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Slightly Used Snark

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  • Monday, December 30, 2002


    I'm back....

    Just returned from Indian Wells where I was unable to make a decent connnection with my laptop to the Internet (mainly because I didn't feel like doing any reformatting...I was on vacation, dammit!) so instead I spent a great amount of time by the pool reading books (remember those?) and watching my daughter order virgin daquiris and charge them to the room.

    It appears that during my absence I received about 25 e-mails regarding an altercation between zizka & tapped which I still haven't read through (I'm still on vacation, dammit) and it also looks like I had my 100,000th visit to tbogg as of today, which is kinda cool since I started this back on 9/19.

    Since I didn't look at a newspaper, watch the news, or have access to the internet, it's going to take me a day or two to get caught up, but I expect to be back to full-time blogging by tomorrow.

    posted by tbogg at 5:47 PM


    Wednesday, December 25, 2002


    Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don’t know.

    Dr. Laura is a bad bad person...but we already knew that.

    Maybe someday she'll open herself up to "the benign indifference of the world". Than again. Maybe not.

    posted by tbogg at 6:45 PM



    If Sir Isaac Newton were alive today he would almost be as old as Barbara Walters...

    Happy 360th Birthday, Ike. On the count of three, everybody fall down...1, 2,......

    posted by tbogg at 5:29 PM



    Comicbook guy voice: "Worst Christmas gifts ever"

    The Seattle PI runs a column with readers writing in about their worst Christmas gifts ever.

    My favorite:

    My father got me the complete works of William Shakespeare. I was 7 at the time. Another Christmas, Dad gave me a diet book, an etiquette book and a book on how to attract men with a card that said "with the hope you'll grow into a proper young lady." I was 24.

    posted by tbogg at 5:26 PM



    Bring me the hand of Bill Gates...

    Suppose you endured the checkout line at the grocery store only to find that you were short on cash, or you'd forgotten your wallet. What if you could settle the bill with just the touch of your finger?

    Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR - news), the largest U.S. supermarket chain, is offering some customers just that opportunity, testing finger imaging as a method of payment in three of its Texas stores.

    A machine scans the index finger, matching the customer's unique fingerprint with the individual's account.

    posted by tbogg at 5:11 PM



    Mickey is busy sitting shivah. But Goofy can do the service right after he's done hearing confession...

    The Happiest Place on Earth doesn't want to be the Most Christian Place on Earth.

    Walt Disney World doesn't advertise its theme parks as the holiest place on earth -- just the happiest.

    Still, some religious leaders are dismayed and disappointed that, after today's popular Christmas services at the Contemporary Resort, the next organized Christian worship at the resort will not take place until Easter.

    Citing space problems and concerns about fairness, the giant resort has stopped the regular Sunday services for Protestant and Catholic visitors that had been held at the Polynesian Luau area since 1975.

    Christmas and Easter services will continue.

    "It no longer seemed appropriate to only offer two options for worship to our guests," said Rena Callahan, a Disney spokeswoman.

    Also being discontinued are the Teacup baptisms and the Mr. Toad's Wild Bris.

    posted by tbogg at 5:04 PM



    We need a cognitive dissonance check on register 7, please....


    There's no room for a pregnant Midge at Wal-Mart.

    The world's largest retailer pulled Mattel's pregnant Midge doll from store shelves. The doll is being sold as part of the "Happy Family" set that included husband Allan and a son doll Ryan.

    "Customers said they were not happy with the pregnant Midge doll so Wal-Mart removed the entire Happy Family set," said Melissa Berryhill, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart. The sets were pulled two weeks ago.

    The pregnant Midge doll wears a pink skirt and has a removable stomach, within which sits a baby. The box says "Mommy loves her new baby." The dolls come with a cradle and other baby gear.

    Okay. I have been in a Wal-Mart exactly once in my life and it appeared to my untrained eye that every woman in the store had at least six kids, in varying states of undress, in tow. So when I read this, I have to wonder how the average Wal-Mart shopper can be offended at a pregnant doll since the Wal-Mart demographic seems to dominated by breeding factories who seem to know as much about birth control as they do about causal anomalies in Kaluza–Klein gravity theories .

    Of course the next question is: what will Mattel do with all these returned, knocked-up Midges? Maybe Operation Rescue will buy them up and save them.

    posted by tbogg at 4:53 PM



    John Ashcroft dodges a theological bullet.

    We know that over the past year and a half, Attorney General John Ashcroft has been arresting guys that look like this.

    Had Ashcroft attempted to have this guy picked up and held incommunicado, as he has been known to do, he would have undone a whole lifetime of sucking up to the Big Guy.

    Here's why.

    posted by tbogg at 4:21 PM



    Christmas greetings from San Diego...

    ...where it was a brisk 41 degrees this morning which is like -10 degrees to those of us who are native to this sunny climate. I know everybody didn't get their Christmas wish because I hear this guy didn't resign in shame over having blown the surplus as well as putting us on the cusp of WWIII.

    Retail sales were down this Christmas which is suprising since you would think that people would have run up their credit card debt to the max which they may not have to repay, since President Decline of Western Civilization still has two years to destroy everything that is good and worthwhile about America before the Canadians come down and pick through the rubble.

    I got a baseball autographed by Brooks Robinson. What 'chu get?

    posted by tbogg at 4:14 PM


    Tuesday, December 24, 2002


    Merry Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Festivus, and other pagan rituals.

    I have family duties today, so no blogging (although I intend on blogging Christmas day because snark never sleeps...). So I leave you with a gift from Club Top 5:

    The Top 18 Signs the Santa at the Mall Is Nuts

    18. Shaves head and beard, then insists on being called "Santa Kurtz."

    17. Tells kids about the comparative kill ratio of the AK-47 over the Daisy Air Rifle.

    16. Those nasty chewing tobacco streaks in his beard.

    15. Has a complimentary tray of North Pole "Tundra Oysters" ready for the toddlers.

    14. After every child's request, asks, "Wouldn't you rather have a nice big bag of clams?"

    13. The twinkle in his eye and the twitch of his nose are due to a lack of medication.

    12. Every so often, snaps into a Slim Jim and growls, "You've been bad and now you're going down, punk!"

    11. Actually enjoys it when small children urinate on his lap.

    10. Promises children O.J. will be cleared of all wrongdoing.

    9. Caught drinking red wine with fish during break.

    8. "Hey kid, bet I can wet my pants faster than you can!"

    7. Insists on blowing his nose in children's hair.

    6. Despite massive photographic evidence to the contrary, claims to have never worn white gloves or shiny black boots.

    5. That snowy beard? Nothin' but nose hair.

    4. Answers every child's toy request with "Dream on, pee wee!"

    3. When a child wets on his lap, he returns the favor.

    2. Instead of a candy cane, gives each kid a pack of Marlboros and a homemade venison pie.

    and the Number 1 Sign the Santa at the Mall Is Nuts...

    1. While it's admittedly a nifty trick, blowing smoke rings out of his tracheotomy hole is just scaring the hell out of the kiddies.

    Happy holidays from tbogg...

    posted by tbogg at 2:08 PM


    Monday, December 23, 2002


    How much do want 2+2 to add up to?

    The check is in the mail. I'll call you. Yes, I'll respect you in the morning. No, that doesn't make your ass look big. The Bush Administration uses "sound science".

    All lies.

    Read this.

    When psychologist William R. Miller was asked to join a panel that advises the National Institute on Drug Abuse, he thought he had been selected for his expertise in addiction. Then a Bush administration staff member called with some unexpected questions.

    Did Miller support abortion rights? What about the death penalty for drug kingpins? And had he voted for President Bush?

    Apparently, Miller said, he did not give enough right answers. He had not, for example, voted for Bush. He was never appointed to the panel.

    Researchers are complaining with rising alarm that the Bush administration is using political and ideological screening to try to ensure that its scientific consultants recommend no policies that are out of step with the political agenda of the White House.

    Administration officials say they are merely doing what their predecessors have always done: using appointment powers to make sure their viewpoints are well-represented on the government's scientific advisory boards, an important if unglamorous part of the policy-making process. There are more than 250 boards devoted to public health and biomedical research alone, composed of experts from outside the government who help guide policy on gene therapy, bioterrorism, acceptable pollutant levels and other complex matters.

    But critics say the Bush administration is going further than its predecessors in considering ideology as well as scientific expertise in forming the panels. A committee that merely gives technical advice on research proposals, as opposed to setting policy, has even been subject to screening, something the critics say was unheard of in previous administrations.

    "I don't think any administration has penetrated so deeply into the advisory committee structure as this one, and I think it matters," said Donald Kennedy, past president of Stanford University and editor of Science, the premier U.S. scientific journal. "If you start picking people by their ideology instead of their scientific credentials, you are inevitably reducing the quality of the advisory group."

    The government has been taken over by by theological thugs and American industry whores

    Thanks again, Ralph.

    posted by tbogg at 10:54 PM



    Multiple wars mean more employment opportunities. See: "Cannon fodder" in your local classifieds.

    Now that Bill Frist has wrestled the conch shell away from Trent Lott, the Republicans are going to be a lot nicer to African-Americans.

