Saturday, June 24, 2006

"AstroWorld" Armstrong's star chart

* UPDATE, SATURDAY 4:15 p.m. *
In compiling the horoscope below, I forgot to consider the waxing of the quarter-moon in Pisces, and thus failed to predict that David Brooks would go for the DailyKos jugular in Sunday's New York Times! That's some heavy-duty MSM dead-tree media we're talking about.

Please pray for David. He's gonna need some guardian angels to withstand the Moonbat jihad declared by Mullah Moulitsas.

* * * * *
As predicted late Friday, the revelations of Jerome "Astroworld" Armstrong's early astrology adventures have produced the effect of chumming the waters near the Great Barrier Reef: Sharks are circling.

The Warner for President campaign now has a a consultant who -- "icon of progressive politics" though he may be -- is also rapidly becoming the biggest laughing stock in the blogosphere.

A visionary Democratic political consultant who sees world-historical significance in the movements of Ixion, Quaoar and the Kuiper Belt? It's a target-rich environment. As soon as the PhotoShoppers get through with him -- and you know they're working furiously even now -- Jerome Armstrong might as well have dressed up in a big red nose, floppy shoes and a clown wig and spammed the JPEG to the Townhouse list.

Hot Air points us to Red State, where Jerome is now being ridiculed by Krempasky, Pejman, Socrates and Thomas (the earliest hammerhead at the Red State feeding frenzy was Moe Lane). Stay tuned for more, as Dan Riehl -- who drew first blood -- keeps digging.

Therefore, consulting Jerome's chart, I see this scenario:
  • Monday a.m.: Pluto in Uranus, the NY Post or some other dead-tree publication goes to print with Jerome's stargazing history. ("Mr. Armstrong did not respond to requests for comment.")
  • Monday noon: The transept of Jupiter, Rush Limbaugh spends 20 minutes pouring salt into Armstrong's open wounds. With Venus in the cusp, Paul Shanklin may produce a parody segment.
  • Monday p.m.: With Scorpio rising, a Fox News producer pitches a segment on the stargazing liberal pundit.
  • Tuesday a.m.: The retrograde of Mars prompts a reporter (probably a Cancer but possibly a Capricorn) to raise the JeromeGate question at a press conference carried live on C-SPAN.
  • Tuesday p.m.: As Mercury enters Virgo, an MSM editor -- unable to ignore the buzz any longer -- approves a JeromeGate story for Wednesday's editions.
  • Tuesday 11:39: Jay Leno (Taurus) cracks three jokes on the "AstroWorld" affair.
Strangely, the chart shows no future for Jerome after that.

Blue Crab Boulevard, Instapundit, Lee Siegel, Marty Peretz, QandO, Protein Wisdom, Wizbang, California Conservative, Politics in the Zeros, Don Surber, Stromata, Just One Minute, NRO Corner, Mickey Kaus at Slate ...

By the way, the "also blogging" links aren't just links for links' sake. When a story gets this hot, lots of people have lots to say, and I figure I need to get as many of them linked as quickly as possible, so anyone happening by here can find as much as possible as quickly as possible.

But those are all great commenters. For instance, Lee Siegel's Saturday response to the left bloggers is priceless:
All these abusive attempts to autocratically or dictatorially control criticism came about because I said that the blogosphere had the quality of fascism, which my dictionary defines as "any tendency toward or actual exercise of severe autocratic or dictatorial control." The proof, you might say, is in the puddingheads.
It's all good, as are the other "also blogging" comments. But I am just one guy, blogging part-time, who can only cut-and-paste so fast. The Donkey Cons blog doesn't have an auto-trackback function, so I am reduced to searching for related posts via Memeorandum, Google blog search and Technorati, then manually creating links to the good stuff.

This is time-consuming, but when a hot topic strikes my fancy, I want the links here to be exhaustive enough that folks who've added Donkey Cons to their list of favorites can use this blog as their "one-stop" source for the hottest links. However, this means sometimes doing an "also blogging" list, and I don't want anyone to think that this means that those links are second-rate or superflous. It's just that there's not time and space to quote each one.

* * * * *

Please note that while Markos has slammed TNR and accused others of "making stuff up about me now ... inventing things," at no point has he slammed the New York Times' Chris Suellentrop, who got this whole story rolling on June 16.

6/23: Bad Moon(bat) rising
6/22: Chait '08
6/22: Mullah Moulitsas: JIHAD!
6/22: Lying about lies
6/21: Ko$ola/JeromeGate: Pandemic
6/21: Kosola or JeromeGate?
6/20: Kosola: The story so far
6/20: Kosola scandal goes viral
6/19: Will blog for $$$
6/19: Kos pay-for-play scam
6/12: Tin foil: The new fur
6/11: How not to win (Kos video)
6/9: The ultimate losers hit Vegas


I'm a blind follower

Yep, you nailed us, Hillary! We're just blindly following Bush!

Ask Justice Harriet Miers about how we all blindly follow Bush. Or maybe you should ask those 12 million illegal aliens who got amnestied because everybody in the GOP just blindly followed Bush. Ask the guys at DP World how things are going, now that they're operating so many major U.S. ports.

And please, Mrs. Clinton, won't you tell us whether any Democrats were ever blind followers of your husband? I mean, remember when Bill got oral sex from Monica while he was on the phone with a congressman talking about foreign policy? And remember when Bill perjured himself by denying that he ever had sex with Monica? And then tried to hustle her out of town to a new job at Revlon so Monica could sign an affidavist saying she was too busy to give a deposition in the federal sexual harassment suit against Bill?

I was just wondering, Mrs. Clinton, if you thought that the Democrats -- such as yourself -- who defended Bill during all of that stuff were ever blindly following the president? Because I know how important consistency is to you.


Why the Left loses

While researching the DailyKos-TNR feud -- the cage match between "illiterate" Marcos Moulitsas Zuniga and "neocon" Marty Peretz -- I came across an interesting post by Ezra Klein of the American Prospect:
You hear a lot about the insidiousness of TNR and The Weekly Standard, but there's little effort to strengthen alternatives like The American Prospect or In These Times.
Or Workers World. Or the People's Weekly World.

That Klein thinks it a good thing to compare his employer to In These Times speaks ill of either Klein or his employer.

The American Prospect is a journal written by, for and about liberals in Blue America. It advocates a liberalism that is completely alien to the experience of ordinary Americans -- especially middle-class suburban/exurban "swing voters."

