Been There, Done That. 35 Years Ago.

Cookie Monster announced this week that he would like to host SNL.

Which is a, um, monster inside joke, because the Muppets were on SNL from the very first episode.

No, not this one. It’s incredibly difficult to find “Land of Gorch” clips online. But don’t worry — it didn’t make much sense at the time. Although we still growl “Talk to me” on occasion. You had to be there.


SNL? Is this Sport? The one with the tight pants or the other one with the tight pants? And how much padding is involved?

War on Xmas is on in Orygun: Mooslem would-be terrorist attempts to blow up tree lighting ceremony in PDX. FBI was on to him all along, so no one was in danger, but my friend who’s flying out of PDX tonight is planning to get to the airport 3 hours in advance for his freedom grope.

@Mistress Cynica:

Is there anybody “working for al Qaeda” that *isn’t* on the FBI payroll? It’s sounding more and more like the Monty Python (I think) bit where the badly-disguised undercover cop finds out that EVERYONE in the gang is from the police…

@Mistress Cynica: Will be interesting to see how close this drama will come to a case of entrapment.

@Benedick: Speaking of Sport, how about the upset of Boise State by Nevada last night? And I am cursing the BCS – didn’t Obama campaign on investigating the BCS and switching to a playoff system. Stanford will not get to play in the Rose Bowl because no Pac-10 team will be in it this year. You can’t have the Rose Bowl without a west coast team in it, that’s just wrong. I hope that Chicago Bureau or Dodger can explain to me WHY The Tree is getting screwed, Mr. SFL’s theory is that every five years the Pac-10 is shut out of the Rose Bowl, as that’s what happened to Orygun a few years ago when they were runners up in the Pac-10 to U$C, which was playing in the national championship.

@SanFranLefty: Headlines I Never Thought I’d Read in My Life:

“No. 1 Oregon stays on track for BCS title game”

I’ll say it again: Eugene was far more charming when the Ducks were in the Bottom Ten.

Maybe they don’t like skules that do well at sport and academics?

@SanFranLefty: A football-crazed friend of mine sent me the BCS rules for determining who plays where. It’s one of those things, like the tax code, that you can figure out but is totally crazy.

@SanFranLefty: I was up til midnight watching that game. It went in seconds from “Ho-hum, another Boyzee blowout at least they’re not on blue turf” to “holy fucking shit the game is tied – time for Boyzee to get all like Mark Sanchez last week with 42 seconds to go – holy fucking shit did you see that catch here comes the field goal” to “holy fucking shit that dude missed it – oh fuck overtime to ” OK, dude is going to ice it now – whoa holy fucking shit he missed the fucking field goal. He’s a dead man! He’ll kill himself tomorrow if his team mates don’t beat him to death with their helmets in the locker room.” to “fuck – here’s Nevada to kick a field goal. Well, at least a Mexican dude won the game for them.”

@redmanlaw: Best. Sport. Wrap. Ever.

ADD: gracias to you, I was streaming Dan Patrick every night from 19:45 until bedtime in NotTibet. Rome is on too late, but also available. Today: Stillers v Bills live, at home, with commercials and all those other beautiful domestic distractions.

@Mistress Cynica: @SanFranLefty: Oh, geez…

Greenwald’s all over this, and I’ve just read the affidavit. I fear I’m gonna have to go long in the morning — the kid was thoroughly set up by the FBI. I won’t call it “entrapment” — that’s a specialized legal term — but it’s hard to see this kid as a threat without the FBI guiding him every step of the way.

Also, he lived in Corvallis. That would drive anyone batshit crazy. Except for the First Brother-in-Law, of course.

@nojo: Grew up in Beaverton, had recently moved to Corvallis. Haven’t read Greenwald yet (or the affidavit), but this sentence in the Grey Lady gave me pause this morning:

“Defense lawyers in such cases involving sting operations often accuse the F.B.I. of entrapment. Anticipating such claims, undercover agents in Mr. Mohamud’s case offered him several nonfatal ways to serve his cause, including mere prayer. But he told the agents he wanted to be “operational,” and perhaps execute a car bombing.

A good defense attorney could still dismantle a “we asked him if he wanted to pray on it” claim by the FBI.

/off to read the affidavit

ADD: Back now. How conveeeeeenient that the FBI agent’s audio equipment didn’t work the time he allegedly had that conversation.

@SanFranLefty: I’m going very long in the morning…

But note that before the FBI offered its menu of entrapment-defense-resistant options, the thought of bombing Pioneer Courthouse Square had never crossed his mind.

And yes, while the malfunctioning recording equipment at the crucial meeting is indeed very convenient, it’s still a damnable indictment on the face of it. Stunning, really.

