AL: evangelist charged with murdering wife — her body's found in his freezer

Let’s see…have we unearthed enough hypocrisy and moral decay by the pious set this week? In Mobile, Alabama, a man known for his

Police believe a body found in a small-time evangelist’s home freezer is his wife and a mother of eight, and arrested him on a murder charge as he preached at a south Alabama church.

Anthony Hopkins, 37, was being held in the Mobile County jail Wednesday awaiting a bond hearing and appointment of an attorney.

Police said no one reported 36-year-old Arletha Hopkins missing, even though she hadn’t been heard from in three years. The body was discovered covered in a freezer in a utility room during a police search of the home in Mobile after a relative of the preacher contacted police.

Mobile Police Chief Phillip Garrett said Hopkins was arrested Monday night at a revival in Jackson, a town in rural Clarke County where he has roots. The pastor of Inspirational Tabernacle Church of God in Christ, Beverly Jackson, told reporters that Hopkins told her he was a single parent because his wife had died in childbirth.


Pre-Friday Random Ten

Rest assured this will not last, take a turn for the worst

Before I get started I want to thank Kathy for the Bill Evans Village Vanguard Recordings. Lovely.

New additions this week include a Paul Weller/Style Council/Jam collection (that somehow omitted The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had To Swallow). I mean, I already have it but why would someone leave that off?) , Tiger Army, House of Freaks,  Drive-By Truckers, the Distillers, and some Peter Case.

And now….here they are, rock you like a hurricane:

Your Head’s Too Big – The Ditty Bops
Avalon – Roxy Music
Pilgrimage – REM
Firesuite – Doves
Galaxy of Emptiness – Beth Orton
The End Of Medicine – The New Pornographers
You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away – Eddie Vedder (Beatles cover)
Listed M.I.A. – Rancid
Bulldog Skin – Guided By Voices
I Zimbra – Talking Heads
and one more (Maceo) to take it to the bridge: Campaigner – Neil Young

Here’s a nice Orton video that I didn’t expect to find

A Guide to Official BushCo Responses

Veteran watchers of the Bush administration are coming to realize that all of the official statements these days are generally variations on a one of a very few themes.

Official Response #3: "No one could have anticipated . . ."

Both FEMA and the Department of Defense claim credit for the popularity of this phrase. FEMA’s landmark work in New Orleans before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina is the gold standard for domestic idiocy, while the ongoing GOP foreign policy efforts in Iraq of the DOD, CIA, CPA, KBR, Halliburton, and a host of others (from both private industry and governmental offices) have made this phrase an international icon of ridicule.

Official Response #2: "I’m an idiot, not a crook!"

Generally, this response is not phrased quite so bluntly, but it appears in more benign forms, as it did in the DOJ Inspector General’s recent report on Monica Goodling and the illegal political hiring practices of the DOJ under Ashcroft and Gonzales. As Charlie Savage recounts in his story on the report in the New York Times,

Ms. Williams [then the White House’s liaison to the Justice Department] told the Justice Department inspector general that she had not realized that immigration judges were career jobs subject to Civil Service rules. Mr. Fratto [a White House spokesman] said there was no evidence that White House officials realized that at the time, either.

Read that again, more slowly.

Shorter Jan Williams to DOJ IG: "I’m an idiot, not a crook!"
Shorter Tony Fratto: "Us too — we’re *all* idiots, not crooks!"

Never mind that pesky "ignorance of the law is no excuse" legal dictum — it’s just a tired cliche, I guess.

Topping the list, though, is a classic . . . (more…)

Thursday Night Basset Blogging

Satchmo has taken  a few steps backwards and  had a not so good day. Off to the vet first thing tomorrow morning. I’ve moved his bed under my desk (see below) so he doesn’t have to crouch to get to it under our bed and it’s a least reassuring to me to feel him breathing deeply while curled up at my feet.

So…I thought we would go all Satchmo this week. Kinda like a Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for a dog who has been such a good boy for so many years. (just click on the smaller ones)


Randy Thomasson: Prop 8 necessary or else 'children could be cheated of their innocence'

Can you just picture the flop sweat on this fundie as he grasps at straws to defend his bigotry — save the childrenz!

Prop. 8 is the ballot measure that would negate a California Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage.” And Randy Thomasson of the Campaign for Children and Families believes children ought to be protected.

…”Because homosexual marriage has been ordered by the California Supreme Court, that means children are being taught to honor and respect homosexual marriages from fifth-grade on in sex education school districts– and from kindergarten on up when the other state law is applied,” he details.

…Thomasson suggests it is vital for Californians to approve the constitutional amendment in order to protect “[c]hildren’s innocence.” And he argues that adult choices should not be pushed upon small children.

