Novak Storms Off CNN Set, Pressure of Betraying America Must Be Getting to Him


Robert Novak walked off the set during the “Strategy Session” on the second-to-last day of Inside Politics. It happened at 4:50pm, during a debate with James Carville. The two argued, and Carville said: “He’s gotta show these right-wingers that he’s got backbone. The Wall Street Journal editorial board is watching, show ’em you’re tough.” Novak responded: “Well I think that’s bullshit, and I hate that. Just let it go.” Two seconds later, he stood up and walked off.

Media Matters has the video.

CNN has asked Novak to take some time off.

Rehnquist Rushed to Hospital with Fever – Again

Associated Press:

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, was taken to the hospital with a fever today, the second emergency treatment for the 80-year-old ailing justice in two months.

Rehnquist, who has cancer, had been taken by ambulance to Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Va., in July and admitted for observation and tests.

Supreme Court spokesman Ed Turner said Rehnquist returned to the same hospital “for evaluation” after developing a fever on Thursday.

THE TICKER – The prisoner in Alexandria :: Poll: Approval of Bush in Iraq at 38% :: Murdoch to replace son Lachlan by adopting Roger Ailes

  • The prisoner in Alexandria: Jailed NYT reporter and Bush Admin stenographer Judith Miller receives more mail than the other prisoners in the Alexandria hoosegow, as well as celebrity guests like Tom Brokaw.
  • Poll: Approval of Bush in Iraq at 38%: An AP-Ipsos poll this week showed that just 38 percent of Americans approve of Bush’s handling of Iraq. A year ago, it was about even. Biggest drop is among younger suburban women and less-educated men. Since the latter are a key constituency of the President’s, that’s gotta hurt.
  • Murdoch to replace son Lachlan by adopting Roger Ailes: Rupert Murdoch’s son Lachlan famously quit his job as Daddy’s successor and returned to Australia. Now Defamer suggests that Rupert will adopt FNC head Roger Ailes and name him chairman of Fox TV group – but points out that “they might look funny in the three legged race” at the company picnic.

‘New Times’ Editor Explains Teele Article

“Miami New Times” Editor Jim Mullin addresses the expose his weekly paper published on ex-county commissioner Art Teele the day Teele committed suicide in the lobby of the “Miami Herald.” Does he apologize? Nope. Does he explain? Kind of.

It’s interesting to note that all references to the “New Times” article and its allegations of sleaze and sex duly noted that it was based “on public records.” Turns out the public records were the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s investigative report prepared for Teele’s prosecution on a variety of federal charges. While the report was released to the public, it is anything but definitive proof that Teele paid a male prostitute for sex, the allegation many thought drove Teele to bite the bullet, as it were.

Mullin’s essay neither acknowledges nor apologizes for what appeared in the July 28 issue. Maybe it should.

Arthur Teele’s death last week brought to a shocking and tragic end a life as complex as it was compelling. Teele was a gifted politician beloved by his supporters and feared by his opponents. His superior intellect gave him a chess master’s advantage over the amateurs who sat with him on the dais at the Miami-Dade County Commission and later at Miami City Hall; he was almost always three or four moves ahead of them in the esoteric game of government. When it came to advancing an agenda — the community’s, the commission’s, or his own — he was without peer. Add to those talents a sharp wit and generous personal charm, and it’s no wonder many journalists found him captivating.

But now we all know there was another side to Art Teele, a darker side. I caught my first glimpse of it in the mid-Nineties at the old 1800 Club, just north of downtown. Demolished three years ago to make way for a condo project of the same name, the 1800’s deliciously noir ambiance, extended hours, and reasonable prices made it a favored haunt of journalists and politicians.

James ‘I’m a Gay American’ McGreevey Seeks Six-Fig Book Deal

RadarOnline reports that former New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey is negotiating a mid-six-figure book deal with Regan Books for a tell-all of his side of the scandal that drove him from office.

It was August 2004 when McGreevey’s surprising resignation and self-outing made headlines. The married father of two reportedly stepped down as his longtime aide, Golan Cipel, was preparing to mount a sexual harrassment suit against the guv. Rumors also abounded that Cipel had sought $5 million to keep mum about McGreevey’s being gay.

If the deal goes through, McGreevey will be in good authorial company. Regan has published tell-alls by porn star Jenna Jameson, gangster Frank Gotti Agnello and ex-baseball player, inveterate liar and braggart Jose Canseco.

Poll: Attitudes Toward Gay Marriage Moderating

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, found that the public’s attitudes towards gay marriage have moderated slightly from 2003 and 2004.

Today, 36% of Americans favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry, up from 32% in December 2004. The percentage favoring gay civil unions has risen as well. Currently, 53% favor allowing gays and lesbians to enter into legal arrangements providing them with many of the same rights as married couples; that compares with 48% last August.

Support for gay marriage and gay civil unions has increased slightly among most religious groups. However, support for civil unions has increased significantly among white evangelical Protestants, from 26% in December 2004 to 35% today. This increase, however, is concentrated primarily among low-commitment evangelicals, a majority of whom now support civil unions.

There remain substantial divisions in views of gay marriage and civil unions across political groups. Nearly seven-in-ten liberals support gay marriage and eight-in-ten support civil unions, up from 59% and 70%, respectively in 2004. Among conservatives, however, support for gay marriage stands at 14%, and support for civil unions has actually declined slightly (from 35% in 2004 to 31% today).

Similarly, Democrats and independents are more supportive of gay marriage and civil unions today than they were a year ago, and remain much more supportive of both proposals than are Republicans.

In line with these findings, there has also been a slight decline (from 35% in August 2004 to 29% today) in the number of Americans expressing support for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.

Computer Modeling Suggests Global Bird Flu Pandemic is Stoppable

U.K. and U.S. teams used computer models to work out the possible scenarios that could occur if the H5N1 avian influenza virus mutated and became capable of spreading from human to human. The result could be deaths on the scale of the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic that claimed between 20 million and 40 million lives. However, a combination of surveillance and the targeted use of antiviral drugs could halt it, the teams told the journals “Nature” and “Science.”

The models used by both teams were nased on incidences and controls used in Thailand, one of the countries at highest risk from bird flu. More than 50 people have died from the virus in southeast Asia since the first human cases were reported in 1997.

Currently, the H5N1 avian influenza poses a limited threat to humans because it is difficult to transmit from person to person. But health experts fear the H5N1 virus could acquire this ability, causing an influenza pandemic that could kill as many as 50,000 people in the United Kingdom alone.

Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College in London and his colleagues found two specific conditions that would have to be met to limit an outbreak of human-transmissible avian influenza to fewer than 200 cases. First, the virus would have to be identified while confined to about 30 people. Second, antiviral drugs would have to be distributed rapidly to the 20,000 people nearest the infected individuals.

Bush on Marine Deaths: War Is ‘Grim’ – I’m Going on Vacation!

“Make no mistake about it, we are at war,”
President Bush said yesterday, as he began the record-breaking 51st vacation of his presidency.

He was reacting – obliquely, as ever – to the news that a Marine amphibious assault vehicle patrolling during combat operations in the Euphrates River valley hit a roadside bomb, killing 14 Marines from the same Ohio battalion that lost six men two days ago.

Mr. Bush also said, “The violence in recent days in Iraq is a grim reminder of the enemies we face.”

We would simply ask: A reminder for whom, Mr. President?