    The GOP is working on an agenda designed to highlight its commitment to minorities without reversing positions on issues such as affirmative action, The Washington Post reported.

    Among the issues being considered are school choice initiatives, more assistance to inner-city charities and increased funding for minority programs. However, Republican sources told the Post that that agenda is not expected to offer many new ideas, but will rather repackage old ones to show how they help minorities

    Same wine...new Senate Majority Leader.

    Other ideas to help out minorities include eliminating taxes on dividends, a permanent tax break for the richest 1%of Americans, drilling in ANWR, and appointing Charles Pickering to the US Court of Appeals.

    I sure that Charlotte Beers is already busily "re-branding" these issues for Karl Rove and Senate Majority Leader Cat Killer Bill.

    posted by tbogg at 4:13 PM



    Where would Jesus park?

    In Texas they have found the No Parking Sign of Turin.

    A “No Parking” sign posted to keep the street in front of a South Alpine home clear of unwelcome vehicles has done just the opposite, with many local residents claiming to see the face of Jesus Christ in dark patterning on the sign.

    posted by tbogg at 1:56 PM



    Bob Graham thinks about taking the plunge

    Sen. Bob Graham said Monday he is seriously considering running for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination, saying he is not satisfied with President Bush's leadership as the country faces "unprecedented" economic and military problems.

    The fact that so many Democrats are thinking of making a run at President Brain Deficit, even with his high popularity ratings, makes you wonder what their internal pollsters are telling them. I like Graham, vene though he's kind of a stiff on the stump, but he would make a nice VP candidate with Kerry at the top of the ticket, and he should bring along Florida's electoral votes. The Democrats are all but assured of having the big states (you know, the ones with people actually living in them) like New York, California, Illinois, and Pennsylvania. Florida would be a nice addition.

    I look forward to seeing what the Daily Kos will have on this.

    posted by tbogg at 9:14 AM



    I guess he decided to go....

    Joe Strummer is dead.

    This is really sad. When the Clash released London Calling back at the beginning of 1980, music basically sucked. Styx, The Knack, Village People, and Do Ya Think I'm Sexy-era Rod Stewart. Although the Sex Pistols were getting all the attention for Never Mind The Bollocks, it was the Clash that reminded everyone that you could not only make noise, but you could make noise with a hook: London Calling, Clampdown, I'm Not Down, Wrong 'em Boyo, and the unlisted pop gemTrain In Vain.

    Paul Simonon, Mick Jones, Topper Headon, and Joe Strummer pulled music out of the doldrums.

    posted by tbogg at 8:56 AM


    Sunday, December 22, 2002


    Bush didn't do well in the swimsuit competition either....

    Time magazine gives Time Man of the Year to three women who showed uncommon bravery and an understanding of honesty and ethics.

    Karl Rove is still looking up those words here...

    posted by tbogg at 11:29 PM



    Well, if they had worn those neat SS uniforms I would have gone....

    Roger Ailes ( the not corrupt one) points out that chickenhawk Pat Buchanan doesn't like be called on the carpet...

    ELLSBERG: By the way you weren’t in the White House during those years. You were draft age and you didn’t manage to...

    BUCHANAN: That’s bull shit.

    posted by tbogg at 12:58 AM



    Hearts and minds redux.

    Remember the Viet Nam war? The one we lost because we didn't win their hearts and minds?

    Well. We're starting out on the wrong foot again.

    What Nahla Mohammed remembers from that day, however, is not the sirens or the jet planes, but running into her son on the street just after she finished shopping for supper. He asked what she would fix, she recalled. Meat, vegetables and soup, she answered. He headed off, anticipating the family meal.

    Ten minutes later, according to a cousin who was there, a powerful blast slammed him to the ground as metal shards sliced through his body. Mohammed Sharif Reda, a 23-year-old mechanic married just two months and planning to build a house for his family, was among four people who Iraqi officials said were killed Dec. 1 in what they call an “undeclared war” being waged here in southern Iraq.

    These are the people that are supposed to welcome us with open arms when we overthrow Saddam and take over the oil wells. But don't worry about them. They're just collateral damage. George Bush isn't losing any sleep over them, and he won't be part of the occupying force. Go back to sleep.

    And if militant Islamists decide to restart attacks here in America, you can rest assured that George Bush will survive as he is whisked off to Nebraska or some other American backwater while the citizens of this country cower and die. All because he wants America's oil that is under their sand, and he wants to gain revenge for his dad.

    Everyone besides George Bush suffers because he has no heart and he has no mind.

    Thanks again Ralph....

    posted by tbogg at 12:50 AM


    Friday, December 20, 2002


    Trent says:

    May all your Christmases be white.

    posted by tbogg at 8:20 PM



    We'll get rid of the logo...but we won't give up our decoder rings...

    I guess the idea that convicted felon John Poindexter is heading up the Bush administration's domestic snooping service was creepy enough. Now it looks like they got rid of the all-seeing eye logo.

    Best known for his starring turn in the Iran Contra Affair, Poindexter is now the man in charge of the Information Awareness Office—a data-mining/snooping project the Pentagon is developing via The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Perhaps you’ve noticed their delightfully creepy logo staring at you from this page.

    The logo, in fact, must have been a bit too creepy. It’s no longer visible on the official IAO website

    Not that this means that they will do less snooping. Thye just won't wear the screened t-shirts and carry the tote bags with the logo on it anymore.

    I feel better already.

    posted by tbogg at 8:05 PM



    Somewhere on the AM band...

    Caller: "Hi Dr.Laura, I'm a long time listener, first time caller. I really love what a straight shooter you are, and the way you make people own up to their mistakes and turn their lives around"

    Dr Laura: "Why thank you. Someone has to take the bull by the horns and tell people to straighten up and live right"

    C: "I agree. Maybe you can help me."

    D.L.: "I'll sure try. Talk to me.."

    C: "Well, my mother was just found murdered in her apartment.."

    D.L.: "That's awful! You poor woman. You have my deepest sympathy."

    C: "Yeah, thanks. Actually we haven't been that close for some time. In fact, it appears that she has been dead for months and nobody knew."

    D.L.: ".......You never attempted to talk to your mother during this time?"

    C: "No. We don't get along, and I have a very busy career and I just didn't take the time. Besides we had some differences."

    D.L: "....such as...?"

    C: "Well first of all, we are a devoutly religious family..."

    D.L.: "That's good..."

    C: "But I got divorced and that didn't settle well within the family..."

    D.L.: "Didn't you try and work it out? Do you have kids? You should have tried to save it for the kids..."

    C: "But I wasn't happy. Anyway, then there were those naked pictures of me all over the Internet..."

    D.L.: ".................."

    C: "All and all it was a pretty bad situation..."

    D.L.: "Let me get this straight. Your mother was murdered months ago in her apartment and you had no idea until they just found the body. You're deeply religious and have kids but still got divorced because you were too selfish and self centered to do what was right. On top of that, you willingly posed naked for a bunch of pictures that ended up all over the internet. Am I correct so far?"

    C: "Yeah....I guess so..."

    D.L. "You filthy ignorant slut. Have you no shame? You're not fit to be a mother. You disgust me. You are a horrid person with no redeeming qualities and should have your children taken away. You know nothing about having a healthy relationship with your family. You obviously didn't love your mother and your actions prove that you don't give a damn about your own kids. How did you become this monster? I have to go throw up now....."

    posted by tbogg at 7:50 PM



    Welcome Interesting Times

    Now, go get the bad guys....

    posted by tbogg at 6:22 PM



    Please show your Kool Kid Kard to enter...not so fast, Mickey...

    Apparently Mickey Kaus hasn't made the A-team quite yet. Now there are two errors in Arianna Huffington's lastest Salon column; one bad, the other, well, funny. The bad error is her attributing the "power of the people" that brought down Trent Lott to, as she puts it:

    It was in cyberspace that scores of bloggers -- including Josh Marshall of talkingpointsmemo.com, Glenn Reynolds of instapundit.com, Mickey Klaus of klausfiles.com, and Andrew Sullivan of andrewsullivan.com -- continued hammering away at the story, and eventually succeeded in moving it out of the shadows into the political spotlight.

    Now we know that it was Atrios, Josh Marshall, and Tim Noah who did the bulk of the heavy lifting after The Note noted the remarks. Reynolds blew it off, Kaus and Sullivan came on board later. As for the funny error:

    "Mickey Klaus"

    Who's the leader of the blogs, and no one knows his name? M-I-C-K-E-Y K-L-A-U-S.

    Back to the kid's table Mickey, looks like you're not welcome past the velvet ropes...

    posted by tbogg at 4:02 PM



    Parody...or not?

    Ashcroft responded sharply to critics who charge that the Bill of Rights no longer safeguards certain basic, inalienable rights.

    "We're not taking away personal rights; we're increasing personal security," Ashcroft said. "By allowing for greater government control over the particulars of individual liberties, the Bill of Rights will now offer expanded personal freedoms whenever they are deemed appropriate and unobtrusive to the activities necessary to effective operation of the federal government."