Even with 90% liberal/Democrat dominance in the faculties of the nation's universities, and even with similar dominance in the fields of publishing and broadcasting -- even after four decades of the "long march through the institutions" -- the Left has not been able to convince a working majority of Americans that retreat is preferable to victory, or that socialism works better than capitalism.

Liberalism is the belief that Hillary Clinton loves your children more than you do. It is the belief that Ted Kennedy is more qualified than you to decide what school your child should attend, and what should be taught there. It is the belief that, when America is at war, it is more courageously patriotic to oppose than to support the war. To be liberal is to prefer "social justice" to plain old justice.

Liberalism is the belief that Robert Reich knows more about business than the CEO of Wal-Mart, that Hollywood stars and rock singers are more fit to preach virtue than your local Baptist minister, and that John Kerry is a sounder judge of military strategy than Tommy Franks. Generally, and most fundamentally, liberalism nowadays consists largely of the belief that anyone who is not liberal is stupid, hateful or both.

With such attitudes, it is easy for the Left to imagine themselves the moral superiors of ordinary Americans. But it's danged hard to get your candidates elected, isn't it?


Friday, June 23, 2006

Bad Moon(bat) Rising

Jerome Armstrong's star chart says:
* * * * *

Dan Riehl
discovered Jerome "Carnac the Magnificent" Armstrong's astrology career. The Kossacks, already reeling from the Ko$ola/Jeromegate revelations, must be staggering at the revelation that the "icon of progressive politics" is, in fact, a devotee of a miserable and benighted superstition.

What could be more easily disproved than the claim that the position of the stars at the time of one's birth determines anything about one's character and destiny? I have fraternal twin sons, now 13, who are quite different in temperament and aptitude. Q.E.D.

But dear Moonbats, it will get worse. Trust me on this, OK? While no other blogger has so far matched Riehl Worldview in terms of researching the Ko$ola/Jeromegate controversy -- see here, here and here -- there's now blood in the water, and even the MSM sharks are circling.

* * * * * * * * *
NOW BLOGGING: Wizbang, Moe Lane (Red State), Hot Air, Protein Wisdom, Politburo Diktat, Right-Wing News, Leather Penguin, Unalienable Right ...

Wizbang caught MyDD trying to cover Jerome's astrology tracks, prompting Dan Riehl to declare: "Anyone who gives that blogpac, or whatever it is, a dime must be crazy." Yeah. But we already knew that.

Hot Air reminds us that YearlyKos had a panel about defending the integrity of science against right-wingers. We now know that, to the Moonbats, "science" includes such subjects as astrology, alchemy, necromancy, Keynesianism ...

Theodorick of York, Medieval Barber!

Marty Peretz, not a big fan of the blogosphere, finally pays a visit to DailyKos and declares Moulitsas "just plain illiterate." and says, "It feels a bit demeaning to defend oneself against Kos."

Most political writers dream of being booked on "Meet the Press," or maybe "Washington Journal" (I'm an old C-SPAN junkie). I think Jerome Armstrong would rather be on "Coast to Coast A.M. with George Noory."

I actually started to call this post "Moon(bat) in the 7th House," and it seems Protein Wisdom had the same idea:
[W]hen the Kossacks tell you to play the race angle, you play the race angle! You know—for the unified message and the people-powered movement and all that.
Besides, when the moon is in the seventh house, and Jupiter aligns with Mars, that means blacks are being unfairly targeted by the Man. Or that the Fifth Dimension is doing a reunion tour, I’m not sure which.
For younger folks, I will explain: The reference is to the lyrics and most famous performers of "Aquarius." That was the most successful song from the soundtrack of "Hair," a hippie musical that debuted off-Broadway in 1967. The lyrics declared the "dawning" of an age of "harmony and understanding," when "peace will guide the planets, and love will steer the stars." Some idiots actually bought into that crap.

The 10 years following the debut of "Hair" turned out instead to be the age of Sirhan Sirhan, the Manson Family, OPEC, Pol Pot, the Symbionese Liberation Army, "Son of Sam," herpes, disco, qaaludes, PCP ....

* * * * * * * *

OK, perhaps the best take yet on the Ko$ola/JeromeGate affair comes from Lee Siegel of TNR:

It's a bizarre phenomenon, the blogosphere. It radiates democracy's dream of full participation but practices democracy's nightmare of populist crudity, character-assassination, and emotional stupefaction. It's hard fascism with a Microsoft face. It puts some people, like me, in the equally bizarre position of wanting desperately for Joe Lieberman to lose the Democratic primary to Ned Lamont so that true liberal values might, maybe, possibly prevail, yet at the same time wanting Lamont, the hero of the blogosphere, to lose so that the fascistic forces ranged against Lieberman might be defeated.
Understand that the "fascistic forces" he speaks of are strictly left-wing bloggers. As I mentioned Thursday, "when you start blaming your woes on a malevolent conspiracy of 'Lieberman-worshipping neocons,' you might as well add, 'Sieg Heil.' "

I know just how Siegel feels. There are some Republicans whose politics I hate, who are being opposed by the Kossacks. But as much as I might like to see certain Republicans get beat, I'd hate for the Kossacks to be able to claim a scalp. It's like the Democratic primary between Henry Cuellar and Ciro Rodriquez. I didn't have a dog in that fight, but the fact that the Kossacks were backing Rodriquez meant that I was cheering for Cuellar.

The vibe that Siegel calls "fascistic" reflects, I believe, a continuing development of what the late Allan Bloom described as the Nietzscheanization of the Left. There is no truth and no morality, therefore there are no rules -- the Left seeks victory "by any means necesssary." It is a very power-oriented attitude, and frightening.

* * * * * * * * *
Given that the worst accusations in this scandal seem to center around Armstrong, I think it's possible that the furious response by Markos Moulitsas Zuniga may be grounded in a certain truth. Given what is being revealed about Armstrong's activities, Markos may eventually conclude that he and the DailyKos readership have been deceived and exploited by Armstrong.

Remember that Markos began as a commenter/guest-blogger at MyDD. So if Armstrong asks a favor from Markos -- e.g., "Could you start pimping Sherrod Brown?" -- a sense of personal loyalty might prevent Markos from refusing the request. In such a scenario, Markos is not the Blogfather; he's the Internet equivalent of Johnny Fontane, or perhaps Bonasera.

