November 28, 2005


Dept. of Figurative Metaphors Literalizing Themselves: US Supreme Court facade is crumbling.;_ylt=AjNewn1Xzu_kued.8AJE6uKs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3b2NibDltBHNlYwM3MTY-

... one half expects maintenance men to discover a crude graffito scrawled into the niche from whence the rock fell: "NINO WUZ HEER DEC '00" ...

November 22, 2005

Goose, Gander, etc.

Now, ordinarily the Confidence Man doesn't much go in for the rhetorical trope of "Bush is a hypocrite for accusing others of what he himself is guilty."

But this one seems too obvious to avoid.

"'Dirty Bomb' Suspect Padilla Indicted"

'(11-22) 08:04 PST WASHINGTON, (AP) --

Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen held for three years as an "enemy combatant" suspected of plotting a "dirty bomb" attack in this country, has been indicted on charges that he conspired to "murder, kidnap and maim" people overseas.'

Um ... 'conspired to "murder, kidnap and maim" people overseas'? That seems like an accurate precis of the activities of the WHIG, OSP, NSA, CIA, Bush, and Kreepy Unka Dick over the last 4 years, don't it?

November 21, 2005

For Those of You Scoring at Home ...

Slate's "Explainer" column on Friday dealt with parsing the Woodwardian epithet "senior administration official."

The Confidence Man has a suggestion--a modified tool to balm Slate's Jack Shafer and other critics of the overuse of "anonymice."

What if an individual news organization were to codify its use of such positional epithets?

For example, the Washington Post could run a box buried deep inside the National or Politics section--and/or, certainly, at the WaPo website, a standalone page--with a list of all of the persons (or, perhaps, positions/offices/departments) fitting under each rubric.

For the first several months of this innovation, the news organization could have an editorial policy of, every first use of an anonymouse, appending a parenthetic: "(see box, page X)" (with a hyperlink on "box" in the online version). Of course, there should also probably be an editor's/publisher's note at the outset of the policy, and thereafter a smaller version accompanying the anonymouse rosters.

After the introductory period, the rosters would stay, but the explanatory note and in-text parenthetics could be deled. (The online versions could, potentially and advisably, retain the hyperlinks to the rosters, perhaps on first use of "anonymous.")

November 19, 2005

The Dumbino Effect

Fowl play
Dead bird overshadows domino world record

Posted: Saturday November 19, 2005 12:12AM; Updated: Saturday November 19, 2005 12:12AM

...The sparrow was killed by an exterminator with an air rifle on Monday after it knocked down 23,000 dominoes. The killing was seen by many as an overreaction, and angered animal rights and bird protection groups.

It later emerged that the house sparrow, though common, is classified as an endangered species in the Netherlands.

Good thing it wasn't a child that knocked down the dominoes! I take it this is a metaphor/foreshadowing of animal-human relations after the Great Bird Flu Pandemic? (And speaking of the GBFP, has The Confidence Man come up with a name for this yet-to-be-or-not-to-be phenomenon?)

November 18, 2005

Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion

Well. The supporting players are starting to line themselves up nicely for FITZMAS: THE MOVIE.

The Reprehensible Representative Jean Schmidt (R-Moonbatville, OH) erupted in a tirade against John Murtha on the floor of the House today.

And thus, we have ourselves another cast member: Donnie Darko's Beth Grant.

Dick -- you're FIRED!

Another casting suggestion for FITZMAS: THE MOVIE.

For Dick Cheney, Ronny Cox.

Yes, Ronny's a bit, ahem, undernourished to play Our Pulmonary Veep, but ... well, now that we think of it, Kurtwood Smith has gotten a bit pudgy over the course of his televisual sinecure. Either makes an excellent baddie.

And, if we wanted to go the direction of fat-padding, Gregg Henry would be AMAZING as Cheney. And that'd be a nice follow-up to his tv portrayal of the BTK Killer.

(Speaking of which, does anyone else think that "the BTK Killer" sounds like some weird costumed spokescharacter for the merged entity of KFC and Burger King?)

