Sunday, September 12, 2010

Never Mind

Never mind that "Courier Endorses Moews" post, which has been deleted. The article in the Courier as part of their "Candidate Spotlight" series was written by "Supporters of Chris Moews for Sheriff". I didn't look at it close enough. Sorry.

That doesn't change the fact that David Clarke is a right-wing megalomaniacal nightmare who needs to be defeated in the Democratic primary. And I do hope that the Courier endorses Moews in the next couple of days, if they do such things.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

David Clarke: Under The Bridge

Some internal polling must be giving Sheriff David Clarke the willies.  Apparently, his campaign is sensing that the mass of billboards and radio and TV ads bought with the generous donations of his rich Republican friends and his daily love-fests and free advertising on local right-wing radio shows might not be enough to pull him through the Democratic primary on Tuesday.

So they ripped the cowboy hat off his head, dressed him up in his sheriff's outfit and sent him out before the TV cameras to address an issue of burning concern in the community: Suicide attempts off the Hoan Bridge. 

In a sudden spurt of civic concern, Clarke supposedly dashed off a letter this past Thursday to the secretary of the state DOT, putting on his engineer hat and suggesting that the state might want to put up suicide-prevention barriers when it repaired the crumbling icon of the Milwaukee skyline. 

The letter itself is a six-page marvel of intricate research, complete with a chart showing the 16 "successful" jumps off the Hoan since 2001 (why he didn't just say "it's about two a year"...well, not nearly as impressive).  There are even footnotes relating to its deep thoughts about the psychological aspects of suicide-by-jumping and the efforts of other cities to deal with the scourge of jumpers. 

It's an amazing document, if only for the fact that it was could not possibly have been written by Clarke.  Clarke is too busy rolling marbles in his hand and yelling at his underlings about the strawberries; spending hours on the phone with radio wingnuts; attending fundraisers with rich Republicans; screwing up the House of Correction and wreaking havoc on other aspects of Milwaukee County that are really none of his business to whomp out six pages with footnotes and charts.  If he really did spend the hours it takes to produce a letter like this, the citizens of Milwaukee County have the every right to ask him what the hell he is doing with his time.

Nor was it written by anyone else in the sheriff's department.  They don't have time for this kind of footnoted posturing nonsense -- those in the department not acting as Clarke toadies are too busy picking up after their arrogant boss.  

The letter, on sheriff's letterhead, is a obviously a campaign document, probably drafted by a summer intern over at the WPRI. [UPDATE:  The right-wing propaganda operation WPRI has a lot on its plate these days.  Sadly, it is now setting the agenda for the Journal Sentinel opinion pages.]

But the transparently political essence of the letter didn't stop the Clarke defenders at the Journal Sentinel and local TV stations from treating it like an oh-so-serious and sincere concern by the sheriff.  Not only did the J-S cheerfully front-page the PR stunt; there was Clarke standing under the bridge on all the TV news shows on the Friday before the election, using his incumbency like a hammer to drive some gullible free-media nails. 

Isn't this what the tea-baggers are always complaining about -- entrenched incumbents using the pliant mainstream media to get fawning, unquestioning coverage?  I guess it depends on who the incumbent is, eh, Charlie? 

Interestingly, Clarke didn't seem too concerned about being hit by falling bodies as he posed for his holy pictures under the bridge.  Given the state of the Mental Health Complex, as run by his soulmate Scott Walker, perhaps he should have been.  The care and treatment of the mentally ill residents of Milwaukee County has deteriorated under gubernatorial-candidate-for-life Walker that the rate of suicide of all kinds is an issue that deserves the attention of our serious local officials.   If only we could find one in the county executive or sheriff's office.

David Clarke's cynical use of occassional bridge-jumping just to get his mug on TV just before the primary is the worst kind of abuse of his office for political gain.  And the media playing along as if he's serious is even worse.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Fluffing Ryan; Ignoring Truth

There used to be this guy on a certain local music scene in the '70s.  He played in local clubs, as a solo act and sometimes with groups.  He was an early purveyor of electronic music -- had some nice keyboards, first-generation synthesizers and such.  He thought he was funny sometimes; was oh-so-musically serious other times.  He dabbled in pop, rock, classical. 