I alluded to this Wednesday, after Markos denied being a consultant:

Armstrong's been raking in big-time consultant bucks, but Moulitsas has taken a vow of poverty. In which case, Moulitsas is not the scammer, he's the scammee.
Not a pimp, but an abused ho.
Not just a sock puppet, but a stupid sock puppet.
When Dan reported Wednesday night that Armstrong collected over $160,000 as a consultant to SEIU, I reiterated this theme:

[I]t's not illegal or unethical for a political consultant to be selling his services to clients, even clients as sleazy as SEIU. The relevant question is why it seems these money trails to Armstrong tend to be reflected in favorable treatment at DailyKos. The most glaring example of this is the Hackett-Brown flipflop in October '05 that ex-Kossack "BuckeyeState" has chronicled.The pattern seems clear: Jerome gets paid, the client gets laid, and it's Markos wearing the fishnet stockings and 4-inch heels.
I think the nature of the relationship between Armstrong and Markos is obvious if you look at their work going back to the MyDD days and their partnership as Armstrong-Zuniga LLC.

Armstrong was an entrepreneur, a guy who tried at least two different schemes -- touting dot-com stocks and astrology -- to make money on the Internet before, in 2001, turning toward politics.

In January 2003, Armstrong-Zuniga LLC was formed. Markos later said that he "hated" political consulting, which would suggest that this business was Armstrong's idea.

Teamwork is based on a complementarity of skills. If you look at Armstrong-Zuniga, along with their third partner, Rusty Foster, you see this complementarity:

  • Armstrong -- aggressive salesman/entrepreneur;
  • Moulitsas -- "creative" content provider; and
  • Foster -- tech genius, software developer.
Foster created the "Scoop" software that powers DailyKos, so bringing him into the firm produced a well-balanced troika of (a) marketing, (b) editorial content, and (c) technical prowess. But Armstrong's ambition lay in a different direction than Moulitsas's -- and the Wall Street Journal's expose kind of made things look bad -- so in January 2005, they split, with Armstrong forming a consulting firm, Political Technologies LLC, and Moulitsas creating Kos Media LLC.

But DailyKos continued to be an active forum for the promotion of various Democratic candidates -- including candidates in contested primaries. And surely one of the reasons Democrats would hire Armstrong as an Internet consultant is because of his known close association with the proprietor of the #1 political site on the 'Net. Even if Armstrong didn't sell his services explicitly to the Sherrod Brown campaign (or Corzine, or SEIU, or Warner campaign) on the basis of favorable treatment DailyKos as part of a "buy one, get one free" deal, surely these clients thought that Armstrong might exercise influence over his old friend Markos.

So Markos is angry that he has been accused of "pay-for-play," and insists that his income has nothing to do with his relationship with Armstrong, or with Armstrong's clients. Fine. Given that they are both private citizens and proprietors of LLCs, it is hard to imagine anyone finding a "smoking gun" that would prove a quid pro quo.

But consider the accusations that Armstrong was abusive and dishonest in promoting dot-com stocks. Consider also that Armstrong seems to have been the driving business brain behind the Armstrong-Zuniga partnership. And then consider Armstrong's dabbling in online astrology.

This pattern of behavior might lead one to contemplate Armstrong's oft-cited biography -- Peace Corps volunteer, devout Buddhist, holder of two master's degrees -- and to remark upon the conflicting images. How does one go from selfless service to the peoples of Costa Rica and Sierra Leone, to 18 months of meditation in a monastery, to the attainment of high academic honors, and then proceed to (alleged) unscrupulous stock scamming, blathering about Ixion, Quaoar and the Kuiper Belt, and trying to sell a DLC candidate to the "people-powered movement"?

As someone who has himself taken an unorthodox path -- I played in rock bands and worked as a disco DJ before landing my first newspaper job -- I am in one sense capable of understanding that people don't always get ahead by climbing a predictable career ladder. But the picture that is emerging of Armstrong is of a hustler, a b.s. artist, a Professor Harold Hill.

Of course, it would be gravy for the GOP if the hottest rising star of Democratic political strategy were, in fact, a clever hustler -- so long as the Democrats were too dumb to figure it out. If Armstrong is selling his clients the "Think System" of politics,

This is where the infamous "0-for-eternity" record of the Moonbat-o-sphere comes into the picture. Jerome doesn't merely provide technical services to Democrats, and Markos does not merely report the latest news. With the publication of their book "Crashing the Gates," Armstrong & Moulitsas now present themselves as possessors of the Big Secret to Democratic Party victory. Armstrong's Big Ideas appear in prestigious venues, and Moulitsas gets his strategic political advice printed on the front page of the Other Paper's Sunday Outlook section -- some of the most coveted editorial space in the world!

It is amazing to see Armstrong and Moulitsas, neither of whom is known to have had any significant involvement in politics prior to 2001, now hailed as the Better Mousetrap of politics, with politicians and publishers beating a path to their door. Yet these two clowns have never won anything worth winning.

When the MyDD/DailyKos machine first went into operation, Bush had barely scraped into office and the GOP majority in the Senate was so thin that the defection of "Jumping Jim" Jeffords delivered control of the chamber to Tom Daschle's Democrats.

Now, five years later, Democrats have suffered crushing defeats in two consecutive elections, including the 2004 election, when Armstrong-Zuniga relentlessly promoted the anti-war "Dean Machine" that (a) sucked up $53 million in campaign cash, (b) was handily trounced everywhere except Vermont, (c) helped push the party even farther left, (d) was a major reason Bush became the first president since 1988 to win a majority of the popular vote, and (e) subsequently captured control of the Democratic National Committee.

The "progressive political icon" and the leader of the "people-powered movement" are now proclaiming that Election Day 2006 will be the new dawn of the Democrat-dominated future. Looking at the Senate races in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Montana, one certainly doesn't feel like it's going to be a good year for Republicans. (The only thing surprising about Mike DeWine's low poll numbers is that anybody still supports him, given his atrocious record.) And the disproporationate number of Republican-held governorships up for grabs also bodes ill for the GOP this fall. Combine all this with the continued unpopularity of President Bush -- unprecedented in any time of economic prosperity since 1968 -- and you have the makings of a real electoral nightmare for Democrats.

With all these ill omens for Republicans, then, it would be adevastating defeat for Democrats if the GOP should somehow escape Nov. 7 with control of both houses of Congress in hand. But if, with the aid of their "people-powered" gurus, Democrats somehow manage to seize defeat from the jaws of victory in 2006, there will be no excuse. Democrats will know who to blame.

Every logical evidence points toward Democratic victory in November, but if there's one way sure way to blow it, it is to accept the advice of wizards, soothsayers and necromancers, those who peep at the stars and claim to have secret knowledge.