    The Bill of Rights.

    posted by tbogg at 11:10 AM



    Neo-Con vs. Paleo-Con Smackdown.

    Krauthammer vs Goldberg.

    Outside of the fun of watching the conservatives beat each other up, who cares? Anyway you slice it, the whole philosophy is still a big con job.

    posted by tbogg at 9:58 AM



    Trolling for troglodytes.

    Albumen abuser Matt Drudge uses a headline to mislead the dimwitted regarding Sen. Patty Murray's comments on Bin Laden:


    Of course, what Murray was actually doing was asking students why Bin Laden remains so popular in the Middle East despite his terrorist activities.

    "We've got to ask, why is this man (Osama bin Laden) so popular around the world?," said Murray, who faces re-election in 2004. "Why are people so supportive of him in many countries … that are riddled with poverty?

    "He's been out in these countries for decades, building schools, building roads, building infrastructure, building day care facilities, building health care facilities, and the people are extremely grateful. We haven't done that.

    "How would they look at us today if we had been there helping them with some of that rather than just being the people who are going to bomb in Iraq and go to Afghanistan?"

    Pretty inflamatory stuff, eh? But it doesn't quite achieve the Trent Lott threshold now, does it?

    Don't tell the freepers though. Faced with the propect of Senate Majority Bill Frist who makes his fortune sucking the brains out of babies (as Ann Coulter would oh so delicately put it), they need something to lock and load about.

    Experience the hooting...experience the spittle...visit Free Republic.

    posted by tbogg at 9:48 AM



    Peggy the Powerbroker

    Although I think La Noonan should have written the Christmas column I diagramed for her below (see Lubed Up...since I can't link right now), she instead chose to denigrate Trent Lott ('denigrate isn't what you think it is, Trent...) causing him to resign this morning.

    Of course that didn't stop her from jumping in and telling us what Bill Clinton was thinking again:

    You could almost see Mr. Clinton's mind whirling as Jonathan Karl interviewed him. Hmm, I could be high-minded and speak thoughtfully during what amounts to a public crisis, or I can play gut-ball politics and slam the enemy. No contest. Way to go, Bill, and happy holidays from a grateful nation.

    This isn't the first time that she has used her awesome mind-reading abilities on a Clinton. If only she would use her powers for the good of mankind, like figuring out why people purchase CD's by those assclowns called Creed. I mean, what are they thinking?

    posted by tbogg at 8:58 AM



    A boy resigns in hardtime Mississippi...

    Trent Lott is calling it quits as Senate Majority leader.

    Republicans to elect rich-boy sadist and cat-vivisectionist Bill Frist.

    Believe it or not, that's a step up for Republicans.

    posted by tbogg at 8:37 AM



    You try doing quadratic equation in a thong.

    Social scientists have long known that women’s preoccupation with their physical appearances can lead to low self-esteem, eating disorders and other problems. Fredrickson and her colleagues wondered if it might have an even broader mental effect. So they gathered a group of undergraduate students, 40 men and 42 women, for a test. One at a time, the students were asked to try on either a sweater or a swimsuit in a makeshift dressing room with a full-length mirror.

    They were told that the idea of the test was to measure whether or not they liked the garment better after wearing it for 15 minutes. So, rather than let those 15 minutes go to waste, they were then asked to take a 20-question advanced math test, supposedly as part of a separate study.

    When the results were in, the researchers found that the men did about the same on the math test whether they were wearing a swimsuit or a sweater. In fact, the guys did slightly better in swim trunks. The women, however, had significantly lower math scores if they were wearing the swimsuits. The authors published their findings in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

    Additionally, on the essay question, all the women indicated a preference for world peace if selected as Bathing Suit Math Student of the Year.

    posted by tbogg at 8:28 AM



    The cafeteria lady wants to know if she can have the heart after the performance. She's making meatloaf.

    Human Sacrifice At The Bizarre Bazaar

    Pleasantville Elementary School officials canceled a school event that was scheduled for Tuesday night because some parents objected to its subject matter.

    The school's third- through fifth-grade students had planned to present a performance called the "Bizarre Bazaar."

    But the principal of the Venango County elementary school says parents were upset that the show included a discussion about human sacrifices and Egyptian myths.

    posted by tbogg at 8:22 AM



    The groom's still waiting at the altar

    J-Lo (the meagerly talented Jennifer Lopez to those who don't read People magazine) has called off her wedding to preppy cardboard cutout, Ben Affleck.

    Jennifer Lopez has called off her wedding to Ben Affleck - after a row with his best man.

    The Latino singer was furious when Ben's best friend Matt Damon tried to talk him out of it, claiming she was a "serial bride".

    In addition Lopez was furious after an evening of trying on clothes when Affleck commented, "Jesus, J. Everything makes your ass look big."

    Affleck is expected to take up with the much more sensible Lisa Marie Presley...

    posted by tbogg at 8:16 AM



    I could have told you Vincent, this world was never meant for someone as boneheaded as you...

    Jim at Rittenhouse Review gives Norah Vincent a good slapping.

    When I read Vincent's column the other day, I was suprised that the LA Times even bothered to run it. While I thought it was a perfectly normal piece of blog-style writing, I didn't see it as the type of piece that the Times would carry since it was so blatantly self-referential. In fact, take away the name and you would swear it was one of Sullivan's off-hand blog entries.

    The Times can do better than that, although I'm not sure Vincent can.

    posted by tbogg at 8:07 AM



    Archives are apparently archived

    Blogger has been having a problem with the archives so if you are looking for something old...bummer for you.

    I'll keep trying to put them back up.

    posted by tbogg at 7:55 AM



    They say it never rains in Southern California.


    posted by tbogg at 7:52 AM


    Thursday, December 19, 2002


    Ad free at last! Ad free at last! thank God Almighty, we are ad free at last!"

    Regular readers of tbogg as well as people who are preternaturally perceptive may have noticed that the tbogg blog is now sans ads, depriving you of the opportunity to find lost classmates, entering free computer sweepstakes, and getting cel phones real cheap. This is because of a grant made possible by The Rittenhouse Foundation whose motto is " A better future through smarter thinking and less annoying flashing ads".

    Many thanks to Jim Capozzola for the unexpected gift of non-commercialism and allowing me to no longer have to work for "the man".

    posted by tbogg at 9:38 PM



    Time to start lubing up...

    It's Thursday, which means it's Noonan time tonight. What will catch her fancy this week? Let's see, she did Lott & racism last week. And she probably won't do a Reagan tribute right now since he hasn't surged ahead of Strom in the 2003 Ole Yeller Sweepstakes.

    I think a Christmas column may be in order. Something about God speaking to the Virgin Marisleysis about bearing his son, Jes-elian who will be born in a Miami bodega built by strapping young shirtless construction workers misted with a sheen of fine manly sweat. Later they will be visited by the Three Wise Dolphins who will warn her against swarthy, hard-eyed men from the Mideast bearing camcorders and unpaid breakfast checks from Shoneys. Then it will snow; big tumbly white flakes of white snow that make us say This is snow because it is, and it's good because good is what it should be, and strangers will stop each other on the street and read each others minds and they will say yes, the snow is white and cold and good and there is a higher force who makes this good, cold snow that is white and is now snowing on the firemen with their tight uniforms clinging to their brave and well defined bodies, and their hoses that are full of goodness, and are taut with the expectation of meeting a middle-aged Catholic divorcee who is thinking I put my arms around him and yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will yes and I could really use a cigarette right about now...

    Then she will wish us all a very Merry Christmas and go have that cigarette....if Michael Bloomberg doesn't mind.

    posted by tbogg at 2:16 PM



    This just in...

    "There's only one person who hugs the mothers and the widows, the wives and the kids upon the death of their loved one. Others hug but having committed the troops, I've got an additional responsibility to hug and that's me and I know what it's like."—Washington, D.C., Dec. 11, 2002.

    Yeah. He's a moron....

    posted by tbogg at 10:50 AM



    Do you have the director's cut of Dude, Where's My Car? in stock?

    You can buy a DVD of Crossroads with Britney Spears, Footloose with Kevin Bacon, and the crapulent St. Elmo's Fire, but you can't get Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet, Robert Altman's California Split, Daniel Petrie's Resurrection, Warren Beatty's Reds, or the Cohen brother's Miller's Crossing.

    The terrorists have won.

    posted by tbogg at 10:33 AM



    The whine of the valkyrie

    Aryan Princess Ann Coulter is upset because the "liberal" media are keeping a shameful secret from the American public: both Trent Lott and Strom Thurmond used to be (gasp!) Democrats. Yup. Back in the day, before we had all these "problems", as Trent would put it, they were proud Democrats who respected black people...as long as they knew their place. Let's allow Ann to explain:

    What the Lott incident shows is that Republicans have to be careful about letting Democrats into our party. Back when they supported segregation, Lott and Thurmond were Democrats. This is something the media are intentionally hiding to make it look like the Republican Party is the party of segregation and race discrimination, which it never has been.

    In 1948, Thurmond did not run as a "Dixiecan," he ran as a "Dixiecrat" – his party was an offshoot of the Democratic Party. And when he lost, he went right back to being a Democrat. This whole brouhaha is about a former Democrat praising another former Democrat for what was once a Democrat policy.

