Saturday, July 18, 2009

While I was off the grid yesterday . . .

. . . AmeriCorp IG Gerald Walpin filed a federal lawsuit demanding to be reinstated (hat-tip to Ed Morrissey, who doesn't give me any credit or linky-love).

My trip to Capitol Hill yesterday was extraordinarily fruitful. People who don't want to deal with reporters can dodge an e-mail or a phone call, but they get their salaries from the American taxpayer. They claim to be "public servants," so they don't have much choice in the matter when a citizen-journalist walks in the front door and says, "Serve me."

Yesterday, because of screwed-up D.C. traffic -- the Beltway was a parking lot and the side streets were gridlocked by freaking tourists who don't know how to drive -- I missed my 1 p.m. appointment with an important source. Even as I pulled into the parking garage at my destination, the source called me at 1:20 to explain that it was too late to wait any longer.

Grrrrrr. OK, fine, I had lunch with a friend of mine who just happened to be in town. And then I headed out to Capitol Hill.

Rejection and Revenge
My first visit was to an office where Smith at the desk smiled when he saw me walk in the door. He went into the next room to announce my arrival and, without saying a word, I walked right in behind him. I saw the initial look of horror on the source's face when Smith said I was back, but then the source saw me behind Smith and smiled: "Oh, hi, Stacy!"

Nothing beats shoe leather. What I wanted from this source was to confirm the name and office location of the guy who hadn't responded to my e-mail the day before. (Hint to public servants: When I send you an e-mail saying "call me at [my personal cell phone number] at your earliest opportunity," you should RSVP ASAP.)

So I got the information and added a little extra hassle for good measure. This particular source is also a friend. If your friendly sources object to journalistic harassment, what kind of friends are they?

Understand that I was completely stressed out at this point. If these public servants would return my phone calls and e-mails, I wouldn't have to drive 150 miles round-trip and walk all over Capitol Hill like this. After three hours of sleep and four cups of coffee, I'd driven like a maniac through Northwest D.C. -- River Road to Wisconsin Avenue to Porter Street to Rock Creek Parkway and then into tourist-infested gridlock hell -- only to find myself pleading on the phone to my source: "Please, I'm almost there, I'll be there in two minutes, if this g--d----d busload of f---ing tourists would just get out of my f---ing way."

And being told "no." Like a salesman doing cold calls or a teenage boy asking for a date, a reporter must learn to cope with rejection. But it hurts every time.

Like I'm Chopped Liver
When I was a pimply teenage boy and got rejected, I'd find myself thinking, "Would she say this to Andy Gibb?" (Back in the day, his poster adorned the wall of every college girl's dorm-room.) Arrogant? Maybe. But I didn't care how famous Andy Gibb was. He ain't got nothing on me.

OK, so now I'm an award-winning journalist, a published author and the founder of the online posse whom Jimmie Bise dubbed "The Million-Hit Squad." Just because I'm not famous doesn't make me chopped liver. So when a potential source blows me off, my reaction is, "Would she do this to George Stephanopoulos?" (Who also ain't got nothing on me.)

Trust me, I understand people are busy. My inbox is overflowing, I seldom have a chance to check my voicemail, my desk is a mess, and if it weren't for abundant assistance from Smitty and my sexy wife -- both of them answers to prayer, whom I seldom thank as often as I should -- I'd be even more of a hopeless mess than I already am.

So if I miss your phone call or don't reply to your e-mail, please don't take it personally. Maybe I didn't see your e-mail, and maybe (as is the case at this very moment) my cell phone is dead and I left the charger in the car that my wife is driving today.

Given my notorious disorganization and many other shortcomings, I try to be forgiving, to have empathy like Sonia Sotomayor, and to remember that other people have their own problems. Still, on the other hand . . .

Who's zooming who? The salaries of congressional staffers are a matter of public record. You're getting paid good money to deal with the media, and you can't play favorites, as if The American Spectator was less deserving of your attention than Politico or The Hill. You're making a heckuva lot more than I am, sweetheart, and the taxpayer is footing the bill, see?

Furthermore, I'm working longer hours than you are. The taxpayers don't give me a computer loaded with whatever software I want, and I don't have a free T1 connection. Nor do the taxpayers give me a Blackberry and a parking pass. I've got no interns or assistants to boss around. Therefore, when I'm hustling for every dime, burning the midnight oil and dodging bill collectors, my empathy for a 26-year-old public servant . . . well. it is not infinite.

But I digress. I'll finish this saga of Friday on the Hill, but Byron York's got an Instalanche and Powerline is also non-linking me, and so I guess I need to get this post online now before I'm the last blogger on the Memeorandum thread.

To quote the eminent political philosopher Rodney Dangerfield, it ain't easy bein' me. Please hit the tip jar.

Who's The Man?
At 4 p.m., I walked into the office of the man I was looking for. I made a joke to the guy at the front desk as he went to fetch my source. A minute later, I was sitting on a leather sofa in a large office behind closed doors.

Explanation. Conversation. Interrogation. Quote of the Day. I repeated the word to my source, just to make sure I could use it. When your source is talking off the record, you put the pen down, let him talk -- just two guys talking. If he says something you want to use, then you ask if you can use it as "background" (anonymously) and, if necessary, negotiate what can and cannot be used.

But you never burn a source. If you start hot-dogging, divulging stuff that your source doesn't want to be published, just so you can claim to have it first, you'll get a bad reputation and people won't help you.

The source had something in another room I wanted to see, so he went to get it and I talked to the guy at the front desk again. "Hey, your guy there -- he's The Man." Which led to a bit of joking ("No, you're The Man!") and off I went, across Capitol Hill, looking to find the source I'd missed at lunch.

Well, as I often remind readers, there are no accidents. All those tourist S.O.B.s I'd cussed into the fiery pit of hell while desperately trying to make it to lunch? "Angels unaware." Being 20 minutes late for that appointment set up an amazing sequence of events that Lynn Vincent would call "providential," but which Michelle Malkin once called "coinky-dinks." (Coded message to Michelle: Ixnay on that ordway.)

The Man is in charge. Never doubt it.

UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers! I'd meant to finish this account of my Friday on Capitol Hill. However, today the citizen-journalist must take his sons -- Jefferson, 10, and Emerson, 8 -- to a Monster Truck Jam at Hagerstown Speedway.

So you'll be left wondering who was behind that umarked door I opened by mistake Friday afternoon. However, I beg you to pay attention to this:
Any Senator, officer, or employee of the Senate who shall disclose the secret or confidential business or proceedings of the Senate, including the business and proceedings of the committees, subcommittees, and offices of the Senate, shall be liable, if a Senator, to suffer expulsion from the body; and if an officer or employee, to dismissal from the service of the Senate, and to punishment for contempt.
For the record, the only thing the deputy press secretary could tell me was that she plays catcher on Joe Lieberman's staff softball team. But that was another door.

Please hit the tip jar. I'm wearing out a lot of shoe leather doing it this way, and my boys will want some sno-cones at the Monster Truck Jam.

'Integrity'? Like Paul F***ing Anka, Baby

Ace of Spades mentions "integrity" in discussing his services last year "as an apologist for the horrible candidate John McCain." I traveled a good distance down that particular road myself -- I'd link some of it, if only it weren't so traumatically embarrassing -- but I knew when to pull the ripcord:

John McCain lost the election Sept. 24 and Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States. Nothing that is likely to happen between now and Nov. 4 can change this outcome. . . .
Democrats are already rushing to promote Obama's coming victory as a mandate for their "progressive" agenda. Conservatives need to begin telling the true story of McCain's defeat, which must be admitted before it can be explained.
That was published Oct. 7 by The American Spectator, nearly a full month before the election. In fact, my spontaneous reaction Sept. 24 to McCain's stunt ("insane . . . I can't see the benefit, either in terms of policy or politics") was almost a perfect bull's-eye. And let the record show that, once everything was said and done, all informed analysts agreed with me that Crazy Cousin John's support for the bailout was the decisive turning point in his well-deserved defeat. (See also Doug Mataconis: "The McCain Campaign: What Went Wrong.")

