Democrats disavow indicted congressman

Plus: Crazy Commie hackers on Ritalin! Chinese computer pranksters tinker with the veep's e-mail.

Published May 4, 2001 4:15PM (EDT)

Anger management

From our "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina" department. Democratic loyalists at MediaWhores Online seem less than broken up by the indictment of Democratic Rep. James Trafficant on charges of bribery and racketeering. "Couldn't have happened to a more despicable traitor with worse hair," they write.

Trafficant has been something of an unpredictable Democrat. He supported Republican Denny Hastert for speaker, and has long been rumored as a prime party-switching candidate.

Will the Republicans want him now? For more on this question, let's check in with the folks at the Free Republic.

"Glad he stayed in the Democrats clutches ... we don't need any 'shady characters' on 'our' side of the aisle," writes one poster.

"Hope they also indicted his hair!" writes another.

"Trafficant is a nut case," writes another. "It was (and is) nominally helpful to the Republicans that he is still a Democrat, and that the indictment took place before he switched parties. I think neither party actually wants him."

I'm going to take that as a no.


The Smoking Gun: "Dick Cheney's Youthful Indiscretions" "Dems Hang Tough Against Hypocrite Hatch!"
WorldNet Daily: "McVeigh, Nichols 'Did Not Act Alone'" "A Green Mugging in Black and White"
The Onion: "Editorial: I'm Such A Shitty Senator"

Big buzz

Fallout from Hainan Island? According to the wire service Newsbytes, Chinese hackers have been meddling with Vice President Dick Cheney's e-mail.

"Chinese hacker groups have appeared to set ground rules that current attacks [on the House of Representatives, UPI, and the president and vice president's public e-mails] should be limited to Web page defacements, with the notable exception of US government Web sites," Newsbytes reports.

The latest targets have included Web sites for the U.S. House of Representatives and the Philadelphia mayor's office.

"We are watching for potential escalation in the attacks, which could include viruses, network penetrations and distributed denial of service tools," said Mike Assante, vice presdient of intelligence at risk assessment company Vigilinx.

"Security analysts with IDefense Inc. said that they have uncovered an e-mail attack tool that appears to be targeting the president and vice president's e-mail addresses at

"We're watching for potential escalation in the attacks, which could include viruses, network penetrations and distributed denial of service tools," Assante said.

The news had the folks at the Free Republic thinking payback: "four things we could do to the chicom bastards:

"1. IP flooder
2. Viruses
3.Firewall them in (if possible)
4. Put pictures of the Tianaman Square massacre on all their government Web sites

"I am not a hacker, nor do I really condone hacking but ... if these suggestions were to come true, oh well."

Other posters had more serious forms of retribution in mind. "Oh great, this is what it comes to. World War I began in the streets of Sarajevo with the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. World War II began in Poland with a Nazi blitzkrieg. World War III begins behind a desk with some computer geek getting too enthusiastic with the mouse."

Opines another: "These crazy communists need Ritalin!"

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By Anthony York

Anthony York is Salon's Washington correspondent.

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