A Smattering Of Interesting Items…

I’m a bit distracted today, and as such I doubt I could do any of these items justice with a full post on each one. But they’re all deserving of some attention, so here’s a mashup of sorts.

1. This Al Gore business with the masseuse in Portland appears more and more interesting. Mark Tapscott and Byron York are going back and forth about it in the Washington Examiner today. Tapscott is proclaiming that while he can’t stand Gore and would be perfectly happy to see the climate fraudster and philanderer vanish from public life as a result of the scandal, he’s not convinced the masseuse’s story is true.

Tapscott is also a bit leery of the excruciating detail the masseuse provided in her statement to the police and the time elapsed between the event and the statement itself.

York, on the other hand, seems to think the accusation rings true. He calls it both detailed and credible, and offers a number of points which seem to buttress the story…

The incident allegedly occurred on October 24, 2006. The Portland Police Bureau statement on the matter says that about two months later, in December 2006, a local attorney got in touch with police and “said he had a client that wanted to report an unwanted sexual contact by Mr. Gore.” The police statement says investigators tried repeatedly to interview the woman, but she did not cooperate. A short time later, in January 2007, the lawyer told them his client was “pursuing civil litigation.” Then, in January 2009, she changed her mind and talked to police investigators.

The woman’s attorney — so far unnamed — would have been negligent had he not had his client record her best memory of the incident, in as much detail as possible, as quickly as possible. I think that likely happened sometime before the lawyer first contacted police in December 2006. The statement the woman gave police in January 2009 — investigators say she was reading from a prepared statement, which is obvious from listening to the audio recording — would have been based on recollections written down earlier. Time is the enemy of detail, but the details were likely committed to paper shortly after the alleged incident occurred, not three years later.

I’m also told by people who have had massages at hotels and spas around the country that the questions the masseuse says she asked Gore before the massage — about any health issues, problem areas, etc. — are common practice in the business. In the police statement, the woman was careful to stress her professional credentials, probably in an effort to show that she was a serious person with a serious complaint.

There are other parts of the woman’s story that tend to support her credibility. She says she told other people about the incident at the time. She says she saved the slacks she was wearing the night of the encounter when she noticed there was a stain on them. Sources close to Gore have told reporters Gore was at the hotel that night and did have a massage, likely with the masseuse who filed the complaint, although Gore remembers it ending without incident. And when Gore’s lawyers were confronted with the complaint in 2007, they called it “completely false” and offered as evidence the “integrity” of his “37 year marriage.”

Huh.

The complaint is pretty entertaining stuff. According to the masseuse, there’s this…

Gore also requested work on his abdomen. When that began, “He became somewhat vocal with muffled moans, etc.,” the masseuse recounted. Gore then “demand[ed] that I go lower.” When she remained focused on a “safe, nonsexual” area, Gore grew “angry, becoming verbally sharp and loud.”

The masseuse asked Gore what he wanted. “He grabbed my right hand, shoved it down under the sheet to his pubic hair area, my fingers brushing against his penis,” she recalled, “and said to me, ‘There!’ in a very sharp, loud, angry-sounding tone.” When she pulled back, Gore “angrily raged” and “bellowed” at her.

Then, abruptly, the former vice president changed tone. It was “as though he had very suddenly switched personalities,” she recalled, “and began in a pleading tone, pleading for release of his second chakra there.”

Yeah, yeah. Too much information. Just laugh at the fat, arrogant, windbag assclown trying to get a feelie.

2. The Dave Weigel story is boring, and that’s why I haven’t weighed in on it. Weigel was working the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans back in April, and a lot of the conservative bloggers there acted like he was royalty. I just thought he looked like a weasel, and though I’ve paid only scant attention to Weigel’s writings I pretty much assumed that if he was drawing a paycheck from the Washington Post the chances of him actually being a conservative were minimal.

That Weigel’s experience with the Journolist – namely, getting outed and having his career blown up because somebody on the listserv thought he was insufficiently Left – more or less proved me correct in my impressions didn’t make me any more interested in the story.

But Andrew Breitbart has.

Breitbart ran a rambling mea culpa (sort of) by Weigel on BigJournalism.com yesterday, in which he more or less admitted he’s a punk and a poser. That was something of a head-scratcher; why would Breitbart think the readers of Big Journalism would care about Weigel’s side of the story?

Well, today he made the reason clear.

Breitbart is now offering $100,000 to any member of the Journolist who will, with total anonymity, disclose its membership and provide its archive.