The question has since been asked, by friends, whether I have any regrets. Short answer: None at all. I didn't vote for Obama and I didn't vote for Crazy Cousin John. Let other people apologize for their choices, but I have nothing to regret. (Don't Blame Me, I Voted For Bob Barr.) So I felt obligated to make this point in my reply to Ace:
If the Republican Party could nominate as its presidential candidate a man whose only apparent political principle has been the advancement of his own ambition and still win, what kind of cynic would call that a good outcome? When the GOP nominates the wrong man, the electoral debacle that inevitably follows cannot be interpreted as evidence that the party should nominate more scoundrels like that.
Which is to say, What Would Paul F***ing Anka Do?

Lots of people disagree with me, and I have no problem with that. They have the right to be wrong. I understand that my habit of being 100% right all the time is annoying to people who are wrong. Yeah, it might be kind of boring if every other blog on the planet was nothing but a series of links like this:
Stacy McCain Is Right!
Once Again, Stacy McCain Is Exactly Right!
How Much More Nail-On-The-Head Accurate Could Stacy McCain Possibly Be?
Holy Freaking Crap! That Guy Could Split Atoms With His Infallible Logic!
Boring, yes. But accurate. What's the point of being a know-it-all if you don't actually know it all? Isn't that why people read Hot Air, because Allah knows everything?

So when I'm right, right, right, right all the time, and other people are reliably wrong like clockwork (e.g., David Brooks), then maybe a good political strategy for the Republican Party would be to listen to me: Do the exact opposite of whatever David Brooks says to do. Cf. "How to Think About Liberalism (If You Must)."

There was a time -- perhaps as recently as yesterday -- when my prophetic omniscience may have been incomplete. As of today, however, just call me Mr. Authoritative Truth. So believe me when I tell you that, even though Ace is wrong about this one thing, he isn't a total whore, no matter what David Frum says.

(Yeah, I did steal that Photoshop. Sue me.)

UPDATE: Linked by Paul Anka Instapundit, and please also see my sentimental tribute to Ace of Spades at the Green Room. And while I have no regrets about my political choices in 2008, that's not the same as having no regrets.

(Regrets? I've had a few, but then again . . .)

UPDATE II: Dan Collins is a genius, and also has some interesting arguments on ObamaCare. Everyone who cares about the future of the Republican Party the conservative cause America the world the universe should commit to memory every priceless word that Dan Collins writes.

UPDATE III: Dr. Melissa Clouthier:
Well, we’re not being screwed, these days. We’re being freaking gang-raped. . . . Does anyone really believe that a John McCain presidency would have sold out the country to the Unions? Does anyone really believe we’d have to be beating back the biggest power grab by the federal government ever?
Yes, and how did this happen? Because I voted for Bob Barr in Maryland? I think not. The GOP nominated as its presidential candidate the only candidate in the primary field for whom I could not vote. (S. 2611.) The most electable candidate in the Republican field, Mitt Romney, quit two days after Super Tuesday.

When the Republican Party nominates a guaranteed loser who -- surprise! -- loses, how is this result to be blamed on those who opposed the nomination, who specifically, accurately and concisely predicted what events would happen? I predicted it on Super Tuesday, and you may read "Bill Kristol & the Idiocy of Hope" -- from Monday, Nov. 3 -- and be assured that I have no regrets about that post, either.

How many times do I have to repeat myself? If you volunteer to be a doormat, don't complain about the footprints on your back.

If the Republican Party can nominate Bozo the Clown with the calm certainty that, on the day before the election, Bill Kristol, Fred Barnes and Sean Hannity will be lecturing conservatives about how important it is that they vote for Bozo -- "That clown is a Great American! He's pulled to within the margin of error in Idaho!" -- whose fault is it that the GOP gets its ass kicked and nobody takes the conservative movement seriously?

Obama, Pelosi and Reid are running roughshod over the Constitution, and this is to be blamed on me?

Fine. It's all my fault. Blame me. Or Sarah Palin. Or Rush Limbaugh. Take your pick. Since it seems absolutely essential to some people that the clueless GOP hacks who orchestrated this disaster never be held accountable for their errors, please don't let me me disturb the search for a convenient scapegoat.

But why keep searching? It was me. Mea culpa.

Whatever you do, don't blame John McCain, or any of the idiots at GOP-HQ who squandered $792 million on the 2008 Republican campaign -- hey, let's hire the Dynamic Duck Duo! -- because if you blame them, somebody might accuse you of trying to be "morally superior."

UPDATE IV: OK, excuse the outburst. I'm just tired, is all. Everybody knows exactly what needs to be done. Except me. I'm the only person in the entire conservative blogosphere who doesn't know anything about politics, or media, or campaigns.

So whatever you do, ignore me -- until it's time to blame me.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Few Million Jolts Registered Already

by Smitty

This week's Full Metal Jacket Reach Around has The Other McCain putting the heat on the two mega-hit mark. As PowerLine noted, "The Supreme Court, socialized medicine, cap and trade, record deficits, foreign policy fecklessness --it's easy to lose track of smaller issues with all that is going on. Which is among the motives for doing this weekly roundup: trying to have some kind of record of just WTF happened. To the links.

Support the conservative book-o-sphereshelfGreat Big Little Scandal Department
  • Jimmie linked to ToM's IG-Gate Reporting, as a tangent to the Chicago Way treatment afforded Senator Kyl.
  • Lead and Gold keeps it front and center.
  • Pat in Shreveport appreciates the old-school reporting going on. Mr. Smith, you see, thinks unprintable thoughts when he goes to Washington, so we're all better off funding Stacy for that sort of thing.
  • Obi's Sister, through straightforward use of the Force, can manage to use transparency and POTUS in the same post. Tough lady.
  • Bob Belvedere continues to offer substantial support to the effort.
    And we need to highlight an excellent bit of Photoshop work in this context, alluding to the movie "-30-", of which I'd never heard.
Irrespective of the degree to which they might deserve it, heaping abuse upon women brings no pleasure. But sometimes they abandon their non-combatant status by joining the punditocracy. Open mouth, emit junk, expect feedback.
Natural is better
Big Gubmint and the Healthcare Holding Company
You've been in a political coma if you haven't paid attention to the radical overhaul of health care currently under way on Crapitol Hill.Roesgenfreude
  • Mark in Pasedena seems to have come close to a twinge
    of sadness: CNN hack Susan Roesgen is about to join some of the 9.5% of Americans on the unemployment rolls.

  • Senatrix Boxer We were assuming a Rule 2 stance on this round of Her Babsaliciousness. What is it with being from California and being totally regrettable? Boxer, Feinstein, Pelosi...

    Paradology and the Wise Latina Department
    Dan Collins' blog hit 'Wise Latina' earned us some hat tips.

    Another hat tip to the Knack was offered by the Dead Kennedy's in the chorus to Pull My Strings [NSFW]:

    • Donald Douglas linked the Knack clip.
    • Rightofcourse manages to think about Sototmayor and Tawny Kitaen in the same post. I blame our education system.
    • Sir Bob of Belvedere included us in a line up.

    Not Praising Judith Warner
    • The Daley Gator wants to know if it's NOAFW yet.
    • Dyspepsia Generation thinks Stacy has said it all.
    Praising Greenwald
    Has David Brooks been ridiculed sufficiently? Maybe not.
    • Fish Fear Me considers David Brooks to fall within the chum category.
    • If you missed Carol's Brooks/Airplane photoshop, let me point you back to it.
    • Dyspepsia Generation has a brutal theory. Ow.
    • Below the Beltway suggests: Grope-gate.