@nojo: If this kid from Oregon State gets a pro bono attorney on the level of Jim Brosnahan (who John Walker Lindh’s father hired), the FBI will be apologizing to him with so much egg on face. That affidavit was something else. HOOOO-leee shite.

I loved the use of the passive voice in describing the kid’s activities – rewrite them into the active voice and you realize that the FBI was offering options, ideas, funding, explosives, etc. at every fucking turn.

If every alienated 18 year old boy in modern American society were contacted by UCE* 1 and UCE 2 and invited to partake of telling people to fuck off by making things go boom, we’d have very full criminal dockets in federal district court in every fly-over state in this country. And that’s just the 18 year old white boys who would otherwise be drinking in fields, racing their pick-up trucks, and trying to get their 17 year old girlfriends drunk.

*UCE = Under Cover Employee

P.S. Did you catch the mistake in paragraph 22 of the affidavit?

@SanFranLefty: Bingo. To save you the trouble of reading the Morning Doorstop, consider this: What would he have done if the FBI had never interceded?

Well, nothing. Nothing at all. He wasn’t dangerous in the least until the FBI showed up to lend him a hand.

And this is all based on the indictment. The best case they can make is a travesty on the face of it.

@SanFranLefty: Not sure it was paragraph 22, but I did catch something as I was typing madly from the scanned document this afternoon. I silently corrected it, since it wasn’t material.

@nojo: It was the kid’s email address. The difference between and may be non-existent, you’re the computer geek who could tell me that, but my issue with any mistake in an affidavit or complaint is that sloppy writing shows sloppy thinking.

I found three typos in a court filing (thank you lazy paralegal!) three days after I filed it, and I couldn’t decide whether to jump out the window or file an amended petition. Seriously. I throw out summer internship applications from law students who have typos or grammar mistakes in their cover letters or (gasp!) their resume. Call me a grammar Nazi, it’s a shorthand way to cull the herd.

@SanFranLefty: Ah. No, I didn’t notice that one (nor did I type it out), but since the setup relies on mistaken email addresses (and the purported sources of real ones), that is significant.

@nojo: “[S]ince the setup relies on mistaken email addresses (and the purported sources of real ones), that is significant.”

Eggg-zactly, Sherlock!

@SanFranLefty: Speaking of which, the problem with Writing Long is that you have to Proofread Long. Damn me and my obsessions!

@nojo: With the number of professional copy editors around this joint (you can include me in that count), you shouldn’t worry about proofreading. Just send us all an embargoed copy.

@SanFranLefty: Alas, for me proofreading is also copyediting. I’m making a lot of little changes as I go.

@nojo: Which reminds me–thank you thank you thank you–for giving us an edit button on our comments.

2667 words. You’re welcome!

Okay, fine: You’re also excused. I’ll understand if it’s not something you care to deal with first thing Monday morning.

@nojo: Lucky for me, unless I’m jet-lagged or traveling to Fresno or Eureka for the day, Manchu and Benedick always hit the Morning Sedition first and break it down for me.

@nojo: ADD: 2667 words? How many linques? That’s always the killer for me – clicking on all the actual/virtual footnotes.

@SanFranLefty: Brosnahan is something special. I had a huge nerd crush on him from before JWL. He made me want to put down articles of inc and like read cases and stuff. Very magnetic, and if I’d ended up on his team after the dotcom bubble burst instead of being thrown into SEC defense hell, I might still be practicing. Or staring at him, mouth agape. (How did I miss this thread? Still reading comments…)

ADD: IIRC, when Brosnahan took JWL as a client, I think there was some public statement that MoFo had nothing to do with JWL’s representation. It was all Jim. I’m sure he was fine with that.

@SanFranLefty: Four formal links at the bottom, plus a couple in passing.

But to me, links are like citations, allowing you to check my work if desired. If something is important to the post, it’s in the post.

And hey, the bulk of the post is excerpted from the indictment, so you’ve already read it!

The rest is running commentary. It’s atrociously long because there are a shitload of details to address, using the facts as alleged in the indictment to lay out an alternate story.

The more I think about it, the angrier I get. There are consequences to this story that go beyond the Faux Plot itself — the kid’s mosque has already suffered arson, for example. And given the resources spent on this empty case, could they have been better directed elsewhere?

@nojo: I’m looking forward to this piece.

@JNOV: I visited the MoFo offices in SF for a meeting in the midst of the JWL hoo-haw and the building security I had to go through was crazy. There are fewer hoops to jump to visit a state prison than to get in there at the time. The attorneys we were meeting with said that the main number was ringing 24/7 with God-fearing ‘Merikans calling the firm and threatening to blow up the building, kill Brosnahan, kill anyone who worked there, rape their children, etc.

Good times.

@SanFranLefty: I admire Brosnahan. The man has some courage.

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