And he sucked.  He couldn't sing, wasn't very rhythmic -- you certainly couldn't dance to it.  His serious pieces were a mess; his pop and rock stuff of no significance.  Yet the local alternative rag promoted and praised his every appearance.  Even the mainstream newspaper in town would include frequent friendly references to the "local legend" and his perseverance on the music scene, sometimes bemoaning his inability to break out to some unfortunate national audience.

But this is what local media outlets always do to hometown talent that deservedly stay that way.  They aren't going to run a review of some local band and rant about how much they stink.  The protection of local acts is understandable, but it gives them an unrealistic impression of their self-worth.  When they finally strike out to Nashville or wherever and get laughed off the stage, they don't understand why.

The same process has happened in reverse for Congressman Paul Ryan, the right-wing Republican darling, who serves as the pretty face for the Dark Side of the once and future Republican agenda in Washington.  Soon after parts of the national mainstream media settled on Ryan as the only Republican they could talk to without throwing up, the Journal Sentinel climbed on the bandwagon (more like a Red Rider, really) -- the local boy done good, a serious player in Washington, and blah de blah blah.

Never mind that, after Ryan presented his vaunted Roadmap, the GOP leadership ran screaming from the room, lest they be tainted with Ryan's radical ideas to at least partially privatize Social Security and shuffle future seniors from the safety of Medicare into the desperate hell that is the private health insurance market.  Although they continued to claim the nice-looking (if you like that sort of thing) young man with greasy hair (I haven't seen hair that wet since my sisters' experiments with Dippity Doo) as a present and future star of the GOP, they wouldn't touch his radical Roadmap with a 10-foot pole.  But the J-S had their local star in Washington and they weren't going to let a little thing like the facts get in the way of their fawning coverage.

So, when the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ran a perfectly legitimate ad in David Obey's district, pointing out that former reality TV boob Sean Duffey pledged fealty to the Roadmap and therefore correctly stating he "backed a plan to privatize Social Security", the Journal Sentinel got back on its hind legs to kick the DCCC back from whence they came.  How dare they attack Duffy by attacking Ryan's Roadmap!!  We'll show them:  Liar Liar Pants on Fire!

Trotting out its newly-purchased PolitiFact® trademark, the paper distributed its first full-throated j'accuse at the DCCC for the temerity of calling Ryan's radical plan to take billions out of the Social Security lockbox and dump it into the stock market a form of privatization.  Of course it is, and the article strangely admits as such:
"For some, personal investment accounts -- even if they are overseen and managed by the government -- are private, especially when compared with the current system. For others, the accounts are 'privatized' when they are managed by a Wall Street firm. That sounds like the definition Democrats are using."
 OK, so fair argument, right?  Wrong, claims the J-S.  For one thing "an earlier Republican plan calling for 'private' accounts was tweaked after pollsters found the public was more comfortable with the term 'personal' accounts."  So, Frank Luntz gives the Republicans some more friendly language to use for the same thing, and its suddenly not private? Oh, and Duffy swears up and down he's not for privatizing Social Security.  At least, that's not what he wants to call it.

Since when is something not what it is just because a politician says is isn't?  Isn't that what this supposed PolitiFact® bullshit is all about -- sorting out what a candidate says from what the facts really are?  Not to the Journal Sentinel.  Not if it means that the DCCC can beat up on a Republican by tying them to the political poison that is Ryan's Roadmap.  If that's the way it's going to be, they are willing to suspend the facts and pretend the Roadmap is not the privatization nightmare that it is. 

The paper continues to do everything it can to protect the Republicans. If this is the way it's going to be with the local version of PolitiFact®, it is going to be a long slog through the Journal Sentinel's political agenda all the way to November.  Perhaps the St. Petersburg Times  may want to recall its PolitiFact® trademark back from the J-S, lest the Pulitzer committee come looking to get their 2009 award back.

In the meantime, it appears the Journal Sentinel version of PolitiFact® needs a fact checker of its own.  I'm here to help.  We rate this PolitiFact® report on the BullshitMeter® as:

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Doing Clarke's Dirty Work

The Journal Sentinel just can't bring itself to address the issue of David Clarke's blatantly false declaration of himself as a Democrat on the primary ballot for Milwaukee County Sheriff.  But they are all over Chris Moews' attendance at a Junior Bush rally in 2004.  Pictures in Bush T-shirts and everything -- they even drag one of his kids into it.  Dan "Bulldog" Bice (with apologies to the original Bulldog, who knows who he is) nails it. Moews went to a Bush rally, alright.  Case closed.

