press release says.

At least 40 pounds of bomb-making material, mostly dynamite, was found near an armory in Murphy, N.C., near where the task force was based to search for him, according to a source close to the investigation. Authorities also found dynamite scattered throughout the North Carolina woods where agents were looking for him. Allegedly, most of the dynamite was taken from a rock quarry near Cherokee, N.C.

One woman was killed and more than a hundred injured at the Centennial Olympic Park bombing.

A second bombing occured in early 1997 at an abortion clinic in Sandy Springs. Once first responders and police arrived at the building where the bombing took place, another bomb went off in a trash dumpster, resulting in several injuries. One more bombing took place in Atlanta, at a lesbian bar, The Otherside about a month later.

Early in 1998, a bombing attributed to Rudolph happened at an abortion clinic in Birmingham, resulting in two deaths.

Rudolph then disappeared into the hills of North Carolina, not to been seen until his capture two years ago.

The plea deal, set to be entered in Atlanta next Wednesday, will permit Rudolph to avoid a probable death sentence.

(More coverage from Outside The Beltway, Yippie-Ki-Yay & others)

Posted by mhking at 05:27 PM | Comments (3)

Fare thee well, Holy Father...

Pope John Paul II has been laid to rest in the tombs underneath the Vatican. The Pope's body has been placed inside of a simple cypress coffin, which was placed inside of a zinc liner, which in turn has been placed inside a walnut coffin inscribed with a cross and Pope John Paul II's personal crest.

Posted by mhking at 04:13 PM | Comments (0)

April 07, 2005

The Brotherhood expands

The Conservative Brotherhood, of which I'm proudly a charter member, has expanded it's ranks by three.

Tavares Forby holds down the fort at BlackPundit.org. He's young, Republican and an electrical engineer. He comes from the streets, but knows where his head is at. Laser-beam penetrating logic, a quick tongue, and enthusiasm caught all out attention when he stepped up. We're proud to have him.

Ol' Sarge at The Hunter's Herald is Demond Hunter, back home from serving our nation in the mean streets of Iraq. He's a NASCAR dad, and I'll even forgive him for rooting for the Tarheels over the Illini.

Joseph C. Phillips is a man on a conservative mission across this entire nation. You'd recognize his face from his acting work - running the gamut from General Hospital to The District to The Cosby Show. He was one of the speakers at last summer's Republican National Convention, and he is a family man in the classic sense. I've only spoken with him a few times, but he sounds like a better cook than I am (not that cooking better'n me is a difficult feat).

We're proud and happy to add them to the ranks of the Brotherhood. You can find all our links over on the left menu rail, and you can find strong opinions and fantastic conversation from each one of us.

Posted by mhking at 11:06 PM | Comments (1)

Security guard testimony: MJ gave oral sex to underaged boy in '93

The MJ fans are sure to be in a tizzy now. A former Neverland Ranch security guard testified today, and told jurors that he had actually seen Michael Jackson performing oral sex on an underaged boy while Jackson and the young boy were nude outside a shower in 1993.

The defense tried to counter Ralph Chacon's testimony by painting him as a disgruntled former employee forced into bankruptcy by an unsuccessful civil suit against Jackson.

Chacon testified that Jackson and the boy -- who was involved in a civil suit against Jackson in 1993 -- were engaged in "passionate" kissing and were caressing before the sex act.

He told prosecutors that the sex act occurred in late 1992 or 1993.

He said the incident began around midnight, when he saw Jackson and the boy, who was 9 or 10 at the time of the incident, laughing and playing in a whirlpool spa. He said they later went to a bathroom on the ranch grounds, which contained a shower.

Chacon testified he was walking by the room more than a half hour later when he heard Jackson and the boy together in the shower. He said he first walked away, but he returned because he thought to himself, "Hey, what's going on here? There's a grown man in the shower with a boy."

He said he looked through a window, and he saw Jackson and the boy standing naked in a well-lit room outside the shower. Jackson caressed the boy and kissed his hair, then Jackson moved his lips to the boy's genital area and performed oral sex, Chacon said.

Chacon said walked away and later saw Jackson giving the boy a piggyback ride. Both were wearing only towels, he said.

He also said that on another occasion, he saw Jackson passionately kissing the same boy in front of a display of Peter Pan dolls, and "Jackson's hands went down to the boy's crotch area."

This marks the first time that testimony relating to the earlier accusation has been brought up in open court.