Tell me this, Jerome Armstrong: Why didn't you, with the aid of the stars, predict the capture of Saddam or the death of Zarqawi? If astrology could tell the future, why didn't you warn anyone ahead of time about the scandals now surrounding William Jefferson and Al Mollohan? Why wasn't there a cryptic warning to Patrick J. Kennedy (a Cancer!) on May 3 about "Uranus in retrograde" or some such? Why no cautions to Cynthia McKinney (a Pisces!) prior to March 29?

Better yet: If you're such a wizard when it comes to seeing the future, why didn't you realize in advance that touting worthless dot-com stocks would get you in trouble with the SEC? Why didn't you predict that your astrology career would come back to bite you in Uranus?

We'll let others analyze the political advice of this stargazing Elmer Gantry, but the claim that astrologers can predict the future is a lie. So if Jerome Armstrong was hustling astrology, then we know he's a liar. And anyone who trusts a liar is a fool.


6/22: Chait '08
6/22: Mullah Moulitsas: JIHAD!
6/22: Lying about lies
6/21: Ko$ola/JeromeGate: Pandemic
6/21: Kosola or JeromeGate?
6/20: Kosola: The story so far
6/20: Kosola scandal goes viral
6/19: Will blog for $$$
6/19: Kos pay-for-play scam
6/12: Tin foil: The new fur
6/11: How not to win (Kos video)
6/9: The ultimate losers hit Vegas

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Chait ‘08

The Friends of Jonathan Chait '08 Exploratory Committee has not (yet) hired me as an Internet consultant, but I have a friend who is a TNR subscriber, and he got me the full text of Chait's declaration of his intent to seek the presidential nomination in 2008.

Chait gets the Moonbat Mullah squarely in his sights, then delivers the Mighty Everlasting Pimp Slap From Hell:
Kos announces in his headline, "TNR's defection to the Right is now complete." If this sounds vaguely familiar, it's because it is. More than two years ago, Kos launched what he called his "anti-TNR campaign," in which he declared us to be enemies of the people. Wait, sorry, wrong jargon--I meant, enemies of the people-powered movement. Some examples of the anti-TNR campaign can be found here, here, and here. ... In good revolutionary style, Kos ends with a ringing declaration that TNR remains dead and victory for people-power is at hand. "It is now beyond clear that the dying NEW REPUBLIC is mortally wounded," he writes. Where once it was clear, now it is beyond clear, and where once we were dying we are now both dying and mortally wounded. He continues, "They no longer (thank heavens!) have a monopoly on progressive punditry." When did we ever have a monopoly on progressive punditry? What about The Nation, The American Prospect, The Washington Monthly, every liberal op-ed columnist, and the like? How did I miss this period of all-consuming power?
There's more, but I've heard enough. That's it, as far as I'm concerned. The man and the hour have met. Unless and until he makes a Shermanesque disavowal of White House ambition, all of us "Lieberman-worshipping neo-cons," must dedicate every waking hour to making Jonathan Chait the next president of these United States!


Mullah Moulitsas: JIHAD!

Remember, when vast conspiracies are at work, with the power of the NSA and the "Lieberman-worshipping neo-cons" in action, you never know what's going to happen. So make sure you have heavy-duty tinfoil in your hat before considering this post hoc, ergo propter hoc (that's Latin for "Bush lied, people died") sequence of events:

Lieberman worshipper Jason Zengerle betrays the people-powered movement by publishing a classified e-mail from the top-secret "Townhouse" list, whose existence was previously known only to Valerie Plame and a select circle of insiders.

Bush thugs violate the civil rights of minority peace activists in Florida:
The group has been under surveillance for some time and was infilitrated by a government informant who allegedly led them to believe he was an Islamic radical. The suspects are described as African Americans and at least one man of Caribbean descent.
Florida? Remember, that's where Bush stole the presidency in 2000. But it's ... just a coincidence. Right.

* * * * *

The Moonbat Mullah has issued a fatwah against Jason Zengerle, a latter-day Rushdie who has profaned the Prophet -- no 72 virgins for you, buddy! -- and thus exposed himself as a lackey of "the occupation regime".

The 12th Imam of Kosistan declares:
[T]he New Republic betrayed, once again, that it seeks to destroy the new people-powered movement for the sake of its Lieberman-worshipping neocon owners; that it stands with the National Review and wingnutoshpere in their opposition to grassroots Democrats.
I'm going to have to check my sources on this, but I'm pretty sure that when you start blaming your woes on a malevolent conspiracy of "Lieberman-worshipping neocons," you might as well add, "Sieg Heil." Maybe those rules don't apply to the imam of "the new people-powered movement," but like I said, I'll have to check.

Meanwhile, in the "wingnutosphere," LGF remarks:
I can’t help noticing how much Moulitsas’ conspiracy-oriented mindset echoes the anti-rational paranoia of radical Islam. When the New Republic actually criticizes him, and reveals some of the secret Kos Nutroots Knowledge, the only explanation possible is that they’re apostates under the spell of a massive organized conspiracy. And having been cast out of the fold by Mullah Moulitsas, they’re now legitimate targets for revenge.
Don Surber on Ko$ola: "I realize kiddies it is the same crap from the 1960s: Radical chic for profit. There is a lot of money to be made railing against the rich, especially in the post dot-com era."

NEW: Chait Pimp-Slaps Mullah Moulitsas!


Lying about lies

Richard Bennett catches Matt Stoller lying about his lies.

Stoller, June 14:
Craigslist has been blocked for three months from Cox customers because of security software malfunctions …
Without net neutrality protections, cable and telecom companies will have no incentive to fix these kinds of problems. ...
The telcos are of course lying about this, claiming that no web sites have been blocked. And gullible reporters are falling for the lies.
So, some tech reporters then reported that Stoller had accused the cable industry of lying about blocking Craigslist -- not an unfair summary, I suppose -- calling this a "flagrant lie." One week later ....

Stoller, June 21:
Well I suppose that would be a lie if I had accused Cox of deliberately blocking Craigslist. Only I didn't. ...
Of course, it's easier to pretend like I was claiming that Cox was intentionally blocking Craiglist. But that is a lie.
Well, OK. What Stoller accused Cox (and other "telco" opponents of Stoller's favored "Net Neutrality" legislation) of doing, was lying about whether Craigslist was blocked by Cox. And only "gullible reporters" would believe the lying "telcos," Stoller said, while anyone who questioned Stoller's accusations was ... a liar.

It's a tautology. If charted as a Venn diagram, we see two non-intersecting sets -- two separate circles:
A. Matt Stoller (and his Net Neutrality allies);
B. Liars.