Bice's piece was an easy triumph for the Clarke campaign, which no doubt threw the photo over the transom in the quiet empty halls of the Journal Sentinel building on State St.  And the J-S was all too willing to take the bait and do some pro-Clarke spinning in advance of the laughable editorial board's expected endorsement of the arrogant, grandstanding Clarke any day now.  Who cares if Clarke is a pretend Democrat when Moews can't possibly be a real Democrat after attending a Bush rally six years ago?  I mean, everyone knows you forfeit your identity as a Democrat by walking in that door, right?

Well, no.  Some true Democrats -- especially law enforcement -- have been supporting Republican presidential candidates since Nixon.  Republicans have always put up a phony macho posture on issues of war and crime and a lot of folks unfortunately fall for that bullshit.  They vote for Democrats down the the rest of the ballot, but sometimes falling in with the GOP presidential candidate because, no matter what they do ("John Kerry, reporting for duty!"), the Dems somehow always get out-butched by the patronizing posturing of empty Republicans.

But that vote for the Republican at the top of the ticket that one year (Moews gave Bice photos of him at a Clinton rally -- where were they in the piece?) doesn't make Moews less of a Democrat any more than the millions of Republicans who voted for Obama in 2008 are less so.  The headline of the Bice piece says that Moews is only a real Democrat "sometimes".  Wrong.  He's a real Democrat, remained so when he walked in and voted for Bush in 2004, and was still a Democrat when he walked out. 

I think he was wrong to vote for Bush.  But I'm not going to single-issue him for that when there is much more at stake in this race than electoral purity. The unfortunate thing about this kind of Clarke-generated non-issue is that it peels away the support of those who will turn away Moews and fail to recognize the strong victory a Clarke defeat would bring in this difficult year.  This kind of story does the double damage of not only letting Clarke off the hook for his fraudulent election tactics, but also diminishes the enthusiasm we should have for this race. 

The important issue is that Moews is a real Democrat and will act like one in office.  He will respect the collective bargaining process and follow the resulting contracts with his deputies, therefore increasing morale throughout the agency.  He will cooperate with, rather than dictate to, other law enforcement agencies in the county.  Chris Moews will not spend half his day phoning in to wing-nut talk radio shows or clopping around the courthouse in cowboy boots, looking for the next opportunity to make a bigger name so he can embarass himself by running for mayor again.

And, in the Bice piece, he follows the rest of the paper's lead by glossing over Clarke's radical-right Republican identity.  "The incumbent also receives many donations from Republicans. He also has met with Bush and many of his top operatives at the White House. He even spoke at a tea party rally in Milwaukee last year."  Left unsaid, because it conflicts with other Journal Communications properties, is that Clarke is a darling of right-wing talk radio hosts like Charlie Sykes. 

There can be no question that David Clarke wants nothing to do with the Democratic party, other than to get a D next to his name on the ballot so he can get his sorry ass elected again.  Chris Moews, on the other hand, has embraced Democratic ideals and the party itself.  For the Journal Sentinel to pretend that there is even a question about Moews' Democratic identity makes it a knowing pawn in David Clarke's dirty campaign.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Journal Sentinel PolitiFact®: We Report – We Decide

Against all logic, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has decided to go out and declare itself the pure arbiter of truth on the campaign trail. Well, somebody’s gotta do it...uh, maybe. But is the flagship property of Journal Communications – the entity that, although they have cast off hundreds of decent reporters and employees and millions in stock value, continues to employ right-wing hacks like Patrick McIlheran and Charlie Sykes – really the right place to call a spade a spade in a heated election environment?

Hardly. The Journal Sentinel has lost so much credibility with its repulsive patronizing of the radical right (with no counter-balance for even moderate local liberal perspectives), you can only expect the dwindling paper to play both ends against the middle, resulting in a mish-mosh of “a plague on both their houses” slop that fails to call out the Republican assault on truth by comparing their claims to those made by the Democrats and finding both “barely true”. And that’s just what you get with PolitiFact®.

