Saturday, September 1, 2007

Ben Stein = Bull Shit

Boise, Idaho residents Cassandra White, left, and her mother Kristy White, Sept. 1, 2007, at the old Boise Depot train station overlooking downtown Boise. (AP Photo/Troy Maben)Watch this clip from Your World W/ Neil Cavuto, in which Ben Stein completely denies everything about the Larry Craig case, while getting (Coincidence? We promote, you decide.) his new book mentioned & its cover displayed. There's no direct link, click on the little picture of B. S. Oh, you'll have to put up w/ a 45 second Levitra® ad. Yuck. The typical Your World viewer must be an aging limp-dick. Like the host.

(Pre-publication UPDATE: Crooks & Liars has finally wised up to this. You can link there & avoid the Levitra® advert.)

Just Another Blog™ saw this in the wee hours this morning, & would have been on it sooner if we hadn't been up so damn late, hadn't wasted time trying to find it on the Infobahn, & hadn't suspended typing to go to the Liquor Mart for the paper & a pack of Camel® regulars (C'mon, RJReynolds Tobacco Company, send us a fucking carton already!) And it would help if we could type a little faster.

(By the way, Sen. Craig apologized today, in his resignation announcement, not for anything he did, but for "what I caused." That's known as an "unpology.")

According to former Nixon advisor Stein (rhymes w/ "whine"): "As far as we know all he did was tap his foot, or at least listen to somebody else tap his foot..." & "He didn't do anything wrong, he tapped his foot." No, what he did was play footsie w/ the officer, then put his hand under the stall divider three times, according to the officer. And we all know that police officers don't lie. At least not when it's poor people accusing them of lying. It may be different when it's someone w/ power. We might also note that the Senator didn't deny these acts, merely attempted to explain them w/ his absurd statements that he has a "wide stance" when using the bathroom (pretty much an anatomical impossibility, as far as evacuating, hard to have a "wide stance" if your pants are around your ankles, and stupid unless you want your pants to hit the floor) and that he was "picking up a piece of paper" from the floor. When was the last time you decided to pick up a piece of paper from the floor of a public restroom, America? We're quite sure that the people who clean those restrooms are sporting disposable gloves & using brooms & dustpans when they're doing their job. But who are we to judge? Maybe the Senator has some neatness issues as well.

Further quotes (Crap on a crutch, we wish someone would post a transcript of this idiocy. If we have to listen to Stein's monotone a few more times we're going to hang ourselves. Unfortunately, virtually every sentence out of his mouth is such bullshit we must go over & over & over & over it to transcribe it all. Another reason we started this @ 1443 but it won't be "push-button published," as Blogger™ says, until about 2235. And breakfast. That got in the way too.):
What did he do wrong? Just tell me what he did wrong. And even suppose he was soliciting for gay sex, gay sex is not illegal in the United States, the Supreme Court has said that, if it were illegal, it would be a different story, it's not illegal, he didn't do anything illegal, they just bludgeoned him into a confession.
Well, Ben, first get hold of a dictionary & compare "bludgeon" to "browbeat." Then let's see what he was "bludgeoned" into pleading guilty to (When Stein says "bludgeoned," we assume he means that in the time between the arrest, 11 June 2007, and the guilty plea, 8 August 2007, the Senator was being followed by Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport Police officers, who were pounding on him w/ truncheons the whole time.):
Subdivision 1. Crime. Whoever does any of the following in a public or private place, including on a school bus, knowing, or having reasonable grounds to know that it will, or will tend to, alarm, anger or disturb others or provoke an assault or breach of the peace, is guilty of disorderly conduct, which is a misdemeanor:

(1) Engages in brawling or fighting; or

(2) Disturbs an assembly or meeting, not unlawful in its character; or

(3) Engages in offensive, obscene, abusive, boisterous, or noisy
conduct or in offensive, obscene, or abusive language tending reasonably to arouse alarm, anger, or resentment in others.

A person does not violate this section if the person's disorderly conduct was caused by an epileptic seizure.
That's what he plead guilty to. He was also charged w/ peeping, but that charge was dropped, so he seems to have gotten off pretty easily.
(c) A person is guilty of a gross misdemeanor who:
(1) surreptitiously gazes, stares, or peeps in the window or other aperture of a sleeping room in a hotel, as defined in section 327.70, subdivision 3, a tanning booth, or other place where a reasonable person would have an expectation of privacy and has exposed or is likely to expose their intimate parts, as defined in section 609.341, subdivision 5, or the clothing covering the immediate area of the intimate parts; and
(2) does so with intent to intrude upon or interfere with the privacy of the occupant.
Tell me, Mr. Stein, what would your reaction be if the guy in the next stall played footsie w/ you? Would it "provoke an assault or breach of the peace?" Or would you take the Tucker Carlson approach, & come back w/ a friend to help you w/ the assault? And how might you react to a guy peeping into your stall for two minutes?

