March 14, 2008

From an upcoming one-act play by David Mamet:
Chris Rock: I know the night we went to the Ivy she had on white pants. I only noticed cause my wife's real classy and subdued and I'm out with a girl with big tits and white pants. It's just, I know people were like, 'heeey'.
Rock: I've been so set up...
Anthony Pellicano: Did you come on her thighs?...
Rock: I had a rubber on. I probably took it off right when I was getting ready to come. I probably came on her ass.

Rock: Rape is just fucking, buzz, you know?... Once you're accused of rape, you're just FUCKED, you know?

Pellicano: That's why i want to blacken this girl up, totally. I want to make her out to be a lying, scumbag, manipulative cocksucker... Stupid bitch

Rock: I'm fucked. I'm better getting caught with needles in my arm. WAY better. Needles, with pictures, there's Chris Rock shooting heroin. Much better blow to the career.

Actually, it's from a half-hour long phone conversation the Detective to the Stars secretly recorded with the comedian, brought to you by the HuffPost.

March 11, 2008

There are going to be some who spot mere rank partisanship in the Spitzer investigation, but I could really care less. There is a much higher standard we set for holders of power in any executive branch, be they President or governor, since that person is charged with ensuring that the law is enforced equitably and fairly. David Vitter or Barney Frank might violate the same laws, but as legislators, they are mere political actors, charged with debating and enacting the laws that go into effect. Spitzer's duties were different, so the consequences that follow are exponentially changed.

My favorite attempt at rationalizing this debacle within familiar blogospheric parameters has to be Jane Hamsher, who innocently asks:
Why would the bank tell the IRS and not Spitzer himself if there was a suspicious transfer? Spitzer is a longtime client, a rich guy and the governor. We're talking thousands of dollars here, not millions. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense that they spotted a "suspicious transfer" made by the governor, and that this is how things began. It's possible it was just ordinary paperwork the bank had to file with the government whenever some particular flag was raised, but if that's the case, why did the DoJ go to DefCon 3?
Why, indeed? If the bank had just asked the Governor why so much money seemed to be floating around from shell company to shell company under various pseudonyms that were connected to him, I'm sure he would have just told them not to worry, these weren't bribes or kickbacks he was hiding, just payments for concubinage. It's not like Spitzer wouldn't have given the same benefit of a doubt to any Wall Street honcho back when he was the A.G. of the state of New York. Nothing to see here....

Let's not treat this as being on the same level as the persecution of Dan Siegelman. If you want to argue that prostitution should be legalized, or that what Spitzer does outside of marriage is a personal matter, fine, but you still have the matter that he is charged with executing the laws, all of the laws, even those he disagrees with. If Spitzer had libertarian leanings on this issue, he could have simply asserted that the state wasn't going to be in the business of prosecuting victimless crimes anymore, and urged the legislature to change the law. Former Illinois Governor George Ryan, a Republican, took much the same approach to the death penalty a few years, and helped change the public debate on that issue. Unfortunately for Spitzer, he chose to prosecute others for what he was doing privately. He deserves what he's going to get.

March 10, 2008

The Tribute Vice Pays to Virtue: Did you know the federal law the Justice Department will use to prosecute Governor Spitzer was the same law used to incarcerate former heavyweight champ Jack Johnson? And in both cases, it involved the purchase of train tickets for la belle...Charlie Chaplin also ran afoul of the same law, leading to his exile from America for over twenty years.
It turns out that the "little girl" in Hillary Clinton's now-infamous, "It's 3:00 a.m." ad, is actually a month shy of her eighteenth birthday, and an avowed Obama supporter. [link via TPM]

March 09, 2008

From Allison Hope Weiner's sassy, hilarious coverage of the Anthony Pellicano trial over at HuffPost:
The key thing that Ms. [Tarita] Virtue explained today in only an hour on the stand (she's set to return on Tuesday) was that Mr. Pellicano had the ability to have five computers running at the same time, recording calls in the office, as well as computers running at off-site locations. The office computers could only listen in on calls in the 310 area code--a code that covers most of West Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. If you wanted to wiretap someone in the valley, it was going to cost you more because according to Tarita, Mr. Pellicano would have to rent out an apartment and set up computers near his target phone. So, finally a good reason to actually live in the valley.
She doesn't say which "valley" she's referring to, and I don't wish to speak for the residents of the San Gabriel, Antelope or Simi Valleys, but up here in the 818, being relatively safe from the machinations of the "Detective to the Stars" is something that every homeowner took into account at the time he purchased his home. No doubt the incarceration of the wiretapping detectice has reduced the "Pellicano Edge" that San Fernando Valley residents had come to rely on, leading to the current wave of foreclosures and bankruptcies. Damn you, Anita Busch !!!

Yet another reason why the Pellicano Trial should matter, contrary to this vapid piece in the local paper of record on Saturday. The "insider" voice that comes forth in that article is reminiscent of the Beltway mentality that excused the crimes of Scooter Libby during his trial, and is probably Exhibit 1 as to why the new media, especially the blogosphere, may be the best journalistic method for covering trials of this sort. Having a knowledgeable and opinionated writer, like Ms. Weiner, Jeralyn Merritt or Marcy Wheeler at Firedoglake, take on the task of sifting through the testimony and evidence each day and putting it all into perspective, removes the story-killing mentality of a newspaper editor or TV producer who is only interested in whether a celebrity is named who can sell newspapers or garner ratings. Freeing good writers from that constraint leads to better journalism.