    Republicans made Southern Democrats drop the race nonsense when they entered the Republican Party.

    When did Strom become a Republican? Well, that would have been in 1964...the same year that the Civil Rights Act passed. What did Strom have to say about the Civil Rights Act? I'm glad you asked. According to the defenders of white majority rights over at American Renaissance, Strom said:

    He called the Civil Rights Bill of 1964, “the worst, most unreasonable and unconstitutional legislation that has ever been considered by the Congress.”

    ...and the Republican Party welcomed him with open sheet-clad arms, because he was no longer welcome in the Democratic Party which had just gone too liberal on him. Hence the genesis of Richard Nixon's "Southern Strategy".

    Oh. And by the way, here's a parting shot at Strom from the good ol' boys at American Renaissance:

    Indeed, times do change, and so do people. But can even Sen. Thurmond forget the predictions he made of what federal arrogance, forced integration, and intrusive government would bring – predictions that have largely come true? Of course, for nearly 40 years, he has been on the payroll of a body he used to call tyrannical. For nearly as long, he has faced a press that heaps abuse on all his old principles and praises every step towards abandoning them. He has also grown old. Age, money and respectability are powerful forces, sometimes powerful enough to blind a man to the wisdom of his ancestors.

    I bet Ann wishes she had written that...

    posted by tbogg at 10:08 AM


    Wednesday, December 18, 2002


    Substitute teacher night

    It's been a busy day at work and on the domestic front (Mrs. tbogg's unnatural needs, don'cha know) so I thought I would share a little something from the ever popular Club Top 5, just to get you in the holiday spirit. If you don't already have a membership, well, you really ought to get one.

    Anyway, here are some of the submissions for The Top 20 Excerpts from Badly Written Holiday Stories:

    The first of the Wise Men spoke: "Who is this most divine child?" "He must be the Son of God!" exclaimed the second. "And he shall be the King of Kings, as the Lord intended," said the third. But then the Supreme Court got involved.


    Mrs. Claus trembled at the sight of Binky's swelling elfhood. "I may be short, Mrs. C.," he said huskily, "But I stand tall where it matters most."


    "You sold your chocolate to buy me peanut butter!" he moaned. She responded with a shocked, "You sold your peanut butter to buy me chocolate!"


    When little Billy saw on his globe that there is no land at the North Pole, he knew that Santa couldn't possibly have a workshop there. It was then that Billy realized that everything good in a child's life is a hollow lie intended to curb curiosity, and adults are wretched vermin who thrive in their authority -- authority based only in the filth and squalor of empty falsehoods. Through a haze fraught with ennui, angst and unbridled umbrage, Billy finished his cookie and drifted off to sleep.


    Mark my words, the Lakers will be back or I'm not Larry King... Jesus Christ: class act... Eggnog tastes just as good in July... Remember this name: Jack Black... Last time I hung an ornament was '76... I finally saw Smallville, and it's one smart show....


    And he vowed on that cold Christmas Day that he would do everything in his power, given the limits of his impaired depth perception, to get even with the Daisy Air Rifle Company.


    It was a dark winter night at the North Pole. I was after a poacher with a big-bore gun and a taste for venison. Naughty or nice, it doesn't matter to me -- a criminal is a criminal, and it's my job to bring them in. The name is Boxie, and I'm the senior elf in homicide division.


    Rudolph was hurt bad and knew it. Lurching forward one yard at time, he fought to stay awake. It was the only way he could control his nose. Step by painful step, the plucky reindeer ploughed forward, but it was hopeless; he had lost too much blood. As he slipped into unconsciousness, he felt his nose glowing like a lighthouse beacon. His last mortal sight was the circle of grinning Ewoks, spears held aloft, closing in.


    Santa never knew what hit him. A .22-caliber hollow-point double tap to the back of the head ended forever this semi-religious demagogue's heretical revolution of gifts for free. Sam Walton could finally rest in peace.


    The children used coal for its eyes, and a button for its nose. Then little Johnny placed the magic surgical mask upon its mouth and the eerily white snowman came to life! "Jacko the Snowman, at your service!" he said. "You kids ready to play?"

    posted by tbogg at 9:46 PM



    New additions to the Hot Links

    PLA and Pandagon. I read them everyday, now I don't have to hunt for the links anymore.


    posted by tbogg at 5:27 PM



    Last elected President pees on Republican hornet's nest.

    Former President Clinton said Wednesday it is "pretty hypocritical" of Republicans to criticize incoming Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott for stating publicly what he said the GOP does "on the back roads every day."

    "How do they think they got a majority in the South anyway?" Clinton told CNN outside a business luncheon he was attending. "I think what they are really upset about is that he made public their strategy."

    He added: "They try to suppress black voting, they ran on the Confederate flag in Georgia and South Carolina, and from top to bottom the Republicans supported it."

    Click here to watch them go into a frenzy.

    (Warning: Initiate spittle shield before entering and watch out for the feces throwing...)

    posted by tbogg at 3:12 PM



    Dr Lichter and Mr. Kelly

    Looks like Michael Kelly's new best friend, Robert Lichter has a lots of financing from people who lean right because their wallets weigh so much.

    The Center for Media and Public Affairs was founded in the mid-’80s by Robert and Linda Lichter, two academics who have made a career out of claiming to document leftist bias in the news media. Their stated mission was "to conduct scientific studies of how the media treat social and political issues," and they put great stress on their claim to non-partisanship. "It’s not in a scholar’s blood to have an ideology," Robert Lichter told the Washington Post (2/10/92).

    The Lichters’ funding and history belie this stance of objectivity. From 1986 to 1988, Robert Lichter was a fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. Fund-raising letters for the launch of the Center for Media and Public Affairs contained endorsements from leading right-wing figures like Ronald Reagan, Pat Buchanan, Ed Meese and Pat Robertson.

    Robert Lichter’s writings and public statements also indicate a conservative worldview. At a conference sponsored by Accuracy In Media after the Gulf War, according to an AP report (4/27/91), "He said he was disappointed in statements by [Peter] Arnett upon his return from Baghdad that he was in the enemy capital on behalf of all CNN viewers, not just Americans. ‘I see a trend toward journalists seeing themselves as citizens of the world’ rather than patriotic Americans, Lichter said."

    Funding for the Center has come from the most prominent foundations of the right, including Smith Richardson (at least $298,000), Olin Foundation ($250,000), JM Foundation ($100,000) and the Coors Foundation ($55,000). (Smith Richardson gave the Center $40,000 in 1987 for its study on PBS.) These foundations also contribute heavily to more overtly right-wing media pressure groups like Reed Irvine’s Accuracy In Media, L. Brent Bozell’s Media Research Center, and David Horowitz’s Committee on Media Integrity.

    The Scaife Foundation, another major right-wing funder, gave the Lichters money for their book, The Media Elite, which argued that journalists’ personal political biases made their work unreliable. (The same argument, of course, could be made about academics like the Lichters.) The study featured in the book, based on interviews with journalists conducted in 1980, was widely criticized by scholars for methodological flaws. (See Columbia Journalism Review, Nov/Dec ‘85, March/April ‘87; Journalism Quarterly, Winter ‘87; Journal of Communication, Spring ‘88.)

    Can you get any more "non-partisan" than this?

    (thanks to the many who sent me this link...Joe Conason will have more on this tonight, I have heard)

    posted by tbogg at 2:49 PM



    A lump of coal in the shareholder's stockings...

    I see Dick Cheney's gift to the Halliburton shareholders arrived early.

    Representatives for the Houston-based oilfield-services company once led by Vice President Dick Cheney were in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Pittsburgh on Wednesday to settle most of the pending asbestos cases against the company and one of its former subsidiaries.The proposed settlement payment would include $2.8 billion in cash and 59.5 million shares currently worth about $1.2 billion.

    Halliburton had said in recent weeks it was close to a multibillion-dollar deal that would settle the 300,000 asbestos-related personal injury claims against it.

    Most of those claims were inherited four years ago when Halliburton — which also operates a huge engineering and construction business — acquired rival Dresser Industries Inc. for $7.7 billion. Cheney ran Halliburton at the time of the purchase.

    That's okay. Dick will make it up in military and oil services contracts in a couple of months.

    posted by tbogg at 2:01 PM



    Relationships 101...his side of the story

    I got Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About emailed to me the other day. When you have some time...read it and see if anything sounds familiar.

    posted by tbogg at 1:12 PM



    Once you have eliminated Professor Plum, the rest becomes elementary

    Poor Mickey Kaus. He is just fixated on the belief that Sid Blumenthal is behind all this Trent Lott brouhaha...and nobody believes him. That's what happens when your Clue cards say "Sidney Blumenthal...in the library...with an email".

    posted by tbogg at 1:07 PM



    Half-assed or half-vast.......it's all the same to Michael Kelly.