This is, one must admit, theoretically possible. The "telcos" and their allies may all be fundamentally and consistently dishonest, e.g., If a "telco" tells you it's sunny outside, take an umbrella.

But as a Madisonian, I would suggest the possibility that the "telcos" are merely pursuing their own interests. Nothing wrong with that: I'm selling a book (BUY TWO), but it's not like that is a hidden agenda of any kind. The blog and the book share the same title, DONKEY CONS (again, please BUY TWO), and the only reason I'm blogging about anything -- Argentina in World Cup soccer or Right-Wing Howler's "Chick of the Week" -- is to attract you, the blogospheric readers who might be interested in reading a wonderful book about Democratic Party corruption. Pure capitalism is the most honest thing in this world.

So, I'm selling books, and the "telcos" are selling cable service. To the Madisonian, our interests are transparent. But ... what's Matt Stoller selling? What's his interest? Why is he blogging so furiously on a boring policy-wonk issue? Why does he insist that his antagonists are liars and then, when he is criticized for those accusations, insist that his critics are also liars?

I profess to be mystified. I have ignored the "Net Neutrality" debate. Being a libertarian cynic, I figure there must be some kind of rent-seeking or other self-interested motive on both sides of the dispute.

But all this stuff with Stoller screaming "liar!" ... seems vaguely deja vu, doesn't it? And it happens that a few days ago, something Christopher Hitchens wrote in Vanity Fair reminded me of a sort of highbrow murder mystery I once read, in which the big clue was, "Waterproof!"

So then I happened upon this Richard Bennett item, and got thinking about it. And then I exclaimed, "Blue Point!"

Understand, of course, I'm not saying Stoller is one of the Worst People in America. To make such an unfounded assertion would be a crime against the people. But I can't help feeling that there's something wrong with this picture.


: Buy TWO
DONKEY CONS: Rave review
DONKEY CONS: Another rave review
DONKEY CONS: Yet ANOTHER rave review
DONKEY CONS: Vilmar loves it!
DONKEY CONS: WorldNetDaily loves it!
DONKEY CONS: About the book
DONKEY CONS: On Capitol Hill
DONKEY CONS: About the authors

Ned Lamont's kiss of death

... from Arianna:
If Mr Lamont stages an upset in the Connecticut primaries on August 8, it may signal the point of no return for American politics. "It will change the kind of person who goes into politics," said Arianna Huffington, who runs the political blog Huffington Post. "It will end the dominance of consultants who have been running campaigns in the same focus-group, poll-driven way that has taken the soul out of politics."

If Arianna says so, you know the truth must be 180 degrees in the other direction. She has never been right about anything, ever, period. She's got the political acumen of a ... well, of a Greek immigrant gold digger who thought she could turn a gay oil heir into a happily married Republican senator (wrong on both counts).

So that's it: Arianna is pro-Lamont, therefore Lieberman's a lead-pipe cinch for re-election. Take this one to the bank, boys:



Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Ko$sola/JeromeGate: Pandemic!

The Moulitsas/Armstrong "blogola" scandal went "viral" on Tuesday, June 20. With a big boost from TNR's Jason Zengerle (see also here), it mushroomed into a pandemic Wednesday, June 21. Chris Suellentrop was the Patient Zero of this outbreak, the blogosphere was the dimly-lit bath house, and ...

OK, I've exhausted my Randy Shilts vocabulary. Let's go back to the Moonbat Mafia punfest. .... Before La Blogga Nostra breaks my kneecaps, let me make a request of my fellow "wingnut bloggers":


Dan Riehl's getting the job done. Dan has done yeoman's work exposing the Corzine connection and Armstrong's $160K SEIU contract. While bloggers' jokes and comments and questions are welcomed, we need more data on the client list of Armstrong's Political Technologies LLC.

There is a way you can use Political Moneyline to "List Disbursement Payees." But that's a "FECInfoPro user" function, which you've got to pay for. So if somebody wants to pay for that and get a complete list of Armstrong's consulting clients, there would be the possibility of comparing the list to the Kos Kremlin's party line, you see?

If DailyKos has shown the same pattern with other Political Technologies clients that has been shown with Sherrod Brown and Mark Warner, you win the cigar.

Currently blogging Ko$ola/JeromeGate:
Little Green Footballs, Ace of Spades, Josh Trevino (Red State), Iowa Voice
, Instapundit , BOPNews , Captain Ed, Outside the Beltway, Blue Crab Boulevard, Vodkapundit, PowerLine, National Review, BizzyBlog, Wizbang, Althouse, Dr. Flap, Another Rovian Conspiracy, Buckeye State Blog, Blogometer ...

* * * * *
I don't know who "Buckeye State Blog" is, but ... huge props, dude. My wife's family is from Ohio, and next time I get over there, the beers are on me, OK?

Check out Buckeye's post about the Ko$ola scandal:

If you read any of the big box blogs regularly you will notice the incestuous cross linking between them, and very few links by comparison to outsiders. This I believe has directly caused the liberal blog network to have a few mammoth blogs at the top and many many more tiny blogs struggling. Whereas on the right the big blogs aren't so big, but there are a far larger number of medium sized blogs - creating a more effective and deeply penetrating noise machine by comparison.

The fact that someone in the Townhouse network chose to leak this damning information should be applauded, and the big box bloggers really should write honestly about this issue or risk damaging not only their own credibility but those of us who haven't swallowed the bulls***.

Very good, and exactly right, sir! "BuckeyeState" is a sincere, committed, liberal Democrat, and yet he sees through the bovine excrement "swallowed" by so many of his fellow true believers. When BuckeyeState, a former Kossack, smelled a rat in Kos' Hackett-Brown flipflop, he didn't hesitate to point it out (and follow up).

If those he calls the "big box blogs" are crooked, then it's Democrats who will suffer most, just like Republicans suffered most from Jack Abramoff's corruption. (Well, OK, Gus Boulis actually suffered the most, but you get the point.)

Remember, it wasn't a Democrat who blew the whistle on Abramoff, it was a GOP girl named Emily J. Miller.

So here's a bipartisan salute -- from a wingnut to a moonbat, with a promise of beers -- to BuckeyeState, a blogger with integrity!

* * * * *
On the other hand ... is it possible to OD on Kool-Aid? I speak, dear friends, of Stirling Newberry's unhinged, paranoid rant:
In a world that has bequeathed him many names, Joe Lieberman's supporters today added another - Libelman. Libel is a fairly clear bright line, something must be willfully false, and with the intent to defame. After spinning conspiracy theories about Jerome Armstrong and Markos Moulitas-Zuniga, the Nasty Republicans step up to the plate and follow on with outright libel.
This current tirade from the establishment wing of the Democratic Party is not coincidental - Jerome and Markos now have real power, and more over, there is a real schism within the establishment over Joe Lieberman. Well, the Liebermanites have sunk to the challenge.
Put down that laptop, Mr. Newberry.
Now -- slowly -- step away from the Kool-Aid.