Many professional trial-watchers have indicated that since the judge in the case is allowing testimony from prior circumstances - going to a pattern of behavior on the part of Jackson - that Jackson's legal team would be on the ropes under a barrage of bombshell accusations, perhaps leading them to try to settle the case and reduce the amount of time that Jackson would have to spend in jail. As of this point, there is no indication of a plea bargain on Jackson's part. 46 year-old Jackson insists he is not guilty of the child molestation charges brought against him.

Posted by mhking at 04:06 PM | Comments (4)

New sport emerging: tossing food at conservatives

A pie was tossed at David Horowitz of Frontpagemag.com-fame last night during a Butler University lecture last night.

Witnesses say there was some "pushing and shoving" when Horowitz's supporters followed the pie-throwers out of the hall, but the attackers got away. After the incident, Horowitz completed his lecture.

A Butler spokesman called the incident "deplorable." Horowitz has criticized what he calls the "leftist domination" of college campuses. On his blog Wednesday night, Horowitz spoke of "a wave of leftist violence against conservative speakers on college campuses."

And even though the competor didn't score big points with their attempt, last night's pie-toss at Horowitz isn't unusual or outside the norm, it seems.

Last week, salad dressing was thrown onto Pat Buchanan at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI, while Weekly Standard editor and Fox News contributor Bill Kristol was "pied" at an appearance at Earlham College in Richmond, IN. Last fall, columnist Ann Coulter was nearly hit by a pie during a speech at the University of Arizona.

Posted by mhking at 02:09 PM | Comments (3)

April 06, 2005

Village Voice: GOP wants Bubba for SCOTUS to shut Hillary out from White House

I've heard of cloak and dagger political plots, but this one has to take the proverbial cake.

A new article by James Ridgeway in the new Village Voice suggests that the Republican party has a wild-eyed plot to put former President Bill Clinton on the Supreme Court in order to nullify any chance Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (Moonbat-NY) has of winning the White House in 2008.

Last weekend Bob Novak described a novel scheme, supposedly emanating from the fevered brain of Karl Rove: Stop Hillary by putting Bill on the Supreme Court.

Here's what's supposed to happen: Bush names either Clarence Thomas or Antonin Scalia to be chief justice. That leaves one vacancy on the court. Then he appoints Bill Clinton to the court.

The thought of adulterer Clinton on the court (think Monica as clerk) sends right-wingers up the wall. But wait a minute. Think it through: Next, Bill Frist—Senate majority leader, Terri Schiavo defender, and himself a presidential hopeful—immediately moves to hold up Bill's nomination. Next, Harry Reid, the Democratic minority leader in the Senate, cuts a deal to free the conservative judicial nominations now backed up in Congress in return for letting Clinton on the court.

Once on the court, Clinton is out of the picture when it comes to campaigning for Hillary or anyone else in 2008. What to do about Hillary? Americans may differ on whether she should be president, but almost everyone will agree that the country could not stand to have two Clintons dominating two branches of government.

One political insider was quoted in the article as saying, "He couldn't be any worse than Souter."

Just damn, indeed.

Posted by mhking at 07:27 PM | Comments (4)

Why go nuts regulating cornrows?

Cornrows & Co. was founded by the husband and wife team of Taalib-Din Uqdah and Pamela Farrell in the Nation's Capitol in 1980 to provide an underserved clientele quality hair braiding services.

After the company built an excellent reputation and a clientele of more than 20,000, bureaucrats ordered him to cease and desist.

Local bureaucrats ordered Uqdah to cease and desist, or be "subject to criminal prosecution." Why? Because he didn't have a license. "It's a safety issue," said the regulators. Those who run a hair salon must have a cosmetology license. The chemicals they use dyeing or perming hair might hurt someone.

Hair dye is hardly a serious safety threat, but even if it were, Cornrows & Co. didn't dye or perm hair. They only braided it. That didn't matter, said the Cosmetology Board -- they still had to get a license. In order to get one, Uqdah would have to pay about $5,000 to take more than 1,000 hours of courses at a beauty school.

Uqdah thought he understood why the cosmetology board wanted to shut down his salon: "Money -- other salons don't like the competition."

Even if licensing boards intend to protect the public, in time they are captured by the people who care most. Who cares most? Not consumers -- you don't get your hair done that often, and even if you did, you don't care enough about it to want to join a regulatory bureaucracy. Innovators don't join the boards; they're busy innovating. Scientists, economists, doctors, and others with genuine expertise in safety and commerce don't join the boards, either. They're busy doing more important things. So boards are usually captured by the licensees, the established businesses. William Jackson, a former member of the Washington, D.C., Cosmetology Board, admitted, "The board, 90 percent of the time, are salon owners."

Uqdah didn't close up shop. He hired the Institute for Justice, a legal firm, and sued in federal court. The District ultimately changed their law.