    Following last weeks pathetic shot at addressing the serious issue of media bias, Michael Kelly provides us with another half-assed attempt to make his point that the media is "liberal". As I pointed out last week, there is an enormous body of conservative commentators who seem to be making ends meet by explaining all the gory details about us nasty liberals and why we hate America. Being a "word" guy and not a "numbers" guy, Kelly believes that by introducing a bunch of numbers in a column the reader will become so numbed by it all, you can get them to believe anything.

    This week Mr. Kelly introduces us to S. Robert Lichter of the Center for Media and Public Affairs who says:

    "The essential argument by the media is that, yes, most mainstream journalists may be left of center, but they operate in the tradition of objectivity, so this doesn't affect their coverage of the news," notes S. Robert Lichter, president of the independent Center for Media and Public Affairs. "What this argument fails to grasp is the way bias works in people. Yes, journalists tell the truth -- but, like everyone else, they tell the truth as they see it."

    As Lichter has written, "Even the most conscientious journalists cannot overcome the subjectivity inherent in their profession, which is expressed through such everyday decisions as whether a topic is newsworthy or a source trustworthy."

    To which we say, fair enough, even though he seems to disregard the use of editors as well as such mundane journalistic standards like fact checking, multiple verification of sources, and those niggling little libel and slander laws. Anyway, he provides Kelly (ironically an editor himself) with a few choice tidbits:

    As to fact: In 17 years of news content analysis, especially of network evening news broadcasts, Lichter's Center for Media and Public Affairs has consistently found evidence of liberal bias, and this has not changed in the past few years.

    • "Only 43 percent of all on-air evaluations of George W. Bush were favorable" in Bush's first 100 days in office (compared with a similarly negative 40 percent for Clinton in his first 100). In his first 50 days, Bush received 48 percent positive coverage, but only 36 percent was positive in his second 50. Only 29 percent of on-air evaluations from nonpartisan sources (anchors, reporters, experts, citizens) were positive to Bush.

    • Bush did get a terrific bounce from the rallying effect of Sept. 11. From that day through Nov. 19, 2001, Bush "received the most positive coverage ever measured for a president over an extended period of time'' -- 64 percent positive to 36 percent negative. But Bush's high of 77 percent positive that September was down to 59 percent within two months.

    • Coverage of the Bush administration's consideration of a military strike against Iraq, as seen in the network newscasts and in front-page New York Times stories from this July 1 through Aug. 25, was 72 percent negative.

    Please note the selective use of dates as well as random use of specific "media" in order to make his point. No numbers are provided by Kelly for the period during the Clinton administration known as the Great Presidential Fellatio Crisis where the "liberal" media was apparently asleep at the wheel (I know I never heard anything about it until much later...). Kelly & Lichter would have us believe that Bush's decline from a 9/12 high of 77% dropping to 59% in two months is somehow the fault of the media, without noting that Bush's popularity prior to 9/11 was sub-50% when his administration was, admittedly, stumbling around. Perhaps Mr Kelly believes that the 77% was sustainable, in which case we offer our condolences for his blunt head trauma.

    And what is up with this statement by Kelly?:

    Is there nothing at all to the liberal complaint? No, there is something. As the above data suggest, the media are generally more negative toward public figures (including Democratic ones) than they used to be. And while right-leaning media such as talk radio have not, as my colleague E.J. Dionne argues, produced "a media heavily biased toward conservative politics and conservative politicians," they have produced a media universe where anti-establishment right-wingers (and also anti-establishment left-wingers, such as Michael Moore) are able to bypass the establishment media and to create a far more diverse national conversation.

    That may be one of the stupidest statements Kelly has ever made. "right-leaning media such as talk radio" have not produced "a media heavily biased toward conservative politics and conservative politicians" but have produced a "media universe where anti-establishment right-wingers" can "bypass the establishment media". Hunh? All of these people are cheerleaders for the conservative Bush administration. How are they "anti-establishment"?

    And wht are we to make of Kelly's one source for media bias, Dr S. Robert Lichter? Well if you really want to see him in action, why not turn on Fox News.

    Dr. Lichter also directs the Statistical Assessment Service (STATS), a nonpartisan organization dedicated to improving the quality of news involving statistical or scientific information, and he serves on the Statistical Committee of Voter News Service. A regular commentator on the Fox News Channel and co-host of “What’s the Story?,” a nationally syndicated radio show, he has testified before Congress and served as an expert witness on media content and effects.

    I'm sure he has cured himself of all that nasty "subjectivity" that inflicts the common working journalist...at least right after he cashes that check from Fox's Roger Ailes (the evil, bald one).

    After all, he's a doctor.

    (Added: Want to know where Dr. Lichter gets his house payment? Try the Smith Richardson Foundation

    Financed by the Vicks Vaporub fortune, this foundation is estimated to have assets of about $250 million. Became active in supporting conservative caues in 1973 when R. Randolph Richardson became president. Funded the early "supply-side" books of Jude Wanniski and George Gilder. The Richardsons are estimated by Forbes to have a net worth of $870 million, making them one of the country's richest families.

    Sounds pretty "non-partisan" to me....

    (Added: See above for more on Dr Lichter)

    posted by tbogg at 12:09 PM



    Carlyle strikes again...

    Is there anything involving this administration where they don't have their fingers?

    Joe Conason reports.

    posted by tbogg at 11:24 AM


    Tuesday, December 17, 2002


    The Generals are revolting.

    Paul Wolfowitz is having trouble with those pesky guys who actually serve and have fought in the military.

    With war possible soon in Iraq, the chiefs of the two U.S. ground forces are challenging the belief of some senior Pentagon civilians that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein will fall almost immediately upon being attacked and are calling for more attention to planning for worst-case scenarios, Defense Department officials said.

    In addition, the plan calls for some armored units, instead of traveling a predetermined distance and pausing to allow slow-moving supply trucks to catch up, to charge across Iraq until they run into armed opposition and then engage in combat, officials said.

    Those aspects of the plan, which appear riskier than usual U.S. military practice, worry the chief of the Army, Gen. Eric Shinseki, and the commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James L. Jones, defense officials said.

    Shinseki and Jones, who as service chiefs are members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have questioned the contention of Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz and other top officials that Hussein's government is likely to collapse almost as soon as a U.S. attack is launched, the officials said.

    The two generals are concerned that the Wolfowitz school may underestimate the risks involved, the officials said. They have argued that planning should prepare thoroughly for worst-case scenarios, most notably one that planners have labeled "Fortress Baghdad," in which Hussein withdraws his most loyal forces into the Iraqi capital and challenges the United States to enter into protracted street fighting, perhaps involving chemical or biological weapons.

    In an interview last night, Wolfowitz rejected the view that he has been overoptimistic in his views. He said he also believes that, "You've got to be prepared for the worst case." He added: "It would be a terrible mistake for anyone to think they can predict with confidence what the course of a war is going to be." In discussions of the war plan, he said, he has repeatedly emphasized the risk of Hussein "using his most terrible weapons."

    Wolfowitz is relying his own military experience consisting of repeated viewings of The Dirty Dozen, Kelly's Heroes, and An Officer and A Gentleman (which still gets him all teary-eyed at the end) to plan the upcoming war, as well as relying on the advice of America's most honored military strategist; novelist and insurance man Tom Clancy.

    In an effort to win the approval of President X Box, Wolfowitz has supplied the President with a copy of Ghost Recon in order to better dramatize what the fighting will be like. The President recently commented that the fighting action was "wicked cool" leading many Pentagon Generals to start drinking earlier in the day than usual.

    posted by tbogg at 9:33 PM



    Bomb Iraq with daisycutters...falalalala lala lala

    Like a child on Christmas Eve who begs "please just let me open just one present?” President Premature Invasion is shifting from foot to foot anxious to command, "Let's roll" and give off the musky scent of vestigial manhood.

    The White House is expected to declare on Thursday that Iraq has violated the United Nations resolution requiring it to disclose all its weapons of mass destruction, senior administration officials said today.

    At a national security meeting scheduled for Wednesday morning, President Bush will consider whether to declare Iraq in "material breach" of its obligations, the officials said.


    Senior White House officials insisted tonight that the principal advisers, who include Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, had made no specific recommendations to Mr. Bush.

    Asked if the group had agreed that Iraq was in "material breach" of its obligations, Sean McCormack, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said, "No such decisions have been taken by the United States government at any principals' meeting, whether today or at any other time."

    Rumsfeld said," Hey, what the heck. Might as well attack Iraq, I got nothing better to do during the holidays."

    Cheney just sat there rubbing his hands together, hissing "yesssss", and thinking of all the lovely oil within his reach, until he achieved a massive erection which he quickly hid from Lynne who was sitting behind him, crushing the skulls of baby capuchin monkeys with her powerful mandibles and making simpering noises.

    Meanwhile Bush kept his head down, studiously coloring in his White House lunchtime placemat illustrated with pictures of happy slaves picking cotton under the paternal but watchful eye of Strom Thurmond.

    Looks like it time to Get Your War On.

    posted by tbogg at 8:54 PM



    So much for that last little iota of integrity.