Take Scott Walker’s parroting of talk radio talking-points that 8.2 billion gallons of “raw sewage” had been dumped during heavy rains that the Deep Tunnel project – always opposed by right-wingers anyway – couldn’t handle. Predictably – since part of their mission is to protect Republicans – PolitiFact® declares the lie “barely true”. With 95% of the overflow coming from harmless drain and rain water and, at most, 5% coming from toilets, why does the Boy County Exec get to declare all of it “raw sewage”? Get this:

“Is it raw sewage? That term sounds like it’s all coming from toilets. Actually, an estimated 95 percent is rainwater and runoff. Still, it’s untreated and therefore can be considered ‘raw.’”

Oh, fer cryin’ out loud. How about “sewage”? Can it be considered “sewage”? Sewage is defined as “the waste matter that passes through sewers”. “Waste matter”. Is water from rain and runoff “waste matter”? Give me a break. The J-S is going to bend over so far to help Walker get elected they are going to end up kissing their own ass, along with his.

Likewise, rookie tea-bagger Ron Johnson gets another GOP-get-out-of-jail-free “barely true” for claiming Russ Feingold was the “only Great Lakes senator” to vote against an enourmous spending bill that just happened to ban Great Lakes drilling. Two senators from New York also voted against the bill. How is that “barely true”? They don’t know and they don’t care. They don’t have to. They are the Journal Sentinel.

The J-S also guilds the Republican lily in its standard campaign profiles. The important issue of Republican tea-bagger David Clarke falsifying his nomination papers by claiming to be a Democrat is given short shrift in an article Tuesday morning. “Moews has pointed to Clarke's 2009 appearance at a conservative tea party rally as evidence of insincerity about Clarke's political affiliation. Clarke said he was more interested in leadership than politics.” Well, that settles that for the Journal Sentinel. Never mind that Clarke’s Not-A-Democrat problem has more to do with who is funding his campaign and his constant sucking-up to right-wing radio. “Clarke heads into the primary with the advantages of a high-profile incumbency and the swashbuckling image he curries, typified by ceremonial appearances on horseback and in Western garb,” swoons the J-S. Screw poor morale and mismanagement of the agency – that’s enough for us! 

The problem with self-serving journalistic stunts like PolitiFact® is that it pretends that both sides offend Truth to the same degree. By concentrating on campaign proclamations, they ignore the real poison spewed daily into the political atmosphere by talk radio and other GOP front-groups. How about a truth-v-lie investigation of just one hour of the garbage generated by their own Charlie Sykes every morning?

I know – there isn’t enough time in the day to track down that load of bullshit. Talk about your raw sewage.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Breaking News: David Clarke Is Not A Democrat

Imagine I somehow got an appointment as District Attorney in some suburban county from Gov. Jim Doyle. Hey, I’m not and will never be a prosecutor and Doyle doesn’t know me from Adam (although, spotting my name tag at a Louis Butler fund-raiser, he said he “loved” my blog), but, I said, just imagine. Appointed by a Democratic governor, I look at all these white people around me, research some obvious voting patterns and do the only reasonable thing to keep my job in the next election cycle: I identify myself as a Republican and run in the Republican primary for the fall ballot. Across the state, my friends and family lose their lunch in various wastebaskets and cancel my invitations to Thanksgiving, music benefits and various nieces’ plays and graduations.

But, you know, I’m a win-at-all costs kind of guy. I’m not going to let a little thing like an honest declaration of party affiliation come between me and the Firm Administration of the Law. Not to mention those nice health-care benefits. They just don’t elect Democrats out here. So, I suck it up, wear the flag lapel pin, attend a few Rotary Club meetings, win the primary and trounce the hapless Dem by 30 points. Four more years...four more years...After my election, I go back to my flaming lefty ways, attending rallies, promoting Democrats of all stripes and generally using my office won only because of the R next to my name to celebrate my very D-ness.

If I were try such a stunt, the high-pitched squealing from the GOP talking-pointers on wing-nut radio would be heard from here to Superior. I would be exposed county- and state-wide as the fraud I am. The campaign billboards around the county featuring my shiny white face – if not outright defaced – would be countered by giant Koch-financed boards twice as big with a singular and devastating message: Michael Plaisted Is Not A Republican! I would lose the primary soundly to a Tea Party candidate calling for torture and other forms of “instant justice” in the county jail. Radio squawkers and nut-right bloggers would demand an investigation by the state Elections, er, Government Accountability Board and my own former DA’s office (resulting in no prosecution and much hand-wringing over deceptive branding). Shamed and humiliated, I slink home to continue to undermine the criminal justice system in particular and society at-large in general from the relative safety of my secret cell of radical activists and defense attorneys.

