who do you trust, conservatives?

Most on the right seem to accept as gospel Dick “We will be greeted as liberators” Cheney’s assertion that America is less safe because we no longer torture. Gen. David Petraeus, who saved the administration’s ass in Iraq, disagrees.


I know the Washington Post won’t dissuade many conservatives, but their reporting here is thorough.

In the end, though, not a single significant plot was foiled as a result of Abu Zubaida’s tortured confessions, according to former senior government officials who closely followed the interrogations. Nearly all of the leads attained through the harsh measures quickly evaporated, while most of the useful information from Abu Zubaida — chiefly names of al-Qaeda members and associates — was obtained before waterboarding was introduced, they said.

According to a top intelligence official, millions of dollars were wasted “chasing false alarms.”

“I’ve seen a report that was written, based upon the intelligence that we collected then, that itemizes the specific attacks that were stopped by virtue of what we learned through those programs,” Cheney asserted, adding that the report is “still classified,” and, “I can’t give you the details of it without violating classification.”

Since 2006, Senate intelligence committee members have pressed the CIA, in classified briefings, to provide examples of specific leads that were obtained from Abu Zubaida through the use of waterboarding and other methods, according to officials familiar with the requests.

The agency provided none, the officials said.

Administration mouthpieces like O’Reilly and Hannity continue to claim that, ahem, enhanced interrogation techniques saved American lives. Their proof? Dick Cheney says so.

the most annoying performances in filmdom

I’m sticking with flicks I’ve actually seen, so no “Patch Adams” or Adam Sandler.

Tom Cruise, “Magnolia” I could focus on the irony of Cruise playing a cult leader, but, having portrayed Oberon, King of the Fairies in my high school’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” I’ll pass.

But there’s no forgiving the atrocities visited upon the great Jason Robards in what would be his final film role. Imagine having to endure a weeping, badly overacting Scientologist warbling mournful Aimee Mann tunes as you lay dying. I would’ve pulled the plug.

Michael Moore, “Bowling for Columbine” “Roger and Me” holds up as one of the best documentaries ever made, and you gotta give props to anyone who gives the vile Rev. Fred Phelps his comeuppance (see clip). I was even sympathetic to some of his arguments in “Columbine” — too bad Moore’s big head kept getting in the way.

Whether it was chasing a senile Charlton Heston around or milking tears from a grieving school principal, Moore’s showboating called to mind the line in “Broadcast News,” when Albert Brooks reminded his journalist colleagues: “Let’s never forget, we’re the story.”

Joey Lauren Adams, “Chasing Amy” If Georgette from “Mary Tyler Moore Show” fame gargled erasers and cried a lot, she’d be Joey Lauren Adams. That’s not a plug. Bad actress, annoying voice, crappy flick.

Annette Bening, “American Beauty” Normally a fine actress, Bening’s performance as a suburban caricature was way over the top — all broad strokes minus any recognizable humanity. Had the movie focused on her character, it could’ve easily been re-titled: “National Lampoon Presents: Maniacal Suburban Bitch.”

Kevin Costner, “JFK” Bad Southern accents are a given in most Hollywood productions, but Costner’s stood out. He made Foghorn Leghorn sound authentic.

The cast of “St. Elmo’s Fire” Let’s review:
Bookish Mare Winningham wore a girdle.
Demi Moore tried to kill herself by opening all the windows in her apartment on a cold afternoon: “I know, I’ll freeze myself to death.”
Emilio Estevez stalked Andie McDowell and eventually won her love.
Andrew McCarthy, cynical writer. Enough said.
Rob Lowe, soulful saxophonist. Enough said.

The cast of “Very Bad Things” If the objective was to create singularly grating and loathsome characters, they succeeded. Worst movie ever.

So what did I miss?

jews for hitler

I’m assuming commenter northerncailGRL is female, though it doesn’t really matter as “she” wouldn’t be the only woman to defend poor Chris Brown.

WHITNEY wrote: I’M STILL GOING TO SUPPORT CHRIS BROWN UNTIL THE END. I DONT CARE IF HE DID IT OR NOT. OBVIOUSLY SHE PROVOKED HIM AND EVERYONE MAKES MISTAKES SO, IM NOT GOING TO DOWN TALK HIM NOR TRY TO BRING HIM DOWN LIKE THE WHITE MEDIA IS GOING TO. HE’S STILL A KID. KIDS MAKE DUMB CHOICES EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE. GIVE THE KID A BREAK IT’S HIS FIRST TIME IN HIS 4 YEAR CAREER.

Geez, maybe he deserved that Kid’s Choice Award after all.

I honestly don’t give a whit about Brown or his girlfriend, though I do feel sorry for any woman who had to endure the kind of attack Rihanna withstood (the details of which have yet to be challenged). It appears they bear repeating:

Brown became more violent, and then allegedly shoved Rihanna’s head against the passenger window. After she turned to face him, Brown punched her, and continued punching her while driving, the notes continued.

Rihanna’s mouth was filled with blood, which also splattered on her clothing and the inside of the rented Lamborghini they were driving.

According to the report, Brown told Rihanna: “I’m going to beat the —- out of you when we get home. You wait and see.”

Rihanna left a message for her assistant that said, “I am on my way home. Make sure the cops are there when I get there.”

Brown replied, “You just did the stupidest thing ever. I’m going to kill you.”

The fight escalated from there. According to the report, Brown continued to punch Rihanna, bit her ear and fingers and put her in a headlock, causing her to nearly lose consciousness.

Yet we’re supposed to feel bad for Brown and hope that he “gets some help.”