Uqdah and Farrell went on to establish the American Hairbraiders & Natural Haircare Association to help others in their situation across the nation to stave off predatory cosmetology laws, and educate the public about their industry and art.

Posted by mhking at 10:23 AM | Comments (6)

Star Wars geeks line up outside wrong theater

Star Wars fans got in line this week for the late May opening of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood, just as they have before each of the prior Star Wars flicks.

The only problem this time: it isn't opening at the Chinese - it's opening at the ArcLight a few blocks down the street.

"We've heard all this before," said Sarah Sprague, one of the designated spokesmen for the group. In 1999 and 2002, there were plenty of rumors (ultimately false) that the previous two pics weren't going to open at the Chinese.

This year the rumors seem to be true. Fox and the ArcLight haven't finalized their "Star Wars" deal, but execs on both sides say they expect "Revenge of the Sith" to play the ArcLight and not the Chinese.

As theaters normally do, the ArcLight is likely to ask Fox that it be the only theater playing "Revenge of the Sith" in the immediate area. And even if it doesn't, Paramount confirmed it will open "The Longest Yard" at the Chinese the week after "Revenge," which means Fox won't want to book the theater for just one week. (Paramount partly owns Mann Theaters.)

The assorted geeks are chronicling their time in line as they raise money for the Starlight Foundation at http://liningup.net/.

Posted by mhking at 09:30 AM | Comments (0)

Pope-vision continues

All-Pope-all-the-time coverage of the death of Pope John Paul II continues with his funeral, set to get underway from Vatican City Friday morning at 4A Eastern Time. All the major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, MSNBC, FNC, NWI, BBC World, CBC, Univision, Telemundo, C-Span), along with Catholic television network EWTN will carry coverage live - most coverage gets underway at about 3A ET.

The Conclave that will choose the next Pope (doesn't that sound like the ultimate reality show? Where's Mark Burnett when you need him?) is set to be sequestered at the Sistine Chapel in Vatican City on Monday, April 18. 116 Cardinals will get to vote for their choice to be the new Pope. The person elected will need to receive two-thirds of the votes, plus one to ascend to the throne of St. Peter.

Four votes per day will take place until the job gets done. The only signals we will have in the rest of the world are black smoke from the Sistine Chapel's chimney if there is no pope chosen, and white smoke accompanied by the peal of bells if there is a new pope chosen.

(More coverage from Outside The Beltway & others)

Posted by mhking at 08:59 AM | Comments (2)

April 05, 2005

PJ has lung cancer

ABC World News Tonight anchor Peter Jennings announced this morning that he has lung cancer.

He is set to begin chemo treatments next week.

As you all know, this is a challenge. I begin chemo-therapy next week. I will continue to do the broadcast.

There will be good days and bad, which means that some days I may be cranky and some days really cranky!

Jennings was diagnosed yesterday.

In an e-mail, ABC News President David Westin indicated that PJ would continue to do the program, but that he would be off from time to time, depending on how he's doing. Elizabeth Vargas, Charlie Gibson and others will sit in for him on WNT in those instances.

(More coverage from Aaron's cc, Dead Pool & others)

Posted by mhking at 11:33 AM | Comments (0)

April 04, 2005

Al Gore's Current will replace Newsworld International on 8/1

Newsworld International (NWI), the little-watched
Canadian-based international news network that formerly owned by USA Networks before their purchase by former Vice-President Al Gore, will go away on August 1, as Gore's brainchild, Current, will debut in it's place. Current will be a news network geared toward the 18-34 age-range with MTV-style short-form programming.

Al Gore and Joel Hyatt announced Current's new name and target start date today.

The new network will try to build on the audience of 20 million homes that NWI has from DirecTV, and digital cable deals on some Comcast and Time Warner systems.

Gore and Hyatt have recruited talent from the exsisting broacast universe to spin their form of news both in front of and behind the camera. On-air talent includes Gotham Chopra from the old Channel One network (and creator of the comic book Bulletproof Monk) and Laura Ling, also from Channel One.

Behind the camera, names include Chief Operating Officer Mark Goldman (former programming president of Channel One), Anne Kallin Zehren (former publisher of Teen People) & former ad executive Joanna Drake Earl.

Sounds like they're going to try to shove "news" in the form of blipverts down our collective throats (for any of you who remember the old Max Headroom storyline). I'm sure they'll fail miserably. Even more reason for me to get my Canadian satellite system - a Canadian dish will at least let me continue to watch CBC's The National and ITV's evening newscast.