    A Bit Further BackThe Hunting of the Chevy-gayt[1]
    In defense of the pun, the medieval English is far more intelligible than the legislation emitted by the 111th Congress.
    • The Daley Gator picked us up in fine style. The details of the cruising to be kept completely off-line.
    • The Mean Ol' Meany, hamstrung by the economy and a failure to call Miss Utility, could only afford HOMO-marketing.
    • Knappster, tragically out of bubble gum, wonders about the frequency of gay posts. I got nothin', interest or otherwise, sorry.
    Miscellaneous Shouts:
    • Mike Laroche gives us a shout and announces he's blogging at the Humor Institute. The graphic seems a vague allusion to Obamacare, but my interpretation may be that of an "un-wise Porch Manqué". If you like that, there is also The Conservatives who say fsck, for your Tourette's-specifc needs.
    • Jimmie took my Crittenden cue and showed the front of the Sundries Shack. He also seems to operate under the misapprehension that Congress can be made to participate in the health care plan they foist upon the citizenry. I reply: "Hah!"
    • Scott over at the Patriot Room liked the last Rule 5 post, and did a fine roundup of his own.
    • Obi's Sister picked up the Peggy Noonan commentary.
    • If you send it then Trog will link it, which netted a couple links for us.
    • Outstanding Instapundit linkage on outstanding issues.
    • Lead and Gold's take on Peggy Noonan has an interesting book review exerpt.
    • Jeffords included us in a 10 Favorite Blogs roundup. This idea looks quite thuggable.
    • A golf clap to The Blogprof for 2001 posts since January.
    • Another Black Conservative links us while bemoaning the disconnect between Conservativism and the Republican Party.
    • TCotS liked the Green Room post on lefty economics. Belvedere linked us and Jimmie in wondering about Levi Johnston's long-term health picture.
    This FMJRA comes to you from Florence, Oregon. Possibly less known than its Italian counterpart, but a relaxing place, nonetheless. Mail cheers, jeers, and cheesecake for tomorrow's Rule 5 post to Smitty. And hit the tip jar, which improves my table scraps.

    [1] I expect a flogging for that.

    Amtrak IG: Background

    Over at the American Spectator, some important background on the inspector general's office at Amtrak, and more. These are just more dots. Exactly how they connect, I'm not sure. But people on Capitol Hill are asking questions about these things.

    UPDATE: OK, I'll be off the grid the rest of the day. On my way to Capitol Hill again today for more shoe-leather work. Hit the tip jar. Things are getting very interesting -- Unwelcome Distractions and the Plot Still Thickening.

    BTW, tonight at 6 p.m. is Taco Night at the National Press Club, hosted by investigative reporter Matthew Vadum, if anyone in the D.C. area wants to join us.

    Exit question: Which senator does Professor Glenn Reynolds hate the most?

    'Buying a ticket to see Bruno is paying money to grieve God's heart'

    So says Suzanna Logan, whose summer seems sincerely dedicated to repairing her own heart. As much as she joked about "Big Sexy," it was in that laugh-to-keep-from-crying way. Or maybe that laugh-to-keep-from-hunting-him-down-like-a-dog-in-need-of-"fixing" way.

    Hard to tell sometimes, y'know? Anyway, it's all my fault. I played matchmaker between Clever S. and the Unwise Latino -- hey, who you callin' racist? -- and the unfortunate consequences have grieved my heart.

    A smart reporter never burns his sources, so if Big Sexy had called me the other night and, after we had discussed business, we discussed other things . . . well, Your Honor, when a professional journalist speaks hypothetically, that one little word "if" is his Get Out Of Jail Free card.

    Nevertheless, there are no accidents, and Miss Logan lost an hour of sleep because she felt compelled to write this:
    I'm living what I'm talking. I have an intimate understanding of what pursing God and holiness with all you've got can do to a person's life: It can 180 your direction. I'm living proof. . . .
    Of course, I'll never know who reads this or what they choose to do. But God will. And, in the end, that's all that really matters.
    Just an accident that at 3:20 a.m. ET, somebody clicked through from her site to mine. Just an accident I was checking my SiteMeter before going to bed myself. All of it, you see, entirely accidental.

    BTW, Logan: You threw away your gangster movies? Please tell me you didn't throw away any classic '40s/'50s noir. Classic noir is . . . it's like the Parable of the Double-Crossed Palooka, see?

    14. And in the Land of the Angels was a dame,
    15. Whom the magistrate did accuse of murder,
    16. For she had been seen in an inn, taking strong drink with a certain official,
    17. Whose wife she was not;
    18. And, lo, it came to pass that this high-society character was ventilated with numerous slugs, .44 in caliber,
    19. Which the coroner did retrieve after the mortal remains of the departed soul were found upon the shore of the sea called Pacific, nearby the town of Malibu;
    20. Straightway the dame was taken to the hoosegow, where the law of that land said she must be allowed to make one phone call;
    21. It was a Thursday, and behind a glass door marked with his name, a certain detective reclined in his chair;
    22. Though he spake not, yet his voice was heard, as he told the tale in tones jaded, bitter, cynical;
    23. Yet all the while asleep, and on his desk was a writing of the Tribune, which in large letters declared:
    25. The phone rang and the detective's secretary, who was some dish herself, answered saying, Axelrod Detective Agency.
    26. That's me, said the voice of the detective who spake while sleeping, and he saith:
    27. It ain't much of a livin' but at least it's honest most of the time,
    28. Instead of working downtown with those crummy double-crossers.
    29. Cops, crooks, sometimes it's hard to tell the difference in this town.
    30. So now I'm solo, a private detective.
    31. Sounds exciting to some people, but it's mostly cheating husbands and deadbeat chislers.
    32. Small-time stuff.
    33. Then the secretary walked in and saith to Axelrod:
    34. Hey, Mike. We got a live one on the line. Want me to tranfer it?
    35. Sure, Betty, saith Mike, lighting a Chesterfield
    36. Before picking up the phone, and
    37. Lo, the screen did split, so that the dame was beheld also on the phone, downtown in the hoosegow.
    38. Axelrod. What can I do for you? he saith.
    39. Mister Axelrod, saith the dame, sorely distressed, I - I - I didn't do it. I'm innocent -- innocent, I tell ya! Jeff and me -- I mean, Congressman Davenport -- well, it wasn't what it looked like --
    40. Whoa! said the detective. Hold on there a minute, lady!
    41. Slow down a sec, sweetheart. I don't even know your name yet.
    42. And the dame, who was a blonde, saith:
    43. Oh. I'm -- I'm sorry, it's just that -- well, my name is Veronica Highpoint.
    44. And a trumpet did sound, and again was heard the voice of the detective, though he did speak not, saying:
    45. Veronica Highpoint, big star.
    46. Or that's what they said a couple of years ago, until the gossip columns started in on her and the studio dropped her contract.
    47. A dame like that, said the voice of the detective who spake not, but he stopped and saith aloud:
    48. So how did you get my number?
    49. Jeff -- I mean, Congressman Davenport gave it to me, saith the dame Veronica;

    50. He said it was important, and if anything ever happened to him . . .

    But nobody's paying me to write this stuff, see? I'm a professional and Logan hasn't hit my tip jar lately, so this little saga of the drop-dead blonde and the hard-luck gumshoe will have to wait for another day. Today, there's important business in D.C., and I've got to get some sleep. But there are no accidents.

    Thursday, July 16, 2009

    Nice career you had, Susan Roesgen,
    it's sure a shame what happened . . .