So, if such a fate would surely befall me if I engaged in such a transparent politically cynical scheme – and rightly so – why is tea party Republican David Clarke allowed to continue to falsify his nomination papers by saying he’s a Democrat?

Clarke was appointed Milwaukee County Sheriff in the first place by long-forgotten Republican governor-temp Scott McCallum in 2002. That same year, knowing that voters in Milwaukee County would not elect anyone with an R next to their name (Scooter Walker doesn’t count – although he isn’t, the County Exec race is non-partisan), Clarke ran for a full term as a pretend-Democrat. It was soon thereafter the wolf took off the sheep’s clothing and began his regime of tyranny and law-breaking within the department. Clarke never really wanted to be Sheriff – the appointment by McCallum was just a stepping-stone by his Republican handlers to his campaign for mayor of Milwaukee in 2004.

Clarke embarrassed himself in that race, finishing a distant 3rd with 17% of the vote in the primary, despite the 24/7 cheerleading that only his buddies on right-wing talk radio can provide. Since sulking back to the sheriff’s office, he has continued to run roughshod over labor contracts and intergovernmental relations, creating a crisis of morale among the fine deputies that work for him and consternation among local law enforcement agencies, who have seen Clarke insert himself into all manner of municipal issues, declaring that he “out-ranks” chiefs of police all over the county. In the 2006 election, he maintained the “I’m a Democrat” lie, continuing the anything-to-get-elected scheme.

Again in 2010, Clarke has falsified his nomination papers and declared himself a Democrat. But there is a good chance that, this year, the arrogant, lawless sheriff will meet his comeuppance.

For one thing, the strongest candidate to ever run against him, MPD homocide supervisor Chris Moews (pronounced “Mays”, by the way) is a true Democrat, well-funded, and has the support of many in the African-American community that serves as Clarke’s base. When the issue of Clarke’s false identification as a Democrat is raised, his campaign tries to change the subject by claiming (without proof, which is par for them anyway) Moews possibly supported John McCain for president. Even if true, so what? A cop supporting a Republican for president is hardly unheard of and doesn’t mean he loses his overall Democratic affiliation and tenancies.

Unlike Clarke, Moews does not wake up in the morning bed-spooning Charlie Sykes; doesn’t spend half his day on the phone with third-rate irritants like Jay Weber and Vicki McKenna; doesn’t show up at astro-turf tea party events; doesn’t get his campaign funding from the likes of George Mitchell and Rich Graber; and doesn’t spend his evening hanging with the likes of the Conservative Young Professionals of Milwaukee. To single-issue Moews because of some suspected support of national politicians is to miss the point of his current affiliation and the need to rid the county of David Clarke entirely.

For another thing, Clarke has a practical problem running in the Democratic primary this year. Republicans going to the polls on September 14th will be most interested in choosing between a dweeb and a nob for governor in the Republican primary. Once they do that, they cannot flip the ballot over and vote in the Democratic primary for sheriff or anything else. No less than Mark Belling threw Clarke under the bus last week, advising his listeners to go ahead and vote in the Republican primary and let the sheriff twist in the wind. He even admitted that may mean Clarke loses to Moews, who Belling admitted was a solid candidate. But such are the lengths the talk-radio campaigners will go to try to get Scott Walker elected governor.

David Clarke’s very existence on the ballot as a Democrat has been a fraudulent lie for eight years now. It’s time for the Democrats of Milwaukee County to call him out and vote him out.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Glenn Beck And The Politics Of Ridicule

Now that the commentariat has had the chance to chew over Glenn Beck’s vanity rally in DC this past Saturday, I thought I would throw in my two cents’ worth. It is little known – in fact, only I and my bewildered son are aware – that I am the preeminent Beck scholar in Milwaukee and, probably, the nation.