    Pollster and Republican nematode Frank Luntz decided to discard that little sliver of non-partisanship he liked to claim on Hardball last night. The non-evil and dashingly handsome Roger Ailes reports.

    posted by tbogg at 8:24 PM



    Ten year old eco-terrorists come to school armed

    Not really. I'm just auditioning for a job over at World Net. Actually the kids did this:

    Fifth-graders here took metal silverware in hand and marched into the school cafeteria to protest the school district's money-saving switch to plastic utensils.

    Three weeks later, the students claimed victory when their campaign caused the Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau school board to reverse its decision, agreeing with protesters that the metal utensils were more environmentally friendly.

    posted by tbogg at 5:41 PM



    Dude. Wanna wanna come over and do some bong hits and watch Matlock really loud?

    A criminal investigation into how two dozen residents of a county-run nursing home wound up testing positive for marijuana use continued Monday as hospital officials insisted the initial test results were incorrect.

    The probe began last Thursday when the family of a male patient at the Claiborne County Hospital and Nursing Home became concerned about a change in his medical condition. They took him to the hospital's emergency room, Lovin said.

    A physician ordered a drug screen after examining the man, and his family contacted police when the test was positive for marijuana, Lovin said.

    He was generally mellow, smiling, wanted pudding, and requesting that they play Estimated Prophet...

    posted by tbogg at 2:15 PM



    The soft bigotry of low expectations

    When it comes to boneheaded, arrogant comments from the Administration, I'm not sure anyone can top Donald H. Rumsfeld :

    President Bush said Tuesday he has decided to begin deploying a limited system to defend the nation against ballistic missiles, its first components operable by 2004. Though the first parts of the system will be put into use while more advanced technology is still being developed, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld said it will likely stop “a relatively small number of incoming ballistic missiles, which is better than nothing.”

    Gee thanks, Don. So, how many billions are you going to waste to stop "a relatively small number of incoming ballistic missiles"? Estimates run from $24 to $60 billion above what has already been invested. Who gets the money? Lockheed, TRW, Boeing,and Martin-Marietta.

    Then there is this:

    Bush’s announcement came six days after the latest test of the system failed when an interceptor rocket did not separate from its booster rocket and destroy a Minuteman II intercontinental ballistic missile as planned.

    Three of eight tests of the ground-based system since 1999 have been judged failures by the military.

    Followed by:

    “Our missile-defense program since 2001 has demonstrated that missile technology, in particular hit-to-kill technology, actually works,” Wolfowitz said in his October speech. “We actually can hit a bullet with a bullet.”

    Where do they get these guys?

    $60 billion? I guess it's better than nothing to an administration that thinks that 5 out of 8 is success when it comes to nuclear weapons..

    (Added: RichP thought we would like this oddly appropriate little snippet from Dr. Strangelove:

    GENERAL BUCK TURGIDSON: "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed -- but I do say no more than ten to twenty million killed, tops -- depending on the breaks.")

    posted by tbogg at 1:34 PM



    Would you like fries with the overthrow of Mayor McCheese and his running dog lackeys?

    McDonalds show that, if you can't beat'em, become one of them:

    With anti-American sentiment on the rise, international markets have become perilous for U.S.-based multinationals. But that's just business as usual for McDonald's (MCD). During the last decade, the Illinois-based chain has been the target of political protests in more than 50 countries. Alas, preventing Ronald McDonald from taking bullets intended for Uncle Sam often means using marketing tricks that would never play in Peoria.

    Egypt 2001

    Problem: Anti-American boycott sparked by U.S. support for Israel.

    McSpin: Local outlets introduce the McFalafel, rolled out behind an ad jingle sung by Shabaan Abdel Rahim, best known for his chart-topping hit "I Hate Israel."

    posted by tbogg at 12:27 PM



    The Cannibal Bar is now open

    Boy. The New York Times just doesn't get it:

    Conservatives Led the Way in Criticizing Lott's Remarks

    First of all, as has been well documented elsewhere, it was people like Atrios and JM Marshall who led the way on this. To say the Sullivan or Kruathammer were the leading lights is ridiculous.

    Secondly, there is this, well, stupid assertion:

    Mr. Sullivan, on his Web site, and Mr. Krauthammer, writing in The Washington Post, are among those who have called on Mr. Lott to resign. Others, like Sean Hannity of Fox News Channel and the radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, have said the remarks were indefensible but were not necessarily reason enough for Mr. Lott to step down. An editorial in The Wall Street Journal stopped short of a direct call for Mr. Lott's ouster, but named three Republicans it preferred in the post.

    The responses by conservatives have provided a marked contrast to the contention — put forth most recently by former President Bill Clinton and former Vice President Al Gore — that the nation's conservative news media acts as a monolithic Republican support system.

    Let's be honest for a moment. Although the Republicans were embarassed by Lott's gaffe (remembering that "a gaffe is just a politician speaking honestly") the only reason that they are trying to dump Lott is because he is an ineffective leader. The guy is an embarassment. The White House would like to blame him for the Jim Jeffords debacle when it was really the fault of Andy Card and Karl Rove. Going forward, everything that has gone wrong under George Bush will be blamed on the failure of others within the Republican party or administration. Hence, Bush stands by now, watching Trent twist slowly in the bloviating Conservative backwash. Bush is in full Bart Simpson "I didn't do it" mode....

    It was said after the Cold War ended that conservatives would turn on the people within our own borders because they needed an enemy in order to justify their existence and survive. And so they turned on women, gays, Hispanics (hello...Pete Wilson!) and America's "values". Now that they hold the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, the time has come to turn on their own. O'Neill, Lindsey, and Pitt were just appetisers. Trent Lott is just the rube du jour.

    Bon appetit!

    posted by tbogg at 11:34 AM



    Tom Toles

    ...on the plot to distract us from Trent Lott.

    Ben Sargent

    on John Ashcroft's America.

    posted by tbogg at 9:53 AM


    Monday, December 16, 2002


    Well there's Mississippi racism and then there's Oklahoma racism...

    Looks like Don Nickles, the man who wants Trent Lott's corner office has the same civil rights voting record as old HelmetHead.

    The NAACP says that over the past decade, Nickles and Lott have voted the same on almost every issue deemed important by the civil rights community. And in almost every case, their votes were contrary to the wishes of that community.

    On the other hand, both Nickles, of Oklahoma, and Lott, of Mississippi, win the highest ratings from conservative groups. In 2000, the American Conservative Union gave both 100 percent ratings on key votes.

    So basically Okie Don is just another 'Trent Lott Republican'. Looks like the Republican "big tent" is just a bunch of white sheets sewn together.

    posted by tbogg at 9:40 PM



    Man thinks he's in Michael Bay movie...

    A 15-year-old suspected car thief who was chased and shot by the car's owner over the weekend died Monday morning.

    The 33-year-old man who pursued James in an attempt to retrieve his 1985 Pontiac Grand Prix was scheduled to appear in court Monday afternoon.

    Tacoma police spokesman Jim Mattheis said Sunday that if the boy died, the 33-year-old could be charged with murder.

    That would never happen to Nicolas Cage, although it should have after Captain Corelli's Mandolin and Gone in Sixty Seconds.

    posted by tbogg at 9:23 PM



    Things I don't want to see on my Christmas vacation

    The whole tbogg family, minus Satchmo the Wonder Basset, will going be to Palm Springs for our Christmas holidays in order to relax and work on our tans and incipient skin cancer. While we are there we don't want to see the Nude Bridge.

    By the way, I will probably continue to blog through the holidays depending upon how much those bastards at the Esmeralda want to charge me for in-room access.You know, for almost $200 a night, you'd think they could pop for some free access.

    posted by tbogg at 9:11 PM



    A trend that has yet to affect me.

    Companies cutting back on Christmas parties.

    Longer Lunches founder Liz Kiley, who was surprised by the robust turnout, says she decided to throw the event after discovering that many of the clients from her marketing business weren't celebrating the holidays.

    "I must have hit 100 companies and they all said we're not doing a party this year," says Kiley. "It's kind of sad, what's going on."

    With the recession prompting many firms to forgo the traditional holiday party this year, many employers and workers are seeking alternatives to boost employee morale. Some 64 percent of companies surveyed by Lincolnshire, Ill.-based human resources consulting firm Hewitt Associates said they were holding holiday parties this year, down from 67 percent last year, when the Sept. 11 attacks put many company festivities on hold.

    Faced with two company Christmas parties every year, I go to sleep at night praying to a god I don't believe in to give me the power to put myself in a coma for about four hours, which is about the duration of the average party. Just wake me up when it's over.

    So far, no dice. So much for faith.

    There is a nice touch in the story though:

    Financial news provider Bloomberg, known for holding extravagant holiday bashes in venues like New York City's Museum of Natural History, has decided to skip the tradition in favor of a week dedicated to working on charitable causes.

    Called BOB week (for "Best Of Bloomberg"), the program allows its employees to take time off from the workday to participate in charity events. In New York City, Bloomberg set up a special tent to host different activities during the week. For example, the company gave workers a $25 voucher for Toys 'R Us, where they bought presents for the wish lists of children from various charities and went back to the tent to wrap them.

    Bloomberg started doing charitable events in lieu of a holiday party last year out of respect for the victims of Sept. 11, and has since decided to make BOB week an annual event, says company spokeswoman Chris Taylor.