Chris Suellentrop raised questions about the Armstrong-Moulitas axis in January 2005, before anybody ever heard of Ned Lamont, OK? And the possibility that the No. 1 political site in the entire blogosphere has been scamming is a such a huge story, any reporter with any news sense at all would be chasing it.

So before you go blaming "Liebermanites," you might as well get it over with and say this was a Mossad plot -- or perhaps the work of the Bavarian Illuminati.

It is well known that a certain number of people see politics as a get-rich-quick opportunity. Some of the quick-buck artists are political consultants. It's a bipartisan problem and it's been going on for years.

Let me just put it to you this way, Mr. Newberry: There are McMansions in Virginia horse country and beach houses dotting the Atlantic shore that were paid for with cash siphoned out of losing GOP campaigns. Nothing illegal, necessarily, but crooked enough to make you sick. Loyal contributors give their hard-earned money to the campaigns, hardworking staffers and volunteers toil endlessly, and a dozen or so highly-placed consultants get rich by providing bad advice.

Any old hand in Washington can tell you these stories about cyncial, manipulative operators who made the Big Score and walked away rich. Since I just got through co-authoring a book about Democratic Party corruption, I understand that Democrats have their fair share of cynical manipulators. So I certainly was not surprised by Suellentrop's suggestion that GenX Democrats are trying to cash in, just like some Baby Boomer Republicans have cashed in.

Trying to play the "partisan smear" card -- or bizarrely blaming "Liebermanites" -- will not detract from the newsworthiness of the Ko$ola/JeromeGate story. The story will stand or fall on the basis of facts, not politics.

* * * * *

More Kool-Aid tripping from Sean Paul Kelley:
Why is a liberal publication purposefully trying to destroy an icon of progressive politics ...?
New land speed record: Zero-to-"icon" in 5 years!

As recently as 1999 -- and, according to Dan Riehl, perhaps more recently than that -- Jerome Armstrong was (allegedly) touting worthless dot-com stocks. He hooks on with Howard Dean in 2003. Now it's 2006, and Armstrong's "an icon of progressive politics"?

Sort of a Gresham's Law of progressive iconography, I suppose. So many icons, so little progress ...

But has anybody considered the bizarre contradictions of Armstrong's bio?
He served the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone and Costa Rica, and even spent a year and a half meditating in Buddhist monasteries. ... Jerome, originally from Los Angeles, went to school abroad before graduating with a couple of masters from Portland State in Oregon. ...
Idealist. Zen devotee. Scholar ... Dot-com hustler?

What's wrong with this picture, folks? Is this one of those things like Paul "Jersey Boy" Begala claiming to be a downhome Texas good ol' boy? There is something disturbingly strange about this.
* * * * *
And the final word goes to 37921, a commenter at Althouse:
[M]aybe it explains why Kos is always accusing conservative bloggers of taking marching orders from Karl Rove. He thinks that's the way the world works.
6/21: Kosola or JeromeGate?
6/20: Kosola: The story so far

6/20: Kosola scandal goes viral

6/19: Will blog for $$$

6/19: Kos pay-for-play scam

6/12: Tin foil: The new fur

6/11: How not to win (Kos video)
6/9: The ultimate losers hit Vegas


Ko$sola or JeromeGate?

* UPDATE 4 p.m. 6/21 *
The Blogfather makes the Moonbat Mafiosi an offer they can't refuse, and says he's "exploring legal options against some of the wingnut bloggers" who won't shut up.

Talk about priceless publicity! If I got a cease-and-desist letter from Markos' consigliere, I'd immediately e-mail Drudge before faxing the letter to The Smoking Gun.

Will AllahPundit sleep with the fishes?

Other "wingnut bloggers" daring to defy La Blogga Nostra's code of omerta on Ko$ola/JeromeGate:
Little Green Footballs, Ace of Spades, Josh Trevino (Red State), Iowa Voice
, Instapundit , BOPNews , Captain Ed, Outside the Beltway , Vodkapundit, PowerLine, National Review, BizzyBlog, Wizbang, Althouse, Dr. Flap, Another Rovian Conspiracy ...

* * * * *
Contemplating Dan Riehl's big scoop, Allah Pundit wonders if maybe "Ko$ola" is the wrong term:
So far everything’s flowing in to Political Technologies LLC, which is Armstrong’s outfit. So maybe we should be calling it … Arm$trong-ola? Just doesn’t have the same ring.
OK, whatever. Call it "JeromeGate."

However, it's not illegal or unethical for a political consultant to be selling his services to clients, even clients as sleazy as SEIU. The relevant question is why it seems these money trails to Armstrong tend to be reflected in favorable treatment at DailyKos. The most glaring example of this is the Hackett-Brown flipflop in October '05 that ex-Kossack "BuckeyeState" has chronicled.

The pattern seems clear: Jerome gets paid, the client gets laid, and it's Markos wearing the fishnet stockings and 4-inch heels.

Since I left my tinfoil hat at home, I will allow for the possibility that this is mere coincidence. It just coincidentally happened -- kismet! fate! destiny! -- that Kos slams Sherrod Brown, then Jerome gets paid by Brown, the Kos starts providing Lewinsky service to Brown.

While I don't go for conspiracy theories -- even when the two alleged conspirators are (former) business partners -- the Kossacks do. In August 2005, two months before the Hackett-Brown caper, a certain "JodyD" wrote this LiveJournal entry:
I dislike Markos (aka Kos). ... This is no secret. I dislike him mainly because he's sold out. And for what? Money? Influence?

I suspect it's a combo of both. ...

My suspectful mindset began with Howard Dean. He was a whore to the Dean campaign, but not of the good kind. The campaign, in the end, got very little out that relationship while Markos clearly gained, substantially. His handling of the situation was self motivated and just not very smart. If you don't know the details, google is your friend. ...