    . . . you no-talent evil bitch.

    (H/T: Memeorandum.)

    UPDATE: The first commenter said, "Dude, that was harsh." Harsh, my ass. Ed Driscoll has video of the idiotic and unprofessional spaz act this loser pulled at the Chicago Tea Party, which needs to be shown to every TV news wannabe in college who takes Intro to Broadcasting.

    Lesson One: How to F*** Up Your Career.

    Let me explain something about "media bias." I have an opinion about that no-talent bitch, Susan Roesgen, but if I were assigned to write a news story about Her Evilness, that story would be straight-out Joe Friday: "Just the facts, ma'am."

    The opinions I spew here on my own time are one thing. When I'm paid to report news, that's something else entirely. The stronger my opinion, the greater my professional obligation to report like Joe Friday.

    But that's the printed word, OK? National TV news is different. And when it's live TV news . . . Look, here's the transcript:
    SUSAN ROESGEN: (Reading some of the signs held by protesters) Uh, let's see... 'Drop the taxes,' 'Drop socialism.' OK. Let's see. You're here with your two-year-old and you're already in debt. Why are you here today, sir?
    MAN: Because I hear a president say that he believed in what Lincoln stood for. Lincoln's primary thing was he believed that people had the right to liberty, and had the right...
    ROESGEN: Sir, what does this have to do with taxes? What does this have to do with your taxes? Do you realize that you're eligible for a $400 credit...?
    MAN: Let me finish my point. Lincoln, Lincoln believed that people had the right to share in the fruits of their own labor and that government should not take it. And we have clearly gotten to that point.
    ROESGEN: Wait, wait... Did you know that the state of Lincoln gets $50 billion out of the stimulus? That's $50 billion for this state, sir.
    That's not reporting, you dumb bitch. What do you think this is, The McLaughlin Group? Who died and made you Eleanor Freaking Clift? You're just a third-string talent in the Chicago bureau. When you are sent to do a live news report about a protest, it's not your job to get into arguments with the protesters.

    I've covered all kinds of crackpot protests over the years, including one absurd protest for The Worst Cause In The World, animal rights. (When I get a petition from the Orangutang Caucus or a press release signed by a spotted owl, I'll be willing to consider the possibility that these creatures have "rights." Until then, STFU, you idiots.)

    Get the story. I have wandered among the Marxists, the spokesmen for Hamas front groups, Code Pinkos, Maoists, NARAL, union goons -- you name any disgusting constituency of the Left, I've covered them. And it never once occurred to me that I should argue with them.

    Give 'em enough rope, see? They don't know me from Adam's housecat. If I bother to introduce myself as a reporter, I'm just asking simple questions and taking notes. Let 'em talk and, the nuttier they are, the more you're nodding along:
    "Mmmm. Yes, I see. And when did you discover this scientific fact about fire not melting steel?" . . . Right. Wow. I didn't know that. I guess the administration doesn't want people to know, huh?"
    Just the facts, ma'am. Joe Friday. And the neutral, objective fact is that I wouldn't hire that wretched idiot Susan Roesgen to clean the toilet in my newsroom.

    Barbara Boxer, expert on energy,
    science and . . blackness?

    Ed Morrissey:
    I just love it when white politicians set themselves up as arbiters of racial authenticity, especially when they try to scold minorities for drifting off the political reservation.
    And now, the YouTube instant classic video:

    Harry Alford, an American hero!

    Instant Blog Classic: 'Wise Latina'
    (To The Tune of 'My Sharona')

    Music by The Knack, Lyrics by Dan Collins:
    When you gonna give it to me, give it to me?
    It is just a matter of time, Latina?
    Judicial philosophy, philosophy?
    Or is it just a game in your mind, Latina?
    Read the whole thing, you racist!

    Michelle Malkin: Best book evah!

    And not just because, on Page 1, she begins by giving a well-deserved punk-smacking to David Brooks.

    Culture of Corruption: Obama And His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies -- buy two copies and give one to a liberal friend, just to annoy him -- is the most thorough, well-documented history of Democratic Party corruption since . . .

    Hey, wait a minute. What's this on Page 291?
    No author is an island. Robert Stacy McCain, fellow ink-stained wretch-turned blogger and co-author of the essential Donkey Cons: Sex, Crime, and Corruption in the Democratic Party, provided invaluable writerly advice and counsel (every bit of which I took except . . .
    Read the whole thing. I'm not authorized to give away all of Michelle's secrets, but for a mere $35.50 $18.45 -- our special Amazon discount! -- you can learn the hidden truth!

    Not only that, but if you'll hit the tip jar and come back to this post later today, I'll update with some fascinating exclusive background about Michelle and explore the Big Question: "Why does Allah hate me?"

    Gay Motors and the Beefcake Bailout

    Now that Obama has taken over GM, henceforth Chevrolet will be known as the Gaymobile:
    For a local movie promotion a week ago aimed at gay buyers, General Motors' Chevrolet sponsored an online video on YouTube featuring the "Bumble Bee Boys in Briefs" -- a couple of buff "go-go boys" wearing only Speedo-type swimsuits with the letters CAMARO stitched across the behind. In the video, they are washing a Camaro. . . .
    The video was produced to promote Chevrolet Gay Days at the Movies in Los Angeles, part of an ongoing outreach program to minority groups and the gay-lesbian-bisexual-transgender community. The movie was a screening of the new Transformers movie, chock full of GM vehicles including Bumblebee, a Camaro.
    If you see a guy driving a Chevy . . . well, NTTAWWT.

    UPDATE: I'm thinking Chevrolet needs a new slogan: "We're here! We're queer! We're driving Chevy!"

    UPDATE II: In keeping with their LBGT/Obama agenda, General Motors today unveiled a new logo:

    Big Money and the Culture of Death

    This morning, I watched Michelle Malkin on Fox News talking about Obama's "science czar" John Holdren, advocate of "compulsory abortion" and "involuntary fertility control" to deal with a non-existent overpopulation crisis.

    Where did Holdren get his wacky ideas? His Ecoscience co-author Paul Ehrlich was the author of a notorious 1967 book, The Population Bomb, which promoted the overpopulation hysteria.

    But where did Ehrlich get his wacky ideas? That story -- and a lot more besides -- is told in an excellent 2001 book by historian Donald L. Critchlow, Intended Consequences: Birth Control, Abortion, and the Federal Goverment in Modern America.

    The population control movement, which generated the anti-baby hysteria that Ehrlich and Holdren promoted in their books, was largely the brainchild of John D. Rockefeller III. Rockefeller funded much of the movement himself and through a number of family trusts and foundations, and he encouraged other foundations (Ford, Scaife, Carnegie) to do the same.

    Rockefeller promoted the population control movement through many means, but just to give you an example, between 1959 and 1964 one organization alone, the Population Council, got more than $5 million from the Rockefellers, $8.4 million from the Ford Foundation and $2.1 million from Scaife. So that's $15 million in five years, back when a million dollars was a lot of money.

    'Babies: Threat Or Menace?'
    One of the things that the population control movement did was to promote their agenda through the press, and by subsidizing writers with grant money. From page 54 of Critchlow's book:
    [T]o raise the public's consciousness about the threat of overpopulation . . . the population movement undertook a concerted public relations campaign through a steady stream of books, pamphlets, and magazine and newspaper articles. This campaign was aided by the involvement of key publishers and editors who were actively involved in the movement, including George Hecht, editor of Parents Magazine. The drumbeat around the population crisis reached crescendo by the early 1960s. Readers of popular magazines were faced with a barrage of articles warning of an impending population crisis . . . Women readers were inundated with articles like "Are We Overworking the Stork?" (Parents Magazine, 1961), "Why Americans Must Limit Their Families" (Redbook, 1963), "Intelligent Woman's Guide to the Population Explosion" (McCall's, February 1965), "Overpopulation: Threat to Survival" (Parents Magazine, 1967) and "Population Increase: A Grave Threat to Every American Family" (Parents Magazine, 1969).
    The point, you see, is that there was an organized propaganda campaign, funded and directed by big money. One of the most active promoters of this agenda was Hugh Moore, a millionaire who was a contributor to Planned Parenthood and who later founded his own organization, the Population Crisis Committee. In fact, the title of Ehrlich's book, The Population Explosion, was borrowed from a pamphlet of the same name published by Moore in 1954. And Ehrlich's book was then promoted by the Sierra Club, which had its own wealthy donors.