    "I think that everybody felt good about doing this last year, and we thought, why not going forward do this for the holidays, making it more festive and organized," she says.

    That is pretty cool....

    posted by tbogg at 9:03 PM



    You were screwed by the record companies....

    I mean besides the fact that Sigue Sigue Sputnik didn't turn out to be the next big thing. But what did happen is that the record companies conspired to control the pricing on CD's between the period of January 1, 1995, through December 22, 2000. If you bought a CD within the period, you may be able to collect $20 in damages by going here.

    Keep in mind though, that to collect your $20 you may have to admit to having purchased that Blind Melon CD just because of that little girl in the bee costume. I don't know if $20 is worth that kind of humiliation....

    posted by tbogg at 8:53 PM



    The George Brett entrance was a little tight and watch out for the polyps in the Reagan Wing.

    Colossal Colon Tour coming to your town!

    The Colossal Colon is accompanied by an array of interactive stations with educational games. Increase your knowledge of colorectal cancer facts and win prizes!

    posted by tbogg at 3:58 PM



    WWMKD: What Would Mary Kay Do?

    Authorities say a woman was driving erratically as she tried to put on her makeup - and it led to her arrest on a felony warrant.

    Amy Wery, 32, of Bismarck, N.D., who's also known as Amy Howe, was wanted in Bismarck for failing to appear in court in response to a subpoena in the murder trial of her former boyfriend

    The Minnesota State Patrol said she was trying to apply her makeup while driving on Interstate 94 in the Fergus Falls area Sunday afternoon. The Patrol said three other drivers called authorities to complain about her erratic driving


    Wery is the mother of a 15-month-old girl who died of head and spinal cord injuries in October. Her boyfriend, Michael McClary, is due to stand trial in March.

    Your boyfriend kills your daughter, so you blow town and try and disguise yourself as Katherine Harris.

    There ought to be a law.

    posted by tbogg at 3:49 PM



    Just give us the oil and nobody gets hurt....

    Secretary of State Colin Powell is assuring the Arab world the Bush administration's demand for regime change in Iraq aims at disarmament, not ousting President Saddam Hussein.

    Did we mention it's Clinton's fault?

    "If he cooperates, then the basis of changed-regime policy has shifted because his regime has, in fact, changed its policy to one of cooperation," Powell said in an interview with a London-based Arab newspaper released Monday by the State Department.

    Powell said the policy of regime change in Baghdad was inherited from the Clinton administration by the Bush administration.

    "We came into office in 2001 and kept that policy because Saddam Hussein had not changed," Powell told the newspaper Al Quds Al Arabi by telephone last Thursday.

    posted by tbogg at 3:42 PM



    The Unbearable Banality of Michael Medved

    Paul Harris at Yellow Times does a pretty good job deriding Michael Medved's latest, and explains why Medved will always be on the "C" team, why smart people avoid him at parties or any other place people go to enjoy themselves, and why he needs to smacked upside the head with Ann Coulter's strap-on.

    (Oh great. Here come all the Ann+Coulter+strap-on google hits. Give it up, Spencer@usdoe.gov).)

    posted by tbogg at 3:16 PM



    Do a little dance, make a press release, get down tonight

    In order to combat the charges that Republicans are a bunch of sheet-wearing-race-baiting-Papist-slapping Grand Kleagles, they need some good old fashioned Black organizations to stand up and say, "Why yes, our black brethren and sistren do support Senator Hoodhead. We will not be a part of the liberal plantation and where is our Town Hall or World Net columnist contract?". With Congressman Watts leaving for the private sector where he can make more money to raise his kids as soon as he figures out how many he has, Republicans are desperate for a black voice, any black voice to speak on their behalf.

    Which brings us to the Rev Jesse Lee Peterson and his Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny (BOND). The Rev Jesse exists mainly to combat the evil Jesse Jackson and any attempt he may make to help African Americans, but sometimes he rents himself out to people like Trent Lott.

    "As the head of a nationally recognized nonprofit black organization BOND, the Brotherhood Organization of A New Destiny, my organization and I accept Senator Trent Lott's apology regarding his remarks at Senator Strom Thurmond's birthday celebration. I encourage the Senator to not give into the demands of racists who want to keep blacks on the Democratic plantation.


    Black and white Democrats alike who continue to demand that he [Lott] step down are doing so only for political reasons. And Republicans who fail to support him are displaying cowardice. Lott should not step down; he should not offer any more apologies-this matter is done! We should judge people based on their hearts and actions, and unlike many of his detractors, Trent Lott has no history of being a racist."

    In an effort to appeal to his black brothers, the Rev. Jesse has brought on noted African-American media star, Sean Hannity to the BOND Advisory Board, because Sean knows how to "keep it real and is down wif da boyz in da hood, yo". Here is a picture of Sean with the rest of the gang at BOND as they get ready for an appearance on Soultrain as a KC and The Sunshine Band cover band.

    Thats the way, un huh un huh, he likes it, un huh un huh....

    posted by tbogg at 2:55 PM



    I don't believe this is what Ralph Ellison meant by the "Invisible Man"...

    Atrios provides us with a link to Grover Norquist's African American Republican Leadership Council, a place that I have never visited before. So I'm, like, checking it out and I decide to go check out the Black GOP in Congress Hall of Champions. Boy, was that one quiet room. Of course every page needs a little padding to give these guys the look of "Somethings happening here, What it is ain't exactly clear", so they decided to list all African-Americans in Congress, not just the GOP list which would be embarassingly small and about to become non-existant with the departure of JC Watts. Now I won't list all of the former black members of Congress, only the current ones, because, well, it's very informative:

    Rep. Major Owens(D-NY)-- 1983-present
    Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY)-- 1983-present
    Rep. John Lewis (D-GA)--1987-present
    Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ)-- 1989-present
    Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.)-- 1991-present
    Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA)-- 1991-present
    Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)-- 1991-present
    Rep. Eva Clayton (D-NC)-- 1992-present
    Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA)-- 1993-present
    Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL)-- 1993-present
    Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC)-- 1993-present
    Rep. Cleo Fields (D-LA)-- 1993-96
    Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL)--1993-present
    Rep. Earl Hilliard (D-AL)--1993-present
    Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)-- 1993-present
    Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA)-- 1993-present
    Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL)-- 1993-present
    Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA)-- 1993-present
    Rep. Mel Watt (D-NC)-- 1993-present
    Rep. Albert Wynn (D-MD)-- 1993-present
    Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS)-- 1993-present
    Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA)-- 1995-present
    Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)-- 1995-present
    Rep. Julius Caesar Watts (R-OK)-- 1995-present
    Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)-- 1995-present
    Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA)-- 1996-present
    Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD)-- 1996-present
    Rep. Julia Carson (D-IN)-- 1997-present
    Delegate Donna Christian-Christensen (D-VI)-- 1997-present
    Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-IL)-- 1997-present
    Rep. Harold Ford, Jr. (D-TN)-- 1997-present
    Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-MI)-- 1997present-
    Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY)-- 1998-present
    Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)-- 1998-present
    Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH)-- 1999-present
    Rep. William Clay, Jr. (D-MO)-- 2001-present

    One of these things is not like the others, can you guess which one?

    posted by tbogg at 2:20 PM



    Leave a burning cross in the window. I'm coming home.

    Trent Lott-Republican David Duke is coming home to Louisiana to face the music.

    David Duke has returned to the United States and will be talking with federal prosecutors about a plea bargain to criminal charges, his attorney said Monday.

    Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader who ran for governor and the U.S. Senate a decade ago, has been visiting his seriously ill father in New Jersey and plans to return to his home in Mandeville, north of New Orleans , defense attorney James McPherson said in an interview with The Associated Press.

    "One of the reasons David came back is to see if we can cut a deal," McPherson said. "It's hard to negotiate when your client is out of the country."


    Duke had just started a speaking tour in Russia in January 2000 when federal agents raided his home in Mandeville. A search warrant, based on testimony from confidential informants, alleged Duke took hundreds of thousands of dollars he solicited from supporters and gambled the money away at casinos.

    Wonder how Duke will fit in with the inmates at Angola prison? He should be quite popular during their annual rodeo as part of the Ride the Wild Klansman event.

    posted by tbogg at 12:55 PM



    Something that is thankfully not about Lott or Gore

    Lisa at Ruminate This has links and observations on the 34 Million Friends Campaign.

    posted by tbogg at 9:30 AM



    Let your freak flag fly

    The Flaming Moderate on the Confederate flag.

    I await his pronouncement on the ubiquitous Dale Earnhardt #3 sticker in truck rear windows....

    posted by tbogg at 9:27 AM



    Iceberg ahead...rats begin packing their bags

    Looks like Joe Allbaugh is joining Mary Matalin in the unemployment line as the exodus from the good ship USS Chimpy McCokespoon continues. Unlike the female members of the administration who want to spend more time with their families, Allbaugh wants to have more time to spend on his hair style which has drawn the admiring glances from Mickey Kaus and Ari Fleischer.

    posted by tbogg at 9:15 AM



    The President who drove old Dixie down...