I agree. I hope that when he’s behind bars he encounters a bigger, stronger, angrier brute who doesn’t take no for an answer. That should give him some perspective.

(And yes, it goes without saying that he deserves a trial and is innocent until proven guilty — in a court of law.)

Otherwise, forgive me for grasping the obvious. Brown hasn’t denied the charges, and there’s no question someone beat the hell out of Rihanna that night.

It’s about time someone was made an example of, and if Brown’s that person, so be it. This shit keeps on happening, with no consequences. A pro athlete beats up his wife and is back on the field two weeks later. Brown will probably be sentenced to probation, followed by a spike in CD sales.

Here’s why it matters. According to the Boston Public Health Commission, nearly half of the city’s teenagers believe Rihanna was responsible for the attack that landed her in the emergency room.

A slight majority said the media were treating Brown unfairly, and “a significant number of males and females” surveyed said Rihanna was destroying Brown’s career.

Blame the victim, pity the perpetrator. I’d advise anyone with a daughter to invest heavily in self-defense classes, just in case she gets in the way of a misunderstood celebrity’s fist.

tackling the tough issues

Everyone from President Barack Obama on down to fans has criticized how college football determines its top team. Now senators are getting off the sidelines to examine antitrust issues involving the Bowl Champion Series.

The current system “leaves nearly half of all the teams in college football at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to qualifying for the millions of dollars paid out every year,” the Senate Judiciary’s subcommittee on antitrust, competition policy and consumer rights said in a statement Wednesday announcing the hearings.

when markie met elvis

An excerpt from an upcoming piece by Malcontenter Markie Post for Georgia Music magazine:

“I wanted to touch everything Elvis had touched — the walls, the floor,” Mabe says. “So I was stroking the shag carpet of the Jungle Room when something snagged my finger. At first I thought it was a rhinestone, but when I realized what it was I thought it *could* be from Elvis … so I call it the ‘Maybe Elvis Toenail.’”

Whether the nail clipping — or, for that matter, the vial of “Elvis sweat” and the snippets of black hair gleaned from a barbershop floor — derive from Presley is arguably beside the point. They are props in a sprawling, coruscating tableau of “found objects” and Mabe’s original work, which, taken together, constitute a singular artistic enterprise. The collection, cited in the Guinness Book of World Records, toured the world for 14 years before its permanent installation in northeast Georgia.

In “Notes on Camp,” Susan Sontag, who would have adored Mabe, theorized, “Indeed the essence of Camp is its love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration. And Camp is esoteric — something of a private code, a badge of identity even…” Galvanized by Presley’s voice, Mabe tunneled deep down into the sequin mines and forged her own aesthetic.

it’s the content, stupid!

Don’t fall for the “old media” vs. “new media canard. Format is irrelevant — journalism is not. I hope we see more professional reporters on the Web, not less.

Of course, not everyone who writes a blog qualifies as a journalist, regardless of their claims. Credibility has to be earned.

Which is my long-winded way of welcoming former CL editor Ken Edelstein to the blogosphere. His site, Atlanta Unsheltered, looks promising.

(via Griftdrift)

they deserved it

That’s the implication in this story, posted on the ChristianNewsWire, about Sunday’s plane crash in Montana. Seven children and seven adults were killed when a private plane nose-dived into a Butte cemetery.

But what the news sources fail to mention is that the Catholic Holy Cross Cemetery owned by Resurrection Cemetery Association in Butte – contains a memorial for local residents to pray the rosary, at the ‘Tomb of the Unborn’. This memorial, located a short distance west of the church, was erected as a dedication to all babies who have died because of abortion.

What else is the mainstream news not telling you? The family who died in the crash near the location of the abortion victim’s memorial, is the family of Irving ‘Bud’ Feldkamp, owner of the largest for-profit abortion chain in the nation.

send in the clown

What did the Clearasil pad say to Manuel Noriega?
What did the Clearasil pad say to Manuel Noriega?
Though he’s annoyed me for years, I wish nothing but the best for Robin Williams, who’s recovering from heart surgery. Doctors predict a full recovery.

With that in mind, I think it’s only fair that Williams be forced to endure himself mincing at his bedside, re-telling stale jokes about Mr. T and Nancy Reagan. I bet he’s relieved his doctor wasn’t wearing a clown nose.

“I got some great new material for the tour and can’t wait to get back on the road,” he said. “I’m thinking the next leg of the tour will be `Weapons of Self-Destruction and Reconstruction.’ “

Paging Patch Adams!

a blogger with bona fides

Check out Atlanta Unfiltered, a welcome addition to the blogosphere. It’s operated by longtime journalist Jim Wallis, former Investigations editor for the AJC.

“We dig up and share public records on ethics and transparency in government and public institutions — all with minimal interpretation.”

As Jim writes, “The Internet is overflowing with opinions. Facts? Not so much.”

plumbing the depths

In case you wondered where the party was Friday night:

Joe (the Plumber) was all hot and bothered over the standing ovation he received as he walked on stage to accept accolades from the top liberal media watchdog. Lee Greenwood’s GOP country classic “God Bless the USA” boomed overhead as Joe, wearing blue jeans, a black t-shirt and a flannel shirt unbuttoned to his navel, strolled on stage.

After declaring he was horny, Joe mumbled a few other things about being the “token redneck” and the media loving him, and then sat back down in a sea of conservative luminaries that included G. Gordon Liddy, former Attorney General Ed Meese, radio talk show host Mark Levin, Fox News’ Brit Hume and former House speaker (for half a minute) Bob Livingston.