The funny thing to me is the site isn't even Markos anymore. ....
He's too busy setting up Kos Media LLC ... and sitting on the boards of new think tanks.
A man I once shared a vision with - the internet, specifically blogs, would transform politics - has not only left that vision but crumbled many people along his way. He's a shady character.
The question is: how long until he falls? My answer: not very.
Democrat blogger Chris Baker suggested the revelations about blogola/Ko$ola/JeromeGate were a right-wing hit job. Yet between "BuckeyeState" and "JodyD," it is clear that many on the Left have suspected for months that Markos Moulitsas Zuniga was "sold out," a "whore." As "BuckeyeState" put it:
It became obvious to me some time ago ... that [DailyKos] was a scam, perpetrated on people desperate for change and leadership.
Dan Riehl continues researching, and I am 100% certain that as more of Political Technologies LLC's client list is discovered, more parallels with the DailyKos message will also be discovered. It may be weeks before FEC records of Democratic primary campaigns are fully available online, but it is reasonable to expect to see further confirmation of this pattern of Armstrong/Kos coordination that for months has been prompting suspicions on the part of some smart Democrat activists.

* * * * *
Iowa Voice sez:
I'd like to think that Kos' and Armstrong's readers would begin to realize the massive fraud being played out on them...but I doubt they have that kind of intelligence, really. ... They probably don't much care that they're being fleeced by con-artists turned political activists.
"Con-artists turned political activists": A short, simple description of the pattern documented in Donkey Cons: Sex, Crime, and Corruption in the Democratic Party.

* * * * *
Pho in Akron:
The new info is that Kos has sent out a confidential memo to his inner circle urging them to refrain from blogging on the issue so as to "starve it of oxygen." He also tries to minimize Armstrong's culpability -- "He didn't do it but he settled it because . . ." If I had a dime for every time I heard that as a prosecutor.
Yeah. It's right up there with, "I don't know how those roaches got in my ashtray!" and "But she told me she was 19!"

* * * * *
Some conservatives will recall early 2005, when the MSM started paying a lot of attention to the Abramoff scandal. At that time, there were a lot of voices on the Right saying, "Oh, this is just the Dems trying to do a hit job on DeLay. It's a smear. No story here. Ignore it."

Bad advice. The Abramoff scandal was serious, but it wasn't until late November 2005, when the Weekly Standard published Matt Continetti's story, that most conservatives really understood the true seriousness of the problem.

Once they knew the scope of the problem, Republicans did the Republican thing. Whether or not he is ever found guilty of any crime, Tom DeLay was smart to resign, rather than take the GOP down with him. Ralph Reed hasn't taken the hint, and neither has Bob "I'm Too Stupid to Be Corrupt" Ney, but once the scope of Abramoff's scam was exposed, conservatives in general took it seriously.

But check out this latest reaction to Ko$ola/JeromeGate from Democrat blogger Chris Baker:
The right will try to turn this into a blanket attack. Learn from Karl Rove. Don’t get sidetracked. You have them on defense… keep attacking. Sure, you can devote huge amounts of resources and time to attacking the Daily Kos and their crew, but in the end it will just make you look stupid as we hammer away on jobs, the economy, the occupation of Iraq, etc etc etc list the hundreds of other real world issues that Republicans don’t know how to deal with.
On the one hand, Baker's right. On the other hand, he's drinking the Kool-Aid of paranoia.

If Jerome and/or Markos are selling out the Kossacks, this is an internal problem for Democrats. Daily Kos absolutely dominates the Moonbat-o-sphere in a way that no single site dominates on the Right. Because Armstrong and Moulitsas have turned their operation into a Democratic Party one-stop for campaign cash, PR, communication, volunteers, GOTV, strategy, etc., a problem for Daily Kos is a problem for the entire party.

Baker urges Democrats to ignore the problem -- fearing that it is a distraction from the "issues," or that it will be "red meat" for the GOP. That's like saying, "Oh, Mom, it's just a lump in your breast. Don't worry about it. You're only 57. And a two-pack-a-day smoker. It's probably nothing."

Election Day is Nov. 7. If the Armstrong-Moulitsas axis is getting "blogola" to steer Democrats in a losing direction, Democrats have barely over four months before they pay the price. Mr. Baker, if you wake up a loser on Nov. 8, don't say you weren't warned.

6/20: Kosola: The story so far

6/20: Kosola scandal goes viral

6/19: Will blog for $$$

6/19: Kos pay-for-play scam

6/12: Tin foil: The new fur

6/11: How not to win (Kos video)
6/9: The ultimate losers hit Vegas


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Ko$ola: The story so far

June 20, 11:18 p.m. EDT
Dan Riehl's got the
Jerome Armstrong's consulting firm collected over $161,700 from SEIU -- perhaps the most notoriously corrupt union in America -- in a single year! And DailyKos has been pimping SEIU!

One labor journalist accused SEIU of ripping off AFL-CIO for $3 million before splitting in 2005. Wait until Tom Buffenbarger finds out what Andy "Beach House" Stern has been up to lately ....
(Markos/CNN image by P.J. Comix)
* * * * *
June 20, 6:53 p.m. EDT
Kos flatly denies everything:
No politician, campaign, issue group, nor any other organization has directly or indirectly paid me for anything.
Right. Armstrong's been raking in big-time consultant bucks, but Moulitsas has taken a vow of poverty. In which case, Moulitsas is not the scammer, he's the scammee.
Not a pimp, but an abused ho.
Not just a sock puppet, but a stupid sock puppet.

We now return you to our previously scheduled cynical snarking ... oh, wait: Ace of Spades has beaten us to it!

Fine. Let's say there is no secret money moving directly from Armstrong to Kos. ...

Does Kos ever change his tune on a politician according to guaranteed ad revenue from Armstrong's clients?

That's the question, and Kos doesn't even address it.

* * * * *
National Review Online has timelined the Ko$ola scandal. Now let's establish how the story (as opposed to the scandal) has developed.

In January 2005, Chris Suellentrop reported the Armstrong-Kos-Dean consultant connection at Slate, but it seems this story scarcely caused a ripple of wider suspicion.

In October 2005, an Ohio Democrat (and ex-Kossack) sniffed an Armstrong/Moulitsas scam in the Hackett-Brown primary for the Senate (see here and here). This was also noted at the time by a Columbus Dispatch columnist. But for some reason, no one jumped in to investigate the possibility of a larger pattern.

Then, June 8-11, 2006, YearlyKos convened in Vegas, producing a tsunami of MSM coverage.

At YK, questions arose as to why the anti-war Kos was pimping for DLC poster boy Mark Warner.

On June 12, I stumbled over the 17-month-old Slate piece by Suellentrop and leapt to a blindingly obvious conclusion: Kos is a King Pimp Scammer.

On June 16, Suellentrop returned to the "blogola" story, noting that Jerome Armstrong (a) had been sued for pimping stocks during the dot-com boom, and (b) may have sold YearlyKos to Warner (or vice-versa). That story was then picked up Sunday June 18 by the NY Post.