    Looks like some of the Red states are feeling a little blue.

    Across the South, the economic landscape has turned upside down. Atlanta, where all arrows once pointed up, is hurting most: 61,800 jobs were lost in the 12 months that ended in October — more than in any other city in the country, according to the federal Department of Labor. And the job losses are continuing.

    Even North Carolina's powerhouse area, Raleigh-Durham, which is normally all but immune to hard times thanks to a largely tenured work force of university and state government employees, has seen its unemployment rate double this year. In Hickory, N.C., and the surrounding area, entire fiber-optic cable factories have been mothballed in recent weeks, and 3,200 jobs have been cut since spring 2001.

    In Louisiana, where the oil-and-gas industry typically buoys the state during national recessions, anxieties about a conflict with Iraq appear to have held up new investment — and job growth.

    Faced with his father's fate, what do we suppose old President Tax the Poor is going to do to rescue his base?

    "The president is making the case that people who earn between $50 [thousand] and $75,000 a year should be paying a third more taxes," Matsui said.

    That is, of course, if they still have jobs.

    The Bush Economy redux......

    posted by tbogg at 8:38 AM



    Ted Rall

    has the Bush economic plan in hand.

    Ben Sargent

    on the "New GOP".

    posted by tbogg at 12:03 AM


    Sunday, December 15, 2002


    By Rove! I think he's got it!

    Rich Procter gets ahold of a Karl Rove memo.

    posted by tbogg at 11:41 PM



    Who's your daddy?

    Out-going Congressman JC Watts has a new book out just in time for Christmas, What Color is a Conservative?. Although the index has listings for cultural values (pg. 151), Fellowship of Christian Athletes (pgs. 107, 137), Hollywood accountability (pg. 233), Paula Jones (pg. 222), and Monica Lewinsky (pgs. 210-213, 221), I couldn't find any references to illegitimate children, born out of wedlock, bastards, or frontin' for the man.

    Apparently his book isn't as well footnoted as Ann Coulter's.

    posted by tbogg at 11:19 PM



    It's not that they didn't do their job. It's that they just don't care what anyone thinks.

    Does anyone really think that the White House didn't do their homework on Henry Kissinger? Just like John Poindexter and Eliot Abrams, they thought they could get away with it. The fact that they now are thinking about appointing Bob Dole, the complete insider who is one of the most compromised of all former Senators, shows that they don't give a damn if this commitee ever gets off the ground. If Jerry Ford hadn't already been on the Warren Commision, he would probably be the next in line.

    Meanwhile Warren Rudman sits by the phone...

    posted by tbogg at 10:30 PM



    Let's hope they don't get together and breed...

    Lonely cat-obsessed women beat out nerdy teenage virgin boys in movie opening steel-cage deathmatch.

    posted by tbogg at 10:23 PM



    Out with racist...in with the homophobe.

    Please, please, please make Don Nickles the new face of the Republican party.

    Due to everything that is spilling out of Trent Lott's closet, there is going to be a media frenzy looking into Mr. Nickles every utterance. As my friends back at Table Talk used to say; pass the popcorn.

    posted by tbogg at 10:17 PM



    Al Gore steps aside

    Like a lot of people I am of two minds about Al Gore's decision to not run in 2004.

    On the one hand I feel that America was denied a President with the potential to be one of the truly great ones. Few candidates have ever run for the office with the background, knowledge, and, yes, even the humanity of Al Gore. Alone among many in Washington DC, Al Gore is one of the few with an eye towards the future and what the world demands of it's citizens. Too many of our decision makers are locked into the philosophies of the 50's and 60's, and, unfortunately, the Reagan 80's. Gore's grasp of our environmental needs as well as his interest in technology and its applications could have had an enduring effect on the world. The fact that he was denied the office that he rightfully won, is one of our country's darkest moments.

    Having said that, I am glad that he has chosen not to run. Gore sustained too much damage during the 2000 campaign from the Republican attack squad aided and abetted by a press that treated the campaign less as a contest of philosophy, than as a horserace. We now can see what happens when we have a press more concerned with personality than with policy; the country suffers. Those of us who are political junkies are at the mercy of those who base their poltical decisions on soundbites, Leno jokes, corporate financed bald-faced lying hit pieces, and people who preface their opinion with the phrase "Well, Rush said....". All of these, combined with mainstream "journalists" who fail to do their homework before making on-air pronouncements, applied a coating of failure, dishonesty, and insincerity to the wrong candidate simply because they didn't like him on a personal level. Al Gore got smeared and nothing will ever make these highly paid, ego-driven talking heads admit that they failed to do their jobs. Another run by Gore would just be a rehash of all the lies again because, hey, its easier than actually doing a little footwork or research. They destroyed a good man.

    Going forward we start to look at darkhorse Howard Dean, absolutely can't win Dick Gephardt, front-runner John Kerry, not ready for primetime John Edwards, charisma-free Tom Daschle, and the worst of all possibilities: Joe Lieberman. Since I have been old enough to vote (starting in 1972) I have voted in every Presidential election for the Democratic nominee. If Lieberman is the candidate, I'll sit the next one out, thank you very much. It's going to be interesting to see how this next one plays itself out.

    posted by tbogg at 10:03 PM


    Saturday, December 14, 2002


    One man's science project is another man's duck l'orange...

    The National FFA Organization (FFA), and the National Rifle Association (NRA), are proud to announce Joe Luis Alves, Jr. of Los Banos, CA, as the winner of FFA's Proficiency Award in Wildlife Production and Management - Placement.

    Alves, a member of the Los Banos FFA Chapter, became eligible for the national award after winning the California state FFA competition earlier this year. Working with the California Waterfowl Association, Alves took part in a grassland duck banding project. A 2001 graduate of Los Banos High School, Alves is now a biological assistant with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Hunters, who then proceeded to kill all the banded ducks, are requested to return the bands to NRA headquarters for in exchange for stylish T-shirts, novelty salt & pepper shakers, and children's hot cocoa mugs.

    posted by tbogg at 2:41 PM



    Baby Jesus kidnapped. Ransomers demand frankincense, myrrh and a copy of When in Rome by the delightful Olsen twins, Mary Kate and Ashley...

    Actually the story is stupid enough, even without the editorializing:

    The scene was bitter sweet: Waist-high candy canes and blinky lights adorned a snowy front lawn, where two sorrowful-looking parents peered over a lovely manger.

    But in this case, the baby Jesus statue was gone --kidnapped from the front lawn of Tom and Candy Konczos who last night remained mystified as to why someone would swipe the religious ornament from their Daniels Street front lawn, and then demand cash to get it back.

    "Whoever did it must’ve really planned this out, you know like a bank robbery," Candy Konczos said last night while staring at the ransom note along with Kim, her 9-year-old daughter.

    "We’re the only ones on the street. We checked at all the other houses with a baby Jesus, but none of them were stolen," Candy Konczos said.

    "Only ours."


    The ransom note read, in all capital letters:


    The note was signed by "Me, him and the other kid who was really scared and didn’t want to take your baby Jesus and the whole time all he did was say stuff like you’re going to hell, this isn’t right, stop."


    Candy Konczos said the baby Jesus was wired "pretty good" onto the wooden manger, and even had a small electric light bulb inside which gave it that spiritual glow at night.


    The Konczos said they first noticed the theft early yesterday when the mom left the home to drive daughter Kim to school.

    "I said, Look someone stole baby Jesus," the mom said.

    "It wasn’t until later that my husband called me at work and said he found a ransom note in the manger."

    "I called up the police and said, ‘You know, this may sound trivial, but someone stole our baby Jesus,’" said Candy.

    "The police said that nothing is trivial, and they were glad we called," she added.

    My condolences to staff writers Lisa Meyers & Dave Sommers who, I am sure, each spent four years studying journalism at a fine American university only to end up working the Stolen Baby Jesus Desk at the Trentonian.

    posted by tbogg at 2:27 PM



    Well, I've been afraid of changing 'Cause I've built my life around you

    Stuck for a last minute Christmas gift for, say ,someone who still collects unicorn pictures, pewter dragons, and makes jokes about Trekkies with her friends down at Ye Olde Renaissance Faire?

    Have I got a gift for the gypsy that remains

    You know, She is like a cat in the dark And then she is the darkness...

    (thanks Andrew)

    posted by tbogg at 1:58 PM



    Things I wish I had written

    Besides The Origin of the Bruinists (the best novel ever written about America), I really wish I had written THE BEAST 50 MOST LOATHSOME PEOPLE IN AMERICA, which I found through my good friend, Jim over at Rittenhouse.

    Thank you Beast for including Michael Bay, Jim Rome, and Faith Hill.

    posted by tbogg at 1:40 PM



    I'm also a little taller than them

    Reader Emma send me this link that she came across while looking into the life and times of the vaguely-contrite-but-not-really Trent Lott. As you will note, it uses the same Blogger template as my blog, but it is obviously not, since it contains no mention of Operation Inigo Montoya, Lynne Cheney's vestigial penis, or The Virgin Ben.

    Accept no substitutes.

    posted by tbogg at 1:31 PM



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