    'We're the Smart Ones'
    Big money continues to fund the Culture of Death. In 1999, I was the only reporter in the room when Ted Turner gave a speech at a conference of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association:
    Mr. Turner, founder of CNN and now the vice chairman of Time-Warner Inc., also suggested that world population could be reduced by the adoption of an international "one-child policy."...
    The Atlanta-based billionaire and his wife, actress Jane Fonda, are active supporters of the United Nations Population Fund. In 1997, Mr. Turner pledged $1 billion to a new foundation to support U.N. efforts on population and the environment.
    Though he fathered "five kids -- boom, boom, boom -- by the time I was 30," Mr. Turner said, he now believes overpopulation is a major problem and suggested people should "promise to have no more than two children."
    Mr. Turner recalled a discussion many years ago with Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich, whose 1968 book "The Population Bomb" predicted that hundreds of millions of people would starve to death in the 1970s and '80s as a result of global overpopulation. Mr. Turner said he asked Mr. Ehrlich and his wife, Anne, what the ideal world population would be.
    "They told me about 2 billion," Mr. Turner said. World population is now 5.9 billion, but the world could reduce its population to that ideal, Mr. Turner suggested. "We could do it in a very humane way," he said, "if everybody adopted a one-child policy for 100 years."....
    "If you're only going to have 10 rules, I don't know if [prohibiting] adultery should be one of them." Speaking of himself as a member of "the progressive movement," Mr. Turner urged the NFPRHA audience to "give 'em hell" when seeking more government funds for population control."People who think like us may be in the minority, but we're the smart ones," he said, and as a result should be able to defeat opponents he called "a whole bunch of dummies."
    Mr. Turner, whose net worth is more than $3.2 billion, got laughs with his responses during a question-and-answer session after his speech. . . .
    Asked what he would say to Pope John Paul II, who opposes abortion and artificial contraception, Mr. Turner responded with an ethnic joke -- "Ever seen a Polish mine detector?" -- and then suggested the Pope should "get with it. Welcome to the 20th century."
    People like Turner think they're "the smart ones," and love to recite environmental nonsense, global warming idiocies and pro-choice talking points as if these were indisputable facts. The neo-Malthusian agenda (which I discussed in "Forbidding To Marry" in April) is advanced by people who don't even realize they're advancing an agenda at all.

    "It's science!" these people declare, dismissuing skeptics as "ignorant," when in fact the real ignorance is on their part -- environmentalists and pro-choicers often don't know the real history of their own movement. A half-century ago, in Up From Liberalism, William F. Buckley Jr. wrote:
    In the hands of a skillful indoctrinator, the average student not only thinks what the indoctrinator wants him to think . . . but is altogether positive that he has arrived at his position by independent intellectual exertion. This man is outraged by the suggestion that he is the flesh-and-blood tribute to the success of his indoctrinators . . .
    It's even more true than ever.

    "Megan McCain -- and you can quote me -- is less attractive than Jamie Kirchick"

    Yeah, I know Smitty's already taken a whack at this particular pinata, but it was the New Republic's Jamie Kirchick -- my favorite gay Jewish writer -- who conducted the Out magazine interview, and since she's kinfolk, I figure I deserve a few whacks of my own.

    And, unlike Meghan, Jamie is attractive. This I state as a journalist describing an objective fact since, as a married father of six, my hetero bona fides are beyond reproach. (Ignore that legion of online amateur psychologists shouting "overcompensation!")

    "Does it sound campy to say I love gay men?" says Meghan in typical fag-hag fashion, since this is the only way she has of getting affection from men.

    What Meghan does not fully comprehend is the special contempt that exists within gay male culture for such desperate female hangers-on otherwise known as fish. Very simple questions, Meg:
    • If they actually like women, why are they gay?
    • What makes you think you are the exception to the rule?

    Lesbian culture is more honest. Lesbians don't hesitate to identify men as the enemy. Some are more tolerant than others, but there is no analog in lesbian culture for the fag hag. You don't see straight guys "hanging out" with their lesbian friends. The straight guy who walks into a dyke bar is an unwelcome presence, and may be asked to leave.

    Women hanging around the gay disco, however, is a very familar phenomenon. And the belief of some women that they have a special friendship with their gay male friends is a myth.

    Let me disabuse you ladies of your naivete: A reasonably attractive young gay man has no problem getting with two or three guys a night. And that's if he's really picky. (Read And The Band Played On, by Randy Shilts.) So when some lonely, frustrated woman wants to hang around with gay guys because it's the only male companionship she can get, she is recognized for the truly pathetic loser she is.

    Show of hands: Who thinks Meghan McCain has the slightest inkling of the things her gay "friends" say behind her back?

    Uh, I'm guessing Jamie Kirchick didn't raise his hand. In this, as in everything else, Meghan is clueless. And it is her cluelessness, nearly as much as her bitchy desperation, that makes her so unattractive. Look at this:

    “Homophobia is the last socially accepted prejudice,” McCain says, repeating it for emphasis.
    It's not true. It's just a politically correct slogan, dependent on a dubious pseudoscientific term, "homophobia." Grant that there are genuinely intolerant people in the world, in what sense does opposition to a political agenda -- and her support for same-sex marriage is the chief topic of the interview -- constitute a "phobia," an irrational pathology?

    And if homophobia (whatever that means) is so "socially acceptable," then why did Ann Coulter get raked over the coals for calling John Edwards a "faggot"? Coulter was actually making reference to a celebrity imbroglio involving the cast of Grey's Anatomy, and defended herself: "I would never insult gays by suggesting that they are like John Edwards. That would be mean."

    Still, even though liberals have spent years calling Coulter a "tranny" -- which is "socially acceptable" as a putdown, because they're liberal and she's not -- even though there is zero evidence that she is actually hostile to homosexuals, merely by saying the word "faggot" out loud, she was deemed worthy of banishment from the CPAC main stage.

    Yet Meghan thought her little slogan was so important she repeated it for emphasis, so that the actual meaning was clear: "Like me! Please like me!"

    Desperation, see? She's like one of these ridiculous white liberals who parade around denouncing racism as if the act of denunciation were in itself proof of moral superiority -- and proving their moral superiority is the entire purpose of such exercises.

    In the end, we can only imagine the ironic thoughts that Kirchick pondered after his interview with Megan. Here he is, denied the right to marry a man. And there is Megan, who has that right -- but not a man on earth is interested in marrying her.

    What a waste, eh, Jamie?

    Wednesday, July 15, 2009

    Dr. Douglas, they look like fakies to me

    Breanne Ashley's breasts, I mean. Given the size, even if she is only 21, the gravity-defying spherical quality is an absolute giveaway.

    I've been neglecting the Professor, I suppose. Neglecting too much of everything recently, what with the IG story, e-mail inbox overload and so forth.

    BTW, we're closing in on the 2-million hit mark and look poised to cross that threshold on Rule 5 Sunday -- appropriately enough. So now we're open to suggestions on how to celebrate this momentous occasion, in addition to the forthcoming soon-to-be classic, "How to Get Your Second Million Hits in Less Than Six Months."

    UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers. Although I always thought Professor Reynolds was more of a leg man (you should see the stems on Dr. Helen) if it's major rackage he wants, it's major rackage he'll get. The biggest Republican boob -- evah!

    And since we're discussing McCains who love gay men (an unrequited love, in Cousin Meghan's case), next time you see somebody driving a Ford, you should ask them, "Why do hate gays so much?"

    Franken's other Senate Judiciary appearance

    by Smitty (h/t The Corner)

    Kathryn Jean Lopez at the NRO Online links an SNL sketch transcript of the junior Senator from Minnesota's initial appearance in a Senate Judiciary Committee setting.
    As a full-service blog, it is our pleasure to dig up the clip over on Hulu for those with an Attention Defici--I think I'll make some coffee.
    At the time, Al Franken played Paul Simon (D-IL) and comes in at 5:00 to talk about a woman at Criminal Justice, and whether Thomas thought Franken had any chance with this famous "Sandy".

    Can't figure out if the number of gasbags present in this sketch who are still cluttering public office is a bug or feature.
    OK, enough of the Sotomayor spin: they're bugs.

    Speaking of Stacy's cousin...

    by Smitty

    No sooner did Stacy start throwing out the M'n'Ms:
    But why bring Meghan McCain into this?
    ...than, on cue at the Puffington Host:
    Meghan McCain: "Joe the Plumber -- You Can Quote Me -- Is A Dumbass"
    also starring, at the page top:
    Meghan McCain: "I Love Gay Men"

    Normally, an ad bimbo post isn't worth the effort, but Meghan writes them all by her own self.

    Frum Treats Ace Like a Dirty Whore

    OK, all I did was attend a cocktail party, but now -- as Justin Hawkins observes -- David Frum is imposing himself on Ace, an act of ideological date-rape, as it were.

    The question is whether Ace was askin' for it, struttin' around in lipstick and tight jeans like a whore.

    Oh, yeah. We know the story: Frum was just chillin' in his center-right Republican dorm room with a bit of herb, some cold malt liquor, watching ESPN with his moderate posse.

    Knock, knock, knock -- "It's me, Ace." The sultry little minx wants to hang out with the homies, drinking a few of Frum's 40s. Starts doing the tease routine, talking sexy about "electability" and "pragmatism." Yadda yadda. Ba-da-bing. Et cetera.

    So what if Conor got sloppy seconds after Ace passed out? Whose fault was that, huh?

    Next morning, Ace runs off crying to the campus medical center claiming he said "no" (ah, but his eyes said "yes"), and before you can say "presumed innocent," there's a Take Back the Night candelight vigil with chants and posters and . . .

    What? Too lurid, Ace? Am I "blaming the victim"? Is the trauma induced by your ordeal still a raw wound? Perhaps you'd prefer soothing poetry:
    Ace and David,
    Sittin' in a tree,
    I could roll that way. (Outlaw!) But once I whip out my big thick analogy like this, I gotta go all the way.

    I don't blame Frum for taking what he wants, seeing as how Ace was obviously so willing to give it up. The problem is this I'm-not-that-kind-of-girl victim act on Ace's part.

    Like I said, I've got no problem with cocktail parties. That's just coalition politics, an obligatory ritual like the high school prom. Laura Ingraham and Mark Krikorian were there as chaperones, just in case things got out of hand. (Some conservatives have one too many glasses of that reserve pinot and start stumbling around, badmouthing NRA and Club For Growth like a whore.)

    Oh, we all saw it coming. Signing that Coulter petition was like showing up for your date in a tube top and a mini-skirt, an unmistakable advertisement that you were ready for some action. Ace, you were like that stupid tramp in Colorado who thought she could just "fool around a little" with an NBA superstar and that Kobe Bryant would stop exactly where she said stop. A lesson learned the hard way, so to speak.

    Now, Friedersdorf is accusing conservatives of trying to "purge" you, Ace. If that's what Hawkins or anyone else is up to, count me out.

    I've had my bad moments, too, so I have empathy, like Sotomayor.

    Ace, what I'm saying is that you made an error of judgment for which you are responsible, like that chubby freshman girl who arrives early at the Teke open-house party, starts right in on the tequila and doesn't stop until the pledges are lined up down the hall waiting to take their turns.

    But why bring Meghan McCain into this?

    My point is that if Ace is a dirty slut, he's our dirty slut. We don't blame Frum and Friedersdorf for wanting to do a three-way and then hand him off to David Brooks, David Letterman, David Gergen, David Brock, David Hasselhof, David Copperfield . . . but again, why bring Meghan McCain into this?

    Ace knows what he is, and we respect what he is, insofar as he is at least honest enough to admit that he has these unfortunate tendencies to be "center-right," a weakness for "pragmatic" arguments about "electability."

    Like a whore.

    UPDATE: Speaking of which, who is this "Mindy" who shares her correspondence with Friedersdorf? The analysis Ace gives Mindy -- "The last 'good year' was the election of 2004" -- is solid, so far as it goes.

    What it ignores is the original folly of making Philadelphia-on-the-Tigris the focal point of Republican electoral strategy. You can get away with that kind of blunder for a while, especially when the Democrats are content to nominate a guaranteed loser like John Kerry and rely on the strategic advice of Bob Shrum.

    Karl Rove got his winning reputation too easily. The fundamental flaws in the policy/politics formula of Bushism were exposed just as soon as the Democrat grassroots used the Internet to organize a coup against their clueless leaders, installing Howard Dean at the DNC and putting Rahm Emanuel in charge of their congressional campaign.

    However, the flaws of Bushism were there all along: The GOP cannot build an enduring majoritarian coalition on the basis of overseas adventures, nebulous domestic "triangulation" and a rhetoric of symbolic appeals to patriotism. If Bushism appeared to work for a while, that was mainly because Democratic leaders were out of touch with, and therefore incapable of effectively organizing, the grassroots resentment that the Kos/MoveOn axis saw as the natural fulcrum upon which to leverage a strategy of direct opposition (as opposed to an absurd DLC "Me-Too-ism") to the Bush agenda.

    Never mind. t I don't want to discuss that now. What I want to do is to ask a question: Surely the "Mindy" who writes this is not Mindy Finn?

    Clarify, Conor.

    UPDATE II: Ace just e-mailed to say that "Mindy" is not Mindy Finn, so excuse my throwing that name out there. She just happened to be the only Republican named Mindy who came to mind. I'll await further information. This poison-pen stuff -- trashing an entire political movement in an e-mail exchange and then allowing the exchange to be published with only "Mindy" as identifying one half of the exchange -- is bad business.

    An amazing fact

    At 4 a.m. this morning, I noticed a visitor referred from Conservative Grapevine, Checking to see if CG blogger John Hawkins had linked me, I was disappointed. However, I could help but notice that John had a link to "Denise Milani lingerie pics."

    OK, so who the heck is Denise Milani? Because I'm 49 and seldom watch TV, I'm all the time seeing names of "celebrities" I've never heard of, and naturally figure this must be one of those -- second-string TV actress who's dating an NBA star, or a pop singer with her own reality show, something like that.

    Wrong. Denise Milani is a Czech-born pin-up model who is most famous for three things. Two of those things are kind of hard to ignore. But the third thing? She has never posed nude.

    And now you know . . . the rest of the story. Good day!