(And, tangentially speaking of Brian DePalma, our colleague Capt. Simon Suggs -- who shall be Going to Croatan shortly -- points out that the most excellent SF Chronicle headline from yesterday ["Police Search for Gary Glitter in Vietnam"] would, with the addition of two offset commas and one word, be an excellent precis of the entire oeuvre of DePalma: "Police Search for Gary Glitter, Girl, in Vietnam.")

November 17, 2005

Buffalo Bob

Here's what's bugging the Confidence Man most about Buffalo Bob Woodward's revelation that he was the first known (nod to Fitz' precise language; tip o' the hat to Keith Olbermann) Plame leakee: given Woodward's demonstrated history of misleading-to-mendacious false trails on Deep Throat (tip o' the hat to Slate's Tim Noah, who has dogged and catalogued Buffalo Bob's spoor trail for several years), why, indeed, should we believe a single word he says regarding the (non-)identity of his current Deep Roy Background source?

The issue is not, as several commentators have put it, that we can't trust Woodward because he's a stooge of the Bush administration; rather, it's that we can't trust Buffalo Bob because he has a clear and demonstrated history of dissembling to his readers and other reporters regarding the identity and nature of his sources. Buffalo Bob's much-ballyhooed recent Larry King "no bombshell" appearance is the latest example.

(Note, dear readers, our thematic linkage of "Buffalo Bob" with both the "Calamity Judy Miller"/"Wild Bill Chalabi" Wild, Wild WMD theme as well as to every Boomer's favorite puppet-on-a-string, Howdy Doody. Question is, who's Clarabelle? Len Downie, or Walter Pincus?)

Best. Headline. Ever.

"Police Search for Gary Glitter in Vietnam"

November 16, 2005

Deep Roy Background

Well, with the news that Bob Woodward has been suspenders-deep in Plamegate/Traitorgate/Scootergate/Cheneygate since Day N-1, the Confidence Man thinks we need to do a bit of wish-casting for the eventual Fitzmas movie.

Of course, since Woodward has effectively ceded his moral high ground to the Judy Miller "I wasn't a prime move but a patsy" defense, he's pretty much eliminated Redford as a viably heroic redux casting choice.

In fact, Woodward's shamelessly unbelievable charade of naivety -- "Woodward said the unnamed official told him about Plame 'in an offhand, casual manner . . . almost gossip' and that 'I didn't attach any great significance to it.'" -- reminds the Confidence Man of a distinctly different cinematic context. To wit:

"She knows you'd find out who Lisa Hoberman is. You're a good cop. Did she tell you casually and make it seem irrelevant? Did she tell you in bed, Nick? That's what I'd do."

Yes, the Bushists have apparently traded in Ed Neumeier for ... Joe Eszterhas. And Woodward is playing the late-career Michael Douglas emasculated-patsy role.

And we're still convinced of the rightness of Richard Roxburgh as Scooter Libby.

As for Fitz himself, while John Diehl (The Shield's Assistant Chief Gilroy) is a dead ringer, he's probably not charismatic/established enough to carry what must eventually be the lead role. Other bloggers have made the obvious suggestion of George Clooney; the Confidence Man, while a huge Clooney fan, remains unconvinced as yet.

But we have the perfect candidate to play Bob Novak: Deep Roy.;fc=1;ft=23

November 15, 2005

Los Alamos

The Confidence Man thinks back to the provocatively prolix pen-mail (in both senses of "pen") sent by Scooter Libby to Judy Miller en carcel -- the one that concluded, in part, with the following:

"Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them."

Now, speculation heretofore has focused on the supposed Colorado-Wyoming vacation spots favored by Libby y Miller, and/or the Aspen Institute collocation of the Entangled Two.

But the Confidence Man wonders if, perhaps, given Miller's WMD/nuke-proliferation beat, if "the aspens" might have had some deeper, más siniestro, meaning ... "Los Alamos," anyone?

Rove Back in the Saddle

There has been much scrivening over Bush's 11/11 "pushback" speech (link below), but no one seems to have pointed to the obvious overall stratagery: yes, Bush's risible and contemptible mendacity is the operational mode, but the main goal of his speech was not so much to "defend" his own decisions or "attack" those of the Dems per se, but to reassign the public face of the Dems away from Pelosi, Reid, and Dean back to Ted Kennedy and John Kerry.