As much as I can stand it, I have listened to part of his radio show in the morning and watched part of his TV show at night almost every day for a year now (a period of time coinciding with the deterioration of this blog – coincidence? I think not.). I have him all figured out, which I plan to display fully in my new book coming out this fall – Glenn Beck: How Stupid Does He Think You Are? To no one’s surprise, the answer is: Very. And his lazy sheep-like listeners and Fox News zombies have not disappointed him.

The fact that Beck got a piddling 100,000 people to show up in Washington after a year of promoting his 8/28 event means nothing except to reflect his (and Sarah Palin’s) star quality among the Angry White Tea Party set. In fact, all of the astro-turf tea party events are structured around the appearance of some media star or other – it’s part of the directions the professionals at FreedomWorks put out for a successful event. In Milwaukee, a thousand people might show up to gawk at a putrid scumbag like Michelle Malkin. Maybe Milwaukee/Madison radio wingnut Vicki McKenna could get 200 to an event all by herself. Without a featured speaker with the star power created by talk-radio and Fox news, tea party “rallies” would consist of ten people with flags sticking out of their hats standing around, howling at their imaginary socialist moon.

Beck’s usual shtick on TV is to entertain his fearful white-victim audience by trying to convince them that President Obama is a Manchurian candidate, serving as a front for supposedly evil strawmen like UW professor Joel Rogers (of all people), William Ayers and all manner of supposed revolutionary, living and dead. In the weeks leading up to 8/28, he spent an incredible amount of time telling poor, dumb America that Obama’s ascendency was the fruition of a Weather Underground handbook written in 1969.

He pretends that the “proof” for his hysterical smears are outlined on the chalkboards that litter his TV sound stage, where Obama’s face is always seen in the company of dark figures and “scary” organizations like the Apollo Alliance and the Tides Foundation. He leads with his conclusions and never explains how he gets there, leaving the chalkboards as the indictments that are never read. You would think the chalkboards – or at least the substance of them – would be posted on his website so you could check out the details for yourself, since he never bothers to fully explain any of it. You would be wrong. But that’s the way smears work – allusion without proof; the illusion of substance without fact.

But, make no mistake – Beck wants you to be afraid. Very afraid. The 8/28 event was presented by him as the “last exit” off the freeway to whatever Obama Hell he pretends awaits us. “What else do your neighbors need to know?” he pleads to his audience of barricaded shut-ins. Can you imagine even one of his listeners going to the strangers next door and imploring them to “get” what Beck is selling? Beck is also after the children, the most unfortunate of which are herded into his studio every Friday to get a “history” lesson about the Founding Fathers by Beck and David Barton, a phony “historian” and actual preacher who promotes the lie that the Founders were all evangelical Christians.

As 8/28 approached, Beck – perhaps realizing that just having a giant anti-Obama tea party wasn’t going to cut it – lurched into a religious mode, attacking those of every faith who believe in the worthy concept of “social justice”. Beck urged churchgoers to confront their pastors to see if they were promoting such evil thoughts and, if so, to dump that church. He even deigned to pass judgement on Obama’s faith, saying this Sunday during his heavy-petting session with Fox News whore Chris Wallace that Obama’s reasonable belief in “collective salvation” was a “perversion” of Christianity. That’s pretty funny coming from a Mormon who believes in magic underpants and the divinity of historic grifter Joseph Smith.

On the radio, Beck is another kind of animal altogether. Before reimagining himself as a political and religious leader, Beck presided over various Zoo-Crew-type morning radio shows around the country. His radio show still has that kind of vibe – with he and his sidekicks guffawing and feigning concern over the imaginary demons of the Obama era. Even more than the TV show – where Beck is shown standing to the side of a monitor showing Obama speaking, smirking and laughing – the radio show is thick with ridicule of anything and everything Obama.

That’s the thing about the right-wing message machine – for all their talk about Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals and the threat it poses to our very existence, it is they that use the percepts of it better and more consistently than anyone else. Alinsky called ridicule the “most potent weapon”, and the right has used it to make you think such substantial people as Al Gore, Michael Moore, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are just big jokes.

But I digress. In the end, Beck’s rally on 8/28 was a dud. Hedging his bets at the last minute, he pulled his punches and wimped out to a vague religious message that was nothing new. Not content to wrap himself up in the flag, he wrapped himself in the Shroud of Turin. In the end, he was exposed; as phony as the shroud itself.