Ezra Klein’s “JournoList 400” is the epitome of progressive and liberal collusion that conservatives, Tea Partiers, moderates and many independents have long suspected and feared exists at the heart of contemporary American political journalism. Now that collusion has been exposed when one of the weakest links in that cabal, Dave Weigel, was outed. Weigel was, in all likelihood, exposed because – to whoever the rat was who leaked his emails — he wasn’t liberal enough…

But Dave Weigel is not the story. The “JournoList” is the story: who was on it and which positions of journalistic power and authority do they hold? Now that the nature and the scope of the list has been exposed, I think the public has a right to know who shapes the big media narratives and how.

Dave Weigel is a portal into the dark world of hardcore liberal bias in the media. This opening gives us a deeper insight into the insidious relationship between liberal think tanks, academics and their mouthpieces in the media.

Breitbart says the $100,000 he’s putting up as a reward is the same $100,000 which went unclaimed when he offered it to anyone who could provide proof that Tea Party protestors on Capitol Hill actually used the “N-word” in front of Congressman John Lewis – a media-spun narrative which turned out to have no evidence behind it whatsoever and in fact was largely disproven by video taken at the scene. Should this offer find a taker, Breitbart is likely to have the goods on most of the left-wing media establishment in Washington and New York, and the damage he can do to those people will be incalculable.

Which means the Weigel story is relevant after all.

3. Closer to home, the Lefties are now screaming about Gov. Jindal’s National Guard deployments, and specifically the fact that he’s only deployed 1,000 or so of the 6,000 he’s been authorized to deploy.

This is apparently evidence that Jindal is using the spill as a political tool (which if he were would hardly make him worse than some of the other actors in this sordid drama).

But here’s a question – exactly what are these 5,000 extra Guardsmen supposed to do? Jindal can’t seem to get and keep permission from the feds to engage in the really labor-intensive projects to protect the coast he wants, so bringing added troops on line doesn’t particularly seem like a smart move. Having 5,000 Guardsmen sitting around at Fourchon or Venice drinking coffee when they could be back home working at their jobs won’t solve the spill.

Not to shill for Jindal here, because we think he had an absolutely horrid legislative session and were it not for the spill his stock would be in the toilet with conservatives. But had he deployed all 6,000 Guardsmen to the coast with nothing for them to do, it would have been a totally counterproductive exercise.

I’m wide open to anyone educating us on what projects the Guard could be doing with another 5,000 troops that they’re not able to do with their current complement. I’m also interested in knowing why out-of-work fishermen, dock workers, roustabouts and boat captains who need something to do and a way to earn a check are less worthy as assets in this fight than Guardsmen. We’re not shooting guns at the oil, after all. But if anyone can bring specific evidence of a capability the state needs but does not have because Jindal hasn’t deployed enough Guardsmen, I’m open to changing my mind.

4. Finally, the Elena Kagan business.

OK, let’s face it – if you’re watching Kagan’s hearings, you’re thinking she’s a Mike Myers character come to life. As such, it’s hard to take her seriously as either a viable Supreme Court justice (though it’s not like she could be any more incomprehensible or ridiculous than John Paul Stevens, whom she’d replace) or a threat to the existence of the Republic.

Which, if I’m a Republican Senator, means I don’t care either way. My cause isn’t damaged by switching out Stevens, who for a long time has been the worst justice on the Court, for almost anybody. So what I’m looking for is whatever political advantage I can get out of this affair.

And if I’m that Senator I am reading Doug Ross’ piece today, which offers a fairly attractive option in serving a larger cause by delaying Kagan’s nomination as long as possible…

Pursuant to the Elena Kagan confirmation process, I would like to call your attention to a little-known fact related to the role of the minority party on the committee. That is, Rule IV of the Judiciary Committee states that “at least one member of the minority party must vote to end debate in committee.”

For Elena Kagan to move to a vote in the Senate, at least one Republican on your committee must accede to end debate. I suggest you hold firm and refuse to end debate…

This egregious band of career, Leftist politicians have made a mockery of representative government because, even as the American people prepare to boot them out of office in November, they plot to defy the will of the people.

In a set of moves unprecedented in American history, Democrats intend to use the lame-duck session combined with budget reconciliation to do what the American people have rejected. They intend to pass their radical agenda despite what 75-80% of the American people want. They intend to flip off the citizenry, bypass the filibuster and violate their oaths to uphold the Constitution.

This band of Statists has declared war on the GOP and the American people.

It’s time to stop playing patsy and refuse to vote Kagan or any other non-originalist nominee out of commitee.

Stonewall everything.

They’ve Pearl Harbored the American people enough. It’s time for our Midway.

Agreed. This Democrat Congress very badly needs the clock run out on it after the train of legislative atrocity it has driven across the land. It’s long past time that the GOP did something to derail it. Does anybody really think the Republicans will lose votes in the Senate because they stonewalled a judicial nominee only 35 percent of the public wants to see confirmed?

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