(More coverage from Michelle Malkin, The Jawa Report & others)

Posted by mhking at 05:33 PM | Comments (7)

Piling on Oliver Willis

I've known Oliver peripherally from a mailing list we are both members of for a number of years, and though we disagree politcally, he's not a bad guy.

Which makes this wrong on about six different levels.

The video is funny though...

Posted by mhking at 01:17 PM | Comments (0)

Prince Charles wedding may be delayed by Papal funeral after all

Yesterday, Prince Charles was quoted as saying that he wouldn't delay his wedding to Camilla Parker-Secretariat, even if the funeral for Pope John Paul II was Friday, the date originally chosen for his nuptuals. But new word this morning is that the wedding date may change after all.

Prince Charles' office indicated Monday that his wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles could be rescheduled so that it would not conflict with Friday's funeral for Pope John Paul II.

Charles cut short his Swiss skiing holiday to attend a memorial service for the pope in London later Monday, his office added. Parker Bowles also planned to attend the service at Westminster Cathedral, it said.

Meanwhile, a replica of Camilla Parker-Bowles' wedding ring went on sale in London this weekend. The ring, to be given to her by Charles, previously belonged to the late Queen Mother Elizabeth. The replica, in stirling silver and cubic zirconia, is retailing for $34 and is in a limited run of 2500.

UPDATE - 12N - Word has come down that the Prince's wedding to Secretariat will take place on Saturday. It wouldn't look good for the grand high poohbah of the Church of England to be officiating for a wedding instead of attending the Pope's funeral. Plus it sounds like Chuck's daddy will be in Rome as well.

Posted by mhking at 10:26 AM | Comments (5)

Reuters photo caption slamming Republicans?

What the heck is this photo and caption trying to say!?

Many Americans are so sleepy that they are having problems in their marriages, making mistakes at work and even going without sex, according to a report. File photo shows supporters of U.S. President George W. Bush sleeping on the floor as they wait for an appearance by the President at an election night gathering in Washington, D.C. November 3, 2004
What the hell does marriage problems, sleep and this photo have to do with each other? Or was it convenient to show Bush supporters?

Just damn.

Posted by mhking at 09:30 AM | Comments (4)

April 02, 2005

CBS planning Terri Schiavo movie for May sweeps

The tragic story of the death of Terri Schiavo will be the subject of a hastily put-together made-for-tv movie on CBS during next month's May sweeps.

Keri Russell will star as Terri, while Dean Cain will play her husband Michael.

No word on the title, or exactly what date CBS will carry the movie yet.

I was expecting Lifetime to yank one together first. Go figure.

UPDATE 4/4, 9:30A - It looks like I (and by extension WorldNet Daily) have been had. Apparently the Defamer ran an April Fools' story that WND picked up on 4/2. I grabbed it, figuring that since it ran on the 2nd, that it wasn't an April Fool story, plus I considered WND to be a news source that would have researched their stuff.

Shame on me.

Thanks to Wizbang for the heads up.

Posted by mhking at 09:51 PM | Comments (9)

NY Times needs to hunt for Papal supporter

The New York Times, like newspapers all over the world, provided coverage of the death of Pope John Paul II, but, as noted by PowerLine, they seem to have had problems finding coverage from a supporter of the Pontiff.

Even as his own voice faded away, his views on the sanctity of all human life echoed unambiguously among Catholics and Christian evangelicals in the United States on issues from abortion to the end of life.

need some quote from supporter

John Paul II's admirers were as passionate as his detractors, for whom his long illness served as a symbol for what they said was a decrepit, tradition-bound papacy in need of rejuvenation and a bolder connection with modern life.

Sound unbelievable? Yeah, it did to me too -- that is until I saw the screenshot that PowerLine was able to grab before the Times changed the page to remove the "offending" line.

And while we're talking about "offending" folks over the Pope, Michelle Malkin has a rundown of the kinds of things that have popped up in the mainstream media that have irked folks, from CBS' carriage of the Final Four pregame show over coverage of the Pope's death, to an article in the New York Press last month that offensively talked about the "52 funniest things about the upcoming death of the pope," among other things.

Posted by mhking at 09:43 PM | Comments (1)

Pope John Paul II, 1920 - 2005

Pope John Paul II, leader of the Catholic Church and one of the world's great all-time leaders, has died in his apartment in Vatican City.

The Pontiff's health has been failing for quite sometime, as he has battled Parkinson's Disease and ultimately heart and kidney failure.

The Pope's health took a major turn for the worse this week, and he nearly expired yesterday before finally succombing to his maladies at 2:37 this afternoon Eastern Time (9:37P in Rome).