OMG — run for the hills! Children might know about same-sex marriages! And what, exactly, will happen because of that? He doesn’t say. What is this “innocence” that will be lost? (more…)

Maybe Obama will run bitter anti-Hollywood ads in 2016

Hollywood loved John McCain in 2000, before he decided fame was ephemeral, and fleeting, and he wouldn’t want to have a stupid crowd of 200,000 Germans chanting his name, anyway:

[O]nly eight years ago, McCain was a fixture in Hollywood fundraising circles when he tried to raise money from the very people his ad now ridicules.

At the time, dozens of people in Hollywood — including Lear, Harrison Ford, Quincy Jones, Berry Gordy and Michael Douglas — gave to McCain because they thought he was a Republican celebrity with a great personal story. And, dare we say, some celebrities, namely Warren Beatty, even became friends with the Arizona senator. But the truth is most of Hollywood won’t return McCain’s calls nowadays.

[L.A. Times]

“For your convenience, I attach a copy of the court’s opinion”

You think Patrick Leahy enjoyed his afternoon, sending letters to Robert Luskin, Fred Fielding, and Michael Mukasey, giving them a week (until August 7) to respond to Judge Bates’ ruling today? (h/t BayStateLibrul).

All the letters are worthy of the guy whom Dick Cheney told to go fuck himself. But my favorite is the letter to Mukasey:

Dear Attorney General Mukasey:

Today, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia issued a ruling rejecting the administration’s claims that White House advisors are immune from testifying in response to Congressional subpoenas. The court’s decision also reaffirmed the President’s obligation to provide the specific basis for any executive privilege assertions to provide Congress a means to evaluate those assertions. The administration has not provided that basis despite my requests to do so for more than a year. For your convenience, I attach a copy of the court’s opinion.

Karl Rove failed to appear and testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee last August 2 in response to a subpoena I issued July 26, 2007, as part of the Committee’s investigation into the firing of U.S. Attorneys. It is my understanding that Mr. Rove’s failure to comply was based on an August 1, 2007, letter from White House Counsel Fred Fielding informing the Committee that the President would invoke a blanket claim of executive privilege to direct Mr. Rove not to produce responsive documents or testify before the Committee. Mr. Fielding’s letter cited a memo from the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) to assert that Mr. Rove was "immune from compelled congressional testimony" as an "immediate presidential advisor."

Please advise me by no later than next Thursday, August 7, when you will withdraw the erroneous OLC opinion from Stephen Bradbury relied upon by the White House to justify its non-compliance with congressional subpoenas since that opinion has been repudiated by the court.

In addition, please inform me whether the court’s decision will cause you to revaluate your memos and those from OLC in support of overbroad and unsubstantiated executive privilege claims not only in the U.S. Attorneys investigation, but also in other matters, like the claims used to block Congress from investigating warrantless wiretapping, the leak of the name of undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame for political retribution, and White House interference in the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision-making. (more…)

McCain’s Faustian Bargain Projected On Obama With New Ad

As predicted when Steve Schmidt, a Rove disciple, was promoted to campaign manager, McCain’s going negative on Obama with his new ad. The line is that Obama is just a celebrity; an empty suit and this is only the opening salvo. The ad is horribly executed (the images are inspiring and images count far more than words), but the basic idea behind it was sound.

When it comes to publicity there are only two jobs in a campaign.

Brand yourself. Brand your opponent. Make it stick. People think in archetypes and storylines. What archetype are you? McCain is Maverick Man of Principle willing to stand up for what he believes. Bill Clinton was "The Man From Hope". Barack Obama is "the Messiah". Yeah, you probably don’t like me calling him that, but what Obama offers is three things:

  • A personal conversion experience. There is the time before you know Obama, and then there is the time after you know Obama. Obama volunteers are expressly instructed to talk this way. They are not supposed to talk about policy, but how they came to believe in the Obama movement.
  • Change. Obama will make the way Washington has operated change for the better. Nasty, bitter, divisive partisanship will go away and Republicans and Democrats will work together to make America a better place.
  • The sense of being part of a larger movement. Together we can make change!

Obama’s weakness, then, is "change for what"? Oh sure, there’s a big website full of details, but that’s not what Obama has been selling, with the one exception of maybe, Iraq. Clinton and Edwards sold specific plans, in particular universal healthcare. Obama sells "change" and being part of something bigger than yourself.

So the natural attack on Obama is exactly the one that McCain is making. That Obama is an empty suit trying to be all things to all people and that when you find out his policy, it’s stupid. It’s not that Obama doesn’t have policy papers, it’s that Obama’s emphasis is not on policy. And in moving towards the right with decisions like funding for church programs and voting for warrantless spying on Americans, Obama has made it look like his word and his convictions are not that important to him.