On the evening of June 16, the Ohio Democrat "BuckeyeState" posted "The Armstrong Payola Incubator," reiterating his eight-month-old accusations about the Hackett-Brown race, and concluding:
It became obvious to me some time ago ... that [DailyKos] was a scam, perpetrated on people desperate for change and leadership.
By Monday night, June 19, Dan Riehl had figured out that Corzine's '05 campaign bought some "blogola" through Armstrong's Political Technologies LLC.

So today -- Tuesday, June 20 -- the story went viral. Why? Well, there's an old saying in journalism that "three is a trend" and the Armstrong/Moulitsas "blogola" pattern has now been detected with four campaigns:
  • Howard Dean
  • Sherrod Brown
  • John Corzine
  • Mark Warner
Given the parallels with Armstrong's dot-com pimping, it would defy logic that -- of all the candidates promoted at DailyKos over the past two years -- these four would be the only candidates with whom Armstrong and/or Moulitsas had a consultant-client relationship.

Is it a Hillary hit?
It would seem obvious that Team Hillary's oppo-research team is all over this thing, because her '08 rival Warner got hit by Suellentrop. But no, Garance Franke-Ruta at TAP reports that it was a "citizen investor" who tipped Suellentrop and the Post.

Is it a "right-wing" hit?
So says one Democrat blogger Chris Baker:
Obviously this has been the kind of red meat that the right has been looking for, and they will do everything they can to turn it into a blanket condemnation of the liberal blogosphere. ... They don’t have the time or the resources to wage an effective effort on this issue, even if the “liberal” media will eat it up because it attacks one of their enemies.
Friends don't let friends drink Kool-Aid, Chris.

Some points:

1. Yes, of course, trouble in Donkeyland is always a big funfest for conservatives. But it looks like Democrat hero Paul Hackett was one of the victims of the Kosola scam. And if the Warner-to-Armstrong-to-Kos angle is correct, then are you saying that supporters of, inter alia, Hillary or Feingold are "the right"? Cui bono?

2. The people who did the most to push this story forward were Chris Suellentrop, "Ohio Buckeye," and the Kossacks who complained about Warner's YK appearance. The "right" only picked this up 17 months after Suellentrop reported that Markos and Jerome were blogging on DFA's dime. And except for Dan Riehl's Corzine research, most of what the "right" has done is to assemble reporting by others.

3. The Right "doesn't have the time or resources" to expose this scandal? Are you kidding me, Chris? National Review, American Spectator, Weekly Standard, Fox News ... hello? The RNC research boys would be all over this, to say nothing of the various think-tank operatives. There's plenty of well-paid research professionals in the VRWC, to say nothing of a mighty legion of crafty amateurs who'd bust it open just to get the Web traffic the smoking gun would produce. (Donkey Cons is about #25,000 in Technorati, and we've gotten roughly 2,500 hits off this story so far.)

4. As has been repeatedly observed, Armstrong & Moulitsas aren't exactly the Vince Lombardis of politics. True, they never seem to quit, but they never seem to win, either. From Dean in '04 to Busby in '06, Kos has promoted a seemingly endless succession of losers. Dean couldn't even beat Kerry, who was so pathetic he couldn't even beat Dubya/Bushitler/Smirking Chimp. And, even in the wake of the Duke Cunningham scandal -- the biggest congressional bribery case in U.S. history -- Francine Busby couldn't beat Bilbray.

To the extent that Moonbat bloggers have driven the Democrats leftward and picked a bunch of loser candidates, they have been a tremendous blessing to the GOP (and God knows the GOP needs the help). If the MyDD/DailyKos operation were to continue at its present pace, I dare say that by January 2012, the Democratic Party would be out of business.

5. Scamming is scamming, and it's up to Democrats how they deal with their own scoundrels. What Armstrong & Moulitsas are accused of doing to the Moonbats is quite similar to what Ralph Reed is accused of doing to the Christian Right in the Abramoff scandal. You'll scarcely find a blogger on the right who's been more critical of Reed than Donkey Cons.

There is no indication that Ko$ola involves any crime, nor could it be argued that there is any ethics violation involved, since no one has ever accused political consultants of having ethics. If Democrats don't mind getting bamboozled by fellow Democrats -- hey, it's a free country, pal.

But consider this, Chris: If the Ko$ola gang helps lead the Democrats to another disaster in November, remember that campaign consultants get paid for their services, win or lose.

You? You'll just be a loser, Chris. Again.

See you Nov. 8, good buddy.

6/20: Kosola scandal goes viral
6/19: Will blog for $$$
6/19: Kos pay-for-play scam

6/12: Tin foil: The new fur
6/11: How not to win (Kos video)

6/9: The ultimate losers hit Vegas

Ko$ola is also being blogged by: Politburo Diktat, Outside the Beltway, Hot Air, Chris Nolan, P.J. Comix, Tapped, Crank (Red State), Krempasky (Red State), Ace of Spades, Tim Chapman, Marc Parent, the Blog Herald, Political Vindication, Super Fun Power Hour, Kaus, Blogging Heads, Free Republic ...

Short "ethics" lecture
Martini Republic sez:
We simply found it impractical to aspire to maintain the kind of firewall that exists in print and broadcast media between political advertising and political content, and we hope readers always read this, that, or any site while considering the purse strings attached. All sites should welcome such scrutiny.
OK. Full disclosure: The whole point of Donkey Cons (the Blog) is to sell DONKEY CONS the Book.

That's pretty simple, huh? Pure capitalism is the most honest thing in the world.

We figure, if you like the blog, you'll like the book. Or, at least, if you click onto the blog and see the title "Donkey Cons" and the cover of the book, that's a form of promotion. Thus, we post stuff that's interesting, so you'll click here. Simple.

And so, in addition to items about our raison d'etre -- sex, crime and corruption in the Democratic Party -- the blog sometimes just has fun stuff that people might want to click onto, such as links to Right Wing Howler's "Chick of the Week" (especially when it was Estella Warren).

I'm a long-time admirer of Hunter S. Thompson, who hated the boring, stuffy "objective journalism" of his day, and I have thus always been suspicious of the Olympian Gods of Journalism Ethics. In my view, if you've got the facts right, it doesn't matter how much free food you eat. Just last week, I ate a free lunch at an event where Hillary Clinton spoke -- am I now "compromised"? No, I'm just another journalist who's figured out that eating free is the best revenge.

Whoever said "there's no such thing as a free lunch" was not a journalist.