John Paul left a staunchly conservative mark on the Catholic Church, and in his 26 years as pontiff, brought the Catholic Church into the 21st Century.

To the Pope, I say God bless you, and thank you. Your leadership has helped this world in ways that many still do not appreciate. Your love and support has provided unerring guidance to multitudes. Your wisdom belongs to the ages.

Live streaming coverage:

  • Sky News (Windows Media Player)
  • BBC World (Windows Media Player)
  • EWTN (Windows Media Player)

    Other coverage will kick in and out from time to time over the course of the Interregnum. The Pope's funeral is anticipated later this week.

    (More coverage from The Pope Blog, Michelle Malkin, PunditGuy, Wizbang & others)

    Posted by mhking at 09:36 PM | Comments (3)
  • Update on Pope John Paul II's condition & network coverage

    Pope John Paul II remains in "very grave" condition this morning in his apartment overlooking St. Peter's Square.

    Several masses have been said in his honor and in prayer for his condition.

    The networks have been scrambling to cover the impending end of the Pontificate. NBC's Matt Lauer was able to arrive in Rome in enough time to co-anchor Today from there yesterday morning, and after the Pope's condition became more pressing late yesterday morning, Lauer and Ann Curry in New York anchored a freshened edition of Today for the Pacific Time Zone.

    CNN's American Morning ran an extra three hours, until Noon ET, with Wolf Blitzer taking over anchor duties at that point. American Morning is running a special Saturday edition this morning, with Bill Hemmer anchoring from Rome.

    Shepard Smith took over the anchor desk at Fox News Channel shortly after Noon Eastern, and ended up making a major faux pas a bit later, when he said that the Pope had died. Smith's call came shortly after a press conference was carried by FNC, during which a producer could be heard talking in English over the translator, exclaiming, "The Pope is dead!" The other networks quickly advised caution, with CNN pointing out that several news services, including networks in Italy, were claiming that the Pope had passed away, but that confirmation had not come from the Vatican.

    MSNBC's Lester Holt and Alison Stewart anchored live coverage there, and NBC's Brian Williams was expected to anchor coverage on the broadcast network from Rome as soon as this morning.

    The broadcast networks will begin coverage of some measure once the Pope passes away, with John Roberts there for CBS and Peter Jennings in Rome for ABC.

    Newsworld International carries special report coverage from CBC Newsworld and the CBC broadcast network, with their lead anchor Peter Mansbridge.

    In addition,BBC World is available to some online, and is carrying ongoing coverage during their newscasts, which may be simulcast with BBC News 24. I wouldn't be surprised if BBC America began carrying BBC World coverage once the Pontiff passes.

    I'll have coverage off and on during the weekend, and will do a streaming link list once coverage kicks in.

    Posted by mhking at 07:59 AM | Comments (1)

    April 01, 2005

    EWTN reporting the death of Pope John Paul II

    Catholic television network EWTN, now echoing reports from Reuters and Italian television, are now saying that Pope John Paul II has died.

    UPDATE - These reports have not been confirmed by the Vatican, however, statements from doctors indicate that the Pontiff's death is imminent.

    (More coverage from Michelle Malkin, Political Teen, Blog Wire & others)

    Posted by mhking at 01:32 PM | Comments (3)

    "Berger, no swiping! Berger, no swiping!"

    Sandy Berger, former National Security Advisor under President Clinton, is going to plead guilty today to removing classified documents from the National Archives, according to a Justice Department spokesperson.

    The former Clinton administration official previously acknowledged he removed from the National Archives copies of documents about the government's anti-terror efforts and notes that he took on those documents. He said he was reviewing the materials to help determine which Clinton administration documents to provide to the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

    He called the episode "an honest mistake," and denied criminal wrongdoing.

    Berger and his lawyer, Lanny Breuer, have said Berger knowingly removed the handwritten notes by placing them in his jacket and pants and inadvertently took copies of actual classified documents in a leather portfolio. He returned most of the documents, but some still are missing.

    The charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of a year in prison and up to a $100,000 fine.

    I fully expect Berger to get away without spending a single day in jail.

    Plus some of the pilfered docs that Berger swiped are still missing. Mission accomplished.

    UPDATE: More from Michelle Malkin (when is she going to finally blogroll me!? "Aw man!")

    Here is all I want to know: were all of the documents stolen by Berger identical to documents retained by Archives, or did any of Berger's copies have unique notes or markings on them?
    What do I think? That Berger knew what he was doing, and that he glommed onto exactly what he -- or more particularly his friends the Clintons -- needed.

    The "distinguished competition" strikes again.

    Posted by mhking at 08:45 AM | Comments (5)