    Massachusetts: please nominate someone else in 2014

    by Smitty

    Senator John Kerry in the Puffington Host, "What Gov. Palin Forgot", emphasis mine:
    Writing in this morning's Washington Post, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin wrote, "many in the national media would rather focus on the personality-driven political gossip of the day than on the gravity of these challenges."
    Unfortunately, her promise to roll up her sleeves and tackle serious issues is followed by a column that focuses on everything but the single grave challenge that forms the basis of all of our actions: the crisis of global climate change.
    Yes, she manages to write about the climate change action in Congress without ever mentioning the reason we are doing this in the first place. It's like complaining about the cost of repairing a roof without factoring in the leaks destroying your home.
    The global climate change crisis threatens our economy and our national security in profound ways.
    Senator Kerry, one fails to see the justification for any Congress ever passing legislation that Does Not Exist.
    Around the world, the effects are already being felt.
    Maybe, in a Chris Matthews leg-tingle sort of way. But the jury is not quite taking that Sotomayor summary burial, as if Global Warming was the Ricci case: (h/t Tigerhawk)

    "There appears to be something fundamentally wrong with the way temperature and carbon are linked in climate models."

    'Mommy Alone Time'

    Politics? Exclusive news? Yeah, but then you see something like this and say, "Awwwww!"
    Every day, as I go about my daily activities, I notice little things about my girls. I notice the things that they like and enjoy, I notice the things that they take pleasure in doing…I notice that they each crave spending time with just me…to get some "Mommy Alone Time." (That is what my seven year-old calls it.) And, it is important to me to give them that time…time dedicated to listening to the things they want to tell me, time to instruct individually, time to be a Mother to each one.
    That particular blog, Life Worth the Living, is by a Tennessee family with three young children. I was trying to clean out the overflow in my e-mail inbox -- man, do I need an intern! -- and just happened to come across a request for a Rule 1 clarification.

    It's late, I'm tired, and can barely focus my eyes, but . . . but there are no accidents. So, I'll link the magic Little Miss Attila, and suggest that my new blogger friends e-mail Smitty, who can explain everything. Also, I'm thinking Pundette might want to throw some traffic around today.

    UPDATE: Why stop there? Michelle Malkin's a mommy, too. I betcha The Boss might want to throw some linkage at "Mommy Alone Time." And I can think of at least one blogger in Middle Tennessee . . .

    NBC Reliable Source: Ricky Hollywood!

    Yes, when respectable mainstream journalists like NBC's Ann Curry want the authoritative word on Republican Party politics, they know who to call: High-school dropout, unemployed has-been hockey jock, the world's most famous deadbeat dad . . .


    OK, so who's the bigger laughingstock: Curry or her source? Talk about someone whose 15 minutes of fame should have ended 16 minutes ago . . .

    (Hat-tip: Memeorandum.)

    UPDATE: Troglopundit has the perfect match for NBC's new political correspondent. And if Meghan McCain and Mr. Hollywood don't work out, his next conquest . . .

    Tuesday, July 14, 2009

    IG-Gate: Whispers of hints of shadows

    Ever been in one of those situations where you don't know exactly what's going on, but somebody's hinting that something's going on?

    Read every word of this.

    The subject was raised in an indirect sort of way. I just jotted down some notes and didn't think too much about it. But my drive home from D.C. is more than an hour long, and as I mentally rehearsed what I'd seen and heard . . . Well, what was that about?

    Maybe it was nothing. But maybe it was something. I'm trying to stay calm. Don't try to predict the future.

    Shoe leather is an amazing journalistic resource. This is the kind of reporting that gets the blood pumping. Because of unexpected complications in my itinerary, I didn't park my car at Union Station until 4:09 p.m., but after I got through on the Hill, I was whistling a happy tune while I walked back down First Avenue, re-entering the marble lobby of the station at 6:37 p.m., as my meticulous notes show.

    From the start: Tourists were still standing in line for a chance to get into the Sotomayor hearings, and I'd left my cell phone in the car. "Deep Cleavage" hadn't returned my calls, and nobody was expecting my arrival on the Hill. It was pleasantly sunny but not hot, and the biggest hassle I had was having to empty my pockets and remove my belt -- the buckle sets off the metal detectors -- to enter the different congressional office buildings.

    "The Other McCain," said the receptionist, becoming accustomed to my unannounced arrivals. X is on vacation. Hmmm. What about X's Deputy, Y? Not in. Well, how about Z?

    I'm sitting on the sofa and, on the lobby TV, Lindsay Graham is applying a flamethrower to Sotomayor, trying to produce that "meltdown" he'd previously suggested was so unlikely. Get 'em, Goober! I'm almost willing to take back some of those homophobic slurs . . .

    Good news! The receptionist says that Z will be there momentarily. Z is "Deep Cleavage." We had never previously met but are already becoming . . . eh, bosom buddies. Z arrives and, as we make our way down the elevator to the basement cafeteria, this unexpected subject arises.

    It must have been important, otherwise I wouldn't have a full page of notes about it. But it wasn't what I came to ask about. Deep Cleavage raises the subject and discusses it at some length before I even get a chance to start asking questions.

    At the time, however, it didn't register. We were both in somewhat of a hurry. I had other people to see, and Deep Cleavage had a 5 o'clock conference call. It seemed like we talked for 45 minutes but since I didn't even go through the metal detectors until 4:25 p.m. -- meticulous notes, you see -- it couldn't have been that long.

    Au revoir, Deep Cleavage, and off I go. Another office, another TV screen with Sotomayor hearings. The person I came to see is not in, but the deputy is available. OK. Actually, much better than OK. Introduction to a staffer who is eager (!) to help. All the charm I can muster is employed in a quick chat in the hallway and I take my leave with a courtly bow. This could become a very important source.

    Quickly cutting across the Capitol grounds toward Independence Avenue. The woman walking across from the other side of the avenue is talking on a cell phone, but looks up. "Excuse me, ma'am, but which one is [name of office building]?" She points to the building.

    When I get there, neither the communication director nor the press secretary is in the office. The receptionist -- actually, "staff assistant" is her title -- isn't exactly eager to help. It's past 5:30 now, she's running out the clock, and she doesn't know me from Adam's housecat.

    Ah, but there is more than one way to skin Adam's housecat and, with the help of directions from an older gentleman, I'm on my way through an underground tunnel to another office building.

    In the tunnel, I encounter a cluster of young aides. Obviously, Republicans. The girls are too pretty to be Democrats. Turns out they're Georgians and blonde Shannon, who just finished her junior year at UGA, went to Lassiter High. Ah, once dated a girl from Lassiter, and another one at Sprayberry, but that redhead from North Cobb -- her backyard was the 10th tee at the country club and . . .

    The Georgians think I'm joking (I'm not) and they razz me when I start humming the University of Alabama fight song. This is fine amusement as we're walking through the tunnel.

    Reaching my destination, I connect with my source of last resort. We're talking in the office vestibule when the Congressman, his wife and children pass through. My source doesn't want to trouble the boss, but I know the magic.

    "Congressman!" And immediately I'm shaking hands and schmoozing it up, making sure to praise the excellent services peformed by the congressman's staffer, my source.

    The congressman and family exit and, as soon as the door closes behind them, I high-five my source. That, my friend, is how it's done: Impose yourself. They're public servants, right? Well, I'm the freaking public.

    Explain to the source who it is that I need to get direct contact with. We briefly discuss -- of all people -- Conor Friedersdorf, whose satire of my methods was both funny and accurate. If only I'd remembered to bring my pink camera . . .

    Assured that I'll be contacted by the person I need to talk to, I'm ready for the return trip. I ride down the elevator with a recently-elected Democratic member of Congress. I cut back across the Capitol grounds and a few minutes later, as I cross the intersection of First and C, I'm jazz-whistling "Georgia On My Mind." The policeman on the corner says, "That's something you don't see anymore -- people whistling while they walk."