And it just isn't a right wing rant w/o the traditional appeal to the pants-wetters, all of whom are "existentially threatened," all the time:
Hey, it's an airport, hello, there are security problems at airports, Al Qaeda, are you listening, our security people are entrapping perfectly honest U. S. Senators in lavatory stalls instead of looking for you terrorists.
Just Another Blog™ is pretty damn sure the M-SP Airport Police are keeping their eyes open for terrorists, but there is also the Dep't. of Homeland Security & its Transportation Security Administration, who are more specifically charged w/ preventing terrorism at airports. Or does Mr. Stein think we should let everything else go to hell? Shoplifting @ the gift shop? Dine & dash @ an airport restaurant? Armed robbery @ an airport bar or bank branch? Drunken frat boys running around grabbing women? Sure, anything should go @ the airport, as long as we're looking for "terrorists." Like those imams who dared to pray in Arabic before their flight out of Minneapolis-St. Paul. That worked out pretty well. Or this recent event @ San Diego's Lindbergh Field. People speaking Arabic aboard aircraft seems to be the closest we've come to a high-jacking in seven yrs. Stein manages to use the word Gestapo five times in his spiel. Yes, a Jewish guy accuses the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport Police of using Gestapo tactics in trying to make a public restroom a place to use w/o having someone sticking their hand in your stall, or worse. Is this where we invoke Godwin's law?

More from B. S., asked about Republican reaction to the whole sordid event:
This is just what they did to Trent Lott, Trent Lott did a totally innocent, slightly amusing, slightly silly thing, they kicked him out of there, even though he was a great leader.
Sure, many people found it innocent, amusing & "slightly silly" when Trent Lott wished that Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond had been elected in 1948, avoiding all the trouble that getting rid of Jim Crow laws caused. We can add that Sen. Lott was removed from his "leadership position," not urged/forced to resign. And that Senator Craig is not generally known as a "great leader."

Now we move into the realm of serious paranoia. Ignoring that the police probably wouldn't have known that Craig was a U. S. Senator if he hadn't shown them his business card*, & prompted by host Cavuto's statement: "Maybe like you say, Ben, they realize, hey, we have a big Senator here, this could make our careers if we bring him down, um, what then?" Señor Stein goes on to say:
I think the message is that the executive branch can belittle and destroy the legislative branch, that they can sting anyone they want, and ruin his career, I've seen that happen with legislators over and over again, some trumped-up charges, they bring down a legislator and change the balance of party, of power within the United States of America, generally. This is a really serious case of police over-reaching, and I think that the victim here is Larry Craig and the Constitution of the United States.
The only "reaching" done was Sen. Craig reaching under the stall divider. And Craig certainly isn't a "big" Senator (OK, he's over six feet, indeed, that was part of his "wide stance" explanation) & it's completely absurd to think that this was some sort of set-up or sting (Sen. Craig stung himself) to "change the balance of...power within the United States of America." Idaho's Republican governor is not likely to appoint anyone too far to the left of Atttila the Hun to replace Craig, but firedoglake does offer this as to why the drumbeat for resignation was so loud & fast:
Bush is also angry with Craig, a conservative who joined with Democrats in a filibuster to defeat permanent renewal of the Patriot Act. As a meeting recently, Bush referred to Craig as “a goddamned traitor” and told the National Republican Senatorial Committee to start recruiting someone to run against the Idaho Senator in 2008.

Such anger against those who dare oppose him is typical for a President who all too often launches into obscene tirades when his policies are questioned. Bush, on many occasions, has called political opponents “traitors" and, in private, refers to Senate Judiciary Chairman Arlen Specter as a “lily-livered bastard.”
Last from Stein (Whew!):
Look, I've spent a lot of time in Idaho, these are very nice, innocent people, they're not legal eagles, they're not tough guys, they're not shtarkers as we say in Yiddish...
Nope, no "tough guys" in Idaho. They're all a buncha wimps. (In which case you'd think they would understand the Senator's little problem.) Certainly no shtarkers. Just retired LAPD officers, gun nuts, survivalists, tax dodgers, white supremacists, Ruby Ridge, etc. Senator Craig just pled down to disorderly conduct because his constituents wouldn't have been able to understand the complicated legal, ethical & moral concepts involved, we guess. And we'll bet that "Look, I've spent a lot of time in Idaho," is the closest to truth that Ben got in his entire diatribe. And that the translation of that is something along the lines of: "I've been to Sun Valley a few times with some of my wealthy show biz friends."

Neil Cavuto's closing line:
You're arguing a position not many have. Thank goodness for that. Ben Stein, thank you very much.
That's open to interpretation. Is he thanking Stein for arguing his insanely absurd position, or does "thank goodness" mean Cavuto is glad no one else is nuts enough to argue it? Once again, they babble, you decide.

A final note: Stein is obviously out & about pimping his new book. You may look it up @ Amazon or Powell's if you give a shit. We don't. But Ben has another project about to curse the nation, a "documentary" called Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. WARNING to veterans & other nervous types: cheesy website opens w/ loud school bell & a gunshot, especially appropriate for the school theme on the page. (School shooting, anyone? It may be the sound of a school door being slammed on Intelligent Design/Creationism, but it'll frazzle your nerves either way.) A heaping pile of crap about about the dirty "scientists," & how they're crushing the spirit of enquiry, blah, blah, blah, it would appear. Ben seems to be getting even stupider in his old age. Or more desperate. Casting agents may be getting a little tired of his monotone schtick, & that Westside of Los Angeles/Sun Valley, Idaho "life-style" isn't easy to maintain.

*Business card? St. Nick on a Stick, if it takes five minutes to find a Senate Seal in the toobz, make a "business card" & throw some cardstock in the printer Just Another Blog™ will eat one of them. Business card? Izzat the only kind of Senatorial identification these toads carry? "Look at me, I'm Senator Crapo, the other senator from Idaho!!"

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