All other effects of this speech are secondary to the reinforcement of "Democrats = Kerry/Kennedy." And that is why the Dems need to continue to "get out in front of" the Iraq-Chalabi-Libby-Cheney-Rove-Abramoff nexus with NON-Kerry/Kennedy speakers.

November 09, 2005

We need more of everything!

The Confidence Man, as a Citizen of Gullivernya, is happy to see that we sided (and voted) with the majority in defeating all 8 CA initiaitives last night -- including Ahnuldt's pet 4 Potemkin Reform measures.

As a member of the Fraterinity of Confidence, of course, we must regard the defeats of the measures (especially Ahnuldt's 4 and BigPharma's illusory scrip drug measure) as a professional defeat.

But sometimes Citizenship must take precedence over Confidence.

We are especially amused (again, as a member of the FoC) by Der Gubernator's reaction to his massive rejection:

"We need more nurses, teachers, firefighters and police officers,'' said the governor, singling out the groups that had targeted him. "We need more affordable housing, more energy and more water. We need more of everything, and I recognize that we also need more bipartisan cooperation. I promise I will deliver that.''

"We need more of everything"! Sweat, creamy Jesus! What a perfect precis of Bush-Rove polity.

November 08, 2005

El diablo que viene

Hemos recibido noticias de un lector hispanoparlante que el diablo está suelto en los blogs.

No pudieramos estar más de acuerdo con esta declaracion. Jibbenainosay (su abuelo siendo mexicano, norteño de Sonora) seguirá el consejo de nuestro lector, quien nos informe que los blogs en español están muy mal catalogados por Google, con el resultado que el diablo juega con libertad en blogs escritos en Ingles, tomando ventaja de este "loop-hole" elecronica.

A partir de hoy, cuando el diablo nos charla, lo contaremos en español.

November 06, 2005

Unintelligible Designs

Kansas evolution vote nears, scientists fight back

Friday, November 4, 2005

...Led by a conservative Christian chairman who says evolutionary theory is incompatible with the biblical account of God's creation of life on earth, the Kansas Board of Education plans to insert questions about the veracity of evolution theory into statewide teaching standards.

Jibbenainosay was hobknobbing with some government-employee acquaintances, who will remain nameless, in our nation's capital this weekend, when this subject came up. The rumor is that Al-Quaeda came up with the term "Intelligent Design" and planted it via a "grassroots" plan in key fundamentalist strategy zones.

November 02, 2005

Indians in the Lobby

Indian leaders testify in lobbyist probe
Tribe chairman: 'They hit the jackpot with us'

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

...In October 2001, the tribe paid Michael Scanlon $870,000 to create a grass-roots political structure in Texas because it was told the state was on the verge of legalizing gambling and that would devastate the Coushatta casino, which relies on customers from Houston, the Senate panel was told

Now you can hire someone, for less than a million dollars, to create a grass-roots political movement for you! And no one will notice that this is a patently ludicrous thing, because CNN considers it quite normal and not worthy of comment.

The politics of this little article are extraordinary, though. Did the Indians really believe it was going to take grass-roots activism to keep Texas from legalizing gambling? Do they expect us to believe that they're innocent victims for having attempted to buy 80 million dollars worth of political influence?

Then on the other hand: they're a domestic dependent nation. That is, these particular Indians can't be punished for abuses of the U.S. political system, since after all they're technically a nation unto themselves. "The Coushattas hired Abramoff and Scanlon's lobbying services to help thwart the Jena Choctaws, another Louisiana tribe, from opening its own casino." Makes perfect sense, as does this: "The tribe donated $45,000 to DeLay's national political fundraising committee, Americans for a Republican Majority, and another $10,000 to Texans for a Republican Majority, also founded by DeLay and now at the center of the Texas campaign finance investigation involving him." (This story goes some way towards explaining why Republicans in the administration have been such friends to Native nations.)

But the irony for Republicans is that what might well happen here is that the Indians may bring down one of the most racist power structures currently operating in Washington and its omphalos Tom DeLay, while promoting precisely what they lobbied for in the first place: futile debate about gambling in Texas. Jackpot!