    No, you sure don't, I answer. What I don't say is that you also don't see reporters take their leave with a courtly bow. A sense of history -- an evocative name -- now occupies my mind, and I find myself switching the tune to "Shenandoah" as I cross past the Columbus monument toward Union Station. In a few days, there will be a major deadline, but this is far from my thoughts.

    I'm going to beat you today -- and didn't I?

    A 150-mile round-trip drive, 2 hours and 28 minutes on the Hill, and I've got notes for my next article, as well as a quick blog post at AmSpec, plus promises of connections to more sources in coming days. No sir, you can't beat shoe leather, and it's good for the soul.

    Quick shout-out to Obi's Sister, Dan Collins, The Rhetorican and WWU-AM/Camp of the Saints, and this from Jimmie Bise:
    So, keep the faith, folks. We may well get that accountability and transparency Barack Obama promised us yet, no matter how hard he fights to break that promise.
    Ah, Jimmie, my boy! When will you be back in DC? Check your schedule for Friday. What tales I have to tell, and what new friends you must meet. Y'all be sure and hit the tip jar -- another courtly bow, and good-night!

    Unions: Curiously Strong

    by Smitty

    Jennifer Rubin has an excellent PJTV clip on the distorting power of Unions.

    Standard disclaimer: Unions had their historical time and place. A while ago. However, as Nietzsche put it:
    Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And when you look into the abyss, the abyss also looks into you.

    In this context, it means that the Free Employee Choice Act/Legislation (FECAL), has become something against which that famous über-Union, "We the People", had darn well better orgnanize. The WTF Card Check web site can help you understand the unbridled suckage that will result from passing this turd.
    And while we're on the topic of organizing, I do hope that you're planning on joining a principled, pro-Consitutional demonstration happening in under two months.

    The Joy of Plastic Surgery

    Maria Geronazzo was once an attractive, normal-looking human being. Then she decided to become a porn star and get plastic surgery. Unfortunately, becoming a porn star was actually the better of these two decisions.

    You may say, "That's not so bad." But wait . . .

    "Yeah," you say, "I kind of see what you're talking about now." But wait . . .

    At this point, I would suggest that her career might be enhanced if she wore a paper bag on her head and billed herself as "The Unknown Porn Star."

    Rod Dreher Does Porn

    OK, maybe that headline is misleading, but if it made you click the link, you should read Rod's column.

    Despite all my disagreements with and criticism of Dreher, the problem of pornography is real. And it's spectacular.

    Groan. I've got to stop using that joke so often. But I've been joking about sex since before I could spell "sex." Amidst all the tragedies (what heartbreaking stories a reporter hears) I try to keep my mind on the farce. Part of the problem is that people lack the perspective -- the objectivity about the absurdity of our sex-obsessed culture -- to admit how ridiculous their own desires really are.

    My office TV won't get CNN or Fox News, so it's usually tuned to MSNBC. Sunday evening, they aired a couple of hours of re-runs of Chris Hansen's To Catch A Predator series and there was that tragedy/comedy reaction I always have to those shows.

    "What were you thinking?" Hansen asks, after reciting some pathetic chat-room transcript where a 50-year-old teacher or clergyman was making ridiculous sex-talk with a 13-year-old "boy" or "girl" who was (of course) an undercover investigator. The perp shows up at the house with a pocketful of condoms and ruins his own life. Felony rap. Sex-offender registry. Etc.

    How stupid do you have to be to think that a 13-year-old is going to go into a chat-room and arrange a rendezvous with a middle-aged man? Putting aside the moral repugnance, try to think about the vast chasm between the perv's fantasy and the reality of actual teenagers. (And leave the Jeff Goldblum-Tania Raymonde romance out of this.)

    See? There I go again with the wisecracks. At any rate, read Rod Dreher's column. Seriously.

    IG-Gate: Chugging Along

    My last full-blown article about IG-Gate for The American Spectator was published June 25. Since then, I've updated the story several times at AmSpecBlog, NTCNews, and the Hot Air Green Room. So last week, when I suggested another article -- "The Little Scandal That Could," published today -- I didn't really think about how much news had occurred in the past three weeks, as for instance in the case of Amtrak IG Fred Wiederhold:
    On June 18, Amtrak IG Fred Wiederhold submitted a 94-page report, prepared at his request by an outside law firm, showing that the federally subsidized passenger rail service had, as Grassley said, "systematically violated the letter and spirit of the Inspector General Act." Immediately after the Amtrak board meeting where he presented that report, Wiederhold submitted notice that he would retire.
    Those familiar with the congressional investigation say Wiederhold has denied being forced out at Amtrak -- personal considerations were also involved in his decision -- but the report he submitted June 18 details a pattern of obstruction by Amtrak's law department.
    This department is the bailiwick of Amtrak vice president and general counsel Eleanor "Eldie" Acheson, who just happens to be a longtime friend (and Wellesley College roommate) of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Acheson's deputy general counsel, Jonathan Meyer, joined Amtrak after spending six years as a top Senate aide to Joe Biden, who has long proclaimed himself as Amtrak's No. 1 advocate in Washington and who personally announced the $1.3 billion in "stimulus" funds for Amtrak.
    Led by the well-connected Acheson and Meyer, Amtrak's law department tried to require the IG's office to get prior approval before communicating with Congress and instituted a policy where documents subpoenaed by the IG's office were first reviewed and occasionally redacted by Amtrak management.
    None of this squares with the law and Grassley, the congressional patron saint of inspectors general, wrote in a letter to Amtrak chairman Thomas Carper that, in the wake of Wiederhold's retirement, IG staffers were "fearful of retaliation" if they spoke to congressional investigators. The seriousness of these charges prompted Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, to join with the committee's ranking Republican, California Rep. Darrell Issa, in announcing an official investigation, parallel to the probe led by Grassley's team in the Senate. . . .
    You can (and certainly should) read the whole thing, but just consider all that has been reported about the Amtrak case in the past three weeks. (USA Today is just now catching up to this scandal train.) Grassley's office published the 94-page report, detailing the pattern of obstruction by Acheson's department, disclosed the "retaliation" fears of IG staffers, the Towns-Issa inquiry was announced -- and that's just the stuff I can actually report about one of the IG cases.

    There are various interesting off-the-record tips that I'm still trying to confirm, and there are more developments expected in coming days that I can't report yet. (Rule One: Never burn your sources.) Meanwhile, the Walpin case keeps simmering, with the stonewalling by AmeriCorps officials and other interesting developments.

    There is lots of news here. If it weren't for Michelle Malkin, The Washington Examiner's Byron York, The Washington Post's Ed O'Keefe -- dig this document dump! -- Youth Today's Nancy Lewis and the Sacramento Bee, I couldn't keep up myself.

    The source I call "Deep Cleavage"* didn't return phone calls yesterday. and there are a couple of big tips I need to follow up on, so I'm headed to Capitol Hill again today. Since I'm not one of those $100K-a-year bloggers (I'm starting to think they're a myth, like unicorns and sober Kennedys) please hit the tip jar to help fund this latest shoe-leather trip.

    *NOTE: "Deep Cleavage" is a mnemonic device, not a description. It's also the kind of lame pun ("Big tips" = "Deep Cleavage") that appeals to my inner eight-grader. Whether or not this involves a "D" . . . hey, never burn your sources. But these tips are real and they're spectacular.

    UPDATE: OK, I'm running behind schedule this morning, but the Spectator story is already linked at Instapundit, Michelle Malkin, Red State, Sister Toldjah, Around the Sphere, Urbin Report, And So It Goes In Shreveport, and Memeorandum. Please pay attention to this very intelligent comment from Moe Lane:
    So, we’ll see.
    For less intelligent people, I recommend a certain tasty beverage known as STFU.

    UPDATE 11:20 p.m.: Oh, boy. Chris Dodd? Just a hint from the Hill, but . . . oh, boy.